Bath Life - Issue 412

Page 1

Food/Arts/Entertainment/Shopping/Property @BathLifeMag


ISSUE 412 / 28 FEBRUARY - 14 MARCH 2020 / £3








Illustration of a Dries Van Noten look by Lara Mackenzie Lee, available at Gray MCA



Very Bath-friendly spring fashion (page 26) BELOW: Still the queen of the butterfly collectors (page 72)


hen you last moved into a new house or flat, how long did your enthusiasm for redecorating last? Was it a year, a month, a week? Did you run out of steam after knocking down walls, building extensions and flipping the island unit through 90 degrees just because, you know, you could? Or did you chuck all your boxes of goodness-know-what, still packed and sealed, into a tottering pile in the spare room, shut the door on it, and consider your work here was done? I’ve moved into new places and done both: gone crazy with all the excitement and possibility and changed the lot – often when I’m feeling rich in both time and, you know, that other thing (a combination that unsurprisingly doesn’t come around too often) – or alternatively (busy and perhaps not too heavily committed to a place) tried to get away with the absolute bare minimum. In those second instances (more common than the first, if I’m honest), one thing never happens: I never hang stuff on the walls. Not because I’m waiting to luck upon that one great piece of art that knocks my socks off, and not because I’m not quite sure what

my colour scheme should be, but simply because I’m useless, and lazy. Well, never again. You see, I’ve recently stumbled across the perfect solution: fashion illustrations. They’re cool (check out our cover for proof of that). They’re sexy. They suit most gaffs. And there’s a place right around the corner, Gray MCA, that sells some amazing ones. They’re even relatively affordable. Plus, unlike many of the things a chap might fancy sticking on his walls (Lamborghini posters, Spitfire paintings, that tennis girl scratching her bum), women tend to like them too. Result. This issue we talk about fashion illustrations – because it’s our spring fashion issue, and because I like them (page 34) – and we talk about house decoration too, starting with an emphasis on flooring, in our new, improved and much expanded Property section, propping up the back of the book from page 105 on. Whether you’re looking for that perfect new home, or a perfect piece of art to finish an old one off, don’t leave it too long. Cast a wider net. Step back, take a breath, and consider your options. Fashion illustrations may not be your thing – though, have you seen them? Why not? – but there’ll be something out there that lights your fire, and finding it for you… Well, that’s the sort of thing Bath Life, and our new Property section, lives for.

MATT BIELBY Follow us on Twitter @BathLifeMag Instagram @bathlifemag I BATH LIFE I 3


Issue 412 / 28 February – 13 March 2020 COVER Fashion illustration by Lara Mackenzie Lee, on display at Gray MCA


26 SPRING FASHION 2020 This season, we’re embracing

slow fashion in all its forms

34 FEATURE Fall in love with Lara Mackenzie Lee’s

abstract fashion illustrations

THE ARTS 43 44 51 53

ARTS INTRO An alternate take on the angry minotaur WHAT’S ON Theatre, music and some family stuff BOOKS Tiger-inspired tales from around the world FILM Lose yourself in these real-life tales


63 FOOD & DRINK NEWS Catch up with all Bath’s latest

foodie happenings

64 RESTAURANT Do-it-yourself fun at Joya 67 RECIPE A fishy dish from Lucknam’s Hywel Jones


71 INTRO Don’t leave your jewellery where she can see it! 72 EDITOR’S CHOICE The butterfly collectors


54 HOWZAT! How Bath Cricket Club is building itself a financially sustainable future 90 GARDENS Meet the University of Bath Gardening Club

– it’s not just for students



122 LIVES Alysson Hallett, street poet


95 BATHWORKS Local businessess making the headlines,

including an audience with the National Trust


105 INTRO Welcome to our new bumper property section 106 SHOWCASE Explore this Gatsby-worthy home 111 PROPERTY NEWS From rugs to retirement homes, all

the latest from Bath and the surrounding area


tiling, from oak planks to fitted carpets (yes, they’re back)

118 THE PERFECT RUG We’re loving these Georgian-

inspired rugs from Etons of Bath


Editor Matt Bielby Deputy Editor Lydia Tewkesbury Managing Editor Deri Robins deri.robins@mediaclash. Senior Art Editor Andrew Richmond Graphic Design Megan Allison Cover Design Trevor Gilham Editor’s Photo Damon Charles Contributors Nic Bottomley, David Flatman, Sophie-Claire McLeod, Clarissa Picot and Nick Woodhouse Group Advertising Manager Pat White Deputy Advertising Manager Justine Walker Deputy Advertising Manager Polly Jackson Account Manager Annabel North Account Manager Louis Grey Sales Executive Callum Staines Production/Distribution Manager Sarah Kingston Deputy Production Manager Kirstie Howe Production Designer Matt Gynn Chief Executive Jane Ingham Chief Executive Greg Ingham Bath Life MediaClash, Circus Mews House, Circus Mews, Bath BA1 2PW 01225 475800 @The MediaClash © All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without written permission of MediaClash. We’re a Bath-based publisher, creative agency and event organiser Magazines Our portfolio of regional magazines celebrates the best of local living: Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter. We also publish foodie mag Crumbs (, @CrumbsMag). Agency From the design and build of websites to digital marketing and creating company magazines, we can help. Events We create, market, promote and operate a wide variety of events both for MediaClash and our clients Contact:


SPOTLIGHT from top to bottom:

Frank Skinner; Al Murray; Bill Bailey


KINGS OF COMEDY We all need a good laugh every now and again. Fortunately, they’re coming: three big name acts are visiting us soon Careers take flight at the egg – just ask Toby Thompson

Theatre Royal

INCUBATING SUCCESS A homegrown production from the egg theatre has just won an international award. Bath-based performance poet Toby Thompson first performed I Wish I Was a Mountain at the egg’s annual Incubator new talent showcase back in 2017, the piece being based on a fairy tale by Hermann Hesse, Faldum, about a small community changed forever when one member wishes to become – you guessed it – a mountain. Last month, Toby presented the show at the International Association of Performing Arts For Youth Showcase in Philadelphia and walked away with the prestigious Showcase Victor Award – as voted on by more than 400 delegates on the day. If you’d like to find out more about Incubator, the idea development programme at the egg, contact its creative producer, Tim Bell: For more:

FRANK SKINNER 3 May, Theatre Royal Skinner’s Showbiz is coming to Bath fresh off a run in the West End. A veteran of the circuit, his latest offering is frenetic as ever, landing on everything from Prince Andrew to urinal mishaps. AL MURRAY 17 May, Theatre Royal So far it’s been a tumultuous 2020. We Brexited, Trump got impeached (then let off), there was that period where most of Australia was on fire – and what about the weather lately? It all looks quite bleak – but don’t worry, the Pub Landlord is on hand to give us the answers to all of our ‘what do we do now?’ related questions. BILL BAILEY 1 April, Bath Forum We’re always happy to see Bill Bailey. The comedian, actor, musician and animal welfare campaigner is headlining the first night of Bath Comedy Festival and we are excited. Chances are, you’ve seen and loved Bill in something – Black Books, Spaced, Hot Fuzz, not to mention his bit about A Brief History of Time (YouTube it).

Fancy hats not required

Bath Racecourse


Bath Racecourse is offering free tickets to the first fixture of the season. Anyone – local or not – can register for up to four complimentary tickets for the 30 March race day. Whether you’re a racecourse regular or a total newbie, this seven-race experience is sure to get you excited for the 2020 season. Registration for complimentary tickets is open until 29 March, but organisers advise getting yourself signed up as soon as possible to guarantee entry. For more: I BATH LIFE I 9



Students at Stonar School in Melksham are set to get an excellent ‘enviro-cation’ as the school embarks on a new relationship with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Globeducate, the network of premium international schools of which Stonar is part, have partnered with the WWF to deliver their Global Agenda for Change – raising more troops for the Greta Thurnberg army, basically. “We often battle, as parents and teachers, to engage young people in the current affairs issues of the day (try chatting to your teenager about Brexit!), but they are wellinformed and interested in the environment, sustainability and climate change,” says Matthew Way, headmaster at Stonar. This new programme aims to channel that interest. Stonar will host screenings of the Netflix series Our Planet, and a series of classes associated with it. The kids will also have the chance to go to a summit at the WWF-UK Living Planet Centre, the heart of the charity and one of the greenest buildings in the UK. For more:

Pay attention, or the creepy panda will come for you

Mother’s Day


Celebrate Mother’s Day the fancy way with a Mother and Daughter Hat Box Workshop at The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa. Emily Clarke, expert flower worrier from The LANE Floristry, will guide you and mum to create beautiful floral hat boxes. Following the two-hour masterclass, you’ll retreat to the 3AA Rosette Dower House Restaurant for a Champagne afternoon tea with a selection of decadent pastries and cakes, finger cut sandwiches and glasses of Taittinger Champagne. 12-3pm; £89. For more: Go on, show mum a little love!

Satisfied smiles all round



Bath students’ unwanted stuff has raised over half a million pounds for the British Heart Foundation (BHF). Since 2012, the Student Community Partnership, which includes the University of Bath, Bath Spa and B&NES, has been encouraging students to donate instead of chuck unwanted items when they move out. “We want to say a huge thank you to the students and local residents of Bath for their support,” says Amanda Purkiss, university account manager at the BHF. “We really value these donations enormously, as they deliver muchneeded stock for our shops. We’ve also been able to divert unwanted items from going into landfill. Without these items, we could not have raised vital funds for life-saving research and help beat the heartbreak caused by heart and circulatory diseases for families in Bath.” For more:



SCENE Hilary Long, Kate Murphy and Henry Bullcok


Alice Stevens and Georgina Bassil

Natalie Bonnici and Fiona Bonnici

Jonathan Taylor, Jake Hinds, David Mathews and Kelly O’Neill


Just because the Oscars have been and gone, it doesn’t mean Awards Season is over, y’know. The Botanist was packed out and buzzing on the night of the Bath Life Awards Finalists’ and Sponsors’ reception. Bath business types of every stripe flocked to the always impressive city centre bar to toast the nominees ahead of the main event, which take place on 27 February. Live music, flowing drinks and the Instagram-friendly vibe at The Botanist set the tone for an evening filled with chatter, laughter and well-deserved back-slapping. Did we say we love Awards Season? Continued to page 16. Photos by Derryn Vranch

Joe Stas, Bradley Bailey, Helen Mulloy Reid, Declan Gray and Kalvin Simmons


Adam Powell, Claire Powell and Kathryn Davis

Elle Chappell and Ben Chappell


SOCIETY Martha Heather, Matilda Heather, Joe Haines and Alexandra Mackenzie

Beth Denny, David Maxwell and Sue Jones

Scott Woolley, Aaron Buckley and John Mitchell

Zara Perry, William Wood and Billie Harris

Josh Holgate, Kate Jones and Chris Thorne

Samuel Rawlings, Millie Bolt, Stephanie Hill, Katie Rawlings and Ricarda Todd

Gerry Mckeown, Marion Morris, Sue Jones, Emily Vass, Christine Harrison and John Cox Arron Collins-Thomas, Tim Whelehan and Alex Miller

Sam Darragh and Chris Williamson

Robert Vaughan, Kelsey Lye and Oscar Vaughan I BATH LIFE I 15



Victoria Grey, Paul Oaten, Martin Buckland and Kartini Sutoto Lynn Blount and Jane Chapman

Megan Halden and Jessica Wolfe

Angela Bond and Pippa O’Keefe Hazel McDowall, Ali McDowall and Madeline Blackburn

Lesley Astley, Declan Gray and Kalvin Simmons


Drew Hall provided the soundtrack for the evening

Helen Mulloy Reid, Lucy Overment and Sophie Overment



Kim Collins and Margaret Cooke Andrew Fletcher

Naomi Roberts and Jennifer Cufaude

Charlie Moss and Hayley Blacker


Sarah Cooper and Helen Rich

The ďŹ rst Bath Life Business Club of 2020 took place at The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa recently. This time Andy Semple, associate director of the National Trust, was in the hot seat. His talk was wide ranging, covering everything from climate emergency to, of course, what exactly is going on with The Assembly Rooms (more on that on page 98). After his talk, attendees had the chance to quiz him about his role, and the future of the National Trust generally. Photos by Beata Cosgrove

Andy Semple and Greg Ingham

Andy Owen and Matt Hankins


Madeline Blackburn, Dave Dixon and Alexandra de Laszlo

Anna Hayward and Hannah Whiting

Kevin Balch and Mandy Oestreich



Dan Kenyon, Sarah Askew and Emma Cowlrick

Alistair Colston and Kevin Murphy


If you hadn’t heard (where have you been?), Bath has a brand-new Indian restaurant. Bandook launched with a party, where invited guests were treated to drinks and a few tasters from the menu, which is Indian street food-inspired. The Hot Hoof Trio ramped up the atmosphere in Milsom Place, enjoying something of a renaissance with the arrival of this gaff and (coming soon) Bosco Pizzeria opposite. Moe Rahman’s latest venture joins the two Mint Rooms (one here, one in Clifton) and the first Bandook, also in Bristol at Wapping Warf. Chandra Devadason and Cathy Colston

Photos by Ben Robins

Jiten Doshi and Harshinder Sirah

Katie Calvert-Jones, Lexi Learmond, Pippa Rose and Sarah Amro

Rajen Doshi and Lucy Terrell

Nick Steel, Ralph Oswick and Loraine Morgan Brinkhurst


Cheung Chan, Soyful Alom, Murali Raj and Moe Rahman

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All the right moves


There are embarrassing bookmarks on Flats’ iPad, but they’re not what you might think…

“I’m unlikely to have an idea that transcends planet Earth”


y mum loves to tell the story about the bloke she met who, as well as being a friend of a friend, was also the man who introduced lollipop sticks to central Africa. What remains unclear is whether or not this chap went down the actual lollipop line or whether he just did the sticks. (Just doing the sticks would be simpler, obviously, but think of the likely profit margins in ice lollies alone. I mean, it’s literally water!) Anyway, this guy did the sticks in Africa then came back and ordered himself a crushed strawberry pink Rolls Royce and had the door handles done in gold. This vehicle would now be worth less than the gold iPad mini on which I am typing these words, but you’ll agree that its awfulness is as cool as all hell. He retired young and drove his Roller to the shops. Then there’s the person who invented cat’s eyes. I don’t mean God, because I don’t mean real cats. I of course mean the sort of cat’s eyes that reflectively separate lanes on the road. My dad used to say, as we pootled along in our Volvo estate (not gold): “God. Imagine being the guy who invented cat’s eyes.” Apart from being sexist (it was a different time), Dad meant that it would be fantastic both to be the person who invented something that so many people appreciate and need, and that this person would be minted, obviously. I’m unlikely to have an idea that transcends planet Earth, mainly because I’m not the type. Also, though, because I would firmly expect an aggressive self-starter to have got their wheels in motion on the same idea already, so wouldn’t even bother calling Deborah Meaden for Dragon advice. I do, though, appreciate the brilliant ideas of others. The best one of the last few years, as far as I can think, is RightMove. RightMove hasn’t quite become a verb, like Google, but it’s not far

off. Even when I am not seeking to buy or rent a new home, I’m on it three or four times a week. I tell myself it’s always wise to keep an eye on the market, but that’s a self-lie. I flick around on it, forever altering my filters and budgets, because I am addicted. Did you know, by the way, that some parts of central Bath are effectively as pricey as Dulwich? No, you didn’t. Well, now you do, so my addiction is justified for another year. I’m not moving to Dulwich, either. As it happens, I am kind of tentatively thinking about moving house in the next year or so, so my addiction has gathered momentum via its first dose of bona fide direction in a long time. I viewed a house last week and, when the extremely lovely lady asked if I’d been on their website, I replied: “Er, no. I just go on RightMove, obviously.” I expect estate agents want us all to go on their respective sites, but there is simply no point. Anyway, the potential move. As a big fan of Lansdown, I have worked out that Larkhall is indeed the best part of Bath to live. You can walk to a shop from Lansdown, but you’ll need lungs like hot air balloons to get home again. In Larkhall, everything is there; it’s just there. The only thing is that everyone else knows about RightMove, too, so if a nice house ever pops up there it will be sold before I’ve even scrolled down to the ‘Must Haves’ section and internally bemoaned the absence of an ‘Outdoor Kitchen’ box to tick. Addictions are bad. Everyone in Bath should stop perusing RightMove now. Right now. Break the habit. I’ll let you know when it’s safe to go back in, and that will likely be about a week after I’ve moved into the house that nobody ever saw. David Flatman is an ex-Bath and England rugby star turned TV pundit and rent-o-mic. Follow him on Twitter @davidflatman I BATH LIFE I 23



Make time to enjoy some of these fabulous events this spring… TIME FOR TWO Valid until 30 April 2020 It takes two to spa! Take a little time out for two to relax, indulge and catch up with a friend or loved one. This indulgent spa experience will consist of tea/coffee and pastries on arrival, 45 minute ESPA treatment, two course lunch in The Brasserie with a glass of wine or soft drink and use of the Spa facilities, a robe and slippers. Available Monday to Friday, 9am-2pm. £260 for two people.

MEET THE SCULPTOR: A CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW PREVIEW BY HAMISH MACKIE 13 March 2020 Join us in the elegant surroundings of Lucknam Park as we are joined by renowned wildlife sculptor Hamish Mackie ahead of his

exhibition at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. You will also enjoy a traditional afternoon tea before heading out into the estate to discover the collection. Commences at 2pm. £40 per person. Full payment is required at the time of booking which is nonrefundable.

FLORISTRY WORKSHOPS 16 & 17 March 2020 Perfect ahead of Mother’s Day – Lucknam’s talented florist will share top tips and trusted techniques to help you craft your very own professionally designed arrangement. Includes tea/coffee and pastries on arrival, workshop with all materials needed and a two course lunch in The Brasserie with a glass of wine or soft drink. Runs from 10am-2pm. £75 per person. Full payment is required at the time of booking which is nonrefundable.

REJUVENATE & RECONNECT New for Spring 2020 Begin your day with a 60 minute well-being class in the studio before relaxing in the awardwinning spa. After delicious, seasonal cuisine in The Brasserie

you will head over to the Equestrian Centre to participate in an Equine Connect workshop. In this unique session, you will be working in the round pen using the horse’s natural instincts and methods of communication. Available Tuesday to Thursday. £155 per person, minimum of two people.

allowing a peaceful state and more control over your thoughts. Sound Bath meditation will promote healing on a deeper level and a therapeutic session at the Equestrian Centre will teach you how to connect with a horse. From £462 per person per night, based on a Classic room.

MOTHER’S DAY DINING 22 March 2020 Lucknam Park is an idyllic spot to treat mums. Set in 500 acres of parkland, you can choose from a traditional afternoon tea experience or a hearty Sunday lunch in the hotel’s relaxed restaurant, The Brasserie. Enjoy a three course lunch at £40 per person in The Brasserie or full afternoon tea in the Palladian Mansion from £40 per person – both include a special gift for mothers. You can also discover their range of luxury experience vouchers.

*All events and packages are subject to availability. Please visit for full details and terms & conditions.

