The Best Places to Sit Back With a Coffee and a Book in Bristol This Winter

The Best Places to Sit Back With a Coffee and a Book in Bristol This Winter

Posted on: 10 Oct 2017

It’s getting to that time of year where we can no longer sit in Castle park and read a book in the sun or people watch as they rush by. It’s October now and instead of enjoying the the warmth on our back we have to find a cosy cafe to hibernate in for the next four months, preferably somewhere very warm and with a cosy atmosphere. With all the artistic cafes in Bristol it isn't easy to find that cosy cubby hole to spend the frosty mornings with a hot cuppa. I have been searching for cosy cafes just for you this winter and you’re in for a treat…


When searching for the perfect place, you have to take in to account the most important factors; will the cafe or bar be warm? Will it have comfy chairs that you can snuggle down in to and if you’re really pushing it, does it provide blankets for those extra cold mornings? What are the drinks and food like? And location, will this be your local or is it too far away?  When finding your suitable hide out, it will depend on what’s important to you. I can’t decide what cafe you should be going to, but I can at least help point out ones that you may not have been to and by process of elimination, you’ll be able to find the one that suits you. 


Starting off in Stokes Croft; The Social, a beautiful cosy bar and cafe. Whether you’re feeling like a coffee or a few drinks with your mates, they have everything you’ll need. Offering deals everyday such as; 25% off of dinner and a drink every Monday from 6pm, to make those Mondays a little more bearable and for Humpday, Wine Wednesdays have started with 20% off wine by the glass or by the bottle - depending on how your week is going! 

The Social

Crossing the road to a gem of a restaurant, No.51 Stokes Croft, the offers are never ending. Due to it’s bar and event space downstairs they have a specialised menu for the hangover cure, if you’re in need check out their website for more info on this. Focusing on the best thing(in my opinion), Pizza’s are £7 before 7pm everyday (except on Fridays when they’re £6) and on Sunday all day, so if you need a little comfort food this is the place to go. 


In the City Centre, there’s a beautiful boat situated with-in walking distance of The Harbourside, castle Park and King Street whether you’re looking for a replacement spot to spend your lunch while still being able to people watch, or for a meal before a night out, The Glassboat is the perfect location. Although it seems to be made mostly of glass, for a boat it is surprisingly homely. With a view looking out on to the water, you can watch boats go by as you sip a warm hot chocolate or chat with friends over a delicious meal. This is a real treat. 


Another, that most people have already been to (if you haven’t, you need to), The Crazy Fox, this cafe is situated in The Arcade and has the best smoothies, I recommend The Funky Fox! Open from 8am, this cafe is perfect to unwind from the busy rush of the morning before starting your day, whatever you may be doing. This cafe may look small from the outside but with optional seating areas you’ll have plenty of choice. The Crazy Fox Cafe also holds a gallery showing of the charming artwork exhibited on their walls, helping local artists which makes this cafe even more interesting. 

The Crazy Fox

Crazy Fox photo credit :

Along the harbour, hidden away there’s an exhibition space with a delightful cafe inside. Spike Island Cafe dedicates itself to organic and wholesome drinks and foods. Their menu changes with the season, so expect comfort foods like a hot bowl of soup, casseroles, pasta bakes and so much more to help make you feel at home. It is clear that Spike Island’s cafe is much more than just a hide away; after warming up from a brisk walk along the Harbourside, you can explore the exhibitions that Spike island have to offer. 

Spike Island Cafe in Bristol

Moving on, Clifton Whiteladies Road has many great bars, cafes and restaurants, but one in particular stands out as the best place to be rain or shine (in this case, mostly rain). Bristol Brewhouse on Cotham Hill has many great qualities, from their extensive drink selection to their great food. Brewhouse offers a cosy hideout, and for those seeking warmth, they have an open fire to keep you toasty! Opening from 11am onwards means that you wont be able to grab a coffee before work but with the extensive list of cafes nearby you won’t be freezing for too long! 

The Brewhouse


Clifton Village has many hidden bars and cafes, The Mall is a beautiful hidden pub which has much to offer, with it’s great location it is just out of the way from the hustle and bustle of the village but within a very short walk. It boasts a beautiful exterior with heaters and inside, an extensive collection of Cask Ales, Beers and Wine. With great offers such as a 21 day aged 8oz sirloin steak each with a bottle of El Bar Malbec for £35 on Fridays, this romantic place is perfect for dinners out on cold winter nights. 


These are just a selection of the great venues to explore this winter. Keep us updated on any you think should be added to the list!

Article by:

Milly Knight-Hastings

Milly is a second year student studying Photography at UWE in Bristol. She's a passionate fashion photographer and blogger; to find out a bit more about her interests, take a look at her photography blog at