A local's guide to Bristol, England: where to eat and what to do



Bristol might not be England's best-known city, but those who live there like it that way. Smaller than London, but with as much to offer, Bristol is a place for those in the know. Located in the heart of the South West, this compact, edgy spot is buzzing with culture and art, while its food scene is quickly becoming the UK's best.

My ultimate tour

Each corner of Bristol offers something completely different. But any visit should start with a trip to Clifton Observatory, the best spot to take in the city's most famous landmark, the Clifton Suspension Bridge, which opened in 1864 and stands 75 metres above the river Avon. If heights don't phase you, take a stroll across the Isambard Kingdom Brunel-designed bridge, drinking in the sprawling view. From there, wander through the streets of upmarket Clifton, browsing the small independent boutiques and sampling its laid-back coffee culture.

To get a taste of Bristol's true spirit, take a stroll down Gloucester Road into Stokes Croft, Europe's longest unbroken stretch of independent businesses. From home-grown clothing boutiques and antiques stores to record companies and gastropubs, you'll encounter people from all walks of life, and get a feel for the fabric of community that makes Bristol unique.

My top tale 

You may not know Bristol, but you will have heard of its most famous son (or daughter), as it's where world-famous street artist Banksy calls home. It was here that he (or she) made a name for himself during the 1990s, with his earliest works adorning the walls of St Pauls, Stokes Croft and Montpelier. While his style has evolved a lot since those early tagging days, some of his oldest and most famous works are still visible in the city, alongside the generation of street artists he has inspired. It's almost impossible to find a clear wall in Bristol, with the city's liberal, artistic spirit visible at every turn.

And it's not just the walls that are colourful. The city's historic harbourside is lined with picturesque multi-coloured houses on all sides, from Cliftonwood to Totterdown, adding the perfect backdrop to the historic ships that sit in the harbour, such as Brunel's SS Great Britain , is which is now a floating museum permanently homed in the docks, while a wooden replica of The Matthew, sailed by John Cabot in 1497, still ferries passengers around the waterways.

My one must-do

Make it to the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, pictured above. The city is the largest manufacturer of hot air balloons in Europe and, each year, it celebrates this feat by hosting the continent's largest gathering of balloonists. During the four-day event, which takes place in mid-August, about 120 floating vessels take to the sky at once, offering a magical experience that is synonymous with the city.

My favourite eats

Bristol might be one of England's smaller cities, but it punches well above its weight when it comes to food. With five Michelin-starred eateries and dozens more world-class restaurants, choosing where to eat might be the hardest decision you make during your visit. My top recommendation is Pasta Loco, a small, family-run eatery tucked away on Cotham Hill. With only 40 covers, booking in advance is a must for this restaurant, which has repeatedly been named as the best in the UK. Despite its many accolades, prices remain reasonable, with a main dish setting you back about £15 (Dh70).

Foodies should also wander through the historic St Nicholas Market's food court, where stalls sell some of the best vegan, home-grown food the UK has to offer. And for some of the best dining views in the city, shipping container complex Cargo at Wapping Wharf, on the edge of the harbourside, is a melting pot of quirky, independent eateries, serving everything from fish and chips at Salt & Malt, to a la carte vegetarian grub at popular Root.

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COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

Expert advice

“Join in with a group like Cycle Safe Dubai or TrainYAS, where you’ll meet like-minded people and always have support on hand.”

Stewart Howison, co-founder of Cycle Safe Dubai and owner of Revolution Cycles

“When you sweat a lot, you lose a lot of salt and other electrolytes from your body. If your electrolytes drop enough, you will be at risk of cramping. To prevent salt deficiency, simply add an electrolyte mix to your water.”

Cornelia Gloor, head of RAK Hospital’s Rehabilitation and Physiotherapy Centre 

“Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can ride as fast or as far during the summer as you do in cooler weather. The heat will make you expend more energy to maintain a speed that might normally be comfortable, so pace yourself when riding during the hotter parts of the day.”

