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DICKENS AT 200 Bath gets set to celebrate

BOB CRAMPTON Chooses the tunes... Whatever the weather


SOTTO SOTTO The Italian underground restaurant


Premium Property in and around Bath

The very best of local writing, what’s on, arts, lifestyle, property and so much more in your guide to life and living in Bath

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F ebruary2012 20 6



Five things you’ll want do to in February


BIGWIG The prospect of making a speech can turn a grown man into a quivering wreck


TALK OF THE TOWN Join in with the Bath Big Read



PICTURE THIS Bath publisher produces photography book filled with star portraits



19TH CENTURY GIANT We explore Bath’s links with Dickens


WHAT’S ON From the theatre world premiere of The King’s Speech to a rousing version of The Wizard of Oz, and from gospel to jazz, our diary of cultural events in Bath in the coming month














CITY GARDENING Jane Moore selects the best plants to grow for winter colour and scent

The most romantic restaurants to take your loved one to this Valentine’s Day


A reviving facial at Thermae Bath Spa

A Bath guest house is a stylish home from home stocked with books and art

Why Brighton is still the best place for a seaside break


PROPERTY Bath’s finest homes, to sell or to rent

Italian sunny delights from Sotto Sotto


CITY MOTORING TBM puts the latest Mercedes through its paces

LITERARY CITY We talk to Angela Carter’s friend, drama critic Susannah Clapp who’s written a memoir about the writer


A bumper round-up of what’s hanging in Bath’s private and public galleries

FACE THE MUSIC Newsman turned weatherman ITV’s Bob Crampton forecasts some good sounds



ON THE COVER Ceramics by Keith Varney. On show at the Quest Gallery

BATH PEOPLE Movers & shakers: news from the business and public sectors


EDUCATION Helping you make the right choices


FAMILY FUN Where to go with the kids this half-term


FIT & FAB The latest beauty and skin care products FEBRUARY 2012



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he first thing I hope you’ve noticed about this month’s magazine is that our masthead on the cover has got a lot bigger and bolder. That’s because we want to shout a bit louder about what we do and what we’re proud of achieving in this beautiful, brilliant, bonkers city of ours. We show our pride in Bath by calling ourselves The Bath Magazine. The magazine is now in its tenth year and continues to go from strength to strength. We produce more than 20,000 copies every month, which are distributed house to house in the city’s most affluent streets, as well as in some of the surrounding villages. Readers also pick up The Bath Magazine in Waitrose, the central library and in selected hotels, restaurants and cafés. As Bath’s only monthly magazine each copy has a long shelf life and often gets passed from reader to reader, which means the magazine is enjoyed by around 80,000 people. Our editorial raison d’être is to tell our readers what’s coming up culturally in Bath and the area in the month ahead. We don’t try to be a newspaper, or to ape the glossy national titles. Our band of in-house writers and freelance contributors write with passion, intelligence and – that most vital ingredient – local knowledge. This month’s issue has a literary bent. We’re all invited to take part in the Bath Big Read as part of next month’s Independent Bath Literature Festival, find out how on Page 10. I enjoyed a conversation with writer Angela Carter’s friend, and the Observer’s drama critic, Susannah Clapp, and her musings on one of the most extraordinary writers of the 20th century can be enjoyed on Page 18. We’ve also indulged in something of a Dickens fest – from Page 20 – this issue, with a walk devised by Andrew Swift in the 19th century writer’s footsteps and a round-up of how Bath is marking the bicentenary of his birth. So, yes we’ve got plenty to shout about this month. Am I proud to be editor of Bath’s best magazine? I’m not a big fan of the exclamation mark, but – hell, yes!


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.


Georgette McCready 01225 424499

Deputy Editor Email:

Samantha Ewart


Jane Moore, Andrew Swift, Mick Ringham, Catriona Stirling, Lindsey Harrad, Megan Tatum

Production Manager Jeff Osborne Email: Publisher Email:

Steve Miklos

Contact the Advertising Sales team on tel: 01225 424499 Advertising Sales Liz Grey Email: Advertising Sales Email:

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The Bath Magazine and The Bristol Magazine are published by MC Publishing Ltd and are completely independent of all other local publications.


Just because it’s

Valentine’s Day, it doesn’t have to be red 7 Quiet Street Bath BA1 2JU Telephone: 01225 330563 email: THE FINEST IN LINGERIE, BEACH & NIGHTWEAR FEBRUARY 2012



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things to do in February

Visit As the nation prepares to go Olympic crazy this summer and Bath’s rugby supporters have their eye on the current Six Nations Tournament, the city’s renowned Fashion Museum is off the starting blocks with a new exhibition which looks at how sport and fashion are intertwined. The Sport and Fashion exhibition, which opens on 4 February, will focus on the history of sportswear, from historic skiiing togs to the latest bodyconscious sportswear which has strutted its way off the racetrack and on to the high street. The launch of the exhibition is an exciting prelude to next month’s Bath in Fashion festival – tickets for that go on sale at the beginning of this month.





For more information about the Sport and Fashion exhibition visit:



Start rummaging through Granny’s heirlooms and Dad’s rock’n’roll memorabilia – the BBC’s Flog It! team is coming to Bath. The popular antiques programme, with genial host Paul Martin, will be at the Assembly Rooms on Thursday 16 February from 9.30am until 4pm. Bathonians are invited to bring along the antiques or collectables that they might be interested in selling. Once valued, the owner and the team of experts will decide whether the object will go forward for auction – everyone who attends can be assured of a valuation. The items which are eventually selected will be auctioned at Clevedon Salerooms on Thursday 8 March. Admission to the event in Bath is free, as are the valuations.

Rugby Shirt dress by Gary Harvey Photographer: Robert Decelis Model: Sunnait

If you’re going to see the film version of Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse you might recognise some familiar Bath faces among the villagers on the big screen. Members of some of Bath’s best choirs were enlisted as extras, via choirmaster Grenville Jones, spending several days in Castle Combe where international film director Steven Spielberg happily posed for this informal shot with some of the women in period costume.

Out of town. . . Welcome the first cheerful signs of spring by visiting Great Chalfield Manor’s annual Snowdrop Day on Sunday 12 February. The grounds of the National Trust owned manor house near Holt are a carpet of beautiful white blooms at this time of year. Snowdrop Day runs from 2-4pm, admission is £4 and teas will be on sale, with proceeds going to Dorothy House Hospice Care.

Anyone who has gone into Bath Compact Discs shop in Broad Street and requested ‘that piece I heard on Desert Island Discs’, or asked the incredibly patient and helpful staff to try and guess what piece of classical music you’re trying to hum, will want to celebrate the fact that this stalwart of the Bath musical scene has survived almost 30 years in the city. It’s moving across the road, from one side of Broad Street to the other, later this month – its third address in the same street. With so many specialist music shops nationwide going to the wall, we owe it to Bath Compact Discs to go in and show our support.

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r B has a new sideline. Helping fathers of the bride to conquer their nerves and deliver the speech of a lifetime. These guys are naturally very scared and I help them to speak up, breathe properly and insert just the right number of corny jokes into their outpourings of fatherly pride. Over the years I have delivered speeches, lectures and monologues on every known subject. While it’s true that being a little nervous can give one a certain edge, there are times when a few basic tips can get you through the utter panic that can afflict the most accomplished speaker. The father of the bride of course can stare dotingly at his daughter for extended periods of time while he frantically tries to remember his next point. Result: not a dry eye in the house. Others rely on little techniques such as fixating on a spot on the back wall or using sturdy prompt cards so your nerves are not translated into a quivering sheaf of muddled papers.

as you rise to speak you realise you ❝ still have half a lemon curd tartlet in your mouth ❞

Keeping one hand on a handy level surface will help conquer the involuntary shakes that can attack at any time. Though once when I was launching a classical music festival, confident and with both palms firmly placed on the table, I suddenly remembered that a load of complicated foreign names was coming up. To my horror, the impressively large flower arrangement in front of me began to vibrate. I’ve watched the video and it looks as though a minor earth tremor is taking place, though my expression remains implacable as I reel off a list of obscure Scandinavian composers as if they were my best mates. The most ghastly invention known to humankind is the after dinner speech. If you are the one who has to deliver it that is. To begin with, you have one too many gin and tonics at the meet and greet. This has a twofold effect. First of all you waste all your best stories in the atmosphere of bonhomie round the bar. And then the alcohol makes your tongue turn to blotting paper. As does trying to swallow a three course dinner while having to make small talk and dreading the sound of the chairman’s knife on his glass. As you rise to speak you realise you still have half a lemon curd tartlet in your mouth. Or once in my case, half a bowl of parsnip soup down the front of my hired tuxedo, delivered by aforementioned shaky hand. At that particular dinner, the manager of Moss Bros was in the audience and apparently he spent my whole talk wondering how they were going to get the stain out of my jacket. My most successful speech was as best man at a big Scottish wedding. I had been assured that I wouldn’t have to make a speech. I assumed this was a Scottish thing so I had nothing prepared and had been liberal with the bubbly. Then I noticed the matron of honour was frantically learning a Walt Whitman poem from a book hidden under the table. “It’s all right for you,” she hissed, “you can just make things up!” “No I can’t,” I replied, feeling my mouth starting to dry up and my hands beginning to shake as it dawned on me that a speech was indeed required. Seconds later the dreaded knife hit the glass and the announcement came. But I did it. It just came out of nowhere. It went down an absolute storm. Unfortunately I can’t use any of the material again as I can’t remember a word I said. But apparently it was a stonker. By the way, the number of corny jokes allowed in a father of the bride speech is three. No more, no less. ■





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My Cultural Life

Join Bath’s Big Read


he Gaddafi regime and Libyan politics have been no strangers to the national and international press over recent years, but while the media have been focused on the struggle for power, little has been said of what life was like for Libyans living under Gaddafi. This spring the organisers of The Independent Bath Literature Festival are asking book groups and individual readers to engage with and discuss a novel that explores just that, in the Big Bath Read. Hisham Matar’s In the Country of Men, provides a rare opportunity to gain some insight into the day-to-day life of those living in Gaddafi’s regime in the 1970s. Matar is well placed to comment, having lived in Tripoli for much of the 1970s, and having been personally affected by the repressive dictatorship. In 1990, Matar’s father, a political dissident, was kidnapped in Cairo and has not been seen since. He is believed to have been held in the notorious Abu Salim prison in Tripoli, but the only information the family has received has been a scattering of smuggled letters and reported sightings. These personal horrors do not however colour Matar’s writing, and on this subject he is impressively objective. Speaking of life under Gaddafi, he explains that writers were confronted with the temptation to expose the sheer absurdity of the dictatorship, a temptation Matar had to resist. He said, “I had to act as my own censor… In other words, my own repressor.” In the Country of Men is told from the viewpoint of nine-yearold Suleiman, as he struggles to understand the intricacies and contradictions of the society in which he lives. A tale of dissidents and betrayal, Suleiman’s internal monologue is a powerful tool in conveying to the reader the conflicting emotions with which he battles, those of confusion, anger and resentment. Despite the use of a child narrator the novel doesn’t fail to impress upon the reader the incredibly oppressive

We ask actor Jonathan Hyde to tell us what he’s doing in February

What are you reading? political regime under which the family are living. The book is filled with wonderfully engaging and provocative descriptions, such as the sunglasses worn by his father, which are two “dark lenses curved like the humpbacks of turtles over his eyes.” What is perhaps most impressive about the book is the way in which Matar is able to separate the political nature of his subject from the delicate personal relationships which unravel as the story progresses. Politics are not an overwhelmingly dominant theme, but more of a background force that tie the characters together in a complicated web under the ever-watchful eye of the ‘Guide’. The success of Matar’s debut novel speaks for itself, having been translated into 22 languages and winning the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for the Best First Novel in Europe and South Asia, in 2007. Its topicality and resonance for today is unquestionable, and with the emphasis of this year’s Bath Literature Festival firmly on encouraging participation and debate it is clear why such a thought-provoking novel has been selected. Hisham Matar is to visit Bath. It’s a prime opportunity to hear an engaging and knowledgeable speaker on this subject and to explore the many themes of this inspiring novel. The Big Bath Read with Hisham Matar Guildhall, Sunday 4 March, 8pm. Visit or for tickets tel: 01225 463362. In the Country of Men by Hisham Matar, £8.99, published by Penguin. Catriona Stirling

NEWS IN BRIEF Actor comes home for show

2 Princes Buildings, George Street, Bath BA1 2ED Telephone: 01225 424499. Fax: 01225 426677 © MC Publishing Ltd 2012 Every month The Bath Magazine is circulated free to over 20,000 selected homes and businesses in Bath and the surrounding areas. A certificate of print and publisher’s statement are available on request. 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.




Clive Woodward, an actor originally from Bath, is returning to his home city for a show he has written based loosely on his experiences of being a jobbing actor. You, Me, Colin and Helen is a sad, funny and sometimes magical theatrical experience, with tricks from Clive’s magician Ben Woodward. Clive has already had a successful run in Thame and hopes his home city will give a warm welcome when it comes to the Mission Theatre, Corn Street, on Friday 3 and Saturday 4 February, starting at 7.30pm. Tickets are £10 (£8 concessions) from, tel: 01225 463362 or online at:

The Bandini Quartet by John Fante.

What’s on your MP3 player? Everything: opera – Lisa Della Casa, Liontine Price….The Shins, Dick Hymen, Stan Getz, Soul Coughing.

Which café or restaurant takes your fancy? Sam’s Kitchen: delicious little café on Walcot Street. Excellent soup and grilled vegetables.

Which museum or gallery will you be visiting? Anything in the Victoria Gallery and certainly the wonderful collection at the newly extended Holburne Gallery.

Your passions? What hobbies or interests will you be pursuing? Painting. I have an exhibition opening at Oxmarket Centre of Arts in Chichester, 6 – 20 February, consisting of 28 pictures inspired by Shakespearian plays from stage and screen.

Film or play? What will you be going to see this month? I’m a BAFTA member, so I’ve seen them all as screeners.

What local outdoor activity/location will you be going to do or visit this month? Swimming and tennis.

Your shopping habits? Waitrose which is very near my home, Fortnums and any good market. And a wonderful computer outlet for Apple called Farpoint which is also very near my home.

Jonathan Hyde is appearing as speech therapist Lionel Logue in The King’s Speech at the Theatre Royal, Bath in the world premiere of the stage production, which runs from Monday 20 February to Saturday 25 February prior to a run in the West End

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COME RAIN OR SHINE Mick Ringham talks to TV weatherman, Bob Crampton about his ties to South Africa, his favourite music, and why, after so many successful years in news journalism, he made a splash into weather reporting


here are few comparisons to be drawn between real-life TV weatherman Bob Crampton, and that of the egocentric, grudging fictional character Phil Connors, played by Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. Bob undertakes his job with enthusiasm, forecasting the weather in an informative yet personal style, while his varied life and career bears little resemblance to the monotony endured by the long-suffering Connors. Born in South Africa and educated by the Christian Brothers, the young Bob enjoyed an idyllic childhood, although he admits that he was blinkered to the social changes that were beginning to appear in the country at the time. When Bob was out of short trousers, he returned to the UK with his parents and settled in Plymouth, where his father worked as an 12 THEBATHMAGAZINE



anchorman for the BBC. Despite family warnings it appeared natural for him to enter the world of journalism and broadcasting, and his first job was as a junior reporter on a North Devon newspaper. However, his interest in the political upheavals taking place in South Africa soon caught his attention and he returned to his home country to report on the Soweto riots, of which he says, they: “were brutal in the extreme and something that will stay with me for the rest of my life.” An opportunity to join South West Television led Bob to the ITV studios in Bristol – what were then the HTV studios – where he worked as a news reporter, presenter and producer for over 26 years. He says of those days: “I have so many memories of that time, from coming face to face with the Taliban in Afghanistan, to covering the trials of Fred and Rosemary West in Gloucester.”

LOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING: Bill Murray’s character in Groundhog Day, Phil Connors

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BOB’S DEFINING TRACKS: left to right, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Nkosi Sikelel, Chris Lowe and Neil Tennant of The Pet Shop Boys, Liberation, and Elvis Presley, Hound Dog

MAIN PICTURE: TV newsman turned weather presenter Bob Crampton

So after such a distinguished career in reporting, one can’t help but wonder, why the change to weatherman? Bob says: “I felt after all that time that I wanted to try something different, so I went to my producer and asked if I could present the weather in a new format. I thought it would be a good idea to get out and about around the area and bring the weather alive to the viewers.”

so many memories of that ❝timeI have from coming face to face with the Taliban in Afghanistan to covering the trials of Fred and Rosemary West in Gloucester

Like many a good idea, this was a simple one and the upshot was that the powers that be at ITV agreed to his request. So with a crash course and briefings twice a day from the Met Office, he set out with a small crew and satellite truck to cover the entire south west region, taking in six counties, from Tewkesbury in the Cotswolds to St. Martins on the Scilly Isles. A firm believer in experiencing the weather first hand, Bob can be seen reporting from sunny Cornwall one day, while the next he’s under an umbrella, battling against a southwesterly gale in Portishead. Asked the inevitable question, has he ever got the forecast wrong? He jokes: “Well maybe on the odd occasion, but generally with all the information that’s available nowadays, I do manage to get it right a lot of the time.” As for Groundhog Day, he adds, “the only similarity with Bill Murray that I can think of is that we both ended up with a beautiful lady!” Maybe on that basis, there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow after all.

Bob’s top ten: ● Lauren Wood – Fallen I am lucky enough to have been with my partner Lizzie for almost 18 years and I have known this song for about the same length of time. It’s probably one of the most romantic pieces of music that I have ever listened to and my knees still go weak when I hear it – I hope there’s nothing wrong with me? ● Elvis Presley – Hound Dog During my pre-teen years in South Africa, my mother was really taken by the whole rock ‘n’ roll era and Elvis truly was king of that world. My brother and I would dance around to this track with her and if I close my eyes now, I can easily conjure up the scene back home in our living room. WWW.THEBATHMAGAZINE.CO.UK

● Weekend Players - Pursuit of Happiness This is my nod to techno. The kids introduced me to this track, but I still tend to think of ‘house’ and ‘garage’ as buildings. Anyway, it’s different and exciting and it’s true to say that I was won over by this track. ● Pet Shop Boys – Liberation I’ve always rated these boys. It reminds of a road trip to see a good friend on the south coast and Lizzie having to remind me to keep my hands firmly back on the steering wheel. Yours truly was swaying and clapping as the track was playing. Not to be recommended, and I can assure you, never to be repeated. ● The Choir of Kings College Cambridge – Zadoc the Priest Admittedly I’m not a huge classical music fan, however this is really superb. It was played at last year’s royal wedding of Prince William and Kate and it took my breath away. In many respects Handel’s work frightens you with its grandness. ● Kenny G – Havana Remix Some people might class this saxophonist’s work as elevator music, but I’ve always loved the saxophone. It’s a fantastic instrument and this American musician is a master. We went to see him at the Royal Albert Hall, where he moved around the boxes, simultaneously playing wonderful music. ● Ladysmith Black Mambazo – Nkosi Sikelel No surprise given my South African roots. This is the ANC anthem and the country’s national song. Deservedly so. It’s fantastic when sung by singers such as Ladysmith. I have been lucky enough to see them play live and they also do a magnificent ‘wellington boot’ dance. The miners still do this dance today; it’s so beautiful and manages to bring a tear to my eye every time. ● The Mavericks – Dance the Night Away Just great music. I confess I do try to sing this in the shower. Many a time Lizzie and I have danced around the kitchen to this track. I can assure you that on my part it’s not a pretty sight. But I could listen to this record over and over again and never get bored. ● Extreme – More than Words Such a deep meaning for so many reasons – it’s sheer unplugged poetry. My eldest stepson can move even the hardest cynic playing his rendition of this on the guitar. ● Afroman – Because I got High You may think it is a strange choice for the last record, however, this is pure chanting fun to finish with. It was blasted out by us on a car journey back from the south of France with friends after a wonderful holiday. And yes, we did all get high, but on the amazing perfume from those magnificent lavender fields. ■ Bob Crampton’s weather forecast can be seen on ITV’s The West Country Tonight. Follow him on Twitter: @bobsweather FEBRUARY 2012



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Gifted with Love With Valentine’s Day in mind, finding the perfect present for a loved one is a delightful challenge. Take inspiration from the wonderful range of gifts available in Bath

JODY CORY. Silver garnet pendant, £180. Jody Cory Goldsmiths, 9 Abbey Churchyard, Bath. Tel: 01225 460072

CHRISTOPHER MILTON STEVENS. This princess cut diamond and palladium ring will add sparkle to any occasion, £2450. Christopher Milton Stevens. Tel: 01225 840976

HANNAH DULCIE LINGERIE. This limited edition lingerie is delicate, feminine and unique. Loved by Hannah Dulcie Valentine silk satin and antique lace cami and matching knickers, £195. Hannah Dulcie Lingerie, 13 Milsom Place, Bath.

VERMONT FLOWERS. The bespoke natural designs by Vermont Preserved Flowers will make an original gift. Hearts made of soft sage leaves, £85.

AMANDA COLEMAN. Beautifully crafted jewellery – cape amethyst and 18ct gold plate, give these earrings head-turning appeal. Earrings £190. Matching ring available, £125.