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This year, clothing works best when it has meaning behind it, reconnecting with artisan skills or celebrating slow fashion, a rejection of throwaway culture. Here local shops, designers and fashion gurus pick their personal favourite items for our spring style special


o here we go again. It’s no longer quite so dark as we leave the office, and though we’re still reaching for the woolies each morning – and will be doing so for a while, let’s be honest – we’re also starting to think about the less buttoned up freedom that comes with warmer weather style. So what should we be wearing this spring and summer? Truth is, in this every-trend-at-once, anything goes era, drawing hard-and-fast rules and pithy suggestions is harder than ever – but we’re going to give it a go anyway, with the help of a selection of Bath fashion gurus. Turns out the ’70s are still in (but the ’90s are too); graphic polka dots and fluoro neon highlights are everywhere; and we’re seeing more waistcoats, feathers, bra-tops and even hot pants than we have for a while. But above all these specifics, one thing is clear: a sort of quirky, relaxed, home-made quality continues to look much more appealing and of-the-moment than anything too slickly luxurious or factory made. We’re talking sustainability, we’re talking authenticity, we’re talking vintage and recycled and artisan heirloom techniques. Most of all, we’re talking slow fashion, better made – perhaps more expensive – pieces where the hand of the creator can actively be seen, and which we’ll keep and wear for decades, not just a season or two. And if a piece has genuine eco-cred, as opposed to just looking like it might, all the better…


Trend: Sustainable THE B TEAM “This dress is by Baujken,” says Nickie Davies of Kilver Court, the designer shopping village out at Shepton Mallet, “and usually retails at £139 – but we sell it at Kilver for £97.30. We love these guys, in part because of their admirable sustainability policy – they donate 10 per cent of their profits to charity, and are part of the global B Corp family that encompasses 3,000 businesses committed to balancing purpose with profit. That means, for instance, that they’re legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment – Patagonia and Innocent Drinks are also part of it. Baujken is all about slow fashion, using ecofriendly fabrics, making the sustainable attributes of each product clear, and they do most styles in sizes up to 18. And if you eventually wear out your Baukjen item, you can send it back to them to be sustainably recycled – they’ll pay the postage.” For more,

Trend: Beach to bar ONE LOVE “We’re proud to now stock the Australian brand One Season,” says Alison Townshend of Sassy & Boo, the small West Country fashion shop chain with a boutique at 9 Bartlett Street. “This perfect, 100 per cent natural fibre dress comes in stunning colours to take you from the beach to the bar this summer – and even out to dinner afterwards. This is a very on trend brand, looking to materials like the finest Indian cotton in exclusive prints and stunning colours to create breezy dresses, kaftans and throw over pieces.” For more, www. I BATH LIFE I 27

• Complete tailoring service for ladies and gentleman • Alterations and Repairs on all Garments • Made To Measure Suits and Shirts • Bespoke / handmade Suits and Separates • Ladies bespoke tailoring • Bridal wear and Evening wear Alterations • Re-sizing and Re-Designing Suits and Dresses • Replicating your old favourite clothing

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Bath Life team 01225 475800

SPRING FASHION 2020 Trend: Luxe sportswear NO SWEAT “These new leggings are the perfect fit, with a high-rise waistband that’s supportive without digging in,” says Alys Wikmark of Lululemon, the influential cult workout brand with a new store about to open on Southgate Place. “The ultra-breathable fabric is engineered to feel soft on the outside while being cool and sleek next to the skin, and they’re also ultra-fast-drying – just what I need for a sweaty workout.” Made of a proprietary fabric called Everlux, which knits Lycra with wicking yarns that pull sweat away from your body and helps it evaporate, the Wunder Train High-Rise Tight comes at £88. For more,

Trend: Kitten heels CAT CHASER “The kitten heel is seeing a real revival in 2020,” says Debbie Spiller of DuoBoots at 33 Milsom Street. “Seen both on celebrities and the fashion catwalks, it’s more formal than flats and boasts leg-lengthening qualities without hindering comfort levels, all making its newfound popularity unsurprising. Somerton is our stand-out kitten heel for SS20, a modern take on the Chelsea boot, featuring a pointed toe, piped edging and an elasticated side panel.” Now you’ve found it, all you have to pick is your preferred colour: red suede or white-and-black hair leather. For more,

Trend: Artisan-made BLACK AND BLUE Trend: Capsule wardrobe LET IT SNOW “One of my favourite pieces this year is this classic pinafore dress in a fun pinstripe fabric,” says Snow, the creative force behind back-to-basics slow fashion clothing company Bibico, with its only shop on Bartlett Street. “It’s a chic and simple piece, and to me represents the epitome of a capsule wardrobe. It’s certainly a dress to encourage multiple wears, either paired with a long T-shirt and a cardigan at the beginning of the season, or worn solo when the days get warmer.” Made of a soft linen/cotton mix, and designed here in Bath by Snow but produced by a Fairtrade Cooperative in India, it’s just £69. For more,

Blackhorse Lane Ateliers is one of those small-scale artisan clothing makers. True lovers of indigo dye, premium selvedge, organic raw denim and old-school heritage construction techniques, they call themselves “London’s only craft jeans maker”, and have now collaborated with Toast on a high-profile capsule collection, reinterpreting two traditional Toast styles – the denim workwear jacket and cropped jeans – in Blackhorse Lane’s rope-dyed double indigo denim. These are both available now, but Blackhorse Lane Ateliers x Toast is no one-shot deal, and new styles will be added for AW2020. “Blackhorse Lane Ateliers work out of a renovated 1920s factory, and have a strong focus on social and environmental sustainability, and quality craftsmanship,” says Laura Shippey, head of design at Toast. “Each item is made using slow fashion techniques, with a pair of jeans taking, on average, four hours to make. They were founded as an antidote to fast fashion, and we’re proud to support garments that are traditionally made in the UK.” For more, I BATH LIFE I 29

SPRING FASHION 2020 Trend: Easy wearing EARN YOUR STRIPES Devizes-based indie fashion boutique Spirit has long shown a commitment to tracking down interesting, less ‘High Street’ styles, such as this boldly striped dress from Lolly’s Laundry of Copenhagen, creators of light and airy basics, often in vivid colours. (That said, LL founderdesigner Kamilla Byriel likes an edgier rock chick look too, which she renders in the likes of leathers – having another moment – and animal prints, which never stopped having one, it seems.) “This piece is a little more nautical than that,” says Spirit’s Rose Webster, “but if the stripes aren’t for you, they do solid colours, flower prints and so-on-trend polka dots too.” For more,


Family jewellery manufacturers Est 1979

Trend: Slow fashion SILK STALKINGS


This is Waller & Wood’s Geraldine coat (£795), made of painted doupion silk – that’s a deliberately irregular type of silk created when threads from two or more cocoons are spun together – and worn with an Annie Beardsley bangle from the Ledger Stones collection, inspired by the texture and almost lost inscriptions on the floor of Bath Abbey, virtually next door to their shop on Abbey Green. “The coat’s silvery-grey, and is my take on motherof-the-bride that would be perfect for an upcoming wedding, but can also be worn many, many times after the event,” says Carole Waller. “My firm belief is that right now we need special clothes that withstand trend, can be worn lots of ways – formally or casually – and will stay in our wardrobes for a long time. They are not cheap – but they are original and made right here, in very small numbers, and will last you for many years.” For more,


SPRING FASHION 2020 Trend: Colour pop SCARF FACE “After such a dark and grey winter, Pookie Blezard – the head creative at UK company Pazuki – captures glorious languid summer days in her beautiful riotous and colourful garments and scarves,” says Angela Haddrell of Uber, the eclectic, vaguely Alpinethemed clothing shop on Margaret’s Buildings, which stocks them. “These scarves are a perfect example of wafting around a blooming summer garden with a gin and tonic, allowing yourself to become part of that magical garden. They bring zing and vibrancy to any spring wardrobe.” For more,

Trend: No borders HOOKED ON CLASSICS Increasingly popular Copenhagen brand NN07 is a new arrival at Maze – the well-established and much-loved men and women’s clothing store at 19 Green Street – and is already getting loads of attention, says their Hannah Holloway. “They describe themselves as an open-minded brand with no borders – the ‘NN’ actually stands for No Nationality – and this Kim jacket, being both breathable and waterproof, scores as high on performance as it does on style.” Robust and practical, NN07 is a great place to look for neutral jeans, casual shirts, jackets and knits that are classic but in no way boring. For more,

Trend: Local makers TOP HAT This amazing occasion wear piece is from the current ‘for hire’ collection at Nancy Rose, the Walcot Street hat specialist, and features their popular button base design in an on-trend pallet of saffron yellow handmade flowers on a chive green silk base. “You can check it out in the store we share with Sumptuous Designerwear, ” Nancy says, “and by wearing this you’ll be supporting slow fashion ethics, and independent, local designer/ makers on the high street.” For more, I BATH LIFE I 33


HARD BOILED Lara Mackenzie Lee paints glorious fashion illustrations in the loosest style, boiling each look down to its essence. You can check out her work in a new show at Gray MCA 34 I BATH LIFE I

Lara illustrates Dries Van Noten AW19 pieces above and opposite; at the top and to the right are two typically architectural yet feminine catwalk looks from Ellery, the label founded by one-time fashion editor (and fellow Central Saint Martins graduate) Kym Ellery I BATH LIFE I 35


A mermaid-like piece by Givenchy (above), more Ellery and Dries Van Noten looks (top and bottom right, respectively) and, opposite, a blood red Marni piece with echoes of Carrie or Lady Macbeth



LARA ON LARA Tell us a bit about your approach to illustration, Lara… I tend to break down the subject at first glance into prominent shapes and colours. I look at the mass at hand, not the outline, and part of the excitement is figuring out how to balance those on the page, whilst still retaining the essence of the subject. I’m most often attracted to strong shapes, colours and contrasts, and look at communicating the overall theme and feel of a subject instead of the literal. Sometime you tend to leave the heads off. How come? Balance is everything. Sometimes the shapes and colours need a little something more, and I try to balance them with black charcoal lines or crayon to guide the eye a little. It really depends on how abstract the drawing is, and who the drawing is for. I try to not think too hard about it or spend too much time on it, otherwise it tends to lose a sense of spontaneity and can feel a little too contrived. That said, those lines are the final step, and often make or break the final piece. And how is your work continuing to develop? I used to go through a lot of sketches, painting in a very rapid and spontaneous manner, then evaluating what made the most sense in terms of composition in relation to the subject and building on that – which makes sense, as I started drawing in this style by documenting dance. I am now a lot more focused and refined in my approach. What I think is most exciting is that there seems to be a newfound freedom and interest in fashion illustration, and more generally in the ‘handmade’. I feel like it doesn’t have to be restricted to a certain style or format any more; the fashion industry is constantly crossing boundaries, referencing and commissioning work from various fields and showcasing it through diverse platforms. The possibilities seem endless – and appear to be paving the way for a much freer hand. I BATH LIFE I 37



left: Ashley and Connie Gray of Gray MCA; right: How fashion illustration used to be, a 1935 ink and wash piece by Carl Erickson for American Vogue

here’s a school of thought that says fashion illustration should be a simple thing: a beautiful depiction of the garment, where you can see every seam, and could perhaps study it then take a decent stab at reproducing it. And there’s another that says no, what’s the point of that? That’s what photography should be for. Fashion illustration, the idea goes, can afford to be less literal, more suggestive; as much about the feel as the look. That’s certainly how Lara Mackenzie Lee feels, the one-time Central Saint Martins student interested in vivid colour and movement more than she perhaps is the finer details of each garment. Her work – seen on these pages – takes catwalk looks and turns it into abstract colours and lines; it’s a distinctive approach to fashion illustration, but by no means the only one, and that’s okay. Fashion illustration is having a moment, and there’s currently room for a wider range of styles out there than there has been at any time since the 1960s. “Oh, it’s very much enjoying a resurgence,” says Connie Gray of Gray MCA, the Bath gallery that specialises in fashion illustration old and new, “with luxury brands increasingly turning to illustration to market their products. The most respected illustrators working today are regularly commissioned, and genuinely making a very good living from their incredible work. What I like about it is that they each have their own unique style, which a brand responds to. Their work tends to very much be a collaboration between the creative director of each brand, the marketing team and the illustrator.” Each of the various editions of Vogue published in the fashion capitals of the world tends to have its own distinct feeling, echoing the sensibilities of its host country, and Italian Vogue is often amongst the most ground-breaking. “It’s been at the forefront of revolutionary fashion stories since the 1960s,” Connie says, “and recently used fashion illustration on its front cover for the first time in decades. It actually made headlines around the world. This exciting new focus on illustration brings a fresh dimension to fashion stories.”

And – somewhat inevitably – social media, in particular Instagram, is playing a significant role too. “During the fashion weeks in New York, London, Milan and Paris, Instagram is brimming with the key looks, illustrated in a multitude of different ways,” Connie says. “The drawings bring a new dimension to how each collection is perceived, and is one that more and more people are responding to when they see them pop up on their screen.” Much less so than photography, of course, most illustrations are never meant to be a direct representation of a look. “Fashion designs and fashion illustration are two entirely separate things,” Connie says. “Fashion illustration is about creating an interpretation, an illusion of a look. It’s like opening a book with just a few quick sketches, and it’s for the reader to finish the look in their minds. To my mind, fashion illustration creates a mood that is entirely freeing.” And this, of course, means that in many instances it’s almost entirely abstract. Take Lara Mackenzie Lee’s work, for instance, as seen on these pages. “Almost all the key contemporary fashion artists have been schooled in the finest traditions of fine art drawing and life drawing,” Connie says, “and it is then for them to interpret how they wish to move their drawing onto a new level. Some, like Lara, are drawn by the influences of modern abstract artists of the mid 20th century, whereas other illustrators are drawn to the more realistic approach that was more fashionable in the earlier part of the 20th century. Either way, it is always fascinating to see the different approaches, and how they respond to what they see on the runway. There is no right or wrong; it is purely a question of what the viewer responds to. Lara’s work very much straddles the worlds of fine art and fashion documentation, bringing the two of them together for very beautiful but ‘fashionable’ end result.” n

“It’s a distinctive approach to fashion illustration”


You can see, and buy, Lara Mackenzie Lee’s work at Gray MCA, 5 Margaret’s Buildings, Bath BA1 2LP;

Prestige vehicle hire. Serving Bath and the surrounding areas



AUTOMOTIVE PRESTIGE Daniel Reid, owner of BATH PRESTIGE HIRE talks to us about his new luxury hire and chauffeur service business

What is your background? I was born in Bath and my formative years were spent at Monkton Combe School. I graduated from University of Exeter with a degree in music in 2005 and have lived in and around Bath ever since. I have spent the past 15 years renting out property (which I continue to do) but I’ve always had a passion for cars. In 2019, I decided to combine my skillset and my passion and I founded Bath Prestige Hire Ltd.

Daniel Reid founded Bath Prestige Hire in 2019


Tell us about your cars? The Porsche 911 is such an iconic design. This particular variant (a 991.1) is one of the last naturally aspirated 911’s that Porsche produced, so hopefully it will become a bit of classic. It has four seats but still has the ability to turn heads, so you get the best of both with the 911. The Ferrari. Well, it’s a Ferrari. Need I say more?! It’s a thing of beauty. The look of the iconic Tour de France blue combined with the baleful sound of that V8 engine is something to behold. Being able to put the roof down gives you a visceral experience like no other. It’s surprisingly easy to drive too! How long can they be hired for? They must be hired for a minimum of 24 hours, otherwise for as long as you want! Where are you based? We are based in Bath. There are other prestige hire companies that will supply to the Bath area (at a cost!) but there are very few companies actually located near Bath that specialise in self-drive hire. My aim has always been to provide a bespoke service that is hassle-free for the customer. The great thing about whichever type of hire you choose, or wherever you are based, we will come to you.

Can I buy this service as a present? You can indeed! Gift vouchers are available for what would be a truly memorable present. What is the minimum/maximum age for a driver? For the Self-Drive Hire option the minimum age is 30 and the maximum age is 65 years old. There are no age restrictions with the Chauffeur Service. How does the chauffeur service work? The chauffeur service is tailored around the individual. Ideal for an array of events such as weddings, balls, proms – perfect for a birthday gift! The best thing about it is that there is no age restriction so anyone can enjoy the experience. Collection, drop-off, pick-up – you name it, we can arrange it! Where do you love driving in the UK? You can’t beat an early Saturday morning drive up to the Cotswolds. There are some beautiful (and quiet!) roads which are virtually on our doorstep… back to Bath in time for brunch! What do you love about Bath? What’s not to love? I suppose the look of the city is the most appealing thing to me. The Georgian architecture is simply stunning. There are some really great independent restaurants and bars that make it a great place to enjoy any time of day or night.

07969 035943 I BATH LIFE I 41



“How will I ever get out of this labyrinth!” were the famous last words of Simon Bolivar – at least according to Looking For Alaska, the 2006 Michael L. Printz Award winning YA novel by John Green (themes: grief, hope, the last words of famous dead people), with which you might have been obsessed around the age of 16 were you a particular type of ‘emo’ kid – as Bath Life was. And we can’t help but think of that again, ten-and-a-bit years later, looking at Minotaur Holding Horn by Bristol-based artist Beth Carter. He looks a little deflated, this minotaur. Not so much the maiden-munching monster feasting on his annual offering as a little on the sad and defeated side – as if perhaps this is a snapshot of minotaur existence the other 364 days of the year. It’s a hard life, stuck inside the labyrinth… Minotaur Holding Horn; 51x51x34; price on application; Beaux Arts Bath, 12-13 York Street, Bath, BA1 1NG; 01225 464850; I BATH LIFE I 43



28 February – 29 March

Love on the streets of Dublin in Once, coming to the Theatre Royal this month

EXHIBITIONS Until 14 March

FIFTY BEES 4 There’s quite a buzz (sorry, had to) around artist Lydia Needle’s latest offering. She’s created 50 life-sized bees out of wool and stitch to represent 50 of the 275 bee species in the UK. Each is paired with a piece created by another artist in response, showing how connected bees are with our ecosystem. Mon-Sat, 10am-4pm; Black Swan Arts, Frome;

Until 21 March

MARINER Here, 14 artists consider the continued resonance of Simon Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. “Inspired by language and rich visual metaphor, Mariner


connects the past with the present to retell an epic tale for the 21st century,” says Dr Sarah Chapman, who is co-curator of the exhibition. “Our exploration is informed by the latest research into marine science and pollution, the movement and migration of peoples across the seas, hidden postcolonial histories and human vulnerability and isolation.” Tues-Sat, 11am-5pm; The Andrew Brownsword Gallery, The Edge;

Until 20 April

ART AT THE HEART: ALAN BROOK The latest exhibition to grace the walls of the RUH is the work of Alan Brook. The travel photographer spent a year exploring Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras,

Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands – and this evocative and colourful collection of images is the result. Mon-Sun, 8am-8pm; Art at the Heart of the RUH, Central Gallery, RUH;

Until 25 May

GRAYSON PERRY: THE PRE-THERAPY YEARS An exhibition built from Grayson’s ‘lost’ works, crowd-sourced from around the UK following a public appeal in 2018 to work out where they’d got to. This reintroduction of the explosive and creative pots and plates he made in the ’80s shines an intriguing light on his use of the medium to address radical issues. Mon-Sun, 10am-5pm; £12.50; The Holburne;

Until 26 May

TOULOUSE LAUTREC AND THE MASTERS OF MONTMARTRE The team at the VAG are bringing bohemian Paris to life through over 80 works by Toulouse Lautrec, Mucha, Steinlen and many more of the Parisian ‘street art’ era. Mon-Sun, 10.30am-5pm; £6; Victoria Art Gallery;

13 March

LIFE IN BRONZE Catch a glimpse of Hamish Mackie’s evocative bronze wildlife structures before they appear at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May. This exclusive event offers the chance to meet the artist and enjoy a guided tour of the collection in the beautiful grounds of Lucknam Park’s 500-acre estate. 2pm; £40; Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa;

WHAT’S ON 26 March

GEOFFREY BREEZE The team at Flamingo are throwing open the doors after hours for a special exhibition. Geoffrey Breeze will showcase a series of photographs that show a darker, less traditional perspective of the city. 6-9pm; Flamingo;



Until 7 March

above: Arabella Weir's latest show is all about the ever-complicated mother/daughter dynamic; catch it at Komedia left: The Realistic Joneses, the Ustinov's latest impressive transatlantic transfer below: The Natural Theatre Company are always good for a laugh

