Bath Life – Issue 512

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1st June – Johannes Radebe: House of Jojo

5th June – Disney in Concert: The Sound of Magic

6th June – Paloma Faith in Conversation

7th June – Thank You for the Music: The Ultimate Tribute to ABBA

8th June – Sing the Musicals

14th June – Ed Byrne: Tragedy Plus Time

15th June – Rory Stewart: Politics on the Edge

16th June – Henry Winkler: The Fonz and Beyond

22nd June – Nadiya & Kai: Behind the Magic

25th June – Bath Philharmonia and Seckou Keita

27th June – The Manfreds

28th June – Rhod Gilbert & the Giant Grapefruit

29th June – 80s Live! Bath Box O ice | 01225 463362 EVENT HIGHLIGHTS
Paloma Faith in Conversation 6th June Henry Winkler: The Fonz and Beyond 16th June Ed Byrne: Tragedy Plus Time 14th June The Manfreds 27th June Nadiya & Kai: Behind the Magic 22nd June 80s Live! 29th June Photo courtesy of Coal Poet Media

It’s not always a doddle writing this mag, but it’s a thrill when it’s a doodle. A Mr Doodle, in fact. I had the honour of meeting our cover star, also known as Sam Cox, just as he was starting to doodle, scribble, and graffiti-spaghetti his way round the Holburne and it was fascinating to get a glimpse of how the young artist works (page . It’s been even more fascinating to walk around the city and see people’s reactions to his art in real life spaces, such as the doodled SouthGate phone box. Along with the smart phone snaps and selfies, little kids can be seen tugging on their parents hands to go back so they can stand and stare at the enchanting faces, animals, figures and patterns that spill out in a monochrome, co-joined stream. His work is soothing, hypnotic and delightfully accessible. I just love how he’s cheered up corners of Bath with his unorthodox and internationally acclaimed work.

Also cheering us up in corners of Bath are our many proper’ pubs, and in the spirit of adventure we visit just a few of them over on page , from the smallest to the oldest, from the haunted to the rugby faves, and (of course taking in the uniquely individualistic Bell on Walcot Street along the way…

EDITOR’S LETTER Follow us on @BathLifeMag @bathlifemag

Food Hero

Flute – Bath’s leading seafood restaurant has an exciting new head chef Angelo Errigo, formerly of Michelin starred Grayvate Manor

What do you most enjoy about being a seafood chef?

Getting the produce doesn’t come easy. Land produce is easy to access but when a fisherman goes out there’s no guarantee that they will come back with what they are looking for: it might be something completely different. I love the way it’s the catch which dictates the ingredients; there’s something truly natural about that.

Describe Flute’s ethos

We’re a contemporary seafood restaurant offering the highest quality food and service. We bring a friendly laid back coastal vibe that’s a word away from the frills and formality of fine dining.

What can diners expect from Flute’s menu?

Simple but delicious dishes that allow the ingredients – the best and freshest seafood - to shine through. And a menu that doesn’t take itself too seriously. So for example as well as classics like seafood linguine and fish pie we’ll take something really populist like chicken wings or dirty fries and introduce our own original play on them to create a seafood concept version.

Why is being accessible so important to Flute?

historically seafood has acquired this image of being an exclusive dining experience, something that’s enjoyed at grand hotels or gentleman’s clubs. I wanted Flute to be the complete opposite of this. I wanted to run a kitchen where I know that there would be something on the menu for everyone in terms of affordability without compromising on the quality.

How important is sustainability?

It’s at the heart of what we do. We’re always looking for seafood that’s available in abundance, rather than going further offshore to seek out something limited. We source our produce responsibly from Wings of St.Mawes. And we look to use the entirety of each item that comes in: not a prawns head is thrown away in the kitchen! And again sustainability ties into accessibility: if it’s more abundant it cost less.

What else do you offer beyond dining?

We have a backroom lounge bar: The Octopus; which has already become established as a one of Bath’s best kept secrets. It’s an intimate space which is great for parties and available for private dining.

What’s in store for Flute’s Summer menu?

Summers a great season for fish. As well as some favourites like Sardines and Tuna, Sashimi dishes will definitely making an appearance; they will be lovely for a nice not day. And we will be rolling out a range of sandwich’s. I’m currently perfecting a squid sandwich inspired by the greatest sandwich of all time in a place called Bar Canete in Barcelona: it’s going to be pretty special!

Flute’s incredible seafood platter is available this Summer: quote Bath20 for a glass of fizz.

9 Edgar Buildings, George Street, Bath BA1 2EE | 01225 400 193 |

Issue 512 / Mid May 2024

COVER Mr Doodle at the Holburne Museum photographed by Betty Bhandari, illustration by Mr Doodle, and cover design by Trevor Gilham


26 MR DOODLE Meet the artist who says first the Holburne, then world domination, for his unique style of art


35 ARTS INTRO Celebrate ride at the Holburne Museum

36 WHAT’S ON eople to see, places to go

38 CULTURE CLUB onathan Sayer on his arty picks

41 BOOKS An esteemed selection of reads from the esteemed Mr B

44 THE FORUM The fabulous city venue turns


55 SHOP LEAD We’re getting it on with the cardie

56 EDITOR’S CHOICE ractical fashion for that seasonal hump


60 RESTAURANT A preview of ucknam’s new Walled Garden

64 HOTELS xploring five star luxe

72 FOOD & DRINK NEWS Nuggets from the foodie scene, plus erity Genco talks radishes

74 PUBS Take a little Bath pub crawl with us


83 VICTORIA BOND Schools and GBT issues


85 NETWORK LEAD Behind the scenes of Bath BID with Allison Herbert at the Bath Life Network unch

90 NETWORK NEWS ocal business news, views and interviews

93 CAREER PATH ob talk with van Mc herson of Auctioneum


99 PROPERTY LEAD The million Francis Hotel revamp

100 PROPERTY NEWS atest from the market

102 SHOWCASE A million ansdown Crescent home


12 SPOTLIGHT The day the Red Rebels painted the town, well, red

15 INSTAS Bath Abbey’s statue of temperance

17 SCENE Hello, party people

25 FLATLINE iving in the moment with Flats

106 BATH LIVES Ross Wilson is on the decks

Editor Sarah Moolla Managing editor Deri Senior art editor Andrew Richmond Cover design Trevor Gilham

Contributors Victoria Bond, Nic Bottomley, Elsie Chadwick, David Flatman, Verity Genco, Rachel Ifans, John Mather and Claire Thatcher Commercial director Pat White pat.white@ Business development manager Annabel North Business development manager Dan Nichols Marketing executive Grace Goodall Production and distribution manager Kirstie Howe Production designer Matt Gynn Production designer Gemma Bourne Chief executive Jane Ingham Chief executive Greg Ingham Bath Life MediaClash, Carriage Court, 22 Circus Mews, Bath, BA1 2PW. tel: 01225 475800; Instagram @TheMediaClash ©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 and Bristol. 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: 44 72 74 I BATH LIFE I 11


Bath’s Funeral for Nature procession that made headlines around the world

Hundreds of protesters dressed in red and black walked through Bath in April as part of a mass ‘funeral’ procession. The aim of the environmental activists, who included TV presenter Chris Packham, was to raise awareness of our declining natural world.

Starting from the Percy Centre on New King Street, the procession, which finished at the city’s historic Abbey, was planned to coincide with Earth Day on 22 April, and included drummers playing a single funeral beat, a performance by activist group the Red Rebels, and a flash mob performance by a youth orchestra. Orders of service, which included information about climate change, were also given out to onlookers, and Packham, who delivered a eulogy at the protest, said: It’s time to fight for nature.

Part of the entourage was a funeral bier, constructed from willow, which featured a Mother arth figure and was created by local artist Anna Gillespie. For more:


From the team at The Circus restaurant.

8-9 George Street | Bath | BA1 2EH





Fixing our gaze on Rebecca’s Fountain, installed in 1861 near Bath Abbey by the Bath Temperance Association



@lorna_s_photography @doelchris

@countryhoppingcouple @somewhereovermorrow




Waterstones Bath recently hosted the launch of the Bath Festival, currently taking place across the city, with around 140 guests gathering to enjoy welcome drinks and canapés from the awardwinning Bandook Kitchen.

Introductions were delivered by trustees and joint chair of patrons Chris and Denise Rogers, and chair and CEO Richard Hall. This was followed by talks from Joe Haddow and Victoria Walters highlighting this year’s literature offering, and video presentations from artistic directors Sean Shibe and James Waters.

by Chris Cook

Ian Waller and Chris Rogers John McLay and Gill McLay Antoinette Downey and Nancy Connolly Photos Tessa Armstrong and Claire Norris Around 140 guests attended the launch I BATH LIFE I 17 SPONSORED BY
Amanda Harper, Ruth Jefferson, Denise Rogers, Vicki Smith and Yasemin Hall Dave Shephard and Corinne Evans Nicholas Wylde and Lucy Wylde Bandook head chef Sunil and chef Vipin Chole Tissiman and Joe Haddow


More than 200 guests attended the recent private view of the Toulouse-Lautrec and the Masters of Montmartre exhibition at Victoria Art Gallery. Along with speakers including Anne Carre, the collections manager from the Musée d’Ixelles in Brussels, there was a performance of French music by the singer Muriele.

The collection, on display until 29 September, showcases 100 original posters from 1890s bohemian Paris, and is your only chance to see Lautrec’s posters exhibited together in the UK before it moves to its permanent home at the Mus e d’Ixelles in Belgium, following a five-year international tour.

by Anna Barclay

Photos Dick Wagstaffe and Jenni Wagstaffe Riah King-Wall and Alex Dodd More than 200 guests attended the private view Petra and Dick Major Pat Dunlop and Colin Johnston Sue Craig and Caroline Mandeville Isabel Eynon and Vita Wall SPONSORED BY Singer Muriele Verena Lebherz, Anne Carre and Alexandra Hollis Charlotte Somers and Sharanjit Leyl Mohammed Saddiq, Katharine Wall, Rob Campbell and Dine Romero


Norland, the world-famous specialist early years higher education provider (trainer of nannies, in other words), recently celebrated the graduation of its 2024 degree graduates, alongside the earlier 143rd cohort of fully qualified Norland Nannies, at Bath Abbey. The Mayor of Bath, Councillor Dine Romero, attended the ceremony, with the Deputy Mayor of Bath, Councillor Dr Bharat Pankhania, and the Deputy Mayoress, Mrs Alison Pankhania.


Embiltas are


A celebratory afternoon was held at AD for the pri e giving of The Royal Commonwealth Society, Bath and District Branch art pri e and exhibition, Moon Gazers and Star Finders in The Commonwealth

The RCS Bath welcomed the Mayor of Bath, Cllr Dine Romero, and the Mayoress, Dr Isobel Romero-Shaw, to award the trophies and pri es at the event, in the presence of HM ord- ieutenant of Somerset, Mohammed Saddiq. |


Fairfield House, once home of HIM mperor Haile Selassie I, recently hosted the th anniversary of thiopian victory against Italy at the Battle of Adwa. The event began at Bath Abbey, with traditional singing and dancing followed by the two mile fundraising walk to Fairfield House in Newbridge for food and speeches. This is the th year members of the thiopian community in Britain have embarked on this major fundraising activity for the Bath home of their former mperor, which now acts as a community hub and a heritage attraction.

Despite the rain, more than 300 people attended

a type of traditional hornpipe from Ethopia The celebrations ended at Fairfield House for speeches and food
Mike Rennie Jo Cook, Chris Cook, Craig Jenkins and Anita St John-Gray Lynnie Donkin and Anita St John-Gray The group set off from Bath Abbey Young artist prizewinners Esme and Isla Dine Romero, Mohammed Saddiq and the young artist prize-winner, Siobhan The route to Fairfield House, home of HIM Emperor Haile Selassie I, took the walkers through Victoria Park
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Living in the moment

…and spending those moments wondering about a life in the country

There are people in this world who, when faced with a massive decision, are able to logically collate reasons to support either outcome, weigh those up against one another, and make a call based on practicality. Then there are people like me. I can basically convince myself of anything if I try hard enough. Actually, I don’t usually have to try very hard at all.

Cars, holidays, gifts to myself, that kind of thing. ‘Sod it,’ I always say, ‘life’s too short.’ Rather than being a somewhat enviable mantra for life, this is actually how I manage to justify things I’ve done after I’ve done them. ‘Darling, are you serious?!’ exclaims my wife now and then. ‘I thought we weren’t spending money at the moment?’

‘Oh darling,’ I gently respond, ‘life’s too

short. Gotta live it!’ She hates this, and takes little pleasure in reminding me that life is in no way too short to be an idiot. There’s plenty of time for that.

However, when choosing a new home in 2021, I managed to be sensible. I really did. My wife and I both know that our souls would likely be most enriched by living somewhere green, and quiet, and that smells of cow poo, yet we live in the middle of town. Before we decided to get serious on Rightmove we decided (she forced me) to sit down with a G&T – we were in lockdown, I seem to recall, so we sat down rather often for G&Ts – and decided what we actually wanted from our new home once the inevitable novelty wore off.

For various reasons – mainly kids and proximity to sandwich shops – we went urban. It suits us brilliantly, and it was

“‘Sod it,’ I always say, ‘life’s too short.’”

without question the right decision. Why, then, do I find myself looking online for places a little further out? Is it a lamentable personality trait that doesn’t allow me ever to feel truly satisfied, or do I just really want to live in the countryside?

One supposedly useful piece of advice I was given was to talk to friends and friends of friends who had indeed gone the other way and who exist among the cows and rabbits. The problem with that, though, is that you can’t trust that anybody is really telling the truth. They all just say it’s the best decision they’ve ever made and that’s that. Much as I do when asked the same thing. And it is! It is! We love it. But – but – there’s something about an afternoon being spent on a ride-on lawn mower with a cold drink in the dash-mounted holster that makes my heart rate drop and my internal organs feel all cosy and content.

It really would make no sense for us to leave this lovely house into which we’ve invested so much in so many ways, and which is categorically the right place for us to live for at least the next decade, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do it!

I’m doing my best to practice some impulse control (not a strength…) and to not, under any circumstances, book any viewings of any rural money pits that nobody else wants and that are hours away from the kids’ schools. And my gym. And the shops. And any sandwiches. And Deliveroo.

If any local estate agents are reading this, I ask you in this moment of self-awareness to please ignore any communications you receive from me in the next ten years. Think of my poor wife. Think of the kids. I’d only regret it and want to move back anyway…

David Flatman is an ex-Bath and England rugby star turned TV pundit and rent-o-mic. Follow him on Twitter @da id atman and nsta @d atman I BATH LIFE I 25 © BETTY BHANDARI BRAND PHOTOGRAPHY; WWW.BETTYBHANDARIBRANDPHOTOGRAPHY.COM


How and why Mr Doodle doodled the Holburne, and why there’s a Bath bus out there worth a doodle fortune

Words by Sarah Moolla

Photos by Betty Bhandari

Mr Doodle, aka Sam Cox, on the doodled stairs of the Holburne


Mgraffiti spaghetti’d (as he calls it most of the walls leading to the entrance his paintings and pieces have been placed within the permanent collection and he’s about to start on the stairs. The exhibition is still a work in progress when we visit, but the incredible impact it’s going to have is immediately obvious. The cascading monochrome tumble and jumble of woven-together characters, objects and shapes flowing from ceiling to floor to round the corner and into gallery spaces, gives pause for thought and causes you to re-examine the existing classic pieces in the collection, juxtaposed next to his playful and cartoon-ish world of whimsy.

hotographer Betty and I can’t help but tell him repeatedly how much we love it, and a very polite Mr Doodle seems interested in our opinions. The realisation hits me later, after the shoot and interview, that he may have just been being nice. He is unfailingly patient and sweet and well mannered, even after we’ve made him stop work and we drag him inside, outside, and around the museum to try and find the perfect cover shot. He makes it too easy to forget that Mr Doodle, aka Sam Cox, a former Bristol W student, is an artistic sensation. In he was the world’s fifth most successful artist aged under at auction, he has collaborated with Fendi, uma, MT urope, and Samsung, and has an active and loyal Instagram following of nearly million.

