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Image © Cleverchefs At Arnos Vale via Facebook

Bristol’s Best Park Cafes

29 April 2019 | Charlie Kenber

With winter well and truly out of the way, it’s time to explore Bristol’s green spaces. Whether you’re meeting up with friends, are tucking into a relaxing read or just want to do some people-watching, check out our round-up of the best places to sit and take it easy with a good cuppa…

Café Retreat
Stoke Road, Durdham Downs, BS9 1FG
For location you can’t beat this sweet fixture on Stoke Road. Nestled near the Water Tower, Café Retreat sits slap bang in the middle of the Downs (Bristol’s biggest green space), so is an ideal place to sit and watch the world go by. The name says it all: retreat here during a walk or game of football, and make sure to get a seat on one of the many tables outside the modestly-sized café. Selling your usual coffees, teas, handmade cakes and sandwiches, the café also serves all-day breakfast, and even ice creams when it gets toasty out!

The Courtyard Café
The Stables Courtyard, Ashton Court Estate, Long Ashton, BS41 9JN
Taking residence in the old ground floor stables of Ashton Court’s historic manor house is this ideally-located café. For the uninitiated, Ashton Court Estate offers acres of woods, rolling hills and mountain biking trails, a stones throw out of the city across the Clifton Suspension Bridge. After all that activity, nothing’s better than a good cup of tea and sourdough toastie – or breakfast for the early birds. The café is also proud to welcome dogs inside, so bring your canine friend along for the walk.

Coffee #1 
51 Welsh Back, BS1 4AN
This local chain has become popular with Bristolians, and this particular branch is just around the corner from the delightful Queens Square. Beautifully restored to its Georgian layout in 1999, the square is a drop of calm a stone’s throw from the bustling city centre. It’s also close by for the Bristol Old Vic Theatre, the Arnolfini, Colston Hall, M Shed and many more of Bristol’s best cultural offerings. Either set up shop in the café itself, or if the weather holds grab a takeaway and spread out in the park.

Cleverchefs
Arnos Vale Cemetery on Bath Road, BS4 3EW
Arnos Vale is a stunningly atmospheric Victorian cemetery just outside Bristol’s city centre. With 45 mossy and moody acres to explore, it’s an ideal place to get away from the bustle and stretch your legs. Close to the cemetery’s entrance Cleverchefs have set up shop in ‘The Atrium’, a sensitively designed glass pavilion. So grab some sustenance before heading out on the narrow winding paths of the cemetery to explore the many monuments and commemorative stones.

Chapter and Holmes
North Somerset side of the Clifton Suspension Bridge opposite the Visitor Centre
A final bonus suggestion, if you’re exploring the Clifton Suspension Bridge or on your way over to Leigh Woods for a walk or cycle, stop off at this coffee truck opposite the Visitor Centre for a hot or cold drink and slice of cake. Perfectly located for a refill whether you’re on your way in or out of the city, they’re always friendly and quick to serve.
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