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ISSUE 218 / OCTOBER 2016 / £3



Bristol, music city


VICTOR HUGO GETS THE MUSICAL TREATMENT* *No, it’s NOT Les Mis. Yes, it’s at Bristol Old Vic. And hey – it’s set in Stokes Croft!

An eco-dream home in Ashley Down


Farewell, sarnie al desko!





Never knowingly seen without his trademark neckware, Tom Morris poses in front of a suitably graff-daubed wall to promote his new show for Bristol Old Vic – see page 56

Show and tell Sometimes, in mid-summer, when the entire city seems to be sitting about in parks listening to bands and gazing up at balloons, it can be bit of a struggle to fill the listings section. You sift with growing desperation through emails, wondering if it’s too soon to mention a school Christmas production of Rocky Horror in Cleeve, or whether Ben Hur at Cineworld might have a local indie angle. Suddenly that Morris dancer’s convention in Wrington starts looking pretty good By the end of September, it’s the opposite problem; shoehorning all of Bristol’s shows and events into a few pages is a feat of camel-and-needle-eye proportions. That’s partly why this issue has such a big, chunky arts section; a bit like Aerosmith, we don’t want you to miss a thing. But we’ve still found room for a round-up of the best Sunday lunches and (a theme emerging here) a look at what to do with your weekday working lunch hour – along with all the usual fabulousness. Deri Robins, editor Twitter @BristolLifeMag Instagram:@bristollifemag




If you want to know what’s happening in the local music scene, or so they say, ask Mark Taylor. We asked Mark Taylor


The Verdict

THAT gig on the Downs, and the best plays and shows from the past few weeks




23 House profile

Editor Deri Robins

The house that Bob built: an ecohome on Ashley Hill

Senior art editor Andrew Richmond Graphic design Megan Allison Cover design Trevor Gilham Contributors: Mal Rogers, Mark Taylor. Jenny Oldaker, Abi Dare, Jessica Cook, Seb Barrett, Kyle Traynor

GET OUT 38 Lunch break Bid farewell to sarnies al desko

Advertising manager Steve Grigg Account manager Emma Stroud Account manager James Morgan Commercial director Steve Hawkins

THE ARTS 47 Arts Intro Dance like nobody’s watching. Apart from everyone in the stalls, circles, boxes and gods at the Hippdrome, obviously

50 What’s On It’s full-on fall, with the new autumn season in Bristol’s theatres and concert halls

56 Theatre A Victor Hugo story adapted as a musical? Well, it worked for Mackintosh . . .

66 Opera The Don comes to TFT, and why you should, too

70 Shows Billy Elliot, The Musical (as opposed to Billy Elliot, the film with lots of songs in it) at the Hippo



The shock of the fall

101 Kyle Traynor


Speaking of which . . .

86 Restaurants


When was the last time you ate on a bus? And no, actually, a Greggs sausage roll doesn’t count

108 Business Insider

88 Food and drink

Kind of assumed that autumn meant the end of festival season? Nope, they’ve just taken it indoors

Elly Pear, silent discos, Bristol cocktail week and more tasty bites


Because it’s the best damn lunch of the week

How to live in a decadent crumbling pile – a French château, perhaps – with none of the inconvenience or punitive running costs

Chief executive Jane Ingham Chief executive Greg Ingham

82 Editor’s Choice

76 Wildscreen

81 Shopping Intro

Production and distribution manager Sarah Kingston Deputy production manager Christina West Production designer Kirstie Howe

90 Sunday lunch

A MAN’S WORLD 97 Seb Barrett Is Baz after Kyle Tranor’s job?

Aston Martin, the Haughton sibs, a top chauffeur and the latest on the Bristol Life Awards

PROPERT Y 116 Property Showcase It’s not every apartment block that has a sky meadow

Bristol Life, MediaClash, Circus Mews House, Circus Mews, Bath BA1 2PW 01225 475800 @The MediaClash © All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without written permission of MediaClash.

About MediaClash We’re a Bath-based publisher, creative agency and event organiser Magazines Our portfolio of regional magazines celebrates the best of local living: Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter and Salisbury. We also publish foodie mag Crumbs. (, @CrumbsMag) and wedding title Vow (@VowMag). 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:

DEPARTMENTS 13 Spotlight 130 Bristol Lives

90 86

On the cover The Grinning Man at Bristol Old Vic; page 56


EAST IS EAST Calling all lovers of photojournalism: Bedminster-based photographer Ibolya Feher is holding an outdoor exhibition of everyday life on East Street this month, between 8-22 October. Over the past four years, Ibolya has captured many of the residents of her South Bristol ’hood, creating a fascinating archive of images. “My main inspirations are the unique characters I have been photographing, and their interesting life-scenarios,” Ibolya told us, adding that the response from her subjects was usually friendly and positive. “I enjoy talking to people and learning more about them. I find it very interesting to follow the different characters through the years, and see how much the place changes. I am passionate about showing the

wider community, the charm of the place and its characters – a lot of people dress really distinctively in Bedminster, and I often ask people if I can photograph them because I like their outfits. “I’m asking the audience to look beyond the usual stereotypes associated with Bedminster; I hope it will help to bring the community together.” This exhibition was funded via online crowd funding with the support of Bedminster BID. As curator Amak Mahmoodian points out, because Ibolya actually lives in the area, her work shows the reality and truth of people’s lives; her photos make you look, see and remember. East Street Tales opens on East Street (next to Asda) on 8 October; Meet The Artist day is 15 October; runs until 22 October along East Street



DON’T BE SCARED How do you light the fire of a child’s imagination and help young patients of Bristol hospitals? Simple, treat a child (and yourself ) to Don’t Be Scared – no ordinary book, but a bucketful of adventure and discovery by our best-loved writers and illustrators: Michael Morpurgo, Jacqueline Wilson, Wendy Cope, Carol Ann Duffy, Quentin Blake, Raymond Briggs and many more. With a reading age of 7-8 years, and a listening age of 4-5, Don’t Be Scared articulates the magic and fears of childhood in a collection of short stories and poems for children and grown-ups to enjoy – with thunderstorms and walking chalk, dark nights, daredevil sheep and huffy cats. Some are fables, some adventures, some are wickedly

funny; all of them fizz with imagination and a child’s sense of wonder in a world that isn’t always fair. Every penny of profit from Don’t Be Scared will go towards Bristol Children’s Hospital to improve facilities for sick children and their parents. Don’t Be Scared is published by Redcliffe Press at £20 (hardback) for Above & Beyond, the local charity which raises money for Bristol’s city-centre hospital sites, including Bristol Royal Hospital for Children. Buy the book from Redcliffe Press, from Above & Beyond’s fundraising hub in the BRI, or Foyles, from 30 September. For more:

Serene harbou r moment captu red by @benti bet his mum’s ley – relieved that Be n’s not tottering the edge of so on me precipitious rooftop for once ...

great in Aardman! Morph looking Happy 40th birthday ? @encountersfilmfest sks ma e fac clay – e middle-ag

A snapshot of three weeks in the city on instagram. Find us on @bristollifemag Just a few of the pics that caught our eye this month, and made us think,“Bristol, though . . .”

of e Tour s of th e by re tu p at ca is on any gre here, but th x-ticker Too m bo how a s f o to it Britain illyer is a b h @ciara 16 I BRISTOL LIFE I

Even autumn re fuseniks will fal l in love with @carolyn.eaton ’s misty woodlan d capture

fun at g more kid, e havin al than this n o y n Was a ood Festiv colin319? F y Easton by @mood d re tu p a c





Outside Tile




Architect Robert Elkins has turned an awkward corner plot on Ashley Hill into his dream eco- home, managing the entire process from design to build. Brace yourself for extreme property envy . . . By A BI DA R E Fr om t he new L ook b ook by elepha nt e s t ate a gent s




rom the outside, the house is a striking fusion of glass, stone and timber cladding; inside, it’s filled with light, thanks to banks of floor-to-ceiling windows. It’s also packed with innovative features that make it environmentally friendly, cost-effective and extremely comfortable to live in. We asked Robert to tell us more about the inspiration behind the house, the benefits of ecodesign, and the highs and lows of his self-build journey. Please can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background? I’m an architect, and I run a building firm. I grew up in Chippenham and spent many years trying to avoid the West Country, until I visited a friend in Bristol six years ago and fell for the city. After that, I never really left. 24 I BRISTOL LIFE I

It all began with a gurt big hole in the ground


With windows this huge it’s no surprise to discover that the rooms are fabulously light and airy

What motivated you to build the house? A desire to create better than I could buy. There is no way my wife Hannah and I could have bought a house like this in this location. And what inspired the design? Bristol, with its idiosyncratic blend of styles and its human scale. We borrowed ideas from everywhere – even the sheds in the Ashley Hill allotments! Why was creating an environmentally friendly house so important to you? Minimising waste on all fronts is fundamental to our ethos. It doesn’t mean living with less, but it’s a simple and pragmatic formula that leads to all sorts of savings, as well as helping the planet. When you consider the cost and environmental benefits, you wonder why anyone wouldn’t want to build an eco house! What eco features does the house have? It uses passive solar design with exposed thermal




mass, which means it attracts and stores solar heat in winter and rejects it in summer. It also has passive ventilation and very high levels of insulation, enabling fresh air to circulate without letting heat escape. We installed triple acoustic glazing and low-energy lighting throughout, and we used lots of natural and reclaimed materials – including old bike handlebars, which we turned into a stair rail. Finally, we conducted lifecycle assessments to look at the house’s environmental impact at all stages, from the initial build through to future repair and maintenance. Were there any particular highs and lows during the build? To be honest there weren’t many lows, although we did experience three months of solid rain when we wanted to install the flat roof of the garage, which obviously hampered the process. There were lots of highs – too many to single out, really – but I always enjoyed talking to people who stopped to ask about the house as they wandered past, and sitting down in the sun to drink a beer after a hard day’s labour. And now, living in the house on a daily basis is a major high. On that topic, what is it like to live in? Amazing – warm in winter, cool in summer, and very light and airy. And it fits our daily life perfectly. What’s your favourite corner of the house? Hmm – that’s like asking about your favourite memory of a trip. There are so many corners that I like for so many reasons. During the day I like to sit by the window at the top, watching people go by as I work, and I like the office for its serenity. I love spending time on the roof terrace in the w I BRISTOL LIFE I 25



MATERIALS – INCLUDING OLD BIKE HANDLEBARS, WHICH WE TURNED INTO A STAIR RAIL A happy mixture of natural materials with a contemporary eco-design characterises this lovely house

evening as it catches the last of the sun, and our double-sided breakfast bar is wonderful in the mornings as Hannah and I can sit and talk over breakfast. What advice would you give to anyone thinking of building an eco home? Do it! Do lots of research and think about things, but then just take the first step, work out what you need to do next, and keep doing that until you have a house – it’s the best way, really. There’s no denying that the process is hard sometimes, but it always comes good in the end. To see inside more beautiful Bristol homes, take a look at the new Lookbook by elephant estate agents Read more by Abi on her blog I BRISTOL LIFE I 27


See Check a Trader and Google Review f o r 5  r at i n g s Opening times M o n d ay – F r i d ay 8.00am – 5.00pm S at u r d ay 9.00am – 12.30pm |

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The LIST All the names and all the businesses


Bathrooms by Ripples 88 Whiteladies Road, Clifton Talented designers with exceptional experience help create a heavenly sanctuary.


Clifton Bristol Decorators Clifton Down Road, Clifton www.cliftonbristoldecorators. Offering a comprehensive advice service on colour choice, decor and materials, guaranteeing a competitive price for any development. Jaks Painting and Decorating 2b Iveywell Road, Bristol www.jaksdecorationanddesign. Quality painting, decorating and design in Bristol covering a wide range of projects from house painting to sophisticated finishes. Kents Building Plastics Unit K, Lawrence Drive, Stover Trading Estate, Yate, Bristol Quality uPVC fascias and soffits, plastic guttering, PVC skirting boards, roofing sheets etc.


Clifton Fireplaces 54 Princess Victoria Street, Clifton The South West’s premier provider of bespoke fireplaces, flues and stoves.


Greener Designs 68 Bromley Road, Bristol No matter what kind of garden, Greener Designs can help create your very own bespoke space.

Interior Design

Bracey Interiors 15 Waterloo Street, Clifton One of the most etablished interior design business and showrooms in the area, with

fabrics and wallpapers from all the major design houses. Fawn Interiors Fawn provides the design expertise and the products to create beautiful functional spaces. SJP Interior Design 36 The Mall, Clifton Village, Bristol Specialists in designing and creating inspiring home and commercial environments. Designs for Living 07989 854295 Working with your ideas, budget and time frame to create an inspired and totally unique interior space that reflects the way you live and the essence of who you are.

Tiles and Flooring

Avondale Tiles Unit 9C Aldermore Way, Longwell Green, Bristol Offering the finest quality tiles at competitive prices. Bishopston Tiles 219 Gloucester Road A traditional service offering design advice and experience. Ceramic Tiles 109 Winterstoke Road, Bristol One-stop shop for all your tiling requirements. Core and Ore 16 Portland Street, Clifton An independent boutique offering products to enhance your property with creativity and style. Design Flooring 5A Regent Street, Clifton Design Flooring’s style, innovation and expertise bring floors to life.


Marble Supreme Unit 8, Bridge Road, Kingswood, Bristol; A master craftsmanship in stone and a bespoke, friendly service. Oriental Rugs Bath Bookbarn International, Hallatrow Business Park, Bristol Dealer in old and new quality hand-made rugs, especially roomsize and over-size. Simply Carpets The Old Chapel, 52 Temple Street, Keynsham Browse in a friendly, colourful atmosphere, drink free coffee and ask advice from very helpful sales staff.

Furniture and Homeware Shops

Atlas Interiors Clifton, Bristol Eclectic and unique treasure trove and destination.

Greenfinch Cadbury Garden Centre Congresbury Designing, fitting and supplying a range of quality kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms. Clarks Village Farm Road, Street Including Le Creuset, Villeroy, Bosch, Denby and many more. Gardiner Haskins Straight Street, Bristol The city’s biggest independent department store. Graham and Green 92 Walcot Street, Bath Quality furniture, electricals, home accessories and more. Hobsons Choice Kensington Showroom, Bath Long-standing dealers of some

of the world’s best brands of kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, dining furniture and living rooms. Oskar Furniture 47 Whiteladies Road Inspired by good, practical designs, styles and colours; a passion for quality, simplicity and individuality. Park Furnishers Willway Street, Bedminster The best value sales display areas, service and amenities. Raft Furniture 68 Whiteladies Road, Bristol Classic and timeless furniture, plus interior and exterior accessories. Sofa Magic 119 Coldharbour Road, Westbury Park; Tailor-made sofas, sofabeds and corner sofas. Stephen Graver Edlington Road, Steeple Ashton Bath; Kitchen, bathroom and furniture design company that offers huge customer involvement. The Pod Company 24 The Mall, Clifton Much-loved gift and lifestyle company in a pretty sky-blue shop on Clifton’s The Mall.

The Sofa Library 56/60 Whiteladies Road Upholstery is hand-made in their own factory in Bristol, from the frame upwards. Wesley Barrell Classic English sofas, armchairs, furniture and accessories. Tailored Flooring 10 Chandos Road, Redland, Bristol Supplying and fitting carpets and floor coverings for more than 20 years in Bristol.


Ablectrics 131 Gloucester Road Extensive selection of new and vintage lighting on Gloucester Road, over 500 light fittings on display, all major brands available. The Lighting Studio Unit 2, Bedminster Retail Park Sheene Way, Bedminster www.thelightingstudiobristol. Wide range of innovative and exciting lighting products for use throughout the home and garden.


