Bath Life – issue 438

Page 1

ISSUE 438 / 26 FEBRUARY – 11 MARCH 2021 / £3


#BathTogether HELLO PETAL















ABOVE: Bath’s florists share

their plant knowledge (page 26) BELOW: We’re going for gold this Mother’s Day (page 36)


hate to be a cliché but the last 12 months has seen me make banana bread (top tip: add raisins and Greek yoghurt to the batter), I’ve walked a lot – the Upton Cheney Circular loop being the most recent (top tip: proper footwear is a must), binged on Netflix top tips Schitt’s Creek and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), and I’ve become slightly obsessed with houseplants – top tip t rn to page for expert top tips. O r lovely b nch of ath florists talk abo t this gorgeo s botanical trend, share their wisdom on how to look after our new green babies, and suggest some blooming lovely ideas for other’s Day gifts. Over on page 5, we’ve got a few more precio s suggestions for mum – we’ve gone really precious in fact with some pretty golden accessories – beca se yo know she’s worth it. And on page 14 there’s a brilliant feature on the role of women at Theatre Royal Bath over the years. his, maybe above anything else recently, has made me miss normal life. hat a plethora of talent, drama, and entertainment has come our way – and while TV has been a godsend – the min te coronavir s restrictions lift, yo ’ll find me in the Saw Close stalls appla ding c rtain’s p. Meantime stay safe, stay happy, and see you in two weeks!

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

Issue 438 / 26 February – 11 March 2021 COVER The glamorous drawing room of Shaw House in Melksham, currently for sale with Savills (page 70)


14 WOMEN IN THEATRE Celebrating International

Women’s Day with a look at the role of females at Theatre Royal Bath


26 FLORISTS Blooming great expert advice on houseplants

and c t flowers

32 GARDEN KNOW-HOW Ten top seasonal tips from

The Bath Gardener


35 INTRO Round the Mulberry bush with this beauty 36 EDITOR’S CHOICE Gold gifts for mum because

she’s precious




40 FIELD DOCTOR The Bath-based start-up making

healthy eating easy

42 FOOD & DRINK NEWS The Great Bath Feast will return

in September, Mother’s Day and more

43 TAKE 5 Charlotte Self of Whitehall Garden Centres tells us

what it takes to launch a successful vineyard


49 BIZ LEAD The Bridgerton e ect 50 BATHWORKS News, views and the local business successes

making the headlines

52 BIZ Q&A Rosie Phillips shares all on life at DHI 53 BATH LIFE AWARDS Q&A The Little Theatre on what

winning means to them


57 PROPERTY LEAD Strutt & Parker set up home in Bath 58 NEWS More Bridgerton boom news and getting switched on

with HomeLets

70 SHOWCASE A showstopping grand mansion with

exquisite interiors

76 HOW TO MOVE HOUSE We break down the process with

the estate agents, solictors, mortgage brokers and movers that make it all happen


8 SPOTLIGHT Bath’s next starring role... 11 SCENE A trip down memory lane to last year’s Bath

Contemporary Artists Fair

13 FLATLINE On the art of forgetting pain 82 BATH LIVES Meet Bath author Keith Stuart 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 Nic Bottomley, David Flatman, Ané Auret, Anna O’Callaghan, Neil Donovan, Matilda Walton, and John Mather Group advertising manager Pat White Deputy advertising manager Justine Walker justine.walker@ Account manager Annabel North Account manager Dan Nichols Production/Distribution manager Sarah Kingston Deputy production manager Kirstie Howe Production designer Matt Gynn matt.gynn@ Chief executive Jane Ingham Chief executive Greg Ingham Bath Life MediaClash, Circus Mews House, Circus Mews, Bath BA1 2PW 01225 475800 @The MediaClash © All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without written permission of MediaClash. We’re a Bath-based publisher, creative agency and event organiser Magazines Our portfolio of regional magazines celebrates the best of local living: Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter. 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:




Lily James and Emily Beecham star in the next Bath-filmed TV hit

Bath on screen


Hot on the tails of smash hit Bridgerton, Bath is set for another starring role. The Pursuit of Love, adapted from the classic Nancy Mitford novel by Emily Mortimer with Lily James (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, Rebecca) and Emily Beecham (Little Joe, Cruella) in the lead roles will be primarily filmed aro nd ath and ristol. rom Open ook and oonage Pict res, the romantic comedy drama abo t two very di erent women’s o rneys to happiness will première on BBC One. Between world wars, two women h nt for love – one, anny, goes the traditional ro te of marriage and a steady life while the other, inda, seeks advent re. For more:



The team at Longleat has made a magical discovery. A collection of historic photographs has been ncovered showing wo nded irst orld ar soldiers playing in the snow. n the images from , yo can see soldiers skating and tobogganing on Half Mile Pond, the large lake next to ongleat o se. n one image yo see ady athleen hynne, da ghter of the fifth ar ess of ath and secretary of the hospital, skating on the ice with one of the o cers. he severely cold weather of late an ary and early ebr ary led to ongleat’s lakes free ing over. he ice on alf ile Pond was over a foot thick and patients, sta and members of the hynne family went skating, says ongleat c rator, Dr ames ord. iolet, fifth archioness of ath noted that this was only the second time she had seen the lakes free e thick eno gh to skate on, he added. ongleat was one of the first stately homes to become a hospital, opening its doors only three months after the war began. It remained so ntil an ary , and o ered care to , soldiers. For more:


CLOCKWISE: Longleat’s dining room transformed into a relief hospital; soldiers push a makeshift toboggan; Lady Kathleen and Mr Hughes skating on the frozen lake; Half Mile Pond

SPOTLIGHT Juliet stars in this all singing, all dancing show

Each star the shop received contained a message of love, grief or comfort





Julia Davey transformed the window of her shop on Bear Flat into a Valentine’s Day card to the community. Julia challenged customers local and not-so-local to create an origami star and send it in for the display – the catch was that every star had to include a wish. Whether it was easily seen or hidden in the folds of the paper was down to the discretion of its maker. “We had stars arrive from the continent, Scotland and Ireland as well as our lovely city,” says Julia. “They are simply stunning. The variety is wonderful and I greatly enjoy hiding in the shop to listen to passing comments as people walk by. “The hardest part was reading glimpses of heart-breaking messages that were folded, glued or printed into some of them. Loss, hardship, loneliness are all running themes.” Julia has kept some of the notes pinned to the counter top to raise her spirits, messages she says are ‘as lovely as the stars’ themselves. “It made me feel worthwhile,” she continues. “I feel the role of the shopkeeper is to anticipate my customers’ needs. At the moment those are very hard to meet, but I felt that the window helped many, if only momentarily. We have had so many comments from proud makers who are delighted to see their stars displayed. It is magic and will be our most memorable Valentine’s window for sure.” For more:

Local children have turned to Zoom to rehearse an upcoming show. The new family musical MISSREAD will be performed in The Forum this August, restrictions allowing. The show was cast back in September of last year, with rehearsals set to begin just as lockdown landed. But, as the saying goes, the show must go on, and the talented cast of 38 children – including young actors with West End experience and a star of The Voice Kids UK – and 15 adults have been meeting weekly on Zoom to rehearse as best they can. “MISSRED rehearsals have been a ray of sunshine in the darkness of lockdown. I am overjoyed to be part of this amazing project and can’t wait to perform it at The Forum,” says Pepper, age 10, who plays Eva in the show. “Being involved in MISSRED has been Isabelle will take fantastic for my daughter,” on the role of Rosie Blewitt says Suzy Yardley, whose daughter, Flo is in the show. “It has given her the opportunity to do something that she loves and to see her friends every week, which has been even more important during this challenging time.” The show is sponsored by The Forum, and performances are planned for 6 and 7 August. For more: I BATH LIFE I 9

SCENE A R E M I N D E R O F T H E GO O D T I M E S SO O N TO R E T U R N TO BAT H Nic Jorvcicsas

Emma Rose

Katie Millar, Victoria Vasso and James Workman

Tommy Pollock and Delilah Rose

Agnes Pollock and Bob Pollock Megan Witty and Alce Harfield


In between lockdowns, Bath creatives were able to gather at the Bath Contemporary Artists Fair (BCAF) last year at Green Park Station. Brainchild of the one-time associate director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Malachi Bogdanov, the BCAF featured an eclectic line up of 50 artists and their vibrant, inspiring works. The new regular exhibition will return this year, when restrictions lift. Photos by Emma Rose |

Clare Todd and Malachi Bogdanov Steve Holder and Sarah Wyeth

Polly Gough I BATH LIFE I 11

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Fine Art & Antiques Auction Tuesday 30th March

Above: Paul Signac (1863-1935), Watercolour

Above: Bernard Meninsky (1891-1950), Gouache

To include items from the estate of the late Stephen Nicholas Powys Marks. Left: Ancient Cypriot bi-chrome pottery, ca. 750-450BC

Right: Napoleonic prisoner-ofwar carved bone games box

Left: Portrait of Mrs Bridget Cromwell Ireton, daughter of Oliver Cromwell, attributed to Sir Peter Lely (1618-1680)

Right: A good collection of books including publications from the Golden Cockerel Press, Nonesuch Press, Kelmscott Press, etc

Entries invited for this and all future auctions Aldridges of Bath Ltd, Phoenix House, Lower Bristol Rd, Bath BA2 9ES

Tel: 01225 462 830 |

Left: 17th century silver pomander with engraved floral decoration


Born again


From the pain of childbirth to moving home, Flats explains the benefits of forgetting

“ I was named ‘Baby of the Month’ in the Kent Messenger newspaper”


often compare moving home to childbirth. Obviously I’ve only physically ever done one of these things myself, but I nonetheless feel I can speak with authority. I do have a comparison that I like to trot out at the odd dinner party which – as well as being true – always causes a ‘fun’ chat, but that’s one that ‘proves’ a shoulder reconstruction to be worse than childbirth, but I’ll save that for my closest friends, primarily as they know it’s a joke. Moving home and birthing babies, though, cause similar things to happen to the supposedly intelligent, wise minds of the adult. This equation began to form in my mind as my lovely mum once recalled the days on which she gave birth to my two sisters, my brother and me. Mercifully short on visceral detail, she drifted ethereally and hyperbolically into swooping, gleeful recollections of the beauty and peace and warmth of those days, their enriching sense of f lfilment knowing no visible bounds. While it certainly wasn’t unpleasant to listen to Mum saying gorgeous things about our respective arrivals into this world (mine took 20 minutes, start to finish, and was named aby of the Month’ in the Kent Messenger newspaper. One could claim that a life in print was my destiny...), it jarred somewhat as I knew that it was all rubbish. Tosh. Lies. Well, I say lies, they weren’t lies, as such. Research has shown that the human memory is significantly less acc rate and useful as many of us have long imagined, and indeed that some of our clearest memories of all may well be erroneous (see Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast A Polite Word For Liar if you’re interested). So they weren’t lies, they were just her truths. They were what her truths had become. You see, I’d been there for

the birth of Daughter 1 by this point, and it was utterly, utterly gruesome. I shan’t be so unkind as to publish any details, but the sheer physical pain I witnessed was enough to turn me translucent. Worth it in the end, of course, but bad. I also, soon after this birth, witnessed my wonderful ex-wife’s open mouthedness at Mum’s romantic descriptions of such trauma. Mum’s rose tinted reminiscences drove the new mother to distraction. t then it happened to her. st slowly, gently, subtly, my ex-wife began to speak in less savage terms about the delivery of her first child. he horror birthing story (she and her friends loved all the detail) began incrementally to become softer, more peaceful, more repeatable... And so the genius that is nat re’s a ecting the h man memory came to pass, and the idea of Daughter 2 was hatched. How anybody could even consider doing again after what I’d seen at the RUH that night was beyond me but, of course, it wasn’t as bad as all that... Whoever they are, they say that moving house is the most stressful thing you ever do. I’ve done it a few times, and they’re not far o . I still think that packing down in a vital scrummage against a huge, angry, thuggish-looking behemoth with veins popping from his forehead is slightly more nerve wracking, but I see their point. The sweat, the admin, the expense, the logistics, the timings of moving everything from one building to another. It’s horrid. I did it last year and it was awful, so why is it that I now really want to do it again? I’m not sure, but I think my memory might be playing baby tricks on me...

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 13


Six is a dazzling musical celebrating the lives of King Henry VIII’s wives



In celebration of International Women’s Day on 8 March, Anna O’Callaghan looks at the influence of women at Theatre Royal Bath, both on and off the stage



CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Vinette Robinson in War and Peace; Jennifer Saunders as Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit; Katherine Parkinson as Judy in Home, I’m Darling


heatre Royal Bath has hosted a plethora of wonderful female talent over its lifetime. The greatest female actors of their day have trod the boards from Sarah Siddons in 1807 and Sarah Bernhardt in 1916, to contemporary grand-dames (and real Dames) Maggie Smith, Eileen Atkins and Diana Rigg and film legends, a ren acall, iv llmann, and Joan Collins. There are female actors so beloved of Bath audiences we might sell tickets if they were reading the phone directory – if such a thing still exists. Felicity Kendal was undoubtedly funny in Ayckbourn’s Relatively Speaking and Coward’s Fallen Angels, opposite Frances de la Tour, but I most enjoyed her performance as Winnie, one of the great roles of absurdist theatre, in Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days in 2004, in which she was b ried in a mo nd of sand thro gho t. a reen ipman was glorious in Glorious! in which she portrayed tone-deaf diva Florence Foster Jenkins and brilliant as exasperating literary agent Peggy Ramsay in Alan Plater’s Peggy For You in 1999. Stephanie Cole, Alison Steadman and Juliet Stevenson have been sublime in everything from classical drama to Alan Bennett. When Vanessa Redgrave played Cleopatra here in 1995, to David arewood’s ark ntony, she made a point of self e acingly introd cing herself to sta , as if we didn’t know who she was. She radiates an aura which makes her a mesmerising performer, never more so than in 2008 in The Year of Magical Thinking, American cultural icon © MANUEL HARL AN

“Jennifer Saunders was in the brilliantly successful Blithe Spirit for Theatre Royal Bath Productions” I BATH LIFE I 15


oan Didion’s heart rending reflection on loss and grief. Last year Tanya Moodie won a TV breakthrough award as Meg in the second series of the C comedy Motherland b t we’ve already had the chance to experience three nforgettable stage performances from her – in Pa lette andall’s prod ction of g st ilson’s merican masterpiece, Fences ynn Nottage’s bea tif l Intimate Apparel, in which an accomplished corset seamstress is looking for love in New ork, and in lice Childress’s trailbla ing drama Trouble in Mind, abo t racism on roadway in the 5 s. Stand p eens from Sarah illican to Shappi horsandi have played the stinov St dio and first saw ictoria ood in in one of her earliest rev es, Funny Turns in the ain o se. oth rench and Sa nders have had acting roles here ennifer in a brilliantly s ccessf l Blithe Spirit for heatre oyal ath Prod ctions, which had st transferred to the est nd when lockdown hit in , and Dawn in in Smaller, a rare all female prod ction, directed by the fab lo s athy rke and written by Carmel organ, in which she was oined in the cast by lison oyet and ne atson. One of the most acclaimed shows of was a ra ade’s Olivier ward winning new comedy, Home, I’m Darling, abo t one woman’s est to be the perfect 5 s ho sewife, which starred atherine Parkinson. he same year saw ade’s earlier Posh, abo t private school boys behaving extremely badly. emale writers ever pop lar with ath a diences incl de asmina e a, whose m lti award winning repertoire incl des Art and God of Carnage and, of co rse, adaptations of the inveterate gatha Christie. ehind the scenes, few senior management positions at the heatre oyal from stage manager to finance director have not been exec ted by women at some time. any patrons will know nn eddings, c stomer services manager and eorgie Newland, box o ce manager, with almost eighty years of service between them. t has been the expertise and passion of ate Cross, director of the egg theatre since its inception, which led to it being recognised as a pre eminent arts ven e

