I slept very well on Saturday night. Between the amazing meal from the night before and the brilliant hotel, I pretty much conked out as soon as I hit the hotel room. There’s just something fantastic about getting a good night’s sleep that’s irreplaceable. This Time Out London spontaneous weekend away thing was certainly working it’s magic and I kid you not, one of the biggest things I kept saying this year was that I wanted to spend more time holidaying in the UK and it’s been so lovely to not only be able to but to also to really have a great time doing so. It’s just always seemed so counter-intuitive to me that we ‘run away’ from the UK at holiday time and opt to spend more time abroad when people the world over conversely love to visit the UK for their holidays. Don’t get me wrong, I want to see the world but I also love falling in love over and over again with the UK and it’s many beautiful towns, cities and villages! There’s so much amazing stuff in you back garden… if you can be bothered to look for it. Anyway, enough with the mushy sentimental stuff 😉 on with the post!
Sunday morning had arrived and that meant returning to London but seeing as this wasn’t for quite a few hours yet. I decided to pop into the Bristol Cathedral which I’d had my eye on for a few days and instagrammed quite a bit but hadn’t been able to pop into as it was in use on Friday for University graduations and on Saturday for several services. Sunday however seemed like a perfect time to visit and unlike some cathedrals in London, it was free to pop in and so I did. The photos below are what ensued (N.B.: This cathedral is pretty impressive inside, it’s so intricate and really impressive – I swear it was almost comical watching everybody walk in and have exactly the same amazing looks on their faces two seconds to walking in). Best part – it was right next to the Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel where I was staying! Told ya that hotel was quite convenient!
Leaving the cathedral, the harbour festival was still in full swing and while I wanted to just chill in the sun and watch the performance, I had more pressing urges – I’d heard about the amazing dinosaurs over at the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery and I definitely wanted to check them out in person! I’ve always been fascinated by dinosaurs and they had some amazing preserved skeletons there (along with graphic drawings of what they looked like) and I had to check them out for myself.
I did get side tracked on the way to the museum though…. There’s this vintage shop in Bristol called Love From Random (they don’t have a website address else I’d have included the link) but they’re pretty good and I spent far too much time in here than I should freely admit to! I found two things I really wanted – a surfer troll and some homepride salt and pepper shakers… and then I found a third thing! A vintage camera in pretty good condition. I wouldn’t even know how to work one like this but like my vintage typewriter, I knew I had to have it. Problem was that there was no price and the shop keeper tried to call the owner but to no avail so alas I had to leave without it! (It’s okay though – I got a call at the museum saying the owner had called in with the price – £15!!! I dropped everything and ran back immediately to get it! I’m now the proud owner of this rather old non-functional camera! 🙂 )
I carried on to the museum (past the rather impressive Wills Memorial Building which is apparently the last major Gothic building built in England and is relative young in UK architecture terms having being opened for the first time 90 years ago) and went on to the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery! I soon got lost in the dinosaur awesomeness…
And then I found the art gallery! I can pretend to know much about art history but I think art should always should incite a reaction in your – make you think, smile or even laugh and I think it’s fundamentally this that led me to spend the next couple of hours wandering through the labyrinthine halls of the art gallery here…
Finally I emerged, with not much time to spare before having to catch a train but just enough time to get some proper lunch. I spotted a Jamie Oliver restaurant and seeing as I hadn’t been in one for almost 7 years, I figure I might as well pop in! A little note of caution here though – I was never really taken with these restaurants back in the day hence why I never really go to them but I was hungry and it was convenient so…
Immediately I stepped in though, one thing that really stood out to me was the décor. I fell in love with it straight away and now that I think about it, I’m not even sure I can put my finger on what that ‘one thing’ was that made me feel instantly at home here.
To start, I went for the pork scratchings. I don’t even know why. I don’t really like pork scratchings. Well I kinda do but I’m weird about it and I like chewy and crunch at the same time. Again, don’t ask why… I don’t think I even know why. These however were absolutely fine, especially with the salsa dip thing. Not my best choice ever (they were perfect for people who love pork scratching however).
That’s the camera below! 🙂
I quickly made things up though with the mains. I got my choice spot on and went for the carbonara. I’d been having a hankering for carbnara lately and this went down A TREAT! I would have ordered another one if I had more time – it was that good! The pasta of course had to come with some fizz (a self-imposed rule).
Then we moved on to the story of dessert. Raspberry pavlova and a chocolate cake! I would try to use my words to describe these but my mouth too was full of cake to do so. Needless to say, by the end of the meal, I was definitely a convert and would very (VERY) happily return here! And then, there was our host/waitress Michelle who is one of the funniest people I’ve met in Bristol! It’s funny how some amazing people can make you have such a fun time and yet seem so oblivious to the positive effect that they have. 🙂 In any case, I left a happy though time-pressured bunny and made a dash back to the hotel to grab my stuff and head for the train station (ordering an Uber for the train station – I could walk but after that food, I chose not to. I’m just using the food as an excuse, I know, I would still have ordered an Uber regardless – the minimum charge here is £2.20 and at those price… 😉 )
Returning back to London, I can not tell you how relaxed and genuinely happy I was with the decision to go on this spontaneous weekend away. I’d seen things I wanted to, indulge in the festival, eaten some amazing food, seen fantastic sights and explored a city I’d wanted to in more depth than I would have normally! And I have Time Out London to thank for challenging me to be more spontaneous with Booking.com and going on impromptu trips. Seeing how easy it was to organise everything as well has definitely opened me up a lot more to the possibility of going on holidays that are not over-planned or over-thought. It’s kinda liberating to know I can plan a trip on the same day I need to leave with the Booking now app and just go! It’s a new perspective I’ve been given on my travels and one that I plan on holding on to! 🙂