THE REALISTIC JONESES It’s a country evening; the sun shines, birds sing and Bob and Jennifer Jones are spending it with their new neighbours, John and Pony Jones. As the night draws on, the couples discover they have more in common than their identical houses, though, and a desperate attempt to connect ensues. Playwright Will Eno’s acclaimed work was named Best American Play by The Guardian in 2014; this is its first UK production. Mon-Sat 7.45pm, matinees Thurs and Sat 2.30pm; £23.50; Ustinov Studio;

2–7 March

ONCE Will they, won’t they? Such is the central theme of Once, the Dublinbased bittersweet musical love story visiting us this month. A part-time guitarist, part-time hoover repairman and a Czech immigrant pianist fall in… something over the course of five days. Will it work out? You’ll have to watch it to see. Mon-Sat 7.30pm, matinees Thurs and Sat 2.30pm; various prices;

7 March

LETTERS FROM THE HOMEFRONT A series of letters between those at the front and those left behind, told through dance. This captivating piece commemorates those lost during the Second World War. Doors 7pm, show starts 7.30pm; £10 (£7 conc); The Mission Theatre;

9 March

I AM 10,000 Mathematician turned slam poet Harry Baker is on his first ever solo tour. One half the famed comedyrap-jazz duo Harry & Chris, in his first time out on his own, Harry celebrates turning 10,000 days old. Doors 7.30pm, show starts 8pm; £12; Komedia;

11–14 March

DIRTY BATH The Natural Theatre Company will dig through Bath’s dirty laundry on this voyage through some of the less than virtuous aspects of our fair city’s history. It’s not all Jane Austen and spa days, apparently… 8pm; £16 (£14 conc); Rondo Theatre;

13 March

ARABELLA WEIR: DOES MY MUM LOOK BIG IN THIS? From dysfunctional daughterhood to her own life as a working single parent, Arabella Weir, star of The Fast Show and Two Doors Down, presents an appallingly funny show about maternal misbehaviour. Doors 6.30pm, show starts 8pm; £15; Komedia;

16–21 March

BAND OF GOLD Bath is lucky enough to be the hosts of the world premiere stage production of Kay Mellor’s multi award-winning Band of Gold. Based upon the TV crime drama of the same name, the show revolves around four women, and how one of them is drawn into the red light district. Mon-Sat 7.30pm, matinees Weds and Sat 2.30pm; various prices; Theatre Royal;

19 March

ED BYRNE: IF I’M HONEST Which of your traits would you like to pass onto your kids? This is the question Ed tackles in his latest show. The problem? He isn’t sure he has any he’d like to see his offspring take on… Doors 7pm, show starts 8pm; £25; The Forum;

MUSIC 2 March

THE CALLING After bursting onto the music scene with hit song Wherever You Will Go back in 2001, The Calling have cemented their place in the hearts of many. Still touring all these years later, don’t miss this chance to see aptly named frontman Alex Band and the boys in the flesh. 7.30pm; £22.50; Cheese & Grain, Frome;

13 March

FAELAND Enchanting and technically impressive folk-pop that’ll lift even the heaviest of hearts, Faeland’s live performances feature a litany I BATH LIFE I 45


18 March

PALACE & SPECIAL GUESTS Soaring pop rhythms that belie the dark subject matter of their lyrics characterise this London-based three piece’s sound. They’re here touring their album Life After, a series of songs around the theme of loss. 7.30pm; £14; Komedia;

19 March

BOO HEWERDINE A Boo Hewerdine performance is an ode to the art of simplicity: a man, his guitar and a single collaborator (Danish multi-instrumentalist Gustaf Ljungren). He’s touring his latest album, Before, conceived in a justbefore-Brexit Europe in turmoil. 8pm; £12; Chapel Arts;

21 March

RUTTER’S REQUIEM The University of Bath Chamber Choir will perform the piece alongside a bunch of other spring choral classics. A multi-layered but ultimately optimistic piece of music, it’s an atmospheric way to kick off the spring. 7.30pm; St Mary’s Church, Bathwick;

21 March

THE SOUTH Yes, The Beautiful South did split back in 2007, but, it turns out, not everyone was ready to throw in the towel. The South has changed formation somewhat over the years, with various members coming and going, and these days, you’ll still see Alison Wheeler going strong on vocals, alongside Gaz Birtles, who has been promoted from sax player to main man – though this time around the pair are touring with a few new friends, too. (Just check out the picture to the right – there now seem to be nine of them!) 8pm; £23.50; Cheese & Grain, Frome;

21 March

JAHMÉNE After rising to fame on The X Factor back in 2012, Jahméne been hard at work, releasing two studio albums, picking up MOBO and Premier Gospel awards nominations and an Urban Music Award along the way, as well as enjoying a couple of dream collaborations, including songs with


such luminaries as Stevie Wonder and Nichole Scherzinger. You can pay extra for a meet and greet with Jahméne too. Doors 7.30pm, show starts 8pm; £17.50; Chapel Arts Centre;

27–29 March

BEETHOVEN ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS It’s Beethoven’s 250th birthday, and this month the city will host the first of six concerts to help celebrate. A series of performances that demonstrate the fullness of the great man’s works, it’s an aural narrative of a truly spectacular career. The celebrations will continue with three more concerts during the Bath Festival proper in May, too. Times and prices vary; The Guildhall;



of instruments, including guitar, accordion, banjo, charango, violin, vocals and Celtic harp. Doors 7.30pm, show starts 8pm; £12; Chapel Arts;

6–7 March

ADRIFT The story of two kids stuck living in a boat, dreaming of capturing a whale (as you do) and making it drag them back to shore – and so back to safety. Developed by the acclaimed Action Transport Theatre, this is a piece about the resilience and imagination of children. Various times and prices; the egg;

8 March

EVENTS OF WONDER: KATE PANKHURST The author, illustrator and – as you may have guessed from the rather familiar name – suffragette descendent is on hand with a selection of stories about the women studying, conserving and protecting our planet. The perfect way to celebrate International Women’s Day, this event is all about Kate’s book, Fantastically Great Women Who Saved the Planet – it’s seriously inspiring stuff. 2-3pm; Royal High School; £6;

14–15 March

WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD From a moon-base on the Sea of Tranquillity, see the world changed every night. This quirky look at creation sees the world made over, from putting the stars in the sky to gathering at something called the one-world tree to celebrate all that’s been made. 11.30am & 3pm; various prices, the egg;

above: Ed Byrne isn't sure he has anything he wants to pass on to his kids... left: This and other idyllic scenes at the BANFF Mountain Film Festival below: Same sound, new line up: The South are coming to Frome

WHAT’S ON 25 March

EVENTS OF WONDER: BEN MILLER TALK & BOOK SIGNING Ben Miller has released a second children’s book, The Boy Who Made the World Disappear. His hero, Harrison, is a nice lad except for one fatal flaw – he can’t control his temper. When he gets a black hole instead of a balloon at his birthday party, and starts chucking everything that annoys him into it, things quickly (and inevitably) get out of hand. How will it end? Not sure – but it will be a treat to hear Ben read from this quintessential be-carefulwhat-you-wish-for tale regardless. 6pm; £6; Waterstones;

OTHER 4–5 March

BANFF MOUNTAIN FILM FESTIVAL WORLD TOUR Embrace your daredevil side from the safety of a cinema seat. The festival features a brand new selection of short films from the world’s best adventure film-makers and explorers, all pulling off some truly mind-bending (and body threatening) feats. 7.30pm; prices vary; Komedia;

5–8 March

BATH DECORATIVE ANTIQUES FAIR The leading regional decorative fair since 1989, the Bath DAF is a high point on the antiquing calendar. There’s a wide range of exhibitors coming, so you’ll find an eclectic range of pieces from furniture to jewellery. Various times; The Pavilion;

18 March

REWILDING Chris Sperring, professional wildlife conservationist and wildlife writer, is joining the Wellow and District Horticultural Society to give a talk about rewilding. A bit of a buzzword of the moment, ‘rewilding’ explores a ground up approach to natural conservation. In this event, Chris will look at how we might make our own back gardens become more natural habitats for local wildlife. 7.30pm; £3 for non-members; Wellow Village Hall, High Street, Wellow; @ wellowhorticulturalsociety on Facebook

26 March

PHENOMENAL WOMEN: JESSICA SIGGERS The latest in the series of talks at The Gainsborough features digital content


creator Jessica Siggers (@porthjess on Twitter and Instagram). One of the minds behind the Bristol Instagram community known as IGers Bristol, Jess’s work on the platform, as well as with the local tourism board and local businesses, got her noticed by companies including Farrow & Ball, Canon and the BBC. 6-7.30pm; £15; The Gainsborough;

28 March

BEETHOVEN: THE MAN REVEALED As part of the great composer’s 250th birthday celebrations that Bath Festivals is putting on, Classic FM’s John Suchet will present an intimate portrait of the man. Spoiler alert: it’s a lot more complicated than just ‘he’s the one who went deaf ’. 3pm; £10; The Guildhall;

29 March

BATH COMIC-CON Meet TV stars (Sherlock’s Amanda Abbington, and Rose Reynolds, Liam Garrigan and Matt Kane of Once Upon a Time are all set to appear, plus many others) at Bath ComicCon. There’ll also be guest artists and authors, vehicles and props from many of your favourite movies and television series, a gaming and cosplay zone – oh, and comics too 10am-4.30pm; various prices; The Pavilion;

29 March

ONLY FOOLS AND BOYCIE John Challis of Only Fools and Horses is coming by Komedia for a one-off show where he’ll spill the beans on his years in the biz. Afterwards he’ll be signing copies of his books, Being Boycie and Reggie: A Stag at Bay. Doors 6.30pm, show starts 8pm; £18; Komedia; n BATH BOULES 17 March: Reception 24 March: team tickets go on sale 12-14 June: Bath Boules, Queen Square The much-loved Bath Boules returns for its 30th year, having raised over £800,000 to date for local charities. Attendance is free to anyone; teams and sponsorships paid for.

above: Palace are bringing a winning mix of songs about grief set to dancey pop rhythms to Komedia left: Travel the universe, all from the safety of the egg below: Dig out your dancing shoes – Jahméne is on his way


Burning bright Tiger tales to keep you up at night

“Gradually the edges of dreams, reality and Chinese folklore start to blur”


or no apparent reason, tigerish novels are on my mind. I checked in hope that we had just begun the Chinese Year of the Tiger. But alas, it’s the Year of the Rat. Only I don’t have any recent rat books to describe, so tigers it is. Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo (Quercus, £8.99) is set in 1930s Malaysia, at a time of British colonial influence, and involves two narratives set on a collision course. The first features young Ji Lin who, unbeknownst to her parents, is trying to make some muchneeded money for her family by going to a dance hall where the boys pay to dance with the young women. On one particular evening, Ji Lin gets more than she bargained for from her dance partner as he drops something in her pocket – a desiccated severed finger. The second thread features a doctor’s house servant called Ren whose master makes him promise on his death-bed to trace his missing finger (are you putting two and two together here?). According to local folklore, he must be reunited with his missing body part within 49 days of his death or else his troubled soul will roam the earth forever. And so, as Ren arrives at his new master’s house, he does so as a man with a peculiar and urgent mission. Ji Lin is a strong character frustrated by the limits of society and is smart as well, so she’s quick to notice when she’s being followed, and quick to attribute this sudden attention to the spare digit she’s carrying around. Whilst she looks over her shoulder and Ren determinedly starts tracing the finger, a spate of suspected tiger attacks stir up local legends about tigers who can transform into men and gradually the edges of dreams, reality and Chinese folklore start to blur. This melding of the human and the animal, and specifically, the tiger, brings to mind an excellent book for middle grade and teen readers by Linda Coggin, The Boy with Tiger’s Heart (Hot Key, £5.99). In this fable-like story a girl is raised first by wolves and then by an eccentric human guardian who keeps wild animals. Nona (for “no name”) is forced to flee her first human home when her guardian is murdered and she, his wild companion, becomes a prime suspect – particularly as she had touched the weapon that she found beside his body.

She is accompanied on her hasty retreat back into the wild forests by an affectionate, almost human-like, bear named Abel Dancer and they soon encounter two boys, Caius and then Jay, a boy with wild instincts who seems to operate nocturnally and whose eyes have a ferocious light. The brilliant back stories of the boys are slowly revealed whilst the unlikely quartet are pursued through the jungle in an action-packed quest to reach a place known as ‘The Edge’ – an area of outer forest rumoured to lie behind a forbidding wall and to be a place where nature can roam truly free. In this column’s long tradition of tenuous links, I thought I’d say a little about Aravind Adiga’s new novel. There’s nothing whatsoever here about tigers but of course Adiga first made his name by winning The Booker Prize for his debut novel White Tiger, which also contains no tigers, now I think about it. Anyway, to his new novel Amnesty (Macmillan, £16.99), which follows Danny, an illegal immigrant from Sri Lanka, making his way in Sydney, Australia. When we meet Danny he’s working as a cleaner and obsessively trying to be invisible to Australians. He has died his hair blonde, adopted an accent and simply tries to assimilate and blend in as much as possible to deflect from his illegal status. But when Danny learns that a woman in a nearby block of flats has been murdered and that she is one of his cleaning clients, he becomes obsessed over whether to get involved. On the one hand he has a theory as to who the culprit might be; but on the other hand his main concern is staying completely below the radar of the authorities – which he worries will now be impossible because his number is in the victim’s phone. Cue a moral dilemma and a mystery, unravelling in a single day, that simultaneously gives insight into the many layers and complexities of migrancy. Danny is a fantastic character with a compelling voice and a moral code that might just get him into a world of trouble. Nic Bottomley is the general manager of Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights, 14/15 John Street, Bath; 01225 331155; I BATH LIFE I 51


Rosamund Pike: thinking hard as Marie Curie in Radioactive

Kristen Scott Thomas and Sharon Horgan: one’s fun and cool, the other a chilly sticker – but can you guess who’s who?

Ladies first

This month, a trio of top-notch real-life tales are coming to the Little Theatre, two of them celebrating the lives of wellknown women, though they couldn’t be more different…


ased on the Booker Prize winning novel by Peter Carey, The True History of the Kelly Gang shatters the mythology surrounding the story of bushranger, outlaw, gang leader and murderer Ned Kelly (George MacKay, recently seen in war epic 1917), previously played, much more sympathetically, by the likes of Mike Jagger and Heath Ledger. Taught by another notorious bushranger, Harry Power (Russell Crowe), and spurred on by what he sees as the unfair arrest of his mother (Essie Davis) following the attempted murder of a policeman, Kelly flees to the bush and recruits a bunch of young men, including his younger brother Dan, to become his warriors in an unlikely plan to start a rebellion. Instead of a heroic Robin Hood-like tale, it’s a slow descent into crime and madness that’s gripping from the start. Indeed, the big difference between this and other tellings of Kelly’s life is that The True Story of the Kelly Gang does little to romanticise Kelly’s actions, nor make him seem like some sort of martyr. But this doesn’t mean that director Justin Kurzel’s dark, gritty film can’t also be surprisingly funny at points, while Ari Wegner’s cinematography is stunning; incredible surreal shots of the stark and cruel

landscape of middle-of-nowhere Australia complements the atmosphere of the film perfectly. Full of crime and humour, it’s sure to leave you thoroughly entertained. The feel-good film of the year, Military Wives is the true story of the choir of the same name, which shot to fame in the early 2010s. Directed by Peter Cattaneo of The Full Monty, this is a classic Britcom full of charm, wit and heart. When their soldier partners are deployed on a dangerous

“This is a classic Britcom full of charm, wit and heart” mission to Afghanistan, two women, Lisa (Sharon Hogan) and Kate (Kristin Scott Thomas), decide to set up a choir to distract themselves, and the women around them, from their situation. As they practise, Lisa – a chilled and relaxed mum – wants the choir to experiment with pop songs, while Kate, her opposite in nearly every way, is keen to stick with hymns. As tension between the two women builds, their unlikely partnership

nevertheless helps connections between all the women to grow. The more they practise, the better the choir becomes, until finally they get their big moment – a concert that launches them to superstardom. This is a brilliant heartwarming drama filled – as you might expect – with touching moments; if you’re after an easygoing, humorous yet heart-felt cinema experience, this is definitely for you. Finally, the great Rosamund Pike plays Polish scientist Marie Curie in Radioactive, which follows events as she discovers the radioactive elements radium and polonium. Becoming the first woman to win a Nobel Prize – and the first person to win two – the film mixes Curie’s great discoveries with the inevitable challenges of her life and times, institutional sexism not the least of them. Pike’s version of Curie is strong, vulnerable and intriguing to watch develop – and achieve. Indeed, it’s a great reminder that you should power through the doubts of others if you want to do incredible things. We have a special preview of this epic biopic on Sunday, 8 March, followed by a satellite Q&A with star Rosamund Pike and director Marjane Satrapi – an excellent way to spend International Women’s Day!

Sophie-Claire McLeod is duty and marketing manager at The Little Theatre, 1–2 St Michael’s Place; 01225 466822; I BATH LIFE I 53




Want to watch better quality cricket than at Bath? Then you’ll have to go and see a County side

Bath Cricket Club is unique, probably the second richest in the country after Wimbledon, and with a responsibility to grow all aspects of the game. And they know exactly how they’ll generate the income to keep doing so, too… Words by Matt Bielby I BATH LIFE I 55



hat does Bath Cricket Club mean to you? Perhaps not very much, just another slice of pretty Englishness that the city does so well, with a picture book location right next to the river and the Rec. Figures in white against a sea of green, something to look at while you wander about the summertime city. But if you’ve ever played the game for a local school, you’ll know this place; they all use it, and particularly the indoor facilities here. If you’re a female cricketer in the South West too; the women’s game, in large part, wouldn’t exist in the region without Bath Cricket Club. And even if you play for one of Bath’s rivals – bitter or less so, with (just for instance) Lansdown Cricket Club having its own rich history – you’ll likely have fond memories; for teams in the West of England Premier League, the highest level you can go in recreational club cricket, visiting Bath is like playing at Anfield or Old Trafford, your Cup Final. One other group knows this place well too, of course: commuters into Bath from the south of the river, who take advantage of the car park here – each space costing about the same as Charlotte Street – when it’s available, first come, first served, during the week. And although they may never watch or play the game, these guys are intrinsically involved with the success of Bath Cricket Club too. After all, they pay for the highly successful first team (runners up last year, winners the year before), and all the other activities here. Not that anyone’s taking advantage of the car park right now: it’s shut, a building site, hard hats required, and you now need to enter North Parade Ground by foot through the little gate over by the bridge. So what’s going on? “Basically, we need to future-proof the place,” says Matt Hankins, local businessman and Bath Cricket Club chairman these past four years. “Our car park turns over in excess of £600,000 a year and delivers a profit of around £450,000, so we’re really wealthy for a cricket club – most others live a hand-to-mouth existence, self-financing through membership takings, but we can afford full time employees, a general manager, a finance director, a director of cricket, a senior cricket coach, a head of junior cricket, a community cricket coach… The work we’re doing with the car park is to make sure we can keep on financing all that.”

