We are now a shiny new website – please visit www.bristol-culture.com

19 04 2013

Bristol Culture is now a website. Please visit www.bristol-culture.com for all the same content that we have been writing over the last four years, from theatre to cafes to news to features, but in a shiny new format with some fantastic new features which will hopefully make the site much easier to navigate.

All of the content that has been built up over the last four years has been transferred over to the new site, and the content produced will also remain much the same. Just think a few more jazz hands.

We really hope you like the new look. If you want to get in touch, please email martin@bristol-culture.com or tweet @bristol_culture.

Thanks for reading,

Martin Booth

Bristol Culture homepage

Philth on Trenchard Street

18 04 2013

New street art by Philth has appeared in one of the most prominent graffiti spots in Bristol, underneath Banksy’s hanging man mural on Trenchard Street, best viewed from the bridge above on Park Street. Philth’s work is to accompany his new solo show at the nearby Weapon of Choice Gallery, where he has also painted a piece next to the front door…

Read more about Philth on Trenchard Street on the new Bristol Culture website.

Chomp at Bristol Temple Meads

18 04 2013

You have to look quite carefully to find them both, but there are now two food options at Temple Meads that are among the best in Bristol at what they provide. The trailblazer was Hart’s Bakery beneath the arches on the approach to the station, which people now travel from miles around to visit as well as being positioned ideally for a pit-stop before a long train journey.

When I spoke to Laura Hart last year before her new bakery opened, she described Temple Meads as “a food wasteland”. That has certainly now changed, however, thanks in no small part to her arrival and now due to another arrival, Chomp, which on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays is located by the side entrance to the station serving food to get meat-eaters salivating.

Chomp at Bristol Temple Meads

Chomp operate out of an old Citroen horse van imported from France. Owner Jake – the self-styled “Chief of Beef” – has done a hugely impressive job restoring the van, which was causing many passers-by to stop in their tracks when I visited yesterday.

Morning service from 7.30ish sees bacon butties served to hungry commuters, then lunch sees a daily-changing offering which yesterday was the black and blue burger (£5) with Stilton and mushrooms, a steak sandwich (£5) and chilli beef sandwich (£3.50).

My black and blue burger was terrific, served with bacon, beef from Hereford cattle farmed in the West Country and dry-aged for around 25 days, and a slightly toasted bun branded with the Chomp logo. Although it was a shame that soon after 1pm they had run out of mushrooms.

Chomp have recently organised two weekend pop-ups at 40 Alfred Place in Kingsdown with the Wiper & True brewery  – two of Bristol’s finest and most ambitious food and drink businesses joining forces – and have future plans including more pop-ups and other events.

There is no longer any excuse to buy an overpriced sandwich from WH Smith in the station entrance. Temple Meads is no longer a food wasteland.

Chomp Bristol Temple Meads

Chomp, Bristol Temple Meads (Temple Quay exit)

Website: www.chompgrill.co.uk
Twitter: @ChompGrill


18 04 2013

We love a good riot in Bristol. When Margaret Thatcher died, we rioted. When a Tesco wanted to open in Stokes Croft, we rioted. Further back in time in 1793, when tolls were reintroduced on Bristol Bridge, we rioted. That riot culminated in a massacre as the militia were called in and 14 rioters killed.

Riot!Riot! by Michael Manson is a reissued version of a book originally published in 1997 which details the characters involved the build-up to the riot and the lack of a proper enquiry afterwards.

Manson said: “While Bristolians are flocking to the cinema to see Les Miserables based around the massacre on the barricades in Paris few realise that there were similar events in Bristol.

“Young people who had been drinking in the ale houses protested against the authorities with fatal consequences. It is a fascinating episode in the city’s history that we felt deserved to be brought to a wider audience.”

Riot! is published by Bristol Books, a community interest company who publish important and untold stories about lives, communities, places and events that have significance and interest in Bristol and the surrounding area.

The book will be launched upstairs at Renato’s Restaurant, King Street at 6pm on Thursday, April 25. Manson will read an extract from Riot! and will be signing copies, while Steve Poole, Associate Professor of Social and Cultural History at UWE, will outline the significance of the events covered in the book.

Review: Priscilla, Queen of the Desert; Bristol Hippodrome

17 04 2013

Airborne divas, Tina Turner wigs with a mind of their own and the biggest technicolour flares you’ll ever see. Priscilla, Queen of the Desert makes no secret of what it will deliver in terms of spectacle; plunging the audience straight in at the deep end with an all-singing, all-dancing rendition of It’s Raining Men…

Read more on the new Bristol Culture website.

