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BRISTOL & BATH

FREE TAKE ONE!

DEC 2012 • No. 215

EATING OUT WEST

EAT, DRINK & BE MERRY

WIN

A FABULOUS XMAS PARTY DRESS!

Animal Magic

THE WORLD'S BEST WILDLIFE PHOTOS

Let it

Snow!

GRAB A FRONT ROW SEAT FOR SNOW WHITE AT THE THEATRE ROYAL BATH PLUS XMAS FAMILY SHOWS ROUND UP

➻ BEAUTY Cover 215.indd 1

GOURMET GUIDE TO FESTIVE FOOD & DRINK

HOME SWEET HOME TRANSFORM YOUR HOME IN A WEEKEND

GET YOUR SKATES ON GREAT DAYS OUT THIS WINTER

FASHION WHAT'S ON INTERIORS PROPERTY FOOD 11/28/2012 5:36:23 PM


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DEC 2012

IT’S CHRISTMAS! ARE YOU READY? The festive season is now officially impossible to avoid, not that we want to avoid it of course! We reckon we’ve got all Christmas bases covered this issue. If, like me, you haven’t actually got round to buying any presents yet, you’ll hopefully find our last gasp gift guide (page 20) a useful starting point. Once that’s out of the way, it’s time to get down to some serious partying. Dress to impress with a little help from our party fashion guide (page 66), make sure your home looks the part with a preChristmas makeover (page 88) and stock up with the very best locally-sourced food and drink courtesy of our lipsmacking Eating Out section (starts page 40). Still immune from the Christmas spirit? Then you obviously need a dose of magical escapism at one of the many wonderful pantomimes just about to open in Bristol and Bath. We’ve made Bath Theatre Royal’s Snow White our cover story, because, well, it sounds fantastic, but as the feature overleaf reveals, the variety and scope of local Christmas shows has never been better. On a personal note, it’s a thrill to be invited to hold the fort at Folio while editor Rachel Nott does her maternal thing. And I’m delighted to report that, with impeccable timing, Rachel brought her beautiful new baby girl (pictured, right) into the world just hours before we went to press. Congratulations to her and partner Steve. Enjoy the holiday. See you in 2013.

Dave Higgitt Acting Folio Editor

FEATURES 4 10 16 20

Melissa Blease knows a good Christmas show when she sees one Gail Shortland meets five local entrepreneurs whose memories of Christmas past have helped to shape their futures The very best of the world’s nature photography has just arrived in Bristol. A bit late with your Christmas shopping? Don’t worry. Simon Fry has some bright ideas

WHAT'S ON 25 26 28 31 32 35

The big new films this month What to do in December An update on the local art scene Theatrical and comedy highlights of the month Top gigs and concerts for December How to have some winter fun

COMPETITIONS

39 WIN a stunning dress, or a family ice skating pass

EATING OUT WEST 42 48 51 52 54 56 58 60 61 63

BATH THEATRE ROYAL’S SNOW WHITE. SEE FEATURE, STARTING PAGE 4. PIC CREDIT: FREIA TURLAND

@folioeditor

@eatingoutwest

Turtley amazing wildlife photos

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Whether you’re stocking the kitchen or stuffing a stocking, keep it local and delicious Make it a New Year’s Eve to remember Restaurant review: Carluccio’s Restaurant review: Entelia Restaurant review: Cosy Club Restaurant review: Living Room Recipe of the month: roast shoulder of lamb Pub of the month: The Alma Tavern Shop of the month: Bertinet Bakery What’s cooking – news and markets

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LIFESTYLE 66 68 70 72 75 77 79 81

88 92 94

Rings and things in our last-gasp gift guide

Fashion: Suzanne Savill ditches the Little Black Dress and injects a splash of winter colour Fashion: flower power from Niki Whittle Shops of the month: Soukous and McArthurGlen’s Swindon Designer Outlet Beauty: Morgans Hair Salon Health: spotlight on the Relaxation Centre Motoring: BMW 3 Series Touring Education: Sexey’s School’s links with China Skills: strut your stuff on the dancefloor

HOMEFRONT Cover image: NICHOLA MCAULIFFE AND LAURA CLEMENTS IN

10 INSPIRED BY CHRISTMAS

Interior designer Lesley Taylor gets ready for Christmas with a weekend makeover New doors and windows for a local house Property showcases: two stunning local houses

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Carluccio's: just the (Italian) job

FINALE 98 Bath-based interior designer Claire Rendall

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 Bristol News & Media, Temple Way, Bristol, BS99 7HD tel 0117 942 8491 fax 0117 934 3566 email dave.higgitt@b-nm.co.uk or editor@foliomagazine.co.uk Folio Bath Bath News & Media, Floor 2, Westpoint, James West St, Bath BA1 1UN tel 01225 429801 fax 01225 447602 Editor Rachel Nott Acting Editor Dave Higgitt Art Editor Sarah Malone Sub-editor Jo Renshaw Commercial Director Becky Davis Studio Manager Cath Evans Publications Co-ordinators Ruth Wood, Emma Gorton 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.

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CREDIT: FREIA TURLAND

PHOTO CREDIT: TYSON SADLO

FEATURE

SOME

enchanted

EVENING Grab yourself a goat, hold on tight to your shadow and jump on the magic carpet while you still can… Melissa Blease knows a good Christmas show when she sees one

T

he season to be jolly is well and truly upon us. What better way to get into the festive spirit than to join us as we take a whistlestop tour of the Christmas shows set to keep entertainment levels up in and around Bristol and Bath as we prepare to wave goodbye to 2012? The stage is set, the stars are lined up - and we’re off!

BATH BEST FOR TRADITIONALISTS… SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS

Theatre Royal Bath, Thur 13 Dec-Sun 13 Jan

➻ Glamorous, Olivier Award-winning theatre and television star Nichola McAuliffe - known by legions of fans for her role as Sheila Sabatini in hit ITV sitcom Surgical Spirit - will take a suitably star-spangled role as the Evil Queen alongside Dame extraordinaire Chris Harris (see Q&A) in this year’s attentiongrabbing Theatre Royal Bath production. “It’s been a long time since Snow White last appeared at the Theatre Royal Bath, so I’m really excited about it,” Chris - aka Nurse Nelly - tells Folio. “The tale itself carries everything it takes to create a good pantomime: a strong story line, glamour, romance, comedy... and

what promises to be yet another awardwinning performance by Nichola - a real star. Add the Magnificent Seven to the spectacle, and you’ve got a recipe for a great family Christmas!” We agree - which is why we chose Nichola to be our festive cover star - alongside Laura Clements as Snow White - for this suitably spectacular issue. THEATRE ROYAL BATH SAWCLOSE. FFI: 01225 448844, WWW.THEATREROYAL.ORG.UK

BEST FOR ANIMAL LOVERS… HEIDI: A GOAT’S TALE

The Egg, Theatre Royal Bath (Sat 8 Dec-Sun 13 Jan)

➻ Christmas at the Bath Theatre Royal offers a double dose of festive fun this year. Dip into The Egg for a brand-new take on the much-loved tale of Heidi, as this classic story is brought to reinvigorated life by the hysterically funny herd of mountain goats that she tends. “The Egg offers a huge theatrical experience in an intimate setting, which makes it perfect for little people - it’s like taking a trip to a West End theatre in the comfort of your own living room,” says the play’s director, Lee Lyford. Lee also reassures us that there aren’t any scary bits at all in this year’s show, guaranteeing a peaceful night’s sleep for all at home-time. “The Egg has a strong reputation for showing the best shows of their kind in

ABOVE & BELOW: The XXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX attractively laid-out and well XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX stocked Sharpham Park shop XXXXXXXXXX RIGHT: Roger Saul

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FEATURE

Left: Laura Clements as Bath Theatre Royal's Snow White; below: Caroline Horton in the Egg's Heidi: A Goat's Tale; bottom left: Scrooge will be the star at Rondo's A Christmas Carol; bottom right: Flawless will bring a modern twist to the Hippodrome's Aladdin

BRISTOL BEST FOR LOOSE WOMEN AND FLAWLESS FANS… ALADDIN

Bristol Hippodrome (Fri 7 Dec-Sun 6 Jan)

CREDIT: NICK SPR

ATLING

➻ When a street urchin discovers a

the country,” adds actor John Biddle. “I had so much fun in The French Detective last year, and I’m delighted to be back for Christmas 2012. I’ve been practising my goat impression on my 18-month-old son – he’s being quite encouraging, although I have to admit he’s quite an easy chap to please!” Say ‘Heidi-hi’ and see how well John plays the goat for yourself. THE EGG THEATRE ROYAL BATH, SAWCLOSE. FFI: 01225 823409, WWW.THEATREROYAL.ORG.UK

BEST FOR COSY ATMOSPHERICS… A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE MUSICAL

Rondo Theatre (Tue 18, Wed 19 & Sat 22 Dec)

➻ Prepare to be reminded of the true spirit of Christmas, courtesy of an up close and personal encounter with the miserly Scrooge, a man whose story presents us with a timely nudge in the direction of a bit of personal introspection as the fickle festive season dominates our horizons. It’s not all doom, gloom and moral rhetoric, though. Live Wire Theatre’s vibrant new production of Charles Dickens’ perennial classic tale offers a richly textured tapestry of hauntingly beautiful melodies and captivating drama, resulting in a memorably uplifting experience for all. RONDO THEATRE SAINT SAVIOURS RD. FFI: 01225 463362, WWW.RONDOTHEATRE.CO.UK

magic lamp, he unwittingly unleashes a charismatic Genie who grants him three wishes, and... oh come on, who doesn’t know the story of Aladdin, the enduringly popular tale that takes audiences on a magic-carpet ride to riches, romance and rollicking good fun? Few folk, however, have had the opportunity to see the role of the Genie artfully interpreted by two contemporary cultural icons - both women, and both set to bring their own wholly unique twists to this tantalising tale. Outspoken Loose Woman Carol McGiffin will be gracing the Hippodrome stage with her interpretation of the Genie from 7-17 Dec, handing the baton over to Big Brother winner Josie Gibson to fascinate and tantalise for the remainder of the run, 18 Dec-6 Jan. Which one will win your vote? Teenagers, meanwhile, will beg you to book their ticket to ride as soon as they hear that one of their Christmas wishes has already come true. Britain’s Got Talent sensations Flawless - described by Simon Cowell himself as “one of the best acts I’ve ever seen in my life” - will be taking to theHippodrome stage alongside those glamorous genies, completing a dazzling line-up as they mark their pantomime debut as the Peking Police Squad for the whole of the festive season. “We’re thrilled to have Flawless joining the cast of Aladdin and look forward to them adding a modern twist to our traditional family pantomime,” says Kevin Wood, chief executive of pantomime producers First Family Entertainment. “We’ve worked extremely hard in securing the boys to give South West audiences the best show ever.” BRISTOL HIPPODROME ST AUGUSTINE’S PARADE. FFI: 0844 871 3012, WWW. ATGTICKETS.COM/VENUES/BRISTOLHIPPODROME

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CREDIT: MARK DOUET

FEATURE

Left: Old Vic's Peter Pan takes flight; above: Tristan Sturrock plays Peter Pan at the Old Vic; this pic: Tobacco Factory Theatre and New International Encounter's Hansel and Gretel

BEST FOR A TRULY MAGICAL EXCURSION… HANSEL AND GRETEL

Tobacco Factory Theatre (Wed 5 Dec-Sun 13 Jan)

BEST FOR THOSE WHO KNOW THAT GROWING UP IS OVERRATED… PETER PAN

BEST FOR INQUISITIVE MINDS… RECYCLED STOCKINGS 2

Bristol Old Vic (until Sat 19 Jan)

Southville Centre (Sat 15, Sun 16, Sat 22 & Sun 23 Dec)

➻ Let your imaginations soar skyward as

➻ Following on from the great success

JM Barrie’s much-loved tale of the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up takes flight at the Bristol Old Vic this year. “One of the areas of the Peter Pan story that really appealed to me is the importance of imagination, and how easily children can create magical, fantasy worlds and characters,” says the show’s director, Sally Cookson, who directed the Tobacco Factory’s acclaimed Christmas hit Cinderella last year, as well as the BOV’s remarkable production of Treasure Island. “We hope that our production of Peter Pan complete with flying, fairies and pixie-dust - will let adults and children alike immerse themselves in our world, so we all become part of the story of Neverland together. Roll on Christmas!”

of last year’s original Recycled Stockings Christmas show, the Show of Strength theatre company have darned their toes again to present young families with another glimpse into the fascinating worlds of a collection of characters who’ll each share their own unique Christmas story as you embark on a voyage around the Southville Centre as you’ve never seen it before. Expect a whistlestop, interactive tour into the hearts, minds and imaginations of some truly intriguing personalities and friends yet to be made. The show makes friends with your wallet, too - at £5 a ticket, this one is an affordable treat for all.

BRISTOL OLD VIC KING ST. FFI: 0117 987 7877, WWW.BRISTOLOLDVIC.ORG.UK

SOUTHVILLE CENTRE BEAULEY RD, SOUTHVILLE, BRISTOL, BS3. FFI: 0117 923 1039, WWW.SOUTHVILLECENTRE.ORG.UK

➻ This unique interpretation of multifaceted Brothers Grimm story Hansel and Gretel (yup, the one about the children who get lost in an enchanted forest) brings one of our favourite fairy tales to fully festive life. The Tobacco Factory Theatre and award-winning theatre company New International Encounter have joined forces to transform your previous perceptions of this popular theatrical epicentre into a magical winter woodland. It’s the perfect setting for a complex yarn combining live music, clowning, humour and storytelling to create an unforgettable Christmas experience for the whole family. TOBACCO FACTORY THEATRE RALEIGH RD, SOUTHVILLE, BRISTOL, BS3. FFI: 0117 902 0344, WWW.TOBACCOFACTORYTHEATRE.COM

BEST FOR LITTLE FUN LOVERS… THE LOST PRESENT

Brewery Theatre (Wed 19 Dec-Sun 13 Jan)

➻ The Tobacco Factory Theatre’s little sister venture The Brewery may have a name that suggests adult-only

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Christmas flowers at

Les Fleurs Floral Design

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Bring the spirit of Christmas to your home or office with a festive arrangement designed with love from our team. Our arrangements start at as little of £15 and are delivered for free in BS1. Wreaths range from £10-£30 and are designed to your specifications. Order yours now and get a 10% discount when you quote “Folio”.

Les Fleurs Floral Design 80 Colston Street, Bristol BS1 5BB Tel: 0117 929 8166 www.lesfleurs.org.uk

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

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This pic: Nichola McAuliffe and Chris Harris in Bath Theatre Royal's Snow White; below left: rehearsal shots from Old Vic Studio's Hey Diddle Diddle

FEATURE

entertainment, but this Christmas it’s entirely devoted to fun for little people. The Lost Present is a 50-minute treat for little people from as young as three years old, but promises to offer lots for grown-ups to get excited about, too, including live music courtesy of Kid Carpet. Vic and Ed need to do some speedy detective work to find a home for all the gifts that have gone astray…

BEST FOR FANS OF FEELGOOD FUN… HEY DIDDLE DIDDLE Bristol Old Vic Studio (until Sat 5 Jan)

➻ “This is a story about imagination,” the show’s producer Katie Dunn tells Folio. “Three siblings sneak downstairs in the middle of the night to play while their parents are asleep. They encounter a magical trunk and take us on a limitless journey through the nursery rhymes we all know and love. The experience is set to capture children’s ability to literally think outside the box, and grown-ups will willingly travel with them beyond those four corners.” Our advice? Book now and prepare to be enthralled. BRISTOL OLD VIC STUDIO KING ST. FFI: 0117 987 7877, WWW. BRISTOLOLDVIC.ORG.UK

Q&A

CHRIS HARRIS Chris Harris is a globally recognised authority on pantomime - an indisputable aficionado of the genre and a Bath Theatre Royal Christmas show institution. This year, he’s set to light up the Heritage City’s grandest stage yet again in his role as Nurse Nelly, a pivotal character in the TRB’s spectacular production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. So what makes this Grand Dame tick? What are you most looking forward to about appearing once again on the Theatre Royal Bath stage? TRB is pretty much the actors’ favourite theatre to play in. The relationship between actor and the audience is compelling, and the resident staff make us mummers so welcome - this special relationship spreads over to our audiences to make our pantomime a wonderful Christmas experience. Our country as a whole has had a very special year this year, and we aim to offer families a memorable conclusion! You’re seriously multitasking again, both directing and taking the role as Nurse Nelly. How on earth do you manage to keep those all-important energy levels up? It’s a question of being prepared. Most of the year I wear the director’s hat and get everything organised - that takes a lot of work with my musical director, Gareth Williams, who’s currently on tour with 42nd Street. Then there’s the choreographer, wardrobe department, scenic department,

sound, and, of course, the stage management team from UK Productions and the Theatre Royal Bath. By the time we get to the actual rehearsals, all the planning is done and we can proceed by giving full attention to the players’ needs. As to keeping up my energy levels, one just has to prepare by keeping fit and being ready for that all-important first night.

CREDIT: FREIA TURLAND

BREWERY THEATRE 291 NORTH ST, SOUTHVILLE, BRISTOL, BS3. FFI: 0117 902 0344, WWW. TOBACCOFACTORYTHEATRE.COM

How much of yourself do you put into the role of the Dame? Actors like to hide in a character. People often get the role of the Dame mixed up with drag acts and female impersonators sorry, but in this instance I’m just a bloke in a frock! I suspect that every Dame contains a lot of personal characteristics that are unique to the individual actor, but above all you must be true to the character. Each Dame has their own idiosyncrasies that must be carefully observed - she must never betray the trust the child puts in her to tell the story truthfully. Why should a family visit to a Christmas show remain at the heart of Christmas tradition? It’s something to look forward to - the icing on a year-long cake. There’s an excitement about going to the theatre at any time, but there’s no doubt that there’s a very special buzz at Christmas, which is tangible - you just know it’s a very special occasion and a tradition that’s become an old friend. When do you get to kick back and get into the festive spirit away from the stage? I don’t, although I’m delighted that my own sons and their families are coming to the show this year. I enjoy the Christmas spirit through the cast, and particularly the children in the show that we welcome each year from the Dorothy Coleborn School of Dance - their skills, discipline and enthusiasm never fail to amaze and inspire me. It has to be one of the best schools of dance in the country, and Bath should feel very proud to have them as part of the annual panto.

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FEATURE

It’s a

Wonderful Life Gail Shortland meets five local entrepreneurs whose happy memories of Christmas past have helped to shape their futures

Simon Maughan OWNER OF FRENCHAY CHRISTMAS TREE FARM ➻ “I can still remember the excitement I felt as a young lad, when it was time to go and pick our Christmas tree. We’d go in the dark after school to the local greengrocer, and even a standard tree seemed enormous to me. The thrill continued back at home when we decorated the branches and switched on the twinkling lights. It

symbolised the start of Christmas. I had no idea that one day I’d recall those cherished memories to make my business succeed. “Back in the early 90s, my entrepreneur dad, Peter, told me that he was going to plant some Christmas trees on some spare land that he had. No one really took it very seriously! While they were growing, I went off to university where I studied plant science, then I did some travelling. On my return, the trees were bigger - and somewhat unruly. “Dad quickly learned that Christmas trees require a lot of care and attention! As he tried to turn his hobby into a business - even becoming a member of the British Christmas Tree Growers Association - I couldn’t help but get swept along by his enthusiasm, so I helped out when I could. “There’s been a lot of trial and error. Naively, we thought you just planted the trees and they’d grow the way we wanted. But you have to be very dedicated. It takes a good six years for a tree to be the right size, and it’s an all-year-round undertaking, with upkeep, pruning and replanting. “By 2006, I was hooked, and Frenchay Christmas Tree Farm became my full-time job. Dad, now 75, has taken a step back, although he’s never far from the farm. Each year, we sell around 2,000 trees from 15 acres near Frenchay Hospital. We have all sizes and several varieties, starting at £20. Some are non-drop, which is great for pet owners. I’m keen to be as environmentally friendly as we can be - we avoid chemicals and pesticides when possible, and

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FEATURE

Gemma Faithfull OWNER OF FAITHFULL’S QUALITY BAKING

Growing Christmas trees is an all-yearround undertaking, with upkeep, pruning and replanting (pics left, below left and below © Jody Daunton)

encourage customers to bring their trees back to us after Christmas so we can recycle them. “Families can come and hunt for their ‘perfect’ tree, and watching the children’s excited faces brings back the joy I remember feeling. Even if it’s cold and wet, I make sure each customer gets a warm, festive welcome. I know what a special moment it is, and I want it to be a happy memory for everyone who comes to us. “Our trees become the centrepiece of a family’s Christmas. One minute they’re growing on our farm with a bird sat on top; the next they’re beautifully transformed with decorations, stars and piles of presents. It’s wonderful to be part of that Christmas magic.” FFI WWW.FRENCHAYCHRISTMASTREEFARM.COM

➻“When I started doing cookery at secondary school, I discovered that I really enjoyed baking. My gran made amazing cakes and I was always trying to impress her. She was incredibly honest, which helped me to perfect my skills. After studying agriculture, food and marketing at university, I came back to Bristol and took a job in a local farm shop where I’d worked as a teenager. It enabled me to keep on practising my cooking in their kitchen, and I discovered that I had a real passion for making Christmas cakes. “I loved the smell as I baked them, and the shine appearing as they were glazed. Everyone said they were delicious, too. But more than anything, I relished making a cake that celebrates the occasion of Christmas. I used to bake them for my family when I was younger and have wonderful memories of sitting together to enjoy the rich flavours. The taste epitomises the season. “It made me wonder whether I could make a business out of it. Perhaps I could encourage people to sit down together and enjoy each other’s company - while eating one of my cakes! So, in 2011, I ploughed my savings into a Portakabin to put in my garden. I converted it into a commercial kitchen, and went parttime. In September this year I handed in my notice - and Faithfull’s ➻ FOLIO/DEC 2012 11

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FEATURE

Quality Baking was born. “I focus on traditionally prepared Christmas cakes, made from the best ingredients possible. I give my cakes time to mature, for maximum flavour, and pack them full of high-quality, juicy fruit. A lot of people thought I was crazy to focus on a ‘once a year’ cake, but I had to see whether I could make it work. “The past few months have really spurred me on. I’ve won awards for my cakes, and they’ve been incredibly popular at farmers’ markets and food festivals. It’s given me the confidence to start selling them mail-order from my website, starting at £6.50 for a loaf cake. “It’s very exciting to see my vision coming to life. This winter I’ll be baking around 2,000 cakes, all handmade by me to guarantee that they’re perfect. Some are covered in icing; others are topped with nuts and fruit, glistening with a sweet sherry glaze. “There can be very long hours and it’s hard work, but I absolutely love it and I’ve had amazing support from family and friends. I remain passionate about making my brand a tradition in people’s families. It’s a lovely feeling to imagine customers cutting into my cakes and sharing them with their loved ones. Festive memories are treasured for ever, so I’m devoted to capturing the spirit of Christmas every time I bake.” FFI WWW.FAITHFULLSQUALITYBAKING.CO.UK

Chris Webb (below) and some of his creations: “I'm looking forward to encouraging other people to be crafty this Christmas”

CHRIS WEBB FOUNDER OF LAZY CRAFTERNOONS ➻ “Growing up in Canada, I had an amazingly talented ‘make and do’ family. I learned woodworking skills from my father, patchwork and quilting skills from my great-aunt, and a range of other traditions that have been handed down the generations. Each November, we’d open our doors to the public and host annual craft fairs in our home, with hundreds of attendees. It would signify the start of Christmas for me as I watched people learning how to make gifts and decorations. “When I came over to the UK, and eventually settled in Bristol, I carried on making and selling crafts, while also working as a speaker for local museums. My passion to teach inspired me to set up my business, Lazy Crafternoons, and run workshops for people of all ages, sharing my skills in making bespoke crafts, patchwork quilts and even handmade bath and beauty products. And my friend and fellow crafter, Lori MacAlphine-Smith and I run a monthly creative arts and craft night, called Making Things Club. “Christmas remains a big focal point of my year. It’s a wonderful time to teach others to make things - everyone’s feeling a bit more creative and in the festive spirit. This year we’ve decided to open a Christmas pop-up shop from 3-24 December near Cabot Circus, with help from the Pop-Up Bristol scheme. It will be part shop, part creative emporium, where Christmas shoppers will be able to take a few minutes, sit back, and make inexpensive gifts and decorations. The shop will offer set workshops, and there’ll also be regular ‘make and takeaway’ activities, taking between five and 10 minutes. We couldn’t be more excited about it!

