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A swinging date night at the Old Market Assembly

Yes it was a surprise for me too!

I first went to Bristol’s Old Market Assembly back in December, to visit the Wardrobe Theatre in its new space at the back of the venue.  It had moved there from its previous home in Cotham and now has the spacious seating capacity for 100 people around a good sized stage.

The theatre showcases some amazing productions, many of which go on to the summer  festivals and Edinburgh fringe. I was there to watch alternative Christmas panto ‘Goldilock, Stock and Three Smoking Bears’ which was incredibly clever and funny.  As it was Christmas and the place had just opened, it was impossible to get a table to eat and so it’s been on the return list since then.

The building was originally a Victorian bank, then became a theatre and night club after which it lay derelict for some time. It has been beautifully restored retaining many of the stunning original features. Although when it opened back in December it was clear it had opened in a rush and there was still some snagging to do, sadly in May it still hasn’t all been completed.

The team behind the venue have a focus on sustainability and it was interesting to see a  reasonably priced menu that catered for vegans, vegetarians,  pescetarians and good old carnivores! I was seriously tempted by the vegan mushroom burger, but opted instead for mussels in cider, ‘the date’ went for the Thai fish salad. I had great expectations but sadly have to say the food was just okay, the mussels were small and not very tasty, the fish salad was small in portion size.

However, the evening was by no means ruined. Our table was upstairs on the mezzanine and we were unaware that the jazz band  ‘Paper moon‘ (the board said swing but I would call it jazz) would be playing and what a treat, they were delightful. The talented singer Lucy Moon has a rich voice made for jazz.  From our table we had a perfect view of the band and lindy hoppers below. It was like being in a good old fashioned cabaret club.

Although I wasn’t overly enthused by the food (and judging by how booked up they get, maybe it was an off night), the place is enjoyably unique, I love that you can eat, drink, watch a play or listen to music all in the same venue.

What I wore:  For a mid week date in a bohemian part of town, I kept things quite casual. With the weather still chilly, I have been wearing my jeans on rotation at the moment, but these distressed cropped ones are a favourite. I decided to keep the rest of the look simple and monochrome with the pop of yellow at the bottom of the black and white stripe adding interest. A black tailored jacket is a wardrobe staple and bought everything together. I love  vintage finds, and by just adding them in subtly will keep things chic, rather than looking like you’ve stepped out of a time machine!   Jeans, 7forallmankind (past season but similar). Top Zara, Tailored jacket, banana Republic (past season ). Shoes, LK Bennett (past season but similar). Clutch bag, Vintage. Bangle, Vintage.


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