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Food/Arts/Entertainment/Shopping/Property @BathLifeMag


ISSUE 385 / 15 FEBRUARY – 1 MARCH 2019 / £3










Inter 2019 Wom national en’s D ay #Bala nce

MAIN IMAGE: Corinna Button’s female portraits will be

on display at Bath’s Axle Arts (page 39)

BELOW: See our edit of feminist gift ideas on page 62




his year’s International Women’s Day (IWD), on 8 March, has a theme of #BalanceforBetter, calling for a more gender-balanced world. In this issue of Bath Life, you’ll find a little logo, like the one above, stamped on all of the pages that celebrate the global occasion in any way. For example, on page 62, browse our edit of feminist-themed gifts; on page 39, get lost in Corinna Button’s female portraits; on page 40, take a look at the IWD-themed events happening locally; on page 46, hear the stories of three of the focussed runners of the upcoming Bath Half marathon, including two former Olympians and a GBBO semi-finalist; and on page 98 the founder of the ‘F-Rating’, Holly Tarquini, tells us why we should all aim to change the world. For more info about the inspirational women who appear throughout this issue, including our local front-cover artist – Emelie Hryhoruk, who creates her ‘supers’ from her garden studio, and who aims to encourage inner strength and empowerment through art – turn to page 8. Elsewhere in the issue, we shine a spotlight on: local schools (page 26), SS19 fashion (page 64), rustic interiors (page 76), and kitchen refreshes (page 84). Enjoy!

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

Issue 385 / 15 February – 1 March 2019 COVER This Wonder Woman-inspired painting is by local artist Emelie Hryhoruk. See page 8 or 62 for more...


39 ARTS INTRO Artist Corinna Button explores

feminine identity

40 WHAT’S ON Exhibitions, theatre, cinema and more 53 THEATRE The set designs that will whisk you away


26 SCHOOLS Braille, bat walks, Yoga and metal

detecting – all the activities on offer at local schools



54 RESTAURANT We tuck in at The Old Crown Inn 57 TAKE 5 Meet the makers of Bath Gin 58 FOOD & DRINK NEWS Culinary stories at the fore


61 INTRO A one-woman business on an eco mission 62 EDITOR’S CHOICE Treats for feminists 64 FASHION Get earthy with neutral shades




light on the brilliant women of Bath

46 BATH HALF The big names doing the big run 90 GARDENS Water features in local green beauties 98 LIVES The F-Rating founder talks feminist myths

and local inspirations


69 BUSINESS INSIDER Our pick of the top business


76 RESIDENCE Step inside a dreamy farmhouse 84 KITCHENS Thinking of redecorating? 95 SHOWCASE Swoon at this history-rich Grade-I

listed townhouse



stories locally


Editor Lisa Evans Deputy Editor Harriet Noble 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, Anna O’Callaghan, Philippa May and Nick Woodhouse Group Advertising Manager Pat White Deputy Advertising Manager Justine Walker Account Manager Annabel North Account Manager Polly Jackson polly.jackson@mediaclash. Production/Distribution Manager Sarah Kingston Deputy Production Manager Kirstie Howe Production Designer Matt Gynn Chief Executive Jane Ingham Chief Executive Greg Ingham 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). 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:


Interior Design, Fit-out & Refurbishment. Kitchens, Bathrooms & Bedroom specialist 3 Cork Place, Bath BA1 3BB | Tel: 01225 339003 | Mob: 07530 896413 | | Contact us for a free design consultation



Inter 2019 Wom national en’s D ay #Bala nce forBe


HOLLY TARQUINI On page 98, the F-Rating founder and FilmBath executive director talks feminist myths and her local inspirations.

KAREN CORDON On page 26, the headmistress at St Margaret’s Preparatory School chats about how outdoor activities can nurture the development of children.

AMANDA ARCHER-BROWN She creates silk-screen printed pieces, such as colour-clash cushions, tees and totes, from her home in Batheaston (page 62).

HEATHER FELL On page 46, the former Olympian talks goal-setting and her biggest challenges.

BRIONY MAY The Great British Bake Off semi-finalist discusses swapping her apron for a running vest as she takes on the Bath Half (page 46).

EMMA POOLEY One of the UK’s most successful road cyclists talks all things sport on page 46.

JULIET CATTON The designer creates artworks featuring phrases that invigorate and inspire (page 62).

YASMIN MORRIS The Chippenham-based artist, and owner of Minniemorrisart, hand-draws or paints all of her punchy designs (page 62).

EMELIE HRYHORUK Our front cover artist for this issue creates her ‘supers’ in her garden studio in Chippenham (page 62).

RHIANNON HAMILTON The owner of Honey Willow on Walcot Street never wants her daughter to forget that she has a right to be heard (page 62).

CORINNA BUTTON The artist’s female portraits are being exhibited at Bath’s Axle Arts from 4 to 17 March (page 39).

KATY BERWICK The owner of Box-based Drop the Dog has been creating her range of feminisminspired artwork since 2017 (page 62).

SARINA SADDIQ The founder of Bath-based business SmartSquid, Sarina creates clothing, jewellery and homeware that aim to spark eco conversations (page 62).

TRACEY THORN The Everything but the Girl frontwoman is coming to Bath to talk about her forthcoming memoir, Another Planet: A Teenager in Suburbia (page 10).


As this is our International Women’s Daythemed issue, here we introduce you to a handful of the local, brilliant women you’re about to see over the next 100 or so pages – from a headmistress of a local school, and several artists and makers, to former Olympic athletes, a Bake Off semi-finalist, and the founder of the feminist ‘F-Rating’...



Alce Harfield’s painting I can see for miles will be on display at Bath Art Fair


Bath looking dreamy by night


FLAG IT UP Any resident will know that Bath is a pretty picture at night-time; and it seems others agree, as the city has just been awarded its ninth purple flag accreditation. Awarded by ATCM (Association of Town & City Management), the purple flag standard is an accreditation process similar to the green flag award for parks and the blue flag for beaches. It allows members of the public to quickly identify town and city centres that offer an entertaining, diverse, safe and enjoyable night out. Purple flag status is granted to town and city centres that meet or surpass the ACTM’s standard of excellence in managing the evening and night-time economy. The ACTM panel was impressed by the amount of event activity and evening initiatives in place within the city, and also the strong partnerships between the Bath BID, B&NES, police, CCTV, street pastors, the universities and NHS. They welcome the continued collaboration between the night- and day-time economies to keep the city safe. For more:

BATH ART FaIr The Bath Art Fair is nearly upon us, bringing together 85 professional independent artists from all over Europe, with many from the South West, who will be showcasing their work at Bath Pavilion between 1-2 March. Among the returning artists are Steve Yeates, who uses recycled bus shelter glass to cast beautiful figurative sculpture; and Dawn Reader, from Somerset, who works in oil on linen and has been featured in Vogue and Homes & Gardens. This year, the art fair

BWCE Fund grant recipients in the Mayor’s parlour to celebrate the fund’s achievements

has teamed up with Bath’s Holburne Museum’s Pathway to Wellness programme, which supports local people who have experienced mental health issues, social isolation and homelessness by offering free, creative museumbased opportunities which promote wellbeing as well as raising funds. For more:



Local organisations have been awarded grants totalling £31,204 to help reduce carbon emissions and address fuel poverty. The funds come from Bath & West Community Energy (BWCE) Fund who have given its surplus profits to the independently run BWCE Fund in order to support local communities. The BWCE fund aims to address fuel poverty in addition to reducing emissions, with the panel awarded grants to a range of projects including: schemes to make community buildings more environmentally friendly, projects around reducing waste, and transport initiatives like the ride to work by e-bike project. “Throughout this year I’m taking every opportunity to promote sustainability and environmental responsibility, so it will be great to learn how these groups are using their grants,” says Mayor of Bath, Councillor Patrick Anketell-Jones. For more:


SPOTLIGHT Literature


Inter 2019 Wom national en’s D ay #Bala nce




The Little Theatre is celebrating eight decades

Tracey will be chatting about the highs and lows of childhood © SOUL MEDIA

Described by Caitlin Moran as ‘the Alan Bennett of pop memoirists,’ Everything But The Girl singer and author Tracey Thorn is coming to Bath to talk about her forthcoming memoir, Another Planet: A Teenager in Suburbia. The memoir draws from her teenage diaries and captures her experience of growing up in Brookman’s Park (near St Alban’s) in the 1970s, as well as motherhood, class, culture, commuter towns, female pop icons, music and creativity. An Evening with Tracey Thorn in Bath is on 27 February at Christ Church. For more:


AND THE WINNER IS… The winner of the competition to find an emerging designer for the Elegance in the Afternoon fashion show has been announced as West Country textile designer Clare Walsh. Clare creates hand-printed clothes inspired by nature, and, as the winner of this competition, will join the line-up for the spring fashion show. During the charity fundraising event on 13 April, guests will enjoy tea, cake and fizz in the Banqueting Hall at the Guildhall as models of all ages show the new Summer ’19 collections.

The compère for the afternoon is BBC Points West journalist Imogen Sellers and proceeds will go to Dorothy House Hospice and the Motor Neurone Disease Association. “Fashion shows have always been popular with the Bath crowds, and I think this will be another lovely social occasion for people to get together, enjoy a stylish afternoon in a wonderful setting and raise money for three local good causes.” says Councillor Karen Walker. For more:



Phil Thompson and Zac Fennell, partners at Bath-based hair salon BA1 Hair, have teamed up with the Indian operation of the UK charity Oasis to help provide life skills to trafficked women in the red-light district of Mumbai. They travelled to Mumbai recently to visit the Mumbai hair project where they carried out hands-on training from hair cutting to styling and attended the graduation ceremony. “We have designed a hair styling and cutting course, which is practical and Hairstyling, the hopefully inspiring and provides a way out Zac Fennell way for the girls from the red-light district.” says Phil. “During the visit, I was struck by the transformation of the girls, their motivation, their enthusiasm and their spirit. Despite horrible backgrounds, these girls have become positive about the future and you can see humour returning to their faces. They become enthusiastic, motivated and where there was cynicism, we see humour and spirit emerge. The transformation is amazing and is very humbling to see.” For more:


Inter 2019 Wom national en’s D ay #Bala nce forBe




The Little Theatre is celebrating 80 years since it began screening feature films back in February 1939. This special birthday is being commemorated by a host of special screenings from its history, including Titfield Thunderbolt on 9 March, and The Smallest Show On Earth on 6 April. Built by community theatre pioneer Consuelo de Reyes and her husband in 1935, the Little Theatre has remained in the same family since, retaining some of the decorative features of a typical 1930’s cinema while more recently undergoing a discreet conversion into a two-screen arthouse cinema. Interesting points about the cinema include the fact that it nearly closed in 1984 but was saved by the phenomenal success of monster hit Ghostbusters, and it also featured in Fantastic Mr Fox. “The Little Theatre Cinema has been loved and cherished by Bathonians for over 80 years, showcasing a range of feature films, documentaries and more recently live event cinema,” says general manager Mason Pollock. “We are very proud to celebrate 80 years since we began screening feature films in 1939. Here’s to the next 80 years!” For more: I BATH LIFE I 11


Adam Powell and Claire Powell Neil Cardwell and Victoira Dulley

Neil Edwards and Emma Edwards Chris Stevens, Dan Smith, Dan Kenyon and Tom Annear

Christine Harrison, Simon Hall and Kerry-Ann Markham


Alice Stevens and Fiona Gilbert

Elle Chappell, Alison Watson and Catherine Wilkins

Ahead of the highly anticipated Bath Life awards ceremony, Walcot House hosted the Bath Life Awards Sponsors’ and Finalists’ Reception on 29 January. Greg Ingham – co-owner of MediaClash, Bath Life’s publisher – gave a speech to welcome everyone to the event and local entrepreneurs and business folk mingled while enjoying fizz and canapés. Photos by Simon Lees

Sarah Moon, Andrew Taylor and Laura Brewster


Maggie King and Sarah Wilson

Philippa May and Jezz Skelton


Marianne Cartwright-Hignett and William Cartwright-Hignett

Fran Randese and Katie Cofferon

Megan Witty and Hilary Long

Alisa Eaglestone, Hannah Roper and Samantha Fanthorpe

Guests at Walcot House were enraptured during the speeches Jez Allman and Evan Wienburg

Greg Harris, David Trumper, Alessio Marinelli, Shaun O’Keefe and Simon Jones Kelly Marie and Bridget Kelly

David Newton and Nick Cryer

Zara Perry and David Maxwell I BATH LIFE I 13

Courtney Fleming, Jess Mackenzie and Brandi Hall

Darren Willison and Caroline Kay Paul Jackson and Joy Roberts


Adrian Neilson and Mark Minkley Marion Harney and Stephen Bird

Professor Barry Gilbertson, chairman of the City of Bath UNESCO World Heritage Site Advisory Board, hosted a drinks reception recently to celebrate the achievements of the Bath heritage site enhancement fund. The informal gathering, which took place at the Museum of Bath Architecture, was an opportunity to review recent projects undertaken, to speak to those involved, and to discuss new possible ventures. Photos by Nick Cole

Patrick Anketell-Jones, Brian Hall and Louis Hodgkin

Ainslie Ensom, Andy Thearle and Paul Pearce

William Heath, Thomas Sheppard, Michael Forsyth and Charles Curnock 14 I BATH LIFE I

Paul Myers and Michael Rowe










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Emma Pegler and Matthew Pegler

Mitchell Thomas and Gemma Chatfield


Mike Hopkins and Sam Smart Amy Wilkinson and James Horsfall

Hawker Joinery celebrated 100 years of making bespoke joinery with a champagne reception at the Roman Baths, followed by a three-course meal at the Pump Rooms. The dress code was 1920s to reflect the first decade in which the company was established. The dinner was attended by 17 direct descendants of FW Hawker and Colin Frayling, the great-grandson of the founder. Colin relayed stories of when Hawker Joinery began, while Mitchell Thomas – commercial director – thanked the 130 guests, including staff, customers and suppliers. Mitchell proposed a toast to maintaining the legacy and thanking everyone that has worked for and with the company. Sue White, Andy White, Sean White and Abby Boucher

Photos by Paolo Ferla

Sue Sandy, Paul Crossley, Dine Romero and Nicky Sandy Penny Gibson and Patrick Anketell-Jones


Simon Winter and Karen Jensen

Rhodri Jones, Helen Jones, Louis Channer and Henry Channer James Eades and Rebecca Land

It’s all about the little details‌ 8 Pulteney Terrace, Bath, BA2 4HJ Email: Showroom: 01225 481881 Mobile: 07796 554466


Hayley Blacker, Jessica Castella, Emma Page and Kirsty Hayward

Paul Collett, Louise Tucker and Christopher Askew


Lauren Stanley and Anna Christie

Robin Attwater, Alan Bond and Tom Alford

Circo hosted the quarterly property social to kick-start 2019, giving Bath property industry professionals the opportunity to come together for a relaxed evening in the cocktail bar. Rose Brookman was on hand from East London Vodka, passing out shooters of vodka mixed with botanical and herbal tonics.

Bill Thomas and Matthew Peglar

Hugh Holman and Hollie Cornick


The Bath café, shop and creative consultancy Friends are Electric recently held its launch party. The newly renovated spot, just off Pulteney Bridge, showcased its cosy interiors, and owners Rebecca and Nick treated their guests to a selection of drinks and nibbles, including Nordic-inspired beetroot, apple and goats’ cheese tasters. Photos by Harriet Noble

Rebecca Rymsza and Nick Beevors Tom Daniels, James Shaw and Alice Dobie


Charelle Morrissey, Emilia Risso and Liz McAuslan

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Kitchen pitch-in


Is there really that much of a difference between bespoke ‘real deal’ kitchens and (much) cheaper ones? Flats ponders...