Matt Hankins: chairman of Bath Cricket Club, and though never a player here, his two sons (now pros) both were

“Facilities are the most influential factor in keeping people engaged with sport”

Originally, the idea had been to double the size of the car park, adding another layer above the existing one, but the planners – unconvinced a low multi-storey was the most beautiful direction to take for such a picturesque spot – preferred buildings. Regular houses were out – flood plain and all that – which is how they arrived at the current solution: retaining the car park, all 136 existing spaces minus nine or ten, with student accommodation for (oddly enough) 136 on stilts above this. It seemed the right fit: the students would be away for much of the cricket season, the car park would be a more pleasant place (with a roof for one thing, so less chance of a stray cricket ball taking out your windscreen), and they’d immediately get £2m extra into the club, allowing them to improve things all ways around, with yet better facilities (world class, in fact) and an even wider community outreach programme. “Time and time again, studies show that good facilities are the most influential factor in keeping people engaged with sport,” says new general manager Andy Owen, who used to play for the first team here and who Matt I BATH LIFE I 57


recently brought in to help the club up its game. “And this is especially true with young people. That doesn’t just mean the grounds, but the showers, the changing rooms, the entertainment spaces. We’re unique as a cricket club in terms of how many community initiatives we run, and the only reason we can deliver cricket for people with learning disabilities, say, is if we have sufficient revenue streams. The student accommodation will boost our income, and will give us something else in case – for instance – environmental issues mean the car park has to come to an end. It’s the same with our clubhouse: at the moment it can comfortably seat around 90 for events, but it would be better if we could double that – so we’re looking to do so.” They’ve got it all going on, basically, and the next 18 months or so are going to be a period of rapid change for the club. “People sometimes accuse us of being greedy, but that’s not it at all,” Andy says. “We don’t pay our players, unlike most comparable cricket clubs, and we’re a registered charity, so none of us profit from the club. Take away all this income, and we would happily continue to exist – but we wouldn’t be able to give back to the community, and we wouldn’t be able to grow the game.” ACROSS THE COUNTRY, there’s little problem getting children to play team sports, it seems, but engagement falls off badly from about age fifteen – “there’s too much else competing for their time,” Matt says – and this is as true for football or rugby or netball as it is for cricket. It means, as an inevitable knock-on, that adult leagues nationwide are much weaker than they used to be too. “Bath used to run five or six Saturday football leagues and two or three on Sundays, and the playing fields at Lansdown would be packed every weekend,” Matt says. “Today, there’s not a senior league left, and you’ll only ever see kids playing football at Lansdown.” To some extent Bath Cricket is bucking this trend, not least because it’s trying so hard to make the game more attractive: developing at all levels, and introducing new, shorter formats like T10, T15, T20. The club currently has a second ground up on the top of Lansdown, opposite Kingswood School’s playing field – it’s where the women’s first team plays many of its matches – and they’re looking to establish a third up by the football pitches, purpose-built for the kids’ game, too. Perhaps the biggest improvement the student accommodation money will bring, though, is to the indoor training facility. Already the best locally, good enough to occasionally tempt the likes of the West Indies or Pakistan to train here, it will now be a state-of-the-art facility for the whole community, plus a new gym. “The University of Bath first team already uses the facility we have,” Matt says, “because it’s better than theirs, but the new one will rival those at Loughborough University, Millfield School, Lords – and everyone in Bath and around will have access to it.” Bath Cricket is already in rude heath, with highly competitive games being played here every week during the season – because rivals always being their very best teams, it’s reliably the best quality cricket you’ll find locally – and a reputation for developing young players that’s pretty much unmatched, but the ambition is to be


Bath is an important centre of the women’s game

“We need to work hard to build a more vibrant cricket scene across the entire area”

as well regarded for their off-the-field endeavours as for those on it. “That’s to do with our community coaching, with going into schools, with developing women’s cricket, which would probably disappear without our sponsorship and support – basically, it’s about sustaining the entire game in Bath,” Matt says. “And if we manage to create a better business, everyone benefits. There’s no point just helping ourselves, getting bigger and richer as a club, if we can’t help expand cricket in a wider context too – because in the end we’d just end up playing ourselves, other clubs having fallen by the wayside. Instead, we need to work hard to build a more vibrant cricket scene across the entire area – and we have the responsibility to do that, because we’ve got an advantage that should be shared.” n For more,

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How DOWNSIDE SCHOOL is leading the way in empowering young people to become global citizens…


earning how to live together sustainably is the most important issue facing the world’s population. It has never been more imperative that we learn to work together across the globe to meet the needs of the world today without compromising our beautiful planet and its resources for future generations. Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is a growing international programme enabling people of all ages and cultures to gain the right knowledge, skills and behaviours to help contribute to a more sustainable future. UNESCO describes ESD as ‘empowering [young] people to be ‘global citizens’’, enabling them to ‘become proactive contributors to creating a more just, peaceful, tolerant, inclusive, secure and sustainable world.’ At Downside School, near Bath, we feel that ESD is particularly vital for younger generations and so, we’re heading up a collaborations project with ScienceScope, the school’s education technology business partner, to promote ESD at Downside and schools across Asia, Europe and Oceania. The project, which aims to bring the Internet of Things (IoT) and ‘big data’ into classroom, will lead best practice at Downside, bringing sustainable development matters into teaching and learning and empowering young people to be creative in dealing with real world issues and using big data to make better informed decisions. Elements of the project will cover climate change and sustainable consumption. As part of their ESD programme, Downside represented the UK at the Asia-Europe Foundation Conference (ASEF) in November 2019. Held in Tokyo, 1,700 schools from across Asia, Europe and Oceania applied for a chance to present at the policy-making event, which focussed on ESD, as well as the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), in the classroom. The Conference involved round-table discussions with representatives from 51 countries including the Japanese government, non-governmental organisations,

charities, educators, businesses and experts in the field of education. Delegates discussed how they and their organisations are currently implementing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) which were set down by the UN in 2015 – goals which include ‘No Poverty’, ‘Zero Hunger’, ‘Affordable and Clean Energy’, ‘Sustainable Cities’ and ‘Communities and Climate Action’.

Top: Downside, set in 500 acres of beautiful countryside, has a number of sustainability projects in place including temperature sensors around the school to monitor energy usage for heating. Above: Downside deputy head Mike Randall and Alex Wright from ScienceScope present at the Tokyo Conference. Above right: The United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

During the Conference, Downside deputy head Mike Randall and Alex Wright from ScienceScope presented the collaborations project to delegates. One part of the project involves the use of weather stations across the globe, connected to the internet, which gather and share real-time big data to assess climate change. The use of such live data in the classroom, rather than a static text book, creates engaging, interactive and currently relevant learning experiences for pupils and teachers alike. The findings of the collaborations project ed by Downside will be shared with governing bodies, councils and governments, helping to affect permanent policy change and shape a more sustainable future. ■

To find out more about Downside, you can attend their next Open Mornings on Saturday 7th March or Saturday 16th May, or arrange a private visit at a time to suit you. 01761 235103;; To find out more about ScienceScope, please visit I BATH LIFE I 61

The George & Dragon  Â…† Â‡Âˆ   Â† ‰Š  Â? Â? Â? Â? Â?  ­  Â€ ‚ ƒ Â? „  Â? Â? Â? Â?  ­ € ‚ Â? ƒ ƒ € „ „ Â?

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FOOD & DRINK S N A P S H O T S O F B AT H ’ S F O O D S C E N E Amber at the Great Sausage Roll Off

STAR OF KITCHEN AND STAGE Bath has yet another TV appearance on the cards. The brand-new comedy tour cookery show on Dave, Big Zuu’s Big Eats, is making a stop in our city. In the show, the grime artist will switch out music for cookery, taking his skills on the road to serve up dinner to comedians all around the country. Big Zuu and his boys, Tubsey and Hyder, will meet each comedian ahead of their show and cook them a made-to-order pre-show appetiser, followed by a three-course meal when they step off stage. The show is heading to Bath for an ep with Lou Sanders; it all starts on Dave this May. For more:


Amber Southon, head chef at the Quarryman’s Arms near Bath, has emerged victorious at this year’s Great Sausage Roll Off. There’s an art to the sausage roll, it seems, and top chefs from around the country have been coming together for the past eight years to celebrate it – and to find out which of them is top sausage roller (yes, that is the technical term) at this industry event at Fuller’s Red Lion in Barnes. Amber’s a real pastry enthusiast who spends her free time researching Victorian recipes, drawing inspiration from pastries of the past to perfect her modern-day recipes. Her winning roll included Gloucester Old Spot pork with a plum, apple and pear chutney, made with fruits harvested from her mum’s garden. For more:


MAIN IMAGE: Big Zuu; INSET: Lou Sanders

Living off the land

Or fruits of Freshford, more like. Over the next couple months, Wild Food UK will be hosting a series of foraging courses in and around the pretty village near Bath. Each course will begin with a short introductory talk at The Inn at Freshford followed by two and a half hours-ish ramble around the River Frome, where you’ll learn how to identify the edible – and not so edible – plants, flowers, fruits and mushrooms you find. Then, at the end of the walk, you’ll head back to the Inn for a wild food lunch, made from your forage. Courses run 24 April and 11 and 14 May. For more: I BATH LIFE I 63


There’s a new sizzle at this popular Italian, now reborn as an entertainingly interactive do-it-yourself steak house By Matt Bielby


ack in the day, the space that is currently Joya – tucked between Framptons and Cappadocia (Marmaris as was) on Newmarket Row at the back of the Guildhall, and overlooking a frankly terrifying surge of brown water where the weir used to be – was a pub called The Rummer; I’d occasionally have a pint there after playing squash at the sports centre, doubtless undoing all my good work. More recently, it’s been an Italian restaurant, offering pasta and pizzas and other crowd-pleasing fare, which has just enjoyed a modest but significant mid-life refresh, like when they facelift an existing model of car. Though still obviously an ex-pub in shape – narrow and quite deep, with two additional dining rooms upstairs – Joya has changed its look and feel these past couple of months, now being a pleasing Georgian-style dark green-grey inside, offset by light brown leather chairs, handsome and impressively comfortable. There’s new lighting too, fresh pictures on the walls, and a roaring fire near the entrance, most welcome considering the occasionally icy gust when someone new wanders in. Which happens quite a lot, as it goes – for a chilly February Wednesday, most of the downstairs tables were full, and it’s clear that this place already has a loyal audience. Joya has subtly changed its name too. Now known as ‘Joya Italian Steakhouse’, it’s imported a New York tradition that’s been gaining some traction in London of late, booting pizzas off the menu entirely and


replacing them with impressive slabs of meat. It’s not a radical change, but it is a clever one. Let me explain. What they’ve come up with here is a happy combination of the best of the old Joya and something entirely new. There’s certainly no shortage of pasta dishes still available – maybe a dozen of them as mains, running from simple linguine al pesto (£12.95) to the likes of spaghetti with homemade meatballs at £14.95, all generously proportioned by the look of things – but these days it’s hard to look away from the steak offer, given pride of place in the middle of the menu. They used to have a couple on before, but now there are four of them, running from a 8oz flat iron steak (£19.95) through £24.95 rib eyes and sirloins, to an 8oz prime centre cut fillet at £29.95; all are supplied by top local butcher Walter Rose & Son of Devizes. With each, there’s a choice of nine different flavours included in the price – red wine sea salt or truffle butter, say, or maybe a mushroom and brandy sauce – but you’ll have to add your sides from a selection of a dozen or so, running from onion rings to slow cooked chips, creamed spinach to garlic mushrooms, mostly at £3.50 a pop. (This range is one of the areas where the rest of the menu has been most obviously revised, now rotating around a simple question: ‘What goes well with steak?’) The most innovative and exciting of the steak choices you’re going to have to make, though, is this: do you want it cooked in the kitchen, or to enjoy the ‘Hotstone Steak Experience’, right there at your table?

“My dish was a tonne of fun, in the same way as eating a fondue can be”


Yes please, I said. “No, thanks,” said my companion. “I want the professionals to do mine in the kitchen, as God and nature intended.” And from that point on, an intellect vast and cool and unsympathetic regarded my plate with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew her plans against me. Or, in other words, I made the right choice, and she – though her 10oz rib eye with extra marbling (£24.95) was certainly top quality and expertly cooked – had not. Basically, my dish was a tonne of fun, in the same way as eating a fondue can be. In front of me: my meat, raw, on a plate; a little row of dips to flavour it (things like red wine sea salt and garlic and parsley butter); and a whopping great black square of lava stone, perhaps the size of a small iPad, heated to 440C. (This being the case, drunks and small children will perhaps require some adult supervision.) The advantages are clear – not least that you only have yourself to blame for overcooking or undercooking your meat, but also taking in the fact that each mouthful will be sizzling hot, the way you can mix and match flavour combinations constantly, but mostly the sheer proactive theatricality of it all. For a second date, say, this would be an amazing choice. Other thoughts on the new Joya offering: the crispy, flavour-packed sweet potato fries (£3.50) are perhaps the best I’ve ever tasted, the creamed spinach (£3.95) provided a pleasing contrast in terms of textures and flavours, and the starters we picked both rocked. Gamberoni (£8.95) saw three king prawns resting on leaves, adorned with edible flowers, and covered in a punchy and delicious white wine, garlic, chilli, parsley and butter sauce – we had one each and fought over the last – and though pizzas have now been banished, it’s nice to see an old favourite, the panzerottini de Puglia (£6.95), still on the menu. Basically pizza dough rolled into parcels with tomato and mozzarella in the middle, then fried like a doughnut, they’re as comforting and fun to eat as ever. We washed it all down with a nice bottle of Argentinian Merlot – new to a wine menu that was strictly Italian-only before, alongside a South African Shiraz, an Australian Sauvignon Blanc and others – then manfully struggled through two delicious, beautifully presented but extremely large puds from an extensive ‘Dolci’ menu: the homemade tiramisu (£5.95, huge and highly recommended) and a panna cotta (£5.95) with just the right amount of wobble. Finally, a rather fab dessert wine from Italy. This place remains very much a friendly, family-run gaff, sister to The Herd nearby – a pure steak-only experience – and everyone involved clearly knows what they’re doing, be it owners Tim and Francesca, the admirable and friendly new manager, Iveta, or head chef Thomas in the kitchen, working alongside executive chef Paola to perfect new recipes. (These aforementioned meatballs? Only Paola’s own family favourite.) As with any steak-based offering, it’s not going to be a cheap night if you go to town, but there were plenty here just tucking into big plates of affordable pasta, and looking mighty happy with that too. That said, if you’re a red meat eater, you really owe it to yourself it give ‘getting stoned’ a try. n

DINING DETAILS Joya, 6 Newmarket Row, Bath, BA2 4AN; 01225 460240; We ate Two different ways of serving steak (hint: hot stone is best, not least for the entertainment value), plus a number of different ways of having chips (another hint: go sweet potato), and a couple of starters and puds (a third and last hint: we suspect a few of them are worth trying, so you’ll probably have to visit more than once). Vegetarian options About half the dozen or so pasta dishes are veggie or vegan – including a vegetable lasagne, and cannelloni stuffed with spinach and ricotta cheese (both £12.95) – and there’s a warm roasted vegetable salad, a vegetarian platter, and a number of antipasto dishes for starters too.

Prices Breads under a fiver, most antipasti dishes £6.95, and pasta dishes £12.95-£14.95. Steaks are between £20 and £30, and sides are around £3.50; most of the desserts are £5.95. Drinks More in the way of international wine offerings than before, alongside the existing Italian options, plus Moscato Passito Palazzina (£5.75 per glass), a great Italian dessert wine with a delightfully marmalade taste, and your regular grappas, limoncellos and Italian liqueurs. Service / atmosphere Friendly, knowledgeable and properly attentive; we were done for the evening, but still had our table water jug topped up, unbidden, just before we left. What else? Hosting a private dinner party? One of the two extra rooms upstairs look ideal. I BATH LIFE I 65


DAY BOAT TURBOT, NEW SEASON WHITE ASPARAGUS, WILD GARLIC, HAZELNUT AND LEMON THYME JUS GRAS From executive chef Hywel Jones of Restaurant Hywel Jones at Lucknam Park Serves 4 Ingredients 4 x 5oz portions of turbot (any firm white fish can be used) 8 spears of cooked white asparagus Handful of picked, washed wild garlic leaves 100g of seasonal wild mushrooms, such as chanterelles, thoroughly washed 1 shallot, finely chopped 1 clove garlic 4 sheets uncooked pasta dough 1 tablespoon beaten egg 100ml jus gras Olive oil and unsalted butter for cooking Salt and pepper

Jus gras 50ml chicken gravy 25ml sweet sherry (e.g. Pedro Ximinez) 25g unsalted butter 25g toasted and roughly crushed hazelnuts 15ml lemon juice Leaves from 6 sprigs lemon thyme Jus gras method Reduce the sherry until it is half its volume. Cook the butter until nut brown and add the lemon juice to prevent it colouring further. Combine the sherry and butter with the gravy and stir in the hazelnuts and lemon thyme. The end result should be a rich sweet and sour flavour.

Method 1. Cook the shallot and garlic clove in a little olive oil until soft. Add 60g of the wild mushrooms (retain the best shaped ones to use as a garnish) and cook until the moisture evaporates. Season, remove from heat and allow to cool. Chop roughly and divide into 4 evenly sized portions. Cut the pasta dough into 8cm discs and use 2 discs to encapsulate the mushroom portions. Use the beaten egg to seal the edges forming little raviolis. 2. Season the turbot fillets and pan fry in a little olive oil over a moderate heart. As they begin to turn golden brown, add a few cubes of butter. As the butter begins to foam, baste the fish until it turns a deep golden colour. Test if the fish is cooked by inserting a cocktail stick into to the densest part; once there is no resistance to the stick the fish is cooked. Remove from pan. 3. Add the remaining mushrooms to the pan along with the wild garlic and wilt gently. Season and set aside. 4. Cook the ravioli in seasoned simmering water for 2 to 3 minutes until the pasta is tender. 5. Reheat the asparagus and sauce. 6. Sit the fish fillets on the wild garlic and top with a ravioli. Place asparagus and wild mushrooms alongside. Drizzle the sauce around and then finish with baby wild garlic leaves. For more: I BATH LIFE I 67


9 8 Wa l c o t S t r e e t , B a t h B A 1 5 B G Te l 0 1 2 2 5 4 6 9 2 4 0 E m a i l c o n t a c t @ h a l i d e n . c o m w w w. h a l i d e n . c o m



Jason Brooks original illustrations from Gray MCA, 5 Margaret’s Buildings, Bath;

Seeing as this is a fashion issue, and seeing as we’re so enamoured of the fashion illustrations on offer at Gray MCA – the cool little gallery on Margaret’s Buildings, with something of a worldwide reputation for this stuff – we make no excuses for returning briefly to the well once more, if only so we can show you this cool chick by artist Jason Brooks, a contemporary master of the form, even if his illustrations do sometimes look like they must have originated in a 1940s edition of Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar. Who is she? Whoever you want her to be, we’re saying, but we’re perhaps thinking some film noir heroine played by Barbra Stanwyck, Jane Greer or Ava Gardner, or maybe the cousin of DC’s Catwoman or Marvel’s Black Widow in their original incarnations, back before they sported skin-tight latex and fought nominally on the side of good, and instead were – respectively – an icy, jewel-obsessed 1940s vamp in an evening gown, and an early ’60s Russian spy in a veil, fishnets and furs, looking like the doomed bad girl from one of the first 007 films. Whoever our girl is, like Jessica Rabbit she may not be bad, but she sure is drawn that way. I BATH LIFE I 71

BUTTERFLY RUG, £75 A cool shape, 100 per cent wool, and so super-soft it’s perfect to step out of the bath onto – ideal! From Spotty Herberts, 5 Queen Street;

BUTTERLY GLOW LIGHT MOBILE, £16.99 What’s that, you say? If they come out at night they must be moths? Pah! Away with you! From My Small World, 19-21 St Lawrence Street;


BELLE BUTTERFLY BROOCH, £15.95 Handmade in India, using delicate beadwork and twisted metallic cord, this butterfly brooch would be a fun finishing touch to many an outfit. From Graham & Green, 92 Walcot Street;

Our love is like a butterfly, it makes our hearts feel strange inside

BUTTERFLY BAGGU, £11 Found does these fold-up, reusable grocery-cumlaundry bags in a couple of sizes and loads of designs, including zebras, lobsters and tiger stripes; amazingly, they’re safe for up to 50lb of gear. From Found, 17 Argyle Street;

