A certain kind of Saturday in Bristol, Year of Our Lord 2014

Not quite fair, but somehow it makes me think of the dear old place.


I’m training for ‘the 10K’ or something, so I’ll run for a while through the rain.


Late morning

There’s that pop-up gallery. The coffee stall across the way is in a vintage French van and they have freshly roasted Ethiopian beans.


Early afternoon

Off to that new gastro–pub–bar to eat a locally sourced artisan burger on brioche with pulled pork, treble-cooked chips and slaw. The slaw will be purple; coleslaw is a pallid carrot-flecked nonsense. The bar will be fitted out with scrubbed wooden furniture, which may or may not match, depending on whether it’s reclaimed old or faux-worn new; the food will be served on slate and wood. The varnish may have been rubbed off the tables by the passage of many beards. I’ll drink craft beer or cider. A punk IPA, I think.


Late afternoon

More craft beer and some retro games at that new novelty pub–bar.

Retro game characters

Evening 1

It’ll be cocktail hour, which is to say happy hour. I’ll probably drink classics with cheerful irony, saving the kooky stuff for later. Hell, I may even have a Pina Colada. Shall meet the other half there.


Evening 2

Peel away from friends to have a romantic steak and red wine dinner at that new steak and red wine restaurant. Some nice retro touches, everything dark, plush and aged, like the meat. The steak will be exceptionally good and expensive and the wine—Malbec?—will be heavy and come in vast goblets. Nothing about the provenance and character of the meat will be left unsaid by the restaurant. It isn’t small plates dining, though, so we won’t be asked whether we’ve eaten there before and understand the concept of, well, sharing.


 Evening 3

The gig. Thingamagig’s band are playing.


Evening 4

To that new speakeasy cocktail joint; the bar staff are like poet–baristas and have, oh, bags of attitude. Have to ring to be let in, if they’ll have us. The drinks will be mixed earnestly and well. Their deconstructed Old Fashioned is a mixology marvel: alchemy.


Evening 5

Falafels from a van on the way home. I wish there were more late-night street food; bao or taquitos. It’d set me up better for tomorrow’s participatory live theatre experience. If I feel too hungover I’ll switch to the ‘bad’ film festival, there’s nothing like irony and the company of likeminded people to make one feel better.


Paul Fishman (Bristol, December 2014)

Image 1: G K Chesterton 1908, 2011 The Man Who Was Thursday (Harmondsworth: Penguin)

Image 2: Proverbs 28, King James Bible

Image 3: Andrew Stevovich 1998 ‘Nadine with Espresso’. Credit: Andr.V.S. CC BY-SA 3.0.

Image 6. ‘Nosing glass with Renegade Saint Lucia Rum, cocktail glass with Manhattan and Old Fashioned glass with Tequila Old Fashioned.’ Credit: Marler, Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 3.0.

Image 7. Charles Portis 1979, 2005 The Dog of the South (London: Bloomsbury)

Image 8. Seattle band Edmund Wayne. Credit: Kencf0618, Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 3.0.

Image 9. ‘At Cynthia Von Buhler’s Speakeasy Dollhouse’. Credit: Serena1963, Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 3.0.

Image 10. ‘A falafel sandwich on pitta bread’. Credit: Mera136, Wikimedia Commons. CC BY 2.0.

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