Bristol has greedily twinned herself with a host of cities, Oporto, Hannover, Tbilisi in Georgia, Beira in Mozambique, Guangzhou in China and Puerto Morazan in Nicaragua. Acknowledging the French connection is this ambitious venture which sets out to change attitudes towards food. Within the large dockside premises is a restaurant, deli, cafe, bakery and a cookery school. The food is conscientiously sourced mostly from within a 50 mile radius and is magnificent. Foodie paradise.
Canons Road, BS1 5UH;
enquiries: 0117 906 5550;
reservations: 0117 943 1200;
Sister pub to The Pipe & Slippers across town. The ethos is much the same, mixing pub and bar culture with a kitchen that does tapas and pieminister pies. The real boon of this place is the 1970s NSM jukebox which only plays vinyl. It won't accept today's new fangled coins mind, so old school 10ps and 50ps are bought from the bar.
14 Windmill Hill, BS3 4LU;
tel: 0117 963 5440;
Take the suburban train line to Bedminster station from Bristol Temple Meads;
A lounge club with good drinks and live music. It's in the heart of Clifton so the crowd can be a little stuffy on occasion. However, Thursday nights are a more laid back affair as the club is set aside for live jazz and latin music.
15 Richmond Terrace, BS8 1AA;
tel: 0117 973 0986
On the outskirts of the city centre lies a place called Bedminster, within Bedminster there lies a bar called Bar Salt. One of the nicest bars you will find in Bedminster, it has everything from great freshly cooked food, a lovely al fresco beer garden to sit in the sunshine and enjoy your drink and pool tables.
As soon as you walk through the doors you're transported to a relaxed and friendly place where you can chill out alone or with friends. It has an excellent quiz every Monday night, DJ'S on Friday night and Open Mic night every Tuesday (hosted by Ryan Kenning, Ricky Martin and Neil Young - no that's really their names!!) which I have to say is the most fun I've ever had! The standard of local talent that gets up and performs is amazing, from guitars to solo singers with stunning voices, not to be confused with karaoke! All in all an excellent place to go any day of the week!
4-6 North Street
Tel: 0117 953 1446
A delightful restaurant overlooking the Ponte Vecchio on the south side of the river. A meal for two including a reserve bottle of wine and three courses costs around 90 euros. Would recommend booking a table by the window for clear views of the bridge and the Arno.
Via dei Bardi, 58r (near Ponte Vecchio); tel: 055 214 502
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
Dead cheap and one of the best views of Florence. Drink in the Blu Bar (expensive, but fantastic views), eat in the pizzeria on the square opposite and take a walk up the hill for an even more spectacular view
Buy a bus ticket at any tabac and get the no 7 - it goes from Piazza del Duomo and stops in the square in Fiesole, just beside the Blu Bar (which is at Piazza Mino Da Fiesole, 39; tel: 055 597235).
This bar - favoured by the beautiful young things of Florence - is the perfect place for pre-dinner aperitivo. Plates of delicious cold meats, cheeses and pasta are served up, washed down with Florence's best (though highly alcoholic) cocktails and accompanied by low-key music from resident DJs. It's also perfect after midnight, when the party spills onto the street, and the illuminated Ponte Vecchio serves as a backdrop to the Florentine frolics.
Lungarno Corsini 12-14r next to Ponte Santa Trinita; tel: 055 210 751 or 055 293 258
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
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;
Basically, this place is a mecca for students, especially American ones. There's table footy, pool, probably some other bar games I've forgotten... and a very, very cheap happy 'hour' which lasts all night. The cocktails are particularly worth it, especially after a hard day of thinking about art/history/Italian grammar. Its location in the Santa Croce area means that you're near all the coolest places to go out too. Ahh, Loch Ness... Get messy with Nessy.
Via dei Benci 19r
This is a fantastic bar on the edge of the centre of Florence, right next to Piazza Beccaria. The best things about it are the atmosphere and price. As it isn't in the very centre, you only ever come across proper young Florentines (and you can avoid all the tourists if that's what you want). The deco isn't too bad either. For six euros you can buy a cocktail and an aperitivo - they are definitely not stingy with the food. The mood is very laid back and very very italian.
Viale Antonio Gramsci, 3/r
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
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
This is a cosmopolitan place with a river running through the centre of the town flanked by tree – lined streets. Dappled sunlight filters through the limes and sycamores that shade the footpaths along the boulevards, while enormous drifts of hanging baskets garnish the bridges and stone walls.
Everywhere there is a buzz of different languages and accents in the shops and bars. There is a greengrocers here with the freshest garlic, the sweetest of peppers and the most succulent mangoes.
This town is a retreat for the rich and famous, “…and did you not see Madonna a moment ago?”… or “… Bob Geldof was only saying the other day…” hence the gourmet quality foods in the shops.
The town is honeycombed with bars all doing pub grub with lots of seafood dishes. Mick Molloy’s, John Joe O’Malley’s, The Porterhouse …And live music at night that goes on to…
Set up by local DJs, this is a stylish bar which can't be faulted for its music policy of funk, hip-hop, latin, soul and jazz. Great when quiet but sadly it can be a victim of its own success and get very busy.
37 Triangle West, Clifton BS8 1ER;
tel: 0117 940 6101;
Great lounge-cum-restaurant on the the trendy Saint-Laurent Boulevard, with good food and equally well-made drinks. I recommend the martinis. Perfect place to kick off the evening while waiting for the clubs to get started.
3515 St Laurent Blvd; tel: (514) 842 0220
This fairly average gay-bar in the heart of the (gay) village has a fantastic roof terrace that's open in the summer. The beautiful people that this place attracts can be found frolicking in the open air jacuzzis. I was there on a Sunday afternoon in June, the sun was hot and the sangria was flowing - great place to soak up the city's vibe.
1474 Rue St Catherine East;
tel:(514) 529 7482
Pub of the moment. A traditional style boozer that mixes in the best of bar culture. Their Portuguese chef serves up her 'petiscos' and there are Pieminister pies bought in from just down the road. DJs subtly spin their records come the evening.
118 Cheltenham Rd, BS6 5RW;
tel: 0117 942 7711;
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