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ISSUE 174 | MARCH 2017 £3.95 where sold









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SHAK E R&M A Y BESPOKE HANDMADE KITCHENS 01373 764345 L11 Commerce Park Frome BA11 2FB

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Contents March 2017 5 THINGS



Your essential events in Bath this month








Author Colette Dartford on her favourite places

Fun things to do with the children

GUEST COLUMN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16


Architect Rob Delius calls for more fountains in Aquae Sulis

Julia Harrison on making faces for Spring / Summer 2017




Alex Clark, literary artistic director at The Bath Festival



Neill Menneer’s professional portrait of the month







Exploring the architectural glory of Salisbury



Amanda Abbington talks about feminism and Mike Leigh’s play




Tranquil bedrooms, stylish splashbacks and Paris design show

A HISTORY OF LACE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Is this a dress worn by a queen?

GARDENING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86 Jane Moore’s DIY solution to the Spanish salad crisis




Theatre, comedy, music, talks and exhibitions





An overview of the city’s new housing projects



Flemish artists weave their magic at the Holburne




Duncan Nash, managing director of Nash & Co

UNDERCOVER STORY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 A look back at Bath’s Bayer corset making factory

MARY BERRY SAYS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Five minutes with the doyenne of British baking





Not so strait-laced. Our tribute to Bath’s rich textile history Credit: Ayman Alakhras at

On Nibbles cheese, Peking and Absurd Bird restaurants

Even more great content online:

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EDITOR’S PICKS GREEN WITH ENVY:  ‘show us something gorgeous from the spring collections from Paris’ they said. So how about this lovely flamingo chair by Osborne and Little, as previewed by Bath interiors gurus Woodhouse and Law on their recce to international design show Maison et Object? I also like the idea of being able to create a mini Kew Gardens at home with potted palms – what a lovely spot to curl up with a book. May I heartily recommend Sebastian Barry’s Days Without End? The Irish writer won the Costa prize for this novel, which tells of the travails of two young men caught up in the American Civil War. His tautly written prose brings landscape, human emotion and a page-turner of a plot together in one volume. Barry’s coming to Bath in May for The Bath Festival, get tickets if you can.

from the


STYLISH FUNDRAISING: Bath designer Carole Waller is showing her beautiful, unique range – pictured – at a charity fashion show, Catwalk for Cambodia, on Tuesday 28 March, 7pm, which will be modelled by girls from the Royal High School. The show is at Anthropologie, whose clothes will also be on show. Tickets are £12, to include a glass of fizz, from OneTwoFive gallery or Anthropologie. The school is raising money to build a school in Cambodia.


omeone asked me recently what we found to fill The Bath Magazine each month. Did we review plays and films, she asked? I replied that there’s little point in reviewing events that have already left town by the time you read them and that we best serve our reader by telling her what she’s got to look forward to, so she can attend in person and judge for herself. And so it is that the March issue bursts through your door and, with breathless excitement, reels off loads of things you might wish to see and do this month. You may wish to book tickets for May’s Bath Festival literary and music events and I have already heard from people who have been excitedly doing that. Or you may want to visit one of two exhibitions in the city, both of national and international significance. Lace at the Fashion Museum (see page 24) and the Brueghels at the Holburne (page 38) both are as good as anything you’ll find in London’s galleries. Our What’s On pages (from page 28) are positively rammed with happenings that’ll have you reaching for your diary and you might need to get in quickly to book a trip to Iford Arts this summer to witness some sublime music in some of the most beautiful gardens in England, nay in the world (page 26 for a preview of the 2017 season). We have a dash or two of celebrity. Jessica Hope talks about feminism and the 70s with Amanda Abbington as she prepares to star in Abigail’s Party at the Theatre Royal Bath (page 22) and Mary Berry gives us an exclusive lowdown on where her husband stands in the kitchen . . . (see page 50). Some of you may have friends or family who used to work at the red brick Charles Bayer corset factory in Lower Bristol Road. Eirlys Penn uncovers the fascinating story of the business, from a time when a woman wouldn’t be seen in public without a firm set of undergarments (page 46). With spring in the air we’ve focussed on homes and interiors. Clair Strong talks about how to create a peaceful bedroom (page 76), Naomi Price looks at bespoke glass splashbacks (page 78) and there’s a four page overview of Bath’s new developments, large and small (page 98). There are a few tasty treats too. I defy you not to read Melissa Blease’s profile of the Peking restaurant (a firm Bath favourite) and not find your mouth watering (page 56). There’s just enough space to wish all Vitality Bath Half marathon runners happy running on Sunday 12 March – may the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be always at your back.

Georgette McCready Editor All paper used to make this magazine is taken from good sustainable sources and we encourage our suppliers to join an accredited green scheme. Magazines are now fully recyclable. By recycling magazines, you can help to reduce waste and contribute to the six million tonnes of paper already recycled by the UK paper industry each year. Please recycle this magazine, but if you are not able to participate in a recycling scheme, then why not pass your magazine on to a friend or colleague.

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FUN AND GAMES: award-winning children’s shop, Spotty Herberts in Queen Street, Bath has its new spring collection of clothes for 0 to ten-year-olds alongside toys at pocket money prices.

Wiggly vest, £18 at Spotty Herberts

we race isn’t so much to beat each ❝ The reason other but to be with each other ❞ CHRISTOPHER MCDOUGALL

American writer and speaker, Are we born to run? TED talk – visit:

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things to do in


It’s time to pick up a programme for Bath Comedy Festival, which runs from Saturday 1 to Monday 17 April. The festival of mirth and merriment kicks off with Paul Merton’s Impro Chums show at the Forum and continues with dozens of events, including the annual Wine Trail (which sells out quickly). Acts on the bill include Jon Otway, Barry Cryer, Arthur Smith, Simon Evans and the Faulty (sic) Towers’ Dining Experience. For the full line-up visit:

Material girls – and boys – will be excited to hear that cult textile magazine Selvedge is holding one of its fairs in Bath this month. Some of the country’s best merchants and makers will have stalls in the tea room at The Assembly Rooms, from 11am until 5pm on Saturday 25 March. Admission is £5. This is the fifth time Selvedge has staged a textile fair in Bath and the event will be supported with other textile inspired events, including workshops to make fabric flowers.


Make a date

Bath thriller writer Sarah Hilary, past winner of the Theakston Crime Novel of the Year, has just brought out Quieter Than Killing, her fourth book featuring DI Marnie Rome. Those of us lucky enough to read early copies feel this is a thriller writer going from strength to strength, with a fast-paced, taut plot, rounded characters and a style of prose that brings scenes vividly to life. Sarah will be at Topping & Co bookshop on Thursday 23 March, 8pm.

If you’re lucky enough to have a mum, or stepmother, you’ll want to make a note that Sunday 26 March is Mother’s Day. It’s also the day the clocks go forward an hour, so don’t disturb her too early with that breakfast in bed. Also in March is International Women’s Day, on Wednesday 8 March, with the theme #BeBoldforChange. Look out for – or create your own – events across the UK and globally. There’s still time too to get involved in fundraising for Comic Relief. Red Nose Day is Friday 24 March and previous recipients of grants include Bath & North East Somerset Carers Centre.

Support Sunday 12 March will see more than 12,000 people pulling on their running shoes to take part in the Vitality Bath Half Marathon – and what a spectacle that provides as the city centre streets are filled with athletes of all ages, cheered on by their supporters. The race – which raises more than £2m annually for national and local charities – begins at 11am from Great Pulteney Street. Drivers and Bath residents may want to make note that there will be inevitable hold-ups and diversions from as early as 6am that day as roads are closed to make way for the runners. If you live along the route do go out and show your support. No matter how fast or slow, every one of these runners has trained for their big day. Give them a cheer!

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Readers of The Bath Magazine are being offered the chance to buy two tickets for the price of one to the Selvedge Spring Fair. Visit: and use the code SVF17.

SAY IT WITH FLOWERS: Anemones in a Vase by Bath artist Mike Service, on show at David Simon Contemporary gallery in Bartlett Street

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The Old Filling Station 400 Ham Green, Holt BA14 6PX

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Opening Hours: Mon – Fri 9am – 5.30pm Sat 9am – 5pm

Fulham Showroom 196 – 198 Wandsworth Bridge Rd, London SW6 2UE

Tel 0207 610 6111

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My BATH We ask Bath author Colette Dartford, what she’s doing this month


Bath Carnival has successfully launched a new sponsorship campaign, called 100-4-100, inviting small local businesses and individuals to support the 2017 carnival with a £100 donation. The carnival, which is a nonprofit organisation, aims to raise £10,000 to fund carnival arts workshops for schools and community groups, as well as making the final event an even bigger spectacle. Each contribution will be announced online through Bath Carnival’s Twitter and Facebook and the business’s logo or name/photo of the supporter will be added to one of the 100 squares on the carnival website. Leading up to the final event all sponsors will be invited to a one off meet-andgreet event, hosted by the Bath Carnival team. On Bath Carnival day, Saturday 15 July, the name of each sponsor will be displayed on the 100-4-100 Supporters Board in an outdoor space in the centre of Bath. Businesses or individuals who would like to support this community venture can visit: and click on Become a Sponsor.

Share The Friends of the Museum of Bath at Work are setting up a permanent secondhand book stall at the Julian Road museum and needs books to help raise funds. They would like good quality books – ideally with some connection with the museum. So anything on history, the locality, transport, industry, topography or geography is more than welcome. They don’t need cookery or gardening books but good quality fiction is welcome. If you are able to help the museum tel: 01225 318348. The friends can arrange for books to be collected, or to arrange to drop them off at the museum.

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What brought you to Bath? Originally university, but later it seemed a wonderful place to raise a family. My husband Trevor and I grew up in London but wanted a smaller, safer city for our three children (now all grown up), so we moved here, and that was more than 20 years ago. Bath has excellent schools, great eateries, a vibrant cultural scene, stunning architecture and is surrounded by beautiful countryside. We are lucky enough to live in the Royal Crescent, with its views over the trees of Royal Victoria Park. What more can you ask for? What are you reading? My ‘To Be Read’ pile is huge. As an author I get sent novels to review, and I’m a prolific book-buyer as well. I balance my love of fiction with a good dose of non-fiction and am currently reading Hot Milk by Deborah Levy and When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. What music are you listening to? I listen to whatever will inspire my writing. My first novel was set in California so my playlist consisted of The Beach Boys, Mamas and Papas, Joni Mitchell and The Eagles. My work-in-progress is set in the Languedoc region of France, so French café music, Carla Bruni and Zaz get me in the mood to write. But for an instant burst of joy, Pharrell Williams’ Happy always does the trick. Which café or restaurant takes your fancy? Most mornings I can be found drinking tea and chatting with friends at the St James’s Café Deli in St James’s Square. The owners, Alex and Kim, are friendly and welcoming and their homemade food is healthy and delicious. My favourite place for dinner is Clayton’s Kitchen at the Porter, and I’ve never been disappointed by the food or service at Côte Brasserie. Which museum or gallery will you be visiting? I used to volunteer at the Holburne Museum and am still a contemporary member, so visit often. In addition to its outstanding permanent collection, it runs an eclectic range of activities, exhibitions and events. The café is pretty good too – especially the carrot cake.

Your passions? What hobbies or interests will you be pursuing? Although I came to it late, writing is my passion. I have had two novels published in two years (Learning To Speak American and now An Unsuitable Marriage) and am working on my third. A less sedentary passion is walking and I manage a brisk, hilly powerwalk each morning with a friend. What local outdoor activity or event will you be doing or visiting? I’m going to get back into cycling this spring. My friend and I cycled from Bath to London a few years ago and I’d love to be that fit again! Between towpaths, cycle lanes and the Two Tunnels, there are plenty of picturesque routes to explore both in and around the city. Film or play? What will you be going to see this month? Trevor and I are members of The Little Theatre and are Sunday evening regulars. We prefer art house movies to blockbusters and March has some great titles: Certain Women with Michelle Williams, Trespass Against Us with Michael Fassbender, Elle with Isabelle Huppert and a live screening of my favourite opera, Madame Butterfly. What’s your latest project? An Unsuitable Marriage is published on 9 March and my publicist has arranged radio interviews, articles and personal appearances to promote it. I’m doing a Q&A at Waterstones on Tuesday 21 March and have been invited to speak at local book groups, which I love to do. People ask the most interesting questions, not just about my books, but about the writing process and what inspires me. So while social media is a hugely important marketing tool, I find personal interaction with readers is particularly gratifying and spurs me on to the next project, and the one after that . . . Visit:, Twitter: @ColetteDartford. n

We’re following @FeelGoodBath, a source for sharing ideas and events surrounding health, fitness and wellbeing in the Bath area. A good place to find new classes, meet like-minded people and celebrate the healthy side of life.

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2 Princes Buildings, George Street, Bath BA1 2ED Telephone: 01225 424499. Fax: 01225 426677 Š MC Publishing Ltd 2017 Disclaimer: Whilst every reasonable care is taken with all material submitted to The Bath Magazine, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage to such material. Opinions expressed in articles are strictly those of the authors. This publication is copyright and may not be reproduced in any form either in part or whole without written permission from the publishers.

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WINNING: Rob Delius’s vision for Waters of Bath, to bring more water features to the city, won the Imagine Bath competition This is why I entered the city-wide Imagine Bath competition held in 2015 with an idea called Waters of Bath, which proposed a network of water features around the city. To my surprise it was selected as the winner and made me think . . . perhaps others felt the same way? Shortly afterwards I was contacted by journalist Richard Wyatt, who runs who brought my attention to an article in which I discovered that the idea was far from unique.

Walk round the streets and you’ll see virtually no water at all . . . compare this with Rome which has more than 2,000 fountains

’m glad I don’t live in Bath – what with all the tourists . . .’ This is usually the putdown I hear from non-residents (more often than not from Bristol). But for me I feel extremely fortunate, and proud, to live in a place that so many people from all around the world want to visit. Yes, it can get quite busy at peak holiday times or during the Christmas Market but tourism is the reason the city enjoys so many independent shops, restaurants and bars and an arts scene that is infinitely bigger than cities of an equivalent size. It’s not hard to understand why the city is so visited, with its stunning architecture, beautiful setting and thriving cultural life. But it’s more than this. There’s something at Bath’s core, at the very foundation of the city that makes it special. It’s water. Water is the reason the city is here at all. It’s what gave it its name (from the old English bæð, meaning ‘immersion in water’). And of course before becoming Bath it was known as Aquae Sulis, or Waters of Sulis. There can’t be too many cities that can lay claim to being founded by a Celtic prince. But from the legend of Prince Bladud discovering the natural hot springs, Bath has been a place of water pilgrimage that continues to this day with its bath-robed spagoers. But it has not always been the case. After the Romans left, their elaborate spa complex gradually fell into ruin and the city into decline. In medieval times visitors slowly started returning to immerse themselves in the city’s mysterious waters and by the Georgian period the appeal of Bath’s spas resulted in a boom in fortune whose architectural legacy we enjoy today. It wasn’t until relatively recently and the opening of Thermae Spa in 2006 that the city once again reconnected with its watery roots (and perhaps got its mojo back?). But visitors coming to Bath today might be surprised to find little celebration of the stuff that has given the city its famous name and is interwoven with its history and fortunes. Walk around the streets and you’ll see virtually no water at all – probably just Laura fountain on Great Pulteney Street. Compare this with Rome, which has more than 2,000 fountains. Or other spa towns of Europe where you’ll also find numerous water features.

In the mid 19th century there was a 60 member General Committee for Promoting the Erection of Public Fountains in the City, such was the enthusiasm for celebrating the city’s famous water at the time. However although many were proposed, few projects were realised (possibly something to do with it being a 60-strong committee!). Further research revealed that in medieval times there were many fountains dotted across the city. These slowly disappeared as domestic water connections were introduced. So what if we looked at introducing fountains again? It seems like the timing could be right. Not least because new and exciting

water features have been popping up in London and other UK cities recently (but not in Bath, despite its rightful claim to be the original city of water). But since Thermae’s opening there seems to have been a renewed interest in the city’s water. There is now a Masterplan to revitalize the river and canal corridor; plans for the reopening of Cleveland Pools; a new natural spa at the Gainsborough hotel; and even B&NES’s own policies acknowledged the absence of water in the city’s public realm and the benefits its reintroduction could bring. So what are the benefits? Well apart from making the city come alive with the sight and sound of water (think quiet babbling fountains in small squares to gushing spouts in larger spaces), a network of fountains across the city would be good for business. They would reinforce ‘brand Bath’ and make the experience for visitors that much more memorable and pleasurable. Urban water features have also been proven to have many health benefits – from reducing stress to increasing wellbeing. I realise we live in frugal times but a small bit of additional investment in the city’s public realm would have a huge impact. A few fountains could be introduced each year, keeping costs down and making the idea stronger with each new ones added. So let’s think big, as the Romans and the Georgians once did and celebrate what the city is famous for. Let’s truly immerse visitors in Bath. Visit: for more information. n On Twitter: @RobDelius and @StrideTreglown.

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LET’S TALK BREXIT, CAKE AND DOGS Georgette McCready meets Alex Clark, artistic director at The Bath Festival, to hear her ideas behind this year’s literary line-up and to talk about her personal reading list


og lover Alex Clark would like everyone coming to The Bath Festival talk by India Knight to be able to bring their pet along to the event. “Then I thought, we could all take the dogs for a walk afterwards and take the discussion on from there,” enthuses the new artistic director of the literary strand of the 2017 festival. But, lovely as that idea was, Alex was persuaded that 300 dogs within the confines of Komedia might just drown out the sound of India Knight talking about her book The Goodness of Dogs. But Alex, a literary judge and national journalist who has taken the helm for the first time for this year’s festival, has plenty of other ideas for giving us the space and time to discuss topics close to our hearts. Alex’s literary line-up has been drawn up with collaboration from Bath Festivals’ literary programmer Judith Robinson and takes in subjects as diverse as mental health (with Telegraph columnist Bryony Gordon), living with cancer (with Sophie Sabbage, author of The Cancer Whisperer) and whether Brexit is a good thing or not. Alex has been coming to The Bath Festival annually for several years, where she’s been an interviewer for writers’ events and chaired debates. “When Viv Groskop, the outgoing director, said she was moving on I let it be known that I’d be interested.” She already knew that Bath audiences enjoy the chance to debate controversial issues and wants to continue this tradition in the festival. “Last year there was a Brexit debate and I can remember standing in the Guildhall foyer. The event wasn’t just sold out but people were queuing for returns. So there is a hunger and enthusiasm for debate in Bath. We’ll be having another Brexit debate this festival.” There will also be a discussion about President Trump’s first 100 days in power, in which feelings are also bound to run high. One of the things that Alex feels will be different about this festival is that it’s being held in May – the old literary festival was traditionally held in February. “I’d love there to be spontaneous debates and parties spilling out after events. I know it’s trivial, but as it’s May it will be a bit 18 TheBATHMagazine


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warmer and lighter – there might be some Pimms action in the evenings.” There will be a tented green room for the writers and musicians, based outside the Assembly Rooms. Alex says, from her long experience of festivals, that the artists enjoy being able to mingle and chat. Alex writes for The Guardian, the Observer and The Times Literary Supplement. She was the first female editor of Granta, a former Booker and Granta awards judge and is currently chair of the Encore awards for second novels. She lives in central London with partner Danny Kelly, fellow writer and former editor of the NME and Q. She says she would love to own a dog of her own, but that dream is so far unrealised. If the obsessions of childhood form the adult it’s no surprise that Alex has a career in literature. An only child of peripatetic parents, she lived variously in Devon, Essex, Surrey and Kingston on Thames. As a schoolgirl she read voraciously, raiding her local library on an almost daily basis: “Libraries were my gateway to knowledge. I just didn’t know who some of the writers were, I just launched myself at them. I’d pluck things at random and often challenge myself to work through someone’s entire collection.”

At the age of 11 Alex produced The Surrey Bugle, a lovingly hand-crafted magazine (cover price 5p) with bright felt pen illustrations and a circulation of two – Alex’s mother and father. Not surprising either is that she was her school’s librarian. Her passion is still reading and writing about books. She enjoys being in conversation with a writer on stage and hearing about their thoughts and ideas, in company with an interested audience. She’s also a woman fired up by ideas, her latest being to set up a forum for refugees to tell their stories at an event in London. At the time of writing Alex has yet to confirm a venue for this project. She is excited about this year’s Bath Festival. “This is an amazing time to be alive if you’re interested in language. There’s so much noise, on Twitter, with post truth and fake news. I hope that this means that

INK IN HER BLOOD: main picture, Alex Clark, artistic director at The Bath Festival Opposite page, authors Sebastian Barry and Sir Salman Rushdie, who are both coming to Bath as part of this year’s festival

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the most extraordinary book, as are all his books. It’s slightly dreamlike and slightly dissociated from reality. There’s a sort of chase near the end, which leads to the most breaktaking 40 or 50 last pages.

festivals where people talk are really important. We have moved on from ‘them and us’ – from a political class that’s totally different from us, who were for so many years, the gatekeepers of culture. “When you have unstable times where there’s so much noise, it’s good to have somewhere people can come together as a community. We do need (sorry to use a cliché) ‘safe places’ where people can talk about ideas. And we at The Bath Festival will come togther to hear India Knight talking about dogs and Mary Berry talking about cake . . . And we’ve got writer and philosopher Roman Krznaric coming to talk about his book Carpe Diem Regained, that’s what we should do and, as the festival slogan says – jump in!” We asked Alex to pick her favourite books from different stages of her life.

ALEX’S TOP TEN BOOKS Busy, Busy World – Richard Scarry I remember poring over this book as a child. I still have my childhood books, I have kept the ones that were particularly precious. This is one I look at frequently. It’s about lots of tiny animals and a bus which went round the world. The characters included a German detective who was a sausage dog and a Belgian dog who was a policeman. I just loved it. The Family at One End Street – written and illustrated by Eve Garnett This is another childhood favourite, which was first published in 1937. The Ruggles family who lived at One End Street were this fabulous working class family who had adventures. And because I told

myself I couldn’t just have animal books on my list. 99 Novels – Anthony Burgess This relates to my love of libraries and of me getting obsessed by books. It came out in the 80s. I was a teenager and I am fairly certain I bought it. It was 99 post war novels that Burgess commended, they are quite extraordinary wide ranging in genre. It was like a challenge to myself – I can’t think I read all of them but I got as many as I could out of the library. I got introduced to people like Muriel Spark, Olivia Manning, Iris Murdoch, who have remained favourite writers of mine. I know, this is really cheating, referencing 99 books under one choice. Love in a Cold Climate – Nancy Mitford I read Nancy Mitford in my teenage years. I had The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate in an omnibus. I was completely obsessed with the aristocrats, their love affairs, the hunting, the Hons in the airing cupboard – just all these extraordinary people. Look at Me – Anita Brookner I read Hotel du Lac when Anita Brookner won the Booker. I was librarian at my school library and it must have been 1984 we had a display of the Booker shortlist, which was an amazing shortlist – JG Ballard’s Empire of the Sun, Julian Barnes’ Flaubert’s Parrot. My favourite of Anita Brookner’s books is Look at Me, which I re-read recently. It’s deliciously painful. The central character is picked up by a terribly glam couple as a plaything and then just dropped. It’s incredibly savage. When We Were Orphans – Kazuo Ishiguro This has a Bath link as I interviewed Kazuo Ishiguro for the Bath Literature Festival for Never Let Me Go and then ten years later when he returned to talk about The Buried Giant which was the year before last. This is

Still Life – AS Byatt This is from the Frederica quartet, from one of my favourite writers. If I had to pick just one from the four it would be Still Life. I think it spoke to me because it’s about a young woman who was bookish and wanted to get out into the world. I love this writer’s scholarliness, her intense seriousness, and there is so much feeling and tension in her work. The Satanic Verses – Salman Rushdie To mark the 70th birthday of Salman Rushdie, this will be more retrospective event, which I have seen go down well with audiences, so rather than simply talk about a writer’s latest book we can have a wide ranging conversation about his writing career. The Satanic Verses came out as I was just emerging from university. It was the first time probably that I had a real sense of what a book could make happen in the world. Before then when I thought about banned books, they were generally being about smuttiness, but now we had the idea of a book having such a profound effect on society and groups of people. It highlighted the importance of protecting people’s rights to speak freely, I can’t wait to talk to him when he comes to Bath. I have interviewed him before and he’s very charming, but I shall be guided by him as to what he wants to talk about. I want us to celebrate his contribution to world literature. The Secret Scripture – Sebastian Barry I have long been a huge fan of Sebastian Barry. I was on the Booker judging panel when this was shortlisted and I made no secret of the fact that I wanted it to win. I have chosen this as it reaches a whole new level of brilliant writing. His latest book, the Costa winning Days Without End, was my book of the year last year and I am thrilled that he is coming to The Bath Festival. n The Bath Festival runs from Friday 19 May to Sunday 28 May. Pick up a programme, visit: To book tickets call the Bath Box Office, tel: 01225 463362.



