Tag Archives: Bristol

Dinner with your parents in Bristol

You know all the best takeaways’ numbers by heart and the perfect place for a kebab on the way home, but somewhere appropriate to eat when your parents come to visit? Hmm. Whether it’s for that first trip down to see your halls or a graduation dinner, there is a restaurant in Bristol to suit every family.

The all-English family
If your parents are homely, traditional English types who love nothing more than good old-fashioned pub grub, they might well like Goldbrick House. The menu features old-time favourites such as  fish and chip, rabbit stew, steak and lamb wellington – just a little bit posher. Those on a tighter budget might prefer the rough-and-ready but incredibly tasty Pieminister on Stokes Croft, where you can get a pie, mash, peas and gravy for £5.95.

The ‘special dietary requirements’ family

If you have vegetarian or vegan family members to cater for, Café Kino at the top of Stokes Croft is a good place to start. Everything on the menu is free from meat, dairy, eggs and honey, and if you’re allergic to something the catering staff are happy to adjust your meal. Otherwise Café Maitreya is another, more adventurous vegetarian café with good reviews.

The fashionable family
Those who like to ‘be seen’ ought to head up to Clifton to find the more fashionable eateries. The Avon Gorge Hotel looks out over the Suspension Bridge and the Avon Gorge, frequented by many Clifton socialites for after-work drinks or a high-class evening meal.

The hippy family
Parents with a penchant for lentils, tofu and vegetables will find plenty to eat in Bristol. Number one has to be the One-Stop Thali Café, which has various restaurants around the city. If they’ve been to India (highly likely) they’ll probably have sampled a thali before – a combination of vegetable subji, basmati rice, tarka dahl, keralan salad and homemade chutney, served in a special dish. You can also get chapattis, beer, chai and a whole host of other bits and bobs to go with it. Oh, and non-veggies need not worry – there’s now a chicken curry option as well. Alternatively you could wander down the road to the Canteen for some tasty food and laid-back Bristolian atmosphere… Just make sure you get there early if you want a table.

The millionaire family
Ok, ‘millionaire’ might be a bit of an exaggeration, but there are places in Bristol for the wealthy to dine. San Carlo on Corn Street does absolutely delicious Italian food that is well worth the price tag. I recommend the tomato pasta with clams, king prawns and sunblush tomatoes. MMM! Riverstation is also up there with the most expensive dining Bristol has to offer, or for some nouvelle cuisine try Bell’s Diner down in Montpelier.

The hungry family
Whether you have several teenage siblings who need a lot of calories or are just downright greedy, all-you-can-eat places are dotted around the city. Flavourz lets you sample food from all over the world, and you can go back for as many helpings as you like. Cosmo operates on the same principal, but is limited to Pan-Asian dishes.  

Written by Lucy, Bristol.


A Bristolian Halloween

You’re getting a bit old for trick or treating now, but Halloween doesn’t have to be exclusive to the under-12s. As always Bristol has a plethora of spooktacular (ahem) themed events on offer – read on for a selection of the very best

1. The Zombie Walk
Saturday 29th October/free

Now in its fifth year, the Zombie Walk returns to Bristol with a new, as-yet-undisclosed route. Dig out your grey face paint, fake blood and torn clothes, and join the hundreds of other zombies shuffling through Bristol moaning for “braaains”. If ‘living dead’ isn’t really your style, you can still join in: don combats and a plastic gun and you can join the Zombie Defence Squad, to take down the zombies and save the city! More information on the Zombie Walk here; join the Zombie Defence Squad here.

2.Halloween Champion Sound @ Warehouse
Saturday 29th October/£6-8 (£5 for zombies)

Not deterred by the temporary closure of Lakota, Champion Sound is back with a new venue. The Halloween edition is billed as the Zombie Walk’s unofficial afterparty, and will take place at the Warehouse (near the Thekla), open to both zombies and non-zombies with a taste for drum and bass, dubstep and hip hop.
More information

3. Monsterpiece Halloween Party @ Big Chill Bar
Saturday 29th October/free

This year Big Chill Bar is hosting ‘Monsterpiece’, a huge Halloween party featuring live music fromBristol’s top DJs, fancy dress, face painting and tarot card-reading. Prizes are on offer for the best fancy dress costumes, or you can wait and get made up on the night for charity. All the acts are performing for free, and all proceeds from the night will go to Bristol-based charity Temwa, which does work in Malawi.
More information

