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Written by Luke Bull
October 5, 2022
The top places to have a party in Bristol
Bristol: England's tentative answer to San Francisco (minus the crazed tech moguls). The south-west jewel is known for its independent spirit, laid-back charm and love of hemp.
Partying in Bristol is unlike anywhere else on this fair island. They do things with a style that seems, and probably is, effortless. Maybe it's the water in the Avon, the serene calm of the Georgian townhouses or the neatly manicured gardens that create the relaxed edge to letting loose. We'll let you work that one out.
Anyway, here are some of our favourite Bristol party venues.
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1. All aboard Thekla: the ultimate party venue
A former German cargo ship moored in Bristol’s Floating Harbour since 1984, Thekla is an award-winning and world-famous live music venue and club.
Since the 1980s, Thekla has served as a popular nightclub and live music venue and has continuously provided Bristol clubbers with afloat nights out.
Thekla is the ultimate party venue. Showcasing a selection of saccharine music genres (limited only by the size of the hold), from weekly Pop Confessional of guilty pleasures, through to Drum and Bass dedicated nights – you’re in with a good chance of finding an event that floats your boat.
2. Let your inner child run free at The London Cocktail Club
Located in the heart of Bristol on The Triangle, The London Cocktail Club is an ode to Neverland, where the energetic atmosphere and flashing lights allow your inner child to run free for the night.
A haven for mischief and mixology, the skilled bartenders expertly craft the extensive menu, from the Bullfrog to the Beverly Hills – and that's just the B's.
Whatever the size or requirements of your get-together, reserve a table, book a cocktail masterclass, hire a private room – or even the whole venue – it's a strong contender in the Bristol party venue scene.
3. Hold your private party in a private members club: The Square Club
The Square Club is Bristol’s most refined members’ club with a public cocktail bar and an award-winning restaurant, supplying a seasonal and locally sourced British menu – both of which are available for private party hire, whether you’re turning 16 or 60.
Their lower-deck cocktail bar boasts a dance floor, private bar, DJ booth, and access to a private hire terrace. Meanwhile upstairs, the Square Kitchen restaurant allows you and 70 guests to enjoy a delicious bite to eat in a contemporary yet classic Georgian townhouse setting.
4. A food-focused party venue: Klosterhaus
Klosterhaus, a former Grade 1 listed friary, is a stunning restaurant serving German classics and contemporary European cuisine.
Located in the heart of Bristol’s Shopping Quarter, this central location is easily accessible. Combined with carefully selected cocktails and wines, a sumptuous menu, and a buzzing atmosphere, Klosterhaus is a good choice for celebrations.
From private dinners to drinks parties, Klosterhaus boasts three stunning event spaces available for private hire, complemented by an outside bar and terrace. These spaces can be tailored by their talented team to create the perfect party venue for you.
5. Clifton Lido, an urban retreat located in Clifton
If you’re searching for a pool party venue in Bristol, the Clifton Lido’s restaurant is available for private hire for up to 100 standing guests and 150 seated.
Originally opened in 1850, the Lido is an historic lido located in the beautiful Clifton neighbourhood – a famously characterful area of the city.
The lido’s restaurant sits in the old viewing gallery with a view of the pool, which is dramatically lit during the evenings, giving the venue an impressive setting and atmosphere. The menu uses local, seasonal produce and is updated daily and takes inspiration from Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine.
6. The Milk Thistle is the venue for a sophisticated celebration in Bristol
The Milk Thistle is an award-winning cocktail bar, dispersed over four floors in one of the most spectacular historic buildings in Bristol city centre.
With a reputation for some of the best drinks in Bristol, this prohibition-style bar is the perfect venue for parties and celebrations, whether you’re searching for pre and post dinner drinks, decadent dinner parties, or cocktail and spirit experiences.
Their chilled atmosphere and top-notch service, combined with a variety of intimate spaces and function rooms available for hire, The Milk Thistle is the perfect party venue for a sophisticated celebration.
7. Bristol's cosy party venue: Rack's
Racks is a popular bar and restaurant located in the heart of Clifton. Having been at the heart of the community for 30 years, Racks is renowned for its friendly and relaxed vibe.
Racks is a great venue for any party. Offering a range of different spaces to suit all group sizes – from cosy alcoves perfect for drinks parties and private dining, to the playroom with a private bar, a DJ and a dance floor area.
Additionally, the benefits at Racks include free venue hire, discounts available on off-peak dates, and a dedicated team on hand to help make organising your party a piece of cake.
8. Party and ponder: Lost & Found
The Lost & Found is a popular Victorian-style cocktail bar and restaurant nestled on the Clifton Triangle. The venue takes inspiration from a mythical professor of astronomy and astrology, Elizabeth E. Lightfoot, who sought to find meaning among the stars.
