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ISSUE 338 / 28 APRIL – 12 MAY 2017 / £3









EDITOR’S LETTER / ISSUE 338 / 28 APRIL – 12 MAY 2017


IT’S A DOG’S LIFE Why bringing your pet to work is a good idea

P-awe inspiring As an unabashed animal lover, it has been such a pleasure this week to meet and chat with the city’s business owners who bring their pets to work. On the face of it, of course they all think it’s fantastic to have their furry companions in the office, shop or school with them, but the benefits of having their dogs, cats and rabbits by their sides is greater than they first imagined. All 13 of the business owners we talked to said that their animals actually boost their businesses, increase motivation and lower stress in one way or another – find out how on page 24. Elsewhere, as we approach International Museum Day, we’ve visited some of Bath’s best museums and asked their directors and curators to specially select the most surprising and bizarre items they have on display right now (page 66). And, as 2017 is both the Royal Crescent’s 250th anniversary and the 30-year anniversary of Bath’s World Heritage status, we’ve been taking the time to really appreciate the beautiful surroundings in the city, and have been studying some of the more overlooked aspects – from ghost signs to ancient standing stones – (page 72). Talking of the Royal Crescent, Bath-born Kelvin Swaby, frontman of global sensations The Heavy, reminisces about sitting in front of the sweeping landmark to soak up inspiration for new songs. Turn to page 44 to see our interview with him ahead of his return to Somerset. We’ve also experienced the dazzling eccentricity of boutique hotel No.15 Great Pulteney on page 52; taken a sneak peek at the Shaker-inspired contemporary furniture, designed by a Bradford on Avon artisan maker, which will be showcased at The Holburne Museum this month (page 80); and laughed with (not at) our columnist David Flatman who delivers his unfaltering realness about holidays on page 21. See you in two weeks when our focus will be on summer. It’s about time, too… Sausage dogs enjoying their walk at Bath doggie daycare centre, HoundBound

Lisa Evans, Editor Follow us on Twitter: @BathLifeMag Follow us on Instagram:@bathlifemag

FEATURES / ISSUE 338 / 28 APRIL – 12 MAY 2017



We’ve been out and about, celebrating the historic, handsome and intriguing stones of Bath

122 Bath Lives

Musician Julian Pugsley talks John Lennon, The Bash Street Kids and treasured possessions

REGULARS / ISSUE 338 / 28 APRIL – 12 MAY 2017 M E ET T H E T EAM


Editor Lisa Evans

33 Arts intro A look at the eclectic, energetic and exciting Bath Festival

Managing editor Deri Robins Assistant editor Sarah Moolla Senior art editor Andrew Richmond Graphic design Megan Allison Cover design Trevor Gilham Contributors: Nic Bottomley, David Flatman, Philippa May and Angela Mount Group advertising manager Pat White Deputy advertising manager Justine Walker Sales executive Sophie Speakman Sales executive Michael Stevens Production and distribution manager Sarah Kingston Deputy production manager Kirstie Howe Production designer Charlie Pinder

34 What’s on Arts, gigs, plays and shows – time to update the events diary

44 Music Getting heavy about Bath with Kelvin Swaby from The Heavy

51 Books Nic Bottomley explores novels set in small town America

FOOD 52 Restaurant The dining experience at No.15 Great Pulteney scores highly on every level

Chief executive Jane Ingham Chief executive Greg Ingham Commercial director Steve Hawkins

59 Wine Angela Mount gets cheesy about her wine choices

61 Food & drink news How to photograph your food, and White Row Farm win gold

SHOPPING 62 Editor’s choice Pantone’s top 10 colours inspire this selection of accessories

LIFEST YLE 66 Museums Experts talks us through their most fascinating artefacts

80 Interiors Furniture designer Charlie Caffyn and statement pieces


Bath Life, MediaClash, Circus Mews House, Circus Mews, Bath BA1 2PW 01225 475800 @The MediaClash © All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without written permission of MediaClash.

82 Retirement


Experts help answer questions about retirement housing

110 Property showcase


All is great, and then some, on Britton’s Farm

97 Business insider


News, views and interviews from the region’s professionals

9 12 21 23

Spotlight Society A man’s world Girl about town

About MediaClash We’re a Bath-based publisher, creative agency and event organiser Magazines Our portfolio of regional magazines celebrates thebest of local living: Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter and Salisbury. We also publish foodie mag Crumbs. (, @CrumbsMag) and wedding title Vow (@VowMag). Agency From the design and build of websites to digital marketing and creating company magazines, we can help. Events We create, market, promote and operate a wide variety of events both for MediaClash and our clients Contact:

On the cover Noah the shop dog at Pug & Puffin on Northumberland Place, Bath. For the full feature, turn to page 24


Prince Harry cheers on the Invictus team trials

Prince Charming comes to town


A PRINCE AMONG MEN AND WOMEN HRH Prince Harry, who is patron of the Invictus Games Foundation and the Rugby Football Union (RFU) Injured Players Foundation, recently visited the University of Bath. He was at the University of Bath Sports Training Village on 7 April to attend the team trials for the forthcoming Invictus Games. He joined the crowds to cheer on track and field athletes and rowers as they looked to earn their place in the UK team for this year’s games in Toronto, Canada. He also met with the serving and veteran servicemen and women who are using sport and athletics as part of their recovery. Earlier in the day, Prince Harry also met with researchers at the university who, along with The Injured Players Foundation,

are undergoing a study which looks at understanding the demands of the rugby tackle, and how to minimise these risks, and he saw live demonstrations of the work being carried out involving members of the university’s rugby team. Stephen Baddeley, director of sport at the University of Bath, says, “We are proud and honoured that the Invictus Games UK Trials are once again taking place here. It is a truly inspirational event and another outstanding demonstration of the Sports Training Village’s capabilities to host multi-sport and disabilitysport competition. “It was also a pleasure to welcome Prince Harry back here, and great that he had the opportunity to see the pioneering research in high-performance sport being done at

the university.” The university, which is currently enjoying a year-long celebration of its 50th anniversary, is about to host its first ever free, community festival on 6 May, where the British Army’s Red Devils Freefall Team will perform a spectacular parachute display. Vice-chancellor and president of the University of Bath, Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell says, “The University is proud of its longstanding and close-working relationship with the city of Bath. For half a century we have contributed to the success of this wonderful city and as we celebrate our 50th anniversary, we would like to take this opportunity to thank the local community for their ongoing support by hosting this fun and exciting event for all ages.” For more:






The Bath-based actress Ashley Jensen is encouraging the nation to jump in puddles, with the help of Peppa Pig, for the charity Save the Children. Ashley, who has starred in Ugly Betty, Extras and Catastrophe, is supporting the Muddy Puddle Walk, a brand-new fundraiser launched by Save the Children in partnership with Entertainment One’s Peppa Pig, which asks nurseries, early years groups, families and children to explore the world around them, splash in muddy puddles and raise money. “I love getting out and about with my family in Bath, there’s nothing better than putting on my wellies and going for a walk in Prior Park,” says Ashley, who as the charity’s ambassador has visited their projects in India, Tanzania and Greece. “That’s why I’m encouraging everyone to get outside, come rain or shine, and help raise muchneeded funds for Save the Children. It’s so easy to take part and it’s the perfect excuse to explore the outdoors with your little ones. “By jumping in muddy puddles like Peppa Pig and raising money for Save the Children, you can help the world’s most vulnerable children have a brighter future. I’ve seen the charity’s work firsthand, so

Ashley’s happy to help splash for cash

Bath’s largest ever wildlife survey will take place as part of this year’s Festival of Nature two-week long event. The festival’s first Bath-based BioBlitz will take place at the National Trust’s Bushey Norwood site, which is part of the Bath Skyline, on 23 and 24 June and it is hoped that 1,000 different species can be found in 24 hours. Savita Custead, festival director, says: “There are so many interactive activities to take part in and as well as our first ever Bioblitz for the city, we are particularly excited to be able to bring a special bats theme to the Bath part of the festival this year. This year’s event will in fact mark the largest ever festival programme across Keynsham, Bath and the river path in between.” The Bristol leg of the celebration is 10–11 June, followed by Keynsham on 17–18 June, before culminating in Bath for the festival finale on 24–25 June. For more:

know what a difference it makes. I’m proud to do my bit to help raise awareness and funds.” For more:

We’re going on a bug hunt

Adventures in party-going

Joyce Petschek



Helen Conn, Alex Golden and Liz Coffey

The American Museum previewed their two current exhibitions, 1920s Jazz Age: Fashion and Photographs, and Joyce Petschek: Breaking the Pattern, on 17 March. Attending the private event were key staff members of the Fashion and Textile Museum in London, which originally exhibited 1920s Jazz Age along with the artist Joyce Petschek herself. Photos by Photos by Tim Woolf

Terence Pepper, Celia Joicey and Dennis Nothdruft

Penny Cornwall and David Cornwall Lisa Delprace and Christopher McGahey

Mark Butterfield

Christina Slade and Edward Bayntun-Coward 12 I BATH LIFE I

Moray McDonald




FACE THE FUTURE Black Swan Arts Centre in Frome recently collaborated with Bath Spa University to create The Future Can’t Wait exhibition, which previewed on 17 March. The collection showcased 30 MA postgraduate students’ work across four disciplines – ceramics, fashion and textiles, fine art and visual communication – and addressed the issue of uncertainty in our current political climes.

Charlotte Boege, Natalia Gonzalez, Emma Trussler and Jemma Quick

Photos by Tegan Rush

Sue Leather, Colin Read and Anna Read

Amanda Sheldon and Anita Taylor

Prabhjot Kaur

Bee Bucklow and Sue Bucklow

Rafael Neophytou and Dan Wood Shahnaz Rouxel and Carrie Grainger 14 I BATH LIFE I


LAY OF THE LAND David Simon Contemporary recently held a private view for friends of the gallery featuring the exhibition of landscape paintings by Andrew Lansley, and stilllife and landscape by Mike Service, which was attended by both of the artists.

Eleanor Milton, Lucy Simon, David Simon and Georgie Slais-Jones

Pictures by Sam Short

Sandy Douglas Karolina Papina and Mike Service

Celia Mannings and Andrew Lansley

SPOKESPEOPLE Bath & North East Somerset Council, Bath Tourism Plus and Bath Business Improvement District played host at Abbey Hotel’s Igloo on 16 March, where invited guests not only used the opportunity to network but also heard the announcement that Bath will be one of 10 venues across the UK to host The Tour Series 2017 and the Matrix Fitness Women’s Grand Prix on 20 May.

Alastair Grant, Lynda Deane, Ben Woods and Linda Todd

Photos by Giulia Spadafora Peter Downes and Carole Devonshire

Tim Warren and Dani King


Tim Perry, David Scudellari and Patricia Du Chatellier


FASHION SENSE Oska, the womenswear stockists, held a fashion show on 16 March at their Bath store on Upper Borough Walls. Guests and staff enjoyed fizz, canapĂŠs and a catwalk show featuring Oska customers, to showcase the spring summer collection, which combines Asian-inspired silhouettes with a casual elegance.

Jenny Dennis and Jane Hobbs

Hugo Regan, Lucy Holubova and Molly Cropper

Photos by Beth Newman

Annie Selwood-Miller and Mimmi Wedin

Linda Morgan, Julia Virley and Sue Harris

PLANE SPEAKING Robert Sinclair, Bristol Airport’s CEO, was the guest speaker at the Bath Life Business Club lunch held at The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa on 27 March, where he discussed being the noisy neighbour, the impact of Brexit, and his own personal career journey. Photos by Philip Shone photography

Ben Leighton and Ian Lloyd Robert Sinclair and Christian Knott

Annette Brune and Louise Kelly

Mike Stevens and Justin Clark





ALL DOWNHILL FROM HERE Bloodied, bruised and exhausted, Flats adds a dose of realism to how his family ski trip turned out...


’ve spoken in these pages before now of my loathing of most forms of air travel. While many people long to head for the airport with somewhere new and exciting their destination, I can visualise little more than excruciating queuing (because they’ve got air travel wrong), extreme heat (because I am rather large and should really only ever move around in subzero temperatures), and explosive levels of kerfuffle. Usually, though, the first full day abroad serves to dilute all of my angst, and enjoyment does ensue. This time, it was different. I’m typing these words from an achingly narrow seat aboard a flight home from Geneva. We all went skiing in Verbier and, overall, I’d call it a great week. However, day one was the stuff of nightmares. Having stumbled and tipped off the first chair lift of the holiday, I reached the top of a slope I could not ski if given a year’s practice. As it happens, I’ve had three weeks of skiing in my life. So, onto my arse it was. It wasn’t embarrassing in any way – I’m just not good enough at skiing to do runs like that – but it was annoying. And painful, as my forearms left small trails of blood on the icy snow. It took a long time to reach the easier bottom half of the run, but my anti-travel instincts had not yet abated. As my steak frites arrived at the quite shockingly overpriced café (I’m not normally one to notice these things as, within reason, I put enjoyment and hunger first, but this was a joke), I decided to let the morning session go, and to move on by effectively starting again. Always keen to add a dose of realism to conversations that seem, to me, to be taking an indulgent turn – be they positive or negative – I kept this very column in mind. So, to summarise what was certainly a very good holiday, I’ve compiled a small list of what skiing as a family actually entails. • Supposedly packed bags appearing – last minute – by the front door, bursting with gilets and with no zips done up whatsoever. • Interminable queues at airports.

• Car rental companies not recognising your booking and having to start again. • No sleep. • The daily battle to leave the house without forgetting skis, boots, gloves, helmets, passes, snacks (80 quid a day for kids’ sandwiches got old pretty quickly), suncream, sunglasses, water, spare socks. You get the picture. • Daddy clambering onto gondolas with more equipment than Bear Grylls would take to the North Pole. Twenty eight times. • Spending at least one hour per day waiting for the family’s women (at least, this family’s) as they ‘pop’ to the loo. Again. • Fabulous fun skiing – primarily watching the kids love it and improve by the hour. • Nice lunches on the slopes. • Mammoth schleps home with starving children. • More loo stops. Goodness me, did I spend some time waiting. • Kids snoring downstairs as the grown ups eat and slurp wine by the pint. • No sleep. • Hearing your flight’s last call being announced as Mrs F disappears on an essential mission to buy new eye cream. • Back in your own, blissful bed. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Actually, that’s a lie. We all had a great time, but in future I’d like our luggage to travel separately, our ski gear to be taken to the summit for us, a private jet to be arranged, and for all the females in this house to go back into nappies. Sir James Dyson wouldn’t have to put up with all this admin, and what exactly does he have that we don’t? David Flatman is an ex-Bath and England rugby star turned TV pundit and rent-o-mic. Follow him on Twitter @davidflatman




THE NEW NEUTRAL Our interiors columnist says now’s the time to refresh the home, and an earthy, Bath stone palette is the ideal starting place…


’ve been talking about shaking up your interiors to suit the seasons a lot lately, and this summer, with the excitement of holiday travels looming on the brain and the laptop, I thought I would look at how a new escapism will definitely be feeding back into the idea of the traditional home. If, like me, you’ve overdosed on hygge recently, you will be ecstatic to hear that with the change of the season comes a breath of fresh air in the interior world, too. Last year’s overriding theme was all about incorporating the industrial chic trend into your contemporary interiors, but the only downside to this fairly entertaining style was that it was quite dark. What I’ve been looking for recently is a trend that is fresher, lighter and a bit more charming. I love the charisma of the industrial look, but now I’m in the mood for something more country rustic. I’m looking to bring

travels back into the home and to create an eco-friendlier abode. The changes coming in this year are fresh, and, looking ahead, the mood is all about fun and glamorous escapism. When I found out that this issue of Bath Life was going to talk about Bath stone, I got excited to talk about the new neutral. If 2016 was a colour, it would be grey, and although this fantastic shade will never die, there is going to be a beautiful shift of neutrals to a sandy stone colour this year – perfect for the Georgian home. To accent this shade, sophisticated, deeper hues are gaining popularity. Colour trends are being thought of almost as personalities, think: ‘confident’, ‘composed’, and ‘comfortable’. One of my favourite brands, Neptune, strode in early using the confident colour ranges to shake up their winter campaigns with bold mustards and deep navy, but I like the idea of a composed sandy, earthy palette which reflects the tranquility and natural textures of Bath stone. Take these traditional colours and use them in a contemporary, bright way – just look at Boston Tea Party on Alfred street for inspiration – with its sack-covered seating and the texture of the woven lampshades – and you’ll see how warm and summery you can make this trend feel. Although I often like to look abroad for inspiration, some businesses do that for you – take Indigo & Wills on George Street for example, which I recently discovered on the Bath Pixie App, which will help me perfect my travel-style bedrooms with their Santorini-esque patterns. There’s also a tropical-meets-Africana theme at large which fits perfectly with this idea, so get ready to combine Zoology cushions from Anthropologie, quirky mantel animals from Graham and Green, and complete the look with woven baskets from The Loft to stun your guests. The more graphic and fun you make your interiors this summer the better. Go with big prints and neon colours to keep up with the kids, have fun with some pattern-clashing, inspired-geometrics and Sharpie-style black outlines, and hold it all together with a neutral, earthy background. Philippa May is an interiors enthusiast and the designer and brand creative manager for accessories label Abbott Lyon. Follow her on Instagram @_philippamay_ I BATH LIFE I 23


Noah takes a break from the daily grind at Pug & Puffin on Northumberland Place to take in the city views

One local business woman was the first in Wiltshire to have her pet rabbit as pageboy at her wedding, and another’s pug inspired her to set up her Bath company. The point is, we are a city of pet lovers and the majority of us don’t enjoy leaving our furry friends at home while we go to work, that’s why none of these local business people do… By L I SA E VA NS




bout eight per cent of employees in the UK are allowed to take their pets to work; however, the popularity of Bring Your Dog to Work Day on 23 June each year means a wider range of businesses across the country are waking up to the benefits of allowing dogs in the office, including us here at Bath Life. Firstly, it’s scientifically proven that pets lower stress, heart rate and blood pressure and make individuals who work alone feel less lonely. Secondly, people are perceived as more friendly and approachable when a dog is present in the office. And finally, dogs are likely to increase cooperation, trust and other positive behaviours among employees and can improve staff wellbeing and productivity. With that, meet the pet owners from 13 local shops, schools and hotels who are adamant that their four-legged friends boost their businesses…




Michael Parsons owns and runs the fine jewellery retailer and workshop on Northumberland Place with lurchers Woody and Phoebe by his side Having adopted Woody and Phoebe from the Bath Cats and Dogs Home, Michael didn’t then want the dogs to be alone at home while he went to work. “Thankfully lurchers are the perfect breed to take to work as they spend a lot of time curled up asleep and they’re not very demanding,” he says. “My business specialises in making bespoke jewellery, so it can be noisy for their sensitive ears, but they are happy to have company.” Michael believes that the dogs are not only good for morale on a particularly busy or stressful day, but they are a boost to the business. “When our clients meet the dogs, they are naturally a topic of conversation, so I think people now associate my dogs with the shop,” he says. “Tourists often ask what sort of dogs they are, though when I recently told a couple that these were rescue dogs, they asked me how such skinny dogs could save stranded mountaineers.” Phoebe’s most embarrassing moment: “She recently did a wee in front of a young woman while she was shopping. I adopted Phoebe recently and she is improving with the house training slowly.” Above: Rachel Wardley of Tallulah Rose Flower School with her pooch Lemmy; below: Nikita doesn’t just work at Incognito Social, but is also a therapy dog







At the floristry business on Milsom Street, you’ll find director Rachel Wardley with Lemmy, her flower-eating miniature dachshund Lemmy is the ideal colleague. He’s energetic, respects his superiors, has serious people skills and his work mostly entails distracting students and luring them into giving him cuddles. “We often have students from around the world who have to leave their own dogs behind, so Lemmy becomes their surrogate pooch while they’re studying with us,” says Rachel. “He’s a genuine comfort to some.” Rachel’s flower school specialises in careerchange courses for beginners, offering both the practical and business skills for those wanting to work within the floristry industry, as well as expert courses for professionals. Over time, Lemmy has become quite adept with bloom variations, and has a particular penchant for eucalyptus, which he likes to try and eat from students’ completed displays. “He loves flowers as much as we do,” says Rachel. “He helps my business by being here and he has certainly become as much a part of the school as I have.” When it comes to achieving a work-life balance, Rachel says that having her pet at the workshop keeps her from getting snowed under as he lets her know when to take a break and experience some Bath park life. Lemmy loves: Seeking out the dog lovers and the bacon sandwich-eaters first and foremost.


