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Food/Arts/Entertainment/Shopping/Property ISSUE 223 / JANUARY 2017 / £3











TICK, TOCK How does Bristol roll around the clock?

Let’s do it Yes, we know; January’s a bitch. Just when you’ve got used to days that begin at 10am and consist mostly of eating cheese and cake, you’re thrust back into the cold, cruel dawn of a new year, and expected to remember how the photocopier works. To celebrate – if that’s the right word – a brand-new Bristol year, we’ve taken a snapshot of one winter’s day and night in the city, featuring some of the people and businesses who make it tick (page 16). As anyone who lives in what we’ll euphemistically call one of the livelier postal codes will tell you, Bristol’s a proper 24-hour metropolis: choose any minute of any hour in any day, and someone, somewhere will be wide awake; sometimes even for legitimate reasons. So drink up the remains of the port, mop up the last crumbs of Stilton, and enjoy this issue – then gear yourself up, because if we know Bristol, it’s going to be another rollercoaster of a year. Let’s do it! Deri Robins, editor Twitter @BristolLifeMag Instagram:@bristollifemag


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Editor Deri Robins

31 Arts Intro Damien at the City Museum. He’s one of ours, you know

Senior art editor Andrew Richmond Graphic design Megan Allison Cover design Trevor Gilham Contributors: Mal Rogers, Seb Barrett, Kyle Traynor

32 What’s On Now we’re motoring

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

38 Theatre Lies, damned lies, jealousy and high passions; and that’s just in the interval bar at TFT

SHOPPING 44 Editor’s Choice

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

Aqua and coral are apparently the hot new hues for SS17. The official Pantone colour is a kind of leafy green. So, we’ve gone for black and white... with a bit of blue

48 Fashion Modern-day mermaids in the Penguin House. In hats. The mermaids, not the penguins


INTERIORS 54 Kitchens Out with the old, in with the new. If you’re lucky; if not, just get a new bowl or something (p44)

FOOD 60 Restaurants Consider us fully-paid up fans of the Old Market Assembly

62 Food & Drink Well over 50 new openings are already planned for this year. We think we need a little lie down

A MAN’S WORLD 65 Seb Barrett Yet more lies and deceit. Mendacity abounds in this issue



69 Kyle Traynor

88 Eco home

Stick with it and Bristol Rugby will reward your faith

Don’t tell Bristol’s wolves, but this home is made from straw

EDUCATION 72 Schools It’s open (day) season

BUSINESS 81 Business Insider

90 Property Showcase A bridge not too far

Chief executive Jane Ingham Chief executive Greg Ingham

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:


Spotlight Snapped! Bristol Lives

Sofas, so good

On the cover photo Colin Moody

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Left: A cutting from the Bristol Times and Mirror for 13 September 1916; below: Bill Bryant with the Bristol and Cardiff rugby teams before the first match at the Memorial Stadium in 1921 (of the players he is standing middle row far left) Bristol won 19-3; right: Sergeant Bill Bryant at the Southern Command School of Musketry, Hayling Island, c.1918


A BRISTOL TALE There was a great deal of media coverage about the centenary of the Battle of the Somme last year, culminating in Bristol with the moving Shrouds of the Somme installation in front of the cathedral. In December, we were contacted by Dr Mark Bryant, a great nephew of one of the lesser known-heroes of the conflict – William George ‘Bill’ Bryant. Bill, a young Bristol RFC rugby-player, was awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal for his actions, but for nearly half a century his medals were presumed lost; they were recently discovered via the internet and have now been restored to his family. Bill was the second son of Robert Henry Bryant, owner of Bryant & Son, bespoke boot- and shoemakers (their shop on Stokes Croft is now the Take Five Café). When war broke out in 1914 Bill was working for the rainwear specialists, Anderson’s Bristol

Rubber Company, in the Old Carriage Works on Stokes Croft, and playing rugby in his spare time. Two weeks later, he volunteered to join the army and served in the 6th Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry. He quickly rose to the rank of sergeant and on 18 August 1916, after 10 months at the front, was awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal ‘for conspicuous gallantry’ at Delville Wood in the Battle of the Somme. To quote The Bristol Times and Mirror, “He led his platoon in the charge, and was the first man in the second wave to reach the enemy’s lines. Later, when a large part of his left hand had been shot away, he carried in another badly-wounded man.” He later also received the Cross of St George. When the war ended, Bill returned to Anderson’s and, despite his injury, continued to play rugby as a forward for

Bristol RFC during the great days of its England stars Len Corbett and Sam Tucker. In 1921 he was in the team that beat Cardiff in the first ever match at the newly opened Memorial Stadium in Horfield (dedicated to the players who had died in the conflict); he eventually played in a total of 164 matches for Bristol, and holds the Club’s record for the longest playing career. In the 1930s he became manager of Anderson’s shop until he retired. However, when Anderson’s closed down its Stokes Croft factory in the 1960s, his company pension was stopped and he was eventually forced to sell his medals. Their whereabouts were then unknown for nearly half a century until they were accidentally spotted on the internet, and subsequently returned to the family earlier this year. Feel free to send us your Bristol stories: email

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SPOTLIGHT See what we mean about ‘Dickensian’? @christmas steps_aq

Lovely sepia treatm ent from one of ou r faves, @sichan.he

ok earlier!

One we to

@msheather gee pulls off a tricky ni ght capture

Because Christmas Steps are for life, not just for Christmas Yes, they look especially beautiful in the festive season with the fairy lights illuminating the Dickensian bow windows and cobbled steps, but this corner of town is a year-round joy, day and night. Here’s how you captured them on instagram last month. Tag us with your pics @bristollifemag Lovely atmos phere, @ging erslim_ time for Well done for getting up in lisaprice! this sunrise shot, @shakira

Love this cool and collected shot by @richi


We’re a bit jealou s of @rogerturn er6’s Lumix with its int elligent art featur e



r ptures the colou @voxpopple ca e of the quarter stl bu ay dd mi and I BRISTOL LIFE I 13



Bristol: a modern, 24-hour city that never sleeps. Here’s a highly selective snapshot of some of the goings-on during a single winter’s day and night w By M A L ROGE R S Photo s (u n le s s s t ate d ot her w i s e) by C OL I N MOODY






TICK, TOCK 00.00 MIDNIGHT: The Clifton Suspension Bridge illuminations may be switched off, but the safety lighting stays on all night. 2,976 low power LED bulbs light the bridge. AM 00.05: The Met Office receives its first hourly report from Filton automated weather station giving details of the Bristol area’s air pressure, temperature, visibility, humidity, wind speed, likelihood of cats and dogs etc.

