I’ve just come across a fantastic new linkup called ‘Style In Your City’, launched by two of my favourite Bristol-based bloggers – Lori of Wild & Grizzly and Fritha of Tigerlilly Quinn. The aim is to encourage people to showcase their town or city, and anyone can get involved via blogs, Twitter and Instagram.
The first theme is ‘the place I call home’. For me, home is a little red-brick Victorian terrace on Bristol’s Gloucester Road (well, a side street just off it, to be exact). We moved in last October after a stressful year of viewings, chains and solicitors, and we love everything about it – the period features, the sunny garden, even the wonky walls and floors. But most of all, we love the location.
I’ve lived in various parts of Bristol since moving here in 2001, but Gloucester Road is by far my favourite. For those who don’t know it, it’s one of the most vibrant streets in the city, stretching from edgy Stokes Croft up through leafy Bishopston to Horfield’s neat rows of 19th-century housing. It’s lined with independent boutiques and delis – the greatest concentration of independent shops in the UK according to some, although I have no idea if that’s actually true. Yes it’s a little tatty in places, but that just adds to the charm. There are annual arts trails and street parties, plus some beautiful parks – and this being Bristol, they’re normally decorated with graffiti knitting or something similarly quirky. And the food! There are so many places to eat – Bakers & Co for delicious coffee and cakes, Boston Tea Party for inventive brunches and lazy lunches, The Grace for cocktails and tapas, The Urban Standard for American comfort food…
I love turning the corner from our quiet little street each morning and emerging into the buzz of Gloucester Road. On my walk to work I pass florists and grocers laying out their wares, children skating to school, commuters queuing for coffee, and cafés setting out their tables on the pavement. There’s always something new to look at – a bit of street art, a fancy shop window (the local hardware stores in particular seem to be having a competition to see who can create the most eye-catching display). When I walk back again in the evening, candles and lanterns have appeared in the bars and restaurants, and people are milling around over post-work drinks; any stresses from the day tend to fade away very quickly.
Best of all, when I turn the corner back onto our road and step through our front door, I’m greeted by my other half and our resident fuzz ball Kanga the Bengal cat – the two things that truly make this little corner of the city feel like home.
All photography by Abi Dare