Page 1


ALL the winners, ALL the goss @BathLifeMag


ISSUE 413 / 13 – 27 MARCH 2020 / £3

ISSUE 413 / 13 – 27 MARCH 2020 / NO PAINT, NO GAIN







For more crazy bright Chuck Elliott art, check out page 38 pronto


o, I was queuing up at the bar, and from behind a friend passed over a shot she’d bought me earlier; she’d spilled a bit of it, but there it was. I smirked and necked it, said, ‘She’s trying to kill me,’ then ordered a gin and tonic. Double. Such was life at the Bath Life Awards after party. A few things I discovered: you want to keep a good five feet etween yourself and a dancing ave i on Those little ledges around the edge of Circo might just be wide enough to take a narrow glass, but that doesn’t mean you should place one there. (Someone – perhaps a ailing ave i on is ound to noc it off sooner or later.) Great drinking hole though it is, the loo situation at Circo is barely adequate. That room to the side, full of sofas, is li e T Hayes has anne ed a ortion of the place. And nothing bubbles core personalities to the surface like hard liquor. It’s like the Veritaserum they used on an unconscious Mad-Eye Moody in Harry Potter, revealing him to be actually Barty Crouch Jr. in disguise – but for people’s personalities. uc ily, we re in ath, and in my e erience, at least – most people’s personalities are actually rather lovely. Yes, there’s the odd hothead, but we can cope with those n general, eo le are rela ed, friendly yet hard-working and smart enough to do rather amazing things, no matter what line of work they’re in. I’m always amazed at how many world-class businesses there are

lurking in the corners of these parts, disguised somewhat by Bath’s rep as a sort of Georgian theme-park, but the Bath Life Awards is there each year to put me right. 2020 was no e ce tion, and es ecially e citing ecause so many on the shortlist (and, indeed, the winners) were outfits largely or entirely un nown to me ou can see who they all were and get a avour of the am irco vibe – from page 15, this issue. Also this time around, we’ve taken the shortest (but most rewarding) of road trips to the ever pretty Bradford on Avon – another burg with more going on than may appear apparent on the surface – and met up with some of the most e citing artists currently ainting in these parts. This is always one of our favourite things to do: a picture might cost you hundreds or thousands, but pick the right one and you’ll remember and treasure it for far longer than any fancy new jacket* or ice-making fridge** you might spend similar money on. Plus, we’ve got an amazing house with a slide in it. e ust add a fireman s ole too, and d move heaven and earth to own it. The only problem is, David Flatman also wants it, and he’s bigger (and has deeper pockets) than me… *Not that I’m knocking fancy new jackets, mind. I’m a sucker for them. **I like these too.

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

Issue 413 / 13–27 March 2020 COVER Amazing digital artwork by Chuck Elliot, represented by Modern ArtBuyer;


15 BATH LIFE AWARDS those 2020 celebrations in full 38 LOCAL ARTISTS Meet 12 of the hottest artists on the Bath

scene right now

48 VICTORIA ART GALLERY Step back into 19th century

Monmartre at the VAG’s latest exhibition

THE ARTS 51 52 59 61

ARTS INTRO Meet wildlife sculptor Hamish Mackie WHAT’S ON Theatre, art, music and family stuff BOOKS Travel the world from the safety of your sofa THEATRE A potted history of drama at the dinner table


81 FOOD & DRINK NEWS Catch up with all that’s new and

exciting in Bath’s foodie scene

82 TAKE 5 with Paul Dugdale, boss of Neptune Cafés 84 RESTAURANT Industrial glamour at The Walcot



87 INTRO Something for the young bookworms 88 EDITOR’S CHOICE Mother loving


64 MILL ON THE BRUE Like Lord of the Flies, but fun – and with 70 93 94 122


rather less murder

OUT OF TOWN A day out in Bradford on Avon BEAUTY Debunking the myths of ‘clean’ beauty GARDENS Royally approved LIVES Margaret Heffernan


99 BATHWORKS The local businessess making the headlines


105 PROPERTY INTRO A storage solution that’ll make you feel like

James Bond (with a hangover to match)...



106 SHOWCASE This Frome farmhouse is well worth fighting over 112 PROPERTY NEWS The latest in upgrades, from home accessories to a supermarket in need of a face lift 114 LET’S UP STICKS TO… Marshfield

Editor Matt Bielby Deputy Editor Lydia Tewkesbury Managing Editor Deri Robins Senior Art Editor Andrew Richmond Graphic Design Megan Allison Cover Design Trevor Gilham Editor’s Photo Damon Charles Contributors Nic Bottomley, David Flatman, Wendy Lyne, Paul Marland, Anna O’Callaghan 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 Bath festivals

LET THE FESTIVITIES COMMENCE Hold onto your hats: the full programme for the 2020 Bath Festival has been announced. We can’t even with this year’s treats. FOR BOOK LOVERS: Sadly, not all of the trail is downhill...

Ian McEwan will talk to Simon Mayo about the mix of books and classical music that have defined his creative life; MP David Lammy will lead an important discussion about tribalism and community, subjects he tackles in his new book Tribes; and Neil Gaiman will appear live via Skype to celebrate the centenary of the King of Sci Fi, Ray Bradbury. FOR COMEDY LOVERS:

Marcus Brigstocke eats the tabloids for breakfast in his popular show, Marcus Brigstocke’s Sunday Papers; Adam



n the finale wee end we can loo forward to McFly, Scouting for Girls and KT Tunstall on the Saturday, followed by UB40 featuring Ali Campbell and Astro, Billy Ocean, Fun Lovin’ Criminals and Seth Lakeman on Sunday – and that’s quite aside from the entire festival of musical treats that precedes it. The best part? That the above is only a fraction of what s on offer For more:

Marcus Brigstocke

Fun Lovin’ Criminals


Put those thighs of steel (we know you have them) to good use on a day out in the countryside. The Mendips Lakes and Lumps ride – good name! – is happening on Sunday 14 June, so you’ve got plenty of time to train for the 43-mile course, which traverses the spectacular terrain of the Mendip Hills AONB. It’s all part of the National Trust’s ace Top of the Gorge Festival – and a ticket for the ride comes with entry to that, too. For more:



u ton will ring giggles and sni es during a talk about his emotional new memoir, Ramble Book; and Rachel Parris, the BAFTA-nominated viral star of The Mash Report, will bring her latest show to the city.

David Lammy

Bath on TV


By now you’ll have surely seen McDonald & Dodds, Sunday night s latest murderous offering on T ou might also have s otted them filming around ath last year tarring Tara Gouveia and Jason Watkins in the title roles, the show features a bunch of beautiful Bath locations, including the Abbey Churchyard, Queens Square, Parade Gardens and the Bell Inn. It’s a weird one: sort of stupid, but engaging and entertaining nonetheless. Certain locals, however, weren’t sure about the est ountry accents or the sur rising lac of tra c For more: Tara Gouveia and Jason Watkins as crimefighters McDonald and Dodds I BATH LIFE I 9

SPOTLIGHT Bath Spa is going green

Climate emergency

BE THE CHANGE Bath Spa Uni has joined forces with its Students’ Union leaders to declare a climate emergency. “It means we can set big goals, but also smaller ones so that everyone is a part of it,” says vice-chancellor Professor Sue Rigby. “Sometimes people feel powerless in the face of something so big, but actually everyone ma es a difference all the time t wor s on three levels, ecause we can hel everyone who is a part of our community to change their own behaviours, but we can also cele rate and enhance the wor that the Students’ Union and the University are already doing to address climate change.” You can read the detailed actions the uni and union have ledged to ta e online For more:

Royal High School Bath

The hills are alive with the sound of music. At least, around Royal High School Bath they are. The school has just unveiled its brand-new Steinway Music Centre after a two-year, £2 million refurbishment. Complete with professional standard recording studio, recital room, 10 brand-new Steinway and Sons pianos and top-quality instruments, it’s one of only 29 schools in the UK with Steinway School status, giving students access to world-class masterclasses with top musicians. This significant investment signals oyal High s continued commitment to our talented musicians,” says head Kate Reynolds. “Research suggests that learning a musical instrument aids academic success. Our girls already enefit from the s ecialist s ills of our e cellent teaching staff and now they have a brand-new facility to match.” For more:

You get it – it’s a fun few days

Bath Boules


Director of music Mark Bradbury and head Kate Reynolds with pupils Mathura, Kopikha and Amelie


Team tic ets for the ath oules are set to e released at midday on 25 March. In previous years they’ve sold out in minutes, so be ready when the cloc stri es r ecome a s onsor, for a guaranteed team place.) All proceeds from the event go to local charities, with a staggering £42,587 raised in 2019, while several thousand people and more than com anies turn out for fun in the sun This summer s oules ta e lace une and are set to e even more France tastic than ever efore e un ff Friday is the first of the three days of oules tournaments, with the legendary Friday Night Party that night, too. As the organisers are hoping to raise a record total for local causes, the support of sponsors is vital. n return, they en oy all the wonderful networ ing, randing, team building and do-gooding opportunities involvement brings. Find out more about the event at the free launch at The Francis Hotel, 8am on 17 March, or please contact Nell:






This year as every year, nothing beat being there. Join us for the highlights of this year’s gong show, and we’ll see you in 2021 (our heads should have cleared by then)... I BATH LIFE I 15





ath Life’s 15th annual Awards showcased a city packed with businesses, organisations and individuals at the top of their game, some of them brand new to the city (hello, The Grapes – in its new incarnation, at least) and others long established fixtures and fittings of the place, like Stone King, with a history stretching back to 17-blooming-85. Inevitably, some categories were more keenly contested than others – though none were a shoein for anyone – and though you could perhaps quibble about this winner or that, it’s hard to deny that the overall list of finalists and gong-grabbers shows a city in rude health, despite all the travails today’s uncomfortably volatile world may throw at it. For many who attended, memories of the night remain strong early on, becoming less so as things wore on – though at least most of us remembered to take ourselves and everything we own home at the end. Most of us, but not all – see page 33 for proof of that. Highlights, though, included the indefatigable David Flatman hosting solo for the first time, and taking it utterly in his stride – and



some stride it is, too (he got through the whole ceremony a good half an hour quicker than might normally be the case). Then there were all the inevitable shenanigans with people posing outrageously draped over the big Bath Life letters (and each other), or in the Freestyle Designs Cover Star photo booth – and some slightly less inevitable shenanigans involving a stray cork and a very expensive chandelier. Finally, a good showing made it to the Circo after party, as messy and as fun as you like – though the morning that followed was, we’re sorry to say, slightly less fun for some of us. At this point in our summing-up of the evening, we’re contractually obliged to include a few key words – ‘uberglam’, ‘nothing beats being there’, ‘Bath is the winner, always’ – and point out the simple but irrefutable fact that everyone involved (the sponsors, the judges, the partners, and all who fed, entertained, filmed, photographed and supported us) is bloody ace. Over the years, the Bath Life Awards have grown exponentially in terms of size and ambition, but retain their key qualities. Inclusive, surprising, good-natured yet competitive, they celebrate a city that does the little things well (creating endless excellent opportunities to grab a coffee or take a yoga class, say) as well as competes, surprisingly often, on the national and international stage. To the 15th, then. And roll on the Sweet 16th Bath Life Awards, doubtless bigger and better than ever. As this (and every) issue of Bath Life can attest, people are doing incredible things in this burg each and every month, and we should celebrate all of them. Picking which ones deserve an Award, though… Now that’s the tricky bit. Jane, Greg, Matt, Pat and the Bath Life team MEDIACLASH.CO.UK I BATH LIFE I 37 17







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All decisions about these awards are made by a panel of impeccably independent judges, chosen afresh each year from every area of Bath business life. Many different businesses types and sizes are represented, and individual judges leave the room each time a category directly relevant to them is discussed. With a record number of nominations, the decisions each year are harder than ever.

Lizzie Heffer Matthew Weaver Director of Company chairman, marketing, Thrings Tile & Flooring Bath

Rosa Park Co-founder and editor in chief, Cereal

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Tarquin McDonald Chief executive, Bath Rugby I BATH LIFE I 25

AWARDS 2020 Bex Thibault and Lucy Stone


Ashley Hill and Dan Rosser

Abi Constanza, Kelly Evans, Katie Cofferon, Francesca Randese and Julia Harrison

Heather Kilbane, Aaron CollinsThomas, Olivia Evans-McCaffery, Alex Miller, Charlotte Watts, Tim Whelehan and Rosie Grant

The beautiful entrance arch, decorated with magazine covers of yore Did you pose with the Bath Life letters?

Carole Banwell James Portman


Alison McDowall, Sophie Clifford-Sanghad and Libby Windle

Becky Bendell and Oli Hudson

Harriet Barber, Sam Barber, Thomas Dobbin and Tash Collins

Bryn Jones

We did eat as well as drink, honest Bath Carnival Team

David Flatman and Kate Herbert Helen Mulloy-Reid

Emma Rose and John Rose

Helen Rich and Victoria Gray I BATH LIFE I 27

Martha Heather

Sarah Moon and Lynne Fearnequest

Jamie Butt and Bob Irwin

Mason Pollock and Benoit Cuvier

Josef Karthauser Number Three Team

Jo Stoaling and Lucy Beattie Pauline Croft, David Maxwell and Beth Denny


Jo Crosse and Luke Taylor


Kartini Sutoto

Nickie Portman and Kelly-Marie Hawker-Hicks

Stacey Cooper, Mary Stringer and Helen Bedser

Nathan Baranowski

Luke Nix, Luke Taylor and Tom Wyatt Georgina McLaren

Kat Dawe Schmeisser and Lotta Levänen

Richard Campbell, Tessa Campbell, Kristie Keyse and Milly Jackason Stephanie Wilder and Ben Wilder

Becky Pocock I BATH LIFE I 29



Kalvin Simmons and Sam Short

Abi Constanza Alice O’Mahony and Tim Rutherford

Ashley Hill, Brad Matthews, Dan Rosser and Lisa Rosser Harriet Barber and Thomas Dobbin

Carole Banwell, Martin Buckland and Kartini Sutoto

Benoit Cuvier I BATH LIFE I 31


Nathan Baranowski and Georgina McLaren

Dave Dixon

Simon Davis, Jamie Barrow and Michael Musgrave

Olly Meyer and Greg Harris Kalvin Simmons and Bradley Bailey

A sign of a heavy night... looking at you Bath Bespoke

Bradley Bailey, Kalvin Simmons, Milly Jackson and Kristie Keyse

Tessa Campbell and Richard Campbell I BATH LIFE I 33

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Slide rules

In which David Flatman discovers that what goes down must come back up again, except not quite so easily



“I’m just not consistently fun enough in the morning to slide downstairs”

he house in this magazine with the slide in it – I want it. I want it badly. So badly that m actually finding my own desires unattractive. The thing is, the slide thing doesn’t work for me. The slide is like a Scalextric in that it will arrive to widespread oohs and verbal applause, but it will be used no more than 17 times in its life. I’m just not consistently fun enough in the morning to slide downstairs instead of walk, and when I’m legging it back up to grab the bloody iPhone charger that one sociopath or another has pinched and dropped, I’m just not feeling slidey. The kids would love it, but, again, only a maximum of 17 times. Anyway, I’ll take the house. I think a lot about my next house and, despite not knowing where or what it is, I regularly consider how completely I might kit it out. I probably won’t have a slide in case it accidentally injures my mother, but I will have an instant boiling water tap. I don’t want (to pay for) a swimming pool, but I will quickly install a warm outside tap for muddy dogs and children. Trust me, it’s genius. I won’t have one of those swingy, suspended chairs that look so cool but I reckon are near on impossible to actually climb in/onto, but I will have a love seat that, while designed for cuddles, will become my televisual throne. I plan to have two dishwashers, both because one isn’t ever quite enough, and so that when I open one and it s full of clean stuff, can simply load number two and leave the unloading of number one to someone more conscientious, thereby perpetuating the classic passive aggressive dishwasher

dynamic being tiptoed around in households the world over. My robot mowers (Coco and Cous Cous) will sort the lawn, and my Wi-Fi controlled grill will sort the protein. I don’t want or need some mega tech TV setup, but I would li e to offer Tim Moss of Moss of Bath the chance to express himself through screens and speakers. Oh, and I’d like to make a section of my kitchen worktop a wireless charging pad for my 358 Apple devices. This is all a little scattergun, I grant you, but I’m thinking of cool stuff as go along n unnecessarily swan y and la our intensive coffee machine is standard, obviously, and I’d like an extractor fan that actually extracts. And what about one of those steamer things for creased clothes? Yeah, why not. Anyway, that’s a start. All I need now is a building and I can begin gadget hunting. The main thing, really, is a fire lace or a stove that can urn logs. Some people say that a cat makes a house a home, but I’ve never really bought that. A cat makes the sofa hairy and makes me snee e and ares u my asthma I’m more into log burners. You see, some folks don’t like cats, but no folks dislike log burners. I’m not entirely sure where these words have come from, but it has felt cathartic. And I think said catharsis might have been inspired by the slide. Maybe I am fun enough to have one at home. Or maybe I’ll just get a lift instead. Now that’s cool... 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 37



There’s power in art: the right art. Each of the dozen painters* on the following pages – and the stories behind them – has the power to enhance the quality of your life. All you have to do is uild confidence in your own ersonal taste, decide what you love, and then re are to give it wall s ace