“Award-winning director Deborah Warner is to be the new Artistic Director of the Ustinov Studio”

ABOVE: Comedian Shappi-Khorsandi has performed at the Ustinov;


BELOW: Kate Cross has been director of the egg theatre since its inception

Felicity Kendal in Happy Days by Samuel Beckett


for children and families and to ate being appointed an in . t the start of , heatre oyal ath anno nced that internationally acclaimed and m lti award winning theatre and opera director Deborah arner was to be the new artistic director of the stinov St dio. Deborah’s prestigio s credits incl de the gro nd breaking Richard II at the National heatre with iona Shaw in the title role and King Lear at the Old ic, which marked lenda ackson’s ret rn to the stage. e are all looking forward to Deborah’s ina g ral stinov programme. emale directors who already have a following in ath incl de mma ice of neehigh heatre Company who gave s thrillingly atmospheric and ingenio s stagings of Brief Encounter and Rebecca; Nancy eckler and Polly eale, whose Shared xperience company bro ght the vis ally st nning epics War and Peace and Anna Karenina, and cy ailey, whose riveting King Lear starred David aig as an ast nd gangster and who recently ret rned to direct a powerf l prod ction of amet’s landmark battle of the sexes, Oleanna. ollowing a sold o t visit last ebr ary, cy oss and oby arlow’s hit m sical Six, will ret rn to ath in October, remixing the life stories of enry ’s wives into a da ling celebration of girl power. t is a show which en oys a c lt following amongst yo ng female a diences and will ndo btedly sell o t again. omen centre stage always make for an awesome theatrical experience. For more:




CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Stephanie Cole in The Rivals; Deborah Warner is

to be the new Artistic Director of the Ustinov Studio; Dawn French and Alison Moyet starred in Smaller; Tanya Moodie in Trouble in Mind I BATH LIFE I 17


Wellbeing in the community

Community wellbeing coordinator at BATH MIND, Max Webster, talks about how your attitude to mental health could change someone’s life.


ax was bullied for his mental health problems. “It took me many years to seek the appropriate treatment for my mental health problems due to stigma, so I recognise the importance of antistigma work,” he says. “If someone is feeling isolated due to their mental health problems and they don’t have people around them with the knowledge or understanding of what what they are experiencing, it can impede that person seeking the support and treatment that they need.” Time to Change has been campaigning to end the stigma that surrounds mental health by increasing awareness and understanding. The past year has made us all more aware of the importance of mental health and wellbeing. “At the onset of the pandemic, there were a lot of people talking about depression and anxiety, but now there is a growing awareness

“1 IN 4 PEOPLE WILL EXPERIENCE A MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEM, SO IT’S HIGHLY LIKELY THAT SOMEONE YOU KNOW WILL BE STRUGGLING WITH MENTAL ILLNESS.” about specific mental health problems such as eating disorders, OCD, bipolar and personality disorders. A lot of vital work needs to be carried out in de-stigmatising. “I know first-hand what it is like to be bullied for your mental health problems, so I particularly cherish that I work within an environment that nurtures an individual holistically and seeks to change public perceptions of mental health.” Max’s role involves working with people throughout B&NES struggling with their mental health. He explains: “Some of our clients need support and encouragement before they can attend a group, so they might receive a weekly welfare call with a view to building confidence before meeting new people and taking part in wellbeing sessions. I help connect the wellbeing groups with a wider community through various activities and projects and by informing clients about the brilliant work of our partner organisations. “One of the early aims was to connect the group with businesses and short courses that would give people the confidence to further pursue their interests in their own time. “My role has changed a lot with the

Max’s groups have transferred to virtual platforms during the pandemic.

pandemic. My colleagues and I have adapted our services to Zoom. Our wellbeing sessions often focus on a particular theme, such as stress or sleep, and clients make helpful suggestions to each other – peer support is a key benefit of our groups. “Thanks to Mr B’s Emporium, we teamed up with Read around Bath. Clients bring along their own writing or extracts from books, and, in one instance, an a capella song.” It’s highly likely that someone you know will be struggling with mental illness. This could be a relative, friend or a work colleague. It’s up to each and every one of us to play our part in understanding and supporting those with mental health needs. Small things can make a big difference. The biggest small thing we can all do is make time to talk. Stay in touch. Listen without judgement. Mental health problems can affect us all.

Visit Time to Change to find out more about how you can notice that someone may need support with their mental health.

If you, or someone you know needs help or support, Bath Mind is here for you, please get in touch. I BATH LIFE I 19



SelfPortrait by Jeanette Weston is representative of the inner child she is trying to find her way back to through her work. The joy and wonder of childhood are stitched into the heart of her pieces, which are created, she says, purely through intuition and instinct. For Jeanette, creating her work is like being under a magical spell, and even the smallest interruption can break it. ‘I paint not the thing but the forces that created it’, she says. You can see and purchase prints of SelfPortrait in 44AD’s online exhibition, I Don’t Have A Favourite, live until 20 March. For more: I BATH LIFE I 21

WHAT’S ON February – March 2021

You may not be able to grab a piggy back when needed (social distancing, please), but you can run the Bath Half this March

From 5 February

THE ART BRIDGE EMERGENTS EXHIBITION Since last May, the Art bridge Emergent artists have been working with Westonbirt Arboretum artist in residence Deb Hoy to create works that respond to the connection between humans and trees. The project is funded by Arts Council England, who teamed up with Forestry England and charity Art Scape to provide this opportunity for up-and-coming artists who face disabling barriers. While the in-person exhibition has been postponed until 2021, from this month Art Shape are launching it online, so you can now peruse the diverse collection of works inspired by the project, which include paintings, mixed media, drawings and installations, from the safety of your own home by going online.

2 March

START-UP TOOLS: DEVELOPING YOUR ENTERPRISE IDEA Frome-based eadventure are hosting a workshop to help budding entrepreneurs take a social enterprise from idea to reality. With a focus


on market research, during this virtual session participants will be introduced to the Lean Canvas tool, di erent approaches for testing o t ideas and the basics of financial forecasting – all important tools for ensuring the viability of an idea. 9.30am-12pm;

12 March

BATH PROPERTY AWARDS & SYMPOSIUM The event to be at for Bath’s property professional sectors, this year the awards are happening virtually. Along with a good old-fashioned celebration of the best the industry has to o er, this year’s awards will feature the brand new Bath Property Symposium in three stages: thought leadership, networking and, finally, the exciting Awards themselves.

13 & 14 March

VIRTUAL BATH HALF he o cial race day is taking place in September, restrictions permitting, but keen runners can still get their half marathon fix this arch. o could even split the run in half and complete it over both days if lockdown has you feeling a little less athletic than usual. Sign up now and

receive yo r o cial race n mber, training advice, exclusive medal and winner t-shirt. If you’d like to run but aren’t quite up for 13K, you can also sign p to do or 5 . o still get a medal and a t-shirt.

Until 20 March

I DON’T HAVE A FAVOURITE Every year the associate artists of 44AD come together for a group exhibition. This year you can stroll through the virtual showcase from your sofa. The fun and eclectic exhibition can be viewed in 3D by scrolling around the virtual gallery space and clicking on individual works to get more information and learn about the artist. The quality of work will have you keener than ever to be back in the gallery. Turn to page 21 for more.

26 March

YMCA SLEEP EASY he mission of the C ’s Sleep Easy is this: you sleep rough so others don’t have to. This year the annual fundraiser is going virtual. So rather than sleeping out on the steps of Wells Cathedral to raise funds, this year the challenge is down to you. As long as you don’t sleep in a bed, you’re taking part. Adhering to

restrictions of co rse, the C is encouraging everyone to get creative. Perhaps spend a night in the bath (empty, please) or the garden, or under a fort of your own creation on the kitchen floor ll yo have to do to take part is donate. WINTER EXHIBITION Take a look at the online catalogue of The Art Cohort’s diverse winter exhibition. o never know, yo might find yo r new favo rite among the collection of new and emerging artists. From watercolours to colour block designs, intricate line drawings and abstract and pop art style pieces, there’s something here for a whole range of tastes and aesthetics. BATH TREASURE TRAILS Get outside with Bath Treasure Trails. The three trails – Bath Cake-tastrophe (spy mission), Bath Mystery (detective mission) and Bath Treasure (treasure hunt) – are available as self-guided walking trail booklets you can buy online, and might just provide the extra push you need to get the kids o tside and o their devices.


ABOVE: Westonbirt's emerging artist exhibition features artist David Seed LEFT: Forte and Benefaction by Caroline WalshWaring is part of 44AD's I Don't Have A Favourite exhibition RIGHT: Explore Bath and have fun with new selfguided treasure trails BELOW: Stretch it out at home with a Zoom yoga class from The Hive

LIVE ANIMAL FEEDING AT BATH CITY FARM Did you know Bath City Farm runs a livestream featuring their furry friends every Saturday morning? Starting at 10.30am via their Facebook page, you can join livestock coordinator Joe Keppie-Bray giving a virtual tour of the farm as he visits its residents for their morning feed. Along the way he checks in with the chickens, rabbits Thumper and Pumpkin, Pam the pig, Shetland ponies Dougie and Dougal, and goats Orio, Rotork and Strawberry. Viewers are able to ask questions about life on the farm throughout. Search Bath City Farm on Facebook THE HIVE YOGA STUDIO ONLINE CLASSES During lockdown it is more important than ever to prioritise self care. Signing up for a few online classes with The Hive Yoga Studio is one great way to take a moment for yourself during anxious times. As well as teaching a range of styles of yoga, they also o er classes with Olympian Amy Williams, stretching sessions and Pilates among other options, seven days a week. DANCE FIT & ZUMBA There’s no better spiritual lift than shaking it out to great music. Fortunately. Dance Fit Bath has shifted online for lockdown, with a range of classes in their unique and joyful fusion of dance, aerobics and Zumba. Live work outs are streaming most days, with a bumper

weekly work out on demand with extra tracks if you want to practise and perfect those routines ready for the reen Park gatherings. dan t at READING IS MAGIC Last year, Bath Festivals collaborated with book festivals from all over the co ntry to create eading s agic, the online festival of 25 events with bestselling children’s authors and illustrators including children’s laureates from the UK and USA, Cressida Cowell and Jason Reynolds. Specially for lockdown while so many kids are stuck at home, Bath Festivals have extended free access to the festival. With videos and podcasts for primary and secondary school ages available, it’s a wholesome and educational means to while away a few lockdown hours. You can access the free library of events using promo code C C . BATH RUGBY X BATHFITFAM BathFitFam and Bath Rugby have oined forces to keep s fit and healthy through lockdown. BathFitFam is a unique organisation in the city that brings together fitness instructors and personal trainers with a wide range of expertise to promote Bathonian wellness. The weekly timetable is diverse enough that there is something on the schedule for all ages and abilities, from high intensity impact workouts to exercise classes for the whole family to get fit together. I BATH LIFE I 23


To be continued… Proof lockdown can’t keep a good book down

“Kristin works as part of the Viking exhibition…caring for livestock that she names after Swedish pop stars” 24 I BATH LIFE I


little less than a year ago, when the co ntry sh t down for the first time, the publishing industry reacted to the total absence of bookstore shop floors by postponing the vast ma ority of their planned new publishing. That was understandable given the uncertainty we all faced and with new words like ‘furlough’ and ‘lockdown’ suddenly having vital existential importance to b sinesses. his time aro nd tho gh it has been pleasing that, while publishing schedules have been reigned in to some extent, a ma ority of new books are still being released. So whilst a thors are missing out on celebrating their ‘book birthdays’ as they normally wo ld and we can’t rave abo t the books to c stomers visiting the shop st yet, at least lots of creative new writing is emerging to keep readers engaged d ring this most morose of times. The biggest book birthday of 2021 for us at Mr B’s was the release of How We are Translated by Jessica Gaitán Johannesson (Scribe, £12.99). Not because this is an incredibly creative, entertaining and thought-provoking novel (though these things are true), but because Jess is one of o r booksellers. am in awe of how ess has managed to find and channel the imaginative energy needed to write and prepare a debut novel for publication, whilst also doing her oftendemanding ob so excellently. nd a serio s amo nt of creative energy m st have been re ired to write How We are Translated in particular. This is a novel fi ing with ideas, wry h mo r, and ling istic contradictions as its two principal protagonists, Kristin and Ciaran play out an often-disconnected relationship thanks, in part, to mismatches in the languages in which they think and speak. Serio s matters are explored thro gho t – partic larly the dire state of o r climate crisis and how that may alter the paths o r lives take and the decisions we make – b t there’s also la ghter along the way. hat comes partly from m sings on the idiosyncrasies of lang age we learn many excellent Swedish compo nd no ns en ro te b t also from ristin’s brilliantly bi arre work environment at the National se m of mmigration, which has taken over part of Edinburgh castle. Kristin works as part of the Viking exhibition, spending her days sparring with o cio s middle management whilst dressed in traditional cost me for the benefit of to rists and caring for livestock that she names after Swedish pop stars.

s booksellers we’re more conscio s now than ever of the need to give oxygen to the works of novelists at the early stages of their careers, whilst shops aren’t open for browsing. side from ess’s book, have also st finished reading the second novel by iona o ley, whose deb t Elmet blew me away fo r years ago and was shortlisted for the ooker Pri e. er follow p Hot Stew ohn rray, . is far removed from the deep forest setting of Northern England of that first book. his time the action is centred almost entirely on Soho in London, which we get to know in all its seedy glory through a vibrant cast of characters. rom s bterranean addicts and noble prostit tes to retired thugs and Russian property developers living on the inherited spoils of corruptions past, all of life is here and their fates seem tterly intertwined. n a str ct re reminiscent of ohn anchester’s Capital, we slowly get to know these pawns in Soho’s game of hedonism and gentrification, and despite their many fa lts we find o rselves hoping things will, somehow, work o t. Perhaps Precio s and the others will find a way to keep s rreptitio sly plying their trade from the bedrooms of their dilapidated home perhaps Cheryl will emerge from the very literal depths of her despair, and perhaps Agatha and the others controlling the neighbourhood’s purse strings will grow a conscience. r e to form, o ley keeps s guessing whether any of our hopes will be realised right until the bitter end. Lastly, a word about another follow-up novel that is next on my reading pile and for which we’ve waited fourteen years. The Raw Shark Texts by Steven all Canongate, . exploded into adrenaline p mping life the year after we opened Mr B’s, and ever since we’ve wondered what wo ld come next from the man who gave s that mesmeric mix of nexplained cr shed light b lbs and an nknown enemy seeking o t the v lnerable arters of the hero’s s bconscio s. ell, we’re abo t to find o t. all’s Maxwell’s Demon Canongate, . has st emerged and promises, wait for it, a thrilling npredictable tale of a novelist who wrote a bestselling mystery novel and then disappeared. Do you see what he did there?! Nic Bottomley is the general manager of Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights, 14/15 John Street, Bath; tel: 01225 331155;

BY MARCIA WOOD Artisan florist and interior botanics 6 Walcot Buildings, London Road, Bath BA1 6AD


9 Abbey Churchyard, Bath, BA1 1LY | 01225 460072 | |



NATURE lovely b nch of florists talk s thro gh the oys of ho seplants and bea tif l bo ets


By Sarah Moolla

ince lockdowns the nat ral world and all its bea ty seems to have grown in significance in o r lives and taken on a vital therape tic dimension. rom a spider plant on a bathroom shelf to a towering cheese plant flo rishing in a once forgotten corner or a vase of c t flowers on a dining room table – they are all bringing vitality, colo r and cheer to these dreary months. t’s not st aesthetics that are pleasing, there’s a science to their val e too. esearch by N S reveals ho seplants can remove p to per cent of air toxins in ho rs, pl s st dies have repeatedly shown indoor flora can red ce stress, and improve concentration and prod ctivity by p to 5 percent. ere we ask o r local experts to help s c ltivate o r blooms and botanicals and ask how to treat them with the respect they deserve. Fiona Haser Bizony, Queen Bee at Electric Daisy Flower Farm which grows organic flowers on their farm just south of Bath, to sell both locally and in their shop based in Highgate, London; f yo are st beginning yo r advent res in gardening as many people are d ring lockdown – apparently, it’s the second most pop lar past time after Netflix – wo ld always s ggest yo begin with a plant or gro p of plants that yo really O . Start with a selection of yo r favo rites like maybe herbs, vegetables or c t flowers. en oy planting a clove of garlic with children and watching that grow, it’s ama ing how ickly yo get res lts in a pot on the windowsill. hese days all the information yo need to get started is available with the flick of a mo se as oogle is the most powerf l tool in gardening.


