The 365 Bristol Guide to Clifton VillagePosted on: 12 Apr 2018
One of the most beautiful areas in Bristol, Clifton Village is composed of stunning views, delightful eateries, and streets filled with some of the most interesting shops in the city. The perfect place to while away a weekend, there is enough to eat, drink and see in this charming suburb to keep you entertained for hours on end.
Gorgeous cafés and trendy gastropubs meet organic grocers and independent pottery shops to create an eclectic mix that is certain to provide something to suit every taste. Since my first thought whenever I go somewhere new is (of course) what’s on the menu, let’s start with what food is on offer in the Village…
Clifton Village is home to boundless cafes and restaurants, and is the perfect place to go for a weekend treat. One of my personal favourites is the Primrose Café – a wholesome gem tucked away in the corner of the village next door to the ever-interesting Clifton Arcade.
The café provide a host of dishes, all of which are as healthy as they are tasty, with all of their ingredients being sourced locally and through sustainable, ethical means. As well as the café itself, guests also have the option to sit in their (often sunny) rooftop garden and take in some rays whilst enjoying their lunch.
I would highly recommend the bubble & squeak with sausages for brunch. For any vegans amongst you, the cauliflower and onion bhaji wrap is excellent!
The Primrose Café is open 9am-5pm Monday to Saturday, serving breakfast till 3.30pm and their lunch menu from 11am-5pm. On Sundays, brunch is served till 3pm and afternoon tea can be enjoyed till 5pm.
Wander into the Arcade after your meal to inspect whatever new treasures have taken up residence in the ‘Hidden Gallery’ – an art gallery that will impress amateurs and aficionados alike.
Primrose Café is located at 1 Boyce's Ave, Bristol, BS8 4AA. Check out their delicious menu here.
ANNA Cake Couture
If you’re looking for the most aesthetic café in town, ANNA certainly hits the jackpot. Their specialty is a selection of delicate layered cakes that will make you (and your Instagram followers) drool.
With all of their goodies baked fresh in-store daily, this house of tempting treats will entice you into a world of minimalist décor where all the focus is on the detail in the icing.
ANNA is located at 7A Boyce's Ave, Bristol, BS8 4AA.
The Mint Room
Providing one of the best Indian dining experiences in the city, The Mint Room is a sophisticated celebration of Indian cuisine, serving dishes made entirely from scratch which relinquish the tired stereotype of English Indian takeaways.
With décor and food equally well presented, and exquisite detail paid to each dish and cocktail served, this place is a real treat and somewhere to go if you’re wanting to celebrate a special occasion.
The Mint Room is located at 12-16 Clifton Road, Clifton, BS8 1AF. Their opening hours from Monday to Saturday are 12pm-2pm and 5.30pm-11pm. They are open from 1pm-9pm on Sundays.
To see which delights await you, look at their menu here.
The Clifton Sausage
Quite self-explanatory, The Clifton Sausage specialize in traditional English fare, including a choice of at least 6 varieties of sausage at any one time. Wonderful flavours such as Butcombe ale, mint & apricot and Gloucester Old Spot pork are served alongside mash or as toad in the hole.
The restaurant opened in 2002 and have since become a firm favourite for the inhabitants of Bristol. As well as serving lunch and dinner, they also offer a bottomless brunch, as well as an extensive drinks menu if you just fancy popping in for a tipple.
See their menu here.
The ‘Cori Tap’, as it is affectionately known, is a cosy intimate pub loved by locals and students alike. Their infamous Exhibition cider is served only in half pints due to its 8.4% strength and tendency to overly intoxicate if drunk in particularly high quantities. (One too many students have staggered home after failing to complete the ’10 before 10’ challenge – 10 half pints before 10pm… much more difficult than it sounds).
Although fairly small, the pub has a huge reputation. The low ceilings and dim lighting of this Georgian nook make it not only a fantastic place to go for a drink with friends, but also an atmospheric live music venue. An established part of Clifton and of Bristol nightlife, a drink at the Cori is a definite must for anybody visiting the city.
The Coronation Tap is located at 8 Sion Place, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 4AX.
Offering spectacular views over Clifton Suspension Bridge and the Avon Gorge, the White Lion is the perfect place to go on a sunny Sunday afternoon for a drink or two with a difference.
With an extensive drinks menu, featuring an impressive variety of whiskies, spirits and liquors as well as wines, gin, draught beers, ciders and cocktails, they cater to every preference. They also serve a selection of champagnes for those special occasions.
The White Lion is located at Avon Gorge Hotel, Sion Hill, Bristol, BS8 4LD.
The Albion was built in the late 1760s and has managed to retain its old school charms whilst maintaining an exemplary standard of food, drink and service. Offering a broad selection of classic British pub food, its easily one of the hotspots of Clifton. Relax in the sunny courtyard on a glorious summer’s afternoon, or cosy up by their roaring fire on a blustery winter’s evening.
Check out their menu here.
The Albion is located at The Albion, Boyces Avenue, Clifton Village, Bristol, BS8 4AA.
Clifton Suspension Bridge, Clifton Observatory & The Clifton Caves
What would a guide to Clifton be if it didn’t mention the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge? The landmark of Bristol, this attraction is one that every single guest I have had to stay since living in the city has asked to see. The bridge itself, built to specifications by Isambard Brunel, provides a crossing over the River Avon from Clifton to Leigh Woods in North Somerset.
If the weather is being kind and you fancy making a day of it, walk up to the Observatory for the best views (and photos!) of the bridge, then head across to Ashton Court – a countryside estate located across the bridge which is perfectly suited to a sunny afternoon picnic.
Or, for those of you who aren’t faint of heart, take a trip to the Clifton Caves, which are located in St. Vincent rocks beneath the Observatory. Said by Bristolian folklore to once have been the home of two giants – Goram and Ghyston – the caves offer fabulous views over the Gorge. At the low price of £2.50 for adults or £1.50 for children aged 4 to 14 to see the Caves, this is a great choice for a family day out.
Clifton Suspension Bridge is located at Bridge Rd, Bristol, BS8 3PA.
Clifton Rocks Railway
Hidden deep away within the cliffs of the Avon Gorge, Clifton Rocks Railway is a little known treasure that opened in March of 1893 and functioned as a funicular railway until its closure prior to the Second World War. During the war, it was used by the BBC as a secret broadcasting base due to its concealed location.
The railway is no longer in use, but Open Days and Extended Tours are available for those who wish to see and learn the history of the site. The first (free) Open Day of the year will take place on Sunday the 29th April, where visitors will be able to see the top station and view an exhibition of artefacts and photographs in the Avon Gorge Hotel.
Extended tours are not currently taking place due to ongoing works, but the next set of dates will be announced on the September Open Day, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled!
(The Top of) Clifton Rocks Railway is located at 1 Sion Hill, Bristol, BS8 4DQ.
A quaint corner of tranquility just a 10 minute drive from Bristol’s bustling centre, Clifton Village is without a doubt (for me) the most classically beautiful part of the city.
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Iona is a final year Biomedical Science Undergraduate at the University of Bristol. Her passions include blogging, walks by the harbour and exploring new cocktail venues. Iona is working with 365Bristol as part of the Santander Internship scheme for spring and summer 2018.