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Food/Arts/Entertainment/Shopping/Property ISSUE 404 / 8 – 22 NOVEMBER 2019 / £3







ISSUE 404 / 8 – 22 NOVEMBER 2019 / ST YLING IT OUT







ABOVE: Getting zen in The Soul Spa (page 92); BELOW: Cosy mittens (page 78)


s we tiptoe closer to Christmas, we’ve got to thinking about looking and feeling good at this time of year. It’s not easy is it? My motivation to go to the gym and not snack on endless slices of toast in between meals vanished about a month ago when I got my second duvet down from on top of my wardrobe and started layering up my winter bedding like a little hamster might with a mound of sawdust. The world of hygge tells us it’s ok to do this; that we mustn’t resist our natural urge to cosy up and be less active. And yet I know that when I trained for the Bath Half Marathon a couple of years ago (when it snowed and then, sadly, got cancelled) I trained throughout winter and it was hard and tough and horrible but it made me feel really good too. And I didn’t get a single cold that winter. And my legs looked, well, almost powerful. So, in this issue, a lot of the features touch on helping us look and feel our best. We’ve enlisted the help of the local hair and beauty experts (page 82), plus our very own columnist Ané Auret (page 88) to advise us on how to combat the elements so that we can rock up to a festive party feeling fantastic with glowing skin and hair. Taking care of our head and heart bits, we interview the founder of The Art Cohort, a new art space offering everything from yoga to brunches to crafty classes for kids (page 52) and we visit The Soul Spa, the latest wellbeing offering, with meditation, massages and even its own zen den (page 92). For those who then want to balance it out with a bit of hygge type living, a hearty Sunday lunch at the King William (page 66) perfectly hits the spot and we snuggle down with some beautiful wintry items – think chunky mittens and twinkly lights (page 78). Oh, and we get the low-down on the local companies – oldies and newbies – who’ll be beavering away at the Bath Christmas Market in the blink of an eye (page 36). See you in two weeks!

HARRIET NOBLE Follow us on Twitter @BathLifeMag Instagram @bathlifemag I BATH LIFE I 3


Issue 404 / 8-22 November 2019 COVER With the enviably chic and flicky hair is Emily Oldfield. Hair cut and styled by Zac Fennell from BA1 Hair; photographed by Chris Daw. More on page 82


chalet holders who’ll be wooing us with their sumptuous offerings


45 ARTS INTRO Growing pains 46 WHAT’S ON Theatre, music, family stuff – and a

smattering of festive goodness

52 THE BIG INTERVIEW Meet the mind behind

the exciting new exhibition and learning space on Chelsea Road 59 FILM Race cars, revenge and what Andrew Scott did next 60 BOOKS Stocking fillers for all ages


63 FOOD & DRINK NEWS Keep up to date with


Bath’s culinary happenings

64 TAKE 5 with Sam Shaw of Wolf Wine 66 RESTAURANT Celebrating a milestone anniversary


77 INTRO Meet the cool crew 78 EDITOR’S CHOICE Picks for the cosy season






Issue 404 / 8-22 November 2019


31 inside story The ‘grandmillenial’ look 82 hair & beauty Your guide for staying pretty

this winter

88 christmas party ready Steps for success 92 THE soul spa Cultivating the mind-body


130 lives Erin Morgenstern on her much anticipated

second novel


95 bathworks The local businessess making the



119 showcase Perfectly secluded living

departments 13 spotlight 21 Society 29 a man’s world



95 Editor Harriet Noble Deputy Editor Lydia Tewkesbury Managing Editor Deri Robins deri.robins@mediaclash. Senior Art Editor Andrew Richmond Graphic Design Megan Allison Cover Design Trevor Gilham Editor’s Photo Damon Charles Contributors Ané Auret, Nic Bottomley, Lisa Evans, David Flatman, Philippa May and Sophie-Claire McLeod Group Advertising Manager Pat White Deputy Advertising Manager Justine Walker Deputy Advertising Manager Polly Jackson Account Manager Annabel North Sales Executive Louis Grey Production/Distribution Manager Sarah Kingston Deputy Production Manager Kirstie Howe Production Designer Matt Gynn Chief Executive Jane Ingham Chief Executive Greg Ingham Bath Life MediaClash, Circus Mews House, Circus Mews, Bath BA1 2PW 01225 475800 www.mediaclash. @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 and Exeter. 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:


spotlight Unique and handmade are the best sorts of gifts

Bath BID

Blossoming Bath has won an award for its beautiful flowers. Bath Business Improvement District (Bath BID) were awarded gold at the finals of Britain in Bloom, its third award for the beautiful blossoms we’ve enjoyed in the city this year. Judges were particularly impressed with the Wild Walcot collaboration, the considered maintenance of Parade Gardens and the community drive to plant in Manvers Street and Brunel Square. The Bee Kind initative in Southgate was also noted as an impressive example of the possibilities for how cities might support urban pollinators. Not a bad list for Bath BID’s first year

in the competition. “It is thrilling to receive such a high accolade from the RHS and be presented with our certificate by Baroness Floella Benjamin,” says Allison Herbert, CEO of Bath BID. “This award represents the creativity and hard work of many people and organisations across the city beyond the BID – Milsom Place, Kingsmead Square, SouthGate and all the pubs, shops and restaurants that make the city look great as well as the hard work from the Bath in Bloom committee and, of course, the Royal Victoria Parks Department of BANES.” For more:

Allison Herbert and Charlotte Thursz of Bath BID with Baroness Floella Benjamin

Christmas shopping

Leave the light on Christmas shoppers: take note. Eloise Scotland Textiles is running a pop-up shop in The Pencil Tree gallery on Walcot Street until 23 November. If you’re after something a bit different for your giftees this year, one of Eloise’s hand-crafted lampshades could be just the ticket. The Bath-based mother of three left a career in law to retrain in upholstery and lampshade making back in 2008, and has since set up shop in a purposebuilt workshop at the bottom of her garden. A unique lampshade makes for a great way to add a pop of colour to a room, and Eloise’s bright designs will certainly add that – and she takes commissions too. For more:

Beckford’s Tower is at risk

Heritage at risk

© tom burrows

Lend a hand

Beckford’s Tower has been added to the Heritage at Risk register. The early 19th century tower is suffering from increasingly severe weather conditions and water damage. The Beckford Tower Trust are currently unable to cover the cost of repairing. The 120-foot neo-classical tower was once home to wealthy eccentric William Beckford, who retired in Bath following exile abroad. On its exposed escarpment outside the city, the tower is in a particularly vulnerable position, so the Beckford Tower Trust and its sole trustee, Bath Preservation Trust have hatched a plan to save the historic monument of Bath’s landscape. A £3 million programme of repairs for the Grade 1 listed structure are currently on hold while the Trusts wait to hear whether their National Lottery Heritage Fund bid has been successful. Members of the public are also invited to donate to the repair efforts via Bath Preservation Trust’s website. Sites added to the Heritage at Risk Register are at risk of being lost forever as a result of neglect and damage, so the Beckford Tower situation is severe. Please throw a few pennies their way if you can. For more: I BATH LIFE I 13

spotlight Pathways to Wellbeing can continue for another three years

The Holburne

On the right path

The Holburne Museum has got funding for the Pathways to Wellbeing programme. The nationally recognised project has supported over 200 people living with mental health issues, social isolation and homelessness since 2016, and this latest funding means it can continue to develop its offering for another three years. Pathways to Wellbeing is a collaborative effort of museums, art galleries and mental health and support organisations that offer often socially excluded people the chance to explore their creativity – some for the first time ever – in a supportive and safe environment. The Holburne partners with the Bath Preservation Trust, the American Museum & Gardens and The Edge at the University of Bath to deliver the inspiring scheme. “I am absolutely delighted that the National Lottery Community Fund and St Johns Foundation have recognised the extraordinary importance of our Pathways to Wellbeing project and enabled us to continue and expand our work for a further three years,” says Chris Stephens, director at The Holburne. “The Holburne is committed to changing lives through art and we know from experience that this programme has a positive life-changing impact on its participants and, what’s more, that their close engagement with the Holburne has a huge impact on the museum and its other visitors.” For more:

Graham Padfield (founder), Hugh Padfield (MD and current owner) and The Duchess of Cornwall

Bath Spa University

Modern storytellers

A group of writers have been awarded £15,000 to bring smartphone creative writing projects to life. The grant money was awarded to four recipients by Paper Nations, a project based at Bath Spa University’s TRACE Centre that aims to make creative writing inclusive to everybody. The first recipient, multi-prizewinning author Lucy Christopher will team up with technologist Rajiv Edward to create The Fog, a project that’ll imagine a fictionalised city of Bath, frozen in time-stopping fog. The story’s ‘readers’ will use their phones’ geolocation to save the city and start time ticking over again. Melanie Frances, a theatre maker, games designer and director of digital at Produced Moon is using her money to create an app that allows people to see into ‘alternative dimensions’, meanwhile the final recipient, Lucy Telling, playwright and director, will use her fund to develop interactive e-tickets, where every ticket comes with its own story for the reader to discover. For more:


Use your phone for something other than scrolling Instagram

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall

Royal approval

Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cornwall met the cheese makers at Bath Soft Cheese Company recently. The Duchess paid a visit to the dairy at Park Farm to congratulate the team on their recent success at the International Cheese Awards, as well as take a tour of the café and viewing facilities specially built for the public to watch the cheese making happen in real time – she was even treated to a cheese tasting. The Duchess’ visit was quite literally the jewel in the crown of a fantastic year for the Bath Soft Cheese Company, whose Wyfe of Bath cheese was named Supreme Champion at the Nantwich International Cheese Awards and, along with Bath Cheese, two of the best 84 cheeses in the world at the World Cheese Awards. They even got a nod from the Artisan Cheese Awards too, where Bath Soft Cheese was named Supreme champion. “It was a real treat to have The Duchess of Cornwall visit us,” says Hugh Padfield, fourth generation owner, farmer and cheese maker at Bath Soft Cheese Company. “It’s been a fantastic year for our business and our cheeses. The Duchess charmed us all with her interest in cheese making, farming and knowledge of rural business. The recognition means a huge amount to the team.” For more:

SCENE T H E L AT E S T A DV E N T U R E S I N PA R T Y- GO I N G AC ROSS BAT H Holly Tarquini and Tasha Williams

Lorena Pino Philip Raby

Maiwenn Le Mouee and Elspeth Hinde

Beverly Wilbourne and Oli Cliffe Apostolia Katsiantridou and Sophie Overment


Margaret Heffernan

Walcot House played host to the launch of the 29th FilmBath Festival. Ahead of the 10-day film festival, which starts this week, guests enjoyed a first look at some of the trailers for the features and shorts that make up the festival’s vast programme. “This year’s festival features 37 feature and 46 short films as well as industry events and awards taking place in seven venues around Bath,” says FilmBath’s executive director, Holly Tarquini. “The programme is already proving popular, our booking system is already experiencing strong demand so we advise movie buffs to buy their tickets as soon as possible.” Photos by Anna Barclay

Pam Twohig, Alison Garcia Levy, Beverly Wilbourne and Daniel Cushing

Charlotte Thursz and Samantha Walker I BATH LIFE I 21


Simon Marton and Graham Field

Sally Feeny, William Feeny and Cat Heale Alex Field and Emma Field

Jan Robertson and Helen Marton


Focus Counselling celebrated its 20th anniversary with an Emerald Ball at the Guildhall last month. The ball also gave them a chance to introduce Focus Frome, a brand new branch of the counselling service. Chief executive and founder Jan Robertson was one of many speakers at the event, which kicked off with a drinks reception before a three-course dinner followed by sweet soul sounds (and dancing, obviously) courtesy of The Blues Others. It was a fundraising event for those unable to afford counselling, so there was an auction and rafe to top off the successful night, which was sponsored by Savills and Minuteman Press. Photos by Philip Shone

Tony Perry and Debbie Perry Tony Rodbard-Hedderwick, Bev Rodbard-Hedderwick, Jo Boyd and Rich Boyd

Jane Stafford, Chris Stafford, Jayne Burgess and Sabrina Ryan Kay Mason and Chris Mason


Siobhan Wilson, Matthew Kent-Lennon and Lucia Chadwick

Richard Horsley and Sue Horsley


Guests of Alex Stubbings and Gareth Stubbings John Dean Winner and guests

Hal Lewis and guest

Paul Bergin and his gorgoues guests


Off The Record celebrated their 25th anniversary recently with a good old fashioned black tie shindig. A BANES-based charity, Off The Record offer free advice and support to local young people including counselling and support for care leavers and LGBTQ+ youth. The party, held at the Apex Hotel was a glittering affair, with drinks-aplenty, a scrumptious three course meal and The Dave Mitchell Soul Band on hand providing the soundtrack.By the end of the evenining they had raised a fantastic ÂŁ6,819 for the charity. Photos by Ash Harnett

Smiles all round for Emma Bradley and her friends

Matthew Yeo, Kaylo Allsopp, Nina Zilic, Lizz Spurr and Alistair Spurr

Lindsay Davies, Sarah Philips and Jasmine Miller John Upson and Gill McGowen


Emily Readman, Amanda Allerton, Dave Kiddy, John White, Judith Sharman, Stewart Sharman and Andrew Wright


Gerald Creed and Professor Raimondo Ascione

David Newton and Mayor Gerry Curran

Jake Nash and Linnea Limseth

BIG-HEARTED BUNCH Mayor Gerry Curran welcomed guests to The Mayor’s Parlour for the launch of the 2020 Big Hearted Ball, which is set to take place in February. The ball is a fundraiser for the Big Hearted Charity, which raises money to buy life-saving equipment for The Bristol Heart Institute. In fact Professor Ascione, one of the UK’s top heart surgeons rushed to join the celebrations straight after finishing an operation at that very institution. Loraine MorganBrinkhurst MBE and Gerald Creed, founder of the Big Hearted Charity were on hand to thank guests for their support and announce plans for their next big purchase, which they hope to be a high definition head camera. Gerald Creed, Bob Crampton, Lorri Newton, Mathew Creed

Photos by Paul Gillis Photo

Robin Squire

Loraine Morgan-Brinkhurst MBE and Bob Crampton


The renovation and development of Hope House is finally complete, so Acorn Homes and Galliard Homes decided to celebrate with a garden party. Over 350 guests filled the six-acre grounds of Hope House, where they enjoyed some delicious food from caterers Strawberry Fields. Also on hand to entertain the little ones was a face painter and a magician as well as some live music, courtesy of jazz trio The Hipcats for everybody to enjoy. Anna Fairman and Hannah Twentyman

Photos by Nick Cole

Cassie Perkins


Rachel Ellis Gittins and Coco Xxxx

Bernice Mckenna and Leah Tattersall Strawberry Fields Catering

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All present and correct Flats is over giving presents – it’s all about experiences, even if that means battling extreme vertigo in a hot air balloon



“I just don’t extract any real joy from lobbing wrapped items at my kids”

hen it comes to gifting, I’m so over just getting people stuff. Things. Objects. Don’t get me wrong, I like stuff as much as the next hypocritical consumerist monster; I just don’t extract any real joy from lobbing wrapped items at my kids. Again, as a contradiction, it is my daughter’s birthday next week and I have bought her a thing. Actually a pair of things. I know she’ll love them (I can’t say what they are in case she reads this!), but they’re just more stuff to add to the exponentially expanding universe of belongings she has to her name. My brother, sisters and I were spoiled as kids. We didn’t have much money but, somehow, we wanted for nothing. In comparison to my own children, though, we had very little indeed. My kids, well, they’re just the most beautiful little humans I can imagine, but they have mountains – mountain ranges, even – of things. It’s unending. I don’t know where it all comes from. I think they might be clandestine entrepreneurs after school hours, making a killing in the illegal trade of low-quality iPhone cases, multipacks of chewing gum, and sticks of scented lip balm that’s not actually lip balm. Whether or not they’re gum runners, they don’t need any more things. Not for at least a decade. To this end, I try now mainly to get them experiences for birthdays and Christmases. I mean, now and then they need a new bike or a shoe, but I try to limit the arrival of objects. And the best bit about the whole ‘great, wholesome daddy who just wants his children to experience new things’ thing is that

I get to do them too. I get to ride in hot air balloons (with extreme vertigo), I get to ride a horse (with extreme vertigo), I get to take in the London Eye (with extreme vertigo). Her ‘main’ birthday present is cool. It’s really cool. It involves a trip to Wales – and I’ve got to be careful here as someone taught her to read – and guess what, it’s not great for someone with vertigo. As it happens, she doesn’t like heights either! It also involves us both hurtling through the air at 100 miles per hour. Oh, she’s also not mad keen on extreme speed, like her daddy. But these remain good ideas! We could go swimming. We could go for ice cream. We could go shopping for tacky high heels and crop tops. In fact, we probably will do all these things, but we will also do things together that they – both girls are signed up – will never forget. Admittedly, they will likely remember these days as they were the scariest of their respective childhoods, but they will still eventually be added to the pile marked ‘Good Memories.’ When we arrive they will he confused. When I explain what they’re going to be doing, they will be terrified. As we fly, they will be speechless. When we disembark, we will share those super-tight embraces that are made so intense by the adrenaline smashing through our veins. We will be scintillated, and we will be in love. And a little printed certificate aside, we’ll have nothing to show for it but the memories. 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 29


inside story philippa may

Back to the future Philippa reports on the rise of the ‘Grandmillennial’, the interiors enthusiasts bringing nana’s house-chic bang up to date


ver the years trends come and go. We’ve seen new adaptations of old ideas recycled every season to produce something fresh for us to update our homes, our shops and our social scene. Many designers and trend forecasters look back to the traditional ages to pick up a style to re-imagine and, whilst Bath is of course a heavily Georgian city, there’s a touch of Victoriana shining through. There’s a new emphasis on re-invigorating classic decorating styles with a growing highlight on the Victorian, particularly within home accessories. You might not have spotted it yet but now you’ll see inspiration everywhere you go. However, Victoriana is usually an extremely acquired taste as it can be, well, quite dense. It’s heavy draping, dark framed (and seemingly very uncomfortable) sofas and ornately patterned fabrics that would be better suited in your grandmother’s sitting room… it’s everything that the

“It’s everything that the minimalist modernist of today detests”

minimalist modernist of today detests, yet it’s a style where a lot of interior design was born from. In September, House Beautiful magazine published an article on the rise of the ‘Grandmillennial’, a term coined by writer Emma Bazilian, the senior features editor. According to Bazilian, a Grandmillennial is a youngish, Instagram-posting, décor aficionado with a passion for floral chintzes and tasseled edges – if that isn’t something fresh and new, then I don’t know what is. It got me thinking about where I’d seen this new trend and how to incorporate the idea into the modern home without looking utterly ridiculous, and then I stumbled upon the new Soho Home x Anthropologie collaboration in town. An exciting collaboration with bold styles that translates this ‘Grandmillenial’ style in a way that isn’t awful, it’s actually a veritable talking point. Soho Home, since its conception, has allowed consumers to get the lavish, texture and pattern rich interiors they carefully design for their own homes, using a broad mix of influence from classic periods with fresh, light pieces from the Georgian era, juxtaposed against the opulence of the Victorian that came after it. The Soho Home x Anthropologie collection is a quintessential representation of the Soho House brand, mixing style and function with a vintage

art deco twist. With mid-century dressing tables, velvet padded poufs and sofas as well as textured vases, this collection is dripping with the opulence of a mix of eras, including the outlandish rich textures and colours of the Victorian – yet it’s all been pulled together with a contemporary and chic elegance. There’s a lot of velvet and brass detailing that is perfect for taking your interiors into the darker months for a lavish take on cosiness. If you’re looking for something to invest in that’s timeless and yet fun, this is the collaboration for you. Each piece is designed to enrich the everyday and I can see the Harrison Round Dining Table with its stylishly beaded base accented by antique brass bands making a classic statement in any Bath dining room. Fuse this statement table with a dark wall painted in ‘Smoke’ by Neptune and a glass of port and you’ve got yourself a look that really invokes that sense of home, and best of all, turns out it isn’t really trend-led at all because it will never truly go out of style.

