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Food/Arts/Entertainment/Shopping/Property ISSUE 363/13 – 27 APRIL 2018/£3



ISSUE 363/13 – 27 APRIL 2018/ FOR THE WIN

NIGHT OF NIGHTS Behind the scenes at the Bath Life Awards

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 |

EDITOR’S LETTER / ISSUE 363 / 13 – 27 APRIL 2018



All the snaps from the Bath Life Awards


Oh, what a night As you can see from our front cover, the Bath Life Awards was certainly a night to remember, and with more sponsors, finalists, winners and attendees than ever, the Awards were at their very best. We have dedicated 12 pages to the glittering celebrations in this issue. See the snaps of all the winners on page 17, and, on page 24, see some of our 501 glamorous guests and hardcore partygoers celebrating like there’s no tomorrow (a handful of them were out until 5am, a little bird tells us). And the revelry in this issue doesn’t end there; on page 42, we shine a spotlight on the festivals and major events coming up this year, and there are some corkers on the horizon – including all manner of music, literature, art, culture, fitness and foodie fests to sink your teeth into. Elsewhere, take a look at page 76 where you’ll find our handpicked selection of April showers-themed goodies from local retailers; on page 82 you’ll find our resident garden expert’s top tips for lovers of loud and proud florals; and on page 66, discover what happened when we took a DNA test to uncover our heritage. Enjoy! Lisa Evans, Editor Follow us on Twitter: @BathLifeMag Follow us on Instagram:@bathlifemag


FEATURES / ISSUE 363 / 13 – 27 APRIL 2018



The festival season is nearly upon us, and Bath won’t disappoint with its array of eclectic events

106 Bath Lives

Wristologist Tom Corneill shares what makes his tick

REGULARS / ISSUE 363 / 13 – 27 APRIL 2018

THE ARTS 51 Arts intro Ideas of individuality and loss are explored in thrown plaster works

52 What’s on What’s hot and happening in Bath


M E ET T H E T EAM Editor Lisa Evans

Deputy editor Lauren Scott Managing editor Deri Robins Senior art editor Andrew Richmond Graphic design Megan Allison Cover design Trevor Gilham Contributors David Flatman, Grace Williams, Nic Bottomley, Sarah Moolla and Nick Woodhouse Group advertising manager Pat White Deputy advertising manager Justine Walker Account Manager Sophie Speakman Account Manager Annabel North Sales executive Polly Jackson

63 Bookshelf Nic Bottomley’s pick of moving memoirs to transport readers

65 Film From period dramas to parenting flicks, the best of the box office

FOOD 70 Restaurant

Production and distribution manager Sarah Kingston Deputy production manager Kirstie Howe Production designer Matt Gynn

Spices and flavours tickle the tastebuds at Bath’s hottest new Thai pad, Giggling Squid

74 Take 5

Chief executive Jane Ingham Chief executive Greg Ingham

Savouring Bath talk artisan food tours and scavenger hunts

75 Food & drink news Nibbles from The Bath Priory, The Marlborough Tavern and Cabrito

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


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

76 Editor’s choice A deluge of wet-weather musthaves to beat the April showers

LIFEST YLE 66 Heritage and history Sarah Moolla puts a gene-ius DNA test under the microscope

78 Beauty Say ‘I do’ to a bridal hair makover and walk down the aisle with style



89 Business insider

9 17 39

Who’s moving, shaking, inventing and innovating this issue?


82 Gardens

98 Property showcase

Green-fingered columnist Nick Woodhouse catches Tulipmania

Forget the Georgians – a Victorian build meets a modern interior

Spotlight Society A man’s world

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 We feature the best of the Bath Life Awards’ photobooth. Photos by Chris Daw For more, turn to page 17


The Owlbassadors will visit the flock (or parliament, as a group of owls is known) later in the year


HAVING A HOOT Award-winning wildlife presenters Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan have swooped up the opportunity of becoming official ‘Owlbassadors’ for Bath’s forthcoming sculpture trail – Minerva’s Owls of Bath. The pair are both keen owl fans and will be involved with the Owls of Bath event, which begins on 25 June. Michaela says, “My first wildlife presenting job was on a children’s show called OWL TV, which stood for ‘Outdoors and Wildlife’ so it seems very fitting to be an ambassador for Minerva’s Owls of Bath sculpture trail. I love the thought of colourful sculptured owls landing all over Bath–it’s a ‘Really Wild’ idea!”. For Chris, the project has a double attraction, and the opportunity to combine two of his great loves: wildlife and painting. Chris has signed up as an official Minerva’s Owl artist and will be painting one of the giant owl sculptures in full splendour to help raise funds for the UK Little Owl conservation project. The Owls of Bath will be nesting on the streets and high spots of the city and surrounding towns for three months this summer. Around 100 large owl and smaller owlet sculptures will be on display, each individually decorated by talented artists, and sponsored by local businesses, schools and community groups. For more, see page 42. For more:

Walkers get ready to head off, and can already taste the pint at the end


MARCHING AHEAD Nothing beats a long walk in the country air… except when it’s helping to raise money for a good cause. a total 560 walkers took part in the sixth annual sponsored Bath Men’s Walk on 17 March, which was set up in aid of local charities Dorothy House and Bath Rugby Foundation. The stoic males walked eight miles along the Canal Path from Dorothy House Hospice Care in Winsley to The Rec in Bath. The event then ended with a screening of the two Six Nations matches at the ground, a pie, and, we suspect, several well-earned pints.

Former Bath and England star Dan Hipkiss supported the Bath Men’s Walk. Dan is a newly appointed ambassador for Dorothy House and helped start the walkers off from Winsley. Another local hero to support the Walk for Bath Rugby Foundation was Bob Crampton from ITV Weather, who cheered on the walkers at the start and sent fairweather vibes their way. Thanks to the stunning turnout, the charities are marching ahead to match last year’s total of £60,000 funds raised. For more:




Join us in Queen Square for a trés special summer event

Location, location, location… 2018 is the last season of arts at Iford Manor

Bath Boules Week June 10 – 17 was launched with a grand reception at Hall & Woodhouse. This year, there will be new events such as talks, films and parties in Queen Square preceding the Boules itself. Led by headliner Royds Withy King, sponsors’ support is ahead of last year, which raised a record £50,235 for local charities. For more, see page 36.



For more:

For more:


entertained. If that wasn’t hullabaloo enough, Ken Fox and his Hell Riders will be returning for 2018 to take on the Wall of Death. Jessie May is a South West charity that provides nursing care at home for children with terminal illnesses in Bath and the surrounding areas. It’s been nominated as the chosen charity for the rally for the fourth year running. Head of fundraising Julian Withers, says, “The Steam Rally is one of the highlights of the calendar for us at Jessie May and for many families across Wiltshire who look forward to a fun and often educational day out. Events like this are vital in helping to fund our work, which is increasingly expanding into Wiltshire.” The Steam Rally is held at the Castle Combe Race Circuit and is open from 10am – 6pm on 19 May, and 10am – 5pm on 20 May. Tickets can be purchased on the day. Adult tickets are £8, but children under 14 get in free. Parking is readily available.

For any major music festival, the location is usually what sets it apart. Unfortunately, after 25 years of Iford Arts being held at Iford Manor, near Bath, the 2018 season will be its last. The organisation is now looking for a new home for its annual gala. Iford is a family home, whose use has been given to the festival for the last quarter of a century. Owner of Iford, William CartwrightHignett, explains, “The growth of Iford Arts over the past 25 years has been remarkable and we are proud to have hosted and supported this. However, with structural movement in the cloister requiring repairs, and additional pressures on family life, we are unable to continue our support. We hope that Iford Arts will find a new home and continue to delight audiences with their inspirational productions long into the future.” Finding a new location with surroundings to match Iford should be a challenge, but creative director of Iford Arts’ Judy Eglington is excited about the future of the charity in the midst of a new venue. “We need to provoke imaginative suggestions to find a new home to host our operas and find new contexts for the valuable educational work of our charity,” she says. The show must go on, and this year looks to be as dazzling and ambitious as ever, with productions of Candide, Partenope and Madame Butterfly on the bill. This will be the last chance to experience the ‘magic of Iford’ with pre-show picnics, a captivating garden and the cloister hidden in the valley. The festival runs from 26 May – 4 August. For more, see page 42.

For more:


FULL STEAM AHEAD Children’s hospice at home charity Jessie May has announced the return of the Castle Combe Steam & Vintage Rally. This popular annual event takes place in May, and crowds come from all over the South West. The rally is now in its 33rd year, and families can expect a familiar weekend of good old-fashioned fun – alongside vintage steam engines and vehicles. With a spectacle of live arena events, including the Tigers Children Motorcycle Display Team, terrier racing, and a calf show, there’s also displays and exhibits as well as stalls, sales, stands and fairground All aboard – team Jessie May rides. Every get ready to raise funds age will be



2018 Nothing beats being there. See you in 2019...







Adventures in party-going


Photos by JENI MEADE


That was some night, then… A pleasure deferred is a pleasure extended. And so it was with these Bath Life Awards, delayed by our snow-borne postponement. With palpable excitement, stunning glamour, high prestige, an awesome vibe and with more sponsors, finalists, winners and attendees than ever, the Awards were Bath at its very best. We came to celebrate and stayed to cheer. Shimmering, glitzy and gorgeous, the Assembly Rooms have never looked finer. Nor, of course, the utterly uberglamorous attendees. Bath could be proud as it acknowledged the winners. Prouder still of the spontaneous applause for the Bath Half, coping admirably with its own late postponement. But proudest of all for the prolonged, emotional standing ovation at the end for the remarkable team at the RUH, worthy winners of the Bath Life Awards’ Special Achievement. It’s an organisation which copes with such calm grace under the toughest of pressure and we were absolutely honoured to reflect its excellence in this way. People cheered, whooped and clapped at the winners. Winners surgingly, gushingly accepted their Awards. And finalists gracefully and graciously accepted the decisions (well, in nearly all cases). The judges had the toughest job. More nominations, more finalists, each with careful explanations of what they had done for Bath – the toughest of tough calls in these Awards that matter so much. Deep collective wisdom prevailed. Clever choices were made. To all who entered, judged, sponsored, partnered, entertained, filmed, aftershowed, photographed, supported, organised, hosted, fed and dined us all, just one word: thanks. These were the very best yet. And next year? It’s started already. Tick tock. Jane, Greg and the Bath Life team 18 I BATH LIFE I

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FINALISTS Arts • Bath Art Fair • The Edge • Emma Rose • Kilter Theatre • New Old Friends • Rebecca Collett • Rostra Gallery Bar • Circo Bar • Hideout • Juno Bar & Kitchen • No.15 Great Pulteney • Sub13 Business Services • Bath Marketing Consultancy • DKA • Forward Thinking Recruitment • HGEM • SearchStar • soVision IT • Transform Communications Café/Coffee Shop • 3 Café & Kitchen • Bath Soft Cheese • The Cakery • Doghouse • Green Bird Café

• Newton Farm • Phat Yaks Charity • Bath City Farm • Childrens Hospice South West • Designability • Developing Health & Independence • Mentoring Plus • People Against Poverty • St. John’s Foundation • YMCA Bath Group Creative • Bath Framer • De Fossard • Graphic Mill • Mytton Williams • Network N • Really Decent Books • Scout & Boo • Touchpoint Design • Wild & Wolf Education • Bath Academy • Broadlands Academy • DoodleMaths • Fun Science Bath • Little Dancers • Norland College • Wicked Weather Watch

Environmental • Cumberwell Park • Genesis Trust Furniture Project • Larkhall Butchers • Park Lane Press • Three Bags Full Delivery • University of Bath

Health & Wellbeing • Bath Rugby Foundation • Juice Collective • No.15 Great Pulteney • Rose Holistic Treatments • Team Bath • ToniqLife Fitness Studio • YOGADOO

Event • Achieve Your Dreams • Bath Carnival • Bath Digital Festival • Bath Half Marathon • Bath International Comedy Festival • Jane Austen Festival • Komedia Bath • Noya’s Kitchen Supper Club

Homes & Interiors • Ben Argent Kitchens • Dible & Roy • Etons of Bath • Forest to Home • Hawker Joinery • Hobsons Choice • Homefront Interiors • Homemaker • Woodhouse & Law

Gastropub • The Chequers • The Hare & Hounds • Longs Arms • Pear Tree Inn • Timbrell’s Yard Hair & Beauty • B Hairdressing • David Maxwell Hairdressing • Duchess Beauty Heaven • Zara Perry

Legal & Financial • 1pm • Epoch Wealth Management • Mowbray Woodwards • Richardson Swift • Novia • Savings Champion • Stone King Leisure & Tourism • American Museum • Apex City of Bath Hotel • Around and About Bath • The Bath Priory

• Great British Glamping • Jane Austen Festival • Kaleidoscope Collection • Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa • Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa New Business • Apex City of Bath Hotel • The Cakery • Framptons Cafe Bar & Kitchen • Ivy Bath Brasserie • Limelight Bath • VV Rouleaux

• Menu Gordon Jones • Mint Room • Pintxo de Bath • Scallop Shell Retailer • Alexandra May Jewellery • Etons of Bath • Grace & Mabel • Kilver Court • Loake Shoemakers • Moss of Bath • Robert Welch • • Taste of Bath Rising Star • Alice Liguori, Network N • Andrew Leung, • Nicola Davis, Nicola Davis Crafts • Paul Aldridge, Prezola • Rachel Godfrey, GoVirtually

Property • CMS Group • Bath Riverside • Mulberry Park • Flying Pig Renovations • Hope House • Savills • Tynings Restaurant • Corkage • Dower House Restaurant at The Royal Crescent Hotel • Green Park Brasserie • Ivy Bath Brasserie • Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa

Technology & Innovation • CiteAb • Cognisess • Deep Blue Sky • Pixie • Rocketmakers • StatsBomb Services

THE 2018 JUDGES Alan Phillips CEO, Paragon Structures

Alison Vowles Reporter and presenter, BBC Points West and BBC Radio Bristol

Carole Banwell General manager, Bath City Football Club

Dan Fallon Managing director, SearchStar

Giles Lunt Director, Boniti

Graham Street Managing partner, Royds Withy King

Neal Slateford Co-founder & Co-CEO, Lovehoney

Nicholas Wylde Owner, Nicholas Wylde (Jeweller)

Nicola McHale Vistage Group Chair, Vistage

Sue Porto CEO, St John’s Foundation I BATH LIFE I 23

Adventures in party-going


Photo by soul media

Ac ros s B AT H , o n e s h i n d i g at a t i m e



Ph o t o s b y BE ATA C O S GROV E Alce Harfield The Bath Carnival team

Emma Parker and Martin Roberts

Keith Portersnell, Alexandra May, Charlotte Rodgers and Claudia Perez Jerez Ryan and Zara Perry

