Three Foodie Attractions You Must Try in Bristol, England

Bristol, located in South West England is a centre for local food initiatives in the United Kingdom. Their Food Policy Council is dedicated to ensuring the people of Bristol have food that is healthy, delicious, good for the environment, affordable, and profitable to the people who grow it. In June of 2012, they are hosting the first ever Food Conference in the UK, as well as the largest farmer’s market in the UK.

During your stay in Bristol, you will have a veritable cornucopia of culinary delights from which to choose. You can stay for a week, and eat every meal at a different award-winning restaurant. However, there are three foods that you absolutely must try while you are in Bristol.

Sweet Treats

First, visit Guilbert’s Chocolates Ltd. In business for over 100 years, they are located in the oldest commercial building in Bristol, a short distance away from the Bristol Hotel. The Foster rooms, the new location of Guilbert’s Chocolates, were the home of John Foster, a merchant during the 15th century. Guilbert’s makes all of its chocolate by hand, using the same methods (with a few updates for electricity) as when they were originally founded. You can buy boxed collections, or select individual chocolate creams, truffles or fondants before deciding which treats are your favourites.

Locally Eats

The second thing to try is not a single food, but rather, a category of food. Bristol is extremely active in the local foods movement for many reasons; they are active in:

  • Encouraging the use of locally-grown, sustainable food
  • Hosting a range food-based events
  • Urban food producing initiatives

If you would like to browse through the selection of fresh local foods available, you can visit one of Bristol’s farmer’s markets held every Wednesday or the first Sunday of the month. Locally-sourced food is also used in many eateries, including several Bristol hotel restaurants. To go one step further than simply locally-grown food, you can also dine at The Lido Restaurant, the Glassboat Restaurant, and Spyglass, each of which share a garden dedicated for use in their delectable dishes. The Lido Restaurant, for instance, creates ever-changing menus based upon what the garden produces. You can learn more about environmentally sound cooking at the restaurant and cooking school, Bordeaux Quay.

Pie, Please

The third food to be sure you must try while in Bristol is pie. Yes, I said pie. Bristol loves its pies, having two locations of the popular Pieminister restaurant and shop. They offer a wide variety of meat pies, vegetarian pies, seasonal pies, and sweet pies which make for excellent eat-in or take-out lunches, dinners, or desserts. But if you can try only one pie, you should make sure to try the classic sweet pie, the toffee apple pie. The Old City location of Pieminister is located near both Guilbert’s Chocolates and the Bristol Hotel, although after eating both sweets, you may want to take a roundabout route back to your hotel to walk off all those calories.

Short Term Profits versus Sustainable Long Term Gains

It’s a market obsessed with making short-term returns. As a result, the past decade of what is perceived as ‘regeneration’ has been dominated by speculative investor bulk-buying, killing off any chance of creating vibrant communities resulting in a legacy of absentee owners, and an oversupply of one and two bedroom identikit apartments.

You can’t blame the house builders, developers or agents; after all, they represent the private sector which has to answer to shareholders who want to maximise annualised profit.
But what about the next 20, 50 or 100 years? Is such a short-term approach really the best financial model? Does it create vibrant and healthy communities and great urban places? The answer to these questions has to be no.

Until we adopt a long-term approach to creating communities and vibrant places rather than an obsession with buildings and short-term profit, the property market will not deliver sustainable city living in line with the European approach. I believe the answer lies with the larger financial institutions and the public sector. Both can afford to think long-term, as they don’t answer to private shareholders.

Currently, property only represents a small percentage of pension funds’ total investment. Traditionally, the financial institutions have avoided more exposure to property perceiving it to be volatile and management intensive. However, the city’s financial institutions are now starting to look at property as a long-term alternative for the creation of excellent returns. Morley, one of Europe’s largest property fund managers, set up The Igloo Regeneration Fund in 2002. This is the UK’s first urban regeneration fund investing for a commercial return in mixed use, environmentally sustainable, well-designed regeneration projects on the edge of the top 20 cities in the UK. The fund is managed by Morley on behalf of Norwich Union without pressure from shareholders.