Vermont Flowers, 9 Saracen St, Bath. Tel: 01225 571395

Bloomsbury & Co, 2 Quiet Street, Bath. Tel: 01225 314442

METICULOUS INK. Letterpress cards printed on beautifully soft 100% Somerset cotton paper, £3.50. View the range at Meticulous Ink, 33 Walcot Street, Bath. Tel: 01225 333004

FABULOUS. To celebrate 2012 as a Leap Year, traditionally the only time women may propose marriage, Fabulous is running a competition to win the Perfect Proposal. The prize includes one night’s stay in a luxury hotel, a Marry Me ring which retails at £65, and a bottle of Moet et Chandon Champagne. Fabulous, 16 Southgate Place, Bath. Tel: 01225 330 333




THE WHITE LINEN GIFT COMPANY. Beautiful, hand-made pure white linen wedding gifts, all lovingly embellished. Rosebud lavender bag, £6.50. Tel: 01225 342793 www.thewhitelinen

THERMAE BATH SPA. Treat your loved one to a revitalising spa experience. A range of gift vouchers and packages are available, priced from £26 - £188. The Time for Two Package features a choice of treatment, a 4-hour spa session and 2course meal with a drink, £188 per couple. Thermae Bath Spa, Tel: 01225 331234

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Beautiful new collections in store for Valentine’s including The Valentine Limited Edition Loved by Collection Join us for our Valentine catwalk event in store on Friday 10th February - 7.30 to 9.00 With Champagne, Canapes and Valentine offers Please RSVP to to join our guest list and save 20% on selected items OUR BOUTIQUE

13 Milsom Place, Bath BA1 1BZ 01225 489000 / OUR ONLINE STORE H



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Bath-based Palazzo Editions has created a beautiful coffee table book of portraits by American photographer Jack Robinson. It features rarely seen pictures of big stars, taken when they were young





FROM THE ARCHIVES: Robinson photographed the biggest stars of the 1960s before deliberately turning his back on New York and disappearing into obscurity – thousands of photographic plates were found after his death in 1997 Clint Eastwood, Warren Beatty, Joni Mitchell © Jack Robinson Vogue Condé Nast Archive Hats on the Beach © The Jack Robinson Archive Jack Robinson On Show: Portraits 1958-72 by George Perry. Published by Palazzo Editions Bath

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POSTCARDS FROM A FRIEND Ahead of next month’s Bath Literature Festival the Observer’s drama critic Susannah Clapp talks to Georgette McCready about her friendship with the writer Angela Carter, who died 20 years ago, and a new book which reveals more about one of the most extraordinary writers of the 20th century


ngela Carter, like many other writers, made her home in Bath for a while. She lived here from 1972 to 1976 and wrote several of her books in the city, including The Bloody Chamber collection of short stories which is now a set text book in schools. She also wrote an essay on heritage Bath which appeared in the New Society magazine. I talked to Carter’s friend and literary executor, Susannah Clapp, who was herself born in Bath, about Carter’s opinions of the city. “I think the alternative society appealed to her. She liked the way its pre-Roman-ness could still be felt. Although she lived much of her later life in London she always enjoyed her time in the west country, having been to university in Bristol, and met her second husband there.” She made friends in the Bath area, including artist Corinna Sargood, who lived in Frome and illustrated Carter’s fairy tales. The pair bonded over a mutual passion for collecting sardine tins because they liked the artwork on them. Carter wrote of Bath’s ‘tumultuous skies’ and her feeling that the place was haunted. She wrote: “Bath has almost the quality of concretised memory; its beauty has a curiously second-order quality, most beautiful when remembered.” Her writing voice, as always throughout her fables, is distinctive, brave and non conformist. Susannah has just published a memoir, A Card From Angela Carter, which tells of her friendship with Carter, through postcards that the writer sent. She is coming to the Bath Literature Festival to talk about the biography – one of three events centred around Carter at the festival. I asked her whether Carter would have enjoyed the literature festival and whether she cared what people thought about her. “She wasn’t contemptuous of other people but she was very bold in her opinions and not frightened about people’s reactions. She got quite a lot of angry letters, but it didn’t stop her writing about what she strongly believed in. “I think she would have enjoyed the conviviality of literary festivals, although she would have found some of it rather silly. Which some of it is of course. “She used to go on telly and she had this habit of suddenly pausing in her reading, creating this great big silence which made TV producers nervous.” Carter was diagnosed with lung cancer and died aged 51 in 1992. On her death sales of her books soared, but Susannah feels more recently her work has been sidelined by the reading public.




“But when I went into Bloomsbury the publisher to talk about the book I was writing about Angela, all the young women in the office were huge fans. I think she has been discovered by a new generation of readers.” For anyone who hasn’t read Carter’s tales (The Company of Wolves was made into a film, if you want a visual introduction), Susannah’s slim but beautifully written biography is a great place to start to get to know this extraordinary writer, and woman. Susannah writes of how postcards sent from Angela set her to writing the book: “There is on my mantelpiece a clockwork doll, made out of tin with bright orange blotches on her cheeks and a design of blue teardrops on her stiff full skirt: a present from Angela and Mark (her husband). And there are a dozen or so cards, dashed off in greeting or explanation, sometimes with a full message, sometimes just a salute. These cards make a paper trail, a zigzag path through the 80s. “They are casually despatched – some messages are barely more than a signature – but are often the more telling for that: they catch Angela on the wing, shooting her mouth off. She would have hated the idea of a soundbite, but she had a gift for a capsule phrase, for a story in a word.” The postcards are as idiosyncratic as their sender – a photograph of five early 20th century dolls, a Japanese Betty Boop, a cartoon of a middle aged woman unaccustomed to wearing heels. Susannah writes: “In their celerity, postcards are the email of the 20th century, but they are almost more than that. “I first looked at these cards when writing a series of talks about postcards for Radio3; I looked at them again when it was suggested to me that those talks might become a book. I look at them now with the idea that they evoke some of the occasions, preoccupations and delights of Angela’s life. A life of which, as she put it, ‘the fin has come a little early this siècle.’” ■

Angela Carter events at the Bath Lit Fest Saturday 10 March, the Guildhall, 11.15am, Angela Carter: The Life On the 20th anniversary of her death, Carter’s literary executor Susannah Clapp, the founder of Virago Press, Carmen Callil, Carter’s agent Deborah Rogers, and Dr Sarah Gamble, author of Angela Carter: A Literary Life, will be in conversation about why her work still matters. Saturday 10 March, Masonic Hall, 2.45pm, Angela Carter: The Short Stories Award-winning writers Helen Simpson and Michele Roberts explore Carter’s short stories, concentrating particularly on The Bloody Chamber Saturday 10 March, Little Theatre cinema, 7pm, Angela Carter: Film Kim Evans introduces her BAFTA award-winning film, with the last interview Carter gave before her death

A CELEBRATION: main picture, the writer Angela Carter., who died in February 1992. Inset, top, A Card From Angela Carter by Susannah Clapp is published in hardback by Bloomsbury, £10, and below, Susannah Clapp, who was Carter’s friend

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WHAT THE DICKENS To celebrate the bicentenary of Charles Dickens’ birth this month Andrew Swift follows in the footsteps of the writer, whose time in Bath is still recorded in the city


ickens’ links to the city are somewhat problematic. He was one of the greatest fantasists of all time, so it is hardly surprising that the borders between fact and fiction have become a little blurred. And, in the absence of hard facts, Dickens enthusiasts – in particular a gentleman called Percy Fitzgerald – have filled the gaps with stories now firmly ensconced as part of Bath folklore. First, though, there is the thorny question of what Dickens thought of Bath. He made this quite clear – it was a ‘mouldy old roosting place ... built by a cemetery-full of old people who, making a successful rise against death, have carried the place by assault, and, bringing their gravestones with them, have contrived to build the city, in which they are trying to look alive’. To discover why he was so vehement, we will start our walk round Dickens’ Bath at the Saracen’s Head in Broad Street, where he stayed when visiting the city as a political reporter in 1835. Curiously, he had told his editor he would be staying at the White Hart – one of the best inns in town – so why did he end up in a place more used to ostlers and tradesmen – a place, moreover, where he had to sleep above the stables? It was almost certainly a case of ‘no room at the inn’ – the political meeting he was covering had attracted well-heeled delegates from all over the south west – and the affront to his dignity can be imagined. Here he was, a star reporter, on the brink of a glittering literary career, forced to stay in one of the roughest inns in town. Hardly likely to make him feel well disposed towards Bath. The following year, he published the first instalment of The Pickwick Papers. In the 13th instalment, he brought Mr Pickwick and his friends to Bath – to stay at the White Hart. To find the site of the inn, head along Northgate Street into the High Street and through the Abbey Church Yard to Stall Street. The White Hart stood directly opposite and it is here we come to 20 THEBATHMAGAZINE



the strangest link of all between Dickens and Bath. The landlord of the White Hart was Moses Pickwick – an unusual name which had come about in an unusual way. His great-great uncle, the founder of the dynasty – also called Moses Pickwick – was a foundling who had been discovered in a basket in the stable of an inn at Pickwick near Corsham. Hence his name. Moses Pickwick also ran the stagecoach service from London to the White Hart and it is his name that Sam Weller, the fictional Mr Pickwick’s servant, spots on the coach they travel down in.

a mouldy old roosting place built ❝ by a cemetery-full of old people who, making a successful rise against death, have contrived to build the city, in which they are trying to look alive

Given Dickens’ allusion to the real-life Pickwick, it seems reasonable to assume that this is where he got the name from. But did he just like the sound of it – or was there a deeper significance, something to do with him being sent away from the White Hart 18 months earlier? All we can say for certain is that Bath does not come out of The Pickwick Papers well. It is portrayed as a faded city living on past glories, its blend of snobbery and false gentility embodied in the Master of Ceremonies who greets Mr Pickwick to ‘Ba-ath’. Opposite the White Hart is the Pump Room where Mr Pickwick took the waters – the taste of which Sam Weller

POSTHUMOUS PUBLIC RELATIONS: the Bath Dickens Fellowship did much to eulogise the author around the city. Above, members laid a wreath each year outside No 35 St James’s Square. Main photo, there was a Pickwick curios shop beside The Saracen’s Head pub in Broad Street

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OUT&ABOUT compared to that of ‘warm flat irons’ – and where a bust of Dickens by Percy Fitzgerald can also be seen. Head up to Westgate Street, turn left and take the second right along Bridewell Lane. Carry on along Trim Bridge, turn left along Trim Street into Beauford Square and turn right up Princes Street, where Beauford House occupies the former Beauford Arms. It is a cornerstone of Bath folklore – courtesy of Percy Fitzgerald – that this is where Sam Weller attended a footman’s ‘swarry’ – even though Dickens set it in a greengrocers’. Walk up to Queen Square, carry on up to the Circus and turn right to the Assembly Rooms. This is where Mr Pickwick attended a ball, and where, in 1851, Dickens appeared in a play called Not As Bad As We Seem – which the Chronicle described as Not As Good As We Expected. It was similarly unimpressed when Dickens returned in 1867 and 1869 to give readings from his novels. His voice was weak and he seemed tired, but, added the reviewer in a spiteful aside, he was still more impressive as an actor than a novelist. Bath and Dickens, it seems, were members of a mutual unappreciation society. Head across the Circus, along Brock Street and turn right up Church Street. Cross Julian Road and take the second right up St James’s Street to 35 St James’s Square, where a plaque – unveiled by Percy Fitzgerald in 1903 – records that Dickens ‘dwelt’ here. It was, in fact, the house of his friend Walter Savage Landor, whose residence is recorded on another plaque. Although Dickens visited the house several times between 1840 and 1844, he never even

spent the night here, staying at the York House Hotel instead. The men’s close friendship is supported by the fact that Landor was godfather to one of Dickens’ sons. He did, however, come up with the character of Little Nell in The Old Curiosity Shop over dinner with Landor, although whether, as Bath folklore has it, he based Nell on a girl he saw in a shop behind Landor’s house – now called Curiosity Cottage – is another matter. After Dickens based the character of Boythorn in Bleak House on Landor, the two men fell out. Bleak House, published in 1852-3 is Dickens’ other Bath novel, in which the city makes a cameo appearance as ‘that grassgrown city of the ancients’. It is the home of Volumnia Dedlock, ‘a young lady (of 60)’ who ‘has an extensive acquaintance at Bath among appalling old gentlemen with thin legs and nankeen trousers, and is of high standing in that dreary city’. Despite Dickens’ low opinion of Bath – and Bath’s lukewarm opinion of Dickens during his lifetime – after his death, the city seems to have taken him to its heart. The Saracen’s Head, in particular, traded on its Dickens connection, turning part of the building into the Pickwick Curio Stores, while Percy Fitzgerald and others went out of their way to enhance his links with Bath. Visitors to The Saracen’s Head pub can find a small corner devoted to the writer, along with a picture of the writer, neither of which would be obvious to the casual visitor. ■

Charles Dickens anniversary events in Bath, see Page 23

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A SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP? Catriona Stirling explores some of the myths and mysteries surrounding Charles Dickens and the time he spent in Bath


t’s a well-known fact that there are two sides to every tale and the story of Charles Dickens and his relationship with Bath seems to be no exception to the rule. The city is well versed in the ‘special relationship’ Dickens supposedly held with Bath, with numerous memorials scattered throughout the streets, from the recently renovated bust of the writer in the Pump Room to the plaque at 35 St James’s Square. As one of the most famous men of his era, contemporaries viewed Charles Dickens as the epitome of Victoriana, an enlightened social reformer and a man of great generosity and family values. He was a celebrity, attracting huge audiences to his public readings and amassing legions of loyal fans to his work. He even toured America, winning more followers on the




other side of the Atlantic. His writing highlighted many of the wrong-doings of his time, such as corruption within the law and the exploitation of children. But it was only in 1939 when a biography of his daughter, Katey Dickens, was published, that his clean-cut image was called into question. The biography revealed a secret affair that Dickens had conducted for 13 years with a young actress, Ellen (Nelly) Ternan and having recognised the effects this could have on his reputation, the lengths to which Dickens had gone to conceal his private life from the public eye. The pair were, on one occasion returning from an illicit visit to Paris when they were passengers on board a train which crashed at Staplehurst, Kent, killing ten people.

LOYAL CITY: clockwise, the Pump Rooms in Victorian times, members of the Dickens Fellowship of Bath, the reading rooms at The Saracen’s Head, and a sketch of the house in St James’s Square Inset: portrait of the writer Pictures: Bath in Time at Bath Central Library

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Left the entry ticket to Dickens performance of Not So Bad As We Seem, November 1851, held at the Assembly Rooms Right, The White Hart Inn owned by the Pickwick family and reputedly where Dickens got the name for The Pickwick Papers

Dickens came to be seen as a man of great personal mystery and the master of the double life. This coupled with his impressively extensive network of friends and acquaintances meant that no one really knew where he was at any one time. The plaque at 35 St James Square reads, ‘Here dwelt Charles Dickens, 1940’, which we now know to be almost certainly untrue. But the Bath branch of the Dickens Fellowship (founded in 1921) continued to heap praises on him long after his death. Each year crowds gathered in St James’s Square to see a wreath laid at No. 35 in his memory. Certainly then there is reason to believe that Dickens had a not insignificant link to Bath, visiting on numerous occasions throughout the years, satirising Bath life in The Pickwick Papers, and finding inspiration for some of his renowned characters here. So how can this be reconciled with his particularly unfortunate quote about the ‘mouldy old’ place after his last visit in 1869?

For many, this came not out of a genuine disregard for the city, but more out of spite. In 1851 Dickens had come to Bath to perform Edward Bulwer Lytton’s farce Not So Bad As We Seem, and his own comedy, Mr Nightingale’s Diary. The performances were not quite as well received as one would have hoped, with the reviewer apparently tiring of the performance, which went on till nearly one in the morning, and Dickens commented on the dull audience, in comparison to that of Bristol, whose ‘enthusiasm was prodigious.’ Dickens only returned twice to Bath after this, in 1867 and 1869, as part of a public readings tour. He died a year later, in 1870, after suffering a stroke while at home in Kent. Two centuries on, it is surely a source of pride that the city evoked such strong feelings in one of our greatest authors, even if those feelings are unlikely to feature as an endorsement on a tourist brochure. ■

City prepares to celebrate Dickens’ 200th birthday year celebrations. In his entertaining biography, Charles Dickens and the Great Theatre of the World, he reveals an original genius and offers a compelling insight into a life driven by performance. He will be delving in to Dickens as well as his own acclaimed career. St. Swithin’s Church, 24 February, 7.30pm Early bird tickets £8 including book voucher Topping & Company Booksellers of Bath tel: 01225 428111

Dickens at The Pump Room Bath and North East Somerset Council is putting on a show at the Pump Room that will celebrate Dickens’s special association with Bath. Starring Doc Watson, it will feature readings from The Pickwick Papers, which satirises life in Bath. The Pump Room, 7 February, 7pm Tickets £8 Bath Festivals Box Office tel: 01225 463362

Dinner with Dickens, a Next Stage Theatre Supper

Throughout the Bath Literature Festival, from 2-11 March, there will be a

A range of talented actors from Next Stage Theatre Company have teamed up with Bath historian, Graham Davis, for a celebratory show of theatre and readings. The Mission Theatre, 9-11 February, 7.30pm Tickets £25 to include dinner Box Office tel: 01225 428600

Charles Dickens - A Life, with Claire Tomalin Join Claire Tomalin for lunch as she paints an unforgettable portrait of Dickens, capturing brilliantly the complex character of this great genius and his renowned characters.


number of events celebrating the life and works of Charles Dickens. Visit for more information or for tickets tel: 01225 463362

Dickens: Streets of Bath Theatre Royal, 24 February, 12pm Tickets £22.50 with lunch, £10 to listen only Box Office tel: 01225 448844

Simon Callow on Charles Dickens Actor Simon Callow, pictured, will be the face of Dickens for the 2012 bicentennial

The Bath Magazine’s columnist Andrew Swift and one of the city’s best known historians, Kirsten Elliott, are leading a walk round Dickens’ haunts in the city to find out why he so loathed Bath and why the Dickens Fellowship went to such lengths to prove he adored it. 10am, Tuesday 6 March. Tickets, £7 (£6.50 conc) tel: 01225 463362







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WHAT’Son THEATRE, DANCE & OP ERA – listed by venue


maverick Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue and breaking all royal protocol, the King and his oddball therapist embark on an unconventional journey to correct the King’s stammer and help him deliver the radioaddress that will inspire his country. Starring Charles Edwards, Jonathan Hyde, Emma Fielding, Ian McNeice and Joss Ackland. Directed by Adrian Noble, former Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The Wizard of Oz, Tuesday 28 February – Saturday 3 March, Tuesday – Saturday, 7.30pm; matinees: Wednesday, Friday & Saturday, 2.30pm This version of the much-loved story presented by the Bath Operatic and Dramatic Society is a hugely successful adaptation which John Kane originally wrote for the Royal Shakespeare Company, based on the novel and with music and lyrics from the MGM Motion Picture Score, including Over the Rainbow, We’re off to See the Wizard and Ding Dong the Witch is Dead.

T h e U s t in o v S t u d i o Monmouth Street, Bath. Box office tel: 01225 448844.

Thirsty, Saturday 4 February, 8pm

The King’s Speech at the Theatre Royal

T he atr e R oya l Sawclose, Bath. Box office tel: 01225 448844.

Avenue Q, Until Sunday 5 February, Tuesday – Thursday, 8pm; Friday, 5.30pm & 8.30pm; Saturday, 4pm & 8pm; Sunday, 3pm When Avenue Q visited Bath last year, its combination of mischief, bad behaviour and political incorrectness caused a sensation. Now the Tony Award‑winning musical is back. Hilarious and entertaining, with a terrific batch of songs performed by a cast of hugely talented performers and puppets, Avenue Q is the musical like no other.

Calendar Girls, Monday 6 – Saturday 11 February, Monday – Wednesday, 7.30pm; Thursday – Saturday, 8pm; matinees: Wednesday & Saturday, 2.30pm Don’t miss Calendar Girls as it embarks on its final tour. A group of ordinary women do something extraordinary and spark a global phenomenon when they pose for a charity calendar – nude. Based on a true story, Calendar Girls is quirky and poignant. Starring Lynda Bellingham, Camilla Dallerup, Jan Harvey, Sue Holderness, Deena Payne, Lisa Riley, June Watson and Ruth Madoc.




Neighbourhood Watch, Monday 13 – Saturday 18 February, Monday – Wednesday, 7.30pm; Thursday – Saturday, 8pm; matinees: Wednesday, Thursday & Saturday, 2.30pm Things are not right on The Bluebell Hill Development. Theft, petty crime, vandalism, all the ills of modern suburban existence are on the increase. Newcomers Martin and his sister Hilda are the crime-wave’s latest victims and resolve to take action. But what starts out as a well-intentioned neighbourhood watch scheme soon develops into something altogether more sinister. Alan Ayckbourn’s prescient play about law and disorder is his 75th work and visits Bath direct from The Brits Off Broadway Festival in New York.

The King’s Speech, Monday 20 – Saturday 25 February The world premiere of the original play which inspired the hugely successful film, the winner of four Academy Awards and seven British Academy Film Awards. When King Edward VIII abdicates, his terrified brother Bertie is thrust into the spotlight and crowned King George VI of England. In a time of national crisis a debilitating speech impediment leaves Bertie incapable of speaking for his country on the brink of World War II. But his wife Elizabeth, arranges for him to meet the

Multi award-winning company The Paper Birds presents this critically-acclaimed, sell-out show based on our nation’s love affair with alcohol. Thirsty weaves together real stories, memories and booze-based confessions collected from an online questionnaire. Fusing live music, text and physical theatre, it explores the stories and social repercussions of lost memories and gained traumas, bruised knees, uncontrollable laughter and sore heads.

Your Last Breath, Thursday 9 – Saturday 11 February, 8pm Emerging theatre company Curious Directive fuses movement, live piano score and video to unravel the landscapes of the heart. A Fringe First winner 2011.

Mayday Mayday, Thursday 16 – Saturday 18 February, 8pm Padstow, Cornwall. A man falls head first off a wall. Years later he tries to remember what happened next. This is a true story told by the man who fell. With smoke and mirrors, music and slapstick, Theatre Damfino presents this extraordinary adventure which starts with an unforgettable celebration. After delighting audiences as Long John Silver in Bristol Old Vic’s Treasure Island, and a recent run on Broadway with Brief Encounter, internationally renowned performer and Kneehigh Theatre veteran Tristan Sturrock puts his neck on the line to tell his own story in this haunting new solo show.

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WHAT’Son THEATRE, DANCE & OP ERA – listed by venue T h e R o n d o T h e a t re Saint Saviour’s Road, Bath. Box office tel: 01225 463362

The Crucible, Wednesday 1 – Saturday 4 February, 8pm For over 50 years, The Crucible has enthralled audiences with the tale of how 19 men and women were executed on Witches Hill in Salem, Massachusetts and still presents a compelling view of how society reacts to the perceived threat of the unknown.

