February is a month full of birthdays when it comes to my friends and family. That, and October. And this year it led to hitting the road and heading out of town for two out of the four weekends. This is a perfect balance because it leaves lots of time to sleep and rest on alternating weekends, which is important to a lazy sleepy person such as myself.
Our friend Dave turned 30 last week, so we rented a car and hit the road for the 4+ hour drive over to the West Country to surprise him and have a whirlwind weekend in Bristol. I made a playlist and everything! Jon and Dave used to live together at university in Plymouth, and then again in Korea (which is when I met him) and so it was no surprise that the birthday dinner took place at a Dave’s favorite Korean restaurant in Bristol, Surakhan. There were ten of us, and we drank soju and toasted the birthday boy while stuffing ourselves with all manner of Korean deliciousness. Then we hit up a nearby karaoke bar, Lollipop, and sang and drank until we could sing no more. This is essentially how we spent most weekends in Korea, so it made sense to re-enact it in honor of the birthday boy.
There was Korean beer, which is horrible, but worth drinking for tradition’s sake.
And I forgot how hilly Bristol is – it’s essentially the San Francisco of England. Good to burn those calories before/during/after a night of drinking though! Leave your heels at home, though.
There’s also a fair amount of interesting….statues? Installations? Things? Around Bristol, particularly in the main city center near the docks where we found ourselves. See the first picture above, that giant reflective sphere. And here, a stag beetle!
In the morning, Jon and I woke up surprisingly fresh faced (thank tiny baby Jesus for coconut water, I swear by it) and decided to go for a wander around Bristol, mostly in search of delicious breakfast before we had to get back on the road.
We found a dreamy breakfast – with a beautiful view – at Spoke and Stringer. Just look at those plates- intensely beautiful. I had the oat pancake with a side of poached egg and a piece of bacon, Jon had their version of an English breakfast.
And the restaurant was inside this lovely building, too.
Bristol is in the West Country and has two main rivers, the Avon and the Frome – hence all these boats! It also has amazing architecture everywhere – Georgian, Edwardian, huge Gothic cathedrals, all sorts. It’s beautiful, and walking along the docks is a great way to spend time (particularly if you’re short on it). I really wanted to check out the Georgian House Museum, but (insert sad trombone) it’s been closed since January 1st and won’t open until April 1st. Who does that? Support your local councils people, they obviously need your money so that they don’t have to close for the entire winter season!
Although we were back on the highway by 3pm, it was a great little weekend, and Bristol always gets a thumbs up from me, any time of year. Maybe next time I’ll actually get to check out a museum or two….fingers crossed.