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SEPTEMBER 2012 l No. 212








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We have sourced from around the world to fill our showroom and inspire you with hundreds of fabrics, wallpapers and trimmings to decorate your home and garden. From centuries old family run businesses to designer labels there is something in our collections for every lifestyle. Come and browse on your own, or one of our designers is always here to help.


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SEPT 2012

Ah, September. The herald of the end of summer and the start of the academic year, with new hopes and dreams just waiting to unfold. After a quiet couple of months on the theatre scene, it’s time to raise the curtain on a vibrant autumn season spanning worldwide phenomenon The Lion King which begins its UK tour at Bristol’s Hippodrome, to riotous caper Wild Oats at Bristol Old Vic. Now boasting a radically refurbished auditorium complete with super-comfy seating and a brand new stage bringing live action much closer to the audience, the historic Old Vic’s future is looking brighter than ever. Venue theatre editor Steve Wright lifts the lid on a crucial and exciting month in Bristol and picks some of his favourite Bath highlights too, p12. Now is also a key time for fashion as AW trends begin to fill the rails of all your favourite shops and boutiques. To help you navigate the latest looks, we’ve joined forces with Cabot Circus to pick out a few pieces to update your autumn/winter wardrobe – see page 10 for more. And now we’ve got you looking gorgeous and ready to face the colder months, it’s time to give your home a little TLC. To guide you in the right direction we’ve put together a bumper interiors section this month which we hope will inspire you to take the plunge, whether that’s adding a few well-placed accessories, or planning a brand new bathroom.

Have an inspirational month,



FEATURES 4 Suzanne Savill on the revolution happening in a café near you 12 Why September is a red-letter month for theatre

WHAT'S ON 21 22 25 27 28

Robin Askew’s pick of the latest film releases What to see and do in Bristol & Bath this month Highlights from the art world Must-see gigs and concerts chosen by Julian Owen The best interactive museums around


35 Win a night for two at Cadbury House Hotel plus a deluxe shaving kit


EATING OUT WEST 38 43 47 48 51 52 55 56 58 60 61

Melissa Blease gets set for the Bath Good Food Awards! Top tasting menus Tony Benjamin books himself on a cookery course Review: Roman Baths Kitchen Review: River Grille Review: The King William Review: Clifton Sausage Recipe from Jack’s Bar & Brasserie: Roast venison with spiced pickled cabbage and carrot purée Pub of the issue: The Trinity Inn Deli of the month: Better Food Company What’s cooking

LIFESTYLE 10 64 67 70 73 76 79 86

12 The Lion King begins its UK tour at Bristol Hippodrome


Autumn trends

The latest looks picked by the experts at Cabot Circus New season trends to get you ready for autumn How to do DIY studs Make over your beauty bag with this season’s new buys Q&A with Tom Horton of Fitclub Suzanne Savill gets behind the wheel of a City Car The importance of school Open Days Melissa Blease learns some valuable new skills


Rachel Nott Folio editor


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Inject some fun into your home with our stylish buys Fabric Mills is our shop of the month Crystal Clear reveal their latest grand design This month’s interior gurus are Eton Design iPLUMB show off their latest bathroom makeover Trish Gibson’s tips for growing grasses A gorgeous property for sale in Oldland Common


Beautiful and practical furniture and accessories

FINALE @folioeditor


114 A peek at the world of Barbora Stiess

Subscribe to Folio! Just send a cheque for £24 (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 £13 – 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 Commercial Director Becky Davis Production Manager Cath Evans Design Team Sarah Clark, Sarah Malone Sub-editor Dave Higgitt Publications Co-ordinator Sam Ulewicz Advertising Bex Baddiley, Adam Burrows, Ellie Pipe, Ben Wright Distribution Simon Butler 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.

47 Our pick of the best cookery schools


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All pics on this page: At the Well - a stylish cafe and launderette combo on Stokes Croft run by sisters Lily, Cassie and Ellen Grist (below and right)



Recession? What recession? CafĂŠ society is positively thriving in Bristol and Bath. Suzanne Savill wakes up and smells the coffee 4 FOLIO/SEPT 2012

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Left: At the Well visitors enjoying the cakes and toys Above, right and below: The perennially popular Boston Tea Party which now has 11 branches in the West Country


t’s entirely fitting that Ellen Grist had her ‘eureka moment’ when sitting in a café. “I was in a café on Cotham Hill while my clothes were in the launderette next door,” she recalls. “And I thought: ‘It doesn’t have to be like this’. “My idea was that you should be able to do your washing while doing the sort of things everyone does in cafes nowadays, like Skype someone, or meet friends, or have something to eat or drink.” Today, the idea that Ellen had four years ago is a reality, in the form of a combined café and launderette on Stokes Croft, which the 27-year-old runs with her sisters Cassie, 24, and Lily, 19. Called At the Well, it’s a world away from the white goods blandness of traditional launderettes. There are home-made cakes beneath glass domes, cafetieres of coffee, chintzy wallpaper, a computer area, and

framed vintage photos. Washing machines and dryers are discretely positioned beyond the seating area. This new arrival on the road that has become Bristol’s ‘cafe corridor’ – the A38 heading into the city centre through Gloucester Road, Cheltenham Road and Stokes Croft – provides stylish evidence of how much cafes have changed in the past decade. Increasingly, they are providing customers with much more than just a caffeine boost. They have become informal meeting places and workplaces, as a result of Wi-Fi. A growing number are an integral part of other enterprises, or provide additional offerings such as events and exhibitions. Further up the A38, a café serving traditional cream teas is as much a part of the Cox & Baloney shop as its vintage wares. Beyond that at the Bubalu fitness café, there are exercise classes and freshly-made smoothies and juices. Over in Clifton Village, Bristol’s first dedicated sewing café Cordial & Grace offers instruction in subjects ranging from using a sewing machine to making a lampshade, as well as tea, coffee and cakes. Meanwhile in Bath, the Chapel Café and Society café are among those ➻ FOLIO/SEPT 2012 5

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The key to Brian Wogan’s success? Keeping it fresh

Above and right: One of three Grounded Cafes in Bristol which are proving a big hit with everyone from business people to young mums, thanks to the easy vibe and all-day menu

which provide exhibition space for local artists. The Boston Tea Party group, which has 11 branches in the West Country including four in Bristol and one in Bath, regularly hosts live performances and art exhibitions, has community noticeboards, and holds a monthly market at its Cheltenham Road branch. Managing director Sam Roberts says: “In the face of an increasingly homogenised offer on the High Street, we want each of our cafes to be a ‘one off’ - a cherished local with close links to the community.”  Tobie Holbrook, who runs the Bristolbased Grounded café group, with cafes in Redfield, Bedminster and Horfield, observes: “First it was churches, then pubs, now cafes are becoming community hubs.” The proof of his statement can be seen in the way in which the latest Grounded, which was opened in a former car showroom at the Horfield end of the Gloucester Road, has brought a continental atmosphere complete with pavement seating to a stretch of road that lacked the lively cafe scene further down

the street. Like the other branches, it provides freshly-made food and showcases local musicians, artists and photographers. Tobie, a property developer and estate agent, launched his first Grounded by chance in 2007 after his girlfriend suggested that he open a café in a building he had bought near to the office of Holbrook Moran in Redfield. “I went into this by accident. I didn’t have a grand plan, it has just taken off. There are around 2,000 fans on our Facebook page,” he says. “During the day we have a lot of business people, students, young mums and their children. In the evening, there are couples, and also ladies who would not go into a pub and sit on their own but like coming to us to have a goat’s cheese salad and a glass of rose.We’ve got outdoor seating at all three cafes, because if the weather’s good, people like to be sitting out.” Indeed, sitting at a pavement table drinking a freshly brewed coffee and watching the world go by is no longer the preserve of mainland Europe. Whether walking through Clifton Village, heading along Milsom Street in Bath, or sauntering down North Street in Bristol, you are sure to encounter an abundance of cafes, with people relaxing at outside tables if the weather is sunny. And the continental influence doesn’t end there. No longer are cafes places where customers knock back mugs of murky brown liquid, made with granules from a catering tin of instant coffee, or with teabags from an economy-size packet. A baffling array of coffee choices latte, espresso, mocha, cappuccino, macchiato, Americano – comes as ➻

➻ The smell of freshly-roasted coffee that fills the air at the bottom of the M32 in Bristol this morning is more than just a pleasant aroma. It’s an indication of the impact of modern day café culture, which has resulted in an increase in demand for the products of Brian Wogan Ltd, the South West’s largest independent coffee roaster. Adrian Wogan, who for the past 21 years has been running the company started by his father in 1970, says: “We are roasting about 180 tonnes of coffee a year. That’s double the amount that was being roasted when I took charge in 1991. A lot of cafes are buying our coffee, and there are a lot more cafes than there used to be. “We have to roast daily and make a lot of small, regular deliveries, as we hold minimal stock to make sure our coffee is always fresh. Once the air gets to roasted coffee it starts to dry up and lose its finesse.” Roasting time at Brian Wogan is between 8.30am and lunchtime, with beans imported from countries including Brazil, India, Thailand, Nicaragua and Peru being tumbled through a huge machine. “Bristol and Bath are very much our heartland,” says Adrian. “There is a lot of awareness about coffee in Bath, and Bristol is very busy for us as there are so many cafes. We also have a lot of delis among our customers, and restaurants. Top chefs like Martin Blunos know that people are as aware of good coffee as they are of good food.” In addition to supplying cafes with fresh coffee, the Brian Wogan coffee company installs and services espresso machines that it has imported from Italy for the past decade, and provides training for café staff. Adrian adds: “There seem to be two main types of people who drink coffee in cafes: people who truly love coffee and really appreciate a quality blend, and people who just drink it because they think it’s a trendy thing to do and they like going to cafes.”


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Right: Kate Gover, owner and founder of Lahloo Pantry, an independent tea room in Clifton Village with a passion for speciality teas

standard nowadays, while on the tea front, common or garden English Breakfast fights for prominence amidst an army of Earl Greys, Lapsang Souchongs, Darjeelings and herbal teas. Sam Roberts recalls it was very different when the first Boston Tea Party, was opened on Park Street in Clifton in 1996: “The scene was almost unrecognisable to that which we see today, still very much in the post war cafe culture epoch – Formica table tops , steaming cups of stewed tea and bacon sandwiches. There has without doubt been a shift in people’s understanding of - and demand for - better quality food and drink over the last 10 to15 years. People now quite rightly expect sustainable and ethical sourcing, excellent value and a high quality product. This has been our focus and in part, I think, the reason for our success.” Kate Gover, who opened the independent café Lahloo Pantry in Clifton Village in 2011 to sell speciality teas, says: “When we started I thought we’d be selling a lot of Earl Grey. But customers have been very interested in trying different teas. White tea, such as White Whisper, is very popular, and so is Matcha, which is a fine powder green tea. They also like food that has been made using tea, such as Jasmine and nectarine loaf, Tigiri-infused chocolate tart, and Earl Grey and raspberry tartlets. “I think the way in which the UK has embraced coffee in recent years has helped raise interest in varieties of tea. I think people in this country have always dreamt about having a more European lifestyle, and nowadays they are really enjoying that café culture.” Kate is now planning to expand Lahloo Pantry to Bath and other cities. She says: “I know from my own experience just how important cafes are nowadays, especially with so many people working from home. I went from managing a large team to working on my own in my spare room. I started going out to a café, which meant I was seeing other people and made me feel part of a community.”

Amid the woes of the double-dip recession, cafes have been one of the notable success stories. It used to be said that you could spot an up-andcoming area by the number of skips. Now, the number and variety of cafes in an area appears to be a plausible barometer of affluence, and expansions by successful cafes are now a regular occurrence. Local announcements in the past few months range from plans by the Bristolbased Loungers chain (which includes Deco Lounge, Tinto Lounge and Banco Lounge) to open 250 outlets around the country, to news that Bath-based Mark and Poppy Powell have launched KnickerbockerGlory to add to their cafes The Bridge Coffee Shop and Cake Café. Meanwhile, the Grist sisters are already talking about the possibility of expansion at their newly-opened cafélaunderette At The Well on Bristol’s Cheltenham Road, on the site of the city’s first Bendix launderette, and next door but one to the Telepathic Heights building that was a focal point of last year’s Stokes Croft riots. Ellen Grist says: “We reckon laundry shouldn’t be a chore. There are cafes with launderettes in places like Copenhagen, and we’re considering the possibility of opening more around the

UK. We think it would go down well in places like Brighton.” The recent boom in cafes has created a new – and more appealing – version of the apocryphal statistic that most city dwellers live in uncomfortable proximity to a rat. Nowadays, in some parts of Bristol and Bath, it seems that you are never further than 20 feet from a café!


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As the latest trends hit the high street, we’ve asked the experts at Cabot Circus for the lowdown on what to wear this year - some style inspiration before you hit the shops!

EMBELLISH-MEANT Brown checked shorts, £35, Therapy at House of Fraser Dog print silk scarf, £65, House of Fraser Stanley black boots, £350, LK Bennett

Already an established trend, this season you can move it to the next level with garments full of detail - sequins, beads, pearl and mirrors. The more the better. Or for a different slant, look out for gold brocade embellishment detailing that is currently emerging as a new take on the trend. For a hint of the look, encrusted shoes, jewellery, clutches and collars will satisfy your magpie eye. The shooting star has landed. Get the look: House of Fraser, French Connection, River Island, Monsoon

Persian Peacock jacket, £69, Monsoon

Brown leather boots, £60, Dorothy Perkins Barbour quilted jacket, £120, Harvey Nichols Vivienne Westwood Anglomania jacket, £390, Garment Quarter Teal dress, £65, Dorothy Perkins

OUR HERITAGE It’s time to dust off your deerstalker, because heritage designs and traditional fabrics are having a major moment, and this season traditional tweed, checks, plaid and herringbone are all leading the way in the style stakes. For your best ‘lady of the manor’ impression, start with tweed separates and mix it up with tactile sweaters and chunky knits - or luxury neutral, softer skin tones and unstructured chiffons. Finish the look with sturdy boots and leather accessories as winter arrives. If you want a hint of the look, try a Barbour, tweed or corduroy jacket and team with your favourite denims and luxe riding boots. Finish off with a vintage printed scarf and you’ll be cantering cross-country before you know it. Get the look: House of Fraser, Garment Quarter, River Island, Dorothy Perkins

Cream pearl collar, £25, Therapy at House of Fraser

Green embellished dress, £60, Next Gold sequin clutch, £29.50, Dorothy Perkins

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ADVERTORIAL FOLIO Leather jacket, £114.99, Mango

Leather tassel bag, £29.99, Mango

Ferron dress, £220, Coast Alice dress, £160, Coast

Black and gold leather shorts, £28, River Island Alexander McQueen Skull Wrap bracelet, £135, Harvey Nichols

LEATHERED Be prepared to edit out all colour and take a walk on the dark side for this upcoming trend. High on gothic glamour and rich with suggestion, this is a hard-edged look that is brimming with attitude. Worn together, it will give you a biker look, almost fetish in its inspiration. To soften the look, mix in another key trend for the new season, lace, or team a pair of leather shorts with a soft cotton tee or neutral chiffon. Or if you want to turn heads, crank it up a notch with vertigo heels and as many studs as you can handle. Get the look: All Saints, Mango, River Island, Topshop

Blue lace dress, £40, Yumi at House of Fraser

Blue Solar Eclipse top, £35, House of Fraser Mary Katrantzou ‘Sphinx’ print dress (blue), £675, Harvey Nichols

Floral print trousers, £109, Ted Baker

Black and gold lace dress, £150, Monsoon

White dress with black lace, £42, Dorothy Perkins

Mary Katrantzou silk print dress, £930, Harvey Nichols

BOLD DIGITAL PRINT Print is a massive trend hero right now, with the digital geometrics making eyes pop all over the place. Be brave and Xxxxxxx xxx xxxxxxxxxout there try them out together - there are plenty of two-pieces xxxxx xxxxx xxx xxxxx that when worn together nail the look without even breaking a xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx sweat. If it’s a suit, break it up with a sober layer or mix in a textured material rather than a print, or if you’re ready to turn heads, clash it up and tell the admirers to form an orderly queue. Get the look: Warehouse, H&M, Ted Baker and Harvey Nichols

ELEGANT LACE The lace dress is set to become a vital element of this season’s wardrobe - whether it’s mysterious black, vivid blue or the colour du jour, purple. Lace makes for a perfect party dress - a feminine and elegant look which will add a touch of class to your winter wardrobe. Choose full or mid-length sleeves, a catwalk favourite, and make the most of your silhouette by making it fit in all the right places. Get the look: French Connection, Coast, Monsoon, House of Fraser FOLIO/SEPT 2012 11

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A STAGE… …or at least that seems to be the case, as the Old Vic reopens, and the Hippodrome raises the curtain on the first-ever UK touring production of The Lion King. Steve Wright grabs a seat


h ristol Old Vic, Britain’s oldest working theatre, throws open its doors again this month after an adventurous 18-month refurbishment of its beautiful auditorium and backstage areas. The elegant Georgian playhouse has been renewed and equipped for the demands of 21st-century theatre-makers (and audiences) – and yet, excitingly, the changes have brought the theatre closer to its original 18th-century design. During the refurbishment process, Bristol Old Vic and their building team have stripped away more recent layers of the building, discovering much about the use and atmosphere of the original Georgian theatre. Seating has been reconfigured to maximise capacity, sightlines and comfort and two new rehearsal rooms have been built to allow more new work to be created inside the building, while backstage, offices and dressing room areas have been redesigned and named after great figures from BOV’s past. Plans are already afoot, what’s more, to continue the refurbishment throughout the foyers and front of house areas in time for the Old Vic’s 250th anniversary in 2016. “This theatre is renowned as the most beautiful playhouse in the country: it’s intimate, steeped in history, yet beautifully flexible to the processes of 21st century theatre-makers,” says the Old Vic’s Artistic Director Tom Morris who, along with Executive Director Emma Stenning, has spearheaded the refurb since arriving in Bristol. “That combination of intimate, 18th-century design and cutting-edge technology means that we can make theatre in this space the like of which you simply can’t make in any other theatre in the country. “Throughout, this refurbishment has felt like a

thrilling opportunity – and also a tremendous responsibility. It has been meticulously researched from every conceivable angle and yet, until we actually use it, it’s just a series of designs.” The last surviving example of the 18th-century ‘horseshoe-shaped’ theatre, BOV was designed and built in 1766 by Bristol architect James Saunders, in an age when building standards meant that the average life-span of a theatre was 17 years – before fire or dilapidation intervened. Money to build the theatre came from a group of 50 citizens, each of whom invested £50 in the project: 47 of them later coughed up an extra £30 in order to get the thing finished (although historian Kathleen Barker suspects that some of the 50 evaded actually shelling out any cash until years after the building was open). The investors included councillors, two future MPs, and at least three Quakers – one of whom, Richard Champion, is thought, oddly enough, to have been the author of an anonymous diatribe against all things theatrical. More recently, during the 70s, the theatre underwent a major refurbishment, but the money for the works ran out, and many parts of the building have remained unchanged since the 1940s. Parts of the building were in disrepair, and the long-promised new seats for the auditorium never arrived. Poor air conditioning, meanwhile, meant that the main house could be a sweltering place on a midsummer’s eve. The current works began in 2001, when the trustees commissioned architect Andrzej Blonski to oversee the project. On their arrival in 2009, Morris and Stenning re-briefed Blonski to use BOV’s original Georgian designs as a starting point. There were no original plans or designs to work from, so a team of historians were appointed to advise and discover the peculiarities of the space,

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Clockwise from bottom left: Bristol rehearsals of The Lion King; Circle of Life dance; Andile Gumbi as Simba on stage in the West End; the beautiful new-look auditorium at Bristol Old Vic

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Other theatrical highlights this autumn

➻ Bristol Old Vic and Bristol Hippodrome

Above: Stewart Wright and Kim Wall rehearsing Wild Oats at Bristol Old Vic; the Old Vic’s Artistic Director Tom Morris

and the development and changes throughout the intervening centuries. The main aim was to rediscover the original shape of the auditorium, while also allowing the theatre to be equipped with all the necessary gadgetry of a modern theatre. ➻ “The question asked of us was ‘how much of 1766 was left and how much had been changed in the intervening 240 years of near continual use?’,” explains conservation architect Peter Carey. “Much had been written about it, but no-one had had the opportunity to get up so close before. The discoveries were a revelation – and way beyond our expectations.” One of the major changes to the theatre space is the position of the stage. Historians have long advised that Bristol Old Vic was designed to have a thrust stage, where the audience are on three sides, giving it the feel of an intimate indoor version of a Shakespearean amphitheatre. However, in 1881, in line with changing theatrical fashion, the stage was hacked back to the line of the proscenium arch. During recent excavation works, the original position of the stage was rediscovered, and it has now been reinstated to sit between the two stage boxes, surrounded by the horseshoe-shaped auditorium. This recovers some of the theatre’s famous acoustic, damaged in the 1970 refurb, radically improves

sightlines and changes the dynamic of the interaction between actor and audience: the actors are now far further down the stage, sharing the same space as audiences and making for a much greater sense of intimacy and collusion. Other fascinating finds include a blocked door leading from the box above the stage to the back of house areas. Explains archaeologist Cai Mason: “This door is likely to have been used to provide aristocratic patrons of the theatre with what was known as ‘freedom of the scenes’. This allowed rich men to meet the performers, or more specifically the actresses, in private.” By the 19th century, the practice of allowing public backstage was abolished. “The theatre is a precious and unique piece of storytelling technology, carefully composed both in its original design and in this refurbishment, to hold the actor on the stage and the audience in their seats in a single imaginative space,” Morris explains. “It’s as fragile and precise as a cello and the real discovery, the real excitement, will come when we start to make work in it over the next months and years. I simply can’t wait to find out how it plays.” That chance will come soon enough, when BOV re-opens on Tuesday 4 September with the first public performance of Wild Oats, John O’Keeffe’s joyous 1791 satire about the actor’s life. “In reopening this theatre, we are looking forwards and backwards at the same time,” Morris explains. “This glorious comedy was written for a playhouse like ours, in an age of Georgian extravagance, but its central character is vividly, hilariously contemporary: an actor who doesn’t know where he comes from and who simply can’t stop acting.” WILD OATS IS AT BRISTOL OLD VIC FROM TUE 4 SEPT-SAT 20 OCT. FFI: 0117 987 7877, WWW.BRISTOLOLDVIC.ORG.UK ➻

aren’t the only local theatres with a busy September. Bristol’s Tobacco Factory Theatre also has a packed line-up, including the visit of one of our very favourite companies, the hilarious and restlessly inventive Filter Theatre. They return with What You Will (26-29 Sept), a documentary road-movie intercutting live footage of the company’s extraordinary recent production of Twelfth Night with their own fly-on-the-wall, behind-the-scenes tragicomedy. Gilded Balloon’s Casablanca: The Gin Joint Cut (17-22 Sept), meanwhile, is a lovingly disrespectful homage to one of the classic films of all time. A multi-tasking cast will whisk audiences back to Morocco 1941, a Nazi-infested hotbed of corruption teeming with refugees and the flotsam and jetsam of war-torn Europe. Cut to Rick’s bar, where the émigrés gather, desperate to get hold of the all-elusive exit visa – when who should walk in but the beautiful Ilsa, Rick’s long lost love... Over in Bath, meanwhile, the Ustinov begins its autumn season – a trio of literary adaptations produced in-house – with The Welsh Boy (13 Sept-13 Oct), Julian Mitchell’s reworking of a hidden gem of eighteenthcentury literature – a true story of passionate love and outrageous sexual scandal in the sleepy provincial town of Ross-on-Wye. Highlights at the Theatre Royal, meanwhile, include a starring role from Tom Conti in Terence Frisby’s many-twisted courtroom drama Rough Justice from 10-15 September and, the following week, a touring production of Alan Ayckbourn’s breakthrough comedy Relatively Speaking starring Felicity Kendal. Our hot Bath date for September, though, is at the bijou Mission Theatre, where residents Next Stage reprise their blistering, brilliant version of Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem (pictured) (4-8 Sept). This slice-of-life drama, about the trials and tribulations of a bunch of ravers and drifters in a fictional Wiltshire village, made huge waves in London last year thanks to an electric lead performance from Mark Rylance; Next Stage’s production, with Tim Evans in the Rylance role, can easily hold a candle to the West End hit. FFI: WWW.TOBACCOFACTORYTHEATRE.COM / WWW.THEATREROYAL.ORG.UK / WWW.MISSIONTHEATRE.CO.UK