An Audience with Sherlock Holmes, Thursday 9 February, 8pm As night draws in and fog settles once more over the city of London, join Sherlock Holmes in the study of 221B Baker Street for a classic retelling of some of his most celebrated cases. Andrew Meller dons the famous cape and deerstalker and with pipe in hand recounts some of the cases that made Holmes the world’s most famous detective. In this captivating portrayal, Andrew assumes the guise of numerous characters to create a truly memorable evening.

The Secret Garden, Friday 10 & Saturday 11 February, 7.30pm; matinee: Saturday, 3pm Unearthing the dark heart of this classic tale, Angel Exit celebrates the centenary of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden with a brand new production presented in a rich visual style, blending ensemble storytelling with striking physicality, beautiful puppets, live singing and an original soundtrack.

Henry VIII & The Royal Wedding Planner, Friday 17 February, 8pm This new historical performance takes a hilarious, dramatic and touching journey through the lives of Henry’s jilted brides, from the eyes of longstanding lady in waiting, Jane Parker. Jane marries Anne Boylen’s ill-fated brother and becomes Jane Boylen, Lady Rochfort, building an intimate knowledge of the tos and fros of the royal bedchamber. With each wife brilliantly portrayed, Jane tells us the real story of the Tudors.

The Accrington Pals, Wednesday 22 – Saturday 25 February, 7.30pm

Fallen Fruit – Now Here, Now Gone, Saturday 11 February, 7.30pm This solo performance by Bulgarian performance maker Katherina Radeva is a journey through love, childhood and breaking free. Fallen Fruit began as a response to the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and questions our perception of freedom and whether walls protect or expose us. Fallen Fruit

At 7.20 am on 1s July 1916, 720 men of the 11th Battalion East Lancashire Regiment, all recruited from Accrington and its neighbouring towns, went over the top on the first day of the Battle of The Somme. Within an hour 584 of The Accrington Pals were dead. In this powerfully emotional play, Peter Whelan explores the lives of the people of Accrington and the impact such devastating losses had on the whole community. It is a story about love, life and loss told in a uniquely theatrical manner that is guaranteed to move any audience. Presented by Playing Up, who won universal praise for their previous World War one production of Journey’s End in 2008. Now they return to The Rondo following their highly successful production of Cold Comfort Farm in November 2011.

T h e M i s s io n T h e a t r e 32 Corn Street, Bath. For all ticket information contact the theatre on tel: 01225 428600 or visit:

Wro ughto n T hea tre

The Decent Rogues, Wednesday 15 – Saturday 18 February, 7.30pm; matinee: Saturday, 2.30pm

King Edward’s School, Bath. Tickets from Bath Box Office on tel: 01225 463362

Following a sell-out run in Bath in July 2011, this feel-good comedy musical comes to The Mission Theatre as part of its tour of the south west. Set in Horston Barrow in 1908, the story follows two best friends who are not only well-respected members of Edwardian village life but also gentlemen crooks. Shadowed by their sinister nemesis who has sworn revenge over them, the rogues plan one final crime with disastrous consequences.

Bath Opera presents Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades, Thursday 16 – Saturday 18 February, 7.30pm In Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece the drama of love and madness played out by three main characters contrasts with the many upbeat chorus numbers. Bath Opera’s principles and chorus are supported by a large orchestra under the baton of Peter Blackwood.

K i n g s w o o d T h e a t re

The Secret Garden

Kingswood School, Lansdown Road. Box office tel: 01225 835301

My Favourite Summer, Tuesday 14 February, 8pm Join Dave as he spends a month working alongside a nutcase called Melvin in the summer job from hell whilst trying to save money to take the girl he loves away on holiday with him before she disappears out of his life forever. From the theatre company that brought you Thick as Thieves and Housebound. 26 THEBATHMAGAZINE

I C I A A r t s T h ea t r e University of Bath. Box office tel: 01225 386777.



42nd Street, Wednesday 15 – Saturday 18 February, 7.30pm; matinee: Saturday, 2.30pm

The Decent Rogues

Zenith Youth Theatre presents 42nd Street, a musical comedy at its finest featuring spectacular design, memorable musical numbers and outstanding tap dancing based on the 1933 Busby Berkeley movie.

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WHAT’Son M USI C – listed by date

BATH BACHFEST Friday 24 & Saturday 25 February

■ Madness will be performing at Westonbirt Arboretum on Sunday 24

June as part of the Forestry Commission’s Live Music 2012 concerts. The band is currently recording its tenth album, so fans can expect new material alongside the popular classics. Tickets are now on sale from the box office on tel: 03000 680400 or visit:

Retrospect Ensemble


he hugely successful Bath Mozartfest team have spread their wings a little this year and are hosting a mini Bachfest of three concerts spread over two days: The Rise of the Concerto, Friday 24 February at the Assembly Rooms, 7.30pm Academy of Ancient Music with Alina Ibragimova (violin). Florilegium, Saturday 25 February at The Guildhall, 11am Works by JS Bach including the complete Musical Offering. Restrospect Ensemble, Saturday 25 February at Bath Abbey, 7.30pm A newcomer to the boroque and early music scene, the Retrospect Ensemble will be focussing on a programme of beautiful music written for the church. Cantatas & Motets and Lutheran Mass in G are two works from Bach’s great cycle of cantatas for voices and instruments which will showcase the talents of the choir and orchestra under the direction of Matthew Halls, pictured. They will be accompanied by soloists Julia Doyle, Christopher Ainslie, Peter Harvey and Charles Daniels. Ticket Prices for all concerts cost £10 £32 and can be booked via Bath Box Office on tel: 01225 463362 or visit: For further inforamtion visit:




London Community Gospel Choir, Friday 10 February, 8pm

West End Gala Concert, Sunday 19 February, 7.30pm

Wiltshire Music Centre, Ashley Road, Bradford-on-Avon. Box office tel: 01225 860100 or visit: Celebrated for their vocal gymnastics, funky gospel flair, soulful arrangements and invigorating choreography, the London Community Gospel Choir has performed at Live 8, Glastonbury and on the soundtrack for Disney’s The Lion King. From humble beginnings in the early 80s, as Britain’s first concert gospel choir, to their swinging, storming performance at Wembley for the FA Cup final, the choir has become a world-wide phenomenon.

Kingswood Theatre, Kingswood School, Bath. Tickets from Bath Box Office on tel: 01225 463362 or visit: An evening of entertainment from leading performers of London’s West End, with actors who have appeared in or are currently working in shows such as Les Miserables, Wicked, Mamma Mia, Phantom of the Opera, We Will Rock You and Mary Poppins – to name a few. This fantastic professional cast will be supported by the Vocal Works Gospel Choir. All proceeds go to Dorothy House.

Bath Philharmonia and Gary Ryan, Sunday 12 February, 7.30pm Theatre Royal Bath, Sawclose, Bath. Box office tel: 01225 448844. Multi award-winning guitarist Gary Ryan is will join the Bath Philharmonia for a concert featuring a programme of popular classics including Clair de Lune by Debussy, Concierto de Aranjuez (for guitar) by Rodrigo, Intermezzo by Mascagni and Symphony No. 4 (Italian) by Mendelssohn.

Jazz Improvisation Workshop, Wednesday 15 February, 7.30pm ICIA Arts Barn, University of Bath. Cost: £12. Book on tel: 01225 386777 Led by jazz musician and experienced workshop leader Peter Kubryk Townsend, this one-off practical session covers the basic techniques of improvisation, demonstrating how to create and direct an improvised solo.

Wells Cathedral School: Wild Russia, Friday 24 February, 7.30pm Wiltshire Music Centre, Ashley Road, Bradford-on-Avon. Box office tel: 01225 860100 or visit: Under their conductor Paul Denegri, Cathedral Brass and Ferio Percussion pay tribute to Russia’s passionately nostalgic music with a programme that includes movements from Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, Rimsky Korsakov’s Cortège and Benjamin Britten’s Russian Funeral Music.

Kate Dimbleby: Lemon Haired Ladies & Mythical Kings, Friday 24 February, 8pm Chapel Arts Centre, Lower Borough Walls, Bath. Tel: 01225 461700 A brand new showcase of the songs and writing of Dory Previn, performed by Kate Dimbleby, one of the most versatile singers on the jazz-blues circuit, accompanied by Naadia Sheriff on piano.




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WHAT’Son OTH ER EVENTS – listed by date Science Cafe: Green Energy Talk, Monday 13 February, 7.30pm The Raven Pub, Queen Street, Bath. Free, no need to book. For further information visit: Professor Saiful Islam of the University of Bath will give a general talk (with 3D glasses for all) on why new materials hold the key to green energy fuel cells and batteries for homes and electric cars, which could help cut carbon emissions. A Q&A session will follow.

Beads, Findings & Jewellery Making Fair, Saturday 18 & Sunday 19 February, 10am – 4pm St Margaret’s Hall, Bradford on Avon. Over thirty stalls ranging from simple beads to intricate crafted jewellery will be on display as well as workshops, demonstrations and advice. A Wiltshire Air Ambulance fundraiser.

Dance/Film Workshop, Saturday 18 February, 11am – 4.30pm ICIA Arts Theatre, University of Bath. Cost: £20. To book tel: 01225 386777 Lisa May Thomas, award-winning dance artist and director, takes participants through the different approaches and techniques involved

in screen-dance. The day explores how improvisation can be used to generate choreographic material, and how filmmaking can capture the energy of a performance. Followed by a chance to discuss and try out incamera editing techniques.

Luxury Antiques Weekend, Friday 24 – Sunday 26 February Tortworth Court Hotel, Tortworth, South Gloucestershire. Tickets: £5. The Antiques Dealers Fair Limited is returning to Gloucestershire to stage the third annual Luxury Antiques Weekend at Tortworth Court, a magnificent Cotswolds country house surrounded by 30 acres of private grounds. The weekend is a boutique style fair bringing together 22 antiques dealers from all parts of the UK, showcasing an eclectic mix of unusual and decorative antiques and works of art, including paintings, sculpture and jewellery.

Vintage & Handmade Textile & Fashion Fair, Saturday 25 February, 10am – 3pm Chipping Sodbury Town Hall, South Gloucestershire. Entrance: £1 per adult, children free. For further information visit: A must-visit for anyone interested in vintage fashion, home textiles, sewing or creating. There will be 50 stalls over two floors brimming with goodies. Stallholders include vintage fabric and haberdashery dealers, textile artists, knitting experts, fabric designers and top quality dealers in vintage fashion and accessories.

Author Event: Partners in Crime, Tuesday 13 March, 7pm for 7.30pm Bristol Grammar School, University Road, Bristol. Tickets £7/£5 available from ry-events.aspx Bristol Grammar School and Hodder in association with the Bristol Festival of Ideas presents an evening with crime writers Sophie Hannah and Erin Kelly in conversation with Carolyn Mays, publishing director at Hodder. Blackwell’s bookshop will also be on hand for you to buy copies of the authors’ latest novels.

Saturday 18 February

Thursday 8 March


Kirsty McGee plus support Lori Campbell

Advance £10. Door £12.

Advance £8. Door £10. NUS £7.

Thursday 23 February

Friday 9 March

Ellen and the Escapades plus support Phil King

David Celia and Piney Gir

Advance £8. Door £10. NUS £7.

Advance £8. Door £10. NUS £7.

Friday 24 February

Saturday 10 March

Kate Dimbleby Lemon Haired Ladies and Mythical Kings- Jazz-Blues

Bellylicious- Confessions of a belly dance diva

Advance £17.50. Door £20.

Advance £12. Doors £15.

Thursday 1 March

Friday 16 March

The David Goo Variety Band plus Moonlet and The Love Monks Advance £8. Door £10. NUS £7.

The Baghdaddies- An intoxicating blend of Gypsy, Ska, Calypso and Nuevo Mundo Advance £7. Doors £10.

Friday 2 March

Stompin’ Dave & His Band- Boogie Woogie Night Advance £10. Door £12.


All Events: Doors Open 7.30pm. Start 8pm. End 11pm.




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23rd Bath Decorative Antiques Fair The Pavilion, Bath BA2 4EU. 8-10 March 2012 he Bath Decorative Antiques Fair celebrates a vintage year this year with a very special event and some exciting new exhibitors from across the UK. On Thursday 8 March at 3 pm the delightful television presenter Kirstie Allsopp will present the awards to the lucky winners of Britain’s Best Antiques Shops as part of National Antiques Week. The public voted online to nominate their favourite antiques shops and auction houses and the winners’ names will be kept strictly under wraps until Kirstie announces them at the Bath Decorative Antiques Fair. Kirstie who is a great supporter of the antiques trade and the Antiques are Green movement said: “Buying antiques and vintage is about getting beautiful, unique and green things for your home but also about respecting





the environment and being sensible with your money – I know that if everything went belly up tomorrow I could sell the contents of my house for considerably more that I paid for it – and I couldn’t say that if I’d bought new.” The Bath Decorative Antiques Fair has always been a magnet for decorators, homemakers and collectors alike and the organiser Robin Coleman strives to make sure the fair is not only exciting as a source of wonderful objects, but enjoyable, relaxed and memorable. The fair offers visitors a chance to buy something exceptional for their home or collection from as little as £25 as well inspiring investment purchases on show from forty-five exhibitors at this friendly and fashionable event. Complimentary tickets are available via the web site

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EDITORIAL ASSISTANT salary from £12,000 Over the last ten years we have established two of the most successful and prolific city magazines in the UK. The Bristol Magazine is Bristol’s biggest premium lifestyle magazine. The Bath Magazine is Bath’s biggest monthly, glossy title. Both publications are founded on exceptionally strong editorial with content that engages and delights readers time and time again. Due to internal promotion we are able to offer a rare opportunity for a talented editorial assistant to work closely with the editor, providing editorial and design support across both titles, and, in particular to take a lead role overseeing all submissions and content for our informative events pages. The position involves liaising with theatres, galleries and individual promoters, and therefore requires the ability to get on with people as well as good organisational and administrative skills, great communication, coupled with a sharp eye for detail. This is an ideal opportunity for an exceptionally bright individual who is looking to develop their editorial career. The role requires accurate editorial skills, including typing, proofreading and copy editing. Ideally you will also possess good knowledge of layout in Quark, InDesign and Photoshop. At MC Publishing Ltd we love producing superb magazines and offer a creative and stimulating environment. The right candidate will have the opportunity of a long term career with a company that rewards success. Send your CV and covering letter, with an example of your writing style, to: Georgette McCready, The Bath Magazine, MC Publishing Limited, 2 Princes Buildings, George Street, Bath BA1 2ED. Closing date: Friday 24 February 2102 email: www.






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Paul Smith, Lovers, hand carved clay sculpture, at Rostra and Rooksmoor Galleries


Galleries, artists & exhibitions From all the latest exhibitions in and around the city, to profiles of established galleries and artists, we bring you a comprehensive guide to Bath’s vibrant art scene




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galleries,ARTISTS&EXHIBITIONS EXHIBITION: I LOVE ART Rostra & Rooksmoor Galleries 5 George Street, Bath.Tel:01225 448121

2 – 29 February The gallery loves handmade items and this month it is celebrating that fact with delightful new paper cuts by Rebecca Coles and Helen Musselwhite, original prints by old romantics Trevor Price RE and Mychael Barratt and ceramics by Paul Smith. And to tie in with the theme of love, you’ll find a selection of unique handmade Valentine’s cards, jewellery and other pretty tokens to woo that special person. A special feature of the exhibition is the work of Dan Baldwin. Dan Baldwin is a highly collectable young British artist and his work has a sinister yet beautiful feel to it – dealing with topics such as life and death, innocence, beauty, decay, and vanity. Most recently one of his decorated vases reached £22,000 at auction.

EXHIBITION: THREE KINGDOMS Bo.lee Gallery 1 Queen Street, Bath. Tel: 01225 428 211

Until 22 February In celebration of the gallery’s third birthday, bo.lee introduces an idiosyncratic show featuring established gallery artists alongside a selection of guests, each inspired to consider the singular notion of classification which holds the number three at its core: the three kingdoms of matter – animal, vegetable or mineral. These three factions unite and absorb each artist in sundry ways; the most general classification of all things, the very definition of life or ambiguous categorisation unperturbed by the fluidity of the world in which we reside. Artists including Beth Carter, Patrick Haines, Gill Rocca and Sarah Ball have produced new works especially for this celebratory show.


ONE TO WATCH.... You may have been intrigued by our front cover this month, and it’s all down to artist Keith Varney. Keith, 53, enrolled at the City of Bath College six years ago to take a course in stained and kiln-formed glass, before moving on to the Design Crafts National Diploma, where he found a new talent and the start of successful career in ceramics. “I’m a cabinet maker by trade but I wanted a new challenge, so I made the decision to find something new to do with my life which would make me happy,” said Keith. “I loved every minute of the course... I was doing something I really wanted to do and it gave me the freedom to be completely creative.” Keith then went on to Bath Spa University to do a degree in 3D Design Ceramics and since then his career has gone from strength to strength. Keith, from Radstock, has exhibited his work at Tent London – one of the largest design trade shows which takes place during the London Design Festival – and also at the Joanna Bird Pottery exhibition in London, alongside some of the biggest names in the world of ceramics. He is currently exhibiting his work at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (RBSA) gallery and closer to home, at the Quest Gallery, Margaret Buildings, Bath. Keith has also returned to City of Bath College, but this time it’s to pass on his skills to other budding artists as a part-time studio technician. For more information visit:

Rose Sanderson, Nectar




Frosche in Bauch-und Ruckenlage, 1896. Josef Maria Eder. The Kodak Collection at the National Media Museum

The Holburne Museum Great Pulteney Street, Bath. Tel: 01225 388569

11 February – 7 May Art of Arrangement: Photography and the Still Life Tradition is a visually arresting exhibition, organised in partnership with the National Media Museum, that surveys the many ways in which photographers have explored still life, from the early 19th century to the present day. When early photographers adopted the still life genre, they inherited a rich visual tradition, found in centuries of painting. It is a tradition full of lavish, exotic and sometimes dark arrangements, full of symbolic depth and meaning. Historically, painters used the rich decorative possibilities of still life to demonstrate their technical skill and to create a feast for the senses. Photographers have extended the possibilities of the still life genre and tradition, not only using the subject as a vehicle for creative expression, but for documentary and scientific enquiry, and for the development of inventories and catalogues. This exhibition considers the formal and aesthetic conventions photographers have used, and how they have been adapted and subverted to invest new meaning in the photograph. Featuring photographs by Ansel Adams, Harold Edgerton, Roger Fenton, Edward Steichen, William Henry Fox Talbot and Madame Yevonde, as well as contemporary photographers such as Chris Killip and Don McCullin.

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This year promises to be an exciting one for Bath’s Victoria Art Gallery with some fascinating exhibitions to inspire visitors ■ Painting and prints by celebrated artist, Gillian Ayres – profiled right – will be on display from 11 February until 21 March. Known for painting with bold colours and textures on a large scale, Gillian has collaborated with the local 107 Workshop, amongst others, to replicate this style in limited editions. These form the backbone to the show, which also features a group of new oil paintings and hand-coloured carborundum prints. Enjoy a free tour of the exhibition with gallery manager, Jon Benington on Friday 2 March, 12.45 – 1.45. ■ David Brayne: the Somerset Levels runs at the gallery from 11 February – 21 March. A Member of the Royal Watercolour Society, David has lived close to the Somerset Levels for many years. This flat, watery land touches much of his new work, not least in the paints he uses which are mixed from ingredients such as locally sourced ochre. His paintings distill shapes and colours to their essential yet evocative cores. For the latest information, including opening times, special events and future exhibitions, visit:

Images: above right, Gillian Ayres, Hal Summers, 2010; below, David Brayne, Swimming in the Quay

Artist Profile: Gillian Ayres Gillian Ayres, Royal Academician and recent recipient of a CBE, is one of the foremost abstract painters in Britain. As well as the vibrant, heavily worked canvases for which she is best known, she is also a dedicated creator of gouaches, etchings, woodcuts and monoprints. Ayres's dazzling colours and bold designs – often featuring plant and tree motifs – will find a highly appropriate temporary home at Bath’s Victoria Art Gallery. She requested the exhibition herself, recalling the years she spent on the staff of the Bath Academy of Art, Corsham Court (19591965). She is also represented in the gallery's permanent collection with an early oil painting, Sun Up, dating from 1960. A more recent link with Bath is that the majority of the prints in this show were proofed by Gillian Ayres working alongside master printmaker Jack Shirreff, who then editioned them on the presses at his 107 Workshop near Bath. Gillian says: "I get into the studio at about 10.30 every morning and paint into the night. Painting is an act of joy, it is all I want to do. If I’m not working then I feel I am wasting time." Ayres also taught at St. Martin's School of Art, Winchester School of Art and Royal College of Art and was made a Royal Academician in 1991. Her work can be found in the permanent collections of the British Museum, Tate Britain, the Arts Council of England and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Ayres, who was born in 1930, decided to become a painter aged fourteen. She studied at Camberwell School of Art from 1946-50, before running the AIA Gallery in London with painter Henry Mundy, whom she married. Her early influences were the American Abstract Expressionists, especially the painter Jackson Pollock. In later years she continued to develop her almost instinctive approach to colour, not least in her prints and gouaches which retain all the vibrancy and dynamism of her oils. See her work at the Victoria Art Gallery until 21 March.


EXHIBITION: PETER ANDERSON ICIA Art Space 3 University of Bath. Tel: 01225 386777

15 February – 4 May As London 2012 approaches, the University of Bath’s artist in residence, Peter Anderson, will work alongside elite athletes training for the Olympic and Paralympic games. Peter’s films will be presented on multi-screens, constantly changing throughout his residency. This exhibition will inform his final film: On Your Marks 2, which is being specially created to be screened on BBC Big Screens and other live screen sites in town and city centres across the south west during 2012.

EXHIBITION: ABOUT BATH Nick Cudworth Gallery 5 London Street, Bath. Tel: 01225 445221

Throughout February

Nick Cudworth, Towpath

As well as Nick’s paintings and prints of Bath, on show will be a series of paintings of the nine white horses of Wiltshire. The year ahead promises to be busy for Nick with an exhibition of at The Biscuit Factory in Newcastle from June to September, his Still Life in Rock and Roll exhibition at Stroud Museum in September and works on show at the RUH from May onwards.

