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­­folio­­ bristol & bath

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

november 2011 l No. 202

e v Lo made with

Shop local, special and unique at a market near you!

Xmas dining

Art trails Party frocks How to wear animal print

Win Christmas!

One winner takes all...



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/november 2011 Just when you thought our long summer of exhibitions, events and all manner of jolly jamborees was over, along comes a few more to ease us gently into the season that clearly got the short straw weatherwise. We’re talking art trails, which aren’t just a great way to fill your home with splendid knickknacks, but also a rare chance to have a nosy around lots of other people’s houses, compare decorating styles and decide how you’d use the space much better if it were yours. On page 15 Tom Phillips casts an eye over the Bath Art Affair, Front Room and North Bristol Art Trails, all of which are happening this month, and gives us the lowdown on his pick of local art galleries that are well worth adopting a serene, contemplative air for. Of course, now it’s November, everywhere you turn there’s festive fever breathing down your neck, getting us all in a right panic. If you just want to make life easy and predictable, by all means do all your shopping online, but if you really want to show your soft and squishy side with carefully chosen quirkily unique gifts, not to mention your caring side to local small-time independent traders, it’s the Christmas markets you want. Joe Spurgeon is our man with the shopping bags, page 4.

Have a great month,

Rachel Nott Folio editor

Features 4 Joe Spurgeon heads to market for some local loveliness 12 Our favourite things to do this month 15 Tom Phillips heads off on the art trail 22 Eugene Byrne checks out the Nature in Art museum

4 local markets

Competitions 24 Win Christmas!!! We’re giving away spa days, DVDs, theatre tickets, meals out, chocs, beauty treatments and more!

Lifestyle 30 Anna Britten puts on her best party frock 32 How to work animal print: Niki Whittle reveals all 35 Living the high life at Sphere Living Design 36 The latest must-have gadgets 38 Our salon spy gets de-fuzzed at Strip Wax Bar & Boutique 41 Amanda Robinson experiences Watsu at Thermae Bath Spa 42 The latest party beautifiers 44 Latest news from the world of health & wellbeing 47 School reports from Backwell, King Edward’s & Sidcot 50 Steve Wright test drives the brand new Range Rover Evoque


Art trails and galleries

pic credit: Max McClure

Wonder walls

Homefront 56 Homeworx reveal their latest grand design 60 Velimir Ilic has his eye on the property market


Eating Out West 66 Top tables for intimate Christmas dining 72 Tony Benjamin take us on an alternative world food tour 75 Foodie dates for your diary 78 Restaurant review - Bistro La Barrique 80 Restaurant review - Clifton Sausage 82 Restaurant review - Tasting Room 84 Restaurant review - Muset by Ronnie 86 Braised pork cheek recipe from Hotel du Vin

30 Dazzling party frocks from £36

36 Cover image: Bath Christmas Market, photographed by Clare Green, 2009

Brilliant little inventions

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.

66 We choose our favourite places for cosy Christmas dining

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Market Clockwise from top: Find gifty delights at Bath Christmas Market; ceramic owls by Hannah Turner at the Made In Bristol Gift Fair; indulge your passion for all things pre-loved at Bath Vintage & Antiques Market

When it comes to locally produced goods made with real love, there’s only one place to shop. Joe Spurgeon heads to market


arkets offer a social meeting place, a great atmosphere and totally unique items that you just don’t find in mainstream ‘generic’ shops. Yes, buying on the internet’s very convenient, but it’s a very mechanical experience. Markets not only mean good prices, as traders don’t have the overheads of shops, but you can also ask questions directly to the producers and farmers and interact. It’s ‘heads up’ shopping not heads down!” Katherine Morgan, responsible for Bath’s ever-popular weekly market at

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Right: Handmade owls by Helen Williams of Little Seeds, on sale at St Nicholas Art Market. Below, clockwise from top: Marie Thomas of South Bristol-based charity re:work ltd which makes and upcycles handcrafted furniture; Bryony Morgan who runs market newcomer Harbourside; the outdoor area of St Nicholas Market

Green Park Station (which also hosts a monthly vintage and antiques market), is explaining the power of the traditional market in a high street dominated by Poundsavers, Primarks and an ever-expanding army of supermarkets. But now, more than ever perhaps, markets seem to have a far greater economic and social function as the world cowers from economic meltdown and wrestles with the apparent incongruities of The Big Society. “Our markets have grown as people think more about the food they buy and where it’s from,” continues Katherine. “We also want to encourage people to be resourceful, green and thrifty in these times of recession – there’s a huge buzz around our ‘upcycled’ pieces of furniture. And shopping and trading at the market is as much about developing a community as it is about getting products. It takes longer to shop with us, because it’s nicer to shop with us! When you buy your sausages, not only will the stallholder often know your name, but the name of the pig where the sausages came from.” Certainly anyone who’s zigzagged between the stalls of Bristol’s richly historic St Nicholas Market and Bath’s majestic Guildhall or elbowed their way through the thrumming flea markets in either city will have had ‘an experience’. The thrum and bustle is part of the area’s deep tradition of honest, direct selling, bartering and banter. Bryony Morgan, who ran the Tobacco Factory’s ongoing weekly Sunday market for three years, now runs the recently installed Harbourside Market – set up to bring

vitality to an occasionally blighted part of town – as well as the periodical Made in Bristol craft fairs at Colston Hall. “The Harbourside Market has become what it needs to be,” says Bryony, “and not what we thought it would be at the start. It’s truly responding to its local community of buyers and sellers – and I’m not sure that a huge multinational, which doesn’t have that immediate flexibility, is able to do that. Lots of people love direct selling – whether it’s a carrot or piece of jewellery – and they like to know where it’s come from and understand the production and creativity behind it. If you’re concerned about anything, the person that’s made it will be able to answer all your questions and more. Sometimes, you don’t get any customer service in a supermarket – you have the opportunity to pay, and that’s the only time you interact with a human, and you don’t even need to do that at some supermarkets.” Elsewhere in Bristol, on the crossroads of Corn Street, Wine Street and St Nicholas Street, lies perhaps the city’s best-known market district, where the city council’s markets manager Steve Morris and ➻

STALL STORIES Tales from your local market… ➻ There’s been a market on St Nicholas Street for well over 300 years. ➻ The Bath Guildhall Market has been serving the community even longer – since the 16th century. ➻ Bath Farmers’ Market at Green Park Station is the oldest in the country… ➻ …and also sells such offbeat treats as beetroot bread, nettle bread, quail’s eggs, wild larder venison & elderberry sausages and deliciously creamy ewe’s cheese. ➻ Bristol’s market manager Steve Morris once worked with a trader in Birmingham who couldn’t read or write and sold only bananas on his stall… where he made a very handsome living for many years. ➻ Both the Hairy Bikers and Nigel Slater have filmed and cooked at Green Park Station Market. ➻ Beccy from PJ’s Farm stall got married to Ross from the Thoughtful Bread stall in Bath this year.

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WATCHING THE MARKETS Above: Fill your basket with mouthwatering goodies from Bath Farmers’ Market; Right: Vintage advertising signs from Bath Vintage & Antiques Fair; Below: Handcrafted wares from Made in Bristol Gift Fair

Where to find the pick of the South West’s markets ➻ Mon-Sat Guildhall Market

Bath Guildhall Market, High St, Bath, 8am-5.30pm • Huge, historic and architecturally exquisite market for all your food, gift and general life needs in the heart of Bath. Ffi: www.

➻ Mon-Sat & 1st Sun of month

his team oversee seven individual markets (including a slow food market, a book market and art market) catering for increasingly specialised buyers and sellers. Morris, a self-confessed markets “anorak”, claims there’s a logic to their continued popularity and recent growth: “There’s been a bit of a renaissance. I’ve worked in the industry for 25 years and the ‘pile ’em high, sell ’em cheap’ mentality has changed – the discount shops on the high street made it harder for market traders so, initially, the Farmers’ Market was a fight-back. It brought something unique to the marketplace, something which of course existed many, many years ago, but it made shopping enjoyable again. You could talk to the trader and get that added value, which has led to other speciality/themed markets like our recent influx of French and Italian markets. “The quality here in Bristol is excellent. I go all over the country and I always look at the local market wherever I go. Bristol should be proud: there’s a lot of creative energy and enthusiasm here. Traders have to embrace technology, though – accepting debit cards for example, using e-commerce and a website. But markets will always be with us. They’ve been here for hundreds of years – in Bristol, for 600 years – and are linked inextricably to the development of a city. It’s no coincidence that a port city like Bristol has such a healthy culture of markets. They’re fascinating, fascinating things.”

St Nicholas Market Corn St, Bristol, 9.30am-5pm • Home to a huge, diverse collection of independent retailers. Ffi: www.

➻ Every Sun Tobacco Factory

Market Raleigh Rd, Southville, Bristol, 10am-2.30pm • Over 30 food and craft stalls with an eco/ ethical/organic slant. Ffi: www.

➻ Every Wed Bristol Farmers’

Market Corn St, Bristol, 9.30am-2.30pm • Buy direct from producers, selling everything from local honey and cheese to newly harvested fruit and vegetables. Ffi:

➻ Every Fri Food Market Wine

St, Bristol, 10am-4pm • With all your Bristol foodie faves present and correct.

➻ Every Sat & Sun Harbourside Market Bordeaux Quay walkway, Harbourside, Bristol, 11am-4pm • Arts, crafts and foods. Ffi:

➻ 1st Sun of month Slow Food Market Corn St/Wine St, Bristol, 10am-3pm • Join the responsible food revolution. Ffi:

➻ 1st Sun of month Book

Market Wine St, Bristol, 10am4pm • A lit-lover’s paradise. Ffi:

➻ 1st Sun of month Art Market Glass Arcade, St Nicholas Market, Bristol, 11am-5pm • Paintings, sculpture, sketches, crafts and more. Ffi: www.

➻ Sun 13 Nov, monthly thereafter Bath Flea & Vintage Market Bath Racecourse, Lansdown, 9am-4.30pm • The grand dame of flea markets, with a whopping 250 stalls selling, well, everything. Nobody leaves empty-handed. Ffi: ➻ Sun 20 Nov, monthly

➻ Every Sat Bath Farmers’

Market Green Park Rd, Bath, 8.30am-1.30pm • The oldest (and easily one of the best) farmers’ markets in the country no less. Ffi:

thereafter Bristol Flea Market Ashton Gate Stadium, Bristol, 9am-3.30pm • Debuting indoor market starring over 110 stalls selling hundreds of items, from vintage clothing and jewellery to quality shabby chic furnishings and gardenalia, organised by Homemaker Events, the same body behind the giant flea market at Bath Racecourse. Ffi:

➻ Every Sat Green Park Station

➻ Last Sun of month Bath

➻ Every Fri & Sat Nails Market

Corn St, Bristol, 9.30am-5pm • Arts, gifts, clothing and goodies. Ffi:

Green Park Rd, Bath, 9am-4pm • A popular, general market that includes over 50 stalls and the oldest farmers’ market in the country. Ffi:

Vintage & Antiques Market Green Park Rd, Bath, 9.30am4pm • Featuring over 60 quality vintage and antique traders. Ffi:

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Cocoaheads will be in choco heaven at Milsom Place Chocolate Festival on 3 December

CHRISTMAS CALLING If another last-minute Amazon spree feels a little thoughtless, how about a trip to one of these fabulous festive gift-laden grottos?

Above: Bath Christmas Market at night; Ashton Court looking magical under a blanket of snow. Below: Toni Thorne of The Chocolate Shop in St Nick’s Market; winter warmers at Green Park Station Christmas Market

➻ 10 Nov-22 Dec GERMAN CHRISTMAS MARKET The Podium, Broadmead East & Merchant St South, 10am-8pm or later, Sun till 7pm • Wunderbar! Returning for a third year, 2011’s Bavarian wonderland features a whopping great advent calendar standing tall among the bratwurst, pretzels, mulled wine, handmade gifts and all the trills, bells and whistles of a truly continental Christmas. Ffi: www. ➻ 24 Nov-11 Dec GUILDHALL CHRISTMAS MARKET Guildhall Market, High St, Bath, various times from 10am • Bath’s Guildhall Market transforms into an 18-day seasonal market for all your festive goods and Christmas gifts. Ffi: ➻ 24 Nov-11 Dec BATH CHRISTMAS

MARKET Outside Bath Abbey, various times from 10am • The biggie, and this year running for a whole extra week. Row upon row of regional (and international) retailers parade their wares from cutesy little pine shacks against a background of brass bands, carols, street entertainment and the sweet smell of roasting nuts. Ffi:

➻ 26-27 Nov BATH INDOOR CHRISTMAS MARKET Bath Pavilion, Bath, 11am-4pm, £1 entry • Bath Pavilion’s first-ever indoor Christmas market showcasing a smorgasbord of local food and drink, arts and crafts and everything in-between. Don’t forget to visit Santa waiting in his grotto with a sackful of presents. Ffi: 01225 330304 ➻ 3 Dec MILSOM PLACE

CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL Milsom Place, Bath, 10am-5pm • Cocoaheads get their fix of the good stuff at Bath’s swanky shopping grotto as the country’s chief chocolatiers whip up the most exquisite concoctions, presentations and gifts including strawberry & pepper chocolate, lemon zest & poppy chocolate, or even the renowned ‘real-life Willy Wonka’ Damian Allsop’s magical Flavour

Changers truffles that alter their taste up to three times in your mouth. Yum. Ffi:

➻ 3-4 Dec ASHTON COURT CHRISTMAS FOOD & CRAFT FAYRE Ashton Court Estate, Bristol, 10am-4.30pm • A huge Christmas food and craft fayre upon the wintry Ashton Court Estate with, as organiser Sophie Bowden reveals, “a coach house cafe serving a hog roast and mulled wine, stalls adorned with colourful decorations, the sounds of bell ringers and carol singers belting out Christmassy tunes and Father Christmas calling in to meet the younger visitors”. There’s even a free guided deer walk on the Sunday morning. Ffi: www.ashtoncourtestate. ➻ 3, 4, 10 & 11 Dec HANDMADE CHRISTMAS MARKET AT THE MAKERY The Makery Emporium, Northumberland Place, Bath, Sat 10am5.30pm, Sun 11am-4pm • Bath’s hub of heavenly handmade goodies hosts its inaugural Christmas market where beautiful, bespoke, affordable gifts (jewellery, prints, textiles, homewares, etc) have been lovingly created by 16 carefully chosen makers. Ffi: www. ➻ 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 & 18 Dec

HARBOURSIDE CHRISTMAS MARKET Harbourside, Bristol, 11am4pm • With six festive-themed markets running in the lead-up to Crimble, a little sashay down to Bristol’s waterfront should see plenty of ticks on your shopping list – there’ll be live music and seasonal treats to help you on your way, too. Ffi:

➻ 4 & 11 Dec GREEN PARK STATION CHRISTMAS MARKET Green Park Station, Green Park Rd, Bath, 9.30am-4pm • Carol singers, raffles and over 50 local artisan stalls come to Green Park armed with goodies like Troddenwood’s ( uk) wonderful reclaimed woody pressies and the beautiful handmade porcelain buttons of For Button Sake (www. among handmade soaps, etched stained glass, handknitted jumpers, vintage tea-sets and Fairtrade goods. Ffi:

➻ 10, 11 & 17 Dec MADE IN BRISTOL GIFT FAIR Colston Hall, Colston St, Bristol, Sat 10am-4pm, Sun 10am-2pm • The Colston Hall’s golden foyer fills itself with handmade jewellery and clothing, original illustrations, bespoke furniture and exceptional interior products in ceramic, glass, paper, metal, wood and textiles for this locally born and raised gifty extravaganza. Ffi: lovelocalevents@gmail. com ➻ 11 Dec LOVE FOOD FESTIVAL Dyrham Park, Dyrham, nr Bath, South Glos, 10am-4pm • Thousands of ardent foodie devotees descend on the magnificent Dyrham Park National Trust property to gorge upon traditional and never-before-imagined morsels to fill even the most epicurean of Christmas dinner tables, while never losing sight of those all-important issues of food education, sustainability and making eating and cooking family-friendly, fearless and fun. Ffi: ➻ 17 Dec CHRISTMAS FOOD MARKET Corn St, Bristol, 10am-4pm • A one-off Corn St market in Bristol combining the best bits of the city’s traditional Farmers’ Market with some very familiar local foodie faces. Everything you need to stock the Christmas larder, in short. Ffi: www.stnicholasmarketbristol. ➻ 18 Dec BATH VINTAGE & ANTIQUES SPECIAL CHRISTMAS MARKET Green Park Station, Green Park Rd, Bath, 9.30am-4pm • Remember when Christmas was a far simpler affair? Dip into the wells of festive nostalgia or pick up a head-turning retro gift or two at this one-off December market. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Just kick back and enjoy the onsite Punch and Judy show instead. Ffi: www.

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Michael Jackson tribute act Meedow moonwalks his way into Cadbury House this month

what’s new

what to do in...


james bond nights, christmas lights AND elegant stocking-fillers … MIKE WHITE CHOOSES his HOT TICKETS





The late great King of Pop is still very much in the news, and his legacy lives on in the limber limbs of Meedow, a US-based tribute artist who’s been idolising and impersonating Michael Jackson since he was only three years old. He’s now learned all the lyrics, perfected all the dance moves and performed professionally all around the world on stage, radio and television. Fresh from a sell-out tour of Europe and the USA, he moonwalks into Cadbury House this month for one night only.