Nela Loubalova and Emma Henderson

Kicking off the celebrations with a bang

Adrian Mottram and Rebecca Collett

Daniel and Noya Pawlyn I BATH LIFE I 25



Viv, Rachel and Richard Godfrey and Keith Walker

Ph o t o s b y J E N I M E A D E


Vicky Cresswell and Ellie Mackenzie

Maddie DifazioWright and Russell Smith

Gavin and Nicola McHale

Jon Ducker and Nas Alvi Carol Banwell and Loraine MorganBrinkhurst

Nicholas Wylde and Julie Witt


B AT H L I F E AWA R D S Halena Coury and Peter Keates

Sam Laite and Joshua Self


Ph o t o s b y J E N I M E A D E

Carson Burnett, David and Angela Ghent

David Maxwell and Beth Denny Teresa and Mark Mentzel



Jon Rolfe, Katie Calvert-Jones and Tom Annear


Henry and Claire Hunton

Annie and Tim Moss


Ed Culliford, Donna Moore, Emma Chun and Dan Fallon



Ph o t o s b y S O U L M E D I A

Kate Doyle, Alice Liguori, Mark Churchyard and Ben Tyrek

Marty Grant, Richard Knighting and Roger Jones

A big cheers to our wonderful guests

David James and Melanie James

Simon Wainewright and Barry Montacute


Samantha Barber, Krissy Nicol and Harriet Barber Frazer King and Rebecca Astrop




Alex Miller, Debbie Hicks, Nickie Portman and Tim Whelehan


Ph o t o s b y S O U L M E D I A

James Nouch, Nicky Bragg, Emily Morrison and Jess Docherty Richard Cross and Peter Milton Harry Peckham, Jordon Thompson, Callum Rixon and Ross Mullins

Simon Austin and Mark Hanks


Emma Rose and Alex Feilden-Cook


SECOND FLOOR SUCESS The Ivy Bath Brasserie on Milsom Street hosted a special preview of its new private dining room and second floor terrace on 14 March. Guests got a sneaky preview of the light and airy Baldwin Room, which is now available for bookings all week. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, an event or celebration, the room can seat up to 40 guests. The new al fresco terrace was another cause for celebration. With a secret garden feel, the outdoor space is a serene spot for afternoon tea, snacks and cocktails during the warmer months. Sue Snook and Susanne Jiggins

Photos by Derryn Vranch Thea lavis and Charly Andrews

Dan Kenyon, James Iveson, Samantha Taylor and Lucy Terrell

Kevin Murphy and Penny Murphy

Angela Ney and Madeleine Waters

Loraine Morgan-Brinkhurst and Kerrianne Gauld

David Newton, Lestyn Lewis and Jeremy Guscott


Les Redwood, Lynsey Redwood, Patrick Nishio and Chandra Nishio


NEW LEASE OF LIFE Weston Village celebrated the reopening of its Children’s Centre, which has been renamed the Weston Hub following a dynamic refurb. The evening included the unveiling of the new identity for the Hub, which was designed by Bath-based graphic whizz Philip Field. The event united members of the Council, local charities and groups that use the building. The new-look centre will continue to be a positive force for good to the people of Weston.

Emily White, Jane Gooding and Clive Bennett

Pip Wynne and Ben Wynne

Photos by Philip Field

Duncan Nash, Chris Carrick, Caroline Dyer and Nigel Dyer

LE GRAND KICK-OFF Over 80 assembled guests enjoyed a bonny breakfast reception at Hall & Woodhouse last month to celebrate the launch of Bath Boules week 2018, which will take place between 10 – 17 June in Queen Square. This year, expect to be treated to a host of new talks, films and parties. Led by headliner Royds Withy King, sponsors’ support is already ahead of last year, which raised a record £50,235 for local charities.

Craig Hoptrough and Kartini Sutoto

Gavin Lazarus, Sally Lifely and Andy Bull

Greg Ingham welcomes guests

Stefan Canale, Mark Baines and Aldo Turner

Photos by Adam Carter

Richard Gorham, Tom Annear, and James Iveson


GCSE & A Level

Revision Course 28th May – 1st June

COME AND MEET Frederick Augustus the

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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



GIVE ME A BREAK New clothes and a souped-up gym routine all in the name of a summer holiday? I think not, says Flats


s I type at my kitchen table, the showering given to the city has abated, and that golden glow is emanating from the stone all around me in the way it only does when it is both wet and under a purposeful sun. Just an hour ago, folks in town were scampering for doorways and using permeable jackets as makeshift hats as the rain lashed in, now they could remove all of those soggy layers and sunbathe on the footpaths of Milsom Street, were immediate arrest not such a likely consequence. So bad was the weather that a friend I was supposed to meet for coffee at Hunter & Sons cried off, saying, “Raining. Can’t be bothered moving. Laters”. Yes, my friends are both committed and articulate lumps. I did meet another friend, though, and we talked over coffee and some absurdly tasty beans on toast, at said café, of work and fun and holidays. Now, having addressed my relative lack of enthusiasm for holidays (kerfuffle, etc) before on these pages, I’d like to declare that I have indeed evolved. Well, I’ve evolved in that I don’t quite baulk as I once did at the very notion of optional international travel. The children still ask thrice daily if they will be taken again to Disney World this year, as they were last, and my answer is as it has always been: “Sure. I won’t be coming, but you can certainly go.” They don’t seem to mind this idea. Nothing says a week at home, walking the dogs, eating meat and watching Narcos to me like, “We’re going to Disney World”. In fact, I’d pay extra to miss that trip. I even hated it as a kid. Anyway, I got talking holidays with some buddies of mine (we schedule in actual conference calls in order that we get proper time to

talk about TV and cars and other vital stuff ), and they both started on about what clothes they were buying in preparation for their intended summer sojourns. I mean, what? I understand looking smart for work, or for big nights out in town, but new clothes for hot, sweaty holidays? Why? Well, once we’d drilled down a little deeper, it turned out to be all about the Facebook photos. Those last for ever, you see. Both of these chaps admitted to having altered and augmented their respective gym schedules recently, too, so that their pallid little carcasses might be better represented for all time. Pathetic, I say. Totally normal, they say. In a sense, I feel lucky for never having cared what anyone thought of a photograph of my gut in the sun. I mean, it’s not pretty, but I just cannot bring myself to care about that. In another way, though, I rather wish I did care a bit, as then I might make a little more effort. To me, prepping for a holiday is the simplest task on earth: pack flip flops, pack a pair of every single colour from the M&S range of elasticated chino shorts, pack some generic T-shirts, grab my shades from the car, drive off. The idea of packing actual evening wear for any climate hotter than Reykjavik makes my skin moisten. And as for my workout regime, well, I think it’s a bit late to come over all David Gandy, so I’ll stick to my niche: ‘Man who looks like he might, once, have been a bit fitter’. Happy holidays. Don’t overthink it.


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


A LITTLE BIT OF LUXURY Short stay accommodation in the heart of Bath


tudent Castle Villas, newly opened in March 2018, is a luxurious short stay accommodation that is located in the heart of Bath. Dating back to the 19th Century, this charming 10 room Villa combines classic Georgian character with contemporary living. When you are ready to explore you will find many of Bath’s sights right at your feet. Borrow

one of our bikes and cycle through the Parade Gardens or enjoy a game of rugby at The Rec just around the corner. For guests looking to experience some culture, we are within walking distance to Bath Abbey and the historical Roman Baths.

“CHIC COLOUR SCHEMES AND STYLISH ATTENTION TO DETAIL” Our 10 beautifully designed studio rooms feature modern interior, chic colour schemes and stylish attention to detail. Each studio includes a large double bed, private kitchen, dining table and a luxury en-suite. You will also find modern features including a large flat screen TV, luxury touches such as Ren toiletries and a Nespresso coffee

machine in every room. Guests will also have full access to our communal areas and the many facilities which include a fully equipped gym and use of our branded bikes. Whether travelling for work or simply enjoying a short break, our Student Castle Villas cater to all.

Studio rooms start from £99 per night. To find out more, contact Student Castle Bath on 0333 344 4097 email: or visit Book directly for the best available rate (no minimum stay required)



Friday & Saturday 20/21 April 10.30am – 5.30pm

Get it before it goes to Cheltenham Fresh Art Fair ART Salon, 21 Broad Street, BATH, BA1 5LN | 01225 422 220 | |


FEST ASSURED Bath is a festival city with an eclectic calendar of vibrant events, so take a look at the unmissable diary here… By L I SA E VA NS

Get stuck into festi-food and laid-back live music at Smoked & Uncut 42 I BATH LIFE I



ath is fizzing with festivals and events 12 months of the year. Music lovers missing Glastonbury this year need not despair as there will be plenty of live performances in and around the city this summer; and there’ll also be an abundance of huge literature, art, culture, fitness and foodie events to sink your teeth into. We’ve only scratched the surface, but here are some of the top local festivals and occasions to immerse and indulge yourself in.


FRANKENSTEIN IN BATH What is it: Show of Strength Theatre Company is back with its extraordinary walking tour which allows you to walk in Mary’s Shelley’s footsteps. The author wrote much of her gothic masterpiece, Frankenstein, here, in 1816/17. When: Until October What to expect: On one of these 90-minute tours, expect to discover the secrets, lies, suicides, concealed births, ruined reputations and false identities surrounding Mary Shelley. The tour will take you to where the author lived (5 Abbey Church Yard), and will detail the chain of extraordinary and tragic events that unfolded around her as she wrote. Where: Meet outside Sally Lunn’s, North Parade Passage, Bath Price: £10

FESTIVAL OF NATURE What is it: It’s the UK’s largest free celebration of the natural world. When: 2 – 8 June What to expect: The festival marks its 15th birthday this year, so, to celebrate, there’ll be a bumper week of activities and events. There’ll be a big, free, family day out in Green Park, with

interactive exhibits from some of the region’s biggest natural history organisations, as well as scientists and artists on hand to help identify trees, birds and plants. Green Park Station will also be taken over for the festival’s first Pop-Up Wildlife Party. Elsewhere, families can enjoy boat rides and special walks around Bath. Where: In and around Bath and Bristol Price: The main events are free

BATH BOULES What is it: It’s something of an institution around these parts, bringing our community closer together for un massif party week, which raises great sums for local charities. When: 10 – 17 June What to expect: A week of parties, talks, films and special events, culminating in the much-loved Bath Boules event (15 –17 June). Where: Queen Square, Bath Price: Free

FESTIVAL OF IRONWORK What is it: A brand-new four-day festival which will bring respected master blacksmiths from across Europe to forge a musical-themed balustrade for the Parade Gardens’ bandstand. The aim of the festival is to raise awareness of heritage skills. When: 14 – 17 June What to expect: Blacksmithing demonstrations, have-a-go forging, live music by the Bath Folk Festival team, storytelling, street theatre, and food and craft stalls. The festival will culminate in a striking piece of public art, leaving a lasting legacy for generations to enjoy. Where: Parade Gardens, Bath Price: £1.50 (or free for Discovery Card holders)






F E S T I VA L S AND EVENTS MINERVA’S OWLS BATH SCULPTURE TRAIL What is it: It’s the latest public art sculpture trail from the team that brought the city the Lions of Bath in 2010 and King Bladud’s Pigs in 2008 – one of the first major sculpture trails of its kind in the UK. When: 25 June – 10 September What to expect: There’ll be 100 individually decorated owl sculptures and a number of smaller owlets around the city. The owls will each have a fancy technological beacon integrated into them so followers of the trail can find the owls as well as learn all about the artists and projects that have been responsible for decorating them so beautifully. For more, see page 9. Where: Across the city Price: Free

BIKE BATH What is it: An annual bike ride (which has been running for seven years) which raises funds for charity. When: 1 July What to expect: Riders will have the choice of three new rides this year – the 25-mile social, or the 50- or 80-mile challenge rides for the keener cyclist. Riders can also enjoy some of the region’s finest flavours at food stations along the routes. Where: It starts and ends at The Rec in the heart of Bath Price: From £26

BATH CARNIVAL What to expect: Watch Bath’s streets come to life with the sights and sounds of the Carnival. As well as fantastic live bands, you’ll also find a great selection of food and drinks stalls and interactive workshops. When: 21 July Where: Around the city Price: Free


BATH COMEDY FESTIVAL What to expect: This is its 10th birthday, and, in celebration, it’s running for 20 days all around Bath, and is presenting household names as well the big names of tomorrow. Price: From free When: Until 15 April The Bath Festival can be enjoyed by all ages

Discover 100 beautiful birds on the Minerva’s Owls sculpture trail

THE BATH FESTIVAL What is it: It’s a multi-arts festival with over 180 events and a diverse programme of literature, music, inspirational speakers and live performances. When: 11 – 27 May What to expect: People and acts you’ll see include Ben Folds, Robert Webb, Professor Green, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The must-sees: This year is the 70th anniversary of Bath Festivals, so the milestone will be marked with a Finale Weekend at The Rec. The two-day finale will feature live performances from big names including Tears for Fears, Robert Plant, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Alison Moyet, Imelda May, Midge Ure, and Seth Lakeman. Where: Various venues in Bath Price: From £8


PARTY IN THE CITY What is it: It’s Bath’s biggest free party, which unites the city and its people with music and entertainment. It will include over 2,000 performers across more than 30 venues When: 18 May Price: Free




FAB FRINGE ARTS BATH What is it: It’s Bath’s only visual arts festival (the little sister to Bath Fringe Festival) and aims to raise the profile of this genre in Bath, provide opportunities for emerging artists, and put art in unusual places and in unexpected ways around the city. When: 25 May – 10 June Price: Free 44 I BATH LIFE I




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 Box Office (Theatre Royal Bath) 01225 44 88 44

* 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.

F E S T I VA L S AND EVENTS When: 3 – 30 July What to expect: There are 16 confirmed comedians (and counting) including Tony Law, Phil Nichol and Lucy Porter. Where: Komedia Bath Price: £8


ROYAL BATH & WEST SHOW What is it: A family-friendly event which brings together British agriculture, entertainment and food and drink. The four-day extravaganza is not only one of the biggest agricultural shows in the country, but it will also be the largest event taking place in Somerset this year. When: 30 May – 2 June What to expect: At the 155th Royal Bath & West Show, you’ll see thousands of animals and over a hundred food and drink producers on show. There will also be extreme sports, show-jumping, live music and tractor demonstrations. Where: Bath & West Showground, near Shepton Mallet Price: From £22

Quirky street theatre at the Blue Sky Festival is a must-see

BATH FRINGE FESTIVAL What is it: Originally set up in 1981, the annual festival celebrates arts in all their many forms – from spoken word, comedy, cabaret and circus, to physical theatre, digital art, and Latin, folk, jazz and rock music. When: 25 May – 10 June Where: Venues across the city, and beyond Price: From free

BLUE SKY FESTIVAL What is it: Now in its fourth year, it’s an annual celebration of the arts for all the family. When: 12 – 17 June What to expect: A quirky festival featuring performances, outdoor music, street theatre, exhibitions and free workshops. The festival also joins forces with the town’s Taste of Corsham festival on the Saturday, providing a full day of family activities around the town. Where: Around Corsham Price: From £5

FOREST OF IMAGINATION What is it: Explore this alternative, playful, multisensory experience of nature and see the contemporary arts come alive in the heart of Bath. When: 28 June – 2 July Where: Details to be announced soon

EDINBURGH FRINGE PREVIEW SEASON What is it: Cancel your flights to Scotland because, for the fifth year running, the Edinburgh Fringe (well, a preview version) is coming to Bath. Catch some of the very finest rising-star Edinburgh Fringe acts before they become household names. 46 I BATH LIFE I

SMOKED & UNCUT What is it: It’s a food and music festival at which guests can get stuck into some serious flavour at food stalls and feasting tents, plus they can lap up the laid-back beats from two main stages.

