Hello September, hello Bristol

1st August 2019

Categories: Press Releases

This is the month that Bristol celebrates the short film, opens doors to the city’s most interesting buildings, dedicates a festival to the art of coffee making and offers a weekend of cocktails. 

Hello September, hello Bristol

The Coffee House Project. Credit Coffee and I UK

What’s New

Freddy Bird’s Little French restaurant
After 10 years at the Lido in Clifton, Bristol’s TV chef Freddy Bird (think Channel 4’s Hidden Restaurants and Sunday Brunch and BBC’s Saturday Kitchen Live) has opened his own restaurant. In the city’s Westbury Park area, Little French is an all-day affair, from breakfast through to dinner, majoring on rustic, regional French cooking.

Clifton Observatory’s new café now open.
With one of the best views of the Clifton Suspension Bridge, the iconic Clifton Observatory has now opened its new 360 Café. The glass structure, which extends the former windmill (dated 1766) on the Avon Gorge is open seven days a week (and evenings Thursday to Saturday) serving a range of sandwiches, wraps. salad pots, cakes and ice cream. Along with a spectacular roof terrace, the 18th century tower already offers two unique experiences: a Camera Obscura (described as Victorian CCTV, it’s one of only 3 of these ‘optical instruments’ still in use in the UK);  and a 61-metre tunnel that leads down to the so-called Giant’s Cave.

What’s On

The Downs Bristol (31 August)
Bristol’s largest one-day music festival returns with a stellar line-up of acts. The 4th Downs Bristol will be headlined by one of hip-hop’s most esteemed names, Ms. Lauryn Hill alongside the legendary Grace Jones and Bristol’s hottest home-grown band IDLES. Neneh Cherry, Loyle Carner, Crazy P, Nightmares on Wax and High Contrast also feature. Dropbox Folder of Images

Madness on the Downs (1 September)
Hardly time to breathe before another pop legend takes to the stage on the Downs. A blast from the 1980s (and still going strong), Madness is to perform a one-off gig supported by reggae DJ David Rodigan performing with the Outlook Orchestra, and Trojan Soundsystem.

The Coffee House Project (7-8 September)
A Bristol first, this caffeine-fuelled festival presents the ultimate coffee fix – a blend of the city’s finest coffee connoisseurs from local baristas and artisan roasters to independent retailers. Under the splendid roof of the Passenger Shed at Temple Meads station, the two-day event features around 50 exhibitors, as well as workshops, talks, competitions, tastings, coffee-paired street food and music all washed down with craft beers and expresso martinis.

Bristol Open Doors: The Hidden City (13-15 September)
The annual Open Doors event celebrates the past, present and future of design in a visitor experience that offers the keys to the city for a weekend - featuring over 100 landmark buildings and curious spaces, many of which are not normally open to the public. This year, the programme’s producer, the Architecture Centre (a registered charity) has teamed up with the Royal Academy of Engineering to showcase some of the city’s finest achievements – from boats and bridges to wind turbines. Hence, new locations for 2019 include the former Filton Airfield and the Brabazon Hangars (the birthplace of Concorde), the 18th century Albion Dock at the SS Great Britain and Thrive Renewables Wind Farm at Avonmouth. Among a mix of drop-in and must-book events, tours, talks, walks and experiences, you can also step aboard a 19th century lightship, visit Avery’s Wine Cellars and explore the recently converted General Hospital.

Great Bristol Half Marathon (15 September)
Run for Charity at the fourth Simply Health Great Bristol half marathon which sees some 10,000 contestants take part. And this is a run with a view: the route takes in the spectacular Avon Gorge, the Clifton Suspension Bridge and the Harbourside among other city landmarks.

Tokyo World (21-22 September)
Craig David presents TS5 and De La Soul are the headline acts at this weekend music fest at Eastville Park in Bristol. And there is so much more: five stages of live acts, big on urban and dance and ranging from Soul II Soul and Yxng Bane on the Tokyo stage to Sonny Fedora on the Hedonism stage and Ms Banks on the World stage. Tokyo World buses are on hand to whisk die-hards to the late night afterparties at Motion Nightclub on Saturday and Sunday.

ENCOUNTERS Short Film Festival (24-29 September)
Billed as ‘the UK’s leading short film, animation and virtual reality festival’, this international event celebrates the art of the mini movie with entries from all over the world and hosted by a city that now has UNESCO City of Film status. Attracting over 3000 submissions, Encounters combines its annual international film competition with daily screenings, debut feature films and a platform for new and established talent.

