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Architects explore local new and old builds

THE LAY OF THE LAND Flourishing farm shops


Hilton’s DoubleTree gets a luxe makeover



Wear it pink for a good cause

THE ELDER STATESMAN Meet the co-designer behind The Elder and The Jib Door


ISSUE 429 / 23 OCTOBER – 5 NOVEMBER 2020


above: Huey and Roo at the Royal Crescent Hotel,

pictured by Betty Bhandari below: This Ed’s Choice accessory (page 60) helps remind us the clocks change Sunday 25 October


hen I said to friends and colleagues I was interviewing our cover star Huey Morgan, of Fun Lovin’ Criminals and BBC radio DJ fame, I was besieged with questions – mainly ‘Can you tell him I love him?’, followed by ‘We listen to him every week, his shows are amazing.’ Luckily I can report back, he is as lovely, laid back and engaging as they hoped he might be (page 34). Better still, this, born the wrong side of the tracks New Yorker, is now a right side of Bath family man and super proud it. One of his overriding appreciations of our fair city is the architecture, hence our shoot by the talented photographer Betty Bhandari, is by the Royal Crescent. And it also gave us the idea to ask local architects which were their preferred old, and new, Bath buildings. Some of their answers might just make you see Bath in new light, in fact I now think incredibly designed bin stores should be de rigeur … (page 18). A building not famed for its beauty, DoubleTree by Hilton on Walcot Street, gets a visit by me this issue (page 46), and what I found beyond that brutal 70s façade stole my heart, thanks to standards, the location, the staff, and the ambience. It’s an example of something on our doorstep that we ignore every day thinking it’s just for tourists and visitors. But like fellow resident Huey’s example, maybe we should take more time out to really appreciate our beautiful city, and all it can offer.


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

Issue 429 / 23 October - 5 November 2020 COVER Huey Morgan and his dog Roo at the Royal Crescent. Picture by Betty Bhandari


18 ARCHITECTURE New and old builds are explored

and discussed by Bath’s leading architects


31 ARTS INTRO Bath’s newest art fair 32 WHAT’S ON The art, film and theatre happening in


34 BIG INTERVIEW Fun Lovin’ Criminal Huey

Morgan on loving adopted city of Bath

42 BOOKS Nic Bottomley heads east


44 FOOD & DRINK NEWS The latest on Bath’s foodie


46 RESTAURANT DoubleTree Bath By Hilton is

revamped and serving up great food

51 TRY 5 Crowd pleasing pasta dishes 52 FARM SHOPS Transforming your weekly shop into

an experience



59 INTRO The millennial’s favourite shade and how to

wear it

60 EDITOR’S CHOICE Tickled pink for a good cause


71 BATHWORKS The local businesses making the



81 PROPERTY INTRO A new chapter for a former

printworks site

82 PROPERTY NEWS Keep up to date with Bath’s

property scene

86 SHOWCASE A home centuries in the making 96 INTERIOR DESIGN Andy Goodwin on creating

Bath’s hot new restaurant and private members’ club



6 SPOTLIGHT The Welcome Back season starts 11 FLATLINE David Flatman talks farmshops 12 INSIDE STORY Phillippa May on upcycling 79 BATH TOGETHER Greg Ingham 106 LIVES Theatre Royal’s Graeme Savage

Editor Sarah Moolla Deputy editor Lydia Tewkesbury Managing editor Deri Robins deri.robins@mediaclash. Senior art editor Andrew Richmond Graphic design Megan Allison Cover design Trevor Gilham Contributors Betty Bhandari, Nic Bottomley, David Flatman, Greg Ingham, Philippa May and John Mather Group Advertising Manager Pat White Deputy advertising manager Justine Walker justine.walker@mediaclash. Account manager Annabel North Production/Distribution manager Sarah Kingston Deputy Production Manager Kirstie Howe Production designer Matt Gynn Chief executive Jane Ingham 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. 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: I BATH LIFE I 5

SPOTLIGHT Theatre Royal






On the evening of 14 October, live theatre made its return to Bath. Masked and socially distanced, yes, but completely electric. The first play back is Betrayal, a beloved Harold Pinter work consumed with the complexities of marriage, love and friendship. Starring Joseph Millson, Nancy Carroll and Edward Bennett, and directed by Theatre Royal regular Jonathan Church (The Life I Lead, The Man in the White Suit), opening night signalled a hopeful turning point in Bath’s cultural life. Despite everything, art always goes on. “For the autumn, Danny Moar has put together a season of two- and three-handers, which invariably entirely concentrate on intimate relationships,” says Betrayal lead Nancy. “They are ultimately about the human condition, and that’s what people want at the moment – they want to get back into the populous.” Betrayal runs until 31 October. For more:


top right: Danny Moar welcomes the audience back; bottom left: An audience masked, distanced and ready to go; centre: Joseph Millson, Nancy Carroll and Edward Bennett plays the leads in the Pinter masterpiece; bottom right: Danny is interviewed outside the theatre



E M M A’ S R E S TA UR A N T & B A R The new cookie in town finally opens its doors located within the DoubleTree by Hilton Bath. Located on Walcot Street, the hotel boasts unparalleled riverside views. Whether you fancy a pre-dinner ‘cookie martini’ in the bar or some fusion cuisine in the restaurant, the newly refurbished hotel will certainly whet the appetite To book a table email

SPOTLIGHT FilmBath Dispatches from the spots we never get tired of photographing

REELING US IN The 30th FilmBath Festival starts next month. From 13-17 November, a 23-foot inflatable screen will take over Green Park Station to show a selection of hand-picked films. “Our programme this year acts as a condensed version of our usual captivating and varied selection of films. However, there is an undeniable theme of human vulnerability running throughout. In a time where many of us have found ourselves vulnerable in unexpected ways, we take a closer look at how a diverse range of humans tackle this emotion face on,” says festival assistant Tanya CharterisBlack. Miss Juneteenth, the story of a single mother desperate to see her daughter follow in her footsteps and turn beauty queen; Slalom, a timely French film about a 15-year-old budding ski-star falling into an abusive relationship with her much older male coach; and Another Round, a provocative piece led by Mads Mikkelsen as a depressed school teacher who persuades his friends to fuel their days with alcohol– number just a few of the extraordinary programme. For more:

Paddling to Pulteney Bridge by @GarethHoskinsphotography


Miss Juneteenth; MIDDLE: Another Round; BOTTOM: Slalom

Nothing will stop Bath having a good Christmas

Bath by drone by @tomgoeswhere

The summer bunting is set to transform to something more festive

Christmas in Bath


Views across Bathwick Hill by Ayoub El Fatni, @ayoub

The Christmas Market may be off this year, but there’ll still be a sprinkle of magic coming to the city. Even better, Bath residents can be part of creating this year’s festive decorations. Following the success of the Bounce Back Bath Art Competition in the summer and the pretty bunting we enjoy around the city as a result, Bath BID and Minuteman Press are bringing it back for another round. There are four categories: under 10, under 21, over 21 and (new for Christmas) business, and as before,

all the winners will see their work decorate the city on two-metre high giant bunting. “This is just one of a number of safe, socially distant, joyful events set to take place in the city this Christmas. We can’t wait for people to come along and see their own artwork on display,” says Allison Herbert, Bath BID CEO. “Anyone is welcome to send in a design using any medium and any style they like, abstract or realistic, digital, watercolour, collage, whatever they wish. We are looking for bright, festive designs to welcome people into the city.” Submissions are open until 2 November. For more: I BATH LIFE I 9

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A stunning development of two individual contemporary luxury homes set in a beautifully mature setting with magnificent views.


Down on the farm


Flats admits he actually doesn’t mind being fleeced by a decent farm shop

“I can’t remember exactly, but I think a loaf of unsliced white bread at my local farm shop was about £73.80”


s the damage caused by the virus continues to impact us all in different ways and to varying degrees, I often find myself driving past businesses or people or XXXL distribution centres on the M5 and wondering how they’re all doing. I mean, anything with Amazon on it is printing cash, but what about car mechanics and PC World and dog groomers? What brought these almost unconscious musings to the front of my mind was being told that farm shops were making up part of this magazine, as I’ve driven past a few and wondered, frankly, how they’re still in business. Now, I know nothing about the running of farm shops. Obviously. However, I did once make a concerted effort to have an entrepreneurial friend of mine open one, as it would have benefitted me hugely. The idea was simple: farm shop at the front with really nice meat, coffee shop in the middle with posh macchiatos and, ideally, almond croissants from Richard Bertinet, and a softplay zone for kids out the back. I mean, perfection. He looked into it, too. The reason he took it semi-seriously was that, in his words, “you can basically charge what you want at farm shops and people will pay it.” This sounded ridiculous, then, having lived in the countryside for a year, I realised it was true. I was ‘people’ and I was paying it. I can’t remember exactly, but I think a loaf of unsliced white bread at my local farm shop was about £73.80. Expensively, I was never someone who checked the price of every little thing, but the cost of a quick trip to the farm shop for some ‘essentials’ is what turned me. I couldn’t believe it. Again my memory is hazy, but I think it was seven grand. So I did that sociopathic thing and mentioned it to the owner – a lovely lady who always seemed to be working

very hard indeed – who told me, in short, that it’s to do with both the quality of produce and the experience. The ambience. The feeling. Hmm. I wondered, is this utter tosh? Aside from the occasional emergency pack of bacon, I don’t buy any meat at supermarkets. I pay a little more per-kilo to have high quality fish and meat delivered to my house, and simply eat slightly fewer kilos. And I pay to have Bertinet sourdough brought here, too, because I’ve tried making it and mine, unsurprisingly, is less good. So I get the quality produce thing. As for the farm shop ambience thing, I decided to test it out two weekends ago. I went to meet some mates at Hartley Farm Shop (not my old local farm shop, sadly). What I’d like to say – as it would support my first few paragraphs – is that I left feeling insufficiently buoyed in relation to the money with which I had parted. But no. I love it there. All the food was excellent, the setting is gorgeous, and it wasn’t too pricey at all. In fact, I tried to go back the very next day, but work got in the way. In conclusion, then, I’m going to sit on the farm shop fence. Paying slightly more – if you can – for better food is something I (literally) buy into. And we all, in different ways, pay to be in places and atmospheres that we enjoy, but they have to feel worth it if we are to repeat the purchase. Some farm shops I find a rip off, and others I find a rural, earthy, feel-good joy. Hartley Farm is a bit of a trek from where I live, but it’s worth it for the grass-fed lamb shoulder, I promise. Pick your farm shops wisely.

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 11


Get spraying and rejuvenating with an all-surface paint like Rust-Oleum


Philippa on the joys of the renaissance art of upcycling


his year there’s been a huge shift in consumerism, with environmental sustainability no longer just about buzzwords. We’re changing how we produce and consume products. More than ever we’re aware of the drastic impact our ‘fast fashion’ culture is having on our environment and possibly our mental state too. Yes, Amazon, broke records in lockdown, fuelled by fast trends, the need for speedy delivery, and yet that way of buying feels more disposable than ever. This year has affected us in so many ways, one shift that’s become obvious was the education of a nation. People were taking the time to learn more – how to cook, how to crochet or even how to lead a more sustainable lifestyle. Whilst we’re still a long way off the large battle to save our planet, there has been a home DIY renaissance leading a new type of revolution – the upcycle.

“Our parents’ generation rarely threw anything away, but rather reused, repurposed or handed down” 12 I BATH LIFE I

Buying good quality furniture and home décor is always sensible, but in a new world where delivery is lengthened and supply chains struggle, a sensible and faster way to reinvent your interiors has been to just do it yourself, and save an old piece of furniture from being dumped at the same time. We’ve all seen those TV programmes showing you how to turn your trash into treasure, but who has the time? Turns out repairing over replacing has found a place in our hearts. Instagram has been overflowing with upcycling hacks, from a simple paint job to bespoke concrete worktops, we’ve seen the imagination bloom and a new type of emotional escapism emerge. Getting our hands dirty and creating something beautiful with a new lease of life is, I think, more exciting and rewarding than saving up and buying that mass-produced piece you’ve been marketed. Homes will be filled with one offs and a strong sense of personal taste, rather than a replication of a trend. Of course when you brag about your new upcycled sideboard to your parents it’s met with the classic ‘well you didn’t invent make do and mend dear’ but a millennial friend will sit in awe of your new masterpiece. Furniture upcycling is hardly a new thing, our parents’ generation rarely threw anything away, but rather reused, repurposed or handed

down – something we enjoyed this year with our ‘new’ old cot, still going after being bought in Harrods thirty years ago… But you also need to have some imagination or be ready to graft, rarely will a modest lick of paint create something wildly new and exciting. Think bigger and better – take that old marble topped sideboard, give it a good sanding and some of Neptune’s Isoguard Oil in ‘Chalked’ and turn it into your new bathroom vanity unit. If you’re feeling bold, Rust-Oleum’s Universal Paint needs no priming and will cover most surfaces including metal, wood – or even a veneer. With some careful cuts and a good coating of their matte black paint, you can restore an old oak cupboard into a trendled sideboard, just add some texture with thick hessian or a radio weave rattan to really make you proud, then make sure to top it all off with some beautiful, handmade bowls (try Fi Underhill in Frome) and maybe a leaning print or two to properly make it look at home.

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


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NOW AND THEN Bath architects share their favourite historical and contemporary Bath building By Sarah Moolla


rchitecture, both new and old, defines a city. We may marvel at the rich architectural history of Bath from the Royal Crescent to the Roman Baths but good modern architecture also has the ability to inspire, and invoke wonder. Together they create impact on our response and reactions to our surroundings. To explore this further, we asked eight local architects to talk us through their favourite old and new Bath buildings.


“John Wood House continue to provide alms-house accommodation for the vulnerable elderly today”

ARCHITECTURE buildings were developed to create the complex of buildings we see today, including Fitzjocelyn House and Chapel Court House. “Many of the existing buildings, including John Wood House, continue to provide alms-house accommodation for the vulnerable elderly today. Chandos House was refurbished and converted into high quality apartments for the elderly in 2018. All are managed by the St John’s Foundation. “Whilst not as grand as his later set pieces such as The Circus and Queen Square, or as substantial as The Royal Mineral Water Hospital or Prior Park, they represent an important part of John Wood the Elder’s early career, contributing significantly to the Bath we see today.” NOW

KEVIN MURPHY, Chartered architect and managing director Aaron Evans Architects; THEN


“There are of course many significant and well-recognised historic buildings in Bath dating from the Georgian period. However, perhaps less well known are those that comprise the St John’s

Hospital precinct. “John Wood House is situated at the western end of Bath Street, immediately behind the Cross Bath and encloses the eastern side of Chapel Court. In 1726 James Brydges, Duke of Chandos, was visiting Bath to take the waters with his wife Cassandra and was not impressed by the quality of lodgings available. In 1727, seeing an opportunity, Chandos employed John Wood the Elder, aged just 22, to rebuild the existing lodging houses in the newly fashionable Palladian style envisioned by Wood. “In 1728 Wood was again employed to build Chandos Buildings (since demolished) and another lodging house at the western end of Chapel Court known, today, as Chandos House. This is situated on Westgate Buildings, opposite Halfords. Over the following 200 or so years further

“Situated at the end of Great Pulteney Street behind the grand façade of what once was the Sydney Hotel, the Holburne Museum extension makes a dramatic impression on the adjacent Sydney Gardens and Kennet and Avon Canal. Designed by Eric Parry Architects, it was completed in 2011. “The extension was built as part of the overall refurbishment of the Museum and houses the collection of Sir William Holburne, the fifth baronet of Menstrie. This includes bronze sculptures, silver, porcelain and paintings by Gainsborough and Stubbs. The extension provided much needed additional exhibition space with more than 60 per cent of the exhibits now on show previously held in storage. The building also facilitated new disabled access, a well-frequented café accessed from both within and from the gardens to the rear alongside an educational facility. “The building is wholeheartedly contemporary, not constructed from Bath stone, standing jewel-like alongside its historic counterpart. The dark green ceramic exterior cladding and glass signals the nature of the collection within whilst reflecting the trees and grass surrounding it. Inside views of the surrounding outside vegetation also ensure a strong connection between the interior spaces and their setting. “This modern intervention has widened the appeal of the museum, created a ‘must visit’ destination within the city attracting temporary exhibitions by contemporary artists such as Bruce Munro and Grayson Perry. The extension, of course, makes no attempt to be ‘in keeping’ in terms of materiality or aesthetic but the sense of rhythm and proportion, in my view, compliment rather than detract from its historic host.” © HOLBURNE BY ANDREW WARR AN / FLICKR

John Wood House is situated at the western end of Bath Street



The Holburne extension built in 2011 provided much needed additional exhibition space I BATH LIFE I 19



“Going slightly outside Bath I’m opting for Eagle House in Batheaston. It is at 71 Northend and anyone who passes, as I do on my intermittent jogging route from our studio towards St Catherine’s Valley, will recognise it for its striking eagle above the pediment on the east façade and wonder about its history. “It is thought the house was built late 17th century but its significance is that it was remodelled by Bath’s master architect John Wood the Elder as his own house, first in 1724 and then in 1729. It is John Wood’s first known building in the Bath area, prior his better known Bath masterpieces such as Queen Square and the Circus, but for me it is its more recent history that is fascinating and inspiring. “If you believe that great buildings inspire the people who live in them, then you will be charmed by the history associated with Eagle House. Owned by the Blathwayt family at the end of the 19th century, the house must have been a hotbed for critical discussion. The extensive library was centred on nature and botany, with daughter Emily a passionate gardener. “The house however became most famous for its focus for the suffragette movement providing refuge for suffragettes including those who had been released from prison after hunger strikes. Bringing together her passions for nature and women’s suffrage, Emily planted individual trees to commemorate the women’s achievements, creating an arboretum in a field close to the house at the foot of Solsbury Hill. “Sadly only one Austrian pine is said to survive and the house has now been split into apartments, but if ever there was a local building with an inspiring story of politics and ecology intertwined that could provide an inspiration to us all then it is Eagle House in Northend.” NOW


“Camden Mill is on the Lower Bristol Road and adjacent to the canal, and is the offices for the progressive engineering firm Buro Happold. A former steam-powered flour mill constructed in 1879-80 and designed by a recognised regional architect of industrial buildings, Henry Williams of Bristol.

