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ISSUE 179 | AUGUST 2017 £3.95 where sold



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Contents August 2017 5 THINGS



Your essential events to look forward to





A variety of new exhibitions around the city






Tristan Carter, from theatre school Curtain Up, shares a few of his favourite things

A history of The Corridor shopping arcade

GUEST COLUMN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

ON THE ROAD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

Journalist and tour guide Richard Wyatt

Chris Lilly takes the BMW 4 Series Coupé for a road test




David Taraskevics, tour manager for Peter Gabriel




Don’t miss out on meeting your favourite authors



Neill Menneer’s portrait of the month






How well do you know Bath’s hidden spots?



The best entertainment in town this month




Upholsterer Joanna Heptinstall shares her craft



32 CITY GARDENING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76

A selection of magazines to enjoy on holiday

SPECIAL FEATURE THE DELICIOUS GUIDE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A food and drink tour of some of our favourites, plus our special report into the thorny issue of restaurant no-shows

Time to soften the urban landscape, says Jane Moore




The finest houses and apartments to buy or to rent

FOOD HEROES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Meet the volunteers at FoodCycle Bath

TRISTAN TASTES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 The cream of the crop in craft ales





Tuck in to The Delicious Guide to Bath – our annual celebration of the city’s finest restaurants, hotel diners, cafés, delis, bars and brasseries as well as local farm shops and food producers... all served up on a plate!

A major new biography of Thomas Gainsborough

Even more great content and updates online:

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Follow us on Twitter @thebathmagazine

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EDITOR’S PICKS HEAD FOR THE HILLS: I love the fact that on almost any Bath city centre street you can see the green hills rising around you. And when the weather gets hot, where better to escape the traffic and crowds, than to take a trip up Widcombe Hill to the wildflower meadows of Smallcombe Vale, from where you can enjoy panoramic views over the city.

from the


Photo courtesy of Andrew Swift


ummer’s here and the time is right for dancing in the street – well that was certainly true on Saturday 12 July when thousands turned out for Bath Carnival and, for a brief few hours, the feathers and sequins shimmered and sparkled in the sunshine. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could keep up that party mood all summer long? Well, we’ll do our bit to keep your spirits up with our August issue. As ever, our What’s On offering (from Page 26) is the best in town (well, we would say that wouldn’t we?) and our specialist arts pages (from Page 42) offer a rich array of colour, textile and texture. Regular columnists, banned from taking their holidays until they handed their homework in, bring their usual expertise to these pages. Gardener Jane Moore has some sensible suggestions for softening the urban landscape with planting (Page 76), Andrew Swift charts a walk that takes us along the green slopes of the city (Page 68) and historian Catherine Pitt tells the tale of the chequered history of one of the first covered shopping arcades, The Corridor (Page 48). Jessica Hope has inspiration for parents and children with her guide to some of the highlights of the Bath Children’s Literature Festival (Page 58) and I was fortunate to talk to eminent art historian James Hamilton about his new biography of artist Thomas Gainsborough, who spent many years living and painting in Bath (Page 40). Our Face the Music star this month is Dave T, a key figure on the music scene for 30 years, including as technical director for WOMAD Festival, and now runs a bespoke Festival in a Box service for partygoers (Page 20). Bath has more cafés, restaurants and pubs than cities twice its size so it’s fitting that we have a smorgasbord of a food offering for you to feast your eyes on. Tuck in to our Delicious Guide (after Page 34), find out about the latest, authentic, value-for-money Spanish place, Tapas Revolution and read Melissa Blease’s special report into the phenomenon that has head chefs and restaurant managers tearing their hair out, namely no-shows – people who book restaurant tables and then don’t turn up. A mildly irritating piece of rude behaviour or a real threat to the survival of small, independent businesses? You judge for yourself. Melissa’s also been to dine at a friendly supper club that offers free meals, freshly cooked by volunteers. What’s not to like about the Food Cycle Bath’s Wednesday night gatherings? Popular broadcaster Richard Wyatt is our guest columnist (Page 18) talking about his own experiences and views on the 50th anniversary of the de-criminalisation of homesexuality. As ever, The Bath Mag is a nice mix of the visually pleasing and a good read. Thank you *curtsies* . . . ’til next month. 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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CONSUMMATE STORYTELLER: fans of all ages who love the work of Jacqueline Wilson will be delighted to hear that she’s coming to Bath in the autumn as part of the Bath Children’s Literature Festival. We spoke to her ahead of that visit and you can read the interview in our September issue, but meanwhile enjoy her latest book about a Second World War evacuee called Shirley.

GREENING UP: all too many houses have given over their front gardens to car parking. Let’s back the Royal Horticultural Society’s campaign to green up grey Britain and put flowers and plants in every available space – the birds and bees will benefit.

seems to me that the natural world is the greatest ❝ Itsource of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living


British broadcaster and naturalist, born 1926

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things to do in


Watch Look forward to enjoying a romantic night under the stars watching the sumptuous film Moulin Rouge, starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor, being screened outdoors in Royal Victoria Park. We’re putting the date – Saturday 2 September – in our dairies so we can rally friends to make an evening of it. The Movies by Moonlight events are a popular annual feature on the Bath calendar and always attract a large crowd. You don’t need a ticket to attend but do make sure you take a big bag of loose change, or better still, some folding money, as there will be an after show collection in aid of the Royal United Hospital’s Forever Friends appeal, raising money for a new cancer centre. Gates open at 5pm.



All your children’s favourite characters, including The Cat in the Hat, Winnie the Pooh, Dr Who, Hetty Feather, The Wimpy Kid, the Gruffalo and Elmer the patchwork elephant feature in this year’s truly bumper Bath Children’s Literature Festival. The festival runs from Friday 29 September to Sunday 8 October and tickets are already on sale. For more highlights, turn to Page 60.

Play Steam driven gallopers, dodgem cars and swingboats are among the rides that Carters Steam Fair is bringing to Royal Victoria Park from Saturday 5 to Sunday 20 August. This is one of the world’s finest vintage funfairs, providing a blast of nostalgia for older visitors and thrills and spills for all ages. The rides, sidestalls and showmen’s wagons all date from between the 1870s and the 1960s.

HIGH ROMANCE: Moulin Rouge will be screened in Royal Victoria Park, Bath on Saturday 2 September

EFFORTLESS ELEGANCE: the theme of this year’s Ladies Day competition at Bath Racecourse

There’s a whopping £1,000 cash prize for the winner of the Best Dressed competition at what is still quaintly called Ladies Day at Bath Racecourse on Saturday 19 August. The theme for this year’s hat-and-frockcontest is effortless elegance. Ladies Day attracted more than 5,000 racegoers last year. New this year is the course’s first-ever all-female jockey race, worth £10,000. From the sale of each Grandstand Enclosure ticket sold, 75p will be donated to Cancer Research UK. Advance tickets: from £12 in the Centre Course picnic enclosure and £23 for Grandstand Enclosure tickets. To enter the Ladies Day competition is free, simply attend a special area on the day to have your picture taken. Judging takes place throughout the day and the winner is also announced before the end of the day. For tickets visit:

Bake If you’ve ever fancied your chances in the marquee of the BBC’s Great British Bake Off, here’s the opportunity for you to stretch your piping bag muscles, as the Great British Food Festival brings its travelling roadshow to the Bowood country estate near Calne over the bank holiday weekend. The festival, which runs daily from 10am to 5pm, Saturday 26 to Monday 28 August, includes chef demonstrations, live music and lots of fresh food and drink to enjoy. But keen bakers might like to enter the Cake Off, with each day a different kind of cake challenge – Sunday is chocolate cake day, while Bank Holiday Monday is the showstopper challenge – and pit their skills against other amateur bakers before a panel of judges. Tickets for the festival are from £5 from: Entrants to the Cake Off get in free if they have their competitive cake with them at the gate.

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GET BAKING: enter Cake Off at Bowood

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WIN £100 WORTH OF GORGEOUS ACCESSORIES Dents is celebrating a birthday…. 240 years of designing accessories with style and panache made in luxury leathers and fabrics. In this quick competition, two lucky winners can join in the celebrations by each winning a £100 Dents factory shop voucher. Grab this opportunity to add new style and glamour to your late summer and early autumn wardrobe by entering this fashion competition now!

To be in with a chance of winning, all you need to do is answer the following question:

John Dent started making gloves in:

a) 1877

b) 1787

c) 1777

Please email your answer, together with your full name and address, to:

The competition closes on Friday 15th September 2017 and the first two correct answers drawn will be notified soon after that date. For full rules and regulations, please contact the Bath Magazine. Please note that vouchers are only redeemable for Dents branded products on sale in the Dents Factory Shop and are not exchangeable for cash. All merchandise is offered subject to availability.



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We ask Tristan Carter, founder of Curtain Up theatre school, what he’ll be doing in August What brought you to Bath? We moved to Bath a million years ago when my wife Sarah was offered a place to study pharmacy at the University of Bath. After a few years in Guildford while I trained at Guildford School of Acting we returned in 2003 to set up Curtain Up theatre school for children and now Bath School of Acting for adults.


There’s more to Bath’s architectural heritage than its splendid Georgian crescents, as a new exhibition exploring the work of post-war architects Peter and Alison Smithson proves. The pair, who pioneered the Brutalist style of architecture, took the classic style of Bath buildings as inspiration. Their last project was building for the University of Bath. The exhibition Past, Present, Future: Bath and the Smithsons is at the Museum of Bath Architecture in the Paragon and runs until Saturday 25 November. Admission is £6 for adults, £2.50 per child. The museum is run by the Bath Preservation Trust and the exhibition has been sponsored by the Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel.


As you stroll the streets of Bath this summer look out for two treasure hunts. Award-winning independent jewellery designer Nicholas Wylde is running Wylde Treasure, in which seven jewelled items have been concealed somewhere in Bath city centre. There’s a fabulous £10,000 prize package, including a Wylde Flower diamond, to be won. We have until the end of August to seek out the seven items. Sign up at: to receive emails containing clues. Younger treasure seekers can take part in the dragons’ egg trail round the city, held in conjunction with the big Here Be Dragons exhibition at the Victoria Art Gallery. Download the free app from Google or iTunes and follow the trail to seek and find eight virtual dragons’ eggs. On each egg is a letter, together they form a password. There are goodie bags of treats and books to be won.


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What music are you listening to? My son Josh plays in a band called Chapter & Verse that has just been signed by an Australian label so as a good father I listen to that. I also listen to a lot of musical theatre and the likes of Muse, Pink Floyd, Green Day and Lenny Kravitz. What local outdoor activity or event will you be doing or visiting? There are so many great events in this cultural city I’m looking forward to some time at the Iford Arts Festival and probably a quick dip at Warleigh Weir. What hobbies or interests will you be pursuing? Having trained in musical theatre and run drama schools, most of my hobbies are theatre related. I perform and direct with local amateur operatics groups BODS and BLOG. Aside from theatre I will be playing a lot of badminton and table tennis and enjoying walks with my pug.

Book of the month The Dangers of Family Secrets by Debby Holt, published in paperback by Accent Press, rrp £7.99 Bath writer Debby Holt is the mother of five children, which is perhaps why her emotional exchanges between parent and adult child ring true in this warm and funny tale of family life and trauma from the author of best-seller The Ex-Wife’s Survival Guide.

Which museum or gallery will you be visiting? I will be visiting the gallery of Emma Rose Art Works upstairs @ 78 Walcot Street. She creates beautiful landscape contemporary style impressionist painting and I’d like something to go in my new house. Film or play? What will you be going to see this month? Play. I watched Racing Demons recently at the Theatre Royal Bath which stars David Haig, who is one of my favourite actors. What a stunning performance. I am now looking forward to the rest of the Peter Hall season. What’s your latest project? My latest project is Bath School of Acting (BSA), a drama school for adults wishing to take their acting to the next level, which is currently auditioning and opens in October with Jason Connery as our patron and many industry professionals visiting with masterclasses. The musical theatre and acting courses are tailored to meet the rigorous requirements of drama school training and a career in performance. See our website for audition requirements etc: or call 07577 709597. n

Freya is a 53-year-old former model and genealogist who lives with her loving husband Felix, their twin daughters having left home to establish their careers. But Freya’s seemingly idyllic life comes to an abrupt halt when Felix throws a grenade into their marriage. Enjoy the journey as Freya and her family members go in search of secrets and solace, in the hands of this engaging writer. GMc

We’re following @UKchange which is the UK’s biggest people-powered campaign group, with 79,000 followers. Find out how your one email can join thousands of others to effectively campaign for issues as diverse as the licensing of sales of corrosive acid, or to provide free sanitary products for impoverished schoolgirls.

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What are you reading? A play called London Wall by John Van Druten, which is a comic look at the life of women office workers in the 1930s, and a fantasy fiction, Magician by Raymond E Feist.

Which café or restaurant takes your fancy? Depending on why I am eating it’s either Menu Gordon Jones on Bear Flat where the food is incredible or Boston Tea Party at the top of town, in Alfred Street, which does a great brunch and coffee.


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Contact us: Publisher Email:

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Georgette McCready 01225 424592

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The Bath Magazine is distributed free every month to more than 20,000 homes and businesses throughout Bath and the surrounding area. We also have special distribution units in the following city centre stores and coffee shops

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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If comfort and style are your desire, Lindberg are the ones for you. Light weight and super stylish.

Ellis & Killpartrick Optometrists 18 New Bond Street, Bath, BA1 1BA Tel: 01225 466954



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Annual Autumn Event Following our hugely successful previous events and by demand, we are pleased to announce this year’s event date as Friday 6th October and Saturday 7th October 2017, 10.30am - 4.30pm 5, Old King Street, Bath (Health & Beauty Centre and Bath Chiropody Clinic; next to Hall and Woodhouse) We will have many beautiful items, including: Pure Cashmere Shawls • Pure Cashmere Scarves • Pure Cashmere Ponchos • Pure Silk Handprinted Scarves Silk & Cotton Mix Dressing Gowns • Silk & Cotton Mix Pyjama Sets (beautifully presented in matching presentation bags) NEW STOCK THIS YEAR inc. Luxurious Hand Embroidered Cashmere Shawls • Pure Wool Rugs Beautiful Embroidered Cushions • Home Accessories • Handbags Clothing • Children’s Slippers • Gifts for children, family & friends too Dare we mention…….. Beautiful Christmas Decorations Come along, bring a friend, enjoy a glass of Prosecco with us, shop! All profits from the event will be donated to The Charitable Foundation for the Education of Nepalese Children Reg’d No. 1140503 (A local charity, supporting and funding the education of children throughout Nepal.)

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A JOURNEY TO A MORE OPEN LIFE Journalist Richard Wyatt is a former presenter on HTV, director of an online newspaper on Bath history and heritage, a member of the Mayor of Bath’s Corp of Honorary Guides and a house husband


irst things first. I have never actually ‘come out’ in the sense of publicly admitting I am a gay man. So let’s get that over with – courtesy of The Bath Magazine. I am proud to say I am gay and that I have been with my partner Darren Willison for 26 years and that we were able – more recently – to be joined together in a Civil Partnership and later in marriage. Two legally binding unions that no one would have thought possible for people like us 50 years ago. Yes, let’s not get too carried away by this half century, landmark-event in the history of gay liberation. The Sexual Offences Act of 1967 didn’t legalise homosexuality – it only exempted gay sex from criminal prosecution if it took place between two consenting males aged 21 and over, and in private. There were still plenty of prosecutions for under-age sex, public sex acts and cruising. It was almost another 30 years before the age of consent was lowered to 18. Then finally, in 2001 to 16 – making it the same as the age of consent for straight people. So we’ve come a long way in a short time. You can be gay or lesbian and join the Armed Forces. Gay couples can adopt and – most importantly of all – it is illegal to discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Society is more accepting but homophobia has not gone away. I’ll return to that in a moment. In 1967 I was nearly 18 and completing my journalistic apprenticeship at the Weston-super-Mare Mercury. Within a couple of years I was the ‘Young Richard’ viewers of regional ITV saw on their box co-presenting HTV news every weekday evening. TVs were box-shaped in those days and, would you believe it, families also used to gather around them too. This young man was most definitely ‘in the closet’ in a stress and smoke-filled news room full of competitive and testosterone-fuelled journos cutting their career teeth on the likes of floods, fires, multiple crashes, crime and politics. Occasionally, l would be working in what was always regarded as an ultra-macho world myself. Flying with the RAF in faminetorn Ethiopia, reporting from Sarajevo or doing ship-to-ship transfers with the Royal Navy in the middle of the Mediterranean. I was just one of the lads, toasting male

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FAMILIAR FACE: Richard Wyatt, pictured with his husband Darren Willison and, inset, fooling around with Larry Grayson bonding in the mess, trying not to show any hint of enjoyment among these uniformed, often attractive men. For most of the time, I was the cheeky chappy better known for the human interest stories. Riding a Charolais bull one day and a penny farthing the next – but with enough of a ‘butch’ image to survive being hit by a low flying aircraft, dangling from a hang glider and even being run over by a hovercraft. The word ‘personality’ creeps into life. Weekends, especially during the summer, were filled with opening fetes and flower shows. I went along and waved to the viewers and signed autographs on the massproduced smiley photo cards HTV West kindly provided. A wholesome, familyorientated publicity campaign. Out of pity to my first partner I took him with me one day. The fete committee were obviously expecting a ‘Mrs Wyatt’ so Paul had to accept a bouquet and a ride with me on a flower-covered cart through the village. Awkward. I went alone after that. I used to think the Bristol press was after me. Every newspaper mention added the prefix ‘bachelor’ – a subtle way I thought of indicating my sexual preference – especially when that had nothing to do with the story. Looking back I think I was born ahead of my time. I got a telling off once from my Yorkshire-born, straight-talking boss for wearing a striped blazer. I had thought there was nothing wrong with interviewing a man who had invented a waterproof bath-time book in a foam-filled bath. He was wearing trunks after all. The boss was not amused. His other eyebrow was raised by some of the personalities passing through my interviewing hands. Hinge and Bracket, Danny La Rue, Larry Grayson, Kenneth Williams and a very young Julian Clary from Swindon with Fanny the Wonder Dog. How jealous I was of their openness. How things might have been different if I was a

media product of today. We’ve come a long way from Are You Being Served? and sexual stereotyping. My young years were spent in mainly back-street gay bars or basement nightclubs. How exciting and emancipated I felt when the door closed behind me. A special world full of special people. The gay-only world is dying. In one respect it’s a good thing as society makes more room for us to be what we are. The kids of today have online means of finding like-minded people. The dreadful Section 28 legislation, brought in to prevent the so-called ‘promotion’ of homosexuality in schools, was finally repealed after pressure from many groups including the charity Stonewall, which has gone on to help secure more legislation to attain equal rights. The charity has just given an award to Bath and North East Somerset Council for being the most successful in the UK in preventing homophobic bullying in schools. My partner Darren runs an LGBT group at his Bath school. It’s an educational body encouraging children to bring out the best of themselves. They have strong role models within public life too. Two women just kissed on Dr Who. There is no such thing any more as loving the ‘wrong’ person. But homophobic bullying and actual assaults are still out there. Gay rights are fragile. Elsewhere in the world discrimination also continues or actually grows. Gay people are being thrown off roofs. There are still around ten countries where homosexuality is punishable by death. My message to the young of today is make sure you know the history of gay rights to appreciate the freedoms you enjoy but do not become complacent. You can help others accept their sexuality and stand up for the rights of those who are still oppressed. n

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THE TALENTED MR T David Taraskevics, tour manager for Peter Gabriel, Robert Plant and many others, and technical director for the WOMAD Festival, talks to Georgette McCready about organising festivals of all sizes, as he picks his favourite tracks


or more than 30 years Dave T – full name but rarely used David Taraskevics – has been the go-to guy for musicians wanting their tours to run smoothly. Dave T has been tour manager for Robert Plant and Peter Gabriel, worked with George Michael in Wham!’s early days and got the call from Kate Bush when she famously decided to return to live gigs after three decades away from the spotlight. Dave not only manages major tours for artists but he’s also a director for the popular WOMAD Festival (which runs from Thursday 27 – Sunday 30 July in Malmesbury) and his company Judgeday also organises festivals including Cornbury and events for the Soho House group. He’s recently been involved in working on the Soho House’s launch of the former bank turned uber cool hotel, the Ned, which included collaborating with Gary Barlow and Paloma Faith, among others. But, exciting as that may be, Dave is happy to be back in the family farmhouse near Box, with idyllic views over the gardens and the Bybrook Valley, where he and his wife Caro run a stylish B&B. Guests enjoy cooking their own breakfasts in their private rural retreats, tucking into farm reared bacon and free range eggs and fresh bread made by Dave. At all levels Dave is a great host and he has expanded these talents to run Festival in a Box, with a team of people who create private, pop-up festivals for birthdays, special occasions and corporate celebrations. Festival in a Box was inspired by Dave’s own growing dislike of formal black tie dinners. He said: “We’d been invited to yet another black tie do and I thought, ‘I’m really getting fed up with this, I wonder if everyone else is too?’ Then I came up with this idea that you’d get a truck and roll up and out would come this complete festival, with everything you’d need.” And because his experience covers 20 TheBATHMagazine


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thinking of all the details, on everything from where people can park, to putting up tipis, hiring bands and finding tasty festival food and drink, the reputation for good times with Festival in a Box spread by word of mouth. He said of the business’s snowballing success: “We’ve done 50th birthdays, we’ve done family parties. We’ve done every size from 100 to 1,000 people and yes, a lot of it’s by word of mouth. “We did a big summer party for Mind Candy, the company that created Moshi Monsters. We took iSSUe 179

over Stowe School, with tipis and yurts in the grounds and people sleeping in dorms. There were bands, roaming minstrels, bars and food stalls.” And, like all the best festival experiences, there were unexpected surprises. Late at night a door was quietly unlocked which led revellers into a secret garden equipped with more music, ice bars and fire pits. Dave says there’s a lot of satisfaction in seeing people having a good time. So how did he find himself so thoroughly at home in the entertainment world?

ATTENTION TO DETAIL: main picture, Dave T knows how to organise a great party Opposite, The Blue Brothers, revellers at Loungefest and the album cover for Breakfast in America Festival pictures courtesy of lydiabooth

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“I grew up in the south west, on a stud farm,” he says. “I baled out of school and ended up in the world of racehorse breeding.” But a couple of incidents showed Dave the darker sides of the horseracing industry and he said he felt morally compromised, so left his job – which meant losing his tied cottage. Fast forward and a chance chat with a friend found the young Dave heading to London to Pink Floyd’s studio team Britannia Row, where they agreed to give him an apprenticeship in lighting and sound. It was a case of in at the deep end: “The apprenticeship didn’t last long and I found myself out on tour in the first week with Mike Oldfield. One of my jobs was climbing out of a window 50 feet up to secure a light. There were no safety harnesses back then and I don’t mind admitting I was absolutely bricking it.” It was this early entrance into the world where Dave has successfully carved his reputation, that has motivated his company Judgeday to take on interns to give them the break they need to launch their careers. In the early 90s Dave was managing Peter Gabrield’s Real World studios in a converted mill in Box. These were the embryonic days of WOMAD – which stands for A World of Music and Dance – bringing world music to a wider audience. One of its collaborations saw Royal Victoria Park in Bath become a mini festival hosting A World in the Park and featuring some big names, including Boy George, the Pogues and Bath’s adopted son Peter Gabriel. But, sadly for the local audience, this venture proved too costly to sustain and so WOMAD began as a festival in Cornwall, later moving to Reading before finding its existing happy home in Malmesbury. Given that Dave knows so many musicians, it was always going to be a tough choice for him to narrow it down to his top ten favourite tracks, but he managed it:

DAVE T’S TOP TEN SONGS Supertramp – Breakfast in America I liked this band and was about 17 or 18 when this came out. It just gave me the idea

of eating breakfast in America, something I then only dreamt of doing. Wham! – Club Tropicana Wham! were one of our first clients and we went on one of their first tours. I recall an ice rink in Scarborough, with the guys there as very young men with their families. The Thompson Twins – Hold Me Now The first time I saw them was in Bristol, when there were about 15 of them on stage making this amazing sound, to about five people in the audience. Then some time later they transformed into a trio and I ended up working with them and going on tour to the States. They played Radio City in New York and the Hollywood Bowl, so I got to have my first breakfast in America, which made me very happy. Paul Simon – Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes I was working for Peter Gabriel at the mill in Box and we were just about to go on tour with So. At the time Paul Simon had produced this album Graceland. It was very controversial at the time as he used musicians in South Africa. It’s a fantastic fusion of African music and rock and it’s still a fabulous album. This is a great song from a great album. Peter Gabriel (featuring Kate Bush) – Don’t Give Up Peter Gabriel was touring and playing a few nights at Earls Court. I think he’d always sung both parts in this song. Of course there’d always been rumours about Kate Bush playing live again – as she hadn’t been live on stage since 1979. Then suddenly, I was behind the drummer at the time, mixing the drum sound, when I heard this unmistakable voice on stage. It was Kate Bush singing this with Peter and it was one of those magical moments when the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. The Blues Brothers – Everybody Needs Somebody to Love I’d just come back from a massive Amnesty International tour with Peter Gabriel, Bruce Springsteen and Tracey Chapman among

others. We were doing this big tour to promote human rights. And then when I got back to Wiltshire there was this beautiful lady called Caro working at the mill studios in Box. We went on date and soon discovered we had the same music in our cars, we were both listening to the Blues Brothers soundtrack and this song, which is quite romantic. Fleetwood Mac – Tango in the Night In this time my life changed, I went from being single man touring all over the place to family man. I was living with Caro in Bath and she had these two little girls, Sarah and Cathleen. We used to listen to this a lot together and I can remember singing this with them in the car on the way to school. I’d seen Fleetwood Mac play years ago and it was lovely last year to be able to get tickets so Caro and our two younger children could all go and see them together. Van Morrison – Moondance He was another musician who used to be based in Bath and would regularly come out to the studios in Box. We got on really well, I found him great company and we used to have a glass of wine and a chat. I ended up touring with him over a period of Friday and Saturday nights. Kad Achouri – Piano Piano I was introduced to this wonderful young French musician by a dear friend. This is from his album Liberté and it turned out that he was from San Ponsin in the Pyrenees, where we used to holiday as a family. So a happy link there. Robert Plant and The Strange Sensation – Mighty Rearranger This track takes me back to 2005 when Robert approached me and we went on tour. I spent several years touring with Robert and the band, but sadly commitments in the festival world just made it too much for me to carry on with all the touring. I miss it a lot but fortunately we all keep in touch. n Find out more about Festival in a Box: and on Twitter @FestivalinaBox.



