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Finding a Bed in Bedminster

I didn’t quite finish the story of my trip to Bristol to go glassblowing. The course was just one day, from 10:30 to 16:00 with an hour for lunch. I could get home to Malvern on the train relatively easily afterwards, but if I’d tried to do a return trip on the day, it would have required a very early start. I’ve never been good at early mornings, and I find them a real struggle at the moment. So clearly, the sensible thing was to go down to Bristol the day before and stay overnight somewhere close to the glass factory so that I could have a bit of a lie-in before the exertions of the course.

I don’t know Bristol at all well, but a quick look on line showed me that Bedminster is not one of the more affluent suburbs, and there was a distinct lack of hotels in the vicinity. So when I phoned the glass factory to book the course, I asked them if they could recommend anywhere local to stay – I reckoned they must have been asked that before, and a personal recommendation would give me some come-back if necessary. The receptionist said that there was a B&B just around the corner from the factory – literally less than a 5 minute walk, and also very handy for the station. I looked it up on Trip Advisor, and it got glowing reviews, but was rather more expensive than I was really willing to pay.

I phoned up the B&B, and told them that they had been recommended by Bristol Blue Glass, at which point the owner said that in that case there would of course be a discount, how much could I afford? I’m not sure that’s good business practice, but we came to a very amicable agreement on a substantial discount, that actually made the whole weekend entirely affordable. I really lucked out with the B&B – it turned out to be absolutely delightful. They didn’t do evening meals, but there was a pub on the corner of the street that was busy and noisy on a Friday night, but very friendly and welcoming, with delicious home-made pies (I had chicken, leek and thyme pie with mash and gravy, yummy!).

Windmill Hill Views - the living room with views over Bristol

The B&B was an ordinary Victorian mid-terrace, on a steep hill near the railway station, and had just the one suite that they let out to guests – but it was an architect-designed roof extension which was extremely comfortable. There was a small double bedroom, a bathroom fitted in under the eaves and around the chimney breast, and a big open plan living area with kitchenette, dining area, a comfortable sofa that I think doubled as an extra bed, and a glass end wall with French windows out onto a balcony. The views over Bristol were superb – I spent much of the evening just gazing out at the Clifton suspension bridge, Bristol Cathedral, the SS Great Britain, and the rest of the city below me – binoculars were provided to make the most of the views!

There wasn’t the usual cooked breakfast that one often gets in B&Bs, but that wasn’t a problem as far as I was concerned. Instead, the landlady brought up a tray heavily loaded with cereals, fruit, yoghurt, bread & toast, and fruit juice, which I consumed looking out of the window at the views. And when I checked out, I was sent on my way with a pack of hand-made greetings cards – the landlady’s husband is an artist and goes in for really detailed and quite beautiful botanical illustrations.

I found the B&B really relaxing, and a very pleasant place to stay. It really added something special to the trip, turning it from a one-day course into a mini-holiday.