Smoked & Uncut will light your fire

F E S T I VA L S AND EVENTS What to expect: More glamour than grunge, you can expect a line-up of classic and contemporary artists (including headline act Paul Carrack) along with homemade festi-food. As the evening draws in, the DJ will get the party under the stars started, with bars and late-night food stalls staying open to keep energy levels up. When: 30 June What else? There’s a glamping village where guests can spend the weekend in their own bell tent for two, and chef Angela Hartnett will kick-start the Glampers’ weekend with her signature festival feast. Glampers will then wake up ready to spend the day soaking up the festival vibes. Where: The Pig, near Bath, Pensford Price: From £39.50

BATH VEGAN FESTIVAL What to expect: Over 60 stalls, free samples, informative and interesting talks and tasty cookery demos, featuring, of course, vegan-only delights. When: 28 July Where: Bath Pavilion Price: From £3



IFORD ARTS What is it: It’s an internationally renowned opera and jazz festival held at an intimate venue where captivating opera performances and informal proms are performed in unique spaces. This year will be its 25th anniversary. When: 26 May – 4 August What to expect: Enjoy picnics, proms and performances – from opera concerts in the miniature Italianate cloister, to freeflowing jazz shows set in the peaceful Peto Garden. For more, see page 10. Where: Iford Manor, Iford, Bradford on Avon Price: From £22



With the likes of Kirstie Allsopp and Liz Earle as hosts, discover the joy of crafting at The Handmade Fair

THE HANDMADE FAIR What is it: With Kirstie Allsopp, Liz Earle and Sarah Raven each as a featured daily host, the fair offers an extended weekend of creativity and the chance to learn a new craft. When: 22 – 24 June Where: Bowood House, Calne Price: From £12

FROME FESTIVAL What is it: It’s been Frome’s biggest celebration of the arts for 17 years. When: 6 – 15 July What to expect: Close to 200 events, featuring an eclectic mix of opera, pop, choral, jazz and folk music, plus theatre, workshops, exhibitions, films, walks and talks. The best bits: The legendary Leo Sayer; JLS’s Aston Merrygold; comedian Tom Allen; and singer Badly Drawn Boy. More special bits: The festival will celebrate the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, so expect much monster-talk. Where: Various venues around Frome Price: From free

INDEPENDENCE DAY WEEKEND What is it: Time to celebrate the birth of a nation. During part one (30 June), learn about life in 1776, and, during part two (7 July), celebrate the glamour, glitz and razzmatazz of the USA. When: 30 June and 7 July Where: The American Museum, Claverton Price: Normal admission applies

GREAT BRITISH FOOD FESTIVAL What is it: Back for its third year, expect demos and cookery lessons plus 80 top local producers, real ale, wine bars and live music. When: 25 – 27 August Where: Bowood House, Calne Price: From £5



The Jane Austen Festival sees hundreds of fans dressing in Regency costume; right: Join the UK’s largest free celebration of the natural world at the Festival of Nature


JANE AUSTEN FESTIVAL What is it: Ten days of events celebrating one of Bath’s most famous historic residents. When: 14 – 23 September What to expect: This will be the 18th annual Jane Austen Festival in Bath, and this year will celebrate Persuasion in its bicentenary year. Expect novel-readings, ghost tours, concerts, theatrical productions, the extravagant Regency Costumed Masked Ball and the spectacular opening event that is the Grand Regency Costumed Promenade. Where: Various venues in Bath Price: from free





When: 28 September – 7 October Where: Various venues in Bath Price: Details TBC

BATH MOZARTFEST What to expect: This year, the world-famous Hallé Orchestra will be appearing with conductor Sir Mark Elder, and you’ll also see The Tallis Scholars and La Nuova Musica in action. When: 9 – 17 November Where: Various venues in Bath Price: From £12

BATHSCAPE WALKING FESTIVAL What to expect: Celebrate the local landscape by wandering all over it, climbing summits and taking in the views. When: 15 – 23 September Where: Various destinations in Bath Price: Details TBC

ARMISTICE CENTENARY What is it: Bath Choral Society will commemorate the centenary of the armistice of the First World War by presenting Brahms’ German Requiem. When: 10 November Where: Bath Abbey Price: From £6

BATH CHILDREN’S LITERATURE FESTIVAL What is it: Europe’s largest dedicated children’s literature festival offers a vibrant array of talks and activities for young people.

THE GREAT BATH FEAST What is it: The festival celebrates the very best tastes and flavours that Bath has to offer – from local producers to nationally acclaimed culinary superstars. When: Autumn, date TBC Where: Various venues around Bath Price: TBC I BATH LIFE I 49




The human figure has always been a popular subject for sculptors, but Anna Gillespie’s new work – aptly named New Sculptures – sees her experiencing both a shift in style and a change of materials. Until recently, the Bath-based artist was known for creating her sculptures from found organic tree materials, such as acorn cups, nuts and twigs. She first exhibited her exquisite figures at Bath’s Beaux Arts Gallery over 10 years ago, but the new works have been crafted from raw plaster – built up, knocked back, dripped, flung and placed. There are 24 pieces of sculpture and 14 drawings on show in total. What does it take to recognise an individual as an individual? Emotions are at the forefront in this exhibition, and Anna explores themes which affect all of us, including loss, the feminine and the masculine and the nature of human reality. Works in Plaster can be seen at the Beaux Arts Bath gallery from 7 April – 5 May. For more;, I BATH LIFE I 51

14 April – 12 May

New works in plaster on show at Beaux Arts; titan of fantasy fiction Raymond E. Feist talks new sagas; Beans on Toast performs drunken folk songs (without shoes)

Exhibitions U N TI L 1 9 AP RI L

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; U N TI L 2 2 AP RI L

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

limited edition giclée prints and cards of award-winning landscapes and abstracts. Emma Rose Art Works;



striking and colourful pictures that expressed his love of travel. £10/£9; The Holburne; UNTIL 12 M AY

ROYAL WOMEN A revealing look at how royal roles influenced choice of dress. Exhibition highlights include Alexandra Princess of Wales’ wedding dress, dating from 1863. The stories behind the dresses and the choice of colour, cut or style can tell us much about Alexandra, Mary, Elizabeth, and Margaret, and how they chose to present themselves as royal women; Fashion Museum;

NEW WORKS In this sculptural exhibition, Anna Gillespie breaks from using found organic materials to launch new works in plaster. The figurative pieces deal with loss, the feminine and the masculine, and what it means to be an individual. Anna depicts human reality through the sculptural form. For more, see page 51. Beaux Arts Bath Gallery; UNTIL 7 MAY


SPRING EXHIBITION Original contemporary paintings,


ANTHONY FRY: A RETROSPECTIVE An acclaimed artist who created

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; www. UNTIL 28 O CT O B ER

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; 1 7 – 2 2 AP RI L

THE POSTCARD SHOW Bath-based artists’ group, For Now, celebrates its 10th anniversary with artworks no bigger than the size of a postcard. 44AD; and 1 9 APRI L

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; 2 1 APRI L

BATHAMPTON ART GROUP The talented artists are celebrating 50 years with a spring exhibition, showcasing a wide range of styles. 10am – 5pm; Bathampton Village Hall;

Plays/Shows 1 6 – 2 1 AP RI 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;

Clockwise from top left: all the glittery attire at The Ministry of Burlesque; Elsa Jean McTaggart is Eva Cassidy for the night; singer-songwriter Eddi Reader entertains with contemporary British classics 1 8 A PRI L

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; 2 5 A PRI L – 5 MAY

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;

edge. Meal deals and VIP tickets are also available. 8pm; £18; Komedia;

26 AP R IL – 2 J UNE

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; 27 AP R IL

Music 19 AP R I L

THE MINISTRY OF BURLESQUE: CABARET A fusion of camp comedy, risqué song and frisky burlesque. Enjoy a myriad of musical comedy masters, provocative prima donnas, glittering enigmatic exotic dancers and astonishing feats of human grace – all balanced on a contemporary knife

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; 19 AP R I L

DAME JEAN The Bath band have already picked up praise on the festival circuit for their uber-catchy w I BATH LIFE I 53

W H AT ’ S O N



Clockwise, from above left: fall in love with the Buzzcocks at Komedia; Rebecca Louise is someone like Adele; a quirky tale of redemption, The Whale at The Ustinov

guitar pop. They’ve just released their first single, and hit the road with a hometown date to kick things off. 8pm; The Pig & Fiddle; 20 AP RI L

REBECCA LOUISE IS ADELE As seen on the BBC 1 prime-time show Even Better than the Real Thing, Rebecca is the number one choice of Adele tribute. She’ll be performing the singer’s best-known ballads, with her signature bubbly personality. 7.30pm; £15; Komedia; 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; 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 Cluborganised event to raise money for the Bath Stroke Support Group and other charities. £10; 7.30pm; St. Swithins Church;

2 7 A PRI L

SOUL STRUTTERS The Soul Strutters are a collective of professional musicians from Bristol. They’ll be performing handpicked songs from the golden era of Funk, Soul, Disco and Rare Groove. Due to high demand, the band are back in Bath for an evening of funky Friday fun. 9pm; Walcot House; www. 3 0 A PRI L – 1 M AY

EVA CASSIDY: THE STORY A deeply personal, poignant tribute by Elsa Jean McTaggart to an inspirational voice and an incredibly talented musician who was discovered by the world tragically late. Through video, voice and song Elsa presents a tribute to her all-time favourite artist Eva Cassidy with her voice, guitar and piano accompaniment. 7.30pm; £12; Mission Theatre; www.

singer promises a unique evening of entertainment. Expect love songs, protest songs, drinking songs and stories full of humour, grace and honesty – just like his music. 7.30pm; £16.50; Komedia; 4 MAY

BUZZCOCKS Never mind the telly, Buzzcocks are coming to Bath. The punk rock legends will be performing live in a special one-off show, with hits from their discography. 7pm; £23; Komedia;


LUKE DANIELS Daniels’ soloist talents have appeared on the soundtracks for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, but here he offers up an evening of his own music. Enjoy listening to this 21st century troubadour, whose music is founded on the finest folk traditions. 7.30pm; £12; Komedia; 3 MAY

BEANS ON TOAST The so-called english drunk folk



EDDI READER Scottish singer-songwriter Eddi brings joyous life to both contemporary and traditional song.s She’s had an enduring solo and supporting vocalist career. The evening promises to be a musical treasure, as Eddi performs an array of music, using her ability to assimilate different musical styles and make them her own. 7.30pm; £22.50; Komedia;

Family 15 AP R IL

FAMILY WORKSHOP Get hands-on, taking inspiration from India and creating block printed bags. 10.30am; £10/£5; The Holburne; 20 AP R IL

SUPER PIRATES See Komedia’s huge dance floor transformed into a fun-packed pop-up play area. Be prepared for building dens, playing crazy games, dancing to your children’s favourite tunes, and generally having a wild time. There will be plenty of space for buggies and feeding, and parents (who get in free) can get that muchneeded coffee while the kids are entertained. Children and babies 10am; £3; Komedia; 21 AP R IL

ROMEO AND JULIET A stunning adaptation that fully realises the lovers and brings to life their world, the sound, heat w

nick cudworth gallery

Self Portrait at 70


3 – 28 April An exhibition of paintings and prints by Nick that reflect his interests in a variety of subjects including portraits, still life and landscape

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

Pitch Up and Play

Childcare & Play Dens A big occasion can be stressful enough without having to worry about keeping your younger guests entertained too. Let us take some of those concerns away and throw your mini VIPs their very own party so that you can truly enjoy yours. Made up of security checked, experienced and super fun staff, we create the perfect package for all of your childcare requirements including pop up creches, birthday play dens, nannies and babysitters.


W H AT ’ S O N

and colour of Verona – the threat of their feuding families. Various times; £8.50/£7.50; the egg; 22 AP RI 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; 22 AP RI L

WORLD HERITAGE DAY Enjoy a festival of free events with the family to celebrate World Heritage Day. There will be Roman military reenactments with The Ermine Street Guard. To get the day off to a banging start, there will be special demonstrations of authentic Roman weaponry and manoeuvres. 11am; Royal Victoria Park in front of Royal Crescent; www.romanbaths. 27 – 2 9 AP RI L

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; 28 AP RI L

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-yearolds. 10.30am; £5/£3; The Edge, University of Bath; 28 AP RI L

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; The Edge, University of Bath;

Clockwise, from top: celebrate World Heritage Day in Bath; hear Luke Daniels folkin’ around; get lost in Emma Rose’s swirling scenes

Other 1 6 A PRI 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;

1 9 A PRI L

GOAT We, apparently, should all be eating more goat. Meet author and chef James Whetlor, who’ll talk about this misunderstood produce, his new cookery book, Goat, and offer a demo and tastings. For more, see page 75. 8pm; £8 – £25; Topping & Company Booksellers of Bath;

if you’re tempted to join, the first year’s membership is free. 11am; Bath Bowling Club; 26 AP R IL

PHENOMENAL WOMEN: CAROLE MUNDELL Listen to the inspirational head 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


27 AP R IL

RAYMOND E. FEIST A rare chance to meet this titan of the fantasy genre in person, and an even rarer chance to listen to the legendary writer talking about the first book in his new epic Firemane Saga series. 8pm; £8 – £20; Topping & Company Booksellers of Bath;

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 2 A PRI L

BATH BOWLING CLUB OPEN DAY Learn more about this moderately active, enjoyable and sociable outdoor game and,

organised event, designed to celebrate vibrant British culture. Expect music, food and games. 10am – 4pm; Green Park Station, Bath;

27 AP R IL

THE GREAT BRITISH GET TOGETHER Grab your Union Jack and raise a cup of tea to this student-

27 – 29 AP RI L

FRESH: ART FAIR… YEAR TWO The new contemporary art fair in Cheltenham last year instantly established itself as a key player in the provincial art fair calendar. Described by one leading dealer as “the best contemporary art fair outside London”, the 2018 show promises to push the bar still higher. Cheltenham Racecourse;

a d v e r t i s i n g f e at u r e t r av e l & t o u r i s m

due south History, food, shopping and music: isn't it time you paid a visit to Exeter?