The Corridor – a little piece of glitzy pre-Victoriana


“Living on a boat in Bristol harbour, I am always seduced by the creative reuse of industrial buildings – particularly those alongside the water. The waterways and their historic buildings provide an important but sometimes forgotten life within the city, Bath being no exception. The boats on our canals after all fulfil an interesting and alternative housing need. By breathing new life into these important historical buildings these stories and life of the city can continue. “A bold industrial building encourages a bold design in response. The refurbishment was completed in 2008 and is recognisable for its brightly lit louvred drum hinting at the internal transformation. The designers of this building, Design Engline, have retained important historic elements – the hoists above the canal are crying out to be reused whilst contemporary elements such as the brightly lit entrance beacon hint at the light filled transformation inside.”

RICHARD LOCKE, associate director of BBA Architects; THEN


“My preferred historical building is The Corridor – a shopping arcade designed by Henry Goodridge and completed in 1825. It marks the end of the Georgian period and a transition to the more industrious Victorian. “It is one of the earliest examples of an indoor, covered shopping arcade. I particularly like the entrance features, columns, canopy and lettering. The internally glazed roof lanterns are very appealing. It’s a little piece of glitzy pre-Victoriana which is still enjoyable today.” NOW


“A fine example of a modern design in Bath, for me, is 20 Manvers Street, a city centre refurbishment with rooftop extension. It was completed in 2017 by Stride Treglown and their client CBRE Global Investors. I particularly like its bold clean look with its views over the city from the glazed top floor. It is rentable office space which may now become an outdated model in these pandemic times and it too may mark the end of an era – working in an office!”


BEN SMITH, director of Batterham Smith Architects; THEN

“The Corridor shopping arcade was designed by Henry Goodridge and completed in 1825” OPPOSITE PAGE, TOP LEFT: Eagle House provided refuge

for suffragettes; TOP RIGHT: Architects Design Engine have retained important historic elements in their work with Buro Happold; BOTTOM: The roof top extension of 20 Manvers Street offers views over the city from the glazed top floor I BATH LIFE I 21



Somerset Place, numbers 5-20


“The curves over the hillside, from convex to concave, both laterally and horizontally, are exceptionally elegant”

TOM BURNFORD, director at Burnford Architecture; THEN “My favourite Georgian structure in Bath is actually an ensemble of buildings: the Lansdown CrescentSomerset Place extended terrace. The thing that makes this so special is its uniqueness. “I can’t think of anywhere else that so successfully transfers Baroque ideas into the realm of urban design – in the UK at large – but maybe even in Europe. While we often see these beautiful curved forms in places like Italy – at individual church façades by Borromini or Bernini, say – to go on to apply that to the city at large is quite a feat. What’s more, it is a response to the specific natural landscape of Bath – inextricably linked to its site, and largely unrepeatable.  “The curves over the hillside, from convex to concave, both laterally and horizontally, are an exceptionally elegant and successful work of Georgian architecture. A final point to note about this is the fact that it was constructed collaboratively. It was not brought into being by the acts of any kind of remote and powerful individual. It is a very cohesive sequence of buildings for what is essentially a group of individually owned houses, and I think that also adds something to them overall.”

The Spa building by Grimshaw has reinvigorated the area socially





“I think the most successful new work of architecture in Bath is the Spa building by Grimshaw. It not only uses a form and palette of materials that contextualises it successfully, it also restores and enhances nearby historic buildings, giving them renewed purpose. It has reinvigorated the area socially – by making positive impacts on public health and wellbeing, and it is good for the city economically. This is the holy grail for me of a good architectural intervention. “Overall my feeling is that where architects have worked with an existing structure and then gone on to enhance it with discreet but unapologetic contemporary additions – contextually – the results are successful. The Egg Theatre also springs to mind by Haworth Tompkins and also the recent conversion of the Herman Miller Building. I find it really heart-warming that the same architect who built it originally has been able to continue his design journey at this site.”


HANNAH YOELL, senior architect with DKA; THEN


“Originally the Grade I listed Holburne was designed as a hotel for Sydney Pleasure Gardens and was opened in 1799. It later became a private mansion before becoming home to the museum in 1916. Situated at the top of Great Pulteney Street, which is one of my favourite approaches to our Georgian city, I can imagine the Georgian ladies in their finery promenading down the wide pavements, indeed on occasion you can still see ladies in Georgian costume. “The Holburne itself is an example of a Georgian building

ARCHITECTURE Where old meets new at the Holburne Museum

MARK LORD, founder of Lord Architecture; www.lordarchitecture. THEN

repurposed for modern day culture. From the principal elevation the building retains a sense of its original setting with a sweeping drive and railings. As you enter the building its proportions remain intact and the original staircase, worn by generations of people exploring the building. Its sense of grandeur remains but also its fairly bijoux proportions as a mini mansion on the edge of the city.” NOW


“The Holburne’s modern intervention is a secret jewel behind the formal Georgian façade . My primary approach to the city is often from the canal path through Sydney Gardens and Eric Parry’s modern extension signifies the start of my arrival in the city. “I think that it perfectly captures Bath as a modern city in a rural setting. Wherever you are in our city, you can look out and see the trees and the hillside beyond. The unapologetically modern piece of architecture reflects its immediate surroundings of the Holburne’s garden and its wider context approach of Sydney Gardens, originally designed as Georgian pleasure gardens. “Its chameleon glazed tiles and glass seem to shimmer and change with the seasons – this is what makes it my favourite modern building. “It balances sitting quietly behind the original Georgian building and having its own identity as a garden pavilion. The brave choice of an alternative to Bath stone, so frequently used in modern interventions in our city, allow it to be clearly separate from the original Georgian building, which stands on its own merits. ‘I think that the success of the original building and the extension are the relationship that the two have; quietly respecting each other and each carrying out their own purposes. The original building housing activities that suits its original proportions and the modern extension accommodating more complex requirements such as lifts and highly controlled gallery environments, which would otherwise have compromised the original building’s features. “Recently I’ve witnessed its success as a safe gathering haven for outdoor coffee, spilling into its gardens with gallery spaces above, meeting the stringent technical requirements of housing a collection for future generations.”

“Widcombe Manor is situated to the south of our UNESCO World Heritage City, and is a Grade I listed building, originally constructed in the mid 17th century and later rebuilt in the early 18th century. “The original dwelling is thought to have been designed by Indigo Jones. The manor is a private residence with an attached cottage, and is famous for its ornate detailing and benefits from substantial formal gardens and wider grounds including a lake, a grotto, a contemporary pool house and a Venetian 15th century fountain, which is listed as Grade I. “Architecturally the south elevation is of particular note; ornately detailed with fluted ionic pilasters; a central elliptical oculus window and modillion cornice with parapet beyond; open balustrades with terminal urns and armorial shields to the upper east and west. This elevation is also the primary public view from Church Street, opening out beyond the aforementioned Venetian fountain and cast-iron gates and is often photographed by tourists and local residents admiring its splendour. “Widcombe Manor also holds a personal affection by association; my wife and I were married and each of our children baptised at the adjacent St Thomas’ à Becket Church.” NOW


“One of the most successful contemporary schemes of recent years is the Thermae Bath Spa. The project encompassed the restoration and adaptation of a collection of Grade I, Grade II* and Grade II listed buildings, including The Cross Bath, 8 Bath Street, The Hot Bath and The Hetling Pump Room. The ‘New Royal Bath’ successfully demonstrates that uncompromising modern architecture can not only exist alongside historic buildings, but it can enhance their setting and the user experience.




Widcombe Manor was originally constructed in the mid 17th century I BATH LIFE I 23

ARCHITECTURE Thermae Spa is a masterclass in the delivery of contemporary architecture alongside our ancient heritage

“The use of geometry, texture, light and colour work to create a language between the old and the new ” “The Thermae Bath Spa is located within Bath’s spa quarter in the heart of the city, funded as a joint venture between B&NES, the Millennium Commission and Thermae Development, and is rumoured to have cost circa £40m. Following an initial design competition, which attracted over 140 entries, it was designed in a collaboration between Sir Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners, and Donald Insall Associates, and was completed in 2006. “The completed scheme is a state-of-the-art spa complex allowing local residents and tourists alike to enjoy the natural thermal waters as the Celts and Romans did circa 2000 years before. “The complex simplicity of the modern building and its use of materials and geometry to both relate to its historic context and yet remain clearly of its own time is incredibly successful. From within, the high-performance glazing allows natural light to penetrate deep within the floor-plan, whilst providing both far reaching and context views or privacy depending on where you are in the building. From without, the use of Bath stone (Ashlar) sourced from a local quarry allows the building to nestle seamlessly into its surroundings. “The use of geometry, texture, light and colour work to create a language between the old and the new whilst allowing each building to be clearly detectable and celebrated in its own right. This careful consideration by the team of architects, designers, planners and developers is a masterclass in the delivery of contemporary architecture alongside our ancient heritage.” The Old Police Station still retains a sense of demanding respect

DANIEL LUGSDEN, partner at Nash Partnership; THEN


“I’ve always been drawn to the Old Police Station on Orange Grove, now the Browns Restaurant, built in 1865 by Charles Edward Davis. Before I even knew it was the Police Station, I thought it effortlessly displayed real strength as a building, but at the same time such elegance. “Even though it has plenty of layers to its detailing, in the window reveals and heavily rusticated ground floor (giving real depth and an air of impenetrability), it also has such simplicity to its overall composition in

its Romanesque revival style. “A strong building, but a sense of being delicate at the same time… the keeper of the law…firm but fair! Its tall, fine-panelled double doors remind you that you are entering an important building, oversized and strong, demanding some respect. You just wouldn’t see doors like that on modern municipal buildings any more.  “Now a restaurant, you use the old cells when you pop to the toilet. That sort of re-use in a building is such fun, and it is so important not to underestimate its power in successfully transforming and reusing buildings. The Empire hotel alongside dwarfs it now, which was built almost 40 years later, with of course the Abbey opposite, but I feel it still holds its own amongst a context of some of Bath’s most prestigious and large scale buildings.” I BATH LIFE I 25




“I’d like to put a little focus on the importance of the buildings between buildings. In a city like Bath, with its World Heritage status, there will only be so much you can do (in the centre of the city certainly) without risking dominating what is a very protected character area. A successful way of introducing contemporary buildings is to do so in the gaps between, but without over stating. Contemporary with a bit of modesty. “I love the Buro Happold bin store – it’s a delightful little building, sat alongside its older industrial brother. It’s well-crafted, introduces a little colour, has some rhythm, and some depth of shadow. It also looks well engineered, so no surprise it’s attached to Buro Happold’s studios. “This is also nice as what is presented outside, represents what is going on inside. It’s light in its presence, so it counteracts the heavy nature of building next to it. Little pockets of relief amongst an overriding character style help enhance a place. Finding the balance is a fine line, but that’s our role as architects – to find that line without crossing it.”

Sometimes it’s about finding design ‘in the gaps’ like this Buro Happold bin store

The Widcombe site also sits adjacent to the canal allowing waterside views

DOUGAL ANDERSON, divisional director at Stride Treglown; THEN


“Green Park Station sits as a transitional piece of architecture that had to deal with the arrival of a technology which changed the whole country – the railway. Thus in its way, it is quite uncompromising, with much of the building being constructed in iron, glass and timber. “However, it also displays the classic duality of Victorian railway stations where engineering and architecture were separate entities, the formal street façade being classically inspired and detailed in Bath stone, whilst the structure over the railway platforms is a pure essay in elegant and economic engineering. “The building is interesting as it was a new addition into the established Georgian city, opening in 1870. The scale of the building was ultimately derived by its use as a terminus station for steam trains, but the significant decision, which informed the size of the building, was to provide a completely covered platform. This meant the architects from the Midland Railway Company had to design a large clear spanning building of a height which competed with nearby Georgian terraces.

This is a challenge which is similar to that which face many modern architects working in Bath! “Another aspect of the building’s delight is that it was designed to be used by the public. The fact the railway is no longer present has not prevented the building to still be part of the city. It is happily utilised now, still with public access, forming part of many Bath locals’ everyday lives, whereas it could have easily become a relic of a bygone age.” NOW



“The new buildings that replaced the former Widcombe Social Club, which was housed in a sprawling and inflexible building. To make the project work, the new designs had to be of a larger scale than the previous building so that the commercial aspects, which helped fund the construction Much of Green Park is constructed in iron, glass and timber of the new social club, could be integrated. “This was accompanied by the challenge of terminating the vista along Widcombe Parade, whilst having to complement the backdrop of St Matthew’s church as the site rises up Widcombe Hill. “One of the delights of the location was the fact that the site also sits adjacent to the canal, allowing waterside views. The design approach is modern, but informed by the local context of the surrounding buildings. The result is relatively understated so that the buildings appear as part of the townscape rather than making a statement. “As part of the understanding of the locality, the designs present a relatively formal connection with Widcombe Parade whilst becoming less formal moving away from the main street. In particular the canal side elevations are reflective of the waterside environment taking its aesthetic cues from vernacular and industrial architecture. “The pleasure of the completed design comes from witnessing a modern building which maintains its modern qualities, yet seems to knit well into the traditional street scene.”


BATH PRESERVATION TRUST LAUNCH NEW GUIDED WALKS AND ONLINE ‘ASK AN ARCHITECT’ SESSIONS Book your place on a guided walk, taking place on Fridays and meeting outside No.1 Royal Crescent. Find out more about Georgian lifestyles and the amazing architecture of the time,including the Royal Crescent and the Circus. Walks start at 2pm, last about an hour and cost £7 per head, up to 5 people only and masks required. Visit for information and to book.

Come along and ‘Ask an Architect’ with our online sessions on 24th October and 21st November, 10.30am–2.30pm. Book a 45 minute time slot with one of the architects, suggested donation of £25. SATURDAY 24 OCTOBER with Architect Nic Downs of Downs Merrifield Architects SATURDAY 21 NOVEMBER with Architect Matt Sicolo of SicoloWebb Architects Visit: for information and to book.


CREATING SPACE We’ve got a new regular date for your calendars. The Bath Contemporary Artists Fair launched this autumn, and will take place in Green Park Station every month – the next one is coming up on 8 November. An art fair for artists launched by Malachi Bogdanov, the former associate director of the English Shakespeare Company, it is about supporting artists from all mediums by giving them a space to exhibit in a commission-free, affordable way. In the main, art fairs are very expensive (for everyone involved – visitor and artist) and often only happen once a year, which makes it hard for many talented artists to get their work out there. The BCAF aims to be the antidote to this, a regular meeting space where big name national and international artists share space with emerging talent and lesser known creators. It’ll be a space for artists to connect to the public – and for us to connect to art. With works like Serendipity (pictured), a beautiful portrait in Gouache and water soluable crayon by Jonathan Kinkead on show, we can’t wait. Monthly; 10am-5pm; Green Park Station; I BATH LIFE I 31



23 October – 6 November

Always check COVID-19 restrictions and instructions with venues before your visit

Get into spooky season the fierce way at Moles

Until 25 October

LUX: AN EXHIBITION OF LIGHT Catherine Beale’s works are preoccupied with striking and unusual light. Her luminous pieces, many of which feature iconic Bath scenery, cast a magical glow across their subjects, and are often painted in the boundary hours between day and night. Thurs-Sun 11am-6pm; 44AD Artspace;

Until 31 October

BETRAYAL A couple of years after ending their seven-year affair, Emma and Jerry meet for a drink. Emma has just discovered her husband, Robert – also Jerry’s best mate – has been having an affair of his own. The Theatre Royal returns with Betrayal, one of Pinter’s most popular works. A classic love triangle, this compelling piece travels through time to examine the complexities of long-term love. Mon-Sat, 7.30pm; Thurs & Sat 2.30pm; prices vary; Theatre Royal Bath;

Until 31 October



Pick your own pumpkin at Farrington’s Farm. A quintessentially autumnal activity beloved by Instagrammers the world over, this is a great day out for all. A chance to connect with nature, and perhaps get a few likes while you’re at it. 9.30am-4.30pm; £5, booking essential; Farrington’s Farm;

Until 8 November

KEITH JANSZ This magical collection of paintings explore light – from the sparkling reflections of the sun glancing off the sea to the stretching shadows of a wintry afternoon. The artist, Keith Jansz painted the entire remarkable collection by holding a brush in his mouth. He’s tetraplegic, which means he is paralysed in all four limbs. He credits painting as the stepping stone he needed to cope with the trauma of his paralysis – now he is an artist for a living and has exhibited around the world. Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm, Sat 9am-12.30pm; The Galleries Shop & Café, Freshford;

Thursdays until 5 November

WOMAD AT HOME WOMAD and Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios have joined forces to offer an immersive 360° ‘live’ music experience – from home. The eight-part exclusive series has been recorded with world-class sound technology, resulting in an audio experience beyond anything you’ve heard before. The line-up includes stars of the new London jazz movement Sarathy Korwar, Blue Lab Beats and Native Dancer, alongside the Ghanaian-British band Onipa, Welsh folk act 9Bach, Chinese classical virtuoso Cheng Yu and her ensemble Silk Breeze, electronic music innovators Hinako Omori and avant-garde folk band Voka Gentle. Thursdays 8pm;

Until 13 December

RUH HEROES EXHIBITION This eclectic collection features artwork and photography from a select few of Bath’s local artists, and 40 per cent of any sales from the exhibition will be donated to the RUH’s Forever Friends Appeal.