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A bespoke series of concerts for The Bath Festival takes in music from Brahms to Broadway


unique programme of early evening one-hour concerts in intimate settings is one of the strands for this year’s Bath Festival. The BathSongs series is an eclectic mix of musical genres celebrating song and featuring international artists and home-grown talent. One of the intentions of the festival’s musical artistic directors David Jones and James Waters is to open up its programme to as wide an audience as possible. These six concerts cover a wide range of music from folk to classical to Broadway and will include the chance to learn more about the music from the performers. Parents and guardians will be able to bring young people under the age of 18 to any of the BathSongs events for just £1 a ticket. James Waters, director for the classical strand of the festival, said: “Many of us were introduced to classical music and jazz through our parents taking us to concerts at an early age. This is a nice way of giving a new generation an introduction to the power of live renditions of pieces such as Gershwin’s Summertime.” The Bath Festival brings to the city international names including Dame Anne Murray, acclaimed for her performances at all the world’s major opera houses from La Scala Milan to the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Graham Brynmor John, winner of the Kathleen Ferrier Award, appears having recently sung the lead baritone role in La Boheme with Welsh National Opera. Andrew Staples’ many roles at the Royal Opera House, include Tamino in Mozart’s Magic Flute. Hearing such talent in such intimate surroundings is a real treat.

THE BATHSONGS SCHEDULE A TOP 20 COLLECTION Saturday 20 May, 5.45pm n St Swithin’s Church, Walcot Tenor Joshua Ellicott is joined by emerging star Verity Wingate – who went to Wells Cathedral School before going on to the Royal Academy of Music – and pianist Alisdair Hogarth of The Prince Consort, for a top 20 of classical songs by Schubert, Rachmaninov, Gershwin, Schumann, Debussy and Wolf. EMOTIONS OF SPAIN Monday 22 May, 5.45pm n St Swithin’s Church, Walcot 20 TheBATHMagazine


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Chilean soprano Carolina Ullrich and Portuguese tenor Luis Gomes join world-leading accompanist Malcolm Martineau to explore Spanish song with work by Falla, Granados, Toldra and Espla – encapsulating love, jealousy, pride, joy and sadness. BRAHMS FROM FIRST TO LAST Tuesday 23 May, 5.45pm n St Swithin’s Church, Walcot The life of Brahms is traced through his songs from first to last. Malcolm Martineau is joined by one of the truly great singers of recent years, Ann Murray, and young German baritone Samuel Hasselhorn. TIMELESS STORIES THROUGH FOLKSONG Thursday 25 May, 5.45pm n St Swithin’s Church, Walcot Internationally-renowned soprano Claire Booth, accompanied by Christopher Glynn on piano, perform songs by Brahms, Grainger and Grieg – all composers whose work draws on aspects of traditional folksong.

AMERICAN SONGBOOKS Friday 26 May, 5.45pm n St Swithin’s Church, Walcot Rising stars baritone Gareth Brynmor John and soprano Rowan Pierce will delight and touch your heart with songs that range from spiritual to Broadway. Accompanied by Christopher Glynn. WHATEVER LOVE IS . . . Saturday 27 May, 5.45pm n St Swithin’s Church, Walcot Alisdair Hogarth and tenor Andrew Staples of The Prince Consort join forces with award-winning poet Laura Mucha to explore the subject of love, juxtaposing songs with poetry, philosophy and psychology. BathSongs series pass: buy a ticket to three concerts in the series and receive 50% off a fourth concert in the series. Under 18s £1 tickets for BathSongs series, limited tickets. To book: in person at Bath Box Office, or tel: 01225 463362, visit: n

INTERNATIONAL STARS: clockwise from top, Dame Ann Murray, Luis Gomes, Claire Booth and pianist Malcolm Martineau

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Jessica Hope speaks to Amanda Abbington ahead of her performance in Abigail’s Party, which comes to Theatre Royal Bath this month


t’s been 40 years since the worst drinks party imaginable premiered in Hampstead Theatre in London. In a quiet suburb of south east England, the drinks flowed far too easily, the cheese and pineapple on sticks were piled high, and Donna Summer played on the turntable. Mike Leigh’s highly acclaimed play Abigail’s Party, first starring Alison Steadman as the controlling Beverly, became an instant hit with theatre goers in 1977 and, shortly after, television viewers as it was transmitted to people’s homes across the country later that year. Now a new production is coming to Bath to mark the 40th anniversary of this famous play, this time starring Sherlock and Mr Selfridge actress Amanda Abbington as Beverly, and Call The Midwife’s Ben Caplan. Plus it is directed by Sarah Esdaile, who local audiences may remember from her direction of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads which made up part of the Theatre Royal’s Summer Season in 2015. In between a busy rehearsal schedule for what she calls a “big bruiser of a play” I spoke to Amanda about her involvement in Abigail’s Party. What made her want to be involved in this production? She says: “I am a massive Mike Leigh fan. He’s one of the reasons I wanted to become an actress. He is such a brilliant writer and creator of the kitchen sink drama. The play is dark and sinister, but also funny, so I jumped at the chance at being involved.” For those who are unfamiliar with the play, Abigail’s Party tells the tale of how a drinks party quickly descends into mayhem. Beverly and her husband Laurence host a party and decide to invite their new neighbours, Tony and Angela, and their friend Sue, who is nervous about her teenage daughter Abigail having a house party up the road. As Beverly and Laurence begin to sneer and fight with each other throughout the evening, the party spirit is lost and soon plunges into chaos. As Amanda openly admits, playing the character of Beverly isn’t a simple one. Beverley is “controlling, a perfectionist and needs order in the house. She’s determined to host the perfect party.” But, there’s also something about her character which has made its way into audiences’ hearts for the past four decades. “You can’t help but kind of like her, but you certainly wouldn’t want to go to one of her parties,” says Amanda. “She’s child-like, spoiled and has been 22 TheBATHMagazine


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Amanda Abbington plays Beverly in Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party cloistered by her husband Laurence, which reflects the 1970s ethos of women being kept by men.” Being a feminist herself and an advocate for equal rights, I ask Amanda if she finds this a difficult character to play, being one that holds completely different values to her own? “It is a challenge to play a woman like this at a time just before feminism really took off, but I’m embracing the challenge. The feminist in me really wants to change Beverly’s character and give her a chance, but we have to stay true to the play.” While many of us will find Beverly’s attitude towards her husband and her place as a woman within the home difficult to watch, we must keep in mind that this is now considered a historical play. Amanda says: “It’s a product of its time, so we shouldn’t be too cynical about it.” Abigail’s Party has stood the test of time, with audiences flocking to performances up and down the country. How has it continued to attract audiences over the years? Amanda says: “It’s down to Alison Steadman, who created this iconic character,

and to Mike Leigh. They created a play that makes you think and which is actually really dark under the layers of comedy.” So what can we expect from this production? “There’s an amazing cast who are all taking their characters and creating different versions of them, which is really interesting to witness. “Working with Sarah as director has been incredible. We spoke solely about the characters in the first two weeks of rehearsals, really developing our roles. I would work with her again in a heartbeat.” Despite the tight performance schedule, Amanda says that she can’t wait to return to Bath, having visited in the past when working on another play and, as locals may remember, during filming for the Sherlock Christmas special in 2015. “I love Bath, it’s a beautiful city and I can’t wait to make an itinerary to start exploring during my free time between performances.” Abigail’s Party is on at Theatre Royal Bath from Wednesday 1 – Saturday 11 March. Visit: or call: 01225 448844 to book tickets. n

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TIMELESS GRACE OF LACE Jessica Hope speaks to curator Elly Summers and discovers the extraordinary history of lace at the Fashion Museum’s new exhibition


rom being painstakingly crafted by hand to modern day laser printing, the use of lace in fashion has seen dramatic changes over the past 500 years. The new exhibition Lace In Fashion at the Fashion Museum in Bath showcases 50 beautifully made items that track the use of lace across the centuries, from the late 16th century to the present day, allowing visitors to explore how technological and social changes influenced the use of lace over time. This exhibition grew out of a project that began almost three years ago after the museum received a grant from Arts Council England to catalogue its lace collection. Lace has always played an important part in exhibitions that the museum has staged since it first opened in the 1960s, however this opportunity allowed exhibition curator Elly Summers to fully immerse herself in the history of lace and lace-making with the help of volunteers from The Lace Guild. Elly and her team searched and analysed the museum’s collection of lace and quickly realised that they had a basis for what could be an enlightening exhibition. As you enter the exhibition, you are 24 TheBATHMagazine


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presented with three dresses made by Bath Spa University graduate Grace Weller for her final year project and which went on to win gold at the Graduate Fashion Week awards in 2014. These dresses were made by deconstructing and then reconstructing pieces of lace using navy and red thread, and demonstrate the importance of the museum’s continuous partnership with Bath Spa and its students. In the first display cabinet, Elly says that this is where she really wanted to show the origins of where the popularity for lace really began. At the end of the 16th century it became incredibly fashionable to wear lace because of how intricate and expensive it was. One item in particular is a 16th century smock, decorated in small sections of lace and black embroidery. “This would have been a significant status symbol to have something covered in lace which would have been hidden under your clothing,” says Elly. At this time, Flanders was the centre for making bobbin lace, while Venice was the main supplier of needle lace, both of which only members of royalty and aristocracy across Europe could afford. Creating

lace in the 16th and 17th centuries would have been an incredibly difficult and skilled process, taking days and weeks to make a small motif all by hand which could have been added to a piece of clothing. In many cases it wasn’t the clothes themselves that cost a great deal, but the additions of lace that made the item so expensive. And it wasn’t just women who decorated their dresses in lace – men too covered the cuffs of their jackets and the necks of their shirts in lace, all to make a statement about their wealth. In many cases, people would reuse lace dating from decades, or even centuries past, to adorn their new clothes as a symbol of prestige and status. This way they could reuse the lace from items that had been passed down in their family without having to fork out large sums of money for it, while being able to show off this beautiful piece of delicate material to onlookers. One aspect of the exhibition that Elly wanted to convey to visitors was how lace has developed from being such an expensive material to being much more accessible and affordable fashion trend for the majority of society by the late 19th and 20th

LACING UP: above, cream organdie full length evening dress, 1950s, lime green evening dress by Molyneux, 1930s, and cream Leavers machine-made lace evening dress over gold jersey by Balmain, 1953, and a selection of items from the Fashion Museum’s collection Opposite, clockwise from top left, a lace pillow and bobbins, the dress believed to have been worn by Queen Charlotte, and a pale pink silk evening coat, c1910 Credit: Fashion Museum Bath

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Elly tells me that the designer simply made this item by taking some Nottingham lace curtains, hand painting the lace and then made it into a dress – practical recycling you could say. Possibly the most remarkable item is a discovery that Elly made while researching the different lace items in the museum’s collection. After uncovering one dress dating from 1805, she could tell that there was something very special about this piece. “It was unusual to find a dress made entirely out of lace from this time. I could tell that it was of very good quality and because of the sheer quantity of the lace, I thought it must have been from a very wealthy patron,” she says. Determined to find out more, Elly discovered an old letter from the dress’s donor, stating that the dress had been passed down by the eldest daughter of Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III.

In many cases it wasn’t the clothes themselves that cost a great deal, but the additions of lace that made the item so expensive

centuries. This is presented as the visitor moves along the display cabinets where we can see how developments in technology allowed lace to reach a wider audience. After the 1840s, technology developed significantly, meaning that machine made lace could be produced. Lace could now be made on a far greater scale, making it much more affordable for those who could not purchase it before – it was no longer simply a statement for royalty. One item in particular that shows this change in manufacturing is a black Chantilly cape produced by Jolly’s in Bath dating from 1900. This item may have been made from delicate machine made lace, but to the naked eye you could not tell whether this was made by hand or not. And just to add a touch of expense, Jolly’s added a small amount of handmade lace around the neckline. Another way that this material became more accessible was the development of chemical lace, which we still use in high street fashion today. Chemical lace came about by taking silk cloth that was covered in machine embroidery and then adding it to a chemical bath so to dissolve away the background fabric, leaving a 3D lace-looking pattern, ready to be made into clothing. You can see a style of this dress dating from New York, c1900 in the exhibition. “People were always looking to create the effect of lace without the expense,” says Elly, and this dress is a perfect example of this. One item with an interesting story behind it in the collection is a 1970s dress by designer Catherine Buckley. At first glance it looks like a bright dress with plenty of flowing lace that you might expect from the ‘70s. But as you take a closer look, there are small eyelet holes doted across the material.

After further research, including finding out Charlotte’s height, the museum was able to announce that it is confident that this dress could have been owned and worn by the former queen. What makes this item even more remarkable is that no piece of clothing

belonging to Queen Charlotte is known to have survived the test of time. Elly reassures me that if the museum is able to acquire further funding, then there is definite scope for more research to confirm the provenance of this dress – so watch this space. Other items in the exhibition once worn by members of the royal family include a dress worn by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and another by Princess Margaret. Fast forward to this century and there are plenty of sumptuous couture dresses from fashion houses such as Burberry and Christopher Kane in the collection, plus dresses by Jacques Azagury worn on the red carpet by the likes of Dame Helen Mirren and singer Kimberley Walsh. Standing alongside some of the biggest names in designer couture, the final item in the collection is a dress by online fashion retailer Boohoo which the dress’s donor purchased for a mere £1. This skater dress uses laser printing to create the lace effect, demonstrating how far this trend has developed over the centuries. This versatile fabric has dominated fashion for 400 years and just looking at the clothes on the high street, it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. The Lace in Fashion exhibition is included in admission to the Fashion Museum and can be found downstairs in the exhibition room. This is the first in a new incentive by the museum to change the displays in the exhibition room every year, putting on show a new theme for visitors to explore, with both new and old pieces from the museum’s collection on show. Lace in Fashion is on display until 1 January 2018. Admission is £9 adults, £7 children, and free for Discovery Card holders. Visit: n



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The launch of the Iford Arts musical season for 2017 conjures up evenings spent in the idyllic gardens of Iford Manor near Bradford on Avon, enjoying some of the best and most intimate musical events


here are a handful of things that conjure up the spirit of summer in your mind: pick-your-own strawberries, English asparagus in season – music at Iford Manor. Picture a warm, light evening, picnics on the lawn, with the most sublime singing filling the air. Yes, a visit to Iford Manor’s summer of music season, definitely merits a place on anyone’s bucket list. The 2017 Iford Arts season has just been unveiled, with online tickets already being snapped up. Audience capacity in the atmospheric cloisters in the grounds of the Wiltshire manor house is limited to just 90 people, so it’s no wonder music lovers come from all over the world to enjoy a unique experience like nowhere else on earth. As always with the opera season there are three productions being staged between May and August. Each one is a unique site-specific show, with the staging, costumes and rehearsals all taking place in this rural corner of Wiltshire, where international singers and musicians settle like migrating birds for the duration of the season. The two best-known operas are La Bohème by Puccini and the Barber of Seville by Rossini, while the third is the less well-known Jephtha by Handel, based on an Old Testament story of a man who makes a deal with God – with tragic consequences. Iford’s development manager Eleanor Household explained why the Handel has particular resonance for local audiences. “George Handel came to Bath to take the waters as he was losing his sight and nearing the end of his life. He left the city afterwards, wrote Jephtha, which turned out to be his last piece, then died.” It also helps to explain why some of Handel’s arias in this, his swansong, are so emotionally charged. Iford Arts is never afraid to take risks, to offer its audiences a fresh way of looking at a piece. Two years ago Handel’s Agrippina, set by the composer in Imperial Rome, was transported to another era when greed and power were celebrated – the 1980s. Shoulder pads, cocaine and even a Jacuzzi brought a very different angle on the opera. An Iford production of Mozart’s Magic Flute saw the audience whisked away to a land of Aztecs, all ritual and bright colours. So, who knows what the creatives will dream up for this season, although we know that La Bohème will be set in the early 20th century of romantic Paris. But we know already that all the operas at Iford are sung in English. And because the audience is literally eye-ball to tonsil with the singers and elbow to elbow with the musicians inside the magical cloisters, it is such a visceral experience that you can’t help

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PREVIOUS PRODUCTIONS: main picture, a scene from The Fairy Queen and, inset, the Hot Potato Syncopators playing in the cloisters at Iford

but get caught up in the high emotion of it. It’s not surprising, that with directors and performers from the premier division of opera, producing these memorable pieces of theatre, that tickets don’t come cheap. If you can get a ticket, expect to pay upwards of £121. The good news for the more impecunious is that Iford Arts lays on other more accessible treats throughout the summer. It’s new Generation Artists’ Scheme, which promotes and supports gifted emerging performers and directors, saw an evening recently at the Wiltshire Music Centre. There will also be a New Generation in concert at Iford on Sunday 4 June. Enjoy a picnic and a stroll through the gloriously romantic Italianate gardens. Let’s face it, this is the nearest most of us will ever get to starring in a Merchant Ivory film. A concert an hour long, with a mixed programme performed by the young professionals and directed by Oliver Gooch, will be repeated twice so audiences can choose to picnic before or after their musical feast. On Sunday 11 June there is a concert which explores the notion of sleep and sleeplessness through music and words, with narration by actor Trevor Allan Davies. CHROMA musicians will play JS Bach’s Goldberg Variations, once again, giving audiences the chance to immerse themselves in the sounds, sights and emotions invoked by sense of place. Tickets for this concert are £25, with time and space allowed for the traditional pastime of picnicking. The party spirit will be well and truly evoked for the three annual Prom nights at

Iford and with tickets priced at £34, this is always a popular, sociable affair. Clare Teal, warm-hearted, adopted west country jazz star, will be topping the bill on Friday 7 July with her superb voice, while the Leeds City Stompers will be getting the crowd up and dancing. On Saturday 8 July captivating American jazz singer Hailey Tuck will bring her own brand of soulful glamour to the gardens (check her out on YouTube singing Dylan’s Don’t Think Twice), while some New Orleans style boogie and blues will be delivered by British band Tipitina. The final fling of summer at Iford, on Saturday 5 August, will see another west country adoptee Pee Wee Ellis, who will be shaking the Italian statues in the gardens at their very bases with his Funka Nova quartet – imagine that powerful sax rising to the Wiltshire skies. Also wooing the promenaders is the Bartoune trio, with members of the Zen Hussies, bringing some swing to ruffle up the picnic blankets. n Iford Arts Festival runs from 27 May to 5 August. To find out more visit: or pick up one of its pretty brochures.

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WHAT’S ON in March EVENTS ARE LISTED IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER STUART GOLDSMITH: COMPARED TO WHAT Thursday 2 March, 7.30pm n Widcombe Social Club, Widcombe Hill, Bath Fresh from appearances on Russell Howard’s Stand Up Central on Comedy Central, As Yet Untitled on Dave and a month of packed houses at the Edinburgh Fringe, Stuart Goldsmith presents a new hour of comedy, not entirely about becoming a parent. Tickets: £10 / £8 concessions, available from:

UPLIFTING: The Bollywood Brass Band will be at the Wiltshire Music Centre – there’s a Bollywood dance workshop before the concert too

Sarah Tullamore’s one woman show at The Mission Theatre

Leveret will be playing at the Wiltshire Music Centre

BATH GILBERT AND SULLIVAN SOCIETY: AN OLD TIME MUSIC HALL Thursday 2 – Saturday 4 March, 7.30pm (matinee Saturday, 2.30pm) n The Mission Theatre, Corn Street, Bath Bath Gilbert and Sullivan Society has been appreciating, performing and promoting the works of one of musical theatre’s most successful and enduring partnerships for more than 70 years. This combines their talents with the traditional pleasures of the old-time music hall. Tickets: £11 (£9 concs) G&S, tel: 01225 400295 or Bath Box Office, tel: 01225 463362. Visit: Also at The Mission this month FORGED LINE DANCE COMPANY: LINA Thursday 9 and Friday 10 March, 7.30pm A new dance work from Bath based Forged Line explores the lives of brother and sister William and Caroline Herschel, musicians and astronomers, who lived in 18th century Bath. Supported by the Bath Herschel Museum. Tickets £8 (£6 concs), tel: 01225 463362. LONDON-PARIS-ROAM! Thursday 30 and Friday 31 March, 7.30pm In this funny and moving account of her globetrotting life so far, Sarah Tullamore – who won rave reviews last year at the Edinburgh Fringe – is waking up to find she’s a woman of a certain age, she’s packing her bags, waving au revoir and singing new songs all about it. Tickets £15 (£12 concs) Estelle Productions Box Office, tel: 01737 353164, or email BATH DECORATIVE ANTIQUES FAIR Friday 3 – Sunday 5 March, 10am – 5pm n The Pavilion, North Parade Road, Bath The annual fair comes to Bath for its 28th year, with more than 45 dealers offering a range of unusual pieces, from furniture and decorative household objects to original art and ceramics. Apply for free tickets from:

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at Theatre Royal Bath

Youg musicians from King Edward’s School play side by side with Bath’s professional orchestra, the Bath Philharmonia

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ABIGAIL’S PARTY Wednesday 1 – Saturday 11 March, times vary n Theatre Royal, Saw Close, Bath Mike Leigh’s classic comedy of modern social manners turns 40 this year. Tickets, tel: 01225 448844 or online: Also at the Theatre Royal this month THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME Tuesday 14 – Saturday 25 March, times vary Winner of seven Olivier awards and five Tony awards, for its original and compelling story-telling and characters, this National Theatre production returns to Bath. Based on Mark Haddon’s novel about 15-year-old Christopher who finds dealing with people challenging. WHAT THE BUTLER SAW Monday 27 March – Saturday 1 April, times vary Joe Orton’s 1960s edgy comedy is brought to Bath ahead of a West End run, starring comedian/actor Rufus Hound and Dakota Blue Richards, who starred as Lyra in The Golden Compass. JOURNEY TO EASTER Wednesday 8 March to Sunday 16 April, when the abbey is open Bath Abbey

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A touring exhibition of Via Crucis, a series of 14 new images for the Stations of the Cross by Bath artist Caroline Waterlow. Follow the final events of Jesus’ life as he goes to the place of his crucifixion and death. There will be an opportunity to look at the Stations of the Cross in more detail, using scripture, poetry, song, prayer and meditation, on Wednesdays 8, 22, 29 March and 5 April, 7.30 – 9pm and as part of a three hour meditation on Good Friday 14 April, from noon. Visit:

Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution

THE 1960s When the cock crows . . . from Via Crucis in Bath Abbey

LEVERET Wednesday 8 March, 7.30pm n Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon Three stars of the English folk scene – Andy Cutting (melodeon), Sam Sweeney (fiddle) and Rob Hadron (concertina) – come together to share original settings of ancient tunes plus some new numbers. Tickets: £16 / £8 u18s. Tel: 01225 860200 or visit: Also at Wiltshire Music Centre this month ACADEMY OF ST MARTIN IN THE FIELDS Tuesday 14 March, 7.30pm The Academy returns to the Wiltshire Music Centre with a world premiere of The Haunted Ebb, a new work by Alasdair Nicolson, Scottish composer and former artistic director of The Bath International Music Festival. This piece for piano, strings and trumpet, will be on a programme that includes Copland’s Quiet City and Mozart’s Symphony No29 in A Major and his Piano Concerto No9. Tickets: £28 / £14 u18s. BOLLYWOOD BRASS BAND Tuesday 14 March, 7.30pm (dance workshop from 5pm) Enjoy the infectious joy of Bollywood music and magic as the band bring Indian grooves from composer AR Rahman, including Jai Ho from hit film Slumdog Millionaire. If you can, get to the dance class beforehand to learn some classic steps, led by choreographer Sita Thomas. Concert tickets: £16, workshop: £5. SCHUBERT ENSEMBLE Saturday 18 March, 7.30pm Yet another world premiere at the Wiltshire Music Centre, a venue which punches above its weight when it comes to securing international musicians. The respected Schubert Ensemble performs Schumann’s Piano Quartet in E Flat Major and Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet in G Minor. The new work, Zustände is by British composer Charlotte Bray and was inspired by the ice-fields of Greenland. Tickets: £22, free under 25s.

