Bath Life – Issue 442

Page 1


ISSUE 442 / 23 APRIL – 6 MAY 2021/ £3













above: The Bath Priory

Terrace (page 34)

right: Get splashing


with the paint (page 72)


asn’t it been just lovely watching our beloved city bubble back into life with the return of The Bath Festival (page 26) and the new programme of productions revealed by Theatre Royal Bath (page 24)? There’s not the mass rushing about, random hugging and partying in the streets we dreamt of back in March 2020, but rather the more tentative drifting into the small corners of our normal lives. The cold brilliant sunshine and brittle blue skies have been an almost perfect backdrop – keeping us both in check from getting too heady and careless with the relaxing of rules, but still hopeful, appreciative, and buoyant that we are finally progressing. And how lucky we are to have our wonderful city evolving around us – from The Bath Priory Terrace (page 34) with its considered and thoughtful al fresco dining, through to new businesses starting up throughout the city (page 47). It’s always such an honour to be able to share these remarkable stories. See you in two weeks with more inspiring tales from the city.

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

Issue 442 / 23 April – 6 May 2021 COVER Painted hallway by Farrow & Ball (page 72)


72 PAINT Expert advice on all things paint related


21 ARTS INTRO Artistic royalty at Hauser & Wirth 22 WHAT’S ON Enrich your soul with Bath’s art and culture 26 THE BATH FESTIVAL A round up of just a few of this year’s most exciting appearances 30 BOOKS Travel by the page with these coffee table reads


14 JEWELLERY Bath’s jewellers let us in on the inspirations

behind their latest collections

41 INTRO Rustic accessories take your garden style up

a notch

42 EDITOR’S CHOICE Fill your garden with these

gorgeous blooms in pots for summer


44 GARDENING A guide to easy potted plants and flowers with the Bath Gardener



32 FOOD & DRINK NEWS Catch up with what’s new on Bath’s foodie scene 34 RESTAURANT REVIEW A delicious return to al fresco

at The Bath Priory

36 TOP TEN How to eat your way around the world without

leaving the city

38 RECIPES Treat yourself to a spring feast with these

recipes from Heritage Fine Foods


47 BATHWORKS News, views and interviews from the best

of our local businesses and companies

51 BIZ Q&A Miles Johnson is expanding Bosco Pizzeria with

a new Bath branch


57 PROPERTY INTRO A rare gem has come up to let 58 PROPERTY NEWS Updates from the market 60 SHOWCASE A luxurious monochrome home from a

world-renowned interior designer

71 STYLE COUNSEL Philippa celebrates the joy of curves



7 SPOTLIGHT Submit your lockdown photos to a new project 13 FLATLINE There’s plenty of opportunity for everyone,

according to Flats

82 LIVES Director Malachi Bogdanov’s latest role as

founder of the Bath Contemporary Artists Fair

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, Neil Donovan, Philippa May, John Mather and Matilda Walton Group advertising manager Pat White Deputy advertising manager Justine Walker justine.walker@mediaclash. Account manager Annabel North Account manager Dan Nichols Production/Distribution manager Sarah Kingston Deputy production manager Kirstie Howe Production designer Matt Gynn matt.gynn@mediaclash. 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: I BATH LIFE I 5



Daniel Musselwaite is competing with top jewellers from around the country on the new BBC2 show

As seen on TV


These streets are quiet no longer...

There are some new arrivals at Bath City Farm

Bath City Farm

NEW LIFE It’s officially lamb season at Bath City Farm. At the end of March, they welcomed five new lambs – twins and triplets – to their flock of rare Norfolk Horn sheep. As of 14 April, the farm is open again to the public so you can meet the new lambs along with the goats, pigs, hens, ducks, geese, cows, Shetland ponies, and rabbits who live there. For more:



Bath Preservation Trust (BTP) is asking people to submit photos that document their lockdown experiences as part of a new project. Chief executive of the BTP Caroline Kay explains, “Whether they are of empty pavements, pictures of rainbows in front windows, signs reminding people to wash their hands or maintain social distancing, car-free roads or socially distanced gatherings in public spaces, we’d love to receive photos that reflect the way in which our World Heritage City’s appearance changed during the past year.” Whether you’re a smartphone snapper or a pro with a DSLR, you can send you contributions to The BTP will use the images to create an accessible archive for future generations to see what life was like in Bath during this time – they’ll also share selected images on their social media platforms. For more:

The Bath Preservation Trust want your photos documenting lockdown life I BATH LIFE I 7



One of Black Swan Arts’ on-site artists is turning TV star. Frome jeweller Daniel Musselwhite is on BBC 2’s new Bake Off for jewellery All That Glitters on Tuesday evenings from 8pm. The show, presented by comedian Katherine Ryan, has two of the UK’s best known contemporary jewellers on board as judges: Solange Azagury-Partridge and Shaun Leane. They decide which of the eight contestants challenged to design and create a ‘Bestseller’ and ‘Bespoke’ piece each week deserves to be named ‘Jeweller of the Week’, and who should be sent home. “We are delighted to have such an inspirational and talented jeweller on site at Black Swan Arts,” says Emma Warren, centre manager. “Dan has a studio shop downstairs (you can watch him work) overlooking our popular courtyard café, as well as bespoke space on the second floor where he teaches workshops and courses. He is such a friendly, down-toearth and approachable artist with an infectious creative positivity. His jewellery and workshops will be in such huge demand, that I think we’ll have to start managing socially-distanced queues to see him at work!” Want to meet more of our favourite local jewellers? Flip to page 14. For more: Tuesdays at 8pm, BBC 2;



Two brothers are using music to highlight the ongoing crisis faced by people in the arts as a result of the pandemic. Dan Pert AKA The Journey-Man, a mainstay of the Bath busking scene, and his brother Jonny Pert, founder of film company Frinin & Bok shot a live music video of Dan’s You can watch The Journey-Man’s song Black Clouds at The Rondo Rondo Theatre filmed video on all Theatre – a local venue that has his social media channels struggled to survive through the Covid-19 pandemic. “I really wanted to highlight what we’ve been missing out on with theatres closed and gigs no longer an option,” says Jonny. “I wanted to make a music video that felt real and raw, and showed off the dynamic lighting and palpable atmosphere you get from a live venue. I grew up in Bath as a young actor, and absolutely loved the theatre scene here. It’s so sad to hear the difficulties that so many theatres in the area are facing, but it’s happening everywhere. Artists need to come together in this difficult time and help each other to survive the next few years.” The music video was recorded using six different cameras – from high-end cinema-style kit to iPhones to create in-the-moment gig vibes – with live-looping, guitar work and effects all completed in a single take. You can view the music video across The Journey-Man’s social media profiles. For more: thejourneymusic on Facebook; @jrnymanmusic on Instagram

It’s National Pet Month, so we’re showing off a few of Bath’s Instafamous four-legged besties




Komedia will emerge from its lockdown closure in May

Just over one year since they had to close the doors, Komedia is finally set to reopen on 18 May. The team have been busy during their closure, and we can’t wait to see the resulting revamp of the café and foyer space to a fully-kitted out intimate live music venue in its own right. The first socially distanced shows back include two free mini festivals – one on 21 June and another on 25 June – featuring rockers like Novatines, Bite the Buffalo, and Bare Jams, the very welcome return of their Motown, funk and soul club night Motorcity on 26 June and live gypsy jazz, folk and bluegrass from Mad Dog Mcrea and Flats & Sharps on 9 July. For more:

@rebeccalipkinauthor with @clemmiecavalierofficial




Natasha Lewis

IN LOVING MEMORY Natasha Lewis, co-founder of Get Fit In Bath tragically passed away in an accident on 7 April. A GoFundMe fundraising page has been set up in her memory. The funds are for her partner and Get Fit In Bath co-founder Dave Bowler, whilst he takes some time away from the gym. To help remember Natasha, Dave would also like to use the donations to support athletes who are in need of running shoes. Natasha loved running, and referred to it as one of the top three things that brought her happiness. The fund, which has now reached over £35,000, will help nurture the same love of running for athletes in need. For more:


Natasha with her partner Dave; Natasha loved running




Lou Baker is using knitting to help renew social connections post-lockdown

A new project at The Art Cohort will explore how we can strengthen our social ties through the medium of knitting. In collaboration with artist Lou Baker and supported by the Bath Spa University Harbutt Fund, Lou will set up a series of web-like installations at The Art Cohort’s art space on Chelsea Road as well as in various locations around the city. Lou will also host a programme of virtual events – a talk called Social Knitwork: Thinking of the Future, an Instagram live walking tour of her installations and finally a virtual ‘Knit Together’ where everyone is invited to come along and make some new friends over their needles. For more: I BATH LIFE I 9

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New faces


Celebrate change, and let’s assist diversity, says Flats

“I feel very pleased indeed to be part of the generation that (hopefully) sees diversity become the norm”


y world is one where the push for diversity is real. I work primarily in sports broadcasting, and most of that is on television. Pretty much for ever, you could tune into any televised men’s rugby match and see, well, men talking about it. There may be the odd female presenter, but for expert opinion, only men would do. In fairness, and in the interests of balance, there is something logical about having men talking about men’s rugby, as them having ‘been there’ adds a certain weight to their views. This weighting happens in lots of ways, and it can work for or against us all, actually. I have commentated on World Cup Semi-Finals; massive games with enormous viewerships, but when it comes to the finals I find myself shimmied into lesser roles. ‘We loved your work last week, but we’re going to go with Ben (Kay) and Lawrence (Dallaglio) for the Final because, ultimately, they can tell us what it’s like to be in a World Cup Final and you can’t.’ It just so happens that they are precisely the right people for that job – they’re just brilliant – so I agree with the decision, but it’s still a ceiling through which I simply will never break, no matter the quality of my work. A couple of years ago I was in the running for a very appealing ambassadorship contract and all seemed to be going well. We had talked money, got on very nicely, and were all smiles. Then I got a last minute call to tell me that they were going to have to give the job to someone else. ‘We love you, Flats, but our hands are tied’ was how she put it, not actually telling me by what or by whom they were indeed bound. Soon after, I was dropped by another brand with whom I had worked for years and whom I would have called friends (and still do!), and was fobbed off with a pretend reason (only to be WhatsApped the truth by the boss after the meeting… that message was swiftly deleted once read). And this year, a TV producer

called me to discuss who else we should include in our line up for some televised games, and his approach was just so refreshing: ‘It’s not the white middle class male show, mate. We’ve got you and that’s enough. Send me some names, and make them diverse, yeah? We actually want some new people watching rugby, not just the same old faces.’ Ah, some honesty. Everybody knows it’s real, so it does feel good when someone is brave enough to just talk about it instead of being terrified of offending someone and ultimately being shamed or sacked or piled on. I suppose I could be offended by all this equality business, but I’m not. Sure, it’s probably cost me a few quid recently, but I was too busy anyway. And there’s plenty of food to go round. Actually, I feel very pleased indeed to be part of the generation that (hopefully) sees diversity become the norm, the generation that sees it grow from being a movement to a way of being. Some hate the diversity movement simply because it costs them money. I like money, but I don’t like it so much that I can live with the idea of my little girls being laughed out of the room when applying for certain jobs, or mocked when offering opinions on the physical endeavours of men. When I was live on television, in front of over 10 million people, my daughters didn’t watch. They were busy making a cake. When England Women play hockey or rugby on TV, they love it. I haven’t consciously pushed that, but it’s real. They see females and they can relate, even perhaps imagine themselves playing there one day. I feel lucky that the chemicals in my brain don’t react aggressively to missing out on the odd gig because I am what I am, and I expect it’s my parents who instilled that balance in me. People like me have had it largely our own way for ever, so I welcome the opportunity to share. Again, there’s plenty of food to feed us all. David Flatman is an ex-Bath and England rugby star turned TV pundit and rent-o-mic. Find him on Twitter @davidflatman and Instagram @ dflatman I BATH LIFE I 13

ALL THAT GLITTERS Bath’s favourite jewellers share their design inspiration By Lydia Tewkesbury


othing takes an outfit to the next level like the right accessory. Fortunately in Bath you’ve got plenty of options, whether you’re looking for a one-off piece of vintage, jewellery inspired by the natural world or something bespoke. As retail kicks off again for the spring/summer season, we spoke to a few local jewellery designers and buyers about what inspired their latest collections.

MICHAEL PARSONS OF GOLD & PLATINUM STUDIO 19 Northumberland Place, Bath; tel: 01225 462300; Tell us about the things that inspire your designs

Most of my designs are inspired by nature or natural forms, combining mixed metals, textured finishes and a subtle use of coloured gemstones. Simplicity has been key lately, for designs to be worn every day. Has how you think about jewellery changed much over the years?

