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­­folio­­ bristol & bath

free take one! the west’s best lifest yle m ag

August 2011 l No. 199

Dress to impress

floaty frocks + How to wear a Jumpsuit


Tickets to Ladies Day!



➻ Beauty F199_COVER.indd 3

Interiors hot trend alert: colour blocking

Our favourite family-run businesses

Tuck in! Four local chefs share their signature dishes... PLUS Recipe from Marco Pierre White's Pear Tree Inn

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/aUGUST 2011 food for thought For Heston Blumenthal it’s snail porridge and bacon & egg ice-cream (not together, I hasten to add), while for Marco Pierre White it’s pig’s trotter Pierre Koffman. No, we’re not talking the sort of food you might have been threatened with being force-fed as a child if you didn’t eat up all your greens. We’re talking signature dishes! For many chefs, creating a signature dish is as personal and unique as a fingerprint – like their gastronomic DNA, if you will – allowing us, the greedy populace, a glimpse into the very soul of these kitchen gods. But while most of us won’t ever get the chance to taste Heston’s fairytale food (the waiting list at the Fat Duck is two months, while the price is a belt-tightening £160 per person for the tasting menu), there is a chance you’ll make it to Marco’s (either at the Pear Tree near Melksham – see recipe for belly pork Marco Polo on page 70 – or his Steakhouse at the Cadbury House Hotel just outside Bristol). And for four more illustrious local chefs’ signature dishes and their kitchen philosophy, turn to page 56. Also in this issue, on page 4 Steve Wright talks to five thriving businesses to find out how keeping it in the family can be an absolute blessing. Stylist Niki Whittle kicks off her new fashion column showing us how to wear a jumpsuit on page 26, and on page 35 our man in the motor swaps the supermini for a premium luxury Range Rover.

Bon appétit!

Rachel Nott Folio editor

Win this stateof-the-art pasta machine page 21

Features 4 Steve Wright talks to five local family businesses 12 Mike White picks his top things to do this month 15 Eugene Byrne visits Blaise Castle House Museum, Red Lodge and the Georgian House 18 Our walk this month is a two-hour stroll around Folly Farm

Competitions 21 Win a pasta maker and tickets to Bath Races!

Lifestyle 24 26 28 30 33 35 37 38

Anna Britten gets the party started in upmarket on-trend style Personal stylist Niki Whittle on how to wear a jumpsuit Melissa Blease visits Bath’s latest gift emporium, Cole How to get the brightest, whitest smile around Jenny Crombie gets a healthy glow courtesy of St Tropez Steve Wright test-drives Land Rover’s Range Rover Vogue Hannah Bellis gets pampered to perfection at Vale Resort Cardiff Tony Benjamin enjoys a stay at Ellenborough Park

4 thriving local family businesses

24 Floaty frocks and classy cover-ups for summer soirées

Homefront 43 Lesley Taylor on how to incorporate colour blocking into your home 46 Homeworx show us their latest Grand Design 48 Trish Gibson on how to make the most of your summer garden 50 This month’s hot properties


It's time to embrace colour! We show you that bold is beautiful

Eating Out West 56 61 62 65 66 68 69 70

Melissa Blease and Tony Benjamin work their way through a few of their favourite chefs’ signature dishes Why we should all eat seasonal Somerset restaurant review: Apple Tree Inn Bristol restaurant review: 4,500 Miles from Delhi Top 10 cocktails plus Ciao Italia, Bristol reviewed The latest foodie news Table Talk plus La Perla, Bath reviewed Delicious recipe from The Pear Tree Inn

Subscribe to Folio and get Venue with it! Just send a cheque for £37.50 (payable to Folio) to our Bristol address or phone with credit/debit card details and you’ll get the next 12 issues sent to your home, or 6 issues for £19.50 – the only way to guarantee you’ll get every copy of the West’s fastest-growing lifestyle magazine. Ffi: 0117 934 3741 Folio Bristol 4th Floor, Bristol News & Media, Temple Way, Bristol, BS99 7HD tel 0117 942 8491 fax 0117 934 3566 email or Folio Bath Bath News & Media, Floor 2, Westpoint, James West St, Bath BA1 1UN tel 01225 429801 fax 01225 447602 Editor Rachel Nott Group Editor Dave Higgitt Production Manager Cath Evans Design Team Sarah Clark, Sarah Malone Sub-editor Jo Renshaw Publications Co-ordinators Emma Gorton, Ruth Wood Commercial Manager Becky Davis Advertising Bex Baddiley, Adam Burrows, Nejla Unal, Ben Wright Distribution Dave Higgitt Ring us now for details of how to reach our 75,000 readers – and if you’re a reader, contact our advertisers now! Do please let them know where you read about their services. Thank you. Folio articles preceded by the words ‘Folio Profile’ have been supplied by a third party, and the information contained within them does not necessarily constitute a direct recommendation by the publishers. However, we only accept submissions from bona fide companies whom we know from long experience to provide quality goods or services.

56 Meet the inventors... four local chefs share their signature dishes

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Keeping it in the


What’s it like running a family business? Steve Wright takes the pulse at five of Bristol and Bath’s most thriving family concerns “The first few months were a little volcanic to say the least…!” CATHERINE AMESBURY JEWELLERY


s you read this, the wraps will be coming off Artemis, the brand new jewellery and gift shop on Bristol’s Gloucester Road, run by mother/daughter duo Catherine and Carrie Amesbury. These two have run their jewellery business together for two years now – and things are looking rosy. Catherine started out selling jewellery 10 years ago. “I’ve run a health and beauty clinic for over 20 years, and started selling jewellery I bought in Spain. Things snowballed from there. I was inspired to start a silversmithing course and designing my own jewellery. Initially I was making things for friends and family, and then, at my 50th birthday five years ago, I launched my own range at North Bristol Arts Trail. Carrie, meanwhile, had done some exploratory silversmithing at an afterschool club. “We started doing jewellery together at the kitchen table, and things grew from there,” Carrie recalls. Before long, a room in their Bishopston house became a dedicated workshop and office. Then came the opportunity of a stall in Woolies Indoor Market, the independent traders’ market set up in the former Woolworths store on Whiteladies Road. “We thought it would be a nice stepping-stone from working at home to going out on the high street,” Carrie explains. “And it was going very well for us, but sadly this spring the building was let to

Sainsbury’s and they gave us four weeks to get out.” So the enterprising mother-anddaughter duo decamped back home and began their successful hunt for new premises. Things might not have turned out this way, though. Carrie became a professional actress at age seven, when she starred as Lucy, younger daughter of Kate Winslet’s bohemian émigrée in the 1994 film Hideous Kinky. “I always thought she’d go to Hollywood,” says Catherine. “All through GCSE and A-levels, she was doing the acting – as well as working part-time with me!” “I worked with some wonderful people,” Carrie remembers. “My last job was in London, working on a film with Timothy Spall. But I missed Bristol. I was doing what I’d always wanted, but all I could think about was being at home, making jewellery. That realisation set me back on the right track.” Carrie was finishing a year’s study of technical theatre (“just in case that really was the life for me”) when the Woolies opportunity came up. Catherine recalls: “I said, ‘That’s not for me – I don’t want to be a shopkeeper.’ Carrie said, ‘Well, I do.’ So she ran the shop, and I run the business from home.” And things are flourishing: Catherine Amesbury Jewellery recorded a 40 per cent increase in turnover during the first four months of this year, compared to 2010, and some 1,500 Bristol women have asked to be on their database. For Carrie, jewellery is definitely her

career of choice – this isn’t simply a case of helping Mum out. “It just feels natural. I loved going on the buying trips with Mum as a girl. And last Christmas I was given the most wonderful present – an A4 envelope with a quarter-share of the business inside. That made me feel that all the work I’d put in was having an impact.” “There’s no one else in the world that I have this empathy with,” says Catherine. “If I have a design in my head, I can talk to Carrie about it and she can see what’s in her head. If I talk to her about a pattern, and she designs it, it’s as if it was in my head.” A close mother-daughter relationship and a small business: that’s quite a lot to share. Does it ever feel too intense? “We

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“It’s strengthened our relationship because, come hell or high water, we’re in it together” PROSECCO RESTAURANT


Mother and daughter Catherine and Carrie Amesbury have just opened a new jewellery and gift shop, Artemis, at 214 Gloucester Road

have our spats – we’re both strong characters,” says Carrie. “But I’m learning to adopt a more diplomatic approach, rather than going in all guns blazing. The first few months of running Woolies were a little volcanic to say the least [both laugh] but we’ve found a happy working rhythm now.” So will this last? “I’m looking at this as my pension and Carrie’s future,” says Catherine. That said, she’s been careful not to exert on Carrie any of the pressure she felt while growing up. “I was always obsessed by fashion and jewellery: as a teenager, getting the coach up to Biba in London was the highlight of my month. But my parents didn’t want me to go to art college. They wanted me to have a profession, and persuaded me into nursing, which I hated. I’m incredibly proud of Carrie. As well as her acting, she sings and dances beautifully, and the fact that she wants to do this with me…” The plan is for Artemis to start out as a jewellery shop and workshop, later branching out into gifts, cards and work by local artists. “The shop is two streets away from where we’ve lived for 22 years. This is our home – it’s the right place for us to be.”

iego and Heidi Da Re have run Prosecco, an Italian restaurant in Clifton Village, since 2006. The couple met in London 15 years ago, when Heidi was teaching and Diego was cooking at the hugely prestigious restaurant Quaglino’s. “Every chef’s dream is to have their own restaurant, but at the time, we were young, free and enjoying ourselves,” Heidi recalls. The couple married in 2000 and had their first child (and moved to Bristol) the following year, putting the restaurant project on hold. Soon after, Diego became head chef at city-centre restaurant San Carlo, and their second child arrived in 2003. “By 2005 we thought, ‘OK, let’s give this a go.’ The children were a bit older, and it seemed the right time. In hindsight, it was hell getting it up and running!” It took them a year to find premises, and another year to get all the legal stuff in place – and Prosecco finally opened in November 2006. The nuts and bolts of restaurant ownership were new to Heidi, but, with Diego being a non-native speaker, all the legalities fell to her. “It was a very steep learning curve for us both. And to be entirely responsible for your financial commitments – especially as we had no partners, it was just the two of us, so any investment we made had to come from us – was daunting. Getting a bank loan, remortgaging

the house, the bank saying, ‘If this all goes belly up, we’ll take the house…’ It was really scary.” Diego runs the kitchen, while Heidi, when not teaching part-time, manages the restaurant. “We work together well because we’re extremely different: Diego is a perfectionist and I’m a control freak! He has to have things just right – beautiful food, brilliant menus. The restaurant wouldn’t be the success it is without him. I’m in the background, doing the organisation, accounts, staff and so on.” Working on a long-term relationship and a family together must equip you fairly well for going into business together? “Definitely. We have our huge ups and downs, but we know that the only person we can rely on is each other. He knows I’ll do my part to the very best of my ability and vice versa. In a way, it’s strengthened our relationship because, come hell or high water, we’re in it together. You’ve got to have a very strong relationship to do something like this together. And we work on different floors, which is a huge help!” The ups and downs, like any ➻


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business and any family, have been both financial and emotional. “We’ve learned that when you have a good bit, you really have to enjoy it because a bad bit will be round the corner. Last Christmas we closed for two weeks, went to Disneyworld and had the holiday of a lifetime. The day we got back, one of my managers had had a meltdown in their personal life and said they weren’t coming back to work the next day. So I said to the boys, ‘Look, we’ve had an amazing time, but the next month is going to be rough because we’ll both be working fulltime.’ “These things happen to every family. But if you’re both earning your money in different places, it gives a little bit of distance and coping – whereas any problem with the restaurant is a big weight on our shoulders. It does run you ragged, and that’s one of the reasons we’ve started closing on Sundays and Mondays – having two days to switch off and be a family means that we come back to work stronger on a Tuesday, and can give it all we’ve got for five days.” So what are the keys to a happy, functional happy business? “Recognise your part in the business and stick to it – know and play to your strengths. And be supportive of each other’s roles. I don’t get involved in the food – that’s Diego’s arena.” And would they encourage their boys into the restaurant trade? “No, I don’t think I would,” laughs Heidi. “I wouldn’t stop them – when you’re young, especially, it’s not a bad trade to be in, as it’s very sociable. But like any business, it tends to swallow up the hard-working people. I thought teachers worked hard until I joined the catering trade. We’re surviving – flourishing, even. But you never know what’s round the corner, even when things are going well. You can never rest on your laurels: there’s always something you can improve.” FFI WWW.PROSECCOCLIFTON.COM

“You’ve got to be careful, working with a family member, that you treat them just as you would anyone else” FRONTLINE STYLE


hese days, Frontline Style run two successful hair and beauty salons in Wells and Bath, but the company’s history goes back a few decades and north-west a few dozen miles… Manager Frances Urwin started out under her father, who set up his first hair salon in Weston-super-Mare in the 1950s. “I got interested in the business as a young woman and we became partners,” Frances explains. “I introduced a beauty side to the business and started selling products, and continued to run the business until his death in the late 1980s.” Her father started six hairdresser branches in Weston – Frances slimmed that empire down to one premises in Weston and another in Wells. She then opened the Bath salon in 2005, and sold the Weston premises. Frances’s three children have all been involved in the business. “My son is currently helping to develop our website and e-commerce, so we can sell products online. My eldest daughter worked as our operations manager for a few years, and her sister helped to establish the Bath branch when it opened. They’ve all

been involved and all take an interest – it’s very much a family business. “As a long-term business you have to stay ahead of the game, and working with the younger generation helps to energise me and keep me up to speed. Even if I were tempted to flag, I’m not allowed to, and I think I was like that with my father. You need to mix the experience of age with the energy and new thinking of youth.” What are the rules for working effectively as a family? “Honesty and openness, but also respect. You’ve got to be careful, working with a family member, that you treat them just as you would anyone else. I’ve got total respect for all the team, and it wouldn’t be right not to treat my family in the same way.” So has it been a harmonious ride thus far? “We have our moments, but on the whole it’s worked very well. It can be tricky if someone steps out of line – with any other employee, you would sit down and talk it through, but it’s perhaps slightly harder with a family member. But you get a huge amount of loyalty from family members, as everyone’s in it together.”

Above left: Prosecco's owners, Diego and Heidi Da Re, with their two sons; above right: Frontline Style in Bath


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“Steph and I will come up with some plan – ‘Let’s build the Eiffel Tower in the bar!’ – and Adam will bring us back down to earth” MR WOLF'S


ark Wolff was working as a chef at Bristol University when he decided to strike out alone. “My dream was to open a place in the centre of Bristol, open till late at night, where people could come for healthy vegetarian food. I found premises on St Stephens Street in the centre of town and we opened in 2001.” Business was slow at first – “It was hard to lure people away from their burgers, pizzas and fish and chips” – but music was the catalyst for change. “We used to have some regular customers drop in, including a singer called Pete Roe and a drummer called Jess, who were looking for somewhere else to play other than the Old Duke. So I said, ‘Look, we’re often twiddling our thumbs here in the evening – why don’t you come and play here?’” That was the start of a live music programme that has turned Mr Wolf’s into one of the city’s best and most sought-after venues, for both bands and gig-goers. Before long, Mark was able to expand his new venture. “St Stephens Street was a bit of a nowhere street at the time. Two neighbouring shops came up for rent, and I took them over. I was still booking bands, but I’m an old rocker at heart and kept booking rock bands. That’s when my daughter Steph got involved – she helped me to book the music acts and made our programme much more diverse than before. I never want people to think that Mr Wolf’s is a heavy metal pub, or an acoustic pub. I always want them to be surprised.” Daughter Steph now looks after the music bookings, with colleague Ross. Son Adam is the general manager and, says,

“I’ve been helping out ever since I was old enough to get through the door” Mark, ‘Wise One’. “Steph and I will come up with some plan – like ‘Let’s build the Eiffel Tower in the bar!’ – and Adam will bring us back down to earth. I can go a bit crazy at times, and I need someone to put the brakes on. It’s a good mix of vision and realism.” Mark treats Steph and Adam just like all the other staff. “It’s the only way you can do it. Everyone’s got to be on the same playing field, and you have to respect everyone’s input and insights. You start to think of all the people that work with you, over time, as your family. A family business isn’t about making money. It’s about a lifestyle, and looking forward to seeing the people you work with.” FFI WWW.MRWOLFS.COM



his Bath sports shop has been in the same family for 99 years. Current manager Rob Moore, the fourth generation to run the store, explains the shop’s history. “Len Braund, an England international cricketer, had run a sports shop in the city from about 1890. He sold the business to my great grandfather in 1912, and the business has been sold on to each descendant ever since. We’ll be celebrating our first century next year!” Rob’s been involved for some 20 years although, he says, “I’ve been helping out ever since I was old enough to get through the door.” Did he feel any pressure to join the family firm? “I wasn’t aware of it. I love sport, I live it, so it always felt the natural thing to do.” Rob’s brother Jason is the shop’s finance and IT manager – and the relationship, says Rob, is a smooth one. “You just make sure everyone knows the boundaries from day one. Communication is key.” Rob has three children himself. So, are the fifth generation being groomed? “If they want to carry on the business, great. If they don’t, they won’t be pushed at all. You’d hope one of them would be up for it, though!”

