bristol

31 May Tried and Tested: Bristol

This month our Citybase travellers were in the arty centre of the south, Bristol:

Our Citybase travellers this month were Grace Tebbutt, Digital Marketing Assistant at Citybase Apartments, who went with her parents. Marketing Communications Manager, Victoria Jackson who went with her two little girls and Alison Makosz, Group Head of Partner Relations, who visited the city on a business trip.

First off Grace Tebbutt went to Bristol to see if the city had things to do for both millennials and baby boomers …

“The journey down to Bristol from Lancaster was supposed to take just under three hours, but with train signals broken it took just over five. By the time I got to Bristol I was exhausted and always get a bit apprehensive in an unfamiliar city. However, the apartment, Premier Suites PLUS Bristol Cabot Circus, was easy to find. As I got in I was greeted by warmth, spacious rooms, and little chocolates by the bed. This was the best welcome ever and the apartment was amazing, with great people-watching views over the main shopping area of Cabot Circus. I settled in to bed (hands down the comfiest bed I have ever slept in) and had a great nights sleep.

Serviced Apartment photos in Bristol, with bedrooms, and great views.

In the morning I headed out to the Redcliffe area as I had heard of some developments going on. This area is very up and coming in Bristol with so many shops and restaurants being built around this area. I can honestly say i’m excited to see where this area goes and how it develops in the future. After a 10 minute walk back to Cabot Circus I met up with my parents who were both super excited to be in Bristol.

First off we headed over to St. Nicolas Markets, which were just a short walk away. These markets were amazing and we all enjoyed this lively location. Situated both inside and out, there were stalls for every interest and every generation. From jewellery to computer repairs it was amazing and the ceiling was covered in fairy lights as well making the place sparkle. We shopped til we dropped then headed back to the main shopping area of Cabot Circus and the Galleries and found some lunch.

The shopping area of Bristol. Cabot Circus, a big shopping mall, and St.Nicolas markets with food.

We were tired after shopping, so we took our purchases back to the apartment to see what we had brought. My parents loved the accommodation. It was spacious enough for the three of us and we all sat round the living area watching TV as me and my mum tried our new clothes on. We spent the afternoon relaxing in the apartment, then decided to go out for dinner. I had been recommended the nearby Losteria restaurant by Premier Suites so we decided to try it out. The food was amazing, I ordered pizza and out came a work of art. An 18″ pizza big enough for three people (and yes it was just for me), my parents had ordered pasta and they both said it was some of the best they had had in a long time. After getting back and relaxing in our own bedrooms and watching our own programmes on TV we all had a well-deserved nights sleep.

In the morning we ate a wonderful breakfast in the dining area, made up of great coffee from the coffee machine, toast, and cereal. We decided that we’d had enough shopping on the Saturday so we decided to do something a little different and head out on a tour of graffiti and street art. Bristol doesn’t fall short on incredible street art, the area just north of the city centre not only houses Banksy but also stunning works of art by other artists and this area is covered in impressive colours.

Street art pictures with a sign that say no unicorn milk available from a nearby coffee shop.

After our self-guided improvised tour it was time to leave. Bristol had been an absolutely amazing trip, all the people we met were friendly and happy to help. The apartment was beyond amazing and the food had been delicious. We all left a little bit disheartened but also knowing we would definitely be back in the near future. Bristol is officially a must for you and the parents to visit.”

Next up, Victoria Jackson spent a weekend in Bristol with her two children, aged four and seven. What will this travelling trio make of Bristol?

“We drove down to Bristol from Lancaster; a journey I’ve done in three hours before. So, I was pretty confident we would get there by mid afternoon, even factoring in a stop for food and to stretch little legs.

Back when I was an idealistic, fresh faced parent of one toddler, I used to be a bit sneery about people who allowed IPads & DVD players in their cars. This was the worst form of lazy parenting – why couldn’t these people engage with their children on journeys? When my siblings & I were young we spent many happy journeys playing I spy, top trumps & pub cricket. Technology was definitely something I would never allow in my car.

Fast forward 5 years, add one sibling; an ever increasing vocabulary; a tendency to drop books into the footwell approximately every nine seconds; an ability to argue about virtually anything and a never to be repeated nightmare 9 hour drive in 2016. And here we are. Any journey over 3 hours when I’m flying solo they get plugged into the matrix before we’ve left the drive. This may be what enables us to get to Bristol with some sanity left while I enjoy driving down my favourite UK motorway which I have genuine affection for due to its lack other drivers and Gloucester Services arguably the finest motorway services in the UK.