Alno 1 Bond Street, Cabot Circus Innovative kitchen design and manufacturing. Beaufort Bespoke Kitchens & Cabinet Makers Pixash Lane, Keynsham Design, manufacture and installation of high quality, individually crafted, bespoke kitchens, cabinets and furniture. Ben Argent Design Contemporary kitchens built to an exceptional standard. Detail Kitchens 80 Alma Rd, Bristol www.detailkitchensandjoinery. Bespoke fitted furniture and joinery; beautiful kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms and fitted furniture.

Harvey Jones Kitchens 18 Princess Victoria Street Clifton Village, Bristol Hand-crafted bespoke kitchens created by skilled craftsmen. Intoto Kitchens 102 Whiteladies Road, Clifton Supplier of kitchen furniture and appliances, in-house design services and kitchen installation . Kitchens Cookshop 167 Whiteladies Road One-stop kitchen shop: pots, pans, china, trays, tools, kitchen appliances and more. Nailsea Electrical 102 Gloucester Rd, Bristol Huge range of new kitchens in all colours and styles; design and appliances.


Southwest Upholstery Reliable, friendly and trustworthy upholstery service. Whittacker Wells 105 Glenfrome Road, Bristol Hand-sourcing the finest classic and cutting-edge fabrics, paints and wallcoverings.

Windows, Blinds and Shutters

Bespoke Frameless Glass Avondale Business Centre Woodland Way, Kingswood Extensive product and service range for domestic, commercial and business properties. Panoramic Windows 2 Richmond Road, Mangotsfield Premier experts in the field of windows.

The Kitchen Man 4b Waterloo Street, Clifton, Bristol; 0117 9731062 Kitchen design, bespoke kitchen manufacture, integrated appliance supply and installation.

Shutter Craft Bristol Family business supplying and fitting the finest quality made-tomeasure plantation shutters and Venetian blinds.

Wren Kitchens Cribbs Causeway Affordable, luxury kitchens direct from the manufacturer.

Timber Windows of Clifton 29 The Mall, Clifton Fine quality timber windows and doors for beautiful homes. I BRISTOL LIFE I 37


Calling all workers! What do the words ‘lunch break’ mean to you? A sarnie devoured al desko? The warm glowing light from the computer screen as your sunlight, the utility-green office carpet the grass beneath your feet, the hum of the water cooler your sea breeze? Or – here’s an idea! – how about getting out and making the most of your precious hour of freedom? By J E SSIC A C OOK 38 I BRISTOL LIFE I

LUNCH HOUR Wednesdays between 1-2pm; perfect for practising your mindful breathing and metta bhavana meditations. 162 Gloucester Road;


Check out a book from the brilliant Central Library. Discover a new author, research a new skill, or maybe make a start on your own novel in the study area – and it’s all absolutely free. Long live Bristol’s libraries! Bristol Central Library, Deanery Road, City Centre, Bristol;


From left, clockwise; we’ve looked at the ss Great Britain from both sides now; two wheels good; just get out and walk






unch. One syllable, five little letters, four consonants, one vowel. It has an appropriately crunchy taste as it rolls off the tongue. Research has shown that more than 80 per cent of office workers don’t take a regular lunch break, which means that not only do you miss out on a much-needed midday breather, but your company loses out on the creativity and productivity that come from taking a bit of exercise and fresh air. We’re here, as ever to enrich your life and help you squeeze the last drop out of the city – specifically, in this case, at lunchtime. If you have a hankering for science, a yen for zen or taste for architecture, read on; there’s always a way to sandwich it into a lunch hour (see what we did there?). OK, some of them may take longer than an hour, but we’ll leave you to work your way round that one. Our Operation Lunchbreak menu offers a tasty set of activities encouraging you to take a bite from Bristol each lunchtime.

Dating back to 1849, Bristol’s Lido offers yearround swimming with a top-notch restaurant to boot. Chill near the pool, dine in style or just soak up the atmosphere. The Swim & Lunch package includes a two-course à-la-carte lunch for £40. Oakfield Place, Clifton


Apply for an allotment near your office and spend sunny lunchtimes growing your own: there are few better pleasures than munching down on food you’ve grown from scratch; as an added bonus, you’ll work off some calories digging. Or why not help the city get its five-a-day by taking part in Incredible Edible Bristol? This movement has nurtured over 30 ‘gardens’ across Bristol, from street corners to parks to the Bearpit. Volunteers have planted these mini-allotments and the food they grow is free for anyone to take and eat.;


Head down to Flying Saucers pottery café and paint a bowl, a plate, or a piggy bank; there are even unicorns and dinosaurs for the more outthere among you. You’ll be shown how to use brushes and sponge techniques and you can have a cuppa and snack while you create. Once you’ve w


Get yourself down to EF Medispa for a lunchtime pick-me-up at their Drip and Chill Spa? This IV vitamin infusion is administered by a registered nurse and will leave you feeling bright and breezy. EF Medispa, 10A Whiteladies Road


Channel your inner zen. Breathe in. Breathe out. Whether you choose to practice in the park or attend an organised session, meditation has been proved to banish stress. Bristol Buddhist Centre runs lunchtime Sangha meditation classes on I BRISTOL LIFE I 39

Every pets’ favourite shop!

The one stop shop for your new puppy!

Illustrate is a new brand dedicated to supporting emerging talent by creating a platform to transform art into fashion.. We pride ourselves on the high quality, sustainable and exclusively decorated products we offer. We are a collective of artists from the UK, Wales, Denmark, Egypt & Austria. We offer a range of paper based products including art prints, stickers, recycled cards and notepads. We also offer a wide range of men’s, women’s and clothing children’s clothing, wooden engraved phone cases and 5 caps All our panel caps. artwork is original and hand drawn by our select team of in-house designers, providing our brand with unique and modern art.

5 Worrall Road, Clifton BS8 2UF 0117 973 8617 | Monday to Saturday

LUNCH HOUR finished your masterpiece, leave it with the café for glazing, and collect it within a week. 9 Byron Place;





Forget Pret; head to St Nick’s. Practically all kinds of world food can be found here from Moroccan eatery Al Bab Mansour to the very Bristolian Pieminister and cake maestros Ah Toots. There’s also a Friday Food market offering the best of local produce, and a Bristol Farmers’ Market on Wednesdays across Corn Street and Wine Street. A street food market showcasing the best street food in Bristol is also open every 2nd and 4th Thursday. Praised by The Guardian as one of the best street food markets in Europe.


Explore the city you know and love on two wheels. Whether you bring a bike with you in the morning and dust it off at lunch, or rent from a local bike rental company such as Cycle the City, you’ll get a good workout and see the sights, for as little as £12 for a half-day (four hours). Cycle the City, No.1 Harbourside, 1 Canon’s Road


Another excuse to use Colin Moody’s ace shot from Underfall Yard

There are endless fascinating facts to absorb at Bristol’s museums, including the niche Georgian House and Red Lodge. Looking for something more specific? Try your hand at writing at M Shed with a seven-day sandwich writing course led by Caleb Parkin, encouraging budding

writers to get inspired by the exhibitions courses run on various dates in October and November between 2-4 pm each day. If you’re looking for a lighter intellectual lunch, hear artist Mary Flower discuss her video work Through Whose Hands it Passes, between 1.15pm and 1.45pm on 6 October at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery. Feeling creative? Make your mark at the M Shed’s Big Draw event on 2 October. Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Queens Road, Bristol


The Interactive Business Club offers Bristolbased lunchtime networking. The lunches are held at Future Inn by Cabot Circus every second Thursday from 12-2pm, and cost £16. Perfect if you fancy mingling with Bristol business owners over a tasty meal. Future Inn, Cabot Circus, Bond St South, Bristol


Putt off in a virtual world with InPlay golf. Available Monday to Friday between 12-2pm, a 30-minute game clocks in at £5 per person. Featuring five driving ranges, putting and chipping greens, and 150 ‘golf courses’ you play with real clubs and real golf balls, but using indoor simulators. Travel the world from Pebble Beach to Kiawah Island, all in your lunch hour. inPlay Golf, Cathedral Walk, Harbourside


Bambalan offers more than well-priced Middle Eastern wraps and cocktails in funky w I BRISTOL LIFE I 41

LUNCH HOUR surroundings in a central location – you can also play ping-pong on one of the covered terraces. Colston Tower, Colston Street, Bristol



Fancy taking regular exercise but not sure where to start? Try out the newly opened ballet-based Barrecore for a balanced lunchtime workout. 10A Whiteladies Road


Get the feel good glow that comes from making a genuine difference to someone’s life by arranging to give blood on your lunch break.


OK, so you’ve been to the ss Great Britain about 100 times, but we’ll bet you learn something new every visit. Tickets are valid for 12 months so once you’ve been once, it makes sense to make the most of your £14 pass by taking to the seven seas again. And again. She is, after all, one of the most important ships in the world. At the new Underfall Yard visitor centre you can discover everything you ever wanted to know about the Floating Harbour through hands-on displays, an interactive map and the help of excellent volunteers. Free taster tours of the workshops and sluice room take place Wednesday to Sunday. Oh, and they have a Pickle Café. Great Western Dockyard;


Alternatively, head undersea at Bristol Aquarium, and admire 250-plus species in the Coral Seas

Instagram the hell out of Bristol

tank. From a Bamboo Cat Shark to real life Nemo and Dorys, there are plenty of eye-opening species to spot; it’s just like snorkelling but without clammy wetsuits. Tickets cost £14.50 with a discount when you book online. Bristol Aquarium, Anchor Road


Locals tend to avoid tourist hotspots, sometimes missing them out altogether. Hop on and hop off a guided tour bus doing rounds of the city for just £15 for two days. Bet you uncover parts of Bristol you never knew existed.


Pervasive Media Studio, at the back of Watershed, runs an open day on Fridays; if you arrive just before 1pm, you will be treated to a free talk with studio leaders and the wider community. Feel free to bring your lunch to listen while you chew; you’re encouraged to contribute too. If you’re feeling creative, set up camp on a hot desk, share a cuppa, and discuss your latest project. Watershed, 1 Canons Road, Harbourside, Bristol, BS1 5TX;


St George’s have temporarily suspended their lunchtime concerts while they’re refurbing, but Bristol Hippodrome Choir practice between 12-12.45pm every Monday at the Hippodrome’s Piano Bar. For £7 per session or £70 for the full 12 weeks, you can listen and enjoy these auditory delights at this historic venue. Or maybe even catch a matinee – Billy Elliot the Musical is at the Hippodrome at 2.30pm on a Thursday from 27 Oct-24 Nov. Piano Bar at the Bristol Hippodrome Theatre, BS1 4UZ; St George’s Bristol, Great George Street;


Oh how we love the brilliant igersBristol crew, with their beautiful daily photos of the city on Instagram. Why not join them by taking a phone snap of the things you discover in the city? Don’t forget to hashtag them, and us at #bristollifemag. All the above sounding too structured? Just get out and walk. Use your eyes and your ears. Focus on experiencing, on seeing new places, trying new caf cafés. Sit on a park bench and people-watch. Breathe in the city, have your fill of Bristol and go back to your desk refreshed and content. Still not convinced? If you’re entitled to a 60minute lunch break each working day, then by making the most of it, you’ve won back five hours of your life a week, which works out as 20 hours of your life a month. That’s 240 hours a year, which is ten 24-hour-days a year. You can thank us later. I BRISTOL LIFE I 43




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You really wouldn’t want to mess with this broad; who knows what she’s got under that skirt? A crouching tiger, perhaps? Seamless editorial link coming up: Tim Yip, the Oscar-winning designer of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon has also created the sets and costumes for English National Ballet’s new production of Giselle, choreographed by Akram Khan – a chap renowned for his knack of bringing a contemporary twist to classic productions. Anyone likely to have a deficit of swooning romance in their October should get onto the Bristol Hippodrome ticket desk pronto. Expect lashings of love, betrayal, redemption and some really great frocks. It’s said to be the hottest dance ticket of the season, don’t you know. Giselle is at The Bristol Hippodrome 18-22 October; I BRISTOL LIFE I 47

30 September – 30 October 2016


Shipped off to Nigeria at Hamilton House; an Evening with an Immigrant at TFT; hold your hour and have another at Brendan’s Bar in The Weir, TFT

Exhibitions UNTIL 31 DECEMBER

DAPHNE WRIGHT: EMOTIONAL ARCHAEOLOGY Major solo exhibition of an artist who pursues, with relentless curiosity, the ways in which materials can express our unspoken human preoccupations. Arnolfini, at Tyntesfied; 1 OCTOBER-11 DECEMBER

INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE OF JIRÍ KOLA Czech artists Roman Stetina and Miroslav Burianek present a new film about the recording of poems by Kola, conducted over an arduous two-day radio session;


OFF THE GROUND Prints and drawings by Charlotte Price, in response to the Dartmoor landscape; at Christmas Steps Gallery; 14 OCTOBER-5 NOVEMBER

ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS Natural elements inspire this show from Tony Scrivener and Masako Tobita, at Clifton Contemporary Art;


BLUE HEART A major revival of visionary playwright Caryl Churchill’s double-bill: Heart’s Desire and Blue Kettle is a stirring yet truthful exploration of family


and relationships. One of the big hitters for the autumn season at TFT: THE TERRIBLE THINGS I’VE DONE Invisible Ink explore the darker side of human nature, from lying to your boss to breaking your mum’s heart, and everything in between; UNTIL 2 OCTOBER

THE RIVALS Sheridan’s enduring 18thcentury comedy of manners (it’s set in posh Bath) in a major new production directed by Dominic Hill; review page 78. bristololdvic.

by Marietta Kirkbride, writeron-attachment at Bristol Old Vic. Part of Theatre West’s new programme; at the Acta Centre; 4-8 OCTOBER

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF The orginal matchmaker tale, as relevant politically and socially now as it was half-a-century ago, with cracking tunes and buckets of mishpacha; at The Hippodrome; 5-22 OCTOBER

DON GIOVANNI Opera Project and TFT return to Mozart and (many reckon) the greatest opera ever written (see page 66);


THE ORATOR A messily human thriller about self-help and online identity



W H AT ’ S O N

There’s Verdi’s Macbeth and Tchaikowsky’s Merchant of Venice for classics buffs, and a nice bit of Cole Porter’s Kiss Me Kate too – all with the contemporary, imaginative staging you’d expect from WNO 11-22 OCTOBER

SHIPPED When young Adamma is sent to Nigeria for the summer, she realises that there are more than just 4061 miles, a language barrier and cultural gulf that separates her from her family; Theatre West at Hamilton House. 12-13 OCTOBER

AN EVENING WITH AN IMMIGRANT Inua Ellams’ funny and heartbreaking autobiographical show, littered with poems, stories and anecdotes; at the TFT; 13 OCTOBER-13 NOVEMBER

THE GRINNING MAN Bristol Old Vic’s weird and wickedly wild new musical; see page 56; 14 OCTOBER

SHADOW OF A QUIET SOCIETY Gwyn Emberton, Wales’s most exciting new dance theatre company, portray a host of intriguing characters from Gwyn’s home town, through his distinctive choreographic style and sense of theatre. At Circomedia; 18-22 OCTOBER

GISELLE One of the most anticipated dance events of 2016. Choreographer Akram Khan has created a new version for English National Ballet (see page 47); at The Hippodrome 25-29 OCTOBER

THE ROOM UPSTAIRS What’s worst when you’re trying for a baby? Facebook pics from other parents? Stupid comments from friends? Or the modern fallacy that IVF has made infertility a thing of the past? Clem and Toby are slowly losing faith. . . Theatre West, at The Wardrobe;



