Bristol's Badass Burlesque Show
Where to stay:
If you choose to stay over while you’re here, take these points into consideration:
The Hilton Garden city centre hotel is NOT that close to the city centre but it is right next to the train station, so pick your priorities with that one.
Thanks to Eli Roth the term ‘Hostel’ now strikes fear into everyone’s hearts, but The Bristol Backpackers hostel, Full Moon hostel and Rock n Bowl hostel are all in great, central locations, clean but basic and cheap at as little as £20 for a private room, even less if in groups or sharing.
Its very, very unlikely that you will be performing anywhere near Bristol Parkway station, so unless told otherwise by your promoter always book your train to Bristol Temple Meads. It is a walkable distance to the city centre, 15 mins normally or 20-25 with a big case, but unless you know the city it’s best to hop on a bus. Numbers 8 and 9 run frequently into the city centre from Temple Meads. There is also a taxi rank at the station that is never empty.
If you are taking National Express or Greyhound your coach will arrive in the central Bus Station. This is super close to the main shopping areas Broadmead and Cabot Circus, and a cool and groovy part of town known as Stokes Croft. It’s a short 10 minute walk to the ‘City Centre’.
The James Barton Roundabout underpass, colloquially known as The Bear Pit, can be a bit dicey at night so we don’t recommend walking that way after dark. If you think you may have to please ask your producer to suggest an alternative route or someone local to accompany you. Don’t worry about sounding silly, they will totally understand!
If you are getting the Megabus you will be dropped off outside the Colston Hall music venue, which is right in what’s known as the City Centre or The Fountains for obvious reasons when you see it.
Food & Drink:
My absolute favourite place to eat is Biblos on Stokes Croft, it’s essentially Lebanese food with a twist. Their wraps are huge and tasty. You get to pick your fillings, my personal favourite being haloumi and jerk fried chicken. They also do salads and side dishes but everyone just goes for the wraps.
Also on Stokes Croft is Cafe Kino, the most well known vegan establishment in the area. Vegans will generally find at least one vegan option in most restaurants in the City. Also, Number 51, a lovely pub that does great pizzas and is the best place for gluten free pizzas in my opinion.
Further up Gloucester Road you will find some great places to eat including Atomic Burger (a huge range of gourmet burgers), The Hobgoblin (Awesome in-house barbecued meats. Be sure to try the Dirty Dirty Fries fries, pulled pork, blue and cheddar cheeses, coriander dressing and chipotle mayo.) The Gallimaufry is our local ‘home cooking and curios bar’, fancy booze and nice food while surrounded by some fantastic and surreal art work. Also along Gloucester Road are a number of Thai and Korean restaurants, all tend to be BYO.
In the City Centre the Caribbean bar and restaurant Turtle Bay does great cocktails and has very long happy ‘hours’. The Lanes is a 50s style bar, restaurant and bowling alley with a good range of American beers and fun music. Classic Bristol rock pub The Hatchet is full of metal and rock types, it’s pretty simple in terms of it’s range but it’s a good stop for the more alternative of gals. On a smaller scale but of a similar style and just round the corner is The Gryphon. Also near the Hatchet is well known Bristol gay bar The Queenshilling which plays host to the only alternative gay night in the city, PsychoDrama.
The Waterfront bars are probably best avoided on Friday and Saturday nights however, leering men in salmon pink shirts are said to roam in packs. But during the day and weeknights they can be rather pleasant, these include Number 1 Harbourside, The Stable, Bourdeaux Quay and just of Millenium Square are Las Iguanas and The Cuban.
The King William on King Street is a lovely old fashioned pub serving only Samuel Smiths products and very reasonably priced for a city centre pub. A few doors down is the gorgeous Beer Emporium, a subterranean bar filled with hundreds of beers from around the world, a great wine list and good food, I consider this place to be a must visit! Further down the road are two legendary pubs The Old Duke, which specialises in live jazz, and The Llandoger Trow which is rumoured to be Bristol’s oldest pub and haunted! And what is Bristol without cider?! Also on Kings Square is Bristol’s only cider boat, The Apple. Serving a big range of proper ciders and a damn good cheese board this is a must for Summer.
