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Food/Arts/Entertainment/Shopping/Property ISSUE 405 / 22 NOVEMBER – 6 DECEMBER 2019 / £3










ABOVE: Antique brass star from Homefront Interiors; more Christmas decorations on page 76; BELOW: Bag from Nickie Portman; more Christmas gift ideas on page 34


wouldn’t normally rank window shopping high up on my list of pastimes, that is, unless it is Christmas time – and you’re in Bath. The shop windows, as I’m sure you’ll know, have turned into something akin to magical storybooks, with all manner of shiny ribboned gifts nestled in snowy-alpine settings and the like. Even Scrooge would be hard pushed not to be enchanted by the streets of Bath at this time of year. The experience of actually stepping in to shops can be less than magical though. The trick is to not wear too many layers, have that bottle of water at the ready, head in with slick determination – and a list. Stick to that list and then bish, bash, bosh – get it done. So, in our special Christmas gift guide (page 34) we’ve rounded up a selection of the most gorgeous pressie ideas we could find on our doorstep. Take a look, put them on your list and blitz it. And if you want to gift someone jewels this year – or perhaps gift yourself ? – we’ve trawled through the local indies to find some glittery wonders (page 78). Elsewhere, we go for a wander in Oldfield Park (page 88) and catch up with international athlete Camille Buscomb (page 122) who’s recently moved to Bath. Good luck with the shopping and see you in a fortnight!

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

Issue 405 / 22 November – 6 December 2019 COVER one co au le decorations fro Oka see page for ore hrist as decorations

CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE 34 Pressies from Bath for all the family


49 ARTS INTRO One of the most important artists in

Dutch history, now at The Holburne usic fa il stu and so e festive treats 61 BOOKS Nic’s Booker Prize picks 63 THEATRE What’s coming up at the Theatre Royal this Christmas 50 WHAT’S ON heatre


65 FOOD & DRINK NEWS ew and returning ge s 66 TRY 5 unda roasts 68 RESTAURANT ade over and etter than ever

SHOPPING 75 76 78 88

INTRO Take a seat EDITOR’S CHOICE efresh our hrist as decs JEWELLERY Put a ring on it OLDFIELD PARK here to eat drink and hang out






78 63

Issue 405 / 22 November – 6 December 2019


94 CAR REVIEW We try out Audi’s new electric car 104 GARDENS Digging up the past 122 LIVES Camille Buscomb on Olympic success

BUSINESS headlines


108 RESIDENCE You’ll fall in love with this home’s

bright, modern look

115 SHOWCASE Luxury living with all the mod cons





97 BATHWORKS The local businessess making the


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 Contributors Nic Bottomley, Matt Bielby, David Flatman, Anna O’Callaghan, Simon Noble, Rachel Jeffries and Rachel Ifans Group Advertising Manager Pat White Deputy Advertising Manager Justine Walker 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 kirstie. Production Designer Matt Gynn Chief Executive Jane Ingham Chief Executive Greg Ingham Bath Life MediaClash, Circus Mews House, Circus Mews, Bath BA1 2PW 01225 475800 @The MediaClash © All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without written permission of MediaClash. We’re a Bath-based publisher, creative agency and event organiser Magazines Our portfolio of regional magazines celebrates the best of local living: Bath, Bristol, Cardiff 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:


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SPOTLIGHT Bath Festivals


Dream wheelchair

EYE ON THE PRIZE Ralph Allen student Joseph Moran has won the 13-17 category and been named the overall runner-up in the national Design a Dream Wheelchair competition. Made possible by the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, the competition was run by national disabled children’s charity Whizz-Kidz, in partnership with Duchuenne UK. They asked young people around the country to design the wheelchair of their dreams: all shapes and sizes, technology, transformational capabilities, AI, GPRS location as well as voice and eye control and new safety features or propulsion. Joseph’s entry beat 158 other designs, and judges praised his proposed wheelchair for the insight it offered into the barriers he experiences in his day-to-day life – as well as offering a few futuristic improvement suggestions. “It was fun to dream up the wheelchair,” says Joseph. “I am a big transport fan, which came in handy when we were thinking about the design of the wheels.” For more:


your tickets. Scouting for Girls will be supporting them as they tour their new album The Trouble With The Boys. UB40 featuring Ali Campbell and Astro will be supported by Billy Ocean, known for hits like Caribbean Queen, Love Really Hurts Without You and When the Going Gets Tough. Tickets are on sale now. Don’t miss out! For more: finale-weekend UB40

Billy Ocean Scouting for Girls


Jayne from Whizz-Kidz, Joseph Moran and Mayor Gerry Curran

We all need something to look forward to in these dark days of winter, right? Bath Festivals and Orchard Live have announced McFly and UB40 featuring Ali Campbell and Astro as the headliners for the Bath Festival Finale Weekend in May 2020. McFly have added the date to their already jam-packed 2020 tour, which saw them sell out the London O2 Arena in minutes – so don’t wait to grab

Art Over 100 brand new works by Peter Brown will be on display


Peter Brown’s latest exhibition, Bath Is It, is set to open at the Victoria Art Gallery on 30 November. Comprised of over 100 brand new oil paintings and drawings, you’ll catch a glimpse of Widcombe, Hedgemead Park, Lansdown and Milsom street as well as a few lesser known corners of the city realised in the artist’s distinctive style. Known for working directly from the subject, Peter – better known as Pete the Street – will give a talk about the new collection on the first day of the exhibit at 12pm. For more: I BATH LIFE I 11


Bath Abbey





Bath Abbey has been awarded £50,000 for its ongoing Footprint project. The grant, awarded by the Allchurches Trust, will help renovating the Abbey offices in Kingston Buildings and install an impressive eco-heating system using water from the hot springs. Underpinning the entire project is the innovative heating, hot water and renewable energy equipment that’ll make the Abbey environmentally sustainable long term. Using water from Bath’s hot springs, the new heat extraction system will make a carbon saving of nearly 60 per cent. The Footprint project is a £19.3 million programme of restoration, building works and interpretation that will secure the Abbey’s physical future and improve its hospitality, worship and service to the city. The Abbey will remain open as usual during the Footprint project with ‘Behind the Scenes’ tours offering a chance to see the work taking place. For more:

ath ased author a Porter’s novel Lanny has been shortlisted for the Waterstones Book of the Year 2019. Known for his award-winning debut, Grief is the Thing with Feathers, a ’s second o ering has earned similarly rapturous reviews. The tale of a community built on ancient soil and the ti eless ead Papa oothwort who walks a ongst it Lanny has been called “…a fable, a collage, a dramatic chorus, a joyously stirred cauldron of words” by The Guardian. a Porter’s l rical s phonic second novel has set the standard in literar fiction for us this ear Lanny is an atmospheric celebration of childhood and nature which is steeped in folklore and a rich sense of place sa s ea arvalho aterstones fiction u er t’s a novel which defies classification and challenges conventional for we fell in love with its creativit and Porter’s e uisite poetic prose For more:

Chris Anderson


Creative Bath has a real coup next month: the boss of the highly-prestigious worldrenowned TED Conference, Chris Anderson will be unveiling a major new initiative here in the city at an event on 10 December. Chris is coming back to his hometown of Bath, where he founded media company Future, to tell Creative Bath about an incredible new initiative. He has given the outline to Creative Bath, but it is sworn to secrecy given its importance. “I’ll be sharing a major new TED initiative to which everyone in Bath is invited to be part of,” Chris says. The event runs at Walcot House from 5.30pm on 10 December. t is organised not for profit reative ath and is sponsored Pla ports etwork Head to @CreativeBath on Twitter to get your tickets now. For more:;





Andrea Cryer and David Cryer

Angela Ghent and David Ghent Claire Robinson and Michael Whittering

Diane Elsmore, Yvonne Inglis and Amy Inglis

Suzanne Cottey and Jason Cottey


Ronan Watson and Sophie Watson

Freya Kingston and Nanneke Kingston

On an autumnal afternoon, foodies gathered for the launch of a rand new and delicious local o ering at the nn at reshford reshford ood o creates scru ptious s all atch o es packed with ho e cooked artisan goodies and an ever evolving enu he o hosted the launch on a aturda cele rating the new co pan the onl wa the know how feeding ever one of course ot dogs and urgers veggie options availa le were snapped up hungr guests who en o ed cooking de onstrations and acoustic usic throughout the afternoon here was also plent availa le to u fro reshford ood o ’s a a ing o es which include seasonal o es veggie sausage roll o es and i ed o erings u Photos by Colin Smith

Lizzie Cloke, Chris Cloke, Leigh Peddle and David Peddle

Matthew Briddon, John Hennessy and Danielle Hennessy I BATH LIFE I 19


Brian Levine

Gavin Henderson, Helen Carey, Neil Craggs

Becky Pocock and Bill Vasilieff


Lynn Cleckner and Victoria Guy

Bath’s business community came together again for the Bath Life Business Club at the Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa. This month’s speakers, Carole Banwell and Jerry Gill of Bath City Football Club were on hand to tell the club’s remarkable come back story. Carole and Jerry have fought hard to bring the club back from near ruin, and put forth their plans for a multi-million pound development they hope to see transform the club – and hopefully its home in Twerton too – for the better. Photos by Betty Bhandari

Hayley Blacker and Charlie Moss Mark Bradbury, Helen Rich and Mike Weir

James Barnack, Dan Padfield and Tom Cannon Mary Matthews and Polly Hill


Samantha Fanthorpe

Hannah Whiting and John Hector


Tom Garrett and James Greville

Aled Thomas and Ross Knight


Broadleaf Timber recently celebrated the renovation of their Walcot Street showroom with a little soirée. It was also a chance for the to showcase their new oor collections too. s well as providing so e serious interior inspiration sta were on hand to talk guests through their queries about the new ooring selection on o er he presented a eautiful table of food, with huge platters of canapés and snacks beautifully presented for people’s enjoyment – obviously none of them stuck around for very long. At the end of the evening, everybody left with a special gift bag and a lot of enthusiasm for potential 2020 home renovations. Photos by Sam Short, Soul Media

Kerry Kirkland and Chic Kirkland

Brand new showroom, brand new collection

Frances Farquhar, Vanessa Garrett and Tom Garrett Ian Molineux and Whitney Yin


Refreshment game was strong

Peggy Braybrook and Johanna Davies


Jamma Society, Bath Spa University student band

Wasabi performing at Komedia


Southgate was taken over by the spirit of the beyond this Halloween at Bath Carnival’s Day of the Dead parade. Part of Bath Carnival’s community project e ploring di erent cultures around the world the Carnival worked with Mexican audio-visual artist Pablo Villirezz to craft the Halloween parade. Pablo was on hand to host traditional children’s mask making workshops on the day in preparation for the evening’s parade which saw hundreds arch through town in full costume. After the march through town ath arnival held their annual dance infused fundraiser at Komedia. Photos by Ben Robins;

Mabel McKeown

Rose Sansom

Fancy Goods performing at Komedia

The fundraiser at Komedia Aimee Curran


Samanther Warner, Konstatinos Mantsos and Ebony Corrick

Camille Loftin, Angeles Fiallo Montero and Lowri Rennick dressed in traditional costumes made from upcycled materials


Laine Perry and Sally Waldegrave

Chloe Harrison-Temple

Hazel Goad


The Blue Women’s Clothing glam squad came together recently to put on the Blue Charity Fashion Show in aid of CLIC Sargent, the cancer charity that supports children, young people and their families. ocall recruited odels were seen strutting their stu and showing o the concept store’s wares down the catwalk to a rench pop and alternative a re i soundtrack ig na e la els were represented with collections shown urdes ergada nnette ort and enia esign a ong an other innovative designers s well as the catwalk show the shop hosted a charit ra e with lu ur pri s including lunch for two at af ucca a trip to air and est of all a rand new pair of ofina oots fro lue o en’s Clothing. o far the show has raised a re arka le for argent Nicky Clarke

Photos by Jenni Potter

Sasha Jenson

PICTURE PERFECT ouncillor err urran he ight Worshipful Mayor of Bath opened the annual e hi ition of ath Photographic ociet ( P ) at t ichael’s ithout recentl e ers of the P and their guests saw an i pressive plus prints on displa with an additional projected onto two large monitors, and had the chance to vote for their favourites Peter aworth’s Old oats’ e erged the favourite print while oung opeful’ ohn ichols won the most votes for digital pieces. David Parr and Mark Wallis Rev Roger Driver, Jon Muller, Gerry Curran and Geoff Wood


Photos by Pat Meakins

Wendy Tucker and Ben Woodward Suzanne Johnson and Pam Jones

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To bejewel or not to bejewel?