Philippa May is an interiors enthusiast and is director of her own branding and marketing company Mayd Studio. Follow her on Instagram @_philippamay_ I BATH LIFE I 31


Quintessential Christmas at Lucknam Park From pre-christmas getaways to rejuvenating spa treatments, LUCKNAM PARK HOTEL & SPA has plenty to offer this festive season…


n the lead up to Christmas Day, Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa has a plethora of festive events and experiences to indulge in. With a relaxed and cosy atmosphere, you will feel at home to celebrate in the traditionally decorated Palladian mansion. The grand open fireplaces, exceptional spa and spectacular seasonal cuisine are just a few of the elements that make the festive season at Lucknam Park extra special – all set in 500 acres of private parkland. Whether it’s a festive afternoon tea, a pre-Christmas escape or a Christmas party with all the trimmings, bring the whole family for a truly memorable time. The Brasserie, Lucknam Park’s informal restaurant, offers a delightful festive menu from 2–23 December. Example dishes include slow cooked ox cheek, hispi cabbage, smoked bacon and creamed potatoes and an artichoke, tomato and basil pithivier served with black olive jam. Three courses are available for £36 per person, for lunch or dinner. On Christmas Day, the restaurant is offering a set exquisite three course menu including Champagne and canapés. This will be the first Christmas that The Brasserie is open to non-residents of the hotel. For a fine dining celebration, Restaurant Hywel Jones is an idyllic setting. This restaurant has been named after the executive chef who has retained his Michelin star for the 15th consecutive year. Enjoy the exclusivity of one of the charming private rooms and indulge in the exceptional cuisine where fine, local ingredients are used wherever possible. The dedicated events team can assist you in creating a bespoke event with all the trimmings. The indulgence doesn’t stop there; Lucknam Park’s Festive Afternoon Tea is the perfect treat to get in the spirit of Christmas. Cosy up in


our magnificent Drawing Room or Library and enjoy a selection of savouries, warm homemade scones and dainty festive patisserie served with your choice of tea or coffee. Available 2–23 December from £30 per person. For the budding chef, the hotel’s very own cookery school hosts a variety of seasonal courses including festive baking. In this class, Cookery School head chef Ben Taylor will show you how to make your own pastry and mincemeat filling, seasonal desserts, centrepieces and festive breads. Using the flavours of the season, you will learn how easy it is to have the wonderful aromas of Christmas spices throughout your home. This course runs from 10am–3pm and costs £140 per person, which includes lunch, tea and coffee, use of an apron, a recipe folder and a Cookery School bag to take home. And finally, in the Christmas rush it’s important to take time for relaxation. The award-winning ESPA at Lucknam Park offers a tranquil space to unwind and feel completely replenished for the festivities. Warm up by the poolside fire, unwind in the thermal cabins and experience rejuvenating ESPA or Carita spa treatments. Visit to explore their range of spa days and treatments. ■

Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, Colerne, Chippenham, Wiltshire SN14 8AZ 01225 742777;

Image shows Hugh Mackay Safari Zebra

advertising feature

Initial drawings for a recent commission

The finished commission

Pastures new

Creatively, it’s been a busy few months for Bath-artist Joanne Cope. Within two weeks of finishing another successful solo exhibition in the city centre in September, Joanne had enrolled upon a two-year program of study towards a Master of Fine Arts degree.


ope, who has become well known for her beautiful portraits of cattle, is sure that two years of postgraduate study will positively impact her work. “Creativity is like a muscle – you must regularly exercise it,” says the artist. “I have been fortunate to have had a busy and rewarding

career over the last decade or so, and now I would like to embrace some further growth and change”. Joanne is excited to be based at Bath Spa University’s new Locksbrook Road Campus. The redesigned building hosts a wide variety of technical workshops surrounded by open, flexible studio spaces. Although unsure of what work will emerge from her Master’s

course, Joanne is determined to make the most of the workshops. These range from Screen Printing, Etching and Lithography, to Ceramics, Woodwork, Painting and Metalwork. In the meantime, Joanne is working on a collection of new cattle paintings that will be completed by the beginning of December. Instead of having a pre-Christmas show, Joanne will upload images of the recent work to her website. You will also be able to view the work in person by visiting her studio. Just call or email to make an appointment. Alongside the new work, Commission Gift Folders will be available, which are a unique way of purchasing and ‘giving’ a piece of art. This process enables the recipient of the gift folder to work alongside Joanne, and have input into their own commissioned cattle painting. “It’s a stimulating process to be involved in,” says Joanne. “After discussing ideas about the proposed painting, the client and I decide on a way forward, then I produce initial sketches.” Joanne uses the final chosen sketch to begin work on the canvas. Photographic updates are sent to the client as the work progresses, and studio visits to see the painting developing are encouraged. “It is a great way to be involved in the creation of art.” If you are looking for an inspiring gift for a special occasion, perhaps one of Joanne’s cattle paintings or a bespoke commissioned piece may be your answer. Make sure you look out for her new work, which will be available online from 1 December. Please see Joanne’s website for more information about Gift Folders, or contact her directly. n

07958 703 438; 34 I BATH LIFE I

Seek and ye chalet find

Night-time at the market is pure movie set magic



Chalets are about to start appearing around town, which can only mean one thing – Bath Christmas Market is nearly upon us. So, what local companies are coming and what will they be tempting us with? Words by Harriet Noble

“The classic combination of caramelised nuts and mulled wine is my absolute favourite” I BATH LIFE I 37


et your diaries out: Bath Christmas Market arrives on 28 November and runs until 15 December. Ahead of the magical and sparkly affair, we chatted to a handful of the companies who will be setting up shop, or should we say chalet, to find out what’s in store.


Serra and David Kerrigan, owners of Pasha Living

Pasha Living sells textiles and accessories for the home and holiday. What can we expect from your chalet?

We will be selling a wide range of beautiful, heavyweight cotton throws and silk cushions for your home as well as a gorgeous selection of linen scarves and, of course, our well loved hammam towels. What is special about the Bath Christmas market?   

The entertainment that’s organised for the market creates a wonderful atmosphere; add the beautiful backdrop of Bath and some artificial snow and it’s like being in a movie.

ABOVE: Serra and David of Pasha Living and their beautiful cushions and throws

What are the sights, smells and sounds that you like about the market?

How are you going to keep warm?

Favourite time of day at the market?

Do you plan to buy any Christmas presents from other stalls this year?

It has to be the classic combination of caramelised nuts and mulled wine, it’s my absolute favourite. Evening, the lights of the market and main Christmas lights look spectacular in the dark.

“I love the market at 4pm. We take our girl down for a hot chocolate after school” 38 I BATH LIFE I

I am determined to keep warm! I have just invested in a duvet coat that is designed to you warm in temperatures up to -25 degreesºC, so I am good to go!

Yes! I will be stocking up on gifts from Limelight Candles, the Argentinian bag brand Awax, and Grown Up Marshmallows – it’s ok to buy yourself a gift right?! If you have a moment, what else would you like to do while you’re in the city?

I will be making a trip to Mr B’s Emporium Bookshop, I love giving books as gifts, they are personal and timeless.


Sophie, founder and designer

Sleepy Doe is an online British brand specialising in small, organic sleepwear collections which are all designed in Bath. This is their first time at the Bath Christmas market.

LEFT: Floral baby sleepsuit from Sleepy Doe; BELOW: Star ring from Wylde Jewellers; BELOW LEFT:

Pj set from Sleepy Doe

Where you are based and what is your connection to Bath?

I live in Bath with my partner and our two children, the Sleepy Doe office/studio is based in central Bath. We work carefully with selected retailers who hold our collections each season worldwide. We can also be found at Fortnum & Mason’s in London. What will be on offer in your chalet?

Children’s organic sleepwear in sizes 0-11 years. For those familiar with the brand we are bringing back some best sellers alongside our brand new A/W range. What is your bestseller at Christmas?  

full of families. It’s a lovely time of day to explore the market. We’ll be bringing her baby brother this year, which she’s very excited about.

It’s definitely our busiest time of year, customers enjoy ‘twinning’ siblings in their sleepwear over the festive period. We offer different print stories each season so there’s hopefully something for everyone.

How do you keep warm during the Bath Christmas market?  

What are the sights, smells and sounds that you like about the Bath Christmas market?  


We love to celebrate the magic of childhood and strongly believe in ‘let them be little.’ Seeing children at the market getting excited for Christmas is brilliant. The twinkly lights, the handmade gifts, Bath Abbey lit up, the trees, the hot food. It’s good to show them an alternative shopping experience other than the high street. Favourite time of day at the market?

I love the market at 4pm. We take our girl down for a hot chocolate after school. It’s almost dark, the lights are on, music is playing and it’s

Pyjamas under clothes, it’s a thing!

Nicholas Wylde, owner of Wylde Jewellers in Bath

The company design and hand-make jewellery as well as offering a bespoke service where they can create anything and everything from solid gold cars, to intricate engagement rings. How long have you been doing what you are doing?

The shop has been trading for 33 years but I’ve been making jewellery since the age of 16 in a garden shed (not counting the playdough rings I made for my mother). With the Bath Christmas Market coming up, it looks like I’m back in a shed for the first time in 40 years! Where you are based and what is your connection to Bath?

I have a shop in Bath and Bristol. I came to Bath for the first time at the age of 17, loved it, and then luckily enough got my first job here, straight out of jewellery college at the age of 20. I didn’t know a soul, but today I feel incredibly connected to the local community because of my jewellery. What will be on offer at your stall?

Our chalet will feature lots of sparkling, affordable stocking fillers, ranging from £5 to £100; lots of pearls, silver jewellery, my popular Wylde Animal collection, and, designed especially for the market, sterling silver eyeglass and ring pendant holders. We will also be displaying our signature Christmas diamond ‘Dazzle Collection’, for premier Christmas gift giving. My creative sister will also be offering some Christmas wreaths. What is your bestseller at Christmas?

Our beautiful returning best seller is a sweet little sterling silver diamond stacking ring, for just £150. Last year we saw it fly off the shelves, we hope we have enough this year. Do you plan to buy any Christmas presents from other stalls this year?

I pop out one or two evenings every year to wander the market with a glass of mulled wine, to see if I can pick up a gift or two. I BATH LIFE I 39

CHRISTMAS MARKET Jason Dorley-Brown Images

Jason Dorley-Brown of Jason Dorley-Brown Images

Jason is a Bath-based photographer and digital artist who produces high quality giclee art prints of black and white and colour images using a local Bath printer and framer. What will be on offer at your stall?

I will be offering images of Bath (both photographs and digital paintings) and Pop Art celebrity images. From packs of cards and postcards to limited edition, mounted and signed prints in two sizes, two calendars (one of Bath landscapes and one of Pop Art celebrities). What is your bestseller at Christmas?

It’s my first time so we’ll see! I am producing a series of good Santa/ bad Santa cards for an alternative Christmas theme – I hope they are well received. What is special about the Bath Christmas market?

The market gives an opportunity for local craft makers and businesses to offer their product not only to Bath residents but to a wider audience. What are the sight, smells and sounds that you like about the Bath Christmas market? Ubiety products are all vegan and ethical with funds going to Dorothy House


Lou Madel, business development team at Dorothy House Hospice Care

Ubiety (meaning grounded in one place and pronounced yoo-bahyi-tee) aims to soothe, relax and re-energise body and soul through its nurturing plant-based formulations. Natural, vegan and ethical, all Ubiety’s profits go to Dorothy House, helping to fund end of life care. How long have you been doing what you are doing? 

The sounds of people excited by the visual theatre of the market. The smells of culinary treats at every turn. The smiles on the faces of Bathonians and tourists alike as a reaction to the festive atmosphere that the market never fails to create. Favourite time of day at the market?

Early evening as the sun sets and the multi coloured lights take over. How do you keep warm during the Bath Christmas market?  

Big jumpers, hats, thermals and lots of chatting with people.

Ubiety launched its first body and home fragrance range in February this year. Where are you based and what is your connection to Bath?

Ubiety is based at Dorothy House’s main site at Winsley, Bradford On Avon. The Ubiety range is a collaborative endeavour led by the business development team at Dorothy House, working with local partners from Bath and the surrounding areas. Dorothy House cares for patients, their families and carers in Bath and parts of Somerset and Wiltshire. What will be on offer at your stall?

The whole range! Hand wash, hand lotion, body salve, lip balm, facial mist, essential oil fragranced candles and reed diffusers. The signature use of woody fragrances, frankincense, spikenard and benzoin helps to strengthen and ground people in a moment of calm. When we come to your stall, what is going to catch our eye?

The stylish Ubiety design from award-winning Supple Studio and the simple, natural and clean colours – black, white and copper. It won’t just be your eyes that will be drawn though – the woody fragrances of our products are intoxicating. What are the sights, smells and sounds that you like about the market?

Cinnamon, spices and hot sausages. The chatter, decorations and smiling faces. Do you plan to buy any Christmas presents from other stalls this year? If so, which stalls?

Yes – spice packs. I love a cooking-inspired gift.

Jason Dorley-Brown’s art leaves us tickled pink I BATH LIFE I 41


Will and Kate Shakspeare, joint owners of Shakspeare Glass

Expect music and much merriment at the market

Will has been blowing glass for 35 years and is one of the country’s best known glass blowers having been featured on television and in the press, including Kirstie’s Homemade Christmas and Inside The Factory, making Christmas baubles. Kate has been working with Will for 15 years and looks after the gallery and shop. Where are you based?

We have a lovely studio and gallery beside the River Parrett in Langport, the heart of the Somerset Levels. Our connection to Bath is that it is our favourite city to visit and we can’t wait to be part of the Bath Christmas Market, this being our first year of participating!

What’s going on down at the Christmas market? What’s new? For the first time, the market will have a dedicated vegan and vegetarian food chalet which will be on the go. Expect sticky rice served with Bangkok patty smothered in katsu sauce garnished with pickled ginger and coriander topped with sesame seeds. This is courtesy of Darren Wilkinson from Bristol, a local caterer who has been in the business for 20 years. Fun stuff? A entertainment area/stage on New Bond Street with a snow globe and a piano decorated by children from FosseWay school, an ‘Instagram’ spot for taking selfies, and Bath Aqua Glass blowing on New Bond Street. For more:

What can we expect to see at your chalet?

We will be bringing ranges of beautiful handmade blown glass, all made by Will in Somerset. Will is well-known as being inspired by the Somerset and West Country landscapes, in particular in the Hedgerow and Winter ranges. We will be showing our new light shades and of course our famous baubles. Our glass will be bright and shiny. I think that will catch your eye. Will and Kate will be hanging out with their baubles at the market

“I’ve been making jewellery since the age of 16 in a garden shed” 42 I bath LIFE I

What do you like about the market?