Forthcoming events: THE POETRY OF THE BRONTES


Wednesday 1st March


A series of lectures to explore the phenomenon of the 1960s

Monday 13th March

FRENCH 2017 ELECTIONS Tuesday 28th March

March to December 2017

DID THE 1960s CHANGE THE WORLD? Author, broadcaster and philospher

Professor John Gray

One of Britain’s leading thinkers will consider how ideas and attitudes changed in Britain in the 1960s. Wed 22nd March 2017, 7.30pm TICKETS: BATH BOX OFFICE 01225 463362 £6/£4 16 – 18 Queen Square, Bath, BA1 2HN 01225 312 084

PUBLIC LECTURE: THE HOLY GRAIL Wednesday 8 March, 5.15pm n Lecture theatre, Room 8W1.1, the University of Bath Professor Ronald Hutton of the University of Bristol will be speaking about The Holy Grail, the best known of all Christian iconic objects after the cross. Why has it not been recognised by any church; where did the story of it first originate; is or was any real object behind it and does a quest to find it have any remaining meaning? Admission is free as part of the Minerva series of open invitation lectures. FROM ROME THE ROYAL CRESCENT Until Sunday 4 June, open Tuesday – Sunday, 10.30am – 5.30pm, Monday, noon – 5.30pm n No1 Royal Crescent Museum, Bath As part of celebrations to mark the 250th anniversary of the building of the Royal Crescent an exhibition of intricate models of classical buildings by Bath model maker Timothy Richards which includes a replica of the Royal Crescent. Free with admission to the museum: £10, child £4. Visit:

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WHAT’S | ON JALLY KEBBA SUSSO Friday 10 March, 7.30pm n Chapel Arts Centre, Lower Borough Walls, Bath Jally Kebba Susso is a Gambian kora player who lives in the UK. He sings in Mandinka about songs calling for unity. Tickets: £10 (£12 on the door), visit:, or tel: 01225 461700. Also at Chapel Arts this month THE JAR FAMILY Thursday 23 March, 7.30pm The Jar Family mix up some steam punk, a whiff of Bob Dylan, some Pogues energy and Baz’s top hat for what promises to be a lively night and some good times. Tickets: £10 (£12 on the door). OYE SANTANA Saturday 25 March, 7.30pm A two-hour tribute show dedicated to the mighty sound of Carlos Santana. A veritable feast of musical talent. Tickets: £15 (£17 on the door). MADDY PRIOR Thursday 30 March, 7.30pm Maddy Prior is one of the most famous voices in British folk. Her career goes back to the 1960s and she’s won legions of fans both as frontwoman to Steeleye Span and as a solo artist. This is a treat for her many Bath admirers. Tickets: £16.50 (£18 on the door).

The Jar Family at Chapel Arts

EDITOR’S PICK Singer Maddy Prior at Chapel Arts

Rufus Hound at Theatre Royal Bath

Forged Line Dance Company at The Mission Theatre PHOTO: Emma Holbrook

ELBOW Thursday 15 June n Westonbirt Arboretum, near Tetbury, Gloucesterhire It’s looking like being a beautiful day in the forest when Elbow play there this summer, following the launch of new hit album Little Fictions and the success of single Magnificent (She Says). Front man Guy Garvey’s insightful lyrics have won them legions of fans and much critical acclaim. Save your pennies up and get yourself some tickets. Tickets £41.50 (plus £4.65 fee) from the Forestry Commission, tel: 03000 680400, or at:

THE RED COURT Friday 10 and Saturday 11 March, 8pm n The Rondo Theatre, St Saviour’s Road, Larkhall, Bath Bath-based Rapscallion Theatre Company is performing this contemporary take on Macbeth, set in modern China, writeen by Bath playwright Clare Reddaway. The Red Court is the winner of a national playwriting competition and will tour to China later this year. Tickets: £12, concs £10, visit: or tel: 0333 666 3366.

Comedian Richard Herring at Komedia

Comedian Rory Bremner at Komedia

RICHARD HERRING: THE BEST Friday 10 March, 8pm n Komedia, Westgate Street, Bath The comedian, who’s a regular sell-out at the Edinburgh Fringe and writes a column in Metro, picks some of his favourite routines for a sort of greatest hits evening.Tickets: from £15, visit: Also at Komedia this month RORY BREMNER: PARTY POLITICAL Thursday 16 March, 8pm For many years Bremner, Bird and Fortune was one of the best loved political satire on television. Fans of Rory Bremner will be delighted to see him back in action – but will he be able to make sense of Trump, Brexit and Boris? Tickets: £20. BANFF MOUNTAIN FILM FESTIVAL Wednesday 22 and Thursday 23 March, 7.30pm This is really something quite different in terms of cinema experiences. The annual Banff Mountain Film Festival shows jawdropping real-life adventures and action packed sport in a series of short films on the big screen. Inspiring and motivating us to do more than lie on a sun lounger this summer. Tickets: £14. Continued Page 32

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Beautiful scale models of classical buildings by Bath model maker Timothy Edwards at No1 Royal Crescent

BATHWICK PUBS: LOST AND FOUND Monday 13 March, 7.30pm n St Mary’s Church Hall, Bathwick Bath historian and author of many books about the city’s history, Kirsten Elliott will give a talk to the History of Bath Research Group about pubs, both existing and lost in and around Bathwick. Visitors are welcome for a donation of £2. THE BATH ORCHESTRAL GALA CONCERT Tuesday 14 March, 6.30pm n The Guildhall, High Street, Bath Bath Philharmonia and King Edward’s School joint concert. Bath’s professional orchestra has run its Side by Side partnership with KES for four years, offering students workshops alongside its musicians. These culminate in a concert which includes music by Ravel, Rautavaara, Britten and Prokofiev. It will include solos by young musicians. Tickets: £14 adults, £5 children, from the school box office, tel: 01225 464313 or email: BATH AT WORK AND PLAY: PHOTOGRAPHIC EXHIBITION Friday 17 – Friday 31 March n Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, Queen Square, Bath The 2017 BRLSI members photographic competition. BATH CANTATA GROUP Saturday 18 March, 7.30pm n St. Stephen’s Church, Lansdown, Bath This spring concert, under the leadership of musical director Neil Moore, comprises Vivaldi Gloria, JS Bach Jesu, meine Freude and Magnificat in D. Tickets £15; students £5, children free. Bath Box Office, tel: 01225 463362. Visit: or on the door. PLASTIC Until Saturday 25 March, times vary n Ustinov Studio, Saw Close Bath Concept artist Serge invites himself to the home of doctor Michael and his wife Ulrike, with a view to creating some visceral art over dinner. In the hands of satirist Marius von Mayenburg, this black comedy pokes fun at middle class pretension. Tickets: from £12. visit: ORGANIC SKINCARE PRODUCTS WORKSHOP Sunday 19 March, 9.45am – 4.30pm n BRLSI, Queen Square, Bath Make organic skincare products in a workshop led by senior international trainer Anna Christensen. Create personalised skincare products which suit you. Be natural, feel good, and looking radiant and healthy. Places, to include recipes, ingredients, products to take home and lunch, are £145. More information and to book, visit: or tel: 07811956685.

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BATH BACH CHOIR: SPRING CONCERT Saturday 25 March, 7.30pm n Bath Abbey, Bath A programme of four sacred works spanning over 350 years. Allegri’s Miserere was composed in the 1630s for the choir of the Sistine Chapel. Fauré’s Cantique de Jean Racine is one of his best loved works. The rich harmonies of the choir and the beauty of the flowing accompaniment have made this a favourite in the choral repertoire. Dvorak’s Mass in D (1887) is a romantic gem. James MacMillan’s Cantos Sagrados (1990) are settings of three modern secular poems about political repression in South America. The choir will be conducted by Nigel Perrin. Tickets: £8 / £15 / £20 / £25 / £28, from Bath Box Office, tel: 01225 463362 BETTANY HUGHES: A TALE OF THREE CITIES – ISTANBUL Monday 27 March, 7.30pm n Christ Church, Julian Road, Bath Istanbul is where East meets West, it’s been the capital city of the Roman, Byzantine, Latin and Ottoman Empires. Historian and author of Helen of Troy and The Hemlock Cup, Bettany Hughes has written a fascinating biography of this ancient city with three names – Byzantium, Constantinople, Istanbul. Tickets from £5 – £25, Topping & Co bookshop, The Paragon, tel: 01225 428111.

BATH MINERVA CHOIR: GALA CONCERT Saturday 8 April, 7.30pm n Bath Abbey Join Bath Minerva Choir, an international team of soloists and Bath Philharmonia for the epic Verdi’s Requiem. Book tickets at the Bath Box Office, tel: 01225 463362 or visit: NICOLA BENEDETTI AND BATH PHILHARMONIA Friday 21 April, 7.30pm n The Forum, Southgate, Bath One of the UK’s leading violinists joins forces with Bath Philharmonia for two powerful mid-20th century Russian pieces, Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No1 and Prokofiev’s ballet score, Romeo and Juliet. Tickets: £25 – £35, £5 under 16s. Tel: 01225 463362 or visit:


CITYSOUND VOICES: FIFTH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT Saturday 6 May, 7.30pm n St Stephen’s Church, Lansdown, Bath CitySound Voices 5th Anniversary concert featuring the choir’s top ten favourite songs and the world premiere of Mark Boden’s That Music Always Round Us. Tickets: £10 / £5 from Bath Box Office, tel: 01225 463362 or visit:

CRAFT SHOW Thursday 6 – Saturday 8 April, 10am 5pm n Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet Enjoy all manner of crafts from more than 100 leading craft suppliers, groups and guilds. Plus 75 workshops, demonstrations and make and take sessions. Refreshments and free parking. Tickets: £8 / £7 concessions, u16s free, tel: 0345 3040222, visit:

THE BRIAN ROPER MEMORIAL CONCERT Friday 30 June, 7.30pm n The Forum, Southgate, Bath Bath Philharmonia presents a concert dedicated to the memory of local philanthropist Brian Roper. International renowned pianist Peter Donohoe performs Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto in a programme that includes Stravinsky’s Firebird and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Tickets: £25 – £35 (plus booking fees), under 16s £5, tel: 0844 888 9991. n



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An exhibition at the Holburne Museum, of international importance, sees a record number of Brueghel works under one roof. Georgette McCready discovers some of the stories behind the paintings


s the outgoing director of the Holburne Museum prepares to leave Bath, art historian Dr Jennifer Scott should be proud of the legacy that she leaves both the museum and for posterity. The Holburne’s latest exhibition, Bruegel: Defining A Dynasty, opened to a flurry of national press interest and encouraging visitor numbers. On a Monday afternoon when I visited, the gallery was busy with people keen to examine at close hand these works – some 35 of them – gathered in the UK under one roof for the first time. There is particular interest around one relatively small painting, which depicts a party of ruddy cheeked, sturdy peasants dancing at a country wedding. The musicians are puffing away at bagpipes, people are drinking and laughing and, in the foreground a man with a large belly sports a cheeky codpiece which can still raise a snigger four centuries after it was painted. The Wedding Dance in the Open Air (1607-14) was one of several Bruegelian works in the Holburne collection, which were all acquired by William Holburne himself in the early 19th century. These include Pieter Brueghel the Younger’s Robbing the Bird’s Nest (c1620) and Visit to a 38 TheBATHMagazine


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Farmhouse (c1620-30) and Boy Blowing Bubbles (c1640) by David Teniers the Younger, who married into the Bruegel dynasty. But what wasn’t known until Jennifer Scott and Dr Amy Orrock, who were jointly curating the Bruegel show, had the wedding picture conserved, was that the painting wedding picture – deeply encrusted with obscured by layers of old varnish – was a genuine work by Pieter Brueghel the Younger and not a copy, as had originally been thought. But the detective work paid off and the work was expertly conserved by Elizabeth Holford. We can now see, next to the original, an underdrawing which is visible thanks to modern

technology. Here, the eye can discern little hooks and ticks drawn by the artist showing where folds of material were to hang. It is fascinating to see the artist’s working. The confirmation that this is indeed a Brueghel means the Bath museum now holds the largest collection of paintings by Pieter Bruegel and Pieter Bruegel the Younger in the UK. There is much much more to this exhibition than paintings of peasants at work and play – although these are delightful and curious by turn. In an enormous painting filled with people carrying out all kinds of activities, from fishing to peeing out of a window, the viewer is invited to a 16th century version of Where’s Wally? as they match the proverbs with the tableaux before them. A large Bruegel family tree at the entrance to the exhibition helps us visually work out which Bruegel is which. And, no you’re not wrong, the Flemish surname is spelled two ways. Daddy Bruegel spelled his without an h, while his two sons – just four and one when he died – later added the h to the brand. They were taught to paint and draw by their grandmother Mayken Verhulst, who was a miniaturist painter. The Bruegels were a family of serious, professional artists. Such was

FLEMISH MASTERS: main picture, Wedding Dance in the Open Air by Pieter Bruegel the Younger Inset, A Stoneware Vase of Flowers by Jan Brueghel the Elder Opposite, top, Still Life With Cheese by the Circle of Jan van Kessel the Elder Below, Boy Blowing Bubbles by David Teniers the Younger and Robbing the Bird’s Nest by Pieter Brueghel the Younger

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the popularity of Pieter Bruegel the Elder that his work was copied during his lifetime, and ever since. And while the two Pieters created these lively scenes of people, brother Jan made his reputation for paradise-like landscapes and exquisite flower still lifes. Stand before Jan ‘Velvet’ Brueghel’s riot of colour, A Stoneware Vase of Flowers and the more you look the more you notice. This arrangement, while life-like and intricate in every detail, is built on fantasy. The snowdrops, tulips and peonies – none of these would be in flower at the same time and the artist would hardly have been able to call Interflora for flowers out of season. This work of 1607 is one of the first still life paintings ever recorded. The curators have cleverly chosen to hang this vase of loveliness alongside two other floral still lifes by Jan’s son and grandson. The second is a basket and vase by Jan Brueghel the Younger, (c1617 – 25) and the third is Flower Study (1671), by Abraham Brueghel. In this last work the painter has taken the tulips and roses to the very brink of dropping their pale pink petals. They are delicately poised between sheer beauty and life and the shadow of becoming overblown and decayed. While any number of these lovely flower

pictures would be a joy to have at home, the series of vivid studies of insects, painted in oils on copper, look almost contemporary. There are four of these small works by Jan van Kessel the Elder. They would have been created as decorative fronts for drawers in a cabinet, which were so fashionable at the time. The invention of the microscope in the Netherlands saw increased interest in the study of insects and these biological studies reflect that. It has been pointed out, however, that although at first glance we might admire their accuracy, the scales are not always true to life. The dragonfly, for instance, perched on a strawberry is out of proportion to the fruit. There are so many stories to be learned while studying the paintings. If, like me, you thought a Bruegel painting was merely merry peasants, the sort of picture you’d find on your grandmother’s biscuit tin, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by this absorbing exhibition that shows off the considerable talents of five generations. Bruegel: Defining a Dynasty runs until Sunday 4 June at the Holburne. Entry to the main museum is free, while entry to the exhibition is £10 / £9 concessions, Under 16s free. Dr Amy Orrock has written Bruegel: Defining a Dynasty, £16.95 is on sale at the Holburne shop. n

Bruegel’s Blind leading the Blind (1568): the Original and its afterlife dr Jamie edwards, Wednesday 22 March, 3–4pm this lecture will explore the fascinating imagery within Pieter Bruegel the elder’s Parable of the Blind, relating it to contemporary social, political and artistic conditions. the talk will reveal the popularity of the proverb of the Blind Men more generally in netherlandish culture, and in Bruegel’s work. finally the talk will investigate the afterlife of Bruegel’s composition, which has been copied and adapted, right up to the 21st century. dr Jamie edwards is a teaching associate in history of art at Birmingham, and lecturer in history of art at Oxford Brookes. Places: £7 or £11 (which includes exhibition entry redeemable before 4 June) hOW tO find a lOst Brueghel (and Other Pictures) dr Bendor grosvenor, thursday 23 March, 7 – 8pm a masterclass in how to identify lost paintings, including works by major artists such as Peter Brueghel the Younger. dr grosvenor is an art historian and dealer, best known for discovering paintings by artists such as Van dyck, rubens and raphael. he is also a writer and broadcaster, and has presented Britain’s Lost Masterpieces, The Culture Show and Fake or Fortune? for the BBc. admission: £15, includes entry to the exhibition. Bruegel studY afternOOn friday 31 March, 1.30 – 5.15pm, chaired by the holburne’s director, Jennifer scott and dr amy Orrock, cocurators of the current Bruegel exhibition. this will comprise three sessions. the first is with dr dominique allart, professor of art history at the university of liège, Belgium and dr christina currie, head of scientific imagery at the royal institute for cultural heritage in Brussels. this is followed by dr susan foister from the national gallery, then a session with lorne campbell, who has written catalogues on netherlandish paintings for the national gallery, and nicola christie, head of paintings conservation at the royal collection trust. Places are £25 / £10 students. to book places at any of the above, tel: 01225 388569 or visit:



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As we move into the next season, there’s plenty to see in the galleries around Bath in March

Lauren Bacall by Nick Cudworth

NICK CUDWORTH GALLERY London Street, top of Walcot Street, Bath Closed on Mondays. Tel: 01225 445221 Visit:

MY WAY Throughout March An exhibition of women from all walks of life who have determined their own future – which coincides with International Women’s Day on Wednesday 8 March. Whether it’s achieving fame or deciding what clothes to wear these women make their own choices to achieve their aims. The artist and his wife Jenny were appalled at the news of a female receptionist being sacked because she refused to wear stiletto shoes. Alongside actress Lauren Bacall, other women included in the exhibition are Sophia Lauren and Slavenka Vukovic-Bryan who started and runs the successful Languages United Ltd in Walcot Street.

Sandinistas at the walls of the Esteli National Guard headquarters, 1979

VICTORIA ART GALLERY By Pulteney Bridge Open Daily, 10.30am – 5pm Tel: 01225 477233 Visit: HISTORY THROUGH A LENS: ICONIC PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE INCITE PROJECT Until Wednesday 10 May More than 75 images depicting key moments in 20th and 21st century global events have been lent to the council-run gallery by the Incite Project, which is a collection of photographic prints motivated by current political and social concerns. Images include the assassination of JFK, the Normandy D-Day landings, Nelson Mandela in his cell on Robben Island, the 9:11 Twin Towers attack in New York and

boats filled with refugees capsizing in the Mediterranean. Photographers represented include Robert Capa, Dorothea Lange, Don McCullin, Sebastiao Salgado and W. Eugene Smith. A third of the exhibition consists of 21stcentury prints. Incite was started in 2012 by former photojournalist Harriet Logan and her husband. Entry: £4, £3.50 concessions, children free. Lunchtime exhibition tours every Thursday, 2 March to 27 April inclusive, 12.30 – 1pm. They are free to Discovery Card and ticket holders. Roving Reporters: on Saturdays 4, 11, 18 and 25 March, noon to 3pm, students from Bath Spa University’s BA acting programme convey the human stories behind the images. Let yourself be transported back in time to revisit how those key moments felt.

EMMA ROSE Upstairs at 78 Walcot Street, Bath, visitors welcome Open: Mon – Sat, 10am – 5pm Tel: 07885235915 or 01225 424 424 Visit: THE PROMISED LAND Throughout March Emma Rose works with Indian inks and acrylics producing visually arresting, vibrant semi-abstract paintings of landscapes and flights of fancy. Her work is sought after for its narrative power and beauty. Each painting celebrates a view, experience or stories – with layers of colour and texture woven into the sense of place, allowing you to immerse yourself in the beautiful works of creative imagination. Includes originals, limited edition giclée prints along with canvas prints and cards.

The Promised Land by Emma Rose

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Catherine Hills Jewellery Ball and Chain Necklace, Oxidised Silver with Labradorite

GALLERY NINE 9b Margarets Buildings, Bath Tel: 01225 319197 Visit: Open: Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 5.30pm CATHERINE HILLS: JEWELLERY Throughout March After leaving the Royal College of Art in 1993 with a Masters degree, Catherine set up her studio with a Crafts Council grant. She makes distinctive, affordable jewellery in gold and silver and also large one-off pieces to commission. She is inspired by natural forms characterised by contrasting different metal colours, finishes and interchangeable components. Exhibiting widely she was shortlisted for Jewellery Designer of the Year 2001 and has been made a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths and a Freeman of the City of London.

Across The Valley by Louise Davies RE


celebratory reaction to the environment.

35 Gay Street, Bath Email: Visit: Twitter: @BathContemp Tel: 01225 461230 Open: Monday to Saturday, 10am – 5pm LOUISE DAVIES RE 24 February – 9 March Louise Davies’ etchings animate the Southern English landscape through a vibrant and illuminating palette. The delicacy of her drawn line expresses an intuitive sense of immediacy and confidence, and reads as a

THE EDGE University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath Open Tuesday to Thursday, 11am – 8pm, Friday and Saturday, 11am – 5pm, closed Sunday, Monday. Free admission Tel: 01225 386777 Visit: James Capper


CHUCK ELLIOTT 10 March – 1 April Chuck Elliott overlaps the precision and order of mathematic symmetry with mesmerizing non-repeating hand drawn patterns. Elliott’s distinct and vibrant digital prints are energetic and simultaneously soothing, offering a dynamic visual aesthetic for both modern and classical settings. His latest work with moving images questions notions of ownership, as contemporary artwork expands into the realms of data, rather than existing as a tangible object. Friday 10 February – Saturday 8 April This free exhibition showcases sculptures, drawings and films from James Capper, one of the UK’s most exciting young sculptors. Recognisable yet other worldly, Capper’s machine-like sculptures suggest an interplay between art, technology and the natural world. The exhibition features the largest number of Capper’s works shown in the UK to date.



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THE MUSEUM OF EAST ASIAN ART 12 Bennett Street, Bath Open: Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm, Sunday, noon – 5pm Visit: HONG LING: SELECTED Saturday 25 February – 2 July MEAA is delighted to host a small selection of paintings from the Hong Ling touring retrospective exhibition. The Bath museum is one of only three UK venues to show paintings by the celebrated Chinese painter from different stages of his career. Lecture: Chinese painting – an Introduction, Friday 3 March, 7pm by Dr Nicole Chiang, at BRLSI. Lotus by Hong Ling

Blue Birch, egg tempera on paper by Andrew Lansley

DAVID SIMON CONTEMPORARY 3 – 4 Bartlett Street, Bath Tel: 01225 460189 Visit: Open Monday – Saturday, 10am – 6pm, and Wednesday, 2 – 6pm ANDREW LANSLEY Throughout March Sparse landscapes are often the intriguing theme of Andrew Lansley’s paintings, which use this open expanse of this subject, whether painted on wooden panels covered in a smooth gesso surface or on handmade paper,


ONE TWO FIVE GALLERY 4 Abbey Green, Bath Open: Wednesday to Sunday, 11am – 5pm Tel: 07803 033 629 Visit: STONE AND THREAD Throughout March Carole Waller has taken the 250th anniversary of Bath’s monumental Royal Crescent as her inspiration for a beautiful new collection for spring/summer 2017, reflecting her take on the textures and colours of the city. The brand new exhibition at the Fashion Museum, Lace in Fashion, has also proved a source of inspiration; looking at the grids that the lace creates and how they cannot be separated from their connotations of decoration, ornament and femininity. Carole says: “Both themes reflect a huge investment in craftsmanship, in time and precision and a delicacy that is appealing to me.” One Two Five Gallery is also showing a vibrant mixture of painted clothing, paintings and glasswork by Carole, beautiful pots and wall pieces in painted stoneware by Gary Wood, alongside a variety of jewellery by various artists.