Strike a light! This is one of Claire English’s playful match pendants, part of All Together, a festive new exhibition of handmade jewellery and gifts on display at Diana Porter from this month until the end of the year, featuring the work of 80 designers, including up-and-coming names Ros Millar and Elizabeth Humble. A stocking-filler for someone very special indeed… ALL TOGETHER 1 NOV–31 DEC, DIANA PORTER, PARK ST, BRISTOL. FFI: 0117 909 0225, WWW. DIANAPORTER.CO.UK

PIc credit: eon/pa wire




Christmas knees-up season is almost upon us, bringing with it the usual flurry of silly hats and ill-advised afternoon drinking. If you’re after something altogether more sophisticated this year, point your party shoes at Yes Dining’s new James Bond nights, commandeering Bristol’s historic Council House for a series of soirées inspired by the suave secret agent. Canapés on arrival, a twocourse meal and a Bond-style casino replete with red carpet, roulette and card tables set the scene – with a couple of cocktail bars in situ, too, should you feel the need for a vodka martini. Whether it’s shaken or stirred is up to you. JAMES BOND CHRISTMAS PARTY NIGHTS 3, 9 & 15 DEC, COUNCIL HOUSE, COLLEGE GREEN, BRISTOL. FFI: 0117 922 2187, WWW.GENUINE-EVENTS.CO.UK

xMAS olly

Two number one singles, a top-three album and a budding career on TV and radio – being runner up of The X Factor has been very good for Olly Murs, but surely the glittering highlight of his CV is yet to come, as he turns on the Christmas lights at the opening of The Mall at Cribbs Causeway’s Winter Wonderland later this month. As well as flipping that all-important switch, the loveable Essex boy will treat his adoring fans to a special outdoor performance in the Wonderland, which features the South West’s largest outdoor ice rink, Santa’s Magical Castle and a huddle of traditional market stalls.




Dancing dragons, brave knights and quack doctors – this month the first ever International Mummers (Un)Convention brings a beguiling mix of the playful and the unexpected to Bath. It’s all about homegrown entertainment, based around the traditional form of street pantomime known as ‘mumming’ in many parts of the UK (though it goes by other names, too). The (Un)convention involves talks, workshops, a symposium, masterclass and Feast and Revels – but above all it’s about performances, in and around the city centre. The event opens at the Chapel Arts Centre on Thur 17 Nov at 7.30pm with a talk from renowned folklorist Doc Rowe, and featuring live performances from the Marshfield Paper Boys and the Bristol Rag Mummers. The climax of the convention is a masterclass on Sunday 20 Nov from Barry Grantham, and the star performance is the Bal de Malcasats (‘Dance of the Bad Marriages’), a traditional street drama from Catalonia that’s satirical, outrageous and funny by turns. BATH INTERNATIONAL MUMMER’S (UN)CONVENTION 17-20 NOV, VARIOUS VENUES IN BATH. FFI: 01453 763181 WWW.MUMMERSUNCONVENTION.COM

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An Exhibition of Swedish Contemporary Painting

84 Hotwell Road, Bristol BS8 4UB

Oct 29 - Dec 24

Tel 0117 929 2527

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Feature Left and below: Antlers open their winter gallery in Quakers Friars this month Bottom right: See works by local artists including Simon Gurr at Front Room Art Trail in Totterdown

affairs OF THE


With two busy art trails, the return of Bath Art Affair and local galleries staging topnotch exhibitions, November is a fine month for art lovers. Tom Phillips gets the picture

Pic credit: Oona Mills

Pic credit: Max McClure



t’s not hard to see why art trails have become so popular: you get to soak up lots of culture – and you get to nose round other people’s houses. They’re a win-win for the aesthetically minded and the domestically curious alike. The idea, of course, is simple enough: artists living in a given neighbourhood turn their homes into galleries and you trot round at your own pace. Pubs, shops, cafes and other community venues join the action too, and before you know it you’ve got a miniature community festival, complete with live music and theatre, workshops and food stalls. That’s certainly what’s happened in Totterdown. The appropriately named Front Room Art Trail has gone from strength to strength since it launched onto the switchback streets of BS4 back in 2001, and as well as hundreds of artists exhibiting at dozens of venues, this year’s event (18-20 Nov) boasts a heady musical line-up across half a dozen pubs and cafes, a choral concert, a charity cabaret with John Hegley and chums, an outdoor street gallery, a city-wide poetry competition and even its own preview exhibition at Bocabar (10-12 Nov). ➻ folio/nOV 2011 15

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1 Above (left to right): Molly by Carl Gustafsson at Lime Tree Gallery; Snap Studio are hosting a solo show by Bjorn Lie until 19 Nov; Cezary Bodzianowski "ONTO" performance Lodz, 2009 – work by Bodzianowski will be shown at Spike Island this month

This is, they say quite justifiably, Front Room ‘Amplified’. “The art trail is an incredible event and we feel extremely proud to be helping to make it another great success this year,” says Front Roomer Jo Fisher. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet local artists, buy quality art and be thoroughly entertained by live music and performances. It brings the whole local community together.” Front Room opens its doors on the Friday with, among other jollies, an opening-night party at The Thunderbolt pub, while other highlights over the weekend include a Winter Wonderland Yarn-Bombing trail through Arnos Vale Cemetery (which also hosts a Phantasmagoria! magic lantern show) and a community pond where you can float your own homemade ‘Guerrilla Duck’. All you have to do is pick up a trail map and get going. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, meanwhile, comes the North Bristol Art Trail (26-27 Nov), which extends from St Andrews to Westbury-on-Trym via Redland and Bishopston, Montpelier and Henleaze. This one owes its roots to the smaller-scale Art on the Block event, which began back in 1998 when artists Sarah Cowper and Cath Read had the idea of exhibiting in their own homes. Since then, it’s gone on to spread to more than 50 local venues and a roster of more than 100 artists, not to mention Art in the Park, a display of more than 1,000 artworks created by local schoolchildren. ➻

Grant Bradley 1 St Peter’s Court, Bedminster Parade. Ffi: 0117 963 7673, • Since opening in 2005, Grant Bradley has hosted exhibitions by local, national and international artists. With exhibitions changing monthly, there’s always something new to see. They’re currently accepting open submissions for the New Visions show next year (budding exhibitors, your deadline is 30 Nov).


SNAP 20-21 Lower Park Row. Ffi: 0117 376 3564, • A co-operative of eight artists, illustrators and designers, SNAP exhibit and sell a wide range of original printed artworks and are currently hosting a solo show by Bjorn Lie (to 19 Nov), whose weird and wonderful illustrations are influenced by everything from old botanical illustrations to the exploits of eccentric explorers.


RWA Queens Rd, Clifton. Ffi: 0117 973 5129, • The Autumn Exhibition here is huge: a chance to see work by a myriad of talents, from big names to up-and-comers. Six hundred paintings, sculptures and more have made it to the final cut, and they’re on display alongside work by guest artist Ian Robinson and a new piece by Richard Long.


Sky Blue Framing & Gallery 27 North View, Westbury Parade, BS6. Ffi: 0117 973 3995, • Specialising in affordable prints, Sky Blue are dedicating November and December to work by gallery regulars and new names to watch. Popular bestsellers here include Quentin Blake, John KnappFisher and Mary Fedden.


Lime Tree 84 Hotwell Rd. Ffi: 0117 929 2527, • The best of contemporary Swedish painting comes to Bristol in the ever-reliable Lime Tree’s latest. All of the five artists have their own distinctive style but share a unique awareness of sparseness, space and light.


Arnolfini 16 Narrow Quay, city centre. Ffi: 0117 917 2300, • Arnolfini continues its 50th anniversary celebrations with a double-act of shows in which artists curate eccentric private museums. Museum Show Part 1 (to 19 Nov) incorporates such idiosyncrasies as Bill Burns’s Museum of Safety Gear for Small Animals and Tom Marioni’s Museo Aero Solar. Part 2 (9 Dec-5 Feb) sees such gems as Øyvind Renberg and Miho Shimizu’s Danger Museum and Maarten Vanden Eynde’s Museum of Forgotten History.


Lloyd Gill Lee House, 13 Beaconsfield Rd, Weston-super-Mare. Ffi: 01934 623449, • Lloyd Gill is celebrating a triumphant year by launching a special ‘Contemporary Art for Christmas’ award – and if you drop by from 14 Nov, you’ll get a chance to vote for your favourite featured artist.


Spike Island 133 Cumberland Rd. Ffi: 0117 929 2266, • While Spike’s Open Studios event is a bolted-down annual highlight, the studio complex is no sluggard at other times either. November sees Tea Back by Polish artist Cezary Bodzianowski and work by Bristol artist Savage.


Antlers Quakers Friars, city centre. Ffi: • Having already brought us various pop-up galleries around the city, Antlers return with a winter shop in Quakers Friars. Opening on 18 Nov, this brings together nearly all the Antlers team and includes original artworks, prints and other goodies for sale.


Jean Jones 13 Clifton Arcade, Boyces Ave, Clifton Village. Ffi: 0117 329 4342, • Drop in to Jean’s studio gallery and she’ll be happy to have a friendly chat about her vibrant, colourrich paintings, many of which are of flowers and fruit – although landscapes and abstracts also feature.

North Bristol Art Trailers include (left to right): Simon Farrell, Michelle Armitage, Clare Vivian, Andy Taylor and Cath Read

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Vibrant and original contemporary painting in this studio gallery

13 CLIFTON ARCADE, BOYCE’S AVENUE, CLIFTON VILLAGE. OPEN 10am - 5pm tuesday to friday 10am - 5.30pm saturday 0117 3294342

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Above, clockwise from top left: Jean Jones gallery; The Watersplash by Henry La Thangue on display at Victoria Art Gallery; Two Ladies Walking Arm-in-Arm by Thomas Gainsborough at the Holburne; Entomology II by Peter RandallPage – Peter will be curating a show in the Octagon during Bath Art Affair; stag sculpture at Grant Bradley Gallery

“The trail has become a popular and regular event in the north Bristol calendar,” say organisers. “Many people try to visit every single venue over the two days, which is quite an undertaking! As well as art browsers, there are those who come with a more serious eye to buy affordable art from talented artists. And this is the last art trail of the year in Bristol so it’s a welcome event for those looking for unique and special Christmas presents.” The group behind the trail, North Bristol Artists, also work in the local community all year round, and over the weekend there’ll be evidence of this on display at Horfield Prison’s Visitor Centre and in Horfield Baptist Church, which hosts pieces made in collaboration with Lighting Up, a charity working with people with dementia and supported by many a local artist. As in Totterdown, you’ll also find loads of live entertainment and delicious homemade cake. Since this is its 10th anniversary, there’ll be a special exhibition of 100 pieces of art at an as-yet unnamed venue. A somewhat newer arrival is Bath Art Affair. This may have only made its debut last year, but the 2010 event was so successful that it’s back again for more (11-20 Nov). It’s based around the city’s galleries rather than artists’ homes but the principle is the same: you can follow one of three different trails around the 30-odd venues taking part, or simply dip in and out as the fancy takes you. Organised by Bath Galleries Group, the Affair involves a whole swathe of top-name galleries, from Bath Contemporary and Beaux Arts to the Nick Cudworth Gallery and the White Room. Given this kind of artistic ‘muscle’, it’s hardly surprising to find that over the course of the Affair, you’ll be able to see


Bath Contemporary 35 Gay St. Ffi: 01225 461230, www. • Love Paris, Scotland and Bath? Head for Bath Contemporary. From 11-20 Nov, the gallery stages L’Alliance – city scenes and landscapes by Francophile Scottish artist Michael G Clark.


Bo.lee 1 Queen St. Ffi: www. • This ever-intriguing contemporary gallery has more than made its mark. Bo.lee are currently housing drawings and sculpture by gallery regular Beth Carter and, from 11-20 Nov, will be one of the go-to stop-offs in Bath Art Affair.


Holburne Museum Great Pulteney St. Ffi: 01225 388588, • From early naturalistic paintings to more dramatic romantic scenes, Gainsborough’s mighty landscapes currently fill the Holburne. Showing alongside the 18th-century master are the intriguing landscape photographs of Mark Edwards.


Nick Cudworth 5 London St. Ffi: 01225 445221, www. • Nick is a veritable Renaissance man, known for his landscape, still life and portraiture. He’s currently working on a series of oil paintings of Wiltshire’s white horses, and for Bath Art Affair he’ll be showing some new prints from his Rock and Roll series.


Victoria Art Gallery Bridge St, nr Pulteney Bridge. Ffi: 01225 477233, • Over the years, VAG have been given many great works of art by local benefactors and these take centre stage in Saved for Ever (to 27 Nov). Favourites like Henry La Thangue’s Watersplash hang alongside more recent donations, including work by Paul Klee.

(and, if you fancy it, buy) work by a heavyweight portfolio including the likes of Dame Elisabeth Frink, Paul Rego, Sir Peter Blake, Damien Hirst and Henry Moore, among many others. Highlights to look out for include Antony Gormley’s Bearing Light Portfolio at Larkhall Fine Art, Beth Carter’s bronze minotaur at bo.lee and a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at Rostra & Rooksmoor. A programme of late-night openings, study days, live music and talks accompanies the exhibitions. “This year we’ve invited a guest artist,” says Jo Swetenham from bo.lee. “Peter Randall-Page [the internationally renowned sculptor] is going to curate a show in the Octagon Centre. That’s going to be our hub – so people can come along there, see Peter’s show, and pick up one of the three different art trails or decide which galleries they want to visit individually.” And if Bath Art Affair and the two Bristol art trails still leave you gasping for more, there are plenty of other exhibitions on show this month as well... BATH ART AFFAIR FRI 11-SUN 20 NOV. Ffi: WWW.BATHGALLERIESGROUP.COM FRONT ROOM ART TRAIL FRI 18-SUN 20 NOV. Ffi: WWW.FRONTROOM.ORG.UK NORTH BRISTOL ART TRAIL SAT 26-SUN 27 NOV. FFI: WWW.NORTHBRISTOLARTISTS.ORG. UK & HTTP://NORTHBRISTOLARTISTS. WORDPRESS.COM

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the giant flea and vintage market



ith Christmas just a month away it’s time to start decorating our homes in seasonal colours and wrapping up in warming winter wools. Homemaker Events have two essential events for you this November: a Giant Flea and Vintage Market at Bath Racecourse and an indoor Flea and Vintage Market at Bristol City Football Club. With a combined total of up to 400 stalls, these two markets make for the perfect shopping experience. Here are just a few ideas of what you can expect to find at the flea markets for Christmas… Gleaming antique rings, elegant bronze sculptures, deco desk lamps, unique little gift ideas including silver photo frames, gold fountain pens and the essential designer watch, vintage clothing, the perfect seasonal black dress or a stunning vintage accessory.


Maybe you need a larger dining table for a big festive family gathering? You’re sure to find it at one of these events. And they’re also busy preparing for their fabulous Vintage Christmas Flea Market in December. This is sure to be a massive event, with hundreds of stunning stalls selling logs, Christmas trees, hot nuts, mulled wine and the best of their festive goodies. Make sure you make a note of it as it’s certainly one event not to miss! BATH: GIANT FLEA & VINTAGE MARKET SUN 13 NOV, BATH RACECOURSE BRISTOL: INDOOR FLEA & VINTAGE MARKET SUN 20 NOV, ASHTON GATE STADIUM (BRISTOL CITY FOOTBALL CLUB), BRISTOL BATH: VINTAGE CHRISTMAS FLEA MARKET SUN 4 DEC, BATH RACECOURSE FFI WWW.BATHFLEAMARKET.CO.UK

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N Natural born


From Picassos to images from the Hubble space telescope, Nature in Art is the first museum and gallery in the UK whose exhibits are all inspired by the natural world. Eugene Byrne pays a visit

ature in Art calls

itself ‘a gallery and museum dedicated to art inspired by nature’. So... that’ll be lots of paintings of lions and elephants and puffins and such, right? Pretty pictures of the more charismatic creatures? Well, yes indeed. And, actually, no as well. Apparently one of the all-time favourites with visitors is Punchy by Anthony Gibbs, a hyper-realistic painting of a lion which wouldn’t look out of place on a chocolate box or jigsaw. But then again there are also abstract pictures, crafts and sculptures. Something for everyone, no matter how high or low your brow. A win-win of an outing, 50 minutes from Bristol (hare up the M5, leave at Junction 11a, negotiate a couple of roundabouts. Job done). You may well be thrilled, and even if you aren’t, nobody could possibly dislike this place. Nature in Art is the first museum/gallery of its kind in Britain, and quite possibly the world. “We have wondered why there aren’t lots more Nature in Arts,” says museum director Simon Trapnell, “because, after all, there’s hardly any cultural period which hasn’t interpreted nature. Some people have pigeonholed it as chocolate-boxy, or commercial, or maybe so realistic that the more creative aspects or the other messages that might come out of a piece of artwork aren’t so obvious. “If you take the lion picture as an example, it’s wonderful, superb. It’s packed with detail, but also with life. Some people think detail is everything, but I think we respond to the emotions that come out of a piece of work. It’s possible to do a squiggly line and it’ll be full of emotion – provided you get your squiggly line right.” That ‘art inspired by nature’ mission statement is the key: it means they can open up to an immense range, especially through the programme of temporary exhibitions. Shows of ‘art inspired by nature’ have taken in everything from Picasso and Matisse

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left to right: Life-size stork on display in the sculpture garden; Wallsworth Hall – the top floor and tower were designed by the first man to suggest a Severn Barrage; Punchy by Anthony Gibbs

through to fractals, or photographs of viruses or (coming up next year) pictures taken by the Hubble space telescope. Nature in Art started out as an idea in the 1980s, when Simon Trapnell and his parents realised that there were loads of brilliant wildlife artists all over the world, but no specialist gallery to show their work. With the help of several high-powered supporters, including Sir Peter Scott, a charity was set up. “Between 1982 and 1987 we worked hard at building up a collection, and getting money and a building,” says Trapnell. “That’s all a big story in itself.” Wallsworth Hall was acquired, and following 12 months of very necessary work, the museum opened in 1988. “This was a very sympathetic use of the building,” says Trapnell. “We’ve all been to galleries that are characterless spaces, but this is a very characterful one. It works well with the artwork, because as our theme is nature, we assumed we had to be in a green space, but not one that’s inaccessible.” It’s still run by a charity, the Nature in Art Trust. It doesn’t get any ongoing public funding. The main source of income is people paying admission charges to come through the doors, and spending a few quid at the cafe (basic, but very pleasant) and the gift shop (could sort a few of your Christmaspresent headaches). The permanent collection, displayed in galleries on two floors, takes in a huge range of work, from 17th century Dutch School painting, through scientific illustrations of plants and animals by 18th and 19th century naturalists, and on to modern and abstract paintings and sculptures. Of course there are also pictures by David Shepherd (who does all those paintings of elephants and trains) and the late Sir Peter Scott. There’s also a busy programme of touring and temporary exhibitions, as well as a programme of artists-inresidence. There are up to 60 of these visiting artists each year, and you can watch them at work, whether they’re painting, or doing complicated things with ceramics and glass. One suspects that the biggest bonus for many visitors is all the unexpected fun of the large sculpture garden, which features several astonishingly good pieces that range from the conventionally representational to the metaphysical to the playful. What’s not to love about a whale’s tail sticking out of the grass, or massive insects made from old bits of machinery? “Diversity is very important to us,” says Trapnell. “Twenty years ago I would probably have said that David Sheppard

Above: ‘Prickly Pod’ by Jenny Pickford, one of the many surprises in the sculpture garden. Below right: pastel artist Jackie Cox who was artist in residence earlier in the year

WALLSWORTH HALL Nature in Art is housed in a ➻ grand and mildly eccentric stately

and Peter Scott were the default wildlife artists but we’ve learned a lot about sculpture in that time. Talking to our visitors, they find sculpture particularly engaging. Most of us see sculpture outside shopping centres or in the middle of roundabouts, and not in a setting where we really engage with it. Sculpture is consistently something that people comment on, and we provide a different environment for it.” NATURE IN ART WALLSWORTH HALL, GLOS, GL2 (2 MILES N OF GLOUCESTER ON A38). OPEN TUE-SUN & BHMS 10AM5PM, ADMISSION £5.25 ADULT/£4.75 OVER-60S & AGES 8-16/£15 FAMILY/ UNDER-8S FREE. FFI: 01452 731422, WWW. NATURE-IN-ART.ORG.UK

home just to the north of Gloucester. The earliest parts of the building go back to the 1750s when it was built by local bigshot Samuel Hayward as a wedding present for his wife. It passed from Hayward’s family to the de Wintons, who added a number of improvements. These included a wholesale refurb in the 1860s, supervised by Thomas Fulljames (1808-1874), a flamboyant Gloucester architect who added a top floor and an odd-looking tower. “The attic now looks like a set for Psycho, concealing unmentionable secrets,” sniffed Simon Jenkins, including Wallsworth Hall in his excellent reference book England’s Thousand Best Houses. (Thomas Fulljames, by the way, was the first person to come up with a practical plan and drawings for a Severn barrage – over 150 years ago.) The house and estate were sold in 1903 and the house was bought by industrialist James Dorrington. He died in 1920, but his wife, accompanied by a full complement of servants, remained there alone until her death in 1943. It was then acquired by Gloucester council as a nursery, but closed in 1953. From then it remained mostly empty until it was bought by the Nature in Art Trust in 1987.