The atmosphere is special at Bath Christmas Market, the historical centre being the most stunning backdrop you could possibly want. But as the daytime ends and the lights start to twinkle, that is the best time. We plan to do all of our shopping during the market. Just hope we get a chance or we may not be popular at home! We are staying in Bath during the market so we’re looking forward to trying lots of new restaurants for dinner. n






Proud Winner of

the arts s n a p s h o t s o f b at h ’ s c u lt u r a l l i f e

ANSWERING THE CALL Ian Edwards is all about the big moments. You know, the forehead slapping, bonked on the head by falling fruit, bath tub-based eureka moments of insight. When all you can say is ‘oh’ – but say it long, kind of like a sigh – those are what the West Country sculptor is interested in. The Calling is no different. Drawing inspiration from natural forces, the piece shows a figure emerging from the earth into consciousness. Take what you will from the look of his gnarled scream. The Calling and many of Ian’s other works are informed by philosophical thinking – you can see it on his Instagram page (@sculptorianedwards), where he documents the feelings inside what he calls his Sculptures of Meaning. Michelangelo once spoke about sculpting as more a process of discovery than one of creation – when faced with a fresh block of marble he “carved until I set him free”, like the figure was there all along, waiting. Ian sculpts with a similar mind-set, something that reflects the never-ending searching that is at the heart of his work. £1,920 for small casting (31 centimetres) and £13,200 for large casting (70 centimetres); view by appointment; Axle Arts; 9 Leighton Road, Bath; 01225 461230; I BATH LIFE I 45

What’s on 8 November – 8 December

It’s time to dust off your skates...

exhibitions Until 24 November

EXPERIMENTS WITH FLYING Artist Richard Twose is displaying a collection of works inspired by a residency at Elisabeth Frink’s former studio. Influenced by her bird men, horses and bulls, Twose created his own characters using studies of acrobats at CircoMedia in Bristol. The works deliberately test the limits of balance (and falling). Mon-Sun, 10.30am-5pm; Victoria Art Gallery;

Until 14 December

PLAYING THE PICTURESQUE A lot of people think our obsession with the ideal ‘Insta-perfect’ life is a new phenomenon, but this exhibition is here to reject that assumption. Playfully traversing the space between real and virtual realms, the work shows the way that 18th century artists and architects became obsessed with producing


aesthetically pleasing, stylistic, ‘ideal’ landscapes. Tues-Sat, 11am-5pm; Andrew Brownsword Gallery, The Edge;

6–12 November

PAINT-PAPER-METAL-CLAY Five artist pals have joined up for a show. They’ll display works in their chosen medium – from sculpture, to oils, to jewellery – each with their own unique style, giving the collection an eclectic and exciting feel. 10am-4pm (closed Sunday); Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute;

12 November – 5 January

ART BAR UNWRAPPED A festive collaboration between four local artists: Emma Taylor, Emma Rose, James Nunn and Lucy Saunders. Expect a bright and beautiful selection of paintings, prints and cards, which you can peruse while sipping on a cocktail –

or a coffee, if you prefer. Mon-Sun, 8am-10pm; Abbey Hotel;

equally beautiful, corners of the city. Mon-Sun, 10.30am-5pm; Victoria Art Gallery;

13–17 November


CLIMATE CHANGE: AN EXHIBITION OF PAINTING AND SCULPTURE A selection of bold works tackle the extremes of climate change. Paintings by local artists that depict the destructive heat, the devastation of the coral reef and the risk to our fresh water supply caused by climate change will be on display side by side with artworks from local schools. 11am-5pm; 44AD Gallery;

30 November 2019 – 9 February 2020

PETER BROWN: BATH IS IT Over 100 new oil paintings and drawings by Bath’s favourite artist will be on show at the Victoria Art Gallery for the foreseeable. You’ll spot some of Bath’s most picturesque spots along a few lesser known, but

10 November

SINDHU VEE: SANDHOG Loving the children, spouse and aging parents can be really hard work. But it’s all worth it, right? This is the question Sindhu Vee aims to answer during her hilarious debut stand-up show, which earned her a nomination at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards. Doors 6.30pm, show starts 7.30pm; £17.50 (£16 concs); Komedia;

13–16 November

ENLIGHTENMENT Lia’s son Adam has been missing since a terrorist attack. Distraught, she turns to a less-than-legit psychic and falls victim to a pushy TV producer determined to make a film about missing persons.

what’s on Is Adam alive? If so, why hasn’t he made contact? The story takes a turn when Lia learns of a backpacker with a lost memory stuck in a Thai hospital. 7.45pm; £12.50 (£10.50 concs); Mission Theatre;

13-23 November

above: Pete the Street’s lovingly imagined pictures of Bath are certainly worth a look left: Embrace your inner shame with John Robins below: Kickstart your Christmas shopping at the Winter Floating Fayre

MY COUSIN RACHEL Enigmatic and unconventional. Countess Rachel Sangalletti causes quite a stir when she arrives at the Ashley Estate in Cornwall, the home of her recently deceased husband. Alluring and exotic, Philip, Rachel’s cousin and heir to the Ashley home finds himself uncontrollably drawn to her. Starring Helen George, known for her role in Call the Midwife, this gothic romance is perfect viewing for a dark and stormy night. Times and prices vary; Theatre Royal;

14 November

CRACKING Three days into motherhood, it was apparent to Sam that there was something wrong with Rachel. A determined guy, he stuck with it, gave as much practical help as he could and patiently waited for her to get better – which she did. Now, years layer, it’s Sam who is in danger of losing his footing. A deeply relatable look at a relationship under pressure. 7.30pm; £10; Rondo Theatre;

18 November

LOST VOICE GUY: I’M ONLY IN IT FOR THE PARKING Britain’s Got Talent winner Lee Ridley (AKA Lost Voice Guy) is back on popular demand following a sell-out spring tour. Lee is the first stand up comedian to perform using a communication aid. He has appeared on Live at the Apollo, The Last Leg and The Royal Variety Show among many others. Doors 6.30pm, show starts 8pm; prices vary; Komedia;

21 November

JOHN ROBINS: HOT SHAME The Perrier-award winner, known for his radio show with Elis James, is touring a new stand-up show following the epic success of The Darkness of Robins, last year. Known for finding the funny amidst the bleak, expect a night of self lacerating humour, soul baring, laughs and, as the title might indicate, a side of shame. Doors 6.30pm, show starts 8pm; £17.50; Komedia;

26–30 November

WOMAN IN MIND Next Stage Theatre company presents their take on the classic story by Alan Ayckbourn. It’s a story populated by neglected matriarchs, self-absorbed vicars, ineffectual medical professionals and waspish sisters in law. Standard Ayckbourn. 7.30pm, matinee Sat 2pm; £12.50 (£10.50 conc); Mission Theatre;

Various dates, December

KRATER CHRISTMAS SPECIAL An all star comedy line-up with optional three or one course meal followed by a night of music courtesy of FAME? Yes please. The Krater Christmas Special makes for the perfect opportunity for a festive, pregoing home for Christmas blow out with your besties. Doors 6pm; show starts 8.30pm; ticket prices vary; Komedia;


8–16 November

BATH MOZARTFEST It will hardly come as a surprise that during this nine-day classical music feast you should expect a lot of Mozart, but there’s some musicians exploring his contemporaries too. Big names the English Chamber Orchestra are performing along with shows by La Nuova Musica and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Times, prices and venues vary;

15 November

THE BOWIE COLLECTIVE More than a tribute band, The Bowie Collective is an immersive theatre experience. World-class musicians, dancers and spectacular visual art – creepy hologram heads occupy the stage – this performance reaches out to Bowie fans of all generations, old and new. Doors 7pm, show starts 7.30pm; prices vary; The Forum;

24 November

SHEELANAGIG Foot-stomping folk tunes and dance medleys characterise this string strumming quintet’s musical style. A decade’s worth of touring the globe and they’ve added their own particular groove to the selection of traditional and original European folk music they play. Doors 7.30pm; £14 on the door; I BATH LIFE I 47

WHAT’S ON 24 November

THE ABBA TRIBUTE LIVE IN CONCERT Sequined jumpsuits to the ready: The Abba Tribute are coming. Strap on your platform heels and prepare to boogie. Dancing queens only. 7pm; prices vary; Komedia;

24 November

UKULELE ORCHESTRA OF GREAT BRITAIN Enjoy some festive fun with the UK’s original ukulele orchestra. The orchestra’s legendary live shows feature classics from all genres from Wagner to Nirvana, and for this show they’ll even toss in the odd Christmas tune too. Best of all, you can bring along your own uke from home and strum along from the safety of the audience. 3pm and 7.30pm; prices vary; Theatre Royal;

30 November

MUSIC FOR ADVENT Does it get much more festive than choral music? We don’t think so. Catch The University Chamber Choir singing a range of classics – Haydn’s St Nicolas Mass, Mozart’s Church Sonata, that sort of thing – in the beautiful surrounds of St Mary’s Church in Bathwick. 7.30pm; St Mary’s Church, Bathwick;


17 November

BIG FISH LITTLE FISH FAMILY RAVE: THE GREATEST SHOW This all things circus-themed, The Greatest Show-inspired ‘rave’ for families with children eight-yearsold and younger (older siblings also welcome) includes a multi-sensory dance floor complete with giant parachute, glitter cannons, balloons, craft and playdoh tables and even a baby chill out zone. 1.30pm; £8 advance, infants free; Komedia;

28 November – 22 December

CHRISTMAS AT THE AMERICAN MUSEUM Christmas has come to the American Museum. There’s plenty on to celebrate, from a festive family trail full of Father Christmas’ helpers to the chance to meet the man himself in his grotto. 11am-4pm; normal admission + £2.50 per trail, including a prize; The American Museum and Gardens;


30 November 2019 – 5 January 2020

CHRISTMAS AT DYRHAM This Christmas at the National Trust’s Dyrham Park, festivities focus on the little things. Get out of the hustle and bustle of the busy city centre with a calming walking trail for the kids that encourages them to find the beauty in the winter season. If you’re feeling left out, there’s a poetry trail for adults too. Inside you’ll find the glorious home carefully decorated as it would have been in the 17th century, with all the sights and smells of the Christmas season. Mon-Sun, 10am-4pm (house opening times can vary – check website for more details); Dyrham Park;

Various dates, December

PRIOR PARK CHRISTMAS TRAIL An advent calendar has taken over Prior Park Landscape Garden. Seek out the scattered doors to reveal some festive finds – along with a few challenges too. Various dates; normal admission + 50p for the trail; Prior Park Landscape Garden;


14 November

FARROW & BALL COLOUR WORKSHOP WITH AFTERNOON TEA Get a professional insight into how to best use colour in your home with Farrow & Ball colour curator Joa Studholme. Joa will introduce Farrow & Ball’s latest Colour by Nature collection, a 16-strong nature-inspired collection created in collaboration with the Natural History Museum. Afterwards you’ll be enjoy a full Taittinger Champagne afternoon tea. 12pm; £55; The Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa;

14 November

ALL WRAPPED UP Embrace your inner fashionista at this beautiful fashion show and shopping event. Celebrated designers Carole Waller and Chanii-B are joining forces for some serious style inspiration. Christmas shop even as you create your own look for 2020. 7-10pm; £12; Milsom Place;

15 November – 5 January

BATH ON ICE It’s back. Bath’s favourite festive ice


Glow in the dark golf: a classic festive treat; Call The Midwife’s Helen George stars in My Cousin Rachel


rink is returning to Victoria Park this November – and with that the countdown to Christmas will officially begin. 11.45am-10pm weekdays, 10.30am-10pm weekends; adult £11.50, child (under 16) £10; Royal Victoria Park;

15 November – 5 January

GLOW-IN-THE-DARK MINI GOLF After dark the mini golf course in Royal Victoria Park will burst into magical light. Play a round in this atmospheric winter wonderland with

glow in the dark golf balls. Mon-Sun, 4.15-9.30pm; adult £7, child (under 16) £6; Royal Victoria Park;

16–17 November

WIDCOMBE CHRISTMAS MARKET Now in its 13th year, Widcombe Christmas Market is renowned for its cute and clever quality gifts by local artists. If you’re on the hunt for a gift with a difference, this should definitely be a shopping stop. Sat 10.30am-5pm, Sun 10.30am-4pm; Widcombe Social Club,

14 & 15 Walcot Buildings, London Road, Bath BA1 6AD t: 01225 920 210



What’s on

7–17 November

22–23 November

20 November

25 November

FILMBATH FESTIVAL With a diverse offering of 37 features and 46 shorts from filmmakers all over the world, tickets for the FilmBath Festival are flying. From pre-release movies with big name stars to smaller budget gems, it’s a great excuse for a night at the cinema – you might broaden your horizons, too. Various times, locations and prices; TUTANKHAMUN – WONDERFUL THINGS A new Tutankhamun exhibition will begin a tour of the UK this autumn, and the British Royal Literary and Scientific Institution (BRLSI) is celebrating with a lecture about the ancient Egyptian pharaoh. Egyptologist Lee Young will share the story of the young king as well as the mythic ‘cursed’ expedition that uncovered his tomb. 7.30pm; £5 non-members; Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution;

21 November – 23 December

APRÈS-SKI BAR You know we’re officially in the countdown to Christmas when the Après-Ski Bar returns to the Abbey Hotel. Authentic Alpine foods set the scene; warming goulash and delicious bratwursts washed down with tangy red wine, hot chocolate and local beers – you’ll forget you’re in Bath rather than taking a break from the slopes. Mon-Sun, 10am-11pm; Abbey Hotel;

28 November – 31 December

CHRISTMAS TAVERN Known for going all out for the season, this Christmas The Bird will have its own Christmas Tavern. The log cabin style venue will give some serious #cosygoals. Think: sofas so comfy you’ll never want to leave, seating draped in Bavarian furs and a room lost to Christmas magic – baubles, stars and lanterns fill the space with festive spirit. There’s plenty of snacks and drinks available too. Mon-Sun, 12-10pm; The Bird;


MUDSLINGERS CERAMICS GROUP CHRISTMAS SALE Bath’s ceramicist collective, Mudslingers are having their Christmas sale. The wideranging ceramic works range from the practical – mugs, bowls and what have you – to decorative pieces. Fri and Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 10am-5pm; Walcot Street Chapel; search Mudslingers on Facebook DAVID FLATMAN’S RUGBY WORLD CUP Join David Flatman and Matt Powell for an evening of stories about the Rugby World Cup. Have a laugh and do some good – all of the proceeds from the night will be donated to charities supported by Novia Foundation. 7pm; £35; Walcot House; book by emailing

28 November – 15 December (every Thurs-Sun)

KINGSMEAD SQUARE STREET FOOD MARKET Described as a nine-day foodie wonderland, this market is award winning for a reason – 18 of the South West’s very best street food stalls will be on hand to serve up their goods while the market’s Moonshine Bar brings the bevs. There’s even live music. Thurs-Sat 11am-9pm, Sun 11am-6pm; Kingsmead Square; search Kingsmead Square Market on Facebook

29 November – 1 December

WINTER FLOATING FAYRE For one weekend only, the lock in Bradford on Avon will house a festive shopping fayre. Expect a range of creative traders including silversmith Anna Berthon, Chris and H from The Goblyn’s Portal and floating vinyl store The Record Deck. The fayre’s regular busking spot is back, too, with a full programme of music and entertainment to see you through the weekend. Friday 6-9pm, Sat and Sun 10am-4pm; Kennet and Avon Canal, Bradford on Avon n


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the big interview Kat Dawe Schmeisser is also running yoga and brunch sessions at The Art Cohort

Art house

Exhibition space. Place of learning. Art shop and all round creative hub. New to Bath’s Chelsea Road, The Art Cohort is so much more than a gallery. We chat to director Kat Dawe Schmeisser to find out more‌ Words by Harriet Noble Images by Nick Cole; I BATH LIFE I 53

the big interview You’ve just opened The Art Cohort, what’s it all about?

Opening The Art Cohort is a commitment to a dream I’ve had for a long time: to run my own art space. I love art – I know a lot about it – but even I find visits to commercial art galleries intimidating. I wanted to break that mould and create an egalitarian art space. An all-encompassing art venue that combines an exhibition space with a programme that champions emerging art and artists, alongside an art shop showcasing artist made items and a studio style learning space for people of all ages and abilities to get creative through a timetable of weekly art classes and pop-up workshops. You’ve said you champion the connection between creativity and wellbeing. What does this mean?

We know the value of creative practice is well trialled and documented in therapeutic settings. We’re bringing elements of the wellbeing aspects of art and creativity into our space through our yoga and mindful making class. It’s a two-hour class on a Wednesday morning which combines an hour of gentle flow yoga to bring movement to the body, we then break and pop the kettle on and reconvene to get hands-on with a creative making activity for the second hour. This creative time is very much about exploring the process of creativity via suggestions and possibilities presented by the class leader, rather than a focus on achieving a set outcome. It’s non-competitive, we focus on how we felt while making rather than how accomplished the final product is. We’re also introducing weekend yoga, mindful making and brunch sessions.

The Art Cohort is also a shop bursting with arty pieces

So what did you do before this?

I have been an artist…by that I mean a maker, creator, painter, doodler, decorator, collage-maker and ideas person for as long as I can remember. I studied history as my undergraduate degree at university and then decided to go into the corporate world. Until a few years ago I was a global strategy director at Unilever, a job I learnt many skills in which I’m thankful for today as that grounding and experience is hugely helpful in setting up and leading an artist-centric organisation. But then you moved to Bath?

Yes, when I moved to Bath in 2011 I was a stallholder at Bath Artisan Market, which I used as an outlet for my creative passions. I struggled however with making the leap to becoming a full-time artist. It can be a lonely affair being an artist; you can spend quite a lot time alone making your work and when you do interact with the wider public it’s often presenting your work to the world, which can feel fairly vulnerable. I have always been a person energised by other people so I decided to take a different path. In 2014 I began to bring my business skills and passion for art together and move into the world of curating; working with artists, exhibition-making in venues around Bath. I decided to add an academic layer to the work

I was doing as a curator through study of an MA in Curatorial Practice at Bath School of Art and Design. How does the financial set-up for The Art Cohort work?

“We’re delighted to be part of the flourishing, emergent and edgier art scene in Bath”

The Art Cohort is self-funding. Securing arts funding is a difficult, lengthy and very competitive process. We do plan to apply for Arts Council funding for some projects we would like to run in 2020, and we will apply for smallscale funding on a project by project basis. We have an open and transparent model for working with artists and practitioners. For example, artist practitioners who teach in our learning space work on a 50/50 model with The Art Cohort which enables artists to earn a fair amount for their time and skills and enables us to fund a physical arts venue which welcomes artists of all ages and abilities. Really importantly the model is the same for all artists so they don’t need to worry about negotiating percentages like they might in more commercial art gallery spaces. What do you make of the art scene in Bath? Did you feel there was a gap in the market for somewhere for local artists to exhibit?

Bath is an artistic and vibrant place but interestingly we don’t actually have that many art venues, certainly not many artist-led spaces. Compared to our neighbour Bristol the topography of our art scene in Bath is more I BATH LIFE I 55

the big interview limited. The artists are here but they are quite hidden. I am also a member of the Board of Trustees at Bath Artists Studios, the largest community of artists in Bath, and I think some of the artists there are doing great things to create more of an edgy vibrant art scene in Bath. With the recent arrival of the new Bath School of Art and Design in the Locksbrook building (formerly the Herman Miller factory) on Locksbrook Road there is a significant shift happening to relocate the epicentre of the Bath art scene to the Locksbrook/ western Riverside area. We’re delighted to be part of that flourishing, emergent and edgier art scene in Bath. I deliberately chose Chelsea Road as our venue to be in the midst of the happenings at the art school, Bath Artist Studios and the wider creative scene that’s happening with artist studios popping up around the Locksbrook area. And what’s the community like?

We love Chelsea Road! It’s a little shopping street full of independents tucked between the residential areas. It’s an energetic, bustling place with a constant flow of activity happening up and down the street all day long. Our neighbours have been so welcoming and I feel very lucky to have landed in a place with such a strong community ethos. There are exciting things happening on this little street. We are collaborating with Rooted, the vegan/ vegetarian café bar that resides at the lower end of the street, on artist talk supper clubs. What have been the challenges of opening The Art Cohort?

The greatest obstacle to overcome was finding the right space in a great location that could accommodate the vision of having an exhibition space, art shop and studio space for classes and workshops. It took a good amount of time to get where we are now, but I couldn’t be happier with where I’ve chosen. On an ongoing basis leading this space, the team here and our dynamic programme of exhibitions and events, and managing my family life, I am a mum to three children aged seven, five and three so it’s always a matter of finding the balance that works. I have designed a space I love to be in and my children do too so we make that work as we’re all committed to The Art Cohort being a great place to be. And the upsides?

The joy definitely comes every day in the engagement and enjoyment visitors have with the space. So many people who come in are excited and genuinely grateful that an art space has arrived where they live. There is nothing like us around Chelsea Road, or even more widely in Bath. So it means a huge amount to see the support and positivity given to us by our new community. What do you want visitors to feel when they come in?