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

Mary-Ann Evans



hated school and left at 16. After a stint at St Godric’s secretarial school in Hampstead and some time in Bristol I eventually went back (with my husband in tow) to Dorset where I was born. I trained in physiotherapy and worked in a community hospital for 18 years. I started a pottery class just for fun at the local college of Art in Poole. After two years though I won a prestigious City and Guilds competition. It was called Futures 100 and the prize was an incredible £10,000 bursary. This set me on my present path as I was able to buy a kiln and other equipment. It also gave me the confidence to take ceramics more seriously and so applied to study full time. I went to the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham, Surrey and worked in the evening to pay my way. My first job was here in Bath. I applied for a residency at Kingswood School and they kindly threw in the accommodation which had the most wonderful views over the hills and far away. My job was to encourage the students, teach them to break the rules, be creative and take chances. It was a very happy two years and I’m now pleased to call Bath my home. I came here without my husband, but Bath is wonderful for single women as there’s always so much to do. You can go to the theatre for £5 (if you are happy to queue) and the galleries and music (often free) are second to none. I’m now at the Bath Artists Studio on Upper Bristol Road which is a great resource. It provides studio space for many different artists (54 members) working in all media. It has a strong community feel which is supportive and friendly. I truly believe that a healthy creative sector is vital in improving economic and cultural assets in Bath. Without this affordable space I would not be able to work and exhibit. As it is so important to me I became a trustee to support the organisation and ensure that it continues to provide education services and a creative haven. It is a registered charity and aims to advance the education of the public in the arts. I work from the studio where Neill took this photograph and from there I have been able to contribute to many different exhibitions around the country. Recently I had a joint show at Swindon Museum of Art and last year won the Pangolin Prize. I also teach from my studio on a one-to-one basis and carry out workshops for various schools and organisations including Age UK and Action on Hearing Loss. At the time of writing I am teaching the heads of art in Wiltshire schools techniques to pass on to their students. My work is inspired by landscape and particularly the Jurassic Coast, found objects, urban destruction, architecture and artists such as Tapies and Chillida. I use exciting and unpredictable techniques combining porcelain, slate, corrosive materials and minerals. I use the kiln as a kind of time machine to scar and erode my pieces. Carpe diem, or seize the day, as they say! n

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




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WHAT’S ON in August EVENTS ARE LISTED IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER The Italianate gardens at Iford

OPERA AT IFORD: JEPTHA Series ends Tuesday 1, Wednesday 2 August, gates open for picnics from 6pm n Iford Manor, Iford, near Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire The glorious season of opera sung in English in the romantic and intimate setting of the Italianate courtyard comes to an end with Handel’s telling of the dark story of Jeptha. He rashly promises God that if he wins a battle he will sacrifice his only beloved daughter. What happens when he defeats his enemy? Expect powerful arias, dramatic choruses and heightened emotions. For tickets visit: or tel: 01225 448844.

EDITOR’S PICK BATH FOLK FESTIVAL Saturday 12 – Sunday 20 August n Various venues in Bath The annual city folk festival gets underway with all kinds of folk music, from Irish and gypsy swing sessions to Bristol based party band RSVP Bangra, who will be playing at The Bell in Walcot Street. There’ll be young musicians and well established bands too. For a full line-up visit:

RSVP Bangra will be playing at the Bath Folk Festival

The Argyle Players present Talking Heads by Alan Bennett at the Tovey Hall, Bath

ALAN BENNETT: TALKING HEADS Wednesday 2 – Saturday 5 August, 7.30pm n Tovey Hall theatre, Central United Reformed Church, Grove Street, Bath The Argyle Players present three monologues by the master. Soldiering On, the story of Muriel, the widow; A Chip in the Sugar which finds middle-aged bachelor Graham, dependent on his mother, struggling with his insecurities; and Her Big Chance in which actress Lesley has just completed filming a video but appears blind to the sinister undertones of her story. Tickets £10, from, tel: 01225 463362. RACENIGHT WITH THE WURZELS Friday 4 August, from 3pm n Bath Racecourse, Lansdown, Bath Fire up your combine harvester and prepare to drink up thy cider as Bath Racecourse hosts its tenth annual races night culminating in a live gig by The Wurzels. If you have friends who don’t understand west country culture, this will be an eye and ear popping experience for them. Tickets: from £23 in advance, tel: 01225 424609. 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF SGT PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS’ CLUB BAND Friday 4 August, 7pm until late n The Bell, Walcot Street, Bath Join the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ classic album, with live music, DJ sets, fancy dress and pizza in the back yard. Money raised will go to the Jessie May’s children’s hospice.

Gertrude Lawrence and Noel Coward, one of the evocative photographs from the James Abbe archive on show at the American Museum as part of its celebration of the jazz age

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BOWOOD PROMS WEEKEND Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 August from 6pm n Bowood Estate, Derry Hill, near Calne, Wiltshire Two nights of live music al fresco, kicking off with a Classic Ibiza Concert featuring the Urban Soul Orchestra and DJ Goldierocks and some of the biggest dance tracks from the last 20 years. As the sun goes down, singers and musicians will ramp things up to break into festive-club mode with accompanying lasers. On Saturday it’s the

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Bath Royal Literary & Scientific Institution Forthcoming Events:

Imaging the Universe

The beautiful lake and grounds at Bowood in Wiltshire

1st Sept, 7.30pm

A Dance with Hermes

With Whitedread Prize Winner Lindsay Clarke 6th Sept, 7.30pm

turn of the Great British Prom featuring music from the home nations. The National Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor Anthony Inglis, will be joined by soprano Philippa Healey, awardwinning Welsh vocal group Only Men Aloud and the Band of the Home Counties Pipes and Drums. A fireworks finale will be choreographed to the music. Festival goers can take their own picnics and/or enjoy onsite street-food vendors and bars. Tickets: £35 in advance or £38 on the night, visit: or tel: 01630 674342. ONCE UPON A HILL Saturday 5 August, from 2pm n The Old Barn, Kelston Roundhill, Kelston Acclaimed Bristol acoustic quartet Spiro headline Once Upon a Hill, a day through to night event organised by Kelston Records. Other groups include one of Jamie Cullum’s favourite bands Dakhla Brass and The Nightjar a post-folk four-piece. There will be musical interludes, non-musical diversions, food and a cash bar. Anyone wishing to camp may do so by prior arrangement. Tickets: £24, students £15 from MICHAEL CHAPMAN Saturday 5 August, from 8pm n Chapel Arts Centre, Lower Borough Walls, Bath Michael Chapman, one of the UK’s best fingerpicking style guitar players, is marking 50 years on the road with this tour, a new vinyl album, 50 and cementing his position as a pivotal figure in roots and folk. Tickets: £14, or £16 on the door, visit:, tel: 01225 461700 Also at Chapel Arts this month RACHEL HARRINGTON Saturday 12 August, 8pm Reared among the Pentecostal pines in the farthest corner of the great American West, Rachel Harrington’s albums have won her high praise, with Bob Harris hailing her debut in 2007 as ‘absolutely brilliant [and] already a contender for album of the year.’ Returning to the UK after a five-year hiatus from touring, this sixth generation Oregonian has new songs and fresh stories. Tickets: £12, or £14 on the door.

Is Executive Pay Too High?

12th Sept, 7.30pm

Edith Wharton

18th Sept, 7.30pm

The Human Dimension of Marine Litter

19th Sept, 7.30pm

New publication on sale £5.00


16 - 18 Queen Square, Bath, BA1 2HN 01225 312 084

NORTH BY NORTHWEST Until Saturday 12 August, times vary n Theatre Royal, Saw Close, Bath Alfred Hitchcock’s comedy of suspense is brought to life for the stage with a fast-paced production combining humour and action. Tickets, tel: 01225 448844 or visit: Also at the Theatre Royal this month LOOKING AT LUCIAN Thursday 3 August – Saturday 2 September, times vary Henry Goodman stars as the larger-than-life artist Lucian Freud, who painted many famous people including the Queen and Kate Moss, and fathered at least 14 children. The world premiere of this drama by Times columnist Alan Franks opens in Bath. THE LADY IN THE VAN Wednesday 16 August – Saturday 2 September, times vary Inspired by the real experiences of playwright Alan Bennett, who found a homeless woman living in a clapped out van outside his London home, this stage adapation stars Sara Kestelman. Continued page 28 ➲ THEBATHMAG.CO.UK




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WHAT’S | ON MARTHA REEVES AND THE VANDELLAS Thursday 10 August, 7.30pm n Komedia, Westgate Street, Bath They’ll be dancing in Westgate Street as one of Motown’s most enduring stars, Martha Reeves and her sisters Lois and Delphine aka The Vandellas, belt out a roll call of some their greatest hits, including Nowhere to Run, Jimmy Mack and My Baby Loves Me. Tickets: £30 from: THE BATH PUB TOUR Every Friday night (except 11, 18 August and 8, 15 September, meet outside the Crystal Palace for 7pm n The Crystal Palace pub, Abbey Green, Bath Once upon a time Bath had more pubs per square mile than any other city in the world. This is a 90-minute whistle-stop expedition through the city’s drinking past. This is as much a pub quiz as a pub tour, with fascinating facts delivered in a tongue-in-cheek pub quiz format. Come with a team name – there are prizes. With a quick halftime pit-stop, enjoy an insider’s guide to Bath’s best boozers. Meet outside The Crystal Palace Pub (arrive early for a drink) £9/£7.

Bath Independent Market, Abbey Green

1920S JAZZ AGE: FASHION AND PHOTOGRAPHS Until Sunday 29 October, 10.30am – 5pm, Tuesday to Sunday (also open Bank Holiday Monday) n The American Museum, Claverton, Bath Evoking the days of the Prohibition in America, the bright young things, the decadence and the music. The show features more than 100 objects, including flapper dresses, from 1919 to 1929. The viewer can get really close to these authentic pieces too. Tickets (to include entrance to the main house museum, the grounds and the exhibition): £12 / £10.50 over 60s and students, children, £6.50. Also at the American Museum this month TEXTILES FAIR Saturday 19 August, 11am – 5pm This is the fourth year for this popular textiles fair, featuring traders offering a mix of antique, vintage and materials from all around the world. Entrance included in admission price.

Olivia Fines and Jonathan Watton in North by Northwest at the Theatre Royal Bath

THE BRUTALIST PLAYGROUND Until Saturday 9 September, open 11am – 5pm (closed Mondays) n Andrew Brownsword Galleries, The Edge, University of Bath The Brutalist Playground shines a light on the abstract concrete playgrounds designed as part of post-war housing estates in the mid20th century. 2015 Turner Prize winners Assemble and artist Simon Terrill have worked with RIBA curators to recreate these play structures in reconstituted foam, creating a family-friendly interactive playground. Free admission but booking advised, tel: 01225 386777.

Summer fair at St Stephen’s Millennium Green, Lansdown

A VIEW FROM THE CRESCENT n No1 Royal Crescent, Bath Until Sunday 19 November An exhibition celebrating the Royal Crescent through the eyes of prominent artists. BATH BRUNCH MARKET Sunday 13 August, 9.30am – 3.30pm n Green Park Station, Green Park, Bath Easy like Sunday morning, as they say . . . Enjoy a late leisurely breakfast at Green Park Station, followed by a gentle mooch around the artisan, vintage and independent stalls in the afternoon. Tuck in to Indian, German and Caribbean, vegetarian and vegan food. Visit:

The West of Eng;and Youth Orchestra at the Wiltshire Music Centre

THE INDEPENDENT BATH MARKET Sunday 20 August, 10am – 4pm n Abbey Green, Bath An independent monthly market featuring artisan and craft items, from handmade stationery to Somerset cider or freshly picked local flowers – you’ll discover different stallholders each month. The shops around the square are also worth a browse while you’re in the neighbourhood. Continued page 30

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WHAT’S | ON OPEN GARDENS: THE BATH PRIORY HOTEL Thursday 24 August, from 2pm n The Bath Priory Hotel, Weston Road, Bath The Bath Magazine’s award-winning garden writer Jane Moore and her team of gardeners will be on hand to show visitors around the beautiful hotel gardens under the National Gardens Scheme. Entry: £2.50, with proceeds to Dorothy House Hospice Care charity, tea and cake will be on sale. WEST OF ENGLAND YOUTH ORCHESTRA Friday 25 August, 7.30pm and Saturday 26 August, 3pm n Wiltshire Music Centre, Ashley Road, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire Young musicians of the West of England Youth Orchestra will be joined by Superstrings, a Wiltshire youth ensemble, to give a dramatic rendering of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite No 2 and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade Op 35. There’ll also be a world premiere of a new work by composer and violinist Jeff Moore. Tickets: £15 / £13 family ticket for musicians’ families / £9 under 18s and students. Tel: 01225 860110 or visit: OAK FAIR Saturday 26 – Sunday 27 August, 10am – 5pm n Stockton Gaylard, near Sturminster Newton, Dorset This is an annual gathering of people interested in woodcraft and the countryside, with more than 200 exhibitors, a children’s area and food and drink. Have a go at axe throwing, archery and tree climbing. Tickets: £8.50 / £3 children / £20 per family, from BATH ARTISAN MARKET Sunday 27 August, 10am – 4pm n Queen Square, Bath More than 50 local artisans, vintage dealers and designer-makers pop-up on the last Sunday of the month alongside delicious street food stalls, stirring up delicacies including Indian, Thai, Caribbean and German food with plenty of vegan, glutenfree and vegetarian options too. Oh, there’s lots of cake too. Visit: ST STEPHEN’S MILLENNIUM GREEN SUMMER FAIR Monday 28 August, from 2pm n St Stephen’s Millennium Green, Richmond Road, Lansdown The annual fair gives locals and visitors the chance to enjoy these beautiful local community gardens in Lansdown. Stock up with fruit, vegetables and flowers from the allotments, or buy tasty home-made jams and chutneys. There will be stalls, a familyfriendly Punch and Judy show and home-made cakes and teas. Visit: 30 TheBATHMagazine


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messenger god is as relevant to us in the digital age as he was in antiquity. The Somerset based novelist often features myth, legend and alchemy in his work. Tickets: £4 on the door, £2 for BRLSI members and students.

Join Olly Langdon on the Bath Pub Tour, Friday evenings

KELSTON VILLAGE FETE Monday 28 August, 2pm – 5pm n Village field next to the church, Kelston Kelston’s summer fete will be held on the field next to the church, with free parking nearby. Entry: £2 adults, free for children. Traditional fun for the family with games, a dog show and live music with the Mighty Beaconaires.

PLANNING AHEAD . . . WESTON VILLAGE FLOWER SHOW Saturday 2 September, 2pm – 4.30pm n All Saints Centre, Weston The flower show is organised by Weston Village Gardening Club, which is inviting gardeners to enter their prize specimens for competition. Entry forms (to be handed in by Wednesday 30 August) from Weston Village vets and Kit Johnson estate agent. SHINDIG WEEKEND FEAST Saturday 2 – Sunday 3 September, gates open noon on Saturday n Critchill Manor, Frome, BA11 4LJ Two nautical themed venues will be hosting Crazy P, My Bad Sister, The Allergies, Late Nite Tuff Guy, Mr Thing, WBBL, Shaka Loves You, X-Ray Ted, and Bristol’s Women In Music Takeover. The feast starts at 4pm, with long tables set out for friendly dining. Tickets: £79 for all the live music, a threecourse meal and camping, or £49 for music and camp, buy food from stallholders. The capacity is only 1,000, over 18s only. Tickets from: ROBERT WEBB Monday 4 September, 8pm n Topping & Co booksellers at Komedia, Westgate Street, Bath One half of comedy duo Mitchell and Webb and columnist in The Telegraph and New Statesman, Robert Webb’s book How Not to be a Boy looks at the nature of manhood and the life lessons we learn. Tickets from £8, tel: 01225 428111. TALK: LINDSAY CLARKE Wednesday 6 September, 7.30pm n Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, Queen Square, Bath Whitbread award-winning writer Lindsay Clark will be reading from his book A Dance with Hermes, and examining how the Greek

JANE AUSTEN FESTIVAL Friday 8 – Sunday 17 September n Various venues around Bath On the 200th anniversary of the death of the British author, expect the annual diplay of devotion by her followers, known as Janeites, to know no bounds. This year’s festival includes the spectacular Regency costume parade through the streets of Bath, walks, talks, readings from her novels, and lots of jolly dressing up and dancing. For the full programme visit: DOROTHY HOUSE BATH MOONLIGHT WALK Saturday 9 September, 10pm n SouthGate, Bath Join hundreds of women for the annual Moonlight Walk through the streets of Bath for the hospice’s biggest fundraiser, which last year raised £95,000. Fancy dress is encouraged and the theme is Saturday Night Diva. To enrol visit: BATH PHILHARMONIA: FAURÉ’S REQUIEM Saturday 16 September, 7.30pm n St Swithin’s Church, the Paragon, Bath Bath Philharmonia perform Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem with Cantilena Youth Choir and soloists Gemma Roper and Gavin Carr in a concert of music of astonishing beauty and hope. Baritone Gavin Carr will also feature in Kindertotenlieder by Mahler, a study in the death of innocence. Tickets: £25/£20/£15/£5 (u18s), Bath Box Office, tel: 01225 463362, or visit: THE BRUTON DECORATIVE ANTIQUES FAIR Friday 13 (2pm – 5pm) – Sunday 15 October, open 11am – 5pm Saturday and Sunday n Haynes International Motor Museum, Sparkford, BA22 7LH Bruton has become a go-to destination celebrity and media hotspot following the opening of the Hauser and Wirth Gallery in 2014 and so this site – in the museum’s £6m extension and close to Bruton – has been chosen for the show, which features pieces from some of the most exciting decorative dealers in the UK and Europe. There’ll be 18th – 20th century decorative items for the home and garden, English folk art, French and Swedish painted furniture, mid-century furniture, textiles, furniture from country houses, lighting, mirrors, jewels and vintage designer handbags. Parking and restaurant on site. Complimentary tickets, visit: n

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MAGAZINES FOR THE SUMMER We visited independent magazine store Magalleria to find the best specialist magazines to take with us on our summer holidays


£16 My Residence celebrates Scandi interior design using beautiful photography to inspire the look of your home. The second issue features 16 homes of creative people from across the Nordic region and reveals the remarkable stories behind these dwellings and the people who live there. This comprehensive guide allows readers to discover how and why these rooms were styled in this popular, clean style.


£10 In a world where we are bombarded with snippets of information at the touch of a phone, the way we read and digest news and journalism has changed dramatically over the past decade. Delayed Gratification is what its producers call a slow journalism publication – it highlights the stories which dominated the worldwide news over the previous three months but from a different angle. It doesn’t simply regurgitate news that you might have read about previously, instead it reflects on the events and the consequences. It uses investigative reporting, beautifully designed and engaging infographics and photography to demonstrate the news in a more manageable and interesting way.


£10 Ernest is a biannual publication which celebrates travel, the natural world and people’s connections with nature over the centuries. In the sixth issue, Chris Hare reveals the history behind the folklore rituals of the English south coast, plus readers can discover how a small island off of the Dalmation Coast has been transformed from a 1970s Scout camp into a unique cultural holiday destination. This issue also features a road trip through the Czech Republic, a guide to diving in the nutrient rich waters of the Galápagos Islands, and includes astrophotography tips for those looking to enhance their photography skills.


£9.50 There’s always the possibility of a rainy day in summer, so this annual publication by Vogue Paris is the perfect antidote to creatively using your time while waiting for the clouds to pass. Vogue À Colorier is a collectable colouring book filled with fashion designs by renowned illustrator MarcAntoine Coulon based on images of models and iconic designs by the likes of Chanel and Christian Dior from the 1940s to the present day.


£6.50 This beautifully designed children’s magazine focuses on art in volume 43. There is plenty to inspire little ones to draw, doodle, paint and craft their own creations at home. Plus there are illustrated stories, word searches, book suggestions and even a colourful and informative story about the Battle of Hastings in 1066 so children can expand their knowledge further. Anorak features stories based on themes that children can relate to, including one about a little girl feeling anxious about starting a new school.


£10 This publication is rather new to the magazine market, but has already gained a fan base in the west country. Cedar is a lifestyle and travel magazine that celebrates being inspired by nature, whether this be through cooking, gardening, art or travel. This issue looks at how people are taking unused areas of Bristol city centre and turning them into spaces to produce food, while another feature explores Deans Court house in Wimborne, Dorset and its 3/4 acre kitchen garden

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which not only grows produce for the house’s café, but also is surrounded by a 19th century wall built by Napoleonic prisoners of war. The magazine’s art director and photographer is Bath-based photographer Matt Green, plus there’s a feature about Bath’s green connections by The Foodie Bugle’s Silvana de Soissons. Visit Magalleria at 22a Broad Street, Bath BA1 5LN. Web:, tel: 01225 471586.

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A CITY OF GREAT TASTE Welcome to the latest issue of our Delicious Guide to Bath and the surrounding area.

We’re lucky in the south west to have so much choice in places to eat, whether we’re grabbing some street food on the go, taking a friend out for coffee and cake, or wining and dining our beloved by candlelight.


Our Delicious Guide will help you choose the right foodie destination for your mood and pocket. We begin our dining menu with some great Bath classics, the venues we return to time and again with affection as they reliably deliver great dishes every time.

For a quick, tasty bite, you’ll be spoilt for choice from the cafés and delis and we reckon some of the local pubs have menus that might be classed as fine dining. Or you might opt for a hotel with an elegant restaurant, or perhaps join colleagues after work in a bar or brasserie, where you can quaff a craft ale or have a glass of fizz and enjoy a plate of seasonal, local produce.

All served and prepared brilliantly, we hope you’ll enjoy our celebration of all the city’s most delicious things.

