Bristol * A Day on Gloucester Road

gloucester road

Breakfast

Start the day with a wander into Harvest which opens at the very civilised time of
9.30, pretty much insisting that you shouldn’t get up before then. With the cheapest and most local eggs available this side of town (£1.08 for 6, or 18p per egg, bring your old egg boxes to fill) these eggs are not just saving the pennies but also small local farms and many a chicken from the horrors of industrial food production… Get a locally baked loaf from Hobbs House bakery for your toast, also in Harvest or pace the few shops up to the Breadstore to be met by a knee-weakening array of wheaten deliciousness. Salivate over everything from hot miniature donuts to courgette and mushroom loaf, from huge slabs of rocky road to a proper German black bread all at good old fashioned prices. Head home to devour it all while it’s warm, stopping off quickly in La Ruca to choose from the wall of teas and imaginatively selected coffees, or to pick one up from their café upstairs. Alternatively eschew all of the above and head to Café Ronak for a delicious, grease free cooked breakfast (with lots of vegetarian and vegan options) at great prices. On a sunny day sit in the little back garden and chill out with a smoothie….
After such a wholesome breakfast you will probably be in need of some exercise, and Gloucester road can provide it in two varieties:

1. Shopping

From cheap clothes to records to furniture from the 70s, it’s all here. Be sure to stop in at repsychoRepsycho for the real vintage experience, not missing the emporium that is upstairs, as well as its neighbour Clic Sargent whose collection of vintage spoons and lumberjack shirts, as well as upcycled scrunchies and French knickers is unmatched. Wander into the plethora of charity shops, it is guaranteed that you won’t leave empty handed. Stop by at the record shop by the Gallimaufry (named simply ‘8’), then carry on up to the Amnesty book shop and pick up a work of literature for the modest price of 10p… a gamble worth taking.

2. Not Shopping

Hockney-esq Cafe

Hockney-esq Cafe

If funds are low take your exercise for free by turning off the Gloucester road at the road before the Hobgoblin pub and walk up the few roads to St Andrew’s Park, hang out spot of many a campervan owner and many more excited dogs. There’s even a little tea van bedecked with bunting and pot plants if hunger or thirst strikes unexpectedly, and toilets decorated in the style of David Hockney… how civilised.

Lunch

Try the Gallimaufry for quality English fare, Ezo for Turkish or Streetfood for cheap but delicious noodles.

Afternoon Tea

There is only one real option here, Tart! Located at the bottom of Gloucester Road by the Sainsbury’s, with its baby blue exterior and window full of tiered cake stands, this is the real deal. Or if coffee is on the cards, head further up the road to the cosy Coffee #1, famed for its extravagant seasonal drinks and delicious cakes.

Dinner

You’re cooking? No problem! Forego the overpriced and poorly stocked Sainsbury’s and head up to Scoopaway for the cheapest in bulk buying: they stock everything from granola to peppercorns, measured out and paid for by weight. Carry on up the road and head into The Fish Shop for the catch of the day, all sustainably conscious and locally sourced. For the best selection of fruit and veg head to Gardener’s Patch just past the fishmonger’s where a carrier bag full of goodies shouldn’t set you back much more than a fiver.

Drinks

Gloucester Road is spoilt for choice when it comes to watering holes… so unless you are planning a pub crawl it is best to stick to a small area. Start at the Prince of Wales for that traditional pub feel with a typically Bristolian mural covered exterior. Cross the road up to the Gallimaufry for its cosy, rustic vibe (and deliciously rustic pub snacks), then pop next door to the Blue Lagoon, recently refurbished and often host to a zany selection of live acts, or cross over to the Hobgoblin for a spectacular range of ales. If “old man pub” is more your thing then don’t miss out the Foresters just up from the Hobgoblin and, for that real Gloucester road charm head down to the Cat and Wheel by the Arches for karaoke, a taste of their eccentric regulars and their very own Black Rat ciders … which might just finish you off. Be sure to stop by the Grecian Kebab House for top notch late night nosh on your way home.

Click here for a map and more on the joys of Gloucester Road 

Amelia Eppel

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