xeter is a beautiful city steeped in over 2,000 years of history. At its heart stands its magnificent Gothic Cathedral. Cathedral Yard itself is dotted with cafes and restaurants in which to sit and watch the world

go by. Find out more about Exeter’s fascinating history on a free Red Coat Guided Tour, running daily throughout the year, or head to the city’s award-winning Royal Albert Memorial Museum to take a voyage of discovery from prehistory to the present day through 16 galleries of displays. Descend beneath Exeter’s streets to explore a remarkable network of subterranean passages, constructed in medieval times to bring fresh drinking water into the city – the only attraction of their kind open to the public in Britain! Head to the picturesque Quayside to enjoy some great food and drink at one of the waterside pubs or cafés, or hire a bike or canoe to explore Exeter’s historic Ship Canal. Find out more about Exeter’s rich maritime history at the 17th-century Custom House Visitor Centre. The city’s compact size makes it the perfect shopping destination. Divided into distinct shopping quarters, a great choice of shops can be found within easy walking distance of each other, from large department stores such

as John Lewis to quirky independents tucked away in interesting arcades in the West Quarter and cobbled Gandy Street. When it comes to refreshment stops, Exeter is a foodie’s heaven. The choice of eateries is vast, from weekly farmer’s and street food markets to real ales in historic pubs and fine dining choices. Be sure to visit Queen Street Dining, Exeter’s newest premium dining destination, the perfect place to sample the finest fare from local food heroes to unique cuisines in cool casual surroundings. Exeter’s love of local food and drink is celebrated each year at its annual Festival of South West Food & Drink. Taking place this year between 5- 7 May in the courtyard of Exeter Castle and surrounding Northernhay Gardens, this year's festival will have an even stronger focus on music with live bands throughout the day in Exeter Castle, plus a separate evening event, Exeter Beats, promising a great line-up of music, street food, cocktails and local beers. Buy tickets at Venture a short distance from Exeter to visit a number of award-winning visitor attractions. Crealy Adventure Park & Resort is a popular family favourite with over 100 acres of beautiful countryside and 60 rides and attractions to get the heart pumping. BL

Win a family break in Exeter…

Including a 3 night glamping break with theme park tickets at Crealy Adventure Park & Resort; entry to Exeter’s Underground Passages and £100 to spend at your favourite Queen Street Dining Restaurant. summercompetition

Whatever your tastes, be sure to Visit Exeter. Go to or call 01392 665700 to start planning your visit. I BATH LIFE I 61

The Framing Workshop has been trading as an independent family run business on Walcot Street for over 28 years. We treasure you, our client, and spend time helping you to find the best way to display and protect your cherished objects, artworks and memorabilia. Creativity and respect for each artwork are core to what we do. Every picture tells a story. Come and share yours.

80 Walcot Street, Bath, BA1 5BD | Tel: 01225 482748




A NEW PERSPECTIVE NIC BOTTOMLEY delights in astonishing memoirs, which have the ability to transport the reader into different worlds


e often read novels to inhabit an entirely different space to our day-to-day life. If a character is welldrawn then you sit on their shoulder each time you pick up the book and are transported to what might be a different place, time or even dimension and so distract yourself from your own life and concerns for a while. The thing is, though, a well-written memoir can do this just as well as a novel. There are so many astonishing lives being led, so much adversity being overcome, that you don’t have to look too hard to find an inspiring insight into a life very unlike your own that will keep you entertained and inspired. Tara Westover’s life story is told in her astonishing book Educated (Cornerstone, £14.99) which I was lucky enough to interview her about a few weeks ago. Tara was raised in rural Idaho in a family of survivalists who believed that schools and the medical establishment were part of a government conspiracy. She spent many summers preparing for a Day of Judgment which would be a sign of God’s wrath, but might also take the form of a shootout with authorities determined to force her parents to obtain birth certificates for their seven

kids or put them into school. Add into this mix the necessity of working in the family’s scrapyard, where no heed was paid to health and safety – even though their frequent injuries had to be treated at home – and the physical and emotional threat of an older brother, and you have a recipe for an unorthodox and challenging childhood. Be clear though, Educated is no misery memoir. First of all, Tara is very clear that her childhood was not all bad and, to her, many of her father’s unorthodox views of the world were the norm which she shared until well into her 20s. Secondly, a tale can’t be miserable when it’s this inspirational. Aged 17, Tara left home and took up a place at Brigham Young University and ultimately excelled so much that she received scholarships to Cambridge and Harvard and now has a PhD in history amongst many other academic qualifications. The second half of the book focuses on this incredible journey, looks at the meaning of home and reveals the very real grief she suffered as a result of gradually becoming estranged from some members of her family. Adam Kay’s working life will be all too familiar to anyone who has spent time working in the NHS, but that doesn’t make it any less eye-watering to the rest of us.

For years he worked as an obstetrician and gynaecologist in various hospitals, working his way from a newly qualified House Officer to a Senior Registrar carrying massive responsibility for the lives of his patients on every single shift. Kay’s book This is Going to Hurt (Macmillan, £8.99) documents his career and reveals that the one constant throughout his incident-packed time as a doctor was the thankless and brutally underpaid working hours. The book is, in the main, played for laughs which reflects Adam’s second career as a comedian and scriptwriter. The shocking working conditions faced by doctors and other medical staff in the NHS, though, is never far from the narrative and it’s not difficult to work out why he is writing as an ex-doctor rather than a current one. In fact, the mystery thrown up is how he (and every other doctor) puts up with this highstress job and a complete lack of personal life when asked to exercise his skills on no sleep thanks to working up to double the contracted hours. The political edge to This is Going to Hurt is, though, just that: an edge. The body of the book is an irreverent, often hilarious and invariably utterly revolting account of life as a doctor. If you prefer not to know the vast myriad of items that the British public manage to wedge into their bodies and how a doctor might go about removing those items, then stay away from this one. Similarly, if you have even the remotest plan of being involved in childbirth in the near, or distant, future then you might want to steer clear. In between anecdotes, Kay does offer some sage advice on choices around giving birth, but some of those anecdotes may just put you off the whole shebang. Of course if Tara Westover and Adam Kay’s life stories are all a bit dramatic and frenetic for you, there’s always bookselling. Just sit back, grab a copy of 84 Charing Cross Road by Helen Hanff (Little Brown, £7.99) and you’ll immediately occupy a sedate and civilised world where bookish international friendships can magically flourish.

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 63

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

BeataCosgrovePhotographer beatacosgrovephotography



Clockwise, from left: Fighting movie Journeyman echoes The Wrestler and The Fighter; The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a World War II period drama; exceptional family drama Custody; Funny Cow follows a female stand-up comedian facing prejudice in the 1970s





From coma-inducing boxing blows and feminist battles, to World War II period dramas and chess rivalry, here are the heartfelt but gritty movie recommendations from the Little Theatre Cinema By GR AC E W I L L I A M S


addy Considine is fast becoming the go-to guy for heartfelt but gritty British film. Since his debut in Shane Meadows’ A Room for Romeo Brass, way back in 1999, Considine has put in countless memorable performances – he was a standout in last year’s The Death of Stalin – and now he gives us his second film as director: Journeyman. Considine also takes the lead in the film as middleweight boxing champion Matty who decides he must fight his last fight to secure a bright future for his wife and family. However, the real fight of his life begins after he awakens from a comainducing blow. Echoing The Wrestler and The Fighter, Considine puts in a powerhouse performance with a stellar cast for backing (including the new owner of the TARDIS, Jodie Whittaker). We love a good ‘based on a best-selling novel’ flick, so we are overjoyed to welcome The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (try saying that really fast over and over again!) to our screen. A World War II period drama always goes down a treat, especially when it promotes the magic of reading and importance of community, which director Mike Newell (of Four Weddings and a Funeral fame) does so beautifully. Downton Abbey alumni Lily James plays journalist Juliet Ashton who travels to Guernsey to

write about the LPPS and how their love of literature is helping them through the Nazi occupation of the Channel Islands. There’s romance, there’s plight, there’s resistance and there’s many helpings of the unusual titular dish, all served up with some good old Blitz spirit. It’s certainly a film for cinemagoers who want a frightfully good time and want their cockles thoroughly warmed. For all you French cinema fans, we have the exceptional family drama Custody. A follow-on from director Xavier Legrand’s short film Just Before Losing Everything, the film centres on Miriam and Antoine Besson and how their divorce affects their children. Antoine is abusive and Miriam is fearful, resulting in a traumatic custody battle. Though this is familiar territory for French cinema, the taut writing and stellar performances make it unmissable and ultimately earnt Legrand a rising star award at last year’s Venice film festival. The film will evoke anger and sadness, yet highlights how abused women get lost in the system and the suffering is not always over once they’ve left the household. To celebrate the centenary of Ingmar Bergman’s birth, we’ve got a season of some of the great Swedish director’s most essential films. Kicking off with the wonderful Wild Strawberries, this celebration continues with the iconic The Seventh Seal, featuring

that classic chess game between Max Von Sydow and Death, the much ripped-off Persona along with lesser-known treats like the The Touch, starring a young Elliot Gould. For any Bergman virgins out there, throw yourself into his masterful stories of pain, joy, cheekiness, dysfunction, bruised nostalgia and hope. Also on its way to us is an absolute corker of a comedy. Tully is the third film from the heavenly director and screenwriter combo of Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody who gave us Juno and the criminally under-adored Young Adult. The latter movie showed off Charlize Theron’s impressive comic chops and she’s back again in the new film, playing an exhausted mother-of-three who invests in the services of a night nurse to look after her new baby so she can get some proper snoozing sorted. As ever, Cody’s dialogue crackles and pops in all the right places with one-liners to savour, and there’s oodles of pathos in the relationship between bleary-eyed Theron and the younger, sparklier nanny. Finally, we have the British comedy-drama Funny Cow starring the brilliant Maxine Peake as a fledging stand-up comedian facing prejudice in the 1970s. Funny Cow puts misogyny in the entertainment industry under a microscope, especially in a time where women’s roles in society were very different. Funny Cow (that’s her only name in the film) has to battle her way to the top through working men’s clubs, sometimes having to compromise her material in order to stand out from the crowd. Combine that with a difficult home life and moaning mum and you’ve got yourself a British classic on your hands. Peake herself said it was a challenge getting the film made due to budget, but we’re very glad it did. Also starring Paddy Considine (see, he gets about) and the wonderful Christine Bottomley, this is a Brit film you won’t want to pass up on. Grace Williams, marketing manager The Little Theatre, 1 – 2 St Michael’s Place 01225 466822; I BATH LIFE I 65

Although he was made patron Saint of England, St George had never set foot here before



To celebrate St George’s Day, and what it means to be English, SARAH MOOLLA looks to her own heritage with the help of a DNA test

t George happened to be a Roman soldier of Greek origin who was born in Turkey and raised in Palestine, and was made the patron saint of England in 1327, despite George, or his dragons, never having set foot here (a bit like those three lions about to grace England’s World Cup football shirts). George must have hesitated when asked where he was from – and I know how he feels. Aside from my slightly nomadic upbringing (London, Swansea, Bristol, Liverpool, London again then back to the West Country), it’s the question of heritage I find a puzzler. My father is a South African Indian, and my mother is from Dublin, Ireland. They met and married in London, had three children, and despite my father’s dark skin, we are all very white in colour. Yet due to my parents’ divorce, we are all more familiar with our South African roots than our Irish connections. So the opportunity to do a DNA test was utterly 66 I BATH LIFE I




irresistible, and the results totally fascinating. But before we get to my very own episode of Who Do You Think You Are?, we find out why such tests are on the rise. David Nicholson – who launched his Frome-based business Living DNA in 2016, is an expert in DNA testing, and also owns the parent company DNA Worldwide which has been running since 1999 – suggests, “The questions that societies through the ages have always asked are: ‘what is our purpose?’, ‘why are we here?’, and ‘how did we get there?’. Held within our DNA code is the history of humanity, so the relatively low cost of tests today has opened the science up, and is effectively a key to help unlock these mysteries. “We’ve developed algorithms that can map a person’s DNA mix across 80 world regions, so our latest tests offer twice the detail of other ancestry tests.” I knew the test outcome would be interesting, but I was not prepared for the breadth and depth of analysis that a single swab of saliva could bring. The Living DNA test not only covers


Sarah with her father

the family line ancestry, but also, thanks to the mitochondrial DNA test (mtDNA test) it includes the motherline, and there is the fatherline ancestry if you are male. The ancestry is put into context revealing not only the breakdown of my genetic story but the migration patterns of my ancestors, dating back 80,000 years. But it was the family ancestry, a DNA mix from the last 10 generations, that really gripped me. At first glance, it confirms what I already knew – I am half Irish, and half Asian, so no great surprise there. But then there’s breakdown within that: 14.6 per cent Sindh, which is one of the four provinces

The breakdown of Sarah’s genetic heritage

Sarah with her own children

WHERE DO WE THINK WE ARE? David Nicholson, co-founder and managing director at Living DNA, takes a look at the migration history of Bath The areas known to us today as Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Somerset (South Central England) share a genetic signature and archaeological history. The earliest settlers in this area moved across from Europe after the freezing and vast ice sheets of Britain began to give way to a warmer climate. The first insight into human life here dates back 14,700 years. There is evidence that these people had cannibalistic tendencies, which may have been ritualistic or may simply have been a way to cope and survive the relentless environment and changing climate. A second migration to Britain brought farming into action and completely changed the inhabitants’ way of life. Migrations may


have occurred from Normandy and the Channel Islands into the South West, with farming technologies migrating up to south central England. This area was invaded by the Romans, Anglo-Saxons and the Normans. Currently, there is no indication that the Norman and Roman invasions had any detectable genetic impact on the people of Britain. The Anglo-Saxon invasions have probably contributed between 10 per cent and 40 per cent of your DNA and were even responsible for great changes to the language – Old English. Multiple migrations from Europe have created a rich and diverse genetic and archaeological history in south central England.

of Pakistan; 9.9 per cent Pashtun, which is a mix of Afghan and Iranian and known to be, as a race, very pale in colour; and, rather intriguingly, 2.7 per cent Chinese. But it even breaks down my Irish heritage into regions, revealing that most of this side of my ancestry originated from the north of Ireland and south west Scotland. It slides mainly across the west of country, leaving a trail of Aberdeenshire, South Yorkshire, North and South Wales, and Cornwall, and the occasional zigzag across the regions, in my genetic makeup. What’s even more exciting, the lifetime access means, as science evolves, my results can be updated. I show my father the results, and he’s equally fascinated, as there are tales in the DNA findings that unlock stories from his own past. And my own children are thrilled by their cosmopolitan makeup. It’s a wonderful way to connect with the different generations, and open up a dialogue. The test also reveals I have a lot more in common with St George than I thought – historians say a patron saint did not have to be from the country they were born in, they just needed to embody the characteristics the kingdom wanted to project to the outside world. It would seem my DNA tells a wonderful story of the diversity, migration and acceptance of the people of England. And gives me the right to say, I am proud to be English. Users pay a one-off fee of £120 for a swab kit that arrives and is returned via post. Typically, the results take eight – 12 weeks to arrive and come with lifetime access to the online reports. I BATH LIFE I 67


THE IMPORTANCE OF NEUTERING You’ll find useful advice, tips and support at BATH VET SURGERIES


aving a new pet is always a busy and exciting time, especially in their first year of life. Vaccinations, worming and neutering are questions that pet owners have to face. Neutering, in particular, is an important decision since it involves a general anaesthetic to undergo a non-reversible procedure.


