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Bristol, Fashion, Out and about

Bristol Fashion Week: the Spring / Summer 2015 show

March 30, 2015
bristol fashion week

On Wednesday I was fortunate enough to be invited to the VIP show of Bristol Fashion Week, which is the first time i’ve ever been. It’s up at Cribbs Causeway which, if you don’t have a car and live in the centre is a bit of trek to get to…I had to race out of work at 5.30, run to the bus, and then just about got there on time for the show, which started at 6.30,

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The show was co-presented by Lucy Watson (of Made in Chelsea fame…i’m afraid I was a bit clueless as to who she was as i’m not a particularly massive MIC fan…), and featured high street shops from Cribbs – Topshop, Jigsaw, Gap, Superdry and Hobbs.


The theme for the Spring/Summer collections was, of course, holidays and travel, which made for lovely colourful backdrops on the catwalk.

My favourite looks were the pastels and florals – i’m not usually one for florals but there were some lovely prints, and the dresses were oh so pretty.

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Afterwards we headed to M&S for a preview in to their new collection, and of course CHEESE and MEAT and SPARKLING WINE. I won’t lie, that was a real highlight after having left work with nothing to eat, and sitting through the fashion show…

It didn’t take us long to tuck in to it, after taking a few photos of ourselves and the clothes, of course.

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Thanks so much for having me, can’t wait for the Autumn/Winter show now!

<3 Sofia x

Bristol, What to do in Bristol..

An interactive map of some of my favourite places around Bristol

February 5, 2015

For today’s blog post I thought I would bring you something a little different, and as you can see, it’s a map!

I got together with Lime Venue Portfolio to create this, and it shows you some of my favourite spots around the city. Click either on the map pins to find out more about each location, or select from the drop down to view either shops, bars and pubs, restaurants and local attractions.

I’ve not just stuck to one area, as the beauty of Bristol is that each area has so much to offer. I have lived and worked in many of these areas and I love what they each have to offer. I used to love wandering down Gloucester Road on a Saturday (one of the longest roads in the country with the most independent shops on it, apparently!), going in to all the shops and people watching.

Similarly it’s always refreshing heading up to the downs for a walk and to blow away the cobwebs, and over to the Observatory near the Suspension Bridge to take in the amazing views.

So I hope you enjoy checking out some of my favourite spots – let me know what yours are!

<3 Sofia

This post was made possible with the help of Lime Venue Portfolio


Bristol, Out and about

Wine, cheese, meat, friends…all the best things at Bar Buvette

January 21, 2015

bar buvette

Tony and I stumbled across Bar Buvette by pure chance. We had decided to go to Bao Wow for some Pho noodles before the cinema the other week, and on the way to the Watershed from Bao Wow we walked past it. We noticed it because it had those amazing ‘Caravaggio’ lamp shades, and also because the previously empty shop was actually open with people in there. So we popped in to have a look. After checking out the cheese, crudite and salad bar, we spoke briefly to the owners who said they were only here for a month as a ‘pop up’.

So we decided to bring our friends back and spend our Friday night here.

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It’s a wine bar, and they specialise in French organic and bio-dynamic wines. As well as that, you can order a platter of cheese, cold meats, salads and the table comes with a jar of cornichons as standard – what more could you want?! Oh, maybe some chocolate cake? Well they have that!! (Flourless too….)

bar buvette


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I don’t normally write about restaurants/nights out but I just felt I had to share this with you. Bar Buvette is like nothing that exists in Bristol. You can go and drink nice wine, without having to spend a huge amount on a meal, or be in a stuffy bar. Did I mention they have CHEESE?

CHEESE and WINE. There is literally nothing more than you need in life. Nothing.

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On top of that, the owners are just so lovely. They were really accommodating with our group of 10 (we did book in advance – probably a safe bet if you’re going in a big group at the weekend), and I think they’ve really hit on something good with this bar. Peter Taylor, part owner (I believe with his partner/wife Max Ososki) used to be owner of the Riverstation, and he now runs a restaurant in Haute Loire, France called Auberge de Chassignoles. From what I gather, the restaurant is closed in the winter months, therefore he’s back in Bristol bringing us unique wines that you won’t find anywhere else.

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I will definitely be back before they shut up…and hopefully if the rumours are true they will be sticking around a bit longer than the end of January. If not, take my advice and go, you won’t regret it!