He credits part of his success to social media being an accessible platform for people to see videos of him working, gaining insight and understanding into his process – something that more traditional routes of art dealers and galleries don’t show (incidentally, the admin team behind him are, heartwarmingly, nearly all his immediate family . But there has to be another element to it, and I imagine that fans also saw the real man behind the art and took a shine to him. And he’s so easy to take a shine to. We’re small talking about his stay in Bath with his family when he whips out his phone and animatedly shows me photos of his baby’s paintings. His father’s talent, I ask Actually, it could well be more his mother’s.” And with that he shows me the beautiful folk art illustrations of his krainan artist wife, Alena. ike his art, Mr Doodle feels accessible, and like his art he makes you feel happy. You’ve probably noticed pockets of happiness bursting out all over Bath recently –from the phone box in Southgate to the flags on Milsom Street and, of course, to his innovative, quirky and original Mr Doodle! Museum Mayhem exhibition, which he tells us more about here...

exciting for my friends and family to be able to come and see my work. A lot of them aren’t able to travel to other places all across the world, and so it’s just really great to do something in Bath – which is close to Bristol, where I went to university. It’s great to be back in this part of the world.

Why the Holburne Museum?

What prompted you to hold your first ever official exhibition here in Bath?

I’ve always wanted to do a museum show in the –or any kind of show, really, in the . Because it’s really

“The Holburne really have let me push it to the limit”

Well, why not The Holburne is a really beautiful museum, it’s a lovely space I was really inspired when I first went there and I still am now. I love the architecture, and I love working in there. As soon as I was invited, I could see myself working there and going to get myself a cup of tea from the caf , then drawing on the walls.

Yes, about drawing on the walls: was that okayed from the start?!

h yes I’m just so happy that the team at the Holburne – and especially the curator, Chris Stephens, and leanor – are good with me drawing all over their building They really have let me push it to the limit. There may be a lot of people that this exhibition will not make too happy, seeing my kind of work invade this space, but it really excites me and I think there’s a big audience out there that will really enjoy it.

Mr Doodle points out a doodle of himself, hidden in the Holburne’s entrance

Have you adjusted your work for the Holburne?

I’ve tried to take influence from the paintings here, and I worked closely with my mentor, Morgan Davies – he’s my creative director, and was my teacher for graphics at school. He inspires me and helps me with my artwork. For this exhibition, we both thought it was important to move in a different direction, and it was his idea to take the paintings that were in the Holburne and reference, respond to or interact with them with my own paintings. So, certain paintings within the exhibition are directly reinterpreted in my own style for instance, The Doodle Family is a reinterpretation of The Byam Family, which is a Gainsborough piece. ther pieces, like The Inclined

Doodler, reference the painting that is hung next to it –which in this case is The Blind Beggar – rather than the painting it’s actually replacing.

Q How does all this compare to the ways in which you normally work?

While I don’t think about it too much, I do make my work site-specific. They kind of work to certain spaces, and are inspired by the things around them. Normally my doodles are free-flowing and freestyle, but there’s definitely part of my brain that’s kind of subconsciously responding to the environment and space around me. But this time a lot of my style has been directed by

The innovative animation projection at the recent opening night of the exhibition; INSETSFROMLEFT: The collection includes doodled objects inspired by the permanent museum pieces; working on the Holburne’s staircase; Mr Doodle’s family portrait inspired by Thomas Gainsborough’s The Byam Family

the Holburne in terms of the Holburne Collection. I also really tried to pack a lot of detail, characters and density into pieces, such as the sculptures and particular canvasses, which I don’t always do, as I tend to work bigger and bolder.

Q: Did you scope out and plan the space for your freestyle doodling beforehand, or have you just turned up and gone with the flow?

I’d say per cent of the time I just go with the flow. The doodles on the walls, and the doodles on the spaces around the museum that I’ve worked on – they’re all freeflowing, really. It’s just so much more time-consuming and painful, really, to sketch those things out, and it’s just not really worth it. It actually looks worse if you do that.

Q Can you describe what it’s like when you are in freestyle doodling mode?

When I get into the flow of it and I keep going, it’s just like playing Scalextric – you just hold the remote down and you get the car flowing round and round the track at a perfect speed. It just flows out freestyle and works nicely like that; it looks very organic and liquid-y, nicely put together. It doesn’t look forced, and that’s really important; it comes from not planning it too much, really.

Reflecting on the collection, what would you say it means to you?

Each piece references a part of my style of visual language that has evolved within the last… well, over 20 years, I guess. Some pieces reference ways I drew when I was ten years old, and then there are patterns which I did a lot of when I was 15. Some doodles are coloured in, which is my wife Alena’s influence. So each piece contains a part of my journey, and therefore, all together, this exhibition means a lot to me. It was great fun revisiting older styles of working and incorporating them into my techniques now.

What’s it been like seeing your work come to life at the Holburne?

It has allowed the doodles to be seen in the same space as some of these amazing historic paintings, some of which are the best artworks that exist. And it really shows doodles in a higher form, which is really inspiring – hopefully not just to myself, but hopefully for other doodlers around the world. They can see this and understand that these doodles are not the lowest forms of art, which has been said, but are considered just as valid or as worthy of museum spaces as other artworks.

What sort of audience do you see this attracting?

I’m hoping not just the usual type of audience that goes to a museum, but also those who mostly happen to see art on TikTok, even – younger generations. Maybe they’ll come to this style of exhibition and then also get introduced to all these other amazing paintings and artists that are perhaps a bit more traditional.

Do you think the exhibition represents a move into the serious world of art for Mr Doodle?

Hmmm. Interesting question. I think this show really represents part of the art establishment accepting my work. Not all of them, obviously, but I think it shows that there’s a group of people within the art world that accept my work as real art. They may not see it as truly serious, but as at least worthy enough to have in a museum.

Does that make you feel more serious?

No. I don’t have any intention of making my work serious. For me, doodling shouldn’t be serious. I just love making what I make, and I wake up every day so happy to be doing what I’m doing – I just do it for me. Anyone else who likes it or takes it seriously or wants to buy it or wants to look at it or wants to enjoy it somehow, well, that’s just a wonderful bonus. I am loving the challenge of drawing over new spaces and having more access to more of the world to cover with my doodles.

“I’ve tried to take in uencefrom the paintings of the ol urne

Do you ever worry about losing the slightly anarchic and fun aspect of your work?

I have no concerns over this because I feel that each year, and as each year has gone on, my work has only got more fun and anarchic. I just feel like I get more confident every year to really believe in myself and my ideas, and the people around me know how much fun I’m having and how important fun is in my work.

Often I’ll do things and people will go, “Are you sure you should do that, won’t that hurt your reputation? What if people don’t want to buy your work or your paintings any more?” but that never really stops me. If I have an idea and I believe in it and I think it’s fun and happy, and it makes me happy and feels true to me, I’ll do it.

TOP: This is Mr Doodle’s first ever UK exhibition; BOTTOM: Lord Mas of Scribble City by Mr Doodle replaces Portrait of a Gentleman in Armour by Frans Pourbus the elder (1545–1581)


It sounds like you still have so many ideas… I actually have an overload of ideas at the moment and there’s just not enough time in the day to do them all. I really have no concerns over this ever getting boring. I think in the past I probably wanted to fit in a bit more, but now I have no concerns over that. I think there’s a correlation between things I’m doing getting more fun, interesting and unique as time’s gone on.

Still hoping for world doodle domination?

Yes! I understand that the mission to doodle the world is a big one, and I’m in the very small minority view that the world should be covered in doodles. I’ve not really met anyone else who wants the same, even other doodle artists – or any other artists, really. I’m not sure anyone else wants to live in a world of doodles. But I think that, by doing things like this at the Holburne, maybe it will change a few minds a little bit, a tiny little bit. Maybe more people will be more open to allowing me to doodle until I’ve doodled over everything!

Do you have your eye on anywhere else in Bath that you’d love to quietly doodle? I mean, all that Bath stone must be so tempting… I can’t remember another place I’ve been where so many buildings look so similar to each other. The surfaces are lovely – I love how those buildings look. So yes, I do really, really want to doodle them. However, I think I’d get kicked out of Bath and not let back in – and I really wouldn’t like that I love Bath. My wife, my son and my parents-in-law are here. And the dog – my doodle dog – and we’re all very happy to be here. I like walking through the Bath streets, listening to my doodle songs, thinking about the next doodles and just enjoying life in this lovely place.

Tell us a little more about your memories of Bath I first visited Bath in , where I did a live drawing battle-type thing – really, it was one of my first live performances and it was at some kind of bar, and I was drawing on a board and another guy was drawing on a board. I’m not sure we were really in competition, but we just had fun.

And then, a few months later, I travelled to Bath in my doodle suit – it was the second place I ever went to in my doodle suit. I walked around the town and I tried to trade drawings for money, services or food. I managed to get some chips and a churro, and that was it. My big mistake was I tried to trade my drawings with people who had just finished running the Bath Half, and it turns out they weren’t in the mood to listen to me much! I then caught a bus to take me around the city to see the sights. I drew doodles actually on the bus – I guess I probably shouldn’t have done that...

You’ve done a film, so what next artistically? Well, I’ve been working on a new doodle music album. I started making Mr Doodle songs about nine years ago. I’d say I’m not particularly good at it now, but I love writing songs about Mr Doodle, his life and his mission to doodle the world. He’s a bit of a wild personality, almost like a cra y scientist, you know, like from one of those video games that you play as a kid, or a cartoon. I love acting as Mr Doodle, and I certainly act as him in the music. It’s not for everyone – probably a lot less so than the doodles( , as my voice really isn’t the best – but I do have a lot of fun with it. I believe in it, and we’re going

to make some videos, some animations and have a little CD out at the end of summer.

What was is like sharing personal moments in the acclaimed 2024 film, The Trouble with Mr Doodle? It’s been an ama ing thing to be involved in, and I’m really proud of that film. I hope that if people do see it, they’ll see I’ve really expressed myself to the fullest. It really gives a truer sense of who I am more than anything else I’ve ever done.

Where are you doodling next?

I’ll be doodling over a restaurant and teahouse called sketch in London this summer. They’ve got some interesting spaces in there, and I think it will be really cool to see my doodles taking over!

“Bath was the second place I ever went to in my suit”doodle

What’s your ultimate doodle ambition?

I’d love to go on tour around the UK. I love the UK and I love living here – it’s my favourite place to be, really, other than Doodle and, of course. I’d love to travel to schools – and maybe mental health spaces as well – and create murals for people. I’d like to drive round in a doodle bus, play my songs out the window, leave a mural behind that makes people smile, and move on.

For more: Mr Doodle! Museum Mayhem is at the Holburne Museum until 1 September;

Mr Doodle in action at the SouthGate phone box




The Holburne Museum – in collaboration with its young adult volunteers, The Holburne Future Collective, and the Bath Arts Collective – is producing a brand new two-day Pride event this June. Between 14 – 15 June, the museum is hosting a LGBTQIA+ community-led programme, celebrating queer arts and culture, with talks, creative workshops, films and cabaret. There will also be family silent disco sessions, and adults only evening silent disco with music from Queer icons and classic anthems.

“We believe in the importance of this event for the city to allow people to explore the history of Queer arts and culture whilst paving the way for its vibrant future within the LGBTQIA+ community in Bath,” says Jasmine Barker, director of Bath Arts Collective. For more: I BATH LIFE I 35



Until 22 June


A fun, informative, and visuallyinspiring exhibition, with trails and activities that incorporate over 50 dragon-themed objects from the Museum of East Asian Art’s extensive collection.

Until 29 September


The latest Victoria Art Gallery exhibition celebrates the bohemian side of Paris with more than 100 artworks, including ToulouseLautrec’s poster work for the Moulin Rouge.

Until 1 September


The first ever museum exhibition of internationally renowned artist and internet sensation Mr Doodle, aka Sam Cox, who has been let loose to doodle all over the walls, halls and floors

There are also beautiful standalone pieces to be found in and amongst the permanent collection. Turn to page 26 for our interview with the Doodler himself.

Until 8 September


This new exhibition features

more than 60 of Henry Moore’s works that can fit in the hand. The collection has pieces from every decade of his career, and includes stone and wood carving, Plasticine models, clay and plaster, lead and bronze.

25 – 27 May


More than 20 Bear Flat artists open their studio doors over the late May Bank Holiday weekend, including jeweller Caroline Tetley, ceramicist ate Marshall, printmaker Carol Baines, photographers James Fox and Shay Parsons, and painters Jane Spragg and Richard Gardiner. www. ear

9 June


Since its creation in 2020, the BCAF has showcased more than 600 artists, many of them local, bringing the best of contemporary art to Green Park Station once a month, starting in April and running until December.


Until 1 June


Here’s another stinov big hitter, this time with Tamsin Greig, Oliver Chris, Felicity Montagu, Finbar Lynch and Nicholas Farrell, all

starring in Terence Rattigan’s 1950’s study of obsession and the dangerous power of love. It all kicks off when the wife of a British judge is caught in a self-destructive love affair with a Royal Air Force pilot.

22 – 25 May LIFE OF PI

Based on the best-selling book by Yann Martel, and winner of five livier Awards, world-class puppetry and visuals combine to tell the adventurous and heartbreaking story of Pi, who is stranded on a lifeboat with four other survivors – a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, and a blooming tiger.

4 – 8 June


Double Olivier Award winner Janie Dee stars in this brand new play from Stephen nwin. Connor loves buses, Eddie Stobart, and Lego. He also has learning disabilities. When he dies an entirely preventable death in NHS care, his mum Sara can’t get a straight answer as to how it happened.


Until 26 May


A carefully curated, unique event put together by the Bath Festival team along with their artist in residence, guitarist Sean Shibe, and Joe Haddow, radio producer and the man behind BBC Radio

2’s Book Club. For ten days, city centre venues including Green Park Station, Bath Abbey and Milsom Place are hosting readings, music, and screenings, along with visits from authors, artists, musicians, educators, experts and creatives, including Clive Myrie, Ruby Wax, Michael Ball, Stile Antico, George Monbiot and Dr Maggie AderinPocock. www. athfesti

23 – 26 May


In what is sadly the last ever Shindig, the Dillington Estate is returning to its disco dancing roots with Groove Armada (DJ set), Brand New Heavies, DJ John Morales and Odyssey, joined by urupt FM, wan Mc icar, Congo Natty Mad Professor, DJ Rap and Greg Wilson. This year the theme is Magical Creatures – perfect for party animals – and there’s always Cross-Dressing Friday and Sequin Sunday to get your groove on. www.shindigfesti

24 May – 9 June


The annual free contemporary visual arts festival (FaB) is once again popping up in unexpected locations over two weeks, transforming the whole city into a vibrant exhibition space. www.fringearts

24 May – 9 June


The Bell, Burdall’s Yard, Chapel

36 I BATH LIFE I 18 May –15 June
Come and celebrate the last ever Shindig festival 23 – 26 May

7 June – 9 June


Performances from Example, Blue, and Symphonic Ibiza mash up alongside demos from local chefs, including Noya Pawlyn, Chris Cleghorn and MasterChef runner-up Kasae Fraser of Robun, at this ‘Gastro-Glastonbury’ being held in Victoria Park. Turn to page 72 for more.

