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Food/Arts/Entertainment/Shopping/Property @BathLifeMag




A day in the LIFE of BATH RUGBY’s chef

Issue 362/30 March – 13 April 2018/£3



BEST mini local ROAD TRIPS



Once &


Blooming wonderful HOME INTERIORS




The botanical trend is taking over interiors


Style file I’m writing this the morning after the Bath Life Awards, and what an amazing night it was. We had a record number of nominations, a record number of finalists, and a record number of sponsors. With exactly 501 people there (and over 40 on the waiting list), it was the largest ever business awards in Bath. Make sure to pick up our next issue, in which we’ve dedicated 10 pages to pictures of the glittering celebrations in action. But back to the current issue for a moment, as we have lots of lovely things to share with you. Turn to page 39 and you’ll find our huge spring interiors special, in which design experts tell us about the A-Z of trends not to miss this season. Also in the issue, we’ve taken a behind-thescenes look at a day in the life of Bath Rugby’s executive chef. On page 202, he lets us in on how many calories it takes to fuel elite sportsmen, what dessert they are treated to when they win a match, and which player’s banter needs some serious work. Elsewhere, we’ve take a road trip to some of our favourite spots within easy reach of Bath (page 130); we’ve rounded up some of the best events, exhibitions and shows to catch this month (page 86); and we’ve delved into the world of kids (122). See you in a fortnight, when we’ll have all the glamourous coverage from the Bath Life Awards… Lisa Evans, Editor Follow us on Twitter: @BathLifeMag Follow us on Instagram:@bathlifemag


Know your limits! For more information go to: SAW CLOSE, BATH, BA1 1EY Come for the Action! Stay for the Fun!

FEATURES / ISSUE 362 / 30 MARCH – 13 APRIL 2018



Yes yes, Bath’s world famous and fab, but sometimes a short out-of-town Somerset jaunt is just what the doctor ordered. Here are some great weekend destinations…


Honey, I Entertained the Kids Amazing ways to keep the little cherubs happy, busy, well-clothed and more

Bath Golf Club

OPEN DAY - SATURDAY 14th APRIL for Membership & Academy

11-1pm MEMBERSHIP OPEN DAY, tee times available from 1:30pm

1-3pm ACADEMY OPEN DAY if you fancy giving the game of golf a try!

Bath Golf Club is an 18-hole private members’ club situated on Hampton Down, providing spectacular views of the beautiful UNESCO city of Bath, looking through Sham Castle while practicing on the driving range, and the views over Bathampton Down and the Mendips from the course. A downland course influenced by the great Harry Colt, Bath Golf Club provides a stern but fair test for the visiting golfer and member alike.






REGULARS / ISSUE 362 / 30 MARCH – 13 APRIL 2018


THE ARTS 85 Arts intro It’s Bath Festival’s 70th Anniversary, and with Tear for Fears, Midge Ure and Alison Moyet on the bill, it’s like the ’80s never ended!

86 What’s on It’s all going on across town over the next couple of weeks, and here are the events you won’t want to miss

99 Bookshelf Nic Bottomley undertakes a round-the-world jaunt, from the comfort of his own armchair

M E ET T H E T EAM Editor Lisa Evans

Deputy editor Samantha Walker Managing editor Deri Robins Senior art editor Andrew Richmond Graphic design Megan Allison Cover design Trevor Gilham Contributors David Flatman, Angela Mount, Philippa May, Nic Bottomley, Matt Bielby Group advertising manager Pat White Deputy advertising manager Justine Walker Account Manager Sophie Speakman Account Manager Annabel North Sales executive Louis Grey Sales executive Polly Jackson Production and distribution manager Sarah Kingston Deputy production manager Kirstie Howe Production designer Matt Gynn

FOOD 104 Restaurant How many ways can you do beetroot exactly, keeping each of them different and each of them delicious? We lose count at Ston Easton Park

Chief executive Jane Ingham Chief executive Greg Ingham

112 Food & drink news

Bath Life, MediaClash, Circus Mews House, Circus Mews, Bath BA1 2PW 01225 475800 @The MediaClash

An AA Rosette for a fish and chip place? Hey, it could happen – and it has!

© All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without written permission of MediaClash.

SHOPPING 116 Editor’s choice Pineapples, flamingos and endless giant leaves: it’s like a jungle sometimes

Bath Rugby, and more action on Bath’s ever-changing hotel scene

122 Doing it for the kids

155 Professional services

Keeping them happy, one day trip (and shopping trip) at a time

Bath’s white collar world, where everyone’s talking GDPR



143 Business insider

188 Property showcase

Fancy perfumes, classic interiors, a brand new First XV at

Could this be the most intriguing two-bed apartment ever?

DEPARTMENTS 16 24 33 35 202

Spotlight Society A man’s world Inside story Bath lives

About MediaClash We’re a Bath-based publisher, creative agency and event organiser Magazines Our portfolio of regional magazines celebrates the best 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 Mind the Gap wallpaper, available at Woodhouse & Law; find more amazing interior design inspiration on page 39.



SHALL WE DANCE? Diversity is at the heart of what they do at Komedia in Bath – you only need to have visited one of their cabaret events or Krater Comedy Clubs to know that – but they’re really stepping up their game this spring, launching the city’s first club night aimed at adults with learning disabilities, who are invited to bring along a few family and friends. Dubbed Uproar!, and aimed very much at the over 18s, the nights – says Caroline White, new Chair of Bath Mencap – will be relaxed, safe and, most of all, fun. “Like anyone,” she says, “adults with learning difficulties enjoy socialising, music and dancing, but events open to the general public can feel intimidating or overwhelming. We wanted the event to be open to users’ families too, so we can have a great night out together.”

Expect to be picking glitter out fo your hair for days!

We think they may need a few more bikes…

CHARITY With well-known local DJ Luke Baker on the decks, the whole thing sounds like an utter hoot; the first night is on Monday 16 April, 7-10pm. And it’s affordable, too: just £5 to enter, while carers go free.

Gigs are fun wherever they’re held, but outdoors is particularly special – and deep in a forest trumps some muddy field any day. The Forestry Commission is hosting a major live music series, Forestry Live, in seven knock-out locations across the country, including four gigs at Westonbirt Arboretum in June, where this year’s headliners are The Script (14 June), Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott (15 June), Paloma Faith (16 June) and George Ezra (17 June). The series has been running for 17 years now, and boast an atmosphere like little else – relaxed, fun, sort of magical, and imbued with the warm feeling you only get when when you’re doing good. Ticket sales go towards looking after the nation’s forests – and all the little beasties they harbour – after all.

Riding a bike through and around Bath is always fun – okay, it’s less so if you’ve got commuter traffic to contend with – but, when you’ve got some pals to enjoy it with, we can think of fewer better ways to while away a Sunday. That’s why the annual Bath Bike ride – in aid of Dorothy House Hospice Care and now in its seventh year – is such hoot: there’ll be around 1,500 of you, all doing the same thing. This year there are three versions: the 50-mile challenge for the keen; an 80-mile version for the really keen; and a 25-mile social ride for the rest of us. Don’t worry, though. You don’t have to do the whole thing in one go – there are plenty of food stops along the way, plus a pint of Bath Ale to celebrate with at the end. House builders Redrow Homes continue to support the event, as they do similar rides in Chester and Oxford, and entry is £36 for the two longer rides and £26 for the social; two adult/two children families can take part for £70.

For more:

For more:

For more:


SINGING RINGING TREES Here’s The Script (you’ll have to imagine the trees)



That trip to the shops may take longer than we thought…


THE RIVER WILD There’s the plaque, and not a moment before time!


ELECTRIC DREAMER Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is often celebrated as the first ever science fiction novel – unlike earlier fantasies, the protagonist makes a deliberate decision to do something, and then turns to the laboratory to make it happen – and its themes seem more pertinent with every passing year. Power and knowledge are dangerous, especially if we don’t fully understand them; judging by appearances is risky; secrecy can undo you. It’s a remarkable work, made even more so by the extreme youth of its author – Shelley was but 20 when it was published – and its little known links to Bath, for while she began it at Lord Byron’s Swiss villa in

1816 following travels through Germany, she wrote much of it while staying at 5 Abbey Church Yard, which stood where the Pump Room’s 19th century extension now is. A plaque to celebrate the book’s 200th anniversary was recently unveiled there by writer and film expert Sir Christopher Frayling, while – oddly enough – an electricity sub-station now sits directly beneath the spot. Mary had been partly inspired by a lecture she’d attended in Bath suggesting that new-fangled electricity might be used to bring inanimate objects to life, after all – which is exactly what Victor Frankenstein does in the novel. For more:

C’mon Jon, you’re not fooling anybody…

To apply, call Andy Dunne 01225 386319, or email


FUN BUS You may best know Jon Monie for his inevitable appearances as Buttons or similar in panto at Theatre Royal, but he does other things too – including hosting an upcoming cabaret fundraiser, starring local talent ranging from performance poet Toby Thompson to Poldark actor Ed Browning, in aid of Theatre Bath Bus. This is a classic single-decker of the sort you’d normally see in the whites, pinks and purples of First, but which has been transformed into a posh-but-intimate


What were you doing fifty years ago? Assuming you were around, of course, you may well have been wringing out sopping socks and drying out shoes on radiators following the big flood of ’68. Not something to celebrate, you might think, but the River Avon gives way more than it ever takes – we saw an otter happily splashing around near the city centre the other day – and a new public exhibition, River is the Venue, explores and celebrates the relationship between Bath and its river. Designed to tell compelling stories of the city before and after the flooding – when the city massively upped its game, well aware that damage on this scale couldn’t be allowed to keep happening – River is the Venue will, says University of Bath’s Ed Stevens, “fuse research with art” to explore post-waterlogged Bath from all sorts of angles and perspectives; best of all, local artists are invited to take part, and there’s a £6k budget to commission up to five projects. Interested in applying? Then get your skates on – applications close Sunday, 25 March.

24-seat auditorium, complete with built-in stage, dressing room, box office and bar. Used for theatre, mobile cinema, workshops, comedy performances and more, Theatre Bath Bus exists, creator Zoe Bailey says, “to bring the arts to everyone.” We can think of few more noble causes than that. So go on, get to the Rondo Theatre, Larkhall on Sunday, 25 March – doing good has rarely been so much fun. For more:; tickets from

Amtico Flooring Specialist

Quality ooring and carpets at competitive prices Showroom in Chelsea Road, Bath | 01225 483818

Adventures in party-going

Matt Delargy


Lily Langlois


JOINING THE DOTS Guests to the Bath Life Business Club, held at the Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa, heard a fascinating and poignant talk from Simon Coombe, an ambassador for Dorothy House. Simon explained about the caring provided by the Winsley-based charity, and the ways it supports people in the community. For more: turn to page 150. Photos by Chris Wakefield

Phillippa Watson and Jayne Caple

Sam Laite and Pater Blake

Simon Coombe, Ian Lloyd and David Hill

Andrew Fletcher and Jamie Ridyard

Rupert Dixon and Nathan Baranowski

Jacqui Doughty and Marie-Letica Vinolo-Young


SOCIETY Peter Rollins and Sarah Baker

GROW YOUR OWN WAY A party was held at the Acorn Vegetarian Kitchen, Bath, to celebrate chef and author Richard Buckley’s new book, Plants Taste Better. Guests had the chance to peruse the cookbook, which includes more than 70 recipes, illustrated by beautiful photography. Photos by Nick Cole

Maryanne Hall and Vicky Blyde

Lynda Bevan and Lizzie Heffer

Richard Buckley

Michael Orwin and Heather Fell

Paul Bloomer and Sarah Baxter

Angela Morris and Neil Mortimer Sarah Ball and Nicola Worbeys 26 I BATH LIFE I

SOCIETY Amelie, Andy, Jasmine and Clare Meaden

KNOWING THE SCORE Budding talent was on show at Komedia on 14 March for FilmScore 2018. The competition, for 14 – 19-year-olds, tasked them with writing a new score for a short film. Then, the top five were screened to industry judges – and an excited audience. This year’s winner was Jasmine Meaden for her score for My Night’s Day Off, while second-time finalist, Sam MacDonald, won the Audience Prize. Photos by Anna Barclay

Oscar, Carl, Louis and Rosie Bennyworth

Hutch Demouilpied, Alastair King and Lilian Henley

Jenny, Ben and Matt Hywel-Davies

The FilmBath crew take time out

Sally, Samuel and Vaughan MacDonald

Holly Tarquini, Jess Edge, Suzanne Vennard and Chris Baker


Olivia, Rob, James, Rachel and Ruby Gabb


ART Y PART Y The opening of a new exhibition was celebrated with a private view at the David Simon Contemporary Gallery, Bath. Transient Space features the work of artists Diana Matthews and Erica Timothy, with striking ceramics and paintings on show. The exhibition runs until 9 April. Photos by Nick Cole www.nickcolephotography

Artist Diana Matthews and David Simon

Erica and Isabella Timothy

Neil and Katharine Tonkin, Manolo Bertocchi, Francesca Orlandi and John Croft CBE


Dine Romero and Nick Steel

The launch of the 70th anniversary programme, for this year’s Bath Festival, was reason enough for a party at Komedia. The shindig on 8 March saw the festival’s supporters learn more about the event, as well as the wide range of authors, musicians and familyfriendly activities taking place. For more: turn to page 85. Photos by Nick Cole

Ian Stockley, Simon Johnson, Theresa Lloyd, Tim Lloyd and James Waters Veronica Henry and Marian McNeir

Gemma Summerfield and John Porter 30 I BATH LIFE I

Judith Robinson



AWAY WE GO The prospect of a summer holiday would thrill most people, but for Flats, the annoyance of planning it is enough to send him crazy


t’s kind of spring now, whatever that actually means, which in turn dictates that one has to start planning summer holidays. To most normal people, this is an exciting period of sofa- and bed-based research into thrillingly exotic destinations and sun and new foods and tans and sandy toes. To me, a selfemployed, grumpy mood-hoover, it’s not quite so fun. I always imagine how Sir James Dyson must plan his holidays, and then how the logistics might play out. Imagine deciding on a Tuesday – as it’s raining outside – that you fancy a month in the Bahamas, and leaving on the Thursday. Your bags are loaded into chauffeur-driven car by someone else, and you’re driven to a nearby airstrip where your fully stocked jet awaits, doors open and staff smiling. Hop on, have a brew, watch a movie, have a kip, then roll off and into your next limousine. That’s how I want to do it this summer. In the real world, though, the more exotic the trip, the more brutal the mission to get there and, with kiddies to transport, that matters! This is probably why I’ve convinced myself that Devon holds all I’ll ever need from a holiday destination. It’s has some sun, lots of fabulous food, lots of nice beaches, and it’s two hours away in the car. Add to this that Devon is, unquestionably, the most effective location for the rural resetting of souls, and who needs Barbados? Half the people that go to Barbados only go there in order that they can tell people they’re going there anyway, I’m convinced. And I’m ignoring the other half who actually love it, because that doesn’t support my UK-centric argument. Having even been criticised for my logistical laziness by my doting and all-tolerant mother, it probably is time to consider getting on a plane to somewhere skin-burningly hot

and cripplingly expensive for a couple of weeks. I mean, it’s what you do, isn’t it? But where to go. Actually, I’ve been trying to arrange a trip to Chile with said mother for a while now, so perhaps this summer is the time. It’s her dream to trek on foot and on horses through the rocky South American wild, and I’m up for a bit of son-and-mummy time. Chile doesn’t get my kids onto a paradisiacal white beach, though, which is another thing you have to do – even though kids literally do not care where they go on holiday. But hey, it’ll sound impressive (and, inconveniently, they’ll absolutely love it). To this vacationing end, I’ve started asking friends for recommendations for proper holidays, and the answers have all been quite funny. Of the four women I have asked, one said Mustique, and the other three said – and I kid you not – Devon or Cornwall. And of the five men I have asked, all of them said anywhere that doesn’t involve leaving the UK. And are any of these people staying true to themselves and taking a barn in the South West like they want to? No, not one. They are all going abroad for sun they don’t really want with money they don’t want to spend. It’s hilarious. All I want is to slowly meander along Devon’s windy beaches, before eating lush seafood as the children go nuts in the freezing water, making memories with their best friends. This may all seem a touch unambitious – perhaps it actually is – but I don’t care. When I’m in Barbados this summer I’ll be having fun, but I’ll be yearning for drizzled-on, cow-patted farmland and lethally tight country lanes. Heaven.


David Flatman is an ex-Bath and England rugby star turned TV pundit and rent-o-mic. Follow him on Twitter @davidflatman





From Japanese-Nordic inspiration to botanical brilliance, this season’s interior trends will transform your space with colour and interest


think it’s fair to say that we are the most involved in interior design that we have ever been. Now more than ever, people are taking pride in making their homes unique, and everyone has the ability to design their own interiors, especially with the help of magazines and websites like Houzz and Pinterest giving you all the inspiration you will ever need to do it yourself, and do it well. Unlike previous periods of design and architecture that felt strategically boxed for the experts, we have started to create a period of eclectic taste where almost anything goes, and when you’re mixing old vintage with modern accents, no two ideas feel the same. Interior design is stepping to a faster pace, with more people influenced by seasonal trends you just like the look of. So I was interested to see what was trending so far this year, and how a mismatch of trends could take us through spring and summer. To no-one’s surprise it looks as though botanicals are still on top of the hit list, with searches for images of house plants spiking at the end of last year and continuing through 2018, and it’s good to hear that queries on keeping them alive is also a top search term Anthropolgie does florals especially well

(I, for one, can barely keep a cactus alive…) My favourite pieces to come from this wonderfully green trend were the leafy palms and fiddle-leaf figs, with their supposedly low maintenance life and brilliantly tropical vibe, I feel like you can’t go wrong, and Lowden Garden Centre just outside of Bath have had some incredible fig trees in stock that I’ve managed to just about keep alive so far. Not only is this botanic trend perfect for choosing your house plants, but they also make beautiful motifs – and you can tell this is going to be big this year, as Anthropologie has carefully curated their new interiors hub upstairs (including an amazing new design area) with botanic-inspired wallpaper. Go into the Bath store to get some fun inspiration for not-so-subtle tropical designs upstairs! From this vibe, green as a pigment has seen no sign of slowing down as a favourite either. From its arrival as Pantone’s 2017 colour in deep, dark forest tones, we’re now seeing a slight shift into a more grown-up and masculine hue. Farrow and Ball has introduced Calke Green as one of their new key colours for 2018, described as “a rich sage” that I think will pair perfectly with any Georgian interior – and I have found the perfect piece to capitalise on this amazing new shade in India Jane’s West Port Sofa in Olive Velvet, a swoon-worthy piece that has that timeless feel whilst perfectly aligning with this season’s IT colour. If this mood isn’t quite up your street, and you’re starting to panic that the simple Scandi style that we adore for it’s neutral feel and easy integration is about to come to an end, don’t worry. We’re seeing something even more exciting and calming coming through, with the arrival of the Japanordic trend. I don’t think I need to explain that label too much… Forget the washed woods and distressed walls of the Scandi-trend, and instead start to look at subtle colour with sharp outlines with an East meets West vibe. Also known as Japandi, this trend is all about the simplicity of both cultures harmonising together, finding beauty in the imperfect and using a calm amalgamation of both to create an atmosphere of warmth and comfort. I think this is a lovely idea to mix vibes and, although it may sound mad, I think combining all of these 2018 trends – the botanical fig trees, sage velvet accents, and a blush pink wall reminiscent of fresh plaster with Japanese-Nordic inspiration – will make for a colour combination to envy, and an interesting space that is not only zen but ahead of the curve. Philippa May is an interiors enthusiast, and the designer and head of brand for the Bath-based loungewear label Laze Wear. Follow her on Instagram @_philippamay_ I BATH LIFE I 35




SPRING to LIFE Do you need new-season home interiors inspiration? We’ve got a whole alphabet of ideas for your living spaces… By L I SA E VA NS

If this wallpaper, available at Woodhouse & Law, doesn’t make you feel at one with nature, nothing will I BATH LIFE I 39



pring is finally here and our thoughts turn to decorating our homes and bringing fresh looks in to banish memories of winter gloom. From exotic wallpapers to gelato hues, here’s an A-Z of trends worth knowing about….


When it comes to adding accents to any room of the house, Vanessa Clark, owner of Homefront Interiors on Margaret’s Buildings, Bath, says faux or real houseplants – from succulents to spider plants – are a good place to start, as are the containers you house them in (hanging planters being the most ‘on trend’). For Jo Berryman, founder of Jo Berryman Studio based at The Guild Hub, High Street, Bath, lacquered frames, cabinetry and crockery in corals, turquoise and blush are perfect for uplifting a winter space, and Ann-Marie James, buying director of Rossiters of Bath on Broad Street, thinks that creatively styled coffee tables, patterned pouffes in all shapes and sizes, bambooframed mirrors, bamboo lampshades and crochet lampshades can add personality to a room.


Floral and botanical prints are always in fashion, it’s just a case of what makes them feel new. This season, while the patterns can be bold, there a more subdued and sophisticated aesthetic that still offers an injection of fun. “All things botanical will feature heavily in this season’s interiors – from statement wallpaper to incredible, handmade accessories inspired by more organic forms,” says John Law, co-director at Woodhouse & Law on Bathwick Hill, Bath. “Our design team has already featured prints of fresh blooms and palm fronds in our latest schemes. Planting indoors is definitely a key look, too – from small terrariums to living walls.” Caroline Kontos, interior designer at Bath’s No. Twelve Queen Street, says leafy patterns and prints burst onto the scene last year, and she’s glad they’re here to stay. “They’re versatile and can be adapted to suit any interior style,” she says. “Flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors almost forces you to take a deep breath and relax.” Joanna Luton at House of Bubblegum – an online business based on Southcot Place, Bath, thinks that bold, retro Swiss cheese plant prints,



mixed with bright pops of colour are a perfect way to achieve a plant-lovers’ paradise indoors, but Ruth Harrison-Wood at Oak Furniture Land, which opened on London Road, Bath, at the end of March, prefers a more pared-back approach to the style. “My favourite take on the greenery trend is less wildly flamboyant than the tropical trend,” she says. “I prefer to keep the mood more understated and masculine. Vivid greens, lush foliage, mango wood and cool grey furniture breathe life into a monochrome palette to soften what might otherwise be a sterile scheme. Bringing nature in from the wild can tame industrial spaces for a cool style that still feels edgy and urban. Charlie Wicks, partner at Silcox Son & Wicks in Kingsmead Square, Bath, says that, if you’re new to the trend and don’t want to risk going overboard, then start with a couple of framed artworks featuring ferns and plant life.


Grey may still be the neutral of choice for many interiors, but colour is set to be bolder this year. We’re feeling braver with our shade choices, as Lisa Todd, local interior and surface pattern designer of Lisa Todd Designs, explains. “Pantone’s Colour of the Year is Ultra Violet, which has been selected for its association with spirituality,” she says. “As we look to raise our spirits after some of the recent tragic events in the world, this is a versatile, bold statement colour that brings hope and cheer.” Spring, for Felicity Chuter, owner of East of Home of Walcot Street, Bath, brings an outburst of colour, and she’s currently obsessed with forest green, alongside powder pinks. Ann-Marie at Rossiters believes the colours of the 70s to be a massive influence behind this seasons trends. “I am enjoying seeing peach being reintroduced as part of a new cool colour palette,” she says. “Mixed with mustard, terracotta and sage green, it’s actually creating a thoroughly modern palette. “Paint-box brights are also big for spring,” she adds. “It’s pleasing to see much more adventurous use of colour after the long dominance of sophisticated shades of grey in interiors.” w

Passionate pattern-maker Lisa Todd uses her own paintings to create a range of cushions, rugs and wallpaper I BATH LIFE I 41



We’re stepping away from pale, bleached woods that were hugely popular thanks to the Scandi trend of recent years. Now, darker tones signify a resurgence of retro glamour. Sarah Latham, the owner of Etons of Bath on Walcot Street, is a fan of rich burgundy hues combining with truffle browns and gold accents for a look that oozes sophistication and luxury. These deep tones, which are perhaps surprising for spring, can add depth, warmth and gravitas to a space, according to Michelle Aitken, co-owner of Verve Living on London Road, Bath. “Dark floorboards in particular seem to cue a luxe feel,” she says. “In terms of furniture, shadier tones have style and substance. And with talented designer makers reinventing shapes and designs, dark tones can also look fresh and contemporary.” “Don’t worry. it’s not Hogwarts,” adds Joanna at House of Bubblegum. “But strategically placed shady furniture – especially when featuring geometric patterns – gives us a smoothie of visual stimuli. We prefer a darker interior, and especially love smooth, dark chocolate. Can you taste what you are seeing?”



The tropical trend is still going strong; think oversized insects, safari wildlife, exotic birds and fruity motifs. Amanda Reed, buying controller at Leekes in Melksham, says that, during the team’s visit to the numerous home shows, they have seen fruit accessories in abundance, which are great to use to create a focal point in your living space. As a passionate pattern-maker (using her own paintings to create a range of cushions, trays, mugs, rugs and bespoke wallpaper and fabrics), Lisa Todd is a fan of tropical prints featuring rainforests, monkeys and flamboyant flowers; Ann-Marie at Rossiters warns not to forget parrots; and Joanna at House of Bubblegum respects the humble pineapple. “They are already everywhere, in glass, stone, china and amazing in shiny silver or bright golds,” she says. “Mix with tropical prints – think naff Hawaii tourist shirts – and you won’t go wrong.” w

We love this urban workspace at Oak Furniture Land 42 I BATH LIFE I



Fringing is a fun way to personalise your interiors, reckons Lisa Todd. Fronds on cushions can give an extra (cost-effective) dimension to your room, as can tassels on tiebacks, or textural macramé wall hangings, and Joanna at House of Bubblegum says the aim is for interiors to have so many fringes and tassels that they begin to look like Aladdin’s magic carpet.