Look out for our special window sticker which we have issued to all businesses featured here The Delicious Guide is also served on our great website at:






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TACKLING THE NO-SHOWS Melissa Blease reports on the issue of people who book tables in restaurants and then don’t turn up

STEVE GALE AT FLOUR AND ASH “Our restaurant has 41 seats at capacity and, like all small restaurants, our profit margins are thin. We make approx 40% of our weekly take at the weekend, when people II TheBATHMagazine


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It’s absolutely no different from what we’d expect to be asked for when we buy theatre tickets, or make a hotel reservation


he date was set three weeks ago. Dinner this evening, at a friend’s house. Your place at the table awaits you, and your host has been preparing for the event for days – not least of all on the day itself, when the last of the ingredients have been bought, the preparation got fully under way and the scene carefully set. Unless you’re the victim of a dire emergency or a sudden illness, you wouldn’t just not turn up, would you? Of course you wouldn’t! And yet, countless people believe that, when the situation isn’t quite so personal, it’s okay to do just that, giving little thought to the consequences of their actions and the devastating effect that their thoughtless behaviour has on many small, independent businesses. Is the issue of what those in the restaurant business call ‘no-shows’ really a problem and how can the industry tackle it? We spoke to some west country restaurateurs.

mainly book online or over the phone,” says Steve who is the owner/chef at Bristol pizza restaurant Flour and Ash. “Last Saturday night we were fully booked, but come 8pm we were half empty because a large table cancelled their booking ten minutes before they were due to arrive, and two other tables simply didn’t show up. We were suddenly 14 covers (34% of our capacity) down – I doubt we scraped anywhere near any kind of profit that night.” Despite this experience Steve is still reluctant to take a deposit when bookings are made. “We call round on the day to try and reconfirm tables that have been booked, but sometimes we get no response. We then have to make a decision whether to cancel that booking and risk ruining somebody’s night if they do show up, or just wait and see. But we don’t ask for a deposit as many

people simply don’t want to pay a deposit on behalf of a crowd. Would you put your credit card down for five other people and then have to fork out, say, £120 that you’d have to claim back from them if they cancelled on you? Probably not.” LAURENCE BEERE AT THE OLIVE TREE Laurence Beere, owner of the Queensberry Hotel and highly-acclaimed Olive Tree Restaurant is in favour of the deposit system. “Why would anybody who is serious about wanting a reservation feel uncomfortable being asked for a deposit? It’s absolutely no different from what we’d expect to be asked for when we buy theatre tickets, or make a hotel reservation, or pay in advance for an online purchase,” he says. “In a city that’s increasingly becoming overcrowded by large operators and chains who have a fundamentally different approach to running a food business, restaurant owners are all too aware of the damage that is done to small independent businesses when people don’t turn up for bookings, and it’s up to us to take action.” And Laurence’s way of taking action has worked in his favour. “We only offer bookings for one sitting, and can only

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SPECIAL | REPORT accommodate around 50 – 55 covers. We used to think we were fully booked on, say, a Friday or Saturday evening so we’d turn walk-ins or late bookings away, only to end up serving 30 covers while multiple booked tables were left empty. But 18 months ago, we eradicated the problem that we estimate had lost us £60,000 of business in just one year altogether, simply by taking credit card details to guarantee a reservation and adopting a £50 per person cancellation fee for those who don’t cancel within 48 hours of their booking. The only people who aren’t comfortable with such a policy (and there really aren’t that many) are the people who are hedging their bets: making several reservations for several restaurants on the same night and then seeing how they feel when the date comes around.” Restaurant booking roulette – is that really A Thing? Apparently it is. “I genuinely believe that there’s a growing group of diners who book several restaurants for one particular evening then decide on their final destination when the time comes,” says Steve Gale, while several restaurateurs who I spoke to while researching this feature agree, with one (who understandably chose to remain anonymous) even suggesting that a fellow restaurant owner has made fake bookings in order “to sabotage the success of the business next door.” While that kind of underhand behaviour can never be proved, bet-hedging does seem to have become a bit of a trend – and it’s a global trend, too. Last month, online Australian booking site Dimmi made global headlines when it put nearly 40,000 diners on a blacklist for being no-shows, having discovered that many users were making multiple bookings for the same date under different pseudonyms. And the scheme seems to be working: Dimmi has seen a 25% drop in their clients’ no-shows since adopting the policy and as a result, other online restaurant reservation services such as OpenTable, Bookatable and ResDiary are expected to follow suit; as our social lives become increasingly app- and online-led, this most recent development will no doubt encourage a sigh of partial relief in the restaurant world. JOE CUSSENS AT BATH PUB COMPANY “Our no-shows are more likely to come from online bookings made on websites that send reservations our way as opposed to bookings made in person,” says Bath Pub Company managing director Joe Cussens, who recently started an initiative across all four BPC businesses (The Marlborough Tavern, The Locksbrook Inn, Chequers and The Hare and Hounds) ensuring that staff call as many reservations as they can to confirm bookings on any given day.

“But wherever the no-show comes from, its an ongoing source of commercial pain and sadly, a fact of life in this business. Around 5% of our reservations per week fail to show up, and it’s hugely frustrating when we’ve turned customers away in the belief that we don’t have any spare tables. “We can never recover that time slot, and we’ve lost income that we assumed was coming our way. It’s hugely inconsiderate and frankly, very bad manners – after all, how hard is it to make a quick call to cancel a reservation?” KELVIN KELLER: A DINER And from a diner’s perspective, man-abouttown and avid supporter of the local food scene Kelvin Keller (who tweets as @cigarmanbath) finds the whole situation abominable too. “In my humble opinion, booking no-shows are reserved for the lowest depths of hell,” he says. “It’s hard enough these days for any business to thrive, and a no-show is a downright insult to the restaurant, let alone a costly blow. I believe that if a booking is more than 15 minutes late, the table should be let go to another patron.” The trouble is, though, there won’t necessarily be another party of diners looking for space for that very sitting – in which case, we’re back to square one. Unless one turns to social media for assistance. There are several restaurants in Bath (Menu Gordon Jones being a particularly case in point here) who use their Twitter feed effectively in the case of a cancellation. Even though MGJ won’t hold a reservation unless a booking has been confirmed a minimum of 48 hours in advance of the date and, if a party of six people (for which a deposit is always taken) arrives one diner down on the night they’re still charged for the missing member. The tiny restaurant still gets

occasional no-shows and that’s when Gordon’s Twitter feed springs into life, letting Bath know that there’s suddenly a table available. So, there’s a top tip light at the end of the rather grim tunnel we’re exploring. If hungry foodies use their Twitter accounts wisely they could find themselves doing a restaurant a big favour in taking up some of the hottest seats in town, while restaurants themselves have the opportunity to let the world around them what’s going on. But of course, not everybody has a Twitter account; not every restaurateur, manager or staff member has the time available to maintain a Twitter account at peak times and not every restaurant finds they have a no-show problem on their hands anyway. ANDREW PETERS AT GREEN PARK BRASSERIE “It’s not a common occurrence for us at all,” says Andrew Peters, owner of the Green Park Brasserie. “Our relationship with our customers is based on trust – we hope that they would let us know in advance if they can no longer make a reservation” If every restaurant customer maintained that level of respect for the hardworking business folk who make dining out in the south west such a pleasurable activity, such businesses wouldn’t be facing such a crisis. But as we’ve found, there are those who think it’s okay to reserve a table at a lovely, popular independent restaurant and then just not turn up on the night. So, they’re top of our Dining Out Crime Shame chart, joining the double-dippers, sloppy chewers, foodblowers, public belchers and fork-wavers who can make our eating out lives a misery – but as ghastly as the no-shows’ fellow culprits may be, at least they aren’t forcing businesses to pay for their nasty habits. Booking no-shows? We say “No way.” n






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THE CIRCUS RESTAURANT 34 Brock Street, Bath BA1 2LN Tel: 01225 466020 Web: This is one of Bath’s very best and a well loved entry in our Delicious Guide each year. A small, very busy, much admired, family-run restaurant, The Circus Restaurant is one of Bath’s sparkling culinary gems, serving seasonal, locally sourced, freshly cooked, English food. It has a carefully chosen wine list, and the exceptionally welcoming and charming staff all radiate enthusiasm for working there. Set in a fine Georgian house in a prime position – between The Circus and The Royal Crescent, you will find sensible and honest prices, and you’ll leave feeling that you will want to return very soon. Voted number four in the United Kingdom in ‘The Times 20 Secret Restaurants That Foodies Love’. Open Monday to Saturday – 10am to midnight (Closed Sunday). Booking is advised.



14 London Street, Bath BA1 5BU Tel: 01225 332323 Web:

9 – 13 Alfred Street, Bath BA1 2QX Tel: 01225 314812 Web:

Hudson steakhouse has been serving the people of Bath the best steaks for a decade now, offering its diners prime dry aged steaks, starters with a fusion influence and classic dishes, all served in a sympathetic conversion of a once notorious Victorian pub. Owner Richard Fenton took on this run down building and has created a destination that has consistently won best restaurant awards locally and nationally. The bar serves cocktails, premium beers and world wines under sparkling chandeliers, while the upstairs grill room has an open kitchen and looks out over Hedgemead Park. Top local hotels often like to send their customers to Hudson, so it’s advisable to book. We recommend the Monday to Friday early evening special from 5pm to 7pm, which features an eight ounce Flat Iron steak with frites and a glass of wine for £15.95.

With Georgian elegance and a warm informal atmosphere, Woods has created an enviable reputation as one of Bath’s best independent restaurants. David and his French wife Claude have owned and run Woods since 1979. Head chef for the past 24 years Stuart Ash, leads the team with the owners’ son Gaston, daughter Gabby and son in law Joe. This is a truly family run business offering personal service, dazzling food, modern British cooking with classic French influence, sourcing local and international ingredients to give you a mouth-watering sensation that will leave you coming back for more. Friday is fish day at Woods with fresh fish coming straight from Cornwall and Devon. The wines to accompany the delicious dishes are specially selected and tasted by David. Woods caters for all; the small terrace and bar are great to meet friends for a glass of wine, a dish of olives and a catch up, the main dining room is ideal for intimate or informal dining and the private room is perfect for corporate entertainment, family celebrations or weddings.

MARTINI RESTAURANT 8 – 9 George Street, Bath BA1 2EH Tel: 01225 460818 Web: The Italian restaurant run by Italians. Located at the top end of Bath, Martini is surprisingly large inside, with several different size rooms that make it perfect for large parties, families or an intimate meal for two. Run by Nunzio, Franco and chef Luigi, this lively establishment has the cheerful bustle of a busy restaurant but having that warmth and friendliness that can only be achieved by being established over many years. The menu is full of regional specialities, with plenty of choice for vegetarians. A large variety of fresh fish is delivered daily and alongside the traditional favourites of pizza and pasta. A good tip is to save a little room as a delicious range of homemade desserts is particularly hard to resist. Wash it down with one (or two bottles) from a fine selection of regional Italian wine vintages. From Monday to Friday, the very popular ‘expresso’ lunch and pre-theatre menus offer two courses for £9.95 and three for £11.95. Exceptional service and a warm ambience perfectly complement the wonderful choice of food and wine on offer – all the ingredients needed for a great meal out.






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THE OLIVE TREE Queensberry Hotel, Russel Street, Bath BA1 2QF Tel: 01225 447928 Web: Proud to be one of Bath’s longest established independent restaurants, The 3 AA Rosette Olive Tree, nestled in the basement of The Queensberry Hotel continues to receive rapturous praise from guests and locals alike. This contemporary British restaurant offers deformalised fine dining under the direction of award-winning head chef, Chris Cleghorn, from the heart of the west country. Chris honed his superior cooking skills as the protégé of a trio of world-renowned Michelin Star chefs, (Heston Blumenthal, Michael Caines and Adam Simmonds), and is tipped for a star himself by The Times’ Tom Cheshire. Using a combination of classical flavours with modern cooking techniques, Chris creates his own unique style, crafting menus that showcase the very best of British. Only the finest seasonal ingredients from the highest quality local artisan producers are selected, which helped The Olive Tree win gold in the 2016 Taste of The West Awards. With good food comes good wine – The Olive Tree’s wine list brings together an eclectic balance of the traditional and the new, the serious and the fun. As a result accolades include the prestigious AA England and overall Wine Award 2014/2015 at the AA Hospitality Awards. Embracing the quirkiness of the hotel and Old Q Bar, the new look restaurant has a warm, opulent feel, bringing a relaxed elegance that complements the quality and style of food.

DAN MOON AT THE GAINSBOROUGH RESTAURANT The Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel, Beau Street, Bath BA1 1QY Tel: 01225 358 888 Web: Dan Moon at The Gainsborough Restaurant is destined for great things, and is already delivering with its inspiring fine dining menus and sophisticated yet relaxed décor and atmosphere. The moment you step through the doors, you will be personally looked after by the friendly restaurant manager, expert sommelier and the lovely waiting staff. Award-winning head chef Dan Moon sources the ingredients for his dishes locally, then creatively fashions them into classically-flavoured works of art. Little touches like freshly baked breads, hand churned butter and optional wine pairing will put the final garnish on your dining experience. Check out the wonderful Sunday roasts, or for a special treat, the six course tasting menu.

MACDONALD BATH SPA HOTEL Sydney Road, Bath BA2 6NS Tel: 0344 879 9106 Web: macdonald-bath-spa-hotel Located in the heart of historic Bath, the five star Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel is one of the city’s finest, luxury hotels, dedicated to serving only the highest quality food and offers a range of dining options, from its two AA rosette awarded Vellore Restaurant and award-winning breakfast to indulgent afternoon tea, served between 2.30 – 5.30pm in the drawing room overlooking the terrace and gardens. The hotel’s talented chefs create homemade delicacies using the finest, freshest local ingredients. There is a selection of afternoon teas available from a cream tea with scones, jam and Devon clotted cream for £15, to a traditional afternoon tea which also comes with savoury finger-sized sandwiches and a selection of cakes for £25 or add a glass of Champagne for the celebration afternoon tea, £35.

THE BRASSERIE AT LUCKNAM PARK Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, Colerne, SN14 8AZ Tel: 01225 742777 Web: Set among the 500 acre Lucknam Park estate and gardens, The Brasserie at Lucknam Park is a contemporary and stylish restaurant perfect for light lunches, alfresco dining and informal dinners. It is the perfect place, with a light and airy interior, to while away the hours. Take a stroll through the elegant walled gardens, soak in the scenic views and indulge in a relaxed alfresco lunch on the pretty terrace. Open daily from 7am to 10pm, The Brasserie offers fine yet informal cuisine throughout the day. Its location adjoining the fabulous spa makes it the perfect place to stop off while enjoying a day of relaxation and rejuvenation. The Brasserie offers a full a la carte menu along with a set lunch menu – two courses £24 pp, three courses £27 pp.


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ROMAN BATHS KITCHEN Abbey Churchyard, Bath BA1 1LY Tel: 01225 477877 Web: Nestled in Bath’s iconic Abbey churchyard, The Roman Baths Kitchen is perfectly positioned for a stop-off between sightseeing and shopping. Enjoy alfresco dining all day with unrivalled views of some of Bath’s iconic landmarks including Bath Abbey, The Roman Baths and the Pump Room. The summer menu for 2017, created by head chef Ross Shaw, has a fantastic selection of feel good dishes, using the very best in locally sourced seasonal ingredients. Start the day as you mean to go on with either the Detox breakfast or the lumberjack – a stack of buttermilk pancakes served with maple syrup and streaky bacon or berries and Greek yoghurt. Diners can choose healthy dishes from the all day dining menu, including the superfood salad, with quinoa, beetroot, avocado, toasted walnuts, charred sweet potato and harissa yoghurt dressing. Or tuck into a British classic such as beer battered haddock and triple cooked chips, served with crushed peas.



Stall Street, Bath, BA1 1LZ Tel: 01225 444477 Web:

2 St John Street, Bath BA1 2JL Tel: 01225 482070 Web:

A trip to Bath wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Georgian splendour of The Pump Room, with its Corinthian columns and crystal chandelier. Live music is played daily by The Pump Room Trio and resident pianist to create an enchanting atmosphere. Up until Thursday 31 August enjoy the sumptuous summer menu at The Pump Room. At lunchtime try a selection of delicious seasonal dishes and join in The Grape Escape – a culinary journey where wine is carefully chosen to compliment each meal. In the evening choose from either the dinner menu or from the light bites menu – a selection of tasty flatbreads served with spicy fries, £12.95 each, or £17.95 each with a summer cocktail, available from 5.30 – 9pm. Visitors and residents alike can enjoy long balmy summer evenings with mouth-watering seasonal dishes – the perfect excuse to get together with friends and family.

Firehouse Rotisserie has been one of the most popular independent restaurants in Bath for 20 years. Voted by Channel 4 as one of the top five American restaurants in the UK, it has been recommended by GQ, Tatler, and The Daily Mail. It is the only genuine rotisserie restaurant in this part of the country, boasting a blend of authentic Californian and south western American flavours using ancho, guajillo, chipotle and pasilla chiles as well as more familiar herbs and spices. In addition to its delicious free range rotisserie chicken, the Firehouse is known for its range of exciting and luxurious gourmet brick fired pizzas, and classic American Deli burgers. Located on a quiet street just off the main shopping area, the buzzy, cosy and relaxed atmosphere has a bustling open kitchen where diners can watch the food being cooked to order.

THE SCALLOP SHELL 22 Monmouth Place, Bath BA1 2AY Tel: 01225 420928 Web: The Scallop Shell is an award-winning fish and chip restaurant and seafood grill serving traditional favourites such as lightly battered, flaky cod and haddock and seasonal delights from the early morning coastal markets. Chips are peeled and freshly cut from the best seasonal spuds and prepared daily for you in the restaurant’s beautiful spud room. The Scallop Shell is driven by a passion for seafood from Garry Rosser, who returned to the city where his career as a chef began when he opened The Scallop Shell in 2015. Now occupying two floors with a recently opened terrace and a favourite of Marco Pierre White, the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner from 12 – 9.30pm Monday to Saturday. Keep your eyes peeled for updates on the resurgence of its extremely popular takeaway service at a new site in the city.






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CHEZ DOMINIQUE 15 Argyle Street, Bath BA2 4BQ Tel: 01225 463482 Web: Chez Dominique is a family run restaurant serving local, seasonal, French and European food. It is located on the beautiful Argyle Street just over Pulteney Bridge and its private dining room, which comfortably seats eight people, boasts views of Pulteney Weir. There is always something for everyone – a tempting Prix fixe menu is available at lunchtimes and early evenings, an à la carte menu, specials and a Sunday roast selection. Chez Dominique has a carefully chosen wine list and an interesting selection of drinks including a delicious French Beer, Brasserie Artisanal Du Luberon. Enjoy great food and drink in a relaxing and friendly atmosphere.

ACORN VEGETARIAN KITCHEN 2 North Parade Passage, Bath BA1 1NX Tel: 01225 446059 Web: Just around the corner from Bath Abbey is a cosy modern bistro which has made a big name for itself. Under the guidance of head chef Steven Yates, Acorn puts vegetables in the spotlight, creating beautiful contemporary dishes using new techniques and delicious ingredients. Having worked for vegetarian chef Rachel Demuth as head chef at her eponymous restaurant for many years, Acorn’s owner Richard Buckley bought this little bistro from her in 2013, and embarked on rebranding, revitalising and reinventing a long-established Bath institution. Five years on and Acorn has been included in The Good Food Guide and received a plethora of awards including the Viva! award for Best Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurant in the UK. The lunch menu at Acorn is £17.90 for two courses, £22.95 for three. The dinner menu is £26.95 for two courses (plus £14 for the wine match menu), and £34.95 for three (with £20 for wine match). We can be certain that at Acorn, plants definitely do taste better.



First Floor, 1 John Street, Bath BA1 2JL Tel: 01225 466440 Web:

8 – 9 Southgate Street, Bath BA1 1AQ Web:

Olé Tapas is an informal, bijou place in the centre of the city. It is inspired by the many small tapas bars in Spain, where people often eat standing up or at small tables. Tapas is a very personal style of dining and its simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication. If you are after an eating style which encourages conversation and laughter with friends and family, then head to Olé Tapas. Olé is convivial, noisy and not everybody’s cup of tea, however if a relaxed, buzzing atmosphere with genuine Spanish food/drink and great service is what you look for then just go. You will create your own peculiar lunch/dinner while having the time of your life.

This new restaurant, launched in May in the heart of the city is the latest burger joint making waves in Bath and guaranteed to show you a smashing time. What makes this burger different? The secret is in the ‘smash’ – a unique method of cooking a burger, whereby 100% British Red Tractor Assured beef is hand-formed into a meatball and then smashed onto a hot buttered grill, searing in all the juices and flavour for an explosive taste sensation. Other tasty options include grilled and crispy chicken breast sandwiches; garlic grilled Portobello cap mushroom burger; freshly prepared salads and irresistible sides like the garlic and rosemary Smash fries. Smashburger’s list of libations does not disappoint. Try the local beer offering – Werrrd!, a 4.2% APA by Electric Bear Brewing Co., alongside a choice of red, white and rosé wines and Prosecco. Or indulge in a creamy handspun shake made with Häagen–Dazs® ice cream in chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and Oreo flavours. Enjoy your feast in the casual environment while kicking back in curved banquettes, perfect for large groups and gatherings.


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GREEN PARK BRASSERIE Green Park Station, Bath BA1 1JB Tel: 01225 338565 Web: Green Park Brasserie is an independent restaurant, bar and café and has been serving great, fresh, locally sourced food and drink since 1992. The Braz presents four evenings a week of free, live jazz to accompany dinner or drinks between Wednesday and Saturday. The modern British menu offers a wide range of dishes using Newton Farm 30 day aged steaks, Castlemead free range chicken, Homewood sheep’s cheese and fish from Wing of St Mawes. The Brasserie is happy to cater for larger groups with a three course set menu. There is an eclectic wine list, a wide range of spirits and draught beers including Butcombe Bitter, Pilsner Urquell and Honey’s Cider. Happy Hour runs from 4 – 6pm with two for one on cocktails, selected pints at £2.50 per pint and a bottle of Prosecco for £16. The team also runs an elegant, flexible function venue upstairs (, which can serve up to 100 diners or 140 for a party.

KING WILLIAM PUB & DINING ROOM 36 Thomas Street, Bath BA1 5NN Tel: 01225 428096 Web: King William pub and dining rooms is just 15 minutes walk from Bath Abbey and is a destination for lovers of great food. Independently owned for over 13 years, it’s a good idea to book as this cosy little Georgian eatery is a favourite for locals and visitors. The huge picture windows are the perfect spot for people watching along the bustling street. The bar is well stocked with locally brewed cask ales, 30 craft beers, Somerset ciders and an extensive and excellent wine list. The King William’s eponymous house ale is exclusively brewed by Danish master brewer Stig Anker Andersen. Cooking at the King William is about respect for the ingredients that are sourced from the wealth of artisan producers found in and around Bath and the south west. Modern British in style, menus are fresh, seasonal and local. Two first floor dining rooms offer a more intimate setting for private dining, special occasions or as one of Bath’s most romantic dining venues.






GARRICK’S HEAD PUB & DINING ROOM 7 – 8 St John’s Place, Bath BA1 1ET Tel: 01225 318368 Web: Garrick’s Head pub and dining room was the former home to Beau Nash and is a grand building with stately proportions. Its location next to the Theatre Royal always makes for an interesting and colourful crowd. Open every day from noon onwards, lunch and dinner are served in the bar, on the terrace or in the dining room. Menus are full of fresh seasonal ingredients and the style is modern British. The bar menu features pub classics prepared with respect and using the best regional ingredients, while the pre-theatre and à la carte menus are more fine dining in style. Sunday roasts are served in the traditional style with all the trimmings and children are occupied with complimentary gifts to keep them busy at the table. Booking is always advisable, especially at the weekend. Renowned for having the best fish and chips in Bath, Garrick’s Head is also known for serving Bath chaps. Outside the spectacular floral displays from the hanging baskets and window boxes catch the sun and this is the perfect location to sit back and watch the hustle and bustle of Bath go by.

FRAMPTONS Grand Parade, Bath BA2 4DF Tel: 01225 313680 Web: Framptons is a brand new independent British café bar and kitchen open all day every day offering something for everyone. The three young owners met in the army and have carried across some military values when it comes to understanding the local community. The menu changes frequently and all the produce is in season and sourced locally. The best bit is that you can see it all being cooked in front of you. The bar offers a complete range of drinks including English sparkling wine, local real ales, craft ales and cocktails. Framptons is located within the Empire on Grand Parade within close proximity to Pulteney Bridge, the Weir and the Rec. It offers different spaces that accommodate anything from an individual wanting a place to work or a large party of 50 or more guests. Bookings can be made online or simply by walking in and speaking to a friendly member of staff.

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103 Locksbrook Road, Bath BA1 3EN Tel: 01225 427119 Web:

50 Rivers Street, Bath BA1 2QA Tel: 01225 360017 Web:

The Locksbrook Inn is a beautifully restored gastropub located beside the canal with extensive outside garden space. With plenty of decking and an outdoor bar, this is the perfect spot to enjoy a glass of Prosecco or a pint during the warm evenings. The menu comprises small plates, sharing platters, healthy, colourful salads, homemade burgers and classic dishes. Weekend brunch and Sunday lunches are also served. Enjoy salt and pepper squid and pan-fried scallops to start, or share a charcuterie board before tucking into a crisp and rustic nine-inch pizzette with spicy salami and cherry tomatoes. You won’t be able to say no to a dessert with the likes of deconstructed banoffee pies and gooey cherry brownies gracing the menu. The Locksbrook Inn is open seven days a week for drinks, lunch, evening meals, grazing in between and brunch at the weekend. Children and dogs are welcome.

Situated a short walk from The Circus and The Royal Crescent, The Chequers is a beautiful little gastropub that serves seriously good food. It delivers top quality restaurant standard dishes while in the convivial atmosphere of a friendly pub. The quality of the cooking has put The Chequers firmly on the map for serious foodies, attracted by the imaginative menu and friendly service. Traditionalists will also be glad to hear that the pub also caters for them with a selection of beautifully crafted down to earth pub classics. Diners can choose to eat either downstairs in the traditional bar area or in the upstairs restaurant which features a window into the kitchen where they can follow the chefs hard at work. The Chequers offers a tasting menu experience and has private dining and meeting room facilities available. There’s an impressive and accessible list of well kept wines and local ales and ciders.

THE HARE & HOUNDS Lansdown Road, Bath BA1 5TJ Tel: 01225 482682 Web:

THE MARLBOROUGH TAVERN 35 Marlborough Buildings, Bath BA1 2LY Tel: 01225 423731 Web: Located a stone’s throw from The Royal Crescent, The Marlborough Tavern combines the atmosphere of a local pub with the food quality of a top restaurant, making it a firm favourite for locals and visitors to Bath alike. The menu is essentially English in character, and uses local produce to create great tasting, simple dishes where the quality of the produce speaks for itself. The Marlborough has held 2 AA rosettes for food quality since 2009, and the pub features in both The Good Food Guide and Michelin Guide. Sundays are especially busy, with groups of friends and families enjoying the friendly pub atmosphere and legendary roasts. The Marlborough Tavern’s reputation for good food is matched by the service: friendly and attentive without ever being intrusive. The wine list is extensive, as is the selection of local ales – and the bar staff mix a mean cocktail too. Outside, The Marlborough boasts what is arguably Bath’s finest pub garden – a walled courtyard space that’s just perfect for summertime lunching and drinking with good friends.