By Paul Marland

rancis Bacon once said that we can’t know if a work of art is a master iece or not until years later ell, may e tastes certainly change, and the guy all the museums praise to high heaven this year may well be forgotten y , ust as the o scure woman living hand-to-mouth and painting in a Corsham garage may suddenly be discovered decades after her death. The entire Impressionist movement was broadly panned by contemporary art writers as little more than a blurry bastardisation of realism in the late s, which shows ust how hard it can e to get things totally right in real time. hat we can e sure a out, though, is what we actually like. Here are a few artists who’ve recently caught our eye, some local and others represented – sometimes exclusively – by local galleries ill we love them all in years time, or even five t s hard to now hat we do now is, in one way or another they re s ea ing to us now


“It should at least speak of and about its own time”

huc s wor hovers etween traditional rint ma ing, contem orary a stract hotogra hy, and the digital realm he draws from scratch – initially by hand but later on screen – before creating his large format, laser e osed ty e hotogra hic rints ecently he s started e erimenting with in ed editions on a er, an interesting counterpoint to camera-less photographic printmaking. ns irations They come from music, architecture, design and nature, and are articularly informed y the th century wor s of aum a o, en o iano, andins y, ridget iley and even the fashion la el Missoni he also says you can see his love of maths in them, es ecially the way it defines the natural world around us ac in , used the very first le Mac com uter to e im orted into the , he says t resonates to this day, and decided then to use digital tools to draw my wor , as o osed to the more


traditional media I was being trained to use. You could characterise this, erha s, as the difference etween roc music and electronica For huc , the digital offers a host of revolutionary o tions ou can draw, colour and model and then refine, edit and remi to arrive at images that sim ly weren t ossi le to create efore, he says li e the idea that the wor is made using contem orary tools, and love the a ility it gives me to fine tune and nuance things f art is a out anything at all – and that is debatable – it should at least speak of and a out its own time huc did his foundation in at Filton, then enrolled at the old Hornsey College of Art in ondon in he o ened his own studio on reat Marl orough treet in oho, later moving to Clerkenwell and then Greek Street. n , though, he returned to ristol, and is now re resented y Modern rt uyer, essica loyd mith s online gallery ased ust outside Bath. “I increasingly see studio practice as a kind of research environment in which new ideas can e tested, racticed, and ho efully resolved, huc says The artwor s therefore ecome way mar ers, oints along a ath eing defined y the ourney For huc , the ig uestions at the moment all revolve around the climate crisis and how to res ond to it, oth ersonally and through his wor hen we s o e he d ust come ac from the ig reta Thun erg demo in ristol he s a true hero, and m een to wor some of that thin ing into new ieces, he says m not sure e actly how it will manifest, ut ultimately thin it s going to ecome an unavoida le issue for all of us, and it seems right that my ractice should evolve to encompass and consider some of the core issues surrounding sustaina ility over the coming decade *We’re calling them ‘painters’; you could argue the toss as to whether they all actually are

Chuck uses digital tools to create works like this one, called Flow I BATH LIFE I 39


Emma paints landscapes – “sky, sea, nature and memory are the inspirational core,” she says – drawing on past travels, the things she reads and listens to, and what she observes day-to-day. She’s developed her own technique, using India inks and acrylics – along with metallic leaf – in layer after layer after layer. “Being a daydreamer with an exotic imagination as a child really hel ed, she says ver the years, increasing confidence has infused my work with more colour and depth. I try to put a huge amount of joy into my work, which people respond to; indeed, it appeals to both men and women, which is quite unusual. What really matters is that people fall in love with a piece, and it brings me such delight when they write to tell me so.” One such fan? Only Jane Garvey of Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, who was in touch with fond comments just recently. mma was chuffed to its to e chosen to create two enormous paintings for a multimillion pound house in London’s Belgravia – one for the drawing room, another for the ballroom-cumswimming pool – and here in Bath recently came up with four aintings for ersfield s ansdown uare est develo ment too Increasingly producing work to commission, her latest is a large piece for an architect designed house in London’s Holland Park. Inspired by Turner, it ties in with the grey and dark blue decor. “It was a challenge to hold back on the wild colour, but I’ve enjoyed the process enormously – and the couple are over the moon.” ac in the day mma used to wor in theatre, film and hotogra hy in London, only taking up art seriously when she moved to Wellow and met the man she was to marry. “That’s when I had the headspace to think about what my destiny truly was, and a career that has snowballed into a full time obsession,” she says. “I still have a school report, age four, which says I love ‘painting and Wendy House play’ – which is effectively what still love today

“Sky, sea, nature and memory are the inspirational core”

An evocative and atmospheric seascape by Emma Rose


This work, B is for Bitch, illustrated David Sedaris’s essay on the unsayable


At Andy’s Fivebargate Design & Illustration Studio just outside Bath, he works up his pencil-and-paper designs in Adobe Illustrator and n esign, ta ing in uence from the li es of nglish oster artist Tom Eckersley, abstract artist Victor Pasmore, Royal Academy artist William Scott, the Italians Bruno Munari and Enzo Mari, and the LA-based eoff McFetridge nd, of course, nstagram rovides incredi le access to talent across the world,” Andy says. Career highlights include recent work with the new Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases in Bath and the Evelina Children’s Hospital in London, plus the children’s books he wrote and illustrated for Edizioni Corraini in Italy and Princeton Press in New York. Guardian readers may have spotted a recent illustration for a David Sedaris article in the Weekend magazine too. “I tend to use bold colour, shape and line to convey ideas instantaneously,” Andy says, “and my work is often underpinned by a general tone of light-heartedness. I look for an alternative take, an unlikely way to tell the story. I veer more towards the abstract than the literal and what really matters, what’s essential to my process, is seeking out the ‘eureka moment’ when everything falls into place and the idea resonates. Most recently, for instance, I was commissioned to interpret a spaniel, but ended up doing three. It’s a great feeling to surprise the client and give them more than they expect. Next up, a series of collie dogs…” v a at mat m

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Looking at her work, it’s little surprise to hear that one of Joanna’s big interests is wildlife conservation; interior design, her other great passion, is a little less obvious. “My degree was in Wildlife Illustration and Design,” she says, “and I’m always trying to do something fresh with composition or use of colour, while keeping an element of realism in my paintings.” After working as a book illustrator for ten years, she opened a gallery in Marl orough in her current one is in evi es , filling it with her own paintings of British wildlife and (eventually) beasts from further afield, ut it was her ictures of the ritish rown hare that fired people’s imagination and it has underpinned her work for the last 20 years. (In the early days she’d sell them for £1,500, but now they can reach up to £15,000.) By 2006 she was being asked to talk about her work on the BBC’s Springwatch, and the following year she sold seven pieces to Raymond Blanc for his hotel Le Manoir Les Quat’Saisons. Other fans include actress and wildlife conservationist Rula Lenska and Sir David Attenborough, who called her very first hare ainting s ectacular Joanna uses an airbrush to build up background detail, then paints over the top of that using acrylic and gouache to give a sort of hyperrealism, ta ing in uence from l recht urer s famous watercolour oung Hare of , and classic children s oo s li e The Tyger Voyage, Allan Aldridge’s tt fl a and the Grasshopper’s Feast, and Kit Williams’ treasure hunt book, Masquerade. This last has been the inspiration behind her own treasure hunt book, The Hare on the Moon, which she’s written and illustrated. It’s the mystical story of a hare that wants to come down from its image on the moon and, to do so, works with the man in the moon –“ who loves the hare,” Joanna says, “and is very wise to release the s ell, decode the stars and find treasure y going to famous landmarks in Oxfordshire, Wiltshire and Somerset. It’s part puzzle, part conservation project (Joanna hopes to make enough money from it to support our wildlife), and part encouragement to visit the West Country’s famous heritage sites.

“The work is often very dynamic and m ti na

Jenny lets her emotions guide her to create abstract pieces


“I spend a lot of time looking and absorbing, whether it’s a landscape, seascape, still life or person, but make very few – if any – sketches,” Jenny says. “I just trust my mind to take in what it sees and, somehow, convert it into something on canvas. It means the work is often very dynamic and emotional, but not very structured – and I never know what’s going to come out!” Indeed, she often starts a piece with almost no thought as to what it will be – sometimes all she has is an idea of the colours she’ll use, the rough composition, or, she says, “a vague memory of a time I spent on a beach somewhere gorgeous. I do a lot of fairly abstract seascapes, but I also love painting portraits of characters from old photographs that I’ve found – Victorian criminal mugshots are a passion!” Originally an art collector herself, Jenny became gripped by a passion to paint a few years ago, and hasn’t stopped since, taking encouragement from Michelle Aitken of Bath’s Verve Living – who went on to sell a lot of her work. She works in oils – “for the way they let you manipulate the paint around continuously” – with knives and rags, rarely brushes, and often on canvasses so large they’re hard to transport. “My heroes are the abstract expressionists, and Joan Mitchell is the best of the bunch in my opinion,” she says. “They painted from their hearts and their guts, with little regard for what anyone thought, would like – or whether it was a realistic depiction. I love all artists that try to make you feel something – why else would you want something on your wall?”

Joanna May creates arresting animal portraits. Look at those eyes... I BATH LIFE I 43


In another life, Lynn was a well known magazine publisher – in ondon and then at Future in ath efore giving it u to ecome first a freelance garden photographer, and then a painter. “My memories as a child are of longing for art lessons in school,” she says. “If I look at a scene, whether it s a landsca e or owers in a garden, and something catches my imagination, the only way to deal with it is to paint it! It’s usually a combination of lovely light, colours and shapes, which I paint from memory in my studio. I mainly use oil, and now I’m using acrylics and mixed media too. My style has become more relaxed, more gestural over the years, and I’m now working on abstraction. I love to take risks – and though I’ve ruined a few paintings, I think I’ve made better ones as a result!” It was around 2014 that Lynn really started to receive recognition, being shortlisted by the Royal West of England Academy several times and in 2016 by The Royal Society of Marine Artists; she now has collectors as far afield as orth merica and uro e These days she lives and works in Frome, spending time down in Cornwall as she can – “in winter it is really special; I come away and can’t stop painting the sea” – and attending workshops at St Ives School of Painting.


Trudy loves energy and a bold colour, her abstract paintings drawing inspiration from her meditations as much as her travels. She sees them as dreamscapes, drawn from a meditative state of action – “a nonthinking place,” she says – and uses the expressive possibilities of paint to convey in the abstract what she says is so often inaccessible via words. “I’m especially concerned with our relationship with the land,” says Trudy, another artist represented by Modern ArtBuyer. “My tendency towards scale and colour is in uenced y the light and s ace of California, where I lived for 14 years, and the wild coastal landscape of West Cornwall, where I now live. What happens when you stand in front of a vast area of Yves Klein blue or a sea of coral pink? We know that each colour has a frequency, is energy vibrating; there’s so much to explore.”


ABOVE: Lynn paints from memory in the studio; BELOW: Trudy Montgomery uses bold

colour to illustrate her experience of travel and meditation


Christina spent the early part of her childhood on a houseboat in the San Francisco Bay. “My earliest memories are of light bouncing off the glassy surface all around us, and rippling on the ceiling and walls of my room,” she says. “I think of painting as framing light, like sunlight touching a green hill framed by the almost black of storm clouds behind. I hope to get the contrast just right, to give an impression of light fighting its way to the eye. I am inspired by wild weather systems, storm clouds, rain and wind, by big skies and miles of views.” You’ll find her work at Waller & Wood on Abbey Green. Another one who’s never sure at the beginning of a painting quite where it is going, Christina feels the work has become more overtly personal since the recent uncontrollable wildfires in Sonoma near San Francisco, where her American family live. “I watched in helpless horror as the fires moved closer and closer to the homes of the people I love most,” she says. “It has brought home to me how precariously balanced we are, with environmental disasters unfolding all around us. Do we feel a sense of urgency in our connection to particular place? I feel a sharpening of the longing for ‘home’, and I know that is coming out in my paintings.”;

“My goal is to find, not make, a painting”


ABOVE: Storm III by Christina Romero Cross;

BELOW: James Lynch uses ancient techniques for his landscapes

A self taught painter from Devizes, James uses the ancient medium of egg tempera, which brings a wonderful glow to his work. “His mother was a glider pilot, and he paraglides, which gives a unique perspective to many of his paintings of birds and the sky,” says John Parker of The John Parker Gallery in Corsham, the only place to sell his limited edition prints. “James says that the Wiltshire Downs are in his blood.”

Trudy was born in Bristol, went to Kingswood School in Bath and the University of Exeter, and – after a brief career in the City – left London for Silicon Valley during the dot com boom. But after ten years in San Francisco, and four in LA, she found herself taking as many classes in art history and studio arts as she could. “My mother is an artist, and it’s in my blood,” she says. “I learned I have a good visual memory, and set up an art advisory company, helping collectors source art from galleries, dealers and artists’ studios. Finally, age 34, I gave myself permission to pick up a paint brush. At first I made a lot of bad paintings – but it was the most challenging thing I’d ever done.” By 2009 she was painting full-time, exhibiting in California and London, and kept it up when she moved back to England to get married, living first in Bradford on Avon and more recently Cornwall, but maintaining links with Bath as so much family is nearby. She starts each day with yoga or meditation, finding in it a quietness which directs her work. “My goal is to be in a state of deep receptivity as I mix my palette and interact with the canvas,” Trudy says, “letting intuition guide each decision: colour, the selection of a brush, the intensity with which to execute a gesture upon the canvas. Beginning sketches are quickly abandoned – I’m not trying to replicate the landscape exactly, but capture the essence of place. My goal is to find, not make, a painting.”; I BATH LIFE I 45


Photographer and artist Miles Cantelou recently relocated to Bradford on Avon from London, but his work has taken him all over the world; of late, he often finds himself roducing commissions for interior designers in London and America. You can buy limited editions of his work at Miles Cantelou Creative Arts and Design on Market Street, where he creates most of his artwork weekdays and opens to the public at weekends. For the March exhibition, Las Sevillanas, the theme is the passion of Flamenco in southern Spain; it begins on Saturday, 7 March and continues every weekend from 11am-4pm.


“I create celestial designs which I apply to various surfaces,” says Sonya Rothwell, who runs Gallery Beautiful, a specialist in interiors as well as art, and part of an umbrella charity, Temple Beautiful, helping small sustaina le s ma e a ig difference to de rived children i e

space, my creations expand in all directions, from the canvas onto cushions, fabric, wallpaper, lampshades, throws, furniture, scarves, ties and vintage clothes, blurring the boundaries of art and design. Like galaxies, each work is made up of interconnected canvases – individual parts of the whole, intended to scatter like stars across our sphere.” Her process is very physical and paint-splattered. or ing on the oor in the ow , my hands move uic ly around the canvas, smearing, smudging, dripping and splattering, as melding pools of iridescent colour alchemically paint themselves,” Sonya says. “Created in just one session, my ethereal oils retain a freshness, immediacy and magic – once the spell is broken the work is complete.”

“Like space, my creations expand in all directions”

ABOVE: Flamenco is the theme of Miles Cantelou’s latest exhibition; RIGHT: Sonya Rothwell, surrounded by the inevitable artful mess




Sometimes the world feels at its most exciting and dangerous, and so it was in the Montmartre of the late 1800s – celebrated in a new exhibition at the VAG – where Henri de ToulouseLautrec painted showgirls and prostitutes, became Paris’s premier poster artist, and captured a world of colour and movement and dazzling new technical effects


ou might think of Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa – French painter, illustrator, print-maker and caricaturist of the wild and theatrical Paris of the late 19th century, so intimately linked with brothels, absinthe and the Moulin ouge as a somewhat tragic figure, dead of alcoholism and syphilis at 36 with less than 20 years as an artist behind him. But look at his work and all you can think of is life, glorious, messy, romantic life. There’s a major exhibition of his work, and that of his contemporaries at the twin births of printmaking and nightlife culture, on right now at the Victoria Art Gallery in the Guildhall on Bridge Street. “At the heart of the show are 86 full colour large-scale posters from the 1890s by Toulouse-Lautrec, Alphonse Mucha and their contemporaries, who all hung out in Montmartre,” says gallery manager Jon Benington. “These classic images were the street art of the day, posted up on billboards around Paris with a life expectancy of just a few weeks. That they have survived 130 years is nothing short of remarkable. They advertise all sorts of things, but with an emphasis on the music halls stars of the period who performed at venues such as the Moulin Rouge. Some of them even


commissioned the artists direct to handle their publicity – and generally they were pleased with the results. However, Lautrec’s tendency towards caricature did not always find favour Unlike most of his fellows, Lautrec actually came from a noble family, but because of his disability found greater tolerance amongst the hedonistic performers of Montmartre than he did with his own kind. “Montmartre at the time had a reputation for lawlessness and sleaze,” says Jon. “It was like France’s Wild West, and the authorities were scared to touch it. As a consequence, rent was cheap and the art here was forever pushing at the boundaries of what polite society considered acceptable.” From childhood Lautrec drew like an angel, ut his arents were first cousins, and he d inherited genetic abnormalities: most notably, his legs ceased growing after he broke both femur bones in separate, minor accidents during his adolescence. As an adult, he had a normally proportioned upper body but the stu y legs of a dwarf, arely reaching five feet and wal ing with great di culty “Luckily his mother, a countess, encouraged his artistic aspirations,” Jon says, “and he moved with her from Albi to Paris to study art as a teenager. At the studio of Fernand Cormon he met Vincent Van Gogh and other progressive young artists, and when he came of age in 1886 he too his first studio in Montmartre uring his year career, latterly lighted y alcohol and sy hilis, he created , aintings, , drawings and 360 prints – a truly prodigious output.” The other artists in this exhibition – Mucha, Steinlen, Bonnard, Vallotton and Ibels – shared Lautrec’s love of bright colours and bold designs, a look that owed much to the contemporary craze for Japanese woodblock prints. “Collectively, these artists realised that their creations had to make sense as two-dimensional compositions that would have an impact when viewed from a distance,” Jon says. “They were basically at the forefront of the world of design, lending their cutting edge skills to what we would describe today as commercial art.” Bath is having a bit of an artistic moment right now, what with Grayson Perry: The Pre-Therapy Years at the Holburne Museum and Toulouse-Lautrec here. “We’re very pleased to be topping and tailing Great Pulteney Street with the Holburne just now,” Jon says, “and I’m convinced many of our visitors are making a day of it by visiting both shows, one after the other. Hopefully the current Victoria-Holburne combo will sew seeds for future collaborations.” Toulouse-Lautrec and the Masters of Montmartre runs until 26 May; for more,