“My issue with kitchens surrounds that most crude of subjects: money. They are just so, so expensive”


t’s the heart of the home, they say. You’ll get back whatever you spend in here, they helpfully speculate according to perceived wisdom. Thing is, they say, the kitchen is the room where we spend most of our time. Is it? Is it though? I mean, if you’re one of the lucky (probably hard-working, too, actually) ones and you have one of those kitchens which is effectively a single storey apartment in size then yes, I get it. I had one of those when I lived in a cheaper area and it was good. But let’s keep it real here. It was handy for messily cooking food for the children and having them throw it on the floor all within a few square metres, I’ll concede that. That meant that only one area needed sorting once the beasts had hit the hey. For grownups, though, I’m not so sure these mega kitchens are all we’re told they are. I just like to be kept company when I cook, they say. Well, I don’t. Not really. I’m perfectly happy for the person with whom I live to either sit and watch, or to wander off and do something else until the food is ready. To this end, when the person I see literally every day of my life is cooking for me, I don’t feel it’s an act of disappreciation not to sit three feet away and try to talk about work or Love Island over the noise of the blender. Now and then, sitting on a child’s bar stool for a chat can be fun or interesting, but it usually just ends up being uncomfortable and makes me wish I could go and watch Game of Thrones for a bit until the veggies have finished roasting. When I remain in the kitchen during the preparation of my meal, it’s invariably through obligation. I mean, I’ll get over it, but there it is. Anyway, that’s the (anti)social bit. Really, my issue with kitchens these days surrounds that most crude of subjects: money. They are just so, so expensive. Again,

I have before been that lucky person who was able to approach a bespoke kitchen company and have one made to an exact specification, and I’m here to tell you it was flipping wonderful. Then, though, I visited a friend in Bath and saw his new kitchen. It was excellent. Brilliantly designed, some cool touches, and it felt nicely robust. And the price? Well, it was still a lot of money for what was ultimately a small town kitchen, but it was less than a quarter of the price I paid last time around. Square footage aside, the difference in outlay was laughably large. So it’s all about value, right? And these get-yourmoney-back-in-added-value assumptions are made up by estate agents, right? Well, here’s the thing – and he knows I’m writing this so I’m not being a two-faced kitchen commentator – I’ve been back a few times since and, being as polite as I can be, that initial glow has faded somewhat. The worktops feel fake (because they are), the hinges look cheap (because they are), the appliances are uninspiring and basic, and there are already, just months later, some strips of faux-granite beginning to lose their grip. Herein lies the problem. I reckon I’m about 18 months away from needing a new kitchen and, until recently, I’d been silently and smugly beaming at the ripping off I was bound to avoid. Now, though, now I have seen the difference. If I am bang wrong then, please, do feel free to correct me via waspish email, but for now I am saving up for the real deal because, from what I’ve seen, there’s no comparison. And anyway, it’s the heart of the home and it’s where I spend all of my time and I literally sleep in there so… 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 21



WATCH THIS SPACE Philippa talks spring cleans, decluttering, and clever storage solutions


pring is almost upon us, and we all know what that means: it’s time to get down and dirty and clear the house. I’m terrible at keeping on top of home organisation, and, slowly, over the year, I accumulate a lot of rubbish. I wouldn’t say I was a hoarder or anything, but I just feel so terrible throwing things away, even if it is to the charity shop, as it just feels too wasteful. So while my New Year’s resolution was to be a more mindful shopper, buy quality, and buy less, I’ve got to back this up by making sure that I’m clutter-free with a proper spring clear-out to really harness this minimal living. This can be a fun and easy task if you have clever hiding places to declutter to, but, unfortunately, in our abode, there isn’t a tonne of storage space, especially in the kitchen where I chose style over substance – a nice open feel with fewer cupboards – and now I’m in desperate need of the storage space. In 2018, minimal and

“It made me rethink what my main design priority should be: functional storage”

open-plan living spaces were on the rise and this meant interior designers became privy to finding solutions for clever hidden storage – check out The Switch Unit from the Scavolini brand which features hidden pocket doors that slide out to cover up their contents when guests come calling; a super clever yet aesthetically wonderous concept. I need it. One of the most frustrating things about most kitchen cabinetry is the waste of space there tends to be with traditional design and structures. Over the past few years, cabinet makers have wised up to this age-old issue and have begun to be a lot more innovative in their designs. During a ritual weekend walk around the Neptune store on Walcot Street, I was fascinated by the clever storage solutions available: from hidden television cabinets to floor-to-ceiling larder cupboards that will make you drool over how well your jams and cereals can be organised. It made me rethink what my main priority should be when designing a new house: functional, multi-use storage. When on the hunt for interesting local furniture, I came across a wonderfully named company out in Frome: Shaker and May (no relation, I promise), which specialises in the designing, manufacturing and installation of bespoke kitchens. On first glance,

I knew this was a team that liked to really ‘create’, based on client briefs – it’s so evident with the vast array of kitchens they’ve produced, each with their own personality and uniqueness. I was enthralled to hear about a special commission they had created for a local client, combining two of my favourite things: furniture design and alcohol, with a bespoke drinks cabinet that suddenly soared to the top of my ‘things I never knew I wanted but now can’t live without’ list. These guys have obviously been reading my column, as it was hand-painted in a dark navy, it had an antique foxed glass backdrop, a smart and simple front, and brushed brass hardware for the perfect accented finish to contrast that deep blue hue. If you’re looking for a kitchen or dining sideboard with a difference, this is the perfect combination of form and function; wow guests with your new stand-out piece, wash it down with a glass of Pomerol, and then watch their jealousy unfold...

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 23


With parents seeking a well-rounded education for their children that promises more than exam success, sociable and inventive activities that lie outside the curriculum have never been more popular. Here’s what some local schools are offering‌

By Harriet Noble

Monkton Combe School students taking to the water



“Improved confidence and self-esteem are the biggest benefits”

Monkton Combe School Carl Blunden, head of marketing

Tell us about some of the activities you offer...

We are blessed at Monkton to live in a beautiful valley on the outskirts of a busy city, so there are plenty of opportunities to get outside. Rowing on the River Avon is a popular games option, while conservation club, archery, bat walks, outdoor education and running club all allow our pupils to get out and explore the surrounding countryside. We also go further afield to The Brecon Beacons, Dartmoor and Snowdonia for our popular Gold DofE and Ten Tors programmes. What activities are really popular?

The ‘choir who can’t sing’ encourages boys to find their voices, while the voluntary Christian union often has over 100 students attending. CAD Club (designing in 3D) and electronics are popular activities with our pupils who are looking to further their creative design ideas and perhaps pursue this as more than an activity in future years. Model United Nations is also a very popular choice for our senior pupils. The debating skills that they learn are invaluable and, as it is a significantly pupil-led activity, it promotes enhanced leadership skills and cooperation between pupils. And looking ahead?

We are hoping soon to have our own horses here on site so that all pupils will get a chance to ride in Year 9. We are also looking at expanding our use of the valley to include paddle boarding on the Avon. Both air pistol and clay pigeon shooting are also on the agenda.

The Paragon School

Emily Hughes, marketing manager What kind of impact do you think your clubs have?

Students learn new skills and are encouraged to try classes that they might not usually consider, which can be a huge confidence booster. For example, we have lots of boys who enjoy our very popular sewing club and girls who are really enjoying our lunchtime football and rugby sessions. Our mindfulness and yoga classes improve concentration, and, in gardening club, children have grown their own vegetables which are then prepared and cooked by our chef – a wonderful way of seeing how food reaches our plates. Tell us about some of your activities…

Owl corner club is our gardening club, where children can potter in the garden and grow plants. There are lots of sporty clubs as well, such as cricket club, cross country, football club, netball and a lunchtime rugby club for girls. We also enjoy forest school activities where weekly sessions involve exploration of our eight acres of woodland and local landscape. I BATH LIFE I 27

EDUCATION Any volunteering opportunities?

Our Samba band made some noise and attracted a huge crowd when fundraising for The Rotary Club of Bath, supporting Macmillan Cancer Support this Christmastime. Our senior school, Prior Park College runs ‘Prior Concern’, a weekly volunteering session where students work with the elderly, homeless and young children in the community. What’s the most unusual extra curricular activity that you offer?

Beginners face painting and doll dressmaking are on the menu, which are fairly unusual, and fun science is always popular as every session involves an (often messy) experiment. This summer, we will be running a brick-laying club where children will be helping to build a wall around the greenhouse – a step up from Lego Club! What’s the best feedback you’ve had from a student who has enjoyed an extra curricular activity?

“I just didn’t think that I could sing, never mind join a choir – I’ve only ever really played football outside school.” This was a Paragon pupil on joining the new ‘boys don’t sing’ choir at The Paragon.


Charlotte Bennett, head of sixth form and co-curriculum

There’s been a huge growth in the number of activities that schools offer – why do you think that is?

All schools broadly offer the same academic curriculum and therefore it is the extracurricular provision that makes schools stand out from each other. It is pupils’ extracurricular achievements that make them stand out from the crowd in a world where increasing numbers of pupils have identical exam results. With an increasing number of families having two working parents, a vibrant after-school activity programme also performs an essential ‘after school care’ role. Leaving school with a host of academic qualifications and nothing else does not make you an attractive proposition in the work place.   What is proving popular?

Sports activities are always popular with pupils wanting to represent the school at fixtures,

“Our mindfullness and yoga classes improve concentration” 28 I BATH LIFE I

An A Level drama performance at King Edward’s School

and obviously the riding accumulator (as an equestrian school). However, as Stonar likes to give pupils the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of activities, we find that they are all well supported – although, as leader of the DofE and the explorer scouts, I would like to say that these are particularly popular!

creative arts focus, but might also include Mandarin, debating, exploring, construction or gardening. Add to that opportunities for letterwriting, coding or rock school, and you will understand why our pupils are recognised for being ‘up for everything’ and have a range of skills at their disposal, which will enable them to negotiate their way through life successfully.

The best feedback is driving home a minibus full of muddy pupils who are fast asleep with smiles on their faces.

What activities are really popular with your students?

Any good feedback from the pupils?

St Margaret’s Preparatory School

Karen Cordon, headmistress What activities do you offer?

The extra-curricular programme is rich and varied and there are at least 45 different clubs and activities to choose from every week. These may have a sporting, performing or

To be completely honest, all of them. Given that the children give up their own free time to attend clubs at lunchtime or after school, activities are never undersubscribed, in fact quite the opposite. Some pupils are at school between 8am and 6pm every day, and, during this time, we truly believe that every child can find his or her individual path to success through the pursuit of breadth and balance, in a curriculum that is not constrained by the walls of a classroom.

EDUCATION Tell us about some outdoorsy activities…

We love outdoor activities and engage in a wide range of experiences beyond the classroom which support us in enabling the children to appreciate that there are wonderful things to be learnt from trying, failing, and trying again. In a recent whole-school den-building day, it was wonderful to witness a child in Year 2 who looked across at a kindergarten pupil the other side of a vast tree trunk and said, ‘Lift your foot up and hold my hand and you will be OK’ , and the kindergarten child, in absolute trust, did, and he was. This was such a perfect example of how an outdoors activity can nurture the development of young people who are actually already equipped with individual enterprise, curiosity, imagination, persistence and inventiveness.

Royal high School Julie Hughes, assistant head, co-curricular and student wellbeing

What do your students get up to outside the classroom?

We have clubs that run during lunchtimes and after school and these can range from darkroom photography to fencing club, from science club to kickboxing. We have crafting for mindfulness, Japanese society, coding club and Greek and Roman mythology club. With over 80 activities to choose from, there is something for all. We have an extensive trips programme, too, which feature amazing opportunities for our girls to travel and experience a variety of activities and cultures. Within KS3 we have whole year group trips that run where the main aim is building relationships, working together, personal development of students as well as having lots of fun. Other trip opportunities include skiing, an art trip to New York, an MFL (modern foreign languages) trip to Cuba, and a geography trip to Iceland. Why do you think there has been such a growth in the variety of activities that schools offer?

Students of this generation are used to being stimulated and, here at the Royal High School, we encourage our girls to employ a ‘give things a go’ attitude and to step out of their comfort zones and take some risks. Young people today want to be excited, and they are not happy following a stereotype. They want to try different things and every student that comes through our school is different. What else?

Dance is incredibly popular at the Royal High School; there is an incredible array of dance clubs for girls and, among many performance opportunities, the annual dance show is one of the highlights of our school year, which involves girls at the younger end of our prep to the top end of the senior school.


A student from Bath Academy climbing the SS Great Britain

“The best feedback is driving home a minibus full of muddy pupils who are fast asleep with smiles on their faces”

Students from St Margaret’s Preparatory School enjoying den building

Other popular activities include crafting, photography, mindfulness and our array of musical opportunities on offer at the school. There really is an opportunity for all girls to shine in whatever their passion is. Any new activities in the pipeline?

While we have mindfulness clubs and wellbeing provision which uniquely includes two school dogs that the girls walk regularly, I want to explore possibilities to ensure that our programme addresses, promotes and encourages positive health and wellbeing among our students.

Kingswood school John Davies, director of co-curricular Tell us about some of your extra-curricular activities...

Alongside traditionally strong areas, such as music, sport, drama, DofE and outdoor pursuits, we also offer a different programme of weekly activities each term which reflect the enthusiasms of staff and pupils, from chess to cooking, textiles to bicycle maintenance and debating to aikido.

How about volunteering opportunities?

With over 150 pupils engaged in DofE each year, a great deal of volunteering takes place as part of that programme and we have a tremendous tradition of service within the school community. In addition to this, we have some very long-standing relationships with particular charities, and many pupils volunteer with organisations even as far afield as Malawi and Kenya. What’s the most unusual or exciting extracurricular activity that you offer?

Difficult question to answer without offending any of my colleagues. We have a metal detecting club, which I am sure is relatively unusual, and the ‘feed Kingswood polytunnel’ goes from strength to strength, providing fresh veg to hungry teenagers. ‘Most exciting’ is too subjective, but junior cookery is always oversubscribed and up to 40 students turn up to early morning hockey skills with the deputy head at 7am! Any new activities on the horizon?

I love interviewing potential new members of staff to hear about what they might like to contribute to our extra-curricular programme;

there are always surprises and each new teacher brings new ideas and enthusiasms. I had never heard of Lego robotics until recently, but it thrives now, and ukulele for beginners arose out of a recent school trip to India.

Bath academy

Paul Francis, vice principal

Tell us about some of the extra-curricular activities that you offer…

Our activities are all student-led, so they vary each year. We focus on putting students together who have mutual interests. Each year ,the student cohort is different, and, within our smaller environment, we are able to take their individual interests into consideration, adapting the schedule to them as best we can. For example, this term we have decided to run a chess club, Dungeons & Dragons, and a conversation club every week at the students’ request. Next term it might be different.   What benefits have you seen from students partaking in these kinds of activities?

The main benefit we see is a mixing of diverse personalities and cultures who all have the I BATH LIFE I 31

EDUCATION same goal: higher education. These extra activities allow our students to form friendships internationally and develop some important people and language skills to take with them in the wider world. They give our international students the opportunity to advance their English skills in different settings, and our local students the chance to learn about different cultures in the world. What’s the most unusual activity that you offer?  

This year we have a large number of musical students, so we’ve organised extra-curricular activities with this in mind, from karaoke to musical quiz night. We may soon be organising ‘jamming’ sessions for our students to put all their musical talents together and start a Bath Academy Band. Looking ahead?  

Already for September 2019 we have a trip planned to the Forest of Dean to partake in some fun outdoor activities such as rowing, climbing and abseiling. This will be a great opportunity for our students to get to know each other on a team-building weekend, especially for our boarding students who have just arrived to Bath, and for the students to bond at the beginning of term.


John Tidball, assistant head co-curricular

Tell us about some of the extra-curricular activities that you offer…

We pride ourselves on the depth and breadth of our co-curricular programme which offers over 100 weekly clubs and activities at the senior school alone.

A King Edward’s School production of Hansel and Gretel performed at the Festival Fringe in Edinburgh

Depending on their interests or passions, our co-curricular programme can support just about any pupil ambition, from performing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (as pupils did last summer) to cutting their teeth on the debating floor in front of hundreds of peers during a Model United Nation conference. Current activities range from Aloud (gender equality group) to Yoga, theatre tech club to Lego robotics, and dance club to code academy and an environmental action group.

The choir at Kingswood School

What benefits have you seen from students partaking in these activities?

Improved confidence and self-esteem are probably the biggest benefits of co-curricular activity, illustrated well by the many pupils that take part in our lower school play each year (over 80 last year, with a similar number currently in rehearsal ahead of their forthcoming production of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe), and the positive impact it has pastorally, academically and socially for those involved. Tell us about some of the more unusual offerings…

Much of our co-curricular programme is dictated by pupils’ interests. So, at present, some of the more unusual or newer clubs include braille club, jiu jitsu and silversmithing. The CCF parachute jump always gets the adrenaline going, and an assembly by the British explorers society and membership of the geography society here at school led to one pupil electing to spend his summer in the Amazon on an expedition with the society. The bi-annual trip to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe causes a real buzz in our drama department – pupils performed a version of Hansel and Gretel there. Anything on the horizon?

