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Food/Arts/Entertainment/Shopping/Property @BathLifeMag





Issue ssue 371 / 3 – 17 August 2018 / £3








ABOVE: from her home studio near Bath, the owner of Nest & Burrow spends her days weaving (page 28); BELOW: Afternoon Tea Week treats (page 72)


ecause life is too short to be doing something you don’t love, we’ve dedicated a big chunk of this issue to switching careers and working for yourself, at home, in your PJs. On page 28, meet the locals whose commutes take just seconds – whether it’s to their garden sheds, their attics or their living room sofas – and whose lives have been changed by starting their own mini businesses. On the foodie side of things, we’ve spoken with the new guys in town – two of the biggest names in British cooking – Marco Pierre White and Pierre Koffmann. They’ve collected six Michelin stars between them, and, amazingly, their new restaurant is not a chain. Instead, Koffmann and Mr White’s, opening later this year in Bath, is a one-off venture. Even more amazingly, they’re getting hands-on with the food (page 58). Elsewhere in this issue, we’ve turned our interiors attention to what’s underfoot. From statement animal print to silk-look carpets, we’ve asked the experts to tell us about the flooring styles they love right now (page 78). We’ve also taken a road trip to West Wiltshire (page 82), shopped for Afternoon Tea Week essentials (page 72), and taken a look inside a house that’s owned by, and has been styled by, two of the most popular interior and garden designers in the city (page 103).

LISA EVANS Follow us on Twitter @BathLifeMag Instagram @bathlifemag I BATH LIFE I 3

Issue 371 / 3–17 August 2018 COVER Potter Kara Leigh Ford, by Together & Sunspell


41 ARTS INTRO Jimmy Galvin wants us to sit back,

reflect and enjoy the silence with his new art show

42 WHAT’S ON Time to update the events diary 51 BOOKS Lives intertwine in Nic’s recent lit picks 53 THEATRE Big-name actor David Suchet returns to

Theatre Royal Bath in The Price


54 RESTAURANT Bowood Hotel’s Shelburne

Restaurant has peace, parkland and an eclectic menu

58 THE BIG INTERVIEW Marco Pierre White and

Pierre Koffmann ahead of their joint Bath venture


65 TAKE 5 Amazing grazing – Monique Bates’

foodie concept makes the most of the city’s produce

66 FOOD & DRINK NEWS Dine, drink and tour at

No.15 Great Pulteney; the Abbey Hotel’s new owlinspired cocktail taster; Huskup’s eco coffee carriers


71 INTRO A floral frock to take you from day to night 72 EDITOR’S CHOICE Afternoon Tea Week is

coming up... enjoy your cuppa in style

82 72



Issue 371 / 3–17 August 2018


25 inside story Philippa May talks dream kitchens 28 MEET THE MAKERS The creators and crafters

who have turned working from home into an art

75 beauty Hair and nail pampering at The Suite 82 WEST WILTSHIRE Eat, drink and be merry... take

a tour with us through a beautiful part of the county

114 lives A chat with local prop-maker Tony Hitchcock


89 business insider Who’s moving, shaking,

inventing and innovating this issue?


78 floors Discover the latest trends to walk all over 100 garden Visit couple-run Chapel Farm Flowers 103 showcase Neutral doesn’t mean dull in the design

of this historic Georgian house on York Place



© Nick Woodhouse


11 spotlight 14 society 23 a man’s world


Editor Lisa Evans Deputy Editor Lauren Scott Managing Editor Deri Robins Senior Art Editor Andrew Richmond Graphic Design Megan Allison Cover Design Trevor Gilham Editor’s Photo Bonnie Rose Contributors David Flatman, Philippa May, Matt Bielby, Nic Bottomley, Nick Woodhouse and Anna O’Callaghan Group Advertising Manager Pat White Deputy Advertising Manager Justine Walker Account Manager Annabel North Sales Executive Polly Jackson polly. Production/Distribution Manager Sarah Kingston Deputy Production Manager Kirstie Howe kirstie.howe@ Production Designer Matt Gynn Chief Executive Jane Ingham Chief Executive Greg Ingham 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. 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: I BATH LIFE I 9

spotlight Posh Art

Earn the urn Hats off to successful graduates

Bath Spa University

Great Grads Bath Spa University is a place where creative minds meet, but, according to new figures, it’s also a place for teaching top employability skills. Graduation season has come around already, and record amounts of university graduates are finding themselves in work or further study. A recent survey shows that a record 96.1 per cent of Bath Spa University graduates are in work or further study six months after graduating. This is even higher than last year, and puts the University in the top 50 UK higher education institutions for graduate outcomes. Employability is a key part of every course at the University, and students have access to skill-boosting opportunities each term, including 50 free workshops, and a careers service that offers advice on everything jobwise, from CV-writing to interview preparation. Barrie Grey is the head of careers and employability at Bath Spa University, and looks after the students’ career journeys. “We are committed to ensuring our students graduate as engaged global citizens who are ready for the world of work,” he says. “From choosing a career, through to skills development, help with applications, interviews and finding jobs, or looking at postgraduate study, we help Bath Spa University students explore all possible options and follow their dreams . The opportunities are limitless.” For more:

Taking shape

The Victoria Art Gallery has just bought the fascinating work Posh Art (1992) by Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry, and public events are already being planned around its main themes. The ceramic (which costs £75,000) was won with support from a National Lottery grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, a gift from Art Fund, £7,500 from the Friends of the Victoria Art Gallery, as well as individual donations from the public, all of which helped bring the urn to Bath. Following from the success of Grayson Perry’s exhibition The Vanity of Small Differences in 2016, the gallery was very keen to add a ceramic by the artist to its permanent collection. Posh Art was chosen as the ideal piece, with its classical urn shape relating to Bath’s famous architecture. A programme of activity has been devised to complement the new piece – which can now be seen for free on the first floor – to widen the gallery’s audience for contemporary art. “We are delighted to see this quirky and amusing item added to the gallery’s collection,” says Dr. Michael Rowe, chairman of

Addressing taste, wealth and social class

the Friends of the Victoria Art Gallery. “It fits well alongside the existing ceramics collection and will be appreciated and enjoyed by a wide range of visitors.” For more:

RUH Centre

Topping out A historic ceremony was recently held at the Royal United Hospital, as the final concrete was laid on the roof of the new RNHRD and Therapies Centre, which has been funded by the hospital’s ongoing Forever Friends Appeal. The topping out ceremony – a builders’ tradition to mark the highest point of a new building – saw benefactor Christina Brownsword and other donors join staff from Kier Construction and RUH staff to celebrate the important milestone. Christina, who, together with her husband has pledged up to £1m to match every pound donated to The Forever Friends Appeal’s Therapies Matter campaign, laid the last layer. “It is a great privilege to have the symbolic task of finishing the roof,” she says. “My family and I are delighted to be supporting this important project which will benefit so many people in our local community. We hope our gift towards the Centre will provide the best care for patients, and will encourage others who are in a position to give to support this wonderful hospital, too.” Due to open next year, the RNHRD and Therapies Centre will house many of the services currently located in the RUH, including rheumatology, therapies and pain management services. Once building work is completed, and the shiny new RNHRD and Therapies Centre is open, the construction of the new Cancer Centre will begin – all part of the major redevelopment programme to make the RUH fit for the future. For more: I BATH LIFE I 11


Green space

Skate it

Alice Park is already a tranquil gem on the eastern side of Bath, but plans are afoot to give it a new lease of life – thanks to a release of extra funding designed to enhance its sport and leisure facilities. The site is already popular with families, playing host to weekly football coaching days and tennis clubs for young children. The proposals for improvement include the plan of a brand new skate park, refurbished tennis courts, a pond clean-up and a joining up of the park’s pathways. As well as funding from B&NES Council, the local community has contributed £30,000 towards the cost of the project. “These are exciting times for the park,” says councillor Geoff Ward. “My Trust Committee is leading the way to see the park rejuvenated. We would like to upgrade the play equipment and introduce an outdoor fitness centre to promote health and wellbeing.” The revival will make Alice Park’s future more sustainable, while keeping it as a vital community hub for nearby residents. For more: Park goals

Doctor Cosmos himself

Local energy

You got the power

Locally sourced power is being made available to homes across Bath, thanks to the launch of two new tariffs that are promising to make energy greener and more affordable. ‘Our Power in B&NES’ offers locally generated renewable energy to residents in collaboration with not-for-profit energy supplier Our Power and local community business Bath & West Community Energy. The scheme will enable residents to buy their (green) energy from local solar energy arrays for the first time. There’s also an ‘Our Fairer Energy’ tariff from Our Power, currently one of the cheapest available on the market for dual fuel pre-payment meter customers. Around 11,000 houses in B&NES (14 per cent) pay for energy this way, so the council hopes the new plan will help to tackle fuel poverty, while also supporting green energy in the district. Martin Shields is the corporate director at B&NES, “This scheme is great news for the environment, our local economy and for households living with pre-payment meters,” he says. “It is also in line with the council’s target to deliver 275MW local renewable energy generation in the district by 2029.” For more: Greener, cheaper, solar energy


Comedy tour

Layers of laughs

Comedy is at the heart of Bath’s Komedia programme, but next month we’re in for an especially humorous treat. The Black Books star and BAFTA-winning comedian Dylan Moran is visiting Bath for two shows on 20 and 21 September as part of his brand new tour, Dr Cosmos. As usual, Dylan will be delivering (whether you like it or not) his unique take on love, politics, misery and the everyday absurdities of life, all served with the poetical panache we’ve come to expect. Dylan has been referred to as the Oscar Wilde of comedy, and his famed style – of deadpan, witty and crackpot lyrical humour – should offer a unique journey through his interpretations of the world, as he swerves clichés and offers a cutting blow to our idiosyncrasies. Tickets for the shows are available now, including seated, standing and meal-deal options. For more:

SCENE T H E L AT E S T A DV E N T U R E S I N PA R T Y- GO I N G AC ROSS BAT H Melanie and Isabelle fundraise for Mercy in Action

Jane Gilbert and Tori Blackmore Ella Cooper slices up treats from The Cakery

Tonie Wakelam

Patrick Anketell-Jones, Denise Rogers, Alison Born, Wera Hobhouse, Councillor Rob Appleyard and Jeremy Boss Julia Eager


Henry De Fossard, Ben Lambourne and Simon Reddy

After three years away, the Widcombe Midsummer (street) Party recently returned – and what a colourful and hot event it was, too. From midday onwards, the Widcombe Association closed off the Parade, readying fun outdoor activities for the local community and visitors from across the rest of Bath. Stages were set, tables and chairs were assembled, and then the general partying was encouraged. With entertainment on four stages (band Smallfry played a set on the main stage) and plenty of traditional activities such as raffles, competitions and face painting for the kids to get stuck into, the festivities continued until the early evening. Photography by Nick Cole

Simon Brown


Tasha Nolan-Kemp, Farrel Hirst and Cassie Wooton

Bella Eliot and Justin Delap


Jo Butts


Once again, this year’s Bath Carnival extravaganza transformed our city with colour, magic, music and mad outfits. On the afternoon of 21 July, over a thousand dancers and musicians (and the largest-ever free Carnival procession) made their way through the specially closed roads of Bath, including Great Pulteney Street, Pulteney Bridge and Grand Parade. All day, a world music festival took place in Sydney Gardens, with live bands, DJs, food and drink, licensed bars, walkabout acts, children’s entertainment and inflatables. The heat was turned up on the day, but hundreds of carnival goers and spectators took part in the event – perhaps the most lavish and colourful carnival yet.


Molly Hyde




Lizzie Rumsey and Abi Casey


Andy Reid

Security getting in on the fun

Oldfield Park Junior School

Militsa Williams Batala Bristol

Becky Bendell and Joe Albiston



The Flaming Feathers





Guests gather for the photo opp

Park Run Runners after finishing the weekly Park Run at Combe Down


Crowds from Bath and beyond attended the official reveal of a medical owl sculpture at BMI Bath Clinic, all while enjoying tea, cake and competitions in the grounds of the hospital. ‘Dr Tawny, Privoot GP’ was unveiled by The Goddess Minerva (Miss Bath), her barn owl companion, local artist Vera Carbin and three private GPs. The sculpture marks the one-year anniversary of BMI’s GP Service, and celebrates the opening of a new path to the National Trust Skyline walk. At the event, over £250 was also raised in support of local charities including Dorothy House Hospice Care. The owl sculpture can be seen at the clinic in Combe Down until 10 September, and then it will take flight and be auctioned off to benefit other healthcare organisations. Hilary Browne and Simon Gerrish

Photography by Paul Gillis;

Rob Bentley, Michelle Bentley, Angie Seale, Lisa Taylor and Andrew Bentley

Anna Bunce and Esther Perkin


Dr Tawny and Miss Bath

Miss Bath and Marc Gossage

Josie, David and Emma Wilkins

Helen Conner and Janice Rambridge


Louisa Morgan, Shelly Johnson and Katherine Hughes

Andy Hamilton and Annie Selwood-Miller

Laura Brogan


Keith, Pip and Stacey Davies

Mandarin Stone recently celebrated the official opening of their newly refurbished (and frankly, gorgeous) Bath showroom on Broad Street. An invitation-only event marked the unveiling, and provided the chance for guests to see the very latest displays of natural stone, porcelain and decorative tiles before anyone else. Whether the visitors were after house makeover inspiration, or just wanted to take in the beautiful, Georgian building (with prosecco and canapés), the three floors of stone didn’t disappoint. Photography by Roy Newport

Polly Jackson Matthew Wiley and Ian and Christa Taylor

Sally Hawkins, Lee Hawkins and Lee Featherstone Carl Ryan and Steve Small


Theresa Paley and Simon Emery

Richard Ferris, Ella Heyward and Andy Hamilton

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A Man’s World David Flatman

Excess and exercise

Flats discovers why drinking and working out is a combination you should always avoid, but he doesn’t regret it...


“We were on horrid exercise bikes making ourselves want to vomit”

was once sent home from rugby training with flu, despite some lengthy and frankly heroic protestations, on the grounds that it’s dangerous to work out when poorly. As it happened, I only had three episodes of The Wire left to get through, so it was beautifully timed, but still, it felt like a concession. What about working out while drunk, then? That can’t be good. I do recall, two days into a brutally misjudged mid-season training trip to Madrid, without any actual coaches, two lads arriving at the gym at 8am for maximum strength testing, absolutely wasted. Their last receipt showed an order of 16 – yes, 16 – vodka Red Bulls at 7.02am, and here they were. Looking back, that was reasonably punchy. Needless to say, they were marched, in circles, and with the odd stumble, out of the door and sent home. Safety being the thing, you see. Picture the scene: I land from a smash-and-grab blokes’ trip to Palma at 1.30am Friday, feeling like my soul has departed this world. At 9.43am I’m on the train to Paddington for lunch at Soho House with a colleague and perhaps our most important client. These guys are like friends now and, to that end, love a beer over lunch. And a G&T. And two bottles of red. And a beer. Then they like to pop to a bar for a couple before heading home. So friendly, unless you’re my liver. The 7.30pm train was almost as welcome as it was otherworldly and rotating. Trying to make my eyes focus on something, I opened my iPhone and clicked onto Twitter. Oh god. Oh god no. One of my best and most loved friends, former Bath player Olly Barkley, had begun his ‘24 CrossFit workouts in 24 hours’ fundraiser for a local charity. Entirely off his

own back, he’d decided to total himself for the good of others. And I’d not only forgotten, but gone to London and got sloshed. Around 9.15pm, I walked into my sitting room, greeted its blurry occupants with what was likely a slurred offering, and plodded upstairs to slip into something more comfortable. At 9.25pm, through both loyalty and (almost entirely) guilt, I left in a taxi bound for CrossFit Bath. Olly needed support, and so did the charity, so I decided I’d be fine. I wasn’t. Not really. Within minutes of arriving, we were running three miles (not my event), doing a zillion push ups (my event), and doing even more sit ups (again, no). Then we were squatting weights – no shirking, proper weights. Then we were on horrid exercise bikes making ourselves want to vomit. Then it was 1am and I went home, amazed that my poor heart had lasted the (short) course. Those three hours were tough – especially in my state – but they were worth it. They also were absolutely nowhere near as tough as the month-and-a-bit’s worth of full-on sessions both Olly and CrossFit Bath man of steel Ollie Mansbridge completed in one day. Just staggering. I apologise to Olly and Ollie for turning up pissed, but I do not apologise for asking you all to take a look at the fundraiser ( crossfitchallenge24in24630a00a0), have a think about what a few kind people put themselves through, and maybe even donate a tenner. Or, just donate when you’re drunk… that’s when all the best decisions get made. David Flatman is an ex-Bath and England rugby star turned TV pundit and rent-o-mic. Follow him on Twitter @davidflatman I BATH LIFE I 23


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© Neptune

inside story philippa may

kitchen encounters How to create a kitchen you love, while adding serious bucks to your home


fter our garage-cumhouse featured on Bath Life’s front cover a few weeks ago, I have been inundated with questions about sourcing, and inspiration for, so many of the items in our home. It’s so lovely to inspire people to change up their interiors as I think it’s something many feel scared to do alone but are excited with the prospect of curating their rooms in a style that will make them proud. In my own home, one room in particular got a lot of attention, and that was our kitchen. The kitchen was a real source of contention in the renovation, as it took us months to find anyone that understood the vision we had. In my eyes, it’s the heart of the home. My partner and I love to cook and have friends round for dinner, and I love to sit and work in the kitchen perched on a stool, so picking the right style is therefore super important in terms of functionality as well as aesthetics.

“Neptune has finally graced Bath with its presence in the most incredibly designed store I have ever seen”

According to a kitchen trends report from Houzz, the average budget and spend for kitchen renovations in the UK is between £10,000 and £25,000, with 22 per cent of homeowners spending between £25,000 and £50,000, and 10 per cent spending over £50,000. That’s some serious investment, and with a new house to renovate, and a whole new kitchen being built, I’m already doing my research. It’s all in the details with a kitchen; tailored designs for how you cook or use the space can make it your favourite room, and factoring in hidden storage, to me, is an absolute must to ensure it looks as good as it functions. But I still can’t help myself getting more excited about the design than the intricacies. Industry experts say that the kitchen is the main factor of purchase when people look to buy a house. Renovating, extending or simply upgrading your kitchen is the most efficient way to add value to your house, and so, within this, you have to think about not only your own tastes but also in terms of future buyers or trends. You can create incredible features while keeping the space neutral and understated, so you don’t go scaring off any future families with bright or bold elements. I already have my eye on a statement floor that has on-trend appeal and a homage to authentic interior design with

a lightly washed parquet wood floor, from Boniti, that would go perfectly with Farrow & Ball’s pink-hued Setting Plaster on the walls. When it comes to the units, we can’t overlook the fact that Neptune has finally graced Bath with its physical presence, in the most incredibly designed store I have ever seen. With their HQ located just a beat away, in Wiltshire, it was only a matter of time before they came here, and they couldn’t have picked a better location than the beautiful Tramshed. Neptune has a lifetime guarantee on their kitchens, which make them a perfect partner for a family home, where you can have full trust in one of the most important rooms of the house, and Neptune adores natural materials and the respect of traditional craft that shows a true passion in their work, 20 years from their conception. I’m keen to head in and discuss with them how I can make their Suffolk kitchen unique for us and our new house, and I know it won’t be a dull meeting – more like having a coffee with old friends over the kitchen table.

