It's Just Nice

A lifestyle blog bringing you fashion, music, food, and everything else that's just nice about Bristol and beyond!

Bristol in 2015 – Our picks for Lazy Genius

A little while ago our great mate Tom, of Lazy Genius fame, asked me if I’d fancy knocking up a guest blog post for him about my top picks for Bristol in 2015. Obviously I’m no expert, but if there’s one thing I love more than all the ace things going on in Bristol it’s telling other people about all the ace things going on in Bristol, so I was never going to say no!

If you’re into music, fashion, night life and all of the goings on in Brizzle then it’s definitely worth checking our Tom’s blog, Lazy Genius, but here’s our run down of what’s going to make our city the best place to be this year!

Where to drink in 2015…

We’re totally spoilt for choice here in Bristol with a lot of things, but when it comes to bars it really is impossible to just pick one so I’m going to cheat, and choose two!

If you’re feeling fancy there really is nowhere other than The Milk Thistle, the crowning glory of Bristol’s secret cocktail bars. Here you can knock back the city’s best cocktails, knocked up by the most talented of bartenders whilst surrounded by the most impressive selection of taxidermy you’ve ever seen. I always challenge them to make me a cocktail “which tastes like Nan’s” (think perfume and parma violets) and I’ve never been disappointed yet!

The Milk Thistle

The Milk Thistle

If you’re not feeling quite so fancy it’s got to be Kong’s of King Street – a new addition to Bristol’s Beer-muda triangle. Kong’s is a throwback for the Generation-Y kids, with ping pong, air hockey and old school arcade games lining the walls. They serve an excellent selection of craft ales, from Bristol and beyond, and I’ve heard their pizzas are pretty special too.

Where to eat in 2015…

For a relatively small city Bristol has a ridiculously high concentration of top quality, dirt cheap restaurants within a 3 mile radius of the city – we literally do have our pick of the best, but here’s just a few worth looking up…

Bar Buvette, an independent wine bar serving an organic range of wines alongside a superb quality selection of cheese and charcuterie proves that keeping it simple is often the secret to success, and much to the delight of Bristol’s foodie’s they’ve just been granted a permanent license for their premises on Baldwin Street.

Bar Buvette, you beauty!

Bar Buvette, you beauty!

Mathilda’s Chill Bar proves that appearances can be deceiving, serving up the city’s best chilli for well under a tenner in the concrete jungle that is The Bear Pit. Top tip – visit on a Wednesday – it’s free beer!

Chilli feast at Mathilda's

Chilli feast at Mathilda’s

And how could we forget St Nick’s Market – the foodie mecca of Bristol? I’m still to work my way around all of the food stalls within the glass arcade, but my top picks would be Eat a Pitta for mega portions of the best falafels around, Matina, for fresh, authentic Middle Eastern cuisine and Pieminister – because there is no better hangover cure than pie, mash, mushy pies!

PIE!

PIE!

 

Best Free Festival of 2015…

There’s no question about it – St Paul’s Carnival. Bristol’s famed for being a melting pot of different cultures, and Carnival is one huge celebration of this. Hosted on the first weekend in July Carnival is an explosion of music, street food, entertainment, and of course the procession through St Paul’s, where people of all ages, races and cultures come together to celebrate the way in which the city’s been shaped by it’s Afrikan Caribbean heritage. The sun always shines, the food is the best you’ll eat all year, the sound systems pop up on every corner and everyone comes out to party – it’s bloody awesome!

It's Just Nice faves Jus Now playing at St Paul's

It’s Just Nice faves Jus Now playing at St Paul’s

It’s also worth giving a shout out to Upfest, the city’s celebration of it’s famous graffiti culture. This year, after a year off, Upfest will return to North Street in Bedminster, where artists from all over the world will descend to decorate the walls, streets and any other available surface to make Bristol the most colourful city in the UK!

Best Ticketed Festival of 2015….

Love Saves the Day. With the likes of Massive Attack, Roni Size, Julio Bashmore and other mammoths of dance music hailing from Brizzle it’s no surprise we decided to throw a massive two day festival dedicated to all things bass.