Cathrine Svendsen, the creative director of the Limpley Stoke-based marketing and social media management business, works alongside her Dobermann Nikita who is a registered service dog Before she even took her home as a puppy, Cathrine made a promise to Nikita’s breeder that she wouldn’t leave her home alone all day, so she decided to invest time into training Nikita to become an office dog. And as Cathrine’s job focuses on digital strategy for businesses, she works so closely with her clients that she often w I BATH LIFE I 25


bases herself at their offices. “It’s not a problem as Nikita mostly naps,” she says. “She’s a calming presence in the offices, though she will do the rounds and get a good back scratch from everyone now and then.” Nikita’s so well trained, in fact, that she’s a registered service dog with the Pets as Therapy charity, so she can be booked to visit residential care homes, schools and hospitals to brighten up people’s days. “I raised her with this in mind from day one, hoping that she would have the right qualities for the therapy job,” says Cathrine. “I was incredibly proud when she passed her assessment with flying colours. Some of these establishments have been waiting for a therapy dog to visit for over four years, so we’re always thrilled to do visits. “Dogs have this great ability to draw the best out of us,” she adds. “They make us visibly happier, more relaxed and open-minded. I’ve seen colleagues and clients take breaks from something stressful to play with Nikita and they always say it makes them feel much better.” Nikita’s favourite activity: Raising staff members’ morale by bringing them her toys.


Sarah Dedakis, the managing director of the lettings and investment agency on Margaret’s Buildings, has her TV-star cockapoos, Freddie and Lola, by her side at work Sarah credits the warm, relaxed and homely feeling in the office to her pets, and says if we all learn to be a fraction like dogs, the world would be far calmer. “They love everyone, they live in the moment and they don’t carry stress or worries,” she says. “I would work from 6am to 6pm non-stop given the chance, you just cannot do that with the pups, so I am forced to leave my desk and take them for at least one good walk a day, which is good for them and me.” Often luring innocent passersbys in off the street, Freddie and Lola know how to attract attention, and they’re not afraid to use their looks to get it. “People love coming in to see them,” she says. “We meet people we may not otherwise have the chance to meet if it wasn’t for the dogs.” Freddie and Lola’s 15 minutes of fame: They were once filmed for Channel 4’s Location, Location, Location in Bath.


Proprietor of the holiday home for small animals in Trowbridge, Sharon Rose Goulty’s eight rabbits come to work with her every day “I don’t bring my rabbits – Spud, Sprout, Mollie, Mopsy, Flopsy, Peter, Pippi and Bernie – to work with me, they bring me to work,” she says. “They are the perfect colleagues because they’re intelligent, full of character and lap up attention.” As Sharon’s livelihood is based around looking 26 I BATH LIFE I

after other people’s rabbits (along with guinea pigs, hamsters, degus and tortoises, among other animals, too), she finds it simple to care for her own pets while doing her job. “It’s more than a business, it’s a way of life,” she says. “My work is so connected to my life, but as I truly love the bunnies, I feel totally balanced (although my husband may disagree). Also, meeting so many friendly like-minded bunny people makes every day interesting and happy. The only downside is that it’s hard to find time to get away for a holiday.” Did you know: One of Sharon’s rabbits was a pageboy at her wedding two years ago – a first for Wiltshire, she says.


Emma Savage, who co-owns the designer resale boutique with her mum, Sharon, on Kingsmead Square, says her schnoodle, Charlie, makes the business more memorable “Many describe Charlie as an ‘internet superstar’ because of the number of photos of her on social media, and that goes straight to her head,” says Emma, who trained in animal husbandry at college, and used to operate a dog walking and pet sitting business. “Having her in the shop has definitely made us more memorable; our customers look forward to seeing her and she regularly draws new people in when she sits on the step outside.” As far as Emma’s concerned, Charlie is the perfect co-worker – when she’s not annoying everyone in the shop with her squeaky ball, that is – and spends most of the day quietly relaxing on her chair. But it wasn’t always that way. “She’s really well behaved now, but when she was a puppy, she ate so many of our wooden hangers we had to buy a tonne to replace them.

Top to bottom: Charlie using her charm to lure new customers into Grace & Ted; Sharon Rose Goulty with one of her eight rabbits that come to work with her daily; Sarah Dedakis says her TV-star pups create a warm environment at Dovetail Properties





Top to bottom: Chloe Harrison Temple at Blue Woman & Home describes her Frenchie as the heart of the shop; Michael Parsons at Gold & Platinum Studio with his friendly lurchers Woody and Phoebe

She also likes to chuck her ball into really impractical places, like under the stairs, so you have to get on your hands and knees to find it. “She knows how to work the room for sure,” Emma adds. “It’s all about her, all the time. If anyone sits in her chair, she is straight on their laps staring at them awkwardly until they move. It’s embarrassing for us, but she makes a lot of people laugh. “We’re lucky that we can bring a dog to work. I’ve had many jobs that would have been improved by a pet. It does help to relieve stress and reminds you not to take life so seriously.” Charlie’s proudest moment: She and Emma came third in a ‘dog most like its owner’ competition at Bowood Dog Show.


Chloe Harrison Temple, managing director at the homeware and fashion store on Bartlett Street, has her French Bulldog, Suki, in tow most days If you’ve been into Blue Woman & Home at The Loft, you’ll have spotted Suki the Frenchie sitting on the desk behind the cash register, getting the best view of the customers she can. “Suki is the heart of our shop,” says Chloe. “She

adds to the warm, happy environment here and she has regular visitors who, in turn, have become customers and friends. Having Suki forces me walk every morning before work and sets me up for the day, she also comes to the pub after work from time to time, so she’s very outgoing. “Most importantly, she is rarely on her own, so we think she’s a very happy dog. They are social creatures and I wouldn’t have one if my work didn’t allow for it.” Did you know: Suki will be hosting a kissing booth next Valentine’s Day to raise money for the Bath Cats and Dogs Home.


David Moore and Alex Schlesinger bring their ginger moggy, Frederick Augustus, to work with them on London Road, mainly because they live on the premises and it’s impossible to keep him out You wouldn’t think an animal and decorative, delicate antiques would fit together (a bull in a china shop springs to mind) but Fred the shop cat is a pro at avoiding any mishaps. “He’s very sure-footed,” says Alex. “He can walk through a fragile table display without so much as touching anything.” w I BATH LIFE I 27


It’s a good thing that Fred is so careful because it’s not only impossible to keep him out of the shop and the furniture restorer’s workshop (as his owners live on the premises), but he’s also one of the business’s finest assets. “He’s probably our best salesman,” says Alex. “Like most cats, he knows how to manipulate people and how to get his own way. He is a real showman, loves attention and will throw himself onto his back to attract anyone passing him.” Before they adopted Fred, they inherited Alex’s parents’ cat when Alex’s mother, Rachel, died. “He became our shop cat and gave an ‘I’m back’ meow every time he came in from outside. A lady looking around in the shop one day exclaimed, without even turning to look, ‘That’s Rachel’s cat’. It turns out she was Rachel’s home-carer, and she recognised the cat’s distinctive vocals.” Fred’s only weakness: “He’s afraid of dogs, but will stand his ground and even `have a go’. Once, we had to lift him off of a dog’s back, which he was clawing. The dog owner was a bit shocked.”


At her gift shop for dogs and dog lovers on Northumberland Place, Jenny Wiscombe’s pug, Noah, must be carefully watched As the shop is all about dogs and people who love dogs – selling everything from puppy bow ties to wall art – Noah never feels out of place at Pug & Puffin, principally because the business was started in his honour. “He’s the inspiration behind the whole business,” says Jenny. “He’s the head of quality control here and he’s a great model for the latest harness or bandana, too. We sell lots of treats for dogs so that’s probably the main reason why he likes to come to work.” As he’s so laid back and friendly, he’s the ideal member of staff, and Jenny says he most definitely brings in new business when people notice him through the window. A naughty Noah moment: “He will sometimes take a bone into a new pet bed without me noticing. Next thing, the bed is filthy and Noah gets to keep it. He has about 10 now.”


German Shepherd Luna loves coming to work with mum and dad Janine and Mike Tozer, the owners of the pet shop business on St James Parade “Our company strapline is ‘They’re not just pets, they’re family’, and we also promote responsible pet ownership,” says Janine. “So it wouldn’t be right to keep Luna in the house all day. Not only that, but she’s a fabulous ambassador for accessories and food at the shop – although snacks do need to be out of reach of her. “She’s a fabulous model for showing leads, collars, harnesses and coats,” says Janine whose three retail stores are spread around Bath city centre, Larkhall and Frome. “We have videoed her using toys, puzzles and beds, too; customers love 28 I BATH LIFE I

that. We must watch her around treats, though – she once ate a whole bag of dog-toxic sultanas. “It’s good for anyone to have a pet companion around and there is proven research around the benefits of having a dog for company and relieving stress. It certainly has a feel-good factor.” Luna’s favourite activity: Dressing up without protest, especially on charity days.


Tonga the boxer, and Frank and Ronnie the miniature wirehaired dachshunds go to work with mum Lauren Barnes, owner of a doggie daycare business on Newbridge Road As her business involves looking after other people’s dogs, Lauren finds it easy to include her own pets in the fun, too. She runs everything from her home where she has a purpose-built ‘dog pod’ in her garden, a secured walking space and a couple of acres of land nestled in Bath’s

Top to bottom: Fred knows how to manipulates customers at Old Bank Antiques Centre; Lauren Barnes lives the dream at her doggie daycare centre; opposite page, left to right: Tom Carnaghan with his dachshund, Dexter, who’s locally famous at The Thief hotel; Magalleria’s shop dog embarrasses his owner, Daniel McCabe, with his bad habit

He’s probably our best salesman. Like most

cats, he knows how to

manipulate people and how to get his own way

beautiful countryside that she has turned into a canine adventure playground. “All three of my dogs are really sociable and love to be outdoors exploring or playing with their friends, so as you can imagine they love coming to work with me,” she says. “They have the best life, and I’m living the dream too.” Having her own pets has enabled her to offer advice to other dog owners from her own experiences, and she believes the pups help when meeting with prospective customers. “I based my business model on a place I would love to send my dogs, so they have motivated me through every step of my journey,” says Lauren. Did you know: For the past two years, Lauren has taken part in Bath Cats and Dogs Home’s Kennel Break Challenge for which she’s been locked in a kennel and had to raise money for her own release.


Enzo the whippet comes to work with Daniel McCabe and Susan Greenwood, owners of niche magazine shop Magalleria on Broad Street Although having a shop dog works perfectly for him, Daniel can see the positives and negatives of the concept. “A pesky or noisy dog wouldn’t win fresh trade, but having a shop pet makes for an easy USP,” he says. “It provides a talking point or ice-breaker, or

even a useful distraction sometimes. “Enzo is generally well-mannered and always gentle,” he adds. “He’s superb with small children – even some of the most reticent will warm to him when they can be persuaded to feed him a biscuit. We have a number of customers who come to the shop to see Enzo as much as the magazines. Anyone carrying a bag has his full attention and he’ll put his nose in, just to see if there’s something to eat.” Enzo’s worst habit: “He seems to always break wind during busy moments in the shop.”

The Thief

Brothers Ed and Tom Carnaghan bring their dogs – Dexter, a miniature dachshund, and Mollie, a labrador – to the boutique hotel they own on Monmouth Place “We have the dogs with us at all times, just because we can,” says Tom. “We love having them with us and see no need to leave them at home.” You’ll mainly find the dogs quietly lounging or sleeping in the hotel, which is a historic coaching inn set in the heart of Bath. “They’re locally famous for being incredibly friendly and welcoming to all our customers,” says Tom. “They definitely add a unique aspect to the hotel, and bring happiness to everyone who either works here or pops in for a drink and a pie.” I BATH LIFE I 29

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Looking for a nice place to go for a walk with your four legged friend? Lisa from BATH VETERINARY GROUP has some ideas...


ath is extremely dog-friendly, making it the perfect place to find some sites to walk with your companion. There are many picturesque walks but perhaps one of the most well-known is along the Bath Skyline, which starts at Bathwick Hill and is a six mile walk ending up at Sham Castle, an 18th century folly. The well-known ‘Rainbow Woods’ is part of the Skyline walk and not only is it dog-friendly, it also has a natural children’s play area making it very family friendly. Bushey Norwood, which is situated next to Bath Cats and Dogs Home,


comprises a couple of fields that are well away from the main road and therefore suitable for letting dogs off their leads. For the more adventurous walkers, Beechwood, which can be found off of a no-through road called Beechwood Road in Combe Down Village, is a tougher walk that encompasses woods and a valley, coming out at Tucking Mill Viaduct. For a longer route, there is a walk through the Two Tunnels into Bath or a field walk to end up at Southstoke Village. The Two Tunnels route leaves Lyncombe Vale and heads underground beneath high ground. Combe Down Tunnel is the longest cycling and walking tunnel in the UK. These walks are just a small selection. There are many more walks and paths for the more adventurous and their dogs which reveals the beauty of the city and its surrounding area. When walking with your dog be prepared for all eventualities. Always carry water and maybe a pet first aid kit in case of any mishaps. Ensure

your dog is up to date with parasite treatment, including tick prevention. This is particularly important in the warmer months as a lot of walks are through fields where ticks are often found. When you have finished your walk, it is always a good idea to give your dog a check over for presence of ticks or injuries. If you have any concerns, contact your local vet or vet nurse for advice. Lisa Walters RVN of Bath Vets

Bath Veterinary Group Rosemary Lodge, Wellsway, Bath BA2 5RL 01225 832521

Does your dog scratch? Frantic scratching, itching and licking are common signs of discomfort from fleas, ticks and allergies.

Bath Vets

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Find your Local Vet Surgery 01225 832521 f Bath.Vet.Group



A celebration of Bob Dylan, new jazz talent with Madeleine Peyroux, Psycho with a live orchestra, and the controversial and acclaimed novelist Lionel Shriver discussing Trump’s first 100 days in office. How’s that for an eclectic line-up? The Bath Festival, which runs 19 – 28 May, also includes folk, rock, classical, jazz, acoustic, swing and soul performances, Chinese puppetry and the one and only Mary Berry. But first, to kick off the cultural extravaganza, there’s the free Party in the City on 19 May. The streets will be filled with dancing, drumming and samba with a special Bath Carnival procession, along with DJ booths, a family-friendly festival hub on Alfred Street, over 100 schoolchildren singing in the Abbey and a choice of three outdoor stages, with the late-night entertainment continuing at Moles on George Street. For more information and full details of line-up, dates, venues and prices, visit: I BATH LIFE I 33

29 April – 27 May

It’s a true love story at the egg with Happily Ever After, the tale of a prince who doesn’t like girls; Bath Operatic and Dramatic Society perform the touching musical Sweet Charity at Theatre Royal Bath; the Fresh exhibition will display more than 5,000 paintings and sculptures – including the oil on canvas End Of Story by Paul Bennett

Exhibitions UNTIL 5 MAY

PAUL WRIGHT An exhibition featuring the bold, commanding and acclaimed work of Paul Wright, whose masterful and confident technique uses a rich palette to create a wonderful texture. The book I Gave the Pope a Rhino by Andrew Moorhouse, will also be on sale and features Paul’s work illustrating the song lyrics by the poet Paul Muldoon. Edgar Modern; UNTIL 10 MAY

HISTORY THROUGH A LENS: ICONIC PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE INCITE PROJECT This show focuses on single iconic images and their power, profiling over 75 photographs that have changed public

perception of world events, including the assassination of John F Kennedy and Nelson Mandela in his cell on Robben Island. Victoria Art Gallery; UNTIL 14 MAY

PASSION An exhibition of new painted clothes, shawls and scarves full of hot colour by Carole Waller, new cool ceramics by Gary Wood, and silver jewellery inspired by Bath. One Two Five Gallery; UNTIL 17 MAY

TRANSFORMATION A major solo exhibition of sculpture by the late Elisabeth Frink that comprises a selection of her distinctive and powerful bronzes, alongside a series of drawings that highlight her


skill as a draughtswoman. Hauser & Wirth Somerset; UNTIL 29 MAY

HARRIET DAHANBOUCHARD Meet classically trained portrait artist Harriet Dahan-Bouchard as she draws from a model. 11.30am-4pm, free. Victoria Art Gallery; UNTIL 30 MAY

#IGERSBATH Celebrate some of the best photography of Bath, by the talented people of Bath, with this Instagrammers exhibition supported by The Bath Pizza Co. Green Park Brasserie; UNTIL 31 MAY


Nick Cudworth turns his artistic attentions to Widcombe, including depictions of the canal, St Matthew’s church and The High Street. Nick Cudworth Gallery; UNTIL 4 JUNE

BRUEGEL: DEFINING A DYNASTY This exciting exhibition not only shines a light on the quality of the museum’s Flemish paintings, but also on the great wealth of paintings by the Bruegel (also known as Brueghel) dynasty in the UK. The Holburne Museum; UNTIL 2 JULY

HONG LING: SELECTED Hong Ling is a contemporary Chinese artist whose work unites the distinct yet delicate essence of traditional Chinese landscape painting with technical precision,

ambitious breadth of scale and subject. Museum of East Asian Art;

Gallery, 48 Great Pulteney Street;


29 APRIL – 29 MAY

FIND ANOTHER BATH This diverse collection of works includes music, photography, painting and print and celebrates Bath’s less well known industrial history. Art at the Heart of the RUH; UNTIL 29 OCTOBER

JOYCE PETSCHEK: BREAKING THE PATTERN Bargello needlework is a beautiful flame-stitch pattern and Joyce Petschek has created a captivating body of work that is colourful, inspiring and innovative. American Museum; UNTIL 29 OCTOBER

1920s JAZZ AGE: FASHION & PHOTOGRAPHS With over 150 garments, this stunning selection of sportswear, printed day dresses, fringed flapper dresses, beaded evening wear, velvet capes, and silk pyjamas reveals the glamour, excess, frivolity and modernity of the decade. American Museum; UNTIL 10 DECEMBER

JUBILATE A celebration of music and science in 18th century Bath, with a fascinating collection exploring the 250th anniversary of William Herschel being appointed director of music in Bath. Free, Herschel Museum of Astronomy;

BATH OPEN STUDIOS Over four weekends, artists in Larkhall, Newbridge, Widcombe and Bear Flat, open their doors to the public and showcase painting, printmaking, photography, jewellery, ceramics and sculpture. 11am-6pm, free. For trail details see 5 – 29 MAY

LYNNE CARTLIDGE AND ANDY WAITE There is a softness and a warmth to both of these painters’ work, shown together for the first time. Lynne Cartlidge, whose main focus is on still life, uses the subject as an endless source of experimentation with light and shadow. Andy Waite’s paintings of remembered landscapes, drawing upon the tradition of the Romanticists, uses the handling of the subject to reflect his own wandering moods. David Simon Contemporary; www. 5 MAY – 12 JULY

SWIll South West Illustrators, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, is a group of illustration artists based mainly around the Bath and Bristol area. This exhibition features the work of 15 members and includes stamp design, street artworks and printmaking. Art at the Heart of the RUH; 9 – 20 MAY


LACE IN FASHION From rare, fine luxury garments worn by royals and the aristocracy, to machine-made items for more everyday, and practical use, this exhibition showcases over 50 lace pieces, some dating from the time of Shakespeare. Fashion Museum;

IMAGES OF RESEARCH See this year’s entries to the annual University of Bath’s innovative competition in which the research community is invited to visualise their work through the creative use of images including photography and images produced via collaboration with artists. The Edge;

29 APRIL – 1 MAY

12 – 14 MAY

KIT GLAISYER: GALLERY OPEN WEEKEND Kit opens his Bath gallery to show his evocative landscape paintings, serene views across Bath and golden city street work. 11am-5pm. Also open by appointment. Garden Flat

FRESH With 5,000 paintings and sculptures from over 400 established and emerging artists, including Barbara Rae, Sir Peter Blake, Sophie Ryder, Iryna Yermalova, and Raquel Alvarez, there will be something to suit art w