EXHIBITION: DAVID PIDDOCK – THE PERSPECTIVE OF TIME Adam Gallery 13 John Street, Bath. Tel: 01225 480406

Until 10 February David Piddock’s new work is dominated by a series of panoramic urban landscapes that make innovative use of rotating viewpoints.







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Rose Hilton

EXHIBITION: JO LONGHURST – SUSPENSION ICIA Art Space 2 University of Bath. Tel: 01225 386777

Clive Jebbett, Green Tango

Bath Contemporary 35 Gay Street, Bath. Tel: 01225 461230

13 February – 4 May

4 – 17 February

An exhibition of paintings by Clive Jebbett. Born in 1951 in North London, Clive attended Colchester School of Art before leaving to define and hone his own distinctive style of painting. His use of colour and shade both intrigues and provokes, leaving the viewer with a sense of familiarity and intimacy, encouraging a longer look into the fleeting figures and shadows and stimulating a desire to learn more. Clive’s work is in both private and public collections in the United Kingdom, Europe and North America and in 2010 he was listed as one of a select few British artists to appear in the 34th edition of Who’s Who in Art. Clive works with a concentration on the geometry of the composition, the shapes within it, the finish of the texture of the painting’s surface and the play of light within the painting. It is his attention to the manipulation of the light and focus of a composition that Clive particularly masters, using these elements as clever tools to surprise and delight the viewer.


Artist Profile:

This exhibition features work developed over the last four years including A-Z and Suspension (1), a large-scale wallpaper work specially printed for ICIA. Incorporating hundreds of editorial sports photographs appropriated from various archives and mounted on individual blocks along the gallery wall, Jo explores the human body in action.

EXHIBITION: SUE BINNS & PHILIP WOOD Gallery Nine Margaret’s Buildings, Bath.

Until 31 March Beautiful ceramics by Sue Binns, whose simple but striking blue and white striped wares come in the form of tiny espresso cups and large jugs and bowls; and Philip Wood’s unique earthenware ceramics have a mellow terracotta and cream finish, each piece featuring different animals.

Even from an early age, Rose Hilton’s, nee Phipps, artistic talents were recognised and praised. She persuaded her parents to allow her to study at the Beckenham School of Art and in 1953, she won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in London where she won the life drawing and painting prize as well as the Abbey Minor scholarship to Rome in 1958, where she spent a year. On her return she met and fell in love with the very successful artist Roger Hilton whom she married and started a family with. Roger would only allow room for one artist in the family however, and so Rose gave up her career to spend time looking after the children. During this period she learned a great deal from her husband's artistic philosophy and painted sporadically, but she didn’t take it up again properly until he died in 1974. Rose steadily built a reputation as a major St Ives artist and now in her 80th year, she is very successful and highly collectable, having exhibited at galleries across the country including the Tate St Ives and a major retrospective at the Northern Lights gallery in Huddersfield. Rose’s forthcoming exhibition: Drawing Retrospective, at her son Bo’s gallery, Hilton Fine Art, later this month is a celebration of her drawings in various mediums from the past 10 years. Drawing has always been an important part of Rose’s practice and she is a naturally gifted draughtsman influenced by Matisse, Bonnard and Rodin, particularly in their expression of colour. In the 1980’s, Rose went along to visionary artist Cecil Collins’ life drawing classes where she was encouraged to study models through feeling and personal response, and this is evident in her sensual female nude drawings. Rose has built on influences over the years to create her own style which is instantly recognisable – her free drawings break the limitations of academic correctness, lending an organic and abstract feel to her work. Rose’s Drawing Retrospective exhibition runs from 25 February – 17 March at Hilton Fine Art, Margaret’s Buildings, Bath. Image: Above left, nude drawing by Rose Hilton; below: Rose in her studio

Clive Jebbett, Third Book of Dreams







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Catherine Beale, pictured below, is a portrait painter and contemporary watercolourist from the village of Wellow, just south of Bath. In 2006, she attended intensive life drawing classes with Saied Dai RA at Bath Artist Studios and has since exhibited her portraits at the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours, the Royal West of England Academy, the Holburne Portrait Prize and the Bath Society of Artists’ Summer Exhibition. Portraits of people and dogs make up the main body of her work but she also exhibits misty and atmospheric landscape paintings inspired by the Somerset countryside around her studio. Catherine is particularly good at painting children, and a portrait of your child is a beautiful keepsake. Catherine says: “For over 15 years I have enjoyed the challenge of painting portraits, in the UK and Asia. I have picked up a few dos and don’ts along the way but I’ve captured the best likenesses when I have stayed in the moment with the sitter. One essential ‘do’ is to plan visits for the time of day to capture the right light. My subject is natural light falling on the subject – the way it gives eyes glassy depths or hides form in shadow. The best poses are often captured in the middle of a visit when a child is not too tired or bored, but used to being observed. Often a distraction is needed and so my studio has lots of arty clutter for children to play with like a giant paint brush. Searching out a place that a child enjoys often forms a meaningful backdrop to a portrait. It was sensible to group one family of sports-mad brothers outdoors in bright sunlight. We found a small woodland area where they relaxed and some lovely chemistry came out from these poses.” A watercolour of Catherine’s son, pictured above, is on show at the Trowbridge Gallery, Castle Cary. It was selected for the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colour exhibition in London. All her watercolour portraits can all be found at and she welcomes commissions of children, adults and dogs.


EXHIBITION: LOCAL ARTISTS Beaux Arts 12 – 13 York Street, Bath. Tel: 01225 464850

Throughout February For its first exhibition of the year, Beaux Arts brings two local artists together. Talented Bristolbased artist Chuck Elliott’s vibrant, colourful prints will feature alongside new work in porcelain from Takeshi Yasuda, one of the leading lights in world ceramics. Takeshi Yasuda, porcelain bowl with colloidal gold

EXHIBITION: CHRIS WILLIAMS – PRINTING THE PLANETS Herschel Museum of Astronomy New King Street, Bath. Tel: 01225 446865

2 February – 16 April Astronomical artist Chris Williams, who exhibited at the Herschel in 2009, returns with an exhibition of his new works in the Caroline Lucretia gallery. Chris combines his skills as a fine craftsman and designer with his passion for stargazing. He is inspired by elements of astronomy, cosmology and physics to create works of extraordinary power and elegance.

This unique museum in Bennett Street Bath houses a fine collection of ceramics, jades, bronzes and much more from China, Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia and is the only museum in the UK dedicated solely to arts and cultures of East and Southeast Asia. Since opening in April 1993, the Museum has gone from strength to strength, and has become one of the most extensive collections of East Asian art outside London. The wide ranging collection of almost 2,000 objects, ranging in date from c.5000 BC to the present day, is interpreted in a lively and innovative manner and alongside the active events programme and new publications, is designed to encourage a greater understanding of East Asian art and cultures. Having recently been closed for refurbishment, the gallery space and the museum will re-open this month with some fantastic exhibitions: ■ From 25 February until 24 June Porcelain Jewels: Figures from the Hirado Mikawachi Kilns of Japan will explore the different types of figures produced at the Hirado Mikawachi kilns, established by the end of the 17th century in Hirado fief in present-day Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan. The kilns were originally for the exclusive use of the daimyo, or territorial lord of Hirado fief. ■ Chinese Zodiac in Bath runs from 25 February until 24 June showcasing local artist Aili Purdy’s latest works, which were developed in partnership with the Museum of East Asian Art. See Aili’s series of paintings incorporating the traditional Chinese zodiac with local scenes of Bath, as well as some of the Museum’s objects.


EXHIBITION: EMMA ROSE Wildoak Residential Fountain Buildings, Bath.

Ongoing Emma’s must-see abstract land and sea scapes feature glorious colour and texture.




Aili Purdy, Zodiac 2004

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Bath Abbey, a watercolour by artist Steve Hall

ART FROM THE HEART Lindsey Harrad discovers how a passion for painting became a successful second career for ex-Bath City FC Chairman Steve Hall


e have to make our own luck in life, I’m a great believer in seeing an opportunity and taking it,” says Steve Hall, watercolour artist, tutor and author. The discovery of his talent for watercolour painting evolved into a thriving second career after he had taken early retirement from his role as assistant principal of Gwent Tertiary College in 1994, aged 50. Now living in Bradford on Avon, Steve combines his creative talent with his passion for teaching, running courses throughout the UK for students ranging from complete beginners to talented amateurs. Steve’s own art is in demand, and as Samantha Walker, the author of a new book about his paintings, says: “When it comes to classic English landscapes few can really capture the changing mood and seasons as well as Steve Hall. His watercolours of English and Continental landscapes engage the viewer, drawing them into the scene and revealing subtle details that often emerge over time.” The book, Painting from the Heart, is also a touching reminder that Steve’s new career has flourished despite suffering tremendous heartbreak. In 1996, Melanie Hall, Steve and his wife Pat’s youngest daughter, disappeared from a Bath nightclub, aged 25, and her remains were not discovered until 14 years later. Her murder remains unsolved. Undoubtedly, Steve’s positive attitude and resilient character helped him through the darkest days and although he says that his paintings are not intended as memorials to Melanie, he was first inspired to pick up a paintbrush as a way to fill the terrible months after she disappeared. In the following year, also motivated by a desire to keep busy, he became chairman of Bath City Football Club and helped the club establish firmer foundations. Steve has been particularly influenced by the artist Edward Wesson. “I had no real style of my own when I started painting,” he says, “I hadn’t even heard of Wesson until I came across a book on him and it was a real lightbulb moment for me. I contacted the author of the book, Barry Miles, and we became friends. We went on to write three books together.” When Steve turned 60 five years ago he realised that he could make a career out of painting and decided to go full time. “I never intended to retire really, I want to work until I drop!” he laughs. “I made a DVD, produced a glossy brochure, started writing for art magazines, the works. I’m a people person, which is why I went into teaching originally, and I found that other people who enjoy painting like to improve their skills in a nice environment with like-minded artists.” Steve has now produced four DVDs, has written five books on artists and runs a programme of landscape watercolour courses in the UK and Italy. “I suppose you could say I have the wisdom of age, but I also have the benefit of experience. I had to reinvent myself to get through a very difficult time after Melanie disappeared. Painting from the Heart is a celebration of everything I have achieved, and is dedicated to my friends, family and students.” ■ Steve Hall: Painting from the Heart by Samantha Walker, published by Butler, Tanner & Dennis, £29.95, from Steve Hall or the Oldfield Park bookshop. For Steve’s watercolour courses, email: or tel: 01225 868086, visit: WWW.THEBATHMAGAZINE.CO.UK




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ESCAPE TO THE COAST Looking forward to spring Megan Tatum recommends a city-seaside break in lively, cultural Brighton


amous for the paradox of its vibrant and hedonistic cultural scene set against the nostalgic backdrop of traditional pebbled beaches, Brighton has long tempted tired city dwellers to its shores. At just a few hours from the west country by train it makes for the ideal weekend break to either relax and recoup, or to dive headfirst into its buzzing eclectic mix of sights, sounds and experiences. Although affectionately dubbed Little London it avoids the ennui of a sprawling concrete mass, retaining the quirkiness and colour that has attracted visitors for generations. It was circumstance rather than choice that first took me to the city a few years ago but I have remained faithful to its charms, returning time and time again to find surprises round each corner.

Brighton looks as though it is a ❝ town helping the police with their enquiries ❞ Writer Keith Waterhouse

On arrival at the central train station, a short downhill stroll takes you into the heart of the city’s cultural epicentre, The Lanes, where narrow cobbled streets lead the way through a maze of independent shops and cafés. From chic charity shops to contemporary jewellery boutiques to oh-so-cool vintage clothing outlets, this part of the city is perfect for retail therapy with a twist. When the jostling crowds get too much, escape from the hubbub to the tiny Casa don Carlos in Union Street where the authentic Spanish hot chocolate is divine, and delicious freshly cooked tapas is served steaming hot around cosy oak tables. Walking towards the city centre you pass the Royal Pavilion, its Indian-inspired turrets as exotic as they were upon its completion in the 17th century as a pleasure palace for the Prince Regent. Its ongoing restoration has brought the lavish interiors back to their former glory and it’s well worth a visit. No visit to Brighton would be complete without sampling the legendary coastline and its modern perspective on the traditional seaside break. Pale British bodies strewn over red-striped deckchairs sit comfortably alongside chic beach bars serving up everything from snacks and coffee, to full-blown three course meals. Just as atmospheric though is a portion of delicious fish 40 THEBATHMAGAZINE



and chips eaten with toes buried in the sand as the sun glints off the waves. As evening draws in the city comes to life with an eclectic mix of excellent pubs, bars and restaurants serving up cuisine from across the globe. A great place to start the night is The Foundry, just off North Street, where its cosy décor of oversized leather armchairs and dimly glowing candles envelops like a warm blanket. Brighton’s restaurants cater for the even the pickiest of palates, but a personal favourite of mine is the Genghis Khan serving ‘interactive’ Mongolian cuisine. Rather than waiting for a server, guests are invited to pile their bowls high with a huge buffet-style choice of meats, veg, herbs, and spices before handing to a chef to be sizzled on the hot plate into a BBQ blended masterpiece. The set menu allows limitless trips so you can experiment with different mixes and creations to achieve that perfect dish. If you’re booked into a hotel then walk just a few minutes after dinner to Japanese cocktail bar, Madame Geisha, tucked away up East Street, but far from shy and retiring. Its drinks list features traditional cocktails with a sake twist served in an incredible bar that deserves its own art exhibition. Bold anime paintings snake across the walls above the minimalist furniture and beautiful Japanese prints adorn the seating. Its contemporary twist on traditional pan-Asian culture reflects perfectly the attitude of Brighton as a city, and offers a fantastic way to end the day in the midst of the city’s own cultural cocktail. ■ How to get there: Direct train services from Bristol leave once a day in each direction. Advance singles booked approximately two weeks ahead will set you back around £20 each way from Bristol Temple Meads. Upcoming events: Food and Drink Spring Harvest Festival, 30 March to 9 April Brighton Arts Festival, 5 to 27 May, Foodies Festival, 25 to 27 May, Brighton Marathon, 15 April, Yacht Race 1 June Where to stay: For information on hotels and B&Bs visit:

SUSSEX BY THE SEA: main picture, the domes of Brighton Pavilion. Top, traditional pastimes include strolling along the pier or lolling in a deckchair, below, the bustling Lanes area packed with independent shops, cafés and restaurants

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Small Ship Cruise Expeditions

A bespoke portfolio of fascinating itineraries aboard comfortable, fine quality small ships. Unique travel experiences for the curious and discerning. SOUTH SEAS ODYSSEY - Celebrate Christmas on Pitcairn Island during an epic voyage from Easter Island to Fiji via the Gambier Islands, the Tuamotus, Tahiti, the Society Islands, the Cook Islands, Niue, Tonga and Wallis & Futuna Group. Depart 16 December 2012 ex London via Santiago to Easter Island return 21 January 2013. The portfolio has an enticing array of options from around coastal Britain, circumnavigation of Iceland, Norwegian Fjords to Murmansk and the White Sea, the intimate Mediterranean, the Levant and Black Sea, West to South Africa, South America and coastal New Zealand. Explore in depth at : or call John Kennedy on: 0117 946 6000





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A STAR PERFORMANCE The all new Mercedes B Class pays as much attention to the passengers’ needs as the driver’s desires, as TBM’s motoring correspondent Jeff Osborne found out when he took it for a test drive


must say Mercedes Benz is a brand I’ve always wanted to test drive, but never had the chance, so when the opportunity came up I just leapt at it. Long being recognised as one of the team leaders in deluxe, stylish, luxurious cars made affordable to everyday people, I was looking forward to finding out whether Mercedes Benz would live up to my high expectations. I met Mercedes business development manager Nick Richardson at the showroom in Cribbs Causeway and was introduced to my companion for the weekend, a B200 BlueEFFICIENCY. The new B-Class is a typical Mercedes sports tourer, offering plenty of space combined with impressive dynamic performance as a hatchback saloon. The new sporty lines and the outstanding aerodynamics are particularly evident in the side line: the bonnet flows seamlessly into the A-pillar and the roof line descends sleekly to the striking roof spoiler. The roof features a contoured line which lends the vehicle a longer appearance. The pronounced wheel arches offset by dynamic feature lines under the beltline are a sporty interpretation of the current design line from Mercedes-Benz. The bottom edge of the body features dynamic side skirts which add a light touch to the vehicle’s appearance. Refined details such as the exquisitely designed headlamps with the new spotlight element confirm the brand’s unmistakable premium credentials which shine through in the compact segment, too. Inside, I was really impressed with both the space and the quality of finish. The large, three-dimensional trim covering the entire dashboard first strikes the eye. It is available in four variants, from modern through sporty to classic. Common to all versions is a high-class appeal combining an attractive look and feel with easy care and durability. The cabin is nicely trimmed with high-quality materials and high-speed refinement is good. The B-Class Sport is equipped with lower sports suspension and direct steer system. The driver’s seat gives both great view and is comfortable. In the 42 THEBATHMAGAZINE



rear seats you have 976mm of legroom (I tried both seating positions and at 6’3” I had ample amounts of leg room), the BClass aces even the S-Class luxury saloon, and when folding the seats you are given huge luggage space. The 3-spoke leather trimmed steering wheel, which always incorporates a silver chrome insert in the middle spoke, the instrument cluster with four analogue round dials and suspended pointers in the 6 o’clock position and the seats with contrasting stitching underscore the sporty character. Once on the road, I found the new front-drive chassis very impressive – there’s not much body roll, and it always feels secure and precise. The car held the road well when pushing it briskly around the narrow country roads on its 18” bi-colour alloy wheels. The six speed gearbox was smooth and extremely easy to use, and the engine is very responsive when needed. The scope of restraint facilities takes special account of the B-Class’ use as a family car. Great importance has been attached to the safety of the rear occupants. Belt tensioners, belt-force limiters and belt height adjusters come as standard on the outer seats. Rear sidebags are optionally available. Integrated child seats and automatic child seat recognition are available as in the predecessor. Driver and co-driver are provided with new pelvis bags which are able to cover the pelvis and the entire upper part of the body. For head protection, a windowbag is fitted as standard. The B Class features both new petrol and diesel engines, all of which are turbocharged, as well as new manual and automatic transmissions, and an ECO start/stop function is standard on all B-Class models. The fuel efficiency ranges from 45mpg to 65mpg and CO² 116 to 145. Prices range from £20,530 to £25,515. Now, would I purchase a Mercedes B Class car if I was on the outlook for a family car that’s not only deluxe but delightful? I most definitely would! ■ To arrange a test drive contact: Mercedes-Benz of Bristol. Lysander Road Cribbs Causeway Bristol BS10 7UB. Tel: 0117 329 5600

DELUXE & DELIGHTFUL: the new B-Class outside the Bristol Old Vic Theatre on King Street

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The Hannafore Point Hotel

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A TABLE FOR TWO? With Valentine’s Day upon us TBM gets the red rose between its teeth and goes in search of your favourite restaurants for a romantic rendezvous – whatever the date says on the calendar

t’s not compulsory to take your loved one out wining and dining on Valentine’s Day – there are plenty of other days in the year when you can make a big romantic gesture without it feeling quite so contrived. Not everybody responds well to a wandering red rose salesman popping up while they’re eating, or to the couple giving each other the frosty treatment at an adjoining table. We’ve carried out a highly unscientific survey in The Bath Magazine office to bring you some suggestions of where you might take a date for a romantic meal. Like the loved-up couple in Disney’s Lady and the Tramp, you can’t go far wrong with a warm-hearted Italian dinner. The Martini Ristorante in George Street makes its diners feel special, the lighting is romanticaly subdued, the food is beautifully prepared and they do a mean Manhatten cocktail to put one in celebratory mood.


Desserts are like mistresses. ❝ They are bad for you. So, if you are having one, you may as well Chef Alain Ducasse have two

If you’re pushing the boat out for an anniversary or special date then The Circus restaurant, with its inspiring menu of British contemporary dishes, or Casanis French restaurant in Saville Row are both great places to dine a deux, with delicious dishes and a real sense of occasion without being too fussy. And if French food is your favourite you can’t beat that old Bath stalwart, the Beaujolais in Chapel Row. The combination of live jazz, a relaxed atmosphere and

intimate candelight makes the Green Park Brasserie another favourite place for a date. It specialises in local, seasonal produce and is proud to source many of its ingredients from the Green Park Market next door. It’s also reasonably priced. If you’re both avid carnivores then head for Hudsons Bar and Grill at the end of Walcot Street. It doesn’t stint on the candlelit mood and you can’t beat a traditional, locally produced steak with chips. And if it’s fish that floats your boat, woo each other over oysters and Champagne at Loch Fyne, which prides itself on ethically sourced fresh fish. Some like it hot and spicy, so if Indian cuisine is your thing you can go for the more traditional with The Eastern Eye and its impressive vaulted, painted ceiling, or the Rajpoot which has intimate, lantern-lit booths ideal for cosying up in. But if you prefer a contemporary approach to Indian food then try The Mint Room where every dish is as pretty as a picture. Foodies will enjoy the ececletic mix of dishes on the menu at The Tasting Room bistro in Green Street, or the chance to feed morsels of tapas to each other. Dating someone who’s a staunch vegetarian can sometimes be a challenge but you can win major romantic brownie points by taking them to Demuths. This is far from the worthy brown rice genre of veggie cooking – you won’t even miss the meat, honestly. Be independently minded and make a reservation at any one of Bath’s relaxed but trendy gastro pubs, such as the King William, a candelit refuge on the London Road, The Chequers in Rivers Street or The Marlborough Tavern by Royal Victoria Park. All serve good, honest British food at its best. If you really want to make the grand gesture for your loved one, as some wise Bathonians already do, and book yourselves in for divinely decadent dinner, bed and breakfast at one of the hotels which do all three so perfectly. If the wallet stretches to it, prime candidates for this would include The Priory, Bath, Lucknam Park or Homewood Park. ■

There is ❝ no love sincerer than the love of food

GB Shaw

Your words are my food, your breath my ❝ wine. You are everything to me ❞

Sarah Bernhardt

Online community aims to champion independent food and drink producers A pair of graduates from overseas who were warned when they came to the UK that the food would be awful, have launched a new foodie business to spread the word about the great local produce available in the south west. The University of Bath graduates, Ruben Kostucki, who studied biochemical engineering graduate, and business administration graduate, Sebastian




Powell, have set up Flavrbox, to champion independent food and drink producers. The website aims to help the producers sell their goods to individuals rather than corporate buyers, in the same way as a farmers’ market by creating a connection between the supplier and the buyer. The online market place consists of 17 producers and more than 200

lines, including handmade duck liver pate, baobob jam and Wrekin blue cheese, all of which are independently and locally sourced. Ruben said: “Sebastian and I are not originally from the UK and had been told British food wasn’t that great, which we initially found from solely shopping in supermarkets. It was only later that we discovered the magical world of a farmers’ market and got

enlightened by the fact that British food was actually amazingly good and tasty and very diverse as well. Having ventured away from the high street into the likes of Green Park market and the Bath Organic Group, we discovered some delicious products.” Flavrbox aims to work with more than 400 producers and showcase over 4000 products by the end of the year.