Kate Bravin of Chapel Farm Flowers on the cutting plot

Marcia Wood is the artisan florist of Flores

“I would suggest starting with smaller plants of the cheaper variety and watch them grow”


Emma Rees-Oliviere, creative director of Myrtle Mee

“Personally, I only have a few houseplants because I spend all my days caring for flowers on the farm, don’t have the bandwidth to look after more green st at home. y da ghter on the other hand is a cra y ho seplant woman, her flat is like a ngle and she has ama ing green fingers. y ho se plant of choice is Pilea peperonioides or Chinese money plant. love the way it looks and it’s s per low maintenance. he only thing it doesn’t like is direct s n. rotate the pot each week so that the plant doesn’t grow towards the light and get lopsided, b t sometimes that might be the look yo are after. Pilea is considered to have good eng sh i. Called the money plant probably beca se its lovely ro nd leaves look like green coins, it’s believed to bring l ck and prosperity to the ho se in which it thrives. I happily tend to my little plants in the belief that they will bring me happiness and oy. arcia ood is the artisan florist of lores, alcot Buildings, ondon oad www.flores he best place to start is to b y a really good plant care book – my absolute favourite is How Not To Kill Your House Plant by Veronica Peerless – a local ath a thor. book like this can save yo r plants and in t rn, save yo money. here are plants for all b dgets b t wo ld s ggest by starting with smaller plants of the cheaper variety and watch them grow – it’s also a lot more fun that way! I do recommend sansevierias or a zamioculcas as they are easy care and hard to kill. owever do look at the right spot for the right plant – string of pearls, s cc lents, and cacti are a great addition to a s nny window sill. Oxalis, erns and Calatheas are great for shade and moist areas. Philodendron scandens and Scindaps s pict s are fast growing trailers, and make a great feat re on bare walls. Palms, Ficus and Pachiras are tall and lush trees, perfect for those larger

The low maintenance Chinese Money plant is Electric Daisy’s Fiona Haser Bizony houseplant of choice

forgotten empty corners. lways have a good look at the plant before yo b y, checking for b gs and eggs and also that the foliage is healthy. When repotting is needed, use a good quality compost that has water retention properties. hen it comes to the act al pot, personally like the more irky shaped designs and a bit of imperfection – it makes the whole thing more interesting to look at. y favo rite places in ath to pick these p are ardenalia, lways S nday Store, and the anti e market on alcot Street. t don’t forget, when starting o t yo r collection, yo can save money for the act al plants by sco ring yo r recycling box first. ins, old c ps, ars, old pans and plastic bottles can be a very creative and cheap way to grow and display yo r plants. lla arks is the owner of lowers of Bath, a er am ridge treet, arkhall, Bath www.flowersof t’s a known fact that plants are good for the so l. Not only do plants improve the overall look of a house, most plants purify the air therefore reducing stress levels, eliminating air pollutants and increasing creativity – essentially creating a healthier and happier yo Start o t by so rcing a good ality and easy to care for ho seplant and ask yo r florist garden centre for in depth information of how to care for it and what that exact plant re ires to thrive. here’s no better feeling than seeing your plant have babies you can propagate and new growth. One of the best ways to red ce cost when splashing out on house plants is to buy young growth plants as opposed to the mat re plants and n rt re and care for them yo rself over time. lso, if a friend has a houseplant or two that you have taken a fancy to, have a little nose and see if there are any babies on route and propagate so yo ’ll end p with its sibling. f yo think yo ’re the sort of person who kills every plant – there is hope. Start with an aloe vera – these are so easy to care for – act ally the ma ority of people tend to bring them to an end early by giving

“It’s a known fact that plants are good for the soul”

Ella Sparks of Flowers of Bath advises against ‘fast-grown’ blooms

Fiona Haser Bizony of Electric Daisy Flower Farm selecting blooms at the organic flowers farm near Bath

Bouquet by Chapel Farm Flowers

The exterior of Myrtle Mee in Bathwick

them too much attention. Succulents do not require much water but they do love the s n. et the soil dry o t before watering again, water once every two weeks or so. hen it comes to fresh c t flowers, it pays to spend a little more on them from a florist that specialises in c t flowers as opposed to yo r s permarket down the road that has prod cers who force the flowers to grow as rapidly as possible. his red ces their length of life, giving o minimal, if any, scent and generally the heads will be a lot smaller with shorter stem length. n the height of s mmer, the last place that yo sho ld sit ate a vase of fresh flowers is on a window sill with direct s nlight and heat, as the next time yo take a look at them, they’ll be ready for the compost heap. resh flowers sho ld ideally be kept in a cool room to prolong their life, along with fresh water on a daily basis and a trim of the stems. mma ees li iere owner and creati e director of yrtle ee, eorge s lace, Bathwick ill y favo rite Chinese proverb says, hen yo only have two pennies left in the world, spend one on bread and the other on a flower – the bread will s stain life, the flower will give yo a reason to live.’ N rt ring flowers and plants at home gives s o r little spot of nat re and contributes to our wellness and creativity. The lockdown has seen an explosion in the already blooming ho seplant and c t flower trend with the foc s on tech and screens, the calm relaxation and satisfaction these greens give s is m ch needed. O r green companions force s to slow down and the fact that plants p rify the air aro nd s makes them such a positive addition to our homes. Start with the easier end of ho seplants like s cc lents – they started this new trend anyway a while back. The very low maintenance desert folk like cacti, echeveria, semperviv m are perfect for beginners. ain confidence with these and then progress on to the low maintenance guys like peace lilies, spider plants, rubber plants, Swiss cheese plants, Pileas and di erent ivy and Prayer plants.


Buy one at a time and get to know it and grow with it. The more unusual and more expensive, such as Alcocasias, Syngoniums, ceropegias and orchids, will be better suited as your enthusiasm and expertise increases. Dried flowers are a big trend too at the moment in a more transient way than previo sly in the s. reaths, wall art and floral hanging clouds are all increasingly popular, with seed heads and grasses such as the pampas leading the charge, and straw flowers and statice, also known as sea lavender] adding colour. Anything goes now, I like to mix dried flowers with fresh flowers, and silk flowers have their place in displays too.” ate Bra in, artisan florists and owner of ha el arm lowers, ha el arm, ansdown, Bath www.cha “There is nothing quite like heading out into the cutting plot and gathering an armf l of fresh, home grown, scented flowers to bring back into the ho se and arrange in a favo rite vase. he ality and variety of ritish c t flowers available is asto nding, with moment m towards sing more s stainable, locally grown blooms over imported varieties increasing all of the time. ith the formation of the not for profit co operative lowers from the arm’ it is possible for anyone to find a local flower grower and so rce ama ing seasonal ritish grown blooms. ith a little bit of research, and of co rse if yo ’re feeling green fingered, it’s also act ally very simple to begin growing a few c t flowers for yo r own se. o certainly don’t need fancy e ipment and masses of o tdoor space, as a few pots on a patio or deck can yield eno gh c t flowers for yo r kitchen table thro gho t the s mmer. f yo choose c t and come again’ flower varieties like the old favo rites sweet peas, Cosmos, or dahlias, c t the flowers reg larly and feed the plants well, they’ll keep prod cing for weeks and weeks. he vase life of c t flowers depends on many di erent factors. O r


t in fl and ant at m iv itt t nat Orchids make beautiful Mother’s Day gifts


Our florists share ideas for Mothering Sunday gifts Spread the love and maybe even the wealth with the Chinese money plant. Pilea obligingly have many babies or `offsets’ which can easily be cut away from the mother plant and potted up into smaller containers. Fiona Haser Bizony of Electric Daisy Flower Farm Mother’s Day is usually all about the flowers, but if you are looking for a more long-lasting present, wild orchids, Calatheas, Dust pink Syngonium and string of hearts are lovely plants with a slightly more feminine look. Marcia Wood of Flores Personally, I don’t think you can go wrong with a classic ivory, white and green fresh bouquet of seasonal flowers as they look great with any décor or uniquely styled house. Ella Sparks of Flowers of Bath Flowering houseplants like hydrangeas and roses with their showy blooms, and jasmine and planted bulbs with their fragrance that can be enjoyed indoors then planted outside are perfect gifts. Emma Rees-Oliviere of Myrtle Mee A single beautiful stem displayed in the right receptacle can often have as much impact as a huge indulgent mixed bouquet, as can a single variety of flower displayed en masse. Spring flowers such as tulips, ranunculus or narcissi can work particularly well in this way. Kate Bravin of Chapel Farm Flowers I love simple fragrant hyacinths, the beautiful Prayer plants, and look out for one of the up-and-coming superstars of the houseplant world Alocassi Zabrina. Joanne Swanson of Floral Touch Bath

Succulents such as these from Flowers of Bath, are a great place to start your houseplant collection

Joanne Swanson of Floral Touch Bath pictured with husband and business partner Matt

flowers are c t from the plot straight into fresh water, arranged and delivered often within st ho rs. his means they’re s per fresh when o r c stomers receive them. y advice for getting the best o t yo r blooms is as follows hatever receptacle yo choose to arrange yo r fresh c t flowers in, it m st be completely clean. alf fill it with fresh water and snip cm from the bottom of all stems before placing them in. f necessary, top p the water when yo ’re happy with yo r display. very co ple of days, empty the water from the container and give it a good wash. rim the stems again, remove any dead heads and replace the flowers in fresh water. oanne wanson florist and house lant o sessi e at loral ouch Bath, ellsway, Bear lat, Bath www.floraltouch hen started in this b siness more than years ago, ho seplants were a big part of all the shops worked for. e had plants like spidistras, ferns like sparag s, speni ms and Platyceri ms, and egonia ex and frican violets were firm favo rites. Now interest in these plants has soared again, especially with the yo nger generation. or newbies, a good place to start wo ld be with plants that are forgiving s ch as the Prayer Plant family. good example is the aranta le cone ra commonly known as the herringbone plant which has the most ama ing colo rs, red veins on a bea tif l green and dark green backgro nd. o will see them move thro gho t the day praying and they always let yo know when they need a drink. s all ho se plants have their own individ al care needs, and the trend is growing so ickly, d ring lockdown we started p a weekly plant care top tips on o r nstagram page. love that ho seplants are so back in fashion b t always have a word of warning – it’s a bea tif l hobby that can get addictive I BATH LIFE I 31

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Get the children involved in simple tasks; Wisteria flourishes if trimmed in February; Removing dead or overgrown branches from fruit trees ensures bumper crops; Start sowing seeds under cover round about now

GREEN AT GARDENING? A ten-step gardening guide for beginners By Neil Donovan




MULCH AND FEED. Get that nutrition

back into the soil, add compost to flower borders as an easy pdate. ead to yo r local garden centre which are mercif lly still open) and ask their advice on what will suit yo r soil, shr b and flower beds to no rish those blooms if yo haven’t got yo r own. ny organic matter will s ppress weeds whilst keeping moist re in the soil and developing its nutrient structure.



et ahead and start the seeds o in moist compost on a windowsill and move to a cooler b t frost free area as soon as yo see the first leaves. eep seeds and seedlings covered at night to prevent visits from mice, and place young plants in a cool place (outside in a porch, for instance . Plant o t into well prepared soil in spring after the last frost.


Don’t forget to feed our little feathered friends during the colder spells

f 2020 taught us anything it was to value and cherish our green spaces. l e skies, open fields, tremendo s trees, the smallest b d, and the bea ty of wildlife – they all provided a form of therapy and gave s oy and hopeful inspiration. It was also a period when we took stock of our own o tdoor spaces, whether that be a small city window box or a s bstantial lawned back garden, and vowed to start taking care of it so it co ld be en oyed to the max in – well that time is now. ith b lbs appearing and wildlife waking p as daylight and temperat res increase, there’s plenty to do o tdoors this month to prepare for the seasons ahead. P t the e ort in now and reap the benefits later in the year. To help get you started, The Bath Gardener (aka Donny, aka Neil Donovan) shares his top easy tips on what yo can get to work on in yo r garden over the next few months.



a lockdown hairc t will almost always reap dividends and ickly, b t timing is everything. ost trees and shr bs need a good c t back to remove dead or overgrown branches, which improves the tree or shr b’s structure directing new and healthy growth. r it trees will pay yo back with a b mper crop too. ake all c ts above a b d or a leaf and make s re yo se a clean, sharp tool.


GET PLANNING AND ORDER SEEDS NOW. 2020 saw a huge increase in

people gardening and online orders were s b ect to some long delays, so plan ahead and order soon. Top tip: Check if any old seed

packets are worth keeping by sowing a few seeds on damp kitchen paper, and wait to see if they germinate then sow accordingly. y the way, we think this also co nts as a home school science experiment



climbers, hide that corner, highlight that feat re. Now is the time to b ild some str ct re into yo r garden. eep it simple with a ready made str ct re, or fashion yo r own. emember, with the right climber, this will be covered in no time so no need to be too fussy. Check all other supports too now, before it is too late to change them.



vegetable seed beds now and it will soon be time to sow anything nder cover – tomatoes, rocket, broad beans, or chitted’ potatoes. This is one for the kids too as growing veg is an easy way to get the whole family involved. So, prep yo r spaces, big or small window boxes, allotments, postage stamp or rolling greens . e se b bble wrap from parcel deliveries, straw, or even a fleece blanket, to cover v lnerable seedlings.


FEED OUR WINGED FRIENDS – DAILY. Share fat, seeds, and n ts

alongside fresh drinking water, which can do ble p as bathing water for o r feathered friends – something yo r small people might en oy organising too.