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ROAR TALENT Bristol Hippodrome’s centenary knees-up continues in style with a staging of musical blockbuster The Lion King. Steve Wright reports

Clockwise from above: Rafiki on stage in the West End; Bristol rehearsals of The Lion King; Simba and Nala embrace

Bristol Hippodrome has been celebrating its 100th birthday this year – and a fine year it’s been too, with highlights including the brand new touring version of The Phantom of the Opera and the hit new 20s-set musical Top Hat. Undoubtedly the biggest event in the Hippodrome’s Year 100, though, is The Lion King – the first-ever UK tour for the smashhit musical, opening right here in Bristol after a summer’s worth of rehearsals at the grand old theatre. Based on Disney’s much-loved African adventure, the musical has been playing in theatres worldwide since 1997. Across the globe, reviewers have praised the extraordinary look of the show, and the way its atmospheric costumes, masks, puppets and stage sets transport you effortlessly onto the African savannah. Now, after 13 successful years at London’s Lyceum Theatre, The Lion King is heading out on the road for the first time in this country, with a two-and-a-half year tour of the UK and Ireland. The cast and crew have been rehearsing at the Hippodrome since early July. Even apart from this being a landmark year for the Hippodrome, Bristol was always a strong choice for the show to begin its first UK tour. The last Disney show to look in here, after all, was Mary Poppins, which made a hugely successful debut at the Hippodrome back in 2004 before going on to award-winning runs in the West End and on Broadway. Based on the beloved animated film, The Lion King tells the tale of Simba, the young lion cub, as he journeys through life and struggles to accept the responsibilities of adulthood and his destined role of King. The stage version has been created by Tony Award-winning director and designer Julie Taymor, who has drawn inspiration from a

whole range of different sources, from traditional African masks to Japanese bunraku puppets and Balinese shadow puppetry. This eclectic approach gave Taymor the freedom to choose a style that would best suit each character, from the majestic lion king Mufasa to the playful mandrill (or baboon) Rafiki. Taymor, along with designer Michael Curry, hand-sculpted and painted every prototype mask that appears in the iconic Circle of Life opening of the show. It took some 37,000 hours (over 1,500 days) to build the show’s 232 puppets, representing its extended animal kingdom of wildebeests, hyenas, gazelles, kites and many more. With the masks, meanwhile, Taymor created what she calls the ‘double event’, allowing audiences to see the characters as both animal (the mask) and human (beneath the mask) at the same time. This style is at its most sophisticated for Mufasa and his evil brother Scar, both of whom wear two different masks – one moving, the other a static head-dress. “It’s hugely prestigious for us that the first-ever UK tour of The Lion King opens here,” says Christiaan de Villiers, the Hippodrome’s General Manager. “This only furthers our wonderful relationship with Disney. Ever since the show opened in London our patrons have been asking, ‘when is The Lion King coming to Bristol?’ For it to come in our centenary year – well, what better way to celebrate?” THE LION KING IS AT BRISTOL HIPPODROME FROM THUR 6 SEPT-SAT 17 NOV (PREVIEW PERFORMANCES FROM FRI 31 AUG). FFI: 0844 871 3012, WWW. BRISTOLHIPPODROME.ORG.UK

LEARN YOUR LIONS Lion King facts and figures

➻ The show has been seen by over 65 million people worldwide since its Broadway premiere in 1997, with performances in 15 countries and six languages. ➻ This new touring version has a 52-strong actors’ company, and some 700 costumes have been designed and handcrafted specifically for the tour. ➻ Each theatre on the tour will have to be reconfigured to allow the animal procession during the Circle of Life song. In Bristol, this means totally reseating the stalls to create two aisles for the procession to take place. ➻ The tallest animals in the show are four 18-foot exotic giraffes. Actors climb sixfoot ladders to fit inside the puppets. ➻ The largest and longest animal in the show is the Elephant. At 13 feet long and nine feet wide, the puppet requires four actors to walk her down the aisle.

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or many who know the Gloucester Road, iota bristol is simply ‘the shop where there’s a present waiting to happen’: a modern metropolitan boutique with an intimate, cosy and comfortably old-fashioned atmosphere, shelves brimming with characterful gifts and objects for the home. iota’s philosophy has always been ‘beautiful things at affordable prices’. There are no rules about what iota must stock: the only criterion is that owner Méibh O’Connor Morse loves it. “If I wouldn’t give it houseroom, we don’t sell it.” Méibh also a sharp eye for the design classics of tomorrow, driven by her love for 20th century design,

typography and ephemera. iota is simply crammed with stuff! Customers usually spend a while circling round, trying to spot everything that’s on display. It is certainly a browser’s paradise, with everything from hyper-stylish kitchen essentials to room-defining clocks, perfect gifts for hard-to-buy-for partners to cutting edge jewellery, soft silk scarves to unique lighting. Some male shoppers complain of sensory overload and have to have a little


sit-down on the bench thoughtfully provided outside the shop. iota’s staff are hand-picked for their customer-friendliness, inspired by their love of the shop. “We really do all love working here: so much so, that even when they’re away my staff are still thinking iota. One member of staff went on a romantic city break to Berlin, and spotted some amazing snaptogether deer heads by Italian designers Miho which are now one of iota’s hottest sellers,” says Méibh. “Which goes to show that you never know where the next present’s waiting to happen.”


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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, London Road, 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.

The Great Gatsby

1920s Prohibition - Christmas 2012

Shared nights available from 28th November to 22nd December Tickets are also available for a dedicated ‘Retail Night’ on Sunday 16th December

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:

This year the Passenger Shed will be transformed. Make your way down the dimly lit passage to join the Mobsters and Molls in an underground speakeasy with lavish, decadent style where you can party the night away and say goodbye to your inhibitions as you can now drink and gamble, safe from the detection of the law.. for now! Evening Includes Extensive “The Great Gatsby/1920s Prohibition” theme including a Grand Casino • 45ft Licensed themed bar and chill out • 25ft cocktail, shot bar and chill out • Sparkling wine reception • Themed photobooth • Fantastic live band, DJ and disco • Full sound and lighting • Professional, friendly security and cloakroom staff

Prices from £31 + VAT To book your ticket call the Hype team on 0117 971 0320 or e-mail o Web: The Passenger Shed at Brunel’s Old Station, Bristol, BS1 6QH


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COMING TO A SCREEN NEAR YOU Robin Askew picks some highlights from this month’s cinematic crop

IN THE DARK HALF OPENS FRI 31 AUG The first of three micro-budget films launched under the Bristol iFeatures initiative finally reaches the big screen. Alastair Siddons’ creepy psychological ghost story couldn’t be more timely given the recent success of The Woman in Black, which now ranks as the most successful British horror film of the last 20 years. Written by Lucy Catherine, whose credits include an episode of the Beeb’s cult Being Human series, it stars Jessica Barden (the stroppy teen from Tamara Drewe) as a babysitter who experiences Spooky Stuff after a child in her care dies mysteriously.



OPENS FRI 7 SEPT You want an opulent period drama full to bursting point with costume porn? That’s exactly what director Joe Wright delivers in his third film with Keira Knightley after Pride & Prejudice and Atonement. Set in the world of 19th century Russian aristos, Tolstoy’s tragic love story has been filmed many times, most recently by Bernard Rose back in 1997. Wright’s version is scripted by former Western Daily Press hack Tom Stoppard, who apparently has some other credits too. Knightley plays the eponymous posho, whose affair with Aaron Johnson’s wealthy Count Vronsky changes her life forever.

OPENS FRI 14 SEPT After bagging every award going for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, Meryl Streep lightens up with a romantic comedy for the more mature cinemagoer, directed by her The Devil Wears Prada collaborator David Frankel. Poor Meryl has been married to modern cinema’s foremost grump, Tommy Lee Jones, for 30 years - and it’s safe to say the spark has gone out of their relationship. In an attempt to get it back, she persuades the reluctant old curmudgeon to travel to the small rural town of Hope Springs, where renowned touchyfeely therapist Steve Carell works as a relationship counsellor.

TO ROME WITH LOVE OPENS FRI 14 SEPT Having hit something of a latter-day career high with Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen decamps to Italy on his extended European vacation. To Rome with Love is a rather more loose, multi-stranded ensemble comedy than its predecessor. Ellen Page and Jesse Eisenberg represent the younger generation finding love in the Eternal City. Penelope Cruz plays a hooker who’s passed off as the wife of a nervous newlywed after a misunderstanding. And Woody makes his first screen appearance since Scoop in 2006, playing a grouchy retired opera director.

HYSTERIA OPENS FRI 21 SEPT It’s 1880 and London is in the grip of an epidemic of ‘hysteria’ - supposed afflictions of the female nervous system caused by a disorder of the uterus. Fortunately, Dr. Jonathan Pryce has developed a treatment involving manual manipulation of the womb, which is proving enormously popular among Victorian ladyfolk. With his inventor pal Rupert Everett, Dr. Pryce’s assistant Hugh Dancy comes up with a mechanical device to take the drudgery out of this intimate tension relief. Maggie Gyllenhaal co-stars in Tanya Wexler’s entertaining period drama telling the true story of one of the world’s most popular domestic appliances.


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The importance of bees – and their alarming decline - has been big news for several years now. With fun very much at the forefront, the Bee and Pollination Festival seeks to address this issue. Alongside beer tastings and displays from sculptors and local cider apple producers, there’s a wealth of knowledge on offer. This year’s festival focuses on ways in which you can improve habitats for bees in your garden or allotment. There will be bee-friendly garden displays, a live hive to demonstrate the honey-bee’s working life, and talks and demonstrations about the ancient art of beekeeping. Orchid enthusiasts will explain the relationship between pollinators and flowers in a display of orchids, local nurseries will be selling a wide range of bee-beloved plants, and you can join free tours throughout the weekend for a chance to learn something new about the University’s stunning gardens, expected to be full of late summer colour, including autumn-flowering salvias, anemones and toad lilies. THE BEE AND POLLINATION FESTIVAL 8 AND 9 SEP, UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL BOTANIC GARDEN, THE HOLMES, STOKE PARK ROAD, BRISTOL, 10AM-5PM. £3.50 FOR ADULTS; FREE FOR STUDENTS AND CHILDREN UNDER 16. FFI: 0117 331 4906, WWW.BRISTOL.AC.UK/BOTANIC-GARDEN



Everyone loves a sneaky peek behind closed doors, and there’s plenty of that kind of thing on offer at Doors Open Day, back for its 19th year. With more than 60 of Bristol’s most fascinating buildings (old and new) offering access to their nether regions, it’s a chance to see inside the humble dockworkers’ cottages by Cumberland Basin, or the Georgian grandeur of Royal Fort House. You can plunge into the eerie darkness of Redcliffe Caves (bring a torch), try blowing your own Bristol Blue glass, or marvel at the state-of-the-art wonder that is the Bristol Heart Institute. Or do a day of views – from the roof of St Mary Redcliffe church, the tower of the Cathedral and the dizzying heights of the Wills Memorial Building. DOORS OPEN DAY 8 SEP, VENUES ACROSS BRISTOL. ADMISSION IS FREE – MANY REQUIRE BOOKING. FULL PROGRAMME AVAILABLE AT WWW.BRISTOLDOORSOPENDAY.ORG/LEAFLET.PDF



One of the more eccentric highlights in Bath’s event’s calendar, this celebration of Bath’s best known female writer brings nine days and nights of Regency-era revelling, including the grand costumed parade (Sat 15), music recitals, theatrical performances and lots of dainty dancing. As ever, there will be many fascinating asides along the way, like ‘A walk with death’ – a guided stroll explaining the lethal art of duelling; and the ‘Unsavoury Tour’ looking at the less glamorous aspects of life in the 1700s – expect raw sewage, maggots and gin. THE JANE AUSTEN FESTIVAL 14-22 SEP, VARIOUS VENUES IN BATH. FFI: 01225 443000, WWW.JANEAUSTEN.CO.UK

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WHAT’SON Come along and show your support for the legions of runners in the Bristol Half Marathon!



After years of hard graft and unflagging enthusiasm, Team BrisFest are relocating from their old harbourside haunt to pastures new – signalling, effectively, the return of the much-loved, muchmissed Ashton Court Festival. They’ve pulled out all the stops this year, with a tremendous musical line-up headlined by happy-go-lucky hip-hoppers De la Soul (pictured), plus the mindboggling ‘Lords of Lightning’ electricity show by Arcadia, a traditional fun fair, circus and cabaret, stand-up comedy, street theatre, and strange happenings in secret venues. Expect the unexpected…


Whether you’ve booked your own place at the starting line or not, come along and support the legions of brave runners on as they attempt 13.2 miles of sweaty endeavour to raise thousands of pounds for good causes. For many, it’s the loss of a loved one that inspires them to run; for others it’s a personal goal they’ve worked for months to achieve. Either way, it’s much more than just a run. So look out for your friends by all means, and the inevitable super heroes, giant bananas, gorillas and Vikings, but make sure you give everyone – strangers included - a wave and a cheer.






High-speed horseback thrills, racing terriers, motorbike stunts, even fullyarmed gladiators and thundering chariots – there’s plenty of excitement at this year’s Wiltshire Game and Country Fair. In the bucolic loveliness of the Bowood estate, you can watch cunning ferrets at work, explore the falconry village and have a go at some traditional country crafts; gawp at the new-fangled sport of horseboarding (which involves being towed at full-tilt on a fourwheeled board behind a horse) or the unlikelysounding lawnmower racing. Whatever next?



A big event for little people, Bath Kids’ Lit Fest amasses over a 100 book-related events and packs them into ten unputdownable days of fun. There are dozens of readings, talks and storytelling sessions, graphic novel workshops, noisy jungle jamborees, samurai sword displays, a chance to meet the Gruffalo’s creator Julia Donaldson and her two newest characters, a talk from ‘War Horse’ writer Michael Morpurgo… the list goes on and on. Events are already selling out fast, so get booky-booking while you can. BATH FESTIVAL OF CHILDREN'S LITERATURE 28 SEP- 7 OCT, VARIOUS VENUES IN BATH. FFI:







Part of the Forestry Commission’s nationwide series of events celebrating British woodland, Westonbirt’s Forest Discovery Day promises a family-friendly flurry of activities, craft workshops and gently educational fun, including several trails to explore, the chance to meet the Foresters and find out about their work, and see the tree-babies in the new propagation unit, where the experts carefully nurture the next generation of Westonbirt’s fabulous trees and shrubs.


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From Impressionist giants to a Bath ‘sky diary’, Steve Wright rounds up the best of the local ART SCENE

‘Park Street’ by Naomi Hocking, on view at Colston Hall’s Glass Room this month

AROUND THE GALLERIES ➻ The monthly exhibitions at

PICASSO AND BEYOND BATH There’s a very fine-looking double header of exhibitions at Bath’s Victoria Art Gallery this month, pairing some giants of twentieth-century art with a brilliant local talent. The Radev Collection: Pissarro – Picasso (8 Sept-18 Nov) features a stunning selection of modern British and French art from the collection of Bulgarian émigré Mattei Radev. A picture framer by trade, Radev befriended Eddy Sackville-West and Eardley Knollys, both figures connected with the Bloomsbury Group, and as such works in the collection include pieces by Bloomsbury painters Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, Graham Sutherland and Ben Nicholson – as well as some giants of the Impressionist, PostImpressionist and Modernist schools including Pablo

Picasso, Camille Pissarro and Amedeo Modigliani. Alongside this big-hitter of a show, the VAG also exhibits Bath Sky Diary (8 Sept-18 Nov), a series of cityscapes by Bath-based painter Philip Bouchard (pictured). The premise behind the exhibition’s intriguing title is that, in December 2009, Bouchard began a ‘sky diary’, completing one painting a day as he recovered from a serious operation. The extensive series charts the changing light, weather and skyline of Bath: glowing sunrises and sunsets, dark storm clouds and clear expanses of blue. You will, quite literally, see Bath in a new light… FFI WWW.VICTORIAGAL.ORG.UK

PHOTOGRAPHIQUE BATH SPA This brilliant photographers’ mecca has re-opened in Bristol at a new address on Clare Street: and, as before, it’s got a series of fine photography exhibitions planned. We begin with Severn Beach (3-29 Sept), for which Bristol photographers Huw Bancroft and Martin Edwards have documented the past and present, landscapes and characters of the atmospheric village – once a thriving beach resort – that sits in the shadow of the Second Severn Crossing. BRISTOL


UNIVERSITY BATH Catch a sneak preview of the next generation of art and design talent, at the annual Master’s Degree Shows held by Bath Spa University’s School of Art and Design. Students on the School’s Fashion & Textiles and Ceramics MAs exhibit their final degree pieces at The American Museum in Britain, Claverton Manor (26-30 Sept), while the Master of Fine Art students unveil their creations at the School’s Sion Hill Campus, Lansdown from 27-30 Sept.


NORTH SOMERSET ARTS SIDCOT The thriving North Somerset Arts group return with their biennial Arts Week trail next spring – before then, though, there’s a showcase exhibition, Made in North Somerset 2012 for talent from across the county, showing at the Arts Centre at Sidcot School, near Winscombe, from 15-23 Sept (10am-4pm, closed Mon, Wed & Fri). You’ll find everything from paintings to sculpture, ceramics to wood pieces, by artists selected via a rigorous selection panel.


Bristol’s Guild are always an excellent way to take the pulse of the local 2D and 3D arts scenes, and September’s show is no exception. Reflections V (9-29 Sept) features works in various media by Bristol’s Reflections artists’ group. The group’s seven members will be showing work in various media, including textiles, glass, enamels, pottery, painting and print-making. We’re especially taken by Julia Rowe’s striking, vibrant fused glass creations and Sarah Cowper’s vibrant, multimedia collages and prints. Ffi: ... We’ve long been a fan of Bristol painter Ruth Piper and her captivating, technicolour and geometric abstracts. Now, excitingly, Ruth has created a contemporary gallery project, The Searchers, to increase the exhibiting opportunuties for local artists and to celebrate Bristol’s diverse visual arts landscape. The Searchers takes its bow with a debut group show, Objects of Desire, at the beautiful Centrespace Gallery off Corn Street from 7-19 Sept. Ffi: www. ... The brilliant local illustrators’ collective Drawn in Bristol have created a calendar featuring illustrations of atmospheric Bristol scenes. You can see the fruits of their labours at Colston Hall’s Glass Room artspace from 7-29 Sept. Ffi: drawninbristol ... Bath highlights this month include War & Pieces (1 Sept-3 Dec, Holburne Museum of Art), a striking installation created especially for the Holburne by ceramic artist Bouke de Vries, whose centrepiece is an atomic-bomb mushroom cloud made using shards of white ceramics. Ffi:

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From pop and rock via Americana to classical and opera, Julian Owen chooses this month’s top concerts

THE MONTH AHEAD DEVON SPROULE TUE 4 SEPT “The difficult which album?” one can imagine Devon Sproule asking. Not for her a lifetime’s work poured into the first one or two, draining the well of creativity for years to come. Instead, the Canada-born country-folk-popster is, at the age of 30, already touring her sixth long player, I Love You, Go Easy. Sure, she gave herself a head start by dropping out of high school, recording her debut and touring nationally before turning 18, but even so. Perhaps it’s reflective of a ‘do anything’ sense of confidence gleaned from

being raised on a 465-acre, 100-member commune in rural Virginia. Whatever: point is, it’s as naturalistic, as spirit-raising a record as you’ll hear all year. Throw in stage presence warm as Southern sunshine, and the Louisiana on Sept 4 will be a night to cherish. That’s before we even get to angelically-voiced co-headliner, Pictish Trail. The co-honcho of Fence Records will be heading down from recording a new album in the remote Hebridean island of Eigg, accompanied as ever by winsome good humour and inventive pop charm. FFI THELOUISIANA.NET

DEXYS MIDNIGHT RUNNERS It’s been nine years since Dexys played Bristol, and a beautiful, grown-menweeping night it was too; such was the effect of seeing the open-hearted Kevin Rowland back on form after solo misadventures. So lord knows how they’ll take news the band is returning to play their first studio album in 27 years, One Day I’m Going To Soar. SAT 22 SEPT

FRI 28 SEPT Also returning in triumph this month: Claudia Aurora, finest Bristol-based singer of the last decade bar none, plays the Folk House late this month. She works out of London these days, the easier to play rapturously-received sets at the Southbank. A show-stopping WOMAD appearance in July confirmed her fado (Portuguese folk-blues) performances have lost none of their power to move and enthral.




SIMONE FELICE FRI 14 SEPT Ah, capricious Mother Nature. We may never know why you bestowed perfect cheekbones and peerless songwriting talent upon just one man. But you did, and the enviable Simone Felice brings his glorious love/loss-exploring Americana to Bath on Sept 14.


➻ Sisters and brothers in Brahms at the Bath Forum on Sept 27, the Bath Philharmonia are all set to give a memorable performance of Johannes’ Violin Concerto, accompanied as they are by the brilliant Nicola Benedetti. Another virtuoso, the self-effacingly lovely Kathryn Tickell (pictured), will be at St George’s Bristol on Sept 20 with Northumbrian pipes in hand, while the more contemporary folk sounds of Smoke Fairies flutter into the Fleece on Sept 24. Should you be unaware, the harmonies of Jessica Davies and Katherine Blamire are truly extraordinary - you’ll have heard ghosts less spectral, mermaids less siren-like. Former Icicle Works front man, Ian McNabb, brings his easy melody and even easier charm to the Thunderbolt on Sept 22, and the global star-packed Africa Express pulls into the Colston Hall on Sept 7: Damon Albarn, Baaba Maal, Temper Trap, Amadou & Mariam, loads more. It’s the final stop on their countrywide tour, so expect a blazing finale. Finally, Beeses Riverside Bar &Tea Gardens closes for winter at month’s end, so if you’ve not yet made a pilgrimage to Bristol’s most picturesque pub garden you’d best make haste. We’d recommend Sept 7 and 8, when the annual Beeses Beer Festival is given aural accompaniment by - respectively - the classically rocking Straight Shooter and ska-centric Emperials.