4. Shadows Follow
Friday 28th October/£10

Not for the faint-hearted, Shadows Follow is a terrifying ‘psychological thriller game’ which takes place out on the streets of Bristol. Walk, sneak and run through secret scary locations around the city as you try to complete the mission with your team.
More information

5. Just Jack Halloween Freak Boutique @ Motion
Saturday 29th October/£12-15

House music, cabaret, magic and fancy dress are combined this Halloween when Just Jack takes over Motion. The dress code is ‘Victorian freak and circus chic’, and ten per cent of proceeds go to charity War Child.
More information

6. Disturbance @ Syndicate

Monday 31st October/£3-6

The gunge tank alone meant Disturbance had to make this list! The Halloween special at Syndicate also includes a freak show, hot tub, giveaways and themed drinks such as ‘cocktail cauldrons’. The best costume wins 50 pounds!
More information 

Freshers’ Week in Bristol

The beginning of university is an exciting time: no work to do, lots of parties and plenty of new people to meet. But with so much going on, how are we supposed to work out what’s worth going to, and what isn’t? The Bristolian branch of the Student Channel has sifted through all the listings – both university-organised and otherwise – to bring you the very best that your Freshers’ Week has to offer.

University of Bristol

According to the University of Bristol Facebook page, the two biggest and most popular freshers’ events are the Freshers’ Party (4 October) and the Freshers’ Ball (13 October). They are £7 and £22 respectively, but you can buy tickets for both for the discounted price of £26. The ball is at Motion, one of Bristol’s biggest, coolest and most popular nightclubs, so expect it to sell out! But these are just the tip of the iceberg: more information on freshers’ events organised by the students union can be found here, and each individual residence also organises its own parties.


Motion, Bristol


The biggest event of UWE’s freshers’ week calendar is the Allstars Party, taking place on the Frenchay campus on Saturday 24th September. The line up is impressive: Chase and Status, the View and Kissy Sell Out are headlining. Tickets are £30 a pop, but if that seems a little on the expensive side there’s plenty more going on at a fraction of the price, including comedy nights and mock-full moon beach parties. Click here for full listings.


Bristol events

Freshers’ week may be organised by your union, but that doesn’t mean you’re confined to the official events! Local clubs are putting on a huge variety of freshers’ themed events; read on for a selection of the very best Bristol has to offer.


The Thekla

With term starting again the Thekla is reviving its well-established and hugely popular student night Zoology: the official club night of UWE’s Hub Radio. The connection doesn’t make it exclusive to UWE students, though – University of Bristol freshers are just as welcome. Every Monday you can expect to hear indie, pop and hip hop, plus the Hub Radio DJs themselves on the top deck (the Thekla is a boat, doncha know). Get down before 10 to escape the door charge. Facebook group

That’s not all – the Thekla is also debuting its newest student night Wobble, which will be bringing you the best in dubstep, drum and bass and “generally wobbly beats” every Tuesday night. Facebook group


For more information on freshers’ week at the Thelka, click here



Between 23rd and 25th SeptemberBristol’s newest and most up-and-coming festival, ‘BrisFest’, will be transforming the centre with a mixture of music, comedy, street theatre, circus and art. Tickets are a bargain: entry to the festival starts at £8 and the boat parties is as little as £6, so if you’re new to the city there’s no excuse not to get down there and experience some local culture! You can read the Student Channel’s preview of the festival here for more information.

 Propaganda @ Syndicate

You’ve probably heard of Propaganda before – massively popular in almost every student city, it’s the UK’s number one Indie night. Already a fan? Well “Props” was born in Bristol, and it’s easily the city’s biggest club night. You’d be a fool to miss the first one of term, on Wednesday 21st September. Get there early to avoid missing out. Facebook group

 Smash the Lanes @ The Lanes


Intriguingly described as “cheap drinks, good music and cheap bowling for all”, Smash the Lanes is possibly the first ever student night to feature a bowling alley. Entry is free and drinks deals abound, so if a blend of funk, hip hop, dubstep, drum and bass, house and disco sounds appealing this might just be for you.