Most people are less formal nowadays, so look for understated as opposed to ostentatious pieces. We are led by demand to a large extent, but tradition tends to underpin our business. Bespoke gold signet rings are as popular as ever, for example. 14 I BATH LIFE I

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Diamond stacking rings in 18ct gold and platinum, from £925 each; Mandarin garnet and diamond drop earrings in 9ct gold, £1,395; emerald and diamond cluster ring in platinum, £2,595; textured platinum band with natural pink diamonds, £975; dragonfly necklace in gold with sapphires and diamonds, £560; mixed metal, textured bands starting from £295; Michael Parsons; hammered 18ct gold ring with natural coloured diamonds, £925; sapphire stacking rings in 18ct gold, starting from £875 each

JEWELLERY RHIANNON HAMILTON OF HONEY WILLOW 8 Pulteney Bridge, Bath; tel: 01225 422339; Tell us about your creative process

When I began to make jewellery, I had small children and wanted to make pieces that represented them. I named the business after my two daughters, Honey and Willow, and focused on meaningful jewellery that represents loved ones and life’s milestones. Have your designs changed much since you started?

I started off experimenting with chunky, colourful statement pieces, as I really enjoyed combining different colours and textures. However, I soon realised that jewellery doesn’t have to be bold to communicate something, and started to make more delicate jewellery that myself and others could wear every day. One of my designs that has remained popular for many years is the milestone birthday necklace. It is a classic, timeless design that we personalise for the customer to create a unique piece. We really enjoy reading the personalised notes from the customers to their loved ones and seeing where in the world each piece is heading to. Everything you sell is made to order – what are the advantages and challenges of working that way?

Making to order, especially in high volumes, is labour-intensive. The team has grown and every single piece of jewellery has the input of at least four or five team members. All this is essential to ensure quality and to offer our customers a unique, personalised piece. Also, Honey Willow began because I enjoy making jewellery, as do my team. Making jewellery for someone, knowing that it will give both the giver and receiver a lot of pleasure, is very rewarding.

CLOCKWISE: Sea horse brooch, £135; hammered octopus ring, £185; large ginko earrings, £140; bi-colour leafy earrings, £115; Dilk Koroglu; tri-colour arc bracelet £165

DILEK KOROGLU OF ICARUS JEWELLERY 3 Pulteney Bridge, Bath; tel: 01225 463693; What inspired your latest designs?

We are immensely inspired by simplicity, and the perfection of nature such as trees, leaves, animals and sea creatures recently. We’ve launched a new Starfish collection after the popularity of our most loved Octopus collection. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT:

Rhiannon Hamilton; 60th birthday necklace, £108; silver HOPE ring with birthstone £5; petite gold hoops with big baroque pearls, £97

Do you change your designs much season to season?

Our jewellery designs are well known as unique, different, high quality and timeless. This is something we would never change. However, we make small changes to our designs in relation with the needs of our customers. This is very important to us and it allows us to grow our brand and keep it strong. I BATH LIFE I 15


4 Cheap Street, Frome; tel: 01373 462089; Why buy vintage?

To those that have a passion for it, vintage and antique jewellery is more than just an ornament that you wear on your body, it’s an expression of who you are. To others, antique jewellery is a show of class, wealth or power. Whatever reason one wears it, there can only be one reason why one would value antique jewellery – for the love and appreciation of designs of the past. It’s said that old is gold and indeed to those with adoration for jewellery, this is gospel truth. Antique jewellery is said to be any kind of ancient jewellery that predates back to the 1930s. Some would say that this jewellery is old and no longer fashionable, but in the world of jewellery art, the older the piece, the more valuable it is said to be. The expensive part is basically the preserved art of the past brought into the modern era; a tangible symbol of the past, not theoretical as others would put it. How do you choose the pieces for your shop?

We are always looking to add to our extensive range of antique and preowned jewellery. All our stock must be of first-rate quality to resell, and most go to our goldsmith to check for any undue wear and tear and to be repaired where possible. We always want to purchase from the top houses, but prices for many of these have become prohibitive to resell back through the retail trade in recent years. However, Cartier and Tiffany remain for us the most important of jewellery houses.


necklace, bracelet and earring suite, £490; antique emerald and diamond cluster ring, £5,275; princess cut diamond stud earrings, £350; row of cultured pearls with a diamond clasp, £800; diamond and sapphire fully set eternity ring, £775


9 Abbey Churchyard, Bath; tel: 01225 460072; Where do you draw inspiration for your designs?

I’m so inspired by the view from my workshop in the Abbey churchyard, where I created the Memories of Bath range. Our beautiful city makes memories for visitors and locals alike. Being a Bathonian, I have many connections that incorporate the city. My grandfather discovered Roman coins whilst repairing the floor in the Roman Baths, which inspired the Roman coin range. My favourite from this collection, though, is the angels climbing the Abbey. My next range will include Georgian style pieces influenced by the popular period dramas set in the city.

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Jody Cory; perfect fit 18ct yellow and white gold engagement and wedding rings set with diamonds, bespoke commission; 18ct yellow and white gold purple sapphire and diamond ring, bespoke commission; 9ct yellow gold and diamond lead necklace, bespoke commission; 9ct rose gold and rose cut pear shape diamond, bespoke commission; 18ct white gold diamond ring, bespoke commission; silver loop d’ loop pendant, £155


Have ethical/sustainability considerations changed? If so, how?

We often encourage people looking to sell their jewellery to consider remodelling it. Gold prices are very high at present so remodelling is like recycling your jewellery at a fraction of the price. Gold and gemstones are great to remodel, a brooch can become a ring, a ring can become earrings – anything you can imagine, really. We offer a free design service for inspiration.


25 Union Passage Bath; tel: 01225 464781; What inspired your latest range?

After such a challenging year for everyone, we wanted our latest collections to reflect the hope and positivity of happier times ahead. Some of the new designs we have chosen to celebrate this include our beautiful Oak Leaf necklace symbolizing new life, our Flower of Hope necklace, and Circle of Love necklace, and brand new this season are our very own Celebration Balloon necklace and earrings, which are designed and made by us. They are simple, pure fun, and shout out cheer and joy. Have your buying tastes changed over the years?

We are always on the lookout for new jewellery ranges and it’s really important to us to support local talent. One of our most popular ranges is our Daisy Collection, which is handmade in Bath. We have over 30 different designs of Daisy jewellery, from Daisy bracelets and bangles to Daisy drop earrings and necklaces.

clockwise from above: Hannah Douglas

and Guy Douglas with their children; Circle of Love necklace £32.95; daffodil pendant £34.95; Flower of Hope £45.95; oak leaf pendant £44.95

How are you keeping up to date with jewellery trends?

We’re very excited that we are now able to offer an engraving service. The trend for personalised jewellery shows no sign of abating, and we look forward to growing this part of our business. Have ethical/sustainability considerations changed?

Sustainability is a strong part of our ethos, and over the last year we delivered all our local online orders by bicycle! We’ve cycled over 1,000 miles delivering hundreds of parcels. It’s been a truly family affair, with my wife and children delivering many of the items as well! We will continue to offer this service around Bath, and all local deliveries are free. It’s keeps us fit and helps our carbon footprint at the same time.

The Daisy Collection: triple daisy necklace, £37; daisy bracelet £85.95; daisy drop earrings £23.95 I BATH LIFE I 17


11 Pulteney Bridge, Bath; tel: 01225 464013; Why buy vintage?

Vintage pieces are a representation of definitive artistic periods – Art Nouveau, Art Deco, 1960s, etc, which many people find fascinating because of the social history connotations like where was the piece made and who owned it. And, of course, you buy vintage for the pleasure of wearing something that may well be unique in its original production, if not existence. What are you looking for in a great piece of jewellery?

Quality and pureness of style. Condition is important – no evidence of a poor repair or alteration and the piece retaining as much of its original patina as possible. Price is not necessarily a factor – a piece costing very little can be fabulous if it has the right look!

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: 18ct white gold

south sea cultured pearl and diamond pendant and chain, £2,175; 18ct rose gold emerald cut rainbow sapphire half eternity ring, £1,435; platinum and 18ct yellow gold four claw set cushion cut ruby and diamond halo cluster ring, £3,985; 18ct white gold cushion cut tanzanite and diamond halo cluster drop earrings £3,995; 18ct white gold oval cut paraiba and round brilliant cut and diamond halo cluster pendant and chain £16,750; Katie Vander Woerd; 18ct yellow gold grain set round brilliant cut diamond hoop earrings, £1,655

KATIE VANDER WOERD OF MALLORY & SON 1-5 Bridge Street, Bath; tel: 01225 788800;

Tell us about the creative process behind your designs

Very often an individual coloured gemstone is used in the creation of a piece of jewellery, and its overall concept is designed around its colour and beauty. The finished item will always be unique with its own special qualities. Have your influences changed much throughout the years? CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Nigel Dando; IWC Aquatimer £3,350; sapphire and diamond ring £3,300; large diamond ring £23,000; Art Deco mother of pearl ring, £180


We have been designing, making and creating fine jewellery for more than 120 years. The influence on design takes its inspiration from both fashion and general trends, in particular we have seen a recent desire for more unusual colour combinations as well as the ever-popular classic diamond pieces.


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


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FIT FOR A KING For the past four decades, Los Angeles artist Henry Taylor has developed a style entirely his own. After months of dedicated work at Hauser & Wirth at home in LA and a winter residency here, Taylor has taken over all five galleries of Hauser & Wirth Somerset to present a major body of work built of sculptures and paintings. His work is highly personal – in the above image he presents himself as Henry VIII, his childhood nickname. The Hauser & Wirth gallery reopened to the public on 13 April. Visiting is by reservation only, and must be booked online in advance. For more: Hauser & Wirth, Durslade Farm, Bruton; tel: 01749 814060; I BATH LIFE I 21

The Autumn Breeze by Martin Horton forms part of the Bath Photographic Society’s spring exhibition

WHAT’S ON April & May 2021


STORIES FROM DREAM SPACE Stories from Dream Space is now live. The online exhibition from The Dream Space is a collection of stories told by local people that offer unique insight into how their lives are impacted by the pandemic, racism and the climate and ecological crisis. The project hopes to inspire social change.

Until 8 May

IN PURSUIT OF SPRING Black Swan Arts is returning with its first new exhibition in a year. In Pursuit of Spring is curated in partnership with Somerset Art Works and inspired by the poet Edward Thomas’ account of his journey between London and Somerset by bicycle, taking in Wells and Glastonbury, in the spring of 1913. Around 50 artists have created work responding to the themes in the text, and drawing on the consolation so many of us have found in the natural world during these trying times. The exhibition will be online, with works also available to buy 22 I BATH LIFE I

through the Black Swan Arts website.

Until 15 May

SPRING FORTH The Quercus Gallery in Bradford on Avon reopened with a fresh show of paintings, prints, ceramics, jewellery and textiles from their artists. The selection includes a new series of paintings by Alex McIntyre, new prints from Gillian Garnica and work from new artist Ros Johnson, an interdisciplinary artist whose mixed media works cover painting, drawing and textiles. Wed-Sat; by appointment only;

Until 31 May

BATH PHOTOGRAPHRIC SOCIETY SPRING EXHIBITION Over 30 photographers have responded to the theme ‘A Different View’ for this latest exhibition from the Bath Photographic Society. Shots explore the out of the ordinary, abstract and quirky utilising a variety of techniques from fragments to close-ups, reflections and digital adjustments. The exhibition is in

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

memory of one-time president of the Society, Paul Betts, who passed away in 2019, and features two of his works.

Until 6 June

HENRY TAYLOR The public are finally able to view American artist Henry Taylor’s newest exhibition in the gallery. Using collected objects and a mix of his inimitable paintings and sculptures, Taylor has created a holistic record of his everyday routine incorporating both his personal experiences and broader cultural references. It’s a multifaceted narrative with a wildly diverse range of subjects and sociocultural frameworks. See page 21 for more on Henry’s work. 10am-5pm; Timed slots by reservation only;

Until 30 June

KURT JACKSON: BIODIVERSITY Biodiversity refers to the variety and range of the plant and animal life found in a place, and is generally a marker for how well or poorly nature

is faring. In this series of paintings, sculptures and mixed media works, Jackson aims to celebrate the planet’s biodiversity, but also highlight where it is being lost. The works encourage the viewer to take account of even the most minute details of the world around them – and, hopefully, inspire in them new passion for conservation work. The exhibition can be viewed online now, but restrictions permitting will be open IRL from 18 May.