RE-ORGANISE THE SHED OR GARAGE. Okay, it’s the not the most

exciting ob, b t yo ’ll be thanking s in no time. t’s easy for storage spaces to become cl ttered and n sable, possibly even dangero s. Streamline yo r space, replace or fix e ipment, clean tools and label N his per cent b ys yo an extra few beers come the s mmer months to sip and en oy whilst admiring yo r horticultural handiwork.



ardening is as m ch or as little time or money as yo wish to invest, and it is most definitely a marathon and not a sprint. earning abo t the n ances for yo r open spaces is a labo r of love and mistakes are never forever. There are plenty of resources online to pl nder, or yo can ask an expert. e say give it a go and have f n trying The Bath Gardener can help with all things garden – from regular maintenance to grand scale landscaping For more:


IT’S HARD TO BEAT a wisteria

climbing over a ath Stone wall front of house as a show piece, and the key to a bea tif l flowering one is to pr ne twice a year. ebr ary is the best time to c t back those whippy green shoots of last year’s new growth to b ds the same ones yo sho ld have c t to 5 or leaves in September, b t if you forgot, it’s still okay to catch up) to ensure yo have an ab ndance of blooms that aren’t obsc red by growth. I BATH LIFE I 33




Your mum, she’s pure gold. So don’t forget to honour her with something special this Mothering Sunday on 14 March because you know she’s worth it. The Mulberry brand has all the hallmarks of making an exceptional gift, like this Iris bag as pictured in their AW20: Strength and Sensibility collection. Johnny Coca, creative director, says, “For this collection I looked to the wardrobes of strong British women from iconic eras, playing with elements they had in common, bringing them into a modern setting and creating a uniform in the image of contemporary femininity – celebrating the timelessness of women’s innate strength.” Sounds just like mother. The Iris by Mulberry costs from £1,050, and can be personalised. Available from Mulberry, 38 Milsom Street, Bath; I BATH LIFE I 35

CHANEL ROUND SUNGLASSES, £370 See her eyes light up with these gold framed, 18-karat gold mirror lensed s nglasses from the forever in style talian designers Chanel. Stockists Brad Abrahams Optometry, 2 Upper Borough Walls;


It’s Mother’s Day Sunday on 14 March, and you know she’s golden HALO EARRINGS, £1,800 Set with over a carat of diamonds, these would normally cost £3,500 and are a shining example of the calibre of the pre loved’ bea ties this fine vintage of a eweller o ers. From Nigel Dando Jewellers, 11 Pulteney Bridge, Bathwick, Bath;

ROLEX LADY-DATEJUST WATCH £13,550 Because your mother has always made time for you – this Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust in Yellow Rolesor features a champagne colour, diamond-set dial and a bilee bracelet. From Mallory 1-5 Bridge Street, Bath;

GOLD STRIPE AND AQUA ARGENT SHOE, £265 platform ankle strap gold in natural striped leather from Italy with a hint of aqua suede on the front and a three inch heel make this shoe a step p. From Chanii B, 9 Milsom Place, Bath;

ROSE GOLD RINGS, PRICES START FROM £525 Yellow and rose gold set with white and blue rose cut diamonds rings. lso available in white gold. From Jody Cory Goldsmiths; 9 Abbey Churchyard, Bath.


ED’S CHOICE LUSTRE OF LONDON HONEYCOMB BEEHIVE EARRINGS, £260 Set with 5 individ ally clawed in min te ro nd c bic irconia stones intricately worked into beehives and bea tif lly finished with flower imprints. From Alexandra May, 23 Brock Street, Bath;

YELLOW GOLD DIAMOND CUBE RING, £600 gorgeo s ct yellow gold diamond solitaire c bed ring, from the ith ove Collection’ excl sive to Nicholas ylde. From Nicholas Wylde, 12 Northumberland Place, Bath; GOLD PINE CONE CHARM, £245 andmade in solid ct gold at the ath workshop, this charm can also be adapted to be worn as a pendant. From Gold & Platinum Studio, 19 Northumberland Place, Bath;

ALEXA BAG, £1,350 The relaunched Alexa in antique gold metallic b alo epitomises laidback l x ry with its slo chy shape, tactile leather and traditional detailing. From Mulberry, 38 Milsom Street, Bath;

DIAMOND SCATTER BANGLE, £4,195 Solid carat bangle showcases bea tif l diamonds which are invisibly set within a sophisticated scatter. From Coppins of Corsham, 1 Church Street, Corsham; I BATH LIFE I 37

Luxury & local

The most sophisticated audience is just a call away

✆ 01225 475800


Face time

How to be Zoom ready in seconds


had been living in England for two decades, and not once had it occurred to me and my So th frican family to be ooming as a way of catching up. But of course lockdown has changed all of that. Nearly a year on and we’re now veteran oomers and reg lar House Party-goers. It’s not just families tho gh of co rse, it can be that important b siness contact who suddenly announces, ‘Got time for a eams chat ’ e’ve learned the hard way not to be at o r laptop in o r flamingo onesie, but how can we get ready for our close p in less time than it takes to say, o ’re on m te’ ere are my seven golden r les to feeling small screen confident in a flash.


LET THERE BE LIGHT he real secret to looking good on screen is good lighting. Depending on space and how m ch yo want to invest, the right lighting is a good place to start for looking your online best. se both a selfie ring light on my phone s rprisingly e ective, b t make s re to keep it properly charged and a S desk ring light behind my laptop. hey’re great if yo don’t have access to natural light, or have to brighten up the dull winter greyness o tside. r st me, these lighting accessories are not just for infl encers and bloggers and once you start using one, you’ll never go back to plain old overhead lighting again. hey ill minate yo r skin in a s per flattering way – like the best nstagram filter.


RIGHT ANGLES It’s really worth spending a bit of extra time to work o t the exact right angle and height for your set p, and where yo r camera is pointed. or me this means the exact stack of books to balance my laptop on so that don’t look down and all see is my triple chin, or don’t look up too far so that all yo can see is my nostrils. Neither desirable options.


MAKE SPACE FOR THE MAKE-UP eep a small screen s rvival kit near yo r comp ter. No one really wants to do full face of make p for a min te max virt al meeting, so a tinted moist riser or CC cream is great to smooth o t yo r complexion. o get the benefit of coverage, moist rising and an SP 5 all in one – it’s my lockdown go to. And, yes, you do still sunscreen if you are not leaving the house as light from windows can still ca se premat re ageing.


WORK IT BABY Multi-tasking products are our friends, especially when we’re in a r sh. One of my favo rites is a mini bron ing kit. immel do a great budget one with blush and highlighter. Sweep the bron er, sunkiss style, all over the face; use the highlighter on the eyes and then the bl sher for a fl sh of cheek colo r. y mid afternoon, and a whole raft of oom calls scheduled, a shine can set in, so make s re to have a compact of translucent powder nearby.

“They illuminate your skin in a flatt in a i t t n ta am t ”


Dr. Hauschka Defining Mascara, £19, www.; Smoovie Ring Light 6-inch with tripod, £9.99,; MUD Sheer Lipsticks, £16,


BEING LIPPY A little darker or brighter than usual lipstick will help to look a little less washed out, especially when you use a ring light. Quickly double up by dabbing a bit of lipstick on your cheeks for a quick pop of colour.


TAKE A BROW defined brow and mascara will go a long way to frame your face and lift your look. I’ve recently discovered magnetic lashes – and while ’m like a toddler with normal li id eye

liner, these are very easy to use. ven if looks a bit dramatic in the mirror, they show p great on camera. S per ick and easy to apply, it gives a really defined look. f fa ng abo t with lashes isn’t for you then layer on a lash lengthening mascara, and don’t worry, se loads, beca se more is more for online definition. Ané Auret is a self-confessed beauty obsessive and founder of Bath-based skincare brand Ané. Learn more at a t an m and n n ta am @ a t an I BATH LIFE I 39

Field Doctor meals are created using evidencebased nutrition research


Lydia Tewkesbury tests out a meal delivery service developed by a nutritionist


have to be honest up front: I’ve always been kind of snobbish about ready meals. It’s not that I am against laziness – I tend to make a big pot of something at the beginning of the week and fill p my free er with the remains, to be parcelled out over the coming days – I just like to know what’s in st . asically, ’m a control freak – when it comes to salt, fat, nutrition, etc, I like to be in the driver’s seat. As such, I hadn’t really paid much attention to the cohort of healthy ready meals that have flooded the market in the past few years – that is, ntil ath got its own. Field Doctor is an enterprise from Sasha Watkins, a registered dietician with 15 years of nutritional science expertise behind her, and Martin Dewey, an entrepreneur for the last two decades with a real passion for food. Together with head chef Matt Williamson (who has work in a couple Michelin-starred kitchens under his belt), they have produced a range of


delicious, sustainably made frozen meals with quality ingredients that are underpinned by rigorous nutritional science. In other words, my kind of ready meal. These are so much more than an easy option to bung in the microwave when you can’t be bothered. I felt genuine excitement when they arrived at my door (home delivery is yet another bonus) – and I wasn’t disappointed. I don’t eat meat, so my meals were a range of veggie and vegan, and all were packed with brightly coloured vegetables, f ll of flavo r and perfectly proportioned. I was treated to the rich vegetarian moussaka with puy lentils, red peppers, brazil nuts, bechamel sauce and pecorino cheese with a chewy crust that gave way to a creamy centre; the Malaysian tofu curry with green beans, asparagus, mushrooms and wholewheat

noodles was a light feast of di erent text res and spices; and the Provençal vegetable pasta the ultimate comfort meal of nutty sun-dried tomato pesto and roasted vegetables. Like I said, co-founder Sasha is a nutritionist, and so each meal comes with a breakdown of health benefits, covering everything from immunity (a prime concern just now!) to skin, gut and even brain health benefits. ield Doctor also o ers a selection of certified low OD P options. or anyone else unsure what this means, there is plenty of information on their website, but basically, OD Ps are a group of fermentable carbohydrates which are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and trigger uncomfortable symptoms in people with a sensitive g t or s ering from conditions s ch as S. ield Doctor is act ally the first meal delivery service in the o ering certified low OD P dishes. Ready meals you can feel good about, as well as super healthy, Field Kitchen dinners are an absolute treat.

“The ultimate comfort meal”

Prices: meals for one £5.95-£6.50, meals for two £9.90-10.75, six meal bundles £35.75-£59.40


10 WAYS TO EAT HEALTHY IN LOCKDOWN Field Doctor’s co-founder and nutritionist Sasha Watkins o ers top tips on how to boost your nutrition in lockdown SHORTCUTS TO MAKE LIFE EASIER 1EAT BETTER TO FEEL BETTER 3USE A Mediterranean-style diet high in whole grains, vegetables, fruit, pulses, ‘good’ unsaturated fats (olive oil, seeds and nuts), seafood, some dairy and low in fatty/processed meat, refined grains, s gar sweetened foods, beverages and saturated fat may protect against heart disease but may also help prevent depression. Food really can make you happy!


It is easy to cook the same meals over and over again but variety is key to a healthy diet. Try to eat a range of foods from the main food groups (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, good fats, dairy) every day to get a wide range of nutrients. Field Doctor’s roasted veg, nutrition-packed pasta went down a treat

It’s okay to not always cook from scratch and there are some ready-made healthy foods that you can use to create quick but healthy meals. Make a salad made with tinned salmon, rich in omega 3s, or have some baked beans on wholegrain toast.


Plan out a few meals in advance to keep on track with your health goals. Cooking some healthy meals in bulk and freezing them is great as back up meals for those nights when you can’t face cooking.


It’s easy to forget to drink at home so aim to drink six to eight glasses of fl id a day. ater is the best choice, b t tea and co ee can also help keep you hydrated. Ideally, steer clear of sugary drinks.

Vitamin D is mainly made in our skin from sun exposure. It’s hard to get enough vitamin D during winter due to the latitude of the UK, made worse if you are spending lots of time indoors. Consider taking a daily supplement of vitamin D micrograms , especially d ring the winter.





Frozen vegetables like peas, sweetcorn or spinach make a great side for a meal and are still packed with lots of good nutrition.

Daily structure and light is important for our circadian rhythm (the internal process that regulates the sleep–wake cycle). Schedule meal times at regular times, wake up and go to bed at the same time, do some daily exercise outdoors and try to get out in the middle of the day for some exposure to daylight.


It’s easy to give in to grazing all day or going for a ‘browse’ of the fridge when you are at home all the time. Try to stick to regular meal and snack times. Stock up with a few quick, healthy snack options such as a piece of fruit and a handful of unsalted nuts, or some carrot sticks to dip in hummus.


Food is more than just nutrition, it also plays an important role in our social lives. Enjoy meal times with your family or have a ‘virtual’ dinner with a friend and a catch up. Most importantly, be kind to yourself. Many of us are juggling home-schooling, jobs, chores and worries and it is okay to not get every meal perfect. Focus on getting the basics right and remember to make time for some self-care and to switch o . m

dd t I BATH LIFE I 41


Cornish success stories Roxy and Lee are bringing their magic touch to the Bath food scene

TIME TO FEAST The Coconut Tree will serve authentic Sri Lankan street food

USE YOUR COCONUT Bath is set to get its own Sri Lankan street food restaurant. The Coconut Tree (you might be familiar with the Bristol branch) will open its newest restaurant on Broad Street this spring. “We are absolutely delighted to announce that our seventh restaurant will be located in Bath, a vibrant city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site that we’ve had our sights on for such a long time,” says Anna Garrod, brand director at The Coconut Tree. We were founded in the South West and it has been instrumental to our success; it’s where we’ve picked up the most awards and been visited by top critics like Jay Rayner, who really understood exactly what we’re all about. “We have been looking for a site in Bath for the last two years, but it’s such a sought-after location and rents for independents are high, understandably so. Luckily, the landlord for this site is Bristol based; he knew of our brand and history, and was keen to see us in Bath. He made s a commercial o er that wo ld make this possible. “We can’t wait to bring a little piece of Sri Lankan hospitality to Bath.” The restaurant was fo nded by five Sri ankan friends, who opened the first resta rant in Cheltenham. heir tapas style sharing dishes filled with plants, fish and meat ickly ca ght on, and they’ve opened a f rther six restaurants since. For more:

The Great Bath Feast is set to make its grand come back this September – under new ownership. Originally launched by Visit Bath and the Bath BID, the popular foodie festivities will return on Milsom Street from 24-26 September. The Great Bath Feast is partnering with he ertinet itchen to o er chef demos and a food and drink trail. Milsom Street will be transformed into a market packed with delicious local produce – and a few treats from f rther afield. The GBF is now owned by ILOW, a leading food and drink events company from Cornwall (name your favourite Cornish food festival such as Porthleven, St Ives, Truro and the popular Rock Oyster Festival – and, odds are, they run it) whose founders, Lee and Roxy Bater live locally. “Having recently moved to the outskirts of Bath, it is a delight to be able to bring The Great Bath Feast back to the city centre, and to add Bath to our portfolio of award-winning independent food, drink and music festivals,” says Lee. “We intend to create a festival that will excite the senses with a dazzling array of sights, smells and tastes. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or developing your skills and knowledge, The Great Bath Feast will have something to spark your interest.” For more: Daniella’s beautiful Mother’s Day designs were inspired by her grandmother’s garden


Anna Garrod, Mithra Fernando and Rodrigo Rashinthe have been hunting for the right premises in Bath for a while, and were thrilled when the place on Broad Street became available


Daniella Johnson’s thriving biscuit business started as a hobby – these days it’s the side business she runs at the same time as working part time, studying, and being mum to two boys under four. We can’t think of a better source for this year’s Mother’s Day gifts. The All Occasions Cookies & More Mother’s Day selection was inspired by Daniella’s grandma’s garden. he boxes come in two di erent colour schemes, and each contains four large handmade, handdecorated sugar cookies which Danielle will personalise. You’ve got until 5 March to get your order in – so don’t hang around. For more:

TAKE 5 Can you describe your wines? We produce English still wines that have been delicately handcrafted from only the best grapes harvested from the vineyard. e’re a family b siness foc sed on n rt ring the land around us and producing authentically English produce. We taste and create the wine ourselves, unlike some other vineyards, who often employ wine makers.

