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Nov122014

Somerset-Attractions At-Bristol



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Nov052014

Number 38 Clifton, Bristol: hotel review



Number 38 Clifton terrace, Bristol

Number 38 Clifton terrace, Bristol

Be it a drink in the lounge or an iron sent up to your room, if you want anything at Number 38, ask for it before 8pm. After that, the communal areas close, the friendly staff sign off and, essentially, this handsome B&B shuts down for the night and guests can access only a lobby and stairwell bereft of life but for owner Adam Dorrien Smith's striking art collection.

Number 38 Clifton

38 Upper Belgrave Road,

Bristol

BS8 2XN

+44 (0)117 9466905



number38clifton.com

B&B doubles from £125



Depending on your point of view, this either gives the nine-bedroom townhouse an eerie, Mary Celeste feel, or turns it into an oasis of serenity. You are just off busy Whiteladies Road, but looking out over either the Downs or the city below. Real life – traffic, noise, people – seems very remote. But for an occasional door closing or floorboard creaking, you could imagine you are the only guest. Any celebrity looking to hide away with a lover (late arrivals let themselves in with an access code), should have Number 38 on speed dial.

My "house room", a standard room with added freestanding bath, had a tropical feel: ceiling fan, colonial shutters, plain grey-green panelling, Roberts radio broadcasting birdsong. But the mini-bar, (Chablis, champagne, Green & Black's), bed (feather pillows) and bathroom (REN toiletries) lift the simple and uncluttered room to the luxurious level of its locale – upmarket, gentrified Clifton.

Yet I have niggles. Corporate-style Wi-Fi that requires your name and email, and a £1.50 charge for bottled water, encapsulate Number 38's impersonal feel. A tea tray with fresh milk, locally made (if bought-in) biscuits and assorted Clipper teas, but no freshly ground coffee, likewise suggest a venue going through the high-end motions. Number 38 lacked the quirky touches that make small, independent venues stand out.

The fundamentals of my room were sound (idiot-proof heating, instant hot water, spacious if fixed-head shower), but when stumbling in the dark at 5am the double doors into the bathroom seemed a daft design affectation. And making tea on a small, oddly shaped shelf under a large, flat-screen TV was fiddly.

Next morning at breakfast, the background noise (easy-listening jazz, businessmen discussing sales data) made me long for last night's silence. But the food perked me up. From fat pats of Netherend butter to rich, expertly spiced black pudding, this was a memorable full English.

Think of Number 38 as a peaceful, discreet, less flashy Malmaison. You pay a not-insignificant amount for efficiently rendered luxury. Many people love it. I prefer more personality and action.

• Accommodation was provided by Number 38 Clifton. Train travel between Manchester and Bristol was provided by CrossCountry Trains See visitbristol.co.uk for more information


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Oct292014

Somerset-Attractions At-Bristol



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Oct222014

Somerset-Attractions At-Bristol



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Oct152014

Somerset-Attractions At-Bristol



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