The most important thing I’d like visitors to The Art Cohort to feel is welcome and that this is a place for them. I’d also love visitors to feel engaged by the art they see around them, no knowledge or experience required but that the art work they see registers an emotion in them – all responses are valid. Best of all would be visitors energised by the thinking and creativity the artist on show has poured into their work, and perhaps inspired to sign up to gets hands on themselves with an art class or workshop.


top: Arty and crafty fun for the kids; above left: Full of Life by Samuel Lindup; above right: Stag Do by Samuel Lindup

“It means a huge amount to see the support given to us by our new community”

You also hosts events for children as well…

Yes, in our weekly class timetable we run preschool art classes, after school art clubs and weekly drop in art and crafts sessions on Friday afternoons and Saturday morning. We also host art-based children’s parties. Anything exciting in the pipeline?

We have an exciting programme of exhibitions at The Art Cohort up to Christmas. We welcome textile artist Millie Clake in November and artist Anna David before Christmas. Our exhibitions run for a two to three week period so there will always be a changing landscape of activity and art work in the exhibition space. n The Art Cohort, 13 Chelsea Road, Bath;

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FILM SOPHIECLAIRE MCLEOD Racing against the clock are Matt Damon and Christian Bale in Le Mans

Golden age Mia Wasikowska and Damon Herriman battle it out in Judy and Punch


e’re into the colder months now, which means great films and screen arts at the cinema to see. We have one of the most famous racing head-toheads, a dark and witty reimagining of a 16th century puppet show, and a farce comedic play to feast your eyes. Le Mans ‘66, otherwise known as Ford vs Ferrari, is already tipped for Oscar nominations. Based on the true story, Le Mans ‘66 follows automotive designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and race car driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale) as they compete to build a race car to beat the legendary race cars from Ferrari in the 1966 24 hour of Le Mans race. Attempting to break the laws of physics, Miles and Shelby also face their own demons in what became one of the most revolutionary race car designs of all time. Already an early Oscar contender, Le Mans ‘66 is an epic story that everyone will enjoy, even if you don’t know much about cars. Le Mans ‘66 is a slow-burner, but the impeccable chemistry of the leads will keep you on the edge of your seat. The intense build up to the inevitable race between the two companies makes for a compelling and interesting drama that highlights the incredible talent of the cast. Bale is well known for his commitment to portraying real-life people, Vice and The Fighter for example, and while his transformation into Ken Miles is not as intense, it is no less impressive or captivating. Damon is equally enthralling, creating a perfect match to Bale’s Miles, making it a stand-out buddy movie, as well as a race car movie.

Expect race cars, Punch and Judy with a modern twist, and Andrew Scott in the next flurry of films coming our way Judy and Punch is a complex comedy/ drama exploring the story of the classic puppet show Punch and Judy, but in the quirkiest possible way. Set in the 17th century, husband and wife puppeteers Judy (Mia Wasikowska) and Punch (Damon Herriman) often perform for the alcohol-laden villagers of Seaside, ironically nowhere near the sea. As the show grows in popularity, so does Punch’s ego, and as his ambition grows, so does his dependence on alcohol. He becomes repugnant and vile, slowly leading to the violence in his puppet

“Already an early Oscar contender, Le Mans 66 is an epic story” show becoming a mirror to their tragic reality. However, Judy is not willing to take this lying down and refuses to let Punch get away with his acts, leading her to a journey of revenge. Wasikowska is marvellous as Judy, portraying a gentle, but incredibly strong woman who isn’t afraid to stand up for herself. Director Mirrah Foulkes creates a traditional tale and adds a modern, bleak but funny twist. Both hilarious and saddening, it’s a great feminist tale that is highly entertaining and enlightening. This darkly comedic story has a little bit for everyone. It’s also being shown as part of the FilmBath Festival, which is showing an extraordinary

range of films across Bath, including The Little Theatre! The fantastically hilarious NT Live: Present Laughter is the sensational semiautobiographical play by Noel Coward. Starring Andrew Scott, of Fleabag and Sherlock fame, this glorious production is a lot of fun to watch. Present Laughter follows a self-involved 41-year-old actor, Garry Essendine (Andrew Scott), as he prepares for an overseas tour. Overwhelmed by a growing identity crisis, with many of his various lovers competing for this attention, Gary’s last few days at home become chaotic, full of panic, love and soul-searching. Already gaining many five star reviews, this impeccable production is full of love, laughs, and passion. Being captured live from The Old Vic in London, this superb production adds a fresh modern twist. Scott re-confirms his outstanding acting ability, his stage presence is mesmerizing and it feels as though the part was made for him. The set and costumes are beautifully crafted, complementing the outstanding acting. If you want to see a witty, impeccably performed comedy, Present Laughter is one for you to add to your watch list.

Sophie-Claire McLeod is duty and marketing manager at The Little Theatre, 1–2 St Michael’s Place; 01225 466822; I BATH LIFE I 59


Soulful connection

Rivalling zoos in East and West Berlin, a foodie book on sharing, and a hilarious picture book are just some of Nic’s favourites

“She explores the spirit of hospitality and the power of dining together to heal wounds” 60 I BATH LIFE I


here’s usually some sort of theme hanging this bookish piece together. It might not be that obvious – certainly not at the start, and often not when you’ve read right through it – but in my head at least I’ve ordinarily imagined some sort of connection between the books that I decide to feature. But all pretence is out of the window this week because for the last few days my head has been full of a complete jumble of books across every imaginable genre, as I’ve been helping my colleagues to finalise our 2019 Christmas Catalogue. So here are just three utterly unconnected titles from that smorgasbord – three that I’ve become particularly fond of during a busy week of selecting and reviewing. First up is The Misadventures of Frederick (Two Hoots, £12.99) a new children’s picture book written by Ben Manley and illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark, with an ambiance somehow reminiscent of The Secret Garden. The tale begins with a melancholic bedroom in an obviously lavish stately home that is illuminated by the arrival of a paper plane. Emily wants Frederick to come out for an ice cream but, when he runs downstairs to check with his mother, he is reminded of his last ice cream experience, when he threw up in his music box. Emily is persistent though – day after day from her excursions to the park, the pond and the forest she fires in her airborne invitations, only to be rejected each time by eloquent letters from Frederick explaining the threats and fears that mean he just can’t take the risk of joining her. His letters are hilarious – always overwritten in a very unchildish style expressing his “bitter regret” at not being able to play. And the pay-off at the end is comedy gold – a brilliant twist to the overall message that sometimes it’s worth giving things a go, despite the risks. Chichester Clark is a celebrated children’s book illustrator with many hit books to her name, but to my mind this is the highlight of that long career. She captures the blend of Emily’s joyous outdoor life and Frederick’s gloomy rooms just perfectly. Easily my

favourite picture book of the year. Here’s something utterly unrelated to Frederick’s solitary world – the Berlin zoo. Or rather zoos. But those zoos are the subject of a brand new history book I’ve been reviewing. The Zookeeper’s War by J.W.Mohnhaupt (Simon & Schuster, £18.99) is translated from the German original and reveals a remarkable rivalry between the zoos in East and West Berlin that mirrored the wider schism created by the iron curtain. The book focuses on the two men who ran these animal parks – one a zoologist, the other a vet and both passionate animal-lovers driven to create the city’s greatest animal collection. But in East Berlin in particular the pressure to keep up with their neighbours was political and extreme. In what is described as the animal equivalent of an arms-race, the two zoos embarked on an urgent battle to bring new keystone animals to their establishment. The book’s best tales centre on the animals themselves as, in the East, Communist allies flocked to contribute – an elephant travels from Vietnam and pandas, hippos, bears, eagles and more soon follow from all over the world. Lastly a few words about Be My Guest by Priya Basil, a superb but unusual foodie book in which the author shares her experience of, well, sharing. She explores the spirit of hospitality and the power of dining together with family and friends to heal wounds and create strong community ties. Basil considers generosity, the ways in which different cultures approach food and the power of food to welcome in strangers and outsiders. Along the way we receive insights into her own family and her personal love of food. She was born in London, of Indian heritage, and spent her childhood in Kenya; a cultural blend that has made family bonding around the table particularly dear to her. A perfect reminder of the positivity of communal dining as we approach the fraught festive family meal season!

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

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Arabic French German Italian Japanese Mandarin Chinese Portuguese Spanish We offer a wide range of foreign languages at beginner through to advanced level. To find out more about the courses available, or to enrol, visit our website and apply online or call 01225 383991.

Celebrate Christmas & New Year at The Mint Room! Check out our festive menus online

CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR AT THE GRAPES This year The Grapes will be open for Christmas Day 12-4pm for lunch (booking in advance only) Christmas Day Lunch £85.00 per person for 6 courses New Years Eve £65.00 per person for 6 courses. CHRISTMAS PARTY NIGHTS are available to book now, see online for our menu £25.00 Two Courses / £32.00 Three Courses 14 Silver Street, Bradford On Avon, BA15 1JY Telephone: 01225 938088 Email:

food & drink s n a p s h o t s o f b at h ’ s f o o d s c e n e


Richard Bertinet going with the dough

Let’s talk food

The Royal Gardens at Highgrove recently played host to the very first Talking Food festival. Reflective of HRH The Prince of Wales’ own values, the foodie fest was all about seasonal and sustainable produce. Bath’s very own Richard Bertinet was one of the speakers. Known for his love of proper bread, he was on hand to share his tips for making a top loaf. While giving an entertaining demonstration, he implored the audience to embrace the sticky and eschew both flour on the worktop and kneading the dough – instead, he explained, you’ve got to show it who’s boss. For more:


Cracking condiments were aplenty at Highgrove

Proud pizza makers Ryan and Matthew

Grab a slice A pair of Bath-based architecture students have set up a pizza takeaway in their back garden. Matthew Hallet and Ryan Ehlers run The Smoking Chimney on Saturday nights from their home in Oldfield Park. “The intention is to open every Saturday evening from 5-9pm, serving our own cold rise, sourdough pizzas using our gas fired ovens from Ooni,” explains Matthew. “The concept is to serve good, homemade pizzas at an affordable price – we’re thinking £4 for a margherita for the first month.” You can find The Smoking Chimney at 170 Coronation Avenue – just go round to the back garden.

For more:

Raise a toast Bath Rugby and Thatchers Cider have celebrated the renewal of their partnership agreement with a special edition cider. Made from apples grown in the orchard at Farleigh House, the team’s training ground, the limited run of 120 bottles of Farleigh cider will be signed by the squad and auctioned off to raise money for Bath Rugby and Thatchers’ Foundations. “At 5.5 per cent abv, Farleigh Cider is a fantastic union of varieties. Like a scrum, the apples used are a blend of strength and guile and all have their unique contribution. Pour this cider into your favourite cup and let it tackle your taste buds,” says Richard Johnson, head cider maker at Thatchers. For more:

Martin Thatcher, Charlie Ewels, Will Chudley, Mike Williams and Eleanor Thatcher I BATH LIFE I 63

food & drink

“As long as it’s interesting, made with love and tastes great, we’re all over it!” A sense of excitement – whether that’s a grape variety I’ve never had before or flavours and aromas I wouldn’t expect. For me, wine is meant to be exciting.

What do you look for in a wine?

are neither. It really just means that it’s a low intervention wine that uses the naturally occurring yeasts from the grapes or winemaking environment to start the fermentation.

You talk a lot about craft wine – what is that, exactly?

You run events, too, right? What are they like?

There’s a lot of division in the world of wine and one of the biggest at the moment is between “traditional wine” drinkers and “natural wine” drinkers – and both tend to be staunchly loyal to their own and disparaging of the other. We’re of the opinion that what really matters is if the wine is good, whether that be natural or not. Our goal is to find amazing small production wines on both sides of the divide and the word ‘craft’ seems to encapsulate and bridge that gap quite nicely. And what about organic, biodynamic and natural wines? We’d love to hear more about those and their benefits. 

take 5

Nestled away in Green Park Station, Wolf Wine, the shop and wine bar, is all about craft wine with a relaxed vibe. Owner Sam Shaw thinks wine appreciation can be for everyone, not just the experts So, tell us about Wolf Wine...

Wolf Wine is fundamentally about bringing the fun back to wine. We specialise in small production wines from around the world – as long as it’s interesting, made with love and tastes great, we’re all over it! We have a small retail cabin in Green Park Station (near the big Sainsbury’s) and we wholesale to bars and restaurants too.


What does your job entail?

As with any small business owner, my job entails a little bit of everything – but the things I enjoy doing most are finding and trying new wines made with strange/rare grape varieties or from an obscure country, and of course drinking wine with the amazing people we meet here!

Organic wines are wines produced from organic vineyards and tend to have lower chemical additives in. I think, though that the organic certification can often be misleading and we very rarely stock organic certified wines. Instead we have wines that are organic practicing but just don’t want to pay the fee to be able to put it on their labels. Biodynamic wines are a little more mystical. It’s an entirely natural process that involves a planting calendar that follows lunar cycles as well as other natural treatments that happen in the vineyard. The wine is then made completely naturally too, with no additives and using the natural yeasts that occur on the grapes and within the environment. There’s also a drinking calendar that tells you when the biodynamic wine will be tasting its best. Natural wines are a bit more of a catch-all. You can have both organic and biodynamic natural wines as well as natural wines that

We do – we host a lot of private wine tastings and hen dos as well as collaborations with other awesome small businesses around Bath and Bristol. We tend to keep them casual and fun rather than your more traditional tastings. We also have bar nights at the shop (Thursday and Friday) and they’re a lot of fun too. We love the idea of the refill station! Is being an eco-friendly business important to you? 

The refill station is one of my favourite things about Wolf Wine. It’s a perfect combination of great wine, great value and eco-friendly principals. Being eco-friendly is definitely important for us; from big things like the refill station to little things like recycled business cards, we’re constantly finding ways to minimise our impact on the environment. What are you drinking at the moment?

The most recent bottle I had was a skin-contact Chenin from South Africa that had been aged under flor (the same technique used in sherry). It was a cacophony of peaches, hazelnut and red apple – we loved it. Anything exciting coming up we should know about?

It’s that time of year so we’re getting all geared up for Christmas. This year we’re doing a lot more pre-packed gift options and a Christmas mixed cased to make it even easier for people to enjoy their festivities.

King William The King William is celebrating a milestone anniversary, so Lisa Evans went along to sample the outrageous flavours, wellworn charms and fair prices that make this pub so popular


ifteen years ago, the King William was transformed by husband and wife Charlie and Amanda Digney from somewhat of an infamous boozer to a treasured Bath gastropub. I felt that its anniversary was a great reason for me to pay a visit (but any excuse would have done). So visit I did. The word ‘delicious’ is thrown around a fair bit to describe a myriad things, but, honestly, the food at this little Georgian hidey-hole on the corner of London Road is outrageously delicious; like, other-worldly kind of delicious. The Times’ Giles Coren agrees; above the door to the restaurant is a chalked quote from the man himself. It reads: “A pub so good it brings a tear to the eye. Well worth making the train journey from London, even just for lunch.” Lunch for me and the family began with a mushroom


soup so good that I badgered the chef for tips on how to make it. It’s all about the caramelisation of the chestnut mushrooms and shallots, and there’s a science to salting – you want the seasoning to penetrate and bring out the hidden flavours in a dish, and you want to add the salt early on, not leave it as an afterthought. Oh, and balsamic – he adds that to quite a few of his dishes. Chef David Vosper is, without trying to sound OTT here, a genius in the kitchen. With impressive local namedrops – such as Lucknam Park and Castle Combe Manor House – on his CV, his food has such depth and character that if it were a person, they would be wise and welcoming, and their spectacles would perch on the end of their nose while they told me captivating tales about their rich, full lives. The mussels in local cider, fresh cream and herbs were exceptional. In fact, the sauce – ready to be dredged up with thick slices of focaccia – would have been a


gorgeous eyeball-fogging dish of its own; the mussels were but sweet, tender bonuses. On to mains, and my incredibly well-seasoned autumn-on-a-plate choice was fluffy gnocchi nestled on a buttery bed of pumpkin and maple syrup purée. Oh em gee. Melting on top were generous chunks of gooey Bath Soft Cheese, and charred pumpkin and pumpkin seeds added to the texture party happening in my mouth. More people would seek the meat-free option if all restaurants served dishes like this. Strip the menu down to basics and it could appear to be a normal, maybe even a bit boring, pub offering: mac and cheese, Sunday roast, fish and chips, a burger. But then it gets the Vosper treatment and it becomes a thing of beauty. The crisp sausage roll, for example, had haggis and black pudding inside, and was served with chunky, sweet tomato chutney. And the salmon – the freshest Loch Duart salmon no less – came with Bromham beetroot and spiced aubergine, was cooked to literal perfection and demanded to be taken seriously. Another non-pubby welcome treat was the absence of stickiness on the unglossy tables and floor. They’ve had a refurb to celebrate their anniversary, so maybe that’s why everything felt and looked so spotless, but from the countless recommendations I’ve heard over the years, this five-star clean and tidiness isn’t anything new. It’s a snug, cosy spot, and since it started serving food in 2004 there’s barely been an empty table. On the walls are works by local artists (independents supporting independents, we like it), and there’s oodles of traditional warmth, mismatched, miscellaneous eccentricity and well-worn charm. We were so full, but rule of tum says dessert is a must, so we finished with a pistachio and biscotti Arctic roll with mango sorbet, and a dark chocolate and cherry brownie with salted caramel ice cream. Suitably stuffed. If you haven’t already, I must insist that you give this place a go. My only criticism is that there are superfluous salt and pepper shakers on the tables, none of which a diner will ever have touched. The food is perfectly seasoned, shockingly rich and sumptuous, and shows a serious commitment to turning the seemingly simple into masterful creations. n

“Fluffy gnocchi nestled on a buttery bed of pumpkin and maple syrup purée”

Dining details

the Sunday lunch menu when we went – although the chef is very accommodating

King William, 36 Thomas Street, Bath, BA1 5NN; 01225 428096;

Prices (lunch) Two courses £21; three courses £26

In a nutshell Charlie and Amanda Digney took over the King William back in 2004 with the focus on being the best a Great British pub can be We ate To start: mushroom soup; haggis and black pudding sausage roll; mussels. For mains: pork belly roast; gnocchi with pumpkin and Bath Soft; salmon with beetroot; a classic burger. To finish: Arctic roll; cherry brownie Vegetarian options There were two gorgeous starters, but no veggie mains on

Drinks Plenty of choice, but the K.W remains one of Bath’s most popular real ale pubs Service Even though they are rushed off their feet, the friendly staff all still have time for a natter and a joke Atmosphere A friendly, cosy, dining-at-yourmum’s-house feel What else? It’s been a pub for 150 years Look out for Their Christmas party menu, featuring delights such as wood pigeon and duck terrine with fig and port purée; venison wellington; and stollen bread and butter pud I BATH LIFE I 67

Award-Winning, Family Run Farm Shop Established for over 30 years Selling Quality Local Produce Open Daily 9am – 6pm (9.30am – 5pm on Sundays) HOME & LOCALLY REARED FRESH MEAT, POULTRY & GAME HOMEMADE SAUSAGES, BURGERS & FAGGOTS CHRISTMAS MEAT ORDERS NOW BEING TAKEN


GIFT HAMPERS Premium Christmas Trees on sale from 30th November Tel: 01249 658112 Allington Bar Farm, Chippenham, SN14 6LJ

NEW YEAR’S EVE BALL AT T H E RO M A N BAT H S A N D P U M P R O O M 7. 45pm – 1. 30 a m Pump Room: £150 | Terrace: £135 | Reception Hall: £127.50 | Kingston Room: £110

Count down to 2020 in spectacular style! Dust off your finest suit and bring out that ballgown – join us at the Roman Baths and Pump Room for an unforgettable start to the New Year! Begin the evening with a sparkling reception around the torch-lit Roman Baths, before moving upstairs for an indulgent five-course dinner with half a bottle of wine, followed by live music and midnight celebrations.