Flats wonders why men wear so little jewellery – and decides it might be time to accessorize



“I’ve been considering launching an unpaid career as a chain-wearer”

friend of mine owns a very successful shoe company. Aside from the fact that, yes, this has ept me in unaffordable brogues for the last decade his business is actually a rather interesting phenomenon. i ing nice shoes isn t terribly interesting but the rate at which middle aged men buy them really is. He sells so many very expensive pairs of shoes that his dedicated pac ing and posting team is continually being expanded along with their warehouses and o ces. can still remember my dad s shoes. e had a smart blac leather pair a smart brown leather pair and a pair of Hi-Tec Squash trainers for his biannual low grade matches at the local leisure centre. That was it, just the three pairs. This was probably pretty normal and the whole notion of buying a great pair of shoes and ta ing care of them for years and years is indeed both noble and cool but it appears to be happening less and less. hese days as proven by my friend s stratospheric success the number plate on one of his Ferraris reads ‘BROGUES’. He’s lovely, despite this heinous road going crime more men tend to replace and upgrade than cherish such items. nyway this is dull so ll get to one of the points. He and I did some research oogling for six minutes each into this and it seems that smart shoes – just like watches, luggage even cars fulfil a similar role for men to that fulfilled by jewellery for women. Of course, I’m generalising hugely here but there is something thing in it. ewellery is decoration but is seen primarily as a decoration for females. Men wear and own far less as a rule but

guess what men li e decorating themselves, too. Also – as a point of order – watches aren’t jewellery. I’m sorry, they’re just not. As men get older their bodies tend to become less taught less impressive in conventional terms. So shoes, and posh jackets, and watches, even hats, can ma e men feel that little bit more special as they step out. There is a link, too, to income levels of course but our extensive bac ground reading suggested that it is far more to do with wanting to look, well, pretty. ust find it fascinating that men wear so little jewellery. I’ve never worn a thing and having thought not very hard about it do not have a friend who wears even a neck chain. bout half of my married mates wear rings and that s it. f someone can explain this trend to me then great but until then will presume that mar eting is the reason. ve been considering buc ing that trend and launching an unpaid career as a chain-wearer. Seriously. My daughters want me to wear a chain with their initials on it (that those initials are is an issue... and thin might do it. omen do it all the time, so why should I feel worried about being labelled a wannabe gee er in the grips of a mid life crisis by passers by he girls would love it though and that might be enough of a reason to buy in. he two primary obstacles are that have a 21 inch nec and that the moc ing from my buddies even r rogues would be merciless. exist pigs. aybe it s time to decorate. David Flatman is an ex-Bath and England rugby star turned TV pundit and rent-o-mic. Follow him on Twitter da id a man I BATH LIFE I 29

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PRESENT AND CORRECT At this time of year, the shops in Bath are full of beautiful Christmas gifts. Here are some of our favourites…




ALPHABET SOCKS, £7.50 From Rossiters of Bath, 38-41 Broad Street, Bath;

COVENTRY SILK CREPE DE CHINE SCARF, £55 From The Roman Baths Shop, Stall Street, Bath;

YMC SUEDEHEAD CREW KNIT, £150 From Maze Clothing; 19 Green Street, Bath;

ETNIA BARCELONA – DUNCAN GENTS FRAMES, £289 From Brad Abrahams Optometry, 2 Upper Borough Walls, Bath;

SHEEPERS EMBROIDERED SHEEPSKIN SLIPPERS, £35 From Anthropologie, 1-4 New Bond Street, Bath;

PURPLE BLOOM LEGGINGS, £44.99 From Blossom and Wren, www.blossomandwren REAL COWHIDE HANDBAG, £395 From Nickie Portman 28 Milsom Street, Bath;

SUEDE GLOVES WITH BUTTONS, £19.95 From French Grey, 1 Burton Street, Bath; I BATH LIFE I 35


YOGA PILLOW, £20 From Blossom and Wren,

KATE HULME PEBBLE VASE TURQUOISE, £449 From Woodhouse & Law, George Place, Bath;

FAUX TORTOISESHELL ROUND TRAY, £65 From Oka, 26-27 Milsom Street, Bath,


EMMA BRIDGEWATER WINTER ANIMALS DEEP RECTANGULAR TIN, £8.50 From Rossiters of Bath, 38-41 Broad Street, Bath;

SPICED ORANGE VOTIVE CANDLE, £8.99 From The Roman Baths Shop, Stall Street, Bath,

LIMITED EDITION SIGNED PRINT BY ROBERT KHAN, FROM £25 From Verve living, Upstairs @ Georges Larnicol, Upper Borough Walls, Bath,

TIP STUDIO JESOMONITE VASE, FROM £36 From Julia Davey; 20 Wellsway, Bear Flat, Bath;

TRADITIONAL LIGHT BLUE SCALES WITH CHROME PAN, £74 From Robert Welch, 6 Broad Street, Bath;



CONSCIOUSLY YOU SET, POA From Consciously You, 1 Kennington Road, Bath; Facebook: @consciouslyyoubath1

MR FESTIVE GIFT SET, £8.95 From Rossiters of Bath, 38-41 Broad Street, Bath;

GOLD AND PEARL FACIAL POLISH, £48 From Natural Spa Factory, Business Park, Foxcote Avenue, Bath;

GOODBODY WELLNESS STARTER KIT, £59.99 From Goodbody Wellness, 7 Broad Street, Bath;

WINTER BERRIES GIFT SET, £12.95 From The Roman Baths Shop, Stall Street, Bath;

NURTURING SHAMPOO, £33 From Aesop, 16 Old Bond Street, Bath;

HIMALAYAN BATH SOAK BY YELLOW GORSE, £13 From Julia Davey, 20 Wellsway, Bath;

POMELO FIZZ BATH FIZZER BAR, £4.95 From The Somerset Toiletry Company;

THE TRAGEDY OF LORD GEORGE EAU DE PARFUM, £188 From Penhaligon’s, 14 New Bond Street, Bath; I BATH LIFE I 37


MAGNETIC PLAY SCENE – OUTER SPACE, £19 From Rossiters of Bath, 38-41 Broad Street, Bath;



PRETTY PENS, £2.25 EACH From The Roman Baths Shop, Stall Street, Bath;

CHALK REINDEER ROMPER, £29 From The Salcombe Trading Company, 76 Walcot Street, Bath,

CUBEBOT-RED-MICRO, £12 From Spotty Herberts; 5 Queen Street, Bath;

ELEPHANT MOBILE, £38 From Graham and Green; 92 Walcot Street, Bath;

KIDS CHERRY PJ SET, £32 From Sleepy Doe;

LITTLE PEOPLE, BIG DREAMS, £9.99 From Anthropologie, 1-4 New Bond Street, Bath;


LOCAL HEROES WICKER HAMPER, £60 From Hartley Farm Shop, Winsley, rad ord on on www.har le - arm.

COGNAC RAGNAUD-SABOURIN VSOP ALLIANCE, £77.10 From Le Vignoble, Milsom Place;

RAW HONEY, £5 EACH The Salcombe Trading Company; 76 Walcot St, Bath;


NUTCRACKER SERVING PLATTER, £48 From i e a er o. or n hro ologie 1-4 New Bond Street, Bath;

FOOD FLASK WITH SPOON, £29.95 From Graham and Green; 92 Walcot Street Bath;

GIN & TONIC CHOCOLATE BY COCO, £5 From Julia Davey, 20 Wellsway, Bear Flat, Bath; www.

CHERRY & AMARETTO BAH HUMBUGS, £6.50 From The Roman Baths Shop, Stall Street, Bath;

SLATE SERVING PLATTER, £14.99 From o i er o a h road ree a h i er o a h. om

VEGAN HOT CHOCOLATE, £4.60 From Teahouse Emporium; 22A New Bond Street, Bath; I BATH LIFE I 39






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Portman have opened a second store on Milsom Street! Portman Home has men’s leather jackets, homeware and accessories perfect for Christmas gifts!

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CHRISTMAS EXPERIENCES Gifts that truly last… MALAYSIAN COOKERY EXPERIENCES Come join MasterChef Champion Ping Coombes at her home kitchen learning to whip up her signature Malaysian dishes or well known street food. Classes are small, hands on, intimate and extremely fun. You will spend the day cooking with Ping followed by a sumptuous lunch. Suitable for all skill levels. Ingredients, recipes and use of equipment are included. Just bring your appetite! Most dietary requirements are catered for. Private and corporate classes are also available.

£125 PP

Please visit to purchase voucher. Email to book.

SHOOTING EXPERIENCE Located in the Mendip Hills, Brook Bank is one of the country’s leading clay pigeon shooting grounds. Groups are escorted around the course with qualified instructors and given the opportunity to shoot clays on a variety of targets in a safe and relaxed environment. All tuition, shotguns and cartridges are provided. These packages can be booked between Thursdays to Sundays and are suitable for beginners (nonShotgun Certificate holders), as we include the hire of a shotgun. Bespoke one-hour shotgun lessons are also available. Gift vouchers are available both for Clay groups and tuition, making the ideal Christmas present. Prices are from £33 per person all inclusive. Brook Bank offers the ideal setting to enjoy the Somerset country air and break a few clays!



£33 PP


GIVE THE GIFT OF SPA Spa Vouchers make a great gift for friends, family or colleagues. From £37, a ‘Thermae Welcome’ gives full use of the indoor Minerva Bath, the multi-sensory Wellness Suite and the open-air rooftop pool. As a special treat, a spa package lets you enjoy Bath’s natural thermal waters, a delicious meal in the Springs Restaurant and a choice of lovely spa treatments.


£37 PP

Find out more and buy your spa vouchers online at or call 01225 33 1234

INTERIOR COLOUR WORKSHOPS If you are planning your own interior design project or want to find out more on how to use colour in your home, come and join a Lola Swift colour workshop and learn to use colour with confidence. Lola will share her top tips on how to think like a designer, create a design brief and have fun looking at different colours, textiles and furnishings. Together, you'll discuss colour psychology and design styles helping you pool your ideas together and create your own colour mood board. All materials are provided at the workshop. Book online, Christmas gift vouchers available.

£85 PP



£145 PP

Marmalade House run award-winning courses on How to Paint Furniture to Professional Standards, Colour and Interior Design for the Home, and are very pleased to be launching a brand new Advanced Techniques in Furniture Painting course in early 2020. This will give painters the opportunity to learn marbling, rust techniques, faded grandeur for beautifully aged pieces, and how to bespoke work with new finishes. For those who would like to refresh their knowledge, they are also running half day refresher courses for anyone who has undertaken a full day course. All courses take place in their bespoke studios in Kelston, with all day parking and their famous farmhouse lunches. Gift Vouchers are available for all courses, and are valid for six months. Visit or call 01225 445855 for more information or to purchase.

PLANT-BASED COOKING COURSES Inspiring vegan ways of working with food

Demuths Cookery School offers a wide variety of classes across different cuisines and skill levels. The ethos is that food is a pleasure to cook, eat and share. Join them to learn about the variety and flavour offered by including more plants in your diet.


£75 PP

Book or buy gift vouchers online at

F o r mo re in fo rmatio n ab o u t th e se e xperiences a nd their terms a nd conditions, plea se visit the compa ny’s webs i te. I BATH LIFE I 47


t s been years since embrandt died ban rupt in relative obscurity a fate di cult to comprehend for the painter of The Night Watch and The Return of the Prodigal Son and myriad other wor s that hang in museums around the world. o mar the anniversary he olburne has teamed up with the shmolean useum at the niversity of xford to curate an exhibition of ďŹ fty of the best etchings and drypoints from the shmoleon s collection. his piece The Three Trees (1643) is one of his most celebrated landscapes. hen it came to his wor s embrandt was much more into evo ing feeling than place something that can be eenly felt in this gloomy situation. t s one of those fragile weather days a dar rolling s y looms overhead while rain sweeps in from the left ready to soa everything in its path. he trees stand braced waiting for the water to hit. Rembrandt in Print is on display until 5 January 2020; The Holburne, Great Pulteney Street; 10am-5pm; I BATH LIFE I 49



22 November – 22 December

Save Christmas at Father Christmas’ Workshop, the immersive theatre experience at Milsom Place

EXHIBITIONS Until 5 January 2020

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 co ee if ou prefer Mon-Sun, 8am-10pm; Abbey Hotel;

Until 16 January 2020

BATH OPEN STUDIOS AT THE RUH rtists and akers fro five ath Arts Trails are showing works in the RUH Central Gallery, part of the


Art at the Heart programme. Prints, photographs, ceramics and mosaics will line the halls of the hospital, brightening up the place at the same ti e as giving ath rts rails a it of a boost. Mon-Sun, 8am-8pm; Art at the Heart of the RUH, Central Gallery; RUH;

30 November – 1 December

MODERN ARTBUYER OPEN HOUSE POP UP Contemporary paintings, limited issue prints and handmade furniture and jewellery are all on display for your perusal in this unique open house pop up shopping experience. 10.30am-5pm; 1 Cliffe Drive, Limpley Stoke, BA2 7FY;

30 November 2019 – 2 February 2020

PETER BROWN: BATH IS IT Over 100 new oil paintings and drawings ath’s favourite artist will be on show at the Victoria Art Gallery for the foreseea le ou’ll spot so e of ath’s ost pictures ue spots along with a few lesser known, but equally beautiful, corners of the city. Mon-Sun, 10.30am-5pm; £5; Victoria Art Gallery;

PLAYS/SHOWS 21 November – 21 December

WILD GOOSE DREAMS Two lonely people meet online dating. uk insung a good father’ fro South Korea whose wife and daughter

have left him for a better life in the US, and Yoo Nanhee, a defector from North Korea haunted by trauma. This beautiful modern love story will stay with you for a long time. Mon-Sat 7.45pm, Thurs and Sat matinee 2.30pm; prices vary; Ustinov Studio;

26 November – 1 December

PETER PAN GOES WRONG A company known for its mishaps… ing hat could possi l go wrong? Known for their mistakes and mid-play cast disputes, the hilarious Cornley Polytechnic Drama ociet is ack ut will the ever make it to Neverland? Tues-Sat 7.30pm, matinees Wed, Thurs, Sat and Sun 2.30; Theatre Royal;

WHAT’S ON 28 November

BONBON’S “SWITCHED-ON” CHRISTMAS CABARET Following the grand switch-on of Widcombe’s Christmas lights (more on that on p.54), retreat back into warmth for a night of entertainment. Starring magician, comedian and notorious charmer Billy Kidd, musical stand up from David Eagle, stand up and host of The Comedian’s Comedian podcast Stuart Goldsmith and a performance from the Widcombe Radio Players. Dress up – there’s a prize for the best anta a the ed outfit Doors 7.30pm, show starts 8pm; £15 (£12 concs); Widcombe Social Club;

Various dates, December ABOVE: In this version of Peter Pan, everything that could possibly go wrong, does LEFT: Festive and risque, the Ministry of Burlesque Christmas Cabaret is a must BELOW: Play along with the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain at Theatre Royal

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;

6 December 2019 – 12 January 2020

RAPUNZEL Rapunzel, the musical. Need we say more? This funny version of the young woman desperate to escape from the confines of her tower and the clutches of her overbearing witch/ mother – just never gets old. Times and prices vary; the egg;

20 December

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 songs from all genres, from Wagner to Nirvana, and for this show they’ll even toss in the odd Christmas classic 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;

15 December

ARETHA: TRIBUTE TO THE QUEEN OF SOUL The Vocal Works Gospel Choir will perform an uplifting set celebrating the music of Aretha Franklin. Bursting with hits like Respect, Think, Natural Woman and Son of a Preacher Man, you won’t be able to keep your toes from tapping along to the beat. 7.30pm; prices vary; Bath Pavilion; www.bat bo o