“Not everyone is as lucky to have a family like mine who could pass on amazing skills, so I love opening the craft world up to a wider audience. With everyone needing to tighten their belts at the moment, handmade gifts aren’t only more thoughtful, but they save you money, too. My family’s generosity from my festive past has really inspired me and I’m looking forward to encouraging other people to be crafty this Christmas.” FFI WWW.LAZYCRAFTERNOONS.CO.UK

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Moroccanoil stockists products are used in the Salon 6 Rockleaze Rd, Sneyd Park, Bristol BS9 1NF Tel: 0117 9682663 www.carlohairandbeauty.co.uk

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PHOTO: REBECCA WINGRAVE

FEATURE

SUE AMESBURY FOUNDER OF GREENGARLAND

JO FALLON OWNER OF BOLLYWOOD CHRISTMAS ➻ “The idea behind Bollywood Christmas started in 2003 on an amazing holiday to India. My husband, Dan and I were approaching our first Christmas together and bought some beautiful handcrafted decorations in a local market. They were made of papier-maché, and painted with gorgeous, intricate designs. We’d fallen in love with India, so they were a perfect way to remember the country’s vibrant colours and traditions. “Back home in Bath, we put up the decorations around our house and attracted quite a few compliments - people wanted to know where they were from and wanted to buy some, too. I believed so much in the artistry and talent of the local people in India that I decided to try and sell their decorations over here. “It didn’t happen overnight. I spent a long time making sure I had the right suppliers - it was very important to me to have ethical relationships built on trust. I wanted to sell the best products and treat the local artists and suppliers fairly. I’ve stayed with the same suppliers since starting up. “In 2005, I took a stall on the Bath Christmas Market and hoped that the decorations would sell. They did, and the feedback from customers was good - a business was born! After a few years of doing the market, I was still working at a head office in retail but was struggling with career and children. I’d been thinking about doing something else, so took the leap to expand Bollywood. “Slowly, I’ve built the business up. We’re now online, and local stores like Rossiters and the Pump Rooms now sell our stock. We have all styles of baubles, including star and bird shapes, in eye-catching colours, as well as stunning strings of glass lights and embroidered gifts. Our customers appreciate

the quality and workmanship of our decorations - each one is crafted with traditions that have been handed down for generations. “Our three sons - Ben (eight), Gabriel (six) and Theo (three) - have grown up with the decorations. They love it in November when hundreds of boxes arrive from abroad, and our tree is like a visual history of our business, with examples from every batch we’ve bought - including a few questionable choices! We’re hoping to take the boys to India soon so they can experience it for themselves. However, we’ll need to sell a few more decorations first! “It’s a joy to know that my first Indian tree all those years back has given me the opportunity to work with a product I love, suppliers I respect and customers with whom I enjoy interacting. I also know that I’m extremely lucky to work in such a flexible way around my family. Together we help to bring some Bollywood sparkle to the UK’s Christmas trees.” FFI WWW.BOLLYWOODCHRISTMAS.CO.UK

➻“My memories of Christmas as a child in the 1960s are very happy and warm, but they also include an infamous tinsel Christmas tree… Every year my dad would haul it out of the attic and my mum would drench it in more tinsel and baubles, before placing it in the front room. I longed for a real Christmas tree and a house that resembled a Dickensian scene, with swathes of pine and ribbon. Mum said that real trees were messy and we’d be hovering pine needles up until Easter, but I vowed that, when I was a grown-up, I’d have a garland on my fireplace, a wreath on my door and a fresh Christmas tree. “Five years ago, I decided that, for a few weeks a year, I needed a distraction from my job as an administrator during the dark winter months. I wanted to make something and share the buzz of creating for other people. Sparked by my passion for a traditional Christmas, and a floristry course I’d taken, I started running a pop-up business called Greengarland, primarily from the farmers’ market at Whiteladies Road, Clifton. I handmade and sold high-quality Christmas wreaths, gifts, and fireplace and mantelpiece garlands, both at the market and mail-order through my website. It was such a thrill to have people buying things that I’d crafted, and knowing that my creations would be hanging in their homes was an honour. I also teach wreath and swag making at the University of Bristol Botanic Garden and for the Avon Gorge and Downs Wildlife Project at Bristol Zoo Gardens during the Christmas season. It’s a joy to share my skills, and when someone puts one of my wreaths on their front door, it says, ‘We’re celebrating Christmas here!’ That’s a delight to be part of. “Greengarland gets me out there in the winter, stomping around in my wellies, meeting people and hanging out with the farmers’ market folk. My ethos is: grow it, make it, sell it. If I can’t grow it myself at home or at my allotment, I source it from local growers. Everything is freshly made, locally grown and handtied with jute to make it fully compostable. During the dark, cold months, my house is always brimming with wonderfully smelling pine, plants, flowers and berries. My mum was right about the mess! But it’s all worth it to be able to share my childhood dream with other people.” FFI WWW.GREENGARLAND.CO.UK

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PHOTO CREDIT: TYSON SADLO

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS FEATURE

The very best of the world’s nature photography has just arrived in Bristol. Steve Wright takes a peek behind the lens

B

ristol gets its annual fix of the world’s very best nature photography, with the visit of the hugely popular Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition - co-owned by the Natural History Museum and BBC Worldwide, and now in its 48th year. The judges have to

BUBBLE-JETTING EMPERORS

Paul Nicklen (Canada) Above ➻ And the winner from among the staggering 48,000-plus entries? This spectacular image of emperor penguins at the edge of Antarctica’s Ross Sea. Paul had to remain motionless, legs locked under the ice, waiting for the penguins. Suddenly, the birds blasted from the depths and, with frozen fingers, he got his shot. “I love this picture because it shows perfectly organised, infinite chaos,” says underwater photographer David Doubilet, one of this year’s judges.

FLUFF-UP

John E Marriott (Canada) Below ➻ A shapeless lump of puffed-up black: that’s what the figure looked like, squatting in the middle of a snow-covered road in Jasper National Park, Alberta, in the Canadian Rockies. As John drove slowly towards the feathers, he realised it was a raven. If a male raven fluffs up to a female, it signals an invitation to take note, although a good fluff does also keep out the cold.

TURTLE GEM

Jordi Chias (Spain) Right ➻ Armeñime, a small cove off Tenerife’s south coast, is a hotspot for green sea turtles, who forage on the plentiful seagrass and are used to divers. Jordi cruised with this

whittle thousands of entries down to the 100-odd winning and commended entries that the public get to see. VEOLIA ENVIRONNEMENT WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR EXHIBITION UNTIL 17 FEB, BRISTOL MUSEUM & ART GALLERY. FFI: WWW. BRISTOL.GOV.UK (ENTER ‘WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER’ IN SEARCH BOX)

one in the shallow, gin-clear water over black volcanic sand. Like the other seven species of sea turtles, the green sea turtle is endangered.

TREADING WATER

Charlie Hamilton James (UK) Bottom middle ➻ While making a film about giant otters in Cocha Salvador in Peru, Charlie took this portrait of a fourmonth-old cub while lying down in his boat. The cub was curious about Charlie, craning up its neck while treading water. Giant otters (officially listed as endangered) are very social and live in extended family groups, giving safety in numbers against local predators such as caiman.

RELAXATION

Jasper Doest (The Netherlands) Top right ➻ In winter, Japanese macaques in central Japan’s Jigokudani Valley congregate in the hot-spring pools, to stay warm and socialise. Jasper found about 30 macaques enjoying a steamy soak, heads covered in fresh snow, relaxing to the point of falling asleep in the warm water. He watched as this youngster became increasingly drowsy and eventually closed its eyes.

ICE MATTERS

Anna Henly (UK) Right middle ➻ Anna was on a boat in Svalbard, an archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole, when she saw this polar bear. She used her fish-eye lens to make the enormous animal appear diminutive: “The top predator on top of the planet, with its ice world breaking

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FEATURE

up.” Increasing temperatures are reducing ice cover and the amount of time available for the bears to hunt marine mammals.

INTO THE MOUTH OF THE CAIMAN

Luciano Candisani (Brazil) Bottom right ➻ Motionless but alert, a yacare caiman waits for fish to come within snapping reach. Luciano regularly documents the underwater life of caimans in the shallow, murky waters of Brazil’s Pantanal (the biggest wetland in the world), which contains the world’s largest single crocodilian population: “The safest way to get close is when they’re concentrating on a shoal of fish.”

ALL PICTURES © VEOLIA ENVIRONNEMENT WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR 2012

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FEATURE

The western entrance of the Clapton Moor nature reserve

CLAPTON

MOOR

C

lapton Moor is an integral part of the levels and moors landscape and is important for breeding waders and wintering wildfowl. The network of rhynes (ditches) is full of many rare plants such as frogbit, greater spearwort and fen pondweed, along with nationally scarce invertebrates such as hairy dragonfly and ruddy darter. The walk offers panoramic views of the Gordano Valley, a uniquely rich area of countryside with a surprising wealth of wildlife, just 12 miles from the centre of Bristol. A historic manor and church, and relics of iron and coal mining, combine to make this an especially fascinating walk.

Take a fascinating walk on the wild side in the Gordano Valley to see rare plants, ancient buildings and timeless views

with its ancient headstones and views of historic Clapton Court, the site of the old manor house dating back to the 11th century. After the Court, the route ascends once again towards the motorway and gives views of the valley and Clapton Moor nature reserve before descending once again and entering the reserve.

LAPWING & SNIPE

This reserve is managed to maintain wet conditions over the lower fields and to encourage lapwing, redshank, and snipe to breed. The walk runs around the boundary of the reserve, but take a detour to the bird hide for better views of the wet meadows. From the reserve, the walk runs along a

TIME TRAVEL

AVON WILDLIFE TRUST OUR WALK COMES COURTESY OF THIS LEADING LOCAL CHARITY WORKING FOR PEOPLE AND WILDLIFE. FFI ON AWT, ITS RESERVES, EVENTS & DETAILS ON HOW TO JOIN AS A MEMBER: 0117 917 7270, WWW.AVONWILDLIFETRUST.ORG.UK WILDLIFE WALKS TO DOWNLOAD THIS AND OTHER AWT WALKS: WWW.AWTWAYSINTOWILDLIFE.ORG.UK

HOW TO GET THERE

CREDIT: RICHARD ANDREWS

As you set off up the hill from the Black Horse pub, the first part of the walk is dominated by the noise of the M5 motorway, which opened in 1970, bringing major changes to the valley’s wildlife. A hoard of 3,000 Roman coins was found here in the 1930s. A short distance further on, descending the southern ridge of the valley is like walking back in time as magnificent views of the Gordano Valley come into sight. This sense of timelessness is reinforced by a walk around 13th century St Michael’s Church

wildlife-rich rhyne before joining Clapton Drove. Walk along the drove for 500 metres and see contrasting views of industrial Avonmouth and wind turbines in the distance. Leaving the Drove, the walk passes two 17th century farms and the remains of 17th century coal-mining activity, before arriving back at the Black Horse pub for well-earned refreshments and food!

The walk takes in a network of ditches and a wealth of wildlife, including dragonflies and snipe (bottom right)

Directions From Portishead, take the B3124 towards Clevedon and turn left into Clapton Lane at the roundabout by Gordano School. In the village of Clapton-in-Gordano, take the second road on the right, and the Black Horse pub is 300m on the right. Park carefully in Wood out for thethe pretty blushentrance. LaneLook opposite pub petals of the dog rose along Thethe roads way around the reserve are narrow, so please drive and park with care, making sure you don’t block any farm or field entrances. Access is restricted to the path leading to the hide, which is suitable for visitors with wheelchairs and buggies. The walk is a moderate grade and takes about 2.5hrs. Don’t forget your wellies, as the lower fields on the reserve can be very wet

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PHOTO CREDIT: TYSON SADLO

ell op

FEATURE

s e i l e v o L 3 LAST-MINUTE A bit late with your Christmas shopping? Don’t worry. Simon Fry has some bright ideas

Delicious

The festive season brings the food lover out in all of us, so a demuths gift voucher makes the perfect Christmas gift. If they like being cooked for, a voucher for the restaurant. If they want to learn to cook and then enjoy a big sit-down meal, a day at the Vegetarian Cookery School fits the bill beautifully. Gift vouchers can be purchased online. DEMUTHS RESTAURANT NORTH PARADE PASSAGE, OFF ABBEY GREEN, BATH. FFI: 01225 446059, WWW.DEMUTHS.CO.UK VEGETARIAN COOKERY SCHOOL TERRACE WALK, BATH. FFI: 01225 427938, WWW. VEGETARIANCOOKERYSCHOOL.COM

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Lucky

This ‘Lucky’ Christmas bauble (pictured in cranberry swirl) comes in eight colours and three sizes at Bath Aqua Glass, with each one handmade by glassblowers at their Walcot Street studio. Glass baubles were originally hung in front windows to ward off negativity, but one of these will bring you luck all year round. Small (approx 7cm) £10.95, medium (8cm) £13.95, large (10cm) £15.95. BATH AQUA GLASS 105-107 WALCOT ST, BATH. FFI: 01225 428146/319606, WWW. BATHAQUAGLASS.COM (ALSO AT 1-2 ORANGE GROVE, TEL: 01225 463436/311183, PLUS STALLS IN UNION ST & STALL ST)

Happy

This brass and silver Buddha ring (£48.99) from Amulet Boutique is adjustable, so one size fits all. Made by Fairtrade jeweller Mirabelle, its outer allure is matched by the inner happiness it brings, knowing that it’s helping others. AMULET BOUTIQUE COTHAM HILL, BRISTOL. FFI: 0117 239 9932, WWW.AMULETBOUTIQUE.CO.UK

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Shimmering

Highly pearlised, creamy Pressed Pigment (£16.50) from cosmetics gurus MAC glistens with a shimmering translucent finish when applied dry and gives high-gloss dramatic coverage when applied wet. Twelve colours spotlight the eyes, making them glow with brilliant accents. For artistic blending, the 215 Medium Shader Brush (£19) is the perfect tool. MAC FFI: WWW. MACCOSMETICS.CO.UK

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Iconic

This stunning necklace (from £50) is handmade with Artemis’s gorgeous, delicately hammered silver ‘New York’ chain and iconic silver bird T-bar. ARTEMIS 214 GLOUCESTER RD, BRISTOL, BS7. FFI: 0117 924 1003, WWW.ARTEMISBRISTOL.CO.UK

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Funny

Those Beast people have been coming up with the cleverest T-shirt slogans for 25 years now, and the West Country wit continues with three new T-shirts: ‘I bin smoovin the meerkat, ‘It’s not cidre, it’s scrumpy’ and ‘Bristol born and bred, me’: £11.99 each, or all three for £30 proper job! BEAST 224 CHELTENHAM RD & ST NICHOLAS MARKET, BRISTOL. FFI: 0117 942 8200/927 9535, WWW.BEAST-CLOTHING.COM

Glam

New for this season, this Vivienne Westwood Chancery 5509 Heart Bag (£220), available from Garment Quarter, comes in gold patent mock croc with a giant golden glitter orb. A giant zip reveals a handy space inside, lined with block-striped fabric, with a pouch and zipped pocket with a gold Vivienne Westwood logo plaque. Add the detachable shoulder to wear it across your body. GARMENT QUARTER PENN ST, CABOT CIRCUS, BRISTOL. FFI: 0117 329 4405, WWW.GARMENTQUARTER.COM

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Luscious

From violet-hued limited-edition eyeshadows and eye-opening mascaras via luscious lip colour, skin-reviving moisturiser and ultraflattering eyeliner, Clinique’s Black Tie Violet pouch (RRP: £55) has everything that the woman in your life needs to look sensational. CLINIQUE FFI: WWW.CLINIQUE.CO.UK

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10 Gorgeous

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Tasty

Jonathan Kemp, the man behind the Bath Wine Tasting Company, is launching a oneday ‘Wine and Dine’ course each month (starting Sat 15 Dec, Hare and Hounds gastropub, Lansdown, Bath). The course, for beginners and connoisseurs alike, will include a food-and-wine-matching lunch (£75pp), and would make a great gift.

BATH WINE TASTING COMPANY

FFI: 07875 234406, WWW. BATHWINETASTINGCOMPANY. COM

Clifton Rocks showcase the UK’s hottest jewellers. This little sparrow charm (£129), a gold-plated silver bird necklace with black diamond eyes, is by Jana Reinhardt, who this year alone has featured in Tatler, Stella, Red, Country & Town House , OK!, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire and The Daily Telegraph. CLIFTON ROCKS 100 QUEENS RD, CLIFTON, BRISTOL. FFI: 0117 973 1342, WWW.CLIFTONROCKS.CO.UK

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Precious

Diana Porter’s Crackers Christmas exhibition includes these silver, gold and diamond semi-precious stone rings (from £423) from Natalie Harris, all of whose stones come from reliably ethical sources. DIANA PORTER 33 PARK ST, BRISTOL. FFI: 0117 909 0225, WWW.DIANAPORTER.CO.UK NATALIE HARRIS FFI: WWW. NATALIEJANEHARRIS.COM

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Glitzy

Strictly Come Dancing dancer and choreographer Kristina Rihanoff has collaborated with MeMeMe Cosmetics to launch the must-have limited-edition Kristina Rihanoff Essentials Collection. “Being empowered and feeling great through the application of make-up is something that’s true to my heart,” says Kristina. “This collection of handbag essentials is for any lady looking for a bit of glitz and glam in their lives this party season.” Collection contains: Goddess Eyes Quad Eyeshadow, Bronze Shimmer Stack, Amorous Long-lasting Nail Gloss, Beat the Blues Highlighter, Light Me Up Lipgloss.

MEMEME COSMETICS FFI: WWW.MEMEMECOSMETICS. CO.UK

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FOLIO ADVERTORIAL FEATURE

Transport of

DELIGHT Don’t get stressed out about getting around this Christmas. The new TravelWest website can help you beat the seasonal queues.

T

Hope on a bus and savour the delights of seasonal shopping in Bath and Bristol

here are so many things to think about over the festive season. Presents to buy, menus to plan, parties to go to, friends and families to see … and it can be a stressful time for many people. There seem to be more people moving around, going to the shops and social venues; and parking spaces can be like gold dust. What should be an enjoyable outing can become a nightmare if you are stuck in traffic queues or driving round trying to find somewhere to park. Why not try a more relaxing start to your Christmas shopping by letting the bus take the fuss out of your journey? Many people who have tried the bus recently have been surprised at the improvements to services, including real-time information at bus stops advising when the next bus is due. The bus can breeze down designated bus lanes so you don’t get stuck in traffic and can get to the shops more quickly. Sitting back and letting someone else do the driving means you can relax with a good book or listen to a few tracks on your iPod; and you can even indulge in a glass or two of festive cheer whilst you’re out and about. Taking the bus is not just a great alternative for getting to the shops at Christmas. It can also be a safe and sensible alternative for getting to work the morning after the Christmas party. If there isn’t a convenient bus route near your home, Park & Ride might be a good option for getting into Bristol or Bath. If you haven’t used the bus before and need help planning your journey, www.travelwest.info is a handy new website for all things travel related, however you choose to travel.

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BRAND PRINT WEB PUBLISHING O T O H P Y GRAPH

contact us venue publishing, 4th floor, w news & media, bristol bs99 7hd tel 0117 942 8491 email c.evans@venue.co.uk / bang@venue.co.uk web www.bangstudio.co.uk

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WHAT’S ON

FILM DAYS OUT THEATRE ART MUSIC FILM DAYS OUT THEATRE ART MUSIC

➻ WHAT'SON

FILM

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

THE HOBBIT:

AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY 3D OPENS 13 DEC Martin Freeman straps on the little hairy feet and pointy ears for what’s now confirmed to be a 3D trilogy, rather than the two-parter initially planned, adapted from the Tolkien classic by Peter Jackson as a prequel to his hugely successful Lord of the Rings films. Freeman’s Bilbo Baggins is recruited by Gandalf (Ian McKellen) to embark on a quest with 13 dwarves to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from the dragon Smaug (Freeman’s Sherlock sidekick Benedict Cumberpatch in motion-capture form).

In LA. er-

nken n he s

at ets with med

ee ng

y-

SIGHTSEERS OPENS FRI 30 NOV Imagine a horror movie directed by Mike Leigh, and you’ve pretty much got a handle on Sightseers. British director Ben Wheatley’s follow-up to his macabre Kill List is a delicious black comedy that could be described as ‘Nuts in May Go Psycho’. Sheltered Brummie Tina (Alice Lowe) is whisked away on a caravan holiday by her new boyfriend Chris (Steve Oram). But as they pootle round such attractions as Crich Tramway Museum and the Keswick Pencil Museum, Chris reveals a very different side of his character. And it’s not long before Tina is joining in the carnage.

SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS OPENS WED 5 DEC Irish playwright/ writer/director Martin McDonagh re-teams with his In Bruges star Colin Farrell for a Tarantino-esque comedythriller set in LA. This time Farrell plays a blocked Hollywood screenwriter whose best pal Sam Rockwell places a newspaper ad inviting psychopaths to share their stories. But it’s Rockwell’s dognapping business with Christopher Walken that gives cowardly Farrell rather more contact with the criminal underworld than he really needs. When the duo snatch the beloved shih tzu of mob boss Woody Harrelson, all hell breaks loose.

LIFE OF PI 3D

JACK REACHER

OPENS THUR 20 DEC Yann Martel’s bestselling, Booker Prizewinning fantasy yarn with religious overtones reaches the big screen in time for Christmas, courtesy of Ang Lee. It’s the tale of an Indian boy named Piscine ‘Pi’ Patel who survives a shipwreck, only to find himself adrift in a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Early reviews suggests it gets a bit bogged down in sixth-form spiritual guff at first, but takes off with the spectacular storm and shipwreck scenes, which are being acclaimed by some as the best-ever use of the 3D gimmick.

OPENS WED 26 DEC There’s been much chortling at the casting of tiddly Tom Cruise as Lee Child’s 6ft5in Jack Reacher, but then Cruise is one of the few remaining stars guaranteed to pull an audience. In case they’ve passed you by, British author Child’s (real name: Jim Grant) novel series about the taciturn, rufty-tufty, itinerant former military cop have become big sellers and are presumably seen as the source of a potentially money-spinning film franchise. This first one’s written and directed by Christopher (The Usual Suspects) McQuarrie, who last worked with Cruise on Valkyrie.

KEEP READING FOR 7 EXTRA PAGES OF WHAT’S ON HIGHLIGHTS ➻ FOLIO/DEC 2012 25

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WHAT’SON

WHAT TO DO IN...

Dec

CABARET, COMEDY, CAROLS, ENCHANTED ICE CASTLES AND CHRISTMAS MARKETS… MAKE A DATE FOR THIS MONTH’S HOT TICKETS

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INTO THE WOODS

Autumn is perhaps the best season for a stroll through the National Arboretum at Westonbirt, as the leaves shimmer through red and gold then flutter earthwards for winter. But the Enchanted Christmas event brings a display of colour and light that’s equally impressive - a spectacular illuminated trail through the towering trees, finishing with festive craft activities in the learning centre, gifts, good things to eat and the chance to meet Father Christmas.