Above left: Mr Wolf's, and below left: owner Mark Wolff with daughter Steph and son Adam; above right: Rob and Jason Moore of John Moore Sports


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Voted in the Top 50 antique shops in Great Britain 2010 by The Independent on Sunday

OLD BANK ANTIQUES CENTRE 14-17 Walcot Buildings, Bath

Situated on the London Road (A4), just a short walk from the top of Walcot Street. Old Bank Antiques Centre is the largest retailer of antiques in Bath, without being stuffy and too grand. This is how antiques shops used to look: a hoarder`s paradise. fifteen dealers spread through lots of showrooms in four shops with everything from 17th century to 1970s retro. Experienced and professional advice is always available. Customer parking is at the rear, accessed via Bedford Street. Deliveries can be arranged anywhere in the UK or the rest of world, at cost price. Furniture restorer on premises. Open seven days a week and most bank holidays Visit our website: Tel: 01225 469282 & 338813 Email:

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what’s new

Get close to nature with a family-friendly-packed line-up at Westonbirt's wonderful Treefest

what to do in...


Aerobatic biplanes, glorious garden parties and dinner with an otter… Mike White‘s suggestions for a fun-filled month



Look forward to four days of family fun, music, camping and crafts as Westonbirt’s annual Treefest bursts into life again. This year, lucky Treefesters will have the rare chance to spend nights under canvas in the stunning arboretum, waking to enjoy traditional favourites including wood carving and crafts, have a go at hands-on learning, munch some local food, watch the falconry displays, Morris dancing and demonstrations from the Westonbirt tree team and even take a stroll through a medieval village.

Treefest 26-29 Aug, daily programme 10am-5pm, live music till 8pm, Westonbirt Arboretum, Tetbury, Glos, see website for price details. Ffi:



As well as plenty of more traditional fare (rural crafts, archery, falconry and the like), this family-friendly celebration of country pursuits also presents some very modern distractions, including ‘horse boarding’ – an equestrian sport in which a horse tows a skate-boarder at speeds of 30mph or more. If that sounds a bit hair-raising, try a spot of fishing, watch a dog show or just graze stall after stall of sumptuous food.

Wiltshire Game & Country Fair 6-7 Aug, 10am-6pm, Bowood House, Calne, Wilts, £10 adult, £9 senior, £4 child, under-5s free. Ffi: www.

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With its fairytale grotto, romantic tower and sundappled orangery, Goldney House is one of the gems of Clifton. This year, its well-manicured gardens are playing host to the annual Amnesty International garden party, promising afternoon teas, face-painting, storytellers, magicians, music and summery songs from the People of Note Choir.

Goldney Garden Party Sun 7 Aug, 1-5.30pm, Goldney Hall Gardens, Lower Clifton Hill, Bristol, £5 on the door, under16s free. All proceeds help Amnesty International’s vital campaigning for Human Rights around the world. Ffi:

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Get ready to 'ooh' and 'aah' at the breathtaking air displays over Weston pier

what’s new



Not so long ago, organic food was considered a bit strange – the preserve of a few eccentrics comparing wonky carrots in a farm shop. Nowadays, sustainable, chemical-free farming is big business, with a healthier environment the happy by-product. In celebration of this comes Europe’s largest organic showcase event, back for its 11th year with a huge range of tempting food and drink, fashion, beauty products and home design ideas to try, plus hands-on fun including cooking demos from top chefs, tips on organic gardening and special child-friendly taste workshops – in a tipi! Organic Food Festival 3-4 Sept, Harbourside, Bristol (Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 10am-5pm), £5 per day, weekend ticket £8, under-15s free. Ffi:



Leave the buckets and spades at home – Weston seafront will be more about biplanes and breathtaking aerial displays on Wed 17 Aug, as the Royal Artillery Parachute Team, the Black Knights, leap from a plane overhead and whirl towards the pier (11.30am). Later (at 1.30pm, to be exact), ‘the world’s only aerobatic formation wing walking team’, the Breitling Wing Walkers, will tempt fate with a sequence of acrobatic manoeuvres and handstands while strapped to the top wings of specially adapted biplanes. At 3pm the Blades air display team (all former Red Arrows pilots) will show off their aerobatic prowess, looping above the crowd in high-performance aircraft. Great Grand Pier Air Day Wed 17 Aug, Grand Pier, Weston-super-Mare (first display 11.30am). Ffi:


There are several opportunities for children to dive into Bath’s mysterious past this month at the suitably ancient Roman Baths. On Mon 1 Aug, you can try your hand at Wonderful Weaving, while the Little Britannia day, the following week (Mon 8 Aug), offers young ones a fascinating insight into what life was really like for nippers their own age in Roman times. On the Mon 15 Aug, explore the role animals played in Roman life, and on Mon 22 Aug fashionistas can find out about the beautiful sparkly contents of a Roman woman’s jewellery box.



Amo, amas, amat… for most of us, Latin lessons are but a dusty memory. But for George Sharpley, the words of the Romans are very much alive. In an intriguing new course at Gloucester Cathedral, he’ll be using the words of Cicero, Virgil et al to tell the story of the end of the republic and the rise of the emperors, weaving a compelling picture of the people of Rome – their lives, hopes, joys and beliefs, as well as their foibles and cruelties. The course is held in the ancient Parliament Suite next to the cathedral cloisters where, in centuries past, monks sat copying many of the authors whose words you’ll be discovering. No prior knowledge of Latin is required. Reading Latin 15-19 Aug, 9.30am-4.30pm, Parliament Suite, Church House, Gloucester Cathedral, College Green, £150/£120. Ffi: gloucester_cathedral

Roman Baths Mon 1, 8, 15 & 22 Aug, Abbey Church Yard, Bath (all special events 10am-1pm & 2-4pm; usual opening hours 9am-9pm), admission £12.50 adult, £7.80 ages 6-16, family ticket (2 + up to 4) £34. Ffi:



The wetland nature reserve at Slimbridge is rightly famous for its flocks of feathered inhabitants, but less well-known for the many other species living there. This August, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust’s experts are on hand to introduce you to some of the mammals who scamper, forage, burrow and swim in the reserve’s fields, reed beds and lakes. You might find yourself face to face with harvest mice, water shrews and voles, watching otters being fed or questing in the gloaming for a beaver. Keep your ears open for the nocturnal noises as you reconvene around the campfire for cookies and hot chocolate – the perfect end to a most unusual evening.

Meet the Mammals Sat 20 Aug, 7-9.30pm, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Slimbridge, Glos, £12 adult, £6 child.

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The classical-style entrance to Blaise Castle House Museum

Off the

We all know about the City Museum and the new M Shed. But Bristol’s other museums are well worth a look, says Eugene Byrne

beaten track Re-created Victorian schoolroom at Blaise Castle House Museum


ugust, is it? If you have children to keep amused, there are plenty of cheap or free adventures to be had. All those green spaces to go for a picnic at, not to mention open-top bus tours and boat rides round the docks. It’s also an excellent time to explore Bristol City Council’s other museums. That’s not to say you shouldn’t also visit the new M Shed, or the City Museum (catch the Beryl Cook exhibition before it finishes on 29 Aug), but there are other places where the tourists don’t usually go and which you should catch soon because they have shorter opening hours – or close altogether – in winter. We’re talking about…

Blaise Castle House Museum

Blaise is the best free-of-charge family outing that Bristol can offer. There’s the museum, and close by there’s a brilliant play area, a cafe and, for running off any steam that might be left, there’s the whole of Blaise Castle estate to explore. While you’re there, you might also want to look at Blaise Hamlet (collection of to-die-for quaint cottages, now run by the National Trust) or wander the backstreets of Henbury and the parish churchyard, where you’ll find the grave of Scipio Africanus, one of


only a few known burial places in England of an African from the period when Englishmen traded in slaves. The house was built for a wealthy Quaker banking family in the late 18th century, and the grounds were laid out by Humphry Repton, the leading landscape designer of his day. Blaise museum curator Catherine Littlejohns has no hesitation in saying that his ‘Red Book’ on Blaise is her favourite object in the museum. “He produced these books showing his designs for each client he worked for,” she explains, “and we’re pretty sure that this is the only one that’s still with its original house.” The Red Book is in a downstairs room, explaining the history of the house and grounds (it merits a mention in Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, you know), though that’s probably not what excites most visitors. There’s a fine gallery of paintings by Bristol School artists, a talented bunch who flourished in and around Bristol in the decades just before photography arrived. But what most people love about the place are the various displays on aspects of social history. There’s the grim-looking Victorian schoolroom, and lots of children’s toys and games from past times, including Britain’s toy soldiers, and a spectacular doll’s house modelled on a house in Queen Square. Then there’s the stuff of everyday domestic life: the cookers, baths, toilets, wash-tubs and mangles, as well as some costumes. This is one of these places you should visit with as many generations of the family as possible, because this is where ➻ folio/Aug 2011 15

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Tell us about your big day or wedding plans; let us know all about the gorgeous dress you discovered or about that perfect venue. Ask us any questions you have about planning for your nuptials or share some useful tips of your own. Email the editor at and you could be gracing the pages of our next edition.

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the older ones – especially the women! – become your expert guides. “Blaise has a huge amount of local support in Bristol,” says Catherine. “People have a real sense of ownership of the place, which has grown up over the 60 years it’s been here. I think it complements the City Museum and M Shed very well because it has such a focus on domestic life.” Blaise Castle House Museum Henbury Rd, Bristol, BS10. Ffi: 0117 903 9818. Open Wed-Sun & BHMs 10.30am-4pm till 30 Oct; Sat & Sun only Oct-Easter 2012. Admission free

The Georgian House

OK, if you’ve been, you’ll know all about this place. If you haven’t, then

clockwise from top left: The stately winding staircase at the Red Lodge; the scrubbed table, fireplace and gleaming cooking utensils in the Georgian House kitchen; a bedroom at the Red Lodge complete with four-poster bed

go soon, before government spending cuts see it being closed down and sold off to become yuppie flats or a fancy restaurant (NB: There’s no immediate danger of this that we know of. We’re just being slightly paranoid.) As it’s close to Brandon Hill, this place, too, makes for a good free family outing. This was once the home of a wealthy West Indies sugar planter, one John Pinney. The different rooms have been decorated and furnished in the style of an affluent Bristolian merchant’s house from the late 1700s. Pinney, of course, was a slave owner on a large scale (he reasoned that it

was OK because God hadn’t told him it was wrong), and this is one of the best places in Bristol to find out more about the trade. The Georgian House Great George St (off Park St), Bristol. Ffi: 0117 921 1362. Open Tue-Sun & BHMs 10.30am-4pm July-Aug; Wed, Thur, Sat, Sun & BHMs 10.30am-4pm Sept-Oct; closed 31 OctEaster 2012. Admission free

The Red Lodge

The Red Lodge is easily one of the most intriguing buildings open to the public in Bristol. Try and imagine what this was like when it was first built in the 1580s, surrounded by fields and trees. It’s got a lot of the original plasterwork, and the carved panelling and fireplace in the Great Oak Room are stunning. Out the back, overlooking the Colston Hall, is a recreated Elizabethan ‘knot garden’ that also boasts a statue of Sir Charles Wetherall, the reactionary judge who pretty much single-handedly provoked the 1831 Bristol Riots - a deeply unpleasant character, but obviously a great man... Family outing? Well yes, though it doesn’t take too long - combine a visit here with a trip to the City Museum or, if convenient, drop in during your lunch-break. It’s August, the boss is on holiday, and nobody’s going to notice if you’re back a little late in the afternoon. The Red Lodge Park Row, Bristol. Ffi: 0117 921 1360. Open Wed, Thur, Sat, Sun & BHMs 10.30am-4pm till 30 Oct; closed 31 Oct-Easter 2012. Admission free

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Folly Farm is a beautiful blend of ancient woodland and new planting




farm A little piece of history tucked away in the Mendips – a reminder of how the English countryside was before the second world war…


hese 250 acres of ancient woodlands and wildflower meadows have never been farmed intensively. The site was developed as a ‘ferme ornee’ (see Did You Know…?) for the Sutton Court Estate in the 18th century, and 200 years later was acquired by Avon Wildlife Trust. The historic buildings at its heart have now been converted to an Environmental Learning and Conference Centre. A Very Special Site Part of Folly Farm nature reserve has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) because it’s such a good example of traditionally managed, unimproved neutral grassland – of a type now rare in Britain. Dowling’s Wood also contains areas of rare ancient Folly Farm. The best way to get to know Folly Farm is to take a walk

Escape the everyday with a meadow walk

through its meadows and woodlands, slipping away from the everyday world into a landscape that has changed little over the centuries... The Walk (2 hours) From the car park, walk up through the recent woodland plantings into Folly Wood. Turn left and head through a kissing gate towards Round Hill with its commanding views across Chew Valley and the Mendips. Turning your back to the view, follow the crest of the hill back towards Folly Wood. Pass through the kissing gate and, on entering another extensive plantation of trees, bear to the right, following the wide ride as it runs through the wood. Before reaching the gate, turn right again, with the small conifer plantation on your left and leave the wood via the large deer gate. Turn left and then right into an open field. Turn left and follow the hedge to the end of the field. Continue along the ridge, with the slope to your right, and bear right where the path divides. Follow the path down the hill, gently bearing right and then left until you cross a small culvert, pass through the bottom of another field and reach the kissing gate of the Access for All Trail. Turn right, following this surfaced path along the edge of Folly Wood, passing the badger-watching platform to your left. Crossing the bridge, turn right and return to the car park, passing the Folly Farm Centre. Look out for… The view over Chew Valley Lake from Round Hill, where you’ll find yourself on top of the world, with buzzards soaring into the surrounding thermals and kestrels hovering high. Find out more… There are two more waymarked circular walks at Folly Farm as well as this walk, and all are suitable for a range of abilities. Download a map at: reserves/folly_farm/walks.htm (Please note: no dogs are allowed on the reserve because of grazing livestock.) Avon Wildlife Trust Our walk comes courtesy of this leading local charity working for people and wildlife. Ffi: 0117 917 7270,

Did you know…? Folly Farm is one of the largest examples in this country of a ‘ferme ornee’, an ideal farm within a country estate, which combined gardening, forestry and agriculture. Folly Farm was a particularly scenic part of the Sutton Court Estate, and this inspired Sir Henry Strachey of Sutton Court to develop it as a ferme ornee during the 18th century.

Folly Farm – a fine example of a 'ferme ornee'

How to find the reserve Nearest postcode to reserve BS39 4DW (Folly Farm Centre) Grid ref ST 600 604 Bike View a location map of the reserve on the National Cycle Network website: uk/map (in search engine, enter ‘Folly Farm Avon Wildlife Trust) Public transport www.traveline. Car From A37, turn right at Chelwood roundabout onto A368 towards Bishop Sutton. After about two miles, go past turning to Chew Magna and take turning on your left signposted Folly Farm Centre before reaching Stowey.

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BRISTOL DECORATIVE SURFACES Worktop Specialist - Extensive selection of 4100mm & 3600mm Worktops by Axiom & Duropal - 3000mm Stellar Laminate Worktops - Maia Solid Surfacing - Granite & Silestone Surfaces made to measure - Wetwall & Aquamura Bathroom Panels - Astracast Sinks & Taps - Smeg Kitchen Appliances We offer a van service for daily local deliveries UNITS 2 & 3 NEW GATTON ROAD ST WERBURGHS BRISTOL BS2 9SH t - 0808 200 4444 e - Open Monday – Friday 8.30am-4.30pm

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Sat 1st Ope Oc t 10 n D am ay -12 .30 pm



Little Southgate, Bath BA1 1AS

An eclectic mix of gifts, bags & jewellery

Free Parking Sunday-Friday in Southgate car park during August when you spend ÂŁ15 or more in COLE

T: 01225 442926

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Competitions Stylish pasta maker

Win A TOP OF THE RANGE PASTA MAKER Passionate about penne? Loopy about linguine? Then you need to get your durum-covered mitts on this fabulous pasta maker from Bath’s Quadri. The family-run Milsom Place store, which has been trading for over 20 years, is renowned for its colourful Alessi homewares as well as for its range of designer watches and contemporary jewellery, and has recently expanded to create a new Alessi showcase for cutting-edge Italian design. We have one Marcato Atlas 150 Wellness pasta machine to give away – its 10 settings, smooth-action handle and precision cutters ensuring a stream of perfect homemade pasta dishes to impress the lucky winner’s friends and family. Buon appetito! QUADRI 16 MILSOM PLACE, BATH. FFI: 01225 329212, WWW.QUADRI.CO.UK

fabulous compS

Enter today to be in with a chance of winning these great prizes!