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fabulous compS

Enter today to be in with a chance of winning this amazing prize! Doubletree by Hilton Cadbury House

e ouse at Th The Bath H ent Hotel Royal Cresc

The Bath House at the Royal Crescent Hotel

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Just answer the following question: What colour are the berries of the mistletoe plant? Email your answer, with ‘Christmas’ in the subject line, to: by Wed 23 Nov. Entries after this date will not be counted. Please include your full contact details (name, address, postcode, email, mobile, landline). Winner will be picked at random. Advance booking essential for spa days. Carluccio’s meal must be taken by 31 Jan 2012. Other conditions may apply.


WIN CHRISTMAS! Wouldn’t it be fantastic if someone just gave you loads of free Christmas gifts, beauty treatments and festive entertainments, saving you hundreds of pounds, bags of time and angst and suddenly making you everyone’s best friend/son/daughter/mate in the world? But isn’t that just crazy, you ask? Who, in these hardened times, would ever be so good to you? Well, guess what? Folio darn well would! We’re inviting you, cherished reader, to have a shot at winning, well, Christmas. Let’s break that down for you. We’re talking a Christmas Chocolate Bag courtesy of ace local cocoameisters Hotel Chocolat. Also, a family ticket (for four) to this year’s Theatre Royal Bath panto Dick Whittington on Fri 16 Dec at 7pm. A DVD box-set of Downton Abbey Series 1 & 2 courtesy of Universal Playback, meanwhile, contains exclusive ‘Making of’ and behind-the-scenes featurettes. Feeling stressed and unattractive? You’ll also get an Evening Hide Away spa package for two (includes a treatment and dinner) at Bath’s beautiful Royal Crescent Hotel, and a Float Away Spa Day for two (includes lunch) at the sumptuous Doubletree by Hilton Cadbury House in Congresbury. There’s a wax, a paraben-free spray tan and a full set of semi-permanent eyelashes waiting for you at Harvey Nichols’ Strip Wax Bar. And that’s not all! Gardiner Haskins have donated a top-of-the-range Accents kettle and four-slice toaster and – that’s still not all! – the divine Carluccio’s have a three-course meal for two people, with a bottle of house wine, and a Carluccio’s Piatto di Pasta Gift Box, all with your name on them! Who needs Santa? CARLUCCIO’S WWW.CARLUCCIOS.COM DOUBLETREE BY HILTON CADBURY HOUSE WWW.CADBURYHOTELBRISTOL.CO.UK GARDINER HASKINS WWW.GARDINERHASKINS.CO.UK HOTEL CHOCOLAT WWW.HOTELCHOCOLAT.CO.UK ROYAL CRESCENT WWW.ROYALCRESCENT.CO.UK STRIP WAX BAR & BOUTIQUE WWW.STRIPWAXBAR.COM THEATRE ROYAL BATH WWW.THEATREROYAL.ORG.UK UNIVERSAL PLAYBACK WWW.UNIVERSAL-PLAYBACK.COM

THE WINNERS Viyella comp: Congratulations to Marie Edwards who won a £250 shopping spree. Correct answer: 1784. CC comp: Congratulations to Beverley Whitburn who won a £250 spree. Correct answer: False. Fine Cheese comp: Congratulations to Edward Stuart who won a hamper. Correct answer: 17th century.

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Strip Wax Bar & Boutique at Harvey Nichols

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➻ life style autumn/winter fashion, hot hair, spa days, christmas lights & shopping

HERITAGE CUTS ➻ Earlier this month Cribbs Causeway welcomed the new

Austin Reed, CC and Viyella store. Austin Reed first opened its doors 111 years ago and has been ‘Dressing for Success’ ever since. Austin Reed’s autumn/winter collection takes cues from the past and adds modernity, with flattering cuts and fine fabrics providing essential staples. For CC, Jane Seymour models a heady mix of colour, trends and pattern for a beautiful, eclectic and rich wardrobe, while Viyella acknowledges its history with a major infusion of sophistication. Face of Viyella India Hicks models timeless style and heritage, with inspiration drawn from the Hamptons, Rive Gauche and Manhattan. A new addition to the Viyella portfolio, Ella by Viyella, will also feature in the new store. Inspired by the heritage of Viyella, Ella contemporises the Viyella brand and adds fashion focus and attitude to classic British design. Ella is synonymous with Viyella’s credentials, holding the same values of high quality, British heritage and classic elegance. Designed to mix, match and coordinate, Ella, delivering the ultimate collection in key separates for the season, is available in the new Cribbs Causeway store. AUSTIN REED, CC & VIYELLA LOWER LEVEL, THE MALL AT CRIBBS CAUSEWAY, BRISTOL. FFI: 0117 950 0367, WWW. AUSTINREED.CO.UK (AUSTIN REED), 0117 950 3410, WWW. CCFASHION.CO.UK/WWW.VIYELLA.CO.UK (CC & VIYELLA)


STAR TREATMENT ➻ Banish all memories of chaotic Christmas shopping – there’s a simple solution this year. Take the stress away with a fantastic break full of shopping and spa treats at the Vale Resort near Cardiff, recently named sixth best shopping destination in the whole of the UK. Combined with a pampering afternoon at Wales’ largest spa, this is every girl’s dream break away. Cardiff offers the whole spectrum of shopping, from charming Edwardian and Victorian arcades to ultra-modern shopping centres, along with plenty of cafes, restaurants and bars to relax in. And all just 20 minutes drive from The Vale, Wales’ leading four-star resort where you can enjoy a luxurious overnight stay. The story doesn’t end in Cardiff. Designer devotees will revel in the boutique stores in Cowbridge, Wales’ answer to Bond Street, 10 minutes from the Resort, while bargain hunters can head to Bridgend Designer Outlet, 15 minutes away.

Banish pre-Christmas stress with a spa and shopping break at the award-winning Vale Resort

But whatever your shopping preference, you can return afterwards to the Resort’s recently refurbished, award-winning spa to indulge in some serious foot pampering. Start your indulgent 40-minute treat with a 15-minute ‘Fish Feet’, followed by a 25-minute foot-and-leg massage – perfect for soothing those aching feet. The Resort was recently awarded maximum marks for a four-star hotel in an AA review and is the perfect spot in which to relax and unwind, set in the tranquil surroundings of 650 acres of private parkland. The hustle and bustle of the capital city seems worlds away, even though it’s just a 20-minute drive or 15 minutes on the train from the local railway station. The Vale Resort’s Christmas Shop and Spa package (available Sun-Thur, 1 Nov-23 Dec) includes one night’s luxury four-star accommodation, full Welsh breakfast, glass of champagne during your spa visit, 40-minute foot treatment, use of the extensive leisure facilities and free parking – all for just £89 per person. THE VALE RESORT HENSOL PARK, HENSOL, NR CARDIFF, WALES. FFI: 01443 667800, WWW.VALEHOTEL.COM

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SHORT AND CURLIES ➻ It can be difficult to know what to do with frizzy, curly or unruly hair, but if you drop into Bristol’s premier curly hair specialists Cococheno, they can give you most of the answers. Leonie Northey, owner and manager at Cococheno, started the salon in 2003 and since then has helped women from all walks of life tame their unruly tresses. With clients coming from Bristol, Bath, the wider South West, London and as far afield as Ireland, Cococheno is now firmly on the Bristol map: the salon has earned itself a reputation as one of the country’s leading experts in afro and curly hair. “People with naturally frizzy or curly hair assume that they have to have their hair straightened to make it more manageable,” says Leonie, “but there are many more options than just chemical straightening. First of all, it’s important to use the right products, which are suitable for your hair type. You shouldn’t over do it with hair oil as that can lead to build-up – instead, use a small amount of your chosen product to smooth out your hair. Although relaxers or chemical straighteners are still popular, we’ve seen an increase in other techniques that condition the hair to make it more manageable, such as La Brasiliana, a keratin treatment with collagen.” Cococheno will be moving this month from their current location on Fairfax Street to new and revamped premises at 17 Nelson Street, making them a prominent feature of the Broadmead shopping centre. COCOCHENO FFI: 0117 925 7700, WWW.COCOCHENO.CO.UK

PSST! we are completely gooey for harvey nichols’ Christmas pop-up shop in Cabot circus – your one-stop for all things ott, selfindulgent and utterly delicious...


MY BLUE HEAVEN ➻ Bristol Blue Glass Ltd was started in 1987 by James Adlington, with the help of glassmaker Peter Sinclair. At this time many traditional English glass-making techniques were in danger of being lost. James managed to learn and pass on many of the old skills required to blow glass by hand in the time-honoured fashion. “We’re proud of what we’ve achieved,” say the company, “making some of the finest tableware in England for many years. Our skilled glassmakers blow all our glass using only the simplest of techniques and basic hand tools. And as all our glass is free-blown, every piece is unique.” BRISTOL BLUE GLASS VISITOR CENTRE & FACTORY SHOP UNIT 7, WHITBY RD, BRISLINGTON, BRISTOL. FFI: 0117 972 0818, WWW.BRISTOLGLASS.CO.UK


SAY CLEESE! ➻ National treasure John Cleese will be flicking the switch on Bath’s Christmas Lights on Thur 17 Nov at the bottom of Milsom Street, following in the steps of previous buttonpressers Nicolas Cage and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall. Other highlights of the evening programme include an impressive line-up of homegrown talent, including X Factor contender Lascel Wood, Gabrielle Aplin, Tallis Morris, Largo Embargo, Shauna Hutchinson, Laura Doggett and Georgie Vale. The Stocking Tops will join forces with some of the Bath Rugby Players, and choir leader Grenville Jones will get everyone singing carols, while a guest performance by Hugh Cornwell of Stranglers fame will round off the festivities. Watch out, too, for festive surprise appearances by Bath’s Natural Theatre Company on Thursday evenings leading up to Christmas, starting on 17 Nov. The Park and Ride bus service will operate an extended service on Thursday evenings and Sundays from the Switch-On until Christmas. Bath Christmas Lights Switch-On Thur 17 Nov, from 5pm (lights 6.30pm). Ffi:

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Get ready to shine brightly within in this deep V-necked galaxy of stars. Great teamed with this season’s colour-block tights in navy. (Yumi starry print dress, £36, Sweet Pea)


Lily Allen’s label combines Downton Abbey with Studio 54, in this floaty silk confection that gradiates from dusky pink to deepest claret. (Lucy in Disguise Maxi Dress, £285, Harvey Nichols)



Sort of Alice in Wonderland goes to her work do down the Marriott. Love that lacy petticoat. (Stolen Tears Little Slip Dress, £86, Traffic People)

Poppers Colour and sparkle rule when it comes to seasonal frockage says Anna Britten


e gotta feeling – woohoo – that many of you will by now have inked onto your increasingly dog-eared 2011 calendar the dates of your big Christmas party – be it the office one, the uni one, the taxidermy club one or just your own cocktail soirée. Let’s turn our thoughts, then, to dressing up. Now, we humans have as many divergent views about the perfect party frock as we do about the perfect midset, floor-filling triple whammy*. And that’s fine. But a few fundamentals apply. First, don’t play safe. It’s Christmas, for the love of Darlene Love. Bright colours, sequins and mild-to-

medium slagginess are not so much welcome as essential. Second, make sure you can dance in it. Third, choose something with a little give around the middle to accommodate all those blinis, minihamburgers and cheesy Wotsits you’ll be offered – i.e. a full skirt, stretchy material, or draping. Fourth, if it looks like a splish of red wine would ruin it for ever, steer clear. The absolute best thing about party frocks is that under those flashing lights and in those darkened corners no one will have the foggiest how much you spent on yours. A triple-figure designer number looks no better than a 20 quid job from the high street. Parties are a great leveller. Go floor ‘em. *Which, by the way, is Telephone (Lady Gaga), then She Wolf (Shakira), then Firework (Katy Perry).

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Cor Blahnik! ➻ Shoe fetishists the world over

Pic credit: Michael Roberts

pricked up their ears recently when Bath in Fashion announced that it had secured none other than Manolo Blahnik for a talk at next March’s event. The legendary Spanish-born, Bath-based designer, whose celebrity fans include Sarah Jessica Parker and Jennifer Aniston, will be talking about his life and work with fashion professor and writer Iain R Webb at a special event at the new-look Holburne Museum. Other highlights of the week include milliner to the A-list Stephen Jones at the Little Theatre Cinema, as well as catwalk shows and workshops. FFI WWW.BATHINFASHION.CO.UK


Stop the traffic, ground all flights, and pause the very turning of the Earth with this sinfully sequinned, sculptured work of art by Vivienne Westwood. Or at the very least get a vodka ‘n’ Red Bull bought for you. (Vivienne Westwood Red Label Dress, £1,050, Harvey Nichols)




There’s something gorgeously finde-siècle about this twinkling pink number. You’ll look like a lady in a Klimt painting, but with less bosom showing. (Carly Burnout dress, £140, Phase Eight)


Who says you’re wearing brown packing paper? All the cool people will know that this mink dress (30% metal!) is the classiest thing on the dancefloor. (Mae dress, £140, Phase Eight) folio/NOV 2011 31

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Sophisticated… Niki wears… Dress by Biba £100 from House of Fraser; shoe boots – Niki’s own; vintage earrings

How to wear...

Animal Print Personal stylist and image consultant Niki Whittle climbs out of her comfort zone


h leopard print, leopard print, how do I love thee?’ Yes, my favourite kind of print is indeed the animal kind, but I know I’ve got my work cut out if I’m to persuade the rest of you to give it a go. Despite what you might think, animal prints are actually quite versatile. A pair of leopard-print shoes can add some edge to a girly floral dress and a snakeskin bag will bring your LBD stampeding into this season. But if you’re going to make this trend work for you, then you’ll need to consider your own style. If you’re a classically chic dresser, then a simple belt will be the perfect way to introduce the print to your outfits. If you prefer a quirkier style, then mix things up a little – why not clash animal with stripes? I want to show you two very different ways of wearing animal print while at the same time push myself out of the orange-brown-leopard-print-rut that I’ve got myself into. I’m always pushing clients outside their comfort zone, so I guess it’s only fair that I do the same to myself. This dress by Biba does just that. While it’s very much covered in animal print, the colour and style are a little less obvious and, dare I say it, sophisticated. I know this whimsical jumper from Topshop isn’t technically animal print, but it is a print of an animal so I think I can get away with it. It’s a refreshing take on the trend… but has it got you reaching for the rail?

Ffi / www.

