Bristol Jam at Bristol Old Vic is a festival of improvisation, showcasing impromptu comedy, music, poetry, dance, drama and storytelling (until 11 November).
The 160th Autumn Exhibition at the Royal West of England Academy runs throughout November, with hundreds of works by established and unknown artists on sale.
St Nicholas Market’s Source Food Hall & Café serves up seasonal dishes alongside a food hall stocked with top-quality meat, fish, cheese and charcuterie. No time for a leisurely lunch? Wander through the market’s Glass Arcade, where global street food, freshly squeezed juices and Bristol’s feted Pieminister pies await. And few places beat the Olive Shed (Floating Harbour, Princes Wharf, (0)117 929 1960) for atmospheric waterside views, good wine and spot-on tapas.
Ticks all the gastro pub boxes with hearty dishes like fish stew and massive steaks, a pretty courtyard and real ales; the hot cider is a sellout at the first sign of frost. The Lido Restaurant (Oakfield Place, (0)117 933 9530) serves up well-presented modern European dishes, with views of the beautifully renovated Victorian lido.
Runcible Spoonis adored by Stokes Croft’s defiantly anti-capitalist locals. Run as a worker’s co-operative, it champions seasonal British food with imaginative dinner menus, Saturday fry-ups and hangover-defying Sunday roasts. Montpelier stalwart Bell’s Diner (1-3 York Road, (0)117 924 0357) takes things up a notch with its serene dining room, Blumenthal-esque tasting menus and sophisticated wine list.
Bristol’s Lido & Spa is heated to perfection for year-round open-air swims. Non-members are welcome on weekdays (1pm-4pm).
(rooms from €87/£70) Offers much more than just a convenient location. There’s a lovely courtyard garden, bathrooms stocked with White Company products, an honesty bar and, most importantly, very reasonable rates.
Set in a Georgian townhouse, Number 38 (rooms from €124/£100) has put Bristol on the boutique hotel map with its sleek decor, city views and sterling breakfasts. The green expanses of Clifton Down are just across the road.
Love Bristol Pop Up Bakery sells locally sourced baked goods. In Montpelier, La Belle Boutique (47 Picton Street) houses a beautifully curated mix of vintage clothing and homeware.
Hip but undeniably grown-up, Milk Thistle takes its cocktails seriously. Once you’ve gained entry (ring the doorbell or book ahead), you’ll find a creative drinks list and strict house rules: no name-dropping, fancy dress, swearing, hooting, shouting or shrieking. You have been warned.
Hausbar mixes perfect – and potent – cocktails in a speakeasy-style basement. Ring the bell for entry.
Come 10pm at the weekend, Canteen is signposted by a sizeable queue. Head here early to beat the crowds, claim a sofa and tuck into the good-value bar menu before the nightly live music and DJs kick off.