The Hare & Hounds enjoys a stunning location high on Lansdown Hill with glorious views over the Bath countryside. Open from 8:30am every day for breakfast, it serves home cooked seasonal food all day, every day. The smart interior features wooden floors, panels, tables and chairs – and food is very much the focus. You might start with chargrilled asparagus, prosciutto ham, mozzarella and rocket, followed by slow cooked pork belly with ham hock croquette, celeriac, apple and pickled fennel. A dark chocolate brownie, salted caramel sauce and chocolate ice cream makes a tempting finale. On summer days, customers can enjoy lunch on the large terrace, while on winter evenings the open fire creates a cosy atmosphere and the attentive but relaxed service really shines. There’s a separate menu for children and large garden that’s a big draw in the summertime. The Hare & Hounds is only a mile from town but feels like a world away in beautiful countryside. Its location is perfect for visitors heading to or from the M4 motorway to the north of Bath. Well worth a visit for the views.


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THE PEAR TREE INN Top Lane, Whitley, Melksham SN12 8QX Tel: 01225 704966 Web: The Pear Tree Inn’s unique concept centres around a rustic Farmhouse Kitchen with a bar and rooms tucked away in rural Whitley, 25 minutes from Bath. Enjoy modern, imaginative cooking, showcasing the best in locally sourced produce. With a menu guided by the seasons and vegetable beds bursting with fresh produce, the chefs make the most of the fresh crops and local specialities. The Pear Tree Inn has sensitively restored the former 17th century farmhouse, returning it to its original character and charm. There are eight rooms split between the inn and a beautifully converted barn leading onto the garden. All of the rooms are named after varieties of pears and the garden are dog friendly. Beyond the flagstoned bar are two dining areas, the garden room, adjacent to a secluded courtyard, and a large open sunroom with exposed beams and a sun terrace.

THE GEORGE AT WOOLLEY 67 Woolley Street, Bradford on Avon BA15 1AQ Tel: 01225 865650 Web: The George, set in the backwater of Woolley in Bradford on Avon, is run by award-winning chef Alex Venables. The kitchen has one AA Rosette for its lovely food and four AA gold stars for its luxury guest accommodation. The George is open everyday for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Set lunch is £15.95 for two courses, or you can enjoy braised octopus in a Romesco sauce, beef wellington and dauphinoise potatoes, or slow braised beef cheeks with lettuce and peas from the à la carte menu. Fresh fish is delivered from Brixham daily and all the kitchen’s meat is from a local farm. The Thursday Supper club, which takes place on the last Thursday of every month, is £25 for four courses. On Thursday 31 August the theme is French Bistro classics. The George also runs cookery dine and demos classes on Saturday mornings from the open plan theatre kitchen. From 21 September, lunch for the restaurant’s gold club for over 60s is £12 for two courses. There’s also a lovely mature garden and dining terrace to enjoy alfresco dining in the summer months too.






CIRCO BAR 15 – 18 George Street, Bath BA1 2EN Tel: 01225 585 100 Web: White Heat has taken up residence in Circo Bar’s Kitchen with a focus on quick, healthy and sustainable food. There are some extremely tasty things going on at Circo with White Heat’s delicious Asian/Mexican food menu, which only adds to the ambience at Circo and the tasty cocktails it serves so well. On arrival at Circo you can smell the roasting aroma’s wafting through the building while furiously fresh food is being put together behind the scenes in the kitchen. There are some real treats on the small but very well put together menu, from Asian chicken wings to pulled pork tacos – you can tell that each item has been created and perfected with passion. What’s more the menu constantly changes so you can have something different with every visit. Circo also has an abundance of themed nights in the works, which will have their own special food and cocktail menus. Circo will be hosting cocktail and food pairing evenings as well as cinema nights complete with popcorn and a menu to compliment the movie of the night. There is always something going on at Circo so it is certainly worth a visit.

SIGN OF THE ANGEL Church Street, Lacock SN15 2LB Tel: 01249 730230 Web: Sign of the Angel is a 15th century coaching inn that encompasses the key elements of a traditional inn – providing great tasting food and drink in front of large open fires with warm, homely rooms for those staying overnight. Located in the National Trust village of Lacock, on the edge of the Cotswolds, this pub is only a short distance from Bath. The kitchen uses fresh, seasonal ingredients in order to serve great tasting dishes from honest foods. Sign of the Angel sources produce from local suppliers in the west country to ensure that the food process is traceable, and from sustainable farmers, growers and butchers. In the summer months, there is a beautiful garden to enjoy a cream tea next to the stream, along with a paddock, which will in time subsidise the produce for the kitchen. Sign of the Angel has received two AA rosettes and is considered a 4* AA accommodation.

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CHANDOS DELI 12 George Street, Bath BA1 2EH Tel: 01225 314418 Web: This independently owned café-deli opened its doors in 2001 and has been a haven for both locals and visitors to the city ever since. Every day the team make their award-winning sandwiches, baguettes, salads and renowned chorizo sausage rolls. Chandos supports local suppliers such as Hobbs House Bakery, Chew Valley Dairy, Bertinet Bakery and Brian Wogan Coffee. Every cup of coffee bought at Chandos supports the ‘teach a man to fish’ charity set up by Brian Wogan, helping workers of the La Bastilla estate in Nicaragua gain a valuable education. Chandos also sources the finest ingredients and deli products from Spain, Italy and France. With an array of fantastic wines by the glass and local beers, you can easily while away an afternoon in this cosy little café.

THE FOODIE BUGLE SHOP 2 Abbey Street, Bath BA1 1NN Tel: 07762 330519 Web: An independent, family owned business, The Foodie Bugle shop and tearoom can be found just around the corner from Bath Abbey and the Roman Baths. Open every day, you will find British artisan food, such as chocolates, teas, coffees, confectionery and preserves as well as artisan homewares, accessories, gifts and textiles. Try before you buy – the shop sells and serves Easy José speciality coffee, a range of locally made cakes, biscuits and quiches, orchard fruit juices and Prosecco, wines and ales. You can sit watching the world go by downstairs or look over the historic garden of Elton House in the upstairs tearoom. The Foodie Bugle also hosts workshops, courses and events as well as the Independent Bath Market the third Sunday of every month from March – October. Take a look around the 1750 Grade I listed building, the home of Mayor Jacob Elton and his wife Elizabeth. A visit to Bath is not complete without it.

THE HOLBURNE MUSEUM GARDEN CAFÉ Great Pulteney Street, Bath BA2 4DB Web: One of the most beautiful outdoor spaces in Bath, only a 10 minute walk from the centre of town, the Garden Café at the Holburne Museum provides the perfect escape within the city for a light al fresco bite. The seasonal menu offers lunches and delicious cakes, tea and coffee, and includes a BBQ at the weekends during the summer. Visitors are currently enjoying stuffed Portobello mushrooms, chargrilled chicken breast and prawn tagliatelle on the menu, along with the quiche of the day and the lemon drizzle cake being consistent firm favourites. The museum and garden café are open until 9pm on the last Friday of the month for after-hours access to the galleries and exhibitions with music in the café from the museum’s resident DJ.

CASTLE FARM CAFÉ Midford Road, Midford, Bath BA2 7BU Web: This beautiful little barn café is nestled within the rolling hills of Midford, just a ten minute drive from Bath city centre. Located on an organic vegetable farm, there are stunning views over the valley and plenty of outdoor seating to enjoy the countryside. The team at the café is passionate about using fresh, seasonal produce from local suppliers and pride themselves in building strong relationships with the other young independents of Bath and Frome. Known for its pizzas and rustic vegetarian/vegan fair, the café’s wonderful chef Vic produces dishes from fresh vegetables and herbs from the garden, alongside delicious locally sourced vegetables and produce from around Somerset. The café has just opened a new Castle Farm Shop, showcasing some of the best artisan produce, gifts and creative flair that Somerset has to offer – from artisan candles, to locally grown quinoa, there is something to suit everyone.


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MA CUISINE 3 – 4 St Saviour's Road, Larkhall, Bath BA1 6RT Tel: 01225 312959 Web: Brigitte and Christophe Lacroix, who have run this family business since 2012, will welcome you into their store in the heart of Larkhall, a friendly neighbourhood in Bath where locals pop into the shop for a coffee and chat about food, ingredients and French cooking. From Ma Cuisine's kitchen, Christophe (former chef/owner of Pinch of Salt and Le Petit Cochon) creates authentic, gourmet French meals using local British ingredients wherever possible, with no additives, no preservatives, no colourings. All meals, including all stocks and sauces, are handmade in small batches in Ma Cuisine's beloved kitchen and then fast-frozen to retain all of their freshness, goodness and flavour. As they are frozen, they are ready to pop in the oven or microwave so you can enjoy all the classic flavours of France without all the effort. Ma Cuisine’s Gourmet French Meals are also available to buy online for free local delivery and national shipping.


HARTLEY FARM Winsley, Bradford on Avon, BA15 2JB Tel: 01225 864948 Email: Web:

Widcombe Parade, Claverton Buildings, Bath BA2 4LD Tel: 01225 313037

For a rural, foodie retreat, Hartley Farm Shop and Kitchen in Winsley is the perfect spot. This family run farm is nestled in the Wiltshire countryside just a short drive from Bath. The owner’s passion grows from producing, sourcing and serving the very best food and drink. The kitchen bakes cakes from scratch every day, and serves them alongside freshly ground coffee from the café’s resident coffee guru, Easy José. The café menu, served all day, includes breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea prepared from scratch by the brilliant chefs with the finest ingredients produced on the farm or sourced locally. The café also has an ever changing specials board taking influence from dishes all over the world. Whether you’re looking to revitalise with a healthy stop off or indulge in a well-deserved treat, Hartley Farm has you covered. Open seven days a week, Monday to Saturday 9am – 5.30pm and Sunday 10am – 4pm. The café closes 30 minutes earlier on each of the days.

After undergoing a transformation in its new premises earlier this year, Widcombe Deli has become a favourite spot among the local community. Owners Jon and Nicky pride themselves on independence when it comes to the deli – everything is home baked from locally grown produce and sourced goods from independent companies in the south west. The deli also has its very own brand of coffee called J.J Beano’s. There is a wonderful variety of quiches, fresh salads, cakes and pastries on offer everyday, and customers can either sit in the deli (which can seat up to around 30 people), or you can take your delicious treats away with you. Don’t just expect wonderful food and coffee, Jon and Nicky love to chat to customers and share local knowledge and stories, making each visit personal and unique.

CAFÉ LUCCA 1 – 2 Bartlett Street, Bath BA1 2QZ Tel: 01225 335394 Web: Café Lucca revives and relaxes in equal measure. It serves wonderful food in a welcoming environment, offering freshly ground coffee and a light breakfast in the mornings, lunch from a selection of fresh, brightly coloured salads and bruschetta and panini, or for afternoon tea, an array of tempting cakes. This is the perfect place for catching up with friends, or as a respite from shopping and is one of Bath’s favourite places to see people and be seen. Deliciously fresh, modern Italian style/Mediterranean food is served in the elegant and spacious surroundings of The Loft. All the fresh produce and Italian products are from small local family suppliers. Situated in a traffic free street in Bath’s boutique quarter, the restaurant is just two minutes’ walk from Milsom Street and the Fashion Museum. And when the sun shines there are tables outside from where one can watch the world stroll by.





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GREAT WESTERN WINE Wells Road, Bath, BA2 3AP Tel: 01225 322810 Web: Great Western Wine is an Aladdin’s Cave of over 1,000 of the world’s best wines, and 400 small batch spirits – including 100 gins at the last count! Beer lovers are well catered for with bottles from the best of the west country brewers, and there is the welcome addition in the last year of artisan cheeses on sale with a Pong Cheese concession. We love its modern, friendly approach backed up by oldfashioned service and advice. GWW is an award winner, having scooped the Best Wine Merchant in South West England for the last four years in the wine industry Oscars, the International Wine Challenge Awards. Wines and spirits are always open to taste and experienced staff are great at finding the perfect wine for you at any budget. Prices at every level are competitive and there’s always a good selection of special offers. Watch out for the bin-ends for the best bargains. The website and mail order service is just as good for those further afield. Wine tasting events, dinners and The Great Wine School are worth checking out – but get in quickly as they’re very popular and sell fast. You’ll find many of Great Western Wines wares in Bath’s best restaurants, hotels and pubs, as well as at Bath Rugby.

THE COLOMBIAN COMPANY Tel: 07534 391992 Web: Raised surrounded by coffee farms in Colombia, The Colombian Company’s founder Jhampoll Gutierrez Gomez moved to Bath many years ago before establishing his business, which celebrates the very best of Colombian produce. He imports speciality green coffee beans from small farms which struggle to compete with larger, industrial scale farms. After the success of his coffee, Jhampoll has decided to expand his product range and now sells Colombian chocolate and Panela (sugar cane). Find The Colombian Company at the Bath Artisan Market in Queen Square and the Bath Brunch Market in Green Park, and at Chandos Deli. You can also place an order on the company’s website.

Henny and Joe’s chai can be found in independent cafés, coffee houses, bakeries and farm shops all over the UK. The local company has gone from strength to strength ever since it started from its humble beginning nearly four years ago. Last year saw the company win its third consecutive title as the Taste of the West awards in the Best Hot Drink in the South West category. However, this success was down to the newly released Chocolate chai and not the company’s multi award-winning original Masala chai. Unlike other chai on the market, Henny and Joe’s chai is allergen and caffeine free as well as being completely vegan friendly so everyone can enjoy it. A chai latte made with Henny and Joe’s has the same calorie content as half a chocolate digestive biscuit and it’s a fraction of the calorie content of the leading chai brands.

FUSSELS FINE FOODS Church Farm, Parkgate Lane, Rode, Frome BA11 6AA Tel: 01373 831286 Web: Fussels Fine Foods has been producing single cold pressed rapeseed oil for the last 12 years from its third-generation farm in Rode, Somerset. With a family passion for farming and good quality British food, Andy Fussel and his team grow, harvest and press oilseed rape to arrive at a carefully crafted, healthy oil that is highly versatile and incredibly delicious. Not only high in essential omegas, low in saturated fat and stable at high temperatures, rapeseed oil is also a great source of vitamin E. From frying and roasting, to baking and drizzling, Fussels single cold pressed extra virgin rapeseed oil is a kitchen staple. The Fussels range doesn’t just stop at oil. Not only does the company offer a choice of smoked, chilli and garlic oils to add a little spice to your cooking, Fussels Fine Foods has an extensive range of dressings, mayonnaises, sauces and vinaigrettes available online, at local markets and from its farm outlet in Rode. The farm has seen a recent expansion and now hosts a demonstration kitchen which is cooking up a storm. Cookery courses, farm tours including an insight to the pressing process and foodie demonstrations teach visitors all about British farming as well as how to use this golden oil at home.


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KEEP IT LOCAL: last year’s Taste of Timsbury ■ Organisers of Taste of Timsbury, the award-winning festival of local food and drink, are holding a second festival, at the Conygre Hall in the village on Saturday 23 September, 10am to 3pm. The festival, which is free to attend, will have more than 30 stalls inside the hall and in a marquee outside, sponsored by the Seven Stars pub. All the stallholders are local and products include cheese, charcuterie, crayfish, meat, beer, cider, wine and liqueurs, cakes, desserts, preserves, pickles and sauces, locally-produced Indian food, dips and hummus, artisan bread, vegetables and street food. There will be cookery demonstrations and activities for children. Last year’s Taste of Timsbury festival contributed towards Bath and North East Somerset winning the 2016 British Food Fortnight Love British Food national competition. ■ Popular fish and chip restaurant and takeaway The Scallop Shell, in Monmouth Place, Bath, has extended its dining area for summer to include an outdoor terrace. But the busy restaurant kitchen and the layout of the building has made the takeaway service no longer practical. The search is now on for The Scallop Shell to find another city site where it can open a takeaway.

Bath chef Dan Moon has joined an exclusive club of chefs whose name on the door is enough to see diners beating a path to his restaurant. Dan has achieved the accolade of having the restaurant at the Gainsborough Bath Spa hotel named in his honour. He joins the ranks of chefs including Gordon Jones and Hywel Jones in running eponymous establishments. He joined the Gainsborough only 18 months ago, from country house hotel Ston Easton Park. Before that he was at Homewood Park Hotel, where he acheived three AA Rosette status. On his arrival at the Gainsborough he rapidly established a reputation in the city for using the best of west country produce on his menus. Diners enjoy delicious, seasonal ingredients all served with a dramatic flourish, designed to entertain and delight the eye, the nose and the palate. The restaurant is formally known as Dan Moon at the Gainsborough Restaurant. For those wanting a real treat, his six course tasting menu is £60 per person. Visit: WEST COUNTRY CHEF: Dan Moon at the Gainsborough


Contemporary Thai food restaurant Giggling Squid is shortly to open in the historic Bluecoat School, Saw Close, Bath. The family run chain was launched by Thaiborn Pranee Laurillard and her husband Andrew in Brighton in 2002 and it has grown to 21 restaurants across the south of England. It takes its name from the nickname of one of their three children. We’ve had a look at the new menu for the Bath restaurant and it makes for mouthwatering reading. Along with classics such as Pad Thai and Thai curries, there are tapas style plates at lunchtime or, for evenings how about a mixed seafood dish called Sizzle on the Griddle? Read more at:

RELAXING SPOT: locals and tourists are enjoying the summer vibe at Southgate

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Top of the places in Bath to take a selfie this summer simply has to be under the rainbow coloured umbrellas hanging over Southgate. The display has proved very popular with locals and tourists, all taking advantage of this eye-catching backdrop. The whole area in and around Southgate has been given a holiday vibe makeover, with artificial lawns for people to sit on, deckchairs that are free to enjoy and even a bar – The Enchanted Garden – serving a selection of drinks. At lunchtimes office workers are soaking up a bit of sunshine, chatting with friends while they relax in one of the bright deckchairs. Families are tucking into picnics they’ve bought from nearby cafés and shops, while after work people are heeding the call to Pimms O’Clock and enjoying a drink with friends in the square among the red phone boxes, which are filled with summer blooms.

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TAPAS REVOLUTION BATH 20a Lawrence Street, Southgate, Bath BA1 1AN. Tel: 01225 312917, Twitter: @tapasrevbath, visit:




he first time I realised that sherry was a drink you could actually enjoy was some summers ago when we decided to escape the crowds of Marbella and drove up into the hills, where we came across a little roadside bar which served us a bowl of plump green olives alongside bone dry, chilled sherry in small wine glasses. It was absolutely delicious and very far removed from the sweet, sticky stuff my ma-in-law used to keep in her Ercol sideboard. And so the dishes at Tapas Revolution, the new chico on the block at Southgate, are as delightfully far removed from the tired old tapas chains we had grown used to as that sherry we tasted on a Spanish mountainside was to the lukewarm schooner in Sussex. It’s clear that Madrid born chef Omar Allibhoy, who founded Tapas Revolution, first in London, is determined to do his nation proud when it comes to serving simple ingredients, freshly prepared, in his restaurants. We called in on a mid-week evening and the place was buzzing. The decor is modern Spanish, with wooden tables, ornate tiles and a soundtrack of cheerful pop. There’s a terrace, from where you can sit and watch the world or take a table inside where there’s plenty of room for all kinds of people. There were students enjoying a beer (all the beers are Spanish, naturally), along with couples of varying ages and several tables of big, convivial parties enjoying a night out. There’s a nice relaxed vibe but this is XVI TheBATHMagazine


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combined with speedy, efficient and very friendly service. Our waiter Liam is one of the few staff who isn’t Spanish, but this actor/theatre director has clearly done his homework on his brand and was both helpful and knowledgable about how the dishes were prepared. If you haven’t tried the tapas style of choosing small plates of food, which arrive at the table in random order, don’t worry – no one is going to judge how many dishes you eat, whether you stick your fork into a shared plate or pick things up with your fingers to get thoroughly stuck in. We enjoy sharing plates, it gives us the chance to chat about what we’re eating, divide things between us and politely squabble over who’s going to eat the last, still sizzling garlicky prawn. We found five dishes between two of us – washed down by a pleasantly spicy bottle of Tempranillo (£16.95) – was just right for the pair of us, but with 29 different dishes to choose from – ranging from a simple bread with fresh tomato and olive oil (£1.95) through fish, meat and veggie dishes (all clearly labelled on the menu) – your curiosity may lead you to order more as you go along. If you really can’t decided what to choose, you can always opt for a set menu of small plates for two, at £24 or £28. Do try the boquerones, even if you think you don’t like anchovies. These are nothing like those hairy, salty little beasts you get in a supermarket jar. They’re white anchovies, filleted and served chilled in olive oil, garlic

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and parsley, softened with a cider reduction. I promise you, you will be mopping up the last of the juice with a hunk of pan con tomate. The other dishes we enjoyed were a pan of huevos rotos, eggs mixed with potato, prawn and chorizo, gambas al ajillo and the classic patatas bravas, which were crisp, perfectly cooked inside, very hot and with just the right amount of spicy warmth. Another dish that in less capable hands, has all too often been rendered flabby or greasy. We talked to Liam about the ingredients, who explained that Omar likes to choose the best for his kitchens, which is why the chorizo we enjoyed tastes better than the supermarket variety. He also prefers to bake or roast dishes where possible as this makes the food less greasy but retains its flavour. Another time we might try an authentic paella, made to order, from £24 for two. Tapas Revolution is good value. You don’t have the pressure of conforming to starter, mains and pudding (although I did try the Spanish take on crême brulée, crema Catalana, which was creamy, sweet with a hint of vanilla). Instead, choose what suits your budget and taste. You could, for instance, come for a pint of artisan beer and a small plate of tortilla de patates and come out with change from a tenner. There’s also a mid-week lunch menu at £7.50 and Tapas Revolution even serves breakfast – by which I’m guessing they don’t mean the classic Brit on the Costas brekkie of a pint of lager . . . but whatever time you call in, that holiday feeling is infectious. n GMc

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Melissa Blease joins the free-for-all supper club with a heart where she meets the local food heroes at FoodCycle Bath who volunteer to cook and host at an open house every week


overty, the housing crisis and frozen wages, cuts to benefits, rising inflation and the effects of social isolation on mental health. Watch the news on any given morning and these issues dominate the headlines while many of us grab some toast and wish we’d found time to make a packed lunch rather than spend our hardearned cash at the nearest branch of Sarnies-to-go. But if the average person’s morning treadmill can be what most of us casually refer to as grim, those who are directly affected by those headlines (and their numbers are increasing) would happily swap their mornings with our working day routine in a heartbeat. But this feature is not a rant on the wrongs and rights of political policies over the “just about managing.” Instead, we’re focusing on the people who are actively doing something about it at grass roots level. Just five minutes walk away from Bath’s most prestigious addresses of the Circus and the Royal Crescent, in Julian Road, there’s a charitable enterprise that, once a week, alleviates the pressure on the people for who considering buying a sandwich on the 36 TheBATHMagazine


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way to work, getting together with friends over dinner, or having a casual chat in a café with like-minded people about the latest Dr Who is only a dream scenario. Between January and June FoodCycle Bath, which is part of a national network, rescued three tonnes of surplus food donated by local shops (Morrisons, M&S at Weston Lock, Sainsbury’s at Odd Down, Sainsbury’s in Green Park and The Fine Cheese Co among them). With the help of volunteers who accumulated more than 1,100 unpaid hours between them, they served more than 750 meals cooked in the kitchen at St Mary’s Catholic Church for people who, for many reasons, quite simply needed to be there. FoodCycle Bath hub leader Fiona Bell, who has been a volunteer since May 2013, said: “In 2012, FoodCycle identified four main aims. The first aim was to reduce the impact of food poverty, which has had more of a focus in Bath since the identification of an area of Twerton being classified as being in the top 10% of most deprived areas of the country. Secondly – and obviously clearly linked to the first aim – we wanted to reduce food waste. It was well known iSSUe 179

that perfectly healthy, edible food was being thrown away or passed to anaerobic digesters. “On from that, we wanted to train volunteers and offer them the opportunity to gain useful skills and experience. And, very importantly, we wanted to develop communities and reduce social isolation. This last aim has grown dramatically over my time with FoodCycle Bath, and is now equally significant – possibly even more important – than our first two aims. So, we seek to invite and welcome everyone from the surrounding community. Our volunteers are enriched by the experience of giving their time to prepare and share a nutritious meal with people they may not know, and our guests are drawn from a wide catchment area; there are some regulars (probably more single, middle aged men than women), but we’ve welcomed whole families – everybody is welcome.” On the evening I visited I sat with a friendly group – some regulars, some occasional visitors and a couple of volunteer chefs tucking in to the fruits of their own labour. Not all of them wanted to share their reasons for joining what’s clearly one of the most

CREATIVE AND COLLABORATIVE: main image, volunteers at FoodCycle Bath take donated food from local shops and turn it into tasty, healthy suppers for their guests Opposite page, delicious and nutritious. Visitors enjoy a three course meal, free, at St Mary’s RC Church, Julian Road, every Wednesday evening

