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I haven’t written a post here in what feels like forever! My excuse is that I’ve been busy trying to get my affairs in order for a life changing move to Malaysia. Now when I say getting my affairs in order I of course mean going to festivals, partying in Bristol and saying things like, “This might be the last time I get to drink cider in Queen Square, I better have one more”.
However, I’ve realised I only have 3 weeks left in this wonderful city and there’s a whole lot to do before I go eating all of the food, drinking in all of the bars, visiting all the attractions and kicking a seagull (OK, I would never actually kick a seagull but I dream about it often). So here is my Bye Bye Bristol Bucket list of all the things I want to do before I leave! I’ve been here for 11 years so apologies if I get emotional at any point through this, and if you have suggestions for me please comment below or le me know on Facebook or Twitter.
1. Eat all of the food from St Nick’s Market
I love the fact that I have St Nicks on my door step, my waistline does not. I have restricted my St Nick’s consumption to one visit a week and the choice of what to eat is always hard, there’s so much great food on offer. I normally go for fill a pitta because their falafel are like crack, so morish, but you also have: The Sausage Man and his incredible scallop potatoes, oh and great sausages (the maple ones are my favourite); The Jamaican Lady and the chickpea curry of dreams (she also does great soup and dumplings which is just right in the winter); The Moroccan Place officially serving you the best cous cous in Bristol (in my opinion); The Italian Place for when you need to stuff yourself with all the pasta; That place at the end that does those great wraps but takes forever to serve you but you don’t mind because they’re so tasty; Yum yum noodle fun times from Chilli Daddy oh and so many more. Oh Grillstock! How could I forget Grillstock! OK, so this one is not going to happen as I only have 5 days left of work so I need to narrow them down. I’m thinking: Eat a Pitta, Grillstock, Sausage Man, Obentos (not technically in the market but I need their sushi) and the Jamaican lady.
*Since starting to write this I went for lunch and actually got a pork and bean stew from the Portuguese Lady because I saw someone else eating it and it looked lovely, I had just done Insanity at the gym and my brain had stodge and meat on the go. This has filled the spot nicely!
2. Go for a skank at the Plough
The Plough is one of my favourite pubs in Bristol, I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad night there. I’m not sure what it is about the place but everyone in there wants to dance! Maybe it’s because they sell cans of Thatchers cheap? It’s also because they have great live music and wicked DJs – is it wrong now to mention that Meg and I, aka Duchess, have played some of our favourite DJ sets there?!
3. Go for Steak at The Ox
Again. Because I love steak and I love it from the Ox the best. (I actually did this on Friday, I had their sharing T bone steak with Klynton, it was the best!)
4. Visit the Clifton Observatory, Camera Obscura and Cave
It doesn’t get much more Bristol than this yet in my 11 years here I haven’t actually done it! I went as a kid but that memory needs updating! If anyone doesn’t know what these things are it’s that building on the Downs that looks like a mini castle and inside there is a camera obscura that projects a panoramic view of the surrounding area onto a white surface inside a darkened room. Plus, there is a tunnel to Ghyston’s Cave where you can see the view of the Clifton Suspension Bridge and Avon Gorge. Nice!
5. Ride the rock slider in Clifton
I used to do this as a kid and it was the most fun ever! Basically, on the edge of the downs, going towards the Avon Gorge there is this really shiny rock that you slide down. That’s some good old fashioned West Country fun right there for you!
6. Have an exhibition at the Corri Tap
Seeing as I’ll be up this way anyway I might as well reward my sliding efforts with half a pint of exhibition, guaranteed to take your legs out and wipe your memory.
7. Eat roast jerk pork belly at the Kings Head with Meg
The Kings Head is a pub on Whitehall Road, if you didn’t know it you may avoid it but please don’t! It has one of the best Jamaican kitchens in Bristol and their jerk roast pork belly is to die for. I want to take Meg there as she loves her food as much as me and she has to sample this delight, we will probably cry into our rice and pea but at least it will be delicious.
The Mothers’ Ruin might seem like the odd one out here, and actually that’s because it is but I’ve spent a lot of time here over my years in Bristol. It’s served me Thatcher’s for £2 a pint, stayed open late and supplied cheesy music on a Friday night.
The other bars are great cocktails bars that I like to go to as a bit of a treat and leaving Bristol seems like a great excuse! I’ve never been to Haus Bar, Hyde & Co is probably my favourite for speak easy atmosphere, I like Redligtht because it’s smutty and the Milk Thistle feels like home to me (plus I love the atmosphere when it gets busy).
9. Cycle to Bath on the cycle track
If I have time, with all the packing I might not but this is such a nice day trip. But, you have to cycle both ways! None of this getting the train back, if you do that you’ve not earnt your pint of cider on return.
10. Go up Cabot Tower
Cabot Tower lives in Brandon Hill and was built to commemorate John Cabot’s famous voyage from Bristol and the continent of North America. Also, Bristol fact for you right here – Brandon Hill is the oldest park in Bristol! I spent a lot of my Uni days here with my great mates, we played games, drank cider and generally had the most fun ever!
11. Walk across the Clifton suspension Bridge
And look over Bristol as I have a little cry!
And it is going to be a massive cry fest as I leave! I blooming love this city, she’s been good to me for the last 11 years and has become my home. It’s not just the city, it’s the wonderful people in it who make she what she is.
So, this is not goodbye but just a little “see you later, me babbers”!