AM 00.30: Bristol Sewage Farm at Avonmouth is reaching its quietest period. They treat up to 300 mega-litres of sewage every day. NOTE: if you’re visiting (and they hold regular open days) be aware: there is no farm shop. AM 00.45: Punters at Mother’s Ruin in St Nicholas Street dance like nobody’s watching; little knowing that photographer Colin Moody is. AM 01.00: Florist Kika from Belle Du Jour heads for London to select the best specimens from the Covent Garden flower market. Meanwhile, the last punters are being admitted to Thekla, whose club nights stay open until 4am. AM 01.30: Bristol’s ambulance service is on full alert; midnight until 2am is one of the busiest times for emergency services. It’s a busy time for Bristol’s street cleaners, too – just look at the mess you all left last night! AM 01.45: Taxis in Bristol city centre hit their peak period and are at full stretch.


AM 00.15: The Bristol Scrabble Club at Upper Horfield Community Trust calls it a day. The only anagram of Bristol, sadly, is Sir Bolt, so unless Usain gets a K and sets up home in Totterdown sometime soon, local celebrity wordplay will continue to be minimal.

01:00 Party Brizzle: above, Thekla; below, Mother’s Ruin






AM 02.00: Flying Fish Cornwall deliver fresh fish to the Pony & Trap in Chew Magna. AM 02.10: Somewhere, one or both of these things is happening: in a quiet tunnel, a graf artist tags a wall; and at least two igers photographers (probably Mitch, Josh or Ben) long-exposure the hell out of the city lights, while perching on some balcony or crane on which they are most definitely not allowed. AM 02.15: The night manager at the enchantingly luxurious Hotel du Vin begins collecting the room-service breakfast cards. AM 02.30: Bristol and Avon Constabulary officers continue patrolling the streets – but please move along to the next time slot. There’s nothing to see here. AM 03.00: The first check-in staff arrive at Bristol Airport, ready for the rush hour. Bristol is to aircraft what Salzburg is to Mozart, or Melton Mowbray is to pork pies. The city has an aeroplane pedigree that dates back to 1910; today, the airport processes up to 7m customers a year.

THAT PHOTOGRAPHER AM 03.30: Busiest time for Bristol’s 24-hour


locksmiths, helping forgetful or careless homegoers. (Many of these same customers present themselves later at Bristol’s taxi ranks and police stations trying to locate their mobile phones). AM 03.55: The first Plymouth Falcon arrives at Bristol Airport terminal with bleary-eyed passengers full of hope – the hope that they’ve remembered to print out their boarding passes.

TICK, TOCK AM 04.00: Steve, Master Baker at Bakesmiths, Whiteladies Road arrives to feed his sourdough mix and turns on the ovens in readiness for the day’s first batch of bread.


AM 04.30: Tim Fowler of Certus Cars checks his route for an early run to Bristol Airport. His Mercedes S has SatNav, compass and Google Earth, but in addition Tim always has a look at his map (for younger readers, a ‘map’ is a paper thing with roads drawn on it).

01:30 01:45

AM 04.47: The first train for London Paddington pulls out of Temple Meads. Those sitting in the first class carriages and holding open return tickets will have paid approximately £187 for a seat. Even oil companies have been saying, hey, come on, you can’t rip off customers like that. AM 04.50: Colin Paige, Head Brewer, arrives at Butcombe, checks the temperature on the hot liquor vessels and then starts the mashing process. This is not an early morning dance, but a cunning way of kick-starting that ancient equation: yeast + hops = happiness


AM 05.30 Melanie Hill’s alarm clock goes. Mabel’s Greengrocer, a top banana in the vegetable and fruit retail sector, will be opening at 9am and the shelves need to be stocked. AM 06.00: “Good morning Bristol. Let’s get ready to bong” says Great George in the Wills Memorial Building. George not only strikes the hour, but reaches his many fans throughout the day via Twitter. Be nice to him #sensitivebell. At the same instant, Kam Kelly wakes up the rest of Bristol on our favourite radio station Sam FM. w






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AM 08.12: The sun rises in Bristol in deep mid-winter. Which means, if it’s turned out nice, Cameron Balloons in Ashton Court will be inflating their flying machines and taking to the air (yes, it is possible to book a flight in winter). AM 08.15: At HorseWorld, a dozen or so grooms are feeding the 100 plus animals currently being cared for there. AM 08.30: Arnos Vale Cemetery opens to the public. Look out for the grave of Sarah Terrett, an inveterate do-gooder who sadly (and somewhat counter-productively) was conducting a temperance meeting when she fell off the platform to her death. AM 08.45: At Bristol Wine School, Tristan Darby checks the wines for the day. Remember – a meal without wine is called ‘breakfast’.


AM 08.50: Michelin star chef Peter SanchezIglesias arrives at Casamia to check the menus; whether he does this after polishing his Michelin Star, or before, we’re not sure.