The collection includes work by David Ringsell, whose realistic but painterly reimaginations of Bath celebrate the beauty of the city. Mon-Sun; 8am-10pm; ArtBar, The Abbey Hotel;

Until 20 December

NIGHT & DAY: 1930S FASHION AND PHOTOGRAPHS First curated by the Fashion and Textiles Museum in London, this exhibition is the ultimate experience of 1930s glam. Think floor length gowns in satin, velvet or crêpe – complete with diamanté accessories, obviously. It’s the perfect escape from the present; cast yourself in the role of ’30s femme fatale as you wander the display, picturing yourself at the wild parties of yesteryear. Tues-Sat; 10am-5pm; American Museum & Gardens;

Until 3 January 2021

GRAYSON PERRY: THE PRETHERAPY YEARS We couldn’t be happier with the news of the extension of The Holburne’s Grayson Perry exhibition until next year. The return of the explosive and creative pots and plates he made back


Bristol fixture Delirium, the current reigning Miss Wig, Mariana Trench and the multi-talented Remy Melee. 7-10pm; prices vary; Moles;

24 October – 1 November

SPOOKTOBER FAMILY FUN TRAIL Wander round the Winding Way on this spooky A to ‘Zee’ Halloween trail, and discover a whole alphabet of scariness. Uncover horrible histories and unnatural nature, twist your torso into ghoulish shapes and make your very own gruesome gargoyle. Some content may be unsuitable for young children and adult discretion is advised. 10am-4pm; £3 plus normal admission; American Museum & Gardens;

2–14 November above:

Descending by Emma Philippa Maeve is one of a diverse selection of works in her exhibition at The Art Cohort left: Bath inspires many of Kathryn Scaldwell’s paintings below: Creep out the kids at the American Museum & Gardens bottom: Catch The Shining on the big screen this Halloween

in the ’80s shines an intriguing light on his use of the pottery medium to address radical issues – and a few of his own along the way, apparently. Mon-Sun; 10am-5pm; £12.50; The Holburne;

25–31 October

THE PERCEPTION OF LANDSCAPE Emma Philippa Maeve’s striking digital embroidery is heavily influenced by her travels through China. Inspired by the concept of the flauneur – an art term identified by Baudelaire in his essay 'The Painter of Modern Life', it refers to one who is at leisure, an explorer – her works draw on her own explorations, urban and rural. Mon-Sat (except Wed); 10am-5pm; The Art Cohort; @the_art_cohort on Instagram


THE SHINING Enjoy the Stanley Kubrick classic on the big screen. Slowly lose your sanity along with Jack and his family after they move into a creepy isolated hotel with a violent past. There are few better horror flicks for Halloween that we can think of. 7pm; £7 non-members, £5 members; The Wharf Room, Widcombe Social Club;

31 October

WIG! HALLOWEEN! Put together your fiercest outfit and join the Wig family for a Halloween drag show. Hosted by the genderqueer queen of Bath herself, Mother, the show features legendary

FIND PEACE AND TRANQUILITY We could all use a little of it – and this exhibition of works by Kathryn Scaldwell certainly has both. Kathryn uses oils in bold colours to create dreamlike seascapes and giclée prints, often inspired by her faith and by the local landscape. Mon-Sat (except Wed); 10am-5pm; The Art Cohort; @the_art_cohort on Instagram

4–21 November

COPHENHAGEN The second in the trio of plays of the Theatre Royal’s returning season, the multi award-winning Copenhagen by Michael Frayn tells the story of a clandestine encounter between two Nobel Prize winning physicists during the city’s Nazi occupation in 1941. Once old friends and colleagues, the two men have now found themselves on opposite sides. Mon-Sat 7.30pm, Thurs and Sat 2.30pm; prices vary; Theatre Royal;

8 November

BATH CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS FAIR The Bath Contemporary Artists Fair (BCAF) is a new regular art event showcasing a range of unique and exciting works from established and up-and-coming artists alike. The BCAF is committed to creating opportunities for artists of all mediums to exhibit and sell their work commission-free in an affordable way – a laudable mission, we think. Flip to page 31 for more. 10am-5pm; Green Park Station; n I BATH LIFE I 33



The legendary musician, DJ, New Yorker, and Fun Lovin’ Criminal, Huey Morgan may have toured the world and travelled the globe, but it’s Bath that’s stolen his heart. “Bath is probably the place I feel most at home, so yeah, this is my home now. I look at it this way, if you’re not looking to go anywhere else, I think that’s a sign that you’re home” Words by Sarah Moolla Main pictures by Betty Bhandari I BATH LIFE I 35



uey Morgan may be a world famous rockstar, musician, superstar DJ, one-time jailbird, and former US marine with a hellraising past. But this Fun Lovin’ Criminal is now also a model Bath resident who gives good anecdote about Waitrose in The Podium. “So, I go into Waitrose and I have my ingredient list and, you know, I’m there trying to figure where the cilantro is. And this kid who works there, he doesn’t know about cilantro. And I’m looking at my list, wondering what to do, cos I need it. “And then this little guy comes up and he says ‘Hello Huey’ in a broad Scottish accent, ‘Love your show. By the way, cilantro is coriander.” It’s lockdown time, and we’ve all got masks on. And I’m like ‘Thank you my brother’ because a lot of people recognise my voice. Then this guy says, ‘It’s Midge by the way’ and I realise it’s Midge Ure. We talk about spices and herbs, and how they can have different names. But I mean, how cool is that? Midge Ure! I played Vienna by Ultravox on my show for him that week.” There’s a sense of genuine wonderment and joy emanating from Huey at having bumped into the lead singer of Ultravox in a local supermarket. No arrogant feigning of indifference for this megastar as he chuckles through the retelling of this encounter. In fact Huey is tremendous company, he’s warm, funny, and pretty darn charismatic. At our photoshoot, despite having only just recovered from a stomach bug “Man that was a rough few days!”, he’s accommodating and seems genuinely humbled when people enthusiastically greet him and his young Staffordshire terrier. According to social media her name is Classified, but he’s calling her Roo. We’re confused. “Ah that was a joke. I meant ‘classified’ in that it was a secret. But people seemed to really dig the name! But she’s called Roo, after Roo the little kangeroo in Winnie The Pooh.” And Roo seems to be drawing the crowds as much as doting dad Huey. Does he ever get bored by the amount of attention he attracts? “You know back in the 90s and 2000s I was in a band, we sold a lot of records and had a lot of fun, raised a lot of hell, but a man grows up. He grows up to think, ‘Well what can I do to help people get through the day or the night really?’ “When I started doing the radio shows, it didn’t dawn on me right off the bat, it took a while for people actually listen to the shows and then them approach me. But I really appreciate them saying, ‘hey Huey, play some Foghat!’ and I’ll say it on my show, this guy I met wants some Foghat, so here’s some Foghat. Because I like being of service, and if it makes somebody happy to listen to music and be a part of what I’m playing, then that feels real good.” And from the eager response Bath Life got when this interview was mentioned (essentially it was one big


Huey at the Royal Crescent with dog Roo

“Bath is not just one thing, there’s a bunch of different layers to it, and the more I look, the more I see – I really like that” I BATH LIFE I 37

THE BIG INTERVIEW collective cry of ‘Oh My God! I love him!’), it is evident that Huey does make us happy, and has somewhat stolen our British hearts. While many of us admired him as the Fun Lovin’ Criminal’s suave yet edgy frontman, it’s his award-winning Huey Show on BBC Radio Six Music, which has been running for 12 years, and his BBC Radio Two show, which started in 2011, that’s really cementing his popularity. His warm laid-back tones introducing his eclectic and intelligent music mix means this Lower East Side New Yorker, born of Irish and Puerto Rican parents, is fast earning national treasure status. And, lucky for us, Bath has the right to claim him as one of our own. He’s been living here now for nearly four years, with wife Becky and their two children, a boy aged nine and a girl aged five. “This will be our third Christmas in Bath. Before that we had a place in Frome but we’ve always kind of wanted to be in Bath because we were travelling to the city most of the time. “Becky and I are both really big fans of Georgian architecture, if you can believe it, and now we have a Georgian town house that my wife, who

Huey, centre, with his FLC band members back in1996

Travelling last year for his BBC series Huey Morgan’s Latin Music Adventure

Huey loves the Georgian architecture of Bath


does interiors among other things, is redoing completely. It’s a lot of fun to see that getting done, plus I think my studio is the next on the renovation list, which is great!” Huey already records his BBC radio shows from home, but since lockdown, almost all of his other work has been conducted from Bath. “Usually you have to travel into a studio to a facility,” explains Huey, “but that all went out the window with the pandemic. I already have a really good studio in the basement, so we set up a connect so I could do the same quality of work remotely.” Not only did the lockdown change the way Huey worked but, he says, it also came as a relief. “If you would’ve asked me before lockdown, what I would have wanted more of in my life, I would have said more time with my family. I’m not being flippant about what happened, and yeah, I miss doing the shows, I miss seeing people happy but all that’s going to happen again. “I think every once in a while, maybe in everybody’s lifetime, there’s a moment when they’re able to reset. Whether they do or not, that’s up to the person, but I was given an opportunity to recalibrate the whole thing. “I just changed the way I looked at a lot of things. Maybe I’m getting a little heavy here, but when I was in the service in the Marines, I remember talking to a guy about how sometimes it gets really hard, just living right. He said something that I will always remember, he told me look we can’t ever lighten the load that we carry and we can’t always lighten the pack, but we can open up the pack and rearrange it so it helps how we carry it. It’s like you’re always going to have issues, you’re always going to have problems, and you’re always gonna have things that you have to face, but once you face them and see them for what they are, then you can do something about it.” Huey used part of his recalibration time to cook for his family. “I’ve always been a keen amateur cook, so I’d try and make the end of the day special with a nice meal,” he says. “I’ve gotten a lot better to the point where the kids can ask me literally anything and I’ll make it, and my wife can ask for something like duck l’orange, and I’m like, gotcha!” Another way he unwinds is by taking Roo walking. “I go most days to the Bath Approach Golf Course, which is above Victoria Park. If you go to the top of the course, you can see the whole town from up there and

“Bath is probably the place I feel most at home”

While Huey chats, Roo waits patiently for a Scooby Snack I BATH LIFE I 39


Huey likes to take his mom to The Royal Crescent Hotel for tea

With wife Becky in New York

“We sold a lot of records and had a lot of fun, raised a lot of hell, but a man grows up” I just really love the view from up there. It really gives me gives me a feeling of peace, and helps clear my head. “One of the great things about this city, is that you can walk it. It reminds me of New York in a lot of ways, it’s all walkable. I think Bath is not just one thing, there’s a bunch of different layers to it, and the more I look, the more I see – I really like that.” What makes Huey’s praise for Bath all the more special is that he isn’t exactly unfamiliar with the rest of the world. He’s toured extensively with the band, he travels the globe frequently for solo work, and more recently visited Cuba, Brazil, and Puerto Rico to film the vibrant, musically inspiring and socially informative three-part series, Huey Morgan’s Latin Music Adventure for BBC Four, which is currently available on the BBC iPlayer. “I really wanted to learn more about this music that I’ve loved all my life. Going on that kind of spiritual music adventure, for me, it was almost a pilgrimage. “I am very fortunate as I do get to travel a lot for work – but I just think Bath is an easy place to live. When we had kids we wanted a place where we can give them a bit of solace, you know especially in this country in this day and age. It’s hard to find the schools as good as they are round here.” Before he leaves to buy a burrito and return home to narrate a Celine Dion documentary, we ask him, is this it – is he ready to put down his roots here in Bath permanently? “I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently. I haven’t called New York my home for a long time. And Bath is probably is the place I feel most at home, so yeah, this is my home now. I look at it this way, I’m not looking to go anywhere else, so I think that’s a sign that you’re home.” ■ For more:



When was the last time you were at the Royal Crescent Hotel? My mom really likes having tea at the Royal Crescent Hotel – it’s always a really nice place to go with American people because it has that sense of old school Britishness and the staff are really sweet here. Favourite place in Bath to eat? Rustica on Margaret’s Buildings. It’s run by two brothers and they serve up the best bolognese in town. I also love Beckford Bottle Shop, and Corkage. Favourite place to drink? I’d probably say my man cave studio. The thing is I’m not a big drinker, so if I’m gonna have a tipple, I try to stay within the confines of my house because I don’t want to be kind of wandering around town tipsy. And what would you do drink? I am a cognac drinker, or very good red or white wine. Life is too short to drink sh***y wine. Where to…spend date night? We both just like getting to go out! But maybe The Ivy. They always make this drink for my wife called the Lansdown Lady – it’s got gin in it, and peach, I think. ...go for culture I think in a lot of ways, Bath has retained the idea of high art, which is something that we don’t really see too much in society. The Holburne has a great thing going on. My mom used to take me to galleries and museums when I was young, which really helped me appreciate art, so I really want to instill that in my children. ...see live music I go to Moles every once in a while. I also opened The Rock Project concert there, where young teens play in bands. My son was also appearing. I offered to play the guitar but they were like – nah, you’re okay...! Rustica does the best bolognese in town


Kremlins in the machine Nic finds himself heading east to explore tales set in Russia

“...cutting music recordings of outlawed Western artists into old x-rays in lieu of vinyl” 42 I BATH LIFE I


aybe it was this morning’s unexpected frost, or maybe it’s the political insanity playing out across the ocean to the west, but for some reason or other, this week, I am drawn east to recent writing in and around Russia. Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips (Simon & Schuster, £8.99) features an especially remote and, at times, inhospitable Russia. This is Kamchatka, that far eastern peninsula that lies just north of Japan which is more familiar to most from the board game Risk than from any personal travels taken or considered. The key disappearance hinted at by the title takes place in a dramatic first chapter. Two young sisters, Alyona and Sophia make the inadvisable decision to accept a ride from a stranger. We are not witness to their fate, but we do stick with them long enough to see the driver ignore the turn to their home and then grab and dispose of Alyona’s mobile phone. From this abrupt beginning, the novel’s cast of characters grows steadily as interlinking chapters introduce more and more people who have been affected by the disappearances or who might, the reader wonders, be able to shed light on what happened. We meet those who grew up in the indigenous villages of the region, and those who eschew those traditional societies for the local capital of Petropavlovsk, or have even spent time in far distant St Petersburg. Along the way we are treated to many perspectives on Kamchatka life – from those who believe that crimes like this are a symptom of a corroded modern world nothing like as certain as the Soviet days, to those who, despite appreciating the region’s stunning natural surroundings, rail against a still insular and misogynist society. Though it meanders and explores so many aspects of Kamchatka life, the mystery that ignites the book remains its driving force, particularly as the book morphs tensely into crime-thriller territory for its final sequences. Good Citizens Need Not Fear by Maria Reva (Little Brown, £14.99) is another multicharacter portrait in a principally urban

environment, but here we are in Ukraine although, for the bulk of the book, we’re witnessing it under Soviet rule. This is one of those books which is difficult to clearly categorise as a novel or a set of short stories – not that there is any need for it to be labelled as either. The darkly comic, and sometimes shambolic, stories of a group of citizens revolve around an apartment building that does not exist. At least not on paper. In reality though (although reality occasionally blurs throughout the book) the apartment block is full of life as citizens do their utmost to maximise living space, or earn a few rubles or home comforts on the side, beneath the radar of the secret police and their inquisitive neighbours. Smena, in the story titled Bone Music, has perhaps the most intriguing sideline – cutting music recordings of outlawed Western artists into old x-rays in lieu of vinyl. The vast Russian wilderness is certainly visible in Disappearing Earth but because that story flits between town and country, we are never get lost in its full majesty. If you’re after something truly remote then the incredible new nature adventure book Owls of the Eastern Ice by Jonathan C Slaght (Penguin, £20) will whisk you away to the remote region of Primorye, an unremittingly harsh landscape of snow, ice and thousands of miles of dense forest. Spanning Russia, China and North Korea this region is home to the world’s largest species of owl, the colossal Blakiston’s fish owl. Slaght has dedicated a huge chunk of his adult life to preserving these majestic and threatened birds and his book is a testimony to these elusive owls and his efforts to help them as well as an attack on those who threaten their habitat. Whether it’s through fiction, non-fiction or somewhere in between, you are never far from the remarkable or the jaw-dropping when reading Russia. Nic Bottomley is the general manager of Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights, 14/15 John Street, Bath; 01225 331155;


Charity will-writing scheme returns for November Funds from the RUH Will Month will be donated to the FOREVER FRIENDS APPEAL…


he ever-popular RUH Will Month is returning in November to help the general public make or update their will at a reduced cost. You can now book your appointment for November to have your will written with local legal firms. Ten professional firms across Bath, Somerset and Wiltshire are offering their time and support towards the Will writing scheme in a bid to help raise awareness in their local community about the importance in planning for the future. RUH Will Month will run throughout the month of November, with the participating solicitors helping as many local people as possible to put their affairs in order and provide them with peace of mind. Costs for a standard single will have been discounted to £125 or £175 for standard mirror wills. This special fee is donated to the RUH’s fundraising charity, The Forever Friends Appeal to support patient care at the RUH.

Jan Witt, legacy manager for The Forever Friends Appeal says: “It may come as a surprise that fewer than half of the population have an up-to-date Will, despite its importance in offering you security for both you and your family. Often having a will written can be expensive, therefore, we’d like to urge people to take advantage of this scheme generously offered by will writing professionals at a reduced rate. This will ensure your savings and possessions go to the people and causes you love and care for. “It is easy to take part in this offer, simply call any one of the participating solicitors listed on our website and make an appointment for November, quoting ‘RUH Will Month’. At the meeting the solicitor will guide you through the process and will ensure that your will reflects your wishes.” This year funds raised by the initiative will be put towards the charity’s Speech and Language Special Appeal. The Appeal is raising £50,000 to purchase a portable machine to enhance the care given to patients who have swallowing difficulties.