“Look at his work and all you can think of is life, glorious, messy, romantic life”

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Jane Avril, a top performer and one of Lautrec’s lifelong friends; Théophile Steinlen’s iconic Chat Noir tour poster; another Lautrec advert for a Jane Avril show


Once you’ve seen ToulouseLautrec, try these… GRAYSON PERRY: THE PRE-THERAPY YEARS Holburne Museum, Great Pulteney Street Rarely seen ceramic pieces from one of the best-known, most loved of current British artists’ first decade or so, simultaneously charming and shocking and bringing the Holburne a new national (and international) profile. Runs until 25 May; SLOW PAINTING The Edge, University of Bath 19 artists in a myriad of styles, from figuration to abstraction, bring a muchneeded counterbalance to the fastaccelerating digital world; this Hayward gallery touring exhibition asks you to slow down, perhaps even switch off, and take time for yourself. Runs 10 April – 6 June; I BATH LIFE I 49

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Jenny Cowderoy Fine Artist – Statement Pieces for your Home

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HEAR ME ROAR “It is close observation of my subject’s behaviour that really brings my pieces to life. I want to convey a sense of character, their spirit,” says Hamish Mackie, whose work you can see at uc nam ar This determines how handle my material in a loose uid manner or in a tighter, more controlled way; with large sweeping strokes, or with smaller detail. A sculpture should have its own power. I want the viewer to feel an emotional response.” Wildlife sculptor Hamish has travelled the world, getting up close and personal with his su ects His scul tures ca ture instinctive moments the ic of an ear or the wrin ling of the nose – that hold the grace and strength of the creatures that are their inspiration. Like this lioness: she emanates calm, power and a regal charm that says she could bite your head off if she wanted to ut, generally s ea ing, she s a ove that sort of drama Life in Bronze; 11 March – 11 April; Lucknam Park; I BATH LIFE I 51


13 March – 12 April

Everyone's favourite rock and roll musical is coming to Bath. Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story is on at the Theatre Royal soon

EXHIBITIONS 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 back 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 others from the so in uential arisian street art era; we’ve more on this on page 48. Mon-Sun, 10.30am-5pm; £6; Victoria Art Gallery;

24 March – 5 April

SPRING POP UP GALLERY Jessica Lloyd-Smith has curated a new selection of pieces for Modern ArtBuyer’s latest pop up exhibition. There’ll be a good selection of limited edition prints, original paintings and works on paper in a mix of price ranges. Works from sought-after printmakers Maria Rivans, Bonnie and Clyde, Victoria Topping and Paul Minott will be on show alongside paintings by Caroline Hall, Mark Jassett and Paul Bennett, amongst others. Mon-Sat, 10am-6pm, Sun 11am-4pm; Milsom Place;

10 April – 6 June

SLOW PAINTING Martin Herbert has curated an exhibition of paintings that celebrate the act itself. You know, sitting down and casually painting for a few hours

– distraction-free – or enjoying art in the same relaxed way. The entire collection is an ode to living slowly. Tues-Sat, 11am-5pm; The Andrew Brownsword Gallery, The Edge;

PLAYS/SHOWS 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 old hit 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 Wed and Sat 2.30pm; various prices; Theatre Royal;

WHAT’S ON 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 much like to see his offs ring ta e on Doors 7pm, show starts 8pm; £25; The Forum;

23–28 March

WHAT’S IN A NAME? startling a y name decision s ar s a fight that uic ly s ins hysterically out of control. This roduction, starring oe Thomas of The Inbetweeners fame, shows what can happen when the gloves really come off Mon-Sat 7.30pm, matinee Wed and Sat 2.30pm; various prices; Theatre Royal;


ABOVE: Parents and kids alike will be rolling with laughter at The Mighty Kids Beatbox Comedy Show LEFT: Catch one of Alan Parker’s final appearances at The Rondo BELOW: This piece by Gareth Cadwallader is one of many slices of ‘slow art’ on display at The Edge in April

24–28 March

THE MEMORY OF WATER Three sisters come together on the day of their mother’s funeral in this lay y helagh te henson n livier ward winner for best comedy back in 2000, this is a piece that strips away the strain and tension leaving only what s important left on display. 7.30pm; £14.50 (£12.50 conc); Mission Theatre;

30 March – 4 April

BUDDY: THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY This est nd hit it s een going since 1989, incrediby – has to be one of the most successful rock and roll musicals out there. Packed with hits like That’ll Be The Day, Oh Boy, Raining In My Heart and Shout, you’ll be dancing in your seat for sure Various times and prices; Theatre Royal;

2 April

THE VIVIENNE AND BAGA CHIPZ SHOW RuPaul’s Drag Race victor The ivienne, and audience favourite aga hi , are ringing their all singing, all dancing minute show to the city. Oh, and it’ll also include im ressions Trum inevita ly makes an appearance) and comedy too. What a treat. 7.30pm; £20; Komedia;

9 April


omedian imon Munnery is re rising his character lan ar er, the bedsit anarchist who took the comedy world by storm back in the s nown for ondon houting, which he made with Graham Linehan and Stewart Lee, as well as lan s regular NME column, we’re glad to see him ac out on the road 8pm; £14; Rondo Theatre;

MUSIC 19 March

BOO HEWERDINE A Boo Hewerdine performance is an ode to the art of simplicity: a man, his guitar and a single colla orator anish multi instrumentalist ustaf ungren He s touring his latest album, Before, conceived in a ust efore re it uro e in turmoil Doors 7.30, show starts 8pm; £12; Chapel Arts;

20 March

FISH Fish is ma ing a ittersweet return to stages this year to say good ye The veteran musician and one time Marillion frontman is closing out his long solo career touring his final album, Weltshmerz – which is set to e released e actly years after the de ut of his first solo record 7pm; £38.50; Cheese & Grain, Frome;

20 March

JOHN LAW’S RENAISSANCE Ambient minimalist music played over electronic loo s of sacred vocal scores paired with synchronised and e ressive light art that s what com oser ohn aw, sa o honist on loyd and visual artist atric unn have coo ed u for this uni ue evening s entertainment 7.30pm; £15; The Holburne;

21 March

RUTTER’S REQUIEM The niversity of ath ham er hoir will erform the iece alongside a unch of other s ring choral classics multi layered ut ultimately optimistic selection of music, it’s an atmospheric way to ic off the s ring 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 I BATH LIFE I 53


JAHMÉNE After rising to fame on The X Factor back in 2012, Jahméne has 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 si concerts to hel celebrate. A series of performances that demonstrate the fullness of the great man’s works, it provides an aural narrative of a truly spectacular career. The celebrations will continue with three more concerts during the Bath Festival in May, too. Times and prices vary; The Guildhall;

5 April

TRUE STRAYS Counting Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Alabama Shakes among their in uences, True tays craft good old American rock concerned with perennial UK issues: zero hour contracts, the travails of the NHS, the mental health epidemic and climate chaos. 1pm; The Bell Inn;

8 April

BETHLEHEM CASUALS The psychedelic jazz-pop septet are touring their brand new madcap concept record The Tragedy of Street Dog, about a canine protagonist (‘Street Dog) embarking on a quest to rediscover the music of Manchester. Doors 8.30pm; The Bell Inn;


WHITNEY: QUEEN OF THE NIGHT Celebrate the life and songs of one of the greatest singers of our time. This outstanding tribute has just come off of a highly acclaimed est End run with Elesha Paul Moses in the title role. Doors 7pm, show starts 7.30pm; £26; The Forum;

FAMILY 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 aw he can t control his tem er 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-careful-what-youwish-for tale regardless. 6pm; £6; Waterstones;


21 March

16 April

ABOVE: Dance away your problems with some good old fashioned rock ’n’ roll from True Strays LEFT: The lush Bon Bon by Maria RIvans will be on display at the Spring Pop Up Gallery in Milsom Place BELOW: Pay your respects to the queen at Whitney: Queen of the Night

26 March

EVENTS OF WONDER: LOU ABERCROMBIE BOOK LAUNCH Fig Fitzherbert is a talented kid. She can play the piano, and even knows advanced mathematics. But somehow, it’s still never enough for her mum, who sets her an impossible task every year. This year though, Fig has decided to take back the power and set her own challenge: she’s going to swim around the world. 6pm; Waterstones;

4–5 April

BONHOMME Bonhomme is made out of mud and powered by thoughts: like, what makes a good person? Immersive and participatory, this philosophical piece by What’s Coming Out of the Box blends story-telling, object theatre and live music. 11.30am and 3pm; various prices; the egg;

11 April

JARRED CHRISTMAS & HOBBIT: THE MIGHTY KIDS BEATBOX COMEDY SHOW Basically all you ever wanted was for the worlds of comedy and beat


everyone was ready to throw in the towel. The South has changed formation somewhat over the years, with various members coming and going. 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. 8pm; £23.50; Cheese & Grain, Frome;

WHAT’S ON boxing to combine, right? Jarred and Hobbit have got you covered. Watch the CBBC star and world champion beat boxer making mind-blowing but, more importantly, funny music. 2pm; £8; Rondo Theatre;

OTHER 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 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 major companies including Farrow & Ball, Canon, and even the BBC. 6-7.30pm; £15; The Gainsborough Bath Spa;

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 some comic books too. 10am-4.30pm; various prices; The Pavilion;

29 March

ONLY FOOLS AND BOYCIE John Challis of Only Fools and Horses is coming y omedia 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;

29 March

FELLINI’S 8½ must for film nerds, this semi autobiographical work about creative block is considered one of the great movies about movie making – Martin Scorsese apparently watches it religiously once every year. 2.30pm; £8; The Little Theatre;

30 March – 19 April

BATH COMEDY FESTIVAL We could all use a bit of a boost at this point in the year, something to make us feel a bit better despite the never-ceasing rain. Fortunately, Bath Comedy Festival has arrived just in the nick of time. A mix of big names, names the comedy lovers will know, and the odd total newbies, the one thing they all have in common is being capital ‘F’ funny. Various prices, times and locations;

2 April

CHANGE THE NARRATIVE, CHANGE THE WORLD? Professor Helen Haste, a psychology academic, is coming to Bath to give a talk about our stories of the future – and why they are usually wrong. According to Helen, though we all tend to see the future through the lens of the past, if we want to see real change we need a more ambitious vision. 7.30pm; £5; BRLSI;

2 April

IN CONVERSATION WITH SAMANTHA CAMERON Samantha Cameron, creative director and founder of women’s fashion brand efinn, will e on hand to shed a light on the philosophy of her Spring/ Summer 20 collection. After the talk, guests can have a browse and get 20 er cent off Doors 9.30am, talk starts 10am; Kilver Court Designer Village, Shepton Mallet;



Get weird with The Bethlehem Casuals Bonhomme is a charming, interactive show the kids will love

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

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


All around the world

In which a character exits, not so much pursued by a bear as… well, read on

“Here the human characters are more compelling than the structure they’re in”


ore than ever this last month, I have been reading books set in diverse locations. Partly that’s because I’ve been on a panel of judges for an Edward Stanford Travel Award that rewards sense of lace in fiction ow that the judging is done and the winner is safely announced, over the next couple of columns I’m going to describe a few of these globetrotting novels – starting with a trio that didn’t quite get the gong, but which almost all of the judging panel thoroughly enjoyed reading. First up is Bangkok Wakes to Rain by Pitchaya Sudbanthad (Hodder, £8.99), which is a cleverly structured novel spanning from the late-nineteenth century through to the near future. Along the way we meet many generations of a single family and other characters who drift in and out of their lives and, indeed, in and out of the single plot of land that connects them all. In fact, it took me a little while to realise that the building, a tall apartment block for much of the novel, is really the consistent thread that connects the narrative together. That’s a good thing though because, more than other books ve read that e lore different lives led in the same space, here the human characters are more compelling than the structure they’re in, and the human dramas that surround them drew me in quickly each time even as the plot leaped back and forth in time. There’s a tale of barely requited love, a painful story of illness amongst colonial missionaries, and a superbly awkward moment as a character who has relocated to open a restaurant in Japan is now serving dinners to an exiled leader responsible for atrocities against student protestors that had included her own sister. Most brilliant of all, in my view, is the exploration of the challenges that might lie ahead for the citizens of a city like Bangkok, built, as it is, less than a couple of metres above sea level. In those later chapters, predicted somewhat by the novel’s title, the city has become waterlogged and its citizens have turned to technology and watercraft to continue their lives. Somewhat north of sodden Bangkok, and certainly on higher ground, lies the grasslands of Tibet’s Changtang Plateau, which are the setting for Love in No Man’s Land by Duo Ji Zhuo Ga (Head of Zeus, £8.99). This incredibly

dramatic and lengthy novel is full of unexpected action from the very first cha ter I opened it up expecting a fragrant atmospheric love story with masses of local avour n the first cou le of ages all was as d expected as Cuomu, a young Tibetan woman, prepares to go and meet her long-awaited lover Gongzha on his return from military service. Whilst cantering across the plains she daydreams about their previous encounters. But then, out of the vast clear blue Tibetan skies and beneath the gaze of snow-capped peaks, she is attacked and mauled by a bear, so that Gongzha arrives in time to watch her bleed to death. It feels odd to tell you such detail because ordinarily that would be spoiler territory. But I promise I’ve only revealed seven pages. And that’s how this novel rolls. i ng on fireside storytelling traditions, no sooner has the novel lulled you into a false sense that it’s time for scenes of peace, tranquillity and exquisite landscape, than the cinematic drama button is pressed once more. Buddhist monks are attacked and forced into hiding during the cultural revolution, entire villages come out at night to defend their livestock from wolves, and Gongzha’s ceaseless search for the bear to avenge Cuomu’s death is essentially a non-stop blockbuster. Finally, Snegurochka by Judith Heneghan (Salt, £9.99) transports the reader to 1990s Kiev and an unprepossessing apartment into which Rachel and her young child have recently moved to accompany her expat journalist husband. Rachel is struggling with the emotional strains of new motherhood already, and having to assimilate into Ukrainian life with a frankly odious husband who doesn’t seem to want her there doesn’t prove easy. And that’s without throwing in a sketchy washing-machine salesman, her husband’s unexplainedly intense fi er and various other disli a le e ats Snegurochka is an intriguing look at expat life in a post-Communist East European nation, even if a bit of me wishes the story could have taken in more of Ukrainian life and society rather than just a distanced view from a troubled outsider.

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 59


Dinner dates


It all gets a bit dramatic in 2014 hit The Big Meal; the upcoming What’s In a Name? with Bo Poraj, Alex Gaumond, and The Inbetweeners’Joe Thomas


We’re not sure why most actors aren’t twice the size they are, considering how much they so often have to eat on stage…

inner parties make the perfect setting for plays – apart from the fact that, at least in a proscenium arch theatre like Bath, some actors seated around a table may have their backs to you. From the banquet scene in Macbeth, in which the ghost of the murdered Banquo appears, to Laura Wade’s Posh, about the riotous behaviour of an exclusive dining club, protagonists come together over food and the comedy or drama reaches a crescendo. In JB Priestley’s An Inspector Calls, the Birling family’s celebratory dinner is interrupted by the arrival of the mysterious Inspector Goole with news of a young woman’s death. Stephen Daldry’s famous production (the longest running revival of a play in theatre history) has played the Theatre Royal no less than six times since 1992. Anyone who has seen it will recall the amazing set, like a huge doll’s house on stilts. Through the windows an elegantly laid dining table is visible, which falls across the stage at the climax of the inspector’s investigation, smashing all the crockery. It is a gasp-inducing theatrical moment. ased on the candinavian ogme film, Festen is a stunning black comedy which played Bath immediately prior to Broadway back in 2006, directed by the National Theatre’s current artistic director, Rufus Norris. A wealthy family gathers for a black-tie dinner to celebrate their patriarch’s sixtieth birthday. When one of the sons gets up to toast his father, his speech turns into


an accusation of an horrific crime hat is most remarkable is that we, the audience, sit appalled by what we are hearing, whilst the rest of the family continues to eat. Dan LeFranc’s The Big Meal, which played the Ustinov Studio in 2014, takes place at a typical suburban restaurant somewhere in America. Three generations of the same couple sit round the table, consuming real food in real time as their story rollercoasters across fifty years of life, from first iss to last goodbye. It’s not a piece to watch hungry. Alan Ayckbourn’s plays about dinner parties are amongst his most entertaining. I especially enjoyed the 1994 production of Time of My Life starring Gareth Hunt and Anna Carteret. All scenes take place in the same Italian restaurant but one strand of the story spins backwards, one forwards, with the initial meal a pivotal event in the family’s history. Ayckbourn has confessed that he was inspired by eavesdropping on the conversations of families in restaurants. More blatantly comic is How The Other Half Loves, in which two dinner parties on two different evenings ta e lace on the same table at the same time. This masterpiece of comic timing has resonances with Goldoni’s 1743 classic comedy A Servant to Two Masters, in which a ravenous servant serves a banquet to both masters simultaneously, without either being aware that he is working for the other. The RSC production, which played Bath in 2000, starred Jason Watkins, with Catherine Tate putting in an early appearance as a

“It is a gasp-inducing theatrical moment”

23-28 March : What’s In a Name? maid. This comedy was itself transformed by Richard Bean into One Man, Two Guvnors, which played Bath in 2014 and features a brilliant scene in which an octogenarian waiter with a pacemaker attempts to serve soup. The multi award-winning French comedy, What’s In a Name? (original title Le Prénom), comes to Bath in March. Peter and Elizabeth invite prospective parents Vincent and Anna and friend Carl to what they intend to be a sophisticated dinner arty They lan a Moroccan uffet menu accompanied by carefully selected wines. But everything goes pear-shaped when Vincent announces the name the couple have chosen for their new baby – the catalyst for a colossal argument which spirals out of control, as egos, long-held grudges and previously unspoken feelings are hilariously exposed. What’s In a Name? will star Joe Thomas, who played Simon Cooper in The Inbetweeners and Kingsley Owen in Fresh Meat; Bo Poraj, who played Miranda’s boyfriend in Miranda; Louise Marwood from Emmerdale; and Alex Gaumond, who has a string of West End credits to his name. You are invited to take a seat at the table for this international hit comedy which will undoubtedly provide both much laughter and food for thought.