There are many good reasons to neuter a pet. First and foremost, it prevents unwanted pregnancies but many people are not aware that neutering can also prevent certain diseases such as mammary cancer, infections of the uterus and prostate disease. Some people will neuter their pet to modify unwanted behaviour such as roaming and aggression. Although behaviour cannot completely be changed by neutering a male it can eliminate the hormonal element associated with aggression particularly in male cats.


Vets would prefer to neuter animals before they reach sexual maturity in most cases. For cats it would be as early as 4 to 5 months old and for dogs it would be at six months of age. If anyone has ever experienced a female cat (queen) in heat you would realize that neutering her would be the best option unless you want to be plagued by nocturnal crying for weeks! Male cats are likely to spray a strong-smelling urine on surfaces to

mark their territory when they are not neutered. So, for peace of mind, neutering is a viable option.



• Rosemary Lodge Hospital Wellsway, Bath, BA2 5RL 01225 832521

Your vet can have a discussion about the surgical options of neutering. Nowadays the procedure is relatively safe due to the onset of new anaesthesia, monitoring and pain relief. Your pet has access to all the innovations that are provided by human medicine and the whole process takes only one day in the hospital. Post-operative care consists of restricted activity for one week, sutures, if any, are removed within two weeks. Some animals may need a collar (resembling a lamp shade) to prevent them from licking their incision but the collar would only be needed for one or two weeks. Although neutering is an important milestone in the life of your pet, once it is done you can relax knowing that you have lowered the risk of certain problems and diseases. Most of all, remember that even though there is a lot to do in their first year of life, it can be an enjoyable time for everyone. – Words by Jenny Keen DVM, MRCVS

Rosemary Lodge, Wellsway, Bath, BA2 5RL, 01225 832521 f Bath.Vet.Group

• Bath Cat Clinic 4 Beaufort East, London Road, BA1 6QD 01225 312061 • Chapel Veterinary Surgery Forest Road, Melksham, SN12 7AA 01225 702427 • Marshfield Veterinary Surgery 57 High Street, Marshfield, SN14 8LR 01225 891171 • Oldfield Park Veterinary Surgery 4 Third Avenue, Oldfield Park, BA2 3NY 01225 423652 • Peasedown Veterinary Surgery, 46 Bath Road, Peasedown St John, BA2 8DL 01761 435673 • Saltford Veterinary Surgery 478B Bath Road, Saltford, BS31 3DJ 01225 872002 • Station Road Veterinary Surgery Lower Weston, BA1 3DY 01225 428921 • Park Road Vets 11 Park Road, Keynsham, Bristol, BS31 1BX 0117 9339 933 I BATH LIFE I 69




Giggling Squid Checking out one of the newest eateries to the Bath foodie scene leaves LISA EVANS in a bit of a fiery fluster


ou know that common untruth hairdressers tell you: “I’ll take the tiniest amount off the ends,” and then you walk out of the salon with a pixie crop? Well, it’s akin to the understatement given at the Giggling Squid, where a description reading “a hint of warmth” actually means you’re about to burst into flames. The last thing you’d expect when indulging in a pudding, of all things, is that it would be so furiously fiery, you’d end up doing that pointless, frantic waving of your hands over your mouth and taking down glugs of water in an attempt to soothe your throbbing tongue, which inevitably makes it worse. When the dessert menu begs the need for a three-chilli pictogram rating, you know you’re in trouble. You think I’m exaggerating, and that’s fine, but even the waitress agrees that this dish is more spice than sponge. But we should have seen the warning signs, because the very first page of the menu has a little background about the owner – Thaiborn Pranee Laurillard (who runs the restaurant with her husband Andy). It reads “As a little girl, I used to run up and down the rows of chillies and occasionally pick some. I remember them being so vibrant, and so deliciously hot”. She’s been accustomed to spice since she was too young to see over the table I’m sitting at now, so it’s my own fault for not preparing myself for what was to come. Pranee isn’t just keen on flavours, she’s also central to the quirky interior design of the Thai restaurant, even down to helping to hand-press the flowers that hang from the ceilings in beautiful vintage frames. Perfectly instagrammable florals are integral to the look here; faux pink roses trail down the walls, purple garlands decorate grand aviaries in the middle of the room, and hand-painted stencils combined with bold, botanical wallpapers add yet more look-at-me brilliance. Because of this, the place feels



personal, even though it’s not an independent eatery. In fact, it’s gaining serious moment at the moment, and Bath is its 23rd site. So, on to the food. The menu’s a whopper (and there’s a comprehensive vegetarian menu upon request, which has 25 dishes and sides to choose from) and includes exciting showstoppers such as the ‘glorious morning stir-fry’, ‘sleeping honey duck with orange’ and ‘DIY bundles’. To start, from options such as lime and chilli beef, tamarind prawns, and duck spring rolls, we opted for the crisp, fragrant, Bankok-style sweetcorn fritters, which were rich with the flavours of aromatic lime leaves and red curry paste; and we ordered the almost spoonable slow-cooked pork ribs in a sticky, three-flavour sweet chilli sauce. We followed this with ‘crying beef’ – grilled sirloin marinated in Thai herbs accompanied by a spicy dipping sauce – and Massaman vegetable curry made with coconut milk and dry spices such as cumin and cinnamon. This was the star of the show for me; it presented its richness, sweetness and creaminess in gentle, soothing waves, but, if I was to be extra pernickety, the only thing that slightly let it down was that there were a few ‘bits’ in there that I expect should have been taken out of the pot before serving (a crunchy shard of star anise, and a whole dried kaffir lime leaf ). We also share a pad Thai, because the menu suggests to, and a coconut rice for good measure. If you fancy something a little lighter than this great feast, there’s also a lunchtime tapas menu (which I’m a little sad doesn’t continue into the evening, as ‘a bit of everything’ on small plates is my go-to), and street foodstyle snacks are available in the separate lounge and bar – a first for Giggling Squid. I had my eye on the mango and lime cheesecake for dessert, but they’d sold out of that at lunchtime, so we both went for the pud with that major, surprise dose of capsaicin, which, in hindsight, was definitely the wrong choice for my sensitive taste buds. They might be generous with the spice here, but the same goes for the portion sizes, attention-to-detail and attentiveness of the staff. Does Bath really need another chain restaurant? If it wants sensibly priced, crowdpleasing, authentic Thai food served in a very pretty, lively space, then yes, there’s certainly a place for it. Just be prepared to mop your brow and fan your mouth throughout your visit.

DINING DETAILS Giggling Squid, Bluecoat House, Saw Close, Bath, BA1 1EY; 01225 331486; Prices Starters £3.50 – £16.75; mains £7.95 – £16.50; desserts £4.95 – £5.95 Vegetarian choice Excellent Drinks A handful of cocktails, and a good selection of wines along with some traditional Thai beers Service/atmosphere Attentive/quirky and convivial I BATH LIFE I 71

Indian summer dining couldn’t be better than dining at Mint Room Bath and the re-opening shortly of our Piper Heidsieck Rooftop Champagne Bar

Sunday brunch coming soon! Longmead Gospel Hall, Lower Bristol Road, Bath BA2 3EB Tel: 01225 446656 12-16 Clifton Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 1AF Tel: 01173 291300 Email:


Gimmee a pizza that! Tasters grab a slice of the Bath foodie scene


Head of Savouring Bath, Mike James is the man to take you on an edible journey allowing you to experience the city with your taste buds


hat could be better than eating and drinking your way round the beautiful city of Bath? That’s exactly what expert, super-friendly tour guide Mike James delivers with Savouring Bath. The business was founded in 2016 with two tours, Food Heroes and Local Flavours. Since then, the team have wowed visitors and locals alike with new themes and bespoke events, including the new Foodie Frenzy treasure hunt. We catch up with Mike to find out more about this crazy concept… Where did the idea for Savouring Bath food tours come from? I’ve been a tourist guide for over 25 years and devised a Georgian-themed food-sampling tour of Bath in 2014 because I was amazed that nobody was already doing this. I got distracted, and didn’t really put it out there until I approached Visit Bath to ask if I could offer it as part of the Great Bath Feast in 2016. How long have they been running? Savouring Bath was first set up by Jennifer Dugdale in 2016, who’d set up a similar tour in Aix-en-Provence, France. When Jennifer moved to the UK, she wanted to offer tasting tours to Bath’s visitors. As Jennifer and I were offering the ‘same-but-different’ tours in 2016, our paths crossed and we became friends. When Jennifer moved back to France last year, she offered me a chance to take over the business. We’ve been continuing her legacy since then by adding new tours and foodie experiences to the Savouring Bath portfolio. With all the logistics involved, how do you pick where to go and in what order? Originally, we just selected independent businesses offering handcrafted produce, 74 I BATH LIFE I

Go on, give us a clue... Mike leads a city scavenger hunt

and were located along a route that made sense. However, for our latest tour, Guilty Pleasures, two suppliers approached us. I was really humbled by this and decided to write a tour around them and a few others. Sounds like thirsty work. Do you run the tours as well as organise them? At the moment, I’m more or less a one-man band when it comes to the admin and development side of the business. I lead most tours, and my partner looks after all our social media. We also have two other great guides called Cheryl and Carol who are big foodie fans and passionate about local history. Are there vegan and veggie options, too? We actually have a new tour in the pipeline, which is going to be entirely gluten-free and geared towards a plant-based diet. It’ll be great for vegans and vegetarians but accessible to all. It’s currently only available Mike goes all in for a Bath Bun

as a privately booked tour, but we’re hoping to offer it on our regular schedule next year. What’s your most popularly booked edible outing? Food Heroes is one of the tours that Jennifer created and is still really popular. It shows off the foods that are part of Bath’s culinary heritage and place the city firmly on the culinary trail of the UK, but also the people who are championing their corner of the culinary industry in Bath. We see you’ve got more foodie experiences coming soon. Tell us more... We’re in the process of refining how we offer bespoke tours for private groups, and looking to work more with corporate clients and the travel trade. Our most popular private event is Foodie Frenzy, a tightly timed and fastpaced scavenger hunt where you have to solve clues leading to artisan suppliers. You then get sample tastings and learn a few facts before moving on to the next clue. There’s also an intermission food or drink workshop and a cocktail masterclass at the end. It’s been great fun, and we’ve had some lovely feedback from everyone who’s done it so far! You must occasionally get food-ed out. What dish makes you say ‘yum’? My mum’s lasagne always does it for me, but she lives in Yorkshire, so it’s a bit far to go for a regular home comfort. Thankfully, my other half is an amazing cook and he’s always posting pictures of his home cooking on our Twitter and Instagram feed. At the moment, I’m pretty bowled over by his chicken and chorizo jambalaya or his mediterranean shepherd’s pie. For more:



All in white, the young chefs from cook up a storm for executive guests

SPRING SELL-OUT The Chefs’ Forum Educational Foundation recently held its first Executive Chefs’ Spring Lunch for 60 guests at the Bath Priory. The event was supported by budding young chefs from Bath College. The fine dining experience was hosted by Michael Nizzero, executive chef of The Bath Priory, who was joined by three guest chefs, Niall Keating (Whatley Manor), Hywel Jones (Lucknam Park) and Richard Davies (Calcot Manor). Oustanding students from

Gloucestershire and Bath Colleges got the opportunity to sample the Michelin-starred menu, and the chance to work alongside some of the South West’s top talent. A lucky few even had the chance to sit down and savour the experience as guests. The sell-out event raised over £4,000 for the Chefs’ Forum Educational Foundation, which supports the next generation of chefs starting out in their career and hoping to enter the hospitality industry. For more:

LUNCH IS SERVED The Marlborough Tavern, Bath, has long been a favourite spot for a pub lunch. The atmosphere is casual and friendly, with muddy dogs being welcomed, too. The pub has revamped its lunchtime menu, with new dishes catering for afternoon appetites of all sizes. Classics such as fish and chips remain firmly on the list, but there’s some lighter vegetarian and seafood options, too. If you’ve missed out on brunch, or just love an artisan sourdough, there’s also a ‘posh beans on toast’ or smashed avocado alternative to choose from. Lunch is served Monday – Saturday 12pm – 3pm.

Grubs up. Dig into the new hot (or cold) midday dishes

For more:

Special treats to make your mouth water

Founder of goat meat supplier Cabrito hugs his kids tightly

MORE GOAT, PLEASE Chef-turned-ethical-meat-supplier James Whetlor is coming to Bath to tell us why we should all be eating more goat. He’ll be at Topping & Company Booksellers of Bath on 19 April to talk about his bold new cookbook, aptly named Goat. James is putting up an impressive fight to add value to a previously wasted resource, and has made it his life’s work to get the billy onto our plates. The evening event also includes cookery demos and tasting. For more:

GUILTY PLEASURES Foodie tour business Savouring Bath has added an indulgent new trip to their schedule, which introduces participants to some of Bath’s most tempting culinary artisans. Better throw off that diet day... The Guilty Pleasures food tour takes in all the places where you’d love to go and indulge on a daily basis but really feel you shouldn’t. “Think about those moments when you take just one more chocolate from the box, an extra mini-sausage roll from the buffet, or one more little piece of cake, just when you

think nobody’s looking… well that’s the kind of food you’ll be sampling on this tour,” says chief tour guide Mike James. Not for the calorie-conscious, the new three-hour tour caters for up to 10 participants, at £35 each. At least eight different food and drink tastings are included, over a mix of standing, seated, interior, and exterior visits. It’s available every Thursday and Friday from 2pm. For more, see opposite. For more: I BATH LIFE I 75













Weather clock, £375 This contemporary copper clock has an integrated barometer which depicts scenes of the elements, and comments on the day’s forecast From Graham and Green, 92 Walcot Street, Bath;

Rain: Four Walks in English Weather, £8.99 An evocative meditation on the English landscape in wet weather by acclaimed nature writer Melissa Harrison From Topping & Company Booksellers of Bath, The Paragon, Bath;

Women’s T-shirt, £14.39 “No rain, no flowers” – just one of the positive quotes you’ll find on Larkhallbased designer Jay NazerSwaby’s range of clothing From NahlaSky, Bath,

Rain clouds fabric, £3.75 per quarter metre Use this cotton fabric by Dashwood to make anything you fancy – from makeup bags to lampshades From The Makery, Beau Nash House, 19 Union Passage, Bath;

Sophie Allport umbrella, £24 Covered black labradors, dachshunds, terriers, pugs and some super cute cats, this folding umbrella will fit neatly in a handbag From Rossiters of Bath, 38-41 Broad Street, Bath;




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Cloud cushion, £63 This large, knitted Donna Wilson design would add a very cute touch to a baby’s room (or a quirky element to any living space, for that matter) From Grace & Mabel – moving to 3 George Street, Bath, soon;

Daschund tote, £25 Bright spring colours plus a very handsome pooch – drawn by artist and former Bath Spa university student Louise Carr – makes for a cheerful tote From The Hairy Canaries, Twerton, Bath;

