The West Country is not just built on cider. Bristol has boomed in recent years with dozens of new style bars, clubs and restaurants, some along the banks of the Severn, others on the docks of the redeveloped harbour. From great cocktails at Severnshed to DJs and shots at Harbourside, the laid back vibe is highly hip without being pretentious.

Cool bars to try out in Bristol

Celebrated for its independent streak, Bristol is a city buzzing with creativity and steeped in its own rich kettle of flavours. Unsurprisingly, it’s also a haven for some of the most animated nightlife in the country.

For the audiophiles aplenty in this city, there’s Brewhouse & Kitchen up in Clifton, a picturesque area whose position on a hilltop gives panoramic views of the city. This bar boasts its own vinyl room bursting with records and – as the name would suggest – an on-site brewery and a beer-matched menu of the heartiest order.

Meanwhile, all bamboo-lined bar and paper lamps, Lola Lo brings tiki culture to the university quarter of Bristol. With tropical drinks concocted from crushed spices, fruit juices and exotic spirits, this bar’s mixology is the perfect clash of Pacific flavour with Bristolian ingenuity.

And, of course, stopping by the centre of town and the harbour, you can find some wonderfully vibrant spot. Serving everything from its signature buttermilk pancakes to Bloody Marys from sunrise to sundown, seven days a week, Buttermilk and Maple’s is an experimental kitchen and bar that is all kinds of quirky. For nightlife with more than a touch of history, the four-storey Milk Thistle promises and delivers expert cocktails in a unique space that gives more than a nod to Mad Men-era style.

Alive with personality and flush with style, Bristol is full of both boundary-pushing and traditional bars to suit your whim of the evening.

See all bars in Bristol