The hotel is a perfect example of the expression ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’. From the outside the hotel looks like a drab 1960s office block, but step inside and it’s a much sleeker affair with modern décor featuring comfy sofas and chairs and bright, quirky lamps for a bit of creative flair.
The Harbourside area is perfect for exploring on foot. We spent our afternoon strolling along each side of the harbour banks, taking in the wealth of shops and restaurants. If you visit Bristol on a Saturday, ensure you check out the local market, which features vendors selling everything from books to vintage clothing. Near the waterfront, you might also witness a few brave people bungee jumping from a crane, which seemed to be a popular attraction!
After a long day in the dreary weather, we retreated to our room for a cheeky late afternoon nap before heading downstairs to dinner at The River Grille – the hotel’s stylish on-site restaurant.
The restaurant with its lofty dimensions and floor-to-ceiling windows with its views of the harbour and the aubergine walls with brightly coloured art, creates an inviting atmosphere. We were lucky to have visited on a Saturday, which was perfect timing given that the restaurant has a live jazz trio every Saturday evening to provide a sense of occasion.
The traditional menu focuses on classics such as steaks, rack of lamb and a variety of fish dishes.
The vegetarian risotto verde with tender stem broccoli, broad beans and wild garlic was the perfect comfort food on a cold day and my husband loved the mussels marinière (his favourite) and turbot, which was fresh and flaky.
Given we weren’t drinking, we tried ‘The Big Juicy’, a refreshing mocktail with soda water, cranberry juice, pineapple juice and lime, which made us feel as though we were on holiday- even if the sun wasn’t shining.
After a lovely meal, we headed to bed and returned to The River Grille the following morning for a hearty breakfast to set us up for the day.
Although we were only in Bristol for one evening, the hotel provided the perfect base for enjoying all that the Harbourside area had to offer and the fabulous staff were some of the friendliest we’ve come across during our travels.
The Bristol Hotel
The impeccable service and the convenient Harbourside location, which is perfect for watching the world go by
The unattractive hotel frontage
Most suited for
Anyone visiting Bristol that wants to be centrally located and only a moment’s walk from the Harbourside bars and restaurants
Our experience overall
The property: ★★★★
Food and drink: ★★★.5
Staff attentiveness/friendliness: ★★★★★
During this trip I was hosted by the lovely team at The Bristol Hotel. All words, opinions and photos are my own.