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FOOD | HEROES hospitable, genial supper clubs in town . . . and why would they? Over a feast that included velvety fresh pea soup, vegetable curry with sides of chargrilled cauliflower and tzatziki, pineapple upside down cake with custard and huge platters of fresh fruit – all beautifully presented and served with a smile – we talked about all kinds of everything, from wind turbines and solar panels to Bristol’s alternative club scene via current fashion trends and tiger melons. Then each table was presented with a lucky dip of perishables, including cheeses, yoghurt, fruit, vegetables, bread and cakes, from which everybody was invited to take their pick and share. As a food writer who’s spent many years eating out in Bath, cooking for dinner parties and shopping in some of the city’s loveliest food shops, I can honestly say that my dinner with FoodCycle Bath was one of the best eating out experiences I’ve had on multiple levels. Fiona and her team are justifiably proud of the work that they do. “The project has continued without ever cancelling an evening for almost five years,” she says. “Our meals are always cooked from fresh produce using vegetarian ingredients because we don’t have a refrigerated van for food collections, so we can’t meet food hygiene regulations around collecting meat and fish. We decide, as a team, what dishes are going on the menu, often just an hour before we’re due to serve

up. We’re always on the lookout for volunteers who will take extra responsibility, locking up after a session and resolving any operational challenges or guest issues. But once people experience volunteering with us they quickly benefit, because basically, we’re a project with heart. Our volunteers cook in pairs and make friends with people from all over Bath and Wiltshire. They learn to improvise with ingredients and often surprise themselves with the tasty results. But above all, they make a massive difference to 20 plus people every week by showing them that somebody cares and is prepared to give time to them. Our diners are also our volunteers – we call them our volunteer eaters. They keep coming back for

more so we must be doing something right!” Fiona and her team’s version of doing “something right” struck a chord for me. On as many Wednesday evenings as I can manage from now on, you’ll find me getting busy in the FoodCycle Bath kitchen and looking forward to enjoying whatever culinary creation ensues with my new friends at the FoodCycle Bath hub. Never has The Bath Magazine’s food hero accolade been so well deserved. n Find FoodCycle Bath at St Mary’s Catholic Church, Julian Road, Bath on Wednesdays from 7pm. Email: For more information, including how to get involved, fundraise or make a donation, visit:

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An evening to inspire, challenge and educate, filled with fantastic fun, fine food, and marvellous music 23 September 2017, 7pm Carriages at Midnight The Assembly Rooms Bath BA1 2QH Tickets £95pp tables of 10 In aid of Leonard Cheshire Disability, Greenhill House, Timsbury Dress Code: Black tie/ballgowns and masks • SPARKLING RECEPTION 3 COURSE DINNER • LIVE MUSIC • AUCTION • SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKERS INCLUDE PARALYMPIAN NIGEL MURRAY MBE For tickets or further information please contact Ann Birtwistle 01761 479902 or email

Charity no: 218186 Company Number: 552847

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TRISTAN DARBY Gets crafty with local beers to enjoy by the barbecue this summer


eer drinking culture in the UK has changed dramatically over the last ten years. Since 2007 the number of breweries in London has grown from ten to 100, and the overall number of breweries across the UK is at an 80 year high, with an 8% rise in the last year alone. We are fortunate to have some awesome breweries on our doorstep here in the south west, and it’s great to see numerous local pubs, restaurants, and shops supporting them by offering a wide range of local brews. Recently I had the arduous task of tasting the brand new beer portfolio at Great Western Wine to seek out my favourites . . . it’s a hard life. Bristol’s Lost & Grounded has only been brewing since July last year, but is already making waves. My pick is the quirkily-titled No Rest for Dancers (£2.50, Great Western Wine). It’s a deeply coloured red ale that has an enticing hoppy/malty nose and a berry-like fruitiness with a touch of spice on the palate. Bestowed with just the right amount of sweetness and light malty caramel flavour to balance the underlying hoppy bitterness, before delivering a clean refreshing finish. Founded in 2007, Bristol’s Arbor Ales is a busy forward-thinking outfit which has brewed more than 300 different beers to date. Its ShangriLa (£2.75, GWW) is a generously hopped session IPA (India Pale Ale) with crisp bright citrus notes complementing a well-judged touch of sweetness. Exotic tropical fruit flavours lead to a dry and slightly chalky finish. Gentle carbonation adds a lovely texture and helps underline the soft appeal of this rather brilliant and highly quaffable brew. Kettlesmith is an independent micro-brewery based in Bradford on Avon. I’m a big fan of its beers for sheer quality, but an added pull is that it suggests food pairing options. Ridgeline (£2.75, GWW) is a rich American rye IPA with nutty peppery hints. It’s a pretty full bodied beer, but superbly smooth, well balanced and utterly delicious. Kettlesmith suggests this beer plays nicely with beef bourguignon, cassoulet, spicy bean burgers and tangy cheese. I can’t wait to investigate. Wiper & True started from humble beginnings as home brewers experimenting with raw ingredients on the kitchen stove. Based in St Werburgh’s, Bristol, the operation has grown, picking up many followers while keeping innovation and the spirit of experimentation as a core principle. The excellent Milkshake (£2.80, GWW) is a milk stout which includes a generous dollop of chocolate malts and vanilla pods to add extra depth of flavour, along with a wonderful aroma. Milk stouts use lactose, the sugar made from cow’s milk, to add sweetness and creaminess to the beer. This is pretty rich and jam-packed with seductive toasty vanilla, chocolate, and coffee. However, there’s a surprisingly refreshing balance. Drink this lightly chilled to retain the lovely rich notes and get enough mouthwatering lift to quaff it in the sun with smoky barbecued meats. Taste these beers for free at Great Western Wine’s Best of the West Beer Tasting on Saturday 19 August, 11am to 4pm. Check the website: n





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MAKING UGLY PEOPLE BEAUTIFUL A new biography of Thomas Gainsborough sheds fresh light on the artist’s years in Bath. Georgette McCready spoke to its author, art historian James Hamilton


he art world was set a-flutter at the revelation recently that a collection of landscape sketches thought to be by Edwin Landseer and held in the royal collection at Windsor Castle, are in fact by Thomas Gainsborough (1727 – 1788). The discovery was made by art historian Lindsay Stainton and supported by eminent art historian James Hamilton, who has just written a major new biography of Gainsborough. James Hamilton has spent more than five years researching and writing about the life and times of the artist, who was born in relatively lowly circumstances in Suffolk and rose to become 18th century society’s favourite portrait painter, numbering the royal family of George III among his subjects. I spoke to James Hamilton on the morning he had received his first published copy of his book Gainsborough: A Portrait and was able to ask him about the 16 years Gainsborough spent in Bath, where he built his reputation among the society crowd, painting the portraits of doctors, politicians, landowners, performers and their wives and daughters. James said of the Windsor Castle findings: “The discovery of these sketches is very exciting indeed. I was particularly delighted to see a sketch on the back of one of them of a young woman, almost certainly Margaret Burr, who went on to become his wife.” Margaret was a loving but tough wife to her husband and keen for him to make enough to support the family. James said: “Gainsborough was relatively unknown when he arrived in Bath but he was quick to publicise his work. Artists were allowed to show their work in the Pump Room, so they’d see how beautiful he’d made someone look – he had a great talent for making ugly people beautiful.” Gainsborough and his wife Margaret rented a new townhouse in Abbey Street (since demolished) on their arrival in 1758. He wanted to welcome his sitters to the sort of grand houses that they lived in, so the family filled the rest of the property with lodgers to meet the rent. Thomas Gainsborough’s sister Mary Gibbon set up a millinery shop next door and while customers were choosing fabrics or trimmings, they were encouraged to view the latest portraits set up in an adjoining gallery. “They were canny business people,” says James, “but then at this time in the 18th century the descent from wealth to poverty 40 TheBATHMagazine


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PARTY HOST: Captain William Wade, whose portrait by Thomas Gainsborough, hangs in the Assembly Rooms where he presided as Master of Ceremonies Picture courtesy of Victoria Art Gallery, Bath and North East Somerset Council

could overcome families very quickly, so they needed to be.” And Gainsborough had many rivals, not least renowned Bath portrait painter William Hoare. One of Gainsborough’s first subjects in Bath was an attractive young musician, Ann Ford, who had many admirers. His full length romantic portrait of her in a frothy lacy dress, her forthright gaze off to one side, elbow casually on a plinth, her legs crossed in what was then a very male stance, oozed confidence in both subject and sitter. She, like many of Gainsborough’s subjects, looks relaxed, and that, says James, is almost certainly because Gainsborough had charm and was very good at putting people at their ease. He soon put his price up from five

guineas a portrait to eight. As the Gainsborough studio thrived, the family – he had two daughters known affectionately as Molly and Peggy, who he painted regularly – moved up to Lansdown and eventually to No 17 The Circus. This was a very fashionable address, with the Duke of Bedford as one of their near neighbours. James came to Bath in his subject’s footsteps: “I simply rang the bell at No 17 and the owners very kindly let me in. Of course it’s now equipped for 21st century living but it’s very beautiful with its high ceilings. I visited the first floor room at the back of the house where he would have received his sitters, it’s north facing with a

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A LIGHT TOUCH: above left, musician Ann Ford, painted by Thomas Gainsborough, who used her image to promote his studio Right, The Byam Family by Thomas Gainsborough, can be seen at the Holburne Museum, where it is on long-term loan from the Andrew Brownsword Arts Foundation

very pleasant aspect. Gainsborough would have had a much longer window, letting in as much natural light as possible. It is possible that he also used the window to lower out some of his larger paintings.” There is a metal plaque over the door which marks his residency. “I then went round to the mews behind The Circus,” added James, “where I happened to find the owner of the mews building about to get in his car. He kindly agreed to show me the 18th century one-storey building that the Gainsboroughs would have used to keep their carriage and horses.” James was most excited to be shown into an end room, a small space with the original flagstone floor and original fireplace. “It was marvellous, untouched by the centuries, yet neat as a pin. I think Gainsborough’s groom or stable boy would have lived in here.” Over the years of researching Gainsborough’s life, through letters, records and historic archives, James Hamilton grew very fond of the man. “Oh, he was marvellous, great company. I think when you write about someone you feel as though you know them.” He was also an eccentric, outspoken and capable of temper tantrums – he once slashed a painting. And although he was a devoted husband and father he used prostitutes and his language, written and spoken, could be foul. Friends destroyed many letters because of

their saucy content. We are very fortunate in Bath to be able to enjoy Thomas Gainsborough’s work at close hand. At the Assembly Rooms hangs the dashing Captain William Wade, Master of Ceremonies. The artist gave the picture to the Assembly Rooms, although he insisted on being paid for the frame, as he knew it would be more publicity for his work. The Assembly Rooms were under construction during Gainsborough’s time in Bath and during one visit he narrowly missed being killed when part of a newly hung chandelier crashed down from the ceiling. The publicly owned Victoria Art Gallery has two Gainsboroughs, a portrait of Sir Thomas Rumbold with his son George, and a landscape. Along Great Pulteney Street at the Holburne Museum there are seven works by Gainsborough, including the enormous, eight foot by eight foot, The Byam Family. This portrait, showing a couple and their daughter, has a fascinating story behind it. George Byam and his wife Louisa wanted a portrait of the pair of them that would show their wealth. They planned to hang the picture, with its English landscape background, in their Surrey home. So the painter set to work on this giant piece, putting George in a blue waistcoat, his wife in a pink dress. But the Byams later demanded changes and Gainsborough was forced to re-work the picture, adding


their daughter Selina, by now two or three years old. George’s waistcoat was to be red and gold, Louisa’s dress blue. The Gainsborough family left Bath for London in 1774, but during his time in the west country he painted more than 300 portraits. Gainsborough died aged 61 in London in 1788, probably of cancer of the throat or jaw. The Victoria Art Gallery is hosting an exhibition in the new year which includes a portrait of Gainsborough’s son in law. It’s considered among his best works and was last on display at the Bath gallery in 1918. The painting been in the Royal Collection since it was given to George IV as a present by one of his brothers. Look out for more Gainsborough shows next year, including one of his family at the National Portrait Gallery. n Gainsborough: A Portrait by James Hamilton is published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson on 10 August, price £25. The author will be talking about the artist’s life at an evening hosted by Topping & Co on Monday 25 September. The book will be read on BBC Radio 4 at 9.45am from Monday 7 to Friday 11 August.




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THE GOLDEN LIGHT OF SUMMER Ceramics, tapestry, watercolour and oils are among the mixed media to delight the viewer in August’s shows THE HOLBURNE MUSEUM Great Pulteney Street, Bath Tel: 01225 388569 Open: daily, 10am – 5pm (11am Sundays) Admission is free, but for the special exhibitions there is a £10 entrance charge Web:

A Visitor from the Future by Ieva Krumina from Latvia (size 197cm by 295cm)

TAPESTRY: HERE AND NOW Until 1 October This exhibition celebrates the vibrancy of contemporary tapestry-weaving. It brings together the work of international makers to show innovative approaches to the art. Print does not do justice to the colours and textures of these dramatic pieces. A leading figure in contemporary tapestry and mosaics, Candace Bahouth, is to give a talk at the Holburne on Friday 25 August, from 7pm. This fascinating artist has been a designer at Ehrman Tapestries for more than 25 years and her work can be seen at the Victoria and Albert Museum. She will be joining forces with Kaffe Fassett for a show at Victoria Art Gallery next spring. Tickets for Candace’s talk are £10, to include entry to Tapestry: Here and Now and entrance to the galleries until 9pm, tel: 01225 388569 to book. The museum café will also be open until 9pm that evening.

44AD GALLERY Abbey Street, Bath Daily, noon to 6pm, Sundays 1pm to 4pm Tel: 07753 378325 Visit:

FUTURE PASTS Until Saturday 12 August (Basement and stairwell)

Step into a tranquil, contemplative space with this multi-media exhibition hosted by Bath Spa University in connection with the research centre in environmental humanities. It’s all themed around people and places in west Namibia. This photograph. pictured right, by Sian Sullivan shows three figures dwarfed by the giant landscape on the edge of the Giribes plain. The landscape we see before them has been created by a composite of photographs by Mike Hannis, with aerial photographs from the Directorate of Survey and Mapping and shows the ancient and traditional ceremony of ts-khom, in which the dead are honoured by the living. In this practice, ancestors and anonymous spirits of the dead are respectfully greeted and given gifts. They are requested to take care of the people as they move through and seek sustenance from these potent landscapes.

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Interchange by Julia Atkinson JOINT SHOW: JULIA ATKINSON, CATH BLOOMFIELD AND ALISON POTTER Monday 14 – Sunday 20 August

Julia Atkinson’s screen prints of optically interacting colours were made in the 1970s. She studied at the Slade in the 60s and has had shows in France, the USA, Germany and Japan. This work was first shown in her retrospective exhibition at the Victoria Art Gallery in 2013 and here are more examples of the same. Web: Cath Bloomfield makes prints in her workshop in her garden in Trowbridge. Through the medium of print and collage Cath likes to explore colour, texture and

narrative, inspired by natural forms and landscape. These ideas are taken into the workshop and using sand paper, tile adhesive, wallpaper and inks, she creates lively visual pieces. Web: Alison Potter is a ceramicist, best known for her distinctive colourful and lighthearted figures and vases. Since completing her degree in ceramics ten years ago, this former architect has won legions of admirers for her collectable pieces. Her most recent work, which is included in this exhibition, was inspired by Aboriginal art she saw in Australia earlier this year. Web: ➲

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NICK CUDWORTH GALLERY London Street, top of Walcot Street, Bath Closed on Mondays. Tel: 01225 445221 Visit: SUMMER SHOW Until end of August A wide variety of paintings and prints that represent Nick’s interests and inspirations including music, portraits and landscapes. July Stile is part of a series of works that depict the flora and fauna of each month throughout the year while looking through a stile. Most stiles he painted were to be found on his walks in the Cotswolds.

August Stile by Nick Cudworth

WALCOT CHAPEL Off Walcot Street, Bath BA1 5UG Large oil on canvas by John Eaves

SEPARATION Wednesday 16 – Sunday 20 August, 10am – 6pm

VICTORIA ART GALLERY By Pulteney Bridge Open daily, 10.30am – 5pm Tel: 01225 477233 Visit: JOHN EAVES: ECHOES OF PLACE Until Sunday 8 October John Eaves, who lives in Bath, has a fine reputation as a respected contemporary artist. He studied and taught at the Bath Academy of Art and continues to delight his admirers with his bold, vibrant compositions in oil, watercolour and collage. His work is noted for its rhythmic compositions and use of colour to create mood. There is free admission to this show and all works will be for sale.

Detail Canal, covered barge by Paul Hollin

ONE TWO FIVE GALLERY 4 Abbey Green, Bath Open: Wednesday to Saturday, 11am – 5pm, Sunday, 11am – 4pm Tel: 07803 033 629 Visit: FORM AND FUNCTION Throughout August Ceramicist Gary Wood will be showing powerful sculptural work alongside his functional pieces, while textile artist Carole Waller has created painted canvas and leather bags, made in collaboration with Wiltshire based design house Charlotty.

A Coastal Path by Andrew George

CIRCLEBATH CircleBath Hospital, Foxcote Ave, Peasedown St John. Open: daily 8am – 8pm THE TRANSFORMED LAND Until end of October Collected work from artists who are interested in the theme of place. The participating artists are: David Daniels, Russell Denman, Andrew George, Eleanor Goulding, Andrew Lansley, Jason Miller, Paul Newman, Linn O’Carroll, Howard Phipps, Jennifer Newbury, Sae Murai, David Smith, Clive Walley, and Deborah Westmancoat. All works are for sale with a third going to the charity Art at the Heart at the Royal United Hospital, Bath.

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Eleven local artists have responded to the theme separation and created new work for this exhibition of painting, printmaking and ceramics. Participating artists are Paul Brokensha, Richard Gardiner, Marlis Garner, Ann Hines, Paul Hollin, Craig King, Sarah Kniveton, Usha Pearce, Gill Smith, Liz Stallabrass and Sarah Targett. All artists have provided a brief explanation of how they interpreted the theme. Viewers are invited to engage with these ideas and reflect on their own perception of separation. All work is offered for sale.

Seascape bowl by Gary Wood

GALLERY NINE 9b Margarets Buildings, Bath Tel: 01225 319197 Visit: Open: Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 5.30pm

Ceramics by Paul Philp

SUMMER EXHIBITION Until Thursday 31 August Featuring a selection of handmade and collectable British artwork. Ian Mckay: colourful painted wood automata. Paul Philp: hand built ceramic vessels. Nicola Rawlings and Carla Edwards: jewellery. Tamsin Abbott: stained glass. Kevin Hughes RI: watercolours. ➲

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nick cudworth gallery

Lansdown Ridge. Oil on canvas


An exhibition of paintings and prints by Nick 1st July – 31 August A wide variety of paintings and prints that represent Nick’s interests and inspirations including landscapes, music and portraits

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





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EMMA ROSE Upstairs at 78 Walcot Street, Bath (above Bath Sofa and Curtain Company) Visitors welcome Open: Monday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm Tel: 07885235915 or 01225 424 424 Visit:

The Old Harbour by Daphne McClure

DAVID SIMON CONTEMPORARY 3 – 4 Bartlett Street, Bath Tel: 01225 460189 Visit: Open: Monday – Saturday, 10am – 6pm, and Wednesday, 2 – 6pm SUMMER EXHIBITION Saturday 12 August – Saturday 30 September You may just catch a whiff of fresh Cornish sea air as you stroll up Bartlett Street this summer as contemporary gallery David Simon shows some pieces by the modern artists who work in that most blessed of counties. Julia Cooper, whose studio on the south coast literally looks out over the sea, will be joined by fellow Cornish artist Luke Frost who teaches at the Newlyn School of Art. There are also works by mother and daughter Daphne and Emma McClure, who both take inspiration from their Cornish home. Far from taking it quietly in the holiday season, David Simon is displaying an enviable selection of more than 50 works by wellestablished artists. Scilly Daffodils by Emma McClure

ROYAL UNITED HOSPITAL Central gallery, RUH, Combe Park, Bath Open daily BATH ARTISTS’ STUDIOS SILENT AUCTION Until Wednesday 20 September Bath Artists’ Studios and Art at the Heart are collaborating to hold a silent auction of works donated by studio members. Bid for work while it is on display at the RUH and at Bath Artists’ Studios during its 20th anniversary open studios, 22 – 24 September. The works are available as greetings cards too, visit:

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LIFE FORCE Throughout August Emma Rose’s creativity is a driving force in her work. Nature, landscape and light always been an inspiration and Emma’s skilled use of light to create atmosphere have allowed her to create her own painting technique. She searches for artist and literary connections in her work, and with peace, silence and bold simplicity, concentrates on the essential in her landscapes.

Turner’s Vision by Emma Rose

THE BEAUFORT 1 London Road, Beaufort (the Balustrade), Bath Open: when the restaurant is open Free admission Tel: 01225 469127 Email: Website:

Flower Power by David Ringsell

DAVID RINGSELL Tuesday 1 August – Sunday 1 October A one man exhibition by landscape painter David Ringsell. The artist says: “I aim to present a contemporary perspective on some familiar places. While my work is representational, it retains a painterly quality. I often focus on the darker side of Bath architecture; peeling paint and stained stonework.” Originals and custom prints on sale from £200.

BATH CONTEMPORARY 35 Gay Street, Bath Email: Visit: Twitter: @BathContemp Tel: 01225 461230 Open: Monday to Saturday, 10am – 5pm SUMMER EXHIBITIONS Monday 7 –Saturday 19 August Featuring the work of artist Nicholas Turner, whose sensitive use of line and gentle structural distortion hints at the elusive nature of memory. His muted palette is occasionally punctuated with flashes of strong colour, which subtly balance his harmonious compositions. Monday 21 August – Saturday 2 September Endré Röder’s elegant and contemplative portraits of feminine beauty are presented through a bold use of colour and strong line. His subjects’ eyes rarely meet the viewer’s, with exoticism and allure hanging in secretive suspension. There is also a mixed exhibition of new work from artists including Kristan Baggaley, Kerry Harding, Alina Maksimenko, Norma Stephenson, Ellen Watson and Claire Wiltsher.

Pretty Figurehead Model by Endré Röder

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LOOKING FOR SOME SHOPPING INSPIRATION? See our popular guide to the best Independent Shops of Bath. Available online at our website As featured in


INDEPENDENT SHOPS 2017 Follow us on Twitter @thebathmagazine THEBATHMAG.CO.UK


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THE ORIGINAL SHOPPING ARCADE Historian Catherine Pitt uncovers the story behind The Corridor


aris. London. Bath. The city’s new Southgate centre has seen a resurgence of shopping here, albeit one of chain stores. Yet almost 200 years ago Bath was at the forefront of the modern shopping experience. Cabot Circus, Cribbs Causeway, Bluewater, the Bullring, Meadowhall, and the Arndale all owe their existence and inspiration to the 19th century arcades. At the cusp of the French Revolution, a retail revolution occurred on the streets of Paris. To combat the narrow and filthy streets of the city, the new covered cathedrals of consumerism enticed the wealthy inside. The Galerie des Bois became the world’s first shopping centre in the 1770s, providing a covered, pedestrian shopping alley, inspired by the forums of Rome and souks of Africa. The provision of a chic retail environment away from the dirt and rain appealed to British sensibilities (and British weather), and soon London’s first arcades appeared – The Royal Opera Arcade (1816) and Burlington Arcade (1818). Forever at the forefront of fashion, Bath followed suit, with Britain’s first provincial 48 TheBATHMagazine


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covered shopping arcade– The Corridor – opening on Wednesday 12 October 1825. Originally called Goodridge’s Corridor, it was designed as a private enterprise by Henry Edmund Goodridge (1797 – 1864), inspired by his trips abroad and the success of the recently opened London arcades. He had just finished building The Bazaar in Quiet Street (now home to the Eastern Eye restaurant) and he wanted to create an upper class retail experience where people could promenade – to see and be seen. More than 5,000 people walked The Corridor’s passageway on its inaugural day, pausing to admire the windows of the 22 shops within and be serenaded by an orchestra playing from the balcony above. Its design was neo-classical, with columns at either entrance (Union Passage and High Street), carved garlands and gilded lion heads and Greco-Roman statues overlooking proceedings from the balconies. In the words of Henry Goodridge at the time: “Every exertion has been used to make this promenade attractive and selective.” Before The Corridor opened Goodridge had advertised for prospective tenants. He

specified no noisy or offensive trades – butchers, grocers, pawnbrokers and licensed hawkers were not welcome. One of the first traders to sign up, and incidentally it became the longest surviving business of The Corridor until its closure in 1989, was Thomas Hatt – a perfumerer and hairdresser (later known as Hatt & Co). Another eminent trader was one of the founding fathers of film-making, William Friese-Greene, soon to become a pioneer in early motion pictures. For 12 years, from 1877, Friese-Greene ran a photographic studio in The Corridor. It appears that not all Bathonians welcomed the arrival of The Corridor and its high quality retailers. Within the first month of trading, perhaps fearful of competition, an anonymous vendetta was started in the local paper. Rumours abounded that alleged high rents were driving up the price of goods sold here. The Corridor traders’ replies soon quashed this hearsay. As well as restrictions on the type of traders, there was also a set of rules shoppers had to adhere to; very similar to those still enforced in Burlington Arcade today. One

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Above right, the devastating scene shortly after the terrorist organisation the Irish Republican Army detonated a bomb in The Corridor in 1974 Right, the High Street entrance as it looked c1895 Archive pictures courtesy of Bath in Time. Visit: which holds more than 4,000 historic images of Bath

could not run, whistle, sing, or carry large parcels through The Corridor during trading hours. Goodness knows what Goodridge would make of today’s Running Bath shop whose customers can be seen jogging along the length of the passage to test their shoes. To enforce the rules Goodridge, once again inspired by the French and London malls, employed a private Beadle, called The Corridor Constable. The first Constable was George Witchell, who died from injuries sustained from falling through a shop trap door when helping a trader with his delivery. The Constable was usually an exarmy officer, who marched along the thoroughfare in his uniform of maroon (later navy blue) suit and coat, a black top hat, and a short cane, overseeing order. At 10pm every night he was responsible for locking the gates at either entrance to The Corridor, and re-opening them again at 6am. All the gas lamps that illuminated The Corridor’s 275 feet had to be lit by hand until this onerous task was resolved with one flick of a switch when electric lights were installed in 1894. Today we can only imagine the passage ringing with the resounding tones of Constables of the past – men such as William Judson, Isaac Moon, and Arthur Sheppherd. The last Beadle of Bath was Gus Cowley, who stepped down in 1965 after 16 years of service; his position left vacant through lack of interest in such an archaic role. The Corridor has seen a number of restorations and redecorations over the years. As early as 1833 Goodridge added an annexe to the

passageway between Units 7 and 8, with the creation of the Assembly Rooms, known as The Corridor Rooms (later The Victoria Rooms), used as a Freemasons Hall and for lectures and meetings. From the 1870s the rooms were occupied by a school of art; lastly being amalgamated into a photographer’s studio at Unit 7.