Whimsical… Niki wears… Jumper (£44) and jeans (£40) from Topshop; Converse shoes £49.99 from Office

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Reader offer:

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Melissa Blease lives contemporary life to the max at Sphere Living Design


ritz Hansen, Vitra, Iittala, Design House Stockholm, Flos and Muuto… now that’s a home interior design A-list if ever there was one. But up until now, fans of innovative, chic and/or unique lifestyle inspirations have been unlikely to find such a coterie all under one roof – and trust us when we tell you that that sparkling opening cast list really is just a

taster of what’s on offer at Sphere Living Design. Sphere may be brand new, but it’s already right at home in the stylish shopping village that is the Triangle, Clifton. The products on display in the spacious, welcoming showroom are sourced from some of the world’s leading interior brands, resulting in a stunning range of designer furniture, sparkling glass, contemporary tableware, lighting and soft furnishings, offering customers the opportunity to purchase timeless accessories to

Above and far left: Sphere’s spacious and welcoming interior is an ode to cutting-edge design. Left: Klaus Haapaniemi crane cushion, £75

add a subtle touch of style to any home or invest in an iconic furniture piece from one of the world’s leading designers such as Arne Jacobsen, Verner Panton or Charles and Ray Eames. Such stylish variety is an utter joy to browse, and closer inspection brings yet more delight. Scandinavian design is heavily represented throughout the store courtesy of Fritz Hansen’s classic Series 7, Egg and Swan chairs. Mutto, meanwhile, is a funky new brand that produces cool tableware in vibrant yellows or modern greys that typify the trends of the current season. The retro-inspired Cosy Lamp is proving a sensation, as is the RAW candelabra: the perfect centrepiece for any dinner party. Design House Stockholm is gaining a reputation for an innovative, eclectic mix of lighting, kitchenware and accessories, while Iittala’s adorable range of glassware takes in elegant boxes, tea lights and vases produced in an amazing array of colours alongside a range of patterned tableware and kitchen accessories. Chic kitchen coordination? You’ve got it! Next up on our whistlestop tour, a wide variety of wall, desk and floor lamps from the iconic Flos range represents the ultimate in light-up-your-life panache, while George Nelson’s classic clocks adorn the walls of the store (alongside a variety of original art from local artists) and handmade pottery and sumptuous cushions from Klaus Haapaniemi soften everything up around the edges, making you feel as though you’ve come home to the home you’ve always dreamed of. Like any design-led store, the Sphere Living Design showroom continuously evolves as new products and ideas enter the public domain. This season, Fritz Hansen are launching the Favn sofa, which comes in a variety of hues and fabrics all, pushing the boundaries of interior design, as does the Hohrizontal-51 music shelf complete with iPod docking station (which won a Red Dot Design Award in 2011). Customers are encouraged to browse the store in a relaxed manner, while the online store offers those from further afield the opportunity to shop from afar and keep up to date with the latest news from one of Bristol’s coolest shops. This place is everything we’ve always wanted. SPHERE LIVING DESIGN EMBASSY HOUSE, QUEENS AVE, CLIFTON, BRISTOL. FFI: 0117 929 2365, WWW.SPHERELIVINGDESIGN.COM

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objects of desire Velimir Ilic with his monthly pick of brilliant little inventions


MORNING GLORY This frisky digital alarm clock takes no prisoners – it’ll leap off your bedside table and whizz around, looking for somewhere to hide while beeping and flashing like R2D2 gone bonkers. You have to get up to silence it, if you can catch it. Grumpy risers might like to keep a hammer handy. You have been warned... CLOCKY ALARM CLOCK £36.99, FIREBOX


PLUCKED FROM NOWHERE Whether you’re a Jimi Hendrix diehard or a Laura Marling wannabe, the Pickmaster is a nifty way to convert your used loyalty or credit cards into the guitarist’s traditional accessory. Just slide the card in, push down, and before you can say ‘Foxy Lady’, out pops an original plectrum. PICKMASTER PLECTRUM MAKER £19.95, POD


MAGIC TOUCH Fashioned from electroconductive rubber, Suck UK’s simple pencil stylus is a cinch to use on smartphones and all manner of touch-screen devices – no more smeary fingerprints! Nicely chunky and stylishly retro, it’ll look just as good sticking out of your top pocket as it will tucked behind your ear. TOUCH-SCREEN STYLUS £7.50, SUCK UK


SHOW SOME FLARE It might resemble a snazzy lightsaber, but with the nights drawing in, the Fibre Flare’s bright, all-round visibility is a godsend for cyclists. Attached to your jersey, bag or bike, it’s easily seen from over 300m away, and can be set to flash without blinding other road users. FIBRE FLARE REAR LIGHT £27.99, JOHNS BIKES


SOUND OF THE FUTURE Muso obsessives will no doubt covet Sonos’s Play:3, which can wirelessly stream your entire music library to any room in the house. Volume and tracks can be controlled via smartphone or iPad, and despite its compact size, the sound packs a hefty punch. Kajagoogoo in the kitchen, anyone? SONOS PLAY:3 WIRELESS MUSIC PLAYER £259, AUDIO T


Audio T 65 Park St, Bristol. Ffi: 0117 926 4975, Firebox (online). Ffi: 0800 044 5010, Johns Bikes 82-84 Walcot St, Bath. Ffi: 01225 334633, pod 24 The Mall, Clifton Village, Bristol. Ffi: 0117 373 2564, www. Suck UK (online). Ffi: 0207 923 0011,

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ÂŁ5 off

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beauty beauty

Below left: Manageress Danielle in Strip’s luxurious reception area within Harvey Nichols; right: the opulent Chocolate treatment room really does look good enough to eat!

strip Rachel Nott discovers a new waxing treatment that’s far more ooh than ouch


ver the years Folio’s Salon Spy has tested a myriad of relaxing massages, full body scrubs, slimming treatments, champagne spa days and luxury manis and pedis, not to mention all those lovely new hair-dos. But never before have we been asked to review a waxing bar. More of a practical procedure to be endured rather than enjoyed, I’m feeling, understandably, a little nervous. I log on to the Strip website to get a little taster of what I’m about to undergo, and as the home page loads, I already begin to feel more relaxed about the whole thing. This isn’t your usual

waxing session in a one-size-fits-all treatment room where you’re asked to hold various bits of your anatomy as you breathe in to the count of three and hope to god it’ll all be over in as short a time as possible. This is next-generation waxing in opulently decorated rooms dedicated to the art of waxing – challenging the previously accepted notion that waxing is an essential part of the grooming process but not one to be enjoyed. I’m definitely coming round to the idea and, as I read the blurb, the real clincher for me has to be the statement that Strip wax is ‘virtually pain-free’. Yes, you did read that right. I had to re-read that bit too. But if the likes of Emilia Fox, Savannah Miller and Lisa Snowdon report that it’s pain free (you can read theirs and loads of other sleb testimonials on the website),

lifestyle then who am I to doubt them? I arrive at the Strip reception at Harvey Nichols Bristol where I’m greeted warmly by Danielle, who asks me to fill in a quick health questionnaire before I’m whisked into the treatment room by my therapist Nicole. There’s a huge picture of a halfunwrapped bar of chocolate on one feature wall, thickly striped brown wallpaper on the others, a chandelier above the bed, rococo-style gold mirror and, best of all, a flatscreen TV playing action movie Dead or Alive featuring Holly Valance in some of the most improbable but curiously gripping scenes I’ve ever witnessed. It’s hilarious – one to watch next time you’re having a film ‘n’ pizza night in. There are various wax ‘flavours’ available at Bristol Strip (which incidentally is the only Strip bar outside London) – chocolate and hazelnut, which I’m trying today, nourishing olive, fruity berry, relaxing lavender, shimmering gold and magnifico for the guys. The wax really does smell and look like melted chocolate and feels lovely and warm as it’s smoothed on down below (Strip has an extensive menu of waxing treatments but I’m here for a Brazilian – the ultimate test for pain-free waxing). Strip use premium Lycon wax which can remove hairs as short as 2mm and actually prevents ingrown hairs and redness. Before smoothing on the wax, Nicole sprays my skin with oil to ensure the wax just sticks to the hairs and not the skin. The wax dries stretchy so that it can be stripped straight off, taking the hairs with it. The procedure is longer than usual – more like 30 minutes – but I feel relaxed throughout, and instead of closing my eyes and screwing up my face as I usually do during an intimate wax, I’m glued to the flatscreen. At the end Nicole gives me a mirror to check for myself that she’s removed every last hair and that I’m happy with the neatness of ‘the line’. Without going into too much detail, I’m very pleased – it all looks perfectly smooth and hair-free with not a jot of redness. I’m an immediate convert, and even though Strip is considerably more expensive than other waxing salons (a Brazilian costs £49 or £40.83 each for a course of six), I for one feel every penny is worth it for a pain-free perfect finish. Go on, try it for yourself. You know you’re worth it.


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3 r2 fo


ts en y) atm e da tre sam ng he xi en t wa e tak

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The UK’s favourite waxing Boutique


specialising in pain free waxing since 2005

Exclusively offering Semi-Permanent Eyelash Extensions and the fantastic Paraben Free South Seas Spray Tanning. Harvey Nichols, Cabot Circus 0117 916 8864 p39.indd 1

Also Stocking Hanky Panky Mary Green, Lycon Spa & South Seas Skin Care 10/26/2011 10:15:29 AM

New red and copper shades now available get ready to jopin the RED revolution. products are used in the Salon.

6 Rockleaze Rd, Sneyd Park, Bristol BS9 1NF Tel: 0117 9682663 40 folio/nov 2011

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PIC CREDIT: andy short

Left: A Watsu treatment taking place in the Hot Bath; right: the enchanting Cross Bath is an ideal setting for a private spa party


bath spa Amanda Robinson destresses with a Watsu water-based thermal treatment


sleek expanse of blue glass and steel juxtaposed with creamy Bath stone, Bath’s Thermae Spa is tucked away in the warren of tiny streets off the city’s main shopping drag. Not to be confused with the Roman Baths just over the road – although it shares the same thermal waters, which rise from 2,000 metres under the Bath hills – this state of the art spa is the modern reincarnation of its ancient counterpart, built to minister to the expectations of the 21st-century spa goer. The spa facilities are extensive, with a tempting array of options for the visitor, from two- or four-hour spa sessions to over 50 different spa treatments if you’re looking for a complete pamper. The spa is like no other, contained and inspired by its grade I-listed status, it’s on several floors. Start at the lower ground level in the rounded contours of the Minerva Bath with its massage jet, whirlpool and gentle currents, then on to the fragrant steam rooms, with the aromas of lavender, eucalyptus and other soothing scents, and up to the openair rooftop pool, open during the day and at twilight. The experience of bobbing around in

the warm waters while watching the sun go down over the historic Bath skyline will remain with you for a long time. I’m here for Watsu, a water-based treatment that I’m keen to try (the Watsu thermal treatment costs £60 and is also available for couples on request). I’m frequently hunched over my laptop, so my long-suffering spine is always in search of a good massage session. But first I get to take a peek at the Cross Bath, just over the cobbles from the main baths – and one of the city’s hidden gems. As a Bath resident of more than 20 years, I can remember seeing a little family of ducks raising their brood in the derelict bath every spring as I walked past on my way to work, so I was dying to see what it looked like now. And what a transformation – an elegant marriage of ancient and modern architecture, this small but perfectly formed bath is enchanting. It’s been a sacred site through the millennia, and the play of the hot waters from the modern stainless-steel fountain just adds to the atmosphere of this intimate space. If you fancy a bathe in this unique setting, it’s open to visitors: you just have to book a session at the main reception, and if you’ve got a special occasion coming up, you can hire it out for up to 12 people – order canapés and champagne from



“After 50 minutes I open my eyes in a blissful state of repose”

the Spa to really make it memorable. Back in the main building I get changed for my session. My therapist Cerah leads me into the warm waters of the Hot Bath, designed by John Wood the Younger to allow the Georgian gentry to bathe in privacy away from the hoi polloi. In this enclosed space, she wraps floats around my ankles to aid buoyancy, encourages me to close my eyes and then I’m in her hands. Literally. Supporting my body, my head is submerged until all I can hear is the rhythm of my own breathing and the flow of the water around me. The warm water relaxes me and I’m able to let the therapist move my body this way and that, using the water’s buoyancy to work the joints and muscles gently. ‘Letting go’ is the key to Watsu, as the graceful combination of movement, massage and manipulation in the weightless environment of the warm water induces a state of deep relaxation, which allows the release of stress and tension I’m clearly carrying in my shoulders and lower back. The 50 minutes pass in a flash until I’m carefully reoriented into an upright position and open my eyes in a blissful state of repose. Armed with some helpful advice about the knots in my shoulders and the benefits of yoga, I relax in a positive and mellow frame of mind with a fragrant, restorative herbal tea in the Inner Space recovery room until I’m ready to face the bustling rigours of Bath again.


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Our new make-up crush? Sisley’s brand new anti-aging foundation, delivering a peachy perfect finish while at the same time nourishing your skin with luxurious anti-aging ingredients. Instantly your skin looks smoother and brighter; over time fine lines and wrinkles are gently erased. You’ll look like you, just on a really good day. Every day… Available in nine skin tones. SKINLEYA ANTI-AGING LIFT FOUNDATION £110, AVAILABLE AT JOLLY’S, BATH, HARVEY NICHOLS, BRISTOL & JOHN LEWIS, THE MALL AT CRIBBS CAUSEWAY, BRISTOL. FFI: WWW.SISLEY-COSMETICS.COM



These gorgeous globes filled with four mini MAC stackable eye metallics in smoky blues, greys and white make the perfect stocking filler. Or if you feel they’re too pretty to hide away, pop on the tree for a touch of Downton Abbey opulence! Eye metallics also available in smoky berry, and plum, or choose from mini gloss kits and petite nail lacquers.


Following on from Tom Ford’s elegantly sensual but dramatically different fragrances Black Orchid and White Patchouli comes a sophisticated new scent to complete the glam hat-trick. In the words of its creator, “Violet Blonde is formal, polished, and yet draws you in closer and closer, like a beautifully dressed woman whose refined presence charms, then fascinates, and ultimately seduces you.” One spritz and you’ll be hooked.






Rachel Nott pulls some Christmas beauty crackers





Fans of Bobbi Brown’s award-winning shimmer bricks will want to be swapping their Jimmy Choos for Nikes in readiness to rush the counters for this limited-edition little beauty. For a party glow to die for, sweep a little silver or gold on cheekbones and eyelids and your glam goddess makeover is complete!

Who can resist these cutesy little pots of wonder cream? They’re designed by Japanese textile designer Mako Kikkawa, and we’re sure they’re going to become a design classic. Inside, you’ll find a wonderfully hydrating cream to nourish and soothe winter-parched skin. Which will you choose? STEAMCREAM £10.50 EACH, EXCLUSIVE TO BOOTS. FFI: WWW.BOOTS.COM


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NOTHING TO LOSE? ➻ Avon Obesity Service, a multi-

disciplinary team, have managed the care of over 600 patients at Spire Bristol Hospital. The team consists of two highly skilled weight-loss surgeons, a specialist physician, dietician and nurse specialist. Here Sharon Bates, nurse specialist and trained counsellor, deals with some of the negative feelings people experience when considering weight-loss surgery. I’ll never be as attractive as I want, so why bother losing weight at all? You may not become a stunning model when you lose weight, but you’re more likely to live a longer life and love that living. I’ve failed before, so why try again? We’ve all fallen short of our expectations at some point in our lives. Does this mean it’s justified not to try any more?

Previous ‘failure’ doesn’t predict future failure. Losing weight won’t really impact my health, so it’s not worth it… Even a small amount of weight loss drastically lowers the risk of heart disease, diabetes, sleep apnoea, impotence and other health problems. Losing weight won’t fix anything – I’ll still have other problems to deal with! Reaching your goal weight won’t solve all of your problems. What you have to gain is becoming more effective in dealing with your life. FREE WEIGHT-LOSS OPEN EVENING WITH AVON OBESITY SERVICE TUE 15 NOV, SPIRE BRISTOL HOSPITAL. TO BOOK A PLACE, CALL 0117 980 4066 OR EMAIL BRISTOLEVENTS@ SPIREHEALTHCARE.COM AVON OBESITY SERVICE FFI: 0117 962 3028, WWW.AVONOBESITYSERVICE. CO.UK


BABY LOVE ➻ Bristol Water Babies, part of the world’s largest baby swim school, have been busy splashing for cash this summer to raise vital funds for baby charity Tommy’s. Hundreds of young splashers across the region rose raised an incredible £8,000, helping the company to completely smash its national target of £100,000 more than three times over. Tommy’s funds medical research into pregnancy problems. “I feel incredibly proud of – and equally humbled by – each and every one of the children and their parents for taking this truly worthwhile cause to their hearts,” says Bryony Johnson, who runs Water Babies classes in the South West. TOMMY’S WWW.TOMMYS.ORG WATER BABIES CLASSES RUN ACROSS BRISTOL, BATH & WESTON-SUPER-MARE. FFI: WWW.WATERBABIES.CO.UK


LOCAL HEROES ➻ Councillor Peter Edwards,


ROYAL RETREAT ➻ Experience a three-day, red-carpet-style retreat at the luxurious Royal Crescent Hotel in Bath – and lose pounds in the process. The unique Lemon Detox 3-Day Retreat (a global phenomenon endorsed by superstars like Angelina Jolie, Beyonce and Madonna) eliminates toxins while simultaneously shedding unwanted pounds, nourishing and nurturing clients through the initial detox period to prepare body and mind for a continued weightloss or cleansing programme, promising immediate results. On completion of the three-day programme, you can continue your detox experience at home for up to 10 days, either as a fast or by following a food-combining programme provided especially for you by one of the Royal Crescent’s Bath House team. A one-day Lemon Detox taster is also available; prices start from £245. ROYAL CRESCENT HOTEL 16 ROYAL CRESCENT, BATH. FFI: 01225 823333, WWW.ROYALCRESCENT.CO.UK /

chair of Bath and North East Somerset Council, has celebrated the launch of the Chairman’s Sport Awards 2012 at a ceremony also attended by representatives from Gold Challenge, the official mass participation legacy programme for the London 2012 Olympics. The awards, supported this year by the council’s sports facilities manager Aquaterra Leisure, will recognise the achievements and dedication of local sportspeople, volunteers and coaches. The Gold Challenge Award will recognise the achievement of individuals, families and teams who have completed their own Olympic sporting challenge, while potential future Olympians from Bath and North East Somerset who are accepted onto the Sports Aid Spring Board Talented Athlete Support Programme (supported by the council and Aquaterra Leisure) will also

The launch of the Chairman’s Sport Awards 2012 was attended by Cllr Peter Edwards (second from left) alongside representatives from Gold Challenge, Aquaterra Leisure and B&NES Council

receive grant awards and free access to sports facilities in their local area. Individuals, sports clubs, schools, colleges and community groups are invited to make nominations for the awards. B&NES COUNCIL’S GOLD CHALLENGE WWW. GOLDCHALLENGE.ORG/BATHNES

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Wellspring Oasis

New holistic therapy centre open – High quality treatments, in a great setting whilst all profits go to supporting community.

Heal You Heal Community

Treatments available: Holistic Massage, Swedish Massage. Hawaiian Lomi-Lomi, Alexander Technique, Hopi ear candling, Indian head massage, Mctimoney Chiropractics, Osteopathy and Reflexology For details check out Free Car Parking Café Available Free Drink & Snack with this Folio Ad!