To Enter ➻ QUADRI

Just answer the following question: Where in Bath is Quadri located? Email your answer, with ‘Quadri’ in the subject line, to: editor@ by Friday 26 August. Please include your full contact details (name, address, postcode, email, mobile, landline).


Just answer the following question: How old is Bath Racecourse? Email your answer, with ‘Bath Races’ in the subject line, to: editor@ by Friday 12 August. Please include your full contact details (name, address, postcode, email, mobile, landline).

THE WINNERS Silk & Sawdust comp: Congratulations to Rebecca Perrett, who won a Nancy tea dress. Correct answer: 1940s. Las Iguanas comp: Congratulations to Rosie Williams, who won a meal for four with a bottle of house wine. Correct answer: cachaça, sugar and lime.


ladies day tickets

Expect a more lavish and glamorous Ladies Day than ever before at Bath Races this month, as the hilltop racecourse continues to celebrate its 200th anniversary year. No skimping on the frockage, now, for as well as the six races kicking off at 5.35pm (including the ancient, resurrected Somersetshire Stakes, with a total £20,000 prize fund), there will be prizes for Best Dressed and Best Hat competitions, followed by a party, live music and fireworks. We have two pairs of Premier admission tickets (worth £44 a pair) to this champagnedrenched event to give away, ushering you right into the heart of the racing action, with full access to all public areas and exclusive use of the Premier Bar and Restaurant. Forget the fascinator – we say, go for a Princess Beatrice! BATH RACECOURSE LADIES DAY & 200 ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS LANSDOWN, BATH, SAT 20 AUG. FFI: WWW.BATHRACECOURSE.CO.Uk

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➻ lifestyle cosmetic treatments, designer fashion and the best coffee outside italy NEW DESIGNER EMPORIUM

A Grand Day Out ➻ Designer bargains, secret gardens and great food… Welcome to the very lovely

new Kilver Court designer shopping emporium in Shepton Mallet, created by Mulberry founder Roger Saul (pictured), which opened at the end of last month with a grand fashion sale. Kilver Court is already renowned for its gorgeous secret garden, wellness centre and the Sharpham Park Farm Shop, and the new chic and friendly designer emporium, housed in restored former textile mills (also Babycham’s original home), adds an exciting new element. Now serving up a fabulous variety of treats, from fashion to food to horticulture, Kilver Court brings you men’s and women’s designer fashion in the shape of brands including Toast, Cabbages and Roses, Duchamp, Myla, MiH, Isabella Oliver, YMC, Margaret Howell and Mary Davis, along with goodies from Miller Harris, Emma Bridgewater and Pedlars. Foodies can enjoy a pop-up restaurant with a difference: Bukowski is the new venture from the team behind London’s Blacks Club, Franco Manca and Wild Caper, serving fast slow food using the best of Somerset’s local, seasonal produce, especially Sharpham Park spelt. “I want people to share Kilver Court – enjoy the gardens, the restaurant and the philosophy, and take home a shopping treasure,” says Roger Saul. “We’ve embarked on the journey to become the West Country’s premier shopping and event destination, all set within a sustainable development on a regenerated site.” Kilver Court Emporium Kilver St, Shepton Mallet (on A37 on outskirts of Shepton Mallet). Ffi:


In Safe Hands ➻ MW Cosmetic understand that the most important factor determining the outcome of your cosmetic treatment is the people who deliver it. “Put simply: your choice of surgeon, anaesthetist and hospital is everything.” MWC’s uncompromising service is tailored precisely to an individual’s needs through surgical excellence, honesty, experience and, above all, safety. Offering a comprehensive range of surgical and non-surgical treatments – for both men and women – their dedicated team of professionals will care for you from start to finish. With procedures including face, nose, liposuction, tummy, breast surgery and body contouring after weight loss, MWC offer consultations with leading consultant plastic surgeons Anthony MacQuillan and Robert Warr (pictured) in the Bristol, Bath, Cheltenham and Gloucester areas. Both surgeons work within the

NHS and are full members of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) and British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) – the hallmarks of excellence. MWC only work with consultant anaesthetists working within the NHS and trained in intensive care, meaning you couldn't be in better hands. All their non-surgical cosmetic treatments (including Botox, fillers, chemical peels and laser procedures) are tailored to the needs of your skin, using only tested and safe soft-tissue fillers for use in the face and body. MW Cosmetic Tel: 0845 260 1359, email:, web: Get in touch for more information or to find out about their specialist consultation fees. you can also Search for MW cosmetic on facebook for current updates and information

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Wise Words ➻ Simon Lee (pictured), a cosmetic plastic surgeon at Spire Bristol Hospital who has trained in some of the best plastic surgery centres in the world, has some advice for anyone contemplating plastic surgery abroad. “Although it’s possible to have satisfactory outcomes abroad,” says Simon Lee MBBS, MSc, FRCS (general), FRCS (plastics), “many need treatment when they return to the UK, either because of surgical complications, or because they’re unhappy with the result. “Maintain the right to cancel without financial penalty. The follow-up and costs of treating complications should be covered, and you shouldn’t leave within 10 days of surgery. Check your surgeon’s and hospital’s credentials – this is easy to do in the UK. Don’t agree to blood transfusions or the use of blood products unless safety standards meet the UK’s. “If you prefer cosmetic surgery abroad because of cheap offers, consider the reasons surgery in the UK may be more expensive. UK hospitals must comply with stringent and costly regulations, ensuring the highest possible standards. UK plastic surgeons pay high indemnity fees, often in excess of £40,000 a year, as a safeguard for patients – this isn’t the case in the rest of Europe.” For more information or to book a consultation with Simon, call Spire Bristol Hospital. Spire Bristol Hospital Durdham Down, Redland Rd, Bristol. Ffi: 0117 980 4080, www.

PSST! the folio team are head over heels for the hot fashion (designed by the likes of fearne cotton and Holly willoughby), beauty and homewares at


Little Angels ➻ How do you convince your nownot-so-little girl she should be wearing shoes that give her the support her stillgrowing feet require? Start-rite’s Angry Angels collection has been developed with the needs of girls aged 10+ firmly in mind. These shoes look good whether they’re out shopping or hanging with friends at school. Angry Angels come in sizes 1-8, including half sizes, with soft, squidgy memory-foam padding making them extra comfy. In super-durable but soft-to-touch leather, the Angry Angels range keeps feet looking and feeling great all day long. SoleLution 1-2 Boyces Ave, Clifton, Bristol (0117 973 8350) & 114 High St, Portishead (01275 843399). Ffi: www.


Taste of Italy ➻ As Frank Sinatra sang, the only real satisfaction comes from doing things your own way, and that extends to how you make your coffee… A Modo Mio (meaning ‘my way’) couples Italy’s favourite coffee, Lavazza, in capsule form with the A Modo Mio coffee system to produce the best espresso beverages available outside of an Italian coffee shop. Complete with integrated steam arm, the Lavazza A Modo Mio enables you to create an authentic Italian espresso experience at home, exactly as you like it. Extend the Lavazza ‘my way’ philosophy by using your coffee system to make the authentic Italian dessert, affogato. Take two scoops of vanilla ice-cream and top with a shot of Lavazza espresso: simply divine. As well as creating great coffee, the Lavazza A Modo Mio, available in black, red, silver or white, or a striking lime, turquoise, fuchsia or orange, makes a stylish addition to any kitchen scheme. The Lavazza A Modo Mio Extra (RRP £125) and Premium (RRP £169) are available online at and from leading stores including John Lewis (The Mall at Cribbs Causeway, Bristol). The coffee capsules are available in a choice of eight blends and come in packs of 16 (£3.89-£4.89) Ffi:

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Keep garden-party goosebumps at bay and jazz up a plain, block-colour dress with this terrific 60s-inspired blazer. Cream print retro blazer £20 (from £39.99), River Island

Dress to


Polo, prize-giving or a Pimm’s party up at the manor? Anna Britten looks at the posher end of the frock spectrum


ometimes you just have to step away from the denim. You have to put away the espadrilles and make a bleedin’ effort. Be it a wedding, a graduation or a day at the races, sometimes you just have to do a Middleton. There’s definitely a knack to the formal dress code. Some have it in their genes, others need a little help (and, crucially, the right shops nearby). Sense you might be the latter? Read on. You need to think modest yet alluring. That means that a bit of leg is fine, and so is a bit of embonpoint. But not together. Focus on one statement piece – dress, hat or shoes – and keep everything else deliberately blah. Consider structure – if your main garment is on the floaty side, for example, match it with a tailored jacket. Invest in the right brands – those who, like Diane Von Furstenberg and Bernshaw, ensure that feminine never veers into frumpy. And never, ever wear tights – not even those ultra-sheer ones. They may be barely-there but they’re still there, making you look a bit mimsy. Tanned legs are where it’s at. Fake it, skillfully, if it’ll help. Don’t forget the blowdry. Congratulations! Now just be careful not to get tapenade in your teeth.


Silk-satin tunic dress with graphic patterned teardrop print (it continues down the back, too – delish), from Copenhagen designer Susanne Rützou via lovely indie boutique Grace & Mabel. Don’t ruin with a fascinator. Silk Rützou dress £133, Grace & Mabel


Phwoar! This could

have been nicked from the Marilyn exhibition at the American Museum. Perfectly pulchritudinous curve-hugger from ancient British label Bernshaw. Natasha Kaplinsky has one! Jacquie dress £315, Ritz

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5 4

This is how you do leopard print if you’re proper classy. Be the epitome of filmy, understated elegance with a little help from the queen of the flattering day dress (Blue bits though? Someone get that creature to a vet). Diane Von Furstenberg leopard print dress £360, Harvey Nichols

Shiver ye not, when the low-pressure fronts waft in. This tailored cover-up is so Middleton, it probably went to Marlborough College. Grosgrain Dorothea jacket £39 (from £130), Phase Eight



Your right to bare arms is upheld in this luscious, lemon curd-coloured chiffon bustier dress. Probably not ideal on the very paleskinned or those allergic to bees. Untold Dress £110, Ted Baker, woven clutch £65, both House of Fraser


She may have taken the wrong turning out of the loos at Shambala, but this lass is still working the poshsummer-frock angle with admirable hauteur. Perfect for any VIP area. Dress £39.50, Ruby+Ed


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fashion Day look... Niki wears... Jumpsuit £61 French Connection, sandals £9.99 Gap, scarf £3.99 H&M, sunglasses £120 Sunglasses Hut, earrings £4 Topshop

How to wear A...

Jumpsuit Personal stylist and image consultant Niki Whittle pulls it off


’ve always given jumpsuits a wide berth. It’s not that I’ve never liked them – they look so effortless and carefree that I’ve always secretly fancied wearing one. But I’ve stayed away from jumpsuits because I thought they’d do absolutely nothing for my pear shape. I like the look on others but wasn’t sure I could pull it off. So the challenge was set. Suspecting I’d never find one to flatter me, I embarked on a hunt for the perfect all-in-one. The choice is immense, and they’re a far cry from the original 80s styles – instead, think 50s glamour and 70s boho. Eventually I found this simple, wide-leg style that skims my hips and highlights my waist (something all pear shapes must do). And my voyage into the world of jumpsuits had begun. In one afternoon, I’d gone from avoiding jumpsuits to wanting another. Are you persuaded yet? Go on, trust me, there’s a style out there for everyone. Team them with gladiator flats and a scarf for day, or dress up with chunky heels and statement earrings for an alternative to your LBD. You never know, they might even become one of your summer staples. They certainly have mine!

Night look... Niki wears... Jumpsuit as before, belt £10 Oasis, earrings £6 French Connection, shoes £75 Russell & Bromley

Ffi / www.

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Oxfam Boutique. We sell secondhand (Loved For Longer) clothing and accessories; together with a small range of (Fair Trade) new products, including clothing, accessories and jewellery.

folio folio free take one!

bristol & bath

free take one!

bristol & bath

the west’s best lifest yle m ag

july 2010 l no. 186


plus summer fashion for kids l weekend breaks just an easy car ride away l fabulous family days out l win tickets to les Mis at Bristol's hippodrome

xxxxxx Published by

Sponsored by

Cover & Contents.indd 1

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l hanham

folio serves up a glamorous batch of recipes created specially for you by the south west’s top-name chefs, with wines carefully selected by matthew Clark l



Eligible donors can complete a simple (Gift Aid) form that will enable Oxfam to claim 28p from the Government, in addition to every £1 we raise when we sell their donated items.

our essential guide to the best local shops in bristol and bath

with us

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We are always in need of donations of both clothing and accessories.

top shops

Signatures.. Come dine The West’s best restaurants, top chefs, and their favourite recipes

the west’s best lifest yle m ag

august 2009 l no. 175




30/06/2010 09:54:17

Court gardens in a fortnight l the supremes’ mary wilson l family friendly places to eat l australia

Beauty fashion food & drink health interiors people property what’s on l

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28/07/2009 12:32:26

To advertise in Folio contact the sales team on 0117 942 8491

In addition, we also sell a range of (unwrapped) gifts. The money from these gifts is normally targetted at a specific area of our work. The purchaser receives a card that can be given to a third party as a gift; the card illustrates the specific project towards which the money will be directed. As part of our ongoing partnership with fashion students from Bath Spa University we aim to continue selling garments created by the students from fabric and existing garments that we cannot sell in the shop. This (Reinvented) range has proven to be very popular with many of our customers, seeking to acquire a uniquely styled item. We are hoping to develop a (Made with Love) range of ‘hand-made’ jewellery and accessories. Volunteers are currently being recruited for this role, together with other positions including Sales Assistants and those interested in working with our online sales. Phone the shop or pop in for more information

Oxfam Boutique 12A George Street, Bath BA1 2EH

Tel: 01225 464 838 Registered Charity No. 202918

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shopping shopping



opening offer:

Above: Cole is a magpie's paradise; right: Swarovski crystal evening clutch bag made for Cole, £550

Shop of the

free parking Sun-Fri in SouthGate car park for everyone who spends £15+ in the shop


Melissa Blease is in boutique heaven at new Bath store Cole


ewellery, hats and fascinators; cuddly toys, artisan soaps and bath bombs; candles, handmade gift bags, home interior inspirations and a tantalising selection of Swarovskiencrusted rings sparkly enough to consign Rodeo Drive to shady lane status… Welcome to the world of Cole, the newest fascinating shop to open its doors in Bath’s brand new independent shopping epicentre, Little SouthGate. From Fairtrade gifts from Indonesia to the cutest new baby keepsake boxes, via wall transfers, funky accessories and that compelling range of bling, there’s little doubt that the Cole shopping experience offers broad appeal to a wide range of customers, whether you’ve got gifting at the top of your shopping list or you’re in the mood for spoiling yourself rotten. The shelves are lined with delectable inspirations that effortlessly flaunt immediate eye-catching appeal, the like of which you’re unlikely to find anywhere else in the Heritage City – and at prices that belie the quality on offer, resulting in a one-stop shop of total gorgeousness. “We want everybody to really enjoy shopping here,” says proprietor Terry Cole as

he takes Folio on a guided tour of his stylishly eclectic emporium. “We’re delighted to be part of the longstanding Bath shopping tradition that revolves around independent retailers, and we’re hoping to quickly establish ourselves at the heart of the Bath shopping scene.” Already, Cole – with its spacious layout, welcoming atmosphere and eminently browse-able displays – has an ambience and a reputation that completely belies its ‘new kid on the block’ status, and offers a shopping experience far removed from its commonplace (and often stressful) high street department store counterparts. “We want to bring some truly unique products to Bath,” Terry explains. “We source the Pop Tank bags, for example, directly from America – they’re made from recycled numberplates and tyres, so every one is a true original. We source products from all over the globe, and we’ll be adding more items every month, so there’ll always be something new on the shelves.” If you’re in the mood for a fresh take on shopping therapy, Cole should go straight to the top of your list. COLE LITTLE SOUTHGATE, BATH. FFI: 01225 442926, WWW.COLESHOP.CO.UK, FACEBOOK: COLE SHOP

Large metal fashion heart shaped necklace, £40

The contemporary glass front allows natural light to flood into the shop

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Nuffield Health


t seems that women’s lives have never been busier – juggling motherhood, family, careers, friends and other priorities means their own health and wellbeing often comes a long way down the seemingly never-ending ‘to-do’ list. This modern, multi-tasking lifestyle means that when health problems strike women often carry on and suffer in silence, rather than getting the problem diagnosed and treated. At Nuffield Health we have a team of experts specialising in women’s health problems, including gynaecologists. We aim to make sure that no woman has to suffer unnecessary discomfort and pain, and we know that everyone has individual needs and treatments. We treat a wide range of health

issues, including ovarian cysts and endometriosis, fertility problems and fibroids – all of which can have a big impact on day-to-day life. Endometriosis, for example, affects an estimated two million women in the UK, causing severe pelvic pain and infertility in some extreme cases. The condition can result in significant disruptions, such as having to take sick days from work during a monthly cycle and not being able to take part in physical activities like going to the gym. We are able to treat this condition through both surgical and non-surgical methods, often giving regained confidence and renewed energy. Fibroids are an even more common issue, and Nuffield Health St Mary’s Hospital has recently

invested in a brand new hysteroscope, a state of the art machine that helps gynaecologists carry out keyhole operations on fibroids in the womb. But, perhaps most importantly, Nuffield Health focuses on listening from the very beginning of the hospital journey. This enables a bespoke treatment plan to be put in place and take into consideration each person’s needs. To me, this really sums up the excellence of the holistic approach at Nuffield Health – resulting in


women leading their lives in the way they want, and at the pace the modern world demands. Caroline Overton is a consultant gynaecologist and obstetrician at Nuffield Health St Mary’s Hospital, Bristol. Nuffield Health specialises in a range of women’s health issues, from fertility to the menopause, sexual health, breast screening and obstetrics. TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT NUFFIELD HEALTH SERVICES, INCLUDING WOMEN’S HEALTH, PLEASE CONTACT US.