Top to bottom: Bath artist Nick Cudworth celebrates all things Widcombe; Resignation by Ann Hines is on the Newbridge leg of the Bath Open Studios I BATH LIFE I 35


W H AT ’ S O N

lovers of all tastes and budgets. £6. Cheltenham Racecourse; 13-14 MAY

MODERN ARTBUYER OPEN HOUSE The Limpley Stoke pop-up gallery showcases a vibrant and exceptional collection of contemporary works by many talented artists including Mark Mawson. Limpley Stoke, Bath; 20 MAY – 15 JULY

BATH SOCIETY OF ARTISTS ANNUAL OPEN The popular annual exhibition, showcasing the best of the region’s artistic talent, attracts up to 1,000 entries and 13,000 visitors. While the artwork is on display, the public can vote for their favourite exhibit, with the winner receiving £500. Victoria Art Gallery; 21 – 31 MAY

BLAKE, BRUNSDON & GREENWOOD: THE UNSEEN COLLECTION Celebrate the work of three of Britain’s most loved and collected contemporary artists with a unique opportunity to see an exhibition of highly coveted works, available for a limited time only. Rostra Gallery;

Plays/Shows UNTIL 6 MAY

THE MENTOR Homelands star F. Murray Abraham takes to the stage in this German play by Daniel Kehlmann. He is a cantankerous old writer, Benjamin Rubin, basking in the reflected glory of long-ago success, when his life collides with a rising young literary star. £19.50-£12. Ustinov; 2 – 6 MAY

SWEET CHARITY A Bath Operatic and Dramatic Society tell the story of Charity Hope Valentine, a dance club hostess who keeps falling for the wrong guy, until she meets shy sweet Oscar. Includes the classic showstoppers (Hey,) Big Spender and If They Could See Me Now. £10-£32. Theatre Royal Bath;

James Bolam and Anne Reid star in Fracked!, a comedy set around a village threatened by shale gas drilling

3 – 6 MAY

22 – 24 MAY

AN EVENING WITH NOEL COWARD The Argyle Players perform three short comedies from the master of wit involving a glamorous Côte d’Azur setting, well-to-do nogooders, washed-up music hall acts and various scandals. 7pm, £10. Tovey Hall Theatre; 10 – 14 MAY

INTIMATE EXCHANGES A series of inter-related plays about sterile marriages, misguided flings, all superbly demonstrating Alan Ayckbourn’s brilliant craftsmanship and razor-sharp humour. £12. The Mission Theatre; 15 – 20 MAY

FRACKED! Fracked! or: Please Don’t Use the F-Word by Alistair Beaton is set in an idyllic English village threatened by shale gas drilling plans. Anne Reid plays Elizabeth, who finds herself transformed from obedient citizen to angry protestor and soars to fame via social media, much to the dismay of her grumpy husband Jack, played by James Bolam. £23.50£38.50. Theatre Royal Bath;


OUR COUNTRY’S GOOD Bath Spa Theatre Society perform a play written by Thomas Keneally and Timberlake Wertenbaker and set in an Australian penal colony in 1788. It explores the redemptive power of art, asking if it is better to punish or to rehabilitate. £10. The Mission Theatre;

Music 30 APRIL

THE UNTHANKS Unthank is the real surname of sisters Rachel and Becky, who say they were brought up on a diet of folk clubs, festivals, clog dancing and singarounds, and whose sounds have been described as “overflowing with feeling and musical intelligence.” They are currently applying their talents to interpreting the newly discovered music of Molly Drake, mother of the artist Nick Drake. 7.30pm, £20. Wiltshire Music Centre; 6 MAY

ONE NIGHT OF ELVIS Lee Memphis King, Europe’s most successful Elvis Presley

tribute artist, recreates the essence of the King with consummate ease and an almost unbelievable combination of stunningly accurate vocals and incredible passion in every performance. 7pm, prices from £22. Bath Forum; 12 MAY

WASUREMONO The four-piece indie from Bradford on Avon, whose recent explosive album Kaboom has been championed by BBC 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq and Lauren Laverne, specialise in Krautrock, dream-pop sounds. 7pm, £3. Komedia; 13 MAY

3 DAFT MONKEYS With Celtic and eastern influences, this notoriously energetic and dynamic band with their infectious dance rhythms will leave you breathless, enthralled and exhilarated. 8pm, £12. Chapel Arts Centre;

Family fun 1 MAY

COUNTRY FAYRE Along with a BBQ, maypole w dancing and cream teas,


W H AT ’ S O N

The up-and-coming Bradford on Avon-based Wasuremono, bring their Krautrock, dream-pop sounds to Komedia on 12 May

there’s also a dog show, welly wanging and snail racing. Also making this an extra special event is cheese and cider tasting, crafts, children’s activities and a best-dressed scarecrow competition. 12.30pm-4pm, £5. Woolley Grange; 6 MAY

UNIVERSITY OF BATH COMMUNITY FESTIVAL As part of a year-long celebration of its 50th anniversary, the University of Bath is hosting its first ever free, community festival. Activities include talks, demonstrations, street dance, a giant T-Rex and the Red Devils performing a parachute display at midday. 11am-4pm, free. Claverton Campus; 24 – 28 MAY

HAPPILY EVER AFTER The queen is growing impatient. Her lazy son will never be king until he grows up, gets married and starts acting like one. She invites hundreds of princesses from across the land, hoping to find the perfect bride for the prince, but he isn’t impressed by

any of them. Then one day a princess arrives accompanied by her brother… £8.50/£7.50. the egg;

Other 8 MAY

AND SO TO BED A talk tracing the significance of beds from the medieval period through to the 18th century, looking at the history of their construction, decoration and the use of textiles. 7.15pm, £8. BRLSI Queen Square;

years of the Rotary Foundation. Saturday evening also sees a concert by the Chippenham Male Voice Choir. St Michael’s Church. 13 MAY

OFF THE STREET An evening festival of multicultural culinary delights and live performing arts in aid of Julian House, organised by a group of Bath Spa University students as part of their studies. 6pm-10pm. Green Park Station; for more details please mail 15 – 17 MAY


GINO’S ITALIAN ESCAPE LIVE Fresh from a hugely successful fourth series, Gino’s Italian Escape on ITV, the charming Gino D’Acampo is bringing his passion and flair for the cookery of his birthplace to the Bath stage, along with his distinctive chat. 8pm, £27.50. Bath Forum; 12 – 14 MAY

FLOWER FESTIVAL A floral fundraiser marks 100


his new book Lives of the Great Gardeners, followed by a guided Capability Brown tour and lunch at Bowood House and Gardens. 11am-4pm, £55; Bowood House;

PINT OF SCIENCE Organised by the University of Bath, more than 24 scientists are headed to the pub to talk dancing robots and erasing unwanted memories, as part of this global celebration of all things science. For details, venues and pricing visit www. 18 MAY

LIVES OF THE GREAT GARDENERS Stephen Anderton, garden writer for The Times, talks about

19 – 28 MAY

BATH FESTIVAL A new 10-day multi-arts festival bringing the streets, venues and all four corners of Bath to life with music, poetry, theatre and literature. Big names include Sir Salman Rushdie, Georgie Fame, Simon Callow, Gary Younge and Sally Phillips. There’s also a raft of new and emerging talent. Opens with the free Party in the City on 19 May. Turn to page 33 to find out more; 21 MAY

THE INDEPENDENT BATH MARKET On the third Sunday of the month, eight times a year, a street market based in Abbey Green, will pop up featuring small, independent family businesses, traders, makers, growers, crafters, artisans and producers. For more, turn to page 97. Abbey Green, Bath; www.

FONTHILL garden centre A family run business that’s been growing since 1967.

Brook Bank welcomes beginners & experienced shooters – the ideal venue for your stag or hen party!

Beginners Clay Shooting Package (variety of targets) from £31pp Lessons available on Driven birds/clays by appointment Open for practice 5 days a week Gunsmith on site - snack bar

BATH ROAD, BITTON, BRISTOL 0117 932 3110 OPEN MON-SAT 8.30-5.30 SUN 10.30-4.30

GIFT VOUCHERS AVAILABLE Brook Bank, Rodney Stoke, Cheddar, BS27 3UJ Tel: 01749 871055 ba

“The entire show was captivating from start to finish” Welwyn Hatfield Times

Saturday 27 May at 7.30pm, Frome Memorial Theatre, Frome Box office: 01373 462795


This page and opposite page: Kelvin Swaby, second from left, with bandmates Dan Taylor, Spencer Page and Chris Ellul

It felt magical to walk to the Royal Crescent to work on new ideas

How you like me now? Ahead of headlining Somerset’s The Shindig Weekender in May, Bath-born Kelvin Swaby – the frontman of global sensations The Heavy – tells LISA EVANS why Bath’s music scene inspired him, why the Royal Crescent is one of his favourite places in the world, and why he’s jealous of Bath Life’s HQ…


ust like the Super Bowl or Groundhog Day, The Heavy are celebrated and admired in America, while, in the UK, although most people know their biggest hit – How You Like Me Now? – the genredefying band are, by comparison, still relatively unfamiliar to some. Funny that, as Kelvin Swaby, the lead singer, who is also one of the founding members and a principal songwriter, was born and raised in Bath, and two of the other members still live here. Let me just reiterate that when I say they are huge in America, I mean they’re enormous. Their music played at the Obama re-election campaign, they became the first band in history to ever get an encore from David Letterman on his US television show, and they’ve featured on some of the coolest movie soundtracks including Horrible Bosses starring Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston, critically acclaimed Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale drama The Fighter, and Quentin Tarantino-directed The Hateful Eight. Popularity for the four-piece has been growing around the world since their inception in 2007, but, no matter how successful they become, Kelvin will never forget the place it all started – Bath. As he relaxes on a sunny day at his home in Florida, he admits he’s jealous of my current location at Bath Life HQ next to The Circus. As



a child, he had always wanted to live near this landmark, and a few years ago he finally managed to find a place in Brock Street where he and his bandmates – guitarist Dan Taylor, bassist Spencer Page and drummer Chris Ellul – recorded the majority of their third record, The Glorious Dead. “John Wood’s design of the Royal Crescent, Brock Street and The Circus to represent a key that lies on the ley line to Stonehenge was just genius,” he says. “It felt magical to me on many a night as I would leave my apartment on Brock Street to walk to the Royal Crescent in my headphones to look at the night sky, with a glass of wine and work on new ideas.” He grew up on Upper Camden Place in Bath, and developed his love of music – and dancing – here, which he thinks, in part, was inspired by the indie music venues and festivals in the city. “I remember carrying rolled up lino with my brother in the early 80s to meet up with friends in Bath to breakdance every weekend, and being moved along occasionally,” says the former Beechen Cliff School student. “That later turned to skateboarding around the beautiful streets of the city and being chased from places we weren’t supposed to be. I guess I was drawn to the rebel arts from a young age. “As I got older, Moles, The Hat & Feather, The Bell Inn and, later, Delfter Krug, were all places to either deliver or receive my music fix,” he adds. “There were always plenty of local characters around with plenty of tales to tell, which have definitely worked their way into our songs. And the opening of the Bath Festival would always be the best fun down by the bandstand.” Kelvin believes festivals in Somerset and Bath to be at the top of their game, and thinks they are an important part of the cultural calendar which need to be cared about and continued. “Walcot Nation Day (which unfortunately no longer exists) was the best festival Bath has ever had in my opinion,” he says. “They should bring it back. I’m really happy they’ve brought the Bath Carnival back, though. The residents really need something to sink their teeth into and represent

KELVIN’S BATH FAVOURITES... Describe your childhood in Bath... The weeks always seemed to be filled with either going to Riverside Youth Club or Central Youth Club for football and other recreational activities. I feel for the youth now as there really doesn’t seem to be even 10 per cent of the things that I used to get up to as a kid. However, I’m a patron for Mentoring Plus and we offer great programs, mentoring and workshops for youngsters that struggle to be heard at home. Your ideal coffee hangout? I get my flat white fix at Wild Cafe, Cosy Club, and Colonna & Small’s. Your favourite Bath businesses? The Gap, for the incredible friends I made there, who encouraged Daniel and I to follow our dreams and never compromise. And Get Fit in Bath where you’ll find David and Natasha being so unruly with a human body but always getting the results you require. Also, SouthGate for the array of little gems among the corporates. Where do you like to sit and watch the world go by? The Royal Crescent and Victoria Park are two of my favourite spots. The lookout at Alexandra Park, the walk from Kensington Meadows to the George Inn, and the view from the bench in the middle of Lansdown Crescent are incredible, too. Where would we find you spending an evening in Bath? Adventure Cafe for light bites; Sub 13, Opium Bar and The Dark Horse for late-night drinking; The Pig and Fiddle for occasional live music; The Beaufort Bath, The GPT Smokehouse, Marlborough Tavern, The Chequers, and Hare & Hounds for gastro; and the wonderful Rustico for Italian food.

the city as they see it. And I’ve always loved The Fringe and will always find an event to attend when that’s on.” As much as he relished festivals in his youth, he never dreamed he’d be headlining them, and playing sell-out shows around the world as an adult. At the end of May, he’ll be back in Somerset with the band to headline The Shindig Weekender on Gilcombe Farm in Bruton. “It’s a festival that has grown and grown over the past few years and is run by Simon “Goodgroove” Clarke, a really good friend of mine,” says Kelvin. “We’ve been overseas during previous ones but are available this year to take their opening Friday night headline spot. It’ll be some fun for sure. Expect plenty of wolf howling, call and response, and, of course, a ton of sweat.” Offering relaxation and revelry in equal measure, the award-winning, boutique festival, which is now in its fourth year, is described as the ideal weekend for party people with families, and is a mash up of a gig, a house party, a circus show, a series of curious craft workshops, a wellbeing retreat and a kids’ party. It always boasts a big, and often alternative, line-up and this year is no different, with the likes of Stanton Warriors, Dub Pistols, Krafty Kuts, and the chart-topping Sam & the Womp joining The Heavy on the bill. So when will The Heavy next raise the roof in Bath, we wonder? “We played the legendary Bath Pavilion in November,” says Kelvin. “It was sold out and completely nuts – for the whole gig. We, unfortunately have no plans to play Bath at the moment but we’ll definitely be making noise here again at some point in the near future. “Bath is obviously an important place for us,” he adds. “Daniel was working in Gap in Bath where we first met and bonded over a security bag check and became the best of friends. I met Spencer when I was spinning records with my crew of misfit DJs, The Snugs, in Moles nightclub; and shortly after we signed to Ninja Tune and Counter Records, Chris joined the band. Spence and Chris still live in Bath, and Daniel resides just outside in Atworth, and I now live in St Petersburg, Florida. “We’re working on a lot of new songs for the band at the moment and we have a couple of projects we’re committed to in the US this year, so there may not be much road time but it’ll definitely be worth the wait.” For now, he’s looking forward to a trip to Somerset’s Shindig where this year’s theme is Vibe Tribe – so assemble your family, your party posse, your soul sisters and brothers and throw caution to the wind at a festival where you can expect a happy, shiny, wonderfully psychedelic atmosphere and enjoy internationally renowned music by some incredible artists. The Heavy perform at The Shindig Weekender in Bruton on 26 May. To buy tickets, or for more information, visit: I BATH LIFE I 45



A trip to Scandinavia and a love of yoga, inspired Lucy Aston of YOGADOO to combine the two to create unique mini-retreats


ou can’t have escaped to notice the hygge (pronounced hou-gah) trend which was everywhere last year. The Scandinavian concept of getting cosy and appreciating the simpler things in life during the long winter months, struck a chord with us Brits and inspired everything from cookery books, fashion and one local yoga teacher to hold hygge yoga retreats, at Combe Grove Hotel just outside of Bath. All eight of the half day mini retreats over the winter sold out within weeks of going on sale. The experience included candlelit yoga, a gift of knitted leg warmers, fireside meditation with woollen blankets and comfort food including warming soup, freshly made bread, hot chocolate and cake. Lucy Aston, founder of Bath yoga company, YOGADOO formulated her hygge yoga classes after having spending time in Scandinavia, “Hygge is a way of life over there but there is a lot of cross-over between hygge and yoga such as appreciating the simple things in life.”

But hygge is for life, not just for Christmas and YOGADOO has just announced the dates for eight more hygge yoga mini retreats at Combe Grove Hotel. Four winter retreats between October and January. But new for 2017, are four summer hygge yoga retreats. Imagine practicing yoga outdoors overlooking beautiful countryside, then a gentle walk into the stunning grounds of Combe Grove Hotel for woodland meditation whilst listening to birdsong and breathing invigorating fresh air. After yoga and meditation, you’ll enjoy a luxury picnic hamper including a delicious cream tea prepared by award winning chefs at the hotel. You will also receive a pair of very special hygge yoga leg warmers to keep your toes cosy as the sun goes down. Before or after your hygge yoga experience, you make use of the hotel facilities including taking a walk or jog in the stunning 70 acre grounds, the restaurant, sauna, steam room and indoor or outdoor swimming pools to really make the most of your day.

Lucy adds, “It doesn’t matter if you have never tried yoga or meditation before, or you practice yoga every week – the hygge yoga mini retreats are suitable for everyone.”

SUMMER DATES 11 June, 9 July, 13 August, 10 September WINTER DATES 29 October, 12 November, 10 December, 14 January Retreats take place between 2.30pm and 6pm. Places are £62 (£55 for Combe Grove members). Book at: For more information please email

Successful, well-established year-round language school in the centre of Bath requires

HOMESTAY HOSTS IN BATH to host both short-term and long-term students. We teach adults and teenagers, and need both single and twin-room accommodation. For further details, including rates of payment, please contact our Accommodation Manager: Sarah Wringer, KIE Bath, 5 Trim Street, Bath, BA1 1HB Direct Line (01225) 473502, Email:

“Amazing success” in returning pupils to mainstream education (Good Schools Guide) • Co-educational day school for pupils aged 6-13 with dyslexia and other specific learning/language difficulties. • Located in Wiltshire between Bath and Chippenham. CReSTeD approved. • Fully qualified specialist teachers with maximum class size of eight - reducing to one-to-one as required.

Homestays Needed! We are looking to add new homestay families to our existing network. We need families that have a spare room available in July and would like to show students the Bath way of life. If you would like to know more, give us a call and ask for Natalia. 27 Queen Square, Bath, BA1 2HX 01225 334577



10 York Street, Bath BA1 1NH 01225 447920

Handcrafted fine kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms We offer a completely bespoke service that includes design and fitting, along with a full range of standard products. Our local team of tradesmen cover all aspects of plumbing, electrical, plastering and decorating services. Visit our showroom located in the centre of Devizes. Open every weekday 9.30am - 5pm and Saturday 10am - 4pm.

