The Bristol Tour
Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
Our weekend started by meeting at the Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel, in the newly renovated kitchen and bar, Keepers. Positioned right in the busy centre of bristol and hailed as ‘a sanctuary amid the hive of activity’. It took a little while for the penny to drop but once I realised the rather obvious theme of Honey Bee’s the charm of nectar based references become clear.
The bar’s interior features many subtle references to the theme without being too in your face, such as the hexagonal wall feature and light fittings.
There certainly was a buzz about the place as we sat down for our meal, and we tucked into a selection of their starters. Personal favorites being the Crispy Lemon Pepper Tiger Prawn and Calamari, and of course the Bourbon Glazed Short Rib.
When it came to the main I ended up being ‘that guy’, and went for the T-Bone steak from the dedicated steak menu (always a treat). It was cooked to a perfect medium rare, and was served up on a delicious platter with rocket, home cooked chips and cherry tomatoes, with bernaise on the side.
Amy went for the sirloin, and I could only assume by the level of silence during the meal that it was up to scratch.
I finished off my meal with a sticky toffee pudding with clotted cream, that I definitely didn’t need but most certainly finished.
The next morning we head down early(ish) to enjoy one of life’s greatest gifts, the hotel breakfast buffet.
I kept it simple myself, standard english with a delicious hot coffee to perk me up for the day ahead.
Being from Bristol myself, and having been to most of the spots on the tour I saw this as an opportunity for nice walk around the city, but in all honesty I saw so many things that in all my time here I had never noticed. As they say, we don’t look up enough.
It began with a tour of the newly renovated hotel spaces and downstairs bar. Used mostly for functions, parties and various hotel bound events. The stand out for me was the detail and finishing touches that had gone into making the spaces really special. With illustrations hand drawn by Cai Burton across a lot of the event space walls.
We then head across to St Nicks market. Despite the fact I get my lunch from here most days, taking the time to stop and look around (especially up at the architecture) made me realise quite how awesome of a place it really is.
After this we visited King Street, and along with it the Llandoger Trow which is otherwise known as an old old wooden pub. Dating back to 1664, the more than apparent slant of the building makes my hair stand up on end, mostly for OCD reasons but also with it’s charm, I suppose.
We were lucky enough also, to be taken up to one of Bristol’s lesser known Vista points up on the roof of the M-Shed just south of the river. The weather was slightly greyer than we’d hoped but it still made for a great photo op
Onwards and quite literally upwards, we walked up past the colston hall, and watched a bit of street art in the making on the front of the building. It was either permitted by the building, or the most nonchalant graffiti artist in bristol.
To finish the tour, we then head down the Christmas Steps and into Stokes Croft to see one of Bristol’s very own Banksy pieces. Another piece that I’ve walked past a thousand times but never taken the time to really take in.
We ended our lovely Bristol experience, and capped off the tour with afternoon tea back in the Keepers Lounge. Tea, Sandwiches, the best lemon drizzle cake I’ve ever eaten/inhaled and my yearly allowance of clotted cream dolloped on a nice fat scone.
All in all we had a brilliant weekend, and I can only imagine what this brilliant opportunity would have been like for someone seeing Bristol for the first time. If you get the chance I would definitely recommend popping into Keepers for either cocktails, dinner or afternoon tea. I was all top notch.