Colour-changing umbrella, £12.50 These ‘magic’ brollies for children will become multicoloured when wet, and will leave little ones praying for bad weather From Kilver Court, Kilver Street, Shepton Mallet;

Rainy Day skirt, £48 Handmade to order by a Bath-based designer, this skirt (which comes in sizes 8 – 16) could easily brighten up a gloomy day From There’s Only One Amy Laws, Bath, available on Etsy


Handmade mice, from £80 A very cute gift for an animal-lover, all of Wild & Wool’s woodland critters are handmade and unique From Wild & Wool, Lyncombe Hill, Bath; I BATH LIFE LIFE II 77 I CLIFTON 69



Clockwise, from top: Lisa and her bridesmaids sporting flowing waves, loose chignons and ethereal twists; Zara bringing all the laughs to the party; the bridal ‘hun’



LOVE is in the HAIR


The finishing touches are everything

As a twist on our frequent ‘everyday’ hair and beauty reviews, here, LISA EVANS writes about a once-in-a-lifetime experience: a bridal hair makeover Br ida l s t yl i ng photo s by LY N E VA NS


e regularly showcase hair and beauty reviews in Bath Life, so, to avoid the risk of sounding like a broken record and writing about another ‘usual’ hairdressing experience (i.e. a root touch-up, a trim and bouncy blowdry – which is all I’m ever brave enough to do), I decided to describe a rather different, extra special experience in this issue: my wedding day ’do. My go-to hair look is always down and always tousled (or, in other words, messy – channelling the inner surfer that I never became). The last time I had my hair styled into an up-do by a professional, I came off looking like the love child of a very grumpy doll and Peggy Mitchell. It was too fixed, it crunched when I touched it, it was at least a foot tall, and the aftermath of attempting to undo it was the stuff of nightmares and split ends. So I knew I needed to find a hairdresser who could make me look like me, but a better version. The experience started months ago, when I attended my trial session at Zara Perry Hairdressing salon in Bath. As I sat in the chair, Zara asked me what kind of look I wanted to go for. Brides: I cannot stress how important it is to have this information to hand. Even if you don’t know what you want, you’ll know what you don’t want. I wanted volume on top and length on the bottom, so Zara suggested a ‘hun’ – a half bun – which was a combination of a down ’do and topknot. After the trial, I was confident that Zara didn’t just have the skills to whip me up the bridal bouffant of dreams, but, as she’s hilariously funny and brings sparkly conversation to the table, I figured she’d be a welcome energy on what would be a nerve-wracking morning. Zara had her work cut out for her on the day, though, because she wasn’t only doing my hair, she was pruning and preening my mum, mother-in-law and seven bridesmaids, too. It was a 5.30am alarm clock for her, yet she still breezed into our Bath hotel room as bubbly as ever, armed with a whole suitcase of gadgets and tools. Ahead of this, she had helped me set a schedule for the ’maids and mums, so that we could all be seen to in an organised fashion over the

ZARA’S TOP TIPS: • Bring pictures of your wedding dress to your trial. The hairdresser can help you choose a hairstyle that complements the dress’s neckline. • Use your regular stylist for your bridal look. If you have a great relationship with them, it’s so simple. If, however, you’re on the lookout for a new stylist, start

searching at least six months in advance. • If you want a soft look, your hair needs to be light on the ends, so don’t have your hair cut blunt any later than four weeks before. • Will you wear a veil or headpiece? Think about position and how that will affect the hairstyle you choose. • Most importantly, as a bride you want to be the best you have ever felt, but still look like you.


P RICE Wedding packages start from £250. All quotes are bespoke. Bronze to gold packages include goodie bags, a champagne breakfast, a personalised playlist and exclusive VIP use of the salon. WHERE Team ZP will come to you, or they offer an in-salon rental package for up to eight guests. WHAT ELSE? A makeup artist is available on request.

six-hour stint before the cars arrived. I didn’t give my wedding party a set look to stick to, so they each described an individual style they desired, and the magic commenced. There were flowing waves, loose chignons and ethereal twists, and my half-and-half ’do was scheduled in last-but-one – so that it had staying-power but so that I also had enough time to calmly get dressed and not have to rush once I was out of the chair. Zara thinks of everything. The fact that Zara came to us (rather than the 10 of us having to traipse across town to her salon) made such a difference to our stress levels. Also, she’s not an ‘in and out’ type of ’dresser. She’s been a bridal specialist for over eight years and knows that doesn’t just mean pinning a pony and leaving; it means going above and beyond – this includes helping the bride choose her perfect look, reaching a perfect colour, and bettering the condition of the hair before the big day. And that’s not forgetting the behind-the-scenes dramas – she’s even emergencypainted a bridesmaid’s toenails, driven to a bride’s house to retrieve a forgotten veil, and run to the shops to buy disaster-averting body tape. Her main aim is to accommodate any situation, travelling as far as you need and starting as early as you want. “A group of women getting ready may seem like hell,” she says. “But, I’m sure so many women would agree that getting ready is the best part of any night out, so come your wedding morning, it’s just the same. Enjoy it, have fun and don’t open the fizz too early!” Lombard House, 30 St James Parade, Bath, BA1 1UJ; 01225 444178; I BATH LIFE I 79



Treatments to alleviate symptoms linked with periods, pregnancy and menopause have been launched by local Bath business, NATURAL SPA FACTORY


ndependent Spa Skincare Brand, Natural Spa Factory, based in Bath and founded by husband and wife team Emma Webber and Jeremy Smith, have launched a collection of home spa treatments specifically created for women, focusing on alleviating the symptoms linked to menopause, periods and pregnancy. SPA SKINCARE WITH A CONSCIENCE Natural Spa Factory works in partnership with some of the top spas in the UK, providing treatments and skincare for Pennyhill Park in Surrey, Limewood in Hampshire and Rudding Park in Yorkshire – to name a few. The products are all free from nasties – including parabens, SLS, MI, MCI & Microbeads. The brand is proud to be environmentally mindful – with recyclable, second life glass components with a strong nod to impeccable design. The products are presented Shelf Naked – without the secondary external packaging that appears to be the ‘norm’ within the beauty world. HONEST SKINCARE Natural Spa Factory thrive on being an independent business, specialising in single, small batch production to ensure the best possible quality. They bottle and label by hand, using ingredients sourced from the UK, and further afield, including Chile, Peru, Senegal and Iceland to bring the absolute best quality ingredients and provenance to the spa industry. Proudly gender neutral, the skincare is created with performance at the heart. No marketing bells and whistles – just good, honest skincare. INDUSTRY DISRUPTORS The latest collection of home-spa treatments

Fig & Vanilla Body Wash, £12 During your period, oestrogen is at its lowest ebb and skin sensitivities are at their most vulnerable. Ensure a body wash without SLS, MI & MCI, that won’t trigger skin complaints.

from Natural Spa Factory has stemmed from the spa treatment collection, ‘I Am Woman’, designed to celebrate women at all life stages. The spa therapies have been created to fuel the matriarchy and empower all women, by asking society to start normalising the typically taboo conversation surrounding periods and menopause. Woman:Kind A treatment to tackle the hormonal ebbs and surges, discomfort and sensitivities typically experienced during menstruation, including a self-heating wrap for the abdomen and lower back and a skin-loving facial to help balance hormonal skin. Pause:Me A treatment with an emphasis on wellbeing – designed to alleviate the symptoms linked to menopause, with essential oils and botanical ingredients to soothe, balance and restore calm when it’s needed the most. The treatment includes the application of an iced

Resurrection Collagen Face Mask, pack of 3, £29 Soothe & cool hot flushes: Leave in the fridge, or on ice until required. Apply to cleansed skin. With plumping and lifting collagen, skin will feel cooled and refreshed.


Bumps A Daisy Pregnancy Collection, from £16 Soothing dry and stretched skin, easing water retention and promoting a restful sleep with uplifting, pregnancy safe essential oils including neroli, ho wood, rose wood and bitter mandarin.

collagen sheet mask to cool hot-flushed skin. Passenger On Board A treatment focused on easing the strains and stresses imposed on the body, skin and mind during pregnancy, using Natural Spa Factory’s Bumps A Daisy Pregnancy Collection. Emma Webber, co-founder of Natural Spa Factory explains: “Menopause and periods seem to be particularly difficult subjects for us to talk about, yet 50% of our population has, had or will have them. We don’t want to make a song and dance about it, but to normalise them with treatments and therapies seems a great introduction to dispelling the taboo.” “Mental and physical wellbeing is ever more prevalent and spa treatments provide the space to support mental wellbeing and illness, including depression, cancer and even degenerative disease.” Emma continues “We love our genderneutral credentials, however after celebrating the anniversary of the Suffragettes’ movement, Independent Women’s Day, and Mother’s Day, it seems timelier than ever that we should address a day in, day out issue that women the world over experience.” The ‘I Am Woman’ products are available at the Natural Spa Factory website. The treatment collection is available at a selection of Natural Spa Factory’s partner spas – please contact directly for more information.

+44 (0)1225 582 888

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TULIP MANIA ’Tis the season for the loud, proud and mischievous tulip, says our gardening columnist NICK WOODHOUSE


more formal parterres. Today, The Royal General Bulb Growers’ Association lists over 5,500 varieties in its International Register. Locally, Dyrham Park recently undertook an extensive tulip-planting programme, tripling the number of bulbs planted annually there to over 60,000. Tulips will now take centre stage in the coming weeks on the long beds of The Avenue alongside their more traditional home by the informal ponds. A short drive from Bath, Farrington’s Farm will also open its seventh annual pick-your-own tulip field. Over 40,000 bulbs have been planted in preparation, comprising 40 varieties and offering a wealth of colours. The picking season is imminent but very much weather-dependent, so the farm is advising visitors to check its social media feeds for the latest updates. For those of us looking to add some colour to our own gardens, planning ahead is advisable but not imperative. Bulbs should be planted in October and November, and it’s often advised that they are done so at twice their depth. However, I prefer planting as much as double that at around 16cm. This reduces the chance of the bulb trying to reproduce and putting all its energy into offspring that are unlikely to flower for two to three years. Deep planting also helps anchor the bulb, so it’s less likely to get blown over and need staking. For the heavier soils experienced around some parts of the city, you can also reduce the chances of rot by planting the bulbs on a layer of horticultural grit, perhaps mixed with a touch of spent compost and bonemeal. If, however, you are looking for an immediate solution to those inevitable gaps in your beds and borders this spring, fear not. Nurseries and garden centres sell an ever-growing range of potted bulbs at this time of year, offering the opportunity to add an instant burst of colour to even the smallest of corners. Perhaps we’ll be allowed our own more personal Tulip mania; though, thankfully, this time without the eye-watering price tags. PHOTO BY FARRINGTON’S FARM


ith the winter’s snow (and spring snow) almost a distant memory, so too are the early spring bulbs of the galanthus (snowdrop) and narcissus (the daffodil). Fortunately, their successor at this time of year is louder, prouder and perhaps that bit more mischievous. Enter, the tulip, seamlessly marking the transition from the promising signs of spring to the sudden eruption of summer’s perennials. Here in Bath, the tulip is a symbol of friendship, too. Last year saw the result of a planting programme of 5,000 bulbs, donated by our twin city of Alkmaar, in the Orange Grove, Parade Gardens, and a handful of local primary schools. The commemoration was two-fold. In 1945, The pick-your-own tulip field at Bath welcomed 50 children from the Farrington’s Farm is now open Dutch city, offering a summer’s respite from the famine raging back home. A year later, Alkmaar returned the favour to children from our city, one still in shock from the Baedeker raids of 1942. In fact, we often think of the tulip as Dutch in origin, with production of the bulb in the Netherlands currently at an all-time high of around two billion. It is, however, very much an eastern flower, originating from a strip running from Turkey eastwards to the central Asian mountain ranges of Pamir-Alai and Tien Shan. By the 16th century, the bulb had became a fundamental part of Ottoman culture, not just amongst the elaborate gardens of the age, but also in its exquisite tiles, murals and textiles. Later that century, news arrived in Europe of the gleaming displays of tulips so coveted by the Turks. The following decades saw the bulb travel through the continent, gaining admirers and value alike. Perhaps the most bizarre period in the plant’s history was the short-lived phenomenon of ‘Tulip mania’. Experienced in Holland in the three years from 1634, the tulip became the ultimate display of wealth and success. During this feverish period, a single bulb could pass hands in Amsterdam for as much as 15 times the annual income of an average local bricklayer. The popularity of the tulip here was, as always, subject to the vagaries of fashion. The mid-18th century saw the tulip-filled parterres of previous decades overlooked in favour of the landscape gardens so synonymous with Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. At the time, the tulip was also considered a French flower so fell victim to the general rejection of all things French in the aftermath of the Seven Years’ War. Fortunately, the tide of fashion turned again. The very Victorian habit of collecting extended to the tulip and many large gardens would include seasonal tulip planting within their

Dyrham Park; Farringtons Farm; Nick Woodhouse is the co-director of interior and garden design company Woodhouse & Law on 4 George’s Place, Bathwick Hill, Bath; 01225 428072;

Here in Bath, the tulip is a symbol

Photo by Jason HarrisÂ

of friendship



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Nigel Dando WE BUY Gold, Silver & Platinum in any form or condition.

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BETTER BY BIKE Bath Life magazine is the newest cargo of Three Bags Full, the cool delivery service that transports produce by emissions-free electric cargo bike

Spring really is in the air now – and doesn’t it smell good? One factor helping out is the emissions-free delivery service, Three Bags Full, which Bath Life used to distribute its Jane Austen special edition. Three Bags Full’s fleet of electric cargo bikes delivered Bath Life to the usual aray of businesses throughout the city, and fully demonstrated the suitability and potential of the cargo bikes to replace the many polluting vans that clog up the air and streets. EU transport ministers have recently confirmed that electric cargo bikes could handle as much as 50 per cent of all freight operations in European cities. Jane Ingham, BL heads out by special delivery


The range of fresh, local produce keeps on growing

CEO of MediaClash – Bath Life’s publisher – recognised the potential of Three bags Full, and has switched the distribution of Bath Life to the new service. “Air quality, pollution and congestion are all major issues for Bath, and the Bath Life/Three Bags Full initiative is showing that it’s not as hard as you might think to make a real, sustainable difference,” says Jane. The delivery service sources the finest, freshest local produce – think organic eggs, creamy Jersey milk and artisan coffee – and delivers it to your door by bike. When they say local, they mean it, too. Everything is sourced from within 15 miles, which is good news for the environment and the city. Three Bags Full believe in a simpler way of life, and you’ll find no funny business with their service. “No delivery vans, no traffic jams, no diesel fumes, no supermarket chains, no algorithms,” says founder Stephen Paul. “Just simple fresh bread. And milk. And eggs. And meat. And coffee. Three Bags Full. That’s it.” So how does it work? You can request a one-off delivery from the online shop or via a text, call or WhatsApp. If you like what you find, there’s also the option for placing regular orders from a range of timed slots. Three Bags Full delivers to all central Bath postcodes, but if you’re in doubt, there’s a handy postcode-checker on the website.