Turn the dial to 106.5 FM, and if you’re lucky with the playlist you’ll be able to pretend that you’ve woken up in 1985 and still have all your hair. This compensates to a large degree for all the latest traffic-chaos news from lovely Alice Crocker. AM 06.45: Cod and haddock arrive at Salt & Malt fresh from Cornwall. The driver has been trout and about since 4pm. And that’s the only fishy pun you’re getting. This is an intelligent magazine, not a Christmas cracker. Bristol Life is all about creative whiting. Oh, stop it. AM 07.00: At Bristol Zoo, baby Afia is the first to be fed – an early-morning ration of milk. Her scientific name might be Gorilla gorilla gorilla, but all she wants is breakfast, breakfast, breakfast. AM 07.05: The BMI Regional flight edges out from the apron and onto the main runway at Bristol Airport, ready to depart for Paris. AM 07.10: Bristol Rugby players have breakfast, limber up and discuss team tactics. AM 07.15 Tim Hunter, Butcombe Transport and Distribution Manager waves the first of 10 Butcombe drays out of the yard. AM 07.30: Joe at Niche Frames in Stokes Croft loads up his van and heads for London. Meanwhile, in Old City, Small Street Espresso administers the first caffeine hit of the day. AM 07.35: Who made all the pies? Maggie and David warm their oven ahead of a busy day at Pieminister city.

AM 09.00: Over 3,000 passengers will have already made their way through security at Bristol Airport. And what fun that is. AM 09.01: It’s all hands to the pumps at Underfall Yard pump house, in the historic boatyard on Spike Island.



AM 09.30: A canine Stokes Croft car alarm (top pic) keeps a soft top safe while the owner shops locally at one of the indie businesses. w




AM 08.00: The Lido welcomes early morning swimmers, who, if they have any sense, will stay for breakfast and pile the calories back on. I BRISTOL LIFE I 21

AM 11.00: The Bakesmiths baristas begin a roast of some green coffee beans. But don’t ask for a green coffee, mind; it’s still black. Unless it’s a matcha. You can tell we’re not baristas, can’t you? AM 11.15: Underfall Pump House is inspected for full pumpability. AM 11.25: Rosie Morgan, big cheese in the dairy world, continues her mission to explain the ancient art to the laity at The Bristol Cheesemonger.

12:35 AM 09.20: Hemali Modha arrives at Amulet on Cotham Hill, checks the online orders and prepares them for dispatch.

Transcendental meditation on the bus to Weston (above) and paddleboarding on Harbourside

AM 09.30: Another tweet from Great George: “Clapper polishing will commence shortly. Do not be alarmed if you hear excitable squeaking noises.” Polishing, btw, can take up to two hours.

PM 12.20: Waterbus maintenance takes place throughout the day. Here (right) an expert makes sure the timbers are suitably shivered. PM 12.30: The Butcombe-owned Cottage Inn on Baltic Wharf is on full service, serving meals, and of course beers, bitters and ciders. If there were a Nobel Prize for bitter, the Butcombe Blond would surely have won it by now.

AM 10.00: One of the greatest bargains in Europe is now on offer: free admission to Bristol Museum and Art Gallery. Knowledge is free here; all you need is a container to take it away in. AM 10.05: Two would-be Thatcherites (in the alcoholic sense) check Google Earth to see if Thatcher’s Cider Shop is nearby. Mercifully, it is and open for business.

PM 12.35: A passenger on the X1 bus leaving for Weston goes into a state of transcendental meditation. It’s the only way to travel. 

AM 10.10: Rehearsals at the Old Vic are underway for the evening performance. AM 10.15: John at RB Boatbuilding continues waterproofing a boat hull cm by cm. In the old days it was inch by inch, but John is always happy to employ the latest innovations. His boats, by the way, sell for several guineas. AM 10.30: Coffee shop time for Rich Warren, director of the Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival. He likes his coffee so dark and mysterious that it might well have been directed by Otto Preminger. AM 10.50: At Butcombe, coppers start boiling. These coppers (vats, not policemen) disperse a lovely, hoppy, steamy vapour into the atmosphere.


NOON 12.00: The chefs at The Pony and Trap start making stock – beef, chicken or lamb. It takes three whole days to make it Pony-ready. PM 12.15: Bristol Zoo’s Asiatic lion cub brother’s, Kamran and Ketan, are having lunch – joints of meat, served rare. They seldom ask for a cheeky vegan walnut and beetroot salad.

AM 09.56: The first Bristol Ferry Waterbus departs Hotwells, edging out into the river, bound for Several Remote Nations of the World. Oh, sorry, that was Gulliver, who left Bristol on board the Antelope in 1699. The Bristol Ferry, of course, heads for the city centre.

AM 11.00: After a team meeting, the rucking and rolling begins in earnest at Bristol Rugby as training gets underway.

AM 11.35: Customers gather round on an Eat Walk Talk Bristol food tour at their next food stop of the day, to learn about making and eating gelato at Swoon.






TICK, TOCK will have passed through the world’s fifth oldest zoological garden. PM 15.45: One of the many photographers contributing photos to the #igersbristol hashtag on Instagram finds a shot she’s been looking for. PM 16.00: Mike Timmins at Fabrication is ready to clock off after upcycling fabrics that would otherwise have been sent to landfill into art, cushions and handmade wonders using a limited-edition 1935 Singer sewing machine. PM 16.30: In mid-winter, most of the animals at Bristol Zoo have begun putting themselves to bed. The birds and butterflies in particular will have begun roosting at 16.00. Nightie night, avians and lepidopterans.

15:45 PM 12.55: Paddleboarders prepare for a daily harbourside 4mph float-out past the ss Great Britain and back. Heave-ho.

PM 17.00: On match days (Fridays & Sundays) players arrive at Ashton Gate. Bristol supporters will also have begun arriving at roughly the same time, unaware for the most part that a joke focusing on ‘Bristol supporter’ was banned by the BBC in the 1950s. PM 19.00: The chefs at Casamia Restaurant are at full stretch with the dinner service well underway. After sampling Casamia’s Creedy Carver duck served on a bed of carrot purée, the diners discuss whether their life up to this point has merely been a drab interlude.

PM 13.00: The staff at Milk Thistle arrive bleary-eyed following the previous night’s shift. Meanwhile, workers keeping more normal hours are thinking about lunch; if they’re lucky enough to be close to St Nick’s, they’ll have a truly global selection of street food to choose from.