18-20 December

MINISTRY OF BURLESQUE: CHRISTMAS CABARET Sometimes sexy, sometimes shocking, always entertaining, the Ministry of Burlesque Christmas Cabaret is a guaranteed festive treat. With breath taking physical feats – often completed scantily clad – it’s a night out with some serious wow factor. Doors 6pm, show starts 8.30pm; ticket prices vary; Komedia;

BATH BACH CHOIR BY CANDLELIGHT Three nights of glorious Christmas music-making to mark the true start of Christmas in Bath. This much-loved annual entertainment includes songs from the choir, young virtuoso musicians, children’s voices and conductor Nigel Perrin’s great audience repartee. 7.30pm; various prices and locations; www.bat bo o


22 December

24 November

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

THE WURZELS’ WEST COUNTRY CHRISTMAS PARTY The stalwarts of the West Country are back on the road with a festivethemed set spanning all the hits, jokes and stories from their more than 50-year career. 7.30pm; prices vary; Komedia; I BATH LIFE I 51


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’s helpers to the chance to meet the man himself in his grotto. 11am-4pm; normal admission applies; The American Museum and Gardens;

Various dates, November and December

FATHER CHRISTMAS’S WORKSHOP In this 45-minute immersive theatre experience, help snow elves Coco, Dave and Sprinkles collect mystical Wonderberries – a magical fruit that helps the reindeers to understandably quite vital – and save Christmas! Towards the end of the show you’ll get the chance to meet Father Christmas so he can say thank you in person. Various times; Milsom Place; £12; www.bat bo o

30 November 2019 – 5 January 2020

CHRISTMAS AT DYRHAM Get out of the hustle and bustle of the busy city centre with a calming walking trail for the kids that encourages the to find the eaut in the winter season. If you’re feeling left out, there’s a poetry trail for adults to. nside ou’ll find the glorious ho e carefully decorated as it would have been in the 17th century, with all the sights and smells of Christmas. Mon-Sun, 10am-4pm (house opening times can vary – c eck website or more details ; normal admission applies; Dyr am ark;

7 December

WINTER FAIR Is there a better place to get Christmas-ey than Bath City Farm? We don’t think so. Pack up the family and pop down to visit Santa in his grotto, make a Christmas wreath and grab a festive snack in the café – and wish a merry Christmas to all the animals. 12-3pm; ree, wit a small c arge or some activities; Bath City Farm; www.bat city

Various dates, December PRIOR PARK CHRISTMAS TRAIL An advent calendar has taken over



Various dates in November and December

ENCHANTED CHRISTMAS AT WESTONBIRT ARBORETUM Wending your way through the twisting paths of the arboretum, ou’ll see the woods filled with twinkling lights and sparkling illu inations ou’ll also find the Christmas Village, where you can enjoy a full programme of activities as well as some live Christmas music. 4-9pm; prices vary; Westonbirt Arboretum; www. westonbirt

Until 5 January 2020

BATH ON ICE It’s back. Bath’s favourite festive ice rink is returning to Victoria Park this November – and with that the countdown to Christmas will o ciall egin 11. 5am-10pm weekdays, 10.30am10pm weekends; adult 11.50, c ild under 1 10; oyal ictoria ark;

Until 5 January 2020

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 , c ild ; oyal ictoria ark;

ABOVE: You can see Autumn Canal du Midi by Matthew Rees at the RUH LEFT: Chuja Seo in rehearsal for Wild Goose Dreams BELOW: Have a magical Christmas at Westonbirt

Until 23 December

APRÈS-SKI BAR ou know we’re o ciall in the countdown to Christmas when the Après-Ski Bar returns to the Abbey Hotel. Authentic Alpine foods set the scene war ing 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; www.abbey otelbat

27 November

BATH CHRISTMAS MARKET RESIDENTS’ PREVIEW Local residents are invited to an exclusive preview evening of Bath


28 November – 22 December

Prior Park Landscape Garden. Seek out the scattered doors to reveal so e festive finds along with a few challenges too. Various dates; normal admission + 50p or t e trail; rior ark Landscape Garden;



WHAT’S ON where they’ll have the chance to meet the makers, enjoy some musical entertainment (a taster of what’s to come during the market proper which runs from 28 Nov – 15 Dec) and learn all about BANES iscover ard o ers he odge – the bar at the heart of the market will e open late too 5-7pm; Bath Christmas Market;

28 November – 31 December

CHRISTMAS TAVERN Known for going all out for the season this hrist as he ird will have its own hrist as avern he log cabin style venue will give some serious cos goals hink sofas so comfy you’ll never want to leave, seating draped in Bavarian furs and a room lost to Christmas magic – au les stars and lanterns fill the space with festive spirit here will also e snacks and drinks availa le Mon-Sun, 12-10pm; The Bird;

29 November – 15 December (every Fri – Sun)

KINGSMEAD SQUARE STREET FOOD MARKET Described as a nine-day foodie wonderland, this market is awardwinning 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 oonshine ar rings the evs here’s even a progra e of live usic Friday and Sat 11am-9pm, Sun 11am6pm 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 fa re pect a range of creative traders including silversmith Anna Berthon, Chris and fro he o l n’s Portal and oating vin l store he ecord eck he fa re’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

1 December

BOX CHRISTMAS MARKET Shop local, all in one place at the o hrist as arket cute and


unique range of jewellery, knitwear, cushions candles wreathes owers Christmas decorations, art work and – pause for breath – plenty of local delicacies here’s plent to entertain the kids too, with games, crafts and anta’s grotto to visit while ou shop 2-5pm; Selwyn Hall, Box;

4-13 December

SETTLERS STORES POP UP Branching out from their awardwinning eclectic boutique in the medieval heart of Frome, the designers Zara d’Abo and Nathalie Sergent are ringing their lu ur tweed collection of men’s and women’s tailored country clothing to ath for the first ti e Wed-Sat, 10am-4pm; Gray MCA;

Stop and smell the oranges at the Bath Christmas market

5 December

CHRISTMAS CAROLS IN THE GARDEN he ourage hoir will e performing everybody’s favourite hrist as carols in the full fest ified gardens of he o al rescent otel and pa ra a hot ulled wine or hot chocolate, if you prefer and enjoy so e carols under the stars 6pm; £25; The Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa;

6 December

WREATH-MAKING WORKSHOP AND FESTIVE CHAMPAGNE AFTERNOON TEA Ever fancied making your own wreath ow ou can he o al Crescent Hotel & Spa is hosting a make-your-own workshop in partnership with he loristr You’ll leave with a beautiful, fragrant and satisfyingly self-made creation to hang on your door for the festive season fterwards ou can cele rate your newfound wreath skills with a champagne afternoon tea in the hotel’s restaurant 12.30pm; £80; The Royal Hotel Crescent & Spa;

20 December

CAROLS IN THE CIRCUS ather in he ircus for a good old hrist as sing along ith the acco pani ent of he alvation Army’s brass band, pick up a carol sheet and join the cacophony of voices lifting into the night ll proceeds fro the event will go to he alvation Army – you can donate via the bucket collection, but keep in mind proceeds from the mulled wine on sale will go to the charit too 7pm; The Circus


Just a taster of the local switch on events to get you in the mood for Christmas 23 November

MOORLAND ROAD LIGHTS SWITCH ON Mayor of Bath Gerry Curran will be on hand for the big switch on up in Oldfield Park. There’ll be live music in the streets and businesses will stay open for any keen Christmas shoppers – apparently they’ll be offering Christmas treats of mince pies and a mulled wine as well. Father Christmas will be the special guest in attendance, handing out presents to local kids – but only those on the good list, obviously. 4.30pm; Moorland Road

29 November

KEYNSHAM WINTER FESTIVAL A must for the festive diary, this year’s theme at the Keynsham Winter Festival is The Greatest Showman. In line with that you can expect a distinctly circus-ey feel, with dramatic displays along with the usual Christmas lights switch on, market and performances from the town’s theatre groups, bands and choirs. 6pm; Keynsham;

28 November

WIDCOMBE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS SWITCH ON It doesn’t get more festive than a twinkley lights turn on now, does it? This year everything kicks off at The White Hart, with switching on duties carried out by Mojo Moves and Lady Margaret Oswick’s long lost sister… 6pm; The White Hart;


Finding a voice

A big part of the work of Bath-based charity VOICES involves campaigning and raising awareness about domestic abuse


Above: The White Ribbon Campaign is taking place in November. Below: Human Rights Day is celebrated on 10th December


ovember and December are two big months for VOICES; White Ribbon Day, The UN 16 Days of Activism and Human Rights Day are all coming up. What are these days, we hear you ask? We’re here to give

you a run down!

Human Rights Day marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a milestone document that proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being – regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

The White Ribbon Campaign is a global movement of men and boys working to end male violence against women and girls. It was formed by a group of pro-feminist men in Canada in November 1991 as a response to the École Polytechnique massacre of female students by Marc Lépine in 1989. At VOICES we encourage our staff, volunteers, clients and supporters to wear a white ribbon during November to show support for this global campaign.

If you can support our work, please visit our Localgiving page ( and donate whatever you can. A donation of £10 pays for individual course materials for the Freedom Programme, £30 pays for a legal advice session, £100 pays for a group’s course materials and £1000 pays for creche facilities for an entire Freedom Programme, enabling several women with young children to attend this life-changing course.

The UN 16 Days of Activism is an annual international campaign that starts on 25 November with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day. We’re launching our 16 Days of Activism Campaign with a free screening of Rattle Snake (tickets available via, a powerful drama about the impact of coercive control created by Open Clasp Theatre Company. Each day we will be sharing stories, poems and artwork from people who have experienced domestic abuse to highlight the human impact of abuse and how important creativity is for recovery.

Useful links:

Human Rights Day marks the day in 1948 when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This year,

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The great contenders

What do you make of this year’s Booker prize winners? Did the right people win? Nic reflects…

“This year, in failing to predict the winner(s), I was in good company”


n the shop I am a famously poor barometer for predicting what will make the Booker Prize shortlist, so that any new eligible novel I’ve been raving about in the summer will inevitably find itself missing out entirely. And then comes predicting the winner itself. Again, my record is atrocious. Though it’s rare for me to read all of the shortlist, if there is one that I do get behind, that’s a surefire death nell to its hopes of success. That’s why my colleagues were a bit bemused when I was asked to shadow the prize and read the whole list this year in order to do a piece of punditry on the telly-box (la-di-da) talking about the books just before the announcement. Of course, this year, in failing to predict the winner(s), I was in good company. I don’t think anyone saw Bernadine Evaristo and Margaret Atwood being named joint winners given that the panel s only ob was to find a single winner and that the rules specifically outlaw sharing the prize. But despite my misgivings over their inability to settle on just one name and over the fact that the first blac woman to win the prize ended up having to share it, I was in accord with the judges as to which boo s should be in the final running. Bernadine Evaristo’s joint winner is a book that many readers should and will be keen to devour. In Girl, Woman, Other (Penguin, £16.99) there are a dozen character portraits that interconnect in different ways. he order they are presented, and the nature of the connections are unpredictable though, so that we move from mothers to daughters, from estranged best friends to teachers, skipping generations and continents in order to build up a tapestry of related but wildly different lives. The creative structure, and the almost verse-like manner that the words are sometimes presented in, do nothing to halt the momentum of Evaristo’s superb storytelling. ach vignette has its own avour and they combine into a coherent patchwork that offers us an in ling of the many different obstacles that have faced black migrants to Britain, and their descendants, during the last century or so. Whilst I would personally have preferred

Evaristo to win the prize outright, if she was going to have to share it then I am glad it was with The Testaments (Vintage, £20). Margaret Atwood’s sequel to her classic dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale, has been reviewed far and wide and has been a huge bestseller this autumn even without Booker Prize recognition, and as such, I’m not going to spend long on it here. u ce to say that I do think it is a masterful piece of tense and forbidding writing, with plenty of eerie parallels with the worst systems of government and some thinly disguised warnings for our future. Lastly, a word or two about the third book on the shortlist that I particularly enjoyed, which was Elif Shafak’s 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World (Penguin, £14.99). This pacey novel combines an unusual structure with a story centred around one compelling character’s life which, along the way offers up some vital insights into the shortcomings of patriarchal societies. The oddity at the outset is that the life in question has just ended. We unravel Leila’s story through the memories – often triggered by recollections of scents and tastes – that are coursing through her brain in the minutes following her death. Whilst her body lies abandoned in a dumpster we slowly learn how this daughter of a polygamist tailor in the Eastern Turkish city of Van ended up as a prostitute in Istanbul. Along the way we are introduced to a motley crew she new as the five her disparate group of friends including the ebullient transsexual Nostalgia Nalan and Sabotage Sinan whose friendship with Leila has been an outlying exception to an otherwise quiet and family-oriented existence. he final third of the novel then sees eila s five former consorts combining forces to honour her memory, in a caper-like plot which makes a striking counterpoint to the slower-burning retrospective that has preceded it. Shafak would have also made a worthy winner in my view….but three winners, now that really would have been ridiculous! Nic Bottomley is the general manager of Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights, 14/15 John Street, Bath; 01225 331155; I BATH LIFE I 61

THEATRE ANNA O’CALLAGHAN Snow Mouse; Rapunzel; Ten Times Table



Festive fun ANNA O’CALLAGHAN on what’s coming our way at the Theatre Royal this Christmas


t was Charles Dickens who wrote in A Christmas Carol “It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas” and the Theatre Royal has a veritable extravaganza of entertainment to transport children of all ages into a festive frame of mind. Feted by everyone from Brian Eno to Michael alin eorge inchcliffe s ulele rchestra of Great Britain, who have performed from the orth ole to ydney pera ouse and everywhere in between return to ath with their hristmas our 2 1 . e players are invited to strum along to hristmas classics. f you ve never pluc ed a u e in your life come along anyway and enjoy the seasonal frivolity. n outing to an uproarious comedy with family, friends or colleagues would ic off the season admirably. When Mischief Theatre brought Peter Pan Goes Wrong to ath in pring 2 1 thought it was one of the funniest shows I had ever seen. Now their extremely silly and mishap-laden ta e on arrie s story about the boy who never grows up returns. can t wait he following wee lan yc bourn s hilarious comic classic Ten Times Table brings an all-star cast to Bath to tell the story of a village committee s attempts to organise a folk festival. Anybody who has ever sat in a meeting will recognise the thrust and parry of rivals ostling for position over tea and biscuits.