Philippa May is an interiors enthusiast and the designer and head of brand for the Bath-based loungewear label Laze Wear. Follow her on Instagram @_philippamay_ I BATH LIFE I 25

By Lisa Evans



For these local makers, commuting to work takes 30 seconds or less – whether it be to their garden shed, attic or dining room table…

THIS PAGE, AND OPPOSITE: potter Kara creates her ceramic pieces in her garden beach hut


“After a close friend died of cancer, I decided life is too short to be doing something you don’t love”

© Together & Sunspell

meet the makers


tudies have shown that working from home, even for one day a week, can boost productivity, decrease stress and allow for a greater balance to your work and social life. So, here, we ask 16 local creatives – who hand-make everything from lingerie to glittery eyelashes, from the comfort and solitude of their home studios – what impact their working environment has on their lives.

© Together & Sunspell

Kara Leigh Ford Ceramics

Carlingcott, near Bath Kara Leigh Ford, potter It takes me about 10 steps, via the coffee maker, to get to my workspace: my garden shed, painted like a beach hut, where I hand-make tableware and decorative items. It houses my wheel, kiln, glazes, clay and tools; I’ve now out grown the space, and, last week, I had a much bigger studio built next to it, which I’m very excited about as I can now offer intimate pottery workshops, which people have been asking about for a while. Before I became a potter, I used to commute two and a half hours a day. I’d leave the house at 7.15am and wouldn’t get home before 7pm. I was in a busy office, working in marketing, for 10 years; it really didn’t nourish my soul. In 2015, I quit my job to become a potter. After a close friend died of cancer at the age of 32, I decided life is really too short to be doing something you don’t love. I also applied to BBC Two’s The Great Pottery Throw Down, for which I got down to the final 20 applicants. Every single auditionee (apart from me) was earning a living from pottery already; this showed me that it was totally possible. I don’t miss the camaraderie of an office; I’m an introvert and I love working by myself, it leaves me with so much more energy to socialise in the evenings and at weekends. Now, everything is done on my own schedule – meaning I can go for a run in the middle of the day if I want – but the most difficult part is that people think it’s ok to just pop round for a cuppa during the working day; I’ve had to become quite strict about it. I BATH LIFE I 29


meet the makers

above left: Vashti Mayne’s dining room workspace is where she fashions zany headpieces; above right: Robyn McBryde’s home office is crammed with eclectic vintage clothing

The Headonista

Larkhall, Bath Vashti Mayne, artist milliner My three children are quite used to eating their dinner while being watched by polystyrene heads. It’s not as creepy as it sounds; I create bespoke statement headwear, and I do this from my dining room table. It’s not the tidiest of rooms, as you can imagine – what with all my materials, glue guns, soldering irons and sewing machines – but I adore my little creative space. My designs include crafted-from-scratch pieces, such as mini top hats, and I decorate ready-made hats – such as straw fedoras – creating designs my clients want. I’m making a steampunk version of a mad hatter’s hat at the moment, which has lots of cogs and mechanisms, as well as a pair of opera googles with lights inside; these sorts of designs are complex, and can take up to six hours to complete. I work with feathers and artificial flowers a lot, and I upcycle old cassettes and records into funky fascinators. I love the autonomy that working from home gives me; as a single parent, I have to be flexible with timings – especially if the kids are unwell or they have appointments – and working for myself means that I don’t have to stress about being able to take care of them; it does often mean I am working until 10 at night, though. I started working from home when my first child was a year old (2005); I ran a market stall selling handmade clothing, but I had to give it up when I became pregnant with my second child as it was too physically demanding. I have been running this business since 2010

and I really love what I do. Sometimes if I feel a little stuck in my head, I’ll put a tune on and have a little dance around my living room – I don’t think I’d get away with that in an office environment.

Vintage is a Virtue

Larkhall, Bath Robyn McBryde, owner I don’t even have to get out of bed to get to my office, as my workspace is in my bedroom. From there, you’ll find me embellishing false eyelashes with glitter; creating gemstone and diamante designs to be worn on the face (perfect for festivals or as fancy dress); and rehoming an eclectic collection of vintage clothing and accessories. I started all of this in 2016, as I had collected vintage clothing for around 10 years as a hobby with a means to have a small shop on the side of my nine-to-five in sales, marketing and retail. I hadn’t felt satisfied I was headed in the right direction with my career, so I decided it was time for a change. The best parts about being at home are being around my cat (I’m a crazy cat lady) and working in my pyjamas, and the most challenging things are the lack of interaction with actual humans, being distracted, and the fact that people can sometimes assume that, as you’re at home, you’re slacking – which is really frustrating, as I work seven days a week, sometimes from 9am – 2am.

“The best part for me is working in my pyjamas”


architects meet the makers

Most of the bedrooms at artist Sonya Rothwell’s manor house have become have become studio spaces


meet the makers

Gallery Beautiful

Holt, near Bradford on Avon Sonya Rothwell, maker and alchemist-in-chief Home is where the heart is, so there’s no better place to create from. My daughter, Peony Anise, and I found a house large enough for all our big ideas. Our 10-bedroom, Grade-II listed manor house, built circa 1730 and surrounded by an enchanting National Trust garden that’s open to the public, is our HQ. Our formal drawing rooms are showrooms, displaying our art pieces in an elegant home setting, and most of the bedrooms have become studio spaces; we have one for throwing paint around, one for delicate painting, one for photography, one for sewing, a workshop where we upholster furniture and create our lampshades, and Peony has her own art studio. The gardens are my joy, my solace, my inspiration. I try to start each day with a walking meditation in our garden; this moment of quietude and stillness brings peace to my whole day. My dreams are drawn to inspired action like fire flies fluttering against lit glass, all wanting to come in at once; most lose patience and drift away, leaving only the very persistent ones. To be an artist requires immense self-discipline and focus; there’s no room for distraction when one is ‘in the flow’, so I relish working alone, at home.


From her attic, Ella Reid makes bespoke, luxury lingerie

Lansdown, Bath Sally Harker, designer and maker Up in the small attic room of my 1950s house on a hill, I design and hand-print bold and colourful images and patterns onto fabric, wood and paper. Many of my designs are based on the Georgian houses and streets of Bath. My workspace is crammed with inks, printing screens and an ancient print-drying rack. I’ve been working from home since 2006; I began when my daughter started nursery school. Previously, I’ve worked as a medical secretary and as an infant school teacher, but I wanted a job which I could fit around our family, rather than the other way around. I, overall, have much lower stress levels now because I have the flexibility to do things I couldn’t have otherwise done – like get a dog. There are, however, a few downsides: namely unlimited potential for procrastination and too much fridge raiding.

Titania & Bottom

Once all of the patterns are generated, I buy all of the fabrics and components from specialist suppliers. It can sometimes be a lonely way of life, but I also freelance in costume for film and TV, which is a very sociable job, so I enjoy the balance between the energy of days spent on set and the peace and solitude of working in my own company.

Ellie Mawby

Oldfield Park, Bath Ellie Mawby, artist As our daily lives are often overwhelmed with sensual stimulations, my artwork offers a sense of peacefulness. My products are inspired by Japanese traditional art, the process of reusing and repurposing, and repetitive details. Similarly, I keep my workspace – which is in my bedroom – very neat. It’s a petite space with plenty of natural light, and fresh white walls adorned with art from Tokyo. Everything has its own place. In addition to creating original artworks, I have recently started printing my designs onto large bamboo wall hangings, as well as making paper origami bird garlands and paper bowls. I previously had a studio space at the Bath Artists’ Studios, but when the residency ended in 2017, I decided to recreate the creative space in my home. Having my own space to evolve and experiment with materials is a gentle reminder of the importance of process and to embrace the incidental without having outside voices to influence that.

“Most husbands would gift their wives flowers. Mine gave me his beloved garage”

Box, Wiltshire Ella Reid, designer My business specialises in luxury boudoir lingerie and costume show pieces. I design and make the bespoke pieces, for private clients, in my attic – I like to think of it as an artist’s garret. I work at my desk using my sewing machine, mannequin and my grandmother’s old sewing tools (my gran used to make costumes for Sadler’s Wells Theatre); there are piles of French lace, floral embroideries, and frilly knickers around me at all times. The design process starts with gathering inspiration, line-drawing the idea, and then using my computer to accurately draw up the final designs. The next stage is to start sampling on the stand and creating pattern blocks that I scan into the computer and use for size grading. I BATH LIFE I 33




Image shows Brockway carpets


meet the makers Marjorie Minnie

Odd Down, Bath Gabrielle Durnford, designer/maker I had the idea for Marjorie Minnie when on maternity leave, but I didn’t get the chance to work on it until my twins started pre-school. The plan was to build my business enough to allow me to drop some days at work (I’ve worked as a textiles technical demonstrator at Bath School of Art and Design for the last 12 years). I now work at the school two days a week, and three days a week from home. At home, I make contemporary blankets and cushions for cool kids and modern families. I have the box room as my work room, but its mostly full of stock and packaging (I use my step son’s old bunkbeds as shelves), so I work from the dining room table most of the time. My blankets are all designed at home on a specialist knit software, and I sample the designs on my knitting machine before sending them to a factory for production. My cushions are made at home; they each take up to two hours to make from scratch. The biggest distraction is being surrounded by the daily chores (and trying to ignore them). But if I need a distraction, the best thing I find is to go for a run and get out of the house. I don’t get lonely; I relish having some head space to be creative during the week, so this is an ideal set-up for me.

© Diana Dombrowsk a


Walcot, Bath Eleni Galanti, owner and maker When my little one was born, in 2013, I decided to be a full-time mum, but soon I needed to do more. I was sewing as a hobby for years before my daughter’s birth, and I’ve always been fascinated with bags, and when the idea of a backpack purse came to mind, I started working on that. That same year – 2015 – I opened my first online bag shop, specialising in simple, practical and stylish designs. My studio is on the first floor of my house; the room isn’t big, but it’s the perfect size for my sewing machines, fabrics and tools. And, for computer work, I take my laptop into the garden or get comfy in the living room. Before opening my own business, I was an IT engineer. It was a very tense, and challenging work, and after almost 15 years, I got tired of it. I’m now able to decide on my working hours according to my needs; this way of working definitely gives me a better quality of life that I would have missed if I were working in an office.

Bee Happy Glass Designs

top: Gabrielle Durnford crafts blankets and cushions from the box room at her

home; above: Eleni Galanti left her job as an IT engineer to launch a bag business

Bear Flat, Bath Suzanne Baginski, owner and artist While most husbands would gift their wives flowers or jewellery, mine gave me his beloved garage at the bottom of the garden. It has become the perfect space in which to create striking and contemporary decorative glassware – such as bowls, clocks, coasters and cake stands. While I’m at work, all I can hear are birds singing and my fountain trickling into the pond. Nature is a huge inspiration to me, and bee motifs often feature in my work; bees play a significant part in our world and they always make me smile when I see them – I even call my studio ‘The Hive’. I started my business after I was made redundant in 2015. Working from home was a totally new adventure for me in all respects, as I had worked in the NHS for quite a number of years. I attended a glassmaking taster one afternoon with some friends for fun, and discovered I really loved working with glass. I BATH LIFE I 35

meet the makers Bustle & Sew

applique and kits that we hope will inspire people to pick up a needle, and sew. My favourite technique is hand-embroidery; I was taught by my mum and grandma from a very early age and I haven’t stopped stitching since. My workroom, is the tiny, wonky-walled third bedroom at the top of my old stone cottage. Ribbons spill from wicker baskets, tools lie around, and a rather large ironing board – essential for pressing and fusing my work – takes up the rest of the space. Now that Rosie is a mum, and I’m a grandma, we both really value the flexibility that working for ourselves gives us.

© Nell Mallia Photogr aphy

Oakhill, Radstock Helen Dickson, co-owner I worked in an office for 25 years, and, each day, I am truly grateful that I’m now able to work from home, doing something I’m really passionate about. I founded Bustle & Sew in 2009 after leaving my long career in HR. My daughter Rosie joined me in the business a few years ago, leaving her job at a publisher in Bath. We work together in everything we do, but we do it from our separate houses – although we’re always on FaceTime to each other. Our online shop offers hand-embroidery and softie patterns,

“Home is where the heart is, so there’s no better place to create from” 36 I BATH LIFE I

Rosie Studholme joined her mum’s sewing and embroidery business a few years ago

meet the makers Nest & Burrow

Upper Westwood, near Bath Suzanne Gattrell Hodshon, owner and artist My garden studio looks out across a field full of horses. They come right up to the fence, and I can hear them chomping on grass as I work. I also hear lots of bird song echoing through the woodland plus buzzards crying, and woodpeckers knocking. The studio is a very rustic woodshed, and the first things you’ll notice when you step inside are my 10 looms for weaving, frames and hooks for macramé, and a huge set of crates in which I store all of my wool. In short, I’m an artist and weaver specialising in textural soft furnishings – including woven wall hangings, children’s mobiles, rugs and decorations, which are either natural or dyed in gentle hues. I also teach weaving and macramé workshops from my kitchen near Bath, and I run weekend retreats in Devon. After having my first child, I developed my passion into a home-run business. Before this, I was working in marine conservation in Australia. I love working from home on my own; I can listen to music, wear what I want, and take breaks when I want.

Scout & Boo

Bradford on Avon David Beswick, owner, maker and designer My commute to work involves stepping out of the front door, brew in hand, avoiding falling over any toys in the garden that my five-yearold daughter, Gracie, has left out, heading down the path, stopping for a minute to breathe in the spectacular views, and then I’m at my workshop. It definitely beats the one and a half-hour bus and tube ride that I used to have in London. My wife, Teresa, and I are fortunate enough to live in the grounds of an old estate which has various outbuildings, one of which we have turned into our workshop. Inspired by mid-century Scandinavian design, we make contemporary statement furniture and repurpose original mid-century pieces. By creating unique artwork, which we then apply to each piece, we treat the furniture as a ‘functional artwork’. The ability for us to plan our working day around our daughter is a privileged position to be in, and it isn’t lost on us. Our full time jobs and regular incomes were good before Gracie arrived, but then the opportunity to spend more quality time with her outweighed the positive aspects to the nine-to-five.

There’s Only One Amy Laws

top: Suzanne weaving in her garden studio; above: In one of the outbuildings on his

estate, David Beswick crafts statement furniture

Paulton Amy Laws, designer and maker I hand-make women’s and children’s clothing, designed to make people smile. I screen print all of my fabric in the garage, and then have a room in the house for cutting, sewing and designing. The garage is a bit of a cluttered workspace as it’s piled high with all the stuff you’ll find in regular garages – like bikes, the Christmas tree and lots of things we don’t know what to do with. There are no windows in the garage, and I have to shut the door – otherwise the wind blows my fabric which can cause smudged prints – so the view is rather limited. But the sewing room looks over the garden, thankfully. I used to work at Harrods in London as a window dresser; I had a lot of fun there, but there were a lot of nights and weekends involved. Now that I have a son, my chosen hours suit me perfectly. I love being my own boss. I BATH LIFE I 37

From her garden shed, Leah uses a scientific process to create jewellery

Eden and After

Box, Wiltshire Leah Jarosy, designer When I decided I wanted to work for myself, making jewellery, one of my biggest worries was finding the right space. Then I realised it was right there outside my window, in my garden shed. I hand-make copper and crystal jewellery; I’ve always been a messy worker, so the studio is usually pretty chaotic. The making process starts by me soldering the copper and using putty to create a rough shape around the crystals. Once dried, I carve away at the putty until it blends in with the stones, and a conductive paint is applied to the areas where I’d like the copper to form. The crystals are then placed in an electrolytic solution, and, using a low-voltage charge, the copper is grown onto the piece from a copper anode, atom by atom. I usually leave them in the solution for around 30 hours, then give them a sand, polish and a dark patina. Not having to worry about a commute means I can come and go whenever I like. However, this sometimes means I start work at 6am and will carry on until it’s time to go to bed; it’s hard to switch off when it’s your own business.



Bradford on Avon Charlie Caffyn, owner, designer/maker As I look out of my office window, I can see my kids screaming their heads off on the trampoline and spraying each with the hose pipe from the paddling pool – a really lovely thing to see from your work space. Getting to see so much of your kids growing up is probably the best thing about working from home. I could never in a million years go back to office life. Not a chance. My workshop is in my converted garage, where I design and make modern, timeless pieces of

“My border collie wanders into the workshop and gives me his ‘sod this, let’s go for a walk’ look”

furniture. The flexibility is great, although I am pretty strict – I start at 8am and don’t stop until 6pm (unless it’s my turn to pick the kids up from school). But if I am needed in the house, I can be there in seconds. I started working from home when I was 30 (I’m now 45). Before that, I had a job in Hong Kong; I was just working too hard, and it wasn’t sustainable. I was taking around 150 flights a year, and spent up to six nights a week in hotels. Now, the only disruption I have is when my border collie, Jack, wanders into the workshop and and gives me a ‘sod this, let’s go for a walk’ look, and, you know what, I can just go for walk with the dog.

Charlie’s most welcome distraction from creating furniture is his dog, Jack I BATH LIFE I 39



Jimmy Galvin is a creative chap. He’s previously exhibited in London with the likes of Damien Hirst, Sir Peter Blake and Antony Gormley, and he’s also a music composer and performer of neo-classical solo piano. In a new exhibition Introspective, Jimmy will be focusing on the painterly side of his persona, bringing the city 60 abstract artworks from his own collection, alongside Japanese (but UK-based) artist Ryoko Minamitani, and, from Moscow, Dariya Afanaseva. We all know that technology is speeding up and changing our lives, and that’s the theme of the artworks here. “We will be showing abstract paintings to reflect space, and argue that the silence is still something to be enjoyed and embraced,” says Jimmy. He wants viewers to be transported to a more peaceful place, and hopes the artworks – Fake a Dream and A Kind of Blue are two standout pieces – will act as a trigger for “your own thoughts.” Expect thick brushes of paint on canvas, be carried away by oil paintings that are bold, bright and textured, and enjoy Jimmy’s own piano pieces playing in the background. Introspective can be seen at 44AD artspace, Abbey Street, Bath, between 21 – 26 August. For more: I BATH LIFE I 41

What’s on 4 August - 2 September

Tails are wagging at the annual Fun Day at Bath Cats and Dogs Home

exhibitions Until 31 August

SUMMER EXHIBITION An annual showcase of works from Rostra Gallery’s most talented artists, including Helen Burgess, Clare Halifax and Glynn Macey. The exhibition includes limited-edition prints, original paintings, sculpture, ceramics, papercut and jewellery – to suit all budgets. Rostra Gallery;

Until 31 August

august EXHIBITION See Emma Rose’s exuberant Minerva Owl on display, and then swing over to her gallery to see her award-winning landscapes, contemporary and semiabstracts. With an emphasis on the


sultry summer, paintings zing with warm life – the highlight painting is The Colours of Time. Her unique work is a mix of Indian inks, and acrylics with gold, copper and silver leaf. Emma Rose Gallery;

Until 2 September

A CELEBRATION OF FLOWERS Fabric designer Kaffe Fassett returns to Bath with a vibrant exhibition inspired by his love of flowers. With a bespoke and dazzling colour scheme, his installation will transform the gallery using 40 vibrant coloured quilts and needlepoints. Expect large-scale works, which extend the floral theme into three dimensions. Victoria Art Gallery;

Until 3 September

SUMMER SHOW With the latest paintings by Malcolm Ashman depicting landscapes of the South West of England, large landscape paintings by Andrew Lansley in egg tempera, abstract compositions by Stephen Lavis, and a selection of work by gallery artists. This exhibition provides a rich and plentiful variety of original works. David Simon Contemporary;

Until 16 September

PRIZED POSSESSIONS Dutch 17th-century paintings by some of the finest masters of the ‘Golden Age’ (from National Trust collections around the country) are displayed together for the first time. The collection includes a

recently rediscovered self-portrait of Rembrandt, along with local gems from Dyrham Park. £9/£10; The Holburne Museum;