THE WEIR This new TFT co-production of Conor McPherson’s play takes us to rural Ireland, where Brendan’s Bar offers a shelter and solace for lonely souls, and drinks flow to a backdrop of howling winds and the whistling of the sea; 25 OCTOBER-26 NOVEMBER

BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL After 10 extraordinary years in the West End, Daldry’s hit show takes to the road for a UK tour (see page 70);


THE UPBEAT BEATLES God, don’t you just hate the downbeat ones? Catch the Fab Four tribute band at Redgrave Theatre; 5 OCTOBER

PETULA CLARK The indomitable Pet is the bestselling British female artist in recording history, with a career now in its seventh decade; the phrase ‘pop royalty’ springs to mind: KEITH TIPPETT The former guest member of King Crimson, cross-genre band-leader and virtuoso pianist comes to The Lantern; 7 OCTOBER

THE PICTISH TRAIL Johnny Lynch is known as a genre-buster whose songs have drawn comparisons to artists as varied as Beck, the Beta Band and Hot Chip; at The Lantern, 13 OCTOBER

CLARE TEAL The delightful jazz songstress brings her intimate trio to St George’s; 15 OCTOBER

THE HALLÉ: BRAVE NEW WORLD The UK’s oldest working orchestra, led by conductor Mark Elder and featuring pianist Benjamin Grosvenor, take on Tchaikovsky, Liszt and Dvorak;

Through snow, ice and rain, The Pictish Trail leads to Colston Hall, and you, the audience 17 OCTOBER

LOUDON WAINWRIGHT III Singer, songwriter, raconteur and entertainer supreme, Loudon’s been a star of folk music for close to half a century;


DAUGHTER The folk trio du jour, who attract eulogies along the lines of ‘elegant’, ‘moving’, and ‘beautiful’, comes to Colston Hall;


LEVEL 42 The sophisti-popsters have, inevitably, reformed after, inevitably, disbanding, and are now celebrating 30 years in this biz we call show;




THE UNDERTONES The Derry boys are celebrating their 40th anniversary with a tour; get your middle-aged kicks at 02 Academy; www. 22-23 OCTOBER

SIMPLE THINGS FESTIVAL The fest takes over Bristol’s most innovative gig spaces once again for two days of musical diversity; 24 OCTOBER

KT TUNSTALL The award-laden Fife buzzball bounces back onto the stage;

CORINNE BAILEY RAE The Grammy-winning Leeds songbird tours her third album, The Heart Speaks in Whispers; ABC No dearth of ’80s music this autumn, ’80s music fans! Dapper, suited-and-booted Martin and the lads rattle through The Lexicon of Love and other greatest hits, at Colston Hall;


CLOSER EACH DAY Season 12 of the world’s longestrunning improvised soap runs for new episodes between now and December at The Wardrobe; w I BRISTOL LIFE I 51

W H AT ’ S O N


JO CAULFIELD: THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS WRONG From the minefields of dating to booking a holiday, nothing is ever as straightforward as it should be on Planet Caulfield; at Colston Hall; MILES JUPP The stand-up, actor, writer, thinker, father, husband, worrier, fool, star of Rev and host of The News Quiz comes to town; 7 OCTOBER

TOM ALLEN AND SUZI RUFFELL She’s common as muck, he’s disparagingly camp, and they’re hitting the road together for their double-header tour; 11 OCTOBER

NINA CONTI: IN YOUR FACE The actress, comedian and ventriloquist, along with puppet sidekicks Scottish Granny and sinister monkey Monk, come to Colston Hall; 23 OCTOBER

MICHAEL CRAWFORD: VISUAL COMEDY LEGEND The indefatigable stage and screen star shares anecdotes and clips highlighting his flair and daring as a physical comedian before receiving the 2016 Aardman Slapstick Award for excellence in the field of visual comedy. At St George’s Bristol;

Film BLACK STAR The BFI presents the UK’s biggest ever season of film and TV dedicated to celebrating the range, versatility and power of black actors; films at Watershed and Colston Hall; watershed.;

Black Star twinkles over Colston and Watershed; Daphne Wright draws on the suburban and the domestic at Tyntesfield; Daughter sing elegantly at Colston Hall

16 October; BristolSunsetCinema 28-30 OCTOBER

BRISTOL FILM FESTIVAL BFF returns with a series of immersive screenings to get you in a spooky mood, including a second series of Horror in the [Redcliffe] Caves. See the line-up at


PLACE, TIME + ARCHITECTURE The Architecture Centre’s retrospective exhibition presenting the past, present and future state of architecture and place-making in the city; 1-3O OCTOBER

BRISTOL FAMILY ARTS FESTIVAL The fourth Family Arts Festival celebrates innovation, in a programme of high-quality family activities. At various venues; 1-31 OCTOBER

BLACK HISTORY MONTH The annual celebration highlighting the importance of African Caribbean culture and history; 7-9 OCTOBER

THE BIG GREEN SHOW Swindon’s National Self Build & Renovation Centre hosts three days of live demonstrations, free seminars and case studies, while an unrivalled line up of experts share their advice. 12 OCTOBER




ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES It maybe autumn, but Sunset Cinema is still going strong at Ashton Court. There’s also a second by-popular-demand screening of The Goonies on

THE GREAT BRITISH MENU – THE SOUTH WEST BOYS Join Josh and the lads for a special taster menu showcasing the finest produce from across the region. At the Pony, of course; 10-14 OCTOBER

WILDSCREEN FESTIVAL The world’s leading festival celebrating storytelling based on the natural world (see page 76); 17-23 OCTOBER

BRISTOL COCKTAIL WEEK Bottoms up! (See page 88); I BRISTOL LIFE I 53

Grin when

you’re singing It’s a musical based on a Victor Hugo book. No, it’s not Les Mis, Yes, it’s directed by Tom Morris. And here’s the local angle: it’s set in a historic, albeit imaginary, Stokes Croft





Why did you choose to make it a musical? Music is the emotional muscle of theatre. When it works, it takes a character or a situation to the heart of the audiences and fills it with feeling. As we worked our way into this story and discovered its emotional power, the music became more and more essential in telling the story. In a play with songs, something powerful will happen in a scene, and then a character might sing about it. In a musical, the powerful thing happens in the song itself.

Above: the outstandingly coollooking leads pose in front of a suitably Stokes Croftish wall: Audrey Brisson (Dea), Louis Maskell (Grinpayne), Julian Bleach (Barkilph) and Gloria Onitiri (Josiana)


hen our moles at Bristol Old Vic tip us the wink that their latest production is shaping up to be all kinds of amazing, we sit up and pay attention. They’ve

never steered us wrong. Then they began throwing names at us. Writer Carl Grose, of Kneehigh. Director Tom Morris (OK, no big surprise there). Victor Hugo – hang on, hasn’t someone adapted one of his stories for a musical before? And what’s that – it’s set in an imaginary, historic Stokes Croft? We held the front page, tracked down Tom, and turned on the dictaphone.

SHORT CUTS Actor Sean Kingsley plays Usus in The Grinning Man So, a new British musical – that’s quite significant, right? It’s great, and very important. This country’s fallen behind in recent years to Broadway. We used to be at the sharp end of innovation, but New York is now the place we look to for new musical theatre. It comes from fear among producers, I think; that’s why we have so many revivals now. Producers aren’t prepared to take the risk of investing in new writers, so when it does happen it’s a very special thing and needs to be embraced by the whole theatre community. We just need to make sure it’s good . . . How has it been working on The Grinning Man? Without wanting to blow his trumpet for him, Tom Morris is the main reason I’m here. I’m doing this firstly because it’s new musical theatre, and I’m only interested in creating new work and secondly because Tom is a legend. As soon as my agent said he was going to be doing a new musical, and that he was going to be using puppetry with the same team who created War Horse, I said, ‘hell yes, I want to be part of that’. I don’t even remember them telling me what the wages were.

How did the idea of adapting this story begin? For me, the subject matter for a show normally emerges in conversation with the artists I’m collaborating with – and I try to work with artists who see the world in strange and exciting ways. In this case, it started with the composers. Tim Philips and Marc Teitler had made an album inspired by the wonderful book The Master and Margarita – and the music by itself evoked a world which was powerful, magical and completely distinctive. I asked them what other worlds they would like to evoke through their music, and they gave me a book by Victor Hugo called The Man Who Laughs. The book describes a world – a sort of re-imagined pre-Georgian Britain – dominated by cruelty and hypocrisy, yet somehow ripe for emotional and spiritual redemption. I was intrigued and immediately called Carl Grose, who wrote Dead Dog in a Suitcase for Kneehigh; I thought Carl’s wild humour and dark imagination might suit this story. We’ve really made our own story using the novel as a starting point. Our story has three strands which interweave, and they are the things which most excite us about bringing The Grinning Man to life onstage. There’s a love story – between our disfigured hero and the blind girl who grew up with him in the murky underworld of the book. There’s the story of his quest to find out how he came to be disfigured And there’s a messiah story, which is about the extraordinary and transforming effect he has on those who see him. To a team of hungry theatrical storytellers, that combination is irresistibly strong.

Why have you set it in Bristol? As Carl redrafted the story, it became clear to us that the world of his play wasn’t a literal historical one. It had the power of a fantasy world. We talked about imaginary worlds which inspired us, from the mad comic world of Blackadder to the worlds created by great fantastical storytellers such as Neil Gaiman, Philip Pullman or Tim Burton. At no point did it feel like the historical world of Queen Anne, where the novel is nominally set. In the end, Carl has imagined a world a bit like ours, yet separated from ours by a series of historical accidents now lost in the mists of time. A world in which, at some point in the late Middle Ages, England’s second city had become its first, in which a merciless feudal rule had been enforced by a despot called King Clarence from fiercely divided capital city, Bristol. So that’s where our story is set, in an imaginary Bristol which never existed in which the rulers live in palaces on the lofty hill tops surrounding the reeking centre and the rebels and drop-outs gather to sell cruel entertainments and dream of a new world at the Stokes Croft Fair. Carl is a great lover of Bristol, of course, having written the words for a string of hits for Kneehigh, and he freely admits that the only reason he hasn’t moved to the city is because he keeps missing the train at Paddington. OK, tell us about the tunes Tim and Marc write massive emotional tunes. As big and beautifully engineered as Brunel’s bridges, they’re built to carry maximum emotional weight. There’s a lot of humour in the show, but it’s the emotion of the songs which will make it succeed. Sorry, but we have to mention Les Mis . . . When he heard we were adapting a Victor Hugo novel and using puppets for part of the story, the great theatre impresario Howard Panter immediately said “Great! It’s Les Mis meets Warhorse!” In fact, our story is darker and stranger than either – and its wild humour makes The Rocky Horror Show just as useful a comparison. But of course we are inspired by the soaring tunes and the epic story-telling of Les Mis. Who wouldn’t be?

The Grinning Man, directed by Tom Morris (left) plays Bristol Old Vic 13 October-13 November I BRISTOL LIFE I 57



MUSIC CITY We’re not Detroit. This isn’t Manchester. We’re not Liverpool. But the local music scene is as thriving, diverse and distinctive as it ever was in the early days of the Bristol Sound By M A R K TAY LOR 60 I BRISTOL LIFE I



s last month’s triumphant (if soggy) homecoming show from Massive Attack on The Downs was anything to go by, the city’s appetite and love of homegrown music has never been more voracious. Bristol may not have gained the international reputation as a ‘music city’ in the same way that Manchester, Liverpool and Detroit have, but its track record is still mightily impressive. In addition to Massive Attack, artists such as Portishead, Roni Size and Tricky have all achieved international success. Before that, Bristol-born bands like The Pop Group, Rip Rig & Panic and Pigbag enjoyed critical acclaim and went on to influence countless other bands. These days, the thriving music scene in the city is more diverse than ever; whether you’re into hardcore punk, electronica, psychedelia, gypsy, drum & bass, Balkan, dub-step, heavy metal or ska, you’re almost guaranteed to find it at one of the city’s many music venues most days of the week. At The Gallimaufry on Gloucester Road, the music policy is diverse, from open mic nights and blues to The Groove Den, a regular Thursday evening of ‘live funk, soul and beats’ hosted by ace saxophonist James Morton. “The Bristol music scene is as strong and


diverse as ever,” says owner James Koch. “The relentless creativity means it never stands still for long and there are loads of exciting electronic crews, nights, labels and releases at the moment. “Perhaps the clichéd Bristol musical trend has been basslines, which still applies in part, but the alternative/guitar scene is also really strong at the moment.” James says what many people call ‘The Bristol Sound’ can be traced back to the city’s Caribbean communities. Dub reggae had a huge influence on the likes of Smith & Mighty, Massive Attack, Tricky and the emergence of drum & bass. “The lineage is also there with Bristol electronic music, which is renowned for being bass-heavy. Julio Bashmore has had huge success and Dan Pearce – aka Eats Everything – is probably in the list of the Top 5 DJs in the world.” Ask James for a few new names to look out for on the Bristol scene and he’s quick to give shoutouts to a number of up-and-coming artists. These include Taos Humm, Young Echo, Idles, Chuman, Pete Josef, Fenne Lily, Edward Penfold, Stevie Parker and Rink. He also namechecks labels such as Idle Hands, Howling Owl, Cold Light, No Corner, Hotline, Futureboogie, Gutterfunk, Boogie Cafe and Peng Sound. And James is a man who knows his stuff. After all, he booked singer-songwriter George Ezra at The Gallimaufry before he became a star, and he has seen quite a number of other acts go on to bigger things. w

Were you there? This summer’s Massive Attack gig on the Downs has already become the stuff of legend I BRISTOL LIFE I 61



“Jay Wilcox ran our open mic for a while and now plays keys for Kelis. He programmes her live shows including her appearance on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury – with a band made up of Bristol musicians. “Henry Green is a young artist we’ve been working with a lot and I recently enjoyed a trip to see him support Nick Mulvey in Paris. And, yes George Ezra’s doing alright, too!” When it comes to discovering new talent in Bristol, the venues showcasing the cream of the crop include The Exchange in Old Market and The Louisiana near Wapping Wharf. Gigs in these tiny venues are invariably cramped, hot and sweaty, but these are the places you will see Bristol’s best new bands, as well as national rising stars of the future. Since it started regular live music in the 1990s, upstairs at The Louisiana has probably hosted more legendary local gigs than any other venue. Past visitors – often on their first tours of the UK – have included José González, The White Stripes, The Strokes, Fleet Foxes, Amy Winehouse, Young Fathers and The Libertines. Run by the Schillace family, The Louisiana is a tiny venue with a huge national reputation and Michele Schillace (a notable local musician himself ) says Bristol’s music scene is getting better all the time. “I’d say it’s in a very healthy place, but I wouldn’t say there was one musical trend. There are lots of people in the city making great music. There are lots of great venues like The Exchange, Stag & Hounds and The Fleece, and so many great bands and singer songwriters who have time to develop in the city. “We recently had a band called Lice play at The Louisiana, and they were ace. Other acts worth mentioning are Oliver Wilde, Thought Forms, SJ Esau, Body Clocks, Rhain, Fenne Lily, Tamu Massif, The Jesuits, Idles, Scarlet Rascal, Stevie Parker, October Drift . . . the list just goes on.” Citing The Birthday Party and The Fall among 62 I BRISTOL LIFE I

their influences, Lice formed a year and a half ago after meeting at Bristol University. Since putting on their first show last December at The Crofters Rights, they’ve supported the likes of The Fall and The Fat White Family, with their most recent gig being a boat party for the Bristol-based Howling Owl Records’ fifth birthday. As well as playing London and other cities, Lice occasionally put on nights at small Bristol venues. “Local bands and record labels have been really supportive to us ever since we started,” says Lice guitarist Silas Dilkes. “We’re particularly grateful to local venues such as The Crofters Rights, The Louisiana and The Old England for letting us put on our own nights at the start, when we were struggling to get support slots.” Another Bristol band gaining huge interest is Jesuits, who formed in 2014 and spent a year writing songs and recording demos on a cassette recorder. Jesuits released their first single, Dinner Jazz, in October 2015 and have supported a number of bands including Arial Pink and Black Lips. The band are currently recording their début album, which will be out early next year. It is being produced by Tim Allen, best known for his work with Bat For Lashes.