At the moment, we are in the early stages of investigating the viability of a school radio station and podcast, an idea proposed by one of our Year 11 pupils. n



Fresh thinking in Freshford Emma Heatley-Adams from Bath Life Awards finalists FRESHFORD CHURCH SCHOOL talks about their aim to make the school a carbon neutral and plastic-free place…


reshford Church School is a small rural community school near Bath. We have a close-knit community bound together by strong relationships and common interests, supported by a strong environmental ethos. In the spirit of this, the ambition is to make the school a carbon neutral and plastic-free space. We have recently applied for planning permission for 26 solar panels to be fitted on the roof of the school’s extension, and the longer term vision is to provide electric charging units in the school car park for the surrounding community. All these initiatives have led us to become finalists in the Bath Life Awards’ Environmental category. We are also challenging ourselves to find a way of creating a curriculum that will lead to more of our children achieving the highest levels of attainment in science. With our KS2 scores currently significantly above the national average we believe our curriculum needs to address big issues that are wholly relevant to our children. The sustainability of their planet is our biggest issue, and to ensure that the children see that sustainability is a series of problems that science can solve, we need to have evidence on a day to day to basis that proves that informed decision making can make the difference. Already we have an energy sparks team who use data logging hardware and software to track energy usage in the school with the information provided provoking thinking in our assemblies about where and how we can make energy savings. This has led to the children proposing, and the business team implementing, a range of energy and cost saving measures. This led to the energy sparks project’s work being recognised by an invitation to number 10 Downing Street, where a group of the school’s

“XXXX XXXXX XXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXX XXXXXX XXXXX Image caption 3mm XXXX XXXX XXXX” The energy sparks team at 10 Downing Street with Emma Heatley-Adams (far left) and inset from edge Claudia Towner (far right). Watch their film at:

“THE SUSTAINABILITY OF THEIR PLANET IS OUR BIGGEST ISSUE…” children met with the energy minister, Claire Perry. This was a wonderful experience for the children and represented a compelling endorsement by the UK Government in support of our environmental school vision. The visit also cemented the importance of the children’s next ambition of a comprehensive solar panel system on the school’s rear roof slope. Not only will the panels reduce the school’s carbon footprint, but will also provide the children with daily data on the energy and financial resources being generated and saved by the appliance of science in the form of solar technology. This resource will help provide data for the children to work with in STEM subjects and make the impact of science, for the benefit of the children’s futures, part of our daily dialogue, putting science at the heart of our culture and building our science capital as a learning community.

Parents have helped the pupils to create a fantastic video where the children share their views on solar energy. They hope that it will influence those that make big decisions about their future. Also from a financial perspective the savings the panels will make for us year on year will help to extend the economic viability of our village school. We have had an overwhelming amount of local support for our solar panels plan including local Councillors and the CEO of Friends of the Earth, Craig Bennett. Freshford Church School regards solar panels as a wonderful visual example of technology working directly with nature. ■

High Street, Freshford, Bath BA2 7WE 01225 723331 I BATH LIFE I 37

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Peep of Dawn


Through the Window Pane


PORTRAIT OF A LADY Corinna Button’s female portraits emerge through layers of paint and mixed media, with a rich yet playful sense of becoming. The imprints of decorative fabric meld the language of painting and printmaking into a spontaneous and energetic exploration of movement and feminine identity. Corinna employs a strong and confident use of line, reminiscent of the Cubist movement, to give form to her female studies. “My aim is not to create exact likenesses, but rather to create prototypical or archetypal figures whose personality or identity is both partly exposed and partly hidden beneath the surface,” says Corinna. Her work is held in many high-profile collections including the V&A Museum in London, Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, and the Jiangsu Art Museum in China. Corinna’s portraits are exhibiting at Axle Arts, 9 Leighton Road, Bath, from 4 – 17 March; I BATH LIFE I 39


16 February – 16 March

Hansel and Gretel is on at the egg theatre


Until 28 February

ON PAPER All the artworks in this exhibition are made from paper, used as a material in its own right, rather than merely a surface to be painted or drawn upon. Among the leading artists featured are Damien Hirst, Roy Lichtenstein, Bridget Riley, Gillian Ayres and Eduardo Paolozzi. 10.30am-5pm; Victoria Art Gallery;

EMMA ROSE – SNOWFROST Celebrating five years in her Walcot Street Gallery, paintings, limitededition giclée prints and cards will be on display. A large proportion of her work echoes the land, sea, sky and the elements. Her unique work is a mix of Indian Inks and acrylics, occasionally using gold, copper and silver leaf. 10am-5pm Monday-Saturday; Emma Rose Art Works; Upstairs at 78 Walcot Street;

Until 28 February

Until 28 April

Until 17 February

PAINTINGS OF BATH AND MOROCCO: DISPLAY BY JAMES F LYNCH After studying at Camberwell School of Art with friend and fellow student Howard Hodgkin, Lynch embarked on a long career as an artist and has exhibited widely. Since retirement in 1984, he has been painting full time in Bath and Morocco. 10.30am-5pm; Victoria Art Gallery;


SHOW ME THE COLOUR All artists are printmakers and met at Marshfield Screen Print, a small print studio just outside of Bath, to produce many of the prints shown here. While their styles and themes differ greatly, they all share a passion for using colour and print and this exhibition will celebrate both. Monday-Sunday 8am-8pm Art at the Heart of the RUH, Central Gallery;

7 February – 22 April

WHY MUSEUMS MATTER This exhibition examines the connection between museums, creativity, mental health and wellbeing. Each piece will reveal a personal connection, exploring how individual objects and opportunities to learn new art skills can inspire creative journeys. Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm, 11am-5pm Sunday; general admission £12.50; The Holburne Museum;

8 February – 6 May

GEORGE SHAW: A CORNER OF A FOREIGN FIELD Shaw’s paintings, made with enamel model paint, focus on the Tile Hill estate, a post-war development on the outskirts of Coventry, where he grew up, and the ancient woods surrounding it. Steeped in modern and historic traditions, Shaw’s work alludes to 20th-century painting and photography, and the legacy of such European masters as Titian. Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm, 11am-5pm Sunday; general admission £12.50; The Holburne Museum;

13 – 17 February

20TH CENTURY AND CONTEMPORARY WORKS BY THOMAS SPENCER FINE ART This exhibition showcases emerging British artists, including Ben Reader, Miranda Carins, Jess Power and Luke Samuel. 11am-6pm Wednesday-Saturday, Sunday 1pm-3pm; 44AD Artspace;

23 February – 7 May

ENDANGERED AND EXTINCT (CREATIVE RECYCLING BY VAL HUNT) Animals, exotic birds, fish, dinosaurs and species of flora, all on the edge of extinction, or now extinct, have been made from a selection of throwaway material, especially Val’s favourite medium: drinks can metal. This exhibition presents a subtle message about recycling and preservation, raising awareness of why the creatures on show are endangered or extinct. 10.30am-5pm; Victoria Art Gallery;


Until 16 February

THE EBBING HOUR As the sun sets relentlessly over a chilling hillside encounter, a desperate therapy session ticks incessantly to a close. Before the end of the ebbing hour, a man and a woman must reveal their truths or suffer the unthinkable consequences. Written by David Martin, this is story-telling about human fragility, loss and our enduring will to survive at its devastating best. 7.30pm; £12.50 (£10.50 concs) The Mission Theatre;

Until 23 February

ABOVE: The Cuban Brothers will be playing at Komedia LEFT: Val Bird’s Terror Bird will be on display at Victoria Art Gallery BELOW: Comedian Mark Watson will be at Komedia Bath

A SONG AT TWILIGHT Bittersweet, hugely entertaining and full of sharp wit and repartee, this play, starring Simon Callow and Jane Asher, is about harbouring secrets and regretting missed opportunities. Noël Coward himself made his farewell stage appearance playing the semi-autobiographical role of Sir Hugo in the West End production of the play in 1966. Various times and prices; Theatre Royal Bath;

22 February

THE MINISTRY OF BURLESQUE: CABARET Described as bold, weird and witty, expect a myriad of musical comedy masters, provocative prima donnas, enigmatic exotic dancers and astonishing feats of human grace – all balanced on a contemporary knife edge. 8pm (doors open 6.30pm); Komedia;

24 February

RICKY GERVAIS – SUPERNATURE: WARM UP SHOWS The creator of The Office and the stand-up comedian will be chatting about the absurdity of superstition, magic and all unsubstantiated beliefs. Various times and prices; Theatre Royal Bath;

25 February – 2 March

ROUGH CROSSING Tom Stoppard’s play features two famous but desperate playwrights stuck on an ocean liner heading for New York, feverishly trying to rehearse their latest show before reaching land, and opening night. Various times and prices; Theatre Royal Bath;

11 – 16 March

STONES IN HIS POCKETS A small village in rural Ireland is turned upside down when a major Hollywood film studio descends to make a historical blockbuster on location. This comedy won the Olivier and Evening Standard Awards for Best New Comedy, as well as three Tony nominations on Broadway. Various times and prices; Theatre Royal Bath;

MUSIC 21 February

BARBARA DICKSON Barbara Dickson and her band will be performing a wonderful range of material drawing on her folk roots as well as performing globally known hits such as The Caravan Song, and Another Suitcase in Another Hall. 6.30pm doors open, 7.30pm start; The Forum;

21 – 23 February

BATH BACHFEST A weeekend of concerts celebrating Bach’s work. The line-up includes vocal ensemble Stile Antico and violinist Margaret Faultless leading the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Various times and locations;

27 February

PETER KNIGHT AND JOHN SPIERS Peter Knight, violinist and ex member of folk-rock band Steeleye Span, joins leading melodeon player and ex Bellowhead member John Spiers for a special performance. (doors: 7.30pm); door price £18, advance ticket £16; Chapel Arts Centre;

2 March

ELVIS VS JERRY LEE LEWIS Who was the real king of rock ’n’ roll? This is your opportunity to decide as the two come head to head. Expect Elvis’ hits such as Hound Dog, All Shook Up, Don’t Be Cruel and Teddy Bear, and Jerry Lee Lewis’ hits such as Great Balls of Fire, Whole Lotta Shakin’, High School Confidential and Breathless. 8pm-10:30 pm (doors: 7:30pm); £18 door price; Chapel Arts Centre;

15 March

THE CUBAN BROTHERS Described as fun, funky and fruity, expect soulful sounds that echo the I BATH LIFE I 41



16 – 24 February

KIDS WORLD THEME PARK Rides to include a ferris wheel, dodgems, crazy dragon roller coaster, tea cups and bungee trampolines. Refreshments available including burgers, hotdogs, sweets and candy floss. Daily Sessions 12pm-3pm and 3pm-6pm; unlimited rides for £5.99 per session; www.

16 – 24 February

LIVE LAMBING Ewes will be giving birth to lamb twins and triplets in the indoor animal handling barn. Shepherds will be giving talks throughout the day about the lambing process and lots of super sheep facts. 10am-5.30pm; included in standard admission prices; Avon Valley Adventure & Wildlife Park;

20 February

FEBRUARY FORECAST Children will look at the different types of weather in various paintings and sculptures and then create a seasonal picture using a range of special materials. 10.30am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-3.30pm; Victoria Art Gallery;

20 – 23 February

HANSEL AND GRETEL A modern retelling of this classic fairytale finds Hansel and Gretel overwhelmed by the sights and smells of the city. Dancing is central to the production, with fierce and distinctive New York club styles, house, and African and contemporary dance. Recommended for age 5+. 11.30am and 3pm; various prices; the egg;

22 February

TORTOISE AND THE HARE: BITE-SIZED BALLETS With playful characters and spellbinding music, this interactive ballet is sure to have your little ones dancing with excitement. 11am; various prices; The Little Theatre;

28 February – 3 March

MUCKERS Paloma has always mucked about with Pijon. They run wild. They dress up like tigers, flamenco dancers,


queens, kings, rabbits and Lady Gaga. Life is fun and funny and a little bit loopy. Full of magic, this production features original songs and a tapas-sized portion of Spanish. Various times; various prices; the egg;

OTHER 23 February

PORTRAIT CLASSES Join classically trained Bath-based portrait artist Harriet Dahan-Bouchard as she draws from a model. Bring a sketch pad. Pop in for a free masterclass where visitors can watch Harriet drawing, and feel free to join in and pick up tips. 11.30am-4pm; Upper Gallery, Victoria Art Gallery;

27 February

NISH KUMAR: IT’S IN YOUR NATURE TO DESTROY YOURSELVES Double Edinburgh comedy award nominee Nish Kumar’s nationwide tour takes on politics, mankind’s capacity for self-destruction and whether it will lead to the end of days. 7pm doors open, 7.30pm start; £22.50; The Forum;

28 February

WEDDING FAYRE Bath College is holding a wedding fayre for those looking for a DIY element to their wedding. Have a chat to the local exhibitors about how you can make your wedding unique. There are courses you can sign up to if you want to learn how to arrange your own wedding flowers, design your own invitations, etc. There will also be refreshments, demonstrations and a bridal fashion show. 5pm-8.30pm; Bath College; www.

2 March

BEN FOGLE Ben will be sharing rales from his adventures, including: swimming with crocodiles, conquering Mount Everest, crossing Antarctica, rowing the Atlantic Ocean and the world stinging nettle eating championships. 7.30pm; £25; various prices; Bath Forum;

14 March

MARK WATSON: THE INFINITE SHOW Inspired by the mostly alarming state of the world his children are growing up in, and a genuine, urgent desire to do something about it, this show is about empathy. 7pm; various prices; Komedia;


Muckers will be performed at the egg theatre LEFT: Beadwork basket at The Holburne Museum BELOW: Xuefei Yang is performing at the Bath Bachfest


sounds of Havana, with hynoptic dance moves to get everyone going. 7.30pm; various prices; komedia;


Inter 2019 Wom national en’s D ay #Bala nce


To celebrate International Women’s Day (8 March), we’ve selected some of the best women-led arts events going on in March



Until 2 March

EXHIBITION: EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN IN BATH This exhibition reveals the lives and stories of women who have had a connection to Bath over a millennium of history, celebrating the vital part women played in forging events and changing culture, in important but overlooked roles as educators, reformers, writers, artists, traders and community builders, both in Bath and in the wider world. 10am-4pm; Monday-Saturday; Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution;

Until 27 April

EXHIBITION: EMMA HART: BANGER Emma Hart’s work has been described as ‘badly-behaved’, challenging assumptions and stereotypes in her quest to make art to which everyone can relate, and this new body of ceramic works has been commissioned by The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh. 1am-5pm Tuesday –Saturday (late night Wednesday until 7pm); The Edge;

4 – 17 March

ART: CORINNA BUTTON Painter-printmaker Corinna Button explores themes of feminine identity, her distinct practice being defined through her application of texture and patterning. See p.39 for more. Monday-Saturday 10-5pm; Axle Arts;

Dolly Alderton will be chatting about her book at Komedia

7 March

LECTURE: ANN FORD THICKNESSE Marie-Louise Luxemburg will be giving a talk on the subject of Ann Ford Thicknesse (17371824) the18th-century musician who believed that it should not be scandalous for a young lady to earn her living through her own creative endeavours. 7.30pm; The Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution;

7 March

Corinna Button’s Between you and me is on display at Axle Arts


University Theatre, Newton Park Campus;

8 March

LUNCH AND TALK: SPRING LUNCH Bath Society of Authors holds its spring Lunch with speaker Jean Burnett, author of Who Needs Mr Darcy? 12.30pm; booking details from diana@; Bath and County club;

FILM: MAIDEN + SATELLITE Q&A WITH TRACY EDWARDS Maiden tells the inspirational story of how Tracy Edwards, a 24-year-old cook on charter boats, became the skipper of the first ever all-female crew to enter the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1989. 6pm; Little theatre;

8 March and 16 March

8 March

10 March

THEATRE: LOVELY GIRLS – THE HICCUP PROJECT The comedic dance-theatre company present an insight, celebration and ode to being a woman in the 21st century. 7.30pm; various prices; Bath Spa University,

GUIDED WALK: FAMOUS AND INFAMOUS A 90-minute guided walk around the city by the mayor’s guides which will take in stories of 18th- and 19th-century Bath women. 2.30pm on 8 March; 2.30pm on 16 March; meet outside the entrance to the Roman Baths; TALK: DOLLY ALDERTON The Sunday Times Style columnist will be chatting growing up, heartbreak and female friendship from her bestselling début book. 7pm; various prices; Komedia;

“The atmosphere was incredible, with so many familiar faces along the route ” 46 I BATH LIFE I




tionaly a n r e t In en’s Da Wom etter rB



With the Bath Half Marathon coming up, we chat to three of its runners: The Great British Bake Off ’s Briony May, and former Olympians Emma Pooley and Heather Fell By Lisa Evans


n 17 March, 15,000 runners will be taking on the sell-out Bath Half Marathon – or the Bath Half, as it is affectionately known – one of the longestestablished and most popular city centre road events in the UK, and one of the largest charity fundraising events in the South West. In 2018, it was called off due to snow, so this year’s race – starting and finishing on Great Pulteney Street – has been long awaited. Here we chat to three of the runners...


