Monday, 23 June 2014

A weekend in Bristol

Banksy's most famous work in his hometown, sadly vandalised at the moment

36 years after being born there (my parents only stayed for 3 months after my birth, so it's not exactly my hometown), I returned to Bristol to celebrate my birthday with The Boy.  And what a weekend we had: endless blue skies and sunshine, delicious vegan & veggie food, walking for miles while popping in and out of brilliant independent shops and spotting street art along the way. The more I saw of Bristol the more I fell for the city, and it's now shot straight to the top of our 'Want to Live' list (perhaps even knocking Hebden Bridge off its number one spot).

We found so many fab places to eat and drink.  My favourite was probably Roll For The Soul, a veggie & vegan cafe and bike workshop/community space.  The burrito I had for lunch on Sunday was HUGE and so delicious.  We also liked the chilled-out vibe of The Canteen, in Stokes Croft, where we drank cider on the terrace on Saturday afternoon (we were on holiday so daytime drinking is totally ok, right?).

It sometimes seems like there's not a wall in Bristol that hasn't been decorated with street art, from murals to graffiti tags to some amazing 'clean' stencil work (where the dirt on an old building has been blasted with a jet cleaner while a stencil is on the wall, leaving patterns in the clean bits).  As much as I loved the little cat, I think the fox is just stunning and the picture doesn't really give an idea of scale: it was on a building about five stories high!

We had a super-relaxed start to Sunday morning (gotta love a midday check-out) and then wandered back through the city to see the Jeremy Deller exhibition at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery.  I love Deller's work but the exhibition - English Magic - wasn't the best of his I've seen.  I did love the multiple references to Bowie's The Man Who Sold The World, though, which ranged from some typically Deller banners to an amazing steel band rendition.  We walked via Castle Park and St Peter's Church, which was bombed during the Bristol Blitz in 1940 and is now just a shell, albeit in beautifully landscaped gardens which seem so peaceful, you'd never know you were mere steps away from the main shopping centre.

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