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health & Beauty


Word of

MOuth Melissa Blease gets the best-looking smile in town


ook good, feel great, with a bright white smile…’ That’s the straightforward philosophy at the heart of Bristol- and Bathbased company Bright White Smiles. Many of us, however, endure daily, increasingly self-conscious efforts to keep a lessthan-sparkling grin under wraps, turning potential happy faces into sad little smirks as yet another ‘whitening’ toothpaste fails to live up to its promise. “Teeth-whitening pastes and DIY whitening kits are nowhere near as powerful or effective as the laser-power whitening we use in our treatments,” says Bright White Smiles clinic manager Donna Brown, who started the business in September 2009 and opened both the Bristol and Bath clinics in 2010. “Applying the gel can be messy and uneven, and the ‘domestic use’ strength doesn’t give the best results. Our clinic’s BEYOND WhiteSpa Select teeth-whitening system uses the most advanced and innovative technology and materials to whiten your teeth safely, quickly and with maximum results. Our special, gentle whitening gel contains hydrogen peroxide to remove not only surface stains, but also the stains found deep inside the teeth – as a result, your teeth get whiter faster, and stay whiter for longer.” So for how long can we expect to see those sparkling results last? “The effects of the treatment can last for between nine and 12 months,” says Donna, “depending on diet and lifestyle, but the initial results are instant.” And if a phobia of dentistryrelated treatments in general is wiping that potentially healthy-looking grin off your face, Donna can offer you total peace of mind on that front, too. “We pride ourselves on offering a calming, relaxing experience from start to finish. Our clinics are set up to look and feel more like a spa than a clinical dentist. We play soft music and light candles, and make sure that our

Donna Brown of Bright White Smiles can help you achieve perfectly pearly white teeth

clients are reassured throughout the treatment, which consists of three 10-minute applications of whitening gel and light undertaken in a single half-hour session (although we ask clients to allow 60 minutes for the entire appointment, to include a full consultation).” So, a fast, pain-free, instantly glamourising, agedefying, red-carpet-ready quick-fix that can be undertaken in your lunch hour – what’s not to smile about? Over at the aptly named Smile Suite in Bristol, highly trained therapists agree that teeth whitening is becoming an increasingly popular option to supplement a wide range of long-lasting and relatively maintenance-free mouth-beautifying treatments. To further improve your positive outlook, the Smile Suite also offer a choice of facial rejuvenation therapies to hide unwanted wrinkles and improve the appearance of lips. Back in Bath, Donna recommends a visit to Bright White Smiles for anybody planning to have a crown, bridge, filling or even a false tooth. If you have your teeth

whitened before such a treatment, your dentist will then be able to match the shade of the false tooth to your new colour. Brides-tobe, meanwhile, can get ready for their Big Day close-up in grand, A-list style. “And in general, anyone who has teeth stained by coffee, tea, red wine or smoking will be delighted by the results of a treatment with us,” says Donna. “Even if you’ve avoided such discolouration, our teeth go darker in shade as we age, and clients who’ve had braces removed often discover a difference in the tone of their tooth enamel – none of these issues need to cause long-term imperfections any more.”


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Email: Clifton Medi Spa, 56 Royal York Crescent, Clifton, Bristol BS8 4JP 32 folio/august 2011

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lifestyle Far right: a professional spray tan ensures even, natural-looking results; right: for at-home tanning, St Tropez has a myriad products to achieve golden god or goddess status (visit

st tropez spray tanning

Jenny Crombie discovers the perfect way to fake it every time at Clifton Beauty Company


have the kind of pasty white complexion that can, at best, be described as ‘English Rose’ and, at worst, well, ‘pasty’. And this is why my relationship with fake tan has always been fraught with anxiety: for me, tanning for real – in the sun – tends to end in burn rather than bronze, but I’ve been ever nervous of getting a bad fake tan that would be ridiculously obvious on my white pallor. Past self-tan experiences made me wary of their capacity to turn my bronzed dreams into a tangerine nightmare. But now, after several years of streaky experimenting, I have at last found a way to fake it perfectly every time. St Tropez is a relatively new discovery for me. This self-tan brand found its way into my bathroom cabinet on the recommendation of a friend – and once I’d tried it, I was hooked. Its ingredients help to boost skin moisture for a more even, long-lasting tan and, best of all, the results look totally natural. It contains a green pigment to counteract any risk of orange tinting, and as it works with your natural skin tone, it should never look too dark. But that’s enough of the science bit... Despite having used the lotion at home, the most effective way to St Tropez, I am assured, is by getting a professional spray-tan. And so I

decide to prep myself for a predicted spell of warm weather (and the resulting potential for some tasteful skin-baring) by heading to the Clifton Beauty Company to treat myself to a spot of bronzing, where St Tropez tanning costs £28.50 for a full-body treatment or £15 for halfbody. It’s a delightfully straightforward procedure: once you’ve stripped down and donned some stylish disposable knickers and a hair protector, the trained therapist lightly sprays you with a fine mist of self-tan. I’m surprised how quick the process is. To go over my face and body twice with the spray takes only 10 minutes or so, making this a salon treat that you can comfortably fit into your lunch hour – although the tan goes onto the skin with an immediate brown ‘guide’ colour, which is initially light, but you may not get away with it back at the office! The real fake tan develops gradually over the course of a few hours. I leave mine on overnight before showering the guide colour off in the morning. I’m pretty confident about the results, thanks to my past DIY St Tropez efforts, but I still feel a nervous frisson as I go to check myself out in a mirror once the guide colour has gone... but sweet relief! I look as though I’ve just come back from a trip in warm climes – sun-kissed and bronzed, without the red, lobster-esque shade I would generally be sporting after a real holiday. All day (and for a few days after) I feel I’m glowing: colleagues remark how well I look, and somehow the tan even makes me feel healthier in myself, as if I really had just come back from a relaxing break in the sun. I can certainly relate to anyone who wants to have a fake tan, but who is nervous about the

“I look as if I’ve just come back from a trip in warm climes” potential orange ramifications.

Jenny's St Tropez spray tan leaves her looking healthy and relaxed with that justback-from-holiday glow

However, I have now found the self-tan that suits me, and the one that I feel is a dead cert for getting natural results. I’ll probably stick to my good old DIY St Tropez lotion for getting a bit of day-to-day colour, but my experience at the Clifton Beauty Company has convinced me that a professional spray-tan is just the job for bronzing up before special occasions. I think it’s going to be a must before my next holiday... For once, maybe I won’t be the whitest person on the beach.


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For us it’s more than just treating people, it’s about looking after people.

Whether you want to pay for your treatment or are insured, we can help. As the only private hospital in the South West with an Intensive Care Unit, Spire Bristol Hospital has the expert consultants, nurses and facilities to provide a variety of services from the simplest of surgeries to the most complex of procedures. Please ring us and talk to one of our dedicated Private Treatment Advisors. We are here to help.

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Top of the Range

Steve Wright finds that the iconic Range Rover is as pampering as it is potent


ig, quiet, superbly built; as comfortable as a gentleman’s club, and unflappable in terrains that would reduce most other cars to a stalled, smoking heap: there’s much to admire about the Range Rover. Since 1970, this standard-bearer of British engineering has allowed the discerning (and well-heeled) motorist to cruise up steep dirt tracks or across ploughed fields in limousine comfort. It’s also, as I found out during my weekend with one of these agreeable beasts, unquestioningly competent on the mix of third-gear town driving, twisty B-roads and motorway thrashing that more closely resembles the diet of the typical British motorist. Oh, and it’s packed with goodies. The ‘entry-level’ Vogue I tested, yours for a trifling £68,985, already features everything you could wish for, from iPod/MP3 connection, auto gearbox and climate controls to a six-disc CD multichanger, alloy wheels, leather trim and (yes!) a TV/DVD player. In short, everything you could possibly think of to make motoring effortless. And, as I found out, the motoring was effortless, as well as quiet (outside, you might be shinning up a hillside;

inside, though, the Range Rover is a remarkably meditative place to be), fun and eager. The only thing that was less than effortless was being forced to park in the street next to mine and lug the shopping 400 metres home. Eh? Well, the RR (did I mention this?) is a big brute at 5 metres long and 2.2 metres wide, with a turning circle of 12 metres. All this considered, I didn’t fancy trying to manoeuvre the thing into a tight spot in my comically narrow, pre-Range Rover Victorian street. This is, though, a small caveat (and not even an issue to many of the Rangey’s natural customers, who will have big gated drives to leave the thing on). The enduring impression I’ll take away from my weekend with Land Rover’s flagship model (which included, as well as said pop to the shops, a bash up the motorway and some writhing around some of Wiltshire’s narrower and muddier lanes) was of a car that, although it may look a tad daunting, is actually a breeze to drive, and presses every possible comfort into your lap while you’re doing so. A Mendip hilltop farmer will want one of these – but so, I’d wager, will a Stoke Bishop stockbroker…

Car Range Rover 4.4 TDV8 Vogue Price £68,985 Max Speed 130 CO2 253 g/km Power 309bhp Combined mpg 30.1 Insurance Group (1-50) 50 Length 4.972m Width 2.216m Height 1.865m Weight 3,200kg

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Audi’s ascent news

➻ Audi’s new premium supermini, the A1, has attracted plenty of admiration from drivers and the motoring press alike since its launch late last year – a recent Car of the Year 2011 in ‘What Car?’ magazine just one of the many accolades showered upon it. Nimble, good-looking, fuelefficient and with some of the luxury and build quality already found in its A3 and A4 big brothers, the A1 has climbed quickly to the top of the supermini tree. Earlier this summer, though, an A1 was seen on an altogether different summit. Former Wales rugby international Richard Parks took a model of the A1 to the top of Mount Everest to help promote his 737 Challenge, which aims to raise £1million for Marie Curie Cancer Care. Mon Motors Group, who run Bath, Bristol and Cardiff’s

Audi branches, have donated an A1 as a prize to the 737 Challenge, which anyone can enter via a ‘Text to Win’ comp. Richard and his mini supermini reached the summit of Everest on Wednesday 25 May: the ascent was the fifth summit of his 737 Challenge, a pioneering seven-month race to climb the highest mountain on each of the world's continents and reach both South and North Poles. For updates on Richard’s Challenge – and to enter the ‘Text to Win’ competition to win a brand new Audi A1 – log on to Bristol Audi Lysander Road, Cribbs Causeway, Bristol. Ffi: 0117 958 1450 Bath Audi Roman Way, Bath Business Park, Peasedown St John, Bath. Ffi: 01761 441352,

Former Wales rugby international star Richard Parks at the top of Everest with his mini Audi A1

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Not Hannah Bellis, thank you very much, who doesn’t make it past the indulgent spa at Wales’ four-star Vale Resort

Clockwise from top left: The stylish and serene spa; the four-star hotel's contemporary exterior; the 20m swimming pool and spa offering an extensive treatment menu


’m lying in a darkened room lit by soft flickering candlelight, with the delicious aromas of black orchid soothing my senses while my therapist rubs a mask on my back. “I’m going to sprinkle the mask with green-tea flowers, and while it’s activating, I’ll massage your legs.” I feel the flowers land delicately on my skin, green-tea scents fill my nose, the mask on my back starts to warm, and I start to drift away... This Sundari ritual, inspired by the apothecaries of India, is one of the new treatments on offer at the Vale Resort in Wales, just outside Cardiff. You begin with a foot scrub – the traditional welcome ritual, and the latest indulgence to hit the high end of the luxury spa market. These

Opening offer

➻ Enjoy a day of total relaxation

at the restyled Vale Spa for just £70* Your day includes: A choice of any 55-minute treatment, full use of the leisure facilities, light lunch, towelling robe and slippers Plus choose one of the following free treats! Grooming Manicure, Gara Rufa Fish massage, or Thermae experience With every spa day booked before 31 August! Terms and conditions * Subject to availability, Mon-Thurs until 31 August 2011. No other offer or discount applies

Anyone for


treatments are a welcome addition to the Vale’s (already pretty impressive) portfolio: this is home to Wales’ largest spa, which also offers treats from the Clarins and Gerard’s portfolios. There aren’t many spas that can cater for hen parties of up to 50 guests, but with their 19 treatment rooms and spacious relaxation lounge, the Vale is among the elite. The lounge certainly sets this spa apart. It’s divided into three different zones: the chill-out zone, filled with squishy leather sofas and piles of magazines; the water zone, where you lie on heated water mattresses while the shimmering water sculpture trickles away softly; and the sleep zone, where richly canopied beds strewn with cushions and soft throws await you for a snooze. This isn’t what you’d expect from a resort located slap-bang in the middle of Wales’ top golfing venue. But perhaps the Vale has cottoned on to the fact that ladies are usually far better customers than their traditional clientele! The fourstar resort certainly has a lot to offer the girls – the hotel has a 20m swimming pool and a full gym and class schedule if you’re that way inclined. I was more interested in the recently refurbished spa suite with steam room, sauna and Jacuzzi, which you can relax in while enjoying views across the golf course and Glamorgan hills. The same treat comes with many of the rooms, too. I started my morning out on my balcony in my fluffy waffle robe, overlooking

the 12th hole with a cup of tea and a newspaper to ease me into my day. The beds are so comfy and big that I certainly needed that extra treat to get me out of mine! Residents can also enjoy the Vale’s renowned Welsh breakfast buffet, complete with sausage and bacon from local producers and eggs prepped to order. The AA-rosette Vale Grill is set up well for a spot of evening eating – try to get a table around the outside to enjoy the views while you tuck into more locally sourced ingredients. The simple meats from the grill are what they do best, with chunky double-cooked chips on the side. And I liked the Vale Platter, which had a little taste of many of their speciality starters – great to share, or just for those who can’t make up their minds. Desserts are rather more gastronomic – my chocolate panna cotta came with amazingly good basil ice-cream, and rose-water pearls – the kind of gastronomic science you usually see on MasterChef or at Heston’s eateries. And all for just £7! One word of caution, though – bottled water costs over £4 a go, so opt for tap, especially when you’re in the Welsh hills. Just a 20-minute cab ride from Cardiff Central, and right next to the M4, this is a handy spot to escape to from Bristol or Bath. Lose your other half on the golf course and head to the spa – or bring a group of girls for a night away from it all.



