Spotlight on: Bristol

Bristol: The first British city named European Green Capital with a modern economy built on creative media, technology, electronics and aerospace industries.

As the gateway to the South West, what makes it a great location for meetings and events?

Bristol has an accolade or two to its name

  • Voted Best City to Live in Britain in the Sunday Times Best Places to Live Guide 2017.
  • Crowned the Best Culinary Destination in the World Food Travel Association: Food Trekking Awards 2019.
  • Named as one of the 10 happiest cities to work in the UK by The Guardian.
  • The first UK city awarded European Green Capital.
  • Ranked as the UK’s greenest city by Compare The Market.
  • Named World Vegan Capital by foodie website Chef’s Pencil.
  • The kindest city in the UK, according to a study by charity 52 Lives.
  • Named UK’s most environmentally friendly city in 2017.
  • The UK’s first cycling city
  • Bristol Stool Chart, which classifies the form of human poo into seven categories, was developed at Bristol Royal Infirmary. What a claim to fame!

A cultural hub

Bristol is a multicultural city with at least 45 religions, 187 countries of birth and 91 main languages spoken. And legend has it that America was named after a Bristolian! Richard Amerike was responsible for a large part of explorer John Cabot’s funding when he took his voyage to America.

It is located just 120 miles west of London and the largest city in South West England. And Bristol offers something for everyone, whether you’re into music or museums. Premier Inn even named it Most Artistic City in the UK due to the number of museums, theatres, amount of live music gigs and the quantity of street art.

Since the 1970s numerous bands have grown out of the city. These have helped create whole new genres of music. Most famously, ‘trip hop’ originated in Bristol. It was championed by artists such as Tricky, Portishead and Massive Attack. Thriving bands are matched by the city’s music venues. Venues range from pioneering bars such as the Massive Attack-owned Nocturne to the 2,000-seat live music venue Colston Hall.

However, music is not the only culture in Bristol. The city also enjoys a thriving theatre scene. The scene is dominated by the Bristol Old Vic theatre company which owns the 1766 Theatre Royal and the New Vic theatres.

In recent years, Bristol has also become famous for the street artist Banksy. His unique graffiti style has cropped up all over the world. Yet it was first seen where his fiercely protected artworks now hang, in Bristol.

Steeped in history

If ever there was a city with a story to tell, it’s Bristol. Bristol began life as a town called Brigg stow, which means the meeting place at the bridge in the old Saxon language.

Bristol was involved in a massive slave shipping industry between the late 1600s and early 1800s.

During WWII the Mercure Bristol Grand on Broad Street was the base for a network of spies who operated out of the building on behalf of the British government. Hotel employees would pass spies encrypted notes with information on where they were to travel. And Temple Meads station provided covert trains that transported them around the country to secret locations.

Food in Bristol

A well-known Bristol delicacy is the Colston Bun. It is a sweet bun made of yeast dough, flavoured with sweet spices and dried fruits such as currents candied peel. Bristol is also home to two Michelin-starred restaurants: Bulrush and Paco Tapas.

The city is recently famous for ranking above London, Edinburgh, and Belfast as one of the top cities for vegans. Over 1 million Brits have now taken up a plant-based lifestyle – with many inspired by Veganuary. And a study by Save On Energy sought to investigate which city in the UK is the most vegan-friendly.

Made in Bristol

In our Spotlight on: Birmingham feature, we talked about Cadbury’s. For Bristol, it’s all about Fry’s Chocolate! It was the first company in the world to manufacture chocolate bars. It was also one of the first to make chocolate Easter eggs.

Continuing with its ‘green’ theme, BBC Bristol produces a whopping 25% of all the world’s nature documentaries. Many of these feature the legendary Sir David Attenborough. Tours of the BBC Bristol Studios are available!

Are you a Wallace and Gromit fan? Aardman Animations is based in Bristol, and create well-loved classics including Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run and Pirates! It’s always worth watching out for special Wallace and Gromit trails across the city.

For aviation enthusiasts, did you know that every British Concorde made its maiden flight from Filton Airfield in Bristol? Now you can visit Concorde Alpha Foxtrot at Aerospace Bristol too. Alpha Foxtrot was the final Concorde built and the last to fly. She was designed, built and tested in Bristol.