If you want to find out more about Bar Buvette, the best way to contact them is either on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Big love <3 Sofia

Bristol, Love Bristol

LOVE Bristol: An interview with Pod

December 15, 2014
the pod company

This month, i’m really excited to have Pod as my guest on LOVE Bristol. Back when I was a fresh-faced graduate out of Bristol University, Sian – the owner of Pod – gave me my first ‘proper’ job, and so I became their web manager and worked with them for around 2 years. I learnt so much about working in retail, on websites and social media, and it was great to have the opportunity to work in such an iconic Clifton Village destination. 

So, without further ado – give a warm welcome to Sian.


Let’s start from the beginning, could you us a little bit about how Pod started out, and where the idea came from?

I started Pod in 2000 when I moved with my family from London to Bristol.  I had been working in PR, looking after retail accounts and I’d always fancied the idea of moving over to the other side!

Where does the name ‘Pod’ come from?

When I first started Pod the emphasis was more on home accessories rather than gift and lifestyle products as it is today. As a pod is ‘home’ for peas I thought it would make a good name for a shop selling accessories for human pods! Also it was before iPods were launched in the UK as so the word was not as overused and…  I like the fact that the word works back to front as well as front to back!

Can you give us a little insight in to the inner workings of the Pod team? Who does what, and how many of you are there?

Pod has around 25 full and part time employees between the office and three stores in Bristol, Cheltenham and Oxford.

In the Bristol office Shannon Haswell makes all the buying decisions with me and is in charge of the office when I’m not around, Jess Wallwork is our Web Manager and designs our catalogue and Heather Ballantyne, a recent Bristol University graduate, helps with marketing and PR and a host of other things. In the Bristol store Sorcha Milne-Smith is Store Manager and Samantha Manning Assistant Store Manager. Sorcha is incredibly creative and talented and is responsible for many of our lovely window displays.

the pod companythe pod company

Two of the window displays that Sorcha created – the top one is based on the Nutcracker products that they are selling in the shop at the moment for Christmas, and the other is the unmistakeable Orla Kiely pattern, promoting the homeware and fashion accessories.

What might a typical day be like? I know it’s very busy around this time of year so can appreciate it’s not as typical as the rest of the year!

Things are incredibly busy at the moment but retailing generally is a labour intensive business. People who come to work for us are always surprised at the volume of goods going through the business and also the range. We have over 10,000 items on our EPOS system and over 200 suppliers so keeping on top of it all is a challenge! We are also constantly changing our retail offering so we always have lots to do!

Why did you choose the Clifton Village as the location for your first shop, and what was your biggest challenge in opening it?

I love Clifton Village and feel very lucky that I am able to work and live here. Pod moved into the current site because it just happened to come on to the market at the right time and was so obviously a fantastic location that I jumped at the opportunity. Opening Pod was a huge challenge because I had little or no actual retail experience. I have definitely had to learn on the job!

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The interior of the shop is packed full to the brim of beautiful, inspiring products.

Was it difficult deciding where to place your next two shops and are there any plans for any more?

I wanted to open in towns and cities relatively close to Bristol so that I could get around the shops without having to stay away overnight. We have considered Bath and Cardiff too but at the moment I’m thinking about parts of West London for another shop if the right site comes up at the right price.

Do you have a favourite item you stock? (I don’t know if I’d be able to decide!!)

This year one of our best selling products is the HangIt frame – available in white and wood finishes – it seems to have hit the spot for lots of people. Some customers are using it to display photos, memorabilia etc, others are using it to display their children’s works of art! It’s a great price and will fit into any room – kitchen, study, living room, playroom etc.

One of our most popular books is ‘Mug Cakes‘ – how to get instant satisfaction! All you need is a microwave and mug and some basic ingredients and you have instant warm cake in 5 minutes.


Where do you look to for inspiration? 

Everywhere! In magazines, on holiday, at friends houses… anywhere and everywhere. I always have Pod at the back of my mind. Obviously I go to lots of trade shows too.

What advice would you give to any other aspiring retail businesses?

You have to really love the product, otherwise it will not work.

Lastly, some questions about Bristol: where’s your favourite spot in Bristol, and what do you love most about the city?