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On top of the

world From the enormous bed to the impossibly tiny new potatoes, Tony Benjamin is bewitched by Cheltenham’s new hotel


Clockwise from top left: Ellenborough Park's grand exterior; top & bottom right: the splendid oak panelled Beaufort dining room; middle right: private dining in the Royalist room

ome top hotels have class aplenty, with deep-rooted history and classic style, while others have all the modern comforts and luxury. Looking for both in the same place, however, can prove an ‘ask’ too far… which is what makes Ellenborough Park such a find. This newly opened hotel outside Cheltenham combines a 500-year story with a three-year refurbishment that’s restored ancient features alongside the best possible modern accoutrements. Design guru Nina Campbell (with Rod Stewart, the Groucho Club and Savoy Hotel among her clients) has ensured that the balance is perfect, swathing you in old-world charm while offering every contemporary gratification. I picked up The Lovely She on a sizzling afternoon in Montpellier (the one in Cheltenham) after an aggravating, roadwork-embellished drive from Bristol via Cardiff. Turning into Ellenborough Park’s sunlit driveway 15 minutes later, an immediate sense of calm was imbued by the characterful old hall with its subtly appropriate Cotswold stone outbuildings set in rolling lawns. This was obviously a place where dull care could be begone, and the easy warmth of the welcome at reception was the first reassuring sign that ever-attentive staff would keep it that way.

After a brief tour of the building we found ourselves in our generously proportioned room, replete with kingsized bed, faux-vintage lighting and Regency striped wallpaper (plus climate control, large-screen plasma TV and iPod docking station). A brief sluice in the retro-chromium ensuite bathroom – itself bigger than most hotel rooms – left the daily grind seeming suitably remote, and we headed for the dark-panelled Great Hall and a delicious pot of tea taken on enormous sofas under larger-than-life Elizabethan portraits. “You’ll have to say ‘sumptuous’, won’t you?” asked The Lovely One, and I admitted the word was going to be hard to avoid. Our tour had showed us the lavishly equipped spa, fitness suite and heated outdoor swimming pool but we opted for the less complicated pleasures of a stroll in the Cotswolds. Crossing the road to climb Cleeve Hill on this blissfully sunny afternoon, the view was amazing, the hotel dwarfed by a hazy view encompassing the Severn Vale, Brecon Beacons and Malvern Hills. It felt like the top of the world, yet we were quickly back and changed for our pre-dinner snifter in the Great Hall and a leisurely bicker over the menu. Under the guidance of head chef David Kelman, one of Wales’ best culinary artists, the menu reads like a mouthwateringly superb collation of seasonal goodies combined into enticing combinations. And if the proof of the pudding is in the eating, then Ellenborough’s Beaufort Dining Room is guilty as charged, from intense smoked duck rillette canapés through to sensational chilled petits fours. Dish after dish raised the question ‘How do they do that?’ – whether an impossibly intense

amuse-bouche of yellow courgette soup under garlic and thyme foam, a pannacotta-like tower of sylph-like goat’s curd, beautifully blackened ‘62 Degree’ loin of pork or impossibly tiny saffron new potatoes. Pièce de Résistance (for She) was her baked Alaska, a light submeringue casing holding soft brioche, rich grapefruit sorbet and slivers of cognac-drenched mandarin orange. It looked like a candle on her plate and her face lit up accordingly… how do they do that? An equal delight was Tobias, the everpatient sommelier, steering us through by-the-glass wine choices to match each dish perfectly. Red bourgogne with butter-rich turbot? Who knew? Well Tobias, obviously, and he was right. With his guidance every mouthful was outrageously good – a perfect experience, capped by weaving our way to the enveloping comfort of that enormous bed. Tomorrow always dawns, sadly, and the prospect of returning to a real world was only just held at bay by deliciously understated kippers and a lush pillow of muffin, egg and hollandaise sauce. With toast slathered with chunky marmalade, hot black coffee and a buffet of pastries and fruit, breakfast made a fine end to a flawlessly luxurious stay. They’d had Wi-Fi and I’d brought my laptop, but it stayed in my case. I’m not that stupid, you know.



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➻ home front What's new, what's HOt, what's happening in the world of Homes & gardens ARCHITECTURAL ANTIQUES

Upcycled, Unique

➻ Acclaimed Bristol architectural antiques and reclamation company Robert

Mills are working in co-operation with Mulberry founder Roger Saul in his new £10m regeneration of the newly opened Kilver Court in Shepton Mallet (see picture story on page 22). Saul, who also created the Sharpham Park food brand, has restored some former textile mills where Babycham was first made to house his new emporium, which mixes discount designer shopping with gorgeous secret gardens, food from Sharpham Park Farm Shop and pop-up restaurants, a plant nursery, wellness centre and ever-changing calendar of events. Robert Mills have designed and supplied many of the shop fittings, from 1950s factory lights, coffee tables made from school laboratory salvage and Edwardian piano trolleys to mirrors constructed from old church furnishings and a Victorian grocer’s shop. All these unique furnishings will be available for sale, along with the hugely discounted designer clothes that these fittings help to display so beautifully. Robert Mills, who specialise in the best architectural antiques from the 19th and early 20th centuries, have a 30,000 sq ft warehouse and showroom in St Werburghs. Over the past 20 years they’ve saved thousands of fabulous items from old mansions, redundant churches, Victorian banks and other demolished public buildings from all over the UK. “Our emphasis is on the dramatic, the ornate and the flamboyant,” says the company’s Richard Ives. “Some of the items in our Bristol showroom are of monumental size, but we also have smaller things such as carved details, corbels, capitals, friezes and columns.” Robert Mills Architectural & Decorative Antiques Narroways Rd, St Werburghs, Bristol. Ffi: 0117 955 6542, (Open Mon-Fri 9am5pm, Sat 10am-4pm)


warnings from gurus, the thoughts of Captain Scott and other random themes! You’ll also find an eclectic collection of new 3D arrows and moose heads, totes, stickers and one sad lonely, goldfish. Soma Gallery opened in Clifton Arcade in 2004 as a gallery (promoting contemporary art, design and illustration and featuring many local artists) and shop (selling a wide range of artworks, textiles, jewellery, ceramics, magazines and books). Last September they moved to larger premises over the road, with a dedicated gallery space on the first floor and a shop on the ground floor. All artwork in the Sunny Side Up exhibition will be for sale.

Something Fishy ➻ If you’re after some fun inspiration for

your interiors, check out illustrator Andy Smith’s lovely exhibition, Sunny Side Up, at Bristol’s Soma Gallery until Sat 20 Aug. When he’s not busy working for big-name clients like Orange, Nike, The Guardian and Faber and Faber, the former Royal College of Art student can be found in his studio by the sea, printing books and posters and specialising in silkscreen printing. Andy’s work, which combines illustration and typography to create images with humour, energy and optimism, executed with a handmade tactile feel, has won awards from the D&AD, Creative Circle and Association of Illustrators and been featured in numerous books and publications. His summer show at Soma Gallery includes a set of 12 new large artworks, handscreenprinted by Andy and featuring his distinct hand lettering and visuals. They deal with bold statements, strange visitors,

Two of Andy Smith's colourful illustrations which are on display (and for sale) at Soma Gallery in Clifton this month

Soma Gallery 4 Boyces Ave, Clifton Village, Bristol. Ffi: 0117 973 9838, www.somagallery.

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Stephen Barrett, Jennifer Stanley Smith and Jack Daniells of Solarsense, with Renewable Energy Awards judge Richard Nourse of novusmodus (far left)


A Place in the Sun ➻ Congratulations to local solar energy installer Solarsense.


Vintage Style

➻ Launching exclusively in September, Shabby Chic at House of Fraser is a new

interiors range and collaboration with renowned designer Rachel Ashwell. Shabby Chic embraces the time-worn feel and beauty of imperfections that are synonymous with the iconic brand. In a muted colour palette of washed-out pastels and faded neutrals, the collection encapsulates Rachel Ashwell’s signature style, which is based on the philosophy of beauty, comfort and function. Blending the perfect amount of English elegance and California casual, Shabby Chic offers a complete range of furniture, dinnerware, kitchenware, bedlinen, bathroom and home accessories, brining an element of relaxed beauty and vintage style to the home.

House of Fraser Cabot Circus, Bristol &Milsom St, Bath. Ffi: www.


V-ZUG for Victory

The Backwell-based company are now proud holders of the Renewable Energy Association’s Company of the Year Award, for ‘the industry participant which has done most during the year to advance UK renewables’. As well as being long-established and experienced solar installers – with sites including Glastonbury Festival’s Worthy Farm and Bristol’s Clifton Lido and Tobacco Factory – Solarsense also take the benefits of solar to the developing world with their annual charity project work. Chosen from among 280 nominations, they faced stiff competition from prominent nationwide organisations including Barfoot Energy and Drax Power. For MD Stephen Barrett, who founded the company in 1994, the award represents an acknowledgement of more than 15 years of hard work and dedication to solar power. “The fact that Solarsense are a regional company makes this an even more important success,” says Stephen. “We’re all overjoyed to get this national recognition.” Solarsense Helios House, Brockley Lane, Backwell, BS48. Ffi: 01275 461800,

PSST! glam up your home with pretty and practical trinkets for inside and out at

➻ Bristol-based Plum Kitchens – the dream team behind last issue’s My Grand Design kitchen transformation – have teamed up with premium Swiss appliance manufacturer V-ZUG, who’ve been designing and manufacturing premium appliances in Switzerland since 1913. As well as being absolutely stunning, V-ZUG’s high-quality, design-led appliances are technically brilliant and highly energy efficient. The Combi-Steam XSL is the world-leading domestic combination steam oven, utilising a unique steam-cooking system that produces perfect results every time. When time is pressing, the Adora SL dishwasher’s sprint programme takes only 24 minutes to clean and sparkle a full load. V-ZUG appliances really will change your life, making even the least confident cook feel like an executive chef. Whether you’re cooking, washing up or doing the laundry, V-ZUG’s many worldfirsts bring you not just the benefits of using them but also a rather appealing feeling of exclusivity. Plum Kitchens have working V-ZUG appliances on display within Ruby and White Butcher’s and are offering an introductory (and never to be repeated!) 15% discount on all V-ZUG appliances bought before the end of August 2011. Just pop along to see these premium appliances in action on a daily basis. Plum Kitchens Ffi: 0117 900 0858, uk See V-ZUG appliances in action at Ruby & White Butcher’s, 48 Whiteladies Rd, Clifton, Bristol

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bespoke shutters & blinds

Expertly measured & installed by us, We are a local, family business, With over a decade of experience. Contact us now to be inspired!

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interiors interiors Designers Guild mix and match colour and stripes for interest and balance


ideas For a modern edge, these colourful Thalya chairs from Kartell ( work perfectly

Interior designer Lesley Taylor can’t get enough of this season’s hottest trend, colour blocking


ashion and interiors quite often go hand in hand, both taking inspiration from the same colours, prints, cultures and eras. Trends are designed to evoke certain feelings, whether it’s on the catwalk or in the home section of a trendy department store. So when you fall in love with the season’s hottest trend, it’s only natural that you’ll want to incorporate it into different elements of your life, from shoes and dresses to cushions and throws. I take great pleasure in following fashion – not just because I’m clothesmad, but because what’s happening ➻

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Above top: Designers Guild (www. designersguild. com) show us how to be bold without going OTT Colour-block with Brian Yates Artisan Linen (

in that industry often influences what happens in mine, the wonderful world of interiors. Take the catwalk shows for spring/summer 2011 around the world. What was the one thing that Paris, London, Milan and New York all had in common (apart from ridiculously slim, gorgeous models whom we all love to hate)? The answer is colour blocking. The likes of Jonathan Saunders, Christopher Kane, Gucci and Jill Sander dedicated their collections to this powerful show-stopping trend that essentially does exactly what it says on the tin – panels of clashing (in a good way, of course) colours are combined to create maximum impact. Cheryl Cole,

Jessica Alba and Jennifer Lopez are all fans, and quite frankly, I am too – or is it just that it takes me back to the 80s when it was first popular? In the same way that the trend for pretty florals graced both the fashion and interiors markets simultaneously last year, the trend for colour blocking, much to my delight, is taking home interiors by storm, too. By taking the same approach as these glamorous fashionistas, you can easily (and cost-effectively, if you’re on a tight budget) bring the beauty of colour blocking into your home this season. The key this summer is to be ‘loud and proud’. Bright, bold shades are in, so be adventurous with your choices and don’t be afraid to mix and match colours that aren’t usually considered friends. For an en-vogue edge, think zesty greens, burnt orange, fuchsia and cobalt blue. These colour combos will be sure to make an impact, but if you’d prefer to take a softer approach, a colour pallet of mustards, pillar-box red, military green and camel would work really well. Or, if you’re a traditionalist at heart, why not use primary colours? The great thing about this trend is that you can tailor it to your own taste, not just with the colours you select but also with the products you choose with which to highlight the trend. You can quite literally use any product to demonstrate the power of colour blocking. From armchairs, rugs, cushions and throws to curtains, tiles, paint and paper, there are some fantastic products on the market at

the moment that have been produced in single colourways. The key is to stick to the styles that you usually go for. For instance, if you’re a lover of modern design, you could treat your dining table to a selection of Kartell plastic chairs in an assortment of funky colours. For those with a penchant for traditional design, a fancy chaise longue in a single bold shade scattered with clashing block-coloured cushions would look fab. Have fun and make it your own. This trend is adaptable to seasonal change, too. Fresh, vibrant shades are perfect for the summer months when we’re all full of energy, but when the winter dawns and you look to your home for warmth and comfort, simply apply the same principles but, instead of choosing punchy hues, look to the darker side of the colour wheel instead. Soft, muted tones such as chocolate, stone grey and caramel may be more suitable. You could even break the mellow tones up with one look-at-me feature item – maybe an ochre yellow throw, for instance. The choice is yours. My last little tip for those of you who are keen to work this trend into your home but are a little apprehensive is to remember that you can always tone it down by incorporating other prints into the scheme. Add chunky stripes or a chequered print to the mix, for example. Don’t be afraid to mix and match, because if the contrast is big enough, it can look very attractive and add depth to the room.

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let there be

light The project The dark basement before Homeworx installed energyefficient LED lighting in the ceiling

The brief

The solution

Andy and Emma wanted to renovate the space in their basement and repair the walls and put in a new ceiling. They wanted a new, modern kitchen that was light, bright and airy and would sit well with the original parquet floor. The kitchen originally had a table in the centre and they wanted to keep this idea as it was working well for them as a family as the heart of their home. “It was extremely important to get the room light and bright,” say the Homeworx team, “as before it was quite a dark space.”

Homeworx organised and carried out all the building works, updated the electrics and added LED ceiling lighting in two zones. This gave the family lots of extra light, which could be left on without fear of large running costs and adjusted between semi-bright and very bright depending on the time of day and the weather. There were large gaps in the old parquet, but Homeworx found a close-matching oak block and cut and sanded it to fit. They filled in the gaps prior to sanding so the floor could remain on show and become one of the main features in the room.

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Elegant glass splashback areas behind the hob and the Aga finish off the job beautifully and ensure future cleaning and maintenance will be as easy and practical as possible.





The internal colour of all the cabinets was painted in a contrasting soft olive green to add interest and individuality. Handy pullouts mean every tin and packet is within easy reach.

Andy and Emma had an old Aga that they refurbished, so Homeworx worked this into the new design and followed the glossy black glass-fronted theme with the other new appliances, sink and extractor.



The worktops are solid 40mm oak and blended in nicely with the newly revived parquet floor. All the furniture was bespoke and kept minimal and sleek so that the room felt spacious and attention was more drawn to those amazing worktops.

The Devil is in the Detail “Our kitchen is the heart and soul of the house. When we moved in, the estate agent called it ‘tired’, but we’d say it was ‘knocking on heaven’s door’! In our experience the key to any successful project is tight project management and excellent communications. We selected Homeworx on the basis that they’re a small local organisation who simply understand that the left hand needs to know what the right hand is doing. We got end-toend high-quality work from day one, from ripping down the walls right through to the finishing touches. “As always with the kitchen, the devil is in the detail, and the finishing is key. Homeworx worked to the same high standard right through the project, never cutting any corners, and we’re left with the kitchen we hoped for: simple, bright and practical. And more importantly, it’s the heart and soul of our family home.” Andy & Emma Cotham, Bristol

homeworx ➻ Homeworx specialise in a

complete service from architects' drawings, planning permission and kitchen, bathroom and interior design to extensions, conversions, renovations and new build, incorporating building regulations and structural engineering.