Until 21 October

BATH TO BAGHDAD Discover an eclectic collection of art, formed by Miss Ellen Tanner following her journey to the Middle East in the 1890s. From sumptuous textiles to delicate carved woodwork and lacquer and elaborately decorated metalwork, pieces are on display for the first time following a major conservation project. The Holburne Museum;

Until 28 October

SIDE BY SIDE: AMERICA AND WORLD WAR I 2018 marks the 100th anniversary

what’s on 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;

Until 28 October

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; www.beckfords

Until 12 November above: David Suchet stars in The Price at Main House, Theatre Royal left: Daddy by Caroline de Vine in Trinity Artists' exhibition Evolution below: Reflected Light by Paul Brokensha at Walcot Chapel

A quest for wellness Beijing-based artist Zhang Yanzi takes a look at healing and wellbeing from the Chinese tradition, with large-scale installations, paintings and more. It should appeal to those with a curiosity about the human body, the human condition, medicine and healing. The Museum of East Asian Art;

Until 30 November

THE ART OF THE CIRCLE Three Artists – Howard Jeffs’ Stephen Magrath and Kirsten Murphy – will be exhibiting a collection of work at the hospital this summer, using the shape of the circle as a connecting theme. The natural circles of the sun and moon have always been observed in our history, and this collection of work uses the fixed, powerful shape to display a range of prints. Circle Bath Hospital;

Until 1 January 2019

wonder women of space A free exhibition celebrating the wonder women who are changing the way we see the world and beyond. The museum talks to leading female astrophysicists, astronomers and engineers to find out what inspires them. Herschel Museum of Astronomy;

6 – 28 August

bath life An exhibition to showcase works of art that depict the vibrant city we call home. Bath Life (not to be confused with our magazine) brings together 13 talented artists outside of the usual ART Salon stable in a celebration of the summer. Artists on show include Paul Weaver and Chris Webb. ART Salon;

14 – 19 August

EVOLUTION Local group Trinity Artists present their new exhibition, which sees 11 painters and 3D artists responding to the theme of evolution – figuratively and abstractly – with an array of exciting new work. Meet the artists over a glass of wine on 14 August, 6 – 9pm. 10am – 6pm; Walcot Chapel; Facebook @TrinityArtists

Plays/Shows Until 1 September

SWITZERLAND In the Swiss Alps, a reclusive author hides away in her study, surrounded by her collection of books and antique weaponry, finding solace in her seclusion, her cats and cigarettes. Then, a polished and charming young stranger turns up. Filled with razor-sharp dialogue, this chilling and sometimes hilarious two-hander unfolds into a gripping psychological thriller. Various times and prices; Ustinov, Theatre Royal Bath;

4 August

AN IDEAL HUSBAND Edward Fox, Freddie Fox, Susan Hampshire, Nathaniel Parker, Frances Barber and Sally Bretton star in Oscar Wilde’s glittering comedy. Set in London in 1895, this drama about political corruption, blackmail, scandalloving journalists and the pitfalls of holding public figures to higher standards than the rest of us, displays Wilde’s most sparkling wit and sharp humour in a feast for both the ear and the eye. Various times and prices; Main House, Theatre Royal Bath;

9 – 25 August

THE PRICE Arthur Miller’s riveting drama tells the story of two long-estranged brothers, Victor and Walter Franz, meeting in their former childhood home following the death of their father. Celebrated actor David Suchet will star as furniture dealer Gregory Solomon, and Olivier Award-winning actor Brendan Coyle will be playing Victor Franz. Various times and prices; Main House, Theatre Royal Bath;

23 – 26 August

VANITY FAIR Becky and Amelia are best friends who, having just finished school, are ready to dive into the glittering I BATH LIFE I 43

What’s on summer social scene. As fortunes shift and friendships fall apart, Becky manipulates and climbs her way to the highest level of society, but will her vanity come before a fall? In the third year of the Summer Company, expect a unique theatrical experience, as 40 teenagers take you through Thackeray’s satire of wannabes and social climbers. Various times and prices; The Egg, Theatre Royal Bath;

Music 4 August

Once Upon a Hill Festival Komedia Bath have teamed up with Kelston Records to present a one-of-a-kind festival in a barn. With panoramic views of Bath, Bristol and beyond, the location will transport you from the everyday world, and build a sense of anticipation for the unique celebrations of music, poetry and landscape. Headlining is Stick in the Wheel, Britain’s exciting new folk band. 3pm; £16 – £26; Arts Cafe, The Old Barn, Kelston Roundhill, near Bath;

11 – 19 August

BATH FOLK FESTIVAL Now in its ninth year, the festival celebrates all flavours of traditional music. Expect concerts, lively pub and café sessions, storytelling, dance and the popular Bath Traditional Music Summer School. This year’s line-up of artists includes Irish guitarist John Doyle and travelling troubadour Rory McLeod. Various times and prices; Venues around Bath;

19 August

ÅKERVINDA Join this all-female Scandi vocal quartet for an evening of folk tales, improvisation and sublime song. Vocal arrangements are intricate and unusual, and the singers leave lots of room for invention. Expect a modern take of the traditional folk songs of Scandinavia. Various times and prices; Komedia Arts Café;

24 August

CHORAL CONCERT The RBS Europa Choir, directed by former King's Singer Nigel Perrin, are joined by talented string and keyboard players to celebrate the best of England's choral music, focusing particularly on the work of Henry Purcell and his fellow Chapel Royal musicians. The choir draws


singers from choirs across the UK and Europe and is delighted to be making its first visit to Bath. The free programme includes music by Purcell, Gibbons, Byrd, Tallis and Blow. 2pm; St Michaels’ Without;

2 September

LUKE DANIELS AND NANCY KERR The two British folk scene performers have teamed up for a limited number of shows this year, to perform their own and each other’s music. Since Daniels’ landmark solo statement What’s Here What’s Gone in 2014, he’s put down several more markers on the musical map. Nancy Kerr is one of the most celebrated folk musicians of her generation, and has, to date, won six Folk Awards. 8pm; £12; Arts Cafe, The Old Barn, Chapel Arts Centre;


Until 24 August

THE FANTASTICAL MULTIMEDIA POP-UP This project presents three zones to experience artistic, scientific, fun, thought-provoking and interactive encounters. Step into the digital laboratory, find out how we’ll be using 3D printers in the future, become a character in a video game and be part of a live gaming experiment. Andrew Brownsword Gallery, The Edge;

Until 27 August

SUMMER HOLIDAY FUN Discover a huge range of activities to entertain the kids during their summer break. The first weekly family craft activity begins on 30 July with a theme of ‘Animals at the Palace.’ Other events include a Midsummer Mayhem Summer Family Fun Day, Nature Ninja Fridays and the annual Moat Boat Race. Various times and prices; The Bishop’s Palace & Gardens, Wells;

Until 3 September

PREDATORS Are you ready to come face to face with some of the biggest, fastest, stealthiest and strangest predators around? 14 killer animatronic carnivores have stalked into Longleat park to make your day out with the kids extra wild. Included in park ticket; Longleat;

above: The Colours of Time at the Emma Rose Gallery left: Rory McLeod at Bath City Farm for the folk festival below: Vanity Fair at The Egg Theatre

Parties & Exclusive Hires at The Holburne The Holburne Museum is the perfect venue for a summer party. Our contemporary Garden Café opens out on to a large terrace, where you can enjoy your celebrations at the entrance to Bath’s original pleasure garden. Our catering team can style the event to suit all tastes. Choose from a relaxed BBQ, cocktail bars with professional mixologists, Food Market Stations or a simple Champagne and canapés reception.

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

Great Pulteney Street, Bath BA2 4DB


Sat Aug 18th & Sun 19th – Nest of Plates Sat Aug 25th – Icon Wall Hanging Sun Sept 2nd – Ceramic Bunting Workshop cost £60, includes all materials and firing. No experience required, start to finish projects.

T: 07813 718853


What’s on 10 – 12 August

COCK & BULL FESTIVAL A big knees up held at a secret location near Bath, all to raise funds for charity Jamie’s Farm. Set in the middle of the countryside, this festival features over 50 live acts and DJ's, as well as healing fields, craft workshops and all sorts of farmyard antics. Expect communal eating, fresh local produce, ales and cider. £15 – £95; Location disclosed on the ticket;

27 August

FUN DAY The biggest annual event of Bath Cats and Dogs Home returns. Visitors (and their dogs) can enjoy agility demonstrations, games, stalls and tasty food, plus the muchanticipated dog show. New for this year is a kid’s zone and entertainment trailer. 11am; £2.50 – £12; Bath Cats and Dogs Home;


Until 31 August

Torchlit Summer eves The historic Roman Baths will be staying open late (until 10pm) during the summer months. Expect the site to take on a magical atmosphere once the daylight fades and the flickering torches are lit around the Great Bath. Various times and prices (free to Discovery Card Holders); The Roman Baths;

Until 10 September

minerva’s owls bath sculpture trail A public sculpture trail of 100 owl sculptures and smaller owlets have appeared around the city. Each has a technological beacon integrated into them so that followers of the trail can find all the owls as well as learn all about the artists and projects that have been responsible for decorating them. Various locations;

Until September

BATH ON THE BEACH A new Carribbean-style beach venue has opened in the centre of the city, brought to us from the same team behind Bath on Ice. Get ready to relax with friends in hammocks and among palm trees, play volleyball, and enjoy tropical food and cocktails. 10am – 10pm; Royal Victoria Park;

Until 31 October

RIDE AND DINE Get out and about in wonderful 46 I BATH LIFE I

Wiltshire countryside on horseback. Work up an appetite with a ride before lunch, or work off your lunch with one after. The price includes a two-course lunch in The Brasserie at Lucknam and a one-hour ride, including equipment. Tuesdays – Thursdays; From £115; Lucknam Park;

4 August

IFORD ARTS festival Enjoy outdoor opera, proms and concerts in the miniature Italianate cloister within the grounds of Iford Manor. All events during the festival offer a chance to relax over a pre-show picnic, while enjoying the peaceful tranquility of the Harold Peto Garden. The breathtaking opera programme includes Madame Butterfly and Candide. Various times and prices; Iford Manor;

31 August – 2 September

WALKING FESTIVAL Bradford on Avon’s 7th annual Walking Festival has 14 great walks to choose from, ranging from an easy 1.5 mile bat discovery walk to a demanding 15-mile walk out into the Somerset Countryside. Several of the guided walks are based around a geological, wildlife or foodie theme. Various locations, Bradford on Avon; n

above: A programme of hikes and rambles in Bradford on Avon left: Candide at Iford Arts below: Ride and Dine at Lucknam Park

Quality ooring and carpets at competitive prices

Showroom in Chelsea Road, Bath | 01225 483818


FAMILY DAYS OUT The best summer outings in the South West

BATH, BRISTOL & SURROUND HOLBURNE MUSEUM Great Pulteney St, Bath; Colourscape is a celebration for the senses, an amazing experience of colour, music and light for all ages. 25 interlinked coloured chambers form a labyrinth on the front lawn of the Museum. Put on a cape and immerse yourself in a new world made up of soft curved edges filled with intense colour, and discover performance spaces filled with music and dancing. Tickets ÂŁ5 available on the day. 11am to 4pm BISHOP'S PALACE Wells; The Bishop's Palace & Gardens have been home to the Bishops of Bath and Wells for over 800 years and this stunning medieval palace is open for all to enjoy. We've got so much for families to do at The Bishop's Palace - whatever the weather, you can always have a great day out NATIONAL TRUST TYNTESFIELD Wraxall, Bristol; A Victorian gothic house nestled in the Somerset countryside with formal gardens, Kitchen Garden, woodland, parkland, family events and activities. AROUND AND ABOUT BATH Bath; Immersive, intimate and cost-inclusive local tours for curious, discerning travellers who want to experience authentic England

WELLS CATHEDRAL Wells; Perhaps the most beautiful of the great English cathedrals. Stand back to admire the stunning architecture, join in a service, go on a guided tour or attend a concert. All are very welcome REDPOINT BRISTOL Bristol; Indoor climbing centre with walls for all levels, lessons, a bouldering zone, viewing area and cafe BRISTOL HIPPODROME St Augustine's Parade, Bristol; www. The Bristol Hippodrome is a theatre located in The Centre, Bristol, England, with seating on three levels giving a capacity of 1,951

CARDIFF TECHNIQUEST Stuart Street, Cardiff; Science Discovery Centre in Cardiff Bay with 120 hands-on interactive exhibits, a science theatre, planetarium, and a lab. CARDIFF CASTLE Castle St, Cardiff; Cardiff Castle is a medieval castle and Victorian Gothic revival mansion located in the city centre of Cardiff, Wales. The original motte and bailey castle was built in the late 11th century by Norman invaders on top of a 3rd-century Roman fort.


WE THE CURIOUS Harbourside, Bristol; We The Curious is a science centre and charity in Bristol, England. The aim of the centre is "to create a culture of curiosity"

PAIGNTON ZOO Paignton Devon; At Paignton Zoo you will find over 2,500 animals spread across 80 acres. The zoo is laid out so you can get up close to some of the animals across especially designed habitats.

TOBACCO FACTORY THEATRES Raleigh Road, Bristol; Intimate space, housed in a mixeduse cultural building, known for Shakespeare and in-house theatre.

LIVING COASTS Torquay Harbourside, Devon; All weather attraction costal zoo where you can mingle with playful penguins and get up close to Otters, Octopus seals and much more

WHITEHALL GARDEN CENTRE; FAIRY AND DINOSAUR LAND; Based at Lacock in Wiltshire Whitehall's Fairy and Dinosaur Land is open until Sunday 23rd September. ÂŁ3.99 per person.

HONITON AGRICULTURAL SHOW Honiton; An annual show which has grown to be one of the largest one day shows in Devon. A showcase for the best of local farming, produce, crafts and rural skills CASTLE DROGO Drewsteigton, Exeter; A dramatic castle overlooking the Teign Gorge with project viewing tower and garden with miles of pathways in the woods and a Bunty House replica for children to play in

Exeter Quay


KENTS CAVERN Torquay, Devon; Explore Kents Cavern an all weather attraction with a cave system notable for its archaeological and geological feature. Go back in time and step into the stone Age, visit the summer evening ghost tour this summer.


THE BEAR TRAIL Cullompton, Devon; Muddy outdoor adventure trail assault course for all the family to enjoy making a great day out. DONKEY SANCTUARY Sidmouth; The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth, Devon is open 365 days a year. There are hundreds of donkeys waiting to meet you here so take a glimpse of what our little corner of Devon has to offer LUNDY ISLAND Bideford; Visit Lundy island for a day on MS Oldenburg Lundy¹s supply ship and discover a unique island environment RHS GARDEN ROSEMOOR Torrington; gardens/rosemoor Nestled in the Torridge Valley, Rosemoor is an enchanting place to visit in every season; cherry trees blossom in the spring, the iconic Hot Garden dazzles with vibrant colours in summer, while the woodlands blaze with autumn finery and the Winter Garden catches the eye later in the year BUCKFAST ABBEY Buckfast; Nestled in the shadow of Dartmoor, in a beautiful wooded valley beside the river Dart, Buckfast Abbey offers visitors a tranquil refuge from the hectic pace of everyday life. The Abbey is a working monastery where a community of Benedictine monks live self-sufficiently, welcoming visitors from all around the world DARTMOUTH STEAM RAILWAY South Devon; Based on the glorious South Devon coastline in South West England, enjoy your days out in Devon on our steam trains, boat trips and paddle steamer - the only attraction in Devon that lets you enjoy the delights of Torquay, Paignton, Brixham, Dartmouth and the River Dart, Kingswear and Totnes on your day out! STUART LINE CRUISES Exmouth; Boat trips sailing the coast around Exeter, Exmouth, Torquay and Sidmouth, we give hundreds of thousands of happy passengers the chance to see the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, cruise the beautiful River Exe or visit a picture-postcard South Devon town BODMIN AND WENFORD RAILWAY Cornwall; Discover the excitement and nostalgia of steam travel with a journey back in time on the Bodmin & Wenford Railway,

Salisbury Cathedral

Cornwall's only full size railway still regularly operated by steam locomotives

museum that emcompasses three buildings that contain 750 years of history

MORETONHAMPSTED MOTOR MUSEUM Moretonhampstead Devon; A motor museum where you can see a fine collection of over 130 historic vehicles from pre-1920’s to the 1990’s. This collection is complemented by motoring artefacts, automobilia and a viewable restoration workshop

MONKEY WORLD Dorset; Enjoy a fun-filled, fascinating day out for all the family at Monkey World – Ape Rescue Centre in Wareham. The 65-acre park is home to the stars of TV’s ‘Monkey Life’ and ‘Monkey Business’, and provides sanctuary for rescued and endangered primates from around the world

SALISBURY & SURROUND THE WARDROBE MUSEUM (THE RIFLES BERKS & WILTS) Salisbury; 1200 items from the Berks & Wilts regiment exhibited in a historical residence CROSS KEYS ARCADE Salisbury; The only covered mall in Salisbury, often free face-painting and bank holiday events NEW FOREST CIDER Burley, New Forest; The home of Real Cider Pantry, shops and events END OF THE ROAD FESTIVAL Larmer Tree Gardens; Outdoor music festival with camping, family friendly. 30 August to 2 September ARUNDELLS Salisbury; Grade II listed house – once the home of Edward Heath, the former prime minister KING JOHNS HOUSE Romsey; Located in one of Romsey's oldest thoroughfares, King John's House and Heritage Centre is an accredited

NEW FOREST LAVENDER FARM Landford, Salisbury; Nursery and tearooms SALISBURY ESCAPE ROOMS Salisbury; Called in to assist with specialist search teams, you and your team will need to find the evidence to make arrests. You have one hour! The only escape rooms created, built and run by UK detectives SALISBURY CATHEDRAL Salisbury; A living church and a place of prayer. It is also a centre of pilgrimage for hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, holding many events and exhibitions NEW FOREST WILDLIFE PARK Southampton; Falconry handling and training days home to over 50 species of birds of prey, including eagles, owls, hawks and falcons. We aim to make your day with us truly great STONEHENGE Amesbury, Salisbury; Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, consisting mainly of a ring of standing stones I BATH LIFE I 49

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Bath Life team 01225 475800


Link up This week, Nic Bottomly talks us through his favourite ‘many characters, one central link’ reads, in which you’re kept guessing as to how, or if, the paths of the individuals will cross

“The footsteps of these characters crisscross and near-miss frequently”


ver the years, I’ve read many books that involve a collection of characters whose lives are linked by, or intertwine, an object, event or theme. Often such books tiptoe a fine line between amounting to a novel or being a collection of thematically linked short stories. Either way, in the hands of the best writer, and with enough strength and visibility to the core theme, this structure can be captivating for the reader, as you’re often kept guessing as to how, or if, the paths of the characters will cross. In the extravagantly titled One Clear, IceCold January Morning at the Beginning of the Twenty-First Century, Roland Schimmelpfennig (Quercus, £12.99) introduces us to a disparate range of characters living their lives in and around modern-day Berlin. In short chapters, often amounting to just a page or two, we meet first a wolf, slowly headed from the forest towards the city, and then a dozen or so isolated or dysfunctional individuals. The first to spot the wolf is Polish builder Tomasz, and the photograph he takes of it, from a queue behind a pile-up on a snowy motorway, soon goes viral. While Tomasz is facing up to the wolf, Elisabeth and Micha cross its tracks (and the corpse of a hunter) in the forest as they begin their escape from home following another violent row between Elisabeth and her mother. Meanwhile in the city, another couple manage their kiosk, selling schnapps and newspapers while dreaming, themselves, of locking eyes with the wolf. As the wolf nears the city, and becomes the main subject of Berlin gossip, the various protagonists struggle with the daily challenges of their lives. Relationships crumble, trusts are betrayed, nerves are strained and the runaways dodge the law, seek shelter and are unwittingly pursued by family members with their own crosses to bear. The footsteps of all these characters criss-cross and near-miss frequently in this quick-paced, sparse but brilliant novel. We are offered up insights into a wild and disorderly underbelly of 21st-century Berlin, with the main strands all linked by this unexpected reappearance of an even wilder creature. In The Mercy Seat, by Elizabeth H. Winthrop (Hodder, £14.99), the object on which the novel hinges is an electric chair – a relatively new-fangled invention during the