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Garden Flat Gallery, 48 Great Pulteney Street, Bath. Open: Friday 31 March, Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 April, 11am – 6pm, or by appointment. Email: or tel: 07983 465789. Visit: BATH RESIDENCY Popular west country artist Kit Glaisyer continues his Bath residency with regular weekend exhibitions at his Great Pulteney Street studio – which is also open to view by appointment. Enjoy panoramic Dorset landscapes from his cinematic series of paintings plus recent nocturnal Bath street scenes.

Painted silk organza scarf by Carole Waller

to explore the technique of layering the egg tempera paints that he mixes as he works. Lansley was selected as a winner of Bath Society of Artists’ David Simon Contemporary Award in 2016. MIKE SERVICE Throughout March Mike Service has long been painting both still life subjects and continental landscapes and in this exhibition he shows his latest series of work, which demonstrates his enjoyment and mastery of working in oils with brush and palette knife.

Allington Path by Kit Glaisyer

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nick cudworth gallery

Choices – Limited Edition Print on paper and canvas from the original oil painting


1 – 31 March An exhibition relating to women who make their own choices from careers to what they wear

5 London Street (top end of Walcot Street), Bath BA1 5BU tel 01225 445221 / 07968 047639

At No 42 by Monika Umba. 20” x 20”. £360


er Galle


The Art Gallery home of

Spencer House, 34 Long Street, Tetbury, Gloucestershire GL8 8AQ Tues-Sat. 9.30-5pm. Tel: 01666 505152




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Furniture – Art – Styling – Accessories

S p r i n g E vent in store 22 March 6-9pm new collections – new ar twork – surprises! 15 Walcot Buildings. London Rd. BA1 6AD ver 07785 332536 | 07712 467347

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SHAPING BRITISH WOMEN: clockwise from top, the Bayer building on Lower Bristol Road, Bath A Bayer advertisement from 1896, courtesy of the Bath Record Office, Bath and North Someset Council Machinists at work at the Charles Bayer factory in the late 60s/early 70s (image from An 1890s corset from the Fashion Museum collection A typical corset, designed to create a tiny waisted hourglass figure for women Opposite, a diagonal seam corset by Charles Bayer of Bath, 1900, courtesy of Leicestershire County Council archives 46 TheBATHMagazine


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SHAPING VICTORIAN BATH Charles Bayer’s corset factory opened in Bath 125 years ago Eirlys Penn tells the undercover story


Bayer corset was a thing of wonder. Finely engineered using the highest quality materials, it was designed to defy gravity and render the hourglass figure required of every upright Victorian woman. It was also created in the state-of-the-art factory conditions that characterised the backbone of Bath’s heavy industry during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In fact, Bayer’s was typical of those enterprises that helped to bring a then dwindling city back to life.

WORKING CONDITIONS IN THE FACTORY The corset factory relied on affordable labour, mostly that of young women. And the proximity of the factory to the station (completed in the 1850s) was no accident, enabling factory girls to commute from outlying areas. A worker could earn seven and a half pence a day, but is unlikely to have worn any of her products as a finished corset sold for 17/6 – equivalent to an entire month’s pay.

THE ALBION STAY FACTORY The four-storey, red brick Bayer Building is still a prominent landmark at South Quays on the Lower Bristol Road with its large stone-quoined windows and timber-clad jetties looming high over the River Avon. Engineering firm BuroHappold and others occupy the space today, but it began life in 1892 as the bespoke and ultra-modern Albion Stay Factory, brainchild of German émigré Charles Bayer.

THE BRA FACTORY FINALLY GOES BUST Charles Bayer did indeed make his fortune, leaving £59,000 when he died in 1930. But the firm faced a more straitened future. In his absence, it was re-formed in 1931, acquired by Leetham’s (of the brand Twilfit) in 1963, then Manchester firm Armitage and Rigby in 1969. Corset production had by now shifted into girdles and bras. But competition was fierce, and the factory finally closed its doors in 1982.

ALL MOD CONS With its thrumming Griffin steam engines (custom made in Bath) powering rows of sewing machines, Bayer’s corset factory would have made an impression. England’s first purpose-built corset factory dazzled with its new-fangled electric lights. Bath was the first city outside London to have an electricity company, and Bayer’s became the first building with an integrated light supply designed in. The factory was arranged over five floors with key areas devoted to stock storage, package printing, marking out, cutting, stitching, finishing and despatch. HOW CORSETS TOOK OFF Bayer had begun producing corsets in Bath a decade or so earlier and could see the shape of the future. No respectable adult female of the era would have ventured out without her foundation shape-wear, even when engaging in sports (see below). If he could only streamline the corset production process – and locate enough ready labour – he’d make a fortune. And his timing was perfect: the 1890s would usher in the era of the factorymade corset and his sales would soar. Charles Bayer & Co. Ltd corsets (simply branded CB) were soon being shipped all over the world. The Bath factory had to be extended in 1895 to meet demand. And, as business boomed, Bayer established further factories, in Bristol, Portsmouth, Gloucester, London) and warehouses all over Britain.

today’s money. Hours were 8am-5.30pm, with no Saturday work, an hour for lunch, holiday pay and white overalls provided free. After three months’ training ‘the majority of learners go on to ‘piece work’ and, once they’ve developed their skills can literally “earn as much as they please”’ – a rather optimistic interpretation of piece work, particularly if a girl suffered an injury that incapacitated her. A nurse and clinic were on the premises – because accidents involving operatives’ fingers and sewing machine needles (or worse, eyelet punch machinery) weren’t uncommon.

Beyond a basic training period, each girl would have been paid according to how much she produced (piece work). So, the pressure was always on. HM Inspector of Factories brought a legal case against Bayer in 1901 for payment in company store goods rather than the coin of the realm – a kind of debt bondage that would have been familiar to other Victorian factory workers. So, all was not necessarily as rosy in the corset factory. By the 1930s, a brochure entitled Truly a Feminine Career (1931) valiantly attempted to appeal to the 14-year-old school-leaver sensibility: ‘These girls, snapped during a rest period, are a happy example of the cheery companionship which is such a feature of Bayer employees’ and ‘Good companions in a healthy, well-paid occupation’. A girl of 14 was paid 30/- a week – less than £100 in

BAYER CORSETS TO VIEW Examples of Bayer sports corsets showing the impact of late 19th century rational dress are on display in the V&A’s Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear (until Sunday 12 March) which charts the evolution of undergarments from 1750 to the present. The Bayer riding and cycling corsets included were cut shorter in the body for greater freedom of movement, and woven on the loom (rather than seamed) for robustness. Bayer produced similar sports-specific corsets for tennis and golf. A set of unusual silk corsets from the First World War can be seen in the Fashion Museum’s archives. Too fragile to display, they can’t really be termed underwear as they were obviously made to be seen, featuring flags and national insignia of the United States, France (or possibly Holland), Italy, Japan and Austria. Why they were created remains a mystery – a public music hall performance, or something more private? n GET IN TOUCH Do you have memories of working in the Bayer factory? If so, please contact the Museum of Bath at Work to share your recollections. Visit:, or email:



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Sometimes all we want is to curl up and dip into a good book and short stories are perfect for this. Here are some of our new favourites and old classics


England and Other Stories by Graham Swift, published by Simon & Schuster Ltd, paperback, rrp £8.99 These 25 stories take readers on a whirlwind through the centuries, from the English Civil War to the present day, following the lives of those involved in everything from dramatic historical events to the challenges of everyday life in the workplace or the home set in a variety of places across England. While there is little in terms of plot, each story is a reflection on the character’s life and the events that have led them up to that point in time.


Paris Street Tales, edited by Helen Constantine, published by Oxford University Press, paperback, rrp £10.99 Take a seat, pour some freshly-brewed coffee, and just imagine you are watching the world pass by in a traditional café in the French capital as you read this collection of stories, which is the third volume in a trilogy set in Paris and translated into English. Each of the 18 short tales are related to a particular road, covering the period from the 19th century up to the present day, allowing the reader to envisage how the city has developed over the past two centuries. Each story, written by recognised writers such as Colette, Maupassant and Simenon, vividly recreates the streets of Paris on the pages in front of you. Also includes a new story by David Constantine focusing on the last days of the poet Gérard de Nerval, who died in 1855.


The Wind on His Back: And Other Short Stories by Mary Alexander, published by Troubador Publishing, paperback, rrp £8.99


The Wind on His Back carefully explores the different variations of love in these six short stories. One story follows the tale of a frustrated divorced man who refuses to forgive his wife’s infidelity, while another focuses on a wife who discovers she will soon lose her husband of 30 years to a terminal illness. The reader can follow the ups and downs of each relationship and examine different concepts of love.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver, published by Vintage Publishing, rrp £8.99 This collection of stories became one of the most influential literary works of the 1980s. With its conversational narration style, Carver observes how people truly react to and communicate with their lovers, children, parents and friends. Includes the stories Why Don't You Dance?, So Much Water So Close to Home and I Could See the Smallest Things.


Flappers and Philosophers: The Collected Short Stories of F Scott Fitzgerald, published by Penguin Books Ltd, hardback, rrp £14.99 This selection of stories by one of the 20th century’s most iconic authors includes tales that span the whole of his remarkable career – from the early stories he was writing at the height of the Jazz Age through to his work during the last years of his life. This includes one of his most famous stories, The Diamond as Big as the Ritz – a dramatic story of mystery, deviance, lies and wealth, first published in 1922. Also included is The Lost Decade – a tale of mystery and poignancy, which may make you appreciate the smaller things in life.


Cat Stories, edited by Diana Secker Tesdell, published by Everyman, hardback, rrp £10.99

Our fun-loving furry friends who love to be tickled behind the ear take centre stage in this collection of short stories. While Maeve Brennan and Alice Adams explore what cats mean to their owners, Patricia Highsmith and Fritz Leiber take a different perspective and put themselves in the shoes (sorry, I mean paws) of

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our pets, imagining what it must be like to be feline. Angela Carter's reinterpretation of the traditional story of Puss In Boots will have you chuckling at this cat’s extraordinary antics in trying to set his master up with a beautiful local woman. Also included is Steven Millhauser's brilliant take on the classic cartoon character chase – Cat 'n' Mouse describes a mouse’s daily struggle to find cheese and defy the mousetraps while being chased and tricked by the same brutish cat.

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Ahead of her visit to Bath for The Bath Festival, Mary Berry talks about Everyday, her new book and BBC series


veryday is a fantastic family cookbook. Can you explain the thought process that went into the writing of this

book? I was thinking about, as the title suggests, ‘Everyday’. Everyday can be just with the family, it can mean having friends around; it can be a special occasion. This book is giving the recipes I have done for a long time a bit of a twist. There aren’t too many ingredients in the recipes either, which was also important. But you must also remember ingredients do change. For instance, butternut squash and quinoa are used a lot more now. People see quinoa on the supermarket shelf and they know they have had it in a restaurant but they don’t know what to do with it. And so, I have added a few more ingredients to the quinoa in order to make it tastier. I want to inspire people to cook and I do think a book is a nice thing to have. I am very lucky that people do trust me and that they do have a go. What are some of your favourite recipes from the book? I like the ones I can make ahead because we are all busy and I like to do something that is suitable for the weather – things that are in season, things that aren’t too complicated. I’ve included some summery recipes, plus casseroles with dumplings. Usually with dumplings, it’s a blob! What I have done is taken a suet crust and flattened it out and then made it into a Swiss roll, putting horseradish in the swirl – it’s delicious. Did you try the recipes out on your family first? All the recipes are tried out at home. My family tell me what they think. And yes of course I do take constructive criticism. The children might say ‘oh yuck’ or someone may say ‘that takes too long to do’ and those don’t go in the book. But I make sure there aren’t too many of those. It’s important not to have too many ingredients or pieces of equipment. There are lots of amazing tips and techniques included in the book. If you had to pick out a few vital tips, 50 TheBATHMagazine


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what would they be? It’s a good idea to have a set of digital scales. Not so much for savoury dishes, but definitely for baking because if you do go heavy on an ingredient, it can alter the whole texture. If people want the same result as I have been showing them on television, a set of measuring spoons is ideal too. Does your husband, Paul, ever try to butt in and help you with the cooking? What’s his speciality? Paul is wonderful. He is always there for me. Take today: I have a big day today and he was so brilliant, cleaning and tidying everything up after breakfast. But him do the cooking?! You must be joking! I do the cooking at home and on the rare occasion I am not well, he will always make an omelette. And after two or three omelettes, I am normally better. And what savoury dish is your stand out speciality when you are cooking for friends and family? If it’s a cold winter’s day, I might do beef stew with horseradish dumplings or I might do a fillet of beef en croute. It really depends what it is for. As a rule, however, my first course would very likely be on a little plate for everybody with maybe a salad or a terrine. It would be ready to serve. And then the main dish, I prepare ahead and so then I simply need to reheat it or add something like cream

or fried mushrooms. For the pudding, I do two – one luxurious one and also, some fresh fruit prepared without any sugar in a bowl. You offer it to them, but they never want it and we have it for breakfast the next day. Are you keen to involve your family in your work life more nowadays? Annabel, my daughter, and I have cooked together since she was young and we had a salad dressings and sauces business together which we sold a few years ago but still have approval on the new products. The grandchildren are in the new series of Everyday. In one episode, I make goat’s cheese and Atalanta helps me milk the goats. As we were walking up, I said to her ‘have you ever milked goats before?’ Quick as a flash, she replied ‘no granny, I have never milked nothing’! But she was so successful at milking the goat and I was no good at all. It’s good to involve children in helping to cook and choosing a recipe they can do well. If you have their friends around to play, you can make pizzas and let them choose your toppings or you can make cakes. They need someone there to help weigh things out but it is a lot of fun. You are everybody’s favourite cook. You have become part of British culture. Do you get embarrassed or are you flattered?

QUEEN OF PUDDINGS: Mary Berry is sure of a warm welcome from her home crowd when she visits the city of her birth for The Bath Festival in May Opposite, our tributes to Mary Berry’s classic recipes, a lemon and ginger cheesecake and a Victoria sponge With thanks to Cook With Jaq Bath cookery school, visit Cook With Jaq on Facebook and Instagram

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People are so nice and I am very, very lucky. People touch me on the arm in a supermarket and gently lean over and say things like ‘that lemon drizzle cake, we love it’. Most say ‘thanks to you, my children have got into baking’. You’ve got a TV series (BBC Two, Mondays, 8.30pm) accompanying this book, and a show about Britain’s great houses; do you have any other TV plans? The historic houses series will be very interesting. We are researching it now. We will be going to country houses that have families living in them and I

will be going behind the scenes and seeing how they live, watch them grow their vegetables, and find out if they have any tips or recipes they have been handed down over the years. Do you ever drag your friends along to your cooking demos? In the new series I asked some close friends to a party in the final episode. There is a lot of hanging about but I hope they love coming. Our friends are really good. They are always very kind. If I am going to something like Strictly Come Dancing, I take a friend along as they enjoy it or one of my family members.

If the Queen rang you up to invite you to cook for her, what three-course meal would you serve? I have been to Buckingham Palace for lunch in the past. I know she loves things made from British ingredients. I would use something very much in season, something light and something I thought she would enjoy. I think I would ask her first because she must have some favourites that I don’t know about. I would do a twist on something she suggested. Mary Berry, Everyday: at the Forum, Saturday 20 May, 11am, £26, to include a copy of the book. To book visit: n



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Lunch isn’t just a meal, it’s a little space in the middle of your day. Fill that time sharing with friends, discovering something new and relaxing for the first time since waking. Our head chef Steven Yates has drawn on seven years of Michelin starred experience to produce a menu that twinkles with magical touches and is full of morsels you’ll want to share, linger over and dwell upon. Lunch at acorn is about taking a little time, sharing with friends and making the most of that little break. We offer small plates to share, soup, and a simple set lunch menu to cater for all tastes and needs.

LUNCH SET MENU 2 courses 17.95 | 3 courses 22.95 STARTERS | 6.50 each

Split Pea Soup with a wedge of sourdough (VG/GF option available) Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes with a rich toasted sunflower seed butter & pink grapefruit (VG/GF) Chioggia Beetroot Slivers with aged cashew purée, beetroot vierge & local salads (VG/GF/N)

MAINS | 11.95 each

Sautéed Cauliflower Heart with cauliflower puree, onion bhajis, potato, cauliflower rice, raisin & lemon (VG/GF/N) Slow Cooked Winter Squash with a pine nut risotto, gently cooked brussel sprouts, garlic & a touch of lemon zest (VG/GF) Leek and Potato – Charred leeks with melusine cheese dauphinoise, leek & garlic sauce & smoked potato

DESSERTS | 5.95 each

Salted Chocolate Tart with peanut butter sorbet (VG/N) White Chocolate Panna Cotta with poached beetroot, blood orange and a light beetroot icecream (GF/N) Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb with almond amaretto cream, fennel sorbet and almond crumb (VG/GF/N)


Burnt Leek With Smoked Potato Puree And Several Kinds Of Cabbage (GF) | 7.95 Pine Nut Risotto With Slow Cooked Brussel Sprouts (VG/N/GF) | 7.50 Calabrese Broccoli Dressed With Fresh Truffle Cauliflower Panna Cotta And Pickled Kohlrabi (N/GF) | 8.95 Walnut Agnoletti In A Rich Mushroom Emulsion (N) | 7.95 Roast Carrot With Seeded Spelt, Chervil Puree And Carrot And Cashew Puree (VG/N) | 8.95 Blue Vinny Cheese with Pear Chutney & Digestives (GF option) | 4.95 Peanut Butter Sorbet (VG/GF/N) | 4.50

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SAY CHEESE S’IL VOUS PLAIT Melissa Blease meets food hero, Frenchman Stephane Gouzien who takes an unpartisan view when it comes to British and French cheese at his tasty stall, Nibbles in Bath Guildhall Market


or those of us who like to shop the old fashioned way, the Guildhall Market is a veritable Aladdin’s Cave of delights. Baubles, beads and bows; pet food, mop buckets and second hand books; feather boas, handbags and humbugs. The oldest trading spot in the Heritage City offers the kind of “I didn’t know how much I needed one of those until I found it here” experiences that online, supermarket or even high street shopping can’t provide. But despite the acquisition opportunities that line the route to stall 53, it’s worth leaving yourself plenty of browsing time in a corner of the market where all your cheese dreams can be turned into reality. There’s been a market on the Guildhall site since around 1284. But while Nibbles Cheese may not have been an original trader all those centuries ago, the small but beautifully stocked stall claims the title of being the oldest cheesemonger in Bath, established more than 40 years ago. The owner is Brittany-born Stephane Gouzien who says: “Nibbles originally sold only cheese, but now we have free range locally sourced bacon, sausages and eggs too – all the ingredients for a complete English breakfast in one place.” So, you can buy your English breakfast 54 TheBATHMagazine


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ingredients from a Frenchman. But once you’ve stocked up for your fryup, it would be crazy not to take a more, erm, continental route to menu planning while you’re here. There’s a neat little array of terrines and rillettes on the shelf too, alongside cans of confit, cassoulet and choucroute garnie, and a lovely little selection of French bistro-style serving platters to add the final flourish to an at-home French feast – this is a Marché Bastille experience on High Street, Bath. Stephane bought Nibbles Cheese 11 years ago following stints working at top Bath hotels including the Royal Crescent and the Bath Priory and prestigious Parisian establishments including Elysée Palace and the American Embassy. “Nibbles used to supply a restaurant that I worked in, and when I heard that the owner was selling up to retire, I took the opportunity to take it over,” says Stephane. “I wanted the business to remain small and personal so that I can focus on giving my customers an individual service providing locally sourced products. Some of my customers have been shopping at Nibbles for decades. It’s wonderful to see three generations of Nibbles fans still coming to the shop. “We live in an ever-changing world where everything seems to be moving

towards convenience and readypackaged food,” says Stephane. “But I cater for a very wide range of tastes and demand, while offering a personal touch. I stock produce from local farmers, many of whom I know personally. When a customer comes to the shop or contacts me over the phone or by email, they can talk to me directly, and I can share my love of cheese with them.” This is the personal approach that Stephane maintains to keep his business thriving. Nibbles cheese stall doesn’t have a high street shopfront to draw passers-by in, nor the funds for big ad campaigns. But the grapevine reputation that Stephane enjoys would represent gold dust to even the biggest cartels. When I first moved to Bath as a fledgling food writer 16 years ago, it was Nibbles Cheese that I was recommended to visit time and again. Today, Stephane’s reputation stands firm. But what of his personal favourites? “One of my favourite cheeses has to be Gould’s cheddar which has been made in East Pennard, Somerset by the same family for the last 50 years using milk only from their Friesian herd. Fred Gould runs the farm and his sister Jean is the cheesemaker. Their 18-month-old Cheddar is considered to be one of the best handmade Cheddars in the country, renowned for its distinctive flavour, strong but smooth with a hint

TASTY FAVOURITES: above, Stephane Gouzien at Nibbles, which sells bacon and eggs alongside its selection of cheeses, and a selection of organic wine Opposite page, for a marriage made in heaven a wedding tower of tasty cheese, chosen from Nibbles

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of woodiness which comes with age. “Another local favourite is Fosse Way Fleece sheep’s milk cheese, which has a smooth texture and nutty flavour. But, being a Frenchman, I’ve got to mention my love of a well-aged Comté of around 20 months old, with its semi-hard texture and full, nutty, slightly sweet flavour.” I could happily tuck in to all Stephane’s recommendations. But what if I was planning a cheeseboard to end an elegant supper – where would I begin? He says: “It’s generally a good idea to select one hard, one blue, one soft and one goat or sheep’s milk cheese – it’s important to include a goat or sheep’s milk cheese as many people are intolerant to dairy these days. Bring the cheese to room temperature before serving. Aim for around 75g of cheese per person after a meal and 125g of cheese per person if it’s served as a meal in itself. Quince jelly is one of the nicest accompaniments for a cheese board along with charcoal crackers, Bath Oliver biscuits or a crispy sourdough baguette. Fresh grapes or figs and walnuts can accompany the cheeseboard very well too. “I also think it’s better to serve the cheese after the main course and before dessert, as the pleasure of continuing with something savoury makes sense to the tastebuds. Any leftover cheeses can always be used for sauces and toasties.” Leftover cheese? That’s

unlikely to happen in my house. Stephane says that the most popular cheeses now are unpasteurised Brie de Meaux, Cropwell Bishop blue Stilton and his beloved Gould’s Cheddar. So do certain cheeses, like many other foodstuffs, have fashionable moments in the spotlight? “As burgers are so popular right now, I’ve noticed an upturn in customers asking for recommendations on what to put with them. I sell a cheese called Afterburn made in Wincanton which is a Somerset Cheddar with garlic, chillies and peppers, which works particularly well when melting on the top of a burger.” Stephane’s favourite places to eat out in Bath includes Bistro la Barrique (“I love the concept of French tapas enjoyed in the back garden with a glass of chilled provençale rosé”) and he refers to Menu Gordon Jones as “an amazing experience.” When nibbling at home, he recommends pairing well-aged cheddar with a pint of Honey’s Midford Cider, full-flavoured blue cheese with organic Somerset Mead made by Hugh Tripp near Glastonbury, and goat and sheep’s milk cheeses with dry white wine. “But for the best complimentary accompaniment to a full cheese board, it’s got to be a good vintage port.” n Nibbles Cheese, 53 Guildhall Market, High Street, Bath BA2 4AW. Tel: 01225 460213; web:



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DELICIOUSLY TRADITIONAL Melissa Blease goes behind the menu of Peking to talk to owner Jan Wong about the family-run restaurant which which has been one of Bath’s favourite Chinese eateries for over 30 years


hen it opened in 1985, the Peking was the first restaurant to bring eat-in, Brit-friendly incarnations of Cantonese, Szechuan and Peking cuisine to the Heritage City. It was also, for many years, one of the few reasons why Bathonians cared to venture across a shamefully unloved Kingsmead Square. But today, the Kingsmead Quarter, to adopt the current trend in Bath for ‘quarters’, has almost entirely reinvented itself thanks to a lively team of local, independent entrepreneurs and businesses that have breathed new life into this historic pedestrian intersection. And while the Peking has gracefully declined to concede to the craze for canteen-style dining, waiters who call us ‘guys’ or chalkboard menus flaunting a ‘street food’ selection, it’s most certainly kept up with the times in its own quiet way. A recent refurbishment has subtly revamped the restaurant’s interior and opened up an uncluttered view through the big picture windows. What was once a slightly hemmed in experience now has a subtle ambience of welcoming, understated glamour, perfectly balanced on the bridge where contemporary expectations meet traditional diner requirements. This represents a smart move in more ways than one too, given that longterm Peking fans (and they are legion) 56 TheBATHMagazine


