Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Atypical Tuesday

Sometimes life can get a little too comfortably routine and pedestrian.  That is where teenagers come in very handy.  In fact, there's no doubt they were invented to kick routine firmly in the pants and challenge the status quo.

And so it was that last Tuesday evening, we found ourselves pootling down the motorway with two teens occupying the back seats, destined for Bristol.  The purpose of their visit was to see underground American art-rock music artist Yves Tumor.  Ours was principally to operate as a taxi service (the train was just too pricey and unreliable), but we love an excuse to visit Bristol.

Using the fantastic parking app Just Park, we parked in a quiet residential street not far from Temple Meads train station - which would have cost us £19.50 - for just over £7.00.  

Relying on Google Maps, we took the most direct route to find the music venue, The Marble Factory.  The most direct route it may have been, but it was patchily lit and at times felt as though we had strayed onto a film set created for a "gritty, urban" brief.

City at night...

The temperature was hovering around zero and the moon was bright.  After photographing this crane, I noticed that a lens flare had created a second moon.  Surreal huh?  A happy mistake.

We had the briefest of encounters with the impressive Victorian Temple Meads train station where we grabbed an on-the-go snack and drink before parting company with the gig-goers.

As is par for the course for us, we soon got lost.  It turns out that not all city centre sign posts do in fact lead into the city centre.  I stopped to do up my laces and was asked by a couple of drunks if I was OK.  I think they assumed I was feeling nauseous.  At this point we had probably walked the best part of three miles and hunger was getting the better of me.  We asked a friendly looking passer by for directions.  She suggested the King Street and as she was heading that way for a Clairvoyant evening, we joined her for the last part of her walk, taking a short cut through a dimly lit car park.  Finally, we reached King Street and realised that we had taken an elaborate detour to reach this now familiar destination.

King Street is a vibrant, pedestrianised street lined with a choice of eclectic bars and restaurants with al fresco wooden bench seating.  Even in the late November chill, many students opted to sit outside.

We parted company from our good samaritan tour guide and headed inside an inviting looking Pizzeria not far from the Old Vic Theatre.

Inside, the walls were decorated with decades of Old Vic theatre posters.  There was pizza by the slice and a good selection of beers by the local Left Handed Giant Brewery.  I opted for the vegan pizzas and honestly thought there had been a mix up with the ingredients; the cheese was that good.

As it was a week night, we were joined by only four other Tuesday night revellers during our visit.  The staff were laid back and friendly and the ambience was relaxed.

I loved what they had done with the place!

Hunger sated, we  reluctantly left the warmth of our cosy corner and decided to head back towards Temple Bar.  The temperature was now plummeting and we wanted to be as close to the Marble Factory as possible when Mr Tumor had finished his set.

By now, some of the eateries close the King Street were closing for business.

On any other given week, we may have been busy doing nothing, watching some trash TV, surfing the internet or answering emails.  Bristol's around a 90 minute drive from us, so it's not the obvious destination for a night out, but it made a refreshing change and I wish we'd had longer.

Check out this handsome pub!

In no time at all, we found ourselves back in the Temple Quay area and I took the opportunity to capture some of the lights and sights that caught my eye...

...like the impressive Valentine Bridge which snakes across Bristol's floating harbour in a newly developed mix use area behind Temple Meads station.  The bridge caused some controversy when barriers were erected to encourage cyclists to dismount before the authorities relented after complaints were lodged.

Cyclists are everywhere in Bristol.

A rear window moment.

Feeling the chill again, we headed into the promising sounding but totally soulless Wetherspoons pub The Knights Templar for a caffeine pick-me-up and carpet shot.

My friend, Vix recently enlightened me through her blog (Vintage Vixen: Black Country Tales - Viva Bilstonia! (vintagevixon.blogspot.com) that each of the carpets of Wetherspoons pubs are bespoke - unique to the building or locality and handmade, valued at around £30,000 apiece! This one's for you Vix!  I think it was probably the best part of this pub. 

I also found this interesting reading material courtesy of the Wetherspoons Magazine.  This article, penned by Nik Antona, the Chairman of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), referenced the illegal demolition of our local landmark The Crooked House.  Investigations continue, arrests have been made and the campaign continues, in case you're wondering.  

At around 10.30, we took a short stroll to the Marble Factory, a move we timed perfectly to coincide with the end of the gig and there ended a tremendous and atypical Tuesday evening.  Thanks Bristol!

On the return journey, the teens took over the music and I have to say, Yves Tumor's not at all bad!

I'll leave you with a taste.


  1. every excuse is welcome to break a bland routine.
    thank you for the brillant photos of bristol at night!
    specially the pizza location looks very inviting and the food yummy..... glad you found a guide and did´t got lost forever ;-D
    but i must say - 90s berlin was MUCH darker - some streets even were lit still with gas lanterns. once i crashed with my bike into a (black) car invisible parked on the bike lane...... but the city was sooo romantic and wild back then.
    now off to watch mr. yves...

    1. Thank you!
      Oh I so wish I had visited Berlin in the 90s...to experience that atmosphere you describe. I wonder if there's anywhere in the world comparable now? xxx

  2. I've never made it to Bristol, just passed it on the motorway on our way up to Wales. Your Bristol at night photos are very atmospheric, some of the grittier ones reminding me of Antwerp in the 80s, when friends and I often walked in the run-down harbour area at night. Now all very gentrified ...
    Thank you for letting me tag along vicariously, as life has been feeling quite pedestrian here lately. xxx

    1. You're welcome! To be honest, this wasn't our favourite part of Bristol. It was all too shiny and new, but King Street was a delight! xxx

  3. Yay! Great Spoons carpet capture! It becomes a bit of an addiction. There's two Spoons in Bristol, one was far better than the other one. Weird, isn't it?
    Your shots of Bristol at night are fantastic, you've really captured the city's edge, I find it far more interesting and alternative than London . We used to love trading there.
    Yves Tumor is a new one on me, I'm off for a Google! xxx

    1. It does! Yes, we visited the other one last year. Much better but the other side of Bristol on this occasion sadly.
      Thank you! I agree with you. London doesn't feel as authentic these days.
      Enjoy Yves! xxx


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