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Left: Under 7s love the Curiosity space at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery Below: Alfred the Gorilla



PIECES T Melissa Blease explores the time travel experiences on your doorstep he days when a trip to the museum was a stuffy, fusty experience have been consigned to the history pages; these days, taking a step back in time most certainly ain’t what it used to be. Want to chat to a Roman soldier, eavesdrop on a First Class conversation that took place over 150 years ago or prop up the bar in the tavern where a revolution was plotted? Read on… AT-BRISTOL: BRINGING SCIENCE TO LIFE Very little in the natural world goes to waste:

oceans create sand from rocks, volcanoes and bacteria made the air we breathe and plants are made from the gases we breathe out. Discover why actively assisting Mother Earth by recycling our own domestic, contemporary waste is a natural evolutionary step via 14 brand new, interactive exhibits at one of the UK’s premier science museums. Elsewhere, become an animator for the day, wrap yourself up in a giant bubble, trigger a mini volcanic eruption, get up close and personal with a virtual prehistoric spider, walk through a tornado, create weather… heck, there’s so much

going on it’s impossible to pick our favourites here. FFI AT-BRISTOL, ANCHOR ROAD, HARBOURSIDE, BRISTOL, WWW.AT-BRISTOL.ORG.UK

M-SHED: YOUR MUSEUM, YOUR STORY History isn’t only made by other people - events, whether momentous or apparently trivial, that occur while you’re alive weave you the individual into the cultural tapestry around us all. As for our cities - well, that’s literally what they are: ours. M-Shed is dedicated to the people and the stories that have created the fascinating history of Bristol from

prehistoric times to the present day. Film footage, photographs, written and recorded stories, artworks, artefacts and much, much more combine to present a uniquely personal celebration of the point where the past meets the present, occasionally quirky, sometimes moving, often eclectic but always as vibrant as Bristol itself. Visitors are invited to contribute to the collection by adding their own memories of and statements about - the city they call home, making M-Shed a truly innovative interactive experience. FFI M-SHED, PRINCES WHARF, WAPPING ROAD, BRISTOL, 0117 352 6600, WWW.MSHED.ORG

THE AMERICAN MUSEUM MEET THE REAL UNCLE SAM You won’t find much about Mickey Mouse, burgers or Elvis Presley in this breathtakingly gorgeous Georgian manor on the outskirts of Bath. What you will find is a celebrated decorative arts collection (including Shaker furniture, Native American objects and lively folk art) and a collection of lovingly restored, fully authentic period rooms to explore, including a late 17th century Puritan home and a sumptuous New Orleans ➻

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bedroom as it would have looked in1860, on the eve of the Civil War. But for the hands-on purposes of our tour, a visit to Conkey’s Tavern is a must. The original was built in 1758 by innkeeper William Conkey in Pelham, Massachusetts, and became famous for being the place where Daniel Shays plotted his rebellion against the Massachusetts Government in 1786/87. Visit Conkey’s at the American Museum and expect to encounter a “local” who’ll tell you the whole story... and invite you to try your hand at a couple of bar games too! FFI THE AMERICAN MUSEUM, CLAVERTON MANOR, BATH, 01225 460503, WWW.AMERICANMUSEUM. ORG

NO 1 ROYAL CRESCENT - THE GORGEOUS GEORGIANS? The men would mask their pockmarked faces with egg whites. The women would sleep sitting up

so as not to disturb their 5-foot high wigs. An array of spices was the last word in ostentatious displays of wealth. A small dog trapped in a suspended wheel by the fire would keep the roasting spit turning over the fire in the kitchen...and it’s still all going on (except, fortunately, the live kitchen dog) at No 1 Royal Crescent, a magnificently restored Georgian town house that creates a living, breathing picture of life in the first house to be built in the now-iconic Royal Crescent, originally designed to offer luxury accommodation to aristocrats who came to take the waters and enjoy the social season. Today, lively, meticulously informed guides (if you get Charlotte, you’ve struck guide gold) are on hand to show you around and share the intimate secrets of the former inhabitants great fun! FFI NO. 1 ROYAL CRESCENT, BATH, 01225 428126, WWW.BATHPRESERVATION-TRUST.ORG.UK The New Orleans Bedroom at the American Museum

This pic: Annie Gray dressed as a Georgian cook on World Heritage Day 2012 at No 1 Royal Crescent Left: The magnificent town house’s grand Drawing Room

THE ROMAN BATHS - IMMERSE YOURSELF The Roman Baths and Temple of Aqua Sulis Minerva are among the finest Roman remains in Britain. In 2011, B&NES Council invested £5.5m in the complex, transforming and radically improving the quality of the experience entirely. Today, a cast list of costumed characters in period dress not only feature on the site’s award winning audio tour, but are on hand daily for up-close-and-personal meet’n’greets. Ever wanted to know what a Roman soldier had for his breakfast? Ask him! And if you fancy experiencing a blast from the past combined with contemporary spa pleasures, the Spas Ancient and Modern Special Package includes a ticket to the Roman Baths, a two-hour session at the spiffy Thermae Bath Spa and lunch or afternoon tea in the posh Pump Room, all for £63.50pp. Dive in!

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BRISTOL MUSEUM AND ART GALLERY - CURIOUSER AND CURIOUSER Little people and big kids alike will love the Curiosity area at Bristol’s longest-standing, gently imposing shrine to arty history. Tell stories in the Crystal Cave (using puppets if you happen to be of such a persuasion), take to the stage, make a pot or play Animuddle - it’s all going on in the mini-museum within the larger Archaeology and World Culture collections gallery. But make sure to leave time to explore the

Dinosaur Resource Area too, complete with authentic wildlife noises to fuel and thrill the imagination. FFI BRISTOL MUSEUM AND ART GALLERY, QUEEN’S ROAD, BRISTOL, 0117 922 3571, WWW.BRISTOL.GOV.

UK/PAGE/BRISTOL-MUSEUM-ANDART-GALLERY BRUNEL’S SS GREAT BRITAIN ALL ABOARD! This dockyard museum tells the ss Great Britain’s remarkable story, from her launch in 1843 through a long career as a luxury liner, an emigrant steam clipper and a super-sized sailing ship carrying coal to San Francisco. Discover the story of her rescue from the bottom of the South Atlantic and her final triumphant return to Bristol via the authentically-reproduced sights, sounds and smells of life on board. Stroll the decks and experience the bustle of the ship preparing to set sail. Tour the accommodation, from First Class luxury cabins to the less salubrious steerage. Visit the harassed cook in his cramped galley, listen to the stories the passengers have to tell, wander around the Dining Saloon where dinner is about to be served: the year is1853, and all the scenes are inspired by true stories taken from passengers’ accounts. Phew, there’s a lot to take in! Fortunately, tickets (including all manner of family, mini-family and grandparent family deals) include free return visits for a whole year. FFI BRUNEL’S SS GREAT BRITAIN, GREAT WESTERN DOCKYARD, GAS FERRY ROAD, BRISTOL, 0117 926 0680, WWW.SSGREATBRITAIN.ORG

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Swansea Bay, Mumbles & Gower... WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?

Seaside or city? Shopping or sailing? Dylan Thomas or Catherine Zeta Jones? Laverbread or Italian ice-cream? Soccer or surfing? Blue Flags or green footprints? Truth be told, it’s all of these things… and more!


elcome to the gateway of South West Wales… When you experience the captivating coast and countryside of the Gower Peninsula, you’ll understand why it was designated the UK’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. With its award-winning beaches, such as Three Cliffs Bay, Port Eynon (Britain’s Best Beach 2011) and Caswell Bay or the unforgettable views of Worm’s Head from Rhossili, it’s easy to see why visitors keep coming back. Gower is the perfect place for outdoor activities. With its west-facing beaches, it has some of the UK’s best surf, but it doesn’t stop there. From canoeing and coasteering to kitesurfing and land yachting, there’s plenty of sea and sand to go around. And plenty of paths to walk, too - the Gower section of the new Wales Coast Path spans 39 miles, but you don't have to

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do it all at once! And there are plenty of places to hang up your boots and tuck into a feast of local produce - there’s lots of it in Gower, from the uniquely flavoured Llanrhidian salt marsh lamb and cockles from Penclawdd, to Welsh Black Beef and seafood caught by local fishermen along the Gower coast. Finish it off with some locally baked Chocolate Brownies or ‘Jammies’ from Swansea Market (they’re freshly baked welshcakes with jam in-between… yummy!). Gower’s just a short drive or bus journey from Swansea city centre, where you’ll find plenty of attractions such as the National Waterfront Museum, LC Leisure Complex (with indoor surfing!), Plantasia’s tropical hothouse, the unique Dylan Thomas Centre and award-winning gardens at Singleton Botanics and Clyne. The National Waterfront Museum features a host of state-of-the-art interactive exhibits that interpret Wales’ past, present and future in a fun and exciting way. And it’s only five minutes’ walk from the city’s shopping centre - it’s so easy to combine shopping and sightseeing in Swansea Bay. Just across the Museum Green from Wales’ newest Museum, is Wales’ oldest museum! Swansea Museum is an elegant Georgian colonnaded building and has a wide variety of collections, including local prehistoric remains and an Egyptian exhibition - including an Egyptian mummy! Gardens are a speciality in Swansea Bay. Clyne Gardens are renowned for their outstanding rhododendron and azalea displays.

Singleton Park houses a Botanical Garden that is justly famous for its stunning seasonal bedding displays. Plantasia is a tropical hothouse at the heart of the city centre - as well as plant collections from three climatic zones, Plantasia also houses an aquarium, reptile exhibits, parakeets and some mischievous cotton-top tamarin monkeys. To the west of the Bay is the picturesque seaside resort of Mumbles. Originally a fishing village, the Victorians made it fashionable with a popular promenade (walk it, bike it or skate it) and ironwork pier. The narrow lanes are lined with fishermen’s cottages and overlooked by the medieval Oystermouth Castle. Mumbles has an eclectic mix of trendy boutiques, galleries, craft shops, restaurants (seafood is a speciality here), cafés and ice-cream parlours - ensuring that once you’ve visited Mumbles, you'll be hooked.

Info: To plan your autumn short break in Swansea Bay, Mumbles and Gower, go to Call 0844 888 5118 (ref: 4272) to order your FREE copy of the 2012 Holiday Guide or download the App from the App Store.

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he Gower peninsula, Britain’s first designated area of outstanding natural beauty, extends 20km westwards from the city of Swansea. The peninsula is an ageless delight, with its landscape of cosy villages, farms, castle ruins and common land, bounded by 40km of incredible coastline and world renowned beaches. Situated on the western edge of the peninsula, you will find the most breathtaking of all Gower’s beaches, Rhossili Bay. From Worm’s head in the south, to the tidal islet of Burry Holmes to the north, the three-mile sweep of golden sands is a constant reminder of the splendour of the Gower. Small wonder The Sunday

Times described it as “one of the best 25 beaches in the world”. It is here, at the foot of Rhossili Down, 200m from the beach, embraced by farm and moorland and an extensive sand dune system, that you will find Hillend. The campsite consists of four fields totalling 14 acres of level meadow which can accommodate up to 300 tents and motor homes. Two of the fields are for families and couples only, and all are within 200m of the magnificent Rhossili Bay. There is vibrant feel to the site and although the owners do not have a ‘families only’ policy, they are careful who they let onto the park - well behaved youngsters are welcome!

From the campsite you can explore the breathtaking Gower coastline along the peninsula’s


comprehensive footpath network. Hillend is an ideal base for a memorable holiday.

To reach 72,000 families in your area... advertise in the next issue of Primary Times Contact Caroline tel 0117 934 3737 email 32 FOLIO/SEPTEMBER 2012

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uests won't want to go home after staying in the recently refurbished, four-bedroomed Coombe Cottage ( coombe-cottage) in the pretty hamlet of Overton on the slopes above Port Eynon Bay. Coombe Cottage has breathtaking views across the surrounding fields to the sea. Nearby footpaths lead to beautiful beaches. The cottage has an idyllic rural location, but is only a few minutes from the busy village of Port Eynon. Coombe Cottage itself is a fine property, complete with all the mod cons you

could want for a relaxing break. It has a huge, double-height open plan living area with French doors onto a terrace. Another five star property to tempt you to this beautiful part of the world is the Penthouse ( penthouse) a beautifully styled, architectdesigned, comprehensively renovated property nestling on the hillside overlooking Langland. It has spectacular views of the bay and the prestigious Langland Bay Golf course. You are only 100m from the blue flag beach and have a range of activities on your doorstep including tennis and golf. There are a number of beachside cafes, while the village of Mumbles is a few minutes’ drive away. All the beauty of Gower is on your doorstep; you really couldn't pick a better spot. Recently awarded a 95% score by Visit Wales, a very large loft-style living area forms the heart of the apartment which also boasts the three large roof top terraces. The apartment can accommodate six people in two double bedrooms and a twin. With the Penthouse comes exclusive use of


one of the newly refurbished Edwardian beach huts which line the promenade around Langland Bay.


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Ideal for weddings, private parties, corporate events, club nights and festivals!

To hire our booth for your special day contact us at or visiting our website p34.indd 1

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WIN AN OVERNIGHT STAY FOR TWO WITH BREAKFAST AND DINNER! Celebrate autumn in the rolling North Somerset countryside at the historic DoubleTree by Hilton, Cadbury House. This four star boutique-style hotel delivers a modern hotel experience (complete with plasma screen televisions, high-speed broadband and Wi-Fi in each room) within the picturesque setting of an 18th century gothic-style house. One lucky Folio winner and guest will be treated to a one-night stay at Cadbury House, with dinner at the Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill and a full English or continental breakfast. Enjoy the on-site leisure club fitted with an indoor heated pool, gym, steam rooms and a sauna. In your relaxed state, indulge in boutique shopping, canoeing, cookery classes, or tennis. Autumn is the new summer... DOUBLETREE BY HILTON, CADBURY HOUSE FROST HILL, CONGRESBURY. FFI: 01934 834343, WWW.CADBURYHOTELBRISTOL.CO.UK



CADBURY HOUSE Just answer the following question: In which century was Cadbury House built? Email your answer, with ‘Cadbury House’ in the subject line, to: by Fri 21 Sep. Entries after this date will not be counted. Winner will be picked at random and notified by Mon 9 Oct. Please include your full contact details (name, address, postcode, email, mobile, landline).

BLUEBEARDS REVENGE Just answer the following question: What was the original Bluebeard fabled for? Email your answer, with ‘Bluebeards Revenge’ in the subject line, to: by Fri 21 Sep. Entries after this date will not be counted. Winner will be picked at random and notified by Mon 9 Oct. Please include your full contact details (name, address, postcode, email, mobile, landline).

fabulous COMPS

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

WIN A DELUXE SHAVING SET! Your beard need not be of legendary proportions – like this set’s namesake – to enjoy a top-quality shave from The Bluebeards Revenge (available at Jacks of London). Though the original Bluebeard (the fabled serial wife-killer) wasn’t such a nice guy, this Bluebeard is – and thanks to him one lucky Folio reader will win this complete set! The Mach3 razor will have you saying goodbye to stubble effortlessly, especially when paired with shaving cream applied with the set’s soft pure badger brush. Finish off your shave with Bluebeard’s soothing post-shave balm, which is paraben-free and includes Decelerine to combat tough stubble, reduce hair growth, combat irritated, dry skin and leave your face free of ingrown hairs and bumps. Beard: busted. JACKS OF LONDON 31 PENN STREET, BRISTOL. FFI: WWW.JACKSMALEGROOMING.COM


THE WINNERS Thermae Bath Spa comp: Congratulations to Katie Chapman from Fishponds, Bristol, who won a Twilight for Two Package. Correct answer: six years. MyTV2Go comp: Congratulations to Laura Ferris from Victoria Park, Bristol, who won a digital wireless TV receiver. Correct answer: True.

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THE BANQUET STARTS HERE ➻ Over the years the city of Bath has already made several contributions to the

pantheon of great food: those porktastic Bath Chaps, for instance; crispy Bath Oliver biscuits for enjoying cheese; and the sugary pleasures of the Bath bun. And that tradition for gastronomic invention lives on still in Bath Soft Cheese’s punchy Bath Blue cheese, itself a key ingredient in Lovett Pie’s recently unveiled Bath Pie, and the Bath Sausage Shop’s cunningly named Bath Sausage laced with spinach and mustard. They all should figure somewhere in the Great Bath Feast’s packed six-week programme celebrating the city’s foodie delights. A joint initiative between Bath Tourism Plus and the local Business Improvement District, the Feast aims to showcase the richness of produce here in the South West and the dining and shopping pleasures to be had in Bath itself. Restaurants will be featuring ‘Bath on a Plate’ special dishes made with local produce, hotels and B&Bs will offer the Great Bath Breakfast and the Bath Taste Trail will help locals and visitors alike discover the wonderful range of delicacies to be found in Bath’s many tempting specialist food shops. Naturally there’ll be plenty of big names from the culinary world putting in appearances throughout the programme. It all kicks off with a day of foodie activities (Sun 23 Sept) based at the egg studio in the Theatre Royal, with a star-studded ‘Food & Wine Question Time’ panel answering your questions, chef demonstrations from the likes of Martin Blunos and 2010 Masterchef winner Dhruv Baker, a series of food and wine pairing classes compered by wine connoisseur Angela Mount and a foraging masterclass from hedgerow gastronome Andy Hamilton. Later that evening in the Guildhall, the Bath Good Food Awards judges will crown the city’s top places to eat, drink and stock up the larder while feasting away in style at a grand gala dinner. And that’s just for starters!



THE ITALIAN JOB ➻ You wouldn’t expect a fine dining place like Clifton’s independent restaurant Prosecco to be that affected by the student trade but proprietors Heidi and Diego da Re are already getting ready for freshers week. “We’re always busy,” Heidi explains. “It’s the mums and dads who’ve driven them down and then want to take them out for a meal. We’re a small place with lots of loyal customers so it can be a bit of a squeeze.” Everyone’s welcome, of course, and chef Diego will unveil a new seasonal autumn menu in time for the rush. Now in its sixth year, the restaurant is a well-established star of the Clifton dining scene, with Diego’s creative take on rural Italian cooking a big draw. “Our best marketing has always been word of mouth,” Heidi observes. “People tell

their friends or even bring them along.” But that doesn’t explain the steady supply of visitors from all over the world, surely? “Ah – that’s the TV thing!” she admits, laughing. “That was really priceless!” ‘The TV thing’ was Prosecco’s appearance on Gordon Ramsay’s Channel 4 series The F Word. That was back in 2009 but it can still lead to bookings as the show appears in different countries around the world. “We’ve had sudden interest from Japan or the US because the programme’s just been shown there. It’s just gone out in Italy and Diego’s family saw it! And there are some F Word fans who go round and visit all the restaurants that have ever been featured.” PROSECCO 25 THE MALL, CLIFTON, BRISTOL. FFI: 0117 973 4499, WWW.PROSECCOCLIFTON.COM

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THIS JOINT IS JUMPING ➻ In just three years The Burger Joint has

proved that a well-prepared top-quality burger is both a glorious and popular thing. Since their modestly-sized Cotham Hill place opened in August 2009, business at the independent restaurant and takeaway has grown relentlessly, much to the delight of young proprietor Dan Bekhradnia: “We originally envisaged a 50/50 split between eatin and takeaway customers but in fact we’re mainly a restaurant and we’ve been struggling

with the space for a year now.” Which is why they’re moving to bigger premises – the former Planet Pizza site just around the corner on Whiteladies Road - with double the indoor space and a pavement-side terrace (“It’ll be great - if we ever get nice weather again!”) The new Joint’s doors will open on September 8 and customers can expect a wider choice of craft beers and Bristol Beer Factory ales at the bar as well as the wellestablished choice of nine burgers including beef, lamb and venison. One happy

by-product of the move is that the meat will have an even shorter journey, coming as it does from high-class butchers Ruby & White whose shop is practically opposite the new place. “We’re serious about quality and so are they,” Bekhradnia adds. “And they’re open on Sundays so now we can pop over in an emergency!” THE BURGER JOINT 83 WHITELADIES ROAD, BRISTOL. FFI: 0117 329 0887, WWW.THEBURGERJOINT.CO.UK


IN THE MIX ➻ Celebrating the vibrant local cocktail scene, Cocktails in the City will be Bristol’s largest ever cocktail masterclass, set within the grandiose surroundings of St Georges Bristol on 6 September. With 11 bars, 250 cocktail enthusiasts and over 1000 cocktails, it promises to be a memorable evening. Cocktails in the City brings together all the city’s top cocktail bars including Harvey Nichols, Hyde & Co and Haus Bar for an interactive evening of cocktail making and drinks enlightenment. Visitors to the show will learn how to shake, muddle and stir cutting-edge cocktails under the expert guidance of the city’s (and indeed the world’s) leading bartenders. Founder Andrew Scutts comments: “This show reflects the increasing trend and popularity of cocktail culture and the fact that Bristol has a world-leading cocktail bar scene. This event is a unique opportunity to discover all Bristol’s top

bars under one roof and learn the skilful art of cocktail making.” Cocktails in the City was launched in Manchester earlier this year, where 19 bars and 480 punters made for a resounding success. In Bristol, visitors will receive three tokens on entry which they can exchange for cocktails made by themselves under the expert tuition of the city’s top bartenders. Punters will be able to watch main-stage demonstrations or participate in private tutored tasting sessions and each bar will also be running competitions with chances to win great prizes. More details on all this are being released through Facebook & Twitter in the lead up to the event. COCKTAILS IN THE CITY SEPTEMBER 6, ST GEORGES (OFF PARK STREET), BRISTOL, 5.309.30PM, £20. FFI: WWW.COCKTAILSINTHECITY.CO.UK

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Bath Good Food Awards is the phrase trending on every foodie’s lips right now. Melissa Blease has the insider info on Bath’s hottest ticket this autumn


ernard Aherne is head honcho of Small World New Media Ltd, the force behind the Guide2TheWorld series of websites offering online guides to towns, cities and countries around the world, including Bristol and Bath. But this multi-tasking entrepreneur is also the driving force behind the annual Bath Good Food Awards, the second of which takes place on Sunday 23 September. “I came up with the idea of the BGFA as a means of promoting the food scene in and around Bath to a wider audience,” Bernard explains. “It’s a great way of promoting all that Bath has to offer whilst rewarding those who provide excellence.” Indeed, all those involved with the inaugural awards event last year agree that the venture was a great success. “We were very fortunate to secure sponsorship from Waitrose and Great Western Wine right at the start, which gave us huge credibility,” says Bernard. “The awards were embraced by the city, with over 5000 people making nominations - meanwhile, the Gala Awards Dinner (see panel) was a sell out. This year we received over 8000 nominations and we’ve got lots of related events planned too - it’s all really exciting!” “The BGFA really are the people’s awards, nominated by the city’s own residents and visitors,” says wine expert Angela Mount (see panel), who plays multiple key roles in

proceedings. “Until the shortlist stage, the judges have no involvement at all. We count the public votes in over 30 categories, then our expert panel ‘mystery visit’ every establishment in their specific category before meeting as a team to discuss the outcome.” And it’s not only about restaurants. “The BGFA not only gives us the opportunity to celebrate the richness and diversity of great places to eat in Bath,” says Angela, “but also helps to support and promote the wealth of amazing local produce and artisan food-related industries in our area, this year through our Food Market as well. As a Bath resident, I’m thrilled to be able to help showcase our fabulous city.” And we’ve got a vested interest in that fabulous city too. As Bristol and Bath’s longest-running lifestyle magazine, Folio has championed the wealth of independent businesses, events, restaurants and amazing food producers in the south west for the past 16 years and today boasts by far the largest food and drink section of all the local lifestyle magazines. Meanwhile, our annual directory of food-related scrumptiousness celebrated its 24th birthday this year (wow, what a great excuse for a party in 2013!), all of which explains why we chose to become a sponsor of the BGFA Best Bath Institution Award and a supporter of the whole event itself. The shortlist of nominated restaurants in our category are Beaujolais, Woods, Green Park Brasserie, Cafe Retro, demuths and Sally Lunns. Which just goes to

prove that the finest only get better with age (us included!).