11/12 Northgate Street Devizes Wiltshire SN10 1JL Tel: 01380 721772

Devizes fine kitchens



We also restore antiques and update your furniture to order in our new Woodborough workshop

MENDING • PAINTING • REUPHOLSTERY OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK 11am – 5pm Digger & Mojo, Woodborough Yard SN9 5PF (Behind the wonderful sticks & stones café) 01672 851510

Appreciate Italy in a totally new way

Immerse yourself in authentic Italian culture and tradition


9-day guided tours to the Unesco World Heritage recognised Cinque Terre, stunning Tuscany and glorious Emilia Romagna 5-day cooking lesson tours to Cinque Terre with professional and award-winning chefs “Before the big day” tours to the picturesque Lake Garda region For more information, visit our website

9 8 W A L C OT S T R E E T, B AT H B A 1 5 B G T E L 0 1 2 2 5 4 6 9 2 4 0 E M A I L C O N TA C T @ H A L I D E N . C O M W W W. H A L I D E N . CO M




THE REAL AMERICA Packed with nostalgia, adult worries and dark satire, this week, Mr B’s concentrates on books set in small town America… By N IC BO T T OM L E Y


hen I chat to people about their reading tastes, I often notice the tricky balancing act that many face between indulging in the genres they feel most at ease with and a desire to try things out of their comfort zone. As a bookseller, perhaps I feel the pressure of achieving that balance particularly keenly – if all my reading is in my own personal fields of interest I won’t be best placed to recommend to the infinite variety of customers who walk through our doors each day. That little nugget of insight, though, is really just my way of breaking the news to you that recently I’ve indulged in concentrating on my own home-base of reading – books set in small town America. This month, I’ve devoured two new books and gone as far as to actually publish a third in the genre myself. First up is one for anyone with an 80s nostalgia, particularly if that extends to the early days of home computer games. The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak (Faber, £12.99) introduces us to three adolescent friends in a bland nook of suburban New

Jersey whose primary concern in life is getting hold of the latest issue of Playboy, featuring Wheel of Fortune presenter Vanna White. The trio become fixated on seeing those fabled images and on the profit possibilities of then illegally copying or loaning them to others in their school; and so ever-more elaborate and unwise plans are forged to acquire the holy grail of magazines. The trouble is that the plans involve our hero Billy befriending Mary Zelinsky, the slightly oversized and awkward daughter of a local shopkeeper. When the pair get sidetracked by their shared love of computer game programming, Billy’s life, friendships and the Playboy masterplan all become more complex. This is a lightning-fast coming-of-age novel full of humour – an 80s Superbad in novel form. The protagonists of Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O’Nan (Allen & Unwin, £7.99) have slightly more adult worries than those in The Impossible Fortress. The main one is redundancy, as at the end of the shift tonight this strip mall branch of the Red Lobster chain will close permanently. Manager Manny has been able to select four of the team to move onto a nearby

alternative diner with him, but for most it’s their last day of work – if they have the motivation to show up through the preChristmas snowstorm. The story is set entirely during Manny’s last day at the helm of the Lobster as he deals with one last set of daily dramas (dysfunctional lunchtime office parties, out-of-control sugar-high kids, the absent snowplough) and staff ranging from the embittered to the utterly disengaged. And that doesn’t even touch on Manny’s personal problems. This is a tiny brilliant nugget of a novel looking at one man’s efforts to do the right thing by all around him whilst also coping with his own mild fiasco of a life. It’s also an essential read for retail managers everywhere! Finally, I can’t talk small-town America this month without cheekily mentioning the book that the publishing arm of Mr B’s has just resurrected. We’ve published What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (Fox, Finch & Tepper, £9.99) by Peter Hedges which, scandalously, has been out of print here in the UK since the early 1990s when the wonderful film that it spawned was released. It’s an emotional, hilarious tale of a young man trapped in a small town that he understands less and less because of his reluctant and well-hidden sense of duty towards his flawed and chaotic family. And perhaps the novel’s greatest appeal is that family dynamic – and the snappy, darkly satirical dialogue which reveals it to the reader. Gilbert’s own needs starkly contrast to those of his morbidly obese mother, his punchy adolescent younger sister, his browbeaten rock of an elder sister and his wonderful little brother Arnie – a young man with learning difficulties who loves to disappear up the town’s water tower at a moment’s notice. The real America might seem more confusing and less funny by the day, but there are still rich pickings when it comes to entertaining fictional representations of everyday life over there.

Nic Bottomley is the general manager of Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights, 14/15 John Street, Bath; 01225 331155; I BATH LIFE I 51




No.15 Great Pulteney With its imaginative touches, the menu at this boutique art-lovers paradise invites curiosity and piques interests while the surrounds raise a few eyebrows By L I SA E VA NS



s a child, one of my favourite Penguin books was Allan and Janet Ahlberg’s Funnybones, which began with a scene-setting, mysterious build-up to an intriguing tale. It started with the lines, “In a dark, dark town there was a dark, dark street, and in the dark, dark street there was a dark, dark house, and in the dark, dark house there were some dark, dark stairs, and down the dark, dark stairs there was a dark, dark cellar, and in the dark dark cellar… three skeletons lived!’. The titillating, rolling momentum of the introduction sprung to mind as I made my way to No.15 Great Pulteney, a boutique, Georgian townhouse hotel in Bath, to experience its whimsical after-dark drama. Allow me to describe the setting, Ahlberg style… In a handsome city, there was a stately, elegant street, and in the stately, elegant street there was a curious hotel, and in the curious hotel there was a life-sized doll’s house reception, a twinkling chandelier made of earrings, and captivating contemporary art, and beyond all of this was an opulent bar in which we sat at a table filled with trinkets and jewellery, and, at the table, we were presented with a deck of playing cards, and on the playing cards was Bar 15’s cocktail menu… and that’s where our magical story begins! Imagination is key here – from the décor to the drinks – and you won’t find anything remotely ‘usual’ inside the Grade–I listed venue. Take those cocktail playing cards, for example, which offer choices such as rum punch served with Marshfield salted caramel ice cream, and a vodka lobster bisque served with a marinated prawn. We opt for the Pink Lady – a sloe gin with jasmine tea, juniper bitters, slivers of rhubarb and popping candy – and the Green 15, made with gin, jasmine syrup and Lillet vermouth, which is served with a rocket side salad. Appetites awakened, you may want to browse the bar menu for light supper options such as stuffed, toasted ravioli with salsa verde, or locally-sourced cheese and charcuterie boards. If you could do with a more hearty feast, though, you should head downstairs to Cafe 15 where head chef Dan Miles has recently come aboard – fresh from his most recent role as sous chef at The Gainsborough Bath Spa. Dan – who brings a wealth of experience with him, having






worked at Michelin-starred restaurants including Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, near Bath – artfully taps into the hotel’s animated atmosphere, creating inspired, unpredictable menus. My main dish of pasta, for instance, isn’t made with butteryellow penne, but with forest-green strands of pici, and the pan-fried gilthead bream isn’t served with lemon as you may typically be used to, but with orange and almonds. But, before I get ahead of myself, I’ll begin with the starters. My comrade opts for the spicy, North African merguez sausages accompanied by broad beans, spring onions and mint; it’s so good, he tries to order it as his main dish, too. And for me, it’s the soup of the day – tomato. Drizzled with basil oil, the soup is zingy and bursting with a bright, summery tang which subtly stings the throat if you eat it too quickly. The relaxed, classic-meets-contemporary restaurant is certainly the hub of the hotel and resembles an old chemist’s shop unit, complete with hundreds of backlit, gently glowing apothecary bottles adorning the shelves. Every edge of the room has something new to look at, and we have a great view of it all from our table which is nestled next to an entire wall of vintage whisks. Back to my main dish, and the plump, verdant pici is topped with fresh tomatoes, chargrilled courgettes, gremolata and pecorino cheese. My dining partner’s choice is the sliced, pink lamb steak – which admits defeat at the merest nudge of the fork – served with harissa couscous, roasted red peppers and spiced aubergine pickle. Pudding is bay leaf panna cotta with poached blueberries for him, and I go for the baked-to-perfection golden madeleines – which beautifully reflect Dan’s talents as a former pastry chef – with a divinely silky dark chocolate dip. After dinner, we can guarantee that visitors will delight in not only arriving at their uniquely designed, artistic bedrooms for the night, but also in the walk up to the rooms, during which they’ll take in the magnificent attention to detail, the quirky curios and engaging collections. No.15’s owners, Ian and Christa Taylor, who added No.15 to their existing portfolio of properties in Bath – the Abbey Hotel and Villa at Henrietta Park – delight in seeking out antiques and one-off pieces that encourage the inquisitive arch of an eyebrow. That’s precisely why you’ll spot everything from gigantic bottles of perfume and a wall of kaleidoscopes, to the wonderfully lustrous lost earring chandelier which is home to more than a thousand earrings. Dazzlingly eccentric, daringly different and playfully enchanting, this is most certainly one of the most Instagrammable hotels in Bath, and, be warned, it will bring out the inner child of even the most stoic individual.

DINING DETAILS No.15 Great Pulteney, 15 Great Pulteney Street, Bath, BA2 4BR; 01225 807015; Prices Bar 15 light bites £3.95 – £12; Cafe 15 small plates £5.50 – £8, big plates £12 – £15, desserts £4.50 – £7 Drinks list Expect truly delicious gems from both expected and unexpected regions Service/ atmosphere Welcoming, edgy, elegant and vivacious I BATH LIFE I 53


DINING in BATH Bath Life’s selection of the best places to eat out in Bath and the surrounding area



THE BATH PRIORY Weston Rd, Bath; 01225 331922; Michelin starred fine dining overlooking hotels award-winning gardens

CAFÉ LUCCA 1-2 Bartlett Street, Bath; 01225 335394; Stylish contemporary café situated at The Loft on Bartlett Street offering a Mediterranean inspired menu with barista coffee and sumptuous homemade cakes

THE BEAUFORT 1 Beaufort, London Road, Bath; 01225 422033; Family run restaurant in the heart of Larkhall cooking creative, seasonal food CIRCUS RESTAURANT 34 Brock Street, Bath; 01225 466020; Voted number four in the UK in The Times “20 secret restaurants that foodies love” CLIFTON SAUSAGE 5 Bladud Buildings, Bath; 01225 433633; Upmarket sausage and mash restaurant and bar newly opened in Bath THE DOWER HOUSE, ROYAL CRESCENT HOTEL 16 Royal Crescent, Bath; 01225 823333; AA 3 rosette fine dining at one of Bath’s most iconic locations HENRYS 4 Saville Row, Bath; 01225 780055; Imaginative modern dining offering a classic menu and also full vegetarian and vegan menus JOHANN LAFER, THE GAINSBOROUGH Beau St, Bath; 01225 358888; Menus inspired by Johann Lafer’s “Dining Without Borders” philosophy MENU GORDON JONES 2 Wellsway, Bath; 01225 480871; Multi award winning fine dining with constantly changing surprise tasting menu THE OLIVE TREE RESTAURANT, THE QUEENSBERRY HOTEL Russell St, Bath; 01225 447928; One of Bath’s longest established restaurants, overseen by Chris Cleghorn with 3 AA rosettes 54 I BATH LIFE I

GREEN BIRD CAFÉ 11 Margaret's Buildings, Bath; 01225 487846; Independently run cafe located between the Circus & Royal Crescent THE KINGSMEAD KITCHEN 1 Kingsmead St, Kingsmead Square, Bath; 01225 329002; Laid-back, modern cafe-bar open daily from 8am until 6pm for breakfast, brunch, lunch and tea using own farm produce

CALIFORNIAN THE FIREHOUSE ROTISSERIE 2 John St, Bath; 01225 482070; Californian and Tex-Mex dishes, prepared over a wood-fired grill in a rustic setting

FRENCH CHEZ DOMINIQUE 15 Argyle St, Bath; 01225 463482; Great modern French dining

GASTROPUBS GPT SMOKEHOUSE 44-45 Lower Bristol Rd, Bath; 01225 429509; “Dude Food” menu cooked with authentic handmade American hot smoker KING WILLIAM 36 Thomas St, Bath; 01225 428096; Pub with an upstairs dining room serving a modern British menu based on west country produce THE CHEQUERS 50 Rivers St, Bath; 01225 360017; Inventive British food served in a welcoming

pub atmosphere close to the Royal Crescent THE GARRICKS HEAD 7-8 St John's Rd, City Centre, Bath; 01225 318368; City centre pub and dining room next to Theatre Royal THE HARE AND HOUNDS Lansdown Rd, Avon, Bath; 01225 482682; Airy, relaxed spot with modern British gastropub menu, extensive wine list and scenic outdoor area THE LOCKSBROOK INN 103 Locksbrook Rd, Bath; 01225 427119; Recently opened canal side gastropub in Bath, open every day for drinks, brunch, coffee, lunch, evening meals and grazing in between THE MARLBOROUGH TAVERN 35 Marlborough Buildings; 01225 423731; Award winning gastropub using seasonal local produce THE NEW INN 24 Monmouth Place, Bath; 01225 442944; Burgers and bar snacks with cask and craft ale and beers THE RICHMOND ARMS 7 Richmond Place, Bath; 01225 316725; Hearty dishes with menu changing on a daily basis

INDIAN THE EASTERN EYE 8a Quiet St, Bath; 01225 422323; Classic traditional Bengali cuisine in grand Georgian interior space THE MINT ROOM Longmead Gospel Hall, Lower Bristol Rd, Bath; 01225 446656; Award winning contemporary Indian fine dining

ITALIAN MARTINI RESTAURANT 8-9 George St, Bath; 01225 460818;


Traditional Italian food served in a cosy atmosphere


SOTTO SOTTO 10 N Parade, Bath; 01225 330236; Classic Italian menu with a contemporary twist in candlelit vaulted cellars

THE HERD 12a Argyle St, Bath; 01225 316583; Locally sourced meat of the finest provenance alongside a simple, seasonal menu


HUDSON STEAKHOUSE 14 London St, Bath; 01225 332323; Award winning steakhouse in listed building specialising in prime aged steaks and delicious starters with a fusion twist

THE OVEN 21 Westgate St, Bath; 01225 311181; Neapolitan artisan pizza using local and Italian imported produce REAL ITALIAN PIZZA CO 16 York St, Bath; 01225 330121; Family owned pizzeria. Wood fired pizza with fresh authentic ingredients

TAPAS MADRID 5 Chapel Row, Bath; 01225 423417; Bringing a taste of Madrid to Bath – traditional

Spanish tapas with a modern twist OLÉ TAPAS 1 John Street, Bath; 01225 466440; Charming, authentic Spanish tapas – one of Bath’s best kept secrets

THAI KOH THAI TAPAS 36 Broad St, Bath; 01225 311232; Award winning small Thai tapas plates and cocktails THAI BY THE WEIR 16 Argyle St, Bath; 01225 444834; Restaurant overlooking the weir, serving a classic Thai menu

OUTSIDE of BATH BRITISH THE GREENHOUSE RESTAURANT The Pavilion, Wadswick Green, Corsham SN13 9RD; 01225 585880; Smart, stylish and relaxed new dining destination

COUNTRY HOUSE HOTELS LUCKNAM PARK Colerne, Wilts, SN14 8AZ; 01225 742777; Michelin Star fine dining at the renowned Park restaurant and more informal dining at the stylish contemporary brasserie at 5 star country house hotel WIDBROOK GRANGE HOTEL Trowbridge Rd, Bradford-on-Avon BA15 1UH; 01225 864750; Modern farmhouse cuisine, locally sourced and freshly prepared


BIDDESTONE ARMS Biddestone, Wilts SN14 7DG; 01249 714377; Whitewashed country pub with upmarket, robust British fare in a beautiful Cotswold stone village BUNCH OF GRAPES 14 Silver St, Bradford-on-Avon BA15 1JY; 01225 938088; Bar and restaurant inspired by the village bistros of South West France THE GEORGE AT WOOLLEY 67 Woolley St, Bradford-on-Avon, BA15 1AQ; 01225 865650; Recently refurbished gastropub from award winning team HOMEWOOD PARK Abbey Lane, Freshford, Bath BA2 7TB 01225 723731; Luxury hotel with two rosette restaurant and spa THE LONGS ARMS Upper South Wraxall, Wilts, BA15 2SB;

01225 864450; Award winning modern British food and cask ales in country inn THE PEAR TREE INN Top Lane, Whitely, Wilts, SN12 8QX; 01225 704966; An elegant revamped country inn with an acclaimed restaurant and contemporary rustic-chic bedrooms THE WHEELWRIGHTS ARMS Church Lane, Monkton Combe, BA2 7HB; 01225 722287; Pub featuring modern takes on British classics, plus understated, individually decorated guestrooms

FARM SHOPS ALLINGTON FARM SHOP Allington Bar Farm, Allington, Chippenham SN14 6LJ; 01249 658112; Shop and Café selling local produce I BATH LIFE I 55

Top Lane, Whitley, Wiltshire SN12 8QX 01225 704966 T f @peartreewhitley

CHEZ DOMINIQUE Modern French Dining in Bath

À la carte • Prix fixe • Sunday roast 15 Argyle Street, Bath, BA2 4BQ 01225 463482

"Where the lovely town of Bradford on Avon meets the beautiful Wiltshire countryside"

Friendly atmosphere | Local home-cooked fare Regular events and quiz nights Large gardens | Ample parking | Dog friendly Ashley Road, Bradford on Avon BA15 1RT 01225 862137 |


ANGELA MOUNT Wine exper t




Throw tradition and everything you think you know about cheese and wine matching out of the window, and follow these simple rules…


veryone loves wine and cheese, don’t they? But how many of you have had a glass of good red spoilt by the impact of drinking it with a smelly, well-matured soft, or blue cheese? I reckon a few of you. Cheese and wine can be a heavenly match, but only if you follow a few simple guidelines. Taste, smells and flavours are all about balance; it’s no different with wine. Underseason a dish and it’s a pale reflection of the triumph that it could have been. Similarly, sip a glass of delicious, crisp white wine, have a bite of chocolate and then go back to the wine, and I can guarantee that it will now taste sour and acidic. With cheese, there is a plethora of styles, all with radically different flavours – from salty, tangy goats’ cheese, through to nutty, creamy cheddar, and sweet-yet-salty blue. On the basis of all of the above, it’s logical that you need different wines to suit different cheeses, without becoming too obsessive about the whole process. I’ve always hated red wine with soft cheeses such as brie, as they give the wine a metallic taste – they are far better with a soft, creamy Chardonnay. But tradition has always put red wine with cheese. Throw tradition out of the window. I put this theory to the test in a recent wine and cheese pairing exercise. Bath wine merchant Great Western Wine have teamed up with local cheese supplier Pong Cheese to bring together a classic partnership, to the extent that, from next week, there will be a bespoke cheese fridge in their shop with a range of eight cheeses supplied exclusively for them. My job was to match the cheese to the wine. Here are my favourite matches, following a few simple rules: Goats’ Cheese The textbook match for goats’ cheese is Sauvignon blanc, both of which originated in the Loire valley and are natural partners.

New Zealand Sauvignon blanc can be too aggressive, so I picked a vibrant, zesty, wild herb-dusted one from the south of Chile, Las Cenizas Laberinto Sauvignon blanc, 2015 (£14.95) which picks up the tangy, salty, mouthwatering flavours in the Bosworth Leaf Goats’ cheese. Creamy brie-style cheese Perl Wen, an unctuous, gooey delight from Wales, worked magically well with Mas Sardana Cava Brut Nature NV (£12.95), bringing out the creamy, nutty character in both. Fizz and cheese? Why not. Another option would be classic Chablis. Washed rind cheese Lincolnshire Poacher is a nutty, fragrant, relatively mild cheese, not dissimilar to Comte – I loved this with the fresh, vibrant style of Souson Ailala, 2015 (£13.50), a deliciously fresh, juicy red from Galicia in north west Spain, with no oak, just a riot of red fruit flavours – spot on. Cheddar Avoid big, tannic reds with hard cheeses, and let softer, spicier reds coax out the very best of the flavours in both. In the case of Westcombe cheddar, try it with Domaine de

la Janasse Cotes du Rhone, 2015 (£11.95), a rich, silky red, full of blackberry fruit and oozing charm. Blue cheese Port is always a safe bet with blue, but my tip would be to go for a honeyed dessert wine – sweet, complementary, but lighter in style. Sauternes is great, but it was the seductive Italian sweet range which took top billing. First up, Perl Las Blue – a mild, creamy Welsh blue which snuggled up cosily to the honeyed, dried apricot-stashed, Anselmi I Capitelli, 2015 (£18.50) from northern Italy. Meanwhile, the powerful, yet meltingly tender, sweet, creamy Mountain Gorgonzola formed a blissful marriage with its Italian compatriot Fattoria dei Barbi Vin Santo, 2009 (£17.95), the most classic of all Italian dessert wines. And finally, onto Cropwell Bishop stilton – melt-in-the-mouth, and remarkably delicate with a tangy bite – another blue cheese charmed by the irresistible attraction of a luscious Italian. This time a sweet red, Bertani Recioto Valpolicella, 2012 (£23), a mellifluous nectar, of dried raisins, cherries, dark chocolate, candied lemons and spice, is ideal. And it’s a temperate 13 per cent alcohol which coaxed out every inch of character from this Nottinghamshire delight whilst parading its own glories simultaneously. Angela Mount is a Bath-based wine writer, presenter and international judge who had her taste buds insured for £10million during her tenure as one of the country’s leading supermarket wine buyers. She works with wine producers, chefs and distributors, including local wine merchant Great Western Wine. Wells Road, Bath; I BATH LIFE I 59

Greek food made fresh on site by the family Enjoy a new taste experience! Visit our website to see the full menu 6 Northumberland Place, Bath BA1 5AR 01225 471 434

The Sweet Tricycle, providing Sweets, Prosecco, Pimms and Hot Chocolate. This beautiful tricycle adds that extra special touch to any event. For all enquires please contact Helen on 07951 205409 /



WIN FARM White Row Farm have achieved gold in the Taste of the West hospitality and retail awards for the second year running. The family-run farm shop, based near Frome, was praised for the knowledge of the fishmonger, the quality of the produce and for their local sourcing. “It is hugely motivating to hear that such a highly regarded organisation as Taste of the West, who set high standards for judging, have once again awarded gold to our farm shop,” comment owners Heather and Steve Tucker. “It is a labour of love and every member of our team has had their hand in this success; we are lucky to work with such energetic and motivated people here who are real ambassadors in the store for what we do on the farm.” For more:

It’s another berry good win for Steve and Heather Tucker

FOOD CROP Whether you Facebook it, blog it, gram it, or simply browse it, taking photos of your meal is being indulged in by many but mastered by few. Food photographer Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures has decided to share his 25 years of food photography experience with one-day courses at Demuths Cookery School in Bath. “The beauty of food and cookery is that it always has a story, a narrative thread,” he says. “Whether that’s the bigger story of your supper’s journey from the farm to your fork, or simply the recipe you’re following.” So what dishes test Rob’s skills to the max? “Macaroni cheese is deeply comforting to eat – because it’s so creamy, smooth and soft. But those qualities make it very dull on camera.”