Until July

RUH HEROES EXHIBITION This new exhibition celebrates the incredible work of NHS staff around the country. It comprises a series of beautiful portraits, and accompanying the photographs are the written stories from the people behind the masks and uniforms. Nurses providing care around the clock, surgeons saving lives, therapists helping people back on their feet and cleaners keeping the hospital clean and safe have all contributed their stories to this remarkable exhibition.


left: Painter Ben Hughes features in the Bear Flat Arts Trail right: Find some tranquility with Still Life at Beaux Arts below: Art for the spring season on show now at Quercus Gallery


From the creators of Pub in Park and Drive and Dine Theatre, this outdoor experience for pandemic times is coming to Warleigh Lodge Farm. Enjoy film screenings and live performances along with tasty food – all from the safety of your car JOJO RABBIT The Oscar-nominated and resonant comedy about the Hitler Youth from Taika Waititi is a gloriously hopeful tale about love. 6 May; doors 6.30pm, show starts 7.30pm; ticket prices vary. MARK WATSON’S CARPOOL COMEDY CLUB The comedian and novelist known for his 24-hour gigs will bring the funny along with Angela Barnes and Zoe Lyons. 7 May; 6pm & 9pm; £36.75.

Until 31 October

OUCH! This virtual exhibition from 44AD draws on themes explored by research undertaken by the Bath Centre for Pain Research. Based at the University of Bath, the Centre is made up of an interdisciplinary team of researchers exploring how pain affects how people live – from everyday aches to long-term, chronic pain. The hope is the physical exhibition will take place from September of this year, but for now a selection of the featured works are available to view online.

25 April

THE CIRCUIT OF BATH WALK Join the sponsored walk in aid of Bath homelessness charity Julian House for it’s 20th year. The 20-mile route – which you can do as much or as little of as you like – takes you around Bath’s most beautiful countryside, surrounding villages and the historic city itself. £12 adult, £6 child, £25 family;

1–29 May

STILL Get peaceful with this series of tranquil still life paintings at Beaux Arts. The exhibition will include work by renowned Wiltshire painter Helen Simmonds, as well as drawings by Lewis Chamberlain, former winner of the Discerning Eye award, and a regular in the BP portrait exhibition. Local artists will also feature work, including South West-based Alex Callaway, Rob Pittam, Harriet Porter and Linda Felcey. 10am-5pm; Beaux Arts;

29 – 31 May

BEAR FLAT ARTISTS ART TRAIL & OPEN STUDIOS Discover the creativity of more than 20 artists at Bear Flat’s Art Trail. Includes painting, ceramics, jewellery, printmaking, photography, sculpture, woodwork, millinery, glass and more. Meet the artist, browse original artwork and buy direct from socially-distanced spaces and gardens. 11am-5pm; various locations;

Taika Waititi’s JoJo Rabbit offers a dose of hope in difficult times

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN (SING-A-LONG) Everybody’s favourite musical about a loveable band of misfits and Hugh Jackman, with full permission to belt out the lyrics. 8 May; Doors 10am, show starts 11am; ticket prices vary.

GREASE (SING-A-LONG) Warm up those vocal cords and get ready to sing along. You better shape up, you better understand – after all these months we need a good sing-a-long for our souls. 8 May; Doors 1pm, show starts 2pm; ticket prices vary. BJORN AGAIN: THE ABBA SHOW Time to perfect your in-car chair dancing skills for the ultimate ABBA experience – just the ticket to shake off the lockdown blues. 8 May; 6pm & 9pm; £36.75. THE GRUFFALO LIVE ON STAGE Join Mouse on a wander through the deep, dark woods in this magical production from Tall Stories. 9 May; 12pm & 2pm; £16.80. JURASSIC PARK Step aside Chris Pratt – we’re only here for the classics. Enjoy the original 1993 movie in all its questionable CGI glory. 9 May; doors 4pm, show starts 5pm; ticket prices vary. BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY Amidst Queen’s superstardom, Freddie Mercury struggled with ego, sexuality, and fatal illness. Rami Malik takes on the role in this extraordinary story of the lead up to Queen’s legendary Live Aid performance. 9 May; doors 7.30pm, show starts 8.30pm; ticket prices vary. For more: I BATH LIFE I 23



Culture vultures rejoice – in May (restrictions permitting) it’ll be curtain up at the Theatre Royal for a packed season of drama, comedies, thrillers, musicals and, come December, the return of the Christmas pantomime. “I am delighted to be able to announce an exceptional range of shows for our Lights Up season, as we keenly anticipate the return of audiences to the Theatre Royal Bath,” says Danny Moar, director of the theatre. “Staff are busy preparing to reopen our three auditoria once again and we are thrilled that the time has nearly arrived. “‘Lights up’ is the announcement made backstage to the acting company and production staff by stage management indicating that the play is about to begin or resume. They are two words that have been uttered literally thousands of times in the long history of our theatre, and they seem particularly apt now as, with the extended interval of our closure nearly over, we prepare to invite audience members to take to their seats once again at the Theatre Royal Bath.” Highlights are numerous, and kick off with Ralph Fiennes directing and starring in the world premiere stage adaptation of T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets; Michael Frayn’s award-winning Copenhagen; a play for the #MeToo era, Oleanna by David Mamet; The Dresser starring Julian Clary and Matthew Kelley; Patricia Hodge and Nigel Havers in Private Lives and local favourites New Old Friends with their comedy thriller, Crimes, Camera, Action – and so much more besides. After a year bereft of so much culture, we can’t wait to get back in the stalls. For more:

above: Crimes Camera Action, 26-28 August left: The Woman In Black tours to Theatre Royal Bath 5-10 July

left: The Dresser starring Julian Clary and Matthew Kelly, 9 - 18 September right: Patricia Hodge and Nigel Havers in Private Lives, 28 October - 6 November below: Ralph Fiennes rehearsing for Four Quartets, 25 May - 5 June






Richard Osman is appearing in conversation with Miles Jupp to talk about his phenomenally successful debut novel The Thursday Murder Club – which Steven Speilberg has snapped up the movie rights to. The novel details the adventures of four retirees who meet up every week to solve cold cases – until one day they get tangled up in a live investigation. 19 May, 7.30pm; Bath Forum


The Bath Festival returns next month from 17-24 May with an exciting programme of live events and, new for 2021, The Bath Festival at home, a digital broadcast for audiences to enjoy from their sofa. We’ve rounded up a few of the events we’re most excited for…



Rachel Clarke, best-selling author, health campaigner and palliative care doctor will appear with author Max Porter to talk about her unflinching memoir of a life in medicine during the Covid-19 pandemic. She will share her experiences confronting coronavirus from the inside, PPE shortages, and her feelings about the government’s response to the crisis. 22 May, 11am; Bath Forum



The TV presenter, comedian and now author will join Fran Beauman for a conversation about her debut novel, The Best Things. A story as warm and witty as its author, The Best Things is the perfect summer read about a brave heroine failing, falling and finding her way back up. 23 May, 1.30pm; Assembly Rooms

Authors Poorna Bell (Stronger) and Bryony Gordon (No Such Thing As Normal) talk their new books, their mental health journeys and the healing they have found in exercise, talking and sharing. After a year in which all of us have suffered with our mental health to some extent, it is a vital conversation. 20 May, 5.30pm; Assembly Rooms


Bryony Gordon


Poorna Bell


Following his popular 2017 memoir, How Not To Be A Boy, the comedian and writer is back with his debut novel, Come Again. Tackling grief, love and time travel, it tells the story of Kate, a woman in mourning for her husband, Luke. One day, she wakes up to find herself 18 again in her college dorm room, reliving her first day of college – the first day she met Luke. 22 May, 11am; Assembly Rooms


The comedian known for BBC Radio 4’s Tez Talks and regular turns on panel shows like Mock The Week and The Last Leg presents his new book: The Secret Diary of a British Muslim Aged 13¾. Equal parts funny and sad, Tez covers everything from achieving formative sexual experiences doing stomach crunches in the gym to growing up with a front row seat to race riots. 20 May, 8pm; Assembly Rooms





Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason shares her experience raising seven musical children in a Britain divided by race and class. Her memoir tells the story of how her children, educated at a state comprehensive in Nottingham went on to win their places on the world’s classical music stage. 22 May, 7.30pm; Bath Forum


The original skincare blogger (with over a million followers to boot) and one of the most powerful women in beauty, will share the skincare secrets she has learned from years in the industry. 21 May, 7.30pm; Assembly Rooms



This exciting new play inspired by the life of Nina Simone follows the life of a successful jazz singer as she reflects on the journey that took her from young musical prodigy to the forefront of the civil rights movement. 18 May, 7.30pm; Komedia Bath I BATH LIFE I 27


Spend a magical evening with one of the UK’s most sought-after choral groups as they perform a programme of mesmerising acappella around the theme of water – all from the glorious surrounds of the Roman Baths. 18 May, 7.30pm & 9.30pm; The Roman Baths

ADAM BUXTON The comedian and podcast host joins the festival to talk about Ramble Book: Musings on Childhood, Friendship, Family and 80s Pop. Expect rambles on parenthood, confrontations with your partner, bad parties and arguing with people on trains – with plenty of giggles along the way. 22 May, 3pm; Bath Forum

Ready to party

Get ready to celebrate the return of live music




Billy Ocean

This two-day music festival at Bath Recreation Ground will feature headliners McFly, Scouting for Girls, Gabrielle, Billy Ocean and UB40. Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Seth Lakeman, Lauren Hibberd and Josh Gray will also take the main stage along with many others in this much needed live music spectacular. 7 & 8 August; Bath Recreation Ground. For more:

Fun Lovin’ Criminals Scouting for Girls





The team behind Midford Road Nursery and Oldfield Road Nursery in Bath are bringing our play-centred ethos to Wiltshire with Neston Farm Children’s Nursery, opening spring 2021! This new 80-place nursery is situated in a beautiful barn conversion on a stunning organic farm just outside of Atworth. At all of our nurseries, we are passionate advocates for play-based learning. The children direct their own play, fostering curiosity and self-

confidence. Our skilful educators are on hand to follow their lead, extending ideas and creating moments for learning. Our incredible grounds offer us the space to embrace the natural world every day. We are surrounded by picturesque countryside and our site includes woodlands, open spaces, a play park and animal paddocks.

barn to create inspiring, beautiful spaces for the children to explore. To register your interest in a space at Neston Farm Nursery, or to request more information, contact us at For a £50 discount on your admin fee when signing up for any of our three settings, please quote BL21 when contacting us.

We have lovingly converted our indoor space, taking inspiration from the features of the former

Neston Farm Children’s Nursery, Bath Road, Atworth, Wiltshire SN12 8HP | 01225 707512 |


Guiding lights Travel is back on the reading list

“Being mindful of the planet and having a trip of a lifetime become intertwined in a single mission” 30 I BATH LIFE I


t’s fascinating to see the trends emerging in travel guide publishing over the last year. It won’t come as a surprise to hear that many seemed to rein in their output significantly as the pandemic bit. The regular update and release of city and country guides could wait, and would need to wait, with actual travel improbable throughout the vast majority of 2020. But with actual travel still riddled with uncertainty, and holidays impossible to plan with any confidence, publishers of guides are nevertheless flickering back into life; and they’re doing so with an emphasis on the visual. There’s also a distinct emphasis on sustainable travel – either grand train journeys or mostly human-powered adventures. Travel maestros Lonely Planet have been building up their Epic travel series over recent years, providing us with manageable sized coffee-table books to inspire us to undertake the great bike rides, drives, walks and runs of the world. With current events shrinking the world somewhat they’ve now zoomed in on Europe with Epic Hikes of Europe (Lonely Planet, £24.99). Fifty routes, and much of the continent, are covered providing ideas for long-distance rambles close to home as well as in warmer climes to the South and wilder terrain to the East. Anyone who enjoys seeing landscapes at walking pace is going to find something in here, whether an accomplished hiker or a more casual enthusiast. There are long challenging routes full of peaks and scrambles across Alpine Europe and the Mediterranean interior, but equally there are more sedate affairs, for example a lowland exploration of the battlefields of Belgium. And if all else proves unwise, or if quarantine and testing protocols look like they’re going to cost more than the trip itself, then there’s always Scotland’s Speyside Malt Whisky trail – a walk through forests and along riverbanks interrupted only by distillery tours, might be just the ticket. I mentioned here last year the excellent Flightless Traveller by Emma Gregg (Greenfinch, £22) – another visual guide featuring 50 trips, this time dotted all over the planet and always with an eye on minimising environmental impact. In a similar vein Lonely Planet have released Low-Carbon Europe