This year’s Bath Good Food Awards Gala Dinner and Ceremony will be held at Bath’s historic Guildhall on the evening of Sunday 23 September. The ceremony - hosted by Angela Mount - will involve a host of local celebrities and food industry experts, while a special menu has been devised by students from the City of Bath College Catering department overseen by Bath Priory Head Chef (and winner of last year’s BGFA Best Chef gong) Sam Moody, who is mentoring the students to ensure that they deliver a suitably momentous meal and perfect service.

2011’s Bath Good Food Award winners clockwise from top: Same Same But Different (Best Up & Coming), Casanis (Best Restaurant), Hudsons (Best Wine List), and demuths (Best Vegetarian & People’s Choice)


The Bath Good Food Market will be held on Sunday 23 September - the day of the awards ceremony itself. A sumptuous line-up of food- and drink-related events will take place in and around the Theatre Royal’s egg Theatre and Sawclose, an increasingly lively, tasteful epicentre at the heart of the Heritage City. Ten categories of local produce will be judged ‘blind’ at the Local Producers Awards in the morning, and the local Food Market will form the backdrop to a full day of activities including the unique Food and Wine Question Time and demos

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Above: Richard Bertinet presenting the Bath Priory with Best Chef and Best Fine Dining Wine List awards at last year’s BGFA ceremony


Cook and then to Weekend Food Writer at the Telegraph, as well as writing comment and features for the paper. She also contributes to Good Food, Olive, delicious. and Sainsburys magazines. Xanthe lives in Bristol with her husband and two children.



and masterclasses hosted by top chefs including Martin Blunos, MasterChef winner Dhruv Baker, Richard Bertinet and the Allium Brasserie’s Chris Staines.

Angela Mount is a wine and food expert, presenter and head of online wine retailer She is widely credited with revolutionising wine on the high street, making quality tipples accessible to millions of consumers. She is highly skilled in getting the message across with passion and a no-nonsense approach - and she famously had her tastebuds insured for £10m by her former employers Somerfield. A longterm Bath resident, Angela chairs the judging panel for the highly successful Bath/Bristol Good Food Awards and also chairs the panel for the esteemed Local Producers’ awards in both cities. Read Angela’s blog and wine reviews on and her regular wine of the week features for, and


Xanthe Clay travelled in Asia, Arabia and South America before working as a bookseller specialising in cookery books. She completed a professional cookery course at Leith’s School of Food and Wine before working as a chef and caterer. In June 1999 she began a popular weekly column in the Daily Telegraph, testing and commenting on readers’ recipes. Since then she has graduated to Telegraph

Originally from Brittany in North West France, Richard trained as a baker from the age of 14. Having moved to the UK in the late 1980s, his catering background includes stints at the Chewton Glen Hotel, the Rhinefield House Hotel and the Silver Plough. In 1996, a position as Operations Director with the Novelli Group of restaurants brought him to London and in 1998 he started advising small food-related businesses, eventually setting up his own consultancy. But in 2004 Richard, his wife Jo and their family decided that it was time to leave London and head west. Richard and Jo founded the Bertinet Kitchen in Bath later that year, and the cookery school opened in September 2005 - the same month that Richard’s first book DOUGH was published by Kyle Cathie to critical and award-winning acclaim. Richard published his second book CRUST in 2007 and his third - COOK - in April 2010. The Bertinet Bakery, Shop and Cafe opened on Upper Borough Walls earlier this year, and Richard is currently working on a book dedicated to the delights of pastry-related scrumptiousness.


Loveable celebrity chef Martin Blunos may have honed his craft in the very British enclaves of Cheltenham and

Cambridge, but his cooking style remains largely influenced by his halfRussian, half-Latvian mother. In 1998 he opened his own restaurant in Bristol: Lettonie (French for Latvia) combined a Franco-British style of cooking with Eastern European elements to great acclaim, including Martin’s first Michelin Star in 1992 and a second in 1994. Lettonie eventually moved to Bath, but in 2004 Martin took over as head chef of the Lygon Arms in Broadway, Worcestershire - and another Michelin Star swiftly followed. Martin later became executive chef for Crown Hotels, but today he largely concentrates on consultancy and television work, regularly popping up on Britain’s Best Dish, Food Poker, Saturday Kitchen and The Supersizers Eat... (all for the BBC). Cooks! (ITV), Great Food Live and Food Uncut (UKTV) and Iron Chef UK (Channel 4). Martin lives in Bath with his wife (and fellow pro-foodie) Sian and their family.


The judging panel also includes Leith’s trained chef and local preserves producer Silvana Tann, founder of Bristol’s Devilled Egg Academy Barbora Stiess, Bath-based blogger Emily Wimsett, uber-foodie Tanya Rich and Eating Out West’s own beloved food and drink editor Tony Benjamin.



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Escape the hustle and bustle of city life in secluded settings on Bristol’s Harbourside and Portishead Marina, offering scenic waterfront views and delicious food from the new brasserie menu. The menu features locally-sourced seasonal produce to create dishes that take a contemporary twist on Great British classics, for the casual diner. In addition to the Brasserie menu, Jacks will run Fintastic Fish Friday each week, where diners can enjoy a whole fish and bottle of wine for two people for just £35.00. Sample Brasserie Dishes Starters Smoked ham hock and pea cake, fried quails egg Main Course Lightly cured salmon and fresh herbs, chive crème fraiche, cucumber salad Desserts Lemon and rosemary posset, shortbread biscuit.

Jacks Bar & Brasserie are currently celebrating their fifth birthday and to get in the party spirit, mention ‘Folio’ when you visit either restaurant to enjoy a free birthday cocktail. To redeem this offer please call Jacks in advance and quote ‘Folio’ when booking your table. Offer Terms & Conditions - This offer is valid until 31st October 2012 - Each guest must order two courses from the brasserie menu to qualify for a free cocktail - To redeem this offer a table must be booked in advance and ‘Folio’ must be mentioned at the time of booking

Portishead Marina Spinnaker, Harbour Road, Portishead, BS20 7AW T: 01275 397304 E: Bristol Harbourside 1 Hannover Quay, Harbourside, Bristol, BS1 5JE T: 0117 9453990 E: 42 FOLIO/SEPTEMBER 2012

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EATINGOUTWEST Left: The dining room at Berwick Lodge where for £65 you can taste hay-baked vegetables and macaroni cheese with truffles Right: Bell’s Diner, where chef/ proprietor Chris Wicks first introduced his tasting menu way back in 2003


BEAUTIFUL Tasting menus are an opportunity for chefs to push their art to its limits, and for you to give your taste buds a walk on the wow side. Eight-course feature lovingly prepared by Tony Benjamin


t’s the kind of thing that comedians love to ridicule – you go to a posh restaurant and pay loads of money for big plates scattered with flakes, blobs and drips. Where’s the beef? In a jus, apparently, or a foam. To the seriously hungry with steak and chips in mind, it makes no sense at all. But there is more to eating out than stuffing your face. Sometimes, encountering intensely unusual flavours, combined with a sheer ‘how do they do that?’ awe for the chef’s art, more than compensates for the slightness of portion size. After all, many of the most memorable food experiences happen in the first

mouthful of something new, as your delighted taste buds register the pleasure while your brain tries to work out what’s going on. In a normal meal you can rerun it any number of times while you work your way through a full portion, but in a tasting menu you’ll soon be moving onto the next surprise, and the next… And, anyway, how else are you going to get through 12 different courses and still be able to walk out the door? The tasting menu emerged some 20 years ago and shows no sign of disappearing any time soon. For ambitious chefs in the fine dining world it’s a great way to let rip with their fanciest skills, while offering the FOLIO/SEPT 2012 43

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Left: One of the courses of demuth’s vegetarian tasting menu Below right: Peter and Jonray Sanchez-Iglesias of Casamia

erstwhile gourmand a masterclass in flavour and the art of the possible. As one of the longest-standing exponents of the idea, Bell’s Diner chef/ proprietor Chris Wicks remembers discovering the practice across the channel: “It was in France in the 90s I guess, but it was different then – only the top end places, three-star restaurants, did them. It was very much the Michelin culture – you didn’t see it in Italy or over here. I always wanted to do one myself but it wasn’t until 2003 that I did my first. For a chef it’s really interesting to design a menu like that, with balance and variation and a real sense of technical challenge, and those first ones were meant to showcase what the individual chef could do. Maybe you’d been to el Bulli and thought about what they were doing before trying it yourself.” Ah, el Bulli – the ultimate temple of the tasting menu. It nestles on the Catalan Coast where, until last summer, the legendary Ferran Adria served his 30-course extravaganzas of ‘molecular gastronomy’ to the fortunate few. Adria’s dishes such as parmesan marshmallows, caramelised quails egg yolks and a margarita made from foam were an acknowledged inspiration to Heston Blumenthal and the £180 14-course tasting menu at his Fat Duck restaurant currently includes whiskey wine gums, jelly of quail with oak moss and ‘the sound of the sea’ as well as the famous snail porridge. Chris Wicks thinks that Adria changed the cooking landscape forever.

“There’s been an el Bulli effect and he’s the godfather of the modern era. He took it to extremes where food meets art and sometimes the art is just as important as the food.” Wicks’ own tasting menus are certainly artful – beautifully arranged combinations like scallops with broad beans, lemon and seaweed that are designed for the eye as well as the palate – and the eight-courses (£49.50) come with numerous ‘amuse bouche’ nibbles and an optional ‘wine flight’ (£35) matched to accentuate each course. He’s also Executive Chef at boutique hotel/restaurant Berwick Lodge where an eight-course vegetarian tasting menu (£65) includes hay-baked vegetables and the famed macaroni cheese with truffles. There’s no shortage of technical wizardry at Casamia, where Bristol’s Michelin star Sanchez-Iglesias brothers offer a new eight-course (£68) taster with every season, specially designed in their research kitchen and featuring all the fireworks and nitro-fuming you could wish for. Toby Gritten’s passion for all things foraged means things are slightly less predictable down at The Pumphouse where the tasting menu’s eight small plates (£45) showcase both the day’s seasonal bounty and Gritten’s imagination. Over in Bath, there’s a fresh generation of chefs using tasting menus to strut their culinary stuff to great effect, notably Richard Buckley’s sevencourse vegetarian feast (£35) every

Tuesday at demuth’s restaurant with enticements like fennel, apricot, courgette and pistachio tagine, and Abbey Hotel new boy Chris Staines’ five-course (£39) at the Allium Brasserie offering mandarin segments stuffed with shrimp jam and quail glazed in chilli caramel. The trick, according to Chris Wicks, is to treat yourself - make an occasion of the tasting meal and give yourself time to savour each course (Blumenthal suggests three and a half hours). “Think of it as a voyage of discovery at the limits of what the chef can do and appreciate the art of the food. Above all enjoy it, like a party – it should be fun, after all!”


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To master the culinary tricks of the trade, you can’t beat meeting the experts face to face. Tony Benjamin gets his apron on


iven there’s barely a night without a TV chef programme and bookshop shelves groan with recipe collections, you’d think we’d have had quite enough guidance on our kitchen technique. But the growing number of cookery schools is evidence that more and more people are looking for hands-on experience in the presence of an expert. The latest local recruit is Michelinstarred Lucknam Park Hotel just outside Bath, where award-winning chefs Hywel Jones and Hrishikesh Desai are launching a choice of 26 one-day courses including Perfect Afternoon Tea and Indian Street Cooking. In her 11 years running the Vegetarian Cookery School in Bath, Rachel Demuth has seen the whole thing blossom. “When we started, I don’t think there was anyone else running cookery courses in Bath, then Bertinet came a bit later,” she says. “But now there are loads and it’s very competitive.” While many cookery schools offer some vegetarian courses, the Vegetarian Cookery School’s specialist focus remains a rarity, however, bringing people from all over the country and even further to learn. “We have people come from Australia and now the Japanese seem to have taken to vegetarianism. Of course the bonus for them is coming to Bath and visiting the spa at the same time.” There are plenty of local students, too, who can take advantage of evening sessions like the Chinese and South American courses as well

Rachel Demuth (second from left) and her team at the Vegetarian Cookery School in Bath

as ‘using your veg box’ specials run with Riverford Organics. The cookery courses boom is hitting Bristol as well, and after only two years at their Clifton base The Devilled Egg school recently upgraded to a bigger set-up to meet demand. Resident cookery guru Barbora Stiess is still finding her way around the new kitchen: “It’s fantastic,” she enthuses. “We had

really outgrown the old kitchen and the students appreciate the improvement.” The Devilled Egg primarily offers bespoke courses, arranged to meet the aspirations and interests of the customers. Barbora relishes the challenge that can present: “We get some really out-there requests; people want to cook something from a TV programme or a dish they once had in a restaurant. I have to do my

“We get some really out-there requests. I have to do my research but happily I’ve never yet been completely stumped. ‘Vegan French’ was a tricky one!” Barbora Stiess

research but happily I’ve never yet been completely stumped. ‘Vegan French’ was a tricky one!” As well as the one-off courses, the Devilled Egg has been developing video tutorials available to download through their website. Subscribers can use them to cook at home knowing that Barbora and her team are always available via e-mail if things get sticky. While we all might choose to learn a new cookery technique out of interest, some cookery schools have a more purposeful agenda. Kerry Evans’ Bath-based In The Pink cookery school aims to help people adjusting to special dietary needs such as gluten- or dairy-free to maintain an enjoyable range of eating despite the constraints. It’s a much valued service, as is Barny Haughton’s Square Food Foundation based in Knowle West, Bristol. As well as providing an eclectic range of courses for adults the Foundation is embarking on an ambitious long-term programme to help local children discover the pleasure of cooking and eating food from scratch. “We know that if children prepare it themselves they’re more likely to try the food,” Barny observes. “And, reluctantly sometimes, they might even think it’s nice!” Who knows? It might turn a fussy eater into a star chef in the making.


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ROMAN BATHS KITCHEN Tourists are going to love this much-needed culinary addition to the Roman Baths. And so are you. Melissa Blease tucks in


n the 26 years that we’ve known each other, Lord Percy and I have never been out to dinner together, just the two of us. At long last, circumstances dictated that he would be my date for supper at the Roman Baths Kitchen, where together we would explore modern history - and change a bit of ours. The shiny new RBK development is part of B&NES Council’s long-term investment plan to improve the Roman Baths “visitor experience”, offering a less formal alternative to dining at the Pump Room. The venture has transformed a formerly careworn eyesore on the graceful Heritage City landscape by completely reinventing the venture formerly known as Binks which was, for way too many years, a truly pitiful example of the very worst kind of British cafe, all strip lights, plastic furniture, flaccid chips, vacuum packed scones and UHT milk. Today, it’s a handsome, multifaceted modern British bistro (with a cafe, deli and alfresco patio at street level) that brings the Abbey Courtyard area into the 21st century whilst artfully retaining a sense of history: if you don’t believe that Victorian artworks can sit comfortably in a Georgian town house-stylee refurbishment and still offer a thoroughly modern dining experience, your perceptions are set to be challenged. Lord P and I took a window table in a well-dressed upper-level dining room offering splendid views of Bath’s most-visited square. From the off, the whole experience boded well: soft music, sparkling tableware, friendly, efficient staff and a menu offering a lively, fresh selection of seasonal British classics seasoned with just the right amount of contemporary flourish to keep interest levels up, including a tapas selection for the grazers (of which the soft, plump chorizo is particularly worthy of a mention). After over-indulging on that tapas, we moved swiftly on to our starters proper: for me, a trio of Cornish

“Soft music, sparkling tableware, friendly, efficient staff and a menu offering a lively, fresh selection of seasonal British classics seasoned with just the right amount of contemporary flourish to keep interest levels up” smoked fish served with pikelets (think, British blinis) and herby creme fraiche, and for Lord P, a generous pile of dressed crab with lemon mayonnaise and a stack of samphire - so far, so good. Next up, my organic chicken came sprinkled with (rather than wrapped in, as I expected) crisp Serrano ham, accompanied by asparagus, broad beans and two random croquetas that I’d saved from my tapas selection precisely for this very purpose - an unconventional move, I know, but they were so good I didn’t want to waste them. The chicken was as moist and flavoursome as only organic chicken can be, with the salty shards of upper-crust charcuterie adding extra textural dimension - all in all, an excellent plate.

Mr Percy, meanwhile, opted for a juicy ribeye steak that came perfectly cooked to his liking (“sort of on the medium side of rare, please”) and served alongside Heritage tomatoes, proper béarnaise sauce and equally proper fat chips: “Very nice,” he said. “Very good indeed.” But even after all that, there was still no doubt that we were moving on to dessert - no doubt, because Lord P earmarked his Summer Pudding the moment the menu was handed to us (he’s from Up North, which is, as we all know, a different country - they do things differently there). And - after he’d translated the dessert menu for the Spanish visitors at the next table and declared my baked custard tart to be “technically perfect” - he made his final judgement: “Lovely,” he said. “That was all lovely.” Phew!

The total cost for a modern day Romanesque banquet such as ours fluctuated around the £70 mark including a scrumptious bottle of red wine, but less greedy folk (or those who opt for the set menu) could pay half the price and achieve equally satisfying satiation. Dinner with Lord P, however, is a priceless experience and well worth waiting 26 years for.



Most definitely not a tourist-only experience. Highly recommended.

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...has a new shell

Beautifully marbled local steaks dry-aged





Selection of continental & English sausages made using local, free range pork Pork pies by Mark’s Bread Aw a r d w i n n i n g S a n d r i d g e Farmhouse Dry Cure Bacon

250 North Street Bedminster Bristol 0117 966 3593

The Devilled Egg Kitchen Academy is proud to announce the launch of a brand new kitchen and cookery school. The kitchen has been designed and built by Morley Grove Kitchens and includes top of the range appliances and equipment. The new kitchen can cater for up to 17 people per class and sets the standard for cookery schools in Bristol. Founder, foodie, and head chef Barbora Stiess studied at Leith’s School of Food and Wine and subsequently trained under Michelin Starred chef Michael Caines, commented, “I am so excited about the new kitchen, our aim at The Devilled Egg, is to bridge the gap between ‘fine dining’ and home cooking and the new state of the art kitchen is going to help achieve this and make teaching really fun. I can’t wait to get cooking! “Having the right tools for the job is essential and we have the best available throughout the kitchen and the dining room. Learning to cook at the Devilled Egg will be a real pleasure.” The oven, hobs, and dishwashers have been supplied by Swiss market leader V-ZUG, electrical appliances and equipment by Kitchen Aid. In the dining room, cutlery has been kindly supplied by Robert Welch, glassware by Dartington Crystal and crockery by Villeroy & Boch. Be one of the first budding chefs to experience and enjoy the new kitchen. Classes at The Devilled Egg Kitchen Academy range from £45, for full list of classes please visit or contact Barbora on 0117 973 2823.

The Devilled Egg Kitchen Academy is located at Latchford House, 8 Downfield Road, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 2TH.


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The River Grille on Bristol’s harbourside has had a comprehensive culinary facelift. Tony Benjamin is suitably impressed


ipping up at a hotel in an unknown city, the last place I’ll eat is the restaurant downstairs. While it can be risky, there’s nothing quite like hunting for dinner in foreign streets, sniffing the air, scanning menus and getting advice from locals before settling at a (hopefully) promising table. But, living a short walk from The Bristol Hotel, I will, happily, never check in before turning my back on The River Grille in search of supper. Because that would be a grave mistake. Approaching the restaurant’s glowing conservatory from the cobbled quayside means you hardly notice this is a hotel at all. New owners The Doyle Collection have swept aside Jury’s solid-but-stolid grill fare in favour of something more in keeping with their small and stylish international hotel chain. The current summer menus are newly appointed executive head chef Kai Taylor’s chance to announce his intentions. The menu is ambitious and intriguing, whether Table d’Hote (£24.95 for three courses) or à la carte, with clear aspirations to fine dining underpinned by an ironic rethink of ‘British classics’. Thus the grill menu now includes marrowbone and the option of chilli and chocolate sauce on your steak, while the fish’n’chips features mackerel in beer batter and the heap of Dublin bay prawns as ‘deconstructed 80s scampi and chips’ drew gasps when delivered to a neighbouring table. My starter centred on a small cylinder of chicken ballotine, moist and creamy pressed meat with a maple glaze, topped by a shard of golden-fried chicken skin, some crisp slivers of onion and balanced on candied beetroot – sadly not golden, as on the menu, but flavoursome nonetheless. With sharp lime syrup offsetting things, it was a well-designed plate with

“The succulent and tender meat was an aromatic burst of cardamom that swept all before it, even the roast onion purée and chilli mango jam” nothing out of place. The Lovely She had opted for ‘Caesar breakdown’, a remarkable construction of baked chicken slices with a quivering cone of anchovy and parsley jelly and swirls of lettuce and parsley mousse. As a rethink on a well-worn theme it scored points, her only cavil being the lack of lettuce to crunch. I’d been hard put to choose between that marrowbone, the ‘Celebration of a Pig’ platter and my actual choice which was a fishbased concoction of sea-salted fillets of red mullet, balanced on a small turret of crushed

new potatoes, drenched in a smoked-fish casserole, and set off with a couple of grilled razor clams and one of those Dublin Bay crustaceans. It looked amazing and, once again, everything was as you’d hope, enabling an unhurried amble through intense fishy flavours and textures with the salted mullet’s close-grained resilience especially pleasing. A well-matched glass of Rosato del Veneto set it off nicely, too. I fancied a taste of the Lovely She’s 10 Hours braised lamb biryani, but heeded her warning to wait until the end of my fish dish –

the succulent and tender meat was an aromatic burst of cardamom that swept all before it, even the roast onion purée and accompanying chilli mango jam. Desserts beckoned, and though beetroot cheesecake was tempting, The Lovely She had a crisply-layered strawberry mille feuille, rich in passion fruit and mango chilli (if a little short on strawberries) and I enjoyed ‘Entertaining Rhubarb’ as much for the smooth richness of buttermilk sponge as the sharp pleasure of frozen, poached and jellified fruit. Our meal had come to just over £60 – not much more than the Table d’Hote – with another £20 for wines and no extra charge for the dockside cabaret and sunset view. (Tony Benjamin)



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KING WILLIAM A lovely neighbourhood pub that happens to serve exceedingly good grub



t would be churlish not to mention either Giles Coren or Matthew Fort when reviewing The King William - it’s pretty much the only gastropub in Bath to have dragged the big gun broadsheet food critics into the provinces, let alone attract such a level of national acclaim. But EOW has always loved it too, as have the happy gaggles of locals who regularly congregate around the street level bar of what’s essentially a lovely neighbourhood pub that happens to serve exceedingly good grub. The King Billy was, around seven years ago, the first in Charlie and Amanda Digney’s highly acclaimed triumvirate today supplemented by the Garrick’s Head in the city centre and the Oakhill Inn, out Radstock way. The KW may not be adjacent to the Theatre Royal, nor does it


“He started his royal feast off with Cornish scallops with Bath Pig chorizo and pea purée: an elegant example of a modern classic” languish in super-pretty pastoral surroundings. But for those with an eye for no fuss, zeitgeist-infused menus, the tastefully decorated, airy first floor dining room is most definitely a room with a view. Following an unbidden treat of sweet crab salad, He started his royal feast off with Cornish scallops with Bath Pig chorizo and pea purée: an elegant example of a modern classic. For me, dense chicken and pork terrine with real piccalilli (totally unrelated to the noxious insult to pickled vegetables to be found on the supermarket shelves), creamy tarragon mayonnaise and superb sourdough - a hearty

starter indeed, but having been gifted with a partner for whom “that’s enough” is an unknown expression, we were off to a flying start. For mains, His tender, juicy pork chop came partnered by earthy Laverstoke Park black pudding, mellowed by creamy chive mash and zinged up by tart apple sauce. Meanwhile, my whole baked lemon sole - sweet, soft, moist, delicate - came lounging on a bed of steamed sea spinach (a sort of samphire/chard hybrid?), roast beetroot adding a dramatic flourish to the plate, crayfish and lemon butter source bringing glamour to the party (glamour that I

swiftly deconstructed). Desserts of chocolate mousse with very short shortbread and a very grown-up warm walnut tart with brandy poached cherries and clotted cream confirmed the overall theme of our whole supper: the King William serves real, seasonal, impeccably sourced food cooked to its very best advantage with a no-quibble tally at the finish: two-courses £23; three £28; excellent Albizu Tempranillo £15 - no wonder the London set love London Road. (Melissa Blease)




Reliably splendid grub in chic but cosy surroundings.