Interiors with a global influence are a rising trend this spring, so prepare to be bitten by the travel bug as wanderlust takes your home on a journey to all four corners of the planet, says Ruth at Oak Furniture Land. “Create a friendly vibe in your space with an eclectically styled hallway showcasing mementos from travels,” she says. “We love the story that emerges when African rugs combine with Peruvian motifs and bright Mexican hues to create a look with a well-worn, homely feel. “This year, I love the addition of a sophisticated twist of Mediterranean flavour to the popular coastal theme,” she adds. “Sun-bleached neutrals, tactile finishes and the golden glow of natural rustic oak, combined with painted hardwood pieces, are your passport to having a home that’s flooded with the relaxed spirit of the Aegean.”

This Tom Faulkner Capricorn dining table, available at Woodhouse & Law, makes for an ideal focal point 44 I BATH LIFE I



Sometimes a spring refresh is not about a total overhaul, it’s just about bringing in a focal point or adding a hot spot – such as a statement chair. “Fireplaces are often thought of as main focal points in a room, but a coffee table – especially with chairs and sofas gathered around it – can also be a tremendous focal point,” says Caroline at No. Twelve. “In fact, styling a coffee table can vary so much. They are not just for books and magazines; they are for arrangements of objects, sculptures and collections. Michelle at Verve Living agrees that funky, vintage tables, or strong contemporary ones with glass or mirrored tops, can shake up a room just the right amount.


If you’re not feeling so adventurous when it comes to colour, don’t worry, says Charlie at Silcox, as this year is going to be one of power pastels and ice cream hues. Lisa Todd’s favourite shades from the gelato theme are bubblegum pink, parma violet, lemon sorbet and





pistachio – all of which would look striking and contemporary when teamed with dark indigo and brilliant white. Ruth at Oak Furniture Land says the only thing to be careful of when it comes to the sorbet trend is not to indulge too far. “If you’re not careful, you can be like a kid in a sweet shop and overdo it,” she says. “Avoid sugar shock and balance out hues with angular, bold natural hardwood furniture designs that have strong lines. This will give the look more punch.”


Remember, trends are just there for guidance. You may want to go hell for leather, but you may want to avoid them completely and go with whatever feels right. “I think we’re seeing a move away from ‘trend’ buying and heading, instead, towards a much more personal approach,” says Caroline at No. Twelve. “Don’t worry about what’s ‘in’, just choose to decorate in a way that means something to you.”


The hub of the home is a difficult one to update each season, as you’re not likely to make any major changes once you’ve settled on a design, but Amanda at Leekes suggests springcleaning your cutlery drawer and crockery cupboards and splashing out on a new tableware range. w I BATH LIFE I 45



“Maximalism is all about being generous by layering different patterns, prints and textures to create a sumptuous look with real depth,” explains Sarah at Etons of Bath. Amanda at Leekes recommends pairing lightreflecting surfaces with a soft, neutral palette for an instantly luxurious ambience, particularly in the bedroom where you can incorporate different layers of textures with throws and cushions.


“Over the last few years, there has been a shift towards the use of gold, bronze and copper metals,” says John Law at Woodhouse & Law. “The use of warmer, richer metals seems to be continuing, together with heavy use of marble.” Jo Berryman has a particular penchant for dull brass or gold-look metals – the more tarnished the better. And Vanessa at Homefront says copper is still her go-to. “I personally love the warm tones that copper brings to homeware,” she says. “The material has a touch of the popular industrialist look about it.” Sarah at Etons of Bath adds that brass and gold work perfectly in Georgian properties, providing an elegant touch. “The Art Deco era continues to influence interior design with furniture and accessories combining sumptuous fabrics with gold and brass detailing to bring back that element of luxury to the home.” w

Create a pared-back, seaside look with tableware available at Leekes 46 I BATH LIFE I



Felicity Chuter at East of Home is enjoying a more modern, neutral, utilitarian look in her own home; she’s moved away from anything that isn’t both useful and beautiful at the same time. “There is a move towards a cleaner aesthetic,” she says. “The huge popularity of ‘shabby chic’ in previous years has now made way for an interest in function and form.” When it comes to colour, John Law at Woodhouse & Law is thankful to see a shift away from grey as the most popular neutral, to a softer, warmer palette featuring barely-there pinks and mints.


Caroline at No. Twelve says large-scale framed florals or botanical art can transport us into the garden without having to step foot outside, and Felicity Chuter at East of Home says oversized photographic prints, no matter their subject, can be an impactful, fresh form of art to add to the home.


Charlie at Silcox’s biggest advice is to keep strong patterns to a minimum. “Placing them all over your soft furnishings can go wrong very quickly,” he says. “Keep them on occasional pieces like chairs, cushions and artwork. This way, you can elevate the room with texture and not commit to something that’s very hard to replace.” On the other hand, Jo Berryman’s best advice is to display bold prints with conviction. “I like to be bold with my references and scale-play,” she says. “Such as imposing graphic patterns in small spaces and tiny embellishments in grand ones.”




If you want to add a dash of the unusual to your rooms, Michelle at Verve Living suggests pom-poms on cushions, and feathers on curtains. And Jo Berryman says that an applied finish can add a unique dimension to any space. “We’ve used Ombré and faux shagreen paint-effects on walls, or mohair-clad panels in a cinema room for acoustics,” she says.


According to Ann-Marie at Rossiters, rugs are having a major moment, and not just as floor decoration but as works of art to be displayed above beds or on staircases.


Interior design, as far as Emily Giles, interior design lead at SRA Architects on Charlotte Street, Bath, sees it, is an art and a science. “We enjoy creating beautiful spaces,” she says. “When we work with our clients, we go through a careful process to understand their specific aspirations when it comes to the design of their interior space. Listening and learning shapes our approach, and we feel it’s important to understand a client’s needs for a space before we go about determining what materials and layouts will be most suitable.” Design at this level, she says, goes beyond trends and colours, but focuses on how spaces can and will be used. “Interior designs must be imaginative and appropriate, but must also withstand scrutiny and be something to be proud of in the long-term,” she says.


Natural materials are going to be at the forefront for spring, with a focus on marble, rattan, concrete and natural stone, reckons Sarah at Etons of Bath. “This season is all about bringing the outside in with earthy influences,” she says. “Natural materials are perfect when combined with pastel colours, keeping them grounded and fresh.” Amanda at Leekes says that contrasting textures are still on trend, and Caroline at No. Twelve agrees that a mixture of materials – such as the luxurious feel of velvet on a sofa, paired with stripped floors – can produce interest. w

At Jo Berryman, warm metals rule I BATH LIFE I 49




The industrial ‘loft living’ feel refuses to budge, and by its nature has been able to absorb a lot of the recent changes in fashion by blending very well with other styles, reckons Charlie at Silcox. “We love the urban industrial look; reclaimed is big, and rightly so,” he says. “It’s a safe bet for anyone wanting to try something new.”


The rich new shades that make up the spring palette are all beautifully enhanced further on furniture pieces in luscious velvet. John Law at Woodhouse & Law loves the warmer ochre and russet colours coming through in many of the latest fabric collections. Lisa Todd points out that clever stain-resistant velvets are a popular choice for families right now, and Caroline at No. Twelve says she is in no doubt that velvet will remain the fabric of choice for soft furnishings that make a statement – think forest green Chesterfield sofas. Find an extensive and beautiful fabric range at Rossiters of Bath





Statement wallpaper in graphic floral motifs by de Gournay continue to prove popular for feature walls at Etons of Bath, and geometric wallpaper designs at Rossiters of Bath are in high demand.


Black and white are ideal for those of minimalist persuasion. Monochrome patterns can be used to fabulous dramatic effect in everything from wallpapers to flooring and furniture, usually in contrast to one strong colour.


What could be nicer than splashes of yellow about the home during springtime? At least, so asks Vanessa at Homefront. Well, more yellow, of course, answers Jo Berryman, who adores the sun-drenched hue.


As a finishing touch to your interior makeover, create separate zones on your kitchen worktop spaces. As most of us use our worktops for more than just cooking, this trend accommodates essential home multitasking.



Our local businesses are poised and ready to help with all your home needs for spring

Architects, builders, construction and property services Avon Plumbing 07765 784333 Local award winning independent plumbing and heating service Bath Stonemasons 07968 697091 Experts when it comes to natural stone and restoration Casa Architects Toll Bridge Road, Bath 01225 851871 Established Bath-based practice combining original contemporary design with sustainable principles CDAB Design and Build 7 Paul St, Shepton Mallet, BA4 5LD 03301 233326/07483 165577 Design and build contractors DR Vowles and Son Upper Weston Farm, Weston, Bath; 01225 425232 Builders and roofing repairs Esmond Murray Architects 21 Van Diemen’s Lane, Bath 01225 447165 www.esmondmurrayarchitects. com. Award-winning Chartered RIBA Practice formed in 1991 with a new approach to private client residential design, bringing together architecture, interior design, landscape architecture and project management Hawker Joinery North End, Batheaston, Bath 01225 858233 The oldest established joinery business in Bath, with a reputation for quality service and workmanship. Specialising in doors, interiors and cabinetry

The Home Service 01225 685111 Home moves, home service and project management Norton Masonry 38 Long Barnaby, Midsomer Norton, Radstock; 01761 419422 Stonework specialists and general builders Sovereign Damp Proofing 01249 716161 Comprehensive service for all kinds of damp-proofing SRA Architects Queen Square House, Charlotte Street, Bath; 01225 827444 Award-winning architectural practice

The Traditional Upholstery School 07505 651030 www.thetraditionalupholstery Courses in modern and traditional upholstery and soft furnishings

Curtains, blinds, shutters and soft furnishings Aspect Window Styling 1 Saracen Street, Bath 01225 469559 Blinds, shutters, awnings, curtains, poles and accessories The Curtain Exchange 11 Widcombe Parade, Bath 01225 422078 A wide range of bespoke and ready-made curtains and blinds Shutter Frontier 01666 238080 Made-to-measure interior wooden shutters in a wide range of timbers and colours

Flooring and carpets Bath Contract Flooring 4 Kingsmead Square, Bath 01225 471888 Specialists in flooring Boniti Dunsdon Road, West Littleton w

Bathrooms Bathrooms at No 5 12a Trim Street, Bath 5 The Shambles, Bradford on Avon; 01225 309110 Specialists in the supply of bathrooms in Bath and the surrounding areas Ripples Chelsea House, London Road, Bath; 01225 447971 Creators of award-winning luxury designer bathrooms for decades

Courses and workshops The Marmalade House The Loft, 1-2 Bartlett Street, Bath; 01225 445855 Learn how to paint furniture at their popular Annie Sloan courses

Bring the outdoors in, as showcased by Jo Berryman Studio I BATH LIFE I 53


Road, Chippenham; 01225 89200 Stone flooring, bespoke furniture and custom kitchens Broadleaf Timber 134-136 Walcot Street, Bath 01225 463464 Solid wooden floors, plank and parquet, oak flooring, made-tomeasure internal and external oak doors, staircases and joinery BSB Flooring Avro Way, Bowerhill, Melksham 01225 704414 Wide range of carpets and vinyl and laminate flooring Capitol Carpets of Bath 120-122 Walcot Street, Bath 01225 333341 A range of affordable carpet and stone flooring Frith Rugs Unit 10 Shield Retail Park Filton, Bristol 01745 584404 Largest selection of Oriental carpets and rugs in the UK Haliden Oriental Carpets 98 Walcot Street, Bath; 01225 469240; Antique oriental carpets, Persian rugs, tribal weavings and antique turkmen carpets Interior Harmony Flooring 5A Chelsea Road, Bath 01225 483818 Specialists for vinyl, carpet and hardwood flooring, floor sanding and wood floor renovation K & M Carpets 26B Shaftesbury Road, Bath 01225 444111 A wide range of floorings, from carpets to vinyl, laminate and wood. Also interior design, blinds and home accessories Mandarin Stone 15-16 Broad Street, Bath 01225 460033 Central Bath showroom for natural stone tiles, flooring and stone bathware

Miety Stone Hillmans Transport Depot Bridge, Chelwood, Bristol 01275 333589 Stone paving Oriental Rugs of Bath 1 Hallatrow Business Park Wells Road Hallatrow 01761 451764 Rugs, kilims and various pieces of furniture Radstock Carpets and Beds Centre Coombend House, Coomb End, Radstock; 01761 432808 Carpet warehouse, beds and carpet service Tile & Flooring Bath 1 Mile End London Road West Bath; 01225 310561 Family-run business specialising in the supply, installation and restoration of flooring from a selection of hundreds of different styles and materials

Furniture, interiors and homeware shops Avenida Home 27 Walcot Street, Bath 01225 571718 Classic home accessories The Bath Framer 7 Walcot Buildings, London Road Bath; 01225 920210 High-quality framing services Dible & Roy Bridge Street, Bradford on Avon 01225 862320 Fabrics, flooring and furniture at their two-storey showroom Digger & Mojo Salisbury Road, Pewsey 01672 562222 Shop online or instore for antiques, vintage, upcycled and retro furniture and items


The curves and colours of Joel Bugg’s furniture can add so much character to a room

The Framing Workshop 80 Walcot Street, Bath 01225 482748 Box framing, glass and perspex boxes, hand-finished and gilded frames and more Graham and Green 92 Walcot Street, Bath 01225 418300 Exceptional range of furniture and home accessories in a global, glamorous, individual and lifeenhancing style Leekes Beanacre Park, Melksham 0845 0508240; Quality furniture, electricals, home accessories and more Oak Furniture Land 0800 440 2254 Furniture showroom opening on the London Road this spring Oka 26-27 Milsom Street, Bath 01225 443074; A 4,000 square foot interiors haven in the heart of Bath Old Bank Antiques Centre 16-17 Walcot Buildings, London Road, Bath; 01225 338813 Antiques and decorative items

Perfect Rooms, Interiors and Upholstery Silver Street, Gastard, Corsham 01249 716455 Fabrics, carpets, wallpaper, furniture, homeware and gifts Rossiters 38-41 Broad Street, Bath; 01225 462227; Offering quality furniture, accessories, fabrics, plus an interior design service Silcox Son & Wicks 5-7 New Bath Street, Bath; 01225 463933; Eclectic collection of furnishing gems to suit a range of tastes 5-6 The Corridor, Bath; 0333 006 3262; Sofas, armchairs and chairs Verve Living 15 Walcot Buildings, London Road, Bath; 07785 332536; An interiors space that fosters creativity and craftsmanship, combining hands-on styling and sourcing services with furniture, artworks and homewares, all sourced and created in Britain w

INTERIORS SPECIAL 01380 728644 Showroom with exquisitely designed collection of kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms. Fully bespoke design service Joel Bugg Furniture & Spaces 07779 236242; Bespoke unique kitchen design Schmidt Bath 1 Park Road, Bath; 01225 337276 Over 30 years of experience in high-end kitchen design

Lighting Homefront Interiors specialises in vintage finds and handmade homeware

Furniture makers Joel Bugg Furniture & Spaces 07779 236242 Bespoke unique furniture, space planning and interior architectural service J Smith Woodwork Staffords Green, Corton Denham Sherborne; 01963 220147 www.jsmithwoodworkshop. Bespoke handmade kitchens, furniture and design Shellards of Somerset Shellards Factory, Handlemaker Road, Frome; 01373 451717 Bespoke kitchens, windows, doors, staircases, panels, flooring, period skirting and furniture Wainscot Interiors Unit 3, Canvin Court Somerton Business Park Bancombe Road, Somerton 01458 272633 Extensive experience in the manufacture, finishing and installation of period architectural joinery, oak panelling and bespoke furniture

Home entertainment Moss of Bath 45 St James’s Parade, Bath

01225 331441 Independent home entertainment retailer and solution provider Full interior design service; will advise on and source fabrics, furniture, bathrooms and kitchens

Interior design

Interior styling

Clair Strong Interior Design Ltd Walcot Studio, Old Orchard 88a Walcot Street, Bath 01225 426905/07855 797311 Innovative design for commercial and residential settings both large and small

Catriona Archer 07823 884945 Affordable, professional interior styling. Designed to make the most of your existing items, storage and space. For holiday rentals. property sale and the home.

Etons of Bath 108 Walcot Street, Bath 01225 639002 New showroom offering full range of interior design services No. Twelve Queen Street 12 Queen Street, Bath 01225 462363 Truly personal design service focusing on private residential, hotel and commercial work Jo Berryman The Guild Hub, High St, Bath: 01225 560826 Luxury, aspirational interiors for both residential and commercial spaces. Woodhouse & Law 4 George’s Place, Bathwick Hill Bath; 01225 428072

Kitchens The Bath Kitchen Company 7-9 North Parade Buildings Bath; 01225 312003 Family business designing unique, beautiful and functional kitchens for over 20 years Ben Argent Design 01225 448330 Beautiful bespoke kitchens designed to inspire Elmore Kitchens 5 Saracen Street, Bath; 01225 335600; Inspirational kitchens and living spaces Home Inspirations White Horse Business Centre, Hopton Rd, Devizes, Wilts

Antique Textiles and Lighting Lansdown Road, Bath; 01225 310795; Antique shop specialising in period textiles, embroideries, quilts, antique lighting and chandeliers

Radiators House of Radiators 22 Wellsway, Bath; 01225 424199 Retailer of huge range of stylish, designer radiators along with expert installation and maintenance service

Worktops, surfaces and doors Countertops Unit 4/5, Lymore Gardens, Oldfield Park, Bath; 01225 424467 Huge range of standard and custom made laminate worktops Hobbs Marble & Granite Radstock Road, Midsomer Norton 01761 412934; www. Granite, marble, slate, travertine and quartz products The Marble Works of Bath Locksbrook Yard, Upper Bristol Road, Bath; 01225 780062 Marble and granite consultants, designers and suppliers Quartz Lite Bath Road, Bristol; 0117 937 3361 Granite, stone and quartz worktops and workstations for kitchens and bathrooms I BATH LIFE I 57

Be it large or small, town or country, we are dedicated to designing your perfect garden.

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april showers Kim Marcer – owner of award-winning bathroom retailer Ripples in Bath takes a look at the 10 things to think about before you buy a shower...


t has been a busy year for bathroom retailer Ripples, they kicked off the year by being named “Master Retailer” in the bathrooms category at the prestigious ek&bbusiness Awards, one of the leading awards ceremonies in the bathroom industry, and this year they also celebrate turning 30.

Your Lifestyle: Before you jump straight in think about how you shower and who will be using the shower, these are questions that I ask our clients, so it’s important that you ask yourself them too. Your options: You might like the look of an overhead shower (hotel-inspired designs are big news after-all) but think about your options, maybe you might also want to incorporate a hand- held shower too, perfect for those of you that don’t want to get your hair wet and is essential for rinsing out the shower afterwards. Your Water Pressure: Before you consider which shower you’re going to opt for, think about your water pressure. Do you have a gravity fed system, combination boiler or pressurised system? Also consider the size of your water tank, is it large enough to meet your water needs? Your Future: If this is your forever home then you certainly need to think about futureproofing the shower. You should be thinking about non-slip tiles, grab bars (which you might be shocked to hear can actually be surprisingly stylish) and maybe even a seat area in your shower. To give your seat a more luxurious feel, top with mosaics or stone.

“Before you consider which shower you’re going to opt for, think about your water pressure” Your space: create the biggest shower you can out of the amount of space you have, it really is as simple as that. Whether that’s a walk-in shower or a shower enclosure, both can be designed to look exactly how you want them. Your layout: think about the layout of the whole room, if you’re going for a walk-in shower then place furniture away from the shower so you minimize how wet your items get. Your approach: to the shower, that is. If you can avoid it, try not to have a step in to your shower instead go for a flush level floor, which can be achieved with a very shallow tray, or a tiled gradient floor. Your heating: think about adding under floor heating and wall heating (yes really) to dry up moisture, this will give off a low level heat and heat your tiles. Now when you step out of the shower you won’t fill a chill but thanks to heated floors and walls your room will remain warm. Luxury redefined.

Your storage: think about creating a shower recess to store your bottles that might normally clutter the floor of your shower. Stylish and practical. Your lighting: At Ripples we offer customized lighting solutions for your shower, maybe you want lighting that changes at the click of a button, lighting placed on a timer or on a PIR sensor (so that when someone steps in the shower, it automatically comes on), these are all options.

Ripples Bath, Chelsea House, London Rd, Bath BA1 6DB T: 01225 447971 Ripples Bristol, 88 Whiteladies Rd, Bristol BS8 2QN. T: 0117 973 1144 I BATH LIFE I 63


WIN A SPRING STYLE REFRESH Enter our competition and you could win a session with a top interiors stylist and £2,000 to spend in Bath’s new OAK FURNITURE LAND store


ow that Spring’s in full swing, lots of us will be thinking about a style refresh for our homes but sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. Oak Furniture Land are delighted to be launching a showroom in Bath which opens on Saturday 21st April. To celebrate, they’re giving one lucky Bath Life reader the chance to win a styling session with renowned interior design stylist, Emma Fishman, plus £2,000 to spend on furniture in their new store. So Emma can get a sense of your interiors taste, you’ll have a dedicated consultation together where you can explore some thoughts for a room you’d like her help with. Enjoying over 20 years’ experience in the styling world designing shoots and makeover features for top decor magazines, she’ll have more than an idea or two up her sleeve and will create a mood board as well as a sketched floor plan and a selection of drawings to give you plenty of inspiration. Having a clear vision for how you want the room to look and feel, you’ll be ready to breathe new life into your space with £2,000 to spend on cabinetry and upholstered


Whether you use the £2,000 to update the space where you eat or where you sleep, Oak Furniture Land has pieces for every room in your home

pieces from Oak Furniture Land. Solid hardwood is beautifully versatile and naturally brings a unique warmth and texture to your home. Whether it’s a scheme that calls for a centrepiece sofa and elegant storage solutions or a revamp that needs a stunning sideboard and extending dining table, you’ll be able to choose from extensive collections featuring natural and rustic oak as well as lovely painted pieces and more traditional dark hardwood furniture. As part of your prize, Emma will pull together a mood board capturing style ideas as inspiration for your new room

A respected and well-established company, Oak Furniture Land will be a welcome addition to Bath’s retail scene. They pride themselves on creating furniture that customers can love now and love forever; each and every one of their products is crafted from 100% solid hardwood and is designed to last a lifetime. It doesn’t matter if you are choosing a nifty nest of tables or a sumptuous king size bed, they apply the same exacting standards to the finish of each piece. Known for furniture with great strength and durability, you’ll find their attention to detail includes real hardwood backs and bases and drawers with dovetail joints. As part of their launch celebrations, the new Bath store will be offering a range of discounts on selected items, giving you the perfect excuse to stock up on some fresh inspiration for your home.

Oak Furniture Land’s new store opens on Saturday 21st April 2018 at 4 London Road, Bath BA1 6AE. To enter the competition, visit the Oak Furniture Land blog: Competition runs until 31st April 2018. T&C’s apply. I BATH LIFE I 65




Image shows Brockway carpets


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Clockwise from top right: Afua Hirsch, Tears for Fears, Alison Moyet, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Midge Ure, Robert Plant, Imelda May, Professor Green and Sophie Ellis-Bextor



What a line-up! The final names have been announced for this year’s Bath Festival and, in its 70th anniversary year, it looks set to be a cultural hit. Not only are Bath band Tears for Fears returning to their home city to play on the Rec, they’ll be joined by Alison Moyet, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Midge Ure, Robert Plant and Imelda May as part of the festival finale. Musician Professor Green will be across the city at The Forum, and proving the festival isn’t just about

music there’s a host of other events taking place in the city, including top authors and workshops. One event that has caught our eye is Judy Murray, who’ll be at Komedia talking about being a coach and mother to her sons Jamie and Andy – and the ups and down of parenting children with big dreams. The festival runs from 11 – 27 May. For more; I BATH LIFE I 85

31 March – 28 April

Pieces by Clarice Cliff will go under the hammer at Aldridges; these cute little creatures are hatching at the egg; John Robins will crack a joke or two at Komedia – when he puts his glass down

Exhibitions U N TI L 3 1 M ARC H

TRANSIENT SPACE Exhibition featuring the semifigurative paintings of Diana Matthews, tutored by Anthony Fry and William Scott, and ceramic vessels and abstract forms from Erica Timothy. David Simon Contemporary; www.davidsimoncontemporary. com U N TI L 8 APRI L

ARCHITECTURE UNDER THE LENS An exhibition bringing together a group of talented photographers from in and around Bath, exploring the intrinsic link between architecture and photography.