Learn main course beauty on Rob’s course

And common mistakes? “Using the flash on your camera or your phone can kill a plate of food dead.” His two top tips are, “I always try to shoot using only natural daylight. And if you are eating macaroni cheese, switch off your camera and enjoy.” Rob’s next course, which costs £175, runs on 14 May and includes a picture perfect lunch. For more:





3 4






Frieda cushion, £38 This embroidered, pom pom-edged cushion, in the Pantone shade ‘Pink Yarrow’, is guaranteed to brighten up your sofa From Brissi, 38 Milsom Street, Bath;

Mirabelle shopper, £36 Embellished with baroquestyle motifs in striking ‘Primrose Yellow’, grey and silver tones, this shopper bag has ample space for all the daily essentials From Santoro London, 32 Milsom Street, Bath;

Ariel chair, £695 Make a sartorial splash with this oceanic accent piece. The sculptural clam shell chair is upholstered in a ‘Hazelnut’-esque shade and is inspired by art deco design From Graham and Green, 92 Walcot Street, Bath;

Mc Nutt Collection throw, £85 Making linen the star of the season again is this natural, light and durable sofa throw in Pantone’s ‘Niagara’ shade From Verve Living, 15 Walcot Buildings, London Road, Bath;

Shirt dress, £119 A modern take on the classic shirt dress, this straight-cut ‘Kale’-coloured number is an everyday run-around garment From Bibico, 9A Bartlett Street, Bath;















Horticulture hook, £18 This wall hook, handpainted in a hue reminiscent to Pantone’s ‘Flame’, makes a perfectly delightful hanging place for coats, towels or accessories From Anthropologie, 1-4 New Bond Street, Bath;

Cropped trousers, £69 You certainly won’t go unnoticed when wearing these wide-leg trousers in the refreshing and revitalising shade ‘Greenery’ From Cos, opening in May on Union Street, Bath;

Classic Colour Collection ring, £1,500 Its centrepiece, a sapphire, similar to Pantone’s ‘Lapis Blue’ in colour, is hugged by two diamonds which all perch on an 18ct white and yellow gold ring From Nicholas Wylde, 12 Northumberland Place, Bath;

Storage pots, £20 each In an eye-popping collection of colours, comparable to Pantone’s ‘Island Paradise’, ‘Flame’, ‘Pink Yarrow’ and ‘Greenery’, come these eclectic Moroccan-style storage pots From Rossiters of Bath, 38-41 Broad Street, Bath;

Olivia T-shirt, £95 With rolled sleeves and side pearl button detailing, this tencel ‘Pale Dogwood’-look tee makes a style statement without being over the top From Found, 17 Argyle Street, Bath; I BATH LIFE LIFE II 63 I CLIFTON 69

advertising feat u re s h o p p i n g

destination delight From restored antiques to feathered photo frames, and with neighbouring dog grooming parlour, garden centre and cafe brimming with cakes, the enchanting DIGGER & MOJO emporium is a total joy


h what a gorgeous shop!” Compliments ring out at Digger & Mojo’s fabulous new emporium in the Pewsey Vale. Wiltshire’s best-kept secret in the Antiques and Interiors world has just moved to stunning new premises. Digger & Mojo stock a fascinating layered mix of decorative antique and vintage furniture besides accessories, from mirrors and paintings of all eras to lamps, lighting and statement pieces of glass, ceramic and bronzes. They also stock a range of contemporary gifts, from Florentine leather handbags, wallets and belts to the Wingfield Digby range of feathered photo frames and trays. With the addition of workshops on site where they restore antiques and mend, update and reupholster furniture, they offer a unique combination of services. Yosh runs the joinery workshop and suite of painting rooms. At the same time as restoring a rosewood card table, they might be gluing kitchen chairs and reupholstering armchairs and dining chair seats. Clients buy items or bring in their own furniture for restoration and a revamp. There’s a handpainting zone and specially ventilated spray-painting room to cater for a professional finish on larger dining tables, sideboards and wardrobes. A new addition to the workshops is the caning area, where Josh (pictured right), a British Forces veteran, painstakingly restores modern and antique caned chair seats and backs. Very few artisans offer cane repair so Josh is kept busy with a steady stream of chairs

A selection of gifts and antiques in store

“Wiltshire’s bestkept secret in the Antiques and Interiors world” that their delighted owners were about to skip. Work is still ongoing with a mezzanine area under construction. Here you’ll be able to browse their antiquarian and secondhand books from a comfy old armchair, or choose an unrestored antique or vintage piece from a huge selection in a more junk shop atmosphere. Digger & Mojo were already described by Marc Allum of BBC’s Antiques Roadshow as a destination rather than just a shop. Now they’ve expanded, a visit to Digger & Mojo at Woodborough Yard makes for a grand day out, 7 days a week, 11am-5pm. Also at Woodborough Yard you’ll find Whitehall Garden Centre Woodborough together with the popular Sticks & Stones Café, Ragtime Bespoke Dressmakers, 24 hour private Sui Generis Gym, Equilibrium spa and beauty, Just the Thing Curios and Comfy Critters Dog grooming – literally something for everyone! Digger the African Jack Russell, pictured on part of their cinema seat range (left), welcomes you to his new home.


Digger & Mojo Woodborough Yard, Woodborough, Pewsey, Wiltshire SN9 5PF 01672 851510 I BATH LIFE I 65


from BLAST the PAST In the run-up to International Museum Day, the curators and directors of Bath’s museums select, especially for Bath Life, the most unusual and special items they have on display right now – from a million objects on a single floor, to an oddity that’s almost as old as Earth By L I SA E VA NS


he city of Bath is itself an open museum, and, as we approach International Museum Day on 18 May, and as we celebrate the 30-year anniversary of Bath’s World Heritage status, we step inside the city’s museums and ask their experts to select the pieces that overwhelm and fascinate them the most. Read on to discover the remarkable stories which are all within walking distance of one another…


From the most inspiring items on display, to those with the most fascinating stories behind them… When it comes to The Museum of Bath at Work’s most impressive sight to behold, director Stuart Burroughs selects the reconstructed factory of J B Bowler & Sons in which a million items are spread over one floor. “In 1969, when this engineering and soft drinks-making firm closed, the entire contents of the business were moved here and the rooms were reconstructed to scale,” he says. “Work is one of things that unites us all, whether it is paid or unpaid, whether we are working or not, or looking for it or not. The museum presents the story of how the city came to be, by considering the contribution of local residents in building, making and working in every regard.” And he believes the object with the most captivating tale behind it at the museum on Julian Road, Bath, is the Horstmann Solar Dial. “This item, invented and made in Bath, may have had, historically, the most impact out of all the other items we have at the museum,” he says. “It’s an Edwardian time switch invented for the control of street lighting. It was exported to practically every country in the world.” 66 I BATH LIFE I






Not only does it have a historic impact, but also a personal one, as Stuart explains, “My mum and dad met whilst working at the Horstmann Gear factory in Newbridge, so without the business I probably wouldn’t be here.” Over at No. 1 Royal Crescent, Bath – which has been decorated and furnished just as it might have been during the period 1776-1796 – Janey Abbot thinks the one item not to miss is the Coco de Mer. “It’s a rare, exotic, bizarre fruit, with more than a passing resemblance to a pair of buttocks, earning it the nickname ‘bum nut’,” says the communications manager. “This curiosity is only found on two islands in the Seychelles. It requires seven years to mature, two to germinate and is extremely heavy. Henry Sandford, the house’s first resident in 1776, collected all sorts of curiosities and would have paid a lot of money for this.” And, as for the display with the most interesting history attached, Janey chooses a window which once looked down into the open courtyard between No. 1 and its servants’ wing. “The Trust has left the window exposed in the wall and you can see where it was initially blackened with thick paint, before being totally boarded up in the late 1700s,” she says. “This was because the room was the female servants’ bedroom and they were to be protected from any wandering eyes of any male servants in the courtyard below. “Comparing 18th century life between the rich residents of the Royal Crescent with that of their servants is always fascinating,” she adds. “At the museum, you can really imagine what their lives were like, and you can step back in time and wonder about your own ancestors. But it’s not just lives being revealed here: the room guides point out all sorts of additional facts, from what you could buy in the local market to how positioning food on the table marked your social standing.” w

Clockwise, from above: The striking Holburne Museum stands proudly on the grandest street in Bath; the head of the goddess Sulis Minerva at the Roman Baths is one of only three of its kind from Roman Britain; Jasperlite, deposited about two billion years ago, at BRLSI; the master goldsmith-made, all-in-one spork and earpick at The Holburne I BATH LIFE I 67


This Diana and Actaeon earthenware, from around 1495, is one of The Holburne Museum’s oldest pieces

At The Holburne Museum on Great Pulteney Street, Bath, Sir William Holburne’s passport tells an extraordinary story, as the museum’s curator of decorative arts, Catrin Jones, explains. “This document is a memento of his travels around Europe between 1824-1825,” she says. “At the time, Italy comprised a group of city-states, and visitors had to be stamped in and out. This document allows us to follow the timeline of Sir William’s journey as he discovered a love of art that would remain with him for the rest of his life.” And within the Roman Baths museum – opened in 1897 by the then Duke of Cambridge after 19 years of investigation, excavation and exploration – one of the most incredible sights is the gilt bronze head of the goddess Sulis Minerva. “Discovered in 1727 during the digging of a sewer in Stall Street, it had been damaged in antiquity and was found 40 metres from her temple,” says Stephen Clews, the manager of the Roman Baths on Stall Street. “It would originally have been part of a full size statue, and 300 years after its discovery it is still one of only three ‘golden’ statues known from Roman Britain.”


From billion-year-old objects, to ancient artefacts… At the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution (BRLSI) on Queen Square, the oldest item in their collections – which range from natural history to archaeology – is a meteorite dated at 4.3 billion years old. “It’s almost as old as the Earth,” says Matt Williams, collections manager at the museum which was founded in 1824 and still thrives today as an independent charity. “Also on display is a piece of Jasperlite deposited about two billion years ago.” One of the earliest pieces on show at The Holburne Museum – which was founded in 1882 – is the Maiolica dish: Diana and Actaeon tin-glazed earthenware, from around 1495. “The story of Diana and Actaeon is shown in the centre of the dish,” says Catrin Jones. “On the right, the hunter Actaeon discovers Diana and her attendants bathing; in her wrath, the goddess Diana sprinkles him with water and turns him into a stag; and on the left, Actaeon, half-man half-stag, is being devoured by his hunting dogs.” You will find a 2,000-year-old Roman-era hand quern at The Museum of Bath at Work – which will celebrate its 40th birthday next year – that was used to grind corn to make flour. “It’s on loan from the Roman Baths but is a fascinating reminder that not only is work something that is done in the home as well as outside it, but how important agriculture – as an industry – has been to Bath,” says Stuart Burroughs. 68 I BATH LIFE I

WHAT’S NEW? UNTIL 4 JUNE Visit No. 1 Royal Crescent to see the From Rome to the Royal Crescent exhibition, where 15 architectural models of classical buildings tell the story of Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio’s influence on British and American architecture. UNTIL 4 JUNE At The Holburne Museum, see Bruegel: Defining a Dynasty – the UK’s first exhibition devoted to the Bruegel dynasty. UNTIL SEPTEMBER At BRLSI, much of its artefacts are held in secure stores, so each year they hold a temporary exhibition on a specific theme. This year’s is Riches of the Earth which celebrates the beauty of minerals. 17 MAY At the Museum of Bath at Work, you’ll see the new exhibition, The Poor Man’s Friend: Bath and the Frome Road Workhouse. 17 JUNE The Roman Baths’ late-evening summer openings will run from June to August, with special activities every Tuesday night.


A smattering of the most unexpected and surprising objects… “They were used to make false eyebrows for ladies,” says No. 1 Royal Crescent’s Janey Abbot, referring to the museum’s mouse skins. “Women often lost their own eyebrows because of the heavy lead content in their whitening make up, so they used mouse fur to cover this up. Their poisonous make up contained horse manure and vinegar, blue colouring to highlight veins, and highly toxic mercury for rouge.” One of the most unusual items at The Holburne Museum, as selected for us by Catrin Jones, is a multiuse spork made by master goldsmith Friedrich Hillebrandt. “It’s made from silver-gilt and has many different uses – it’s a spoon, a fork, a pen and an earpick in one,” says Catrin, who describes The Holburne as a treasure house of Old Master paintings, portrait miniatures, porcelain, Renaissance bronzes, ceramics, embroidery and silver. “There is extraordinary detail in the decoration, with Saint George and the dragon captured on the spoon’s handle.” Bath at Work’s Stuart Burroughs selects a particular recording as the museum’s most inspiring piece. “We have a recording of Isaac Pitman [who developed the most widely used system of shorthand, and opened a school in Bath] talking in 1897 onto a wax recording cylinder,” he says. “The cylinder was one of a set so that the Pitman Shorthand system he had devised could be presented without him being there. It is rare to find such a good sound recording of the time and having been brought up in Trowbridge, he had a strong Wiltshire accent.”




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Stones are often sites of activity, assembly, worship, exchange or conference

Stone Inspired by the 250th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone of the Royal Crescent, we take a look at Bath’s old stone wonders – from its folklore-shrouded standing stones, to its eerie ghost signs By L I SA E VA NS

Photo by Chloe Moore






hether it’s used to construct incredible buildings, decorate homes, create monuments, or even if it was painted onto hundreds of years ago, stone in Bath is one of the city’s many aesthetically pleasing draws. The most famous style of stone in the city, of course, is the delicately honey-coloured Bath stone, and, at Bath Life, we’re lucky enough to say that our office is shouting distance from the city’s most iconic Bath stone landmark, the Royal Crescent. To mark the quarter of a millennium since the laying of the foundation stone of this structure in 1767, a year of celebrations will commence this month – starting with the Supremo Weekend on 19 May, which the whole city is invited to. Even though celebrations such as this are fantastic, the trouble is, we’re all sometimes guilty of overlooking the beauty that surrounds us dayto-day, so, in this issue, we’re shining a spotlight on the evolving history of the use of stone in Bath, and have asked local experts and historians about their top hotspots in the city…



Opposite page: The Royal Crescent is celebrating its 250th anniversary in May; this page, clockwise, from top left: Bog Island fountain; a St Mary’s Church close-up; one of the prehistoric standing stones in Bushey Norwood; the Pump Rooms fountain where hot spa waters can be taken

The artist collective Vulpes Vulpes, which has a residency at the University of Bath’s The Edge arts centre, has been investigating the ancient folklore of the university site and the prehistoric use of the land, with a focus on the standing stones in Bushey Norwood near The Edge. “There are three ancient standing stones in Bushey Norwood field, to the east of the university,” says artist Hadiru Mahdi of Vulpes Vulpes whose end-of-residency installation will be on display at The Edge on 5 May. “They are commonly known to be part of an 18th century horse racecourse, and other stones on the site were bulldozed in the 1940s. Some suggest that there is cause to believe there were stone circles and avenues in the vicinity. “On Bathampton Down, now a golf course to the north of the university, there is some seismic evidence and a couple of historical reports from the 19th century suggesting a now buried or since removed hilltop stone circle,” he adds. “Stones are often sites of activity, assembly, worship, exchange or conference. Some of their history is uncovered by geological surveys and excavations, but many elements remain a mystery, to be explained only with stories. “Common tales around standing stones say a giant dropped the contents of his shovel, or a wedding party danced for too long into a Sunday and turned to stone as punishment. They can be sites of contemplation, spirituality and frivolity, but are these sites special in terms of geology? Or because of events which have occurred on this land? The speculation continues.” w I BATH LIFE I 73



“Stone has been used in construction since the Neolithic period of about 9,000 BC when it was used to create dry wall structures,” says Matthew Weaver, director at London Road’s Tile & Flooring Bath which specialises in classic and contemporary surfacing. “At different points in the history of mankind, the use and refining of this naturally occurring substance can be seen through the evolving of civilisation. This is obvious with the Egyptian and Roman cultures, and has proved itself as a symbol of power and longevity to many other dynasties.” As for his favourite use of stone in Bath, he explains, “One cannot avoid the individual crescents, and streets such as Great Pulteney which are masterpieces with finely detailed façades that have been crafted from locally excavated Ashlar limestone. These in their own right serve as monuments to a decadent period in the city’s history and promise to enchant occupants and visitors to this fair location for many centuries to come.” Louisa Morgan at Mandarin Stone – experts in natural stone tiles, flooring and bathware – on Broad Street, agrees that the crescents showcase stone in a glorious way. “Bath’s a stone-lover’s paradise,” she says. “Cobbled streets and the golden façades of the Circus and crescents are some of my favourite features, but if I had to narrow down my favourite stone sight in the city, it would be the carved, 74 I BATH LIFE I

Top to bottom: a close-up of the Bath Abbey; the Guildhall, Bath






vaulted stone ceiling of the Abbey – a must-see for any resident or visitor.” She adds that one of Mandarin Stone’s aims in the city is to complement traditional Bath properties with natural stone interiors and gardens, offering a stylish yet timeless feel, with finishes achieved through modern technology. “Water-jet cutting technology has created the ability to achieve more intricate designs to marbles that before weren’t possible,” she says. “Stone is finished – honed, polished, brushed, tumbled, and so on – mainly by machines, but natural stone is more popular now than it’s been since we started the business in 1989. The likes of sandstone, marble and travertine are also hugely in demand.” w

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Clockwise, from top left: a Nestlé’s Milk sign on Cleveland Terrace; HJ Archard’s Devonshire Dairy signage on Cleveland Terrace; a 19th century bakery advertisement on Batheaston High Street; the Circulating Library sign on Milsom Street



Local historians Kirsten Elliott and Andrew Swift recently released their book Ghost Signs of Bath, published by Akeman Press, which focuses on the faded advertisements for long defunct businesses on the walls of old buildings. They are potent reminders of a bygone age when brushmakers, corn factors and perfumers still jostled for attention, and dairies sold milk in the heart of town, as a sign on Cleveland Terrace illustrates. “The sign for Nestlé’s Milk dates from around 1902,” says Andrew. “It’s part of a splendid collection of ghost signs on the corner of Cleveland Terrace, when HJ Archard opened a grocery store and dairy there. A sign for Bovril, now partially covered up, can be seen below it.” Another demonstration of a signwriter’s art can be seen above Jamie’s Italian on Milsom Street. Look up, above window height, and you’ll see the famous Circulating Library and Reading Room memorial and also the signs from when Francis Joseph opened a state lottery office there. “It dates back to the early 1820s,” says Andrew. “The business lasted only around three years, but the sign still captivates and thoroughly fascinates visitors today.” There are 160 or so further examples in their book, such as a 19th century sign for corn bran, gurgeons and barley meal on a former bakery on Batheaston High Street; a sign for The Hetling Pump Room, which closed in 1875, on Hot Bath Street; a superb evocation of the golden age of cycling in New King Street, which dates from around 1898; a logo recalling the days when there were no restrictions on tobacco advertising, which can still be seen in Weston village; and an example of a palimpsest – successive signs being painted over each other – on Rivers Street. Tantalising echoes from the past pervade the city with their outstanding universal value and cultural significance, and we should indulge in slowing down and taking everything in that little bit more often. I BATH LIFE I 77