Charlotte even has one of the wines named after her

CHARLOTTE SELF, WHITEHALL VINEYARD Four years in the making, Whitehall Garden Centres’ new wine b siness is finally bearing fr it Charlotte is the business development and marketing manager at Whitehall Vineyard, where she plays a vital role in continuing the farm that has been in her family for five generations – as far back at 1894. Back in 2016, the Self family made the decision to plant a vineyard, and launched their first wines last year.

Why did you get into wine? e wanted to diversify. e sed to be dairy farmers aro nd years ago, b t then my father opened the first garden centre and the farm took a back seat. In recent years we have really wanted to get back to being hands on with the farm, and decided to plant the vineyard from a long standing passion and interest in English wine.

The vineyard took four years to cultivate – how did it feel when it was finally ready? t s a family b siness, which makes the whole process that much more personal. We planted the vines as small shoots, and watching them grow over the last few years to six foot vines gives s a real sense of achievement.

Have you had to overcome many challenges? Some of o r biggest challenges are weeds and frost. n arch we were hit badly by two nights of heavy frost that killed over half of o r crop. fter that, we installed a weather station to predict frosts so we can be prepared with frost prevention mechanisms.

What are you proudest of? e won three awards from the Independent English Wine wards for o r acch s (Gold Medal), Madeline May Chardonnay ron e and Charlotte May Rosé (Silver) within the first two weeks of launching. The Madeline May Chardonnay is named after my sister, adeline ay Self and the ros is named after me, which adds a personal touch to our wines – it was really exciting for s and something we can be proud of as well. What goes into producing really great wine? We’ve had a really hands-on approach to making our wine, so we worked worked closely with our winery, having multiple tastings and samplings where we experimented with di erent grape combinations until we got to eight wines that we were really pro d of. t takes constant work in the vineyard all year round to make sure it is in the best possible condition to help with the growing process and get the maximum quality grapes each year.

What, if anything, would you like to see change in the way wine is produced? We would like to see the prod ction of wine become more sustainable. As members of the ine S stainability Programme, we are committed to producing our wine in a completely sustainable way. What is your advice for newbie wine enthusiasts looking to learn more? eep trying lots of wines and lots of nglish wines – s pport local and ritish vineyards nd, as with everything, you’ll make the best discoveries with artisan vineyards rather than large corporations. How have you been impacted by the pandemic? n we knew that we wo ld have a la nch date of . t was not ntil arrived that we would come to understand that we would be launching the vineyard to market during a pandemic. e have a n mber of restaurants and pubs that added o r wine to their o ering back in September October ,b t with them all now shut, there is no market there for s to trade thro gh, so that has been di c lt. However, it has been selling well thro gh local farm shops and online retailers. For more: The Self family, planted the vineyard to further diversify their business

What are some of the biggest misconceptions about wine production? People don’t realise that English red wine is actually very challenging to produce, as the English climate is so unpredictable. English reds are typically not a heavy and f ll as rench or talian reds, therefore, some people may be under the impression that English red wine isn’t as good – but we have to disagree. Our Nethercote Hill and Pinot Noir reds are true successes – leading UK wine critic Mathew Jukes called the Pinot a ‘triumph’ in Vineyard maga ine. I BATH LIFE I 43



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MEET THE DENTIST Beauty begins with a great smile – but how do you pick the right dentist for you?



JB DENTURE CLINIC 01225 311 681;


How did you get into dentistry and did you always want to be a clinical dental technician? I got into dentistry by chance. I was given the opportunity of doing an apprenticeship for four years at Cardiff University for a dental laboratory, and after that I decided to pursue this path by studying further. My ambition was to be able to treat patients directly and to provide the best results. I was able to achieve this by graduating from George Brown College in Toronto.

How did you get into dentistry? I have always been interested in teeth, and how to manufacture crowns and false plates for restoration. How would you best define modern dentistry? Dentistry has changed a lot. Once you have seen a dentist, the impression comes to my lab where we can scan it into a computer and design a crown, bridge or dentures and implants digitally.

Jaime Brain

What is a clinical dental technician? It is a dental technician who has undertaken further qualifications so that they can provide dentures directly for patients as well as personally make the teeth in the laboratory.

How long have you worked at your current practice? I have worked as a dental technician for 30 years, providing appliances for dentists. Within these years I have seen a change from general work to very high class dentistry.

What might we be surprised to learn about you? I was one of the first ever clinical dental technicians ever to qualify and register in the UK. Clinical dental technology has only been a profession in the UK since 2009.

What do you most enjoy about your job? The most enjoyable aspect of the job is seeing your work in the patient’s mouth, and their surprise as to how it changes their entire look and confidence.

What do you most enjoy about your job? How much we can change peoples’ lives by making them smile again. James Bohin





How did you get into dentistry? It was a toss-up between dentistry, medicine and physiotherapy. Dentistry won!

How would you best define modern dentistry? Modern dentistry is the ability to use the latest technical advances to benefit our patients – from bioactive materials that help to repair teeth to 3D imaging. These techniques allow us to make a major impact on our patients’ lives by restoring their teeth to give a natural, healthy appearance.

How would you best define modern dentistry? Modern dentistry is digitally guided and is painless. What have been your career highlights so far? Being a forensic dentist and being a part of the international forensic team, I went to Thailand following the 2004 tsunami to do the important task of identifying victims so they could be returned to their loved ones.

Ian Bellamy

What makes your practice different? In addition to the latest dental techniques, we put our patients’ interests first. This involves taking time to find out what our patients want, to explain all of their options and to deliver care in the most considerate way. Why are some people scared of going to the dentist? Despite the innovations in dentistry, people are still having bad experiences. This can be traced back to treatment they received as children but repeated bad experiences only negatively reinforce these fears. We want to try to end this cycle with gentle care.

What’s your favourite sweet thing? Being Australian, I am partial to a chocolate Tim Tam on occasions. How do you spend your time at work? Practicing dentistry, treatment planning and arguing with my nurse over whose turn it is to make the coffee.

Dr Kain Rowlings

Why are some people scared of going to the dentist? Some people are scared of coming to the dentist because of negative past experiences. I have worked with many anxious patients over my career and always helped them overcome their fears. I BATH LIFE I 45


“LISTENING TO OUR PATIENTS DESCRIBE THEIR DELIGHT WITH THE OUTCOME OF OUR SURGERY PROVIDES US WITH A REAL BUZZ.” Tell us about yourself I qualified in medicine at the National University of Ireland in Galway and straight afterwards I qualified in dentistry at University College Cork in Ireland. I was appointed an NHS consultant in the Department of Facial Surgery at the Royal United Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in 2015 where I currently serve as clinical director. How did you get into facial plastic surgery? After completing my national training fellowship in high end facial reconstruction, I transferred the skills I gained from conventional maxilla-facial surgery to facial cosmetic surgery. Did you always want to be a surgeon? My dad was a surgeon and spent his spare time operating in developing countries. He inspired me. So yes, I always wanted to be a surgeon for as long as I can remember.


How would you best define facial plastic surgery? This is surgery that I perform mostly on healthy patients to modify the parts of the face that the patient is not happy with in order to improve their quality of life.


What have been your career highlights so far? Taking patients through their surgical journey with Toby is extremely satisfying. Listening to our patients express their delight with the outcome gives us a real buzz.

Tasburgh House, Warminster Rd, Bath BA2 6SH; 01225 426222;;

How long have you worked at your current practice? I have worked with Toby at the Talbot Clinic for a handful of years

MB BCH BAO (Irl), BDS (Irl), MFDS (Eng), MRCS (Edin), MRCS (Irl), MSc (Oxon), FRCS OMFS (Irl), FFD (Irl)


to provide a joint consultant-led service in facial rejuvenation and dental/oral rehabilitation. What’s your favourite sweet thing? It took one walk around the Bath Abbey for me to get hooked on Bath Fudge! How has Covid impacted your profession? It caused a lot of fear and worry as there was so much we didn’t know about it right at the beginning. The Talbot Covid protocol and laminar air flow in the operating rooms is a gold standard and inspires true confidence in all those who attend the Talbot Clinic that they are in safe hands. Why are some people scared of going to the dentist? Fear of going to the dentist can be due in part to more general anxiety or depression, or a fear of experiencing pain. Toby and I pay particular attention to gaining the confidence of our patients to relieve the stress of undergoing facial plastic surgical and complex dental procedures. What might we be surprised to learn about you? Gaelic is my first language. What do you most enjoy about your job? The satisfaction of achieving an outcome that meets both our and the patient’s expectations. Were you good at brushing your teeth as a child? Luckily my eldest sister trained in dentistry and put extra time teaching me how to brush my teeth from a young age.


How did you get into dentistry? Serendipity. Carrying out autopsies on road kill in my bedroom as a curious boy and fixing cars at a later age – both perfect fits for surgery of any kind. Did you always want to be a dentist? No. I started off wanting to be a veterinarian but my A level grades weren’t good enough. So they let me work on humans, instead! How would you best define modern dentistry? Getting the diagnosis right. All dental problems can be simply divided into mechanical, biological and emotional. What have been your career highlights so far? Securing a scholarship to attend the Graduate School of Dentistry in Seattle at the University of Washington. How long have you worked at your current practice? I came to Bath from London in 1992 after 15 years in hospital and university appointments in the UK and USA. When did you last visit the dentist? Four years ago for a root canal after cracking a tooth through stress when sharing a visit to Sorrento with the wrong person. Otherwise I do my own check ups and visit a colleague in London every five years. What’s your favourite sweet thing? Tim’s Danish chocolate rum balls that my business partner brings back from her trips to Copenhagen. How has Covid impacted on your profession? It almost brought it to it’s knees. They were caught off guard. What might we be surprised to learn about you? I have a love of Latin American dance. It makes me cry. I also have

a loathing for interviews of poorly informed people on the television news who are not experts at anything. How do you spend your time at work? Fiddling with bits and pieces to fix things, just as I did as a boy. Why are some people scared of going to the dentist? Dental phobia is a myth. They are just anxious people who fear a loss of control and being hurt. What have been your career highlights so far? Getting the rehabilitation service established at Poole Hospital for head and neck cancer patients. What are you like as a patient? Wholly indifferent and bored. What steps have you taken to ensure your clinic is Covid secure? We have various procedures in place: Covid antigen tests every week for myself and staff, clean filtered air flow changing the air in each surgery 20 times an hour, personal protective equipment that makes me look prepared for a lunar landing, securing Covid antigen tests before patients enter the surgery and taking Covid-relevant histories and forehead temperature at attendance. What do you most enjoy about your job? Shared intimate conversations with patients. Describe your ideal day? I’m so busy, I don’t notice the time passing. Were you good at brushing your teeth as a child? No. What has been your proudest accomplishment so far? Staying alive as long as I have. I’ve written my own obituary in preparation so that the record is set straight.


BDS (Sheffield) MSD (Univ. of Washington) FDS RCS (Eng)



It’s the city’s business



The star of the show


ccording to Visit Bath, Bridgerton just might be the key to recovery for Bath’s tourism industry. The show, which came out on Christmas Day and is reportedly Netflix’s biggest original to date, has placed Bath under a glamorous new spotlight that’ll likely have a significant impact on the economy when Covid restrictions allow. “Bridgerton has added a further dimension to Bath as a visitor destination, and screen tourism is a phenomenal way to reach new audiences,” says Kathryn Davis, chief exec tive of isit ath. e have seen not only press coverage within the UK, including work undertaken pre-launch with Bath locations, but internationally. This includes USA, Canada, Spain, The Netherlands, France,


Bridgerton-mania will impact Bath's tourism, according to Kathryn Davis

Norway, and Brazil to name just a few.” e can expect plenty of Bridgerton-themed tourism experiences to emerge in the s mmer too, according to Kathryn, with multiple projects in the works. In all, the future for the city looks bright. “This will undoubtedly be a boost in recovery for Bath. It gives new reasons for people to visit, whether simply to immerse themselves in the locations featured, to enjoy a themed Bridgerton stay or en oy one of the experiences s ch as walking to rs that local g ides are developing. e expect a boost to those venues who were prominently featured not just for leisure visits, but also for weddings, social and business events when it is permitted to do so,” Kathryn adds. 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 MEDIACLASH.CO.UK 115



Paul MacKenzie-Cummins wants to make social impact integral to Clearly PR

Clearly PR, the corporate communications, content and creative agency based on Saville Row has celebrated its seventh birthday with a pledge to become a £7 million business employing 100+ people and gifting £500,000 to environmental and social impact programs – two per cent of its total revenues – over the next seven years. “Clearly is incredibly ambitious. Over the last three years we have tripled in size, clients, and revenues but our ability to meet our goals is wholly dependent on the outcomes we generate for each and every client,” says managing director Paul MacKenzie-Cummins. “We don’t aspire to be the ‘leading’ this or ‘best’ that. e simply want to make a di erence to the lives of the people we employ by providing them with every opportunity to

progress their careers with us, the fortunes of the clients we work with through the delivery of real-world practical solutions, and the community and environment within which we all live in accordance to the pledge we have committed to. “One of the areas we’re supporting, homelessness, is particularly close to my heart. I am a trustee on the Board of Julian House, the region’s largest homelessness and domestic abuse charity. I wanted the business to support this area for two key reasons: the pandemic has resulted in a sharp rise in the number of people who have lost their homes or s ered domestic violence, and in my late teens/early twenties, I was a so-called ‘sofa surfer’ for three years – today this is classed as being homeless.” For more:

COMPETITIVE BY NATURE he ath alf arathon has come the first r nning event in the to win a national award for sustainability. Now the proud holder of a prestigio s N D from reener estival, the ath Half underwent a detailed evidence-based assessment which included site visits, CO2 analysis, and a sustainability report putting the event’s operations and impacts under a microscope. “Bath Half Marathon has demonstrated a passionate drive for a greener r n. he team has shown great e orts and a clear determination to boost the event's sustainability,” says Claire O’Neill, ’s co fo nder. his ward signifies great strides on the green event journey, with continued improvements, and shows your event exhibits a significant engagement with the process of red cing negative environmental impacts and enhancing positive impacts.” For more: World-class conceptual artist Peter McLean has gifted a £1,000 opportunity for Ceramics student at Bath Spa


The Bath Half is now the UK's first AGF-awarded running event


here’s a new opport nity available for talented ath Spa niversity artists. The Betty and Peter McLean Prize is open to graduating post-graduate students working predominantly with ceramics. All MA Ceramics students submitting their Masters Project module are eligible to apply for the £1,000 prize. The fund has been gifted by Bruce McLean, one of the world’s leading conceptual artists. “I decided to give a prize to a student in the Ceramics department beca se loved the atmosphere generated by the sta , st dents and great working space,” says Bruce, who has named the new award after his parents. his is an exciting development for ath Spa niversity, helping s to b ild on o r stat s as a centre of excellence in ceramics, says Dr Conor ilson, senior lect rer in Ceramics at ath Spa niversity. or the winning st dent, the pri e will be a significant fillip, as they la nch into the world of professional practice with an exciting body of new work and a clear understanding of their approach to practice.” For more:




aw experts from Mogers Drewett were the speakers at February’s Bath Life Business Surgery. In a Zoom session packed with advice for businesses, speakers Sean McDonough, partner and head of department, Maeve England, partner and head of litigation and disputes team, and Natalie right, associate solicitor, o ered their expert views on how contracts need to change in 2021 – for employment, commercial lets and operating outside the European Union. How will the pandemic change employment contracts? While so much of the last 12 months has been about responding to the unforeseen, now, according to Sean McDonough, businesses should start planning ahead for life without Covid restrictions – whenever that comes. n terms of contracts, flexibility is key. Obligations that were largely fixed previo s to the pandemic – hours of work and place of work in addition to aspects like layo – will no longer be so in lots of b sinesses. he increased val e of flexibility to employers will also likely see fixed term contracts grow in popularity, as well as zero hours contracts, Sean said. t’s a trade o while increasing the flexibility of contracts gives an employer more freedom and security in the face of unforeseen circumstances, it also decreases their attractiveness to potential employees, and might impact the quality of

