At-Bristol : After Hours - Love & Luck

At-Bristol's 'After Hours' is a quarterly event held at the science centre in central Bristol. Usually a popular family destination these evening events are strictly adults only giving grown-ups the chance to roam free around the centre, play with all the exhibits unimpeded by little people and learn more about science in a night then they may well have done since school! Visiting At-Bristol has been something I've wanted to do for sometime so I was pretty excited to receive an invitation to February's event and I think this was the perfect way to experience it - with a DJ playing out tunes and a drink in my hand.

With the event taking place at the beginning of Valentine's weekend on Friday the 13th the theme for the evening was aptly 'Love and Luck' and there were a number of exhibits set up especially to explore this topic. For starters 'The Science behind Alcohol and Attractiveness' had Will and I passing judgement on how good-looking we found people in a series of pictures, although at only one pint down I think we were both still on the picky side!

Of course we quickly found ourselves in At-Bristol newest exhibition area Food! and were instantly impressed and rather jealous of the gorgeous greenhouse teeming with herbs. For the 'Love & Luck' event The Wiltshire Chilli Farm had taken over the kitchen for the evening, letting people sample not only their delicious sauces and chutneys but also see how their tastebuds faired against the Scoville scale; us being the chilli-heads we are our attitude was "Hey Hot Stuff - bring it on!". I may have mentioned I like my spicy food once, or twice (maybe more) on this blog so it was a lot of fun seeing exactly where on the scale my heat threshold lies - by the top-end 400,000 scovilles of a strong habanero I was definitely feeling the burn (I just love the extreme numbers of the Scoville scale!). To cool down we then had a ridiculous amount of fun playing with the food photo-booth but caused a rather large queue to form as we were desperately trying to get a Marmite selfie, we settled for a picture with blue-cheese - which we love nearly as much!

After a quick foray into human biology we grabbed another drink and headed upstairs, having to whiz passed the animation exhibit to get to the 9pm show at the planetarium. Having never visited At-Bristol before this was one part I was adamant I couldn't miss and it did not disappoint. The stars inside the dome looked beautiful as our At-Bristol guide, who was brilliant fun, talked us through the night's sky. When we were asked questions about the stars we were gazing on I happily pretended I was in the Hogwarts astronomy tower and called out the names of constellations I knew. The planetarium is magical enough as it is but excitingly this year it is to be refurbished and will relaunch in April with new 3D technology for an even more immersive experience!

After the show we had just enough time for a speedy double-date with a Neanderthal couple, who suggested that cave painting and bison hunting together is the key to a happy relationship, we were inclined not to argue any different with them!

Our blue cheese food-photo-booth pic proudly displayed on our fridge... we'll get you next time Marmite!
The 'Love & Luck' After-Hours event was such a great way to experience the science centre, showing that although the venue may usually be filled with children and families the exhibits at At-Bristol are just as fun for "Big-Kids" too and it was such a unique experience for an evening out, where else would you find yourself polishing of a glass of red wine inside a giant womb? My only regret for the evening is that we didn't get there earlier to fit more in - I would have especially loved to have tried my hand at the heart dissection. A massive thanks to At-Bristol for the invite, we had the best time and we'll definitely be back for the next After Hours event. YEAH SCIENCE!!*

*(...obligatory Breaking Bad reference)

Anchor Road, 

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