➻ As chairman of a mighty cidermaking business you wouldn’t expect John Thatcher to be inventing machinery but, frustrated by the available fruit picking technology, he’s devised a ‘straddle harvester’ to shake apple trees and catch whatever ripe fruit falls out. The device has been manufactured to his concept by a Somerset engineering company and this year will see it set loose among Thatchers’ many acres of orchards for the first time. Sadly, despite the promise of a blossom-laden spring, the lack of summer weather means a poor apple harvest and a less than bumper crop of our favourite locallysourced tipple. It’s ironic, then, that this year cider finally overtook lager in popularity among British boozers, with 47% proudly claiming to be cider drinkers as opposed to 46% identifying with continental brews. It’s the latest milestone in cider’s relentless rise over the last six years, with volume sales rising by 24% and growth in sales of ‘premium’ ciders continuing to outperform the mass market brands like Strongbow and Magners. There’s no doubt that the cider habit has gone way beyond the West Country to become a staple of the great British drinking culture. That should be a matter of pride for us West Country folk who kept the drink going through those dark and be-Wurzeled ‘scrumpy years’ and our reward, rightly, has always been ready access to the best local farmhouse products. If 2012 looks to be a lean year then it’s only right we get first dibs, yes? And the rest can drink that Belgian stuff which, by their own admission, ‘is not cider’. Sorry, but we did invent the stuff! (Tony Benjamin, Eating Out West editor)

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Simply Beautiful Indian Food! • Authentic Indian restaurant • Elegant harbourside cocktail lounge • Bespoke cocktail masterclasses • Available for functions and celebrations • Private meeting room • Takeaway service now available

Planning a Christmas function?

We offer a new and exciting venue for seasonal parties and dining, or why not book a cocktail masterclass? A unique experience for your staff or clients!!

Call: 0117 929 8279 means my welcome p54.indd 1

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CLIFTON SAUSAGE An impressive roster of seasonal Britishness


hat’s in a name? For those who know the Clifton Sausage, probably not a lot, but I can’t help but imagine the occasional visitor, expecting something plain and simple, being a bit bewildered by their menu. Yes, there are sausages (and a fine array at that) served with a choice of mash, onion gravy and an optional ‘toad in the hole’ Yorkshire pud, but there’s a whole lot more besides. It’s an impressive roster of seasonal Britishness given interestingly fancy touches and you could easily miss out on bangers altogether. Thus I went for the vegetarian starter – a minty mash of broad beans on toast topped with poached egg and hollandaise sauce – and relished every mouthful while my companion The Duchess dabbed her breadcrumbed monkfish



“The slow-roasting had expanded the fibres into a tender softness that exuded pure, rich porkiness enhanced by the Bramley apple sauce and gravy” ‘scampi’ into tart and crunchy tartare sauce approvingly. Her newly-discovered enthusiasm for offal drew her to calves liver for her main – a stack of thin slices, pink-cooked, on a bed of colcannon mash set off with crispy rashers of bacon, a knot of sweet-fried shallots and liberally dressed with a deep red wine sauce. That generous plateful barely needed her share of the chilli and garlic fine green beans we’d ordered on the side but, like the broad beans, they’re freshly in season and worth celebrating. I actually do have a sausage and some mash on my plate, albeit alongside a glorious cracklingtopped wedge of Old Spot belly

pork and swimming in cider gravy. I’m not always convinced by the use of ‘breed’ meat in restaurants as the nuances can be buried in over-complex servings but this was a perfect example of letting it speak for itself. The slow-roasting had expanded the fibres into a tender softness that exuded pure, rich porkiness enhanced by the pungent Bramley apple sauce and gravy while the sausage, being Old Spot pork too, echoed the flavour in a brasher burst of meat juices. Greed and professionalism meant I followed with sticky toffee pudding, ridiculously sweet and, indeed, sticky in its pool of butterscotch sauce. The

wiser Duchess nibbled through a well-presented set of regional cheeses including the delectable Sharpham’s Rustic. Washed down with amiably smooth rioja from an efficiently comprehensive wine list (almost all available in a range of glass sizes), this well-executed feast served with light-touch friendliness in unfussily smart contemporary surroundings came to £80. That might have been stiff for bangers’n’mash but there’s so much more to the Clifton Sausage than simply sausages it’s well worth exploring their menu. (Tony Benjamin)



Classic British flavours perfected and presented afresh

The top farm shops combine straight-fromthe-pasture freshness with deli-quality goodies. BRISTOL FARM SHOP Windmill Hill City Farm BS3 4EA, • Upgraded offshoot of the City Farm offering wide stock incl delivered ‘freshboxes’ and on-line ordering. BROCKLEY FARM SHOP Main Rd, Brockley BS48 3AT • Seek out their lay-by location and you’ll be rewarded with famed home-baked treats. FARRINGTON’S FARM SHOP Home Farm, Main St, Farrington Gurney BS39 6UB, farringtons. (pictured) • The Countryside Alliance UK Farm Retailer of the Year 2011 also has Les Routiers 4-star status for the fresh-cooked local produce in their café. GATCOMBE FARM SHOP Weston Rd, Flax Bourton BS48 3QT, www.gatcombefarmshop. • Taste their home-reared meat in the carvery café before raiding the butchery section in the shop. MANOR FARM Upton Cheyney, Bristol BS30 6NQ, • Fine range of organic meat and veg including local venison, plus Upton Cheyney Chilli Company’s fiery fare. OLD DOWN COUNTRY PARK FARM SHOP Foxholes Lane, Tockington BS32 4PG, www. • Alongside kids’ activities and rare breed herds, the thriving walled garden produces fruit and veg for the café and shop. PRIOR PARK GARDEN CENTRE FARM SHOP Prior Park Rd, Bath BA2 4NF, www. • The shop is a treasure trove of local produce, including real ales and Brown Cow Organics speciality yogurts. RADFORD MILL FARM SHOP Picton St, Bristol BS6 5PZ, • This pioneer of Community Supported Agriculture in the heart of Bristol has been selling fresh organic produce from their Somerset farm for 30 years. WHITE ROW FARM SHOP Beckington BA11 6TN, • This food hall has it all, from John Thorner’s butchery and Hobbs House bread to The Scallop Shell – one of the country’s top fishmongers. WOODY’S Norton St Philip Farleigh Rd, Norton St Philip, BA2 7NG, • Woody’s well-stocked shelves include over 70 different cheeses and a full range of Thoughtful Bread Company treats.

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EATINGOUTWEST (Recipe) “Simon has devised the Jack’s Brasserie menus by giving classic British dishes a contemporary twist”




ack’s Bar & Brasserie is a small, independently owned chain of restaurants in Bristol and Portishead offering fresh, locally sourced dishes in stylish and relaxed surroundings at stunning waterside locations. Food lovers can set sail for a dining experience to savour at this top eating venue, led by executive chef Simon Davis. Situated overlooking Bristol Harbour and Portishead Marina with large, outdoor terraces, Jack’s Brasserie restaurants allow you to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and chill out alfresco style. Enjoy classic British cuisine with a modern twist, using the best quality ingredients and a changing seasonal menu. Soak up the great views and friendly atmosphere over


breakfast, lunch or supper and tuck into a wide range of mouth-watering dishes and beverages, including their famous chargrilled burgers and handcut chips. Treat yourself to a sumptuous Sunday lunch or their new Fintastic Fish Fridays, where customers can scale up their suppers and enjoy a whole fish and bottle of wine for just £35 with two people sharing. Jack’s Bristol is available for hire, with flexible event space provided on two floors for small intimate groups or large parties of up to 100 for formal dining or special occasions such as weddings. With picturesque and serene surroundings, Jack’s Brasserie also provides the ideal spot for drink and canapé receptions, bespoke buffets and barbeques for larger groups.



➻ A passion for food and inspiration from

a number of highly-rated chefs persuaded Executive Chef Simon Davis to pursue a career as a professional chef. Simon is interested in many aspects of the culinary art, and has developed skills across a wide range of cuisines and service styles. With over 15 years’ experience in the industry, Simon worked most recently as the Senior Sous Chef at the Harvey Nichols Second Floor Restaurant (2AA rosettes) in Bristol. Prior to that, he spent three years at the Michelin-starred Box Tree in Ilkley where he developed new à la carte menus with chef Simon Gueller and learned many culinary techniques. He also worked alongside Nigel Haworth to open the second of his highlyacclaimed Highwayman restaurants in Kirkby as a Junior Sous Chef. Simon has devised the Jack’s Brasserie menus by giving classic Great British dishes a contemporary twist using locally sourced produce. Look out for hints of Simon’s roots with touches of northern influence in his creations.

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t Jack’s this dish is served with a steamed suet pudding with slow cooked venison shoulder inside but the dish works well at home with just a pan roast fillet, haunch or sirloin.


◆ ¼ white cabbage (de-veined and finely sliced) ◆ 100ml sherry vinegar ◆ 100ml white wine vinegar ◆ 50g sugar ◆ 1 thumb fresh ginger (peeled and grated) ◆ 1 fresh chilli (roughly chopped) ◆ Handful of juniper berries FOR THE CARROT PURÉE

◆ 1kg English carrots ◆ 500ml veg stock ◆ 75g butter ◆ 2 star anise FOR THE VENISON

◆ 2 venison steaks ◆ 500ml fresh stock ◆ glass of red wine

TO MAKE SPICED PICKLED CABBAGE Best done at least two days prior to eating. Bring the two vinegars and the sugar to the boil, add the ginger, chilli and juniper berries and reduce by quarter. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes, then pour through a sieve over the cabbage (removing chilli etc). Cover with parchment and cool fully.

CARROT PURÉE Cook the carrots slowly in the butter with the star anise; allow to break down and slightly caramelise. Remove the star anise, and place in a food processor and blitz, gradually adding the stock until a glossy and smooth purée is achieved (you probably will not use all of the stock).

VENISON Take your venison steaks and seal in a hot pan with vegetable oil then roast in the same pan in the oven (190oc) for 7-10 minutes (depending on the size and cut - you must make sure it is nice and pink in the middle). Season the meat in the pan with salt and black pepper. When cooked, remove, put the venison somewhere warm to rest and tip any excess oil from the pan. Using the same pan as used for the venison,

place on a high heat and add a glass of red wine, reduce by half and add in 500ml of good quality (fresh) stock, beef, veal or venison. Reduce again until thickened to a sauce consistency, season to taste, and use to sauce the venison and around the plate. Place the warmed cabbage and carrot purée on the plate, then the carved venison; pour over the red wine sauce; finish with a pinch of Cornish sea salt.



➻ Intense garnet red, with a typical cherry, spice, violet and rose scented aroma. The palate is rich and full, with intense black fruit and cherry flavours and a hint of prunes and sweet spice on the finish. Aged for three years in large oak barrels, it has smooth tannins and savoury notes that make it a perfect match for venison.

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of the month


Melissa Blease raises a glass to welcome the arrival of The Trinity Inn – the latest addition to the splendid Abbey Ales’ empire


ounded in 1997, Abbey Ales is the first and only brewery in the historic City of Bath for over 50 years, highly regarded around these parts for their glorious brews, most notably their CAMRA prizewinning beer Bellringer - a golden 4.2% abv best bitter and the only cask beer continuously produced at the Abbey Brewery. Meanwhile, fans of proper pubs love the Abbey Ales ‘family’ (The Star Inn, the Coeur de Lion and the Assembly) for their down-home approach, warm welcome and sturdy, proper pub grub. Little wonder, then, when a fourth acquisition in this lively miniempire opened its doors, glasses were raised throughout the Heritage City. “The Trinity is situated in a developing part of Bath right on the James Street West/ Kingsmead Square axis, where there was a clear need for a traditional pub,” Abbey Ales’

head honcho Alan Morgan tells Eating Out West. “The original pub had, however, become a little bit run down in recent years, so we’ve treated it to a complete refurbishment, fully restoring it to its former glory.” Today, this tasteful hostelry offers the best of the brewery’s own range of cask beers alongside a selection of local ales, continental lagers, upmarket wines and a massive range of vodkas, many of them Polish (and one of them lethal - see panel). On the food front, expect classic, well-priced pub favourites including Abbey Ales’ famous Bellringer and steak pie, traditional roasts, fish and chips plus a large, good-value range of paninis and chunky sandwiches - yum. “Abbey Ales has a love and enthusiasm for great beer and quality pub food,” says Alan. And now The Trinity is part of the Abbey Ales family - we all say three cheers to that. THE TRINITY INN JAMES STREET WEST, BATH. FFI: 01225 469456, WWW.ABBEYALES.CO.UK


Watch out, Bath barflies - there’s a brand new kid-with-a-kick in town. Brewed with one of the hottest chillies on the planet, The Trinity’s Naga Jolokia Chilli Vodka is the ultimate test for tastebuds. “It seems that there are some foods and drinks that are designed purely to test a person’s ability to consume them,” says the Trinity’s manager Tycjan Zaleski (pictured). “Perhaps it’s the challenge aspect of the drink that makes it so appealing. It’s a lot of fun watching someone try it; moments after, they’re begging for milk, water, crisps - anything to fan the flames in their mouths. But it’s actually a very nice vodka for people who like hot stuff!” Plenty of volunteers have already taken the Naga Jolokia Chilli Vodka challenge - the pub was halfway through its third bottle just two weeks after putting it on sale. “The big rugby lads come in and brag about all the spicy food they eat, but after one sip of our vodka they’re on the floor,” says Tycjan. “But there were two people who had three shots each and their eyes didn’t even water - for them it was just like sipping for pleasure!” Which, if you’re of a certain persuasion, it probably is.




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of the month


The Better Food Company has always been a byword for local excellence. Tony Benjamin pays a visit to their Whiteladies Road Food Hall & Deli


wo years ago the Whiteladies Road branch of Bottoms Up closed down and an ambitious refurbishment began. Stripping away a rather gloomy 70s conversion, the new owners revealed a bigger, brighter, highceilinged Victorian room with original flooring and thus was born the Better Food Company Food Hall. Sister operation to the long-established St

Werburghs shop, it was never meant to be a clone of the original. “We knew it would be its own place,” BFC Marketing Manager Lucy Gatward recalls. “Obviously we have our values, and that doesn’t change, but in another part of town with different customers we have to recognise what they want. The first shop developed over years but this one had to hit the ground running.” As well as a well-stocked deli with a cakefriendly café and a cheering selection of booze there’s a comprehensive stock of health and body-care products and supplements, with a staff team of specialists eagerly ready to help out on anything from diet to deliciousness. “They’re such a great bunch,” Lucy enthuses. “Claire who does the supplements and body-care is actually a qualified nutritional therapist, which means she’s also able to advise on a healthy diet. And then there’s Richard …” Cheesemonger Richard is a legend in the making. Coming with many years’ experience in the trade, it seems there’s almost nothing he doesn’t know about the subject and yet is always researching new products. Recent discoveries have included Homewood ewe’s cheeses made with local milk on a farm in the Mendips and

Jonathan Crump’s Gloucester cheeses, claimed to be the only examples made from a herd of the rare Gloucester cattle on Jonathan’s farm. New discoveries are all very well, of course, but they still have to match up to the Better Food Company principles. “People buying from us are concerned about provenance; it’s about trust… We have to stand tall on that one and be clear,” Lucy explains. “We need to know all about the producers we buy from and be confident how things are made. We don’t just look at their website – we ask questions!” Which can mean a grilling over the phone and maybe a visit from Phil Haughton, founder and main man of the BFC operation with a lifetime’s experience in organic farming and food. “Phil has a clear idea of what’s right and wrong and it keeps up our standards. We always try to get organic, and if we can’t we go for local – but we still have to be sure it’s GM free or whatever.” One new development has been the BFC ‘Red Spot’ label identifying gluten-free foods. While some products might not contain gluten themselves they can be made in places where gluten is used and that ‘contact’ can be enough to make it dangerous for people with coeliac disease. Nothing gets the Red Spot, however, unless it really is safe and the same will apply to the dairy-free ‘Blue Spot’ they’re developing. It’s all part of maintaining the family name, so to speak, because the Better Food Company has long been a byword in Bristol and beyond for sourcing ethical and healthy food from reliable local producers. That commitment saw them selected alongside The People’s Supermarket in the finals of last year’s Observer Ethical Awards, having already scooped Natural & Organic’s Best Independent Retailer in 2010. “We have some lovely regulars at Whiteladies Road,” says Lucy. “They know all about quality and have the time to browse so we have to get it right for them.”



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Our monthly round-up of news from the foodie world


➻ Forget those trolleys and

barcodes and check out one of the West’s vibrant markets to catch the local harvest at its freshest…

Stables courtyard of Ashton Court Mansion, Bristol, 10.30am–2.30pm, 3rd Sun of month. Ffi: BATH FARMERS MARKET Green Park Station, Bath, 9am-1.30pm, every Sat. Ffi: HARBOURSIDE MARKET No.1 Harbourside, Canons Rd, Bristol, 11am-4pm, every Sat & Sun. Ffi: LONG ASHTON VILLAGE MARKET Long Ashton Community Centre, Keedwell Hill, Long Ashton, Bristol, 9.30am-1pm, first Sat of month. Ffi: ASHTON COURT PRODUCERS MARKET


ast month, fans of Katie & Kim’s Kitchen (pictured) were shocked to find an empty space by the old Motorcycle Showroom on Stokes Croft, Bristol. The distinctive horsebox diner had gone on the festival circuit, feeding the masses at Shambala and the like. The big news, however, is that they’re en route to the British Street Food Awards finals to be held outside Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant in Hoxton. They’re hoping their awesome bacon sandwiches will wow the judges (and they should) but their vehicle is bust and they need help getting the kitchen to London on September 14. Willing volunteers with a handy tow-bar should contact them via Facebook (katieandkimskitchen). Maybe Bath Ales could lend them one of their ever-growing fleet of vehicles? The brewery’s expansion continues apace with


delivery of another two fermenting tanks which will increase their productivity by some 40% . Their Warmley-based bottling plant has just sealed the cap on their ten millionth bottle of ale, in case you hadn’t been counting. With new Bath Ales pubs recently opened in Oxford and Cirencester, there’ll be even more of their wagons on the road, no doubt. September is set to be a busy month for Mrs Stokes, Bath’s queen of all things vintage. Not only is she holding one of her super-stylish Secret Tea Parties on September 1 but she’ll also be hosting a whole Vintage Weekend in the Octagon in Milsom Place (September 29-30). Naturally there’ll be a retro tearoom with nostalgic musical entertainment as well as a market selling china, clothes and accessories and the ever-popular Pop-Up Parlour will be offering their retro-makeovers. Check www. for more information.

of Whiteladies Rd & Apsley Rd, Clifton, Bristol, 8.30am-2pm, 1st & 3rd Sat of month. Ffi: WESTON-SUPER-MARE FARMERS MARKET High St, Weston-super-Mare, 9am-12.30pm, 2nd Sat of month. KEYNSHAM FARMERS MARKET Ashton Way car park, Keynsham, Bristol, 9am-1pm, 2nd Sat of month. Ffi: WESTBURY-ON-TRYM MARKET Medical Centre car park, Westbury Hill, Bristol, 9am–1pm, 4th Sat of month. TOBACCO FACTORY MARKET Raleigh Rd, Southville, Bristol, 10am-2.30pm, every Sun. Ffi: SLOW FOOD MARKET Corn St, Bristol, 10am-3pm, 1st Sun of month. Ffi: BRISTOL FARMERS MARKET Corn St, Bristol, 9.30am–2.30pm, every Weds. Ffi:

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LOVE YOUR LABELS ➻ For fashion lovers who can’t resist the allure of designer

labels but equally want to stretch their shopping budget to the max, McArthurGlen’s Designer Outlet Fashion Month is an irresistible diary date. It’s part of a national initiative hosted by Europe’s leading Designer Outlet Group and the date in question is the whole of September. Your destination to celebrate the thrill of seeking out designer labels for less is McArthurGlen Swindon. The event is being championed by model and Cultural Ambassador for the British Fashion Council, Laura Bailey, as well as acclaimed singer/songwriter Delilah, currently on tour with Prince, and top style blogger Sandra from 5inchandup ( This stylish trio are selfconfessed shopping thrill seekers who share a passion for finding designer gems for less. All three have been styled and snapped in their favourite finds from McArthurGlen’s AW collections and will share their ‘how to shop outlet’ tips, ultimate style guidelines and sartorial advice for the new season. Continuing their on-going support of young British design talent, McArthurGlen has also teamed up with Holly Fulton – one of Britain’s bright young things - who has designed an exclusive tote bag to help celebrate McArthurGlen’s Designer Outlet Fashion Month. Shoppers will have the chance to pick up one of the limited edition bags at the centre’s VIP Style Day on Saturday 29 September and will also be treated to exclusive offers and brand discounts, style workshops and an opportunity to pick up an exclusive 10% VIP Card.