The Great British Bake Off semi-finalist will be swapping her apron for a running vest...

Tell us about other challenges you’ve taken on in the past...

Bake Off was the biggest challenge of my life. It was completely outside my comfort zone, but I loved every minute. There’s something exciting and refreshing about making yourself do what you wouldn’t normally. Best Bake Off moments?

Winning star baker was just incredible, as was getting to the semi final; I didn’t think I’d get through the first episode. How has life been post-GBBO?

Wonderful. I’ve been working with Asda’s Good Living magazine; I’m working on my YouTube channel; and I’m booked in for lots of live baking demos at food shows this year.

Have you run the Bath Half before?

I was signed up to do it last year, but it was cancelled because of the snow. I’d raised nearly £1,000 for Parkinson’s UK and I still wanted to run it, so I ran the 13.1 miles around Bristol and then went for a roast with my family.

Briony says she lost her running mojo after Bake Off

Why have you decided to run this year?

I lost my running mojo after Bake Off, and I really wanted to get back into it. Having a race to look forward to keeps me motivated. I started running in 2016 to help with my health – both physical and mental. I did the NHS running plan ‘Couch to 5k’, then a 10k, and then the Bristol Half. You should never think you can’t run. What charity are you running for?

Jessie May, which cares for terminally ill children in Bath & North East Somerset and the surrounding area. As a parent, it’s unimaginable what the families go through on a daily basis. What will keep you going?

It always perks me up to see my daughter’s little face in the crowd; I love that she sees her mummy doing something challenging. She’s my little cheerleader. I BATH LIFE I 47


“I am driven by goals in life; that comes from my days as an athlete”

Have you run the Bath Half before?

No, but I’ve been keen to ever since I joined the Global Cycling Network as a presenter – the offices are based in Bath, so I have loads of   colleagues and friends running. Tell us about other endurance challenges you’ve completed in the past…

When I was a teenager and in my early 20s, I ran cross country, then I got into cycling due to a running injury. I ended up doing a lot of road racing and represented Britain in the Beijing, London, and Rio Olympics. I retired from cycling in order to be able to do triathlon and longer running events – my longest being Embrunman (an Ironman-length event, with mountains); the Zofingen long-distance  duathlon world championships; and, last year, my first ultra (a 70km mountain-running race). Has training for the Bath Half been difficult? Heather says she always feels better when she’s running

You’re a Bristolian, but what do you think of Bath?

I absolutely love it. I come as a treat for the day on my birthday; it’s such a beautiful city. I love Hall & Woodhouse; we have a dog, so it’s nice to pop in there for food and a few cheeky drinks. I love The Circus Restaurant, too.


Since stepping away from modern pentathlon, the sport in which she won Olympic silver at Beijing 2008, Heather has set regular goals for herself... Have you run the Bath Half before?

Yes, I loved it; the atmosphere was incredible, with so many familiar faces along the route. The best part is that it’s two laps, so you know who to look out for the second time around. Why have you decided to run this year?

I’m focussing more on running this year. I’ll build up to a marathon in April, and I’ll do an ultra marathon in June. What charity are you running for?

– the YouTube channel I present on – so there will be no hiding from a poor performance. What other challenges have you done?

I’ve cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats and sailed across the Atlantic. Since I last ran the Bath Half, I’ve competed in two Ironman triathlons, and, last summer, I rode 150 miles on a mountain bike. I am driven by goals in life; that comes from my days as an athlete. How has life been treating you recently?

I found my dream job 18 months ago, presenting for GTN, which just so happens to be based in Bath. Prior to this I was freelance, announcing and commentating at the Olympics and Paralympics and other large sporting events, but when the opportunity came up to do what I love, live in the city I love, and still have the opportunity for plenty of travel, I jumped at it. Best life moment?

Winning an Olympic medal and ending the year ranked number one in the world.

The Bath Rugby Foundation, a charity close to my heart, which I’ve had the pleasure of being involved with since 2013. Sport has had such a positive effect on my life, so I’m proud to be an  ambassador for a charity that uses the power of sport to help young people who haven’t been as lucky as myself.

My friends and I have a Saturday morning routine: a park run on the skyline tour, followed by coffee and brunch at the Darling Deli.  Sticking with Saturday, heading to The Rec to support Bath is always a highlight.

How has training gone?

What are your favourite local hangouts?

What will keep you going?


I struggle in the winter; I’m not a fan of the cold or dark. Seeing others out training helps to get me out; I always feel better when I’m running. The crowds and fellow runners; it’s the atmosphere that I plan to feed off. We will also be  covering it on Global Triathlon Network (GTN)


You live in Bath; what do you think of it?

The Beckford Bottle Shop, The Green Bird Cafe, St James’s Cafe Deli, St James Wine Vaults.  I also unwind with yoga sessions at The Hive. As one of the UK’s most successful road cyclists, winning medals at the Olympics, the World Championships and the Commonwealth Games, Emma loves all things sport...

I love running, so I always want to train. The problem is, I seem to be very susceptible to injuries. So the difficult thing for me is to  train smart, with progression that leads to improvements but avoids overdoing it. What’s in the pipeline for you? 

My big running goals this year are The Mont Blanc marathon and Sierre-Zinal (a 30km mountain race). Inspired by the need to fuel all that training, my other project is writing a recipe book called Pocket Porridge. If you want to see how the recipes turn out, you can follow @pocketporridge on Instagram. What do you think of Bath as a city?

It’s beautiful. My favourite highlight is the Bath Skyline Park run, and the lovely countryside up there so close to the city. I also love a good coffee,  so, as a treat, I go for lunch and coffee at the  Thoughtful Bakery. n Emma retired from cycling in order to participate in running events


Keep going with those new year’s resolutions

You’ll find useful advice, tips and support at BATH VET SURGERIES


fter indulging at Christmas many of us make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight and to get fit. In my experience, making the resolution is easy, but sticking with it in these cold months is much, much harder! It can be easier to keep our resolutions if we set targets and share them with a like-minded friend and who better than your faithful, four-legged, furry friend!

WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF BEING OVERWEIGHT? A 2010 UK study reported that 59% of our pet dogs were either over-weight or obese and more recent scientific studies have shown that obesity can shorten your dog’s life by up to two years. Just like humans, overweight and obese pets are at greater risk of many diseases including Diabetes Mellitus, Heart Disease, Osteoarthritis and certain cancers.

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY PET IS OVERWEIGHT? At Bath Vets we use a system called the Body Condition Score (BCS) to assess your pets weight. There are some great images of this 9 point scale on the internet, but the ideal score is 4 or 5 out of 9. The parts of the body we look at include how easily we can palpate the ribs and spinal bones, whether there is a visible waist viewed from the top and an abdominal tuck when we look from the side. If their back is flat and rectangular, like a little table, it indicates that they have too much padding around their abdomen. You should be able to feel the gentle outline of the ribs without having to ‘push’. In cats and dogs, clinical obesity is confirmed when body weight is 15% or more above ‘normal’ optimum weight and this equates to a Body Condition Score of 8 or 9. Determining a cat’s body shape can be more difficult but the BCS scale is the same. If you can see a flabby pouch hanging under their abdomen this means they are eating more calories than they need. The torso of an overweight cat will usually feel quite firm, rounded, and full- figured as well. Overweight rabbits have a large dewlap and double chin appearance.

HOW TO APPROACH WEIGHT LOSS AND EXERCISE Your vet or veterinary nurse can help you assess your pets current BCS and together you can create a healthy diet and exercise plan tailored to your pet’s needs. Having agreed a target weight for your pet, aim to achieve this over several 50 I BATH LIFE I

months but never put your pet on a ‘crash diet’. Always try to increase activity levels as well as reducing calorie consumption. Regular walking, running or taking part in something like agility classes with your dog can be sociable and great fun as well as helping keep both you and your dog fit and healthy. Cats can be more difficult to exercise but increased ‘play-time’ can be beneficial. It is important that you increase exercise gradually and that it is appropriate to the type and age and health of your dog or cat If you have an overweight cat or rabbit or if you pet is elderly or has other health problems, don’t start a diet plan before consulting your vet.

WELL DONE AND KEEP GOING! Well done to everyone who has started, and stuck to, their 2019 fitness resolution. However, it’s never too late to get started, so if you feel your pet could do with losing a pound or two then please book that first appointment for us to give you and them some support this year. We would love you to share your fitness ideas and pets successes on our Facebook page. ■

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

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 • Station Road Veterinary Surgery Lower Weston, BA1 3DY; 01225 428921 • Park Road Vets, 11 Park Road, Keynsham, Bristol, BS31 1BX 0117 9339 933


Meet the auctioneer

The local professionals give advice on buying and selling at an auction Describe your auction room… We have given our space a modern look within a Georgian Bath building with brand new glass display cabinets in various sizes which really gives sale items a quality look. We focus on displaying the items in more of a showroom style which helps buyers as well as sellers. Our showroom is open to the public during normal office hours.


MA SAN AUCTION 01225 318587; What area do you focus on? Our auction room specialises in Asian art, it is our main area of expertise. Now that we have moved into the heart of Bath we will be working with local dealers and experts to widen our sales market. Selling a broader range of items such as jewellery, European antiques and luxury goods such as handbags and watches.

Why should owners consider selling at auction? As the market for antiques is always changing, especially the Chinese market, we can never really know the true value of an item until it goes under the hammer. A small bronze Buddha which was given to us by a local lady sold for £4000 to an overseas buyer. The owner said she would have been happy for £100. These stories are very common. Tell us about your next auction… Our next sale will be in the first week of March. It will be our first in the new premises on George Street. About 400 lots of English antiques, Chinese art and jewellery. Feel free to view the items anytime! We also welcome consignments for upcoming sales.


2 Nelson Place East BA1 5DA 07768 876807; What type of valuer and auctioneer are you? I’m a charity auctioneer having raised over £1.3m in 2018 for various charities including the Bath Minerva Owl Auction, Monkton Combe’s 150th anniversary and Bath Rugby youth teams fundraisers as well as many international charities such as Action for Children, Unicef, Cancer Research and many more. I am a general auctioneer and valuer heading up the general, art, jewellery and antique valuations for Ma San Auctions on George Street who specialise in Oriental items but are expanding to fine art, jewellery and fine antiques. In addition to valuing we also buy antique art, jewellery and furniture at fair market price for our shop Altitude and Attitude. How long have you been an auctioneer? Over 15 years, having owned Criterion

Auctions in London and Bath Auctioneers. Is buying at an auction scary? Not at all, it’s as easy as 123: 1. View in person or look online, 2. Check the condition – auction houses are very happy to guide you and answer your questions, 3. Bid – in person at the auction (just register and they will give you a paddle or number). Or Leave a commission bid – the auction room will always give you the best price. Or bid live online on various platforms like or where most auctions houses in the UK upload their catalogues and photos and it easy to search for items this way.


01249 765200 What area does your auction house focus on? Strakers is one of the leading regional auctioneers in the South West, specialising in the sale of residential property, commercial premises and land. We hold eight auctions a year including a venue in Bath and cover a wide area from Bristol to Newbury and Gloucester to Salisbury and everything in between. Our bread and butter are properties for renovation, the worse the better! We sell a good number of probate sales where the property is in need of modernisation and the clients, whilst wanting a good price also want to ensure they get a sale in good time with little hassle. Your top tips for a first-time bidder? There are various things to do and consider in preparation of your first auction. From viewing the property beforehand, to checking resale figures. It’s always wise to have your finances arranged in advance and to make sure they work within the time constraints. Ask a solicitor to read through the legal pack prior is always advisable. Come to the room with a maximum figure in mind and never exceed it, no matter how hard the auctioneer pushes you! The final thing to remember is to have fun and enjoy the experience! What misconceptions exist about the auction world? The most common misconceptions include “only builders buy at auction”. In fact, the majority of buyers are private individuals looking to supplement their existing income. “You can only buy in cash” is another. Whilst a 10% deposit is payable on the night, you have 28 days to complete and many of the properties will be bought with finance. The fear of “accidently bidding” comes to many. There is always a lot of movement in the room however the auctioneer will know whether someone is genuinely bidding, a purposeful raise of the hand/bidding number always helps though. I BATH LIFE I 51


Cathy Tyson and Ron Donachie



Rough Crossing

All the world’s a stage Join Theatre Royal Bath on a journey to destinations across the globe from the comfort of your theatre seat


n 1982 it was announced that Carl Toms, who had been voted 1981 Designer of the Year by the Society of West End Theatres, would be designing the Theatre Royal’s auditorium as part of its major 1982 renovation. Toms said at the time, “I am a great believer in that sense of anticipation, of excitement, before the curtain goes up. The magic box feeling should be there”. As Shakespeare wrote, “All the world’s a stage,” and the fact that his own theatre was called The Globe is indicative of the allencompassing nature of drama. A play can take you literally anywhere, from the Houses of Parliament to Neverland. If you’re suffering from new year wanderlust, but lacking the time or wherewithal to leave Bath, join us in the ‘magic box’ on a journey to destinations across the world from the comfort of your theatre seat, as created by the plethora of leading set designers whose work will be showcased on the Theatre Royal’s stage in the coming weeks. In Noel Coward’s A Song At Twilight, bestselling author Sir Hugo Latymer and his wife live in a private suite in a luxury hotel in Switzerland, overlooking Lake Como. Here, Sir Hugo nervously awaits the arrival of an old flame, Carlotta Gray, an actress with whom he enjoyed a two-year affair more than 40 years ago. Simon Callow and Jane Asher star in this bittersweet play about harbouring secrets and regretting missed opportunities. The designer for the show is Simon Higlett, whose phenomenal set of towering furniture for The Price was one of last year’s most

Simon Callow and Jane Asher

outstanding, and who also recently designed the sets for An Ideal Husband and Vulcan 7. In Tom Stoppard’s Rough Crossing at the end of February, two famous playwrights are feverishly trying to rehearse their latest show on board an ocean liner bound for New York. Join West End musical and EastEnders star John Partridge; Olivier Award nominee Charlie Stemp, fresh from the London Palladium pantomime and Hello Dolly and Half a Sixpence on Broadway; and Fascinating Aida’s Issy van Randwyck for this comedy with songs by Andre Previn. Designer Colin Richmond created the memorable set using huge meteorological charts for last year’s World War II drama, Pressure. Ian Rankin’s creation, Inspector Rebus, is synonymous with the streets of Edinburgh. At the beginning of March, you could explore this atmospheric landscape in Rebus: Long Shadows, a brand-new Rebus story written exclusively for the stage and starring Ron Donachie, Cathy Tyson and John Stahl. The designer in this case is Ti Green, who constructed the Peruvian Andes for Touching the Void at Bristol Old Vic – an extraordinary set which Mark Lawson described in The Guardian as, “Like a smashed papier-mache Starship Enterprise.” (That show returns to Bristol Old Vic 19 – 23 March.) Stones in His Pockets will ferry you across the Irish sea to a small village in County Kerry which has been invaded by the entourage of a Hollywood blockbuster. Marie Jones’s hilarious and multi award-winning comedy is the story of two extras appearing in the film, and the culture clash between Tinseltown’s

“A play can take you literally anywhere”

A Song at Twilight 13 – 23 February Rough Crossing 25 February – 2 March Rebus: Long Shadows 4 – 9 March Stones In His Pockets 11 – 16 March Glengarry Glen Ross 18 – 23 March

romanticised dream of Ireland and the reality. The set will be designed by Tony- and Olivier Award-winning Peter McKintosh, whose extensive work for Theatre Royal Bath Productions includes God of Carnage, Relatively Speaking and Single Spies and who was Tony Award-nominated for The 39 Steps. Your whistle-stop tour could stop off in the USA where Glengarry Glen Ross takes place in Chicago, in the office of a group of real-estate salesmen. Mark Benton and Nigel Harmon lead the cast in David Mamet’s savagely entertaining smash-hit comedy, which has won every major award on Broadway and in the West End. Designs are by international stage and costume designer Chiara Stephenson, who will be working on an innovative new staging of Richard III at Bristol Old Vic this spring. And if you’d like to keep on travelling, you can visit the Ukrainian village of Anatevka in Fiddler on the Roof; the Greek Island of Cephalonia in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, or even jet off to the Planet Transsexual in the Galaxy of Transylvania at the end of The Rocky Horror Show! Anna O’Callaghan, Marketing Manager, Theatre Royal Bath, Sawclose; 01225 448844; I BATH LIFE I 53



The imaginative dishes here are happily rooted within the concept of pub grub, but it’s clear this team enjoys playfully pushing the boundaries By Lisa Evans


icture a curry. What did you think of ? A fiery-orange saucy delight with white, fluffy rice on the side is the image that enters my mind. But curry at The Old Crown in Kelston is rather different. I initially assumed that they’d got my order wrong because what was carried towards me by the waitress, on a wooden board, was a towering, rustic pie that looked like something out of a Dickensian novel. Only it wasn’t a pie; it was a hollowed-out mini loaf of bread, stood on its end, perilously wobbling, and inside sat a vibrantly purple beetroot curry, overflowing from its fresh-baked dwelling, starring great big chunks of the root vegetable in a gently spiced sauce blended from the same ingredient. Instead of a rice accompaniment, it came with the loaf ’s innards, which were balled up and lightly toasted. Interesting. I was


impressed by its unapologetic individuality. I was more impressed, though, by the flavours of my starter: a smoky harissa-spiced aubergine hummus, studded with the freshness of torn coriander and sweet bursts of pomegranate seeds, ready to be shovelled up with charred flatbread. The husband went for a curried beetroot soup to start – sounds familiar – and for his main, he plumped for a pub-grub favourite: a beef burger. On the six-ounce patty nestled halloumi, bacon, tomato, lettuce and onion mayonnaise, and it was served with some of the best skinny fries I’ve ever tried – we ordered a second batch just to make sure. There were yet more pub classics up for grabs – fish and chips, and pie and mash – as well as more imaginative dishes, such as South African bunny chow, crab sausage rolls, and chargrilled broccoli with cashew nut butter, all prepared in the open kitchen.