15 – 16 June


Arts Centre, The Grapes, Komedia, The Mission Theatre, The Museum of Bath at Work and The Rondo Theatre are the city centre venues for over 100 events, featuring a diverse array of performances from local and international artists. Look out for the Latin Fusion Extravaganza at Komedia with fringe veteran Robert Pla and his Latin Ensemble.

30 May – 1 June


Enjoy a whole host of countryside and cultured celebrations, including the Horticulture Village, an Artists in Action marquee, The Great British Kitchen with celebrity chefs, Jamie Squibb’s Freestyle Motorcycle Stunt Show and an expanded Food & Drink Marquee. All this at the Shepton Mallet Showground, plus the UK’s biggest cider competition.

31 May – 2 June


The Bandits, The Boulevards and The Old Time Sailors are just a few of the artists performing at Wiltshire’s Stockton Park, along with impromptu acoustic sets in the Tipi Tent, circus skills workshops, fairground attractions and celebrations of all things vintage.

1 – 9 June


Nature storytelling for tiny explorers, fascinating talks from animal experts, wild foraging and family nature walks are just a few of the activities that will be happening across Bath.

Walcot Rugby Club grounds is hosting a display of 500 classic and vintage cars and motorbikes. There will be live music throughout the weekend on two stages, a great selection of local food and drink, activities for children, and the chance to have a mini-road trip in one of the many supercars on display, which will include Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Porsches and assorted Mercedes. For tickets, search for Bath Festival of Motoring on


29 May


Tim Arnold’s Super Connected show is a Black Mirror-esque fusion of film, live music and theatre about the ticking time bomb of social media and big tech.

7 June


Prism, the 18th Orb studio album, has already being hailed as their most towering set for years, promising to bring us yet more ambient unplugged experiences filled with acoustic instruments and nostalgic samples, old-world charm and uncharted territories.

8 June


Direct from London’s West End, join a Bath Forum karaoke with the greatest musical numbers of all time performed by a live band, character singers, and a giant screen with singalong lyrics. Turn to page 44 for our feature on 90 years of the wonderful Bath Forum.


Every Saturday


Both up-and-coming and established talents provide the weekend laughs. Previous alumni include Romesh Ranganathan, Tom Allen, Sarah Millican, Daliso Chaponda, and Luisa Omielan.

TOP: Life of Pi, based on the best-selling book by Yann Martel, comes to Theatre Royal 22 – 25 May; MIDDLE: Catherine Bohart’s back at the Rondo on 8 June and isn’t happy about adulthood; BOTTOM: The Festival of Nature takes place across Bath 1 – 9 June

8 June


Catherine Bohart’s back and older than ever. And adulthood frankly isn’t living up to her expectations, as she reckons with death obsessed parents, living in a house share with OCD, and queer reproduction in her thirties.

9 June


The BAFTA-nominated Rachel Parris is back with her biggest tour yet, Poise, presenting a dazzling new hour at Komedia of her signature blend of personal stand-up and catchy songs.


Until February 2025


The deep dark woods of Westonbirt are hosting a year-long celebratory trail to mark the 25th anniversary of the award-winning picture book, The Gruffalo

23 - 25 May


A playful retelling of some of Ovid’s ancient myths, written by The

Globe’s writers-in-residence. 14+

The Egg;


25 May – 2 June


The intrepid naturalist presents an all-new wildlife Longleat show to help raise funds for the conservation charity, Tusk.

27 May


The Wiltshire artist and photographer is at Topping to talk about his hugely acclaimed debut book, Slum Boy. It tells his real life story of growing up in the slums of 70s Glasgow, and how he was able to move on and find his own truth.

2 June


As well as the 14 open gardens, there’s a plant sale, flower arrangements and refreshments in the village hall, all to help raise funds for the Grade I listed medieval church of St Marys. Tickets £10.

Jonathan Sayer is set to star in Mischief’s riotous new comedy, Mind Mangler: Member of the Tragic Circle, at the Theatre Royal Bath 11 – 16 June, alongside his fellow Mischief co-founder, Henry Lewis. Jonathan has co-written and co-starred in Mischief’s multiaward-winning West End and Broadway comedies, including The Play That Goes Wrong and Peter Pan Goes Wrong.

The last great film I saw Barbie. I watched it with my daughter and it was the first film we watched together.

A painting that means something to me

The Starry Night by Van Gogh. I saw the actual one recently at The Met in NYC and it was incredibly cool.

Best TV show ever… It has to be Only Fools and

Horses. Or then again, maybe Friends

Favourite binge watch House with Hugh Laurie. It’s so great and ‘binge-able’.

The book that changed my life Six Thinking Hats by Edward de Bono totally altered how I approach problem solving.

The book I could happily re-read If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things by Jon McGregor.

First song I remember hearing Simply Red’s Fairground. My parents are huge fans, so it was always on in the car.

Desert island disc Definitely Maybe by Oasis.

For more:

Jonathan Sayer, right, with Henry Lewis, is headed to the Theatre Royal CULTURE CLUB with Jonathan Sayer PHOTO BY PAMELA RAITH
See the miniature pieces by Henry Moore, a giant in the world of sculpture, at the Holburne Museum until 8 September


Nic is on the lookout for novels that celebrate the art of observation
“During the pandemic... yes, reachedwe’ve that time in book world!”

I’ve been encountering some remarkable observers in my recent reading, both real life and fictional. It was Fourteen Days (Vintage, £20) that made me realise this –an unusual collaborative book by a collection of writers headlined by Margaret Atwood, Celeste Ng and John Grisham. During the pandemic (yes, we’ve reached that time in book world!), neighbours in a Manhattan apartment building take to the socially distanced roof space to tell a diverse mix of stories that collectively comment on the human condition.

In doing so, they look down on a city starved of activity, and they in turn are observed by the building’s down-on-her-luck Super. Inspired by her predecessor’s bible to the building – complete with its acerbic assessments of the tenants – she seeks to match his keen attention to the characters who surround her, by watching and listening to their unfolding cycle of stories.

Still in New York, All the Beauty in the World by Patrick Bringley is a celebration of the author’s perfect job as a museum guard at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Having previously been a journalist at The New Yorker, he found his priorities shifted entirely after watching his older brother succumb to cancer. Consumed by grief, he withdrew from ambition and expectation, and sought quiet spaces to surround himself with beauty.

That led him to a low-octane role at the Met – as one of those chaps who sit quietly by the doorway watching the paintings, watching the watchers, and occasionally answering a question or asking people to back away from a masterpiece.

The museum’s sanctuary, the art’s beauty, and the lack of complexity in his role proves the perfect tonic for his overwhelming grief. Bringley explores this with poignant and insightful writing, as he also watches the ways

the public appreciate and approach objects of beauty and explores the varied and emotional responses they stir in us. There’s insight, too, into the inner-workings of a grand museum, revealing the importance to the guards of a posting close to the cafeteria, or one in a carpeted spot to interrupt the harsh days stood on marble floors. Weaving this with accounts of the museum’s array of artefacts and the occasional anecdote of dramatic heists, Bringley creates a life-affirming thought-provoking blend of art, memoir and so much more.

Finally, a word about House of Grief by Helen Garner, which has just been reissued. This true crime gem recounts Garner’s allconsuming coverage of a murder trial that took place in Australia at the beginning of this century. A car driven by Robert Farquharson veers off the road. He survives, but tragically his three sons don’t. As a background emerges of a broken home and a jealous jilted husband, suspicions arise that this was a deliberate act perpetrated to exact revenge on the mother of the boys.

With Garner herself hooked on every detail, we’re drawn into the drama of the unfolding trial. She gets close to witnesses, formulating her own views on their testimonies and reliability. She takes us on deep dives into the psyche of a bereft man who no-one wants to believe could have intentionally committed this act against his children. We watch every intricate twist in the trial’s procedure and, just like Bringley in his art museum, we observe the observers, as Garner describes the circus of the courtroom’s journalists and their shifting allegiances. And, of course, we’re left hooked on discovering the dramatic outcome of the whole terrible affair.

Nic Bottomley is the general manager of Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights, 14/15 John Street, Bath; I BATH LIFE I 41

Thrusting le fun into fundraising



Teams? Friday tickets all gone –other days limited!

Sponsor? Talk avec La Poppy!



BBC Young Chorister of the Year to join VOICES FOR LIFE in Bath Abbey!

Voices for Life is delighted to announce that in June, soloist Belinda Gifford-Guy will be taking to the stage alongside 250 children from Bath in the world premiere of The Elements Cantata written by Russell Hepplewhite and Jamila Gavin.

At a remarkable 12 years old Belinda has already been making a mark in the vocal music world. Her exceptional talent caught the attention of Voices for Life, who previously collaborated with Belinda when she played the role of Ari in Voices for Life’s Stardust by Jools Scott and Sue Curtis during a memorable performance with 200 children at Wells Cathedral in June 2023.

Expressing her enthusiasm for the upcoming concert, Belinda Gifford-Guy shared, “I’m so excited to sing with Voices for Life in Bath Abbey. Music is so important to me; it has brought me so many opportunities and connected me with so

many people. It’s great to support such a brilliant organisation which brings musical experiences to others and enables people to join together through the love of singing.”

Voices for Life is currently working with children from Combe Down Primary School, St Michael’s Junior School, St Andrew’s Church School, St Stephen’s Primary Church School, and Roundhill Primary School for their performances of The Elements Cantata at Bath Abbey on 27 and 28 June. The children will be joined by Voices for Life’s Bath Children’s Choir and students from The Paragon School promising a memorable experience for all.

Join us to hear Belinda and 250 children to witness how Voices for Life uses the power of music to build confidence in children and encourage them to share with their communities in a way that makes everyone want to sing, smile and dance.

Scan the QR code to buy tickets for the children’s performances. For more information about Voices for Life and its projects, visit:

Belinda Gifford-Guy, BBC Young Chorister of the Year 2023.

The Bath Forum is celebrating 90 years of being at the heart of the city’s social scene


As a Grade II listed
be staying the same for the next 90 years
Forum’s impressive Art Deco exterior should

Sat on an unassuming corner of Southgate Street and St James Parade, near the bus station, is a building that has been the beating heart of Bath’s entertainment and social scene for nearly a century. The Grade II listed Bath Forum, also known as just ‘The Forum’, is set to celebrate its 90th birthday this month with a unique programme of events.

First built as a luxurious ‘super-cinema’ in 1934, The Forum then operated as a bingo hall and a dancing school and has evolved into one of the most prominent performance venues in the region, hosting a diverse range

“The beating heart of Bath’s entertainment scene nearlyfor a century”

of events from concerts and comedy nights to corporate functions and community gatherings.

Honouring its past, there will soon be a specially curated exhibition of old artefacts on display, Memories of The Forum Through Time, that looks back at the Art Deco building’s past. Throughout the day, guests will have the unique opportunity to explore areas of the building not usually open to the public via free bookable backstage tours. Families can take part in free drop-in arts and crafts activities and The Forum’s café will be buzzing with free live music and comedy performances that everyone can simply pop in to enjoy. Then, on the evening of 18 May, Bath Philharmonia will be launching The Forum’s 90th


Decades of the Forum


The Forum opened in 1934 as the last ‘Super Cinema’ of its kind to be built. This was during the time of the Great Depression, and represented a form of escapism for people living with extreme poverty. It flourished as a cinema for three decades.


The Forum was forced to close its doors in 1969 because of declining cinema audiences throughout the UK, thanks to the rise of television. The building then later housed a bingo hall and a dance school.


During the 1980s The Forum was listed by English Heritage as a Grade II building and so could not be altered substantially from its original state, and by 1988 the venue had been purchased by its current owners, Bath Christian Trust, as the home of Bath City Church – now Life Church Bath – whch still meets at The Forum every Sunday and uses the building regularly during the week.

Early 2000s

In 2001 the stage was renovated and extended, and theatrical lighting rigs and a new projector and screen were installed. In 2004 a nine-month project saw the refurbishment of the ballroom to include a full catering kitchen, the provision of

offices for the 26-strong staff, a new reception area, toilet areas, restoration of the lift, and refurbishment of the five shops to the side of the building.

2013 to present

In April 2013, Bath Forum Ltd was formed, a new trading company set up and managed by Life Church Bath with the remit to develop The Forum as a theatre-style music venue. And deliver it has – just in recent times it has hosted everyone from actress legend Joan Collins to comedy hero Stewart Lee, from Paloma Faith to Paul Weller, and from Stereophonics to Soul II Soul – plus a myriad of special in-concert screenings, celebrity talks, local school events, festive specials, and much of the Bath Festival programme. I BATH LIFE I 45 ARTS
Art Deco details are a feature throughout the venue; INSET: The Forum pictured not long after opening –the film being screened is the 1935 King of The Damned, about a prison rebellion

Birthday Party in the evening, with their Concert for the People of Bath: Sounds of Cinema. This will feature music by many of the greatest composers for the big screen, taking us on an orchestral tour of classic film soundtracks through the decades.

Of course, epic music demands an epic performance, and the orchestra will be joined by musicians from His Majesty’s Royal Marines School of Music. Expect vast soundscapes from Hans Zimmer’s Inception to John Williams’s themes for Jurassic Park and ET, before taking in the dizzying textures of Bernard Hermann’s Vertigo and culminating in a symphonic performance of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, featuring internationally renowned pianist Zeynep Özsuca.

“We are thrilled to mark the 90th birthday of The Forum building with a day filled with joy, art and music, says Bryn Williams, general manager at the venue.

“This celebration is not only about looking back at our remarkable history, but also about looking forward to continuing to be a key player in Bath’s cultural life. We invite everyone to join us in this special celebration.

“A playerkeyin Bath’s cultural life”


8 facts about The Forum


The Forum is one of the largest seated event venues in the region, with a capacity of 1,640. It’s actually less than when it was first built as a 2,000 seater venue – why? Health and safety, that’s why.


The seating arrangement is designed for optimal acoustics and visibility.


There are actually seven different Forum spaces in the building that can be hired.


The architect was A.S. Gray, a 28 year old classically trained architect who specialised in the flamboyant Art Deco style.


It was opened 19 May 1934 by Henry Thynne, 6th Marquess of Bath, known as Lord Bath.


The walls of the first-floor foyer are adorned with tall vases etched with French Art Deco motifs. Classical motifs continue in the auditorium, including figured friezes on the side walls.


The decorative parts of the arches inside, known as the spandrels, carry the shields of Taunton, Wells, Cirencester and Glastonbury Coat of Arms.


It’s always worth looking up towards the ceiling at least once, to admire the auditorium dome with its central sunray burst.

CLOCKWISEFROMTOPLEFT: In 2004 extensive refurbishment was carried out across the venue, including the stage; there is a seating capacity of 1,640; the Forum team,
general manager Bryn
row, second left), celebrate their venue’s 90th
Williams (back

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


to host both short-term and long-term students.

We teach adults and teenagers, and need both single and twin-room accommodation.