ENCHANTED CHRISTMAS FRI, SAT & SUN UNTIL SUN 23 DEC, 5-8.30PM (LAST ADMISSION 7.15PM), WESTONBIRT ARBORETUM, TETBURY, ADULT £9, CONCS £8, CHILD £5. FFI: 0300 068 0400, WWW.FORESTRY.GOV.UK/WESTONBIRT

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WINTER WONDERS

This year’s Winter Wonderland at The Mall at Cribbs Causeway promises the largest outdoor ice rink in the South West, including a new nursery rink where little ones can fall over even more often than usual. In the Enchanted Ice Castle they can meet the Ice Queen and her Ice Fairies, before toddling through to say hello to Santa himself and slip him their Christmas wishlists. The castle has a music-enhanced light show that twinkles to life every hour, and there’s a little train offering rides through the snowy Winter Garden. Just don’t forget to do the shopping while you’re there!

WINTER WONDERLAND UNTIL SUN 6 JAN, THE MALL AT CRIBBS CAUSEWAY, BRISTOL. TICKETS TO VISIT SANTA £5 INC GIFT. TICKETS FOR CHRISTMAS TRAIN £2. FFI: WWW.MALLCRIBBS.COM

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MIRROR MIRROR

The German word ‘spiegel’ means ‘mirror’, and thus spiegeltents are mirrored tents - travelling ballrooms that provide a chance to admire your own finery as well as everyone else’s. This month a 100-year-old spiegeltent, resplendent with mahogany, coloured glass and mirrors, will appear on Bristol Harbourside for three weeks of fun, including a vintage market (Sat 1 Dec), a vaudevillian masked ball (Wed 5 Dec), fine dining and cabaret from The Forest of Wicked Delights (7, 13, 14, 15 & 20 Dec), the Love Food Festival (Fri 9 Dec), live music and comedy (various dates), and a (not so) secret Santa’s grotto. There’ll also be a themed photo-booth - with all those mirrors around, everyone should be ready for their close-up.

CHRISTMAS SPIEGELTENT 30 NOV-20 DEC, WATERFRONT SQUARE, HARBOURSIDE, BRISTOL, VARIOUS TIMES & PRICES. FFI: WWW.CHRISTMASSPIEGELTENT.CO.UK

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WHAT’SON

4

HIPPO CHRISTMAS

Do animals celebrate Christmas? Of course they don’t. Especially not the turkeys. Happily there aren’t any turkeys at Bristol Zoo, but there will be reindeers - called Jingle and Bell, of course - arriving this month to help herald the season of mulled wine and mince pies. You can stroke their velvety noses before mooching through a Christmas market, carol performances, fireside storytelling and a Santa’s grotto. All the animal houses will remain open, too, if you want to go and say ‘Happy Christmas’ to a hippo or sing carols to a crocodile. There will also be a sustainable Christmas tree sale in the car park, running right up till Sun 23 Dec, for those who like to leave things to the last minute. WINTER WONDER ZOO 20-21 DEC, 5.30PM-8PM, BRISTOL ZOO GARDENS, CLIFTON, £9 ADULT, £6 CHILD, CONCS & FAMILY TICKETS AVAILABLE. FFI: WWW.BRISTOLZOO.ORG.UK

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GIFTED

Nearly 100 years after the Christmas Truce of 1914 and the much mythologised AngloGerman football match in No Man’s Land, a forgotten letter, chanced upon in an old desk, renders one soldier’s experience of the first world war movingly real. Former Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo joins the a cappella trio Coope, Boyes and Simpson for a rare music-enhanced performance of his feel-good festive tale. THE BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT IN THE WORLD TUE 18 DEC, ST GEORGE’S BRISTOL, GREAT GEORGE ST, 6.30PM, £16/£8. FFI: 0845 402 4001, WWW.STGEORGESBRISTOL.CO.UK

ROCK THE DOCKS

Not so very long ago, Bristol’s docks were a place of toil and industry: cranes, warehouses and brawny-armed dockers in flat caps. These days it’s very different, all art galleries, drinking holes and leisure craft, making it a much more hospitable place to unwind and enjoy a bit of seasonal cheer. What was once the Industrial Museum is now the altogether more peoplefocused M Shed, which is laying on a free evening of illumination and ‘festive magic’ this month. Warm yourself by flaming braziers, cradle a hot drink and a mince pie from the M Shed cafe, and listen to a jolly good sing-song from local choirs in Museum Square. The museum and adjoining waterfront will be lit up with seasonal and historic films, projections and animations, some of which will doubtless show the hardworking harbourside of days gone by, throwing past and present into happy juxtaposition. HARBOUR WONDERLAND 19-22 DEC, 5-7PM, M SHED, BRISTOL, FREE. FFI: WWW.MSHED.ORG

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GOING FOR A SONG

Bristol’s most famous carol is, of course, millionaire maths whizz Carol Vorderman, but happily there are dozens of other carols on offer this month, starting with a Bristol Post charity carol concert at Colston Hall (Mon 10 Dec), raising vital funds for underprivileged local children. Soon after come the Exultate Singers’ Carols by Candlelight in Bristol’s oldest building, St James’ Priory (12-13 Dec), with the ticket price including warm mince pies and spiced fruit punch. Another historic setting, the atmospheric hilltop folly at Blaise, provides the backdrop for Carols at the Castle (Sun 16 Dec), while Bath Abbey throws open its ancient doors for little shepherds, angels and wise men for a Family Carol Service (also Sun 16 Dec). The City of Bath Bach Choir will fill the Pump Rooms with seasonal song by candlelight (19-21 Dec), and the flickering romance of candles will also light up Bristol Cathedral for its carol service on Fri 21 Dec. Ms Vorderman will no doubt be attending at least one of these.

BRISTOL POST CAROL CONCERT MON 10 DEC, 7.30PM, COLSTON HALL, BRISTOL £6, FFI: WWW.COLSTONHALL.ORG CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT 12 & 13 DEC, 7.45PM, ST JAMES’ PRIORY, COLLEGE GREEN, BRISTOL, £15/£13/£5/£2. FFI: WWW.EXULTATESINGERS.ORG CAROLS AT THE CASTLE SUN 16 DEC, 11AM, BLAISE CASTLE ESTATE, HENBURY, BRISTOL, FREE. FFI: 0117 963 9174 FAMILY CAROL SERVICE SUN 16 DEC, 3PM & 4.30PM, BATH ABBEY, FREE. FFI: WWW.BATHABBEY.ORG CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT 19-21 DEC, 7.30PM, PUMP ROOM, BATH, £20/£18/£16/£12. FFI: WWW.BATHBACHCHOIR.ORG.UK CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT 21 DEC, 7.30PM, BRISTOL CATHEDRAL. FFI: WWW.BRISTOL-CATHEDRAL.CO.UK

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WHAT’S ON ART SCENE

PICTURE THIS

From Chinese watercolours to festive art fairs, Steve Wright rounds up the best exhibitions and events

Festive print by Bjorn Rune Lie (Jamaica Street Artists)

A BRISTOL CHRISTMAS ➻Bristol’s excellent, itinerant

WATERCOLOURS BATH This winter, Bath’s Victoria Art Gallery gives over some of its walls to the beautiful, expressive watercolours of Bob Rudd, former chair of the Bath Society of Artists. Rudd’s new exhibition (until 20 Jan) features scenes from across Britain, from the Scottish Highlands to the Cornish coast, taking in the gracious cityscapes of Cambridge and Bath (Kennet and Avon Canal, pictured) along the way. Mountains, rivers, rocky coastlines and the sea are Rudd’s favoured subjects: all are captured in strong colours and with great kinetic energy. His distinctive technique is to mix

realism and abstraction, stillness and energy within the same canvas. Also on view is the 75th annual exhibition by the Society of Wood Engravers, featuring 150 woodcuts, wood engravings and linocuts from artists from the UK and beyond. The SWE was founded in 1920 by a group of artists including Eric Gill and Lucien Pissarro, and its members today include some of the world’s finest printmakers: local artists on view include Simon Brett, Howard Phipps and the late, great Peter Reddick.

FFI WWW.VITCTORIAGAL.ORG.UK

CIRCUIT

NO BORDERS

ZHEN SHAN REN

BATH Last winter, Bath’s Holburne Museum of Art gave us an extraordinary visual treat, courtesy of Bruce Munro’s beautiful installation Field of Light – more than 5,000 bulbs of light planted in the museum grounds. And the magic of light is once again a focus this winter, with Circuit: A Light Labyrinth (until 9 Jan), an installation by light artist Martin Richman in the museum’s gardens (4-6pm weekdays, 4-7pm weekends).

BRISTOL The first in a trio of major exhibitions showcasing new artworks acquired by Bristol Museum and Art Gallery and Arnolfini, No Borders (opens 15 Dec) features work by major artworld players from the Middle East, Asia and Africa, including Ai Weiwei (the dissident Chinese artist who filled Tate Modern with a million porcelain sunflower seeds), plus Shahzia Sikander (Pakistan) and Imran Qureshi (India), re-interpreting the tradition of miniature painting in Asian art.

BRISTOL The Chinese words zhen, shan and ren translate as ‘truth’, ‘compassion’ and ‘tolerance’, and this exhibition of oils and watercolours from mainly Chinese artists (3-10 Dec, Island, Bridewell St) gives a unique insight into the spiritual discipline Falun Gong, whose adherents are persecuted in China. Participants include artist and professor Zhang Kunlun, who was detained for three months in a labour camp for his views.

FFI WWW.HOLBURNE.ORG FFI WWW.BRISTOL.GOV.UK/PAGE/ MUSEUMS-AND-GALLERIES

FFI WWW.ZSR-ART.ORG.UK

Antlers Gallery are pitching up in the ornate, disused Edwardian public toilets at the bottom of Woodland Rd, Bristol. Antlers’ Winter Shop (8-24 Dec) will feature products and artworks by some of the region’s more interesting, off-kilter artists: among the venue’s elegant ceramic-tiled interiors you’ll find ceramics, T-shirts, darkly humorous playing cards and much more (www.antlersgallery. com) ... Bristol’s Jamaica Street Artists return for their nowannual Christmas show, Art Box, at the Parlour Showrooms, College Green (10-24 Dec), featuring limited-edition prints, cards, decorations, books, fabric creations and more by the 42 members of Bristol’s best-loved artist collective (www. jamaicastreetartists.co.uk) ... Annual artists’ and designers’ sale Christmas at the Orangery returns this month at a new venue, Henleaze’s Bradbury Hall, on Sat 15 Dec (www. christmasattheorangery.com) ... South of the river, Bedminster’s events include a Christmas Craft Fair (Sat 1 Dec, Southville Centre), North Street Fayre, Windmill Hill City Farm Christmas Fayre and Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade (all Sat 8 Dec) and East Street Christmas Market (Sat 15 Dec): www.bedminstertownteam.org ... Bath Artists’ Studios, a thriving artists’ studios complex similar to Bristol’s Jamaica Street community, stage their own Christmas Art Market this year (8-9 Dec), with an opening-night event on Fri 7 Dec from 6pm. Stalls will be piled high with tempting gifts created by BAS’s resident artists and designer makers - everything from still-lifes to ceramic bowls (www. bathartistsstudios.co.uk).

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Email: theunfoldinghead@hotmail.co.uk

twitter.com/unfoldinghead

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WHAT’S ON PERFORMANCE

STEALING THE SHOW Grab a seat in the front row for Steve Wright’s hot tickets from the world of THEATRE and COMEDY

Tom Allen: camp and fastidious

CREDIT: TRISTRAM KENTON

CHRISTMAS COMEDY ➻ December is always a busy

SCARY STUFF ➻ As an antidote to all this festive cheer, why not

give yourself a good midwinter scaring? There’s a return for the heroically eerie stage adaptation of Susan Hill’s atmospheric ghost novel The Woman in Black (3-8 Dec, Theatre Royal Bath, pictured above). A London solicitor is called to an isolated mansion standing on endless bleak salt marshes, where he must execute the will of the house’s lifelong resident. Soon after arrival, our hero starts feeling distinctly uneasy about the place, and the sight of a sinister black-clad woman at the matriarch’s funeral only confirms his fears. At central Bristol’s Bierkeller Theatre (3-6 & 9-13 Dec), locals Darkstuff Productions stage The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Washington Irving’s

chilling mystery set in a small American town during the 19th century. Even scarier still is The Pillowman, Martin McDonagh’s chilling black comedy about a writer being persecuted in a totalitarian state, which Bristol’s Barbelith Theatre present at Redland’s bijou Little Black Box theatre (5-8 Dec). Last but not least, there’s an adaptation of Conan Doyle’s legendary Sherlock tale The Hound of the Baskervilles at Kingswood Heritage Museum’s Brass Works Theatre (18 Dec-5 Jan). Just don’t walk home alone… FFI WWW.THEATREROYAL.ORG.UK, WWW. BIERKELLERTHEATRE.COM, THELITTLEBLACKBOX.NET, WWW.BRASSWORKSTHEATRE.COM

YES, WE HAVE NO THE SNOWMAN / A CHRISTMAS PETER & THE WOLF CAROL BANANAS 14 - 15 DEC Bristol’s Ministry of Entertainment reprise their brilliant show at Bristol’s Brewery Theatre, based on local oral histories from the war years. The action takes place in a grocery shop in Weymouth during the lead up to D-Day. In true MoE fashion, into the shop come a variety of customers, from the indomitable Mrs Fricker to the Yank who’ll eventually win the heart of the shopkeeper’s daughter. Great fun.

FFI WWW. MINISTRYOFENTERTAINMENT.CO.UK

18 DEC A double-header of beautiful musical stories for children at Bristol’s Colston Hall, accompanied by live orchestra. First up, the Orchestra of the WNO accompany a screening of Raymond Briggs’ classic animated film The Snowman. Then narrator Tamsin Greig (Green Wing, The Archers) joins the orchestra to bring to life the characters from Prokofiev’s musical menagerie, from dancing strings to quacking oboes and prowling horns.

UNTIL 20 DEC This year’s crop of graduating actors at the worldrenowned BOV Theatre School bring Dickens’ festive classic to Bristol’s cosy Redgrave Theatre. BOVTS shows are always beautifully designed and choreographed, and acted with huge verve. And you’ll probably be getting a first glimpse of one or two of the stars of tomorrow…

FFI WWW.OLDVIC.AC.UK

month for the nation’s comedy clubs, with the line-ups piled high with quality circuit comedians and the kitchens busily turning out festive grub for the Christmas party crowd. Over at Bath’s Komedia, highlights of this month’s Krater Comedy Club sessions include the incisive, sardonic Roger Monkhouse (7-8 Dec) and two nights from Rob Deering (14-15 Dec), the brilliant musical comic who’s a master of madcap facial expressions and warped interpretations of pop gems. You can partake of Krater's three-course Christmas dinner (from £40 a head), or just do the comedy (from £18) (www.komedia.co.uk/bath) … Bristol’s Comedy Box also welcomes the excellent Mr Deering the weekend before (7-8 Dec), and the splendid Tom Allen (21-22 Dec, pictured above), a camp, fastidious young comic with a Wildean talent for language and diction (www.thecomedybox.co.uk) … For something a little different, try Pick and Mix (Rondo Theatre, Bath, 14-15 Dec), in which local sketch comedy maestros New Old Friends return with a heady brew of stand-up, music, magic, sketches, game shows, escapology, clowning and more (www.rondotheatre. co.uk) … And we simply can’t leave you without mentioning Peter Clifford, the charismatic Bristol close-up magician who’s rightly admired by the great Derren Brown, among others. Clifford will be at Southville’s Brewery Theatre (20 Dec-12 Jan) for another of his brilliant evenings of laughs and legerdemain. If you haven’t yet seen him, you must: he’s an eyepoppingly gifted, hugely likeable performer. (www.tobaccofactorytheatre.co.uk)

FFI WWW.COLSTONHALL.ORG

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WHAT’S ON MUSIC

THE BAND PLAYED ON From rock-folk and skiffle to a festive Handel’s Messiah, Julian Owen picks this month’s top gigs and concerts

Watch Cerys Matthews by candlelight at Chapel Arts

THE MONTH AHEAD JUNE TABOR & OYSTERBAND WED 12 DEC An open-hearted working of Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart, a little Dylan and PJ Harvey, plenty from the traditional folk songbook, a bittersweet Dark End of the Street… 21 years after a collaborative album widely reckoned to be one of the best ever, June Tabor and Oysterband have done it again. Ragged Kingdom is every bit as inspiredly varied as its predecessor, as Komedia Bath attendees this month will doubtless agree. June Tabor is blessed with a voice as haunting and evocative as 1,000 fireside ghost tales, fathoms deep but

pebble-smooth on top, as rounded as if instantly multi-tracked. To see her live is to see someone singing with the immediacy and involvement of someone reciting lines from their own diary. A typical gig will find her layered in black, with long grey hair swept firmly back, standing stage-front like a stoically attractive Victorian quayside widow transcending a photographer’s fading capture. All of which makes her razorsharp, ready wit a little unexpected. FFI WWW.KOMEDIA.CO.UK/BATH

TALLIS SCHOLARS

QUARRYMEN

WED 12 DEC It’s Christmas come (fractionally) early: devotees of Thomas, the internationally renowned Tallis Scholars, congregate in St George’s Bristol to raise their voices and present a Nativity-telling night of Renaissance sacred music.

THE XX

SUN 8 DEC Admittedly, the founder FFI WWW.STGEORGESBRISTOL.CO.UK member, John Lennon, left a while ago to form some new group or other. A couple of others, Paul McCartney and George Harrison, went with him. We needn’t concern ourselves with them, though - point is, the men they played with are skiffling as skilfully as ever, washboard, tea-chest bass and all. Thus, the Quarrymen bring one of their globe-straddling tours to Bristol’s Thunderbolt this month.

FRI 14 DEC The importance of the Mercury Prize is often debated, but there's no denying its impact on this lot. After scooping the award in 2010, The xx’s eponymous debut album promptly rocketed up the charts, its sinewy, melancholic pop striking a - perhaps surprising chord of mass appeal. And clearly, touring second album Coexist in previously unimaginably large venues like Bristol’s Colston Hall, their star hasn’t stopped rising yet.

FFI WWW.THETHUNDERBOLT.NET

FFI WWW.COLSTONHALL.ORG

➻ It’s been a while since splendidly knowing, deadpan French lothario Sébastien Tellier was in town. Happily, the former Daft Punk/Mr Oizo/Tony Allen collaborator will be bringing tunes from his new album, My God is Blue, to Bristol’s Fleece on Mon 10 Dec … We’ve not seen Beth Orton for a while, either, though that’s hardly a surprise - latest long player, Sugaring Season, is her first in six years, with tracks to be aired at Bristol’s Thekla on Fri 7 Dec. Also aboard the good ship this month, on Tue 4 Dec, we’re pleased to find one of music’s most underrated contemporary singer-songwriters, the drily amiable Willy Mason … Hitting Moles on Thur 6 Dec, The Xcerts serve up music by turns ferocious and anthemic but always rocking, while Cerys Matthews pulls into Bath a week later: expect her candlelit Chapel Arts show (Thur 13 Dec) to be a festive delight … On which yuletide note, Sat 22 Dec is your Bristol diary date for the ever roof-raising annual Colston Hall performance of Handel’s Messiah by the Bristol Choral Society … Also in Bristol, the beautifully voiced Martha Wainwright will be offering up country-inflected rock-folk at Trinity on Wed 5 Dec, and a proper-job music legend enters the Tunnels on Mon 3 Dec: the belting voice of Chris Farlowe might be best known for Jagger/ Richards-penned number one Out of Time, but a CV working with the likes of Jimmy Page and Albert Lee speaks of a much broader career.

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you... WE WANT TO HEAR FROM

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 westweddings@venue.co.uk and you could be gracing the pages of our next edition.

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WHAT’S ON DAYS OUT

HIT THE

TOWN This pic: Winter Wonderland at Cribbs Causway. Inset: a festive nibble for lemurs at Bristol Zoo

Think winter fun, says Anna Britten, and you might even get some shopping done

C

hristmas shopping and buggies don’t go together. Do it once, and you’ll never do it again. Instead, you’ll go online, or in October. That said, town and city centres are a blast for kids at Christmas if, rather than joining the scrum at John Lewis, you look for the places specially tricked out to accommodate them and their ramped-up adrenaline levels. Here are a few crackers. THE MALL AT CRIBBS CAUSEWAY: WINTER WONDERLAND Winter Wonderland at the main entrance to the Cribbs shopping centre has become not merely a modern-day Christmas must-do for families

across the West Country, but it’s also a godsend given its proximity to the aforementioned shops. Working in tandem with your co-parent, therefore, you can tick everyone’s box. This year you’ll find all the usuals, plus a few new treats. The new Enchanted Ice Castle, with its hourly musical light display, invites children to meet the Ice Queen and her Ice Fairies before walking through to greet Father Christmas and share their Christmas wishes. A Christmas train ride takes you through the snowy Winter Garden to admire the winter animal statues - there are also several hearty Christmas snacking options, from crepes to a hog roast. Finally, the largest outdoor ice rink in the South West just got a little more tiddler-friendly - a new nursery

ice rink lets you learn to find your feet on the ice before taking to the main rink, where seal skating aids and Ice Marshals and even ice-skating lessons are available to help you perfect your triple toe loop. FFI WWW.MALLCRIBBS.COM

BRISTOL ZOO GARDENS Do they know it’s Christmas? Probably not. But lemurs and reindeer, with their button noses and furry coats, are great at Christmas, giving great photo and making a nice change to all those flimsily dressed, overrefreshed homo sapiens everywhere. Winter Wonder Zoo is a series of three magical festive evenings - Wed 19 (members only), Thur 20 and Fri 21 Dec. Visit Santa’s grotto or meet his favourite elves, greet the reindeers Jingle and Bell, listen to Christmas carol

performances, browse a Christmas market and partake of mulled wine and mince pies by the bonfire. In addition, all the animals are holding an open house so you can go and give season’s greetings to your favourites. Santa’s grotto, the Santa Express and Santa’s reindeer are available outside these evenings, too, and you can pick up sustainable, locally sourced Christmas trees until Sun 23 Dec in the west car park. FFI WWW.BRISTOLZOO.ORG.UK ➻

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WHAT’S ON

This pic: carols at Tyntesfield; right: Bath On Ice; below: tree decorations at American Museum

AT-BRISTOL Forget Leveson, these are the questions that matter: which is the best tipple to use on your Christmas pud? Why does Rudolph’s nose glow red? All these queries and more will be answered by At-Bristol’s amiable boffins in Party Tricks - interactive seasonal science shows running throughout the day on Sat 8-Sun 9, Sat 15-Sun 16, Fri 21-Sun 23 Dec and Thur 27 Dec-Sun 6 Jan. Light the Flaming Pudding Tornado, activate the high-tech Present Scanner, and take part in all manner of Christmassy chemistry. Also, between Sat 8 Dec and Sun 6 Jan you can become an elf and clock on for a shift at Santa’s Invention Workshop – all-day drop-in sessions including festive games and hands-on Christmas crafting such as making your own light-up decorations and other scienceinspired stocking fillers to take home. FFI WWW.AT-BRISTOL.ORG.UK

TYNTESFIELD There’s a bumper programme of yuletide activity on offer at Bristol’s favourite gothic pile. For starters, atmospheric Christmas concerts, featuring a variety of music form string quartets to male voice choirs - these take place in the chapel pretty much every Fri, Sat and Sun, and there’s a special family one with the Great Western Chorus of Bristol on Sun 16 Dec, which includes hot drinks, mince pies and lots

of jingle bells. You can stock up on local food and crafts and listen to live music at a Christmas Market on Sun 2 Dec. Pre-book to get an audience with the big guy himself, Father Christmas, who’ll be handing out the swag in his magical grotto at weekends. If you’ve been good, that is. FFI WWW.NATIONALTRUST.ORG. UK/TYNTESFIELD

BATH ON ICE Several years, much argument and a few failed attempts after it last had one, Bath finally gets an open-air ice rink this Christmas - and what a beauty it is, too, set in the picturepostcard surrounds of Royal Victoria Park, just below the Royal Crescent. Particularly

atmospheric after dark (it’s open until 9pm), the rink also features a glass-panelled marquee for chilly spectators and a cafe chalet offering festive snacks and hot drinks, from hot chocolate to mulled wine. FFI WWW.BATHONICE.COM

AMERICAN MUSEUM: CHRISTMAS PARTY IN THE PARLOUR You’ve got to hand it to the Yanks - they do Christmas awfully well. Until Sun 16 Dec you can step into an American Christmas of yesteryear at an American Museum decked out with handmade decorations from floor to ceiling. This year’s theme is ‘Party in the Parlour’ - wandering around the period rooms, you’ll discover how early American settlers amused themselves during the long winter months. The freezing weather in New England has frozen the local pond, giving rise to an iceskating party, while in New Orleans a young debutante prepares for her coming-out ball. For some people, however, the cold winter months bring hardship. Members of a Shaker community spend Christmas preparing baskets of food and warm clothes that they will distribute to the needy. There’s plenty for children to see and do and you can stock up on American treats, from Navajo jewellery to herbs and history books in the Christmas shop.