Clockwise from far left: Jesuits; Lice; Massive Attack’s 3D (he’s probably not Bansky), and can someone please crowd-fund some warm winter clothing for Rhain?

Talk to most people on the Bristol music scene about tips for the top and two names keep cropping up – Fenne Lily and Tamu Massif, both of whom are part of Chiverin, a label and collective run by Aled Chivers. Fenne Lily’s début single, Top to Toe, has soared past five million plays on Spotify and has also charted in a number of countries on iTunes (at the time of writing, it’s number two in the singersongwriter chart in Hong Kong). Tamu Massif’s new material has also seen his audience grow hugely and he had his first extensive European support tour in major venues. Also part of Chiverin is Rhain, whose début single has been getting overwhelming praise and adoration from the critics. “Chiverin exists in many different forms,” says Aled. “It’s easiest to describe it as a label, because people have some idea of what that means, but it does a lot more beyond that and artists don’t need to be signed to us to receive support. “It began as a blog, but gradually evolved to a point where it now is the name behind a collective of artists; hosting events and creating, recording and releasing music. “I’m a sucker for songs with strong hooks and

melodies but it’s when music is presented in a way I haven’t heard before that I get most excited. “Chiverin isn’t really limited to a particular genre or sound, which gives us a great sense of freedom and variety. “As such we’ve fitted into the Bristol music scene in quite a strange shape. The scene in Bristol is so strong at the moment but the most important thing is that these musicians are able to continue making music to the highest standard and every time they perform to a home audience in Bristol, they bring something new.” Back at The Gallimaufry, James Koch pinpoints Bristol’s DIY ethic as part of the reason for such a thriving music scene. “Artists and musicians here aren’t necessarily waiting around to be booked or signed – they’re putting on their own nights to play and they are starting up their own labels to put out their music. “This DIY ethic is also seen in the rawness of the lyrics, message and output. This is encapsulated by bands like Idles shooting their own videos and rapper Chuman’s raw lyrics and home-made, self-edited video.” And these are sentiments echoed by Bristolbased music journalist Rhys Buchanan, who has covered the city’s scene for a number of national magazines including the NME. “Bristol is a creative boiling pot filled with exciting sounds right now. While the world perhaps knows the city for what went on in the nineties, it could be said things are more diverse at the moment. People aren’t confined to genre anymore. “Sometimes it feels like you’d struggle to throw a stone in this city without hitting someone doing something brilliant.” I BRISTOL LIFE I 63



Pevious shows by Opera Project, Madame Butterfly and Falstaff. Hopefully we don’t have to tell you which is which (clue: Falstaff rarely features kimonos)




ACCESS all ARIAS Love Mozart? You’ve probably already booked your ticket for The Opera Project via the earlybird deal. Not sure it’s your bag? You really should give this dramatic, accessible company a whirl – and as operas go, they don’t come more accessible than Don Giovanni . . .



here’s a good reason why Opera Project has become an annual fixture on the Tobacco Factory Theatres programme, and its not just because Bristol’s highly discerning music lovers know a good thing when they hear it. It’s also because the company – renowned for their dramatic and impactful productions – are such a snug fit for the theatre’s in-the-round intimacy. Oh, and did we mention that artistic directors Jon Lyness and Richard Studer both studied at Bristol University? You’ll probably see them about town, downing a pint at The Apple or throwing a few shapes at Motion . . .

What are the main challenges in staging such a well-known and loved opera as The Don? Richard: Again, the final supper scene! Directing such a familiar scene, where audience members will often have their own individual expectations, is always a challenge to deliver. What I’m excited about this year is delivering such a scene within the intimacy of the Factory Theatre space. What can you tell us about the cast?


Richard: Bristol itself remains one of the highlights of our visit, as we get to visit our student haunts. To work in such a vibrant city, where the enthusiasm for all the arts is evident across the whole community, makes all the work worthwhile. Theatres like TFT are instrumental in building audiences for the future and to see so many young faces attending is brilliant. Jon: In many respects, Tobacco Factory Theatres has become our spiritual home as a company and we absolutely love it as a performance venue. It’s quite unexpectedly fantastic for opera! Drama and music come together in the Factory Theatre in a way which I’m not sure exists anywhere else. It’s brilliant for any opera, not least a work as dramatically and musically intense as Don Giovanni. Each time we come to Bristol, it’s essential that our production feels like an event, a unique experience, and we’re as excited this time round as for any of our past productions here.





It is often said that Don Giovanni is the greatest opera ever written. Yes/no/maybe? Richard: I’d probably say it is ‘one’ of the greatest operas ever written; there are so many works of genius out there. What is unique to Don Giovanni is that it appeals to everyone. The final supper scene is spine-tinglingly dramatic, and can leave the audience stunned into silence at every performance. Jon: For its time, written in the late 1780s, it’s an explosive work. It tears through musical barriers, rhythmically and chromatically; it’s deeply personal (even if you don’t believe everything that Peter Schaffer’s Amadeus would suggest); it’s musically but also physically demanding; and the main protagonist is an extraordinary anti-hero – addictive, disturbing, compelling . . . It was game-changing in its day and remains game-changing in the 21st century.

Jon: Well firstly, it’s an all new line-up of singers to Tobacco Factory Theatres. None of them have ever performed with us here before, except for one who has a ‘cameo’ appearance (you’ll need to see the opera to know more). The standard of our casting continues to defy expectations!; we’ve been incredibly lucky to have attracted some serious international names for this production, including George von Bergen and Anna Patalong. We’ve also brought on board some fabulous young names – the American bass-baritone Benjamin Cahn in the role of Leporello (one of the greatest character roles ever created) and the brilliant young Spanish soprano, Laura Ruhi Vidal. Finally, what is it about your production that should make people rush to buy their tickets?

Richard: As with all our performances at Tobacco Factory Theatres, The Don is staged in the round, and once again we have a strong cast of singer/actors, delivering opera as thrilling and as immediate as it should be. The experience of seeing the cast and orchestra perform in such an intimate setting is always a highlight of the opera performances. Jon: Opera at Tobacco Factory Theatres is unlike opera anywhere else. The experience of witnessing and hearing this extraordinary work, performed in English with nine singers and 11 orchestral musicians, all working full-on, performing this great work with no holds barred, will be, we are certain, utterly unique and unforgettable. If you’ve never seen an opera before, or never seen Don Giovanni before, or have seen it a thousand times, this is one production no one will want to miss out on.

Opera Project perform Don Giovanni between 5-22 October at Tobacco Factory Theatres; Tickets £32-38; I BRISTOL LIFE I 67

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HE LOVES TO BOOGIE It’s been 16 years since Billy Elliot tap-danced his way into our hearts, in Stephen Daldry’s award-winning movie. Now a new generation of Billys are pulling on the tights for the successful stage musical – with Stephen still very much at the helm



ince the movie of Billy Elliot was released in 2000, director Stephen Daldry has presumably replied to every reasonable and unreasonable question in the book about the boy dancer. Despite this, he’s patience itself as he relates, once again, the tale of the miner’s son who overcomes the northern-machismo prejudice of his brother and dad to abandon boxing for ballet, proving in the process what the audience knew all along: dancers aren’t sissies. The subsequent Billy Elliot:The Musical has also been a massive hit, and is now embarking on a UK tour that brings Billy to Bristol. But it all began much earlier than that; back in the mid-80s when Stephen’s long-time friend, writer Lee Hall, sent him a script called Dancer, set in a village near Sheffield. Set against the background of the miners’ strike, the story followed the story of a local lad whose tough miner dad wants him to take boxing lessons. The kid’s skill in the ring is underwhelming, but when he stumbles into a ballet class, he discovers a natural ability. Cue the conflict . . .

was obviously crucial. Stephen’s team operate an intensive training programme known, perhaps ironically, as ‘Billy Camp’, to equip the boys with the ability to act, dance and generally cope with the demands of the show, often before their voices have broken. “That training can sometimes take two years. At the end of the programme, we’ve taught them a set of skills they can use in all sorts of different ways. Billy is the most demanding part for boys in theatre. They’re on stage for so long, and it’s very athletic. They need to be able to run the equivalent of a marathon and throw a bag of hammers at the same time.” Not that casting the adult parts was without its challenges: “It’s always tricky because you are looking for men who can play a set of miners. They need to be big burly guys who can do a lot of dancing,” Stephen says. The show has now been seen by over 10 million people in five continents and, since opening in the West End in 2005, stage productions have been performed on Broadway, in Toronto, Chicago, right across North America, into South America, The Hague, and even Seoul. Does Stephen find it extraordinary that events in a small North-East village in the mid-1980s, when small communities locked horns with those in power, touched so many? “I think it works well anywhere, because people feel a connection with the human element of the story. It’s about family: the love that sons want from their dads, and vice versa. “On a broader level, people can understand losing their industry and therefore their sense of community, whether it’s mining or car manufacturing. People can link into that whether they are in Sunderland or South Korea.” The combination has made it a massive success for Stephen, whose CV includes a stint as artistic director of the Royal Court Theatre, director at the National, of countless West End and Broadway shows, four movies and a role as creative and executive producer for the 2012 Olympics. “I have a very busy schedule. I am just about to head off to New York where I’m working on Pier 55, a new floating venue in New York, and then on to LA for a meeting about the film of Wicked. Last night I finished working on series one of The Crown. I am always very, very busy. I enjoy working hard.” It’s not hard to see the parallels between Stephen Daldry and the moral of Billy Elliot, in which a strong work ethic and dedication leads to fulfilment; a lesson in how nurturing and acceptance can make things flourish, just like a community in crisis and a young boy taking his first tentative steps on the road to success.



Stephen’s life-affirming movie became a massive hit, winning dozens of awards and nominations. But that wasn’t the end of it. Musical legend Elton John decided that the story would be perfect for a stage musical, and Stephen was recruited once again to helm the tale. “When we first considered bringing Billy to the stage, we thought about launching it in the North of England, because that is where it was set,” says Stephen. “We always felt that an audience that was close to the story, and a community that had been through the same thing themselves, should see it first.” That initial tour didn’t work out, for various logistical reasons, and the play got its first run in the West End. “We did hope it would tour, but it was just too big a project to take out at that stage,” Stephen says; but now the play’s finally made it up north. “The audiences that we have played to in Sunderland have been incredible,” says Stephen. “We’ve been playing to audiences that understand the story. Taking it out on tour means it will connect with a lot of people, and many communities will have a close association to the story. This idea of an entire area not only struggling for their jobs, but having to change their whole way of life, is very powerful.” To make that story work needed exactly the right cast, and finding the best actors to play the parts. Finding the right Billys


For more: Billy Elliot is at Bristol Hippodrome 25 October-26 November I BRISTOL LIFE I 71

Reach the best in the west Auent, active and inuential and just a call away

Steve Grigg 01225 475800



Thought festival season was over in Bristol? As if! It’s merely headed indoors – and next up for your diary is Wildscreen By L I SA WA R R E N


ildscreen’s back this month, and this year’s festival sees a big increase in the number of events open to the public – and also, pleasingly, in the number which are free. Indeed, the freebies are already underway and include bicycle-powered screenings and pop-up cinemas, at locations ranging from Arnos Vale Cemetery to Ashton Vale Community Centre, Big Screen Bristol on At-Bristol’s Millennium Square and in St George Park. There’s also an open-air photography exhibition at College Green between 7-28 October, showing large-scale images by some of the world’s best nature photographers, and a chance to admire two new creations by the highly-rated street artist and Upfest favourite, Louis Masai, depicting lesser known endangered animals. Wild things, we think we love you. Here are a few highlights for the diary:

Cinema-seat safaris

A favourite element of every Wildscreen is the festival’s showings of Panda Award nominated films on the cinema screens at Watershed – a way to go on safari with some of the world’s finest nature storytellers but without any of the hazards or discomforts they have to endure. This year’s line-up includes 10 films never shown before in Britain, among them The Ivory Game, a hard-hitting documentary about elephant poaching, produced by Leonardo di Caprio, and Yasuni Man, an expedition into the heart of Amazonia and into the lives of one of Earth’s last ‘uncontacted’ people. The screenings run daily from 10-16 October with many of them followed by Q&As with people involved in the film’s making.

Now you see it, now you don’t

Among the contributors to the Wildscreen Festival’s open-air photography exhibition on College Green is the US scientist, explorer and multiple award-winning National Geographic

Main pic: Bristol-made film The Hunt, Hide and Seek; below, from left: NatGeo photo-journalist Tim Laman; the Panda-nominated Monkey Kingdom; street artist Louis Masai will create two murals to raise awareness of the endangered pangolins and sea turtles

photojournalist Tim Laman, who has spent 30 years drawing attention to the beauty – and destruction – of rainforests and to capturing intimate portraits of their fast-disappearing species, especially orangutans and birds of paradise. Tim’s public appearances in the UK are rare, but on 14 October, as the finale to the festival’s photography day, he’ll be sharing his entrancing stories and pictures at Rainforest Exposures at St George’s Bristol.

Bristol pride

More than 900 entries came in for this year’s Wildscreen Panda Awards from countries all over the world, so the city is right to be proud that of the 43 titles shortlisted by the independent preliminary jury, more than a third are the work of local companies, and that numerous local individuals had a hand in several others. Bristol-made nominees include the two productions nominated for the most Panda categories: The Hunt made by Silverback Films, and Jago: A Life Underwater by Underdog Films.