“I LOVE BEING ON THE WATER, BUT IT WOULD BE HARDER TO BAKE ON A BOAT” Who wanted to live on the canal like Rosie and Jim? Find out on page 90...


The yearly visitors expected at Bath’s shiny new info centre For more, page 92 I BATH LIFE I 89



ELLA COOPER Owner of vegetarian café The Cakery combines baking magic and business savoir-faire to conjure up homemade delights with an ethical stance Photo s by L AU R E N SC O T T Tell us a little about your background I was born in London but have lived in Widcombe for the last 11 years. I have always loved to bake, and, in the last few years I began to take my cakes to local markets. I then started providing my cakes to local Bath restaurants and cafés, and last year opened my first shop, The Cakery, in Widcombe Parade. What did you want to be when you were little? I was obsessed with Rosie and Jim, the children’s programme, so I suspect I wanted to live a carefree life on a canal somewhere. That’s different! How did The Cakery come about? Sometimes, if you really love doing something, you need to go for it. Having baked from home, there were obvious limitations to what I could do. I knew I wanted a café or bakery to turn my part-time hobby into a full-time living. When I found the shop in Widcombe, it was just the right size and location to have a café focused on cakes and bakes in a lovely community.

Anyone for almond and raspberry?

Don’t go cross-eyed with the selection of sweet treats

So many bakes to choose from... what’s your favourite? I am a vegan and gluten intolerant, and that why I always have these cakes in the shop. My favourite to eat is chocolate and peanut butter, but I really like to bake different flavours every day. Tell us more about your vegan cakes... I am particularly proud of our range, as I know from personal experience that some vegan and gluten-free cakes are just not very nice. I like to think ours really do hit the mark and our customers come from quite a distance to eat them. Many come into the shop through word of mouth or via social media and that’s really exciting. What are the best aspects of your job? Every time someone takes time out to say how nice their cake, coffee or tea is, it is just a wonderful feeling. It’s a real validation of all the hard work we put in. I am also passionate about businesses being responsible for their impact on the world around them, so all of our takeaway cups are fully recyclable, and we only use suppliers of eggs and milk with the highest standards of animal welfare. What feedback have you had from customers? People really go out of their way to say how much they like the café, its relaxed ambiance and, of course, the cakes. The best feedback is regular customers, and we really love to say hello to our regulars every day. Customers are also recommending our custom cakes to their friends more and more. Delight or surprise us... The shop has its very own brand new pug puppy. If you pop in and he is awake, Otis would be more than delighted to come and say hello.

Melt in the middle of Ella’s cosy café interior


Where are you happiest? I love being on water, but it would be harder to bake on a boat!



IT’S GOODNIGHT FROM HIM Dick Jenkins, chief executive of Bath Building Society is retiring after 25 years in the industry. Dick will be leaving the Society on 26 April after spending 14 years at the helm. Bath Building Society is smaller in size than some providers, but it’s big on giving its members and customers something special. In his time with the Society, Dick has taken the business through the financial crisis and subsequent recession to become one of the sector’s most successful and distinctive societies. He’ll be sent off on his last day with a bash at Bath’s beautiful Assembly Rooms. www.bathbuildingsociety.

EYES ON NEW BOARD MEMBER There’s a new chairman for Bath-based eyewear design and manufacturing company Inspecs. Lord MacLaurin, who has previously held the position of chairman at Tesco and Vodafone (and was guest speaker at a recent Bath Life Business Club), was invited to join the board by Inspecs’ chief executive Robin Totterman. “I was impressed by the global growth plans [Robin] has for the company in an industry dominated by a handful of Italian giants. I am looking forward to helping realise the ambitious plans of this entrepreneurial British company.” MacLaurin will be joining the company in an exciting year, as they celebrate their 30th birthday.

Bringing you the latest from the Bath Rugby headquarters

All hands in the air

MP for Bath Wera Hobhouse has given the thumbs up to a new three-year community initiative, Project Rugby, that’s being delivered in the city by the Bath Rugby Foundation. This, quite literally, grassroots initiative by the RFU and Premiership Rugby is encouraging more people with disabilities or special educational needs to play the sport through mixed-ability games. It also attracts young people from black, asian and minority communities, who have traditionally been under-represented in rugby union. The Bath Rugby Foundation has already run sessions to enthuse the fledgling players. Wera watched the final session of Project Rugby’s first year, and was suitably impressed by what she saw. “The success in reaching out to communities and groups is to be admired” she says. “What I’ve seen is a fantastic example of how rugby can help social integration in our city and support people to experience opportunities that

they may not have previously considered.” Dan Hine is Bath Rugby Foundation’s Project Rugby lead. “Young people with learning and physical disabilities have really benefitted from Project Rugby by being involved in the game of rugby union that means so much to the city of Bath. So far, we have reached over 220 young people with disabilities and hope to see that continue over the next two years.” Project Rugby sessions run for 12 weeks at community centres, special schools and care providers. They introduce the key rugby skills to participants and break down the barriers of people with disabilities or special educational needs playing the sport, so that they can be involved either as a player or a volunteer. If you’re interested in the project for a school, community group or care provider, contact For more:

BUSINESS MATTERS DIARY From city centre conferences to networking breakfasts, make a note of these dates and make them work for you 1 0 A PRI L

CREATING CONTENT FOR DIGITAL MARKETING A free, interactive workshop that will explain how to grow your business by enhancing your digital presence. If you’re baffled by blogging and want to create compelling content online, this is one for you. 9am; Bath and County Club; 1 0 A PRI L

WOMEN IN BUSINESS CONFERENCE Be inspired by top female speakers and professionals from key areas of business and make meaningful connections that may influence your future. Limited tickets. 5.30pm; Apex City of Bath Hotel; 1 7 A PRI L


ROUNDTABLE Find out what being work-ready means for young people joining modern businesses. Share your insights at this breakfast meeting hosted by Business West Skills, Bath College and Creative Bath. 7.30am; Bath College;

Edward has been running Nash Partnership for 30 years and has worked on many important local and regional projects. What is Bath’s future? What are the challenges of running a longterm independent successfully? All will be revealed. £50; 12pm; The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa;

18 AP R IL

NETWORKING FOR YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS Connect with other young and ambitious individuals with a keen interest in business. Find peer support to develop your start-up. 6.30pm; The Bath Brew House; 23 AP R IL

BATH LIFE BUSINESS CLUB Join Edward Nash and 60 of Bath’s leading business people for a fine and insightful lunch.

26 AP R IL

NETWORKING AND NIBBLES WITH BATH CITY FC Join Bath Chamber of Commerce and Visit Bath for an evening of networking, and make new contacts over a welcome drink and canapés. Listen to Nick Blofeld, Chair of Bath City FC, talk about the club’s new vision as a community-owned club, and its significant redevelopment plans. 6pm; Bath City Football Club; I BATH LIFE I 91



Not long now. Get your nominations in before the deadline, and join the party

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

BOX-OFFICE BEAUTY Visit Bath unveiled its shiny new Visitor Information Centre (VIC) on 23 March, which can now be found at Bridgwater House on Terrace Walk, opposite Parade Gardens. This new situation is ideal for welcoming bus and coach tours to the city, as the centre is one of the busiest of its kind in the country – around 500,000 visitors are expected to pass through its

Wera gets scissor-happy at the new venue

doors in the next year. The opening ceremony was attended by West of England Mayor Tim Bowles and Wera Hobhouse, MP for Bath, who cut the ribbon to officially open the hub. “Tourism is hugely important to our beautiful heritage city, and our new VIC reflects this,” she says. “Bath has so much to offer and we take great pride in welcoming visitors from all over the world.” David James, chief executive of Visit Bath, was feeling positive about the new look and location, “The sleek design of the new VIC allows us to be more interactive and offer enhanced online retail and tours service.” Ticketing touchscreens are all very 21st century, but the gift shop will remain traditional and stock local goodies.

team now supplies chic eyewear to 65 countries around the world. Things got very Hollywood when London film crew The Moment visited Inspecs to find out more about their work.

You’ll have to hurry if you want to nominate your company for the Creative Bath Awards. The deadline is 20 April at midday. It’s free to enter and any creative, tech or cultural organisation can get involved, from students and freelancers to agencies, via the Awards site. There are 21 categories to choose from. Finalists will be revealed at midday on 24 April by email, on the Awards site and on Twitter. Tickets are also on sale now and are expected to sell out – last year over 500 creatives attended, with more on the waiting list. After an incredible debut, the Creative Bath Awards will return to Queen Square on 14 June and celebrate creativity in the city. An on-going party will be happening alongside, filled with festival-style entertainment and a suitably creative showcase. Sponsorship opportunities are still available, all of which feature an extensive marketing campaign and media coverage. The Awards are headline sponsored by Bath Spa University, and category sponsors include: Minuteman Press, The Guild, Rocketmakers, Anthem Publishing, MediaClash, Enlightened Lighting, Kaleidoscope Collection, Spaces and Edit. To join the bill of sponsors and to benefit from the Awards, contact Rosanna Hood rosanna.

For more:

For more: @CreativeBath

For more:

LOCAL GOES GLOBAL Pioneering Bath-based eyewear company Inspecs was selected to represent UK innovation at a high-profile event in Hong Kong, in a category sponsored by HSBC bank. The Government’s Department of Trade and Industry showcased the work of Inspecs during the GREAT Festival of Innovation, which ran between 21 – 24 March. The four-day festival had a plethora of presentations, masterclasses and speakers, all showing what import and export gems the UK has to offer. Inspecs is one of Bath’s best-kept secrets, designing for some of the biggest names in fashion, including Superdry and Radley. The design magic happens in Bath’s former Gas Light and Coke Company building near Royal Victoria Park, and the Inspecs

CEO of Novia Bill Vasilieff


Business vision – Inspecs make glasses for brands Superdry and Savile Row

GIVING BACK Novia Financial has always been hugely active in fundraising and volunteering in Bath, so it’s only fitting way that the company has set up a new charity to mark its 10-year anniversary. Keeping things local, the foundation has been created to back projects that will improve the lives of people in Bath and the surrounding area. Novia has funded the legal costs involved in launching the charity, and will also encourage its work by lending expertise in website and


financial accounting skills. Pippa Russell is a spokeswoman for the trustees. “With our initial fundraising activities already in the works, we are keen to hit the ground running,” she says. “The commitment to give back to the community as well as the access to volunteers and fundraising will stand us in good stead as we kickstart our first round of initiatives.” For more:

Pippa Russell, trustee spokeswoman

Exchange your Vows at The Holburne Museum If you are looking for a unique venue in Bath for your special day, the Holburne Museum can provide history, elegance and atmosphere for the most memorable day of your life. We will tailor our packages to meet your needs and budget. From simple ceremonies to lavish receptions. Get 10% off ceremonies when you quote HMS18.

For more information please contact us on or 01225 388569 WWW.HOLBURNE.ORG



Woods the stationers


Come in for all your day to day and gift stationery

12 Old Bond Street, Bath Tel: 01225 445 347




George de Fossard, owner of de Fossard Clock Makers, uses centuries-old techniques to create exceptional new pieces. Here, he talks family heritage, putting in the hours, and what it’s like to be one of an estimated 10 professional handmade clock makers worldwide...

George de Fossard, clockmaker, takes the time to celebrate his win

So how did it feel to win a Bath Life Award? How did you celebrate? And where is your award now? I was absolutely stunned! It felt great, though, and I celebrated most enthusiastically with white wine. Our award is now sitting on the mantelpiece. What do you think makes de Fossard stand out from its competitors? There are maybe no more than 10 professional makers of handmade clocks worldwide, and we all have our own unique styles. In addition to that, our latest clock uses a brand new complication that we developed ourselves, which has never been used in a clock before. That is the facility to set the clock to display solar time information for any given longitude and latitude on the planet. It’s a world-first. Clock-making is a specialist field... how did you get into it? My dad was a clockmaker; he started the family business in 1968 in Tasmania. Has the business met with your initial expectations? Yes. We have been in the national press with our clocks and we are known around the world within our field. Do you think being an active part of the community is important for business? It’s really important, and, depending on the business, that may be very local, or it may be international. Because our business is so specialised, our community is spread all over the world and comprises various artisans, manufacturers, service providers and the odd customer! What do you love most about your job? The satisfaction you get when putting a very big and intricate puzzle together, which took months, if not years to complete, is very special. Have there been some tricky times for de Fossard? Our business goes up and down with every commission and piece of work, so business is always something of a challenge and there is never a guarantee that there won’t be tricky times just around the corner. What do you aim to achieve in the next couple of years? We are working to get some commissions finalised and are planning to build on the success of the Solar Time Clock. What advice would you give someone looking to go into this sector? It’s really hard work. You need enroll on an accredited training course 94 I BATH LIFE I



and you need to be prepared to put in a lot of hours at the bench and in studying the theory. It isn’t a nine to five job. Joining the various horological institutions and attending meetings and gatherings is really important, too, because networking is essential in such a niche field. Any news to share, or exciting projects in the pipeline? We’re currently in discussions with a customer from Vienna who would like to commission a complex new movement from us. When we start work, we hope to document it on a new YouTube channel linked to our website. What has been your own personal favourite project? While the Solar Time Clock has been my greatest achievement so far, my favourite project was the first clock I ever built, 13 years ago at college. I designed it myself and worked on it for a year in the evenings and at weekends. What do you love most about being in Bath? I went to school in Bath and misspent much of my youth here, so it will always be a very special place for me with a lot of great memories. I suppose what I love most is that it feels like home. What do you do when you’re not working? I’m usually looking after my two daughters, or repairing the car, but if I do get a bit of free time, then either gardening or some serious DIY are a couple of things I really enjoy. I hate to feel at the end of a day that I haven’t achieved at least something constructive. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? Improve, persevere and keep networking. Any business heroes? George Daniels was a watchmaker who single-handedly revived the handmade mechanical watch market. Starting life in great poverty in the East End of London, and not from a watchmaking background, he went on to become one of the greatest watchmakers that has ever lived. He used his fortune to establish The George Daniels Education Trust, set up to financially help apprentices and students starting out in horology. Truly a self-made man, his legacy lives on in the Omega Coaxial Escapement he designed for the famous Swiss brand. Surprise us… My dad was a count! For more:

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

Meet the event planner Trust Bath’s expert planners to transform your ideas into a reality

FRANCO DE LA CROIX-VAUBOIS Frog Events 0800 0146 366 What’s the most bizarre request you’ve ever had? I can’t disclose specifics as confidentiality is key to my clients, but there have been few interesting ones such as “Please hire the entire Island for my party” or “Franco, please could you carve some ice off that iceberg for our drinks?” What’s your favourite event you have organised? The Hot Air Balloon Glow on Solisbury Hill was pretty special as was Notting Hill Carnival! It’s difficult to single one out so probably the ones involving my favourite things: Fun people, yachts, vintage cars, amazing food & wines in extraordinary settings. What would be your dream event to organise? A multi-day extravaganza with the following brief: “Make it amazing, exclusive and an incredible experience for all my guests” … and a healthy budget. Why did you set up the Event Organisers Network? When I moved to Bath, I needed to meet event professionals. Now in its 4th year, EON works brilliantly, with over 1000 members, pooling our expertise. It’s a great community and a fantastic free resource for people needing help and advice to plan their events.