Funds from this year's initiative will be put towards the Speech and Language Special Appeal

The equipment will enable speech and language therapists to provide an alternative bedside assessment – reducing the waiting time to attend the X-ray clinic which can sometimes take a number of weeks. However, participants can choose to support another campaign or special appeal if they prefer. ■ If you would like more information regarding the scheme please contact Jan Witt on 01225 825819 or email:



It’s starting to look distinctly festive at The Pump Room. This Hallowe’en the elegant restaurant is embracing spooky season with an autumnal four-course dinner, illuminated by candlelight and sound tracked with ethereal piano tunes performed live by Jules Scott. Then, on 20 November they’ll launch their beloved Festive Afternoon Tea, the saving grace of many a tired Christmas shopper. They’ll have sweet and savoury selections available, so it is the perfect spot to pause, refuel and treat yourself in the stressful run up to Christmas. For more:

Locally fuelled luxury will be on the menu at Leon Smith’s Plate Bathwick Restaurant & Bar


This festive and indulgent festive cream tea at The Pump Room certainly has our mouths watering

Plate Bathwick Restaurant & Bar is now open. The brand-new space in The Bird has chef Leon Smith at the helm – returning to his West Country roots after a spell at fine establishments including Tom Aikens in Chelsea, Wild Honey, Berwick Lodge and The Royal Oak at Paley Street, where he earned three AA rosettes. “I’m particularly excited to showcase our British tapas dishes, bursting with locally sourced produce. We’ve been out meeting the growers and the farmers, developing relationships to ensure that what we serve on your plate is going to be the very best possible,” says Leon. “That’s not forgetting the plate itself. We’ve hand-picked locally made crockery designed to make you smile. Having lived in Bristol and Frome previously, Bath is a city I’ve always loved. I’m excited for Plate to become a part of the vibrant buzz that Bath has to offer for locals and visitors alike, bringing some extra ‘The Bird’ flair.” For more:

Rob Allcock: bringing bread and joy to South Wraxhall



Rob Allcock, owner and head chef of The Longs Arms in South Wraxall was the surprise winner of this year’s Tiptree World Bread Awards Heroes with Brook Food. He was crowned overall winner after scooping the individual award for the South West. Had you visited The Longs Arms before 2020 this might have seemed unlikely. But after Covid restrictions forced the pub to close back in March, Rob came up with a radical new business plan: he transformed the pub kitchen into a bakery for the local community. “It’s simply very humbling that the village and our customers thought us worthy for nomination in such an amazing award,” says Rob. Hundreds of nominations for Bread Heroes were sent in from across the UK, with 12 regional winners announced at the online awards on 13 October before Rob was named winner overall. “The entire village is reliant on his delicious output. He has certainly kept the village smiling,” says Charli Boddington, one of the locals who nominated Rob for the award. For more:


DOUBLETREE BATH BY HILTON Sarah Moolla takes a walk down memory lane to wine and dine but finds it all so very different


hen was the last time you stayed at a city centre hotel? I can tell you the time I did, to the day. It was 25 October 2003. Because, dear reader, I married him. It was where myself, my husband, and our guests stayed following our Priston Mill wedding. At the time it was selected mainly for its location, enabling our wedding party to see Bath at its best – the Hilton sits in heart of the city, alongside the canal, it’s at the top of Walcot Street, and near the train station. Oh, and it had lots of reasonably priced corporate-style rooms, and best of all, a very late bar. A long list of convenience points yes, but beauty, luxe, or great food, was not on there. 17 years, two teen kids, a couple of house moves, and a few job changes later, and we’re still hanging on in there, so why not celebrate our anniversary at a place we have


not thought to step back into once, despite it being on our doorstep. Feeling all nostalgic and ready to fondly reminisce ‘isn’t that where your mate Ferret, who should never have been invited let’s be honest, got into an argument with my cousin, who then ran to that loo over there to have a cry?’ But the DoubleTree Bath by Hilton isn’t playing ball. It’s not letting us meander down memory lane at all. Yes, the outside still has the same brutal Seventies structure, admittedly covered in a few fairy lights to soften its starkness, (we hear plans are afoot to do something about this ugly façade) but inside it’s a whole new world. Gone is the perfunctory business-like check-in desk and in its place is swisher, stylish and definitely more welcoming lobby. The hotel, which was built in 1973, has been totally overhauled. The work started September last year, and ended up taking 13 months due to lockdown. The aim of the revamp I’m told is “to develop a new hotel brand


image within Bath.” One of the things that has always intrigued me is what the difference is between a Hilton and a DoubleTree Hilton. The PR tells me “DoubleTree is more boutique in style and feel, and famous for the DoubleTree Cookie arrival worldwide.” We get the world-famous DoubleTree cookie on check-in. I don’t eat mine – we’re about to have a three-course dinner here, so why would I? Any sane person would save it to savour later. ‘That was delicious!’ announces my husband as we step into the lift. Our king superior room with sofa bed is bright, airy and properly spacious. There’s everything you’d expect from a slightly more up the food chain stay – Espresso machine, 49-inch HDTV, bathrobes and slippers, but this is Bath and what you really get here, that is truly special and cannot be replicated any where else, is the views. It’s like we’re on holiday, not in our hometown, as we look out across the river to a twinkling twilight vista. We are told the front rooms have views into the city, which are equally captivating. It’s down to Emma’s Bar for a pre-dinner cocktail. Due to Covid the place is almost empty, which is heartbreaking. The staff are all so attentive and sweet, and chatting to them it’s evident they were looking forward to the unveiling of their new look Hilton, which would normally be almost fully booked most nights. Our lovely waiter recommends the Smoked Cocktail, one of their specials with brandy, rum, and bourbon. I opt for their Double Tree Cookie Cocktail, which is as the name suggests is their own cookie-inspired invention, made with fresh Kaffir lemon and lime grass gin. One sip tells me it’s utterly divine, but sickly sweet. I think to myself, any sane person might save it to consume as a pudding, as I frantically drain the last of the delicious gin-soaked chocolatey crumbs into my mouth. We sit in a deep banquette-style booth in the restaurant. Now being honest at this point we aren’t expecting much from the food. Usually hotel restaurants invoke the spirit of Fawlty Towers and tomato soup at best, and Alan Partridge with a ‘side order of fanned out crisps’ at worst. The menu

“I frantically drain the last of the delicious gin-soaked chocolatey crumbs into my mouth” I BATH LIFE I 47


“It’s like we’re on holiday, not in our hometown as we look out across the river to a twinkling twilight vista” by chef Simon Stevens allows for no such nonsense. It has the broad-appeal staples, which means you could bring the kids and they would be happy (fish and chips, house burger) But there’s a lot of surprises in there too – spice crusted tofu with kumquat and radish salad; Nasi Goreng with satay sticks and Malaysian sambal. The husband goes traditional with the rare sirloin steak which is as bloody, and buttery as a rare steak should be. My Korean rainbow kimchi with glass noodle salad and spicy tofu delivers a hefty chilli kick. The portions are ginormous – and I apolgise for not being able to finish my desk but the staff laugh sympathetically, as they tell me the chef will not allow people to go hungry, and always serves big. One of other reasons I can’t finish my main though, is the starter we had. It was a fish platter, and pretty exceptionally delicious – we devoured everything on the board – the calamari served with a pungent and tangy Aioli, piles of devilled crispy whitebait, fat almost feathery Asian crab cakes, and succulent garlic and chorizo prawns pan fried in white wine and butter. This to me is the real reason I’ll be back, and ordering a bottle of the pinotage to wash it down with. They’re perfect for sharing at £22 per platter, whether you linger over the whole night, or use as a starting point for your evening. Even while were stuffed and holding our bellies, we talked about when we’d be back to try the other options of bread; meat; cheese; and a charcuterie version. And we won’t be waiting for an anniversary to return this time. n


STAY AND DINING DETAILS DoubleTree by Hilton Walcot Street, Bath BA1 5BJ; tel: 01225 463 411; Rooms 176 rooms, with prices starting at £136 Emma’s Bar & Restaurant Open week days 7am - 10pm and weekends 7am - 11pm Chef Simon Stevens  Established: October 2020 Type of food served: Modern British/ Asian Influence  Covers 112 Outdoor space Yes, a beautiful twinkly outdoor terrace Specialities: The kitchen has its own tandoori oven and smoker

Starters £4.95 - £6.50 Mains £12.50 - £15.95 Desserts £4.95 - £6.50 Service and atmosphere Despite these Covid times of curfews and restrictions, the staff made our stay and meal a delight. There is no doubt when the guests return and normality resumes, this joint will be a buzzy, relaxed, and great place to hang, dine and drink. And in the meantime Bath residents should be making the most of this as an alternative and spacious meeting point What else? It certainly helps us locals when we’re asked, “Where do you recommend we stay in Bath?” – we can offer up the fair priced and decent suggestion of DoubleTree Bath.

Award-Winning, Family Run Farm Shop Established for over 30 years. Selling Quality Local Produce Open 7 days a week.

Tel: 01249 658112

Allington, Chippenham, SN14 6LJ



PREMIUM CHRISTMAS TREES ON SALE FROM 28TH NOVEMBER Working hard to keep our staff & customers safe. During the busy Christmas Shopping period we will be: • Creating extra space in store & outside • Continuing to offer contactless shopping collections • Offering extended opening hours and taking bookings for evening and shopping slots



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Whether you’re making it at the end of a long work day or treating yourself to a dish made by the pros on date night, a heaping serving of pasta never fails to please


JOYA ITALIAN STEAKHOUSE …But isn’t that a steak place?, we hear you say. Yes, it is, but what it lesser known about the restaurant on Newmarket Row is that it also has one of the most extensive and delicious pasta menus in town – as a quick trip through their Instagram feed shows. With no less than 12 dishes – as the menu says, from spaghetti to cannelloni – all of the greatest hits feature. Filled with bolognese, carbonara, spaghetti and meatballs and lasagne (meat and veggie options available), Joya’s pasta menu is certainly worth shouting about.


AMARONE RESTAURANT In the plush Georgian house where renowned Bath socialite Richard ‘Beau’ Nash once lived, sits Amarone Restaurant. The authentic indie Italian institution is known for its delectable fresh pasta dishes. A favoured choice among pre-theatre diners (Theatre Royal is right next door), it offers an extensive menu; spaghetti frutti di mare, penne all’ amatriciana (guanciale, pecorino romano and black pepper in a rich tomato sauce. Bliss.) and the penne Beau Nash (pan-fried chicken in a wild mushroom sauce with chives) number only a few of our favourites.



H’EGGS COMPANY H’eggs Company – soon going through a rebrand, so look out for them under their new name, The Pasta Factory, from November – sell their fresh, artisan pasta from their shop in Larkhall or online. From traditional fresh spaghetti to the very on-trend chickpea casercce and organic spirulina fusilli – which we’re frankly intrigued by – every twist is hand crafted and nutrition-packed. They have plans in place to begin leading pasta-making workshops too.



SOTTO SOTTO This atmospheric spot on North Parade is all about simplicity – because authentic Italian cuisine needn’t be complicated. It works: from the penne con funghi, noci e gorgonzola (yes please), to the fettuccine alla crema di zucca (fresh homemade fettuccine with sage, chilli, roasted butternut squash, pancetta and truffle cream) the menu is filled with guaranteed winners. It’s a safe bet you’ll leave well fed.


FEAST BROTHERS Scott Wheeler and Joey Ashton are the Feast Brothers. Travelling the South West in their food trailer, this is one of those special,

catch them when they’re in town, sort of pasta opportunities that’ll have you stalking their social media in anticipation of their next appearance in the city. Their dishes are something else. The slow-braised lamb and rosemary ragu with fresh pappardelle pasta and parmesan (pictured) uses salt marsh lamb from Anglesey braised for 12 hours in tomato, garlic, rosemary, onion and stock served with parmesan on pappardelle – it’s utterly delicious. n I BATH LIFE I 51

The gorgeous Garden Kitchen at Hartley Farm serves alfresco breakfast, lunch, coffee and cake

FRESH FROM THE FIELD How farm shops became the surprising saviours of 2020 by Lydia Tewkesbury 52 I BATH LIFE I


It doesn’t get much more local than Hartley Farm, where they sell their own produce in the shop


here is a particular thrill of excitement I associate only with farm shops. For me they were always a thing of childhood summer holidays (Tebay services, anybody? If you know, you know); the family packed tight into a stuffy car stopping en route to our self-catered cottage to gaze in wonder at the stacks of fresh produce piled high, justbaked bread still warm to the touch, and fancy fruity drinks of the kind you’d never normally pick up, but you are on holiday after all. And when on holiday, you step up your rushed morning muesli a notch, reaching instead for a farm shop purchased thick, crusty loaf heaped with steaming, creamy eggs laid just down the road – a tangible, delicious embodiment of the life you could be living. Then the pandemic came along, supermarket shelves emptied (perhaps my favourite interaction of those early days of lockdown was a shared moment of dismay with a fellow shopper at the lack of maple syrup in Sainsbury’s – if the syrup is gone you know the middle classes are panicking, he laughed) and farm shops took on an entirely new role in our lives. “I think that when the pandemic started there was a genuine panic, albeit it temporary, about where the next shop was coming from. It was such a surreal time and very hard to manage from a food retailer’s

point of view,” says Tom Bowles, the managing director of Hartley Farm Shop in Winsley. “When the larger retailers suffered from their complicated supply chain and getting food on the shelves, we were able to source either direct from our own farm or direct from local farmers, growers and producers and have food on the shelves within hours. People shop with us as they believe in supporting their local food chain but in this pandemic, it has really highlighted how important and vital your local food economy is.” Covid-19 brought with it a plethora of new language we’re growing steadily more used to, but perhaps the most significant term we’re confronted with on a daily basis now is ‘essential’. Food and the essential people who produce it stepped out from behind the scenes and into the spotlight as the sudden and dramatic shift in reality showed the majority of us what those food producers had known all along: the system we have isn’t working. The move to local shopping – already increasingly popular over the last few years – gained some serious steam, with multiple news outlets reporting that during the pandemic, farm shops were booming. “We’ve definitely seen a huge shift in our customer opinions towards their food during the pandemic,” agrees Will Blackmore, business development manager at Lowden Garden Centre, where The Farm Shop has seen lots of new customers this year. “People are definitely

“What we put into our bodies and how we look after the planet are two of the most important decisions we make each day” I BATH LIFE I 53

FOOD & DRINK left: There’s nothing like a pile of fresh veg; right: Moist hummus is available at Farleigh Road

taking more care about where and how their food was produced, with a real focus on its sustainability and provenance. I think Covid-19 has forced people to take a real look at everything that’s coming into their homes – or perhaps just kicked in a change of routine, which has given people fresh perspective on their food shopping.” It’s a health thing, too, reckons Charlotte Self, marketing, brand and graphic design manager for Whitehall Garden Centre – of people and planet. “People want good quality fresh food, rather than processed food – not only is it better for yourself, but it is also better for the environment, which I believe motivates a lot of people when it comes to what they eat,” she says.

happen to be on offer week to week. When you shop locally, you’re buying into a relationship. “When you are dealing directly with those who are producing the goods themselves, the enthusiasm for their produce is infectious,” says Naomi Reyonds, a partner at Allington Farm Shop in Chippenham. Nowadays, farm shops are much more than a holiday thing. If we choose them, they can be central to our lives, that feeling of excitement not one born of the escape of a posh holiday breakfast, but instead one that comes with being utterly entrenched in your local community, down to the food on your plate. “Food shopping should be a real occasion,” says Tom at Hartley Farm. “What we put into our bodies and how we look after the planet are two of the most important decisions we make each day. At a farm shop, you can seek out new and interesting products, even talk to someone who knows the farmer of a particular cut of beef and has prepared it themselves – or you might even see the produce being delivered directly from the field.” It would seem out of something awful, something good has grown. n

“Enthusiasm for their produce is infectious”

THAT SPECIAL FEELING that seems to live in farm shops is born of

the tangibility of the connection between the produce lining the shelves and its source. You’ve got situations like Hartley Farm, where MD Tom is a fifth-generation farmer producing grass-fed beef from his own cattle for his customers – it doesn’t get much more local than the owners raising it themselves – as well as the relationships farm shops build with other local producers and artisans. “We have a great many incredible suppliers, many of whom have become friends over the years, particularly during the pandemic. It has forced a real sense of camaraderie within the local food industry,” Will at Lowden Garden Centre says. “There are so many local companies that we love,” agrees Fran Harvey, general manager at Farleigh Road Farm Shop and Café in Norton St Philip. “The guys at Bristol-based hummus company Moist have been fabulous for us. We brought them in during lockdown because they reached out – now they are one of our best ranges. “Seven Hills Chocolate are another supplier we love. It’s little things like a sneaky bar or two of chocolate for the staff to try that really helps companies stand out.” Pride in the quality of their connections with their suppliers seems to be an ethos for every farm shop. There’s a sense of a firm and refreshing rejection of supermarket-style shelves filled with anonymous brands, most of which you only buy depending on whether they



Allington Farm Shop, Allington Farm, Chippenham, SN14 6LJ; 01249 658112; Farleigh Road Farm Shop, Norton St Philip, Bath, BA2 7NG; 01225 720006; Hartley Farm Shop & Kitchen, Winsley, Bradford on Avon, BA15 2JB; 01225 864948; Lowden Farm Shop, Folly Lane, Shaw, Melksham, SN12 8EZ; 01225 702345; Whitehall Garden Centre, Corsham Road, Lacock, SN15 2LZ; 01249 730204;

FOOD & DRINK Browse the eclectic shelves at Farleigh Road Farm Shop

Head butcher Kevin and apprentice butcher Steven at Hartley Farm

Shelves lines with goodies to discover at Allington Farm Shop I BATH LIFE I 55


The ultimate staycation

Quality, built-to-order and perfect for glamping – GREENDOWN SHEPHERD HUTS provide enviable luxury in a very cosy environment


hile the trend for staycations in the UK has been building over the past few years, Covid-19 led to an explosion in the numbers of Britons holidaying in the UK this summer, a trend experts think will be here to stay even when restrictions on travelling abroad are lifted in the future. With tourism in the UK at an all time high, 2020 has thrown up unprecedented challenges for British holiday property owners – and opportunities. With UK holiday accommodation at a premium, it has created an unprecedented chance for farmers and landowners to invest in and diversify their businesses towards tourist accommodation. It is no surprise therefore that Greendown Shepherd Huts have enjoyed record levels of interest and enquiries this year. Specialising in creating high quality bespoke shepherd huts built-to-order, owners Harry Long and Richard Hodges combine a passion for craftsmanship and style with an understanding of clients’ business needs and aims. “We’re committed to delivering shepherd huts expertly handcrafted for each individual customer, built from the best materials that combine comfort and practicality with contemporary style and design,” says Harry. “We offer a range of huts – from fully equipped B&Bs to unique bespoke designs. Ensuring perfection at every stage, we craft all of our huts and components in-house, from the chassis to roofing using high quality materials such as premium oak.” As well as a dedication to high standards, Greendown can also advise on how their shepherd huts can create a transformative business opportunity for landowners. “For landowners big or small shepherd huts are a great way to take advantage of the increased demand for holidaying in the UK, thereby creating new revenue streams from their assets,” says Richard.