Cabinet member Aborigine hate scandal

17 04 2013

Gus Hoyt, Bristol City Council cabinet member for neighbourhood and environments, had an unfortunate Twitter auto-correct moment yesterday when talking about aubergines.

The Green councillor tweeted:

Gus Hoyt hated aboriginesAfter realising his error, he tweeted: “Mega-oops! ‘Aubergines’ must learn not to tweet as I walk. :/”



Pub of the week: The Alma Tavern

17 04 2013

There always seemed to be something of a missed opportunity at the Alma Tavern. It was a Clifton hostelry better known for having a theatre above it than for being a pub. With the help of a lick of paint, that opportunity has now been grasped and the Alma Tavern is slowly becoming known for its food and drink as well as its upstairs theatre.

Pub touches remain. There is a quiz here every Monday. The area at the far end of the bar remains resolutely unchanged other than regularly changing artwork on the walls. There is a piano. And the beer garden only has a few new pieces of furniture.

The real change has come at the front of the pub, with tables laid, tablecloths pressed and wine glasses shining. New head chef Gary Crossan has come up with four distinct menus: bar, lunch, dinner and Sunday lunch.

All mains on the bar menu cost £9.50 and range from the Alma burger (chorizo, Applewood smoked cheddar, beef tomato, baby gem and chunky chips), to “sausages of the moment” with mash, buttered greens and rosemary gravy.

A lunch time special sees one course for £8, two for £10 and three for £12, but it’s in the evening when the stars of the show appear, including Ashton Court venison steak, truffle dauphinoise potato, celeriac puree and port jus (£14), and pan-fried sea bass served with champ potato, braised chicory, rosemary and orange butter and fennel seed beignet (£13).

When I visited on a Thursday afternoon, there were six real ales on tap: Robinson’s Hoptimus Prime, St Austell Tribute, Box Steam Brewery Piston Broke, Bath Ales Gem, Lucky 18 and Sharpe’s Doom Bar.

Alma Tavern beer

The Alma Tavern, 18-20 Alma Vale Road, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 2HY. 0117 973 5171.


Video of Ghostpoet at Arnos Vale

17 04 2013

Ghostpoet’s gig at Arnos Vale Cemetery last month (read our review here) can now be watched as a video made by French bloggers and videographers La Blogotheque. The gig was the first of the Nokia Lumia Live Sessions, bringing live music to unusual locations across the UK.

Giant octopuses at Bristol Aquarium

16 04 2013

Two giant octopuses have appeared on the side of the Bristol Aquarium, designed by 3D illustrator Justin Dowling. The 10-metre high creatures appear to be smashing through the side of the building, with each brandishing a VW camper van in their tentacles.

On his website, Justin writes about his biggest ever commission: “I’m really pleased with the way it this turned out – it’s great to have the opportunity to show my work off in such a large format.

“The project came about as Joe Ravenhill at Ravenhill Design gave me a sketch of a giant octopus and said ‘make that’ and I was off!

“For me, the image needed to pass the ‘kid test’ – would my inner child like it? I remember looking at books as a kid with those detailed drawings that you could stare at for ages, picking out new things, and I wanted something like that.

“I’ve named the two octopuses Octi and Nocti for a little boy I know who loves octopuses, so hopefully he’ll like them!

“Joe wanted the images to appear ‘real’ from a certain perspective – so we had to take a lot of measurements and try and make it look as if you were looking through the wall at the octopus, and it was coming out and interacting with the environment.

“If you look closely you’ll see that the imagess reflect the roads and the buildings opposite, and you can see through a hole into the main hall of the aquarium.

“So far, everyone thinks it’s cool – which is nice as they have to walk past it every day and it’s absolutely huge!”

Bristol Aquarium giant octopus

Preview: Ablutions, Bristol Old Vic

16 04 2013

Burlesque dance, hallucinatory visions of Elvis Presley, Mormons and the Grand Canyon all feature in a new play opening today at the Bristol Old Vic. Ablutions, adapted from the novel by Patrick DeWitt, is from FellSwoop Theatre, last seen in Bristol at the Brewery Theatre in 2011 with Belleville Rendezvous.

They set the scene for Ablutions thus: “Picture yourself as a bartender, sipping top-shelf whiskey and watching your customers descend into nightly oblivion. Your heart is broken by the world around you and leaving your whiskey aside, you hatch a devious, unthinkable plan of escape…”