Bristol art world big dog that’s always worth a visit – even just for the bookshop and the brownies
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that the Arnolfini Café has the best brownies this side of the pearly gates. Aside from that, the ’fini is a Bristol institution, with three floors dedicated to contemporary art in all its forms – from the calmly experimental to the downright bizarre.
It’s an enormous old building that used to be a tea warehouse, in an unbeatable location, smack bang on the harbourside. There are live events throughout the year, from performances and one-off workshops to festivals. (The mind-scrambling live art fest In Between Time springs to mind.) There’s a cosy reading room where you can broaden your knowledge or just watch the water, and there’s also a bloody good bookshop.
In the summer it’s also the unofficial lounging spot for a post-work pint of cider. Take a seat on the pavement, lean back against the wall and don’t forget the brownies.
Arnolfini is a registered charity, core-funded by Arts Council England and in receipt of regular funding from Bristol City Council.
Entrance to the building and the exhibition spaces is completely free, making Arnolfini an ideal place to spend some time whether you've got a few minutes or a few hours to spare.
Sitting on the quayside with a drink on a sunny evening is a quintessentially Bristol experience. Arnolfini’s café/bar serves a menu of Mediterranean-inspired, locally sourced food and fair trade tea and coffee
Arnolfini was established in 1961, moving to its current harbourside location in 1975 – a Grade-II listed former tea warehouse dating back to the 1830s. Read more about Arnolfini's history here.
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