Putting on the glitz

No city anywhere produces more natural history programmes than Bristol – hence its global nickname of Green Hollywood and the theme for the Wildscreen Festival’s biggest public event: a glitzy ceremony at Colston Hall on 13 October, announcing and applauding the latest winners of Panda Awards, which is the wildlife film and TV industry’s equivalent of an Oscar. Hosting the event will be Steve Backshall and Liz Bonnin (who also appeared together in the ground-breaking, Panda-nominated Big Blue Live). And even those who can’t get a ticket may want to explore how Colston Hall looks as it is given a wild wonderland makeover for the occasion using lights, digital projection, special effects and surround sound. For full details of the Wildscreen Festival’s public programme, look out for leaflets or log on to





The VERDICT So many plays and gigs, so little room – here are just a few highlights from the last few weeks MASSIVE ATTACK

Clifton Downs; 3 September We half-expected them to kick off with Pray for Rain, which would have been witty but cruel; after all, Grant and Robert were dry and toasty on the stage, while the 27,000 assembled faithful were as close to drowning as it’s possible to be while actually standing in a field. The all-day event on the Downs curated by Massive Attack – the first in what the band hope to be an annual musical festival – kicked off at 1pm with three stages, a rosta of impressive supporting acts including Primal Scream and Skepta, and drink queues that were destined to become as legendary as the gig itself. Massive Attack punctually took to the main stage at 9.15pm, at which point all the fair-weather attendees, who were really only there for the main attraction (hello there!), exited the cloud of skunk that was the guest tent and braved the biblical downpours. At the opening chords of Hymn of a Big Wheel, thousands of spines tingled at the appearance of reggae legend Horace Andy, the original vocalist on the 25-year-old track; looking a tad grizzled, but sounding as haunting as ever. The crowd pleasers kept on coming, with tracks from Mezzanine, Heligoland, Protection and 100th Window. London singer Azekel and Scottish hip hop trio The Young Fathers took turns on the stage, in front of a constantly changing digital backdrop flashing out the kind of polemic and wit you’d expect from this crew. Oh, and those inevitable ‘3D is Banksy’ rumours? “We are all Bansky,” Rob del Naja announced cryptically, briefly causing panic in street art collectors everywhere at the thought of their prize pieces being the work of a consortium. Horace Andy returned for Angel; homeboy Tricky’s appearance thrilled us to the marrow, and the incredible Deborah Miller sang us out with Safe from Harm and Unfinished Sympathy. And yes, the heavens absolutely opened for the encore ¬ drops fell fast and fleeting, etc – but just like the sign said, we were all in it together. And this gig passed into local folklore even before the last notes had faded away. By Deri Robins

drawings and dress-up to stave off the loneliness. Actor Grace Brightwell gives Taylor a childlike quality, which makes you concerned for her dependence on Alexander George’s harsh, sarcastic Radio. The play at its heart is an examination of relationships and a questioning of how much trust we should put in people who we are not meeting face to face – a pertinent question in our digital times. Cockroached is a bold play which sometimes favours drama over subtlety but ultimately is an engrossing chamber piece with characters and an outcome you feel wholly invested in. By Morgan Matthews


Bristol Old Vic; Until 1 October Directed by Dominic Hill, Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s acerbic comedy of manners is almost as old as Bristol Old Vic itself. Set in posh 18th-century Bath, legendary for its conspicuous consumption and affectation, the themes may be rooted in the past but the humour feels as fresh as ever. Hill’s direction sees our heroine, Lucy Briggs-Owen’s Lydia Languish, as an 18th-century young lady with a decidedly 21stcentury teenage ‘tude; even when not speaking her facial expressions and mannerisms say it all. The writing is, of course, exceptionally clever, as you’d would expect from the play that gave us the immortal word ‘malapropism’. Visually the production is a delight, with designer Tom Rogers creating a stripped-back set whose overall appearance is firmly rooted in 1770 but with just a hint of 21st century knowingness. And most importantly of all – it’s very, very funny. By Viv Kennedy



The Wardrobe Theatre; 30-31st August Theatre company Theatre63 was formed this year by three Birmingham School of Acting graduates with the remit of bringing new original work to the stage. Cockroached, their début production, is set in a post-apocalyptic party shop stockroom, home to Taylor, whose solitary existence is interrupted when an unknown voice starts calling from the radio. The show confines the action to one room, allowing the audience to share in Taylor’s isolation and fear of the world outside. The detailed set shows the sanctuary Taylor has tried to create – a world of 78 I BRISTOL LIFE I


Bristol Hippodrome, 30 August-3 September It’s been over half a century since Julie Andrews stepped out onto those Alpine hills and declared their musical liveliness. The classic numbers are timeless and, on stage at the Hippodrome, still as fresh and crisp as the air seemed then. Putting on (then off, then back on, and off again) the nun’s habit is Lucy O’Byrne; runner-up on BBC’s The Voice; a star here, climbing every mountain, and solving every problem. Rebecca Caine as the Mother Abbess is exceptional, particularly with the show-stopping Climb Every Mountain. Andrew Lancel’s Captain Von Trapp comes into his own when his curt exterior melts at the sound of his kiddies singing; if the chemistry between the Captain and Maria is a little lacking, it’s ably compensated with the heartstringtugging numbers. Martin Connor’s direction produces some spectacularly effective scene changes; the transition from cosy home to a blood-red, swastikabedecked stage for the performance at the music festival is aptly efficient. The children are delightful, each having a moment to shine; their nervous look to their father as they leave the stage in ones and twos, brings a palpable sense of uncertainty that looms – as it should – over the finale. By Tim Popple


Top: Cockroached; middle, Massive Attack; below, The Rivals I BRISTOL LIFE I 79



We occasionally fantasise about living in some decaying rural pile, but then remember that we don’t want to stray that far from Bristol. Besides, the cost and effort of shoring up some kind of Brideshead gone to seed would soon knock the romance out of it all. ‘Curious’, however, a new range of wallpaper murals by Rebel Walls, brings the decadent grandeur of a historic mansion right into your Wapping Wharf penthouse without the terrifying builders’ bills. It’s staggeringly realistic; you half expect to see some ancient retainer staggering up the stairs with a silver samovar. If crumbling masonry’s not your thing, how about a bit of trompe-l’œil taxidermy, or maybe the façade of a down-at-heel Parisian arrondissement, complete with peeling shutters? And don’t think you’ve witnessed industrial chic until you’ve seen their wall of greasy, rusting engines. No, we’re not entirely sure what kind of perverted hipster would want that in their home either, but you know what Bristol people are like.

See the full range at Bristol stockists include Bracey Interiors I BRISTOL LIFE I 81




4 6







Onjenu Megan jumpsuit, £98.99 The jumpsuit trend shows no sign of letting up, so pack away the floaty summer playsuits and tuck yourself into one of these cosy autumnal numbers From Amulet Boutique 39a Cotham Hill

Reisenthel bags, £16.50- £19.95 The little version makes a great mini-tote, with enough room (just) for an iPad and water bottle; the big one will take practically anything you can carry From Oskar Furniture 47 Whiteladies Road

Leaf Peepers gold print, £100 Make sure you don’t scoop up owl in the garden recycling! Limited edition print with hot foil detail by Graham Carter From Soma Gallery 4 Boyce’s Avenue www.somagallery

Yoav Elkayam bowl, £35 The simplicity of this damson wood bowl reflects its making; using hand tools and manpower the bowl is axed out and then turned on a lathe operated by a foot treadle From Midgley Green

Toolbox, £40 Yes, of course you can fill it, old-school-style, with screwdrivers and nuts and bolts and so forth – but you can also use as it a stylish carry case for household bits From Mon Pote 177 North Street















Cecilia watch, £85 The little leaf pattern would have been a giveaway even without the logo; yes, Orla Kiely has now even managed to penetrate the world of horology From The Pod Company 24 The Mall, Clifton www.thepodcompany.

B-Goods ‘Nest Building’ floor cushion, £110 The pattern celebrates nest-builders everywhere, feathered or not, creating a cosy place to feel safe, to block out the world, even just for a moment From STRANGE

Ellepi stapler, £20 Designed by Oscar Lepre in 1984, and made in Italy, these little staplers are strong, lightweight and look (to us, anyways) a bit like a friendly whale From Papersmiths 6a Boyce’s Avenue

Eloise Quinel scarf, £38 The herringbone weave creates a lavishly soft touch, while the moody olive, slate and grey hues are in perfect harmony From Howkapow;

Jumbo Lux couch, £3100 Dramatic forms, organic curves, luxury fabric; this is a couch for all seasons, which is handy, as no-one wants to replace a sofa every four months From Archer + Co 24 Alma Vale Road www.archerandcompany. II CLIFTON BRISTOL LIFE LIFE II 83 69

FREE JEWELLERY, WATCH, SILVER & GOLD VALUATION DAY Stoke Lodge, Shirehampton Road, BS9 1BN 10am – 4pm | No appointment necessary – Ample Free Parking CARTIER BROOCH








Clevedon Salerooms will be holding a FREE no-obligation Specialist Jewellery, Watch, Silver & Gold Valuation Day at Stoke Lodge, Shirehampton Road on Wednesday 26th October between 10am – 4pm. Clevedon Salerooms Valuers, gemmologist John Kelly and watch specialist Marc Burridge will be providing free no-obligation verbal estimates with the November Quarterly Specialist Sale in mind. Tea and coffee will be served throughout the day. For more information contact Toby Pinn on 0117 3256789.

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We have been awarded a Weddings & Ceremonies Licence So you can now ‘tie-the-knot’ in our lovely intimate theatre! 18-20 Alma Vale Road • 0117 973 5171

Try our Tasting Menu 12-16 Clifton Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 1AF Tel: 01173 291300 Longmead Gospel Hall, Lower Bristol Road, Bath BA2 3EB Tel: 01225 446656 Email:





The Sushi Bus

They brought you Bingo Lingo. They served you Hip Hop in a Chip Shop. We decided it was time we caught up with the Foozie guys – especially as they were serving sushi. On a double-decker bus By DE R I ROBI NS


can’t remember the last time I ate dinner on a bus. Circa 1982, I imagine. Fish and chips, probably. Maybe just chips. Yet here we were, last week, riding on an open-topped double-decked Explorer, tucking into sushi, quaffing prosecco, listening to a string of fascinating facts about Bristol and generally having the huge amount of fun that this scenario suggests. The Bristol Sushi Bus is the latest happening in the Foozie portfolio. We’ve already had Hip Hop in a Chip Shop, Prawns and Prosecco and the regular Bingo Wings – chicken wings and a very local version of bingo in which boring old numbers are replaced with Brizzle phrases. Then there’s Brunch 808, held in Bristol’s finest restaurants, with themed cocktails, great food and thunderous music. “It’s just about the most fun you can have on a Saturday lunchtime,” Foozie founder Thom Whitchurch assures us. We’re gutted we missed the witty pairing of Drum and Bass Brunch at the dainty Cox and Baloney Tea Rooms; when the DJ finished his allotted set, the crowd spontaneously raised extra cash to keep him spinning the decks. Upcoming events include Brit Pop in a Chip Shop and Spanish Sundays at Pata Negra; Foozie also promote events with other venues, such as the silent disco at Bambalan (see page 89). “What we are,” says Thom, “is a platform for everything foodie and boozie in Bristol; the tastiest events, festivals, peculiar pop-ups, secret supper clubs. And of course our own events.” Anyway, back on the bus. Both of the two-hour sittings were fully booked with a friendly mix of locals and tourists. A group of Portuguese ladies who work in the city are firm aficionados of all matters Foozie and were raring to go; an Austrian couple had never Foozied before, and were frankly amazed that such a carry-on existed. All of us were as excited as a coachload of schoolkids en route to Bristol Zoo. After a first course of salmon sashimi we settled back in our seats and popped our Prosecco corks, as Drive pulled out into Anchor Road and headed up towards Cumberland Basin. Our guide was the very funny Ben Bird who kept up a running commentary. “Lots of useless facts,” he promised





– definitely the kind we like the best. Our second course was served on Baltic Wharf with views of ss Great Britain; Tom without an H was our waiter, front-of-house, maitre d’ and bus conductor all rolled into one. He managed remarkably well, transporting cartons of Japanese food up the tight double-decker stairs from the improvised kitchen at the back of the bus, where caterers Ivo and Anthony from Sushi Kai rolled out a total of five fresh-tasting courses with apparent insouciance. Even though Ivo, apparently, gets travel sick. The first Prosecco casualty happened on the next leg of the tour, but no-one cried over the spilt fizz. Because again, we were off! Heading up Portway, with Ben still pointing out the sights; the Suspension Bridge was already on Your Man’s radar, but he knew nothing of that hidden gem, the disused underground Clifton Rocks Railway that links Clifton to Hotwells. Your Man could hardly get his anorak on quickly enough to ask Ben more questions. And again, we were off! Up Bridge Valley Road and onto Clifton Downs, where more courses emerged: spicy tuna rolls with crispy fried onions, and three types of nigiri – small balls of rice smeared with wasabi mayonnaise and topped with raw fish and seafood. We headed into Clifton Village to marvel at its gentility and use the loos; thanks, Clifton Wine Bar – then drove back into town, stopping en route for crab, avocado and cucumber sushi with cracked black pepper and creamy cheese. Our Californian rolls were a particular highlight, packed with seafood, apple and jalapeno. The indefatigable Ben continued to impress with Bristolian info. Our good friend Great George, for example, the bell in the Wills Tower, is nine-and-a-half tons (“Best heavy metal music in town”); Broadmead has the honour of containing the first multi-storey car park in the UK, next to the country’s biggest Primark. Be proud, Bristol. Finally we pulled back up beside @Bristol, where our odyssey had begun. We’d been wined, dined and entertained in top fashion. The concept is bonkers, and eating sushi and drinking wine on the top of a bus requires a fair amount of dexterity, particularly while on a sightseeing tour. But it worked a treat, and we’re now firm Foozies. Whatever the next escapade – whether it’s Roast Dinner in a Ryanair queue at Bristol Airport or a Tasting Menu in the Gorilla Enclosure at Bristol Zoo, we’ll be there. The Portuguese ladies and the Austrian couple will likely be there too. Cheerz, Drive.

DINING DETAILS Look out for more Foozie events at To contact Sushi Kai go to I BRISTOL LIFE I 87


Take five Elly Curshen of Pear Café published her first book, Fast Days and Feast Days, this year. It’s a collection of more than 100 of Elly’s favourite recipes, with clear and comprehensive advice on shopping well and locally, and slimming healthily using the 5:2 method

How long has The Pear Cafe been open and how would you describe what’s on offer? The Pear Cafe has been open since 2006. It’s situated in a converted coach-house; in fact it used to be the stable. It’s basically a takeaway — although we do have one table (and two chairs) — and we specialise in cooking everything from scratch. What was the most enjoyable bit of doing the book? Helping to spread the message that you don’t have to buy packaged food or pre-cooked meals — cooking with fresh ingredients and local produce is just as easy, and the results are far tastier. I try to encourage readers to try one new ingredient every month. Why did you start the 5:2 diet? I became interested in what’s called the 5:2 because I think it’s a logical, natural food regime — I don’t like to think of it as a diet. Basically you can feast five days and then fast for two. And on those two fasting days you limit yourself to 500 calories. But the point is you shouldn’t go and binge 500 calories on one meal. The secret is to have lots of low-calorie tasty snacks made from fresh ingredients. And that’s what the book is about. What’s the secret of sticking to a diet? There really is no secret to ‘sticking to a diet’, because you won’t. What you need is a way of eating that you can sustain, that you can enjoy. If it’s miserable, you just won’t stick to it. You’ll just end up gradually slipping back into your bad old ways. How would you sum up your cooking style? I’ve always been inspired by world cooking. I like to use fresh local produce, particularly seasonal, but I’m lucky to be in the centre of the city so lots of non-local ingredients are available. I keep my eye on what’s going on in all the neighbouring food stores, from the local greengrocer to the Polish deli or the Chinese supermarket. What’s the tastiest thing on the menu at Pear Café right now? Butterscotch and plain chocolate brownies. They’re a staple on the menu — if they weren’t on it there’d be a riot. What ingredient could you never live without? Eggs.