It’s very obvious but my favourite spot in Bristol is overlooking the suspension bridge. I walk my dog Polo up to the Observatory Tower every day and think how lucky I am to be here!


Thanks Sian and team Pod! 

For those of you doing your Christmas shopping online, Pod’s last posting dates are: 

UK Mail

Tuesday 16th December – First Class and Recorded Signed For
Monday 22nd December – Next Day Delivery
Friday 19th December – Next Day Delivery with Saturday Guarantee

International Mail

Thursday 4th December – Far East (including Japan), Australia, New Zealand, Eastern Europe, USA and Canada
Wednesday 10th December – Western Europe

Otherwise, you can go and visit their Clifton, Oxford or Cheltenham shops, and to find out more about where they are click here.


You can read more of my LOVE Bristol posts here – I do these because I want to promote local, independent shops and love learning about how our city thrives on them. If you’d like to be featured on one of my LOVE Bristol interviews, just send me an email or get in touch on Twitter!

<3 Sofia

Bristol, Out and about, What to do in Bristol..

Oooh spooky! 10 things to do in Bristol for Halloween

October 15, 2014

Mexican Skull

This year i’m really quite excited about Halloween because we have two parties to go to and i’ve got an idea for an awesome costume too…Usually i’m stumped for a new costume to think about, but I cant wait to work on it this year!

There are loads of things going on in Bristol on 31st October, and below are just a choice selection of what I think will be worth checking out.

  • Step aboard the Halloween Spooky Ship at the SS Great Britain – for £13 (£8 concessions) take a tour of the iconic ship by night.
  • Bristol Zoo Fright Night! For £12, watch Silence of the Lambs and Evil Dead in the spooky surroundings of the zoo at night…I’ve certainly not got the guts to go and watch those 2 films, should be good fun though!
  • Take part in the Bristol Zombie Walk  We went to see it last year (or was it 2 years ago?) and it’s very funny even just to watch! They’re starting out in College Green, and it looks like the route itself is secret this year.


  • Go to the Halloween banquet at the Bird in Hand. Tickets cost £35 per head – if you haven’t tried the food there yet you must, it’s so good!
  • Described as “a delicious night of Mexican feasting, Tropical Roots dancing and exciting immersive performances to celebrate yourselves, our ancestors and the delightful world of the living”, the Dia de los Muertos fiesta  at Hamilton House sounds right up my street.

the canteen

  • And while you’re at the Canteen, you can also check out the Scribble N Scratch event there.
  • Now, i’ve never done a walking tour of the city, but it seems to me that Halloween would be the perfect time to do one. Go and check out the Haunted and hidden for more info.
  • The Watershed FrightFest all Nighter  (£35 full fee, £30 concessions) is “the UK’s best fantasy film and horror festival”
  • If something a little more fancy is your thing, check out the Cadbury House Halloween Ball. Tickets cost £25 for a 3 course meal plus dancing afterwards.
  • And finally, for something a bit different, why not check out the performance of Blood Wedding by Rogueplay Theatre at Circomedia’s St Paul’s Church. Featuring aerial acrobatics, Capoeira and Spanish guitar, and it’s on the 30th October instead of 31st – so you can still go to any of the other events listed too!

So, what will you be doing on all hallows’ eve then?

Boo! <3


Bristol, Circus, Something different

“Millie’s Last Scratch” A night of aerial loveliness!

January 16, 2014


We had a blast on Sunday night as we put on a “Scratch Night” (an informal performance night where amateur performers can show their work) in honour of Millie, one of my friends who i’ve been training in silks with for the past couple of years. She’s heading back to Australia to live after just over two years living and working here in Bristol.


There were 6 of us performing, and the night was such a success! Jilly was on the rope, also known as the corde lisse, I did a piece on silks, Dani did a comedy piece, Jack did a bit with the contact ball, Rachel was on hoop and Millie was on trapeze. Oh, and Rachel and Mille did a duo silks/trapeze piece at the end to Shakespere’s Sister’s song “Stay”!


Rachel on hoop.



 Me on silks


 Millie looking totally fabulous on the trapeze.

And here’s my performance on video!

Was so much fun, can’t wait to do it again!