(£17.99), Sustainable Escapes (£14.99) and The Sustainable Travel Handbook (£12.99) in recent months. To my mind the pick of these is the more focussed and local Low-Carbon Europe, just because the variants that endeavour to cover world travel becomes less plausible for most travellers the further they stray from home, or get tied up in general advice rather than providing inspiration for actual journeys. Low-Carbon Europe is organised by trip length, offering 20 or so that are achievable in a week and more still if you have at least a fortnight for travelling. The journeying is mostly by rail, boat or sometimes on foot, or two wheels, and as you read about the routes the delicious slow pace is one of the most endearing features. Imagine a drift from the northern tip of Denmark via the Faroe Islands and on to Reykjavik, or a rail ride through the mountains and lakes of the Balkans culminating on the glistening Adriatic coast. Crucially these are enticing ideas for incredible holidays regardless of the motivation, so that being mindful of the planet and having a trip of a lifetime become intertwined in a single mission. The other thing about epic endeavours like this, is that they take some planning – which is perfect for right now when planning and dreaming about them is pretty much all we’re ready to do. If your future travel ambitions lie further afield then there are some intriguing nation-specific guides to help stoke the wanderlust. Hello Sandwich Japan by Ebony Bizys (Explore Australia, £20) is a kaleidoscopic design-led guide to Japan that looks on first glance, and even deeper inspection, like an ice cream factory explosion. Written by a Tokyo-based design blogger, this stunning book (complete with bright raspberry sprayed page edges) picks out incredible shops, cafés temples, gardens from Fukuoka to Sapporo and everywhere in between. Like the very best guides, it’s so beautiful and other-worldly at times, that it’s a complete pleasure to peruse even if actually being there remains a distant dream for now. Nic Bottomley is the general manager of Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights, 14/15 John Street, Bath; tel: 01225 331155;



Biomedical sciences student Hannah Egerton has got herself a delicious side hustle. The Bath-based aspiring paramedic supplies artistic cakes, traybakes, oatmeal scotchies, and gift boxes that can be shipped all over the UK. “I’ve always had a passion for baking and sharing food with friends,” Hannah says. “EdgieEats started off as a recipe page for my friends as I had requests for the recipes of my constant flow of baked goods in my university kitchen in first year. When lockdown 3.0 hit I found I had a lot of spare time on my hands and finally took the leap to make my dream into a reality!” For more:

Hannah’s cakes are delicious works of art Mokoko and Electric Bear are perfect partners, according to Taproom manager Will Bryant

STEPPING UP TO THE PLATE It’s time to dig out your lipstick and glad rags – knowing how dire the need is for a night out, Plate, Bathwick’s restaurant and bar at The Bird hotel is hosting a supper club in partnership with Champagne Taittinger on 8 July. Chef Leon Smith has created an exclusive menu for the night, which promises all the fun, flamboyance and friends we have missed out on for far too long. For more:

The delicious collab mixes all our favourite things: coffee, beer and chocolate

DREAM TEAM Bath-based treat stations Electric Bear Brewery and

Treat yourself with an exclusive Champagne supper at Plate


Mokoko Café have joined forces to create a craft beer that celebrates the reopening of the hospitality industry. Mokoko Chocolata is available now from the Electric Bear Taproom and is made with Brazilian Vargem Grande coffee that accentuates the rich chocolate and caramel flavours of the beer, and topped with a light dose of vanilla to bring out the sweetness, “It’s great for two hospitality businesses to come together and create something positive from the pandemic,” says Will Bryant, manager of Electric Bear Taproom. “Mokoko Café is renowned for their coffee roasting and we’re known for making craft beer – it’s a perfect partnership.” For more:

Grace and Sophie celebrate their billboard appearance; The tasty and guilt-free peanut caramel bar is in Sainsbury’s now


Bath’s hard working snackers Grace and Sophie Tyrrell AKA The Squirrel Sisters have reached another landmark: you can now pick up their tasty sugar-free snacks in Sainsbury’s on a trial basis. “We will be launching with four tasty lines, Cacao Brownie Share Bags, Cacao Orange Share Bags, Peanut Caramel Snack Bars and Peanut Raspberry Snack Bars – in select stores and online,” says Sophie. “But we need customer support to help us get Squirrel Sisters rolled out permanently after the trial ends in three months.” Help out our local sibling entrepreneurs by picking up some of the guilt-free snacks at the Green Park Station branch of Sainsbury’s. For more:

WINE TIME Do you dream of being the type of person with a well curated wine cellar? If that’s you and you have no idea where to start, wine expert and entrepreneur Alexander de Valle’s new business Bacchus Concierge is on hand. Bacchus Concierge is a new bespoke service for seasoned wine lovers and aforementioned newbies that offers tailored and flexible subscription plans to start your collection of fine and rare wines from around the world. “I wanted to share my passion and knowledge of wine with everyone – not only with those who are already enthusiasts, but those who have a growing interest and appreciation for wine collecting and want to understand a bit more about it,” says Alexander. “I’ve always been so passionate about speaking to people about wine – and to be able to offer people something a little different is really exciting. “The service was set up to cater to those who are unsure of what their wine preference is and who want to seek the best value in their wine choices. It’s all about having somewhere to start and this is where we’re here to help.” For more:

Enjoy all the tastes of France at Bar Breton

Small plates accompany delicious and thoughtfully sourced artisan drinks


Alexander de Valle is your wine guide

Bath has a brand-new French bar. From the owners of everybody’s favourite tapas place Pintxo, comes new venture Bar Breton. The menu is packed with delicious artisan ciders and beer from Northern France, luxurious French wines from small scale family productions and a selection of delicate vol-auvents and other petites assiettes (small plates) to accompany them. For more: I BATH LIFE I 33

THE TERRACE AT THE BATH PRIORY Sarah Moolla finds with great freedom, comes great al fresco dining


’m chatting to The Bath Priory’s general manager Gurval Durand about where to live in Bath – he’s moved here from Oxfordshire and is asking my opinion on various areas. We talk weather, gardens, the beauty of Bath, where he’s originally from (Brittany) – and I realise I’ve missed this so much. Small talk. Passing the time of day and sharing smiles with people you’ve just met – the little details that elevate every day exchanges from beyond the functional and into the uplifting. It’s day two of hospitality opening up in outdoor spaces, and we’re on the terrace on this overcast and chilly Tuesday lunchtime. There’s blankets, electric heaters, a marquee cover, and views out over the idyllic, landscaped lawns. We’re all beaming away as we savour and appreciate this easing into normality. All this before we’ve even seen the menu.


The executive head chef is Jauca Catalin, who joined the Priory last year from the Andrew Brownsword Hotels’ sister hotel, ABode Canterbury, and there’s a delightful touch of spring about the offerings. My dining companion (aka my husband) chastises me because I chose scallops. I always chose scallops and am unashamed about my predictability. Except these are not like any scallops I’ve ever had before. They are scallops ceviche – raw and so thinly sliced as to almost seem transparent – then marinated in lime, chilli and dressed with fine curls of spring onion and a few shreds of coriander. Their soft viscous consistency reminds me of oysters. My companion’s starter is cubes of lightly pickled, strongly favoured mackerel, with wild garlic, pickled shallots and a petite mound of grainy pearl barley risotto, adding texture. My main of pea and broad bean linguine with crème fraîche is simple and excellent – the balance of flavours


and the bite of the pasta is perfect, the pungency of the garlic is undercut by the sharp lemon and enhanced by wafts of fresh herbs, while peas and broadbeans pop with freshness. The glazed beef cheek is sold out, and in a panic my strictly carnivore companion orders the saffron chicken salad. This is unheard of, he has never ordered a salad in his life. But the dense roasted sweet potatoes, wild garlic and crisp, bitter chicory – all dressed in a delicate, fruity vinaigrette – atop hunks of torn chicken scattered with bright pink jewels of juicy pomegranate seeds prove a salad-y hit, and not a scrap is left. Puddings next, and the chocolate and avocado mousse has a weighty creamy density on the spoon but once in the mouth tastes light, airy and velvety with the earthiness of the avocado and the sweetness of the chocolate blending beautifully. The real show stopper though is the peanut ice cream. I think my companion was expecting a melted bowl of Reece’s Pieces but what arrives looks like a Feast lolly complete with wooden stick, accompanied by a little bowl of cocoa nibs – the combination is genius. On its own the lolly is nice if a little bland, but once dipped in the nibs (which we discover should not be eaten on their own – acrid pebble dash comes to mind), everything comes alive – the saltysweet peanut flavour makes itself known and the nibs transform into crumbs of bitter dark chocolate. Don’t ask me how or why it works but it does, and it’s slightly magical. We’re in no hurry to leave and stroll around the gardens, admiring the art amidst the trees, the undulating borders bursting with blooms and colour, the croquet lawn, the boules court, and there’s even a swimming pool which can be privately rented out. And as if all this wasn’t enough to lure us back, there’s the question of where the lovely Gurval chooses to call his Bath home... n

“The earthiness of the avocado and the sweetness of the chocolate blend beautifully” DINING DETAILS The Bath Priory, Weston Road, Bath, BA1 2XT, tel: 01225 331922; Opening hours 8am – 9pm Owned by Brownsword family Chef Jauca Catalin Established The Terrace is an exciting informal al fresco offering from The Bath Priory, new for spring / summer 2021 Type of food Informal, contemporary plates for breakfast, brunch, lunch and supper Covers 48

Disability access Yes, accessed around the side of the hotel building Gardens The Terrace overlooks four acres of gardens Recommendations The waiter told us her favourite thing ever was the breakfast porridge. For lunch or supper the tomato, fig and burrata salad or the pea and broad bean linguine capture the spring season perfectly Prices Starters £8-£15 Mains £15-£22 Desserts £6.50 Atmosphere Elegant, welcoming, and an English countryside oasis of calm I BATH LIFE I 35


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Exploring Bath’s global food scene


or a small city, we’re disproportionate when it comes to our international food options. Authentic dishes from all corners of the globe scatter our streets, from sleek restaurant options to delicious street food. If you wanted, you could eat a different culture’s cuisine every night of the week. Here, we select a few of our favourites…


NOYA’S KITCHEN We can’t wait until we’re allowed back inside the gorgeous Noya’s Kitchen on St James Parade (though she is keeping us going with takeaway in the meantime). Noya’s love of Vietnamese cooking began as a way to reconnect with the culture she had to leave behind as a child, and sharing that with others soon became her passion. Aromatic, colourful dishes with fresh herbs of all different varieties characterise Noya’s dishes, which offer layers of flavour and – do not fear – are spice controlled to individual tastes.


COMPTOIR + CUISINE Brought to us by four French and Italian expats united by their love of Champagne and cheese, this trendy shop and bistro on George Street offers a dose of European cool. Whether you’re after a coffee and a croissant or something more substantial, like a charcuterie


board or their baked camembert (practically legendary among those in the know), Comptoir + Cuisine offers cool Parisian vibes.


PINTXO Inspired by the tapas bars of San Sebastián, Pintxo (named for pincho, a Spanish term that describes ‘a small snack eaten in bars’), is our own little corner of Spain in Bath. Tucked away on Barton Street, the Basque-style tapas spot oozes laid back cool, whether you’re dining in the rustic wooden interior or out back in their secluded sherry garden. Dishes vary, but include things like Boquerones Aliñados (Atlantic white anchovies with parsley and garlic oil), Txistorra (ovencooked Basque sausage) and Pimientos de Padrón Fritos (fried Padrón peppers).


HONDO SUSHI One of the ultimate Japanese food experiences around, Hondo Sushi boasts an impressively extensive menu, with everything from Bento Boxes (single portion of rice or noodles with a mix of veg and/or meat dishes), to Nigiri (sushi dishes where a thinly sliced piece of fish is laid over a cluster of sweet and salty rice),Temaki (sushi rolls with seaweed filled with rice or fish), Ramen and Donburi (rice bowls) among many other dishes.



JIKONI EAST AFRICA This Green Park Station Farmer’s Market stalwart serves up dishes with origins in Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia and Tanzania. The menu features tasty street food classics like Cauliflower na Maharagwe, Somalian Xawaash spice-infused cauliflower florets with Kenyan coconut and kidney bean stew on a bed of Viazi Karai (fluffy potatoes in a crispy spice batter coating, an East African street food classic) and Sabayad Mishkaki, Kenyan style chargrilled goat with coconut and kidney bean stew with a crunchy salad atop a traditional Somalian soft and flakey Sabayad flatbread.





THE MINT ROOM The Lower Bristol Road Indian restaurant that has pretty much achieved legend status at this point. For the few yet to visit, expect fine dining and creative and classic Indian cuisine. Distinctive, adventurous and oh-soInstagram friendly, The Mint Room’s menu is full of deeply flavoured and well-balanced dishes that offer a bit of the Indian cuisine we know combined with a few innovative and contemporary twists to keep us on our toes.