t s wonderful to see that the great uy asterson is coming bac to the stinov tudio. is illustrious forbears include the actor ichard urton his great uncle and the talian superstar arcello astroianni his father s second cousin . asterson himself is globally regarded as one of the world s finest exponents of solo theatre. e first visited bac in 1 with his remarkable one-man Under Milk Wood in which he singlehandedly performed every one of ylan homas s sixty nine characters and he later brought the entire barnyard to life in rwell s Animal Farm. ow he returns with his atmospheric and spellbinding telling of A Christmas Carol, in which he plays every character from Scrooge to Tiny Tim. he egg theatre has established an unrivalled reputation for its Christmas shows, which tell a wellknown story with a contemporary twist. This year the egg lets its hair down with Rapunzel, a modern musical version of the classic Grimm rothers fairytale by Annie Siddons, which is pac ed full of comedy, songs, plenty of princes, oh, and a magic pig riginally commissioned by Emma Rice for her esteemed Kneehigh Company, this version is inspired by earthy Italian folk tales and boasts a heroine blessed with real va-va-voom, wit and sass. or younger children there s a brand new show, Squirrel, which has been devised by Kate Cross MBE, director of the egg, and Tim Bell, the

“When Mischief Theatre brought Peter Pan Goes Wrong to Bath in 2015 I thought it was one of the funniest shows I had ever seen”

24 November: Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain’s Christmas Tour 26 November – 1 December: Peter Pan Goes Wrong 1 – 7 December: Ten Times Table 6 December – 12 January: Rapunzel 7 – 29 December: Squirrel 12 December – 12 January: Beauty & The Beast 13 December: Carols by Candlelight 3 – 4 January: A Christmas Carol 26 – 29 January: The Nutcracker 2 January – 2 February: Snow Mouse egg s creative producer wor ing with the staff and pupils of ath s aragon chool. he children have been searching for s uirrels in the woods and creating puppet s uirrels and this delightful tale of acorns, with a sprinkling of snowy magic, is the result. nd for lovers of all things small and furry the enchanting Snow Mouse returns by huge popular demand for an incredible fifth year running or perhaps that should be scampering o extend your festivities for a little longer the ex uisite aint etersburg lassic allet returns with The Nutcracker at the end of anuary. ollow lara s hristmas ve adventures with her utcrac er rince and his battles with the ouse ing more spirited rodents in the beautiful ingdom of the lowers. his spectacular classical ballet set to chai ovs y s instantly recognisable score is full of captivating effects and is a treat for the whole family. nd haven t even mentioned Beauty & The Beast this year s traditional pantomime which funnily enough opens on the same day the general election takes place. Anna O’Callaghan, Marketing Manager, Theatre Royal Bath, Sawclose; 01225 448844; I BATH LIFE I 63

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They come for the smells, they stay for the snacks

YOUR FESTIVE STREET FOOD FIX The streets of Bath are already starting to fill with Christmas shoppers, tourists and locals as the highly anticipated Christmas markets are just around the corner. After its previous years of success, Kingsmead Square Street Food Market will return this Christmas, providing the perfect pit-stop to taste some of Bath’s most deliciously prepared food and drink. The market officially opens on 29 November, and will be available to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays up until 15 December.  Across the total nine days the foodie wonderland is open, you can expect to see drinks and dishes from 18 different street-food traders from across the South West, as well as live music and DJ sets. The perfect place to recharge during your Christmas shopping trip or lunch break, you can get your hands on locally-sourced produce including cheese-filled sourdough toasties, Istanbul-inspired kebabs, mulled Somerset cider and boozy hot chocolates. The market will include many of Bath’s most-loved gourmet companies, including Society Café, The Kingsmead Kitchen and Boston Tea Party.

For more: @KingsmeadSqMKT on Twitter for more ABOVE: We love photogenic food; Cocktails ahoy

HAVE A METHUEN CHRISTMAS As the evenings become darker and increasingly bitter, it can only mean the following: Christmas is fast-approaching. To get you into the festive mood, The Methuen Arms is hosting its annual Christmas Courtyard Festival, welcoming visitors and residents of Bath to celebrate the season by toasting marshmallows and drinking mulled wine and cider. The festival will be held from 12–15 December (Thursday and Friday 4-9pm, Saturday and unday 11 pm with evenings filled with carol singing around the firepit roasted chestnuts a mini beer festival and a winter BBQ. Catch Santa in the wooden-barn grotto with real reindeers on the 14 and 15 Dec, an experience for the entire family. For more:

Grab a mullled cider and get festive I BATH LIFE I 65


3 1



Just a few of the best spots in Bath (and a little outside of Bath, if you’re feeling adventurous) to warm through with a roast on a wintery Sunday afternoon

HARE & HOUNDS A stalwart of the fantastic roast list wherever you find it are ounds up on ansdown Road will do you a fantastic pile of food. Generally they have a range of meats on offer and a pretty tasty loo ing veggie option too – as well as a fun sharing platter. As is now commonplace with desserts, the sharing roast for two or more features three mini roasts from three different meats so no one need deal with the food envy that has ruined many a family lunch with bad feeling.


THE GAINSBOROUGH With head chef Dan Moon and his three AA Rosettes at the helm, you know a Sunday roast in The Gainsborough’s restaurant on Beau Street is going to be good. This surprisingly well priced lunch – £35 for three courses and a glass of bubbly – is a great option when you’re feeling a bit fancy. Or, as we like to think of it: going full Bath. A feature in the prestigious Tatler Restaurant Guide, Dan is a masterful chef creating sophisticated but satisfying roasts. The menu features beef chic en fish and veggie options so whatever sort of roast you fancy, odds are Dan and the team will have it on the menu.



ROOTED CAFÉ No good roast list would be complete without a scrumptious vegan option, and for us that’s the vegan wellington at Rooted Café on Newbridge Road – it comes with all the trimmings, wild mushroom gravy and kale crackling. Be still, our plant-based hearts. It’s a massively popular lunch and tables can be hard to come by, so make sure you book in advance to avoid any roastbased disappointment – the worst sort of disappointment, in our opinion.


WOOLLEY GRANGE HOTEL The Woolley Grange Hotel, set in a mysterious but friendly manor house in the Bradford on Avon countryside (kind of like hornfield all but without the problem in the attic) makes for a breathtaking Sunday trip out with the family – and they promise to stuff you senseless with roast so it s worth the journey. Roasts come complete with Woolley Grange’s own veggies, freshly plucked from their 14 acres of land – also home to chickens, ducks, pigs and a rabbit called Simon.




THE INN AT FRESHFORD An inn that prides itself on pub-sized portions, this lunch begs for an elasticated waistband. A beautiful 16th century inn on the banks of the River Frome, The Inn at Freshford makes for the perfect afternoon bolt-hole when you need a break away from the Christmas shoppers thronging the streets of the city right now. riginal timber beams an open fire and the surrounding countryside – part of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – mean you can laze around for hours, which is just as well when you’re too full to move. They’re keen on local produce too, so the menu tends to switch up with the seasons.


rowns has had a big ma eover. o what s it li e now By Simon Noble


aturday 2 November 2019 was a date that the nation had been looking forward to in an increasing state of excitable delirium in the weeks running up to it. England had reached a rugby world cup final. ven those who didn’t know their rugby ball from a volleyball were united in expectation of forthcoming sporting glory. It was all a wonderful distraction from the monotonous drivel that the omnipresent political landscape was providing us all with. As we now all know, by 11am that morning the mood of the nation had soured. England had been ferociously dispatched by the South Africans and our dreams of glory had been pummelled into the Japanese turf in Yokohama. Mother nature sensing this mood decided to unleash rain in biblical proportions to drown us all in our sorrow and render the streets of Bath akin to the waterways of Venice. ould a day that had started off so badly get better


Well, yes actually… Browns restaurant has reopened its doors after undergoing a major refurbishment. I leapt at the opportunity of discovering what had been going on within the ex magistrate’s court and police station on the Orange Grove, so I booked a table for myself and two companions. The press release describes the restaurant as having “…1920’s interiors, with art deco styling, luxurious furnishings and opulent finishes. his description is bang on. When entering the restaurant you are wowed by the scale of the room, the high ceilings, the grand staircase, the large bar – all newly decked out with sumptuous, velvety armchairs, gold statement lighting and an all-round elegant but fun feel to the place. There should always be a good deal of noise in a restaurant. Not so much that you can’t hold a conversation but enough so that the character of the restaurant can be represented. It is a bit of a thrill being surrounded by the


noise in Browns, the excited conversations, drinks being prepared by the bar staff food being delivered to a table the empty plates being returned to the itchen and the gentle tin ering of music in the bac ground. e were introduced to ee in our waitress for the evening. he was everything you would want her to be engaging and nowledgeable with an ever present smile on her face she was very attentive throughout our time there and displayed all the characteristics of somebody with over 2 years in the trade in ath. he escorted us to a table upstairs which overloo ed the bbey outside. ne of my companions has a wheat allergy so it was a relief when a comprehensive gluten free menu was presented. m alone in getting hac ed off when ordering in restaurants and a waiter or waitress has to underta e endless ourneys bac and forth to the itchen to chec if there is this ingredient or that ingredient in the different dishes hile we waited for our starters we ordered a sourdough loaf which was warm with a bouncy texture and smelt li e it had ust come out of the oven it may be ust bread but it was beautiful in every way you would want it to be. erhaps it was because of all the rain lashing down the window panes next to us but ordered fish for both my courses. o begin with selected the dusted whitebait. y companion was not en oying the aesthetics of me eating entire fish as if they were crisps however combined with a delicious tarragon mayonnaise it made for an excellent starter. lsewhere on the table there were pan seared scallops with pancetta which were melt in the mouth yummy and a sturdy shallot and heirloom tomato tart. ee in cleared our plates away and too the opportunity to visit the loo. nfortunately within the refurbishment there weren t any plans to increase the number of urinals upstairs in rowns oined a ueue of four men all doing the traditional man waiting for a pee dance. nd so to our mains mine was the rowns fish pie. ithin the crunchy herb crumb there was a generous allocation of prawns scallops and salmon with a layer of smooth cheddar mash and side portion of peas. utumnal es but neither was it heavy or bland and it was very well seasoned. here was a thumbs up from one companion over her chic en schnit el my other companion had ordered the o sirloin stea which was more medium than the medium rare she had ordered but was nevertheless still very tasty. nfortunately although the dessert menu loo ed very appetising neither or my companions had room for another course so we ordered coffee and had a friendly chat with ee in to bring our meal to its conclusion. ith its plush new interiors rowns has a new and improved reat atsby loo but fortunately in essence it remains what it s always been a decent eaterie with bu y ambience galore.

“The sourdough loaf was warm with a bouncy texture” DINING DETAILS Browns Bath, Old Police Station, Orange Grove, Bath, BA1 1LP; We ate to start: whole freshly baked sourdough with Netherend farm butter; dusted whitebait with charred lemon and tarragon mayonnaise; shallot and heirloom tomato tart with artichoke and wild garlic hummus, carrot, pea shoots, British rapeseed oil; pan-seared scallops with smoked pancetta, caramelised apple, parsnip puree, and grain mustard dressing; For mains: chicken schnitzel with lemon & thyme breadcrumb, fried copper maran heritage hen egg, fries; 8oz Sirloin steak with lightly dressed baby watercress and fries; Browns fish pie with salmon, prawns, scallop, Isle of Man cheddar mash, herb crumb Prices Starters £4.50 - £13.50; Mains £12.50 £25.50; Desserts £6.75 Service/Atmosphere Attentive, relaxed, fun What else? Browns hosts weekly live piano performances every Thursday from 6pm and Sunday from 1pm I BATH LIFE I 69

FESTIVE LUNCH & DINNERS FESTIVE AFTERNOON TEA CHRISTMAS DAY & BOXING DAY LUNCH FESTIVE BREAKS NEW YEAR’S EVE FRANCIS HOTEL BATH Embrace tradition in both history and style. Step back in time for a memorable Christmas.

CASTLE HOTEL WINDSOR Immerse yourself in the finest Georgian architecture of this beautiful period hotel.

QUEENS HOTEL CHELTENHAM Discover the luxury of a bygone era of opulence and refinement in this exquisite boutique hotel.


