These are some of the top rated pubs and clubs in Bristol.
This trendy bar and club is situated at the bottom of Park Street on the premises of the old Mauretania pub, so called because some of the furnishings from the RMS Mauretania were part of the decor. Today, that survives in an exclusive VIP room in what remains one of Bristol's most historic buildings which is now grade II listed. Java brings the building right up to the present with a trendy bar and a lively club to the rear. Cocktails are a speciality
This is a pub that is very proud to be a pub. They do serve food, good, home-cooked pub grub, but the focus is on being a traditional pub and serving quality real ales. This is somewhere you are likely to be able to visit whenever you find yourself in Bristol they even open on Christmas Day! The only day you'll find the doors closed is Boxing Day. (Food is not served on Christmas Day, however).
There can be few settings as beautiful as this in Bristol, if not the whole of the UK. As the name suggests, the hotel looks out over the Avon Gorge, and of course, the spectacular Clifton Suspension Bridge. The hotel has a bar and a restaurant, both of which are open to non-residents. The White Lion is a 'pub grub' menu, while the Bridge Cafe restaurant serves an a la carte menu. Customers of the hotel and its facilities are given a parking permit to allow free parking outside the hotel (ask in reception).
Raymond Blanc himself best sums up the style and atmosphere of his brasseries: 'If the Manoir is a delicate waltz then the Brasseries are the Can Can.' It is somewhere to relax and enjoy simple, delicious food. The building itself is a former Quaker meeting room and there are two banqueting rooms that were formerly part of a 13th century monastery. The menu is varied, and there is a set menu of two courses for both lunch and dinner. In addition, there is a sensible children's menu broken up by age-group to cater for differing appetites and adventurous natures, with not a chicken nugget in sight!
As part of one of the most beautiful churches in England, the Undercroft Cafe is a wonderful place to relax after a hard day's sightseeing. It is a stunning setting, in a vaulted space, simply decorated with candles. It serves organic drinks, both hot and cold, along with a range of sandwiches and cakes or more substantial home-cooked meals, and must surely be one of Bristol's best-kept secrets. Shhh.
The Riverstation takes its name from its location; housed in a former police station, right on the water's edge. Today, it is a chic cafe-bar and restaurant laid out over two floors and an al-fresco area. There is a lot of glass to make the most of the spectacular views. The food style is modern European, and the menus change daily using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients.
Despite its location on Whiteladies Road, where there are lots of bars to choose from, Bar Humbug does stand out for its funky decor, log fire and trendy atmosphere. It quickly fills up with Bristol's beautiful, young people, and the lighting and music create an easy party atmosphere. Food is available, though the focus is more on interesting wines and spirits.
This informal Clifton Village bar is not the easiest to find as it is tucked away on a little side street off Clifton Down Road, but it is definitely worth tracking down. Cocktails and Belgian beers are a speciality, and bar food is also available. It is a favourite spot amongst young professionals and students who come to socialise in the comfy furnishings, where the focus is on the quality of the drinks.
This former storage unit right on the waterfront has come a long way from its humble beginnings, rumoured to include being home to the boat of one of the most famous Bristolians, Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Severnshed boasts great views of the river, and with a terrace to get you even closer, on a fine day you could imagine yourself in the Mediterranean as you eat from the Med-inspired menu of fresh fish, pasta and steaks, cooked up by the Portuguese Executive Chef, Antonio-Dias.
A traditional pub that serves a range of guest beers from local breweries. It is not a large pub, with just two rooms inside and a small courtyard to the rear, but that adds to the atmosphere. It is close to the university buildings so is a popular choice with students and lecturers alike. The decor is traditional, too; wood panelling and typically dim lighting. This is a pub that does not cater for loud televisions or music.
Set in the stunning Berkeley Square, Ha! Ha! Bar is part of a Grade II listed building and brings the stylish surroundings into the 21st century with its vibrant decor and fairy-lights in the trees in the courtyard seating area. The menu is all prepared by hand and if you're not sure, you can even watch the chefs in action as the kitchen is open plan and visible from the bar. In terms of what's on the menu, there are various hearty options from snacks to full meals, or lighter salads.
The Albion in Clifton calls itself a 'pub and dining rooms' although there is a great focus on food and the dining experience that you would not have in a traditional drinking pub. The Albion is a former coaching inn that dates back to the 17th century. Today, the rooms on the first floor have been transformed into a series of private dining rooms, serving modern British cuisine. An extensive wine list and selection of real ales accompanies the menu.