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who came here as children now bring their own children to eat here. But the kids don’t have to worry about being subjected to the dreaded ‘ah, it’s all changed so much’ lecture that accompanies so many trips down memory lane – it’s still the good old Peking of days gone by, spruced up, refreshed and made even more welcoming. “Our regulars love what we’ve done with the revamp,” says Peking owner Jun Wong as we chatted over a Peking feast that brought all manner of fabulously fresh flavour and texture to our table. “We’ve still very much kept the feel of the place intact, but just updated it. I think it’s more elegant, with a bit more atmosphere than there was before. Dad isn’t that keen on the touches of black paintwork around the edges, but other than that, he’s happy with it.” Ah, dad: the legendary Mr Wong, from whom Jun bought the business a handful of years ago. Mr Wong relocated to the UK from Hong Kong back in the 1960s and opened the Yummy House takeaway on London Road. “We still have customers who followed Dad from there to here today.” He may have retired, but Mr Wong, it seems, is still a force to be reckoned with. Were there any challenges associated with buying the family business? “In our culture, it doesn’t really work like that,” says Jun. “We see it

more as Dad passing the business on to me. Money isn’t really the issue here. In Chinese culture, the main focus for owning a business is about stability for the family, and the generations down. And I believe that the reason the Peking has remained so popular in Bath is because we still run it as a family. If someone else ran it I don’t think it would work as well – even if they did exactly the same thing as we do, it wouldn’t be the same, because it wouldn’t be ours.” So will Jun’s two children, aged five and seven, take over when he in his turn retires? “I wouldn’t stop them, but I’m not planning on steering them in this direction either. It’s early days, they’re still very young. Also, the new generation don’t necessarily want what I would call an English-Chinese restaurant like ours.” Yes, Jun said English-Chinese – but he did not mean that in a condescending way. In recent years, an influx of students from the Far East has gone hand in hand with a whole raft of Chinese region-specific restaurants opening in and around Bath, many of which specialise in the kind of dishes that are unfamiliar to British palates raised as we are on sweet and sour, chow mein and special fried rice. And, as exciting as this development is, I find the notion of spicy pig intestines, pickled chicken tongues and chilli tripe a food challenge stretch too far if I’m just out

SAVOURY TREATS: this page, an array of dishes served at Peking restaurant, including shredded duck and spicy chilli beef Opposite, Peking owner Jun Wong

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for a simple, satisfying supper. I do, however, crave what we blithely refer to as ‘Chinese’ food on a very regular basis. “To a certain extent, the Peking menu is dictated to by Chinese tradition,” says Jun. “But it’s a tradition that’s borne out of catering to the British palate. Take our popular crispy aromatic duck, for example, that’s actually an English dish that you will not find on any menu in Hong Kong, China or even America. We do a lamb version too. But just like the British-Indian restaurant favourites tikka masala, or balti, or vindaloo, crispy duck was conceived in England. It’s based on the same concept as Peking Duck (which we can create given 24 hours notice), which is all about the skin of the duck only, not the flesh, served with pancakes – in China, we make a big deal of the duck skin on its own, and save the actual meat for stir fry dishes for the second course. “Chinese people and a handful of regulars order the Peking Duck, but our signature dish would be the aromatic duck, for sure. That, and the crispy chilli beef, which I absolutely love. My wife recently ate here for three nights on the run and ordered crispy chilli beef every time, and Mitch Tonks [the highly-acclaimed British seafood ambassador and food writer] said that he’s eaten crispy chilli beef all over the UK but ours is his favourite. He comes here for our crab and lobster dishes too, which we serve very

simply cooked. We’re very proud of our seafood dishes.” And rightly so – we ate monkfish with ginger and spring onions while we were talking, and it had to be the sweetest, freshest incarnation of this luxuriously meaty fish I’ve encountered in a very long time. Between courses and discourse, I concentrated on considering exactly where, in today’s contemporary restaurant world, the Peking sits. In one way, it’s a nostalgic experience: all the flavours of those Friday night suppers of yore, in surroundings that

are similarly evocative – it’s the kind of restaurant that makes you want to dress nicely, rather than amble into and slouch around, but it’s definitely not old-fashioned. So where does Jun get his own eating inspiration from? “I love eating out at high end restaurants, which I do as often as I can given that my wife and I have two young children.” he says. “As for my kids – well they, like me, love a really good quality burger. And my son loves chips.” Talking of chips . . . you won’t find them on the Peking menu, even though it enjoys a strong reputation for its takeaway quality. “There’s no place on our menu for chips, and we don’t offer a delivery service either because we like to prioritise our eat-in customers. You can place a takeaway order on the telephone, but you have to call in to collect it. Students who started coming here for a takeaway now come and sit down to eat here instead because they’ve seen what we’re like inside. And we keep our prices down to earth anyway, so eating in here isn’t that much more expensive than taking it away.” We polish off the last of our delicious crispy chilli beef and Singapore noodles before I amble happily back out to Kingsmead Square. n The Peking, 1 – 2 Kingsmead Square, Bath BA1 2AF. Tel: 01225 466377; web:



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ABSURD BIRD 20 St Lawrence Street, Little Southgate, Bath BA1 1AN. Tel: 01225 308055, twitter; @AbsurdBirdBath, visit:




he new restaurants in Southgate have been lucky when it comes to creating their own spaces. Without the restrictions of listed building status or historic fittings they’ve been able to let their interior designers’ imagination run away with them. And so we find ourselves walking off the Bath paving stones of Southgate into a bar in downtown New Orleans, a large welcoming space with a dark wooden floor and dramatic black and gold wallpaper and cosy booths tucked in along the walls – ideally placed for people watching. There’s music playing but it’s not so loud you can’t chat – and we like the fact that you can’t hear what the diners in other booths are talking about. Thoughtfully arranged coathooks beside each booth allow you to settle yourselves in with plenty of elbow room around you. And you’re going to need that elbow room if you’re to do the food justice. We’ve been to chicken themed places before, with mixed experiences. But my lunching companion Jake and I have not had fried chicken as good as this. It’s moist, perfectly cooked white meat – not a hint of stringiness or gristle – and although fried to golden crisp, we’re not reduced to wiping grease Henry VIII style from our chins. The Absurd Bird’s successful USP is that not only are its chickens well brought up free range hens, but they’ve come up from the famous Creedy Carver farms of Devon, which supply many of the UK’s best restaurants. The inhouse chefs then home brine the meat for 58 TheBATHMagazine


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eight to 12 hours, which accounts for its succulence and why it tastes nothing like chicken we cook at home. Lunching with a 20-something who has a hearty appetite is a good test of Absurd Bird’s fare. And Jake is determined to do it justice, ordering a main course of chicken with waffles, smoked sweet gravy and maple syrup (£11). It sounds a lot. “Are you sure?” I ask him. He is. And when his dish arrives, it’s three tennis ball sized pieces of fried chicken and four enormous waffles drizzled in syrup. Jake tucks in and makes quick work of this enormous platter. “It ought not to work but it’s surprisingly perfect together,” as he pauses to hoover up a handful of moreish sweet potato fries and sample the very generous side dish of pipingly hot (in both senses of the word) jalapeno mac’n’cheese. Meanwhile I’m enjoying eating three small fried chicken sliders (£9.80) with my fingers – hence the elbow room. I’ve ordered these because they contain bacon jam, which is a novelty to me. It goes well with fried chicken as it’s sticky and sweet. You might think this isn’t the sort of place to come if you’re on a diet. Well, you could order a light quinoa and mango salad with or without added chicken, or you could just sit on a stool at the central bar with a lime and soda. Absurd Bird also welcomes people who want to treat the place like a bar, or maybe just come for cocktails and a plate of buffalo wings. Monday to Fridays, 5pm to 7pm, the afterwork happy time, cocktails are

£5 a-piece and draught Becks is £3 a pint. The prices are pretty good, as befits a cool, urban brand which started out in Shoreditch and Soho and has only just spread its wings outside the capital. During the week, between noon and 5pm, you can order a pint and a main course for £10, or three courses and a drink for £16. To be frank, you’d do well to polish off three courses, so generous and hearty are the dishes. Would Jake manage a pudding? Would he be up to a large slice of Crack Pie (the Absurd Bird’s take on treacle tart, served with clotted cream)? Hell, yes. The puddings (priced £4.80 to £5.50, or £8 for the sharing Dipsy) are like nothing we’ve had elsewhere in Bath. Chocolate chip cookies turn out to be three oversized warm, gooey and, to use a technical term, yummy. They’re served with a small bottle of ice cold milk that takes me right back to those days of getting home from school, raiding the biscuit tin and watching Scooby Doo. The self-styled crazy chicken coop is going to start serving breakfasts at weekends. Eggs Benedict on waffles with the Sunday papers sounds good. And for anyone running the Vitality Bath Half marathon and wanting to seriously re-fuel some of those spent calories with comfort food, this would be a great place to rest up your running shoes for an hour or so. We hear live music on Thursday evenings is coming soon. Although by the look on champion chomper Jake’s face he won’t be dancing for a little while yet. n


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THE WINE COLUMN Angela Mount, wine and food critic looks at the mighty Malbec and some lesser known Argentinian wines


rgentinian wine is on the crest of a wave right now, picking up ever-increasing momentum, with wine drinkers seduced by the rich, brooding charms of its flagship grape, Malbec. Four years ago, Argentina was languishing outside the top 20 wine countries selling into Britain, now it’s on course to crack the top ten barrier, with more than two million cases of Malbec sold a year in the UK. Argentina also happens to be spectacular, with charisma, beauty and passion, from its people to its landscapes. Flying into Mendoza, the country’s wine capital, from Chile, the majesty and imperious glory of the Andes, the longest mountain range in the world, are breathtaking. Mendoza is a vibrant city, full of tree-lined boulevards, and pavement cafés; the surrounding area is home to many of the country’s best wineries. The vineyards sprawl for miles into the foothills of the Andes. Sitting on the terrace of a winery, with an empanada and a glass of wine, while gazing out at the snow-capped peaks, is an experience not to be forgotten. I have visited Trapiche, one of Argentina’s largest vineyard owners and producers, several times. With over 1000 hectares of vineyards, the winery has impressive scale, but with a total focus on quality, regardless of the price level. Malbec is the star of the show and probably the only Argentinian wine that many of us know. The danger is that many people view it as a one trick pony – big, rich, hefty. Yet, there are many nuances and variations in Malbec. Let’s start with Trapiche Melodias Malbec 2015 (Great Western Wine £7.95) – bright, juicy and soft, this is Malbec on its lighter scale. Bursting with succulent cherry and ripe plum aromas, it’s a delightful red, full of berry fruit,with a hint of herbs, with a bright, lively style, and at 13% alcohol it’s fresher than many of the Malbec blockbusters. Great with charcuterie, pasta or cottage pie. Moving up a gear in intensity and depth is Don David El Esteco Malbec 2014 (GWW £11.50) from the pioneering El Esteco winery, which has been pushing the boundaries in terms of grape and wine production, exploring high altitude vineyards in the north west frontiers of Argentina, namely the Calchaqui valley, a land of desert scrubland and ravines. Rich and voluptuous, this brims with richness, and dense, ripe black fruit, overlaid with layers of spice. Look no further for your perfect steak or roast beef red. But there’s more to Argentinian wine than Malbec; two wines worth discovering are made from the country’s most prolific red and white grape varieties. First up, Bonarda, a grape variety which is one of my favourites. Trapiche Estacion 1883 Bonarda 2014 (GWW £11.95) is scented with violets and super-ripe forest fruits. Soft as velvet with a gently spiced and bitter chocolate edge. A great all rounder, perfect with rich stews and spicy chilli. Argentina’s leading white grape is Torrontes, with its spicy, aromatic, honeysuckle and lychee-drenched characteristics. There is a multitude of styles – I was impressed with the fresh, zesty lime peel and citrus tang of Don David El Esteco Torrontes 2016 (GWW £11.50), with its vibrant, mouthwatering fruit and lively freshness. As we tiptoe towards the balmier days of spring, this is a perfect white, equally at home with Thai prawn curries or simple tapas and salads. n





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CITYNEWS News in brief n The Abbey Hotel in Bath has appointed Rupert Taylor, pictured, as head chef of Allium Restaurant and the Abbey Hotel, following the departure of Chris Staines. Rupert, 36, was born and bred in Bath. Most recently, he was head chef at The Swan at Swineford, which he ran in partnership with his wife, Amy, and consulted for two Michelin star Whatley Manor and for city centre restaurant The Chequers. n Portugal is still a secret wine region. Explore

its many wines, and, of course, its port in an evening of wine tasting led by Bath based wine expert Phil Cooke, who has more than 30 years experience in leading wine tastings. Sample eight wines with bread and cheese at the Chapel Arts Centre, Lower Borough Walls, on Monday 20 March, from 7.30pm. To book visit: n Securing a booking at one of Noya’s Kitchen

Friday night suppers at the Bear Pad Café in Bear Flat is a much boasted about achievement in Bath foodie circles, so popular is the pop-up. Now, thanks to The Bath Magazine’s wine critic Angela Mount and Great Western Wine, diners can take delivery of specially matched wines to enjoy with their feast. Many people find pairing wine with Asian dishes can be a challenge, so GWW and Angela have a selection to complement the food cooked up by Noya Pawley. Supper Club diners enjoy a 20% discount off the wines selected, with GWW delivering the wines prior to the event. To book places at Noya’s Supper Club and Cookery School visit: For wine visit: n Harry Murray, pictured, chairman of Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa has been awarded with an Outstanding Contribution to Tourism awards at the South West Tourism Awards of Excellence at a dinner in Bristol. Harry was honoured for his professional contribution to the hospitality and tourism industries over a period of five decades. He accepted the award on behalf of all the people he’s worked with.

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ROYAL VISIT FOR BATH’S OLDEST CHARITY A smiling Duchess of Cornwall enjoyed a display by the Silver Swans, a ballet class for the elderly, during a visit to the almshouses run by Bath’s oldest charity. The royal visit coincided with a change of name for St John’s Hospital after 843 years of serving the community. It will now be known as St John’s Foundation Est 1174. Camilla, who is a patron of the charity, also re-opened Rosenberg House during her morning in Bath, following its major refurbishment and improvements. The apartments, which are owned and run by St John’s provide homes to Bath residents aged 65 and over, offering professional care where required, to allow residents to lead independent and WARM WELCOME: the Duchess of Cornwall with the Silver Swans ballet active lives in the city centre. class at St John’s Foundation PICTURE: Anna Barclay

CAPTURING MEMORIES IN GOLD A Bath jewellery designer has taken inspiration from some of the city’s most iconic sights – with the help of a 16 year old Bath art student – to create the new Moments collection of jewellery. Marie Curtis, who retrained as a silversmith after a career in marketing wanted to find a way of celebrating the city she loves. Using images including the Royal Crescent, The Roman Baths and Bath Abbey, Marie collaborated with (then) Haysfield School pupil Alice Calvert, who

INSPIRED: Marie Curtis with one of her pendants outside the Holburne

created some elegant drawings which formed the basis for the final piece. Marie said: “Wherever I’ve travelled in the world, I’ve always sought out local handmade jewellery that

reflects the place I’m visiting. “Be it a necklace reflecting hope from Christchurch in New Zealand just after the 2011 earthquake, or earrings made from abalone shell from Thailand, whenever I wear these items they remind me of the place, country and people I visited and I wanted to create a collection of jewellery that captures memories for people that visit Bath.” The new Moments Collection of handmade gold and silver pendants is available at the Holburne Museum shop.


SUPPORTIVE: medal winning swimmer Stephanie Millward

Cleveland Pools, the not-for-profit group working to re-open Bath’s historic Regency open air swimming baths, is another £8,000 nearer its target thanks to a sponsored swimathon. Organiser of the fundraiser was Suzy Granger, who worked with eight of Bath’s swimming clubs to get as many people in the water for the event. Cleveland Pools’ new patron is Paralympian swimmer, medal winner Stephanie Millward MBE, who chatted happily with a crowd of young admirers at the Bath Dolphin club night. The Bath Dolphins swimming club was founded at the Cleveland Pools in 1899 so its sponsored swim night was chosen to highlight the week-long swimathon.

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Recruiting for our Practice!! Tax and accounting staff required We have two positions to fill: The first is for a tax professional to process a volume of personal tax returns, undertake tax planning for clients including CGT and IHT, produce trade & rental accounts.The successful candidate will be able to work independently, take client meetings, and correspond with clients & HMRC. A knowledge of corporation tax and related matters will be an advantage. The second position is in general accounting to include preparation of company financial statements & CT (with some personal tax returns) and assist clients with tax planning,VAT and related. Again, the successful candidate will be able to work independently, take client meetings, and correspond with clients & HMRC; knowledge & experience will be a huge advantage. As the year progresses we will also be looking for admin assistance and this may be part time; we would be pleased to hear from anyone interested in this opportunity. Salary for all roles will be commensurate with knowledge, experience & qualification. OCL is a successful, friendly, professional and growing practice located in Englishcombe Lane above Bear Flat, Bath.

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he local business community is one of the many reasons that makes Bath a unique and attractive destination. inFund is passionate about supporting small and medium size business growth and the growth of the local economy. At inFund our aim is to provide a new and effective way to support the needs and growth of our customers through unsecured short term lending. More than ever before, there is a need to provide more effective and flexible access for finance and funding. It’s our aim to be a supportive partner in the needs of a new UK economy, one that seeks global opportunity and growth. By utilising a new approach to evaluate risk and return, inFund is better placed to provide a credit stream that is more flexible and convenient. “In the last week alone we have provided small businesses with over £100,000 in funding to support expansion and growth.” What makes inFund different? Firstly, we're not a bank. You've probably heard of the new ways other people are raising money, Peer-to-Peer Lending, Crowdfunding, etc. – inFund is different. Investors funding loans are already in place so that money can be made available within 72 hours from registering. Traditional forms of business borrowing are often slow, laborious and simply don't work for small and new enterprises. They also have tough credit scoring that can penalise. With inFund you get a quick decision, based on real-world, realtime information, as well as interest rates that are significantly more competitive. Interest and payments are also managed daily, reducing costs and helping you to manage your borrowing. Meet the creators of inFund Co-founder and CEO of inFund, Alessio Marinelli, knows how to get a project off the ground – he’s a rocket scientist on the side, after all! When he hasn’t been busy amusing himself in pursuit of an Applied PhD, he’s exercised his astute technological thinking in the Fintech sector, helping businesses launch and grow. Co-founder and COO, Max Mortimer. Max also has extensive experience supporting business growth and advising on strategy. He spent 17+ years at the top of business, first as COO and then as Managing Director for a nationwide, private education company delivering training for the UK government. Visit: or call: 01225 300 872 to find out more. n

Co-founder and CEO, Alessio Marinelli

Co-founder and COO, Max Mortimer



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Leadership Skills for Tomorrow’s World University of Bristol offers scholarships for part-time Masters in Strategy, Change and Leadership for senior professionals

The University of Bristol is offering scholarships on its Masters in Strategy, Change and Leadership. This part-time programme is for aspiring senior managers and is designed to fit around the demands of a busy job.

Today’s leaders are facing the most challenging operating circumstances for a generation. The necessary skills and competencies have shifted from the motivation of employees in a buoyant economy to change management and strategic leadership in this landscape of budget cuts, increased hours, more sophisticated technology and leaner workforces. Few organisations have escaped these changes whether they are in the private, public or not-for-profit sectors. The University of Bristol has recognised this and designed a bespoke Masters degree in Strategy, Change and Leadership aimed at providing senior managers with the tools and techniques they require in order to navigate their organisations through such demanding times.

Programme Director Helen Ballard says “I am delighted we have the funding available to offer scholarships on our parttime Masters programme. Excellent leadership is critical in this challenging climate, and high performing organisations are recognising the need to further develop their managers. This practical Masters degree will offer a return on investment from day one.” To find out more about the programme and the scholarship places available, come along to an open evening at the University on Wednesday 22nd March from 6pm – 8pm. Tel: 0117 954 6694 or email: to register.

For further information about the course please visit:

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TIME FOR A TAX HEALTH CHECK-UP As the tax year end approaches, Calvin Healy from Richardson Swift provides a summary of the current topical tax planning areas requiring attention in the next few months. Owner managed incorporated businesses

Buy-to-let investors

Major changes to the taxation of dividend income were introduced from 6th April 2016. The changes were directed primarily at the owners of small companies and designed to bring the tax cost of operating as a limited company more into line with the charge on a similar business run as a sole trader.

From 6th April 2016, the 10% wear and tear allowance was abolished for fully furnished buyto-lets. Since that date landlords have only been able to claim an element of deduction against rental profits for actual amounts spent on replacement furnishings during the year.

The changes were: • Abolition of the tax credit; • A dividend tax-free allowance of £5,000; • Dividends in excess of the allowance taxed at flat rates of 7.5% in the basic rate band, 32.5% in the higher rate band and 38.1% in the additional rate band. Measures were also introduced from 6th April 2016 which changed the taxation of savings income, notably interest. The changes introduced a tax-free allowance of either £1,000 or £500, depending on whether the individual is a basic or higher rate taxpayer. Therefore, interest received on funds lent to a company may fall within the allowance.

Changes are also being introduced to restrict tax relief on loan interest. Currently, full tax relief is available for interest on a loan used in a buy-tolet rental venture. The funds may have been used to purchase the property, to make repairs or improvements, or just fund working capital.

Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (ATED) charge could apply, and a return may need to be filed if the property is worth more than £500,000. The annual charge starts at £3,500 and increases depending on the property’s value. For further information and guidance, please contact either Calvin Healy or Jon Miles on 01225 325580, or email Calvin Healy

From 6th April 2017, tax relief on interest will be restricted so that by 2020 interest will no longer be an allowable expense, but will instead attract relief at 20% as a reduction to your tax bill. This change will have a major impact on the owners of buy-to-let property. Therefore, advice will be required to assess the tax impact in order for tax planning opportunities to be explored.

If you are affected by the changes, it is highly recommended that you obtain appropriate tax planning advice to ascertain the cost benefit of dividend extraction between now and 5th April.

In addition to all of this, landlords are amongst those who will be required to report buy-to-let income and expenses quarterly to H M Revenue and Customs under the Making Tax Digital project, which is being phased in from April 2018.

As we have experienced, there is no ‘one size fits all’ recommendation as there are many different factors which need to be considered.

Finally, if you have a company which owns a residential property classed as a “dwelling” on 1st April 2017, then be aware that the Annual



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Do you want to become a better leader?