The Pear Cafe, Unit 1, The Coach House, 2 Upper York Street, BS2 8QN; 0117 942 8392; Open 8am-3pm. Elly Pear’s Fast Days & Feast Days is published by HarperCollins, RRP £20 88 I BRISTOL LIFE I

Captain Nemo’s Surefire Scurvy Prevention Potion, at The Old Bookshop


The Bristol calendar has more food festivals than you can shake an organic spelt baguette at, but there’s only one Bristol Cocktail Week. This year’s event anchors down between 17-23 October, unloading a bold cargo of bottled, mixed, blended, paired, sampled and historical spirit events. Twenty Bristol bars are also taking part in an adventure-park mixology map of the city (see below), guiding you around five themed zones in which you can buy exclusively mixed concoctions. Prepare to visit the following: The Land Before Time; BS1 A Space Odyssey; The Severn Seas – and of course, The Mild West… Here are a few more highlights: • A cocktail bus tour of Bristol’s ‘spirit-ual’ history • Blend your own actual bottle of whisky • Rum cocktails and mini-golf (well, obviously) • An achingly cool American craft gin cocktail and jazz night • A vodka cocktail and cheese pairing night. Yep. Sure. The Bristol Cocktail Week Park map can be liberated from various locations in the city, or downloaded from the website. Oh, and apparently all cocktails are calorie-free if you drink them between 17-23 October. Ahem. For more

FOOD AND DRINK Dance like no-one is watching (let alone taking your photo as a permanent public record); the silent disco at Bambalan


Hip Hop in a Chip Shop; Friends and Falafel; coffee raves – we’re a sucker for a novelty foodie event (see also p86), so nothing could have prevented us from dusting off our dancing shoes for the first Bambalan silent lunchtime disco on 28 August. For £20 a head, punters were served a range of mezze-style starters, a generous chicken wrap and a rum cocktail, after which three DJs took to the decks, supplying an afternoon’s worth of R&B, reggae and 80s disco, depending on which channel you chose on your headphones (it’s fun trying to work out who’s dancing to what). The action moved seamlessly from the huge outdoor terrace to the covered balconies as the weather changed, inevitably, from bright sunshine to Brizzle drizzle, but the fun didn’t flag for a moment. Recommended!


• German pizza/pasta chain L’Osteria has chosen Bristol (not London) for its first branch in the UK. “Bristol has such a vibrant scene – we’ve also heard that it has a bit of a thing for pizza at the moment!” said coowner Friedemann Findeis, accurately. The chefs will be using local suppliers such as Bristol Beer Factory, Orchard Pig and French Garden Produce at their new Quakers’ Friars restaurant.

Missed the SkyBar? It’ll be back

• You wait years for a new boutique hotel to come along, and then you get a whole quarter of the things, with three due to open in Old City over the next year or so. Work may still be underway on the new five-star hotel within the old Guildhall, and it’s still early days for the planned refurb of the

L’Osteria fare

Grand Hotel on Broad Street, but the Bristol Harbour Hotel will open this October within the former Lloyds Bank building on Corn Street – originally inspired by the Sansovino 16th-century Library of St Mark in Venice’s Piazzatta. Behind the glorious façade lies an exceptionally beautiful interior; there are 42 bedrooms, and a Jetty restaurant with menus created by Chef Patron Alex Aitken. The former vaults will become an indulgent Harbour Spa by spring 2017. Plans are also afoot to restore the Grosvenor Hotel within Temple Quarter, and we simply can’t wait to see what the Malmaison chain do with the Avon Gorge Hotel next year. • Happy first birthday to Mabel’s Greengrocers in Chandos Village – proof that old-school values of local sourcing and great service is the only recipe you need. • Did you make it to the SkyBar? The 9-10 September pop-up event at Chew Magna was ticket admission only for the bespoke bar, which offered the perfect party atmosphere; think fresh cocktails, live entertainment, phenomenal views and a beach bar vibe. Keep an eye on the website for future events; I BRISTOL LIFE I 89



LUNCHTIME Whether you’re hankering after a traditional roast or fancy something less, well, meaty, Bristol’s dining scene has something to hit the post-Saturday-night spot By J E N N Y OL DA K E R

How can you fail to be uplifted by the colourful Thali Café décor? 90 I BRISTOL LIFE I





h... Sunday lunch. The perfect antidote to the rigours of Saturday night, whether you spent it raising the roof or lying on the sofa eating a family-sized bar of Zara’s Chocolate. It’s recovery, it’s relaxation . . . A chance to unwind with family and friends, and to shrug off the hangover with hilariously huge slabs of meat. Obviously lunchtimes in veggie-friendly Briz aren’t just the realm of the roast, and though the city delivers some outstanding ones, there’s a delicious diversity of other options to tempt you out of the house, too. From Asian tapas to comforting pies (taking in the best roasts along the way) here are a few of our favourite ways to munch your way through your day of rest. w I BRISTOL LIFE I 91

The Pony and Trap

In a nutshell: Michelin-starred food meets family-run country inn. The Sunday experience: Cosy, comfortable surroundings offer a perfect backdrop to the firstclass service and food. Sunday best: A varied offering, from the traditional, such as slow-roast pork belly, to the likes of pan-fried Cornish hake. It’s the extras that make it: great veg, really crunchy roasties, amazing cauliflower cheese. Washed down with: Their great Bloody Mary works exceedingly well as a starter to kick off your meal. Why here? In summer you get wonderful Chew Valley views from the garden; in winter it’s a proper cosy pub . . . with spectacular food.


In a nutshell: Clifton Italian with a rep for excellent food (also a branch on Colston Street) The Sunday experience: This place has the relaxed and leisurely vibe nailed – making it the perfect spot for taking it easy after the exertions of Saturday night. Sunday best: The mighty ‘Tommy’s One-Pan’ (£9) is the perfect remedy for the night before, or you can fuel up with a full veggie breakfast (£8), including spinach and ricotta soufflé and rosemary and polenta fritters. The overnight roast pork belly with glazed carrots, rainbow chard, roasties, cider apple sauce and fennel gratin (£14) offers the full-on Sunday experience. Washed down with: Make brunch last all day with a bottle of rich, velvety Nero di Troia. Or, depending what time you rolled in last night, go with the Bloody Mary, Why here? It’s open all day, with food to suit your every Sunday mood.

Thali Café

In a nutshell: Award-winning twist on Indian dining, in five Bristol neighbourhood venues. The Sunday experience: Exciting dishes and cool décor offer a non-trad backdrop to Sunday dining. Sunday best: We’ll be opting for the pig cheek vindaloo thali followed by the tawa pineapple with cardamom kulfi from the new menu (landing mid-October). Washed down with: The Love in Shimla cocktail (gin, triple sec, pink grapefruit, lime juice and soda) offers a zingy Sunday buzz. Why here? A winning combo of feisty flavours and a relaxed welcome makes this a top weekend hangout.

The Spotted Cow

In a nutshell: Quality North Street local. The Sunday experience: A suitably warm and welcoming locale to lounge over your roast. Sunday best: Choose from the usual range 92 I BRISTOL LIFE I


Clockwise from top: grab a bab at Bambalan; get stuck in at The Ox; attack the Mothership at Pieminister

of meaty roast options (£9.95/£10.95), a fish option (£9.50) or a beetroot, celeriac, cashew and Gruyère crumble (£8.95) for vegetarians. All come with top-notch potatoes and veggies. Washed down with: Freedom Organic English Lager, or take your pick from the varied European wine menu. Why here? Brilliant roasts and (in summer) the excellent beer garden.





In a nutshell: Pie heaven in three city locations. The Sunday experience: A relaxed, welcoming vibe and the smell of hot, buttery pastry. Oh, and lots of pie. Sunday best: The legendary ‘Mothership’ (pie of your choice – including a good range of veggie options – piled with mash, gravy and peas, topped with cheese and crispy shallots) is a winner for Sunday stomach-filling, and a bargain at just £10. Washed down with: Spiked Cider (a tankard of Bounders cider, dark rum, homemade ginger beer and fresh lime) or a refreshing pint of Pie.P.A Why here? Is there anything as spirit-lifting as a top-quality pie?


In a nutshell: Bright and airy city centre hangout with a Middle Eastern menu focus. The Sunday experience: A punchy, exciting menu and vibrant soundtrack will see your

weekend out in style. Sunday best: Take a detour from the usual roast fare with Bambalan’s flame-grilled free-range rotisserie chicken, served up sharing style with baby roast potatoes, punchy sauces and crunchy slaw (£10 for 1/2 chicken, £20 for whole), or the signature ‘babs, dished up on freshly made flatbreads with fresh salad and sauces (£8.50). Washed down with: As you’d expect of the sister restaurant to Hyde & Co and Milk Thistle, Bambalan also has an impressive drinks menu, including the ‘Sunshine Mary’, made with yellow tomato juice (£6.50). If you’re seeking something softer, the specialty teas and locally sourced filter coffee should hit the spot. Why here? True to its name, which translates in Puerto Rican slang as ‘lazy bum’, Bambalan is the perfect place to while away a lazy Sunday afternoon.


In a nutshell: Steak, cocktails and style. The Sunday experience: Emphasis is placed firmly on the quality of the food. You’ll get a roast to remember here, in salubrious surroundings. Sunday best: From classics like roast beef rib eye (£17) and crisp belly pork (£15) with all the trimmings, The Ox restaurants also offer a selection of great small plates, creative vegetarian options and – naturally – some impressive steaks. Washed down with: The well-stocked bar can supply your every need, but it’d be negligent not w I BRISTOL LIFE I 93

Original British twist on tapas, wonderful Sunday roasts and as silly as it sounds Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat so enquire now and get your booking confirmed. Brace & Browns 43 Whiteladies Road, Bristol BS8 2LS T: 0117 9737800 • E: • Twitter: @braceandbrowns

S U N D AY LUNCHES upstairs, an art space downstairs and a regular backdrop of jazz. The Sunday experience: Get a taste of the Alma’s cultural credentials, with the jazz pianists who accompany the Sunday lunch service. Sunday best: Roasts start from £11 and offer something for everyone. We’re ordering the 12-hour confit Berkshire pork belly with toffee apple sauce (£14). Washed down with: The Alma Appleade? An Alma twist on a Lynchburg lemonade with added Thatchers Gold: “We are in the West Country, after all.” Why here: Jazz and a juicy roast… what’s not to love?


Lunchtime brought to you by the letter P: perfect pizzas at Pi Shop (above) and peerless pies at Pieminister (below)

to explore that cocktail menu… Why here? A Sunday roast and decadent desserts that will make you forget Mondays even exist.


In a nutshell: Upscale Indian cuisine in Clifton. The Sunday experience: Elegant décor and vibrant flavours offer a delicious alternative to the traditional Sunday pub meal. Sunday best: The Masala Lamb Shank (£17), a pot-roasted Welsh lamb shank braised with onion, tomato, yoghurt and ground sesame seeds. Washed down with: There’s the usual lagers, but ask the staff about cocktails to complement your food, from the extensive list. Why here? Inspired Indian food to shake up your Sunday routine.


WAPPING WARF Wapping Wharf is shaping up to be one of the most intriguing foodie destinations in the city. On Gaol Ferry Steps you’ll already find Bertha’s Pizzas, Mokoko, Little Victories and Wild Beer Co, while within Cargo, an old shipping container, you’ll soon be able to feast on Asian fare from Woky Ko, modern British at Box-E, and the new poultrytastic Chicken Shed from Josh Eggleton and the Eat Drink Bristol Fashion crew. For more

In a nutshell: Riverside pub with a revered Sunday lunch. The Sunday experience: Great food in a lovely laid-back location. Sunday best: Alongside the fish and vegetarian dishes you’ll find pulled shoulder of woodlandreared pork, black pudding and crackling (£16); roast leg of Mendip lamb, carrot purée and salsa verdé (£16.50); and dry aged rump of local beef, Yorkshire pudding and horseradish (£18) – all come with roasties and seasonal veg. Washed down with: Fancy sampling the gin of the day? A G&T is a perennial Sunday winner, and nobody-but-nobody has a wider selection than the Pump House. Why here? Oodles of outstanding food: great range of choice and sizeable portions to boot.


In a nutshell: Friendly local with a theatre

In a nutshell: Contemporary Thai tapas The Sunday experience: Koh Thai’s sociable ethos of family and friends sharing a selection of dishes fits the Sunday mood perfectly. Sunday best: So many dishes – try as many as you can, from the Prawn Tempura (£7.25) to Dim Sum (£6.50). Washed down with: Bid farewell to the weekend in style with a Koh Royale (Veuve Cliquot Champagne with a hint of Chambord raspberry liquor and lychee). Why here? A fun and sociable break from the traditional roast.


In a nutshell: Pizzas, but from the team that also bring you Casamia. Nuff said. The Sunday experience: Much the same as any other day, which is to say a range of incredibly tempting pizzas with flavour combos you won’t find anywhere else. Sunday best: The ‘Nduja sausage with Cacklebean hens egg should sort out any grumblers who reckon that Sunday lunch is all about the meats. Washed down with: Kick off with the best Bellini you’ve ever had, or maybe a couple of Saison beers by Wiper & True. Why here? Harbourside views with a difference.


In a nutshell: Regency town house bar and restaurant with a good line in locally sourced ingredients (if you fancy dining a bit earlier, there’s a legendary bottomless prosecco brunch). The Sunday experience: That holy grail of award-winning food and a warm, friendly atmosphere. Sunday best: You’ll get a Yorkshire pudding with all the roast options; choose from beef, belly pork, leg of lamb, poultry or nut roast (all £15.50). Washed down with: An espresso Martini should get you through the day nicely. Why here? A roast you’ll want to marry. I BRISTOL LIFE I 95



Opening times

Monday - Friday 9.00am - 6.00pm Saturday - 9.00am - 4.00pm Sunday - Closed

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PACKING THE GATE We were starting to wonder when our esteemed sports comms columnist would actually get around to talking about sport . . .


he sun shone spectacularly on the south-west corner of the city as top-class rugby returned to Bristol in late summer. The roads surrounding Ashton Gate were abuzz with supporters and curious souls alike who had come to see Bristol Rugby play their first Premiership match at the impressive new stadium, against a very strong Northampton Saints side. Bristol Rugby’s ambition-fuelled odyssey to return to the top tier of English rugby began on 4 April 2009, just up the M4, when they fell to the now-demoted London Irish at the Madejski Stadium. It ended much later than most of us would have hoped, on 25 May this year, against a battling Doncaster side who took the contest worryingly close to the wire. The tale between those seven years was one of frustration for Bristol, who more than

once finished the regular season at the top of the Championship pile, only to be undone by the play-off system. The regularity with which this misfortune befell them gave rise to murmurs of a curse. Except even the most enduring of curses are eventually lifted. Perhaps the most famous was The Curse of the Bambino, in which Boston Red Sox fans blamed their team’s failure to win a World Series on the selling of Babe Ruth to the Yankees in 1918. Fortunately, unlike the Red Sox, Bristol didn’t need to wait 86 years to realise their dreams. Mind you, life at the top isn’t easy, and the old trope about there being no easy games in the Premiership is increasingly less trope-y and, in fact, more truth-y. This was illustrated in the publication of the 2016/17 fixtures list, which made queasy reading for Bristol. First up: Harlequins, Northampton, Wasps, Exeter and Saracens. It’s been a tough start for Bristol, as

exemplified in their heavy defeat to Wasps, but they are in the early stage of their new journey, which is to retain Premiership status. This isn’t as sexy a reward as promotion, but it’s crucial to the city’s aspirations of being a hub of élite sport – with rugby one of the jewels in its crown. Which comes first: success or support? The club is making a strong, concerted effort to ‘pack the Gate’. To borrow a Corbynisn, a ‘ram-packed’ Ashton Gate on a Bristol Rugby matchday will be a special place indeed, and the prospect is likely for one of the upcoming West Country derbies against Bath and Gloucester. But to handpick only one or two games this season to attend based simply on cross-border rivalries is to miss some of the brilliance also on offer elsewhere in the league. The ruthless efficiency of the unstoppable Saracens; the Mancunian showmanship of the faraway Sale Sharks; the endeavour and unpredictability of Worcester Warriors, whose memories of the Championship are almost as fresh as Bristol’s. Here I should espouse the virtues of Bristol’s squad – the likes of Gavin Henson, Jack Lam and Jordan Williams (the latter in particular a huge prospect) – to any rugby newbies, but to do that would be to take away from their experience of witnessing this themselves at Ashton Gate this season. It took Odysseus 10 years to return home after the Trojan War; three years longer than it took Bristol to escape from the combative clutches of the Championship. It’s an experience Bristol would prefer not to repeat, and they’re relying on the backing of an entire city to ensure they can reach greater heights next season. C’mon Bris! Seb Barrett works in sports communications. Follow him on Twitter @bazzbarrett I BRISTOL LIFE I 97

F O O D & D R I N K A D V E R T I S I N G F E AT U R E

DINING in BRISTOL A selection of the best places to eat out in Bristol and the surrounding area JAPANESE


BENTO BOSS Unit 6, Clifton Down Station, Whiteladies Rd, Bristol; 0117 973 6132; Pan Asian freshly made sushi in the heart of Whiteladies Road.