“I was impressed by its unapologetic individuality”

The former Butcombe Brewery-owned boozer has been open for three years now, and the interior still looks newly refurbished while managing to preserve the venue’s traditional personality. We hunkered down to enjoy our choices in the most adorable setting: next to a blazing fire, sat in a booth in a snug little nook of the dining room. There are wooden tabletops, old beams, exposed stone walls, and beautifully blemished mirrors; it’s full of historic charm and character. It was pretty ideal after the snowy week we’d had – so snowy, in fact, that I’d had to cancel my original booking a few days prior as I couldn’t safely drive there. It felt like a proper winter hideaway; a cosy city escape. It’s a buzzy local hangout, too; we were the only ones in the restaurant – because we bagged an early sitting before the actual opening hours – but the bar area was already packed. We had to squeeze our way through crowds of tipsy, hooting blokes, and their very sweet labrador and spaniel companions, to make our way to one of the three dining areas, and that was only at 5pm. We ploughed on with dessert: hot chocolate mousse – with a cakey crust – and caramel-crunch ice cream for me, and an apple and blackberry crumble with vanilla ice cream for him. This was just the satisfying, hearty ticket for a chilly evening. Come here with an open mind, though; if you’re prone to book-cover-judging, you’ll expect conventional country pub fare here, but it’s clear that the playful kitchen crew enjoys a spot of rule bending. And we’re more than happy to play along. n

DINING DETAILS The Old Crown Inn, Kelston Road, Kelston, Bath, BA1 9AQ; 01225 423032; In a nutshell A country pub, set away from the city, with a contemporary craft edge We ate Aubergine hummus; curried beetroot soup; beetroot curry; beef burger; hot chocolate mousse with caramel ice cream; apple and blackberry crumble Head chefs Josh Morris and Daniel Craythorn Veggie choices Four starter options, and three mains

Prices Starters £6 each; mains £7 – £18; dessert £1.50 – £12 Drinks A concise list of wines, ports and boozy coffees, as well as a huge selection of beers and ales on tap Service/ atmosphere Friendly, homely, traditional and playful What else? There’s a huge outdoor events space. The garden is fully enclosed, with room for up to 150 guests, and is available to hire for weddings and parties. The Six Nations is currently screening in their garden lodge I BATH LIFE I 55


TAKE 5 Meet Tom Pople, the manager

of The Canary Gin Bar in Bath. Here he talks tempting ingredients, tongue-in-cheek packaging and how to make the perfect G&T The Canary Gin Bar…where did the name came from? The Canary is named as a homage to the Canary Tea Rooms, the small business that was in 2-3 Queen Street before us. Did you always want to work with gin? Over the years, I’ve run several bars and restaurants and always enjoyed working with spirits like whisky and rum, but gin is on another level. Gins can vary widely from each other, making it an exciting spirit to work with. It’s still so popular year on year, with new and innovative products still being released. You’ve recently moved haven’t you? We have indeed. All of our gin production and bottling took place in our small distillery in the cellars of The Canary Gin Bar on Queen

Street. However, we have outgrown the humble beginnings and have moved to a larger, more manageable site in Cotterell Court, just opposite The Scallop Shell. It’s still very much in central Bath, but no more running up and down several flights of stairs with hundreds of bottles of gin. You have your own distillery – what’s the secret to making delicious gin? The flavours commonly found in gin have changed massively over recent years, some even straying further and further from its classic juniper roots. When we created Bath Gin, we wanted to create an easydrinking London Dry (‘quaffable’ was the word) with a subtle, savoury palette. Using kaffir lime leaves and wormwood as botanicals means that it’s not too powerful to dissuade you from having another.

From the gins you make, do you have any favourites? As well as our distillery classic, we also have a hopped rhubarb gin and an orange sloe gin. The hopped rhubarb is designed to be a drier rhubarb gin – unlike a lot of what’s on the market – and I love it with Mediterranean tonic. The orange sloe was launched recently at Bath Christmas Market and has gone down a storm, but that’s best to be taken straight or on the rocks. Your packaging and branding are quite fun… Our branding has always revolved around Bath, and, at The Canary Gin Bar, we’ve always had ‘Gin Austen’ as a fictional brand ambassador. ‘Gin Austen’ has taken us travelling to Africa and New York, and, most recently, we hosted a murder mystery party – the drinks being named after Cluedo characters, and created as quirky twists on classics.

always been international gin day in June; for this, we take over Queen Street and host a street party, inviting a few gin producers to host some stalls and getting all the nearby local businesses involved. It’s always great, and even better when Bath Boules is just around the corner! For anyone not keen on G&Ts, is there any concoction that you could tempt them with? In my experience, if people say they don’t like a G&T, it’s usually Indian tonic that’s put them off. A softer flavoured gin with a Mediterranean tonic, ginger ale or rose lemonade usually surprises people.

“We converted the cellars of the bar into a botanical laboratory”

You also host events... After the move to the larger distillery, we converted the cellars of the bar into a botanical laboratory with several hundred botanicals to play with, as well as stills for prototype products and a few different infusions. We offer tours of all the interesting things in the cellar, with the chance to get hands-on with all the botanicals. As well as this, ginmaking experiences are available. The largest event of the year has

How do you make the perfect G&T? It all depends on the mixer, garnish and ratio of mixer to gin. Always try and use a lot of ice, too. The mixer is down to personal taste; Indian tonic is pretty standard, but not everyone enjoys it. The garnish should support the gins’ flavours and botanicals, and it doesn’t hurt to make it look pretty. Putting a slice of lemon into every gin is a common mistake. If it’s a subtle gin, you’re just going to make it taste of lemon. At Canary, we always serve to a 3:1 ratio of mixer to gin, meaning a double (50ml) G&T will use 150ml tonic, or 3/4 of a standard FeverTree bottle. I BATH LIFE I 57


THE FORAGER FROM FROME If you’ve always wanted to forage but haven’t been sure where to begin, the new book from local horticulturist and writer David Hamilton could be just the ticket. The Frome resident has written Family Foraging, a book that looks at 30 edible plants commonly found in our parks, woodlands and hedgerows. It shows you how to identify them safely and gather them to make recipes that are easy to create and are tempting and nutritious for young children. The plants are organised by season and there are things to make throughout the year, including puffball kebabs, sea beet huff-a-puffs, staghorn sumac lemonade, sweet potato and chestnut burgers, and hazelnut chocolate spread. The book will be available from 7 March and David will be chatting about foraging at the event from Topping and Company Booksellers of Bath on 28 April.

For more:

The eggs come from happy birds

EGG-CITING NEWS Bath can claim to have its very own egg. Family-run New Macdonald’s Farm, located in Neston Estate near Bath, has recently launched an egg called The Bath White. The farm, which is due to receive its official organic status this year, is owned and run by partners Matthew and Lou Macdonald. “These eggs are very popular with chefs because of their freshness and consistency in size and quality,” says Lou. “All our chickens enjoy living in small freerange flocks, with constant access to grassy pastures, and are fed a100 per cent premium organic diet with all the added extras (including pro biotics and herbs). Quality and welfare are our biggest priorities, as we feel happy birds lay the best eggs.” The Bath White eggs are available at Neston Farm Shop and Kitchen, Hartley Farm Shop and Kitchen, Newton Farm Foods, through Three Bags Full delivery, Widcombe Deli, Eades grocers, and directly from the farm. For more: Facebook: newmacdonaldfarm1


Get creative at Woolley Grange Hotel

ART AND EAT Those keen to capture the joys of spring and

enjoy some culinary delights may be interested in the Art and Eat event at Woolley Grange Hotel in Bradford on Avon. Guests will create a piece of art inspired by the spring gardens at Woolley; artist Mandy Mills will show you how to use the materials and techniques to create your own artwork. Afterwards, tuck into a twocourse lunch in the restaurant. The event runs from10am-2pm; £35 pp for workshop and lunch. For more:

David will be in Bath this spring to chat about the book

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.


BUGGING OUT Sarina Saddiq is the founder of SmartSquid, an online one-woman business, based in Midford, Bath, which fashions sustainable goods – such as clothing, jewellery and homeware – that aim to spark eco conversations. The 23-year-old started SmartSquid in 2012, while she was at school, and she hand-crafts her environmentally friendly creations – which tend to feature underrated creatures – from her garden workshop. “I design and screen-print everything myself,” says Sarina, whose designs you may have already seen at Green Park Station Market, Bath, where she used to trade. “I source clothing made from sustainable fibres – usually organic cotton or fabric made from recycled plastic bottles – to use as a base for my designs, then I screen-print on to them using organic inks.


Inter 2019 Wom national en’s D ay #Bala nce forBe


Makeup bag, £11; coin purse, £8, from SmartSquid; I BATH LIFE I 61

GEOMETRIC FRIDA PRINT, £29.95 Inspired by a Mexican icon, this print has been given a modern, multifaceted edge which will perfectly suit the contemporary home From Graham and Green, 92 Walcot Street, Bath;

LITTLE PEOPLE, BIG DREAMS BOOKS, £9.99 EACH With quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, this empowering series celebrates the important life stories of wonderful women of the world From Rossiters of Bath, 38-41 Broad Street, Bath;

FEMALE OF THE SPECIES International Women’s Day is coming up on 8 March. Just in time for the global celebration, here’s our edit of local treats for the most inspiring women you know...

BANGLE, £45 Hand-stamped with the words ‘Nevertheless she persisted’ is this sterling silver bangle, from the all-female team at Honey Willow. “As my own daughter has gotten older, she has complained of being talked over by boys in the classroom,” says Rhiannon Hamilton, the business owner. “I want her never to forget that she has a right to speak up for herself and a right to be heard.” From Honey Willow, 130 Walcot Street, Bath;

HAIRY LEGS CLUB PRINT, £15.50 An illustration to celebrate body hair, created, with humour in mind, by Boxbased designer Katy Berwick, who has been creating feminist artwork since 2017 From Drop the Dog, Box; WATCH ME CONQUER PRINT, £12 Designer Juliet Catton creates inspiring word-art prints and calendars at her kitchen table in Bear Flat, Bath. Use the code ‘Bath Life’ for 25 per cent off all products, ending on 8 March From Good JuJu Explores, Bath; and 62 I BATH LIFE I

ED’S CHOICE I AM STRONG PRINT, £350 FRAMED This limited-edition Wonder Woman-inspired painting is by artist Emelie Hryhoruk, who creates her ‘supers’ in her garden studio in Chippenham. She sells her work – originals, created using acrylics and spray paints, as well as prints and posters – online. Did you spot her work on our front cover already? From Pop Art Portraiture, Chippenham;

WHO RUN THE WORLD? GIRLS PRINT, FROM £3.75 Queen Bey would approve of this print taking centre stage in your living room From Cosy Prints, Melksham;

FEMINISTS DON'T WEAR PINK (AND OTHER LIES), £12.99 Funny, powerful and personal writing by women, for women, about what the ‘F word’ means to them From Topping & Company Booksellers of Bath, The Paragon, Bath;

SHE WHO DARES WINS WALL ART, £10 Chippenham-based artist Yasmin Morris hand-draws or paints all of her punchy designs before either scanning them or digitally editing them From Minniemorrisart, Chippenham;

FRIDA CUSHION, £25 Artist Amanda ArcherBrown creates silkscreen printed pieces, such as colour-clash cushions, tees and totes, from her home in Batheaston. We particularly love this cushion adorned with feminist icon Frida Kahlo’s face From SilkScreenKiss, Bath; I BATH LIFE I 63

IT’S ONLY NATURAL There is a relaxed elegance about SS19, with soft, neutral colours at the fore. In basic terms, we’re looking at a spectrum of beige. Here are some of our favourite pieces we’ve come across locally

By Lisa Evans


ename it what you wish – ‘modern oatmeal’, ‘bare biscuit’, ‘spiced caramel’ – but the catwalks were clear on next season’s shade: be more beige. The neutral, along with balmy yellows and golden tones, has snuck into collections as diverse as Max Mara, Balmain and Burberry, and head-to-foot is how the fashion devotees will be wearing it come spring. Beige doesn’t have to be boring; prints can be worn all-over, clashing cheerfully without a care for what goes with what. And there will be no getting away from folk elements, either – from patchwork Seventies-era crochet to macramé appliqué – the crafty theme is set to be a dominant one. As for shapes, bold shoulders are no new thing, but rather than padded styles, next season’s take is a whole lot puffier. And the ‘it’ item of the season? If you’re in the mood for utility, go for an all-in-one boiler suit, especially in shades of white and cream. When it comes to footwear, teetering perilously atop stiletto heels is out, comfy flats are in. Go down-to-earth with a pair of Birkenstocks when the sun starts to peep out, or keep those tootsies snug in block-heeled boots. We may have another few months to wait before we can truly indulge, but, until then, we can have a lot of fun conjuring up visions of our neutral, sophisticated spring aesthetic.

Annette Görtz reversible coat, £499, Blue Women and Home at The Loft, 1-2 Bartlett Street, Bath;








5 6





1. Patek Philippe watch, £34,730, Mallory, 1-5 Bridge Street, Bath; 2. Button Bee top, £34.99, Mistral, 20 New Bond Street, Bath; 3. Handbag, £65, Portman, 28 Milsom Street, Bath; 4. Lolly’s Laundry Nina Knit, £79, Maze, 19 Green Street, Bath; 5. Rundholz DIP trousers, £279, Blue Women and Home at The Loft, 1-2 Bartlett Street, Bath; www. 6. Cotton shirt, £275, Waller & Wood, 4 Abbey Green, Bath; 7. Birkenstocks, £70, Spirit Fashion, 3 High Street, Devizes; 8. Annie Beardsley earrings, £65, available at Waller & Wood, 4 Abbey Green, Bath; 9. Pernille Corydon Alpha hoops, £68, Found, 17 Argyle Street, Bath; 10. Leopard print boots, £140, DuoBoots, 33 Milsom Street, Bath; 11. Silk skirt, £225, Toast, 7 Bartlett Street, Bath; I BATH LIFE I 65



What is Functional Medicine and why should we care? Helen Adams of OAKMEAD CLINIC explains…


oo often we have conditions which are hard to treat – we can feel we're a pain for our GP and there's no answer. That's why we should take notice of Functional Medicine. Functional Medicine is all about you – it’s about the story you have to tell, and how a myriad of causes throughout life can contribute to the set of symptoms we know as illness. It started in America nearly 30 years ago and is now practised by doctors and nutritionists worldwide. You may have heard the phrase: food is medicine. Functional medicine uses food as the first line of treatment before medication. This doesn’t mean you should arbitrarily stop taking medications – it means you should see them as a “pill for an ill” – prescribed in order to manage symptoms. If changes to your diet and lifestyle reduce your symptoms, then that warrants a conversation with your doctor to ensure you are taking only as much as you need.

