Life size whale art makes a splash in Bristol

In Bristol over the summer? Here’s a piece of public art you won’t be able to miss – because it’s huge!

A sculpture of two life size whales, made from Somerset willow and 70,000 upcycled plastic bottles, has been unveiled in Bristol to mark the city’s status as the UK’s first European Green Capital.

We think they look absolutely stunning! This is what public art should be – playful, awesome and thought-provoking, and what a great opportunity to raise the issue of marine conservation with kids. Make sure you see them before they swim away in September.

Two life size whales, made from Somerset willow and 70,000 upcycled plastic bottles, are unveiled in Bristol - European Green Capital

Weighing a mighty six tonnes, The Bristol Whales are currently splashing about in Bristol’s Millennium Square and will be on display until 1 September 2015. The artwork depicts a blue whale and humpback whale swimming through an ‘ocean’ of plastic bottles, and represents the fragility of our oceans and the increasing threat of plastic pollution.

The Bristol Whales, with artist Sue Lipscombe from Cod Steaks
The Bristol Whales, with artist Sue Lipscombe from Cod Steaks

Visitors can add their own pledge message in a virtual bottle using The Bristol Whales app, which will then be displayed on a Big Screen above the whales. The Bristol Whales has been designed and built by Cod Steaks, initiated by Arts Project Earth and funded by Arts Council England.

Two life size whales, made from Somerset willow and 70,000 upcycled plastic bottles, are unveiled in Bristol - European Green Capital 2

Pieminister’s new Stokes Croft diner, Bristol

Goodtrippers samples the gourmet pie maestros’ newest eaterie in central Bristol

Pieminister Stokes Croft outsideBristolian foodies have somewhere new to add to their ‘must visit’ list this summer – the latest edition to pieminister‘s expanding empire, the Stokes Croft dining space. With a company ethos focused on ethical and local produce, and sustainable practice, pieminister ticks all the boxes for us at Goodtrippers!

Opened on the site of pieminister’s original premises (where it all started 10 years ago), Stokes Croft serves quality pies and West Country cider until 11pm every day. The dining space (the old kitchens) is all exposed brickwork, polished concrete and neon signs – with the addition of a piano for some live entertainment (yes, we did resist the urge to tinkle the ivories).

Food – award-winning pies and ethical sourcing

The menu is nice and simple: Choose a pie for £4.20 (from a lucky 13 fun-sounding list including Matador Pie and Kate & Sidney); add mash or minty mushy pieas for £1.50; a topping for 30p (grated cheese, gravy or crispy shallots); or take the lot for ‘The Mothership’ meal deal for £7.95. You can grab a quick snack of a Mr Porky sausage roll (outdoor reared British pork) or Mr Hot (with added chilli and spices).

Goodtrippers tried a Freeranger Pie – lovely chunks of free range British chicken (pieminister is the only national pie brand to use only free range British chicken) offset by salty ham hock topped with West Country Cheddar. We also had the MSC-approved Pietanic Fish Pie – nice big pieces of mixed fish and prawns in a lovely creamy sauce.

Don’t be put off if you’re vegetarian – the menu may be, naturally, meat-heavy but vegetarians have more than the one token Pieminister Stokes Croft (inside)veggie option. Choose from the Heidi Pie (Somerset goat’s cheese, red onion, sweet potato, spinach); Wild Shroom Pie (wild mushrooms, asparagus, white wine, cream); or The Big Cheese Pie (West Country Cheddar, garlic cream cheese, buttered onions).

If you’ve still room for pudding, try a Bristolbocker Glory made with ice-creams from nearby Bath’s Marshfield Farm.

Drinks – local and well-crafted

The bar is well-stocked with local West Country ciders (naturally) and local craft beers. And you don’t have to wait until 6pm to try Bristol’s own 6 O’Clock Gin. However, if you’re there first thing in the morning (Stoke’s Croft opens at 10am), boost your mid-morning with a coffee from Bristol’s Extract Coffee Roasters. Tea comes from House of Bath.

Where to find

Pieminister, 24 Stokes Croft, Bristol BS1 3PR (open Mon-Sat 10am-11pm; Sun 11am-11pm). T: 0117 9423322

If you can’t visit the new Stokes Croft dining space, there are plenty of shops, pubs, markets and delis where you can eat pieminister’s sustainable, ethical pies – here are just a few (visit for the full list):

London: Pieminister, 24 Leather Lane, London EC1N 7TS (open Mon-Fri 11am-9pm; Sat-Sun 12-5pm)

Manchester: Pieminister, 53 Church Street, Manchester M4 1PD (open Mon-Sat 11am-8pm; Sun 12-5pm)

Oxford: Pieminister, 56-58 The Covered Market, Oxford OX1 3DX (open Mon-Sat 10am-5pm; Sun 11am-4pm)

‘Good’ credentials:

  • Use ethical and responsibly-sourced ingrediants (British meats including free range chicken, outdoor-reared pork and venison, MSC-approved fish)
  • Only national pie brand to use free range British chicken in all their chicken recipes
  • Vegetarian pies are approved by The Vegetarian Society
  • Work fairly with farmers and producers as local as possible to their kitchens to reduce food miles
  • Committed to reducing their carbon footprint – the cardboard cartons used are sourced from sustainable forest and are fully compostable and recyclable)


Want to win a selection box of yummy pieminister pies? We’ve teamed up with pieminister to offer one lucky winner a box of 12 award-winning pies, plus summer picnic goodies – see our competition details here

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