Independent spirit make Old Market
ON Monday The Sunday Times released its annual list of the coolest places to live in the UK - the places it deems the most highly-sought-after destinations to call home.
While Bristol is no stranger to such accolades, the area of the city which stars in The Sunday Times’ rundown will no doubt have taken plenty of people by surprise.
It isn’t one of the usual suspects, the likes of Stokes Croft or Montpelier, but is instead Old Market which flies the flag for the city in the top 10.
The area hasn’t always had the best reputation and while there will be many people raising an eyebrow at its inclusion, a strong case can definitely be argued for it.
We think Old Market is, as The Sunday Times suggests, worthy of being recognised in such a glowing way. Here’s why:
One of the best things about Old Market without question is its selection of bars, with plenty of options in a relatively small area. The fantastic Old Market Assembly, which opened at the tail end of 2015, acted as a catalyst for other businesses to follow suit.
The spacious bar, which also includes the brilliant Wardrobe Theatre as well its own bakery, is from the same team behind The Canteen in Stokes Croft - another cultural hub which opened bang in the middle of a once-troubled area - and attracts people all over the city.
To The Moon, meanwhile, just off the main road on Midland Road, is a quaint and cosy venue selling a range of locally-sourced drinks and delicious cocktails, while the newlyopened Elmers Arms again offers something different, specialising in real ales and real soul music.
If you want a more traditional pub you’re also not short of options. There’s the newly-renovated Punchbowl, The Old Market Tavern, The Stag and Hounds and of course The Volunteer Tavern just around the corner, which is arguably one of the city’s finest neighbourhood boozers.
Fantastic bars and pubs
Top notch coffee
If you’re in need of a pick me up, some of the best coffee in Bristol can be found in Old Market. One of the finest places to grab a brew is Alex Does Coffee, headed up by - you guessed it - a coffee-expert named Alex, who sources beans from Extract in St Werburgh’s to make beverages of a very high standard.
Alongside that there’s the brilliant Cafe No. 25a, owned by the same man as No 12 in Easton, which not only serves sensational coffee but quite possibly the best cheese toasties in town. Over the road you’ve got Exchange’s equally impressive coffee, while West Street Kitchen also knows how to serve a proper brew.
If you’re partial to a bit of live music, Old Market has you covered.
The Exchange in Old Market