This can help the problem of ‘poly-pharmacy’ where one drug is prescribed to manage the sideeffects of another drug, which is managing the side-effects of another. Functional Medicine practitioners are rigorous in their use of scientific evidence to really understand what happens deep inside the body, and ensure recommendations are based on solid scientific research. Lifestyle is incredibly relevant – from the amount of daily movement to the ability to cope with stress, and ‘me-time’ for better resilience to deal with the knocks of daily life. Impacts on the immune system can result in all sorts of chronic health conditions, from auto-immune diseases to type 2 diabetes. Functional Medicine certified practitioners undergo extensive education over many years, culminating in a rigorous exam and we have to keep our knowledge current with regular updates. I am one of only 21 certified in the UK. What would you expect from my consultation? It would be a little different: expect to allow an hour and a half for a first meeting. I will ask a lot of

questions and then join the pieces together to get to the root cause of the issues. We may need some more detailed lab tests, and I will certainly want a food diary. Clients are often worried about changing their diet in case it doesn’t fit their lifestyle. I start from wherever you are right now, incorporating changes that are relatively easy and practical, and then build on that. Reviews are very important to ensure that you haven’t hit road blocks and to see how your health is progressing. ■

For more information about Helen and the services she offers visit or to book a free discovery session email Wilf Adams on or call 07846 620453

We are Bath’s new dress agency boutique selling luxury and premium brand items alongside local designer, Nancy Rose's millinery. You will enjoy a curated collection of new and preloved women’s and menswear including shoes, handbags and accessories at very competitive prices in a relaxed and friendly environment. We also carry a great selection of Sumptuous gowns for special occasions (to buy and to hire) and Nancy Rose is in store with her unique hat collection for sale, hire or to discuss bespoke designs. We look forward to meeting you!

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


Could you be a winner?

READY, SET…WIN? The Bath Life Awards are fast approaching and there is only one question on everyone’s lips: who will win? And look out for a special bumper issue full of awards coverage that Bath Life will be publishing on 15 March, featuring the official awards review. Excitement is building ahead of the uberglam ceremony at the Assembly Rooms on 28 February including Twitter going off the scale. Those in the running attended a packed, celebratory Sponsors’ and Finalists’ Reception with delicious drinks and canapés at Walcot House. It was a special event to highlight the achievement being shortlisted amidst record number of nominations. All there also met the sponsors – themselves at a record level, including the headliners, the Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa, along with their brand partner Taittinger. “It was wonderful to have our finalists and sponsors all together to celebrate the awards,” says Steph Dodd, event director at MediaClash, Bath Life’s publisher. “We’re now getting very excited for the big night. We can’t wait to see Bath’s business community celebrating together again. Good luck to all!” Tickets have been in very short supply again, with many already on the waiting list. Please check on Twitter for the latest updates or with the MediaClash events team. @BathLifeAwards


Team tickets for the much-loved Bath Boules charity event in Queen Square go on sale on 13 March. Tickets sell out every year: to guarantee a ticket, companies can become a Little Boules Sponsor. Bath Boules, June 14-16, sponsored by Royds Withy King.


BATH IN TRAINING Bath professionals are being given the opportunity to get CPR trained, courtesy of a partnership between Nationwide Building Society and Bath BID. The Nationwide Building society in Bath is to hold a series of training events with the aim to train one employee from every business to be able to confidently deliver CPR. In addition to the training, the Bath branch has received a grant from Nationwide to install a defibrillator, which should be installed this spring. “Before the UK-wide CPR programme back in 2016 I’d never thought about training in CPR, but now I’m trained to help others pick up the skills which feels so rewarding," says Kirsty Marsh, customer

representative at the Nationwide Bath branch. To register, contact Kirsty by email: For more


Daisy Burr, Kirsty Marsh and Rob Burrows from Nationwide

The University of Bath has Wages will be going up been accredited as a Living for University of Bath Wage employer, meaning employees Bath will pay at least the voluntary living wage of £9 an hour to all staff – significantly higher than the national living wage set by the government, which is currently at £7.83 for over 25s. The living wage will positively affect more than 300 employees and will be implemented in staff’s April salaries. £9 is the figure set currently by the Living Wage Foundation to reflect a truer cost of living once inflation is fully secure accreditation by the Living Wage taken into account. Foundation. As a trades union, UNISON “These are financially challenging firmly believes that paying the real times for the sector and it is important living wage is not only the right thing to that we invest our resources in the right do, but makes excellent business sense, things,” says Richard Brooks, director of and we applaud the University for taking human resources at the University. this step. “I am delighted that our commitment “We hope that other universities will to paying the Voluntary Living Wage has engage with their UNISON branches been recognised in this way.” to gain Living Wage Foundation Simon Newell, regional organiser for accreditation and follow the University of UNISON says, “We are pleased to have Bath’s lead on this.” For more: worked with the University of Bath to MEDIACLASH.CO.UK I BATH LIFE I 115 69

Hawker Joinery then and now




James Haskell and the team at F45 breaking out in healthy sweat

Hawker Joinery celebrated 100 years of making bespoke joinery with a grand dinner and dance at the Pump Room of the Roman Baths attended by the Mayor of Bath, Councillor Patrick Anketell Jones. Originally founded by Frederick William Hawker in 1919, the company began life by making crane boxes for the globally renowned Bath company Stothert and Pitt. Frederick established a base at the rear of his home in Northend, Batheaston, that evolved into 20,000sqf plus of workshops. Through four family generations, Hawker grew to become one of the best-known heritage businesses that has cared for many properties from Windsor Castle to the Royal Crescent and everything in between. Hawker has recently benefitted by significant investment that sees it operate from a brand new Frome based workshop and will be opening a new sales and display office on Queen's Parade Place, Bath, in March this year. For more:

A new boutique called Sumptuous Designwear has arrived on Walcot Street. The company, founded in 2012 by Cathy Wilkin, has moved here from Bristol and sells new and preloved luxury and premium brand items on behalf of clients such as evening and partywear, gowns and leatherwear. Also on offer are bespoke hats and fascinators and hair accessories from Nancy Rose Hats. “In essence, our boutique is a treasure trove of lovely, greatquality items, with fresh pieces going out onto the shop floor several times a week," says Cathy. "We strive to ensure that our shop is a relaxing, enjoyable and fun




Nancy Rose and Cathy Wilkin

space for people to come and treat themselves to something new, far below the usual retail price.”

England rugby player James Haskell has brought Australia’s biggest gym chain to Bath. F45 Bath is a group-training gym that provides 45 minute, high-intensity, circuit training workouts and is based on Avon Street. “The classes see you doing every exercise under the sun, from push ups to star jumps, bike sprints to dumbbell curls, all with the aid of TV screens in front of you, allowing you to mimic the movement being shown," says James. “What makes F45 so special is the amazing 'feel good' vibe we try to create. Everybody is encouraged to go at their own pace, be it hard and fast, or gentle and slow. The goal is to make sure that everybody enjoys the experience as much as possible! I've always loved Bath because of its rugby history; my wife [Chloe Madeley] and I love any excuse to visit. It was also a perfect location for F45 because there were no other class based gyms in the city centre, which has now changed; however, I feel confident that the feel-goodfamily-vibe that comes with F45 sets it apart from the other gyms out there.” For more:


getting my hands on one. With my son approaching full-time education, my wife and I finally took the plunge in an effort to get me back home. How did you begin, and how have you grown the company? Starting cautiously with two T5 campers which we kept outside our house, we set up a website and started taking bookings. Keeping our jobs running, we tested and tweaked to get our offer just right. Once confident there was a demand, we sold the T5s, bought four new T6 California Oceans and acquired a bigger garage. This presence raised our profile significantly and gave our customers more confidence in our company. We added an automatic California last year and have two more on order ready for the 2019 season.

HERE COMES THE SUN Parenthood brings with it many changes – it can sometimes even be the catalyst to a whole new career path. Stuart Shotton of Sun Kissed Campers tells us how becoming a dad set him and his partner on the path to self employment When did you first get the campervan bug? Before parenthood, Janifa and I were more than happy to throw a small tent and a bit of kit into the car and head off to a festival or into the hills at the drop of a hat. But once the boy came along, our camping gear grew and grew. Camping became a bit of a chore and I found myself enviously looking at people in their campervans. They offered a taste of the easy life we once enjoyed.

And when and why did you decide that you could turn this into a living? For too many years I had been splitting my time between working in Birmingham and family life back in the West Country. I had been involved in the arts since graduating and was ready for a new challenge. I’d noticed camping fields slowly being taken over by vans, and as I couldn’t justify buying one for myself; starting up in business seemed the best way of

Does the location of Bath lend itself to your business? Yes and no! It is a double-edged sword. It is good to be accessible for locals to be able to pick up a camper head off on holiday quickly. We are also well connected by rail to attract Londoners, Bristol airport is close by for European visitors and Bath is a great draw for International visitors from the US, Australia etc. The M4 and M5 are both great, too; we get people travelling from all parts of the UK to collect a camper en route to the South West. But on the downside, Bath is a small city. Spaces for a business like ours are few and seem to be just as attractive to residential developers.

camper to be designed and made entirely by VW. That may sound obvious, but every other VW camper you see is a secondary refit. The attention to detail in the California is quite astounding. First up it has a central control panel. This raises the pop-up roof, keeps your huge fridge chilled and your heating just right. We are talking off-grid luxury. The leisure batteries stay charged for days. We send them off to Glastonbury Festival, confident they won’t lose power during the event. We offer extras for customers who need them, like roof bars and carriers to secure cycles, boards and kayaks, and bell tents, awnings, glamping, fire pits and toilets. If we don’t have it listed, we will try our best to source it! You say “having worked in the arts and charity sector we understand the value of social giving” – can you tell us how this translates into the charities you support? I think it is important that local businesses should be part of the community. We are not cash-rich, so we try to support a couple of charities through providing campervan holidays as prizes. We have supported numerous charity fundraisers, events and clubs over the past four years, the latest being homeless charity Julian House and the Bristol-based charity Jessie May Children’s Hospice at Home.

What makes the VW such an iconic campervan? It is clear that nostalgia drives a certain VW camper market. But honestly, that’s not where Sun Kissed Campers is at. I like my music fresh, my home carbon neutral and my campers design-led.

What are your plans for 2019 and where would you like to see the company in five years? The fleet is growing again this year. Expansion is an expensive business which has needed a lot of investment. Within five years, I want to have a stable fleet and to have found a permanent base.

Tell us about some of its special features... The California Ocean is the only VW






Bringing you the latest in rugby news

Jonathan Joseph is happily staying at the club

Two Bath rugby fan-favourites have committed their future to the Blue, Black and Whites. Jonathan Joseph and Chris Cook will be running out at The Rec again next season after both re-signing with the club. Jonathan, who is currently in Portugal with England ahead of the Guinness Six Nations, is nearing a century of appearances for the Blue, Black and White since joining in 2013. “I’m really excited about my future with Bath,” says Joseph. I want to say thank you to everyone at the club who has put in the time and focus in getting me back out on the pitch. One of my main reasons for staying with Bath is that I believe in everything we want to achieve together as a squad and how we plan to get there.” Born and bred in the city, Chris has made over 120 appearances for the club since making his first team début against Cardiff Blues in 2010. A graduate of the academy, Cook brings a vast amount of experience to the number


nine jersey. “It’s massively exciting to have re-signed. It’s not common for players to stay at a club for this long. I always play with my heart on my sleeve and put everything into it,” says Chris. “I dreamt of playing on The Rec as a kid and to have over 120 caps is really special.” Leaving the club will be Dave Attwood, who joined the club at the start of the 2011/12 season and has made 147 appearances for Bath. “This was a really difficult decision for both the club and Dave, but it’s a move that’s the right one for his future,” says director of rugby, Todd Blackadder. “Dave has been a great servant to Bath Rugby over the last seven seasons and played a key role in helping the club to the premiership final during the 2014/15 campaign.” Dave will be leaving at the end of the season and heading to Bristol Bears. For more:

BUSINESS MATTERS DIARY From networking breakfasts to invaluable evening courses, make a note of the courses and classes that will help your business flourish 26TH FEBRUARY BUSINESS ESSENTIALS This practical one-day event will provide you with the essential tools and information you need to set up and run your new business. Key topics covered include planning your business and understanding your customers. 9.30am-5.30pm; Bath and County Club; 28 FEBRUARY BATH LIFE AWARDS Glitz, glamour, music and 500 people coming together for a huge celebration of the top businesses in Bath. The Assembly Rooms; 6TH MARCH STARTING IN BUSINESS This interactive session will introduce you to the basic concepts of running a business, what starting a business entails and how to put together a proper business plan. 9am-5pm; Bath and County Club; 28 FEBRUARY GO GET NETWORKING One hour of networking in a relaxed environment, followed by a 15-minute talk. 9.30am-11.15am; Apex City of Bath Hotel;

Juice Recruitment welcomes Joe Stas


A new book published in Bath aims to help separating parents. 101 Questions Answered About Separating with Children was printed by Bath Publishing following an idea from social enterprises OnlyMums and OnlyDads. The book includes contributions from a number of expert family solicitors, barristers, mediators and other professionals. It covers the legal landscape, how to cope with the psychological impact of separation, what it means for children involved, and where parents can get further help and support. The informative book contains expert advice from senior associate Sarah Wasaya, a member of Stone King’s Family and Mediation Team. “I was delighted to contribute to this book and think parents will find it provides some much-needed clarity at a difficult time,” says Sarah. For more:


The award-winning Apex City of Bath Hotel is celebrating a successful 2018 for its conference and events facilities, which brought in over one million pounds. The £50 million property, which opened on the city’s James Street West in 2017, is Bath’s largest and only purposebuilt city centre conference facility. Outside of conference and events, room figures for the hotel equates to £6 million and 48,000 room nights over the 12 months. For more:


Joe Stas has recently joined Juice Recruitment as creative recruitment consultant for Bath. Joe will be recruiting in the marketing, media, digital, design and PR sectors for Bath’s brands. For more:

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Why you need a Will Local legal expert HELEN STARKIE explains…


esearch by ‘Which’ shows that almost two thirds of us have no Will in place. About half of those interviewed (so about one third of us) said they had nothing worth leaving, and the remaining interviewees were pretty evenly divided between it not having occurred to them or being ‘too busy’. There is an assumption that ‘the law will sort it out’ if no Will is left – and in some cases, the Laws of Intestacy will do the necessary – but that should not be taken for granted. And if you need evidence for that then it is a sobering thought that in the last five years or so the number of people requesting advice on how to challenge a Will has apparently risen by 120%. Your estate may well be more valuable than you think. For example, people often forget that they have insurance policies which may pay out to their estate on death. Married couples and couples in Civil Partnerships often assume that if one of them dies the other will inherit everything. Not necessarily true! If the couple are childless then the spouse/civil partner will inherit, but if they have children then the spouse/civil partner will inherit the deceased spouse’s personal possessions, the first £250,000 of their assets (the value of which may include the value of their interest in the couple’s home) and one half of anything over and above that. The rest will pass to the children. There have been cases where a bereaved spouse has had to sell their home to pay out their children. Talking of marriage and civil partnerships, couples need to bear in mind that, if they have made Wills before marrying or becoming civil partners, those Wills will be revoked by that marriage or partnership unless they have been expressly made ‘in contemplation’ of it. The situation is more complex for those who live together but are not legally married or partnered. These now form a very significant part of our population. Currently some 4 million people are in this sort of relationship and the number is growing. Many of those involved believe that they will have rights as ‘common-law spouses’ but there are no such rights under the Laws of Intestacy. The estate of one party to such an arrangement will pass to his or her nearest family member, not their cohabitee. It is very important to understand this when, for example, buying a home together. The way you own the property (as tenants in common or as beneficial joint tenants) will make an enormous difference to the way in which the deceased

“MARRIED COUPLES AND COUPLES IN CIVIL PARTNERSHIPS OFTEN ASSUME THAT IF ONE OF THEM DIES THE OTHER WILL INHERIT EVERYTHING. NOT NECESSARILY TRUE!” person’s interest in it is dealt with on their death. This is not to say that an individual who survives their partner cannot challenge the position which has arisen as a result of the intestacy. If they were being or ought to have been being supported by the deceased in his or her lifetime then they may make a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. But claims of this kind are notoriously expensive to bring – and they are slow. It may be years before things are finalised. There is no sense in leaving things in such a state that this avenue is the only one available to one’s partner. The expected cost of making a Will can be a

deterrent, of course, and the press is expert at bandying around some pretty terrifying figures, but you would probably be pleasantly surprised by the real cost – and if you are a charity supporter you may take advantage of a free Will scheme run by solicitors in support of certain charities (we run such a scheme for Amnesty in March and for the Friends of the RUH later in the year – if you leave the charity something in your Will we give our time drafting it free of charge). So cost is not a good excuse! We are all going to die one day. Why on earth would we not want to plan wisely for the aftermath of that as we would for any lifetime event? ■

Helen Starkie Solicitor 5 Gay Street, Bath BA1 2PH 01225 442353; I BATH LIFE I 75



When Vanessa Sayce and her family moved into this farmhouse in Kelston, there were chickens living in the kitchen and the roof was falling off. Through her clear vision and interiors expertise (and a lot of hard graft!), it has been transformed...

