Having lived in Bristol myself for a little while, I can understand why it was voted the UK’s happiest city. It’s such a central place that attracts people from all corners of the UK, resulting in a competitive job market and rising rental prices. Bristol is a busy, vibrant and multi-cultural city with a friendly and positive vibe. However, I personally couldn’t live there long-term because it’s just too far from the sea!
Last weekend I went up to Bristol for three reasons: to celebrate my sister’s birthday, to see my nephews (it had been far too long!) and to visit my best friend from university and her lovely hubby.
My mum drove so I was the navigator. Unfortunately, due to a bad accident on the M5 near junction 23, our journey took a lot longer than it should have done. When we finally escaped the queues of traffic and arrived safely at my sister’s house, she had a lovely birthday feast waiting for us including sandwiches, mini pies, crisps and prosecco. This was followed by cups of tea and birthday cake. It was great to catch up with my sister, although most of our chats were interrupted by my very cute two-year-old nephew talking about his cars or what he wanted to eat next! “Eats, mummy, in there!”(pointing at the cupboard).
I had a fun time playing with pirate ships and train sets, kicking a Spiderman football around the garden, as well as reading lots of stories. And of course, I had some lovely cuddles with my three-month old nephew as well, who loves looking at colourful and shiny things and kicking his legs along to music!
After a lovely couple of days spent with my mum, sister, brother-in-law and nephews, I then headed from North Bristol over to South Bristol to see two of my dearest friends. Kylie and I have now known each other for more than ten years (since the start of university – scary!) and I’ve known Craig almost as long as they got together at the end of our second year of uni.
It had been far too long since I had seen them and Kylie has been through a very tough time lately, so I was happy that I was able to spend some quality time with her. I really miss hanging out with her in Bristol and going for after work drinks; however, I need to live by the sea so perhaps they should move down here too?!
Much to our surprise, the sun appeared just as I arrived at their house. We didn’t want to waste any of the afternoon sunshine so we headed straight out for a walk around Bristol harbourside. Our first stop was The Pump House, where we sat outside and enjoyed pints of lager with the sun on our faces. As always, Bristol was buzzing so we were lucky to find a table outside!
When the sun disappeared, we headed to the nearby Grain Barge, a bar on a boat. Here we moved from lager on to wine – I’m not sure if this was the best idea! We carried on chatting and putting the world to rights, whilst thinking about where to go for dinner.
In the end we opted for a Thai restaurant that was just opposite where we were, in the area of Hotwells in South Bristol. Perched on the waterside with views of Bristol Marina and the River Avon, Siam Harbourside Thai Restaurant was an excellent choice. Kylie and Craig are both vegans so I got to eat all of the prawn crackers given to us upon arrival, lucky me! We ordered yet more wine as we perused the delicious menu.
I chose the Tod mun khao phod starter, which was sweetcorn mixed with red curry paste, deep fried and served with cucumber and sweet chilli sauce – it was really tasty. For my main, I had the Gai ob gra-tium, a grilled chicken dish which was marinated with garlic, black pepper, lemon grass, and coriander sauce – yummy. I couldn’t quite finish my main (probably because of all the prawn crackers I’d eaten) but it was very good and I would definitely recommend the restaurant. I really enjoy eating a variety of different foods from different cultures and Bristol is great for that – I particularly love the Caribbean restaurants in the city.
It was sad to leave good ol’ Brizzle behind, but also wonderful to come home. I love crossing the Tamar and seeing the ‘welcome to Cornwall’ sign; it immediately makes me feel more relaxed. A couple of days later, I was back by the sea for a walk and a drink. As far as cities go, Bristol is one of the best – but obviously Truro is my number one!