The summer is still (kind of) in full swing, and will hopefully linger on into September. Here’s a list of some of our top terraces, where you can dine al fresco or indulge in an ice-cold pint on a warm summer’s day.
Avon Gorge Hotel’s terrace boasts the most stupendous views of the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Its selling point is the panoramic view of Brunel’s masterpiece and the rolling Somerset hills – it has the best view in Bristol bar none, and is the perfect place to sit back, watch day turn to night with spectacular sunsets, enjoy a glass of wine and watch the world go by. Only a few minutes’ walk from picturesque Clifton Village, the hotel is in a great location for anyone thinking of staying in Bristol – make sure you insist on a gorge-view room and you won’t be disappointed.
In the prime location of King Street (or Beer Street as it is more fondly known) The Volley has one of the biggest and best selections of ales, lagers and craft beers, so choosing what to order becomes an event in itself. The new addition of a roof terrace has been welcomed by Bristol’s thirstiest customers this summer. This roof-top garden boasts grass and flower boxes, making it a safe haven in the middle of town. You won’t find a more peaceful spot for an after-work pint and some top-notch posh pub fare in the centre of town. They also offer some of the finest roasts in the city. They are big-screen ready for all things sporty in the sun – make sure you get there early if you want a seat… this is Bristol’s new terrace hot-spot.
Bambalan is actually Puerto Rican for lazy bum, and this stylish bar’s setting is perfect. With its colourful interior, huge terrace and outdoor ping pong tables, Bambalan feels like the perfect holiday destination, although it can be found smack-bang in the centre of Bristol. Thanks to the cracking view of the Harbourside, it’s easy to forget about the traffic below as you enjoy your surroundings with a great beer and some of the yummy mezze dishes. Enjoy dining al fresco for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, or come here for a game of ping pong. Whatever you’re in for, you’ll love the buzzing atmosphere.
Walter’s on the Square is the latest addition to the Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel. Built in the 1860s, this luxurious hotel has a peaceful atmosphere that transports visitors a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of Park Street. Walter’s on the Square has a small terrace over looking the stunning Bristol Cathedral, and offers small tapas dishes, nibbles and sharers to be enjoyed during long evenings in the summer sun. The real selling point has to be the delightful cocktails; these smile-inducing concoctions are subtle, sophisticated and refreshing. The Grape Escape comes highly recommended – the blend of white rum, grapes and elderflower topped with ginger ale is like summer in a mason jar.
The Old Market Assembly completes the trifecta of Bristol’s finest establishment, as the latest addition to sister venues No1 Harbourside and The Canteen on Stokes Croft. This place really does have everything on offer, including great food, excellent beer, a theatre, live music (and dancing). To top it off, a new roof terrace has been opened just in time for the summer months. It’s a great place to meet friends and catch up over a nice iced coffee or one of the moreish cocktails. For the post-work crowd that have worked up a thirst, the three-for-two deal is a real winner. Head there between 5 and 7 on weekdays until the end of August to make the most of this deal.
Occupying a converted red-brick warehouse, Mud Dock is an all-day hangout spot, ideal for coffee, brunch, lunch and dinner. With one of the best views of Bristol’s floating harbour in the city, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a beer in the sunshine. An eclectic mix of cycling paraphernalia (Cycleworks occupies the downstairs), world cuisine and a well-stocked bar combine to make Mud Dock an excellent choice for al fresco fun, but the suntrap terrace is clearly the key reason for their popularity.
A cinema doesn’t sound like a good place to visit on a hot day, but the Watershed’s terrace offers a great hideout and a view over the water for those who want somewhere a little quieter. The café bar is open every day from morning until late, offering great food at reasonable prices. Their ethos is simple: stay fresh, local and seasonal. With a low bubble of chatter in the background and lovely views, this is the perfect place to grab a coffee with a friend or make use of the free Wi-Fi to catch up on a bit of life admin. Since June, Watershed’s first ever Gin Festival has been giving people a taste from distilleries around the world – you can check it out until the 4th September. If gin isn’t your thing, the Ale Festival ( running from the 5th September right up until the end of November) is also a great shout.
Although not strictly a terrace, the top deck of the Grain Barge combines two of the greatest things about Bristol – boats and beer. Moored up in Hotwells, this converted historic vessel is bursting with character and in a prime location to admire the Harbourside. With Brunel’s SS Great Britain in sight, Ashton Court in the distance and a river full of boats, barges and soggy people falling off their paddleboards, there is always something to entertain you. A great selection of keg and cask beers changes frequently, so there is always something new to sample. All aboard the Grain Barge for a beer on the top deck. Ahoy.