Various times and prices; Museum of Bath Architecture; www.museumofbath U N TI L 1 9 A PRIL

THE LANDSCAPE COLLECTIVE Exhibition from a group of UKbased landscape photographers, including a recent winner of the Landscape Photographer of the Year. Part of the ongoing Art at the Heart series of exhibitions. 8am – 8pm; Central Gallery, Royal United Hospital, Bath;

the Edo period, 1615-1868. Netsuke are a form of Japanese miniature sculpture that were primarily functional, but evolved into an important art form. Various times and prices; Museum of East Asian Art;

17 – 22 AP RI L 1 – 30 AP R IL

SPRING EXHIBITION Original contemporary paintings, limited edition giclée prints and cards of awardwinning landscapes and abstracts. Emma Rose Art Works;


DRESSED TO IMPRESS: NETSUKE AND JAPAN This exhibition explores the intricate accessories worn by Japanese men during


work dealing with themes including loss, the feminine and the masculine, and the process of depicting human reality through the sculptural form. Beaux Arts Bath Gallery; THE POSTCARD SHOW Bath-based artists’ group, For Now, celebrates its 10th anniversary with these artworks no bigger than the size of an A6 postcard. 44AD; and 19 AP R IL

7 AP R IL – 5 MAY

NEW WORKS In this exhibition Anna Gillespie launches new works in plaster, with her figurative

COLLECTED SHADOWS A Hayward Gallery Touring exhibition from Southbank Centre, showing 200 photographs drawn from the

extensive collection of The Archive of Modern Conflict. It spans the history of the photographic medium from the mid-1850s to present day, displaying a vast array of images which juxtapose time periods, geographies and photographic techniques. The Edge, University of Bath; UNTI L 7 M AY

ANTHONY FRY: A RETROSPECTIVE An acclaimed artist who created striking and colourful pictures that expressed his love of travel. £10/£9; The Holburne; UNTI L 1 2 M AY

BATH SOCIETY OF ARTISTS An exciting annual exhibition celebrating artistic talent in the city. Many distinguished 20thcentury painters have exhibited with the society, including Walter Sickert, Patrick Heron, Mary Fedden and Howard Hodgkin. Victoria Art Gallery; UNTI L 2 8 O C T O B E R

SIDE BY SIDE: AMERICA AND WORLD WAR I 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of America’s first major military engagement in the Great War 1914 – 1918, with this exhibition uncovering the relationship between the US and Europe, as well as reflecting on those who went into battle, and those who stayed at home. Various prices; The American Museum; UNTI L 2 8 O C T O B E R

THE BECKFORD WOMEN An exhibition exploring the lives, loves and loss of the women who influenced – and were influenced by – Beckford. Various times and prices; Beckford’s Tower;

Plays/Shows UNTI L 1 4 AP RI L

AGNES COLANDER Agnes has been left by her unfaithful husband Henry – the cad. He’s back and wants to reunite, but Agnes is now an independent woman. Various



W H AT ’ S O N

times and prices; The Ustinov; U N TI L 1 5 A PR IL

BATH COMEDY FESTIVAL Lost your funny bone? Get it back at this funny fest, featuring comics including Jon Richardson, Henning Wehn and Helen Lederer. Various times, prices and venues; 4 – 1 4 A PRI L

MARY STUART Juliet Stevenson and Lia Williams star in this tale of two queens, one in power and one in prison. For this political thriller, it’s all in the execution. Various times and prices; Theatre Royal Bath;

Clockwise from top right: Mirage at 44AD; Sleuth Robert Powell with Liza Goddard in Sherlock Holmes; a competitive Quartet of singers at the Theatre Royal Bath


THE FABULOUS LA VOIX La Voix is the larger than life star from Absolutely Fabulous The Movie and a Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist. Join them for a memorable night out, featuring musicians, hilarious comedy and incredible live singing and vocal impersonations. 7pm; £18.50; Komedia;

18 AP R IL

25 AP R IL – 5 MAY 1 6 – 2 1 A PRI L

QUARTET The charming story of four aging opera singers living in a retirement home. But when a new resident arrives, old rivalries resurface and chaos unfolds. The cast includes Paul Nicholas and Wendi Peters. Various times and prices; Theatre Royal Bath;

26 AP R I L – 2 6 M AY

JOHN ROBINS Join 2017 Edinburgh Comedy Award winner John Robins – one of the most exciting and distinctive voices in comedy – for his reflections on love, loss and lamenting the fact he can’t break up with himself. 6pm; £14.50; Komedia; SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE FINAL CURTAIN Sherlock Holmes has retired, and enjoys bee-keeping and fly fishing. He’s paranoid that he’s lost his touch, but enter one more mystery – and the chance to confront his demons at the same time. Stars Robert Powell and Liza Goddard. Various times and prices; Theatre Royal Bath;

THE WHALE An off-Broadway smash and a fiercely funny story about a father’s chance of redemption. It centres around Charlie, a reclusive man marooned on a coach, weighing in at a fairly whopping 600 pounds. He’s a logistical nightmare, then, but can any of his visitors help him? Various times and prices; The Ustinov;

Music 9 AP R IL

LOWER THAN ATLANTIS Rock out with this British band who have supported Enter Shikari on tour. 7pm; £16.50; Komedia; w I BATH LIFE I 87


W H AT ’ S O N

12 AP RI L

BROOKE SHARKEY An exciting singer, tipped by The Guardian for success, whose songs – in both English and French – are personal and acknowledge strength in vulnerability. 8pm; £10; Chapel Arts; 19 AP RI L

RHEINGANS SISTERS Hear the vocal talents of these sisters, whose poignant compositions have gained them many fans. At the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, they won the prestigious Best Original Track award for their song Mackerel, alongside a nomination in the Horizon category for Best New Act. 8pm; £12; Chapel Arts Centre; 21 AP RI L

JACQUES ET CLAUDE SING BRASSENS Enjoy some French flair with Jacques and Claude, known in France for their interpretation of Georges Brassens’ songs – he was a contemporary of Edith Piaf. 7.30pm; St James’ Wine Vaults, Bath;

Clockwise from left: Arthur & The Smithereens make themselves comfy at the Bath Comedy Festival; songs in English and French from talented songstress Brooke Starkey; James Whetlor wants to talk all things Goat at Topping

21 AP RI L

BEST OF BATH MUSIC The vocal talents of The Military Wives of Colerne Choir, Saxophone Saxtet from Beechen Cliff School, and the Band of Avon Fire and Rescue Service are taking part in a Rotary Club-organised event to raise money for the Bath Stroke Support Group and other charities. £10; 7.30pm; St. Swithins Church, The Paragon, Bath; buy/?e=16109

help and this show is all about climate change, the ecosystem and the disappearance of bees – it’s ever so sweet, of course. Various times and prices; the egg;


2 1 A PRI L


PICTURE ME Use simple collage to create a historical portrait inspired by those in the gallery, in this free drop-in activity for Discovery Cardholders. Ages three – 11; Victoria Art Gallery; 13 – 1 5 APRI L

ME AND MY BEE Our fuzzy little friends need our

1 5 A PRI L

FAMILY WORKSHOP Get hands-on, taking inspiration from India and creating block printed bags. 10.30am; £10/£5; The Holburne; ROMEO AND JULIET A stunning adaptation that fully realises the lovers and brings to life their world, the sound, heat and colour of Verona – the threat of their feuding families. Various times; £8.50/£7.50; the egg; 2 2 A PRI L

MACBETH Vibrant language and physical theatre, charting the devastating effect that one act has on an otherwise honorable,


and very loyal man. Various times; £8.50/£7.50; the egg; 28 AP R IL

CREATE: ART Hatch creative ideas and spend some quality time together, in a supportive and friendly environment. You’ll leave with some fun creations and top tips for making art at home, too. For five – 11-year-olds. 10.30am; £5/£3; Ensemble Room, The Edge, University of Bath; 28 AP R IL

CREATE: TALES FOR TOTS Enjoy a scrumptious concoction of music, craft and drama as Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar is brought to life. For two – four-year-olds. Various times; £7.50; Ensemble Room, The Edge, University of Bath; 27– 29 AP R IL

PENGUINS Male penguins Roy and Silo

are like all the other happy penguins in the zoo, and walk, play and dance together. But when the zookeeper finds them trying to hatch a rock, he has a clever idea to help them raise a chick for real. Various times and prices; the egg;

Other 27 MAR CH

FINE ART AND ANTIQUES SALE A treasure trove of silver, jewellery, porcelain and glassware, oil paintings and Asian artworks. 10am; Aldridges, Phoenix House, Lower Bristol Road, Bath; 7 AP R IL

BATH BOOK FAIR Calling all bookworms – the PBFA Book Fair will see dealers from all over the country bringing an enticing range of w good quality second-hand

THE ART COTTAGE Wellow . Bath Idyllic 2 bedroom holiday let • Sleeps 5 Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Next to Emma Rose Art Works Studio


W H AT ’ S O N

and antiquarian books for sale. 10.30am – 4.30pm; £2; Assembly Rooms; 9 AP RI L


THE ORIGINS OF THE TUDOR ROSE It has been one of Britain’s foremost emblems for half a millennium. So, where did it come from, and what does it mean? This lecture from The Arts Society Bath traces its long-hidden origin and uncovers a conspiracy to hide it. 7.15pm; £8; BRLSI; 10 AP RI L

DECORATIVE ITEMS AND HOUSEHOLD FURNISHINGS AUCTION Including decorative china and glassware, pictures and prints, ranging from Victorian antiques through to vintage, modern and contemporary items. 10am; Aldridges, Phoenix House, Lower Bristol Road, Bath; 12 AP RI L

LUNCH AT CAFÉ RENÉ A hilarious tribute to the classic TV comedy ’Allo, ’Allo, and a delicious lunch to boot. 12pm; £37; Theatre Royal Bath; 16 AP RI L

UPROAR! A relaxed, fun disco for adults with learning disabilities, and their families and friends, to cut loose and dance like no one’s watching. Organised by Bath Mencap. 7pm; £5; Komedia; 19 AP RI L

GOAT We, apparently, should all be eating more goat. It’s sustainable, ethical, highly nutritious and low in calories. Why, then, does it remain so underused and misunderstood? Enter author and chef James Whetlor who’ll talk about his book, and offer a demo and tastings. 8pm; £8-£25; Topping; 21 AP RI L

BATHAMPTON ART GROUP The talented artists are celebrating 50 years with a spring exhibition, showcasing a wide range of styles.

Top: Mary Stuart at the Theatre Royal Bath; above: these star-crossed lovers meet in Romeo and Juliet, at the egg

10am – 5pm; Bathampton Village Hall, Holcombe Lane, Bath; 2 2 A PRI L

BATH BOWLING CLUB OPEN DAY Learn more about this moderately active, enjoyable and sociable outdoor game and, if you’re tempted to join, the first year’s membership is free. 11am; Bath Bowling Club; Pulteney Road, Bath;

of physics at the University of Bath speak about her achievements in science. Part of a series of talks. 6pm; £15; The Gainsborough Bath Spa; www.gainsborough 26 AP R IL

MARY BERRY IN BATH Bath’s Queen of Cakes will talk about her life and career, and reveal the moments, people and places that inspired her very favourite dishes. 8pm: £12-£26; The Forum;

2 6 A PRI L

PHENOMENAL WOMEN: CAROLE MUNDELL Listen to the inspirational head


27 AP R IL


Grab your Union Jack and raise a cup of tea to this student-organised event, designed to celebrate vibrant British culture. Expect music, food and games. 10am – 4pm; Green Park Station, Bath; 27 AP R IL

RAYMOND E FEIST A rare chance to meet this titan of the fantasy genre, and a rare chance to listen to the legendary writer talking about the first book of his new epic Firemane Saga series. 8pm; £8-£20; Topping;




20 One-day workshops, taster days and evening classes all enrolling now for summer term. Professional diploma course enrolling now for September 2018. Upholstery 12-week foundation course Tuesday evenings 17th April to 10th July 2018 For all our creative and vocational courses, visit:



MAY 26 I 29 I 30 I JUNE 1 I 2 I 5


JUNE 23 I 26 I 28 I 30 | JULY 3 I 4

MADAME BUTTERFLY JULY 21 I 24 I 26 I 28 I 31| AUG 2 I 4









2 5 T H A N N I V E R S A R Y F E S T I VA L S E A S O N 26 May – 4 August 2018

* Music by LEONARD BERNSTEIN. Book adapted from Voltaire by HUGH WHEELER. Lyrics by RICHARD WILBUR. New version by JOHN CAIRD (The 1999 Royal National Theatre version). With additional lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, John Latouche, Lillian Hellman, Dorothy Parker and Leonard Bernstein. Performed by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Limited.

Box Office (Theatre Royal Bath) 01225 44 88 44



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

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ad v ertisi n g feat u re L AW

Will MacFarlane: City experience for Bath families Partner, Will MacFarlane, joins Royds Withy King’s top ranked Family Law team in Bath from international firm Withers LLP. We talk to him about his first impressions of Bath and a shift in trends in Family Law Will, tell us why you’ve made the move to Bath? I trained in Bristol and I’m excited to return home to the West Country after eight years in London. When we got the opportunity to live and work in the beautiful city of Bath, it was a case of “where do I sign?” Walking across Queen Square in the mornings, I don’t miss my old commute! Tell us about your background I specialise in financial settlements on family breakdown, helping those with businesses, trusts, investments and property both here and abroad. Previous clients have included senior executives, city professionals, entrepreneurs and creatives. I’m used to tough litigation but where possible, I’m pragmatic and seek a settlement to avoid expensive court proceedings. So how can couples avoid stressful and costly separations? Family lawyers are known for advising clients on relationship breakdown but increasingly we’re advising them prior to marriage or moving in together, helping them avoid a

“Once seen as the preserve of the super-rich, ‘pre-nups’ are now seen as essential life planning in the same way as a Will”

Image caption 3mm inset from edge

costly dispute down the line. Once seen as the preserve of the superrich, prenuptial agreements (‘pre-nups’) are now seen as essential life planning in the same way as a Will. Parties can expect to be held to them if each received independent legal advice, the procedure was correct and if the weaker party's basic needs are met. Many couples are now shunning marriage in favour of buying together and cohabiting. However, they don’t have the same rights as married couples and a Cohabitation Agreement and Declaration of Trust are essential to avoid a messy dispute at an already difficult time. What feedback do your clients give you? That I’m knowledgeable, empathetic and really care about their outcome. How are you planning on getting involved in the Bath community?

I want to continue volunteering at the Citizens Advice Bureau. I enjoy theatre and live music and I’m keen to check out the Theatre Royal, Komedia and The Bell. I also need to find a tennis club! Royds Withy King supports Bath Mind as our chosen charity in 2017 - 2019. I’m very much looking forward to getting involved in our fundraising and practical support.

For further details please contact Will MacFarlane on: T. 01225 459 917 E. I BATH LIFE I 97

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INTO THE WILD This week, our books expert recommends novels with a wild side – from those set in Alaskan forests, to treasure-hunting tales in isolated Venezuela By N IC BO T T OM L E Y


his week I interviewed a debut writer named Abi Andrews who has poured vast energy, modern feminist thought and philosophy into a bold novel named The Word for Woman is Wilderness (Serpents Tail, £12.99). The book features a 19-year-old woman’s epic transformative journey to the forests of Denali in Alaska via Iceland and Greenland. While the character, Erin, goes in search of a wilderness, the author, Abi, was very open about the fact that though she aspired to make that same journey, she herself has never made a wilderness trip. We know that the best fiction can transport the reader to a different time, place or circumstance, but in this case the act of writing it actually transported the author to that different place for the first time as well. I suppose this shouldn’t have been a big surprise. Authors don’t just write about places and circumstances they know. Historical novelists, for example, have to conjure up landscapes from their imagination alone and often manage to create rich and vivid imagery.

A fresh example is Miguel Bonnefoy’s Black Sugar (Gallic, £8.99), which is set during the 20th century in an isolated patch of coastal Venezuela. For the most part, we observe matters from the viewpoint of Serena Otero, the daughter of a farming family who grow sugar cane and produce rum from a tract of land about which rumours circulate. People say that the land has a hidden value thanks to the buried treasure of Captain Morgan (of future rum fame), which is supposedly hidden in the rainforest following a shipwreck three centuries earlier. While strangers are repeatedly drawn to the area, magnetised by the lure of pirate gold, Serena prefers to focus on real life and finding contentment other than through fortuitous riches. The result is a novel that on the one hand gives an insight into Venezuelan rural life, and on the other is a fable on the dangers of greed, with some echoes of John Steinbeck’s masterly The Pearl. Julio Llamazares grew up in the Cantabrian mountains that form the backdrop to his stunning novel Wolf Moon

(Peter Owen, £9.99), which has just been translated into English for the first time. The action begins in the dying days of the Spanish civil war, as four fugitive fighters from the Republican side move covertly through the mountains above their home villages. One by one they make daring descents to reconnect with their families for a few precious moments, get provisions and obtain intelligence about the movements of the Guardia Civil, who continue to track them down. When I first started reading Wolf Moon, I thought that the portion of the book that Ángel and his compatriots would spend up in the hills, cooking on fires in the mouths of caves disguised behind screens of foliage and constantly covering their tracks, might last just a month or two. Then, I assumed, a more sedate post-war finale might ensue. How wrong I was. It’s no spoiler to say that this is fugitive fiction through and through, and that our sometimes cunning, sometimes foolhardy heroes are trapped in this shadowy lifestyle for the long-haul. The consequent never-easing tension is one of this novel’s great features. That, and the incredible moments of action that punctuate the vagabond lifestyle – the escape from a surrounded barn amidst stampeding cattle is comfortably the favourite scene of my reading year so far. Returning to the question of how authors come by their insight into a place or time, the back-story to Wolf Moon is revealed in a fascinating essay at the end of the book. Llamazares, it emerges, spent his childhood listening to overblown and exaggerated tales of the antics of a resistance fighter who hid out in the wilderness above his village for years before eventually heading into exile. Years later he met that fighter, now an old man, and accompanied him on his first visit back to that area – a trip that revealed just how long those heroes had lived in the memory of the locals and just how warm and alcoholic a reception a returning legend can expect to receive!

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 99

i n d e p e n d e n t r e ta i l e r s a d v e r t i s i n g f e at u r e

Meet the indies Bath is built around its amazing independent retailers, and here are some of our very best

Kimberly Richardson Kimberly Limited 01225 466817

How did you start out in retailing? My husband was a director for a menswear company. We opened Christopher Barry together in Old Bond Street in 1978 with the finest Italian clothes for men, then launched Kimberly on Trim Street in 1983, stocking similar high level Italian brands for women. Describe your shop Kimberly has one entrance in Trim Street and another in the courtyard area behind the only remaining section of the original Borough Walls. Personal service for our longstanding, loyal clients and careful selection from our premium brands, such as Max Mara, Amina Rubinacci, Moschino, Lamberto Losani and more, ensure that our clients are able to find quality clothes for everyday, business and for special occasions too. What do you most enjoy about running a shop in Bath? Our shows! We hold fashion shows at Kimberly for two weeks in March and September to launch the new season. This enables our clients to see how the different brands can interact and be worn. Our shows are great fun, and much enjoyed by all.


Kelly Ann Perry

Richard Hayes


The Bath Framer 01225 920210

TR Hayes 01225 465757

Verve Living 07785 332536

What is your favourite part of the job? The people! I meet so many fascinating people through my work, and it’s always a joy and privilege to see and hear about their interesting artworks.

What do you most enjoy about running a shop in Bath? We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful city, although I sometimes think us locals take this for granted. From a business perspective it’s great to be here, as we can cater for both the local market and people visiting Bath.

Tell us a little about your shop… Verve offers an ever-changing collection of vintage furniture, styled with contemporary accessories and artwork. We’re passionate about supporting UK-based designer makers, and emerging local artists whose work fits our vibe. Most of what we showcase is made by hand and is exclusive to us in Bath.

Which other shops and retailers do you admire? The Fig Store has an amazing eye for sourcing gorgeous vintage pieces. Katherine Fraser is one of my favourite Bath designers – I love seeing her working away on her loom within her shop – and I always admire the way in which Found curate their products; they are definitely one of Bath’s most distinctive independent retailers. What’s a good way to dress a shop window? Make sure people can still see inside your shop, so choose something eye-catching but don’t overcrowd the window. Tell us a about your shop. Dressed in dark blue and gold, The Bath Framer has unmistakable double shop fronts on the London Road. It’s a beautifully presented space, designed to welcome and inspire clients wishing to discuss their bespoke framing. Alongside our frames we sell high quality stationery and cards, including brands such as Katie Leamon, Blackwing and Traveller’s Company.

If you could give one bit of advice to those starting out in retail, what would it be? Three things: customer service, customer service, and customer service. Tell us a little about your shop… If I had a pound for every time I hear customers describe it as a ‘TARDIS’, I’d be very wealthy! We occupy a large building (or, rather, group of buildings), and many people think there are flats above, but in fact all the floors are used for display. TR Hayes has been trading for over 100 years, and we have a wide variety of products on display. Many customers find our offering more interesting than that seen at the bigger name multiples. What is the favourite part of your job? We have a great team, so working with them and meeting new and returning customers.

What do you most enjoy about running a shop in Bath? The people. It’s a cliché, but a true one. We get people from all over the world walking through the door, and it’s so interesting hearing their stories – or updates, if it’s a regular customer – and chatting about the ups and downs of updating interiors. What advice would you give to those starting in retail? Retail is hard work, so make sure you really love what you’re selling – it’s this that will sustain you on those tougher than usual days! What do you do on a daily basis? Play! The joy of running an interiors space is that it helps to change things around a lot, which doesn’t feel to me like work at all.

a d v e r t i s i n g f e at u r e i n d e p e n d e n t r e ta i l e r s

Isabel Saiz

Avenida Isabel Ltd 07909 895139 What is your favourite part of the job? I am the founder and creative behind Avenida Home. And what I like best is simply creating the pieces we sell. Which other shops and retailers do you admire? I am not biased, but the shops in Walcot Street are very special: Shannon, Fig, Fine Cheese Company, Katherine Fraser, Graham & Green... If you weren’t a retailer, what would you be doing? We are a brand as well as a retailer. We create beautiful home accessories – which, in turn, we sell to other retailers around the world and through our showroom and website. Our work is very interesting and varied. What changes have you seen in bath over the last few years? It’s losing its identity and getting more crowded. There are far too many cafés and restaurants, of which too many are chains with average offer. We need more creative and interesting places to sit down and relax and enjoy something truly special, more places to work within the city so the mix between local and visitors is more healthy. Finally we need more and more interesting shops. This is what people come to Bath for.

Alexandra May Alexandra May Jewellery 01225 465094

How did you start in retail? I was born into it! My mother had a magical shop in Caracas, Venezuela and I was brought up from an early age to be aware of the process of buying, selling and displaying beautiful objects. Throughout my career I have been lucky enough to work with some of the most creative and inspirational characters of the trading and fashion world. What is your favourite part of the job? The buying, of course! Buying for the shop is the easiest and most joyous part of the job, and wherever I go there is temptation – having my shop gives me an opportunity to share my wonderful finds! Tell us about your shop… It’s a fabulous emporium for people who love jewellery! The shop has a huge range of collectible vintage and contemporary costume jewellery from some of the world’s most iconic designers, and we’ll pull out all the stops to help customers find the perfect pieces for an occasion. We aim to make you look and feel wonderful, and have fun whilst doing it! What accomplishment has made you proudest? Taking the risk to change ‘Alexandra May’ from a 18-year-old bohemian cornucopia of bits and bobs into my dream shop, one that mirrored my own passion and aesthetics, comes incredibly high on the list!


Gold & Platinum Studio 01225 462300 www.goldandplatinumstudio. If you could give one bit of advice to those starting out in retail, what would it be? Don’t expect too much too soon. It takes time to build a reputation and be prepared to sacrifice weekends and holidays. (I don’t open the shop on Sundays, although there is pressure to do so.) Also, know your market. It is easy to get carried away with a ‘great idea’ or unusual piece, but do your research: there needs to be a demand. What’s a good way to dress a shop window? In my view, simplicity is key. If a window is too busy and cluttered it’s difficult to appreciate the individual pieces. I like to use natural materials, such as marble, wood and stone, with real plants and flowers. It can be more labour intensive, but It complements the handmade element of our work and the natural materials we use. What changes have you seen in Bath over the last few years? Probably the most noticeable change is the increase in building development. When I moved here 25 years ago, Bath seemed to be preserved in aspic. Whilst this wasn’t always very forward thinking, and I understand the need, I feel that a lot of the current development is not in keeping with Bath’s unique history and setting. I don’t think enough consideration has been given to the landscape.

Julie Pymm

C The World 01225 418100 How did you start out in retailing? I was inspired to start working in travel after my first holiday to Majorca, aged 14. I fell in love with a waiter called Paco and decided in that moment I wanted to work in the world of travel! What do you most enjoy about running a shop in Bath? Well, the commute is pretty special! I’ve worked in Bath for over 30 years and will never tire of walking to work. If you weren’t a retailer, what do you think you would be doing? I’d be an estate agent in Bath. Along with my love for travel, I have a passion for interior design (which is on display in our quirky, boutique office in The Corridor!) What changes have you seen in Bath over the last few years? With the development of Southgate, not only are the shops busier but there are fewer independent and family-run businesses. If you could give one bit of advice to those starting out in retail, what would it be? Building relationships is at the heart of any successful retail business. Work hard to create lasting relationships by offering great service, both pre- and post-purchase. I BATH LIFE I 101

Photo: Lee Niel Photography

I n d e p e n d e n t r e ata i l e r s a d v e r ti s i n g feat u r e

Tim Moss

Moss of Bath 01225 331441

tessa brand

The Dressing Room 01225 330563

kate austin

Spotty Herberts 01225 331834

Silcox, Son and Wicks 01225 463933

Tell us about your shop… Moss of Bath operates a single ‘brown’ goods store with all stock, administration and a service centre housed in one site over five floors of a Georgian building. The ground floor shop area has two showrooms and a hi-fi demonstration lounge and, at the end of 2017, we created a ‘Smart Home’ lounge in the drawing room which showcases the most innovative products.

What is your favourite part of the job? The variety. We have wonderful customers – truly – so the selling part is easy. I’m quite an organised person, so I love the admin and obviously I love shopping, so the buying is great fun! What’s not to love?

What do you most enjoy about running a shop in Bath? Meeting our customers, hearing their stories of new babies, birthday parties, holidays and adventures and the funny stories of their children’s antics. Even better are the fascinating tales from the kids themselves. Busy days are the best – after all, any shop keeper also likes to hear the chime of the till throughout the day.

How did you start in retail? My family has been retailing since 1900 from our Bath store, and I just fell into it!

What is the favourite part of your job? I can wear many hats on many days, but one thing that I still enjoy is ‘old fashioned selling’. As a retailer, it is vital to go out of your way to provide a positive experience. I believe that there is an emotional connection between a consumer and the product... people still want to see, hear, touch and feel before purchasing. Although many customers will research online, the majority of retail sales are either captured or influenced by the store: most people want to leave with product in-hand. What’s the future of retail? It’s evolving into a far more flexible, seamless omni-channel fulfillment model that is critical for continued success. The future of retail isn’t just about the internet, despite what the media say. The consumer expects choice, a positive experience and great service and that is what we will be focusing on at Moss of Bath. If you get the product, service and message right, I think the future of retail is brilliant.


How did you start in retail? I had my first Saturday job at 15, working for a tiny cosmetic boutique. I was not a good employee! I used to get bored, so when the boss asked me to pop up to the bakers to get her a sandwich, I used to go via all my favourite shops and take forever. I’d tell her there was a massive queue and, unbelievably, she never queried it! What’s the biggest mistake that can be made in retailing? Two things stand out for me: complacency and greed. Never take anything for granted. And don’t be greedy. I’ve seen places open up, do really well, then, before you know it, there are another three or four branches which appear in nearby towns – and then suddenly, they’ve all gone. I’m content with my one shop and give it all my attention. Which other shops and retailers do you admire? Blimey – all of them! People seem to think running a small, independent shop is easy. It’s not. It’s relentless, exhilarating, frightening and fun, all rolled into one! When you meet another indie owner, you can say so much with just a nod and a grin, as we understand each other.