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: The Mogers Drewett team – Maeve England provided

expert tips on the area of dispute resolution; Natalie Wright offered her expertise in commercial property; Sean McDonough shared his perspective on the changing employment landscape

applicants for new positions. Times have changed, and businesses must update their contracts to reflect that. Should commercial property lets come with a Covid clause? Attempts have been made to include so-called ‘Covid clauses’ in rental agreements for commercial leases without much success, according to associate solicitor Natalie Wright. However, there will be the need for flexibility from landlords and tenants to avoid more empty commercial buildings – which are a bad result on all sides. Renegotiation of contracts will be necessary for terms appropriate to the current environment, whether that means rent reductions d ring periods of lockdown, more flexible break clauses, shorter term let agreements or monthly rather than quarterly rent payments to reduce financial b rden on str ggling b sinesses. Creative solutions will be important, with equity sharing between landlords and commercial tenants raised as a potential solution where rent is in arrears. Such solutions require open communication and a strong business relationship between both parties, however. What about Brexit? Amidst the struggle of the pandemic, businesses have also had to navigate exiting the European Union, which has resulted in well documented supply chain issues. As the changes are recent and ongoing, there are yet to be enough legal test

challenges for general legal advice to emerge, but Maeve England, partner and head of litigation suggests reviewing contracts carefully in the event of delays. t is important to consider first the risdiction of the contract and confirm whether it is under English law and jurisdiction or not, as this will a ect its interpretation. hether or not there is a force majeure clause was raised an example of this. Force majeure, in its most basic sense, is a clause that covers unforeseeable circumstances that prevent f lfilment of a contract. nder nglish law, force majeure is not a ‘freestanding’ concept and must be explicitly included to be invoked, whereas in other countries like France, in the event a contract cannot be completed as a result of unforeseen circumstances, a force majeure is declared by default. While times remain uncertain as the situation develops, it is key to always start with the contract, and see whether that o ers a remedy before launching into further legal action. The Bath Life Business Surgery is a regular free Zoom meeting where local businesses can access expert advice and insight from local professionals across a range of disciplines. The next is on 4 March, and will cover the 2021 Budget announcement. Follow @bathlifemag on social media for information about the latest clubs and how to sign up. For more: Mogers Drewett, St James House The Square, Lower Bristol Road; tel: 01225 750000; I BATH LIFE I 51


BATHWORKS Rosie Phillips realised through volunteer work with homeless individuals that the issues they faced were much greater than a lack of permanent address

“A FIRM FOUNDATION IS ESSENTIAL” Instead, we approach our work with values of: stimulation, self-direction and zest for life. You offer housing support too, don’t you? ns ring everyone has a firm foundation is essential, so we run housing advice and support services, including rough sleeper outreach, and a not for profit social lettings agency (Home Turf) for those on benefits, since finding a ordable accommodation in Bath is not easy.


Rosie Phillips

Founder and chief executive of Developing Health and Independence (DHI) What does DHI do? We help people who are vulnerable or marginalised, such as those with a drug or alcohol problem, the homeless and those with mental ill health. By working with the person as a whole and not just the problem they come to us with, we can help people to be more independent and achieve their potential. Tell us more about your role It’s my job to lead our work. DHI run a range of services across Avon and Wiltshire, so I manage a small team of directors who take a more hands-on approach. That gives me time to think about how we need to evolve in an ever-changing environment and build the right partnerships to support our work. What led you to work within the charity sector? Over two decades ago, I was working for a PR consultancy in London. Every day I would walk


down Cricklewood Broadway and see people sleeping rough. I started volunteering for a homeless charity and soon realised that homelessness doesn’t sit in isolation. Drug and alcohol misuse, lack of opportunity, mental ill health, trauma, inadequate support leaving institutions (care, prisons, and the armed forces), can lead to complex problems and rough sleeping. When the opportunity came up to work on a project in Bath that straddled both housing and drug/ alcohol misuse, I leapt at it, and after a short time that project became the standalone charity DHI. What are some of the services DHI offers? Drug and alcohol services are a large part of what we do, as many people turn to substances as a way of addressing emotional and physical pain. Our clients are often hurt and disconnected. e o er dr g and alcohol treatment services for adults and young people (Project 28). We

r n a comm nity detoxification and rehabilitation residential project for those wanting support to become abstinent where they have no suitable place to live. We also provide support for those caring for someone with a drug or alcohol problem. How did DHI establish its values? They were determined via a research project about the relationship between the characteristics of key workers and the best client outcomes. We spent many years gathering evidence into the link between outcomes and values within DHI. What did you learn? Our research showed that our clients achieved better outcomes when their keyworker was someone who gave them the tools and the inspiration to do things for themselves, but didn’t try to do it for them. We care for our service users, but being their carers doesn’t serve their best interests.

Do you work with GPs? We do. We partner with GPs to provide a social prescribing service and run an employment and skills service for our clients. It’s the integration of these services, the ability to wrap support around an individual and address problems common to social exclusion, that makes us unique. How has the pandemic altered your services? Sta sprang into action immediately to ensure that no one was left without the help they needed. Assessments, one-to-one appointments, and group support all became available online. Other work needed to continue faceto-face, such as our housing services and rough sleeper outreach, where some truly excellent work ensured all rough sleepers were housed within days of lockdown. We also managed to run a conference and our annual event online, and we even moved to new premises! How can people support DHI? Talk to your local councillor about why you value our work, or you can donate via our website. We are publicly funded to deliver some services, but donations allow us to do much more, and to meet areas of unmet need. It’s by innovating that we have kept going for over 20 years and have helped turn around countless lives. We are also always on the lookout for people with time and skills who can volunteer with us. If you would like to be part of our team of amazing volunteers, then please get in touch via our website. For more: DHI, The Beehive, Beehive Yard; tel: 01225 329411;




General manager Mason Pollock celebrates THE LITTLE THEATRE'S Award

hank yo e were really hono red to have won and really didn’t expect it in s ch a strong category. he wards evening was an incredible event and the b and excitement was palpable throughout the whole evening. The nerves only kicked in when it came to our category, and it suddenly hits you that we could actually win this, then when our name was announced it’s all st a bl r.

Tell us about life at The Little over the years.

e’ve been open as a cinema since , having originally opened as a community theatre, and we are still owned by the same family all these years later. Over the years, there have been many changes including the addition of a second screen in the 80s, but we have still retained the vintage vibe and charm that o r ath audience love so much. The cinema has had its own starring role on film too... es e’ve made a brief appearance on the big screen ourselves when Wes nderson visited the cinema d ring a visit to ath and fell in love with the ittle and decided we’d fit perfectly into a scene in Fantastic Mr. Fox, which we continue to screen every so often st to show o o r big screen deb t – and of co rse es s fantastic work.

What do you think it is about The Little that helped you secure your Bath Life Award?

hat sets s apart from other cinemas in the area is the sense of community and the long r nning relationship

ARTS WINNER we have with o r patrons. e hold a special place in a lot of ath residents’ hearts from past and present, and always go above and beyond to make the cinema experience that bit more special for o r c stomers. What are some of your special screenings you do? These range from our Kids Club on Saturday mornings where we have arts, crafts, games and activities for 30 min tes before the film, to o r pop lar Silver Screen screenings on Tuesdays and h rsdays for retired people. hese screenings are more than st watching a film. hey are abo t retired people sing o r cinema as a meeting place, to see friends, to have a natter over a c p of tea, eat all of our free biscuits (we don’t mind!) and then, of co rse, en oy the film.

What does winning the Award mean to The Little?

There was a real buzz within the team after we won the ward. t cemented the achievements that we have made over the past years, and was tr ly rewarding to be honoured for the hard work and dedication we p t in each day to be more than st a cinema.

Do you collaborate with other local businesses? e have many partnerships set p within the city of ath to s pport various initiatives and our on-going programme of Dementia riendly, tism riendly, Silver Screen and



You won! Congratulations! Talk us through the night...

The Little's Benoit Cuvier and, left, Mason Pollock at last year's Awards ceremony

Hard of Hearing screenings with care homes, trusts, charities, schools and colleges. Our dog-friendly screenings allow s to reg larly link p with local pet services, pet shops and vets to o er competitions and an experience for our guests and their dogs that is more than st coming to watch a film. e promote and raise money for ath Cats and Dogs Home and local guide dog charities at these events. And you work with other Bath cultural institutions as well? e worked with the ane sten Centre for promotion of the film Emma earlier last year St dio D and The Edge for our Exhibition on Screen films ath Spa niversity for their end of year film showcases, andalyns ar for o r screenings ictoria rt allery for a recent exhibition and film package and many, many more.

Is there someone at work that you admire and try learn from?

t’s got to be Clare inns, o r managing director, who started out as a pro ectionist and sher at a cinema in ondon and worked her way p from there. passionate cinephile who is h gely respected within the ind stry, she has progressed her career through grit and determination.

What’s The Little's philosophy?

“Our cinemas are at the heart of neighbourhoods. They are distinctive buildings that blend seamlessly into the fabric of their environment with excellent and original design throughout. These are Cathedrals to Cinema! O r film programme is a broad and a curated range of quality mainstream, indie, family, foreignlang age and doc mentary films. Through our various strands we also champion classic and contemporary, independent thinking films, providing ality cinema experience to a diverse and inclusive audience. We will always try new things and nexpected things, engaging with o r a dience as partners and as friends from all age backgro nds, we are yo r local international cinema.” What does it mean to you, as manager? live and breathe this company vision and it inspires me in everything do at the ittle heatre. t’s the bedrock of any pro ect ndertake, and the foc s of all the work we do here. For more: The Little Theatre, St Michael’s Place, Bath; I BATH LIFE I 53


Nominations are now open Imagine the boost to your business of being a finalist at the Bath Life Awards – let alone a winner! It’s free to enter and nominations are open now


fter the past twelve months, we can all do with buoying up – business owners perhaps more than almost anyone. As well as the feelgood factor, finalists of the Bath Life wards en oy marketing benefits. We know it’s been tough for many – horribly so for some – so we have a special part of the nomination form where you can explain how you have responded to the pandemic, for your business, for your team and for your community. Bath companies are planning their strategies to develop b siness in to make s re they benefit from the upturn as it emerges in the coming weeks. MediaClash events and brand manager Annie Miekus explains why entering this year can provide you that much-needed boost: “The Bath Life wards have massive profile as the city’s most prestigious and stylish business event of the year – and it’s you, the wonderful businesses of Bath who are right at the heart of it. When we all come together, SPONSORSHIPS For remaining options, please contact annie.kelly@ or NOMINATIONS Open via website


value and enjoyment is created for everyone. e nderstand how di c lt times have been: we’re all in the same storm if not the same boats. So our judges will be looking for the smart and positive ways that you’ve responded. “Just imagine what winning an Award could do for your business…” The Awards are backed by extensive marketing over several months: major email campaigns; at Bath Life’s other events like our Business Clubs; via a bespoke website; through all social media channels; and of course, here in Bath Life. The extra time before the Awards this year means yet more marketing benefits for all. Several category sponsorships are currently under discussion. A limited number of Silver Sponsorships will be available closer to the event. For more: @BathLifeAwards

TICKETS BLA: finalists and sponsors only, updates when on sale. Limited number of Silver Sponsorships including table. Please note: we sell out every year with many on the waiting list.

AWARDS The uberglam Bath Life Awards will be held at Bath Assembly Rooms on 9 September 2021. Nothing beats being there… SOCIAL MEDIA Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter for all updates.

Sponsors gain close association with the most prestigious event in Bath

Winning is glee! Just ask Number Three…

Businesses that win gain all the benefits that their great achievement deserves – including collecting that uberglamorous Award trophy


“I’m not afraid to admit shedding a tear when Eddie the hairdresser won the Civic Award, along with the Southside Project and Bath City Farm winning the Charity Award – it makes a huge di erence to people to get recognition for the incredible work they do and you provide them with the platform to share their story.” Mel Taylor Running High


Are big changes afoot for capital gains tax? Significant changes to capital gains tax could be in the pipeline this spring, following a report from the Office for Tax Simplification (OTS). PEARSON MAY explains...


hancellor Rishi Sunak commissioned the report back in July 2020, asking the OTS to consider the scope of the tax and the rates which apply, as well as the reliefs, exemptions and allowances. The Chancellor is looking for ways to claw back a £210 billion hole in public finances after loosening the purse strings to protect jobs and businesses amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The Chancellor is, however, under no obligation to accept the OTS recommendations. Capital Gains Tax (CGT) in the UK is currently charged at 10 per cent and 20 per cent for most taxable assets, or 18 per cent and 28 per cent for residential property that is liable to CGT e.g. second homes/rental properties etc. CGT raised more than £9.5bn for the Treasury in 2018/19, and is on course to fetch roughly the same figure in 2019/20, but the OTS suggested ways that could triple the number of people liable for the tax. Their suggestions included the following:

ALIGN CGT WITH INCOME TAX RATES The current CGT rates are lower than the 2020/21 income tax rates around the UK. Income tax in England, Northern Ireland and Wales is charged at rates of 20, 40 and

45 per cent, with different rates and bands applied in Scotland. “This disparity is one of the main sources of complexity”, the report found, often “distorting business and family decision-making and creating a tax incentive for people to recharacterise income and capital gains”. The OTS suggested that aligning CGT rates with income tax rates could raise an estimated £14bn a year for the Treasury, with higher and additional-rate taxpayers footing most of the bill. More than 275,000 people paid CGT in 2018/19, with 40 per cent of those payments coming from wealthy individuals who made gains of £5 million or more.

CUTTING THE TAX-FREE ALLOWANCE The report also recommended reducing the CGT annual exemption – currently set at £12,300 for 2020/21 – and replacing it so that it only covers asset price increases that are equivalent to inflation. This threshold is expected to increase to £12,500 for 2021/22 as things stand, but a reduction from next year’s figure to £12,000 is estimated to affect around 50,000 taxpayers who reported net gains close to the threshold and effectively used up the allowance. The OTS said lowering this allowance to £5,000 would double the amount of people who pay CGT, while reducing it to £1,000 would almost treble the number of individuals liable to CGT. Should the Chancellor drastically lower the annual exemption, many more people would have to file annual personal tax returns through self-assessment.

STEPS TO CONSIDER NOW Each individual’s circumstances will be different and, as always, specific advice is essential. It could well be worth considering using the annual exemption before 5 April 2021, where you have any assets liable to CGT and have not already used your exemption. Those with assets that would trigger a Capital Gain on any sale and could increase in value over the coming years may want to consider passing such assets to the next generation or other family members but that in itself can often trigger a CGT charge. The use of Trusts could be considered in such situations, which can defer such CGT charges but there are other considerations to be made and Inheritance Tax would also need to be considered. It would be unwise to act solely on policy conjecture but due to the financial effects of the virus and the Spring budget being confirmed for 3 March 2021, we know tax changes are afoot. It is therefore worthwhile to review any assets, in light of what will inevitably be a harsher tax environment in the future. The above is for general guidance only and no action should be taken without obtaining specific advice.