BATH @ WORK Our series of photographic portraits by Neill Menneer shows Bath people at work. View a gallery of Bath@Work subjects at:

Leila Wakeham

Environmental officer


grew up on the edge of Bristol, and as a teenager it felt like a big day out to visit Bath. At school, I loved science and geography, and chose to study environmental science at the University of Plymouth. Despite my dad being a keen gardener and growing veggies together when I was young, it was at university that I was instilled with a love of soil science. My favourite fact about soil is that it takes up to 1,000 years to make 1cm of soil. Soils store and filter water, protecting us from floods and providing us with clean drinking water. Soil provides the structure and nutrients needed to grow crops. It gives us the foundations for houses. Soil stores carbon (it is estimated that there are 15 thousand million tonnes of carbon in the world’s soils – three times more than in all vegetation and forests). And, without it we wouldn’t have the beautiful landscape and habitat we love so much around Bath. Soil is a vessel for life. After university, some travelling, and another university, I got a job with a soil consultancy in Oxfordshire. I worked on a number of projects alongside landscape architects, and am very proud to have worked on the London 2012 Olympic Parklands. I applied for a job at the Environment Agency and moved back to the west in 2011. My husband James and I moved to Bath largely because of work and life commitments, but I have really enjoyed our time here. I love that Bath feels local despite being a city. We often walk in to town and see the same familiar faces. In my job as environmental officer for the Environment Agency, I regulate businesses and individuals who have an impact on the environment. Mostly these people will have an environmental permit registered with us. These will be for things such as taking water from springs, rivers and boreholes; discharging effluents back into the environment via ditches and rivers; and dealing with waste sites and farms. Although I live in Bath, I work across the Bristol Avon river catchment. This stretches as far north as Berkeley Castle and Wotton-under-Edge, east to Devizes, south to Frome and west to Avonmouth. It’s a pretty big area. You might not always see us, (our uniforms are green and blend in to the environment easily), but we are always around, trying to make the place a bit greener and cleaner. I love being outdoors in my wellies and surrounded by nature, so I’m really lucky to be in a job that allows me to be out and about so much. Neill has photographed me inspecting one of my favourite Bath rivers, The By Brook. Outside work I enjoy yoga, long walks, playing board games with friends (it can get very competitive), and going to some of Bath’s best drinking establishments. A lot of our friends are musicians too, so there are always plenty of gigs and festivals to go to. Last but not least, as part of my job, I also respond to pollutions. There are people like me at the Environment Agency on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, ready to respond to pollution. So if you spot something that doesn’t look right in your environment, report it, tel: 0800 80 70 60. You never know, it might be me who turns up! Visit: n

Part-time MSc Strategy, Change and Leadership

Scholarships now available*

Designed for busy managers to fit around a demanding management role, this part-time programme will help you to:

• enhance your impact as a leader • understand organisational complexity and issues affecting success • improve your ability to manage change and uncertainty • make better choices about growth and strategic direction

Email Cheralyn Dark at or Tel: 0117 954 6694 for details Come along to our Open Evening on Wednesday 22 March 2017 between 6-7.30pm. To register, please email Cheralyn at


HOST FAMILIES REQUIRED Would you like to host French students? Ages 11-17 Saturday 8th July – Friday 28th July One Student – £505 Two Students in Room Share – £960 Two Students in 2 Rooms – £1010

For further information please contact Susie Houston on 0777 379 2866 or email:

PORTRAIT: Neill Menneer at Spirit Photographic. Visit:, tel: 01225 483151. THEBATHMAG.CO.UK

| MARCH 2017 |

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FAMILY DIARY IDEAS FOR THINGS TO DO WITH THE CHILDREN THIS MONTH THE COLOUR OF ME n The egg theatre Friday 3 – Sunday 5 March, times vary With live music and projection, Wriggle Dance presents an interactive dance performance that explores the different emotions that colours present. Suitable for ages three – seven. Tickets: adults £8.50, £7.50 children. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Visit: or call: 01225 823409 to book.

The Colour Of Me at The egg

Also at The egg this month DINKIES STORYTIME ADVENTURES Thursday 16 March, 10am and 11.15am Dragonbird Theatre presents its take on the classic story of The Owl and the Pussycat. Tickets: £3. Suitable for 18 months to four year olds. THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG Friday 17 – Sunday 19 March, times vary This beautiful original ballet tells the heartwarming story of a princess who one day becomes friends with a frog when he agrees to retrieve her golden ball that she dropped in the pond. Extra performances have been added due to popular demand, so get your tickets quick. Suitable for two to nine year olds. Tickets: adults £8.50, children £7.50. NATIONAL UKULELE ORCHESTRA OF CORSHAM n Pound Arts Centre, Pound Pill, Corsham, SN13 9HX Tuesdays in term time, 4pm Join leaders Angelique Williamson and Chris Fitzgerald Jones to grasp the basics of playing the ukulele. Pound Arts wants to make these workshops a family affair, so is offering discounts for children who bring a parent along. Tickets: £4.50 each or £6 per child and parent. Also at Pound Arts Centre this month PLAYTIME Thursdays in term time, 10 – 11am A fun and creative play session for parents and young children where they can enjoy stories, use arts and crafts and listen to music. Suitable for 18 months to four year olds. £4 per child. TODDLER TRAILS

n Dyrham Park, near Bath, SN14 8HY

Tuesdays throughout March, 10.45 – 11.30am Get some fresh air on one of Dyrham Park’s garden trails. Toddlers can learn about

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shape, colour and numbers while exploring nature. This event is free, but normal admission charges apply for the venue. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Please wear suitable clothing for an outdoor activity. Visit: Also at Dyrham Park this month TODDLER FOREST SCHOOL Thursday 9 and Thursday 23 March, 10.30am – 12pm Toddlers can learn some bushcraft, identify plants, build dens and cook over an open fire in Dyrham’s brand new forest school in the woodlands. Suitable for two – four year olds. Please wear suitable clothing for an outdoor activity. Admission: £7 for children, with one free adult per child.

by members of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment with Professor Russell Foster and animateur Mark Withers. Free to attend, no booking required. Visit: Also at the Wiltshire Music Centre this month WILTSHIRE YOUTH JAZZ ORCHESTRA AND GWILYM SIMCOCK Sunday 26 March, 3pm Widely acclaimed for his exciting, enthralling and optimistic music, award-winning pianist Gwilym Simcock will join the talented young musicians of the Wiltshire Youth Jazz Orchestra for a performance of big band classics, original arrangements and some of Gwilym’s own compositions. Tickets: adults £12, students and under 18s £8, family £10. Visit: or call: 01225 860100. SCIENCE BUSKING

n Roman Baths

Saturday 11 March, 2 – 5pm As part of British Science Week, the Roman Baths is putting on activities to allow children to learn more about the science behind the baths. Included in admission price, children must be accompanied by an adult. Visit: Also at Roman Baths this month HANDS ON SCIENCE Monday 13 March – Friday 17 March, 2 – 4pm Children can get hands-on with the science behind some of the museum’s objects. Included in admission price, children must be accompanied by an adult.


n Bath Abbey

Saturday 4 March, 7.30pm The Stroud Choral Society is to give the world premiere of a new work by renowned composer Peter Ash. The new piece sets Roald Dahl’s The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me to music and will feature Sir Tony Robinson as the narrator. Tickets from £10, available from Bath Box Office. Visit: MY SCIENCE FAIR

n Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon

Sunday 5 March, from 10am A unique day of music and science for children. This community festival showcases children’s projects exploring the world of science and music with workshops, games and demonstrations. Includes performances


n Bath City Farm, Kelston View,

Bath, BA2 1NW Monday – Saturday, open 9am – 5pm Visit Bath City Farm, take in the spectacular views of the rolling countryside and meet all the animals on the farm. You can also enjoy a bite to eat and a warm cup of cocoa at the Trough Café. Free entry. Visit: or call: 01225 481269. TALES OF THE LANDS BEYOND BY FAR_FETCHED?! THEATRE CO n Silk Mill, Frome, BA11 1PT Saturday 11 March, 11am and 2pm, and Sunday 12 March, 11am An immersive and educational performance that shows young audiences just how fun the world can be if you look at it with the right

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FAMILY | EVENTS eyes. Based on the book The Phantom Tollbooth, audiences are taken on a magical journey through the lands beyond, meeting the Not-so-Wicked Which, The Mathemagician and many more fantastic characters. Interactive, colourful and utterly silly. For six – 12 year olds. Free performance, donations welcome. Reservation necessary, email: BATH TAPS INTO SCIENCE FAIR n Royal Victoria Park, by the band stand Saturday 18 March, 10am – 4pm People of all ages will be able to interact with staff and students from the University of Bath and local science and engineering companies to get hands-on experience and broaden their knowledge of science through a range of activities. Free to all. No booking is required. Visit: MUSIC FOR MINIATURES

n St Swithin's Church, The Paragon,

Bath, BA1 5LY Saturday 18 March, 10.30 – 11.15am A baby-friendly concert of classical music designed for both adults and children to enjoy. Babies can sleep, cry and crawl, while toddlers can dance and play air-instruments. Suitable for children up to the age of four. Tickets: £8 per adult and child pair, £4 per extra adult, £3 per extra child. Visit:

Science busking at the Roman Baths

CREATE: ART n Fine Art Studio, The Edge, University of Bath Saturday 18 March, 10.30am – 12.30pm Hands on creative workshop led by artist educator Dorcas Casey. Children can try their hands at sticking, drawing and making collages, as well as printmaking and using textiles. Plus pick up some useful tips about making art at home. £5 per child, £3 per adult. Suitable for five – 11 year olds. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Pre-booking advised. Call: 01225 386777 or visit: CHERRY BLOSSOM INK PAINTING n The Museum of East Asian Art, 12 Bennett Street, Bath Saturday 18 March, 2.30 – 4pm

Join Chinese painting artist Aili Purdy and learn how to paint cherry blossom. No experience required, all materials included. Suitable for ages 14 and above. Admission: adults £12, young people / students / friends of the museum £8. Visit: or call: 01225 464640. SATURDAY ART CLUB n The Holburne Museum, Great Pulteney Street Saturday 25 March, 10.30am – 12.30pm Children can develop their artistic skills and create their own art work inspired by Anne Desment’s new wood engravings on the theme of time and place. Booking essential. Suitable for five – 13 year olds. £10 per child. Visit: or call: 01225 388568 to book.



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We deliver to over 20,000 addresses every month. But if you live outside our distribution area or would like us to send a copy to friends or family then we are able to offer a mailing service for only £15.00 (6 issues) or £40.00 Euro zone; £30.00 (12 issues) or £70.00 Euro zone World Zone 1 £95.00 World Zone 2 £120.00 To subscribe to receiving the magazine go to our website; and scroll to the bottom of the page where you can click to an instant link Alternatively send a cheque payable to MC Publishing Ltd 2 Princes Buildings, George Street, Bath BA1 2ED or Telephone 01225 424 499 for card payment


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Professional Bath make up artist Julia Harrison offers tips on keeping our brows, cheeks and lips on trend for summer 2017


y now, most of us are starting to come out from hibernation, craving a single ray of sunshine. The sun might not be ready to give us that satisfaction just yet, but until then we can always use make up to brighten up our skin. The Spring/Summer 2017 campaigns have landed and boy, have times changed. This year’s trends scream individuality, and yes people you heard right, the 80s are back.

BOLD BLUSH We are kicking off with the romantic 80s style blush with a modern twist; colour coordinating it with your lips. Multi-use products are the hottest make up on the market, especially those you can use on the cheek and lip. Start with your usual base before blending the blush softly from cheek to temple. Then match the lips using the same colour. I recommend a cream blush or a cheek and lip product as cream melts better into the skin. Having said that, powder works just as well if used right. You could take this look a step further and blend the colour from the temples onto the crease of the eye using a matching eye colour. Peach (which suits all skin tones) and pinks are the go-to colours for the spring/summer season. Bold or subtle, anything goes. Recommended products: Stila Convertible colour, Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge, Chanel Cream Blush, Clinique Cheek and Lip Pops. BOLD LIPS To pull off the 2017 bold lip I recommend wearing it with a super bare, fresh skin ‘no make up, make up look’. Brush up the brows to make them feathery and keep the eye makeup minimal. Bear in mind that a ‘no makeup, makeup look’ is an art in itself and takes longer than one might think to achieve. Use your tried and tested products and work them onto your skin until you can’t detect any product and are left with a good skin day base to be proud of. Red is always the classic colour for lips, but for spring and summer, the popular colours are orangey reds and hot pinks. Use

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BOLD LIPS: orangey reds and hot pinks are key shades for summer 2017

a lip pencil in the same colour for clean-cut edges and a longer lasting look. Products: Charlotte Tilbury, Nars, MAC, Lipstick Queen, Bobbi Brown and YSL have excellent colour collections and textures to suit everyone, both in lipsticks and lip liners. GLOWING SKIN Glowing skin starts with good consistent skincare. For this think soft femininity, surfer babe sun-kissed skin. Begin with a creamy, dewy base and concealer that suits your skin type, an illuminating primer is optional. Dust a bronzer (preferably matte) on your cheeks, everywhere the sun would naturally hit the face. Highlight the high points of your face but be subtle. Swipe the bronzer lightly on your eyelids and finish with a tinted or a clear lip balm. Products: Becca Backlight Priming Filter, Estee Lauder EE Cream, Armani Maestro Glow Foundation, Sensei Bronzing Gel (personal favourite), Pixi Glow Tonic, RMS Living Lionizer, Charlotte Tilbury Goddess Skin Clay Mask, Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, Diorskin Nude Air Healthy Glow Bronzer and Radiance Powder. SMUDGED KOHL EYELINER Instead of the trusty winged eyeliner or the intimidating smokey eye, give yourself a little edge and try smudging a soft kohl at the roots of your lashes and trace it on your waterline. The more imperfect, the better. Pack on the mascara, brush up your brows, sweep a bronzer or blush on your cheeks, and you are ready to go. Remember to have a good clean base as you can only afford to be messy in one place. Tip: Not feeling the black kohl in the daylight, swap it with kinder blues or browns. Products: Estee Lauder Pure Colour Intense Kajal, Charlotte Tilbury Rock ‘N’ Kohl, Lancôme Crayon Kohl, Rommel Scandaleyes, MAC kohl eyeliner, Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil.

DANCE PARTY GLITTER As seen on the catwalks, think eyebrow glitter, glitter designs on the face and scattered on lower lids. The full-on glitter is a statement in itself, so it will be unnecessary to overload with more make up, other than base and concealer. If you are not a fan of glitter, try using a highlighter or shimmer on top of an eye shadow or on its own on the eyelid. Products: MAC Glitter and Pigments, MAC Extra Dimension Eye Shadow, Urban Decay Heavy Metal Liner and Nars Dual Intensity Eye Shadow. COLOUR POP There are no rules with this one and just go with the colour flow – go for aquamarine, candy pink, lavender, tangerine, emerald green and cobalt blue. Electric and pastels can be worn either sheer or opaque on the eyelids for a crisp, summery feel. Wear with strong brows – the boyish full brow is not going anywhere for now, so stay away from the tweezers and brush the brows up with pride – and either matching lips or cheeks, or a clear lip gloss. Tip: If you’re not at ease with bold colours, try a coloured eyeliner on bottom lids for a subtle pop. Products: MAC, Urban Decay and Illamasqua. Also YSL, Chanel, Dior, Estee Lauder and Lancôme make limited edition eyeshadow palettes for each season. Julia Harrison specialises in make up for media, bridal and special occasions. Private make up lessons from £30. Contact Julia: email:, Instagram: @juliaharrisonmakeup, Facebook: juliaharrisonmakeup. n

The Orangery fp March.qxp_Layout 1 23/02/2017 14:58 Page 1

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Uplift not a Facelift ULTHERAPY is now available in Bath. The latest non-surgical skin tightening treatment using state-of-the art ultrasound technology – “Uplift Not A Facelift”

No.2 Kingsmead St. Bath • Tel: 01225 466851

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Removal of moles, skin tags, cysts and other skin lesions If you have been thinking about getting rid of an annoying or unsightly skin lesion then we can help you • Removal of single or multiple skin lesions • • Simple, surgical procedure using local anaesthetic • • Delivered by highly experienced local doctors • • Convenient ‘one-stop’ appointment including consultation and procedure • • Easy-access clinics in BANES with free parking • Please contact us or visit our website for further information Email: • Tel: 0333 332 1491


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Boutique Salon & Spa

Winner of Best Hair Salon & Best Day Spa in Somerset 2016 Nestled in the very heart of Bath, our Grade II listed Boutique Day Spa and Hair Salon, a longstanding family business, offers the perfect ambience in which to spend time relaxing with your Mum and indulge in head-to-toe pampering.



*Mini Manicure *Mini Pedicure *Back Massage *Hair Blow Dry Book online Email or call 01225 478478 4/5 Monmouth Street, Bath BA1 2AJ T: 01225 478478

11 Broad Street, Wells BA5 2DJ T: 01749 672225


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Andrew Swift harks back to the Middle Ages and discovers an abundance of historic buildings and sites around Salisbury


alisbury, originally known as Sarum, is a city that started somewhere else – two miles to the north, to be precise, within the ramparts of an iron-age hillfort, where the Normans built both castle and cathedral. Then, in 1220, the foundation stone of a new cathedral was laid, down by the banks of the River Avon. It was to become one of the grandest in Christendom, and the city that grew up around it was one of the most important in medieval England. Almost 800 years on, the cathedral, set within the largest close in England, remains one of the most immediately recognisable buildings in the country, while the city around it holds ample evidence of its medieval origins. Equally remarkable is its setting, with water meadows creating an almost uninterrupted green artery through the city, so that the view of the cathedral from the south, uncluttered by buildings, is the same as it was when Constable painted it in the 1830s. As well as exploring this green artery, and visiting Old Sarum, this walk visits part of the old city, including the cathedral close. As the easiest way to get to Salisbury is by train, it starts at the station.

THE WALK After turning left out of the station, cross a zebra crossing by the Cat Tavern and carry on in the same direction. After 300m, you come to the General Infirmary, designed by John Wood the Younger, whose foundation stone was laid, like that of the Royal Crescent, in 1767. After passing the clock tower, whose base once formed part of the old jail, cross a zebra crossing and continue over a footbridge to the Town Mill (SU142299). Go through an archway and carry on alongside the mill leat. Carry on past the Boathouse pub, under the railway and the by-pass, and over a zebra crossing into Ashley Road Open Space. Stay on the left bank, and, after crossing another mill leat, follow the path alongside the river. Carry on along a boardwalk through the Avon Valley Nature Reserve, and, after it ends, bear left rather than going through the gate ahead. 74 TheBATHMagazine


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Continue through a kissing gate (KG) and bear right along a track between hedges. Follow this as it bears right and then left, but, when you come to a tarmac path, bear right along it. After crossing the river, carry on along a lane and turn left by a thatched cottage at the end. When the pavement ends, by the Prebendal House, cross and turn up a lane. After 350m, turn right up a broad path (SU133327). After another 100m, turn left through a gate and follow a track up to another gate. This leads onto Old Sarum’s outer rampart, from which a narrow causeway leads across a ditch and through the inner rampart to emerge on a broad expanse of turf with the foundations of the cathedral to the left and the remains of the castle ahead. After touring the site, follow the road leading out through the ramparts. When it swings left, go through a gate on the right and follow a path straight on through another gate. Just before a busy road, turn right along a path for Stratford Sub Castle. Carry on with the hedge on your right, but, just before the end of the field, bear left, go down a few steps and turn right along an old rough track known as the

Portway (SU139323). After 250m, you pass a sarsen on the right commemorating the parliament tree that stood nearby. Continue along a lane, and, at the road, carry on in the same direction. When the road swings right, bear left along a path. After 200m, bear right along a rough track which soon curves left to follow the river. After 750m, when you come to a bridge, cross it and turn left alongside the river. After going under the bypass, turn left across a bridge which once carried the railway over Castle Street, but was moved here in 1898. At the end of Nelson Road, turn right under the new bridge along Castle Street. Although not one of Salisbury’s more celebrated streets, it contains such gems as Milford Hall, Hussey’s Almshouses, the 16th century George and Dragon and some 15th century cottages. Keep to the right as you enter the Market Place and carry on through an alley to St Thomas’s church, famous for a mural of the Last Judgement dating from 1475. Carry on past the church and turn left along Silver Street. Continue past the Poultry Cross along Butcher Row.

BRITAIN’S TALLEST SPIRE: main image, Salisbury Cathedral Opposite, a sarsen commemorating the parliament tree, and a view from the site of Old Sarum

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At the end, turn right and continue along Catherine Street and St John’s Street, before turning right, opposite the Chapter House pub, through St Anne’s Gate, which dates from 1331. After passing a sundial from 1749, carry on along North Walk into the Cathedral Close. This contains one of the finest collections of buildings in the country. No less than 123 structures in the Close are listed – 21 of them Grade I – making a circuit of it one of the most architecturally rewarding walks in the country. After walking along the north side, bear left and, after passing Salisbury Museum, bear left again. At the end, bear right along a path, before turning left through the south gate. At the end, turn right by De Vaux House, which started life as a college in 1261. St Nicholas’s Hospital, which you pass on

the left, is even older. After crossing two bridges, turn right along Harnham Road, past the 16th century Rose & Crown, and turn right at the main road. After 600m, turn right along Lower Street (SU135291). After 80m, turn left into the church hall car park and follow the path to Harnham church, founded in 1115. Go through a gate at the end of the churchyard, cross the road and head along a lane to the left of a thatched cottage. Keep going past the oldest surviving watermill in Wiltshire for the highlight of the walk – the sudden, uninterrupted view of the cathedral across water meadows. Carry on along a path through the meadows, and, after crossing a bridge, turn left to return to the station or right to return to the city centre. n

Andrew Swift is the author of On Foot in Bath: Fifteen Walks Around a World Heritage City and co-author, with Kirsten Elliot, of Ghost Signs of Bath.

FACT FILE ■ Length of walk: 7½ miles ■ Approximate time: 3½ – 4 hours ■ Map: OS Explorer 130 ■ Getting there: there an hourly train from Bath Spa to Salisbury ■ Entrance charges: there is a charge for entry to the castle site at Old Sarum, but free access to the rest of the site, visit:



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CLUTTER-FREE ZONE: Pavilion Blue paint by Farrow and Ball.

COOL, CALM & COLLECTED Is your bedroom a nightmare? A place where you dump your clutter, catch up on your emails late into the night and where you spend the wee small hours restlessly punching your pillow? Bath interior designer Clair Strong shows us how to create a healthy bedroom for a better night’s sleep


e all understand the importance of sleep. And yet so many of us struggle to get a solid seven or eight hours. For many people, the problem of poor sleep is quite simple: their bedroom is not the sanctuary of peace and quiet it should be. Clutter, noise, stimulation from digital devices and uncomfortable beds can all have a serious impact on sleep quality. Fortunately, this is an easy fix. Here are my tips for creating a healthy, sleep-inducing bedroom without sacrificing style. CALMING COLOURS That bright pink accent wall might look fabulous, but it could also be keeping you awake. Intense colours create visual energy, making you feel stimulated, inspired or motivated. That’s great in the office or the gym, but less useful in the bedroom. Colour is intrinsically linked with mood and emotions, so choose calming colours like light blues, greys and greens for a relaxing, restful space. For inspiration: CURTAIN CALL The human body is designed to sleep when it is dark, so the more light you can remove from your bedroom, the better. Any form of light (including light from a phone screen) inhibits the production of melatonin, a hormone that induces drowsiness. Less melatonin means less sleep. Inside the home we can simply turn all the 110 76 TheBATHMagazine TheBATHMagazine | | MaRCh DeCeMbeR 20172016

lights off. But what about the outside sources we have no control over? Blackout curtains are a fantastic solution, blocking up to 99% of all light, including street lamps and sunlight. If you already have a pair of curtains you love, consider getting them relined with blackout lining to create the same effect. REDUCE CLUTTER Your bedroom is not the place for clutter. If there’s only one room in your house you keep impeccably tidy, make it the bedroom. Remove anything and everything you do not need. That means the piles of laundry, stacks of old magazines and boxes of clothes you will finally get round to donating. Clutter can be stressful and distracting which is exactly what we’re trying to avoid in the bedroom. Removing clutter will also have the added benefit of keeping the bedroom free from dust and bacteria.

INDULGE IN A LITTLE LUXURY We spend a third of our lives asleep (or at least trying to sleep) and even more time than that in our bedrooms. Why not make the most of it? Indulging in a little luxury may even help you sleep better. Particularly if you focus on the things you use most frequently, like pillows and bed linens. We sleep better when we’re comfortable, so if that means spending a little more money, it’s well worth the investment. Scent is another little luxury that might help you sleep better. Essential oils like jasmine and lavender are well-known to have a calming effect on the body. Transform your bedroom into a spa-like haven with diffusers or room sprays. MATTRESS MATTERS Like most things, mattresses experience lots of wear and tear with use. Unlike most things, this wear and tear isn’t always visible. According to Which? a good quality mattress will last between eight and 10 years. After that time, it’s simply not providing you with the support and comfort you need. If you wake up feeling stiff and achy, or still feel tired after a full night’s sleep, it might be time to replace your mattress. DITCH THE DIGITAL DEVICES We’re all guilty of taking our phones and iPads to bed to watch a film, browse the internet, email friends . . . However, numerous studies have shown that watching

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CREATE A BEAUTIFUL SPACE: left to right, Rose roller blind by Style Studio and bedroom furniture by Team 7 Nox by Wharfside

TV or using your phone before bed can lead to sleep deprivation. Don’t spend time and money on creating a beautiful space only to keep up destructive habits. For a better night’s sleep ensure TVs, phones and tablets are kept out of the bedroom. THE SLEEP COUNCIL ADVISES The British Sleep Council recommends that we keep our bedrooms at around 16 – 18C (that’s

60 – 65F) – too hot or too cold and it may disturb your slumbers. If you’ve had a hectic day and find it difficult to unwind, try creating a calming ritual to induce sleep. Have a warm bath, listen to some quiet, soothing music or do some yoga – these all help to relax the mind and the body. Once in bed try deep, slow breathing and encourage yourself to count your blessings and focus on the positive factors in your life.

