It’s common knowledge that I’m quite partial to a wall or two, or three – give me some street art to Instagram et voila, I’m happy. So when Travelodge offered me a couple of nights stay to go colour hunting in Bristol, the home of Banksy, how could I say no?
With bright sunshine and a crisp breeze, October is the perfect time of year to explore a new city in the UK, and so after hearing a lot of good things, it was finally time for me to visit Bristol.
Pink Frill Sleeve Jumper – Oliver Bonas | Black Denim Pinafore – Next | Silver Mini Bag – Paul’s Boutique | Metallic Boots – Next
After checking in and dropping our bags off, we headed out for a wander around the city to get our bearings. There was something exciting around every corner and I was surprised how naturally culture was incorporated into the city surroundings – a contrast of historical buildings next to modern day tag style art, a gigantic mirror ball and tiled facades and floors. I couldn’t walk 10 steps without stopping to snap photos – luckily Jack was feeling patient and I even persuaded him to be my model for a few stride by snaps.
From the harbour we got our first glimpse of Bristol’s famous colourful houses high up on a hill and with sunshine forecast, we made plans to hunt them down tomorrow. With the sun setting on our first day, we met up with Bristolian babe Sara and she took us to Aluna for some wacky cocktails – think dry ice, lava lamps and glow sticks.
After a super windy night (and not much sleep, boo), the clouds had disappeared and left us with a beautiful blue sky and a scattering of autumnal leaves. I decided that in honour of the blue sky, it was time to crack out the double pleather… double denim is SO 2016. I teamed it with a Princess Leia Tshirt and these statement earrings from Oliver Bonas.
| Blue pleather jacket – Zara | Princess Leia Tshirt – Primark | Blue pleather skirt – Next | Statement earrings – Oliver Bonas | Boots – Next |
A little known fact about me is that I studied A Level History and so am quite a keen historian – I’m totally fascinated by the past and how it shapes our present and future. But NOT as much as Jack… he is a total history geek and so we started day two aboard the SS Great Britain. We found ourselves in the middle of 3 school trips (bad luck or WHAT?!) but still enjoyed exploring the ship and I was really impressed by the attention to detail and interactivity. Titanic eat your heart out!
With the sun still shining (woo!), we looked up and across the river with the Clifton Suspension Bridge in our sights. With no clear route, we kind of made our own… although we stumbled across some lovely houses it definitely wasn’t the easiest – Bristol is actually VERY steep in parts. Quite out of breath and with a giant ladder in my tights (ohhh dear) eventually we made it to the top, where the Clifton suspension bridge views waited for us:
If you’re not a fan of heights, this one isn’t for you, but with beautiful views, engineering facts and a slice of history Jack was a happy boy.
After all of that adrenaline, the only way to calm down was with a bit of stationery shopping (obviously) and so we headed into Clifton village in search of Papersmiths. I recently discovered Papersmiths after they appeared in Boxpark, Shoreditch and everyone knows about my passion for pens and notebooks so one phrase comes to mind: Did you even go to Bristol if you didn’t go to Papersmiths? Well don’t worry, I did:
Somehow I managed to behave and walk out empty handed, but then I was distracted by the cutest little fruit and veg shop… Reg the Veg!? Genius.
After all of the excitement (heights and stationery organised by colour) we decided it was time to refuel and stumbled across The Albion for a pub lunch and some cider, of course.
… and just when Jack was about to give up, we found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow: the colourful houses of Clifton Wood Crescent. A winding road with 2 adjacent steep streets just full of amazing colour. It felt like Notting Hill, but cooler and with less Instagrammers.
What a day! When we got back to the room I collapsed on the bed while Jack discovered that we had walked 8 miles today – BLIMEY.
I was SO happy to see another blue sky when I woke up on Friday morning – perfect weather for our last day exploring Bristol. With our feet starting to feel the effects of 2 hard days of adventure, we treated ourselves to a little lie in before checking out of the room and heading to Stokes Croft. Of course, I had to do the last outfit shot in front of the shutter conveniently opposite the Travelodge…
Blue Leather Jacket – Zara | Black high neck top – Zara | Purple pleated skirt – Pull & Bear | Silver Mini Bag – Paul’s Boutique | Faraha gold plated earrings – Oliver Bonas | Shimmer cat ear socks – Oliver Bonas | Metallic Boots – Next
On the recommendation of Bristolian Blogger Lyzi from Being Little we headed to Ceres Coffee for ‘the best brunch in Bristol’ and it didn’t disappoint! I ordered the ‘Barry’ – baked eggs, crispy bacon, fried bread and spicy beans while Jack opted for the ‘Proud Mary’ – poached eggs with bacon and burnt butter hollandaise sauce on fried bread. OH. It was A-MAZING! We both agreed that it was probably one of the best brunches we’ve ever eaten actually.
To digest the amazing brunch I took Jack on a wild goose chase (read: google maps adventure) to find some of Stokes Croft’s finest street art – the area really reminded me of Stoke Newington in London, and not just because of the similarity in the names.
You might recognise this bright beauty by Alex Lucas from my Instagram:
Of course it wouldn’t be a trip to Bristol without a bit of Banksy spotting, the above being one of his earliest apparently. I was snapping the fish mural on the side of a shop when a local man stopped to make sure we hadn’t missed the Banksy just down the road, bless him – this wouldn’t happen in London, would it? ha
I should also mention that we had missed out on Upfest Festival – Europe’s biggest street art & graffiti festival which happens in Bristol at the end of July, BUT luckily for us some of the pieces were still going strong in October.
After a busy morning, our trip was almost coming to an end so I picked up a doughnut from Pinkmans Bakery (another recommendation from Lyzi) for the train journey back to London, and we popped into the Grayson Perry exhibition (open until 24th December 2017) showing at the Arnolfini – look at that bike!
The only way to end a trip to the West Country? With a Cider tasting board, of course! Before we headed to the train station we chilled by the harbour with some local ciders from The Stable (who actually have a few branches in London too). LOVELY.
Thanks to Travelodge and Visit Bristol for looking after us – as I’m sure you can probably tell, we had a great time. If you’re looking for a city break with the culture of London but the pace of the countryside, Bristol could be the one for you!
I’ve got my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to do a bit more travelling in the future – colour hunting is one of my favourite things after all! Let me know if you enjoyed my adventure and where I should go next 🙂
Disclaimer: This post is a collaboration with Travelodge to spread the word and inspire you to visit some of the great cities in the UK. As per usual, all opinions and enthusiasm for colour is 100% my own.