NEW YEAR’S EVE BALL AT T H E RO M A N BAT H S A N D P U M P RO 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


attan has been strutting its stuff on the catwal in recent months ic ing its hair and ma ing eyes at us all. i e all things fashionable it s nothing new of course. attan s heyday may have been the s remember the bas ets where it could often be found perching in conservatories. ow though after a sprucing up and a sha ing down bang on trend rattan pieces are having a comebac of umbo proportions. e re seeing them in all shapes and si es and in styles that would fit every room not ust the conservatory his peacoc fan rattan chair really caught our eye its feather inspired open weave design having a distinct art deco feel too. e love. Natural rattan peacock chair, £250; available from Graham and Green; 92 Walcot Street, Bath; I BATH LIFE I 75


Is it time to shake up your baubles and tweak your tinsel? Here’s our pick of Christmas decorations to bring sparkle to your home

THE GRAND MAROQ SILVER METAL LIGHTS, £35 Dress up your tree with these warm white LEDs From Rossiters of Bath, 38-41 Broad Street, Bath;


HONEYCOMB BAUBLE, DECORATIONS, £40 Elegant tassels, rich colours, and a shiny pearl to boot – we loved these so much we put them on the cover From Oka, 26-27 Milsom Street, Bath;

SKAGERAK STELLA CHRISTMAS TREE BASE, OAK, £249 Ditch the plastic pot and opt for something at least 10 times as stylish From The Salcombe Trading Company, 76 Walcot Street, Bath;

PEACOCK FEATHER SCALLOPED GLASS BAUBLE, £3.99 Oh, look at this one strutting around with its glitter, gems and feathers, playing to the crowd… From Whitehall Gardening Centre, Corsham Road, Lacock, Chippenham, Wiltshire;

MALL STAR ROBIN DECORATION, £6.50 Who doesn’t love a robin? The peacock (above) may bring the glamour, but the robin always raises a smile From Julia Davey, 20 Wellsway, Bath;

CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS GOLD CORAL STARBURST DECORATION, £5.50 here’s a whi of under the sea sci fi a out this hanging don’t ou think e love it From Graham and Green, 92 Walcot Street, Bath; www.grahamand

QUIRKY ANGEL TREE HOPPER, £38 On an one else this outfit would look ridiculous ut this angel is owning it ive her the top spot on our tree this season From Anthropologie, 1-4 New Bond Street, Bath;

FESTIVE CHRISTMAS TENNIS BALL BAUBLES, £3 up the ’re tennis alls and au les all rolled into one he co e with festive wording or ou can choose to personalise the with our na e instead a e set and atch From Price of Bath;

ANTIQUE BRASS STAR, £22.95 on’t ust wish upon any star this hrist as hese stellar lanterns will light the wa From Homefront Interiors, 10 Margaret’s Buildings, Bath;

ANGELO ANGEL BUNNY, £175 sweet unn to hold istletoe ho could resist a hrist as kiss From Wild and Wool, Lyncombe Hill, Widcombe, Bath; I BATH LIFE I 77

Annie Beardsley cuff and Lindsey Mann earrings from Waller and Wood

COLOUR ME HAPPY Party season has arrived – time to get decked out in bright and sparkly jewellery pieces



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The strong, layered look has been big with necklaces this season with multiple and varied chain necklaces, all worn together at different lengths, creating a boho, just-throwntogether vibe. What else? “We’ve definitely seen the return of the pearl recently,” says Eden, manager of Quadri of Bath. “Lots of our designers and makers have brought out autumn/winter ranges which feature pearls, and especially white baroque pearls (those large and knobbly, unusually shaped ones) These pieces are a really good way to add a touch of class to any look, as they seamlessly blend that subtle, traditional pearl with a modern twist – beautiful.”





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1. Handmade silver and gold vermeil necklace, £315, Quadri of Bath; 16 Milsom Place, Milsom Street; 2. Aya pendant, £99, All We Are Jewellery, available at Alexandra May Jewellery, 23 Brock Street; 3. Plat textured disc pendants in silver and 9ct gold, £160 - £390, Gold & Platinum Studio, 19 Northumberland Place; 4. Gold plated silver necklace with baroque pearl, £58, Quadri of Bath; 16 Milsom Place, Milsom Street; 5. Bi color necklace, gold plated and oxidised silver necklace, £210, Icarus Jewellery, 27 Broad Street; 6. Emily Kidson teal curve necklace, £395, available at Waller and Wood, 4 Abbey Green; 7. Trillion druzy statement necklace, £500, Eleanor Swinhoe, designer at Eleanor Christine Jewellery; available online or at Black Swan Arts in Frome; 8. Cut diamond circular pendant and chain, £6, 670, EP Mallory & Son, 1-5 Bridge Street; 9. Aquamarine and diamond pendant and chain, £11,995, EP Mallory & Son 1-5 Bridge Street; 10. ECJ druzy pendant, £190, Eleanor Swinhoe, designer at Eleanor Christine Jewellery; available online or at Black Swan Arts in Frome; 11. Evil eye necklace, rose gold-plated silver necklace with semi precious multi-stones, £95, Icarus Jewellery, 27 Broad Street; 12. Aya Necklace, £175, All We Are Jewellery, available at Alexandra May Jewellery, 23 Brock Street; I BATH LIFE I 79


Maximalist and large pieces are very popular, with a sense of fun pervades through the earrings of the moment, with playful snakes, bold Cleopatra-style jewels and other eyecatching designs and prints. What else? “Gold and gold plated jewellery as well as rose gold is very popular at the moment,” says Dilek Koroglu, owner of Icarus Jewellery. “Bi-colour use of the metal is also very much on demand for those looking for a different look. The use of multicolour stones, bold greens, blues and purple stones are very trendy.”



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1. Minerva gold coin earrings, £40, The Roman Baths Shop, Stall Street; 2. Snake earrings, rose gold plated silver earrings with semiprecious multi-stones, £110, Icarus Jewellery, 27 Broad Street; 3. Labradorite earrings, gold plated silver drop earrings with labradorite, £75, Icarus Jewellery, 27 Broad Street; 4. Katy Luxton vortex earrings; available at Waller and Wood, 4 Abbey Green; 5. Gold plated silver hoops, £42 Quadri of Bath; 16 Milsom Place, Milsom Street; 6. Monstera leaf stud earrings, sterling silver, £35, Eleanor Swinhoe, designer at Eleanor Christine Jewellery; available online or at Black Swan Arts in Frome; 7. White gold emerald and diamond halo earrings, £3,645, Coppins of Corsham, 1 Church Street, Corsham, 8. Natural pink sapphire statement earrings, £200, Eleanor Swinhoe, designer at Eleanor Christine Jewellery; available online or at Black Swan Arts in Frome; 9. Gold plated silver hoops with removable baroque pearl drop, £63, Quadri of Bath; 16 Milsom Place, Milsom Street; 10. White gold and diamond hoop earrings, £5,575, S.P.Green; 7 Green Street; 11. Simon Harrison Dionysus gold bear drop earrings, £225, available at Alexandra May jewellery, 23 Brock Street; 12. Chocolate diamond cluster, £2,980, Nicholas Wylde Jewellers, 12 Northumberland Place; 13. Abalone heart studs, POA, Silver Bear Jewellery, 34b Wellsway; 14. Tahitian cultured pearl and diamond drop earrings, £2,890, EP Mallory & Son, 1-5 Bridge Street; 15. Emily Kidson green minimalist stripe earrings, £98, available at Waller and Wood, 4 Abbey Green; 16. Pilea leaf pendant earrings, sterling silver, £38, Eleanor Swinhoe, designer at Eleanor Christine Jewellery; available online or at Black Swan Arts in Frome; 17. Simon Harrison Audrey earrings, £225, available at Alexandra May Jewellery, 23 Brock Street; 18. Mini hydra ruby earrings, £54, The Roman Baths Shop, Stall Street; 19. Gold plated silver hoops, £59, Quadri of Bath; 16 Milsom Place, Milsom Street; 20. Mostera earrings by Jules & Clem, £22,20; available at Julia Davey, 20 Wellsway; 21. Tulip earrings, oxidised and gold plated silver earrings, £95, Icarus Jewellery, 27 Broad Street; I BATH LIFE I 81


When it comes to rings, owner and designer at Gold & Platinum Studio Michael Parsons says that subtle colours – think blush tones such as pale pink or peach sapphires, as well as aquamarines, pale blue topaz and champagne diamonds – are huge right now. What else are people loving? “It would have to be our ever popular stacking rings,” says Michael. “These are designed to be interchangeable; a new ring added perhaps, to mark a special occasion. Brilliant cut diamonds contrast beautifully against the organically textured metal.”



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1. Grey druzy ring, £170, by Eleanor Swinhoe, designer at Eleanor Christine Jewellery; available online or at Black Swan Arts in Frome; 2. Recycled gold ring with ruby, diamond and green garnets, £595, Coppins of Corsham,1 Church Street, Corsham; 3. Rose gold diamond dress ring, £925, Gold & Platinum Studio, 19 Northumberland Place; 4. Emerald and diamond halo cluster ring, £10,950, EP Mallory & Son 1-5 Bridge Street, 5. Platinum and diamond three row band, £3,845, S.P.Green; 7 Green Street; 6. Platinum trilogy ring with aquamarine and diamonds, £2,950, Gold & Platinum Studio, 19 Northumberland Place, Bath; 7. Yellow gold diamond and blue sapphire £1,950, Orton Jewellery, 6-7 Market Street, Bradford on Avon; 8. Baby octopus ring, specially oxidised silver adjustable ring with semi-precious stones, £115, Icarus Jewellery, 27 Broad Street; 9. Platinum, sapphire and diamond round halo ring with diamond set shoulders, £1,895, S.P.Green; 7 Green Street; 10. Silver ring with peridot, amethyst, blue topaz and citrine, £105, Coppins of Corsham,1 Church Street, Corsham; 11. Tsavorite garnet and purple sapphire eternity ring, £1,795, Coppins of Corsham,1 Church Street, Corsham; 12. White gold diamond and green sapphire, POA, Orton Jewellery, 6-7 Market St, Bradford on Avon; www. 13. Round cut diamond set in a cushion shaped halo ring with diamond set shoulders in platinum, £5,200, S.P.Green; 7 Green St, Bath; 14. Gold hammered band with natural coloured diamonds, £925, platinum, pale yellow sapphire solitaire £1,150, Gold & Platinum Studio, 19 Northumberland Place; 15. Eily O Connell stacked ring, POA; 16. Platinum and 18ct gold stacking rings set with diamonds, £2,825, Gold & Platinum Studio, 19 Northumberland Place; I BATH LIFE I 83

9ct white gold Diamond and Topaz Earrings £300


9 Abbey Churchyard, Bath, BA1 1LY | 01225 460072 The Designer Collections, 15 Northumberland Place, Bath, BA1 5AR | 01225 448823 |


01249 715404 1 Church street, Corsham SN13 0BY


Meet the Florist

The local experts on providing bunches and blooms MATT AND JOANNE SWANSON


FLORAL TOUCH BATH 01225 331335;

Are you running a wreath masterclass? Absolutely! What better way to start your Christmas than making your own gorgeous door wreath? This year we’re offering two different workshops. One is for a traditional textured wreath with blue spruce, oranges, pinecones and cinnamon sticks (30 November, 3 and 7 December). The other – new for 2019 – will feature a contemporary eco design, using a rustic vine frame and natural decorations (10 and 14 December). What’s trending this Christmas? Houseplants are deservedly back in fashion. They’re long lasting, make great Christmas gifts and there’s an astonishing range available from cacti and trailing succulents to lush flowering beauties. When it comes to Christmas flowers, we’re noticing a trend for richly textured designs and bouquets, featuring unusual blooms, interesting foliage, seed heads and other seasonal organic materials. What makes your floristry unique? Probably the way we listen and respond to our customers. Flowers often carry an emotional message and it really matters to us that we hit the right note for every order. We choose the colours, the style, the blooms, even the gift wrapping, with care, so that each design is individual and special.

CRESCENT FLOWERS 01225 312999;

Matt and Joanne Swanson

Frances Franklin



MR FLORISTA 07851 773849;

MYRTLE MEE, BATHWICK HILL; 01225 484400; myrtlemeefloristbath Have you got a Shopfront? Yes. A careers’ worth of high end retail combined with a consuming passion for flowers and plants and years of quality floristry training resulted in Myrtle Mee. We wanted a showcase; clear, apparent and beautiful. Now after 15 years of experience and development our shop is busier than ever, blossoming and vibrant. What makes your floristry company unique? Always on a mission to discover new and lovely things to stock and use we do like the unusual and quirky. My style is and has always been “country bunch, free, lyrical and wild and of the highest quality.” What inspires you? My clients and their floral needs inspire me every day. I need to interpret those special details that could mean so much and am constantly asking myself how I can make these flowers say what my customer wants them to say.

Emma Rees-Oliviere

Lucy and Sophie Overment


Why did you decide to become a florist? I wanted to work with flowers because I have a deep and abiding love for nature and art in all its forms; it gives me huge satisfaction and joy to create, in floral form, a customer’s idea which we turn into reality. Tell us about the biggest project you have worked on A large church wedding in Richmond, London with the reception being held at Claridges. The colour theme was bright pink and the table centres were made up of an abundance of English scented roses surrounded by jelly beans in glass bowls. Can you order online? Yes, we have had our fabulous website for over a year, with the help of Creative in Bath, we get numerous new hits everyday and are very lucky to get international orders frequently. We also have the environment very much in our mind, which is why we are changing our packaging to be biodegradable.

What made you want to be florist? We wanted to make it easier, more affordable and sustainable to send flowers in Bath. We provide one ‘florists pick’ bunch which changes weekly and is available in three sizes. By offering one exclusive weekly style rather than a mass selection, this means we can put more flowers in bunches and fewer in the bin. We also offer one houseplant which changes monthly for those who want to go super green. What makes your floristry company unique? We’re committed to giving back through our Random Acts of Flowers. Every time you buy something from us, a percentage of what you pay goes towards funding bunches for people who really deserve them. At the end of each month, we make up bunches and send them off to their new homes. Do you offer any other services? Weddings, events, flower walls, green walls, you name it we do it! We are most excited about our subscription service. Our easy online ordering means you can fill your space with flowers at a discounted rate. You choose the size and frequency, we choose the best flowers around.

Silver Bear Jewellery & Gifts

We have a huge range of sterling silver jewellery and gorgeous greetings cards - you'll be amazed at how many fabulous gifts we stock in our little shop 34b Wellsway, Bear Flat, Bath BA2 2AA | 01225 422225 /silverbearjewelleryandgifts

3 Pulteney Bridge, Bath, BA2 4AX • 01225 463693 27 Broad Street, Bath BA1 5LW • 01225 489088 icarusjewellery Open Monday-Saturday 9.30am-5.30pm. Sunday 10am-5pm.