1940s era in which the story is set. Like the wolf in Schimmelpfennig’s book, the electric chair is on the move. It’s headed to St Martinville, Louisiana, where a young black man named Willie is to be executed, having been convicted of the rape of a white girl. One by one, we meet the players in this grim affair, beginning with Lane, a trusted convict who is driving the prison guard tasked with delivering the “terrible cargo” of the electric chair to the execution site. Willie’s father is also traveling to St Martinville and his cargo is no less burdensome. Aboard his wagon is a slab of granite which will become his son’s headstone. Meanwhile, in town, we are introduced to the district attorney, his wife and their son. We learn of the DA’s disquiet around this case as he questions the truth, contemplates the timidity of the defence that was offered up on Willie’s behalf and wrangles with the morality of the death-penalty itself. This myriad of voices, and many others, including that of the condemned man himself, take us forward through the fateful day. Each scene provides us with surprisingly deep character portraits, and the whole tapestry of conflicting viewpoints draw us into the core of the plot and the uncertainty of whether justice is being properly served. Though these two innovative novels have mastered the “many characters, one central link” structure recently, you can find many other examples in decades past. To finish with just one, do look out for Annie Proulx’s Accordion Crimes (Harper Collins, £10.99) first published back in 1996. Here, Proulx tells a collection of dramatic, musical, occasionally funny life stories all bound together by a single accordion. The instrument arrives into Ellis Island from Sicily in the hands of migrants who set up home in Manhattan. By the time the novel is done, that same accordion has played every imaginable musical style – from Zydeco to Irish jigs – and been mastered by Poles, Mexicans, FrenchCanadians, Germans, and by migrants and their descendants from many other nations besides. It’s an ingenious portrait of the American melting pot of nations as well as a fascinating comment on how music binds us all together however different our backgrounds might be. Nic Bottomley is the general manager of Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights, 14/15 John Street, Bath; 01225 331155; I BATH LIFE I 51


ANNA O’CALLAGHAN THEATRE Spectacular Suchet; BELOW: David is pictured with Adrian Lukis

W He’s the man


There are certain actors whose names cause a rush of anticipation when you hear they’ll be coming back to the Theatre Royal Bath. One such is David Suchet…

hen David Suchet returns to the Main House this month, in Arthur Miller’s The Price, this will be the eighth time I’ll have seen him on our stage. Every performance to date has been a masterclass, and the range of characters he has excelled in playing has been phenomenal. To many, he will always be Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, but I have also seen him as a music hall comedian, a Vatican cardinal and an Italian composer, not to mention a formidable Lady Bracknell. Twenty-five years ago, David came to Bath in Oleanna, one of the most talked-about plays of the decade. Harold Pinter directed this regional premiere of David Mamet’s provocative two-hander about an American professor accused of sexually harassing a female student, which co-starred Lia Williams (who was here in April in Mary Stuart). In 1994, he was back in Bath on the way to receiving an Olivier Award nomination in the hilarious What A Performance!, in which he portrayed 40s comic genius Sid Field. The musichall star is now largely forgotten, but was sited as an inspiration by Tony Hancock, Eric Morecambe and even Laurence Olivier. In researching the role, David discovered photographs of Sid, which had been taken by his maternal grandfather, James Jarché. What a coincidence. In 1998, he was back to play Antonio Salieri, the ambitious Italian composer who vows to destroy his rival, Mozart, in Peter Hall’s production of Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus; in 2004 he played a world-famous Romanian financier Gregor Antonescu in Terence Rattigan’s rarely performed Man and Boy; and in 2007, he starred as Giovanni Benelli, a Vatican cardinal investigating corruption surrounding the untimely death of Pope John Paul I. In 2012 he returned in one of the most powerful American plays of the 20th century, Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night, in which he played James Tyrone, a poor Irish immigrant who abandoned his dreams of being a classical actor in return for commercial success. In 2015, I received a picture of David

wearing a crimson frock with lace cuffs and a feathered velvet bonnet. He was to make his debut as a woman, playing Lady Bracknell in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. It was a very, very funny performance. As I said, he will be back once again this month, in engrossing drama The Price. He will play Gregory Solomon, a wily, old used furniture dealer, three times married, who has somehow acquired a discharge from the British Navy. Solomon arrives at a once prosperous house in Manhattan, the childhood home of Victor and Walter Franz, to clear their old bits and pieces before the house is demolished. Victor is a New York cop who stayed home to care for their bankrupt father. Walter got away to become a rich and successful surgeon. It’s 16 years since the brothers last met. Victor and his wife, Esther, are just about to close the deal with Solomon when Walter turns up; old hostilities are ignited, and Victor is forced to confront a long-repressed question about the value of the price he has paid. Playing the brothers will be the award-winning actor Brendan Coyle, who is best known as John Bates, the Earl of Grantham’s valet in Downton Abbey, and Adrian Lukis, who played George Wickham in the BBC’s landmark production of Pride and Prejudice in 1995. Jonathan Church will be directing. The last time I saw The Price here in 2004, Warren Mitchell was playing Gregory Solomon. Prior to that, I saw a production in 1981 at Bristol’s New Vic Theatre starring Bath’s Howard Goorney. It’s a wonderful role in a wonderful play – funny, sad, majestic and epic, with a great story – everything you would want from a piece of drama, and I can’t wait to see David Suchet in what will most certainly be another breath-taking performance. ■

“To many, he will always be Belgian detective Hercule Poirot”

The Price is on at Main House, Theatre Royal Bath, 9-25 August Box Office 01225 448844; Online booking: Anna O’Callaghan, Marketing Manager, Theatre Royal Bath, Sawclose; 01225 448844; I BATH LIFE I 53

Bowood Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort There are plenty of reasons to visit Bowood Hotel, but our favourites are the eclectic menu, the blissful spa and the woodland walks By Lisa Evans


o I could sit here and describe to you the quintessentially British, stately beauty of Bowood House and Gardens, or we could just tell you that it was the location for several episodes of Poldark last month – which, if you watch the brooding drama set in the 18th century, you’ll know that must mean Bowood – home to the Lansdowne family for over 250 years – is aptly historical. Just as Capability Brown’s Grade-I listed, 2,000-acre parkland attracted Poldark’s film crew, I too was lured; although, I must admit, my visit was to Bowood Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort, in the same estate, rather than to the tourist-attraction house, just a short walk away. I did attempt to get to the house before last admissions at 5pm, but, as the walk to it involved meandering through Bowood’s championship golf course, I spent much of my time hesitating to tread, lest I be struck by a ball, and I spent the rest of it dad-running (like you would across a


zebra crossing) directing apologetic waves to the players to thank them for letting me pass. All the kerfuffle meant I missed the viewing – and I accidentally walked the wrong way through the woods, but let’s still lay all blame on the golfers regardless, shall we? My main reason for visiting the boutique-style, fourstar, relatively modern-looking hotel was to partake in a three-course dinner at their Shelburne Restaurant, but who would visit a spa hotel without indulging in a little luxury first? I spent an hour or so unwinding in the Jacuzzi, rock sauna, crystal steam room, and lounging by the glassfronted indoor infinity pool, overlooking idyllic scenery and wildlife. Well, I say I lounged, but all the loungers were reserved, so I sat on a chair outside in a towel, but it was a beautiful day, so I was unfazed. Before I knew it, it was time to rinse the chlorine out of my hair, and head downstairs for dinner. First, a glass of wine on the sunny terrace, before taking a seat in the


rather grand, sumptuous – yet relaxed – sweep of a space inside, where the focal point is the open kitchen at the back. We kicked off proceedings with a hulking great bread board complete with chunky artisan breads, oils, balsamic vinegar and house butters while we mulled over the choice of starters. We moved on to crispy lamb breast served with saffron potato mousse, poached apricot, crispy anchovies and almond clusters, which was an artistic beauty of a thing that played with the senses. The creamy, zingy risotto primavera with lime and chilli crème fraîche also hit the spot. From main choices including surf and turf; orecchiette pasta with salami and butter and parsley emulsion; and duck with gooseberry, orange and elderflower, my dining partner opted for the Cajun-spiced swordfish steak. Out of character to the technical, inventive and imaginative aesthetic we had just been spoiled with, the fish is plated up without a decorative petal, jus or arty swish in sight. It’s served simply, with chips and salad – a pub grubstyle dish. All the elements tasted fine, and it was a generous portion, but, after what we had been dazzled with previously – and considering the menu features ingredients such as fennel pollen, rosewater, and pickled shimeji – we were surprised by its basicness. The great thing is, though, there’s a lot of choice, and, if you ask for it, there’s a separate vegetarian and vegan menu. Artichoke couscous, butternut squash and sweet potato curry, and courgette and chilli linguine are just a few of the tempting meatless dishes on offer. An unfussy dessert of strawberries and cream was the ideal light summer’s evening treat, and tiramisu was classically, soft, creamy and satisfying. After the jumbo portions, and still feeling a bit lightheaded after relaxing at the spa, it was such a treat not to have to drive home, but instead to spend the night in one of the hotel’s elegant bedrooms, designed by the Marchioness of Lansdowne. I had already eaten the homemade cookies which were in the room ready for my arrival, so all that was left to do was slip into a long and deep slumber. Being the animal lover I am, it made my month to open the balcony doors at sunrise the next morning to be greeted by deer peacefully grazing below. I couldn’t have imagined a better ending to my stay if I’d tried. n

“The menu featured ingredients such as fennel pollen, rosewater and pickled shimeji” Dining details Bowood Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort, Old Road, Derry Hill, Calne, SN11 OLZ; 01249 822228; Prices Starters £7 – £10.50; mains £12 – £25; desserts £7 Vegetarian/vegan A dedicated menu – only if you ask for it – featuring plenty of starter, main and dessert options Wine Plenty of world wines, sparkling and port, with by-the-bottle prices ranging from £22 – £215 Service/atmosphere Polite and sophisticated (I was constantly referred to as ‘madam’) with an elegant but welcoming feel What else? A spa, gym, an 18-hole golf course, free entry for guests into the nearby Bowood House I BATH LIFE I 55


DINING IN BATH Bath Life’s selection of the best places to eat out in Bath and the surrounding area BRITISH THE BATH PRIORY Weston Road, Bath; 01225 331922; Delicious fine dining overlooking the hotel's award-winning gardens CIRCUS RESTAURANT 34 Brock Street, Bath; 01225 466020; Voted number four in the UK in The Times's “20 secret restaurants that foodies love” CORKAGE Chapel Row, Bath; 01225 423417 Award-winning small plates restaurant and wine specialist CORKAGE 132 Walcot St, Bath; 01225 422577 Award-winning small plates restaurant and wine specialist THE DOWER HOUSE, ROYAL CRESCENT HOTEL 16 Royal Crescent, Bath; 01225 823333; AA 3 rosette fine dining at one of Bath’s most iconic locations HENRY'S 4 Saville Row, Bath; 01225 780055; Imaginative modern dining offering a classic menu and also full vegetarian and vegan menus DAN MOON AT THE GAINSBOROUGH RESTAURANT Beau St, Bath; 01225 358888; Creativity meets delicious food with this talented chef MENU GORDON JONES 2 Wellsway, Bath; 01225 480871; Multi award-winning fine dining with a constantly changing surprise tasting menu THE OLIVE TREE RESTAURANT, THE QUEENSBERRY HOTEL Russell St, Bath; 01225 447928; One of Bath’s longest established restaurants, overseen by Chris Cleghorn with 3 AA rosettes 56 I BATH LIFE I

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

THE CHEQUERS 50 Rivers St, Bath; 01225 360017; Inventive British food served in a welcoming pub atmosphere close to the Royal Crescent


THE GARRICKS HEAD 7-8 St John's Rd, Bath; 01225 318368; City centre pub and dining room next to the Theatre Royal Bath

CAFÉ LUCCA 1-2 Bartlett Street, Bath; 01225 335394; Stylish contemporary café situated at The Loft on Bartlett Street; offering a Mediterranean inspired menu with barista coffee and sumptuous homemade cakes DARCY’S 34 Gay St, Bath; 01225 425308 Independent café/newsagent in Bath. Serving breakfast and lunch, coffee and cake daily GREEN BIRD CAFÉ 11 Margaret's Buildings, Bath; 01225 487846; Independently-run café located between the Circus and Royal Crescent THE KINGSMEAD KITCHEN 1 Kingsmead St, Kingsmead Square, Bath; 01225 329002; Laid-back, modern café-bar open daily from 8am until 6pm for breakfast, brunch, lunch and tea using farm produce

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

GASTROPUBS GPT SMOKEHOUSE 44-45 Lower Bristol Rd, Bath; 01225 429509; 'Dude Food' menu cooked with an authentic handmade American hot smoker KING WILLIAM 36 Thomas St, Bath; 01225 428096; Pub with an upstairs dining room serving a modern British menu based on West Country produce

THE HARE AND HOUNDS Lansdown Road, Avon, Bath; 01225 482682; Airy, relaxed spot with modern British gastropub menu, extensive wine list and scenic outdoor area THE LOCKSBROOK INN 103 Locksbrook Rd, Bath; 01225 427119; Canalside gastropub in Bath, open every day for drinks, brunch, coffee, lunch, evening meals and grazing in between THE MARLBOROUGH TAVERN 35 Marlborough Buildings; 01225 423731; Award-winning gastropub using seasonal local produce THE NEW INN 24 Monmouth Place, Bath; 01225 442944; Burgers and bar snacks with cask and craft ale and beers THE RICHMOND ARMS 7 Richmond Place, Bath; 01225 316725; Hearty dishes with menu changing on a daily basis

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


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

PIZZA THE OVEN 21 Westgate St, Bath 01225 311181; Neapolitan artisan pizza using local and Italian imported produce

REAL ITALIAN PIZZA CO 16 York St, Bath 01225 330121; Family-owned pizzeria. Wood-fired pizza with fresh authentic ingredients




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Modern farmhouse cuisine, locally sourced and freshly prepared STON EASTON PARK Ston Easton, nr. Bath, Bath, BA3 4DF 01761 241631; Luxurious pet friendly country house hotel in Wells, with an award-winning fine dining restaurant and 36 acres of beautiful grounds

GASTROPUBS TIMBRELL'S YARD 49 St Margaret's St, Bradford-on-Avon BA15 1DE; 01225 869492 Timbrell's Yard is a rejuvenated Coaching Inn, in beautiful Bradford-On-Avon, Wiltshire, with excellent dining and luxurious accommodation THE GEORGE AT WOOLLEY 67 Woolley St, Bradford on Avon, BA15 1AQ; 01225 865650; Lovingly refurbished gastropub from awardwinning team

HOMEWOOD PARK Abbey Lane, Freshford, Bath, BA2 7TB 01225 723731; Luxury hotel with two rosette restaurant and spa THE PEAR TREE INN Top Lane, Whitely, Wilts, SN12 8QX; 01225 704966; An elegant revamped country inn with an acclaimed restaurant and contemporary rustic-chic bedrooms THE WHEELWRIGHTS ARMS Church Lane, Monkton Combe, BA2 7HB 01225 722287; Pub featuring modern takes on British classics, plus understated, individually decorated guestrooms

FARM SHOPS ALLINGTON FARM SHOP Allington Bar Farm, Allington, Chippenham SN14 6LJ; 01249 658112 Shop and café selling local produce ■ I BATH LIFE I 57


the big interview

Two of the biggest names in British cooking – Marco Pierre White and Pierre Koffmann – are coming to Bath. They had six Michelin stars between them back in the day, and, amazingly, their new restaurant is not a chain. Instead, Koffmann and Mr White’s, opening in October, is a oneoff venture. Even more amazingly, they’re getting hands-on with the food… Words by Matt Bielby I BATH LIFE I 59

the big interview


here are few chefs more celebrated than Marco Pierre White – and few more influential than Pierre Koffmann. Marco’s the original kitchen bad boy, at the cutting edge of the current generation of celebrity chefs; he was the first British chef to be awarded three Michelin stars – and the youngest to earn that honour anywhere. But though he trained famous chefs himself, notably Gordon Ramsey, the pantheon he learnt from is even greater. Think Albert and Michel Roux at Le Gavroche; Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons; Nico Ladenis at Chez Nico; and, as important as any, Pierre Koffmann at La Tante Claire. Pierre Koffmann might not be as famous as Marco, but his achievements are legion. At one point he was head chef at the Roux brothers’ Waterside Inn at Bray, while his most famous restaurant – the three Michelin star La Tante Claire, initially in Chelsea and later at the Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge – was at the heart of the new British cuisine, his signature pig’s trotter dish (the whole animal’s foot stuffed with sweetbreads and morels) somehow becoming more famous than he is. “When I reflect on my time with Pierre, I just think what a privilege it was,” Marco says now. “The food he creates has always been so, so delicious – and before its time.” And now Pierre and Marco are coming to Bath. Their new restaurant together in the old Allium space at the Abbey Hotel will offer a simple – but doubtless impeccable – brasserie experience, starring, Pierre says, “the food we want to eat ourselves.” And – hallelujah – it will be no chain. Instead, Koffmann and Mr White’s, as it will be called, is very much a one-off thing. Even better still, while Marco will doubtless be in and out – he has a house just six miles away from Bath – Pierre promises to be in the kitchen five days a week. Sounds like we have quite a treat in store…

Marco is a self-confessed lover of what he calls “honest food”

So it’s just that an opportunity came up, and you went for it? Not part of any master plan? Marco: If not for Anil, we probably wouldn’t even have

thought of it. He was the catalyst. And it was serendipity really, because Pierre’s last restaurant – Koffmann’s at The Berkeley – had just closed, the lease was over. That was sad, because it meant I couldn’t eat there any more, but you have to accept that nothing lasts forever. And anyway, if not for that we might not be doing Bath.

It’s exciting that you’re coming to Bath… Pierre: For all of us, I think; it’ll be a very simple

brasserie-style restaurant, serving quality food. I don’t like to spend time on excessive decoration, or preparing a beautiful plate; I’d rather concentrate on the taste. So the whole restaurant will have a simple look and a relaxed atmosphere, aimed at local people. Oh, we’ll have tourists too, and travellers staying at the hotel, but it’s important we attract locals. Maybe they won’t eat here every day, but certainly once a week. Marco: We couldn’t actually ask for a better space – it’s right in the middle of town, and a real privilege to have the amazing terrace out front. It’s just me and Pierre, really. Really? I think people assumed this was going to be another Brasserie Blanc or Jamie’s Italian…? Marco: No, it’s not part of any chain. The story behind it

is simple. I happen to know Anil Khanna, who owns the Abbey these days, and he asked if I’d do a restaurant for him here. So I spoke to Pierre, put forward Koffmann and Mr White’s – and Anil loved the concept. Half the menu


will be in English, and half will be in French, just like at the old Connaught hotel in Mayfair, so it won’t be all French, French, French. It’ll have a delicious shepherd’s pie, yes, but it will also have an amazing confit de canard. Do you see where I’m coming from? It’s up to you which you have: French, English – or a bit of both. I love that yin and yang.

“I love technical ability, but I love delicious food even more”

And the food here will be simple…? Marco: Look, most Michelin-starred restaurants don’t

create food you actually want to eat. They’re about a master class in technical ability, yes, but a lot of the time technical ability doesn’t taste delicious. You see a plate filled with technical ability, but do you want to eat it?