Eating dinner late may be another factor in making getting to sleep harder. The best foods for sleep include milk, cherries, chicken and rice. The worst offenders are fatty meat, curry and alcohol. Some people try to eat their last meal of the day by 6pm, giving their bodies time to digest their food before bedtime – but this may not be practical for many working people. Find more tips at: n



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Naomi Price learns about the fascinating process of creating unique glass splashbacks for bathrooms and kitchens, produced in workshops just outside Bath


ou don’t know where to look first. On one wall there’s a three-foot expanse of ocean blue, on another hundreds of pieces of shimmering mosaic. Gleaming on a shelf there are at least five sorts of green – and that’s just within one subdivision. “If people can’t see the colour they want, we can always make it up for them.” But I couldn’t see a colour I didn’t want. If someone told you that a series of cowsheds and milking parlours, each the size of a small hangar, was home to the ultimate in sophisticated glass design and technology, you might just struggle to believe them. But three miles outside Bath at the foot of a combe by a meadow which is the very shade of one of their samples, lives Opticolour, one of only a scarce few places in the UK which specialises in the integrated production of glass splashbacks and wall coverings for kitchens and bathrooms. I was fascinated by the process. First, clearly, there’s the glass. Very clearly. Though not necessarily, for I’m told that many producers are content with the faint element of green that glass retains by default due to the presence of iron, making it difficult to achieve definition of colour during later stages of the process. Through a glass darkly, really. This glass is as clear as clear can be. Vast sheets of the stuff, some the size of a small bathroom in its own right – 78 TheBATHMagazine


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though for reasons of safety (men in Kevlar suits and riot gear are all around), there’s a limit to size. With infinite care the glass is moved to an automated cutting table with the dimensions, where a pre-programmed scorer glides mysteriously across. Cutting is to a tolerance of half a millimetre – that’s equivalent to the depth of a piece of thin paper. Then, in the next dairy, the piece of glass (anything from a tiny tile to a 3.6-metre panel) is transferred to the edger, where the glass trundles along on a series of mini rollers and onto another feat of precision to produce a finished outline that’s both safe and aesthetically pleasing. That’s an arras – not a word you’d necessarily encounter outside Shakespeare. After the last phase of its metamorphosis by jets of water and sand (they can cut through steel), the glass emerges pristine and ready for the colour room, where completed orders in a state of modest undisplay compel attention: intense blue cornflowers on a shower screen, a vermilion-red panel suggesting a Rothko piece – or was that just the effect of inhalation of certain fixing solvents? The finished result is crated up like a piece of fine art and shipped off to Swindon where, in a further mindblowing process of metaphysical alchemy, it’s annealed: heated in a furnace to 700 degrees, then quenched

by jets so that exterior and interior cool inconsistently, thus correcting any internal strain during manufacture. After that, the glass is tempered by being heated to beyond its recrystallisation point, changing its molecular structure to create the outcome where, in case of shattering, the glass is reduced to blunted fragments rather than jagged shards. Opticolour is quite a team. Having started out as a small family business, and now with 33 people to its workforce, its prodigious output is disproportionate to its diminutive size. The factory produces between 60 and 80 pieces a day, with much of the custom – mainly supply and fit – concentrated along the M4 corridor and London. Business suffered from an unwelcome Brexit wobble. Says Kathy Hirst, co-owner: “We were geared up for the massive

ANY COLOUR YOU LIKE: top, a dramatic kitchen with headturning blue splashbacks by Kettle Kitchens of Fowey, and, below, samples of just a few of the colours available at Opticolour Image: Peter Travers Photography EYE CATCHING: Opposite page, left to right, vertical and horizontal stripes (and no grouting to clean) by Searle and Taylor Kitchens of Winchester, and, far right, streamlining in a wake-me-up green glass lined shower

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Christmas we’ve always had – which never happened.” It hasn’t changed Opticolour’s position as market leaders. It’s cutting edge, as you might say. Kathy Hirst, who trained in stained glass, runs the business with co-owner Steve Bale, a self-deprecating glazier with a flair for graphic design. They had seven-plus years of lean before the company gathered the momentum that fuels the power-house of plenty that it’s become. Originally an allpurpose glazing business, the niche success that they enjoy is serendipitous. Kathy says:

“We sort of stumbled on it. People kept asking for splashbacks for their kitchens and bathrooms, and other people weren’t making them.” Why no effective competition? The market is difficult to penetrate, with the complexities and pitfalls that may be imagined, although given the nature of the material, the number of breakages and accidents is astonishingly low. “Though it’s not for the faint-hearted,” is Kathy’s dry remark. Then there’s the nature of colour. The bulk can correspond to the sample as much

possible but there are always going to be customers who don’t take subjectivity into account. As with paint, where the same colour applied to different walls rarely looks the same, it’s all relative to light and context – but also to the size of the surface area, since the bigger the piece, the darker it’s going to appear. At the end emerges a beautiful piece, rich with facets, depth and clarity, but which also protects your walls. Opticolour is based at Priston Mill, Nr. Bath. BA2 9EQ. Tel: 01225 464343 n

SUNNINGHILL INTERIORS BEAUTIFUL & EXCEPTIONAL INTERIOR 7 EXTERIOR DESIGN Call or email for a free initial consultation Tel: 01784 435175 Mobile: 07534 447676



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GENTLE CURVES: Grace armchairs by Jetclass furniture

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A return to retro, playful prints and striking metallics are all key to spring’s decidedly refreshing new mood, writes local interior designer John Law


hey call Maison & Objet the trade show that knows, and along with an always welcome weekend in Paris, our bi-annual trip to Europe’s biggest design show offers an allimportant glimpse into the future of interior design. While we’re always inspired by the sheer breadth of what’s on display, this year saw a smile-inducing upturn in playful home adornment, from flamingo fabrics and wallpapers to hanging test-tube like vases and cacti, and colour was everywhere. The uniting theme of show, intriguingly, was silence, and yet the fascinating bit was that everyone had very different ideas on how that sense of serenity, or place to feel truly at home, can be achieved and expressed. Here are just a few of the themes that really captured our imagination. . .

COLOUR YOURSELF HAPPY We saw the whole spectrum of palettes from caramel, rust and oranges to calming creams and browns and yet our favourite combinations were the vibrant green on green schemes or the wash of blush pinks and pastels that proved popular on myriad stands. Ligne Roset embraced pink with its rose colour modular Ethan wardrobe, and Pierre Frey showed us fuchsia fabrics and ethnic prints which would be perfect for adding bright pops of colour and pattern to more neutral Georgian backdrops. We were particularly taken with Portuguese brand Jetclass, whose smokey pink velvet neoclassical sofas and marshmallow-hued armchairs contrasted against gently curved

ASYMMETRIC: jewel-like midcentury mirror by Essential Home

furniture and retro pouffes to create the scheme of Lady Penelope’s (and our) dreams.

THE TIME IS NOT NOW Many of the stands seemed to take inspiration from the past, with a particular nod to the mid-century modern movement, albeit brought bang-up-to-date with a few very 21st-century influences. Essential Home offered a masterclass in how to balance the eras, with its bold, statement furniture that is both supremely elegant and cosy at the same time. Pink fringed sofas, retro panelled sideboards, off-kilter diamond mirrors and other novelties from statement gold-fronted cabinets to wing chairs made their stand a place you wanted to hang out. These pieces evoked memories of things you’ve definitely seen before at your nan’s, except its versions were supremely glam and covetable in the extreme.

GOING FOR GOLD Also adding glamour to proceedings was the wealth of gold and gloriously mixed materials on show, from ornate mirrors to inlaid pieces of furniture. We were drawn like magpies to various sculptural lighting brands, probably because we’re always advocating how the right sort of lighting can make such a dramatic difference to any room. Schwung Home’s wall sconces and floor lamps made in burnished and lacquered brass with mouth-blown glass globes were like very beautiful pieces of art in their own right, and we loved the 20th century-inspired chandeliers from Magic Circus. Our

COLOUR POPS: Pierre Frey ‘s bright fabrics

favourite chandelier 01 offers a floating deconstruction of a Sputnik space probe that’s both theatrical and completely beautiful and would look amazing in Bath’s high-ceilinged drawing rooms.

MARBLE MAGIC The theme of marble – whether real or imitation – on table tops and textiles, walls and floors cropped up again and again across the show. Antolini showcased a wealth of marble in unusual colours that looked so exotic, Casa Deco adorned sofas to curtains in lovely grey and midnight marble fabric and we adored the work of British designer Tamasine Osher. Her tables mix chic marble tops with striking architectural bases – some look like spider’s legs – and we could definitely see her coffee table taking up residence in our own home. Just like the latest catwalk fashions you probably won’t wear head-to-toe, breathing new life into your interiors space is about picking the pieces that you really love and making them work for you. We put in orders for everything from console tables to beautiful glass vases, zigzag inlay chests of drawers and plenty of decorative items, which will be trickling their way through into the showroom soon, should you need some extra temptation to hit refresh in your home. John Law is a director at Woodhouse & Law, the well-established full service interior and garden design partnership, with a showroom and studio on Bathwick Hill. Visit:

FAUX FUN: the magic of marble can now be found in fabrics



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DESIGN IS IN THE DETAILS Leading Irish paint brand Colourtrend makes environmentally friendly ranges that are ideal for creating stylish contemporary interiors, as we discover with a case study of three boutique B&Bs in Bath


change in career direction saw Michael and Sarah Jones set up the first of their boutique B&B hotels in Bath in 2011, taking on Brindleys, a Victorian villa in Pulteney Gardens. The pair wanted to create something unique for their guests and Sarah tried various paint brands before settling on Colourtrend Paints. Colourtrend is an Irish family owned paint company, based just outside Dublin, which has been trading for more than 60 years. It has six company-owned Colortrend stores and is stocked in more than 100 selected independent paint retailers across Ireland, the UK and Europe. The company was founded by Ronan O’Connor, whose son Kevin O’Connor, is now managing director. Colourtrend is currently stocked in Davies of Bath in Monmouth Place (just along from The Scallop Shell fish restaurant) where manager Tom Durnford and colour consultant Caroline Burgess-James offer advice to private and commercial clients. Caroline worked closely with Sarah as she set about decorating Brindleys’ six bedrooms. Sarah wanted each room to have its own character and for the style to be traditional French 82 TheBATHMagazine


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chic with contemporary elements. The pair chose a predominantly neutral palate of calming pale greys and taupe and then introduced accents of colour to give each room its own personality. Alongside fluffy towels, comfy beds, power showers and a freshly cooked breakfast, B&B guests are welcomed with stylish home from home atmosphere. The success of Brindleys led Michael and Sarah to open two more boutique B&Bs in Bath, Grays in Upper Oldfield Park and, most recently, Leighton Townhouse on Wells Road. The B&Bs have made The Times list of the coolest places to stay in the UK. Caroline says that the principles Sarah had used in her B&Bs’ decor can easily be applied to decorating a family home. “The Colourtrend range of colours is very wide and offers depth of colour and a very durable finish, which is useful when you’ve got children, or

you’re knocking a vacuum against a skirting board. They’re also very easy to keep clean and crisp looking.” Caroline can help in the decision process, either in store using photographs of the room and swatches of fabrics already in the home, or by arranging a free visit. Davies of Bath, which has been trading in the city since 1935, can also arrange free delivery, so your Colourtrend paints can be brought to your own front door. Caroline advises home decorators to use an A5 real paint colour panel of their desired colour from the Colourtrends Contemporary and Historic Collections, which can then be moved around the room, catching the light and allowing the chance to see how the hue works alongside existing furnishings, such as curtains or carpets. These innovative A5 colour panels are produced using real Colourtrend paint make it easier to choose colours with confidence. Its colour palates are developed with colour comfort in mind, which allow colours to be easily combined and paired with each other to create an atmosphere. The colours themselves are created using exclusive pigments which give a greater subtlety of shading and a

HOME FROM HOME: main picture, a neutral background with splashes of sunny yellow in one of the bedrooms at Brindleys B&B Colourtrend paints used: walls, Silver Moonlight, ceiling Lemon Curd Inset, Colourtrend paints is a leading brand from Ireland

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USE OF COLOUR: calming shades (walls, Winter’s Breath) work well in Grays, while taupe, grey (walls, Silver Moonlight) and the finest bedding give guests a good night’s sleep Below, contemporary glamour with Colourtrends’ range of in depth colours (walls, Subtle, ceiling, Ermine) and right, bold accents of bright pink at Leighton Townhouse (walls, Subtle) richer depth of colour. Sarah was bold enough to use splashes of vibrant colours on ceilings and accent walls complemented by French painted furniture and fabrics. She also uses fabrics to good effect, choosing bright pops of colour in cushions and throws to bring a room together. Pairs of lamps, pretty bedside tables, details on curtain tie-backs and vases of fresh flowers provide extra flourishes that really make a room feel elegant and comfortable. Sarah said: “Caroline’s instincts and knowledge of colour matching has been invaluable, and her advice has definitely lead to us taking bolder decisions on room colour schemes. “She has helped us create a warm and inviting palette which so many of our guests want to replicate in their own homes – the ultimate compliment.” “We are constantly being asked by guests about our paint colours so we now give them printed sheets with all the colours.” Colourtrends’ Historic Collection range of 88 classic colours make it easy to choose shades inspired by skills and traditions of

artisan colour craftsmen and they range from the delightfully named ivory Wedding Bouquet, through sunny yellow Breakfast Room to classic Scullery Green. There’s good news for anyone who struggles with the odour from traditional gloss paint. The Colourtrend Trim product range offers a water-based alternative to traditional, strong-smelling, solvent-based enamel paint finishes, which is kinder to you and your family, the painter and the environment. Advances in alkyd resin technology have allowed Colourtrend’s development team to create a range of quick-drying and lowodour, easy-to-use trim finishes. Colourtrend Trim products retain all the benefits of traditional solvent coatings – including excellent flow and levelling – as well as a super hardwearing and easy clean finish. For best results use with a good quality synthetic brush and apply two coats. Throughout the range there is attention to the user’s needs, ease of application, lasting results and care for the environment. In the primer range, for example An epoxy primer sealer was developed using the latest in

coating technology to give all the benefits of traditional shellac primers combined with the outstanding chemical resistance of epoxy. It is waterbased with virtually no odour and is quick-drying – making it ideal for hospitals, nursing homes, hotels – anywhere where a quick turnaround time is of critical importance. Clean up is simple – just use warm soapy water. It’s non-flammable and low in VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) making it kinder to the environment and safer to work with. Davies of Bath stocks a huge range of Colourtrend paints, including the Historic and Contemporary Collections. There is parking and the shop is open 7.30am – 5pm, Monday to Friday and 8am – 4pm on Saturdays. Colour consultancy sessions can be booked by appointment. Davies of Bath, 19A Monmouth Place, tel: 01225 423749, visit: Boutique B&Bs:, and To find out more about Colourtrend Paints, visit: n



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LITTLE AND OFTEN A pint sized plot can still give you plenty of fresh greens, says Jane Moore


’m a girl who likes to eat my greens as well as grow them and I’ve grown them in all sorts of odd places. I’ve lived in some varied rental properties over the years as you can probably imagine.I’ve grown tomatoes and potatoes in pots while in a flat, fantastic shallots on the sandy soil of Bournemouth while working on a gardening magazine and I’ve even had my ‘allotment years’ on the slopes of Bathampton. In those years my co-allotmenteer Lizzy and I had such a surfeit of produce that I became adept at pickling and preserving which I still love doing. In the last few years I’ve stuck to growing stuff at The Priory but lately my thoughts have been turning to creating a little plot at home, just a raised bed for all those salads and baby vegetables which are so expensive to buy and taste so much better fresh from the garden. Now there’s looming Brexit with all that entails, not to mention the Spanish broccoli and courgette crisis which may be over for the moment, but you do have to wonder if it’s the tip of the iceberg, pardon the pun. But there’s no better way to soothe the anxious mind than a bit of gardening so let’s plant vegetables and salads and make sure we can do without the iceberg for a few months. 86 TheBATHMagazine


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PINT SIZED Where to grow? If you can find the space a little raised bed is always the best solution for the diminutive garden, especially if you’re short on time too. Raised beds make life easier for the gardener as they’re nicely contained making watering and slug management more straightforward and you can pack in your plants just that little bit more tightly than in a traditional bed, giving you greater crops in less space. I’ve known a little plot only a metre or so square keep a small family in salad leaves through the summer with some careful planning and repeat planting.

CROPS IN POTS If you don’t have that amount of space or you’re passing through a garden fleetingly as a student or whathave-you then grow stuff in containers. I’ve done big pots with wigwams of runner and French beans under planted with marigolds for sheer jolliness and a few salad leaves. Trailing Crystal Apple cucumbers look great in big pots with their pleasingly spherical shape and they’re the perfect size for a salad for two. You can grow lovely courgettes in a large pot – one courgette plant is plenty for a family of four unless you live on ratatouille – not to mention tomatoes such as Totem and Tumbler that have been specially bred for the container market. Then there is a whole plethora of salad leaves such as cut-and-come again lettuces which are fab in all sorts of containers including window boxes as long as you keep watering them. SPEEDY CROPS A quick crop is always encouraging and there are few things quicker than salad leaves so that’s a good place to start. Radishes would go very well with your salad and they’re also lightning quick to grow and don’t take up much space.

NO FOOD MILES: growing in your own backyard means produce is really fresh from soil to plate Main picture, a whole new meaning to a bed of lettuce as an ornate frame is used as a planter for salad crops Inset, chard looks pretty tucked in among the flowers Opposite, a small bed can be packed with veg, including broad beans, lettuce and carrots, while a pot of tumbling tomatoes can be raised in a sunny window Far right, grow nasturtiums for their jewel-bright flowers and peppery leaves – both work well in summer salads

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You’ll need a bit more room for chard but it makes a great addition to salads when the leaves are young and is a good leafy vegetable as it gets more mature. The colourful leaves might look great in a salad bowl but they also jazz up the garden too. Many herbs such as dill and chervil are pretty swift to get going too and a little goes a very long way with tasty things such as herbs so you only need a few at any one time. KEEP IT COMING The trick is to keep on sowing so you get a succession of crops which is where a cold frame or a not too sunny windowsill comes in handy. You need a bit of propagation

going on regularly so you can pop something in as soon as you whip something out in true Blue Peter fashion. It’s simply a matter of sowing a few seeds every week or two to replace finished crops or worn out salads – and really I mean just a few as you don’t want too much at one go. Use those six packs left over from your bedding plants and sow a few lettuces and herbs at a time. A FEW FLOWERS Don’t forget there are quite a few edible flowers which will not only brighten up your mini kitchen garden but also your salad bowl. They’re very easy to grow but tend to cost a fortune if you buy ready prepared salads with flowers in them.

At The Priory we always grow nasturtiums for their brilliant orange, red and yellow edible flowers and for their crunchy, slightly peppery leaves for salads. The pot marigold or calendula has edible petals in clear orange or yellow and it also makes a lovely cut flower for those Sarah Raven moments. Finally wild rocket has the loveliest edible flowers – bright yellow with a strangely beguiling flavour of sweet pepperiness which is very umami. That’s once it gets a bit stressed and goes to seed, which wild rocket does without fail – that’s why you need to keep on sowing for later on. n Jane Moore is the award-winning gardening columnist and head gardener at The Bath Priory Hotel. @janethegardener.





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Introducing... Michelle Goreham, Home Admissions Advisor at the new luxury care home Gracewell of Bath


y links with Bath are long and strong. I love the city for its beautiful historic buildings and I enjoy wandering around the eclectic mix of boutique style shops it has to offer, as well as taking a scenic trip along the river. I have many connections with the local churches, schools and businesses in Bath, and with the Royal United Hospital and St Martin’s Hospital. I am also a dementia champion in the area. One of the many things I love about Gracewell of Bath is the incredible location. Our home is in an elevated area, and on clear days we have beautiful views across the city - even as far as the Brecon Beacons from the top floor. It is also situated at the centre of a thriving community. What makes Gracewell of Bath so special is the personalised care programme that we offer to each resident, which focuses on the individuals’ personal interests, social life, former working life and their personal companionship. Our rooms are beautifully decorated, our

lounges are modern and comfortable and residents’ can enjoy their favourite meals, which are freshly prepared onsite by our dining team. Personal care, nursing and support needs are a priority, and residents are kept busy spending time with family and friends, as well as taking part in organised visits and activities. After living in New Zealand, I have recently moved back to support my own elderly parents with their own needs. The care of the elderly and embarking on a new career in the care sector just felt like the natural choice for me. Making a difference to the way life is lived and enjoyed in the latter years is a particular passion. Gracewell offers unique and personalised care with a feeling of luxury that I believe everyone deserves to enjoy. For more information, please contact Gracewell of Bath on 01225 435870.



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avendish Crescent was designed by John Pinch and built for William Broom between 1817 and 1830. The Crescent comprised 11 houses of equal size the fronts of which are architecturally identical and exude simple eighteenth century elegance. During the 20th century most of the houses were divided to create apartments and so Number 2 offers a rare opportunity to acquire a complete townhouse in this enviable location. The Grade II listed property, with an internal area of 4621 sq ft/429 sq m, has spectacular views across the Approach Golf Course and to the city beyond. The accommodation briefly comprises: Fabulous drawing room and withdrawing room, an impressive handmade kitchen leading to dining room, 5 double bedrooms, 4 en suite with an additional shower room and cloakroom, lower ground floor ideal as a self contained apartment or home office, attractive walled, paved gardens and access to south facing communal gardens, residents parking. A mere 10 minutes walk into town, and ideally located for schools, shopping, sports and commuting, this really could be Bath living at its best. For further details and to view contact agents Pritchards. Pritchards, 11 Quiet Street, Bath. Tel: 01225 466225

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2 CAVENDISH CRESCENT LANSDOWN • Grade II listed townhouse with spectacular views • Five double bedrooms, 4 en suite • Attractive walled gardens • Residents parking

OIEO: £2,500,000 (Price just revised)

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Doynton An substantial stone built 4 bedroom barn conversion, set within this prestigious development in a peaceful & sought after rural location just 7 miles north of Bath. Level garden, garage, parking space. internal area: 1901 sq ft/177 sq m.

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Marshfield A well presented, spacious & extremely versatile 4 bedroom Grade II period property with a good sized garden & off street parking, conveniently situated in the heart of the village. Useful outbuilding. Internal area house: 1779 sq ft/165 sq m.

Price: ÂŁ645,000 11 Quiet Street, Bath BA1 2LB

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Woodland Place, Bathwick Hill An impressive and spacious Grade II Listed Georgian townhouse dating back to 1826 and designed by renowned Bath architect Henry Goodridge. Arranged over four floors, the property benefits from four sizeable bedrooms and four reception rooms with an abundance of elegant period features.

Rent: ÂŁ4,000 pcm* bright & spacious drawing room | tall sash windows | south-facing balcony | country style kitchen | Aga | feature fireplaces | family room | utility room | cloakroom | study | enclosed garden | 4 double bedrooms | 2 bathrooms | off-street parking Reside Bath | 24 Barton Street Bath BA1 1HG | T 01225 445 777 | E | W

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EYE-CATCHING: Royal View, moored like an ocean liner beside the River Avon

THE NEW BUILDING OF BATH The Bath Magazine takes a site tour of some of the new developments large and small in Bath, which is witnessing the biggest domestic construction for decades


he exodus of the Ministry of Defence and the demise of so much of Bath’s heavy industry caused something of a catalyst in the city. And with the declaration from Bath and North East Somerset Council that the area would need more than 12,000 new homes by the year 2029, a building programme was energetically launched. To the 2017 visitor this phase in Bath’s history must have had the same impact as someone visiting in the 1960s, when rows of contemporary family homes sprung up alongside the Victorian terraces up and down Bath’s seven hills. We tread a fine line between protecting our glorious Georgian heritage and Bath’s World Heritage site status, and keeping this a living, breathing city where children can grow up and where their parents can live and work. Laws concerning a quota of affordable, or social housing mean developers are not just building for the top end of the market, although it is fair to point out that the majority of Bath’s housing stock is beyond the financial reach of nurses, teachers and other key workers. We’ve donned our hard hats to survey some of the projects, large and small, underway in the Bath and North Somerset Council area. This looks like being the busiest period in domestic construction for a generation. Enjoy your virtual site tour.