Anna O’Callaghan, marketing manager, Theatre Royal Bath, Sawclose; 01225 448844; I BATH LIFE I 61



Camper fantastic holidays Stuart Shotton, founder of SUN KISSED CAMPERS has a holiday-ready solution that’s far from in-tents… Tell us a bit about your background. We’re a boutique holiday company. My wife and I started the business over five years ago and we’re very proud of our fleet of seven VW T6 California campervans. So you are a true family business? Yes, we run a home office, so we can both be around for our 10 year old. This works well, due to our Gypsy Lane garage and reception, near Keynsham being only a 10 minute drive away. Customers appreciate our personal touch. It is reassuring to know that from the first contact to return greeting at your holiday’s end, you will be looked after by Jan or myself. We even get stuck into the valeting, so we know our vans head out on holiday in tip top condition. Are your campervans suitable for family holidays? Yes, they are perfect. Each van is guaranteed ‘Holiday Ready’. My family holiday in them,

when we can, and we go that extra mile to ensure each camper is kitted out as if it were our own personal holiday home. You say your campervans are ‘Holiday Ready’. What would I need to bring? Just your clothes, toiletries and towels. Many people prefer to bring their own bedding, but we can supply that too. To complement the impressive kitchen kit, each camper is stocked with olive oil and local rapeseed oil, salt, pepper, tea and coffee; you just need to think about food. How many people can comfortably sleep in one of your campervans? They sleep four. Two downstairs and two up in the pop-top roof. If you’re a group of adults, you’d need to be on friendly terms though, as they are quite intimate. I’m six foot tall, and there is easily plenty of length for anyone taller.

We have two seasons. October to April is £95 per day and May to September is £125. Our very popular DSG automatics are an extra £10 per day. So our three day minimum starts at £285. Do you ever offer any discounts on campervan hire? Yes. Outside August, which is crazy busy, we offer 10 per cent discount on bookings over six days. In June that increases to a whopping 20 per cent. Mind you, that doesn’t include Glastonbury Festival week! Is there a limit on how far you can travel? We have an unlimited mileage policy. Our vans regularly head up to the Lake District and Scotland. Also our European Travel Upgrade gives access to most of mainland Europe. I’ve just taken a booking from a family, planning a three week tour of Switzerland this summer.

Campervans can be big and difficult to drive – what’s it like driving yours? They handle like a car. You’re up high, so visibility is great. They’ve parking sensors and the automatics have reversing cameras via the dashboard touchscreen, on which you can even access your phones’ apps. You don’t need to worry about losing power uphill and they cruise like a dream during long journeys. What do your customers say about their camping experiences? “We don’t want to give the keys back!” How much does it cost to hire a campervan?

45 Burnett Business Park, Gypsy Lane, Saltford, Bristol, BS31 2ED 01225 330106; @sunkissedvwhire I BATH LIFE I 63

CALL OF THE WILD Kids run riot at Mill on the Brue, but in the best possible way… By Matt Bielby




ummer holidays can be quite the challenge when the kids get six wee s off, ut the arents may e two. So what to do with them? One great answer is an outdoor activity centre like Mill on the Brue, home to summer camps and school trips and, yes, the odd activity aimed at the grown-ups too. It all started back in 1981. Tricia Rawlingson Plant and husband Tony had been living on the Outer Hebrides for nearly four years, surrounded by sea, bog and mountains. “We had to make our own entertainment, Tricia says, fishing, climbing, riding, walking. The kids would watch birds hatch right on the ground in front of us, as there were no trees. Tony had always wanted to run an outdoor activity centre, but we didn’t think the Hebrides would be quite right – we’d have so few customers!” They were there because Tony had been in the Army, working at a new NATO rocket range, but on their return to England they settled in Bruton. Also new in town were neighbours the Shinglers, back from Australia and now running their family beef farm, Gants Mill – except BSE was putting paid to that. More income was needed, so what about children’s activity holidays? “We suggested raft building, archery, an assault course, perhaps grass skiing,” Tricia says, “and over supper a business was born on the back of an envelope.” This was , and they egan y offering activities over the summer holidays, taking 30 children at a time. Tony ran the activities, Tricia would look after personnel and training, and finance, sales and mar eting were handled y the Shinglers, all uggling this around full time o s t one point they had the Special Boat Service lined up to build their assault course, but they didn’t turn up – “understandably,” Tricia says, “as the Falklands War happened.” But that wasn’t the worst disaster. A week efore they o ened, ruton ooded the children were all booked in, yet water was sweeping through Gants Mill. “I remember standing in the sitting room, waist deep, when the hone rang, as ing what activities we offered, Tricia says. “I nearly said water skiing!” Afterwards there was silt and mud everywhere, but they decided to carry on anyway – and that year had 117 children visit. The following year they were full. It was intense work, though – too much so to continue, Tony and Tricia decided, if they didn’t own their own place.

“But then an opportunity came up right next door, and we moved into Trendle Farm in April 1984. It was in a pretty bad state, but we welcomed our first grou in une, and were soon going so well that Tony gave u his full time o up at the end of the year.” By 1990 the Shinglers had moved on, opening their gardens to the public and concentrating on a B&B business instead. Trendle Farm was now the new Mill on the Brue activity centre. It sounds like a great deal has changed since the very early days… Tricia: Back then, we were able to do so much

without it being questioned. Of course, health and safety must be accepted – but sometimes people go to ridiculous lengths, like wearing goggles when playing conkers! It’s all a matter of common sense The other thing is, we now offer more activities than we did when we first started – over 40 in fact, our newest being axe throwing. Grass skiing isn’t one of them, though – we ditched that fairly rapidly!

“Back then, we were able to do so much without it being questioned”

OPPOSITE CLOCKWISE: Bonding around the campfire; obstacle courses FTW; yep, axe throwing is a thing at Mill on the Brue; you can get out on the water, too; TOP: Conquer your fear of heights

We imagine the whole area looks very different to the way it used to, too… Tricia: e ve underta en four ma or uilds over

the years, including two bedroom blocks for an e tra students and four staff we re currently converting a house and garage on the edge of our site into accommodation for a further 34 students and another four staff , as well as a cam site that o erates for five months of the year e ve also planted over 7,500 trees and a vineyard – we now make about 700 bottles of good white wine. Sounds very green! Tricia: Well, we were always environmentally

minded, so vowed never to spray with chemicals and still haven t n fact, we ve ust won the South West gold award for sustainable, ethical and responsible tourism. We’ve installed a 49kW Solar Array, as well as rainwater harvesting and geothermal heating e also have five ee hives, and plenty of animals.

So who comes? Tricia: School groups come most of the year,

either for the day or residential Monday-Friday, from February until November. Then there’s the market we started with, unaccompanied children who come to summer camps in the holidays; they arrive from as far away as China, North America, Korea and the Middle East. (In fact, we’ve had to limit the number of children where English is not their first language, or it would ust ecome a language school.) And then there are the adult groups, who come to us for team building, or hen and stag dos.

Since no one liked the grass skiing much, what do they like? Tricia: The zip wires – we’ve two, each over 300

metres long across the river – plus the high ropes, the assault course and canoeing.

Yeah? We’re not sure everyone loves a high ropes course…! Tricia: Well, there was a teacher who hated

heights, but was determined to have a go. She stood at the top of our little zip wire – not actually very high terrified and ractically crying, ut eventually went for it. When she returned to ondon, she oined a local clim ing clu and a year later I received a present from her – a picture of some mountains in Bhutan, where she’d been climbing! Inspiring stuff! Tricia: We also had a young boy of about 12, who

had prosthetic legs – and I’ll never forget seeing them tuc ed into his ruc sac as he shot off down the long zip wire, so thrilled that he could take part. But perhaps the strangest story comes from ete, one of our e staff who was at college in London. He was set on by a group of teens, who knocked him to the ground – but then the ringleader noticed his bag, which had ‘Mill on the Brue’ written on it. “Wait, lads,” he said. “Were you at Mill on the Brue?” Pete said he was, and the boy said, “Leave him alone, I had a lush time there,” and sent him on his way!

For more, Mill on the Brue, Trendle Farm, Bruton, Somerset BA10 0BA; 01749 812307; I BATH LIFE I 65


FREE PARKING ON SITE • FREE MEASURING SERVICE We pride ourselves on our service and competitive prices OPEN MONDAY TO FRIDAY 9AM – 5PM SATURDAY 9AM – 4.30PM Out of hours shopping by appointment The Old Cinema, Coomb End, Radstock BA3 3AW

Telephone: 01761 432808 Email: Visit our website:



TEACHER Bath’s educators on why inspiring young minds is the best job in the world


PRINCIPAL AND CEO, BATH COLLEGE 01225 312191; How is college different to school? Further Education at College is a great alternative to sixth form as it offers a different learning environment where our students are treated as adults and where employability skills are central to the study programmes. Unlike school, we offer students the ability to specialise in a technical field, whilst still enabling them to get UCAS points for University with Level 3 courses. As an alternative way of learning we also offer apprenticeships, which enables students to earn while they learn. How do you choose which courses to run? We talk to employers about what they need and look at national trends. Last year we introduced new courses, including Psychology & Law and Fashion, Business & Retail, which have proved incredibly popular. Partnerships enhance the learning experience, with our Bath Theatre Academy for Performing Arts which works with the Theatre Royal, our Engineering department working with Rotork and our Catering Academy connecting with Michelin star restaurants. When are you proudest to be Principal? When students flourish, achieve and progress and our community of staff prosper. Where do you see Bath College in five years? I have big ambitions for the College over the next few years, pursuing excellence in all that we do. By 2022 we aim to be the most sought after college in the region, in the hope that by 2025 we will be the most sought after college in the UK, not necessarily the biggest but definitely the best.


DEPUTY HEAD (PASTORAL), KINGSWOOD PREP SCHOOL 01225 734460; How does your school differ from others? Our founder, John Wesley, said: “Do all the good you can by all the means you can in all the places you can at all the times you can to all the people you can as long as ever you can” and this is one of our guiding principles. Our three school rules, “Be Kind, Be Kind, Be Kind” provide the bedrock of all that we do at Kingswood Prep School. Our holistic and child-centred approach to education, the pastoral care and dynamic, academic curriculum ensures that each child is able to develop the key skills of resilience, resourcefulness and flexibility; all key skills for an ever-changing world. We celebrate the uniqueness of every child and promote individuality – a Kingswood child is able to find their niche, their interests and their passion. Everything is possible at Kingswood and our children develop confidence and aspiration alongside compassion and a true sense of community. What advice would you give your 10-year-old self? Be yourself! Be confident and learn to love everything that makes you unique. Understand that everyone makes mistakes – it’s part of growing up. Be outside as much as you can and always, always, have fun. I BATH LIFE I 67


HEAD OF ENGLISH & DIRECTOR OF STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS, MONKTON COMBE SCHOOL 01225 721102; How does your school differ from others? Monkton is a unique school which is built upon love and happiness. Our students are extraordinary individuals in terms of their talent and generosity of heart, which in turn creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere. As a school, we believe in the intrinsic link between a child’s happiness and their academic success. What do you most enjoy about teaching? Getting the opportunity to work with young people – it is such a joy! I learn something new every day from our amazing students and am often left speechless by their

kindness and grace towards each other and staff. It is a privilege to have a career that is child centred. What is your school’s ethos? We are unashamedly a Christain boarding school that welcomes everyone into our family. Our school (the pre prep, prep and senior school) all share the same Christian vision and ethos built upon the four Monkton values: confidence, humility, integrity and service. Our staff and students aim to serve and not be served. What extracurricular activities are you involved in? As a boarding school and home to hundreds of young people, we offer a breathtaking array of extracurricular activities. The traditional (CCF, rugby, netball etc) and the forward thinking such as mindfulness and conservation. Our school is passionate about educating the whole, not just a part.




HEAD OF SPORT, ST MARGARET’S PREP, CALNE 01249 857220; What are the qualities of a good teacher? A good teacher is someone who is adaptable and committed to helping all children in their care. At times there are those children who need to be taught in a different environment such as the outdoors. Whether they are in a Maths, Music or Sports lesson, the environment plays such a key role in their ability to learn. What do you most enjoy about teaching the younger children? The feeling of pride when you introduce something new to a child in the Early Years who is instantly excited about the opportunity to explore something unknown to them. I hope that from that first moment when they take hold of a ball or jump into the pool, it will become a lasting passion as they grow throughout their school life. What advice would you give your 10-year-old self? Embrace every opportunity given to you. Never perceive an activity to be solely for boys or girls. Attend an extra-curricular activity that intrigues you and never just follow your friends – it is cool to be different. Be committed to something and see it through, and if you find yourself at the bottom of the ‘learning pit’ seek support from others and you’ll climb out of the other side. 68 I BATH LIFE I

What advice would you give your 10-year-old self? Perseverance. I found I struggled more than others academically at school and often I would use the excuse that ‘I can’t do it’. You can, and your time will come. Give everything a go, find what you really love and make a life out of it. What advice would you give a just qualified teacher? Remember it takes time to master your trade, be patient and always be open to new ideas. Every teacher is different, so don’t compare yourself to others. Find what works for you and run with it. What excites you the most about the future of your subject? I’m so lucky to have such a forward-thinking department at Prior. Whether we like it or not, the world is changing and technology is growing. The students love learning new programs and pick it up so quickly. We now have 11-year-olds using programs used in industry, 3D modelling and 3D printing.


How does your school differ from others? A prominent difference between Kingswood and other schools is its inclusivity. As the biggest boarding school in Bath, we pride ourselves on providing a safe and welcoming environment for everyone. Our Pride Group, Equality Team and Spiritual Exploration Group make Kingswood a very special place. What do you most enjoy about teaching? I really enjoy the classroom environment. Teaching Computer Science, I often have the pleasure of witnessing the “wow! I did that” moment for pupils, and to me that’s everything, along with observing the progression pupils make as they become increasingly independent. Building positive relationships with pupils is another real highlight for me; they feel supported pastorally as well as academically. What advice would you give your 10-year-old self? To simply ‘go for it’. Following your dreams is very important and working in education, helping young people formulate their futures, is a dream come true for me. What extra-curricular activities are you involved in? I have run a street/contemporary dance group, a sewing activity and computer coding sessions. Most recently, I assisted on a trip of a lifetime to India, where we were lucky enough to have a personal audience with the Dalai Lama.



HEAD OF KING EDWARD’S PRE-PREP & NURSERY 01225 464313; How does your school differ from others? There is a magical ingredient at King Edward’s Pre-Prep and Nursery that people sense as soon as they walk through the door. The warmth, the friendliness and the care we give to each child creates a very nurturing environment. We strive to ensure that every child (and family) knows that they are very special to us and that they really matter. We take the time to listen to the children, hearing all about their interests outside of school, and we use this information to create learning opportunities that inspire the children because they are based around their own interests. Learning through first-hand experiences is also very important to us. Our children enjoy some wonderful class trips linked to their topics and learn from visiting experts and focused topic weeks which extend and deepen their knowledge, understanding and skills. Specialist teaching in music, dance, French, swimming, P.E and art provides further breadth and real depth to our curriculum. Forest School is an equally important part of our week. It always amazes me how children who can be quite

quiet in the classroom can become real leaders in the forest! What do you most enjoy about teaching? The joy that comes from being with a class of children and seeing the excitement on their faces as they become totally engrossed and inspired by a learning experience is what makes teaching the best job in the world! I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I was five years old, when I used to line up my teddy bears (as well as my occasionally reluctant brother and sisters) and create a little classroom in my bedroom. That passion has never wavered. Teaching each week is very important to me as it gives me the opportunity to really understand the children as learners, whilst modelling effective teaching and learning approaches. What exciting things are coming up at your school? King Edward’s Pre-Prep never stands still. We always have exciting projects underway. The outdoor environment is very important to us as an extension of the classroom and we have made significant investment in our grounds to create the most enabling environment possible. The children benefit from a new, all-weather surface that they can use all year round for sporting activities. We also love to garden, so recently opened ‘Teddy’s Garden’ which is full of raised garden beds and fruit trees for the children to grow fruit, herbs and vegetables that they can then later cook and eat at lunch time. A new wildlife pond provides further learning opportunities based around habitats, vertebrates and invertebrates. Elsewhere the Nursery is a very much part of the Pre-Prep, enjoying all the facilities and events that take place across the school. Indeed, due to its popularity we are planning to expand our Nursery provision from the summer term onwards. Any interested families looking for Nursery care are very welcome to come and visit us and explore our facilities.


and talking about the etymology of words and grammar. I also enjoy tapping into the imagination of younger students through props and stories.