PM 19.05: The HMV store in Broadmead has closed for the night. Nearby, a statue to the HMV dog, Nipper – born in Bristol – stands patiently at the corner of Park Row and Woodland Road. Good boy! w

PM 13.45: Start time for Paul Tuckwell and the raptors. And although sounding a bit like a psychobilly band, they are in fact the antipest team at Southmead hospital with a regular appointment to stop crows and pigeons dropping stones on their reflections in the roof glass. PM 13.58: Showtime looms for lovely Laura Rawlings on BBC Radio Bristol. PM 14.10: On match days, Bristol City players begin their warm-up prior to the 3pm kick-off. A match takes 90 minutes, even though a mathematician has recently worked out that in order to ensure the better team wins – and that luck plays no part – a match should probably last for 14 hours 18 minutes. PM 14.20: Colin Moody gets back to work on his two-year art project #WeAreOne, taking portraits of thousands of Bristolians and making them into ‘one’ portraits. Want to be part of it? Call 07957 324351 or tweet @moodycolin. PM 14.30: Mike, volunteer at the Underfall Yard is about to call in as his shift ends by the human accumulator. What is a human accumulator? Ask Mike. PM 15.00: The busiest time of the day at Bristol Zoo is over, and as many as 1,500 people



PM 19.25: Bellringers arrive at St John’s Church on Broad Street to practise the likes of quarter peals or Whittington Whole Pulls (you’d know a Whittington Whole Pull if you heard it). The tower of the 14th-century church, the only remaining Bristol building built into the mediaeval city walls, contains a ring of six bells.


PM 19:40: Jorvin and Nila are over the hump – Henry the pie van has been loaded ready for a trip to London with a full load of pies. A cup of tea and a catch-up on social media beckon before they head back to finish packing the peas and gravy. #PieLife

PM 20.15: Tom Hines of Bristol TV takes a short break before heading back to the studio.


PM 20.30: The evening shift gathers momentum in one of Bristol’s oldest pubs, The Seven Stars. Abolitionist Thomas Clarkson collected information here on the slave trade – it’s still a good place to talk politics and quaff pints.


PM 20.00: Lights. Action. The film (every Wednesday) at Horts’s 26-seat Director’s Cut Cinema on Broad Street gets underway.




23:45 PM 20.45: The entirely charming Beryl Dzambo from Plaster PR turns her attention to the tweet flow at an Upfest launch. PM 21.00: The Ivy Clifton Brasserie is now well into its evening service. The London branch regularly has paparazzi camped outside to snap A-listers, but we’re too cool for that at Bristol Life. Even though the odd Game of Thrones star can often be seen tucking into baked sea trout with almonds. No. We’re not stalking them at all. PM 21.15: It’s peak drinking time at the Llandoger Trow in King’s Street. In this ancient inn, Daniel Defoe allegedly met Andrew Selkirk, of shipwreck fame and the novel Robinson Crusoe emerged from the meeting. PM 21.30: The River Grille restaurant at The Bristol is taking its last orders. Around 300 hotels throughout the world are called The Bristol – named after the 4th Earl of Bristol’s appreciation of fine things, if you’re wondering. But Bristol didn’t have one until 2007 when Jury’s Hotel Bristol changed its name simply to The Bristol. PM 22.00: “Left hand down a bit, now, hard right . . .” aircraft overnight parking begins at Bristol


Airport. Flight schedule changes, emergency landings, unexpected arrivals all have to be factored in; everything from Airbuses to Boeing 737s need to be accommodated. And you thought it was difficult finding a space on Queen’s Square. PM 22:35: The two-person crew set about securing the SkyView wheel for the night. PM 23.00: At HorseWorld, Vicky the live-in groom begins her final checks for the night. PM 23.39: The last train from Paddington pulls into Temple Meads Station. PM 23.40: Long after the applause has died down, Bristol Old Vic’s tech team are busy rigging the theatre lighting for the next production PM 23.45: The last scheduled flight of the day lands at Bristol Airport. If you’re just arriving in Bristol, welcome! Turn right at the exit door and head for one of Europe’s most vibrant cities. Many of these photos were taken from the 24 Hour Bristol photo competition. To enter the 2017 comp, register at I BRISTOL LIFE I 27

CACI facials available now at Simon Lee’s Aesthetic Medical Clinic.

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£8,000 SMILE

TRANSFORMATION COMPETITION! EVOLVE DENTISTRY – putting a smile on your face in 2017....


his January, Evolve in Portishead are celebrating eight years in the dentistry business. Evolve are looking to mark this celebration by offering readers the chance to win a smile transformation – full details are at, on twitter @EvolveDentist and www.facebook/evolve-dentistry Having transformed the smiles of many through pioneering cosmetic dentistry and orthodontics, Team Evolve want to extend their service to an individual who needs it most. The winner will receive a free smile transformation worth up to £7,000, PLUS there will also be a runner up who will receive up to £1,000 a total of £8,000 of fabulous smile transformation! There are many reasons why someone could have lost their ability to smile confidently and these are often incredibly personal narratives. All that you have to do to enter this wonderful competition is send Evolve Dentistry your story, to help us understand your journey and what it would mean for you to have a smile transformation’ says Dr Carol Somerville Roberts, Clinical Director. Carol explains: “Too often we hear of people who are ashamed or embarrassed about their smile. They refuse to smile on photos and when they meet people. Circumstances have not allowed them to improve it. Founding Evolve Dentistry from scratch eight years ago was lifechanging for me and so to be able to share our

Above: Dr Jon Sproson BDS & Dr Carol Somerville Roberts BDS MFDS RCS of Evolve Dentistry

Above: ‘Before’ image of patient Sofia Fernandes and right: ‘After’ treatment by Dr Sproson

“HELP US UNDERSTAND YOUR JOURNEY AND WHAT IT WOULD MEAN FOR YOU TO HAVE A SMILE TRANSFORMATION” success is our way to reach out to someone local and to change their lives for the better. “Perhaps you have had your teeth knocked out from a sporting accident, been fearful of dental treatment, or you’ve simply been unlucky in the genetic lottery. Evolve Dentistry understands your problem and is here to help,” says Dr Jon Sproson, who has a special interest in cosmetic dentistry and cosmetic adult braces, as well as TMJ disease and hypno-relaxation for nervous patients. The judging panel includes Dr Sproson who will be the clinician undertaking the treatment for the winners – he is a member of the British Society of Occlusal Studies and a Full Member of the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. In addition Jon is a past finalist for Dentist of the Year, and multiple categories in UK National

Dental Awards. ‘After many years in practice, I am only too aware of the impact of having a beautiful smile. It is well documented that people who are blessed with a great smile are more successful in their career and relationships. I feel fortunate that I am the dentist to put a smile back on someone’s face – good luck!’ says Jon.