“With diversification economically so important to landowners – particularly with the current uncertain climate – those looking to branch into the holiday sector can charge £90-£150 a night for a hut, with a payback within two years, often sooner. The cosy nature of a shepherd hut and their appeal to young couples, not just families ensures they have year-round appeal, delivering cash flow through winter and not merely the summer season.” The ability to move at short notice gives greater flexibility and opportunity under current planning regulations, something which Greendown can advise on. “We offer advice on glamping planning permission and solutions to help ensure any new glamping business set up goes as smoothly as possible. We can help through this entire process, completing all required drawings and submissions to get the new site off the ground. Another growth area is Airbnb, where again we can advise prospective hosts on how to maximise the opportunities offered by a shepherd hut. “Enquiries from landowners are up as much as 50 per cent this summer, compared with last year, a reflection of the sustained appetite from the public for UK breaks and travel and the opportunities this means for landowners.” Based at Pixash Lane in Keynsham just off the A4, Greendown Shepherd Hut’s friendly team are always ready to meet with prospective customers to discuss their ideas, develop a plan with them and deliver on their requirements. ■ Unit 1b, Pixash Lane, Keynsham, Bristol BS31 1TP; 01179 869685 I BATH LIFE I 57


20% off       

A local business providing quality cars, ideal for first time drivers.






PRETTY IN PINK Wearing pink on 23 October to show your support, and help promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month, has almost become as familiar an event as Hallowe’en and Easter. Along with donating, fundraising and campaigning, anything that helps prompt women to check their breasts and keep them hale and hearty has to be a good thing. Freya sweater in pale pink merino cashmere by the Brutonbased Cabbages & Roses, was £199 and is now £119.40. Available from Kilver Court, Kilver Street, Shepton Mallet; I BATH LIFE I 59

CHOPARD HAPPY OCEAN STEEL, £7,290 Water resistant up to an impressive 300 metres and boasting five free moving diamonds to echo the effect created by oxygen bubbles. Also serves as a timely reminder the clocks go back on 25 October. From Mallory 1-5 Bridge Street, Bath;


We’ve been thinking pink for Wear It Pink day on 23 October for Breast Cancer Awareness, which runs the month of October

EDDY TOP BY STINE GOYA, £130 There’s a slight A-line silhouette to this beautiful plaid blouse with balloon sleeves and buttoned cuffs that brings about a voluminous and airy look. From Grace & Mabel, 3 George Street, Bath;

ORGANZA SCRUNCHY, £8.50 Made from organza, this pastel pink scrunchy is beautifully delicate, a subtle statement piece for your wrist and hair. From VLOS; Made in Bath;

ZIPPETTE BOOT, £225 You can really make a stand in these unlined perforated cutaway leather boots in a striking pink and gold combo. From Chanii B, 9 Milsom Place, Bath;

WHOOPS-A-DAISY- FITTED T-SHIRT, £25 Holly Jane’s whimsical illustrations, that form part of the Shirts Off Our Backs t-shirt design cooperative, are inspired by her hometown of Bath. From Shirts off Our Backs,


VETTE BOUCLÉ COAT, £170 In the early ’50s, Chanel introduced the world to buckled tweed, or as the French called it, bouclé. Prized for its soft, looped texture and ability to instantly bestow menswear classics with feminine flair, bouclé is a staple of the season. From Anthropologie, 1-4 New Bond St, Bath;

ED’S CHOICE PEONY & BLUSH SUEDE COLOGNE 100ML, £100 With a scent described as exquisitely fragile, and flirtatious with the juicy bite of red apple with the opulence of jasmine, rose and gillyflower. Plus, from every sale, Jo Malone will be donating £20 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) throughout October. From Jo Malone London, 6-7 Old Bond St, Bath;

SOFT PINK ALPACA BED SOCKS, £18 Made from 90 per cent pure alpaca, these super soft bed socks that will keep your feet toasty and tickled pink this winter. From Bibico, 9A Bartlett Street, Bath;

CASUAL JUMPER, £149 A luxury, wool rich casual jumper. It’s a generous fit and looks good styled with jeans, leggings or mix it up with a skirt. Jumper is tunic length with a stepped hem and side slits. Finished with a funnel neck and turn back cuffs. Stockists Rossiters of Bath, 38-41 Broad Street, Bath;

TRIANGLE PLUNGE BRA BY FLEUR DE PASSION, £89 The plunging triangle bra with embroidered trim on rigid tulle provides curves, cleavage and the comfort of underwiring. Stockists The Dressing Room, 7 Quiet Street, Bath; I BATH LIFE I 61



HEAD TEACHER Leading Bath’s schools through unprecedented times

What exciting things are coming up at your school? Despite many of the exciting events in our school diary being curtailed because of the pandemic, as a positive, forward thinking team, we are making our curriculum exciting and relevant for our children. We are giving them lots of opportunities to engage in creative and artistic endeavours, as well as academic learning. Christmas is very important to us, so we are working hard to plan plenty of fun, festive activities! What do you find most satisfying about the job? Having led a number of schools as head teacher, what I find most satisfying about Abbot Alphege is how amazing and close the staff team are. The welfare and learning of our children is at the centre of everything each member of our team does.


HEAD TEACHER, ABBOT ALPHEGE ACADEMY 01225 580 281; I am delighted to be the new head teacher of Abbot Alphege Academy in Lansdown, Bath. I started in April this year, the middle of lockdown – a very interesting way to start a new role! What is your school ethos? Our school is very proud to be a Church of England primary school and we embed our Christian values in everything we do. We strive to make sure that every child is academically fulfilled, making great progress from their starting points, whilst ensuring they feel safe, happy and cared for. We are a truly inclusive school, welcoming children of all backgrounds and working in genuine partnership with our fantastic parents.


How is the school changing? Since opening in 2017, the school has been small, with no head teacher until now – I am the first! The biggest change has been how we now communicate so well with our parents and community. We are changing most elements of our curriculum offer, making it exciting, inclusive and challenging for every child. Now a well-resourced school, we will develop this further as we grow to our full capacity of 210 children. How does our school differ from others? It is a wonderful time to join us as we currently only have around 80 children in school. Our class sizes are mostly small, meaning that children get important extra attention from our teachers. We have a beautiful new building and large grounds, so the children have lots of space to spread their wings.


Unconstrained by the need to do SATs and having redesigned our own systems for assessment, we are maximising opportunities for learning whilst minimising stress.

How long have you been at All Hallows? I first joined All Hallows in 1993 as head of Geography but took time away to study, returning as the school psychologist after gaining my Doctorate in Child and Educational Psychology at Bristol. Quickly involved on full-time basis once again, I was deputy head before being appointed head in January 2017.

What are the qualities of a good teacher? Alongside delivering inspirational lessons and developing great relationships with the children, the best teachers are amateur psychologists. Teaching is an inherently social process and a good teacher is constantly thinking about each individual child and what they need to flourish.


What is your school’s ethos? Happiness and wellbeing are paramount. Added to this, we are seeking to develop a range of skills including a willingness to take risks, a keenness to work as part of a team and open-mindedness, both in terms of thinking outside the box and in believing there are no ceilings to learning. Creativity is embedded within the curriculum from the classroom to the games field, empowering the children to take charge of their learning. What do you find most satisfying about the job? We can and we have developed a curriculum we truly believe in.

What challenges come with the role? Time! Finding enough of it to get to know the children well and celebrate their learning journey. I want every one of them to know that they can come and knock on my door at any time and have the confidence to do so – even if it means being held to ransom in my office by the Evil Pea until Year 1 can come to my rescue! We also need to find time to step back and reflect on the bigger picture of what we are trying to achieve, challenging the fundamental criteria on which our provision is based in order to ensure that we continue to provide the very best education we can.


PRINCIPAL, BATH ACADEMY 01225 334577; Where did you begin your career? Well I have had three different careers! Ten years in monastic life; then in psychology; and in education for most of my working life. I have taught undergraduate psychologists in forensic psychology, then became head of sixth form at a large FE College in Yorkshire, followed by roles as vice principal and principal at sixth form colleges. What subject did you most enjoy at school? At my school you could choose from Classics (for the brightest), Sciences (for the second league egg heads) or what was called ‘Modern Studies’ (for the ‘also rans’ like me). Literature was my favourite as it dealt with people’s lives. I avidly read Albert Camus and André Gide and any other mildly subversive writers I could find. I also spent a lot of time listening to Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground. What are the qualities of a good teacher? Encouragement. Do they like young people? Students learn from teachers they like and don’t learn from those they do

not like. Teachers’ influence comes more from personal attributes rather than their teaching skills alone. We should aim to encourage our students, helping them to move from a ‘felt minus’ to a ‘felt plus’ so they feel adequate to the tasks of life and make their own personal contribution to society. How does your school differ from others and what do you find most satisfying about working there? The aim is to arrange everything in the college so that the strong still have something for which to strive and the less confident do not withdraw in self-doubt and anxiety. The college takes around 100 students each year and teaches in groups of less than eight students. Knowing students well leads to good teaching, better learning and a more positive day-to-day community experience. Personal attention is a powerful educational force in challenging the impersonalism and anonymity experienced by many young people in today’s culture, making education more responsive to the realities of individual differences. The satisfaction comes from seeing individual young people develop and make the most of their lives. I BATH LIFE I 63



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. What has surprised you this last academic year? The way that our students adapted to learning remotely. I have always been impressed with the young people who come through our doors, but their dedication to their studies, to building a community and helping each other through such a difficult end to the academic year was quite astounding. 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 2023 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.



HEAD OF KINGSWOOD PREP SCHOOL 01225 734460; When I look back to my first year of teaching, it seems like a different world. There was no National Curriculum, reports were handwritten – in fountain pen! – safeguarding and wellbeing were unheard of, and health and safety was rudimentary. I remember crowding children into a minibus on bench seats without seatbelts – some children actually wanted to sit on the floor! Taking 40 children to Dartmoor with no risk assessment before the advent of the mobile phone, and enjoying pre-match ‘hospitality’ in the other school’s staff room before away fixtures. I also remember the member of staff who would do his breaktime duties while smoking his pipe and used to reward his pupils’ correct answers with half a Fisherman’s Friend! Times have indeed changed, but, perhaps more than ever in this era of regulation and compliance, schools still require characters. Teachers have the ultimate responsibility of inspiring and enabling children to do their very best. I look back on my first teaching experience with the same fondness as I now look at the staggering range of opportunity that our children are blessed with. Fun, laughter and spontaneity


HEADMASTER, KING EDWARD’S SCHOOL, BATH 01225 464313; What advice would you give to parents when choosing a school? Schools are about people and ethos. Structures, systems, facilities support this, but ultimately what drives the success of a school is the extent to which everyone who is a part of it feels happy and engaged and pulling towards a goal that is shared and understood, even if not always explicitly stated. Teachers who love teaching, pupils who love learning, a quiet ambition that revolves around always seeking to do your best in and out of the classroom but that also encourages you to aim high in all things and celebrates that journey in an atmosphere of mutual support – for me, these are the hallmarks of a great school and are qualities that I hope underpin much of what we do at King Edward’s. How has life at KES been impacted by Covid-19 this term? There are obvious visible impacts – the ‘bubbled’ year groups and careful geographical and logistically driven arrangements, such as staggered lunch timings, socially distanced assemblies and dedicated year group social and play space, however what has struck me amidst the clear sense that this is undoubtedly

a ‘different’ situation has been the genuine joy amongst so many pupils, staff (and parents!) that we are back in school and making the most of all the opportunities on offer. Outside the classroom we have a very full Drama programme, including rehearsing for several year group productions in a Festival of Theatre at the end of term; many of our major activities, such as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme and our Combined Cadet Force are operating at an impressive level, and in the absence of fixtures against other schools we have had a very full sporting programme that has seen hundreds of pupils engaged in cricket, hockey and rugby after school and on Saturdays in a competitive but joyful programme of in house training sessions and matches, all carefully managed to ensure the safety of those involved. What subject did you most enjoy at school? I loved my time at school and enjoyed all my subjects, even the ones I wasn’t very good at! I was lucky to be able to study my three A Levels to varying extents at university (French, German and History) and have always got excited about trying to understand and appreciate the cultural context of literature and the arts, as well as the local impact that global events and movements can have on individuals and communities. I played a huge amount of sport at school (football and cricket), but was also in awe of those who performed on stage or in the

are not words used frequently in an educational context, but without them a school is not a school. Dressing-up days, staff pantomimes, dance offs, bake offs, themed nights and lunch times all add a very special zest to a school. To go back even further and reflect on when I was a Year 4 myself – I would think long and hard about offering advice.  So much of life is about taking opportunities as they arise, brushing yourself down when you fall off the climbing frame or make a mistake.  Life, like school, is about consistently having the attitude to ‘have a go’, to live in the moment and take an opportunity without worrying about failing or getting it wrong.  Social media encourages us to believe that many things in our society have to be perfect; yet so much of life is not perfect.  I really hope our children can embrace a challenge, think on their feet, have a robustness that allows them to learn from mistakes, and be team players, able to enjoy seeing others flourish. At Kingswood Prep School, I really would like to think that we live each day with hope, with laughter, with an attitude that allows us to make mistakes and learn, with supportive, engaging and inspiring staff, enabling the children to leave at 11 with all the skills in place to thrive through their teenage years.

concert hall and so have tried to encourage and develop that balance in the experience that pupils have at KES. Yes, we help them realise their full potential in the classroom, but I also want them to make the most of opportunities in other spheres and to grow through the joy of striving as a team, whether in the sporting arena, in the debating room, on an outdoors adventure or by harnessing the creative and expressive voice that has become such an important part of life at King Edward’s in recent years. I love the fact that KES has so many different characters and personalities, all of whom bring their own wide ranging talents and perspective to what, like any vibrant school, is a rich tapestry of emotion and endeavour. I BATH LIFE I 65


THE PARAGON SCHOOL 01225 310 837; How does your school differ from others? The Paragon is a truly magical place which has childhood at its heart. The sense of adventure in our beautiful woodland setting is palpable, alongside a real sense of purpose and discovery in the classrooms. We embrace a growth mindset and we are not afraid to think differently – we constantly ask ‘why?’ Sometimes it’s hard from the outside to differentiate one really great Preparatory School from the next, but if you come to visit us you will see that we are committed to doing exactly what we say we do on the tin. I believe that our authenticity is what really sets us apart. What are the qualities of a good teacher? A great teacher embraces one of the most cognitively engaging and physically demanding careers there is. They have passion, energy, determination and a good sprinkling of magic. Great teachers know that their responsibilities stretch far beyond the simple act of imparting knowledge. Their mission is to ensure that the young people in their care engage fully with their learning, play a proactive part in everything around them, grasp every opportunity and, ultimately, lead themselves to a future of their own choosing. I am proud that every teacher at The Paragon fulfils this brief.


What key bit of advice would you give to parents when choosing a school? Start with a good long look at what matters to you as a family in life. Consider your ethos and values and the needs of your child, then research, research, research! Visit all the schools in your area and ask questions about their ethos and values – do they match your own? What opportunities are there for parent and family involvement? Look for buzzwords in

the school literature and on their website and delve into this when you meet the head. Digest the atmosphere and the feeling you come away with after visiting a school. Paying for education is a huge commitment – so don’t be afraid to visit several times and ask for a taster day if these are not offered. And as with most big decisions, I can’t emphasise enough the importance of listening to your heart.

ADVERTISING FEATURE support them throughout their time at Monkton, and that of course extends to the parents too. What exciting things are coming up at your school? Every day at Monkton is exciting! Creativity permeates throughout the school and although we have specialist teachers teaching art, music, DT and a host of other subjects, it certainly does not stop there. The lower school corridors have recently been transformed into the insides of a human body, a giant Iron Man has been created out of gym equipment in the hall to inspire writing and the sound of laughter and excitement often echoes around the school from outdoor learning activities in the woods. We are currently developing our new Wild Monkton initiative which is centred around making the most of our stunning setting whilst encouraging our pupils to become collaborative risk-takers who aren’t afraid to think differently.