THE FUTURE’S BRIGHT ➻ Set in the heart of Bristol's elegant Clifton

Village, Boutique 33 was opened in February 2012. Seeing a gap in the market in Clifton and the surrounding area for a shop exclusively selling Bristol-designed and locally made clothes and accessories, owner Naomi Corkell set about flying the flag for Bristol and British Designers. So what you'll find as you browse the beautiful shelves is jewellery made by fellow Bristolians Nellies Designs and Amber Marie, while handbags are made by local company Harbourside Handbags. While on the racks you can expect wearable pieces by Fair Trade companies Nomads and Saskia, along with a range from contemporary clothing label Toohoi, designed and made right here in Bristol. As well as the stock being brand new, Boutique 33 itself has recently undergone a new season makeover with a redesigned shop front and interior in a rich purple and gold colour scheme to further accentuate the

boutique's lxurious feel. Having trouble choosing an AW outfit? Thanks to a brand new online shop, you can order that must-have peplum top whenever the mood strikes you. Personally though, we prefer to focus our minds with a trip to see Amy, Boutique 33's very own in-house beautician, in the gorgeous pamper rooms downstairs. See you there... BOUTIQUE 33 33 REGENT ST, CLIFTON VILLAGE, BRISTOL. FFI: 0117 973 9570, WWW.BOUTIQUE33.CO.UK

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SOMETHING OLD ➻ Bath’s first home grown vintage fashion

fair is back. The wild success of the first ever BathVA Fashion Fair in April – which marked Bath In Fashion 2012’s grand finale - proved to be an eclectic visual feast. From 1950s iconic dresses to vintage cars, cakes, catwalks and workshops, the Fair had the beautiful old station at Green Park humming with nostalgic life. The BathVA Fashion Fair returns to Green Park Station next month to host the autumn/ winter collection where you can sip an amaretto coffee, have your hair up-styled into vintage victory rolls while perusing the most beautiful vintage autumn fashion finds. In the unlikely event that you don’t find the frock of your dreams, you’ll still be lavishly entertained as the Must-Dash Dance Theatre

troop liven up proceedings with their 20s-50s old-style moves fused with contemporary dance. Vintage has become one of the biggest trends in fashion over the last few years, whether it be a classic prom dress or streetwear reworked from vintage fabric. Second hand clothes are now recognized as high quality, great-value alternatives to the high street and a firm favourite with fashion trendsetters and celebrities alike. Join the trend and have a fun day out into the bargain. BATHVA FASHION FAIR OCTOBER 7, GREEN PARK STATION, BATH, 9.30AM-4PM, FREE. FFI: 07723 611249, WWW.VINTAGEANDANTIQUES.CO.UK/ BATHVA-VINTAGE-FASHION-FAIR

➻ Boux Avenue is bringing its lingerie range to Cabot Circus, just months after opening a branch in SouthGate, Bath. “It’s the perfect destination for lingerie lovers,” reckons owner Theo Paphitis. The Autumn 12 range features an array of sumptuous fabrics, bold prints and delicate detailing in a jewel tone palette as well as everyday bra solutions and ultra feminine pastel tones adorning more vintage stylings. The autumn ‘Embrace Your Curves’ campaign promises to make women feel sexy and confident, whatever their size. In store, women are offered free bra fittings and three different light settings in the fitting rooms that emulate day, dusk and night. BOUX AVENUE OPENS SEPTEMBER 13, CABOT CIRCUS, BRISTOL. FFI: WWW.BOUXAVENUE.COM


BOOMING BOUTIQUE ➻ Amulet Boutique has announced the arrival of its new store on

Cotham Hill - just 16 months after opening its first shop on the same street. Best known for its unique and ethically sourced jewellery and boutique label clothing, Amulet has fast become a popular destination for discerning Bristol shoppers looking for something different from the high street. Director Hemali Modha tells Folio: “The support of local people has encouraged me to take the big step of moving to larger premises on Cotham Hill and the response has been fantastic. In the new premises we are able to offer customers an even wider product range in even more lovely surroundings. We’ll be able to offer more clothes and accessories from brands such as Fever London, Emily & Fin, Ingenue, Azuni, Mirabelle, Leju and Owen Barry to name a few. We’ll be introducing a few new brands and the space has allowed us to introduce a range of gifts, and home interiors.” AMULET BOUTIQUE 39A COTHAM HILL, BRISTOL. FFI: 0117 239 9932, EMAIL: INFO@AMULETBOUTIQUE.CO.UK

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in this lounge dress that can be easily layered to be warmer or cooler as the temperature changes. Pile on scarves, thick tights and boots, or go barelegged with a pair of your favourite flats. Anything goes! Glacier Lounge dress, Amulet Boutique, £69.99

AUTUMN Kate Hacker looks forward to a multi-layered, richly coloured season


fter a less-thansummery summer, let’s all give a warm welcome to a season that’s a bit more reliable. While temperatures may still fluctuate, autumn invites the perfect seasonal solution: layering. Summer skimpiness may be fun while it lasts, but in the end allows less room for creatively mixing, matching and showing off as much fashion as we can in one outfit! This year’s autumn and winter styles are all about piling on the loose, comfy layers, mixing chunky knits, flowing fabrics and monotone denim, and topping it all off with unique accessories. After all – what’s the point of clothing if it doesn’t express something about you? New season trends also include rich colours such as aubergine, emerald, mustard and charcoal. Not only are these colours rich and warm, but they subtly hearken back to the 1970s – a growing trend on the runway. Bring these colours out in wardrobe staples such as trousers and tops, but don’t shy away from them in your accessories as well.

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make a great accessory no matter what time of the year, and the fashion-forward square shape of these glasses, paired with the classy tortoise shell and smoky lens make it the perfect seasonal transition piece. Karen Walker Number Two Crazy Tortoise sunglasses, Found Bath, £140




just because the cooler weather is rolling in doesn’t mean all scarves have to be heavy and woollen (though we love those too!). Try a lighter scarf as a colourful accessory. Passigatti silk and cotton scarf with tassels, Motiq, £65


snuggled in cable-knit fingerless mittens. Go bold by choosing mustard or another of this season’s hot colours. Diamond cable fingerless mittens, John Lewis, £15


BRIGHTEN UP EVERYDAY outfits with pretty flower earrings. Rodney Holman gold-plated flower stud earrings, Motiq, £16


LEATHER BROGUES are a classy addition to any outfit, on top of being wonderfully comfortable and long-wearing. These shoes will stand the test of time and make a great investment for your shoe collection. Made in England Eaton Square Brogues, John Lewis, £165



emerald straight-leg jeans. Trousers are a great way to show off your figure, while staying warm and adding more bulky layers on top. Phoenix straight leg jeans, Amulet Boutique, £39.99


STAY WARM in this knitted

cardigan, sporting an eyecatching print. Add on top of a solid print jean and you’re ready to go. Printed cardigan, Next, £42


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Sick of surviving on four hours sleep? Tired of pureeing the contents of your vegetable drawer? Battling with a child who won’t eat anything green? About to become a dad and looking for the instruction manual? These issues, your own and much more! Invaluable, involving and interesting workshops for mums and dads on a range of topics. Run by experts who have seen it and solved it. Great venues, decent refreshments and new friends. For one of the best investments you’ll make in your child (and you!), visit: Exclusive offer for Folio readers Save 15% on all workshops until the end of September. Quote FOLIO15 on booking.


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FASHION Choose your item. I opted for this plain white t-shirt.


Gather all your materials together so everything is within easy reach.

DIY STUDS Stylist Niki Whittle freshens up her wardrobe


here are some trends that are me all over. Last season it was leopard print and this season the trend for stud embellishment has my name on it. Not only are shoes, bags and belts adorned in studs and spikes, clothing has joined the party too. Pretty blouses are shaking their good girl image with clusters of studs decorating their collars; denim jackets have taken on a more edgy look with studded shoulders; and even t-shirts have been given a new lease of life with studded necklines. This trend is so easy to add to your style and even easier to recreate yourself. It’s perfect for breathing new life into an old item of clothing. So this month, I’m doing things a little differently. Instead of advising you where to find the perfect item so you can work this trend, I hope to inspire you to try your hand at a spot of up-cycling. It doesn’t take great skill or even much time; all you need is a pre-loved item of clothing, a pair of pliers, some dressmaker’s chalk and a packet of studs. So, unleash your creative side, grab those clothes in need of a freshen up and follow my step by step guide to turn them into something you’ll want to wear again and again.

Once you’ve decided where you want the studs to go, line them up to make sure they fill the space evenly. Then use dressmaker’s chalk to mark where each stud will go. I’m adding a row of studs along the shoulder. Choosing a seam to follow makes it easier to keep things neat.

Push the claws through the fabric and pinch into place with pliers, making sure to fix them well so they don’t scratch your skin.



Repeat on the other side, and you’re finished. See, it’s easy!

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Email ~ Tel ~ 01179 739570 33 Regent St, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 4HR.


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For hair, AW12 looks set to be slick, shiny and sculptured as the effortless high pony-tail emerges as a seasonal showstopper. Dramatically stylish, this high fashion look highlights your most outstanding features. Create a fuss-free statement by working a styling product through the top of your locks before slicking back. The higher you position the pony-tail, the more of a striking statement you will create. Finish the look by applying a highshine hairspray, perfect for creating the ultimate glossy pony-tail.




BEAUTIFUL Head down to Cabot Circus to get this season’s catwalk look



A purple haze descended on the autumn 2012 catwalk shows this year - with Christopher Kane showing his collection on a lavender carpet and Gucci using the colour to full effect. This season’s hottest colour adds an edgy vibe to AW12 make-up and will keep you ahead in the style stakes. To ensure the right look, try this.




Twenty years after the launch of Touche Eclat, Yves Saint Laurent has launched a foundation giving the illuminating result of the highlighter for the entire face. Le Teint Touche Eclat targets shadowy areas and defines contours. It enhances the face’s natural features with a powder-free formula that forms a translucent film on the skin surface and smooths away imperfections. Available in 22 shades.


A brand new launch from one of the industry’s most luxurious brands, Crème de la Mer replenishes moisture, leaving skin feeling renewed, energised and radiant. The Moisturizing Soft Cream is a revolutionary new formula with advanced absorption technology replenishing moisture and strengthening skin. Excellent for all skin types, this product is perfect for when the winter months set in. CRÈME DE LA MER FROM £100 AT HARVEY NICHOLS



The new limited edition face powder from Clarins is ideal for all skin tones. Blend the four shades together using a powder brush or apply the pink shade as blush for an instant radiance boost. The Light-Optimizing+ Complex reduces the appearance of wrinkles and imperfections, leaving skin looking even and radiant.



For AW12, Nails Inc has created a new colour range based on the biggest catwalk trends. The six-piece mini collection features all you need for must-have manicures of the moment: Sloane Gardens (navy glitter), Chester Street (unique pearl), Bruton Mews (deep forest green), Richmond Terrace (deep forest plum), Jermyn Street (taupe) and Chelsea Bridge Road (tomato red). NAILS INC COLLECTION AVAILABLE AT HOUSE OF FRASER, £22


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NEW CHROMATICS The hair colour you've been waiting for • No Ammonia • No Odour • 100% white coverage Hair feels up to 2x stronger! products are used in the Salon 6 Rockleaze Rd, Sneyd Park, Bristol BS9 1NF Tel: 0117 9682663

MARK SIMMONS PHOTOGRAPHY Tel: 0117 9140999 Mobile: 07778 063 699

Natural Weddings “Mark Simmons has both the skilled eye and craftsmanship to make your wedding album come alive every time you turn the pages. Frozen action and classic art are merged to create an emotional trip down memory lane. Mark’s documentary style is energy filled, fun and delivered with an ever reassuring calmness for even the most camera shy family member. Moreover, Mark is a joy to work with and has a winning formula.” Tina and Garry Tabor FOLIO/SEPTEMBER 2012 71

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Natural Diet and Remedies

Cooking for Health Do you need help with obesity, asthma, arthritis, diabetes, cancer, heart problems... and other illnesses? consultations


cooking classes

for more information please contact: J. Davis BA, KI cert. Tel: 0117 317 8098

Macrobiotic Consultant



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


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FIGHTING FITCLUB ➻ Personal trainer, sports massage/injury therapy specialist, kettlebell instructor, core training instructor and nutritional consultant… Tom Horton has a wealth of experience in not only getting clients the results they want but changing their lifestyle along the way. Focusing on nutrition and using a number of mediums, Tom will get you into the best shape of your life. He recently took some time out to tell Folio all about his new venture: Fitclub What is Fitclub all about? Fitclub is a unique fitness studio designed to help real people get real results. We don’t have rows and rows of treadmills, x-trainers and stationary bikes, but what we do have is four individual trainers ready to give one-on-one coaching, all of whom who are dedicated to helping you achieve your goals. What was your original inspiration for Fitclub? After spending a number of years as a professional trainer within the corporate

gym environment I felt there was a need for a smaller, more focused space where people can work with a personal trainer in order to achieve real results. Swinging ropes, smashing medicine balls and punch pads, snatching kettlebells and flipping tyres are just some of the methods implemented by the trainers at Fitclub. We also use our unique chalkboard walls as the motivation to help you achieve your goal. Who might Fitclub most appeal to? Fitclub will appeal to anyone who has taken the decision to invest in their health and fitness, and wants to take advantage of the highly motivating atmosphere that we promote. How much does it cost? There is no cost for joining or using Fitclub - clients only pay for the time and expertise of their personal trainer.

What might Fitclub folk look forward to achieving? Fitclub folk can expect to achieve their goals in a cool and alternative environment while having fun. FITCLUB 177 SOUTH LIBERTY LANE, ASHTON, BRISTOL. FFI 07949 808602, WWW.FITCLUBTEAM.CO.UK


CHRISTIAN DUNHAM ➻ Professional bass player Christian Dunham relocated to Bath from Australia in 2008 following a UK tour with American legend Don McLean. Tired of life on the road and seeking a more fulfilling career, Christian decided to train as a Bowen Therapist. Bowen Therapy (or the Bowen Technique) is a remedial, hands-on therapy. There is no manipulation of joints or ligaments and the experience is gentle, subtle and relaxing, gently prompting the body to reset, repair and rebalance. Christian undertook further training as a clinical hypnotherapist and gained his Diploma in Solution Focused Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy at the prestigious Clifton Practice in Bristol. Today, Christian treats people of all ages and from all walks of life. "The great thing about Bowen is that it is so gentle you can treat anyone whether they are very fit or very frail,” he says. “My oldest client is 97 years old, my youngest three weeks old." A key part of Christian's practice is with pregnant women, helping them relieve the stresses and strains of pregnancy and childbirth. CHRISTIAN DUNHAM DHP, HPD, MNCH (REG), ECBS. FFI: 07910 332393, WWW.CHRISTIANDUNHAM.NET


ORIENTAL HEALING ➻ Highly qualified Shiatsu practitioner Carla-Jo Geraghty has

brought the powerful healing art to the Bath Natural Health Clinic. The aim of Shiatsu is to stimulate and strengthen the body’s natural healing ability by connecting to the meridians and acupressure points on the body using finger or palm pressure, stretches, rotations, and gentle holding, preventing the build-up of stress and encouraging a sense of peace. “Shiatsu can foster a deep sense of well-being, helping people through life’s challenges,” Carla-Jo explains. “Shiatsu really helped me deal with my personal grieving process when I lost both my father and my aunt at the age of 24. I felt that I was holding a lot of tension in my body and in my chest, and my breathing was very shallow. Shiatsu provided me with the focus I needed at that difficult time and it’s now become a new-found way of life.” Today, Carla-Jo uses her experience and passion to help people manage their emotional and physical needs.


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For more information call Simon Wellby your certified Rolfer: 07799 693 546


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All in it together: (L to R) Jonathan Hampson of Zipcar, Executive Councillor Tim Kent and Richard Drew of City Car

The number of car club spaces in Bristol has doubled in three years. Suzanne Savill gets behind the wheel of a City Car


ven before I clambered into the Toyota Yaris with the words City Car Club emblazoned on its immaculate white paintwork, I had discovered the benefits of being a member of a car club. I wasn’t supposed to be driving the Yaris. I’d been booked in to drive a silver Ford Fiesta that has intrigued me for some time, as it has its own designated parking space near where I live. Then, on the scheduled morning, the windscreen of the Fiesta was damaged - so the Yaris was waiting for me in the parking space instead. It immediately highlighted one of the major differences between being a car owner and a member of a car club. As an owner, the car is all yours - and so are all the hassles that go with it: the servicing; the tax; the insurance; the unexpected problems like broken windscreens. However, paying an annual membership plus an hourly rate to a car club means you don’t have to concern yourself about any of that. Using City Car Club – the largest car club in Bristol – proved less complicated than I’d expected. There was none of the timeconsuming paperwork that has to be filled in when hiring a car, just a conference call

between myself, a City Car representative and the DVLA. A plastic wallet containing a chip card and an instruction booklet arrive by post, while the PIN number to enable me to obtain the car key is sent by email. Once you’ve booked your required slot (online or by phone at any time) you get into a City Car by swiping the chip card across a device behind the windscreen, which unlocks the doors. Enter your PIN number into an electronic device in the glove box and the key is yours. All went smoothly until I turned the key in the ignition, intending to roll down the electric windows and adjust the wing mirrors. Nothing happened. I turned the key again. And again. Still nothing. I decided to ring the 0845 number for the car club, and anticipated having to listen to recorded messages and key in numbers for various options. Thankfully the phone was answered quickly by a helpful young woman who solved my dilemma instantly: you have to press in the clutch for the ignition to work! After that, it was just like driving a normal car. There’s no need to use the

plastic chip card whenever you get out of or into the car: it is only needed again at the end of the booking to lock the car after the key has been replaced in its electronic holder. Best of all, there’s no hassle trying to find a parking space – you return the car to the same designated bay. A great stress-free end to a journey. Bristol boasts 2,600 car club members, a figure that has more than doubled since 2002. Membership is projected to rise to 7,500 by 2015 which would make Bristol the biggest and most active car club city outside London. Why not see how much you could save as a car club member by visiting the website below?



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Left A King Edward’s School trip to Iceland made for amazing photos and lifelong memories Right Music is a big part of the curriculum at Kingswood Prep School


PERSONAL Nothing beats a reallife visit when choosing a school for your child, writes Simon Fry


chools across the region are welcoming visitors to open days as parents seek to make the best decision for their child’s future. A new headmaster took over at 17th-century Sidcot School in Winscombe on August 1 when Iain Kilpatrick swapped Scotland’s highlands for Somerset’s Mendips. Parents are invited to hear his vision for the school’s future at an open morning on Friday September 21, starting at 9.30am. They will be able to tour both Junior and Senior Schools and see Sidcot’s amazing facilities which include a

Music and entertainment are on offer at Colston’s Open Morning

brand-new arts faculty, a sports centre and swimming pool and equestrian centre. Find out about the golden girls of the Red Maids’ School’s busy summer at open mornings on Thursday 11 October and Saturday 10 November. While one contingent journeyed to the Olympic Stadium to participate in a guard of honour welcoming the athletes into the arena, another group jetted to Uganda to help build a school as part of their United World Schools Trust work. Back in Bristol, 14 girls had their artwork displayed at Hotwells’ View art gallery. Parents and pupils attending open events at the Royal High School Bath are told, “Believe what you feel”. In much the same manner as house hunting, what you feel when you walk into a school is just as important as what you see. It must feel right. This school will be home to your daughter, so it has to fit her now, feel comfortable and give her room to grow. The genuine warmth and friendliness of all the people you and your daughter meet should shine through. King Edward’s School is one of the UK’s top academic independent day schools for girls and boys aged 3-18 years. This success has been achieved through the very highest standards in teaching and the individual guidance given to its pupils. A broad and dynamic curriculum is underpinned by outstanding pastoral care and an exceptional range of extra-curricular activities. Colston’s School’s open mornings are lively, with the school’s swing band providing an upbeat reception. Another pleasant surprise is the school’s 30-acre site; no other Bristol school has as much green, recreational space and all facilities, including sport, are onsite. During the next open morning on Saturday 29 September,

Anyone for tennis? Pupils at Westonbirt Prep & Senior Schools

Year 7 pupils will show visitors around, happy to answer questions and talk openly about their school experience. Wellsway School is a high performing 11-18 comprehensive school. It achieved an Ofsted Outstanding judgement in March 2011 and became an academy in October 2011; examination results consistently amongst the country’s highest have earned it a number of national awards. Wellsway’s large and successful sixth form offers a wide range of courses, with many students progressing to university. A brand new sports centre will open in November 2012, in addition to an exciting new performing arts studio. Kingswood School, founded in 1748 by John Wesley, provides a happy, caring and disciplined environment based on strong Christian principles. The Senior School open morning is on Saturday 28 September with matches during the afternoon which can be viewed from the school playing fields’ new sports pavilion. The Prep School’s open morning on Saturday 6 October offers an exciting introduction to the way in which Kingswood nurtures a love of learning for its youngest pupils. FIND OUR FULL LISTINGS FOR FORTHCOMING SCHOOL OPEN DAYS ON PAGE 81.

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Forthcoming open days at schools across the region... BACKWELL SCHOOL Station Rd, Backwell, Bristol Open Evening Thu 13 Sept, 6.30pm Sixth Form Open Evening Thu 29 Nov 7.30pm FFI: 01275 463371, WWW.BACKWELLSCHOOL.NET CLIFTON COLLEGE 32 College Rd,Clifton (Upper, Sixth Form) / The Avenue, Clifton (Prep) / Guthrie Rd, Clifton (Butcombe) Sixth Form Open Evening Wed 10 Oct, 6-8pm (Please arrive by 6pm) Open Days Sat 6 Oct, Arrive by 10am (Upper, Prep) / Tue 18 Sept, 10.30am & Tue 25 Sept, 1.30pm (Butcombe) FFI: 0117 315 7000 (Upper, Sixth form), 315 7502 (Prep), 315 7591 (Butcombe), WWW.CLIFTONCOLLEGEUK.COM CLIFTON HIGH SCHOOL College Rd, Clifton Senior School Open Evening Thu 20 Sept, 6.458pm (TBC) Whole School Open Morning Sat 13 Oct, 9.30am12noon (TBC) FFI: 0117 933 9087, WWW.CLIFTONHIGH.BRISTOL.SCH.UK COLSTON’S GIRLS’ SCHOOL Cheltenham Road, Bristol Open Evenings 1 & 2 Tue 18 Sept, 6-8.30 pm / Wed 26 Sept, 6-8.30pm Sixth Form Open Evening Wed 10 Oct, 6-8pm The Dolphin School (Primary) Open Evenings 1 & 2 Thu 4 Oct / Wed 7 Nov (TBCPM) FFI: 0117 942 4328, WWW.COLSTONSGIRLS.BRISTOL.SCH.UK COLSTON’S SCHOOL Stapleton, Bristol Open Morning Sat 29 Sept, 10am-1pm Sixth Form Open Evening Thu 11 Oct, 7pm FFI: 0117 965 5207, DENISESOLLIS@COLSTONS.BRISTOL.SCH.UK, WWW.COLSTONS.BRISTOL.SCH.UK FLEET TUTORS No-obligation consultations for personal tutoring. FFI: TEL: 0845 644 5452, FLEET-TUTORS.CO.UK GRACEFIELD PREPARATORY SCHOOL 266 Overndale Rd, Fishponds, Bristol Open Morning Sat 29 Sept, 10am-12.30pm FFI: 0117 956 7977, WWW.GRACEFIELDSCHOOL.CO.UK GRITTLETON HOUSE SCHOOL Grittleton, Chippenham Open Mornings Wed 26 Sept (Lower, Flying start nursery) / Sat 13 Oct (Whole School) / Tue 13 Nov (Senior) please contact school for times. FFI: 01249 782434, WWW.GRITTLETONHOUSESCHOOL.ORG

KING EDWARD’S SCHOOL North Rd, Bath ( Junior, Senior & Sixth form) / Weston Lane, Bath (Pre-prep) Sixth Form Open Evening Fri 12 Oct, 6-8pm Senior, Junior & Pre-prep Open Morning Sat 13 Oct, 9am-12noon FFI: 01225 421681 (PRE-PREP) / 463218 ( JUNIOR) / 464313 (SENIOR & SIXTH FORM), WWW.KESBATH.COM

Sidcot School’s new headmaster Iain Kilpatrick

KINGSWOOD SCHOOL College Rd, Bath (Prep) /Lansdown, Bath (Senior) Open Mornings Sat 29 Sept, 9am-12noon (Senior) / Sat 6 Oct, TBCAM (Prep) FFI: 01225 734210 (SENIOR) / 734460 (PREP), WWW.KINGSWOOD.BATH.SCH.UK L’ECOLE FRANÇAISE DE BRISTOL Henbury Village Hall, Henbury Open Morning Mon 22 Oct, 10.30am-12noon FFI: 0117 959 3311, WWW.ECOLEFRANCAISEBRISTOL.CO.UK OLDFIELD SCHOOL Kelston Rd, Bath Open Evening Wed 26 Sept, 6-8pm Open Morning Fri 28 Sept, 9-11.30am FFI: 01225 423582, WWW.OLDFIELDSCHOOL.COM PRIOR PARK COLLEGE Ralph Allen Drive, Bath Open Day Sat 6 Oct, 9am-12noon FFI: 01225 831000, WWW.PRIORPARKCOLLEGE.COM RALPH ALLEN SCHOOL Claverton Cown Rd, Bath Open Evening Thu 27 Sept, 6-8pm Open Morning Tue 2 Oct, 9-10.30am FFI: 01225 832936, WWW.RALPHALLEN.BATHNES.SCH.UK THE RED MAIDS’ SCHOOL Westbury Rd, Westbury-on-Trym (Senior) / Grange Court Rd, Westbury-on-Trym ( Junior) Open Mornings (Senior, Junior) Thu 11 Oct, 9.30am-12noon & Sat 10 Nov 9.30am-12noon FFI: 0117 989 8252 (SENIOR) / 962 9451 ( JUNIOR), WWW.REDMAIDS.CO.UK REDLAND HIGH SCHOOL FOR GIRLS Redland Court, Bristol Visiting Morning Tue 25 Sept, 9.30-11.30am Open Morning Sat 20 Oct, 9.15am-12noon FFI: 0117 924 5796, WWW.REDLANDHIGH.COM ROYAL HIGH SCHOOL BATH Lansdown Rd, Bath

