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Bristol’s Hidden Gems: Winter Warmers

Wriggle Bristol/ via Facebook

Christmas is coming and the geese are getting fat, but there’s still time for just one more set of recommendations to find the very best Bristol has to offer. This month: places to warm the cockles of your heart as the weather takes a chilly turn…

Pick up some porridge

Image credit: Bristol Porridge Project/ via Facebook

What better way to get you moving after an icy night than with a steaming bowl of hot porridge? And how about if that porridge comes with toppings ranging from dark chocolate, banana and maple syrup to almonds, cashew nuts and crunchy oats? That’s what we thought! Get yourself down to Bristol Porridge Project where you’ll definitely be asking for more.

This recently opened café roll out their fresh oats bright and early every single morning, and specialise in providing a cracking topping with each helping. The epitome of a hidden gem, this café is tucked away on the unsuspecting Trenchard Street (behind the Colston Hall), and with a friendly atmosphere and speedy service we think it’s well worth a stop off on your way to work.

Bristol Porridge Project is at 16 Trenchard Street, BS1 5AN and opens from 7am-4pm Tuesday-Friday, and 8am-4pm on Saturday.

Toast in the morning

Image credit: The Toast Room/ via Facebook

If porridge isn’t quite your thing (although we challenge anyone to still hold that view after trying the offerings above) then head down to Bedminster to find The Toast Room.

Inspired by the founders’ travels in Europe and experiences in the café trade, this great brunch stop is another welcome addition this year, taking up shop at the end of Bedminster Parade. The café has a particular focus on using local produce: their salad comes from the Severn Project, bread from the Park Bakery, and coffee from Extract Roasters in St Werburgh’s. Toast is, of course, the main event and comes with a wide assortment of jams, spreads or some more substantial offerings – their homemade baked beans are a particular delight!

The Toast Room is at 33a East Street, Bedminster Parade, BS3 4HH and opens from 8am-4pm Tuesday-Friday, and 9am-4pm on Saturday and Monday.

A crisp drink in warm company

Image credit: Barley Mow/ via Facebook

Just a short dash from Temple Meads’ Station you’ll find the charming Barley Mow with its welcoming atmosphere and wide selection of drinks. Their top-notch beer offering changes regularly, but with a long-term partnership with the excellent Bristol Beer Factory you’re sure to find some delectable ales. They also have a great range of bottles, cider, wine and spirits, so there’s a tipple for everyone!

On the food front the Barley Mow offer up a delightful Sunday roast (complete with several excellent vegetarian options) to warm the spirits, and everything else down to bar snacks and crisps. Plus, there’s a weekly Monday night pub quiz if you want to test your mettle! Drop by for a pint and you won’t be disappointed.

The Barley Mow is at 39 Barton Road, St Philips, BS2 0LF.

A Snowbound Adventure

Bear with us on this one…the beautiful grounds of a country house may not sound like the ideal spot to warm you up on a winter’s day, but the slopes down to Ashton Court provide the perfect conditions for one of the season’s most iconic activities: sledding.

That’s right: throughout the winter season you’ll find young and old turning up with a veritable smorgasbord of sleds before hurtling downhill and across the park. There are lots of different slopes of varying lengths and gradients, so all abilities and ages will find something that suits.
For those less keen on sledding, the estate is beautiful in the winter and offers spectacular views across the city, so wrap up warm and take in the fresh air! And, to top it off, there’s a café down in the courtyard for you to grab a hot drink in after all the fun.

The best slopes are just northwest of the house, at Ashton Court Estate, Long Ashton, BS41 9JN.