What plans do you have for 2018? An ongoing plan is to make time for researching for and writing our blog. I have a list of things for which I’d love to sit and write some good words, but it seems this year that time has slipped by and they’ve not yet been written. This is my plan: to write more. We are also in the early stages of developing a Spotty Herbert product which will encourage the reuse, recycling, rehoming and love of tiny toys. Very exciting. Which other shops and retailers do you admire? Meticulous Ink on Walcot Street is always a pleasure to visit. I never fail to quickly form a wish list of pen and pencil purchases from the small but perfect selection. As a huge fan of letterpress going back to my art college days, I’m envious of the aprons, the whiff of inks and the neat piles of beautifully printed stationery.

charlie wicks

If you weren’t a retailer, what would you be doing? I think I’d remain in my field as much as possible, and so go into furniture design. I’m a massive fan of unique and stylish chairs, so I think I’d design or make those. Failing that, I’d be a cowboy! Describe your shop A truly unique independently run store where service is key and you’ll find products in a wide range of styles at some very reasonable prices. What’s the biggest mistake that can be made in retailing? Don’t underestimate the power of good customer service. What’s a good way to dress a shop window? Sometimes less is more. If the product is good, it won’t need much to make it stand out. What plans do you have for 2018? Adding more exciting and unique products to our already extensive collection. If you could change one thing in Bath, what would it be? I’d like a better system to allow more visitors – perhaps an improved park and ride, or even a San Francisco-style tram system.

ad v e rtising f e at u r e i n d e p e n d e n t r e ta i l e r s

Sheralie Margenout

Silver Bear Jewellery & Gifts 01225 422225 www.silverbearjewelleryandgifts. com What do you most enjoy about running a shop in Bath? What I enjoy most about running the shop is the people I meet and the interaction I have with them. I’m especially heartened by the amount of thank you cards and gifts we sell; there are some lovely people out there! I love being able to help them choose the right products for their specific requirements, as we have so much to choose from! Tell us a little about your shop Bear Flat is a great place, as it has a great community feel about it, with lots of other businesses and local customers who we know by first name. We have gifts for ladies, of course, but also have a good range of gifts for children. We also cater for the guys; cycling gifts have been a big hit, as well as rugby related items, being based in Bath! In addition, we sell our own extensive range of sterling silver jewellery. Which accomplishment has made you proudest? I am most proud when I hear the lovely comments customers say – it makes all the hard work worthwhile. Things like, “This is my girlfriend’s favourite shop” or “You have so many great gifts that are different from the high street.”

jody cory

Jody Cory Goldsmiths 01225 460072 How did you start out in retailing? I started creating jewellery at the age of 15 at Bath Technical College. I loved it so much that I went on to study Goldsmithing and Jewellery Design in Manchester. I gained years of experience, returning to Bath in 1998 to work alongside a very talented Terry Davies at Bath Goldsmiths. When the recession hit I went self employed, and began by creating jewellery for other local shops in Bath. Then an opportunity came along for me to start a shop of my own in 2001, and I haven’t looked back since, as I am still so passionate about designing and creating jewellery. What are your major plans for 2018? We’ll be working hard to promote our new designer shop in Northumberland Place, promoting many handmade British designers. We will, of course, still be offering the same great service here in our Abbey Churchyard store. Which accomplishment has made you proudest? Last year we were nominated for two national awards – Retailer of the Year by the National Association of Jewellers, and Designer Maker Boutique of the Year by Professional Jeweller. What is your favourite part of the job? Seeing somebody wear a piece of jewellery I have designed and handcrafted. 

andrew Craske

Audience 01225 333310 What’s your favourite part of the job? There’s nothing quite like putting a great hi-fi system together – one that makes people smile, because they have never heard their music sound so realistic.   If you could give one bit of advice to those starting out in retail, what would it be? Have as clear a vision as you can of what you are planning to offer your customers, but be prepared to adapt to their demands and so update your business plan. Specialise, and make sure you keep back some funds to see you through until the business is self-sustaining.   What really interests you outside of work? Green energy. I believe there is a massive change happening. The ability to store solar energy in home batteries and charge an electric car from the sun just fills me with idealistic hope. Did you know one sweep of a large wind turbine can power a home for a day? That’s over 17,000 homes in 24 hours powered by renewable energy – no ‘carbon juice’ involved.

jeni weinberger Art Salon 01225 422220

How long have you been a gallery owner? I have been in the art trade since 1995 and running my own business since 2005. What’s the most important quality required to be successful? Communication is the most important quality. To listen to both client and artist and successfully match the two. What area do you specialise in? We concentrate on British talent, both emerging and established, and I am keen to promote British talent around the world. To this end we exhibit and sell in Hong Kong, Singapore and New York regularly. We also regularly exhibit in London and across the UK. This in turn brings many art patrons back to Bath. What are the misconceptions about an art gallery? That it will be too expensive. We actually stock work from £10 – £20. At Christmas we fill the gallery with work from young designers and artists whose work is naturally a lot less expensive. You never know what future diamond you might uncover. Where did you study and train? I read Classics at university before doing my masters in Fine and Decorative Arts. I did my training at Christie’s auction house. I BATH LIFE I 103




Ston Easton Park The 18th-century country house hotel has a new chef and a new seven-course tasting menu. LISA EVANS went along to try it out…


y brain, already feeling the effects of a preprandial cocktail, can’t quite comprehend what’s happening right now. I’m in the restaurant of a magnificent 18th-century country house hotel, sitting at a white-clothed table, posh cutlery is lined up in front of me, formal opulence abounds, and yet Girls Aloud are hollering over the sound system. Something doesn’t quite add up here. It’s the type of place that screams the need for classical music, but I’m here swaying merrily to dance-pop. To the beat of Atomic Kitten’s The Tide is High, the sprightly waiter approaches bearing foodie gifts including kimchi spring rolls and bread baked to the shape of mini muffins, and we’re also presented with a seven-course tasting menu (well, two seven-course tasting menus, as I have the vegetarian version). I’ve always been torn when it comes to menus of this ilk. On the one hand, I’m ever eager to try a multitude of dishes and not be judged for my gluttony, but, on the other, I don’t get a choice of what’s put in front of me, and none of the things I really want to eat ever turn up in the portions I hope for. But, as I’m here tonight for the unveiling of this new homegrown menu, and as there’s a brand-new chef at the pass, I decide, on this occasion, it’s the right thing to do. The menu’s been heavily influenced by new chef Ashley Lewis, who has spent time perfecting his craft in kitchens across both the UK and France. And the selection of dishes is supposed to showcase the fresh produce grown in Ston Easton’s gardens, which are set within 36 acres of stunning private parkland. Course number one is an amuse-bouche of pork belly for my dining companion, and a small bowl of the most deliciously buttery onion velouté for me. Next up is torched mackerel with crab, apple jelly, pickled daikon, and brown crab mayonnaise; then a delectable goats’ cheese mousse served with apple slices, lemon purée, olive crumb, and beetroot that comes in so many forms I lose count – there are earthy discs, sweet and vinegary slices, and gossamer-thin shards caramelised to a crisp, which stuck to the teeth like toffee. A textural wonder. This course is served with Reichsrat von Buhl riesling – the first vino on the wine flight this evening.


At my comrade’s next dish, foie gras, I refuse to give into the squeamish, political thoughts which my, now slightly tipsier, brain wants to argue about, and instead I allow him be completely seduced by the stuff, which is prettified with rhubarb chutney, chocolate and beetroot, and is shovelled up with brioche. I indulge, guilt-free, in the crispy oniontopped ricotta and salt-spiked tenderstem broccoli with baby turnips, mini carrots and truffle vinaigrette. My comrade’s favourite dish is next. It’s pan-fried red mullet with octopus, lemon purée and sea vegetables, and it’s laid atop swirls of chorizo foam whipped into improbable lightness. My veggie course – smoked risotto with root vegetables and celeriac purée – also happens to be my favourite dish of the evening. In fact, due to the cheesy, creamy, dreaminess of it all (thanks to the vegetarian parmesan), I go a little When Harry Met Sally (you know the scene I mean). Thank god the Sugababes are playing just loud enough to mask it. Next to the table is duck breast with bulgur wheat, blackcurrant jus, Lyonnaise-style potatoes and burnt onion petals for the hubby; and I’m presented with gnocchi served with wild mushrooms. With this course comes Sherwood Estate pinot noir. Then it’s time for pre-dessert (why can’t this be a regular thing?). It’s a small but rich, hard-shelled milk chocolate frustum filled with chocolate and passionfruit mousse and it’s served with mango sorbet and crushed hazelnuts. And with this comes the decadent Zuccardi Reserva Torrontes Tardio. The final course is a deconstructed apple crumble. Bright green apple parfait takes centre stage, the crumble is scattered around the plate, and the decoration consists of a dense white chocolate mousse, apple sorbet, caramelised apple, and cubes of minty cucumber which are soaked in lethal amounts of rum and give an intense whiff of Pimm’s and summertime to the plate. It’s comfort food that doesn’t quite want to give you the safe embrace you expect. It’s a hug and a slap in one. Having consumed so much food, it’s a blissful feeling to go straight for a lie down in my hotel room upstairs, and a sumptuous space it is too. There’s a four-poster Chippendale bed, ornate high ceilings, the finest antique furnishings and lavish fabrics – which all reflect the building’s grand past – and, all put together, it’s nothing short of breathtaking. You’d think I’d be in party mode after all those throwback tunes, but with a bedroom this luxurious, all I want to do is sleep. And what a blissful night it is.

DINING DETAILS Ston Easton Park, near Bath, Somerset, BA3 4DF; 01761 241 631; Prices The tasting menu is £75 per person, or £95 with wine flight Vegetarian choice Brilliant Drinks A great mix of world wines and cocktails Rooms From £129 per night, including breakfast Service/atmosphere Formal but friendly/ quiet and subdued I BATH LIFE I 105


DINING in BATH Bath Life’s selection of the best places to eat out in Bath and the surrounding area BRITISH THE BATH PRIORY Weston Road, Bath; 01225 331922; Delicious fine dining overlooking the hotel's award-winning gardens CIRCUS RESTAURANT 34 Brock Street, Bath; 01225 466020; Voted number four in the UK in The Times's “20 secret restaurants that foodies love” CLIFTON SAUSAGE 5 Bladud Buildings, Bath; 01225 433633; Upmarket sausage and mash restaurant and bar, plus a beautiful terrace CORKAGE 132 Walcot St, Bath; 01225 422577 Chapel Row, Bath; 01225 423417 Award-winning small plates restaurant and wine specialist 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 HENRY'S 4 Saville Row, Bath; 01225 780055; Imaginative modern dining offering a classic menu and also full vegetarian and vegan menus DAN MOON AT THE GAINSBOROUGH RESTAURANT Beau St, Bath; 01225 358888; Creativity meets delicious food with this talented chef MENU GORDON JONES 2 Wellsway, Bath; 01225 480871; Multi award-winning fine dining with a 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 106 I BATH LIFE I

WOODS 9-13 Alfred St, Bath; 01225 314812 Legendary Bath dining institution serving French influenced British cuisine

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, Bath; 01225 318368; City centre pub and dining room next to the Theatre Royal Bath

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 DARCY’S 34 Gay St, Bath; 01225 425308 Independent café/newsagent in Bath. Serving breakfast and lunch, coffee and cake daily GREEN BIRD CAFÉ 11 Margaret's Buildings, Bath; 01225 487846; Independently-run café located between the Circus and Royal Crescent THE KINGSMEAD KITCHEN 1 Kingsmead St, Kingsmead Square, Bath; 01225 329002; Laid-back, modern café-bar open daily from 8am until 6pm for breakfast, brunch, lunch and tea using farm produce


THE HARE AND HOUNDS Lansdown Road, 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; Canalside 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 FIREHOUSE ROTISSERIE 2 John St, Bath; 01225 482070; Californian and Tex-Mex dishes, prepared over a wood-fired grill in a rustic setting

THE RICHMOND ARMS 7 Richmond Place, Bath; 01225 316725; Hearty dishes with menu changing on a daily basis



GPT SMOKEHOUSE 44-45 Lower Bristol Rd, Bath; 01225 429509; 'Dude Food' menu cooked with an authentic handmade American hot smoker

THE EASTERN EYE 8a Quiet St, Bath; 01225 422323; Classic traditional Bengali cuisine in a grand Georgian interior space

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 MINT ROOM Longmead Gospel Hall, Lower Bristol Rd, Bath; 01225 446656; Award-winning contemporary Indian fine dining


ITALIAN CAFFÈ CARUSO 3 Trim Bridge, Bath; 01225 426735 Independent restaurant with authentic Italian dishes SOTTO SOTTO 10 North Parade, Bath 01225 330236; Classic Italian menu with a contemporary twist in candlelit vaulted cellars

PIZZA 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




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

KOH THAI TAPAS 36 Broad St, Bath 01225 311232; Award-winning small Thai tapas plates and delicious cocktails

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

TAPAS REVOLUTION 20A St Lawrence St, Bath; 01225 312917 Authentic Spanish tapas plus an outside terrace

THAI BY THE WEIR 16 Argyle St, Bath 01225 444834; Restaurant overlooking the weir, serving a classic Thai menu

OUTSIDE of BATH BRITISH NO. 10 TEA GARDENS Avoncliff, Westwood, Bradford-on-Avon BA15 2DR; 01225 853361 An independent tea garden located next to the picturesque aqueduct at Avoncliff. THE GARDEN 15-17 The Bridge, Chippenham, SN15 1HA 01249 465672; Relaxed dining using British produce

COUNTRY HOUSE HOTELS LUCKNAM PARK Colerne, Wilts, SN14 8AZ 01225 742777; Michelin-starred fine dining at the renowned Park restaurant, and more informal dining at the stylish contemporary brasserie at this five star country house hotel WIDBROOK GRANGE HOTEL Trowbridge Road, Bradford on Avon BA15 1UH; 01225 864750;

Modern farmhouse cuisine, locally sourced and freshly prepared

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

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; Lovingly refurbished gastropub from awardwinning 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;

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 107

Mediterranean Cuisine COMING SOON Tollbridge Road, Batheaston



Sunday 8th April Open on the ground floor from 9am everyday until late. Serving sumptuous brunches, fantastic coffee & pub classics with a twist! Live Music & DJ events throughout the week in a unique & funky setting full of character. Great Cocktails, Timeless Music Hits, Friendly & Warm Service.

Next to Batheaston Toll Bridge, Tollbridge Road, Batheaston • • 01225 962230



Amanda serves up a mean local coffee

(Just like this one, in fact!)


Waging a war on soggy sandwiches and flat flat whites are the guys at The Cheeky Bean, London Road’s latte legend…


pposite Grosvenor Place, right about where Larkhall begins, you’ll find cute little coffee shop The Cheeky Bean, where Amanda, Steven and the gang serve up top-notch Wiltshire-roasted Joe, plus soups, jacket potatoes and plenty of tempting take-away grub. They’ve gained quite a following over the past couple of years; so much so, in fact, that they’re about to clone themselves. About time, we thought, we caught up with them… The Cheeky Bean, eh? We like the name! So where are you? We’re in what was once a black-painted barber’s shop on the London Road, but now it’s all turquoise. We’re quite the coffee haven, selling speciality coffees – all hand-roasted locally by Dusty Ape – as well as all-day breakfasts and lunches, ranging from smoked bacon sandwiches to scrumptious salads.

unflappable), while Amanda and Jade have a slightly more floaty, emotional approach to things. The thing is, though, if there’s a customer having a bad day – or who just needs a hug – they’re all over it. Then there’s young Henry, an absolute charmer just bubbling with enthusiasm. We think he might win a Barista Championship one day. And we hear things have been going so well that you’re going to have another shop soon? Yes! The second Cheeky Bean is on Market Place, slap-bang in the middle of Shepton Mallet. And it’s just like the Bath one – same name, same turquoise colour, but on a bigger scale, as it can seat over 40 people. We’ll be selling all the same coffees and food, but with a few tweaks –

And you’ve been going, what, a couple of years now? Yes, since May 2016. There are five of us working here most days: owners Steven Piper and Amanda Harvey, plus two baristas – Jade and Sian Evans – and a trainee, Henry Rochester. Any harsh words, or do you all get along just fine? Actually, we love working together – Steven and Sian keep super-cool no matter what’s happening (they’re pretty much 112 I BATH LIFE I

In such a bright turquoise, you can’t miss this place

so we’ll be adding loose leaf tea from our friends at Born Wild Tea, and there’ll be pop up Caribbean restaurant evenings in the summer too. What’s running out the door as fast as you can make it these days? As oat milk has become incredibly popular lately, our oat milk flat white would be top of the list right now. And the food? You can’t beat a good old sour dough toastie, accompanied by some of our delicious homemade coleslaw. People like what you’re doing, then! Oh, our customers are the best around. And one thing everyone comments on is the atmosphere, which we love. It’s great to hear how welcome our Cheeky Team makes everyone feel. We love your Tuk Tuk, by the way! Where did you find him? She’s a her! We call her Mandeep – it means ‘little light’ in Hindi – and she’s wheeled out for local markets like BS5 in Bristol, and day events. This year we’ll be trading at music festivals too, like Shindig at Bruton in May. The Tuk Tuk has vintage coffee machine inside, and serves the same speciality brews as both shops. She’s also available for weddings and events, where we offer everything from hot drinks to espresso martinis. For more:

Found it! (This Easter egg hunt is easy!)

With that tail, this could be a deep-fried scorpion, but we rather suspect it’s a cod…

Choc and awe

Scalloping gourmets We’ve long considered The Scallop Shell to be one of Bath’s most consistently enjoyable restaurants, with its cool ropesand-driftwood decor, fun and accessible atmosphere, and utter commitment to quality seafood – each time we go, we scan the menu for what’s just been landed, torn between grilled Tarbert langoustines, say, and a half-pint of Dartmouth clams – and these days it seems everyone else agrees. Marco Pierre White has long been a fan, for instance, and now the Monmouth Place

restaurant, sandwiched between Queen Square and the Upper Bristol Road, has been awarded its first AA Rosette for culinary excellence, after a surprise recent visit from AA Hospitality. “I was buzzing when I heard the news,” says boss Garry Rosser, “as you don’t usually associate AA Rosettes with a fish and chip restaurant.” Indeed you don’t – but then, how many fish and chip restaurants are quite like The Scallop Shell? For more:

Who doesn’t like chocolate? Only people who are sweet enough already, of course, which sadly isn’t us. That’s why we can’t wait for the special, one-day Festival of Chocolate they’re running on 31 March at the Chocolate Quarter in Keynsham (you know, the old Somerdale Factory that was once home to Fry’s Chocolate, now a posh retirement home and community centre), where you can run around in the Easter egg hunt, attend chocolate-themed arts and crafts workshops (sounds messy), and even enjoy what’s described as a ‘warm candle cocoa massage’. Plus, of course, you can stuff your face with cacao-based treats from local choc stars like Zara’s Chocolates, The Chocolate Tart, Ooh! Chocolata and Mrs Pott’s Chocolate House. The only thing they seem to be missing is a chocolate plunge pool, but maybe next year? For more:

Fudge match

This reminds us of an early scene from Game of Thrones…

Fudge Kitchen in Abbey Churchyard is such a Bath institution – it’s been in the city 35 years now, which is longer than most of us – that it’s easy to take for granted, but that would be quite the mistake. This place not only enjoys a Grade II listed 228 year old building, and still makes fresh cream fudge right before your eyes to a recipe that’s hardly changed since 1830, but it’s just had a quirky new refit – part of a £100k rebrand across seven shops – and they’re having a lot of fun celebrating. One highlight: a new collaboration with the nearby Bath Brew

House on (what else?) a fudge beer. Using a dark chocolate fudge, but cleverly brewed by BBH’s Max Cadman so it’s not too sickly sweet, the resulting milk stout will be on tap there from 26 March until it runs out, plus in a limited bottled version from Fudge Kitchen itself. But what should it be called? There’s a five litre keg of the beer plus a box of fudge on offer to whoever comes up with the best suggestion. Tweet yours to @BathBrewHouse or Facebook @ FudgeKitchenBath for a chance to win. For more, I BATH LIFE I 113

Quality food • Great location • Free delivery

Our new website is now LIVE!

5% off online orders 01225 330508

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gs f Weddin r person e p £50.00 apply Terms

Are you organising a small intimate wedding or a large family affair? Homewood Park Hotel & Spa is the ideal venue. Set in ten acres of wonderful gardens and parklands, we have the perfect setting for your special day.


Lunch 12–2.30pm Dinner from 5pm Pre-theatre Monday – Friday 5–6.45pm 2 Courses £12.95 01225 426735 3 Trim Bridge, Bath BA1 1HD

Contact our wedding planner on 01225 723731 or email to arrange a personal viewing.

3 1










Spira green house, £319 In this miniature greenhouse, you can presprout your plants until they are ready for the garden. The entire front lifts up like a lid to provide easy access From Salcombe Trading, 9 Broad Street, Bath; www.

Provencal urns, £12.95 each There’s a summery, Mediterranean influence to these glazed clay pots From Homefront Interiors, 10 Margaret’s Buildings, Bath; www.

Floral mug, £12.50 Botanical prints are everywhere this season. You can’t get away from them, so embrace them with accessories such as this floral-print mug From Verve Living, 15 Walcot Buildings, London Road, Bath;

Jungle tray, £37 Serve your guests in style with this charmingly cute Nathalie Lété tray, adorned with cockatoos From Avenida Home, 27 Walcot Street, Bath;

Tulips, mixed media on canvas, £250 Find original, colourful, pop art-style work by local artists at eclectic gift shop Flamingo From Flamingo, 7 Widcombe Parade, Bath;













Iris vases, from £59 Soft forms with sharp edges are combined with muted tones to create a rather mild yet distinctive effect in this ultra-thin porcelain vase From Hay, 36-38 Milsom Street, Bath; www.

Fern cushions, £75 each These beautifully soft merino and cashmere cushions feature a subtle ombré and a strong herringbone pattern From Katherine Fraser, 74 Walcot Street, Bath;

Flamingo lamp, £149 Light up your interior with this spectacular flamingo table lamp which stands tall and features a tie-dye effect lampshade From Silcox Son & Wicks, 5-7 New Street, Bath;

Pineapple candles, £14.99 each There’s no way around that tropical influence this season. We love these fruity candles which have a delicious vanilla scent From House of Bubblegum, Southcot Place, Bath; www.


Blue hydrangea, £14 The mophead real-life resemblance is stunning in this faux statement bloom. Pair with jumbo eucalyptus for extra volume From Brissi, 38 Milsom Street, Bath; CLIFTON I BATH LIFE LIFE I I 117 69

D E N TA L a d v e r t isin g f e at u r e

Life Changing Choice at Circus House Dental & Implant Centre Confidence, trust and an exceptionally good reputation for clinical work and care are helping reshape patient’s lives at Circus House Dental & Implant Centre


he practice is located within the prestigious Circus in Bath where our highly trained clinicians utilise the most recent developments in equipment and practice to deliver peerless care and attention to each patient. We offer implant dentistry and cosmetic dentistry of the very highest standards. You are sure to enjoy a relaxed and courteous atmosphere at our facility. What makes us different is we offer implant dentistry that is accessibly and affordable. Our single tooth dental implant treatment including the crowns starts from £1500 and all initial dental implant consultation are with no charge. Please be assured that cost does not compromise the quality of materials, treatment or the high quality as we only use Nobel Biocare or Straumann Dental Implants.

We will never lower the experience that each of the patients receives. Circus House is located in one of Bath’s most recognizable landmarks; this exceptional location is ideal for providing the best patient service and combines excellent clinical skills in implantology with outstanding patient care in a warm, friendly and relaxed atmosphere. We’ve thought about every detail to ensure your visit is as relaxing as possible, from the moment you sit down with a hot drink in our waiting room to the minute you discuss your dental needs in our relaxing and spacious treatment room. Remember all our implant consultations are free, so you can learn about the full range of treatment options at no cost. If you give us the opportunity, we can reinvent and reinvigorate your smile.

Contact the practice today on 01225 447600 to arrange your appointment or visit the website at

Bareface Make Up tuition offers you:

Refresh and Restore 1 hour Breathes new life into your make up bag by talking through your desired look. You can then discuss the products and tools you need to do this.

Upfront and Personal 90 mins With Carol’s expertise and guidance, you’ll be shown the perfect way to apply your make up.

Practice and Perfect 45 mins Here you have the option to follow up and practice your technique as well as discuss anything you’re not sure about.

To discuss prices contact Carol: 07831 504124



As seen on TV…

DECLÉOR FACIAL PILATES AND YOGA! This facial is 75 minutes of pure bliss and the facial massage moves naturally lift and contour the face. The must-have facial at the moment!

Call us to book your treatment on ����� ��� ���. Gift vouchers available.




CHALLENGE YOURSELF EXERCISE EASY is a fitness business run by Kate Burles, a personal trainer & fitness instructor


ate has been running her fitness business for the past eight years and prior to that was a personal assistant for 28 years, mostly working in the City in London. On the surface it looks like as complete a career change as could be, however, Kate has always done some sort of Fitness or sport since she was a young child. One of Kate’s passions, apart from her own fitness, is to show that it doesn’t matter what age a person is they can improve their health and fitness considerably, with just a little effort and application and Kate is a perfect example of what fitness and strength gains can be made in your late 50s. Most of Kate’s classes are held outside at the top of Entry Hill in Bath and in all weathers. Yes, it rains and is cold at times, but that never stops the class, even in the winter in the dark. The benefits from exercising outside and in a very friendly, non-threatening group is very apparent. The research shows these benefits

are overwhelming. Firstly, just exercising in a friendly group in itself is beneficial, never mind the advantages of gaining more vitamin D, and being around nature is such a stress buster. Surely that has to be a good enough reason to get out in the fresh air? And exercising outside has been proven to aid depression – that is an amazing benefit. Then there is the benefit of uneven terrain. All that buffeting in the wind and the uneven grass uses more energy than running on a running machine or using fixed weights in a gym. Simply seeing the trees and hearing the birds sing has been shown to aid wellbeing. Kate prides herself on catering for all fitness levels and making the sessions as fun and friendly as possible. This is proved by the fact so many of the participants have been members from the start and have become close friends. So, if you are thinking of joining an exercise class and are feeling a little nervous, Exercise Easy is the perfect group. The classes run

for an hour on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday at both 9.15am and 6.15pm and cover bodyweight, strength training, equipment and boxing. Boxing being a big favourite.