BUTTERFLY HEART BROOCH, £38 Macon & Lesquoy’s hand-embroidered beaded cotton brooch has a cool Native American vibe; bagsie our name be Floats Like Butterfly. From Found, 17 Argyle Street;


ED’S CHOICE BUTTERFLY ROUND PLACEMAT, £18 Avedina Home does everything from tiny £7 coasters to giant £130 tablecloths in this butterfly pattern; geometric zebra, tiger and elephant versions are available too. From Avedina Home, 27 Walcot Street;

BUTTERFLY BROOCH, £14.95 We make no excuses for featuring more than one brooch, even though we rarely wear them – butterflies are just the best shape for them, you see; this one’s prettily sparkling in blue, orange and teal stones. From French Grey, 1 Burton Street;

BUTTERFLY BELL JAR, £85 Make like a mad gothic scientist with this frozen tableau of inky black butterflies; don’t fret, though, they’re totally faux. From Graham & Green, 92 Walcot Street;

SOCIAL BUTTERFLY CARD, £3 For your friend who always seems to be having more fun than you, and featuring some suspiciously familiar logos, from specialist cards, arts and gift shop Flamingo. From Flamingo, 7 Widcombe Parade;

CASHMERE BUTTERFLY JUMPER, £79 Brora loves a butterfly, and puts them on nighties, pyjamas and more. We like this cute (but not overly cute) butterfly jumper for kids; originally £159, it’s now a very accessible price. Brora, 6 Bridge Street; I BATH LIFE I 73



SHAPE Because looking after yourself is important, we’ve rounded up the best of Bath’s wellbeing professionals to give us the lowdown I BATH LIFE I 75

LEAP TO THE MAT (Offers like this don't come around very often)

29% OFF UNLIMITED YOGA AT THE HIVE £77 per month, normally £924 for a year. NOW £656 (equivalent to £54.60 per month) for unlimited yoga for a year* *Paid upfront before 10th March

The Hive Yoga Studio 4 The Foundry, Beehive Yard, Bath, BA1 5BT 07960 629 503 @thehiveyogabath


In addition to offering a wide range of dental procedures, Aquae Sulis Dental provide an extensive portfolio of the latest non-surgical cosmetic treatments. These treatments are administered by Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner, Cheryl Wright, a registered nurse, who is highly qualified and experienced in aesthetic (cosmetic) procedures. These include treatments for facial wrinkles, facial and leg thread veins, frown lines, ‘crow’s feet’, skin rejuvenation and contour reshaping for a more youthful appearance. • Dermal fillers • Lip augmentation • Wrinkle/muscle relaxing treatments • Dermal needling • Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) • Microsclerotherapy (thread veins) All treatments are available for both men and women, and are provided with the utmost discretion. Please call to book a free, no obligation consultation; parking is free. Station Court, Ashley Avenue, Lower Weston, Bath, BA1 3DS 01225 339767;


Bath Pilates Academy is a well established Pilates school teaching Pilates in various venues around Bath. It's founder, Margo Singleton, decided to start teaching Pilates when she discovered its benefits, which helped relieve her own back and shoulder injuries. Pilates practice improves your flexibility, strength, balance and body awareness. Margo believes that classes should be enjoyable and instructive, and she teaches in a positive, friendly and helpful way. There are no more than 12 people in any class, so that everyone can benefit from individual correction if required. Her classes range from intermediate to restorative Pilates for the mind and body and there is a class that will be suitable for everyone, whatever their fitness level. Alternatively, if classes are hard to schedule, you could book a one-to-one for individual attention in your own home. Margo also hosts workshops and relaxation days throughout the year. Margo is a qualified Franklin Method spine and pelvis educator. Franklin Method uses tools and techniques which create lasting change in your body and mind and many top athletes and sports people use these with measurable success. Some of these tools are incorporated into her classes. If you’d like to start changing your movement practice today, book a lesson on 07939 994757 or email; Find Bath Pilates Academy on Facebook


BMI Bath Clinic in Combe Down is a private hospital that has been delivering routine and complex surgery for over 35 years. Services cover a variety of conditions; from the Joint Replacement Centre and Sports Injuries Centre to the Bath Prostate Centre and much more. You can expect: • Rapid access to experienced consultants • MRI, X-ray, CT, ultrasound & mammography • Well-equipped physiotherapy department • High patient satisfaction results • 68 en-suite bedrooms with TV & WiFi • 3 operating theatres and an endoscopy suite • Flexible finance options The hospital offers a ‘home away from home’ setting, nestled amongst serene woodland neighbouring the National Trust Skyline; a calm location to receive treatment. Claverton Down Road, Combe Down, Bath, BA2 7BR 01225 835555;


Bath Spa Hotel’s state-of-the-art spa, which is surrounded by six acres of glorious gardens, offers its guest the ultimate relaxation experience. Situated within a grand Georgian building is a luxurious experience guaranteed to leave guests feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Step into the deluxe indoor whirlpool, thermal suite including sauna, steam room, ice room and experience showers to feel the stress of the week ease away. Bath Spa's in-house experts are on hand to personally recommend the best therapeutic spa treatments for you. Complete your day with a delightful afternoon tea or a glass of prosecco overlooking the breath-taking fountain. Sydney Road, Bath, BA2 6NS 0344 8799106; I BATH LIFE I 77


Located in the heart of Bath, Brad Abrahams Optometry offers the most comprehensive eye examination in the region. With innovative, state of the art technology that gives an unrivalled view of the retina, Brad’s is the place to go. The practice boasts over 800 frames to choose from, making it one of the widest ophthalmic and sunglasses collections in the region, so gone are the days where you would have to compromise your fashion style for the sake of your vision. Make your style statement at Brad Abrahams Optometry. Brad Abrahams Optometry, 2 Upper Borough Walls, Bath BA1 1RG; 01225 444321;


Take some time out in 2020 to focus on you. Bowood is the haven you need to unwind and press the reset button, kick-starting a year of wellness. At The Spa at Bowood, we combine some of the most indulgent spa treatments in Wiltshire with a breadth of impeccable facilities to create the perfect spa day, leaving you feeling refreshed and relaxed. Rejuvenate and detox the mind and body with one of our signature treatments, then take some time out in our luxurious relaxation area, soaking up the warmth from the roaring fire. Indulge in delicious food and make the most of the full use of our spa facilities. Derry Hill, Calne SN11 9PQ 01249 823 883;;


Frontlinestyle is a multi-award winning family business, rated 5 in the Good Salon Guide, offering a wide array of hair and beauty treatments for men and women – perfect for everyday pampering or a special occasion. This luxury Grade II listed treatment spa, spread across three floors in central Bath, is renowned for its state of the art facilities and highly trained team of stylists and therapists. The friendly and polite team include Wella hair colour experts, specialists in hair and scalp concerns, as well as a wigs specialist offering a discreet and private wig fitting service. Expert beauty therapists offer the very latest, award-winning CACI Synergy non-surgical facelift, IPL permanent hair reduction and skin rejuvenation aswell as a huge range of specialist facials, massages, nails, lashes, electrolysis, waxing and slimming. All using the finest products and highest levels of hygiene. 4-5 Monmouth St, Bath BA1 2AJ; 01225 478478; I BATH LIFE I 79



What would make life better? Reducing anxiety and stress, overcoming depression, better weight control, conquering fears and phobias, improving sports or work performance, improving motivation, stopping unwanted habits, gaining control over nerves. Viv's mission: To help you recognise your full potential and accelerate positive change. Operating from two great locations with parking, easy for those in Bath and surrounding Wiltshire villages. Book in for an Initial Consultation in Bath or Atworth to see how hypnotherapy can help you. London Road Clinic: 2 Lower East Hayes, Bath BA1 6AN; Atworth Clinic: Bath Road, Atworth, Wilts SN12 8LA; 07974 153487;


Set in 500 acres of unspoilt parkland, ESPA at Lucknam Park will leave you feeling completely rejuvenated. Take a refreshing dip in the 20 metre indoor pool, unwind in the five thermal cabins and enjoy calming views of the arboretum from the hydrotherapy pool. Their award-winning facilities also include a salt water plunge pool, experience showers, ice bar and a social lounge with a skincare mixology bar. The highly trained therapists perform a range of personalised treatments using ESPA or Carita products. The adjoining Brasserie offers a seasonal a la carte menu in a stylish and contemporary setting. Colerne, Chippenham, SN14 8AZ; 01225 742777;;



A space to relax, discover art, catch a morning yoga session or enjoy an array of wellbeing classes from dance fitness to life drawing. The Edge is a place which promotes creativity for wellbeing, with events and exhibitions open to all. With Art Fund revealing 63 per cent of people visit a gallery or museum to help deal with anxiety and stress, The Edge – just ten minutes from the city centre – provides an inspiring hub to think, feel and see things differently. Discover the full programme of yoga, dance fitness, workshops and exhibitions: University of Bath, BA2 7AY; 01225 386208;

Your mental fitness underpins everything in your life. Come and flex your mental fitness muscles at the Soul Spa! You can’t always control your environment but you can learn to control how you respond to it. Our 20-minute meditation classes are a perfect way to build up your mental strength and resilience. Classes are teacher-led or recorded so you can listen on headphones, depending on the time of day. Drop-in £5 Membership £24 per month for unlimited meditation classes Classes run on the hour and half hour all day from 7am – 7pm most days. Check the website for full details, Other things you’ll find at the Soul Spa: Workshops – Courses – Special Events – Mind/Body Therapists

2 Hetling Court BA1 1SH ( just a few steps from the Thermae Spa)

Tel: 01225 318226 |

The Soul Spa


This 10-Week Body Transformation Challenge is perfect for people in Bath who want to get back into fitness but don’t know where to start. Power10 offers a structured routine, training three days per week for ten weeks (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays). Their fun 30 minute kettlebell and bodyweight based group workouts include different levels to each exercise, which mean you can start on the easiest level, then gradually progress through your 10 Week Journey. They also provide you with diet advice inside their online coaching videos, should you need the extra help and motivation to achieve your goal. Percy Community Centre, New King Street;


Riverford delivers organic veg boxes and other groceries, in and around Bath. Their seasonal boxes of fruit and veg will change the way you eat and live – you’ll eat more healthily, reduce the amount of plastic in your kitchen and know that your food is grown ethically. Riverford grow the tastiest varieties of fruit and veg and their organic methods make sure soil and wildlife are cared for. Alan and Vicki Mowat run Riverford in Bath. They don’t charge for delivery, you don’t have to be at home to receive your box, and your orders are completely flexible. 01225 437438;


The Spa & Bath House here is a luxurious haven tucked away at the end of the five-red-star hotel’s beautiful acre of gardens. Gentle light from a chapel-style window dapples the relaxation pool, and the Himalayan sauna, steam room and vitality pool complete the soothing environment. There’s a modern gym for fitness enthusiasts, and decadent treatments for those seeking a little extra TLC. Finish your spa experience with a Champagne Afternoon Tea in the beautiful garden, soaking in the sunshine, birdsong and wonderful floral scents – sheer bliss. 16 Royal Crescent, Bath, BA1 2LS; 01225 823333;; I BATH LIFE I 83


From left to right: Professor Mark Beresford, consultant clinical oncologist plus Jon McFarlane and Jaspal Phull, consultant urological surgeons from the Bath Prostate Centre at BMI Bath Clinic



We speak to resident urology consultant surgeons and oncologists from the Bath Prostate Centre at BMI BATH CLINIC to understand what men should know about prostate cancer and how new technology is increasing the safety of prostate treatment


rostate cancer has recently benefitted from increased visibility due to highprofile figures, such as Stephen Fry and Elton John, opening up about their diagnosis and life after treatment. However, with no national screening programme in place, many men choose to defer thinking about the subject until the condition becomes aggressive or symptoms interrupt everyday life. What is prostate cancer; is it really that common? Around 130 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every day in the UK1. It tends to affect over 50s, although younger men can get prostate cancer too. Only men have a prostate. It’s a gland that’s normally the size and shape of a walnut, and it sits below the bladder and around the urethra – the tube that men pass urine and semen through. In


some cases, the cancer is aggressive and can grow quickly. It can also spread to other body areas, most commonly the bones or lymph nodes. A family history of prostate cancer; and certain other cancers, can increase the risk. Whilst age and race are well-established links also, there is emerging evidence about risks that may be lifestyle related. What are the symptoms? At the Bath Prostate Centre, we offer a prostate assessment clinic to get to the source of associated symptoms quickly. These can include difficulty or a frequent urge to urinate, signs of blood in urine or semen, painful ejaculation and urination and problems gaining an erection. Not all these symptoms mean a man has cancer, which is why careful assessment is advised. Finally, some men do not have any symptoms but are concerned about their risk of cancer or know someone with prostate


spreading. Your specialist can help you to choose the treatment most suited to you, including any novel treatments. If your prostate cancer has already reached a more advanced stage, you may be offered alternative treatment options such as hormone therapy or chemotherapy. What’s new? Are there ways of reducing the risks associated with treatment? Radiation therapy is effective in targeting and treating prostate cancer, but as with any procedure there are potential side effects. These can be mild and go away on their own, but for some patients they can last for years after treatment is completed and profoundly impact quality of life. Side effects can include rectal pain and bleeding, chronic diarrhoea, urinary urgency/leakage, and erectile dysfunction. To potentially reduce these side effects after treatment we are delighted to offer an innovative treatment named SpaceOAR Hydrogel. n

cancer. Our specialists can discuss the need and value of PSA or other testing. How is it diagnosed? Often, the first test will be physical, where the physician uses a gloved finger to assess any abnormalities in the texture, shape or size of the gland. A blood test may also be recommended, looking at the level of PSA, a substance that’s naturally produced by the prostate gland. If an abnormality is discovered, you may be referred for additional tests. This could include an ultrasound probe to create a picture of your prostate gland, or an MRI scan to identify suspicious areas of the prostate that require further evaluation. There has also been a great deal of research into other tests that may be relevant to a small number of men. It is possible you will be offered a prostate biopsy, where small samples are taken from your prostate with a needle to examine it for disease. If cancer is confirmed, a pathologist will determine how aggressive it is. A scale called the Gleason grade is used to rate the degree of aggressiveness (from six to 10 where six is the lowest risk prostate cancer). How can it be treated? The treatment options available to you will vary depending on a huge number of circumstances such as how far your cancer has spread, how quickly it is growing and other factors such as your health. When prostate cancer is detected at the earliest stages, there are three treatment approaches. This may include regular check-ups and PSA tests for ultra-low risk cancer, while for higher-risk cancer that has not spread, you may be offered minimally invasive surgery or carefully planned radiotherapy. Surgery seeks to remove the prostate in its entirety. External beam radiotherapy involves targeted radiation to the prostate to kill cancer cells. The goal is to minimise the risk of the cancer

“ When prostate cancer is detected at the earliest stages, there are three treatment approaches. This may include regular checkups and PSA tests for ultra-low risk cancer…”

SpaceOAR Hydrogel is an absorbable hydrogel that temporarily creates space between the prostate and the rectum, reducing the radiation dose delivered to the rectum during prostate radiation therapy. It has already been used to help more than 50,000 prostate cancer patients worldwide2 plus it has been shown to reduce the risk of side effects such as rectal bleeding, bowel dysfunction and incontinence plus can help to maintain sexual potency.3,4,5

1. Cancer Research UK, prostate-cancer#heading-Zero 2. Data on file with Boston Scientific. 3. Mariados N, Sylvester J, Shah D, et al. Hydrogel spacer prospective multicenter randomized controlled pivotal trial: Dosimetric and clinical effects of perirectal spacer application in men undergoing prostate image guided intensity modulated radiation therapy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2015 Aug 1;92(5):971-7. 4. Hamstra DA, Mariados N, Sylvester J, et al. Continued benefit to rectal separation for prostate radiation therapy: Final results of a phase III trial. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2017 Apr 1;97(5):976-85. 5. Karsh LI, Gross ET, Pieczonka CM, et al. Absorbable hydrogel spacer use in prostate radiotherapy: A comprehensive review of phase 3 clinical trial published data. Urology. 2018 May;115:39-44.

To find out more information or to book an appointment, call 0808 101 0337 or visit I BATH LIFE I 85

Spring 2020 Workshops Join us for these inspiring workshops in March MOON FLOW YOGA WORKSHOP with Annie Saturday 7th March 6–8pm

A DAY OF ANUSARA YOGA With Bridget Woods-kramer Sunday 15th March 10am–4.30pm

CORE FUSION MASTERCLASS With Virginie Saturday 21st March 1.30–4pm

BIRTH ESSENTIALS WORKSHOP With Emilie Sunday 29th March 10am–1pm

Aquae Sulis Dental is a private Dental Practice in Bath. Highly experienced in a wide range of dental procedures including dental implants, we offer a service that puts you and your needs first. In addition to dentistry, we also provide our clients with a full portfolio of facial aesthetics treatments. The Aquae Sulis team is led by Ian Bellamy, who many of our patients’ credit with breaking a lifetime of dental-phobia. His patient-centric style has won the loyalty of patients in Bath for two decades and the team he has built here shares the same passion for making a difference through gentle dentistry. Treatments include:

z z z z z z z z z

Dental Implants Teeth Whitening Veneers, Crown and Bridges General Dentistry Sedation for Anxious Patients Facial Aesthetics Anti-wrinkle Therapy Dermal Fillers Snoring & Sleep Apnoea

Aquae Sulis Dental, Station Court, Ashley Avenue, Bath BA1 3DS Free parking outside the practice

01225 339 767 | |


Take Charge offers service and maintenance on all types of bikes. Anybody who is considering an electric bike is encouraged to pop along and try a demo bike. An electric bike works like a regular bicycle but with power assistance when you want it. Take charge of your life – you too can really benefit from an electric bike. With the range of speciality e-bikes you are sure to find a bike that can keep up with even the most demanding of tasks. Trekking, mountain biking, in fact all your road/off road adventures become more fun with an electric bike. Off street parking available next to the shop or very nearby. 1 Victoria Buildings, Lower Bristol Road, Bath BA2 3EH; 01225 789568;


Originally built in the 1800s, The Gainsborough Bath Spa occupies two Grade II Listed buildings with distinguished Georgian and Victorian façades in the heart of the World Heritage Site of Bath. Named after the artist Sir Thomas Gainsborough, the luxury hotel is unique in the UK, in that it has the exclusive privilege of having access to the natural thermal, mineral-rich waters. Tapping into the original thermal springs, the Spa Village Bath here offers a contemporary perspective on the city’s thermal water heritage. Coupled with the historic use of aromatherapy in Great Britain, this spa, set beneath a glass atrium within this Small Luxury Hotel, gently supports the brand’s philosophy of honouring the healing traditions of the region. Non-residents can also enjoy a choice of luxurious Spa Days which combine a spa treatment with bathing in the natural thermal waters and a spa lunch or afternoon tea. Beau St, Bath BA1 1QY; 01225 358888;


The Hive is Bath’s newest, freshest and most innovative yoga studio in the city. Open for just over a year and with five star reviews, this little gem just off Walcot Street is worth rolling out your mat for. Award-winning teachers, a varied timetable of classes and workshops, there’s something for everyone, from beginners to experienced yogis, even children, teen and family sessions. “The most instagramable studio in the city” (Bath Life magazine) The Hive has become famous for its “Bee Wing wall” designed by local artist, Sam Lindup. Nestled by the river, with beautiful candles and plants, The Hive’s mantra is “Live, Breathe, Fly” and the calm sanctuary you need from the busy world. The Foundry, Beehive Yard, (off Walcot St, access from Old Orchard) Bath, BA1 5BT; 07960 629503; I BATH LIFE I 87