If wine is your poison, this is the place for you. There is an extensive wine cellar available, and over thirty wines are served by the glass. The Quadrant hosts regular wine tasting events to demonstrate wines from all over the world. There is a tapas menu on offer, and food is available with functions, though the primary focus of this smart, modern bar is the wines.
Affectionately known as 'the Kenny', this residential pub and restaurant in the centre of Redland is most definitely worth a visit. It was winner of the Best Pub Food category in the Bristol Good Food Awards 2012. The philosophy is one of creating a family-friendly (even dog-friendly) environment where customers are encouraged to make themselves at home and enjoy the pub as somewhere to eat and drink. On a balmy summer's day, you might even find the BBQ grilling on the terrace!
This restaurant is a truly unique experience and could feature as an attraction in itself rather than somewhere to eat. It is the largest restaurant in the UK, with a capacity of up to 1,000 in one sitting! It is inspired by the night markets of Asia though does serve a world cuisine. The focus is on having fun and the set prices for meals remove any complication to allow complete attention to be on the atmosphere and enjoying the experience.
Casamia is one of Bristol's award-winning restaurants and boasts its very own Michelin star. It launched its 'Seasons' concept in 2011 following victory as Gordon Ramsay's 'Best Independent Restaurant' in the celebrity chef's popular The F Word programme. The concept sees the focus on seasonal produce taken a step further; not only does the menu change with the seasons, but the environment and even the artwork on display will also alter to reflect the changing nature of the UK's seasons.
This award-winning independent restaurant on Bristol's harbourside was the first in the UK to be awarded a gold rating from the Soil Association's sustainable catering scheme. How we grow, shop for and eat our food is of paramount importance to us and our impact on the environment - a philosophy that directly shapes the locally-sourced, ethically-produced, seasonal ingredients used at the Bordeaux Quay. They take it further though with their environmentally-responsible measures in the building itself; sustainable building materials, rainwater harvesting, low-energy lighting, to name a few. Originally a docks warehouse, the restaurant takes its name from the Bordeaux stretch of dockside that house barrels of wine from the French province until as recently as 1957.
This is a family-run company and Bristol was the second branch to open. It is more than just a bar and restaurant in that it has a working brewery onsite the open plan kitchen and bar provide a sensory overload! The beer is made with no nasties, no preservatives, no additives, and it is neither filtered nor pasteurized. The location is great, half way up the Christmas Steps, and there are great views over the city centre from the three balconies. It is a good starting point for an evening on the town, given the proximity to the theatres and clubs, but Zero Degrees is equally suited as somewhere to get comfortable and stay put.
This beautiful bar and restaurant in the heart of Clifton Village is part of the Rodney Hotel, formerly a mansion house. It maintains much of its Georgian elegance with ornate ceilings and oak floors, with striking sash windows in between. It is a stylish place to visit for a drink, afternoon tea or dinner - whatever takes your fancy.
This cafe bar on Gloucester Road is both pet and child-friendly, until 8pm each evening. By day, it's a busy cafe, and by night, it's a lively music venue with bands performing from all over the UK. The Blue Lagoon is a great place to see some of the best of Bristol's up and coming musical talent, and whatever the act or the night, entertainment is free. Tuesday is often open-mic night, open to anyone and everyone. The bar also has a large screen and live TV in case of a sporting event that cannot be missed during your visit to Bristol!
The Mud Dock is quite unique in terms of it concept a bike shop and cafe combo! Whatever they're doing though, it's working! Originally set up by cycling enthusiasts who were underwhelmed by their retail experiences when it came to bikes, the Mud Dock was an opportunity to combine their love of bikes with their love of good coffee, food and wine, and did not strike them as an odd combination at all. Indeed, both aspects of the business have thrived, and continued expansion means that Mud Dock is firmly on the map of places to go in Bristol, whether you want to buy a bike downstairs, or have a cold beer upstairs. You won't find another place like it.
This historic pub is one of Bristol's true survivors one of the last timber-built buildings in the whole city, dating back to 1664. Many of its features remain intact, and with such a lot of history, there are plenty of legends and tales of pirates and secret tunnels. Now owned by the Brewer's Fayre group, the Llandoger Trow serves a range of traditional food. There is plenty of outdoor seating on King Street, which does create an atmosphere, especially in the summer, being so close to the water.