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DESIGNS FOR LIFE On display at The Holburne Museum this month are contemporary furniture designer Charlie Caffyn’s Shakerinspired pieces – future heirlooms in the making By V E L I M I R I L IC



Charlie with his signature Whitehill bench; opposite page: more of his beautifully-crafted statement furniture, including a stunning dining table (top left) made from glass, oak and maple


arely two minutes after meeting Charlie Caffyn at his Bradford on Avon homecum-studio workshop, you’re struck by the clear notion that this is the modern artisan designer/maker personified. This is creative, garrulous, warmly welcoming and fizzing with energy, even at the tail-end of another busy working week. Flitting between rooms to make sure his kids are happily settling down for bed, he fills the teapot with his favourite Earl Grey, as his wife Emily kisses him goodbye before dashing out to her regular Friday night book club. We’re here to find out more about Charlie’s new collection of made-to-order solid wood furniture – beautifully sculptural, striking pieces inspired by pioneering architects and furniture designers such as Hans J. Wegner and Charles & Ray Eames. “I’m also a huge admirer of Mies Van Der Rohe’s sublime modern architecture,” he says, “but across all design, I particularly love Shaker furniture.” Available to pre-order from his website, you’ll be able to see some of the collection first-hand at the Holburne Museum’s Plant Sale event on 7 May. The centrepiece will be his head-turning, signature Whitehill garden bench, alongside a striking coffee table and chair. It’s just the tip of the iceberg – Charlie is promising new additions to the range as the year progresses, available in a variety of woods. It all begins to make sense as we look at a scale model of the Whitehill bench (named after a well-known Bradford on Avon street) that sits in the middle of the table we’re gathered around. You can see immediately that clever, unfussy and masterly combination of Shaker-style form and function, wedded with the clean lines of precision that an architect or structural engineer might admire – a statement piece, for sure. “It has extended and exaggerated lines and proportions, and I want the wood to naturally ‘silver’ with age,” he says. “What I’m striving for with this piece – as with everything else in the collection – is to make ‘furniture for life’, pieces that people might see as future heirlooms.” For a man only in his mid-40s, the journey to this point of his career has been pretty intense. It all began at the tender age of 10, when he made his first table out of old pallets. “I was really pleased with it, so then I made a shelf for my Beano comics,” he beams. “And throughout school, I found myself gravitating into the workshops and


art rooms, making 3D objects and doing life drawing. But it was at Art Foundation level that I really began to focus – by the age of 20, I knew all I wanted to do was design and make furniture.” Having trained at Oxfordshire’s prestigious Rycotewood Furniture Centre, where he also enjoyed a much-prized exchange placement at renowned Swedish design house Stenebyskolan, Charlie went on to complete a BA in Furniture Design at specialist university college Ravensbourne in London, and from there his career soared. He went straight into designing mass-produced nursery furniture (including a high-chair that folded down into a briefcase-sized package for storage and transportation, sold globally around the world), overseeing production and helping set up factories across Europe and South-East Asia. But it was on one of these trips, as he watched literally thousands of his designs rolling off the production lines, that he realised he needed a change. “I’d learnt so much from that experience, but knew I couldn’t carry on doing that kind of thing forever,” he says. “I just wanted to move to the South West and get back to the roots of furniture-making – designing and hand-making bespoke pieces in small batches for individual customers.” And so Charlie moved back to Bristol, spending a few years as a design consultant before finding the perfect home and workshop space in Bradford on Avon. For the last decade, he’s been making unique commissioned items in and around the South West, including solid wood furniture such as coffee tables, coat stands, cabinets, wardrobes, tables and chairs. Recent commissions include a statement reception desk for a prestigious firm of architects, and a stunning glass, oak and maple dining table (pictured opposite, top left) for one of his London clients. Working with sustainably sourced oak, ash, walnut, beech, cherry, tulip, teak and even iroko, Charlie’s passion for his raw materials is clear. “I’m addicted to the workshop and to wood!” he laughs. “Each piece is finished with well-crafted details that show off the wood at its best.” Ultimately, he says, it’s all about creating something visually striking from a natural material. “You can buy a stack of wood, any size, shape or type, and with time and care it can be transformed into a quality piece of practical furniture. It’s the combination of function and structure that sets furniture design apart from sculpture or art.” Charlie then takes us to his workshop to show us – with a great deal of pride, it has to be said – the aforementioned Whitehill garden bench that he’s put so much creative energy into. A real thing of beauty it is, too. So why is now the right time for him to take the next step in his thus-far eventful and fruitful career? “Like any true profession, furniture design – like architecture – takes a great deal of time to master,” he responds. “I feel I’ve reached the point where, in terms of experience, technique and originality of design, everything has come together. So, it feels right to now start offering my bespoke pieces to discerning, design-aware people who recognise the true value of great furniture to keep for life. “When asked about his approach to design, Mies Van Der Rohe famously said that ‘God is in the details’. I can’t lay claim to any kind of divine intervention, but that fine dictum certainly works well enough for me!”


See Charlie Caffyn’s designs at The Holburne Museum’s Plant Sale on 7 May, 11am – 2pm. For more: I BATH LIFE I 81

NEW AGE LIVING As life expectancy increases, the shape of our future is changing, and more people than ever are taking charge now of their later life housing. But what questions should we be asking when making these decisions...?


adonna turns 59 in August, Meryl Streep is 67, Harrison Ford is 74, and Queen Elizabeth II is 91. Proof that many more of us are living stronger, healthier lives and we’re active for longer. And with increased life expectancy comes an increase in what we expect from our later years. We want to be able to plan and take charge of issues including that all-important change of accommodation. We posed five key questions to local experts to help us explore the retirement housing options….



How much will it cost? This does vary according to each development, home and level of care needed. The Chocolate Quarter in Keynsham, which opens this summer and will house 136 apartments and a 90-bed care home, as well as office space, retail outlets, GP surgery and pharmacy, has prices starting at £240,000. Corsham’s Wadswick Green which has just celebrated its first birthday, offers one, two and three-bed courtyard apartments, which range from £305,000 and £560,000 along with one and two-bed homes from £265,000. Alison Allen, partner at Stone King LLP, also advises, “Care home fees in the area typically cost from £600 to £1,200 a week. Care can be funded by the local authority, but this is means tested. Sometimes care can also be funded by the NHS, which is never means tested. However, most people pay for their own care and are often worried about the cost. Taking specialist advice early in the process, from a firm like Care Planning Services, really helps.”


You hear horror stories about care home staff. What is it really like? Barchester Healthcare – which was founded in 1992 and is now one of the biggest independent care providers in the UK with more than 200 care homes including Kingfisher Lodge Care Centre in Paulton – dispels the myth, pointing out, “Each of our homes is run by a team dedicated to individuals’ unique needs and preferences and they always seek to give the best possible, personcentred care and support. Their experienced team of highly qualified nurses and well-trained care staff focus on the individual needs of each resident, developing a tailored care plan for each and every person.”



What sort of details should I look for when I visit with a view to choosing? Nigel Locker of DKA Architects who designed The Old Vicarage in Leigh, suggests the following should be considered, “How much natural light and ventilation is there in the bedrooms, communal areas, lounges and dining rooms? These are the areas you will be spending most of your time in. Also think about the corridors that link all these spaces. Are they light and easy to navigate? Also, is there enough outside space? Having easy access to a garden will make a significant difference to your day. If your mobility is restricted a balcony or low level windowsil, you can still sit and enjoy the outside. Interior design plays a large role in the , too; for example look for contrasts in colour for those with limited sight.”


What about getting out and about, and the on-site facilities? Nick Martin, sales manager for Wadswick Green in Corsham, explains, “Residents can live as independently as they wish. The development boasts chauffeur-driven transportation for residents through our concierge service, from trips to the local shops, appointments at the

Opposite page top to bottom: Life is sweet at The Chocolate Quarter; DKA design thoughtful care home environments; this page, top to bottom: plan for your future to go swimmingly with Wadswick Green; embracing new hobbies at Barchester’s Kingfisher Lodge

doctor’s surgery, regular outings further afield such as the beautiful town of Bath, we really do have it covered. The nearby M4 and local railway services provide speedy nationwide connections, too. On site, we have the Greenhouse restaurant, which offers everything from steak to healthy salads, and a children’s menu for visiting grandchildren. There’s a packed monthly resident events schedule which includes walking and reading clubs, fashion shows and seasonal craft fairs. There’s also a spa with a swimming pool, sauna, steam, jacuzzi, gym and Figo Hair salon.”


What happens if my health deteriorates? Steven Webster, the marketing and communications manager of St Monica Trust’s whose latest development is The Chocolate Quarter, says “The security that comes from knowing that care is available, if needed, will remain an integral part of what The Chocolate Quarter offers. The difference with our development is that any support or care that is needed will be brought to people on an individual basis – everything from adaptations to people’s living environments to the support they need, will be individually tailored at the time they need it and will be delivered in as unobtrusive manner as possible.”

DIRECTORY Avonpark Village 01372 383950 Bloomfield Care Centre 01761 441511 Brunel House 01225 560100 Chantry Court 0800 0147 552

The Chocolate Quarter 0117 919 4258 www.thechocolatequarter. Kingfisher Lodge Care Centre 01225 560597 Lambrook Court 0800 153 3782 www.mccarthyandstone.

Wadswick Green 01225 585880 Westbury Court Care Home 01373 441555 The Wingfield Care Home 01225 560598

HOME CARE SERVICES Care South 01761 422920

Stone King Solicitors 01225 337599

Way Ahead Care 01823 321123

OTHER SERVICES University of the 3rd Age in Bath

LEGAL SERVICES Helen Starkie Solicitors 01225 442353

Caroline Crowther Introduction Agency 01934 744788 I BATH LIFE I 83


A LUXURY RETIREMENT VILLAGE WITH FIRST-CLASS AMENITIES, NEAR CORSHAM From a relaxed all day restaurant to a fully equipped gym with excellent spa facilities and on-site support, WADSWICK GREEN, offers a whole new comfortable lifestyle for the over 60’s

Join us... Spring Living Fair Following the success of our Winter Craft Fair, the luxury marquee is back to bring you a Spring Living Fair on the Pavilion Terrace. Saturday 13th May, 10am-5pm Sunday 14th May, 10am-4pm FREE ENTRY

Rangeford Retirement Show The Rangeford Retirement Show will provide you with access to free advice and information to help you retire to a life of leisure with all the support you need. Featuring Saga, Corsham Town Council, antiques valuers and more. Monday 15th May, 10am-4pm FREE ENTRY 84 I BATH LIFE I


ou can be relaxed or as active you like at Wadswick Green. The Pavilion is the centre of the village’s amenities; a comfortable environment designed to make you feel like you’re on holiday, every day. Visit the fully equipped gym and work out with our resident personal trainer, or take a swim in the stunning chlorine-free pool, which also boasts a jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. Pamper yourself in the beauty spa or hair salon, enjoy countryside walks or take your friends for lunch at our relaxed all dining restaurant, The Greenhouse. June Grant, one of the first residents to move to Wadswick Green comments, “There is nothing else that compares with Wadswick Green as it doesn’t exist. The assisted living facility has thought of every detail; providing an independence and quality of lifestyle, not just a home.” Wendy Osburn and Marilyn McGee, a spontaneous duo who became friends after moving to Wadswick Green says,“There’s never a dull moment for us. We often jump into one of our cars for a road trip to nearby Bath or Swindon for some retail therapy, cinema visits or to eat out. If the weather looks a little grim, we motivate each other in

“PROVIDING AN INDEPENDENCE AND QUALITY OF LIFESTYLE” Wadswick Green’s gym and pool to keep fit or relax in The Greenhouse, the on site restaurant, to people-watch and enjoy a meal or cup of coffee.” Retire to a life of leisure with all the support you need. Visit our website or contact us for more information, we would love to hear from you.

The Pavilion, Wadswick Green, Corsham SN13 9RD 01225 584500

adve r tising featu r e c a r e h o m e s

What to look for when choosing a care home... Award winning architects DKA discuss the care that goes into planning and designing a care home – from layout, light, the interior, the exterior and the importance of space


hoosing a care home is a difficult decision, not only do you have to come to terms with needing an increased level of care but you also need to choose an environment that you’ll be happy to live in and one which your loved ones feel comfortable and confident you’ll enjoy. So how do you balance the best care with surroundings that may have an effect on your mental wellbeing? The Care Quality Commission monitors standards of both care and physical accommodation in a care home, but the overall feeling a care home has is hard to quantify and is very subjective. DKA share some important standards they consider when designing a care home which you may want to include when choosing your care home.

l How much natural light and ventilation is there in the bedrooms, communal areas, lounges and dining rooms? These are the areas you will be spending most of your time in. Also think about the corridors that link all these spaces. Are they light and easy to navigate? When DKA designed the scheme at The Old Vicarage in Leigh, the focal points were natural light, surrounding gardens, outside space and the views.

“Xxxx xxxxx xxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx”

l Is there enough outside space? Having easy access to a garden will make a significant difference to your day. If your mobility is restrictive a balcony or low level windowsill means you can still sit and enjoy the outside. A garden is also a nice place to enjoy time with your family and friends. DKA designed Needham House extra care home to have rooms which have easy access to the outdoors or a balcony. l Interior design plays a large role when considering a care home. Using the right colours can help to define a space and assist with finding your way. For example, people suffering from dementia may not always be able to remember their way but may be able to recall certain colours or use handrail notches which help with orientation. Look for interiors that use contrasts in colour for those with limited sight and avoid strong patterns as they can cause confusion. DKA designed the bedrooms at Gittisham Hill House using four restful colour schemes to help each resident recognise their own room. DKA used the corridors to display artwork, accessories and memory boxes which created interesting spaces to inspire happy memories.

There is an ever increasing variety of options when choosing a care home. Nursing care provides round the clock nursing, residential care or sheltered accommodation provides a more independent way of life and there are extra care homes, where residents can buy or rent an apartment and live independently within a complex that has the facilities associated with a care home. As your needs increase care can be provided on site enabling you to stay in your home and maintain an independent life. DKA have been designing care homes for many years and always work closely with their clients to ensure that the homes they design provide the best possible environments for them and their residents. @DKA_architects @dka_architects I BATH LIFE I 87

Avon Care Homes Residential, Nursing & Respite

Three of the unique and stylish care homes belonging to the Avon Care Homes Group

Bybrook House Middle Hill, Box, Wiltshire, SN13 8QP

Care is offered in this elegant country house with 7 acres of gardens, in the beautiful Bybrook Valley.

Tel: 01225 743672

Sutton Veny House Sutton Veny, Warminster, Wiltshire, BA12 7BJ Sutton Veny House is set in a wonderfully rural location, with outstanding beauty and breathtaking surroundings.

Tel: 01985 840224


Pondsmead, Shepton Road, Oakhill, Radstock, BA3 5HT Pondsmead is Avon Care Homes newest acquisition offering short and long stay care, all set in extensive, beautiful gardens.

Tel: 01749 841111



Is it travel, relaxation, more time with the grandchildren? Or are you worried? COMBINED FINANCIAL STRATEGIES are here to advise


hanges to pension legislation have created fantastic opportunities for retirement planning. Not only are there attractive tax advantages, but also increasingly flexible ways you can access your pension pots. However, many of our clients initially approached us because they were concerned about all these options and the impact they could have on when, and how, they could afford to retire. As independent financial advisers, Combined Financial Strategies will pull together all of your financial affairs covering investments, retirement and tax planning to help you to understand what you will need, when you will need it and what you need to do now. So, when the time for retirement arrives, you will have a clear plan that will allow you to get on with living your life in the knowledge that you have made the right financial decisions for your future, just like Rob and Brenda...


As Rob and Brenda approached retirement they were keen to ensure they maximised their income and made the most tax efficient use of the assets they had accumulated. Rob and Brenda held a number of pensions, assets and buy-to-let properties they planned to use to fund their retirement. They were however not too sure what all their assets could deliver in terms of income and how long it would fund their retirement for. They were recommended to Combined Financial Strategies by their solicitor when they were updating their wills.


After our initial meeting, we sat down with Rob and Brenda and agreed some goals around their lifestyle in retirement before drawing up a cash flow forecast which focused on their long term retirement plans. This helped demonstrate how different levels of income impacted the amount of legacy they may leave their family.


The result was that Rob and Brenda could take their dream six-month round the world holiday

by utilising some of Rob’s tax free cash from his pension plans. By reassigning some of their assets both can take a retirement income of over £20,000 and remain basic rate tax payers. With their immediate and long term needs taken care of, we were also able demonstrate how much they could afford to earmark for helping their children out financially. By working with their solicitor we were able to restructure their wills, pensions and investments which could save the family up to £200,000 in inheritance tax. Rob and Brenda now have annual meetings with us where we update and review their lifetime cash flow forecast and financial plan, providing them with financial peace of mind, to live the life they want, secure in the knowledge that they won’t run out of money. Did you know that our Director, Jonothan McColgan is currently Financial Adviser of the Year? Jonothan McColgan (Chartered and Independent Financial Planner) has been recognised as one of the top financial planners in the country by the finance industry winning many awards in 2015 and 2016 including Financial Adviser of the Year at the Growth Investor Awards 2016 & Retirement & Later Life

Specialist at the Personal Finance Awards 2016. He is also one of the country’s leading commentators on pensions and retirement in the national press. You will frequently find his commentary in The Times, Telegraph, Mail on Sunday, Financial Times and BBC.

Combined Financial Strategies Ltd 38 Gay Street, Bath BA1 2NT 01225 471 462; “Combined Financial Strategies Ltd is an appointed representative of The Whitechurch Network Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Tax Strategies, Will Writing & Buy to Lets are not regulated by the FCA. Pensions are long term investments that will fluctuate and can go down in value. Your eventual income will depend upon the value of the fund, future interests rates and tax legislation at retirement.” I BATH LIFE I 91

U3A in Bath A positive and creative approach to retirement


Specialists in bathroom safety U3A in Bath is a lively and friendly association offering a wide range of study and leisure activities for retired and semi-retired people.

With time you may find your bathroom becomes more difficult to use safely, however there are a range of options and products available to make life easier, for example;

Our activity groups work on the basis that members who have expertise give their services freely to those who wish to learn more and develop their own skills.

• Change your bath for a large shower or walk in bath • Create a wet room with a completely flat surface • Redesign your layout to make best use of space • Increase storage with built in units • Install underfloor heating to keep the floor dry • Add grab rails and fold away shower seats

We have groups covering anything from literature and foreign languages to photography and table tennis. We also hold monthly talks in the Bath Pavilion where recent topics have included George Bernard Shaw, Farming in Somerset and the Bath Abbey Renovation Project.

Before Above is an example of a recent project where the customer replaced their old bath and shower with a tiled wet room, suitable for a wheelchair user with a young family.

It’s easy and cheap to join and we welcome new members. Download the application form from our website or join at our monthly meeting in the Pavilion, usually on the first Thursday of the month.

*If you need to make changes to your bathroom due to disability or a medical condition, we are able to supply your bathroom VAT free, saving you 20%. Please ask for details.