HEAD, MONKTON COMBE PREP SCHOOL 01225 831200 What is your school ethos? Monkton thinks differently. We start with a proactive pastoral environment to develop academically strong, enthusiastic learners within a living Christian ethos. We inspire our children

to be engaged with their learning, to show and develop a sense of leadership and live life to the full. What do you find most satisfying about your job? Without a doubt, the pupils are always the highlight. I love getting to know each individual at the different stages of their school journey and being able to celebrate their success and

I began my career in a large inner-city comprehensive school in Newcastle upon Tyne and have taught in two schools in Gloucestershire, two in Wiltshire and one in West Berkshire. From a young age I always wanted to be a teacher and have enjoyed delivering Maths to tens of thousands of young people, something I still do today. What are the qualities of a good teacher? At Sheldon our main priority has always been on what happens in the classroom, ensuring that lessons are stimulating, enjoyable and give our students appropriate challenge. The best teachers are those who have a genuine love of their subject and a real interest in inspiring young people. I am delighted to say that Sheldon is full of these. Recruiting highquality staff is amongst the most important aspects of my job – and being prepared not to appoint when the candidates are not right is also something I do. Students only get one chance at their education, so we have to get it right.


HEADTEACHER, SHELDON SCHOOL 01249 766020; Tell us about your career I am in my ninth year at Sheldon, which is my sixth school and second as headteacher.

How has school changed since you began teaching? Undoubtedly in my 28 years in the profession, the quality of teaching has improved immeasurably. That’s not to say there weren’t fantastic teachers back in the early 1990s – there were – but since then, so much

What key bit of advice would you give to parents when choosing a school? Be sure to arrange a visit; a school is so much more than the buildings or facilities. When looking around, look for the children’s smiles, their engagement in lessons and for their natural relationships with teachers. Although each family will, of course, have their own wish list for their child’s school, all parents want their children to be happy, safe and flourishing and this is integral to all we do here at Monkton.

attention has been devoted to what makes a great lesson and the training and resources available to the profession have developed tremendously. The spotlight on schools has also shifted with much greater accountability in place. We should be held to account for young people’s outcomes and I welcome greater scrutiny; however, we should never lose sight of doing what is right for our communities and should not do something just because it scores us a few more percentage points in league tables. Describe your school’s ethos This is a fantastic school. It is rooted in strong relationships – between staff and pupils and between the pupils themselves. We have a strong community feel where everyone is valued and a wonderful pastoral system that ensures that all students are well cared-for and looked after. We are a forward-thinking and outward-looking school where aspirations are high and ambitions unlimited. In each of our students we instil strong personal qualities including honesty, integrity, kindness, respect, courtesy and tolerance – and commit to equipping them with the wider life skills needed in an ever-changing world. If you came to visit, you would see a calm, purposeful school where staff and students are happy. It’s a school I am immensely proud to lead. I BATH LIFE I 67


THRIVING THROUGH THE PANDEMIC Headmaster Luke Bromwich was expecting a busy and challenging time when he took over the reins of ST MARGARET’S PREPARATORY SCHOOL in Calne just over a year ago…


ut not in his wildest dreams did he expect that swapping the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong for the rural life in Wiltshire would mean he would be at the helm of a school caught up in a world-wide

pandemic. Luke explains: “At Christmas time when the first reports of coronavirus were beginning to emerge in China and the virus had spread to Hong Kong, I remember saying to my relatives that I was glad we had decided to make the move from South East Asia. “Little did I realise that just a few weeks later it would be rife in the UK and my own school would be facing closure. But during my six years at Kellet, a British International School in Hong Kong, I had become used to school closures because of seasonal flu, so I was probably better prepared than if I’d lived in the UK. “I was also lucky because Kellet had gone into lockdown much earlier than us, so I could call on my former colleagues for advice on creating effective internet-based home schooling packages.” But even so he admits that when the Government finally announced all schools were to close from the end of March it was a huge learning curve for staff, pupils and parents. “Originally we thought schools would just close for an extended Easter holiday break but then we realised it was going to be much longer.


“We had to quickly put together an online programme that could be accessed by children of all ages. The week before the holidays was really a trial run to make sure everyone could access what they needed to. But it would be fair to say it didn’t go as smoothly as we might have hoped.” It meant that Luke, his head of computing, Mike Callaghan and other staff spent the Easter holidays refining how a ‘new normal’ way of teaching using Microsoft Teams would work. He also had to reassure parents that teachers and IT support would be available on a daily basis. “Some parents, especially those with younger children, were worried their own IT skills might be a bit lacking and so we did our best to reassure them. But from Year 3 upwards the children were usually capable of managing things for themselves.” Families quickly settled in a routine of academic lessons via Teams in the morning and PE, art and music in the afternoon. “The school day still ran from 8.30am to 4.00pm but the afternoons were more flexible so if parents wanted to take their children out for a walk they could.” At the beginning of June children in Kindergarten, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 returned to school in bubbles of 15 and then a few weeks later it was announced St Margaret’s would be one of the first in Wiltshire to bring all pupils back into school.

“The children adapted remarkably quickly. A few were a bit nervous at first but they were really excited to see their friends and teachers. They showed remarkable resilience and I was very proud of all pupils, staff and parents for how they adapted to and embraced change. School life took on a new pattern but a full academic programme was back in full swing.” The internet meant that even some competitive sport with other schools could return, with children doing challenges such as tennis ball ‘keepie uppies’ rather than actual inter-school matches. The traditional prize-giving day at the end of the summer term was replaced by a scaled down version for the Year 6 children and lived streamed to their families and the rest of the school. “The streaming was so successful that I think we will continue doing that even when we can return to a live audience, as it means that grandparents and friends and family who are not local can be part of the event.” He believes Year 6 pupils who were preparing to move up to senior school may have benefitted from having to take more responsibility for their own learning during lockdown and this will be helping them to adapt more quickly at their new schools. Luke arrived at St Margaret’s in September 2019 knowing the school had all the right ingredients to give every child an excellent start in life but was determined to drive them to be the very best they could be.


“I WANT LESSONS TO BE VIBRANT, DYNAMIC AND EXCITING. BUT THE PUPILS HAVE TO ALSO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY AND CHALLENGE THEMSELVES” He came with a masterplan that he expects every teacher and pupil to embrace as the whole school works towards inspiring excellence. He believes the way staff and children have responded to the challenges thrown up by coronavirus shows it is working. He explains: “When I arrived at St Margaret’s I realised I was taking over an already very successful school but I believed we could do even more to help children to be the very best they can be. “This was by developing the skills for learning which are all about communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity, which sits alongside developing the traditional values of kindness, respect, integrity, courage, curiosity and perseverance. “Our children, with the support of staff and parents have been incredibly resilient over the past months and shown many of these attributes.” Now children are back in the classroom his ethos of asking teachers to encourage children to be an integral part of every lesson by getting them to constantly contribute to discussion, problem solving and research is back in play. “I want lessons to be vibrant, dynamic and exciting. But the pupils have to also take responsibility and challenge themselves. They need to be able to explain in what way they have shown one or more of the six traditional values in what they have done. “Have they had the courage to put forward a point of view, the curiosity to find out more about a subject and the perseverance to stick with something they find difficult? “I have a very strong staff but I want to be the type of head who leads by example. I may not be an expert in everything, but I will know who the right person to go to is.” Luke is happy to throw himself into all aspects of school life and could not resist challenging his older pupils to a race when a climbing wall was erected as part of an outdoor day of learning. He enjoys a wide range of sport and believes in supporting his pupils in the many diverse activities offered at St Margaret’s. “The children learn from competitive situations and realise they can’t always win but they can persevere and try to improve. They can say I showed kindness and respect to a member of my team or the opposition, integrity and fairness in the way I played and courage to keep going.”

Since studying engineering at University of Exeter, Luke has worked in a diverse range of schools from those in the inner-city, catering for many youngsters from deprived families, to a school near Slough in Berkshire with a large number of pupils where English was not their first language. In 2013 he and his wife decided to take a very different turn in their professional lives and move abroad. They considered a number of different countries but then saw that Kellet in Hong Kong was expanding. “It worked out very well as we were both offered jobs. Kellet is very well respected in Hong Kong and is the school of choice for ex-pat British families,” he says. “We both loved living and working in Hong Kong right from the start. In school the children and their parents were very invested in the learning process. It was exciting as the school was very well resourced and the parents were very successful and wanted their children to succeed.” While there, he learnt the importance of educational excellence, robust pastoral care, pupil wellbeing, pressures that can be put on children by both exams and social media and how techniques such as positive psychology can be used to help children. Now as headmaster of his own school, he is putting his own educational ideas into practice. “I don’t want inspiring excellence to just be a concept. I want it to be something that everyone can evaluate and explain. “I am in the business of growing pupils but also as a leader it is my job to be growing teachers. Some teachers, as well as pupils, can adapt faster than others to a new way of doing things. We need to accommodate for different paces. “The most important thing is that we put the child at the centre of what we do. In the classroom if there is a teacher who is spending

more time talking than listening to what children have to say then that is something that needs to change. Learning needs to be dynamic. “At St Margaret’s, I inherited a very strong team who are extremely enthusiastic about what they do.” Luke believes there is a place for rote learning of tables and reading skills to give children the building blocks for everything else, but in the early years of primary education, he thinks that children should develop learning skills by being encouraged to give opinions and play a full part in lessons. “If children are reading a book, it is much more interesting if they sit around a circular table and discuss it in a similar way adults would do at a book club. It helps to bring the lesson to life. The aim is that by Years 5 and 6 the pupils have the skills and traits that allow them to acquire knowledge.” We are all living in incredibly uncertain times, but he knows that St Margaret’s is in a good place to handle the challenges that may lie ahead. ■

Curzon Street,Calne, Wiltshire SN11 0DF 01249 857220 I BATH LIFE I 69

It’s the city’s business

BATHWORKS THIS ISSUE >>CELEBRATE WORLD-CLASS EXCELLENCE (71) >>THE ART COHORT ON PATREON (72) >>BUZZ PROJECT (73) Will Godfrey, chief executive, B&NES; cllr Dine Romero, leader, B&NES; Richard Godfrey, chief executive of Rocketmakers; Claire Smith, partner at Buro Happold and Prof Ian White, vice-chancellor of the University of Bath unveiled the new website, which will market businesses across a range of sectors

Sky’s the limit Bath & North East Somerset council has launched a brand-new website celebrating the world-class excellence of businesses in Bath. Bath Unlimited, created in collaboration with Royds Withy King, Mytton Williams, and the University of Bath aims to attract new inward investment into the city by promoting awareness of the talent and expertise available on our doorsteps.

“Bath and North East Somerset is a fantastic location for any business, with international communication links, leading research centres at our two universities and huge potential for growth with exciting developments such as Bath Quays and the Somer Valley Enterprise Zone,” says councillor Dine Romero. Initially, Bath Unlimited will focus on

marketing the potential of a selection of companies covering the built environment, tech and innovation, consumer dynamic, defence and engineering and financial services sectors. In the coming months local networking, career development, and recruitment opportunities with their featured companies are also planned. For more:



The Art Cohort runs events like crafty halloween paper crafts workshop

That’s one way to social bubble


Keith Doel, Ian Butler, John Griffiths and Natalie Carpenter of Ashfords Homes enjoy last year's awards

HOT PROPERTY Kat Dawe Schmeisser launched the Patreon to raise much needed funds

enables supporters to become active participants in the creation of the work they love by becoming a member, or patron, of it. The simple concept is that we give our Patreon members access to exclusive content, our artistic community, and insight into the creative process. In exchange, we get the freedom to do our best work, and stability to keep The Art Cohort open and running, pursuing our mission to champion emerging artists and makers.” Patrons can sign up via the website to contribute £5, £15 or £25 per month and see the exhibitions programme flourish as a direct result. For more:


The Art Cohort is a self-funded, artist-run art space on Chelsea Road. Like many such spaces, the onset of the pandemic has plunged them into significant financial struggle. Under the current regulations they can no longer run their studio workshop programme of classes, which has put them under serious economic strain and meant owner Kat Dawe Schmeisser is unable to bring staff back from furlough. But, ever creative, Kat has come up with an innovative solution – and the local community is key to its success. She has launched a Patreon page for The Art Cohort, where people can sign up for small monthly contributions to help keep the space running into 2021. Kat explains: “The patronage model allows individuals to directly contribute to sustaining the arts and cultural life in Bath during these unusual and difficult times. “We decided upon Patreon as a fundraising platform (instead of Kickstarter or others) for The Art Cohort as it’s specifically designed for creators. Patreon



Nominations for the highly anticipated third Bath Property Awards are now open. Companies working in the sector are encouraged to share their best, most unique and exciting projects and achievements from 2019-2020 to be in with a chance to win. There are 17 categories to enter, including Architect, Interior Designer, Supplier, Commercial and Residential Agent and Transformation – but potential nominees can find the full list of categories and details on the website, where they can also submit their case for nomination for free. “Any business working within the property industry is encouraged to get involved, whether by sponsoring or by entering the Awards,” says event organiser Annie Miekus. “It’s a fantastic opportunity to meet new clients, connect socially in the city and, of course, to have your business recognised in front of peers.” Winners will be selected by a panel of independent judges from across Bath’s business scene. Sponsorships are also now available for companies to benefit from, joining those already on board like headline sponsor Mogers Drewett and category and feature sponsors including APS Homes, Bath Life, Hawker Joinery, L&C Mortgages, Spaces, South West Business Finance and Triangle Networks. For more information, and to find out more about sponsorship, please contact;

LITTLE BIT OF LOVE B&NES Council and Bath BID have joined forces to give Milsom Street and New Bond Street a little extra love this season. The temporary vehicle access restrictions supporting social distancing have been successful already, with shoppers enjoying a much more pleasant time navigating the street. More is planned over the coming weeks. In addition to the ‘I love Milsom Street’ banner and new planters, the team behind Bath Carnival have been brought on board to create bespoke installations. “It’s been great bringing a splash

of colour to Milsom Street after lockdown, and partnering with NightJar Events has allowed us to be really adventurous with the designs, incorporating large scale balloon garlands and bespoke macramé into our installs,” says Stu Matson, director of Bath Carnival. “Wherever possible we’ve used recycled or repurposed materials, including a second-hand mannequin courtesy of Primark, an old set of scrubs from a local nurse and a host of upcycled materials from Scrapstore Bristol.” For more:


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


international audiences. With 15 years’ experience under my belt, I knew I wanted to apply my skills and my passion for marketing in different areas, and so Buzz Project was formed.

Liz Alvey is a marketing consultant and owner of Buzz

Liz Alvey set up Buzz Project last year to help provide local businesses with the essential marketing services they need, without the jargon. Tell us about Buzz Project In collaboration with a fantastic network of creative professionals, Buzz Project offers businesses great content and photography, strategic support and help with their communications. Small businesses can think of Buzz Project as the internal marketing team they don’t have. I started out in marketing back in 2004, promoting leading business degrees to

What have some of the challenges been launching the business? I am lucky to have had clients since the business first launched in May last year, so the biggest challenge has been managing time efficiently and ensuring each client gets the very best service. I have a strong work ethic, and as it is my own business, I naturally want it to do well, so I work very hard for my clients. The pandemic has presented its own challenges, but I’m confident that Buzz Project will weather the storm. How are you doing things differently?  I have always loved the detective work involved with marketing; using the information around you to inform your next move. This approach to decisionmaking applies whatever your business type and is more applicable than ever in the digital age. At Buzz Project we apply data and logic, helping our smaller clients save money. There is a wealth of marketing you can do for your business without spending a fortune.  In a nutshell, Buzz Project is a straighttalking marketing service, providing practical ideas and solutions to help you market your business better. For more:

Legal 500 has once again recognised Bath-based Stone King as a top tier firm. This time, the independent guide also recognised 35 of the firm’s lawyers for their expertise. “It really is an excellent result to see so many of our lawyers rated by the Legal 500 and is testament to the hard work they do for their clients and the firm,” says Stone King’s managing partner Steven Greenwood. “We always pride ourselves on doing the very best we can and this is confirmed by these high-profile rankings.”


Six lawyers at Mogers Drewett have been named in the Legal 500 guide for 2021 as well. Tom Webb, Rebecca Silcock, David Hill, Maeve England and Emily Eccles have all been ‘recommended’ in the new guide, with Jonathan Cheal of the Agriculture and Estates Team being named in the elite ‘Leading Lawyer’ list for the second year in a row. “We pride ourselves on the quality of our people at Mogers Drewett and are delighted to be recognised by the Legal 500, which recommends firms and individuals purely on merit. We are very proud of everyone recognised this year,” says Sean Mcdonough, employment partner at Mogers Drewett.