MEAT LIQUOR Stokes Croft, Bristol; 0117 402 0000; Burgers and beer; fried chicken and cocktails. Enough said!


ALMA TAVERN 18-20 Alma Vale Rd, Avon, Bristol; 0117 973 5171; New chef Alert! Massive pub with regular jazz pianists, an intimate theatre upstairs and an art space downstairs.

BAMBALAN Colston Tower, Colston Street, Bristol; 0117 922 1880; Fresh, healthy and exciting all-day dining with unrivalled views over the city centre. BRACE & BROWNS 43 Whiteladies Rd, Bristol; 0117 973 7800; Creative Tapas Dishes, fabulous brunch and the BEST roast in Bristol! KOH THAI TAPAS 7-9 Triangle South, Bristol; 0117 922 6699; Award-winning Thai tapas, small plates and cocktails. NEW MOON CAFÉ 9 The Mall, Clifton BS8 4DP; 0117 239 3858; Quality drinks, soulful food and regular live music evenings in the heart of Clifton. PATA NEGRA 30 Clare Street, Bristol; 0117 927 6762; Airy Spanish restaurant with table and counter stools – hams, tapas and an upstairs cocktail bar. WALTERS’S ON THE SQUARE Bristol Marriot Royal Hotel; College Green; 01179 255 100; The perfect rendezvous spot to enjoy tasty West Country tapas, refreshing handcrafted summer cocktails and local flavoured craft beers.


THE GLOUCESTER OLD SPOT 138 Kellaway Ave, Bristol; 0117 924 7693; Light-filled gastropub with covered terrace and garden, menu made from locally sourced produce.

INDIAN MINT ROOM DINING 12-16 Clifton Rd, Bristol; 0117 329 1300; Creative and classic Indian cuisine in a contemporary setting. THALI CAFÉ 1 Regent Street, Bristol; 0117 974 3793; Award winning Indian restaurants and eco tiffin take-away food, check out their other Bristol venues on their website!

PI SHOP The General, Lower Guinea St, Bristol; 0117 925 6872 With their open-plan kitchen and wood fired oven, they create stripped back ‘Napoli meets Bristol’ pizzas. POLPO 50 Whiteladies Road, Bristol; 0117 973 3100; POLPO is a 'bàcaro' – the Venetian word that describes a humble restaurant serving simple food and good, young Italian wines. ROSEMARINO 1 York Place, Clifton, Bristol; 0117 973 6677; Rosemarino is a little gem to enjoy anytime, whether it be the full Italian feast or simply for a coffee while reading the papers. VEENO CO. 1 Glass Wharf, Temple Way, Bristol; 0117 941 4181; Italian wine café in the UK serving family-produced Sicilian wines and authentic Italian spuntini.

CASAMIA The General, Guinea St, Bristol; 0117 959 2884; Michelin-starred restaurant with a menu that changes with the seasons whilst focusing on using the very best British produce available.

OUTSIDE OF BRISTOL LUCKNAM PARK Colerne, Chippenham; 01225 742777; The perfect place to enjoy fine dining at the Michelin-starred restaurant. ROYAL CRESCENT 16 Royal Crescent, Bath; 01225 823333; Discover fine dining, exquisite cocktails and luxurious Afternoon Tea in the heart of Bath at The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa.

STEAK THE OX 43 Corn Street, Bristol; 0117 922 1001; Stylish steak restaurant and cocktail bar in a basement bank vault, with a cool, speakeasy vibe.



PASTA LOCO 37A Cotham Hill, Bristol; 0117 973 3000; Opened by cousins Ben and Dominic; freshly made pastas, a range of antipasti and daily specials.

STEAM BRISTOL Whiteladies Gate Clifton Down Station, BS8 2PN; 07805 360592; Brand new opening! Beer Hall & Rotisserie – what’s not to love?

PIZZAROVA 289 Gloucester Rd, Bristol; 0117 942 7770; Handmade sourdough and glutenfree sourdough pizzas from our Gloucester Road, Bristol shop.




BIBLOS ON THE HILL 225 Gloucester Road, Bristol; 0117 942 5671; Delicious fast-food fusion of Middle Eastern and Caribbean cuisine.

MABEL’S GREEN GROCER 17 Chandos Rd, Bristol; 0117 336 0046; Good, old-fashioned service and fresh, high quality fruit & veg, served with a smile. MOLESWORTHS OF HENLEAZE 101 Henleaze Rd, Bristol; 0117 962 1095; A wide range of great tasting meat and poultry, produced to the highest standards of animal welfare, sourced as locally as possible and prepared by master butchers to your requirements.


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KYLE TRAYNOR Loosehead prop

SUMMER OF SPORT Kyle finds fresh inspiration away from the rugby fields – on the tracks and pitches of Rio


t the end of August, we were treated to a wonderful Olympics event in Rio De Janeiro and I’ll admit that I was hooked on watching our athletes perform so

well in Brazil. The Olympics is always a special event, but I was eagerly anticipating these games more than any other for a number of reasons. Firstly, as part of Bristol Rugby’s pre-season, we were taken to the Pyrenees for a high altitude training camp. Some of you may think “Lucky you, getting to train in the warmth of the South of France,” but in reality it was a brutally tough week. We shared the facility with gold medallist Olympian Mo Farah. I felt privileged to watch Mo train in this remote part of the world, seeing the way he pushed himself in training to the verge of virtual collapse every day to achieve his goal of winning two more golds and doing the ‘Double Double’ of back-


In Trayning. Yes, we know we could really use a new pun

to-back gold medals. In a way, I almost felt part of his journey, seeing the final steps he took in achieving greatness in the middle distances. Secondly, a friend of mine, Georgie Twigg, was selected to represent GB at Rio in the women’s hockey. Georgie has a huge affinity with Bristol, having been a student at the University for four years, and is also an avid fan of Bristol Rugby Club. All of GB’s medalists made us very proud as a nation, but I think what the womens’ hockey team achieved was the greatest out of all our medallists. I have followed Georgie’s road to Rio very closely and seen the blood, sweat and tears that has gone into it along the way. She invited me along to watch one of their last internationals against the USA in London before they flew out to Rio; this game went far from planned and they lost convincingly – at this stage I feared the worst that she would not better her bronze from London



and maybe miss out of a medal all together. Going into the Olympics, the GB women’s hockey was ranked 7th in the world, well outside of medal contention, and this made their achievement even more special. At 9pm on an August Friday night, our athletes took the best side in the world to a penalty shoot out and held their nerve to win gold. I was absolutely buzzing and so proud of what they had achieved against all odds. I genuinely feel that this special group of women inspired a nation on that evening. Seeing the fallout from their arrival back has been great to see them all getting the recognition they deserve. I’m privileged to be a professional sportsman, and I look at any opportunity to improve, so I would always chat to Georgie about her training. It struck me how professional they were and also how hard they worked, but the thing that stood out most to me was how they work hard at functioning as a team and the values that they worked hard to put in place and keep them there. I should also give Lily Owsley a mention, too – she’s a former Clifton College student and huge Bristol City fan (so I’m told!). It’s great to see a Bristolian play an integral part of this gold-winning team. These Olympic games have hopefully inspired the next generation of youngsters to go out and pick up a hockey stick, or pick up a rugby ball all in the aim of, one day, being an Olympic champion. Follow Kyle on Twitter @KyleTraynor I BRISTOL LIFE I 101



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NO, MR BOND – WE EXPECT YOU TO DRIVE Aston Martin comes to Bristol, at Dick Lovett’s state-of-the-art showroom You’d forgive us for glancing round in the hope of seeing Daniel Craig at the launch event. Aston Martin – the brand more synonymous with James Bond than any other car – has opened its latest dealership in the UK in Bristol, with the first Aston Martin dealership for partner Dick Lovett. The purpose-built state-of-the-art facility features a 25-car luxurious showroom for new and pre-owned Aston Martin sports cars and a separate lounge in which customers can tailor their new car to the exact specification of their choosing, using ‘Q by Aston Martin’ elements (we’re almost sure than an ejector seat isn’t an option, but you never know). Speaking at the VIP customer reception last month, Aston Martin President and CEO Dr Andy Palmer said he was delighted to open the outstanding new facility in Bristol, which sets the benchmark for all dealership showrooms worldwide. “We are confident the passionate and dedicated Aston Martin Bristol team will draw upon their extensive experience and knowledge of the Aston

Martin brand to provide our valued customers an exceptional service in the South West and Wales,” Andy said. “It was great to see over 400 Aston Martin owners and enthusiasts at our launch evening,’ added Dick Lovett’s MD, Lynn Campbell. “The facility has been uniquely designed, and reflects Aston Martin’s core design philosophy and craftsmanship. We are dedicated to providing new and existing Aston Martin owners with a service that surpasses their expectations.” On display at the showroom opening was the new DB11 and new Vanquish Zagato, a DB4 Convertible, the Aston Martin Racing #99 V8 Vantage GTE, plus a host of other Aston Martin special-project vehicles, examples from the company’s current line-up, and a selection of heritage models, including the Aston Martin A3 – the oldest surviving Aston Martin in the world. Eeeny meeny, miney, Moneypenny . . . For more

“THE FACT THAT BRISTOL IS UNDERGOING A REAL REVIVAL HAS BEEN GREAT FOR MY BUSINESS” Who’s reaping the rewards of Bristolian brilliance? See page 111



The number of months of brand exposure offered to sponsors of the Bristol Life Awards For more see page 113 I BRISTOL LIFE I 107



Bristol’s reputation for food production and cooking is famously on the up, but the story of three local businesses, and the siblings who run them, is unique even by Bristol standards


s three children in a family of ten, Liz, Phil and Barny Haughton grew up in a frenetic but homely environment in rural North Yorkshire, in which good food was integral to family life. Liz was peeling potatoes and helping to make bread rolls for Sunday breakfast from the age of four, Barny could prepare a familysized spaghetti Bolognese by the age of six, and Phil was skinning rabbits (unsupervised) aged 11. Drawn to Bristol by its bohemian energy and progressive politics, the three siblings have built up an impressive array of businesses in the city. Phil was first off the mark, setting up ‘Phil’s Better Food Campaign’ in 1985. This evolved into the Better Food brand now synonymous with the fresh, organic produce sold to food-conscious consumers in St Werburghs, Clifton and now Wapping Wharf. Barny soon followed in 1988, establishing Rocinantes – the first organic restaurant outside London, which later expanded into Quartier Vert, a restaurant, bakery and cookery school. A committed food educator, Barny established the Square Food Foundation in Knowle in 2011, teaching over 1,000 children and adults to cook every year. Liz came to Bristol in 1995 and worked for Phil initially, as his veg box business grew, and then again when the Better Food Company set up shop in St Werburghs. Despite having sworn never to go back into catering, Liz was persuaded to take on the Folk House Café in 2006, where the use of organic ingredients has always been a top priority. What first ignited your passion for food? [Barny] It comes from our childhood. Our family home was hugely welcoming and always full of friends and family. Sunday evening meals, cooked by our father Algy, were legendary and hospitality was absolutely core to the family ethos. Where Liz and I are more involved with the celebration of food, Phil follows our mother’s vision and has always been the standard bearer of our food values. Why Bristol? [Liz] Phil came to Bristol first, in the early 1980s, and was completely inspired by the wonderful, eclectic energy he found here. Barny visited and fell in love with the city, and I moved here from London with my 108 I BRISTOL LIFE I

son to be close to them and also to live in a place that was beautiful, not too big and had what I felt to be a truly independent spirit. What’s been your biggest challenge to date? [Phil] Retail is hard, and the organic movement has had some pretty epic ups and downs. In the yuppie era, organic became very trendy but also attracted a reputation for being élitist and expensive – something that’s taken a long time to overcome. People are starting to understand the benefits but there’s still a long way to go. Ultimately, we don’t value food highly enough. Many of our farmers earn well below the minimum wage. The system is broken and we need to move past the current obsession with cost to focus on values and provenance. What are you most proud of? [Barny] Perhaps my work over the years with primary schools in Bristol, both in the context of school dinners and also teaching cooking in the classroom. Considering that eating food is the most important thing we do in our lives, food education still plays a tiny role in the current education system. What inspires you? [Liz] My family! Phil has spent his working life embedded in farming and retailing organic food and is always looking for new ways to spread the organic message and build a more sustainable supply chain. Barny has become a renowned food educator and eco hero, and sets the bar really high in everything he does. And our mum Rosemary remains a source of constant inspiration at the age of 89. What’s your favourite dish? [Phil] Better Food’s orange and cashew granola served with vanilla yoghurt and fresh fruit. The very best way to start the day. [Barny] A mackerel, which I have just caught myself, seasoned with salt, grilled over a fire on the beach, squeezed lemon over and eaten with my hands. [Liz] Barny’s Risotto Milanese.