The closing date for this amazing competition is 9am on 31st January 2017. Apply or submit your nomination at Alternatively call Julie, Treatment Coordinator on 01275 842550 or email www.facebook/evolve-dentistry Twitter @EvolveDentist I BRISTOL LIFE I 29

Philosophy for living Free course starts January 2017 The aim of philosophy is to set people free; free from pressure and free from worry; free to grow, free to be themselves. So it seems fitting that a philosophy course should be free. This ten session short course, called Philosophy for Living, looks at life and its meaning, the world and its causes and applying mindfulness to every moment. Based on the classic philosophies of East and West, it invites us to see life as a place to test the words of the wise. Feel free to join us.

BATH When? Tuesdays at 7.15pm starting 24th Jan 2017 Where? 30 Milsom St, Bath, BA1 1DG BRISTOL When? Thursdays at 7.15pm starting 26th Jan 2017 Where? Charnwood House, 30 Cotham Park, Bristol, BS6 6BU

If you would like to know more or to register please contact: Email: Or call: 07873 230651 Bath and Bristol School of Philosophy: branch of The Fellowship of the School of Economic Science. Registered Educational Charity 313115 Charity number 313115



You know that artist, Damien Hirst – he’s a Bristolian, right? We claim him as one of our own, yeah? Well, yes – up to a point. On a scale of one to 10 – assuming that 10 is cycling over Clifton Suspension Bridge in a Bristol City shirt with a pint of Thatchers in one hand and a spray can in the other – he’s probably about a six. He was born right here, but grew up in Leeds, before becoming the poster boy for the YBA movement. He’s probably most famous for sticking animals in formaldehyde and so on, but he’s also renowned for paintings such as this one – Beautiful Hours Spin Painting IX – which is currently on loan to the City Museum. It’s one of a series made by hurling household gloss onto a spinning device; an idea Damien says was inspired by Blue Peter. Pop (art) in to see it, why don’t you? You have until the end of the year. For more I BRISTOL LIFE I 31

13 January – 14 February 2017


Clara nails the selfie pout at Slapstick; Strange Worlds at RWA; Russell’s back with new material at The Hippodrome

Exhibitions UNTIL 5 MARCH

WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR The annual photography treat returns to M Shed; don’t expect LOL captures of cats that look like Hitler; UNTIL 19 MARCH

STRANGE WORLDS Chagall, Rego and Pacheco evoke the magic of Angela Carter in an explosive new exhibition, 25 years after her death. At RWA; UNTIL 23 APRIL

WARRIOR TREASURES Dazzling collection of gold, silver and semi-precious gems – part of the Staffordshire Hoard. At Bristol Museum & Art Gallery;


LUBAINA HIMID; NAVIGATION CHARTS The first major survey of British artist Lubaina Himid, a pioneer of the Black Arts Movement in Britain in the 1980s; at Spike Island; 21 JANUARY-21 FEBRUARY

A SENSE OF SPACE Still lifes from a wide range of artists, from realistic to abstract;

Susie Nott-Bower and Julia Shaw. At Bristol Guild. www.

Plays/Shows UNTIL 15 JANUARY

CINDERELLA: A FAIRYTALE As opposed to the real-life version, presumably. It’s great, because it’s Travelling Light; at the TFT; tobaccofactory


BEYOND THE FATIGUED EYE An exploration of the Arnolfini as a space of creation as well as for presentation; focus on live and performance art;

THE SNOW QUEEN Lee Lyford directs the Bristol Old Vic’s festive offering, billed as ‘The Hunger Games meets Hans Christian Andersen’;



the Italian Stallion must learn to float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, dance like a rock’n’roll star and sing like a queen; 19-21 JANUARY

RUSSIAN STATE BALLET ... of Siberia perform La Fille Mal Gardee, The Nutcracker and Swan Lake for your classical delectation. at The Hippodrome; 22 JANUARY

THE MAGIC OF MOTOWN The Motown spectacular returns with an all-new show on a supersensational nationwide tour; at The Hippodrome; 23-28 JANUARY

FOR THE LOVE OF IT Three artists united by a passion for creativity: Deborah Mann,


ROCKY; A HORROR SHOW When small-time boxer Rocky is challenged to the fight of his life,

PINK MIST Owen Sheer’s verse-drama about three young Bristol lads in Afghanistan makes its second

W H AT ’ S O N

return to Bristol Old Vic; one of the most memorable and moving productions we’ve ever seen;

Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit comes to The Hippodrome; star casting still to be announced.



THE DEPRAVED APPETITE OF TARRARE THE FREAK After sell-out performances at Bristol Festival of Puppetry and Suspense 2015, Wattle & Daub bring their extravagantly grotesque puppet opera to TFT;



BOWIE EXPERIENCE Spectacular concert featuring the man’s music. Revisit the golden years (whop whop whop); at The Hippodrome;


CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG Various humans may feature – but the star is the car, and it still holds the record for the most expensive stage prop ever made. at The Hippodrome;




ON THE ROAD No, not the Kerouac man-trip, thankfully, but Scotland’s visual theatre festival Manipulate, here with two pieces; in La Causeuse a young woman guides us through the memories of a doomed romance, while Cloth explores a woman’s dreams and desires; STRANGE FACE/ ADVENTURES WITH A LOST NICK DRAKE RECORDING Michael Burdett’s quirky, funny and poignant award-winning solo show: a celebration of life, coincidences and the legacy of singer-songwriter Nick Drake; 11 FEBRUARY

AIDA Opera & Ballet International present a spectacular interpretation of Verdi’s classic opera; at The Hippodrome; 12-14 FEBRUARY

