Bristol’s Hidden Gems: Romantic Bars

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Red Light Bristol. Image credit: @redlightbristol on Facebook

For a romantic drink out, Bristol has so many options that it’s easy to be overwhelmed by choice and just plump for your local. So try one of our favourite Romantic Bristol bars for a truly dreamy tipple - whether you're impressing a 'special someone' or just treating yourself...

Nothing sets off a romantic atmosphere like a good cocktail and an element of mystique. Bristol has a burgeoning line in secret bars tucked away in the most unexpected places, and Hyde & Co is one of its finest. Following a prohibition theme, the place is marked out only by a top hat, and you’ll need to knock to be allowed entry. Menus change seasonally, and its latest channels 1920s Parisian glamour, featuring drinks such as No Shrinking Violet, Dirty Dottie’s Gibson and Le Coup Fatal. All just off the Triangle in Clifton.

Hyde & Co is on Upper Byron Place, BS8 1JY.

The Milk Thistle

Sister venue to Hyde & Co, the Milk Thistle has transformed the historic Quay Head House in the city centre to create a cocktail paradise spread over four magnificent levels. Similarly prohibition-themed and unmarked (as with Hyde & Co you’ll need to knock on the door to gain entry), there are plenty of nooks and crannies to hide away in with your loved one. Book ahead for the best tables.

Image credit: Milk Thistle on Facebook

The Milk Thistle is at Quay Head House, Colston Avenue, BS1 1EB.


The bar at the Clifton Lido accompanies its reopened pool and spa complex (it lay derelict until 2008). Originally built in 1849, it’s an historic and picturesque location beautiful redesigned. Its bar and restaurant offer great views over the pool, so why not break with tradition and combine a romantic drink with a swim, a dinner, and maybe even a couples massage?

Lido is on Oakfield Place, Clifton, Bristol BS8 2BJ.

Red Light

Another secret bar, Red Light (we promise it’s more upmarket than it sounds!) is close to the heart of town just off the bottom of Park Street. Uniquely, entry is only gained by ringing the unmarked payphone at its entrance. Show off your nose for a hidden gem by sitting somewhere cosy in this beautifully restored vaulted cellar, where you'll find the finest cocktails, expertly whipped up by the talented bar staff. Sophisticated and salacious in equal measure, this self-proclaimed ‘adult drinking den’ is the ideal place to get some hard-earned alone time for the two of you.

Image credit: Red Light Bristol on Facebook

Red Light is at 1 Unity St, BS1 5HH.

The Glassboat

Drawing on Bristol’s seafaring heritage, this romantic spot is an old-favourite amongst locals, having been harboured on Bristol’s harbourside for thirty years since it was lovingly restored. Originally conceived as a floating botanical garden, the Glassboat is in truth a full-blown brasserie as well as a bar. It’s a special spot for a romantic drink or even dinner.

Glassboat is on Welshback, BS1 4SB.