Open Days Sat 22 Sept, 10am-12noon, Thu 27 Sept, 9.30-11.30am ( Junior, Nursery) / Sat 6 Oct, 10am12.30pm (Senior & Sixth Form College) Sixth Form College Information Evening (IB and A Level) Thu 27 Sept, 7-9pm FFI: 01225 313877, L.BEVAN@BAT.GDST.NET, WWW.ROYALHIGHBATH.GDST.NET. SIDCOT SCHOOL Sidcot, Winscombe, North Somerset Open Morning ( Junior & Senior) Fri Sept 21, 9.30am FFI: 01934 845212, VALERIE.KENNEDY@SIDCOT. ORG.UK, WWW.SIDCOT.ORG.UK ST GREGORY’S CATHOLIC COLLEGE Combe Hay Lane, Odd Down, Bath Please contact school for open events info FFI: 01225 832373 ST KATHERINE’S SCHOOL Ham Green, North Somerset Open Evening Thu Sept 20, 6pm Open Mornings Thu Sept 27, Fri 28 Sept, Thu 11 Oct, 9-11am FFI: 01275 373737 To reserve a place, WWW.ST-KATHERINES.N-SOMERSET.SCH.UK ST MARK’S SCHOOL Baytree Rd, Larkhall Open Evening Thu Oct 4, 6.30-9pm Open Morning Tue Oct 9, 9-11am FFI: 01225 312661, WWW.ST-MARKS.BATHNES.SCH.UK WELLSWAY SCHOOL Chandag Rd, Keynsham Year 6 Open Evening Thu Oct 4, 6-8pm FFI: 0117 986 4751, WWW.WELLSWAYSCHOOL.COM WESTONBIRT SCHOOLS Rose Hill Westonbirt Preparatory School & Westonbirt School, Westonbirt, Gloucestershire Open Morning Sat 13 Oct, 9.30am-12.30pm. FFI: 01666 881375 (Rose Hill) / 881301 (Westonbirt), WWW.WESTONBIRTSCHOOLS.CO.UK

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The place where learning French is friendly and fun Discover the unique school in Bristol where children can learn a second language in a genuine French environment. We run immersion classes in multicultural surroundings: nursery/maternelle, through to primary. Primary beginners after-school also available. Our next Open Morning is on Monday 22 October from 10.30 am until midday. No booking required. Children welcome. To find out more, simply call us on 0117 9593311 or visit our website


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Wellsway School

Chandag Road, Keynsham, BS31 1PH A Specialist Sports and Science Academy and an Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ school Invites you to the open evening for Year 6 students looking to join this vibrant and dynamic School in September 2013. You are welcome to join us on Thursday 4 October 2012 between 6.00 – 8.00pm. During the evening there will be a presentation given by Mrs Arlidge, the Headteacher, the opportunity to talk to teachers and tour the school. For more information on this and events at school visit For Parents/ Carers who are unable to make the Open Evening, there will be Open day tours, by appointment during weeks beginning the 8th and 15th of October.

Please ring 0117 9864751 to arrange.


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NEW Melissa Blease reckons we should all go back to school



utumn is upon us, and the kids are heading back to the classroom. But perhaps we grownups should follow their lead - after all, learning is a lifelong experience, and it’s never too late to pick up new skills, make new friends and expand your horizon. So, what’s From Little Seeds Grow can help you gain confidence as a parent, with classes tailored to deal with a range of issues from poor sleeping to fussy eating

new, what’s funky, what’s right here, right now on this season’s very grown up back-to-school timetable? Read on.


➻ Broken sleep patterns, confused daddies, working out how to feed exhausted adults and picky kids from the same menu: parents know all too well the pitfalls and stresses that may arise during those often-problematic early years. But nobody has to go it alone - and a brand new programme of interactive, sociable workshops in Bristol is trailblazing the path to a fresh outlook on the whole subject. ‘From Little Seeds Grow’ was created by Mel Bound, a Bristol mum who noticed a distinct lack of face-to-face, practical support for parents. With 18 years of experience running events all over the world, she is also mum to two and a half year old Lyla (which she calls her toughest job yet!). “Becoming a parent can be a very isolating time, particularly if your own friends are at a different life stage or if your family don’t live close by,” says Mel. “When

I had Lyla, I found that there was very little practical help out there - internet forums just confused me and there was little opportunity to meet other new parents in a sociable setting.” From this October, Mel’s unique courses are set to change all that - with a strong emphasis on offering a helping hand to often-overlooked dads, too. ‘Beer and Babies’ is a dads-only ante natal class... held in the pub. Taking place weekly over four Tuesday evenings starting from Tuesday 2 October, dads will meet at the Kensington Arms in Redland for a series of informative, men-only bonding sessions designed to keep father firmly in the frame (£79, four sessions). Right, that’s dad sorted! Next up: perhaps you’re peeved by picky eaters? Mel - working in close collaboration with a Leith-trained chef and a specialist paediatric nutritionist - has put together a three-week, interactive course specifically designed to help parents deal with fussy food habits and the stress of food refusal, offering loads of tasty, tried and tested solutions and including a hands on session for the kids and a practical

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Transcendental Meditation® as taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

The only scientifically proven tool for personal development! for

Clearer thinking More energy Freedom from stress

Your local Bristol Transcendental Meditation Centre

Call to book into a free Introductory Talk, or just with your questions: 0117 914 7127

“Regular TM helps me seize the day, spy the opportunity and grab hold of my own destiny with both hands. Everything used to feel like a constant struggle; now I‘m doing better and better and my life is easier and easier.” Kitty Tebbetts, film producer

Learn Japanese! YU jls specialises in providing Japanese courses for various levels. We offer weekly evening courses in Clifton. New courses will start from October. For further information please visit or email us at or ring 07530 161439 FOLIO/SEPTEMBER 2012 87

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Keep those plates spinning with help from Circomedia

From book making to life drawing, Bath’s ICIA is the perfect place to discover and unleash your creative side

for anyone with a curious mind. Food for thought? We think so! ICIA BOOKING FOR ALL COURSES OPENS ON WEDNESDAY 12 SEPTEMBER FFI: WWW.BATH.AC.UK/ICIA


session designed to help time-poor parents plan easy, healthy recipes for the whole family. The course takes place in acclaimed Clifton cookery school The Devilled Egg and starts on Saturday 29 September (£99, three sessions). Elsewhere, Nutrition in Pregnancy sessions will be held in restaurants and delis and include food from menus co-created by the chef and nutritionist running the session (starts Monday 15 October at the Town House, Clifton, £20, including sharing platters). There will also be a discussion-based workshop exploring common children’s sleep problems, including regular waking in the night and persistent crying, and offering solutions and helpful tips (starts Friday 12 October at the Southville Centre, £15). SPECIAL OFFER FOR FOLIO READERS: TO SAVE 15% ON ALL WORKSHOP PRICES, SIMPLY QUOTE PROMO CODE FOLIO15 WHEN BOOKING. FFI: WWW.FROMLITTLESEEDSGROW.CO.UK


➻ Animation, book making, creative thinking... working your way through the ABC at Bath University’s Institute of Contemporary Interdisciplinary Arts is quite possibly the most enlightening, inspiring experience you can treat your creative, curious self to this autumn. Weekly classes in ballet and contemporary dance, life drawing, DJ skills and many more arts- and thought-related subjects are supplemented by one-off workshops with companies involved in the ICIA’s acclaimed professional programme. Notable new courses for 2012 include a chamber music project, ‘Screen to Script’ instruction for short film makers, social media for practitioners and the intriguing ‘How to think creatively’ course, subtitled ‘...or 200 uses for a paperclip’. Led by artist-in-residence Yvonne Buchheim, this course is designed to uncover your creativity and ability to think laterally, and aims to inspire your senses, strengthen your imagination and offer a joyous experience

➻ One of the foremost hypnotherapy training centres in the UK, the Clifton Practice - a nationally acclaimed multidisciplinary practice involving all the main areas of supplementary, complementary and alternative medicine - specialises in training for practitioners and offers both a Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma (HPD) and advanced courses and professional career development for the practising hypnotherapist. The Centre is fully accredited by all the main hypnotherapy national bodies, and organiser and lecturer at the Bristol location (courses also take place in Plymouth) is senior practitioner of the Bristol Practice, hypnotherapist and psychotherapist David Newton DHP FAPHP MNCH MNCP SHS SQH P Sup Hyp. The HPD course runs for 10 months and enables students, on graduation, to practise privately with the support of the principals and staff of the Clifton Practice. Meanwhile, advanced courses and career professional development programmes are designed to help practitioners meet the full requirements of national bodies. The next HPD courses in Bristol start Saturday/Sunday 3-4 November (weekend course) and Thursday/Friday 8-9 November (small group weekday course). THE CLIFTON PRACTICE 8-10 WHITELADIES RD, CLIFTON, BRISTOL. FFI: 0117 946 6070, WWW.THECLIFTONPRACTICE.CO.UK


➻The Theatre Royal Bath's ENGAGE programme - mounted by its awardwinning creative learning department offers a huge range of theatre-related participatory and educational activities for adults including show-related masterclasses (including a session in audition skills), post-show discussions, theatre skills workshops, performance opportunities and a Theatre Review Group. FFI: WWW.THEATREROYAL.ORG.UK


➻The Bristol Folk House offers a wide variety of part-time, day and evening classes/courses including arts and crafts, pottery, writing, languages, music, dance, drama, fitness, personal development. An inspirational Bristol institution. FFI: WWW.BRISTOLFOLKHOUSE.CO.UK

FOR CIRCUS SUPERSTARS ➻Circomedia is an internationally-

respected centre of excellence for circus and theatre training, integrating contemporary circus skills, physical performance, creative thinking and career know-how into its full-time courses. It also runs a year-round programme of short courses for adults of all abilities and for children.



➻Established 12 years ago, the Bath School of Shiatsu and Yoga offers a flexible three-year professional shiatsu training course leading to a nationally recognised qualification as a practitioner. Students also receive a thorough grounding in yoga techniques, supplemented by explorations into Oriental medicine and traditional Western anatomy, physiology, pathology and counselling skills. Private tuition in shiatsu and yoga and stress management/ post graduate workshops are also available FFI: WWW.BSSY.CO.UK

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➻ Following the UK’s recently reignited love of all things wallpaper, design company

Woodhouse & Law are going that one step further in their search for more unusual ways to dress your home’s walls. It’s a natural development for the Bath-based company whose avowed aim is to “bring design expertise and experience from the interior and garden design worlds together, which allows us to create harmonious and fluid design concepts for our clients. We do this by challenging boundaries between indoor and outdoor space, viewing it as one living space.” Wall coverings can range from the elegantly simple to the one-off extraordinary. Take for example, James Hare, a British fabric company established in 1865. They recently introduced the option to paperback any of its large range of silks, creating a wall covering with a wonderful natural feel and a lustrous finish. Should you be feeling more daring, however, consider the whole range of options opened up by the development of digital print. Woodhouse & Law now have access to a wealth of images from anything from museum collections to Marvel comics. The company recently installed a 2.4-metre wide mural as part of an offbeat dining room scheme, using an image from The National Portrait Gallery. This has transformed the curved alcove in the room from a feature into a dramatic talking point. The march of science has also seen the emergence of material finishes that are hugely durable, impact-resistant and long lasting. Perfect if you’re worried about the kids’ sticky fingers! Consider perhaps a vinyl fabric finish with cotton backing, such as one Woodhouse & Law used recently to add depth and interest to the elegant drawing room of a country house in Bath. The opportunities are endless. The challenge is to drop any preconceptions you have about your wall spaces and letting your imagination flow. The rest is easy.



SPAWNING SUCCESS ➻ Kiss The Frog Again is a Bath-based furniture, interior accessories and gift shop, launched by sisters Jenny and Caroline in 2010. Recycling is the name of the game here, whether it be changing the obvious use of something or giving it a new lease of life – examples include turning an old tin bath into a shelving unit; skis into a fabulous coat rack; seatbelts into cushions; and decommissioned sails into bags. The shop also features beautiful hand-blown decorative glass made with recycled glass alongside some unusual and frankly, cool vintage items. The shop was born out of Jenny's passion for chairs and interior design and Caroline's desire to put her business background to good use. "We live in such a throwaway society yet we believe there's value in much that is discarded,” they explain. “We wanted to provide a vibrant and exciting alternative to mass-

produced living by creating showstopping alternatives. Since we've opened we've found many like-minded local artists and makers who share our ethos, enabling us to adopt a community-type approach to our business, which in the current economic climate is important for us all. The public's reaction is fantastic and we're delighted to recognise many returning customers. Stock is continually changing as most pieces are unique which enables us to stay fresh. It is as exciting to create as it is to show-case." Creative flair jumps out from every corner and the girls are super friendly - it really is a must-visit destination. If you can't make the trip, check out their website or Facebook page. KISS THE FROG AGAIN 5 BROAD STREET, BATH. FFI: 01225 315157, WWW.KISSTHEFROGAGAIN.CO.UK

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IN THE FRAME ➻ Clifton Framing, owned and run by

Colin and Janet Astley, has been offering a professional picture framing service on Whiteladies Road since 1999. They pride themselves on giving excellent advice and service, and a quick trawl on the web reveals plenty of rave reviews from happy customers. Colin and Janet have been involved in the picture framing business for over 30 years, and in that time have framed most things that can be framed. These have naturally included countless certificates, photographs, paintings and prints. More unusual items include medals, sports shirts, canvases, needleworks and even a pair of ballet shoes. With a normal turnaround time of seven

days (though rush jobs can be handled), everything is given the same amount of care and attention. Customers can choose from a wide range of mouldings and mountboards – and if you’re not sure what to go for, Janet and Colin will be more than happy to advise. In addition to the framing service, they are also the approved retailer for UK Blinds for Bristol, supplying a full range of blinds and shutters. All are made to measure and expertly fitted by Colin. They look forward to enhancing your home both on your walls and over your windows. CLIFTON FRAMING 110A WHITELADIES ROAD, BRISTOL. FFI: 0117 974 2026

➻ Want to restyle your rooms in a more traditional style, but without sentencing more trees to death? Then reuse! And if you want to reuse with panache, do it with the help of Bath’s Old Bank Antiques Centre. With 12 specialist dealers and a host of showrooms, Old Bank offers a wonderful range of everything from 17th century English furniture to 1970s retro, as well as ceramics, glass, kitchenalia and textiles. The highly experienced dealers including co-owners Alex Schlesinger (pictured) and David Moore will advise on anything from attribution and date to care, restoration and transport. OLD BANK ANTIQUES CENTRE 14-17 WALCOT BUILDINGS, LONDON RD, BATH. FFI: 01225 469282/338818, WWW.OLDBANKANTIQUESCENTRE.COM


RED-CARPET TREATMENT ➻ As anyone who’s forked out on buying and fitting new flooring will tell you,

you want to find someone who knows what they’re doing. Bath Carpets and Flooring are experts in the supply and fit of everything from carpets and vinyl to Marmoleum and Flotex, including all the necessary underlays and floor preparation material, dealing with leading brands like Westex, Polyflor, Ryalux, Cormar, Brockway and Karndean. You can expect a fast, efficient service from their fully trained and highly skilled professional installers, with a free measuring service and written estimates. Bath Carpets and Flooring are the domestic arm of Bath Contract Flooring, which was formed back in 2004 to provide specialised advice on commercial flooring requirements. The well-respected company is headed up by local boy Steve White, formerly sales representative for the UK’s largest carpet manufacturer.


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LUXE Inject a dash of fun into your home with Folio’s quick and easy style updates High achiever

Not enough storage space? It’s time to get clever with solutions that double as kooky wall art. This wooden ladder shelf unit can be propped anywhere and is ideal for stacking books, toys, games, and anything else that requires a new home. WOODEN LADDER SHELF, £225, COX & COX

Night fever

Liven up a plain sofa with a collection of these sleepy scribble owl cushions made from 100% linen. Guaranteed to ease you into evening at the end of a trying day. ZUSSS OWL CUSHIONS IN THREE COLOURWAYS (POWDER PINK, NATURAL SAND AND CHALK CREAM), £39 EACH, NORDIC ROSE

Hello deer

As featured in all the best interiors magazines, achieve total boho chic with these snap-together deer heads and birdboxes by Italian designers Miho. Since they're manufactured in Germany, these three-dimensional MDF delights are perfectly engineered to fit together in seconds for a completely off-the-wall home decoration. MIHO DEER HEAD & BIRDBOX £18.99-£78, IOTA BRISTOL

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Think big

Forget pictures, installations are where it’s at in the art aficionado’s home. Make a serious design statement with this chic and shiny aluminium cutlery wall art. (Giant not included.) FABULOUS CUTLERY WALL ART, £50, COX & COX

Time to shine

Bring a splash of colour to a wall near you with this simple yet striking clock by Vitra. Telling the time never looked so good… VITRA BALL CLOCK, £207.60, SPHERE LIVING DESIGN

Tea total

If you previously hadn’t spared much thought to the tray used to bring you your first cup of tea of the day, then take a look at this bright beauty. Designed by interiors god Alexander Girard (one of Vitra’s leading designers along with Charles and Ray Eames and George Nelson), this classic design is a must for anyone wishing to impress discerning arty friends. VITRA MOTHER & CHILD TRAY, £49.20, SPHERE LIVING DESIGN

CONTACTS Sitting comfortably

Gorgeous to behold and equally gorgeous to sit in, Mr Bright is a playful velvet chair available in a rainbow of 12 eye-popping colours. Designed with a high back to give valuable support, the glam factor is further enhanced with velvetcovered buttons in a glittering array of jewel-bright colours. MR BRIGHT CHAIR IN GOLD LEAF, £999, JOHN LEWIS

Beak you to it

Here at Folio, we love surprises (especially elegant ones), and this delightful bowl ticks all the right boxes. Cleanly stylish at first glance, take a closer look and you’ll find someone got to your salad or soup just a whisker ahead of you… HOLLANDSCHE WAAREN BEASTY BOWL WITH GOOSE, £19.95, NORDIC ROSE


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Looking for fabulous fabrics or unequalled upholstery? Fabric Mills could be just the ticket. Melissa Blease pays a visit


f you’re frustrated by your faded furnishings, you don’t have to blow the budget to update your domestic landscape. Fabric Mills offers a vast selection of discounted soft furnishing fabrics from linen, silk, velvet and cotton to leather, PVC and embossed satin, taking in all manner of other options along the way. But inspiring though the range may be, it’s also a little bit overwhelming: you might know exactly how you want your revamped home to look... but how do you go about turning that bolt of fabulous fabric into the most covetable curtains in your neighbourhood? Ella Morison - Fabric Mills assistant and consultant - can help. “We provide a full measuring and fitting service,” says Ella. “When you’ve made your choice from the 1000s of metres of top-quality designer clearance fabrics available, we can make just about anything you need to furnish your home, from headboards and scatter cushions, blinds, pelmets and curtains to bespoke handmade sofas and all types of re-upholstery - we really can take care of everything!” But Kirstie Allsop wannabes aren’t overlooked: a full range of linings, haberdashery and upholstery supplies are always in stock to make sure that you leave the shop with everything you need to do it yourself - including plenty of advice. “At Fabric Mills we’re passionate about what we do,” says Ella. “We know that redesigning and decorating can be a stressful experience - it’s our job to take the stress out of that process, making it easier for you. Our friendly, experienced staff are always on hand to help work out all the

“It’s our job to take the stress out of redecorating”

complicated bits and pieces such as the correct length of fabric for the job in hand or the tools and accessories you might need. It’s also well worth making time to pay a visit to our ‘Inspiration’ section either in-store or on our website: here, you’ll find tips, ideas and completed projects from other customers and our regularly-updated ‘Fabric of the Week’ offer, featuring a gorgeous fabric reduced to £5 per metre!” So what’s new and fabulous for autumn 2012? Ella says that the shop’s stunning selection of duck egg and grey fabrics are hugely popular at the moment, and customers are combining different designs such as floral motifs and stripes to make cushions, tiebacks, blinds and more. “There’s also a huge trend for renovating old furniture,” she says. “Our upholstery team works wonders with old pieces that need some TLC they’ll be delivered back to you looking better than new! So, it’s well worth keeping your eyes peeled at flea markets and on eBay, bearing in mind that as long as the furniture you’ve got your eye on is fit for purpose, it can be totally transformed.” At the time of writing, Fabric Mills had just taken delivery of a beautiful range of linen cottons with graphic prints, floral and checks all in coordinating colourways - but who knows what might be available at the time of your visit? “We regularly take on truly stunning ranges of clearance fabrics from well-known brands and sell them at up to 75% off the RRP,” says Ella. “If you’re considering a home interior revamp, just pop in and see us for some tips on how to create a truly unique and beautiful colour scheme for your home at a genuinely affordable price.”


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When Mr and Mrs James of Tickenham first contacted Crystal Clear, Mrs James had an idea of what she wanted; new energy-efficient windows to replace the existing softwood windows, which were of poor quality. Mrs James was also keen for her utility room to have a glass roof, which would allow plenty of natural light into the space.

After meeting Mr and Mrs James at their home, and discussing their requirements, the team at Crystal Clear suggested she visit their showroom in Brislington to look through the different types and styles of windows available. While she was there, the team took Mrs James to their systems supplier, where she was able to look at the very latest aluminium windows. Crystal Clear recommended the newer, more contemporary aluminium windows, that Mrs James had seen at the system supplier, which are A-rated and available in a range of colours and would be sympathetic to the design of Mr and Mrs James’ modern new home.

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Crystal Clear replaced the existing budget windows with the latest contemporary aluminium windows in anthracite grey, with solar control glass in those facing south and west. These A-rated windows reduce the energy you need to heat or cool your home by up to 20%, which in turn reduces greenhouse gas emissions.





As part of the installation, Crystal Clear supplied bespoke, handmade interior window boards in American White Oak, of varying sizes and depths, which fitters installed at the same time.

The team recommended solar control glass in windows and doors for the south- and west-facing elevations, which helps keep rooms warm in the winter and cool and comfortable in the summer. As well as reflecting and absorbing heat, solar glass filters light to reduce glare. Solar control glass can be specified for any area where solar heat gain is likely to be an issue, including large façades, glass walkways and conservatories. Mrs James had a choice of three different shades: aqua, blue and neutral, and opted for neutral.



Crystal Clear supplied a solar control, self-cleaning glass roof for the utility room, which had been created by enclosing an area between the kitchen and a garden. This created a bright room filled with natural light. The self-cleaning glass forming the roof is cleaned after every rain shower, so there is no need to climb up a ladder to clean – nature does it for you!