Jacqui Bowden, a partner at Pearson May

The report also highlighted a “practical overlap” between CGT and Inheritance Tax – “as most of the assets liable for capital gains tax can also attract inheritance tax”. For example, if someone inherits a £300,000 investment portfolio which was acquired by the deceased for £90,000, the £210,000 gain is extinguished on death and the £300,000 figure used as the beneficiary’s base value if they then go on to sell the portfolio. The report urged the Treasury to remove this capital gains ‘uplift’ on death and instead treat the inherited assets at the historic base cost of the asset.

Jacqui Bowden BSc (Hons) ACA Pearson May Chartered Accountants & Chartered Tax Advisers Bath, Chippenham and Trowbridge 37 Great Pulteney Street, Bath BA2 4DA 01225 460491; I BATH LIFE I 55

Southwinds Farm, Woolverton

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A superb development of six beautifully crafted, individual homes in an eclectic mix of designs, located within easy reach of Bath.


BELOW: Alistair Heather is the

head of the new Strutt & Parker Bath office


A Brock Street townhouse is currently being marketed by Strutt & Parker with a guide price of £2.85million

Strutt & Parker has appointed ALISTAIR HEATHER as the new head of its Bath operation to coincide with the news that the business has opened an office in the city

listair eather la nches the ath o ce in North Parade ildings with aro nd years’ experience in the ind stry, having spent st nder years with Str tt Parker as a director and co fo nder of the Notting ill o ce. n Notting ill, listair helped grow the b siness from the gro nd p into one of the best performing o ces in the co ntry. Prior to oining Str tt Parker, listair spent fo r years at amptons nternational as a senior negotiator and before that he started his career at oxtons. t the ath o ce, listair will work alongside ames acken ie, senior director and head of the national co ntry ho se department, and ndrew Cronan, national co ntry ho se department, who both reside in ath, and work with clients across the market. listair, who moved to ath with his family eight months ago, says, s a resident, it’s very clear to see why living in the city is so appealing to many di erent types of people s ch as families looking for r ral life b t with access to amenities. s have experienced, it’s even perfect for those who want to comm te into ondon. For more:



ath’s independent lettings agent, ome ets, is red cing its environmental impact by o ering electric N s to its road going team. arc s r ndell, the firm’s managing director, says, ’m delighted to nveil o r f lly electric fleet. e’re pro d to be championing the move to environmentally friendly vehicles and this is a positive step towards reaching o r s stainability goals. he government’s decision to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans from , alongside the forthcoming introd ction of ath’s Clean ir one, is likely to enco rage other companies within the city to follow s it. For more:

HomeLets has introduced a cleaner, greener vehicle fleet

storm, the ath o ce of Carter onas has seen a spike in interest in o r city’s egency properties. Partner David acken ie explains, very few years a new historical drama is made sing ath as the backdrop, and we always know interest will flood in from all over the globe. C rrently, we have seen an interest from b yers in merica and ong ong who wish to own their own piece of history and l x rio s elegance that can ni ely be fo nd in ath. egency style properties are classical architect re at its very best. ollowing on from the eorgian period, the egency era had gathered a great deal of skill from architects and b ilders to create bea tif lly crafted townho ses that were often given pride of place in the wealthy, growing cities of the time. For more: 58 I BATH LIFE I

ABOVE: An apartment within a Grade-II listed Georgian Widcombe townhouse, Somerset House, is currently being marketed by Carter Jonas for £800k; RIGHT: Bridgerton has created increased interest in Bath’s Regency homes


BATH ON SHOW ith Netflix’s Bridgerton taking the world by


Hundreds of property professionals will be together in spirit this year…

“The Bath Property Awards will be wholly virtual this year” AT-A-GLANCE

THREE STAGE: Thought leadership, networking, Awards. FORMAT The event is run on the free-to-use Hopin (similar to Zoom but much better for networking). TIMETABLE From 1pm: Open networking for all. Introductory remarks 2pm: Thought leadership: exclusive new insights with Knight Frank’s Chris Druce 3pm: Networking: delegates are there specifically and straightforwardly to network – to build the relationships that are not currently possible in real life. 4pm: Bath Property Awards 5pm: informal networking TICKETS Free for finalists and sponsors. For other delegates, from £35 – details here: tickets CONTACT

JUDGES All decisions are made by a panel of independent judges, chosen from a variety of property-related companies in Bath. Jo Hall, Harty Global; Lucy McIlroy, Winkworth; Nathalie Thompson, Bath City Lets; Patrick Brady, Mogers Drewett; Bath Leasehold Management; Sarah Latham, Etons of Bath; and Simon Martin, B&NES


Bath Property Awards, 12 March. Online conference, all details at:

Bath keeps building… The third Bath Property Awards featuring the Bath Property Symposium takes place on 12 March as a unique, virtual event


he Bath Property Awards will be wholly virtual this year – an innovative, high value, three-stage event covering all aspects of the burgeoning Bath scene. There have been an impressive number of entrants to the largest and most prestigious celebration of property in the city – remarkable, given the pandemic. It provides a much-needed, unique opportunity to meet senior property professionals. The Awards, sponsored by Mogers Drewett, are now part of the new online Bath Property Symposium. This begins with Thought Leadership – a dynamic keynote speech on residential property trends, from Knight Franks’ senior research analyst, Chris Druce. There are also networking hubs hosted by leading property businesses. Delegates choose some to go to and others are assigned randomly, mirroring the planned OUR SPONSORS Headline Sponsor: Mogers Drewett

and happenstance nature of real-life networking. The Symposium culminates in the Bath Property Awards, a celebration of the very best in the city. ll details of the finalists are on pages 64-65 – congratulations to them all. Additionally, all delegates to the Symposium are invited to an exclusive and real-life networking event (when possible). “We’re delighted with the levels of support from nominating companies and our sponsors,” says event manager Annie Miekus of MediaClash, Bath Life’s publisher. “We know that all of us have been so restricted in building our business contacts. Our Bath Property Symposium provides a superb opportunity to bring together everyone in the val e chain, for the benefit of all. “We look forward to welcoming you on Friday 12 March from 1pm.”

Category Sponsors: Hawker Joinery, L&C Mortgages, Spaces, South West Business Finance, Bath Life

Feature Sponsors: Interaction and Triangle Networks I BATH LIFE I 61



Bridging Finance

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On your side, at your side MOGERS DREWETT is a leading South West law firm that takes pride in building long-term client and professional partner relationships


rom our offices in Bath, Frome, Sherborne and Wells, our people offer comprehensive expert advice across a range of legal services for individuals and businesses. Our residential property team prides itself on developing positive and productive professional relationships in Bath and throughout the region. Bath and its immediate environs are a unique market place with a range of beautiful properties, from attractive apartments to classic Georgian townhouses and substantial detached residences to name a few. At Mogers Drewett we are delighted to act for the sale or purchase of any Bath property regardless of style, size or value; we specialise in all Bath property and we are keen to represent any client that needs our help, advice and support. The effect of the pandemic on property transactions has been extreme. It became immediately apparent that there was going to be significant demand for quality properties as we emerged from the initial lockdown in May of last year and that demand remains today exacerbated by buyers wanting to take advantage of the Stamp Duty holiday, which is scheduled to end on the 31 March this year. Many forecasts are pointing to a general softening of the UK housing market from April this year as they perceive the removal of this financial incentive as a demotivating factor for buyers. We must consider however, that these forecasts are for the UK housing market as a whole and do not take into account regional variations and markets that were strong prior to

to find new homes this year. If you are thinking of selling it is extremely important to talk with us early in the process in order that there is no delay to your transaction once a buyer or property is found, but it is of equal importance that you discuss your plans with your preferred estate agents now so that you do not miss what is likely to be a buoyant spring and summer for the Bath property market.

any incentive. We are fortunate to live and work in such a place as Bath, which has always been a city and environment where people aspire to live. It is also important to state that we will be entering the traditional selling season (although markets are far less seasonal than in years gone by) and this, together with what we hope will be an easing of the latest lockdown restrictions will see a renewed determination from buyers looking to move to or within the area. What will be required is property on the market to satisfy the demand. We have been speaking to many of our estate agent colleagues, the majority of which are reporting record numbers of buyers currently registered

Alison Treble

Patrick Brady

Partner & Head of Department. Residential Property, Bath

Business Development Manager. Residential, Bath

Mogers Drewett St James House, The Square, Lower Bristol Road, Bath, BA2 3BH; 01225 750 000 I BATH LIFE I 69



Matilda Walton goes over to the dark side in the home of a world-renowned designer, now on the market in Melksham 70 I BATH LIFE I




t’s not often the approach to a house gives yo b tterflies, b t, tripping p the tree-lined stretch leading to Shaw o se, as the a stere eorgian mansion is revealed from behind the branches, it emits an ndeniable thrill of mystery. rom the moment yo step foot on the property’s significant gro nds, every new discovery oo es op lence, and attention to symmetry that betrays the c rrent owner’s obsession with detail. he gro nds are a haven of metic lo sly managed shr bbery, and the stark lines and shapes that res lt worth every e ort. n a chaotic world, there is something ni ely satisfying abo t a controlled landscape it caters to o r brains, which are programmed to crave the symmetrical. nside, yo ’ll discover a space worthy of a world class designer – as the c rrent owner is. he daring dark palate thro gho t creates an atmosphere of flawless l x ry. s yo pass thro gh the halls and corridors, it isn’t di c lt to see why beige is losing its strangle hold on contemporary design – there is something richer, more sens o s and deeper in the dark side. Contrary to traditional assertions, Shaw o se proves that a charcoal wall emphasises the expansiveness of a space, and serves only to enhance the ornate wood panelling, I BATH LIFE I 71


intricate ceiling cornices and grand open fireplaces that typify a property of this period. rom the magnificent amber accented entrance hall, the free flowing space leads from the ex isite panelled d al aspect dining room thro gh to the morning room and kitchen breakfast room beyond. es, yo really do need that many options for yo r morning porridge and here, there’s a space for every mood, with g ests or for a peacef l morning of solit de. stroll p the wide staircase and its sweeping barley s gar t rned bal sters brings yo to the bedrooms, of which there are nine. wo are of partic lar note, as they both boast en s ite bathroom and dressing room both, as per the rest of the property, decorated to perfection – one a dramatic red and black motif, and the other an all ring slate grey. pstairs, the attic rooms can be converted to the needs of the owner – keep them as bedrooms, or perhaps t rn them into a separate apartment, there is ample space to do so. Shaw o se is a rare find, a tran il, controlled space protected from the chaos of the world by a stretch of tree lined entryway.



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MEET THE INTERIOR DESIGNER Experts who turn vision into reality


DIRECTOR, WOOLF INTERIOR 01225 445670; What do you specialise in? Our work at WOOLF is a blend of interior architecture, interior design and decoration. We design every aspect of interiors to create complex and practical spaces. We are accredited historic interior designers; acknowledged for our specialist skills, designing for listed houses and hotels, bringing a richness and elegance to period properties. Why not have a signature style? At WOOLF we adopt a multi-sensory approach, creating intriguing, integrated spaces with a timeless character, based


upon our clients’ aesthetic. We pride ourselves in not having a house style, designing richly layered, beautifully tailored luxurious interiors. We see the design process as an emotional and collaborative journey, built upon a concept of our client’s ideal, to deliver their vision. What is it that makes you different and sets you apart? I originally worked as a film and television designer, where I gained recognition for my ability to create vision from character and narrative, and I have also collaborated with several iconic British artists and fashion designers. As a team, WOOLF have an exceptional understanding of historic and contemporary art, working with existing client collections and sourcing new artwork. When curating art in interiors, we are fluid with styles, cultures, high and low art, elegance and edginess.



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What do you love about working in interiors? We have a very talented team and I love to work with them and our clients to produce unique, personal schemes. Whether that involves sourcing new and exciting products or designing a scheme around an unusual collection of art, it’s lovely to see people so excited and pleased to spend time in a space that you’ve designed. How would you describe your signature style? We don’t necessarily have a signature style. We try to approach every brief differently and with fresh eyes; this ensures that our designs reflect the style and individuality of our clients, as well as measuring up to their lifestyle. This makes our role much more varied and exciting, as we have worked on everything from contemporary Scandinavian schemes to off-beat English country houses. How did you get involved in homes and interiors? My partner, Nick, is a garden designer and we wanted to create a design company that would work alongside clients to create schemes with a strong cohesion between indoor and outdoor spaces. 74 I BATH LIFE I


How would you describe your signature style? A design is always personal to the client, but contemporary interiors and intelligent small spaces are what I love to create – you may not need that bigger, better house. My training allows me to deliver any style of interior – first and foremost it will be a reflection of the client’s life and personality and suit the architectural history and aesthetic of their home. How does your design process work? My client and I usually exchange information and photos by e-mail initially, to get an idea of their project or design problem. Next we’ll have a video call to discuss in more depth, so that I can work out how best I can help. Then I provide a guaranteed estimate for my work. Clients say this is helpful, because they usually need to have tight control of their costs. What’s the biggest mistake property owners can make with interior design? There are no mistakes! Only opportunities to learn, grow and come to understand your own style. Lots of people have a natural flair, but with limited time and no technical training, it can be challenging to translate your ideas into three dimensions.


THE MARMALADE HOUSE 01225 445855; What do you specialise in? We are specialist trained furniture painters, and colourists. My background in interiors took me down the road of working with Annie Sloan and her Chalk Paint for many years; painting commissions for French antique-style furniture, and training students to do the same. I developed a love of, and became immersed in colour, and I have gone on to offer courses in using colour within the home, also taking on large interior projects for clients. How do you balance style with functionality? We always make sure we have a very clear brief with regards to functionality at the beginning. Sometimes it is obvious, sometimes not, but there is always a key to work with at the outset. We work our style around functionality. It’s always possible to have good balance of both, our job is to work out how. What’s the biggest mistake property owners can make with interior design? We find that people often just go with what they like, not what goes with the age, functionality or flow of the house. To be peaceful, a home has to have a sense of calm and continuity, and this is all about décor and design. You can have what you like, but make sure it is part of the whole.





SEAN SYMINGTON DESIGN 07918 080355; Why hire an interior designer? I think hiring an interior designer is a great way to make your vision come to life. A lot of people may have ideas for their home, but struggle with how it will all come together. A designer is great for interpreting your personal aesthetic and making it work in your home. How would you describe your signature style? My signature style is eclectic and colourful with a nod to tradition. I grew up in North America, and consequently I am drawn to larger scaled items and I am not scared of colour or pattern. What makes you different to your competitors? Having studied interiors and design for the majority of my life, I don’t lack experience, but I take a fresh approach to design that I think a lot of people appreciate. So many designers are stuck in an era. What’s the best bit of advice you could give to home owners? Fill your home with things that you love. I think you can make anything work if it feels authentically you. Also, don’t be afraid of colour. We live in England, and let’s face it, the weather is dreary most of the year – so go bold inside, it will make you happy, I promise.



What makes you different to your competitors? Longevity and knowledge. Bracey Interiors has been trading for over 50 years, so we have a wealth of expertise to offer our clients.

Why use an interior designer? Clients often know what they like but the plethora of choice paralyses them. They don’t know how to put it all together and fear costly mistakes. I liberate clients; with an objective eye, extensive network and rigorous budgeting, I hone the options into a design to create a home they can live in and love.

What’s the best bit of advice you could give to homeowners? When looking at changing your interiors, take your time and reference magazines, Pinterest etc – it’s a great way of working out what you like and what will work for you. Take your time and buy quality, it will last and will be worth it.