Emily Eccles of Mogers Drewett was recommended in the Legal 500

CRACK THE CODE Mike Oram, Mayden Academy director and now trainer in one of the best programmes in the world


Mayden Academy has been named the sixth best coding bootcamp in the world, according to the 2021 Best Coding Bootcamp Rankings from independent trainer ratings website SwitchUp. “We are overwhelmed to be recognised as a global leader in training people to become great software developers,” says Mike Oram, director of the Academy. “As a small team we have worked incredibly hard to provide the

best possible coding training since we started in 2015, so it is great to know that our alumni are as proud of us as we are of them.” The Bath-based coding bootcamp earned the accolade for its Full Stack Track programme, an intensive, 16-week training course that teaches students all they need to know to become a software developer. For more:

Virtual one hour sessions, all free to attend Search Bath Life on LinkedIn for upcoming dates and registration If you would like to get involved, please email


Stuart Newport owns the South West’s only Ford Fiesta specialist



Stuart Newport The owner of Vivian Price Cars started the Ford Fiesta specialist determined to do things differently. He tells us how… Tell us about Vivian Price Cars. What do you do? We are the South West’s only dedicated Ford Fiesta specialist, catering for those who are lookingfor reliable and economical motoring, coupled with excellent customer service. How did you get to where you are? I’ve been in the trade 17 years now. Prior to this I’d started at a car supermarket when I was 18 and went on to work for Alfa Romeo, BMW and then a specialist independent. I set up Vivian Price Cars four years ago after becoming disillusioned with the motor trade and working to others’ standards (or lack thereof !). I wanted to strip away the stereotypical image associated with this industry and run things how I thought they should be. What does an average day in the life look like for you? Coffee, distribute children (my fiancée and I have four girls between us), get to


the office, search for and put offers in on new stock, chase up MOTs, valets etc, arrange customer handovers and sell some more cars – basically that on a loop throughout the whole day. What makes the service at Vivian Price cars different? My main aim has always been to do car sales for people who don’t like car sales. When you ask most people about buying cars, their experiences are overwhelmingly negative – whether that’s a result of pushy sales staff or poor product/aftersales. I’ve actively tried to create an environment where people feel relaxed and not belittled, something I carry on beyond the sale so they have the security of knowing that Vivian Price Cars has got their back.   What’s so great about the Ford Fiesta? They’re just so popular, and with very good reason! They’re supremely reliable, easy to drive and cheap to

run. And if anything does go wrong with them, they are easy to fix and parts are cheap and plentiful. I’ve sold nearly every type of car imaginable but nothing comes close to the Fiesta for value and ease of ownership.   What are the advantages of seeing a specialist supplier like Vivian Price? Knowledge and choice. Because we deal with this type of car every day, there isn’t a lot that we haven’t seen, so when it comes to assisting customers with their requirements we are uniquely placed with an encyclopaedic knowledge of specifications, trim levels and options offering a level of service you wouldn’t expect to find at this end of the market. Also, I can’t think of anywhere that has this number of Fiestas in one place! You probably wouldn’t even get that at a main dealer and certainly not in the £2,000-£6,000 price bracket.

What are the top pitfalls those looking to buy a used car should avoid? Buying a used car is a minefield, so doing your research is key. It seems obvious but you can save yourself an awful lot of time, money and grief by spending 30 minutes online looking into the reliability of certain models – and the reliability of who you’re buying the car from. The preparation and aftersales element of a used car is so important, so make sure that you ask about their pre-sales process and warranty situation. What are some top things to consider before selling a car? A lot of it comes down to whether the car suits your needs – this includes practical and economic concerns. If you simply need a bigger or smaller car then it’s a pretty easy decision, but if you’re changing because your car is getting on a bit, then you need an entirely different approach. It gets to a point in a car’s life where you’ve got to make a decision to either stick with it or change because the associated costs of keeping it on the road going forward may start to rival that of getting a newer one. Get your car valued professionally and you’ve got a good starting point to work from.   What do you think makes a great car sales person? It’s a massive cliché, but people really do buy from people. If you can relate to a customer, listen and take an interest in what they need and have to say, the rest will follow naturally. Oh, and avoid wearing pointy shoes and shiny suits.    For more: Vivian Cars, 32 Cattlemarket Business Park, Chew Road, Winford, BS40 8HB; tel: 0117 2901234;




Nigel Dando WE BUY Gold, Silver & Platinum in any form or condition.

Nigel Dando 11 Pulteney Bridge, Bath BA2 4AY Tel/Fax: 01225 464013


Company registration number 12450412

VAT Registration number 127087414



Jon Ducker, head of visitor experience on what winning a Bath Life Award means to THE AMERICAN MUSEUM & GARDENS

What prompted you to enter the Awards? Have you done similar before? We entered back in 2017/18 – just as a benchmarking exercise really. We’d not done it before and we wanted to see how we stacked up against the other great destinations in Bath. We learned a lot from the process and it really helped us to develop our business. Tell us a little about the Museum Relaunched in 2018 as The American Museum & Gardens, Claverton Manor officially opened as a museum in 1961 with the aim of displaying the achievements of Americans in the decorative arts and promoting Anglo-American understanding. It is the only museum outside the United States to showcase the decorative arts of America.

LEISURE & TOURISM WINNER What do visitors get to see? The permanent collection includes more than 200 historic American quilts, exceptional pieces of Shaker furniture, Native American objects, and 200 historical maps of the New World from the 12th century to the Renaissance. The Museum also has the most significant collection of American folk art in Europe. What about the garden? Opened in September 2018 by Alan Titchmarsh, the new American Garden was Washington DC-based landscape architects Oehme, Van Sweden first European commission. The planting follows the freeform style made famous by the firm’s founders, Wolfgang Oehme and James Van Sweden. Native American shrubs, perennials, and bulbs feature heavily, but the garden is designed to work with the steep terrain and enhance the view over the Limpley Stoke Valley, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Select one particular highlight of the Museum? The Museum’s gardens feature a reproduction of George Washington’s upper garden as it would have


A brand new Children’s Garden opened at The American Museum & Gardens this year


How did you celebrate? It was totally unexpected. We knew we were up against some stiff competition, with so many great destinations and things to do and see in Bath. I think we’re all still stunned to be honest, and then with the lockdown we’ve not had a chance to all get together, so for now the team celebration is on hold. The Award is on proud display in our ticket office, where it always attracts lots of comments from visitors.

Shirley Barker and Kate Herbert of the American Museum & Gardens collected the award on the night

appeared on his Mount Vernon estate in Virginia in 1799. Our Mount Vernon garden features ornamental planting, fruit and vegetables, and boxwood hedges in the shape of four fleur-de-lis, which symbolise the friendship between America’s first president and the Marquis de Lafayette, a French aristocrat who fought in the American Revolutionary War.

hopefully collect more awards in recognition of what we’re doing.

What do you think it is about the Museum that helped it secure the Bath Life Award? Our ongoing investment in the Museum, namely the gardens, and by extension, Bath. We stay still at our peril. Bath is such a vibrant city that it would be easy for us to be left behind. It’s hard to compete with the Roman Baths as the destination is iconic of Bath, but we really do now feel we can sit at the top table, so to speak, and have risen up the ranks in the reasons to visit Bath.

What have you found to be the best tools for growth in your business? Investing in people just as much as new features and displays. We really are a people business – from our staff to our volunteers and service partners, everyone is really invested in making the museum a success.

What does winning the Bath Life Award mean to you, the team, and the business? It’s a great big pat on the back and somewhat of a justification for our ongoing investment in the Museum and the people who work with us. It’s inspired us to achieve more, and

How might you describe your key clientele? Curious! A museum about America in Bath – why? That’s often the first question people ask. That said when we are discovered people fall in love with us and keep coming back.

Any moment you’ve been particularly proud of? The launch of the New American Garden. It was six years in the making, and from the moment we opened, it’s been loved by visitors young and old. That and our Children’s Garden (launched this year) have been real game changers for the museum. For more: American Museum & Gardens, Claverton Manor, Claverton Down, BA2 7BD; I BATH LIFE I 77


Hope is not a strategy

There are encouraging signs that Bath businesses are getting active, says GREG INGHAM, CEO of MediaClash


hen faced with doubt, the obvious thing for many of us to do is to do nothing. When you don’t know, you don’t do. Fine up to a point. Just not fine in these times where we all have to adapt to weekly-new circumstances. Hoping it will all somehow improve is not unconditionally recommended as a strategy. It’s hard enough personally: kids suddenly sent home from school? All WFH again? Troubles with bubbles? Uni kids-whoaren’t-kids returning home midterm? Yet of course we figure out how to adapt: smartly, swiftly. It’s differently hard for businesses. Some constrained by changing guidelines, many more facing shortfalls. All knowing that doing nothing isn’t an option, that inertia fulfils its own prophesy. And that simply cutting costs, while essential, can only take you so far. Instead, it’s clear from conversations with many Bath businesses that we’re realising

that the short term is becoming the near term and hence our purely tactical reactive mode is being replaced with a more strategic approach. Shut down, stop spending, de-risk is an understandable immediate response. But as the pandemic stretches on (another six months?), it won’t be enough. All businesses need to get on the front foot. Adjusting to the very latest new normal doesn’t mean merely repeating lockdown thinking. We’re not all still doing Zoom quizzes. We’re not only hunkering down at home with eating out confined to Deliveroo. The streets aren’t empty any more. So it’s time to be active not passive. To be inventive about new offerings and routes to market. And not to be inert about promotion or cautious about customers, who are increasingly very bored with self-editing their lives and choices. There’s a quote from one R. Murdoch – not someone often cited in these pages, it has to be said – about the then new economy and companies’ prospects. “Big will not beat

“It’s time to be active not passive”

small anymore. It will be the fast beating the slow.” We’re in an era of accelerated Darwinianism: adapt to thrive. And actions not taken now can have a material adverse effect on prospects in the spring and beyond. The eternal truths of business endure: the pandemic changes much but not all. All organisations, whether commercial, charitable, arts or public sector need to promote what they do, always. Think how much time and effort and money and risk is placed on all costs: people, stock, premises, brand, overheads, suppliers and much more. But how much is being spent on alerting customers and clients about what’s on offer? If anything, with many people out of the habit, there’s a greater need to be active. Costs are controllable, and have been battened down everywhere. But revenues always need to be influenced. Just because companies are cutting costs doesn’t mean they shouldn’t promote their revenues. For some, classic FOMO is a call to action. They see that others in the city are pushing on, promoting what they do. There’s forest-loads of research demonstrating that those who market well in leaner times gain disproportionately more than those who hold back, partly because their share of voice

is greater. Others fear that being an active business is somehow not being respectful to those on short-working or worse, those who’ve lost their jobs. Yet there’s an increasing sense that however thoughtful and decent people rightly are when looking backwards, the greater responsibility is to existing teams in the future. The best way to ensure their jobs is to generate more sales. Whatever the impulse, any of us in business know that what has gone, has, self-evidently, gone, and that we all need to refill our pipelines, all need to run harder to try to make up. So yes, in short, hope is not a strategy. None of us especially likes these times. All of us wish it were different. But wishing something really doesn’t take you very far. We’ve all got to give it a go…

#BathTogether – always… I BATH LIFE I 79


Every home will showcase high-quality open-plan design



A former printworks site responsible for printing some of the first Penguin books is being transformed into contemporary new homes The first ten Penguin paperbacks were printed at Butler & Tanner printworks in 1935

The site has been a printworks since 1907

The Butler & Tanner printworks, which operated for 165 years and moved to the Frome site in 1907, worked with Penguin Books Ltd when the first ten paperbacks were launched to print in October 1935. The works included Ariel by André Maurois, a biography of poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Madame Claire by Susan Ertz. Now another chapter is being written as the site is being transformed into contemporary new homes by Acorn Property Group. The £45 million development will provide 157 modern homes set in landscaped grounds. Working with Bristol architects pad Design, The Old Printworks will be a new community of 2, 3- and 4-bedroom homes, with prices starting from £275,000. Every home

will showcase high-quality open-plan design, with a luxe kitchen by Stormer, fully integrated appliances, Caesarstone worktops and sleek bathrooms with porcelain floor and wall tiling. Sustainability has played a huge part in the design with timber frame construction and eco stock bricks being used, triple glazing for insulation, energy saving appliances and lighting throughout and sustainable urban drainage system. There are communal electric charging points in the car park. To support local ecology, there will be 12 bat houses, 10 bird boxes and specialist bee bricks across the build. Simon Blair, managing director of London & County, the Bath-based mortgage brokers, says, “Frome has been named as one the best places to live in the South West and has a rich, diverse local community. The Old Printworks will provide stylish homes in a central location, allowing residents to enjoy the amazing culture on their doorstep. There are many schools within easy reach of the development, making The Old Printworks a prime opportunity for young and growing families.” For more:

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1% OF THE FEE YOU PAY IS DONATED TO YOUR LOCAL PRIMARY SCHOOL* With normal fundraising for schools being non-existent they need our help more than ever. Help us to help your school by selling your home with Bath Stone Property.

Sales and Letting

Contact the Bath Stone Property team today for help and advice on how we can get you moving safely.

Visit us online: | Tel: 01225 422224



Architect Richard Asbury


The owners of this proposed new eco-house in Bath are working with Maack Architects to create a new, low-energy family home using sustainable construction and healthy materials. The company’s architect and director Richard Asbury explains, “The four-bedroom house will be designed and built to the rigorous German ‘Passive House’ standard, which uses high levels of insulation and a ventilation system that recycles waste heat. “Inside, the construction will use natural materials and non-toxic finishes whilst outside it will use sustainably sourced timber windows,

doors, and reclaimed Bath stone walls topped off with a wildflower meadow roof planted with local varieties. “Power for lighting and appliances will come from renewable energy sources such as solar hot water, photovoltaics, and battery storage. A rainwater harvesting system will reduce the demand for mains water. “If we are to meet the UK government’s target of net zero carbon homes by 2050, we need to be building more sustainable, energy saving homes like this. Not only are they more economical to run, but they help us to go some way to reducing our footprint on the planet.” For more:



Anna Moore of Bath Stone Property agency talks about the merits of buy-to-let

“Lettings might not be seen as the glamorous side of estate agency but it is the stable and reliable side of the industry. Over the years we have worked with many investment landlords to build their portfolios to see a reliable income and pension for their future. “There are still opportunities out there for landlords to purchase properties to develop into Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) or longer-term investments as family or professional lets. Thanks to the current stamp duty holiday until March 2021, this offers investors an average saving of around £10,000. “After two successive cuts in March 2020, the Bank of England Base Rate remains at a historic low, providing another great reason to invest in property in Bath. Many lenders are offering great buy-to-let products and with a good independent mortgage adviser, we work with our current landlords and any first-time investor buyers to guide them through the market.  “The rental market has adapted well to what has become the new normal with lots of our rental properties letting through virtual and


This four bed terrace on High Street, Twerton is on with Bath Stone Property for £250,000

video call viewings. We have seen the rental market go from strength to strength over the last 10 years and, with forecast growth in the UK population over the next 20 years, the demand for housing will grow alongside it.” For more:

Space to entertain

Fabulous show apartment launches at Belvedere House, Lansdown Developer JUNIPER HOMES has achieved their uncompromising vision for this luxury development

Roof top view across Charlcombe Valley



rom the moment you step into Belvedere House, this select eight apartment development simply exudes style and quality. Designed to make the most of its unrivalled position, Belvedere House is perfect for discerning buyers. The meticulous attention to detail and bespoke design shines throughout. Set in a delightful landscaped environment, apartments are at ground and first floor levels. All four ground floor apartments enjoy private


Master suite

Living space

courtyard space. Two of the first floor apartments have a private balcony and two are exceptional duplex penthouses, enjoying a rooftop terrace with far-reaching views. There is also a residents garden with two charming arbours. Internally, nothing has been left to chance. From the open plan living space with highspecification kitchens through to superbly

Wide apartment entrance hallway

specified bathrooms and bedrooms that include thoughtful finishing touches such as walk in wardrobes – in a nutshell, the interiors are stunning. “Lansdown is a much sought-after community,” says Anna Fairman, head of residential development sales for Savills in Bath. “Residents will enjoy large open plan living spaces, uncompromising in style and

Landscaped communal gardens

quality. Contrasting clean modern lines with the softer tones of Bath stone, the apartments strike an architectural balance that offers the best in contemporary living offset by the comfort of a warm and inviting space.” With open countryside on your doorstep and Bath city centre a little over a mile away, residents can enjoy the best of both worlds; great gastro-pubs and Lansdown Golf Club on your doorstep, and easy access to Bath with its culinary expertise and cultural events. Belvedere House is ideally positioned for it all. Prices start at £575,000 and reservations are now being taken. Each apartment includes two dedicated private parking spaces. ■

Private parking

The Show Apartment is open to view by appointment, please call: 01225 474591 or visit I BATH LIFE I 85

PUTTING DOWN ROOTS Elm Lodge is just the place to flourish and grow By John Mather



he first thing thats strikes you about Elm Lodge in Biddestone is its sense of grandeur but also solidness. It started life as a cottage, built in the 17th century with rubble stone and had a thatched roof. Over the centuries it has developed, grown and been enhanced to become an impressive detached house totalling approximately 4,000sqft, with its own separate coach house. From the mullion windows to the eyebrow dormers on the outside, you know this house is going to be crammed to its beautiful rafters with gorgeous period features. The current owners have thoughtfully and sympathetically improved the property over the years. The impressive hall, with original period staircase, is perfect for making a grand entrance. Either side of the main entrance hall there are two well-proportioned reception rooms, with period fireplaces, high ceilings,


attractive bay windows and views over the village green and pond. Yes, a village green with its own duck pond, how charming and otherworldly is that? The first reception room is used as a formal drawing room complete with open fire and working shutters. The second reception room is used as a study and has been fitted by Smallbone with bespoke cabinetry in natural wood giving the study it’s sumptuous feel. The kitchen/living area is at the heart of the house – spacious, light and airy, it naturally divides into three living spaces, the kitchen, a dining area and a formal sitting room. There’s underfloor heating and a marketleader Jutul log burner. The kitchen, equipped with integrated Miele oven and AEG induction hob, is a luxe bespoke affair and includes hand painted grey cabinetry, a beech worktop and a handmade antique breakfast bar with zinc top, and for easy al fresco dining, the bifold doors open out directly into the garden. This adjacent outside space has been traditionally laid with reclaimed Cotswold stone and provides a lovely south-west facing sun terrace. The paving leads around to the front gardens. The entire garden has been expertly landscaped to provide an established and

low maintenance space. There is also a comprehensive lighting scheme throughout the grounds which means you and your guests can stay out later. Back inside the dining area has an oversized feature Bath stone fireplace with an Aga, and a table that seats 14. There is a formal sitting room off the kitchen/ dining space, that is currently used as the children’s play room, but could provide an entertainment area. There is a lovely boot room with plenty of storage and space for all the family’s coats and shoes, which has direct access out to the service garden, with a wood store, and leads directly to the garage. Upstairs there are five double bedrooms, a family shower room, en suite bathroom and family bathroom. The master bedroom suite spans over 35ft with attractive wooden built in wardrobes, and overlooks the garden. The two bedrooms at the front of the house are of particular note with barrel ceilings. Making this already special home, extra special is The Coach House. A detached one-bedroom with its own entrance, entered via the rear driveway. This could be rented out without interrupting the privacy of the main house. Alternately, could be used as a guest house or the ever-increasingly needed, home office.