PARK LIFE What residential area can claim a butcher, baker, bookshop, railway station, world-renowned nanny college, and a vibrant co unit spirit Oldfield Park of course


Words by Harriet Noble Photos by Nick Cole

alk to an one who lives in Oldfield Park and they’ll rave about the community spirit there. They’ll also likely tell you that it’s a great place for fa ilies and that the love oorland Road – there’s even the brilliant, active and life a r ing ace ook group oorland oad is a a ing’ to prove it t’s a residential spot of course, but punches well above its weight when it comes to independent shops and eateries, classes and events; it even has its very own turning on of the hrist as lights part when ever one pours out onto the streets of oorland oad to see ather hrist as n cele ration of this area we take a look at so e of the go-to places.


or fans of fish ou’ve got two ver popular o erings he ish hop and he O ster hell he ish hop is run an tern who calls hi self the fish onger to the stars’ and is us ost da s and nights selling fresh south coast da oat fish and seafood and stocks a wide range of shellfish s oked deli products sauces and fro en seafood he O ster hell (sister to the callop hell on on outh Place) is co owned an osser Our fish and chips are ade using fish landed fro the earl orning coastal arkets and the est of ritish spuds and traditional ritish classics sa s an alking a out the area an continues love that it still feels ver co unit orientated and the reall varied i of custo ers we get co ing through the doors fro local fa ilies to students and the elderly. Everyone knows everyone and always says good morning – it’s ver friendl lsewhere ire and rew serve ho e ade pi a and eer and urger oint agu serves up stonkers such as the he Overload and ull heese head as well as less overwhel ing fare such as the vegetarian hallou i urger elo ounge is the all round caf and ar known for eing a fa il inclusive place hat else Other staples on oorland oad are ana le utchers tokes for our fruit and veg and he ru p aker

“We have many customers who visit us every day just for a chat” 88 I BATH LIFE I

Cafe culture at the Grumpy Baker


“The Oyster Shell shop dates back to 1889, so it’s been lots of things in its day. When we were doing the building work for The Oyster Shell, we rubbed back the walls to uncover some amazing sign writing, so we decided to preserve it and make it a feature of the shop.” Dan Rosser, co-owner at The Oyster Shell h “Fire and Brew is in one of the old Bath Co-operative Society shops and still has the original gold and glass Edwardian sign running the length of the building.” Gerard Coles (known as Krow to the locals), at Fire and Brew “The building that houses Moorland Road Community Library was built in 1892 as a private middle-class school. Both boys and girls attended with a total of thirty children per term. It wasn’t until December 1961 that it became Moorland Road Library.” Victoria Johnson, HR/volunteer trustee at Moorland Road Community Library


CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Looking down on Oldfield Park; Pizza favourite Fire and Brew; Paul Fitzgerald from The Grumpy Baker I BATH LIFE I 89



l ing the ag for co unit is oorland oad o unit i rar where a tea of nearl ade up entirel of volunteers help to ake the place a hu for learning fun and a general eeting place for residents aturda ornings there sees tor ti e and ego clu for fa ilies with little ones hen there’s rancis ardware an independent retailer selling hardware since Originall set up erek rancis it is now co owned erek’s daughter eigh a wa s Our tea have een with us for an ears and people like that fa iliarit sa s eigh e have an custo ers who visit us ever da ust for a chat lso a fir favourite is he Oldfield Park ookshop run arr ainwright and nu erous charit shops


ro Oldfield Park is the popular c cle path and ridge towards inear Park Popular with fa ilies is also the oorfields andpits Pla ground which has a strea running through it cli ing fra es swings sandpit and an outdoor ta le tennis area idden at the far end is the waterfall feature that children can cli up plus a asket swing and a foot all area with goalposts t also o ers eas access to the two tunnels c clepath for a da out on the ikes


es Oldfield Park is also ho e to world fa ous orland ollege hances are that ou’ve seen the orland nannies or orlanders’ as the ’re known wandering around Oldfield in their unifor s he ollege oved to ath in and opened its teaching and learning ca pus on pper Oldfield Park in orland’s award winning progra e holds a old rating for the e ceptional ualit of its teaching the highest ualit found in the


CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Norland College; Steve Banable of S & L Banable Butchers;

Oldfield Park Bookshop; OPPOSITE PAGE, TOP: The Oyster Shell; BOTTOM: Two Tunnels cycle path


“For children and adults alike we love the Oldfield Park Bookshop. The staff are so helpful in finding the best books!” Leigh Samways co-owner of Francis DIY Limited “The Moorland Road Flower Day was one of my favourite events of the year. It was a great day to see the neighbours and to have a chat. For such a small place, the flowers looked amazing and the event was well organised.” Jo Brimble, placement manager at Norland College “Every local business does their own thing, so we’re spoilt for choice. For coffee, a great bacon butty or breakfast, I’d visit Hannah at The Grumpy Baker. If you’re vegan, we’ve got Roy’s Vegan Café, you can get your pizza fix at Fire and Brew, and burgers just across the road at Magu. We always go for a beer at Velo Lounge after work on a Saturday night after shift. If you’re buying fresh fruit and veg, Stokes is great.” Dan Rosser, co-owner of The Oyster Shell “Adult ballet and tap dancing classes on a Saturday morning at La Scala Studios taught by Fi from Beats Dance. So welcoming and accessible to all stages of dancer; it’s a really lovely way to kick off the weekend!” Kathryn Aveyard, library assistant at Norland College

STREET LIFE OLDFIELD PARK AT A GLANCE... The Fish Shop; 2 Third Ave; The Oyster Shell; 5 Moorland Road; Fire and Brew; 49 Moorland Road; Magu; 37 Moorland Road, Velo Lounge; 30 Moorland Road; S & L Banable Butchers; 27 Moorland Rd Stokes fruit and veg store; 38 Moorland Road The Grumpy Baker; 1 Moorland Road; Facebook: @grumpybakerbath Norland College; 39-41 Upper Oldfield Park; The Oldfield Park Bookshop; 43 Moorland Road; Parks Hairdressing; 45 Moorland Road; Liane Hanks Residential; 28 Moorland Road;

“I love that it still feels very community orientated” I BATH LIFE I 91


£10 OFF

when spending over £50*

£5 OFF

when spending over £30* *Offer not valid during December

45 MOORLAND ROAD, OLDFIELD PARK, BATH BA2 3PN 01225 448887 WWW.PARKSHAIRDRESSING.CO.UK *not to be used in conjunction with any other offer.

Outstanding personal service and honest advice from real local property experts. Working across Bath and out into surrounding villages, our team at Madison Oakley combine over 70 years of local experience. From our two offices in the heart of Oldfield Park, we offer a different style of Bath property consultancy with award winning results over 10 years of local trading.

9 Moorland Rd, Oldfield Park, Bath BA2 3PL 01225 466525

Reach the best in the west Affluent, active and influential and just a call away

Bath Life team 01225 475800


Inside South Korea South Korea’s not on your bucket list. Relax; you don’t have to pretend, we know. Often overlooked, it remains a bit of a mystery. So, let’s make a deal. INSIDEASIA will let you in on what makes South Korea so special, and you get that bucket list updated…


outh Korea is positively doused in myths and legends, with some of its earliest stories rooted in shamanism, the worship of spirits and ancestors. The country is home to 14 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, at which you can witness first-hand the relics of the dawn of religions and the end of great dynasties. It’s also possible to visit the demilitarised zone between North and South Korea – where over one million soldiers are stationed each day – if you prefer your history a little more current.

NATURE AFICIONADO? South Korea has 21 national parks, each with its own rugged, dreamlike landscape, many of which are peppered with achingly beautiful cherry blossom trees (which, incidentally, are much less touristy during bloom than the muchspoken about trees in nearby Japan). Seoraksan National Park astounds with views of the bone-like ‘Dinosaur Ridge’, while on Jeju Island you can hike the sweeping dormant volcano ‘Hallasan’. While you’re out wandering, keep your peepers peeled for unique wildlife: lynxes, minke whales, mandarin ducks, white-naped cranes, and Asiatic black bears await.

ARE YOU LURED BY THE CITY LIGHTS? Say hello to Seoul by night. Whatever your tastes in twilight activity – whether karaoke, K-pop, or coffee and smooth jazz – Seoul will provide, every night of the week. The neighbourhood of Hongdae is the hangout of students and 20-somethings, and is revered

for its underground music scene. Then there’s Itaewon, known for trendy restaurants and sparkly bars. Gangnam (yes, like the song!) is the upmarket spot; think swanky clubs and pretty people.

WHAT’S ON OFFER FOR AN INSATIABLE FOODIE? A warning: if you’re already feeling peckish, shield your eyes. South Korea is home to some lively flavours. Maybe you fancy chowing down on bulgogi, a juicy dish of grilled, marinated beef wrapped in lettuce with added garlic and onions. Perhaps you’d prefer Kimchi, a light side

dish of spicy fermented vegetables - supposedly one of the world’s healthiest foods, which might explain why Koreans are set to overtake Japan for longevity in the near future. How about bibimbap, a bowl of mixed rice with sautéed veggies, beef, soy sauce, chilli paste, and a fried egg? If you like it rich and reasonably healthy, then friend: you’ve found your Shangri-La.

A FEW FACTS FOR THE PUB Did you know… - Korea means ‘Land of the Morning Calm’ - 20% of South Korean men wear makeup daily - 1 in 5 South Koreans have the surname Kim - It is illegal to shop online via any browser except Internet Explorer - 36% of the top female golfers in the world are South Korean - When taking a photo, South Koreans say ‘kimchi’ instead of ‘cheese’

We’re looking for a few pioneering types to take on our first South Korean adventures. Come say hi at our new Bristol centre office! InsideAsia Tours, Electricity House, Quay Street, Bristol, BS1 4TD E: T: 0117 244 3380 I BATH LIFE I 93



re you tempted by electric cars now am kind of. But there are problems. ac in the lar son Hammond and May days, the Top Gear boys presented them as an impractical o e too expensive no range and ta ing forever to recharge. nd they weren t entirely wrong battery tech just wasn’t up to it. ut as those problems started to fade away not disappeared entirely but the end is in sight had to find new reasons to dismiss them. artly told myself they lac ed the soul of an internal combustion engine li e mechanical watches and am bored by uart ones for much the same reason. And, partly, they were just too weird. Strangely shaped, with oddball lights and science fiction wheels they tended to loo li e some smoothed out atfish a Star Trek designer had stuc wheels on. found them entertaining to loo at but didn t want one.


ntroducing the e tron udi s first all-electric car. This isn’t about showing off or the shoc of the new it s about selling the virtues of electric motoring to the rest of us By Matt Bielby

udi nows this and thin s it has the answer. Being a somewhat conservative company that li es selling lots and lots of vehicles it s come up with the most normal-seeming electric car ve seen. oo s li e a standard udi doesn t it? And that’s the idea. This is a brand new 4x4 SUV, bigger than their large Q5 but smaller than their robdingnagian that s not stri ing not radical ust differently powered. t says c mon ma e the ump to electric. t s not that scary and it s not that far. o this end using the e tron is ind of normal ust exceptionally uiet and exceptionally smooth. There are various driving modes to choose from cient saves the battery but frustratingly slow ynamic fast but the suspension s a bit hard ff oad raises the ride height for extra ground clearance and the two you ll want most of the time utomatic and omfort. here are a few odd elements but they’re easy to get used to. The gear selector is an unusual hori ontal handle with a lever attached

rest your hand on it and push the selector through a small arc with your thumb and though the car I tried had conventional wing mirrors, posher versions have a unique system that sees them replaced by two s inny stal s with cameras on their ends. oo ing li e the antenna of an insect each sends its signal to a little screen on the inside corner of the door. hese doubtless have their advantages less drag e uals better range but they’re not cheap, and you can’t see much with them. I’m not sure they’re a ‘must have’. he rest of it though ind of everyday and desirable. You sit in just the right place, the seats are super comfy and it s all very well made. here are three screens up front five with those oddball door mirrors including a full width dash screen for udi s excellent irtual oc pit and if the interior seems a little more fancy and futuristic than a regular udi it s not too much so. here s plenty of space for four plus an occasional fifth the middle rear seat is a tad hard with compromised leg room though was

CAR REVIEW slightly disappointed by the boots: the storage ‘frunk’ under the bonnet is just a shallow tray for electric cables and maybe, at a push, a briefcase – and though there’s plenty of space in the 605-litre boot at the back, the lip seems mighty high. Pru the basset hound, my favourite dog, would have no hope of jumping in there unaided. (Of course, she struggles with a Toyota Yaris.) Let’s talk about the motors for a moment. The e-tron makes a very healthy 402bhp through a pair of them, one on each axle, the rear slightly more powerful than the front; between them, a massive battery pack bolts directly to the bottom of the chassis. It all means the e-tron is not a light car – there’s almost 2,500kg of this thing – but the low centre of gravity means it doesn’t roll much, and it handles at least as well as most conventional SUVs. It’s fast, too – not crazily-so by electric standards, but for an SUV it’s a rocketship, doing 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds. And it’s clever: some of the braking is done electronically through the motors, which allows the energy to be fed back into the battery, topping it up.

At first glance, the e-tron’s just another big, handsome SUV. But there are small clues there if you look for them – and once you start it up, you know

WITH EACH PASSING YEAR, the downsides to electric cars are getting smaller and less obvious. Fuel is much cheaper than with petrol or diesel – you’ll pay maybe a third of what you would have done a useful benefit even if it doesn t do much

to outweigh the £15,000 this will cost you over a regular SUV – but there are still issues with the range thing. Driving normally and topping up the charge each evening is no problem, but a long trip to Scotland or Cornwall might be. A range of 248 miles is claimed – you might get a little less – so you’re going to have to plan your trip carefully, being sure of where you re going to fill up and perhaps filling your belly at the same time. n perfect circumstances, the car accepts charge at up to 150kw, which is faster than any Tesla and means it’s possible to get up to 80 percent charge in about 45 minutes, but life is rarely perfect. In time, that ‘best possible’ recharge time will come down to half an hour. The other issue, as with all new technology, is it’s not cheap: £71,495 before you add any extras, and the Launch Edition (bigger wheels, panoramic roof, those door cameras) is well over £82,000. But actually, in this market that’s competitive – and might make great sense, with the various tax and congestion charge benefits you get from going electric, as a company car. Driving around town, you need to be more alert than normal (pigeons won’t budge, and people will wander off the pavement in front of you failing to hear the faintest of mil oat whines), but the e-tron certainly feels smooth, classy – and easy to live with. Later, driving home, my conventional car felt harsh and noisy.