THE GIRL & THE GIRAFFE An uplifting family show about friendship; TFT’s first visit to the new 1532 Performing Arts Centre at Bristol Grammar School. 14 FEBRUARY

ABBA MANIA ABBA the concert; expect to hear all the faves. at The Hippodrome; 14-18 FEBRUARY

EVITA Bill Kenwright’s production of

THE BRISTOL SESSIONS One of the best live soul nights in Bristol; expect soul, R&B and rare groove classics at The Lantern; RUMOURS OF FLEETWOOD MAC Not the return of the Mac, but a damn good tribute act; 17 JANUARY

BILLY BRAGG & JOE HENRY In March 2016, Billy and Joe boarded a Los Angeles-bound train from Chicago, looking to reconnect with the culture of railroad travel music. Here’s the result, among other stuff; 19 JANUARY

BETH ROWLEY The Bristol singer brings her soulful tones to Colston Hall; 20 JANUARY

SOLOISTS OF THE OAE A virtuoso programme presented by principals and guests of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment at St George’s. 27 JANUARY

METAMORPHOSIS The Tallis Scholars perform sacred works down the ages – Pärt, Palestrina, Stravinsky and Tavener et all; at St George’s; 2 FEBRUARY

ST PAUL AND THE BROKEN BONES Six-piece soul band based out of Birmingham, Alabama; has there ever been a wider

Real Magic at IBT; Wordless girl talk with Manipulate at TFT

disconnect in music between the way Paul Janeway looks and sounds?

Awards for three years running; now ‘the natural-born scamp’ is back on tour;



QUERCUS The peerless voice and regal presence of June Tabor with pianist Huw Warren and saxophonist Iain Ballamy: a chamber jazz-meets-folk trio of equals at St George’s;

SLAPSTICK FESTIVAL The annual mash-up of classic silent comedy and more recent chortlesome stuff – this year including special tributes to Victoria Wood and Rik Mayall; 21 JANUARY

Comedy 17-18 JANUARY

JACK WHITEHALL: AT LARGE Jack was crowned ‘King of Comedy’ at the British Comedy

LEE NELSON ‘The world’s most famous blagger’, acclaimed character comedian and untameable prankster – most recently seen handing out swastikaemblazoned golf balls at Donald Trump’s new Scottish w I BRISTOL LIFE I 33

W H AT ’ S O N

golf course – comes to The Redgrave;


WINTER WANDERLAND The community frontwindow initiative comes to Bishopston;


PAUL FOOT AND GUESTS Paul’s original style of anticomedy challenges comedic convention at every turn; he does not have fans, it’s said, he has connoisseurs. Expect bizarreness;


IN BETWEEN TIME The acclaimed biennial of live art and performance returns with its most ambitious programme to date with 40 artists staging works across 10 locations in the city.


SUSAN CALMAN: THE CALMAN BEFORE THE STORM Susan’s ready to create a storm, to set the record straight, to give it to the man (whoever he is). Incidentally, she would also like to be Batman. At Comedy Box;


BLAHBLAHBLAH On the eve of Valentine’s Day, Blah descends, predictably, into a pit of cynicism and bitterness. Is love life’s greatest gift, or does it just suck? Discuss;

DAVID O’DOHERTY: BIG TIME The Aldi Bublé, the Ryanair Enya, is delighted to present a brand-new show of talking and songs played on a crappy keyboard from 1986.

Sport 14 JANUARY

BRISTOL CITY FC V CARDIFF CITY At Ashton Gate; kick-off at midday;


DR PHIL HAMMOND: DR PHIL’S HEALTH REVOLUTION Laugh, sort your life out, stay sane, plan your death and save the NHS – all in only 99 minutes. At Comedy Box;


BRISTOL ROVERS V SWINDON TOWN At The Memorial Stadium; kick-off at 3pm; bristolrovers.


RUSSELL HOWARD Join Bristol’s finest and be the first to hear him try out new material; at The Hippodrome; 11 FEBRUARY

DANNY BAKER: CRADLE TO THE STAGE Expect a night at the theatre; nothing else is certain with Danny promising that no two nights will be the same. “This is the sort of radio I’ve always wanted to do, ie, radio without radio. Just me and you.” At The Redgrave;


Puppet opera at TFT, and Pink Mist is back (with a new Arthur) at BOV

schtick to Colston Hall; RUBY WAX: FRAZZLED The comedian, actor, writer and ‘it’ girl of mental health campaigning comes to The Redgrave; JASPER CARROTT & ALISTAIR MCGOWAN Two comedy legends share the bill at The Hippodrome;


THE NOISE NEXT DOOR The Edinburgh Fringe darlings and comedy club headliners bring their 100% improvised



MILES JUPP: SONGS OF FREEDOM The stand-up, actor, writer,

thinker, father, husband, worrier and host of The News Quiz hits the road in a freshly-ironed shirt and some robust trousers, in an attempt to make sense of the everyday mysteries of life.



Other 29 JANUARY

5X15 Five speakers talk for 15 minutes; this time it’s Kate Dimbleby, James Jones, Dr Matthew Green, Cathy Rentzenbrink and Kerry-Anne Mendoza; at

BRISTOL RUGBY V HARLEQUINS At Ashton Gate; kick-off at 7.45pm; 11 FEBRUARY

BRISTOL ROVERS V BRADFORD CITY At The Memorial Stadium; kick-off at 3pm; I BRISTOL LIFE I 35


T H E AT R E One of these yellow posters is for Tartuffe, the other’s Othello. No prizes. Sorry

LIES, DAMNED LIES Deception, jealousy and passion are rife at Tobacco Factory Theatres next month – and that’s only in the interval bar. Only kidding, bar guys! Andrew Hilton



hrow a stone in the vague direction of Southville on 21 February, and you’ll probably hit a drama critic. Don’t aim for their eyes, though; they’ll need them – for this is the press night of Othello. If any single Bristol theatrical event is guaranteed to prise the big guns out of their comfy Groucho Club armchairs and lure them down to Brizzle, it’s Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory (stf ), with its annual dramatic duo; typically made up of one play by Shakespeare complemented by another classic play. The productions have been described as ‘legendary’ by The Stage – and it’s mostly down to the season’s founder, Andrew Hilton, whose sparse, beautifully clear brand of direction fits the Tobacco Factory Theatres in-the-round auditorium like a glove. As has become traditional over recent years, Andrew is joined for the 2017 season by a guest director; so while he takes on the classic Molière farce Tartuffe, Richard Twyman – Associate Director at the Royal Court Theatre – tackles the tragedy of Othello. Want to hear more? Of course you do.