Er, no…? Marco: No! I love technical ability, but I love delicious

food even more, and if you look at what Pierre does, it’s beautifully technical, yes, but it’s also beautifully simple – and beautifully delicious. There are never too many components on the plate. I don’t want to eat pig three ways, with three different sauces, and puréed black pudding with strange crackling. I’m sorry, but just give

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the big interview me a nice roast belly of pork with proper crackling and delicious apple sauce, and I’m happy. And that’s what Koffmann and Mr White’s is all about. You worked with Pierre ages ago, didn’t you? Marco: We go back nearly 35 years. I went to work for him

six years into my career – the end of ’84, going into ’85 – and on reflection I wish I’d spent more time with him. He was, and is, an extraordinary cook. Pierre’s an artist, and watching him work is like watching an artist paint. In those days, a lot of food was massively overworked, but Pierre’s was always understated, and he had his amazing confidence about him. He just allowed food to be food.

So there will be no puréed black pudding? Marco: Definitely not – but you can have cured herrings,

or salade lyonnaise. My favourite restaurant of all time – after Pierre’s – was the Connaught in the ’90s, when the great chef Michel Bourdin ran it. I could go there for my boiled beef and dumplings with creamed horseradish, or my steak and kidney pie, or my oysters Christian Dior. I’m not into 18 courses of little knick-knacks, and I hate being told what I’m eating and how to eat it. I like honest food, and I think that’s why I relate to Pierre more than anyone else I ever worked for.

But neither of you will be working in the kitchen at the new place, right? Marco: We’ll have a head chef, but Pierre will be there

much of the time, I think, and I’ll be there sometimes.

Pierre: Yes, I’ll be there five days a week – Marco has

other priorities, but I’ll be in the kitchen all the time, more or less. I won’t move to Bath completely, but I’ll be here maybe Tuesday to Sunday. Marco: Right now, Pierre is living in a golden moment. He might not have three Michelin stars any more – neither do I, come to that – but his knowledge and understanding of food is probably greater now than it was when he had three stars. And it’s similar with me. Now that I’ve travelled more, I know more about food and restaurants than I ever did. Pierre is, without question, one of the greatest cooks I’ve ever worked for, and he’s climbed the gastronomic Everest. But he’s found, as I have, that when you step back for a little while, and you’re not doing it every day – lunch, dinner, lunch, dinner – you can start properly thinking about food. I do that all the time, but when I used to work six days a week I didn’t have that freedom. Because you’re on a treadmill? Marco: Oh, back then all my energies went into

maintaining consistency, and delivering a standard day in, day out. Winning three stars is incredibly exciting – the greatest journey for any chef – but retaining them becomes the most boring job on earth. By the time you’ve won three stars you’ve built your infrastructure, and you’ve become this well-oiled machine. And that’s boring. The most exciting food, I think, is when you’re on two stars and knocking on the door for three. You’re still being experimental, and still using your imagination, because you want to get your three stars. But when you get to three, you start to play a very safe game.

Going back to that chain restaurant thing, why are so many of them are struggling? Pierre: I’m not young any more, but when I was young we

went to restaurants to get the best cassoulet, the best dishes, but now young people go to restaurants for a different


Pierre plans to be in the kitchen of Koffmann and Mr White’s – cooking for locals and tourists alike – five days a week

reason – they want to try something new. And then, even more importantly, they want to tell their friends about it. They want to show off, say I went there before you. After that, they don’t go again. It’s this sort of novelty factor is what’s driven some chains, but novelty alone isn’t enough to make a successful restaurant; neither is the publicity you get because a famous person went there. In fact, it’s very hard for anyone to pinpoint the recipe for a restaurant that will appeal to lots of people, in lots of places, again and again for years… Coming up with a universal concept is very hard. That’s why it’s good to see you’re not doing that, and that you’re still cooking too… Marco: One of the great things about Pierre is that he’s

“If you have the stars, and you’re charging those prices, you have a duty to be behind your stove”

always behind a stove, and you can’t say that about many head chefs today. And that’s what three-Michelin-star chefs – as he was – should be doing. Yes, of course, if you have lots of restaurants you can’t be everywhere – but if you have the stars, and you’re charging those prices, you have a duty to be behind your stove. At the very least, you should stay close to the flame. And Pierre always stayed very close to the flame.

Finally, while we’re waiting for you to open, where should we be eating? Marco: My favourite restaurant in all of Wiltshire and

Somerset is, without question, The Scallop Shell – it serves just the finest food. Lots of people will disagree with me, but remember, I’m just turning up to eat – not for the fluff. I’ve been to plenty of Michelin-starred restaurants in the area, I won’t name which ones, and for what’s on the plate none of them can beat The Scallop Shell. n

Koffmann and Mr White’s opens in October;

food & drink The face that brings the service to you

and picnic boxes. All produce is locally sourced from quality Bath businesses. The grazing platters are a service whereby they are set up on site – at home or at a business. All you need to do is add friends/family/colleagues… and something cold and bubbly. The concept is fresh. Where did it come from? Goodness Grazers is inspired by the grazing table phenomenon that’s currently taking Australia and New Zealand by storm. As a kiwi myself, I love this social way of eating. When my husband and I first moved to Bath, we were absolutely blown away by the wonderful local produce. I thought, someone needs to create a way to get all of this amazing stuff in one place. Voila. When did the business start? We are just kicking things off, and trying to get the word of Goodness Grazers out there in the city. I then thought a summer launch would be great when teamed with our picnic boxes.

take 5

Monique Bates wants to create a way for people to enjoy handpicked local goodies without having to do the running around themselves. A social, unique, healthy and fun eating experience, find out more about Goodness Grazers… When we first heard about Goodness Grazers – a business which hand-delivers and assembles platters of tasty local ingredients to your chosen location – we couldn’t resist getting in touch to find out more. The idea comes from secondary school PE teacher Monique Bates, who was inspired by the quality

foods surrounding us in Bath. Here, she tells us about the food trend that’s taking Australia by storm, and her Antipodean twist on quality Bath produce…

Hi, Monique. Tell us more about Goodness Grazers… It’s a Bath-based business that creates bespoke grazing platters

We love the name. Did you come up with a few more before settling? Thank you. It was challenging to come up with something that was not taken, sounded good and portrayed the idea. And your platters are priced up by square area…? Unlike paying per canapé or item, grazing platters are priced based on the area. They are filled to the edges with quality produce – there is always more goodness to choose from. I love using fresh fruits to reflect the seasonal colours. We can also do grazing platter add-ons – for example, granola pots and bliss balls; great for corporate and brunch options. Anything smaller we could nibble on? Our picnic boxes are a great option that feed two or four-to-six people, and they can be picked up or delivered. They’re great for picnic dates in the summer weather, and jam-packed with goodies. You’re not limited to our ideas, either. We’re always open to options and love getting creative.

How do you deliver your picnic boxes? They’re hand-delivered by me. All of our food is transported chilled, so we comply with food regulations and keep your goods fresh as can be. And the packaging is ecofriendly, too? Yes, cool, eh? Our picnic boxes and cutlery are compostable, and our pottles are recyclable. Have you got a background in food? I am a Secondary PE and health teacher – I have always been involved in nutrition and sport. Food has always been an interest of mine (isn’t it everyone’s?). I am always trying new recipes out, and constantly grazing. My extended family has been in the catering industry for some time now and my university life saw me working for catering companies and managing a fruit store. Where are you based? We’re in central Bath. The ‘creation station’ is currently running out of our home. Where do your ingredients and produce come from? Everything is from local businesses, and I am always on the lookout for products to use. My main providers are Somerset Charcuterie, Bath Soft Cheese Company, The Oven, and Bertinet Bakery. There is loads of variety within the providers to work with. For example, I love topping The Bath Soft Cheese with Wainwrights honeycomb, and fresh figs and walnuts. How long does it take to craft a grazing platter? It depends entirely on the size and type. There is a lot of chopping and making produce look picture-perfect. I like to plan out how to place the produce before I start, which can sometimes be the tricky part. Usually it’s between 30mins–1.5 hours. So what’s next? Creating a quality service in the Bath area is my main aim. I am hopeful that we can broaden our services and ideally cater for large events, as well as introduce staging and prop-hire. I BATH LIFE I 65

food & drink news

Down to Earth Bath-based Huskup was founded this year to harness one of the world’s most abundant food waste materials, the humble rice husk, and begin a new chapter in takeaway coffee with a cup that is both durable and biodegradable. Having come up with an entirely plastic-free reusable coffee cup, Huskup’s sustainable cups are helping local coffee lovers to say no to single use. The initial designs from Frome-based Donna Sarah represent fundamental features of the natural world, from the coastline to the mountains. “Choosing to work with local designers who share our environmental principles was a no-brainer,” explains founder Richard Milton. “With more design collaborations on the way, we plan to keep Huskup a desirable product that makes it easy and appealing to tackle disposable culture.” An instant bestseller is the ‘thumbs up’ design, which is setting the tone for the 12 other patterns inspired by nature. “The thumbs up design is a little message to represent the good that the cup is doing for the earth,” says Donna. The Huskup contains no melamine or BPA, so no nasties can make their way into drinks. These eco-friendly cups are also tough enough to take on the dishwasher and safe for reheating coffee in the microwave, but will simply decompose and return to the earth at the end of their lives. Launching with 12 designs, the cups are ready to bring takeaway coffee back down to earth. For more:

Explore UNESCO Bath with No.15

Feed your curiosity In celebration of the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage, No.15 Great Pulteney hotel is inviting its guests to explore UNESCO Bath with a new city walking tour and dining experience. On arrival into Bath, guests will be welcomed with a pre-dinner cocktail in the hotel’s Bar 15 – choose from the inventive list of well-shaken drinks presented as a deck of playing cards. Dinner will then be served down in basement Café 15 or Bar 15, where the dishes are as imaginative as the décor. After being fed and watered, learn – in small groups – how the city earned its World Heritage status, with a hand-illustrated map of the city as a memento. Included in the short break deal (for £179 per person) is a cocktail for the curious, dinner, and, the next morning, breakfast and a two-hour adventure on foot around Bath’s most iconic sights with Sulis Guides.

For more:

OWL DRINK TO THAT The Abbey Hotel has recently

Huskup designs get the thumbs up


welcomed a new doorman in feathery form. Standing in front of the iconic hotel, ARTIS – who is part of this summer’s Minerva’s Owls of Bath sculpture trail – will not only welcome people to the sunny terrace, restaurant and Art Bar, but will also be serving up a free cocktail tasters during a weekly ‘Happy Owl’ session (until the end of the trail on 10 September). The golden resident has inspired head bartender of The Abbey, Martin Savage, to come up with a limited-edition ARTIS cocktail, which will be available to try as a free taster every Friday between 3pm – 4pm. The drink mixes up owl-themed Tawney Port, Cherry Heering, Punt E Mes Vermouth, house walnut bitters, lemon juice and demerara sugar, complete with a feather-inspired garnish. “We hope people can enjoy a flavour of our hotel through the free cocktail tasters that ARTIS will serve up to thirsty commuters, tourists and Bath residents this summer,” says Josh Watts, general manager. For more:

The ARTIS cocktail is served at ‘Happy Owl’

Rooted Cafe and Supper Rooms Vegetarian & Vegan Friendly • Family Run • Community Based • Sustainable Open 8:30am–8:30pm daily (9am–4pm Sundays) 20 Newbridge Road, Bath, BA1 3JX rootedcafebath




Your property letting, sorted... Could you enjoy more holidays thanks to AIRSORTED? Neil and Mehjabeen do…


here are a number of reasons why you might decide to short-let your property. Whether you work away during the week, you’re going on holiday or have decided to go travelling for a few months, using your home to generate extra income to fund your lifestyle when you’re not there could be the dream solution. Neil and Mehjabeen live in Bristol and decided to let out their property using Airsorted earlier this year. Their busy and demanding careers mean that they both travel a lot with work – Mehjabeen is a CFO while Neil runs his own ad agency. “I might be away, she might be,” Neil explains, “we can both be abroad for one month but maybe not at the same time.” When asked why he decided to list his property on Airbnb, Neil explained, “We’re based in Clifton Wood and a lot of people visit this part of Bristol, as it’s near the bridge and city centre. We absolutely love the house, but also go away quite a lot, and we realised there was a great opportunity to utilise our house for additional income. “While our daughter was away for university, we decided to put our property on Airbnb. The timing of it was perfect, and because Airsorted take care of it all for you, we could move forward with listing our property on Airbnb without worrying. We wouldn’t be on Airbnb without Airsorted.” Airsorted’s hassle-free service is designed to take all the stress out of hosting, from creating the listing to vetting guests – something Neil and Mehjabeen were able to find out firsthand. “Our listing was live within a week and everything was really smooth. The big thing for us was getting it listed in the first place, but a lot of the heavy

lifting was done by Airsorted. The ease of not having to deal with anything when the guests are here, such as cleaning or providing bedding and linen means it’s a much more reliable service than what we could provide ourselves, and gives us peace of mind. In fact, every time the property has been listed as available with Airsorted, we’ve had 100 per cent occupancy. We’re now able to go away more because it covers our weekend trips away”

“EVERY TIME THE PROPERTY HAS BEEN LISTED AS AVAILABLE WITH AIRSORTED, WE’VE HAD 100 PER CENT OCCUPANCY” Working with Airsorted has also given Neil and Mehjabeen more freedom. “It gives us the opportunity to take more breaks, and also contributes to the cost of the house. Recently, we were able to go to Milan because of it. My wife was there for work, so I listed the property and within 24 hours there were two requests to book. This meant we could travel together, knowing it was all covered.” If you are a Bath-based host already, or are new to home sharing and interested in hosting in Bath, Airsorted would love to hear from you. Call us or visit the website. ■

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN AIRSORTED’S ‘HASSLE-FREE’ HOSTING SERVICE? Listing creation – professional photography and search optimisation Price optimisation – specialised technology and local knowledge help us to set the perfect price Professional cleaning – arrangement of professional cleaning paid for by your staying guests Hotel quality linens – beds made to a hotel standard with towels and linen laundered offsite Guest vetting – a strict screening of guests using both online and offline verification checks 24 hr check-in – peace of mind for your guests as they can check-in anytime Account management – one point of contact for all your queries Property maintenance – highly skilled professionals on call Guest communications – prompt responses to your guests

0117 325152

Replenishment – monitoring and restocking of necessary items I BATH LIFE I 69

shopping live well, buy better

What in carnation? The very fact that smiling suns feature on this floral frock is enough to keep us in the summery mood (whatever the weather decides it wants to do this month). We think this Stine Goya number would be an ideal outfit for a barbeque evening or a day out – shopping for more dresses, maybe – with friends. Cut in a heavy viscose stretch with a v-neck opening and long flared ruffle sleeves, this colourful dress has an aboveknee length and is made for a casual flattering fit. With the pre-fall 2018 collection, Stine Goya explores the world of colour theory. Harmony versus chaos, tonality together with contrast, muted alongside bright – the science of how we perceive and relate to different shades provides the inspiration for the colour palette, the prints and the garments themselves. Stine Goya Rosie dress, £190, available at Grace & Mabel, 3 George Street, Bath; I BATH LIFE I 71

PORCELAIN MINI JUGS, £20 These handmade porcelain and silver leaf Hans Borgonjon jugs will accessorise your afternoon tea spread perfectly From Verve Living, 15 Walcot Buildings, London Road, Bath;

TEA TUBES, £4 EACH Founded by Bath-based teenager April Collins while she was studying for her GCSEs in 2016, the locally based Leafy Tea Company specialises in health-giving blends of tea, which come in exciting flavours, such as coconut, Indian spice, and lavender From The Leafy Tea Company;

CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET OOLONG? As Afternoon Tea Week is this month (14 – 20 August), we’ve sought out some little treats for those who enjoy a cuppa and a cake

CUPCAKES, £2.50 EACH Wild Flour’s cakes can be found in many a Bath café, including Society Café and Colonna & Small’s. The bakers’ ethos is to use fresh, wholesome, natural ingredients, inspired by the seasons – always leaving out preservatives and substitutes From Wild Flour Cake Company, Unit 1A Timsbury Workshop Estate, Hayeswood Road, Bath;

CAKE STAND, £65 Inspired by the work of Piet Mondrian, artist Suzanne Baginski hand-makes her contemporary, abstract glass designs at her home in Bear Flat, Bath From Bee Happy Glass Designs;

OAK MUG COASTERS, £19 FOR FOUR Simple and rustic, this coaster set showcases Scandinavian design for everyday living From Salcombe Trading, 9 Broad Street, Bath;


ED’S CHOICE WALL ART, FROM £3.50 UNFRAMED When just talking about your love of tea won’t do, hang a locally made artwork on the wall to really prove your point From Cosy Prints; shop/cosyprints

TALK DARCY TO ME MUG, £9.99 Because what woman wouldn't go crazy over someone talking Darcy to her? A lovely little literary gift to put a smile on a book- and tea-lover’s face From Story Gift, Circus Mews, Bath;

TEA GIFT BOX, £11 This traditional selection box features three loose-leaf tea blends – Bath Breakfast, Bath Afternoon and Earl Grey Imperial From Teahouse Emporium, 22 New Bond Street, Bath;

DESTINATION TEA TOWEL, £12 This colourful spill-dabber, designed by artist Amanda Brown in her Bath studio, features the names of well-loved local destinations From Flamingo, 7 Widcombe Parade, Bath

PRESERVES, FROM £2.50 Made in small batches, from hand-picked local produce, in a local farmhouse kitchen, Heavenly Hedgerows’ jam, marmalade and jelly use the fruit, the whole fruit, and nothing but the fruit From Heavenly Hedgerows; I BATH LIFE I 73

w w w. t h e s u i t e b at h . c o . u k 01225


@thesuitebath 35

G ay

S t r e e t,


BA 1


hair and beauty

clockwise from left: the finished look; before the hair magic began; new-look nails; the sleek hairdressing area of the salon

suite spot

Lisa Evans is pampered by twins at The Suite hair and beauty bar…


ow annoying is everything? Very. I’m talking about niggly little bugbears – like girls who deliberately and dramatically swing their ponytails from side to side as they walk; shop or street names with missing apostrophes; and people who hum or whistle a made-up tune. And one of my top hairdressing peeves (let’s keep this relevant, shall we?) is when the only seat left in the salon is the one next to the window, at street level, where your foil crown is in full view of every passer-by. So I was less than thrilled on my approach to The Suite hair and beauty bar, because it’s housed in a former art gallery where light floods in through an entire, pedestrianfacing, wall of glass. Great. I’m sure the glass was perfect for Bath Contemporary gallery to showcase its whopping displays, but the prospect of having my naturally frizzy locks blow-dried in front Bath’s viewing public gave me the dreads. Thankfully, though, I needn’t have let the panic seep into my paranoid psyche, because, to my relief, the window only frames the waiting area; the salon itself is right at the back of the deceptively long building, away from prying eyes. I suddenly felt the most relaxed I could possibly feel in a salon (which is not much, but still). I have a relative ineptitude when it comes to all matters follicular, so when asked by the co-owner and hairdresser – Mathilde Heather – what I

wanted, I babbled on for a good 15 minutes, which she summarised in one word: ‘babylights’ – a very fine hair-colouring technique to mimic the subtle, dimensional hues seen on children’s hair. I wanted brighter hair than I had, but I wanted the highlights to look natural, rather than chunky; I also wanted a cool, ashy – rather than yellowblonde – tone. That’s exactly what M did for me. And, all the while, I felt pampered, and as if everyone who approached me – from the lovely assistant, Chantelle, to the chatty blow-dry queen, Laura – actually took my hair dreams on board; there are far too many other hairdressers in the world who make you feel belittled if you ask for a colour that you’ve seen on Instagram (which “isn’t real, it’s just a filter”) or if you want your thin hair to have an impossible amount of volume. Next up, I moved into the stylish chill-out beauty zone for a manicure. For someone whose nails are almost never unpainted, I’m decidedly unadventurous. With the best of intentions, I’ll eagerly inspect all the beautiful, bright colours on the manicurist’s sample fob, and invariably plump for some variation on nude. But summer is a time to embrace colour and, so, heading well out of my comfort zone (ahem), I went for a skin-flattering dusky, rosy pink. It’s a gel colour, cured by UV light, meaning it’s going to last for weeks, and to further elongate that perfectly non-chipped, high-shine look, a flexible base and then a hard-build layer was applied

before the colour even touched my nails; rocksolid glamour. My nail guru was co-owner Martha – Mathilde’s twin – who was the owner of the popular Manicure Suite on Westgate Street. In May, the sisters and their team merged their talents of hair and beauty into the stunning building, and offer a range of modern treatments – from spray tans and makeovers to lash extensions and transformative brow magic – to their customers, and it’s proving to be a suite success, geddit? n Verdict The twins are perfectionists; I’m delighted with the results and will definitely head back. I’m also very happy about the window situation. Prices Cut and finish from £35, colouring from £45, toners from £20, and gel manicures from £30. Contact info 01225 331231; What else? The salon closes late (7pm) on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. I BATH LIFE I 75