For further details, including rates of payment, please contact our Accommodation Manager:

Sarah Wringer, Kaplan International Languages Bath, 5 Trim Street, Bath, BA1 1HB Direct Line (01225) 473502, Email:


Mixing things up from the usual format, THRINGS Managing Partner Simon Holdsworth meets Jeremy Thring, the firm’s Consultant and former Senior Partner

Simon Holdsworth: Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into the law…

Jeremy Thring: Originally, I had no wish to be a lawyer; following in the footsteps of my father and grandfather – the world seemed much more exciting.

Three weeks after finishing school, I had enlisted into the Army for my National Service. The nearest I came to serious action was being ordered on short notice to be part of the invasion force for the Suez Crisis but ended up being stood down before deployment.

Serving in the military was a hugely beneficial and formative experience for me and I had considered joining as a regular, but my father thought otherwise.

After coming home, I decided to qualify as a solicitor then I could do as I wanted. This started with five years of unpaid articles to the firm – something that would be unheard of today.

The cards of life did deal me an ace at that time though, as this was when I met my truly wonderful wife Cynthia who would become my rock and constant for 60 years.

Of course, my father was right, and I grew to profoundly respect and admire the law and the rule of law without which no society can function properly. Even at 88 years of age, I still admire the lucid reasoning and language embedded into legal judgements.

SH: What is it about Bath that has kept you here all this time?

JT: It has to be the family and friends I’m lucky to have amassed over the years, as well as being part of a very decent firm with staff who care about their clients and share a common ethos.

Then there is Bath itself which really is the most beautiful city surrounded by green hills with the most glorious elegant and uplifting architecture. It has changed over the years but has still retained its character.

One of the most important agents of change has been the coming of the University of Bath which has brought growth, young blood and rejuvenation to the city. It is a much valued institution and a credit to the city.

SH: Outside of your legal work, would you say you’ve an active part of the community?

JT: I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to get involved with a number of charities and institutions across the city, starting with the Bath Hospital Management Committee in the 1960s – the first of many roles with what is now the RUH.

I also served as a Governor of a Bath School for many years, as Pro-chancellor for the University of Bath and as Deputy

Lieutenant for Avon and later for Somerset. I’ll leave it there as it is starting to sound too much like an obituary, but each role was a wonderful experience.

SH: How does it feel to have seen the firm with your name on the door grow over the years?

JT: Aside from appealing to my vanity somewhat that the name hasn’t changed, I am proud to see how the firm has evolved. When I first joined, we were in Queen Square and we are still here today!

Seeing so many junior lawyers progress through their career with us has been a privilege, and for so many to stay, to me, says a lot about the culture and the personality we have fostered.

SH: Have there been any moments that particularly stand out from your career?

JT: There have been many hilarious moments over the years, several of which I should keep to myself, but I do recall many

years ago when Henrietta Park was flooded, and I was needed to collect an elderly lady from her home in a punt. Heaven knows where I got it from!

SH: What pieces of advice would you give to someone starting in law now?

JT: If you want to do it, then do it! In my view it is the best kind of training in the world to qualify as a lawyer and the thinking behind it can prepare you for nearly any walk of life. It is hard work as the law is ever-changing, but it is absolutely worth it and with so many avenues to law, you will always be able to find an area that you will enjoy.

SPONSORED CONTENT I BATH LIFE I 51 2 Queen Square, Bath BA1 2HQ; tel: 01225 340000;


It’s never been easier to fly abroad from your local airport thanks to the network of flights offered by KLM ROYAL DUTCH AIRLINES from Bristol

Start your trip the convenient way this summer: fly right from your doorstep with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines from Bristol Airport.

Enjoy the benefits of departing from your nearby airport; say farewell to lengthy congested commutes to distant airports, and instead use the extra time to relax before your flight. Not to mention the added bonus of keeping a bit more of your dirhams, dollars, reals, or rands in your pocket thanks to the money saved from the shorter journey.

With convenient flight schedules from Bristol Airport, and offering connections to the world via Amsterdam, you can easily reach the beach and explore the

shore in far-flung sunny destinations. Dubai, anyone? The city that has it all, right in the middle of the desert, and easily reached from Bristol. Or perhaps St Martin, for all the sailing, swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving and sun you can possibly soak up in one Caribbean holiday. How about Rio? A cheeky trip to Cape Town maybe? Unmissable destinations are waiting to be discovered, conveniently from your local airport.

With KLM Royal Dutch Airlines all destinations can be easily reached via a simple transfer connection at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Offering a single airport terminal concept with a wide array of shopping options, restaurants and quirky attractions: a Rijksmuseum, the world’s first airport library, a

kids playground where they can clamber on a real plane, and an airport park, keeping all ages entertained, helping towards a smooth and enjoyable transfer on the way. Via Amsterdam, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines connects to 155 worldwide destinations from Bristol Airport.

Irrespective of where you fly to, you’ll always receive complimentary snacks and drinks on the way during your short connecting flights from/to the UK, while on the longhaul part of your journey in Economy Class you can also enjoy a meal, bar and snack service all included in the price of your ticket. Recharge your phone, connect to WiFi¹ or watch a movie; enjoy the flight!

You can choose from a range of cabins to suit your budget, comfort level and needs: Economy,

Beach Houses, Cape Town

Premium Comfort or World Business Class.

Travel in the newly introduced Premium Comfort Cabin², and you can elevate your comfort to enjoy more space and privacy. Sit back and relax in your seat with extra legroom and recline: a wide selection of meals and drinks, together with a large inflight entertainment screen tops off a memorable holiday nicely. Or travel in style and take to the skies in luxurious World Business Class, with fullflat seats on intercontinental flights. You’ll enjoy extra privacy and comfort alongside meals created by top Dutch chefs, prepared with the freshest ingredients. A great way to mark an extra-special celebratory trip.

If you are travelling more for business purposes than leisure, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines range of flight departures allow you to comfortably fit a business trip into a busy schedule. You can build international relationships and networks that will directly benefit trade and your company as well as helping the local economy prosper.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines makes it possible to take off closer to home, see and experience the world, and return with memories and opportunities when you fly back home.

¹You can purchase WiFi during check-in or once you’ve boarded your flight ²Offered to select long-haul destinations

Information correct at time of print.


To nd out more about KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and their full range of exciting destinations, visit

Ipanema beach, Rio de Janeiro Desert, Dubai Caribbean Sea, St Martin







confusing time for our wardrobe. For a fool-proof mid-spring look we suggest the humble cardigan as

rising Shrug it off and knot around your waist, or – if you really want to make elegant your cardie game –drape it over your shoulders like a New Hampshire lady lunching at the tennis club.

And if you’re really feeling playful, tie loosely around your neck and run like the wind with one arm raised. Your cardie is now a cape and you’re a superhero.

Photographer: Egle Vasi @eglevasi_

Model: Arabella Bonner @belleanniebonna

Stylist: Marianne Katy @marianne_katy

MUA: Chantelle Moody @themoody_shoes

Assistant stylist: Anna Power @annahasthepower

Clothes sourced from the pre-loved donations given to Dorothy House charity shops;



High top lace up leather sneakers in soft taupe leather with matching rounded laces and contrasting white chunky platform sole and toe.

From Blue Women & Home at The Loft, 1-2 Bartlett Street, Bath;


This organic cotton voile shirt with long sleeves with chest pockets and knot at the waist is a beautiful all rounder, thanks to its semi-sheer construction. From Square, 12 New Bond Street. Bath;

Stylish solutions to that mid-season wardrobe crisis


Elevating these from any old pair of fitted jeans with a high waist and cropped raw-cut flared hem is the Swiss lace-style flower embroidery they’re in a comfortable stretch knit fabric made from sustainable cotton, too. rom Gaff lothing er Borough alls Bath;



This midi-length, fully lined sequinned skirt in a soft salmon shade is a wardrobe must-have –wear with boots during the rainy season and with pumps on those sunshine days.

From Grace & Mabel, 3 George Street, Bath;


Both handmade to order by Studio Ashåy as separates – a beautiful mid-blue denim full swirl A-line circle skirt with large oversized pocket details, plus a bell sleeved, deep V-neck wrap top. Team together for max impact.

From Studio Ashåy, 28 Catherine Hill, Frome;


Versatile boxy poncho style top with high neck and sleeves makes for great layering. Comes in one size and is seen here in denim and charcoal two tone.

From Flock Bath, 12 - 13 The Corridor, Bath; www. ock



Unstructured and elegantly shaped pyjama jacket in heavy silk crepe de chine with its characteristics of fluidity, softness and drape; the fabric is in a shimmer of shades, including dark greys, blue greys, creams, slate, white and mink. rom arole aller;


Made from British mill-hewn wool, the sturdy architecture of this classic single-breasted tweed riding jacket marries perfectly with its feminine silhouette and nipped-in waist. rom a ages oses est End Bruton;


The soft drape open front design of this wide lapelled cardigan makes it a wearable and versatile woollen whatever the outfit.

From Anthropologie, 1 – 4 New Bond Street, Bath;



JUMPSUIT, WAS £190, NOW £130

A feminine spin on a classic boilersuit, this jumpsuit is made from responsibly sourced stretch chunky corduroy. With a centre front ip, full length cuffed sleeves and a straight leg silhouette, it is the perfect everyday go-to.

From Aspiga, 7 Broad Street, Bath; I BATH LIFE I 57 ’


Stephen Thomas of MARCHBANK JEWELLERY DESIGN celebrates 50 years as one of Frome’s longest serving goldsmiths.

his year marks the 50th anniversary of working as a goldsmith, silversmith and jewellery designer for Frome based Stephen Thomas. Stephen trained in London in the 1970s as a Goldsmith and Silversmith at Sir John Cass College, Whitechapel. He went on to be apprenticed to various prestige UK businesses such as Wakely & Wheeler, carrying out contract work for companies such as Asprey and Mappin & Webb before setting up his own Jewellery Design business in Bath (Apoidea in Broad Street, Bath) and then finally moving to Frome in 2001 where he started what is now Marchbank Jewellery Design. Stephen’s training from renowned goldsmiths and silversmiths at Sir John Cass College meant he could turn his hand to a variety of commissions and repair work for a diverse range of clients.

He has undertaken commissions for heritage organisations such as The Royal Bath & West Society, The Royal Smithfield, and the The Worshipful Company of Gunmakers. Stephen has also designed and made beautiful silver chalices for local churches and designed items for Bath Abbey as well as carrying out specialist restoration work on silver crosses and other antique silver artefacts such as Georgian tea and coffee pots.

His work for the antique trade and heritage companies has brought in a variety of unusual items – from a solid silver bull trophy with gold plated horns, to a beautiful ornate Georgian antique, Bacchus design wine coaster in silver gilt. However, the main focus of Stephen’s day to day work in his busy goldsmith’s workshop in the heart of Frome’s bustling Cheap Street, is making thousands of commissioned pieces of beautiful, bespoke jewellery for customers.

Stephen started making rings for customers at the age of 16, from simple silver and gold rings to more intricate pieces as he developed his skills and range of materials that he could worked with.

Stephen sets all his own stones and can remodel existing jewellery as well as design new pieces working one to one with clients to create a truly unique piece of jewellery that will last for generations.

His workshop is always busy and he hand fabricates each item in the workshop. It can be painstaking work, from setting tiny 0.2mm diamonds to forging beautiful hand made gold and silver chains. No two days are the same and the nature of the work means new challenges arise every day.

Stephen loves the variety of his work; from setting diamonds in fine jewellery to working on antique Georgian silver, Stephen has built a busy and successful business with


many happy customers. Stephen is a member of the National Association of Jewellers and is a registered Fairtrade goldsmith. Over the years Stephen has made and collected a variety of indispensable tools for his craft. This is truly heritage industry work - the ability to hand craft jewellery is sadly a dying art, what with new technology such as 3D laser printers, CAD design and better casting techniques.

Stephen is more old school, actually making a lot of the tools needed to make the beautiful, bespoke and truly hand made jewellery that he crafts. The tools required for traditional goldsmithing are as varied and unique as the final designs he has created over the years.

His ability to make up specific tools for a specific job is a skill that has helped Stephen establish and grow his business and gain a very good regional reputation for the variety of work that he is able to undertake, in no small part due to the fact he can make and repair things by hand that cannot easily be undertaken by a 3D printer or CAD design. The skills of hand fabrication and the attention to detail that is required is a more analogue way of producing beautiful jewellery and carefully designed and executed pieces.

Such skills are in even more high demand now as customers are more discerning and want something truly handmade, bespoke and unique. The care and attention to detail that only a hand fabricated piece of jewellery designed through one to one commissioning process can offer, seems to be what customers prefer rather than mass produced, environmentally damaging, manufactured jewellery.

As a registered Fairtrade goldsmith, all of the clean gold Stephen uses in new designs

is Fairtrade, and he also uses recycled gold and silver and only ever uses traceable, non conflict diamonds in his designs. Remodelling and recycling jewellery is another great way to help reduce the environmental impact of the jewellery trade and something that Stephen has done since the 1970’s.

When we asked what Stephen likes best about working in Frome this is what he told us: “Frome has a great community of independent traders. There are other goldsmiths and jewellers here but we all try and help each other out and there is a great supportive atmosphere which makes Frome unique as a place to run a business. There isn’t the rivalry you would find in other towns and cities between competing businesses. I think the fact is we all offer something different and unique, so we can be supportive of each other.”

And when we asked what has been the most enduring, positive take away from his 50 years working in the jewellery business Stephen said: “My customers! Over the years they have been amazing. There is nothing more satisfying, and humbling, than to be asked to make something precious; a token of love to be given on a special day, a wedding ring, or even memorial jewellery to remember a loved one. As a goldsmith we see it all from cradle to grave, it is a very human thing to want to symbolise love in a piece of jewellery to be passed on, an object that can withstand the passage of time and symbolise enduring love. One of the first gold rings I ever made I was asked to hand engrave it with the inscription “A ring hath no end, like my love unto my friend” – a 17th century blessing. The tradition of exchanging rings dates back 3,000 years - I’m still making more rings than any other item of jewellery today!”



To celebrate Stephen’s golden anniversary this year, Marchbank Jewellery Design is running some great give away prize draws – check out its Instagram page for more information:

Marchbank Jewellery Design 6 Cheap Street, Frome BA11 1BN; tel: 01373 455332;



Rachel Ifans enjoys a sneak preview of country house hotel Lucknam Park’s new Walled Garden restaurant

Summer’s coming and we’ve found the perfect place to celebrate its arrival for an early evening feast, where shafts of sun stream in through floor-to-ceiling windows and dance on your wine glass. It’s the delightful new Walled Garden at Lucknam Park.

Lucknam Park is one of Bath’s most loved hotels. Only eight miles from the city centre, the privately owned hotel lies in 500 acres of parkland. There are a few things that set Lucknam apart. From the outside, people see its beautiful buildings and gardens, is equestrian treats, its Michelin-starred restaurant, its spa… but underneath all that, there’s an integrity too it offers a true family-style welcome, it’s constantly evolving and developing, its staff stay for decades and it’s just been awarded a top-six position among the best places to work in the UK.

Now there’s its new Walled Garden restaurant – which opened on 17 April –and what an all round beauty it is. And not just for the visitors – the Lucknam team seem tickled pink with the renovations that have opened up the previous restaurant and doubled the covers from 40 to 80 per sitting.