Bristol is the world’s biggest manufacturer of hot air balloons with Cameron Balloons based in the city. Today, the city is famous for its International Balloon Fiesta – Europe’s largest ballooning event.

Event venues

Speaking of events! Let’s take a look at some of the spaces available in Bristol, all reflecting the city at its best.

The Bristol Pavilion, Gloucestershire Cricket Club

Home to Gloucestershire Cricket Club, The Bristol Pavilion is a leading conference and events venue in Bristol and the southwest. It provides state-of-the-art conferencing and events facilities. And it overlooks the grounds of Gloucestershire County Cricket Club – a unique venue for any event.

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery is a stunning venue, located in the heart of the city. The magnificent Edwardian Baroque building is a famous city landmark. And its world-class collection of art, archaeology, geology and natural history provides an inspirational backdrop for corporate hospitality.

The Bristol

The Bristol is a beacon of bold modernity amid cobbled streets and revitalised quayside. It is surrounded by the best of Bristol’s Old City and maritime history on the Floating Harbour quayside.

Boasting an outstanding Meeting & Events Centre coupled with superb bedrooms, Bars and Restaurants

Bristol Royal Marriott Hotel

This preciously restored 150-year-old historic Victorian-style hotel enjoys a prime location.  Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel sits majestically at the heart of the vibrant city centre. Inspired by the building’s heritage, it promises a premium hotel experience in keeping with its Royal name.

Bristol Harbour Hotel

This is a luxury boutique hotel, formerly home to two banks. It offers one of the largest and best event spaces in the city, the Sansovino. And it’s home to a speakeasy-inspired bar for exclusive hire. Located in the heart of the bustling and energetic city, this vibrantly-restored hotel certainly stands out from the crowd.

Engineers House

24 conference and training rooms, ergonomic furniture gives delegates full comfort and the best learning environment. Professional technicians support its STEM Hybrid/Conference/video facilities. 86 to 100-inch Flat screen displays give 4k crystal clear viewing. Superfast fibre optic broadband. Rainforest, garden cafés and more.

M shed

M shed is a world-class cultural landmark. The building retains its industrial heritage and is set on the harbourside in the heart of Bristol. It sits alongside a purpose-built event suite, suitable for corporate and private events. Guests have access to the rooftop terrace, giving fantastic panoramic views across Bristol’s harbour.

Aerospace Bristol

Aerospace Bristol is an exciting new industrial heritage museum and learning centre in Filton.

Mercure Bristol North The Grange Hotel

Escape the urban bustle and relax in the country-house setting of the Mercure Bristol North, The Grange. The hotel is a 19th-century Bath stone manor house. It is set amongst 18 acres of landscaped gardens, in a peaceful pocket of South Gloucestershire.

Clevedon Hall

Clevedon Hall is a fantastic venue for corporate and social events. With convenient links to both the M4 and M5 it is ideally located for your delegates. The Hall is extremely versatile as all rooms are multi-function. And they have incredible catering and operations teams.

Considering a business trip to Bristol?

Explore Bien Venue’s corporate event management services and get in touch to plan your visit. 

Looking for more inspiration?

Have a look at our back catalogue of ‘Spotlight On’ and our other blogs. Our previous ‘Spotlight On’ features include everywhere from Birmingham and Brighton, to Sydney and the South of France.

Bien Venue is a boutique creative agency who specialise in a free UK venue finding service.  It’s not just workshops, training, conferences, or off-site meetings we can arrange and venue search for. It’s also away days, residential training events, awards ceremonies, networking, roadshows, hybrid events, summer parties, Christmas celebrations, private dining, team building, incentives, employee engagement hampers and virtual activities. And we offer accommodation booking platforms for both corporate bookers and event specific allocations of bedrooms

Our re-identified strapline alongside ‘Our Team is Your Team’ is ‘Event Management – Professional, Pro Active with a personal touch’.

What does Event Management mean to us?

We see event management as any part of the planning process from conception to delivery. It’s not just the onsite event management we specialise in. We also manage pre-planning, logistics, and post-event. Our flexible approach means you can pick and choose which of our services you want to use. Or you can just use our free UK venue finding service.

Bien Venue’s reach isn’t just UK or Europe – we offer our service globally.