Written by Lucy, Bristol


Bristol’s nightlife… by genre

Coming to a new city as a fresher, it can be easy to get sucked into a never-ending series of cheese nights… and hey, if the Spice Girls and Westlife are your thing, that’s ok. But if you’ve got a love for another, less mainstream kind of music, don’t give up!Bristol has plenty to offer: you just need to know where to look. Read on for an overview of the nightlife in your new city, conveniently arranged by genre…

Pop Confessional


What with being a student city and all, pop and cheese are two genres you’re definitely not going to be short on. Pretty much every major club has at a student night where they play chart music or golden oldies, along with all the associated drinks deals. These nights are so widespread that you really don’t need help finding them, but a few of the most popular are Pop Confessional (the Thekla), Phat Friday (Panache) and Hanky Panky (Syndicate).





There are several good, regular Indie nights on, including the incredibly popular Propaganda (at Syndicate), which unites young locals and students every Wednesday. Similar and similarly successful regulars include Ramshackle (o2 Academy) and Pressure (the Thekla). If live bands are more your bag, you’re in luck: there’s heaps going on Indie-wise almost every night in various venues. Check out Headfirst Bristol for what’s coming up in the next few weeks.


In all honesty, Bristol is surprisingly quiet on the hip-hop front. There aren’t any particularly hip-hop focused clubs and the city is seriously lacking in dedicated nights. With the introduction of the new In:Motion nights at Motion, however, there are some reasonably well-known artists coming to Bristol soon: check out their website for line-ups and prices.

Motion Nightclub

Drum and Bass and Jungle

Fed rather than diminished by the rise of dubstep, drum and bass is still hugely popular in Bristol. There aren’t many solely “drum and bass” nights, though – instead most clubs seem to mix it up with similar genres (such as breaks, dubstep and jungle) a couple of nights a week. Having said that, Native hosts Run every Tuesday (discounts for NUS holders) and Hospitality – the nationwide drum and bass night – comes to Bristol every month for a huge blowout: see here for up-to-date listings.

Jungle is harder to find on a weekly basis, instead offered closer to monthly (if that) at various clubs by certain specialist promoters. Champion Sound (Lakota) and Jungle Syndicate are well-established in the city, and often host big names such as Congo Natty, Top Cat, Aphrodite and Nicky Blackmarket.

Champion Sound at Lakota
The Croft


Dubstep is everywhere in Bristol, which can make it hard to separate the very good from the truly awful. The Croft, Thekla, Dojo’s and Basement 45 (amongst others) run semi-regular dubstep nights including the hugely popular Dubloaded, and bigger clubs Motion and Lakota host the biggest names in the genre (especially those from Bristol such as Pinch, Joker and Peverelist), though on a less regular basis.


House and techno

Bristol isn’t particularly known for its house or techno scene, but things have taken off a bit recently. Fruity Antics is a long-standing favourite amongst locals, with Timbuk2 and Dojo’s also hosting the occasional dedicated night. Once again, the new In:Motion nights are the place to look: if you’re not sure where to begin check out the Futureboogie one with Bristol-born Julio Bashmore in November.


Written by Lucy, Bristol.

Preview: BrisFest 2011

There is life after Ashton Court Festival!

Click the image to see what's on this year


… and with over 500 bands, DJs, comedians, cabaret acts and circus performers, her replacement is not to be sniffed at. From 23rd – 25th September Bristol is host to the third BrisFest, which will be transforming the centre into a colourful mish-mash of music, comedy, street theatre, circus and art.


When the Ashton Court Festival closed down in 2007, after more than 30 years trading, Bristol was bereft. Attracting around 60,000 people each year, the locally-minded event was one of the largest free festivals in the UK and the highlight of Bristol’s summer calendar.

Fortunately a group of dedicated volunteers stepped up to create an “accessible, affordable festival” which they hoped would be “an asset to the city”. BrisFest also gives back to the community in a big way, feeding Bristol’s rich music scene: industry talks and demo panels are available to which aspiring bands and DJs can bring CDs to get feedback and network. The team is even putting up the organisers of nearby festivals such as Boomtown Fair and Shambala in hotels and setting up a VIP meet-and-greet service, allowing local acts to showcase their talent and gain slots at summer festivals.