SIMI’S KITCHEN In her weekly supper clubs, Simi presents meals of Persian, Azeri, Turkish, Arabic and Indian delights, made with the organic produce she has picked fresh from her Bath allotment. Her specialty is Iranian cuisine, which is traditionally highly seasonal – hence the allotment – healthy and nutrition-packed. Expect whole foods like nuts, grains and sumptuous berries, and dishes made to be shared around a big table with loved ones.

“For a small city, we’re disproportionate when it comes to our international food options”

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PEKING CHINESE This is the longest established Chinese restaurant in Bath for a reason. The family-run spot, on Kingsmead Square, has been serving dishes from Cantonese, Szechuan and Peking food traditions since 1985. On the menu you’ll find a mix of familiar favourite flavours – sweet and sour, ginger and the like – along with less familiar dishes made with lobster and crab.



DOS DEDOS This Mexican cantina on Bartlett Street serves up over 100 mezcals and tequilas along with authentic tacos and good times (also authentic). The rustic vibes of the restaurant (think peeling paint, warehouse chic and bright pops of colour) complement the taco menu of soft corn tortillas packed with everything from portobello and black bean chilli for the veggies, and pulled chilli chicken and classic carnitas (pork shoulder) for the meat lovers.


DR AL FORNO A lockdown innovator, Dr Al Forno recently joined forces with Avellinos Deli on Cleveland Place to serve up his authentic Italian eats every Thursday afternoon – and via delivery (he’s on Uber Eats and Deliveroo) or collection from his Widcombe base the rest of the week. His delicious menu includes individual focaccia starters, mains (we’re spoilt for choice here with no less than three varieties of lasagne among other dishes) and desserts (the chocolate salami is to-die-for) – all infused with authentic flavours of Italy. Follow @dr.alforno on Instagram



Enjoy a spring chicken and rhubarb, rhubarb!


en and Kay Mortimer have more than 40 years in the fruit and vegetable industry, and are the founders of The Heritage Fine Food Company, a fruit and vegetable wholesaler based in the heart of Wiltshire. Their book Cooking Through the Seasons collates delicious seasonal recipes, and here they select two of their spring time favourites.

ONE POT CHICKEN Ingredients 1.5kg whole chicken 250g mascarpone ½ small lemon, zested and juiced Small bunch of tarragon, finely chopped 3 tbsp olive oil 800g new potatoes, halved if large 1 garlic bulb, halved 200g radishes, halved if large ½ bunch of spring onions, trimmed 150ml chicken stock 200g frozen peas, defrosted 100g spring greens, shredded Method 1 Heat the oven to 180°C fan. Sit the chicken in a large roasting tin with plenty of space around it.


2 Mash 2 tbsp of the mascarpone with the lemon zest, 1 tbsp of tarragon and some seasoning. 3 Slip a knife under the chicken skin to pull it away from the meat, then spread the mixture under the skin in a thin layer. 4 Spoon another 3 tbsp mascarpone into the cavity of the chicken to melt in with the roasting juices and enrich the sauce later on. 5 Rub 2 tbsp olive oil into the skin, season well with sea salt then loosely tie the legs together with butcher’s string. Roast for 20 mins. 6 Arrange the potatoes and the garlic around the chicken, drizzle over another 1 tbsp oil and cook for another 30 mins. 7 Toss the radishes and whole spring onions into the dish, in and around the potatoes,

coating everything in the fat, then roast for 25 mins. 8 The potatoes and radishes will be golden and tender, the chicken should be cooked through. Remove the chicken from the tin, cover with foil and leave to rest. 9 Pour off or spoon away the excess oil from the tin. Stir the remaining mascarpone (about 150g) with the stock in a jug until lump-free then pour into the tin and bubble on the hob for few minutes, stirring to coat the potatoes and veg. 10 Squeeze over some lemon juice and season. Stir in the peas, spring greens and most of the remaining tarragon, and bubble for a few more minutes until bright green. Sit the chicken back in the middle of the tin to serve.

RECIPE RHUBARB MERINGUE PIE “This rhubarb meringue pie is a perfect twist on the lemony classic,” say Ken and Kay. ”If you like your rhubarb a little more sour, half the amount of sugar when stewing.” Ingredients 300g sweet shortcrust pastry Flour, for dusting Butter, for greasing 3 eggs, separated 700g rhubarb cut into 2cm chunks 260g caster sugar 1 lemon, juice and zest 5 tbsp cornflour 4 tbsp water 4x 12cm flan tins

Method 1 Preheat the oven to 190°C. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface and use to line 4 greased flan tins. 2 Prick the base of the pastry with a fork. Line the pastry with greaseproof paper, fill with baking beans and bake blind for 10 mins. 3 Remove the greaseproof paper and baking beans and brush the pastry with one of the egg yolks. Return the tins to the oven and bake for a further 15 mins until golden brown. 4 Place the rhubarb, 7 tbsp of the sugar, the lemon juice and zest in a pan. Cover and cook over a low heat until the rhubarb has softened then mash the fruit with a fork. 5 Mix the cornflour and water in a bowl to form a smooth paste. Stir into the rhubarb,

bring to a boil and stir until thick. 6 Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining two egg yolks. Use a ladle to pour the mixture into the baked pastry cases. 7 Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until they form stiff peaks. Gradually add the remaining sugar, whisking between each addition. 8 Pipe the meringue over the fruit filling and bake for about 20 mins or until the meringue is golden-brown. Order your shopping from Heritage Fine Foods, delivered for free. Bath Life readers can get 10 per cent off their first order over £25 with code BATH10 For more: I BATH LIFE I 39



Crafted from galvanised steel, the rustic Malmesbury planter offers a striking way to display your favourite plants, flowers, herbs or small trees. It features a rusted style rim adding to its vintage appearance, and comes with recycled rubber handles for easy moving. Use as a stand-alone piece on the patio or terrace, or double the impact with a pair to flank a door or entranceway. Malmesbury planter by Garden Trading, from £50, stockists Woodhouse & Law, 4 George’s Place, Bathwick Hill; I BATH LIFE I 41

HERBS, PRICES START FROM £2.25 Herbs are so easy to grow and many make great container plants, and have the bonus of being beneficial for insects and bees. From Prior Park Garden Centre, Prior Park Road, Bath;

GARDEN VARIETY Whether you have an acreage or a windowsill, you can still celebrate National Gardening Week, 26 April – 2 May, with these perfect pots

ORANGE AND LEMON TREES, £39 Grow your very own oranges and lemons with these self-pollinating small shrubs that will look amazing both inside and outside. From Bathford Nurseries & Garden Centre, Box Road, Bath; ZINC TRAY WITH 3 POTS, £24.95 These zinc trays with pots are perfect for herbs or small plants to sit on a window sill or shelf. Ideal for a kitchen, conservatory or garden space. From Homefront Interiors, 10 Margaret’s Building, Bath;

HIMALAYA TERRACOTTA PLANTER, PRICES START AT £11.99 The hand thrown, frost resistant Himalaya range, which comes in various sizes, has a distinctive Mediterranean feel and will look superb either standing alone or in clusters in your garden or patio. From Kilver Court Nursery & Wiggly Shed, Kilver Court, Kilver Street, Shepton Mallet;

AZALEAS WITH POT AND DELIVERY, £25 Azaleas produce long-lasting spring flowers which clothe the entire bush, are easy to grow and shade tolerant, making them perfect for adding instant impact and colour to drab parts of the garden. From Crescent Flower Shop, Crescent Lane, Julian Road, Bath;


SET OF 3 GALVANISED STEEL PLANTERS, £60 Display a range of fresh flowers, or a collection of herbs in this fabulous set which are completely weatherproof and without drainage holes, allowing them to be used indoors as well as out. From Brissi pop-up, 38 Milsom Street, Bath;

WALL TROUGH PLANTER BY GARDEN TRADING, £15 Perfect for smaller gardens, courtyards and balconies, wall trough planters can be potted with favourite herbs, flowers and succulents. The antique pewter finish will age over time, lending a rustic edge to the modern style. Stockists Woodhouse & Law, 4 George’s Place, Bathwick Hill;

ED’S CHOICE DAVID AUSTIN GRACE ROSE, £26.99 Lovely pure apricot flowers, darker in the middle, paler towards the edges forming perfect rosettes with reflexed outer petals and delivering a warm tea scent. From Whitehall Garden Centre, Corsham Road, Lacock;

HYACINTH BULBS IN TUB, £25 Herald in spring with the delightfully intoxicating scent of hyacinth presented in a charming, shabby-chic tub. From Pulteney Bridge Flowers, 14 Pulteney Bridge, Bath;

OSTEOSPERMUMS, PRICED BETWEEN £4 – £7 Osteospermum, also known as the Cape or African daisy, is a brilliant perennial choice for long-lasting, colourful blooms through the summer and into autumn. From Newton Farm Shop, Newton St Loe, Bath; I BATH LIFE I 43

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Agapanthus loves full sun; Group pots together for impact; Even with container gardening you can attract wildlife with plants like Echinacea; get the kids involved with their own pots to nurture and watch grow

POT LUCK Self-contained gardening makes planting easy By Neil Donovan aka The Bath Gardener





with a good-few-inches of fresh compost. Whilst we are talking compost, we urge you to join the peat-free movement too and seek out alternatives, which are now widely available across most retailers. We agree with Monty Don who called the use of peat in compost as ‘environmental vandalism’.



advocates of single-use plastic, but we are definitely champions of the reduce, re-use, and recycle mantra. If you already have plastic pots then make sure they are being used for plants that prefer staying moist. Remember terracotta is porous, which creates good air movement, meaning the soil dries out quicker.




Look to plant yellow Black-Eyed Susans in April and May for a summer display

f you are one of the estimated three million new gardeners that the lockdown helped to create this past year, then now is the time to get excited, because regardless of the size of your patch, your flora and fauna is about to start flourishing. And with gardens continuing to be our important social, switchoff and happy spaces for the foreseeable, there is still plenty to do to ensure colours, displays, growth and gorgeousness continue throughout this year and next.



look for plenty of fragrance too. Agapanthus, begonias, Eucomis, lillies, and Liatris will all add teasers for the senses, without busting the horticultural budget.



suit any size space from courtyard to larger gardens. Add bulbs to bright containers for high impact visuals, planting closer than you would in the ground and using the odd number ruling for groups of pots for a strong and striking aesthetic.



you are mixing your bulbs choose different flowering speeds, colours and heights for maximum effect. Garden centres often offer mixed bulb packs exactly for this easy win. Bulbs should be planted about twice their height depth, and right now is perfect.



as almost any type of plant can be grown in a container; another winning ‘gardening suits all’ aspect of container growing. Get the kids involved and give them a container each. This keeps the mess to minimum and saves siblings arguing over who planted what!



of its most active phase. Water is your best friend although it might take some time to establish the right routine. Watch and learn the signs, plants are very good at letting us know what they need, or don’t. Fill containers with water to the rim and watch the water drain away; and a little bit of drying out between watering isn’t necessarily a bad thing.



cutting at full height for in-house vase displays. Black-Eyed Susans come in yellow and a beautiful sunburst orange colour as well. With clematis find the variety that matches the amount of sun you can promise it daily. Echinacea, which is also one for the bees. The dahlia is back in fashion and comes in almost every colour to suit your garden’s colour scheme. Go for delphiniums (aka Larkspur) for that English country garden look. Hydrangeas can bloom either pink or blue based on the acid or alkaline levels of your soil. Geranium is a classic, perfect for any size including boxes and containers. Roses, with some homework and good luck, will flower from June through to September, giving you a whole lot of bloom for your money. The elegant and fragrant iris will bring some majesty to your borders. Zinnias can be sown directly from the seed packets into your potted soil and will be cheerful and plentiful right through from June to September. n

The Bath Gardener can help with all things garden – from regular maintenance to grand scale landscaping For more:

a problem with compost – the ideal is moist and not soaking.



compost can lose its structure over time, so both need a refresh annually or bi-annually. Remove the roots with some of the soil to the new pots with some help for drainage at the bottom, perhaps some pieces of a broken pot. I BATH LIFE I 45

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

It’s the city’s business

BATHWORKS THIS ISSUE >>THEATRE ROYAL FUNDING BOOST (48)>>BATH LIFE BUSINESS CLUB (49) >>BIZ Q&A WITH MILES JOHNSON (51) The Urban Garden Centre is a social enterprise supporting people struggling with mental health back into work

Plants are provided by B&NES

Helen Silver, Carey Skelton and Matt Smail are thrilled to welcome customers in after a year-long delay