“Around town, you need to be more alert than normal. People will wander out in front of you”

AT A GLANCE Car: Audi e-tron. Prices: From £71,505 (Launch Edition £82,255). Under the bonnet: A small tray, suitable for wires and papers; the two electric motors, one between each axle, together make a mighty 408bhp. Equipment specs: The basic model is well-equipped, with all a top-end Audi’s normal comforts, including its excellent Virtual Cockpit; the Launch Edition gets things like 21-inch wheels, adaptive cruise, Matrix LED headlights, remote climate control, a panoramic roof, and those strange virtual door mirrors. Usefully, there are charging points on both sides. Performance: Top speed is only 124mph: electric cars are rarely fast, but they are quick, and this will peg it, cheetah-like, to 62mph in 5.7 seconds. In a nutshell: The e-tron is here to be part of the electric tipping point, encouraging those unconvinced about going electric that it might not be such a radical move after all. It’s easy to understand, well designed and well built, and generally reassuring – an Audi, basically. Lighter weight and tomorrow’s tech would bring usefully more range, but that will come in time. As a baby step into the future, you’ll find few less scary prospects. Dealer: Bath Audi, Bath Business Park, Roman Way, Peasedown St John, Bath, BA2 8SG; 01761 438300; I BATH LIFE I 95

It’s the city’s business



BETTER TOGETHER Stone King and Mowbray Woodwards are joining forces. The leading ath law fir s are going to co ine private client teams, making it one of the largest and most experienced private client teams in the whole of the South West. e are oth well known fir s in ath with si ilar cultures,” says Steven Greenwood, managing partner at Stone King. “We both pride ourselves on understanding our clients’ needs and providing a personal service, but also believe in caring for our people and the wider community. Mowbray oodwards has alwa s een a fir that respect and this is a great opportunity for us both to join together to grow in strength and expertise.” tone ing is a national fir with o ces around the country, but with 230 years in the city behind them, its roots are fir l in ath he erger with ow ra oodwards is part of the fir ’s ongoing e pansion strateg and will strengthen its private client practices. “We are delighted to join the Stone King private client team,” says Tracey Smith, managing partner at Mowbray Woodwards. “This is an exciting opportunity to build on our success of the last 70 years and we look forward to working together eco ing part of a larger fir will e a great enefit to our clients as we will e a le to o er ore co prehensive legal services without compromising the high quality, personal and caring service our clients expect.” For more: Steven Greenwood

Tracey Smith

Congratulations to all our winners – see you next year

And the Winners are… The Bath Property Awards Winners are due to be revealed just after this Bath Life went to press. We’ll have bumper coverage of the event in issue 407 – with full lists of our winning companies and pages of celebration and excitement. “The return of the Bath Property Awards has been much talked-about – and the support we’ve received this year has been outstanding once again,” says Steph Dodd, events director at MediaClash. “Thanks to all who have supported these incredible Awards, and huge congratulations to all our worthy winners.” The sell-out Awards were held at Apex City of Bath Hotel in an

afternoon ceremony, which played homage to the huge pool of talent ath has to o er in the propert and development sector. The Awards were spearheaded by headline sponsor Mogers Drewett, which was joined by an impressive roster of sponsors, including: Bath & West Finance, Blaise Commercial Finance, Halsall Construction, Hawker Joinery, Juniper Homes, ersfield ortgages RateSetter, Spaces, Tile & Flooring, Triangle Networks and Unividual. And next year..? It’ll be happening all over again, in November 2020. For more: @BathPropertyAwd



NEW to Bath

HOME SWEET HOME Curo has released a collection of two, three and four bedroom properties at Mulberry Park, the multi awardwinning development in Combe Down. The 700-house development on the southern slopes of Bath has community at the core of its design. A state-of-the-art facility sits at its centre. Known as The Hub, it houses

lettable space for businesses, meeting and event rooms, a 210-place primary school and a 70-place nursery. The design of The Hub exceeds the size required by planning consent for Mulberry Park by 10 times, which Curo site as a sign of their commitment to the local community. For more:

Community-centric living

Meet the new characters on the Bath business scene SPONSORED BY 01225 486100 Personalised design from Marloe Interiors

MARLOE INTERIORS Marloe Interiors is an interior design and styling service launched by Mandy Oestreich providing an exclusive and personal service to clients in the city and beyond.


Tell us about Marloe Interiors...

Our mission is to inspire each client to have a eautiful and original ho e that re ects their unique personality and interests. Our key focus is on individuality and authenticity, blending natural style with an uncompromising commitment to quality.

Imagine that moment – ‘and the winner is…’


So, why Bath?

o inations are in full ow for the Bath Life Awards, following a record-breaking year in 2019. Traditionally, the prestigious Awards have sold out many weeks in advance, with 500 attendees and dozens on the waiting list. Businesses bring their best case forward for an Award if they wish to attend – with the chance to sweep up a sought-after trophy. “Entering the Bath Life Awards is a super stylish way to show everyone just how your business is a great part of the Bath business scene,” said Steph Dodd, events director at MediaClash. “Winning an Award is highly eneficial for co pan profile and serves as


great recognition for teams and individuals who go the extra mile for your company.” The deserving winners receive coverage in Bath Life, a hand-crafted trophy, window stickers to proudly display and two places at a special Winners’ Dinner – plus the long-lasting memory of an awardwinning moment. Check out the ‘12 Top Tips’ and ‘How To Win’ pages on the Awards site, which cover everything for making a strong case to wow the judges. Finalists are announced January 15. For more: @BathLifeAwards

Bath’s elegance and stunning architecture is a natural fit for co pan ’s aesthetics and it is a pleasure to be able to work in these inspiring surroundings. It combines a modern vibrant city life with a remarkable historical past. Set within the most scenic countryside, its location makes it the ideal ase for arloe nteriors to e a le to o er our services to the surrounding area – including the Cotswolds, Cornwall and Devon, and even London. What’s coming up?

Over the last six months we have been working behind the scenes to launch a new online store selling ho ewares which will e a diversification of our brand and complement our interior design service o ering e have alread found so e a a ing local suppliers, craftspeople and artists to partner with and it’s shaping up to be a really exciting new adventure! We aspire to grow our business into a nationally known interiors brand that stands for authentic beauty and quality products for the home. As part of that, we are in the process of launching an online journal with regular blog posts sharing interior design tips. For more:

BATH SPORTS NEWS Bringing you the latest in sporting news



From networking breakfasts to invaluable evening events, make a note of the courses, talks and classes that will help your business flourish 28 NOVEMBER ST JOHN’S NETWORKING BREAKFAST Don’t miss the final St John’s networking breakfast of the year. A range of diverse businesses and third sector organisations come together at St Michael’s church for a good breakfast and a chance to connect with other local businesspeople in the community. 7.30-9.30am; St Michael’s Without;




Wiktoria Lassak and Jan Bednarz

DANCING QUEEN Wiktoria Lassak of Downside School twirled and leapt her way to success at the World DanceSport Federation (WDSF) Youth 10 Championships in Kiev. She and her partner Jan Bednarz wowed judges with five allroo and five atin nu ers scoring full points five ti es and finishing onl points behind the winners. They ranked first for Polish couples in the co petition and th out of all 37 performers. Wiktoria joined Downside School this year as part of the school’s scholarship programme. Originally from Krakow, she began dancing at seven, and joined up with her dance partner an around five ears ago he pair have been named Polish champions twice, vice-champions

four times and are currently ranked seventh in Europe and th in the world For more: GOING FOR GOLD (AGAIN) University of Bath Hall of Fame for Sport inductee Paul Blake has won the fourth gold medal of his career. At the World ParaAthletics he claimed a solid victory in the 8 final finishing eight seconds clear of the field in the est ti e of the season and ritain’s first gold medal of the championships. hough this is far fro his first win, Paul claims it as his best. t’s a a ing to e the first gold medallist of the champs for Great Britain and hopefully this will spur on the rest of the team to deliver great performances,” he says. For more:

3 DECEMBER LINKEDIN LOCAL This popular regular networking event aims to bring social media to life, with a chance to finally have a conversation with the faces you see on the feed. This time’s speaker will be Alison Edgar, author of Secrets to Successful Sales, and the charity raffle will be in aid of The Little Zoo, a small exotic animal charity based in Wiltshire. 5.30-7.30pm; Metrobank; www.metrobank 9 DECEMBER BATH LIFE BUSINESS CLUB This engaging Business Club features the inside story of the worldwide phenomenon that is the TED Conference. Its curator Chris Anderson will reveal unmissable insights into his world of business. Doors 12pm; The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa; www.bathlife

Leslie Redwood and Douglas Eason


Douglas Eason has joined Citizens Advice Bath & North East Somerset in a new role as business development and marketing manager. Supporting CEO Les Redwood, Douglas will work on delivering a new strategy for the charity, which sees continually high demand, particularly during these times of political uncertainty. “While debt management, housing and enefit issues continue to feature largely in the 8500 enquiries our charity deals with annually, new concerns around immigration are increasing the demands on expert advisers,” says Douglas. “These increasingly complex issues are why it’s so important that we implement this strategy as quickly as possible and take a new approach to how we deliver our service.”


Bath-based fashion stalwart Portman have opened a second shop on Milsom Street. The new shop, Portman Home, will sell a selection of homewares and premium leather jackets, accessories and handbags which have previously only been available to customers of Portman in Devon. Opening just in time for the beginning of the Christmas shopping rush, their collection of leather goods, sheepskins and eclectic homewares will surely make their way into more than a few stockings. I BATH LIFE I 99


fun in dressing these days, and certainl anc and are uilding a space where customers feel safe to experiment a little and do just that.

Cathy Wilkin

Sumptuous Designerwear is a resale boutique on Walcot Street, selling a glamorous range of new and preloved garments. As we head into Christmas party season, owner Cathy shares the secrets to her style… Tell us about Sumptuous Designerwear – what’s the concept of the shop? Essentially, we are a designer resale clothing boutique, selling new and preloved luxury and premium brands on ehalf of our clients thus o ering a curated collection of interesting and quirky pieces. We share a shop space with Nancy Rose Hats – Nancy being a highly original and creative illiner who o ers one o pieces that get a lot of attention. We carry a good range of gowns and occasion wear, so our two businesses work extremely well together – we’re both big show o s reall What about you? Have you always worked in fashion? o worked in the television industr in Bristol for many years, within the Natural History Unit of the BBC, then at Aardman Animations, again alongside Nancy. Great fun, but TV work doesn’t always go hand in hand with motherhood, and the seeds of my

career change ca e along when had gorgeous daughter u nitiall had an online shoe usiness that allowed me to work from home. This then developed into designer resale, as found self collecting argain designer pieces that had plenty of life left in them. Sustainability is something you value at Sumptuous Designerwear, right? Please could you tell us about how that impacts the way you run your business? Sustainability really is at the heart of what we do. Most of our stock comes out of clients’ wardrobes, so there simply aren’t production or transport costs involved t’s all a out rec cling working with local seamstresses to inject an upcycling angle where needed. Many of our customers are embracing the ‘not buying new for a year’ philosophy, and our treasure trove of a shop is the perfect place to enable that. Nancy often uses pre-

existing materials in her hat-making too – gorgeous vintage buttons and brooches. And of course, you will onl find paper ags in our establishment – no plastic. What do you look for when you’re buying in new stock for the shop? Being a resale outlet, we rarely have cause to buy something in. However, occasionall will u a run of five to 10 frocks, but this is always driven by listening to clients and what the ’re after have ust ordered in some fringed art deco party dresses speciall for the festive season as know that a number of my ladies have Great Gatsby dos coming up, and ac uire show stopping gowns as and when co e across the How would you describe your personal style? Oooh interesting. Colourful, elegant, feminine, powerful… but above all, fun. There’s not enough

Finding the right style can be a tricky business. Do you have any fashion tips? Our hair and skin tones change as we get older, as does our body size and shape, so our style needs to change with that process. This isn’t something to be fearful of, but rather, something to be fully embraced. Of course dress agencies are the perfect spaces for a re-style since we have items from lots of di erent designers e racing lots of di erent st les so e rave and experimental – try on colours and shapes that you wouldn’t normally. Also, don’t save things for ‘Sunday Best’ – let those fabulous items have a good airing, and don’t wait for societal permission to wear something that makes you feel good. Just wear it. What are some of the challenges you’ve faced running the business? arl on when started usiness in 2012, it was convincing preloved nonbelievers that my sumptuous items for sale didn’t smell of mothballs, or that no-one had died in them. Managing client expectations, particularly where pricing is concerned, is a large part of what do and can spot a fake ‘luxury’ bag from 20 paces. And what’s your favourite part about your job? My clients bringing me presents in the form of their designer items. You never know what’s going to come in from one day to the next. Also, witnessing the magic that happens when a customer tries something on, and the outfit transfor s the hat’s the best job satisfaction there is.

