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A charming weekend break in Bristol, England

Angela Wood

Senior Contributor

Bristol, on England’s South West Coast, is an edgy, creative and eclectic city. It’s home to some of the world’s greatest industrial achievements ranging from Brunel’s SS Great Britain to the Clifton Suspension Bridge. It was the birthplace of enigmatic graffiti artist Banksy and has some the best dining and nightlife in the UK. It’s difficult to pack the best of the city into a weekend break in Bristol, however, here are a few ideas to whet your appetite.

Discover Bristol’s Industrial Achievements

Bristol’s premier attraction, Brunel’s SS Great Britain tells the incredible story of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s many achievements. One of the most talented engineers of his time, Brunel’s work on bridges, ships and railways made the world sit up and take notice of Victorian Britain. The SS Great Britain, built-in 1843, was an innovative passenger liner, way ahead of her time. Unlike other ships, she was made from iron with a state-of-the-art screw propeller which made her the fastest vessel in the world. Today, you can step aboard this fine steamship and experience life on the ocean wave for yourself. The SS Great Britain comes back to life with sights, sounds and smells as you wander the decks, visiting the dining saloon, galley and engine room. You can also spend time exploring the dockyard and visiting the nearby museum which delves deeper into Brunel’s life and work.

Brunel’s SS Great Britain, Bristol

Credit: Adam Gasson & SS Great Britain

Shop like an A-lister

The only way to shop like an A-lister is with a personal concierge, and you can have one all to yourself at the city’s Harvey Nichols store. Whether you’re looking for the latest designer piece to wear to dinner or desire a makeover to suit your skin tone, the style and beauty concierge can help. Offering expert advice on a range of products as well as inspiration and outfit tips, your personal stylist brings a world-class shopping experience to you. Your concierge can also organise dinner reservations at Bristol’s hottest eateries and even book a hair appointment, so you look your best for the occasion. The best thing about the experience? You don’t have to do a thing. Simply sit back with a glass of bubbly while your concierge attends to your every need. It really is the only way to shop!

Shop with a Personal Concierge in Bristol

Enjoy Michelin Star Dining

Outside London, Bristol has the most Michelin star restaurants in the UK. If you’re an ardent foodie and enjoy sampling innovative dishes from top chefs, this city is for you. Although Bulrush Restaurant isn’t perhaps the obvious choice of Michelin star establishments in Bristol, its simplicity, warmth and exceptional cuisine attracts diners for miles around. 

The restaurant is owned and run by George Livesey who has worked in top London eateries and was sponsored by legendary chef Albert Roux. His dishes are inventive, bold and British with a hint of Asian spice, plus in-keeping with Bristol’s forward-thinking ethos, vegetarian, meat, and fish tasting menus are on offer. With à la carte and 8 and 9-course tasting menus presenting delights such as carrot, saffron kombucha with pumpkin seeds or Aylesbury-Pekin cross duck served with red currants and a duck bun, this is one dining experience you won’t want to miss.

Michelin Star Food

Credit: Can Inellioglu, Shutterstock

Swim, Spa and Lunch at Lido Bristol

If you’ve shopped, dined and partied like it’s 2019, it’s time to unwind at Lido Bristol. Reminiscent of a Victorian-style bathing complex, complete with open-air heated swimming pool and waterside cabins for changing, this charming establishment allows you to indulge in a spot of relaxation after sampling Bristol’s vibrant nightlife. The Lido offers a selection of Swim, Spa and Dine packages where you can take a dip in the heated pool and lounge in the hot tub, sauna and steam room before sampling a delicious 2-course à la carte lunch. Afterwards, sink into blissful oblivion as expert massage therapists work their wonders with a range of holistic treatments. It’s the perfect conclusion to your weekend break in Bristol.

Lido Bristol

Stay at No.38 Clifton

Located in the picturesque Clifton district of Bristol within a short walk of Bristol Zoo Gardens, Clifton Observatory and suspension bridge, sits understated No.38 Clifton. With 12 stylish guest rooms, this recently refurbished Georgian merchants house provides an elegant, yet homely atmosphere, perfect for romantic breaks in the city. 

Accommodations are beautifully dressed in velvet, crisp white linens and decorated with unique statement pieces and each room boasts splendid views of Bristol’s cityscape and park. Sit by the window with a glass of claret and admire the vistas or enjoy a soak in your own Victorian-style copper bathtub. After you awaken from a perfect night’s sleep, you can feast on a delicious cooked breakfast created by the hotel chef made with the finest, fresh local ingredients.

Guest Suite No.38 Clifton, Bristol

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