Words by Harriet Noble Photography by Nick Cole



rom the outside, this Kelston property looks like a traditional stone farmhouse. Step inside, however, and you are surrounded with a colour palette and style that are more contemporary. The large proportions of the rooms may give away its age (1870) but the décor, where biscuit-coloured furniture and creamy furnishings are aplenty, is clean, fresh and exudes warmth at every turn. It is perhaps not surprising to learn that interiors are Vanessa’s bread and butter; she owns local interiors company The Marmalade House. In fact, she works from home and even runs workshops from there, too. So, how do make your family home also your office and a workshop? And where do you begin on such a huge restoration project? We chatted to Vanessa to find out... What did your house look like when you bought it?

We’ve been at Roundhill for nearly 14 years now, but when we bought it, it was very much like Cold Comfort Farm. It had been in the same farming family for 350 years, had never been on the open market and was extraordinary. A large extended family lived in it, with cows in the garden, chickens in the kitchen, three-legged sheepdogs tied up to old beer barrels in the yard, and, all around, bits of stone and roof were falling off. There was one broken sink in the kitchen, one loo in the whole house, none of the windows were fitted – there were bars on them ‘to keep the decorators out’ – and the whole place was covered in ivy. Inside, everything was burgundy, but I could see light streaming in from the beautiful big windows and knew that it needed someone to re-love it and appreciate the grandeur it had. Looking back, buying it was a mad thing to do. We couldn’t really afford it; we had three small children under four, and little did we know the enormity of what lay ahead of us. It wasn’t until the family moved out and took their furniture with them, the wallpaper fell off the walls (furniture was the only thing holding it up) and the whole place looked as though it had been set on fire. When we ripped up the flea-infested carpets, there were six layers of newspaper, dating back to the 1920s, and, underneath, a layer of maggots squashed into original buried flagstones. It was at this point I cried. Fourteen years later, it is still a work in progress and we have our ancient barns still to tackle. Not for the faint-hearted!

“We ripped up the fleainfested carpets, there were six layers of newspaper, dating back to the 1920s” I BATH LIFE I 77

RESIDENCE What was your vision for the décor of the interior of the house?

I knew the burgundy had to go. I also knew that I needed to just live in the house for a few months as it was to get the feel of the space (it was much bigger than we were used to) to see where the light fell and how, as a family, we would use the house. Painful as those months were, it was the best decision we could have made, as it meant we could feel our way into how we could make the house ours. It was a mix of ancient farmhouse, with thick walls and flagstones, and later Georgian additions – high ceilings, cornicing and large spacious rooms with triple Georgian windows. Light became my focus, and I knew I wanted soft neutral colours that would make the two styles of the house flow, and make the most of the feeling of space. With ancient grey flagstones in the hallway, kitchen and playroom, light walls became not just a nice thing to have, but a necessity. The rest of my plan followed from there. My own style is rustic, French and Gustavian chic, with earthiness and muted tones. You create interior design pieces for a living – does this mean your home is full of your own creations?

Yes, absolutely. I have painted most of the furniture (years ago, this was why I set up Marmalade House, as my family were tired of me reinventing our furniture on a regular basis – they begged me to paint for other people). I also find, source and create pieces constantly. One of my main projects in the early days was to have a fireplace made for the cavernous opening we found behind an old gas heater. I found a stone lecturer at Bath University, who made it in pieces and then thrashed it with bicycle chains to age it.

The oatmeal-coloured bathroom is both rural and contemporary


You lived in the Middle East for a while – has this impacted the way you designed your house? 

We were lucky enough to live in Oman for five years, and my time there has definitely influenced my interior style. I loved the large, solid furniture you’d find there – mostly made of sustainable hardwood – and I fell in love with mango wood years ago before it had even reached our shores. I spent hours at a boatyard in Sur picking up pieces of aged wood, and knew I could do something with them one day. We also travelled to Yemen and Dubai to buy rustic pieces, which we still have now. Your house is not just your home, it is also where you run your business. Is it possible to keep your work and home life separate?

No, not really. For me, home is work and work is home. But it does all fit. We are used to a very busy home life, with guests, clients, course-goers and location shoots and crew in and out. It means the house constantly evolves and there is never a dull day. My children have their own spaces to escape to, and have learned to appreciate people and a certain amount of chaos around them. My husband’s work takes him all over the world, so I try and keep a sense of calm when he is home. We relish times when there is just us in the house, but more often than not we have friends or neighbours who call in and stay, or join us around our kitchen table.

“My own style is rustic, French and Gustavian chic, with earthiness and muted tones”


Homeowner and interiors expert Vanessa Sayce I BATH LIFE I 79

What local shops did you raid for your décor?

We have used local craftsmen wherever possible, and my kitchen was a big project that I had to get right. I worked with Abbey Kitchens (who used to have a workspace on Walcot Street but now operate in Bristol) and ordered Burlington Green Cumbrian slate from a yard in Stroud. Our windows were all remade by Chew Valley Sash windows, and Dave Vowels of Weston re-roofed the entire house. I have long worked with Davies in Bath for paint, and love to use both the William Morris colours and Little Paint Library for walls. Annie Sloan paint adorns our furniture, and my accessories come from far and wide. I recently bought a set of beautiful botanical prints from OKA and I love Graham and Green for splashes of colour in bed linen and large squashy cushions. What are your favourite shops in Bath?

I love picking out the odd simple design from Hay, I love David Simon Contemporary for his choice of art, and I spent a happy couple of years working closely with the girls in The Loft – their sense of style and their buying eye is great. Rossiters is most definitely my go-to for anything practical and I love their sofa collection – I try and buy for my clients there, too. Otherwise, I enjoy going into the Fig Store for their minimalist style and the new Neptune store for their aspirational living spaces. We are so lucky in Bath to have such diversity and creativity for people like me who work in interiors.

The large fireplace is a focal point in the bright sitting room


RESIDENCE Do you have a particular favourite room or is there any part of the house you are particularly proud of?

My en suite bathroom. It was the very first room we finished and I couldn’t believe the luxury of hot running water and a calm space to wash off the building dust. It is still my sanctuary to this day, and has a double-ended bath that overlooks the hills, an applestone sink and surfaces and gentle travertine walls. I’ve balanced the lightness of the stone with charcoal and greys and white fluffy towels. I fill it with candles and Jo Malone bath oil and it brings a complete sense of wellness at the end of a very busy day. What do you want people to feel when they enter your home?

A warm welcome, a sense of calm that the house is ordered and light and airy. I strive to make people feel at home, and though the house is ‘designed’, it is not so off-putting that you can’t kick off your shoes, put your feet on the sofas or relax in the kitchen. I’ve found with my many guests and visitors that the nicer the house is, the more they appreciate and look after it, but at the same time it’s important not to be precious or to be worried about the general muddle of life. Home at the end of the day is about the people in it, not the things.

Does the interior of your home reflect your personality?

Yes, I think so in that my home has lots of elements, colours and things from many places that all fit in together. I see myself as a bit like that; I have many interests and elements to my life that on their own are very diverse, but they form a single path somehow. I am unhappy in uncomfortable spaces, just as I can’t have anything in my home that doesn’t fit. But, I am happy in organised chaos, and there always has to be a project on the go. I could never say my house is ‘finished’ just as I could never find my self sitting still for very long. Finally, what’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said about your home?

Someone once said, “You define hospitality” and that has always stuck with me. On a more recent occasion, a lady who came to view the house for a location shoot wrote me a personal letter afterwards to say how beautiful she found the house as a whole. My best compliment ever, though, is from a teenage friend of my son’s who said, “I love it here. So much. I don’t want to go home”. That to me is the greatest compliment.

Got an amazing Bath home? Want it to feature in Residence? Contact I BATH LIFE I 81


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Inspiration for windows. Based in the heart of Bath, Aspect Window Styling are suppliers of top quality shutters, blinds of all types, curtains, poles, and awnings. Visit their showroom for inspiration and advice from expert staff on how to transform your windows into something gorgeous. Full design, measuring and fitting service. Tel: 01225 469559


Bear Interiors are a small, approachable company delivering quality interior solutions at affordable prices. From advice on colour schemes to renovation, from initial planning to project completion, they can help you. To arrange a free consultation please call Lynette Labuschagne on 07977548340 or email

Bath’s leading fireplace, wood burner, gas fire, chimney and flue specialist. From classic to contemporary, concept to completion, their team of experts can work with you to achieve your perfect interior. Brands include Chesney’s, Barbas Belfires, Hwam, Stuv and Jetmaster. Get in touch or visit the showroom. Mendip Fireplaces (Bath) Monkton Combe, Bath BA2 7HD., Tel: 01225 722706;






Joel Bugg design and create elegant, bespoke fitted furniture and interiors which are architecturally thought-through to seamlessly fit and suit your property. Working with private clients and architects, they offer a fully managed service from initial concept designs through to final installation, sourcing and providing all elements of the finished interior. Call: 07779 236242


Clair Strong Interior Design is a small, creative company based in Bath, providing a wide range of services for both residential and commercial clients. Her portfolio of projects includes the design, project coordination and sourcing for some of Bath’s most beautiful residences, as well as sports clubs, offices and other commercial venues. Contact Clair on 01225 426906 or 07855 79731

Cheverell is set in the heart of Wiltshire with a stunning showroom and workshop, offering a full bespoke design, manufacturing and installation service in kitchens, bedrooms, and interiors. Established in 1989 it has over 30 years of experience to guide you through the whole process. Cheverell, Waller Road, Hopton Park, Devizes, Wiltshire SN10 2GH. Call: 01380 722722

Boniti is run by brothers Giles and Simon Lunt. Started in 2006, Boniti has grown hugely as a company and now offers a wide range of quality interior and exterior products: natural stone and timber flooring, Everhot range cookers, garden furniture and Kadai firebowls. Dunsdon Barn, West Littleton,Wiltshire SN14 8JA Tel:01225 892 200;

From gently textured traditional interiors to gorgeous glitz, Claire Rendall Design creates quality interiors as varied as their clients. On time and to budget, both locally and internationally. Please contact; Tel: 07778 240223 for further information.

The Marmalade House specialises in French and Gustavian-style furniture painting and interior styling. They work from studios in Kelston, or onsite if requested. They offer colour consultations for your home, a full interior design service and styling for locations and home sales. They also run award-winning courses on painting furniture to professional standards, colour and mood boarding. Tel: 01225 445855; I BATH LIFE I 83


“There’s a shift towards a darker, daring, more mysterious colour scheme” 84 I BATH LIFE I

Kitchen encounters Whether you want to completely renovate your current kitchen or you simply want to refresh a tired colour scheme, these are five of the top trends for 2019, as told by local experts By Lisa Evans


s the buzzy nucleus of activity in the home, the kitchen is evolving to make living and cooking as efficient as possible while looking aesthetically remarkable. For 2019, the modern kitchen will perfectly blend form and function; technology will become increasingly present, helping to make day-to-day life a little easier; and it will also be easily hidden away so as not to impose on a luxurious living area. So, with this in mind, we’ve asked local experts to tell us their favourite emerging trends for the year that will help you plan your dream space.

A brave, bold scheme from Keller Kitchens and Bath’s Bear Interiors

1The dark side

Whereas bright and airy used to be king of the kitchen looks, there’s a shift towards a darker, daring, more mysterious colour scheme this year, with black coming out on top in trend reports. “Dark, bold colours mixed with industrial worktops are definitely on the rise,” says Vicky Elmore, design director at Elmore Kitchens on Saracen Street, Bath. “These darker cabinets look fabulous with worktops such as Dekton Trillium, with its mix of volcanic-inspired colours, or the warm cement look of Dekton Orix.” Nathan Sheppard, director of Saltford Kitchens in Saltford, says contemporary slate grey is on the rise for solid-colour doors, and matte black taps and fittings are the flavour of the month. And Neil Straker, head of design at Cheverell in Devizes, says deep, strong hues, like Farrow & Ball’s ‘Railings’ or ‘Hague Blue’, complemented with bronze architectural handles, are prevalent among the brave. For Joel Bugg, the owner of Bath-based Joel Bugg Furniture & Spaces, it’s not so much about what colours you go for, but how you juxtapose them, “It’s all about contrasting rich paints against lighter materials, such as stone and marble, or making a stand-out feature out of a freestanding piece of furniture.” The favourite fearless colour combinations of Lynette Labuschagne, owner of Bath’s Bear Interiors – the exclusive dealer for Keller Kitchens in Avon and Somerset – is matte black with botanic green, or midnight blue paired with copper or concrete. I BATH LIFE I 85



Mono magic from Cheverell in Devizes


The finishes making their way into modern kitchens are anything but boring. “Currently, the ‘suede’-finish on Silestone’s quartz work surfaces are very popular,” says Nathan at Saltford Kitchens. “The almost-soft, matte surface is very tactile and feels luxurious. Also, porcelain is a firm flooring favourite, especially in the style of largeprofile tiles, which make large kitchens look sleek and uncluttered.” Joel Bugg notes there’s a resurgence for incorporating different natural materials in a kitchen design. “It’s an organic way of giving texture and patterning to a kitchen with such richness in marble veining and wood grains,” he says. “We predominately use European timbers in our furniture, but flooring and tiling add another material dimension.” For Neil at Cheverell, it’s all about Victorian encaustic decorative wall tiles, quartz tops and splash backs, and wood-effect porcelain tiled floors which offer the warmth of a wooden floor while being more hardwearing. “I feel the sharp modern look is slowly being replaced with the resurgence of the hand-painted look,” he says. “But this is being complemented with interesting materials like reeded glass, specialist metal finishes, handles and lighting, and antique mirror.” Kelly Marie Hawker Hicks, of Kelly Marie Kitchen Interiors near Widcombe, thinks concrete surfaces have a characteristic expression, a quality that makes the timeless material precious for the design of individual kitchens. If you’re a fan of industrial-style looks but you want to subdue it somewhat, Vicky at Elmore Kitchens suggests adding


“It’s all about concealment within the kitchen” ABOVE LEFT: A sleek, avocado Shaker and May kitchen; ABOVE: A minimalist design by Hobsons Choice, Bath

smooth, lacquered or woodgrain doors. “Natural timbers soften the look, and work really well alongside the likes of steel, bronze, ceramic and concrete,” she says. “We’re also fans of compact laminate – a new, innovative work surface that’s waterproof and heat resistant. Its ultra-slim thickness and solid-coloured core provide a striking, cutting-edge design statement. A matched core colour means perfectly contrasting drainer grooves and machine-cut edges for undermount sinks. In addition to this, glass splash backs offer durability as well as adding a layer of sophistication; and colour, printed and mirror options offer a wide choice for an individual finish.”