Buy tickets now at: For more information, call 01225 444477




The nights are drawing in and what better way to survive the winter blues than a pint of beer or something stronger next to a roaring fire. Pick your spot to hole up for the season with the help of our handy guide to some of the best local pubs around


17 Northumberland Place, Bath BA1 5AR 01225 463568; One of Bath’s hidden gems, the Coeur De Lion is a cosy traditional pub full of period features located in the heart of the city in the pedestrianised Northumberland Place opposite the Guildhall. It enjoys the distinction of being Bath’s smallest pub, with signs above the seating reminding customers to ‘budge up’ and is almost, as far as the owners know, the only pub of this name in the country. Attracting both friendly locals and adventurous tourists drawn to the fantastic Abbey Ales beer, diverse mix of conversation and traditional classic pub food – bangers and mash, fish and chips and locally made Celtic Pies – The Coeur De Lion particularly comes alive on Bath Rugby days both before and after games.



The George & Dragon, the classic British pub in Batheaston, is being returned to its former glory by Michelle Bryant-Jefferies. Having recently partnered with Indian restaurant Easton Spice to provide an exciting Indian cuisine dining experience, the bar has also had a complete makeover – with more changes to come. With a new selection of wines, locally-sourced suppliers like Lilley’s Cider and the collaboration with Easton Spice, The George & Dragon offers a truly unique combination.

Enjoy a warm welcome at The Longs Arms this winter. Situated in the heart of the picturesque village of Steeple Ashton, The Longs Arms is the perfect place for the discerning drinker to enjoy a glass of ale, or for the entire family to sit down and have a meal together in front of a roaring fire. The menu changes regularly to suit the season, and delicious hearty meals are now being conjured up as the nights draw in. There’s something on the menu for everyone, and we also have a wide range of vegan options. Landlady, Caroline Quartley, has been at The Longs Arms since May 2005, and with the support of her great team the pub is the hub of the Steeple Ashton community.

223 London Road East, Batheaston, Bath BA1 7NB 01225 858007


High Street, Steeple Ashton, Wiltshire BA14 6EU Tel: 01380 870245;




The Old Ham Tree is a traditional 18th century village pub with letting rooms, where everyone is welcomed by our friendly staff. Serving Wadworth ales and tasty, homemade comfort food, you can order most mains in small portions (£7) as well as the regular size, and tasty, homemade desserts – also available in small (£4). Customers can benefit from our loyalty scheme, with members receiving points to use against future visits. Dogs are welcome in the bar area and the pretty beer garden, and you can enjoy a glass of mulled wine or a hot chocolate in front of the fires that are in both the bar and restaurant, a cosy escape in the winter months. We serve a very popular traditional Sunday roast for £8/£12 catering for meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans. Separate menus avaliable for those with gluten-free and coeliac diets. Call 01225 782581 to book or visit

The Raven is a traditional old English pub, an independent Free House, and we take pride in doing what we do well. Simple, high quality products, with no pretension. We focus on cask ale from small brewers and have been in the CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide every year for the last 14 years. Our locally sourced food can only be described as hearty, traditional pub grub, ten flavours of pie with mash or chips and gravy. Not in the mood for a pie? Try our locally made sausages or a ploughman’s lunch. Whatever you do, when you come, bring a good appetite. Whether you’re a confirmed carnivore, vegetarian or vegan, there’s something for every taste in our range of food and drink, and from the middle of November we’ll be serving our delicious homemade mulled wine, a tasty treat to warm the coldest winter’s eve.

Ham Green, Holt, Trowbridge, BA14 6PY 01225 782581;

6-7 Queen Street, Bath BA1 1HE 01225 425045;


23 Vineyards, Bath BA1 5NA 01225 425072;


3-4 Grove Street, Bath BA2 6PJ; 01225 425918

Situated on Vineyards (The Paragon), The Star Inn is Abbey Ales brewery tap and remains a classic example of an untouched multi-roomed English public house, where beer is still served from the jug. First licensed in 1760, The Star Inn retains many of its original features including 19th century bar fittings and wooden benches. Described by CAMRA (The Campaign for Real Ale) as a ‘rare and unspoiled pub interior of outstanding historic interest’, The Star Inn is listed on the National Inventory of Heritage Pubs. The pub features four separate drinking areas. The smaller bar, used by many of the regulars, features a long single bench known as ‘death row’ where a complimentary pinch of snuff can still be found in tins on the ledge above the wall panelling. Uninterrupted by juke boxes or gaming machines, chat amongst the locals is the theme along with dominoes, cribbage, shove halfpenny and live music.

The Rising Sun Inn is a traditional English pub brought bang up to date with clean, fresh décor, modern lighting and a warm friendly atmosphere. Just off the famous Pulteney bridge, right in the heart of historic Bath they offer great food, drink and first-class B&B accommodation. Every room has a luxury en-suite, bathroom as well as complimentary tea making facilities and free Wi-Fi. Also, a dog friendly establishment in both the pub and bed and breakfast rooms. The Rising Sun loves local, quality food and works hard to make sure every meal is delicious, great value and unforgettable; just like their famous Sunday roast. I BATH LIFE I 73

Welcome to Mantra, an Indian Restaurant in the heart of Bath, that specialises in serving progressive Indian food. Mantra is a family run authentic Indian restaurant. Our dishes are healthily packed with flavour, crunch, punch and zing offering plenty of choice to vegetarians and vegans.Inspired by seasonal ingredients, our food contains only the freshest produce prepared in a way that captures the amazing diversity of India’s regional cuisines and childhood street food memories. 5, Bladud Buildings, The Paragon, Bath BA1 5LS Tel: 01225 446 332 Email: |

Helping you have a good day, every day Open for Brunch, Lunch, and Speciality Coffee Tuesday-Sunday. Follow our story on instagram @gooddaycafe

Hondo Sushi and Japanese fine dining restaurant

Freshly prepared food using the best quality produce 2 floors of dining and takeaways available

Sushi  Bentos  Donburi Bao buns  Katsu currys BOOK NOW TO AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT! 8-9 St James's Parade, Bath

T: 01225 920420

The Bespoke Furniture, Upholstery & Soft Furnishings Experts Clifton Village 62-64 The Mall, Bristol, BS8 4JG

Bedminster 196 North Street, Bristol, BS3 1JF

Open Mon – Sat 9AM – 5PM 01173 702745


ANIMAL INSTINCT Meet this charismatic crowd. Jewelled cat and jewelled rabbit are both in the business we call show – they’ve just auditioned for the animal adaptation of The Crown that was recently announced – Cat’s going for the part of Princess Margaret while Rabbit is going for the biggie, the Queen. All paws crossed for them; we think it’s in the bank. Elsewhere, Bear is putting the finishing touches to his memoirs – expect happy, raucous tales from his time in The House of Lords. And Fox has gone though a recent career change: being a spy turned out to surprisingly badly paid and not half as glamorous as he’d hoped, but he’s making a tidy fortune now as a model and has just celebrated getting two million followers on Instagram. These delicious characters are hand printed illustrations by Charley Rabbit Publishing, are professionally mounted and ready to frame on your wonderful walls. All prints are £30 each and can be purchased from Homefront Interiors, 10 Margaret’s Buildings, Bath; I BATH LIFE I 77

ASSORTMENT OF COSY SOCKS, £19.95 EACH These selection – yellow and silver, blue and gold, and leopard print – will keep those tootsies warm and seriously stylish. From Graham & Green; 92 Walcot Street, Bath;

LIFE IS COSY Snuggle up with these winter wonders

OWL MUG, £16.50 An owl wearing a crown? A penguin wearing a top hat? This china mug is right up our street. From Quadri;16 Milsom Place, Milsom Street, Bath;

POM BEANIE, £38 Turn heads in this autumnal two tone cosy pom beanie. Perfect for brightening up your Sunday walk outfit. From Anthropologie, 1-4 New Bond Street, Bath;

BARBAS WOODBURNER, (price available on request) Playing cards or having a sleepover, gather round this stylish wood burner. From Mendip Fireplaces; Monkton Combe Mill, Mill Lane, Monkton Combe;

CHYANGRA GOAT HAIR FLOOR CUSHION, £300 The ultimate floor cushion to plonk your bottom on; it’s super soft, incredibly comfortable, and is available in three stunning shades: fawn, sable and for those who like to live on the edge, cheetah From Oka, 26-27 Milsom Street, Bath;


ED’S CHOICE WIRE LIGHTS, £12.50 Cluster in jars or vases, hang from the walls, throw in a corner or on a plant – these minimalist sparkly lights can literally go anywhere and will immediately bring a warm glow to your home. From The Salcombe Trading Company; 76 Walcot Street, Bath;

SOMETIMES IN BATH, £8.99 Described as ‘warm, witty and wistful’ this is local writer Charles Nevin’s latest offering and it’s all about Bath and the hidden stories that have taken place throught its history, merging fact with fiction. Hunker down and enjoy. Available at Topping & Company Booksellers, Mr B’s Emporium Bookshop, The Oldfield Park Bookshop and Waterstones

HAND KNITTED WOOL MITTENS, £25 These pretty things are formed from a cable knit crochet flower detail and are designed in Bath and produced with a Fair Trade ladies cooperative in Nepal From Bibico; 9A Bartlett Street, Bath;

ANTIQUE TEALIGHT HOLDER, £4.50 Great for the sitting room, hallways and outdoor spaces – magical atmosphere guaranteed. From Biggie Best; 3 Broad Street, Bath;

CLASSIC SCARF, £40 This wool-cashmere blend comes from Barbour’s Scottish heritage with a matching hem and winning tartan print From John Anthony; 28 High Street, Bath; I BATH LIFE I 79

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Free evening collection smarty dry cleaning has created a new service to fit around the demands of modern living


marty Dry Cleaning, the independent specialist dry cleaners has just launched a free evening collection and delivery service in the Bath area. This service has been created in response to customer feedback which has found that due to the demands of busy lives and schedules whether through work, parenting or other responsibilities, there is definitely a need in Bath for a home delivery service. Smarty Dry Cleaning will come to the customer’s door at a time of their convenience, take away the items and return them when needed, taking away the need of having to

make the two journeys. This service will cover dry cleaning, hand-finished laundry, curtains, duvets plus alterations along with any other specialist requirements a customer needs. The free collection and delivery service is available Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening from 6–9pm on all orders over £20. Please email to place an order. n

“there is definitely a need in Bath for a home delivery service”

Elms Cross Shopping Centre (next door to Sainsbury’s), Bradford On Avon BA15 2AZ; 01225 862964

11 River Street Place, Julian Road, Bath BA1 2RS; 01225 444666;


L O N D O N – PA R I S – W O R L D W I D E

c laire m orrisphotography. c o m


A fresh new look Get a superior style with VANESSA MEYERS


riginally trained in London with Toni & Guy, Vanessa Meyers gained her cutting skills in Knightsbridge and her colouring and chemical processing experience on Bond Street. She stayed with Toni & Guy for 12 years before going out on her own and travelling around the South West. After all the travelling, Vanessa realised

she missed the salon life, so stepped into a manager’s job at Naughty but Nice in Larkhall, working under the salon's previous owner, Debbie Walshaw. Vanessa was a manager at the salon for 19 years, before taking over Naughty But Nice when Debbie stepped down. Vanessa and Debbie get on really well and still work together on Tuesdays.

SO WHAT’S NEW AT VANESSA MEYERS? Vanessa and her partner Simon have upgraded the salon with a fresh new look. Catering for all ages, the salon now has WiFi and the latest magazines for teenagers, as well as toys and books for the kids. Vanessa offers competitive prices and has a lovely team of highly qualified stylists ready to listen and achieve any look you desire. ■ 2 Upper Lambridge St, Bath BA1 6RY; 01225 462108;  vanessameyersbath

THE ONLY CLASSIC BARBER SHOP IN BATH 15 Lark Place, Bath BA1 3BA Telephone: 01225 287839 Tue - Fri: 10:00 - 19:00 Sat: 08:30 - 16:30 pirate_paulus


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The local experts on how to get luscious locks and glowing skin


f there’s anyone that looks at their most gorgeous in winter in England I’ve yet to meet them. Tess Daly maybe. It’s one of life’s troublesome contradictions that the exact few weeks when we are supposed to be at our most fabulous-looking selves, Christmas party ready with glitter and fizz aplenty, most of us haven’t experienced warmth or sunshine in weeks and are overworked, and sporting dry skin, a sniffly pink nose, and a permanent cheese, wine and box-set complexion. So what can we do? How can we avoid dry winter skin? And what’s ontrend to make us look and feel healthy and just a little bit beautiful this Christmas?

skincare that we stock. It hydrates the skin throughout the night to leave it super soft and ready for a new day. Anything else?

For anyone who wants advice on putting on makeup, we run a speed makeup workshop, where we show people quick and easy techniques in under five minutes. LittleLAB, 20 Broad Street Bath, BA1 5LN; ENHANCE MEDISPA Hannah Paradise, owner of Enhance They offer treatments which cover all essential beauty needs to more specialised treatments to help target problematic skincare concerns such as acne. These treatments include Elemis facials, image skincare peels, dermaplaning, cosmetic acupuncture, manicures and pedicures, IPL/laser hair reduction and lash treatments such as lash lifts and lash extensions.

Skin deep

LITTLELAB Katherine Spreadbury, director   LittleLAB offer modern makeup and beauty treatments and makeup workshops. At Christmas, they are launching their Champagne nail bar, ready for the festive parties.

What is on-trend at the moment with treatments?

What is on-trend at the moment with makeup?

Quick, results driven, no downtime treatments such as an enzyme peel. You can get the glow of a deep cleansing facial and noticeable results in just one session and in half the time.

Dewy contouring and a structured wellshaped brow. It’s so important to sort out your brows before you apply makeup. We have our unique tailored brow service; we only shape natural, full and beautiful brows; no scary over pencilled ones. Any advice on how we can keep our skin in good condition this winter?

The leave-on hydration masque by ARK


Any general skin advice?

TOP: Charlotte and her kit at LittleLAB;

BOTTOM: The salon at Enhance Medispa

Avoid make up wipes and use a good physical SPF all year round to ensure healthy and protected skin. Enhance Medispa, 3 Miles’s Buildings, George Street, Bath, BA1 2QS;


“We’re launching a champagne nail bar, ready for the festive parties”

Hair cut and styled by Zac Fennell from BA1 Hair I BATH LIFE I 83

New for November: Pelvic Floor Workshop and Get Your Mindset for Weight Loss Course. See website for details

Photo: © Beata Cosgrove Photography

Come and discover your inner sanctuary with our guided 20 minute meditation sessions. Classes run throughout the day – try your first for free by registering at

Drop in £5 | Monthly membership £40 (unlimited daily meditations) Other things you’ll find at The Soul Spa: Workshops • Courses • Therapies First meditation starts at 6.30am, last one 7pm – check the website for details 2 Hetling Court BA1 1SH ( just a few steps from the Thermae Spa)

Tel: 01225 318226 |

The Soul Spa

HAIR & BEAUTY Intensive hair

BA1 HAIR Zac Fennell, director BA1 has been going since 1986, offering hairdressing in a large, cool, unique space split over different levels, all accentuated by massive skylights and windows flooded with natural light. They also have their own training academy. What is on-trend at the moment?

We are seeing so much in fashion right now, but not much in the way of one set look. It’s more about people expressing themselves through colours, cuts and styles that suit and complement them. Less is more, just putting a slight wave in the hair then putting it up gives you a great textured natural look. Plaits are my favourite having a house full of girls; I love coming up with different braids for them to go to school with. What do you like about working in Bath?

I love Bath, you can’t beat it! We have a beautiful view overlooking the roof tops, the sun setting over the Georgian buildings. BA1 Hair, 5 Bartlett St, Bath BA1 2QZ; B hairdressing Harriet Barber, owner  B Hairdressing are colour specialists and offer everything from bridal packages to festival hair. All their products are PETA-approved, even down to their colour. Tell us something interesting about your salon…

Our salon ethos probably makes us a bit quirky – we are gender neutral, vegan, ethical and non-judgmental. The B motley crew makes us very quirky; think gender bending rules, tattoos and a whole lot of smiles. What is on-trend at the moment with haircuts?

Face framing balayage is the real star colouring service at the moment. Think sun kissed hair. Pair your face framing balayage with a midi bob and you’ve got the most Pinterestable hair going! For people who are short of time, can you suggest some quick and easy ‘looks’ for hair or makeup that anyone can master?

Sometimes it’s something so simple as popping in for a fringe trim – which are complimentary. A high ponytail is always so chic, aim for just above the crown for a show pony vibe. Any top tips?

Professional hair products are not a gimmick, never underestimate the power of a heat protector and overnight Olaplex No3 treatment – it is so transformative. B Hairdressing, 11 Claverton Buildings, Widcombe BA2 4LD;

Wonderful waves at B Hairdressing

“Face framing balayage is the real star colouring service at the moment”

David Maxwell Hairdressing David Maxwell, director In the heart of Bath, David Maxwell Hairdressing provides hair colouring services, ladies, gents and children’s hair cuts and a range of other services including beautiful bridal hair, hair extensions and straightening. What is popular at the moment in the world of hair?

The trend at the moment is polished and sleek with neat and trim ends. The finished look is high gloss, hydrated and bursting with moisture. We recommend Kevin Murphy’s intensive treatment in the salon to ensure hair looks healthy and beautiful. I BATH LIFE I 85


Sleek and wavy styles at David Maxwell Hairdressing

And how about hair styles…

How we can keep our hair and skin in good condition this winter?

In the cold weather it is vital to keep hair healthy with regular trims and hydrating treatments. Paul Mitchell’s Wild Ginger range is fantastic to reduce breakage and maintain high moisture levels in your hair. Products such as Kevin Murphy’s Heated Defence prevent damage to hair when styling it in the morning. David Maxwell Hairdressing, 10 Argyle Street, Bath BA2 4BQ;

Pretty pink: fun shades at BA1 Hair


To compliment the sleek and polished look, hair should be styled in Dior and Chanelesque waves with less of a beachy waves feel and more of a catwalk, glamour vibe. Rich autumnal auburns are still very prominent this year but they must look neat, styled and glossy.