Room to grow


ath has a brand-new garden centre. Following a year-long delay, The Urban Garden finally threw open its doors on 2 April to welcome the public in. As well as selling quality plants and garden products, the project is a social enterprise that is supporting people dealing with mental health issues back into work with free City & Guilds training programmes. “For people who struggle with depression or low motivation, gardening activities can energise them and bring a new sense of purpose. I am


delighted that six people have already achieved their Level 1 Award and I’m looking forward to welcoming more,” says The Urban Garden’s manager Matt Smail, who has been helping unemployed young people back into work since 2015, when he launched Grow Yourself CIC, which also offers work placements and training. “For someone who’s been out of work for a while, it can be hard for them to find structure and purpose in their lives. At The Urban Garden we give people horticulture skills and employability skills to help them get back into work – such as

getting back into a routine, customer care and how to write a good CV.” The Urban Garden is working in collaboration with Bath charity Grow for Life, which provides therapeutic gardening sessions for people affected by mental health problems, and B&NES Council, who have provided the site for the garden centre and is supplying the plants. You can find The Urban Garden at the heart of Victoria Park, on the corner of Marlborough Buildings. 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


RADIO SIGNALS Bath has a new radio show dedicated to the arts. Hosted by Bath Spa University friends Nigel Fryatt and Niklas Aarre, the weekly slot on volunteer-run Radio Bath will feature interviews with local creatives as well as a ‘What’s On and What’s Happening’ section. The show came to be mostly by accident when Nigel was asked to step in to cover for another show host. Niklas explains: “Nigel was covering a show that was on a Sunday morning. We toyed with the idea that Radio Bath needs to have an art show, as it’s so important. So Nigel asked me if I wanted to come on the show and trial it. We did a show based on the theatre director and actor relationship. It had a good response and good feedback, so we were offered that slot, essentially for the foreseeable future.” Niklas is part of the university’s EMERGE studio residency programme for arts graduates, and plans to use The Art Show to provide a platform to fellow residents to promote their work. Further to that, the pair hope to partner with regional arts organisations in the future to champion the South West’s wider creative community. The Arts Show airs every Sunday from 10am to 12pm on Radio Bath. For more:

Nigel (ABOVE) and Nik (BELOW) talk all things art in their new weekly show on Radio Bath

89 per cent of eligible businesses voted to pool their resources to support the BID’s work

FUNDING BOOST Theatre Royal Bath has been awarded £476,127 from the Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) – one of more than 2,700 organisations around the country to benefit from the government initiative. “We are delighted to receive this news, especially as final preparations are being made for our 2021 Season, which will soon reopen the Theatre Royal Bath after the current national lockdown,” says Danny Moar, director of the Theatre Royal. “We reopened last autumn when restrictions allowed and received wonderful support from our audiences. This funding will now help us to reopen our doors in 2021. We know theatregoers are keen to return and we can’t wait to welcome them back to the Theatre Royal Bath in May and beyond.” The Theatre Royal Bath’s 2021 season will launch with T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets, directed by and starring Ralph Fiennes from 25 May until 5 June. For more: 48 I BATH LIFE I

BID CEO Allison can’t wait to get started on the new Business Plan


Touring musical SIX is coming to town for the 2021 season

The Bath Business Improvement District (Bath BID) is launching its third five-year term. Following a successful ballot result in February in which 89 per cent of eligible businesses voted to pool their resources to support the BID’s work, they will now seek to deliver the goals set out in the new Business Plan: creating a Welcoming City, a Smart City, a Connected City and a Successful City. “We are delighted to be moving into our third five-year term, having had such a positive mandate from the businesses of Bath,” says Allison Herbert, the BID’s CEO. “We are particularly pleased that despite the difficult circumstances, businesses have placed their trust in the BID to help secure a bright future for Bath.” For more:

Watch the Bath Life Business Club New Business Special again on YouTube


NOTHING VENTURED... The Bath Life Business Club New Business Special saw a wide range of Bath’s entrepreneurs discuss the challenges and rewards of launching a new venture during the pandemic. Simon Hall of Hotel Indigo, Anna Sabine of Cassia, Vicki Smith of House of Frankenstein, Simon Rollings of Canned Wine Co, Sammy Burt of Backpack, Tim Hegarty of and Mark Wynne and Fabrizia Costa of your playbook joined Greg Ingham via Zoom to dicuss their experiences of navigating the notoriously difficult first year of business in unprecedented times. Represented were a mix of new businesses who launched immediately pre-pandemic, and those born in direct response to it. A useful resource for new businesses, topics discussed ranged from motivation to funding and the importance of authenticity. The talk is available to watch again via Bath Life’s YouTube channel. For more: Search for Bath Life at

Freya Anderson is one of 18 Team Bath swimmers to compete for a place in the delayed 2020 Olympics

Anna is retiring from Theatre Royal Bath after 38 years


Theatre Royal Bath marketing manager – and muchloved Bath Life columnist – Anna O’Callaghan retired on 16 April after more than 38 years at the Theatre. “It has been a huge privilege to work at this beautiful historic building in glorious Bath, doing my perfect job for so many years,” says Anna. “There is no feeling so exhilarating as looking out at a packed auditorium as the lights dim and the audience goes quiet with anticipation; to be surrounded by a house so rapt you can’t even hear a pin drop or engulfed in an explosion of rapturous applause and to know that your efforts may have played some part in encouraging those people to make the decision to be there. “I have been able to see a huge range of shows, more than 1,500, often starring the UK’s finest actors, and I have been fortunate to work alongside wonderful colleagues. They are behind the scenes – in the offices, the box office, front-of-house and backstage – but this is an amazing team effort, dedicated to making an excellent experience for all.” For more:


ALL GOING SWIMMINGLY University of Bath swimmer Freya Anderson is excited to finally be on the path to competing for Tokyo Olympic qualification at the British Swimming Selection Trials. The World, European and Commonwealth medallist is one of 18 swimmers from the Team Bath Sports Training Village to compete, with a place in Team GB at this summer’s rearranged 2020 Olympic Games the ultimate prize. “I’m really excited to see what I and

the rest of my training group can do at trials,” says Freya, who will compete in the 100m and 200m freestyle. “There is always a bit of added pressure – it’s Olympic trials! – but you can’t think of it like that. I have to go there and just race. I really enjoy racing and haven’t had many opportunities to do so in the past year, so it will be good to get there and race again.” For more:

Bath Building Society had a great 2020. The Society’s assets rose to £353.4m, an increase of 6.5 per cent on the previous year. Profit on ordinary activities before tax was £2.3m, which delivered a 4.7 per cent increase in its reserves to £40.3m. “Despite the disruption caused by Covid-19, the Society has delivered record levels of lending and mortgage book growth,” says Kevin Gray, chief executive. “Our savings balances are also at a record level and our balance sheet remains one of the strongest in the sector. Our strategy will remain focused on improving the lives of our growing membership through promoting saving as a means of achieving financial security and by facilitating home ownership.” For more: I BATH LIFE I 49

BATHWORKS “IT HAS TO BE A FUN EXPERIENCE – MORE THAN JUST PIZZA!” What have been some of the challenges involved in opening up a business during the pandemic? The biggest challenge has been the uncertainty of when and how we can open. We had a full team to recruit, which is difficult when the start date changes constantly – but as it stands we’re now all ready to go.

Miles Johnson is bringing Bristol’s top pizzeria to Bath


Miles Johnson Miles, director and owner of Bosco Pizzeria shares his experience of launching a new venture in a pandemic What was it that inspired you to start up your own business? My wife and I decided to get married in Italy and during the build up to the wedding we spent a lot of time at the venue trying endless Italian dishes. It was an amazing experience with the most amazing food, which ultimately inspired us to build Bosco into what it is today. At Bosco you declare it’s ‘more than just pizza’. What does that mean? Everything – the menu is made up of a variety of classic regional Italian dishes but it also refers to the atmosphere and the service. It’s has to be a fun experience – more than just pizza! What makes your pizza excellent? We spend a lot of time working on our

dough and how we manage it along with the ingredients we use. All of our produce is brought over from Italy, which ultimately costs more but in terms a flavour it can’t be beaten. It’s Neapolitan style, which is light and airy with a very slightly charred crust.

Tell us about the restaurant itself We completely stripped the restaurant back to it shell and started with a blank canvas. The previous aluminium doors have all been replaced with critall style glazed doors that open up onto the courtyard, and we’ve added a small extension to the upstairs terrace which has allowed us to completely open up the space. The restaurant has a fairly classic look with a bit of a New York vibe thrown in. Ultimately, we look to create a space that is full of atmosphere and always buzzing. You have two pizzerias in Bristol already. Why expand to Bath? We’ve been looking in Bath for some time as we’re only down the road in Bristol and we felt like there was a real opportunity for Bosco if we found the right spot. Bath has got a great feel to it that felt like the ideal fit for Bosco. For more: Bosco Pizzeria opens 21 June at 1 Milsom Place;

Bosco Pizzeria will open its doors in Milsom Place in June

What are some of the advantages of a wood-fired pizza oven? We run the ovens at around 400 degrees so the cook time is very quick. We also use a wood oven for some of our other dishes such as whole grilled sea bass and our Bistecca Fiorentina (Italian style steak), which takes on a wonderful flavour from the wood. What was your experience of pivoting to takeaway only? It wasn’t a huge challenge for us, fortunately, as we do take away during normal trading. I BATH LIFE I 51





Sponsors gain close association with the most prestigious event in Bath

Make 2021 a winning year!

If you’re in the area and have had a strong performance in any one of our categories, then enter your business for the chance to win


“By getting involved with the Bath Life Awards over recent years, we’ve enjoyed great profiling within our target sector and it’s enabled us to not only project our business more strategically into the area but has also led to numerous networking opportunities that have borne fruit.” Matthew Weaver Tile & Flooring

Get your entry in by May 13 Look lively! You can still win a prestigious Bath Life Award – but you’ll need to get your nomination in before the cut-off on May 13


nyone can enter: it’s free via the Awards website. Winners gain marketing benefits, a magnificent trophy and the joy of being endorsed via Bath’s biggest business ceremony. “Write your nomination, share your story and then you, your team and your business might be a finalist or even winner at the Bath Life Awards,” says Annie Miekus, events & brand manager at MediaClash. “There are massive benefits in being associated with the Awards – but please don’t leave it until too late.” “The Awards celebrate all aspects of Bath – from all areas of business to culture, arts and charity. Everyone plays their part on shaping this city: from the smallest of indies to the largest of corporates. And uniquely, they all come together in the Awards.” Winners receive coverage in Bath Life, a hand-crafted SPONSORSHIPS For remaining options, please contact annie.kelly@ or NOMINATIONS Open via website

trophy and window stickers to proudly display – plus the long-lasting remembrance of an awardwinning moment. There’s also the special invitation to watch the Bath Life Awards Grand Reveal Day, Wednesday 19 May via Zoom starting from 12pm. It’s free to attend, registration is on the Awards Twitter and website. It provides an unmissable opportunity to join dozens of businesses and companies from across the Bath business community as we find out the 2021 Finalists – as well as to hear all the latest updates on the Awards. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact Annie Kelly annie.kelly@ or Pat White pat.white@ For more: @BathLifeAwards

TICKETS 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 in the Bath Assembly Rooms on 9 September 2021. Nothing beats being there… SOCIAL MEDIA Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter for all updates. I BATH LIFE I 53


Get to the point Reflection on the singular joy of being vaccinated…


n an unseasonably warm day in an unfeasibly cheerful mood, I went to the Bath Pavilion to be punctured by the state. Needle-jabbed for the greater good. And mine, obviously. It was at once both pleasantly pedestrian as well as profound. Here was a due process – smiling, helpful, dutiful volunteers talking me through the quotidian details of where to go (few steps) and what to do (virtually nothing, tbh), all in the context of an extraordinarily important, life-changing, atmosphere-shifting, humbling initiative by the NHS. It’s impossible to overstate how significant the vaccine campaign is, nor how successful it has been: so I won’t. How some can reject the injection is beyond me. For sure, we should be tolerant of all opinions. And respectful of others at all times. Of course. Natural decency. But with all due respect

(warning: the next part may lack that due respect), this is barking. For clearly it’s not all about each person – however much all about this particular person it felt to me when the needle went in. This is not about personal freedom or even decision. The agency of free will roams, as John Locke said, “within the bounds of the law of nature.” We all accept that the primacy of the individual is frequently sublimated to the needs of the whole, from the utterly ordinary observing of traffic lights through to, dunno, the acceptance of the social code of wearing clothes in public. Or using common communication tools: words really don’t mean what the speaker wants them to mean. In short, we don’t insist on our right to do or not do myriad minor matters. So why do so on the single most important issue of the day which potentially affects everyone directly and millions more indirectly, if vaccination isn’t absolutely standard? Back to the Pavilion. It felt like the very best of honours. Strictly