For more:

Successful, well-established year-round language school in the centre of Bath requires

HOMESTAY HOSTS IN BATH to host both short-term and long-term students. We teach adults and teenagers, and need both single and twin-room accommodation. For further details, including rates of payment, please contact our Accommodation Manager: Sarah Wringer, Kaplan International Languages Bath, 5 Trim Street, Bath, BA1 1HB Direct Line (01225) 473502, Email:


Making gifts on behalf of an incapacitated person Local legal expert HELEN STARKIE explains…


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

“GIFTS CAN HELP PRESERVE RELATIONSHIPS WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS” expectancy of the person, the contents of their Will and whether the giver may regain capacity sufficiently to make their own decision. Crucially, when making any decision the Attorney or Deputy must have regard to whether it is in the best interests of the person they represent – so an interest-free loan, for example, is unlikely to satisfy that criterion. Gifts must be of a reasonable amount that the person can ‘comfortably afford’. If an Attorney or Deputy makes a gift that is not of a reasonable value then they could be breaking the law. Attorneys and Deputies may not give away property in order to reduce the level of the person’s finances to a level which may qualify them for benefits or government help with care costs, nor may they give away property to avoid the person having to contribute to current or future care costs. If they do, the Local Authority is entitled to means-test the giver as if they still owned the asset in question, and may take

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

Helen Starkie Solicitor 38 Gay Street, Bath, BA1 2NT; 01225 442353; I BATH LIFE I 103


Nick explores the history of The Georgian Garden, one of Bath’s hidden gems Words and photos by Nick Woodhouse


ucked away behind one of Bath’s grandest landmarks sits an unassuming yet captivating garden. It’s open daily and is a wonderful respite from the hustle of the city, yet tends to get overlooked by all but the most informed tourist. And more’s the pity, as he eorgian arden o ers a fascinating insight into the garden design of an era that so indeli l defines and shapes our cit

basic and original outline of the space, or indeed of any of the city’s gardens, was an 1885 Ordinance Survey map. Its full accuracy is however open to question and sadly lacked the detail of ke features such as ower eds On top of this, no such excavation of a town garden had ever been undertaken, so it was unknown if any garden features might even survive two centuries of change and possible neglect. Trial trenching by an archaeological team in the spring of 1985 discovered however that much of the eighteenth-century garden remained intact, just 40cm underneath the current levels. On the advice of John Harvey, president of the Garden History Society, it was decided to lower the full garden to levels of two centuries prior. This proved fruitful, revealing a large oval bed and two smaller circular beds laid out symmetrically along a central northsouth axis. The team also discovered enough evidence to demonstrate the sequence of the garden’s build and subsequent alterations. It seems that the original garden was landscaped in 1760/1, at the same time as the construction of the house itself. What’s most striking is just how simple and formal the space was, laid out on very rigid geometric lines. The garden boundaries radiated outwards from The Circus creating a trapesium shape. Beds along the side walls were therefore designed to widen as they approached the rear boundary, creating the optical illusion of a pure rectangle when viewed from the house. Equally of note was the expanse of gravel and the absence of any lawn. This certainly would have been easier to maintain; the lawnmower had yet to be invented and the owners might have only been in residence during the season. As little archaeological research has been undertaken on other gardens of the era it’s di cult to know ust how representative this preference for gravel might have been at the time. The introduction of grass to gardens does look to have become

“What might be just a few inches under the city’s other gardens?” The garden sits behind The Circus and can be accessed by the famed Gravel Walk that once took chairs and passengers from Queen Square to the Royal Crescent. The space itself was opened to the public in 1990 following a decision by the Bath Preservation Trust to recreate a Georgian town garden in the city. It was decided to use the gardens of Number 4, The Circus. Previously left to a trust, the property was home to the Bath Museums Service, so its garden was volunteered, and a team appointed to design the space and its accompanying plant selection. It also happened however that the ath rchaeological rust had their o ces at the very same property. On learning of the project, the trust suggested that, rather than reinterpreting a period garden, trial excavations be carried out in search of the original Georgian layout itself. The only document that shows at least a


that bit more fashionable later, particularly from 1810 to 1840. This is demonstrated by the open space that sits at the centre of the Circus itself; in 1794, a central reservoir encircled by cobbles. By 1819, the cobbles had been replaced by a shrubbery and a gravel walkway, again superseded by lawn and trees some ten years later. Sadly, any plant selections of the time proved archeologically elusive. Apart from some evidence for low box hedging that divided the beds from the paths, historians have only a written reference of what might once have been. Notes dating January 1829 by Sir Edward Poore, a relative of the owner of the property at the time, writes; “At Bath No.4 Circus in the garden against the wall were eraniu s uite una ected frost In the absence of conclusive evidence here, the planting scheme we see today aims to reproduce the style of planting of 1775 as closely as possible, referencing gardening books and nurserymen’s lists of the day. Today, this little oasis within our city stems from what is still one of the most extensive archeological undertakings of its type. The space wasn’t chosen for the project based on its proven historical record though; it just happened to be available at the time. Which gets you thinking; what might be just a few inches under the city’s other gardens? The Georgian Garden Bath BA1 2EW

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


Planting today is informed by what would have grown in 1775








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WHITE LIGHT WHITE HEAT Tucked behind The Royal Crescent – an enviable location by anyone’s standards – interior designer Sean Symington struck gold when he and his partner decamped to Bath from London earlier this year Words by Lydia Tewkesbury Photos by Crescent Photography




ean Symington’s home has the feeling of a gallery. Bright white walls accented by art – or home furnishings that really might as well be called art – sit comfortably next to one of the ost i pressive co ee ta le ook selections we’ve come across in a while. It’s the sort of space where you feel yourself becoming gradually more chic just by being there and reading through Sean’s extensive library – travel and design feature heavily – as ou sip on the perfectl poured at white

to London. Our house search was a bit challenging, because there weren’t many options we could both agree on owever this house was actuall the first one we saw e kept co ing ack to it ecause we saw its potential hen we first got the house it was da p and dreary with wall-to-wall carpeting and yellowed plaster walls. We immediately pulled all the carpet up, installed dehu idifiers and painted ever surface white

How long have you lived in your house and what did it look like when you bought it?

Our apartment in London was a maximalist’s dream. We had collected lots of objects and antiques from local auctions and arkets hen we ade the decision to move to Bath, I wanted to re-evaluate what was i portant to us and pair it ack a it was inspired our travels to tropical destinations and really wanted to bring this sense of calm home. I wanted our home in Bath to feel uncontrived, relaxing and informal, while still incorporating only the belongings we truly love from our previous home in London.

We moved to Bath from London in July. My partner received a position as an ophthalmologist in the Somerset area and we decided on Bath because of its culture, restaurants, architecture and easy transport

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

“Design is a process that never really ends” I BATH LIFE I 109

RESIDENCE What are the common pitfalls that people fall into when redecorating?

I think people have this belief that decorating is a sort of paint-by-numbers exercise or there are right and wrong rules to follow when decorating your home. They match their cushions with the walls and buy a full matching suite for their bedroom. I am so against this soulless and repetitive look because I feel your home should be a re ection of ou our e periences our travels and the things ou love should e re ected in our decor mantra is that anything can work in a room if you truly love it.

draw inspiration fro hat eing said also often pull inspiration fro travels or e a ple favourite item in the house is a large blue and white ginger jar that I purchased from a market in the South of France. It now sits on a plinth in the hall outside our bedroom. The colours of this piece dictated the wallpaper in the bathroom and the colour scheme of the bedroom. The same can be said for a collection of emerald green Vista Allegra crystal goblets and a set of Bordallo Pinheiro cabbage-ware that I purchased on a trip to Portugal. The green of these pieces is so vibrant and they tie the entire sitting room together.

In your opinion, which room should you start with when redecorating and why?

What local shops did you source your homeware and accessories from?

This is a hard question for me to answer because whenever ove into a new ho e i ediatel get to work redecorating every room simultaneously. I can’t stop until each room is exactly how I envisioned it. think if so eone is considering redecorating would start with common areas like the sitting room as it really is a space for gathering entertaining and rela ing his can then set the tone for the rest of the house. Who or what are your inspirations when it comes to style and décor?

I have so many inspirations when it comes to my interior design style. Legendary designers such as David Hicks and Dorothy Draper are among my favourite people to

The living room is Sean’s favourite for snuggling up with a blanket after a long day


Places like India Jane and Oka are staples for reproduction anti ues have an uni ue things including printed lampshades and blue and white ceramic stools from Oka. Neptune is a fantastic source for everything from kitchens to furniture hen have ti e often go for a latte and peruse the massive store on Walcot Street for inspiration. What are your favourite independent homeware shops in Bath?

Every day I drive by Anne Le Coz’s shop on Lansdown Road and I am so inspired by the beautiful printed silk la pshades in the window i ilarl ossiters of ath always has a stunning display and they are always on trend. I love their use of bold prints and colour.

Sean Symington

Sean populates his home with favourite pieces found on his travels around the UK and abroad I BATH LIFE I 111

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

I love every room in our house. However, I guess If I had to choose, I would say that the sitting room is my favourite. It’s where we spend most of our time in the evenings after long days at work. I light a candle or three, pour myself a glass of wine or a gin and tonic from the bar and watch TV under a warm blanket. The room is cosy and calm, which is what I need after a day of design. What was the most challenging room to design?

My favourite room, the sitting room, was also the most challenging to design. It is a strange, almost L-shaped room, which makes it hard to furnish. Thankfully a round li rar ta le that we had fro ondon fit perfectl at the front of the room. I put a palm tree in a basket on top of it and surrounded it with my favourite books. It acts as almost a front hall table and makes use of an otherwise useless space.

What do you want people to feel when they enter your home?

I want people to feel like they are on vacation. I wanted the house to feel tropical and relaxed. The goal is for people to come in, have a drink and unwind. What did you learn from designing your own home?

I learned that sometimes less is more. Our bedroom in London was very dark and moody and I am so much happier with our bedroom here in Bath. The room is paired back, bright and calming. I feel rested when I wake up and it honestly feels like I am on vacation every day.

Books make a room


Whose house would you like to have a snoop around?

I would love to look around the late Tony Duquette’s house in Los Angeles. He was an iconic set designer and the king of maximalism. His house would be a visual feast of objects and art. I often look through his book More is More, which sits on my table in the sitting room and I am in disbelief at the beauty he created in many realms of design. Does the interior of your home reflect your personality?

Yes, absolutely. All of the furnishings, objects and art were collected by us throughout our time in the UK and on our travels. My job as an interior designer has a major impact on our home, as I am always exposed to new fabrics and materials. I honestly want to reupholster our sofa or have new cushions made every month. Design is a process that never really ends. Finally, what’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said about your home?

“This is so chic!”

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o one li es a show off but it may prove tric y to drop that coathanger smile when showing your chums around your new home if you decide to purchase phill in ombe ay. riving up through the wooden gates to the par ing area the house s architecture is all about mixing sharp modern design with lush rural surroundings there s the grey stone set against the sharp blac roofing all nestled in the gloriously green landscaped gardens and shrubbery. his property could be a great family house with five bedrooms three bathrooms and a si eable garden chec out the expansive seating area but it s also got a shed load of extras that will win over any potential buyer. i e the super duper private cinema room study and chillout room and the two vast garages. ne garage can hold up to four cars and the other has a mighty I BATH LIFE I 117


shiny gym upstairs with a guest room and en-suite attached. Not bad, eh? The house itself is a tranquil and cosy place, with a spacious and welcoming entrance hall that leads to the light and airy living room with bi-fold doors which open on to the upper secluded patio area. If modern, practical and aesthetically pleasing designs are what you want in a kitchen – and who doesn’t?! you won’t go far wrong with this one. Think deep blue central island and cosy wood-burning stove with induction hob, teppanyaki plate, oven and steam oven; and doors that lead up to the patio. eaving the itchen and ta ing a short ight of stairs brings you to the sitting room, the guest bedroom and a further bedroom with en-suite shower room. There are yet more patio doors here; Uphill does a fantastic job of connecting to nature. The property is located in the pretty village of Combe Hay within a mile and a half of Bath. The village boasts The Wheatsheaf Hotel and Inn, and the nearby village of Wellow also has an excellent pub, The Fox and Badger, a primary school, tennis courts, Wellow Trekking Centre and a church. But what’s our favourite thing about this place? It’s got to be the two-storey snug (pictured right) with its cosy yet on-trend botanical vibe and glass ceiling. Who doesn’t fancy curling up with a cuppa and a good book in here, or just lying back and watching the trees blow in the wind?


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“You push your body to find its limits and you don’t rely on anyone but yourself”


The track athlete recently moved from New Zealand to Bath and is currently training for next year’s Tokyo Olympic Games. So, how’s she enjoying life here? Tell us a bit about you and your career as a track athlete? ve been running since was five years old. I loved all sports but running was the one that I was most interested in. I loved the fact that you could push your body to find its limits and that you didn t rely on anyone else but yourself. I dreamt of competing at the Olympic Games and have been honestly striving for this ever since. But, as with any goal, the path is never easy and often anything but straightforward. But you’ve recently seen your hard work pay off? Yes, this year in Doha was when it really came together for me. At the World Championships, I had a real breakthrough. I placed 12th in the 10k, ran a PB (personal best) and ran an automatic ualifier for next year’s Tokyo Olympic Games. I then raced the 5k heat, placed 5th


in that and ualified for the final – with a PB and another Olympic automatic qualifying time. n the final placed 12th overall and ran another PB to place in second place on the NZ records in both events. So, why the move to Bath?

The move to Bath was for a couple of reasons. Firstly, Cameron French (my partner) joined a training group here. Also, because I train and compete in Europe and the UK each summer for a few months, I was keen to have a base that I could call home. We loved the city when we visited in 2016 so when the opportunity arose to move here, it was an easy decision. I’m really happy with our move, and I feel so lucky that Bath is such a great place to live. What were your first impressions of the city?

love ath. actually first visited the city after I narrowly missed out on qualifying for the Rio Olympic Games. We met up with some family friends here and I remember thinking it was one of the most beautiful cities I had ever been to. We spent the day sightseeing and then we stumbled across this really cute restaurant – The Marlborough Tavern – and as we left, I remember thinking how special the city was. There was something about Bath that I was drawn to, so it was an easy choice to live here. What are you training for now?

m currently in my off season in ‘winter’ training. This is basically a building phase for next year; it means that, although I do some longer road races, the main aim is to keep ticking over with mileage, longer sessions, and consistently building so that I’m ready for the indoor season when January comes around. After that, I’ll be on to the outdoor season and ultimately Tokyo which is in July. What does your training mean in terms of the lifestyle you have to lead?

I train full time. I train every day, often twice a day. I race all year round, competing in track events in the summer months, road races in winter months, and indoor which m doing for the first time next year). I also do pace races (track, road races and marathons). I am away many months of the year on training camps in different countries, which means a lot of travel. I have to be organised and focused, and discipline is a big part of it. Do you find it harder to train in the cold, wet months in the UK?

I’ve been very lucky to spend the last few years in mostly

summer climates. I’m trying to be as prepared as possible for the weather, and am currently doing sauna sessions at Fitness First in town, and using the gym facilities and treadmills there. I do many afternoon runs on the treadmill to avoid running in the cold and dark. Your partner is an athlete…

Yes, Cameron is a 400m hurdler. He is the New Zealand record holder in the event and he competed in the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. He missed out on the World Champs this year, mostly due to injury, but he’s aiming to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games like me. We met at the athletics track in Hamilton, Porritt Stadium in New Zealand in 2011. He has been with me on my entire journey leading up to this point. What’s the sporting community like in Bath?

I love the culture and facilities at University of Bath; everyone in the Sports Village is working hard and training for events. It’s great to get to know the sportier side of Bath. Whereabouts do you live?

We’re right in the city, and we love it here are lots of coffee shops and stores nearby, and the main thing for me is that it is close to the river and canals. I love training along there, and being able to run from my doorstep is must for me. What places do you like in Bath?

Mokoko, Marlborough Tavern, Bristol Cycle way, Bath Abbey, Bath Pizza Co, Bath Boat Company (Gondola rides), Pulteney Bridge, The Roman Baths, Be At One cocktail bar. It’s easy to be busy in Bath! For more:

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Bath Life – issue 405  

Bath Life – issue 405