HOUSE NUMBERS Coach house 1 Square foot


Biddestone wins Village of the Year




Guide price £2.2m For more: Winkworth Bath, 13 Argyle St, Bathwick, Bath. tel: 01225 829000; I BATH LIFE I 87

£1.5 million

ROSE COTTAGE Sion Hill, Bath, BA1

Rose Cottage is a detached Grade II Listed townhouse in Sion Hill, one of Bath’s most popular addresses. The property exudes charm both inside and out and boasts a delightful enclosed rear garden. Entrance Hall | Cloakroom | Dining Room | Kitchen/Breakfast room | Drawing room | 3/4 bedrooms Family bathroom | En suite shower room | Landscaped rear garden, potential for parking at the side of the house Residents parking | In the heart of Lansdown, ideally situated for access to Royal High, Kingswood and St Stephen’s schools Within a pleasant walk through the golf course to the city centre

Matthew Leonard Director

Lucy McIlroy Director

Denise Latham Lettings Manager

Fleur Hawken Lettings

Lotte Veale Sales


Pets – our coronavirus lifelines


Peter Greatorex from THE APARTMENT COMPANY explains…

ver the last few days I have been having many conversations about life under the pandemic, and one thing I’ve noted is that those with pets have expressed how their pet has been a saviour. As a nation of animal lovers, it is clear we love our pets dearly – in fact, research by Opinium on behalf of Asda Pet Insurance found that in 2017 we spent £11.6 billion on dogs and cats alone. With a feeling of being confined whilst in lockdown, it’s no surprise that our pets have been our coronavirus lifelines. PET THERAPY If you own a pet you will understand the incredible joy they bring; they are a companion, a friend and an important member of your family. There have been many studies in recent years on the nature and benefits of a human–animal bond, and it’s

clear that owning a pet is good for our wellbeing. Dogs and cats in particular have the ability to help reduce our stress and anxiety; they can also aid in overcoming the feelings of loneliness which many will be experiencing right now. THANK YOU FOR BEING A FRIEND It doesn’t matter if you’re self-isolating or not, the restrictions on our lives are causing many of us to experience loneliness, which in turn can lead to depression. Caring for our pets makes us feel wanted, they can distract our negative thoughts and help prevent illness. Pets make the best companions; you can tell them all your problems and secrets, and when sad thoughts take hold, their little faces can always bring a smile to yours. THEY ARE FOR LIFE Many of our team at The Apartment Company are pet owners, and as much as we love our little ones we also understand what a huge

responsibility they are. You should never take the decision to own a pet lightly, you need to be able to look after the new member of your family in every way, including financially. But should you decide to bring an animal into your home, you too will discover what we pet owners know: they will bring you more joy than you could ever imagine. Even if you’ve put moving home on hold for the moment, we are still available to conduct virtual viewings and answer all your queries, whether you’re looking to buy, sell, rent or let in Bath. n

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


IN FINE FETTLE Andy Goodwin, co-founder and director of Fettle, the team behind The Elder and The Jib Door, shares what inspired the look of Bath’s new must-visit restaurant

Words by Lydia Tewkesbury Photos by Helen Cathcart

The décor reflects chef Mike Robinson’s game-driven menu



ith projects like The Marylebone Hotel in London and, across the pond, Olivetta in West Hollywood, under their belts, Andy Goodwin and Tom Parker of boutique interior design and architecture firm Fettle Design are very much in demand. Their fresh, contemporary designs balance just the right amount of quirk and cool. Their latest projects, The Elder and private members’ club The Jib Door at the new Hotel Indigo Bath are no different. What drew you to this project?

We were lucky enough to meet restaurateur Mike Robinson through a mutual contact and right from our first meeting felt incredibly excited to work with him to bring his vision for The Elder to life. Mike is very enthusiastic and passionate about his food, which typically centres around game. Our job at The Elder was to set the scene for his love of wild food and game to be enjoyed and fully appreciated by the public. The design is honest, detailed and understated and complements Mike’s vision. What can we expect in The Elder?

The Elder is spread out across what was previously four Georgian townhouses. As a result, each space has a domestic scale, which naturally adds charm and character to the chosen interiors scheme. Many of the existing architectural features within the bar and restaurant spaces are listed, and as such we had to treat the space with care and sensitivity. Existing wall panelling has been carefully repaired and restored and where panelling was missing, new bespoke panelling has been installed. We added subtle variations to the new panelling to ensure that future generations will be able to read the layers of history apparent within the space. All panelling has been finished in a traditional green paint colour that includes a crackle-glazed finish to add a sense of age and texture.

“Our job at The Elder was to set the scene for Mike’s love of wild food”

How have you created difference in the rooms?

We have also designed a smaller, more intimate dining space that sits at the rear of the restaurant. The room itself is of significant historical importance as it has remained relatively untouched over the years. We retained the existing panelling, but painted it in a more contemporary pink finish – a contrasting colour, but with a similar crackle-glazed effect that has been used within the other dining room spaces. The existing fireplace has also been retained and restored and, whilst not in use, it provides a beautiful focal point to the room. I BATH LIFE I 97

RESIDENCE What about the décor?

The bar includes an arched timber back bar fitted with a bespoke antique mirror that displays an array of spirit bottles. Bespoke leather bar stools with turned timber pedestal legs and brass details sit in front, while custom brass and glass chandeliers sit within preexisting ceiling roses. In the main restaurant, custom-made traditional brasserie dining chairs feature leather seat pads and back support with a brass studded detail on the upholstery. Bespoke timber tables include a double bullnose edge detail, giving it a traditional feel, while a number of custom tan leather, button-backed banquettes bring a casualness to the spaces.  Was any of the décor sourced locally?

All of the artwork within the restaurant has been carefully selected from antique fairs and local artists and includes a mixture of contemporary and traditional pieces that have an emphasis on hunting game and Bath’s local history, mixed with a selection of vintage taxidermy. It was incredibly important to us to reference the local area and community within the space to add to the story of the building and the restaurant itself.

In what ways did Bath itself inspire the project?

The rich literary and architectural history of Bath was a huge source of inspiration. The references are most obviously seen within the design for the members’ areas, where we have been incredibly playful, referencing the city’s history as a playground for the gentry and aristocrats. We drew heavily from the architectural history of both the Georgian architecture of the building and the city itself – this is most clear in the detailing of the joinery such as the bar. A lot of your projects have been in massive cities – London, LA – did coming somewhere smaller affect how you thought about the design?

We approach each project by looking at the local area and the building itself as a key component of the design process. We felt privileged to work in such a beautiful city. Tom and I are both familiar with Bath, having visited many times before ahead of working on the project and on a building blessed with beautiful architecture and rich history.

“It was incredibly important to us to reference the local area and community within the space”

Many of the accessories were found at local antiques fairs




Andy (pictured) was heavily influenced by the local area in his purchasing decisions for The Elder I BATH LIFE I 99


Converting the space – which used to be houses – into a commercial restaurant presented unique challenges


What was the most challenging thing about this project?

Because the building itself was originally a series of houses, the rooms themselves are much smaller and more residential in scale than what you would typically associate with a restaurant. This made planning the space much more complicated. However, the existing architecture is incredible and allowed us to let the space speak for itself. Typically, we have to work incredibly hard to ensure that our spaces feel residential and layered so that guests feel comfortable within the environment, so in many ways the greatest challenge of the project was also its greatest asset. How was your approach different for The Elder and The Jib Door?

When approaching the project, we wanted to carry a palette and a feeling from The Elder into The Jib Door, however we have played more on the eccentric elements of the design narrative to create a space that feels both refined and exclusive. What will we see in The Jib Door?

The ground floor space of the club features timber panelling at low level, painted in a darker green tone to that used in The Elder and we have paired this with a Timorous Beasties, Cloud Toile wallpaper above. The members’ club also features a small bar where again we have used a similar language to the principal restaurant bar, but have also introduced a brass counter and fluted brass within the undercounter to elevate the design. The bespoke barstools are made from leather with brass pedestals, whilst the lounge furniture seen throughout the rest of the club is upholstered in a mixture of colourful patterned fabrics, mohair and leathers in a greater and more eclectic palette than those used within The Elder. In the sub-basement, the original stone basement vaults have been retained and transformed into an intimate whisky bar with traditional timber beams on the ceiling. The original flagstone flooring has been covered in traditional rugs, while both patterned and mohair upholstery on the bespoke lounge chairs and a fluted banquette give the space a playful sensibility.

“The greatest challenge of the project was also its greatest asset” I BATH LIFE I 101

INTERIOR DESIGN What do you hope guests will feel when they’re in these spaces?

We wanted these spaces to feel comfortable and at the same time sophisticated. The bar and restaurant feel refined but the intricate lighting details and ornate finishes create a dramatic and inviting environment, while The Jib Door has a warm ambience and is more theatrical and playful. We want guests to feel like they are experiencing the whimsical richness of ‘old Bath’ whilst receiving a very modern hospitality offering. For more:

Small details create a dramatic but sophisticated and welcoming environment


“We wanted these spaces to feel comfortable”


HELLO AUTUMN The team at NEPTUNE introduce us to their new autumn collection and the stories behind its creation.


ritish interiors and lifestyle brand Neptune love to work with the seasons, “You probably don’t change your home in quite the same way as your wardrobe each season,” says Neptune’s Bath store leader, Lulu, “but we do all tend to make small changes here and there, be it introducing new colours or swapping out textures. At Neptune, we also want to keep things feeling fresh and exciting, even while always bearing our principles about timelessness in mind. So that’s why we create two new collections each year, in spring and autumn, to add to our existing ones.” The most recent of these new collections arrived on Neptune’s website in early September, and has been gradually transforming the store ever since. At its heart is the latest addition to the brand’s colour palette: Olive, a warm and rich shade of green that, as it turns out, perfectly taps into our desire for nature-led spaces right now: “We had our entire Suffolk kitchen here in store repainted in Olive,” says Lulu, “and the effect is so soothing. It’s definitely a statement to have what is quite a bold colour on all your cabinetry, but I think because it’s green, which is intrinsically connected with the natural world, it doesn’t feel at all overwhelming.” Olive is also an ideal complement to the russet hues that have been gaining in popularity for some time now, including Neptune’s Chestnut paint (their seasonal shade from autumn 2018) and their new Rose Hip textiles, not to mention darker wood stains. These, Neptune have noticed, are having a definite resurgence: “More and more, we’re seeing people wanting to include antique furniture as part of their home’s decoration,” says Amber, Neptune Bath’s Home Designer. “Not so long ago, it was all about pale, Scandinavian-inspired finishes, but I think a lot of us are recognising that we can’t keep throwing away and always buying new pieces, and also that there’s real beauty and warmth in these well-loved designs.” To complement that, Neptune have reimagined two of their existing oak collections in a darker finish – the Wardley dining chair, a minimal take on the classic Windsor, and the Blenheim occasional tables – as well as adding a new design, the Ardingly cabinet, whose legs are in

the same finish. “Wardley and Blenheim both have their roots in antique furniture, so introducing the Darkened Oak stain to them felt really natural,” explains Neptune furniture designer, Henry. “And Ardingly was also inspired by vintage drinks cabinets, so we wanted to bring in a little of that oak finish too. It combines it with a painted top though, so you can customise it to your interior.” In fact, Ardingly is a design that’s all about customisation. Originally thought of as a drinks cabinet, it’s evolved to include options that’ll transform it into a larder, a desk, a dressing table or even a TV cupboard, prompting the team to affectionately dub it ‘the everything cabinet’. It’s all so, as your needs change over time, it can continue to be a valued part of your home. And Ardingly’s not the only versatile piece to have arrived. Shepton – a slim, glass-fronted cabinet – and Sunbury – a tall sideboard – are both designs that can easily adapt to almost any room in your house. Meanwhile, the Wycombe armchair (an oak and rush design) and the Caspar sofas are ideal for small spaces, so they’ll work in bedrooms and even kitchens as well as living rooms. “Wycombe’s absolutely one of my favourite pieces from the new collection,” Lulu tells us. “The combination of oak and rush is very refreshing in an armchair, especially in a living room where everything’s upholstered. It’s a great contrast. But because it has a lightweight look, you can use it somewhere like a bathroom or hallway too, where a fabriccovered chair might be a bit much. It’s definitely next on my wish list!” You can now explore many of the pieces in the new collection in store at Neptune Bath. ■

One Tram Yard, Walcot Street, Bath BA1 5BD 01225 465 301 I BATH LIFE I 103


Tel/Fax: 01761 419422 Fax: 01761 232480 Mobile: 07901 712232


• Domestic and commercial roofing specialists Over 30 Years Experience

• Covering Bath, Bristol and the South West • Trading since 1985 Tel: 01225 421499 Email: Braysdown Lodge, Woodborough, Peasedown St John, Bath BA2 8LN

Repairs, Restoration Alteration of Stone Buildings New Build Stone Cleaning Stone Carving Fireplaces

Tel: 01225 462688 / 07968 697091 Email:


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


Kutchenhaus have opened a brand new showroom in the heart of Bath bringing their beautifully designed and highly engineered German kitchens to the city. Owner Rob Cash and his experienced and talented team look after every customer through the journey from enquiry to completion, creating kitchens of the highest standard at affordable prices. 5 Saracen St, Bath BA1 5BR; Tel: 01225 634025;



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



Working from her beautiful showroom and with over 15 years’ experience in the kitchen industry, Kelly Marie has built a strong reputation. She combines technical aspects of design with an intrinsic creativity, producing functional yet beautiful spaces. Her portfolio includes luxury German made kitchens and Italian painted shaker kitchens. Full design and installation service. Tel: 01225 481881

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



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


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

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

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


Boniti is based on the outskirts of Bath and offers a wide range of quality interior and exterior products: natural stone and timber flooring, Everhot range cookers, garden furniture and Kadai firebowls. As well as the vast selection of products on offer, a friendly and personal service is at the heart of all that they do. Dunsdon Barn, West Littleton,Wiltshire SN14 8JA; Tel: 01225 892 200; I BATH LIFE I 105



people who I’ve admired for years… that’s probably a whole other interview, which needs lawyers present. Christopher Biggins is one of the few actors to ever come upstairs and thank the Box Office for selling tickets for his

GRAEME SAVAGE If you want celebrity gossip from Theatre Royal Bath’s digital marketing officer, you’d best bring a lawyer. Except, he will tell you the Queen is short… Graeme has been with the Theatre Royal Bath since May 1999 and looks after the social media and general marketing for the Theatre Royal, Ustinov Studio and Egg Theatre. He is also the founder and director of Merriman Theatre Group, an amateur and youth theatre company based in Midsomer Norton. He lives in Keynsham with wife Sarah, who works as a director of learning for a local multi-academy trust, and their two children, Emily and Oscar. I applied for four or five different jobs at the Theatre Royal, because I just knew it was somewhere I wanted to be working. I love the fact that it

can be different every week, with so many different shows and casts coming through the building.

I was an insurance salesman for two weeks, and I hated it. I became


a qualified butcher and fishmonger while working on the fresh meat counter at Waitrose, which made me very popular at BBQs, but not with vegetarians. I’ve been running my youth theatre since 1998, which takes

up most weekends and a lot of school holidays, but has been one of my proudest achievements. It’s been wonderful to see young people growing in confidence through the arts – we’re not about preparing them for a life on the stage, but are passionate about building confidence and social skills. Online rehearsals continued with the youth and amateur theatre companies during

lockdown. They were really important for keeping in contact with people and checking in on them, as well as having something to focus on. It also increased my technical skills for audio recording

and broadcasting. I got fitter too – playing football with the kids in the garden and having the time to go out cycling has been a real boost, physically and mentally. Lockdown unlocked my secret talent – turns out I have

a great skill for retaining useless information and statistics, which proved quite beneficial during those many Zoom quizzes. ‘Just face the right way, and don’t be sh*t.’ I said it once to a

group of kids during a rehearsal. It obviously stuck because when they left, they put it on a t-shirt for me as a thank you present. It has now become my motto for life! My favourite ever performance seen at the Theatre Royal was

Kenneth Cranham’s performance as Andre, struggling with dementia, in The Father (now a film starring Anthony Hopkins in the same role). It was originally at the Ustinov Studio, before it transferred to London, and Ken won the Olivier Award for Best Actor. I’ve never seen an audience so absolutely speechless as at the end of that performance. My best moments in this role

have been meeting famous people who I’ve admired for years. My worst moments, meeting famous

show, which puts him very high in their esteem. Oh, and I met the Queen and Prince Philip when I was invited to Buckingham Palace for a gala celebrating those who work with young people in the Arts. They’re both much shorter than you would think. And a non-theatre related celebrity story – I used to work with Alan Carr at Safeway in Northampton when we were both students. The mood for our Welcome Back Season is cautiously positive, I would say – it’s been

a lot of work to get the new season planned, but it’s a step in the right direction. As the director Danny Moar said, this isn’t about making money, it’s about getting the doors open and hoping to get some consumer confidence back for our loyal audience.

My son’s become a big Bath City fan in the last couple of years, and we go whenever we

can – a great atmosphere, not just at the match, but from all involved who make it a really passionate community club, with some pretty decent football thrown in too. I really hope that they can get fans back in soon, and the stadium redevelopment approved, as they’re a big asset to the city.

I’d lived in and around Bath for more than 20 years before we went on the open top bus tour with some friends who were

visiting, and it was a revelation. Definitely worth the couple of hours for the views around the American Museum if nothing else. n For more:

Profile for MediaClash

Bath Life – issue 429  


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