07970 122842;

At Artemis Beauty Academy we provide the highest quality treatments and service and focus on innovation in beauty, nails, hair and makeup treatments. We are the newest salon in Bath and offer the very latest salon service. Specialise in microblading and semi permanent make up. Also we provide training courses for microblading and semi permanent make up from April.

W NO ting rs rui rec resse s d s r i t hai styl d an

To book an appointment, call us on 01225 462462 Or drop in and see us, it’s not always necessary to book. Our address is: 15 Fountain Buildings Lansdown Road, Bath BA1 5DX


KIDS are all RIGHT Whether it’s handmade children’s clothing, fun furniture, crazy entertainment or even birth hypnosis you’re looking for, meet the people in the know when it comes to all things kids… By L I SA E VA NS



f you’re stuck for new ways of entertaining your little ones, then read on to discover disco raves, Nerf-war parties, sleepover camp-outs and superhero training.


In a nutshell… The Bath business hosts music classes for children, from three months to three years. “Our teachers sing original, specially written songs,” says principal Ursula Fitzpatrick. “The fun, educational curriculum has been developed over 25 years. Research shows that early exposure to music is essential in helping early development. Children’s motor skills can be accelerated by using handheld instruments, too.”

Music Workshop

What is it? A collective of music teachers, based at Green Park Station, who create performance opportunities for children. “It provides students with a musical experience that encompasses performing opportunities, technical skills and the shared experience of being part of something bigger,” says founder Kim Hoefkens-Lee.







“We’re able to provide teaching resources and equipment beyond the scope of a normal school environment, at inclusive costs.”


In a nutshell… It’s a children’s events company based in Bath; a team of playworkers, dancers, actors and early-years professionals. “We create entertainment packages for birthdays, weddings and events,” says Jason Prentice, founder. “Every weekend, you’ll find us around Bath hosting Nerf-war parties and disco raves. If you’re a festival-goer, then you’ll spot us at Boomtown and Shambala, playing crazy games, jumping on inflatables and diving into slime.”

SuperPirates create entertainment packages featuring crazy games and slime-diving

Sing and sign

What is it? Britain’s longest-running baby signing programme. The classes use music and songs to teach youngsters how to sign before they can talk. “The classes are actually designed for hearing babies, but it’s great for any hearing level,” says Raych Carbery of Sing and Sign in Bath and Trowbridge. “It’s keyword signing which is appropriate for the baby’s age.”

Pitch Up and Play’s tents provide luxury spaces for childcare at weddings and events

Why is signing important for babies? “Mastering speech is hard work. Vocal chords, breath and tongue must all work together to make the correct sound. Signs offer a form of communication that they can access earlier.”

Pitch Up and Play

In a nutshell… The Bath-based business provides pop-up childcare and super-stylish play dens at weddings and events. It also provides themed garden campouts and slumber parties. “A wedding can be a long day for a little one, so we ensure they are entertained so that the grown-up guests can let their hair down,” says owner Danielle Edwards. “Children love the idea of having their very own bell tent with fairy lights and snacks.” What entertainment is provided? Everything from face-painting, nature walks, giant bubbles, and treasure hunts, to temporary tattoos, arts and crafts, and superhero training.

Spotty Herberts is crammed with unusual children’s clothing and unique toys



In a nutshell… “I create practical children’s clothes in fun, digital prints,” says Bath-based founder Alice Lancastle, whose items can be found online or at Spotty Herberts in Bath. “I couldn’t find any cool outfits for my son, so I started hand-making them. That’s how my business came to be. The clothes allow children to be the explorers they should be.” Find Rattle’n’Roll on Etsy

Marjorie Minnie

In a nutshell… It’s a luxury brand of contemporary blankets. “My aim is to produce heirloom-quality, gender-neutral designs for children that also hold grown-up appeal,” says designer Gabrielle Durnford, who’s based in Odd Down, Bath. What’s the most important consideration in designing products for young people? “Quality and practicality is key. Our blankets are British-made from fine spun Scottish lambswool. They are soft, warm and designed to last a lifetime.” w I BATH LIFE I 123


Scout & Boo

In a nutshell… This furniture business, founded by husband and wife David and Teresa Beswick, draws inspiration from mid-century Scandinavian design to make contemporary statement furniture and breathe new life into original mid-century pieces. Their designs for children – featuring fun, imaginative, customisable graphics – are built by hand at their Bradford on Avon workshop. “Furniture doesn’t just have to be utilitarian, although the importance of function isn’t lost on us,” says David. “By designing bold graphics, we add another dimension.”

Nest & Burrow

In a nutshell… Artist Suzanne Gattrell Hodshon designs and hand-makes textural soft furnishings, including wall hangings, children’s mobiles, and rugs, at her home in Upper Westwood. “All my wool designs are either natural or dyed in gentle hues, with the addition of wood, yarn or chrome-plated steel.” Why are the items so popular with parents? “Our tag line is ‘cosy up your world’. I love helping others create nurturing and cosy spaces for their little ones. Parents ‘feather their nest’ with the items, so to speak.”


In a nutshell… It’s an Anglo-French company specialising in quirky children’s furniture. “Our aim is to provide a beautiful and fresh concept in children’s furniture and to inject some fun into children’s décor,” says Marie Dickinson, designer-maker at the business based near Bath. What’s an important factor when designing products for young people? “Fun, fun and fun (and safety)! We like to think our pieces will inspire and delight each child by sprinkling dreams in their bedrooms.”


Woolley Grange Hotel

In a nutshell… “We’re a luxury family hotel that puts children at the heart of everything we do,” says Caroline Mackay, marketing manager. “In our Victorian walled kitchen garden there are chickens, Indian runner ducks and a pig. Elsewhere, there are swings, a trampoline, football nets, a croquet lawn, a grass maze and a nature garden to explore. There are also indoor and outdoor pools and a cinema club, plus a nursery and a hang-out space, with table football, air hockey and entertainment, for older kids.”

The Holburne Museum

What’s at the museum for kids to enjoy? “Children can make kites, animal bookmarks and Moroccan lanterns,” says Christina Parker, head of learning. “There are lots of fascinating objects and puzzles to explore in our gallery, too.” What groups are coming up? “There are weekly groups at the Great Pulteney Street-based museum, including ‘Arty Babies’, and a fortnightly art club for five – 11-year-olds. We also have day-long art camps for the same age group coming up (29 May – 1 June).” Why should kids be immersed in culture? “They discover what people have created at different times and in different places in response to their own worlds.” 124 I BATH LIFE I


Above: Marjorie Minnie’s luxury blankets and cushions are designed to last a lifetime; left: Rattle’n’Roll’s handmade items of clothing feature jazzy digital prints



The Lansdown Club, Northfields, Bath, BA1 5TN

Every Day is an Open Day Come and look around Bath’s Premier Racket Sports Club Tel: 01225 425763 E-mail:

The original ing British Baby Sign Programme • Small, friendly and fun local classes • Learn over 150 useful everyday signs • Songs, rhymes, instruments and toys • Sign with your baby pre-speech • Understand your Baby’s thoughts

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Scout & Boo’s hand-built furniture features imaginative, customisable graphics






Wise Nanny

What’s Wise Nanny all about? The Wiltshire-based business offers support to parents and nannies, as director Vikki Matcham explains. “We run workshops which help parents be the best they can be by giving them confidence in their own abilities.”

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How does it help parents specifically? “Parents are bombarded with advice from experts, and they often feel like bad parents because they can’t do it all. Our focus is to help them establish their own philosophy. Teens can be the trickiest to parent. Supporting parents of a teenage boy who had got into a spiral of arguments, we reassured them that any communication was better than no communication, and they started to be creative in their approach – be it with WhatsApp, text, or Facebook messages – which diffused the situation.”

The hypnobirther

What exactly is hypnobirthing? “It’s an antenatal training programme designed to help you work with your body to obtain the best birthing experience for you,” says Charlotte Brown, Bath-based doula and hypnobirthing practitioner. “It changes and empowers both the mother and father by giving them power to take control of the

birth. It works to overcome the psychology of fear. The couple tap into visualisation techniques and self-hypnosis.”


Spotty Herberts

In a nutshell…. The shop, on Queen Street, Bath, was created by co-founders Kate Austin and Emily Ingram, who realised that Bath would be the perfect place for a store with unisex children’s clothing and unique toys that couldn’t be found anywhere else. “It’s a place full of fun, where children and adults alike feel welcome,” says Kate. “You can lose yourself discovering pocket-money treats and ethically produced clothes.”

The Cakery

What makes it child-friendly? The cake shop and café, on Claverton Buildings, Bath, has just started hosting children’s birthday parties, at which kids bake bread, cakes, biscuits or pizzas. “All of the treats are organic and relatively healthy,” says owner Ella Cooper. “It’s messy fun, but you leave the cleaning with us. We can also bake a bespoke cake for the day to make it that extra bit special.” I BATH LIFE I 127

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It’s a

conservation miracle; its historic core has been preserved from

the Middle Ages

A picture-perfect shot of Wells Cathedral

Road trip There’s always something going on in Bath, but if you want a change of scenery, here’s a handful of our favourite spots to take a road trip to… By L i sa E va ns


here are plenty of hidden gems and famous attractions within easy reach of Bath, so, if you want to plan a family day out now that the sun’s come out to play, take a look at our suggestions – from underground caves and tunnels to an outdoor opera festival.


The city of Wells “Wells – England’s smallest city – nestles at the foot of the Mendip Hills, and there are so many reasons to visit,” says Andrew Fawcett at Visit Wells. “Wells is a conservation miracle; its historic core has been preserved from the Middle Ages – what with its cathedral, ancient streets and glorious buildings – but there are also cosmopolitan pavement cafés, specialist independent retailers, major high street names, and excellent year-round entertainment, making it an unbeatable destination for day-trips and short breaks. “The traditional May Fair, 7 May, features maypole and folk dancing, as well as stalls and fairground rides; and the inaugural Ciderthon, 29 April, offers a half marathon with a cider-taster at every mile. And the Festival of Film on 27 – 29 April will see musicals being screened outdoors at The Bishop’s Palace, Cedars Hall concert hall, and the Wells Film Centre. And the following month, the Comedy Festival comes to venues across the city, with 64 shows over three days (25 – 27 May).



OUT OF TOWN international reputation, and has won a number of tourism awards for excellence. If you stay for evensong, you may also hear the exhilarating voices of the world-famous Wells Cathedral Choir.”

WOOKEY HOLE CAVES & ATTRACTIONS Near Wells Deep underground is the UK’s largest show caves system, home to the infamous Witch of Wookey Hole and tunnels with rare rock formations, which makes for a fun and adventurous spot for a family outing. Attractions include a guided cave tour, an animatronic dinosaur valley, a fairy garden, a 4D cinema, a magical mirror maze, a circus a wizard’s play castle, adventure golf cave diving and a vintage penny arcade.


KILVER COURT DESIGNER VILLAGE Kilver Street, Shepton Mallet Created by Mulberry founder Roger Saul, Kilver Court Designer Village is an independent retail outlet destination featuring an extensive and constantly updated edit of fashion, interiors and lifestyle, while behind the village is a stunning 3.5-acre garden. “There’s always something going on here,” says Rachael McInnes, marketing executive. “For Easter, there’s fun to keep the kids entertained, bargain shopping for the grown-ups and lots of sweet treats for everyone. Our garden is just starting to come into its own in the spring, so it’s the perfect time to visit. There’s up to 60 per cent off RRP from dozens of brands across the site, too. Plus you can indulge in delicious food. Overall, we’re a destination for the whole family to have a lovely day out.”

Go on an underground adventure at Wookey Hole w VISIT WELLS

THE BISHOP’S PALACE & GARDENS Market Place, Wells “This spot has been home to the bishops of Bath and Wells for over 800 years, and this stunning medieval palace is open for all to enjoy,” says Merryn Kidd, marketing and communications manager at The Bishop’s Palace & Gardens. “Surrounded by a breath-taking moat (with resident swans), visitors can cross a flagstone drawbridge, walk under the portcullis and experience a true hidden gem in the heart of the city of Wells. “There are also 14 acres of outstanding gardens to explore, including the beautiful well pools, from which the city takes its name, and there is also a brand new natural play area, The Dragon’s Lair, hidden in the Arboretum. Wells is only 20 miles from Bath and offers the perfect day out.” But that’s not all. “On Wednesdays and Saturdays,” Merryn adds “there is a fabulous independent market in the Market Place, and, near the cathedral, Vicars Close is said to be the oldest continuously inhabited residential street in Europe.”

WELLS CATHEDRAL Cathedral Green, Wells Described as ‘the most poetic of the English cathedrals’, Wells Cathedral – the first fully Gothic cathedral in England – is open every day of the year. Highlights of the daily guided tour include the magnificent West Front, stunning scissor arches, charming Chapter House and medieval Vicars’ Close. The cathedral also runs free themed walks most Saturday and Wednesday mornings (AprilOctober) from 11.10am. “The cathedral welcomes thousands of visitors each year,” says Lindsay Mann, head of marketing and communications at Wells Cathedral. “It’s a significant heritage landmark in Somerset, has an

It’s a swansong in The Bishop’s Palace moat I BATH LIFE I 131






Shopping stalls, live music and street food take over Frome when the monthly market comes to town


SOMERSET COALFIELD LIFE AT RADSTOCK MUSEUM Waterloo Road, Radstock “Did you know he last tub of coal mined in Somerset came to the surface less than 50 years ago, or that there were once some 76 working mines in the Somerset Coalfield?” says Dr Nick Hall, chairman of Somerset Coalfield Life at Radstock Museum. “Experience this heritage, together with the sights, sounds and smells of Victorian Radstock, by visiting the newly transformed Somerset Coalfield Life at Radstock Museum. Our Victorian street now has a working printshop, a Co-op shop with nosey customers, a miner’s cottage with a tin bath, a replica mine – enhanced this year by a virtual reality ride – and a Victorian classroom.”


THE IFORD ARTS FESTIVAL Iford, near Bradford on Avon You don’t have to be an opera buff to find something to please you at the Iford Arts summer festival 2018 (26 May – 4 August). If you love enchanting, other-worldly settings and want a musical night to remember, then we recommend a visit. The 2018 season offers jazz, swing and party music, a cloister concert and three stunning new opera productions. All this, in combination with picnics, a captivating garden and cloister hidden in its Shangri-La valley, create an irresistible summer music festival. “If you have ever visited the Peto Garden at Iford, you already know what magic awaits,” says Judy Eglington, creative director. “If you haven’t, prepare to be blown away. “I’m most looking forward to the three opera productions – all sung in English, for an intimate audience of just 84,” she adds. “They form the backbone of the festival, with informal picnic proms and classical concerts in the miniature Italianate cloister punctuating the season. The festival entices some of the best musicians and singers to the South West, and this year is no exception.” 132 I BATH LIFE I


THE FROME INDEPENDENT Frome town centre The Frome Independent is a destination street market with a festival vibe that regularly takes over the town centre of Frome (on the first Sunday of the month). The town is closed to traffic for the day, and the streets are lined with designer-makers, craftspeople, vintage traders and food producers from across the South West. There is also live music, children’s activities, and a pop-up Village Green. “It’s more than a market, it’s a monthly celebration of Frome’s independent spirit,” says Claire Carroll, market coordinator. “With over 200 stalls covering the whole of the town centre, the event has become a popular day out for residents and visitors from the South West and further afield. Frome also has a wealth of beautiful architecture and some fantastic independent shops and cafés, so a visit to the market offers a great opportunity to explore the town. “On 6 May, we’re teaming up with Somerset Garden Day to host a May Day market. Visitors will be able to discover an abundance of garden-related activities, maypoles and Morris dancers.” NORTH SOMERSET DIRECTORY The Centurion Charlton Lane, Midsomer Norton, Radstock, BA3 4BD 01761 417711 The Holcombe Inn Stratton Road, Holcombe, BA3 5EB; 01761 232478

The King William Tunley The Old Forge, Tunley, Bath BA2 0EB; 01761 470408 Ston Easton Park Ston Easton, Bath, BA3 4DF 01761 241631 Wells Cathedral Cathedral Green, Wells, BA5 2UE; 01749 67448

eat, drink, chill, enjoy. Come and relax in our tranquility gardens... A welcoming place to relax with a pint, glass of wine or tea & cake! Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week. Enjoy the pleasures of a real English local pub serving local beers and ciders. Stay warm in front of the log fires with a cognac or a dram of whisky, or lounge in our tranquillity gardens in the summertime with a cocktail. Just a short walk across the fields from the Holcombe Inn is the Old Church of St Andrews - known locally as the Plague Church. The Inn is surrounded by beautiful walking country with numerous routes right from the door. The Church was recently used for filming the latest series of Poldark. We are also keyholders, so please drop by if you wish to visit. We are dog friendly.

Open all day, every day. Food served all day: 12-9pm Sat, Sun | Mon-Fri 12-2.30pm and 6-9pm.

The Holcombe Inn Stratton Road, Holcombe, Bath BA3 5EB T 01761 232478 E



RADSTOCK CARPETS The Old Cinema, Coomb End, Radstock - A landmark building with over 200 years of history


ts hard to imagine that this old building’s date stone was carved in 1810. At the time Britain was involved in three major wars The Napoleonic Wars, The Peninsula War and The Anglo-Russian War. King George III, who became the longest ruling monarch of the United Kingdom up to that time, was on the throne. The first coal mine in Radstock, Old Pit, was sunk in 1763 at the Clandown end of Coombend when this area was still very rural, and neither the railways nor the Bath Road existed. In 1779 Middle Pit was sunk and the small cottage that had been used to house the Methodist Congregation was no longer adequate. This building replaced that cottage and opened its doors in 1816 - right next door to the Middle Pit so that its worshippers had little excuse not to attend. In 1840 the building was enlarged again, and in 1902 the congregation moved to a new Church. In 1916 it reopened as a Variety Palace, and subsequently became a cinema, owned by the pioneering theatre proprietor and cinema

developer Albany Ward. The son of a surgeon, and originally from Hackney in London, he owned theatres and cinemas all over the South West. In the 1920s, Albany Ward sold his theatres and, in late 1930, The Picture Palace in Radstock was taken over by the E Truman Dicken Circuit. In its early days the front rows were still the old Methodist chapel seats and it had a 21-foot-wide proscenium arch. The failure of the proprietors, however, to convert to screening CinemaScope films eventually led to its closure in 1956. Two years ago, Clare Willcox took over Radstock Carpets which has been in business in The Old Cinema since 1972. In this time the shop has expanded both in size and in the merchandise on offer. In the past year a whole floor has been transformed into a bed and furniture sales area, offering an excellent range to suit all budgets. The carpet and flooring showroom has been re-furbished and now houses an impressively diverse range of carpets, covering every available style and price as well as rugs, vinyls, laminate and wood flooring. The shop has a friendly, relaxed feel and the ethos is

customer service first. It is open 7 days a week and there is ample private parking behind the building. (With grateful thanks to the staff of The Radstock Museum and to Five Arches Magazine) The Old Cinema, Coomb End, Radstock BA3 3AW; 01761 432808 Email:

Nestled in 36 acres of beautiful West Country parkland, Ston Easton Park is unique; the hotel is adorned with original antique furniture, sumptuous fabrics and glistening chandeliers, yet the warm welcome and homely atmosphere prevails, creating an idyllic home-away-from-home. One of the most luxurious pet-friendly country house Hotels in Somerset with an award-winning fine dining restaurant and kitchen garden. Our Head Chef is passionate about developing menus that use fresh, locally-sourced ingredients; he works closely with local suppliers and the hotel garden team, sourcing almost 60% of the fresh produce used in the menus from the hotel’s Victorian kitchen gardens. As well as offering the perfect destination for a luxury hotel break, the house is open daily to non-residents for morning coffee, lunch and light snacks, traditional afternoon tea and dinner. Located just 12 miles from Bristol and 11.9 miles from Bath.

Ston Easton, Nr Bath, Somerset BA3 4DF To book, call 01761 241631 or email


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g a r d e n s a d v e r t i s i n g f e at u r e

Meet the garden designer Taking average gardens and making them amazing, across Bath and around

Emma bond

sam selby

Bath Garden Design 01225 317977 Describe your business Bath Garden Design is a long-established gardening company with a team of six people, managing design, build, planning, planting and maintenance. We happily manage gardens of all sizes, from large country estates to small courtyard gardens. Attentive service is at the forefront of what we do. What sets you apart? I have been a gardener for 19 years, with several horticultural qualifications including an MSc in Historic Garden Conservation. My design and gardening team are also qualified and fully trained by me, and together we have the necessary skills to offer the best service. I have an instinct for my client’s needs, as frequently they are looking for guidance and inspiration. This is an integral part of the design process and one that I pay special attention to.    What’s your favourite part of the job? I love when we plant a finished design and build project, as this is the moment when the garden really comes alive. I tend to design gardens around the planting, and clients are always delighted by the extra dimension and textures that planting can bring.


Selby Landscapes 07535 122448

James Treacy

Classic Landscapes 07940 261734 www.classiclandscapesandeco How do you spend your time at work? I spend a most of it creating an environment for clients to find rest, peace, entertainment and all the therapeutic benefits that a garden has to offer. What do you most enjoy about your job? I enjoy the benefits of working with nature, alongside all the challenges that can bring. I enjoy bringing a project to completion, whether it’s maintenance or a landscape project, and seeing the joy on my clients’ faces. Tell us something about yourself… I've been in the business for 20 years now, from working in parks on golf courses to running a landscaping business in Seattle, and now doing the same here in Bath.

Darren Joseph

Daisy Rose Garden Design 07775 102826 www.daisyrosegardendesign. How did you get into gardening? Gardening has always been a part of my life, initially as just a hobby, but when an opportunity arose in my previous career as a structural engineer/project manager to take redundancy, that allowed me to start my own gardening and landscape design business eight years ago.    What might we be surprised to learn about you? Before gardening, I worked for 20 years for multidisciplinary design consultancy, working on international high profile projects. Previous to that, I spent a period of time in the armed forces as a Royal Marine Commando, serving with 42 & 45 Commando.    What do you most enjoy about your job? The best part is working in the outdoors every day and designing and creating new spaces for people to enjoy. 

Did you always want to be a gardener? No, but I fell into it after going to college and really loved it. That said, I remember drawing gardens in a lot of detail when I was a little boy, so maybe I did! What is the favourite project you’ve worked on? It’s hard to pinpoint one garden in particular which stands out, but I love to work closely with a few different designers in Bath to turn their plans into beautiful gardens. What do you most enjoy about your job? There’s so much I love about it. Each day is completely different, and I am always learning new skills. I meet a lot of interesting people and get to work in some incredible places. What advice would you give to anyone considering gardening as a career? It doesn’t seem like a trade that a lot of people are going into. The work includes quite a broad spectrum of skills and, to anyone wanting to get into it, come and work with us – you’ll have a lot of fun! If you weren’t working as a gardener, what would you be doing? I’d be playing my drums.

a d v e r t i s i n g f e at u r e g a r d e n s

Simon Maughan

michael cuff

How did you get into gardening? I remember one school day realising that I didn’t know the name of any flowers, so I started learning. This led to a degree in botany, and a job at the Royal Horticultural Society, where I began to really appreciate gardens as landscape.

What do you most enjoy about your job? Besides working with nature, it’s working with my customers to achieve what why want from their garden. Sharing their lives – and their pets, too! Being of use to them, and doing the work in a caring way to a high standard and to the best of our abilities.

The Botanic Man 07717 220086

Did you always want to be a gardener? No, I wanted to work in print advertising! On reflection, I now see what attracted me: the pleasing positioning of images and words on a page is not dissimilar to the beautiful arrangement of plants and objects in a garden. How do you spend your time at work? Making sure that the gardens I work in stay beautiful, or – if it is for a new client – working to improve their garden with new plans and plantings. I take pride in doing a professional job. What do you most enjoy about your job? I like the sense that gardens are constantly evolving. Plants grow, the requirements of the site change, and the seasons turn. There are always new ideas to be tried too, and I like to keep up with the new. What might we be surprised to learn about you? I have my name in well over 50 gardening books – as a consultant, editor, or writer.

Select Gardens 01225 336556

How did you get into gardening? I started at a young age, as both my parents were keen gardeners. I got a lot of knowledge from them, growing a wide range of flowering plants, vegetables and fruit. We had a 100ft garden, greenhouse and so on, and my parents won competitions. Indeed, I won 1st prize in Bath in Bloom with a Church Garden. Describe your ideal day? A day where I purchase an interesting selection of plants for customers, then plant them – and my customers are delighted with the result. I like to give pleasure and value for money. How has gardening changed in the last few years? People want and expect more from their garden, making it suit their lifestyles and making the outdoor space to their taste and needs. The range of materials and plants has increased greatly in interest and quality too.

rosie nottage

Rosie Nottage Garden Design Ltd 01225 852587 / 07967 316259 What do you most enjoy about gardening in Bath? The slopes! Bath has lots of challenges, from working out steps and how to treat listed walls to managing the access through listed buildings. It all makes life more interesting. What trends do you think Spring 2018 will see? Houseplants have really taken off and people are starting to pay as much attention to the planter as to the plant. I think we will see this outdoors too. One bit of advice to garden owners would be… what? Live with your garden for a year and photograph it in each season. That will show you when and where you have gaps which need work. Best bit of the job? My degree is in Botany, so naturally I love working with plants – but a lot of the job is about construction detailing, which is also fascinating. Which accomplishment has made you proudest? Winning a competition to design a Chelsea Flower Show planting scheme before I had even finished my Diploma. What’s your favourite local garden open to the public? The Courts Garden at Holt: so many gardens in one.