Homeworx Design & build Tel: 01275 845011 / 07809 152636. email: web:

Below: Gemma Casey, kitchen designer and Dominic Taylor, project manager

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In the


Ideas and inspiration from Trish Gibson to help you make the most of your garden this month

Grow Something Special Achilleas


hese are very easy-to-grow perennials that produce masses of tiny flowers which form flat heads of flowers in a range of shades, from pale yellow, through orange to pink and cerise. The variety ‘Terracotta’ opens a warm orange and fades with age. Like the wild yarrow to which they’re related, most achillea leaves are feathery and silvery in colour. Deadheading will result in more flowers. Once established, they will thrive in hot, dry spots. Growing tips Achilleas are happy in even the poorest of soils as long as it’s well drained. Avoid shady areas, as they need full sun to flourish. Cut back the dead flower stems in autumn. If you want to create more, divide the plants in early spring.

Jobs for August

Achillea’s tall horizontal outline is a good contrast to other softer planting

➻ Others to try ‘Martina’

This has the palest yellow flowers with a touch of green, and blooms from June through till October above a mass of small feathery leaves. It’s an easy and reliable variety. ‘moonshine’

This variety has grey-green foliage and light, bright yellow flowers that are attractive to bees. It will spread slowly into sizeable clumps without becoming invasive.

‘the pearl’

Elegant sprays of pure white, double and semi-double flowers like little pom-poms bloom from June to August. This achillea is quite vigorous and will spread.

Collect the seeds of hardy annuals and perennials for sowing later in the autumn. Good ones to try are love-in-a-mist, poppies, aquilegias and hardy geraniums. Regularly pick vegetables such as French and runner beans, courgettes, cucumbers and tomatoes to encourage further cropping. Give hedges and topiary their last cut of the season. It’ll keep them looking smart throughout autumn and winter.

We’ll be buying… Some Iriso water spikes – a simple drip-feed irrigation system that accepts most plastic water bottles. A good way to keep your precious plants watered while you go on holiday: £15.80 plus £2 p&p for a set of four. Ffi Harrod Horticultural. Tel: 0845 402 5300, web: www.

This month we'll be visiting... The Rare Plant Fair at Lady Farm, Chelwood, near Bath. These fairs are really worth a visit, with a wide range of interesting shrubs, plants and bulbs available to buy from experienced and informative growers, and the chance to visit a fantastic garden. Ffi Lady Farm, Chelwood, Bath, Sun 28 Aug, 11am-4pm, £5pp inc the Gardens. Refreshments available; no dogs. Info line: 0845 468 1368, web: www.

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Try our Border Design Service to kick start your Summer garden!

CLEEVE NURSERY THE FOOD HUT Open 10.30am - 4.00pm

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Propertynews Property news



Thinking of climbing the first rung on the property ladder? Melissa Blease gets some hot tips from the experts at Cliftons Estate Agents

Glam city-centre living needn't cost the earth, as Cabot Court proves

Cabot Court apartments start from £100,000, making them ideal for first-time buyers


aking the property plunge for the first time? Don’t make a move until you’ve let Paul Kingston of Cliftons Estate Agents talk you through his hot tips for first-time buyers. “It’s never been a better time to buy,” says Paul, “but it’s really important to get your finances sorted out first. This will give you a clear indication of what you can afford and your negotiating power. But don’t just visit your bank or building society – shop around! There are some really great independent mortgage advisers, such as Bristol Mortgage Solutions (0117 973 7270), who can go to the whole of the market and guarantee you the best deal. “Next, decide on a location and stick to it. This will help you to focus on exactly what you want, saving you a lot of wasted time and preventing you getting sidetracked. It’ll also help you find out exactly what properties are selling for what prices in your preferred location, and the estate agent you’re dealing with will treat you as a serious buyer and keep you informed of all new instructions – when the right place comes on the market, you’ll know what kind of offer to

This gorgeous twobedroom cottage in Redland is on the market for £325,000

Don't be afraid to look at properties up to eight per cent over your budget

make. Don’t be afraid to look at properties selling at up to eight per cent above your affordability – you may be surprised at how negotiable some sellers may be, especially if the property is a new build. And when you locate the perfect property, always be prepared to make an offer: if you’re unsure about the initial pitch to approach with, speak to the agent. They may not go with your price to start with, but they’ll know of the offers placed up to that point and will be able to make an honest indication that your starting bid is too low.” CLIFTONS ESTATE AGENTS 140 WHITELADIES RD, CLIFTON, BRISTOL. FFI: 0117 946 6363, WWW. CLIFTONSESTATEAGENTS.CO.UK

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MOnkey Business


n eye-catching new visitor has taken up residence outside the Crest Nicholson sales and marketing suite at Bristol’s leading waterside property development. The sculpture of George – a 5ft-tall silverback gorilla – was designed and painted by artist Julia Trickey, and he’s celebrating Bristol Zoo’s Wow! Gorillas initiative, which reaches the grand old age of 175 this year. As well as aiming to attract visitors to the award-winning waterside development formerly known as Canons Marsh, George – alongside numerous other gorillas positioned across Bristol Next time you visit Bristol's Harbourside make sure you say – hopes to encourage residents and hello to new resident George! tourists to explore all the wonderful elements that Bristol has to offer. And down to see our gorilla will also see how by bringing together the business and arts Harbourside has transformed this part of communities in Bristol to create a unique, Bristol into a fantastic place where people mass public art event, Wow! Gorillas will can live, work and enjoy their leisure time.” also raise significant funds to support gorilla George will be in residence at the conservation projects and Bristol charity Harbourside for 12 weeks. Take your little Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Appeal. apes to see him and pick up a goody bag “We’re delighted to have our very own from the Crest Nicholson Marketing Suite while gorilla and to support the zoo’s you’re there! celebrations,” Harbourside sales and marketing director Susan Young tells Folio. FFI CREST NICHOLSON HARBOURSIDE MARKETING “Both the zoo and Bristol’s waterside are SUITE, CATHEDRAL WALK, BRISTOL, OPEN 10AMknown the world over, and those who pop 5PM. WEB: WWW.HARBOURSIDE.CO.Uk

If you’ve just moved in . . .

we want you!

➻ Folio is planning a regular column featuring people who have just moved in to new homes. If you have recently moved house and would like to take part, please email editor@foliomagazine. with “We’ve just moved in” in the subject line including full contact details (mobile/address and landline). If selected we will need you to answer a short questionnaire and supply print quality (large filesize) images of yourselves at home. The first three new homeowners to be featured in future issues of Folio will win accessories from the Kenneth Cole Home range, available at House of Fraser. House of Fraser The Circus, Cabot Circus, Bristol Ffi: 08448 003710,

properties of the issue…

Knoll Hill, Sneyd Park, Bristol, £250,000

Bridge Road, Leigh Woods, Bristol, £300,000

heart of desirable Sneyd Park offers spectacular views over the Avon Gorge and towards Leigh Woods Nature Reserve from both the lounge and kitchen/dining room. The master bedroom comes complete with ensuite facilities, while a guest bathroom ensures space for all. The property is surrounded by beautifully maintained gardens and also benefits from a garage, additional parking and visitor parking facilities.

➻ This spacious first-floor, three-bedroom apartment on Bridge Road on the edge of Leigh Woods, just a short skip across Clifton Suspension Bridge, is conveniently located for Clifton Village and numerous highly rated schools. Explore a 23ft lounge/dining room and a 15ftx13ft ensuite master bedroom alongside two more spacious bedrooms and a well-appointed bathroom and kitchen within. Views across the surrounding private gardens towards the city from the 13ft south-facing balcony complete this thoroughly lovely home (with no onward chain).#



➻ This immaculate, double-bedroom second-floor apartment at the

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➻ eatingoutwest from cider fests to new eateries, get your teeth into these tasty treats LOUNGE GROUP

Cosy on Down ➻ It started with a single Lounge in the (then) downmarket Bristol area of

Southville, and grew into a chain of 13 Lounges across the South West and South Wales. After that came Flatcappers, a minichain of three (so far…) South West country pubs with grub. And now the ever-restless Alex Reilly and partners have branched out yet again. Their new line of places are called Cosy Clubs (motto: Keep Cosy and Carry On), a less urban hybrid of the Lounge concept, aimed at market towns rather than cities, and with female customers very much in their sights. With premises under development in Exeter and Stamford, Lincolnshire, the first Cosy Club opened in Taunton earlier this year, with a second following in Bath’s new SouthGate shopping centre in June. The Bath premises are actually rather grand, with a stylishly be-pillared balcony overlooking the retail therapists below and a ‘Gin Palace-inspired’ rococo bar dispensing a great selection of beers, ciders, wines and spirits. Furnishings display the classic Lounge style, with enough higgledy-piggledy assortment of tables, chairs and sofas to accommodate up to 300 diners and drinkers. The menu will have a familiar ring to experienced Loungers, with all-day breakfasts, and the legendary (sustainable) fishfinger sandwich, alongside tapas, sandwiches and main courses. They were aiming to combine fun and comfort with a modicum of smartness, and we think Bath’s Cosy Club has succeeded rather well. COSY CLUB SOUTHGATE PLACE, BATH. FFI: 01225 464161, WWW. COSYCLUB.CO.UK/BATH


It’s My Party ➻ Banglo is one of those quirkily individual businesses that, when you come across them, feel like a real discovery. Set in Bath’s otherwise unremarkable Lower Bristol Road, the former rugby clubhouse provides diners and drinkers with a contemporary ambience and the kind of top treats that had one of our reviewers recently swooning to the tune of nine stars. Catering for anything from 10 to 150 people, the place has always combined public dining and private hire, with such potentially picky foodies as the staff teams from Marlborough Tavern and Jamie’s Italian numbered among their satisfied customers. Growing demand for bookings, however, has forced

owner Robbie Tack to rethink the public service, and from now on Banglo will be concentrating on the hiring side of the business exclusively. Or nearly exclusively. “We have a lot of regular lunch customers from the offices nearby,” Robbie explains, “so we’ll still be doing lunch sessions for them on Thursday and Friday. And then there’s Sunday…” With a reputation for great Sunday lunches already established, the plan is to make Banglo a seventh-day hotspot from 9am onwards, with breakfasts and brunch running through to lunches, teas and dinners. Sunny days will see barbecue sessions in the garden, and Robbie has plans for live music in the evenings. “We’ve got the dancefloor so we‘ll just have to put a small stage in.” So… all change, then, but for Banglo fans it could well be a case of ‘less is more’. Come and enjoy a few drinks, brunch, lunch or supper seven days a week at Banglo


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Go West, Young Man ➻ Lovers of American style and cuisine will have been delighted to find that the Tube Diner has re-opened at Bristol’s Paintworks, following the recruitment of chef and event caterer Charlie Fisher to run the place. Situated on a gleaming Astroturf lawn, the diner’s two specially imported classic Airstream trailers are open every weekday from 7.30am, with a breakfast menu that includes the English (bacon & egg sandwiches) and the European (Swiss-style muesli). Given such an iconic setting, though, why resist the great American kick-start of short stack pancakes with bacon and maple syrup? There are Stateside lunch options, too, with tex-mex quesadillas already rivalling the

‘Chilli Dog Hoagie’ for flavour of the month. Charlie, whose previous catering industry project involved reclaiming a rundown 300year-old pub in Dorset, is very enthusiastic about the chance to make something of the Tube: “I’m really keen about the whole American thing, as long as it doesn’t get too tacky, but I also want to keep things locally sourced. The Chilli Dog’s actually an 85% meat sausage made by Dalton’s on the Gloucester Road, and my chips are all handmade from new potatoes and twicecooked, like you get in a top restaurant.” TUBE DINER PAINTWORKS, BATH RD, BRISTOL, BS4. FFI: WWW.THETUBEDINER.CO.UK (OPEN MON-FRI 7.30AM-4PM)

The Big Apple ➻ You’ll have to get your skates on if you want to catch the Bristol Summer Cider Festival, as tickets were disappearing fast as we went to press. Last year’s event pretty much sold out in advance – so don’t say we didn’t warn you. Now in its fourth year, the festival runs in three sessions over two days, with over 100 ciders and perries on offer, solid supplies including hog roasts and cheese platters, and the inevitable ‘scrumpy & western’ soundtrack of tribbers the Mangledwurzels (pictured). BRISTOL SUMMER CIDER FESTIVAL 5-6 AUG, BRUNEL’S PASSENGER SHED, TEMPLE MEADS, BRISTOL. FFI: 01225 330304, WWW.CLSTICKETS. CO.UK


21 Years Young

➻ It’s cork-popping time at Bristol’s Delmonico restaurant as proprietors Nick Hennessy and Tony Wilshaw celebrate 21 years of partnership in the restaurant business. From their early downtown days at Melbourne’s and Redcliffe’s, the pair eventually moved on to concentrate on the nicely understated, deco-flavoured Gloucester Road diner. Over the years it’s continued to develop as times have changed, and the Delmonico menu now combines classic English and French approaches to seasonal ingredients. There’s also an extensive tapas choice ideally suited to people watching from one of the alfresco pavement tables. Nick is particularly keen to develop the fish selections, using freshly caught Cornish produce brought up by Wings of St Mawes – the ever-changing ‘catch of the day specials’ are proving very popular with diners. DELMONICO 217 GLOUCESTER RD, BRISTOL, BS7. FFI: 0117 944 5673, WWW.DELMONICO.CO.UK

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➻ EatingOutWest

Ronnie Faulkner's signature dish of scallops with pancetta, sage and garlic which he serves at The Muset by Ronnie

meet the Kitchen



K, foodies, here’s a little riddle for you… What do peach melba, waldorf salad, soufflé suissesse, tarte tatin and sachertorte all have in common? Anybody who responds along the lines of such dishes only appealing to those of very limited taste can go straight to the back of the class. Those who correctly credited all five dishes to acclaimed gastroluminaries Auguste Escoffier, Oscar Tschirky, Albert Roux, Stephanie Tatin and Franz

Sacher respectively, however, have earned themselves a Gold Star for recognising that we’re salivating in the realms of the signature dish: a single plate of food that showcases the skills of one individual chef, often earning him/her enduring superstar status and summing up the ethos of the individual at the heart of the hob action. From the opening list, it’s clear that a signature dish may become so strongly associated with its original kitchen origins that the legendary platter lives on long after the chef who created it has shuffled off this mortal coil – and you don’t have

Time to get your autograph books out, as Melissa Blease and Tony Benjamin serve up the signature dishes that gastro dreams are made of

“Bristol foodies speak in reverent whispers of bell's diner head chef Chris wicks' feted vindaloo ice-cream with poppadom tuille.”

to travel very far to find such a dish on our own doorstep. Decades ago, Bristol-based superchef Stephen Markwick worked with groundbreaking Hob God George Perry-Smith, a man whom many foodies cite as being responsible for heralding the dawn of the original British food revolution. Today, Markwick’s Bristol venture, the highly regarded Culinaria, has built an esteemed reputation all of its own. But Markwick still pays homage to his mentor by featuring a Perry-Smith signature dish on his own menu – salmon in pastry with currants and ginger – which typifies

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Right: The Wheatsheaf's Eddy Raines; and above: his cannon of lamb, wild garlic purée and potato fondant

Perry-Smith’s trademark style for reinventing dishes from England’s longstanding heritage. “It’s not necessary to write his name against it,” says Markwick. “People just know.”

Above: Giles Sampson raises the temperature in the Clifton Sausage kitchen; and below: his signature tasting plate of Wiltshire lamb

But history isn’t necessarily one of the main ingredients of a signature dish. A handful of contemporary chefs have become defined by the Just One Dish summary: snail porridge, for example, will for ever be directly attributed to Heston Blumenthal, while Bristol foodies speak in reverent whispers of Bell’s Diner/Berwick Lodge head chef Christopher Wicks’ feted vindaloo ice-cream with poppadom tuille, even though the dish only makes very occasional appearances on any of his menus today. Although flaunting a signature dish isn’t necessarily a prerequisite for any chef intent on retaining their status as Britain’s biggest and best-

known culinary superstars, it’s clear that, for many, the dishes that characterise their status become a form of ‘lucky charm’. Fergus Henderson has vowed that his award-winning combination of roast bone marrow with parsley salad will never, ever leave the menu at his acclaimed St John restaurant in London’s Smithfield, while Angela Hartnett has taken her roast pumpkin and amaretto ravioli from Aubergine all the way to Murano via The Connaught and even Hell’s Kitchen, and Marcus Wareing’s roasted red leg partridge with a game torte, parsnip galette and truffle madeira jus put his chic gastro hotspot Petrus firmly on the map. “I’m almost superstitious about that dish now,” Wareing recently told the Observer Food Monthly. “It is, if you like, the essence of Petrus.”