Cocktail Weekend Bristol (27-29 September)
Bristol loves a cocktail or two, and this new three-day event is the love-child of Julian Hook, ardent Bristophile and former operations director for Marco Pierre White. Collect a £10 wristband from a Brockmans Gin pop-up bar at HQ, Hotel du Vin City Centre and enjoy signature cocktails at happy-hour prices from over 20 of Bristol’s finest mixologists: among them are Lost and Found, Flipside Cocktail Club, Za Za Bazaar, Bristologist, The Gold Bar and Revolucion de Cuba

Wallace and Gromit Trail at Bristol Zoo Gardens (until October 13).
Loveable pals, Wallace and Gromit – currently enjoying their 30th birthday - head to Bristol Zoo Gardens for the summer. Join the animated duo (created by Bristol-based Aardman Animations) on a fun-filled activity trail, learn what it takes to be a ‘Trainee Zookeeper’ and join a Claymation Workshop among other activities.

We the Curious: Space ships – and sheds (various dates)
In a series of summer-autumn activities which promote ‘positive actions for a better world’, Bristol’s hands-on science centre, We The Curious, presents The Space Shed (7-8 September) – a Millennium Square pop-up providing a platform for two days of space-themed theatre, conversation and family entertainment which explores what space travel can teach us about life on Earth.

This sits neatly alongside a programme of new, out-of-this-world Planetarium shows – In the Steps of Apollo 3D, Holst’s Planets 3D and Life in the Universe 3D – with dates until the end of November.  


Space Steps at the Royal Photographic Society Gallery (until 29 September).
The Royal Photographic Society summer exhibition celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landings with Space Steps: the Moon and Beyond, featuring some of the most remarkable images ever captured on film alongside will present Ascension, an interactive installation by Mexican-British photographer Monica Alcazar-Duarte and items from photographer Martin Parr’s collection of vintage space memorabilia. The Gallery at Paintworks is open Thursday -Sunday and Bank Holidays.  

Aardman Animating: Early Man at M Shed (until November).
The Harbourside’s museum of Bristol life, presents Early Man – an insight into the making of Aardman Animation’s mammoth stop-motion movie. From drawings, finely crafted sets, exquisite character models and the latest CGI technology this is a unique peek at the painstaking creative processes behind the 2018 animated blockbuster that starred the voices of Eddie Redmayne and Tom Hiddleston.

Spike Island: Day Craving Night by Meric Algun (28 September – 8 December))
In a new solo exhibition at this Harbourside gallery and arts centre, Stockholm-based artist Meric Algun explores the fragile nature of love in a world obsessed with individualism, consumerism and nationalism. Showing new and recent works, the exhibition takes the form of a spatial collage, bringing together a variety of media – video, text and installation – in disparate collections of objects placed together to reveal an array of connections that bind personal experiences with hard facts.

Disney’s the Lion King at Bristol Hippodrome (7 September – 23 November)
One of the key shows in a lively theatre season, the Bristol Hippodrome presents Disney’s Lion King – a landmark musical theatre production that tells the story of Simba’s epic journey to fulfil his destiny as King of the Pridelands. Director Julie Taymor uses spectacular theatrical effects to take Disney’s original animated feature film to the stage.

In case you missed it….

Bear Wood at Wild Place Project now open
Bear Wood is a spectacular new attraction for Bristol’s 150-acre suburban conservation park at Wild Place. The £5million attraction features a walkway that winds through seven and a half acres of woodland – now home to four brown bears and the project’s five European grey wolves. Lynx and wolverine also roam the woodland as they would have done centuries ago. The immersive experience highlights the story of our native woodlands and is supported by a ranger station, classroom, interpretation space and café. The new Bear Wood residents moved in just in time for the 2019 summer holidays.

Coming Soon

The Wave Bristol (Autumn 2019) 
The Wave will be a new inland surfing lake on the edge of Bristol – the first of its kind in Europe. Plans at the 40-acre site in Almondsbury, north of Bristol include a sensory wave garden with inland ‘cove’, activity areas, peaceful hideaways and kitchen gardens, as well as a natural swimming pool, café, changing facilities, accommodation, education centre and retail experience. Using latest wave-making technology, up to 1000 waves will be generated per hour, with heights starting at 50cm and peaking at almost 2m, providing an inclusive surfing adventure for everyone from young beginners to professional surfers.

Artist Residence (October 2019)
The long-awaited new hotel, Artist Residence in Bristol is due to open in October. Housed in a former boot factory in Portland Square ­­– between St Pauls and Cabot Circus shopping centre in the heart of the city – this is the fifth hotel for the arty micro chain. Expect an eclectic fusion of art, design and vintage.

New GWR train timetable: with shorter travel times to Bristol (December 2019)
From December, GWR has plans for a major shake-up in rail services – with more trains, more seats and speedier trains. Reduced journey times will see trains between London Paddington and Bristol Temple Meads cut by 17 minutes; Turbo trains between London Paddington and Bristol Parkway will take as little as 67 minutes.

To discover more about Bristol, please visit www.visitbristol.co.uk.

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