Travel

Why Bristol should be your next mini-break destination

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Amy Adams
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The reopening of Number 38 Clifton is just one of many new reasons to base yourself in Bristol’s most famous neighbourhood, finds Stylist’s production editor Amy Adams.

Clifton can be overlooked when it comes to all that’s new and exciting in Bristol, but this historic corner of the city – with its renowned suspension bridge and Georgian mansions – is far from stuck in the past. Something that the newly reopened Number 38 Clifton more than proves.

The elegant townhouse B&B has just been extended into the next-door property, and our room (one of 12) takes up the entire top floor of the new wing, offering leafy views of the Clifton Downs on one side, and a dramatic vista of the city on the other. A sisal carpet and pale grey curtains provide a tranquil backdrop to the chandelier of exposed-filament bulbs, huge gold circular mirror, mustard headboard, navy velvet sofa and, in the bathroom, a free-standing silver bath. Downstairs there’s a series of peaceful drawing rooms, eye-catching art and cosy chairs, plus a terrace with more great views.

The elegant townhouse B&B has just been extended into the next-door property, and our room (one of 12) takes up the entire top floor of the new wing, offering leafy views of the Clifton Downs on one side, and a dramatic vista of the city on the other. A sisal carpet and pale grey curtains provide a tranquil backdrop to the chandelier of exposed-filament bulbs, huge gold circular mirror, mustard headboard, navy velvet sofa and, in the bathroom, a free-standing silver bath. Downstairs there’s a series of peaceful drawing rooms, eye-catching art and cosy chairs, plus a terrace with more great views.

Number 38 Clifton is ideally positioned to explore both sides to this sprawling area: head right for Whiteladies Road – and the Everyman cinema, furniture shops, and excellent cafes and restaurants (such as Tradewind Espresso and Bosco Pizzeria). Or turn left, skirting the Downs before reaching Clifton Village and the recently opened Wellbourne where the seasonal menu from the team behind Dabbous features asparagus, morels, garlic flowers and Jersey royals, whipped into elegant, Insta-worthy plates. For a nightcap afterwards, try Amoeba on King’s Road for a Chanel No 5 (vodka, prosecco, elderflower syrup and muddled raspberries).

The next morning, after making the most of the hotel’s breakfast (homemade compote and granola; eggs Florentine), we stroll back to the Village for a wander round the shops – Papersmiths with its excellent stationery and magazines, then Two Palms for crystals and Maison Louis Marie Perfumes – before stopping for a flat white at East Village, with its whitewashed walls and impressive cake selection. Our next stop is Bristol Lido (swim and eat packages from £35) – opened in 1850, it retains a Victorian air with its barrel-esque outdoor showers and striped changing room curtains, but a 2008 restoration means the pool is now heated to a pleasant 24ºC (there’s also a hot tub and sauna). Other recent additions include spa treatments, a poolside tapas bar and upstairs restaurant.

Thankfully, Bristol Lido’s Victorian pool is now heated

Afterwards, we’re torn between perusing the Scandi brands at Grace & Mabel, the ethical homeware at Movement Boutique and the macarons at Anna Cake Couture. Or perhaps we could go for a drink at the Avon Gorge Hotel overlooking that world-famous bridge – just one of the many reasons to visit this corner of Bristol.

Double rooms at Number 38 Clifton start from £130 including breakfast; number38clifton.co.uk

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Amy Adams

Amy Adams is Stylist's deputy production editor. She also oversees the magazine's Book Wars page. When she's not coming up with headlines or reviewing the next bestsellers, she's likely to be chasing after her new puppy Brian, who is yet to master recall.

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