The public sector is also starting to recognise that it can take a long-term approach to value creation and the generation of public benefit through quangos like Communities England (English Partnerships and the Housing Corporation) and British Waterways. For example, British Waterways established ISIS Waterside Regeneration at the 2002 Urban Summit held in Birmingham in order to use its assets to create long-term returns and sustainable new waterside destinations. ISIS is now revitalising more than 170 acres of land in seven towns and cities across the UK, designed to attract a wide range of occupiers, including families. Icknield Port Loop, one of the most significant regeneration opportunities this decade is one of these sites.

When the public sector take this long term approach, they often are faced with a dilemma given the need to cover short term costs, for example British Waterways are responsible for a 200 year old system that constantly needs to be maintained and suffers from years of under-investment. The current costs are more than British Waterways receive. British Waterways require consistent funding to be able to maintain the waterways for public benefit and as a catalyst for regeneration without having to sell off the family silver. Over the past weeks the national news has reported that it may be privatised; this would be a huge shame. British Waterways has the opportunity to continue to act as a force for good in regeneration, rather than being forced to dance to the tune of the shareholder.
We need to encourage the government and financial institutions to get behind the property market and set up more of these funds. We only need to look to northern Europe for an example of how this can work very successfully.

In the UK, young people have a stark choice – 25 year mortgages are likely to be replaced by much longer terms and if the idea of creating huge debts for others to inherit is not attractive they are forced to rent average quality and poorly designed apartments from private, relatively unregulated landlord. If pension funds invest in well designed apartments built as part of a thriving community and well managed by responsible investors such as Morley, places with long-term value can be created, which occupants can then buy-in to as part of their pensions.

This will be a challenge, as we need to overcome the stigma of renting on a long-term basis. In addition, if pension funds do invest in developers like ISIS, which puts sustainability at the heart of its approach, there is an opportunity for large numbers to acknowledge and address the challenge of climate change. If there were more communities living in residential schemes like ISIS ones which have sustainability built-in to the very fabric of the development, then a critical mass could develop into combating the effects of climate change.

An excellent case study of how the public sector can work with long-term funds, as I have described, is represented at Icknield Port Loop. Birmingham City Council, Advantage West Midlands and ISIS together with other key stakeholders are bringing forward plans to put this long-term approach to community and value creation into practice. It can’t come soon enough.

Bristol Attractions

Bristol Attractions

The city of Bristol offers many different diverse attractions. Due to its growth and development, many tourists choose Bristol as their desired destination for a week or weekend break. The Victoria Square Hotel situated in the heart of Clifton village, offers ideal accommodation whilst exploring the numerous attractions available in Bristol.

Bristol zoo

Among one of the many attractions that Bristol has to offer is Bristol Zoo Gardens. Having been awarded “Zoo of the Year 2004”, the 12-acre site in Clifton is an ideal day out for anyone enjoying a weekend break in Bristol. The zoo its self is ran by the Bristol, Clifton and West of England Zoological Society Ltd and has a continuous reputation for excellence, innovation, and dedication to conservation. Excluding the London, Bristol Zoo is the fifth oldest zoo in the world. Why not add this major tourist attraction to your “to do list” when staying in Bristol.


An eclectic combination of architectural styles can be found in and around Bristol, the largest city in South West England. From Medieval to 20th century brutalism, a wide range of styles are present along with buildings from most of the architectural periods of the United Kingdom. Large Tudor mansions can be found outside Bristols historical city centre. The construction of the floating harbour has been a pivotal point for industrial development and growth. Some of the structural highlights include the Isambard Kingdom Brunel designed Clifton Suspension Bridge and the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum.


When it comes to shopping, you really are spoilt for choice in Bristol. Just outside Bristol City Centre is The Mall at Cribbs Causeway. Consisting of 135 top name stores and 7000 free parking spaces, The Mall is a dynamic, easily accessible shopping venue. If you have chosen a centrally located Bristol Hotel then the newly developed Cabot Circus is idea for browsing the retail stores. After recently being awarded the retail and leisure industry`s BCSC (British Council of Shopping Centres) Supreme Gold Award, Cabots Circus has gone from strength to strength also landing the joint gold for best “In Town Retail Scheme of more than 30000 square feet”. Facilities include over 120 stores, cafes, restaurants and a deluxe cinema.

Despite the recession, the economy in Bristol is sustaining it growth and development. Bristol accommodation and hotels are thriving on tourists looking for weekend breaks in Bristol and professionals looking for business accommodation. This is due to the cities diverse flexibility offering a historic feel along with a developing social and economic scene.