Night Clubs in Bristol
Clubbing and Bristol go hand-in-hand along the same vein as the live music scene – small, organic and intimate being more the order of the day, but with some big hitters like Oceana thrown into the mix for those who like a different kind of atmosphere. Goldie, Roni Size and Portishead weren’t born out of nothing, and it’s from their stables that Bristol’s become the world capital for the club genre de jour of dubstep. But with everything from the house crescendos of Deepgroove to reggae pensioner DJ Derek filling the bill, you certainly won’t be left wanting from Bristol’s club scene.
About as ‘super’ as clubs get, with five bars, two ‘clubs’, and more rooms than the Louvre, this harbourside favourite is perfectly mainstream for those who like to know what they’re going to get – from Saturday Night Fever cheese, to 70s disco, to classic house. For those who just want a few late night drinks, head to the Parisian Boudoir lounge playing smooth, seductive sounds, and a warm après-ski style Aspen lodge spinning rock classics. Check out promos online before heading here to save your pennies.
The perfect drinking den for a more discerning crowd, this new watering hole’s open ‘til 2am, with the kind of atmosphere that’s equally suited to chatting as dancing. Entry is free every night of the week, with regular two for one cocktail and beer deals, and DJs playing everything from funk to house and old skool hip hop. The sort of venue where a quiet drink can easily and seamlessly transform into a top night without any of the hassles of moving on to keep the wind in your sails. Tel: 0117 970 6589
Bristol’s original superclub in the depths of Stokes Croft still continues to draw in the crowds with Ibiza-worthy DJs topping the bill most weekends. This isn’t a club for the feint-hearted though, with thumping techno and drum and bass going on until 7 or 8am, and a suitably hard-core clientele making the most of the three storeys, four dance rooms, three bars and absolutely essential chill-out room at the top of the whole rabbit warren of rooms. The 1,000-capacity venue is undoubtedly still the place to be when it’s rammed – just don’t wear your finest attire as it’s also notoriously dirty (the true calling card of a club that knows where its priorities lie).
Like gate-crashing someone else’s wedding, this Triangle-based club is pure, unashamed cheesy fun that brings a smile to everyone’s faces. Usually frequented by a slightly older 30-something crowd, it’s excellent value (just a few quid to get in), plays the kind of tunes that would get your grandma out of her chair and has uber-efficient bar staff so you don’t spend half your night queuing for drinks. A great private party venue situated on the Triangle, the glitter balls and floor-to-ceiling mirrors make this a must for anyone wanting to blow off a few cobwebs.
A student strong-hold that seems to have a permanent queue snaking out its doors along the length of the Triangle, the Lizard Lounge is a party club with no pretensions. The DJs are more than happy to take requests – more along the cheesy 80s line than anything more progressive – with three bars and a sizeable dance floor making this a Mecca for late night drinkers wanting the easy – and fun - option. Avoid during term times if you’re after a quick nightcap.
Ironically, one of Bristol’s most long-standing institutions is actually based on a boat just a stone’s throw from the centre of town. As well as hosting some of the city’s best bands, its DJ nights (Fruity Antics, Blowpop) are equally famous for getting the crowds in, with two floors spinning out everything from house to break beats, and fantastic views over the water from the upstairs Profanity Bar. Its recent refurbishment has given the Baltic Coaster a new lease of life, rebranded as the Thekla Social with daytime drinks and a menu so you can lap-up sunset and then saunter downstairs to the belly for something more invigorating as the mood dictates.
Owned by ex-England ace Sid Lawrence, this intimate Park Row drinking den is surprisingly pleasant – the heated outside terrace is perfect to grab a break from the dance floors, with a low-key but upmarket feel (something few bars ever achieve). The music’s fantastically eclectic without ever being too left-field and the door staff make their presence known so you never have to deal with idiots throwing their weight around. Don’t miss the gourmet barbecues in the summer or Intrigue, Bristol’s best drum and base night every third Friday.
Robert Fenner moved to Bristol from Grayling's London office in July 2008. "It was a really good move for me," he says. "The energy in business here is as dynamic as anywhere else, and the quality of life is so much better. Bristol has an identity of its own, and the South-West is a great place to be - whether as a next step or as a starting point in a public relations career. I'd recommend it to anyone."