➻TESTIMONIAL “We love our new windows. They are the perfect colour and really suit the style of the house. The rooms with the solar control glass feel much more comfortable when the sun is out; it used to feel like you were sitting in a greenhouse before they were fitted! “Our utility room is exactly what I wanted; the glass roof is ideal and lets in plenty of light and the self-cleaning glass is great - after a few dry days, the glass roof was looking a little dusty, but after a heavy shower, the roof was clean again! “The whole process of working with Crystal Clear was easy, and we found everyone in the team very knowledgeable, helpful and efficient; nothing was too much trouble. Crystal Clear recommended the perfect windows, which offer us the look I was searching for, as well as the energy efficiency and security I wanted. “The customer service was superb and we’ve already asked Crystal Clear to fit windows for the second phase of our project, which will involve relocating some of the existing windows.” Mr and Mrs James, Tickenham


➻ Crystal Clear specialises in a

bespoke supply and fit service for windows, doors, conservatories and orangeries, from a single window to a complete conservatory build. Fensaregistered Crystal Clear is also a founding member of the UK’s Double Glazing and Conservatory Ombudsman Scheme (DGCOS). The products Crystal Clear supply and install are industryleading, with unique features and benefits, all built to the most exacting of British and European standards ensuring quality, integrity, longevity and security. Crystal Clear supplies and fits a wide range of designer doors and windows, including the latest range of contemporary composite doors, offering a number of options and guidance on making the best informed choice for every type and style of home.


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wooden blind company

bespoke shutters & blinds

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ETON DESIGN Advice and tips from the Bath-based interior styling experts


he Eton Design showroom on Walcot Street might well be new to Bath but the company has been running for many years. Chief designers Nicholas Sheridan and Peter Higgins have several decades of experience behind them and have designed projects as diverse as boutique hotels, gastro-pubs, and countless private homes. Eton transform homes so as to reflect the owner’s lifestyle and aspirations. With a wide selection of fabrics, wall-coverings and trimmings, you are sure to be inspired after a visit to their showroom, where displays change regularly. Eton undertake complete projects from a single room to an entire property; they also have their own


soft-furnishings workrooms where handsewn curtains and blinds are made to order. I want to give my living room a stylish revamp but still want it to feel cosy. Where would you start? Start with our free initial consultation. If it’s just a few small changes you need, we help you understand how you can do it yourself. Larger projects take more consideration and our experience and passion for design are worth investing in as we then deliver the right finished scheme with fees recovered from product savings. The first thing to do is remove any unnecessary clutter from the room. If you don’t like looking at it or haven’t used it for years - put it in the attic or recycle it amongst friends and family. A simple method of changing a room is to recover lampshades, get new scatter cushions with a contrasting fabric on the rear-side (giving you the opportunity to turn them over for a different look and mood) and, of course, painting the walls and ceiling can radically (and inexpensively) transform a room. Getting the lighting right is vital. Harsh overhead lighting is not flattering or conducive to relaxation. Texture is important, too, so consider a simple throw to place over the side of your sofa or favourite armchair. What if I like certain elements of your design but aren’t sure about others? That doesn’t happen very often as we carefully develop the design scheme from initial outset so as to reflect our clients aspirations; generally, every element of the design works in complete harmony. The most frequent cause of concern normally revolves around a particular piece of artwork or decorative accessories. We often work a design scheme around an existing piece of artwork so as to avoid the issue. We don’t inflict design schemes on clients - we develop them in partnership with our clients.

Eton Design also undertake commercial projects such as the gorgeous Penhaligon’s store on London’s Kings Road

You have connections with companies such as Wesley-Barrell and Nina Campbell. Is it cheaper for you to source fabrics and wallpapers from them rather than for me to go direct? Sometimes it is cheaper to buy certain fabrics

Left: Eton Design’s Bath showroom Below: A residential kitchen designed and styled by Eton Design

or finished products from a supplier’s internet site but generally these are items that are being discontinued. Top-end fabric houses are very strict about controlling the price of their products through reputable stockists so be very careful before you buy and avoid the trap of buying product that might be from mixed production batches which will have colour variations. Another advantage of selecting fabrics and papers through us is that we will be able to show you a larger sample of the product for you to try out at home before committing to buying it. Many people forget to consider pattern repeats, cleaning and maintenance etc, and given the pricetag, it’s easy to make a very expensive mistake. All of our clients recover the cost of our fees by way of the savings we achieve for them. What are the key interior trends you think are worth investing in? Avoid following trends, especially expensive ones, as design is just like fashion - it’s cyclical and consequently what’s in this year will probably be out next year. Exceptions to the rule would be good quality table lamp bases, classically styled sofas and antique pieces. ETON DESIGN108 WALCOT STREET, BATH. FFI: 01225 639002, WWW.ETON-DESIGN.COM, INFO@ETON-DESIGN.COM (FOR REGULAR UPDATES AND INVITES TO LAUNCH PARTIES)

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esign and build team Homeworx have been putting their skills to use in the garden in addition to their construction and interior design work. You could say – the garden worx too! This Clifton property had a good size garden, but it was looking very tired and bleak. Having renovated much of the house itself the team turned their attention to the outside space and transformed it with the remaining budget. After some small demolition and preparation, a durable hardwood decking with LED lighting was constructed to cover the outdated paving and give the garden structure, clean lines and an even seating area. With decoration and the addition of some rich plum slate and crisp white marble spar, the garden was modernised and given definition. Homeworx specialise in extensions, conversions, large renovations and new build as well as kitchens, bathrooms, interiors and hard landscaping. If you have a project in mind and would like to book a free consultation, send an email or give the team a call.





espoke, handmade, handcrafted, made to measure, personal service… They’re all terms that can strike fear into anybody’s wallet. If you want quality and good service, you have to dig deep. But maybe there’s an exception…? Tucked away on Bristol’s Braunton Road in Bedminster is the Bed Workshop, where handmade beds are created onsite alongside the restoration of imported antique French furniture. You enter directly into the busy workshop with its smell of sap and wood lacquer where, amid piles of oak and pine timber, clamps, saws,

chisels, semi-constructed beds and wood shavings, you’ll find Ned Fitzgerald. A former manager at Litvinoff and Fawcett bed makers of London, Ned came to work for the Bed Workshop in 1999 and is now chief carpenter. “We have different designs and sizes of bed, made from either oak or pine, which we can stain in various shades and finishes,” he says. “The wood is from sustainable sources, and because they’re handmade, I can tweak and rejig dimensions to what the customer wants. We also make accessories like drawers and trundle beds that fit underneath the main bed. There’s not much we can’t do to accommodate a customer’s requirements.” As well as the modern handmade beds and antique French ones imported from Brittany, other French furniture includes farmhouse dining


sets, wardrobes, bedside cabinets, chests of drawers and mirrors. They can look out for specific pieces of furniture you might request while they’re procuring items in Brittany and can even colour-match to your existing furniture. An ancient wooden staircase leads up to the showrooms, truly a contrast of old and new. The first floor has rows of handmade beds whose various modern designs fall into that ‘simple, clean, classic’ look. Up another level is a room full of restored French furniture, a mixed selection of ornate opulence and utilitarian rusticity. There’s an easygoing charm that belies the professionalism of the people who work here, and their amiable, relaxed approach is refreshing in these days of ‘hard sell’. If you’re looking for a valuefor-money purchase with that personal touch, pop into the Bed Workshop.


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or many who know the Gloucester Road, iota bristol is simply ‘the shop where there’s a present waiting to happen’: a modern metropolitan boutique with an intimate, cosy and comfortably old-fashioned atmosphere, shelves brimming with characterful gifts and objects for the home. iota’s philosophy has always been ‘beautiful things at affordable prices’. There are no rules about what iota must stock: the only criterion is that owner Méibh O’Connor Morse loves it. “If I wouldn’t give it houseroom, we don’t sell it.” Méibh also a sharp eye for the design classics of tomorrow, driven by her love for 20th century design,

typography and ephemera. iota is simply crammed with stuff! Customers usually spend a while circling round, trying to spot everything that’s on display. It is certainly a browser’s paradise, with everything from hyper-stylish kitchen essentials to room-defining clocks, perfect gifts for hard-to-buy-for partners to cutting edge jewellery, soft silk scarves to unique lighting. Some male shoppers complain of sensory overload and have to have a little


sit-down on the bench thoughtfully provided outside the shop. iota’s staff are hand-picked for their customer-friendliness, inspired by their love of the shop. “We really do all love working here: so much so, that even when they’re away my staff are still thinking iota. One member of staff went on a romantic city break to Berlin, and spotted some amazing snaptogether deer heads by Italian designers Miho which are now one of iota’s hottest sellers,” says Méibh. “Which goes to show that you never know where the next present’s waiting to happen.”


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Soft shades and a range of textures, from Marks & Spencer’s Sussex collection (



Interior designer Lesley Taylor mixes and matches for an elegant country house look


hile I love contemporary living and interior designs that reflect the modern lifestyle - such as the combination of linear furniture with stark wall colours of white and black and even shades of grey – I can’t help but feel that a sense of both comfort and character can sometimes be lost, especially when a period property is given over to ‘urban chic’ styling. Of course, if it’s planned well the results can be fabulous, but it’s easy for your efforts to fall between the two traditional and contemporary stalls, with the overall look becoming a bit haphazard. The move to more traditional

interiors has coincided with homeowners seeking an alternative to bland neutral colours, and looking once more to warmer, cosier tones and wallcoverings. As with fashion, home decoration modes tend to go full circle in the grandness of time; what’s new to a younger generation was probably enjoyed by their parents years ago - lava lamps, patterned wallpaper and chandeliers all being a case in point. The country house style brings the perfect balance between luxury and comfort, making it one of my favourite themes to recreate. Many of the concepts can be related to the Georgian era, which traces back to the mid 18th to early 19th nineteenth century. Although a country house scheme should boast sophistication, by no means let this put you off or make you wary of trying to create the look within your home, as this style is as much about comfort and familiarity as it is about elegance. While order is a key part of creating this look, and although each room should have an organised feel, the best way to achieve a sense of authentic charm is, ironically, through mismatched furniture from a range of eras that has the impression of being collected over many years. To create a cosy and homely ambience, each piece should look loved and as though it’s lived through many generations. It’s important to think in terms of architecture when creating a specific style such as country house theme, rather than just concentrating on the addition of soft furnishings and accessories. The colour range that’s suitable for a country house interior is extremely

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Laura Ashley Ella silk-rich cushion (

broad and offers far more flexibility than you may imagine, varying from soft shades of peach, apricot and cream to bolder hues of greens, yellows and blues. Often the hardest part of creating this look is incorporating mismatched elements into the room and allowing each piece to remain in place and yet still complement the rest of the room. With this in mind, many stick to a plain background and incorporate colour and pattern in the choice of furniture or through dramatic curtains, rugs and

cushions. Using a matt, eggshell paint finish as opposed to gloss will help to create a ‘worn’ and traditional feel. If you’re brave enough to use patterned wallpaper, the end result can be fabulous, but do make sure that the room retains that all-important feeling of elegance - too many colours and patterns can leave the room feeling cluttered and closed in, rather than stylishly organised. So if you’re plucking up the courage and experimenting with wallpaper, be

aware that the soft furnishings may need to be of a simpler design, but bear in mind that vertical stripes and damask patterns are what you should be looking for. With so many colour options available, it’s possible to use this theme throughout the home, with each space following the same era but with a slightly different twist. My favourite part of interior design is dressing the room with plenty of gorgeous fabrics and soft furnishings. It’s these finishing touches that add real character to the room and determine the ambience that surrounds you. For the more sophisticated interior, smooth silks, damasks and brocades are perfect for an elegant touch. For a more informal, cosy feel, floral patterns and cotton fabrics work beautifully and can bring a feeling of rustic beauty into the space. Just like mismatched furniture works well, the same can be said for the fabrics and patterns selected. While it can be tricky to find a variety of different designs that still somehow manage to complement each other, if you pull it off you’ll be amazed at just how lovely it looks. One extra little tip: you may be surprised at just how well stripes and florals work together. Another aspect of the room to be considered as part of the country house theme is the window. If you love window dressing as much as I do, keep the colours and patterns throughout the rest of the room to a minimum. This way, you can add drama and grandeur into the room, without the space feeling dated and as though you’ve stepped back into the 1980s! Use draping, luxurious materials that flow to the floor for a truly impressive finish.

CONTACTS Above: Window dressing to die for: Zoffany’s Octavia fabric in green ( Right: Use Romo’s Esina collection of textured linen fabrics for an elegant feel (


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One-off home interiors

Re-designed vintage

Full of needful things

Design delights


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Mr and Mrs A of Bedminster had a clear idea of the style they were looking for in their new bathroom: a wet room look with a contemporary feel which could be easily cleaned and used by all the family. As well as a complete re-design of the current bathroom, which was small, out of date and virtually unusable, Mr and Mrs A wanted to knock through to another room, to double the size. The couple had already chosen quartz tiles, so the products, fittings and furniture needed to complement these. The new bathroom had to be fitted in two weeks, from initial design to complete installation.


iPLUMB recommended a rain shower head that would be sunk into the ceiling, a cascade shower and a riser shower that would be more suitable for the younger members of the family. The team suggested a free-standing bath with the taps plumbed into the floor. The clients had the opportunity to choose from a range of free-standing baths and a wide choice of contemporary taps. iPLUMB managed the complete project, including the building work, in the two-week timeline.

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Mrs A chose a large chrome rain shower head, through which a high volume of water can flow, making for an exhilarating showering experience. Mrs A opted for a rain shower head with adjustable arms that allows adjustment of direction and spray angle.



A large free-standing bath was perfect for the design of the new wet room and the sleek look of the modern slipper bath made the new room look even more spacious. It was designed for wall-mounted or floor-mounted taps, and Mrs A opted for iPLUMB’s recommendation of a square waterfall cascade floormounted mixer tap, for that ultra-modern look. This attractive, eye-catching, curved model is now the focal point of the room.



At the start of every project, the team at iPLUMB discusses the current plumbing and central and hot water heating systems. With a busy family and showers that require a decent amount of pressure to deliver a high volume of water, the clients needed a new boiler. iPLUMB recommended an energyefficient A-rated Viessmann combi gas boiler, which has a 10-year warranty as standard.


➻ TESTIMONIAL “We’re delighted with our new wet room style bathroom,” commented the happy couple. “It’s exactly what we were hoping for; stylish and spacious, with sleek showers and a stunning free-standing bath. As well as looking so distinctive, every pipe has been concealed, giving a contemporary, clean look and feel. The original bathroom was awful, there’s no other way to describe it; it was dark, dingy and had carpet on the ceiling of all places! Now we have a contemporary bathroom that we love and which can be used by all the family. We found the team very knowledgeable, efficient and accommodating. We’re so pleased with our new wet room that we’re about to start discussing our second bathroom with iPLUMB.” Mr and Mrs A, Bristol

iPLUMB ➻ Bristol-based

iPLUMB specialises in complete bathroom and wet room installations, in addition to gas and central heating services. iPLUMB is Gas Safe registered and has been providing fast, guaranteed boiler installations and general plumbing services in Bristol for over 11 years. The experienced team of experts includes plumbers, builders, tilers and electricians, who work together to provide a complete installation service. Specialising in all sizes and styles of bathrooms and wet rooms, from simple updates to complete new rooms, including plumbing, electrics, suites, showers, taps, furniture, flooring and decorating, the team offers the complete solution, from planning and design to sourcing products and installing, all on budget, on brief and on time.


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



ersatile and yet sophisticated, grasses can be used in the garden in many ways. Tall forms with striking foliage make eyecatching features while smaller plants provide structure, rhythm and movement. Deschampsia cespitosa or tufted hair grass has densely tufted neat and fresh evergreen foliage and the earlymaturing golden flowers last for the greater part of the year. Growing tips This is an easy and reliable plant for sunny to partly shady situations with fertile, moist soil, height and spread about one metre. Divide occasionally and shear annually in winter. Plant in large drifts or use for spot planting.

JOBS FOR SEPTEMBER Take cuttings of plants you want to increase or that might not survive outside – pelargoniums, fuchsias, penstemons and salvias. Start planting spring bulbs (apart from tulips which are better planted later). Finish cutting back all your silver-leafed plants – lavender, helichrysum, santolina, thyme – by the end of the month in order to keep them in good shape.

Sprays of tufted hair grass catch the autumn dew

➻ OTHERS TO TRY PENNISETUM ‘FAIRY TAILS’ Good for autumn and winter effect, the late colours of fountain grass go well with the yellows and purple-violets of late-flowering perennials. ‘Fairy Tails’ is an unusually upright variety. Find a well-drained spot as it doesn’t like winter wet.

WE’LL BE BUYING… A traditional long-handled bulb planter – voted ‘Best Tool for the Job’ by the Crocus gardening team. It’s stainless steel with a tough ash handle so it should last for years. Makes it worth its price of £29.99 plus p&p FFI 0844 557 2244, WWW.CROCUS.CO.UK

MISCANTHUS ‘MORNING LIGHT’ Miscanthus are undoubtedly the most important group of ornamental grasses and ‘Morning Light’ is a particularly delicate variety with very narrow leaves and an overall impression of silver. Reaches about 1.8m in height. MOLINIA CAERULEA ‘STRAHLENQUELLE’ Commonly known as purple moor grass, Molinias make tufts of narrow foliage and their flowers form on straight stems from mid summer onwards. Don’t be put off by its name, ‘Strahlenquelle’ has the best colour and elegant arching stems. It likes moist soil in full sun.

THIS MONTH WE’LL BE VISITING... Cleeve Nursery for their huge selection of springflowering bulbs now that bulb-planting time is here. And for some instant colour, they’ll soon be stocking the new ‘Designer Dessert’ range of winter-flowering pansies, including ‘Blueberry Pie’, ‘Choc Orange Brioche’ and ‘Citrus Sundae’. Yum! FFI CLEEVE NURSERY, MAIN ROAD, CLEEVE, BRISTOL. FFI: WWW. CLEEVENURSERY.CO.UK, 01934 832134

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Common or


Hardly. This month’s featured property is a five-bedroom, bargain-priced beauty. Josie Drummond’s suitably impressed 110 FOLIO/SEPT 2012

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This five-bedroom period home in the heart of Oldland Common has bags of charm and character


f you want to live near Bristol or Bath, but without the stresses and strains of city life, Oldland Common ticks all the right boxes. This 7000-population village near Bitton in South Gloucestershire is a self-contained community just eight miles from the two local cities. Name-checked in the Domesday book in 1086, it’s got real history and bags of character. It is famously the birthplace of world-renowned astronomer Sir Bernard Lovell; he sadly passed away last month, but his memory lives on locally as the village is home to the Sir Bernard Lovell secondary school, a designated language college which boasts former England batsman Marcus Trescothick amongst its old boys. The village lies on the Avon Valley Railway and is served by Oldland Common railway station. It has a number of small shops and churches, as well as three splendid pubs. So, an ideal place to live. But what about this month’s featured property? Like the village in which it is situated, this substantial period house has bags of charm and character. Tucked away on a private lane in the heart of Oldland Common, the property has been extended to provide a stunning fivebedroom family home, complete with oil central heating. But let’s start downstairs. The stand-outs here include three immaculately presented reception rooms with features such as a solid fuel burning fire and original style flagged floors. The main lounge has double-glazed window to the front, a stone fireplace with multi-fuel burner and stone arch feature, and opens into the wonderfully light sitting room, which has double-glazed windows on two walls, one of which is a bay. Like the two previous rooms, the adjacent dining room has ceiling coving, and double-glazed doors leading out to the back garden. Stairs from the dining room will lead us up to the bedrooms, but first, let’s have a peek ➻

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PROPERTY HOMEFRONT into the kitchen/breakfast room: a marvellous centrepiece for this fabulous family home. It’s wonderfully spacious (15x12 foot) and light, with double-glazed windows on two sides. And it not only looks great – it’s got all the mod-con facilities you could ask for: solid wood cabinets, granite surfaces, display cabinets, Belfast-style sink, tiled splashbacks, space for a range-style cooker, integrated extractor, integrated fridge/freezer and dishwasher, recessed lighting and attractively tiled floor. Perfect! And no need to worry about clutter either. The house has a decent-sized utility room where all the boring stuff (boiler, washing machine, tumble dryer, sink and drainer unit) can be kept out of sight. Oh, and there’s a garage too. There are plenty more delights to savour as we go upstairs. Here the sprawling accommodation serves up no less than five bedrooms, four of which are doubles with a lovely ensuite shower room to the master. There are storage cupboards and radiators aplenty, and lots of attractive features such as double glazing as standard, stripped floors, cast iron fireplace, feature stone walls and recessed lighting. Oh, and did we mention the bathrooms? Two of the beauties, one featuring a fabulous roll top bath, oversized shower cubicle, Velux window and a heated towel rail. And where better to sit to contemplate your good fortune at having bought the home of your dreams than the delightful private garden? With its well-tended lawn and shrubbed borders, as well as the raised decked area which surveys the rest of the garden from its elevated position, it perfectly reflects the quiet beauty and quality of the house.

33 SCHOOL ROAD OLDLAND COMMON, BRISTOL BS30 6PH, £425,000 ➻ Viewing by confirmed appointment with the agents below.


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BARBORA STIESS Bristol cookery school proprietor



Papadeli is Barbora’s top choice for a great cup of coffee, while the Second Floor Restaurant at Harvey Nichols is “innovative without overdoing it”

Barbora’s kitchen can cater for up to 12 students

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arbora Stiess enjoyed cooking as a hobby when she came to Bristol University to study drama, film and television. It was still a hobby when she moved to London and spent a year working in the financial sector – but then she decided to train at Leith’s School of Food and Wine and make cooking her career. Following Michelin-starred training under chef Michael Caines, Barbora set up the Devilled Egg Kitchen Academy in Bristol, with the aim of creating a cookery school that bridged the gap between fine dining and home cooking. This has been a busy year for 28-yearold Barbora. In addition to launching her new cookery school – featuring a kitchen with spaces for 12 students, designed by Morley Grove Kitchens – she has been planning her wedding, which will take place in December. My best time of the morning... Walking my dog, Travis, at 6am when the city is still quiet and sleepy, but the sun is already up and shining (or at least in theory).   My favourite aspect of my work... The expressions on people’s faces when they create something which they thought was beyond them. It’s amazing what a little confidence in the kitchen can achieve.   My perfect cafe for a coffee or tea in Bristol... Papadeli on Alma Road is hard to beat for a coffee, and ATTIC tea is my favourite place for tea. Great stuff!

My ideal venue for lunch or dinner... I do like Harvey Nichols Second Floor Restaurant. The food is consistently good, locally sourced and innovative without overdoing it.   My dream shop in Bristol... Anywhere with knowledgeable staff, but Kitchens on Whiteladies Road has to be my favourite. Perhaps a predictable choice for a chef, but I’ve always loved going in there, marvelling at the sheer amount of stuff and actually getting useful advice from staff. For me, ‘proper shops’ like this will always beat ordering online.   My memorable place in Bristol... Cabot Tower, on Brandon Hill. I have some great memories from the top, and the view is stunning.    THE DEVILLED EGG KITCHEN ACADEMY IS LOCATED AT LATCHFORD HOUSE, 8 DOWNFIELD ROAD, CLIFTON, BRISTOL. CLASSES RANGE FROM £45. FFI: 0117 973 2823, WWW.THEDEVILLEDEGG. COM

Left Travis - Barbora’s earlymorning walking companion Above Cabot Tower – great views, great memories

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Bristol and Bath's premiere lifestyle magazine


Bristol and Bath's premiere lifestyle magazine