How do you personalise your designs? I love originality. The client’s family history, the way they live, the places they’ve travelled and their home’s architecture provide the richest tapestry of inspiration. With this, I layer old and new to create a design truly connected to the owners.

What trends do you envisage for 2021? Looking at all the new collections that are being launched this spring, colour and pattern are definitely the new trend. If you’re not feeling too adventurous then I would suggest these are used for cushions, Roman blinds, an occasional chair and maybe a feature wall – it’s a great way of creating a positive statement.


CLAIR STRONG INTERIOR DESIGN 07855 797311; Where do you get your inspiration from? Inspiration can be found anywhere if you have an eye for detail and design. My background means art is an endless source of ideas; a painting can provide the colour scheme for a whole house. I also tend to get a lot of ideas from how restaurants and hotels use space and lighting. Nature also provides an unlimited supply of colour inspiration. How does your design process work? The way I work is very much a collaboration between the client and my team. I strive to make the process an interesting and enjoyable experience, while providing excellent service and,

Tell us about your projects… Each one has its own character and magic – from period Somerset country homes and Swiss mountain chalets, to London renovations and premium new builds. Do you only work on whole houses? No, I often do a single room in need of a refresh, and also offer half / full day consultations where some guidance is needed but budget is tight. I believe that interior design shouldn’t be an expensive luxury, but the opportunity to make the absolute most of your home.

finally, a beautifully designed space. I am involved at every stage and I take great care to really get to know my clients, so the design works for their lifestyle. Communication and a really personal service is key. What’s on trend for 2021? Natural materials like rattan, sisal and bamboo are on trend. They are amazing neutrals which give an instant feeling of style, texture and warmth to any space. I’m seeing people mixing inherited pieces and flea market finds with modern furniture to give an eclectic look; it’s a reaction against the Scandi minimalist look that has dominated interior design for years. People are also leaning into a 1970s retro vibe with houseplants, macramé and warm colours like burnt oranges and rusty reds coming back into fashion. I BATH LIFE I 75

GET MOVING How to move house, from sale to moving day

Compiled by Lydia Tewkesbury



“The recent introduction of virtual viewings has become a key marketing tool”

If you can’t find your dream home... maybe you should build it. Stonewood Builders specialise in bespoke, one in a million, homes I BATH LIFE I 77


here’s been a lot of talk about moving house in the last few months as we all re-evaluate in response to the pandemic. It can all feel rather overwhelming, so we asked a few of Bath’s experts, from agents to solicitors, mortgage brokers and more, to guide us through the process, step by step.

THE SELLING BIT Stuart Riddell, Bath Stone Property

I am worried my home won’t look good in photos – do you have any advice?

We would advise all buyers to declutter as much as possible and have clear open spaces to ensure that the size of the room is being shown well to b yers. resh flowers are always a nice touch to create that homely feel. What is the best way to market my home?

We market properties via all portals – Rightmove, Zoopla and On the Market, and also through social media platforms. Will the agents keep me in the loop about the sale?

Communication is key for us to be able to make your experience as smooth as possible. We commit to weekly updates on your property and the market and will also send through viewing feedback from the buyers after each viewing. The team are always free to discuss any questions you have, too. How is a home’s value established?

Many factors contribute to a price of a property: comparable sold prices, size of property, condition of your property and the current market conditions. fter a val ation, we wo ld go thro gh o r findings and explain and show you how we achieved the price we suggest you market your property for. Bath Stone Property, 1 Hayes Place, Bath; tel: 01225 422224; Since the start of the pandemic, demand for homes outside cities has grown dramatically


Alistair Heather, Strutt & Parker What’s your advice for first time buyers?

Be prepared, and try to make yourself available to see properties as soon as they come on the market. It’s a competitive marketplace for all buyers at the moment, so it’s advisable to have a mortgage agreed in principle and a solicitor appointed. How much contact should I expect to have with the agent?

An estate agent should understand precisely what a buyer’s needs are and keep very closely in touch throughout the process. I haven’t moved in years. How was the process changed?

The property market has remained largely unchanged in the UK for decades, however the recent introduction of virtual viewings has become a key marketing tool. Allowing buyers to view a property online from anywhere in the world before seeing it in person has made the b ying and selling process simpler and more e cient for o r clients. How do you calculate the value of a house?

Through in-depth knowledge of the local market, both in terms of recent comparable sales, and the level of demand for homes in that area. Since the Covid-19 outbreak, demand for living outside of larger cities has grown exponentially, and certain areas have seen significant price growth, whilst others less so. Understanding these varying market conditions is vital in setting the price for your home. Is there anything a potential seller can do to prep their home to make it more attractive?

Make it as presentable as possible. Clear the clutter and keep surfaces clean. Give the house a spring clean, touch up any areas of chipped paint and get the garden ready for spring. Strutt & Parker, 7-9 North Parade Buildings, Bath; tel: 01225 685801;


A Grade I listed Georgian townhouse on Sydney Place is currently listed with Strutt & Parker

THE BUYING BIT Andrew Whitmore, Whitmore Financial

How do you choose the right mortgage plan?

Mortgages are a bit like shoes. There are a range of di erent shoe styles and si es to fit many people for many occasions and the same is tr e for mortgages. he easiest way to think of it is to think of the style of shoe as the type of property yo want to own, s ch as a new b ild ho se, or perhaps d e to circ mstances yo are looking at a shared ownership home. Similarly, think of yo r shoe si e as the n mber yo ’d need to assess to find the right si e shoe for yo , only in the case of a mortgage it wo ld be abo t yo r income, o tgoings, deposit and credit score that the lender wo ld need to know to decide if the mortgage fits yo r needs. How do you apply for a mortgage?

o are able to apply direct with a bank or b ilding society and will be asked to provide doc ments direct to the bank and chase p the progress. lternatively, yo can apply via a mortgage brokerage s ch as o rselves and we will deal with the doc mentation and chasing on yo r behalf, saving yo time and stress along the way. Some mortgage brokerages charge a fee, so be s re to ask if they charge any fees prior to asking for their assistance. What is a deposit, and why do I need one?

deposit is an amo nt of money that yo p t towards the p rchase of a property and it’s important as the lender will partly assess yo r

fl a always a nice touch” mortgage application based pon this fig re. he more deposit yo p t towards the p rchase, generally the lender will o er more favo rable terms, s ch as a lower cost per month or red ced fees as part of the application. s of now eb , lenders re ire a minim m of a per cent deposit, except where yo take advantage of the help to b y scheme, where mortgages are available with as little as a five per cent deposit. his scheme is now only available to first time b yers, however. What factors make it difficult to get a mortgage?

ost di c lties relate to yo r credit score, which is often impacted by how yo have cond cted any financial agreements within the last six years. f yo s er from any credit iss es it is recommended to get advice to ens re yo can work towards a sol tion as early as possible. Other iss es are s ally related to a lack of deposit or commitments being higher than a lender is comfortable to leave o tstanding when applying for a mortgage, b t sometimes it can simply be that the lender re ires an applicant to have a higher level of income to o er the mortgage the client is hoping for. his is why it’s so important to speak to a professional before starting to look, as they can help set the bar at an attainable, a ordable level so that yo know exactly what is possible before yo start looking for yo r next home. Whitemore Financial, Black Dog Farm, Chapmanslade, Westbury; t it m nan ia I BATH LIFE I 79

THE LEGAL BIT Shazad Banaras, Mogers Drewett residential property team When should I instruct a solicitor?

If you are selling, you should speak to us before you put your house on the market. If you are buying, you should make contact before making an o er. What is the solicitor’s role in the process?

The work a solicitor undertakes depends on whether they are acting for the buyer or the seller. Property is purchased caveat emptor, or ‘buyer beware’, so the buyer’s solicitors take on the greater risk during the transaction. Why do I need a survey?

Surveys help you avoid expensive surprises (like unexpected damp or potential structural issues which may need further investigation). For those who have never owned a property before, a survey can be immensely reassuring and integral in a purchase. If you are borrowing capital your lender may wish to conduct their own survey as well. Once an offer is accepted how long does it take?

At Mogers Drewett we often exchange contracts within six to eight weeks, this is subject to both parties co-operating and client’s responding/providing information in a timely manner. What is the difference between exchange and completion?

he di erence between exchange and completion is that the ‘exchange’ is an exchange of contracts, which makes the matter legally binding between the buyer and seller, whereas ‘completion’ is the date the parties physically move and transfer legal ownership of the property. When do I know the property is mine?

Once contracts are exchanged, a legally binding agreement is in place, which means that neither party can back out. Until that point, either party may withdraw. The property is only yours on the day of completion when all money has changed hands. Mogers Drewett, St James House, The Square, Lower Bristol Road, Bath; tel: 01225 750000;


MOVING DAY Anne Marie Brennan, The Home Service

The Home Service is committed to simplifying life – through managing properties, home projects and even your to do list. Most of all though, Annie loves facilitating home moves, ensuring no detail is overlooked so people can enjoy their new home as speedily as possible, with minimal disruption. What services do you provide for people moving house?

As no two moves are alike, the level of support can vary from assistance with planning, procurement, quotations, overseeing contractors and services to managing the entire process. We will get the very best team together and coordinate a cost e ective, smooth and stress free move, in compliance with all government safety guidelines. What is move day management?

We ensure that move day runs like clockwork. Like any performance, success is linked to planning, having the right people, and a lot of practice keeping things running smoothly. It may include managing logistics, timing, handovers, inventories, connections and providing guidance for movers at property. Most importantly, we ensure owners are free to do whatever they want to do. What are the advantages of using a professional moving company?

Peace of mind and a worry-free move! Buying your dream home sho ld be a time of great excitement and accomplishment. e o er a smooth and easy transition. A move is such an exciting time for making changes, too, and as professionals with an outsider perspective, it is easy to us to guide or organise yo r new home ob ectively. e can o er m ch more than a removals service – we can help get yo r new home o on the right foot. The Home Service, Eton house, 108 Walcot Street, Bath; tel: 01225 685111; Handing over the organisation to a professional move day manager is a great route to a stress-free move



THE DESIGN PHASE: The client may already have worked with a designer to bring their ideas to life, or we can help them draw up their plans and put them in touch with architects, designers and other specialists. THE COLLABORATIVE PHASE: We work closely reviewing the plans with the client looking at samples and visuals to get a ‘real life’ view. This all helps to influence a final decision on material and style in detail. These stages are imperative and really help to avoid changes with delays and costs later in the project. THE PLANNING PHASE: We spend time with our clients to detail what they can expect from us and what we will need from them, a detailed work plan, risk assessment and safety plan for the project are provided. The aim is to create minimum disruption – we think a building project can be a positive, enjoyable experience! THE BUILDING PHASE: The team start on site when everything is agreed with a designated site manager and the back-up of a full-time office team, including a project manager and quantity surveyor. During the build regular communication between the client and their builders is key. Often, once a project develops, aspirations and visions can still change, and decisions need to be made by both parties. If the site team are in regular conversation with clients updates on progress and any changes can be discussed and the experienced team can guide the client through any unfamiliar territory. THE CELEBRATION PHASE: It’s time to enjoy your new home. Once the project is finished it is important that there is an official handover with all documentation manuals, useful contacts and guarantees given to the client. A nice touch is also a full photographic record of the project to keep for posterity. The Stonewood Office, West Yatton Lane, Castle Combe; tel: 01249 782293;

Stonewood collaborate with clients to realise their vision

“Buying your dream home should be a time of great excitement” BUILD YOUR OWN Jamie Priest, Stonewood Builders Ltd.

What sort of properties do Stonewood work on?

We work on a variety of new build and historic refurbishment projects. Alongside our housebuilding business we have been building bespoke one o high specification family homes and commercial buildings for over 40 years. We have a highly experienced team of expert craftsmen who renovate and restore some of our most important and noteworthy heritage buildings. It is these same craftsmen who build our new homes in traditional styles as well as creating award-winning, cutting edge contemporary houses. What should a client bring to the table?

ost clients have already got a good vision of their finished pro ect when we start to work with them. It is up to the right designer to get that vision onto paper. From here it is very much a collaborative process and we listen to our clients’ needs and then use the best members of our team to suit the requirements of each individual project. I BATH LIFE I 81


“I wrote a lot of The Frequency of Us at Bath Central Library” a pint with Ian Rankin and Chris Brookmyre in Dubai (you’re allowed to drink in the hotels) and that was pretty unforgettable. I also met Jilly Cooper at a Richard and Judy book club party, which was incredible. My wife slipped a copy of my novel into her handbag.

lots of inspiring little character details from strangers! I wrote a lot of The Frequency of Us at Bath Central Library, which is such an interesting place to work and there are so many fascinating reference books there on the city and its history.

The first novel took me a year to write, the second 18 months, and the last was two years,

My wife Morag runs a charity named Frome Community Drivers providing transport for

which is not a pattern I want to continue really.

The Frequency of Us is about

KEITH STUART From eavesdropping in libraries to staring at walls, the author reveals how Bath inspires his writing Keith started his writing career on the video gaming magazine Edge, published by Future, and went on to be video games editor of The Guardian, who he still writes for. In 2016 he started writing novels – his debut, A Boy Made of Blocks, was an international bestseller; then followed by Days of Wonder about a single father who manages a tiny local theatre. His latest is The Frequency of Us, a timetravelling love story set in both modern day and wartime Bath. I honestly think I’ve always wanted to be a writer. The only

part of school I enjoyed was writing stories and plays, and English and Drama were the only classes I cared about. I didn’t think I’d ever make a living out of it though.


Writing a story is like solving a giant video game puzzle:

you have all these moving parts – characters, plots, relationships – and you have to manoeuvre them into a narrative that tells people something and makes them feel. Writing stories is kind of emotional alchemy. My first novel came about because Ed Wood from the publishers Little, Brown,

emailed me and asked if I’d consider writing a novel based on an article I’d written for The Guardian about my autistic son playing Minecraft. I’ve been lucky enough to speak at literary festivals all over the world, including Brazil, Spain and Dubai, and they’re

always amazing fun. I got to have

an elderly man who claims his wife mysteriously disappeared during the war. Everyone thinks he has dementia apart from the vulnerable young carer who is sent by her agency to look after him. It is full of Bath locations, from Victoria Art Gallery to Sham Castle. There was so much research to do for this third novel – it’s quite

elderly and vulnerable people. We have two sons, Zac, 15, and Albie, 13. They’re both very into video games. I have no idea how that happened… My most prized possession is my Sega Mega Drive console.

It was my dad’s – he died of cancer 15 years ago, and we used to play games on it together. He loved technology and it makes me sad he never got to see iPads, Netflix, Xbox One, or PlayStation 5 – he’d have loved it all.

hard to find reference materials for Bath in the 1930s and 40s as the city was rather neglected and unfashionable at that time. I really had to dig for information and I was helped a lot by local historians Cath Spence and David McLaughlin.

One of my favourite Bath pubs is The Raven on Queen Street.

I’ve spent the last two years wandering about with various

The last meal I ate out in Bath was at Yak Yeti Yak.

history books, old guides, and maps, looking for evidence of the wartime city – the shrapnel wounds on some of the buildings, areas where the stone has been dyed pink by flames.

American airmen used to frequent it during the war – apparently they’d lift women up and get them to kiss the ceiling then sign the lipstick mark. Sadly this was all painted over in the 1960s.

I had a meeting with my editor – we planned out the ending of The Frequency of Us while eating gorgeous Nepalese food.

I really like to write in cafés pubs, and libraries – I like

the buzz of having other people around and catching snippets of conversations; you pick up

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