Just got out the shower kind of styling from BA1 Hair

VANESSA MEYERS SALON Vanessa Meyers, owner The hair salon offers all aspects of hairdressing, including bespoke hair cutting, blow drys, styling, weddings and put ups, tinting, highlighting, balayage, root stretch, and perming. Tell us about how you came to be running the salon?

I trained with Toni and Guy in London – Knightsbridge for my cutting and Bond Street for my colouring. I have been a hairdresser for 25 years. I have worked in Larkhall for 20 years and have adapted styles and ideas, keeping on top of the latest trends and bringing them to the local people so that they can feel good about themselves.

I’m a very good listener and I feel this plays a big part in being a good hairdresser so that you can give your clients the best. You need to be able to help people visualise what could be possible and at the same time, it needs to suit the hair and the person. Vanessa Meyers Salon, 2 Upper Lambridge Street, Larkhall. Bath, BA1 6RY;



What does it take to make a great hairdresser?


Lower Ground Suite, 3 Miles's Buildings, George Street, Bath BA1 2QS | 01225 422851 | Open Monday to Saturday - By appointment only


Ready, Set, Sparkle Your head-to-toe party season beauty prep countdown Words by Ané Auret PAMPER, PRIME AND PREP

With Christmas party season upon us, your diary will be filling up with office do’s, celebratory meals and after-work drinks. But add to the festive mix all the shopping, decorating and the inevitable end-of-year deadlines at work, and it may seem impossible to find time for the allimportant party prep. The real secret to turning up to sparkly events feeling sparkly too is to decide what makes you feel good from the inside out – feeling good is so much more important that an outfit or hairdo –– but there’s also nothing wrong with having some fun with getting pampered, prepped and primed as much as you want! Bath is a beauty addict’s dream with so many amazing hair, makeup and beauty options so there’s no excuse to not carve out a little festive you-time. Whether you want to go full on glam fest or just want to add a little festive spirit, we’ve got your head-to-toe beauty prep covered with our timeline below.

Before we start, here are our top five festive beauty tips, and it’s all in the planning...

• Plan and book any appointments you want to make in advance. Last minute bookings can mean no availability, extra stress and squeezing in an appointment somewhere that may not be your usual favourite. Some salons may also be closed on certain days like New Year’s Eve, so check in advance and get booking. • Check the dress code and choose your look, plan your outfit, jewellery, clutch and shoes in advance, especially if you plan to buy or hire online. When you have an idea of how your outfit is going to look you can also plan your hair and makeup looks in advance. • Re-engineer your night. Know what time you need to leave home (and how you’re going to get there – think about your shoes!) and schedule your getting-ready time backwards from there. Set out everything you need in advance. • Start practicing for the DIY jobs. Want to experiment with new lashes, try a new liquid


eyeliner or fake tan? Maybe clip-in hair pieces or a whole new makeup look? Don’t leave it for the day of the party. Start practicing now. • Pre-plan your transport to and from the Christmas party venue. Don’t get stuck waiting for that train, bus or taxi so check timetables and book in advance as much as you can.



BODY If you’re starting to feel a bit sluggish as winter looms, now is the time to get back in action and get your pre-Christmas body moving. Aim for at least 30mins a day, even if it’s just a walk during your lunch hour. Invest in a body scrub (Soap & Glory FLAKE AWAY, £8) to slough away dead skin and boost circulation. Daily dry brushing or using exfoliating mits 2-3 times a week works great too. Hydrate with beautiful, rich body butters (Clinique Deep Comfort, £26; The Sanctuary Spa’s Ultra Rich Body Butter, £12.50) – and make sure you still have enough water every day to stay hydrated inside and out. SKINCARE Hopefully your autumn skincare routine is working well for you, but if you need a little boost or extra TLC, now is the time to book in a few facials or treatments that can help your skin look its absolute best. Professional facials and peels can be a great addition to your routine, but speak to your therapist and don’t try anything too drastic too close to your important dates, just in case you have a reaction. Something I’ll definitely be doing again is a Dermaplane facial. Enhance Medispa and The Brow Works are both good options to visit locally. For me this is a perfect option before a special event. I’ve tried it before and it leaves my skin silky smooth, brighter and clear – I absolutely love the way my makeup feels afterwards. A good at-home option is the Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel, £18 for five treatments. Specially formulated with five different acids to correct uneven skin tone and reduce the appearance of fine lines – perfect if you don’t have time to pencil in a facial appointment.

“Bath is a beauty addict’s dream”

Add glitter and bright colours to complete your look I BATH LIFE I 89

You can’t go wrong with a bit of red lippy


“Party season is a great time to have fun and experiment”

HAIR For a simple trim, a colour refresh or getting your roots done to see you through the party season – the one important thing is to book now. But it’s just as important to book your hairdresser for the actual day of your party, especially if you want to co-ordinate it with getting your makeup and/or nails done. How about trying out a few new looks? Start experimenting now and put some ideas together for your hairdresser. If you want to do it yourself, then now is a great time to get your accessories together and start practicing for how you’re going to do it on the day!


WAXING (ideally 1-3 days before) If you feel your most fabulous when your pins and private parts are hairfree, waxing will save you some shaving time for at least 2-3 weeks. If you’re planning to have a spray tan (see below) timing is also important to give yourself a day or so between waxing and tanning, otherwise a day or two before your event is great too. TANNING (ideally 1-3 days before) If you feel you need a bit of extra body glow then investing in a professional spay tan can give you a gorgeous glowing goddess finish, but if you want to do it yourself (remember your exfoliation and waxing) it’s a good idea to purchase now and have a few trial runs leading up to your party. Alternatively, a good quality gradual tanner can do a great job too. If it’s a complete last minute decision, St Tropez’s Express Self-tan (£33) develops in as little as one hour or Vita Liberata’s HD Body Blur (£29.95) is a wash-off product that gives instant results. Other good options are tinted moisturisers and bronzing cosmetics. I’ve loved the Body Shop Baked-To-Last Bronzer (£16) for years and always go back to it. BROWS and LASHES (ideally 1-3 days before if doing it professionally) Frame your face with perfectly shaped and tinted brows – this alone can transform your whole look. If you haven’t done a tint before you’ll need a 24hr patch test first so make sure to pop into your salon to check

90 I bath LIFE I

that off your list some time before your appointment. There are many do-it-yourself options too – the trick is to start trying them now so you can test in advance. Nobody wants caterpillar eyebrows on the day. With lashes you have a few options – getting a full set done professionally (lasts around 3 weeks and requires ongoing maintenance), buy falsies and do them yourself and start practicing (I’ve definitely not mastered this yet!) – or if you get your makeup done professionally, check with your makeup artist if they could include and apply lashes for you. I usually go for this option. NAILS (Ideally 1-3 days before (if using polish), maybe up to a week before if using gel) If you like getting your nails done, how about experimenting with something glittery - or some nail art? Party season is a great time to have fun and experiment. If you can squeeze in a relaxing mani and pedi it could take some of the stress out too.


MAKEUP Looking for the perfect contouring, smokey eye and red lip? Whether you’re doing it yourself, visiting a makeup counter, booking a private makeup artist or a salon, the key is to know what kind of look you’re after so it works with the rest of your outfit. It can be helpful to research the kind of look that you’d like and show your makeup artist what you want through pictures rather than trying to explain, just so you’re on the same page (same with your hairdresser!) It can also help to take off all your makeup before your appointment if you can as it will save time and not cut into the actual application time. Quick fix straight from the office or getting ready at your desk? Star helpers are dry shampoo; pressed powder to eliminate shine; a quick mascara touch up; a little sparkle on the eye lids and your favourite red lipstick. An all-in-one palette is a great addition to any makeup bag. I love the Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look In A Palette (£49), it’s slim enough to slip into my handbag and has all you need to bronze, highlight, blush and fix your eye-makeup.

health & beauty Makeup by LittleLAB


Recently I was lucky enough to have my own pre-party makeover by two of Bath’s most well-known hair and beauty institutions. Images by Nick Cole

Beautiful waves from Bobby Mak

Gorgeous eyeshadow by LittleLAB

LittleLAB – for make up

First off was getting my makeup done by Chloe at LittleLAB (your one-stop shop for everything from nails, waxing, lashes, makeup and gift shopping). Over a lovely cup of tea we discussed the smokey eye look and medium coverage foundation finish I had in mind and I immediately knew I was in good hands. Chloe started off by cleansing and prepping my skin, explaining every step in the process and then started on my eyes first. so that my foundation doesn’t get affected should any of the pigment drop onto my cheeks. She then worked her magic with the award-winning Temptu Airbrush Foundation Gun – a unique handheld device that creates a natural, flawless look with a variety of foundation, blush and highlight options to create a longlasting, glowy finish. It’s a really lovely,

subtle sensation and very different from the usual foundation brushes or blenders I use. The gorgeous smokey eye with individual lashes completed the look beautifully and I was very happy with how well my foundation lasted all through the night. Airbrush makeup full face, individual lash application incl. From £45 LittleLAB Beauty Salon, 20 Broad Street, Bath;

Bobby Mak – for hair

Next up was getting my hair done. The lovely Hannah had a quick look at a few images of the look I wanted – and then proceeded to create something even prettier in the end! More tea and more lovely conversation followed while she fixed my shoulder length hair into a ‘The Half-up Half-down Grab-n-Pin’ – a perfect go-to party look for shoulder length and longer hair. I washed my hair in the morning so Hannah just put some tongs through for loose, wavy curls, back-combed the top half and pinned it back into the prettiest curly knot at the back. It lasted me all evening and stayed in place beautifully. Nothing too formal, but still a bit special. I loved it and this will definitely be my Christmas party look now! n (60min, £40) Bobby Mak Hair Salon, 15a Old Bond Street, Bath;

Ané Auret is a self-confessed beauty obsessive and founder of Bath-based skincare brand Ané. Learn more at and follow her on Instagram @beauty_by_ane I bath LIFE I 91

GOOD FOR THE SOUL A new wellbeing centre called The Soul Spa has just opened in the centre of Bath. Is this the future? By Harriet Noble Images by Beata Cosgrove



MAIN IMAGE: Deep in meditation in the zen den; ABOVE: Life and soul of the party, owner Madeline Blackburn

was very much brought up to expect the least and then you won’t be disappointed – but I railed against that notion and always believed that a positive outlook and mindset was much more likely to lead somewhere better than if you expect the worst,” says Madeline Blackburn owner of The Soul Spa, Bath’s latest wellbeing offering. Madeline talks about the importance of creating places where people can do things rather than buy things. She is not alone here. We’ve seen a huge increase of businesses arriving in Bath – whether it’s high-end gyms or healthy foodie restaurants – that are all about experiences and have the common goal of improving our health and happiness. In short, the wellbeing industry has gone mainstream and is here to stay. In keeping with this, and perhaps taking it to a new level, is The Soul Spa; a centre offering a range of classes that aim to make us feel balanced and happy. The centre is located on Hetling Court, a stone’s throw from the Thermae Bath Spa, and there are different sections: a mind, body, and spirit zone, a quantum field and the zen den. But don’t be fooled by the word spa; it’s not a place of luxury strictly for the elite. Though it does offer massages, the main focus is very much on the mind-body connection, with meditation being at the forefront of that. Madeline has deliberately set up her classes and timetable to work around people’s busy lives, enabling people to pop-in and out for short mediations at different times of the day

“I believe we should all spend a few minutes with a quiet mind every day, just like we take a shower” that works for them and framing classes so that they fulfil a purpose which may be relevant to the time of day. The mediations can be as short as 20 or 30 minutes and can be paid for either by a membership or on a pay-asyou-go system. “Morning classes are for raising your energy, lunch time classes may be to find the creative part of your mind, re-focus or even take an iRest power nap to set you up for the afternoon,” says Madeline. “The evenings are about de-stressing and setting yourself up for a good night’s sleep. I truly believe we should all spend a few minutes with a quiet mind every day, just like we take a shower and clean our teeth. It’s much easier to create a habit if you start as part of a group, which why I came up with the idea of The Soul Spa. I hope it will be my way to add to the sum happiness of the planet.” The Soul Spa, Hetling Court, Bath:

“Ooh, that’s where you hold all your tension,” says Bruni as she makes her way up to my shoulders during my holistic massage. This makes sense – like so many of us, I spend my days taptap-tapping away at the computer. My muscles are very knotted, she tells me, and she spends the next twenty minutes gently but firmly kneading the keyboardinflicted hunch out of my upper body. Bruni’s chosen warm blend of lavender, bergamot and geranium oil soothes the stress out of my muscles as she pulls each of my arms behind my back in turn to perform this separating my head from my shoulders-type move that leaves me feeling somehow lighter than I have in a long while – and very reluctant to hang my bag back over my freshly released shoulders. Post-massage, Bruni and I discuss the possible reasons behind the build up of knotted muscles in my body – my aforementioned computer-based profession – and she gives me exercises to do at my desk to release the tension from my neck and upper back, as well as call attention to those moments when my shoulders start creeping up towards my ears in a position known universally as: the stressed journalist. Later I saw Andrew for a chakra balancing guided meditation in the zen den – a sort of cosy tent filled with cushions and softly lit with fairy lights that feels like a world away from the bustle of the streets below. I close my eyes, and Andrew leads me through a highly visual meditation, where I am encouraged to focus individually on each of the seven spinning chakras, their colours, and resolving any blockages I might have therein so I emerge from the zen den a lot more, well, zen, than I entered it. As Andrew guides me through an imaginary forest to lie down amongst the leaves, breathe and come back to myself, I am given a valuable moment of quiet contemplation at the end of a hectic work day I find myself very keen to repeat in the near future.

SO WHAT ELSE IS ON OFFER? Apart from the daily meditations and treatments, Madeline plans to offer classes for chronic pain, grief, children, stressed out or anxious teenagers, couples trying to conceive, sports motivation, weight loss groups and is running a pelvic floor strengthening workshop on 17 November. I BATH LIFE I 93

It’s the city’s business


Zero goals

The terrific trio: Chris Alliott, Steven Day and Andrew Ralston

Bath-based renewable energy supplier Pure Planet has become the first British energy supplier to commit to a zero carbon commute. The company announced the commitment, known as ZERO CO2MMUTE as part of their wider Zero Hero campaign, which aims to celebrate the everyday actions we can all take to get the country to net zero carbon. Pure Planet prepared for the move by collecting data on employee commutes, and they discovered that while some of its 80 staff were already cycling and walking in, others travelled over 40 miles by car. They calculated that the total carbon emissions of its staff commutes amounted to 480 metric tonnes equivalent of CO2 per year – around the same emissions as 55 average British homes. They’re offsetting their emissions by purchasing carbon credits in the Amazon rainforest, which will be used to protect, preserve and plant trees in the forest, therefore offsetting the emissions of their commuting staff. “Carbon offsetting our team’s commutes makes sense. We expect staff to travel to work to offer renewables to our members. But that can cause emissions. So, it’s only right that we offset those emissions,” says Steven Day, co-founder of Pure Planet. “It’s not an excuse though. We don’t want people using their cars more. We are still encouraging our team to make greener choices, including on their daily commute, and will work hard to get that emission level down. We’re committed to a carbon neutral future powered by fresh, clean renewables and a sustainable future.” For more:


Travelling by water: probably faster than trying to walk through town on a Saturday

WITH OPEN ARMS Bath and North East Somerset welcomed a record number of visitors last year, providing the local economy with a £470 million boost. The South West Research Company’s Visitor Impact Report shows that we had an estimated 6.25 million visitors in 2018. More than a million visitors stopped for a few days; about half of them opted for hotels and B&Bs, while a third spent a few days staying with family or friends in the area. About a third of these staying guests were international visitors. “Tourism is a vital part of the local economy and I’m pleased to hear that our beautiful city and its surrounding towns, villages and countryside remain an attractive destination for so many people,” says councillor Dine Romero, leader of BANES Council. “The strength of our visitor economy shows the confidence people have in our city and the wider area, which has to be good news for business owners and employees. However, looking to the future we must continue to develop more sustainable tourism and make sure the long-term interests of the city and its residents are also protected.” Figures from the International Passenger Survey for 2018 released earlier this year also show that Bath was the 11th most visited town or city in the UK, up from 12th place in 2017. MEDIACLASH.CO.UK I BATH LIFE I 115 95


ONLY THE BEST The BMI Bath Clinic is getting an upgrade. The private hospital is having key refurbishment work done on its operating theatres, treatment rooms and en-suite bedrooms, as well as some improvements to its air handling and ventilation, surgical control and power systems. Purposedesigned lighting will also be installed. “£250 million is being invested in our network of hospitals and it’s pleasing that Bath Clinic forms a part of that. Being part of BMI Healthcare, the largest provider of independent healthcare in Britain, is really helping to drive our high-tech refurbishment and service expansion programme,” explains executive director Tim Atter. “Our clinicians are working with us to provide the services patients need

in the comfort of a ‘home from home’ yet ‘high-tech-friendly’ environment. Formerly a private home, the hospital is a beautiful uplifting building in a sumptuous landscaped setting, adjoining a National Trust property, making it a lovely place to stay. Not only that, but in recent external assessments by the CQC, we were rated as Good in every category.” For more:

NEW to Bath SPONSORED BY 01225 486100

Heal in luxury at the BMI Bath Clinic

Gayle Carpenter


Change up your outfits without creating waste


Mistral has launched a rewear, reuse and recycle scheme across all of its stores. Every year, 150 million tonnes of clothing and shoes are sold worldwide. The majority of it winds up in landfill or incinerated rather than worn or reused, which is having a significantly negative impact on the environment – as well as just being a waste. Mistral makes high quality clothes that are meant to be worn season after season, but customers looking to update their wardrobes can now take pre-loved garments back to Mistral to be resold – and get a 10 per cent off voucher in return. “Mistral is working with SOEX I:CO take-back system who will collect the clothes and sort items that can be resold across 70 countries and in vintage stores,” says Tracey Garreffa, Mistral’s creative director. “Other items unsuitable for resale will be recycled into fibre for things such as car seats, new clothes and cleaning cloths. Dust is even used by being transformed into cardboard products.” For more:

SPARKLOOP From branding and digital through to web design, video and print, Sparkloop does it all. A team of creatives, Sparkloop deliver bespoke design and communication strategies for an range of big name clients including Red Bull – who have been with the company since its inception 15 years ago, by the way – Prince’s Trust, Prudential and Asics among many others. “Central to all our creative projects are our bright ideas that deliver against real business objectives,” explains Gayle Carpenter, founder and creative director. “We apply that to all our brand, digital, print and video projects. That’s why we are called Sparkloop – bright ideas, over and over.” The company has recently opened a second office in Bath, an exciting development for our network of creative businesses. We asked Gayle what was behind the decision to open up shop on Old Bond Street. “Apart from the obvious appeal of this gorgeous city, we felt that there are several great home grown businesses and a real sense of entrepreneurship in and around the area. We’re really keen to get more involved with the local creative community and further strengthen Bath as a creative and tech hub.” For more:

BATH SPORTS NEWS Bringing you the latest in sporting news


ALL I DO IS WIN Team Bath’s men’s rugby triumphed at the BUCS Super Rugby with a 52-25 victory over Cardiff University in the Anniversary Game. Front row players contributed five of their eight tries, including a first-half hat-trick for hooker and player of the match Jordi den Hartog. Props Tom Rowland and Simone Elrick were also on the score sheet along with co-captain Ed Rimmer. “It was a great win – I’m pleased for the boys, the staff, the university and the supporters. A lot of effort has gone into staging tonight from all involved and I’m delighted we could reward that with a 52-point win. Thank you to everyone who came along to back us,” says Aaron James, head of rugby at Team Bath. For more:

MOVERS AND SHAKERS ETC Rebecca Silcock and Sean McDonough

The places to be to network, learn and improve your business in Bath this month 19 NOVEMBER BATH HR NETWORK LAUNCH EVENT Do you work in HR? Then this is the group for you. A professional network full of understanding colleagues, a forum where you can hear from knowledgeable speakers and share experiences, it’s a fantastic opportunity for Bath’s HR community to come together. 5.30-7pm; Metrobank; follow @keystone_hr on Twitter for more information

Time to celebrate after a great game

COMMUNITY SPIRIT Bath City Football Club has launched a scheme to buy season tickets for refugee families in the city. Working with Bath Welcomes Refugees (BWR), the club is inviting local businesses or individuals to buy the tickets, which will then be donated to BWR to pass onto the families they support. The tickets will be offered at a reduced rate, and the club has donated one already itself using proceeds for the Bath City/Bath Ales Community Fund. “One of our chief aims is to help settle in Bath or the surrounding area those people who were persecuted and in danger in their own countries and homelands and we are sure that this expression of friendship will go a long way towards making our families feel a part of the community – win, lose or draw,” says Amanda Stone of BWR. For more:


21 NOVEMBER INSURING WOMEN’S FUTURES Women still face a lot of financial inequality, with the average value of a woman’s pension pot, for example, one fifth of the average for a 65-year-old man. CherieAnne Baxter, Greg Harris and Simon Jones of chartered financial planners, Unividual will look at the six key moments that have an impact on most women’s lives. The money raised from ticket sales will be donated to Southside Family Project, a domestic abuse charity in Bath. 9am-12pm; £20; Unividual, Sterling House; 21 NOVEMBER BATH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NETWORKING AND NIBBLES EVENT Hosted by Bath Browns, as the name suggests you can expect a night of chat and snacks at the newly refurbished restaurant. It’s a nice informal event – in other words, the bar will be open the entire time. 6-8pm; prices vary; Browns Restaurant;


Mogers Drewett has moved offices. The South West-based legal firm will now be based adjacent to the Bath Quays development, which is set to become the city’s new enterprise quarter for local business. Like the offices in Wells and Sherbourne, the new space in Bath will be open plan, a design that has been proven to encourage more collaboration between teams. “We are really excited about the move, which we see as a crucial step in our continued commitment to delivering the types of services our clients tell us they want,” says Sean McDonough, partner and head of department for employment and HR. “We are committed to Bath and the new office is key to our plans for growth and the development and refinement of our full range of services. We look forward to welcoming existing and new clients and referrers alike.”


AJ Charlton & Sons Ltd recently celebrated the 90th birthday of its very own AJ Charlton. The family business started back in 1903 with Frank Charlton, who supplied timber to pit props for coal mines, then was expanded by his son Ferdinand into coal mining. The next to take the helm was Anthony James, known affectionately by most as AJ. AJ left school at 14 and started off on the horses delivering coal and timber, before eventually diversifying the business further into gate production, starting off with just a few gates a week to eventually become one of the largest manufacturers of gates in the UK. AJ held a celebration with staff – who include his four sons and some grandchildren – to mark his birthday as well as 75 years of the business. I BATH LIFE I 97


© Uli Weber, w w, Instagr am @uliweber

“I love having different lives in different countries” of which are women, which is very rare in this male orientated industry. I definitely encourage them to believe in themselves and be brave. Despite the high pressure of the job, we are still a very friendly and family-like company. Outside of work, what do you like to get up to? Unfortunately my work takes too much of my personal time. I try to combine my working life, which is my passion, with my great love of travelling and collecting art. I am literally buying properties all over Europe as I do not have enough walls in the studio and at home to hang my large art collection.


Pascale Reymond Pascale Reymond, owner and CEO of Reymond Langton Design spends her days designing the interiors and exteriors of bespoke superyachts How did you get into designing superyachts? By pure accident, as I am a qualified art historian and archaeologist. The yachting industry was totally unknown to me. In 1989, I replied to a small local advertisement from a design studio in Richmond that was looking for a PA/buyer. This was not exactly the type of work I was looking for, but I decided to grab the opportunity as the studio was creating the most incredible superyachts. Within two years I became a full time junior designer and by 1994 was running the whole design team – which I did until I left in 2001 to create my own yacht design studio, Reymond Langton Design. So, what makes a superyacht? The size of the vessel defines the superyacht, and it needs to be capable of a long distance world cruise. I would say a motorised yacht above 35

metres can be called a superyacht. What does a typical day look like in the world of superyachts? There are no typical days – one day I might need to fly to the USA or Dubai for a few hours meeting, or I might spend the day in my studio designing, or out visiting shipyards and overseeing the construction of the yacht; sometimes I’m dining in exclusive clubs. Unfortunately I am generally spending a little too much time in airports… Do you get to spend much time out on the water yourself? I have a fisherman’s hut on the beach in the south of France with a small 6m tender [motor boat] and a large apartment in Venice – so I’m never too far from the sea. My favourite way to spend time on the water is on my paddleboard!

What are some of the challenges of your industry? Staying on top of the game and delivering impeccable yachts. The industry is very small and super exclusive, so a lot of designers would like to be part of it. It really keeps you on your toes! What are you most proud of professionally? Still being in business as one of the few female leading designers in the world of superyachts. How do you lead and inspire your team? I certainly give my team enough rope to hang themselves. In our studio it is literally swim or drown. Our clients are the top one per cent world wealth and they are super smart and demanding. We have many talented and passionate designers in our studio, 75 per cent

How does all of the travelling you do influence your approach to design? Travelling does give me a greater sense that any design and style can work, providing that they are beautifully executed. I am equally happy to design elaborate Art Deco and contemporary minimalist interiors. Each design is a journey and you must enjoy each one – that’s how you stay passionate. We heard you lead a pretty international life with homes in the UK, Italy and France. Do you have a favourite place to be? I am so used to being on the move and experiencing different cultures that I could not see myself staying put in one place. I love having different lives in different countries. I couldn’t choose a favourite, from my Dinard studio in a Belle Époque building on the cliff edge of Pointe de La Malouine overlooking the superb emerald sea of Saint Malo, to Paris where my small Montmartre apartment faces the Sacré-Cœur, my minuscule fisherman’s hut on the beach on the Presqu’île de Giens near Saint Tropez, and of course my Venetian retreat, which overlooks the beautiful Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli in ancient Venice – I love them all. Bath, though, is my home. I have decided to have my studio solely here because of the beauty of the city and her countryside. I BATH LIFE I 99


BATH LIFE AWARDS 2019 We asked Eleanor Household, head of marketing and development at Bath Festivals about what’s happened since the festivals team won a Bath Life Award So, what was it like to win a Bath Life award? Amazing! A wonderful confirmation that what we’re doing is considered right for our city. Where do you keep the award? Ian Stockley, our chief executive has our Bath Life Award in pride of place on the windowsill next his desk in our third floor office in Bath Street. Why do you think you won? I think it was because the Finale Weekend, which takes place on the Rec in the heart of Bath, is a brilliant celebration of the city. We’ve increased footfall and access to the arts. I think we won because the judges saw the value in what we do and how that benefits the city. Over the two years we’ve staged the Finale Weekend on the Rec, audiences of all ages have enjoyed music from a variety of big names, including Robert Plant, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Mabel, Van Morrison, Midge Ure and Paloma Faith.


What sets you apart from your rivals, do you think? There are so many incredible events happening in our small city, so that’s a hard one to answer. I’d like to think we work alongside our arts partners – for instance, the Finale Weekend is a celebration of collaboration – and other key city partners, Bath Spa Uni, The Bath BID, SouthGate and others to make sure the event works in the best way possible for our community. What do you really love about your job? All of it. But particularly the projects that conclude at the Finale Weekend. Bath Introduces – a fantastic competition for new music – culminates after many heats across the city with the finalists playing to huge crowds on the main stage at the Finale Weekend. Where do the frustrations lie? We’re a charity and fundraising is our biggest challenge. We are a tiny team with huge ambition. The Finale is a

fantastic platform for all sponsors. We really value the sponsors and supporters we have – and we couldn’t do it without them – and we’d dearly love to get more Bath businesses to join us. What’s the best part about working in Bath? What’s not to love? For such a small city it punches above its weight. I never tire of the glorious architecture and wonderful open spaces. The interesting spaces and venues we use for our festival programmes are wonderful and unique. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? Where there’s a will there’s a way. Without passion for what you do it’s very hard to succeed. Any exciting plans for us to watch out for? Always! We’ve got a series of Beethoven concerts to celebrate his 250th anniversary in 2020, featuring every single one of his string quartets, with three concerts in March and three more as part of The Bath Festival, which runs from Friday 15 May to Sunday 24 May. Also – drumroll – tickets for the Finale Weekend in May are about to go on sale. We’ll be announcing the amazing line-up of some much-loved big names this month (November), so listen out for that.


Tell us something surprising about Bath Festivals Not everyone will be aware of our fantastic Creative Learning programme, which offers opportunities for young people throughout the year. This includes the Young Producers project, which gives teenagers the chance to create their own event in the festival – a really lifeenhancing experience for all involved. We also reach thousands of children who come to our schools events during the Bath Children’s Literature Festival, giving them the exciting experience of live shows with authors and illustrators. Ian Stockley and Eleanor Household of Bath Festivals


For more:





MONTH IN BATH Talking Newspaper Month In Bath provides news and information recordings for visually impaired people as a FREE service on a monthly basis. It has been doing so for 40 years. USB memory sticks are sent out for the start of each month. If you have a relative or friend who is blind or partially sighted who you think would be interested in keeping abreast of local news, sport, events, gardening, shopping, recipes and occasional extras like poetry or guest speakers please contact: Paul Collis on 01225 313591 or email: If you do not have the means to play memory sticks a player can be provided on long term loan without any charge. Examples of recordings and players can be seen at the Vision Plus office at 2 Queens Parade, Bath, BA1 2NJ, 01225 446555, or recordings can be listened to on The Wireless for the Blind website.

Ask me!

Allison Herbert, CEO of BATH BID, highlights Bath's Welcome Ambassadors…


t’s a year since we introduced Welcome Ambassadors into the city and they themselves have been made most welcome. The ambassadors provide a warm and informed welcome to visitors, acting as human information points and guiding people to their destinations. They wear distinctive blue tops emblazoned with Welcome to Bath and Ask Me! This call to action works; from the first moment they tried on the jackets in public for a photo outside the office, they were asked questions. They can be asked anything from "Where’s M&S?" to "How come the Abbey didn’t get bombed in the Blitz?" Emily and Christine head up the team of 16 ambassadors, all of whom volunteer their time. They come from all walks of life – from former B&NES employees to former B&B owners. We even have the 791st Mayor of Bath, Patrick Anketell-Jones on the team. What they have in common is a love of Bath. John Cox, one of the volunteers says, “Bath is a beautiful city. I have been privileged to have worked in the city centre and enjoyed its many benefits. By volunteering as a Welcome Ambassador I have the opportunity to give something back and hopefully help people to enjoy their time in Bath.” The team has helped thousands of people and we can already see that the questions change with the seasons. Last Christmas, the enquiries were very retail related as shoppers looked for specific stores. There were also quite a few people who needed help to find their car or coach. In the spring and summer, the queries were much more tourism related and interestingly, when the schools went back, visitors took more time to chat, asking for more details. Friday and Saturday mornings are the busiest. The team meet the London trains as a lot of visitors need help upon arriving in the city. We have realised that for all the apps, blogs and guides, you can’t beat human interaction and personal guidance. Visitors are effusive; one said: “You’re like angels. Thank you so much for helping me.” The response from residents and businesses has been equally delightful: Emily and Christine head up “You’re doing a great job. It’s really good the team of Ambassadors that the city has you!” ■

Allison Herbert, CEO of Bath BID Third Floor, 21 Stall Street, Bath BA1 1QF 01225 430640








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How to support Bath City Football Club


JERRY GILL AND CAROLE BANWELL OF BATH CITY FOOTBALL CLUB While they wait to hear whether their plans for redevelopment will be approved, Jerry Gill and Carole Banwell of Bath City Football came by the Bath Life Business Club to reflect on the journey so far STICKING TOGETHER ‘Football is social glue’ according to Carole Banwell, general manager at Bath City Football Club. It’s not hard to see why she might have reached that conclusion, working for a club that was in near-ruin until the community stepped in to save it. Making massive losses every year, the club was in need of rescuing, and that rescue arrived in the form of a transformation that saw it become majority community owned. That was step one, phase one of a plan still very much in progress. “Our numbers coming through the gates were 600 and we knew that 1,000 was the magic number we needed, so that was important to work towards,” Carole explains. “We have 21 guaranteed home games a year and the rest of the time we’ve got 3,000 square metres of real estate doing nothing, so non-match day revenues were a priority.” The strides they’ve made in such a short amount of time building those

“Football is social glue”

gate numbers and non match day revenues are remarkable – especially for such a small team. In terms of paid staff, it’s pretty much just Carole and team manager Jerry Gill working full time, with part time help from a bar manager and cleaner and a lot of willing volunteers. With community rallying to provide financial and hands on help, in a season they have slashed the deficit from £137,000 to £62,000, but in order to scale it further, the club needs to update its premises – and is currently on tenterhooks waiting for the council to approve a multi-million pound redevelopment deal. ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT Jerry has got a lot done since joining as Bath City’s team manager back in 2017. From playing a big part in upping crowd numbers, to getting the crowds going once they’re in their seats – he can be seen on many game days, he says, ‘like a conductor’ at the side of the pitch stoking up the stands – he’s also done a lot to bring the club up to date. Next, he’d really like to see them train in Twerton – right now most of that happens in Bristol – something that’ll only be possible if the development plans are

approved, as the current pitch can only be played on for a couple of hours per week. “We tend to train round at Bristol City where we have an analysis suite, we have hydro pools, we have 3G facility [AstroTurf, basically] – but we need to get back to Bath to train,” he says. More than bringing the team back home to train, impacts of the redevelopment would be far-reaching. With plans including student accommodation, affordable housing and “co-living” apartments aimed at graduates and young workers as well as a posh new 3G pitch, it’s an ambitious project that would impact the entire local community. “If we put down this artificial surface we can use the pitch 35/40/50 hours a week depending on maintenance, so suddenly it’s the Bath City family home so all of our teams train and play there,” says Carole. “It then becomes also a hub for community football.” A BEACON ON THE HILL And then there’s the question of Twerton, which sees some of the starkest and most troubling levels

Commercial opportunities The club has a whole range of sponsorship opportunities from getting your logo on the uniform – front of shirt, back of shirt and shorts all options – to individual match and ball support. All come with a bunch of fun perks. Call Bob Chester on 07786 092836 for more information. Volunteer! The vast majority of those who keep the wheels turning on Bath City FC are volunteers, and the club is always looking for more people to join their team. Email for more information on how to join in.

of social inequality in the entire UK. Redeveloping Bath City Football Club will also allow for a lot more work with Twerton’s most underprivileged kids. Jerry already does a lot with local youth through the Dream Big Twerton community project, and he has witnessed first-hand the impact that football can have on the kids, a large proportion of them living below the poverty line. Again, though, right now Twerton lacks the facilities for that project to meet its full potential; Jerry spoke of having to go through the park before sessions to clean it of needles and bottles so it was safe enough for the kids to play in. “That’s why this new stadium is so important. I speak to a lot of parents and they’re really excited by the prospect of having somewhere safe, first and foremost for them to come with their kids. I see Twerton just flourishing from it.” Carole and Jerry hope to have their development plans heard by the council in November;

Fresh thinking over a fine lunch The Bath Life Business Club, sponsored by Bishop Fleming, brings together a select group of senior business people for a twocourse lunch at The Royal Crescent Hotel, and to listen to a leading speaker. The next is held on 9 December with Chris Anderson, head of TED conferences. If you’d like to join, contact Stephanie Dodd (stephanie.dodd@ And remember, these things sell out quickly, so look out for the emails... I BATH LIFE I 103

BATH PROPERTY Awards preview

If We Build It…

The second Bath Property Awards take place on 15 November at the Apex City of Bath Hotel. In this special preview, we explain why the awards are happening and highlight the leading property companies in Bath


roperty matters. And it matters more in Bath than in most other places. It matters professionally in financial terms – how we live, how we work and experience Bath daily, and how exactly we navigate the city from our base.


Thank you to all our sponsors, Headlined by Mogers Drewett. And then to our Winner of Winners sponsor Kersfield plus our category sponsors: Bath & West, Blaise Commercial Finance, Halsall Construction, Hawker Joinery, Juniper Homes, L&C, RateSetter, Spaces, Tile & Flooring and Unividual. And to our partners: Apex City of Bath Hotel, The Bird, Thrings, Triangle Networks and Winkworth. Tickets have now sold out. Please check on the website or Bath Property Awards social media channels for the very latest updates.