Replace Your Missing Teeth With Dental Implants


Bath Life, the premier magazine for Bath, is looking for an energetic deputy editor to join its editorial team. You’ll need to be a highly literate, supremely organised self-starter with a great visual eye and enthusiasm for all things Bath. Reporting directly to the editor, your duties will include: • Finding and writing up the hottest new stories in the arts, business, retail, food and drink sectors • Feature writing • Attending regular Bath Life events and parties across the city • Proof reading • Organising photography

If you think you have the qualities and experience for this role, please send your CV to:

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Circus House | Bennett Street | Bath | BA1 2EX | 01225 447600 “Over the longer term, implants are usually a more cost effective and satisfactory option” – British Dental Health Foundation

You will need to be: • Proactive in finding timesensitive, exciting stories, news and events • Organised and efficient • A skilled networker • Someone with their finger on the pulse of what's happening in Bath


Gimme gimme floor

From faux animal print to silk carpets, we’ve asked a handful of local experts to tell us about the flooring styles they love right now… By Lisa Evans


looring is the foundation of any design scheme, on which everything else in the room stands. It takes the most wear of any other element of your home, needs to be able to accommodate your lifestyle and taste, provides the visual backdrop for the rest of your interior, and is typically the most difficult thing to change, so it is crucial to get it right. Choose correctly, and flooring is an investment that will last for years. Here, we focus our interiors attention on what’s hot in the underfoot world…

Go mad for mono with a porcelain design like this from Mandarin Stone, Bath

78 I bath life I

Interiors Expert tips Before you make a decision, consider this… “If you have a feature in the room – a rug, a range cooker, or something a bit more unusual, like a juke box – choose a floor that won’t steal attention away from it, but will complement it.” Kayleigh Murphy at Boniti, West Littleton “Definite no-nos are floorings that may affect health; for example, high-VOC hard wax oils around babies, children and pregnant women should be avoided.” Cary Ford at Interior Harmony, Chelsea Road “Underfloor heating is an ideal companion to natural stone and porcelain tiles – warm in winter, and cool in summer. Consider walking on your chosen material barefoot, to see if you like the feel.” Louisa Morgan at Mandarin Stone, Broad Street “Take the sample of flooring home, and look at it in both natural light and electric light, to check you love it at all times of day.”

Vanessa Garrett at Broadleaf Walcot Street “Will it add to or decrease the value of your home? Laminate flooring can be noisy and bounce when walked on; potential buyers may view this – and worn carpets – as costly. Steve White at Bath Carpets and Flooring, Kingsmead Street “Quality wood flooring is the most versatile option. You can put it almost anywhere in the house; it’s hardwearing, inviting, timeless and is always a great selling point.” Vanessa Garrett at Broadleaf, Walcot Street “Avoid carpets in bathrooms, and wood flooring in bedrooms. Selecting the right flooring is vital to enhance the other furniture and accessories which may be in the room; we offer large samples for our clients to take home and make sure they work with the rest of the scheme. Mark Everett at Capitol Carpets, Walcot Street

right: a ‘charred’ floor – like this one from Broadleaf – can add depth and intrigue; below: go grey, with a design like this from Tile & Flooring Bath

Natural beauty

Natural-looking floors are, by design, going to be the most versatile and timeless styles to introduce into your home, they are also, says Louisa Morgan, marketing director at Mandarin Stone on Broad Street, inherently beautiful, and, in her opinion, nothing quite compares. “Looked after correctly, a stone floor will last a lifetime,” she says. “Porcelain and ceramic tiles offer a huge array of choice – from those that mimic other materials, such as stone, wood and concrete, to plainer options as well as patterned tiles.” For Vanessa Garrett, founding director of family business Broadleaf on Walcot Street, grey is still the most popular neutral tone for flooring – it wasn’t just a fashionable fad after all – and she says it’s wonderfully adaptable and forgiving in terms of wear and tear. Parquet floors are never out of vogue, either – they’re particularly good for making smaller rooms look bigger, or for L-shaped rooms where planks can be tricky – and, this year, vintage and reclaimed parquet options are chiefly in demand. Cary Ford, the owner of Interior Harmony, on Chelsea Road, agrees

“We’ve been asked to match a flooring colour to a piece of ladies’ underwear” that distressed parquet looks ideal in a period or modern property, and will last generations, and, while Kayleigh Murphy, showroom manager at Boniti in West Littleton, is a fan of the traditional, aged-finish effect, porcelain is her go-to. “Porcelain tiles offer low maintenance and are available in a vast range of finishes to suit any space,” she says. “They’re also more cost-effective than natural competitors, and are resilient to damage.”

Go for bold

Kayleigh at Boniti says encaustic tiles are still as popular as ever, with their sturdy and vibrant finishes drawing in the attention of many. “We’re seeing people inset encaustic tiles into a section of their stone floor to create a beautiful rug-like effect,” she says. “Encaustics come in a vast array of patterns and colours which run deep through the tile, meaning, no matter how much you walk on them, you’ll never loose the finish.” The character and interest herringbone and chevron patterns add to a room, float the boat of Matthew Weaver, director at Tile & Flooring Bath on London Road. He says these types of sophisticated patterns can be the making of a room, but he doesn’t rule out a zany effect, either, saying that alternative, quirky carpets – from polka dots to faux zebra print – can be the ultimate soft-surface statement. I bath life I 79

Interiors Material world

For Mark Everett, director at Capitol Carpets on Walcot Street, the ultimate in flooring luxury, especially in a bedroom, is a silk-look bespoke carpet. “Floors are very personal,” says Mark, who explains that the company has carpeted super yachts and private jets, along with many residential homes. “We have been asked in the past to match a colour from a piece of ladies’ underwear, for a bespoke bedroom carpet. Nothing surprises us anymore.” If you’re looking for more of an everyday, less intimate, option, though, Steve White, director at Bath Carpets and Flooring, on Kingsmead Street, says you can’t go wrong with British woollen carpets, which, he feels, will outperform manmade carpets in most rooms of any home. “Wool is warm, has natural oils that help to keep it clean, and has excellent appearance retention – helping your carpet look better and bouncier for longer,” he says. And when it comes to finishing touches this season, try a kilim, says Katya Maiseyeva, manager at Oriental Rugs of Bath in Hallatrow, which specialises in handmade Persian, Afghan, Turkish and Indian styles. “They are much lighter, and the colour scheme and pattern is completely different than rugs,” she says. “They work very well in kitchens and conservatories, where people spend a lot more of their time in the summer. In autumn and winter, people tend to like chunkier pieces, that provide a comforting look. The important thing, in any season, is to leave space around the rug, to show off the floor and make the rug stand out simultaneously.” above: a parquet floor – like this one from Interior Harmony – can give smaller rooms

a boost; left: pattern makes perfect in some rooms, as shown by this design from Mandarin Stone

Something sustainable

If recent headlines are anything to go by, it looks like 2018 might be the year that ethical and sustainable living goes mainstream, for good. The marked alterations have seeped into everything – from the introduction of reusable straws, to supermarket giants cutting down on plastic packaging – and floors aren’t exempt from these systemic changes. “Without question, the sustainable aspect of interior material production is high on the list of priorities to many choosing to live within an ethical environment,” says Matthew at Tile & Flooring Bath. “Therefore, virtually all our producers provide not only an interesting narrative on their products, but also are overtly transparent in their projection of their green credentials.” Steve at Bath Carpets and Flooring adds, “More and more recycled materials are entering the trade; our underlay uses recycled foam from the furniture industry, for example. We are members of Carpet Recycling UK and we recycle around 90 per cent of all carpet tiles that we uplift, and are working with suppliers on recycling vinyl remnants and offcuts.” “Our most discerning customers like to know where their flooring comes from, and that it is responsibly sourced,” adds Vanessa at Broadleaf. “ People are also increasingly interested in where and how their flooring is made.” n

Where, oh where? Here’s what’s best for what room… Boniti: • Stone is a great choice for halls as it’s hardwearing – perfect for high-traffic areas. • Porcelain tiles are a good choice for bathrooms as they don’t require sealing, and are non-porous. • If you have young children, consider what your floor may have to endure. People often want to put timber flooring in bathrooms, but kids can splash and create puddles, which can be damaging.

80 I bath life I

Mandarin Stone: • A quick rule would be to go for large tiles – the bigger the better. Even in small spaces, using large tiles gives the illusion of a larger area, with fewer grout joints to catch the eye. • Choose a floor that’s practical for your lifestyle. If you live in the country and have pets, don’t opt for a pure white floor that will show every mark – go for something more neutral, with variation; it will be far more forgiving.

Interior Harmony: • The wrong choice of flooring could easily look out of place with your surroundings, i.e. a modern floor may look odd in a period property and Vice-versa. • The type of floor should be taken into account, as certain finishes and products are not a practical solution for some heavier-use areas, such as kitchens.

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West is best B out of town

Delight in West Wiltshire’s outstanding natural beauty

ath is a special place, but there’s excitement (and relaxation) to be found when you leave the city and journey somewhere new – in this case, just-around-the-corner West Wiltshire. There are so many ways to enjoy this quintessentially English countryside, from canal-walking to touring a country manor – wedged between afternoon tea, and a fine pub lunch, of course. If the outdoors doesn’t get you excited, make time for retail therapy at the quirky shops and streets of West Wilts’ charming market towns. And with so much to see and do, why not extend your stay away with a break in a luxury hotel?

Escape the city for a day, weekend, or just a dreamy afternoon… come on a road trip with us to the villages, towns and countryside of West Wiltshire By Lauren Scott Take breakfast at Neston Farm Shop and Kitchen


Classic rooms at Bowood Hotel

Timbrells Yard, Bradford On Avon A stylish riverside inn with a thriving restaurant, bar and 17 bedrooms. Timbrell’s opened its doors in 2015 following an extensive renovation of the Grade-II listed building. Why West Wilts? “Bradford on Avon is a bustling country town, with the River Avon, stunning architecture, great independent shops, wonderful walks and historic places to visit,” says general manager Henry Gray. Best thing about the area? “The community. We all work together to promote the town.” Did you know… “Dogs are welcome at Timbrell’s Yard and can stay overnight. Pooches staying with us get their very own gift box from our friends at the Doghouse.”

© w w w.visit


OUT OF TOWN Quirky fact “At certain times of year, the Kennet & Avon canal has a floating market with lots of traders, food and drink.” Coming up… “The second Timbrell’s Gathering on 26 August. There’ll be Balearic beats, smoked meats and vegan treats.”

No. 10 Tea Gardens, Avoncliff An outdoor tearoom serving breakfast, lunch, British tea, locally roasted coffee, freshly baked cakes and scones from an open-plan kitchen. There’s homemade jam and fudge, too. Why West Wilts? “When the Avoncliff premises came up, it took our breath away,” says owner Sarah Bremner. “The location is beautiful, quaint, and the large garden space is a real suntrap in the summer. West Wiltshire has so many local delights on its doorstep, but also allows you to travel further afield with ease.” What’s hot? “Visitors are heading out earlier in the morning for their fresh air and exercise, stopping off at No.10 to refuel with breakfast, hot drinks and cake. Our gluten-free pistachio and polenta cake with rose petals is a huge hit.” Sign of the Angel, Lacock Tom Nicholas, co-owner of the 15th-century (and 2 AA Rosette) coaching Inn, with five homely rooms and a restaurant, says, “We’ve been keepers of the Inn for four years”, says. Dining is casual, mainly British, with a modern yet rustic feel. Best thing about Lacock? “Access to quality suppliers is key. Also, while there is a lot to see in West Wiltshire alone, we are only just outside Bath and on the edge of the Cotswolds. It’s a perfect venue for those wanting to explore.” What’s cooking? “The most popular main is lamb rump with a smoked garlic potato-cake, ratatouille and rosemary reduction. Our take on a peach crumble is the winning dessert.” Quirky fact “Our store room and office are old stables at the rear of the building – horses still have a right of way through the Inn’s front door. We are also supposed to house a ghost…” Coming up... A tasting menu each month on the first Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

Afternoon tea and temptations at Woolley Grange Hotel

Neston Farm Shop and Kitchen, Melksham Who? “In 2015 we were offered the opportunity to take over the business and build on the success of our original site at Hartley Farm, Winsley,” says Tom Bowles, managing director (The Bowles family have farmed the land around Wiltshire for five generations). Did you know… “The Neston Park Estate is quite often used as a film set for period dramas such as Poldark and Larkrise to Candleford. There’s always excitement when the crew come in for lunch or a coffee break in the farm shop.” Quirky fact “Just behind the shop in the grounds of the estate, there’s an oak tree said to be over 800 years old. Apparently, it could be one of the remaining trees from the old Melksham Forest, which King John used to hunt in, in the 13th century.” Coming up… An evening cookery demo with Richard Bertinet on 13 Septemeber.


DOGHOUSE, Bradford On Avon Who? Ruth Warren opened this unique pet shop, dog grooming salon and café a year ago.

What? “It serves locally roasted coffee and

handmade cakes along side a range of pup cakes, dog ice cream and puppaccinos,” Ruth says. “Our shop sells quality dog foods and a great range of accessories, and we also have a state-of-the-art grooming salon.” Why Bradford on Avon? “It has the perfect combination of a busy town centre, dog-friendly pubs and cafés and dog-walking routes.” What’s hot (or cool)? “The dog ice cream is by far our best seller currently. We sell Scoops vanilla ice cream for dogs, made by Marshfield – I can tell you it tastes delicious as I’ve tried it.” Surprise us… “DOGHOUSE is located in a beautiful Bath Stone vault which is part of the old Avon Rubber factory. Because of the vaulted ceiling, the sound bounces around, so a conversation at one end of the store can appear to be coming from an entirely different location. Don’t miss… A Puppy Tea Party in September. Made in Bradford On Avon This thriving emporium was accidently founded in 2012 after a successful one-day event showcasing local artists and makers. Over 70 members now offer their handmade goods.

In nature we trust West Wiltshire’s National Trust gems

Lacock Abbey

Lacock Abbey, Fox Talbot Museum and Village Spend the whole day here, relaxing in the grounds, wandering around the quintessentially English village, or soaking up the Abbey’s monastic roots.

Westwood Manor An elegant house of local stone, built in the late 15th century with Jacobean additions. Discover curious topiary, carefully restored wall panelling and a rare Italian keyboard.

Sutton Lane Meadows This area of traditional hay meadows near Chippenham is home to wild flowers and butterflies aplenty. Naturelovers rejoice – and take a field guide.

The Courts Garden Located in Holt, this charming park has formal and water gardens, herbaceous borders, lawns and an arboretum. Make a stop by the kitchen garden and pond. I BATH LIFE I 83


We specialise in unusual and well-priced: • Womenswear

• Man-gifts

• Accessories

• Stationary

• Jewellery

• Homewares

• Bath & beauty

• Toys

• Lingerie

• Vintage

Open Mon-Sat 10-5 | Tel: 01249 713985 | Visit our NEW STORE at 51–53 High St, Corsham and


out of town

Among the flowers at Whitehall Garden Centre

interior designer. The hotel was opened in 2009 by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.” Don’t miss… A traditionally British afternoon tea on the terrace, taking in the gorgeous views. What’s new? “We have just launched outdoor weddings with our beautiful wedding pavilion,” says Jen. “We’re due to expand our luxurious spa in the autumn and looking forward to hosting a Murder Mystery Dinner in October.” See page 54 for more.

WHERE IN WILTSHIRE? Businesses share their favourite places to escape to in the county Sarah Bremner, No.10 Tea Gardens “I never tire of visiting the Westbury White Horse with the tea garden pooch/ mascot Bella. The view from up there across West Wiltshire is just stunning, and it’s a great place to blow the cobwebs away and reflect and relax.” Charlotte Self, Whitehall Garden Centre “Lacock Abbey is a beautiful example of country architecture, surrounded by miles of Wiltshire countryside, including Whitehall Farm.” Tom Bowles, Neston Farm Shop “The Limpley Stoke Valley and the valleys all the way up through to Colerne has beautiful landscapes when you are driving through.” Henry Gray, Timbrell’s Yard “Iford Manor is a historic house with an amazing Italianate garden, with gorgeous walks and a cloister for summer opera, jazz and concerts. It also makes amazing hand-crafted cider, which we serve on draft at Timbrell’s.” Caroline Mackay, Woolley Grange “Bradford on Avon is so beautiful… almost like a mini Bath with Bath stone houses, hills, canal, Packhorse Bridge and river. Its independent shops, cafés and restaurants are well worth exploring as are its historic alleyways and buildings.”

Why West Wilts? “The area is a magnet for creative people, with community events continuously taking place,” says Wellie O’Driscoll, director. “It’s an ideal place to set up a business like ours, with a network of galleries, workshops and resources to link us together.” Did you know… “Made in Bradford on Avon is a community interest company. We’re nonprofit, help mentor small businesses, offer work experience and promote the town as a creative tourist destination.” Don’t miss ‘Countdown to Peace’, between 1 – 10 November, is a commemoration of the 100 years of those who lost their lives in WW1.

Whitehall Garden Centre, Lacock The centre houses an array of plants, garden accessories, gifts and clothing, and also hosts a farm shop, restaurant and family events. Who? “Whitehall Farm was founded over 123 years ago by the Self family,” says marketing manager Charlotte Self. “It was set up out of a desire to help the community of Lacock.” The location…“The accessibility of West Wilts means that we have visitors from all over the country. There’s a diverse mix of regular faces alongside those who have travelled from afar.” Don’t miss... “Our Fairy & Dinosaur Land has attracted more than 8,500 people since May”. What’s new? “The Garden Nail & Beauty Salon opened in July. Wine from the Whitehall Vineyard (the largest in Wiltshire with 17,000 vines planted) is expected to be on sale in 2019.”


Bowood Hotel Spa & Golf Resort, Calne What? Located on the Bowood Estate and one mile from Bowood House, there are 43 bedrooms at this luxury boutique style hotel. Best thing about being in West Wilts?

