This train stops at Bristol – the next area in our monthly guide to the best of the UK’s independent hotspots. Home to three of our favourite florists and a smorgasbord of charming coffee shops and eateries, whether you’re a local or you’re looking for a weekend spent somewhere new Bristol is bustling with with things to do. Stay tuned each month as we cover the best of the Britain.
Named after the French name for the daylily, meaning ‘beauty of the day’, Bristol-based florist Belle de Jour is full to the brim of vibrant stems and striking plants. Its founder, Kika, is originally from France, where she spent many years honing her craft at the Toulouse flower market, now she crafts bouquets that capture the everyday beauty of Bristol and its surrounding countryside.
One of Bristol’s busiest and best-loved cafés located in a sun trap on Clifton Arcade, Primrose Café is your go-to for a morning coffee, a healthy weekday lunch, and Sunday brunch alike. For breakfast, we’d suggest the Huevos Rancheros or the Veggie Monty (for the halloumi and harissa tomatoes), but make sure you leave room for coffee and one of Primrose Café’s many delicious cakes.
When you’re tired of eating (for us, that’s never) head to the Lido in Clifton for an afternoon dip. An oasis well hidden within the Georgian streets of Clifton, this open air lido is open all year round providing a relaxing retreat (especially when we tell you that there are spa and massage facilities, too). And when you’ve well and truly overindulged, head to the Lido’s restaurant or poolside tapas bar for a well earned treat.
There are actually three Spicer & Cole cafés in Bristol: leafy Queen Square, picturesque Clifton Village and the ever-vibrant Gloucester Road. Based on the ethos that great coffee should be served in great settings, each café is located in a bright and airy, light-filled space. Expect a menu of super-fresh seasonal dishes created from locally sourced fruit, veg and organic meat and dairy, along with a counter piled high with tarts, frittatas, salads and of course, cakes and pasteries.
Florist Megan Lily is all about bringing “wilderness and beauty” to your homes - which she does, quite amazingly, from the self-proclaimed ‘shed' at the bottom of her garden (it's fair to say that the shed is a bit more organised than your standard garden shed!). “I used to stare wistfully through the door of my local florist on my walk home from school as a young girl,” Meg says, “and now I am so proud to be a small business owner able to bring a piece of nature into the heart of the city!”