Emily Harding

Bath Venue Finder 01225 569250 What are your favourite aspects of the job? I love facing new challenges each day. My role at Brief2Event is to launch Bath Tourism Plus’ brand new service called Bath Venue Finder. Who do you work with? Every day I work with venues and suppliers in and around Bath, selling their services to corporate event organisers from companies and associations, who want to organise events. Where’s your favourite venue? I recently visited No 15 Great Pulteney Street, who offer luxuriously quirky meeting spaces and bedrooms featuring local artists’ and suppliers’ work. I love the decadent cocktail bar’s unique ‘deck of cards’ cocktail menu - it’s a venue you’ll never get bored of. Do you like organising your own events or is it a bit like a busman’s holiday? Friends always approach me for advice because they know I will find something new and exciting. Recently I organised a chocolate tasting followed by a surprise birthday dinner and fireworks. I love corporate events, however nothing is more satisfying than creating a personalised experience!

Emma Hemmington

susannah mansfield

What’s the best event you have organised? All of our weddings are unique, so choosing a favourite is hard. I particularly like working with ‘complete coordination’ clients and travelling on their full journey with them. Seeing it through to completion is probably the favourite part of my job!

What’s your favourite event you have organised? I once organised a reception at the British Embassy in Prague. The building itself is stunning. The then British Ambassador, Jan Thompson OBE is such a gracious host and the Embassy, like so many historic buildings in Prague, is like an enchanted castle, enhanced by some beautiful Bohemian crystal chandeliers, which the Czech Republic is so famous for. What’s the largest event you’ve had to sort? For several years I was responsible for organising Bath Festival’s Opening Night Party, which used to be held in Victoria Park. Up to 3,000 members of the public would attend. In tandem on the same evening, I managed an event for 100 special guests who dined in a marquee in front of the Royal Crescent – that was a real testament to my multi-tasking skills!   What is the proudest moment in your career? I was invited to Buckingham Palace, as a ‘thank you’ for my involvement in managing a reception and dinner there for 250 guests, hosted by HRH the Prince of Wales. It was an unforgettable experience.

West Country Wedding Planner; 01392 758220 www.westcountrywedding

What would be your dream event to organise? A three-day funfair weekend, complete with waltzers, carousel and big wheel! Oh, and candy floss! What’s the largest/smallest event you’ve had to sort? The smallest are elopements for just the couple themselves and our largest tend to be weddings of around 300 people. However, I once arranged a wedding in Vienna, flying 500 people out from the UK, India and the United States. What is the proudest moment in your career? I don’t have a particular proud moment; I am lucky in that I love my job and my clients and the biggest reward is them having a fabulous time! I do love getting the thank you letters after, though.

Cavendish Weddings and Events 01225 334145 / 07760 761557 I BATH LIFE I 97




Take a look inside this Victorian home which offers luxury living in one of Bath’s most desirable addresses By E V E LY N GR E E N







lthough Bath’s celebrated for its Georgian architecture, and although many of the properties we feature on our pages are often rather traditional in style – reflective of the history embedded in them – in this issue, we’re shining a spotlight on a Victorian build with, would you believe, a very modern interior. Shock! West Wood is a fine example of an extensively renovated and redeveloped Victorian, semi-detached family home offering stylish and beautifully appointed accommodation arranged over four floors. The home is entered via imposing stone steps and balustrade, which, in turn, leads to the entrance hall. The hallway is spacious and welcoming and opens up to a stunning cantilever staircase that leads to the upper and lower floors. There’s a further hallway leading to a cloakroom, coat cupboard and utility room (handy), and, also to the ground floor, is a drawing room which benefits from a magnificent full-length bow sash window, with working shutters, as well as a tasteful feature fireplace, corniced ceilings and exposed wooden floors. The dining room also has a feature fireplace along with double doors that open up to the kitchen/breakfast room, which is a real hub of the home with its light and airy living space and direct access to the back garden. The kitchen offers contemporary cupboards and deep drawers complemented by granite work surfaces and up-stands. There is an American-style fridge freezer, integrated dishwasher, a Mercury range-style cooker with canopy extractor hood, and a striking engineered oak floor. To the lower ground floor is bedroom number six, which is served by a separate shower room. There’s also the family room, which enjoys south-facing views over the front gardens, a feature Bath stone fire surround and sophisticated limestone floor. To the first and second floors are the other five 100 I BATH LIFE I

Clockwise, from top left: striking embellishments and rich colours make the living room a plush space; the stunning cantilever staircase; throw the kitchen doors open on a warm day and dine on the terrace; the bedrooms reflect a boutique hotel’s



square foot of space



£2.75M price


acres of gardens

bedrooms. The master bedroom, which has been designed and created to reflect that of a boutique country house hotel, has panoramic views over the city, a practical walk-in dressing room and luxury en suite bathroom with a roll-top bath, a shower with marble tiles and a Heritage twin console basin. There are two further double bedrooms to the first floor, each with their own en suite bath/shower rooms. And to the second floor are two further bedrooms that share a shower room. The extremely private, safe and secure front gardens are laid predominantly to lawn with a flower bed to one side along with established hedges and an impressive willow tree. The rear garden is also lawned, and there’s a sun-trap terrace leading off the kitchen, which, with the bi-fold doors fully open, offers an extension to the home and is ideal for entertaining and al fresco dining. There is also a further attractive terrace at the top of the garden, with timber pergola, and a power and water supply, which is ideally situated to make the most of the summer evening sunshine – barbeque and beers, anyone? A unique feature is the coach house, comprised of a large garage and a further large store area, offering storage space or potential to convert to a self-contained space (subject to permission, of course) – so, potentially, a nice little project for new owners. Attention to detail, style and design have not gone amiss in this superb home, and there’s a cherry on this delicious cake of a property, too, because it occupies a premium position in one of Bath’s most desirable addresses. It’s on College Road in the Lansdown area, which is ideally positioned between town and country, meaning there’s easy access into the centre, but you can also head off on rural walks with your pooches to your heart’s content. Win-win. Savills Bath, Edgar House, 17 George Street, Bath, BA1 2EN; 01225 474 500;

P R O P E R T Y a d vertisin g feat u re

investment of choice

Capital growth and a stunning situation make Bath Riverside the development of choice for investors


mpressive capital growth at Bath’s leading property development is fuelling interest from investors looking for the best place to put their money. The prospect of increasing property values, yields that offer better returns than traditional investments and knowledge that they will own a property at Bath’s most iconic development is attracting investors who fancy placing their money in bricks and mortar. In addition, developer Crest Nicholson is offering to guarantee a five per cent yield for five years, giving prospective purchasers incentive to buy. Reassured that they will be helped all the way by a team of experts who have a full understanding of the local property scene, those who are considering investing in a new property are being advised to visit Bath

“the unique riverside location… is always of interest to prospective tenants” 102 I BATH LIFE I

Riverside – the brand new development that’s close to the city centre and on the banks of the River Avon. Once there, they will be able to look around the selection of newly completed properties currently for sale in two stunning buildings called Royal View and Sovereign Point. These include two show apartments and a lavish new penthouse which opened its doors on 7 April. Marcus Evans, sales and marketing director for Crest Nicholson said it was clear that the rental demand across Bath was concentrating investor attention at Bath Riverside. Knowledge of the increase in value, return on their investment and a guaranteed five per cent yield over five years will further focus potential investor’s minds. Marcus said: “Bath Riverside has benefitted from considerable high-flying gains since the first properties were sold over five years ago, where comparable properties to those currently for sale have increased by seven per cent in the last year*. “The prospect of high capital growth along with the guaranteed five per cent yield offer is likely to heighten interest from investors looking for the best place to put their money. “With Bath Riverside being the only new waterside property development in the city, it is not surprising we are attracting investors

who are looking at new builds for letting opportunities right in the centre of town. “Both Royal View and Sovereign Point, with their unique curved design, have really captured the imagination of both owner occupiers and those looking to rent in the city. “The unique riverside location, which offers a flat, level walk into the city centre with all the shops, restaurants, theatres and bars as well as the railway station, is always of interest to prospective tenants. “The city’s expanding student population is also placing pressure on Bath’s rental stock so Bath Riverside is providing the perfect alternative for those looking for high-end, quality accommodation.” * Zoopla

For further information please call 01225 463517or visit developments/bath-riverside/ The sales and marketing suite on Victoria Bridge Road is open daily from 10 am to 5pm


MEET THE ESTATE AGENT Brian Phillips of MARTIN & CO BATH offers advice to vendors and predictions for the Bath property market this year What key bit of advice would you give to a vendor? The key to success is the correct pricing and effective marketing of the property. Before marketing your property, research sales values and ensure that your home is well presented for photographs and viewings. Focus on achieving the best price from the best purchaser; which may not always be the first offer you receive. Decluttering and a fresh lick of neutral paint will make your home look lighter and brighter. Also clean outside and in, not forgetting to tidy the front of the property, which is the first thing that buyers will see.


What do you anticipate for the Bath property market for 2018? Bath has a strong housing market that often out performs regional averages. It’s a desirable place to live, has a strong rental market, and excellent commuter links to London. Correctly priced properties in the low to midrange will sell quickly, and properties coming to the market in 2018 should receive a lot of interest. Relocators will continue to look for homes in Bath and the surrounding areas. We are optimistic for the Bath property market for 2018. What area do you specialise in? We specialise in the Sales and Letting of Residential property in and around Bath. We have a list of buyers on our books, wishing to purchase a property in Bath. The majority are downsizers, moving from family homes to smaller, more manageable properties. We also have property investors looking to purchase buy-to-let properties, and properties suitable for holiday lets.

inventory management

Providing services to all lettings and estate agents, property management companies, relocation agents, councils, housing associations and commercial letting agents. Floor plans • Check ins • Check outs Mid term property visits • Inventories • Legionella

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

EARLY BIRD OFFER Free check in with any inventory booked and free floor plan with check out.

Tel: Rachel Farr Drejer: 07951 516476 or Sarah Goessens: 07766 914402

What are the key values of your Estate Agency? Martin and Co has been established for over 30 years, and is one of the most well recognised and highly regarded agents. Our key values are local knowledge, trustworthiness, and a solid reputation for service. We also pride ourselves on “going the extra mile” to ensure the buying and selling process goes as smoothly as possible.

01225 429999


Building with integrity

SATURDAY 21ST APRIL, 10AM – 2PM Tyning Meadows, Bathampton, BA2 6TQ

Prices from £1,300,000

Tyning Meadows is a high quality development of 10, five bedroom detached family residences, set in exceptionally large plots, by award winning local developer, Charlcombe Homes. Situated at the base of the Limpley Stoke Valley and nestled below the surrounding downs, the site is within the Green Belt and the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. • Gated Entrance to each Plot • Southerly aspect • Double Garage with Potential for Studio Above

James Dredge Senior Negotiator T: 01225 325 999 M: 07970 107 494 E:

• Rural Views • “Outstanding” Primary School • Completions from August / September 2018

Bella Howard-Evans Sales Negotiator T: 01225 325 999 M: 07971 067 992 E:






sleepwalking accident that could have killed him led Tom Corneill to finally indulge in his long-time passion. It was while recovering from falling from a window that he was able to use his spare time to start building watches – items he’s been fascinated with for as long as he can remember. He now works under the title ‘British Wristologist’, but he’s also a professional musician and is a consultant for a big company (Royal London Platform Services). Here we find out how he has the time to do all the things he loves… A surprising story about myself is… I once fell from a window, breaking my back and shattering my heel during a sleepwalking episode. It was while recovering that I started building watches. Watches utterly fascinate me… It’s the mix of utility and style. The really good ones are beautiful to look at, and even the ugly ones are interesting – especially when they have a specific purpose (my passion is dive watches). I don’t remember the first watch I ever put on… But I do remember a couple of early Pop Swatches. I got bullied because they looked (apparently) like ‘girls’ watches’. Nonsense. There’s never been a time I wasn’t mesmerised by watches… I’d browse catalogues longingly when I was six years old. On my wish list right now is… An Omega Speedmaster. My best advice to watch novices is… Buy a watch by a brand that’s famous for making watches. Most ‘fashion’ brands outsource their stock, so they’re either rubbish or you’re paying twice – once for the watch, and once more for the brand. There are exceptions, of course. I make a very, very limited range… They’re available on Etsy (look for BritishWristologist). I mix new and vintage parts and assemble them by hand, so each one is unique; they take a very long time to make. I refer to them as neo-vintage, and it’s the imperfections brought by age that make them so special.

TOM CORNEILL The watchmaker and musician discusses his life-changing sleepwalking accident, hearing his single being played on the radio for the first time, and his students day in Bath My proudest work is… I’ve almost finished building a Rolex submariner from authentic parts; it has a vintage dial and stunning green bezel. That will take some beating. Until that’s finished, though, my favourite watch I’ve ever owned is probably my Seiko SKX007. I studied in Bath… And, no, I didn’t study watches, I studied commercial music at Bath Spa University. In my student days… I was a tour guide on the open-top buses in Bath. I wasn’t very good. I still have a musical side to me… I’ve been writing and performing for 20 of my 34 years. I’m proud to be a part of Centrefolds (I suppose we’re a rock band with some electronica thrown in). We’ve had a break and are back on the festival circuit this year. My most treasured possession is… My Taylor acoustic. I have a Gibson J200 which is worth a lot more, but the Taylor has been with me through thick and thin and never lets me down. I’ve lived in Bath for nearly 15 years… I moved here for uni and met the love of my life – Kara. We now live in Carlingcott, a beautiful village on the outskirts. The pleasures of living here are… It’s stunning, that helps. There’s great variety – art, food, music – and it’s only 90 minutes to either the coast or the big smoke. Plus, Bristol is a fantastic neighbour.


My favourite places to spend my money are… Vintage ’n’ Rare is a hard shop to beat – the smell and sound of old guitars is intoxicating. Magalleria is a close second; I love to read, and they have an amazing catalogue. As for pubs, it would have to be The Griffin Inn. An old boss and friend decided many years ago that it would be our hangout, and it’s stuck ever since. It has great beer, great character and it’s small. The best restaurant as far as I’m concerned is Sotto Sotto. The food is amazing, when you can get in. The ideal view in Bath is… Looking straight down the high street on a busy day. So many stories. And my all-time favourite spot… Being by the weir feels like being at the heart of Bath. The balcony of Ponte Vecchio is perfect. My best personal moment was… Sitting with my mum while she talked to Dermot O’Leary on his Some Mothers do Indie programme on BBC Radio 2 before he played Centrefolds’ single for the first time. My dad and Kara were listening in the next room. If I had the power to change anything about Bath… I’d change all the ‘trendy’ beer bars back into the character-rich pubs they used to be.

Bath Life – issue 363  
Bath Life – issue 363