Unfortunately I was a bit over confident about our ETA and, with roadworks practically the entire length of the M6, we arrived in our apartment at around 5pm.

We were staying as guests of Cleyro, in their Finzels Reach Apartments. Finzels is one of Bristol’s most exciting brand new mixed use lakeside community in the heart of Bristol City Centre. The apartments here benefit from great transport connections

Having stayed in a few apartments, my kids love the moment they walk in the front door, run around all the rooms, usually jump on the beds, raid the fridge and welcome box and bagsy their bedroom. Turfed out of the master suite, they were soon happily settled in the smaller double, which was still a fantastic size with views onto Castle Park and the Floating Harbour.

finzelsWhen the kids were little, hotels were okay. Apart from the fact you were all piled on top of each other; no one got a very good night’s sleep; in the morning you’re all awake at 5am because kids are bored/hungry; that the adults have to tiptoe around in the dark after 7pm or (and this is an image which breaks my heart) drink room temperature wine in the bathroom from a plastic cup.

Why would you do it to yourself? We were settled into our two bed apartment by Cleyro Serviced Apartments in central Bristol and it was perfect. The kids had their own room and bathroom, space to play, people watch from the riverside balcony and chill on the sofa before we headed out to find some food. Bristol, we found, is full of international restaurants. When travelling with children it is often hard to find something they might enjoy, but Bristol provided a great selection of family friendly places.

After a good night’s sleep we headed over to We the Curious, an interactive museum I had previously seen online and that the kids were desperate to go to.  We the Curious is by far one of the best museums we’ve ever been to. The kids were totally captivated, and could have happily spent all day there and the Planetarium show completely blew their minds.

we the curious

We the Curious offered much more than a day out. We all enjoyed it and I learnt so much as well as the children. Building a new culture of being curious makes this science museum different and bring to life a whole range of exhibits. After spending, pretty much, the whole day at this fantastic place, we decided to head back to the comfort of the apartment. The children were shattered and my go to after a long day was a glass of wine in the living area, whilst watching TV.

By 8pm the kids were asleep in their own room. I had a chilled Saturday night talking on the phone, listening to my own music and watching a film rather than being disturbed by the girls and having to keep the noise down. And I drank wine from the fridge, out of a real glass. And not in the bathroom. This short holiday had been busy but so relaxing at the same time. The perfect getaway.

We had to leave early in the morning. I was now more aware of the traffic situation and my ETA’s were a little less optimistic than when we had started out on the Friday. But it had all been worth the drive. The kids slept the whole journey back. We would definitely recommend Bristol as a family citybreak.

Last but not least Alison Makosz went to see if Bristol could hold as a city not just known for it’s fun and games, but also serious side.

“We got the train from London in the afternoon on Friday, I was expecting it to take a long time to get to Bristol, but after less than two hours we arrived. It was, of course, raining, but that is how English weather goes. It was nice though. After the train journey a little bit of rain wasn’t going to stop me from walking to the apartment. I had booked in at Premier Suite Redcliffe, which were less than a 10 minute walk away and so easy to find.

The apartment I stayed in was homely and the beds were amazing, I wanted to fall asleep right there and then! I decided food took priority and found the nearest takeaway to deliver to the apartment. This is one reason I love serviced apartments. You can actually order takeaways and eat them at the table instead of cramped up on the bed trying not to spill it on the duvet.

redcliffe

I ended up watching a few programmes on TV before heading to bed. One great night’s sleep later, the apartment was so quiet, I felt fully refreshed. A fantastic breakfast of croissants and yogurts really set me up for the day ahead. I had meetings throughout the day at various offices. Bristol is easy to navigate and finding the different locations with little time to spare was easy.

The rain had started to lift and the sun had begun to come back out, just as I finished my last business talk. I had decided to take some people out in the evening for a bit of a working dinner and drinks. Bristol is full of places to impress, I found. We ended up finding Harvey Nichols Restaurant and Bar. We sat next to the window which overlooked Cabot Circus, the food was absolutely delicious and the staff were super helpful with recommending drinks for my group. It turned out to be the ideal place.

brsitol

After saying goodbye, I headed back to the apartment. It was nice to get back in and put my feet up. Again, I was able to relax in front of the TV. I was able to curl up on the sofa and ended up falling asleep, I was just so comfortable (and tired) by this point.

I woke up in the morning on the bed (I had transferred myself during the night). The sun was streaming through the windows, oh, the English weather. I had to leave early in the morning to get back to London, for yet more meetings, but I was reluctant to leave this wonderful city. Despite it being a business trip, this city had been so welcoming and just easy to accommodate all types. I was very impressed.

Grace Tebbutt

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