Closer to home, Michael Caines has dedicated a whole menu at the Bath Priory (the ‘Signature Menu’, n’est-ce pas) to the self-invented contemporary classics that define the style that elevated him to the giddy heights of ultimate UK MasterChef. Today, that menu is the result of many long, hard years spent building confidence, competence and clarity – a triumvirate of skills that can never be flash-in-thepan attributes. Dish: Cannon of lamb, wild garlic purée, potato fondant Chef: Eddy Raines Kitchen: The Wheatsheaf, Combe Hay, nr Bath, BA2. Ffi: www.wheatsheafcombehay. ➻ For young head chef Eddy Raines, running the kitchen at one of the region’s top

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➻ EatingOutWest Dish: Seared yellow-fin tuna nicoise with crisp fennel and vintage balsamic vinegar Chef: Nick Brodie Kitchen: The Olive Tree, Queensberry Hotel, Russell St, Bath. Ffi: www.thequeensberry. ➻ When Nick Brodie took over the kitchen at Bath’s Pimpernel’s restaurant, he was soon recognised as one of the area’s best purveyors of fusion cookery, and it was a reputation that his work at the Olive Tree has continued to enhance. A career that had combined experience in Chester, London and Hong Kong with his own extensive culinary travels around Asia had given him a remarkable understanding of flavours and techniques that fired his imagination to create new and impressive dishes. His signature dish has all the elements of Nick at his best, expertly combining the elements of classic French nicoise with subtle Asianinfluenced embellishments, and all presented as a work of art on the plate.

Below: The Olive Tree's Nick Brodie, and above: his yellow-fin tuna nicoise

beans and peas fresh from the Wheatsheaf’s kitchen garden.

gastropubs is the culmination of an impressively wide-ranging career that took off when he won the first Gordon Ramsay Scholar Award. It was the first of many accolades, with his work having taken him from Hereford to New Zealand and Jersey before coming to work with Michael Caines at the Bath Priory. It’s those links with the Welsh borders and Down Under that made lamb the focus of his favourite dish, combined with a passion for foraged food that makes wild garlic the defining flavour both as a lush, vivid purée and also as an aromatic crumb for the meat itself. Very much a springtime dish, Eddie likes to serve it with broad

Dish: Tasting plate of Wiltshire lamb: cutlet, rump and sausage with smoked garlic & parsley mash, spinach and rosemary & redcurrant gravy Chef: Giles Sampson Kitchen: The Clifton Sausage, Portland St, Clifton, Bristol. Ffi: ➻ Having started out cooking in gastro-pubs around the South West, Cheddar-born Giles Sampson did what many aspiring young chefs do and moved on up to London. After five years, however, he chose to come back West and joined the crew at the Clifton Sausage in 2004. Unsurprisingly, therefore, there’s a banger in this dish as part of a trio of lamb set against herb-infused mash and aromatic gravy. The elements all balance perfectly but, as ever, the trick is in the timing: getting pink-roasted rump, crispy cutlet and a well-browned sausage to arrive at the same time is a feat in itself. It’s now a well-established part of Giles’ repertoire and a big hit with the customers.

of the Year by the Good Food Guide, it was a well-deserved recognition of the years of learning he’d already put in, including time spent with Anton Mosimann and Ed Baines. The scallops dish is a highlight on the menu at Ronnie’s and remains a solid favourite with customers both in Thornbury and in his new Clifton place, Muset by Ronnie. Ronnie began developing the dish some 15 years ago when working at London super-restaurant Quaglino’s because he loved the combination of flavour and texture between the soft scallops and the crisper bacon. He feels that he perfected the dish about six years ago, and since having his own places, it’s only off the menu when they rest the scallop divers in Dorset’s Lyme Bay. “I won’t use any other scallops, even if it makes the dish pricier,” says Ronnie. “Properly caught, it’s such a beautiful fish that you just can’t compromise on the quality.”

Dish: Scallops with pancetta, sage and garlic Chef: Ronnie Faulkner Kitchen: The Muset by Ronnie, Clifton Rd, Bristol. Ffi: www. ➻ When Ronnie Faulkner’s Thornbury restaurant Ronnie’s was picked as 2009 Restaurant Below: Ronnie Faulkner, and above: his scallops with pancetta dish as served at Ronnie's in Thornbury

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Christmas Experience FINE FOOD & ENTERTAINMENT IN EXOTIC SURROUNDINGS NOW TAKING BOOKINGS FOR CHRISTMAS 2011 Lunch & Dinner Illusionists . Belly Dancers . Late Night DJ Tuesday to Saturday 12PM to 2AM

Book Now on 0117 922 1883 Byzantium f199.indd 1

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➻ EatingOutWest

waste not, want



lessed as we are with a seasonal climate, we Britishers can look forward to an ever-changing supply of foodstuff as the year goes round. Things may look a bit lean in January or February, but by June seasonal treats like beans, spinach, strawberries and gooseberries are coming thick and fast. Shrewd shoppers find the best value at the peak of the season, while those with allotments and gardens can’t pick it fast enough… And that’s the catch – scarcely has that first delicious homegrown strawberry burst fragrantly in your mouth than they’re beginning to mount up, just like broad beans, asparagus and other seasonal treats. Try as you might, it’s well nigh impossible to get through the stuff before the season is out – and even strawberries can become tedious if you have to have them every day. Past generations always had their ways of making the most of food crops while providing for the lean

winter months at the same time. When writer and educator Jackie Sherman found herself facing a glut of seasonal produce, she realised that she needed to revisit those good old ways, as well as taking on some radical new ideas. “I’ve got a reasonable-sized garden,” she explains, “and I always go out to pickyour-own places or try to buy things when they’re in season and cheap. Great bargains, but what can you do with it all?” With the freezer groaning and her family already up to their ears in fruit pies, Jackie decided to spend a year

“I discovered that beetroot can be great in cakes – beetroot & chocolate cake is delicious!” jackie Sherman, author of making the most of your glorious glut

Pick your own: Jackie Sherman urges us all to make the most of each season's deliciously fresh produce

As nature prepares to throw her autumn bounty at us, Tony Benjamin gets ready to deal with all that mellow fruitfulness

learning how to get the most out of seasonal fruit and veg. By the time she was finished, it was apparent that a book was in the offing. “It was my first cookbook, but cooking is my big love. I’ve had a wonderful year cooking and eating and trying out new things like making cider and candied fruit. I wanted to get the widest possible range of ideas. I know people end up throwing stuff away or leaving it unpicked because they lack enough different ideas. I learned so much myself while writing this book.” Making the Most of Your Glorious Glut is a comprehensive goldmine

of recipes and techniques aimed at finding new ways to enjoy, say, the humble beetroot while preserving what you can’t manage. “I discovered that beetroot can be great in cakes – beetroot & chocolate cake is delicious! – and there’s an Italian icecream made from the stuff. It’s great to pickle, and you can make tasty chutney with apple and beetroot, too.” With sections on broad beans, blackcurrants, carrots, courgettes and others, she’s covered all the likeliest local food mountains, and mastering the art of the chapter on preserves will have your shelves groaning with jars of chutney, relishes, pickles and jams while you toast them in homemade cider or a glass of runnerbean wine. For Jackie, the whole thing has been very worthwhile, not least because her cooking has improved (“I was a bit scatterbrained about quantities before”) and she’s discovered new things to grow and eat. “I’ve been more adventurous in seeding – rocket was a big discovery! Now we’re all hooked on the stuff, I’ll be trying new things every year.”

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➻ EatingOutWest

ReView APPLE TREE INN The West Country legend that is Lee Evans lives on. Melissa Blease finds him alive, kicking and cooking up a storm in this cosy country pub


anteen, supper room or kitchen; grill, chophouse or hob? Now that the gastropub idiom has become as stale and predictable as the Come Dine With Me format, chef/proprietors across the land are wildly plundering their imaginations in search of the Next Big Thing in restaurant (or, erm, eating house?) names. But for West Country superchef Lee Evans, a name that evokes a blast from the past is clearly the new way forward: we’re scrumping at the Apple Tree Inn. Lovely Lee is no stranger to the notion of taking smart, city centre food to the countryside. For around half a decade he presided over the kitchen at the Wheatsheaf in Combe Hay: a glorious contemporary pastoral paradise highly acclaimed for its super-smart, memorable menus built around pristine local sourcing policies. Five months ago, Lee and his wife Ally made what must have been a heartrending decision to leave the Wheatsheaf to establish their own little slice of rustic victuala, settling on settling down in a formerly careworn tavern on the A361 – one of Somerset’s most picturesque bucolic highways, just a couple of miles from Glastonbury and only a half-hour motorcar frolic away from Bath. After much paint- and carpetstripping to restore the pub’s original stone walls, floors and fireplaces to their former glory, the Apple Tree is flourishing again: a spacious but cosy affair with squidgy sofas to kick back in, chunky farmhouse furniture in the dining areas and not one but two bars for the cheerful locals to prop up. In keeping with the characteristics of such a traditional set-up, jars of pickled eggs and onions line the shelves, there are freshly baked sausage rolls and pork pies to accompany a thoughtful selection of locally sourced real ales, beers and ciders at the

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weekends, and chalkboards flaunt downhome delights such as ham, egg and chips for diners who like to keep it simple. But Lee being Lee, there are some very cheffy twists and turns to be found between the lines of a seemingly straightforward menu. A starter of seared Lulworth Bay scallops, for example, came scattered with sweet, milky sweetcorn kernels and chunks of Pilton Pig salami (£8.95), while a slab of dense ham hock terrine arrived resting on a soft tangle of microherbs and accompanied by homemade piccalilli. For mains, panfried halibut fillet served on a creamy satay risotto with steamed bok choy offered perfect matchmaking services between the clean, fresh flavour of the fish and the nutty, tender rice, aided and abetted by a kickin’ lime syrup (£16.95). A massive, succulent ribeye of Hereford beef, meanwhile, brought its own supporting cast to the table in the form of a bucket of triple-cooked chips and – get this! – a fried duck egg, its golden

yolks (for yes, it was a double-good egg) running in soft rivulets over the plate at the merest fork-nudge to mingle happily with both tender

“chalkboards flaunt downhome delights such as ham, egg and chips. but lee being lee, there are some very cheffy twists and turns to be found between the lines of a seemingly straightforward menu."

flesh and garlic butter, resulting in a cholesterol fiesta in the very best possible taste (£19.95). Throughout our meal we nibbled on Ally’s fresh, homemade rolls and quaffed an exceptionally good house red wine (merlot, circa £16). And still we insisted that there was space left for a white wine poached pear with Lee’s trademark blue cheese ice-cream (£6.50) and a plate of petits fours with coffee – £1 for homemade Turkish delight and salted chocolate caramel truffles? No wonder the locals love the fact that their inn is back in again. The legend that is Lee Evans lives on – behind the signage, success really is all in a name.



Truly scrumptious bucolic frolics

27/07/2011 17:45:34

Lunchtime Buffet £4.95 Eat as much as you can, soft drink included Any Pizza or Pasta £5 to take-away Sunday Lunch Roast Buffet £9.95 Eat as much as you can Specials Board Changing Daily B.Y.O



Watch LIVE Football, Rugby

Open Mon – Sat 12pm – 2pm & 6pm – 10pm Sunday 12pm – 4pm

& World Cup Fixtures

FREE DELIVERY to BS3 on orders over £15 Priviledge Card holders are entitled to a free bottle of house wine on each visit

The Assembly Inn 16-17 Alfred Street, Lansdown Road, Bath BA1 2QU Tel: 01225 333 639

For more information visit 0117 963 3544 149 East St, Bedminster, Bristol BS3 4EJ

to book our function room for private viewings please contact Frances on the number below

Join our Facebook page “the assembly inn” for the latest information about events and all the up to date news!


Princess Victoria Street fine dining experience 'fifty' will be born. Showcasing the best of seasonal locally produced foods and English classics in a modern style. The menus will offer a set 2 or 3 course lunch menu or light a la carte choices. The evening a fine dining 7 course tasting menu and a la carte. A vegetarian tasting menu will be available so non carnivore gourmets can enjoy the experience too.

After 10 years on Islay, off the west coast of Scotland, followed by 5 years on Alderney, Channel Islands, Scott Chance has brought his 32 years of fine dining experience to Clifton. With his wife Wendy and talented young Chef Dany Lancaster they bring a great new dining experience to Clifton Village. Scott and Dany, both with pedigree backgrounds in catering were amazed at the wealth of quality ingredients available and with the countryside full of good wild foods for foraging it is an ideal location for a restaurant. Using modern slow cooking techniques and in-house smoker served alongside a great wine list the Clfton dining scene is in for a treat.

For more information phone: 07881 790 302 or visit

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Sunday at The Sausage

• Superb dry aged roast sirloin of beef. • Yorkshire puddings and crispy roast potatoes. • Traditional home made puddings.

...not just sausages 7 - 9 Portland Street Clifton Village, Bristol BS8 4JA

0117 973 1192


THE PERFECT CHOICE - WHATEVER THE WEATHER! Open Bank Holiday Monday Lunch Great Value Lunch Menu New a la carte dinner Why not stay in one of our beautiful rooms?

The Wheatsheaf, Combe Hay, Bath BA2 7EG Tel: 01225 833 504 64 folio/august 2011

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➻ EatingOutWest

ReView 4500 MILES


Tony Benjamin discovers cocktails, an upmarket menu and coconut chutney with a serious zing at this new arrival in Bristol city centre


iven the range of Indian cooking cultures from the Himalayas down to Sri Lanka, it was always regrettable that the British seemed content with such a restricted choice of ‘curries’. Happily, however, Indian restaurants have been moving beyond the madras/vindaloo/korma triangle, with dishes from Kerala, Goa and other delicious corners of the sub-continent. Contemporary upmarket menus have abandoned the back-lane takeaway ‘telephone directory’ for something resembling an equivalent Italian restaurant – a selection of dishes reflecting a wide range of tastes and flavours. Good news for the taste-buds, certainly, if harder on the brain cells when it comes to choosing. 4500 Miles from Delhi is newly arrived in Bristol as the third in a chain started in Leamington Spa before expanding to Oxford. The former La Tasca city-centre site has been transformed into something combining classical ‘colonial’ touches with smart modernism, the space nicely broken up so that you’re hardly aware of the scale of what is, actually, a 200-cover business. Linen napkins are tied with red ribbons, cutlery is stylish and furniture unshowily smart and comfortable, and from the greeting at the door onwards, the service is unfailingly attentive and efficient. Our window table has a view of the centre criss-crossed by fancydressed people on a sponsored pub crawl, with padded gangs of Sumo wrestlers bumping softly into crossdressed Irish dancers. The distraction pales once eating begins, however, with the first poppadom-enhancing chutneys getting instant approval for freshness and individuality of

EOW Review_Delhi 198.indd 65

flavour. The Lovely She is impressed to find a cocktail selection, so sips on a blackberry-rich Midnight Monkey. I opt for a bottle of Cobra while we pick an eclectic pan-Indian selection of dishes. The menu at 4500 Miles is a nicely balanced mix of the familiar – chicken tikka masala, natch – with more interesting discoveries including a generous vegetarian choice available as main or side

“for starters we share pakora and a vegetable dosa, the latter a perfectly bronzed triangle of crispfried pancake with spicy potato filling.”

dishes. For starters we share pakora and a vegetable dosa, the latter a perfectly bronzed triangle of crispfried pancake with spicy potato filling. While lacking the usual ‘sambol’ gravy accompaniment, it comes with a satisfying pot of coconut chutney that has real zing. The pakoras are deep-fried balls of mixed veg, strong on cumin – a pleasing contrast with their rich accompanying sauces. It’s a filling start, so when the main courses arrive, the tableful of steaming brass dishes suddenly seems ambitious to She. Greedily sniffing the splendid aromas, I, however, am quietly confident. The first mouthful makes it clear that we’re in for rich eating. Goan fish curry is deep red with tomato and tamarind and leaves a pleasant coconut aftertaste, and the Hyderabadi lamb has gingery depth and chilli warmth, while the orange tarka dhal is a lighter and refreshing balancing flavour. We’re unsure about the bagaray baingan, another Hyderabadi dish made from aubergines. Full of flavours, with coconut and peanut coming through

strongly, the pieces of smoked aubergine are tiny and their taste is overwhelmed by the sauce. It doesn’t stop me hoovering up the last traces with shreds of naan bread, however, and I sit back from the well-cleared table quite satisfied – though not so satisfied that I can resist a portion of rosewater-scented malai kulfi, nicely laid out in wedges, while The Lovely She manages a sweet rasmalai with approval. With a glass of wine and another large Cobra for me, the meal comes to £85, a reasonable price for such richly flavoured, quality eating in commodious surroundings – and with plenty left to explore on the menu, a further visit could well be on the cards.