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Wedding Open Day at Guyers House Hotel - 19th February 2012

Come and experience the charm of this lovely 17th Century House and its beautiful gardens which has made Guyers House Hotel such a glorious wedding venue. We have invited some outstanding wedding service suppliers including Wedding Dresses, Harpists, String Quartet, Florists, Magicians, Spectacular wedding cars, Videographer, Humanist Celebrant,Wedding Cakes. Complimentary Sparkling Wine & Canapes • Afternoon tea available Come and join us on 19th February 1pm to 4pm!

GUYERS HOUSE HOTEL & RESTAURANT Guyers Lane, Pickwick, Corsham Wiltshire SN13 0PS

01249 713399 (Guyers House, at Corsham, is between Bath and Chippenham and is signed directly off the A4 opposite the B3109 Bradford on Avon turning)

Valentines Day Dinner

Tuesday 14th February 2012

£65.00 per person

Valentine’s Day is the most romantic day of the year and Ston Easton Park is the perfect venue in which to spoil the special person in your life.

Head Chef,Tom Bally has created a special five-course Gourmet Valentine’s menu for the occasion.The cuisine is of award-winning stature and our cellars are stocked with fine wines and Champagnes, all adding to create a romantic evening to remember.

Shrove Tuesday

Tuesday 21st February 2012

£22.50 per person.

Celebrate Shrove Tuesday with a traditional afternoon tea and a selection of pancakes made to order by our own chefs in front of you. Relax by the open fire in the comfort of one of our lovely drawing rooms and enjoy finger sandwiches, freshly made scones and pastries as well as a selection of pancakes with mouth watering fillings. From 2pm until 4.30pm.





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Sotto Sotto 10 North Parade, Bath BA2 4AL. Tel: 01225 330236


THE UNDERGROUND ITALIAN STAR T he Bath Magazine is part of a growing number of organisations and individuals in the city who make up the Twitterati – ie those who tweet messages on the internet and to each other. Cynics say it’s a waste of workers’ time to be dreaming up pithy witticisms of 140 characters or less, others also argue that it’s no substitute for face-to-face networking and socialising. But when it came to finding somewhere new in Bath for a romantic dinner out, our virtual friends on the Twittery grapevine came up trumps by suggesting an Italian restaurant which has recently opened. Which is how my tastebuds ended up being transported to a sunny holiday in Italy, right here in a vault below the city streets. Don’t be put off by the steps down from the pavement in North Parade. It’s worth the effort, not only for the ambience and the excellent food, but for the warm and welcoming staff. Sotto Sotto (it means ‘underground’ in Italian I’m told by Gennaro a charming waiter from Milan) was opened in December by its joint owners, Antonio, Carlos and Guiseppe but has already gained a band of loyal followers.

the risotto is crowned with three ❝ jewels of smoky, melt-in-themouth queen scallops ❞ The vaults have been subtly lit, the lighting suitably flattering to worn stone and faces alike. We nibbled on olives with a glass of wine in the bar while perusing the menu. Antonio, who has worked in America and Italy, is horrified that English restaurants often charge for bread. As we take our seats in the dining area he brought us Guiseppe’s freshly baked foccacio, in a nest of rustic brown paper, with the finest olive oil and balsamic vinegar dip. We were content indeed. 46 THEBATHMAGAZINE



But our happiness increased with our starters. For J, a pretty pile of plump, pink prawns on bruschetta, with a garlicky kick. My calamari was beautifully presented, the tender hoops cooked in a delicate mix of seven herbs nestling in paper, accompanied by a tiny Kilner jar of garlic mayo and half a lemon to squeeze. For a moment I could almost feel the Mediterranean sun on my back as I experienced a Proustian moment of holiday flavours recaptured in a single dish. For my main course the risotto of the day, pea and mint, was so light and springlike, it went down easily. The risotto is crowned with three jewels of smoky, melt-in-the-mouth queen scallops. I might share my last Rolo but don’t ask me to part with a morsel of these beauties. John ordered a pasta dish of orecchiette with Italian sausage, tomato, chilli and garlic, topped with Italian turnip tops, a dark green leafy speciality. This hearty dish is simple but delicious – good ingredients perfectly cooked. We rest a while, listening to the low buzz of conversation from the other diners and the background music. On some nights when the restaurant is lively Gennaro likes to give diners a melodic blast of song from his favourite operas. Starters are from £5.25 to £7.75, pasta dishes are mostly under £8, while Sotto Sotto’s speciality main courses, such as sea bass with smoked prosciutto, range from £12.75 to £17.25 (for the classic osso buco alla milanese.) The puddings are dubbed ‘sinful delights’, peccati di gola, with seductive choices including profiteroles with limoncello, tiramisu and cuore caldo al cioccolato, which is what I opt for. This is a divine warm/cool combination of pistachio ice cream with hot chocolate fondant pudding and a salted caramel nutty sauce. Sometimes sinful is good. Puddings are all under a fiver. The Italian staff are attentive and happy to chat. We end the evening drinking limoncello, courtesy of Antonio, which brings on another memory of good times past. We raise a glass to good times present and yet to come. ■ GMc

VAULTING AMBITION: main picture, the dining room at Sotto Sotto, inset, one of Guiseppe’s freshly prepared dishes

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A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN writes Richard Lecoche of Great Western Wine


ine and chocolate paired together? Some say it isn’t possible, but trust me, it is. And when you get it right, it’s delicious. They are natural companions. Both have complex flavours, both have similar component parts. Indeed, both are made from fruit (the cocoa nibs from which chocolate is made are the seeds of the fruit on the cocoa tree). The flavours in both cacao pod and grape are a function of not only their rootstock, but of their soil, climate, and the weather conditions affecting any single harvest. Sound familiar? It’s always best to find a wine as sweet or flavoursome as the chocolate you’re eating with it, otherwise you risk making the chocolate taste flat or even sour. Darker and bittersweet chocolates go best with stronger red wines (try the Bogle Old Vine Zinfandel with a cocoa rich choc, heavenly!) – the cocoa butter in the chocolate mellows out the tannins and astringency of the wine. Milk and white chocolates pair better with light reds and sweet white wines, especially Muscat grape based wines like Muscat Beaumes de Venise. The perfect pairing balances sweetness, fruitiness, and acidity – and your own preferences, of course. Vintage Port is best left to Mr Stilton, but a Tawny Port, however, is aged for many years in oak barrels, softening, and adding nutty, toffee notes. Buy a well-aged one for fullness of flavour and serve it lightly chilled. Now bring out your very best, very darkest high cocoa content chocolate – delectable! Next time you purchase some fancy chocs (Valentine’s anyone?), buy a wine to match. Try it. It works, and you’ll never look back. Enjoy! Recommended wines: Bogle Old Vine Zinfandel £12.95 from GWW |Pigeade Muscat Beaumes de Venise £15.50 or £8.95 (half bottle) from GWW |Tawny Ports widely available. ■

Matthew Jukes Top 100 Best Australian Wines Roadshow Thursday 9 February from 7-9pm, at Great Western Wine at the foot of Wellsway, Bath Wine tasting with the world renowned journalist Matthew Jukes, who publishes a very influential list of his Top 100 Australian wines. Matthew will introduce around 20 of the top 100 wines to taste. This includes some of Australia’s most legendary wines, including Glaetzer, Kooyong, MountLangi, Parker, Peter Lehmann, Skillogalee, Xanadu, Tim Knapstein. In just its second year the Top 100 Roadshow is already known as one of the best opportunities to try Australia’s finest wines – as anyone who tasted their way through over £1,000 of wine at the 2010 Bath event will know. £15 per ticket, tel: 01225 322810 or visit:


Est. 1980


Highly recommended by food Guides and critics Recipient of

for four consecutive years as the best in South West and one of the 10 best in Britain OPEN DAILY including Holidays 12-2.30pm and 6pm to 11pm • Friday and Saturday till 11.30pm SPECIAL LUNCH £8.25 - (Monday to Friday)

4 Argyle Street, Bath BA2 4BA Tel: 01225 466833 / 464758 •




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FINANCEspecial Now that the Christmas and New Year celebrations are over, this is the ideal time to blow the cobwebs away from your files and give your finances a spring clean.

TAXATION AND PERSONAL FINANCE Against a backdrop of national austerity measures, exploring every possible way to make already stretched finances go a little further is near compulsory.

Roger Perry, Director at Monahans Financial Services Ltd, highlights the key financial planning areas you should be looking at: • Review your investments to ensure they are still in line with your attitude to risk and are on target to meet your objectives. • Make sure you use your ISA allowance of up to £10,680 before 5 April 2012 to boost your investment funds. • Review your pension plans to make sure they are on course to provide you with the income in retirement you require. • Make a pension contribution before 5 April 2012 and obtain tax relief at the highest marginal rate you pay. • Review your mortgage to ensure you are getting the best deal.

As we start to plan for the new tax year from 6th April, TBM have assembled Bath’s leading accounting and financial specialists for some timely words of wisdom to help make the money we have, work a lot harder.

• Make sure your will is up to date or make one if you have not done so. • Create an enduring power of attorney. • Review your life assurance and income protection arrangements to make sure they are in line with your current situation. • Shop around to make sure you are getting the best interest rate on your cash savings. • Arrange a meeting with Monahans Financial Services Ltd for a financial review. To arrange a free initial meeting, call Roger Perry on (01225) 785570 or email him at

▲ ▲ ▲ Monahans Financial Services Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.




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After losing a loved one, one of the most difficult things to have to face is a disagreement over the division of the assets within a Will, or a dispute if there is no Will at all.


nfortunately in today’s society with ever more complex family set ups and a rise in the number of people who have drafted their own Wills, disputes over inheritances are more common than ever before. If you are confronted with a situation where you feel you have been unfairly overlooked in the last Will and Testament of your nearest and dearest, you may naturally assume that nothing can be done to reverse those final wishes; however, in certain circumstance it is actually possible to dispute a Will’s validity and its content. How can a Will be contested? As the law stands, a Will is recognised as valid provided that it complies with statutory formalities under the Wills Act 1837, and that the person making the Will is of completely sound mind. There are, however, a number of incidences where a Will could be deemed to be invalid. For example if the deceased was pressured or coerced into signing the Will (this is called undue influence) or if the deceased lacked the necessary mental capacity to sign or to give instructions for a Will. This could happen where the person was suffering from dementia or a comparable mental illness when the Will was drafted. Often alarm bells ring in particularly unusual or suspicious situations, for example where a large proportion of money is divested away from the family to a ‘friend’ of the deceased. If it can be proven that the individual at the time of making the Will did not understand what they were signing, they lacked mental capacity or that they were unduly influenced by another person(s), it may in fact be deemed invalid. WWW.THEBATHMAGAZINE.CO.UK

This would automatically provide an opportunity to challenge the Will in Court. Unfortunately disputes also frequently arise because a Will has been drafted incorrectly either by a professional or at home. Such mistakes are becoming more common thanks to the increase in do-it-yourself Wills found online or from supermarkets or by Wills drafted by unqualified Will Writers. Although these may be suitable for people with simple affairs, anyone with a larger estate or more intricate finances (for example those with children from a previous marriage or those whose estates exceed the Inheritance Tax threshold) should seek professional legal and financial advice. If you have reason to believe that a Will has been negligently drafted because it did not reflect the wishes of the deceased or was incorrectly drafted and signed, then you can potentially pursue a claim for professional negligence.

What to do next? If you are thinking of challenging a Will, it is important to seek specialist legal advice as soon as possible because strict time limits may be imposed and any time delay may prevent you getting the sums to which you are entitled. For further information about challenging a Will or to discuss another inheritance disputerelated issue, please contact Luke Watson, Partner and Head of Dispute Resolution at Mowbray Woodwards Solicitors, on 01225 485700 or via email at

Can anything be done if a Will is valid, but you believe that you have been unfairly provided for within that Will? If you believe that you have not been properly provided for, either in the Will that was prepared by the deceased or because the deceased’s estate was dealt with under the intestacy rules because there was no Will, then you could potentially have a right to make a claim against the estate. The law can provide protection for family members and other categorised individuals, and that protection comes in the shape of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. There are certain relationship criteria and timeframes which you must adhere to in order to be entitled to make a claim.

Luke Watson, Partner and Head of Dispute Resolution at Mowbray Woodwards Solicitors

Mowbray Woodwards Solicitors, 3 Queen Square, Bath BA1 2HG FEBRUARY 2012



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Movers & shakers

Global mentors to inspire techies and creatives

■ One of the city’s key posts has been filled with the appointment of Nick Brooks-Sykes, pictured, as chief executive of Bath Tourism Plus. Nick’s previous roles include director of tourism at the North West Developmeny Agency and head of marketing services at the North West Tourist Board – he also comes from a family of hoteliers.

Some of the world’s leading digital entertainment experts who have worked on films including Inception, Avatar and the Pirates of the Caribbean will be in Bath in March to give advice to creative businesses. The mentors will be working as part of X Media Lab, which for the first time ever has chosen Bath as its location for a UK event. The conference and lab programme will precede Bath’s inaugural Digital Festival. Under the theme of music,

■ Jo Hall, pictured, who was formerly general manager at Bath Racecourse, has returned to the city to reprise her role as general manager. Jo, who may be remembered for her maiden name, Miller, has replaced Holly Glover who has gone to become general manager at Fontwell course in Sussex. ■ Professor Glynis Breakwell, ViceChancellor at the University of Bath, was made a Dame in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list for her services to higher education. The university, which is the fifth highest ranking university in the Sunday Times league table, recently won the Queen’s Anniversary prize for further and higher education and is host to athletes training for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. ■ Rod Mason has been appointed executive director at the BMI Bath Clinic in Combe Down. Rod, who has been general manager of two private hospitals, is married with two children. The Bath Clinic treats people who have medical insurance as well as those who come to the hospital via the NHS Choose and Book scheme. ■ Camilla Atkins, pictured, of Monahans Financial Services of Bath has been awarded Fellowship of the Personal Finance Society (FPFS) the professional body for the financial services industry. Fewer than two per cent of financial advisers in the UK have been awarded Fellowship status. ■ Look out for a team of young entrepreneurs at Green Park Station. A dozen students from the City of Bath College have formed a business called Authenticity and will be at the market selling soap, candles and fudge.




media and mobility, the event begins with a Conference Day on Friday 16 March (general admission) where each of the mentors will give a presentation to 250 entrepreneurs and creative workers. Buy tickets from: The conference day is followed by the Lab where teams will be mentored at Peter Gabriel’s RealWorld Studios. Entrepreneurs and creative businesses can submit project ideas via an online form, visit:


Hope for future down on the farm Previous projects have covered computer games, mobile applications, location based services, social media plays, online learning and virtual worlds. Mentors include Ralph Simon, inventor of the ring tone and mobile strategist for Lady Gaga, Madonna and U2; Dale Herigstad, winner of four Interactive Emmy Awards and the brains behind Minority Report wireless glove scene.

Everyoneʼs a winner

Bath’s teenaged unemployed are being offered a helping hand, thanks to a project funded by the John Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust and B&NES Youth Enablement Fund and run on Wednesday afternoons at Bath City Farm. The young people are learning a range of practical skills, from animal care to ground maintenance, as well as picking up team building skills and a sense of self-worth. The Get Green project works with the 16 to 19-year-old age group, while a Green Life Skills project has also been set up on the farm for 13 to 16-year-olds who are not attending school regularly, or who face exclusion.

BATH PEOPLE news & views

Is yours a holiday home? Bath-based business Homes 4 Holidays has launched a new website which aims to introduce homeowners in the city and surrounding villages to people who would like to rent their home for a holiday. Founder, Bath-based mother of four Jo Williams, believes this is a great way for local people to make some revenue. She said: “We first began renting out our home when I was looking for somewhere to stay for a weekend break. I looked at what was available in our area and I soon realised that we could offer our home at a fraction of the cost of holiday lets, guesthouses etc and still make it worth our while.” She said families particularly welcome the chance to stay in other family homes which are equiped with childfriendly equipment. Visit:, or email Jo at: There is currently a three month free introductory offer.

DESIGNS ON SUCCESS: Peony&Moore’s collection of Italian leather bags will be showcased at the Bath in Fashion festival in March

Congratulations to two expanding local businesses who have both been recognised in awards shortlists. Bradford on Avon based gift publisher From You to Me has had its products at the Gift of the Year Awards 2012. All three shortlisted products are from its newly launched Parent and Baby range. The company has been shortlisted in the Under £10 Gift category for Mum to Mum, the Occasions category, for Our Story and for Bump to Birthday. From You To Me won the Gift Association’s Gift of the Year award in 2008. The winners this year will be unveiled at the award ceremony on 5 February at the Spring Fair International, NEC Birmingham. And local handbag designer Peony&Moore has also been named as a finalist in the Local Business Accelorators awards. The awards are backed by Deborah Meaden of Dragons’ Den, and having reached the finals the company will receive three months mentoring from Iain Black, partner at Monahans accountants, and Chris Gibbs, business coach at Qulox. Peony&Moore was founded in 2009, is based just outside Bath and trades online.

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170.....AND STILL COUNTING Pearson May has just celebrated its 170th year and is now looking ahead to its bicentenary as an independent local firm in just 30 years’ time relationships are built over time. Some of our clients have been with us for many generations and the benefits of long term advice are huge. We are dedicated to helping our clients build, retain and indeed grow their family wealth and the long term continuity in our relations has enabled us to understand what is best not just for today or indeed for tomorrow - but for the distant future as well. A significant part of our involvement with our clients is to 'look to the horizon' with them and engage with them in longer term strategies. Markets can be very competitive and our clients have been able to gain great advantage over time – and none more so than very recently. You can always count on Pearson May


riginated in 1841, the leading firm of Chartered Accountants and Chartered Tax Advisors specialises in a complete range of Accountancy services for both businesses and private individuals in and around Bath, the region, nationally and internationally. The benefits of such continuity and the ability to provide long term advice to clients are very well respected - and this is just as true today as it was 170 years ago. As Nick Oliver, a Partner at the firm’s Bath office explains: ‘Like today, 1841 was also a period of great change and innovation. It was the year Isambard Kingdom Brunel completed his Great Western Railway between Bath and London and onwards to Bristol and America.’


The benefits of long term relations

Continuity of advice and of relationships is a fundamental ingredient of long term success. And this is not just true for our clients. It is just as true for our hard working, dedicated staff and our talented, loyal suppliers as well.

170 years later and amidst the current revolution taking place in the financial services industry, Pearson May remains a pioneer of change, and from its historic roots in Bath and the West Country, the firm is still leading the market by example and demonstrating the benefits of both its long termism and its continuity of service.

At Pearson May, relationships matter.

The recent recession has brought about many changes to the accountancy profession and you may feel that you are no longer receiving cost effective, constructive and knowledgeable advice.

As more and more people have come to expect over our many years ‘you can always count on Pearson May’.

The benefits of long term advice As Nick Oliver explains: ‘The best

Are you looking for future consistency in your adviser? If so, do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to getting to know you’.

Pearson May Chartered Accountants and Chartered Tax Advisors, 37 Great Pulteney Street, Bath BA2 4DA T: 01225 460491 E: W:




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Incorporate your business and save tax! If you are starting a new business – or own a small business - you should consider incorporating the business (setting up a limited company) to take advantage of the favourable tax situation. Owners of limited companies can pay themselves dividends from the profits of the company and so save paying national insurance at ever increasing levels. The structure of a limited company also provides the opportunity to include other people (particularly family members) as shareholders, allowing them to benefit from dividend payments in addition to perhaps receiving a small salary (and utilising personal allowances that might otherwise be wasted). Corporation tax starts at 20% and is very attractive for higher rate tax payers; amongst other benefits the ‘limited’ structure allows them to ring fence the profits from their higher rates and choose when to distribute them - or to have them available for reinvestment in the business without having suffered tax at higher rates and national insurance contributions. Given that the latest increases in national insurance contributions have taken them to 12% for employees and 13.8% for the employer, the savings can be considerable. The cost of incorporation is around £100 and takes less than 24 hours; the savings are available to any business making profits where drawings, by whatever form, are subject to national insurance contributions; the benefits can therefore be seen even with low profit and turnover figures. We’ve been looking after small businesses (turnovers from £20,000 to £5 million) for more than twenty years and have clients who have been with us throughout; we would be pleased to explain this opportunity to you in less than an hour, covering the main points including what benefits you can see and how you can save money.

Call Mike Wilcox or Marie Maggs on 01225 445507 to come in for a discussion – no obligation – we’re pleased to help. 141 Englishcombe Lane, Bath BA2 2EL




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ARE YOU TAX EFFICIENT? The end of the current Tax Year on 5 April 2012 provides an opportunity to ensure that your tax liability for the 2011/2012 Tax Year is not greater than necessary. The next budget on 21 March 2012 is fast approaching and could change the planning opportunities so now is the time to act.


he three directors of Richardson Swift, Derek Swift, Mike Richardson and Jon Miles consider ways you might act now to mitigate your tax exposure before the tax year ends on 5 April 2012.