Photo: © Beata Cosgrove Photography

The Soul Spa is an innovative and unique space in Bath focusing on mental fitness. At the Soul Spa you can access everything you need to become mentally resilient. Meditation classes run throughout the day, mind-body therapists are on hand to treat you and there are regular workshops and courses to learn and practice mind-enhancing techniques to get you in the right mental place to live your optimum life. Whatever your desire, whether it is to learn how to stay calm and collected, motivate yourself to hit life goals or just find some mental peace, the Soul Spa has the team and the knowledge to help you to evolve. 2 Hetling Court BA1 1SH (just a few steps from the Thermae Spa) 01225 318226;


The Aquarias Spa at Whatley Manor is a place to restore mind and body, to reset and recharge. The beautiful honey Cotswold stone building exudes a calming and relaxing environment that whispers ‘switch off’ as you walk through the doors. Immerse yourself in experiences such as the indoor/outdoor hydrotherapy pool, or stretch out on the heated stone recliners, indulging in the therapeutic benefits of the salt scrub showers, thermal suite including an Infra-red and Swedish sauna. Choose from a host of luxurious spa treatments using results-driven products by Natura Bissé and Gaia Spa. Gaia Spa is a British, natural, and ethical spa brand. Whatley’s spa is one of the most relaxing spa experiences you will find in the heart of the Cotswolds. Meanwhile, energise in the gym, fully equipped with cardio, weights and all the latest equipment. “Pamper yourself, and experience one of our treatments, expertly delivered to provide the ultimate benefits and deliver results,” they say. “Relax, enjoy the space, enjoy the tranquillity and allow yourself the luxury of the time to unwind.” Easton Grey, Malmesbury, Wiltshire SN16 0RB ;01666 827070;


Yoga Bodhi is a dedicated yoga space. “We have been offering classes here at the studio for 10 years and most of our teachers are very experienced with 10+ years of teaching under their belts. The sense of Community at Yoga Bodhi is wonderful,” says owner Simona Hernandez, “Join us for yoga classes, special events and guest teacher workshops. We offer yoga classes in a range of styles suitable for all, from beginners to advanced students and from gentle yoga to dynamic vinyasa practice. We have two spacious studios with varied classes running every day, a communal space to have tea and chat and changing rooms. Yoga Bodhi has all the yoga mats and props you will need, so you only need to bring yourselves. We are in the centre of Bath, five minutes walk from The Podium car park.” 8 Bartlett Street, Bath BA1 2QZ; 01225 464848; I BATH LIFE I 89



The University of Bath Gardening Club rarely – if ever – garden together, and many of them have nothing to do with the university. For fascinating gardening events, however, there are few better… Words and photos by Nick Woodhouse


’m not entirely sure where Derry Watkins finds the time. When she’s not tending to her nursery of the rare and extraordinary, to her adjoining gardens or to the organising of horticultural courses at that very venue, then there’s every chance she’s busy booking guest speakers for The University of Bath Gardening Club. The club is now into its sixth decade and boasts an annual programme of lectures by speakers from all over the globe, as well as a growing number of garden tours throughout the country. Its future wasn’t always as bright or as certain though, as I found out when I managed to catch up with Derry on a rare, quieter moment.

they gradually opened it up – and when the horticulture department closed, it became primarily composed of people who had no university affiliation. One of the professor’s wives, Pam Southwell, was running the club when I joined, and continued to do so for many years after that. She booked the speakers, kept track of the members, organised the rooms, even baked biscuits for the monthly meetings. After twenty years of doing it on her own, she asked for help. None was forthcoming, so a few years later she announced she was quitting, and the club was folding. Immediately, half a dozen people at the lecture that night – myself included – volunteered to take over parts of her job. I’ve booked all the speakers ever since. Different committee members look after membership, finances, hall bookings, garden visits and tours. Sadly, no more biscuits get baked, though.

“I’m not entirely sure where Derry Watkins finds the time” Thanks so much for your time, Derry. Could you tell us how you first got involved with the club?

Yes, of course. I joined about 35 years ago. For me, the appeal was simple; they just had some great lectures. And that hasn’t changed! Do you know much about the club’s history?

It was started over fifty years ago, in 1967, by a group of faculty members, most of whom taught in the horticulture department at the university. For many years, I think it was just for faculty members and students, but


How else has the club changed over that time?

It’s gradually grown. When I joined there were fewer than 100 members, and now there are over 200. Originally, it was only a lecture series. (But what lectures – we’ve always prided ourselves on having the very best lecturers!) Then we started organising local garden visits. Now there are even several overnight garden tours a bit further afield, including favourites such as the gardens of Great Dixter and Sissinghurst.

What’s been your favourite talk to date?

How to pick just one? The Dutch-born Eden Project founder, Tim Smit, many, many years ago is definitely up there. Others that spring to mind are plantsman Dan Hinckley, Great Dixter’s head gardener Fergus Garrett, Keith

Wiley from Wildside in Devon – and a student from Writhlington School, talking about their orchid project. The irrepressible Tim Walker from Oxford University also keeps coming back to galvanise us all. And are there any you’ve been really trying to get to do a talk, but haven’t managed to land yet?

Yes, I’d love Chelsea gold medal winner Tom Stuart-Smith to join us. And Sarah Raven [the gardener, cook, writer and TV presenter] would be a wonderful addition too. Fingers crossed they’ll say yes soon! In the meantime, who else should we be looking out for?

I am ecstatic to have got Midori Shintani to come over from Japan specially to talk to us; she’ll be here on 9 March. Midori is head gardener at Tokachi Millennium Forest, a conservation project set in the foothills of the Hidaka mountain range on Hokkaido, the most northern of Japan’s islands. I heard her talk two years ago and she gave the most moving and beautiful garden talk I think I have ever heard. For more on the University of Bath Gardening Club,

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

clockwise from above: Derry Watkins and two of her favourite gardens, at Sissinghurst Castle and Great Dixter

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It’s the city’s business


GOING PUBLIC Inspecs is to float on AIM, with a market capitalisation of £138 million. The Bath-based designer, manufacturer and distributor of eyewear frames to global chains raised £23.5 million from the placing, which, along with new bank facilities, existing cash facilities and future operational cash flows, will be used to grow the business. Approximately 52.2 per cent of Ordinary Shares will be held in public hands, with CEO Robin Totterman holding around 26.6 per cent. “We are delighted to have received a positive reception from a high quality set of investors, all of whom recognise the strong track record, differentiated proposition and competitive strengths of the business, being one of only a few companies providing a one-stop-shop to global retail chains,” says CEO Robin Totterman. “This IPO will enable the business to fuel its growth ambitions, both organically and through acquisitions, as we leverage our key strengths and competitive advantages to continue to take market share and drive shareholder value.” For more: INSPECS CEO Robin Totterman

Taking home the gold Lucknam Park left the South West Tourism Excellence Awards with three awards and a commendation. The luxury hotel near Chippenham nabbed two gold awards, one for Large Hotel of the Year and another for Spa & Wellbeing Experience of the Year, a bronze for Wedding Venue of the Year, and a further commendation for The Brasserie in the Restaurant/ Bistro of the Year category.

Silmiya Hendricks, commercial director, and Beth Tremelling, marketing and PR executive at the hotel, went to collect the award at the grand ceremony at Exeter Cathedral. “Our team works incredibly hard to ensure that we are always delivering the best service, and these awards are credit to that hard work,” Silmiya says. For more:



NEW to Bath Meet the new characters on the Bath business scene

THE BOOST UP The Bath & West Community Energy (BWCE) Fund has awarded £28,370 to climate crisis projects in Bath and the surrounding area. Eight different organisations benefitted from the money, which comes from the BWCE’s surplus income and is administered by the Quartet Community Foundation. One of the beneficiaries of the grant money, Family Action on Climate Emergency (FACE) is raising awareness in the local community. “Concern about climate change is growing rapidly, and families want to know what they can do about it,” says Pauline Harris of FACE. “We’re building a local network of action groups, based around neighbourhoods, schools and other communities, so people of all ages and backgrounds can take collective action

to tackle the urgent tasks of reducing carbon emissions and protecting nature. This grant will mean we can spread the word even further, and provide some great resources to get new groups off the ground.” For more:

Lots of smiles at FACE

ALL ABOARD THE BOULES TRAIN The Bath Boules are about to turn 30 years old – and there’s never been a better time for businesses to jump on board. By becoming a Big or Little Boules sponsor, you can have a fun day out with the team – and do good for Bath charities. Team tickets for the Bath Boules, headline sponsored by Brewin Dolphin, are set to be released at midday on 17 March, and in years gone by have sold out within minutes. If you’re keen, mark the date in your diaries and set an alarm – what’ve you got tou-louse? With Big Boules come big benefits. Each Big Boules sponsor receives close There’s nothing like a bit of healthy competition

association with the event, including one guaranteed team entry on their day of choice, branding at the event and inclusion in all Boules marketing. This summer’s festivities will take place 12-14 June and are set to be bigger and boule-sier than ever before. Just some of the fun this year will include Le Bunk-Off Friday, three days of Boules tournaments, the legendary Friday night party and a Crumbs street food market. Contact Nell to hear more about all sponsor opportunities: nell.robins@ For more:

SPONSORED BY 01225 486100 Sarah Dedakis

BATH LEASEHOLD MANAGEMENT Sarah Dedakis started Bath Leasehold Management after some time out of the property world. Finding herself missing the industry, she leapt back in with a passion. So, Sarah, what do you guys actually do? We provide full block management services, including service charge accounting, day to day maintenance, longterm project planning and many other services relating to running a compliant management company. There is a misconception that dealing with block management is simply arranging a few repairs here and there, but it is actually a complex business, as there are the responsibilities of company law to adhere to along with the ever-growing leasehold statutory regulations and legislation which must be complied with. Why are you different? We are one of the very few leasehold management specialists in the area focusing solely on block management, and not incorporating other services such as lettings or sales. We avoid complacency and our clients are very much at the forefront of our service in terms of communication and proactivity, which is probably the two main areas that create disharmony between client and agent. We want to ensure that our freeholder and leaseholder clients are our absolute priority whilst providing a personable service, which we will tailor to the requirements of the client and the building. We are passionate about property management and, genuinely, will treat your management as if it were our own! What have some of the challenges been? Surprisingly, the industry is fairly unregulated, so even though we already have over 20 years experience, it is imperative to us that we provide absolute peace of mind to our clients, so we continuously attend courses and seminars to gain further qualifications. This often means loads of home study after a day in the office, which is a challenge… but we wouldn’t have it any other way! For more:



Where Bath gets a sweat on

MOVERS AND SHAKERS ETC BUSINESS MATTERS DIARY From networking breakfasts to invaluable evening courses, make a note of the events and classes that will help your business flourish

Bringing up the next generation of rugby enthusiasts

THE INSPIRATION GAME Stars of Bath Rugby paid a visit to St John’s Catholic Primary School on Oldfield Lane to promote the new cross curriculum educational app, Premiership Rugby Championships. Developed by teachers for teachers, it provides interactive and themed lesson plans to use in the classroom and outside, covering a broad range of subjects including health, numeracy and personal development. The hope is, the app will inspire kids to be more active – as well as develop vital life skills. Bath Rugby’s Henry Thomas, Ruaridh McConnochie and Ross Batty went to the school to support the app, where they spent time playing games of tag rugby with the youngsters, run by Bath community coach Garin Vivian. “Bath is a community club and to be able to be bring it closer to the fans is great,” says Ruaridh. “To see the kids having a great time is rewarding. Bringing them into the club and our rugby community will hopefully give them a lifelong love of the game – and of the Blue, Black and White.” For more:

11 MARCH BATH BUSINESS EXPO A one-day event bringing together the local business community, the Biz Expo is filled with networking and learning opportunities with leading experts from a range of industries. 10am-3.45pm; The Assembly Rooms; 12 MARCH LOAKE BATH BUSINESS CLUB A breakfast networking event with The Brogue Trader, this is another great opportunity to build stronger links in the city’s business community. There’ll be a business card draw with the chance to win a Loake shoe valet cleaning box worth £122.50 – so make sure to bring those cards with you. 8-9.30am; The Brogue Trader/Loake Shoemakers; 23 MARCH BATH LIFE BUSINESS CLUB This time the speakers at our regular networking lunch will be the two successful founders of Epoch/Brewin Dolphin and Prezola. In this talk, Big Deal: 1.0, they’ll share the inside story of selling a company. 12-2.30pm; The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa;

Steve Watson


Wiltshire-based law firm Awdry Baily & Douglas (ABD) has appointed Steve Watson as new head of marketing. With over a decade’s worth of pro services marketing under his belt, Steve will bring his excellent brand building, campaign planning and creative skills to the company. He’ll also work on ABD’s management committee. “This is a very exciting time to be part of a law firm that understands the need to be different and genuinely puts clients’ needs at the heart of everything they do,” says Steve. “Since my arrival everyone has been so friendly and welcoming; it really is a very positive, proactive place to work and I’m proud to be part of it.”

Mary Wickenden and Polly Andrews


Bath Abbey has added two to its staff. Polly Andrews has joined as learning officer, while Mary Wickenden has stepped into the role as volunteers officer. They were both hired as part of the Abbey’s wider Footprint goals to engage more people with this local institution. “We’re delighted to have Mary and Polly join the team,” says the Revd Canon Guy Bridgewater, rector of Bath Abbey. “Although there is major building work taking place in the Abbey, at its heart, the Footprint project is all about people. Conservation for us isn’t just about bricks and mortar. In the new areas and spaces that we’re building, we’re aiming to create exciting new opportunities for learning, volunteering, group activities, and discovery of the living Christian heritage of Bath Abbey.” I BATH LIFE I 97


little over a decade ago, after a long and successful career in media, Andy started to feel like he needed a change. The one time publisher of Maxim magazine – among many other titles – he felt that he wanted something a bit more meaningful, the sort of job he could talk about with his kids. Enter the National Trust, where he has worked for 10 years, the last three of which as associate director, looking after the Trust’s operations in Somerset and Gloucestershire.


“It was never the plan, to fall into the National Trust,” Andy says. “It just sort of happened.” He woke up a 40-something in a media industry largely built around youth – and constantly subject to restructuring – and felt like it was time for a change. To him, that meant two options: starting his own business, or moving onto a new career path. He chose the latter, and joined the Trust, where he’s been ever since. Going in, Andy says, he was definitely expecting an office filled with a tweed clad team, brown leather chairs and perhaps the odd Labrador reclining by an open fire. But that isn’t really what he got. Yes, the Swindon-based office does have the tweed-and-cigars contingent, more on the conservation side of things, but it turned out to be equal parts people like himself who had come up in another industry and arrived at the National Trust in

search of a new direction. This perception of the team’s makeup was only the first of many misconceptions Andy faced – and continues to deal with today. What comes to mind, he asked Business Club attendees, when you think of the National Trust? The answers came back almost unanimous: country houses – but they’re actually only a portion of the Trust’s portfolio. “It’s not a bad thing, being the country house people, but I think the journey the Trust is on is probably to get people to recognise the wider role it plays,” Andy says. “Undeniably country houses are the financial engine, because most people love visiting them, their estates and gardens.” But in addition to the famed country houses, the Trust also owns 250,000 hectares of land – a lot of it rented out to tenant farmers – and another 780 miles of coastline.


The exact role of the Trust has been a point of friction in recent years, with plenty of criticism thrown its way for the lack of a firm stance on modern issues like the climate emergency – a term they are still shy of using – as well as tensions over how it is perceived, which is either, Andy says, as “old ‘fuddy duddy’ right wing, land owning aristocracy, or a hotbed of socialism, left wing thinking and open toed sandals.” The truth, you might think unsurprisingly, lies somewhere between the two. Still, isn’t it odd that one of the Business chat over lunch – our idea of a good time

Andy Semple, a long way from Maxim


ANDY SEMPLE, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL TRUST What does a decade at the National Trust look like? Andy joined the Bath Life Business club to talk tweed, climate emergency, controversies – and the fate of The Assembly Rooms


BATHWORKS It’s not all business; there are laughs along the way

biggest landholders in the country isn’t a more prominent voice in the climate emergency debate? Well, yes. But, Andy says, that is starting to change. “Arguably we were late to the climate change/climate emergency conversation. In fact we had a national conference about two years ago where its absence in our strategy was raised,” he says. “The director general said it’s not our role – but, to be fair to the organisation, it listens to itself and we’ve since realised that it probably is our role. We have declared that the organisation itself is going to be carbon neutral in 10 years, and we’re putting our shoulder to the wheel against the crisis we face and the urgency we face now.”

“WE WANT YOU TO EXPERIENCE WHAT IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN LIKE IN 1775 IN BATH” In many ways, tensions about the Trust’s role and how it should function are built into its fabric. Founded on the principles of conservation and access, its purposes are definitionally at odds. “Those aims are hard to hold side by side with each other – conserving something and giving mass access to it,” Andy says. “Even more so in terms of visits that we get in a year organisationally – it’s about 28 million visits to our places, and that figure includes pay-to-enter places and other NT owned land, so that’s a huge impact on an asset you’re trying to conserve. It’s difficult – but then it was always thus.” It might be difficult, but the

Trust’s unifying theme is ‘forever, for everyone’, so regardless of tensions, the organisation will plough on.


Not a lot of people in Bath actually know that The Assembly Rooms, which has been controlled by B&NES for as long as most of us can remember, is actually owned by the National Trust. So when the news broke last year that they would be taking back control of the building in 2023 – leaving the Fashion Museum in need of a new home and potentially displacing a range of civic and private events (including a certain media company’s awards ceremony; yes, we do mean the Bath Life Awards) that are held in the building, response was mixed, to say the least. Plans remain vague – in fairness, they do have three more years to get them together – but the basic story is that once it’s back under NT management, The Assembly Rooms will be transformed into an immersive version of Georgian life. “We want you to experience what it might have been like in 1775 in Bath,” Andy says, “whether that’s getting involved in the dance, or the smell and the feel of the gambling room, or the click and clatter of sedan chairs.” It’s a business decision too, obviously. For a touristy city with one of the highest National Trust memberships in the country, our most local pay-to-enter sites – Dyrham Park and Prior Park – aren’t exactly raking it in, and a city centre site (of which the Trust doesn’t have a lot) could plug a gap. It’ll be good for the city, too. There are plans in place to link up with other museums to share the

tourism traffic around – with The Assembly Rooms functioning as a central hub. “We’re definitely working closely with the museum sector to spread out tourists to get the full panoply of what’s on offer here,” Andy says. “Inevitably it’ll get more foot fall up that end of the city as well, which aside from the museums, the traders nearby always need.” But it’s still called The Assembly Rooms, right? Shouldn’t there be some assembly involved? Andy says they’re open to it. “There could be a role, because there are big civic functions that happen there. We are aware of the graduation ceremonies, Mozartfest and Bath Festivals – we want to tread very carefully through that and we know there will be multiple opinions. This is a personal view, but I don’t want us to end up compromising everything to keep everyone happy and end up with a relatively successful tourist

attraction, which is a relatively successful flexible space where you can do events. We’ll probably just screw it up if we try and be everything to everyone.” Interesting times for The Assembly Rooms, then – and, it seems, for the National Trust too. For more,


The Bath Life Business Club is a unique lunchtime event with a high calibre speaker. Attendees come from all sectors of Bath’s business life – from the coolest of the indies to the largest of the corporates. For information on the latest events, please go to:

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help train dogs, from classes at Rosemary Lodge vets in Bath to one-to-one behavioural modification programmes. Sophie, our Bath team leader, is a dog trainer and runs all of the classes, and I have an MSc in Clinical Animal Behaviour and provide behaviour modification programmes for pets and owners that are struggling with behaviour problems like aggression, separation anxiety and noise fears. Our team are highly qualified and have to undergo intensive training when they start with us – and we also organise regular training, or CPD, so our team can grow and update their knowledge all the time.