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10 of the best Cocktail Bars

➻ EatingOutWest

➻ Hausbar 52 Upper Belgrave Rd, Clifton,


➻ Whitelock & Grace Whiteladies Gate,

A generous slice of Umbria at this friendly and good-value trattoria

Bristol • Suave bar staff deliver perfectly made drinks while you soak up Clifton’s slice of Berlin cool – if you can get in (try booking).

Clifton, Bristol • Low lighting, soft sofas and a carefully chosen list of select cocktails made the way you want them.

➻ Living Room Canons Way, Harbourside, Bristol • Smart, bright cocktail bar with oodles of ‘flair’ on display, and a mix of classics and newly created concoctions.

➻ Goldbrick House 69 Park St, Bristol • The atmospheric cocktail bar at GBH brings you careful mixology using fresh and homemade ingredients – always something lip-smacking to discover. ➻ Amoeba Lounge Bar (pictured) 10 King’s Rd, Clifton, Bristol • Tiny frontage conceals a Tardis-like collection of exuberantly furnished rooms. Bar seems to produce almost anything if you ask nicely. Great place to meet friends and mix’n’match. ➻ Big Chill Bar 15 Small St, Bristol • Rustles up a dry-as-you-like martini and numerous other cocktails while grooving on down to some of the area’s hippest DJs. ➻ Brugada 1 John St, Bath • Famed ‘bed-

head’ bar and boudoir-chic vibe make this a girls'-night-out hotspot. Fun-loving cocktail selection to match.

➻ Door 34 34 Monmouth St, Bath • Bath’s newest shrine to the mixological arts, opened in the former Raincheck site by award-winning cocktail makers Craig and Andy, always happy to dispense their cocktail wisdom. ➻ Sub 13 4 Edgar Buildings, George St,

Bath • From roomy garden to cosy vaults, plenty of room to spread out when things get pretty buzzy of a night. Dazzling drinks menu boasts 10 pages of cocktail choices.

➻ Old Q Russell St, Bath • Comfy

as a tweed jacket, classy as a tux, the Queensberry Hotel’s cocktail bar is like having your own Jeeves rustle you up a snifter at the end of the day.


iao Italia’s bright green and yellow frontage is freshly painted and draped with a banner announcing an ‘all you can eat’ lunch buffet at £4.95, and there’s a dispenser of takeaway/ delivery pizza and pasta menus beside the door. Once inside this friendly Italian neighbourhood restaurant, however, you realise this isn’t another downmarket pizzeria. Thanks to a ‘specials’ menu, concocted on a daily basis by chef Raffaella, Ciao Italia also offers the fresh tastes of an Umbrian kitchen. News of her recent arrival having spreading around BS3, I and No.2 Son pitch up on a quietly bustling Friday evening. Owner Alex Russo greets us, seats us and makes us feel at home, and then we’re left to the menu. It’s BYO, but we hadn’t known, so we pick a workmanlike chianti from the limited wine list before scanning those ‘specials’. My teasingly named spinach salad ‘Raffaella style’ turns out to be a bed of fresh leaves decked with thinly sliced raw mushroom and a scattering of raspberries and blueberries. Dressed lightly from bottles of oil and vinegar, it’s a zingily refreshing treat. The Son’s funghi trifolati (sautéed garlic mushrooms) is a fair-sized pile of darkly intense flavour beside lightly toasted focaccia slices. Then come our challengingly sized main courses. He’s got pollo alla romana

– a sizeable chicken breast wrapped in parma ham and oozing melted cambozola cheese, with garlic mashed potatoes and soft sautéed aubergine. It’s a heap of flavours and textures that really works for him. I have Alex’s recommendation of gnocchetti al ragu, little potato dumplings in a bolognese sauce. The gnocchi are as good as it gets – firm enough to hold together, absorbent enough to pull in the rich sauce, and meltingly soft in the mouth. Raffaella clearly knows her stuff – I’ve paid much more for considerably less satisfying versions elsewhere. After careful pacing and a little pause, we’re even ready to sample the desserts – oozing and intoxicating zabaione for the Son, a grainy fool of ricotta and berries for me, with that burst of sweetness quickly swept aside by dark espresso. It’s been a delightful and authentic feast in a comfortably hospitable trattoria for under £60 (including wine), and, if you like the fresh flavours of Italy, that’s as good a bargain as that lunchtime buffet. (Tony Benjamin)



Delicious Italian flavours straight from an Umbrian kitchen at a very reasonable price

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27/07/2011 18:30:25

Tel: 01225 425403



Purveyors of the finest hog and lamb roasts for weddings, parties, festivals and corporate hospitality

All enquiries to:

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➻ EatingOutWest

What's Cooking? Our monthly round-up of news from the foodie world


ood to see that new places are still opening, despite the gloomy mutterings of the economists, with Bristol-based independent coffee chain Boston Tea Party opening their 10th branch, a new place on Bristol’s Cheltenham Road (just up from A Certain Supermarket). “It seems like the perfect place,” says BTP’s Melanie Roberts, “totally in keeping with who we are and who our customers are.” The new premises opens its doors on Mon 1 Aug … Good to welcome back a couple of muchloved pubs after a bit of closure. The Black Boy Inn on Bristol’s Whiteladies Road has had a general wash-andbrush-up and has reopened with a nice new menu, while the riverside Boathouse on Bath’s Newbridge Road has been completely refurbished (a six-figure job, we hear) to emerge with nine bedrooms and a complete redesign for the bar area … Fans of Bristol takeaway legend Grecian Kebab House will be delighted to learn that they’re reopening their taverna

restaurant after a long dark spell. Launching in midAugust, the upstairs room has been transformed by an immense mural depicting the view of Nicosia – our undercover reporter has caught a glimpse and describes it as “stunning”. The real excitement, though, will be the return of some much-missed great Greek cuisine … And congratulations to David Greenman and Debbie Atherton, owners of the Arch House Deli in Clifton, Bristol, for being picked as one of the top 10 delicatessens in the country at the Deli of the Year competition held in Fortnum & Mason’s last month. It’s a great achievement for them and we wish them luck in the finals in September.

Super Markets Forget those trolleys and barcodes. With good things falling off the trees and springing up out of the ground, now’s the time to check out your local farmers’ market and catch the local harvest at its freshest… Every Sat Bath Farmers’ Market Green Park Station, Bath, from 8.30am. Ffi: Every Sat Harbourside Market No.1 Harbourside, Canons Rd, Bristol, 11am4pm. Ffi: 1st Sat of month Long Ashton Village Market Long Ashton Community Centre, Keedwell Hill, Long Ashton, Bristol, BS41, 9.30am-1pm. Ffi: www. 1st & 3rd Sat of month Whiteladies Road Farmers’ & Fair Trading Market Outside auction rooms on corner of Whiteladies Rd & Apsley Rd, Clifton, Bristol, 8.30am-2pm. Ffi: www. 2nd Sat of month Weston-superMare Farmers’ Market High St, Weston-super-Mare, 9am-12.30pm 2nd Sat of month Keynsham Farmers’ Market High St (next to Clock Tower), Keynsham, Bristol, BS31, 9am-1pm. Ffi: www. 4th Sat of month Westbury-onTrym Market Medical Centre car park, Westbury Hill, Bristol, BS9, 9am–1pm Every Sun Tobacco Factory Market Raleigh Rd, Southville, Bristol, BS3, 10.30am-2.30pm. Ffi: www. 1st Sun of month Slow Food Market Corn St, Bristol, 10am-3pm. Ffi: www. Every Wed Bristol Farmers’ Market Corn St, Bristol, 9.30am–2.30pm

Dates for Your Diary Sat 13 Aug International Craft Cider Festival Llancaiach Fawr Manor, Nelson, South Wales (www. • Picturesque setting for a global gathering of cider and perry makers. 13-14 Aug Great Dorset Chilli Festival Kingston Lacy, Wimborne, Dorset (www. • Tongue-burning celebration of all things fiery in the home of the infamous Naga chilli.

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➻ EatingOutWest

ReView LA PERLA Glamorously gourmet and authentically Spanish, with a fine line in kitchen theatre Hard to stomach: Here in the UK we send a whopping 18 million tonnes of edible food to landfill every year

Table Talk Throwaway remarks ➻


or a certain subdivision of Bathonians (ie those who prefer not to move with the times), the day that La Flamenca – one of the city’s longest-standing institutions and a ‘traditional’ Spanish haven – closed its doors for good was a very sad day indeed. Those who aren’t afraid to acknowledge that the times they are a-changin’, however, weren’t too surprised: age had wearied La Flam, and an increasingly less-than-sparkling reputation had condemned the whole operation to long past its sell-by date status. More shocking to contemporary foodies was the day that Minibar closed its doors after less than a couple of years at the top of the ‘Most Glamorous Eating Out Experiences in Bath’ charts. So, when the grapevine started to thrum with the news that the Minibar menu ethos (chic, supremely gourmet modern tapas, now supplemented by genuinely authentic paellas) would be resurrected in the fully refurbished (and trust me when I tell you that we’re talking total refurbishment, to exacting glamorous standards) surroundings of the evocative, barrelvaulted subterranean premises vacated by La Flam, greedy little hearts all over town went pitter-patter-thump. La Perla is to Bath – a city increasingly invaded by big, bland chain restaurants – what the top-grade Iberian charcuterie on

the menu here is to ‘chorizo-style’ processed meat: a world’s apart experience. Also pillaged from that menu on the evening we sallied forth, an awe-inspiring crab martini mélange, seared scallops with citrus-infused sea salt, goat’s cheese with a truffle honey bruléed topping scattered with pine nuts, and a positively salacious duck breast salad with more of that moreish goat’s cheese, fresh apple and brandy-marinated raisins, each dish as beautiful to behold as it was to digest, and each priced around the £6-£8 mark – extremely fair for a gourmet experience of such high quality. Our selection arrived straight from the bright, fresh open kitchen to the rear of the dining room – in itself, a glorious slice of kitchen theatre to further enliven what can only be described as a sparklingly vibrant experience from start to finish: multifaceted, exciting, varied, passionate and super-sexy. We left vowing to return soon to plunder the paellas. Something tells me that regular trips to this all-round sensual Spanish sanctuary are set to become a tradición contemporánea. (Melissa Blease)



Uber-glam gastronomia española in superelegant surroundings

The name might suggest an amiable Somerset dairy farmer but, as Bathonians probably know, May Gurney is in fact a national public service megacorporation involved in everything from rail networks to rubbish collection. Already providing waste removal services for BANES, May Gurney recently won a whopping £96m seven-year contract to do the same for Bristol, so expect to see their logo trundling round the city from November onwards as they scoop up those brown boxes of leftovers. We’re doing a lot better on the food wastage front, apparently – or at least we’re recycling more of it – but according to NGO Food Aware, the UK still sends 18 million tonnes of edible food to landfill every year. One-third comes from households, chucking away some £7bn worth annually, of which Defra reckons 65 per cent is avoidable. Our careless shopping and domestic disorganisation mean that we’re just giving that money to the food industry while stumping up the council tax so that May Gurney can take it away. What’s worse is that our surplus demand forces up food prices globally, adding to the problems of poverty and famine worldwide. And it all starts with that melting halflettuce in the fridge beside the cheddar cheese turning blue, the dome-topped yoghurt, the sprouting potatoes and the brick-hard bread. Then there’s the surplus rice and unfinished vegetables scraped off the plates… While reluctant to make life easier for May Gurney plc, you can’t help but think we’d all be better off if we got our act together and they had a whole lot less to do for all that money. (Tony Benjamin Food & Drink editor)

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➻ EatingOutWest Recipe CHRIS NELMES Age: 30 Nationality: British Restaurant: Marco Pierre White’s The Pear Tree Inn ➻ “My mother has always been

a phenomenal cook and a great chef. I became chief taster of gravy at home before clocking up some hours in her Bournemouth-based Mediterranean restaurant. When she gave me Floyd’s cookery book ‘Around the Med’ for my 19th birthday, I knew I wanted more. I spent five years working crazy hours in kitchens up and down the country and in Europe as a commis chef. “As I hit 25, the country was going food mad, and I saw my dream job - commis chef for Marco Pierre White’s Yew Tree, under head chef Neil Thornley. Miraculously, he hired me, and was instrumental in my rise to sous chef and my post at Winchester’s Chesil Rectory, under Damien Brown’s watch – an incredible experience. “Just as I thought life couldn’t get any better, Marco Pierre White asked me to be temporary head chef at one of his brand new country inns. I can’t imagine a chef on this planet who wouldn’t give their heart and soul to work with the greatest chef and restaurateur of our time. I love his honesty, attention to detail, passion – he rings all his chefs every day. Then he asked me to come down to The Pear Tree Inn. It’s the most magical place in the world to be right now.”

Chris Nelmes at

MARCO PIERRE WHITE’S THE PEAR TREE INN Address: Top Lane, Whitley, nr Bath, Wilts SN12 8QX Tel: 01225 709131 Web:


his is Whitley’s hidden gem – a picture-perfect country inn in pretty landscaped grounds of pear trees, flagstones and well-manicured turf, with charming nooks and crannies to explore. Inside, the cosy bar and understated elegance of ample dining areas create the perfect ambience for sampling a good cask ale and devouring a succulent Aberdeen Angus steak, enjoying a light lunch on the hoof, or settling in for the night with a stunning three-course supper and a wine list that caters for all palates and pockets. For those who want to stay a little longer, there are eight delightful ensuite bedrooms. Straight from the MPW stable, the Pear Tree’s experienced team have gained his respect and trust during their time at Harvey’s, the Yew Tree and Mirabelle, and share a passion for providing honest food and warm hospitality. The Wheeler’s of St James’s menu – good value and accessible to all (table d’hote £13.50 for two courses; three-course Sunday lunch £19.90) – is full of Marco’s signature dishes, like potted duck with prunes d’Agen and Wheeler’s of St James’s fish pie. Mouthwatering desserts include Wheeler’s poached pears and

pannacotta, and Albert Roux’s raspberry soufflé. Marco will always favour real ales and ciders over lager, and while he encourages chefs to source ingredients locally wherever possible, quality is paramount. His plans to plant up to 150 pear trees and wild flowers in the gardens have already come to fruition. He’s also planning for a pond and roaming chickens. Inside, a lowered conservatory roof will create an even cosier atmosphere in the main dining area. Marco takes his role as the Pear Tree caretaker extremely seriously, preserving its charm and restoring its beauty. It’s easy to see why he fell in love with this pub on first sight many years ago.

“marco takes his role as the pear tree caretaker extremely seriously, preserving its charm and restoring its beauty.”

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Belly pork Marco Polo INGREDIENTS Serves 10 3kg whole pork belly 500g butter star anise 2 vanilla pods coriander seeds black peppercorns thyme garlic


Place pork in an ovenproof dish, cover in water. Add butter, star anise, vanilla pods, coriander seeds, black peppercorns, thyme and garlic and braise in oven at 120 degrees for 12 hrs. This will release the fat and impurities of the pork. Then take out the pork, compress it between two boards until cold, then cut into five strips widthways. Take off the skin and cut into 1cm-wide julienne strips. Place between two sheets of greaseproof paper and douse with salt. Put it in a very hot oven and make sure you put a weight on

(a pan of water will do) to ensure you have nice flat crisp shards of crackling to place on top of your dish. When you’re ready to serve, reheat fat-side down in a hot pan to caramelise, then place in 150-degree oven and cook till meat is fully heated through. Serve with al dente butter beans for the perfect combination of taste and texture. Visit the Pear Tree Inn to try this amazing poached pears with rum and vanilla pannacotta pudding using pears from the restaurant gardens. Mmm...


➻ The grapes for Saint Etalon come from

20-year-old vines in the heart of France’s Languedoc region. This modern French winery is extremely quality focused, creating fantastic, fresh, exciting fruit-driven wines. And this lively sauvignon blanc is certainly a fine example of the fruit-infused offerings for which this vineyard is famous. The nose of this pretty applegreen nectar is dominated by lemon aromas, pear and aromatic wild herbs, giving way to a lively palate of melon, peach and pear mixed with tangy lemony notes. These clean, zesty aromas make this wine the perfect accompaniment to Chris’s succulent pork belly dish, offsetting the spiciness of the star anise, coriander seeds and black pepper. (David Cumberlidge)

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