Big love <3

Bristol, Love Bristol, Tuesday Link Treasury

Merry Bristmas! Your guide to what’s on in Bristol this weekend

December 3, 2013

Bristol is looking and feeling very festive this year, and there are plenty of markets and goings on to keep you busy over the festive period! Here is my pick of the things you can look forward to this weekend (6th-8th December).

Friday 6th

From 5pm-12midnight the Eat.Drink.Dance first ever market is on at the Island. It’s described as “Bristol’s first street food event combining local breweries, artists, music and all things local. A magical night of eating, drinking and dancing…” Sounds awesome!

There is also the Antlers Winter Shop, which launches on Friday 6th from 6pm-9pm. It sounds like they have some awesome chefs cooking up a warming winter stew, and as ever a select group of designers to showcase. Again, more details are available on the Facebook page.

Saturday 7th

It’s the Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade! Starting at South Street Park (i’m going to have a lovely view!) at around 4.30pm – get involved!

Before you head to the Lantern Parade, why not check out the East Street Christmas Market?

It’s markets galore on Saturday – on the other side of town the Royal York Gardens Christmas Market is happening on Royal York Crescent in Clifton. I’ll be there, supporting the lovely Bramall & Smith with their first Christmas market.

If wandering around markets in the cold isn’t really you’re thing, how about checking out the Made in Bristol pop-up shop at the Architecture Centre? More details are available on the event Facebook page.

The Bristol Old Vic are showing The Little Mermaid – it looks spectacular!

Sunday 8th

Sustrans have organised a ‘Santatastic’ cycle ride, so expect to see lots of cycling Santas and reindeers from M Shed on Sunday from 10.30am-2.30pm!

Swingin’ at the Spiegaltent – “Swing Dance Bristol presents a night of retro indulgence, with music from the 1920s to the early 1940s.” There is dinner, dancing, and the dress code is strictly Gatsy, 20s glamour.

There are so many more things on, as well as the usual markets in St Nicks and the Harbourside market…what will you be going to this weekend?

Big (Christmassy) love! :)


Bristol, Out and about

The Blogcademy meet up in Bristol!

November 20, 2013

blogcademy babes

Shannon, Anita, Emily, Georgina and me

On Sunday Emily of Fishee Designs and I had the pleasure of welcoming some of the blogcadettes to a cold but ever-smily Bristol. It was great playing tourist in your own (well, adopted) city.

We took the scenic route through Queen Square, then wandered in to town and up to the Christmas steps. After that, it was a quick stop for Nelson street and some typical blogger posing in front of the cool graffiti :) it was then time to go and get a boat to the Cottage pub for a yummy roast. I even had a pint of ale!

If you have Instagram, check out the hashtag #bristolbloggers for some more photos from the day!


DSC_0188 copyThis building on Nelson St is being knocked down, and seeing inside the building is so cool! I had to take a photo of it…

DSC_0173 copyBlogger fact no.1: Bloggers love to take selfies. In front of brightly coloured backgrounds.

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DSC_0196 copyEven though it was cloudy, Bristol was still as beautiful as ever. Is there honestly a better city?!!

DSC_0193 copyBlogger fact no.2: When on a boat, bloggers must take selfies. (Featuring Georgina of Ruby Weddings, and Shannon of SLR Photography).

Thanks to the girls for making it over to Bristol for the day, especially Anita who came all the way from Luton! I’m looking forward to the next meet up now!

Big love <3

Bristol, Out and about

Let’s run away to the Invisible Circus

November 6, 2013

Invisible Circus - Under the Dark Moon

Justine Squire on the Chinese Pole

These are some pics I managed to take from the Invisible Circus show on Sunday night: Under the Dark Moon. Taken from the website, the show is described as”

“The show is an exploration of the casts’ very own dark fairy tales they have written based on their own experiences. Each tale has been worked into a piece of contemporary circus and woven together to form the show.”

I loved it! The show marked the end of the first ever Bristol Circus Festival, and I’m sure these guys have a lot more up their sleeve for the next season of shows.

Invisible Circus - Under the Dark MoonThe slack line

Invisible Circus - Under the Dark MoonGetting the Chinese Pole ready

Invisible Circus - Under the Dark MoonCorde Lisse act

Invisible Circus - Under the Dark Moon

Invisible Circus - Under the Dark Moon

Invisible Circus - Under the Dark MoonThe whole crew from the show – well done guys!

Big love <3