SKATES ON! Leave the sequined leotard at home. Here’s how to make sure that you and the kids dress for ice-skating success.

➻ Cover your limbs. Wear

long sleeves and long trousers to keep you warm and protect you if you fall.

➻ Layer, layer, layer. Typically, you’ll warm up as you skate, but initially it will be pretty parky. ➻ Tie back loose hair so that it doesn’t obstruct your vision on the ice - or tuck the front section into a hat.

➻ Gloves or mittens are

essential - you’ll end up cutting your session short if your hands are cold and stiff.

➻ Dress children in padded clothes and think about bike helmets for tiny/clumsy ones.

➻ Wear earmuffs to protect your ears from the chill of the wind, especially if you’re planning on reaching serious speeds. ➻ An extra pair of socks will keep tootsies warm and prevent boots from chafing.

FFI WWW.AMERICANMUSEUM.

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

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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 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 infoahypeagency.co.uk o Web: www.hypeagency.co.uk The Passenger Shed at Brunel’s Old Station, Bristol, BS1 6QH

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COMPETITIONS

WIN A CHRISTMAS PARTY DRESS FROM TRAFFIC PEOPLE BOUTIQUE We’re going to play fairy godmother by conjuring up a fabulous dress from Traffic People in Bath for one lucky reader. The Traffic People boutique, which opened in Milsom Place in 2009, will be presenting the winner with this stunning black and cream dress, ‘Lace Marries Satin’, with an £82 price tag. The dress has a slight A-line shape and features the distinctive Traffic People label, together with lace and satin detailing and faux-fur capped sleeves. It’s available in all sizes, from extra-small to extra-large. The boutique, managed by Jacquai Holcombe, is the only branch of Traffic People outside London and has gained an impressive reputation among trend followers for the way it merges modern trends with vintage style, and also for its special occasion frocks, easy-to-wear separates and accessories. TRAFFIC PEOPLE MILSOM PLACE, BATH. FFI: 01225 316381, WWW.TRAFFICPEOPLE.CO.UK

TO ENTER ➻ CHRISTMAS PARTY DRESS FROM TRAFFIC PEOPLE

WIN AN £82 DRESS

fabulous COMPS

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

Just answer the following question: In what year did Traffic People open in Bath? Email your answer with ‘Christmas Party Dress from Traffic People’ in the subject line to: editor@foliomagazine.co.uk by Sat 15 Dec. Entries after this date will not be counted. The winner will be picked at random and notified by Tue 18 Dec. Please include your full contact details (name, address, postcode, email, mobile, landline).

➻ MALL WINTER

WONDERLAND FAMILY SKATING PASS

Just answer the following question: How many square metres of real ice can be skated on at The Mall’s Winter Wonderland? Email your answer with ‘Mall Winter Wonderland Family Skating Pass’ in the subject line to: editor@foliomagazine.co.uk by Sat 15 Dec. Entries after this date will not be counted. The five winners will be picked at random and notified by Tue 18 Dec. Please include your full contact details (name, address, postcode, email, mobile, landline). LAST MONTH'S WINNERS Cabot Circus Day Out comp Congratulations to Margaret Ducker from Bath who won a £100 Cabot Circus gift card. Correct answer: Bristol. Skid Control Course comp Congratulations to Pauline Moore from Broomhill who won a £95 Skid Control course with Drive-Tech. Correct answer: Water and a non-toxic agent are used to prepare the skid pan at Castle Combe Circuit.

WIN A FAMILY PASS TO THE SOUTH WEST’S LARGEST OUTDOOR ICE RINK AT THE MALL’S WINTER WONDERLAND

WIN A SKATING PASS

The festive season is a time for families to be together - and your family could enjoy an unforgettable experience, skating on either of the two real ice rinks at The Mall at Cribbs Causeway’s Winter Wonderland. To celebrate the opening of the largest outdoor ice rink in the South West, and the launch of a brand-new nursery ice rink, we’re giving away five family weekend skating tickets. It’s the perfect treat for all ages and abilities, with over 1,200 sq metres of real ice to skate on, plus a new Enchanted Ice Castle and a new Christmas Train Ride. Even novice skaters will be able to enjoy themselves, with seal skating aids for under-eights, ice marshals on hand and the option of booking an iceskating lesson at the Winter Wonderland ticket office. Each skating session starts on the hour and lasts 45 minutes. Winter Wonderland is open until Sun 6 Jan, so it’s a great way to give the kids a treat during the Christmas holidays. WINTER WONDERLAND AT THE MALL AT CRIBBS CAUSEWAY FFI: WWW.MALLCRIBBS.COM

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NEWS REVIEWS RECIPES TOP TENS FEATURES NEWS REVIEWS RECIPES TOP TENS FEATURES

➻ EATINGOUTWEST

SAVOURY CHOCOLATE, GOURMET BURGERS, PUGLIAN FISH STEW AND MORE… NEW BATH EATERY

BAH HUMBURGER!

➻ It’s been just over 10 years since a trio of expat New Zealanders in London decided that what the UK needed was a taste of the kind of proper burger culture they missed from back home. Sticking to the principle of using the freshest possible ingredients and a fun approach to putting them together, that meant using pure, fresh meat, making their own sauces daily and recreating the tangy ‘homeslaw’ salad from Down Under that they all missed. Their first restaurant was launched in Battersea, London in 2001, and now the 63rd Gourmet Burger Kitchen has opened its doors as part of the major regeneration of the Bath Spa station site. It’s a local affair: among the 24 burger choices, including four veggie options, patties made from West Country beef figure alongside buffalo and wild boar from the New Forest. There’s even a Windsor Burger (8oz of beef raised in the grounds of Windsor Castle), and the new place has opened just in time for the launch of a seasonal Bah Humburger, a choice of pattie with Applewood smoked cheese, bacon, crispy shallots and red pickle. Local organic dairy wizards Yeo Valley have entered into the GBK Christmas spirit, too, by devising two special festive milkshakes: the Good Elf is a Christmas pudding-flavoured number, while the Bad Elf is… a Christmas pudding-flavoured number plus a double shot of spiced rum. Unsurprisingly, there are also a few Kiwi favourites on the drinks menu, such as the ‘world famous in New Zealand’ L&P (Lemon and Paeroa), Auckland-brewed Steinlager beer and a small selection of NZ wines. Smartphone owners can even download the GBK app, which will give them rewards in the shape of free burgers, shakes or sides. GOURMET BURGER KITCHEN DORCHESTER ST, BATH (ALSO AT CABOT CIRCUS & PARK ST, BRISTOL). FFI: WWW.GBK.CO.UK

ITALIAN REGIONAL CUISINE

MAMMA MIA ➻ It’s a tricky thing, Italian cuisine, because there are so many regional variations. That’s straightforward enough for a small family restaurant they’ll tell you they come from Milan/ Rome/Sicily and, wherever it is, it’s where the best pizza/pomodoro/ salami can be found, ‘like Mamma used to make’. The challenge comes for a cosmopolitan place like Strada, who want to use one menu to represent the best flavours of the country as a whole - and they meet it by refreshing their choices every now and then to reflect the seasons and any regional treats that executive chef Maurice Maffeo thinks customers might appreciate. Thus herb-infused Sicilian flatbread schiacciatella can sit nicely alongside an antipasto plate that

includes richly smoked speck from the Alpine north of the country and buffalo mozzarella from Campania. The new winter menu features some warming main-course specialities from Puglia: pungent fish stew tegamaccio (a rich tomato and wine base with red mullet and seafood) and strozzapreti ‘priest choker’ pasta in peppery vegetable sauce. It’s tempting southern stuff, but you may well be dashing back up north afterwards for an amaretto-themed bunet piemontese dessert. STRADA BEAU NASH HOUSE, SAWCLOSE, BATH (01225 337753) & PRINCESS VICTORIA ST, CLIFTON VILLAGE, BRISTOL (0117 923 7224). FFI: WWW.STRADA.CO.UK

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EATINGOUTWEST ON-BOARD PARTIES

XMAS PAST

RESTAURANT NEWS

A FAMILY AFFAIR

➻ However busy it gets - and weekend evenings can be a very lively affair - there’s a warmth to the welcome you’ll get in Renato’s that owes a debt to the man himself. It’s actually 40 years since Renato Borgnana and his wife Natalina (pictured) first arrived in Bristol from the warmer climes of the Mediterranean, and their friendly Taverna dell’Artista in King Street quickly acquired a reputation both locally and among the regular stream of famous actors passing through the dressing rooms of the neighbouring Old Vic theatre. It’s the latter whose pictures adorn the walls of the cosy bar, with the likes of Sir Ian McKellen and Amanda Redman among the many who have left fond greetings to the family over the years.

After all that time, however, it’s inevitable that things move on, and though Mamma Natalina is still very much overseeing the business, it’s Angela and Georgio, the next generation, who’ll be running Renato’s for their parents in the future. They’re quick to point out that the family ethos will remain unchanged, of course, and their plans for Christmas include a traditional Italian festive menu in the upstairs dining room, with roast veal in orange sauce and torta della nonna on the menu alongside turkey and Christmas pudding. But whether you go Italian or stick with the British, you’ll always feel part of the family at Renato’s. RENATO’S 19 KING ST, BRISTOL, BS1. FFI: 0117 929 8291

➻ Down at the SS Great Britain, they’re offering you the chance to ‘party like it’s 1843’ - the year that Brunel launched his mighty steamship and Charles Dickens first published A Christmas Carol. To celebrate the coincidence, Fosters Catering (the people behind Jacks Brasserie and the Lord Mayor’s Mansion House) are running exclusive Dickensian-themed Christmas parties on board. Guests will have the run of the ship and enjoy a drinks reception on deck and three-course Christmas dinner in the First Class Dining Saloon, followed by dancing to DJs in the Hayward Saloon. SS GREAT BRITAIN CHRISTMAS PARTIES & LUNCHES. FFI: 0117 926 0680, WWW. SSGREATBRITAIN.ORG

CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL

FULL OF BEANS ➻ We hear that there are some people who quite like chocolate. We also hear that the good folk at Quakers Friars are kindly pandering to this tiny minority in society by putting on a whole weekend of chocolate-related fun just for them. Among the many stickyfingered delights on offer at the Chocolate Festival will be personalised chocolate Christmas cards from Chocmotif, spiced organic hotchocolate makers Jaz & Juls, Narna’s handmade chocolates, and even savoury chocolate treats and ‘raw’ chocolate. Churros Garcia will be

bringing their champion streetfood truck along, too. So if you happen to know one of these odd ‘chocoholic’ people, it would really be a kindness to bring them down and let them indulge their habit - maybe even buy them a gift or two for Christmas? Apparently the stuff’s quite nice, really… CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL 14-16 DEC (10AM-6PM), QUAKERS FRIARS, CABOT CIRCUS, BRISTOL. FFI: WWW. CABOTCIRCUS.COM (CLICK ON EVENTS)

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EATINGOUTWEST FEATURE

HELP YOURSELF

Clockwise from above: quality Severn Cider which is available from... The Bristol Cider Shop on Christmas Steps... The Better Food Company, inside... and outside; Rare Butchers

Whether you’re stocking the kitchen or stuffing a stocking, says Tony Benjamin, keep it local, and delicious

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EATINGOUTWEST Southville Deli: lots of local stuff

W

hether it’s bowls of nibbles, party grabfood or the full-

on megaroast’n’trimmings Christmas dinner, we all like to make a bit of an effort with festive catering. But, as we start to push the yuletide boat out, how nice would it be to know that our seasonal self-indulgence is also doing good for the local economy? As it happens, that’s a real possibility, thanks to the burgeoning ranks of local producers making top-quality treats and the independent local businesses who happily stock them.

BRISTOL SOUTHVILLE DELI 262 North St, Southville, BS3. Ffi: 0117 966 4507, www.southvilledeli. com Lots of local stuff including giftboxed selections from Bristol Beer Factory, Guilbert’s chocolate, Pukka teas and colourful bottles of sloe gin and bramble vodka from

Keynsham’s Heavenly Hedgerows. Deli owner Paul Wick recommends gluten- and dairy-free organic cakes from Village Bakery and award-winning Pennard Ridge cheese from Somerset Cheese Company in Shepton Mallet. The shop will make up a gift hamper of your own selection, too. RARE BUTCHERS 250 North St, Southville, BS3. Ffi: 0117 966 3593 The map on the wall shows just how local the meat is, with their free-range turkeys coming from Chew Magna, while Old Spot pork originates from Barrow Gurney, and Lower Swainswick Farm provide Hampshire pigs. They’re taking orders for Christmas, with those turkeys and Sandridge Park Farm gammon among this year’s top sellers. BETTER FOOD COMPANY Sevier St, St Werburghs, BS2 (0117 935 1725) & 94 Whiteladies Rd, Clifton, BS8 (0117 946 6957). Ffi: www.betterfood.co.uk With their strong links with the Community Farm and The Story collective in the Chew Valley, your Christmas meat order from BFC is unlikely to come from more than 15 miles away. MD Phil Haughton’s

flock of happy free-range and organic turkeys is a highlight, as is the cooked ham from Adey’s Farm. The shop shelves are groaning with all manner of organic foodie treats, with cheesemonger Richard Perry putting together great selections of local stars including delicious goat’s-milk cheddar from Green’s of Glastonbury. BRISTOL CIDER SHOP 7 Christmas Steps, BS1. Ffi: 0117 382 1679, www.bristolcidershop.co.uk There’s a whole world of applederived indulgence to be found in this little place, and whether it’s fizzy celebration bottles of Pilton bottle-conditioned cider, sophisticated Somerset Royal cider brandy from Burrow Hill, one of the shop’s gift hampers or your own selection from the 80 different ciders and perries on offer, you can be sure that it’s come from within 50 miles of Bristol. BRISTOL CHRISTMAS MARKETS Broadmead BS1 3DX. Not a lot of local produce in the capacious German Market, naturally (though Orchard Pig cider can be found amongst the delights of Gluhwein, Bratwurst chocolate covered fruits) but the adjoining local traders market ➻ FOLIO/DEC 2012 43

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Beautifully marbled local steaks dry-aged

here

on

the

bone

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

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EATINGOUTWEST

Above: the famously comprehensive Fine Cheese Company; right: Bath Soft Cheese - as local as it gets; top right: Thatchers - a great local success story

includes the Gloucester Brewery’s real ale range, cheese and pickles from Somerset Ploughman and Bristol bartenders collective The Drinks Cabinet’s range of premium spirits and sherry.

BATH BLUE QUAILS DELI 7 Bridge St, BA1. Ffi: 01225 338885, www. bluequailsdeli.com Newly arrived in central Bath, this is already a popular lunch spot, with luxurious hot chocolate a big attraction. There’s a rich choice of frittatas, chutneys and mince pies, made on the premises by owner Peter Botes, but it’s the homemade cakes that you’ll want to take home, with Red Velvet chocolate and beetroot, triplelayer lemon and pumpkin cakes particularly yummy. Many of the cakes are gluten-free, and some dairy-free options are available, too. FINE CHEESE COMPANY 29 Walcot St, BA1. Ffi: 01225 448748, www. finecheese.co.uk They pride themselves on their comprehensiveness so there’s stuff from far and wide on their shelves, but check out their own West Country Farmhouse Cheddar Truckle, cave-aged in Dorset, and their Enid Blyton-themed English

Farmhouse Feast gift box with pickles, oatcakes and even (lashings of) organic ginger beer, as well as proper waxed cheddar and cloth-bound wensleydale. BATH SOFT CHEESE Park Farm, Kelston, BA1. Ffi: 01225 331601, www.parkfarm.co.uk With a herd of cows grazing in a BA1 postcode, Bathonians couldn’t get more locally sourced cheese than the awardwinning organic produce from Bath Soft Cheese. They’re offering a Christmas gift box including their Wyfe of Bath harder cheese, creamy brie-like Bath Soft and the classic Bath Blue, a perfect way to ring the changes with a glass of port

OUT OF TOWN THATCHERS CIDER SHOP Station Rd, Sandford, Winscombe, BS25. Ffi: 01934 822862, www.thatcherscider.co.uk Stand outside this venerable converted farmhouse and you can see

the orchards that have supplied the Thatcher family with raw materials for more than 100 years. Inside, an imposing array of barrels and shelves of bottles testifies to the results. They’re a great local success story, and any of their award-winning single-variety ciders like Katy Rose would grace your Christmas table, while their gift baskets include cider, chutney, special glasses and bar runners. Most parties could benefit from a ‘bag in box’ of traditional cider, too. NESTOR PARK FARM SHOP Bath Rd, Atworth, Wilts, SN12. Ffi: 01225 700881, www.nestorparkfarmshop. com What started as a stall selling their own organic Black and Tan beef has grown into a full-on farm shop and deli, with locally grown fruit and veg and homemade products including award-winning salami and faggots, pies and terrines. Their in-house butchery will make you up a customised organic meat box, and they’re taking orders for locally reared free-range turkeys, geese, ducks and guinea fowl. ➻ FOLIO/DEC 2012 45

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EATINGOUTWEST FEATURE

Above: punters enjoying a Bath Wine Tasting session; inset: the Tasting Room, Bath

TOP TIPPLES ➻

Creatures of habit that we are, we often play it safe in the matter of wine buying. Presented with what can be a bewildering choice, it’s all too easy just to reach for the familiar labels as we trundle towards the checkout. But if there were ever a time when we ought to think about pushing the booze boat out a bit, surely Christmas and new year would be it? If you’re not a wine buff, you could probably benefit from the advice of someone in the know. That’s where an independent wine merchant always scores points over the supermarkets, because there, behind the counter, you’ll find a wine enthusiast who really knows their stuff and can point you in the direction of new treats. “Most of our customers are looking for something new, and they’re always willing to ask,” says Darren Willis, proprietor of Grape and Grind on Bristol’s Gloucester Road. “We find out what they already like and suggest something that’s different but not a million miles away. They’re usually very pleased with the results!” Thus, for fans of sauvignon blanc he might suggest a Spanish verdejo or French picpoul de pinet, while merlot quaffers

would be nudged towards Rhone wines like ventoux or corbieres. Pricey stuff? Not necessarily - they’re all available for under a tenner (though you can go upmarket if you want to). For the festive season, Grape and Grind are also offering mixed cases that cover all the angles from fizzy prosecco through to ruby port and range from £50 (six bottles) to £150 (12 classy choices). There’s a similarly wide choice of cases on offer at Bath’s Tasting Room, from their basic £55 Christmas Box (six bottles) to the Director’s Choice selection at £275 (six bottles including champagne, vintage port and 24-year-old armagnac). Of course, the best way to pick a wine is by tasting, and Grape and Grind are offering an evening (Thur 13 Dec, £12.50) to introduce some of the wines in the cases. Raisin Wine’s proprietor Colin Bell will be marking the end of a successful first year on Bath’s Walcot Street with a ‘fizz’ session (Fri 14 Dec, £20). The shop is famed for high-quality South American wines, but for this celebratory tasting sommelier Bell will be introducing recommended sparklers from Argentina, Australia, Italy and even England, alongside classic French champagne. And if you want to extend your oenological wisdom even further, you could put yourself through one of

Bath Wine Tasting’s Wine and Dine all-day tasting events (Sat 15 Dec, £75) at the Hare and Hounds gastropub in Lansdown. You’ll explore 15 different wines, enjoy a two-course meal and learn more about matching wine and food from BWT’s Jonathan Kemp. Learning has rarely been so selfindulgent, and it’s all testament to a thriving independent wine sector just waiting to help you discover your perfect seasonal snifter. BATH WINE TASTING FFI: 07875 234406, WWW.BATHWINETASTINGCOMPANY.COM GRAPE & GRIND 101 GLOUCESTER RD, BRISTOL, BS7. FFI: 0117 924 8718, WWW. GRAPEANDGRIND.CO.UK RAISIN WINE 132A WALCOT ST, BATH. FFI: 01225 422577, WWW.RAISINWINE.CO.UK TASTING ROOM 6 GREEN ST, BATH. FFI: 01225 483070, WWW.TASTINGROOM.CO.UK

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Christmas Lunches from £19.95 Book your Christmas Party at Byzantium and enjoy an unforgettable experience in one of Bristol’s Premier Venues. Entertainment is a major facet of dining during the Christmas period and our 2 am licence allows for serious festive partying.

Full details of our Christmas menus and our New Years Eve Gala buffet can be found at www.byzantium.co.uk To book please call 0117 922 1883 or email info@byzantium.co.uk Quote BPL for 10% discount of selected dates for both lunchtime and evening bookings. FOLIO/DECEMBER 2012 47

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EATINGOUTWEST

THE

LATE SHOW

From bling canapes to black-tie buffets and four-course feasts, Melissa Blease makes it a New Year’s Eve to remember MERCURE BRISTOL BRIGSTOWE HOTEL

Welsh Back, Bristol, BS1. Ffi: 0117 933 8233, www.mercure.com ➻ Eschew the traditional sit-down banquet in favour of a ‘House Party’ (albeit a rather chic one!) event taking place over two levels of this gorgeous hotel. This year’s ‘Black, White and Diamonds’ party links the hotel’s Ellipse restaurant to the River View Mezzanine event suite, where DJs spin suitably party-on tunes. Meanwhile, waiters circulate throughout offering stylish canapes to keep energy levels up, while a cocktail on arrival, rolling buffet and champagne at midnight not to mention bacon and sausage rolls for refuelling purposes once we’ve seen the new year in - complete this bling-fuelled scenario. Prices for the party package start from £90pp, including an overnight stay and brunch on New Year’s Day.

PROSECCO

25 The Mall, Clifton Village, Bristol, BS8. Ffi: 0117 973 4499, www. proseccoclifton.com ➻ The authentic Italian restaurant at the heart of Clifton Village is inviting you to go your own way this new year. “We believe that people prefer to choose from our a la carte options rather than be presented with a set menu,” says Heidi Da Re, who runs Prosecco alongside her husband (and acclaimed superchef ) Diego. “Do it your way: arrive early before going off

Above: have an authentic Italian time at Prosecco; below: a chic evening is on the menu at Mercure; left: exotic glamour at Byzantium

to a party, or join us later on and stay for the midnight celebrations. There’s usually a firework display off the Clifton Suspension Bridge at midnight, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed for good weather!” Visit the website for full details of their gorgeous a la carte menu, but be warned: book for New Year’s Eve now, or prepare to put up with a bit of a damp sparkler on the evening itself.

BYZANTIUM

2 Portwall Lane, Bristol, BS1. Ffi: 0117 922 1883, www.byzantium.co.uk

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EatingOutWest

STAYING IN? ➻ Hosting the celebrations for a long evening that’s generally considered to be the biggest party of the year doesn’t have to be a daunting prospect. By 31 December, most of us will have had enough multi-course banquets to last us well into the new year. So set a start time (say, 8pm) that politely suggests that your guests eat something substantial before the celebrations begin, and let simple but sophisticated bling dictate the theme of your party-athome. Here’s our fuss-free route to chic canapes… Above: enjoy a full-on party atmosphere at Byzantium Right: The Pump RoomBath's legendary landmark

➻ Evocative, exotic glamour plus a

full-on party atmosphere: Byzantium is renowned for ticking all the New Year’s Eve boxes. This much-loved, highly acclaimed party hotspot is offering a veritable feast this new year in the form of their exclusive Black Tie Gala Buffet: £49.95pp for a party that lasts well into the first few hours of 2013, complete with entertainment, dancing and, of, course, a fabulous feast, with a 6ft-tall chocolate fountain to create a spectacular centrepiece.

