For this week’s Food Friday we asked Tom Brothwell, creator of the Bristol History Podcast, for his favourite places to eat and drink in the city.

Tom Brothwell

Seven Stars

Tucked away on Thomas Lane in the heart of commercial Redcliffe, Seven Stars is one of Bristol’s most historic pubs. In 1787 it served as a base for abolitionist Thomas Clarkson, while he carried out research into the city’s thriving slave trade. Clarkson’s work, (aided by the fearless pub landlord Thompson) became an important body of evidence leading to the 1807 Slave Trade Act, which ended Britain’s trade in slaves. Besides its history, the pub has a great selection of beers and bucketloads of character – an excellent place to stop by for a pint.


A treasure trove of musical history bobbing in the Floating Harbour – the Thekla is a wonderful place to enjoy a drink and some live music. Formally owned by Ki Longfellow and Vivian Stanshall (of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band), the Thekla has been an important centre for music, comedy and theatre and the city would be all the poorer without it.


Although just a couple of years old, Chums is refreshingly old-fashioned in its attitude towards pub culture. If you’ve ever found your bar conversation thwarted by overloud music, I highly recommend this place to you. No TVs, no games machines, no pounding speakers (even smartphone use is a bit of a no-no) - Chums instead relies on the twin keystones of British pub-dom: good beer and good conversation.

The Commercial Rooms

This grand mercantile building on Corn Street is home to one of the city’s many Wetherspoons. You can enjoy a very reasonably priced G&T at the ornate bar, while perusing the roll of past Presidents all the way back to John Loudon McAdam, the inventor of tarmac. Where else?


I’m still not sure that I know the difference between gelato and ice cream, but everything I’ve ever eaten at Swoon has been delicious. The mango sorbetto and bacio (hazelnut and chocolate) flavours are particularly sensational.


About the Author: Tom is creator of the Bristol History Podcast (link: and finds himself interested in most things related to the city’s history. When he’s not seeking out interviewees, he enjoys walking his neighbour’s border collie around Redland Green.



Authentic artisan gelato bar with a dash of Italian swagger and style. Handmade treats including sorbetti, gelato sticks and individual gelato monoporzioni. Providing locally roasted coffee and baked pastries, hot and cold drinks.