HOLBURNE PARK Holburne Park at Warminster Road, Bath, like Lansdown and Mulberry Park has been created from a former Ministry of Defence site. How many homes and what size in beds terms? There will eventually be more than 200 homes, ranging from two to five bedrooms. 98 TheBATHMagazine


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Who is the developer/builder? Hardrock Developments – Prices from £480,000 for the first phase. But the site will also include a mix of social housing. What stage is the development at? The first phase of 35 homes should be ready later this year. Any special features? The houses will be faced in Bath ashlar stone and the site will be fringed with 100 new trees. From Holburne Park it’s a ten to 15 minute walk to Bath city centre and St Mary’s Primary (which is being given a financial boost to allow it to grow) is almost next door to the site. To find out more contact Savills, tel: 01225 474591.

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BECKFORD GATE Work is underway in a joint venture between MEO Projects and Bath-based property developer, Kersfield, to create four apartments in Lansdown. The Beckford Gate development takes its name from the Grade II listed gateway south of the site and will comprise two large lateral apartments and two maisonettes. Otherwise known as the Embattled Gateway, Beckford’s Gate was built in the 19th century and once formed part of William Beckford’s Ride, with commanding views across Bath and the surrounding countryside.

BATH RIVERSIDE In a remarkable transformation of one of Bath’s old heavy industrial areas a new community with parks, sculptures, trees and public walkways has been created at Bath Riverside. How many houses and what size in beds terms? Once complete, Bath Riverside will comprise approximately 2,000 homes including a mixture of three and four-bedroom townhouses, four-bedroom villas, studios, one and two-bedroom apartments and two-bedroom penthouses.

Beckford’s Gate will be in a Georgian style, with a design that’s sympathetic to the character of the area and dressed in ashlar stone. It replaces a 1960s home that stood on the site. Work will include essential repair of Beckford’s Gate, and access for visitors. David Newton, chief executive at Kersfield said: “We’ve worked hard to create a development that combines the highest quality fittings you would expect from a modern property, while seamlessly fitting with the local architecture and preserving this important landmark for the community to enjoy. Even at this very early stage, we’ve had a lot of interest and two homes are already under offer.” Working with local architects, The Nash Partnership, the plans were developed in consultation with the Bath Preservation Trust, the Beckford Society and the Lansdown Crescent Residents Association. Trees will also be planted on the site. Completion is expected in Spring 2018 with Knight Frank, Bath and Savills, Bath appointed joint agents. Visit: or call 01225 904 646.

WESTGATE BUILDINGS Kersfield is also about to begin work on 17 apartments in 4 – 5 Westgate Buildings overlooking Kingsmead Square in the city centre, creating studio and one-bedroom apartments. Designed by Angus Meek architects, the development will be arranged over three floors above a shop. With prices starting at £165,000, each home will benefit from Kersfield’s high standards of quality and attention to detail, including bespoke kitchens and bathrooms, with communal areas. David Newton said: “Every apartment has an open plan, spacious feel, with high quality finishes throughout. Overlooking Kingsmead Square and within such easy reach of Bath’s restaurants, bars, shopping, theatres and cinemas, we expect demand to be high.” Savills and Knight Frank are joint agents. Completion is due in July. Visit: or call 01225 904 646. Find Kersfield on Twitter: @Kersfield.

Who is the builder/developer? Crest Nicholson – Prices based on current availability start from £435,000. The newest phase, Royal View is launching this month and, is a striking new building that incorporates a series of soft curves which blends effortlessly with its landscape and waterside setting. Royal View, like an ocean liner moored alongside the historic Victoria Bridge will comprise 45 apartments including eight onebedroom, 34 two-bedroom and three impressive penthouse apartments. What stage is the development at – have people moved in, are show homes open? Outline Planning Consent was given in 2011 with the first residents moving in at the end of that year. So far 678 houses and apartments have been built, including 205 affordable homes. There are also a number of show homes including a dramatic penthouse show apartment. Any special features? Regarded as being the most significant new property development in Bath for more than a century, Bath Riverside is transforming the southern banks of the River Avon, once an industrial area, into a desirable new residential neighbourhood for the city. As part of the scheme the Grade II listed Victoria Bridge has been fully refurbished and the Destructor Bridge replaced with a new structure. Dotted around the landscape there are various pieces of art including bronzes and stone carvings, many of which have been created by local people. There is also an original Stothert & Pitt steam crane which stands at the main entrance and as a reminder of the site’s history. Bath Riverside has its own Energy Centre run by Eon which provides heat and hot water to the homes on the development. The scheme has also won many awards for the quality of the architecture and landscaping (including its communal gardens). Awards have been received from What House, The Sunday Times, Travel West, the Housebuilder Awards and Inside Housing. The light coloured Bath stone, used across the city and famous across the world, is also used at the development linking it with the city’s Georgian past. Another notable aspect is the development’s proximity to the city centre which allows residents to walk into the heart of the city or to the Bath Spa station along the flat riverside path, in about ten minutes. The marketing suite is open seven days a week, 10am – 5pm. To book an appointment tel: 01225 463517.



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GREENWAY CRESCENT This remarkable new crescent has been created on the hillside behind an unassuming garden wall just off Greenway Lane, above Bloomfield. Developers Simon and Lisa Hatch are putting the finishing touches to four large terraced houses and a separate eco woodland house. This gated community overlooks woods and has views over Lyncombe Valley. The main houses, over five floors, have integral garages and the option for lift installation. Susanna and Chloe Temple of Blue Home at The Loft will be dressing the show home in the next few weeks. Savills is the agent.

THE CHAPEL Rengen, the developer which recently redeveloped the old Labour Exchange in Bath city centre, sensitively retaining its Second World War bomb scars, is now working on creating four two bedroom homes from a former gospel hall on Lower Bristol Road. We’ll be able to see for ourselves when The Chapel is launched on to the market on Wednesday 29 March by agents Savills, tel: 01225 474500 to find out more.


ASHFORD HOMES Ashford Homes currently has seven projects in the area, but two in Bath and one in Bathford. In the city centre, in James Street West, are four townhouses, pictured top, each with gardens. These properties range from two to four bedrooms, two have garages and two parking permits for Charlotte Street car park. Prices range from £565,000. Up Bathwick Hill at Claverton is Norwood Dene, pictured above, tucked away in secluded private grounds. There are seven apartments, all with parking and patios. They range in size from two to three bedrooms and are priced from £895,000. A little further out of town, to the east at Bathford is Evelyn Close. Here Ashford Homes is constructing four three and four bedroom contemporary detached homes. Prices start at £595,000. To find out more about these three sites and Ashford Homes’ other housing projects in the area contact the agents Cobb Farr on tel: 01225 333332. The Chocolate Quarter is the redevelopment of the former Cadbury’s Factory in Keynsham. How many houses and what size in beds terms? 136 one and two bedroom retirement apartments with prices ranging from £230,000 to £540,000. Who is the builder/developer? Bristol-based charity, the St Monica Trust. What stage is the development at – have people moved in, are show homes open? 45% of the available apartments have been sold since September. The show home and marketing suite is open from 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday, 11am to 2pm at the weekend. The development will open in the autumn. Any special features? The Chocolate Quarter will be an open and vibrant community, where facilities, including a 50 seat cinema, swimming pool, dance studio and pizza restaurant will be available to residents and people from the wider community.

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LANSDOWN FIELDS AND ENSLEIGH LANSDOWN FIELDS How many houses and what size in beds terms? This is a development of 26 four and five bedroom houses priced from £975,000 to £1,750,000 and nine large lateral apartments priced from £1,000,000 to £1,250,000. Who is the builder/developer? Kersfield – Prices from £975,000. What stage is the development at – have people moved in, are show homes open? The Walcot show house is available to view by appointment and a new townhouse will be open on Saturday 11 March. There are homes that have been completed and are now occupied. Any special features? Quality architecture with attention to detail in a fantastic location with outstanding views over Bath, Lansdown Fields is arranged around two new garden squares, surrounded by green belt in an area of outstanding natural beauty. All houses are positioned to take advantage of wonderful views and designed with a particular emphasis on volume and natural light. Joint agents are Knight Frank, Bath 01225 325 999 and Savills, Bath 01225 474 591.

ENSLEIGH How many houses and what size in beds terms? Set in an elevated position in Lansdown, Ensleigh is a development of 84 three, four and five bedroom executive homes, just up Lansdown Hill from Bath city centre and with the countryside close by. There are wonderful views to be had from Lansdown. Who is the builder/developer? Linden Homes – Prices from £395,995. Each home in the current release has parking for at least two cars; some have balconies, bi-fold doors and dressing rooms. What stage is the development at – have people moved in, are show homes open? The first residents moved to Ensleigh in summer 2016 and visitors can view the show home. Outline planning permission has been granted for an additional 95 homes, which will extend the Ensleigh development. Linden Homes will develop half of this new phase. Any special features? Sue Scholfield, sales and marketing director for Linden Homes, said: “We’re creating generous-sized homes with good parking in a special location, so we’re not surprised that we’ve already reserved twothirds of the properties first released. The homes are large, some are 2,172 square foot, and the show home is light and well-designed. The marketing suite and show home are open daily from 10am to 5pm, off Granville Road, Lansdown, Bath, BA1 5AB. Call 0843 783 4298 or visit:

MULBERRY PARK Mulberry Park is being created on the former Foxhill MoD site. How many houses and what size in beds terms? Mulberry Park will include 700 homes, ranging from one bedroom apartments to five-bedroom family homes. Thirty percent of the new homes will be affordable, for shared ownership and social rent. Who is the builder/developer? Curo’s house-building team is developing the new homes at Mulberry Park. Prices start from £320,000 for a twobedroom house. Specific homes will be available through the shared ownership scheme. The government’s Help to Buy equity loan scheme is also available. More details of shared ownership and Help to Buy are available at What stage is the development at – have people moved in, are show homes open?

Outline Planning Consent was granted in 2014 followed by Detailed Planning Consent for the first phase of 275 homes in March 2015. Construction started on site in spring 2016. The first residents are expected to move into the new homes very soon.

a nursery and community building. Rydon has been appointed to build the new facilities and work is expected to start in the spring. Curo is also building the first new park in Bath for over 100 years and a woodland walk.

Any special features? Aside from 700 beautiful homes, Mulberry Park will also have a £10m primary school,

To find out more visit:, to register interest tel: 0345 140 5050.



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LAUNCHING 29th MARCH 2017 We are delighted to welcome you to the launch of these four luxury houses. This will be the first opportunity to purchase in this regeneration development.

• 4 houses • Two Bedrooms • Luxury Finishes



A beautiful collection of four stunning homes located in the World Heritage City of Bath. This development features a refurbishment of the old gospel hall that was used primarily as a medical mission during World War II. These two bedroom houses are located on Lower Bristol Road on the South West outskirts of Bath. Built with traditional Bath stone elevations, the home’s interiors feature bright open concepts with luxury finishes throughout.


www.t hec hapelbat h.c om

0117 922 7039

The Chapel A4.indd 1

01225 474500

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RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT SITES WANTED • From Single Plots to multiple Unit Schemes • Strategic Land • Unused Public Houses, Hotels and Commercial Units

CALL : 01225 444 800 | 2 Princes Buildings | George Street | Bath | BA1 2ED

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THINKING PROPERTY Peter Greatorex, managing director of The apartment Company

Bath boasts the highest increase in property prices whilst being ranked the third best area for rental growth


was at the latest Guild of Professional Estate Agents property conference recently, whom we are a member of, where we were told that the UK rental sector has really grown over the last five years. This is a trend we’re definitely seeing in Bath so buy-to-let investors planning to expand their portfolio in 2017, or those looking to enter the lettings market for the first time, should really consider this area. Our lettings department, for example, has grown over 300% in the last four years. We are now letting on average twelve apartments a month which is steadily increasing as demand remains strong, particularly from the professional market who seek good quality apartments in prime locations.

Crafting beautiful homes in stunning locations Bath | Somerset | Wiltshire | Cotswold | Dorset

Furthermore, Rightmove’s latest Rental Price Tracker claims Bath reported the highest annual growth for asking prices in 2016, up 17.8% to £485,491. Our location was also ranked the third best area for rental growth, with asking rents up 10.5% to £1,148 per month. This is superb news for our clients, most of whom are focusing on the long-term outlook now, rather than just on rental yields. With our knowledge and experience of the lettings market, combined with such encouraging statistics, I am confident that 2017 will be just as good a year for our landlord clients. However, there is a lot more to property investment than rental yields and capital growth. You need to also think about mortgages, insurance, tax, stamp duty and how you are going to manage your property.

01225 791155

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We are therefore inviting landlords and property owners to our free seminar on the 9th March to talk through key issues that you cannot afford to ignore as you plan for long-term financial success. It is to be held at 6pm at Francis Hotel Bath. Please do call me for more details and I look forward to seeing you there. There are now a limited number of spaces available, to reserve yours email or call 01225 471144.

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INDEPENDENT: Duncan Nash at the offices of Nash & Co George Street, Bath. Picture by TBM

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PROUD OF OUR THRIVING CITY Duncan Nash, owner of Nash & Co estate agents in Bath, talks to The Bath Magazine about his three decades as a property professional


ow and when did you get into the property business? After studying sports management at college, I soon found out, when I entered the job market, that the leisure industry was still in its infancy. I ran a hospital swimming pool before realising that I needed to get a career with a future. Why estate agency? Well, I had a friend who was an agent in the south west. Jamie was enjoying his career so it inspired me to give it a go. I was living in North London at the time, so one day I walked up Green Lanes, through Haringey, past Turnpike Lane and into Wood Green asking each estate agent in turn if there were any openings for a trainee negotiator. Eventually Haviland Estates in Wood Green decided to take me on. That was March 1986 and the rest is history. Following this experience I have always had empathy for people who have walked into my office off the street asking for a job, it does take some guts.

What significant changes – for better or worse – have you seen in that time? As I wrote in a previous edition of The Bath Magazine, I have seen many positive changes in the industry which has led to a much more professionally regulated service, benefitting both sellers and buyers. At Nash & Co we take our job seriously and pride ourselves on trying to get the best price for our clients. We work to communicate effectively with all parties as swiftly and accurately as possible throughout the process. We recognise selling and buying a home is a complex and (sometimes) a particularly stressful time. We try and work hard to build bridges and solve problems. Other big areas of improvements in the industry include the quality, scope and breadth of marketing now used, especially with regards to the web. Likewise, the use of email, which enables us to communicate rapidly and effectively. A big irritation is the length of time it takes for a sale to get from offer stage to completion, it certainly feels slower than it used to. But the system we use for buying and selling homes in England and Wales has not got any easier or any more foolproof, and still provides all concerned with a degree of uncertainty over months until an exchange of contracts is reached. And what changes in Bath have you welcomed, or regretted, over the years? I am excited to say that the city seems to improve year on year. The regeneration programmes that continue to take place have given Bath residents and visitors a thriving

city to live in or visit. I was really pleased with the SouthGate complex, which offers an attractive first point of contact for those coming to Bath by train and coach. I always think Bath does Christmas well, and I enjoy the annual festive market. Adversely, I think there have been some missed opportunities, firstly the Riverside development to me is somewhat architecturally uninspiring. Secondly, I believe the city should have taken up the opportunity offered by Sir James Dyson to develop the Bath Design College in 2008. As a Bath Rugby fan, I see the club, its ground and supporters as a wonderful financial benefit and further opportunity to boost the city in the future. What’s going to happen in the property market in the next 12 months? It’s difficult to predict, after all who could predict what happened last year? Stamp duty reforms for second home owners and Brexit had a massive impact on the market and threw the seasons into turmoil. The year, which started off well, turned out to be a difficult and unusual one in many ways. We have been a lot busier at the outset of 2017, so my present thoughts are, that a year of steady-to-good business levels, with a modest increase in prices, is to be expected. The flow of more people moving into Bath year on year from out of town will I believe be a continuing trend. The foot traffic through the Nash & Co website tells us that only 35% of people who log on are from Bath with 22% from London and 12% from Bristol. I would like see more Bath homes available at an affordable price for local people, particularly for first-time buyers. What makes your team special? I am so lucky to have a great staff team, who have worked with me for some time. Kate is currently celebrating ten years with me as a senior negotiator, Simon another senior negotiator for four years, while Alex, an experienced agent, has just joined the team from another agent. Sylvain, our marketing assistant, has worked with me for some 15 years. We also have top quality property related business associates, including a professional photographer, EPC surveyor, land and development broker, financial advisor and a business improvement coach. They all bring a special something to the mix. I love my team’s positive nature, natural enthusiasm and willingness to go the extra mile. I am very grateful to them. As someone once said to me, “there is no I in team.” Do you have a favourite street? I am passionate about Bath, but Weston and

Newbridge in particular, as that is where I live. Church Street, is a row of modest terraced period cottages, not necessarily high value, but on the Cotswold Way and overlooking Weston All Saints Church. I often think this would be a nice tranquil road to live on later in life, I also love Tennyson Road in Lower Weston, which is close to Royal Victoria Park, for its location, style and character. What has been your proudest moment? Having gone through two property crashes – the first as a manager in 1990 to 1993 and the second as an employer in 2008 to 2009 – I have been fortunate not have had to make anyone redundant or even cut anyone’s hours. As an employer, having staff rely on you for an income is a big responsibility. Secondly, to be able to serve all the clients who have trusted me and my team over the years, is an immense privilege. I am also proud, that after three decades in the industry, I am still keen to learn from others and I am highly motivated to go into work every day. Anything that you can look back at and laugh about now? I had a lot of fun as a young trainee negotiator in London in the late 1980s. The market was vibrant and we were kept really busy. I met so many different people and experienced many situations, some of which appealed to my then immature sense of humour. The time I spent as a young negotiator putting up For Sale boards (it’s all carried out by contractors now), and the poor-quality marketing material we produced make me smile now. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working? I am very lucky to enjoy family life – my wife Philippa and our three children (when they are around) keep me grounded and provide a loving and stable background. Playing football with some of my best mates at FC Roman Bath; cricket with a great bunch of guys at Southstoke Cricket Club; being an active member of Weston All Saints Church are some of my interests. Philippa and I enjoy working with a charity called HCPT, which helps disabled and disadvantaged children and adults. I have been involved with this charity for more than 20 years, Philippa over 30. We are doing a charity cycle ride from Versailles to Lourdes in France, 7 to 14 April to raise funds for this worthy cause. You can sponsor us at: n



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Bear Flat Braysdown Lane, Peasedown St. John, BA2 ÂŁ500,000

Camden Gillingham Terrace, Bath, BA1 ÂŁ465,000

Set back from Braysdown Lane accessed via a gated tree lined driveway is this extended double fronted four bed four reception room Victorian semi-detached home with superb 105ft x 83ft (max) rear garden. Energy Efficiency Rating: E

This three bed, Victorian home features a number of period features including stripped wood floors and fireplaces. It is light and bright with south facing views and is well presented throughout. Gillingham Terrace is a row of period houses tucked away in a no-through road. A popular road with a real community feel, the residents have a street party here every year and it is just 0.8 miles walk from Bath city centre. Energy Efficiency Rating: D

Bear Flat sales 01225 805680 Camden Road sales 01225 809868

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Newbridge Lyme Road, Bath, BA1 ÂŁ495,000

A beautifully renovated Victorian terraced home located in the popular Lyme Road. Accommodation includes sitting room, dining room opening to the kitchen/ breakfast room with french doors onto the garden. Upstairs on the first floor you will find three bedrooms and a family bathroom, moving up to the beautiful loft conversion with ensuite shower room and eaves storage. This beautiful home with its wealth of character is waiting to welcome its new owners. Energy Efficiency Rating: E

Central Hantone Hill, Bath, BA2 ÂŁ675,000

A four bedroom detached home with far reaching views, garage and parking. Situated in Bathampton Village just 1.9 miles from Bath city centre. The home is well presented, both lounge & master bedroom have panoramic views, plus separate dining room and kitchen/diner to the rear. Lawned rear garden. Energy Efficiency Rating: C

Newbridge sales 01225 809685 Bath Central sales 01225 809571

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Beer House Corston • Historic cottage with 17th century origins • Four bedrooms • Pretty interior • Well tended gardens • Views towards Lansdown • Separate workshop • Village community, Post Office and shop • Price guide: £550,000

ose Cottage may be a pretty name, but who wouldn’t want to live somewhere glorying in the name Beer House? It takes its name from its historic connections to the pub and brewery in the old village of Corston, four miles to the west of Bath. The handsome double fronted cottage dates back to 1621 and was formerly a Duchy property. It stands next to the village church and has been lovingly looked after over the years. Its interior is pleasingly pretty and full of character. Nobody uses the front door anymore, it’s easier to go round to the side, where there is parking and a garage. At the very epicentre of this home is the kitchen/breakfast room, a proper farmhouse kitchen style space for cooking, chatting and entertaining. There’s also space to spill into the sunny garden room from here, while to the front of the house are a pair of traditional reception rooms, one with a working fireplace, the other with a decorative inglenook. One of these could be used as a sitting room, the other either as a family rumpus room or a quiet study. Beer House has rooms on three floors. On the ground floor there’s also a cloakroom and a utility room, while another cloakroom and basin can be found on the first floor, alongside the family bathroom which has a nice roll-top bath. There are two main bedrooms on the first floor and two more on the second floor, with useful walk-in attic space. The gardens are secluded and have been well tended and stocked. Standing proud is a large detached stone barn of a building, which houses the garage on its ground floor and upstairs a first floor workshop, or artist’s studio. Corston has a thriving community and boasts a Post Office and village shop.


Mark Naylor, 1 Hayes Place, Bear Flat, Bath. Tel: 01225 422224

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k Mar r o l y a N

local • trusted • independent

King Edward Road, Bath

Price £485,000

A beautifully presented ‘Edwardian style’ terraced house, which is full of charm and sophistication. • Sought after family location • Gas central heating and double glazing

☎ 01225 422 224

• 3 double bedrooms • Front and rear gardens

• Large single garage • Walking distance of local shops

Wentworth March.qxp_Layout 2 23/02/2017 10:14 Page 1







Claverton Down, Bath £950,000 Claverton Down, Bath £935,000 St Johns Road, Bath D


Selling in 2017?

Grosvenor Place, Bath £290,000 LCD O ST S

Call Wentworth for a







FREE valuation St Johns Road, Bath LTCD O S S

Partis Way, Bath


Monksdale Road, Bath £350,000 LTCD O S S


£475,000 Manvers Street, Bath £375,000 Heywood


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Rivers Street, Bath £975,000 An excellent example of a mid-sized city centre Georgian townhouse. This property provides flexible accommodation over 4 floors and benefits from a self-contained apartment to the lower ground floor. Accommodation includes: 3/4 double bedrooms (en suite to the master); elegant first floor drawing and withdrawing rooms, with beautiful period features; open plan kitchen and dining room on the ground floor; shower room; cloakroom; and vaults.

Stanton Drew £1,150,000 A Grade II Listed period home, located in an idyllic rural setting. This home offers over 2500 sq. ft. of accommodation within the main house and an additional 1 bedroom detached garden cottage above the large double garage. The accommodation includes: 4 double bedrooms (two en-suite); family bathroom; drawing room; dining room; kitchen/dining room; mezzanine study; WC; utility room; garden room, patio with water feature; gorgeous lawn with Westerly views; Victorian style greenhouse; folly; 3 parking bays; and private “village green”. This wonderful property is a must view. Tel: 01225 444 800


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Two bedroom ground floor apartment in stunning Grade 1 listed Georgian town house in central Bath, overlooking Holburne Museum and Sydney Gardens, with private level garden to the rear of the property. EPC Rating: Exempt Grade I listed

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Substantial six bedroom Victorian home with flexible accommodation and additional six unit coach house. Includes gardens, paddock, orchard and swimming pool. EPC Rating: E

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The Bath Magazine March 2017  

The Bath Magazine is Bath's biggest monthly guide to life and living in the city of Bath.

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