Upon entering the venue, you and your guests will be transported to another world to enjoy drinking and dining experiences that transcend space and time.
The Lost & Found is the perfect party venue if you’re searching for something extra special. With a variety of event spaces, from secret rooms to sprawling lounges, and a dedicated team, they endeavour to make your party a fabulous affair.
9. The RWA provides an historic venue for any party or celebration
Located in a spectacular historic building in the heart of Bristol, the RWA is the city's oldest art gallery bringing world class visual art from around the world since 1844.
With beautifully constructed interiors filled with natural light, these 19th century galleries have housed works from the biggest names in British art. And now, they are ready to house you and your party guests.
The spectacular galleries are available for event hire throughout the year. Hire includes access to the impressive marble landing, overlooked by a breath-taking atrium, and spacious balcony with views across the historic area of Clifton.
10. One of Bristol’s more stylish party venues: the Bristol Harbour Hotel
Located opposite Saint Nicholas’ Market, the chic Bristol Harbour Hotel is set in the Venetian-style buildings of two former banks.
The Bristol Harbour Hotel offers three stylish spaces, perfect venues for a variety of celebrations and parties. The three impressive areas on offer – the Sansovino Hall, The Vaults, and the Blue Room – provide elegant, contemporary spaces for up to 400 of your guests.
There is a selection of off-the-shelf packages also available to help get your party planning started. However, if you’d prefer a more personalised package, their dedicated events team are happy to accommodate and ensure you have a fantastic party.
More of the best party venues in Bristol
In the party mood? You’re in luck – Bristol is full of perfect party venues. Whether you want a big blow-out, have a unique party idea or want something a little more intimate, we've got you covered. Check out these amazing venues near you for a party to remember for years to come. Get your party shoes on - here are our top private party venues in Bristol.
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Your guide to Bristol's party venues
There's nothing quite like a Bristol Party. Indoor, outdoor, large and small the party mecca of the South-West never fails to disappoint when it comes to amazing private party venues to hire. Don't get stuck in planning purgatory, let us guide you through the perfect party planning process.
Choosing a Bristol venue for your private party
Sometimes a lot of choice can be a double-edged sword. Do you go for the classic style or blend in with the new? A rooftop cocktail class or an old fashioned Bristolian boozer? With so many party venues to choose from, how do you know which one is going to work for you and your guests? That's where we can help. With partners all over Bristol, we can find you the best party venue for your needs. Just tell us exactly what your perfect Bristol party should be, and we'll get back to you with the best available venues.
It's Just a Party Right? Wrong.
When it comes to planning the ultimate private party a lot of people think it is quite easy. We've all been there, sat down with a glass of wine and a pen and paper, only to be left feeling more confused than when we started...
We recommend asking yourself these questions: What is your ideal party style? What do you want your guests to experience? How many guests do you expect? Where do you picture the venue in your head?
Once you've answered these: congratulations, you've got yourself a party planning criteria for your private Bristol event. Our advice is to let the venues come to you: you'll filter out those that can't accommodate your dream Bristol private party, and get personalised responses from those that can.
Setting a budget for your Bristol party is a vital step in the planning process. If you're planning a private event in Bristol, you have to be realistic with what you'd like to spend. If it's your birthday, you're going to want to make sure that your guests have the best time possible. We recommend looking at the most important aspects of your Bristol event, such as the venue and drinks on arrival. Setting a budget per person is a great way of controlling the cost. Some venues will offer dry hire, and allow you to bring your own booze, some will have a minimum spend and keep your private Bristol party watered all night if that's what you're after.
Location, location, location
Bristol is well connected and has a fantastic range of public transport. Getting to know the city and where each of the venues is located will help your guests that are travelling in from afar. Luckily, Bristol is small enough to get around without a car, with plenty of parking available at most of the venues. If your party is going to be a little smaller, it's worth considering a location that is close to a number of restaurants. This way you can have your Bristol party at the venue, then eat at the restaurant.
For party venues in Bristol, you're spoilt for choice. Here is an extra special one that we vouch for:
Steinbeck & Shaw – Party in style at this quirky Bristol party venue, complete with a fully-stocked bar.
There really is no one answer to this question: so many variables come into play when understanding the cost of exclusive hire of a party venue. How many guests are you planning for? Is the venue for the day, an afternoon, or the night? The good news is that you can find a venue for pretty much any budget (okay, almost any budget). Instead of letting the venue dictate the price, our advice is to be proactive and set a budget that you feel comfortable with – this way the right venues can reach out to you through HeadBox.
There are lots of ways to book a Bristol party venue. You can do the old-fashioned thing and pick up the phone, or email the venue directly. Unfortunately, lots of venues are busy and may not get back to you in time. That's where we come in. Give us your enquiry and we'll reach out to the best party venues in Bristol and let you enjoy your free time. Easy.