“We are truly blessed to be located in such beautiful Capability Brown parkland,” says Jen Edmondson, head of marketing. Did you know? “The hotel’s interior was designed by Lady Lansdowne, herself an

Woolley Grange, Bradford-On-Avon This Jacobean manor house was built in 1665 and converted to a family hotel 30 years ago. Enjoy a boutique stay with children and dogs. Where? “Woolley Grange has the beautiful surroundings of the Wiltshire countryside, but is only a 15-minute journey from Bath,” says Caroline Mackay, marketing manager. Added extras “For each night’s stay, parents receive two hours of childcare in the Ofstedregistered Woolley Bears Den. The hotel also has an Elemis Spa with two swimming pools, a steam room and a sauna.” Fun fact “If you stay in the John Baskerville suite you can still see, engraved on the leaded windowpane, the signature of a young, and badly behaved, 18th-century John” Outside... There’s a yurt nestled in the 14-acre grounds, plus an adventure playground with farm animals, witch’s house, a vintage tractor, giant trampoline and nature garden. Don’t miss Two art workshops – on 13 September and 4 October – with art tutor Mandy Mills, followed by afternoon tea. Lucknam Park, Colerne

What? “This year we are celebrating 30

years since Lucknam Park opened as a hotel,” says Silmiya Hendricks, director of sales and marketing. “We have 42 individually styled rooms and suites, a charming three-bedroom country cottage, fine dining in the Michelinstarred Restaurant Hywel Jones or a more relaxed meal in The Brasserie.” Treat yourself... “Explore 500 acres of parkland on horseback, unwind with a range of spa treatments or master new techniques in the cookery school.” Best thing about West Wilts? “The diversity of activities and facilities on offer, in a stunning area with rolling hills and countryside.” Don’t miss… “The 35 horses and ponies, which are great to ride through the estate on, groom in the stables, or enjoy a cuddle with.” Did you know? “The Lucknam Park mile-long driveway, lined with Beech and Lime trees, used to be used in the war to hide Spitfires.” What’s new? A vegan cookery class, and a ‘cream tea and canter’ ride for horse lovers. I BATH LIFE I 85


ased in the Cotswolds, Brookman Greene has quickly established a reputation for producing high-end elegant events. We produce celebrations ranging from stunning weddings to private celebrations in your residence, on fields and lawns or in venues of your choice. We also offer a service where we can help style your venue, using our eclectic mix of prop hire, or we can provide a set up service, and management on the day. We focus on the timeless values of fairness, generosity and trust to ensure that you receive the best possible service, all delivered with the warmth, style and elegance that Brookman Greene is known for.

We care about each occasion as if it was our own Brookman Greene West Kington, Wiltshire SN14 7JJ +44 (0)1249 782906 |


So you’re getting a new pet… You’ll find useful advice, tips and support at BATH VET SURGERIES


etting a new pet is very exciting, and the team at Bath Vets are on hand to give you and your family advice and help to look after your new best friend. Our eight local surgeries in and around Bath offer appointments throughout the day, including our Bath Cat Clinic (previously Beaufort Veterinary Surgery) which is solely devoted to providing exceptional veterinary care for your cats. All our surgeries are supported by Rosemary Lodge Hospital, which is on your doorstep to provide extra care when needed. A vet is on site 24 hours a day, every day and night of the year. We offer free vet health checks for all new clients and for our existing clients with new pets.


We also offer free nurse appointments for kitten and puppy owners where you can learn more about feeding, neutering and socialisation – in fact, anything that you and the family want to know about your new addition. Puppy parties are also available at Rosemary Lodge and Melksham Surgery. It is very important for your puppy to learn social skills with a positive experience at the first stages of its life. Please call to book your place now and avoid disappointment. Our Pet Health Club is a money saving preventative healthcare plan, and members will receive regular health checks, relevant vaccinations and flea and worm treatment as well as many other discounts and benefits. Visit our website for full details or keep up to date with what’s going on by liking us on Facebook. Just search Bath Vets. ■

OUR CLINICS: • Rosemary Lodge Hospital Wellsway, Bath, BA2 5RL; 01225 832521 • 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

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

• 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 87

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


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Quote of the issue

“success isn’t measured by how much money you make” Catching up with young business star Rachel Gofrey, page 96

The Big Number


Bath is the location for a clean-tech revolution

The amount The Royal Crescent Hotel was bought for, page 98


Newly arrived renewable energy firm Pure Planet is cutting bills, cutting carbon and embracing Bath’s tech scene


ustainability has never been more in fashion, and one Bath-based company is giving people an easy way to cut their carbon footprint overnight, hopefully saving hundreds of pounds in the process. Renewable energy firm Pure Planet currently supplies homes with 100 per cent fresh, clean energy. They’re Britain’s first app-only energy brand, and have recently relocated to Bath – becoming a tenant of the fresh Spaces office in the city centre.

Pure Planet says that it is proud to be part of Bath’s thriving tech scene. The company was established by the founders of Virgin Mobile, who also went on to run Orange, T-Mobile and EE. CEO and co-founder Andrew Ralston, says, “We chose Bath because of everything it offers: a strong sense of independence, a dynamic tech industry, its progressive, entrepreneurial community, and its unrivalled beauty, of course. Pure Planet harnesses the power of nature

– sunshine and wind – to create energy for our members; just as Bath is built of nature, and its thermal springs.” He believes it’s a special place for the firm to be. If you’d ever thought to switch your energy supplier, Pure Planet say they’re (on average) £350 per year cheaper than one of the ‘Big Six’ suppliers. Why? The answer lies in being completely app-based. The company has teamed up with local developers Rocketmakers to design a super-slick app that takes care of customer service as well as billing.

“Being a digital business gives us a real advantage,” co-founder Steven Day adds. “People organise so much of their lives with apps now; why should looking after your energy be any different?” Pure Planet certainly look to be cleaning up Bath (and Britain) one household at a time. “We are growing rapidly and will be looking forward to attracting the huge talent pool that exists in Bath and the surrounding areas.” For more: 115



BELOW: Rolls of ribbon in hundreds of hues


Annabel Lewis founded specialist ribbon shop V V Rouleaux in London in 1990. For the last year, she’s also been brightening Bath’s George Street with all the trimmings. We caught up to talk birthdays, bespoke commissions and regal customers… Hi Annabel. Tell us more about V V Rouleaux…

We’re a specialist ribbons and trimmings shop, offering the most wonderful choice. We have over 5,000 luxury ribbons, tassels, braids, flowers, feathers, cords, decorations, and other trims in 100 perfect colours. We also design bespoke hats and host fun craft workshops. Where did the name for the shop come from?

The V V stands for very, very good, and Rouleaux is simply ‘rolls of ribbon’ in French. Describe the business to us in a few words…

Sex on a spool.

What services do you offer?

Project advice on all things fashion, millinery, interiors, craft, wedding, display, and decoration, colourmatching to our 100 colours of trim, workshops showing the secret tricks of the V V Rouleaux trade,

and one-of-a-kind, colour-matched bespoke hat creations from our choice of bases and trimmings. Your Bath shop has just celebrated its first birthday...

We had a wonderful celebration at the shop with complimentary ribbon rose and tassel workshops, birthday cake, champagne, and surprise presents for visitors. What would we find if we came into the shop?

All sorts of gorgeous ingredients for a multitude of your projects. Hand-painted silk and velvet roses, picot-edge satin ribbon, and Lady Amherst feathers are a few of my favourite things. Any famous faces or TV shows you’ve designed for?

A very memorable moment was when Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge personally attended our London shop looking for ribbon for her bridal bouquet


and bridesmaids waists; pure silk was her ribbon of choice. We’ve also styled A-listers and helped with costume and set designs in the likes of The Crown, Harry Potter, and the new Mary Poppins movie. What’s been your most interesting commission?

We recently took 10 of our team to India for two weeks to decorate wedding invitations and gift boxes. We then came back to the UK to refuel, before heading out again for another two weeks to decorate the wedding venue and brides’ presents – some of which were filled with rubies, diamonds, and gold. How do you stand out from your competitors?

Our superb, high-quality selection of trimmings and the above-andbeyond service we provide. If you don’t see what you’re looking for then we’ll source or make it for you. Bespoke projects are our favourite. What did you want to be when you were little?

I wanted to be a florist and I actually had my own florist shop on King’s Road in London. I always tried to make my bouquets and wreaths look exciting with ribbons and trimmings, which I’ve always loved, and to satisfy this passion I opened V V Rouleaux in London in 1990. What are the best aspects of your job?

Inventing and buying incredible trims that have not been seen before, sending out customers who

are flabbergasted by new ideas, and making our shop a happy place for all… creating an experience. Why did you open in Bath?

The beautiful, historic city is a perfect match for our exquisite haberdashery, some of which, like our pure silk grosgrain ribbon, has not been seen for decades. Bath has the perfect mix of friendly locals interested in all things fashion, interiors, and craft, as well as excited tourists who like to come in and explore our treasure trove shop. So you don’t have a typical customer, then?

Designers and decorators, stylists and crafters, wedding planners and lovers of colour/texture, and in fact anyone looking for inspiration come to V V Rouleaux. We have customers from five years old to those into their 90s. There isn’t a typical customer, and I love that. What are your plans for the future of VV Rouleaux?

We would like to collaborate with local businesses and to continue to grow the trade side of the business in Bath. We currently offer trade discounts ranging between 15 to 60 per cent, based on quantity. We also hope to further develop our website and perhaps open more shops. Surprise us…

We’re hoping to see V V Rouleaux ribbons at Princess Eugenie’s wedding in the autumn. MEDIACLASH.CO.UK I BATH LIFE I 117 91

BATH RUGBY NEWS Bringing you the latest from the Bath Rugby headquarters



BUSINESS MATTERS DIARY From networking breakfasts to invaluable evening courses, make a note of the courses and classes that will help your business flourish 7 AUGUST ONE-TO-ONE BUSINESS SUPPORT A free session to support both established local enterprises and those finding their feet. Expect your business ideas and plans to be reviewed and improved, as well as receiving an outline of action steps for further support, workshops, training and referrals. Businesses will need to complete a registration form before the meeting. 3.15pm; Bath and County Club;

Initial designs for The Rec and its river development

Concepts are starting to emerge for a new Bath Rugby stadium, leisure, sporting and community destination, and riverside development. The Stadium for Bath public exhibition was recently held at The Rec to garner feedback on the early proposals – if you missed it, all the insights can be found on The Stadium for Bath site. “This is an exciting time for the city as we progress to the next stage of consultation on Stadium for Bath’s vision, to create a new destination in the heart of Bath that benefits everyone,” says chief executive of Bath Rugby Tarquin McDonald. “Sport brings people together and has the power to make a profoundly positive impact on our communities and those who live within them.” The huge project brings together Bath Rugby, Bath Rugby Foundation and Arena 1865, and they all hope to create a new community-focused stadium that will be a catalyst for riverside regeneration in the heart of the City. Over the past 18 months, Stadium for Bath has worked closely


with key stakeholders across the city, including near neighbours, residents, local businesses, community groups, schools and planning and technical experts, so that they can understand their aspirations for the scheme. The design team has already developed some initial concepts for the new world-class facilities, and the proposals include plans to regenerate the riverside between North Parade and Pulteney Bridge. The eastern bank of the River Avon adjacent to The Rec could become a new destination for residents and visitors to historic Bath, and there’s an added possibility of improved access to the city centre. Tarquin believes that this is a real opportunity to regenerate a neglected area of riverside and create a new space that we can all enjoy. “The Rec is set in a wonderful part of our city and we have been working closely with our landlord, Bath Recreation Limited, various organisations throughout the city and the local community to bring forward a scheme that is befitting to both its iconic location and its World Heritage status.” For more:


8 AUGUST 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, find out about opportunities in the city and give your ideas the best start possible. 6.30pm; The Bath Brew House; 16 AUGUST STRATEGY AND BUSINESS By the end of this free workshop, you’ll have a clear business plan, and a set of short and long-term objectives. Most importantly, you’ll have the confidence and motivation to move forward with them. 9am – 5pm; Bath and County Club; 30 AUGUST FINANCE ESSENTIALS FOR BUSINESS OWNERS If you find business finance and forecasting daunting or want to understand what your bookkeeper or accountant is telling you, this free workshop is for you. It includes a mix of teaching and working on your own business assisted by advisers. 9am; Bath and County Club; 6 SEPTEMBER NETWORKING AND NIBBLES Join Bath Chamber of Commerce and Visit Bath at The Egg Theatre for conversation, cocktails and canapés. Make new contacts, and learn more about the outreach and education work done by the Egg’s creative learning team. From £11; 6pm; The Egg Theatre;

Craig Jenkins

MAKING BATH GREAT Visit Bath has appointed Craig Jenkins as its new executive chairman, and he’ll follow on immediately from Ian Bell’s six years in the role. Bath-based businessman Craig is a director of several firms, including the world’s largest art foundry, Pangolin Editions. He has been a resident of central Bath for over 25 years and a director of Bath Tourism Plus since 2017. “Visit Bath has seen many positive changes recently and we now have an excellent creative team in place,” says Craig. “I am keen to engage with the growing creative media sector in our area. We should be aware of Bath’s heritage, but it is our duty to promote the city as it is now – a cosmopolitan city, full of creativity, culture and the arts.”


Wessex Water (whose headquarters are based in Bath) engineer Matthew Foyle has just been awarded the prestigious Baroness Platt of Writtle Award from The Engineers Trust. Matthew recently impressed judges when he gave a presentation on the use of 3D computer-aided design and building information modelling, which could be used for the careful planning of the renewal of a water treatment plant. “It is a huge honour that a panel of such highly esteemed judges from across the engineering industry have recognised my achievements,” Matthew says. “Attaining IEng status with the Institute of Engineering and Technology has been a key milestone in my career.” A medal, certificate and £1,000 prize money was recently presented to Matthew at the annual Worshipful Company of Engineers awards.

business insider

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


Bath’s booming property sector now has a bespoke awards ceremony. The Bath Property Awards (which will be held on November 23 at the Apex Hotel) will celebrate all aspects of the dynamic property market in our city – from residential to commercial, lettings to new builds, and civic buildings to bold reimaginings. It is pitched at agents, developers, architects and designers, as well as financial and legal companies with a property focus. The first five confirmed sponsors are Mogers Drewett, Battens Solicitors, Regus, Unividual and South West Business Finance. The Bath Property Awards are being launched by MediaClash, and events director Steph Dodd is proud to have created these bespoke awards. “Bath simply teems with clever property companies shaping our city’s destiny,” she says. “This burgeoning sector means so much to all of us, whether commercially, aesthetically or practically.” The awards will be an afternoon affair, with drinks, a fine lunch, a keynote speaker and then the awards themselves. Nominations are already open, to be followed by a launch reception in September and announcement of finalists in October. Winners will be chosen by a panel of independent (expert) judges. For more:


above: Bath’s property scene; below: On the journey to Milsom Place; above right: What’s behind door number 2?; bottom: A novel gift for book lovers


Get ready to peddle those legs, as Bath is about to get its first standalone cycling studio. Spin Village isn’t set to open inside 26 Milsom Place until autumn, but their specialised bikes are already appearing in iconic locations around the city (and on Instagram). The business – whose branding was designed by local agency Ignition Bath – promises to deliver luxury workout sessions that are high on intensity and low on intimidation. Classes will take place in a new studio featuring Keiser M3i bikes, specialised cycle shoes, tailored music and performance-tracking technology to keep you motivated. Despite several recent business closures at Milsom Place, the brain behind Spin Village, Charlie Bird, isn’t put off. “ It’s a real shame businesses like Hunter & Sons have decided to leave, but there are positive stories, too,” he says. “I feel Milsom Place is a really good fit for us. We’re trying to offer fashionable fitness, for people who want to enjoy their exercise and fit it in around their lifestyle.” More details will be revealed about Spin Village as launch approaches, but the plan is to offer bikers both membership and pay-as-you-go options. For more:


Five local families have recently moved into a new development of homes in Bathampton – families who would have otherwise been priced

out of the area. Local councillors joined the residents and teams from Liverty housing association, celebrating the opening as part of Rural Housing Week. The new development from Liverty, B&NES, and Charlcombe Homes includes five new homes, with three at social rent levels. “Tyning Road is a great example of where rural housing has made a difference to local people, local communities and local economy,” says Caroline Hughes, head of development at Liverty. Over the next 10 years, the organisation plans to build over 15,000 new homes throughout the South West, Bath included. Councillor Paul Myers joined the grand opening. He believes that to address our housing needs, the delivery of small numbers of affordable homes is as essential as larger scale development.

For more:


A new Bath-based business is providing bookish delights for booklovers and writers in the city and further afield. The Story Gift is an online gift shop stocking goodies from Sherlock candles to Jane Austen notebooks. Literary hampers are the real signature, though. “The authors/writers hamper are our best sellers and we also have a service to create your own hamper, perfect for that personalised touch,” says Deema Ashurst, the business’ founder. “We are based in the centre of Bath and are just a few months old. To share the love, we ship globally, and have already sent hampers to bibliophiles in remote corners of the globe.” So where did the idea come from? “I adore books and many of my friends do, too. One day I was looking through six different websites to find the perfect literary gift from one of them when a little spark was ignited and I thought how nice a literary hamper would be. This idea expanded and became a business, drawing inspiration from everything that I love about the literary world.” For more:


BATH LIFE AWARDS 2018 Rachel Godfrey, managing director of GoVirtually, tells us what a crazy first year it’s been in business How did you celebrate your Bath Life award? And where is your trophy now? It felt amazing to win. There was a lot of competition, with everyone in the Rising Star category all doing great things at such young ages. I celebrated with my family at the awards and then went out for a meal with friends after. My mum has put it in pride of place in the hallway (sometimes balancing photos on the top).


I got into producing accessibility tours after talking with my family. My cousin is autistic, and I realised how helpful it could be for him. How has the business grown since it started? The business started off with the idea to help sell houses and advertise hotels, but it has since developed into a possible way to help people with cognitive and physical disabilities reduce their anxiety when visiting a new place. It has been a crazy year for GoVirtually, and has turned into something I am really proud of.

What makes GoVirtually stand out from its competitors? We produce the highest quality virtual tours in the area. We offer a full service and help to stage the area we scan. I’m also very passionate about using it for good, and I’ve started a new service to try and help reduce anxiety for people with disabilities.

Is being part of the local community important to you? Extremely. Bath is a beautiful, historic city, and it’s now easily accessible for everyone who lives here. We’re enabling the locals to see the parts of Bath they usual wouldn’t be able to, and that’s a great feeling.

Tell us how you got into doing what you do... A few years ago, when I was looking for a holiday, I came across a virtual tour and was amazed by it. I saw the potential and had to find out more.

What do you love most about your job? I’ve always wanted to have a job in which I can help people in some way, and I have found my own, unique way to do that. Describe a tricky time for GoVirtually... The company has only been running for a year, so, as a start-up, the whole journey has been challenging. The hardest time for us was when I managed to fall while shooting a tour and took the camera down with me. The camera smashed and was unusable. That’s when I had to start asking family and friends to borrow money to get a new one.


What do you aim to achieve in the next five years? I have absolutely no idea. The past year has been crazy and I couldn’t have predicted I’d be where I am now. One thing I do hope is that GoVirtually will still be running and I will still be using it as a tool to help reduce anxiety for people with disabilities when visiting a new place.

Rising to the occasion


What advice would you give to someone who wanted to work for or with you? Be passionate. If you’re passionate

about your work, you’ll do a good job – in my opinion. Any news to share, or exciting projects in the pipeline? I¹ve just released my first accessibility tour, which I made with We The Curious. I have arranged a school trip there with The Mendip School to research how effective viewing a tour can be before you visit a new place. We have 80 children visiting, so it’ll definitely be a fun day. I’m also looking forward to having some facts and figures behind my work. What has been your proudest moment to date? It does have to be winning a Bath Life Award. It was such an achievement, and great to be acknowledged for all my hard work. What do you love most about being based in Bath? Being part of the business community here. Because of my age, I didn’t think I’d be welcomed as much as I have been or taken seriously. It’s been really wonderful how many people have gone out of their way to help me. Describe your office atmosphere to us... I’m based in the Bristol VR lab so it’s pretty exciting. It’s full of start-ups and lots of other people working in VR, AR and mixed reality. There’s always someone with some big news and it’s really supportive, too. Everyone is willing to help you if you need it. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? Success isn’t measured by how much money you make, it’s about how happy you are. Who are your business heroes? My dad, Richard Godfrey, is definitely one of my big business heroes. I’ve seen him start his company, Rocketmakers, from scratch and pursue it. To see it now, 10 years on, is amazing.