You can also ring for information and to book an appointment on 0117 304 1400 Monday – Friday 9-7pm Saturday – Sunday 10.30-6.30pm



y an




is f of ith th

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Girls’ hockey at King Edward’s


SIMPLY THE BEST ➻ Over at Sidcot School in Winscombe, Iain Kilpatrick (pictured), currently head of Beaconhurst School at Bridge of Allan, has accepted the school’s offer of appointment as head of Sidcot and will take up the role next August. “I’m delighted that Iain has accepted,” says Paul Whitehouse, chair of Governors of Sidcot. “His track record of running a successful all-through school over the past six years, together with his earlier experience of boarding, make him an ideal head of Sidcot at this stage of its development.” Chosen from a strong field of applicants, five candidates spent three days at Sidcot, meeting students, staff and the senior management team, and undergoing a comprehensive assessment overseen by the Board. Following this exhaustive process, the Board unanimously agreed that Iain was

the ideal person to assume leadership of the school: “We were impressed with his clear vision for Sidcot, his commitment to professional excellence and development, his understanding of the ethos that makes Sidcot special, and his comprehensive appreciation of the opportunities that a boarding environment offers its students.” “I was very struck by the quality of relationships that underpin Sidcot’s unique ethos,” said Iain, “and am excited at the prospect of bringing my family to this beautiful part of Somerset.” The school are looking forward to welcoming Iain, his wife Katrina and their two children to Sidcot. Experienced deputy head Elizabeth Burgess will be acting head from the end of 2011 until Iain arrives. SIDCOT SCHOOL WINSCOMBE, NORTH SOMERSET. FFI: 01934 843102, WWW.SIDCOT. ORG.UK


BACKWELL ➻ It’s been an extremely successful

year for Backwell School. Back in November 2008, Ofsted inspectors judged the school to be ‘outstanding’ – the only secondary school in North Somerset to receive that accolade. And that judgement is borne out once again with this year’s excellent GCSE and A-level results: 83% gained at least five grades A*-C; 70% gained five A*-C including the crucial Maths and English. At A-level, 30% of examination entries were graded A* or A, and 56% graded A*-B. One student gained five A* and others achieved four A* grades each. Six students will start at Oxford and Cambridge Universities this year, and others on highly competitive courses such as medicine. These figures are higher than many selective schools, but Backwell is a comprehensive secondary school, serving all of its community. It provides a challenging education to young people of

Backwell School students receive their exam results

all abilities and needs, and offers a wide, exciting range of new experiences, both in and out of the classroom. The new multi-million-pound sixth form centre (complete with dance studio and large lecture theatre for performances, seminars and assemblies) will accommodate Backwell’s growing numbers of sixth form students. BACKWELL SCHOOL STATION RD, BACKWELL, BRISTOL. FFI: 01275 463371, WWW. BACKWELLSCHOOL.NET


KING EDWARD’S ➻ King Edward’s School in Bath is

one of the top academic independent day schools in the UK for pupils aged three to 18. The school provides a stimulating learning environment where children are encouraged to strive for excellence and acquire a lifelong passion for knowledge, discovery and adventure. There’s a broad, dynamic curriculum and exceptional range of extracurricular activities, all underpinned by ‘outstanding’ pastoral care. Pupils achieve success in many areas. The strength of music in the school is reflected in the excellent levels of public performances, considerable success in examinations and regularity with which pupils gather honours at regional music festivals. King Edward’s has an outstanding dramatic tradition, an art and photography department that is a centre of excellence and a tradition of sporting success, with many pupils representing their sport at both regional and national levels. The school is also renowned for superb facilities in science and technology, sport, music, drama and the arts, and continues to invest in a quality learning environment, including a new Pre-Prep ICT suite and library, a new design and technology suite, ICT room and drama and performance space at the Junior School, and a state of the art academic centre for science, geography, modern foreign languages and IT at the Senior School, along with a stylish sixth form learning and social centre. KING EDWARD’S SCHOOL NORTH RD, BATH. FFI: 01225 464313, WWW.KESBATH.COM

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For a brochure and details of forthcoming courses please telephone The Clifton Practice 0117 317 9278 or simple visit our comprehensive website

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Steve Wright spends a very happy weekend in the company of the Evoque, Land Rover’s feted ‘baby SUV’


hite car! White CAR!” The highpitched, pleading note in my twoyear-old’s voice told the whole story, really. It was Monday morning, and time to return the Range Rover Evoque – the titular white car – to its Bristol showroom after it had deigned to spend a weekend in our humble company. And, although we hadn’t tested Land Rover’s much-hyped 4x4/family car ‘crossover’ to anywhere near the limits of its capabilities, we’d all come to appreciate having the ‘baby Rangie’ around. Hence now, just 90 minutes before the fateful return to the showroom, I’d decided to take the Evoque for one last spin, to wring out a few more moments’ joy from its plush interior, easy driving dynamics and air of quiet, efficient luxury. And little Theo was clearly right behind my decision. So out we trooped for our last hurrah – a gentle toot around the B-roads of North Somerset, followed by a brisk jog up Cheddar Gorge and a high-speed sprint along the top of the Mendips and back into town. I should confess at this point that, all weekend long, we didn’t fully test the Evoque’s off-road capacities. Like its Land Rover siblings – the Freelander, the vast Discovery and the imperious luxobarge that is the Range Rover – the Evoque can hold its own on just about any terrain on earth,

Expect high-end luxuries such as TV, satnav, iPod hook-up, heated seats and panoramic sunroof

from the Mojave desert to the forbidding scree slopes of the Lake District. In our tender care, though, it got nothing more taxing than that Monday-morning flog up Cheddar Gorge. The road up through the Gorge, just to clarify – not the bare rocky plateaux and vertiginous slopes either side, though I’m sure it would have ploughed its way across, up, under and through these with disdainful ease… Even the road, though, was enough to uncover another of the Evoque’s major talents: handling. It may be the smallest scion of the Land Rover clan but, roughly the length of a Ford Focus and quite a bit wider, the Evoque is not an especially small car. Shunting its way eagerly up the Gorge, though, it handled as nimbly as anything its size, taking the ravine’s many S-bends with contemptuous ease. Nimble it may be, but thanks to that extra width, the car’s interior has the comfort and airiness of a much bigger beast – you could be sitting inside a 5 Series, Audi A6 or Merc E-Class in there. Little luxuries – the kind you barely notice at first but to which, within the hour, you become addicted – are everywhere, from heated seats to a vast, multi-talented entertainment interface complete with TV, satnav, iPod hook-up and much more besides. Our highlight, though, was the panoramic sunroof: at the flick of a button and accompanied by a hypnotic mechanical whirr, the sliding fabric cover retreated slowly across the roof, revealing a good 15 square feet of blue sky and autumn trees (remember that glorious early October weather?) wherever we went. Theo spent most of each journey staring up into the blue, transfixed and quieter than he ever is in our cramped, noisy hatchback. Land Rover are confident that the Evoque will be a huge sales success and, on the evidence of this weekend, I have to agree. Yes, you could drag yours up the slopes of Kilimanjaro or across the scorching wastes of the Atacama desert, and good luck to you if you do. But I suspect that those British buyers who can afford it will just feel happy to shell out

The Range Rover Evoque oozes opulence, inside and out

PRICE £27,955-39,995 MAX SPEED (MPH) 112-135 CO2 (G/KM) 129-199 POWER (BHP) 148-237 COMBINED MPG 32.5-56.3 LENGTH 4.365M (5-DR)/4.355M (COUPÉ) WIDTH 2.125M HEIGHT 1.635M (5-DR)/1.605M (COUPÉ) around £30,000 (more like 3 Series money) for a car that’s bold, quiet, cossetingly luxurious and really rather beautiful in an angular, slightly aggressive kinda way. With its auto gearbox, parking sensors, pushbutton handbrake and heads-up display warning you of any waiting hazard, it’s also easy as pie to drive – with one drawback. That very elegant, steeply raked rear end does make for a small windscreen - not the best for visibility. But with the Evoque’s great computerised brain doing much of the work for you anyway, it’s a small caveat in what is otherwise a seriously comfortable, striking and hugely composed piece of engineering. Get used to seeing lots of these on UK roads soon…


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Antique Beds and Furniture In Brass, Iron, Wood & Upholstered Wood

ď Š ď Š Restoration service and bespoke furniture making also available

Chelvey Court Barn, Chelvey, Backwell, Bristol BS48 4AA.

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



➻ The Sofa Library, who make bespoke sofas and handmade curtains in 10 to 20 days at

their factory in Bristol, are now also selling a large range of German-built wardrobes. Their current offer of up to 30% off wardrobe orders across all ranges makes for incredible value. An 180cm-wide, two-sliding-door mirrored wardrobe, for example, is available from £399. The wardrobes come in various beech/walnut/maple finishes as well as sleek lacquers and metallic surfaces, with mirrored or matching sliding or opening doors. And you’ll find no less than 20 different ranges, with interior accessories such as shelving and tie and shoe racks and matching cabinet furniture. Many ranges incorporate the option of two different finishes on the doors, such as lacquer and matching glass panels, and the ranges come in a variety of height and width options. A corner system with full mirrored doors, measuring 2m by 3.7m, for instance, is just over £1,500 after the offer discount – giving you more than seven cubic metres of storage space, with a combination of opening and sliding doors and a very useful extra deep corner cupboard. The Sofa Library also offers a true made-to-measure service, at a fraction of the cost of the famous German brand names, but still offering a fantastic rigorous build quality and standard of finish. The Sofa Library Units 5 & 6, Eastpark Trading Estate, Gordon Rd, Bristol, BS5 (5 mins from Tesco/Ikea roundabout off the M32; 10 mins from the centre of Bristol). Ffi: 0117 951 2624,

CURTAINS Exterior doors and single-paned glass can benefit from interlined curtains to help prevent draughts and heat loss. Interlining is a soft fleecytype fabric that is sewn between the main fabric and the lining of curtains, blinds, drapes and window treatments. It’s available in different fabrics and textures, some natural and some man-made, and Fabric Mills offer three weights of interlining from stock – 200g, 260g and 400g. Your chosen weight will depend on need and look, and Fabric Mills will be happy to advise on the best choice. Interlinings can add considerable extra weight to the curtains, so you’ll need to make sure that your curtain pole or track is sturdy enough for the weight of the curtains and that the wall fixings are adequate. While interlined curtains might not be the cheapest option, your curtains will save energy and money, as well as helping the environment, for years to come.


➻ With our contrary British weather, interlined curtains really can make a difference – rooms with interlined curtains will stay warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. But more importantly, they can save you money. Windows can be a costly feature of a home, sometimes accounting for up to 25% of your heating bill. Extra glazing is the usual answer, but if you can’t do this for reasons such as being in a conservation area or in a listed building, interlined curtains and blinds are definitely the answer! “Not only are interlined curtains beneficial at retaining heat,” says Jamie Mills from Fabric Mills, “they’re also effective in soundproofing, keeping your noise in and traffic noise out. Interlined curtains can also block out light, making them ideal for bedrooms. And interlining improves the drape and hang of the curtains, which gives a luxurious look and feel.”


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Two of Andy Smith's

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Sowing the Seed ➻ As Christmas approaches join new Frome design emporium Seed this month for an

exclusive and inspiring workshop dedicated to all things festive. Philippa Curphey, visual merchandiser for a leading US luxury brand, has been invited to venture from her London HQ to Somerset to teach her tricks of the trade for creating the perfect Christmas wreath. Philippa will guide you through where to source the elements needed, how best to combine them and how to create something unique to adorn your front door and welcome family and friends during the festivities. New store Seed brings an exquisite array of beautiful items from emerging artists and disciplines. You’ll find lots of new work by Britain’s brightest talent, from art to ceramics, jewellery to sculpture and everything in between. SEED CHRISTMAS WORKSHOP MON 7 NOV, 6-8PM. REGISTER AT: WWW. SEEDCHRISTMASWORKSHOP.EVENTBRITE.COM SEED BLACK SWAN ARTS, 2 BRIDGE ST, FROME, SOMERSET. FFI: 01373 228272, WWW. DESIGNSBYSEED.CO.UK (open Tue-Sat)



➻ Welcome to Bristol’s eco alternative to a skip! Bristol-based recycling firm The Junk Buster bring a vibrant on-demand, hasslefree junk-removal service to your premises, with shiny trucks, upfront fees and uniformed two-man teams who even sweep up after themselves. Fully licensed and insured, this environmentally friendly bunch promote reuse and always recycle. They’ll take away everything from single items to multiple truckloads, white goods to garden waste, confidential documents to construction waste, from both residential and commercial premises. The Junk Buster Ffi: 0117 373 8251, www.

PSST! For bespoke, hand-printed gorgeousness in the form of curtains, upholstery & cushions we love bath-based

➻ If you’re a homeowner in search of a one-stop-shopping emporium in a historic building in central Bristol, you’ve come to the right place. The massive, much-loved institution that is Gardiner Haskins Homecentre has no less than six floors of showrooms, housed in the impressive former Puritan Soap Works, selling a flabbergastingly huge variety of homeimprovement goodies. There’s a big free customer car park, too, just five minutes from Cabot Circus. This is a Bristol company with a big history – founded in 1823, they later supplied Isambard Kingdom Brunel with drawing instruments while working on the ss Great Britain and Great Western Railway, and the Broad Plain retail store complex is now the biggest of its kind in the South West. Following a major refurb, it’s now been transformed, with improved accessibility to all floors. You could spend a whole day browsing here and still want to come back for more. You’ll find a fantastic choice of in-store retailers (like Carpet-Right and Hammonds Fitted Bedrooms) and products at highly competitive prices – everything from electrical appliances, home cinema, kitchens, bathrooms, flooring, a Range Cooker Centre and furniture to curtains, plumbing, ironmongery, paints, lighting, fires, homewares, wines, beers, toiletries and Veals fishing products, not to mention bikes, a garden centre and onsite cafe. GARDINER HASKINS HOMECENTRE BROAD PLAIN, OFF TEMPLE WAY, BRISTOL. FFI: 0117 929 2288, WWW.GARDINERHASKINS.CO.UK

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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

Retro g Clothinble Availa

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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Checklist • We promote Re-use • Fully licensed & insured • 2 hour arrival windows • Up front fees • Single items to multiple truck loads • Uniformed teams • Shiny trucks • Environmentaly friendly

Services • Home, garden & garage clearance • Office clearance • Confidential document disposal • Fly tipping • WEEE recycling and I.T disposal

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the wow

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The floor was finished with honed limestone and the large area broken up with a sunken area of carpeting underneath the seating to soften it. The highest gloss was achieved with a painted and polished process for the furniture in bespoke colours to match the AGA and tie in the scheme with the striped carpet. The stone worktops were kept light to keep plenty of light in the back of the extension, and the ceiling lights used LEDs to keep the light bright, white and economical. Underfloor heating was applied under the tiles to boost the warmth in the room if required, as the AGA gives out plenty of heat when switched on. The AGA was fitted with an Intelligent Management System (AIMS), which electronically controls and times the heat. This is much more efficient than the other fuel methods.



The island has a sink and tap, long stretches of worktop and a hob with downdraft extractor so that nothing interferes with the views and everything is accessible for cooking from one station. The sideboard has a separate sink for mugs, glasses and coffee machine accessories to be rinsed in, and a handy worktop wastebin for compost. A section of tall units house the TV on view from the kitchen work station and seating areas, some pullout larders for overspill storage and plenty of drawers. This area also houses the controls for the Bang & Olufsen audio system which has been cleverly built into the ceiling and is controlled from a panel on the central pier. system which was cleverly built into the ceiling and controlled from a panel on the central pier in the room.



How the area looked before its amazing transformation

âžť The project The brief The client wanted to construct a glazed extension to the rear of his property in order to create a large, more social kitchen where he could entertain and make use of the outside space and his amazing views. He wanted a shiny, bold kitchen with modern gadgets, but one that would sit well with a new AGA, which was top of his list! Economic lighting and heating were important and the space needed to sit well with the neighbouring new bathroom, pantry and utility rooms.