“Tartuffe has been in my mind for several years, along with the enticing possibility of commissioning a new English version,” says Andrew. “Classic texts and new writing are my two greatest passions in theatre. For Tartuffe I become writer as well, co-authoring the version with my long-term collaborator, Dominic Power.” Do you feel that there is any way that Tartuffe complements Othello? Yes, to some degree; a monstrous deceiver is at the centre of each – tragically so in Othello, comically – at times farcically – so in Tartuffe. Is Tartuffe a play that should be produced more often? Tartuffe does actually pop up quite often, and there are many English versions of it, by Christopher Hampton, Ranjit Bolt, Roger McGough and others. In the theatre world it is greatly admired – and its portrayal of a previously balanced and rational man suddenly infatuated with a religious fanatic still has extraordinary currency. Are we right in guessing that you’ll be modernising the play? Dominic and I are writing a very free version, set in London (in Hampstead Garden Suburb, actually)






in 2017. Orgon becomes Charles Ogden, a junior Minister in Theresa May’s government, and the maid a Polish live-in housekeeper with a sadly redundant Ph.D in astrophysics. We follow Molière’s structure fairly precisely, as well as observing all the family relationships, and the best farce is certainly Molière’s. But period and place apart, the major change is that Tartuffe is no longer a fraudulent religious zealot but a conman who we hope will carry urgent modern resonances; I’d rather not elaborate on those here, but hope to hear various names banded about the Tobacco Factory bar in the interval . . . For those who’ve never seen the play, can you sum it up in five words? ‘Contemporary satire in classical farce’ or, to take one element of our version, the tabloid exposé: ‘Bogus author dupes Tory toff!’ What are the main challenges and delights for the actor taking the role of Tartuffe? I would defer to Mark Meadows (the actor cast as Tartuffe) for this but I imagine that the main challenge is to find some solid ground beneath the constantly changing personas that Tartuffe presents to the world – ‘who and what am I?’, in other words. But that chameleon-like personality will also, almost certainly, prove Mark’s chief delight. w I BRISTOL LIFE I 39




quite openly expressed in the Western world today has very clear parallels to Othello’s situation.

“I first read Othello when I was at school studying for A-levels,” says Richard. “As a young man going through the turbulence of growing up, I found resonance in the complexity of the relationships in the play and the jealousy that is provoked in Othello.” What was your first professional brush with Othello? Early in my career I worked as assistant director on a production at the RSC starring Anthony Sher as Iago, directed by Gregory Doran. It was my first professional Shakespeare and a revelatory experience for me. Since then I suppose I’ve always felt I have some unfinished business with Othello, and now feels like the right time to tackle it. More than ever before the play’s fascinating exploration of racial politics feels acutely relevant to today’s society.

Othello has been called Shakespeare’s most complex love story – would you agree? That definition of the play is new to me, but Shakespeare certainly writes exceptionally complex relationships between his characters. I think the love between Othello and Desdemona is of primary importance to the play and can sometimes be forgotten alongside everything else the play is grappling with. So it’s crucial we get that right. In this production we have a younger Othello than has perhaps become traditional, and so I’m looking forward to the audience feeling the ‘heat’ of their love; it will make Iago’s manipulation of their love all the more tragic. Richard Twyman

Is there a standout production that you’ve seen in the past? The play is so rich that each time I’ve seen it, the different actors and directors have been able to draw out something new and surprising from the play. I feel very lucky to have seen some fantastic Othello and Iago duos over the years; Sello Maake Ka-Ncube and Anthony Sher in 2004, Adrian Lester and Rory Kinnear in 2013, and Hugh Quarshie and Lucian Msumati last year. I’m thrilled that I get to explore the play with Abraham Popoola and Mark Lockyer, they already have such chemistry together and they’re shaping up to be a very exciting Othello and Iago. Does producing a play for stf influence your approach? stf has a reputation for producing honest and immediate productions of Shakespeare with some of the best classical actors in the country. Their work is underpinned by a strong and meaningful connection with their audience and that’s a thrilling prospect for a director to step in to. With the company’s history and skill at producing Shakespeare behind you, it gives you enormous confidence as a director to both trust Shakespeare’s writing and be bold in your vision for the play. The team at stf are brilliant, they’re incredibly supportive and clear in why they make theatre. I really hope our production reflects that clarity. Can you share any of the ideas you have for your approach? The play is a brilliant thriller, so the audience can expect to be hooked into the storytelling and be on the edge of their seats. Also I think an audience watching the play today can’t help relating it to the burning tensions of our age, the fear of the ‘other’ and the perception that their identity may threaten our own. Specifically, I’m interested in exploring not only Othello’s racial identity as a ‘Moor’, but also the cultural and religious aspect of that identity, namely his Muslim heritage. In Elizabethan England, ‘Moorish’ was synonymous with ‘Muslim’ as well as ‘North African’. I think the Islamophobia that we see 40 I BRISTOL LIFE I






Iago’s motivation can sometimes seem a bit unconvincing – or would you disagree? I would disagree; I think in his opinion he has lots of justifiable reasons for his actions. The truly terrifying thing is that those reasons wouldn’t be enough (hopefully) for you or I to commit such abhorrent crimes, but they are for him. I think the skill of the play is that Iago has all the justification he needs, and none, both at the same time. If we can get an audience to feel complicit in his actions I think Iago becomes an incredibly interesting lens in which to understand some of the forces at work in our society. He’s very ‘post-truth’ as a character! Do you find Othello a sympathetic character, compared to say Lear, Hamlet or Macbeth? Yes. While you can’t excuse what he does in the play, he falls prey to the behaviour of a malicious individual and is trying to live in a world where his perceived difference informs every interaction he has, it even starts to shatter his own identity. I care for him deeply as a character, even though I haven’t experienced even a percentage of what he does in the play. I hope the audience will, too. Do you have any favourite lines from Othello? Perdition catch my soul But I do love thee, and when I love thee not, Chaos is come again. Othello, Act 3, Scene 3 Finally – Iago or Othello: who do you identify with the most? I think the key is finding a way to identify with both Iago and Othello. I think it’s essential that we can understand a mindset in which Iago perceives his actions to be just and necessary and that we recognise the reasons that make Othello destroy his life and everything he holds dear in it. Understanding both perspectives feels essential in getting to grips with the play.