An on-the-whole more affordable way of upgrading your kitchen is to update your accessories and finishing touches – be that taps, cabinet handles or sinks – but if you want to be ‘extra’ about it, add in some high-end gadgets, too. A must-have addition according to Neil at Cheverell is the Quooker Cube tap, which offers hot, cold, icy-cold, boiling, and sparkling water – all filtered – from one tap. He also says that smart appliances – which you can program from your phone and control via an app – are becoming more sought after. And Kelly at Kelly Marie Kitchen Interiors suggests splashing out on the latest cooling systems to keep

your champagne on ice, or on the Samsung Frame TV, which, when turned off, makes for a beautiful piece of art. As for the ‘usual’ finishing touches, Kelly has noticed that the most coveted fixtures are those in pewter, brass and gunmetal; and Nathan at Saltford Kitchens says that, for the season ahead, sinks are either stainless steel, square-edge contemporary bowls, or colour-matched Silestone bowls that are seamlessly fitted into the worktops. He also says that handleless cupboards and electronic push-opening mechanisms are the future, but Joel Bugg believes that pulls and knobs are here to stay. “With colour styling being all about contrast, adding another material in the form of a handle to your furniture adds further dimension to that differentiation,” he says. “As a finish for both taps and handles, 2019 will see brass – be it highly polished or dark, aged and antique-effect – being favoured over stainless steel and coppers.”


Secret storage in the kitchen is number one on Joel Bugg’s list of trends, “These days, kitchens aren’t just somewhere to cook, they’re multi-functional rooms. As such, this year, it’s all about concealment within the kitchen to create a streamlined, uncluttered look. So, we’re talking furniture that fully integrates appliances, conceals cooker hoods and creates hidden storage.” Walk-in larders and pantries will be big, too, he says, as they’re perfect I BATH LIFE I 87


“2019 will see a demand for banquette and bench seating”


© PETE HELME PHOTOGR APHY OPPOSITE PAGE: A ‘broken-plan’ project by Joel Bugg Furniture & Spaces, Bath ABOVE: Modern grey luxe, by The Flying Pig Renovation Company in Bath; BELOW RIGHT: Bath’s Elmore Kitchens keeping it tasteful and simple

spaces in which to store dry food, as well as somewhere to pop your dirty plates when you’re entertaining. Wall cupboards, however, are on the wane, “Obviously, this isn’t practical for all of us when space is of a premium,” says Joel. “Instead, we’re creating clever drawer systems or freestanding dressers to house items.” A style that Kelly Marie is regularly seeing is replacing upper cabinets with metal, wood or glass shelving. Inspired by hotel and retail spaces, she says this adds to the overall bold statements many want to make in their homes.

The evolution of open-plan living continues, but it’s less about one big space and more about the clever use of it, creating distinct ‘area zones’ – maybe one for cooking, one for relaxing, and one for dining – without the use of permanent partitions. “Increasingly, people want to create their own eclectic style, blending their kitchen and their living space into one,” says Lynette at Bear Interiors, who advocates using semi-permanent dividers within a space. “This can be achieved using tall units with open bookcase as well as the playful but also practical use of a ladder for access to high places.” “Zoned areas within a broken-plan space can be created by choosing different flooring materials or by adding screening through inventive design of furniture,” adds Joel Bugg. “Also, with kitchens now housing informal dining areas, 2019 will see a demand for both banquette and bench seating; and zonal lighting within a kitchen is key in helping to highlight and lowlight areas you wish to be seen or not.”n



ON REFLECTION A guide to both creating water features in your own garden, and the garden open days coming up locally Words by Nick Woodhouse Photos by Jason Harris


s a city that’s built on water, which is famed for its curative properties, it seems odd that developers and the powersthat-be in Bath have traditionally turned their backs on the very river that runs through its urban heart. It’s only recently that there seems a genuine shift in both mindset and action. Thanks to the results of the extensive WaterSpace research project, the River Avon is becoming the centrepiece of a major redevelopment of brownfield sites and green spaces along its banks. Finally, perhaps, we are realising the benefits of reconnecting

just a supply of electricity to power the pump. In the absence of power, a simple water bowl can provide both a focal point to any space and a home to a surprisingly diverse collection of plant and animal life. For those looking for some inspiration, here are a few gems of gardens nearby that have water features, large and small. All are part of the National Garden Scheme, have open days over the coming months and offer a welcoming reminder that there really is something in the water. SOUTHFIELD FARM, Bristol Open 21 February A garden of rooms set over two acres, featuring a large wildlife pond with bird hides, a woodland garden, courtyards and vegetable and herb gardens. Winter colours feature highly, with aconites, snowdrops and hellebores taking centre stage at this time of year.

“There really is something in the water” with these spaces and the opportunity they provide to re-wild the city’s waterways. This new momentum needn’t, however, be limited to our public spaces. The benefits of water in the garden are well documented and extend far beyond those much-heralded curative properties of its mineral content. Forget the cascades and grottos of Tivoli’s Villa d’Este or the 4,000 litres a minute needed to supply Chatsworth’s Emperor Fountain, though; whatever the size or budget, there is always a place in the garden for water. The very sound of its movement alone offers therapy and solace and can also act to block out the noise of the city. And the smallest of ponds can host a wealth of wildlife, too – from dragonflies to visiting birds. It can also reflect light back into the garden, helping it feel that bit bigger than it really is. For instant impact and ease of maintenance, there is such a wealth of self-contained and freestanding water features out there, in every size, finish and style imaginable. Most require


ALLINGTON GRANGE, Chippenham Open 27 April In the grounds of a 17th-century farmhouse, these gardens have an informal feel and include a water fountain at the centre of a white garden and a wildlife pond with plenty of natural marginal planting. KILVER COURT GARDENS, Shepton Mallet Open 9 May Set against the impressive backdrop of Charlton Viaduct, visitors can view a replica of the Chelsea Flower Show gold-winning rockery garden designed by George Whitelegg. Sandstone boulders from the Forest of Dean edge both a waterfall and man-made stream. It’s also home to a parterre designed by Mulberry-founder and owner Roger Saul, with clipped box hedging in a geometric formation that takes its influence from the Palace des Invalides.

THE MILLER’S HOUSE, Frome Open 25 May Set in a small valley, the main garden here sits above a mill pond. When it was taken over in 1984, the garden’s original structure had become neglected and overgrown. Since then, much work has been done, specifically in the choice of specific shrubs and perennials that offer scent and attract butterflies. THE OLD RECTORY, Doynton Open 8 June In search of their own oasis in which to spend quality time with their family and escape from the stresses of their global enterprise, husband and wife team Clive Humby and Edwina Dunn have lovingly restored this 15-acre estate into a captivating series of garden rooms that include a canal, a kitchen garden and a tree house. WEST LAVINGTON MANOR, Wiltshire Open 8 June Surrounded entirely by a mixed wall, this five-acre garden was established in the 17th century by John Danvers, an English Courtier and politician famed for signing Charles I’s death warrant and for introducing Italianate gardens to this country. A trout stream and duck pond are lined by a white birch grove and are accompanied by a Japanese garden, rose garden, orchard and arboretum. National Garden Scheme,

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


Pictured are examples of some of the wonderful water features that have been installed in local gardens by Woodhouse & Law, showcasing how the introduction of water can create instant impact


Meet the garden designer Meet the local horticulturists ready to help you transform your garden





01934 853273;

01225 789990; What is the nature of your business? We design and transform gardens – everything from city courtyards to country house estates. We combine responsiveness to our clients’ wishes with our own design flair to create stunning bespoke landscapes. Why should people employ you? The other half of the partnership is Robert Webber, former head gardener of Bristol University Botanic Gardens. We combine extensive design experience and project management skills with unsurpassed plantsmanship and horticultural knowledge. Our clients are therefore assured of a rewarding investment (one of the best they may ever make) with a significant improvement to their lifestyle.

Tell us a little about your work? We specialise in taking a customer’s vision through to reality. We start with a personal design consultation and then our team of accredited landscape craftsmen will construct your garden to the highest quality. All work comes with guarantees and when we hand over your finished garden you will receive a care package, planting layout and month by month maintenance plan for all the new plants. We also provide a seasonal maintenance service so you can rest assured that your garden is kept looking its best.

Lesley Hegarty

What trends do you think spring 2019 will see in gardening? After the fantastic summer we had last year we’re already seeing an increase in creating outdoor seating and entertaining areas with more comfy sofas and cooking facilities.

How do you conduct your business? We work on each project together to produce a variety of design options. We guide our clients seamlessly through the process with abundant enthusiasm, attention to detail and a real sense of fun. What do you do when off-duty? I’m a keen sportswoman and regularly play tennis, run and ski and I enjoy singing in a local choir. Robert collects contemporary paintings and prints and is ruled by two black, fluffy, ‘diva’ rescue cats.

Brett Hardy

If you weren’t a gardener what do you think you would be doing? If I won the lottery I would probably spend my time pottering in the garden and making sculptures. One can hope! Otherwise I love what I do and would probably still be designing and building gardens.



07796 795319;

01225 428072;

Who are your biggest design influences? For plants it has to be the Dutch plantsman Piet Oudolf who has had the greatest influence, for structure and pairing back the design, then Luciano Giubbilei and I love the architecture of Geoffrey Bawa, that is the integration of the landscape into buildings and the fact they combine into one.

What trends do you think Spring 2019 will see in gardening? More colour. The growing momentum in the home towards bolder colour choices will start to see itself being replicated in the garden; expect to see more of the hotter colours being combined with purples and blues. I think we’ll also see larger leafed, more exotic-looking plants being used to greater effect, taking their inspiration from the growing trend towards the houseplant indoors.


Describe your business... Having come from a design background in fashion and being brought up on a smallholding in Wales, my business encompasses a wide range within the horticultural industry; from garden design, planting schemes, horticultural consultations, garden development and expertise in all forms of pruning, sculptural and regenerative. What do you like best about working as a designer? There are many things I love about my job but the main ones are having every day being different with different challenges, and most of all seeing the satisfaction that creating a garden or part of a garden gives to the client.


Karen Knowlton

What’s your favourite local garden open to the public? The gardens of Hauser and Wirth in Bruton. I’m a huge fan of Piet Oudolf’s work, both here and further afield. His naturalistic planting schemes are both playful and romantic, whilst his plant selections are really robust too.

Nick Woodhouse

Describe your style as a gardener... I don’t like to impose any particular style on a client; preferring instead to work to their personal tastes and the style of their home. As well as ensuring a consistent look throughout, this also makes the job more fun for us – we get to work on a range of styles from ultra-contemporary to the more classic, traditional feel. I BATH LIFE I 93



99 SYDNEY PLACE A masterpiece of John Pinch the Elder, Sydney Place is among the most prestigious of all late Georgian developments in Bath. Here we take a look inside number 99... By Evelyn Green MEDIACLASH.CO.UK I BATH LIFE I 141 95


ituated behind The Holburne Museum, at the end of Great Pulteney Street, Sydney Gardens is the oldest park in Bath. It was planned and laid out by the architect Harcourt Masters, and, throughout the end of the 18th and into the 19th century, it was the popular place to see and be seen by the fashionable visitors to Bath. The gardens – which offered thrilling entertainments such as grand firework displays, acrobats, dancing, concerts and balloon ascents – were frequently visited by members of the royal family, and anyone who could afford the entry fee, and, famously, Jane Austen lived at number 4 Sydney Place, which sits opposite. A rare opportunity has recently come up: to purchase a magnificent Grade-I listed townhouse – 99 Sydney Place – built in 1808, a masterpiece of architect John Pinch the Elder. Originally known as the ‘New Sydney Place’, it’s an


enchanting palace-fronted terrace of 11 houses and is among the most prestigious of all late Georgian developments in Bath, with bronze plaques recording that Queen Charlotte and King William IV have stayed within it. Number 99 was previously used as an art school, most likely inspiring and captivating many students with its elegance and abundance of retained period features, including tall windows, columns, and the first appearance of distinctive ramped horizontal detailing. We’ll be the first to say that the property could benefit from a bit of an update inside, but the ‘canvas’ on which to stamp your own personal taste is vast and comes complete with handsome attributes, such as a cantilever staircase, original flagstone flooring, cornices and marble fireplaces. It doesn’t skimp on numbers of rooms, either; there are five reception rooms (with the most impressive ceiling roses), cloakroom studios, six bedrooms, two kitchens, a sun room and extensive vaults. And outside, there’s a south-facing walled garden and roof terrace to enjoy when the sun begins to peep back out. And all of this is within 10 minutes’ level stroll of the centre. It’s nestled on the southern side of the city, in Bathwick, where pleasant walks can be merrily enjoyed along the towpath of the Kennet and Avon Canal, accessed via Sydney Gardens opposite – a delight to visit in its own right. We scarcely believe that a home in such a perfect location, with such a rich history, exists. But it does, and this is your chance to grab it.


HOUSE NUMBERS Square footage








Gardens A south-facing walled garden, and roof terrace

Where 99 Sydney Place, Bath What else? Extensive vaults, original features, two kitchens and a sun room Pritchards, 11 Quiet Street, Bath, BA1 2LB; 01225 466225; I BATH LIFE I 97




tionaly a n r e t In en’s Da Wom etter rB



“There’s a myth that feminists are ugly, hairy man-haters” Southbank Centre. It’s a great and exciting day – only slightly eclipsed by the press focusing on Richard Herring’s sterling work on Twitter, responding to all the ‘when’s International Men’s Day?’ trolls by answering ‘19 November’!

HOLLY TARQUINI The F-Rating founder and FilmBath executive director talks feminist myths, her local inspirations, and celebrating International Women’s Day Holly developed the F-Rating at FilmBath Festival in 2014. The term is a film classification which is used for any film which is directed by a woman and/or is written by a woman. Following its launch, the F-Rating attracted international media attention. In 2015, over 80 film festivals and cinemas chose to use the F-Rating at their events; in 2016, Holly was invited to present a TEDx Talk on the rating; and in 2017, IMDb added the keyword ‘F-Rated’ to over 23,000 films. Here, Holly tells us why we should all try to change the world in our own little ways... I am absolutely a feminist...

Though, I would add ‘intersectional’ to ‘feminist’ because I believe in political, social and economic equality in relation to gender as well as class, race, sexuality and ability.


I feel as though I was a feminist from birth... My childish

commitment to things being ‘fair’ has never left me.

My mother tells a story of discovering me, aged five, at a party... I was holding my own

with Biddy Baxter, the woman famous for being behind Blue Peter. I have no recollection of this, but the women around me were often forerunners in journalism and TV.

I will be celebrating International Women’s Day...

I’ll be giving a talk about the F-Rating to young teens at CACH-All – a support group for families who have completed an intercountry adoption.

International Women’s Day is always a busy time for me... I’m

usually talking about the F-rating and trying to attend as many events as possible at WOW – the Women of the World festival at the

People often still believe the myths about feminism... like,

feminists are ugly, hairy manhaters who therefore have no value in our image-obsessed culture. Ironically, this illustrates just how much we need feminism. I love Caitlin Moran’s test; she says, “Here is the quick way of working out if you’re a feminist. Put your hand in your pants. A) Do you have a vagina? and B) Do you want to be in charge of it? If you said ‘yes’ to both, then, congratulations! You’re a feminist.” It’s depressing how successful the negative propaganda around feminism has been...

Not long ago, a very sweet vicar came to a FilmBath F-Rated screening. Afterwards, he kindly took me aside to say that he didn’t realise that the ‘F’ of the F-Rating stood for feminist; he gently suggested that I not mention that word as others – not him, of course – could be put off by it. Happily, ‘feminism’ being a bad word seems to be generational: those over 40 often think it’s a terrible thing to be; many millennials embrace it.

feminists... but at home their constant cry is, “it’s not ALL about gender, Mum!” Women of the world who inspire me include... Mary

Wollstonecraft, the mother of feminism (and Mary Shelley); she was centuries ahead of her time. I love the eloquence and power of American feminists such as Angela Davis, Audre Lorde and Gloria Steinem, but most of all I am inspired by the millions of unnamed women and men around the world who have campaigned, fought and died for equality.

And, locally.... Margaret Heffernan is one of my heroes; I’m thrilled that she’s the new chairwoman of FilmBath’s trustees. She is currently a part-time lecturer at the University of Bath, and is the former CEO of five businesses. She has written five books, largely exploring business and effective leadership; do check out her TED Talks. Charlotte Calkin is another; she works in restorative justice and is currently working with huge organisations and schools. I recently met Kate Cross, the director of the egg theatre; she is a kindred spirit. As a middle-class, cis, straight, able-bodied white woman native to the UK... my struggles

have been few and far between; I am incredibly privileged.

Together we can change the world... Just look at what’s

One of my favourite quotes is...“I’m a feminist. I’ve been a

I have two daughters, and behind my back they are fierce

happening at the moment with veganism, for example.

female for a long time now. It’d be stupid not to be on my own side.” – Maya Angelou. ■

Profile for MediaClash

Bath Life – Issue 385  

Bath Life – Issue 385