PUMP ROOM

Roman Baths, Stall St, Bath, BA1. Ffi: 01225 444477, www.romanbaths.co.uk (click on Food and Drink, The Pump Room Restaurant) ➻ Kickstart the final evening of 2012 with a sparkling cocktail reception around the magical torchlit Roman Baths before tucking into a fourcourse feast accompanied by live

Blinis topped with cream cheese, smoked salmon and fresh dill. Pitted prunes wrapped in streaky bacon, held together with a cocktail stick and baked in a hot oven for 10 mins. Mini-bruschetta topped with red onion marmalade and goat’s cheese. Filo parcels with mozzarella and pesto. Potato cakes topped with

horseradish sauce and thin slices of roast beef. music. Once the plates are cleared, there’ll be a casino and champagne bar, cheese and fruit buffet and, of course, a special midnight moment, all within the stunning surroundings of the legendary landmark at the epicentre of the Heritage City. Package prices start from £95pp. folio/dec 2012 49


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EATINGOUTWEST

(Review)

CARLUCCIO'S

New York meets Milan at the Bath branch of this good-value eatery from the Godfather of Italian Food. Melissa Blease has the lowdown

Y

ou’ll find the Bath branch of Carluccio’s in Milsom Place, below Jamie’s Italian, more or less adjacent to Cote Brasserie and just around the corner from Yo! Sushi. You may pass Brasserie Blanc (Queen Square) on the way. Or, if you’re heading up from the station, you may be sidetracked by Giraffe and Pizza Express en route. OK, point made: dear old Lady Bath is selling space below her tear-stained petticoats faster than you can say kerching. But the thing is, not all chains are the same. Just because the Bath branch of Carluccio’s is the 66th in an international conglomerate, that doesn’t make it part of yet another branch of Evil HQ. If I found it to be flogging assembly-line pizza topped with fake cheese and tinned tomatoes, I’d roll my eyes, sigh and utter something along the lines of, ‘Here we go again…’ (but, by the way, Carluccio’s don’t even serve pizza: hurrah!). If the pasta sauces were packed with preservatives, or the coffee generic, or the staff cynically jaded, then I’d say it like it is. But seeing as such negative comments have no place in this review, I can only say it like it really is. The overall vibe at one of Bath’s most recent newbies is that of a lively NY-meets-Milan mashup: think brazenly bright colour schemes balanced by low, subtle lighting, and casually friendly staff and a busy food shop and bar area adding texture and bustle to several open-plan dining areas, including a heated alfresco patio. It’s so Little Italy in theme that, halfway through my aperitivo, I’m wildly attempting to think up Robert De Niro references, or Sopranos metaphors, or… no, hang on, I’m not. I’m focusing on the food.

“My big, soft tangle of pasta strewn with squid, mussels, clams and prawns in generous proportions was seething with bold garlic and chilli” To start, dell’isola (£6.75): a mozzarella/roasted pepper/ parma ham combo that, while the plate may have benefited from a wee bit more mozzarella in the mix to justify its position on the descriptive leader board, still proved its worth as a classic Italian opener, with the ham in particular upholding its legendary status. A silky-smooth chicken liver pate, meanwhile (pate di fegatini di pollo if you want to get all proper about it, £5.25) arrived at the table looking unpromisingly plain (ostensibly just a pot of pate, a bit of toast and a smattering of cornichons on an oversized white plate) but turned out to be a credit to the kitchen. For mains, fish from the day’s specials for Him - in this instance a fresh, lively combo of pan-fried sea bream seasoned with fennel, olives and capers - and, for me, a big, soft tangle of pasta strewn with squid, mussels, clams and

prawns in super-generous proportions, seething with a bold presence of garlic and chilli (linguine al frutti di mare, £10.95). Having already scoffed pate and pasta, I didn’t have much room left for pudding, so I went all Sophia Loren (or so I like to think) with a sophisticated liqueur affogato (£6.60) - sophisticated only if you ignore how I made my request for my favourite liqueur of choice: “The one that tastes like digestive biscuits, please.” He, however, found space for crostata di fragole (£5.50): flaky, sweet pastry filled with fresh strawberries and mascarpone and topped with icecream... and lo, that space could not have been more elegantly filled. I heartily support Bath’s independent ventures and don’t want to lose any more of them to the greedy globalisation gluttons. But few could accuse

this particular venture of lacking either authenticity or personality, while the fiercely independent businesses that thrive alongside their behemoth neighbours in Milsom Place claim to be hugely benefiting from the increased footfall generated by this modernday romanesque venture. Ultimately, Carluccio’s is just another Italian restaurant; it just happens to be a rather good one.

CONTACT

CARLUCCIO'S 3-7 MILSOM PLACE, BATH. FFI: 01225 312604, WWW. CARLUCCIOS.COM

THE VERDICT HHHHHHHHHH

A slick, tasty, wallet-friendly experience FOLIO/DEC 2012 51

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EATINGOUTWEST

(Review)

ENTELIA

Tony Benjamin orders kleftiko by candlelight, kicks back and takes his time at this proper-job Greek restaurant and mezze bar in Clifton

G

iven the hard times they’re enduring, it seems appropriate to show some solidarity with the Greek people, so it was in the spirit of European solidarity that the Duchess and I headed for Entelia. It was a biting cold evening - such as they rarely get in Athens, I’d guess - and the instant warmth of our reception was very welcome. The place was pretty busy (and a long empty table warned of a party still to come) but an easy and relaxed atmosphere prevailed across the candlelit tables in the smart, redtinted dining room. The prompt arrival of a bottle of brisk red xinomavro wine helped the settling in, too, and gave us time to bicker about the mezze menu, an appealing combination of classic dishes and a few house specialities. We were tempted to forgo main courses but, as the pescatarian Duchess reminded me, “Someone has to have a big heap of lamb, surely?” That’ll be me ordering kleftiko, then (but happily), while she bagged papoutsaki, a favourite aubergine dish. The waiter helpfully advised against going overboard on a mezze starter, so we picked just three. When we saw the portions, we were grateful for his caution the combination of Greek salad, ‘gigantes’ butter beans and garides feta with a small heap of grilled pitta was a proper tableful. As we picked over the food and sipped the mellowing wine at a leisurely pace, the combination of flavours was splendidly evocative of a Greek taverna: the beans were fat, soft and buttery in a sauce with real tomato tang, the prawns juicily moist with ouzo and pungent softened feta cheese. The anticipated party arrived while we nibbled - some 20 diners or more - but if that was a challenge to the small but efficient team of waiters, it never showed, and they

“The beans were fat, soft and buttery, in a sauce with real tomato tang, and the prawns were juicily moist with ouzo and pungent softened feta cheese” somehow managed to combine a friendly conversational presence with prompt delivery of our main courses. I’m a great fan of kleftiko, but it has to be good. By that I mean a good-quality shank of lean lamb, slowly cooked to the point where it slips away from the bone and you can slice it with a fork, served in a light, unfatty herb-infused juice. I’ve often been disappointed (usually in that first criterion), but the Entelia serving was spot on - deliciously succulent and aromatic meat that fell before my fork. The remorseless demolition of her papoutsaki showed that the Duchess was equally enjoying herself, and it certainly looked appealing: a long half of aubergine stuffed with a colourful mix of chopped Mediterranean vegetables soused in bechamel and baked in the oven. On top of the ample

starters, it was a well-judged portion that gained her approval for its rich flavour combinations. We needed a little time to recover from that, naturally, so appreciated the unhurried response of the waiter before considering the dessert menu. I stuck to my preferred rule for sweets in Greek restaurants - go for the dish with the most syllables. In this case that meant galaktoboureko, a delicious confection of filo pastry wrapped around a lemon-flavoured semolina ‘custard’ filling, anointed with sweetly citric syrup. Sticky and opulent, it was all you’d expect and required a stiff cup of murky Greek coffee to sandblast the remains from my teeth. I suspect the British Dental Association are less enthusiastic about it than I was. The Duchess had taken a more conservative path with her apple sorbet with calvados dressing,

but by now the amount we’d eaten weighed on her and she sadly left the last of it untouched. With wine, it came to £80 for two, and a very pleasant evening it had been. It was good to reacquaint ourselves with Entelia - it’s clear that they haven’t let their standards slip, whatever’s happening in the Old Country.

CONTACT

ENTELIA RESTAURANT 50 WHITELADIES RD, CLIFTON, BRISTOL. FFI: 0117 946 6793, WWW.ENTELIA.CO.UK THE VERDICT HHHHHHHHHH

Proper respect for Greek tradition in a comfortably contemporary atmosphere

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Christmas Menu 2012 £29 per person for 3 courses Starters/Antipasti Homemade Chicken Liver Pate with Chutney and Toasted Ciabatta Mushrooms, Dolcelatte and Rocket Salad Bruschetta Home Cured Salmon, Crushed Potatoes and Horseradish Roasted parsnip Soup with Truffle Oil Main courses Turkey Wrapped in Ham with Shallot and Sage Stuffing Ravioli of Goats cheese & caramelised red onion in creamy walnut sauce Seafood risotto Slow Roast Pork belly with Port reduction jus & spiced apple sauce Dolci Traditional Christmas pudding with Whisky Cream Rich Chocolate Terrine and Berry Sauce Mango and Blueberry Sorbet Italian Panettone bread & butter pudding with Bailey’s cream sauce Menu available from November 19th Monday to Friday lunch and dinner Offers available for lunch and early evening dining Please contact Heidi or Stéphane if you wish to discuss your party. Contact 0117 973 4499 or info@proseccoclifton.com

The Best Guide to Eating Out

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EATINGOUTWEST

(Review)

COSY CLUB

Lovely, lively, independent watering hole serving goodvalue menus in Bath’s SouthGate development

M

ore than a year has passed since the Cosy Club - part of a minicollection of branchout ventures for the Bristolbased Loungers miniempire - opened its doors in the Heritage City’s glossy SouthGate development. This is an area that, despite the naysayers, has more or less managed to keep an independent pulse throbbing around the big-name chain/ franchise invaders that could so easily have turned the whole area into yet another faceless shrine to Mammon. Indeed, the Cosy Club is largely responsible for giving SouthGate a friendly,

“We shared a surf-related banquet of Severn and Wye smoked salmon, prawns in spicy chipotle mayonnaise, marinated herrings in sherry and goujons of whiting” appealing vibe: if it weren’t for this lovely, lively watering hole, I doubt that quite as many Bathonians would be as familiar as they are today with the ‘delights’ of Debenhams, Hollister, North Face et al. This artfully stylised little sanctuary of bonhomie occupies an erstwhile chilly concrete corner, ensuring that the bland byways that surround it aren’t quite as unappealing as they initially appear to be. Ah yes, there is a SouthGate kickback zone that is for ever loungeable - and a very tasty prospect it offers, too. ’Twas on a wholly unappealing, inclement winter evening that we ventured forth in search of cosy sustenance - and the

new winter menu delivered satisfaction in spades. At a candlelit table in the corner of a quirky but chic (and actually rather grand) dining room, we tucked into a starter sharing platter of Severn and Wye smoked salmon, prawns in spicy chipotle mayonnaise, marinated herrings in sherry, goujons of whiting (think posh fish fingers), creamy tartare sauce and freshly baked ciabatta: £13.50 for a fanciful, surf-related banquet of extremely generous proportion. Next, more fish for me: a salmon and crayfish burger (£8.95) that was an exceedingly moist, refreshing alternative to the standard burger options, and which

came accompanied by perfect fries and a lush salad. Meanwhile, an 8oz rib-eye steak (£15.95) - complete with more of those fab fries, a massive flat mushroom, onion rings and peppercorn sauce - proved to be a combination that Mr Meaty declared “magnificent” - and he still found room for a pudding that I could only barely manage a smidgeon of: proper knickerbocker glory, replete with shards of meringue and chocolate brownie. It brought the curtain down on an eminently cheerful, joyous and - yes! - cosy supper indeed. (Melissa Blease)

CONTACT

THE COSY CLUB UNIT R4, SOUTHGATE PLACE, BATH. FFI: 01225 464161, WWW.COSYCLUB.CO.UK

THE VERDICT HHHHHHHHHH

A thoroughly heartwarming, walletfriendly experience, bustling with good cheer. Lovely service, too!

TABLE TALK EAT, DRINK AND…? ➻Here it comes again - are you ready yet? It might seem calculated, but those few days of unbridled feasting and general careless excess won’t happen without some serious preparation. Ordering the meat, stocking up on booze, planning menus that will cater for his new vegan girlfriend and Aunty Whatsit’s gluten intolerance… it all means shopping, shopping, shopping, right up to the last minute. It was different in the Olden Days, of course, and there are some people still admirably making their own Christmas cakes, puddings and mincemeat months in advance to let them mature. But back then, people generally had a more meagre day-to-day diet, so the big feasts of Christmas really stood out. Nowadays, by comparison, our year-round supply of rich food and excessive drinking comes close to granting Roy Wood’s oft-repeated wish for it to be Christmas every day. That makes it hard for the Yuletide board to really stand out, which, given all the effort and expense that goes into it, is a shame. Perhaps a little preparatory self-denial in December might not be a bad idea if we want to get more bang for our Bucks Fizz on Christmas Eve? As long as we don’t get all ‘healthy’ and guilty about having a good time - after all, all cultures, however poor, have feast days, usually marked with special food and drink. Our Christmas is just the latest manifestation of ancient pagan midwinter celebrations, cheering up the darkest bit of the year with the promise of better times to come. It behoves us all, therefore to not only eat and drink but, most importantly, to be merry even if tomorrow we diet. (Tony Benjamin, Food & Drink editor)

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EATINGOUTWEST

(Review)

THE LIVING ROOM

Sumptuously satisfying comfort food goes large at this retro-cool Harbourside bar and restaurant

O

n a murky winter evening, Millennium Square can be a bit forbidding - even Cary Grant looks as though he’s hurrying off - but the bright lights of the Living Room shed a warming prospect on the damp pavement. Inside, a cool rare-groove soundtrack mingles with barside cocktail sippers and cosy corner diners. Despite the high ceiling and coolly retro furnishings, the downstairs dining area feels welcomingly snug. The menu’s enticing ‘pub de luxe’ selection covers all the bases

“The Black Forest smoked ham with fig and goat’s cheese mousse is an enviable confection, especially the rough-whipped mousse” with a touch of style - venison shepherd’s pie? Truffle oilinfused macaroni cheese? Lots of the wine list is available in halfbottle carafes, so we pick cotes du ventoux. It’s not a good bottle, but this can happen, and the instant and apologetic replacement with the splendidly velvety real thing more than makes up for it. It’s a real winner, in fact, with a lightness that matches my moules marinieres and The Lovely She’s Black Forest smoked ham with fig and goat’s cheese mousse. That’s an enviable confection, especially the roughwhipped mousse. My main course, al dente pappardelle pasta draped in a proper ragu of shin of beef and pancetta cooked to disintegration, is a

real Italian job, with just enough sauce to infuse the pasta but not overwhelm it. With a side dish of savoy cabbage and chopped chestnuts, it looks great and tastes even better. Her pink-hearted duck breast sweet’n’soured by Szechuan pepper and plum chutney, offset with chilli-heated bok choi greens and a little cake of sweet potato fondant, is filling and tasty, with a real sense of spoiling yourself. We put off the dessert question while we finish the wine and enjoy Alice Russell on the PA, before dodging it altogether by agreeing to the sharing board selection. What were we thinking? That’s five desserts between two - madness! There’s a nice variety of taste and

texture, with a pecan and apple ‘streusel’ tart winning my vote, and ‘Basil Grande’ Eton mess getting hers - though either of us could have opted for the bitterly chocolate truffle cake with golden crushed honeycomb. Sumptuously satisfying stuff, it brought the bill to £66 including the wine, and rendered the bicycle ride home a more sedate affair than usual. It may be a steamy nightspot of a weekend evening, but it’s well worth checking out the Living Room as a comfort food destination any time of the week. (Tony Benjamin)

CONTACT

THE LIVING ROOM EXPLORE LANE, HARBOURSIDE, BRISTOL. FFI: 0117 925 3993, WWW.THELIVINGROOM. CO.UK THE VERDICT HHHHHHHHHH

Crowd-pleasing stuff treated with a respect that it rarely gets but definitely deserves

10 OF THE BEST

COCKTAIL BARS

BRUGADA John St, Bath, BA1 (www. brugadabar.co.uk) • This sumptuous boudoir caught the eye of Rough Guide spin-off Cool Places for the ‘panache’ of their cocktail making. CIRCO BAR The Halcyon, South Parade, Bath, BA2 (www.circobar.co.uk) • Newish, smart, rounded bar beneath the Halcyon hotel that’s become a buzzing hangout thanks to an extensive menu of expertly made cocktails. COLOUR INN Whiteladies Gate, Clifton Down, Bristol, BS8 (www.thecolourinn.com) • Smart but cosy hideaway offering seasonal ‘creative’ cocktails alongside well-loved names. DOOR 34 Monmouth St, Bath, BA1 (www. door34.co.uk) • They take it all very seriously in this laboratory of ‘liquid alchemy’ - but only in order to brew up good times in the best possible taste. HARVEY NICHOLS Second Floor Bar, Quakers Friars, Bristol, BS1 (www. harveynichols.com) • Don’t let the ‘dress to impress’ retro-modernist decor and well-mannered atmosphere of Harvey Nicks’ cocktail bar put you off their perfectly crisp martini. HAUSBAR Upper Belgrave Rd, Bristol, BS8 (www.hausbar.co.uk) • Local institution with a national profile: supercool vibes, boho-Berlin atmosphere, impeccable cocktail classics. HYDE & CO The Basement, Berkeley Square, Bristol, BS8 (www.hydeandcobristol. net) • Once shown down to this basement speakeasy, it’s hard to leave, especially when sipping cider barrel-aged Hanky Panky. MILK THISTLE Quay Head House, Colston Ave, Bristol, BS1 (www.milkthistlebristol.com) • Behind their anonymous facade lurks an outrageously stylish speakeasy serving ‘oldfashioned’, ‘club’ and ‘cooler’ cocktails. PAPAJI’S Whiteladies Rd, Bristol, BS8 (www. papajis.co.uk) • OK, the tea-based cocktails are a novelty specialism, but there are 12 pages of mixology in their drinks list and award-winning skills behind the bar. SUB 13 Edgar Buildings, George St, Bath, BA1 (www.sub13.net) • With an encyclopedic cocktail menu, the bar staff are never short of drinking suggestions to enjoy in those atmospheric vaulted spaces.

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EATINGOUTWEST

RESTAURANT PROFILE

ROMAN BATHS KITCHEN ADDRESS: 11-12 ABBEY CHURCHYARD, BATH BA1 1LY TEL: 01225 477877 WEB: WWW.ROMANBATHKITCHEN.CO.UK

S

itting in a prime position, surrounded by the dramatic Bath Abbey and the elegant Roman Baths, the Roman Baths Kitchen is a stunning Georgian townhouse that’s been lovingly and respectfully transformed into a contemporary eatery, celebrating the finest of West Country produce. The Roman Baths Kitchen, jointly funded by B&NES Council and prestigious caterer Searcys, opens daily from 8.30am, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, and aiming to be many things to many people - whether it’s a place to refuel, relax or simply indulge. On the ground floor, the Deli provides quick, tasty food. You can choose from a wide selection of freshly prepared deli sandwiches, a comprehensive lunch and snack menu, gourmet coffees and homemade cakes and pastries, all prepared to order by Searcys’ highly trained team. A cafe by day with a

‘hustle and bustle’ atmosphere, the Deli transforms in the evenings into a social hub serving English tapas (available all day) and elegant drinks. Upstairs is the Roman Baths Kitchen, a simple bistro-style restaurant with plenty of character and a warm and friendly team. The all-day menu and seasonal specials, created by Searcys’ world-class chefs, showcase the West Country’s unrivalled abundance of produce through traditional dishes with a modern twist. For those who like to watch the world go by, the outside seating area provides the perfect opportunity for a spot of people watching - all while soaking up the beautiful historic views that the city of Bath has to offer. And whether you’re eating at the Deli or the Kitchen, you’re guaranteed to enjoy simple delicious food from locally sourced suppliers, combined with genuine old-fashioned hospitality.

CHEF PROFILE

TONY EARL Having been born and raised in Wiltshire, the West Country has always played a large part and acted as my inspiration in becoming a chef. My first taste of the catering industry was undertaking my work experience from Chippenham College at the Pump Room Restaurant, which was followed by positions within the Theatre Royal, Salisbury Cathedral and a private golf club before returning and rejoining the team at Searcys. “My role now as head chef for the Roman Baths Kitchen is, as with any new restaurant venture, an ever-progressing process. The menu reflects the way I like to cook when at home with my three children - my particular favourite is the roast shoulder of lamb with merguez spices [see recipe opposite]. I try to create dishes on our ever-changing and seasonal menu that showcase the West Country’s unrivalled produce through traditional dishes with a modern twist.

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EATINGOUTWEST

RECIPE

of the month

ROAST SHOULDER OF LAMB WITH MERGUEZ SPICES Tender lamb, slowcooked in a spice paste. Serves six

INGREDIENTS ●

½ shoulder of mature lamb, mutton or hogget

FOR THE SPICE PASTE ● ● ● ● ● ●

● ● ●

● ●

½ tsp cumin seeds ½ tsp coriander seeds ½ tsp fennel seeds ½ cinnamon stick, broken up ½ tsp black peppercorns ½ pinch of cayenne pepper or chilli powder 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika 1 garlic clove, finely chopped leaves from 1 large rosemary sprig, finely chopped 1 tsp sea salt 1 tsp olive oil

TO MAKE If you have time, toast the cumin, coriander, fennel seeds, cinnamon and peppercorns in a dry frying pan over a medium heat for a minute or so, until fragrant. Crush to a course powder using a pestle and mortar, then combine with the cayenne or chilli powder, paprika, garlic, rosemary, salt and olive oil. Lightly score the skin of the meat with a sharp knife, making shallow slashes just a few millimetres deep and 1-2cm apart. Rub half the spice paste all over the lamb shoulder - underneath as well as on top, and especially into the cuts. Put into a large roasting tin and place in an oven preheated to 220 degrees/gas mark 7. Roast for 30 mins.

Remove from the oven and rub the remaining spice paste over the meat using the back of a wooden spoon. Pour a glass of water into the tin (not over the meat). Cover with foil and return to the oven. Reduce the heat to 120 degrees/gas mark ½ and cook for six hours, or until the meat is very tender and falling off the bone. You can add another glass of water halfway through to keep the pan juices ticking along. Transfer the lamb to a warm serving plate. Skim the excess fat off the juices in the tin. Tear the meat into thick shreds and serve with the juices spooned over. Serve with boiled new potatoes or roasted squash and a dish of shredded cabbage, greens or kale.

RECOMMENDED TOKOMARU SAUVIGNON BLANC MARLBOROUGH, NEW ZEALAND

➻ New Zealand

Sauvignon Blanc is a wine that’s become extremely popular over the past 20 years or so, and is certainly one of the most popular choices at the Roman Baths Kitchen. The delicate spices of the merguez lamb are perfectly complemented by the intense flavours of ripe, tropical fruit that keep the palate fresh with a vibrant acidity yet a clean finish.

