Hotel review

Artist Residence, Bristol, Hotel Review: “A youthful city break in a former boot factory” | Travel

What is the story?

When Justin Salisbury invited artists to revamp his family’s Brighton B&B in 2008, he couldn’t have known it was the humble beginning of one of the country’s coolest (mini)chains. Fourteen years later, Artist Residence has opened its fifth branch in St Pauls, a booming area of ​​Bristol.

What do we like?

This is the ideal hotel for a city break for young and old. The 23 rooms are impeccably appointed yet fun. You can have an upcycled armoire, a bamboo canopy bed, African-style table lamps, a hand-carved headboard, or a pampas grass mirror. My attic bedroom was bright and the bed so sumptuous I imagine it would be like sleeping on a cloud. Didn’t he have been for the three flights of stairs, I would have brought it home – as I would have the Victorian clawfoot tub, wraparound towels and large bottles of Bramley products, if I had the chance.

The Grade I listed building, formerly a boot factory, has been sympathetically renovated whilst retaining much of its character. The uncluttered walls of the rooms and public spaces such as the library lounge are adorned with canvases, prints and photographs. That’s very cool; as was the crowd at the bar-restaurant.

Here, tables span the beams that support the sky-high ceiling, and attentive staff whip up cocktails behind the brick bar. The atmosphere is pleasant: groups of friends sit on the wise velvet benches to chat, some eating, others simply drinking.

My friends and I started dinner by sharing a few of the small plates: hummus with marinated raw vegetables; padron peppers; salt and pepper squid with saffron aioli. We devoured them.

Our choice of dishes was however a little limited: the sole was not available, nor the tagine of chickpeas, spinach and zucchini. So the three of us, a little adventurous, opted for the crayfish linguine with lemon, parsley and chilli. It was lovely, although the chili and pepper were a bit overpowering next to the subtle crayfish.

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What’s nearby?

Gritty Stokes Croft, with its artsy pubs and cafes, is a stone’s throw away, while Cabot Circus, the town’s chic shopping centre, is a short walk away. Download the app, then pick up a Voi scooter from nearby Brunswick Square. This is the way to get around this city known for its hills and there are parking spaces everywhere. Then stroll through bustling Harborside, admire Georgian architecture in Clifton and head over the suspension bridge to explore the sprawling grounds of Ashton Court.

Ben Clatworthy was a guest of Artist Residence, which has double rooms from £125; sector from £12 (artistresidence.co.uk). Suitable for children; accepting dogs; restaurant

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