How long have you been teaching? It is my second year teaching for Todo El Mundo. Before that, I lived and taught French in New Zealand for 11 years.

What advice would you give your 10-year-old self? If I was able to talk to my 10-year-old self, I would say to believe in your dreams. You never know where life may take you. I hope I can inspire children to see beyond what they know and see that the world is their oyster if they give themselves the chance, and that knowing another language is not only great for their brain and memory skills, it will also widen their experiences.


What do you like about teaching in Bath? I really love Bath for its diversity and heritage. Growing up in a small town in France, I have always loved languages. English (as a second language) was my favourite subject. I have always loved learning about different worlds and customs. I love sharing my knowledge of French culture with the older children


DIRECTOR OF MUSIC, THE PARAGON SCHOOL 01225 310 837; How does your school differ from others? The Paragon is a small, friendly school, nestled in the woods, but with access to ‘big-school’ resources at Prior Park College. My children came to the school and benefited from the emphasis on outdoor and creative learning as well as the wonderful pastoral care. What do you most enjoy about teaching? Aside from supporting the more musically gifted children, reaching those not naturally drawn to the subject – that’s why I set up ‘Boy’s Don’t Sing’ – an after-school boys-only choir full of rugby players and chess fans, which is hugely popular. I recently took a group of 30 children, many of whom don’t already sing in a school choir, to Young Voices at the London 02 Arena, which was an incredible experience. What do you like about teaching in Bath? Teaching music in Bath is a privilege as we, as a city, are blessed with such great resources like the Abbey, Bath Festival and the Mid-Somerset Festival. There is always a concert or recital to go to and draw inspiration from. I BATH LIFE I 69


“Cute, honey-coloured houses line the streets in a town filled with thriving independent and creative businesses� 70 I BATH LIFE I

CITY IN MINIATURE Much more than Bath’s smaller sibling, Bradford on Avon is a thriving countryside community By Lydia Tewkesbury


t’s like a miniature Bath, everyone said, when I told them was to visit radford on von for the first time for this very feature. As a relative newbie to the area, the cute west Wiltshire town had been on my to-visit list forever – all those photos of The Bridge Tearooms on Instagram had me intrigued and as ste ed off the train and out onto the narrow, twisting pavements on a rare sunny day, I immediately saw what they meant about the Bath thing ute, honey coloured houses line the streets in a lace filled with thriving independent and creative businesses – curiously, and refreshingly, there’s barely a chain in sight – with a river and a canal running through its heart. But, I quickly found, despite the comparisons, Bradford on Avon has a personality all of its own…


The whole place looks like a postcard, basically


EX LIBRIS “In theory, all books have a potential home, but you can’t buy and stock every oo you are offered, so we have to ma e decisions, sometimes getting them wrong – but who knows? Books sell that have been here for years; they might be just the thing that someone has been looking for since their childhood,” says Jim Wolland, who runs Ex Libris along with colleagues Carole Stone and Simon Smith. The indie bookshop on The Shambles is exactly the sort of magical space that makes BoA so intriguing. The bookshop comes in two arts, the first a smallish sho front ac ed to the rafters with new books – all of the current bestsellers, literary giants and big thinkers well represented – and then if you make your way through a narrow hallway, out the back door, around the corner and up the steps you’ll find the second hand shed, filled with, im rec ons, a out , titles ORTON JEWELLERY eweller ee rton is a master goldsmith with over years of experience in the industry, and when you step into the showroom on Market Street, you’ll often spot him in the workshop, creating the next collection. “We’re one of the longest standing businesses in Bradford so we’re really part of the fabric of the town,” says Lee. “The pace is slightly slower than the hustle and bustle of a city, so you can take a bit more time and have a more meaningful experience with clients, which transforms into long-term relationships over time.” I BATH LIFE I 71

OUT OF TOWN SECOND HAND ROSE, HEATHER’S, ALFRED’S PRE-LOVED MENSWEAR AND ROUNDABOUT Fiona Leach has something of an empire growing in Bradford on Avon. Fiona moved Second Hand Rose (pre-loved womenswear) and Roundabout (pre-loved children’s clothes) to BoA from Widcombe a few years back, and has since opened a second hand menswear store, Alfred’s Pre-Loved Men’s Clothing, in response to the demand for more sustainable clothing options from men in the town. She also has one shop selling exclusive new clothes and accessories, Heather’s. Visit them all in one go: they’re within 100 metres of each other. STRAWBERRY BLUE This charming spot on The Shambles opened in 2016 – packed with cute homewares, accessories and seasonal bits and pieces, it’s the one-stop-shop in town for gift shopping, or those days when you’re on the lookout for a bit of interior inspo. So, why does owner Claire Hembrough like Bradford on Avon so much? “I looked at various market towns in the search for the best location for my shop. I wanted to be part of a strong independent business community and found that in BoA,” she explains. “There is a something magical about the place that attracts visitors and locals alike all year round. I loved it so much that I moved here too!” MADE IN BRADFORD ON AVON Tucked away in The Vaults, this bright gallery space and shop is also a creative community project, a space where artists from BoA and the surrounding area have somewhere to gather and market their work. All of the artists involved in the project work in the gallery, helping keep it o en for seven days a wee nside you ll find aintings, rints, ceramics and glassware, jewellery, paper, metal and woodworks, basket making, photography and textile art. They even have one room dedicated to works about the town, called Inspired by Bradford on Avon.

ABOVE: Plants and cute home accessories in Strawberry Blue;

BELOW: You can support local artists by shopping at Made in Bradford on Avon

CHRISTINE’S SUSTAINABLE SUPERMARKET ust inside eaver s al you ll find this ethical sho ing gem Perfect for anyone looking to reduce their plastic waste – so, everyone – hristine s has most things availa le to refill eo le love our refill section, with every other customer wanting anything from sultanas to laundry liquid and hand wash to porridge,” says owner Christine Giles. “We go through approximately 300 litres of cleaning roducts and toiletries refills each wee , g of organic oats and 30kg of dried fruit, nuts, lentils and rice. The shampoo and conditioner soap bars are also incredibly popular.” Search Christine’s Sustainable Supermarket on Facebook LEAF & BEAN TRADING COMPANY If you’re looking to treat yourself, this unique spot on The Shambles filled with coffee eans, tea leaves, chocolate, i e to acco and an ever-expanding range of trendy CBD products is just the ticket. There’s something simultaneously old time-y (pipe smoking!) and modern (CBD!) about this shop, which is full of products that beg you to take a moment and slow down. What’s better than enjoying a slab of luxury chocolate while you wait for your fancy tea leaves to brew, after all?


DOGHOUSE Part café, part dog groomers and part shop, this is the place to go with your four-legged friend. Or if you want to make a four-legged friend. Or if your four-legged friend would like to make other four-legged friends. It’s a dog café – what more can we say?


“There is a something magical about the place that attracts visitors and locals alike all year round”


BRADFORD ON AVON MUSEUM Peek into the history of BoA and the surrounding parishes, known as the Bradford Hundred. A particular highlight is the Christopher Collection, a bunch of objects from a 19th century chemist. BARBARA MCLELLAN CANAL TRIPS Catch the Barbara McLellan from the wharf for a trip on the canal. They run regular jaunts on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from Easter through until November.


BRADFORD ON AVON WALKING WHEEL When you ask anybody why they love life in BoA, almost everyone brings up the walks. And it’s easy to find your way, thanks to the Bradford on Avon Walking Wheel, a 42 mile waymarked network of walks. The map is available to download on the Walk Bradford on Avon website.

Shop, eat, or just wander the streets and gaze admiringly



Not a bar, but Team 11’s office. Wow

CRU WINES EMPORIUM & WINE LOUNGE This haven for wine lovers is a relative newbie on Silver Street and, for founder Leanne Oliver, the local community has been absolutely key to her success. “The idea of Cru Wines was conceived and built around a table with local friends from Bradford on Avon over a few glasses of wine,” Leanne explains. “The idea was to create an unintimidating place to buy wine, or to sit and relax in a cosy corner with a glass. And it’s been a real community-focused venture ever since. From raising funds via, to being able to work with a team of local and very passionate wine lovers, and taking on board the feedback from our loyal customers to continue to evolve and im rove our offering ell, to say it’s been a whirlwind is an understatement.” KETTLESMITH BREWING “We have been running our brewery on the edge of Bradford on Avon for nearly four years now and we never stop experimenting and striving to improve the beers we make,” explains Anthony Smith of Kettlesmith Brewing. “Last year we set up our tap room so people can come directly to us to try our beers or take away bottles and mini kegs – it’s open every weekday and Saturday afternoons.” Every couple of months they release a one off white la el rew too recent e am les have included a German Bock, Belgian IPA and double dry hopped pale ale. Nice.


GLOVE FACTORY STUDIOS A very fancy workhub for businesses specialising in digital media, design and communications, Glove Factory Studios has 40 studios over 11,000 square feet that are a mix of self-contained and co-working spaces. Their members include Frahm, makers of men’s jackets; creative consultancy Whitespace Creative Design and Artwork; and The Recovery Studio, which provides professional remedial massage for sport, occupational and lifestyle-related injuries. TEAM 11 This full service agency helps brands grow their business. They work with some pretty glamorous clientele, counting Italian car company Alfa Romeo, the BBC and Asics among many exciting projects. Oh, and they have a really cool office. So, how do they feel about life in BoA? “We moved into Bradford last year and haven’t looked back. Advertising is really a people business, and it’s important our people are happy. It’s pretty simple: happy people produce better work, and we’ve definitely found that to be the case. As a result, we’re now working with major brands such a Alfa Romeo and Boehringer-Ingelheim, as well as our long-established clients like Invisalign,” says Emma Bundock, Team 11’s client director.

“Bradford on Avon has everything our big sister Bath has, but without the queues” I BATH LIFE I 75



The Woolley Grange Hotel is a good option if you’re thinking about making a weekend of your trip to BoA. “We are a very family-friendly hotel set in a Jacobean manor and 14 acres of grounds, with two pools, an Elemis spa and an Ofsted registered children’s club, the Woolley Bears Den,” explains the hotel’s Caroline Kay. “If you come and stay here with children you can enjoy two hours of peace whilst we play fun games and do crafts in the Den. We grow a lot of our own produce for the restaurant (which is open to all) in the walled kitchen garden here and, under the leadership of head chef Jethro Lawrence (a BBC MasterChef: The Professionals Quarter Finalist), our restaurant has just won a Gold Award from Taste of the West as well as 2AA Rosettes.”

Timbrell’s: infinitely Instagrammable

NO. 10 TEA GARDENS Sarah Wade runs this beautiful tea garden near the famous aqueduct where the Kennet and Avon Canal crosses the River Avon. She bakes all the unmatched cakes, scones and treats that the spot is known for herself – guests can even see her working away in the open plan kitchen while they enjoy their cake and cuppa. “We are excited by our new cake recipes for 2020,” Sarah says. “We have introduced a rich raspberry blondie, a luxury white chocolate and raspberry cake, and a delicious carrot cake scone.” av n i t a m TIMBRELL’S YARD The dog-friendly favourite hotel and restaurant on St Margaret’s Street is popular with locals and tourists alike. Executive chef Tom Blake cooks up a variety of hot food, snacks and small plates available all day. Never one to miss a trend, he’s got some delicious vegan options on the go right now: oyster mushroom skewer with muhammara and lentil dahl, pickled roast squash with crispy quinoa, and roasted parsnip with chicory, rocket and


Annual Bradford on Avon Pancake Race, 5 March Bradford on Avon Green Man Festival, 16 May Iford Arts Festival, 23 May – 19 September BOA Food & Drink Festival, 30 May George’s Marvellous Bike Ride, TBC September


n at a it t ind in a a d innin d a nd v apple salad are just some of the top-notch plant-based treats available. “Bradford on Avon has everything our big sister Bath has but without the queues and the chaos of coach parties,” says Natalie Zvoneck-Little from Timbrell’s. “Enjoy great architecture, indulge in award-winning food, browse around lovely shops or hire a bike and explore the tow path of the Kennet and Avon canal.” tim ad m GILOU’S CAFÉ A mix of chunky wooden benches and squishy, lived-in leather chairs, ilou s rides itself on its coffee and ca e and we can confirm that oth are excellent. The sort of place to have the bright orange t t nd nd nt id stacked high on shelves, where you can quite happily sip your java solo or meet a friend for a catch up – everything about this French-style spot oozes cool. i a m THE BUNCH OF GRAPES Tony Casey has been at the helm of The Bunch of Grapes on Silver treet since last summer ell nown in the area, he s cheffed in s ots like The Chequers (RIP), The Pump House and Lucknam Park, so it’s no surprise that now he’s got his own joint things are going swimmingly. Posh pub grub with a cocktail menu to match, and a quick glance at their Instagram shows they’re really into their fresh, local produce. t n a m


THE SUSTAINABLE CRU! Leanne Olivier, founder of CRU WINES in Bradford on Avon, tells us what the wine industry (and drinkers!) can do to reduce its CO2 footprint…


he discovery of wine is a journey that never quite ends – which is great news for the avid wine drinker. However, with sustainability high on the agenda, should we be thinking more about where our wine comes from and how they are made? Yes, thinks Leanne Olivier, the Bradford on Avon-based founder of the newly launched Cru Wines, mother of two and PhD in nutritional biochemistry. She explains that whilst much attention has been given to the effect of climate change on grape growing itself, the wine industry and its drinkers can do more. “Wine is to be enjoyed and explored, taking you on world-wide adventures. But wine production, transportation and packaging all contribute to rising CO2 emissions in the wine industry, so we should be mindful of our drinking choices”. Leanne's top tips for more sustainable drinking: 1. Switch to refillable. Refill wine has about

half the CO2 footprint of an average bottle as it is transported in large boxes with airtight bags inside. Decant these wines into your own recycled bottles. 2. Choose quality over quantity. You shouldn’t have to pay through the nose for a bottle of wine, but by speaking to someone from your local independent wine shop you can check which sustainably farmed wines they stock and learn more about the wine you are drinking. 3. Enjoy wines with friends. Shockingly, us Brits pour away around two glasses of wine a week per household, so drinking with friends keeps wine drinking social and creates minimal waste. Cru Wines Emporium and Lounge offers a wide range of wines by the glass to enjoy in their cosy bar, plus a choice of over 200 wines from around the world. A refill bottle of wine at Cru costs £11 a refill.

Contact Cru Wines on 01225 862289 to book or visit to find out more

The Old Ham Tree, Ham Green, Holt, Wilts, BA14 6PY Tel: 01225 782 581


S N A P S H O T S O F B AT H ’ S F O O D S C E N E

Go plastic-free at Scoop Wholefoods


There’s a new café on Bridge Street. Cortado is sha ing u to e a strong contender in ath s fancy a s ot of runch situation as, alongside all the traditional tasty options, owners Fran and o hie are serving authentic rgentinian em anadas with a range of satisfying fillings, li e eef the most o ular choice in rgentina, we hear as well as veggie and seasonal o tions For more: @cortadobath on Facebook

GET THE SCOOP Get one step closer to your zero waste goals with Scoop Wholefoods. Selling com etitively riced ul organic and locally sourced wholefoods, the lan is to e a sustaina le alternative to traditional su ermar et sho ing The guys will stock a range of products, including nuts, seeds, grains, ours, asta, cereals, rice, oils, vinegars, eans and ulses, her s, s ices, chocolate and snac s as well as a range of eauty and cleaning roducts They’re stocking hundreds of different items, and the saving on ac aging costs means prices are often cheaper than you’d pay at large supermarkets – not ad for un rocessed alternatives ven etter, you re su orting local and artisanal producers with each purchase too. For more:



Entries to the British Cheese Awards 2020 are now open. The Awards, which take place at the Royal Bath & West Show on 28 May, see 70 expert judges pick those wheels they think look real gouda (yes, we did), judging farmhouse and artisan cheese makers on presentation, texture, aroma, avour and alance There are medals u for gra s for tastiest cheeses and the est of the est will e named the Supreme Champion; deadline for entries is 10 April. For more:


Pop down to Cortado for a brew

Get a whiff of that cheese I BATH LIFE I 81


“However they come to us, the things we’re always looking for in a producer are expertise, passion and a commitment to sustainability” they’re all experts at what they do. Their passion comes across in how great their produce tastes.