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ALL PHOTOS AT TOP: ANDY STAGG

EATINGOUTWEST

PUB

CLASS ACT

With a new owner installed at Clifton’s muchloved Alma Tavern pub and theatre, Tony Benjamin pops in for a pint to see what changes he’s been making

P

eople find themselves enjoying the hospitality of the Alma for a number of different reasons. For some lucky souls it could be that it’s their local - and they should be well chuffed to have such a commodious oasis on their doorstep. Some might

have fled the hubbub of nearby Whiteladies Road in search of a less frenetic watering hole, while others might be there for some tasty seasonal food. All good reasons to make your way to those bright blue doors on Alma Vale Road, but of course it’s their long-established theatre that’s possibly the pub’s most celebrated feature. Established upstairs over 30 years ago, for the past 15 years the small but perfectly formed Alma Theatre has been the home of Theatre West’s acclaimed shows as well as a steady supply of touring productions. It’s a heritage for which newly arrived owner James Dunn has a high regard: “It’s unique and very important to the Alma - I meet people from all over the country who know about the theatre - and it will always be a big part of what we do here.” Like any new owner, James is bristling with energy and ideas but, as an experienced pub manager, he knows what’s important: “We did a bit of obvious refurbishment - chucked out the old carpet, put up new paint, overhauled the toilets and upgraded the garden - but we’re taking things steady. It’s really important to listen

of the month

to the ideas that the customers and the community have - it’s their local, after all! So far they seem to be enjoying themselves - and they keep coming back, so we must be doing something right.” The kitchen was an early investment, with new chef Gary Crossan arriving to a nice new set-up to launch his ‘British a la carte’ menu. It’s going down a storm so far, too, with dishes like slow-cooked pork belly with sage and cider cream and bacon, savoy cabbage and haricot beans already an established favourite, and those in the know will book for Sunday lunches that usually sell out early. Naturally, there’s a good wine list to match the menu. It’s a bonus to discerning noneating drinkers, with less usual choices such as viognier, picpoul and barbera available by the glass alongside the old favourites. And, being a proper pub, there are proper beers, too, with the usual trinity (Doom Bar, Tribute and Gem) complemented by a monthly trio of guest ales. Another nice touch has been the revival of the pub piano, providing ‘dinner jazz’ accompaniment on Friday evenings, with plans to extend that to Sunday lunchtimes. From January, James also plans to introduce acoustic music events between productions in the theatre upstairs. There are even plans for a big screen in the pub - but not for the obvious reason: “Oh no, there’s not going to be football!” James laughs. “We’ll be showing black and white silent films now and then that sort of thing.” It all adds up to a proper pub, really, but with that extra touch of class that makes it well worth seeking out.

CONTACT ALMA TAVERN & THEATRE 18-20 ALMA VALE RD, CLIFTON, BRISTOL. FFI: 0117 973 5171, WWW.ALMATAVERNTHEATRE.CO.UK

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EATINGOUTWEST

Shop

UPPER

of the month

CRUST B Life wouldn’t be the same without Mr Bertinet. Melissa Blease visits Bath’s master baker rittany-born master baker Richard Bertinet and his wife Jo established Bath’s highly acclaimed, award-winning Bertinet Kitchen Cookery School in 2005. Buoyed by the publicity from the publication of his first book, Dough, in the same year, the Cookery School flourished and the popularity of Richard’s legendary loaves rose fast; due to popular demand, a bakery shop above the Cookery School started selling readymade slices of Richard to take home. In October 2011 Richard opened a pop-up shop in the former Podium shopping centre and moved to a permanent New Bond Street Place base (complete with thriving cafe) in January of this year. The rest, as they say, is history - but history doesn’t stand still for long. A second branch of the bakery opened in Bath’s new Vaults development last month, offering uppercrust scrumptiousness and speedy sustenance to busy folk using the Heritage City’s transport hub.

But in these cash-strapped times, how has Richard managed to not only succeed but also develop his lively business? “I suppose we try to offer an old-fashioned shopping experience,” he tells Folio. “We wrap every loaf of bread individually, and encourage our staff to chat with customers, because that’s the best way to gather feedback, get new ideas and really understand what people want. We aim to send every member of our team on one of my courses so they understand how all our bread is made, and

Friendly service, and upper-crust scrumptiousness, all inspired by master baker Richard Bertinet (pictured, bottom)

they taste every product so they can offer advice and make confident recommendations.” But how on earth do the Bertinet team manage to juggle time between the bakeries, the cafe, the Kitchen and the cookery books - of which Richard is now the proud author of four. “As is the case for all working parents, life is a bit of a juggling act,” says Richard, “but Jo and I thrive on the challenges we’re presented with. We’re also lucky enough to have a brilliant team working with us - we definitely couldn’t do it without them.” And this festive season, many of us won’t be doing Christmas without at least one Bertinet contribution. From stollen, Christmas puddings and Christmas cakes to buche de Noel and biscotti, by way of all the Bertinet essentials including those signature sourdough loaves, the bakery is a veritable Aladdin’s cave of dough-related delight. The new party ranges, meanwhile, are set to be a surefire hit - think mini-viennoiserie, pork pies, Black Forest gateaux slices and cinnamon buns, with new macaroons in the pipeline. Richard also has a few extra tips to share with those of us already stressing about Christmas at home. “People often try to do too much at Christmas. But if you plan a straightforward menu and learn to delegate, it’s much more fun. Work out how much time you have to shop and cook, then source key products and treats from some of the fabulous suppliers we have in the South West. And remember to keep some mince pies in the freezer - put them in a cold oven set to heat up to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4), and by the time the oven is hot they’ll be perfectly defrosted and warmed through.” And where might you buy those mince pies? The Bertinet Kitchen, of course - the Bath-based bakery that’s got Christmas crusted.

CONTACT

BERTINET BAKERY 2 BRUNEL SQUARE & BERTINET BAKERY & CAFE 6 NEW BOND ST PLACE & BERTINET KITCHEN 12 ST ANDREW’S TERRACE, BATH. FFI: 01225 445531, WWW. BERTINET.COM

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EATINGOUTWEST

(News)

WHAT'S COOKING

Our monthly round-up of news from the foodie world Hall and Woodhouse: a striking addition to Portishead's food and drink scene

SUPER MARKETS

➻ Forget those trolleys and

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

ASHTON COURT PRODUCERS MARKET Stables courtyard of Ashton Court Mansion, Bristol, 10.30am–2.30pm, 3rd Sun of month. Ffi: www.ashtoncourtestate.co.uk BATH FARMERS MARKET Green Park Station, Bath, 9am-1.30pm, every Sat. (pictured above) Ffi: www.bathfarmersmarket.co.uk HARBOURSIDE MARKET No.1 Harbourside, Canons Rd, Bristol, 11am-4pm, every Sat & Sun. Ffi: www.no1harbourside.co.uk LONG ASHTON VILLAGE MARKET Long Ashton Community Centre, Keedwell Hill, Long Ashton, Bristol, 9.30am-1pm, first Sat of month. Ffi: www.longashtonvillagemarket.co.uk

I

f the waft of mince pies and mulled wine is already driving you to drink, there are some new faces on the local pub scene who’ll be happy to oblige. The Curfew (Cleveland Place West, Bath), that well-known student haunt and sports bar, has just had a renaissance courtesy of new manager Rob Pearce. They’ve restored the traditional Wadworth pub ambience and introduced a Georgian dining room upstairs, where Michelin-starred chef Rob is promising a locally sourced and seasonal British menu seven days a week. The Portishead dockside has gained a stylish new bar-restaurant - assembled, implausibly, out of 28 recycled shipping containers. The £3m project is the latest from Dorset brewers Hall and Woodhouse, and as well as offering their Tanglewood bitter (on tap and in steak & ale pies), they helpfully provide laundry and shower facilities for the marina’s boating community (Hall and Woodhouse, Chandlery Square, Portishead). Bristol folk with an eye for the strong stuff, meanwhile, soon sniffed out BrewDog, the new craft beer bar on Baldwin Street, launched by an independent Scottish brewery. With a punkish attitude and a reputation for unfeasible ABV levels (they once brewed a 55% beer and offer a 15% beer on draught), the smart and lively bar is already attracting hordes of beer lovers.

WHITELADIES ROAD FARMERS & FAIR TRADING MARKET Outside auction rooms on corner

of Whiteladies Rd & Apsley Rd, Clifton, Bristol, 8.30am-2pm, 1st & 3rd Sat of month. Ffi: www.sustainableredland.org.uk WESTON-SUPER-MARE FARMERS MARKET

Pee Wee Ellis: on the menu at Brasserie Blanc

And it’s good to see that Brasserie Blanc have invited saxophone legend Pee Wee Ellis to host monthly jazz brunches in the 13th century Cutlers Hall at their Bristol branch in Quakers Friars. The first of these familyfriendly Sunday events will be on 2 Dec and will feature star pianist Jason Rebello as guest with the Pee Wee Ellis Assembly.

High St, Weston-super-Mare, 9am12.30pm, 2nd Sat of month. KEYNSHAM FARMERS MARKET Ashton Way car park, Keynsham, Bristol, 9am-1pm, 2nd Sat of month. Ffi: www.somersetfarmersmarkets.co.uk 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: www.tobaccofactory.com SLOW FOOD MARKET Corn St, Bristol, 10am-3pm, 1st Sun of month. Ffi: www.stnicholasmarketbristol.co.uk BRISTOL FARMERS MARKET Corn St, Bristol, 9.30am–2.30pm, every Weds. Ffi: www.stnicholasmarketbristol.co.uk FOLIO/DEC 2012 63

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FASHION JEWELLERY BEAUTY SHOPPING FASHION JEWELLERY BEAUTY SHOPPING

➻ LIFESTYLE

FESTIVE POP-UPS, HAIRDRESSING HIGHLIGHTS, MOBILE BEAUTY, MORE... SHOPPING

TOP OF THE POP-UPS ➻

Don’t miss Pop-Up Bristol at Cabot Circus this month, when galleries and shops showcasing the best of Bristol’s creative talent will be opening as pop-up stores for the festive season. Paper Scissors Stone (open until 31 Dec) offers fashion accessories, gifts, and original artwork from local glassworkers, textile designers, chocolatiers and furniture makers, while the breakthrough talent on show from eclectic retailer Howkapow (until 8 Dec) ranges from ceramics, lights, prints and posters to jewellery and gifts. Paper (until 31 Dec) is an urban art gallery and T-shirt shop - find designs from local graffiti artists, illustrators and photographers, with creative designs on a range of cotton and bamboo T-shirts. The Making Things Club (3-24 Dec), meanwhile, is an emporium of creation that invites shoppers to get creative and take part in make-and-take-away Christmas cards, decorations, gifts and bunting. Smithson Gallery (until 23 Dec) bring a stylish range of paintings, screenprints, cards, giftwrap, notebooks, purses, cushions, lampshades and even doggie bandanas. Collaborating with Bristol-based furniture experts Couch from Clifton Village, they also stock some beautiful sofas and chairs. And Philadelphia Street, the hire-able gallery and project space in Quakers Friars, welcome the return of Clifton Fine Art (until 31 Dec) and their prints, calendars, cards and artists’ books at affordable prices. They’ll feature new paintings by five South West artists, including Tom White and his gritty urban homage to some of the lesser-known corners of Bristol. At the Secret Circus pop-up (until 24 Dec), unique gifts for adults include re-upholstered furniture, antiques, vintage clothing and maps, plus toys, comics, books and clothing for kids. The shop will also host events for all ages, from acoustic nights, scrabble competitions, poetry, kids’ reading time and photography workshops to in-store DJs and dance classes. POP-UP BRISTOL AT CABOT CIRCUS FFI: WWW.CABOTCIRCUS.COM

BEAUTY

GOING PLACES ➻ A new mobile beautician service for busy Bristol people on the go has brought an easy, affordable means of fitting in beauty treatments - by having the salon come to you at home, at a friend’s house, even at the office, and at a time to suit. Mobile Spray Tan Bristol’s professionally qualified beauticians offer more than 90 different treatments, from mobile spray tans using the prestigious Xen-Tan product range, through to waxing, massages, manicures, pedicures, Botox and male beauty treatments. Or why not host a pamper party for a group of friends as a great alternative to a night out? MOBILE SPRAY TAN BRISTOL FFI: 0117 915 7545, WWW.MOBILESPRAY TANBRISTOL.CO.UK

SALON NEWS

CHEERS!

➻ Bristol’s organic and mineral-based hair salon Hush

Hairdressing have celebrated their first anniversary in style with a party for clients and friends at their stunning Baldwin Street salon. It’s been a great first year for Hush, who use only natural, plant-based products, combining a modern, caring approach with the latest skills and organic technology. Directors Glenn Holmes and Mark Andres and the team are now looking forward to another year of offering clients their highly individual service in the relaxing, non-toxic atmosphere for which they’re becoming known and loved.

HUSH HAIRDRESSING 27-29 BALDWIN ST, BRISTOL. FFI: 0117 930 0350, WWW.HUSHHAIRBRISTOL.CO.UK

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LIFESTYLE

AWARDS

CUTTING IT FLORIST

BUDDING GENIUS ➻ Les Fleurs Floral Design is an independent florist based in the heart of Bristol’s old city quarter, where Vanina and Mandy pride themselves on offering a very personal service, helping their customers to create beautiful arrangements for each and every occasion. Christmas is a very special time at Les Fleurs, whether you’re looking for a traditional arrangement or more contemporary Christmas creations. They also stock lovely handmade felt presents from France. Christmas wreath-making workshops can be organised on request for groups of 10 or more, or Les Fleurs will be happy to design a bespoke wreath just for you. You can choose from lots of different colours, designs and

decorations, including conifer, holly, pine cones, ribbon bows, baubles and felt hearts. Presented in a lovely gift box, these make the perfect gift for loved ones, and can be collected from the shop or delivered anywhere in Bristol. The team can also create larger wreaths for offices, restaurants, cafes and bars, which match your decor or corporate colours. The Les Fleurs philosophy is to use only the best-quality flowers, sourcing locally wherever they can. Pop into the Colston Street shop, or catch them at the Christmas Steps Artisan Market on Sat 1 Dec. Their online shop is well worth a browse, too. LES FLEURS FLORAL DESIGN 80 COLSTON ST, BRISTOL. FFI: 0117 929 8166, WWW.LESFLEURS.ORG.UK

➻ Many congratulations to SeanHanna Bristol, who scooped Salon of the Year at the recent 2012 SeanHanna Awards in London. As well as celebrating the award winners, Sean and creative director Skyler McDonald hosted a fabulous and inspiring show. One of the main catwalk themes was based on ‘Metamorphosis’ - the team created completely different hairstyles from the models’ initial looks, using everything from a highly powered air tool to a trimmer. The awards celebrated 30 years of the brand, with the team showing what inspires them and how they create their favourite looks. SEANHANNA BRISTOL QUAKERS FRIARS, CABOT CIRCUS. FFI: 0117 934 9393, WWW.SEANHANNA.COM

COSMETICS

BEAUTY WITH BRAINS ➻ Last month saw the launch of a fresh, unique cosmetics

website and a series of cool, friendly pop-up shops (the first of which you’ll find in Bath’s Little SouthGate before it tours the UK) from Katherine Spreadbury, a young professional make-up artist with an entrepreneurial spirit and a lot of determination. LittleLab sells professional make-up brands and skincare, breaking down traditional make-up counter ‘barriers’ with a new approach for people looking for an effortless look, with attitude. LittleLab’s pop-up shops are relaxed, approachable and stylish go and try out make-up and skincare, or book yourself onto a training course to learn how to create a look for yourself and achieve professional techniques like airbrushing. And Katherine’s guarantee? “No orange promotions girls. No nightmare inch-thick foundation. And no snooty make-up counter girl wincing at your smudged mascara!”

LITTLELAB POP-UP UNTIL FRI 18 JAN, LITTLE SOUTHGATE, BATH. FFI: WWW.LITTLELAB.CO.UK

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FASHION LIFESTYLE

PARTY on! Suzanne Savill ditches the Little Black Dress and injects a splash of winter colour

T

o LBD, or not to LBD? That, to mangle and misquote Shakespeare, is the question upon the lips of many fashionistas as the Christmas and new year party season approaches. And yes, for many, the answer will be to choose once again that familiar sartorial staple, the Little Black Dress. Whether in lace or Lycra, short-sleeved or long-sleeved, the LBD is always a popular choice at this time of year. But if you don’t want to wear an outfit that’s become almost as much of a festive uniform as Santa’s red-and-white combo, there are plenty of alternatives to be found in fashion shops in the Bristol and Bath area. Stores in major shopping destinations such as Cabot Circus, The Mall at Cribbs Causeway and Milsom Place in Bath are all featuring outfits in the bold colours that were a theme of the Autumn/Winter 2012/13 fashion shows. At Amulet boutique on Bristol’s Cotham Hill, owner Hemali Modha has selected a range of colourful party dresses, as well as faux fur asymmetric scarves in keeping with the trend for Downton Abbey styles. Meanwhile, over at Ritz boutique in Clifton Village, owner Yvonne Bracey points out that alternatives to the LBD can include wearing a skirt or trousers with a stunning top.

CLASSIC

Gold and black are a classic combination, but there’s a clever twist in the design of this gold skater dress from Ted Baker. Look closely and you’ll see that the black shapes are skaters. Ted Baker skater dress, £149

ELEGANT

Red isn’t just for Father Christmas, and this dress from the London Look collection by Hobbs proves it. Effortlessly elegant, it can be dressed up or down for all sorts of festive events. Hobbs red dress, £179

SEPARATES

White and black look striking together on this designer top from Joseph Ribkoff at Ritz boutique in Clifton, and prove that you don’t have to wear black - or a dress - to create a smart party outfit. Joseph Ribkoff top from Ritz Boutique, reduced in December sale

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LIFESTYLE

FASHION

BODICE Teal blue and silver combine in this frock with a mesh neckline and skirt, and an embellished bodice, from Dorothy Perkins. The result is a stunning party outfit. Dorothy Perkins dress, £65

FLAPPER

Pale pink isn’t usually associated with winter clothing. But add some sequins and a flapperstyle design, and the result is this dress by William Tempest for Design Forum at River Island, which should turn heads at any party. William Tempest for River Island dress, £150

COPPER

Copper and blue are an unexpected colour combination, but they work together perfectly in this Roxbury dress by Fever London, which you’ll find in the range of party dresses at Amulet boutique in Bristol. Roxbury dress from Amulet Boutique, £69.99

CONTACTS

DAZZLING

Go for gold by wearing this LK Bennett dress, which is covered in sequins and has an unusual asymmetric neckline. LK Bennett dress, £345

LONG'N'LACY

Black lace and a nude background feature in this double-layer maxi dress, which is ideal for black-tie events that require a long dress. Lace maxi dress, Somerset by Alice Temperley for John Lewis, £249

AMULET BOUTIQUE COTHAM HILL, BRISTOL. FFI: WWW.AMULETJEWELLERY. CO.UK DOROTHY PERKINS BRISTOL: CABOT CIRCUS; YATE SHOPPING CENTRE; DEBENHAMS, BROADMEAD; CRIBBS CAUSEWAY. BATH: STALL ST. FFI: WWW. DOROTHYPERKINS.COM HOBBS BRISTOL: CABOT CIRCUS; HOUSE OF FRASER AT CABOT CIRCUS; CRIBBS CAUSEWAY; JOHN LEWIS AT CRIBBS CAUSEWAY. BATH: MILSOM ST. FFI: WWW. HOBBS.CO.UK LK BENNETT BRISTOL: CABOT CIRCUS; HARVEY NICHOLS AT CABOT CIRCUS; JOHN LEWIS AT CRIBBS CAUSEWAY. BATH: NEW BOND ST; JOLLYS, MILSOM ST. FFI: WWW.LKBENNETT.COM RITZ BOUTIQUE 29 THE MALL, CLIFTON VILLAGE, BRISTOL. FFI: WWW.RITZBOUTIQUE.CO.UK RIVER ISLAND BRISTOL: CABOT CIRCUS; CRIBBS CAUSEWAY. BATH: SOUTHGATE PLACE. FFI: WWW.RIVERISLAND.COM SOMERSET BY ALICE TEMPERLEY JOHN LEWIS, CRIBBS CAUSEWAY, BRISTOL. FFI: WWW.JOHNLEWIS.COM TED BAKER BRISTOL: CABOT CIRCUS; HOUSE OF FRASER AT CABOT CIRCUS. BATH: MILSOM ST. FFI: WWW.TEDBAKER. COM

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FASHION

Revamp... Niki wears: old jacket from Mango, vest from H&M £3.88, trousers from Topshop £38, shoes from Marks & Spencer £19.50, old necklace from Warehouse

HOW TO WEAR...

WINTER FLORALS Wallet-friendly flower power from personal stylist Niki Whittle

H

ave you sorted out what you’re wearing to the Christmas party yet? Most of us stick to wearing black, but I want to challenge you to work a little colour and print into your party outfit. I’m a huge fan of the LBD, but it’s getting repetitive, so this year I’m embracing one of the season’s biggest trends, winter florals, to push me out of my comfort zone. Flowery prints probably aren’t the first thing that pop into your head when you’re choosing what to wear on a festive night out, but this season they’re dark and edgy. They’re party perfect. Our wallets take a bruising at this time of year, though, so I’m going one step further with this month’s column - I’m not only going to show you how to rock florals to the Christmas do, but I’m also going to show you that you don’t need to start from scratch. You can simply rework an old outfit. Accessories are the cheapest and easiest way to do this, and they’re a great way to try out a new trend. Take this oversized floral clutch, for example - it breathes new life into last year’s dress and adds a big splash of much needed colour. Sometimes you only need to add one new item of clothing to your wardrobe to create a totally new look. I’ve had this black jacket for years, but I haven’t worn it recently. Cue a pair of floral trousers – and voila! My tired jacket has been given a new lease of life and can walk into the Christmas party with its head held high. FFI WWW.NIKIWHITTLE.COM, WWW.HIPSHAPESANDBRISTOLFASHION.BLOGSPOT.COM

Accessories... Niki wears: clutch from Accessorize £32, old dress from Oasis, old necklace from Warehouse

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Ritz Boutique

Sale now on 29 The Mall, Clifton Village, Bristol, BS8 4JG 0117 973 0095 www.ritz-boutique.co.uk

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SHOPPING LIFESTYLE

SHOP OF THE

“Customers love coming to Soukous - it cheers them up”

MONTH

All Melissa Blease’s dreams come true at gifts and homeware emporium, Soukous

I

ALL PICTURES: MARK SIMMONS

t may be December, but the heat is on: presents to buy, a home to beautify in time for Christmas and a budget to keep a close eye on are just three of the seasonal niggles on our minds. But thanks to the lovely, lively independent traders that work hard all year round to keep spirits up when stress strikes, Christmas shopping can be an eminently

joyful experience. And Soukous - the charming, lively emporium of retail merriment just up the road from Clifton Down Shopping Centre - is the one-stop shop at the top of this year’s Christmas-dreams-come-true list. “Everybody loves Soukous at this time of the year!” says owner Elisa Snaden, who opened the doors to her welcoming venture over a decade ago. “Our Christmas trees are up and our Christmas windows are ready to tempt you in from the cold. We even have a snow machine in the window - a new addition that I found at one of the many trade fairs I go to in search of new and unique gifts.” So, are you looking for something really special to put the finishing touches to your own winter wonderland experience at home? “I found a fantastic new supplier in Ireland selling gorgeous traditional little cottages, pictures and Christmas figures, which all light up and sparkle,” says Elisa. “We’ve also sourced some beautiful Christmas decorations from Gisela Graham and Sass and Belle.” And if they don’t help to create the perfect domestic festive backdrop, we don’t know what will! Soukous is packed to the rafters with a selection of wonderful gift ideas to box up for Christmas 2012, most of which, guarantees Elisa, you won’t find anywhere else on the high

street. “We’ve got some stunning silver jewellery on our shelves, and a brilliant new range from Disaster Designs called Aviary, featuring beautiful bird motifs on compact mirrors, makeup and wash bags, purses and wallets, flasks and a tote bag. We’ve also got super-soft winter scarves in lovely colours from £6.99, and I particularly love our Snoozies: cosy little foot coverings that are so soft, you’ll swoon when you touch them. They’re only £9.99 - I want several pairs for myself!” A broad range of Office Antics, PacMan and Tetris goodies ensure that you can tick off your Secret Santa office surprise list while you’re sorting the family and friends out, and there’s plenty for the men in our lives, too. The Soukous basement, meanwhile, is the place to go for stocking fillers - from jumping beans to clockwork knick-knacks by way of toys, diablos, games and more, it’s all going on, and all at prices that your wallet will approve of. “Customers tell us that they love coming to Soukous as it cheers them up, and they can always find something for everyone,” says Elisa. Join her merry throng and prepare to rediscover the joys of Christmas shopping. SOUKOUS 44A-46 COTHAM HILL, BRISTOL, BS6. FFI: 0117 923 9854, WWW.SOUKOUS.CO.UK