Heather Thomas

Heather’s Pet Services does it all. Whether you want your dog walked, washed, driven around or trained, she and the team can take care of it. They’ll look after your pet while you’re on holiday too. About time, we figured, to catch up with director and behaviourist Heather to learn more about her dream role Hey, Heather. Tell us more about what Heather’s Pet Services does We provide a variety of services across Bristol and Bath. From dog visits (someone to check in on the pup while you’re at work, for example), to having your four-legged friend as a guest at your wedding, we can help.

a dog professional, you become emotionally invested with the dogs and their owners, which is very much a challenge in itself. You come to love each pet as much as the owners do.

How did you get into pet care? It sounds like the dream job! I completed a diploma in animal care when I left school, but have always loved animals; my gran had a passion for animal welfare that she passed onto me. I followed my dream of owning my own walking and boarding business in 2006, after working in a kennels in Bristol. I was the first home boarder to be licenced in Bristol and in Bath, when I moved in 2011.

Any myths you’d like to dispel? Dog walking is not easy. It shouldn’t be thought of as an easy job or just a hobby; if you own a walking business and you are doing it properly it will take a lot of time and money to get it right. There are multiple risks, and so much more to it than just a walk in the park. Good dog walkers will have qualifications in husbandry, dog training, behaviour and welfare. They will have equipped vans that are secure and safe for your dog in transit, and should have good knowledge of equipment too.

What are some of the challenges? Being a dog walker or trainer is not a walk in the park, so to speak – it is always a challenge mixing multiple dogs together. I have found, as

Where are some of your favourite dog walks around Bath? One of my favourite social walks in Bath is at Alice Park, which has something for everyone and is a busy


place that’s great for dogs that want to explore and are happy around people, children and other dogs. (They also do the best food!) But if you want a walk to get away from the city, we’re lucky enough to have Bathampton Downs on our doorsteps. Nestled in the woodland, it’s an escape from reality with a natural spring and a huge abundance of shrubbery. What does your typical day look like, then? It really depends. As director, I often have to wear different hats: sometimes I am the dog walker, sometimes I am the dog trainer. Sometimes I am the boss, other times the mechanic. One thing I can guarantee is that there is always something to keep me busy! Tell us more about the dog training service. How does that work? Are you the trainer? We offer a range of services to

What about the Wedding Woofers thing you do? The Wedding Woofers service is something we feel very passionate about. Our dogs are our family members too, so why should they miss out on the biggest day of our lives? We help to make your dog guesting at your wedding possible, and stress-free too. From best dog to flower girl, your four-legged friend can be with you and your guests on your big day! Is there any advice you’d like to give to the potential dog owners out there? There is nothing more important than the bond with your dog, and there are a few golden rules I like to stick to: 1) Never punish your dog – it often result in frustration. 2) Always ensure your dog has a safe place to rest. 3) Ensure your dog has positive welfare (including biological and emotional needs). 4) Listen to your puppy – if they are not happy about something, do not force them closer to it. 5) Play. It strengthens bonds and ensures learning. 6) Train every day with your dog, even if it’s only for 10 minutes. Finally, what are you most proud of professionally? The company’s standards are set so high, there’s no cutting corners and no cutting costs. When it comes to owners and their pets, we want them to have the best! I am proud we have provided such a high-quality service for over a decade, and we have also gained multiple awards for doing so. For more:





Residential property and capital gains tax (CGT) Jacqui Bowden from Bath-based chartered accountants and tax advisers PEARSON MAY summarises the proposed new rules for CGT and how they affect anyone selling a residential property…


f you are a landlord or second home owner, it can feel like the tax rules and regulations that apply to you are constantly in flux. In the past few years, we’ve seen changes to mortgage interest relief, the introduction of a stamp duty surcharge, a ban on letting fees, and new rules around houses of multiple occupation. 2020 brings further changes – this time for Capital Gains Tax (CGT). These proposed rules, subject to legislation, could affect anyone selling a residential property after 5 April 2020, so it’s important to plan ahead.

30-DAY PAYMENT WINDOW After 5 April 2020, you will have just 30 days following completion to pay tax you estimate is due on the gain made from the sale of residential property. As part of this procedure an initial calculation of the gain will need to be prepared and a standalone Return submitted within the same time frame. Currently Capital Gains are reported through the Self-Assessment Tax Return, and this means that if you sell a property between 6 April 2019 and 5 April 2020, it will be declared on your 2020 Tax Return and the tax due on the gain must be paid by 31 January 2021. Depending on

the timing of the sale the tax could be payable up to 22 months after the date of the disposal. Going forward you will have a maximum of 30 days.

CUTS IN RELIEF ON THE SALE OF YOUR HOME This change applies to properties which have been a person’s only or main residence at some point during the period of ownership but are still liable to CGT e.g. have been let out or remained empty for certain periods. Currently, the final 18 months of ownership are treated as a period of deemed occupation for the purposes of calculating ‘Private Residence Relief’ regardless of whether the person is living there or not.

“BE WARNED THAT THESE FURTHER CHANGES COULD DRAMATICALLY IMPACT FUTURE TAX BILLS ON THE SALE OF RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY” However, where the date of disposal is on or after 6 April 2020, the final period of exemption will be reduced from 18 months to nine months. Lettings Relief has also historically been available where a property which qualifies for Private Residence Relief has also been let in a period of absence. From 6 April 2020 it is expected that Lettings Relief will only be available if there is shared occupation (i.e. the owner and the tenant both live in the residence at the same time), thereby, in practical terms, effectively abolishing Lettings Relief. These changes have yet to be legislated for and are planned for the Finance Bill 2020. The detail is subject to consultation, so may prove different to the above, but be warned that these further changes could dramatically impact future tax bills on the sale of residential property.

Jacqui Bowden, a partner at Pearson May

SOME KEY POINTS AND PLANNING TIPS • The 30-day payment and declaration apply

regardless of whether you are in the SelfAssessment system or not; • Self-Assessment taxpayers will continue to report the gain on their Tax Return and pay any CGT over and above the provisional payment by the usual Self-Assessment deadlines; • The 30-day time limit is triggered by the completion date (although the exchange of contracts is still the date of sale for CGT purposes); • Returns are not required for disposals where no tax is due; • 30 days isn’t very long! Funds will need to be put in place to cover the CGT liability as soon as the sale is completed; • Remember gifts can also result in gains, but don’t produce any cash, so make sure the funds are available before the gift is completed; • If you are planning a sale then gather the information required to compute the gain sooner rather than later, so that the tight deadline may be met; • To work out the provisional CGT payable, your taxable income for the year will need to be estimated to determine how much CGT is payable at 18 per cent and how much at 28 per cent; • Other CGT disposals which are not subject to these rules (e.g. sale of shares or commercial property) may be ignored in calculating the provisional tax due (but see below re losses); • Capital losses brought forward from earlier years or made in the same year as the gains (but prior to the date of sale) can be offset if desired. The above is for general guidance only and no action should be taken without obtaining specific advice. ■

Jacqui Bowden Bsc (Hons) ACA Pearson May Chartered Accountants & Chartered Tax Advisers Bath, Chippenham and Trowbridge 37 Great Pulteney Street, Bath BA2 4DA 01225 460491; I BATH LIFE I 103



S 20 OL 20 D £895,000 CIRCUS PLACE


S 20 OL 20 D

S 20 OL 20 D £545,000 BATH RIVERSIDE

S 20 OL 20 D

S 20 OL 20 D S 20 OL 20 D


£1,150,000 FARMBOROUGH





Design classics


The warm reds of terracotta are a handsome, durable interior design standard, speaking of Mediterranean living and rustic romance Choosing the right flooring is one of the most important decisions you can make in interior design – even the cheapest options are actually quite expensive, and many of the rest of your interior design decisions will spring from the choices you make here – so you need to be sure yours are future-proof. One way, of course, is to lean heavily on the classics, as here. “Our Marlborough Terracotta is new to us this year, but has already been a big hit,” says Kayleigh Murphy, showroom manager at Boniti, specialists in tiles, natural stone and timber flooring, much of it bespoke. These guys are up at West Littleton, north of Bath on the A46 opposite Dyrham Park, and are home to just about every flooring style you can think of, from limestone to dark oak planks, porcelain tiles to mosaics. “We’ve noticed a lot of customers looking to incorporate rustic warm orange tones into their projects, and our terracotta delivers that perfectly.” The guys are offering it in four different formats, ranging from herringbone, squares and rectangles to the pickets seen here. “Using these formats also allows you to create the appearance of texture on the floor, currently a huge trend in interiors,” Kayleigh says. For more on flooring, flick to page 112. For more Boniti, I BATH LIFE I 105


THE LEGEND OF HILL HOUSE You could live like Gatsby here, throwing endless parties where “men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the Champagne and the stars” By Clarissa Picot 106 I BATH LIFE I



e love a handsome detached Georgian villa, and few are more impressive than this one, enjoying a gloriously stately position above the city, and with intriguing details and features at every turn. It was designed and built by Henry Edmund Goodridge around 1825, a time of stock market panic, though that doesn’t seem to have impacted anyone involved with Bathwick Hill House’s creation too badly; indeed, this happens to be the very same year he created the Corridor shopping arcade too. Two years later he’d come up with Cleveland Bridge, and a little after that Beckford’s Tower. But of all Bath, Henry perhaps loved Bathwick Hill the most, and he was behind many of the best Italianate MEDIACLASH.CO.UK I BATH LIFE I 107 142


villas up here on the city’s southern slopes, including his own home – Bathwick Grange – right next door to this one, and Woodland Place, the six-house Regency terrace. They’re all impressive, but few rival the one we’re looking at here, a place that begs to be filled by a large family – and plenty of guests on occasion too. The reception rooms are all large and well proportioned, there’s a certain stoic elegance to the house’s square and symmetrical layout, and a striking eccentricity to its oversized chimneys. On the ground floor there’s a dining room, drawing room, sitting room, kitchen and library, all built around a large stairway and entrance hall, with lantern lights and endless connecting doors, plus smaller spaces like loos and a breakfast room off to the sides. Below this, the lower ground floor has a gym, workshop, offices, a spa room, wine cellars and a giant billiard room, and on the top floor you’ll find four vast bedrooms with more than enough bathrooms, en suites and loos to go around, including a giant master bedroom suite. There’s also, on a mezzanine level, a little self-contained flat, with its own bedroom, bathroom, sitting room and kitchen. But if the house itself is impressive – and the views it enjoys, if anything, even more amazing, taking in the world-class combo of Prior Park, Widcombe, and Georgian Bath beyond – the pair of them are, if that’s possible, eclipsed by the grounds and what they contain. Large and handsome, they’re mostly spread out beneath a massive paved balustrade sun terrace, accessed by doors on three sides of the house. There’s a rose-lined avenue out here that leads to the pool house, an original


Italianate garden building some 30m east of the main house which in recent years was completely redesigned by Watson Bertram & Fell, the award-winning architecture practice that’s worked on many of the region’s best hotels, ranging from the Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa to Eight, the bijoux townhouse hotel tucked away on North Parade. Nowadays this building hosts a frankly amazing swimming pool and leisure complex, surrounded by sliding glass doors and Doric columns. It’s easy to imagine a Bitch-era Joan Collins co-hosting the most outrageous of pool parties here alongside her sister Jackie – though, we must confess, slightly harder to imagine either of them, tongs in hand, flipping the burgers at the built-in barbeque that’s been installed just outside. And there are other buildings out here too: a double garage and a contemporary studio by the sweeping driveway, for instance, and an entire other house by the gated entrance. The Lodge House is a two-bedroom detached property with its own single garage, and recently refurbished so you can do as you wish with it. You could rent it out, house staff here, or – should you happen to know any burly ex-Marines with a nice line in short shorts and facial hair – put them up semi-permanently while they solve crimes, annoy your dogs, and wheelspin through your gravel in your bloomin’ Ferrari. Fantastical? Sure. But then Bathwick Hill House is the sort of endlessly entertaining space that encourages you to dream.

HOUSE NUMBERS Bathwick Hill House Bedrooms


Billiard room Pool house Interior

Large Larger

Over 11,000 sq ft

Outside Separate twobedroom Lodge House amongst extensive outbuildings Price


For more: Carter Jonas, 5 and 6 Wood Street, Queen Square, Bath, BA1 2JQ; 01225 747251;


Gap to narrow between buyer and seller expectations Luke Brady, head of the SAVILLS BATH office predicts how the property market will shape up in Bath over the next five years


fter three years of political deadlock, December’s general election result brought greater clarity in the Government’s Brexit position and decisive domestic policy. Since then, we have already seen more confidence in the property market and expect the clear parliamentary majority to provide the foundation for accelerated activity over the months ahead. That said, we still face a backdrop of suppressed gross domestic product and wage growth alongside a slowing global economy. Meanwhile the UK’s trading relationship with the EU during the transition period still needs to be resolved. It is therefore likely that home movers will remain relatively cautious about their household finances, particularly in the second half of the year.

VALUE EXPECTATIONS Bath’s prime property market has remained resilient since the referendum and over the last five years values have increased by 4.4 per cent. While this year will not be without its challenges, across the south of the country we are forecasting incremental rises totaling 16.5 per cent over the next five years, which is slightly higher than the UK average forecast. Growth will be slow and steady, and as such, balancing buyer and seller expectations will be critical to keeping the market moving. The good news is that our analysis of the last three months of the year in the prime residential market revealed a narrowing of the gap between such expectations. Across the country, we found greater alignment as sellers accepted more realistic pricing. Notably, we also saw an increase in competitive bidding where newly launched properties were brought to market at the right price.

PENT-UP DEMAND The greater sense of urgency in the market is encouraging news for anyone who is thinking about marketing their house for sale in the coming months. More so when we consider the level of pent-up demand for property. Many would-be sellers were put off entering the market last year, despite a steep rise in




From left to right: properties for sale in Bath include Cleveland Walk (guide £1,850,000), Henrietta Place (offers in excess of £1,250,000) and Prior Park Road (offers in excess of £1,000,000)




From left to right: recent sales include a Grade II listed house on Sydney Buildings, a home on St James’s Square and a detached country property in Bowden Hill, Wiltshire

“BATH’S PRIME PROPERTY MARKET HAS REMAINED RESILIENT SINCE THE REFERENDUM…” registered buyers and viewing activity. In Bath, not only did we experience a notable uplift in buyers registering with us last year compared with in 2018, we saw the highest number of viewings on record. The lack of available stock alongside the strong demand resulted in a large pool of frustrated buyers. This pool is not about to dry up. In fact, across the UK we have seen new buyer registrations increase by around a third so far this year. Not only this but we are experiencing an improved level of commitment from interested parties.

were keen to make their move but unable to sell in the capital. Since the start of January, our London offices are reporting strong levels of enquiries and viewings across all levels of the market. Agents operating in south west and west London note that the family house market is particularly active with sellers now more committed to make the move this year. Some are also beginning to see upsizers who would have traditionally traded up in the local area now considering a relocation to the commuter belt or further afield.

TAKING ADVANTAGE Early spring is traditionally a popular time to buy and sell, and we could well see a surge this year. Many will be looking to make their move early, and so sellers are advised to prepare now in order to take advantage. n

CAPITAL MOVEMENT The prime property market in Bath has traditionally benefitted from a high-proportion of relocators from London. Last year however, we saw a number of prospective buyers, who

Luke Brady; 01225 474501; I BATH LIFE I 109


The significant cost of neglecting repairs to your rental property


Peter Greatorex from THE APARTMENT COMPANY advises a proactive approach for Bath’s landlords…

ath is filled with a wealth of rental properties providing valuable homes to people across the city. Whether a contemporary property overlooking the river, or a city pad right in the heart of the action, the area is blessed with wonderful variety. As a landlord, it can be easy to take your eye off the ball, but recent research shows that the cost of neglecting repairs to your rental property is significant. At The Apartment Company, we work closely with our landlords to ensure they keep their properties well-maintained. We always recommend a proactive approach when it comes to servicing utilities and safety features, and if issues arise they need to respond quickly. No one can plan for the unexpected, and our weather often has a lot to answer for due to issues caused by storm damage. 365,000 rental

properties are evacuated each year as a result of the most common of emergencies, plumbing, followed by electrical and gas faults. The cost of repairing even the most common issue sometimes goes far beyond the repair itself, as it can require rehoming your tenants while the work is undertaken, causing them stress and upset. Tenants want to live in an apartment where they feel their comfort and safety is valued; when trust has been established they are more likely to want to extend their tenancy as they simply feel at home. Being proactive with regard to maintaining all areas of your property can also help to prevent some of these common issues, thus saving time, money and your reputation. It is essential that you have the correct insurance in place to fully cover you should an emergency situation arise during the tenancy. It’s also important to double check that your tenants have content insurance and that it is renewed

AJ Removals Removals - Storage - Shipping - Packing

Camden to Cairo?

annually. This way, should something happen, your apartment and its contents can be replaced. By working closely with our landlords we can ensure that their properties and their tenants continue to have happy tenancies, and hopefully without any emergencies. If you have an apartment in Bath and want to know how we can support you to get the most out of your portfolio, contact our lettings team today. ■

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

SOVEREIGN DAMP & TIMBER LTD We offer a comprehensive service for all kinds of damp proofing, basement waterproofing, timber treatment and specialist replastering.

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PROPERTY Retirement living

Multi-generational facilities place the elderly at the heart of the community


Legal & General has submitted plans for a new Guild Living urban retirement development at Bath’s former Homebase site. The proposed 317 apartment complex is designed to keep older people at the centre of the community, this mixed-use development blending homes with tailored care options and multi-generational facilities, including a nursery, fitness centre, community café, cinema, library, crafts space, shops and multi-faith room. Guild Living’s development also has the potential to free up family housing, which would contribute towards B&NES’ five-year housing supply aims while improving quality of life for the elderly in the area. For more:

Meet the maker

New builds


Curo’s keeping busy in Keynsham, where work has started on another 56 homes at Woodland View, within the Hygge Park development. This collection of two, three and four-bedroom homes would make for a perfect commuter base, with their proximity to Bath and Bristol. Email for more details. For more:

Curo has already started taking early bird plot reservations for the new houses

SUZANNE HARDWICK Stylish, pure wool Nest & Burrow wall hangings add a cosy touch to any room Suzanne says: “I simply love working with unspun yarns, including pure wool and flax, like in this piece. The untamed nature of these fibres enables me to work in a very organic, almost sculptural way, producing beautifully textured pieces that create wonderful focal points to cosy up your interiors. I work predominantly with non-dyed fibres from a variety of breeds of sheep, such as Merino, Corriedale, Manx Loaghtan, Herdwick and Icelandic. It’s amazing the mix of hues available through natural fleeces.” Suzanne works from her home just outside of Bath in the Cotswolds AONB, and brands herself Nest & Burrow; she sells worldwide, her private commissions adorning homes as far away as New Zealand, Australia and the USA. She also delivers a range of creative experiences, from beginners’ workshops to oneto-one master classes and luxury retreats. For more: Waves of Earth handwoven pure wool tapestry I BATH LIFE I 111

Interestingly textured tiles from Mandarin Stone



As we embrace a spectrum of styles, five top Bath flooring specialists share some tips


Virtuoso Flooring recently put in impressive new floors at Theela House, a handsome property for sale on St Stephen’s Road


ver since we all decided – the most recent time – that natural is in, we’ve seen a huge renaissance in reclaimed oak planks and interesting porcelain tiles, often with the odd deliberate imperfection, used in our houses and hotels, in our flats and our offices and our stores. This being the case, we decided to ask some local experts about how we can best introduce these looks to our lives…

NATURAL STONE IS ALWAYS IN “You can’t beat the timeless, inherent beauty it offers,” says Louisa Morgan of Mandarin Stone. “I never get tired of my limestone floor, with so much natural variation it adds interest underfoot.” INDEED, IMPERFECTIONS ARE UNLIKELY TO GO OUT OF TREND “For me, it’s simply because we’re surrounded by so much history, tradition and amazing architecture,” says Katya Maiseyeva of Oriental Rugs of Bath. “If you look at all the stone work just driving down a country road, none of it is perfect but it all says, ‘I am handmade’. And this is the true value. I guess the appeal of imperfections is that we are all imperfect, and so is everything around us, so it’s easy to forgive natural imperfections that add charm.” PORCELAIN IS THE GREAT PRETENDER These days, porcelain tiles can replicate other materials too. “You can have wood effect, concrete or metal, but probably the most popular are those tiles that mimic natural stone,” says Louisa. “Recently we’ve introduced more antique stones that offer worn edges and surfaces, creating a truly antique looking floor. Huge advances in image technology now allow our predominantly Italian and Spanish

suppliers to come up with such realistic porcelain tiles, it’s hard to differentiate them from the real thing. The indoor-outdoor porcelain tile trend is particularly huge, with people wanting to create a seamless floor that runs from the inside of a home to the outside. Many of our porcelains are available at 10mm thick for inside, and exactly the same format and finish in 20mm for outdoors. Maintenance is minimal, as they’re so hard wearing.” AND VINYL TILES ARE GREAT TOO “We’ve seen a big increase in their installation – we specialise Karndean, a really luxury version – which are perfect for both domestic and commercial use,” says Steve White of Bath Contract Flooring. “Individual tiles or planks are fully adhered to prepared sub floors, so come with large guarantees, and when we extend our showrooms over two floors in the spring, it will be partly to introduce a large Karndean display area. We often pair these floors with rugs, to soften things up and add a spot of colour.” PEOPLE ARE GETTING BRAVER IN THEIR USE OF COLOUR “They’re moving slightly away from greys and opting for warmer, more earthy tones to provide a neutral flooring backdrop,” says Louisa. “And they’re experimenting with pattern in smaller spaces, such as bathrooms and hallways. Terrazzo is definitely growing in popularity, patterned geometric tiles are in, and I think we will see more timeless monochrome flooring in 2020 too.”