If you’re feeling flush The Rummer, located in St Nicholas Market, is the by far the best place for cocktails. It has a stunning range of spirits, as well as fine wines and beers. The food is great though has had a change of head chef, but the quality is still supposed to be excellent. Adjacent to the market is Corn Street and this is to be avoided like the plague of a weekend, with it’s Slug and Lettuce and Walkabout and other such establishments it’s another stomping ground for pastel shirted louts. Though the Wetherspoons is fine during the week. Near Corn Street are the bars/restaurant combo’s Big Chill and Start the Bus. Both have good menus of American Diner inspired dishes and a good range of fancy beers though the prices are rather on the high side.
We get new and fun bars and restaurants in Bristol on pretty much a monthly basis so don’t forget to ask your promoter and the local performers for recommendations.
The main shopping areas of Bristol are Cabot Circus and Broadmead, these are adjacent to each other and have all the typical high street stores. There is a gigantic Primark, a big Debenhams, House Of Fraser and Harvey Nichols, as well as a sizeable TK Maxx, two H&M stores, Topshop, Urban Outfitters and most of the other run-of-the-mill clothes shops.
Near Cabot Circus is the perennial stripper favourite, Fabric Land, which is great for fabrics (well duh) and trim but it’s applique section leaves much to be desired. Park Street, which is on the other side of ‘The Fountains’ has a number of nice clothes stores, bars and restaurants. Clifton Village has it’s own little shopping centre but it’s mostly rich, middle aged lady clothes and antiques.
Stokes Croft/Cheltenham Road and Gloucester Road, the more bohemian part of town, has a wealth of clothing stores, vintage stores, charity shops and unfortunately the odd mini supermarket. If you get the chance to go to Easton, a part of town just outside the city centre, it is full of Indian and Asian stores and hair shops, great for jewelry and fake hair!
Key stores for strippers would definitely include Fabricland, Cox and Baloney – vintage store on Cheltenham Road, Primark – The Horsefair, Victoria London – Hair Store and afro/Indian cosmetic shop in Broadmead opposite Primark, Dutty Girl – Independent clothing, music and spray paint store in Stokes Croft, Repsycho – Vintage Shop on Gloucester Road, Poundland (don’t act like you don’t love it) on The Horsefair.
Things worth staying the whole weekend for:
We have some great museums and galleries in Bristol. A great start is MShed which tells the story of Bristol and it’s people and it’s free too! Then there is Bristol Museum and Art Gallery which has a great permanent collection including a fantastic geology section, a huge array of taxidermy and a gorgeous gypsy caravan.
The museum also hosts travelling exhibitions including the Wildlife Photographer of the Year and has previously seen an exhibition by Banksy and performance by Dita Von Teese. On Nelson Street there is a permanent exhibition of street artists from around the world, this is in addition to the wealth of street art on display throughout the city. In the summer there is a street art festival in Bedminster called UpFest which is another must for fans. The Weapon of Choice gallery, just off Park Street, has awesome exhibitions from local and international street artists where you can buy their work too. And The Here Gallery and Shop have a similar set up and are in Stokes Croft.
Every year Bristol hosts a number of festivals including The Harbour Festival, Jazz festival, a number of foodie festivals and some inner city music festivals have taken place in our parks in the last few years. Bristol is also great for clubbing if you are into all kinds of dance music, especially drum and bass, breakcore, jungle and dubstep. Though some of these venues can be a bit scary for a first timer and we wouldn’t suggest going alone if you’ve never been to the city before.
We have a number of lovely parks, Castle Park being one of the most central and features a bombed out church, lovely community gardens with the ‘Floating Harbour’ running alongside. Clifton Down is just next to the world famous Clifton Suspension Bridge, which then runs along to beautiful woodlands of Leigh Woods and the Ashton Court stately home.
If you’re planning on staying a few days don’t hesitate to ask one of the locals to give you the tour!
If there are any essential places you feel have been missed off please email Ally at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try and get it included. Ally Katte is a Bristol based Burlesque Performer, The Siren of Stokes Croft who takes great delight in showing her city to visiting performers