Tom Eaglestone

Eaglestone Landscape Design 07834 855788 www eaglestonelandscapedesign.   How did you get into gardening? I always wanted to work in conservation. After stints at the Soil Association and in Costa Rica I ended up back in Bath. Over a round of golf my friend offered me some gardening work at his dad’s friends 500-acre estate. Here I learned my plants and was lucky to work under an amazing gardener, Dan. After this I went on to study Landscape Design.    What is the favourite project you have worked on?  Recently I’ve done two gardens which I’m very proud of. The first is a cottage garden south of Bath with wonderful views. The other is a walled garden with a large lean-to greenhouse, which will look incredible.   Describe your ideal day Obviously, finding time to potter in my own garden. A strong morning coffee, perhaps a visit to a garden, walking the dog along the canal (where I used to live on a boat), a homemade pizza and board games with my family. Or my soon-to-be adventure with my son to see the cherry blossom in Japan and the gardens of Kyoto.

How can we make more space in our gardens? Go up, and use all the vertical space you can. I BATH LIFE I 139


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Nigel Dando 11 Pulteney Bridge, Bath BA2 4AY Tel/Fax: 01225 464013



Ian and Christa (below) will be introducing some real glamour behind The County’s handsome frontage



GRAND HOTEL Always keen to keep us guessing, Kaleidoscope Collection replaces the recently sold Abbey Hotel with The County, just around the corner from their existing No.15 Great Pulteney, and hints that there’ll be more to come… Bath’s hotel scene can seem quite the hectic whirl, and perhaps the most dynamic movers-and-shakers of them all are Ian and Christa Taylor’s Kaleidoscope Collection, the people behind No.15 Great Pulteney – arguably the most exciting new addition to the city in years – and until recently the Abbey Hotel right next to… ah, but you guessed. Kaleidoscope sold the Abbey but months ago, and plans to replace it with more hotels, beginning with the handsome County Hotel on Pulteney Road, just around the corner from No.15 and only a short wander from the city centre. The County has 22 bedrooms and 30 parking spaces – something that’s at a real premium in the city, of course – and, under manager Wayne Darnell, will soon be transformed into a boutique hotel with, we’re told, “all the understated sophistication of a private townhouse home, and the service, charm and true sense of individuality the Taylors have become so well known for.” Amongst the first changes visitors will see is the reinvention of the large lower ground floor space as

a social hub, where freelancers can work, friends can meet for coffee and light snacks, and creatives can bring clients for meetings in booths, available for hourly hire. Then, during the summer and beyond, you’ll see the first of a number of pop-up projects making The County their home, including a summer beach bar, prepped for al fresco cocktails and street food-inspired barbecues, and a winter wonderland when the nights start to draw in again. More extensive revisions will see the the bedroom count increase to 30, the opening up of smaller rooms to make them more spacious, and the introduction of the sort of statement art pieces that are a fixture of No.15. “We’re delighted that County Hotel Bath marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the Kaleidoscope Collection,” says Ian, “and we’re very much looking forward to seeing what the next few years will bring.” (More hotels, we’re guessing…),

“I’D TRY EVERYTHING TO GET OUT OF DOING MY HOMEWORK” Who has upped their game graft-wise since then? Find out on page 146…


THE BIG NUMBER Yes, it’s something to do with rugby players, but perhaps not quite what you were expecting. For more, page 145… I BATH LIFE I 143



CAROLINE KONTOS She wasn’t exactly brought up surrounded by Bath’s Georgian architecture, but interior designer Caroline at No. Twelve Queen Street has fallen for it hard… Hi there, Caroline. You’re American, aren’t you? I grew up in Washington, DC and graduated with a degree in Psychology – I thought my future would be in psychiatric research! – but then two things happened. First, I came to Bath – and fell in love with the city so much, I didn’t want to leave. And then I found myself so stunned by the beauty of English interiors that I wanted to work with them somehow. Homes here seemed so sophisticated yet relaxed, with their mix of classic and contemporary furniture that was stylish yet at the same time so personal and friendly. Clearly something had to be done! Indeed! I moved to London, studied at the Inchbald School of Design in Chelsea, and was lucky enough to be mentored by Carole Roberts of No. Twelve Queen Street in Bath, an interior design business with an international reach. It opened up the opportunity of a lifetime, quite frankly, and I couldn’t turn it down. And so you work with Carole now, right? I really wanted to live in Bath, and work with someone whose expertise was so great that the learning curve would be very steep. No. Twelve has been around for 30 years now, and was the perfect fit. Carole really drives the business, and her passion for interiors and textiles is obvious to anyone who meets her. And she’s happy to work on projects large and small, from private residences and stately homes to hotels, spas and corporate Living, No. Twelveprojects. It means there’s so much variety style: nice, isn’t it? to what we do. Out of everything you’ve worked on, though, you must have got some favourites…? I loved a bedroom I created, which had so many quirks that it took a lot of time to think about what was needed, then plan and design the smartest and most functional layout. I wanted to optimise space as much as possible, and use the space’s oddities to advantage – it had baseboards covering large pipework, so the bed could not sit flat against the wall, and the original wardrobes managed to make the space look very small and cluttered. So we built a headboard to sit on the baseboards and cover the pipes, and built a wardrobe that sits mostly in an alcove so it didn’t jut out as much as the previous one did. Despite the obstacles, it now looks natural – in fact, it looks like it was built that way intentionally! Rewinding a bit, what did you want to be when you were little? Oh, a vet. I’ve always loved animals, and grew up with them. What was your first job, and how much did you earn? I worked as a tennis camp counsellor in Washington, DC, earning about eight dollars an hour – which at the time, seemed like a huge amount of money! 144 I BATH LIFE I

Caroline: in love with English interiors

Sounds like you were a hard-working kid! Far from it! At school, I would try everything to get out of doing my homework. For instance, I once I told my teachers that we were moving house, so – sadly – I wouldn’t be able to do any work. The plan kind of fell apart, though, when they called my parents to get the new address. But don’t worry – that was just one of my many excuses. We hope you’re not like that now! Oh no! In fact, I love to work closely with clients, and go out of my way to make the process hassle-free for them. This business is about making sure the end product absolutely matches your client’s needs, so time has to be spent listening to them, and really getting your head around how a space is expected to work. In fact, my degree in Psychology wasn’t wasted, because it trained me to listen and interpret what I’m being told, and work out what’s really needed for each space. What are the very best aspects of your job? I love the creative planning stage when, after all those discussions with the client, I get to go away and use the technological tools at my fingertips to design their space. By the time I go back to them, I’ll have a number of designs on my laptop – plus lots of design boards – that’ll show the best use of space, the colours that will work, the types of fabric we have in mind, and the general feel of what the room might look like. There’s nothing better than knowing you’ve helped someone achieve exactly what they wanted, and that you’ve made their home that little bit more personal. Finally, Caroline, what styles do you think work best with Bath’s Georgian homes? It sounds like a cop out, but I really believe that the style of any space has to be dictated by the person living in the property, not the building itself. Everyone is unique, everyone has his or her own style, and everyone has to feel relaxed at home – so those are the important things. Luckily, Georgian properties are surprisingly versatile. Because they’re built on a larger scale – with higher ceilings and larger windows than most homes – the possibilities for different styles are endless.


Carys Webb


Will Hurrell of Bath Rugby, with some special individuals around his tum

Bringing you the latest from the Bath Rugby headquarters When Bath Rugby run out at Twickenham Stadium for The Clash next month, they will be taking 15 inspiring individuals onto the field with them in a unique way. For the first time, this year’s limited-edition charity shirt will feature Bath Rugby Foundation’s own, very special ‘First XV’ – individuals whose determination to overcome the odds has seen them achieve remarkable success. The Clash sees Bath face arch-rivals Leicester Tigers in a crucial Aviva Premiership battle at Twickenham Stadium, home of England Rugby, on Saturday, 7 April, and tickets are available now, with prices starting at just £5 for juniors and £15 for adults. “As players, we’re really honoured to be representing these 15 amazing individuals at The Clash,” says Bath Rugby’s Club Captain, Matt Garvey. “The whole community is incredibly important to us, and we know that, when we take to the field, we don’t just do so for ourselves, but on behalf of everyone supporting the Club. The Foundation work with some very inspirational young people, so it’s great to recognise them in this way, and to also help them continue the great work they do in the wider community in Bath.”

MOVERS, SHAKERS, ETC BETTER THRINGS This is newly qualified solicitor Carys Webb, who’s just completed an extensive, structured training contract with leading regional law firm Thrings, and will now be joining the Company Commercial team in Bath. “The quality of work, the opportunities to engage with clients and the responsibility I’ve been given all highlight the breadth and depth of the training I’ve received,” Carys says. “I’ve had a huge amount of support and encouragement from senior colleagues, and this will hopefully stand me in very good stead.” Thrings has a good rep with new talent, and was named by the student’s guide to top law firms, Lex 100, as a winner in six different categories, including ‘client contact’; Carys, doubtless, will be continuing in that very good tradition.

IT TAKES TWO There are two new directors in the local team at Savills, the leading global real estate company with a longestablished Bath office. Matthew Pegler rises up to director in the Residential division, while Ben Short makes the same move in Rural, Energy & Projects. Both, says head of office Luke Brady, “are well deserved, as their hard work and dedication has contributed to the success of their teams – and the office as a whole.”

For tickets, visit

BUSINESS MATTERS DIARY Whoever you are, whatever stage your business is at, there’s an event to help you make the most of your company – and your customers… 9 A PRI L

MUMS IN BUSINESS Fancy networking with other amazing women doing their own thing? Then the monthly Mums in Business Association Bath Networking Event might be just your bag. They’re child friendly and really relaxed, with a guest speaker followed by an hour with other women in the same boat as you. bathmumsinbiz/ 1 0 A PRI L

CREATING CONTENT FOR DIGITAL MARKETING This one’s free, and is designed

to help companies grow and enhance their digital presence, through creating compelling content online. (Yes, putting together a compelling blog is very much in mind.) 17 AP R IL

FUTURE SKILLS CREATIVE ROUND TABLE Developing a skilled future workforce is important for the creative and digital sector, and this breakfast meeting will see leading industry experts talking through ways to make the most of interns and new employees.

Help us, they say, shape the future of skills in the region! 26 AP R IL

COACHING OTHERS TO DO THEIR BEST When it comes to being a leader and a coach, there’s a great quote from Alan Mulally, a retired CEO of Ford, who said to his senior managers, “We must get back into profit, but I know less than you do, and that’s okay!” Find out what he meant here, with the help of John Hardwick of More From Coaching Ltd. I BATH LIFE I 145




Julia and David and, quite possibly, some well perfumed plants behind them

PARTERRE FRAGRANCES Julia and David Bridger grow hundreds of scented plants – indeed, they’re aiming for 2,000 – at Keyneston Mill, then use them for a fast-growing and impressive range of luxury perfumes We’re quite jealous of you guys. You’re out at Keyneston Mill in 50-acres of gorgeous countryside, and we assume that you smell nice too… I suppose that’s true! Keyneston Mill is the home of Parterre Fragrances, where we grow, harvest and distill all the key ingredients for our perfumes. Our aim is to grow the most unusual plants we can find, then produce really high quality extracts here on site. We’re also in the process of creating what will be the largest botanic garden in the country dedicated solely to scented and aromatic plants. The idea is that visitors can come here, enjoy the formal gardens, walk around the estate and see the crop fields, then visit the distillery and learn a bit about how perfume is made – all the way from seed to bottle. Sounds amazing – but a lot to take in. Indeed, we think we might have a bit of a hunger coming on… Which is where The Scented Botanist comes in! This is our on-site bistro, which serves a range of pastries with a French twist, alongside coffees, teas, and light bistro meals. Danny, We do like a perfume with a cool name…

our head chef, is passionate about using fresh ingredients, and all our own herbs, salad leaves and flowers are integral to many of the dishes he makes. And you make, what is it, three perfumes now? We do indeed, all incorporating our essential oils and created for us by our perfumer, Jacques Chabert, in Grasse on the French Riviera, the world capital of perfume. Run of the River is a bright, fresh citrus perfume with a hint of incense; Root of All Goodness is a celebration of our successful experiment in English grown vetiver; and A Tribute to Edith is a sophisticated rose fragrance, containing our home-grown geranium and yarrow. You can buy them all online, at Keyneston Mill, or at Fortnum & Mason in London, which is where we launched last autumn. And we can come along and try them out at Keyneston, can we? Of course! In fact, if you can we’d love you to come along, see the gardens, crops and distillery, and try the perfumes. If you can’t,

however, there’s always the next best thing – which is to buy one of the 2ml samples we sell on our website. These are only a few pounds each – though, of course, we hope you’ll like them enough to then buy a whole bottle! Rewinding for a moment, who’s Edith? (We’re rather jealous that she has a perfume named after her.) A Tribute to Edith is a very seductive, rather ‘grown up’ rose fragrance. and while we were developing it with Jacques, we talked about how it made us think of Paris in the Jazz Age of the ’30s, and particularly the Moulin Rouge. With that in mind, it seemed appropriate to name it after Edith Piaf – after all, one of her most famous songs was ‘La Vie en Rose’. Tell us abut the vetiver you grow at Keyneston Mill. It’s rare to come across it around here, right? Unheard of! It’s a grass native to India, and is normally cultivated in tropical climates such as Java and Haiti. In fact, no one – including our perfumer! – thought we’d be able to grow it successfully here, but we have. We were delighted when we managed to produce good quality oil from our very first crop, and we’re all particularly proud of our perfume that uses it, Root of All Goodness. It’s certainly the most unusual one we do, and offers a warm, woody scent with a touch of ginger that appeals to both men and women. We’re certainly tempted! When can we come to visit? Both Keyneston Mill and The Scented Botanist are currently open Wednesday-Sunday from 10am until 4pm, but we’ll be extending the hours shortly for the summer. We’ll be launching a range of bath and body products at some point too, as well as a couple of new perfumes for 2018.


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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:

CAFE KITCHEN Welcome to our special, awardwinning café - a great place to meet friends, hold events and to give back to your community. The cafe provides young people with special needs a unique opportunity to gain work experience and training. Open Monday to Friday 8am–4pm Saturday 8am–12pm Available for private hire: Please call Amelia on 01225 838070 or email Located @ 180 Frome Road, Odd Down, BA2 5RF



FANTASTIC FIVE Our pick of the most exciting, intriguing or important local business stories right now


Creatives, submit your nomination soonest and you could be a winner!

Nominations have begun flowing in for this year’s Creative Bath Awards, whilst the impressive sponsor list is growing. The Awards will be held on June 14 in Queen Square, as part of the Creative Bath Summer Party, which itself is part of Bath Boules Week. It’s free for all creative, tech and cultural organisations to enter, and there are 21 categories in all. Excitement’s also building among the impressive list of sponsors, headlined by Bath Spa University. This month also saw two new sponsors join: Edit, who will be Creative Bath Anchor Partners, and Enlightened Lighting. Sponsorship opportunities for some categories remain; find out more by contacting Rosanna Hood at

YOU’RE HIRED! Over 1,000 young people networked with employers at the Bath College Futures Apprenticeship and Jobs Fair at The Assembly Rooms recently. The event comprised 86 stands showcasing prospective employers, as well as plenty of options for careers and CV advice. “This year we had companies offering some really exciting apprenticeships,” says organiser Lucy Beattie, “ranging from Level 2 up to degree level.” For more: @CreativeBath

ROUGHING IT Rain didn’t stop hundreds of people taking part in the Big Bath Sleep-out on 9 March, and raising more than £39,000 for homelessness charity Julian House. Those roughing it for the night included a team from Stone King Solicitors, who battled the elements in Alice Park, enduring endless rain, wind and muddy conditions. Julian House was originally set up to offer direct support to homeless people, some of the most marginalised people in society. The charity now operates more than 30 different projects, accommodation sites and social enterprises, including services developed to address the underlying reasons why men and women become homeless.


A company offering visitors the chance to see more of Bath using pedal power has launched in the city. Bath Bike Tours has been set up by cycling enthusiast Anthony Dean, who already runs a similar venture in Cambridge. “The tours are all about having fun, discovering and enjoying this wonderful Georgian city,” says Anthony. And if you’ve had enough of riding on the cobbles? Then there’ll also be countryside routes to enjoy.

Friday and Saturday team tickets for this year’s Bath Boules in Queen Square sold out within minutes, with many companies placed on the waiting list. As we went to press, a very limited number of Sunday tickets were still available. A few companies who missed out on Friday and Saturday tickets can guarantee themselves a team by becoming a Little Boules Sponsor, or via other sponsorships, all of which are backed by extensive marketing. Bath Boules Week runs from June 10-17, with the boules competition running June 15-17. All proceeds are dispersed by the Bath Boules Trust to local charities. The Boules is headline Sponsored by Royds Withy King, and Big Boules Sponsors are Apex Hotels, HomeLets Bath, Novia, Hotel Indigo, Epoch Wealth Management, Bath Life, Savills, Curo, Archers Marquees, Lovehoney, Investec and Great Western Wine. Little Boulers, meanwhile, include Bath Building Society, Bath Academy, Bath Chronicle, Claritum, Events Factor, Mogers Drewett, Pagan Potions, Pilot Lite Ventures, Reside, Sovereign Wealth Management, St John’s Chambers, Synergy, Thrings, ZigZag, SRA Architects, Minuteman Press, EIP, Abbott Lyon, Aaron Evans Architects, Bath Golf Club, Visit Bath, Chippenham Golf Centre, Hiding Space, Chase de Vere, Stadden Forbes, Sub 13, Citrus HR, Customer Consulting, Regency Offices, Century Casinos, Redwood Marketing, Enlightened Lighting, Edit and (deep breath!) Ojo Solutions.

For more:

For more:

Lucie Willis, Katharine Robinson, Rachel Feilden, Alice O’Mahony and George Capon get ready to set up camp

For more:


He wouldn’t be smiling if he’d really ridden that road!

Now, where did put my boules? I BATH LIFE I 149




EXTRAORDINARY CARE IN THE COMMUNITY There can be few people in Bath who are unfamiliar with the work of Dorothy House. Former chair of trustees, Simon Coombe, explains why he is proud to be an ambassador for the Winsley-based charity


orothy House has come a long way since it was founded in 1976 by Prue Dufour at her home in Bloomfield, Bath. Back then Prue’s vision was revolutionary, as she saw a need for the care of terminally ill patients in the community instead of in hospital – not a popular view at the time. And, while the care the charity provides has grown hugely, the vision remains the same, with just 10 beds at its hospice in Winsley and patients mainly cared for at home. Instead, the charity practices what it preaches in the community, raising muchneeded funds from legacies, donations and, of course, its charity shops. Its former chair of the trustees, Simon Coombe, is now an ambassador for Dorothy House, and with his wife serving as a bereavement counsellor for the charity, it’s no wonder he is dedicated to people having the best end-of-life care. After a long career in the white collar world, Simon says his involvement with Dorothy House is “the best thing he has ever done”. “Following 20 years of working in finance, it is nice to give something back,” says Simon. “It was a great life, I lived overseas for a long time and have four children born in different countries, and working in finance was an exciting rollercoaster. “At the highest and lowest point of my career, just two minutes separated them. I had been ten years in Japan with UBS, trying to break into the Japanese market. We eventually got the largest Japanese advertising company, who agreed they would launch on the market with us, as opposed to a Japanese bank. Two minutes later, we had lost over $100m.” The problem was down to what’s known as a fat finger error, where the trader meant to sell 16 shares at 610,000 yen. Unfortunately, he sold 610,000 shares at 16 yen – and two minutes later the penny (and millions of dollars) dropped. “I think if I had stayed in that industry, I would no longer be here,” says Simon. “But it was a good career and I enjoyed it.” 150 I BATH LIFE I

Simon says we should support Dorothy House

WHAT IS A LIVING WILL? Simon Coombe recommends one, but what is it? Well, the full name is the Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment, and it’s legally binding – provided it is valid and complies with the Mental Capacity Act. • You have to be aged 18 or over, and have the capacity to make, understand and communicate your decision when you made it. • You specify clearly which treatments you wish to refuse. • You explain the circumstances in which you wish to refuse them. • It’s signed by you (and by a witness, if you want to refuse life-sustaining treatment). • You need to have made the advance decision of your own accord, without any harassment by anyone else. • You haven’t said or done anything that would contradict the advance decision since you made it (for example, saying that you’ve changed your mind). For more: David Hill,

So from Tokyo to Limpley Stoke, with the Coombes wanting their children to have a more normal way of life and lay down some firm foundations. “The biggest difference between my old life and working with the charity sector is the culture,” explains Simon. “In the city it’s a me, me, me culture, but at Dorothy House it’s as far from that that you can possibly get, as it’s all about the people. “A charity like Dorothy House has so many parts it has got to get right. It has get the clinical, social and auditing side right, as well as the numbers and the investment sides. The governance is critical to all of that, and if you have the right people looking after the governance then everything else works. “I think Dorothy House does really well because of its brand. After all, in some ways we are dependent on everyone out there for money. We spend about £9m a year on care, of which 20 per cent comes from NHS contracts, so we have to raise over £25,000 a day to keep

the lights on and give the support that we do.” Relying on fundraising means the fact that the Bath Half was recently abandoned sees the charity facing an immediate shortfall in funds. “We normally raised about £140,000 a year from the Bath Half,” Simon says, “so it is a major loss for us. In fact, I went and did my own half marathon on Tuesday, so I could ask for the money with a clear conscience. “We are trying to raise another event at Castle Combe for the runners. But we can only survive and grow with the support of the local community and most of our support comes from word of mouth; from people saying, ‘I had someone who’s been helped by Dorothy House, and I know what a great job you’ve done and I want to support you.’ The brand only keeps strong by us continuing to do a better job.” And if there’s one conversation Simon would like people to have, it’s one about death and having a Living Will, so families aren’t faced with incredibly difficult decisions at a hugely traumatic time. “Doctors are trained to keep people alive,” he says, “but they are not trained to know when to turn to palliative. We talk about having good lives, but having a good death is really important too. “And as a charity we have to keep growing, because there’s so much need for what we do.”


The Bath Life Business Club is a select group of senior business people. It features a leading speaker and a damn fine twocourse lunch. The next BLBC takes place on April 23, when the speaker is Edward Nash of the Nash Partnership. If you’d like to join, please contact Stephanie Dodd (Stephanie. These events sell out quickly, so look out for the emails...

The Bath Life Business Club is sponsored by Bishop Fleming

NEW TO THE CITY Bath Business Improvement District (BID) is pleased to introduce three newcomers to Bath, in the latest of their regular features celebrating new managers and firms

LEANNA BYRNE All Bar One When did you join the business? On 8 March, 2018. And what’s your role? I’m General Manager. Some career highlights? I started in All Bar One in Birmingham six years ago as a part-time bartender, and worked my way up until, after four years, I became the General Manager. I was in that role for two years, but was so excited when the opportunity to move to Bath arose. I’m now enjoying the chance to prove myself in a bigger venue, with a bigger team. What are your hobbies and interests? I studied fine arts at university, and enjoy anything centred around ‘culture’. I also love to travel: my most recent trip was a backpacking adventure to Thailand, which was amazing, and as my heritage encompasses different cultures I like to see all the different things that the world has to offer. As a hospitality manager, work takes up most of my life, and supporting my staff both inside and outside the workplace is something I value very highly. 152 I BATH LIFE I

What would you like Bath to remember you for? The rapport that I can build up, and not only with the regulars at All Bar One, but also the welcome that we show to tourists, making sure that people have an amazing experience when they visit, and not just a simple meal or a drink.

Tell us more about the business… All Bar One offers a relaxed, sociable environment, and we focus on cocktails and food from across world, which means that we always have a vibrant and colourful selection on offer for our guests. Training and development is a very important aspect of life at All Bar One; indeed, I’m a good example of that. Making sure that we have the right people in the right places to grow and develop the team is crucial, as it helps make sure the guest has the greatest experience – ‘The All Bar One Experience’, as we like to call it! How has your business made the most of the Bath BID? Since I’ve been here, we’ve had our courtyard beautifully cleaned by the BID Rangers, which was most welcome. I’ve only been here a short amount of time, but in my previous role in Birmingham I was fortunate enough to work closely with Colmore BID, so I’m very interested in building a relationship with another BID team, and exploring with other businesses in Bath ways we can support each other within the different sectors of the city. To book a table,



key partners and sponsors look to invest with to promote initiatives.

When did you join the business? Back in February this year.

What would you like Bath to remember you for? Blimey, that’s a big question! Hopefully I will be remembered as someone who made a positive contribution to the city I love. It would be fantastic to think I may have helped to introduce this great place, and the myriad activities it has to offer, to people who would otherwise not have discovered it. I also hope to have helped drive increased visitor spend across all sectors of Bath business, and to have played a part in ensuring events and festivals reach a large and diverse audience. And, at all times, as someone who did things with a smile.