The solution Homeworx designed a large, contemporary extension containing as much glazing as possible to really make the most of the views and light. This included two ceiling light wells, triple sliding doors and fixed panes. Homeworx propped the second floor and gable end of the house up and removed the downstairs walls before inserting a new steel frame. With all of the sliding doors open you really have a sense of being out in the fields and fresh air. The new space was vast and needed some defined areas, so they used the vertical steel column to provide a dividing line from the kitchen down to the more social seating area. Homework also used the existing change in height from the original floor level down to the new one to define the kitchen – adding in a curved step for interest and following the theme through with the U-shaped island.

homeworx âžť 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

Glass splashbacks matched to the colour of the AGA were installed for ease of cleaning and reflection of the light. LED lights in the shelves and in the worktop for lighting up the bar seating, together with a colourchanging LED in the glass-lined drinks cabinet, turn the room into a socialising/party place for special occasions. folio/nov 2011 57

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Property news

Beacon House at The Crescent offers high-end living with amazing views of the floating harbour



Itching to splash out on a luxury flat? You’re not the only one, says Velimir Ilic Due to be completed by Christmas, The Kensington in Clifton Village has only three out of eight luxury apartments left for sale

Bag yourself an all-modcons pied à terre, bang in the centre of Cabot Circus, for £180,000


iven the current economic gloom and doom, you’d think that luxury apartments might be something of an extravagance, even for potential buyers with inordinate spending power. You’d be surprised: round these parts, demand for property is surprisingly high, as swanky newbuild flats continue to be snaffled up, even at the more opulent end of the scale. Often positioned in and around bustling urban centres, such highend properties are inextricably linked with lifestyle. There seems to be a real desire from buyers to have it all ways – indulging in lavish domesticity while having the thrill and buzz of the neon metropolis close by. If such prestigious dwelling is on your radar, Bristol has some fabulous options. Located above Harvey Nichols store in Quakers Friars, the distinctive silver-panelled Eclipse development cuts quite a dash across the city skyline. Its 76 upmarket apartments span 15 floors, from highly contemporary one- and twobedroom abodes to exclusive three-bedroom duplex penthouses (one of which, incidentally, has just been snapped up for a figure thought to be around £1.5m). If you don’t have that sort of

With just seven properties left at The Crescent, this is one of your last chances to snap one up...

cash to blow, fret not – remaining flats in the building are on offer for between £180,000 and £250,000, but with a quarter of them already sold, you’ll need to get your skates on. Speed is of the essence at The Kensington, too, a high-spec development of eight luxury apartments near Victoria Square in Clifton – completion isn’t due until Christmas, but only three of them are left on the market. “New-build properties of this calibre in Clifton Village rarely come onto the market, and that makes The Kensington very exclusive,” explains George Cardale of Savills, who are handling sales. “Demand has been exceptionally high.” Savills are also overseeing Crest Nicholson’s Beacon House at The Crescent, the latest phase of Bristol’s luxurious Harbourside development. They currently have a two-bedroom apartment available, priced at an icy cool £435,000 – it’s a fantastic focal point, with floor-to-ceiling windows offering lovely views of the floating harbour. “This is a landmark development for Crest Nicholson,” says Cardale. “With only seven properties left at The Crescent, this is the last chance to secure one of these beautifully finished apartments.” Also up for grabs is a two-bedroom duplex apartment at Velocity, the third phase of Linden Homes’ Great Western Dockyard. For £245,000, you get 714 square feet of high-spec property, but best of all, a historic setting steeped in Bristol’s engineering and maritime history. What better conversation-starter for all those ritzy dinner parties you’ll be hosting? ECLIPSE FFI: 0117 929 7814, WWW.ECLIPSEBRISTOL.COM SAVILLS BRISTOL EMBASSY HOUSE, QUEENS AVE, BRISTOL, BS8. FFI: 0117 910 0300, WWW.SAVILLS.CO.UK LINDEN HOMES FFI: 0845 100 3328, WWW. LINDENHOMES.CO.UK

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Thinking about...

hot spot


BRADFORD ON AVON ➻ With its 11th century Saxon church, striking Tithe

Something of a design icon, every Aga is handmade to order, and will cook anything – and everything – to perfection


f you’ve never considered investing in an Aga before, think about how surprisingly versatile they are. “Quite simply, the Aga is a brilliant cooker,” says Laura James, Aga Brand Ambassador. “There’s nothing it can’t cook to perfection. That goes as much for a ready meal or pizza as it does for a dinner party menu or a great Sunday lunch. It cooks differently – rather than drying food out, it uses gentle radiant heat that locks in flavour and goodness.” Something of a

design icon, each model is a one-off, handmade to order. And, says James, there’s a new breed of Aga cooker that’s even more suited to modern cooking. “You can turn it on when you need it, and off when you don’t. Each oven and hotplate can be controlled independently, ensuring you never use energy unnecessarily.” Aga Shop 12 Widcombe Parade, Bath. Ffi: 01225 335237,

Barn and Kennet and Avon Canal, popular with cyclists and boaters, Bradford on Avon is one of Wiltshire’s most attractive market towns. “We’ve had over 10 sales here in the past two months, ranging in price from £200,000 to £1.2m,” says Mark Thompson from local estate agents Cobb Farr. “People are paying good prices for properties that provide an almost exact match for their requirements.” St Laurence School is well regarded countywide, and the prestigious Wiltshire Music Centre has a terrific reputation for expertly curated live music. A leisure centre, library, independent shopping, wellstocked deli and characterful cafes, pubs and restaurants (check out the recently opened Three Gables) are strewn through town. Travel links are excellent, and with the Kingston Mills development nearing completion, offering new living space, shops and restaurants, more exciting times lie ahead. COBB FARR ESTATE AGENTS 37 MARKET ST, BRADFORD ON AVON. FFI: 01225 866111, WWW.COBBFARR.COM

property of the issue… RAINBOW WOOD HOUSE, WIDCOMBE, BATH, £5.5M

Out of town

PUBLOW OAK BARN, BLACKROCK LANE, PUBLOW, £895,000 ➻ Located down a country lane just south of Bristol, the traditional

charm of this spacious grade II-listed stone barn conversion is contrasted nicely by a recently completed refurb that looks thoroughly snappy. Inside, it’s eminently spacious; the formal front entrance leads to a reception room, currently used as a snug and study. The cloakroom and dining room (with stone fireplace) are generously sized, with a characterful slate floor and window shutters in the sitting room. A fully-fitted kitchen includes modern maple units, granite work surfaces and integrated appliances, and up on the first floor there are four double bedrooms; the main bedroom has exposed roof trusses, air conditioning and a modern en suite. There’s also a bespoke family-sized bathroom. Outside, there’s a south-facing terrace to catch the sun (where else to put that hot-tub?), sweeping gardens with summerhouse and tremendous views towards Publow Church.


➻ Built in 1897 from Bath stone, this secluded Jacobean-style house in Widcombe simply drips with grandeur, from the impressive front entrance with lobby and fully panelled Oak Room, to the exquisitely rendered drawing and dining rooms. The kitchen even boasts a four-oven gas-fired Aga. The main south-facing wing has five principal bedrooms and a magnificent antique staircase, while the north wing comprises a self-contained apartment with two further bedrooms. There’s an oak-panelled first-floor gallery and snooker room, too. Gas-fired central heating and modern electrics run throughout, and ancillary accommodation (Rainbow Wood Lodge and Fairstowe Cottage, currently occupied by domestic staff) is also included in the sale. The ornate 13-acre gardens speak for themselves: extensive lawns, tennis court, an abundance of fruit trees and a stone Gothic Temple originally built in 1742. All this, and less than five minutes’ drive from the centre of Bath. SAVILLS BATH EDGAR HOUSE, 17 GEORGE ST, BATH. FFI: 01225 474550, WWW.SAVILLS.CO.UK

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➻ eatingoutwest Eating global, vegetarian, gastro-pub and, um, in a cattle stall... NEW RESTAURANT

ANOTHER WORLD? ➻ You might have already tried the ‘global buffet’ idea elsewhere, but are you ready for Za Za Bazaar? Bristol citizens will have their chance to find out when the Harbourside hoardings come down on 30 Nov to reveal a massive 700-seater restaurant. It’s the brainchild of chef and catering magnate Nitin Bhatnagar, and represents an investment of some £3m spent turning the site of the long-defunct Baja Bar into a themed ‘world of food’ environment, with backdrops representing India, China, Japan, South America and Europe to reflect the food on offer. Before opening Za Za Bazaar, Bhatnagar sought out an experienced crew of 35 skilled chefs with specialisms in different global cuisines, including American, Mexican, Turkish and Lebanese. This crew will cook all the food ‘live’ before the customers, using fresh ingredients. Six local young people have been given apprenticeships to learn their trade alongside the experts. “The chefs will be the powerhouse driving Za Za Bazaar,” says Bhatnagar. “The restaurant will be a wonderful place to experience the colour, texture and designs from a wide variety of nations celebrated through their cuisine.” Once the place is established, he’s got plans for another six across the country, but all that’s jumping the gun. First things first, however, and Nitin Bhatnagar is lining up quite a launch for that November opening. “I promise Bristol the party of the year,” he says… and it looks as though he means it. ZA ZA BAZAAR CANONS RD, HARBOURSIDE, BRISTOL. FFI: 01784 479808, WWW.ZAZABAZAAR.COM


GOING FOR GASTRO ➻ When the Chequers pub came under the wing of Joe Cussens and Justin Sleath last year, Bath foodies licked their lips. Knowing that Cussens and Sleath were the team behind the Marlborough Tavern, one of the city’s most successful gastropubs, it seemed inevitable that good things would follow. And follow they surely did, as the tasteful refurbishment of the fine old building took shape and chef Leigh Evans took over the kitchen. Boasting a proper upstairs dining room, the pub was able to offer customers the fine dining experience while also providing a chalkboard menu downstairs for less formal eating. Joe’s philosophy was clear from the outset: “Love it or hate it, the term ‘gastropub’ instantly tells customers what to expect from a pub: great tasting, homecooked food served in a friendly pub atmosphere. And that’s what we’re all about.” But after an initial decision to offer different food

for upstairs and downstairs eating, they realised they’d misjudged their punters. “We were offering a separate fine diningstyle menu and restaurant on the first floor, but it was clear that our customers wanted more of the less formal gastropubstyle offering, so we now offer this both upstairs and downstairs in the bar. It’s what our customers want from us and what we do best.” So now it’s the same menu of Mr Evans’ distinctive top-notch confections throughout, with dishes like pressed ham hock set in parsley jelly, pickles and toasted sourdough, seared Cornish monkfish, sticky lentils, Bombay potatoes, onion bhaji and braised fennel, and cinnamon pavlova, warm apple and blackberry compote going down a storm. They’ve just picked up the prize for Best Sunday Lunch at the Bath Good Food Awards, too – not least, we suspect, for their vegetarian option of pistachio, brazil & hazelnut roast, which regularly sells out long before the meat. THE CHEQUERS 50 RIVER ST, BATH. FFI: 01225 360017, WWW.THECHEQUERSBAR.COM

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BACK ON TRACK ➻ The people of Bath have spoken, it seems, and their choice for best place to eat out is… vegetarian. Naturally it’s not just any old vegetarian but the very lovely Demuths restaurant – surely one of the finest meatless eateries in the realm – and the people were voting as part of the first-ever Bath Good Food Awards organised by Guide2Bath and The Pig Guide and sponsored by Waitrose. During the months preceding the final decisions, a team of 10 mystery judges – including food writer Fiona Beckett, Love Food entrepreneur Lorna Knapman and baking legend Richard

Bertinet – led by Guide2Bath supremo Bernard Aherne. “We greatly enjoyed judging the best of the best,” Aherne commented – and we’re sure he did, given that it meant dining out at French bistro Casanis (Best Restaurant), The Priory (Best Chef: Sam Moody) and the aforementioned Demuths (Best Vegetarian, Best of the Best). The awards were announced at a gala event in the Guildhall by Angela Mount, former sommelier to the once-mighty Somerfield, who hoped the awards would help to promote Bath’s finest to a wider audience across the UK and beyond.

➻ Apparently Tony Blair once said that he was only the warm-up act for Chinese Elvis, making him one of many luminaries overawed by Paul Hyu’s evocation of The King. Bristol rock’n’(spring)rollers will get the opportunity to judge for themselves when he appears at Wong’s Chinese Restaurant on Tue 8 Nov. Chinese Elvis may not be the only star of the evening, however, as newly arrived chef Alan Wong unveils his four-course gourmet dinner for the occasion. Wong (no relation) moved from London’s Chinatown after a 20-year career, which, by coincidence, started at Bristol’s long-established Cathay Rendezvous restaurant.



➻ Want to get seriously traditional this Christmas? Down in the superbly Gothic Victorian surroundings of Tyntesfield House in Wraxall they’re offering the ultimate ‘away in a manger’ experience, with Christmas dinner in a cattle stall. It’s a whole lot more wholesome than that sounds, of course, because while the Cattle Barn restaurant does indeed boast original cast-iron cattle stalls, the whole thing has been massively refurbished into a smart and atmospheric licensed eatery making fresh food from locally sourced ingredients. They’re particularly welcoming of party bookings, with groups of eight or more getting free rein to stomp around the grounds as well as tucking into a three-course lunch (£16). You even get to do good by eating there, as it all helps to raise money for the restoration of the 175-year-old kitchen garden that provides much of the vegetables and herbs for the Cow Barn. TYNTESFIELD WRAXALL, BRISTOL. FFI: 0844 800 4966, WWW.NATIONALTRUST. ORG.UK/TYNTESFIELD

pic credit: ntpl/steve young


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At the newly refurbished ‘Richmond’ you can expect to find excellent British food, including game dishes and fabulous Sunday roasts beautifully presented in a relaxed, traditional English pub setting. We also have: • Availability for Christmas parties - all sizes • A varied wine list • Sophisticated range of spirits • Real ale served to Cask Marque standards • Live music events • Restaurant/function rooms • Fun filled bar room complete with pool table and comfy sofas • Food served until 10pm (can vary on Sunday) • Open until 1am Friday and Saturday • Entertainment inc. comedy, quiz and live music

Contact: (0117) 923 7542

Finalists in Gordon Ramsay’s channel 4 Fword series 2009/2010 Britain’s best local restaurant

Christmas Menu 2011 £28 per person for 3 courses £22 per person for 2 courses Starters Homemade Chicken Liver Pate, Chutney and Toasted Ciabatta Mushrooms, Roast Garlic, Smoked Pancetta and Rocket Salad with Parmesan Cured Smoked Salmon, Crushed Potatoes and Horseradish Butternut Squash Soup, Roasted Almonds, Pecorino Bruschetta Main courses Homemade Crab Ravioli with a Creamy Saffron Sauce Roast Rump of Lamb with Rosemary Jus Wild Mushroom Risotto Turkey Wrapped in Ham with Shallot and Sage Stuffing Dolci Traditional Christmas pudding with Brandy Cream Rich Chocolate Terrine and Berry Sauce Selection of Sorbet or Ice Cream Coffee and Cream Semi -Freddo with Pistachios & Caramel Sauce Prosecco is a small 38 seat restaurant in Clifton, run by husband and wife team Diego and Heidi Da Re since opening in 2006. Prosecco’s ethos is to serve unpretentious, well crafted dishes with Northern Italian influences. The atmosphere is relaxed and contemporary, reflected by friendly but knowledgeable staff.

33-37 Gordon Road, Clifton

If you would like to book a table please call

0117 973 4499

25 The Mall · Clifton Village · Bristol · BS8 4JG Details are also available on

Festive Season Menu

Available throughout December Lunchtime and Dinner Starters Spiced Parsnip Soup Caramelized Shallot. Hot Hay Smoked Salmon Keta, Cucumber Raita, Blinis. Game Terrine ‘En Croute’, Orange Jelly, Honey Roast Fig Baked Goats Curd Cheesecake, Beetroot textures, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds Mains Fillet of Seabass, Saffron, Shellfish, Samphire, New Potatoes Roast Breast of Pheasant, Chestnuts, Creamed Parsnip, Braised Potato, Cranberry Compote Slow Braised Pork Belly, Maple Mash, Sprouts, Apple Braising Juices Woodland Mushroom Ravioli, Rosemary Scented Cream, Garlic Foam Desserts ‘Baileys’ Iced Parfait, Poached Satsuma, Spiced Dried Fruit. WhiteLake Farmhouse Cheese, Oatcakes and Chutney Lemon and Lime Tart, Crushed Meringue Carrot Cake ‘Revisited’ 2 courses £15.00

3 Courses £18.00

Throughout December we will be offering a set priced Menu for small groups or parties. This will be £18.00 for three courses. If there is limited time at lunchtime you can pre-order to ensure you are back to your desk on time! Our seasonal a la carte menu will be available for your special dinners over the festive period.

For more information phone: 0117 973 3711 Mobile 07881790302 (when closed) or visit

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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

earth peace on

Don’t fancy the all-singing, alldancing Christmas shebang? Melissa Blease books you into one of the South West’s more intimate venues

Dine in Tudor splendour at Thornbury Castle, and make a proper occasion of it by staying the night in one of the castle’s luxurious bedchambers

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cHRISTMAS ON A PLATE ➻ Pear Tree Inn, Melksham Bisque of lobster en tasse; quail’s eggs Maintenon, sauce hollandaise; roast partridge, game chips, chipolatas, chestnuts, roasting juices; Mr White’s rice pudding with prunes d’agen and armagnac (£65pp)

➻ White Hart, Widcombe Venison & pigeon terrine with homemade chutney; confit of duck leg with spiced red cabbage; chocolate parfait with coffee bean sauce (2/3 courses £18.50/£24)

➻ Square Club, Bristol Pan-seared scallops, chestnut purée, roast pumpkin & rosemary oil; ‘Partridge in a Pear Tree’ – oven-roast partridge breast, leg confit, sauté pears, five gold (shallot) rings; dark chocolate tart, candied satsuma, Christmas pudding ice-cream (3 courses £26.50; £15 Christmas lunch menu also available)


ig tables dominated by noisy revellers, Wizard, Slade and Cliff Richard on an endless loop, stressed-out staff losing their cool over platters of overcooked roasties… It’s a familiar scene, usually associated with the biggest seasonal feast of the year. But eating out at Christmas doesn’t have to be this way. Take our advice and follow the cool, calm, collected and eminently stylish route to intimate good cheer. Now you may be surprised to see that we’re going to start the merrymaking non-mayhem with a trip to the pub. But our selection of heartwarming hostelries are about as far removed from the tasteless cut-and-thrust of the faceless high street boozer as you can get – heck, we’re not even staying in town. Go mildly wild in the country at either the warm and welcoming Castle Inn in Bradford on Avon or the rather splendid Battleaxes in Wraxall, both of which flourish under the characterful, playfully quirky ownership of West Country company Flatcappers – what these guys don’t know about hospitality just isn’t worth knowing. If, however, you fancy a side-order of celebrity chef (in spirit, at least) to liven up your sprouts, you may want to consider a trip to the Pear Tree Inn in Melksham; while we can’t guarantee that Mr Pierre White will actually be stuffing your turkey, menus are ➻

➻ Thornbury Castle, South

From top: The Castle Inn, Bradford on Avon; warming fillet of beef on the winter menu at Thornbury Castle; elegant fare at Prosecco

Glos Roasted and confit quail, braised baby vegetables, quail consommé; duo of Hereford Angus beef, roasted fillet, braised feather blade, swede mash, salsify, red wine jus; nougat parfait, armagnac-soaked prunes, biscotti, almond foam (£50)

➻ Prosecco, Bristol Mushrooms, roast garlic, smoked pancetta & rocket salad; crab ravioli with saffron sauce; coffee and cream semifreddo with pistachios and caramel sauce (2/3 courses £22/£28)

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➻ EatingOutWest ContactS

pure Marco from opening flourish to fabulous finale. Meanwhile, over in the breathtakingly pretty West Pennard, a local superchef will be rustling up Christmas treats galore at the Apple Tree Inn: step forward former Wheatsheaf hob-god Leigh Evans – you’re a cracker, and we love you. Edging back into the city again (or rather, the independent state of Widcombe, Bath), we’re off to the wonderful White Hart, which has enjoyed a solid reputation for presenting the loveliest of laidback Christmases since before the G-spot idiom was conceived. But while Christmas is indeed the season to be jolly, it’s also a jolly good excuse for dusting off the gladrags and getting glamorous. But this doesn’t mean you have to go so grand that you end up feeling too humbled to even mumble. Both Fifty (an elegant, cool-but-warm comfort zone if ever there was one) and long-established haven of easygoing sophistication the Square Club offer a supremely stylish taste of the festive season and scatter a sprinkling of A-list stardust over the whole affair. At the heart of Clifton Village, Prosecco embraces a distinctly dolce vita vibe, while Thornbury Castle is all about the kind of historic, sumptuous tradition that calmly grounds us when the world goes party-popper crazy. Back to Bath, and the Olive Tree at the Queensberry Hotel guarantees screech-free, celebratory chic.