CAPITAL GAINS /LOSSES If you made a loss on an investment during 2011/12 or own shares which now have a negligible value, it may be possible to claim a capital loss. In some instances it will be possible to offset the loss against your Income to provide a greater and more immediate relief.

grandchildren could reduce their estate by £2,500 per year. If your income allows larger, regular gifts of funds, without your own standard of living being affected, can also be exempt from Inheritance Tax.

If you have not used your 2011/12 Capital gains Tax (CGT) Annual Exemption (£10,600), it may be worth reviewing your assets now to see if any gains can be taken to use those allowances or whether you could make use of your spouse’s allowance too by transferring certain assets. Current rates of CGT are 18% and 28% so the potential saving is worth it. PROPERTY OWNERS If you own more than one property, making a Principal Private Residence Relief (PPR) election will mean that the elected property can qualify for some Capital gains Tax (CGT) relief during any periods of ownership and the last three years.

Mike Richardson

INCOME TAX The annual Individual Savings Allowance (ISA) for 2011/12 is £10,680, so if you haven’t used your allowance for 2011/12 you have until 5 April 2012 to do so. Funds invested via an ISA can grow tax efficiently as they are not exposed to Income Tax. Any individual earning in excess of £42,745, between £100,000 and £114,950 or more than £150,000 can undertake planning to save tax before the end of the tax year. These are the points at which rates of Income Tax change so careful planning is important. If you have funds to invest, you may wish to consider an investment into an HMRC approved Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) or Venture Capital Trust (VCT), which give Income Tax relief of 30% on the invested funds, together with potential Capital gains Tax Deferral/Relief. For individuals with significant Income Tax liabilities, more aggressive income tax planning strategies are available. These carry a higher degree of risk and the entry level is around £50,000. WWW.THEBATHMAGAZINE.CO.UK

For individuals with investment property, a review of your borrowing structure can provide opportunities to maximise tax relief- it may be possible to claim a proportion of the loan interest paid on your home against rental income. Joint owners of let property should consider putting an agreement in place to allocate income in different proportions to legal ownership, this will take advantage of tax efficiencies and Richardson Swift can advise on how to make this possible. If you own investment property that is pregnant with a large Capital Gain and you are looking to sell in the next 2 years, we have access to planning that can substantially reduce your Capital Gains Tax exposure. INHERITANCE TAX If you haven’t already addressed Inheritance Tax Planning, now is a good time to do so as Inheritance Tax (IHT) is charged at 40% on the value of your chargeable assets exceeding £325,000 on your death. Individuals with IHT in mind should ensure that they have used their annual tax free gifts allowance of £3,000 before 5 April 2012 and a further £3,000 is available if the gifts allowance was not used in the 2010/11 tax year. Annual gifts totalling up to £250 can be made to any number of individuals each tax year without IHT implications. Someone with 10

Derek Swift

BUSINESS TAX The Annual Investment Allowance is being reduced from £100,000 to £25,000 on 1 April 2012 for Companies and the 5 April 2012 for unincorporated businesses. Any businesses planning significant capital expenditure need to factor in these changes as in the past few years’ relief has been generous. Check with us if you believe this could affect you. If you are a sole trader or partnership, consider whether Incorporation is right for you. Traditionally the most tax effective time to incorporate is early in the new tax year, so you should be considering it now. Do take this opportunity to think about your tax affairs before the end of the tax year and to discuss anything here further please call Mike, Derek or Jon on 01225 325580 or email 11 Laura Place, Bath BA2 4BL 01225 325 580 FEBRUARY 2012


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Athletes hurtle their way to silver medal Teenage sportswoman Jazmin Sawyers, pictured, is well on her way to becoming an international star of track and field, after winning two gold medals, in the long jump and 4x100 relay, at the 2011 Commonwealth games, and last month scooping a silver medal in the bobsleigh at the first ever Winter Youth Olympics in Innsbruck. Incredibly, Jazmin, who is studying for A Levels at Millfield School in Somerset, and has recently been appointed head girl, had never even set foot inside a bobsleigh until 18 months ago. Yet, she and team-mate Mica McNeil hurtled down icy shutes in Austria, as part of the GB Bobsleigh Team competing at

the first ever Winter Youth Olympics in Innsbruck. British Bobsleigh had visited Millfield in October 2010 to scout out athletes with the potential to succeed in the thrilling high-speed sport. Pupils Ollie Biddulph and James Lelliott also proved equal to the challenge alongside Jazmin and the trio trained at the University of Bath’s Sports Training Village. “This is the most exciting thing we’ve ever done,” said Jazmin after the medal ceremony. “Even to be part of the games is an incredible experience, and to come and actually win a silver medal is incredible, it’s the highlight of my life.”

Young rugby stars unbeaten for seven years

News in brief ■ The Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) is offering organ scholarships to two young organists at a summer course in Bath, which runs from 20 – 26 August. The successful candidates will play the four-manual Klais organ in the Abbey and play for rehearsals and services. The course draws more than 100 young singers from RSCMaffiliated choirs. The two scholarships will be awarded to organists aged 16 to 21 and at Grade 8 standard or thereabouts. For details, visit: or tel: 01722 424843. The closing date for applications is Friday 20 April. ■ All Hallows School in East Cranmore is hosting the south west’s premier senior schools exhibition on 24 March. It is a great opportunity to speak to key personnel from over 25 independent senior schools in the south west. Schools represented include Badminton, Bryanston, Dauntsey’s, Leweston, Millfield and Prior Park College, to name but a few. For more information contact All Hallows School, East Cranmore, BA4 4SF, tel: 01749 881600

The First 15 rugby team from Port Regis Prep School near Shaftesbury, Dorset, have had another cracking season’s play, bringing them to an impressive seven years without a single defeat. In those seven golden years the boys have played 74 games and lost none. The school is proud of its prowess in the classroom as well as on the playing field, with 32 of the 96 boys from the first six unbeaten seasons winning scholarships to major public schools, including Eton, Marlborough, Sherborne and Wellington. Port Regis enjoys showing visitors round the school and is holding an open day on Saturday 10 March. A visit by prospective parents includes a tour with one of the boys round the school and a question and answer

session with headmaster Benedict Dunhill and other key staff. To register, contact the school, tel: 01747 857800 or email:

Invitation to visit King Edward’s Junior and Pre-Prep departments are holding a series of open mornings for prospective parents. To arrange a visit the PrePrep and Junior School contact: Pre-Prep tel: 01225 421681 Email: Junior School tel: 01225 463218 Email:

Music, fashion and theatre all lined up for spring Westonbirt School, near Tetbury, has a number of events going on which are open to the public as well as students and parents. Music at Westonbirt Concert with the Marylebone Trio. Experience five centuries of chamber music in one evening, with works by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and a selection of pieces from early 20th century works. The Marylebone Trio was formed in 2003 by postgraduate students at the Royal Academy of Music and has since performed at a number of prominent venues. Friday 24 February, 7.30pm. Admission: £10, Friends of Westonbirt, £5. Friends of Westonbirt School present a spring fashion show and supper. The event is being

organised by the sixth form committee, some of whom will be modelling collections of springwear from Moi, Clobber, That New Shop and many more, with jewellery by Diana Ingram and hair and make-up by C2 of Dursley. Friday 2 March, 7pm. Tickets: £20 for adults and £15 for 18s and under, to include a prosecco reception, two course supper and coffee, with a cash bar. Oliver Twist. Westonbirt School girls perform Oliver Twist in the Orangery Theatre. Last year’s production of Joseph was a sell-out. Friday 16 to Saturday 17 March, 7.30pm For more information and tickets contact Laura Reid at Westonbirt School, tel: 01666880333 or email:

Dazzling dozen’s Oxbridge coup Congratulations to the dazzling dozen – the 12 sixth formers at King Edward’s School, Bath, who have received offers from either Oxford or Cambridge universities. The pupils are delighted and relieved, to be holding offers to study subjects ranging from Spanish and Italian, to engineering, and politics, psychology and sociology (PPS). Pupils are only permitted to apply to one of either Oxford or Cambridge under the UCAS system of university applications. All King Edward’s pupils who




applied for Oxford or Cambridge were invited for interview, showing that they all had the qualities needed to study at the highest level. Head of Higher Education and UCAS, Mr Richard Thomas, said: “With around four candidates vying for each place, we might have expected only a handful to have got through at interview. Instead we are extremely proud of our successful 12. Now they must concentrate on achieving the A and A* grades they have been predicted this summer. Good luck!”

CANDIDATES: standing: James Li, Claire Bowman, Chengjie Lu, Connie Chapman, Sarah Glew, Hope Bryant, William Neaverson, Michael Comba, sitting: Crystal Cong, Sam Udale-Smith, headmaster Martin Boden, Jessica Dark, Max Bougeard

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ops nowdr d s l u f roun eauti trail a the b e h t Enjoy low u fol as yo arden Park g r o i r P

Take a brea th of Slimb fresh ridge air th Wetla i nd Ce ntre t s month – o get visit close to nat ure

FEBRUARY FROLICS From storytelling and theatre to arts and crafts, we’ve got half term covered in this round-up of family-friendly events and activties in and around the city this month

Fun in the garden The National Trust’s Prior Park Landscape Garden, Bath. Tel: 01225 833422

Half Term Trail, Saturday 11 – Sunday 19 February, 10am – 4pm Follow the trail around the garden and discover the magical creatures hiding among the beautiful snowdrops that carpet the ground. Cost: £1 per person.

Get close to nature Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Gloucestershire. Tel: 01453 891900

Floodlit Swan Feeds, 1 January – 26 February, Saturdays & Sundays, 6.30pm See Slimbridge’s beautiful Bewick swans in a whole new light with a floodlit bird feed. Enjoy the warmth of the heated Peng Observatory as you learn about the amazing journey these swans make to reach us. Cost: £5 adults, £3 children.

Children’s Introduction to Bird Watching, Wednesday 15 February, 9.30pm Trying to look out for and identify a wide variety of birds can be a challenge, so join the warden who will help you find the best starting point and share some expert tips on how to learn


and develop your bird watching skills and knowledge. Cost: £12. Must be pre-booked on tel: 01453 891223.

Chinese New Year The Museum of East Asian Art, Bennett Street, Bath. Cost: £2 per person, book in advance on tel: 01225 464640 or via email to

Dancing Dragon Puppet Workshop, Wednesday 15 February, 2pm – 4pm Celebrate the year of the dragon by making dancing dragon puppets and see if you can make it dance.

Dragon Origami, Friday 17 February, 2pm – 4pm Make some origami dragons and colourful dragon pictures.

Love is in the air The National Trust’s Lacock Abbey, near Bath. Tel: 01249 730459

The Bird’s Wedding Day, Tuesday 14 February, 11am – 1pm & 2pm – 3pm Never heard of Bird’s Wedding Day? It’s another name for Valentine’s Day. Visit the special celebration and help create dozens of paper birds to decorate a tree. You will also get the chance to create a bird badge to take home with you.

Sweet treats The National Trust’s Dyrham Park, near Bath. Tel: 0117 937 2501

Family Pancake Racing, Sunday 19 February, 11am – 2pm Get into the Pancake Day spirit by taking part in a pancake race in front of the house. Races will take place throughout the day – for young and old alike.

Spot the Pancakes Trail, Saturday 18 – Tuesday 21 & Friday 24 – Sunday 26 February, 11am – 4pm Find the pancakes hidden around the basement and work out which type will come out on top: sweet or savoury? Note: only the basement and kitchen of the house are open.

Tree-mendous timber Westonbirt Arboretum, near Tetbury. Admission: £9 adults, £5 children and £8 concessions.

Wooden Wonders, Tuesday 14 – Thursday 16 February, 10.30am – 3pm Celebrate one of the most remarkable materials on the planet – from how it grows to the surprising ways we use it. Then model with sawdust, create a wood block print design and build a mini hurdle.







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FAMILYfun Move those feet

Make and decorate

Komedia, Westgate Street, Bath. Cost: £6.50 children, £5 adults. Tel: 0845 293 8480

No.1 Royal Crescent, Bath. Family events are free with normal admission.

It’s Boogie Time, Saturday 25 February, 2.30pm

Make and decorate your own bonnet, then create a silhouette of yourself wearing it.

Kids don your dancing shoes and head to the coolest family-friendly venue in town for some moving and grooving to music from DJ’s. All ages are welcome and there’ll be free face painting too.

Family-friendly theatre

Beautiful Bonnets and Striking Silhouettes, Friday 17 February, 2pm – 4pm

Half term at the Herschel The Herschel Museum, New King Street, Bath. £3 children, £2 for Discovery Card holders.

Framing the Universe Art Workshop, Thursday 16 February, 10am – noon

The egg, Theatre Royal Bath, Sawclose, Bath. Box office tel: 01225 448844

Create some cosmic art inspired by the current astronomical exhibition.

The Hare and the Tortoise, Thursday 2 – Sunday 5 February, Thursday – Friday, 10.30am & 1.30pm; Saturday, 11.30 & 3pm; Sunday, 11am & 2pm

The Holburne Museum, Bath. Cost: £2. Tel: 01225 466 669.

The hare-brained Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Company returns with an up-to-date, olympic sized re-write of this world famous fable. It’s the race of the decade between slow, steady tortoise and speedy, greedy hare. They’re fit, they’re keen, and they’re completely mismatched. Surely it will all be over before it’s even begun? Created by Niki McCretton and Marc Parrett the awardwinning team that brought The Enormous Turnip, the Elves and the Shoemaker, Little Red Hen and The Three Little Pigs to the egg.

Meet the artist

I’m a Cartoonist... with Joe Berger, Sunday 26 February, 2.30pm – 3.30pm Illustrator, children’s author and cartoonist, Joe Berger explores story telling in comic strip form.

Young @ Art Club Victoria Art Gallery, Bath. Cost: £3.75 per child. Must be booked on tel: 01225 477244

Big, Bright & Bold, Thursday 16 February, 10.30am – noon & 1.30pm – 3pm Create art with bold colours. For ages 3-7 years.

Shakespeare Unplugged at The Theatre Royal The Shakespeare The Judgement of Macbeth Unplugged Festival is back with another jam-packed season of Shakespeare, deconstructed and reconstructed for a 21st century audience. There’ll be 52 performances over three weeks with events for all ages from young children and teenagers to adults. Highlights include: ■ The Tempest, Saturday 11 February: Dive into the magic of Shakespeare’s The Tempest with storyteller and actress Catherine Mallorie. Suitable for ages 5+. ■ The Judgement of Macbeth, Saturday 11 – Tuesday 14 February: This thrilling new piece of theatre features actors, circus performers and multi-media techniques. For ages 10+. ■ Shakes-kids, Saturday 18 February: An introduction to Shakespeare as seen through the eyes of Shakespeare’s clown, Will Kemp, performed by Chris Harris. For ages 5+. For a full programme of events or to book, visit:

Curtain UpTheatre School Part time theatre school for children 6 to 18 years Schools in Bath and Melksham

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dance dance movement


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BRISTOL B ASE D MAST E RS PROGRAMME IN DANCE MOVE ME NT PSYCHOT HE RAPY Validated by Canterbury Christ Church University INTERVIEWING NOW for October 2012 intake and NATIONAL CERTIFICATE IN DANCE MOVEMENT and the THERAPEUTIC PROCESS (BTEC) 1 year programme starts September

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t’s probably fair to say that most people have experienced the amazing smells that drift from the Lush stores as you walk past. And if you’re a fan of the natural ingredient-made products, you’ll love the treatments available at the Lush Spas. There are only four in the country – in London, Leeds, Poole and Kingston – and each one is really special and different to any other spa you’ve been to. I know that’s a bold statement, but it’s true. My beauty queen friend Lucinda and I decided it was high time for a relaxing pamper so we booked treatments at the nearest Lush Spa to Bristol, in Poole, located on the high street. When you walk into the spa, it’s like entering an English country garden kitchen: the decor is soft and calming with florals and wooden tables and chairs, and the fresh ingredients that are used in all the treatments are stacked on the shelves and in the fridge. There’s a real sense of goodness and wellbeing here. The treatment rooms are beautifully scented and candles and mood lights are used to create a warm and comforting ambience to help you relax into your treatment. Lucinda indulged in the Validation Facial (£75, 1 hour) which began with a tour around the shop adjacent to the spa to choose the products she’d like used in the treatment. Each




Samantha Ewart tests the latest health and beauty products and discovers total relaxation and inner calm at the Lush Spa in Poole Noir G: the first Guerlain mascara to combine a jewel case with a formula for perfectly defined, blacker, glossier lashes. Just click the seal to reveal the mirror and twist for the brush to appear. What’s more, Noir G is refillable so you don’t have to buy a new mascara when it’s finished. The ultimate handbag essential for bold lashes on the go. Available from John Lewis and House of Fraser this month at £35

The scent of love this Valentine’s Day has to be Chloe Love Eau de Parfum (£39.50 – £66.50 from with free gift wrap). It’s a beautiful powdery-floral scent that evokes memories of dressing tables, powder puffs and bouquets of delicate blooms. Encased in an elegant bottle with a dainty chain, the fragrance is all things refined, radiant and feminine

Share love not lipstick this Valentine’s Day with the help of Lipcote, the unique formula which means you can eat, drink and kiss without fading or feathering your lip colour. And to celebrate over 50 years in beauty, the little bottle of wonder that is Lipcote has had a redesign and a sweet vanilla scent added. Look every inch the movie starlet with on-trend matte red lips on the most romantic day of the year. Available from Boots, £3.49

Protect hands in harsh weather conditions with Sisley’s Nutritive Hand Cream. The synergy of plant extracts including guava, carrot and sunflower oil helps moisturise and replenish dry hands and smells lovely too. Available from Jolly’s

■ Bathonians looking for a challenge this year are being encouraged to sign up to take part in the 21-mile Walk for Life to help raise funds for the RUH Space Cancer Care Campaign. The walk on Saturday 26 May along the Kennet and Avon canal sets off from Devizes Wharf, heads through Bradford-onAvon and finishes in Sydney Gardens. And if you don’t think the full 21-mile challenge is for you, you can choose to participate in either the 12-mile morning section of the walk or nine miles in the afternoon. To sign up, tel: 01225 821535 or download an entry form from:


■ If you set yourself the target of getting fit and losing weight this year but are already sick of the gym, try a different approach in the form of the new Feel Alive Boot Camp at Green Park Station. Set up by two personal trainers, the Feel Alive Boot Camp provides a different approach to outdoor training, ranging from one-to-one personal training to fitness classes and all-inclusive boot camps. The group classes offer supportive and realistic training goals on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6-7pm. The coaches will work with you to help you improve your body shape, energy levels and general wellbeing. And as well as exercise, you’ll also gain valuable information about fitness, health and nutrition. For further information visit:

News in Brief

treatment is tailored to the individual depending on how you want your skin to feel and how you’d like to feel in yourself. Lucinda said that the nourishing products, relaxing techniques and the specially composed folk music intertwined with confidence boosting words and phrases took her into a hypnotic state where positive thoughts flowed through her mind. She emerged with radiant and healthy-looking skin, feeling uplifted. I tried The Lush Sound Bath (£65, 1 hour), a brand new treatment to the Lush Spas. My journey into space and sound began with a tiny wooden box which contained a vial of herbal water and a pure cacao mushroom to take. This was followed by an intensely relaxing facial with hot and cold stones, ear candles and a soothing scalp massage. This treatment helps to clear the mind and improve clarity of thought so it’s perfect if you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed. Ancient rituals of ear candling, tuning fork vibrations, singing bowls and a made-to-measure soundtrack takes you on a journey of the mind and soul. Afterwards you’ll feel wonderfully refreshed and engaged. It’s well worth the visit; you won’t experience these treatments at any other spa. For further information visit:


Knee Surgery: A pAtient’S perSpective With approximately 82,000 total knee replacement operations performed each year in the UK, CircleBath’s Knee Unit brings together the leading knee surgeons in the South West.


aving a knee replacement was something that 55 year old Paul Lawrence, a business man and cycling enthusiast thought he would have to worry about at some stage but when increasing levels of pain started to impact on his active lifestyle last year, he asked his GP for advice. Paul’s story “Three years ago when I was asked by friends to enter a charity cycle ride I said no as I had stopped riding a mountain bike a few years before because of my knees. But the ride was on roads from Cornwall to Bristol so I bought a road bike and set about training. But my new found addiction to cycling could not repair the damage to my knees and in the summer of 2011 I realised something needed to be done so, on recommendation, I met with knee surgeon Jonathan Eldridge to discuss my options. Jonathan explained clearly what was needed: both my knees would need total replacements but my right knee was the worst affected and would be tackled first. I was very keen to understand what I would be able to do after the knee replacements and Jonathan explained the rehabilitation timescale and reassured me that, yes I would be able to ride my bike in Sportives and kick a football with my son. The approach taken by the anaesthetist meant I came round very quickly but was also in no pain at all - I was then transferred to my room where the extraordinary level of care continued. The rooms you stay in at Circle are superbly equipped but what stands out most is the way you are treated: constant care and attention from the consultant surgeon, the consultant anaesthetist and the fabulous nursing and physiotherapy staff. Pain relief was as regular as clock-work too. The physiotherapists are with you the very next day and carefully, but forcefully, you find you are sitting on the edge of your bed and the next minute they have coaxed you to stand up. After three nights of excellent care and amazing food I was ready to leave, discharged with a course of pain relief and a schedule of exercises. WWW.THEBATHMAGAZINE

Circle Health.indd 1

As I write this, one month since the procedure, I have just returned from a one mile walk. Perhaps my most telling recommendation for CircleBath is that I wouldn’t go anywhere else for a total knee replacement”. The Knee Unit CircleBath’s Knee Unit brings together leading specialist Knee Surgeons in the South West including Mr Neil Bradbury, Mr Sandeep Deo, Mr Jonathan Eldridge, Mr Ben Lankester, Mr Mike Radford (not pictured), Mr David Shardlow and Mr Allister Trezies. CircleBath hospital, as well as having state of the art digital theatres has developed a reputation for offering a standard of hospitality on par with a five star hotel. Circle is a partnership of clinicians and healthcare professionals. Types of Knee Surgery at CircleBath: Total Knee Replacement Surgery and pioneering shape matching technology A knee replacement resurfaces your arthritic knee, relieves pain and allows you to return to a normal life. The pioneering shape matching technology allows us to restore the natural alignment of your knee. Part or Uni Compartmental Knee Replacement You may have arthritis in only one part of your knee joint requiring a part knee replacement.