“How some can reject the injection is beyond me”

personal (intimate even, having your arm punctured) yet wholly generic. No hierarchy other than age and for some, medical condition. So I was trying hard not to beam, which might have been weird, while climbing the steps of the Pavilion’s subgrandeur. It was probably akin to what many felt at the London Olympics, where the unfussy practicality of the volunteers said so much about civic-mindedness and decency. Communality ruled. It felt more like voting but less private and infinitely more important. Similar dutiful impulses from the volunteers. I asked if I could take photos to record that time, this moment – much is performative these days – and was told no. Fair enough. “Oh go on then. But no faces.” And fair enough again. They were no exhibits in a montage: they were professional workers. I queued on a floor-marked spot for all of seven, maybe eight seconds, then to enter a barelycurtained booth, featuring an evidently-retired GP, being gently brought up to date by his colleague to increase subsequent capacity. I loved the quiet sincerity of it all, being talked through what would happen and the potential side effects. I less liked the needle, tbh. Reader, I looked away. Yes, I know. But I did. It was done. Such enormity, such ease, such speed. From entering at the

front to leaving at the side took barely five minutes. Multiply that experience by many millions, watch the confidence start rising and you can all but feel the world shifting back onto a more familiar axis. I’d never liked the Pavilion more. Side effects I had none. Well, other than my left arm being a bit dull; though I’ve never found it that interesting, tbh. Any wild screaming ad-dabs through the night? I was willing to have them, if only to bless the moment with singularity (and to enable ad-dabs to make its Bath Life debut. Unprecedented times call for unprecedented language.). But no. Fantastically uneventful. And that made me smile even more. #BathTogether – always…

Greg Ingham was a journalist back in the day and runs MediaClash jointly with Jane Ingham. He also chairs Creative Bath, and can be found Instagram and Twitter: @gregingh I BATH LIFE I 55




6 bedrooms | 3 reception | 2 bathrooms | large garden

4 bedrooms | 2 reception | 2 bathrooms | views over Bath




Walled garden | 4 bedrooms | 2 reception rooms | 2 bathrooms | 1 bedroom annexe


4 bedrooms | 2 reception rooms | 2 bathrooms | Annexe | Grounds approaching 2 acres

Matthew Leonard Director

Lucy McIlroy Director

Denise Latham Lettings Manager


Rental Somerset Lane has a rent of £9,000 pcm


A luxe city centre let As lets go, this is in a league of its own – true rental royalty. 19 Somerset Lane is bright, contemporary, laterally spacious, with all the benefits of a modern home. The handsome five-bed, four-bathroom, detached property, which comes unfurnished and is £9,000pcm, has been built into the valley hill, benefiting from private views over protected woodland to the rear and striking skyline views of the city from the south facing frontal. It is a rarity in a slap-bang central location to find such a substantially spaced property with nearly an acre of its own landscaped gardens. The home itself, which has an internal lift serving all floors, has been meticulously designed and constructed

blending old materials with new to provide usable space, natural light and flexible, modern day living areas. Arranged over three floors, the main living areas including the bespoke kitchen and three of the mid floor bedrooms, all have direct access to the gorgeous gardens, plus there’s that city centre rarity – generous private parking. For more:



A flat in one of Bath’s most scenic streets has come up for let. The top floor apartment in Connaught Mansions, Great Pulteney Street, is a wonderfully light and spacious two-bed with three large sash windows looking towards Laura Place and over Great Pulteney Street. At over 1,000 feet long and 100 feet wide, Great Pulteney Street is the widest, grandest thoroughfare in Bath, and is flanked on either side by stunning Georgian properties, and has acted as the location for many films and TV dramas including Vanity Fair and Persuasion. For more:

A rental with Oscarwinning potential


Work is currently being carried out to install a new state-of-the-art, LED lighting system in Bath Abbey. The new environmentally-friendly LED system of more than 170 light sources is designed to highlight and enhance the Abbey’s beautiful interior, and will replace the electric downlighters which were installed in the 1990s. The new improved lighting will be much more energy efficient, reducing the Abbey’s carbon footprint as well as bringing massive savings. Following the completion of the floor repairs and installation of the underfloor heating as part of the Footprint project, the Abbey is now carrying out further improvements to preserve the inside of this historic church building while updating and opening it up in new ways for all. In addition to installing new data and sound systems in order to improve accessibility – both within the Abbey and for virtual events – a new LED lighting system was set up and trialled throughout February. Designed by Michael Grubb Studio in partnership with Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, the new lighting system will replace the existing ones with softer, whiter lights, which will showcase the Abbey’s honey-coloured stonework and magnificent fan vaulted ceiling more effectively. An exciting new feature will also give the option of having different coloured light on the ceiling, allowing the Abbey to adapt its lighting to suit the occasion and for special services and events. It will retain all 15 of its original Victorian chandeliers, designed by Francis Skidmore in 1870, which already incorporate LED lights having been restored and adapted back in 2013. The Revd Canon Guy Bridgewater, Rector of Bath Abbey, says, “We are delighted that the lighting trials are going really well and we’re on track to replace our current lighting with a modern, energy-saving LED system. It will really enhance the overall appearance of the Abbey and bring out the best of the architecture while reducing energy consumption.” For more:


Bath Abbey is going green with new LED lighting


Footprint project



9 MILES BUILDINGS Matilda Walton discovers the joys of a salt-and-pepper palette Photos by Pete Helme I BATH LIFE I 61


n exceptional property by famed Bath architect John Wood the Elder built somewhere in the region of 1760-1770, number 9 Miles Buildings is an outstanding example of Georgian architecture. A sophisticated and contemporary interior takes it to the next level, with a monochromatic blackand-white aesthetic that exudes effortless chic. Distinct from the other properties on the street as a result of its additional attic storey, every one of the five floors has been recently renovated and exquisitely refurbished by internationally renowned interior designer, Julia Dempster, who has injected contemporary edge into the property with respect to its Georgian roots. Julia’s designs offer a masterclass to a potential buyer about the sharpening and grounding possibilities of strong black accented interiors. The high contrast of the deep black wrought iron fireplaces and crisp white-panelled walls makes the perfect backdrop for the display of an art collection, for example – whether you’re curating a gallery wall or looking to display statement pieces as Julia has chosen to do. You could spend many happy hours in the bright and airy kitchen/dining room. With bespoke Intone Design units, striking round wooden breakfast bar, sought-




after Rangemaster cooker and built-in white Carrara worktops, it is the triple bay window with views across the garden that makes the space a perfect spot for the dining table. It can serve as either a peaceful breakfast nook or dinner party station where you and your guests can watch the sun slowly sink beneath the Bath skyline. Walking these rooms, most striking is the floor-toceiling attention to detail. What is beneath your feet is as important as everything else, whether it’s a statement look like the ombre grey tiles in one of the bathrooms, the dramatic staircase – an especially stunning element in a home packed with stunning elements – or the neat herringbone look in the wooden kitchen floor and fine detailed carpets. Every piece of the design creates an atmosphere of considered glamour. The five bedrooms offer a range of options – currently one serves as a home gym while another is a gorgeous dressing room, a must have for any fashion addict out there, especially as we make our grand re-entry into the social world over the coming months. Consider for a moment the symbolism of a monochromatic abode – to work it must achieve a perfect balance of both elements. Is there a better feeling to have at home than that? I don’t think so. A highly desirable address that avoids some of the milling tourists of the Circus and the Crescent, 9 Miles Buildings is a sophisticated yet inviting saltand-pepper dream.


HOUSE NUMBERS Price Square footage

£1.75m 3,167





Reception rooms




Knight Frank, 4 Wood Street, Queen Square, Bath; tel: 01225 325992; I BATH LIFE I 65

LOVE OUTDOOR LIVING WITH THE MX-3 AWNING Make the most of outdoor living this summer by investing in the MX-3 awning for your home. With an innovative smooth design and excellent technical performance, the MX-3 awning provides superb UV protection to let you enjoy the sunny weather in style. We offer a complete design to installation experience, including measuring and fitting services. Contact us to learn more.

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The shape of things to come is softer and rounder


urves are the new angles. Is that a thing? Well yes – we’re seeing an interiors trend that’s not going away any time soon, and for someone with a toddler still very uneasy on his feet, it’s a little bit amazing. Organic shapes are taking over, whether that’s sculptural furniture or curvy vases, clean lines are yesterday’s news and a beautiful curve has taken its place. I’ve been pining for a cloud sofa ever since The Francis Gallery opened its doors with the Fred Rigby collaboration couch

taking pride of place. Sculptural, sleek – a piece of art rather than just a piece of furniture and as squishy as a cloud. Suddenly the two worlds of comfort and design have collided. Pairing a sofa piece like that with a kidney coffee design would be, potentially, a beautifully child-safe zone (bar the light coloured fabrics that make peanut butter hands a no go). The new bubbly, soft, curved lines of this trend make me feel giddy. They’re minimalist in looks yet maximum on visual impact, and a curved boucle on just about any piece of furniture has become one of the most widely pinned and posted trends in the past year, which means I’m not the only one who gets this feeling. It got me thinking, can shapes

“Circles are often connected socially to very organic components of our life”

Cloud Sofa from the Francis x Fred Rigby furniture collection, £6,000,

make an impact on how you feel in your home or even out in public? Organic fabrics, soft curves – a natural cosiness and feeling of safety, does that potentially make your sofa more akin to deep conversation with a friend? Round shapes feel inviting. They ooze a serenity that you can’t explain. Shapes are something we often overlook but they have the most recognisable boundaries. Whether they’re open, closed, angular, curved, free-form or strict – they often give you a representation of a feeling. Circles are often connected socially to very organic components of our life, the sun or moon, they’re closed shapes but with a very open meaning. They’re graceful, infinite, and with that, very powerful. The curved lines that we’re seeing so much of now don’t seem like such a coincidence to me. At a time where everything has felt very uncertain, the fact that designers have turned to natural shapes that suggest protection, safety as well as community and integrity is poignant.

Circles and curves used to be a lot more uncommon in design work because straight lines are easier to decipher and work with, especially in interiors. Straight design is easier to work with, but curves are now the main talk to attract attention and evoke something very new, giving you much more appreciation for their personal effect on you. With so many straight lines in the architectural world we live in, it’s surely fun to break out once in a while and now is the time, the perfect trend to complement Georgian architecture, especially if you’re lucky enough to have a home in Bath with some archways to capitalise on and accentuate with a Fred Rigby Studio piece. The first on my list is a Pebble table – a much safer and wipeable option for those pesky and often mucky fingers... Philippa May is an interiors enthusiast and is director of her branding and marketing company Mayd Studio. Find more Philippa style on Instagram @_philippamay_ I BATH LIFE I 71

PAINT JOB Want to know your eggshell from your emulsion? The professionals are here to help… By John Mather

Mylands paint as seen here is a great favourite of The Rose Garden



“Using more than one shade of paint within a room is a great way of letting your eye feel as though it has moved from light to dark” I BATH LIFE I 73



ver the last 12 months or so who hasn’t considered interior painting – whether it be redecorating a whole room or touching up an old pine table. For some, it was project success, but for most of us it was a case of paint bought but mission aborted. So here we turn to the specialists to help us pluck up the courage to splash the matt by advising us on where to start for the right finish...


“Choices of finishes and sheens, like colours themselves, often come down to personal preference,” says Nikki Parker, managing director of The Rose Garden, the family run interiors showroom specialising in premium paints, wallpapers and fabrics. “There is a plethora of options, but generally speaking, emulsion finishes offer matt or super matt finishes like Paint & Paper Library’s Architects Matt emulsion, Farrow & Ball’s Modern Emulsion along with Little Greene’s Intelligent Emulsion – they all have a matt finish but with a higher level of sheen to the primary version. “This makes the finish washable instead of just wipeable which is useful for kitchens, bathrooms, and hallways. Sheen levels do vary with brands, most woodwork options nowadays are water-based eggshells rather than gloss, which has become much more preferable in terms of its mid sheen finish versus the higher gloss options. Luxury paint brand Mylands offer an amazing matt wood and metal finish, which gives the same level of hardness as a gloss or eggshell will but has only an 8 per cent sheen level compared to 20-40 per cent. “Most brands will offer oil-based variants, but these are becoming less popular in terms of trends and tastes and, from a green perspective, people are generally happier to use water-based products with less environmental impact.”


Brushes – again, have a variety, including ones with angled and tapered bristles that can get into small or awkward areas (and make light work of fine details, such as around plug sockets). A big dusting brush is also useful for removing stray bristles, fluff and dirt. A clean, damp cloth – always have one close by to mop up drips and spills before they dry.”