In 1974 at the height of the IRA’s campaign of terror on British shores, Bath became an unlikely target

18TH CENTURY SHOPPING MALL: opposite page, The Corridor as it looks today

After Goodridge’s death in 1864 a number of decorative alterations were made. The Bath stone columns at both entrances were replaced with the red Aberdeen granite columns we see today. The Georgian glazed shop fronts were given plate glass windows, while the low pitched timber roof was supplanted with a semi-circular iron and glass canopy (a small section of the original roof survives if you look carefully). The glazed canopy bedecked with two glass faux flaming torches that greet shoppers from the High Street, was added in 1927 by A J Taylor. The steps into the arcade are long gone, and inside the brass stall plates are a modern misnomer. Victorian shop front fittings have been interpreted as Regency features. Only No 18, engraved with Bussey (a firm of stationers), is a Victorian original. By 1877 Goodridge’s heirs were struggling financially and chose to sell THEBATHMAG.CO.UK

The Corridor. The tenants grouped together to buy the freehold and created a management committee to oversee the business. An example perhaps of one of the first cooperative projects, the Corridor Committee still exists today. A number of fires over the decades caused minor damage; however, in 1974 at the height of the IRA’s campaign of terror on British shores, Bath became an unlikely target. On 9 December at 8.50pm Bath police took an anonymous phone call, warning that a bomb had been planted in The Corridor, and officers rushed to clear the premises. Twenty minutes later the device exploded, thankfully with no fatalities. Thirteen of the 22 shops were damaged, including Wessex Records, Hatt & Co and the Corridor Stamp Shop. The 5lb bomb had been tucked into The Corridor’s subsidiary passage that led to the Stamp Shop and Leaman’s Photographers. Today there is nothing to mark this incident, although two of the four GrecoRoman statues damaged by the blast, were painstakingly restored by Bath College students in 2011, and once again grace one of the balconies above. No longer is The Corridor a place of leisured perambulation. Today you are more likely to find office workers and locals using it as a shortcut between Union Street and the High Street. We may not acknowledge The Corridor as a fine architectural achievement, but perhaps after reading this one may stop and appreciate this Grade II listed location; one of the world’s first shopping arcades which helped set the trend for today’s retail experiences. n


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More dynamic, more agile and more comfortable than its predecessors, the new BMW 4 Series Coupé has been meticulously updated. With a thrilling blend of elegant design and breathtaking performance, there’s not much you can find fault with, writes Chris Lilly


or many years BMW has made an excellent mid-sized coupé, and the 4 Series only adds to that heritage. Due to increasingly stiff competition, however, it has recently received a refresh, sprucing up the winning formula to make sure the new 4 Series continues to compete in a tough market. Based on the 3 Series, many of the 4 Series’ core strengths are shared by its more famous executive saloon stablemate. BMW’s famously excellent driving dynamics shine through, as does the 3 Series’ practicality, making the 4 Series more spacious than you might think. Add to that a flexibility which means you can have one of many different 4 Series configurations, and it would take an overly fussy buyer to not be tempted by a 3 or 4 Series. As many will know, the 3 Series has the saloon and estate markets covered, which leaves us to concentrate on the 4. Removing two doors from a 3 Series and adding a more rakish roofline, BMW created the 4 Series. Lopping that roofline off altogether created the 4 Series Convertible. Bizarrely, add two doors back into the 4 Series design and you don’t return to a 3 Series, but you get a 4 Series Gran Coupé – it’s confusing but it ultimately makes sense. Finally, hand the coupe and convertible over to the German manufacturer’s fearsome M Division, and you get the M4 – a supercar-baiting über-BMW. The M4 is a fearsome machine; brutal in its acceleration, aggressive in its braking, and pin-sharp in its handling. As driving machines go, there are few that can match it, and you often have to look at less practical alternatives to challenge its point-to-point ability. However, the M4 is both too expensive and a slight overkill for many buyers, and the 4 Series excels most in the more attainable reaches of the model line-up. One of the best-selling models is the 420d M Sport, which is the pick of the trim levels. The 420d coupe will get from zero to 62mph in a perfectly reasonable 7.3 seconds, yet returns 62.8 MPG, offering a great blend of affordability and pace. Of course, top-down motoring and fivedoor hatchback wrapping is available with the Convertible and Gran Coupé respectively, but however you surround yourself and fellow occupants, the 420d M

Sport is one of the best BMWs on offer. The engine has plenty of torque on tap and pulls smoothly from low revs. It’s released at motorway cruising speeds, and the supple yet precise handling offers plenty of feedback and an enjoyable drive down twisty roads. In terms of design, the 4 Series looks good in any body style, having enough about it to prevent the range from being too fashionable – and therefore subject to looking dated in just a few years’ time. Design is an essential part of coupé ownership – or for convertible and saloon-coupé buyers – as the cars need to look stylish. It’s the main reason for their existence, after all. BMW does this well, though the 4 Series is improved with the addition of the M Sport styling pack, giving it an extra hint of menace. The 4 Series’ engine range is a good ’un too. The 420d offers 190hp and 400 Nm of torque, with a slick six-speed manual transmission putting power to the road via the rear wheels. If you live in the region’s more rural parts, BMW’s xDrive four-wheel drive system is available across the 4 Series range. The superb eight-speed automatic is available in various 4 Series configurations too, improving efficiency and making driving in traffic easier. If you need more power but still want decent running costs, the 453d is a great pick, and comes with xDrive as standard alongside a 4.7 second 0-62mph time. More powerful still, the M4 will drop that sprint time down to a low of 4.1 seconds with the Competition Package specification. It’s the most popular M4 on offer, and rightly so. A power boost to 450hp, sharper styling, added kit, and tweaked suspension result in one of the best driver’s cars around. Petrol engines are rarer to see on the roads, but there are some good options nonetheless. The 420i is a strong entry-level petrol, but it can’t match its diesel alternative in many aspects of ownership. Pick the 430i or 440i models though, and you effectively have a demi-M4. This is especially the case with the 3.0 litre straight six 440i, which harks back to some of BMW’s greatest engines, and offers a unit configuration rarely seen these days. Dynamically speaking, the 4 Series is a good car to drive, but it’s also fairly comfortable. The agile suspension means you can easily use the 4 Series every day. This allows drivers to make the most of the spacious interior too, with the 4 Series able

to seat four adults occasionally – more than can be said of some of its rivals – and not shake everyone about. It’s not especially spacious in the back seats, of course, but if you want greater practicality the 4 Gran Coupé is on offer. Buyers will get an interior that looks pretty good, but which can’t compete with the likes of Audi’s A5 in terms of design. That said, it’s nicely laid out, feels solidly built, and comes well equipped. BMW’s iDrive infotainment system is one of the best around, and comes as standard with sat-nav and DAB radio. Options include a larger screen, head-up display, top quality Harmon Kardon stereo, and driver assist systems. BMW’s updates have been minor but carried out throughout the car. The design front and rear have been tweaked, adding LED lights and revised bumpers to sharpen the looks a little. The changes are subtle to say the least, and you will have to compare a 2016 car to a 2017 model to really see the difference, but the overall effect works and hasn’t ruined the 4 Series’ looks. Under the skin, the changes take on more significance. The previously mentioned excellent driving dynamics are an improvement on the pre-update model – already setting a high standard – as BMW have given the 4 Series a wider track, revised suspension, and improved traction control settings. We’re getting into highly technical areas now, but essentially the new 4 Series has a lower centre of gravity and provides higher levels of grip than before, both off the line and when cornering. BMW has made the best handling car in its class better still. There are few negative points to cover, nonetheless. For example, the 4 Series lacks in terms of interior design and overall refinement when compared to some rivals. It can quickly become expensive too, so potential buyers should be sure to specify options with care. However, the BMW is the best overall package for a lot of people. Rivals might be more comfortable, offer greater levels of kit, be more economical, or look sharper, but none cover as many bases as the 4 Series. It’s priced from £32,130. Class-leading driving dynamics combine with other attributes that are close to the best in class, even if not the best outright, to provide an overall package that is outstanding. ■ •






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CITYNEWS News in brief n The Rector of Bath Abbey, the Revd Prebendary Edward Mason, is to retire after 13 years in his role. His last Sunday at the abbey will be on 5 November. Edward is also an Honorary Chaplain to the Queen and will continue to serve in this role after his retirement. He and his wife Hilary are about to have their sixth grandchild and he will continue to serve the church after his official retirement. The process to nominate his successor will start in November after Edward’s retirement. n Library users in Bath and North East

Somerset have been invited to choose between two options for the future site of the city’s main library and the council-run One Stop Shop. Councillors had already voted to make savings of £400,000 by making changes and proposed that the main library in the Podium and the council’s One Stop Shop in Lewis House in Manvers Street share the same premises, either in the Podium or in the One Stop Shop. The consultation, a full comparison of the two locations and the business case is available at: and copies are available in all libraries and One Stop Shops throughout Bath and North East Somerset. The consultation will run until Friday 15 September. There has been widespread condemnation of Bath and North East Somerset Council’s plans to amalgamate the two services in the same space. The council now states that it hopes to involve all sectors of the community in the consultation process.

AWARD FOR LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT LT Studio landscape architects, based in Toll Bridge Road, Batheaston, has won an award for a hotel and public space development in historic Southwark in London. The New London Architecture Award was presented for its project at Borough High Street for King’s College London. The Borough High Street scheme is a redevelopment of a site in a conservation area and the reintroduction of historic yards as public spaces. LT Studio Landscape worked with LoatesTaylor Shannon Architects to provide a new 99 room hotel, two retail units, a gym, and the refurbishment of an adjacent listed building for residential use. Marc Dix, director of LT Studio Landscape Architects said: “The historic importance of the site has been acknowledged in the sensitive approach to the landscape design. A series of distinct but

PUBLIC SPACE: original stone setts were relaid in the open yard at Borough High Street in London

interconnected vibrant spaces have been created that revitalise the historic yards with active uses and frontages, restoring this important part of London for public use.”

LEADING THE WAY IN VEHICLE RESEARCH The west of England is poised to lead the world in the development of ultra-low emission vehicles, thanks to investment from the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in research at a new development centre. The new Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems will be a global centre of excellence in research and innovation. It will be based at the Bristol and Bath Science Park, Emersons Green, where it will lead the development of ultra-low emission vehicles and attract businesses to the region, generating economic growth. Building of the £60m IAAPS centre will start next summer and is due to open in 2020. The Institute will use the engineering

expertise of the University of Bath, stimulating more than £67m in additional road vehicle research, creating an additional turnover of £800m for the automotive sector and supporting around 1,900 new jobs. Global companies, including McLaren, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover and Hofer Powertrain, as well as more local businesses such as HiETA technologies, have been key to the success of the IAAPS concept. The West of England Combined Authority and LEP has allocated £10m through the Local Growth Fund. Capital investment of £28.9m comes from the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s UK Research Partnership Investment Fund.


provided for

High Street Footfall

n Working with Springboard, we are pleased to be able to report that Bath has had a very busy June with footfall up by 2.4% on last month (see graphic). Car parking figures for June show around a 5% increase on 2016, so Bath has continued to perform well in the heat of the summer. Bath BID shops also report an enthusiastic response to their summer sales. The picture is reflected nationally with coastal and historic towns doing particularly well (+1.2% in coastal towns and +5.6% in historic towns compared with the previous month). We are delighted to see that across UK high streets, the second quarter of this year has seen a rise in footfall of +0.4% for the year to date. Although this might appear to be a modest uplift, this is in fact the first year since 2009 that footfall has risen over the six months to June, so there is much to feel optimistic about on the High Street. As measured by Springboard’s sales index which tracks sales in brick and mortar stores

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(Month on month % change)

Springboard Research Ltd.

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CITYUPDATE Louise Prynne, chief executive of Bath Business Improvement District, says the city should be proud of its night marshals, special ambulance service and its trade waste record


s the summer visitor numbers to Bath increase, the work of the Business Improvement District becomes even more important, keeping the city safe and welcoming for all. Our team of BID Rangers can be spotted out and about during the daytime, working with our businesses and keeping the streets and thoroughfares clean and tidy. They are also called out to deal with urgent issues during the course of the day and I am very proud of the excellent work they do on behalf of all of us. In the evenings, the Bath BID provides funding for a team of night marshals and the F.A.S.T. ambulance service. The night marshal team patrols the city supporting the pubs and restaurants. They also monitor and control the taxi ranks and work closely with the emergency services to provide a reassuring presence after dark and ensuring that visitors and residents feel safe and welcome. F.A.S.T Ambulance is a leading ambulance and medical provider, regulated by the Care Quality Commission, with its headquarters in Frome. Its on-the-spot medical assistance means that some issues can be resolved without needing to call an NHS ambulance. The BID investment is good for everyone, with the number of incidents decreasing year on year and calls for NHS ambulances down from 184 to 71, relieving demand on pressurised NHS services. The marshals are on duty in the city centre from 11pm until 3am from Thursday to Saturday, with additional support on Bank Holidays and during the universities’ Freshers’ Week. The marshals are there to support everyone, so please feel free to ask them for help and reassurance, whatever the problem. Bath has achieved recognition for its safe and welcoming environment with the University of Bath achieving a top three position nationally for safety and the city receiving a coveted Purple Flag award for the last seven years. The Purple Flag is a national scheme awarded by the Association of Town Centre Management and recognises excellence in the management of the night time economy. This summer we have decided to trial providing marshals for the earlier part of the evening, so you may see our marshals out and about from 9.30pm onwards. We want to make sure that visitors feel safe and welcome as they head home after an evening meal or a show, and ensure that Bath remains a top choice for evenings out. We are also working hard at the Bath BID to ensure that the streets are clean in the evenings. We have agreed a one hour collection window in the centre of the city (in Cheap Street, Sawclose and Upper Borough Walls) to reduce the time trade waste is left out on the street. This approach keeps the city looking tidy and reduces the potential for attack by gulls and pigeons. Our cost effective SUEZ Trade Waste Scheme has more than 350 customers in the city centre and we are really proud that it is the only one in the city which sends no waste to landfill. n

ocl A C C O U N TA N C Y

141 Englishcombe Lane, Bath BA2 2EL Tel: 01225 445507

Are you paying high overdraft interest & fees in your limited company whilst receiving minimal interest on your personal savings? It may be time to reconsider the way you are investing your personal money if you are paying high overdraft / loan interest / fees in your limited company whilst receiving little personal savings interest. Your limited company may be able to pay you interest on the money you loan it at a rate similar to that paid on an overdraft or loan facility. The rate of return on those savings can be significantly better than the rate you are receiving from high street banks. The interest paid by your company is deducted from trade profits and therefore reduces corporation tax and so if your company is making profits, this can be an excellent way to boost your investment income. You will have a personal tax liability for any interest received from the company, but there is now the tax free savings allowance of £1,000 for basic rate and £500 for higher rate tax payers which will make this less painful (if you aren’t receiving interest from other sources).

For help & advice contact us – call Marie Maggs, Hannah Bratten or Lesley Allen on 01225 445507 for a no-obligation meeting.

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To keep up to date with all of Bath BID’s news please sign up for the weekly newsletter:

Call Marie Maggs, Mike Wilcox or Hannah Bratten on 01225 445507 to arrange a no-obligation meeting 54 TheBATHMagazine


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Buying a flat? What you need to consider regarding the lease and service charges

Alison Treble


lats, maisonettes and apartments are common residences in all urban areas, and Bath is no different. As a World Heritage Site, property prices in the city centre are high and are often more expensive than in areas outside the centre. City centre flats provide a solution for those who don’t want to take on the maintenance responsibilities of a house, or for people looking for an apartment they can lock up and leave whilst working away, or as a good return on a buy-to-let investment.. When considering purchasing a flat, one of the most important things to consider is the length of the Lease and any additional service charges that might apply to the property. You should find these details early as it might affect the value of the property, and certainly will impact on your budget for the purchase and going forward. Leasehold is primarily applicable to flats, and means that you own the property but not the land it is built on. This is not usually the case with a house when you typically (but not always) own the land it sits on until you sell it. The Lease gives you a right to occupy for the duration of the lease and you will have a Landlord. The Lease will be time-limited and is given for a set number of years to the first person who buys the flat. The Lease is passed on to subsequent owners of the property, however, the length of time the Lease has left keeps reducing. With regards to the duration of the lease and how long is left, most mortgage companies will want the term of the loan plus at least 60 years to ensure their security is not affected. The Lease dictates your rights and responsibilities for maintenance and will list the things that you can and cannot do, for example, keep pets or running a business from the property. It will also outline the responsibilities of the Landlord. These normally include insuring the building and keeping the structure and common hallways and landings in repair. A Service Charge will usually be payable by the flat owners to the Landlord in return for the Landlord complying with their obligations in the lease. This charge may be set annually and paid monthly, or some flats may collect on an ‘as and when’ basis. Service Charges can range from a few hundred to thousands of pounds annually. Also be aware of an additional contribution towards a Reserve or Sinking Fund used to build up a cash reserve in the event that large scale repairs are required, for example, the building needing a new roof. When considering the purchase of a flat it is important to establish the details of the Lease as soon as possible. However, the same applies if you are flat owner who us considering selling. Your legal representative will be able to assist you in gathering this information if you are a buyer, or assembling the necessary details if you are a seller and are looking for a quick and trouble-free sale. Alison Treble is a partner at Mogers Drewett and can be contacted on 01225 750 000. Find out more at

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RECEIVE THE BATH MAGAZINE BY POST NEVER MISS OUT We deliver to over 20,000 addresses every month, and there’s plenty of pick up points around town. But if you live outside our distribution area or would like us to send a copy to friends or family, we offer a magazine mailing service.


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Independent Tutorial College offering: A Levels, GCSEs, Re-sits and Supplementary Tuition “Tutors are very supportive in helping students to prepare for examinations... and attain the higher grades.” OFSTED

• Co-educational day school for pupils aged 5-13 with

dyslexia and other specific learning/language difficulties.

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• Fully qualified specialist teachers with maximum class size of eight - reducing to one-to-one as required.

Call 01225 743 566 or visit

27 Queen Square, Bath, BA1 2HX 01225 334577 |






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FAMILY DIARY IDEAS FOR THINGS TO DO WITH THE CHILDREN THIS MONTH August. Learn how to make a dragon model on Wednesday 9 August (ages three – seven), or create a paper craft dragon’s egg on Friday 11 August (ages six – 11). Make your very own dragon headdress on Wednesday 16 August (ages three – seven), or be a princess or a knight battling a dragon on Wednesday 23 August (ages three – 11). Free activities for children, must be accompanied by an adult ticket holder. All activities to take place between 10.30am – 12.30pm and 1.30 – 3.30pm. Visit: for more activities and information.

NATIONAL PLAYDAY n Gallery One, The Edge, University of Bath Wednesday 2 August, workshops take place every hour between 10am – 4pm A chance for children to explore The Edge’s summer exhibition The Brutalist Playground through play with creative learning specialist Lizzy Cummins. Structured games and activities will last up to 30 minutes, with the remaining time free for self-exploration. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Free admission, booking required, limited spaces. Visit: MARVELLOUS MOSAICS Saturday 5 August, 10am – 12pm n The Holburne Museum, Great Pulteney Street Design and make your own colourful mosaic. £5 per child. Suitable for five – 11 year olds. Visit: or call: 01225 388568 to book your place. Also at The Holburne Museum this month SUMMER ART CAMP Monday 7 – Friday 11 August and Monday 14 – Friday 18 August, 9am – 4pm Children can enjoy either a day or a whole week of fun, creative activities inspired by the museum’s collection and exhibitions, led by the museum’s team of experienced artists. £38 per day, £20 discount when booking five consecutive days. Booking essential. Visit: or call: 01225 388568. Suitable for five – 11 year olds. ENCHANTED WORLD OUTDOOR HOLIDAY CLUB Monday 7 – Thursday 10 August, 9.30am – 3.30pm n Bath City Farm, Kelston View, Bath, BA2 1NW This fun and creative holiday club is perfect for children aged five – 11 who love to be outdoors. It is a practical, yet safe, environment offering activities such as campfires, den building, bug hunts, story telling and arts and crafts. £30 per day. To book your space call: 07817490413. Visit: SUMMERTIME AT THE PALACE Various dates throughout August n The Bishop’s Palace, Wells, BA5 2PD The Bishop’s Palace is being transformed this summer into a haven for fun for all ages. The South Lawn will be taken over by the Midsummer Mayhem Family Fun Day on Sunday 6 August where there will be games,

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Don’t miss the Here Be Dragons exhibition events at Victoria Art Gallery this month, image from Zog and the Flying Doctors, illustrated by Axel Scheffler dressing up and a bouncy castle, and families can step back in time at the Bowlore Medieval Weekend from Saturday 26 – Monday 28 August. Puck and his musical fairy band will be performing an open-air version of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream on Wednesday 30 August. For more events, visit: SUMMER FUN AT THE ROMAN BATHS Various dates throughout August n Roman Baths The Roman Baths is holding a variety of family activities throughout the school holidays. Visitors can make a marvellous mosaic from Monday 7 – Sunday 13 August, or build an Iron Age roundhouse from Monday 14 – Sunday 20 August. Make a Roman ruler from Monday 21 – Sunday 27 August, or create a Medusa headband from Monday 28 August – Friday 1 September. All workshops take place between 10am – 1pm and 2 – 4pm on the dates stated. Included in admission price, no need to book. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Visit: HERE BE DRAGONS Various dates throughout August n Victoria Art Gallery To coincide with its new exhibition Here Be Dragons, the gallery is holding a variety of dragon-related family events throughout

FASHION FEVER Various dates throughout August n Fashion Museum, Assembly Rooms Use gold craft materials to create a piece of textile collage art on Tuesday 8 August, or make a fashion statement from lace on Tuesday 15 August. Children can design a summer T-shirt using bird and butterfly motifs on Tuesday 22 August. All activites to take place between 10.30am – 12.30pm and 1.30 – 3.30pm. All included in admission price, no need to book. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Visit: FUN FOR ALL AGES Various dates throughout August n Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon, BA15 1DZ Wiltshire Music Centre is holding a range of creative and musical workshops for all ages over the summer holidays. Children can create their own fairy gardens, complete with flowers and a twinkly pond, on Thursday 3 August, suitable for two – four year olds. Learn to compose songs using computer programmes at the Spin It workshop on Tuesday 8 or Wednesday 9 August, suitable for ages eight – 16. Budding actors can take part in a two day street theatre workshop where they will improvise and devise a new play on Thursday 17 and Friday 18 August, suitable for ages seven – 16. Visit: for more activities. PRINCESS AND THE FROG Thursday 10 August, 12 – 3pm n The American Museum in Britain, Claverton Manor, Bath, BA2 7BD Journey through 1920s New Orleans, be inspired by Princess and the Frog and create your own frog masks, tiaras, and dapper top hats. Drop-in session, suitable for ages three and over. Included with gardens admission. Visit: or call: 01225 460503.

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Also at The American Museum this month FAT SAM’S GRAND SLAM Thursday 24 August, 12 – 3pm Head to the museum for a Bugsy Maloneinspired afternoon, where visitors can make fedoras, flapper headbands, and watch the 1976 version of the film in the Stables. Dropin session, suitable for ages three and over. Included with gardens admission. TRACTOR TED’S DIGGERS AND DUMPERS WEEKEND Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 August, 11am – 5pm n Bowood House & Gardens, Calne, Wiltshire, SN11 0LZ Children and older fans of construction and farm machinery will have the chance to discover them at close quarters at this special Tractor Ted weekend. Climb on board a dumper truck or sit in the driver’s seat of a digger. There’ll be fun farm-related activities from welly-wanging and tractor and trailer rides to a visit to Tractor Ted’s Little Farm to meet the residents including pigs, lambs and pygmy goats. Perhaps there’ll be the chance to watch a chick hatching. Entrance as part of house and gardens’ admission price. Visit: or call: 01249 812102. THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW Thursday 24 – Sunday 27 August, times vary n The egg The village of Sleepy Hollow, New York, is

The Brutalist Playground at The Edge shrouded in a cloak of superstition, troubled minds and witchcraft. Ichabod Crane seeks to sort fact from fiction as he competes with Brom Bones for the hand of the wealthy Katrina Van Tassel. But will the terrifying and ghostly figure of the Headless Horseman upset everyone’s plans for happiness? Following the success of the first Summer Company in 2016, expect a dynamic piece of theatre from a strong cast of 40 teenagers. Suitable for ages seven and above. Visit: or call: 01225 823409.