Save 20% VAT*

Established in and around Bath for over 30 years. For a free home visit, contact Rex on 07496 057281 or 01453 884167


KNOW YOUR STUFF Being sure of the value of your assets is key when making a will, says HELEN STARKIE, and important in making sure you avoid any potential pitfalls


f you decide to make a will your solicitor will ask you for a general idea of the value of your assets. Why? Because a will should be drafted in the most tax efficient way for the benefit of those to whom are leaving your estate. So when your solicitor asks you what you own, will you know? That may sound a silly question but I find that, in the case of two particular types of asset, people are often rather hazy about things. When I ask my clients whether they have any life insurance policies, many are unsure whether they have any at all, and if they do, they are unsure how many policies they have. A lot of people took out insurance years ago when they bought their first home and have no idea if their policy is still in force or what type of policy they purchased. In the vast majority of cases if they do remember that they have life assurance they are unable to recall who is to benefit from it. If you have (or think you have) life cover it pays to check the position. If you are yourself due the proceeds of a policy then, if you die before it matures and without having surrendered it, its value will be included in your estate for inheritance tax purposes. If, on the other hand, the policy is written in trust for someone else (your spouse or a child for example) then its value will not be included for the purposes of computing the tax due. Depending upon the type of policy you have, you may be able to arrange for one which would otherwise form part of your estate to be written in trust now. Check with your insurers or ask your IFA to do that for you. If you are older and have a policy written in trust for your spouse or partner it may be worth discussing with them and your solicitor whether you should change the terms of the


trust to provide for the policy proceeds to pass to your children rather than your spouse. If your spouse or partner has health problems this would protect the funds from dissipation in care fees and ensure that your children receive the policy proceeds intact. The same logic applies if you are sufficiently well off for your spouse to be unlikely to have need of the policy proceeds and/or if their own estate is likely to be subject to payment of inheritance tax. It makes no sense to increase the size of their estate if all that will do is increase their own tax bill at the end of the day. What about your home? Do you own it jointly? Where that is the case I find that many new clients of mine do not know whether they own it as ‘beneficial joint tenants’ or ‘tenants in common’. (In this context the word ‘tenant’ does not only refer to leases – it applies also to freeholds). Which way the property is held can have a major impact on the couple’s tax position. If one of two ‘beneficial joint tenants’ dies the other will own the whole of the equity in the property from the moment of that death regardless of what the deceased owner’s will may say, while a ‘tenant in common’ may leave his or her interest in the home to anyone they choose.

While you may want your spouse or partner to be able to continue to live in your joint home for as long as they wish after your death, and to be able to sell it and buy another property to live in, you may not want its value to be available for means testing and use should he or she need to pay for care after you die. There are tax efficient and inexpensive ways of organising things to overcome these potential pitfalls. Your solicitor should be able to advise you which will suit your own particular circumstances.

Helen Starkie Solicitor 5 Gay Street, Bath BA1 2PH 01225 442353 I BATH LIFE I 93

Luxury mobile toilet trailers for weddings and all special events

01225 312 151 ▼

Would you like to work in Media Sales? We are always looking to hear from talented individuals who would like to work for MediaClash, presenting advertising opportunities and marketing solutions across our portfolio of fantastic local titles. We are a growing business and anticipate there being various opportunities over the next few months. If you would like to join our continuing success story please email your CV to or give us a call anytime on 01225 475800 for a chat about the company, our magazines and available positions.

Dining/Arts/Entertainment/Shopping/Property @BathLifeMag




ISSUE 338 / 28 APRIL – 12 MAY 2017 / £3






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advertisi n g feat u re c h a r i t y

RECRUITING FOR CHANGE Local employment agency teams up with charity Business against Poverty to send staff to witness first hand the positive and life changing work of an overseas project


his spring, two staff from Chippenham recruitment agency, 24-7 Staffing, will join social enterprise, Business against Poverty (BaP), to visit one of the community projects it supports in Romania. BaP is the membership based business-to-business arm of registered local charity, People against Poverty (PaP). 24-7 Staffing is one of BaP’s Platinum Partners, and directors, Melody and Julian Thompson, are committed to extending their company’s ethical stance by providing staff with the opportunity to see first-hand the work carried out by PaP/BaP. On 28 April 2017, staff members Dannielle Pettit and Lucy Dando will travel in a small group with PaP’s chief executive officer, Valerie Huxley, to the city of Iasi in eastern Romania. They will meet the project teams working on the front line and meet many of the families that the charity is working tirelessly to support in their quest to build sustainable communities and lift them out of a life of poverty. Melody Thompson reinforces the organisation’s approach to this investment in its staff, saying, “Making a positive change to people’s lives is at the heart of recruitment and training, and we wanted to team up with a charity that supports these values. Our partnership with BaP will create a butterfly effect amongst our staff, candidates and clients, generating a greater sense of achievement through the work we do.” Recruitment consultant Lucy Dando says, “I raised funds for my trip by selling homemade Christmas cards and upcycling furniture – I’m so pleased to have the

“Making a positive change to people’s lives is at the heart of recruitment and training”

Dannielle Pettit and Lucy Dando

opportunity to go to Romania and help raise awareness of the work BaP do, I'm really looking forward to this experience.” Recruitment consultant Dannielle Pettit says, “This trip is very personal for me and I want to help to improve the quality of life for young people living in poverty. I’m excited about giving out the clothes and crafts I’ve collected for the children.” People against Poverty is based in Melksham and has developed Business against Poverty, from a small group of like-minded organisations in 2009 to a substantial network of over 120 ethically focused businesses. Julian Thompson comments, “Being part of the Business against Poverty family has been a great experience for us, both as a business and as individuals. It’s extremely fulfilling know that we contribute to the work of BaP, and that in partnership with them we can change people’s lives by helping to free them

from the poverty cycle. For us, it’s not just what we do that matters, but how we do it.” To find out more about People against Poverty or Business against Poverty, membership benefits and how you can get involved, please visit our websites.

Suite G1, Kingsbury House, Kingsbury Square, Melksham, Wiltshire SN12 6HL 01225 541269 I BATH LIFE I 95

Professional studio ž Families ž Portraiture ž Events Weddings ž Fashion Jewellery ž Architecture

BeataCosgrovePhotographer beatacosgrovephotography








This shopper has bagged a bargain

The city welcomes the launch of the new Independent Bath Market From the fairground ambience to the eclectic adventure they bring, markets are increasingly becoming a vital part of the nation’s shopping and retail experience. Not only are they springboards for many businesses setting up and help boost footfall to the region, they are also recognised by national and local government as key sites for social interaction and community-building. Bath is not only embracing the on-trend market trend but excelling in it. Along with the once-ayear Bath Life Award-winning Christmas Market, whose 170-stalls generated an additional spend of £21million to the city, there’s the regular The Great Artisan Feast Festival and the Bath Farmer’s Market, to name just a few. Soon to be joining their successful ranks is the eight-times-a-year Independent Bath Market in Abbey Green, which will have about 25 stalls and has been coordinated by Silvana de Soissons of The Foodie Bugle. “As well as always seeking out local markets on holiday, I researched markets in Frome, London, Cirencester, Stroud, Winchester and Marlborough in order to see what works and to learn the procedures that need to be put in place,” explains Silvana. “I love markets that have a sense of place and provenance, hence the Independent Bath Market will feature only traders, makers, artisans, growers and producers that come from Bath or Somerset.” Her efforts have been praised by many including Bath MP Ben Howlett who says, “One of the main reasons why people come to Bath is its unique business offer and this new market will not only help to showcase Bath, it will also help to bring new jobs and growth for our city.” Councillor Patrick Anketell-Jones, cabinet member for economic development says, “Bath’s independent traders have, over the years, responded magnificently to the ever-changing


“BATH’S INDEPENDENT TRADERS HAVE RESPONDED MAGNIFICENTLY TO THE EVERCHANGING ECONOMY” Praise for the innovative and alwaysevolving indies of Bath. See opposite for more

economy, and independent shops have never looked so well presented.” While David James of Visit Bath adds, “We are thrilled that the Foodie Bugle has initiated the Independent Bath Market. At VisitBath we are committed to supporting events that will attract more visitors to the city, driving footfall and therefore supporting the local economy.” For more:


THE BIG NUMBER And you thought there was only one nanny capable of flying...? Discover the full story on page 98 I BATH LIFE I 97



THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN Our pick of the most exciting, intriguing or important local business stories right now

HOUSEKEEPING TO BEE-KEEPING Combe Grove, the Grade-II listed Georgian country club, has recently been purchased by the charity The Elmhurst Foundation. The long-term vision is to transform the Bath Hotel, restaurant and fitness club which is set in 70 acres of grounds, into a work-based learning centre, while the hotel continues as a business. Along with apprenticeships being offered across each department including hospitality, catering, customer services and finance, there will be a programme of practical courses such as bee-keeping and dry-stone walling. Building on the existing Combe Grove fitness club activities, there are also plans to expand further into holistic wellness with, for example, yoga, painting and mediation courses.

“Let’s go fly a kite – up to the highest height!”


Helen Aylward-Smith, founder of The Elmhurst Foundation, says, “We are very grateful to all those who have given us the opportunity and enabled this to happen. We will now focus our energy on launching our apprenticeship programme, working together to create an inspiring retreat for health and wellbeing, in this most beautiful rural English setting.”

Back in September 2013, Etihad Airways introduced the concept of Norland-trained and approved Flying Nannies to help children and parents with the stresses of long-haul flights, as well as accompany minors travelling alone. The idea took off immediately and the Middle Eastern airline has just celebrated the graduation of the 2,000th Flying Nanny. Claire Burgess, head of research, consultancy and training at Norland, who has been delivering the training at Etihad Airways’ headquarters since the initiative began, says, “This milestone reflects how successful the Flying Nanny programme has been for Etihad Airways, and it proves that Norland’s expertise continues to make a positive impact on the passenger experience.”

For more:

For more:

The Combe Grove team are ready to train

BRIGHT SPARKS A simple spark of an idea from a young Somerset schoolgirl led to big success on the online retailers Not On The High Street. Deborah, who lives in Taunton, explains, ‘When my daughter Verity was 16 and was studying textiles at college, she had some ideas for personalised t-shirt designs so we decided to try selling them. She helped me by cutting out fabric. This was the beginning of Sparks Clothing back in 2007.” The duo are now a team of 10, have won The Make Awards Partner of the Year 2013 and processed around 170,000 orders. Verity, who helped her mum with the business all the way through her university career, says, “It was difficult to balance things, but because Mum and I are such a good team we managed to get through it. I’ve now finished my degree, and am very excited about the future of our business.’ For more: Sparks Clothing is a family affair


Chris is a leading scholar in 20th century British art

ART MOVEMENT The Holburne Museum has announced the appointment of its new director, Dr Chris Stephens, currently head of displays and lead curator at Modern British Art at Tate Britain. Chris, who has overseen the programming, planning and delivery of the Tate Britain’s collection displays since 2001 and is recognised as a leading scholar in 20th century British art, will take up the post in Bath in July. He succeeds Jennifer

Scott, now Sackler Director of Dulwich Picture Gallery. Chris says, “Since its reopening in 2011, I have admired the richness and professionalism of The Holburne, its staff and its programme, so I am thrilled to become its next director and to continue and extend its innovation and all that it offers the people of Bath and beyond.” For more:



BRAND NEW When Withy King merged with Royds of London last year, while it was great news for the firms, there was the issue of what to do with all of the no longer needed branded merchandise. However, thanks to the work of UK charity Action Through Enterprise (ATE), remote communities in Ghana are now making good use of the Bath law firm’s items. Nicola Cutler, an associate who helped to co-ordinate the donations, explains, “We were delighted to be able to deliver the Withy King branded clothing and blankets to the town of Lawra, where the charity has set up programmes to support, educate and feed over 930 children. “ATE works tirelessly to improve the lives of people in the poorest parts of


A learning co-ordinator in Ghana making use of Withy King clothing and blankets

Ghana where educational attendance is extremely low as many children spend more time searching for food in the bush or working to make money for their families instead of going to school.” For more:

DOING IT FOR THE KIDS Staff members Mowbray Woodwards, recently raised nearly £3,000 for a local charity after being inspired by the organisation’s work. The Bath law firm met representatives of Mentoring Plus at a meeting of Bath Percent Club, which aims to encourage charitable giving amongst local businesses, and were so impressed by the work Mentoring Plus does to support young people aged 7-21 struggling with education, family, poverty or isolation by matching them with trained volunteer mentors, they set about fundraising for the group. Mowbray Woodwards managing partner, Tracey Smith explains, “We raised funds with a variety of activities including a bake-off style cake sale, dressdown days and raffling a day off work.

With less than six weeks to go, the momentum for Bath Boules is now in full flow, with the first of the foodie traders revealed. Refreshment providers on the day include Olé Tapas, Social Café, Bubbles & Brew, VoodooQ, Claud the Butler, Three Daggers, Los Churros Amigos, Nosh Box, The Juice Collective and Little Jack Horners. MediaClash’s event organiser Steph Dodd says, “We want an array of the finest indie foodie traders and are in discussion with several other companies. If you want to trade at this high-profile event and help raise sums for local charities, then please let us know. “Anyone who buys either food or drink at the Bath Boules, which now only has a limited number of sponsorship opportunities left, contributes directly to charity, since a portion of all takings goes to the Bath Boules Trust. So the organisers prefer people not to bring their own – but if they do, they’ll be asked to make a donation.” And Steph has also revealed details of two other events which will support the Boules in addition to the recentlyannounced Bath World Cup in August. The Bath Boules charities will also benefit from the drink proceeds from two other events that week using the Boules set-up. On 7 June, there’s a special event for Lovehoney’s 15th birthday anniversary. And on 8 June, Creative Bath Awards will be held, celebrating the best of local creative, tech and culture. For more: |

Kate Jackson, Harriet Woodman, Zoe Austin, Jennifer Clarke and Matthew Graham

Some of the team also ran the Bath Half Marathon, raising individual sponsorship which was matched by the firm’s partners. “Fundraising for such a fantastic cause as Mentoring Plus has really brought our team together and we have all worked hard to raise money in different ways.” For more:

Going with the Boules flow




Jan is a sporting hero

GOOD SPORT Jan Bartu, one of the longestserving and successful performance directors in British sport, has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Bath. The Czech 1976 Olympic medallist built and led the Pentathlon GB Performance programme, based at the University since 1998, and supported athletes to win a total of five Olympic medals. He says, “For me, it’s hugely important for athletes to be able to study and train, and the set-up we have at Bath follows my belief in the importance of a healthy mind in a healthy body.”

SIXTH SENSE Thrings has appointed six trainees as newly-qualified solicitors; Megan Prideaux, Simon Bosworth, Tara Connor, David Geller, Hannah Mannion and Tania Pugh Sarah Tompsett, HR director at Thrings, says, “The firm is very proud of its ability to attract and retain ambitious young lawyers, and offer them opportunities which support their ongoing professional development.”

HOT PROPERTY Bath law firm Stone King has advised on a multi-million pound property deal to secure the future of the country’s largest stately home. The Grade-I listed Wentworth Woodhouse in South Yorkshire has just been sold to the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust for £7m. Hugh Pearce, who is head of the commercial property team at Stone King, explains, “We acted for the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) which has contributed a £3.5m grant towards the purchase.”

The fans loved Anthony Watson’s efforts

BATH RUGBY NEWS Bringing you the latest from the Bath Rugby headquarters More than 61,000 supporters descended on Twickenham Stadium on 8 April for The Clash, with Bath Rugby claiming a dramatic 27-21 victory over old foes Leicester Tigers, reports Alex Ferguson. It was Tigers who started the game brightly, racing into a 0-12 lead with just 12 minutes on the clock, with tries coming from Brendon O’Connor and Telusa Veainu. However, Bath, buoyed by a crowd lined in blue, black and white, staged a late comeback to triumph at the home of English rugby. Two tries from the influential Anthony Watson saw Bath come away with the points to the delight of the vocal Bath support. Supporters took advantage of the action-packed prematch entertainment with motorcycle stunts, havea-go sporting activities and a festival of food and drink keeping the whole family entertained in the build-up to the game. West Country legends The Wurzels ended the day in spectacular fashion playing some of their classics to close out a memorable day at Twickenham. First team player Matt Banahan says, “The boys

showed great character to come back from behind to get the win at the end. We worked hard for each other – in tough games, often the team that works the hardest, comes out on top. We tried to play with the ball a lot and put a number of phases together that gave us attacking opportunities, which won us the game. “I don’t think a lot of the boys realised how many people would be there and we can’t thank everyone enough for putting on such a great game. Obviously we’re the end result with the win, but it’s a big thank you to all the supporters for helping us through it.” For more:

BUSINESS MATTERS DIARY From city centre conferences to networking breakfasts, make a note of these dates and make them work for you VARIOUS DATES

Bath Business Club offers the chance to meet up once a week. 7.30am, £10.

MacLaurin. Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa. 12pm-2.30pm, £50.

sponsorship opportunities, email 9 – 11 JUNE


Simon Hares advises on how best Tell your story using cartoons with to business network. 8am-9am, a one-month evening course with free. Glove Factory Studios, Holt. illustrator Eoin Ryan. Bath Artists Studios, £90. 4 MAY

Bath Boules in Queen Square returns to help raise money for local charities with food, fun and boules. 22 JUNE

Employment law with Royds Withy Creative Bath Awards will highlight King employment law specialists. Enjoy fine dining and mighty fine exceptional creative quality 6pm-7.30pm, £18. Midland Bridge business insight with Bath Life throughout this diverse sector. To House; Business Club’s guest speaker Lord get involved and to discuss 8 JUNE





COMINS TEA Rob and Michelle Comins, co-founders and directors of Comins Tea, talk about once hating tea, the £4,000 brew and how best to enjoy your cuppa… So how did it feel to scoop a Bath Life Award? We were shocked as there is so much great competition in Bath, but it did feel amazing to win. Why do you think Comins Tea won? We started this company because we wanted to make great tea more accessible and turn going out for a cup of tea into an event, an experience, that people will travel to enjoy. Comins Tea is all about breaking down boundaries in tea – we can tell you where we found it and how to brew it – you are only one step away from the people who grew it. Have you always worked in tea? Michelle: I qualified as a biochemist and spent many years in large corporations often managing large teams. Tea was always there – helping me to connect and break down boundaries. I started to travel more with work but I didn’t want to sit in offices in Shanghai – I wanted to get in the back of a truck and go exploring. Have you always loved tea? Rob: Growing up, only strong black tea was on offer – it was too bitter and put me off completely. When Michelle and I travelled to Darjeeling on a break from work, I had the first taste of great tea, at origin – with all the philosophy that goes with it – and only then was I was hooked.

school will soon offer courses aimed at both tea enthusiasts and also the professional catering industry. Who are your business heroes? The aforementioned Merill Fernando – he has dedicated over 60 years of his life to tea and now runs Dilmah Tea as well as his own charitable organisation. On our first meeting, he made us tea in his London flat and promised to help us. That sort of kindness is something you don’t forget. What advice would you give someone looking to go into this sector? You have to have passion to succeed in tea and this is not something that can simply be studied – it needs to be lived.