Paul on the Ride for Precious Lives

For more information about knee surgery, please contact Amanda Curtis on 01761 422222 or or visit circlebath. com. Ask your GP to refer you to CircleBath.

Ligament Surgery Sports injuries and falls can leave you with an unstable knee needing ligament reconstruction. Soft Tissue Surgery If you have mechanical problems in your knee which cannot be solved by soft tissue management alone, they may be cured by simple keyhole surgery. Osteotomy Knee realignment surgery FEBRUARY 2012



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“She walks in beauty, like the night” (Lord Byron)

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Indulge Without Guilt this February




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Bath’s famous spa can not only make you feel better, it can actually make you look better, as Georgette McCready found out with a newly imported facial


should perhaps explain that I am naturally cynical about a lot of beauty products and treatments, but I do enjoy the experience of being pampered. So when invited to go for a facial I am generally happy to lie back and think of England without wondering too much whether I am going to be miraculously transformed into a creature with a wonderful luminously smooth complexion. And I don’t generally expect the largely unobservant Mr Mac to comment after I’ve visited a salon. But, dear reader, I was actually complimented by my own husband on how refreshed and ‘perky’ my face looked after an hour-long Lumafirm Lift and Glow facial at the Bath Thermae Spa. This is a new treatment for the UK from the US brand Pevonia, which uses natural ingredients and concentrates very much on intensely treating the skin, leaving it feeling tauter and looking more youthful. My poor old boat race had been through a tough winter, facing corrosive winds and overheated offices equally. And being well on the mature side my skin takes longer to bounce back these days from the ravages of cold. My therapist for the afternoon was Gemma, who I can thoroughly recommend. Despite being youthfully radiant herself at no point did she make me feel like an old wrinkly. Each of the soothing – and often delightfully scented processes – was gently explained as she went and I felt as though my parched skin was being given a refreshing, reviving drink of water. At the end of the hour-long session I emerged, bright of cheek and firmer of jaw. Even the next morning I didn’t face the usual fright in the bathroom mirror but instead saw someone who appeared to have had a really good night’s rest. This would be a great treatment for anyone facing a big day and wanting to look their best – making it ideal for a bride, her mum and mother-in-law too. You can’t just go along to Bath’s fabulous spa without venturing into the waters, so after leaving Gemma and the quiet calm of the treatment room I was able to join the other bathers, blissfully floating about under the darkening skies and relishing the feeling, above the rooftops of the city that I was truly on top of the world. You can spend a blissful couple of hours here and return to the real world thoroughly refreshed and – in my case – bright-eyed. If you haven’t yet tried the spa I really would urge you to try it. I’ve been several times, with a friend, my mum and my partner variously, and we’ve all enjoyed the experience, coming away rested and yet uplifted. It’ll make you proud to be a Bathonian. You could make a Valentine’s gift for someone special by buying a voucher for two from the newly re-opened spa shop or online. ■ The Lumafirm Lift and Glow Facial is £78, and there are more than 50 other treatments to choose from at the spa. Visit or tel: 01225 331234. The spa is at Hot Bath Street, Bath BA1 1SJ WWW.THEBATHMAGAZINE.CO.UK




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SHANNON. The Bestlite range, produced by Gubi in Denmark, enjoys global iconic status, with its clean lines and functional design. Bestlite BL3 floor lamp, £580. Available from Shannon Furniture Ltd. 68 Walcot Street, Bath. Tel: 01225 424222.

PETA RADIATOR. Traditional period style column radiators available in a wide range of sizes, colours and metallic finishes. From £21.84 per section. House of Radiators, 22 Wellsway, Bear Flat, Bath. Tel: 01225 424199.

FABRIC MILLS. A contemporary twist on a classic style. Fabric Mills lovingly restores and re-covers vintage chairs and sofas and can create a patchwork cover in any colour-way. One off black patchwork chair, £525. Fabric Mills, London Road, Bath. Tel: 01225 471167

INTERIOR finishing

THE POLE COMPANY. A tier-on-tier painted shutter from S-Craft. From £245 per square metre for hardwood. The Pole Company. 1 Saracen Street, Bath. Tel: 01225 743328.

TOUCHES TBM looks at this spring’s key interior trends

YVES DELORME. An indulgent range of bed linen and fine linens. There are a number of collections to choose from in the new spring/summer 2012 collection, all of which are finished to a high standard and bound to bring that extra touch of elegance to your home. Lilirose collection, duvet cover £249 and cushion cover £50 Yves Delorme, available at Jollys, Bath. Tel: 01225 484807.




PREY. A quirky and decorative range of vases to brighten up any mantelpiece. Prices start from £44.95. Prey, 3 York Buildings, George Street, Bath. Tel: 01225 329933.

NEOM. Luxury candles, blended for the ultimate treat. They are designed to be aromatherapeutic treatments, made from 100% natural wax and mixed with pure essential oils. Prices start from £14. Available from Grasse, 3 Argyle Street, Bath. Tel: 01225 444260.

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THE ART OF HOSPITALITY A 17-bedroom boutique guesthouse filled with comfortable furnishings and original pieces of modern British art has been created in a Georgian townhouse in Bath. Photography by Charlotte Stone styling by Catriona Stirling


ne of the challenges faced by anyone trying to renovate Bath’s Georgian townhouses is that years of over-zealous decorating tends to leave the plaster cornices and architraves indistinct, their leaves, flowers and patterns blurred by layers of paint. The solution to the problem is to take the delicate precision of a dental tool to the job, and with much patience, gently strip away the old paint to reveal the plasterwork in its original glory. I’m told it took two craftswomen several months of painstaking close work to restore the plaster mouldings at Henrietta House which has been lovingly renovated and is now open as the latest addition to Bath’s guest house community. Henrietta House was built in the 1780s at a time when Bath was flourishing as a fashionable place to visit and when the French aristocracy were fleeing the perils of the guillotine and the revolutionary mobs, bringing what possessions they could to the safety of England. Over the years the townhouse, which lies just off Laura Place and Great Pulteney Street, would have many tales to tell of the people who stayed here during its years as a genteel guest house. The city was a haven for many military and naval men, who having served their country, retired here with their wives – often ekeing out their pensions by living modestly in small hotels. Henrietta House was a hotel from the 19th century right through to the early 1970s when it became a care home. During the recent extensive renovations of the Grade I listed building workmen found Victorian newspaper cuttings, menus from the 1950s and 60s, as well as several empty bottles of laudanum in the walls – much like the Prozac of its day, it was the 72 THEBATHMAGAZINE



gentlewoman’s medicine of choice to keep emotions and strong feelings dampened down. And so the layers of old carpet and Lino were stripped back, the old shutters reinstated and en suite bathrooms installed to bring the old building up to modern hotel standards. Today’s guests are welcomed in a ground floor drawing room, an informal space where coffee and homemade pastries are served. The owners, a local family, have enjoyed shopping at auctions for stylish period pieces of furniture, including solid wood chests of drawers. They have also raided their own bookshelves for some classic and quirky good reads and borrowed from their rather splendid collection of modern, British paintings which adorn the walls throughout the guest house. It is these little touches that, combined with very comfortable beds and good linen, help to make the place feel like a home from home in the best possible way. Henrietta House manages to combine the best of modern

ATTENTION TO DETAIL: main picture, the sleigh bed in one of the hotel rooms, inset, guests are invited to make themselves comfortable and curl up with a good book

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HOME COMFORTS: traditional furniture in one of the bedrooms, the reception sitting room, a detail from the well-stocked breakfast room, and the bedrooms, which all have en suite bathrooms

British – like those paintings – with old-fashioned service. Presiding over the guest house are the Austrian couple Juergen and Hanni who have come to Bath after running a hotel in Mozambique. Lucky guests benefit from the fact that Juergen is an excellent pastry chef, making all sorts of goodies, including delicious jam, which may tempt guests away from the traditional cooked English breakfast which is also on offer in the basement dining room. A car parking valet service is also offered to guests. While tourists come to Bath, as they have done for centuries, to visit the Roman Baths and explore the Georgian crescents, the 21st century visitors are just as likely to take a sybaritic plunge in

the Thermae Spa or attend a Bath Rugby game just a few hundred yards away on the Rec. They are also being encouraged to leave their cars at home and arrive at Henrietta House by bike. These can be stored in the guest house’s dry vaults. In addition to the 17 en suite bedrooms, Henrietta House has a two-bedroom self-contained apartment on the top floor to rent, which is already proving popular. Guests staying there can choose whether to breakfast in private or venture downstairs for Juergen’s delicious granola and pastries. ■ Henrietta House, Henrietta Street, Bath can be contacted, tel: 01225 632632 or visit:

Kindle Stoves Beating the Winter Blues


ith temperatures falling and fuel bills continuing to rise, it is not surprising that wood and multi fuel stove sales are set to hit an all time high this winter. Add to this investing in carbon neutral and renewable heat for our homes, installing a wood burner can help us all to beat the winter blues Now with wood-burning technology racing ahead, a new generation of stoves are taking centre stage. They are so efficient as to be virtually smokeless and as such have been approved by DEFRA for use in smoke-control areas such as Bath and Bristol. At long last we can all now benefit from a warm, comforting log fire at the heart of our homes, as well as carbon neutral heating. At over 80% efficient compared to around 10% for an open fire, a wood-burner can save money on energy bills as soon as it is installed and can improve your energy rating too. With a wide range of contemporary as well as traditional designs, these stoves are as suited to a modern apartment as they are to a rural cottage or Georgian family home. Family-run business Kindle Stoves offers a full stove supply and HETASapproved installation service to include fireplace alterations, hearth-laying, chimney lining and twin wall flue systems and natural Bathstone surrounds.


They are stockists of the world renowned Clearview stoves as well as Handol, Contura, Westfire, Morso, Rais, Hotpod, Harrie Leenders and more. LOW COST FINANCE is now available for a limited period. 0% APR representative, subject to status and terms. Showroom at: 2 Sussex Place, Widcombe, Bath, BA2 4LA. 01225 332722 / 0845 5050085




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BEST WINTER BLOOMERS Winter flowers are all the more to be cherished because they flower just when we need cheering up, says gardening writer Jane Moore


he first two months of every year are those where I seriously question my choice of career: the days are almost unremittingly dark, cold, bare and bleak along with my general demeanour, I suspect. Occasionally there are the odd glorious days of sharp frosts and crystalline sunshine when my spirits lift accordingly. And there are small but distinctive signs of winter’s end in the shape of tiny flowers, pushing their way through the freezing earth and unfolding into this harsh world with all the innocence and joy of a Renaissance cherub.

Little stars Many of the shining lights to flower in February are tiny flowers such as snowdrops and primroses. These generally spend November and December tucked up under the soil, bursting into growth and flowering swiftly once the new year begins. The garden centres and nurseries are full of ready potted primroses, snowdrops and other bulbs which will transplant beautifully into the garden. My own favourite, Prior Park, is a veritable wonderland of winter treasures guaranteed to make you splash out on a few special somethings to lift the garden and the soul. One of my recent passions has to be the beautifully named Primula Woodland Walk, a lovely little primrose in pink shades ranging from the soft and rosy to the rich and deep. It looks lovely planted in drifts under trees near the front of a more relaxed, woodland style border. We’ve teamed it with dainty dwarf daffodils which will flower later, giving the whole area interest for several weeks. Mingled in are the tiny ruffs and yellow blooms of the winter aconite, Eranthus hyemalis, which will seed around happily in the right situation although it often seems to prefer the grass of the shorn meadow. Another happy and free seeder is the spring snowflake, leucojum aestivum. This has the appearance of a tall and elegant snowdrop with pure white flowers tinged with lime-green which, although small, somehow manages to be very eye-catching. It loves dappled shade, a rich soil and a light touch from the 74 THEBATHMAGAZINE



gardener. Let it grow where it will without trying to dictate and you’ll have no regrets. The same applies to snowdrops. Having spent a few back-breaking days planting snowdrops in the green one February, we now have a good show, but I’ve learnt that they will not thrive in too deep a shade and they just fade away after a few years. In the lighter, brighter bits of shade towards the front of a border, they will clump up happily, increasing every year. My favourite is always the simple single native snowdrop, Galanthus nivalis, but for big, bold early flowers you can’t beat Elwes snowdrop, galanthus elwesii, with it’s blue-grey leaves and relatively giant flowers a good two or three weeks earlier than the dainty native.

Christmas roses Hellebores are one of the mainstays of my winter garden, both at The Priory and at home. They are just so reliable, bulking up a bit every year to make substantial clumps and requiring virtually no TLC. All in all a perfect garden plant. The Oriental hellebore, Helleborus orientalis, is wonderfully easy and prolific producing flowers in shades of cream, white and pink; some speckled and freckled, others perfectly pure. There are named hybrids where the colours are less of a lottery but, to be honest, I love them in all their sheer variation and I’m quite happy to have a lovely muddled mixture. Grow them in a shady or dappled shade spot in a rich leafy or garden compost laden soil. They look great under trees such as cherries. Remove

SNOW ANGELS: we can never rule out a really cold snap. Main picture, the lawns at the Bath Priory Hotel swathed in snow, and, left, a statue wearing an icy crown

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REWARDING TO GROW: left to right, stinking hellebore, iris reticulata and Oriental hellebore

the coarse old leaves as the flower buds appear, it makes the flowers stand out more and gives them a touch of elegance that they lack with the leaves. Some varieties are more exacting to grow, the classic Christmas rose, helleborus niger, being the most demanding of them all. It only really thrives on an acidic soil which is enriched with leaf mould and even then I’ve found it a bit pernickety. Don’t undervalue the common albeit unromantically named stinking hellebore, helleborus foetidus, though. Its apple-green flowers set against lush, deep green, fingered leaves do a lot to brighten up and dark spot where little else will grow. It’s tolerant of all sorts of soils and situations and will seed about freely – too freely – so just weed them out where they’re not wanted.

Scent of the spring But perhaps my favourite winter bloomers are the scented shrubs. And I’m not alone. On a recent Radio 4 Gardeners’ Question Time Matthew Biggs extolled the virtues of viburnum x


bodnantense Dawn for its welcome winter flowers and their stunning fragrance. It’s a big, boisterous shrub with pleasant foliage in summer and good autumn colour but in winter it produces clusters of the most delicate pink, heavenly scented flowers which will stop you in your tracks. For the smaller garden, I would recommend the Christmas box, Sarcococca humilis, with shiny evergreen leaves and the tiniest creamy flowers which pack a punch of scent that is truly staggering. Forgiving of soil and situation, it will thrive in the shady, cold corners that spell disaster for many other plants. But make sure it’s near a path or by your front or back door as, although it’s a neat little plant that looks good all year round, those tiny flowers produce a delicious honey-vanilla scent that will knock you sideways every time you pass by. ■ Jane Moore is the award-winning head gardener at the Bath Priory. Read her blog or follow her on Twitter: janethegardener.




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Feline Angst Real or Imagined?


he statistics suggest we continue to adore owning feline pets; according to a study by Bristol University, just over a quarter of all UK households owned at least one cat and based on an estimated 26 million households this puts the UK cat population at well over 6.5 million. A further study of 800 randomly selected owners revealed that close to half of them were convinced that their cat had some sort of behavioural problem. This is a worry since unwanted behaviours – the most common being linked to indiscriminate urination - are cited as being the number one reason for re-homing cats and 3.25 million is a lot to rehome‌ The main cause for these aberrant urinary behavioural problems is anxiety and it is surprising to know how many situations cause this; examples include too many cats in one small area, children or dogs in their vicinity, separation from their owners for long periods of time, or novel environments like moving house. Innate behaviour such as urine marking, commonly used as a form of normal feline communication, has become a primary coping mechanism in the face of stress as it increases feelings of security. Since there are two distinct forms of problematic urination, it is important to distinguish one from the other before attempting to treat this problem: Inappropriate urination, where a cat will squat and urinate on a flat surface in areas other than their litter tray can perhaps be rectified by changing their environment. Cats practicing this behaviour may be unhappy with their litter pan whether it is in the wrong location (like a busy thoroughfare), too dirty or too clean, or the litter is not to their liking. Cats will also inappropriately urinate if they are left too long on their own or are not given enough stimulation. Modifying their environment will usually help to solve their urinary bad habits. Be sure to wash the soiled areas with soapy water then use a masking agent to cover the urine scent. Spraying or marking occurs when the cat is in a standing position. It involves very small amounts of urine sprayed on vertical surfaces such as walls. Spraying is less likely to be a response to an environmental change alone since the basis of this marking is territorial, sexual or emotional anxiety between cats, a much more complicated problem to solve and one which could lead to compulsive behavioural marking. What can we do about this annoying habit? I would advise you seek help from your vet to ascertain whether it is actually based on behaviour and not on underlying health problems such as infection or kidney disease. Pain can also cause agitation and stress so you must eliminate any potential health issues first. Once you are certain it is only a behavioural problem then modifying the environment and perhaps drug therapy may be required. Environmental changes will need some stealth work on your part. Pheromone sprays for specific areas in the home could be of use too. Drug therapies may be needed to help curb compulsive urinary bad habits. Drugs, used in the human treatment for anxiety, phobias and compulsive behaviours, known as selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors or antidepressants are given temporarily to cats. They can gradually be reduced once the behaviour is controlled. Feline urinary problems due to anxiety are real and can be serious enough to be become potential re-homing issues. Because of this fact we must at least attempt to address your cat’s issues even though it can be extremely difficult to find the root of the problem. Keep in mind that your cat is not trying to be spiteful when they have indiscriminate urination; they simply want to be listened to! If you have any questions, local vet Jenny Keen will be pleased to help and can be contacted on 01225 428921. All Bath Vet Group surgery contact details and further information are available at 76 THEBATHMAGAZINE






the directory

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Health, Beauty & Wellbeing

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SWIM+SMILE Strain–free swimming with the

lengthen & lighten your load with

Shaw Method – based on the Alexander Technique. Individual lessons for adults in peaceful pools. Improve your stroke or learn another.

ALEXANDER LESSONS Hellie Mulvaney MSTAT Oldfield Park

01225 353397 Trisha 01225 480970

Angela Stevenson Gentle Osteopathic Care

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Home Security

The Furniture Care People. Furniture, door, wood and metal stripping. Restoration techniques, unique non-toxic, non caustic System 2000. Suitable for both hard and soft wood. Non harmful.

Recommended for Grade I Listed buildings

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10 RUSSEL STREET, BATH Guide Price: £1,450,000 •Four bedrooms •Three principal reception rooms •Central location •Courtyard garden •Separate self contained apartment


he epitome of modern elegance, this beautifully presented grade II listed Georgian town house is set just yards from The Assembly Rooms, neighbouring the Royal Crescent and The Circus. Amongst this splendid architecture, the cenral location also offers a wide range of amenities, including shopping, theatre and art galleries, all within easy walking distance. Several good schools, both private and state are available within the area, including the Royal High School for Girls, King Edward’s School and Kingswood School in Lansdown. This is a fine property of great proportion and the ground floor accommodation comprises of the family room, directly leading to the impressive kitchen/breakfast room and utility. With bow windows overlooking the courtyard garden the kitchen is bathed in natural light. The bow windows are a feature that run upwards at the rear of the house, appearing in the drawing room on the first floor and in the impressive master suite on the second floor. In addition there are three further bedrooms and a separate bathroom. Included with the main accommodation the property has a delightful self contained basement flat, featuring a private entrance hall, sitting/dining room, kitchen and en-suite double bedroom. Throughout, this property successfully combines contemporary design and comfort with the traditional features in keeping with a property of this period. The sash windows, intricate ceiling cornicing, working fireplaces and high ceilings are all typical of a Georgian design, whilst the neutral and sleek interior design makes for functional yet stylish living. For an early viewing, contact agents Pritchards. Pritchards, 11 Quiet Street, Bath. Tel: 01225 466225





Kingsdown An impressive well presented, detached house standing in good sized attractive gardens and enjoying stunning far reaching country views in a popular residential area, just four miles from the Centre of Bath. Approx gross int area 3077 sq ft/285.85 sq m. 5 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms (1 en suite), shower room, sitting room, dining room, conservatory, kitchen/breakfast room, utility room, and cloakroom. Detached double garage with undercroft comprising 2 rooms. Additional office/workshop. Delightful mature lawned gardens. Ample driveway parking.

Price: ÂŁ895,000

Bathford A beautifully presented detached family home set in a quiet location with the most outstanding views with accommodation arranged over 3 floors. Floor area approx 2843 sq ft/264.4 sq m. No chain. Kitchen/dining room, living room, study, 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, shower room, playroom/family room, utility & cloakroom. Gardens just under 1 acre including a tennis court, stable with tack room & store. Carport for 2 vehicles. Off road parking.

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

PRITCHARDS February.indd 1

Tel: 01225 466 225

26/01/2012 16:42

High Bannerdown

Fairfield Park

A well presented and deceptively spacious detached bungalow enjoying far reaching views and standing in attractive mature gardens, in a peaceful and highly sought after road on the north eastern fringes of the City.

An individual newly built 4 bedroom detached benefiting from double glazing, underfloor heating, kitchen with integrated appliances, 2 en suites & additional bathroom, cloakroom, and neutral decor and a superb living space with vaulted ceiling, woodburner and wonderful views to the rear. Gardens. Parking.

Four bedrooms, two bathrooms (one en suite) and additional shower room, large reception hall, sitting room, kitchen, dining room/conservatory, pantry and cloakroom.Total approx floor area: 1437 sq ft/133.5 sq m. Garage and driveway parking for additional vehicles.

Total approx. area: 1311 sq ft / 121.8 sq m

Price: £525,000

Price: £475,000

Farmborough, near Bath

Limpley Stoke

A beautifully presented detached family home set in the heart of this popular village.