Making sustainable food choices should be just as easy when you’re going out to eat as it is at home, says Paul Dugdale, head of Neptune Cafés. Enter The Provenist, one of the newer Walcot Street foodie haunts First things first: tell us about The Provenist. We’re in a tucked-away location ust off alcot treet, easy to get to from ath s centre ut still quiet and relaxed. The interior is all about comfort too, decorated with natural materials and warm lighting ou ll find that lots of our dishes are on the menu from brunch through to supper so, just like in your own home, you can choose to have pancakes or eggsyour-way for lunch or breakfast. You talk about ‘unearthing some of Britain’s most specialist producers’ here… Where to start? We work with


so many excellent ones. There’s Pagets and Smart’s, two familyrun farms both based in the village of romham, out near Devizes and Melksham, who grow our fresh and seasonal vegetables. Pagets are in their fourth generation now and ernard, the farmer at Smart’s, has been growing for more than 60 years. In fact, most of our producers are family usinesses, li e eoff and Kim of Ivy House Farm, who supply us with milk, clotted cream and butter from their Jersey cows, and mily from ath Farm irls, who grows all the quinoa we use. It’s important to us to support smaller businesses like these, but

How did you find out about all these guys, then? Quite a few we’ve come to use through another local company, Lovejoys. They’re a wholesaler based in west Wiltshire, but what ma es them different is that they aim to source as much as they can from within 90 minutes of their HQ. Others I already knew about from my years in the industry, like lifton offee oasters in ristol, or word-of-mouth discoveries. However they come to us, the things we’re always looking for are expertise, passion and a commitment to sustainability, whether it’s staying local, farming with the seasons or making room for wildlife where they grow. The Provenist is part of the interiors brand Neptune, isn’t it? That’s right: it came about because Neptune’s co-founder, John Sims-Hilditch, decided that he wanted to find a way of com ining all the different parts of the Neptune philosophy. They’re about much more than just furniture, and a considered, healthy approach to living and to food are very much a part of their way of thinking. A café that could bring together the tranquil and welcoming atmosphere of a Neptune interior with food and drink that’s delicious, nutritious and sustainable felt like the perfect choice for the brand. ‘Seasonal’ is such a buzzword right now. What does it mean to you? eing seasonal is a ig art of

what we do, but that’s not because it’s the trendy thing to be right now eing seasonal is a clear and natural choice to us. It makes life much more vibrant, varied and interesting. It’s also how we support local producers wherever we can, rather than turning to overseas growers for out-of-season ingredients – we only work with suppliers abroad for the things like bananas and avocados that we just can’t grow here. We also change our menu up on a regular basis. There are some dishes you ll always find, li e smashed avocado on sourdough; some that change with the seasons (such as swapping porridge for smoothie bowls once the weather warms up); and others that vary from week to week depending on ingredients from local farms – like our salads, tarts and soups. You’re nearly a year old as a business now. What have the challenges been? The one we’ve come up against most has been the question of why: why would an interiors brand open a café? What does Neptune know about food? It’s been a challenge we’ve relished, though. It’s an opportunity to share more about our philosophy that interiors and food go hand in hand, and bring people around to our way of thinking. Others just get it, though. They completely understand where we’re coming from – and that’s brilliant.


Don and Betty Draper would feel right at home in the new restaurant at Walcot House, a vaguely industrial ex-bakery with mid-century glamour, good warming food, and more than a certain swagger By Matt Bielby


nce upon a time, the sprawling building that is now Walcot House was home to one of Bath’s best-known basement night clubs, variously known as Cadillacs and Club XL. Sticky with beer and grim of loo, we came to pull (or try to). But we didn’t venture upstairs, never got the see the impressive space that is now Cafe Walcot and the The Walcot restaurant behind it. They’re both part of Walcot House, Debbie and Martin Still’s multi-purpose venue that’s brought new vim to this part of town. The guys made their name at The Methuen Arms in Corsham, and still own the rather ace Mother & Wild nearby, but this is their new focus of attention; downstairs there’s still a night club (more salubrious than of yore), but it’s the bits you can see from the street that concern us now. The ig ground oor s ace that was in recent years le Mac specialist Farpoint is now a sort of European café bar, serving drinks and drink-friendly grub like toasties and pizzas. Then, through an archway to the back of the room, is a very different s ace that was rie y and confusingly the caf when alcot House first o ened last year few months back you’d climb up here from an alley down the side of the building, mounting boldly striped stairs which made it feel


like you were hauling yourself up to the roof. Accessed from the front, though, you realise it’s all actually on street level. All this was once a bakery, way back in the 1960s, and the new restaurant s ace The alcot is where they actually baked the bread. It’s a spectacular, airy, somewhat industrial space, quite unlike anywhere else in Bath. There’s a big open kitchen giving a sense of theatre, aqua and butterscotch leather banquets with little lamps on the tables, and a great pitched glass ceiling above you, seen through a shoal of industrial light fittings and a ma e of sna ing steel i es t all feels a bit like Terry Gilliam had directed Goodfellas. n the summer The alcot will dou tless enefit from tonnes of natural light, ooding in through the roof and the large rittall windows to one side, ut for now des ite eing fairly ig, with covers and a rivate dining room the mood is cosy and romantic and a little bit libidinous, a place for lanning heists down the air ort and holding affairs ot very rivate affairs, it has to e said, ut m sure we saw George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez cuddling in a corner.) The food fits this vi e well too modern ritish at heart, though we detected more than a little French in uence in all the sauces and utter t s rustic, avour led, generously ro ortioned and rich dishes o timised to taste great rather than look snazzy on Instagram.


From the pre-starter nibbles menu we took smoked almonds , an intriguing avour com o that s exactly as it sounds and sat there, to be happily nibbled at, throughout the meal. elow that, a wide ranging starters selection covers many tempting bases – shallots or salmon?; terrine or pork belly? – each with a multi ingredient descri tion that romises a main in miniature, which is more or less what we got n the other side of the table, pan fried Homewood halloumi with blood orange, grilled courgette, mint and chilli , was fresh and generously si ed The mint and chilli were a little low in the mi , erha s, ut the whole dish lifted nicely y the shar ness of the lood orange For me, an fried scallo s, chic en confit and articho e ur e was the most e ensive o tion, ut these aren t chea ingredients and the creamy seafood was dreamy alongside the crunchier elements, a great com o really good start, then, and we weren t let down y the mains. Steaks from the grill are boxed out in the middle of the menu running from a o sirloin to a o T one , all from native reeds su lied y ornwall s hili arren, dry aged for days and served with tri le coo ed chi s and ernaise sauce ut we thought we d leave these for if we ever eat here with avid Flatman There are a num er of lant ased mains including a s elt salad with cauli ower and articho e and a carrot falafel, ut we fancied meat not chic en or roasted cod this time though that was tem ting, with its curried lentil accom animent , ut the iltshire Horn lam and nearly as meaty mon fish on the one osite, the almost endless slices of nicely oo ed lam came with omme ur e, salsa verde and a sur rise Most alua le layer, the romham carrots terrifically carroty, was told For me a ig chun of mon fish sat alongside a similarly huge hun of grilled his i ca age, with shrim and ca er butter adding spark. To share between us we took a plate of dar winter greens and another of uttery, creamy armesan mash largely sur lus to re uirements as it turns out, ut so more ish we olished them oth off anyway fter all that, you d e well within your rights even wise to wave away the desserts menu, ut my dinner date, fit to ursting, felt she could ust a out force the affogato down good, ut the unchiness of the coffee could afford to e dialed down a notch , and en oyed my white chocolate mousse, uffed astry wafer and oached or shire rhu ar moothness met crunch, shar cosied u with sweet, and all without the sic liness you fear from white choc verall, The alcot is a terrifically confident o ening, ig, old and glamorous, with rich comfort food and s ot on service This might well ecome s hot tic et

DINING DETAILS The Walcot, 90b Walcot Street, Bath, BA1 5BG; 01225 530499; We ate Pan fried halloumi with blood orange, and pan fried scallops to start; Wiltshire Horn lamb and monkfish for mains; white chocolate mousse and affogato for pud. Vegetarian options Certainly enough to get you by: wild mushroom arancini is one of the nibbles, there are currently a couple of starter options, and two vegan mains plus a butternut squash, mushroom and feta puff pastry torte. At lunch and into the evening at Café Walcot next door there are veggie pizzas and toasties too. Prices Most starters are £8, mains around £18, and sides about £4.50; steaks, naturally, are in the mid-to-high twenties, but they come with

chips and sauce included, which softens the blow. An early evening set menu is good value: £12.50/£17.50/£21.50, depending on how many courses you have. Drinks There’s a large wine list, mostly old world but with a smattering of new, running from the low twenties to £100 and up per bottle; some of the cheaper ones come by the glass too. We had a bottle of Picpoul (£32), and it was just the ticket. Service / atmosphere Friendly, relaxed, and well judged, with just the right amount of attentiveness; I’m not sure I topped up my own wine glass once. What else? This is a handsome space, straight out the gate one of the most glamorous and visually intriguing in Bath; later this year we’ve got a roof terrace to look forward to, too. I BATH LIFE I 85

Black Pearl and Diamond pendant set in 18ct white gold £1635


The Designer Collections 15 Northumberland Place Bath BA1 5AR | 01225 448823



Together with her best pal Libby Harris, Melkshambased Kate Morris-Double has launched a new book subscription box and podcast for young readers; lanned to tie in with orld oo ay, it s an off shoot of their existing Book Box Club, a young adultfocused book subscription given props by everyone from The Independent to The Evening Standard, and which has, since 2016, sent out over 14,000 boxes to booklovers around the world. The guys actually met while working at a shop rather well-known in these parts, Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights. Their new thing is called Tales by Mail, a bi-monthly service delivering two new reads, exclusive author content, games, activities and small bespoke gifts to young book-lovers; impressively, they’ll be operating on a glo al level from the off There ll e a odcast to go with – author interviews and school reading group chats very much part of the mix – too. “Libby and I have been obsessed with reading since we were children,” Kate says, “and our love of books has allowed us to explore new worlds, sparked our imaginations, widened our vocabulary and introduced us to characters we would never meet in real life. Through Tales by Mail, I hope we can help instil the same sense of curiosity and wonder into the next generation of book-lovers.” it t m

t a t

ai n a t d in n ta mai m m


HAZY SKYLINE HANGING PLANTER, £45 Ceramic hand-thrown 12cm x 10cm planters from local potter Libby Ballard, glazed on the outside but with unglazed rims to give a striking texture contrast. From Libby Ballard, Ridgeway Studios, Bristol;

SOWDEN BOTTLE, FROM £29 Colourful stainless steel bottles in assorted sizes and colours, perfect for hot or cold drinks; the playful designs are by Leeds-born, Milan-based George Sowden, a co-founder of the Memphis Group, creators of famously colourful ’80s furniture beloved of Karl Lagerfeld, David Bowie and your mum. From Hay, 36-37 Milsom Street;

TIGER HEAD CANDLE, £11.95 Gorgeous and regal he might be, but this wax tiger candle is actually keen to be melted from his brain down – if mum has the heart to do so, of course. From Graham & Green, 92 Walcot Street;

MUM’S THE WORD Because potent tokens of love to that yummiest of mummies – yours – come in all shapes and sizes (and at all price points too)

HEART MUG, £20.50 Go-to gift specialist Quadri in Milsom Place carries cups and glasses by Repeat Repeat, it enhoff and, of course, Alessi, maker of the ‘To’ heartshaped bone china mug, designed to show mum just how you feel about her. From Quadri, 16 Milsom Place;


MARIGOLD SKIRT, £140 ith a ru ed, asymmetrical hemline and lace detailing, this fun, attering s irt from sustainability focused Copenhagen designer Stine Goya will make mum the belle of the W.I./choir/biker gang (delete as appropriate). From Grace & Mabel;

ED’S CHOICE LIBERTY PRINT FLAMINGO FLOCK BLOUSE, £179 Due in store mid-March is this prettifying 100 per cent silk blouse, made of classic Liberty print fabric and positively littered with everyone’s favourite pale pink mollusc munchers. From Brora, 6 Bridge Street;

AZTEC SQUARE PATTERN SCARF, £39 A jaunty cherry red Aztec pattern enlivens this summery cotton square scarf from Paris-based Danish design duo Epice. From Found, 17 Argyle Street; 18CT WHITE GOLD RING, £1,330 Here’s where things get a little serious – but then mum is getting a few rocks with her gold (think diamonds and star sapphires), and this ring is hand-made right here in Bath. From Jody Cory Goldsmiths, 9 Abbey Churchyard;

ARIEL SHELL CHAIR, £795 Sort of Art Deco meets The Little Mermaid in style, this sculptural clam-shell design would be perfect for curling up in with a pot of darjeeling and a good book. From Graham & Green, 92 Walcot Street;

RAW HONEY, £5 Okay, okay so you don’t get all this raw honey – from sustainable familyowned apiaries in Scotland and Poland – for £5, but you do get to choose whether she d li e acacia or linden, straw erry or heather avours the est From Salcombe Trading, 76 Walcot Street; I BATH LIFE I 89



TREASURE Struggling for gift ideas for mother’s day? The Talisman collections from SIMON HARRISON JEWELLERY are sure to make the perfect present…


ake this Mother’s Day a memorable one, by gifting something both beautifully made and thoughtfully personalised. The delicate hand-crafted Talisman collections from Simon Harrison are sure to make the perfect present, available at Alexandra May’s boutique in Bath. Choose from Western, Eastern or Celtic Zodiacs, which each have their own unique, intricate qualities and attention to detail. In the Simon Harrison Celtic collection, the Zodiac designs combine both the semi-precious birthstone and its associated Ancient Tree symbol, crafted from silver. The natural world is incredibly important in Celtic traditions, and trees especially were intrinsic to their spiritual beliefs. Trees were used to represent the characteristics of individuals born at certain times of the year, a form of Zodiac. The Celts believed each month was represented by a precious stone, which is why our talented designers cleverly incorporated both stone and tree leaf motif in each pendant. From striking Amethyst and Aquamarine, to subtle Smoked Topaz and Garnet, you’re sure to find a favourite for yourself or a loved one. The Western Zodiac collection features the motifs of the most well-known zodiacs, which we tend to relate many of our personality traits to. The 12 signs are based on the

Alder pendant from the Celtic collection

constellations of stars in the sky that correspond with each sign, and the juxtaposition between the sun and these constellations on the day you were born. Each pendant is crafted from sterling silver with gold outer plating, highlighting both symbols for your chosen star sign on each side. We believe it’s how you express your true self, your individuality and the essence within you that shines out into the world most. Our Zodiac East collection comprises of 12 delicate sterling silver animals, relating to each year in the Chinese Lunar Zodiac calendar. Each year is assigned an animal and this cycle repeats every 12 years. Each symbol has been brought to life in three dimension using century-old craft techniques by a highly skilled team at Simon Harrison. Much like the Western Zodiac, each animal is indicative of characteristics that are believed to be exhibited by those born in that year. Alongside the animals that make up the Eastern Zodiac, there are also element signs. The five elements – wood, fire, earth, metal, and water — are believed to be the fundamental basis of everything in the universe, including our relationships. Chinese astrologers believe that our personalities and fortunes are dictated by both the animal and the element which represents our birth year. Once you know your Chinese Zodiac animal, you can use this to find the corresponding element. Each element has its own associated personality traits and characteristics – often influenced by the seasons. These pendants are all perfect for layering up together or wearing alone, whilst also being elegantly presented in a Simon Harrison branded gift box – a great gift for Mother’s Day! ■

Above: A small selection from the Talisman collections Oak pendant from the Celtic Collection

View the Talisman and the wider Simon Harrison jewellery collection in-store at Alexandra May’s Boutique, 23 Brock St, Bath BA1 2LW I BATH LIFE I 91


How clean is clean beauty? Everyone wants to feel good about the products they use, but the cosmetics world – and social media – don’t always make it easy…


s art of running my own skincare and beauty usiness, s end a lot of time on social media, and something that I’ve become acutely aware of is the increase in conversation often uite olarised around terms like clean beauty, green beauty, natural beauty, non-toxic beauty, organic beauty, sustainable beauty, and so on. It can get really confusing. What is the difference etween them, if anything – and what do they all really mean? Is clean beauty actually a thing – and, if so, is it worth investing in? nd does it im ly that every roduct or rand that doesn t define itself as clean is, in fact, ‘dirty’? Globally, consumers are making more considered and informed choices across many as ects of their lives, and there’s an ongoing and growing obsession with health and wellness, from what we consume to the cosmetic roducts we use which fuels demand for what we may consider ‘clean’ ingredients. Consumers are (quite rightly) educating themselves about reading ingredients labels and becoming more aware of those they d refer to avoid. This is a large to ic with so much to cover, so let’s run through some ey terms often used to e lain ‘clean beauty’.


6 key points to consider The term ‘clean beauty’ is am iguous, and o en to inter retation There is no legislation, formal definition or rofessional industry standard as to what constitutes ‘clean beauty’, or any of the similar terms (green, non-toxic, all those) that are interchangeably used. Individual rands that claim to e clean define their own version of what it means.



Chemical-free beauty doesn’t e ist ome rands define clean beauty’ as ‘chemical-free’ – a term fre uently s ot on social media though it sim ly isn’t possible. Everything is a chemical, including water hat eo le are mainly concerned about, I think, is whether a roduct contains synthetic la made ingredients, as o osed to natural lant ased otanical ones There is often an assum tion that synthetic ingredients are toxic or harmful, while natural ingredients are considered safe. This is absolutely not true, and natural in no way equals safe.


Some say that if you can’t ronounce it, you shouldn t ut it on your skin – which clearly isn’t true. Just because an ingredient name is tricky to say doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use it or that it is in

“The move to more transparency about ingredients is a very positive shift”

any way harmful. According to the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) system, ingredients must be named using their scientific names and for lants their Latin names. This is a major reason why an ingredients list can seem tricky, but just do a little research and it will start to make sense.