GET BOOKING NOW . . . BATH CHILDREN’S LITERATURE FESTIVAL 2017 Friday 29 September – Sunday 8 October Booking is now open for Europe’s largest children’s literature festival. The line-up includes Jacqueline Wilson, The Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson, Miranda Hart, and Harry Potter illustrator Jim Kay. There will also be workshops, quizzes and writing masterclasses for all ages throughout the festival. Visit: or call: 01225 463362.



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LET IMAGINATIONS RUN WILD Jessica Hope picks some of the highlights of this year’s Bath Children’s Literature Festival


his year’s Bath Children’s Literature Festival features 10 days jam-packed with fun events that young bookworms will love. Not only are there talks and readings by leading authors and illustrators, there’s also a whole host of interactive workshops that will get children’s imaginations flowing. Plus, this year’s festival will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the release of the first Harry Potter book, so expect plenty of wizarding fun for all. With that in mind, I’m off to Diagon Alley to get a new broomstick . . .

AGE 3+ THE CAT IN THE HAT Saturday 30 September, 1.30pm, Mission Theatre, tickets £6 Dr Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat is 60 this year – celebrate this birthday and watch the tale come to life with all its mayhem and madness. There will be stories, rhymes and a special appearance from the Cat in the Hat himself. MR MEN STORYTIME Sunday 1 October, 10am, Guildhall, tickets £6 Join Liz Frost for a fun-filled session with stories and activities based on the charming antics of The Mr Men books. Children will also get the chance to meet their favourite Mr Men character. THAT’S NOT MY DRAGON Wednesday 4 October, 10.30am, Bath Central United Reformed Church, tickets £5 That’s not my dragon . . . its tail is too prickly! Chrissie Weltike will be performing readings, songs and activities inspired by Usborne’s bestselling baby book series That’s Not My . . . Just be warned, this event could get a little messy. 60 TheBATHMagazine


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AGE 5+ JULIA DONALDSON Saturday 30 September, 10.30am, Forum, tickets £8 Join number one author of The Gruffalo and Zog Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler for songs, stories and audience participation. Meet the loveable characters of her new book The Ugly Five featuring a warthog, wildebeest and spotted hyena. FANTASTICALLY GREAT WOMEN WHO CHANGED THE WORLD Thursday 5 October, 10am, Guildhall, tickets £4 Join illustrator, author and suffragette descendant Kate Pankhurst in this exploration of the lives of great women who have made an impact on the world throughout history. There will be drawing and dressing up, plus plenty to inspire youngsters to change the world.

AGE 6+ ALEX T SMITH Sunday 1 October, 10am, Guildhall, tickets £6.50 Meet bestselling author and illustrator of Claude Alex T Smith as he reveals his new character Mr Penguin – an adventurerdetective who’s a cross between Indiana Jones and Hercule Poirot – and Colin, the intrepid spider. Alex will be on hand to give his top illustrating tips, and will discuss Claude’s new adventure appearing on TV.

AGE 7+ CRESSIDA COWELL Friday 29 September, 5pm, Forum, tickets £8 Multi-million bestselling author and illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon books Cressida Cowell kicks off this year’s festival by launching her new series The Wizards of Once – an exciting tale full of wizards, warriors and giants. DOODLE MASTERCLASS Saturday 30 September, 10.30am, Friends Meeting House, tickets £15 Discover your doodling talents at this

workshop by author and illustrator Dominika Lipniewska. Create imaginary towns, shops and playgrounds using stencils, pencils and other art materials. Parents and guardians free to attend.

LIZ PICHON Saturday 30 September, 3pm, Forum, tickets £8 Author and illustrator Liz Pichon is coming to Bath and bringing with her an interactive and fun event based on her bestselling Tom Gates series. Bring a pencil and paper along as there will be drawing and doodling from the books, along with storytelling. Plus there will be a live performance from Tom’s favourite band DUDE3. DEADLY DRAWING WITH HORRIBLE HISTORIES Sunday 1 October, 1.30pm, Guildhall, tickets £7.50 Horrible Histories illustrator Martin Brown will be giving his arty tips on how to bring history to life at home, while revealing some foul facts and stories about the past. Expect jokes and live drawing tips the whole family will enjoy. CHRIS RIDDELL Sunday 1 October, 5pm, Guildhall, tickets £6.50 Expect musical mayhem and ghost stories at this event hosted by author, illustrator and Waterstones Children’s Laureate for 2015 –

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READ TO YOUR HEART'S CONTENT: main image, Diagon Alley from the illustrated edition of Harry Potter, illustrated by Jim Kay Opposite, left, The Cat in the Hat turns 60 this year, and Tom Gates series author and illustrator Liz Pichon This page, below, Goth Girl by Waterstones’ Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell, and Harry, Ron and Hermione from Harry Potter, illustrated by Jim Kay

career and created some of her mostloved characters such as Tracy Beaker and Hetty Feather. Jacqueline will also talk about her latest work Wave Me Goodbye, which is set in the Second World War.

2017 Chris Riddell, where he will reveal the final book in his Goth Girl series – Goth Girl and the Sinister Symphony. MEDIEVAL MAYHEM Monday 2 October, 11.30am, Guildhall, tickets £4 Why were plates at banquets made of stale bread in the medieval period? And what was a gong farmer and why did they smell so bad? Philip Ardagh will reveal plenty of weird and wonderful facts about the Middle Ages at this hilarious event. DANCE! WITH KIMBERLY WYATT Wednesday 4 October, 4.30pm, Guildhall, tickets £6.50 Will Billie be able to hold her nerves at the audition at the World Elite Dance Academy? Join singer and dancer Kimberly Wyatt as she dances audiences through her brand new children’s series, beginning with Billie’s Big Audition. MIRANDA HART Saturday 7 October, 2.45pm, Forum, tickets £15 Award-winning actress Miranda Hart introduces her debut children’s book The Girl With The Lost Smile – the story of Chloe, a girl with a big imagination and an even bigger heart, until she loses her smile. Chloe embarks on a remarkable adventure to find her smile and much more along the way with the help of some unusual friends. Ticket includes copy of the book.

AGE 8+ HARRY POTTER QUIZ Saturday 8 October, 5pm, Guildhall, tickets £7 Celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first Harry Potter book by exploring the Houses at Hogwarts, discover fun facts about the books and take part in the sorting ceremony, Quidditch, potions class and much more. THE WIMPY KID SHOW Sunday 8 October, 3.15pm, Guildhall, tickets £6.50 Fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid will love this event as host Alastair Watson brings the books to life with fun activities, such as a draw-along and The Wimp Wars, along with exclusive clips of author Jeff Kinney talking about the books and films.

AGE 9+ TV WRITING MASTERCLASS Saturday 30 September, 1pm, Friends Meeting House, tickets £15 Join Mark Huckerby and Nick

AGE 10+ CREATING DOCTOR WHO Monday 2 October, 6.30pm, Guildhall, tickets £7.50 Get ready to talk all things Dalek, Cybermen and The Master at this event with Doctor Who writers George Mann, Jonathan Morris, Cavan Scott and Mike Tucker.

Ostler – writers of Dangers Mouse, Thunderbirds Are Go! and Shaun the Sheep – and learn the secrets of writing for some of the biggest names in children’s television. Receive some top tips in how to turn their work into something on the big screen. Parents and guardians free to attend. JAMES PATTERSON’S MIDDLE SCHOOL LIVE Sunday 1 October, 10am, Widcombe Social Club, tickets £6.50 Join children’s author Steve Butler as he brings the world of James Patterson’s popular Middle School series to life. There will be a drawing activities, story writing tips and funfilled games for all the family. STORIES THAT MATTER: ASK THE PANEL Sunday 1 October, 11.45am, Widcombe Social Club, tickets £6.50 The team behind the bestselling Artemis Fowl graphic novels – authors Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin and illustrator Giovanni Rigano – will take the audience on a dramatic trip across the continents, while revealing their favourite comics and giving their top tips for making a graphic novel. HARRY POTTER WITH JIM KAY Friday 6 October, 6.30pm, Guildhall, tickets £7.50 Dementors and muggles, Hedwig and gillyweed, Harry and Hermione. Expect all of these and much more when award-winning artist of the illustrated editions of the Harry Potter series Jim Kay talks about what inspired him to bring JK Rowling’s iconic characters to life. JACQUELINE WILSON Saturday 7 October, 10.30am, Forum, tickets £8 Hear Bath-born writing sensation and festival favourite Jacqueline Wilson talk about how she started her writing THEBATHMAG.CO.UK

ANIMATION MASTERCLASS Saturday 7 October, 11am, Widcombe Institute, tickets £15 Children can learn how to draw a simple flip animation and create an ambitious strip for a Victorian zoetrope with author and filmmaker Peter Bunzl. Learn how Peter made a career in animation and writing. Parents and guardians free to attend.

YOUNG ADULTS It isn’t just about the little ones at this year’s festival – there’s plenty for older teens and young adults as well. Horror authors Alex Bell and Sharon Gosling will be talking all things spooky at the Guildhall on Saturday 30 September at 6.30pm. Two of the biggest names in YA literature, Brian Conaghan and Sarah Crossan will be at the festival on Saturday 7 October, 6.45pm, at the Guildhall, speaking about their first collaborative novel We Come Apart. There will also be workshops with top authors to learn how to write for a young adult audience and develop your creative writing skills. To find out more about YA events, visit:

GROWN UPS There will also be three workshops for adults on writing children’s fiction. Tessa Strickland will give her top tips for writing picture books on Tuesday 3 October. If you would like to write for eight – 12 year olds, then Joanna Grade is holding a masterclass on Wednesday 4 October. And bestselling young adult author Clare Furniss will be speaking on Thursday 5 October about how you can tackle some of the main issues of writing for YA readers and creating an authentic tone. These workshops are all based at the BRLSI and take place between 9.30am – 12pm, tickets £40. n Bath Children’s Literature Festival takes place from Friday 29 September – Sunday 8 October 2017. Call: 01225 463362 or visit: to book tickets.


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TRAVELLING IN STYLE Travel writer Simon Horsford who writes for the Telegraph, steams through the countryside aboard the historic Flying Scotsman

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retired from regular service 54 years ago. The train has even had a film named after it – a 1929 black and white romantic thriller. Take a glimpse at the footplate (the cab of the locomotive) and you get a sense of something truly elemental with the blackened face of train driver Ray Poole peering out amidst an array of levers, pipes and gauges topped off by the molten furnace of the firebox – the Flying Scotsman will use four tons of coal and 7,500 gallons of water on the four-hour trip. It’s all about power and speed.

A wonderful piece of machinery and feat of engineering – built in 1923 and the first locomotive to reach 100mph


he Flying Scotsman is used to turning heads and it was no exception when the train steamed through Bath earlier this year – the city making a fitting backdrop to this iconic locomotive. Even before the first wisp of smoke and toot of the whistle, you knew that a star was in town. A sizeable crowd of all ages – a long way from being your regular anoraked trainspotters – had gathered to admire, marvel and take selfies. There’s obviously something about steam – and an even bigger something about the greenliveried, sleekly magnificent Flying Scotsman, the people’s engine. Catching sight of the Flying Scotsman spurred me to take a journey on the train with my particular adventure beginning at Bristol Temple Meads station ahead of a four-hour, circular trip around the Severn Estuary. It’s not hard to see why the locomotive, which returned to service last year after a ten-year, £4.2 million refit, captures the imagination and is held in such affection. “It’s a piece of living history,” said one bystander on the platform. A wonderful piece of machinery and feat of engineering – built in 1923 and the first locomotive to reach 100mph (in 1934) – the Flying Scotsman comes from a time when things were built to last and still engenders a sense of pride and heritage. Quite an achievement for a train that was

The footplate made quite a contrast to the rarified atmosphere elsewhere as I wandered through the veneered Pullman carriages, which date from the 1950s and 1960s, where some of the 470 passengers were beginning to tuck into a brunch menu of Champagne, delicate pastries, waffles and smoked salmon and scrambled egg, with crisp white linen as they sat in armchair-plush seats (there are four classes of dining on the train from

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Pullman Style – where you get the full works – to Premium Standard – you just get tea and coffee here. That evening there would be a separate trip to Minehead where dinner would include roasted rump of lamb, lemon tart and a selection of cheese and wine. The remarkably relaxed chef Tony Keene certainly had to be on his game as he has to serve around 1,000 plates of food in twoand-a-half hours. Spare a thought too for the waitresses and waiters (many of who are actors when not on the train) as they deliver plates along the corridors of the rocking train. The journey took us along the estuary through the four-mile Severn Tunnel (built by the Victorian civil engineer Sir John Hawkshaw and completed in 1886). A word of warning as you pass through the tunnel – don’t leave the windows open as a couple of soot-covered passengers laughingly testified. In the Pullman carriage were Mike and Jill from Gloucester, for whom the trip was part of their bucket list; next up for them was a journey to see the orang-uta ns in Borneo. Dave, from London, was here for a birthday celebration and remembered seeing trains such as the Golden Arrow speed past the end of his garden. By far the youngest passenger was, the appropriately named, Thomas, twoand-a-half, who was making the journey with his family; he loves anything to do with trains and wanted to travel on the Flying

FULL STEAM AHEAD: main picture, the Flying Scotsman speeding through the countryside Picture by Liam Barnes Opposite page, dining in style in the Pullman carriage Far right, the Flying Scotsman caught against the backdrop of historic Bath Picture by Glen Batten

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Scotsman after being given a miniature of the engine for his train set. As the train rattled through the countryside – now limited to 75mph (like all current steam trains) – we moved on towards Newport and Chepstow, spying the Norman castle in the distance. Then it was on to Gloucester where we briefly disembarked for the train’s water stop as passengers took more pictures of the train

and pose d for selfies with the driver and fireman who has the arduous task of ensuring a steady supply of steam by shovelling the coal, yes, all four tons of it. With a blast of the Flying Scotsman’s whistle we were soon off again down the eastern side of the estuary through Charfield and Yate before pulling in to Bristol Parkway and then Temple Meads – the platform again lined with onlookers.

It had been a rare ex perience – short but sweet – on a unique train with the Flying Scotsman offering an elegant reminder of travelling in a more leisurely age. For details of the Flying Scotsman’s trips contact Steam Dreams (01483 209888; which runs regular journeys on steam trains. Steam Dreams runs Christmas trips, from Hampshire and London, to Bath on December 5 and 17. n





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INSIDE AND OUT: the indoor pool at Lucknam Park’s spa is linked to an outdoor pool, and right, the brasserie opens into the gardens. Inset, Susan Harmsworth

COCOONED IN COMFORT Country house hotel Lucknam Park is one of only three spas in the UK featuring the ESPA brand and treatments. Georgette McCready met ESPA founder Susan Harmsworth


ucknam Park’s setting is enough to start the de-stressing process, tucked away as it is in the beautiful Wiltshire countryside, the old mellow stone house surrounded by traditional rose filled English gardens. Its spa facilities were updated just a few years ago and offer the chance for visitors to escape from the harsh reality of the world, even if it’s just for a few hours. This summer the spa has been given extra kudos as doyenne of the global spa business, Susan Harmworth MBE, chose Lucknam as only the third UK site for her ESPA brand. Susan visited Lucknam for the launch to talk about her philosophy and what ESPA will bring hotel and day visitors to the spa. ESPA’s naturally based products are made in Frome and used in five star spas in more than 60 countries. On meeting Susan the first thing that’s on everyone’s lips is, surely she can’t be 72? She has the complexion of a woman 20 years younger and the energy and zest of a woman 30 years younger. She is a living advertisement for her own products. I asked her about her own daily regime, which always begins with deep breathing exercises and stretches. She says: “I travel a lot and never go anywhere without my little bottles of aromatherapy blend oils. I use oils and serums daily, much more than I use moisturiser. I have a personal trainer who makes me work out in the pool and I am a great believer in the power of a positive mental attitude.” She also gave up sugar a year ago, including wine, and says she feels more full of energy as a result. ESPA’s philosophy is rooted in treating people’s bodies and their minds, in helping

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them find a little calm in an over stimulated world. As a result, in the new menu of treatments at Lucknam, there are three signature treatments which include attention to mindfulness. A group of journalists, who have notoriously over-active jangled minds were challenged to experience the mindful massage. This is a 90 minute session and I am put in the reassuringly calm hands of Siobhan. All of Lucknam’s staff have been trained to ESPA’s own standards. We begin by breathing in the scents of a couple of different aromatherapy oil blends to help determine whether I need pepping up or quietly restoring. It turns out on this occasion it’s gentle restoration I’m in need of, so lying back I’m encouraged to relax both mind and body. After a series of deep, calming breaths and some visualisation techniques, Siobhan sets about gently but very thoroughly massaging me from top to toe. Because this treatment is for 90 minutes it gives the body time to really unwind and

as the effects of the massage begin to penetrate, so the mind is stilled, brought back into the moment. She finishes with some tough work on my office-bound knotty shoulders and then a head and forehead massage. I swear I am two inches taller when I finally serenely float from the treatment room . . . The brasserie at Lucknam is a delightful spot to have a delicious, seasonal lunch with produce from the hotel vegetable garden. On a warm sunny day the doors are folded back to allow scent from the lavender to drift in. If you’re fortunate enough to have a day to spend at Lucknam, the unravelling process can continue in the extensive spa, which includes an indoor and outdoor pool, sun loungers on the garden terrace, as well as steam rooms and a tranquil relaxation lounge. For the 21st century screen addict this setting also provides the ideal place to go wi fi cold turkey and, you know, actually talk to your companion. Lucknam Park in itself has the power to soothe the troubled mind, as you really do feel as if you’re getting away from it all. Add to that an ESPA treatment and you’ll emerge from the cocoon at least feeling, if not looking, like a beautiful butterfly. Both spa day packages – see the website, for full details – include a two course lunch, an ESPA treatment, wellbeing experience and use of the facilities: Choose from a Secluded Escape: 60 minute ESPA treatment, lunch in the brasserie and a dry floatation costs £165, or Time for Tranquility, a 90 minute ESPA treatment and lunch, also £165. The spa day packages are available Monday to Fridays, not at weekends. n

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HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW BATH? A walk for high summer which takes in some of Bath’s most ancient sites. Andrew Swift is our guide


his six-mile walk from the centre of Bath leads to some of the grandest panoramas of the city, ventures through old quarries, follows the ramparts of an Iron Age fort and explores a tract of ancient woodland. It takes in the remains of a 200-year old tramway, a cave associated with one of Bath’s most notorious murders and some curious standing stones. The going is sometimes rough, there are a couple of stiles as well as steep and slippery sections, so stout footwear is essential. Head east from Terrace Walk along North Parade Road. Cross at the lights at the end, bear left for a few metres, turn through an archway and head up to the canal. Turn right for 75m, cross the canal and head up a path. After crossing a road, carry on up a path, passing another road, but, after another 120m, turn left along a path. Cross Bathwick Hill and head along Cleveland Walk for 600m. At the end, turn right up North Road, and after 50m, cross and go through a kissing gate (KG) onto National Trust land (ST763652). After a few metres, turn right past a spring head and head diagonally uphill towards the wood at the top of the field. There are no footpaths here, and the going can be rough, but, when you reach the top, turn to take in an extensive panorama of the city. Carry on round the edge of the field, go through a wide gap into another field, head across it, turn left uphill and go through a KG. After crossing a drive, head up past a small 68 TheBATHMagazine


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stone structure, possibly built to store gunpowder for use in nearby quarries. After admiring the view from Sham Castle, built in 1762, bear left towards a car park before heading right up a gravel track. When the track ends, carry on, and, after passing a wall running along the ramparts of Bathampton Camp, bear left. Continue along the track, and, when it forks, carry straight on. Turn left along a gravel track with a bridleway sign, carry on downhill and, after going through a handgate, bear right across rough ground towards a waymark. Carry on along a narrow track beside a fence and go through a KG. After 125m cross a metal stile and turn left down a track following the course of an inclined plane or tramway down which stone ran to a wharf on the canal. The stone blocks were sleepers to which the rails were fixed. After 60m, turn right to follow a track through an old quarry (ST778653). When it forks, bear right to follow a Skyline waymark, looking out for a particularly impressive outcrop up to your right. This area, riven by centuries of quarrying, was one of Gainsborough’s favourite places to sketch when he lived in Bath between 1759 and 1774. Although the scenery is just as remarkable today, watch your step while admiring its picturesque qualities – there are several sheer drops. A broad track curving in from the right leads to old underground quarries. The largest of them is sealed,

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but to the left of it is a narrow gap through which two boys crawled in search of adventure in September 1893. Sliding back some stones, they found, not the buried treasure they hoped for, but the body of a young woman called Elsie Luke who had disappeared two years earlier. The ensuing inquest aroused enormous interest, but, although it was clear she had been ‘cruelly murdered’ and a suspect was identified, no one was ever convicted of her murder. A little further on, when the track forks, bear left and go through a KG into Bushey Norwood. Bear right along a faint track alongside the southern ramparts of Bathampton Camp. When the track forks, bear left to head south past patches of uneven ground, the legacy of excavations in the 1880s which discovered evidence of an Iron Age settlement. As you head towards the far right-hand corner of the field, look out for a couple of standing stones. Similar stones lie round about, giving rise to speculation that a stone circle once stood here. The truth is almost certainly more prosaic, although whether the stones were connected with an 18th-century racecourse that stood nearby or were raised up for some other reason is unclear. Cross a stepped slab stile in the corner of the field and follow a path past a bobsleigh track. At a T junction, turn right and follow a path through woods. To your left, behind a wall, is The Avenue, a road built around 1820. After 400m, when you come to

ALONG THE WAY: main image, Bushey Norwood, which is owned by the National Trust Opposite page, the entrance to the underground quarries and one of the remaining standing stones at the Iron Age Bathampton Camp

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another road, cross and turn left before turning right along a footpath. The Avenue once continued along here. Continue on as The Avenue resumes its course, and, at the end, look to the right to see an octagonal lodge, before crossing the road on the left and heading along Copseland. After crossing the top of Widcombe Hill, carry on along the drive to Quarry Farm. After passing the farm, continue past old quarries. When the track bears left, turn right through a KG to follow a path – known locally as a drungway – between stone walls (ST767638). Carry on as it drops steeply downhill to emerge on Widcombe Hill. Cross over, and, as you turn left downhill, a view of the city opens up ahead, while, to your right,

19th century villas on Bathwick Hill can be seen amidst the trees. Go through a KG into Smallcombe Wood, follow a track diagonally across the field to the right and go through a handgate into Smallcombe Wood. This is the only surviving ancient woodland in Bath, dating back over 400 years. Carry on along a broad track ahead, and, after 250m, when it forks, bear left downhill to where small-leaved limes have fallen across a spring and sent up new shoots. Small-leaved limes were once common, but are now largely confined to ancient woodland. At the bottom, follow the track as it curves left and winds through the woods. After 150m, go down steps and through a gap in

the wall of Smallcombe Cemetery. Head past a mortuary chapel designed by Thomas Fuller, through the gates and along a lane. After 150m, turn right up a footpath and follow it as it winds uphill. After going through a KG, carry on along a track curving right through a gap in the hedge to a KG in the top corner of the next field, where there is a seat to take in another panoramic view. Follow a path downhill past the backs of the houses on Bathwick Hill and continue down to recross the canal and 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.





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THE PERFECT PARTY MIX A city centre cocktail bar just got even more cool. Georgette McCready looks at the design story behind the Sub 13 expansion


ne of Bath’s precious listed Georgian townhouses welcomes thousands of happy, high-spirited revellers through its doors every week. But how could this historic slice of city architecture be both protected and adapted to provide a playground for the 21st century? This was the challenge facing Alex Miller and Tim Whelehan, owners of popular Sub13 cocktail bar in George Street. The cellar bar and stylish terrace garden were well established as one of the coolest places in town to sup cocktails, whether long, short or strong. But some nights the crush in the cellar was a little overwhelming and the bar tenders wished they’d had more space to mix drinks to meet thirsty customers’ demands. So when the guys decided that the cellar bar really couldn’t go on any longer without the floor being replaced, they hatched a plan to extend the party up on to the ground floor, taking over two former offices which overlooked the garden at the back and George Street, with enviable views down Milsom Street, to the front. They invited Bath architect Simon Morray-Jones to draw up the conversion plans and subsequently took on Frome based McIntosh DBR, which specialises in design, building and restoration. James Habershon was project manager for the Sub13 improvements. He was faced with 70 TheBATHMagazine


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a short timescale of just three weeks in January to sort the battered floor out in the basement and to improve the gents and ladies loos layout (it’s one of life’s great truths that you always find yourself needing another cubicle in a ladies loo). He says: “The floor downstairs was rotten and we needed something that would take spilt drinks, a waterproof and non slippery hard wearing surface. So we chose a Sika resin flooring which basically goes down like a liquid and then gradually hardens as it dries. A basement, in the middle of winter and chasing a deadline was a technically

challenging combination but our flooring team were totally committed and here until 3am one night to make sure.” But the floor, which flows right up and over the bottom of the skirting board, did dry hard and now offers a completely liquid proof, impervious surface. It’s also designed to be slip-proof, which is handy when stilettos are worn. The next stage was to move on to the two rooms at street level, which used to be offices. These were to become two bars. Alex, Tim and James invited Stroud based bar designers Cantilever – “the Rolls-Royce of bar designers,” says Tim – to create a pair of stylish looking but eminently practical bars. They also called in the resources of Felix Lighting, in nearby Bartlett Street, to add lighting flourishes that work well when the sun goes down. A specialist firm of plasterers from Street carried out the traditional lime plastering, which protects the listed building’s walls. The front bar overlooking the street allows for flexible space, with its moveable stools. Gold honeycomb alcoves over the bar serve as decorative and practical display cases. But it’s not until you ease yourself behind the bar that you see the range of sinks, work surfaces and bottle holders, almost like holsters, giving each bartender their own station in which to mix up the perfect mojito or martini.

