I went to this festival for the very first time last year and had a really enjoyable time, so a return visit was inevitable. I had booked the hotel and train so far in advance, it was nice to have something to look forward to.
Sunday 22nd July was the final day of the party and I was ready for it.
My journey down was pleasant – Music/Twitter/Freud passed the time as I pulled into Bristol Temple Mead station ahead of schedule I must add.
The south west welcomed me with open arms. The weather was all we could ask for after all the rain and floods the country has experienced the last few months.
After a few misguided turns we arrived at the Novotel Hotel. So we dropped off our luggage and headed out to see what Bristol had to offer.
The sun kissed some and burnt others as we made our way through cobbled streets to the harbour area. The seagulls taunted me with their sqwauks, screeches and huge flapping wings…. Shivers…
We hit Queen Square and it was buzzin – a huge stage was erected at the front and a band was doing a set. People sat on the grass enjoying the weather having picnics and enjoying a few beers.
The lure of the food stalls reminded me I had a very light breakfast that morning, it had gone 1pm and I had not had lunch. There was so much to choose from but we decided on the sausage stall. We each had a HUGE spicey chilli twisty sausage in ciabatta smothered with an onion relish and mayonaise. Not realising quite how big this beast of a sausage was going to be – not until it was handed to me.
It was undeniably delicious, but I couldnt eat it all for obvious reasons. Friends with big appetites come in handy – No Waste! 🙂
There were so many foodie stores – whatever you wanted you could get. The choice of locally produced fresh fruit and vegetables was endless, cooked foods from noodles, curries, paella, caribbean, hog roasts, burgers, veggie, cakes, biscuits, breads, pastries, olives to name but a few. But by far my favourite that we came across was the Italian Chocolate stall. We did walk past… But I just had to go back.
I just couldnt leave without buying something.. No will power you see… I didnt need much persauding and he didnt exactly talk me out of it. After a moment of oh I’ll have this one, but I like that one we were given the box and tongs and soon a huge slice of Amaretti was in the box and paid for. We had a nibble later back at the hotel and it tasted out of this world. Thank you
Amazing chocolate and noughat by “Italian Treat Store”
We made our way down to the harbour side and had a pit stop at a cafe bar called Arnolfini Cafè Bar for a drink. I had home made Ginger Beer and my partner in crime a pint of Dawkins :-).
All rested and hydrated we walked over the bridge to Bristol M Shed and had a look at Bristol’s history.
It was from the terrace roof that I took the picture of The Matthew ss it sailed past – isnt it superb?
We walked along the harbourside as far as we could go along the river Severn then caught the choo chooo steam train back, priced at £1 the breeze was cool and whistled through the gaurds van as we went along the trax.
Time was getting on. We had planned to go see The Dark Knight at Cinema de Lux so walked back to the hotel to safely secure the very valuable purchase of the day ‘Chocolate’ had a short rest, freshened up and made our way up to Cabot Circus. We had a nice meal and the waitress was lovely at Coal Grill and Bar where I spent so much time talking rather than eating we missed our 7pm showing :-). What did we eat… I cant remember… Time to text a friend.. And I quote
“You had Piri-Piri chicken , I had minute steak with garlic butter. Jug of water with ice and quarters of lemon and lime. We sat inside, your back to the cellar door. As Maurice Chevalier sang, I remember it well”
End quote lol.
We eventually got to see the 8pm show and resurfaced at 11pm!! To this day I have no idea what went on in that film (not a fan) but the popcorn was good :-).
We missed our 2 for 1 cocktails at Coal 😦 so headed off to the hotel through the now dark streets of Bristol for our nightcap and further analysis of the film that left me in a trance :-). Walking along Victoria Street I was whisked into a pub that was literally a stones throw from our hotel and still open as we drew up to midnite. It was neither big, nor ultra modern, just stood still in time – The Kings Head…. what a find.
I unwinded in the cosy surroundings with my brandy. It reminded me of some of the pubs locally that have kept their traditional decor The Black Eagel, Hockley the Crocked House, Himley.
I had to take a photo. The ladies loo had the old styled water tank with the chain you have to pull to flush. Not seen one of those since 1970’s at least and the Landlord said he had 17 year olds in earlier that day that didnt know how to work it hahahaa. Clsssic.
Thats just how sad I am lol 🙂
So how does it all end? Brunch at Temple Quay and a game of Table Tennis before getting my train.
Over 300,000 people visited over the weekend and I was a very small part of that having a magnificant time.
Bristol Harbour Festival
Until next time Bristol.