Apple Tree Inn West Pennard, Glastonbury, Somerset. Ffi: 01749 890060, www. The Battleaxes Bristol Rd, Wraxall, Somerset. Ffi: 01275 857473, www.flatcappers. Castle Inn Mount Pleasant, Bradford on Avon, Wilts. Ffi: 01225 865657, www. Fifty 50 Princess Victoria St, Clifton Village, Bristol. Ffi: 0117 973 3711, www. Olive Tree at the Queensberry Hotel Russel St, Bath. Ffi: 01225 447928, www. Pear Tree Inn Top Lane, Whitley, Melksham, Wilts. Ffi: 01225 709131, www. Prosecco 25 The Mall, Clifton Village, Bristol. Ffi: 0117 973 4499, www. Square Club 15 Berkeley Square, Clifton, Bristol. Ffi: 0117 921 0455, www. Thornbury Castle Thornbury, South Glos. Ffi: 01454 281182, www. White Hart Widcombe, Bath. Ffi: 01225 338053, www.

From top: Marco Pierre White’s Pear Tree Inn; Marco’s signature dish belly pork Marco Polo; the coolly inviting Fifty

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CHRISTMAS PARTIES at Loch Fyne 3 courses for £24.95 STARTERS Roasted tomato soup with tapenade croutons Loch Fyne rope-grown mussels ‘marinières’ Duo of Loch Fyne salmons: classic smoked salmon and gravadlax with honey mustard dressing Whitebait with lemon mayonnaise Chicken liver pâté with a spiced plum chutney MAIN COURSES Whole baked sea bass with braised fennel and lemon and thyme butter Pan-fried herb-crusted salmon fillet with rocket pesto Pan-fried duck breast with honey-roasted parsnips and red wine sauce Rump steak char-grilled and served with a shallot and mushroom confit Risotto: smoked haddock or wild mushroom Roast potatoes, braised red cabbage, broccoli and minted peas DESSERTS Christmas pudding with brandy butter Chocolate cheesecake with rich chocolate sauce Spiced apple tarte tatin with clotted cream Selection of sorbets or ice creams COFFEE Sharing port and cheese platter: Finish with a premium cheese selection and a bottle of Taylor’s port £39.95 (serves 6-8 people) Loch Fyne Bristol The Old Granary, Queen Charlotte Street, Bristol BS1 4HQ Tel: 0117 930 7160 Loch Fyne Bath 24 Milsom Street, Bath BA1 1DG Tel: 01225 750120

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Christmas 2011 at Bistro La Barrique 2x Petits Plats + Side Dish + Dessert £18.00 3x Petits Plats + Side Dish + Dessert £21.50 Choose 1 or 2 petit plat(s) for your first course, then 1 or 2 petit plat(s) plus a side for your second course, then, finally choose your dessert. Rustic bread with virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar/ mixed olives/ garlic bread £2.50 per person

Christmas Parties Complimentary Stay Host a dinner party throughout December for 20 or more guests and you will receive a voucher for a complimentary stay for two (valid for three months) in one of our beautiful bedchambers, to include full English breakfast. Our Christmas menus throughout December for lunch and dinner are now available on our website. Thornbury Castle, Thornbury, South Gloucs, BS35 1HH Tel: 01454 281182 web:

PETITS PLATS French onion soup with gruyere cheese crouton Gravadlax with a Dijon mustard sauce Wild mushroom flan Venison terrine with Cumberland sauce and toast Salmon and crab terrine, wrapped in Parma ham, with basil, shallot and tomato relish Butternut squash and spring onion hotpot with a puff pastry twirl Baked avocado with creamed stilton and walnut and a tomato vinaigrette Gratinated seafood pancake Fillet of sea bass, pak choi and a ginger butter sauce Roast pork with glazed honey and mustard seed parsnips Breast of wood pigeon, sautéed red cabbage and a port and cranberry sauce Roast turkey, sage and onion stuffing, onion gravy and crispy sage Slow-cooked beef with root vegetables and horseradish dumpling SIDE DISHES Chips Potato gratin Mixed salad Creamed spinach and nutmeg Sautéed red cabbage DESSERTS Vanilla crème brulee Chocolate St Emilion mousse with amaretti biscuit and orange whipped cream Date and sticky toffee pudding Selection of cheeses with onion confit and biscuits To book please call or download our order form from our website:Bath: 01225 463 861 Bristol: 0117 944 5500 A discretionary 10% service charge will be added to parties of 6 and above

Please quote October FOLIO when making enquiries

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➻ EatingOutWest

Above: Enjoy gutsy Irish/Italian flavours at Farrells; or Sardinian delights at Aio (below)

one of a



or a nation once afraid of garlic and hot peppers, our eating tastes have grown admirably more cosmopolitan. Pub menus boast Thai green curry and rogan josh alongside ham, egg and chips, and both Bristol and Bath offer an increasingly dazzling choice of global eating. Fancy grabbing a Persian or taking out a Peruvian? Eating Out West’s alternative world food tour takes you in search of those one-off ethnic eating experiences. We’ll start in South America with Real Brazil (Bristol), newly opened and buzzing with ex-pat Brazilians looking for the taste of home. It’s meat and fish fast food, mainly, with espetinho skewers of beef, smoked sausage and chicken hearts and spicy moqueca fish stews. Saturday-night specials include feijoada, the famously satisfying bean and meat stew. Peruvian Carlos Huaman shares his family’s recipes at Tambo (Bath). It’s primarily a takeaway, where streetfood delicacies include empanada pasties and causa – a mashed potato pie with tuna, avocado, chilli and mayo. Hot favourite is the pork and sweet potato chicharron sandwich served with lime-luscious salsa criolla. Jump across the Pacific and grab

Tony Benjamin lures us off the beaten track on an alternative world food tour of Bristol and Bath

a big bowl of brothy chicken pho or ginger-dressed salad strewn with crushed nuts – typical Vietnamese dishes from Huong Que (Bristol), lightly prepared from aromatically fresh ingredients and bolstered by filling bowls of sticky rice. It’s a similar story when we reach Korea, via Surakhan (Bristol). Starters of kimchi pancake have that famous crunchy vegetable pickle in a sizzling fritter, while bibimbap is a meal in a pot: rice, vegetables and (optional) shredded meat are topped by a fried egg and traditionally jumbled up at the

table to make a filling kedgeree. Time for an African treat? Iroko (Bristol) also serve their Nigerian food from a stall as part of the StrEAT collective, but in their restaurant you’ll get the full choice, with tongue-tingling jollof rice, pounded yam and the pungent stew of edikang ikon ‘soup’. Check out moin moin, a crushed bean patty rich in dried crayfish. Long buried beneath Iran, you’ll look in vain for Persia on the map, but Persian culture lives on and Shiraz (Bristol) embodies the famous tradition of warm hospitality as

well as serving meltingly spicy marinated kebabs resting on aromatic rice with herb-rich salads and sweet-scented frozen rosewater desserts to die for. Sadly we’re back in Europe already, but there’s still plenty to discover as Taste of Transylvania (Bristol) demonstrates. Start with crackling (shards of roast pork) and move on to sarmale (meat-stuffed cabbage leaves), succulent mici sausages or ciorba, a cabbage broth served in a hollowed-out wholemeal loaf. Save room for papanasi (sweet cheese doughnuts served with jam). The rugged island culture of Sardinia has its own distinctive cuisine, with echoes of Italy and France. Aio (Bath) serves up a spread featuring pane guttiau flatbread, coarse fregola couscous with seafood (including the uniquely Sardinian bottarga dried caviar) or goat’s cheese, and melting scamorza – cheese and spinach sandwiched between slices of aubergine. Almost in sight of home, you should still make one more stop for a solid Irish meal at Farrells (Keynsham), where potted brown shrimps, hearty beef broth, Donegal sea fish stew and gargantuan mixed grills come with slabs of creamy colcannon (mashed potato crunched with cabbage). Actually ‘Irish Italian’, the menu also includes fusion dishes like chicken liver parfait infused with Bushmills whiskey.

GLOBAL ADDRESS BOOK Aio 7 Edgar Buildings, George St, Bath. Ffi: 01225 443900, www. Farrells 44 Temple St, Keynsham, Bristol. Ffi: 0117 986 6330, Huong Que 209 Gloucester Rd, Bristol. Ffi: 0117 373 8882 Iroko 27-29 Midland Rd, Old Market, Bristol. Ffi: 0117 329 4462 Real Brazil 518 Filton Ave, Horfield, Bristol. Ffi: 0117 239 8762 Shiraz 275 Hotwell Rd, Bristol. Ffi: 0117 925 5668, www. Surakhan 52 Park Row, Bristol. Ffi: 0117 929 0806, www. Tambo Peruvian Kitchen 1 Grove St, Bath, BA2. Ffi: 07753 748779, www.tamboperuviankitchen. Taste of Transylvania 42-44 St Pauls Rd, Clifton, Bristol. Ffi: 0117 923 8788, www.

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The Apple Tree Inn West Pennard, Glastonbury, Somerset, BA6 8ND Email Phone 01749 890060

This is the Christmas party menu for tables of 6 or more, for smaller parties, the December ala carte menu and bar snack menu will also be available. Please enquire for more details. The Apple tree is the perfect setting for your Christmas get together, roaring open log fires, a large festive tree, crackers, mulled cider and wine, mince pies, carols and much more. Please book early to avoid disapointment.

Christmas 2011 Served from December 1st – 23rd 1 Course £12.95 / 2 Courses ~ £16.95 / 3 Courses ~ £21.95 Starters Seasonal Soup of the day Confit duck and mulled pear terrine, red onion marmalade Wild mushrooms on toast Chew valley hot smoked salmon, celeriac remoulade Mains Roast free range turkey, sage and apricot stuffing, festive vegetables Roast Shepton beef, yorkshire pudding, seasonal vegetables Butternut squash and somerset goats cheese crumble, sauce Vierge Daily changing fish boat specials ( 2 options available) Desserts Sticky toffee Pudding with caramel sauce, vanilla ice cream Dark chocolate fondant, Clementine and clove curd, Clementine sorbet Traditional sherry trifle A selection of local and continental cheeses, grapes, chutney & crackers (£3.00 supplement) Coffee & Mince Pies

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nationally acclaimed



emuths restaurant has been one of the country’s top vegetarian restaurants for over 20 years and, judging by the clutch of awards it claimed at the inaugural Bath Good Food Awards, it continues to go from strength to strength, bringing home the prestigious People’s Choice award.

Head chef Richard Buckley describes the food as “totally produce-focused”. He says, “We work hard to bring as many world-class local products to the menu as possible. We use a combination of traditional and modern techniques to really find the best in the incredible ingredients that the farmers of Bath provide us with.” Serving its bang-up-to-date version of vegetarian dining, Demuths is a relaxing, unpretentious place where everyone is made to feel welcome and at ease. “The customer is the real point for us: we get up every morning driven by the desire to share our passion for this great local produce with them. Autumn


menu highlights include a selection of local squashes with semolina gnocchi, cider and hazelnuts, a delicious mushroom mousse with crab apple jelly, and port-poached pears with spelt and baked homewood ewe’s cheese.” There’s a palpable sense of excitement in the restaurant about Christmas at the moment. Front of house are working on an exciting new cocktail list for the party season, and as the aroma of cloves creeps into more and more dishes, the kitchen’s thoughts can’t help but turn towards crisp fresh air, warm fires and hearty filling meals with friends…” Demuths Green Seasons and

Green World’ cookbooks are available to buy from the restaurant or the website, and if you’d like to learn how to cook the Demuths way, Rachel Demuth runs the Vegetarian Cookery School in Bath. Ffi: www.vegetariancookeryschool. com Open every day for lunch and dinner. Early Bird Dinner: great value at £15.90 for two courses (Sun-Thur 5-6.30pm)

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➻ EatingOutWest

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


Bordeaux Quay’s eco chef Barny Haughton is on the move again… ➻ Barny Haughton was never content to


ot that we need telling but it’s always nice when our local treasures get an approving pat on the head from the Food Police. They’re coming thick and fast, too, with the announcement of the 2012 Michelin guide confirming that Hywel Jones’ Lucknam Park team, the Sanchez brothers of Casamia fame and Josh Eggleton’s Chew Magna Pony and Trap all keep their well-deserved star. Good to see Bristol newcomer (and Venue top pick) Flinty Red joining Greens’ Dining Room and the New Inn at Backwell in the Bib Gourmand list, too. The annual Observer Food Monthly magazine readers awards also gave a gravy-stained thumbs up to the Pony & Trap (best Sunday lunch) as well as The Victoria in Westbury-on-Trym (best place to drink), Bristol’s Thali Cafe (best cheap eats), The Community Farm in Chew Valley (best independent) and the splendid Ethicurean in Wrington (best ethical restaurant). It seems The People’s Jamie was also impressed when he visited Bristol in the spring, with Mark’s Bread (pictured), bangermeisters The Sausage Fest and

fine-dining forager Toby Gritten from The Pump House in Hotwells all featured in Jamie’s Great Britain, his latest tome, as well as community food activist Leona Williamson from St Werburghs City Farm. You can catch the relevant episode on Channel 4 on Thur 17 Nov, which is also, coincidentally, a crucial date for tiny Southville tapas bar El Rincon as it’s the closing date for you to support owner David Wilson’s bid to extend his opening hours, capped to 10pm by Bristol Council’s planning department. He needs 500 signatures for a petition to the Secretary of State. You can find out more (and add your voice) at www.elrincon.

simply whip up sustainable deliciousness for fine diners. Since his early days at Bristol’s Quartier Vert on Whiteladies Road, the eco-eating guru has been on a mission to pass on a love and appreciation for fresh food alongside the skills to make it yourself. With Barny’s 2006 move to Bordeaux Quay, the Cookery School he’d developed became even more important, offering a range of learning opportunities from professionally accredited chef training and ‘posh nosh’ courses for enthusiasts to kitchen survival skills for care-leavers. After five successful years in the docks, it’s time for another move, however. From January 2012 the school will be based at The Park, the thriving community complex in Knowle West. In their newly adapted and larger premises, the Cookery School and Kitchen will continue to offer the full range of learning opportunities, including holiday courses for schoolkids, foodfocused corporate awaydays and the like, with an ever-expanding profile of Community Food Education projects across the city. They’ll also be working in tandem with The Park Diner, a new venture from the equally green-credible Folk House Cafe, providing a cafe menu of affordable (and sustainable) grub including the near-legendary Folk House brownies. “It’s all very exciting,” according to School manager Claire Allen. “We’ve got all kinds of plans for the new place.” As if moving weren’t enough of a hassle, the team are also planning a series of popup cookery demos around Bristol through November and December, while the usual programme of courses will begin at The Park from early January. COOKERY SCHOOL AND KITCHEN COURSES FFI: INFO@ COOKERYSCHOOLANDKITCHEN.CO.UK POP-UP COOKERY DEMOS FFI: WWW. POPUPCOOKERYSCHOOL.EVENTBRITE.COM

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Fully licensed independent café. Serving our famous breakfasts, filled tortillas and ciabattas, salads, specials and other favourites every day.

Italian Grill & Sardinian Specialities

Monthly live Jazz evenings Monday – Saturday 8.30am – 5pm // Sunday 10.30 – 4pm Kingsmead Square Bath Tel 01225 329002

NEW YEARS EVE Gala Dinner Live Music 4 course menu £39.95


Christmas Menu £16.95 for 2 courses and £19.95 for 3 courses 7 Edgar Buildings, George Street, Bath, BA1 2EE

01225 443900 w w w. a i o r e s t a u r a n t . c o . u k folio/nov 2011 77

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➻ EatingOutWest



Melissa Blease gets a wintry glow at this good-value, laidback French bistro


he sun has taken annual leave, the double-dip is threatening to blight Christmas and me fella’s glued to footie on the TV. Sorrows needed to be drowned... and fast. And so it came to pass that my best girlfriend – an utterly fabulous woman who shall, for the purposes of this review, henceforth be known as Lady Bath – and I took to a snug corner table at Bistro La Barrique, the Bath branch of the smart but cosy urban oasis (see also Gloucester Road, Bristol) headed up by ineffably charming Gallic gourmet Michel Lemoine. As well as enjoying a reputation as an exceedingly congenial host, Lemoine is also known as the Prince of the Petits Plats, offering menus comprising a comprehensive range of dishes fluctuating around the £6-£7 mark, all largely inspired by the classic French bistro experience (tatins, cassoulets, terrines, etc) in an easygoing ambience to match. OK, tasting/tapas menus aren’t exactly a novel concept, while grazing is as familiar to the British comprehension as chicken tikka masala, and only the most rigid restaurateur won’t allow picky eaters to feast on a trio of starters followed by a plate of cheeses instead of taking the more formal route to satiation. But BLB is unique in that it exists in a cheerful microclimate all of its own, thanks largely to the Franglais flair that infuses nearly every dish. Choose wisely, and it’s possible to eat like a European (meat/fish, salad, bread, wine) for around £15 a head. A boulette de porc scrambled with lardons of bacon served on a bed of toothsome puy lentils (£6.95) proved what a miraculous melange can, in competent hands, be forged from such ostensibly

humble ingredients, while a dish of velvety slow-cooked beef with paprika and sour cream (£6.75) reminded us why winter is indeed the season to be jolly. For individuals with less obnoxious appetites than Lady Bath and I, either dish was in fact substantial enough to constitute a standalone main course teamed with, perhaps, some bread for mopping or a side of potato gratin (highly recommended, and almost as good as the perfect chips). As it was, we followed the route map as recommended on the BLB menu, and chose to share three mains and two sides between us. Being a jaded food critic’n’all, there were a couple of slightly less than successful experiences within our feast: we expected our seared scallops with pak choi and ginger sabayon (£6.95) to be a contemporary incarnation of coquilles St Jacques with a bit of an exotic twist, when in fact the dish definitely needed a bit more work in order to lift it out of the bland comfort food zone, while a side order of garlic and

parsley green beans weren’t dressed in anywhere near enough garlic and parsley to warrant the description. But such minor niggles were swiftly compensated for by a smooth,

sexy crème brulée and a sharp lemon tart that proved to be almost as bracing as Lady Bath’s incisive observations on love, life and lascivious behaviour. And anyway, those lesserspotted lowlights are nowhere near significant enough to distract from BLB’s USP: a cosy, well-priced, welcoming bistro specialising in cosy, well-priced, welcoming food supplemented by a thoroughly decent wine list that offers familiar succour and brave new world zeitgeist in equal measure (and which, by the way, earned the restaurant a winning gong in the recent Bath Good Food Awards). Service, too, is equally heartwarming. Ah, thank goodness for old friends.