The Walled Garden is one of two dining options at Lucknam, and is led by Alex Greene and overseen by Michelin-starred chef Hywel ones. Hywel has been at ucknam for years although he didn’t feel totally ready for the move out of London when it came up, he fell hook, line and sinker for ucknam. I drove up the drive for the first time with the plan of staying here for five years. Some years later, and I’m still here. And the reason for that is because it constantly evolves.

“The sharing platter includes toasted soldiers with Cornish crab and radishes and smoked butter bean hummus”

As general manager Sakis Dinas says, “This year is set to be one of the most exciting yet for ucknam ark, with the arrival of two more cottages, a new restaurant, as well as further spa and equestrian centre enhancements. At Lucknam Park, we constantly strive to evolve and innovate in order to exceed the expectations of our guests and provide them with incredible memories.”

We have the fine dining restaurant in the main house and this, the Walled Garden, which offers a completely different experience but is based on the same principles of top-quality produce. Luckily for us, we’re in one of the best parts of the country for suppliers and producers; we’ve got fish that comes up from Cornwall, meat that comes from ten miles in one direction, and vegetables that grow ten miles the other way.”

The welcome is warm and energetic in the Walled Garden and there’s a real buzz among the team. The acoustics means it quickly fills with bubbly chatter and, when the sun sets, neon-green striplights illuminate the structural planting, giving the place a Mediterranean party feel.

Although overseen by Hywel ones, the Walled Garden’s head chef, Alex, is the mastermind behind the new concept that takes the form of a sociable sharing-plate experience during the day, with dishes such as free-range pork chop accompanied with crab apple verjus, spring greens and roasted turnip appleandlavender honey-gla ed duck breast featuring a tangy green rhubarb chutney and confit duck with roast chicory and hazelnut salad. Then it transforms into an elegant



evening experience, where menu highlights includeflat iron steak served with b arnaise sauce and skinny fries or a spring vegetable quiche complete with a seasonal Walled Garden salad.

I start my meal with a sharing platter which includes padr n peppers, wood-roast scallop with parsley and lemon, toasted soldiers with Cornish crab, radishes and smoked butter bean hummus, and hot smoked salmon with cucumber and sourdough. It all pairs brilliantly with the C tes de rovence Ros from Saint Roch- es- ignes and is perfect for the family-style, informal dining Alex had in mind for this bright and sunny space.

Next comes the main course. As Hywel explains, it’s a reflection of what they stand for and it’s all about the provenance of the ingredients. We’ve got fantastic chicken which comes from Tiverton in Devon, paired with some Wye alley asparagus, which is from Hereford on the Welsh- nglish border, and garden peas. There are morel mushrooms, which are perfectly seasonal at the moment, and then we’ve got some flavour from our own wild garlic and a little bit of chicken sauce.

I take his advice and choose a lovely Chianti Reserva from Bonacchi in Tuscany to go with my main course. The food is rich and satisfying, but subtle enough to suit the informality of the evening.

Sometimes a hotel restaurant can feel stuffy and oddly displaced from the warmth you find in a high-street indie, but not the Walled Garden. erhaps half the excitement in the room comes from the hint of sunshine which teases us over aperitives (and Hywel claims has blown over from his Welsh homeland , but I can also imagine this place being just as atmospheric in winter, when rain is bashing the glass while the huge log burner warms the guests.

Desserts arrive with a wonderful glass of Sauternes from Chateau Monteils in Bordeaux. First, I try a coffee and walnut chou, which comes with chocolate and caramel sauce, and then a strawberry and pistachio knickerbocker glory, both of which deliver the sweet satisfaction perfect after a flavourful savoury main course. ucknam’s new Walled Garden restaurant is an absolute charm –it’s high end Michelin dining in an nglish garden country setting, with a warm welcome and a soup on of elegant glamour in the mix.

For more: Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, Chippenham SN14 8AZ; tel: 01225 742777;



Five star stays that’ll


you firing on all cylinders

FROM EXQUISITE country homes to Michelin-starred dining, from glittering cocktail bars to sumptuous bedrooms, and from acres of lush rolling grounds to outdoor pools – here we explore five luxe and local hotels and see what gives them that all-star five-star quality

The Manor House, Park Lane, Castle Combe;

The Manor House is a Cotswolds estate comprising luxury hotel, golf course and club, plus The Castle Inn pub, all located in the heart of Castle Combe village. The championship -hole golf course also houses The Clubhouse for food and drink The oft, a state of the art gym and The Waterfall odge, suitable for overnight golf breaks.

All of the luxe bedrooms and suites are individually styled with their own features, such as four poster beds, spa baths, private gardens and fire places. ptions include rooms in the main house, or in the rows of mews cottages.

The ordsmeer is possibly the most spectacular suite, with a small seating area providing sumptuous furnishings and a granite fireplace with an ornate oak mantelpiece. The lavish bathroom offers a large walk-in shower, his ’n’ hers’ sinks, plasma television and – yes – a Champagne bucket.

The Castle Inn is a th century pub that offers a charming and cosy alternative to the hotel, with unique bedrooms.

Year after year, Robert otter and his team retain their Michelin star dining at Bybrook restaurant, and one glance at the menu gives you a clue as to why – Newlyn mackerel, orthilly oyster, cucumber, caviar Wiltshire Downlands lamb, violet artichoke, black garlic, turnip, girolles, jus gras and Nourrit black fig rosemary caramel, almond sable. Much of the produce is grown and reared on the grounds.

The Manor House is a luxury Cotswolds estate
“All 50 of the luxe bedrooms and suites are individually styled” I BATH LIFE I 65

Dining at Woolley Grange

Afternoon Tea. £30pp

We wouldn't be a British hotel without afternoon tea! Take a seat and enjoy a selection of sweet and savoury treats plus homemade scones with jam and clotted cream. Children are catered for too, with their own menu. And we even have our Waggy Tails Tea so your four-legged friends won't be left out either!

Sunday Lunch

There's no mealtime that quite says family like Sunday lunch. Our selection of roast dinners showcase the very best seasonal meat and produce and are served with all the trimmings. Two courses £30 Three courses £36

01225 864705 | Woolley Green, Bradford-on-Avon, BA15 1TX

Garden Tours 2024

The gardens at Whatley are something very special; across our 12 acres there are 13 individual garden rooms, a wildflower meadow, orchard and an array of sculptures and garden art to discover. During our guided Garden Tours you will learn the history of the gardens, discover our plans for the future and how the gardens are managed across the year.

£45 per person including tea, co ee and biscuits on arrival, guided garden tour, two course lunch with a glass of house wine.

Scan the QR code below to view the dates of the Whatley Manor garden tours from Thursday 6th June through September.

Book online, call 01666 822 888 or email

Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa Easton Grey Malmesbury SN16 0RB

The Bath Priory, Weston Road, Bath;

A family-owned 33 bedroom luxury hotel, restaurant and spa with indoor and outdoor pool, set within four acres of gardens in Bath. All the luxurious guest rooms offer comfort and style, each decorated with period furniture and complemented by contemporary bathrooms. The majority of bedrooms have views over the award-winning gardens, and are appropriately named after flowers. The seven suites offer an indulgent space for guests to call their own.

Named after the distinctive architectural crescents found in the city, the suites feature hand-crafted wood panelling, bespoke furniture, Nespresso coffee machines, custom-made i-Spring beds, heritage colour schemes and sumptuous fabrics. There are also fresh flowers, fruit, Bottlegreen sparkling presses, and mineral water bottles waiting to greet you in your room, alongside L’Occitane skin care and bath lotions, slippers and fluffy robes.

Executive head chef Jauca Catalin is passionate about expressing his creativity through inventive and seasonal dishes, and a love for Asian cuisine also delivers inventive twists. Look out for his delicious signature

“Executive head chef Jauca Catalin is passionate about expressing his creativity”

dishes, such as fresh white crab meat, lime confit, mooli and peanut chilli caramel, and Himalayan salt chamber dry aged fillet of beef, smoked brisket, salsify, lovage with a red wine reduction.

Fresh flowers and fruit greet guests in the sumptuous and spacious master Crescent Suites, each named after one of Bath’s famous crescents and all offering beautiful garden views. Cavendish’ features a calming, muted palette whilst The Royal’s’ double room includes a decadent roll top bath. The spacious living rooms are individually designed with pure relaxation in mind.

The Bath Priory has an indoor and outdoor pool, available to use by hotel and spa guests, as well as croquet and boules in the garden. This summer, visitors can indulge in a new yoga concept, which offers selfguided practices detailed on complementary new card sets, along with yoga mats, to be enjoyed either within the privacy of guests’ bedrooms, or in a quiet spot in the hotel’s gardens – maybe under the ancient mulberry tree or in the perfumed rose garden.

Homewood, Abbey Lane, Freshford;

A luxury 31 bedroom country house hotel set in 20 acres, Homewood was re-launched in January 2020 by experienced hoteliers Ian and Christa Taylor.

Just launched is No-Dig Feasting Domes – a communal dining experience that embraces the outdoors. After a whistlestop tour of the No-Dig itchen Garden, the chef will cook over fire on the Somerset Grill, creating a smoky feast to enjoy under the stars. I BATH LIFE I 67 HOTELS
Dine at The Bath Priory restaurant, headed up by executive head chef Jauca Catalin

Room 18 includes a separate living room, Art Deco vibes, large bathroom with standalone bath, a shell chandelier, French doors onto a private terrace, a garden with gates out to a spa, and a private hot tub.

Each of the luxurious bedrooms include Dyson hairdryers, Porter bathrooms, Hypnos beds and Smeg or Nespresso machines. There is also a complementary larder for guests to indulge in. It has just been announced there is to be a half-a-million-pound investment into the expansion of its spa and wellness offering. The development will include a 32sqm heated vitality pool, stimulating experience showers and a brand-new relaxation room.

The newly launched Mallingford Mews, containing ten rooms, is set within a converted lodge on the estate grounds and captures the imagination of guests with hand-crafted wallpaper, intriguing light fixtures and luxe accessories. A number of rooms within the Mallingford Mews development have hot tubs, balconies and spectacular views over the Avon Valley.

No.15 Great Pulteney by GuestHouse, 15 Great Pulteney Street, Bath;

A gracious and elegant Grade I-listed building built in 1793 as part of the Great Pulteney Street development, commissioned by Sir William Pulteney and designed by renowned architect Thomas Baldwin. The hotel was originally three separate townhouses and now has 35 bedrooms and 1 suite.

The Cocktail Bar at No. by GuestHouse offers a seasonal menu of comfort food and small plates, or upmarket snacks to go with cocktails. Favourite dishes are the traditional Bath chaps (made from brined and slow cooked pigs’ heads) served on fried brioche with chorizo jam and crackling, and the fresh-every-day rhubarb doughnuts with crème

“A number of rooms within Mallingford Mews have hot tubs and balconies”

LEFT: Enjoy a No-Dig Feasting Dome at Homewood; ABOVE: The glorious artistry of a bedroom at No.15

fraiche. No pretentions, just well-cooked and well-sourced ingredients with big flavours. The regularly changing cocktail list features inventive twists on the classics, featuring the Hazelnut Pisco Sour, Summer Negroni and Cherry Daquiri.

The Hideout is its standout hotel room. If you can call it a hotel room: the 55sqm Hideout feels like an apartment with a spa. It gives its guests the very deepest sense of privacy and relaxation. The star of the show is its huge bathroom with steam room and hot tub that feels as though it is outdoors. But its bedroom, dressing room, lounge with fireplace and Sonos system are all part of the allure, too. It’s a space for guests to dim the lights, settle in, and drift into sanctuary.

There’s a fleet of celebratory packages to chose from, each shaped around the philosophy of championing local. Every guest is issued their own copy of The Guest List on arrival, a guide by GuestHouse of nearby art galleries, food markets, hidden bookshops, hard-to-miss historical sites, and lesser-known boutiques.

*Not to name drop, but we hear past guests have included Emma Thompson, Robert Downey Jr and Molly-Mae Hague. Clang!


Gidleigh Park, Chagford, Devon;

Luxury Devon hotel, famed for its Michelin starred restaurant and renowned cellar, set on the edge of Dartmoor. With origins dating from the reign of William the Conqueror, Gidleigh ark first established itself as a luxury hotel under the tenure of Paul and Kay Henderson, who took it over in December and gained an enviable reputation. Bought by Andrew and Christina Brownsword in , who, before taking ownership had for years enjoyed it as a place to relax with their family, it underwent a complete refurbishment in .

Set in Dartmoor National Park, views extend over forests, streams, tumbling waterfalls and rolling valleys, with acres of gardens and woodland on the northern bank of the North Teign River in Dartmoor National ark. Guests are able to enjoy Gidleigh ark’s croquet lawn, a eter Aliss designed -hole putting green or beautiful tennis court. Dotted around the grounds are commissioned pieces of art set against the beautiful natural backdrop.

All rooms and suites are luxurious at Gidleigh ark, and each is individual in style. Most look out to the front of Gidleigh Park, with views out over the gardens, River Teign and trees beyond, with a few rooms enjoying an alternative woodland view. Rooms include Cranbrook, with its twin side-by-side baths, and Haytor, a family loft suite comprising a king and twin bedroom and able to sleep a family of four. erhaps the most special rooms, however, are Dartmeet, Gidleigh ark’s spa suite, featuring a luxury bedroom and a bathroom that includes a large marble bath, double shower, sauna and steam room, or

The avilion, an actual self-contained two bedroomed thatched cottage located within the grounds.

Chris den, Gidleigh ark’s executive head chef, is the only Cornish born chef to have won a Michelin star in his home county, moving over the border to Gidleigh ark in Devon in September . Today, Chris also holds a Michelin star at Gidleigh ark, offering a style that is produce-led, but beautifully laced with touches of adventure and invention, creating refined plates where flavour is king. A typical threecourse seasonal menu in Gidleigh’s restaurant might include hand dived scallops, shiitake mushrooms, brassicas, honey white tru e and parmesan to start lamb loin, dolmades, salt baked onion, ha elnut, artichoke for main and finish with the Thunder and ightning tart, saffron jelly and ginger beer.

A new activities programme for offers a menu of paid and complimentary activities for guests – choose from guided walks, wine and cellar tours experiences including falconry or enjoy free activities, including yoga, putting, croquet or tennis.

“ Views extend over forest, streams, tumbling waterfalls and rolling valleys”
There’s 107 acres of gardens and woodland to explore at Gidleigh Park



Why we should all be ravishing radishes

GET READY TO WELCOME a vibrant veggie star this late spring. Hailing from south east central Asia, this crunchy, colourful root has been a hit since ancient Greek and Roman times, partly thanks to its healing powers. From the tiny red, purple, white, and yellow conical round radish to the giant Daikon or mooli radish, these seasonal treats come in all shapes, sizes and shades. Famous for being particularly easy and quick to grow, with the smaller varieties maturing in a month or less, they are a crunchy firm favourite with amateur gardeners.

These little guys bring a zesty, peppery, almost sweet, and certainly crunchy vibe to the table, thanks to their mustardy roots. Whether you’re tossing them in a salad, or

oven-roasting them, radishes can spice up your weekday meals. The distinct pungent and crisp taste of radishes comes from the same enzymes found in the mustard, horseradish and wasabi roots. This flavour intensity is reduced once cooked, and the practice of halving them and dipping them in salt rounds out their hot, nutty flavour.