Above: the Haughton sibs, left to right:

PHIL 1981 – Windmill Hill City Farm manager, teaching kids about food 1985 – started trading in Bristol as Phil’s Better Food Campaign 1992 – established the Better Food Company 2002 – opened first Better Food store in St Werburghs

LIZ 1984 – worked front of house at several high profile London eateries including The Groucho Club, 192 and Smith’s Restaurant 1989 – assistant manager at The River Café 2002 – supported brother Phil with marketing for The Better Food Company 2006 – established The Cooking Company, which caters for events ranging from small private dinners and party buffets to weddings and exhibition openings, as well as running the Folk House and Spike Island cafés

BARNY 1988 – opened Rocinantes on Whiteladies Road 2000 – opened Quartier Vert 2006 – opened Bordeaux Quay 2011 – established Square Food Foundation in Knowle West

BETTER FOOD @ WAPPING WHARF A brilliant mixed-use scheme comprised entirely of independent retailers at Wapping Wharf attracted Phil to the location. With over 7000 crossings of Gaol Ferry Bridge every day, there’s a captive market passing the third Better Food store, which draws you in with its beautiful display of fresh flowers and enticing aroma of freshly ground coffee. • 1-5 Gaol Ferry Steps, Wapping Wharf, Bristol, BS1 6WE ( • Open 8am-8pm Monday to Saturday and 10am-4pm on Sundays

If you are keen to hear more, please get in touch today. Each candidate will be dealt with confidentially so please feel free to call on 0117 302 7500 or email us at:





im Fowler’s customers have included foreign dignitaries, Poldark luminaries, local chefs, and – on one occasion – a Home Secretary. The British secretary of state was being delivered to his home in Cambridge from Bristol. By the time Tim had safely delivered him, along with black briefcase and red boxes, they were on first-name terms. That’s really not too surprising, because Tim is the most genial of chauffeurs, being quietly spoken and erudite. But you don’t order a car just because the driver is easy to get on with and has a nice way about him. What you really want is comfort, reliability and someone who has a decent motor. “Certus is the Latin for dependability, so it seemed the ideal name for the company,” explains Tim. “Before any job I’ll consult with SatNav, the Ordnance Survey map, and Google Street View so that I know exactly what the terrain, street and house looks like” – and that goes for his three other drivers who can be called on in the very rare eventuality of any problems arising. Punctuality is, of course central to the entire operation. “It’s absolutely paramount. We always give leeway to make sure we’re at the customer’s pick-up point on time — whether it’s their home, an airport, or a meeting. I like to arrive 10 to 15 minutes before the allotted time, to put the customer’s mind at rest. Before the job, I’ll also chat about the nature of the journey. So if it’s to an airport, we need to take into account the possibility of traffic snarl-ups and factor that into any journey. But again, I’ll discuss that with the client.” In short, the entire Certus operation is designed to remove stress from your journey. Pre-Certus, Tim had a varied career, including a stint as a diving instructor, before the world of luxury cars beckoned. And luxury his cars certainly have. He drives a silver Mercedes S Class top-of-the range model, retailing somewhere north of £90,000. This includes leather executive seats, fully reclining with foot-rests and suede head rests, and heated for early-morning and late-night winter rides. All Certus cars are long-wheel base Mercedes Benz S-Class; the ‘S’ is short for a German word, approximately two feet long, which means ‘specially outfitted luxury car’. For your 90k you get a lot of motor: three litres of hp, seven-gear auto-transmission and airenhanced suspension guaranteeing an utterly smooth ride. “It’s the best car in the world, no exceptions,” says Tim (deftly demonstrating the auto-park facility). 4G wifi comes as standard; mobile chargers, snacks and refreshments are also provided along with beauty

If you want utter reliability and the most luxurious journey imaginable – and who doesn’t? – call Tim Fowler of Certus Cars How reassuring and cheering is this sight of Tim and the Merc, waiting for you after the tedium and discomfort of a long flight?

products to help you freshen up. They’ll even provide you with a pint of milk, bread and other basics if you’ve just arrived back at your home airport and know there’s nothing in the fridge. Simply, Tim is devoted his job. “I’ve always liked travelling, and I love driving. I also like to provide a professional service so I always wear a three-piece suit on duty. I also valet the car before every single job. I take real pride in the job and my cars.” And for weddings, there are, of course, ribbons and champers in the boot. Tim’s so affable that you can almost imagine a bride asking him to give her away (we know he’d agree). A typical 150 mile run to Gatwick will set you back something in the region of £275. But that includes flight monitoring, waiting time and parking charges, and meeting in arrivals. Tim will be waiting for you, board in hand, so you don’t need a SatNav to get out of the labyrinthine airport. When you consider that if you have an early morning flight your options are either to stay at a hotel near the airport and get the communal bus in (neither a cheap nor a life-enhancing experience) or take your own car and pay the ransom to the car park people on your return, a chauffeur-driven car begins to make sense. As for train fares, if there’s a couple of you or more, it can easily work out cheaper – especially if you opt for Tim’s Ford Galaxy people-carrier option, which will accommodate six people. And if you live in the Chew Valley area, Chew Cars (1761 462336) is his taxi firm. Business is good at the moment, says Tim, and is likely to continue. “I’d say the fact that Bristol is undergoing a real revival has been great for my business. There’s a real buzz to the place, and more events and happenings than there’s ever been.” You can see why. With air travel becoming more stressful, and rail travel so expensive, Certus makes a very attractive option indeed.


Certus Cars; 07796 306910; I BRISTOL LIFE I 111


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he first Bristol Life Awards Associate has signed up – and a special How to Win an Award presentation is now available. First off the blocks is RBS, with Associates’ sales now live via the Awards’ site. Associates gain various marketing benefits plus a specially-dressed Awards table. The Awards are promoted by a long-term marketing campaign across multiple media, from ads in Bristol Life (of course!), to an extensive email and social media campaign, PR and radio. Momentum is building for the Awards, held on 24 April. Companies self-nominate via a form on the site and companies are advised to read the How to Win and 12 Top Tips piece closely to help maximise their chances of becoming a Finalist. Nominations open on 24 November and it is FREE to enter. The Awards are judged by a panel of independent judges who will be unveiled next month. Current sponsors include Burston Cook, TAB and Clifton Marquees. The Awards categories are: Arts, Bar, Business Services, Café/Coffee shop, Charity, Creative, Education, Event Food/ drink producer, Gastropub, Hair & Beauty, Health, Interiors, Legal & Financial, Leisure & Tourism, New Business, Property, Restaurant, Retailer and Technology &Innovation. Full details are on the site with updates on twitter @BristolLifeAwd For sponsorship enquiries, please contact or to be involved on the night, it’s

AMD are an award winning firm Visit our website for details at

L E G A L a d v e r t i s i n g f e at u r e

altered states Thinking of buying a property but concerned that alterations have been made to it without the appropriate approval? Laura Wilkinson, a property law specialist at AMD Solicitors, looks at the issues.


y law, building works carried out to a property must comply with certain standards to ensure that they are safe and energy-efficient. However, unfortunately it is quite common to discover that building works have been carried out without the necessary building control consent having been obtained. The reasons for this vary, but range from ignorance of the law to a deliberate decision not to apply for consent where it is clear that building regulation approval would not have been granted for the works. Your conveyancing solicitor will be aware of the circumstances where building regulations would be required. Therefore it is important that you or your surveyor makes them aware of any works that may have been carried

out on the property to enable them to make the necessary enquiries. The seller should also disclose any works undertaken at the property in the information supplied to the buyer prior to purchase. What if there is no building regulation approval for the works undertaken? A local authority can take enforcement action against the owner of a property (even if that person did not undertake the work themselves), requiring the property owner either to undo the works undertaken or to carry out rectification works. Should you choose to proceed with the purchase of the property despite the lack of building regulation consent you will be exposed to the following risks:lA  n insurance company may refuse to pay out under a buildings insurance policy if there is inadequate building regulation consent for alterations to the property. l If there is no building regulation approval for the works, they could be structurally dangerous. l The council could take enforcement action against you requiring you to undertake costly rectification works and causing you considerable inconvenience. l If you are a cash buyer you can choose to take on these risks but if you are buying with a mortgage your conveyancing solicitor will need to report the facts to your mortgage lender and they will almost certainly require some form of further protection from the risks. What can I do to protect myself against the risks? The best solution for you may be to ask the seller to apply for retrospective building regulation consent from the local authority. A building inspector will need to come out to the property to inspect the work and, if they are satisfied that it complies with building regulations, they will issue a Regularisation Certificate. However, by contacting the council the seller would not subsequently be able to take out an indemnity insurance policy (as referred to below). Currently the most common way to deal with a non-compliance issue is to take out


a Lack of Building Regulation Consent Indemnity Insurance Policy. Your solicitor will request that the seller’s solicitor obtains at the seller’s expense a policy to provide cover for the owner against the cost of any expenses or losses resulting from the local authority taking enforcement action against them. The indemnity policy route will be quicker (policies can be taken out online and put on risk immediately) and may well be cheaper than requesting retrospective onsent. A typical policy premium will be between £100 to £400 and is a one-off payment. However, there can be significant problems in relying upon an indemnity insurance policy, and before choosing this option you should discuss the level of cover and the insurer’s terms with your conveyancing solicitor. BL

Buying and selling a property can be a complex and sometimes stressful experience. Our experienced Conveyancing Team at AMD Solicitors can advise you on issues such as these. If you would like any advice or assistance with the process of buying or selling your property, please give us a call on 0117 9735647or call in to our office at 139A Whiteladies Road.

4 Whiteladies Road Clifton, BS8 1PD Tel: 01179 292281

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TWO TOWERS A distinctive building rising high above the city centre, Number One Bristol sets a new standard for city living By J E N N Y GE E



f first impressions count, then Number One Bristol makes an instant impact. As soon as you set foot through the (tall, glass) doors it’s clear that this development is something a bit special, even beyond the usual high-spec interiors, host of residents’ services and central location. From the outside, the two-storey, light-filled atrium is immediately eye-catching, blending as it does modern architectural values with a range of natural traditional elements such as rich walnut timbers, cool slate and polished concrete surfaces. There’s even an invigorating oxygen-rich ‘living wall’ in the waiting area. At first-floor level there’s a large private residents’ gym, adding a sense of vibrant energy to the communal space. The practical elements of everyday life are amply catered for, with private postboxes and access to residents’ private parking; a daily concièrge is always on duty, not only adding extra security and a cheery welcome home, but ensuring that even when you are out, someone is in to sign for deliveries. The landmark building comprises two towers. The 15-storey West Wing is home to 86 spacious one-, twoand three-bedroom apartments, including the crowning glories that are the six three-bedroom duplex penthouse apartments. The eight-storey East Wing provides 62 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments. All have beautifully arranged living spaces with spacious layouts, en-suites and views across the city, and have, you’ll be unsurprised to hear, been finished to the highest standards. Kitchens come fitted with chic contemporary white gloss handless units, and high-quality integrated appliances; bathrooms are stylish and modern, with modish Porcelanosa tiling. Most bedrooms come with built in wardrobes, and all have soft wool-blend carpets. The living spaces have been fully equipped for modern

High-spec, eco-conscious, city-centre living – with a living wall and a sky meadow



bedrooms, plus studio flats


apartments in the West Wing


apartments in the East Wing

£185K starting price


apartments sold within four months of launch

living with multimedia sockets pre-wired for TV, internet, telephone and satellite, and everything is in place for ultra- and hyper-fast broadband. Many of the West Wing apartments also come with large balconies, and all homes share the landscaped roof garden on the eighth floor of the East Wing – a private green space of tranquillity and peace, this ‘Sky Meadow’ provides a sanctuary set high above the daily noise of the city. This exclusive eco-garden has been designed for sharing, soaking up the sun, relaxing by restful water features and sharing times with friends or slumbering in the shade of olive trees or espaliered crab apples. There are even herbs to pick to throw onto the barbie, and an undercover club lounge (which sounds wonderfully James Bond-ish) if the weather declines to play nicely. As you’d hope from a Bristol new-build, Number One can claim excellent green credentials and includes a range of ecological and energy-saving features. A mechanical ventilation heat-recovery system is an especially clever piece of technology, benefiting not only your pocket but your health. It removes moisture and stale air and odours, and replaces them with fresh air; the air exchange process runs constantly in the background and is an integral feature of this well-engineered building. Solar panels on the roof of the west tower offer a renewable energy source which feeds into the building to mitigate its power consumption, and all of the windows are triple-glazed and designed with a bespoke closing mechanism to ensure minimal heat loss. From the atrium to the roof garden, every detail in Number One Bristol has been carefully considered to ensure that living here will be pure, trouble-free pleasure, leaving you free to make the absolute most of the city. For more I BRISTOL LIFE I 117

Bristol & Clifton's premier Commercial Property Agents Keep up-to-date with our latest news, deals, testimonials and market comment at our website: HARBOURS EDGE – BS8


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Julian Cook FRICS

Jayne Rixon MRICS

(0117) 934 9977

Charlie Kershaw MRICS

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Just a regular TFT programming session. Mike’s the one in the middle


lease give a big Bristol welcome to Mike Tweddle, who’s recently taken over from Ali Robertson as artistic director at Tobacco Factory Theatres. In his native Birmingham, Mike co-founded two touring theatre companies, Out of Chaos and Babakas, directing, producing, writing and performing, and he also co-founded Birmingham’s European performing arts BE Festival. We’re beginning to see how he landed one of the top jobs in Bristol theatre . . . Who or what first got you into theatre? I used to watch my mum and dad perform with the local amateur dramatics club. They’d put on an outdoor Shakespeare every summer in Pembroke Castle, and I remember watching them leap around in silly clothes through the narrow window of a castle turret. I was about five at the time. When did you know that theatre was the career for you? I acted with a local pub theatre company in Birmingham, with a really rowdy audience made up of local drinkers. It was brilliant. Playing the part of Ste in Jonathan Harvey’s Beautiful Thing, in that context, felt very special as a lot of our audience members had never come into contact or empathised with LGBT people before. I decided then that I wanted to work in theatre. Exactly how excited are you at being appointed AD of the fabulous Tobacco Factory Theatres (please do not swear) I will tame my tongue and put it this way: it is an honour and a delight to be working in a venue with such a brilliant and diverse programme of work, such a welcoming atmosphere, and located in a culturally inspiring city. Seen anything good since you arrived? I’m a big fan of the Wardrobe Theatre and everything they’ve achieved – building their organisation from scratch, programming lots of great work, and creating some terrific theatre of their own. I enjoyed more laughs per minute at their Goldilock, Stock and Three Smoking Bears than I can remember, inside or outside a theatre. What changes do you plan to make at Tobacco Factory Theatres? You’re going to see a growth in the work we present from overseas, and we’ll be teaming up with some brilliant national partners to make that possible. We’ll also be producing and coproducing some wonderful new writing, modern and classic masterpieces, and devised pieces


MIKE TWEDDLE He’s the new boy in town, and he’s landed a plum job at one of our top theatres. So who is Mike Tweddle, and what will he do for us? with an inspiring community of local, national and international artists and venues. Which productions do we really have to go and see at TFT this A/W? I’m not just saying this: Blue Heart is one of the most brilliant plays I’ve ever read, and I can promise that this production will do the writing more than justice. It’s going to be surprising, hilarious, heartbreaking and utterly original, and you won’t know what’s hit you. Meanwhile, we’re teaming up with Cardiff’s Sherman Theatre to produce Conor McPherson’s incredible play The Weir. It’ll work beautifully in our atmospheric, intimate space, and it will spook you big-time: go and see it on Halloween if you can. Bristol: what do you think of it so far? I love Bristol. It feels deeply good for my soul to cross the water every day, and there’s loads of great art and music. I have been getting lost a lot, but two different people have walked up to me in the last month, and asked if I’m OK, and do I need directions? So Bristol: lovely! Found your favourite restaurant/bar yet? Tobacco Factory Theatres’ local eateries Souk and Thali are delicious. And you can’t go wrong with the Old Market Assembly.

What bit of the city are you living in, and what’s the best and worst things about it? Old Market. I love the location and it’s a beautiful bike ride to work, and my partner’s working in Easton so it’s the perfect midway point. There aren’t that many great grocery shopping options, but we’ll live. Apart from artistically directing, what else are you really good at? I’m a wildly enthusiastic dancer, but I wouldn’t use the word ‘good’ (and neither would any of my friends). I’m pretty good at baking. Most regrettable habit? Cracking my knuckles. Finally, tell us something surprising… I’m bisexual and it’s taken me quite a while to wear that banner with pride. When I was with a male partner it felt simpler to let people assume I was gay, but now I’m with a woman it could be easy to hide, whereas actually my bisexuality is an important part of why our relationship works. Maybe not so surprising, but it’s on my mind at the moment. More about Mike and the current Tobacco Factory Theatres programme at

0117 911 0556


Our new dedicated wardrobe and carpet showroom is now open in the old Maskreys building next door to our existing store at 56-64 Whiteladies Road. We are also showing new sofa styles and an increased range of painted and solid oak cabinet furniture Promotional offers are available and remaining Clearance ex-display pieces are 50-75% off! Curtains and Blinds
 Sofas and Fabrics
 Bespoke Cabinet Furniture and Wardrobes

FABRICS Terms and conditions apply

We are just past Clifton Down Shopping Centre 56/60, Whiteladies Rd, BS8 2PY Mon-Sat 9.30 - 5.30/Sun 12 - 5

TEL: 01173 292746

All types of reupholstery Traditional to contemporary styles Antique and Vintage pieces

Bristol Life - Issue 218  
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