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LIFESTYLE

SHOP OF THE

SHOPPING

“We have a fantastic range of brands for fashion-savvy shoppers”

MONTH

Josie Drummond is spoiled for choice at McArthurGlen’s Swindon Designer Outlet

M

cArthurGlen’s Swindon Designer Outlet has been gearing up for Christmas in style, with festive decorations and fantastic seasonal trends for that perfect gift for loved ones. The centre, which is open daily, is a must-visit shopping destination, and one of the largest covered designer outlets in Europe. Housed in the beautifully renovated, grade II-listed buildings of the Great Western Railway Works on the edge of Wiltshire, it’s one of 21 McArthurGlen Designer Outlets across Europe, located in some of the world’s most popular cities, including Milan, Paris, Berlin and Athens. The centre opened in 1997 and now attracts more than 3.3 million visitors a year with its offer of 90-plus leading fashion and lifestyle brands including Ted Baker, Lacoste, Jaeger and Hobbs, all with year-round savings of up to 60 per cent. You’ll find an extensive homeware department, and a food quarter that caters for the whole family, offering everything from a quick warming coffee to the newly opened Ed’s Easy Diner. Says manager Tina Cumpstey: “Here at McArthurGlen we have a fantastic range of brands for fashion-savvy shoppers. We continuously welcome new

stores to the centre, including some of the UK’s most renowned brands such as Osprey London and Kurt Geiger. This has enhanced our credentials as a top fashion destination, not only in the local area, but nationally, too.” McArthurGlen Swindon has a portfolio of some of the UK’s most sought-after premium and high-street brands, with on-trend collections for the festive season. Of ‘Back to Black’, McArthurGlen style consultant Linsey Wright says, “All women know that the classic LBD is a style winner to take you through every season, but this season it gets a dark, gothic, theatrical update. Think classic sophistication with a hint of rebellion for the most stand-out result.” Or there’s ‘High Society’. Says Linsey: “Old Hollywood meets English high society for this trend. Bring a hint of nostalgia back to the now with rich jewel hues and block colour combinations.” ‘Sleek Silhouettes’, found at LK Bennett, “are perfect for channelling that classic, relaxed elegance”. And if it’s ‘British Heritage’ you’re after, then start “embracing the great outdoors with country-inspired staples that will make you look, and feel, like lady of the manor. Head to British heritage brands such as Aquascutum to stock up on winter coats, and match with tweed, plaid and wool for a real mix of texture and print.” As well as coveted brands for female

shoppers, Swindon Designer Outlet has a vast range of options for men looking to update their wardrobe, with leading menswear brands including Charles Tyrwhitt, Hugo Boss and Henri Lloyd. For the second year running, the centre has partnered with leading menswear brand Jeff Banks, which has been announced as Official Bath Rugby Formal Wear Supplier for 2012/13 - an exciting coup for the centre, with Bath Rugby training ground nearby and many of its shoppers being team supporters. MCARTHURGLEN’S SWINDON DESIGNER OUTLET KEMBLE DRIVE, SWINDON, WILTS, SN2 (OFF J16 M4, J11A M5). FFI: WWW. SWINDONDESIGNEROUTLET.COM

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BEAUTY LIFESTYLE LEFT - ready to be transformed BELOW trimmed to perfection

“Bex reassured me her expertise would give me the manageable style I was looking for”

MORGANS

HAIR SALON This Bristol salon breathes new life into Rebecca Baddiley’s platinum blonde locks

I

n the centre of Bristol on High Street, just next to the entrance to St Nick’s Market, this new salon is a real gem. Just five months after opening, things are going really well for salon owner Simon Morgan, with plenty of repeat business from walk-ins. I walked into a really warm atmosphere, and Bex sat me in a comfortable chair to discuss the look we’d be going for. I’ve been trying to grow my hair for ages, but because of my addiction to platinum blonde, hair condition is definitely not my strong point. As any of you who use bleach on your hair will know, we generally suffer with limp and lifeless hair that’s almost impossible to volumise and style creatively. Bex was really helpful and totally knew where I was coming from, even though she’s a brunette, and reassured me that her expertise would give me the manageable style I was looking for. We decided on taking about an inch off the length, to make sure we got a really healthy look to the ends, and a parting that came almost from my crown to sweep across my face, with layers in the top section to get the lift that I long for. Moving through to the back of the salon to have my hair washed, I saw that Morgans have cleverly invested in massaging chairs, with a remote control that you can manage yourself, to ensure that you feel properly relaxed.

The products that Morgans use are a personal favourite of mine - Paul Mitchell. They always give the desired effect and smell so invigorating and fresh. Bex started by using Paul Mitchell Violet Shampoo, to remove any brassy colours. Next, she applied Super Strong Treatment, which has a wonderful peppermint aroma. An indulgent head massage followed which, coupled with the massage chair, really did the trick. Bex showed me to the heat lamp, which would activate the treatment she’d just applied. The science behind this is that the heat from the lamp opens up the pores in the hair, allowing the nutrients from the treatment to enter back in. After 10 minutes under the lamp, accompanied by a glass of fresh orange, a chocolate orange cream and a magazine, it was back to the massaging chair to have the treatment washed out and some lovely-smelling Paul Mitchell leave-in conditioner applied.

We ran through what I was looking for in the cut again, just to make sure that we were getting it spot on, and then it was time for the transformation. As promised, Bex left as much of my length as possible, while making sure that I was getting a really healthy cut. She added layers to the top section and trimmed my sweeping fringe to perfection. She gave me a spritz of Paul Mitchell Heat Protector, to prevent damage from the hairdryer, and a spray of Paul Mitchell Body Root Spray, to encourage lift to the root - again, both products smelled great. After blowdrying my style in, Bex gave a final cut into any sharp ends to give the smooth finish I was promised, then applied another spritz - Paul Mitchell Spray Wax, this time. These fabulous products feel weightless and virtually impossible to overload. I’ll definitely be visiting Morgans again. Bex made me feel totally at ease from the moment I arrived. The most important thing for me is that I have a style that I find manageable when I’m rushing out of the door in the morning and that’s exactly what I’ve got now.

CONTACT MORGANS HAIR SALON 41 HIGH ST, BRISTOL. FFI: 0117 930 0766, WWW.MORGANSHAIRSALON.COM

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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

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LIFESTYLE

HEALTH

SPOTLIGHT ON...

THE RELAXATION CENTRE ➻ Everyone can benefit from a bit of relaxation. By giving that special person in your life a Relaxation Centre gift voucher, you’re offering them the gift of time to slow down and unwind perfect for a frazzled friend, family member or hardworking colleague. The Relaxation Centre is much more than a health spa offering a wide range of holistic treatments - it’s one of Bristol’s best-kept sanctuary secrets: an oasis of me-time waiting for you to discover. Hidden within the walls of a beautiful Victorian house are an indoor and outdoor spa, saunas, steam room, pools, relaxation lounge and stunning meditation garden. The heavenly treatment menu includes massage, reflexology, Indian head massage, shiatsu and so much more, all carried out by dedicated and highly skilled practitioners.

SPECIAL OFFER

➻ Relaxation Centre gift vouchers are available to suit all budgets, from spa sessions from £20 and treatments from £30 all the way up to the ultimate Star Day at £105. Monetaryvalue vouchers are also available from £5, allowing the recipient to put your generous donation towards a treatment of their choice. For Christmas 2012, such offers have an added bonus of temptation: spend £100 on Relaxation Centre gift vouchers in December, and you’ll get a free spa session to enjoy all to yourself, so you can get your Christmas shopping done in one go, and treat yourself at the same time - isn’t this the most relaxing Christmas shopping experience ever? We think so!

THE RELAXATION CENTRE ALL SAINTS RD, CLIFTON, BRISTOL. FFI: 0117 970 6616, WWW.RELAXATIONCENTRE. CO.UK FOR LAST-MINUTE OFFERS & NEWS, ‘LIKE’ THE RELAXATION CENTRE ON FACEBOOK - WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/ THERELAXATIONCENTRE - OR FOLLOW THEM ON TWITTER: @ RELAXCENTRE

CARERS

HEALTH & BEAUTY

TAKE A BREAK LOOKING ➻ Carers in Bath have been given the chance to take some time out and

treat themselves over the coming months. It’s all thanks to a new charity fund presented to the Bath and North East Somerset Carers’ Centre courtesy of valued trustee Bill Davies, who died last April. The Bill’s Breaks fund is designed to give carers the opportunity to do something they enjoy, such as a museum or theatre trip, a computer course, help finding employment, shopping days or even a 1940s-style tea party. The treats are free for carers and can include free transport and help to look after the cared-for person. “We want to encourage more carers to take a break with us, and we have a huge range of options for them to choose from,” says Sonia Hutchison, chief executive of Carers’ Centre. Thanks to the generosity of Mr Davies’ friends and family, his legacy lives on.

FFI: IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS A CARER WHO COULD BENEFIT FROM A BREAK, CALL SARAH DIXON AT THE CARERS’ CENTRE ON 0800 038 8885 (FREEPHONE) OR EMAIL SARAH.DIXON@BANESCARERSCENTRE.ORG.UK

Presenting the contribution to the Carers' Centre, left to right: Debbie Bland, Churchwarden at St Peter's Englishcombe, Sonia Hutchison from the Carers' Centre, the Rev Dr Catherine Sourbut and Brian Hugget, Chair of the Parish Council.

GOOD

➻ Party season is upon us, and looking good and feeling great are at the top of everybody’s wish-list. Treat yourself from the inside out when you’re shopping for that perfect party outfit at Harvey Nichols by paying a visit to the health and beauty counters, currently brimming with all manner of beautifying quick-fixes guaranteed to make you the belle of the ball. Currently trending are Functionalab’s dynamic Trimming and Toning, Pure Complexion and Anti-ageing range of supplements (from £26), Glamtox and Tummy Tuck Sticks from Rodial (from £48), and the exclusive Beauty Scoop canister (£118): a powerful peptide and lipid anti-ageing infusion that’s clinically proven to enhance beauty naturally from within. The Beauty Scoop formula promises to deliver youthful skin, healthy hair and longer, stronger nails in just 21 days - wow, won’t you look gorgeous on Christmas day? HARVEY NICHOLS 27 PHILADELPHIA ST, QUAKERS FRIARS, CABOT CIRCUS, BRISTOL. FFI: 0117 916 8888, WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS. COM/BRISTOL

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Advanced Professional Aesthetics & Skin Clinic

Special offer

2 facials for the price of 1! ÂŁ45 only!

Plus 20% off an additional treatment of your choice (Treatment consists of two advanced professional facials, plus a natural peel and a full skin assessment)

Telephone 0117 973 5559 www.cliftonforeveryoung.com

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The 3 Series Touring: one of the quiet achievers in the BMW range

LIFESTYLE

MOTORING

GRAND

TOUR

How much luggage can Andy Enright cram into the new BMW 3 Series Touring?

C

onventional wisdom dictates that estate cars are designed for people who can’t fit all the paraphernalia of modern life inside a conventional saloon or hatchback model. You’d imagine that an estate would need to offer a lot more space than its saloon sibling to justify its existence but, particularly in the compact executive sector where BMW’s 3 Series Touring competes, it isn’t always that straightforward. Many compact executive estate cars are only fractionally roomier than their saloon equivalents; some even have less space out back. Buyers of the brand new 3 Series Touring following in the footsteps of the saloon, which arrived on our shores this summer - are also asked to pay around £1,300 more for the estate format. So how much extra space do you get? With the rear seats in place, just 15 litres over the saloon - around three per cent extra. So you don’t buy this car for its luggage-cramming talents. You buy it for the bigger range of things it’ll carry, thanks to its more accommodating opening - and because it’s a little more ‘lifestyle’, and a little less ‘sales vehicle’, than the standard 3 Series saloon. The well-versed themes of the 3 Series are present and correct in this latest generation Touring. It’s rear-wheel drive, with a meticulously balanced weight distribution, and BMW are keen

to position it as the best model to drive in its class. What’s changed in recent years is a clearer focus on efficiency, with some hugely impressive engines. All the volume four-cylinder diesel models share a 2.0-litre diesel in different states of tune, offering from 116bhp in the entry-level 316d to 184bhp in the 320d. Petrol people get a choice of two engines: the 1.6-litre TwinPower unit from the 1 Series offers 136bhp in the 316i or 170bhp in the 320i EfficientDynamics model; the impressive 2.0-litre petrol unit offers up 184bhp in a 320i variant that comes with either two- or four-wheel drive, or as much as 245bhp if you go for the 328i. From the front bumper to the B-pillar, the 3 Series Touring is identical to the saloon model. From the side, it’s defined by a sweeping

DETAILS PRICE £26,180-£37,700 CO2 125-159G/KM POWER 116-258BHP COMBINED MPG 41.5-61.4 LENGTH 4.624M WIDTH 1.811M HEIGHT 1.429M

silhouette, with a gently sloping roofline and glasshouse that extends to the rear. The latest car is some 10cm longer overall, and 5cm longer in the wheelbase, than before, giving it a planted, purposeful stance. And with the enlarged entrance aperture, transporting bulkier objects is much easier than before. Fold the rear seats down, and you’ve got up to 1,500 litres of space. Expect to pay just under £30,000 for a 320d Touring - yes, prices have crept up quite markedly, but the car is bigger and offers more equipment, so doesn’t represent worse value than before. And even the thirstiest model, the petrol-powered 328i, will return 41.5mpg and emits just 159g/km of carbon dioxide remarkable for a car this quick. The 320d will be the model most Touring customers plump for, with up to 61.4mpg attainable. All 3 Tourings come as standard with Auto Start-Stop function, Brake Energy Regeneration and the ECO PRO function to aid with economical driving. This has long been one of the quiet achievers in the BMW range. Look behind the low-key styling and you find a car that does so much so well. Estate car buyers usually have a sense of the pragmatic and will appreciate the great strides BMW have made in terms of efficiency. It used to be that nothing got close to a 3 Series in this regard, and while the gap has narrowed, this 3 Series Touring still astonishes in offering sportscar speed with supermini fuel and tax bills.

CONTACT

FFI WWW.BMW.CO.UK BMW DICK LOVETT BRISTOL LAUREL COURT, CRIBBS CAUSEWAY. FFI: 0117 905 0000, WWW. DICKLOVETTBRISTOLBMW.CO.UK BMW WELLSWAY LOWER BRISTOL RD, BATH. FFI: 0843 022 0966, WWW.WELLSWAYBMW.CO.UK

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.CO.UK

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LIFESTYLE

EDUCATION

SPOTLIGHT ON…

ST BERNADETTE ➻

Growing and learning in faith… That’s the motto at St Bernadette Catholic Secondary School in Whitchurch. This vibrant learning community values each and every one of its 750 pupils, all of whom make a positive contribution to this caring, friendly school. Life at St Bernadette is underpinned by positive relationships. ‘Students are proud of their school,’ said Ofsted in 2011. ‘They are polite and friendly, and behave well.’ The school is determined that every child achieves their potential, and has high expectations of pupils in all areas of school life - they’re expected to aim high and be successful in their learning. Pupils of all abilities do well, and this year St Bernadette celebrated the best results in the school’s history. The engaging curriculum, modern buildings and extra-curricular activities offer a whole host of opportunities to pupils. St Bernadette welcome applications from all those seeking a quality education within a caring, supportive environment - contact the school if you’d like more information or to arrange a visit. ST BERNADETTE CATHOLIC SECONDARY SCHOOL FOSSEDALE AVE, WHITCHURCH, BRISTOL, BS14. FFI: 0117 377 2050, WWW.STBERNS.BRISTOL.SCH.UK

St Bernadette: "Students are proud of their school"

PERFOMANCE

THRILLED! ➻ Eight excited pupils from

INTERNATIONAL LINKS

CROSSING CONTINENTS ➻ Just over a year ago, in collaboration with the British Council and nine other Somerset schools, Sexey’s School in Bruton embarked on developing an international link with a school in Hunan Province in mainland China. Sexey’s partner school is No.2 Middle School in the city of Yueyang - the partnership is proving to be hugely successful and Sexey’s are now benefiting from the secondment of teacher Miss Qingqing Zhang as a Chinese language assistant. Last summer, students and staff from Yueyang No.2 Middle School visited Sexey’s on the first leg of a student exchange, and took part in the school’s Enrichment Week and alternative Olympic Games. Sexey’s were also joined by their other exchange partners from France, and, at the closing ceremony, students visiting from the Falkland Islands. In October, headteachers from all the Chinese partner schools visited, with

Sexey’s hosting a ‘typically British’ dinner party for some of them. However, it’s the work of Miss Zhang that’s proving to be most inspirational with students and staff - including Sexey’s head Raymond McGovern, who’s being given the opportunity to learn Mandarin. Miss Zhang also offers the opportunity to study Chinese culture and society, and will remain at the school for the remainder of the academic year. Next year, Sexey’s hope that they will be able to offer a place to another teacher from China and that a Sexey’s teacher will work in China for a year, teaching English. There are also plans for Sexey’s students to visit China in October 2013. SEXEY’S SCHOOL COLE RD, BRUTON, SOMERSET, BA10. FFI: 01749 813393, WWW.SEXEYS.SOMERSET.SCH. UK

Stagecoach have landed parts in the UK National Tour of Oliver!. Stagecoach, now in its 25th year, teaches children and teenagers how to sing, dance and act - not only to perform on stage, but, more importantly, to perform better in life. “Although I’m thrilled that we have members in the Oliver! cast,” says principal Heidi Hollis, “our even bigger success is that all the children who auditioned had a positive experience. They held their own - they knew how to handle the nerves and they came prepared to enjoy the experience.” Building that kind of confident, flexible attitude takes time and training, and an understanding of what it takes to be part of a team. The difference it makes to a child will affect them for the rest of their life.

STAGECOACH FOR MORE INFO ABOUT YOUR LOCAL STAGECOACH SCHOOL, CALL HEIDI ON 0117 953 2500 OR VISIT WWW.STAGECOACH.CO.UK

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www.foliomagazine.co.uk

To reach 72,000 families in your area... advertise in the next issue of Primary Times Contact Caroline tel 0117 934 3737 email c.stretton@bepp.co.uk 80 FOLIO/DECEMBER 2012

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SKILLS LIFESTYLE

LIFESTYLE

SKILLS

NICE

MOVES

Anna Britten invites you onto the dancefloor to strut your stuff

D

emand for dance classes has rocketed in the UK in recent years. Pick your favourite explanation: the gloomy economic times, Strictly Come Dancing, YouTube? Organised hoofing has even become second in popularity only to football in Britain’s schools. You want in? Course you do. Here’s your guide to popping, pirouetting and prancing around these parts.

BALLROOM

Above: Ballroom and Latin Dance classes at the Guildhall Bath with James and Joanne of www. vivaladance. co.uk

Role models: Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. What is it? Waltz, tango, foxtrot, Viennese, quickstep, cha-cha-cha, rhumba, paso doble, jive and all that. TV shows such as Strictly Come Dancing have demolished its reactionary image and raised its profile as high as Cabot Tower. Music: Not as conservative as you’d think. Anything will do, from modern hits to old chestnuts, on condition it has the right rhythm. For salsa, there’s plenty of mileage in Barry Manilow’s

Copacabana, while Lou Reed’s Perfect Day makes for a fine waltz. Dress code: For competitions, think Dallas cocktail party, but for lessons in a studio with no dress code, anything goes. You’ll find it easier in proper dance shoes, though. Social usefulness factor: 6/10. Good skill for upper-crust weddings, holidays in Blackpool and those days when you just need a little more lovely in your life. Where do I sign up? BRITANNIA DANCE, BRISTOL (07766 101790, WWW.DANCEBRISTOL. CO.UK), JAMES & JOANNA, BATH 01225 339342, WWW.VIVALADANCE.CO.UK

SALSA

Role model: Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing. What is it? Latin partner dance involving lots of filthy hip wiggling. It originated in Cuba and Puerto Rico, but distils many Latin-American and Afro-Caribbean influences. Music: Uptempo, and tends to originate from Cuba. Classic tracks come from Afro-Cuban All Stars, Tito Puente, Charlie Palmieri and Louie Colon. Nowadays you might also hear African artists such as Salif Keita. ➻

SING FOR

SUE

➻Love to belt out a good carol or

two? Add your voice to those of five choirs at St Mary Redcliffe church on Sat 1 Dec and you can raise money for charity in the process. Sue Ryder fundraising event Bristol Sings for Sue sees the Bristol Male Voice Choir, Ponita, Gasworks Singers, the Red Maids’ School and Hillcrest Primary School perform ahead of an audience Christmas carol singalong. The concert will begin at 7pm (doors open 6.30pm), but come early for a mince pie and mulled wine. Profits will help Sue Ryder to provide support to people with incurable illnesses.

FFI TICKETS (£10) FROM SOUTHWEST@ SUERYDER.ORG OR 0117 929 3618

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SKILLS LIFESTYLE

CRAFTY

CHRISTMAS

dance moves) will guarantee you legendary status from Southville to Ston Easton. Where do I sign up? HOPPIN’ MAD, BATH/ BRISTOL 01225 332942, WWW.HOPPINMAD.CO. UK, SWING DANCE BRISTOL WWW. SWINGDANCEBRISTOL.COM

STREET DANCE

Gloria Estefan ➻ is the biggest crossover name. Dress code: Anything. But not trainers, as they’ll prevent you from spinning. Ladies, wear leggings under short skirts to avoid booty exposure. Social usefulness factor: 7/10. Or 8/10 if you’re at one of our cities’ many outdoor festivals and a samba band starts up. Where do I sign up? SALSA SABROSA, BRISTOL 07946 577141, WWW.BRISTOLSALSA. CO.UK, SALSA SOULS, BRISTOL 07982 241923, WWW.SALSASOULS.CO.UK

SWING

Top left: Street Dance with Funk It Up; inset, left: ballet - takes years to get any good; top right: get crafty at the Cordial & Grace

Role models: Jon Favreau and Heather Graham at the end of Swingers. What is it? Jazz-era partner dance originating in Harlem and incorporating the lindy hop and (ahem) shag, among other variations - forged as escapism from the Depression, it was killed by the arrival of rock’n’roll. But having once lurked in an obscure corner of the dance world, it’s undergone a bit of a boom in recent times - possibly because we all fancy that escapism thing again. It’s the dance where the woman gets thrown between the man’s legs or over his head. Music: Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller. Anything with the words ‘big’ and ‘band’ in the name. Dress: Polka-dot dresses and plimsolls for the women. Two-tone shoes and waistcoats for the lads. Social usefulness factor: 9/10. Or 4/10 if you’re a curmudgeon. Storming the dancefloor at the next wedding you’re invited to with a mix of princess dips, pretzels and Texas Tommys (all legit swing

Role models: Lady Gaga, Usher. What is it? An umbrella term for a variety of social, improvisational dance styles created outside of a formal setting, from the 1970s onwards. Incorporates popping, locking, breakdancing, krumping and anything that might justly be described as ‘like what they do in pop videos’. Music: Hip-hop, R&B, pop, dance and all their hybrids. Dress: Lycra - the tighter and more fleshrevealing, the better. Off-the-shoulder sweat tops from Sweaty Betty and Pineapple. Social usefulness factor: 10/10. You’ll totally stomp the yard come the next St Pauls Carnival. Where do I sign up? FUNK IT UP, BRISTOL 07507 766927, WWW.FUNKITUPDANCE.COM, K4KIMDANCE, BATH 07779 590416, WWW. K4KIMDANCE.CO.UK

BALLET

Role models: Darcy Bussell, Rudolf Nureyev. What is it? Highly technical individual and partner dance originating in 16th and 17th century France. Done in a tutu or man-tights, to classical music. Takes years of bleeding toes and borderline anorexia to get any good. Music: Classical. Dress: As street dance, but more conservative. Social usefulness factor: 1/10 - let’s be honest. The rewards will be immense, but your main audience will be your fulllength mirror. Where do I sign up? TOBACCO FACTORY, BRISTOL 07727 240048, WWW. TOBACCOFACTORYTHEATRE.COM/CLASSES, BRISTOL RUSSIAN BALLET SCHOOL, BRISTOL 07887 943577, WWW. BRISTOLRUSSIANBALLETSCHOOL.COM

BRISTOL ZOO GARDENS On Sat 1 Dec at Clifton’s zoo you can make Fabulous Felt Fairies & Festive Brooches with Jackie Roby (10am-3.30pm, £25 inc materials). On Sat 15, be inspired to Create Christmas Garlands in a practical workshop with Sue Amesbury - craft your very own 2m garland using locally sourced materials. Afterwards, enjoy a short walk on the Downs to discover the folklore of trees and shrubs used to make seasonal decorations (10am-3.30pm, £40 inc materials).