“choose wisely, and it’s possible to eat like a european (meat/fish, salad, bread, wine) for around £15 a head"



A friendly, familiar, uplifting experience

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Christmas party bookings now being taken Exclusive cuisine from the four regions of China, finely presented in luxurious surroundings – Wongs is second to none. ●Fine Chinese dining for all occasions ●Extensive wine list ●Business lunches catered for ●Fully licensed and air conditioned ●Express lunch menu available for business meetings ●Pre and post-show dining

‘With its ubiquitous dark, rich colours, opulent furnishings and soft lighting, it’s a haven of peace and luxury in Bristol’s city centre. You’re assured of an all-whims-indulged evening from the threshold to the last mouthful.’ - Steve Wright: Folio Magazine

Opening Times: 7 days a week Lunch 12 noon - 2.30pm, Dinner 6pm - 11.30pm 12 Denmark St Bristol BS1 5DQ On the world-famous site where Harveys Bristol Cream Sherry was born. 2 minutes from the Colston Hall email: Reservations: 0117 925 8883

The spectacular Chinese Elvis will be performing at Wongs for one night only. On: Tuesday November 8th Time: 7.30 seated for 8.00pm show. Tickets: £35 including set, 4 course, gourmet Chinese dinner. Places for this event are limited and booking is essential.

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➻ EatingOutWest

ReView THE CLIFTON SAUSAGE Tony Benjamin is almost moved to lyricism by the bread and butter pudding at this mecca of Great British Food without the stodge


hether in food or friendship, heartiness is a fine, comforting thing, but there’s a fine balance to be struck to keep from seeming stodgily overwhelming. It’s a challenge that the Clifton Sausage set themselves from the outset by offering a smart, contemporary dining experience rooted in ‘British classics’ (and those eponymous stuffed skins). But thanks to their combination of high standards and unpretentious straightforwardness, they’ve effortlessly achieved that equipoise, making for a warm welcome and a confidence in good dining to follow. Both my companion and myself have toiled uphill on bicycles to get here – we’re not exactly Village People – and thus a pint of beautifully kept Butcombe Bitter is the first port of call. We while away some time at the friendly bar before being led to our table – it’s bustling as usual, but candlelit alcoves help keep things intimate, albeit a tad tricky to read the menu. After mulling the virtues of the more familiar bangers’n’mash possibilities we decide to branch out. The day’s specials list is as long as some places’ main menu, and two starters catch the eye at once so we share a half-dozen razor clams lightly grilled and served in spicy tomato & chorizo sauce, as well as a joint of ‘South West Fries’ wild rabbit. That’s a fine parody of KFC, with chunkily satisfying coleslaw, green salad and a golden-coated hunk of lightly flavoured meat. There’s a ‘special’ white wine suggestion: ‘The Hermit Crab’ is a briskly fruitful viognier

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marsanne recommended for the day’s fish dish of roast line-caught hake, and I’m persuaded of both. My friend (a man with some experience in the sausage trade) picks the Old Spot tasting plate, a meaty celebration of piggery promising roast tenderloin, sausage and crisp belly pork from Gloucester’s finest breed. As we broach the wine, the waitress notes a wobble in our table, thanks to the proper flagstone floor, but within seconds it’s chocked up and stable. That’s just part of their amiable service culture – later she tirelessly takes a foreign customer through every aspect of the menu – that ensures the comfort starts even before the food arrives. Nonetheless there’s a leap of gladness when I see the golden hunk of roasted hake that arrives, perched on a bed of buttered kale

and drizzled with dill velouté. The meat flakes from the bone easily, a crisp shell encasing a very moist centre. It’s one of my favourite

“The clifton sausage reminds us that years of heavy-handed corner-cutting gave ‘classic british’ fodder a bad name.”

fish flavours and nothing’s been lost in the oven, though a buttery undertow from the velouté has insinuated itself along the way. It comes with crisp new potatoes as well as the dark kale, and it all fits together perfectly. I’m absorbed in the food when a serious bit of crunching across the table reminds me I’m not alone. The belly pork, it seems, comes with proper crackling, snapsharp outside and fat-succulent underneath, and the full flavour of a happy pig. That, it seems, runs through his other meat treats – fork-friendly tenderloin and juicy sausage sharing a porkiness well able to stand up to intense braised red cabbage and sweet apple & cider sauce. There’s stuff on the dessert menu that simply can’t be passed up: sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce and ice-cream for he, orange and cinnamon bread & butter pudding with Chew Valley cream for me. The sticky toffee pudding passes muster but I’m frankly gobsmacked by the bread & butter pudding: how can you make such a flossy lightness out of such stodge? But that’s the Clifton Sausage trick, reminding us that years of heavy-handed corner-cutting gave ‘classic British’ fodder an unfairly bad name. The whole caboodle comes to £70, not counting the beer. It seems a small price to pay for such a delicious way to recover our national pride.



A warm welcome to truly great British eating

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➻ EatingOutWest

ReView The Tasting Room

Impeccable modern British food served up in laidback environs by expert Bath wine buff

Cold comfort – save money and time by batch cooking

Table Talk Marksism Today ➻

He may be the drummer of Yorkshire pub rockers Last Orders, but when it comes to flogging us food, Peter Marks really knows his chops. With over 40 years working for the Co-op (and a decade as CEO), the 62-year-old has been through economic ups and downs but he’s never known things as bad as they are today. “I’ve operated through several recessions and this is the longest,” he says. “People are spending less on food – that’s a first.” Co-op finance director Steve Hume adds good news: “Shopping behaviours are changing. People are being very discerning, very waste conscious…” And then some not-so-good: “They’re trading down and … buying premium ready meals.” So it’s becoming ‘buy one get TWO free’ down in the chiller cabinets as the Big Five supermarkets compete to keep the middle-income market in their salt’n’sugar-addicted thrall. Of course there are other ways to save money on the food bill: could this be the year you actually keep to that ‘bikini diet’, for instance? By the time Mr Osborne’s Plan A has panned out, you’ll be awfully skinny (or, more likely, dead). Better, surely, to carry on eating what you like while spending less. It can be done. With a little effort, a bit of confidence and a no-nonsense cookery book, maybe we can cook our way out of recession. It doesn’t need to be a daily chore, either – simply cook a double helping of spag bol, freeze half and there’s a ready meal free of additives and just how you like it. In the words of one of Last Orders more popular covers: ‘You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime you just might find you get what you need.” (Tony Benjamin Food & Drink editor)


fairly recent addition to the Bath merrymaking scene, the Tasting Room is an offshoot of expert wine buff Will Baber’s longstanding Larkhall haven of graperelated excellence. Baber has taken the philosophy at the heart of the modern British food ethos (seasonal, locally sourced, freshly cooked classics with a twist) and combined the genre with his passion for really good, affordable wines to match in the charming, eclectic Green Street space formerly known as FishWorks. Suggested tipples are flagged up alongside the regularly changing chalkboard specials, staff are confidently knowledgeable and the vibe is as welcoming, laidback and easygoing as the menu, which is thoughtfully divided up into tapas, platter and smaller/larger main course selections. We started our journey of impeccable taste with an intensely flavoured dish of slow-braised chorizo with cherry tomatoes (£4.50), four fat tiger prawns resplendent in a classic chilli/lemon/garlic jus (£7.50) and an intriguing tabbouleh/puy lentils medley infused with North African spices, with a soft, creamy splodge of minted yoghurt adding further glamour (£5.50). From the ‘smaller’ mains selection, we opted for ham hock & parsley terrine (£7.25) and chicken livers pan-fried with dijon mustard and marsala (£8.50) because they were so enthusiastically recommended to us.

The terrine couldn’t have found a more confidently comforting tag-team to bolster its earthy, moist charms than the cheddar & ale rarebit and ginger & plum chutney that accompanied it, while the chicken livers were the sweetest I’ve ever encountered, softly bathed in a sauce that remains memorable days on from the event. To complement the grub we shared two carafes of some of the wines that were offered to us to taste when we made our menu decisions at the start (one cab sauv/merlot blend, one rioja, both absolutely perfect matches and both a bargain at around £11 per carafe). At the finish we eschewed puds and plumped instead for three cheeses from a small but perfectly formed selection (£7.50), of which the fruity, impeccable ripe Brie de Meaux was an outright winner. Many Bathonians will already be familiar with Will’s wines as he supplies some of the best restaurants in Bath. That he’s now opened the doors to an eminently tasteful social sanctuary all of his own is a Bath blessing indeed. (Melissa Blease)



The new face of the modern British eatingout experience has finally come to Bath. Highly recommended

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“Bringing a combination of modern and classic Italian dishes that creates an abundant and diverse menu of Authentic Italian regional fare!� La Riva Italian Restaurant is located on Park street of Bristol which is the main street in Bristol linking City Centre to Clifton! We are within walking distance of the University of Bristol and also conveniently situated close to the Hippodrome Theatre at the bottom of Park Street, The Bristol Museum and art Gallery, Marriot Hotel and College Green. Here at La Riva you can enjoy freshly prepared dishes, the finest and perfect ambiance with chic yet comfortable surroundings and friendly warm service. If you want to have a business lunch, family event or a romantic meal for two, La Riva is the place to go Because all our food is prepared fresh to Order, we are able to cater for all dietary requirements with prior Notice.

72 Park Street Bristol BS1 5JX Tel: 0117 929 3866 email: web:

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10 of the best Roaring Log Fires Ah! The clocks go back, the gloves go on and it’s officially time to seek out the toe-toasting luxury of burning treetrunks in a friendly hostelry. Whether you earn the privilege by a brisk bit of walking or just slope in from the car park, it’s one of winter’s great pleasures. Here are some hospitable hearths to head for… ➻ Blathwayt Arms Lansdown, Bath • Toil uphill to the racecourse and take your rest by the Blathwayt’s grate.

➻ EatingOutWest

ReView THE MUSET BY RONNIE A kaleidoscope of ingredients and attention-seeking flavours at Ron Faulkner’s Clifton venture

➻ Catherine Wheel Marshfield, Wilts • Legendary old-school English cooking amid the highly hikeable Cotswolds. ➻ The Crown Churchill, Somerset • Stomp over nearby Rowberrow Common and you’ll deserve the finest cauliflower cheese in the country. ➻ The Farm St Werburghs, Bristol • Always comforting to catch the fireside glow and a leisurely late Sunday lunch. ➻ The Inn at Freshford Freshford, Bath • Beautiful riverside walking, great quality menu and a fine hot fire to boot. ➻ King William King St, city centre, Bristol • Warm your hands for a pool tournament and a friendly pint in the heart of Bristol. ➻ Renato’s King St, city centre, Bristol • Grab a fireside table, a good glass of wine and one of those ever-welcoming Renato’s pizzas – perfect. ➻ The Wheatsheaf Combe Hay, Bath • Top-notch gastro-grub in beautiful country surroundings – and a fire that never seems to go out. ➻ White Hart Littleton-on-Severn, Glos • Great walks in the Severn Vale get their just rewards in this home of good food and fiery comforts. ➻ Willy Wicket Downend, Bristol • A past life as a dairy farm gave the silly name to a lovely slice of country pubbery in the (ahem) rolling Downend countryside.


revious trips to eat Ronnie Faulkner’s award-winning cuisine have entailed organising a lift home from Thornbury, so the taxing cycle ride up Jacobs Wells Road to the Muset by Ronnie feels paradoxically easy. At least it’ll be a coast home, I think, and The Lovely She agrees. Inside the Muset, it’s clear that things have changed – the spruce consistency of the contemporary décor murmurs classiness, and a glance at the menu confirms the message. The original Ronnie’s ambitious cuisine was rooted in ‘British classics’ and Muset by Ronnie goes further, offering such a kaleidoscope of ingredients that it’s almost impossible to picture what will come. So we jostle a little over who gets what and then sit back with a glass of riesling (easy, crisp and available by the glass) and wait to find out. First up, an amuse-bouche of smoked eel with samphire and ginger, doused with crab & sea kale bisque, all seaside pungency and a great pre-starter mouth-waker. She’s overwhelmed by her “indecently creamy” scallops offset by “perfect” mackerel in tart citric escabeche with julienne kohlrabi. It’s a striking confection balanced delicately on the right side of showing off. Tiny spots of caper and raisin sauce are, however, deliciously attention-seeking, as is the truffled parsnip & bacon vinaigrette adorning my succulent pigeon presse and prune choice – nicely filling with chunks of

warm white bread. Mains are a similar palette of surprises. I have a seared lump of blue fillet with a roll of crispily tasty cheek, dotted with pickled mushrooms and succulent carrot to make a solid plateful of manly eating. She gets pink-glowing canon of lamb with softcooked breast alongside, plus simmering leek fondue and dark tapenade of olives and anchovy. As before, it’s these dots of intense (and sometimes indefinable) flavour that make the experience, like the treaclesmoked muscovado mousse accompanying her spiced plums & mascarpone sorbet and the zesty curd underlying my lemon plate of cheesecake and crumble. Along the way we’d had an impressively good glass of house wine – always a good sign – from the bottom of a wide-ranging list that could easily double your bill if you want it to. As it was, our meal came to £100, all in, and that felt about right for as good a fine-dining experience as a BS8 postcode can offer. It’s clear that in Muset’s new head chef David Underwood, Ronnie has found a man after his own heart, albeit with his own mind – a great combination that promises even greater things. (Tony Benjamin)



Got a boat to push out? This is the place

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➻ EatingOutWest Recipe

MARCUS LANG Age: 35 Nationality: British Restaurant: Hotel du Vin Bristol ➻ Bristol-born-and-bred Hotel

du Vin head chef Marcus Lang has always had a passion for food, inspired by ingredients and the creativity in building upon flavours to create superb dishes. This passion for food led him to study the art at Brunel College before completing his NVQ Level 3 at The Feathers hotel in Woodstock, working as a member of the kitchen brigade. An enthusiast for growing your own vegetables and herbs, Marcus has embraced the ‘Homegrown and Local’ ethos of Hotel du Vin, sourcing regional suppliers to provide seasonal produce which he uses within his menus. With his favourite cookery book being Seasonal Food by Paul Waddington, it’s clear to see that Marcus is as passionate about his dishes as he is about what goes into each one.

marcus lang AT

HOTEL DU VIN BRISTOL Address: The Sugar House, Narrow Lewins Mead, Bristol BS1 2NU Tel: 0117 925 5577 Web:


he magnificently restored Sugar House, previously a collection of grade II-listed warehouses from the 1700s, is now home to Hotel du Vin Bristol. Located close to the rejuvenated waterfront, the hotel features 40 bedrooms (including several stunning double-height loft suites), an award-winning bistro, private bar and secluded courtyard. Open seven days a week, and under the tutelage of head chef Marcus Lang, Bistro du Vin is at the heart of the hotel – a classic French-styled, elegant and informal setting for lunch, dinner, to meet, celebrate or simply pass the time. Dine on the finest produce that the region has to offer: local heroes such as Creedy Carver with their barn-reared poultry, Park Farm and their Bath Soft Cheese and the Severn and Wye Smokery are just a handful of the many legendary suppliers that Hotel du Vin say they feel “honoured” to host on the Homegrown & Local menu. “Think of it,” say Hotel du Vin, “as a

celebration of all that’s great about the South West and its amazing people.” And then add to this their extensive and eclectic wine list: “Wine is the reason why we’re here. Without it there is no ‘du Vin’, but we never want you to be mystified by the jargon and mumbojumbo that often surrounds the appreciation of wine. Let our sommelier guide you through our wine list showcasing the great wines available in the world today.”

“Think of it as a celebration of all that’s great about the South West and its amazing people.”

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Braised pork cheeks, parsnip purée & black pudding INGREDIENTS

Serves 4 4 pig’s cheeks 1 onion half a leek 1 large carrot 2 sticks celery 1 clove garlic 300ml veal stock half bottle dry red wine half tsp white peppercorns 2 sprigs rosemary, thyme 1 bay leaf Parsnip purée: 2 large parsnips, chopped into 1cm cubes 75g salted butter 100mls double cream 100mls milk 1 bay leaf 1 large diced shallot 1 x 200g stick of black pudding This dish is a great winter warmer. All the ingredients work well together, with the rich and tender cheeks, silky and sweet purée and crisp and crumbly texture of the black pudding. The cheeks are one of the least used parts of the pig but one of the best. They’re more readily available in supermarkets these days, so give them a whirl!


1 Heat oil in a pan, season the cheeks, fry until golden brown, remove and set aside. 2 Peel, wash and cube the veg then add until coloured. Add tomato purée and cook out for 3 mins. Add the wine until you get a rich and dark sauce. 3 Preheat oven to 140˚C/Gas Mark 1. 4 Return cheeks to the pan and cover with stock. Add peppercorns and herbs and simmer. 5 Cover and cook for 3 hours. 6 Remove the cheeks, pass the sauce through a fine sieve and into a clean pan, reduce. 7 To make the parsnip purée, add butter and shallots to a pan and cook without colour. Add parsnips and coat with butter. Add the milk, cream and bay leaf and cook until tender. 8 Put the parsnips into a blender for 5 mins until smooth and silky. 9 Cut the black pudding into four and pan-fry until crispy. 10 To serve, spoon the purée in the centre of the plate, then the black pudding. Place the cheek on top and sauce over.


➻ This dish has a combination of rich flavours and demands a full-bodied wine to accompany it. The Errazuriz Max Reserva Cabernet is bursting with rich cassis, blackberry and damson fruit flavours, with a long finish of beautiful integrated oak and vanilla notes. The rich savoury flavours of the pig cheeks and black pudding will complement the jammy fruit and smooth tannins of the Cabernet, and the sweetness of the parsnip purée will highlight the secondary flavours of vanilla and oak. A perfect wine for this delicious winter-warmer dish to be shared in November – a must-try! FFI WWW.MATTHEWCLARK. CO.UK

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Folio 202  

Bath and Bristol's lifstlye magazine