Many brands try to reassure their customers with ‘free from’ claims – another term that’s frequently used in the clean beauty arena n an attem t to e hel ful to my customers, I also included these terms on my ac aging when started out – but have since decided to focus on what is in my roducts, rather than what is excluded. In 2019 the EU set out regulations designed to rein in ‘free from’ claims on beauty roduct ac aging, saying that brands should no longer advertise that they are free of ingredients that are banned for use in cosmetics in the EU in any case, or that aren’t ty ically used in eauty roducts (Often included in ‘free from’ sections are things li e sul hates, hthalates, mineral oils and silicones, im lying that they are otentially harmful, when actually they are legally considered quite safe. More useful claims – and allowed by the EU – are those that hel you ma e informed choices, such as ‘vegan – free from animal derived roducts


‘Non-toxic’ beauty is another frequently used term. In the UK and EU, beauty formulations are tested for safety under the EU Cosmetics Products Regulation 1223/2009 (CPR), and must be

notified on the osmetics roduct otification ortal t means they can only contain ingredients and concentrations deemed safe, and undergo strict safety and com ati ility testing as well as a com rehensive to icology assessment. You may have heard that the dose ma es the oison , and to icity de ends on the dose and concentration of any ingredient, synthetic or natural. I believe strict regulation will still a ly after re it


‘Clean’ doesn’t automatically equal green or sustainable. There are several e am les where natural ingredient sourcing can be unsustainable, while the synthetic o tion made in a la actually is a safer, better choice. I believe every brand wants to do what they believe is best for their customers, and the move to more trans arency a out ingredients is a very ositive shift What I don’t agree with, however, is customers being made to feel guilty, or scared into buying (or not uying certain roducts ditto avoiding certain ingredients based on confusion, misinformation or ga s in their understanding At the end of the day, we want now that we s end our time, money and energy on roducts that don’t just give results, but are also safe and align with our ersonal values and lifestyle. Ané Auret is a self-confessed beauty obsessive and founder of a Bath-based skincare brand, Ané. Learn more at and follow her on Instagram @beauty_by_ane I BATH LIFE I 93

BY ROYAL APPOINTMENT In 1956, the Highgrove estate was sold for £89,000; we suspect it’s worth rather more now… Words by Nick Woodhouse Photos by Highgrove


his year sees the 40th anniversary of the purchase of Tetbury’s Highgrove estate by The Duchy of Cornwall. Then home to Maurice Macmillan, son of former Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, the gardens of this Georgian neo-classical house were a blank canvas for their new tenant for life, HRH The Prince of Wales. The former kitchen garden had become overlooked, a once tended copse forgotten, hollow oa s standing defiantly as a reminder of better days. Fortunately, the gardens we see today offer a very different icture a series of outdoor

gardens. Wood chips, for example, not only fuel the on-site burner, but are also applied as a plant mulch; leaf mould is used in place of peat and compost, compost ‘tea’ in place of fertiliser. This approach extends to all of Highgrove’s wastewater, which goes through a purpose-built reed bed sewage system. ridescent dragon ies are drawn to the treatment end here, hovering majestically over the beds. Cardboard, newspapers and shredded o ce a er are all recycled too, with all vegetable food waste going through the estate’s composting system. This commitment to the sustainable is evident throughout the gardens; the fully organic Kitchen Garden, for example. When the Prince moved to Highgrove, this walled space was practically abandoned, growing little more than potatoes. Assisted by Lady Salisbury, the Prince designed a series of square and triangular beds, each edged with box hedging. Over time, these sadly fell victim to box blight, replaced instead with Teucrium x lucidrys, an evergreen perennial clothed in clusters of small, in owers from midsummer onwards These beds now supply most of the vegetable needs of the house and surround the very centrepiece of the space: a stone fountain brought from Italy by the Prince, carpeted in moss, and enjoyed by birds and insects alike. A hornbeam avenue links this Kitchen Garden to the more ornamental gardens around the house. This avenue runs through the Wild Flower Meadow, a space covering more than four acres and offering an ever changing patchwork that includes thousands of wild orchids amongst a growing wealth of plant species. Initially developed by natural scientist and author Miriam Rothschild, the space today is managed as a traditional hay meadow, cut in early July by a horse-drawn harvester. The last few months of each year see the close grazing of shee to allow the wild ower seeds to

“The gardens of this Georgian neo-classical house were a blank canvas” rooms, each very distinct, each telling its own unique story. For the last quarter of a century the gardens have been open to the public to help raise funds for The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund. Now attracting around 37,000 visitors each year, guided tours of the gardens run from April through to October, with this year’s tickets having recently been released. This is most definitely no vanity ro ect for the Prince, though. It’s a very personal endeavour that re ects his commitment to sustainability and ethically sound management policies. As he explains, “My aim has always been to try and enhance the setting of the house in the landscape and, above all, to please the eye, warm the heart and feed the soul.” The gardens have been organic since the Prince’s arrival, with all waste materials recycled to maintain fertility within the


germinate in full light, without the competing grasses to dominate. Sadly, very few plants remain from the original garden. Much to the Prince’s anguish, a 200-year-old cedar tree died, and had to be felled, in the winter of 2007. The only remnant of the original garden is, in fact, an avenue of clipped golden yew, today enclosed on both sides by a hornbeam stilt hedge. It was the Prince’s suggestion that these yews were clipped into the surprising and unusual geometric shapes we see today. These now punctuate a mixed aggregate path, interplanted with golden marjoram, lavender, agapanthus, primroses and numerous varieties of thyme that give the space its name – the Thyme Walk. Here, as is the case throughout the garden, a series of vistas offers intrigue and ignites our inner curiosity. Casting your eye towards the house offers glim ses of the Terrace, with its pepper-pot pavilions designed by Bath architect William Bertram. Turn the other way and your eye is drawn to the Lily Pool Garden, beyond to a bronze of the Borghese Gladiator. This collection of rooms extends to, amongst others, the Stumpery, the Sundial Garden, the Cottage Garden and the Carpet Garden. Each with its own intricacies, and each with the very personal touch of an owner happy to embrace the past whilst ensuring the space has a sustainable, ever-evolving and, most of all, exciting future. Highgrove Royal Gardens, Doughton near Tetbury, GL8 8TQ;

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


Highgrove is like a series of outdoor rooms, each completely different from the next; it also features arches, and we love an arch






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BATHWORKS THIS ISSUE >>PURE PLANET (99) >>TEAM BATH BUCS SUCCESS (101) >>ENGLISH-CHINESE EDUCATION SERVICES (102) Eoin Sharkey’s plan could dramatically improve sanitation in Africa

SIMPLY THE BEST Pure Planet, the Bath-based 100 per cent renewable energy supplier, has topped The Sunday Times Top 100 Companies list – adding this to a long line of accolades. Recognised as one of the best small employers in the country, judges praised the company’s employment practises, which include two mental health first aiders on hand to support staff when needed, as well as the accessibility and approachability of founders Andrew Ralston, Chris Alliot and Steven Day. The company also earned praise for its commitment to carbon offsetting every employee’s commute to work, as well as offering benefits to those demonstrating a greener lifestyle. “Working culture is incredibly important to us, and we are so pleased this has been recognised,” say Andrew, Chris and Steven. “We take pride in everything we have achieved, and continue to achieve, as a team. From the green commute to enhanced parental leave to physical and mental health first aiders, we constantly challenge ourselves to be the best employer we can be. We are also extremely proud to be a Bathbased business. As well as being a beautiful place to live and work, we have found the area has a wonderful pool of creative, talented individuals and innovative tech companies who help drive our growth.” For more:


Better than all the rest

Loo grant Eoin Sharkey, founder of The Biofactory and a graduate of the University of Bath, is launching an £850K project to improve sanitation facilities in low income, high density communities in Africa. The all-in-one, off grid toilet and waste processing system utilises biodigestion to convert human waste into cooking fuel and soil conditioner. Funding from the UK’s Energy Catalyst Fund (£675K), alongside contributions from private investors, means Eoin can take his invention from the development stage to a commercially viable product. “Over 200,000 children die a year in Africa because of the spread of disease due to poor sanitation,” Eoin says. “Our solution manages human waste from its production, right through to pathogen free and safe-to-handle

output material, without the need for human contact. This is crucial, as it is contact with human waste that is a leading cause of disease transmission.” For more:

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

BREAKING IT DOWN The Somerset Toiletry Co. has introduced Breakdown Plastic (BDP) into its bestselling Plum Violet collection. BDP is an organic ingredient added to plastic during manufacturing that enhances biodegradation by making it irresistible to microbes. As part of their sustainability goals, the company has added the ingredient to hand wash, body lotion and shower gel bottles and caps. “We are on a path to ensure we become environmentally sustainable as quickly as we can, as innovative new materials emerge,” says chairman Sakina Buoy. With packaging, the company has three key areas of focus – research, reduce, recycle – and introducing BDP is only the beginning, they say. For more:

Daniel Reid, rocking shoes to match the interior of his snazzy wheels


The Plum Violet collection is now packaged with BDP

Bath Prestige Hire specialises in self-drive and chauffeur services in luxury vehicles – like the Ferrari above. Director Daniel Reid tells us more. So, Daniel, what do you guys actually do? Bath Prestige Hire was founded last year, with a view to providing prestige vehicle hire to Bath and the surrounding areas. Whether you want to enjoy driving your dream car for a weekend away, or if you are looking to be driven in style to a party or prom – you name it, we can arrange it!



We can’t wait to meet the fresh crop of nominees

Creative Bath Awards season has o cially started, with nominations now open to all. Creative companies can enter multiple categories via an online form – and it’s free to do so! Everyone is welcome to the big night on 11 June, from student to freelancer to CEO. Winning an award is an excellent way to raise your company profile, recognise key team members and showcase brilliant work. Winners are decided by a panel of independent judges chosen fresh each year. “Timing is everything,” says Vicki Cheadle, community leader at Creative


Bath. “Don’t sell your work short by leaving your nomination to the last minute – get cracking early!” This year has also seen a record number of sponsorships, led by Headline sponsor Bath Spa University, Platinum sponsor Future Publishing and category sponsors including Anthem Publishing, Edit, The Guild, Half Moon Bay, and Minuteman Press, amongst many others. o on o en e , and to enefit om the Creative Bath Awards, please contact Vicki Cheadle @creativebath

What have been some of the challenges you’ve faced along the way? Setting up any kind of business nowadays presents more challenges than ever – it’s definitely not for the faint hearted! The term ‘start-up’ isn’t always a particularly helpful label when approaching companies with an idea or a vision. As you can imagine, insurance is a major part of this business, and there were many knockbacks on that front. he phrase, “if at first you don’t succeed…” was something that I uttered to myself on more than a few occasions!) There are more rules and regulations than ever, which is why gaining membership to the BVRLA (British Vehicle Rental & Leasing Association) was so important to me. I believe strongly that integrity is an essential attribute for any reputable business; I want Bath Prestige Hire not only to be known as a company that delivers on quality, but also as a company that you can trust. And why Bath? Actually, there are no other high end self-drive hire companies based in the city. In an area of a uence, with a high amount of tourism, I felt there was definitely a gap in the market. My vision was to create a luxury brand. Bath is a place that is synonymous with both style and luxury, so it’s the perfect match. For more:

BATH SPORTS NEWS Where the city gets a sweat on

It was a good day for judo at the BUCS Nationals

GOLD ON GOLD University of Bath studentathletes won a grand total of 26 medals at the 2020 British Universities & Colleges (BUCS) ationals in She eld, nine of them gold across a range of disciplines. Amongst the winners were swimmer Luke Turley and judoka George Kroussaniotakis and Lewis Widdecombe, who all claimed two titles each, while Sophie Atkinson went home with a gold in karate. Remi Adebiyi earned his gold in particularly dramatic fashion, literally hurling himself over the

finish line of the men’s , m to by-the-skin-of-his-teeth beat ardiff’s ames eneghan. “BUCS Nationals proved to be an incredible event for Bath yet again – from Remi’s goldwinning tumble in the , m to the nail biting men’s team final in the judo, it was a weekend that will be remembered fondly by all that attended,” says Tom Sawko, sports o cer for the S Bath. “It was particularly great to see the camaraderie shown by all those wearing the Blue and Gold.” For more:


MOVERS AND SHAKERS ETC Rosie Allen, new head at The Paragon School

From networking breakfasts to invaluable evening classes, make a note of the courses and events that will help your business flourish 19 MARCH BATH: SUSTAINABILITY AND STYLE This LinkedIn Local event will see a panel discussion with Elle Chappell of Circle Consulting, Eoin McQuone of Sustainable Business Design and Go Climate Positive, and Richard Godfrey of Rocketmakers, amongst others, talking about how they implement sustainability into their businesses. 5.30-8pm; Walcot House; search LinkedIn Local – Bath on LinkedIn for more 20 MARCH BRADFORD ON AVON BUSINESS BREAKFAST Informal, friendly networking: this is a no-name-badges, makeconnections-over-coffee type deal. Open to businesses of all kinds, this breakfast makes for a welcomely easy step into the world of networking. 8-9.30am; prices vary; The Weaving Shed, Bradford on Avon; search Bradford on Avon Business Breakfast March 2020 on 26 MARCH CREATIVE BATH BUSINESS LEADERS' BREAKFAST A tasty breakfast complete with senior-level discussion about current opportunities and challenges in the creative sector. If there’s one thing we know, it’s there there’s always plenty of both. 7.45-9am; £19.76; Walcot House;


Signs Express has a new owner. The Kay family – John Kay, Elizabeth Corble and Georgina Kay – now have the franchise. The family has a combined 40 years’ experience delivering large-scale client projects, so they’re bringing some serious skills to the full design, manufacture and installation service. “At Signs Express (Bath) we are passionate about delivering creative, eyecatching signs and graphics, whether that be shop signs or commercial hoardings, wayfinding signage or even customised printed wallpaper,” says ohn. “ e offer tailored solutions to our customers, whatever the size of their business.”


The governors of The Paragon School have appointed a new head teacher. Rosie Allen will take up the role in September; she was previously head of Radnor House School in Twickenham, and currently serves the Radnor House Schools Group as a non-exec director. “I am thrilled to be joining The Paragon,” says Rosie. “It is a truly magical place and my interactions with the school so far have given me a real sense of the breadth and depth of the wonderful all-round educational experience which its children receive from the dedicated staff. I am very much looking forward to getting to know the wider Paragon community better, including parents and alumni, and of course the fabulous children who have all been so welcoming during my visits. I look forward to joining their adventures!”



Dan Li-Dunford

Dan Li-Dunford runs English-Chinese Education Services Ltd, an education agency and guardianship company based in central Bath Hi, Dan – please tell us more about ECES, and all you do. e offers professional e pertise and advice to prospective hinese and international students who are wanting to pursue their education in the . e have established partnerships with a significant number of independent schools and universities, where we’ve carefully placed students and where they have succeeded academically and thrived in their personal development. E ES supports international students to adapt to the British education system, and offers a range of services, including helping gifted students access some of the top schools and universities in the . For others, we may help them rediscover their passion for learning or a hidden talent for a particular field of study. o meet the demands of trading with hina, E ES provides bespoke language and cultural training for businesses too. So how does this role work within the education system? E ES provides a brokerage service between the international student and an educational institution. his


is an essential communications channel between parents, students and the academic staff, delivering high uality academic outcomes and comprehensive pastoral care services. And you offer a guardianship service too, right? o meet the re uirements of law, we work with a range of independent schools and universities to provide guardianship to overseas students, mostly but not always under the age of . ur personal scale of operation means we can provide a high level of academic and pastoral support, and good school results are not the only focus a range of real life e periences are also paramount to help our students grow healthily and happily. e are their tutor and mentor on their learning ourney to build skills for life. E ES provides dedicated hostel accommodation, a network of home stay families and a full range of professional support services for the international student, too. You also organise trips for UK students to China, don’t you? Yes, E ES offers a Study Abroad rogramme for e change visits

between schools in the and hina. he aim is to make cross cultural teaching, learning and integration a reality for the students involved. ypically, hinese students aged years will spend a whole summer term in an independent school in the , living and studying with British students and other international students, helping them to learn, to understand and to make friends with their peers from other cultures. In return, British students will also have the opportunity to spend a half term or school holidays in hina, where they can meet their hinese friends, attend school, try authentic hinese food, communicate directly with local people and e perience the way of life in hina. hey will also be able to oin tours by hinese schools and with host families to e plore and e perience the real’ hina. What about the training you offer to companies looking to enter business in China? e offer training for companies who want to establish or develop their business in the hinese

market and who re uire e pertise in understanding the hinese business culture and the Mandarin language. ur bespoke courses cover essential business language, providing hints and tips on how to work with partners in hina. he courses can be delivered on the business’ premises, or at E ES’s o ces in central Bath. And there’s also a Cross-Cultural Teaching and Learning course? E ES offers training to help teachers understand hinese students’ learning behaviours and to advise on effective ways of communicating to improve learning outcomes and personal development. his teacher training course, either one day or longer, has been delivered to many educational institutions in the , including the niversity of Bath, niversity of the est of England, Swansea niversity and independent schools including ellington ollege, heltenham adies’ ollege and Sherborne International ollege. Finally, Dan, what’s the most rewarding part of your job? Seeing my students ourishing as well rounded human beings, successful both academically and personally. I am proud to say that E ES has changed some of my students’ lives from one of under achievement to one of success, where students find their uni ue talent and passion for e cellence. It is rewarding that, through our services, they can achieve self confidence, happiness in life, and hope for their future. It is also satisfying that, with E ES’s help, some educational institutions have shown a better understanding of cultural issues and improved the uality of services for their international students. For more:



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007 got drinks wrong (all the time!), but invest in this cabinet, and at least he’d know where they all were hat might you find in ames ond s drin s ca inet ome ordon s gin, for sure, and some vod a ina illet, a French wine ased tonic avoured with uinine, is long since defunct, however, so might rove more di cult ut he d need something similar, so we d go for occhi mericano, which somewhat resem les it For why ecause he d need all three to ma e at least one es er martini, of course, the famous coc tail he drin s in the original ond novel, s Casino Royale hat else ell, some om rignon ham agne, which features in a num er of the oo s and films an Fleming s ecifically referenced the , , , and is a shoe in, as well as euve li uot, which he also rates in Casino Royale n You Only Live Twice ond en oys a Hon o o sa e, so we ll have some of that, as well as some claret, ro a ly Mouton othschild, which he drin s in Moonraker even en oys a sherry, swigging an loroso with M in Diamonds Are Forever He ll need some vermouth, am ari and soda water too, to ma e the mericano which was the very first thing he si ed in any of the oo s or films hy are we going on a out this nly ecause ond will need somewhere to ut it all, and where etter than The onnery yes, that s what it s called a most su erior drin s ca inet from Masterclass itchens Hardwic range, availa le from nees of Trow ridge ou might even find some hianti in there too, for ond li es a red wine Though, of course, he d never e so gauche as to drin it with fish For more: I BATH LIFE I 105



Goodness knows what Berowne was on about in Love’s Labour’s Lost*, but we do know that we like light. A lot of light. And when that light comes with glorious views over Somerset countryside, as with this spectacular stable conversion near Frome, all the better… By Wendy Lyne *Answer on page 110!




arn conversions are nothing new, of course, but they’re almost always a knockout. Thank their high ceilings, generous proportions, rustic detailing and – once you’ve replaced massive doors with great swathes of glass – endless light, as if you’re somehow living indoors and outdoors both at once. These things really came into their own in the 1950s, as farming changed course – not always for the better, some might say – and the rural landscape was suddenly littered with these sturdy, sizeable, often roughly handsome buildings no one had much use for anymore. By the ’70s folk were whacking in extensions and internal walls and dormer windows with abandon, but things have happily calmed down a little since, with the stricter planning rules of more recent years. The best modern barn conversions now keep all of the exterior appeal of the original building, but often with high-end fittings, an open plan bent and a distinct eco edge. I BATH LIFE I 107

Hapsford Stables is a particularly sexy example of the breed. It started out not as a barn exactly, but rather a stone-built stable block – home to 26 gee-gees, so it should be able to accommodate you and your brood – and, indeed, there are still working stables attached to the building, with more right alongside. This place may look like it’s in the middle of open countryside – and, er, it is – but it’s actually just seven minutes by car (or 40 on foot) from the centre of Frome, and even closer to the sought-after village of Mells. This is posh Somerset, with Bath itself just half an hour away, Bruton ditto, and you can walk to Babington House. Quite the best little walk to the local you could hope for, one might think, but if you fancy an alternative wander, then Great Elm’s pretty village centre – home to a number of local artists – is just a 15 minute trot via the Mendip Way. Need to get to London? Trains run to Paddington from Frome, Bath, Westbury and Castle Cary, and ristol ir ort is ust miles off ou re fine for schools, too: think King’s School Bruton and Bruton School for Girls, or all the usual Bath options. THERE’S MUCH TO LOVE HERE, but what takes everything to another level are the huge sliding doors – yes, we’re banging on about light again – which make the winter less claustrophobic than usual, and can be slid o en entirely on the finest days, lurring the arrier between your home and the just-under 30 acres of land outside This includes wild ower meadows, addoc s, a vegetable patch and lots and lots of fields There s even a separate little one bedroom stone cottage at the foot




of the stable block, and extensive working equestrian facilities – think service spaces and outbuildings, tack rooms and hay stores, sitting alongside a couple of proper stables and the seven loose boxes in a detached block. If you’re not so much into horses, these could perhaps make for more accommodation – for people or, possibly, a collection of cars. nside the main house you ll find around , square feet of space, enjoying soaringly high ceilings. You can see the history here – almost all the building materials were salvaged from the original stables by architects Box 9 Design, best known for their work on cool London restaurants across Islington, Clapham and Chiswick – but at the same time the entire space feels modern and clean. That doesn’t, however, mean it’s not without playful character – in fact, it’s awash with it. To some extent, Hapsford Stables feels a little industrial, enjoying white tiling, raw wood panels, exposed whitewashed brickwork, artfully rusting corrugated iron and olished concrete oors, ut it s in no way cold, thanks in part to interior details proud of their agricultural roots, and part to a playful use of pictures and wall lights (these things cluster together sometimes, li e ellyfish shoals , the cra ily tottering ut dou tless utterly secure oo shelves, and the occasional eccentric moment of divine madness, like – alongside the stairs – a playground slide. That’s right, you can walk down from upstairs like a boring square, or you can whoosh down alongside, like eet footed Mercury, messenger of the gods r a small child ta e your ic


While this place is mostly open plan, it’s not o ressively so a dou le sided o en fire lace in the middle divides stuff u nicely, while a series of me anines and lowered ceilings carve things in half hori ontally too, creating inviting lounge areas eneath Naturally, it’s all super insulated, using geothermal technology and solar panels to provide more than the electricity required. At one end of the main living space there’s even a huge o en lan live wor s ace and yoga room this could e ually e a games room, or dunno a starter o ce for your incredi le new tech com any with a huge wall of glass framing views of the surrounding countryside. A folded metal staircase here leads up to a me anine li rary lounge and, ne t to it, the master bedroom suite and dressing room, which stretches across one entire side of the u er oor There are three more bedrooms and a family bathroom on this level, with a gla ed ga le wall at one end, and a line of spectacular voids which draw the light through. s lit level, o en lan itchen and dining room also lay with s ace and light, and offer an incredi le o en space for entertaining, replete with poured concrete worktops; there’s even an AGA built into the brickwork. ehind the itchen there s a third, u er oor lounge which you reach via a steel staircase – this could become another, utterly vast bedroom with en suite – while sliding glass panels here lead out to a decked terrace overlooking the swimming pool and paddocks. We’re pretty giddy looking at this place. No, of course it’s not cheap. But what price do you put on cool?


Staring too long at books, Berowne appears to be arguing, is painful and blinding: ‘Light’ (the eye), by ‘seeking light’ (in seeking truth), ‘doth light of light beguile’ (robs itself of vision). Basically, he’s saying that if you think you’re going to find truth in dark, gloomy old books, think again!

HOUSE NUMBERS Hapsford Stables, Frome Bedrooms




Drawing room size

47ft x 36ft

Overall main house and stable size 9030 sq ft Stalls and stables for actual horses


Separate cottage


Grounds Cool factor Price

Almost 30 acres Infinite £3,295,000

For more: The Modern House, St. Alphege, King’s Bench Street, London SE1 0QX; 020 3795 5920;

PROPERTY Interiors


It’s hard not to fall in love with these beautifully proportioned and completely restored 1960s Scandinavian lounge chairs. Imagine yourself propped up with a book, a cup of tea balanced in your lap, as the sun slowly sinks below the horizon. Perfect, right? You’ll find the low-slung beech wood frames re-polished to a light colour, while the new box cushions have been upholstered in grey Designers Guild velvet, giving them a certain glamorous sparkle that nicely sets off any room. £980; Simon and Frauke, 24 Mount Road Bath;

Moody lighting optional – but recommended!



Rengen has submitted plans to B&NES to redevelop The Scala site on Shaftesbury oad in ldfield ar ow a o o , the ictorian uilding was a cinema once u on a time, until it closed its doors in the early s The a lication includes student rooms and ats, some of which will e afforda le s art of the wor s, the o o su ermar et and the Freedom Through ance studios will receive an u grade too For more:

The Scala is set for a total refurb


BY DESIGN Designability has relocated production to a much bigger

wor sho on ells oad The ath ased charity rovides roducts that ena le eo le with disa ilities to en oy greater inde endence and, in this new s ace, they ll e a le to reach even more eo le This mar s the start of an e citing new cha ter for esigna ility e have had much of our machinery and roduction activity ased at the hos ital since , says Martin ouse, wor sho manager here ur roduction wor has grown significantly over time, forcing us to see e ternal wor s ace in , followed y additional e ternal storage They re est nown for the i y ug, a owered wheelchair designed for children under five To date they ve uilt of them, and the new wor sho will allow s ace for many more For more:


The new showroom has space for way more Wizzybugs

PROPERTY Let’s up sticks to…



Historic buildings, great motorway access and a real community feel on the edge of the otswolds, ust outside of ath

ith a great village atmosphere – though it’s actually (just about!) a town – and notably friendly inhabitants, plus a picturesque high street (almost every house here is over 100 years old), great countryside, and the best motorway access you could possibly hope for, there’s a lot to be said for the surprisingly bustling and community minded Marshfield, u on the ust south of unction t s not even built on a marsh, you’ll be pleased to know – the name actually means order field Davis Meade Rural of 3 Market Place is the only estate agents based up here; they’ve een local for years, offering sales, lettings, valuations and more hat s on the mar et right now How a out High treet, a three edroom, rade listed cottage, at , , or The oc s in ad acent shwic e, with four eds and an eccentric castle li e design for ust , Fancy a eer Then there are two u s right in the middle of town, the ord elson nn and The Catherine Wheel, where oo llison has een owner since , and landlady since she certainly nows the lace, having, she says, grown u in Marshfield from the age of three There are well regarded s ecialists here too, li e Boniti, suppliers of natural stone, tile and tim er ooring e chose to ring our usiness here because of the amazing scenic views, and to get away from the hustle and ustle of ath s usy city centre, says showroom manager ayleigh Mur hy ur customers are often faced with having to make important decisions while they’re here, so having a peaceful environment in which to do so is im ortant But perhaps the best known company in these parts is Marshfield Farm Ice Cream, using land the Hawking family has farmed since They now have over , acres here, the mil from their strong herd of cows producing award-winning, nationally distributed cold stuff They ve even got a summer ice cream arlour in a rade


listed arn, o en on wee ends from aster till the end of e tem er o what s it li e to live here Marshfield s gorgeous, with a very community s irited ethos, says the ice cream co s co owner, awn Haw ing The high street has lots of independent pubs, cafés and shops, and the community really champions local roduce we all su ort each other entral tores is a good e am le, a small village shop that’s truly a treasure trove, full of local produce (we love y roo oghurts , and with fresh owers rought in from ristol s mar ets every Thursday The Marshfield ustaina ility Face oo age has really o ened u the conversation on conservation too, so entral has a refill station where you can to u cu oard sta les, from cereals to sham oo thers rate the ost o ce which, slightly bizarrely, incorporates the butchers), and the local garages ameron orts ars ne t to oniti is a to notch orsche specialist – as well as the sheer range of handy services on offer here, from a doctor s surgery to a vets, a good primary school to a hairdressers t s not missing much, then and, thankfully, the highwaymen that used to trou le the area ic Tur in a arently amongst them, on occasion are long gone This said, ayleigh would li e to see a restaurant or ta eaway that offers deliveries when we re usy, leaving to collect lunch can leave us short staffed and awn s a een runner, so would love a regular running grou esta lished herea outs e re surrounded y rolling hills, she says, so although it would rarely e a at route, it would definitely e a scenic one


it a v mm nit i it d t

Boniti, in Marshfield – it’s not hard to see where the ‘field’ part of the name comes from



Davis Meade Rural

The Catherine Wheel

Marshfield Farm

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Grade II listed The Rocks,

Ashwick, on sale now with Davis Meade; Marshfield’s local, The Catherine Wheel; a selection of Marshfield Farm’s most important employees; 127 High Street is another pretty Davis Meade property up for grabs I BATH LIFE I 115

The Catherine Wheel MarshďŹ eld

A 17th century village pub with real ales, great food and affordable accommodation near Bath. Find out more online

Call 01225 892220 MarshďŹ eld, Bath SN14 8LR

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

Tel: 01249 716161 | Tel: 01225 811222 1 Ingoldmells Court, Edinburgh Way, Corsham, Wiltshire SN13 9XN |

AJ Removals Removals - Storage - Shipping - Packing

Camden to Cairo? Whatever you have, we'll help it go International Shipping. Door-To-Door Services Part-Load & Single Item Deliveries Full Export Wrapping & Packing 01225 404060 Unit 12 Stable Yard Industrial Estate, Windsor Bridge Road, Bath BA2 3AY


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;




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 s orts clu s, o ces and other commercial venues Contact Clair on 01225 426906 or 07855 79731

ath s leading fire lace, wood urner, gas fire, chimney and ue s ecialist From classic to contem orary, conce t to completion, their team of experts can work with you to achieve your perfect interior. Brands include Chesney’s, ar as elfires, Hwam, tuv and etmaster et in touch or visit the showroom. Mendip Fireplaces, Monkton Combe, Bath in @m ndi a at 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. t a ad i din at Tel: 01225 312003

Founded in , tons of ath is the s only specialist interior design practice focussed on refur ishing, renovating and reinvigorating eorgian and egency homes and hotels Their team of 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;




Westside Design is a family-run Bath based com any 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 mai in @ t id d i n

Cheverell is set in the heart of Wiltshire with a stunning showroom and wor sho , offering a full bespoke design, manufacturing and installation service in itchens, edrooms, and interiors sta lished in it has over years of e erience to guide you through the whole process. Cheverell, Waller Road, Hopton a vi it i

oniti is ased on the outs irts of ath and offers a wide range of quality interior and exterior products: natural stone and tim er ooring, verhot range coo ers, garden furniture and adai fire owls s well as the vast selection of roducts on offer, a friendly and ersonal service is at the heart of all that they do. ndn an t itt t n i t i Tel: 01225 892 200; I BATH LIFE I 121


“Why do we so often not think for ourselves?” an excellent parrot. Tanner made me understand that understanding is ust the first ste The real thing is to think for yourself and decide what you believe. My key areas of interest are: what makes life worth living?

Why is it so hard, if we know the answer to that, to do those things – and why do we get distracted by things that make us unhappy? Why do we so often not think for ourselves, and why are we more eager to consume than contribute? Why are we afraid of freedom?


Born in Texas, raised in Holland, educated at Cambridge, and teaches at Bath – but these are the least interesting things about this TED talk star and leading public philosopher I live almost equidistant between Bristol, Bath and Wells; it feels like a kind of

magic triangle. Bristol has a real urban vibe, fresher than London, youthful and willing to experiment, and wonderful food. Bath is calmer and so beautiful; I love the way that you need only look up and see the countryside. Wells feels blessed by not having a train station, so it really is its own world. All three speak to my different moods and o erate on a really human scale that I love.

I come into Bath for movies, for books, for cheese (two brilliant

cheese shops seems outlandishly fortunate) and for festivals. I love Toppings and Mr B’s. I enter either of them determined only to get the book I want – and walk out laden with ones I didn’t even


know about. I’m a big fan of the Beaux Arts Gallery too, where I’ve bought several pieces, some for me and others as presents. It’s a good feeling to buy something from a living artist, knowing you’re supporting their work. As a teenager, I went to an American high school and was

introduced to Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Sartre and Camus. That really got me excited. Then, at Cambridge, I was taught by a tremendous Hegelian named Michael Tanner. Hegel is notoriously di cult and was so proud of myself when I wrote a careful, detailed essay about the Hegelian idea of history. He gave it back to me, saying, very good, you get it. Now tell me: at wrong with Hegel? Up until that point, I think perhaps I’d just been

In all my books, I have tried to think of life as including our working lives. This feels obvious

to me – but it isn’t obvious to most people who write about our organisational lives. Most business books write about business as though it were just a machine, the people only cogs in it. I think this is utterly wrong, that organisations are (as the word suggests) living organisms in which people are a source of energy. The segregation of life from work is, for both, a disaster

– because it means we approach both the wrong way. So I’ve always tried to integrate them, because that’s how they are lived. It’s harder, in a way, to write about both – it certainly takes more research and more thinking – but it means that my books are read by a really broad cross-section of people who appreciate that I write about human life, however it is lived. The most annoying thing going on in or around philosophy

is the dominance of economics and the belief that everything that matters can be measured. Behaviourism makes this worse – the idea that conditioning can motivate desired behaviours. How did it happen that economics ate our brains, and we forgot that the things that matter most an t be measured? How did it happen that we stopped thinking about ethics,

which is the study of how we relate to other people, not just ourselves? These are the things that matter and that have lasting impact and I fail to understand why they need to be defended. But they do. I’ve just become a Professor at the University of Bath’s School of Management, and

love teaching young people – I learn as much from the students as I hope they learn from me. (And they are never the same twice.) hen first started, most of the students wanted to go into the City to make a killing; I feared we were producing cannon fodder for the banks. That has all changed. The students I see now are eager to make a positive impact on the world, to solve hard problems like climate change and inequality. They want to prosper, of course, but don’t think that that is only about cash.

I did my first TED talk thanks to Charlotte Calkin, who told

TED about my work. I’m hugely indebted to her! A good TED talk is a tough thing to do. In my head there are rules: do not sell from the stage don t irt with the audience have a fresh big idea; think beyond yourself; and mean it. It takes a lot of time and effort to get it right You can’t busk it. And it helps to watch a lot of talks and develop a sense of style that is yours. My favourite question to ask people is: who helped you?

All of us have been helped by so many people – not just family and friends, but teachers, bus drivers, doctors, receptionists, strangers. I’m always eager to see whether people notice how deeply our lives depend on the work of others. Uncharted: How to Map the Future Together (Simon & Schuster, £20) is out now; m nan m

Profile for MediaClash

Bath Life – Issue 413  

Bath Life – Issue 413