FFI 0117 903 0609, EMAIL: MLEIVERS@ BRISTOLZOO.ORG.UK

TYNTESFIELD Try a morning, afternoon or evening Christmas Wreath Making Workshop on Tue 4-Wed 5 Dec, using fabulous foliage gathered from the Tyntesfield estate in Wraxall (and other local properties), with the help of expert florist Sarah Pepper. In Feel Good Friday: It’s a Wrap! on the morning of Fri 7, they’ll teach you how to wrap beautifully with Amanda from Gift Frippery. The workshop will include demos (which will cover wrapping awkward shapes such as bottles) and the chance for you to wrap your own gift, plus making decorations for your parcels using natural materials from Tyntesfield. Just take your own scissors.

FFI WWW.NATIONALTRUST.ORG.UK/TYNTESFIELD

CORDIAL & GRACE This Bristol tearooms and sewing cafe in Clifton have designs on your relatives’ Christmas stocking, with afternoon workshops in how to make Fabric Toys & Decorations on Sun 2 Dec and also Ribbon Tie PJs on Sun 16. Date of the latter no good? Get a group of four to six friends together, book the same workshop for a date and time to suit you, and they’ll throw in a free glass of prosecco each.

FFI WWW.CORDIAL-AND-GRACE.CO.UK

THE MAKERY Gorgeous fabric Christmas Hearts (Sun 2 & Thur 13 Dec) are on the agenda at Bath’s Makery - use linen, gingham, velvet, mother of pearl and wooden buttons, etc, to create a handful of hearts to string onto bunting or hang as single decorations. On Sun 9 and Wed 19, make Christmas Stockings using your own choice of fabric. Both workshops are suitable for complete beginners.

FFI WWW.THEMAKERYONLINE.CO.UK

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KITCHENS BATHROOMS HOME IMPROVEMENTS SHOPPING GARDENING PROPERTY

➻ HOME FRONT

FABULOUS FABRICS, CHIC CUSHIONS, CORKING KITCHENS, MORE... INTERIORS

HEADS WILL TURN ➻ Pour yourself a glass of what you fancy, settle back into a comfy chair and picture this… Swarovski wallpapers featuring sparkling crystals against exquisite backgrounds of velvet flock. Cushions to die for from the likes of iconic French designer Sonia Rykiel and haute couture fashion maestro Jean Paul Gaultier. Yes, your winter interiors just got a whole lot more exciting, thanks to the latest arrivals at style gurus Bracey Interiors in Clifton Village. Not only do Bracey Interiors bring you what they’re proud to call “probably the largest selection of wallpapers and fabrics in Bristol”, they can also, in their showroom, mix paints by the elegant likes of Little Greene and Paint & Paper Library. They’re stockists for what reads like a roll-call of homefront chic Sanderson, Designers Guild, Zoffany paints - so there’s no excuse for not finding that perfect wall colour that’s been eluding you till now. With a trading history of more than 25 years, Bracey Interiors have earned themselves a fabulous reputation for interior design that pushes out the boat in terms of both creativity and innovation, with options to suit all tastes and budgets. And for the all-important finishing touches, those gorgeous Rykiel and Gaultier cushions snuggle up luxuriously alongside a whole range of headturning furniture and accessories, from lamps and throws to decorative items. With sewing workshops on the premises, the team at Bracey Interiors can conjure up the kind of high-quality furnishings that many of us have been dreaming of, under the ultra-watchful eyes of their experienced staff. Says Alison Bracey: “We want to help you create interiors that will be loved and admired and which will last for years to come.” BRACEY INTERIORS 14-15 WATERLOO ST, CLIFTON VILLAGE, BRISTOL. FFI: 0117 973 4664

BESPOKE FURNITURE

WHAT'S IN A NAME? ➻ We know them and love them for

designing and making finely crafted, bespoke fitted furniture, but the Bristol Kitchen Company are more than just kitchen makers. Along with their usual traditional and contemporary kitchen work, they’ve recently made and fitted three wine stores, a private bar, a media centre with pop-up TV, wardrobes in a London townhouse and a Buckinghamshire rectory, and a bathroom vanity unit. “We’ve grown our range of services and skills to meet customers’ demands,” says designer and project manager Howard Purse, who established the company with Jonty Cutting, with whom he’d been friends for years, “and we’re constantly looking forward to new demands. In the world of

kitchen design, the trend for classic painted kitchens continues, with the introduction of timber elements. And the new must-have appliance is the boiling-water tap - every client for whom we’ve fitted one has said they would never look back! “Our belief in people and our care for the environment and sustainability inform the way we operate and the furniture we make. We offer bespoke kitchens and furniture at a competitive price, but we never cut corners. We hope our work will be appreciated both now and by future generations.” THE BRISTOL KITCHEN COMPANY FFI: 0117 914 0340/07981 486316, WWW. THEBRISTOLKITCHENCOMPANY.CO.UK

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HOMEFRONT

BATHROOMS

MAKE A SPLASH ➻ Tucked away in the historic Clifton Arcade

in Clifton Village, you’ll find Yellow Duck Interiors, a design studio set up by awardwinning bathroom designer Tim Baber. From innovative ideas for confined spaces through to timeless design in period properties, Tim’s work has been recognised year on year at the Bathroom Industry Awards. And after winning Kitchens, Bedrooms & Bathrooms magazine’s Bathroom Designer of the Year 2011, Tim has now been awarded the Designer magazine’s Bathroom Designer of the Year 2012. Yellow Duck Interiors specialise in bespoke, truly individual bathrooms. They design, supply and fully install the room, with a knowledge and expertise that set them apart from their competitors and see their returning client base continually added to by personal

LOCAL DESIGNERS

APRES SKI recommendations. “This business is about surprising my clients,” says Tim, “by giving them exactly what they thought was impossible with the budget they wanted to spend - nothing is more important. “It’s not just about designing an interesting space; it’s about a carefully considered choice of product. Spending money where it counts really, really matters. Equally, pulling back the reins, without jeopardising the quality of the product, is paramount. We’re so proud that we can continue to bring dreams to life, and show that what’s usually the smallest room in the house can become a very beautiful place to be.” YELLOW DUCK INTERIORS 10 CLIFTON ARCADE, BOYCES AVE, CLIFTON VILLAGE, BRISTOL. FFI: 0117 971 5680/07837 333718, WWW.YELLOWDUCKINTERIORS.COM

➻ Lure some Alpine ski resort chic into your home this winter with the fun, fresh-coloured Cable Cars design from Ben the Illustrator. Taking you onwards and upwards with its head-in-the-clouds illustration, it makes the perfect place to lay your head and dream away. Created by Frome-based Ben and Fiona O’Brien, using “unlimited volumes of colour and love”, the Ben the Illustrator range of fabrics, cushions, lampshades and papergoods are shot through with fresh air and exhilaration and will add an exclamation mark to any home lucky enough to have them. BEN THE ILLUSTRATOR FFI: WWW. BENTHEILLUSTRATORCOLLECTION.COM

WORKSHOPS

MAKE IT!

➻ Save your pennies this winter - and insulate your home at the same time courtesy of some added flair from The Makery, Bath’s emporium of making, mending, creating, reusing and reclaiming. If you have basic sewing skills, try Roman Blind Making (31 Jan, £40, 3.5hrs), or Curtain Making (17 Jan, 20 Feb, £40, 3.5hrs): you’ll leave with one finished curtain and detailed instructions to follow when you’re going solo at home. For those with no prior sewing experience, Learn to Sew: Cushion Cover (24 Jan, £40, 3hrs) will send you away able to sew any simple item, and you’ll make a lovely envelope cushion cover to show off your newfound skills. Or have a go at Lamp Shade Making (10 Jan, 10 Feb, 21 Feb, £45, 3hrs). Browse the website or give the Makery a call for full details of workshops and times.

THE MAKERY WORKSHOP 146 WALCOT ST (01225 421175) & THE MAKERY EMPORIUM 16 NORTHUMBERLAND PLACE, BATH (01225 487708). FFI: WWW.THEMAKERYONLINE.CO.UK

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Visit Bracey Interiors for all your Christmas gifts.

15 Waterloo Street, Clifton Bristol TEL: 01179 734664 or email: mail@braceyinteriors.co.uk

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INTERIORS HOMEFRONT

QUICK

FIXES Interior designer Lesley Taylor gets ready for Christmas with a weekend makeover

Why not change your accessories in accordance with the seasons? (Designers Guild: www.designersguild.com)

Create an intimate seating area in the centre of a room for the festive season. (Zoffany’s Akita collection: www.zoffany.com)

W

ith the festive season upon us, we all want our homes to look their best before guests arrive, so let’s implement a few quick-fixes now to avoid a lastminute rush. Why not dedicate a weekend to revamping either a certain room or the entire house, depending on how much work you’re willing to take on? This isn’t about making dramatic changes; it’s about making small adjustments that will make a big difference. The power of paint is often underestimated. It’s an affordable option, and almost anyone with a few hours spare and a decent paintbrush and roller can tackle a worn-out set of walls. Applying a lick of paint to a room may take up a good part of the day, but the effects will be long-lasting. A fresh coat will instantly transform a tiredlooking space into a fresh, inviting environment. The fun part is choosing a colour that will bring your chosen space to life. Brown shades from the warm side of the colour wheel, in lighter tones such as mocha, latte and cappuccino, are very popular at the moment and will help to give the room warmth and a classic appeal. Neutral shades of cream and white are great for accessorising; with a neutral palette as a base, you can implement the season’s latest en-vogue items to create a look and feel that’s ➻

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the

wooden blindcompany

bespoke shutters & blinds

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

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aylor 20 to d690]

INTERIORS HOMEFRONT

caps] w with wers] r can mura com)

or those in a bold, block colour to add life to a plain decor. For the more vintage or country style of home, combining a variety of different patterns, textures and materials will create an eclectic scheme. Why not replace existing furniture handles with sparkly new ones or remove the tiebacks from your traditional-looking curtains to reveal a revitalised contemporary finish? Changing the layout of a room can also make a difference. A few changes to the position of furniture or a television can bring life to the room, emphasise the space available and add an element of excitement. Maybe let that inconspicuous chair that’s been hiding in the corner take centrestage in the middle of the room, just for a change. It really is the simple things that will have the most impact, and you’ll be amazed by what you can achieve in a short space of time.

e sofa s and wers] epth, www. com)

Above: A new set of curtains in a bold pattern will create a feature piece (Romo’s Manderley fabric: www.romo.com) Right: A feature wall using striking wallpaper can completely transform a room (Romo’s Kimura collection: www. romo.com) Below: A scatter of cushions adds comfort, depth, texture and colour (Designers Guild: www. designersguild. com)

fresh and current, without the need for a total revamp. Feature walls are great for grabbing attention, giving a room character and ensuring an element of individuality. And because you’re only dealing with a small area, it can be really quick and easy way to get great results. Depending on the style you want to achieve, there are a number of options available. A striking shade of paint (maybe anthracite grey?), textured stone tiles or even a roll of patterned wallpaper could be all that’s needed to give your living room, bedroom or bathroom a sense of identity. With the latest trend for all things kitsch, pastel shades have also made a welcome return, so if you fancy injecting a sense of colour, this is the perfect way to add fun and personality. It’s surprising how much difference a good clear-out and an afternoon of reorganisation can make. Get rid of any unnecessary clutter, cleanse any messy surfaces and bin that pile of

magazines that’s been sitting around for the past two years. This is one of the easiest, cheapest and quickest ways to enhance your home - and investing in some new storage solutions will help you to keep your home feeling ordered. Changing your lighting can have a lasting positive effect. If you have very basic lighting that incorporates one pendant with a simple on/off switch, add a simple, inexpensive dimmer switch, which you can get from any local DIY store. This will allow you to adjust the ambience of room, and can completely transform both its look and feel. Learn to have fun with accessories. Start with a basic colour scheme and invest in the latest trend pieces to transform your room without overspending - a few cushions, throws and mirrors will work wonders. If you’re working with a contemporary interior, you could opt for cushions and throws in neutral, organic shades,

CONTACTS ETON DESIGN 108 WALCOT ST, BATH. FFI: 01225 639002, WWW.ETON-DESIGN.COM EXCLUSIVE TILE STUDIO UNIT 04, PARKWAY TRADING ESTATE, ST WERBURGHS, BRISTOL. FFI: 0117 955 8552, WWW.EXCLUSIVE-TILE-STUDIO.CO.UK FABRIC MILLS LONDON RD, BATH. FFI: 01225 471167, WWW.FABRICMILLS.CO.UK HOMESENSE IMPERIAL PARK, WILLS WAY, BRISTOL, BS13. FFI: 0117 964 0234, WWW.HOMESENSE.COM SOFA LIBRARY 56-60 WHITELADIES RD, CLIFTON, BRISTOL. FFI: 0117 329 2746, WWW.THESOFALIBRARY.CO.UK WOODHOUSE & LAW FFI: 01225 892054, WWW.WOODHOUSEANDLAW. CO.UK

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MYGRANDDESIGN

GLASS

ACT

THE PROJECT BEFORE

The brief

The solution

When Mr and Mrs Love first contacted Crystal Clear in 2010, they were considering fitting new doors between their sitting room and conservatory, and were planning on replacing their rear bedroom windows with new windows that were a standard design in PVCu. Following the fitting of bi-fold doors and rear windows, in 2011 the couple asked Crystal Clear to replace the rest of the windows in the house. Earlier this year, they asked the team to replace the timber front door and look at updating the conservatory.

Crystal Clear first met Mr and Mrs Love at their home in 2010, when they recommended aluminium bi-fold doors and casement windows in PVCu to complement the style of the house. In 2011, they recommended replacing the rest of the windows in the couple’s modern home with matching A-rated, energy-efficient, easy-tomaintain PVCu casement windows. Earlier this year, they suggested the client change their front door for a low-maintenance composite door and replace the roof on their ageing conservatory.

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MYGRANDDESIGN

1

BI-FOLD DOORS

High-quality bi-fold doors between living room and conservatory create an open-plan feel, allow more light in and give views of the garden. Integral blinds offer further protection from heat and sun glare without the dusting and obstruction associated with external blinds.

2

PVCu WINDOWS

Crystal Clear replaced the existing, standard-fit PVCu windows, including the front bay window, with the latest energy-efficient A-rated, lowmaintenance PVCu, Georgian-style, tiltand-turn casement windows. They reduce the energy needed to heat/cool a home by up to 20%, and the tilt-and-turn mechanism makes cleaning much easier.

3

FRONT DOOR

4

GLASS ROOF

The existing tired timber front door was replaced with one of the latest high-security composite front doors in a traditional timber look in blue. Very secure and low maintenance, composite doors don’t rot, warp or require painting, and are easy to keep clean.

The team supplied a new solar-control, selfcleaning glass roof (cleaned by every rain shower) to replace the ageing polycarbonate conservatory roof (pictured). The solarcontrol glass helps to keep the room warm in winter and cool in summer, thus reducing heating costs, and filters light to reduce glare.

➻TESTIMONIAL “We love all the windows and doors that Crystal Clear have fitted over the past three years. They really suit the style of our house, look as good as the day they were installed, and are easy to maintain and keep clean. The house felt much warmer when the new windows were fitted, and the bi-fold doors make the living room feel much lighter. With the new roof, we can enjoy the conservatory a lot more, in summer and winter - and the self-cleaning glass is great! The Crystal Clear team are very helpful and experienced, the customer service is always exceptional, and we trust them to recommend the best products for our needs.” Mr & Mrs Love, Bradley Stoke, Bristol

CRYSTAL CLEAR ➻

Crystal Clear specialise in a bespoke supply and fit service for windows, doors, conservatories and orangeries, from a single window to a complete conservatory build. Fensa-registered, they’re also a founding member of the UK’s Double Glazing and Conservatory Ombudsman Scheme (DGCOS). The products they supply and install are industry-leading, built to the most exacting British and European standards to ensure quality, integrity, longevity and security. Their wide range of designer doors and windows includes the latest contemporary composite doors. The team of highly qualified project managers, builders, fitters and technicians ensure that their projects meet the brief, on time and on budget. CRYSTAL CLEAR HEAD OFFICE & SHOWROOM: 22A EMERY RD, BRISLINGTON, BRISTOL (0117 971 7880). CLEVEDON: 01275 759922. THORNBURY: 01454 891100. WESTON-SUPER-MARE: 01934 886611. FFI: WWW.CRYSTALCLEARBRISTOL.CO.UK

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PROPERTY HOMEFRONT

WATER'S

EDGE Josie Drummond looks at a five-bed family home with stunning Chew Valley Lake views

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HOMEFRONT

PROPERTY

A

fabulous setting close to the shoreline on the southern banks of Chew Valley Lake makes the five-bed detached Herriotts Bridge Cottage a very hot property indeed. This West Harptree family home, refurbished by the vendors to a very high standard, comes with gorgeous views from all its rooms over the gardens, surrounding countryside and the lake itself. Hidden behind an electric gated entrance and set in well-laid gardens, the property comprises a large entrance porch, leading into a spacious reception hall with a limestone floor and green oak-framed staircase, with an attached cloakroom. The comfortable sitting room has a log-burning stove, and the large lounge/dining/family room is a magnificent space, with overall measurements of about 30 feet and views from the bay windows towards the lake. A fully fitted kitchen, finished in cherrywood timber, leads off to a useful utility room. Upstairs, the five bedrooms include a master bedroom with ensuite bath/shower room, and there’s a separate family bathroom. Outside, you’ll find a big garage, recently installed aluminium greenhouse and extensive gardens: large lawns with mature trees, deep, heavy borders stocked with shrubs and flowers, and thick hedgerows. There’s substantial parking to the front of the house. Despite its privileged setting in a designated conservation area, just a few 100 yards from Chew Valley Lake, with its nearest neighbour a few 100 yards away, Herriotts Bridge Cottage is just a couple of miles from the villages of Bishop Sutton and West Harptree. The local farm shop is about a quarter of a mile away, and Chew Valley Secondary School (between Chew Magna and Chew Stoke) is served by a school bus that passes the property. Chew Valley itself comprises some 35,000 acres of unspoilt and protected countryside, occupying the middle ground of the Bath-Bristol-Wells triangle. It’s just seven miles to Bristol, and less than half an hour’s drive to Bath.

HERRIOTTS BRIDGE COTTAGE £695,000 BATH RD, WEST HARPTREE, BRISTOL, BS40. FFI SETTER & LEE ESTATE AGENTS, SOUTH PARADE, HIGH ST, CHEW MAGNA, BRISTOL, BS40. TEL: 01275 333888, WEB: WWW.SETTER-LEE.COM

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PROPERTY HOMEFRONT

INTO THE

WOODS

I

dyllic doesn’t even begin to describe it. Make your way to the village of Great Elm near Frome. Find a long tree-lined private drive that takes you down to a spacious parking area and former garage (currently used as a home office), then down some steps onto a plateau overlooking the valley, and you’ll find Mells Valley House, amid garden terraces and woodland, leading down to the river Mells at the valley bottom. A dreamy combination of Edwardian gabled elevations, large family living spaces and a guest suite, this stunning six-bed detached home is covered with wisteria twice a year. Inside the house itself, a superb family room combines a designer kitchen/breakfast room and large dining room, and uses natural light from the large window and French doors to the full. The kitchen comes with a four-door Aga, limestone floor, utility room and walk-in larder. French doors from the kitchen give way to magnificent views of the valley, and there’s a pretty courtyard to the rear. The reception/playroom has oak flooring, under-floor heating and French doors to a covered veranda, while the drawing room (again, with French doors to the veranda) and large dining room overlook the gardens and those views. There’s also a good-sized study with beautiful oak shelves, as well as a reception hall and cloakroom. Up on the first floor, you’ll find a master bedroom with freestanding bath, four further bedrooms, a bathroom and a shower room with under-floor heating. The large bed/sitting room and bathroom on the second floor would make a perfect guest suite or au pair’s floor. Outside, the established wooded gardens are arranged as lawned terraces leading down to the river, where the property enjoys fishing rights. The house is bordered by a level lawn and has a large flagged courtyard off the kitchen/breakfast room. Wander amid the mature trees, flowers and shrubs (including a rose archway), and children’s adventure play area with treehouse and zipwire. Through a gate is a further lawned area alongside the river and the many walks beyond.

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HOMEFRONT

PROPERTY

MELLS VALLEY HOUSE GUIDE PRICE £1,300,000, GREAT ELM, FROME, SOMERSET. FFI KILLENS, 5 SOUTH PARADE, CHEW MAGNA, BRISTOL, BS40, TEL: 01275 333993, WEB: WWW.KILLENS.ORG.UK

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PHOTO: SARAH VIVIENNE

BATH LIVING

PIECES OF ME

CLAIRE RENDALL Bath-based interior designer

WORDS: SUZANNE SAVILL

C Claire loves the Roman Baths and Coffee at Camden's cupcakes

laire Rendall has run her international furniture and interior design business from Bath for more than 20 years, specialising in high-end bespoke furniture and interiors. She’s also designed for and appeared on BBC1’s DIY SOS with Nick Knowles. Her projects have included the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and a private apartment and banqueting suite for Lord Bath at Longleat House. She recently completely refurbished a house overlooking Sydney Harbour, for which every piece of furniture was shipped out from the West Country after being designed and produced here. Claire is currently working on country houses and properties in London, while also developing yacht designs.

My favourite aspect of my work… is seeing my drawings come to life. I love the whole process, from talking to clients about what excites them, to sitting down at my drawing board, to enthusing my cabinetmakers to create something special. My perfect cafe in Bath… is Coffee at Camden. Ra, the owner, is fabulous - full of energy and really welcoming. The coffee is divine and I recommend the bacon ciabatta with sweet chilli jam and rocket. Just try resisting one of their sensational cupcakes… There’s a stunning terrace at the back, too. My ideal venue for lunch or dinner… is the White Hart in Widcombe. Like many other Bath residents, I’m tired of national chains dishing out the same mediocrity as they do elsewhere. The White Hart always has a great menu, I love the courtyard garden in the summer, and their pesto is phenomenal.

My dream shop in Bath… is Kiss the Frog Again - fabulous for really creative pieces. I love their upcycled goods, and they mix in really eclectic My favourite part of the morning… is original pieces too. I bought some stylish original when I open the bedroom shutters. We 1950s Club chairs, which are now in Sydney, and I live on the Bath Skyline, and the view love their glassware and jewellery. If galleries can over the city is stunning. I love the count as shop - and I think they should - Bo Lee is changing seasons. Sometimes there’s a top of my list. I love Jemma’s artists - there’s mist below us and all we can see is something slightly edgy about them. Beckford’s Tower. My most memorable place in Bath… is the Roman pavement at the Roman Baths. I once went to a function and snuck down to the basement and sat by myself on the steps. The atmosphere was incredible. I just sat and imagined Roman Bath going about its business. My best tip for Christmas decorating… is to keep the colour palette simple for greatest effect. All white is stunning; just red and green is traditional and looks great in a Georgian building. I love using holly and ivy and foliage from the garden for a Yuletide feel. But Christmas is the time of bling, too. It’s about letting go and having some fun. Claire's recent refurbishment of a house in Sydney

FFI WWW.CLAIRERENDALL.COM

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