A bar with the finest selection of whisky in Bristol. Open until 4am on Friday nights and 6am on Saturdays, it has become a place where DJs, late night revellers and insomniacs congregate after everyone else has gone to bed.
1 Park Street Avenue, BS8;
tel: 0117 9250890
An acronym for All The Tea In China. This is a cafe inspired by visits to San Francisco and by a desire to 'make tea sexy.' They have an array of fresh teas that aren't straight out of a Twining's box bought at the supermarket. All the teas are for sale from the shop to take home. They also cater for coffee lovers.
115 Coldharbour Road, Redland BS6 7SD; tel: (0117) 909 0357;
The Epstein Building, which houses Mivart Studios, began life as a Victorian factory. The collective of artists, performers, designers and furniture makers who now occupy the premises have an open studios weekend in the middle of October every year when the public are welcomed in to peruse the ongoing creative work.
Epstein Building, Mivart Street, Easton, BS5 6JL; tel: 0117 330 5209;
I recommend Barfly to visit on 28th Aug 2006 as Jon Wilks' favourite Japanese band - Nanbanjin- are playing there. Excellent music from 1 Welshman, 1 English/Irishman and a mad New Zealander! Not to be missed.
Kingsway, Cardiff. Just around the corner from St Marys Street;
tel: 029 2039 6589
Annual celebration of kite flying now in its 20th year. The first weekend of September attracts swathes of kite designers and enthusiasts to Ashton Court Estate, wind permitting. It's a family affair.
Ashton Court Estate; Take bus numbers 358 & 359 from the Central Bus Station;
You're unlikely to find the celebrity carnivore likes of Gordon Ramsay dining out here. The national vegetarian society have judged this the top vegetarian restaurant in the UK two years running. It's difficult to fault their judgment. The food is fresh, seasonal and organic. The desserts are difficult to resist.
89 St Mark's Road, Easton BS5 6HY; tel: 0117 951 0100
Goldbrick House is a new restaurant and bar development in Clifton. Apparently two years in the making and a cool £2m later, the project is a stunning new addition to the Bristol scene.
The food is simply some of the best I've ever eaten in Bristol (try the scallops and beef wellington - delicious). Staff are friendly, attentive and well informed, and the general feel of the place is very classy yet simple and unpretentious.
69 Park Street (at the top), Clifton Bristol; tel: (0117) 945 1950;
Proper Gujarati food. Vegetarian only, but full of all those lovely deep fried goodies from the streets of Surat and Mumbai. Authentic flavours, friendly staff, bags of atmosphere. If you're lucky the chef will come and tell you about the dishes, if she's not off winning prizes and awards!
86 Horton Grange Road, Bradford, BD7 2DW; tel: 01274 575 893;
Come the third weekend of November each year it's the turn of artists living in Totterdown to cast open their front rooms as makeshift galleries. Totterdown is a hilly neighbourhood with great views and a thrown together feel to its buildings. This is a chance to sit with an artist in their house, look at their work and have a cuppa if they're kind enough to offer one.
All around Totterdown BS3;
A bar and pizzeria next door to the Old Vic that stays open late into the night. Their links to the theatre are evident from all the autographed publicity mug shots of actors that hang from the walls and it's oddly enticing to pick out the celebs from these. Their oven knocks out superb thin crust pizzas throughout the night.
33 King St, BS1 4DZ;
tel: 0117 929 7712
Quality Indian food in a trendily designed restaurant. Their Goan fish curry at £10.50 and the tandoori jheenga sheesh for £11.50 are delicious fishy treats.
216 Cheltenham Road, BS6 5QU;
Tel: 0117 924 0458;
Cheap and cheerful pizza and pasta restaurant on Stroud Green Road in Finsbury Park. Friendly people, massive pizzas and noisy as hell on weekend nights. Pizzas cost about seven quid. Avoid the horrible pub next door though.
131 Stroud Green Road, London N4 3PX; tel: 020 7263 2114;
Nearest tube: Finsbury park
A word of warning. In my experience some branches of the local hotel industry have yet to adapt to (let's be polite) those with expectations beyond clean bedding. For expensive amusement, look no further than the huge Old Swan hotel near the Turkish Baths. In this hotel (part of the Macdonalds chain) staff seem engaged in a bizzare game of cat and mouse seemingly to frustrate your every requirement. It is a real gem which National Heritage should preserve for the nation. Very soon there will be no hotels like this left. If you aren't from England, however, or you are not a fan of 1970's sit coms, you may wish it a wide berth. (Stay in Leeds and visit by train).
The Swan hotel is off Ripon Road nr the train station.
This building had previously been Bedminster library, donated to the city in 1914 by George Wills off the back of profits made by his tobacco company. The books have moved next door and in their place is a spacious gallery with a cafe.
Number One St Peter's Court, Bedminster Parade, BS3 4AQ;
tel: 0117 963 7673;
A special pub tucked away in Stokes Croft with Bath Ales and locally brewed beers on tap. DJs play eclectic tunes in the evenings to a savvy crowd. There's a little beer garden out the back and they do food too, good chips.
Hillgrove St, Stokes Croft, BS2 8JT;
tel: 0117 909 6612
Skye has Britain's most spectacular mountains by far, the Cuillin. But what is less well known is that it also has probably Britain's most beautiful coastline. Could there be a better walking destination? The following website has a good guide to walks.
Artists living in South Bristol throw open their houses to display their work to the public for a weekend in the middle of May each year (check the website for details). Simply follow the map. Gawp, admire, criticise or perhaps even buy something.
Bedminster, Southville & Ashton, in south Bristol;
Deli cousin of across town Brasilian restaurant Bocanova. Good fresh coffee in the day, then during the evenings it sells extremely good pizzas with names like Zico, Bahia Picante and Carioca. Beleza.
184c Wells Road, Lower Knowle BS4 2AL;
tel: 0117 971 3377;
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