Dani Taylor, product and creative director for Cox & Cox, the Fromebased home style specialists who have their own range of premium paint, says, “I always use a brush for a smoother finish and minimal mess, I love easy clean brushes, the bristles are really smooth and really are easier to clean than traditional brushes. “Never shake a previously opened tin – the dried bits from the lid fall into your paint making it lumpy. Always stir your paint to make sure it is well mixed – the different colours can separate out into different levels which can mean your final coat can look slightly different to your first – I keep all my old wooden spoons to do the job. “Always wipe the rim of your paint pail before you put the lid on – we have used an easy to transport and easy to open industrial style tin with a metal latch – a bit like a kilner jar. Keeping the smooth rim clean with a quick wipe makes it easy to open again and again, unlike the old-fashioned tin, which warps every time you prise it open. “Masking with Frogtape is my new favourite obsession: my top tips are do two coats and always pull the tape off whilst the paint is wet; and use a spirit level – there is nothing worse than an unintentionally wonky line. The satisfaction of pulling off masking tape to see your perfectly crisp line is wonderful, and you can always touch up any drips or blobs with a slim artist’s paintbrush once everything has dried.”

“Professional decorators spend longer on prep than on painting itself ”


“Professional decorators spend longer on prep than on painting itself, and it shows in the finished result,” says Amber Greenman, home designer at Neptune Bath, the furniture shop and kitchen showroom who stock their own 28 timeless Neptune paint shades. “Paint won’t adhere properly to surfaces that are damp, dusty or oily, so do a thorough check on your room before you start work, moving furniture away from the walls and dealing with any trouble spots. This could mean sanding flaky areas, sealing any damp patches or simply a good vacuuming and washing down so no dirt gets into your new paint, followed by a light sanding and priming, which helps prevent dragging and blistered paint and means the top coat adheres evenly.” Amber also points out even how you store your paint can have an effect on your finished result. “Keep it in a cool (not cold) place and make sure all the tins you’re using are at room temperature before you begin. Paint that’s too cold is thicker and therefore harder to apply, and will cover a smaller area. Also, because the pigment’s denser, it can look darker. On the other hand, paint that’s too warm can lose opacity or blister.”


“It’s essential to have all the right kit at hand – and you might need more than you think,” advises Neptune’s Amber. “As well as the obvious – thick canvas dust sheets, a roller extender for ceilings and a reliable step ladder, for instance – gather the following: Foam and sheepskin rollers – good-quality sheepskin rollers that don’t shed give the best finish on walls. Have small and large ones, so you can paint both fiddly areas and large expanses easily. Foam rollers are better for a smooth finish on larger areas of woodwork, such as window ledges.



Scandi-pastel shades from the Frome-based Cox & Cox


The Marmalade House’s Vanessa Sayce recommends the Annie Sloan Chalk Paints range for effortless furniture painting I BATH LIFE I 75


While all the experts agree it’s a case of colouring in your home with whatever makes your heart sing, pink is definitely topping the colour charts right now. The Bath and London-based interior designer Clair Strong notes, “On the interiors of Instagram, which reflects key trends, I have seen lots of soft blush pink in bedrooms and retro ’70s colours like soft terracotta and mustard being used in modern ways. I see these as the key paint colours to watch out for in 2021. These shades work well with the natural materials like rattan, bamboo and wicker we are seeing everywhere to create a fresh natural look.” The Rose Garden’s Nikki Parker agrees. She says, “The paler blush pinks have had a real resurgence with the staples like Farrow & Ball’s Setting Plaster and Calamine, alongside deeper shades like Little Greene’s Hellebore and Blush.”


Once your confidence builds, there are many creative designs you could consider, as Clair Strong explains, “Mixing wallpaper and paint is a great way to create contrast and interest in a room. I like to paper one wall in a really gorgeous expensive designer wallpaper and paint the rest of the room in its background colour, so it blends in perfectly. Colour isn’t just for walls. A fun way of introducing colour is to paint your woodwork. Think pink skirting boards and doors in an otherwise neutral room or a bright yellow ceiling in a white space.” Cox & Cox’s Dani Taylor is also a fan of the two-tone look: “We love a contrast woodwork and something in a dark shade for a dramatic look, such as white walls and charcoal grey doors and woodwork, or a soft blush pink on the walls with a slate skirting. A two-tone wall, with the two matched colours all the way round can look incredible. I usually go just below the light switch – it’s more contemporary than a feature wall and adds interest. My current favourite combination is Buckram, which is a very soft pale grey, on the top and using Purling Stream, a bluer grey, below.”

Cox & Cox’s Dani Taylor is a big fan of the two-tone look as seen here on the walls with Purling Stream, below, and Smock, above

Using various shades can create a myriad of effects as Vanessa Sayce, founder of the furniture painting specialists Marmalade House, explains, “Using more than one shade of paint within a room, or downstairs space is a great way of letting your eye feel as though it has moved from light to dark, day to night, but still keeping the same overall sense of balance. With our work in furniture painting, we often lighten or darken single colours to bring in contrast to a single piece, creating the illusion of light and shade.”


This design by Clair Strong demonstrates the vibrant effects of playing with paint


“Painting furniture is an art form in itself and a rewarding passion that allows you to totally transform an old or dated piece of furniture into something more contemporary, joyous and long-lasting,” enthuses Marmalade House’s Vanessa. “Furniture that is sentimental, has great functionality, that you can’t get anything for second hand, is often crying out for a paint treatment, and whilst it is possible to simply add one colour, seal it and be done, the sort of painting we do is much more creative and expressive. “We specialise in French and Gustavian finishes that use two contrasting colours – an overlay and an underlay, and gently distress them down to reveal what’s underneath. We use blending waxes to age the piece and add contrast, so that carved features and contours come to life. “Furniture painting done professionally can facilitate an amazing transformation, and give years more life to old pieces. Our favourite paint to use is Annie Sloan Chalk Paint – the higher end of all furniture paints out there and the pioneering brand to embrace. Soft and chalky as it sounds, it enables you to work with the paint and furniture as you would a canvas – working, re-working and letting the colours develop as you go.” Another recommendation for chalky paints for gorgeous upcycling from The Rose Garden’s Nikki, is Cornish Milk Mineral paint: “When it comes to painting furniture the industry has come on leaps and bounds and the popularity of chalk paints has meant that more and


The Rose Garden stocks premium paints like Mylands seen here; Neptune’s Amber Greenman advises a great finish starts with good prep; Pinks are a growing trend like this Little Greene Confetti

“The paler blush pinks have had a real resurgence”

INTERIORS more of us are daring to turn our hands to upcycling or re-styling pieces. One of our favourites is Cornish Milk Mineral Paint who launched in January 2020. They offer a truly unique formulation by being self levelling, having minimal prep work, self-sealing and really easy to apply. It comes in a beautiful range of Cornish colours like Sea Glass, Cornish Pottery, and Blue Lobster.”


Along with furniture, you can look for smaller jobs to add fresh looks to your home. Cox & Cox’s Dani suggests, “Stencilling and murals are simple and cost-effective ways to enhance a space. Use paint to transform a child’s bedroom with a simple mountain scene or abstract rainbow, or create a home office zone by painting a section of a room or under the stairs nook. “You can use up testers by framing a piece of furniture such as a shelf or over a dresser by masking off an area – paint the shelf the same colour and curate your favourite collection of things.”


The exterior of our homes can benefit enormously from a fresh lick of paint as Patrick O’Donnell, the brand ambassador for Farrow & Ball, the designer paint specialists founded in Dorset in 1946, explains, “Dark colours work well outside for structures such as wooden fences, giving the perfect backdrop for foliage, think Green Smoke or Railings For structures such as a shed, choose a soft green such as French Gray which will help the structure ‘disappear’. “For render and stucco, take a cue from your neighbours, you don’t want to stand out too much in the street with a controversial shade, but soft whites always look elegant, you can make more of a statement with the exterior woodwork, from elegant blues such as Oval Room Blue to our blackest green Studio Green. Just remember to sample the colours outside as they will be paler than when viewing them indoors.” n

Stencilling and motifs, like this Annie Sloan design, can help refresh a room







YOU’VE BEEN READING… 1. Clair Strong Interior Design, Unit 1, Old Orchard, 88a Walcot Street, Bath; 2. Dani Taylor, product and creative director Cox & Cox, Marshall Way, Frome; 3. Amber Greenman, home designer at Neptune Bath, One Tram Yard, Walcot Street, Bath; 4. Vanessa Sayce, owner of The Marmalade House, Roundhill Farmhouse, Kelston, Bath; 5. Nikki Parker, managing director, The Rose Garden, 41 Vallis Way, Badcox, Frome;

Farrow & Ball’s Patrick O’Donnell advises the use of dark colours on outdoor structures to help them ‘disappear’


6. Patrick O’Donnell, brand ambassador for Farrow & Ball, 124-126 Walcot Street, Bath;

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“We chose a goodnatured pig that wouldn’t suffer from stage fright” Off Shakespeare performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I never looked back after that. © AMELIE B PHOTOGR APHY

My career high points have included winning my first award

(Herald Angel Award) for Richard III. Being nominated for a Royal Television Society Award for the film The Mandrake Root, even though I didn’t win it.

MALACHI BOGDANOV The renowned director on why he left Italy to live in Bath and why he founded the Bath Contemporary Artists Fair Malachi Bogdanov is an awardwinning director, writer, and producer. He has directed more than 70 professional productions, and his directorial film debut, The Mandrake Root, for which he also wrote the screenplay, was nominated for a Royal Television Society Award for best drama. He recently moved to Bath with his family, previously having lived in Italy for 17 years. His passion for everything artistic has led him to open a new online gallery – The Apple Gallery, and he is now artistic director and curator of Bath Contemporary Artists Fair (BCAF), which returns to Green Park Station on 9 May. We moved around a lot when I was growing up. We lived in

Wales, where my parents owned a pub when I was two years old, then Newcastle, and then Leicester. We finally moved to London when my


father became associate director at the National Theatre. My dad was my biggest inspiration. He was a prolific

theatre director and I spent many days as a child sitting in rehearsal rooms, while watching him work. I even appeared in some of his shows, most notably The Romans in Britain at the National Theatre, and Romeo and Juliet at the Tokyo Globe in Japan. I once worked on a chicken farm in Connecticut, but only

lasted a week because I was vegetarian at the time. The best job was being the face of British Aerospace, which meant I got to travel the world for free.

After working as an actor for a number of years, I decided to

try my hand at directing as I never really agreed with the directors I worked with. My first real success was a production called Sawn-

I directed a production of The Merchant of Venice in Italy that required a live pig on stage. We went to an Italian

farm and chose a good-natured pig that wouldn’t suffer from stage fright. The show went on tour to Germany where the German producers had already cast a pig by the time we arrived. It would not go on stage for love nor truffles, so we had to do without.

I went to Italy for work in 2000.

I ended up staying there for 17 years. I met my Italian partner, Emanuela, when I was living there. We have a 12-year-old daughter, who was born in Sardinia. It was actually my other half who chose to come back Bath,

having heard the great things said about the city. If there was place in the UK that I consider to be even slightly aligned to its Italian equivalent it would be Bath. My parents owned a house on Great Pulteney Street when

I was in my late teens, so I already knew that Bath was a great city, beautiful and culturally diverse. We live in the Walcot area

and suffice to say (being a lover of all things art related) living in the artisan quarter is a perfect fit. I love the art shop Minerva, buying cheese from Stephan in the Guildhall Market, and browsing the bookshop Toppings and Co.

I went to dinner with Toyah Wilcox and her husband, guitarist

Robert Fripp, once, to talk about directing a show based on the life of Toyah. Toyah was going to play herself, and the music for the show was going to be played live by Robert, who had sampled himself ‘passing wind’ numerous times and put the tracks on a synthesizer. I was made an honorary professor of University of Northumbria. It was very

unexpected at the time, but it still makes me feel proud, as it was recognition for my work with young people in the performing arts.

When I was 10 years old my parents took me to one of their friends’ house. He was a

sculptor and had this amazing table made-up of six large plaster, sculpted figures, holding up a flat piece of glass. I said at the time what a lovely thing it was. Twenty years later he gave it to me and I think I would count it as one of my most prized possessions.

I have always loved art and

wanted to create a website where young and upcoming, as well as established artists, could sell their work at affordable commission rates. Apple Gallery was, and still is, about creating a platform to showcase artistic talent.

I went to Green Park Station one Saturday to sell original artwork by local artists and

was approached by Charles Beer. Charles runs Ethical property Company, which is in charge of Green Park Station. He knew my background and asked me if I would be interested in running a monthly art fair. The rest, as they say, is history. n For more: /