“The appeal of imperfections is that we are all imperfect too”

KILIMS ARE HAVING A MOMENT “These are flat-woven Persian-style rugs, and they make a room cosier while still showing a lot of the floor,” says Katya. “Recently we’ve have been selling a lot of subtle, vegetable dyed Afghan kilims, with their soft natural colours, as well as the Persian versions – also called shiraz – which I BATH LIFE I 113


An intriguing woven hallway pattern from Bath Contract Flooring

are bolder. Then there are Indian gabbehs, with their thicker pile giving a real feeling of warmth.” BLACK AND WHITE TILES ARE VERY MUCH IN “People love these, as well as hexagon-shaped tiles and anything Victorian looking,” says Katya. “Such bold looks are best in hallways, entrances, bathrooms and even some outside areas, while quieter colours and patterns are better in kitchens and bigger areas. Some people like to show off a rug and have it in the centre of the room, while others prefer to create separate cozy areas with rugs, sofas and side tables – but, of course, it depends on the size and shape of the room.” POLISHED CONCRETE IS GAINING GROUND “It’s definitely something younger people want to try,” says Katya. “You get flat, level new floors that flow from one room into another, so the whole house almost feels like one space. The downside is that, without breaking it up with any floor dressing, it can look a bit bare and cold.” AFGHAN RUGS ARE COLOURFUL – AND THIN! “Kazaks, chobies, ersaries – they’re all so cheerful and luxurious feeling, but thin enough for you not to really notice them under your feet,” says Katya. “They really lift up a space, acting as either the centre piece of the room, or a quiet addition that will hold all the furniture, fabrics and decorations together.” LUXURY VINYL IS NO OXYMORON “In fact, it’s leading the way as a hard wood flooring or tile alternative,” says Steve McLay of Virtuoso Flooring. “Moduleo and Karndean are the big players for us in this market, with more emphasis on laying patterns, such as parquet and herringbone.”


SISAL IS BACK “We’ve noticed a big increase in requests for sustainable, environmentally friendly products,” says Steve. “We’ve an underlay made from recycled plastic bottles, and we’re getting more requests for natural products such as sisal, sea grass and jute, and sustainable flooring such as bamboo and rubber. Nylon is also a popular option for people wanting soft luxury carpets.” OFFICE FIT-OUTS ARE OFTEN MORE CREATIVE THAN ANYTHING IN THE HOME “Most flooring in Bath residential areas is rather conventional, with runners and stripy or geometric carpeting on the stairs tending to be the most daring designs you’ll see,” says Steve. “But at the same time there’s been a huge shift towards making the workplace a more inspiring environment, and we offer some very creative carpet tile ranges that actually appear to bring the natural environment inside. We’re actually laying a rural path in these tiles in a corridor in Bristol right now!” HARDWOOD’S STILL A GREAT OPTION “Hardwood planks are easy to refinish – so you can change their colour after five years if you want to – and right now there’s a particular demand for the reclaimed stuff,” says Mark Hawkins of Tile & Flooring Bath. “The current trend for hardwood flooring falls into two main categories: rustic, reclaimed-style products in dark colours, or more contemporary projects in cool greys, with wide planks in matt and satin finishes. Herringbone is still a popular option, and chevron-style wooden floors too, but we feel they’ve both probably peaked.”

“Bold looks are best in hallways, entrances, bathrooms and outside”

MULTI-SIZE TILES ARE LOOKING A LITTLE DATED “With natural stone and porcelains, anything like this – and anything laid with


This beautiful hardwood look from Tile & Flooring Bath will look good whatever the light is doing

wide grout joints too – is already considered a little old hat,” says Mark. “I’d recommend against using ‘sunburst’ colours – such as reds and yellows – too, as they’re so difficult to decorate with.”

“Pale greys, lilacs and other natural tones are especially popular”

BIGGER IS BETTER “Large format porcelain tiles are particularly impressive, both in marble and stone effects,” says Mark. “A 60x60cm tile – considered to be huge just a couple of years ago – is today dwarfed by the sheets of porcelain we now offer in 160x160cm, 120x240cm and even 160x320cm sizes.” SOME PEOPLE LOVE BAMBOO “It’s an interesting product, so quick to regenerate but of questionable durability,” says Mark. “It dents and scratches so easily. We’re constantly looking for ways to lessen our environmental impact, though, and one is through partnering with Kerakoll for our adhesive and grouts: this is often a forgotten requirement within a flooring project, and their eco-philosophy is unparalleled.”

FINALLY (AND INEVITABLY) THE JURY IS STILL OUT ON FITTED CARPETS “They only really remain popular in bedrooms, thanks to our climate,” says Mark, “though carpet stair runners are increasing in popularity, as hard flooring here can be noisy and slippery – especially for pets!” Katya, meanwhile, has been seeing carpets in other application too, and especially in hotel re-designs. “The style, though, is often notably abstract, allowing more ‘air’ into the room,” she says. “Pale greys, lilacs, and other natural tones – plus deeper greens and turquoise colours – are especially popular. The problem with them – unfortunately – is that they don’t last as long as some other flooring options, and unlike handmade traditional rugs, you can’t move them around from one room


to another, or take them with you when moving. (Once you love a rug, it seems to follow you everywhere you go – and some last for generations!)” And for Steve at Bath Contract Flooring, carpets never totally went out of style. “With something like Berber natural loop carpets, there are so many designs available now,” he says, “with modern machines mixing high and low level loops to increase the possibilities. The materials have changed over the years, with more manmade fibres being introduced to the market, but our biggest sellers are still wool mix carpets, which offer warmth and strength and, when fitted with a quality underlay, will really stand the test of time.” n

YOU HAVE BEEN READING Bath Contract Flooring Mandarin Stone Oriental Rugs of Bath Tile & Flooring Bath Virtuoso Flooring



Etons’ Creative Director, Sarah Latham

A name to know


Etons of Bath, that well-known team of period house renovation specialists, is bringing all its expertise to bear on a new range of rugs designed with Georgian homes and hotels specifically in mind – although, wouldn’t you know it, most of them work equally well in a contemporary setting too 118 I BATH LIFE I

arah Latham is Creative Director at Etons of Bath, an interior design outfit with a classical bent well suited to the Georgian and Victorian homes of the area, and where their fabric, lighting and furniture shop has just been boosted by the arrival of a new range of their own rugs, specifically designed for the area’s period homes. “This is the first in a series of collaborations with interiors manufacturers we’ll be doing, the idea being to launch our own small range of products,” Sarah says. “To qualify, these rugs needed to be like no others on the market, the design of each one inspired by a specific component of an original Georgian interior.” As with everything they do, Sarah’s taken inspiration here from the buildings she knows best. “We specifically looked at symbols and elements we thought would translate well,” she says. “Most of them are well-known, and can be seen in many of the beautiful properties we have here in Bath, but some were specifically inspired by the interiors at the Brighton Pavilion – a particularly avant-garde building at the time. Indeed, many of these influences still feel surprisingly contemporary today.” Right now samples can be seen (and touched!) at Etons’ Walcot Street studio, but each rug itself is actually made in India to order. “That way, the designs can be adapted to any size and colour, so they perfectly fit and suit your own interior. They can be hand knotted or hand tufted, or whatever you want.” Rugs hugely predate fitted carpets, of course, and were big news in the potentially chilly great houses of the Georgian era. “The advent of machine-loomed carpets came shortly after

“These rugs needed to be like no others on the market” the end of the Regency Period,” Sarah says, “so it was very rare to see a wall-to-wall rug or carpet back then. For one thing, the Georgians needed to be able to take their carpets outside to beat them – as vacuum cleaners had yet to be invented! Exposed, polished floorboards with large rugs on top became the norm, with many of the most beautiful imported from India and China through the giant trading companies of the time, such as the East India Company.”

opposite page, bottom right: Pineapples star in the Warm Classics range

this page: On Trend and Classic Contemporary rugs, at home in many styles of house

ETONS’ INITIAL SELECTION of four rugs are each designed to appeal to a particular type of client. There’s the Warm Classic – rich colours and patterns, designed to go with classical furniture – and Calm Classic, with a higher and airier colour palate. “And then,” Sarah says, “there’s the Classic Contemporary, suiting those who like to mix classical forms with more contemporary elements, and the Trend Contemporary, which would suit a more cuttingedge interior.” With the Warm Classic designs, in particular, it’s easy to see how inspiration was taken from the Georgian love of the pineapple. “Only the wealthiest of houses could afford to import them, or build the hot house needed to grow these tropical fruits in Britain, and so they became real statement pieces,” Sarah says. “Always on display, and never eaten – they were far too precious for that – they became such an icon of the age that pineapples quickly made their way into the Georgian architectural vernacular. Stone versions can be seen on and in some of Bath’s finest houses and crescents, for instance.” The Calm Classic designs – on the other hand – were inspired by traditional Georgian friezes and ornate panelling, while the Classic Contemporary versions take their inspiration from The Royal Pavilion in Brighton, designed by John Nash for the Prince Regent, George IV. The fanciful interior design there was primarily by Frederick Crace and decorative painter Robert Jones, and the rooms were richly decorated and full of pattern and colour. “We’ve come up with a pared down version of these designs to suit contemporary tastes,” Sarah says, “while with the on-trend Contemporary pieces we’ve looked at the the Greek Key motif, so popular in this period. They’re so fuss-free they suit the minimalist, clutter-free look so sought after in cutting edge interiors.” Prices start at £350+VAT per square metre; for more, I BATH LIFE I 119

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FOR THE HOME Our local businesses are poised and ready to help with all your home needs for spring


Hapticity Architects Ltd provide a bespoke service tailored to each client’s individual needs for all stages of residential construction projects, from feasibility studies to interior packages. Their designs counterbalance contemporary interventions with historic properties, creating exciting spaces for modern living. Tel: 01225 443679/07494 901999;



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



Shuttercraft Somerset provide premium madeto-measure shutters and blinds for your home. Shuttercraft give you the best privacy whilst retaining style with a huge variety of colours and materials to choose from. Price matching available on like for like products from your local expert. Contact your local expert, Simon today. Tel: 01225 459 389;

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



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


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

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

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


Boniti is based on the outskirts of Bath and offers a wide range of quality interior and exterior products: natural stone and timber flooring, Everhot range cookers, garden furniture and Kadai firebowls. As well as the vast selection of products on offer, a friendly and personal service is at the heart of all that they do. Dunsdon Barn, West Littleton,Wiltshire SN14 8JA; Tel: 01225 892 200; I BATH LIFE I 121



“The idea of rocks as travellers blew my mind”

ALYSSON HALLETT You may not know this Bath poet, but you know her words; some of them are carved into Milsom Street When I was growing up we used to visit Bath once a year.

We’d always eat in DiMaggio’s pizza place on Milsom Street – there were no restaurants in the town where I grew up, and pizza was the most exotic and wonderful food I’d ever come across. I can’t walk up Milsom Street now without remembering the excitement I felt as a child. I now live in Southstoke, and love the sense of community here. I work part time for the

Royal Literary Fund, occasionally teach poetry at UWE and Falmouth Art School, and offer mentoring through the Poetry Society in Bath Library.

I was upset recently to discover that the number three bus into Bath had upped its ticket prices

and halved the service at the same time. At this time of year I really like using my Discovery Card to visit the Roman Baths. I go underground and pay my respects to the goddess Minerva, and love


to see the hot water gushing out of the earth and reddening the nearby stones. My first memory of writing poetry is when I was six years old and a teacher asked us to write

poems. I wrote one about a dove. I remember feeling as if the room was flooded with light and that I’d found something I loved. There are so many influences – not least being taken to see Ted Hughes when I was sixteen. I’m not sure I understood anything, but I loved being swept up in a flurry of magic, as if words were like snow that came to make things new again. I love the way the poetry world is opening up now. The punk in

me enjoys a Post-it note poem stuck on a bench as much as one that wins a big prize. Many moons ago Alec Peever approached me and asked if I’d

be interested in writing a poem that could be carved into a Bath pavement. We met for lunch

and talked about life, family, friends, politics – seeing if there was a connection, if it might be possible to work together. I think this is really important when you collaborate with someone – you need to like each other’s work, but you also need to be able to find a thread of friendship, an enjoyment in each other’s company. We’re still working together twenty years later – and I feel incredibly lucky as Alec is a master craftsman, a totally brilliant sculptor and letter carver.

Not long after my paternal grandmother died, she came to me in a dream and told me to climb Cader Idris. I woke up

and thought, there’s no way I’m doing that. Her voice wouldn’t go away though, and so I cancelled work, hired a car, threw a tent in the boot and set off – wondering what on earth I was up to. Halfway up the mountain I came across a huge boulder. It looked really out of place. At that point a man came along and told me that the boulder was an erratic, a rock that had travelled from one place to another in a glacier. I had always thought of rocks as fixed and solid – and the idea of them as travellers blew my mind. I became obsessed, and applied for Arts Council funding – when I was told I’d been successful, The Migration Habits of Stones project was born. If it has a purpose, it’s to create a sense of astonishment in the natural world. I’ve been overwhelmed by the reactions to this work. I’ve yet to

meet someone who isn’t connected with stones in some way. Every one has a story to tell and the work has taken me all over the world. I’ve talked about it at the Geological Society in London; made an audio-diary for Radio 4; and was invited to present the work at the Bellarmine Forum in Los Angeles. The journeys that I make with the migrating stones present different logistical problems.

The most interesting was the one I took to the Isle of Iona in the Inner Hebrides by public transport in a box that I’d had specially made for it. The stone was too heavy to lift on my own, so I had to have help from friends and strangers every step of the way. All the migrating stones that I travel with have been carved by Alec, and they’ve all been washed in water from the Chalice Well in Glastonbury. I’ve been writing forever.

I’ve written a play for Radio 4 (Dear Gerald) and drama for Sky Television. I’ve done a lot of poetry residencies. I was the first poet to be resident in a geography department at Exeter University in Falmouth. I love to collaborate with scientists and was resident in the Lyell Centre at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, working with geologists, recently. I started growing trees when I

was a child; a book I’d been given showed me how to take a seed from a fir cone and put it in soil. The magic of that moment never left me and so I’ve always gathered up acorns, planted them and, when they’re big enough, I give them to my Uncle Bryan and he plants them out on a piece of his land.

I’ve been working with Deborah

Black, a dancer from New York, for several years now. I’ve always been interested in the body, in yoga and chi gung, dancing and butoh, and the ways in which every inch of the body seems to carry memory, awareness and intelligence if you know how to listen. Most recently we ran a poetry and movement workshop for more than 50 people at a Somatics Symposium in Berlin – it was co-organised by Thomas Kampe from Bath Spa Uni. n

Alysson’s latest book, Stone Talks (Triarchy Press), is available now at Mr B’s, and you’ll find her books at Toppings too;;

Articles inside

it’s not just for students LIVES Alysson Hallett, street poet article cover image

it’s not just for students LIVES Alysson Hallett, street poet

pages 122-124
tiling, from oak planks to fi tted carpets (yes, they’re back) THE PERFECT RUG We’re loving these Georgianinspired rugs from Etons of Bath article cover image

tiling, from oak planks to fi tted carpets (yes, they’re back) THE PERFECT RUG We’re loving these Georgianinspired rugs from Etons of Bath

pages 118-121
SHOWCASE Explore this Gatsby-worthy home article cover image

SHOWCASE Explore this Gatsby-worthy home

pages 106-110
HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR NEW FLOOR From sisal to article cover image


pages 112-117
PROPERTY NEWS From rugs to retirement homes, all article cover image

PROPERTY NEWS From rugs to retirement homes, all

page 111
INTRO Welcome to our new bumper property section article cover image

INTRO Welcome to our new bumper property section

page 105
EDITOR’S CHOICE The butterfl y collectors article cover image

EDITOR’S CHOICE The butterfl y collectors

pages 72-89
BATHWORKS Local businessess making the headlines, including an audience with the National Trust article cover image

BATHWORKS Local businessess making the headlines, including an audience with the National Trust

pages 95-104
GARDENS Meet the University of Bath Gardening Club article cover image

GARDENS Meet the University of Bath Gardening Club

pages 90-94
INTRO Don’t leave your jewellery where she can see it article cover image

INTRO Don’t leave your jewellery where she can see it

page 71
RECIPE A fi shy dish from Lucknam’s Hywel Jones article cover image

RECIPE A fi shy dish from Lucknam’s Hywel Jones

pages 67-70
HOWZAT! How Bath Cricket Club is building itself a article cover image

HOWZAT! How Bath Cricket Club is building itself a

pages 54-63
RESTAURANT Do-it-yourself fun at Joya article cover image

RESTAURANT Do-it-yourself fun at Joya

pages 64-66
SPOTLIGHT article cover image


pages 9-13
FILM Lose yourself in these real-life tales article cover image

FILM Lose yourself in these real-life tales

page 53
slow fashion in all its forms FEATURE Fall in love with Lara Mackenzie Lee’s abstract fashion illustrations article cover image

slow fashion in all its forms FEATURE Fall in love with Lara Mackenzie Lee’s abstract fashion illustrations

pages 34-42
WHAT’S ON Theatre, music and some family stuff article cover image

WHAT’S ON Theatre, music and some family stuff

pages 44-50
ARTS INTRO An alternate take on the angry minotaur article cover image

ARTS INTRO An alternate take on the angry minotaur

page 43
BOOKS Tiger-inspired tales from around the world article cover image

BOOKS Tiger-inspired tales from around the world

pages 51-52
SPRING FASHION 2020 This season, we’re embracing article cover image

SPRING FASHION 2020 This season, we’re embracing

pages 26-33
A MAN’S WORLD article cover image


pages 23-25
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