Saturday, 30 November 2019

#MyMicroGap | Exploring Bristol's Quirks | Visit England

Last month I was invited on a day trip to Bristol with Visit England as part of their #MyMicroGap campaign. This campaign is all about showcasing interesting, diverse, cultural and quirky things to do all around England in which you can have a mini gap without even hopping on a plane or breaking the bank.

Personally, I think this is a great idea. I’m the first person to say that I need a break or a holiday, yet there are parts of England I’ve not yet explored, so when I was invited to Bristol I thought it would a fab opportunity to see what I had been missing. 
The day started with us meeting at The Yurt - if you’ve not been there then you really should. You feel instantly calmer as soon as you walk through the door with its soft lighting, wood furnishings and relaxed atmosphere. You’d be forgiven if you thought that you’d been transported to the country somewhere, but alas you’re still right in the centre of Bristol - in fact, it’s right next to Bristol Temple Meads. 
Next, we went on a tour of Bristol's graffiti, mainly inspired by Banksy’ roots, this was hosted by Where The Wall. There were a couple of pieces which I really loved during this urban walk - particularly the one with the bird which was by Nick Harvey. For that piece, he used tags as the energy in the mural, this was commissioned by the restaurant. I also really liked the quirky fish restaurant artwork by Alex Lucas (pictured above - photo on the right) which was also originally commissioned by the restaurant and it was meant to take 5 days, 5 weeks later and it was complete. 

We finished the tour at The Canteen Bristol in Stokes Croft which has one of Banksy’ pieces on; 'The Mild Mild West' which is the famous teddy bear throwing the Molotov at riot police. This piece took 3 days to paint, with the police going on last, the artwork below is by an artist called Soker who was the leader of the graffiti group that Banksy was in. It was inspiring getting to see a Banksy piece firsthand and in all its glory. At The Canteen, we all had our go at doing some graffiti - a Where The Wall experience which I couldn’t recommend more. It was great fun, but a lot harder than it looks!
We then had a vegan lunch of soup, followed by noodles, and a hot drink. The Canteen is very quirky & informal venue which has live music every single night. The food was tasty and to a high standard, I should also note that they source their ingredients locally, are members of the SRA (Sustainable Restaurant Association) and are keen to embrace the community spirit - which it oozes as soon as you step foot. 
Then we made our way to Milk Thistle Bristol which is located on Colston Avenue. This sophisticated and speakeasy bar is decorated with dark woods, leather chairs and ambient mood lighting for a totally immersive experience. We then did some gin taste testing and had a masterclass in the history of UK gin.
I was surprised by just how much we did in the space of about 8 hours, it was a well planned out day which had a nice variety of activities and treats. Although I was lucky enough to be invited, all opinions are my own. Additional photography by Explore with Ed.
From left to right - Jessy (Popcorn & Pyjamas),  Anastazja (Anastazja Adventures), Sima (The Curious Pixie), Stefano (Stefano Malachi), Hannah (MissNicklin), Jamie (Explore with Ed) and Hannah (Postcards by Hannah).

Have you explored Bristol's graffiti-covered streets yet? Or stepped foot inside any of the places mentioned above? I'd love to know what you thought if so! 

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