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FORM AND FUNCTION: main picture, the back bar, with burnished brass front Above, the front bar of Sub 13 overlooks Milsom Street

Alex explains: “Because cocktail making is pretty labour intensive and we don’t want people to have to wait longer than necessary, this purpose designed bar speeds up the whole process and our bartenders need not rush up and down so much. Everything is pretty much within their reach.” The back bar, which opens out into the garden, has been fitted with a burnished brass front, designed by

Felix Lighting, which can be removed when maintenance is required. Overhead is a scaffolding style frame, designed by Cantilever, which holds the cocktail glasses in place. Behind the bar there is more industrial inspired shelving, including a sturdy rack for the music system. James is happy that they were able to incorporate the original wooden floor into the bar, staining it black to add to the Prohibition era vibe.

Happy party-goers can now access the popular terrace easily and now that Sub 13 has three bars, the volume of drinks traffic more manageable. Tim said: “We’re very happy with what’s been achieved, in a very short timescale.” James added: “It’s been a great project to work on. Both Tim and Alex had a real, clear vision of what they wanted and we loved the challenge of getting them back open and serving drinks in the shortest of timeframes.” McIntosh DBR is a family-run business specialising in restoration, extension and new builds. Its commercial clients include iconic Babington House and the historic Talbot Inn in Mells, both of which called for high quality craftsmanship with the minimum of closure. Residential work for private clients ranges from affordable extensions to major restorations and both contemporary and traditional new builds. All projects are underpinned by a friendly, flexible team driven to deliver a high quality finish. n Visit: Sub 13 is open daily and can, by appointment, teach cocktail masterclasses from £25 a head. Visit:

FUNK Designed by Bønnelycke mdd. Five different elements, many colour combinations






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The historic hands-on profession of upholstery is being passed on to a new generation. Georgette McCready met master craftswoman Joanna Heptinstall who is teaching her skills to others

SHE’S GOT IT COVERED: main picture, Joanna Heptinstall of the Traditional Upholstery School, based in the 18th century old tanneries building in Holt Opposite, top, Joanna with some of her traditional lampshades and inside the workshop Pictures by Liz House

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f you had to create a film set for an artisan workshop, Joanna Heptinstall’s second floor Georgian warehouse studio would be just what you’d conjure up. In a light-filled airy space, its windows overlooking the village of Holt and the Wiltshire countryside, students of Joanna’s Traditional Upholstery School are working on restoring chairs set up on workbenches around the room. There’s a row of sewing machines, rolls of fabric, boxes of tools that almost invite you to handle them – particularly the magnetic hammers which make banging in tiny tacks a task to relish – and in the air there’s the distinctive pleasant dry smell of hessian. The handful of women students busy working away on their chairs in this Georgian warehouse space are all studying for a professional diploma in upholstery, in this most unusual of schools, set up last year by Joanna, who has been a professional upholsterer for almost 20 years. She’s also a member of the Association of Master Upholsterers and Soft Furnishers, which involves members of the association visiting her workshop to inspect her work to ensure she met their professional standards. “It was pretty nerve racking,” she admits of those inspection visits, wearing her well earned association membership badge on her apron. Given that upholstery is not generally suggested as a career in schools, how did Joanna find herself learning this historic skill? “I did a degree in fine art, then ended up working as a freelance magazine writer. One day I was commissioned to write a feature on an upholstery school in Wales. Well, I just walked into that room and fell in love with it, the whole thing. I knew then and there that upholstery was an enduring skill that I’d never grow tired of – you’re always learning – and I decided that one day I would set up my own upholstery school.” Typically these days those wanting to enter the upolstery world are largely women changing career or life direction and wanting to set up their own business. Isn’t Joanna worried that she’s simply creating a roomful

of rivals, who having learned all the skills needed to strip any chair back and basically re-build it from the frame up, would then go off and do her out of work? She laughs at this notion and points out that there is a limitless supply of chairs in the world needing repair or complete makeovers. “I have never been short of work, in fact I have passed commissions on to other upholsterers that I know and trust. We are very lucky with our customers, we develop a very personal special relationship with them. Very often they’ll bring you a piece of much loved furniture that might have belonged to a grandmother, and they want to see it given a new lease of life. It’s a very creative, satisfying job to do. The upholstery community is very supportive too and we pass work on to people we trust.”

Once this batch of students graduate from their diploma course, armed with all the skills they need to set up on their own, Joanna will be starting a new diploma course in September, although as she says, the mentoring and networking will continue among the upholstery community. Other upholstery diploma courses tend to be residential but Joanna has deliberately chosen weekly day sessions, which she says fits in better with people’s work-life balance. She says: “I have children so I understand

that people need to meet family commitments and so the weekly day course seemed a good way to teach and to learn.” Joanna didn’t train as a teacher but was invited to teach at the prestigious Denman College in Oxfordshire, the WI’s school of learning, and is now a regular guest tutor there. It’s clear from her students’ demeanour that she has created an ideal environment for learning, where people support each other as they develop their skills. There’s also a students’ corner offering squashy sofas, tea, biscuits and space for the occasional comforting problem solving chat. In addition to the professional diploma course, the Traditional Upholstery School also runs a foundation course in the evenings and a leisure day time class with a loyal following and a sociable vibe, as Joanna says: “The day classes are filled with cake and chatter and the members have formed a friendly group who socialise together. I’ll be starting a new day class in September, but I’m afraid there is now a waiting list.” Joanna has another professional string to her bow. She’s also trained as a traditional lampshade maker and runs classes in that too. The next sessions begin in September. Lampshade making workshops, just like the upholstery classes, teach the core traditional techniques for making tailored or pleated lampshades, so that students can go off afterwards and apply those skills As Joanna says of both her specialist subjects: “My unique selling point is that I am teaching traditional skills to a very professional standard. I’m delighted that students are now coming to me from all over the country, and indeed, I have students coming down from Scotland and another who is coming from France. I hope eventually to run international classes.” And to add another seal of approval to her skills Joanna was commissioned by Search Press publishers to write a practical guide to lampshade making, which is due out later this year. To find out more about forthcoming courses in upholstery and lampshade making visit: n





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

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

Tel 0207 610 6111

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August 2017


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Every little bit counts when it comes to greening our city and helping wildlife, says Jane Moore


alk about Bath and everyone always exclaims about the city’s beauty thinking primarily of the architecture, secondly of its place in various novels and films. But one of the things that makes it so lovely to my mind is all the green and natural spaces. Weaving through the city are the green veins of the Kennet and Avon canal and the River Avon, with the wildlife and touch of wilderness that they bring in. High above the hills are thick with fields and woodlands. At the heart are the parks: Royal Victoria Park, Henrietta Park, Sydney Gardens and Parade Gardens to name a few. And the council still puts on a good floral show every summer on roundabouts and lampposts throughout the city despite the cutbacks. But we can all do our bit and my occasional stints at judging for Bath in Bloom always remind me just how much people already do.

GREAT AND SMALL Whether it’s a handful of hanging baskets on a pub or a whopper of a window box in front of a shop window – The Star pub on the Paragon and Bath Retro Store in Abbey Green spring immediately to mind but there are many, many others – it all creates an impression. But we can’t just leave it to the businesses of Bath to make a good show; it is down to us individually to make an effort where we can. It doesn’t need to be a big show – a pot 76 TheBATHMagazine


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of pelargoniums makes an unmissable splash of colour in a front garden or on a doorstep. Although my house opens straight onto the street I’ve wedged a window box of trailing pelargoniums in rich shades of pink onto my kitchen windowsill. It might be small but it really brightens up all the tarmac and stone. GREENING BEGINS AT HOME In the past year or two the Royal Horticultural Society has run a campaign to improve Britain’s front gardens especially but also cityscapes in general with their Greening Grey Britain initiative. This aims to get everyone thinking and doing more to ‘green up’ their gardens. It doesn’t mean you need to turn into Monty Don, it just means putting a bit more thought and planting in place. Don’t forget that improving your garden also adds value to your house so it’s by no means a waste of time or money. You can find ideas for small planting schemes and how to sign up to pledge to help green grey Britain in 2017 on the rhs website (

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PARKING AND PLANTING With the pressures of parking in Bath I’ve watched many front gardens turn into barren wastelands of paving for parking. Plant a few undemanding little things in between the tracks for the wheels to add colour and interest, instead of just having a boring paved driveway. Stonecrops and sedums, hardy geraniums and creepers such as the golden creeping Jenny are all easy going and look great growing in gravel. Lots of herbs such as dwarf lavender, marjoram and thymes tend to thrive in drier spots and have the added benefit of being brilliant food plants for bees and butterflies. BRING IN THE WILDLIFE Even small urban gardens produce a ‘green corridor’ effect which is hugely beneficial to wildlife. Smaller creatures such as birds, bees and butterflies often don’t travel far and will live their entire lives in one or two gardens. Sir David Attenborough has been urging people to take part in the 2017 Big Butterfly Count – the largest survey of butterflies and moths – which runs until 6 August. Sign up at and pledge to take 15 minutes recording the species of butterflies that you can see in your garden, or a wild space such as a meadow. This has been organised in response to the news that 75% of butterfly species are in decline in the UK, and loss of habitat is a major contributory factor. Planting a handful of beneficial plants such as buddleia, ornamental elderberry and

ENCOURAGE WILDLIFE: main picture, sedum – which butterflies love – can be grown in gravel Inset, even a simple windowbox helps soften the street scene Opposite, climbing plants, such as wisteria, can be used where there isn’t much space to create sanctuary for bees and birds

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even bedding annuals such as cosmos and marigolds can prove a major draw to wildlife in no time at all. Add a bird table and a pond if you’re so inclined and you’ll be positively inundated with wildlife. EVERYBODY WINS Besides the immediately obvious, there are considerable other benefits to making a bit more effort with your garden which are perhaps less blatant. Greening urban areas makes a huge difference to storm water run off after heavy rain, reducing urban flooding. It’s plain to gardeners that plants and soft ground will absorb a great deal of excess water whereas it just runs straight off hard surfaces such as paving and tarmac filling storm drains, rivers and then adding to flooding problems. Plants also help to improve air quality acting as natural filters as well as improving air cooling, making it more bearable in towns and cities in hot weather, not to mention providing some welcome shade. THINK VERTICAL There’s also some evidence that garden vegetation helps to insulate buildings by

reducing the heating and cooling of brickwork. Certainly wall grown plants such as wisteria and roses make great nesting spots for birds and provide essential cover for little birds to hop about in while feeding. Green roofs are great but probably require a bit more effort than most of us can be bothered with, but we can all manage a couple of hanging baskets and a window box and it all helps to soften the stonework. HEALTH BENEFITS I know I’m preaching to the converted, but there is no doubt that gardening keeps you healthy and happy. Not only do you get physical with all the stretching bending and lifting – not too much though – but it’s also good for your mental wellbeing to spend time outdoors and that leads to improved health for people who garden. The natural world and a good dose of sunshine and fresh air does wonders for a weary soul and that’s one benefit to greening the city that I think we’ll all heartily approve of. Happy planting. n Jane Moore is the award-winning gardening columnist and head gardener at The Bath Priory Hotel. Follow her on Twitter: @janethegardener.





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

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den is nestled in a particularly private position in Kingsdown, approximately 6 miles north east of Bath and in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The detached, single storey property is set in carefully maintained south facing gardens which certainly reflect the name of this beautiful home. The newly refurbished accommodation is contemporary in style with a fabulous kitchen/dining/living room with twin sets of bi-fold doors to both the front and rear. The Jeremy Kingston fitted kitchen has double Neff ovens and granite work surfaces. There is luxurious gas fired under floor heating throughout. There are four bedrooms in total as well as a sitting room which could provide an additional bedroom if needed. The large master bedroom has fitted wardrobes and an impressive en suite bathroom and there are two further shower rooms (1 en suite). A cloakroom and a utility room complete the very versatile layout. The lovely gardens are mainly lawned with paved and decked sun terraces which make the most of the sunny orientation. There is plenty of secure driveway parking behind timber gates. A video tour is available online from agents Pritchards who can supply further details and arrange viewing Pritchards, 11 Quiet Street, Bath. Tel: 01225 466225

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EDEN KINGSDOWN NR BATH • Single storey detached property • Situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty • 4/5 bedrooms • 3 bath/shower rooms • South facing gardens

Guide price: £1,300,000

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Sydney Road An attractive Grade II Listed 4 bedroom, Victorian Italianate Villa standing in large delightful gardens adjoining the Kennet and Avon Canal with private access into Sydney Gardens and less than 10 minutes walk from Bath Spa Station and the centre of Bath. Self Contained Apartment at ground level. Integral garage and ample driveway parking for numerous vehicles. Internal area: 3379 sq ft/313 sq m.

Guide Price: ÂŁ1,650,000

Southcot Place, Widcombe A beautifully presented end terraced 3 bed, 3 storey modern townhouse in a quiet and particularly sought after residential area close to Widcombe Parade, Station & city centre. It has been the subject of almost complete refurbishment to a high and extremely tasteful standard by the current vendors with rare benefit of 3 garages and additional parking for several vehicles. EPC C. Internal area house: 1436 sq ft/133 sq m.

Guide Price: ÂŁ850,000 11 Quiet Street, Bath BA1 2LB

Tel: 01225 466 225

Follow us on

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Don’t choose your agent based on who has the lowest fee Peter Greatorex, managing director of The apartment Company


t’s vital you choose a good estate agent, so the cliché ‘you get what you pay for’ is so important when picking one. I always advise friends and family not to pick theirs based on who offers the lowest fee, as the cheaper option ends up costing the seller more. Any agent can sell a house, but a skilled one will be able to sell for a higher price. Instead, property owners must focus on a variety of factors, which a higher commission should reflect. These include:

Negotiation skills Make sure your agent has the necessary skills to negotiate the best price for clients.

Marketing Ask and understand an agent’s selling strategy, as they need to be doing more than advertising locally and on portals to attract interest. Buyers in Bath come from far and wide, including overseas. To ensure widespread exposure of our apartments for example, we also secure PR editorial in publications such as the Daily Telegraph and offer 360degree virtual tours. Sophisticated presentation is also vital as it’s all about that good first impression. Have a look at their brochures, photographs, window displays and their website listings to check they are of a high standard. Ideally, they should be using a professional photographer to ensure their properties are looking the best they can.

Pool of registered buyers Ask about their database as you need to make sure they have access to a pool of ‘serious’ registered buyers for your type of property. For example, 100% of our buyers are looking for apartments, so this means that for anybody that sells their apartment through us, they automatically have access to buyers looking for such a property. We can often sell an apartment before it reaches the open market as a result. In fact 30% of our sales so far this year have been sold this way.

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

Pricing Don’t choose somebody because they are offering you the highest price. Instead, make sure they know how to value homes correctly.

Track Record Do some research and make sure the agent can prove they are good at selling your type of property. Some are great at country houses or apartments, whilst others will be better at sub £500,000 level.

Local Expertise A good agent will know their local market conditions, so will price and market your property correctly.

Brand strength Ensure your chosen agent has a good reputation, as it will be those firms which have established a high level of trust.

Trade memberships

01225 791155

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Look out for Memberships of professional bodies such as the Guild of Professional Estate Agents to ensure you are working with a trusted agent. The Apartment Company or call 01225 471144.

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INNOVATOR: Peter Greatorex, founder of The Apartment Company Photograph by TBM

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PROUD TO HAVE DONE IT MY WAY Peter Greatorex, managing director and founder of The Apartment Company talks to The Bath Magazine about the unique property business he launched over a decade ago


ow and when did you get into the property business? From an early age, I always wanted to get into the property business. When I was leaving school, I remember writing to all the local agents, asking if they had any opportunities, but sadly the initial response was very disappointing. A couple of years later my cousin had started working for a corporate agency – he absolutely loved the job and suggested that I send in my CV as they were in the midst of a recruitment drive. In 1989 I got my break and started as a junior negotiator and never looked back.

What significant changes – for better or worse – have you seen in that time? Without a doubt, like many other businesses, technology has made a huge difference to our industry. And I don’t just mean the rise of the internet. In the early 90s the agency I worked for had computer linked offices and a central buyer database which compared to the competition was very advanced as most worked from hand-written applicant cards. In the mid 90s my cousin’s company was the first to display property images on computer screens for customers to view in its offices. Over the years, as technology has advanced, it has allowed us to promote property to the widest possible audience. Take for example the latest addition to our marketing strategy – virtual tours. We have invested in a high tech camera which enables us to create our own virtual viewing tours. The tours are loaded on to our website but better still, we can send a link to our customer and with a VR headset, we can conduct a viewing and talk them through the property from wherever they are in the world. We have recently agreed a sale to a chap in Chicago who made an offer and agreed a purchase following a virtual tour. Our lettings team have seen real benefit as well. Being such a fast paced market, customers from far afield can view our apartments without disturbing the outgoing tenants. Other tools include digital window displays, instant property alerts the moment we list a new instruction on our website and social media, which has become a core part of our marketing strategy. However it’s not just technology that has evolved. Gone are the days of solely paying money to advertise in the local paper. It’s about widespread exposure both online and offline, grabbing the attention of people outside Bath as well as locally. We achieve this via national PR for example, which secures our apartments mentions in national papers such as The Daily Telegraph and The Times, which helps us reach the lucrative

London and international market. This has been a real USP for us as an independent agent, and have received a lot of additional enquiries for our apartments as a result. What’s going to happen in the property market in the next 12 months? It is often said that Bath is in a bubble when it comes to property and that is true to a certain extent. The market here generally follows what happens in London with a two to three month lag, and we have seen market conditions toughen in the city, particularly at the higher end of the market. The slowdown has been due to higher stamp duty rates and for second home purchases and additional taxation for investors on their rental portfolios. The property market is ultimately driven by confidence, supply and demand. Despite political uncertainty and Brexit, we are receiving enquiries every day from motivated purchasers. I feel that over the next 12 months prices will remain stable and we might still see a small uplift in values, which will largely be due to a reduction in supply. Tell us a bit about what makes your team special? A good team is at the heart of any business and ours is no different. To find the right mix of people is crucial. Working long hours and under pressure you need to choose wisely and carefully. We now have an office that has a wealth of experience, qualifications and general enthusiasm, this together with a ‘nothing is too much trouble’ attitude and a hunger to be the best helps to make this team as strong and successful as it is.There is a good friendship between us all – Kate in our lettings team is also is our social secretary and she organises regular get togethers outside of work which are great for team building. Do you have a favourite street? Margaret’s Buildings is a delightful car-free street linking Brock Street and Catharine Place. I like it because it’s full of independent shops, each with its own character. There’s Uber, a design and vintage boutique Heavens Bazaar, art, ceramics and jewellery shop Gallery Nine, the newly revamped Alexandra May jewellery emporium, the fabulous Green Bird café, Figo salon hairdressers, the delicious Provençal restaurant – and now The Apartment Company. Having operated without any form of high street presence for 13 years, I was delighted to have the opportunity to launch Bath’s first digital window display. The shop isn’t manned but buyers and tenants can browse our entire portfolio including multiple

images, floorplans and they can even register their details, all at the window. What has been your proudest moment? I am extremely proud of The Apartment Company brand and how it has evolved over the years. We’ve registered it as a trademark and there are no other businesses bearing the same name in this country. When I started out, many of my competitors wrote me off because they didn’t believe it would be possible to operate without an office, and secondly, they didn’t understand why I would refuse to deal with houses. I am also proud to have survived the credit crunch which was extremely challenging to say the least. It certainly removes any sense of complacency. We live in uncertain times and I believe it is vitally important that in order to succeed, one must continually look forward and find ways to improve the business and ultimately customer experience. We have won a number of awards but the most satisfying thing for me is being recommended or repeat business. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working? I love all sport but in particular golf. I have played for 35 years and for many years I was an active member at Kingsdown Golf Club. However, golf has had to take a bit of a back seat due to work and a busy family life. My wife, Clare runs her own reflexology business and does a lot of great work with young adults and children with cancer. Our family home is in Blagdon in Chew Valley and we enjoy all aspects of village life. Like most parents, I spend my life ferrying the children around to various clubs and activities. My son, William who is 11 and about to go up to secondary school, is a keen cricketer and plays for Blagdon Cricket Club where I help out with the coaching and I love watching them play while doing the scoring or umpiring. Our daughter Niamh is eight and is into lots of things, including Brownies and she loves gymnastics. She also enjoys coming along and cheering William on in his cricket. Where next for The Apartment Company? Over the last 12 months we have been preparing to launch our licence/franchise opportunity for estate agents and we’re currently in talks, which look promising. Our plan is to identify forward thinking estate agents located in cities with good apartment stock, and they can licence our brand to differentiate their service and dominate their local apartment market, as we have done in Bath. n Visit: the





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SELLING YOUR PROPERTY? Choose an estate agency that will promote your best interests If you are currently thinking of selling your property, then consider using one of The Bath Magazine’s featured estate agencies to give you the best possible promotional coverage. Our estate agents advertise with us as part of a bigger selection of print and online marketing which means your property is presented to the highest standard and will reach the greatest audience.

Bath’s Biggest Magazine

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Van Diemen`s Lane, Lansdown A contemporary and spacious four bedroom detached house, finished to a high specification of design and benefiting from off-street parking. Located on a peaceful no-through road in the highly sought-after area of Lansdown, the house is within walking distance of several of Bath’s most highly regarded schools, whilst Bath city centre is just a short drive away.

Rent: £3,200 pcm* light & spacious living room | elegant wooden flooring | impressive views | contemporary kitchen / dining room | utility room | 4 good sized double bedrooms (2 en-suites) | guest bedroom / study | family bathroom | decking & garden | driveway parking Reside Bath | 24 Barton Street Bath BA1 1HG | T 01225 445 777 | E | W

*An administration fee of £420.00 inc. VAT applies.

RESIDE August.indd 1

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Bear Flat Inglesbatch Bath, BA2 ÂŁ625,000

Offering views across open countryside towards and beyond Priston Mill is this idyllic cottage set in the village of Inglesbatch. Three bedrooms, three reception rooms, kitchen dining room, utility, bath and shower rooms, garage and drive. Energy Efficiency Rating: F


Newbridge Charmouth Road, Bath, BA1 ÂŁ520,000

Edwardian splendour meets family living in this wonderful example of a period home. The front sitting room with its bay window and feature fire place opens in to the dining room. Behind the dining room is the light and airy kitchen/ breakfast room. The kitchen adjoins the useful utility room. Upstairs the property has three double bedrooms and family bathroom. To the rear of the property is a mature rear garden giving a lovely space for alfresco dining with views over to the south of Bath. Energy Efficiency Rating: E

Bear Flat sales 01225 805680 Newbridge sales 01225 809685

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Camden Bailbrook Lane, BA1 ÂŁ750,000

A detached family home with four bedrooms and plenty of space. Located on the fringe of Larkhall with countryside behind. Set back from the road with driveway, there are gardens to both the front and rear giving a feeling of seclusion. Energy Efficiency Rating: E

Central Minster Way, BA2 ÂŁ540,000

Well set on the fringe of the city. Footpath access across the road to Kennett and Avon Canal. A fine family home offering three bedrooms with far reaching views of Camden. The ground floor has an open living and dining room. There is a modern kitchen and downstairs shower room. Garage with driveway parking. Energy Efficiency Rating: D

Camden Road sales 01225 809868 Bath Central sales 01225 809571

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Located in Farleigh Hungerford a detached period home in an idyllic location on the banks of the River Frome. Comprises four bedrooms, two reception rooms, kitchen, utility room, integral garage, parking and gardens. EPC Rating: F

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In need of modernisation but offering great potential a four bedroom period former farmhouse located in Tunley with gardens and views. EPC Rating: F

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Georgian Grade 1 listed ground floor maisonette with private garden, three bedrooms, one bathroom and one shower room in one of Bath’s most prestigious locations, Great Pulteney Street. EPC Rating: Exempt Grade I listed

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Situated only 2 miles from the centre of Bath, Dearholme nestles in 4 acres of its own fields. With far reaching countryside views, the bungalow offers 3 bedrooms and outbuildings and stables, further benefiting from planning permission to develop the home. BANES PLANNING PERMITTED 15/01727/FU EPC Rating: D

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The Bath Magazine August 2017  

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

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