And what’s your role? Head of Marketing at Visit Bath. I lead the team that delivers on Visit Bath’s marketing strategy, and plans and manages campaigns to target UK and overseas visitors. Partnership working across all sectors is key, both in the city and beyond, and we work with other destination marketing organisations to ensure Bath has a presence on the international stage. Some career highlights? I have had a range of marketing and communications jobs, starting out in Bristol at Yellow Pages, and had a spell in London promoting Bob the Builder and Thomas the Tank Engine at Hit Entertainment. I then embarked on 15 years working in sport for MCC, owners of Lord’s Cricket Ground. As Head of Communications I was fortunate to work on large-scale events, travel widely, and meet some really interesting people along the way. But it is great to be ‘home’ now, and promoting the city that I’m from; I hope my ultimate career highlights await! What are your hobbies and interests? I love both sport and music. I play and watch many different sports – I was a promising junior cricketer until my talent dissipated! – but nowadays concentrate on playing squash and the odd run and MIROSLAW KUSZ Caffè Nero When did you join the business? On March 10, 2018 – which was the opening of the new store. And what’s your role? Managing a brand new store in the beautiful historic city of Bath, creating relationships with new customers, providing great service and serving delicious coffee. Some career highlights? Previously managing Caffè Nero The Galleries in Bristol,

cycle here and there. I have followed Bath Rugby for 30 years, and love watching matches. Music is my other passion, and probably my favourite thing to do is go to a gig – so I’m looking forward to seeing lots of concerts at the Bath Festival this May. I have travelled quite a bit, but that’s harder to do these days with two awesome kids to help look after. And how does your business work with the Bath BID? The Bath BID is a key strategic partner for Visit Bath, as we have such broadly similar aims – to advocate all that is great about this city, and to drive investment and visitors for businesses in the area. We work together on many campaigns, such as ‘Bath at Christmas’, which aims to promote awareness and increase footfall around the city at a key time for retailers. Looking ahead, I’d like Visit Bath and our team to be seen as the leading marketing agency for the city, one the BID and other

which twice won a Shop of the Year award based on KPI (sales, contribution, customers satisfaction), as well as meeting wonderful people, creating friendships, and being able to progress very quickly within the company. What are your hobbies and interests? Travelling, cinema, reading books and looking after plants. I love trying new food from all over the world, and on my travels I always search for independent coffee shops (Silo Coffee in Berlin is a must!). I like philosophy, and have started collecting vinyl. What would you like Bath to remember you for?

My great customer service and my smile. Tell us more about the business… Even though Caffè Nero is a big company with over 800 shops in eight countries, it still feels very local – and the people who work for it are wonderful! They treat you like a family member, and I’m very proud of my café when I see the happy, smiley faces of my customers. You can make a difference to someone’s day with cup of good coffee. It’s so simple, but we have to be nicer to each other to make this planet a better place.

Tell us a little about the business... Visit Bath exists to promote Bath and its beautiful surroundings. Being a UNESCO World Heritage City puts us on the international map, but there should be no room for complacency; the visitor economy is so vital to the city’s success. We should strive to tell as many people as possible about the range of attractions Bath has to offer, and make it as easy as possible to put on events to drive new audiences. Aside from our wide-ranging marketing work, we manage the city’s Visitor Information Centre, operate the hugely successful Bath Christmas Market, and oversee the Bath Box Office ticketbooking service.

The Bath Business Improvement District (Bath BID) is an independent, not for profit, business-led initiative voted for by the businesses of Bath in 2011. Bath BID is part of a nationwide movement, which now comprises approximately 75,000 businesses which together invest over £200m in their local trading environments. • Business Improvement Districts have been in place since 2005, and are recognised as a successful way for businesses to champion their interests and deliver tangible results. • Bath BID is in its seventh year, and has established a reputation for successful management of the city, keeping the streets clean and tidy, promoting and supporting the night-time economy and creating marketing promotions and events which make a difference to the businesses in the city. • The BID is always delighted to offer a warm welcome to new business people to the city, to support new businesses and help them become part of the economic life of the city, and to help them to grow their profile in Bath. I BATH LIFE I 153

Professional Services special

Bath at work We meet the professionals making the city buzz

GDPR What you need to know

Giving back Businesses explain why charity begins in Bath


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We use our unrivalled experience in the banking industry to secure finance for your business We specialise in arranging funding in the following areas: Property Investment Property Development Commercial Mortgages Bridging Finance

Invoice Finance Crowd Funding Asset Finance Banking Consultancy

Aspire Commercial Finance Ltd; Trading as: South West Business Finance Office: 01225 800849; The Hayloft, Pickwick Workshops, Park Lane, Corsham, SN13 0HN; South West Business Finance is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority SWBF South West Business Finance


SETTING the AGENDA Meet the shining stars of Bath’s professional services’ community, from patent attorneys to financial experts who help your wealth grow, and a myriad of other professions in between By SA M A N T H A WA L K E R





ork hard, play hard, so the mantra goes. But how do you make sure all your hard work pays off so you can buy the house of your dreams, send your children to the school of your choice and still enjoy the finer things in life? Talk to an expert, of course, and here we have a cross section of the city’s professionals, who can help you reap the rewards of your labour. w I BATH LIFE I 159



Managing partner Andrew Sandiford

Tell us a business fact you’re particularly proud of... Bishop Fleming made a significant leap up the Sunday Times Top 100 Best Companies to Work For list in February 2018, with us being ranked 26th and with the coveted top three star rating. This is the third consecutive year that we have featured in the prestigious list, having previously been ranked 49th in 2016 and 42nd last year. Bishop Fleming also continues to cut back on paper, energy and mileage in its drive to enhance its already positive green values. Last year we saved the annual equivalent of 99 trees, compared to our paper usage when we first began our Environmental Management scheme in 2012. Tell us a little about your business… Bishop Fleming was started by Frank Bishop in 1919, and has grown over the last 99 years to be a leading provider of accounting, tax and business consultancy in the UK, and the number one provider of professional services to the academy sector. With a turnover of £22.32m, the firm saw organic growth of 12.31 per cent in 2016/17.

Above: Andrew Sandiford means business; below: Anna Goodship knows about finance

Work/life balance – how do you get it right for you and your staff? The accountancy profession offers a very flexible sector in which to work. For example, the recent bad weather saw most of us working from home. In fact, we achieved something of a milestone, as nearly 60 per cent of us were able to work remotely. It showed that the investment we have made in IT has paid off,

and it presents an interesting insight into how our capabilities are changing. Even our receptionist was able to work from home to ensure a friendly ‘hello’ on the phone.

CONCINNITY CONSULTANCY LTD Managing director Anna Goodship





Tell us a little about your business… I took the decision to leave my previous role as finance director and start my own consultancy business nine months ago, in July 2017, after working in the finance sector for 12 years. In summary, the business offers a flexible solution to finance, operating at finance director level and working within the business on a variety of services specifically tailored to the business needs – for example, management accounting, cash flow planning, team development or process improvement, often working alongside the business’s external accountant. Tell us about your community/ charity involvement… As the business is in its first year of life, it has not actually reached that point yet… but one of my long-term goals is that my business can support and help others. On a personal level, I signed up for the Bath Half this year, running for the Stroke Association – a charity very close to my heart. Having never run before, I promoted the event and the cause over a series of months and was delighted to raise over £2,000 before the event. Unfortunately, the race was cancelled due to the snow, so I am now running the Two Tunnels Half Marathon in May instead, and will continue my fundraising leading up to this event.




Partner Nick Oliver









What is it like to run a business in Bath? Growing up and living just a few miles away, Bath has always held a massive appeal to me. It is such a beautiful city, with a thriving leisure and tourist scene, which attracts a lot of external investment and businesses with a keen objective of growth and progress. This is a perfect fit with Old Mill’s own objectives, so I believe we are perfectly placed to support the businesses in and around the area. Tell us a little about your business… Old Mill Accountants and Financial Planners was formed by a buyout in 2006 and has more than doubled in size through organic growth. The business has four offices across the South West, including Exeter, Yeovil, Wells and Melksham, and has just under 300 dedicated staff. Tell us something about your business you’re particularly proud of... Working with Property and Construction businesses allows me to work with a wide variety of clients, from large contractors to small subcontractors and property developers, and I like to be thought of as part of the business, appreciating their problems, so that I can work with the clients to achieve their goals. By working with our internal tax team and financial planners, I have helped many clients to become financially independent from their business. 162 I BATH LIFE I

Above: Adam Morrison; below: Nick Oliver

What is Bath like to run a business in? Bath seems to get just better and better. As a booming university city we are supporting the development of an increasing number of talented entrepreneurs. And our creative and high tech industries are spawning some very exciting new businesses and projects. Tell us a little about your business… Pearson May is a firm of Chartered Accountants and Chartered Tax Advisers. We are focused on helping our clients pay less tax and build and retain wealth. We are the longest established practice in the region and can trace our roots back locally to 1841. We have six Partners and employ 50 staff. GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is the topic of many a business conversation. What do we need to know? We have developed a specialist client portal in readiness for the new legislation commencing on the 25 May, and would recommend anyone using a firm of accountants to make sure that their business is fully compliant. For more detailed information, including a free 30 minute consultation, go to our website.


PROFESSIONAL SERVICES 2018 Emma) plus a network of talented associates. Our role is to help businesses connect with their markets, and most of our projects begin by getting to the heart of each business. We then make sure the market hears the messages we want to convey. We build a marketing strategy and a plan based on this knowledge and understanding. This guides us when delivering marketing communications. It’s what we report against through data analysis and campaign success. So every organisation knows their marketing is making a real impact and transforming their business.

RICHARDSON SWIFT Director Calvin Healey

Top: Calvin Healey; below: Veronica Hannon

Tell us a little about your business… We work with local owner-managed businesses, private individuals and their families, advising them in all areas of accountancy and tax. Since being founded by Mike Richardson and Derek Swift in 2009, the business has grown, mainly through client recommendation, to become the largest independently-owned accountancy practice based solely in Bath. Our original team of seven is now over 30 strong – and counting! Tell us about your community/ charity involvement… In 2017 we embarked on a year-long fundraising campaign for the Bath Carers’ Centre. This charity was chosen by our staff as several of them are carers themselves, and made us aware of the important work the charity does in the Bath community to support local families. By the end of the campaign, we’d nearly doubled our original fundraising target to raise more than £2,200. This initiative involved all members of staff organising and taking part in quiz and cinema nights, a charity Santa Dash run, competitions and raffles. For 2018 we’re supporting Dorothy House, and will be organising a fundraising challenge event for local businesses.





Tell us about your community/ charity involvement… Community is incredibly important to us. I live in Bradford on Avon and we work in the centre of the town. During my 12 years here, we’ve helped set up community festivals, and run communication campaigns for local festivals. I’m also part of a strategic development group representing businesses in Bradford on Avon and surrounding villages. Personally and professionally we’re linked closely to Bath. Both my daughters are at Hayesfield, and I’ve been part of many mock interviews with the great girls who attend the school. I’ve also been a business mentor for the Bath Bridge Future Talent programme, and am involved with the Equisphere Enterprise Challenge to increase levels of entrepreneurship in universities. GDPR is the topic of many a businessperson’s conversations – what do people need to know? We’ve been involved in many conversations about GDPR over the last few years to help organisations get their data in order. And many clients are still in the process of sorting it out. GDPR is all-encompassing, and it takes a cohesive approach across every department to ensure personal data is properly looked after.


Work/life balance – how do you get it right for you and your staff? I’m a great believer that striking the right work/life balance is essential to live a happy and productive life. And, for me, keeping both physically and mentally active goes a long way towards achieving this. At Richardson Swift, we’ve always been flexible when it comes to working arrangements and support all our staff to help them find the right work/life balance.


TRANSFORM COMMUNICATIONS Managing director Veronica Hannon

Tell us a little about your business… As an organisation we’re 10 years old. I started the business from my converted garage. Today we have three employees (myself, Karolyn and I BATH LIFE I 165



Director and chartered financial planner Jonothan McColgan

Tell us a little about your business…. We offer independent financial advice tailored to our client’s specific circumstances by pulling together all their financial affairs covering investments, retirement and tax planning. In particular, we find that most of our clients have a particular focus on when and how they can afford to retire. We help them to understand what they are going to need their money for, and ensure that they take all the right steps to plan for the worst case scenarios. Is there anything you would change about Bath, business-wise? The main issue I see in Bath is that we wrongly think that tourism is the most important business sector in the city. Apparently, creative industries and professional services bring in far more revenue. But we don’t seem to have a local business strategy that reflects this, resulting in a real shortage of suitable office space for small and larger businesses. The danger is that, unless this is addressed, Bath will continue to lose growing businesses to Bristol, which seems to offer much greater flexibility. Tell us a business fact you’re particularly proud of… We have had a really exciting few years, where we have been recognised as one of the top Financial






Planners in the country by the finance industry, winning 17 national awards across 2015, 2016 and 2017. Personally, I was particularly proud of winning Financial Adviser of the Year at the Growth Investor Awards in 2016, and I also finished as runner up in 2015 and 2017. As a result, I am now seen as one of the country’s leading commentators on pensions and retirement in the national press. You will frequently find my commentary in The Times, Telegraph, Mail on Sunday, Financial Times and on the BBC.

Above: Jonothan McColgan; below: Barry Newbury

EPOCH WEALTH MANAGEMENT LLP Managing partner Barry Newbury

Tell us a little about your business Epoch started in 2010 and has grown from four staff on day one to nearly 40 eight years later. We provide financial planning and consultancy services to wealthy private clients, entrepreneurs and charities/not-for-profit organisations. We help clients really understand what motivates them in life, and then help build a financial plan which allows them to live that life without worry. Tell us about your community/ charity involvement … We are acutely aware of the fortunate position we are in, running a successful business in a beautiful city. Epoch is a member of the Bath Percent Club, pledging to give at least one per cent of profits to local charity/community causes each year. We have deployed over £30k to local and regional charities and Bath community projects and, beyond this, 25 members of staff donated a working day to five local charities at Christmas. How do you get the work/life balance right for you and your staff? Epoch has always recruited with as much of an eye on personality and moral compass as on experience and expertise. It’s made recruitment that much harder, and we’ve not always got it 166 I BATH LIFE I

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES 2018 right, but the outcome of this approach is that the office is nearly always a great place to work.

My fellow managing director Steve Barrett and I founded the business in 2014, having both come from a background of commercial and corporate banking. SWBF is a commercial finance broker, and we work with a broad range of funding providers to provide clients with the most appropriate funding to their needs. Our team is now 10 members strong with a huge amount of commercial banking experience, over 250 years between us.

PREMIER FINANCIAL PLANNING Financial planning consultant and director David Mayne

Tell us a little about your business… Premier Financial Planning is a firm of financial planners and independent financial advisers based in Bath and working throughout the South West. Our company remains small enough to provide an individual and personal service, yet large enough to provide quite specialist financial planning advice.

GDPR is the topic of many a business conversation – but what do people really need to know? You need to document what data you hold, where it came from and who you share it with, and make sure any privacy notices you use are up to date in time for GDPR implementation. If possible, designate a data protection officer to take responsibility for data protection compliance.

Work/life balance – how do you get it right for you, or is this a work in progress? There is a famous quote: “Find a job that you love, and you will never work a day in your life.” For me this is the best way to describe what I do. I have devoted the majority of my working life to helping others make the most of their money and realising their financial goals. I am very passionate about my work, and get great satisfaction in helping clients achieve their objectives. I believe in working to live, not living to work. Outside of work, my two-year-old daughter keeps me on my toes and my family is rapidly expanding too, with the imminent arrival of twin boys!

Tell us a business fact that you’re particularly proud of… Our unrivalled experience is key to our business. I am not sure that there are many other companies that can boast nearly 300 years of commercial and corporate banking, which suggests there probably isn’t a transaction we haven’t come across.

WATSON FINANCIAL Director Martin Watson

SOUTH WEST BUSINESS SERVICES Managing director Dan Smith

When was your business started, and how has it grown?

Dan Smith, seventh from left

Tell us a little about your business… Longevity and experience in a constantly changing financial world has a significant value. Experience and common sense allow us to be a source of stability to our clients when financial change occurs. We have a team of highly qualified financial advisers with access to the most up-to-date technology to ensure we provide peace of mind that your future is more secure as a result of working with us. Where are you based? In Bath and mid-Wales. We have recently celebrated 25 years of trading, and our business has grown significantly in the last five years due to a conscious strategic change of direction. We reviewed our business model taking into account our distribution and client outcomes, whilst also assessing the costs of legislation in a highly regulated environment. Tell us about your staffing model… Having managed a team of 15 advisers historically (and recognising the costs of doing so), we took the view that increasing the capacity of the existing highly qualified advisers by expanding our technology and administrative support would be the best immediate and long term solution. Since doing so, we have doubled our turnover but not substantially increased the cost of trading.



Tell us a little about your business… It’s a building society headquartered in Bath, so we offer mortgages and savings accounts. We provide mortgages to people who are creditworthy, but not well served by the bigger lenders and people; rather than computers, we make the lending decisions. On the savings side, we offer a more personal service than our competitors because we are focussed on Bath. The society can trace its origins back to 1904, when it was set-up originally as a Friendly Society. It used members’ investments to buy property to rent, becoming a building society in the 1950s, lending money for people in the city to buy their own homes. Although we operate throughout Britain, we enjoy great support from the city of Bath and its surrounding areas. We currently have 55 staff, covering our head office and two branches. Tell us about your community/ charity involvement... We once again donated £6,500 to a diverse range of charities in 2017 through our Charity Awards Scheme, which offers small but meaningful sums to local charities and community groups working in and around Bath. Amongst charities supported were the Bath Child Contact Centre, Three Ways School, Bath Gateway Out & About and the Woodworks Project, all based in the city. In the first half of 2017, our charity of the year was the Bath Samaritans, offering much-needed distress counselling services. From the middle of the year, Focus Counselling became our charity of the year for 2017-18.

Sam Laite


Founder and director Sam Laite



Tell us a little about your business… FWD Thinking was born in 2015. We don’t just place jobs, but help professionals forge careers in marketing, digital and sales. We stand by our clients’ side to help them put together the right team, so they can build empires. We are currently three people strong, but are actively recruiting for likeminded professionals to join us. Tell us about your community/ charity involvement… Over the past three years we have supported the the Threeways School and, specifically, free of charge recruitment for their café project 3 Café and Kitchen. We are also active in the community, supporting Hayesfield, Ralph Allen and Beechen Cliff in preparing their senior students for mock interviews, cv writing and transition from school and college into the working world. Work/life balance – how important is this to today’s workforce? Working and recruiting millennials means we have to place a great emphasis on work life balance. Incentives outside of pay and bonuses, such as flexible working, trips away and frequent off site team events are really important.





Delivery Expectation

 Existing Plan Analysis (Performance, Charges, Risk & Tax)  Advice at Retirement  Planning for Retirement  Discretionary Fund Management (Caerus Portfolio Management Ltd)  Bespoke investments (EIS & VCT)  Protecting your estate (BPR & Trusts)  Corporate Solutions

Bath Office: 01225 789880 Watson Financial Ltd is an appointed representative of CAERUS Financial Limited




How long have you been established for? Imperial Recruitment celebrates 10 years in Bath this year. We originally set up in South Kensington 21 years ago, in the age of no internet or email. In 2008 I set up the Bath office to coincide with relocating my family from London to my home town, and we have gone from strength to strength. What areas of recruitment do you specialise in? We look after all aspects of private household recruitment and have three agencies: Imperial Nannies works with live in, daily, temp and permanent nannies; Staff of Distinction places butlers, housekeepers, cooks, gardeners, chauffeurs, estate managers etc; and Maternally Yours places maternity nurses. We cover all of these throughout the UK and overseas. What sets you apart from other recruitment companies? As a long established agency, we are lucky that most clients come to us from recommendations. We have a lot of celebrity and high profile clients, but at the end of the day everyone likes the reassurance that our candidates are thoroughly vetted, personally interviewed, and that we’re hand picking the best candidates for their role.


Managing director Emma Summers

What is Bath like to run a business in? Bath has such a strong sense of community and it is a wonderful place to do business. It provides security to those looking to set up in business, and the local networks available are superb. Tell us a little about your business… We are so proud that Juice is celebrating its 20th birthday this year. The world of recruitment has changed significantly in that time, with so many



advances in technology. Juice now has 24 team members across our five locations – Bath, Bristol, Cheltenham, Trowbridge and Swindon. How do you get the work/life balance right at Juice? With such a longstanding, fun-loving, loyal, committed and considerate team at Juice, I firmly believe in ensuring the work/life balance is spot on for everyone.


Partner and chartered and European patent attorney Catherine Lichota

Clockwise from top left: Katherine Shields, Catherine Lichota and Emma Summers

Tell us a little about your business… The firm was originally established in 1978 as a sole practitioner practice in Truro. The business moved to Bath in 1997, and now has a team of over 15 people. It is our 40th anniversary this year and we plan to celebrate in style! Work/life balance – how do you get it right for you and your staff? Maintaining a positive atmosphere in the workplace and achieving a comfortable work/ life balance is always a work in progress, and the partners acknowledge that expectations can change over time. The firm tries to be both flexible and fair when considering individual requests, and encourages staff to communicate suggestions for improving working practices and the office environment. What is Bath like to run a business in? There is an active business community in Bath, which is supportive and prepared to collaborate to achieve a better outcome for the city and people living and working in the area. Being a World Heritage site and hosting many different events throughout the year, the city is a great place to be located and has a lot to offer clients who wish to visit us.




Head of commercial property Roger Chadwick

Tell us a little about your business… Battens Solicitors is a full service law firm offering specialist high quality legal advice across all legal sectors to both businesses and individuals. Established over 300 years ago we have over 150 staff in eight offices across the South West, as well as London. Tell us about your community/ charity involvement… Battens has its own charity, which focuses on the needs of the people living in the South West. Supporting the community is a fundamental to life at Battens, whether it is volunteering to take part in a fundraising event or sending money to local charities through the Battens Charitable Trust. Business has a responsibility to support the community, and as solicitors our role is often to provide support to people at the time that they most need it. GDPR is the topic of many a businessperson’s conversations, but what do people need to know? GDPR is intended to benefit people. So far, all the articles I have read tend to show it as a barrier to business when it is really about consumer protection. Businesses need to take data protection seriously and getting it wrong can be expensive, so they need to take advice – but businesses do need to bear in mind that the rules are being brought in for the protection of the consumer, and not as a barrier to trade.


Managing Partner Steven Treharne

Tell us a little about your business, what you do, when it was started, how many staff you had then and how many staff now? Mogers Drewett is a South West law firm with over 100 staff spread across offices in Bath, Sherborne, Wells and Frome. We can trace our history back to the 19th century, when Mogers and Dyne Drewett were formed. In June 2014 the two West Country law firms merged, creating an enlarged company to enable greater reach within the region. Today, we have a very strong private client practice with a focus on high net worth clients and looking after time-poor individuals who trust us to deliver a top notch service. In addition, we have been steadily growing our commercial practice and this represents a significant part of our business. Covering both transactional matters such as M&A and restructurings, and non-transactional matters such as joint ventures and shareholder agreements, we work across sectors including a growing specialism in hotels and leisure and food and drink. 172 I BATH LIFE I

Above: Steven Treharne; below: Roger Chadwick




Tell us about your community/charity involvement – what you do, and why this is so important? Along with our core activity of providing quality legal expertise to our clients, we are passionate about our community involvement and support of local charities – it is an important part of who we are as a firm. Amongst our many initiatives, we are longstanding supporters of The Forever Friends Appeal and the Royal United Hospital, and raise funds for various local campaigns, including ‘Space to Grow’ for Dyson’s Centre for Neonatal Care and Heads Up, a local charity based in Wells focused on working with individuals affected by mental health issues. Every year, members of staff take part in corporate challenge events to raise money for charities, like the Bath Half Marathon, Walk of Life and Fire Walk. In addition, we sponsor a number of local sporting teams, such as University of Bath-based Pentathlon GB and Team Bath Netball. We are incredibly proud of our South West roots, and having a communityminded focus is more than a box ticking exercise for us. We recognise our responsibility and our ability to make lasting positive changes and ensure a sustainable future for our local area. What is Bath like to run a business in? Is it more challenging than other cities in some ways, or easier? Bath and the surrounding area is one of the most prosperous regions in the UK. In fact, according to the West of England’s Combined Authority, the region competes on a global scale, with an economy worth over £31 billion a year, a population of over 1 million people and over 43,000 businesses. This lively, thriving, cultural and historic region that we operate in means that we have access to a diverse and highly skilled workforce, from people who have built their careers in the patch for decades to those who have moved here from elsewhere. Having the right people onboard is key to our success, and means that we can truly deliver on our ethos, looking after the client and developing long-term relationships.


PROFESSIONAL SERVICES 2018 or event and donate a percentage of our turnover to local causes through the Stone King Foundation, which supported 16 local charities in 2017. It is fundamentally important for any organisation to contribute to their local community, and we feel it also gives our people opportunities to get involved and feel proud to be part of this firm. This year our Private Client Team is also running a series of free community coffee mornings with expert speakers. The aim of these is to help residents defend themselves against growing problems like online fraud and nuisance callers.


Lead partner for the Bath offices, Stuart Brazington

Tell us a little about your business… Royds Withy King is Bath’s largest law firm with offices on Midland Bridge and just off Queen Square. We are committed to building long-lasting relationships with businesses, individuals and families, really thinking ahead for our clients and offering practical and pragmatic solutions. Whatever the challenges, we have dedicated teams of lawyers with commercial, private client and personal injury/clinical negligence expertise, who are based here in Bath and across our network of offices in Wiltshire, Oxford and London.

Work/life balance – how do you get it right for you and your staff? We strive to create a culture of trust and respect throughout the firm at all levels, and this ethos is extremely important to us. In 2017 we started to roll out our smart working programme across our office network. A key aspect of this is increased levels of hot desking and remote working, which helps to give our people greater control over their work-life balance and reduce stress. Another benefit of fewer people travelling to work and reduced office space is a positive contribution to the environment.

GDPR is the topic of many a businessperson’s conversations – but what do people need to know? GDPR will bring one of the biggest changes to data protection, and a risk of costly penalties, when it comes into effect on 25 May. All businesses will need to comply with the new regulation when gathering and processing personal data – but the way they do this is still open to a degree of interpretation. We’ve set up a dedicated GDPR team to advise clients on the implications for their business, how to develop practical, commerciallysensible solutions, and how to implement best practice. Our website also has GDPR guides, and a short quiz to help people test their knowledge. Let’s talk work/life balance – how do you get it right for you and your staff? We’re proud to have been ranked for the last five years as a Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For. The feedback we get from our people through the independent Best Companies survey is used to inform and improve the way we communicate and collaborate with each other, develop our culture and make this a great place to work. We invest heavily in our people, as we know that a happy and engaged workforce is essential to delivering a top quality client experience.


