The Bristol Magazine rounds up five things to do in Bristol this month, including visiting Colston Hall for the playing of arguably our favourite Christmas film, Love Actually.


For us, it’s all about the food when Christmas comes a-calling. Whether it’s homemade, warm mince pies with a dollop of clotted cream, or the smell of turkey and pigs-in-blankets sizzling in the oven – we reckon we might try new Cargo II addition Meatbox (see p58) for high-welfare, sustainably sourced turkey, ham and trimmings this year – it’s the licence to guzzle that makes this time of year. And with Christmas markets galore in Bristol, as well as mouth-watering festive restaurant menus, we’ve made our peace with having slightly tighter trousers this time next month…


It’s important to take a moment to think about those who are less fortunate than us, not just at Christmas, but the rest of the year too. There are plenty of charities around Bristol working hard, 365 days a year, to provide help for people and animals in need, including the enthusiastic volunteers from Foodcycle Bristol (pictured above) who tackle food poverty in the city by taking surplus food from local retailers and making it into delicious and nutritious meals for hungry local folk every Saturday at Barton Hill Settlement, Ducie Road. We’ve rounded up just some of the Bristol-based charities making a difference in the local area, and listened to the stories behind their beginnings, on page 34.


Needless to say, we want something to go alongside all the seasonal grub we’re going to be munching on. How about a visit to Thatchers Cider Shop in Sandford for all your apple and pear-based beverage needs? If you’re looking to increase your vino knowledge, Bristol Wine School offers a variety of wine courses, as well as gift vouchers. See Tristan Darby’s choices for a Yuletide tipple on page 64, perfect for sipping over Christmas dinner or toasting in the new year. Or, if you’re in need of some cocktail inspiration, take a look at page 62 – we’ve rounded up some of our favourite places for a pokey potion or three.

Treat Time

Trying to think of what to give someone at Christmas can be a stumbling block, and giving dad a funky pair of socks might not suffice this year. So we’ve got your seasonal shopping sorted with our gift guide from page 22, to inspire your present-buying for everyone – right down to the family pooch. Why should Rover miss out on the festive fun? We happen to love these bottles of Pawsecco – yes that’s right, still ‘wine’ for cats and dogs, from Barkers of Clifton…

Be Merry

’Tis the season to be jolly and all that – and Bristol is bursting with festive events and concerts throughout December, so there’s plenty to get merry about. Arguably our favourite Christmas film, Love Actually, will be playing at Colston Hall on Saturday 2 and Tuesday 12 December, 7.30pm, with Craig Armstrong’s emotive score being brought to life by a full orchestra. Tickets are limited, so get them quick if they’re still available. But don’t be disappointed if you can’t get tickets, as we’ve got a bumper ‘what’s on’ section for other seasonal goings-on around the city from page 40 that you can enjoy throughout the month. And if you’re wondering what to do with the kids over Christmas, then check out our guide from page 74 for lots of ideas for events that the whole family can enjoy together.