Low in carbs and calories, they also pack a punch in the nutrition department, making radishes a great way to add health-boosting benefits to your dishes. They’re bursting with a cocktail of vitamins and minerals, from vitamin C to potassium, giving your body a high-five with every crunch.

As a cook, I love their versatility. I like to pickle them in a white wine sugar and spice

brine and use them to dress burgers, wraps and tacos. Roasting whole radishes with garlic and olive oil makes for a flavoursome, healthy side dish. They are delicious raw, and pair well with homemade pesto, pea and mint hummus or crab paté.

But don’t forget about their leafy ends, which everyone does! The radish green tops are the unsung heroes, in my opinion, packing a higher nutritional punch than the root veg itself. This means the whole thing is edible, so enjoy a zero-waste meal by using the green ends chopped up like a herb, and sprinkled over dishes for a fresh radishy twist.

For more radish inspiration and recipes, visit Verity’s Instagram page @ForThe Flavour


Iford Manor Kitchen in Bradford on Avon is launching Iford Supper Clubs, a six-course tasting menu designed by head chef Matthew Briddon.

Matthew has been known to refer to his style of cuisine as ‘Magpie British’, stealing inspiration from British, French and Italian cookery and shaping it around the seasonal produce available. He says, “Much of the food we will be serving is grown, reared or foraged from our vegetable garden and from across the Iford Manor estate.”

The inspired food also comes with a side serving of light ja played live, and an optional wine flight. The next dates are 24 May, 7 June, 5 July, and 19 July. For more:

PHOTO BY VERITY GENCO This crunchy, colourful salad favourite is known for its high nutritional value
Matthew’s ‘Magpie British’ cuisine; RIGHT: That’s no magpie!

There’s a foodie paradise heading to Victoria Park this June, with drink stalls,

producers and heaps of entertainment


White Lake Cheese in Somerset has landed the Best English Cheese trophy at the British Cheese Awards 2024, taking one of this year’s top honours thanks to Tor, a pyramid-shaped fresh lactic goat’s cheese.

Organised by The Royal Bath & West Society, the 28th British Cheese Awards, which were held the end of March at the Bath & West Showground as part of the first ever Bath West Food Drink Festival, saw a -strong judging panel – made up of expert cheesemakers, cheesemongers, cheese fans, buyers and assorted commentators – assess over entries from right


The ’s biggest food festival, sometimes known as Gastro-Glastonbury’, comes to Bath for the very first time. The three-day event in ictoria ark, running – une, will feature live cooking demonstrations from TV celebrities and chefs drawn from the ranks of MasterChef, Great British Bake ff and Great British Menu, including Matty Edgell and (naturally!) Josh Eggleton.

Rocking up alongside demos from local chefs, including Noya Pawlyn of Noya’s Kitchen, The live Tree’s Chris Cleghorn and Robun’s Kasae Fraser, will be performances from Example, Blue and Symphonic Ibiza.

Also on the menu, alongside a plethora of foodie stalls, are fire pit barbecue sessions, a drop-in cook school, a silent disco, the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, fairground rides, walkabout artists, drum troops, choirs, children’s activities and, maybe the hottest ticket of all, a chilli eating competition, featuring the current world champion.

For more:

across the UK and Ireland.

Roger Longman, owner of White Lake Cheese, says, “We are delighted with this award, which endorses the feeling of our entire team here at White Lake – that we produce a superb lactic goat’s cheese, with its combination of citrus flavours, a typical goat’s cheese tang, and a subtle peppery undertone from the light coating of ash.

“The pointier pyramid shape is a celebration of the Glastonbury Tor, which is clearly visible from our farm, and differentiates us from the more typical French pyramid cheeses.” For more:

There was a judging panel of 63 experts I BATH LIFE I 73
The winning Tor cheese
demos, local
The 28th British Cheese Awards were held at the Bath & West Showground


We spend a few happy hours in search of 13 of the city’s best boozers

Photos by Rowena Ko; Instagram @ahappybathonian

Aman walks into a pub – and finds a host of friendly faces, great ales on tap, a landlord with a listening ear. Maybe a dart board, possibly a live band, the occasional quiz night, a ploughman’s for lunch and peanuts for snacks. The Great British Pub is a revered institution that seems to be making a comeback. Maybe it’s because we’re finally shrugging off a pandemic hangover, when tables for two, ordering on an app, and sipping between masks seemed to spell the end of jostling for service at a bar, drunken singalongs and supping pints in close proximity. Or perhaps we’ve started to re-appreciate that there can be no more galvanising feeling than sitting in the pub, or better still the pub garden, sharing a bag of cheese and onion with your nearest, dearest and bestest pals, talking politics, wa e, and asking whose round it is, anyway

Here, with the help of photographer Rowena Ko and the CAMRA pub guide, we take a leisurely crawl around the city to highlight a few city favourite pubs, complete with ales, ghosts and reading rooms. And please don’t take to heart if we haven’t included your personal favourite here (The Grapes on Westgate Street, the Moorfields in ldfield ark, and the loved-by-luvvies Garricks – we can assure you that there will be a mopping-up round-up of a few more haunts soon. The Bath Life team are selfless like that

1Coeur de Lion, 17 Northumberland Place;

Situated in the narrow ‘lanes’ of Bath is this perfect little boozer, reputedly our smallest pub. The building is believed to date from 1749 and was originally known as Marchants Court. In around 1860 it became a public house known as the Avondown Stores (presumably because the beer came from the long closed Avondown brewery at Batheaston , and in around the name of the pub was changed to the Coeur de Lion (translates from the French as Lionheart . Nobody knows the reason for the change, but it is thought to be unique in the UK.

In the pub moved from No to its present premises at Northumberland lace. Many years later the Devenish brewery acquired the Coeur, and their name and crest can still be seen on the original stained glass windows.

Make it a double In September, Abbey Ales brewery shop opened up just next door, specialising in Abbey beers and other local brews.

2Huntsman, 1 Terrace Walk;

Built between 1748 and 1750 by renowned architect John Wood the Elder, it initially operated as the Terrace Walk Wine Vaults under a local wine merchant’s management. By 1906 it had become an Eldridge Pope public house and attained Grade II* status in 1950. In November , Fuller, Smith Turner acquired The Huntsman, undertaking significant renovations. Split over two levels, the upstairs offers fine dining, whereas below is the traditional


“The name Coeur de Lion is thought to be unique in the UK”
1 3
“The oldest pub in Bath has legitimate celebrity status thanks to Charles Dickens”
5 4

boozer environs. It regularly features two guest beers and hosts live music on the second Friday of each month, and its slap bang central location near Parade Gardens makes it a popular spot for Bath Rugby enthusiasts pre- and post-home games.

Just one more thing The Elder Rooms upstairs are named in honour of its celebrated architect.


The Bell, 103 Walcot Street;

It’s hard to do justice to what a wonderful, characterful and most Bath-esque pub The Bell is without frogmarching you down Walcot Street and making you experience it for yourself. Always busy and rammed with every sort of person from every walk of life, The Bell has a reputation for individuality, energy, quirkiness, great music – and a ‘pizza bike’ in the garden.

Proving our point, the pub is now owned by 536 of its regulars, fans and staff, following a community buy-out in . ive music is a mainstay, with bands playing Monday and Wednesday evenings and Sunday lunchtimes. Open-mic nights on Thursday evenings are held in the separate back bar, to the rear. Extra features include barbilliards, board games and even a tiny launderette. At the rear is an extensive walled garden with covered seating.

On tap The Bell has five regular ales, plus one or two ever-changing guests from local micros. Options include Bristol Beer Factory Independence; Butcombe Adam Henson’s Rare Breed; Hop Back Summer ightning tter Ale and St Austell Cornish Best Bitter.


The Saracens Head, 42 Broad Street;

Grammar pendants might have to swallow hard in order to ignore the missing possessive apostrophe in what is a brilliant name for a pub. A saracen is a member of a nomadic people of the deserts between Syria and Arabia, and was incorporated into family coats of arms following The Crusades between and .

Having opened in , it says it is the oldest pub in Bath and has legitimate celebrity status thanks to Charles Dickens not only staying in the room above the pub but making mention of it in The Pickwick Papers, written in . These days you’ll find qui , comedy and poker nights and live music.

Regular haunt The Saracens has two frequent flyer ghosts. In , a member of the church next door collapsed and was carried into the pub where he died. His apparition was later joined by the ghost of Scottish Al, about whom less is known, but their eerie faces often appear together looking out from the upper window.


The Architect, The Empire, Orange Grove, Bath;

pened in , the Architect pub encompasses part of the ground floor and basement of the mpire Hotel (now residential homes on Orange Grove, overlooking Pulteney Bridge. This statuesque Grade II listed building was designed by the Bath City Architect Major Charles dward Davis for the hotelier Alfred Holland, and built from Bath stone on the site of the Athenaeum in .

It was described by the German art historian and architectural scholar Sir Nikolaus Pevsner as a ‘monstrosity and an unbelievable piece of pompous architecture’, which we think is a little bit harsh.

Inside, the large, high-ceilinged rooms are lined with booths to nestle into and a mixture of different si ed tables for large or intimate visits. There is also a more private table, if you’d like a special occasion away from the hubbub.

After works drinks Thanks to its location and exterior grandeur, this place easily attracts, and does right by, visiting tourists, but is also a big hit with the TGIF’ office workers crowd. I BATH LIFE I 77 FOOD & DRINK
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The Black Fox, 47 St James’s Parade;

Once the infamous and slightly terrifying Hobgoblin near Bath College, this 18th-century building was transformed into a basic but stylish ‘urban inn’ in 2017. The Fox is part of the Wellington Pub Company, the largest in this ‘free of tie’ pub chain, which in essence allows the owner free rein to run the pub as they wish.

pstairs (actually the geound floor is more of a stripped back wooden vibe – functional and minimalist – whilst downstairs the large, comfy and chint y sofas offer a cosier welcome. With friendly service, it’s popular with local students as well as a handy en route stop off for those waiting for their train or bus home.

On tap Stocking a mostly local selection of lagers, craft beers and ales from breweries in the Bristol and Bath area.

7The Boater, 9 Argyle Street, Bathwick;

ike Bath Rugby, then you’ll love the Boater – which is adjacent to the Rec. Now a Fullers pub, the modest exterior on Argyle Street belies

The Boater’s TARDIS-effect, which consists of a three level delight and a large beer garden overlooking ulteney Bridge and the Weir.

The ground floor bar is light and airy, while upstairs is a more formal dining room with a dining menu and views out over the grounds; for the younger crew, the lower ground bar has more of a nightlife vibe with cocktails and music.

Time, please It can get very busy on match days, but rarely gets too lively – the atmosphere is always more celebratory than combative.


The Griffin Inn, Monmouth St; www.

This Grade II-listed inn may have a modern minimalist and arty feel, after being refurbished in 2023 when it came under new management, but Bath history is seeped into its very being. There has been a Griffin Inn established on this site since , and the earliest documentary evidence is of a license granted to William Pomeroy ‘to keep a common Inn and Alehouse’ in 1776.

There is also archaeological evidence that the site was in use during, and even before, the 1600s as an inn.

House special The name refers to the griffin sitting on the ansdown Monument, erected in 1720, which commemorates the Cornish Royalist hero Sir Bevil Grenville, who died at the Battle of ansdown in 1643 during the English Civil War.


The Old Green Tree, 12 Green Street; tel: 01225 448259

The history of the ld Green Tree goes back more than years to June 1716, when a milliner called John Cornish bought part of the former bowling green and started building Green Street. Legend has it that the name of the pub celebrated a tree which stood next to the bowling green.

Originally the pub was much smaller than it is now, having been extended in . Yet despite its dinky si e, it had its own brewery at the back of the premises, which continued to produce beer until the early twentieth century.

It remained a free house until , when it was then taken over by the amb Brewery from Frome, who extended it, built a smoke room where the brewery had been, installed a new frontage and panelled the walls with oak. Since then it’s the pub where time stands still, with hardly any changes – and so if you’re of a 21st century sort of height, best mind your head on the low ceilings and small door frames. Bar none Voted Pub of the Year by the local branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA in and again in .

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“The extension of the Raven has been the absolute making of it”
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The Raven, 6 – 7 Queen Street;

This was a lovely pub before, but the extension into next door in 2022 has been the absolute making of it. It started life as licensed premises in 1864 when Thomas Toleman took over the Bazaar Wine Vaults from Charles Wright, who declared himself ‘Wine Merchant to the Royal Family’.

During World War II the pub was a favourite watering hole for the pilots stationed at the nearby airfield. They used to write messages on the ceiling of the upstairs bar, but unfortunately these were painted over in the 1960s and remain a hidden treasure. The rest of the Raven, though, is an absolutely visible treasure trove, with six separate bars and the two upper floors themed with a small art gallery. Make sure you call in to the Secret Library, where the walls are lined with books on every conceivable subject. Raise the bar Last year it became local CAMRA Pub of the Year.


The Curfew, 11 Cleveland Place West;

A busy and popular rugby-oriented pub on the edge of town, towards the London Road. Although the building has a history that dates back nearly 200 years – as a Georgian bookshop and then a wine merchants – it’s only been a pub for just over 60 years, and is one of just a few Bath pubs that still keeps six pumps primed with real Wadworth ales and traditional ciders.

The entrance is a light and airy space with a welcoming and well thought out open layout, plus lots of little cosy nooks. Upstairs there’s The Lounge, with a impressive chandelier, picture windows and high ceilings, which is not only available for private hire but also offers itself for free to not-for-profit community groups. Take it outside To the rear there’s a suntrap of a courtyard garden, complete with tables on multiple levels and a bar area to sit at and enjoy the imminent sunshine.


The George Inn, Mill Lane, Bath

This picturesque, ivy-clad Grade II listed pub is perched on the bend of Mill Lane in the Somerset village of Bathampton. Across the road sits St Nicholas Church, while the Kennet and Avon Canal hosts a multitude of ducks near the pub’s spacious beer garden, with pretty canal boats moored alongside. When chilly days take you inside, there are low ceilings, creaking beams, characterful nooks and crannies, and real log fires to enjoy.

There is some debate as to when exactly the inn was built. Some sections seem to have been established as early as the 12th century, when it was part of a monastery for the Prior of Bath. According to English Heritage, however, the current building is built from ‘coursed rubble with a Cotswold stone slate roof’ and dates from the mid to late 17th century, while the west gable is dated 1815.

Regular haunt The George Inn is said to be haunted by the ghost of a foreign noble called Viscount John Baptiste Du Barre. A decadent man who held lavish parties, he was also fond of gambling. Following a quarrel over a game of cards, a challenge was thrown down and he and his opponent met on Claverton Down at dawn on 18 November 1778. This was the last legal duel fought in Britain – and no prizes for guessing if he won or lost!

13Star Inn, 23 Vineyards; tel: 01225 425072

Want a pub that really isn’t giving in to Gen Z fads like pub lunches or Sunday roasts? Then this is the Inn for you! The main outlet for Abbey Ales, this classic town pub – dating from 1760 and fitted out by Gaskell and Chambers in – still does not serve food, the exception being Cheese Night on a Thursday.

Its four small rooms have benches around the walls, wood panelling and roaring fires. In fact, the smallest room has but a single bench, called Death Row. Bass is served from the cask.

One for the road Complimentary snuff is available.