Tax planning and trusts partner Michael Westbrook

Tell us a little about your business… Now a national law firm, Thrings has been in Bath, in various incarnations, for over 300 years. With over 350 staff (62 partners and 166 lawyers) we advise a wide selection of clients from entrepreneurs to multinationals, from individuals to large corporates, providing each of them with bespoke advice on commercial and personal legal matters. Top: Stuart Brazington; middle: Steven Greenwood; bottom: Michael Westbook


Managing partner Steven Greenwood

Tell us a little about your business… We are a very well established law firm in Bath, having opened our doors here in 1785, and we have had offices at 13 Queen Square since 1832. We provide specialist legal advice to the four sectors of education; charity and social enterprise; business; and private client. Tell us about your community/charity involvement – and why this is so important. Because a large proportion of our work is concentrated on the charity and education sectors, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is something we take very seriously at Stone King. We give everyone a day each year to support a local charity 174 I BATH LIFE I



What is it like to run a business in Bath? Bath is a very close-knit community and, as such, is a rewarding place to run a business. For us, this closeness brings a real sense of involvement with our clients. On the other hand, it also means that your competitors are never far away – this drives us as a business to ensure we are always delivering the best advice, service and value for money. GDPR is the topic of many a businessperson’s conversations – what do people need to know? First and foremost, I would advise appointing a data protection administrator to be accountable for identifying all the data (and dataflows) in your business, ensuring the new rules are a) understood by anyone managing personal data and b) reflected in systems, processes and policies – including contracts with suppliers. Legal and IT experts can help you get GDPR-ready, but keep in mind that they will most likely be very busy just ahead of the deadline so you might want to get in there sooner rather than later.

Imperial Staff Celebrating 10 years in Bath

IMPERIAL NANNIES • Daily Nannies • Live in Nannies • Part-time Nannies • Temporary Nannies • Overseas Nannies/Governesses • Maternity Nannies • Full References, DBS Checked with at least 3 years experience

01225 484222


We have professional and dedicated staff available for your selection. • Couples • Chefs/Cooks • PAs/Grooms • Chauffeurs/Security • Housekeeper/Cooks • Housekeeper/Nannies • Butlers/Valets/House Managers • Gardeners/Estate Managers/Maintenance

01225 484190

17 Radley Mews, Kensington, London W8 6JP 19-20 Charles Street, Bath BA1 1HX

www.i mp e rials taff.c om Established in 1996




his can be a worrying topic for many Attorneys and Deputies. Gifts can help preserve relationships with family and friends and may be made by the Attorney or Deputy, but only if they comply with their duties as defined in legislation and associated practice directions. Some decisions may be made without the consent of the Court of Protection; others will require the Attorney or Deputy to apply for consent. First, it is important to realise what may constitute a ‘gift’, for these are not limited to buying something for someone from the represented person’s funds or handing their money or possessions to a third party. Donations to charities, paying someone’s school or university fees, selling any property of the person at below market price, making an interest-free loan from the person’s funds, allowing someone to live in the person’s property rent free or at a below market rate – all these will constitute a ‘gift’. Gifts of an appropriate size may be made on ‘customary occasions’ (birthdays, Christmas, a wedding or Christening, for example) and to a charity the person is known to support. They may not be made to third parties or organisations with which the person represented has no connection. Even though the person represented may not have the capacity to fully manage their own affairs, they may have the capacity to decide whether to make the gift or not. If they have that capacity they must be allowed to decide. Mental capacity is the ability to make a particular decision at the time it needs to be made. This will include understanding whether the gift is of an appropriate size to the circumstances of its making, whether it is proportionate to the assets of the giver, whether the gift may, by depleting the assets of the giver, compromise the ability to make gifts to others etc., so there must be an ability to process information and give a reasoned decision.


If the person cannot make a decision themselves then the Attorney may assist them to do so and, in the absence of any ability on the part of the giver, they may make the decision for them, but in doing so they must have regard to the criteria listed above had the person made the gift themselves, and also what family and friends think they would have wanted, the life expectancy of the person, the contents of their Will and whether the giver may regain capacity sufficiently to make their own decision. Crucially, when making any decision the Attorney or Deputy must have regard to whether it is in the best interests of the person they represent – so an interest-free loan, for example, is unlikely to satisfy that criterion. Gifts must be of a reasonable amount that the person can ‘comfortably afford’. If an Attorney or Deputy makes a gift that is not of a reasonable value then they could be breaking the law. Attorneys and Deputies may not give away property in order to reduce the level of the person’s finances to a level which may qualify them for benefits or government help with care costs, nor may they give away property to avoid the person having to contribute to current or future care costs. If they do, the Local Authority is entitled to means-test the giver as if they still owned the asset in question, and may take action to recover the gifted asset or its value from its recipient.

If the proposed gift is to someone or a charity that the person might normally have given to, is on a ‘customary occasion’ and is of a reasonable size given all the relevant circumstances, then no permission from the Court of Protection is needed to make it. Otherwise the consent of the Court must be obtained before the gift can be made. If no such consent is obtained then there are various steps which the Court may take, including the removal of the Attorney or Deputy from office and arranging for him or her to repay what has been gifted. If in doubt, check your position with your solicitor or the Office of the Public Guardian.

Helen Starkie Solicitor 5 Gay Street, Bath BA1 2PH 01225 442353 I BATH LIFE I 177

Tel: 01225 581 222

Independent Financial Planning & Wealth Management Premier Financial Planning is a firm of Financial Planners / Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) based in Bath and working throughout the South West. We provide holistic advice to both individuals and companies on all aspects of financial planning. Our clients come to us because they are looking for friendly, unbiased, professional guidance. We help them to achieve their financial goals, by formulating coherent, long-term strategies which are monitored and reviewed on a regular basis. Our company remains small enough to provide an individual and personal service, yet large enough to provide specialist financial planning advice. The core values of Premier Financial Planning are: • Truly independent, unbiased advice • A focus on long-term relationships • Impeccable service • Honesty & Integrity

OUR SERVICES Premier Financial Planning offer holistic independent advice to both personal and corporate clients • Retirement Planning & Pension Advice • Investments & Wealth Management • Independent Mortgage Advice • Life Cover & Financial Protection

Bath Office Premier Financial Planning 1 Queen Square, Bath, BA1 2HA Corsham Office Unit 12 Pickwick Park, Park Lane, Corsham, Wiltshire, SN13 0HN Tel: 01225 581 222



a d v e r t i s i n g f e at u r e F I N A N C E

THE END OF THE TAX YEAR Nick Oliver of Pearson May explains about how the end of the tax year can affect you


o the surprise and relief of most in the tax profession, the 2017 Autumn Budget (which took place in November 2017) was a relatively gentle affair. At the time of writing, the Spring statement on 13 March has not yet taken place but it will be issued in response to the Office for Budget Responsibility’s forecasts and is not intended to be a major event. One of Philip Hammond’s objectives in moving the Budget from Spring to Autumn was to provide taxpayers and businesses with more certainty of any changes to the taxation system well in advance of the start of the new tax year. Even though the end of the current tax year is less than a month away, there will still be opportunities for many taxpayers to minimise the tax they pay this year, some of which may require action to be taken before 5 April. I will highlight below a few of these:

Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs)

Nick Oliver, a partner at Pearson May

£150,000 for the year), the extra relief would be £25.

Pension Contributions

Anyone who is a taxpayer and particularly those who are higher rate taxpayers should seriously consider ensuring that they use as much of their ISA annual investment allowance as possible. This may mean reviewing your position and making any ‘topup’ investments before 5 April. The maximum allowance for 2017/18 is £20,000 of which £4,000 can be saved into a Lifetime ISA and the balance can be paid into one cash ISA and/or one stocks and shares ISA in the tax year. ISAs are still worth considering for basic rate taxpayers, but the tax advantage is obviously not so great.

If you regularly make contributions to pension schemes, you may wish to consider a one off additional payment to be made before 5 April 2018, particularly if your total income for the current year may take you into the 40% (or even higher) income tax rates. For most individuals, the 40% rate starts to apply once income reaches £45,000. The tax relief for personal pension contributions works in a similar manner to gift aid payments as mentioned above and as a result, tax relief is available at your marginal rate of tax.

Gift Aid Payments

High Earners

Don’t forget that, in respect of the 2017/18 tax year, higher rate taxpayers can claim an extra 20% of the ‘grossed up’ donation from H M Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for donations made during the tax year. For example, if a donation of £80 is made to charity under gift aid during the year, the higher rate tax relief that HMRC will give you will be 20% of £100 i.e. an additional £20. For additional rate taxpayers (those with taxable income above

“If you regularly make contributions to pension schemes, you may wish to consider a one off additional payment”

High earners also need to bear in mind that they may be at risk of losing their personal allowance. Those with “net adjusted income” in excess of £100,000 for 2017/18 will lose the whole or part of their personal allowance of £11,500. For every £2 of income in excess of £100,000 the allowance is reduced by £1, leading to an effective marginal rate of income tax of 60% in the band between £100,000 and £123,000. Once income reaches £123,000 the allowance is completely eliminated. With both gift aid donations and pension contributions, it is certainly worth considering making a one-off payment before 5 April 2018 if you are in danger of losing all or part of your personal allowance, or being subject to the High Income Child Benefit Charge (which applies when “net adjusted income” exceeds £50,000). The gross amount of any gift aid donations and pension contributions are deducted from total income when calculating “net

adjusted income” for these purposes. For example, if you are expecting your total income for 2017/18 to be £110,000 (and assume for these purposes that you haven’t yet made any pension contributions in the tax year), by making a net pension payment of £8,000 before 5 April 2018, could save you additional income tax of £4,000, over and above the basic rate relief, meaning the effective cost (after tax relief) of the pension payment is actually only £4,000. In other words you obtain the benefit of £10,000 being contributed to your pension scheme at a cost of only £4,000- a massive 60% relief. The above are only a small selection of some of the tax planning points included in our annual publication, Financial Perspectives – End of Tax Year Guide Spring 2018 available on our website or to anyone who would like to telephone our offices or e-mail us at mail@ Copies of this will be provided free of charge. The above is subject to any changes announced in the Spring Statement and for general guidance only. No action should be taken without obtaining specific advice and specific advice in relation to pension schemes should be obtained from your pension adviser or an independent financial adviser.

37 Great Pulteney Street, Bath BA2 4DA 01225 460491 I BATH LIFE I 179

ta i l o r i n g a d v ertisi n g feat u re

snappy dressers Clothes maketh the man (and woman), with Bath tailors suit the city dressing for success


ased in beautiful Queen Square in Bath, Suit the City offer an exclusive personal service to the business community and general public providing unique, high quality, made-to-measure suits and separates for men and women. Classic, corporate, business, casual or simply something stylish for the weekend. We all know that a man in a well-fitting suit exudes confidence. Most off-the-peg suits just don’t fit properly as they are made for Mr Average – the man we are yet to meet! ​Made-to-measure suits, trousers, jackets and waistcoats will make you look stylish and feel your best, reflecting your individuality, whatever your size and shape. ​The correct fit is ensured using the latest technology and what's more, you get to choose from over three thousand fabrics, hundreds of linings and bespoke details. ​You might be surprised to know that beautiful two-piece pure British wool suits

“Most off-the-peg suits just don’t fit properly as they are made for Mr Average” 180 I BATH LIFE I

start from just £649, with luxury Holland & Sherry of Savile Row suits starting at just £895. They are passionate about getting the message across that bespoke tailoring is not just for the few but is available to everyone. It might be several suits for work, or just one to keep in the wardrobe for special occasions, or maybe a suit for a wedding. For those that prefer a more casual look, or do not wear suits at work, they offer weekend wear for men and women, including summer jackets, chinos, overcoats and tweed jackets which are currently experiencing a resurgence due to their versatility. They also offer madeto-measure shirts, a real alternative to trying to find shirts from the high street that fit just from a neck size. Last but not least, because they have hundreds of linings and finishing details available at no extra cost, and their clients

have a say in the styling, the garment is truly individual to them, and not to be found elsewhere. Suit the City are proud to work in partnership with Loake Shoes of Green Street. A well-fitting shoe is as important as a wellfitting suit! Your private one-to-one measuring and styling service is by appointment only. Please contact Mike Lane to find out more.

Suit the City, 1 Queen Square, Bath BA1 2HA; Tel: 0800 011 2450 Email:


WHAT DOES YOUR RETIREMENT MEAN TO YOU? Travel? Relaxation? More time with the grandchildren? Or worry? 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 around 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 to 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 the 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, was 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, including Financial Adviser of the Year at the Growth Investor Awards 2016 (he was also runner-up in 2017 and 2015),

and 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 471462; 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 183

Laundry Services Tailored repairs and alterations Suede and Leather Cleaning


Van service available 6 Monmouth Place, Bath BA1 2AU Tel 01225 311595

a d v ertisi n g feat u re F I N A N C E

business protection EXPERTS PIB are a growing insurance broker bringing together outstanding individuals with a wealth of knowledge and experience in the insurance market.


ounded in 2014, we offer a range of insurance and risk management services building strong, sustainable relationships. We pride ourselves on offering specialist expertise to our clients, using the insight gained from years of experience to develop client relationships which are based on the highest levels of service. The PIB Professional Risks team have worked together for many years and are trained and qualified specialists in their field. Known for their innovative and bespoke policies for individual clients, we provide value, service and integrity to our customers whether they be small or large. We place business with a very broad range of Insurers and can therefore be confident that we are highly competitive when it comes to premiums. Every client receives a comprehensive cover audit, to ensure that their needs and requirements are fully met and understood.

“We pride ourselves on offering specialist expertise to our clients”

Our Differentiator • Added value services and business advice. • High levels of claims assistance to ensure client protection. • Bespoke and broad policy wordings to include such extensions as no claims bonuses. • Specialist schemes for certain professions. • Exclusivity. Focus and Specialism • Analysis of clients contract documents, to ensure full Insurance protection. • Seminars on risk to client staff, and training. • Assistance with quality standards and maintaining compliance. • Operational Risk Reviews, Risk Audits and Practice Reviews. • Advice with merger, sale and acquisitions.

Claims Advocacy • Managing difficult and complex claims. • Representing client’s interests with Insurers and adjusters. • Ensuring that full protection and reimbursement is provided. • Assisting clients in the preparation and presentation of their claim.

If you are looking to review your insurance arrangements, please contact David Wood on 0117 926 9937 l /david-wood-8438a026/ I BATH LIFE I 185

Spaces Northgate House combines a World Heritage site with modern workspace Spaces Northgate House in Bath brings an inspiring environment where ideas are developed, businesses are built and relationships evolve. Work, check your emails, and meet with clients, all in this beautifully designed workspace. With stunning views of UNESCO World Heritage site in Bath, it is a place where you can pause to enjoy a really good cup of coffee or a healthy lunch. The Super-fast, unlimited WiFi ensures you can work

quickly and efficiently. Situated between the tech hub of Bristol and London, Spaces Northgate House is on the intersection of history and technology. With regular rail services to London and the south-west, it’s easy for staff and clients to get to. It is a place where you can focus on business, meet clients in inspirational workspace and build relationships with a strong business community.

Spaces Northgate House, Barton Court, Upper Borough Walls, 2nd & 3rd Floor Bath, BA1 1RG; UK+44 (0)800 260 5600



GARDEN OF DELIGHTS You can tell from the address that the Garden Apartment at 15 Marlborough Buildings is likely to be rather fine, but what an understatement that turns out to be… By W E N DY LY N E 188 LIFELIFE I 112 II BATH CLIFTON I

full of delights everywhere you look




ome may consider the houses on Bath’s south side, across the river, as slightly less high-falluting and proud than those on the northern slopes, but living over there has its advantages – not least that the view you see out of your window and across the valley is awash with the city’s world-famous crescents and squares. Similarly, Marlborough Buildings may be poor cousin to the Royal Crescent adjacent to it, but only slightly – and here, too, you get to see a worldfamous landmark the moment you walk out your door. Not that you’d spend much time worrying about the neighbours if you lived here, of course. You’d be having far too much fun for that. The Garden Maisonette at 15 Marlborough Buildings must be one of the most covetable apartments we’ve seen in an age, though ‘apartment’ doesn’t really do it justice. You see, what you get here is actually spread over no fewer than four floors – a small sliver of the ground floor, which contains a stairwell and useful study, then the whole of the huge lower ground floor and the slightly smaller basement floor below that, and then through to a final bedroom and en suite on the garden floor. Though it’s attractive throughout, two things really make this place – the huge, airy kitchen-dining room, which is over 27 feet long, just over 15 feet wide (and about the same height) and boasts a double AGA range cooker, pennant stone floors, a large marble-topped island unit and space to die for, and the beautiful west-facing garden, which you get in its entirety. This is around 1,607 square feet, and features a nice patio area, flower beds, and a lawn surrounded by gravel paths. It’s exactly the 190 I BATH LIFE I

The drawing room and kitchen-dining room offer all the space and wow factor, but the various hidden nooks really make this place…


3,000 square feet to play with




foot long kitchen/ dining room

£1.4M price

sort of place where a Jane Austen heroine might parade prettily, while considering the benefits of assorted suitors. These two hero areas, though, are but the most immediately striking elements you’ll find here, for look deeper and this most intriguing of homes is full of delights everywhere you look. It certainly boasts endless attractively quirky features, from a large wine cellar – even the Bath Life team would struggle to work their way through the bottles it could hold – to an amazing master bathroom, built from a vault that’s just as long as that huge kitchen, and comes complete with roll-top bath. As well as the major rooms – there’s also a fine pine-floored drawing room and master bedroom with two walk-in wardrobes we haven’t even mentioned yet – the unusual layout offers a range of further little rooms and spaces tucked into corners (a cloakroom, a laundry room, an original butler’s silver safe, even a third – and, indeed, a fourth – loo). We’ve never come across what’s, on paper, a two-bed apartment that would be as much fun to play hide-and-seek in as this. Why else? Well, it doesn’t hurt that the whole place is Grade II listed, but still manages to serve up 21st century luxury thanks to a clever, sympathetic makeover by Concept Interior Design and Greengauge Mechanical Engineers, which includes acoustic soundproofing, stateof-the-art lighting, and top-notch appliances and audio visual kit at one end of the spectrum, and wood burners at the other. All of a sudden the steepish sounding asking price doesn’t sound quite so steep at all… Crisp Cowley, 7 York Street, Bath BA1 1NQ; 01225 789333;


EMBRACING MODERN TECHNOLOGY Peter Greatorex outlines THE APARTMENT COMPANY’S recent innovations


s you will have seen me mention over recent months, we, like many estate agents, have had to embrace modern technologies alongside traditional methods, in order to create the best results for our sellers and landlords. Our main goal is always to attract lots of interest from buyers from the offset, and sell or let our clients’ apartments quickly, and for the highest price we can. However, with people now changing the way in which they search for a property, ie mainly online, an estate agent’s website has become even more of a crucial marketing tool – needing to go far beyond just being a shop window. For example, at The Apartment Company, we provide a 24/7 Live web chat, which automatically pops up on your screen when you are looking at our website. This tool has been a huge success, especially for our sellers because we receive a lot of overseas interest. With so

many different time zones, it’s vital we can capture a potential lead the moment they come onto our website, should we be fast asleep in our beds. Without the Live web chat, we risk losing their interest if they have to go away and come back when we’re open again in the morning. 52% of the visits to our website happen outside of office hours, so our clients have peace of mind that those potential opportunities are covered 365 days a year. The same principle applies to our 360-degree virtual tours too. For anybody who is not able to travel to Bath, they can see what an apartment looks like inside and out from our website. For example, we have sold to a buyer based in Canada using this service. Our ‘book a viewing’ option has also been a big hit with buyers and tenants. We have seen a sharp increase in our viewing stats as a result – up 31% when comparing January to March 2018 with the same period last year. Overall, we’ve had a busy start to the year

for both buyers and sellers. Registrations are up 12%, whilst sales have more than doubled. We’re seeing the highest level of first-time-buyer enquiries we’ve seen in a while, which I think is partly down to The Chancellor’s changes to stamp duty. Meanwhile the number of new instructions has increased 33%. For those contemplating a sale or just curious, why not try out our free instant online valuation tool which can be found on our home page.

For more advice visit our blog at Sales: 01225 471144 Lettings: 01225 303870

Norton St. Philip. Guide price £650,000. A uniquely individual village home developed with an enviable eye for contemporary design & detail to create a very special home. The heart of this home will surely be the kitchen family room with its lofty ceiling and natural limestone floor. Here the house joins seamlessly with the garden as the sunshine floods in making this the ideal space to cook, eat drink & entertain friends & family – this is a fashionably large living space. Sitting room with wood burner; three bedrooms; two bathrooms; views of the church tower; landscaped gardens; double carport & ample parking. No chain.

Tel: 01225 866747 27 Market Street, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, BA15 1LL

ad v ertising feat u re p r o p e r t y

Rachel Farr Drejer and Sarah Goessens

Who would have thought? NO letting go is now heading towards its 10,000th booking, with an ever-growing client base of national clients, local agents and landlords. Rachel Farr Drejer explains how they got there


took the brave step to go freelance nearly a decade ago, having gained many years valuable experience working in and around the Bristol and Bath areas in property management. No Letting Go Bath was formed in 2013 when I recognised the need for a streamlined 24/7 online booking system with focussed customer support and portable software. The day-to-day business is now run by me and Sarah Goessens, who joined the company some three years ago and brought with her vast experience and knowledge of the industry, enabling us to develop and

“They produce reports that will absolutely stand up to scrutiny” – The Sunday Times Judging Panel.

grow our business into other related areas, including Legionella, floor plans and soon to be Domestic Energy Performance Certificates (EPC). We have a further three friendly and knowledgeable clerks, all of whom are local to the Bath area, are fully trained, and have a solid background in the property management industry. As a franchise of the market leading national inventory supplier No Letting Go, we are proud to have been awarded overall Lettings Supplier of the Year for 2016 and Best Inventory Supplier 2009. We’re also accredited by Safe Contractor, Property Redress Scheme (PRS) and are regulated by Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA:PropertyMark). No Letting Go is also the only accredited supplier for the National Landlord Association (NLA). We are proud to be associated with, and continue to supply, a growing number of the most recognised and trusted Lettings and Sales agents in and around the Bath and North East Somerset area. These include the

likes of Carter Jonas, Hamptons International, Curo, Winkworths, Reside, Pritchards, The Apartment Company, Tynings, Trustease, Property Link and Madison Oakley. Whether you have a single property or portfolio, student housing, a studio flat or a seven bedroom town house, we would be delighted to discuss what we could do for you. Please quote Bath Life for a special new customer discount.

Rachel – 07951 516476 Sarah – 07766 914402 I BATH LIFE I 199




In short, I feed hungry rugby players… I oversee all aspects of catering within Bath Rugby, from elite sports nutrition to fine-dining banquets. I also oversee part of the match-day hospitality at The Rec, as well as cater for the corporate needs of the club. I got my first job when I was 14, washing pots in my local pub… That was 15 years ago. I’m a classically trained chef, and some of my career highlights include briefly working with Sam Moody at The Priory, Bath, and, most recently, working alongside Hywel Jones at Lucknam Park delivering the Bath Rugby Six Nations banquet. I work closely with some of the best nutritionists in the world of rugby… Together, we are a powerful force. It’s only through working with Guy Lewis, here at the club, that we are able to deliver such a high standard of performance catering. I serve around 1,200 meals a week… I feed the players and the rugby staff three time a day, up to five times a week, so that’s around 80 meals, three times a day. There are some players that are really into their food… Max Lahiff and Sam Underhill are both into the detail and have a love of creating in the kitchen. I also give cooking lessons to the guys in the academy, and cooking tips to all the first team.



head of The Clash at Twickenham Stadium on 7 April, when Bath Rugby will take on fierce rivals Leicester Tigers, we chat with Bath Rugby’s executive chef about how he fuels the players before a big game. Michael has worked for Bath Rugby for the past seven and a half years. He was previously at The Priory, Bath, and Lucknam Park, Chippenham, but felt there was a gap in the industry for combining fine-dining cuisine with elite sports nutrition…

MICHAEL BACHE Bath Rugby’s executive chef tells us what a menu made for elite sportsmen looks like, how many calories the players eat every day, and why Ross Batty’s banter needs some work… The banter is non-stop… Ross Batty’s needs some work, though. The players can consume up to 7,000 calories a day… Breakfast could be porridge and a high-protein full English. They’ll also have shakes and smoothies. Lunch is mainly meat – something like a steak, roast sweet potatoes, and seasonal vegetables. Today the guys are having a lamb curry. Generally, I’ll provide a buffet of salad and cold meats and a hot buffet, but there is no beige in sight. If they win a game, they get dessert… Their favourite is the white and dark chocolate bread and butter pudding. I prepare extensive snack options, too. They include meat-based soups, homemade biltsong, snack bars, and healthy takes on our favourites, such as marshmallows made with honey. The difference between what I cook and what you might make at home is… Every single ingredient has a job to do. If it has no purpose on the plate, it won’t go in. Cooking for sportsmen is so different to cooking for customers in a restaurant, due to the sheer volume of what they can consume – one lunch for 80 players would do a wedding banquet for 200 people.

Ingredients I’ll always avoid serving are… Refined sugars and processed food. We only serve fresh wholefoods, and there is nothing frozen in my kitchen. The kitchens at Farleigh are… Small but perfectly formed, high-tech and wellresourced. I work with five full-time chefs across two sites, and we have two kitchen assistants. We are currently working hard to bring forward new plans… …to develop our ground at The Rec. I want to create a multi-purpose kitchen that gives back to the community, and I’m working with the design team from the word go. A build-up to a big match will alter the menu… The Clash is a big game; we are training hard for it, and meal plans reflect all of this. The big difference for me with The Clash is the atmosphere – 62,000 people all wearing blue, black and white. It’s a pleasure to work for the rugby club… It forms part of the city’s identity. Bath is a beautiful place to live and work. My favourite spot is The Rec, obviously.

Bathrooms at



your local Villeroy & Boch stockists NEW SHOwroom OPEN in trim street | 12a Trim Street, Bath BA1 1HB | 01225 308060 5 The Shambles, Bradford on Avon BA15 1JS | 01225 309110 |

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Bath Life – issue 362