Last night, St Nicholas Market opened its doors and extended its opening hours, taking over Corn Street and the Glass Arcade until 9.30pm to showcase the best of Bristol’s market and street food offerings. As keen appreciators of anything food-related, some of the Her Campus team decided to head down and check it out, and sadly our verdict was mixed.
The variety of cuisine on offer was certainly diverse, with British, Thai, Kurdish, Brazilian, Mediterranean, Caribbean and Moroccan stalls to name but a few. There were also stands offering handmade jewellery and cashmere ponchos and a range of local musicians filled the street with blues, folk, flamenco and African beats.
However, whilst the selection of food on offer was undeniably impressive and the atmosphere was buzzing, the market didn’t exactly provide the “chill vibes” we were expecting. The enclosed nature of the Glass Arcade and the narrowness of Corn Street paired with throngs of hungry and impatient market-goers made for a hectic and slightly claustrophobic atmosphere. Places to sit were also extremely limited, so if you did manage to battle your way through the crowds for some food you were confronted with the equally challenging task of eating without getting elbowed in the face by a stranger fighting their way to some falafel.
Ashamed as I am to admit it, we didn’t even manage to sample any of the market’s culinary offerings. As mouth-watering as everything looked, by the time we arrived (shortly after 8pm) many of the stalls had run out of food and those that hadn’t had queues so long that we feared we might pass out with hunger before we got served.
It’s a shame that the event’s unprecendented popularity compromised its success, but all is not lost. Another night market has been scheduled for Friday 13th November, and in response to complaints about the crowds and lack of space, organisers have promised to make improvements, including closing extra roads and providing more seating. My advice for those considering a visit? It’s definitely worthwhile, but make sure to wrap up warm, get there early and grab yourself a table if you want to take full advantage of the treats on offer.