Everyone deserves a little luxury in their life. But, in trying times like these, that doesn’t always feel possible. Sometimes it feels like the numbers in our bank account are going down just sitting still. Not everything boujee has to break the bank, however. There are plenty of ways to live the high life in Bristol without it costing you a small fortune. In fact, here are six budget luxury experiences in Bristol to make you feel glamorous. Go on, you deserve it!
1. Bathe in the gentle glow of a Candlelight concert
Could anything scream luxury more than attending a classical concert lit by the gentle glow of candlelight? Experience some of Bristol’s most exclusive venues in a new light, while unwinding to Candlelight‘s diverse selection of concerts. There’s something for everyone too, from movie soundtracks to contemporary pop artists. These awe-inspiring multi-sensory events are a show like no other in Bristol!
💸: Tickets start from £15 depending on the seating zone and concert
2. Take a dip at Bristol Lido
Living in luxury means treating yourself. Often and a lot. So why not relax at one of Bristol’s sensational spas if you’re looking for affordable luxury experiences? Our pick is Bristol Lido in Clifton. The oldest surviving heated pool in the country offers a taste of the Mediterranean off Whiteladies Road. So take a dip and swim; enjoy the sauna, steam room and hot tub; before heading to the restaurant in the original viewing gallery – where you can tuck into a Spanish-inspired menu. It’s like a little holiday without leaving the city!
💸: Two-hour sessions (including pool, sauna, steam room and hot tub) cost £25
3. Spend a night at the best hotel in the South West
Nothing says luxury like a night away in a hotel and you can do it on a budget in Bristol too. The affordable Artist Residence in St Paul’s was recently named on The Times’ 100 Best Places to Stay in Britain for 2023, as well as topping the best hotels in the South West of England. Described as “the perfect city-break hotel for the young and the young at heart,” the converted boot factory is close to some of Bristol’s best bars and restaurants too. If you’re on a tighter budget, also recommended was Mollie’s Motel close to Cribbs Causeway. While we also recommend Bristol Marriot Royal Hotel, the oldest hotel in the city.
💸: A night at Artist Residence begins at £140
4. Feel fancy with some afternoon tea
It’s the great British pastime we can’t get enough of. Afternoon tea makes us feel like we’re living in a Jane Austen novel. (Especially with her previous home of Bath so close.) You don’t have to be well-to-do to partake though. A lavish trip to The Ivy costs £29.95 (with Champagne extras it’s £39.95), but there are even cheaper options all over. Ensuring your life of luxury in Bristol is kept well within budget. Some of our favourite spots for this budget-friendly luxury include Berwick Lodge, No.4 Clifton Village and Hotel du Vin. See here for the best restaurants in Bristol serving afternoon tea.
💸: A classic afternoon tea at No.4 Clifton Village costs £18 per person
5. Head to Wilson’s for a Michelin-approved lunch
We know what you’re thinking: How can a Michelin restaurant be considered a budget luxury? You’d be correct in thinking that too. While most Michelin-starred restaurants are definitely off the table, Wilson’s is a little different. It has a Michelin Green Star – awarded to the best restaurants at the forefront of sustainability – due to its farm-to-table ethos. (All its vegetables, fruits and herbs are grown on its own nearby ‘no-dig farm’.)
Wilsons’ hyper-seasonal six-course set menu is £60 per head, but at lunchtime, it also offers a menu du jour lunch special for £25 that comes with a glass of natural wine. But there are also lots of other brilliant restaurants in Bristol that won’t break the bank too.
💸: Lunch at Wilson’s is £25
6. Take to the skies in a hot air balloon
There are few things more Bristolian than hot air balloons (apart from maybe Banksy and cider). The skies are often filled with pops of colour, especially during the Bristol Balloon Fiesta in August each year. Taking a balloon flight over Bristol is a must for all at least once. Soaking up the splendid sights of the city below. Plus, you can literally look down on everyone else in a budget-friendly way.
💸: Balloons flights over Bristol start at £169 per person