THE OWNER Describe the perfect cup of tea. OF THE BIGGEST We could say that it would be from loose leaf tea as gives the best flavour, but tea is individual – to say TEA COMPANY this there is only one way to make or enjoy the ‘perfect’ IN SRI LANKA cup of tea doesn’t make sense to us. TOLD US TO Any sweet recommendations to accompany the chosen cup of tea? NEVER with a blueberry scone works well and UNDERVALUE Darjeeling our tea bread is delicious with Lapsang Souchong. TEA BUT ALSO Michelle is addicted to Japanese green tea and dark chocolate. NOT TO BE GREEDY IN WHAT And where should it be enjoyed? Our tea houses are minimal and tranquil – there is no WE CHARGE music or wi-fi. They reflect our favourite teahouses

How did Comins Tea come about? We lived in Belgium for five years and took tea every weekend – but returning to the UK could find few places to sit, learn about and enjoy tea. As our family grew (we have three children), we wanted to pursue a line of work together that we both loved, that would have meaning, and Comins Tea was born.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? It was from a fine gentleman called Merill Fernando, the owner of the biggest tea company in Sri Lanka. He told us to never undervalue tea but also not to be greedy in what we charge. What plans do you have for Comins Tea? We are taking customers on our first tea trip this spring and we’ll have more chances to travel in the coming months. And our small tea 102 I BATH LIFE I

Michelle and Rob celebrate their Bath LIfe Award win

around the world where the tea takes centre stage. What do you love most about being in Bath? Bath is a large place, yet with a feeling of closeness and community. There is a good independent scene off the well trodden track, full of foodies and people who have a focus on quality and experience. Tell us your favourite tea-based surprising fact… There is a big market for aged teas. A 100-year-old Chinese Puerh tea could set you back around £500 a gram, that’s around £4,000 per pot. You are able to re-brew the leaves over 28, though, so that makes it a bargain £200 a pot. For more:

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Using your Strengths to make a difference Meet Nicola McHale, the founder and Master C Suite Coach at VI INTERNATIONAL LTD, who talks us through her own personal journey of developing her business and becoming a Vistage Chair


founded Vi International in 1988 and grew it from nothing into a business with 22 consultants working globally with clients like Microsoft, Virgin Atlantic, Diageo, Jaguar Land Rover, JP Morgan and HSBC Bank. I opened a subsidiary company in Singapore and worked throughout Asia. So I know what it is like starting and growing a business. I know how hard it is, how challenging and how rewarding it can be – and I also know how lonely and isolated you can feel at times. My journey was great but very challenging and took a lot of hard work. It was when I found myself in Shanghai on business knowing that I was going to have to fly home and then fly to Chicago a few days later that I decided to change and downscale my business. That was October 2009, and I wished I had known about Vistage then. It took me five years to change my business model. Now I have the best of both worlds. I am still a C Suite Coach working with my Corporate clients and now a Vistage Chair. Vistage is a global business working with and for the SME helping them to make better decisions, become better leaders and achieve outstanding results. One of my clients had been a Vistage member and so my Vistage journey started. I eventually joined Vistage in 2014 as a Vistage Chair for the south west. To be a great Chair you need to know the problems and the pressures as you grow a business. You need to have been there and done it. As a CEO, MD and business owner it can be difficult to find the right people who you can

“I know how hard it is, how challenging and how rewarding it can be”

trust and discuss your challenges with, who do not have a vested interest. So now I run a Vistage private advisory group across the south west. The group of up to 16 Leaders meet monthly and have one to one executive coaching with me. The members are all different with diverse backgrounds, skills and experience which means we can solve any problem. There are big challenging conversations. With your questions questioned, your answers challenged, and your plans pulled apart – you get to the right answer eventually. There is no competition in the group so the members can bring their biggest issues knowing the group will help them in total security and 100 per cent confidentiality. I have a talented group which is still growing. The members love the Vistage Open Days we hold across the UK and locally. It gives them the chance to meet and learn from international speakers like Dr Steve Peters who spoke recently at our event in Bristol on the Chimp Paradox, which outlines fascinating mind management

tools They also get to meet other Vistage members to connect with and share best practice. It is great being involved and it is great giving something back – especially to Bath's amazing business community. I have worked all over the world and am very impressed with Bath’s business culture. If you want peer support, challenge and your issues resolved then contact me now to see if you would be right for Vistage membership.

Nicola McHale - Vistage Chair Experienced Executive Coach e: t: 07887 616606 @nicolamchale I BATH LIFE I 105

a d vertising feature P R & m a r k e t i n g

Meet the PR agent We meet the city’s marketing experts who know how to talk the talk, effectively communicate clients’ ideas and maximise their reach

Ben Brookes

Brookes & Sowerby 01225 683682 Which clients are you currently working with? A range of B2B PR and marketing clients across the construction, automotive and financial services sectors. These include JCB, MFG Group and Canada Life. What sets you apart? In short, it is results. We deliver against objectives – on time and on budget. That’s why several of the UK’s number one businesses have chosen to work with us here in Bath. It comes from doing whatever it takes to meet our clients’ needs and our ability to communicate complex messages with clarity. Describe the best client project you’ve ever had? Our latest brief is not just exciting, it’s going to help make a real difference. We’re promoting Pacific Rugby Players Welfare, which supports professional rugby players from Fiji, Samoa and Tonga against exploitation. An added bonus is the chance to work with some Bath Rugby legends in the near future too! What do you find the most rewarding part of PR? The buzz from achieving the game-changing coverage that can make a genuine commercial impact for a client.

Fiona Scott Fiona Scott Media Consultancy Ltd

As an agency what sets you apart from the others? I’m a journalist who has worked with PR people throughout my career. Some are excellent but some are, in my experience, poor. They don’t provide what journalists need – but they want to get to journalists. What’s that all about? What do you find the most rewarding parts of PR? The people I meet and their stories. Stories can be told in words, pictures, video, animation, VR or AR – but the most powerful are those where there’s a person at the centre. What’s the most frustrating aspects of your work? Ridiculous expectations. Some people want immediate results and expect sales to just appear – not appreciating good PR means you also need a good sales process. Which clients are you working with at the moment? My clients vary from individuals to not-for-profit organisations to SMEs. Among my clients locally are Systemagic, Butterfly Home Help, 4Networking and Sinclair Pharma.

Georgina Wright

Veronica Hannon

How has PR changed over the last 15 years? As Media Safari celebrates its 15th anniversary, we reflect on an industry that has seen great change. The convergence of marketing functions means that public relations can no longer act alone. It needs to be seen as a sales tool to assist with nurturing and converting business leads, plus work in synergy with digital, content, search and social campaigns.

How has PR changed since you’ve been working in the profession? It was only a few years ago that PR was mainly considered to be media relations. How different it is now. There are so many ways to communicate, and they all require great content. That’s the core of public relations – content that engages your public.

Media Safari; 01225 471202

What’s the business benefit of PR? PR and the wider range of tactics that we offer is about positioning a client positively and thus helping to accelerate its sales. Gone are the days of column inches – today it’s about tracking online clicks, building website traffic and maximising reach. As an agency what sets you apart from the others? As a healthcare technology and IT PR specialist, Media Safari puts ‘exploring communication’ at the heart of all our client campaigns. This ensures that the right message is being delivered to the right target audience at the right time. Our regular and transparent reporting also means that our clients can clearly see the return on their investment.

Transform Communications Ltd 01225 784026 www.transformcommunications.

What’s the most challenging brief you’ve had? It would be working with Jon Snow at Channel 4 News, organising a six-day exclusive film on malaria in Tanzania and Uganda on behalf of Sumitomo. The trip started Jon’s fight to combat malaria. I was so honoured when he commented, “Ronnie is quite simply the best PR I’ve ever worked with.” As an agency what sets you apart from the others? We transform your communications. Transforming prospects into leads. Staff into engaged employees. Customers into advocates. We transform your brand into a market leader. Your book into a best seller. Your proposition into a thought-leader. Your business into a legacy. I BATH LIFE I 107

P R & m a r k e t i n g ad v ertising feature

Ian McKee AgencyUK 01225 429938

As an agency what sets you apart from the others? We’re an integrated marketing agency. So if your PR campaign needs stand-out creative, content, digital or advertising support, or whatever really, we can do all that. It’s a holistic approach – we don’t always start with the assumption that PR is the best or only way to reach your audience. We’ve also got loads of big brand experience in a relatively small team, meaning you get to work closely with senior people who are among the best in their discipline. What bespoke services do you offer clients? On the social media and PR team we offer everything from social media analysis, content planning and community management through to managing your influencer relations and press office. Which clients are you working with at the moment? We have a broad range of clients – consumer and B2B, everything from food and drink to insurance. In fact we just won PRMoment’s B2B Campaign of the Year Award for our work with health insurer Westfield Health. We also work with Welsh Lamb, Chang Beer, Wentworth Wooden Puzzles and Dr.Dünner.

Paul MacKenzieCummins ClearlyPR 0333 207 9477

What sets you apart from other PR firms? We practice what we preach: We treat ClearlyPR as a client in itself and only provide services that we would be happy doing for ourselves. We’re also brilliant writers (hey, if you have a trumpet to blow...): PR today is less about getting stuff in the press and more about creating meaningful and relevant content – we’re storytellers more than anything else. Why should businesses use PR? Simply this: If you want to be seen, heard and read by the people you want to do business with, then you need to be doing PR. Competition between businesses is at its most intense for a decade, and those who shout the loudest (and in the right way) are the ones who will gain that allimportant competitive edge. What bespoke services do you offer clients? Every client has their own unique set of objectives and challenges to be overcome. Generally, we support them by producing regular content for their blog, managing their social media profiles, developing thought leadership content and of course ‘selling’ them into the media of most importance to their business.


Madeleine Waters The Co Company 01225 807477 / 07778 702221

What sets you apart? We are small and we like it that way! We offer big agency experience to food, drink and lifestyle brands in Bath and beyond. We keep our overheads low so clients pay for our expertise and not for our offices. How has PR changed since you’ve been working in the profession? The biggest change has been the proliferation of ways to speak to the consumer. Gone are the days when the only way to talk to your audience was via print and broadcast media. Social media has revolutionised the way brands communicate with their audiences. We love the possibilities it offers and believe everyone should include it in the marketing mix. What’s the most challenging brief you’ve had to date? To put Lebanon on the map as a serious wine producing country – not because the wines weren’t up to the job, but because of the amount of misconceptions people have about Lebanon. Challenging... but also one of the most fun projects we’ve worked on thanks to the people that we’ve met along the way. And it was effective – exports to the UK tripled as a result and the campaign won Generic Campaign of the Year at the IWC Awards.

Linda Todd Geometry 07753 962850

What sets you apart? Our approach is about understanding the client’s business objectives and market. We get under the skin of the business, and then produce a strategy. Also, we are not a firm that has a typical agency hierarchy. We don’t have juniors and are all experienced consultants. How has PR changed since you’ve been working in the profession? When I started we posted press releases with transparencies to journalists or used fax to issue urgent news. Not all journalists had email so we made lots of phone calls. Technology has changed the way we communicate and there are so many different platforms to get your message out. However, I think there is still a need for good old fashioned contacts building. That should never change. What are the oddest things you’ve done in your job? Odd is subjective. We once took a journalist to the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. Our client was re-waterproofing the roof so we had full access and a guided tour by the War Graves Commission. That was a truly moving and life-changing experience. Also, writing speeches and statements for celebrities is always a bit weird. What advice would you give to those starting out in PR? Appreciate that this is more than just understanding media. It’s about understanding business.

advertising feat u re P R & m a r k e t i n g

Annette and Kevin Maxwell

Maxwell Communications 07985 351 797 What stands you apart? We specialise in one thing – generating media coverage for clients in publications such as the BBC, Forbes, The Guardian, The Times, the Daily Mail and TechCrunch. With 20 years of newsroom experience, we understand what journalists want in a story – and how best to pitch it. What clients are you working with at the moment? We work with a mixture of tech start-ups and more mature companies – a combination of local, national and international businesses. One of our more exciting clients is Ava, makers of the world’s first fertility monitoring bracelet! What should business do before hiring a PR? Only think about PR when you’re ready to do so. You need a clear idea of your market, what you want to achieve from a campaign (for example, is it to gain more clients or to catch the eye of an investor?) and what media sectors are most relevant. Our advice is to always look at the credentials of a PR company – especially their track record in generating the kind of coverage that will help grow your business.

NICK VELLACOTT Highlight PR 01225 444268

What does PR mean to you, in a nutshell? For me, it’s all about helping companies and brands to be seen, heard and talked about in the places that really matter, so that they grow. Why should businesses hire a PR? Every business and brand has stories to tell. PRs help find or create those stories, package them up in compelling ways, and share them imaginatively across multiple media platforms. Good PR agencies help brands and companies stand out from the crowd, driving trust, loyalty and sales. How has PR changed in the last decade? Some people still think PR is just about securing coverage in mainstream media. But to cut through these days, you need a much more multi-dimensional media strategy. Blogger relations, content marketing and social media are all huge elements of modern day PR. Which clients are you working with at the moment? All kinds, from licensed children’s characters to toy companies, landscape architects, healthy food and drink brands, events agencies, training companies and a DNA ancestry firm. We’re privileged to work with some top national and international firms, and love the eclectic mix of our work.

Gary Squires Creatrix PR 01225 423400

What sets you apart? When we launched 17 years ago it was our desire to create an agency that would deliver bespoke communication strategies for clients. We have been able to achieve that through our wide range of services and our experienced team, who are drawn from a range of disciplines such as journalism, stakeholder engagement and graphic design. We have had a number of our clients for over 10 years and that is testament to the relationships we build, and the flexible and personable approach we have. Which clients are you working with at the moment? We are fortunate to be working on some incredibly exciting projects with the likes of Bath Rugby, HPH Commercial Property, Crest Nicholson and Curo. What are some of the oddest things you’ve done in your job? We were asked to generate coverage for a Cornish pasty company who had employees running the London Marathon. We got a feature film costume company to create two bespoke giant pasty costumes, it worked a treat. They were interviewed live on BBC TV during the race on Tower Bridge by Sally Gunnell.

Caroline Searle

Matchtight 01225 384211 / 07831 755351 What sets you apart? We are world-class at maximising major moments for our clients who trust us to deliver for them when it matters most – whether that’s for an important product launch, a campaign, a festival or a major event. Our team was forged in sport, transferring the tactics used by top athletes into business. We know about goal-setting and motivation. Our team has been part of events big and small including eight Olympic Games as well as annual family fun days, student showcases, corporate, heritage and big public launches. Why should businesses use public relations? They should use PR within the overall marketing mix to grow strategic awareness and loyalty for their brand and/or products. It is all about creating partnerships and enhancing customer engagement either directly or through third-party influencers including social media. As an agency what sets you apart from the others? We always publicise our clients achievements and messages and don’t blow our own trumpet. We are “creatives” who can deliver a campaign or task on time and to budget to meet our clients objectives. I BATH LIFE I 109




With acre upon acre of land, equestrian facilities and extensive secondary accommodation, Grade-II Brittons Farm is as good a reason as any to move to Beach By E V E LY N GR E E N







lthough these are our regular ‘property’ pages, we can’t talk about Brittons Farm without first mentioning its incredible 42 acres of land. The immaculate grounds are well balanced with formal gardens, enclosed courtyards, alfresco dining areas and larger areas of picture perfect lawns. The land incudes approximately 30 acres of grazing ground – ideally suited to both small-holdings and equestrian use – and, to the north of the house, you’ll find a secluded area, surrounded by magnificent views, which is so picturesque that wedding parties are held there, generating significant income. We can see why betrothed couples are drawn to the area; the pretty gravelled terrace, which is surrounded by lavender beds, leads through to mature gardens which are purposefully arranged to accommodate a large marquee. Complementing this, the owner has converted a range of old barns into accommodation which are currently arranged as boutique bedrooms and let out on a bed and breakfast basis to wedding guests and other visitors. The rooms all inter-link and can be occupied independently or as suites. Equally, these rooms can be used as games rooms, home offices or occupied as one independent annexe, subject to the necessary planning consents. The current configuration of the accommodation provides for three bedrooms with en suite shower rooms, ‘The Haybarn’ with bedroom, bathroom and sitting room, and ‘The Cottage’ with bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, shower room and sitting room. A secondary kitchen is fully fitted out and services the extra bedrooms. The ancillary buildings don’t end there; the double garage has timber sliding doors and is currently used as a gym, there is a series of old piggeries that have been converted to provide a laundry room, stores, a dog kennel and a commercial kitchen, and a seven-box stable block lies to the west of the house around a central courtyard. 112 I BATH LIFE I

Clockwise, from top left: the courtyard area makes for a perfect games area; the décor is bright and contemporary throughout, but original features such as exposed timber frames still remain; one of two kitchens in the property; each of the 10 bathrooms are immaculately presented



square foot of space



£3.4M price




acres of land

Further timber-framed outbuildings provide hay storage and livestock pens. So, on to the main property, finally. It’s a restored Grade–II listed, three storey farmhouse in a peaceful and secluded location in Beach, a delightful rural hamlet nestled in a designated Conservation Area among rolling hills and valleys, just six miles from Bath city centre. Originally dating from the late 17th century, the house was renovated and refurbished by the current owner to create a fine family home with contemporary services throughout, whilst maintaining some of the original features such as exposed timber frames, oak lintels, an inglenook fireplace an iron-studded oak front door. Attention to detail and quality materials are evident throughout with limestone plinths, oak floorboards, polished porcelain tiles, a bespoke fitted kitchen and individually designed bath and shower rooms with custom-made fittings. The drawing room on the ground floor is superb, with French windows opening onto the terrace outside. The bespoke kitchen has a large island with a breakfast bar, and separate utility room, and flows into the dining room next door. The entrance hall lies at the heart of the house and links the spacious family room with the drawing room and dining room. Upstairs, the sumptuous master bedroom suite has a vaulted ceiling, mood lighting and a designer gas fireplace, with a dressing room and en suite bathroom. A guest bedroom has an en suite shower room whilst two further bedrooms share an exquisite bathroom. You’ll also find the main guest bedroom on the second floor with its own large en-suite bathroom. We’re big fans of the charm and weathered good looks of the country house as it is, but it’s all that comes with it that really steals our heart. Knight Frank, 4 Wood Street, Bath, BA1 2JQ; 01225 685188;

Box Road, Bathford, Nr. Bath Prices from ÂŁ945,000 COMING SOON! A luxury development of only four contemporary detached villas in this tucked away cul de sac situated on the North Eastern outskirts of Georgian Bath. 4 bedrooms (one with GF master bedroom) plus study/bedroom 5, Fitted kitchen breakfast room, separate utility room, large living/family room, ground floor cloak room, Garage, parking and garden. Summer 2017

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fter discovering that his journalist father interviewed John Lennon during his ‘Bed-In for Peace’ with Yoko Ono in 1969, Julian became passionate about The Beatles’ music. It led to him starting his own tribute band, All You Need is the Beatles, which he tours with around the world. He also writes and performs his own music under the name of Blake, and has just started a Bob Dylan tribute act, too. Ahead of his show in Bath, we caught up with him…

I’m a musician first and foremost… I’m a singer-songwriter, performing under the name of Blake; I write songs that, with a bit of luck, make people think, and I try to convey a message of hope. And when I’m not doing that, I’m also John Lennon in a Beatles tribute band called All You Need is the Beatles. But as John’s Aunt Mimi said to him: “The guitar’s all very well as a hobby, John, but you’ll never make a living out of it”. I formed The Beatles tribute band in 2006… It was originally meant to supplement the income from my own music and the day job working at a charity called Carer Support Wiltshire. The Beatles was the natural choice for a tribute band for me because I’ve loved them ever since I was a young boy. My dad once interviewed John Lennon; that absolutely inspired me… Finding that out as a youngster was probably the catalyst for my interest in The Fab Four. My dad was a journalist and interviewed John when he was doing his ‘Bed-In for Peace’ with Yoko Ono in Amsterdam 1969. And when John died in 1980, when I was nine, his music and that of The Beatles flooded the charts again. I just fell in love with it. I recently started Mr Tambourine Man – a Bob Dylan tribute act... I love his music but I came to start doing the tribute by accident, really. A friend asked me to perform some Dylan songs at their brother’s birthday party a couple of years ago as he was a massive fan. Not one to do things by halves, I turned up in full 1966 Dylan gear with the shades, crazy hair and suede jacket.

JULIAN PUGSLEY The musician discusses his obsession with John Lennon, having a drink with The Who, and his upcoming performance in Bath to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band LP I write my own music... I love 60s music; it definitely moulds my style. My latest album, Jubilee, shows that. Singing is a joyful experience and there is something cathartic about singing with other people.

spa there. For a coffee or quick bite, my go-to is Boston Tea Party; I like the selection of ales at The Cork, and my favourite shop in the city has to be The Yellow Shop in Walcot Street for funky vintage clothing.

All You Need is the Beatles perform all over the UK, Europe and further afield… It has taken us as far as Estonia and Egypt. We’ve recently returned from retracing The Beatles’ steps in Hamburg, where we performed at a venue that they played in the early 60s called The Top Ten Club. I have also appeared at a music festival in Bethlehem playing my own music as Blake.

Komedia is a great venue for both live music and comedy… As is The Chapel Arts Centre. I love the St James Wine Vaults on Julian Road because the landlord is a Beatles obsessive like me and the downstairs bar is reminiscent of The Cavern.

My band and I are performing in Bath soon… We’ll be at the Chapel Arts Centre in Bath on 1 June to celebrate the 50th anniversary to the day of the release of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band LP. I perform in Bath regularly as Blake, too. We just want people to have a great time singing and dancing along to some of the best songs ever written. We put our heart and soul into each performance, but it is the songs themselves that work the magic. I live in Whitley, a small village about 20 minutes’ drive from Bath... Bath is a great city and I come to shop, eat, watch concerts, go to the theatre and visit the


My most treasured possession is an original copy of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band... Although, what I would really like it to be is a Rickenbacker 325 – the guitar John played in his early days. They cost an awful lot of money, though. I’m still working on it. My claim to fame is... I once had a drink with The Who’s John Entwistle. A little-known fact about me is... In the 70s, I was once name-checked in the Beano for having a similar name to one of the characters in The Bash Street Kids: Plug Pugsley.

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