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The hotel’s general manager on home turf

Bath Life Business Club

LONG-TERM VISION Jonathan Stapleton has transformed the Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa into a five-star destination in just four years. He’s driven to be the best, but tells us – at the Bath Life Business Club lunch – why he thinks the city is being let down by lack of vision… Bath’s image matters – nationally, internationally, and to Jonathan Stapleton. The very open general manager of the landmark hotel spends much of his time promoting Bath to the overseas market, and he has a clear, informed (if not trenchant) view on how this should be done by the tourist organisations, too – not just for the good of profits, but for the city as a whole.

Before moving on to Jonathan’s vision for the Royal Crescent as a business (and how Bath can position itself to the rest of the world), the talk started with his hospitality career, beginning 45 years ago at the George George V, Paris, as a kitchen porter. “My father, in his wisdom, chucked me out of the house when I was 18, with 100 quid.” Back to today, though, and skipping most of his life narrative, Jonathan was asked why (when

he was already semi-retired) did he decide to take up his current position? “Oh, it was a mistake,” he jests. “I was in Bath at the time helping a friend sell Thermae Bath Spa. As that was finished, I got head-hunted for here [The Royal Crescent Hotel, where we lunched and chatted]. “But, I made the big mistake of not coming to see it first, thinking it was this iconic landmark hotel that was one of the best in the world. It was a very different picture when I came here four years ago. The people were great, but nothing else was working to standard.” How, then, did Jonathan merge initial plans for the hotel with its investors? “The owning company didn’t have a detailed vision, they just bought the asset (for a mere £17 million). After getting here, we created a five-year vision, broken down into five mission statements

“The message is: less time in London, more time in Bath. Which is to say, there’s so much to do here” 98 I bath life I

and 391 action points, from small to very significant. From the list of improvements to be made, the defining point was 'attention to detail'. Our first year was about going from good to great.” Jonathan claims that he’s not a perfectionist, but is driven to be the best – which you’d have to be to win 5 AA stars in just four years of management. “We don’t believe in compromise.” Some calculated risks were involved to improve the hotel, including a total garden renovation – carried out first (without company approval) and billed after being finished. Despite the quality of service and surroundings on offer at The Royal Crescent today, the amount of accommodation in Bath is a real issue. Hotel stock has increased by around 47 per cent (831 rooms) since 2009. The view for some is that this is too much, too unplanned and unmanaged. “That number of hotel rooms is enough to satisfy the stayer demand in Bath, but then you add the bed and breakfasts, the apartments, Airbnb, and then university accommodation… and we’ve got about 4,500 units in Bath now. We don’t need even half that.” Should the industry be regulated? Or, should businesses be allowed to set up and compete with their unique offerings? “If it’s a level playing field, fair enough,” says Jonathan. “But it’s not. Airbnb, for example, don’t trade under the same regulations as everyone else. “UK travel is also becoming less and less, and we have to look at growing our overseas markets.” PR efforts so far have increased the amount of US guests from eight to 20 per cent, and the hotel’s marketing budget has doubled this year (from a quarter to half a million pounds), as it tries to appeal to far-flung stayers. “With all due respect to Bath, they’re not really selling the destination.” Which took us onto Bath’s tourism in general… Bath is good at attracting enough visitors, but are these the wrong type? “We’ve got nearly six million visitors a year now, which is too many for a small city. It’s having a downward effect on quality. We have low-yield tourism, with 80 per cent of the visitors being day visitors.” Typically, these daytrippers spend less in indie retailers and eateries, but also spend low amounts in general (an average of £38 per person).

Jonathan has a solution, but it’s not a quick fix. “We need to create a long-term vision for Bath, and ask ourselves what the city is going to look like in 20 years’ time. Currently, there is no vision.” With careful marketing to overseas visitors, he wants to decrease the volume of day visitors and focus of the quality of staying guests, instead. “The number of stayers is only 20 per cent, but they contribute nearly 60 per cent of the revenue,” he says. “If you look at the promotion that’s being done for Bath as a destination overseas, there really isn’t any – we have to do it as independent businesses. We’ve tried to impart some of our knowledge into Visit Bath, but it hasn’t been actioned on. That’s probably a financial thing, but the model we have in Bath is out-dated and really doesn’t work.” It's fair to say these views were clearly not shared by Visit Bath, who were also at the lunch (they’ll be speaking at a future business lunch soon), nor by some others. Jonathan doesn’t believe the council has a role to play, either. So what’s the best way forward? “I think what we should do in this age is create a public and private sector partnership.” He’s convinced the (higher) yield tourism model and strategy has the potential to make Bath the staying, paying, destination of choice for visitors outside of the UK. “The message is: less time in London, more time in Bath. Which is to say, there’s so much to do here.” But as he adds, “if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re not going to get there.” There's no doubt that this was (at times) a feisty, proper debate. Bu there's less doubt that Jonathan's relentless nature could help to forge a vision for the city’s future. n

Fresh thinking over a fine lunch The Bath Life Business Club brings together a select group of senior business people. It features a leading speaker and a fine two-course lunch at The Royal Crescent Hotel. The next is on September 10, with chief executive of Liberation Group, Mark Crowther. If you’d like to join, please contact Stephanie Dodd ( These events sell out quickly, so look out for the emails... The Bath Life Business Club is sponsored by Bishop Fleming.





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a cut above This week, Nick woodhouse visits couple-run Chapel Farm Flowers, just on the edge of Bath… Words and photos by Nick Woodhouse


hen I asked Kate Bravin if I could pop by the next day to meet her at her flower farm, she warned me the cutting beds there were a little empty. They had just supplied all the flowers for a local wedding, for which Kate had been out picking late at night, head torch on, to ensure the flowers were ready in their optimum condition. But, as I arrived along the track to Chapel Farm Flowers, just on the edge of Bath, I was pleasantly surprised. Ahead was a sea of colour; delphiniums and nicotiana rising in spires amongst roses, salvia,

beef herd with her husband, Tommy, here for many years. For the couple, flower-growing is a form of diversification that not only appeals to Kate’s intrinsic love of flowers but also makes the most of their ground, and supports the diverse array of wildlife at the farm, particularly our dwindling bee population. So, as you’d expect, no pesticides are used here; it’s entirely organic. The increasing price of imported flowers and our growing appreciation of buying local both mean the timing couldn’t be more perfect. Just last summer, Tommy built the eight beds that you see today. The field they sit on is of a stony, shallow Cotswold brash, so these raised beds really help to provide an improved growing medium for the plants. Local top soil was mixed with well-rotted manure from their cattle. Then a top layer of compost from the hills at Calne was added, providing a mulch to help suppress weeds and keep that much-needed moisture in. As well as supplying seasonal flowers to the farm shop and weddings, Kate also supplies bouquets to order. Next year, she hopes to launch Friday Night Flowers, too, selling once a week from the farm gate on Lansdown. She’s still experimenting and expects to add further beds and alternative varieties next year as she learns what works and where gaps might be filled throughout the growing season. It seemed the perfect opportunity to ask Kate for her top recommendations for reliable, sure-fire winners for those of us considering cutting flowers for own plots, albeit perhaps on a smaller scale. And what gems she has chosen.

“You wouldn’t think this was Kate’s first year of growing flowers for cutting” rudbeckia and much more besides. The wedding flowers had been a great success, but there was little chance of Kate relaxing. While the recent hot spell has raised all our spirits, it has, of course, been less beneficial for our green spaces. The water for Chapel Farm is pumped up from a spring at the bottom of the valley, in which the farmhouse unassumingly nestles. Each evening, Kate waters the beds religiously. It’s those later hours that offer the best opportunity for picking, too; once cut, the leaves are stripped and the stems left in clean water overnight, ready for delivery first thing in the morning. Thursday evenings are Kate’s busiest, as she prepares for her weekly delivery to Larkhall Farm Shop. Looking at the eight plentiful, long raised beds, you wouldn’t think this was Kate’s first year of growing flowers for cutting. She was raised on a farm and has grown a successful



• Orlaya grandiflora. Really dainty lacelike white flowers. Adds ‘frills’ to bouquets. Difficult to germinate in spring but should be better this autumn in preparation for 2019.

• Dahlia ‘Jowie Winnie’. Easy to grow. I potted the tubers up this spring, keeping them moist in the poly-tunnel and planted them out after the danger of frost was over. I’m not always a fan of the big, showy dahlias, but this particular variety I find really beautiful when partially open. Attractive peachy/pink colour that can tone in with pink or orange/ red schemes. • Cosmos bippinatus. Large, frilly double flowers in shades of strong pink and white with yellow centres. The daisy-like centres are useful to ‘cheer up’ bouquets. This germinates well, but needs pinching out for bushier plants and regular deadheading. • Antirrhinum majus ‘Rocket White’. A good germination rate and easy to grow into good strong plants. Mine have flowered over a long period of time with successional sowing helping to increase this. Bees love them too. I have grown a selection of colours this year but this particular one is my favourite. I plan to grow a wider selection of colours for 2019. • Ornamental grasses. My particular favourites have been bunny’s/hare’s tail and black millet. Great for introducing a different texture into bouquets and arrangements. Really easy to grow, and I dry leftover hare’s tail, too. Black millet has a lovely dark purple colour which tones in nicely with pink/purple schemes. Will definitely grow more next year. Chapel Farm Flowers;

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


Kate’s flower farm is a sea of colour




When a house has been lived in and decorated by two of the city’s most popular interior and garden designers, you can pretty much guarantee it’s going to be a beauty. Take a look inside 6 York Place, which is on the market now… By Evelyn Green MEDIACLASH.CO.UK I BATH LIFE I 103 141




ike many people who move to the city, when interior and garden designers, and owners of Woodhouse & Law on Bathwick Hill, Nick Woodhouse and John Law relocated to Bath, they longed to live in a Georgian house. When they viewed 6 York Place, on the thriving London Road, they immediately felt at home. “The volume of the space is amazing, with expansive rooms and high ceilings,” says John. “The house was built as part of the Duke of York’s property, which is now Norland, and, as such, the rooms feel much grander than you would expect from a smaller townhouse.” Of course, given their passion for design, the couple’s first desire was to give the rooms a facelift. They decided they wanted the property’s many original features, which have been retained beautifully, to be the focus of their scheme. “We adopted a paired-down, neutral

palette of soft whites, in the main, creating a relaxing and serene feel, which is a lovely contrast with the energy of the city – a short level walk away,” says John. The sitting room – which overlooks the pretty courtyard garden to the front of the property – has a feature fireplace and ornamental panelling, providing discrete storage for AV equipment, and is carpeted in Crucial Trading oriental sisal. One of their favourite spaces is the dining room, which they say is a ‘special place’, one they’ve enjoyed entertaining friends in. The original flagstone floor is the main feature of the room, together with the addition of Tracey Kendall’s Inventory wallpaper. “We are huge fans of Tracey’s work,” says John. “The large-scale repeat accentuates the height of the room, and is a nod to the history of the building and the city. The room always feels inviting and is the perfect place to look out onto the garden.” The kitchen is bespoke, as imagined by Woodhouse & Law’s design team, and features washed oak interiors, painted shaker-style cabinetry, Silestone Lagoon worktops, and a cutlery drawer lined with leather. The floor tiles, from Fired Earth, add interest and colour along with the exposed Bath stone wall. All of the mod cons – including Siemens appliances, Forbes and Lomax switching and a Bisque flatpanel radiator – are cleverly concealed within the design, and smart use of LED lighting highlights the stone features and the simple oak shelf. The shower room was also designed by W&L, I BATH LIFE I 105


and showcases wall and floor tiles from Bath’s Tile & Flooring. The walk-in shower offers a little everyday luxury, with an over-sized head and hotel feel. Light and space are the first elements that hit you when entering the master bedroom. Decorated in Farrow & Ball’s Skimming Stone, the room spans the full width of the property and offers flexibility in furniture arrangement, the option for a seating area or the addition of an en-suite shower room (subject to the relevant approvals, of course), and built-in storage is provided in the recess either side of the chimney breast. At the rear of the property, you’ll find the guest bedroom, with views to Sham Castle. In contrast to the rest of the house, the walls in here are decorated in Farrow & Ball’s Off Black, which offsets the brilliant white woodwork of the original shutters and feature fireplace. The garden was designed and landscaped by, guess who, W&L again, and provides a private and restful sanctuary. The Mediterraneanreminiscent style space features Italian Cypress trees, lavender and agapanthus, as well as a sunny stone terrace for entertaining, and level lawn. A white-washed wall cleverly disguises the potting shed and storage area, and provides the opportunity to project films onto for lazy summer evenings. So if you’re after a beautifully presented Georgian home with instant kerb appeal, expertly decked out by the current interior and garden designer owners, you’ll probably want to give this property a look-see. .


House numbers Square footage 1,238 Landscaped garden 1 Bedrooms 2



Crisp Cowley, 7 York Street, Bath, BA1 1NQ; 01225 789333;

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No time to lose for those wanting penthouse perfection News that it is now the last chance to buy a brand new waterside penthouse in Bath will increase the sense of urgency amongst those wanting to live the high life in the centre of the world heritage city


he shortening supply of brand new top floor pads follows news that the Royal View building at Bath Riverside has now sold out. This means the focus of attention has moved onto its sister building, Sovereign Point. Comprising 52 apartments in total, of these, only three are penthouses. Located on the banks of the River Avon they afford spectacular views out across the rooftops of Bath and are not available anywhere else in the city. Anyone who is biding their time thinking more penthouses will come onto the market will soon find themselves bitterly disappointed. It’s a fact that Anna Fairman, director at Savills, is keen to stress on those thinking about a move into this property type – they can’t afford to wait. Anna says: “For the foreseeable future, there aren’t any new penthouse apartments being built in Bath and we don’t know of any other development that has any planned either, especially on the banks of the river. “The three that are currently available in Sovereign Point really are the last in line and our advice for anyone looking for this style of property is that they can’t hang about. “With spectacular views out across the rooftops of the city, the specification is of the highest quality. That’s what makes them exclusive.” A superb demonstration of modern architecture at its best, the use of space shows what can be achieved through imagination and creativity. Access to these three penthouses is through the beautifully appointed central atrium which stretches from the ground floor all the way up to the top of the building. Entering the penthouses, house hunters will be hit with a massive wow factor. The first floor comprises very spacious open

“With spectacular views out across the rooftops of the city, the specification is of the highest quality” plan living, dining and kitchen areas which are flooded with natural light through the generous floor to ceiling windows. Designed for modern living, these stunning homes enjoys a sleek kitchen with integrated Siemens appliances, including a wine cooler and coffee machine. Offering luxury at every turn, the double bedrooms include fitted wardrobes and a contemporary en suite bathroom. The living areas provide access to the balconies, which stretch the full width of each property, as well as direct access to the secluded roof terraces which comes via a glass-encased spiral staircase. This leads owners up and outside, where they will be able to enjoy far reaching views across the rooftops of Bath and the surrounding countryside. The roof terraces have plenty of space for outside furniture, sun loungers and potted

plants, making them a calm, private oasis in the heart of the city. There is also spacious storage so that outdoor furniture can be put away during the winter months. Each property also comes with two allocated parking spaces which are in the residents’ underground car park. Anna adds: “This is the perfect haven for those who enjoy a living space that comes with plenty of room, light and stunning views. Those lucky enough to secure these last exclusive properties will be able to enjoy the trappings penthouse living brings, from al fresco dining, soaking up the sun on the roof terrace to the peace and security of a top floor retreat. “There really isn’t anything quite like this anywhere else in the region, and, with the number of penthouse apartments limited, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.” n

For further information please call 01225 463517 or visit The marketing suite on Victoria Bridge Road is open daily from 10 am to 5pm. I bath life I 113


“Star Wars convinced me, aged five, that propmaking would be the best job in the world” steel, mandolin and digeridoo. Music and art have always been pretty intertwined for me. I did consider going into zoology… I’ve always had a real

love of natural history, which means that, almost without meaning to, I have specialised in animals for my work.

Tony Hitchcock The prop-maker on creating sculptures for film and TV, being asked to body double for Poldark, and his unusual encounter with a digeridoo Tony has been an artist and prop-maker for over two decades, creating pieces for films, museums and royals. His latest project was creating an ‘owlstronaut’ for the Minerva’s Owls of Bath sculpture trail (pictured bottom right), on display on Manvers Street. I’m a prop-maker and artist…

It’s a varied job, and can range from creating small props, to designing huge display pieces. For example, I’ve just cast some hyper-detailed dragon teeth for a client in America, while, last month, I sculpted a nine-foot-tall figure of a man, for a UK festival. My work has been on TV shows and films… If you have

kids, you might have seen my things on CBBC’s Art Ninja. My boys were big fans of the show before I started work on it, so I got major Dad points for that.


I’m proudest of making Doris the Pliosaurus for Bristol Museum... I made the 8.5m

polystyrene version, which I then had to cut apart to fit an aluminium armature plus sound equipment and animatronics into, before the creature was coated with polyurea. The final stage was assembling her in the museum (she wouldn’t fit through the doors) and then painting her. She had over 74,000 visitors during the eight months that she was in the exhibition room. She’s now permanently installed in the rear hall, hanging 12 feet above the public’s heads.

I studied at Oxford… My chosen subject was English, but I spent more time playing in a band than I did on my course. I concentrated on music for a couple of years after graduating, but it wasn’t to be – although I still play several musical instruments, including the lap

I enjoyed creating an owl for Minerva’s Owls of Bath sculpture trail… His name is

Cosmos and he’s an owlstronaut with a helmet and the rocket pack. He pretty much designed himself, as he’s based on the retro astronaut-style caricatures of the staff members on his sponsor’s (Rocketmakers) website. I’ve always loved the effect an art trail can have on a city... It

amazes me how many people will try and ‘collect’ all of them; it’s a great way to involve the whole community in something artistic.

If I could complete a sculpture for anyone, alive or dead…

I would choose between a wildlife sculpt for Sir David Attenborough, or making something for Star Wars, which was the film that convinced me, aged five, that prop-making would most definitely be the best job in the world. I’ve crossed ‘making something for a royal’ off my list… I worked on a Bristol art

trail gorilla, which was presented to Prince Edward when he opened a new section at Bristol Zoo. He was very gracious about it, but you could see that he was struggling to work out exactly what he was supposed to do with a small ape dressed as Brunel.

I have lived in Odd Down for 13 years… I love it here; we

are pretty much the last row of houses in the city on this side, so we have an uninterrupted view of the country from our windows. On a day off, you’ll find me…

at Minerva Art Supplies, or at the Little Theatre – anywhere you can sit on a sofa with a glass of wine while enjoying a film gets my vote. I’m also a massive fan of the Packhorse in Southstoke. My most treasured possession is… my 33-year-old

Parker stainless steel mechanical pencil. It’s what I’ve started every project with since my dad got it for me for Christmas when I was 12.

Something not many people know about me is… I do work

as an extra for films and TV; I was asked to body double in Poldark last year, but I turned it down as it would have required standing in the sea for six hours with my shirt off, in October.

My most unusual moment was… being asked up to the

flight deck of a flight from Sydney to Bangkok to play Digeridoo for the crew. Unbeknown to me, the captain had turned on the tannoy, so I ended up serenading all 600 or so passengers. n /

Profile for MediaClash

Bath Life – issue 371  

Bath Life – issue 371  


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