10 things to do this Valentines Day in Bristol
LIONEL Bart’s song Food Glorious Food will be sung loudly in Bristol when the musical Oliver arrives at The Hippodrome this winter-time.
It’s topical too as food tends to feature in Valentine’s Day gifts either via chocolate hearts or romantic meals out.
Although diners are unlikely to be like Oliver and asking for more, remember Shakespeare’s words “if music be the food of love, play on” and it could provide a special Valentine’s treat with a pre-theatre dinner followed by the musical which celebrated its 50th birthday in 2012.
The show runs until February 24.
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Christiaan De Villiers, general manager at The Hippodrome , said: “It’s fantastic that we are starting the New Year with Cameron Mackintosh’s new production of Oliver!
“This is the ultimate production of the musical ever to come to the theatre and long awaited, being the last date on this national tour. It’s also very exciting that we shall have a film star here during the run, as Samantha Barks who plays Nancy, stars as Eponine in the new blockbuster film of Les Miserables which opened in cinemas here in Bristol earlier in January. All in all, what more could we ask for.”
But Bristol has plenty to offer romantics as John Hirst, from Destination Bristol, explains.
“Bristol is packed with romantic places to indulge a loved one this Valentine’s Day. There are beautiful surroundings and landmarks, including the Clifton Suspension Bridge and Cabot Tower on Brandon Hill, plus laid-back activities to enjoy such as a boat trip around the Harbourside or even a hot air balloon ride over the stunning Avon Gorge,” he said.
“There are plenty of special offers and tempting deals to inspire romantic days out in Bristol and these are available on www.visitbristol.co.uk under Romantic Bristol.”
And to whet your appetite, we’ve picked out 10 places where you could enjoy this special date in the annual calendar.
1. Romantic break – Best Western The Gables Hotel is planning a three course dinner in its Brasserie and Bar for £22 per person but if you fancy a break with a loved one instead. An overnight stay, full English breakfast, dinner, a silk red rose, half bottle of Champagne and chocolates starts at £99 per couple with the option of a four poster room at a supplement of £50 per room per night.
Best Western The Gables Hotel , Bristol Road, Falfield, South Gloucestershire, GL12 8DL T: 01454 260502
2. Panoramic Views – with panoramic views of Victoria Street and Bristol Bridge promised at Marco’s Olive Branch, loved ones can take in stunning views of the city as well as gazing into a loved one’s eyes this Valentine’s Day. The restaurant offers traditional Italian food and Sardinian cuisine and is taking bookings for February 14 now.
Marco’s Olive Branch Italian Restaurant & Bar , 76 Victoria Street, Bristol, BS1 6DR T: 0117 922 6688
3. Dishes to share – Browns are dishing up a three course menu which includes a sharing Beef Wellignton, Lobster and Scallop Thermidor or Ricotta, Beetroot and White Truffle Tortellini for Valentines’s Day. The three course menu is £29.95 plus supplements on selected mains per person.
Browns Bristol , 38 Queens Road, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1RE T: 0117 930 4777
4. Love Food – tempt the tastebuds with the Love Food Festival on February 10 at Paintworks , Bristol. Visitors will be able to taste and buy an array of goodies perhaps with an eye on cooking up a treat for a friend or loved one just four days later. But the organisers say Valentine’s Day isn’t just about couples but about sharing food and spending time with family and friends too. So the festival also boasts a host of activities including arts, crafts and face painting as well as a sewing workshop.
Love Food Festival, Bristol and Exeter House, Lower Approach Road, Temple Meads, Bristol, BS1 6QS
Paintworks , Bath Road, Bristol, BS4 3EH T: 0117 971 4320
5. All aboard – be shipshape and Bristol fashion for Valentine’s Day aboard The Glassboat berthed closed to Bristol Bridge which is sure to be at atmospheric night out. The Glassboat offers special gift vouchers including Champagne Dinner for Two – a romantic gift with a difference.
Glassboat Restaurant , Welsh Back, Bristol, BS1 4SB T: 0117 929 0704
6. Chocolate heart – end the meal at Carluccio's in Bristol’s Quakers Friars with a classic romantic gesture, a chocolate heart. A four course meals costs £25 per head excluding wine. Italian food dishes include ones to share with your loved one enhancing the experience.
Carluccio's, Quakers Friars, Bristol, BS1 3BU T: 0117 933 8538
7. Iconic Bristol – maybe a proposal is planned for February 14 and where better than on, under or close to Brunel’s iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge? And just a short way away is Avon Gorge hotel where you can celebrate a yes to the question. With incredible views of the bridge, the hotel also boasts stunning views of the surrounding countryside too, although a daylight meal would obviously be best to enjoy those to the maximum effect. The Bridge Café is open from 12-2.30pm and 6pm-10pm from Monday to Saturday and 6-9pm on Sunday.
Avon Gorge hotel , Sion Hill, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 4LD T: 0117 9738 955
8. Mouthwatering delights – oysters, caviar, Champagne, duck, West country beef and Hampshire Down organic lamb are among the Valentine menu choices at Jacks Brasserie. Canapes launch the evening followed by a three course meal, Champagne truffles and coffee at £39.95 per person. Jacks first opened on the Harbourside in May 2007 and was followed by Jacks on Portishead Marina the following year.
Jacks Bar and Brasserie , 1 Hannover Quay, Harbourside, Bristol, BS1 5JE T: 0117 945 3990
Jacks Bar and Brasserie , Spinnaker, Harbour Road, Portishead, BS20 7AW T: 01275 397304
9. Music – Duke Orsino opens Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night with the words: “If music be the food of love, play on”. And at The Living Room diners can enjoy music from Steve W from 8pm on February 14. The Living Roomis a restaurant and piano bar on the city’s Harbourside with an a la carte menu available from noon until 10pm daily.
The Living Room, Explore Lane, Harbourside, Bristol, BS1 5TY T: 0117 924 3993
10. Japanese cuisine – Continuing the musical theme Obento in Bristol has three individual Tatami style rooms equipped with the state of the art karaoke and sound equipment – perfect for serenading a loved one perhaps. It has also devised a set menu for February 14 called Romance, this four course feast costs £22 per head and includes a glass of Champagne per guest.
Obento , 69 Baldwin Street, Bristol, BS1 1QZ T: 0117 929 7392