Need a light bit of reading after last orders? We suggest Camra’s Good Beer Guide 2024 , which takes you on a voyage of discovery through a wonderful world of traditional ales, brewers and pubs, including an extensive chapter on the South West, £13.99,

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Class identity

What the new government guidelines mean for gender questioning pupils

Last year the government issued guidance for the first time on how schools should navigate the complex and highly sensitive issue of gender questioning. Headteachers reported a significant rise in the number of children requesting to socially transition at school, which can include changing pronouns, names, access to gender-specific sports and flexibility on uniform.

The Department for Education stepped in to help. Or at least help a bit. Just like the guidance previously issued on the use of

mobile phones in schools, the final yes no on the switch from he him or she her was left to heads. The key difference is that the Education Secretary wrote to schools with clear instructions to take a parent first approach to gender questioning and ensure “parents’ views were at the centre of every decision schools make about their child.”

The guidance is still nonstatutory and in draft form, and there is no confirmed date on when feedback from the threemonth consultation period will be published. Progress to policy is expected to be slow; an approach that is also at the heart


It’s mandatory for relationship, sex and health education (RHSE) to be taught in schools. In primary schools, RSHE teaches about healthy relationships and puberty and parents have the right to withdraw their children from sex education but not relationships education. At secondary level, RSHE extends to key topics including consent, and the government advice is that schools have the option to teach gender identity in an age appropriate way. Parents have the right to access worksheets or other content used in RSHE lessons, regardless of what a school’s contract with the organisation that provided the materials might say. New guidance is under review, with ministers considering introducing “age ratings” for what is taught in RHSE “to prevent children being taught concepts that they are too young to understand.”


LGB was the original initialism that stands for ‘lesbian, gay, bisexual’ and has subsequently been extended to include the T to represent transgender people, and Q for those who are questioning their sexual or gender identity. The plus sign represents those who are part of the community, but for whom LGBTQ does not accurately capture or reflect their identity.

of these new LGBGT+ rules for schools. Decisions should “not be rushed” and schools should never “automatically agree” to use a pronoun that is different to their biological sex. Schools can refuse to agree to a social transition if they think it’s not in the pupil’s best interest when considering the wider context, including the impact on other children. Teachers must never initiate or suggest to a child that they socially transition and, even if the senior leadership agree, there is no obligation for teachers to conform to the change in the classroom. There is also currently no onus on schools to provide alternative facilities to single-sex toilets or changing rooms.

“There is a real need additionalfor funding to bring in expert external organisations”

One head of a single-sex school told me that, in some ways, it makes challenges over gender questioning easier to handle, as the pupil and their parents made an active choice to enter a singlesex school. In other words, pink or blue helps tune out the grey. But what if a family was only in the catchment area for an all-boys or all-girls school and felt they had no choice? It’s Wild West territory, another leading head teacher told me, and this is where – like all complex issues challenging schools, such as mental health – there is a real need for additional funding to bring in expert external organisations who are better equipped to help.

How do the guidelines impact on admission to schools, including single sex schools? Well, singlesex schools can refuse to admit pupils of the other biological sex, regardless of whether they are questioning their gender.

Victoria Bond is the founder and CEO of School Guide, an easy-to-use website that helps parents explore the best schools in the area, including catchment maps and parent reviews. For more: I BATH LIFE I 83
HOW THE INVISIBLE WORK OF BATH BID KEEPS US ALL HAPPY BATH LIFE NETWORK LUNCH Getting social at Walcot House CHEERS TO THAT! Bath Life Bar Award winners Ludo GROWTH PLANS The investment boost to advisory firm Fidelius CROWNED WINNERS deVOL scoops a King’s Award for Enterprise PHOTO BY CLAIRE THATCHER; INSTAGRAM @CLAIRETHATCHER

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HERBERT, chief exec of the Bath BID, on how the company quietly works to help the city

What has the Bath Business Improvement District (BID) ever done for us? It may have echoes of Monty Python’s famous question, ‘What have the Romans ever done for us?’ – and the answer is an equally long and impressive one. It provides services that help our city stay clean, safe and secure. From graffiti clearance to Welcome Ambassadors, and from safety marshals to waste disposal, Bath BID is responsible for a secure intranet system that allows businesses to receive information from Avon and Somerset Police, as well as stay Citilink connected to the Police, CCTV and each other.

These may not be things we always spot as residents, taking for granted that these things ‘just happen’, but local businesses have certainly taken note. As Allison Herbert, the BID’s chief executive, explained at a recent Bath Life Network Lunch at Walcot House: “You have to be voted in every five years. So, in the first five years it was something like 65 per

cent [approval]. Then it went up to 75 per cent and last time round it was 89 per cent.”

The Bath BID, established in 2011, is an independent, not-forprofit business-led company working to provide the environment for businesses in Bath to succeed, and is one of 328 BIDs across the UK and Ireland. “The thing that most people know us for is cleaning, that and our night time security. We call it our brilliant basics, and we have a team of four BID Rangers. They’ll get radioed about something unpleasant that a business owner may have come across as they open up, and within 20 minutes a Ranger will have whizzed up there in their electric cart and they’ve cleaned it, jetted it and made it smell nice.”

A clean city is, of course, more attractive, and not just to the people who work and live here but also to visitors – and the footfall numbers are backing that up. “We are beating the South West average, the national average High Street average, and our own average from last year, by 1 or 2 per cent, and we have fewer vacant

units than most other cities too.”

Allison is proud of most of the work BID does, but there is one project in particular of which she is super proud – the Bath Safe Bus project. “It’s beautifully branded to make it easily identifiable, and comes into the city at 10.30pm on a Friday and Saturday evening and leaves at 4.30am. It’s really there to support anybody who’s in a vulnerable position. It could be as simple as ‘I’ve lost all my friends’. Or ‘my phone’s out of charge’ – we have every phone charger known to man. Or we’re there for those who are feeling emotional, teary, drunk, or who need to come down after taking drugs.

“We aim to be an inclusive, nonjudgemental space, and interact with so many different people – about


half are students, but also residents and the homeless. There is a security marshal on board, because it can be a little bit excitable late at night sometimes, and we have a medic. The idea of having a highly qualified ambulance quality medic on the bus was that we could then ease the pressure on the emergency services, and that’s definitely what we’ve been able to do.”

The success and the impact of the Bath Safe Bus Project was recognised at the recent Bath Life Awards, where it won the Civic Award and was also judged the Winners of Winners, scooping the Platinum Award and receiving a standing ovation. A great accolade for sure, but it’s the direct impact stories that stay with Allison, including the young person who told the Safe Bus team that if they hadn’t been able to talk to someone that night, they’d have killed themselves.

“We are all very proud of how the Bath Bus Safe Project directly impacts on lives and the collective wellbeing of the city. We’ve had some lovely, more general interactions, as well –a student came up to us on the bus and said, ‘I’ve brought my mum and dad to show them what happens in Bath at night’. Her parents simply said, ‘Thank you so much for making this exist.’”

For more: | I BATH LIFE I 87 NETWORK
Allison Herbert tells Greg Ingham, and Bath Life Network Lunch guests, about the work of Bath BID
Photos by Betty Bhandari;
The Bath
Network Lunch with Allison Herbert
Allison Herbert and Nick Bishop Greg Ingham Joe Cussens and David Ghent Clem Seymour, John Law and Lucy Hogg It was an afternoon of top dining and fine speaking at Walcot House Manpreet Brar and Umesh Yadav Emma Riddle, Denise Coughlan, Chris Rogers and Milly Wheeler James Gwinnett and Mark Saint Mia Martell, Zac Hickman, Kate Abbey and Jo Lloyd Lots of great networking opportunities!


uice Recruitment recently hosted a panel event to explore the current employment market in the South West. Topics discussed included people strategy, employee engagement, culture, talent acquisition and people retention, with panels that included Neil Carberry, C of Bath Rec Tarquin McDonald, C of Bath Rugby the MD of Interaction, Dieter Wood

C of uice Recruitment mma Summers and Richard Roberts, owner of nRich.

Hosted at the recently renovated Interaction offices on dgar Mews, and compered by the BBC newsreader ylie entelow, around guests also enjoyed a light lunch and networking opportunities. or more www.

deVOL has been honoured with a King’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade; INSET: The kitchen furniture specialist recently opened up in Bath


itchen furniture specialist de itchens, which has recently opened a showroom on Bath’s George Street, has been honoured with a ing’s Award for nterprise for International Trade for its outstanding continuous growth in overseas sales.

From a base of virtually no exports at all, de has grown overseas revenue by a mighty , per cent over the last six years, with per cent of sales now exported and total turnover and net profits increasing almost three-fold. The majority of the overseas sales are from the nited States, but it also received

orders from over countries, including France, Germany, Spain and Norway, and has established new overseas markets in Thailand, China and Denmark.

aul ’ eary, who founded the business in , says, After years in business, I can’t believe that we now export our kitchens and homewares all around the world. What started as two friends making furniture in a garage, almost for fun, has grown into a business that employs people, many of them design graduates from local universities. or more


Fidelius, the well-known Bath-headquartered advisory firm, has announced its growth plans following the FCA’s approval for an investment in the company from S derberg artners.

The Swedish wealth manager bought a significant minority stake in Fidelius for an undisclosed sum as part of its drive to increase its footprint in the advice space. Wide-ranging plans include partnering with IFAs who are looking for the resources and support to facilitate their future growth providing a partnership model for individual advisers investing in technology to support client service and building relationships with the wider professional community.

There are also changes in leadership, with chief executive officer im Grant now the executive chairman and Ian Fowler becoming chief operating officer. im Grant says, I am delighted that the FCA has now approved our application and, with S derberg’s support and expertise, we can now put in place the exciting plans we have devised to deliver our next stage of growth. For more: www.

90 I BATH LIFE I BUSINESS DIARY 22 MAY Creative Bath Awards; 5 JUNE EntreConf Awards nominations close; 19 – 20 JUNE EntreConf; 27 JUNE Bath Property Awards nominations open;
– 7 JULY Bath Boules;
26 SEPTEMBER EntreConf Awards; 8 NOVEMBER Bath Property Awards;
Be a winner at the Creative Bath Awards
Interaction was the venue for the Juice panel discussion event Fidelius CEO Ian Fowler




The inaugural permanent electric bus service in Bath and North East Somerset has been launched in an effort to ensure greener links between some of the city’s busiest locations.

The launch of the electric bus, which will run the number 20 route, will continue to provide a vital link between the city centre, niversity of Bath and Royal nited Hospital (R H , whilst enhancing environmentally friendly travel options for residents and visitors.

Operated by community-interest company

The Big Lemon, the 20 route is subsidised by Bath & North East Somerset Council’s (B N S Transport Bus evy and offers an hourly service between Wedgwood Road in Twerton and the Sports Training Village at niversity of Bath.

Bar Award Sponsored by Minuteman Press

he Ludo Sports Bar & Kitchen, located near the train station at 9 Brunel Square, is a premium sports destination bar offering full HD viewing and state-of-the-art sound on screens. Here general manager ennox aul-David tells us what winning a Bath Life Award means for the business, which only opened its doors in May 2023.

First off, how did you find the process of nominating yourselves?

Hospitality is a fast-paced sector, so it’s rare to sit down and reflect on the work we do – we’re always thinking ahead and planning the next thing. So we found the process really humbling and uplifting, because it brought home how much has been going on at Ludo and what the team has achieved in less than a year.

Who else did you meet on the night? We really enjoyed meeting so many professionals

from different sectors across Bath. It amplified just how many incredible and thriving businesses there are in this buzzing city.

Any other highlights of the night?

The service from the hospitality teams at the Bath avilion was fantastic – they deserve a shout-out

What does winning the Bath Life Award mean for the team?

It felt like a such huge acknowledgment, recognising the positive impact that Ludo has made in Bath. On top of this, during a time when hospitality businesses are under more pressure than ever, this award win provides such a fantastic way to thank each and every single person at Ludo for their ongoing commitment.

Any advice for someone else thinking of entering themselves?

Don’t overthink the answers or try too hard to write what you should’ say. ust answer honestly – always the best way

For more: |

Councillor Sarah Warren, who is deputy council leader and a cabinet member for climate emergency and sustainable travel, says The introduction of B N S’s first electric bus on the number 20 route represents a significant step forward in our efforts to promote sustainability.”

For more: |

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Founded in 2012, having previously been successful antique dealers prior to the formation of the auction rooms, Auctioneum opened as a modern internet driven business in Bristol. It then expanded into Bath, purchasing a site at Broadlands Farm, Bathford in February . Here managing director van Mc herson, who attended Beechen Cliff school, talks us through starting up and then growing this fine art auctioneers and valuers company.

How did you fall into your line of work?

ooking back, I think it found me. From a young age I was driven to interesting, unusual and historical items and I still have an original Brooke Bond Tea enamel sign I found when I was eight. This, I am sure, was the catalyst to it all.

Where did you train to be an auctioneer?

Initially, my wife and I were selftaught antique dealers. sing the

advent of the internet and reference books to research and study the things we loved, we then used the auction houses of the South West to learn how to buy and sell items. This journey, for me in particular, being learning about period nglish antique furniture and mid-century design.

What other jobs have you done?

I was an account manager in the South West of ngland Ireland for Michelin Tyres, helping develop their retailer networks sales and profitability. This gave me the background, knowledge and understanding of how to create, develop and make a successful business.

What was the inspiration for founding Auctioneum?

The inspiration was more a belief that my wife and I could create, develop and manage an auction room better than the competition, using the internet at its heart to provide a better selling and buying experience for our clients. It remains very much a family business, created alongside my wife, who is from a solid marketing background.

What were the early days of setting up Auctioneum like?

ong hours, long hours, long hours. But hard work and sheer determination, and a strong belief that we could achieve our goals, kept us going.

Any moment you’ve been particularly proud of?

I think when any auction house has a good sale, you are so proud of the team and the business for the work undertaken to deliver the results on behalf of your clients. This is always a high Also, watching colleagues taking their first steps as an auctioneer is always something we are proud of. We are advocates for staff development, and offer strong career paths and opportunities for driven people.

Tell us a little about the team It is a team made up of successful, driven individuals with a passion for discovering and selling interesting and historic items, without being scared to work hard to achieve the best results for clients using modern business methods and practice.


How does being Bath-based help your business?

Bath is an area rich in history, which works in harmony with what we want to do with Auctioneum, its product offering and its passion. We like to think that it is a match made in heaven!

How have you developed professionally and personally over the years?

I am more productive and organised than ever before – which just shows how much you can learn if you really throw yourself into the challenges growing a new business.

Finally, any immediate plans for Auctioneum?

We aren’t completely finished with our Bath auction rooms site, with another , sq ft available to us to deliver further auctions.

For more: Auctioneum of Bath & Bristol, Broadlands Fruit Farm, Box Road, Bathford and 1 Hanham Business Park, Memorial Road, Hanham, Bristol; I BATH LIFE I 93
The auctioneer and valuer at Auctioneum of Bath and Bristol
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First of all, when you are asked to sign to accept your role, you should decide whether being as attorney is actually something you are willing and/or able to do. You may be being asked to do nothing other than ‘stand by’ at this stage, but, if and when the person appointing you begins to lose their capacity to make their own decisions without help, will you be in the right place to notice that? Will you have the time to help? Will you know how to help? If you have serious doubts on any of these fronts should you accept the appointment in the first place?

Assuming you are happy to accept the role, then a bit of forward thinking is advisable. If the LPA is brought into use, you will be being asked to help the donor to make decisions and ultimately to make decisions for them when they are unable to make them themselves, even with help. So, talk to the donor now and ensure that you know what their own decisions would be in given situations. These views will not be binding on you at this stage, and circumstances can change, of course, but they will give you vital background information.

