Dr Charlotte Crofts is Associate Professor Filmmaking (UWE Bristol) and Director of Bristol's Cary Grant Comes Home For The Weekend Festival. The event will celebrate the life and work of Bristol-born Cary Grant through feature film screenings, celebrity salutes, talks and walks. Here she shares a Cary Grant-themed dining tour of Bristol. #FoodFriday

Cary Grant Avon Gorge Hotel

Image - Cary Grant at The Avon Gorge Hotel in front of Clifton Suspension Bridge, credit Bristol Post


Lovely for a long lunch on a summer’s day, here you'll find delicious European cuisine, excellent service and it's lovely to be on the river with panoramic views. Cary Grant used to wander the wharves of Bristol docks, longing to sail away from his painful childhood on one of the tall ships which used to moor there. He tried to get a job as a Captain’s Boy and eventually did sail to New York in July 1920 on the RMS Olympic (the Titanic’s sister ship) to find his fortunes in America.

The Lounge, Avon Gorge Hotel

The Avon Gorge has recently been taken over by Hotel Malmaison of Hotel du Vin fame and they’ve done a marvellous job of renovating the whole hotel, bringing it up-to-date and back to its former grandeur. The Lounge offers a lovely intimate spot to relax and enjoy the view of Clifton Suspension Bridge, overlooking the terrace where Cary Grant famously had his photograph taken. As part of the Cary Grant Comes Home Festival, we’re holding a “Cary Grant in Bristol” event there, which will include illustrated talks from David Brown who worked there in the 1970s and looked after Cary Grant. It’s amazing to think that as Archie Leach (his real name) he could never have aspired to stay there.

Magnet Fish Bar, 5 Dean Lane

Magnet Fish Bar serve wonderful, traditional fish and chips, which was one of Cary Grant’s favourite dishes when he came home to Bristol. Different sources say he used to buy them in St Nicholas Market (according to Maureen Donaldson’s An Affair To Remember) and/or Bobby’s Fish Bar on Christmas Steps - but this is my local. He was also partial to warm beer and bangers and mash. I love that he has a reputation of being so suave and debonair, but was a man of simple tastes and never forgot his Bristol roots.

Renato’s, 33 King Street

A great late-night drinking hole, with oodles of atmosphere, the walls are bedecked with vintage theatre posters and headshots of famous actors (sadly none of Cary Grant, although there is one of another famous Bristolian: David Prowse - Darth Vader). They do the best thin-crust, proper Italian pizzas in town (I don’t get on with weird pizza toppings) and they've also just launched Renato’s Birra 33, a light 4% larger which goes really well with pizza. My favourite pizza oscillates between Inferno (salami and chillies) and the Scilliana (peppers, onions, olives), both with extra egg on top (which is sacrilege, I know, and might contradict my not holding with weird pizza toppings ethos).

About the author:

Dr Charlotte Crofts is Associate Professor Filmmaking (UWE Bristol) and Director of the Cary Grant Comes Home For The Weekend Festival (Cary Comes Home for short). She's fascinated by cinema history and produced the award-winning Curzon Memories App and the Lost Cities of Castle Park app tracing Bristol’s cinema history. She inaugurated the biennial Cary Grant Festival in 2014 with the aim to celebrate Cary Grant's Bristol roots, develop new audiences for his work and recreate the golden age of cinema-going. Really it’s just a big excuse to watch his films on the big screen with an audience.

  • The Cary Comes Home Festival runs from 23-25 November at venues across Bristol, including all 4 Hitchcock collaborations and 2 classic screwball comedies, with expert introductions and illustrated talks and walks.

Read more:


Cary Grant Comes Home Festival
Virtual Event
Cary Grant Comes Home Festival

A three-day festival exploring the life & career of the Bristol-born film star and style icon Cary Grant.

FiSH Bristol
FiSH Bristol

The FiSH Restaurant is a relaxed, fun and theatrical affair. Bright coloured benches line the water fronted windows, there is that usual restaurant humm of music and chatter, only interrupted by a smash of a mallet and a glance at a crab claw gone rouge.

St Nicholas Market
St Nicks Market Corn St

Established in 1743 St Nicholas Market is the oldest and best loved market in Bristol, famous for some of the best food in the city.