Hosted on the last bank holiday in May, LSTD will this year move from it’s previous location in Castle Park to Eastville Park, where everyone who’s anyone from the dance music scene, as well as tonnes of local talent, will be performing. You can see the full lineup here.

Having a lovely time at LSTD 2014!

Having a lovely time at LSTD 2014!

 

Must see band of 2015…

There are so many exciting acts coming out of Bristol at the moment but for me the stand out this year (and for last year!) has got to be Jus Now. Fusing the Bristol bass movement with Trinidad’s carnival sound, Interface and Lazabeam have created something that sounds like nothing you’ve ever heard before. Live, you can expect an explosion of amazing percussion, dirty bass and plenty of audience participation. I’ve seen them countless times and each time is better than the last!

Where to shop in 2015…

Gloucester Road – naturally! Bristol can boast of having the longest stretch of independent stores in the whole of Europe, and whether you’re after locally sourced groceries or vintage clothes you’ll find it all on Gloucester Road.

Where to go clubbing in 2015…

Bristol’s club scene is somewhat dominated by the juggernaut that is Motion, and sure, if you’re looking for big name acts in a club with a 1000 person capacity then it’s bound to tick your boxes. If you’re looking for something a bit more low key try The Love Inn on Stoke’s Croft, for disco vibes and great company, or for something slightly more sophisticated try secret club Noche Negra, above tapas restaurant Pata Negra on Corn Street. You’re guaranteed some of the best cocktails around (they’re sister bar to The Milk Thistle) and an eclectic mixture of music, from disco and funk through to Tropical bass. And maybe I’m snobby, maybe I’m getting old, but you won’t find yourself surrounded by students!!

Noche Negra - make sure you order a Pisco Sour!

Noche Negra – make sure you order a Pisco Sour!

 

Must see art exhibition of 2015…

From 12-15 February In Between Time festival descends on the city, with a vast range of art, music and theatre to stimulate your senses.

The central feature of IBT15 will be Fujiko Nakaya’s Fog Bridge, an immersive piece of interactive art where Pero’s Bridge in Bristol’s floating harbour will literally disappear in fog.

IBT will culminate on 14 February with The Storm, an immense art and music party in The Old Fire Station, where the theme is a ‘storm in a nightclub’ and partygoers are survivors! What’s more, Duchess will be DJing 2-4!

IBT_Storm_Assets

Hidden gem of 2015…

Not a new addition to Bristol’s nightlife scene, but one for those in the know! The Plough in Easton is one of my favourite party destination, but I’m still amazed by how few people know about it!

From the outside it looks like any old pub, and to be fair, it’s pretty much that on the inside too, but once night falls and the DJs start playing everyone who walks through the door has the same intention – to dance! In my opinion there’s nowhere in Bristol with quite the same party atmosphere as The Plough and you can guarantee a good night with great people.

Surprise of 2015…

Surely it’s too early to tell! Although I will say keep your ear to the ground for some exciting new openings in some unlikely buildings! I can’t tell you anymore than that, but when it happens you’ll know about it!

The go to venue in 2015…

For great music you can’t ever go wrong with The Big Chill. The music will never disappoint, the crowd is always great and if you pop in for a drink or two after work on a Friday you can pretty much bet your bottom dollar you won’t be leaving until you’re dragged from the dancefloor at 3 in the morning!

Duchess DJing at Big Chill

Duchess DJing at Big Chill

 

Where to have a coffee in 2015…

Bristol’s experienced something of a boom in fancy coffee shops recently, and not being a coffee drinker myself (sorry guys, I’m a tea kinda gal) I can’t profess to be much of an expert at all. However, I love Playground Cafe for their amazing White Hot Chocolate and Earl Grey, and where else can you sit on a swing when enjoying a cuppa?!

Cloe having a coffee and a swing at Playground Coffee!

Cloe having a coffee and a swing at Playground Coffee!

 

Rising star of 2015…

It feels a bit patronising calling these boys rising stars, as they already seem to be taking over the world, but hot off their success with 2014’s BassLine, GotSome are destined for big things this year. Keep an eye on their Soundcloud account for some mega remixes and new releases.

 

 

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