A superior quality 4 bedroom semi detached family house situated in a small cul-de-sac in this sought-after village with local amenities & rail station nearby.

Kitchen/diner, living room, utility, cloakroom, playroom/office, master bedroom with en suite, three further bedrooms, family bathroom. Off road parking for three cars. Store. Summer house. Mature rear garden. Total approx. floor area: 1371 sq ft/127.3 sq m.

Good sized modern kitchen/diner, family room addition, superb loft conversion (bedroom one). Private rear garden & off-street parking for two cars. Total approx. area: 1535 sq ft / 142.6 sq m.

Price: £439,500

Price: £435,000 11 Quiet Street, Bath BA1 2LB

PRITCHARDS February.indd 1

Tel: 01225 466 225

24/01/2012 18:59

Bath Office Sales. 01225 459817 Beyond your expectations

Marshfield, Gloucestershire A glorious Grade II Listed five bedroom Cotswold Manor House full of character and period features including ship beams and flagstone floors. The property benefits from extensive off-road parking and a number of outbuildings including a remarkable Grade II* Listed 600 berth dovecote and a large stone double garage. The grounds also consist of a formal garden to the front and a kitchen garden to the side. Approximate gross sq.ft. 5963.

Guide Price ÂŁ1.5m Cotswold Manor House 5 Bedrooms (4 En-suite) 4 Receptions Period Features Wine Cellar Formal and Kitchen Garden

Hamptons Office 01225 459817

In the year of medals, we are already on a winning streak. Hamptons International Silver for Best for UK Large Estate Agency and Best for Marketing.

Hamptons Sales February.indd 1

23/01/2012 16:30

Bath Office Sales. 01225 459817 Beyond your expectations

Corston, Bath Situated on the edge of the village of Corston, approximately 3 miles from Bath, this is a fine example of an extensively refurbished five bedroom family home, brimming with period features, providing practical and comfortable living. The property, approached via a private drive, benefits from a double garage and gravelled parking for several cars. In addition to the enclosed Italianate walled terrace and front and rear gardens, there is a post and rail fenced paddock. Approximate gross sq.ft. 4053.

Guide Price ÂŁ1.2m Period Home 5 Bedrooms 3 Receptions Beautifully Presented Gardens and Land Countryside Views

Hamptons Office 01225 459817

In the year of medals, we are already on a winning streak. Hamptons International Silver for Best for UK Large Estate Agency and Best for Marketing.

Hamptons Sales February.indd 2

23/01/2012 16:30

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Bath Office Lettings. 01225 445646 Beyond your expectations

Weston Lane, Bath This immaculately presented modern detached house offers light and spacious family sized accommodation over split levels giving the majority of reception rooms access to the landscaped gardens and elevated views. Lovingly cared for, the bathrooms, breakfast kitchen and entrance hall have been refurbished and include amtico flooring. There is gated off road parking for several vehicles and the property is ideally located for the City Centre, RUH or commuting to Bristol or the M4. Available from 1st April 2012. Hamptons Office 01225 445646

ÂŁ2750 PCM 4 Bedrooms Family Bathroom 2 En-suite shower rooms Sitting room, study, dining room Breakfast kitchen & utility Gated off road parking.

Reassuringly Professional. Surprisingly Dynamic. Hamptons International won the Best for Innovation award at the 2010 Estate Agency of the Year Awards in association with The Sunday Times and The Times, recognising its innovative marketing approach and launch of the Hamptons International app for iPhone and iPad. Call us to find out how we can use our market-leading approach to help you.

Hamptons Letting February.indd 1

24/01/2012 11:58

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Peter Greatorex, managing director of Bath sales and letting specialists; The Apartment Company, gives his five top tips for landlords to ensure hassle free letting and peace of mind

Peter Greatorex ● Establish

your market and which agent is most likely to attract the right type of tenant for your property

Most letting agencies will have a database of tenants, but make sure they are targeting your market and letting similar styled properties. Most of our apartments attract professional tenants and corporate lets. ● Make thorough checks before you agree any tenancy Once a tenant is found it is imperative that a full referencing process is carried out. By this we mean not only meeting and interviewing prospective tenants but carrying out credit searches and referencing. This should include county court and insolvency records, verifying electoral role and bank details, taking up references including employment references and if applicable landlords over three years. Where necessary, additional security is recommended by means of a guarantor. In the case of corporate lets to a limited company, a full company search and accountants reference are advisable. ● Make your property maintenance free Decorate your property in a simple but classic or contemporary style. Choose your flooring and furnishings carefully and always remember that cheap isn’t always best. A management letting agent will have a very good relationship with many local tradesmen and in turn can help in advising you on decoration and furnishings for your property. Find an agent with a 24 hour maintenance team on board should any problems arise in your property out of normal office hours. Carry out all the checks that need to be done. Since October 2008 all rental properties have been required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). If there is a gas supply to the property all gas appliances must be checked annually and a Landlords Gas Safety Certificate issued. It is also strongly recommended that electrical checks, although not mandatory, are carried out. A Periodic Inspection is a full installation inspection and is valid for ten years. PAT testing is an annual safety check of electrical appliances, power points and lighting points. Your letting agent should be able to help organise these for you and have ‘Gas Safe’ registered tradesmen, Part P qualified electricians and EPC inspectors to call upon. 88 THEBATHMAGAZINE



● Complete a full inventory Once your tenants have been found and have passed the referencing process, we strongly recommend a full written and photographic inventory, as well as a professional clean (including carpets). There are many inventory clerks available and your agent will be able to advise you who to use. The inventory clerk will also carry out both the move in and move out for you, giving you peace of mind. It is also recommended that your property is professionally cleaned when the tenants move in. It is then reasonable to expect it to be handed back in the same state of cleanliness when the tenants move out and completely reasonable to request to see receipts to show it has been done. ● Make sure your rent and deposits are protected Your chosen agent is bound to act within a code of ethical practice and professional conduct and an element of this practise is that it is mandatory that your agent lodges tenant deposits with a Government recognised scheme - this is also true for private landlords. Ultimately the practise is to safeguard tenant’s monies against fraud, dishonesty and misappropriation and the penalty for failing to follow this requirement is a hefty and significant fine - i.e. three times the security deposit paid. There is a choice of three approved schemes - the DPS (Deposit Protection Scheme) which is Government backed, the TDS (Tenancy Deposit Scheme) and My Deposits. Both the TDS and My Deposits are schemes that are insurance protected. It is also worthy of note that as of April 2012 a few changes are to be made to deposit law in that either landlords or agents will have a 30 day period to return deposits, rather than the restrictive 14 day period that is currently in place.

If you follow these few simple steps, you will be able to let out your property hassle free and will be left with the peace of mind that your property is in good hands with your chosen agent.

For more information on letting with The Apartment Company, call Peter Greatorex on tel: 01225 471144

Portland Place

£1800 pcm

Alfred Street

£1400 pcm

Three bedrooms | Two bathrooms | Spacious | Gas Heating | Ideal location

Two bedrooms | Small courtyard | Recently renovated | Well presented | Central location

A spacious 3 bedroom 2 bathroom FURNISHED apartment. AVAILABLE FEBRUARY

Centrally located, renovated & beautifully presented two bedroom Georgian courtyard apartment. AVAILABLE IMMEDIATELY

Royal Crescent

The Circus

£1250 pcm

£1200 pcm

One double bedroom | Modern bathroom | Separate shower cubicle | Sought after location

Georgian apartment | Breathtaking views | Large living room | Two double bedrooms

A well presented one bedroom FURNISHED apartment located in the highly sought after Royal Crescent. AVAILABLE IMMEDIATELY

Two bedroom third floor FURNISHED Georgian apartment located in one of Bath’s most historic locations. AVAILABLE MARCH

The Apartment Company February.indd 3

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Cavendish Place A stylish and contemporary two bedroom apartment occupying the ground floor of a Grade I listed Georgian Townhouse. Located on the lower slopes of Lansdown, the apartment tastefully combines classical Georgian elegance with modern comforts.

Rent ÂŁ2,200 pcm living room with high ceilings | tall sash windows | contemporary fitted kitchen | granite worktops | stainless steel integral appliances | cloakroom | 2 double bedrooms | stunning en-suite bathroom | contemporary shower room | small rear courtyard | period features | views over Victoria Park

Reside Bath | 24 Barton Street Bath BA1 1HG | T 01225 445 777 | E | W

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ÂŁ4,500 pcm

A detached 4/5 bedroom house in an idyllic woodland setting nestled on the banks of the river Avon. Self-contained one bedroom studio also available by separate negotiation.

Bath 01225 747250

Carter Jonas February.indd 2

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Horseshoe Walk


A Wonderful Family Home with scope to convert to Much Larger Accommodation Subject to Usual Consents Spacious Accommodation Throughout | Living Room | Dining Room | Kitchen | Cloakroom | 3 Bedrooms | Bathroom | Large Undercroft | Good Size Garden | Off Road Parking | Offered for Sale with No Onward Chain

Milton Avenue


2 Bedroom Garden Apartment Rarely Available in Poets Corner Living Room with Large Bay Window | Modern Kitchen/Breakfast Room | 2 Bedrooms | Bathroom | Lovely Garden | Offered for Sale with No Onward Chain

01225 421000

134 Wells Road, Bear Flat, Bath BA2 3AH Fidelis February.indd 1

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Spring Barton

£1450 PCM

A Stunning Barn Conversion Located in the Idyllic Hamlet of Twinhoe with Breathtaking Views Across the Midford Valley Beautifully Presented Throughout | Character Features including Ceiling Timbers | Open Plan Kitchen/Dining Room | Living Room Reception 2 | Bedroom 3 | Shower Room | 2 Double Bedrooms (1 en-suite) | 2 Double Bedrooms (1 en-suite) | Bathroom | Manageable Garden

Marlborough Street

£1600 PCM

A Wonderful Georgian Home situated on the edge of St James Square close to Royal Crescent, Victoria Park and the City Centre Desirable Location | Stunning 5 storey Georgian Property | Vault | 3/4 bedrooms | Living Room | Kitchen/Dining Room | Bathroom | Shower Room | 2 Cloakrooms | Courtyard | Gas Central Heating | Electric Under Floor Heating to Kitchen, Shower Room, Bathroom and WC.

01225 421000

134 Wells Road, Bear Flat, Bath BA2 3AH Fidelis February.indd 2

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Forester Lane, Bathwick Houses on the Bathwick Estate are some of the most sought after addresses in the whole city. There are just a handful of streets in this quiet corner and the homes here are within easy walking distance of Bath city centre and the countryside too, with the Kennet and Avon Canal just around the corner. Parents will be pleased to know there are good local schools and, for commuting, the train station is within reach on foot. Whitfield Nash is marketing this solid detached three-bedroom home, which is perfect for someone wanting to stamp their own mark on it. The house has good sized rooms, with a generous sized sitting room and a dining room which opens out into what they call a sun lounge, aptly as it is filled with natural light. The kitchen and bathroom need updating for modern tastes and the house also has a ground floor cloakroom cum shower room and a utility room. Hoarders and collectors will be delighted to find the extra large garage also contains a a workshop. The mature gardens have been well tended over the years. Price: £525,000 Contact: Whitfield Nash, tel: 01225 48044

WHY KIRSTIE & PHIL ARE RIGHT When you’re looking for a new family home it’s all about location, location, location. This month’s town houses take into account the need for space, a garden and somewhere to keep the car. Do they tick all the boxes for your property needs?

Stirtingale Avenue, Englishcombe Lane

We don’t think you’ll ever get tired of the views from the back of this semi just off Englishcombe Lane, as you can see right over the city of Bath, from Solsbury Hill right round to Kelston Tump. On a more prosaic note, there’s shopping at Bear Flat, a mile or so away, as well as on Englishcombe Lane itself, while local schols include Moorfields Infants and Primary, Beechen 98 THEBATHMAGAZINE



Cliff and Hayesfield secondary schools. Someone has taken a 1930s traditional three-bed semi and given it a new lease of life. The kitchen has been opened out to create a great family room, with space to cook, eat and do school homework. The bay windowed sitting room looks over the front garden and there’s a useful ground floor loo off a lobby. On the first floor there are two double

bedrooms and one single bedroom, plus a newly refurbished family bathroom. The level gardens at the back are a good size and there’s a garage plus parking space on the drive. Price: £269,950 Contact: Tim Bennett & Associates, tel: 01225 325857

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SOLD in 2011

SOLD in 2011

SOLD in 2011

SOLD in 2011

SOLD in 2011

SOLD in 2011

SOLD in 2011

SOLD in 2011

SOLD in 2011

01225 866747 27 Market Street, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, BA15 1LL email: • website:

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1 Hayes Place, Bear Flat, Bath BA2 4QW.

k Mar r o l y a N

01225 422 224



A lovingly maintained, classic Victorian villa enjoying semi-detached accommodation over four storeys. Plenty period character and style and a family home not to be missed. Great location off the lower slopes of Bloomfield Road and easy downhill walking to Bath City Centre and Railway station. Entrance porch, hallway, sitting room, dining room, kitchen, utility room, WC, 4 bedrooms, bathroom, cloakroom and shower room. Lower Ground Floor comprising: office/hobby room and workroom. Front and rear gardens, permit parking. Gas central heating. Approximate gross internal floor area: 1,970 square feet / 183 square metres.

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1 Hayes Place, Bear Flat, Bath BA2 4QW.

k Mar r o l y a N

01225 422 224



A beautifully appointed detached country cottage set in large lawned gardens, with its own wildlife pond. Stunning rural walks at hand, along with swift access into Bath’s City Centre (approximately 7 miles). Extra bonus of a detached one bedroomed, self-contained annexe, with Bed & Breakfast permission. Reception hall, sitting room, dining room, kitchen, breakfast room area, family snug, small utility and downstairs cloakroom. Master bedroom, with en-suite dressing room and bathroom, 3 further bedrooms and family bathroom. Double length integral carport. Detached one bedroom annexe. Large, beautifully maintained gardens. Approximate gross internal floor area: 2,200 square feet / 205 square metres. .

Mullti award winning specialist luxury estate agents in 300 locations worldwide

Oleander Always considered to be a prime location, Freshford is a very pretty village situated amongst the stunning scenery of Limpley Stoke Valley “There’s a strong community spirit here and everyone is so friendly”, explain the current owners. “We have a thriving social scene from sports to drama & art, horticulture, tennis coaching and history clubs, so there is plenty to occupy all ages. With-in the village there is also a community shop, coffee shop, doctors’ surgery and two pubs”. Oleander is a remarkable home that has been redesigned to take full advantage of the marvellous views over the

valley from an elevated position. “The interior has undergone a complete transformation and is quite impressive from the moment you walk into the house. The staircase was moved to the centre of the property and the roof space opened up to allow natural light to flood the rooms. We installed a balcony outside the master bedroom so that we could enjoy the views from an elevated position. The garden, approximately 1.3 acres, is particularly noteworthy. A labour of love for the current owners it has been designed over 4 different levels offering an exceptional outdoor space to take pleasure in at any time of the year.

Call 01225 320032 Fine & Country Homes February.indd 1


Contact: Bath: 01225 320032


Fine & Country 36 Gay Street, Bath BA1 2NT 23/01/2012 16:54

Mullti award winning specialist luxury estate agents in 300 locations worldwide

Rodford Elm Farm An impressive and substantial former farm house set over four floors. Accessed via a long drive way, Rodford Elm Farm is situated on a plot with gardens to three sides, as well as benefiting from ample parking for several cars. The ground floor accommodation is accessed via a feature door and comprises of entrance lobby, cloakroom, utility room which was once the kitchen, a cosy lounge with log burner and a wonderful 34’1” x 16’ kitchen /diner. The upper floors comprise

of no less than seven bedrooms [six of which are doubles] master en-suite shower room and family bathroom. In addition to the main house there is a separate one bedroom annexe with open plan living accommodation, bathroom, parking and courtyard garden.

Rodford Elm Farm is situated on the outskirts of Westerleigh, South Gloucestershire, approximately 12 miles from the centre of Bristol and 15 miles from Bath.There are also local amenities less than 2 miles away.

Call 01225 320032 Fine & Country Homes February.indd 2


Contact: Bath: 01225 320032


Fine & Country 36 Gay Street, Bath BA1 2NT 23/01/2012 16:54

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South Woodlands, Limpley Stoke

Fields End, Freshford

■ Limpley Stoke & Freshford With its wooded valleys and houses seemingly clinging to the hillsides, the Limpley Stoke and Freshford area is often referred to as Little Switzerland. As might be expected, properties are in hot demand here, with many creative types choosing to move down from London, embedding themselves in the village community and making the most of good schools, pubs and some lovely country walks. There’s even a station at Freshford for commuters. Pritchards currently has three rather fine homes on the market in this area. Fields End at Freshford is a detached, handsome Bath stone four bedroom family home with pretty gardens. In addition to the 24ft long drawing room, there’s a kitchen/diner, a study, utility room and the snug, which has a shower room off it and could double as a fifth bedroom. South Woodlands is a converted coach house which also benefits from a detached home office - a commute of just a few yards which many would envy. The sitting room has a woodburning stove and there’s a smart, well fitted kitchen as well as a dining room. Upstairs, there’s room on the landing for stargazing from the window seat, while the main bedroom has a door which leads on to a bridge and into the gardens. There are two more bedrooms and a family bathroom and the gardens are secluded and a real delight. Number 7 The Firs, Limpley Stoke, is a four bedroom house, cleverly extended with a loft conversion to make a good sized master bedroom in the attic. On the ground floor there’s a woodburner in the sitting room,

The Firs, Limpley Stoke

while the kitchen/diner has a breakfast bar, a pantry and a solid oak floor. From here, on warm days the entertaining spills out onto the decking outside and into the gardens, which are child-friendly. Prices: Fields End, Freshford Lane, Freshford: £650,000. South Woodlands, Winsley Hill, Limpley Stoke: £625,000. The Firs, Limpley Stoke: £435,000. Contact: Pritchards tel: 01225 466225

ESCAPE TO THE COUNTRY More and more families are heading for the wide open spaces and big skies of the English countryside. West country homes with room for the kids, the much-loved family dog and enough garden to grow some home produce are much in demand

■ River Island, Frome This home is a one-off, in an enviable position just two miles from Frome town centre and yet in a completely rural setting from where you can sit on the decking and watch the herons and kingfishers on the adjacent River Mells. The ground floor of this contemporary four bedroom house is partly open plan, with a massive drawing room (34ft by 21ft), pictured, with a distinctive vaulted ceiling. There’s also an

equally gargantuan dining room which leads through to the kitchen, plus a utility room and ground floor cloakroom. River Island also has well stocked gardens all round the property, its own paddock, and a garage and handy workshop. Price: £740,000 Contact: Carter Jonas, tel: 01225 747250, or Winkworth, tel: 01225 829000




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Marlborough Buildings OIEO £475,000 Camden Crescent


OIEO £370,000 Tramshed

OIEO £340,000

A beautifully presented three bedroom This spacious Georgian courtyard apartment is A stunning two bedroom contemporary laterally converted apartment located adjacent located in a prime residential area within easy apartment located in the sought after Tramshed to the Royal Crescent. reach of central Bath. development located in the heart of the City.




Combe Park

OIEO £275,000 Russel Street

A fabulous Victorian two bedroom garden maisonette located in a sought after location on the Western reaches of the City.


OIEO £275,000 Rivers Street

A beautifully presented two bedroom Georgian apartment located in a prime position in central Bath.

OIEO £245,000 Brunswick Place

OIEO £230,000

A charming and unique one bedroom courtyard maisonette located in a much sought after central location.



Tucked away in this sought after location this stylish second floor, two bedroom apartment boasts many desirable features.

The Apartment Company February.indd 4




Horstmann Close




OIEO £215,000 Henrietta Street

A charming two bedroom Georgian ground floor apartment located in a prime central location just off of Russel Street.

OIEO £176,000

Georgian top floor one bedroom apartment located just off Great Pulteney Street.

23/01/2012 17:01

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Widcombe A rare opportunity to acquire one of only four detached properties in this highly desirable part of Widcombe and with wonderful views of the City | entrance hall | drawing room | sitting room | dining room | study | kitchen/breakfast room | utility room | cloaks/shower room | master bedroom | en suite bathroom | 3 further bedrooms | family bathroom | workshop/garden store | driveway parking | established gardens | fine views | Guide Price ÂŁ895,000

Crisp Cowley Ralph Allen’s Town House York Street Bath BA1 1NQ 01225 789333

Crisp Cowley February.indd 1

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Park Street An extremely well presented Grade II listed Georgian town house situated in an excellent location off St James’s Square | entrance hall | study | dining room | first floor drawing room | withdrawing room | family room | kitchen/breakfast room | 2 cloakrooms | master bedroom | en suite bathroom | 3 further bedrooms | family bathroom | sep. wc. | cellars | vaults | walled garden | Guide Price: £1,175,000

Crisp Cowley Ralph Allen’s Town House York Street Bath BA1 1NQ 01225 789333

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Bathwick A fine Victorian semi-detached house in a sought after location with generous accommodation over three floors | entrance hall | 2 reception rooms | kitchen/breakfast room | cloakroom | 5 bedrooms | 2 bathrooms | shower room | store room | front and rear gardens | off road parking | period features throughout | close to Bathwick St Mary’s primary school | Guide Price £750,000

Crisp Cowley Ralph Allen’s Town House York Street Bath BA1 1NQ 01225 789333

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Lyncombe Vale Road An impressive detached four bedroom family home with beautiful landscaped gardens in an idyllic and sought after edge of City location | hall | sitting room | excellent open plan kitchen/dining/family area | utility room | cloakroom | master bedroom with en suite shower | balcony with garden views | 3 further bedrooms | family bathroom | large terrace | detached and substantial garden room | office/hobbies room | garage | landscaped gardens | Guide Price: ÂŁ795,000

Crisp Cowley Ralph Allen’s Town House York Street Bath BA1 1NQ 01225 789333

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Profile for MC Publishing Limited

The Bath Magazine February 2012  

The Bath Magazine Is a glossy monthly magazine for the city of Bath, England

The Bath Magazine February 2012  

The Bath Magazine Is a glossy monthly magazine for the city of Bath, England