It matters practically – where our companies are based, what retail and office space there is, how the city houses and encourages clever expanding enterprises. And it matters aesthetically. We are all the beneficiaries of extraordinary creativity that has bequeathed a visual legacy that enriches all our lives, daily. This is a stunning, vibrant sector that impacts the whole community and deserves to have its monumental achievements recognised. It is for all those reasons and more that the Bath Property Awards are returning after unprecedented enthusiasm last time round, to champion the best of property business and to highlight the centrality of property to us all. Just think of the connectedness of the world of property: land-owners, planners, visionaries, entrepreneurs, dealmakers, architects, engineers, consultants, developers, builders, suppliers, designers, lawyers, accountants, conveyancers, financiers, mortgagers, underwriters, marketers, all manner of specialists – and agents: for lettings, for residential, for commercial. And then, once built, once transformed, once sold, it all starts over again… Consider

The Bath Property Awards have been created, designed, promoted, sold and organised by MediaClash, the South West’s leading events company. It also produces client events, from parties to launches, talks and receptions to conferences. Please contact:

this. The tectonic plates in Bath are shifting. They will transform huge swathes of our city right through the centre to the benefit of us all. Tectonic plates take time to shift. But shift they do. With all the clever companies, all the energy, all the opportunities, no wonder the Bath Property Awards have exceeded even our huge expectations. Here’s to a great awards on 15 November… News reporter, BBC and ITV presenter Sameena Ali-Khan is our host for the awards. All will be revealed on 15 November... I BATH LIFE I 105

BATH PROPERTY Awards preview

The Judges will decide… A panel of independent judges will decide the winners of the second Bath Property Awards. They are drawn from all areas of the property sectors… Dine Romero Leader, B&NES Dine became Leader of the Council in May 2019. She is leading on the administration’s open local government and engagement project.

Richard Pearce CEO, TCN UK Richard set up TCN UK in 2006 and has grown the specialist creative regeneration business into a national property investment and development company.


Geoff Rich Architect and managing partner, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios Geoff takes a leading role in the practice’s creative re-use and regeneration projects and is an AABC-accredited conservation architect. His current work includes the Bath Abbey Footprint project.

Simon Cropper Branch manager, Handelsbanken Bath Simon is the branch manager locally at Handelsbanken Bath, delivering traditional local relationship services to personal and business customers, including a wide range of property related businesses.

Andy Semple Associate director, National Trust For the past three and a half years, he has been the director of all the Trust’s operations in Somerset and Gloucestershire, and sits on the board of the South West Region.

Lucy Barron Associate architect, Donald Insall Associates Lucy specialises in the repair and re-use of heritage buildings, as well as designing new interventions within sensitive locations and working to help guide new proposals which are within a heritage context.

Simon Emery Joint managing director, Emery Simon has spent the last 37 years with his family’s Bath based building company and has been involved in projects as both a contractor and developer.

Anna Fairman Director, residential development sales, Savills Anna has run the Residential Development Sales division in Bath for a number of years and has been involved with notable schemes such as Fitzroy House, Lansdown Fields and Hope House.

Margaret Cooke Director, Integral Engineering Design Born in Bath, Margaret has a strong interest in the development of the city. She has designed many local projects and is currently working on the Archway Project at the Roman Baths.

Stacey Phillips Associate director, Touchstone Stacey is an associate director at Touchstone, with a keen interest in prop tech she’s also heavily involved in delivering Touchstone’s digital plans.

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Charlie Moss

Luke Brady, Ian Taylor and Christa Taylor

Julia Emery, Dan Washington and Simon Emery Julian Emery and Duncan Ball


Lydia Excell and Jenny Maggs

The Bird Bath was thronging with nearly 100 leading property people at the second of Bath Property Awards’ events: the Sponsors’ and Finalists’ Reception. The Awards will be held on 15 November at the Apex City of Bath Hotel and are headline sponsored by Mogers Drewett. Photos by Ben Robins

Natalie Carpenter, Stuart Morgan and Mike Rolfe


Pandora Jacob, Matt Stanley and Deborah Goodchild


Laura Mitchell, Georgia Ball, Greg Harris and Scott Gurd

Tony Wilson, Pat White and Jay Greatley

Rupert Allsop, Jenna Allsop and Simon Cropper

Ben Jones, Richard Pike, Mark Tyrrell and Tom Webb

Simon Emery

Alison Treble, Matthew Leonard and Giles Griffiths

Cameron Lillywhite, James Read and Aled Morris

Tim Brooks and Richard Roth I BATH LIFE I 111


28 Southgate Street, Bath BA1 1TP 01225 437 050 | |

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Capital Gains Tax Scott Gurd from UNIVIDUAL shares the seven ways property investors and landlords can legally manage capital gains tax


ath’s property market is booming. The city’s house prices have grown at a higher rate than the rest of the UK, there has been a steady stream of new-build property and, with London 84 minutes away by train, Bath continues to draw in people from the capital looking to buy. This has provided opportunity for property investors looking to capitalise on their investments. When it comes to selling investment property it is a balancing act between time, money and tax. With the Bath Property Awards just around the corner, we asked Scott Gurd from Bath’s chartered financial planners, Unividual, to show us some key financial strategies that investors and landlords can utilise to legally manage and defer the amount of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) they pay.

“We do things differently to the other firms, not just in Bath but industry wide.”

Start with using your allowance

Spread the sale of properties Selling multiple properties across several tax years enables you to take advantage of annual CGT allowances. However, clients may need to sell more than one property in a year – every client is a unique individual, so how we manage tax burdens varies with each person or business.

Crystallise losses With some clients, we look at whether they have any capital losses in a year that can bring down the tax bill when offsetting it against gains. You might not know that losses made up to four years ago can be offset against current gains. The rules can get complex, especially around selling an asset to a family member or business partner.

Utilise your spouse You can gift assets, in this case property, to your spouse or civil partner and utilise both CGT taxfree allowances, totalling £24,000 upon sale. With a spouse on a lower tax band you could transfer partial ownership. Combined wealth structures are complicated though, and we really listen to clients so we can absorb enough information to create tailored solutions.

Investing in small companies

Tax evasion is illegal

There are tax-efficient investments which provide funding to small businesses. I work with clients on Enterprise Investment Schemes (EISs) which provide the ability to legitimately reclaim some, if not all, of your income tax and provide the potential to defer CGT that has previously arisen.

Never be tempted to sell assets without declaring gains to HMRC as it can lead to fines or a prison sentence. There are strategies that manage your tax position, in a way that provides benefits to all, whilst abiding by the laws.

EIS’s invest in assets that are high risk and can be difficult to sell such as shares in unlisted companies. The value of the investment and the income from it can fall as well as rise and investors may not get back what they originally invested, even taking into account the tax benefits. EISs are high risk investments but are often suitable for experienced investors. My clients like these investments as funding small companies supports the economy and boosts UK employment.

Alternative options: maxing out your ISA In this tax year investors can put up to £20,000 into an Individual Savings Account (ISA). Profits from property sales or rental income can be invested in to an ISA and be free from CGT, once invested. If you have higher amounts to invest we can then look at techniques like ‘Bed and ISA’, which make use of future ISA and CGT allowances. Assets worth up to £20,000 are sold to produce a capital gain and immediately bought back inside the safety of an ISA tax wrapper. You can utilise some of your future years’ CGT exemption amounts through the disinvestment from your original funds. There are also similar options for people saving towards retirement.

Unividual was established in 2000 to combat the ‘one size fits all’ approach to financial advice. We do things differently to the other firms, not just in Bath but industry wide. Property is an important asset that impacts on nearly every area of your finances. Collaborating with a chartered financial planner that has expertise across every area of finance and a good accountant will create a holistic approach, meaning everything works in harmony. This is a complex area and if you would like to understand anything in greater detail, when you’re ready get in touch. n

Proud sponsors of the Bath Property Awards


The amount of CGT you pay varies on whether you are a Higher, Basic or Additional rate tax payer. As an example, if you are a Higher or Additional Rate taxpayer you pay 28 per cent tax on gains from residential property or 20 per cent from other chargeable assets. CGT is collected on profits from the sale of property, except for your principle private residence, or from investments. You pay tax on ‘gains’ above your annual taxfree allowance, which is £12,000 this year. This allowance can not be carried forward or back in to other tax years, so if you don’t use it you lose it.

Scott Gurd, Chartered Financial Planner 01225 427 474; Unividual Bath: Sterling House, Upper Bristol Road Unividual London: Eastbourne Terrace, Paddington I bath life I 115


How your apartment can attract Bath’s homeworkers


Peter Greatorex from THE APARTMENT COMPANY offers some tips…

e are continuing to see a rise in the number of people who work from home amongst those looking to buy or let a property. Attracted by the flexibility it gives them, with no or reduced commuting hours, the ability to be there for the moments that matter is certainly a big pull. But what are these homeworkers looking for in an apartment and, more importantly, how can you attract them? AIDING PRODUCTIVITY For those who work from home, it’s important to have a designated working space. Tidying all your things away to eat dinner doesn’t help productivity and can be frustrating for everyone in the household. Apartments are great spaces, often with quirky areas perfect to place a desk away from the centre of all the family action. When you’re getting a property ready for sale or let, think about where a desk could go and, if

possible, place one in situ. This will not only help define the space but enable people to see how your apartment could meet all their needs. AIDING SOLITUDE Although there are many perks to working from home, one factor that often doesn’t get discussed is how solitary it can be. You don’t have colleagues to have a quick chat with whilst you’re grabbing a coffee, someone to bounce ideas off, or simply just some company. Find out if there are some nearby hotdesking centres, and exactly where they are. Why? It shows that you have thought about your target market, that you care about their wellbeing in what could be their future home, and also that you understand what they need from a property. AIDING CREATIVITY Being stuck looking at the same four walls every day will not inspire creativity, no matter how stunning your apartment is. But Bath is filled with wonderful walks, green spaces and an abundance

Private Property Funding

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of historic buildings. At The Apartment Company, we will always inform prospective buyers and tenants about where they can explore on their doorstep to get away from it all. Does your apartment have any outside space? Would a few extra plants help to get someone’s creative juices flowing? AIDING YOU Not every apartment would work for the homeworking market. Should you wish to invest in attracting this growing segment of buyers and tenants, come and chat to a member of our team.

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

property a pl ace to c all home

Klondyke House Cool, relaxed vibes run through this tucked away property in Claverton Down By Harriet Noble I bath life I 119

A place to call home property

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f Ed Sheeran fancies moving into the area – and why wouldn’t he – he couldn’t go far wrong with this property. The six-bedroom Arts and Crafts country house stands in a beautifully secluded woodland on Claverton Down. Surrounded by over seven acres of mature gardens and grounds, the house overlooks fields and is surrounded by woodland which is part leased from the National Trust on a 99-year lease (and includes Klondyke Copse) making it the perfect post-tour chill-out home, with

not a pap in sight. That’s not to say it’s boring though. A Lego house this is not. There’s plenty of fun to be had on the premises; with the tennis court, pergoda – perfect for barbecues – and even a tree-house. And despite the seclusion, it’s also within walking distance of town so walking home from the pub won’t be a problem. Crucial for when Bieber comes to stay. Inside the house, one of the winning things about this property is the proportions. The corridors are absolutely whopping which means whether you’re carrying guitars and a drum set, as might be the case with our Ed, there’ll be no banging and crashing against the walls. Other wide and spacious bits that we love are the entrance hall and the kitchen which offers oceans of light with its large floor-toceiling sliding glass doors onto the rear terrace, ideal for al I bath life I 121

A place to call home property

fresco dining come the summer months. The kitchen has been recently re-configured and provides a modern openplan space with polished stoned flagged floor, and if you are thinking out loud over whether it has an AGA, rest assured it does. The accommodation is laid out over two floors with expansive rooms, mostly south facing, and the décor is cool, and comfortable – think solid oak floors and contemporary wet rooms. This cool country pad is on the market now and would be the perfect new home – whatever the size and shape of you and your brood. n

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House numbers Bedrooms


Where? Claverton Down, Bath, BA2



What else? Outbuildings, tennis court and tree house

Square footage Grounds Price

approx 6372 7.20 acres £3,500,000

For more: Knight Frank, 4 Wood Street, Queen Square​, Bath, BA1 2JQ; 01225 805 415;

advertising feature

Muddy boots day for first look at new homes

This month, Savills is offering registered buyers the chance to view the latest phase of the Holburne Park development


ome buyers in Bath are being offered the chance to be the first to step foot on site at the latest phase of Holburne Park. On 16 November, Savills will host a ‘muddy boots’ open day at which registered buyers will get to tour Cussons Street, a brand new street within the popular Warminster Road development.

Cussons Street comprises 14 four bedroom townhouses, in four different layouts, all built in Georgian style. These classic houses are the first to become available after the initial phase sold out earlier this year. Currently under construction, the new homes at Cussons Street will be completed and ready to move into in January. Vicky Dudbridge, a director in the Savills residential development sales team, comments: “Cussons Street is a lovely traditional street of just 14 houses, each with its own driveway. Set in an elevated position on an architecturally attractive and beautifully landscaped development. “The houses themselves are designed and built to a very high standard. While the styling is classical, with locally-sourced Bath stone facades, the internal layout and specification is contemporary, with spacious open-plan living spaces, ideal for families. “For anyone who is interested in buying at

Holburne Park, the event will be a really good opportunity to see and explore the new homes and surroundings for themselves. Also, given the popularity of the first phase of homes here, it is well worth getting in to see them now. Of the 14 available, two have already been reserved, and on this basis we are anticipating plenty of interest.” n

Guide prices for the latest collection of homes at Holburne Park start at £999,000. To register to take part in the Savills ‘muddy boots’ open day at Holburne Park on 16 November, please contact Rosemary McAndrew on or 01225 302 888.

advertising feature

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

CLAIR STRONG interior design

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

Allsop Carpets

Based in Frome, Allsop Carpets display an extensive range of floorings to match your style and budget. With carpets and flooring available in a variety of designs, Brian Allsop and his team pride themselves on delivering excellent service from the beginning to end with over 35 years of professional experience. Corner Garage, Christchurch Street West, Frome BA11 1EB; Tel: 01373 463866;

Westside Design

Westside Design is a family-run Bath based company offering a tailored design, manufacturing and installation service for all aspects of cabinet making and joinery. Specialising in contemporary bespoke kitchens and interiors. Contact Michael on 01225 330843 or 07976 268458 or email


Etons of Bath



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, Monkton Combe, Bath BA2 7HD., Tel: 01225 722706;

Based in the heart of Bath and specialising in bespoke, handmade kitchens, Bath Kitchen Company become personally invested in every kitchen they design and build. It’s about attention to detail at every stage – creating a beautiful space that enhances the way you live. 7-9 North Parade Buildings, Bath BA1 1NS; Tel: 01225 312003


Boniti is based on the outskirts of Bath and offers a wide range of quality interior and exterior products: natural stone and timber flooring, Everhot range cookers, garden furniture and Kadai firebowls. As well as the vast selection of products on offer, a friendly and personal service is at the heart of all that they do. Dunsdon Barn, West Littleton,Wiltshire SN14 8JA; Tel: 01225 892 200;

Founded in 2006, Etons of Bath is the UK’s only specialist interior design practice focussed on refurbishing, renovating and reinvigorating Georgian and Regency homes and hotels. Their team of 12 interior designers, planners and project managers can help you design and deliver classically inspired interiors that add value, turn heads and improve the use of space. Tel: 01225 639002;

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; Tel: 01380 722722;

Lucy Collins

Inspired design and styling can excite & enhance our lives and enable us to feel nurtured and uplifted. Whether it be redesigning the interior and exterior of a property, altering the colour palette, introducing a new style, changing soft furnishings, refreshing, replacing or decluttering – leave it to Lucy… The Coach House, Linden Gardens, Weston Road, Bath BA1 8DB; Tel: 07710 223285; I bath life I 129

just visiting

“There’s a mysterious, possibly magical central location and whimsy and romance and cats” and cats. The Starless Sea is more expansive than The Night Circus, a little darker and deeper and both more modern and more mythical.

Erin Morgenstern Ahead of her visit to Bath, novelist Erin Morgenstern talks subterranean worlds, gin distilleries and naps Erin Morgenstern burst on to the scene with her first novel, The Night Circus. The Times wrote, ‘The only response to this novel is simply: wow. It is a breathtaking feat of imagination, a flight of fancy that pulls you in and wraps you up in its spell.’ Erin’s new book The Starless Sea is out this November and she’s coming to Bath to chat about it. Ahead of your visit, welcome to Bath! Have you been here before?

Thank you! I have been to Bath, very briefly on my book tour for The Night Circus. Book tours are such a whirlwind that I didn’t get to see much but I remember it being lovely and hopefully I’ll be able to pause and look around this time. Your new book The Starless Sea takes us on a journey to an underground library. Where did you get the idea for this?


I truthfully don’t remember where the idea came from originally, I’ve had this subterranean space filled with books in my head for a very long time. I sometimes feel like it’s not a proper library because it doesn’t have librarians. Proper libraries have librarians. We love the front cover! Tell us what it all means…

I love it, too! I can’t give all its secrets away but it does capture so much of the story in such a beautiful, layered way. (I’ve had people complain that it has too much going on but there’s a lot going on inside the book as well.)

You have a huge fan base from your first novel, The Night Circus. Are there significant parallels between the books?

I think The Starless Sea is almost entirely different though it still has Morgensternian flavour. There’s a mysterious, possibly magical central location and whimsy and romance

Is the second novel a bit like the ‘difficult’ second album? Or did you feel your experience and success from The Night Circus put you in a raring-to-go state of mind?

I was less raring-to-go and more hiding-under-my-bed. I think that a second novel after a big début can be difficult because there’s so much comparison and readers have expectations. I had to try to forget that anyone was waiting for this book and just tell another story.

You’re keen on writing in multilinear style. What is the appeal for you as a writer? It sounds challenging…

It is challenging but it’s also how my brain works, the stories always come in layers and complicated histories and I have to sort through all the story-bits to figure out how to make it book-shaped. But I do enjoy it, it allows me to explore things that a more linear narrative wouldn’t.

You set The Night Circus in London and your website states that you love tea – are you secretly English?

I do love tea but I am also a coffee person in the morning, I have to be more awake for tea. Maybe that makes me American with English tendencies? I haven’t spent very much time there at all, I am looking forward to visiting again. Apparently you love bloodmilk jewellery. We’re intrigued...

My friend Jess has a jewellery business called Blood Milk (www. she’s based in Philadelphia and makes absolutely stunning pieces, I’m usually wearing at least one every day. The silver sword in The Starless Sea is based on her Ace of Swords necklace. Were you always going to be a writer?

I didn’t always want to be a writer, I studied theatre in school and thought I’d end up doing something theatre or art-related but never writing so this is all rather surprising. If I wasn’t a writer I think I’d like to refinish old furniture or own a gin distillery. What’s the most tricky thing about being a writer?

The hardest is continuing when all the words are just word soup and refusing to be book-shaped. The best is getting to share stories that feel very personal to me and have them resonate with other people, too. And also getting to work at home with my cat. What does 2020 look like for you?

For the very beginning of 2020 I’ll still be on book tour but by February I should be able to go home and take a very, very long nap and then get back to work on my next book. I suspect I will also say “How is it 2020?” aloud a lot because it still sounds like a faraway year. n

Erin Morgenstern will be at Komedia on 26 November at 7pm; for more

Profile for MediaClash

Bath Life - Issue 404  

Bath Life - Issue 404