Chandrashekar Nandi, physiotherapist at Burjeel Hospital in Dubai
 

The Specs

Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol
Power: 118hp
Torque: 149Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Price: From Dh61,500
On sale: Now

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

SPECS

Engine: 1.5-litre turbo

Power: 181hp

Torque: 230Nm

Transmission: 6-speed automatic

Starting price: Dh79,000

On sale: Now

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

RESULTS

Bantamweight: Jalal Al Daaja (JOR) beat Hamza Bougamza (MAR)

Catchweight 67kg: Mohamed El Mesbahi (MAR) beat Fouad Mesdari (ALG)

Lightweight: Abdullah Mohammed Ali (UAE) beat Abdelhak Amhidra (MAR)

Catchweight 73kg: Mosatafa Ibrahim Radi (PAL) beat Yazid Chouchane (ALG)

Middleweight: Yousri Belgaroui (TUN) beat Badreddine Diani (MAR)

Catchweight 78KG: Rashed Dawood (UAE) beat Adnan Bushashy (ALG)

Middleweight: Sallah-Eddine Dekhissi (MAR) beat Abdel Enam (EGY)

Catchweight 65kg: Yanis Ghemmouri (ALG) beat Rachid Hazoume (MAR)

Lightweight: Mohammed Yahya (UAE) beat Azouz Anwar (EGY)

Catchweight 79kg: Souhil Tahiri (ALG) beat Omar Hussein (PAL)

Middleweight: Tarek Suleiman (SYR) beat Laid Zerhouni (ALG)

Last 10 winners of African Footballer of the Year

2006: Didier Drogba (Chelsea and Ivory Coast)
2007: Frederic Kanoute (Sevilla and Mali)
2008: Emmanuel Adebayor (Arsenal and Togo)
2009: Didier Drogba (Chelsea and Ivory Coast)
2010: Samuel Eto’o (Inter Milan and Cameroon)
2011: Yaya Toure (Manchester City and Ivory Coast)
2012: Yaya Toure (Manchester City and Ivory Coast)
2013: Yaya Toure (Manchester City and Ivory Coast)
2014: Yaya Toure (Manchester City and Ivory Coast)
2015: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund and Gabon)
2016: Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City and Algeria)

What is blockchain?

Blockchain is a form of distributed ledger technology, a digital system in which data is recorded across multiple places at the same time. Unlike traditional databases, DLTs have no central administrator or centralised data storage. They are transparent because the data is visible and, because they are automatically replicated and impossible to be tampered with, they are secure.

The main difference between blockchain and other forms of DLT is the way data is stored as ‘blocks’ – new transactions are added to the existing ‘chain’ of past transactions, hence the name ‘blockchain’. It is impossible to delete or modify information on the chain due to the replication of blocks across various locations.

Blockchain is mostly associated with cryptocurrency Bitcoin. Due to the inability to tamper with transactions, advocates say this makes the currency more secure and safer than traditional systems. It is maintained by a network of people referred to as ‘miners’, who receive rewards for solving complex mathematical equations that enable transactions to go through.

However, one of the major problems that has come to light has been the presence of illicit material buried in the Bitcoin blockchain, linking it to the dark web.

Other blockchain platforms can offer things like smart contracts, which are automatically implemented when specific conditions from all interested parties are reached, cutting the time involved and the risk of mistakes. Another use could be storing medical records, as patients can be confident their information cannot be changed. The technology can also be used in supply chains, voting and has the potential to used for storing property records.

Results

5pm Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 1,400m

Winner No Riesgo Al Maury, Szczepan Mazur (jockey), Ibrahim Al Hadhrami (trainer)

5.30pm Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 1,600m

Winner Marwa W’Rsan, Sam Hitchcott, Jaci Wickham.

6pm Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 1,600m

Winner Dahess D’Arabie, Al Moatasem Al Balushi, Helal Al Alawi.

6.30pm Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 2,200m

Winner Safin Al Reef, Connor Beasley, Abdallah Al Hammadi.

7pm Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 2,200m

Winner Thulbaseera Al Jasra, Shakir Al Balushi, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami.

7.30pm Maiden (TB) Dh 80,000 2,200m

Winner Autumn Pride, Szczepan Mazur, Helal Al Alawi.

The Details

Kabir Singh

Produced by: Cinestaan Studios, T-Series

Directed by: Sandeep Reddy Vanga

Starring: Shahid Kapoor, Kiara Advani, Suresh Oberoi, Soham Majumdar, Arjun Pahwa

Rating: 2.5/5