If you are being appointed to act under the terms of a finance LPA then it is sensible to ask the donor ahead of time which financial institutions they deal with, whether they are in receipt of pensions or state benefits and whether, and to what extent, they support charities.

Do they use credit cards? If so, do they pay the bill off in full each month?

Do they complete an annual tax return?

If you are asked to act as Attorney for someone under the terms of a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) what do you need to consider? Local legal expert HELEN STARKIE explains… “ IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO ALLOW THE DONOR TO MAKE THEIR OWN DECISIONS TO THE EXTENT THAT THEY CAN AND TO HELP THEM TO DO SO WHERE POSSIBLE”

What is their habit in making gifts for birthdays and Christmas – what sort of amounts and to whom?

How would the donor feel about having their home sold or let if they had to move into residential care?

All of this information will be invaluable to you should you be asked to take on your role at short notice (for example if the donor suffers a stroke or an accident).

Are you sure you understand the limits of your role when the time comes? You cannot simply wade in and take over. It is your responsibility to allow the donor to make their own decisions to the extent that they can and to help them to do so where possible, rather than impose your own decision upon them – even if you disagree with what they are proposing! They may be able to make some decisions and not others. It is your

must act together. If you are appointed jointly and severally then you can make decisions alone (although it is good practice to confer where possible). In either case you cannot delegate your responsibilities to anyone who is not appointed as an attorney.

If you are acting as an attorney under the terms of a welfare LPA make sure you have an understanding of the donor’s health history and wishes regarding life-sustaining treatment. You may have to speak for them in the most extreme of situations.

job to assess the situation. You must assume that the donor can make their own decisions unless it is clearly shown that they cannot.

If the donor is more lucid at particular times of day than others, or if using different methods of communication (pictures for example) then it is your responsibility to maximise their chance to make a decision by capitalising on this.

If you are managing the donor’s finances, you must keep them separate from your own and keep records of what has been received and spent.

If there is more than one attorney appointed, you need to be aware of how the appointments interrelate. If you are appointed jointly then you cannot make any decisions alone; all attorneys

Throughout your dealings with the donor, you must, under both types of LPA act always in the donor’s best interests and in the least restrictive way. You may not benefit yourself from your appointment. And if in doubt, seek professional advice!

38 Gay Street, Bath, BA1 2NT; 01225 442353;

Property expertise with a personal service, tailored to you 01225 941008 ROSIE MARLOW FINALIST AWARDS 2024


The Francis Hotel Bath is about to undergo a £13 million refurbishment project, starting in July. The work will include renovation of all 98 bedrooms and suites, a reconfiguration of the hotel’s lobby, the unveiling of a brand-new restaurant, as well as the addition of a dedicated spa and snug. Working with award-winning interior

designers 3DReid, the design concept will take inspiration from the Georgian era when the hotel was first constructed, while at the same time incorporating all the modern amenities and contemporary touches today’s traveller would expect.

William Gibbs, hotel director of Sutton Hotel Collection, which owns The Francis

Hotel Bath, says, “This transformation will not only create an even more compelling hotel stay for our domestic guests, but also drive greater interest from more international leisure and business tourists who are visiting Bath.”

For more:

The Francis Hotel used to be a series of separate town houses INSET: It is about to undergo a £13million revamp
The £13 million refurbishment project for The Francis Hotel Bath


A £1 million West of England scheme to train up and upskill more than retrofitters, funded by Mayor Dan Norris’s Mayoral Combined Authority, is being rolled out across Bath.

As part of Retrofit West – regional Mayor Dan Norris’s £7 million-plus programme to deliver home improvements and better energy efficiency – a total of 720 recruits will take part in free training over the year to become certified retrofit installers. The scheme will also upskill existing tradespeople. The mix of handson and online training courses will be run by retrofit specialists Retrofit West CIC, Bath College, YT , the Green Register and Future Leap.

Dan says, “The climate crisis is the single biggest challenge our region, and humanity, faces. It’s here. It’s now. And we urgently need the skills to face it head on. That means training up an army of workers to retrofit our homes. That’s a huge win, win, win –cheaper energy bills, lower emissions and good quality jobs for local people.” or more www.retro

The Dyson



Patients have been welcomed into the new Dyson Cancer Centre at the Royal United Hospitals Bath (RUH) NHS Foundation Trust, which opened just last month.

The purpose built centre, which now brings together many of the RUH’s cancer services under one roof, includes the RUH’s oncology, chemotherapy and radiotherapy services, a 22-bed inpatient ward, a dedicated pharmacy, research team and nuclear medicine and physics teams; it is backed by over £40m in government funding as part of the New Hospital Programme.

Another key feature of the centre is the Macmillan Wellbeing Hub, supported by a £1.5m donation from Macmillan Cancer Support. The three storey hub will provide a welcoming, non-clinical space designed around the needs of patients and their families. It will also include comfortable accommodation where relatives and loved ones can stay overnight.

The centre was also supported by an additional £10m fundraising campaign from R H , the hospital’s official charity, including £1m by the Medlock Charitable Trust, and a £4m donation from the James Dyson Foundation.

James Dyson, founder and chief engineer of his eponymous company, says, “Both of my parents died far too young from cancer, so I’ve always tried to support causes that involve treating or researching this terrible disease.”

For more:

Mayor Dan Norris has launched a scheme to help train up retrofitters The entrance of the new three-storey treatment centre; INSET: The thoughtful design is a welcoming space PHOTO BY WILLIAM BECK PHOTO BY WILLIAM BECK



Chadwick explores


Georgian gem reimagined

Lansdown Crescent stands as one of those undisputed testaments to Georgian architectural excellence, and this gem sits right in the middle of that history.

The Grade I listed property was originally designed by the eminent architect John Palmer, and was constructed between 1789 and 1793 as a landmark build offering unparalleled views over central Bath. Its graceful curvature, along with neighbouring ansdown Place East and West, forms a striking ensemble that defines the very northern boundary of our historic Georgian city. Formerly home to the controversial nglish writer and collector William Beckford, the crescent retains echoes of its storied past. Beckford’s legacy includes the construction of a bridge connecting Lansdown Crescent to Lansdown Place West, as well as expansive gardens and the view over to his folly, Beckford’s Tower, atop ansdown Hill.

Today, this magnificent crescent houses beautifully restored residences, each a masterpiece of period design and contemporary elegance. One standout property within this ensemble is this stunning five-bedroom, four-bathroom home, recently refurbished to impeccable standards, and fresh to the market. As you enter you are greeted by original

“ Lansdown Crescent is a landmark offering unparalleled views”

checker-board flooring and a grand stone staircase, paying homage to the home’s Georgian roots.

At the heart of the residence is a bespoke and luxe Arclinea contemporary kitchen, while the atrium roof light floods the space with natural light.

Moving through the living areas, herringbone wooden flooring and soft d cor hues define the luxury of the first floor. The living spaces are meticulously designed for comfort and sophistication, offering a seamless blend of classic features and fascinating contemporary finishes.

Ascend to the second floor, where the impressive principal bedroom suite awaits. anoramic views across the city and rolling hills beyond create a breathtaking backdrop to live, breathe, unwind and rejuvenate. Additional bedrooms on the third floor, including an en suite, cater to family and guests, ensuring both comfort and privacy.

enturing to the lower ground level reveals another bedroom suite, a spacious studio, gym, kitchenette, and laundry facilities – all the modern conveniences and practical options you could wish for, but without impinging on the grandeur of the rest of the house.

As you might expect in a home that is on the market for £6million, technological sophistication abounds, with high-end tech integrated seamlessly into the property. From an intercom system to smart lighting


and heating controls, every joined up, easy living detail has been considered.

Step outside to the garden – a modern oasis of tranquility. Minimalistic in design, the landscaped terraces gently slope towards a sleek water feature, framed by elegant silver birch trees. This outdoor retreat offers a serene escape in the heart of the city.


Bedrooms 5

Bathrooms 4

Reception rooms 5-6

Guide price £6 million

Visiting sheep Lots

For more: Knight Frank Bath Estate Agents, 4 Wood Street, Bath;

Community spirit thrives within this row of homes, anchored by the Lansdown Crescent Association. Founded in 1983, the association fosters a sense of belonging and works tirelessly to conserve and enhance the crescent’s unique character and amenities.

The surrounding landscape, including the field in front of the crescent, adds to its extra special allure, especially when it is home to grazing sheep at certain times of the year.

For those seeking a harmonious blend of heritage, luxury and community, Lansdown Crescent beckons – an extraordinary address where history meets modernity, and a lifestyle of distinction. I BATH LIFE I 103 PROPERTY
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Our local businesses are poised and ready to help with all your home needs for Summer

BONITI Situated on the outskirts of Bath, Boniti presents an extensive array of top-notch interior and exterior products. Offerings include natural stone and timber flooring, Everhot Range Cookers, as well as porcelain and decorative tiles. Providing exceptional installation and restoration services, Boniti pride themselves on delivering a friendly and personalised experience, with customer satisfaction at the heart of it all. Dunsdon Barn, West Littleton,Wiltshire SN14 8JA; Tel: 01225 892 200;

TILE & FLOOR For over 50 years, Tile & Floor has been synonymous with the supply of a range of top-tier design-led materials and professional installation services. Our commitment to quality has forged enduring relationships with discerning homeowners overseeing their personal projects, as well as with design and construction professionals serving the property industry. Exciting news! We are now also conveniently located at Chippenham M4. Tel: 01225 310561;


Clair Strong Interior Design is a boutique, creative company based in Bath, providing a wide range of services for both residential and commercial clients. Her portfolio of projects includes the design, project coordination and sourcing for some of Bath’s most beautiful residences, as well as hotels, sports clubs, offices and other commercial venues. Contact Clair on 07855 797311 or 01225 426905;


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


DESIGN create unique, client-focused contemporary and traditional interiors, valued for their individual, beautifully tailored characterful design. With 25 years of expertise delivering space planning, detailed design, procurement, art curation and project management. An award-winning practice with studios in Bath & London, WOOLF are accredited designers of historic, period, listed houses and hotels. Tel 01225 445670;

NEXUS OF BATH is a Bath based family business specialising in painting and decorating, plastering, tiling, sash window restoration and other property restoration. Nexus have built a reputation for the highest standards of workmanship with experience across a range of projects from listed buildings through to new builds, with a complete commitment to customer service and health and safety Tel: 01225 300414;


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


Broadleaf are the UK’s leading manufacturer and retailer of beautiful wood flooring, with a unique and unrivalled range of solid and engineered plank and parquet. Open since 2022 their extensive Bath showroom showcases the complete collection. Visit their expert, friendly team to find inspiration, discuss your project and pick up samples. 134 – 136 Walcot St; 01225 463464;


Originally from Perth in Scotland, Perfect Rooms owner, Sue, is a creative interior designer by heart with an enviable eye for detail. Passionate about creating new schemes that are designed to impress, she has a portfolio of clients up and down the country that cannot speak highly enough of her incredible work. To arrange a consultation for interior design services, do not hesitate to get in touch. Tel: 01249 716445;



The DJ, music curator, events promoter and brand consultant on

hating school, loving trainers and launching club nights in Bath

Ross is a professional working DJ with current residencies at Soho House, Estelle Manor and Club Lomah, and a client list that includes the Premier League, David Beckham and Google. He’s also been behind some of Bath’s most infamous club nights over the years, ranging from Karanga at the Pavilion to Filth and Thirsty Thursdays at Po Na Na, L.I.T. at Moles, and LUXX at Delfter Krug. Originally from Bristol, Ross moved to Bath in 1994 when he co-launched Karanga, which was regularly named one of the Top Ten nights in the UK by both Mixmag and Pete Tong’s Essential Selection

To mark its 30th anniversary this year, the club night is back for a special one-off party at Komedia on 21 June.

“I never actually intended to be a DJ”

ended up with such a quiet voice, like I’m always whispering.

I spent one summer working the production line at Herman Miller on the Lower Bristol Road. That was pretty monotonous, doing the same thing all day every day. Working lots of mundane jobs make you really appreciate doing something you absolutely love for a living.

I never actually intended to be a DJ, it just happened by chance. Sometime back in 1990 my friends and I gatecrashed a random st birthday party at Bath Cricket Club one Friday night, and they had a cliché old school D playing cheesy stuff like YMCA and Agadoo. No one was dancing and everyone just looked bored. I had been record shopping that afternoon and had just bought a copy of The Stone Roses Fools Gold, so, as soon as the D popped out to the toilet, I got behind the decks and put it on, and it was an instant buzz.

I am also a freelance brand consultant working for fashion brands and auction houses including Clarks Originals, Dr. Martens, Sotheby’s and Pharrell Williams’ new outfit, oopiter.

I’ve been accumulating sneakers from all over the world for as long as I can remember. Although I sold a big chunk of them about ten years ago, I’m a bit of a hoarder so have had to dedicate a whole room of the house to my shoe collection.

I’ve been with my partner, Jessica, for 12 years. She’s very supportive and understanding of my career. It’s not easy for her to be with someone who has to work away from home several times a week, including every weekend, so I feel very blessed to have such a cool and loving partner. Between us we have two amazing boys – Rudy (18) and Toby (16) –and we live with our funny little rescue dogs, Penny and Suki.

When I was four years old I contracted a very rare medical condition which affected my breathing, so I spent a lot of my childhood at Great rmond Street Hospital for Children in London. Due to this condition I was unable to participate in any team sports, so was only able to take part in activities I could do solo, or with a small group of friends. This lead to my obsessions with music, film, skateboarding and BMX riding.

I once stopped breathing and had to have a police escort in an ambulance all the way from Bristol to London. The emergency operation saved my life, but unfortunately permanently damaged my vocal cords, which is why I’ve

Many of my regular DJ bookings are in private members clubs so there are always lots of celebrity guests, some of which have become personal clients that I now D for at their own private parties. There’s a book worth of great anecdotes but unfortunately I’m bound by NDAs nowadays, so they’ll have to remain under wraps I did get asked to D at Tom Cruise’s 60th birthday party a couple of years ago, but I was already booked.

I run a music curation service for a diverse range of companies within the hospitality and fashion industry, curating soundtracks for each aspect of their business by taking into consideration the guest experience, the desired clientele, and the essence of the brand. Some of my clients include local outlets such as The Newt in Somerset, Milk Bun and Always Sunday Town+House.

When Tim and I founded Karanga back in 1994, our aim was to bring global House D s to Bath for the first time. We took a risk and hired the Bath Pavilion, the sleepy old council-run venue which back then was mainly used for antique fairs and kids’ roller discos. Transforming the empty building into a big sweaty rave for , clubbers was definitely a challenge, but everyone loved it.

We decided to retire Karanga back in 2001, and since then have been constantly inundated with requests to bring it back. eople tell us they met their best friends and life partners, got engaged, and even conceived children at Karanga! We have chosen to host the party at Komedia, as it most resembles the Pavilion in terms of layout and style. The D line up includes Karanga favourites Seb Fontaine and Brandon Block, alongside residents including yours truly.

For more: | Instagram: @rosswilson_07

Northgate House, Upper Borough Walls, Bath, BA1 1RG Tel: 01225 536537 Retailers of pre-owned luxury timepieces based in Northgate House, Upper Borough Walls, Bath. Specialists in Rolex and also other brands such as Omega, Tudor, Breitling and more…

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