This year’s performers are a diverse bunch, including representatives for hip-hop, jungle, drum & bass, punk, dub and reggae: big names include Nicky Blackmarket, Congo Natty, Rodney P and Skitz, Laid Blak and First Degree Burns. If the music doesn’t grab you there’s plenty more to see and do: a wander through the festival will throw up stilt walkers, jugglers, fire shows, a silent rave and even boat parties. What’s more, the entire site has been painted head-to-toe by internationally recognised street artists and will be brought to life after dark by interactive light projections.



Tickets start from just £8 (and the boat parties from £6!), so if you’re in the area there really is no excuse not to go down and explore. If you’ve just moved here to start at University of Bristol or UWE you can consider this an induction to your new city. Welcome to Bristol.


For tickets and further information visit www.brisfest.co.uk.

Written by Lucy, Bristol.

The Banksy Tour of Bristol

Banksy Tour Route

Possibly Bristol’s coolest export (along with Massive Attack and Portishead), Banksy’s darkly political stencils have catapulted  him to a level of stardom previously unheard of for a graffiti artist. His art is peppered all over Bristol, from Clifton all the way down to Eastville, conveniently spread out in what is more or less a straight line. Thus the Banksy Tour was born.

Different websites offer different routes, some stretching all the way out to the most faded, little-known sketches on the outskirts of the city. However, being students, the majority of us don’t have access to a car. With this in mind I’ve drawn up a more compact version, showcasing the most central (and most famous) of Banksy’s work.






1. We start with the ‘Mild Mild West’ piece on Stokes Croft, a fitting place to begin a tour of Bristolian culture. The mural features a teddy bear throwing a Molotov cocktail at the police, and has probably been here for around nine or ten years. In 2009 it was restored after being vandalised with red paint.

2. Next, head down Jamaica Street to the BRI and children’s hospital. Standing uphill and looking back in the direction you came from, you can see the stencil: a sniper preparing to fire, with a boy standing behind him about to pop a paper bag.

3. We’re getting into student territory now, so chances are you’ll be seeing this one on a regular basis. On the side of a sexual health clinic on Frogmore Street(at the bottom of Park Street) is a picture of a man hanging naked from a window, while his lover’s husband looks out.

4. Moving down to Bristol harbour, this stencil is best viewed from the other side of the water. The image of the grim reaper in a boat, painted onto the side of The Thekla, is said to be based on a 19th century drawing named ‘The Silent Highway Man’.


If this tiny snippet of Banksy’s work has captured your interest, why not tackle the full tour? You can find a handy map of every single piece of Banksy graffiti in Bristol here.

Written by Lucy, Bristol.

Preview: Bristol’s St. Pauls Carnival 2011

“Quite simply the jewel in Bristol’s musical crown” according to Don’t Panic, St Pauls Carnival is one of the biggest events on the Bristolian calendar. The day-long festival is a celebration of the mishmash of different cultures and ethnicities that the neighbourhood is home to, with the dominant influences being African and Caribbean. Starting in the afternoon, the streets of St. Pauls are filled with people, music and the smells of traditional food – and the party lasts long into the evening.

The main event for the carnival is the masquerade procession from 1pm: a string of floats and spectacularly dressed dancers, which will follow this year’s theme African and Caribbean Folklore. If you’ve missed the procession, however, there are plenty more (stationary!) attractions on offer – just go for a wander to discover a variety of stages, stalls and activities..

After the day’s celebrations are over, the music really takes off. During daylight hours the many rigs popping up in the area typically play reggae and world music, but after nightfall the tone changes and you can expect to hear drum and bass, dubstep, hip hop and grime. Festival organisers are remaining tight-lipped on many of the biggest acts, which will be released on the day. However reggae legend David Rodigan has already been confirmed to be performing, and the Brighton Street rig is said to have booked some very special guests for a night of old school jungle. What’s more, if an entire day and night’s worth of activities just isn’t enough, you can take your pick from the plethora of afterparties being set up by Bristol’s clubs.

There is far too much happening at the carnival to be covered in one article – this is just a selection of highlights. So if you’re at a loose end on Saturday the best thing to do is get down to St. Pauls, grab yourself some jerk chicken and go and explore it for yourself. St Pauls Carnival is Saturday 2nd July, this event is free.

Written by Lucy, Bristol