This is Bristol

Getting to know Bristol courtesy of Hannah Brittain

I am a born and bred Bristolian. Having left Bristol for University and then attracted to the bright lights of London, where I qualified as a solicitor and met my husband, a Londoner, I was drawn back to Bristol after 10 years and upon the birth of my first child. Mainly to be closer to family and for help with childcare but also because it had dawned on me (and this was pre-pandemic so I was ahead of the game) that Bristol was where it was at. Famous for its vibrant music (Portishead and Massive Attack come from Bristol) and art scene (Banksy being the obvious name on everyone’s lips) and for being a creative media and entrepreneurial hub, but also for its green spaces and foodie culture. Recently named by the Sunday Times as ‘one of the best places to live in the UK’ in 2022 for both wealth and happiness.  


So what is it about Bristol that makes it, well, Bristol?


To sum up the perks of Bristol and why it is such a great place to live and work, I would start with the fact that it is well placed for an easy escape, with quick access to beautiful countryside and seaside. It is full of good places to eat and drink, packed with independent shops and high streets (Gloucester Road is the longest road of independent shops in the UK) and is fantastic for families, with great schools and leisure activities (as a family we are regular visitors of Aerospace to see Concorde, Bristol Museum, M Shed and Bristol Zoo Gardens) and there are jobs a plenty (professional, creative, hi-tech). Above all, Bristol has its own quirky, creative, independent and almost bohemian culture that draws the Londoners down in droves. Don’t even get me started on the house prices due to this mass migration! 


Pumpkin picking

I particularly love Bristol at this time of year (autumn) when the leaves on the trees on Bristol Downs turn a pretty auburn brown and the conkers fall (a visit to Westonbirt Arboretum on the outskirts of the city in the autumn is a must) with Halloween and Bonfire night just around the corner. As a family we thoroughly enjoy all the local pumpkin picking, bonfire and fireworks nights and to really scare the kids at Halloween we take them to spooky Wookey Hole Caves.  


The festive season

Then comes Christmas, with a trip to Clifton Village to see the fancy Christmas Tree at the Mall Gardens with it twinkly lights, directly outside the over-the-top but fabulously festively dressed The Ivy restaurant. Christmas is also not Christmas without a trip down Park Street to see the Christmas lights and on to Harbourside for a warm mulled wine or cider by the boats, followed by a visit to the famous Bristol Hippodrome for the annual Christmas Panto. Although as my boys are young, one still a toddler, we prefer to take them to the Redgrave Theatre Christmas Panto, aimed at a slightly younger audience. This years Aladdin has caused some excitement.  



Dining out

When it comes to adult time, a firm favourite for eating out during the festive season, or any time of year for that matter, is Wilsons restaurant. Tucked away on a local side road in Redland, just around the corner from a local institution The Kensington Arms pub, where we often start with a pre-dinner cocktail. Headed up by chef Jan Ostle, with a deliberately limited menu serving fresh local produce including vegetables grown from its own farm, it is truly a hidden gem. Since Bristol is known for being one of the greenest cities in the UK, it is not surprising that Wilsons has been recently awarded a Michelin Green Star for sustainability. Upon food critic Jay Raynor visiting and giving it his seal of approval, being awarded this accolade was perhaps inevitable. 

Another favourite restaurant in our household, deemed worthy of booking a babysitter for a ‘date night’ is Little French in the heart of Westbury Park village. Another local gem headed up by Freddy Bird formally of The Lido, who keeps popping up on the television. This bistro is little and it is French and up there with the best. A romantic table for two and an order placed for their cote de beouf with a side of aligot is worth the months wait for a table, it will blow your mind. 

And lest not forget good old Bristol Lido, a Victorian sanctuary nestled in the heart of Clifton. A cool urban oasis tucked inside a courtyard of Georgian Terraces comprising of a spa, restaurant, outdoor heated (only just!) pool. A great place to retreat to and relax and pretend that one doesn’t have kids for the day. 


About Hannah

I am a mum to two young energetic boys, Frank and Rafe, who keep me extremely busy and remind me on a daily basis that the real work starts at home. The ‘bedtime battles’ can certainly be exhausting. To combat this and my ongoing sleep deprivation, I enjoying drinking a lot of coffee (you can find me in Burra on Lower Redland Road post school run), wine and practising yoga, the perfect combination for attaining a happy balanced life!  


Working a 9-5 office based job with a daily commute and juggling school and nursery runs, sickness bugs and homework can be a logistical nightmare on the best of days. I joined IDR because it is a modern, fresh and forward thinking law firm offering working parents with real flexibility, essential for an authentic work and family life balance. Cases, client service and client care are always a priority, however this is aligned with my families’ daily needs wherever possible. This is particulary prevalent around Christmas time when school nativity plays, visits to Santa’s grotto and the obligatory Christmas Pantomime are of upmost priority. I am grateful for IDRs family flex culture which enables me to attend these events and make precious memories with my boys and not be plagued with mum guilt for being absent or distracted due to work commitments


Hannah heads up our Charity Legacy dispute area here at IDR Law. 

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