Othello runs 16 February-1 April Tartuffe runs 6 April-6 May; at Tobacco Factory Theatres



ONES HE MADE EARLIER After Andrew told us about Tartfuffe, we held him at gunpoint and forced him to choose his Top 10 stf productions for Tobacco Factory Theatres King Lear, 2000 Our first production, in a then freezing cold Factory, and probably rather rough round the edges, but passionately performed and hugely well-received – and the company was launched.

Clockwise from top: Arcadia, King Lear, Richard II

Coriolanus, 2001 Never a crowd-pleaser – possibly because it contains not a single attractive personality – but to my mind, one of Shakespeare’s most complete achievements, and it filled the Tobacco Factory stage and its echoing hinterland wonderfully. Troilus & Cressida, 2003 Another not-entirely popular piece, a difficult black comedy, but we assembled an enormous 21-strong cast and I believe successfully articulated a play that completely baffled me when I first saw it on a large, conventional stage. A Romeo & Juliet for grown-ups, it might even be my favourite of all Shakespeare’s works.

Three Sisters, 2005 Our first of three great Chekhov plays – Uncle Vanya at the BOV followed in 2009 and The Cherry Orchard at the Factory in 2012. I am actually prouder of our Chekhov productions than of our Shakespeares. Antony & Cleopatra, 2009 A hugely difficult play, far more rarely seen than it deserves (directors shy away from it, as I did for many years), but one of the greatest tragedies, and particularly wellserved by our intimate setting. Richard II, 2011 My favourite among all of Shakespeare’s history plays. The Comedy of Errors, 2011 Often played – sometimes derided – as a farce, this proved to be a comedy of real heart, comparable to Twelfth Night. And Dominic Power provided a terrific version. Arcadia, 2014 For me, as for many, many others, Tom Stoppard’s finest work, and perhaps the best play of the post-war period. An absolute sell-out, I think we proved it might have been written to be performed in the round. The School for Scandal, 2015 While choosing a strictly period, mid-18thcentury setting, we revealed Sheridan’s satire

to be remarkably apposite to our social media society, at the same time finding real humanity in its gallery of extravagants and poseurs. All’s Well that Ends Well, 2016 Dominic Power’s boldest adaptation to date (one character completely reconceived, in addition to narrative changes) of a play full of Shakespearian glories, but also incoherent in its plot and rather lame in its ending. Infuriated some Shakespeare purists and certainly provoked the question – how far should adaptation go? I BRISTOL LIFE I 41

ad v ertising feat u re L AW

Can you have a good divorce? We can’t change what’s happened, but we can help you to change your future, says NICOLA WALKER of Irwin Mitchell


he first month of the New Year is traditionally busy for family law experts who each year are seeing a rise in the number of couples filing for divorce after spending one last Christmas together. According to Irwin Mitchell’s Divorce and Family Law team, instructions have been up at least 25% in January in the past few years, compared with an average month. Relationship breakdown is always difficult as it impacts on all aspects of life, from children, finances, accommodation and businesses. The process itself will only be for a limited period of time but the impact of the relationship breakdown can last for the rest of your life. It is important therefore to get the right advice on every front. First and foremost, it is to remember that the most important people in any divorce or relationship breakdown are children and that their needs and welfare are prioritised. Reinventing yourselves as ‘co-parents’ means taking the choice to put the children first. Processes like mediation and arbitration can keep the divorce from reaching the courts and take a more holistic approach to the separation, which can be a less traumatic process for the whole family. Living together after you’ve separated can be difficult, but bear in mind that if you own the property together, you both have a right to stay there and in doing so will provide stability for your children. Going forward, you will need to assess what you can afford, whether you need to downsize or if one of you will be able to afford to stay in the family home. In either situation, take the opportunity to put your stamp on your residence, redecorate, or take up that promise to finally sort the garden.

“A relationship breakdown is always difficult” During the divorce you will be expected to outline all of your income and outgoings so the courts can make decisions on financial settlements and maintenance. Make sure you are not only aware of, but can prove ownership of, all of your assets, and keep receipts and records of all of your financial transactions. Speaking to a financial adviser to discuss your options will take a weight off your mind. Thinking even further ahead, it’s vital to update your will when you separate, and

put new inheritance arrangements in place for your children. Although the divorce will ultimately cancel any existing will, you may want to consider a ‘will in contemplation’ of a divorce, while the divorce is finalised in case anything happens to you. It might help your loved ones avoid disputes over your estate. Embarking on the next chapter of your life can be an exciting time. You might take up new hobbies, socialise in different circles, and meet new people. But getting the appropriate support throughout the process to get you there is crucial. The Bristol Family Law Team at Irwin Mitchell, led by Partner, Nicola Walker, have all the experience and knowledge that you need in order to ensure you get the best possible legal advice during a relationship breakdown and plan ahead for the future. BL

Nicola Walker 0117 9261 584 @irwinmitchell One Castlepark, Tower Hill, Bristol, BS2 0JA. For a full list of our offices visit our website. Irwin Mitchell LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. I BRISTOL LIFE I 43













DeLonghi coffee machine, £139.99 To us, this seems a very reasonable price to pay for the privilege of having the full barista experience in your own home From Kitchens Cookshop 167 Whiteladies Road

Choppy Waters, £90 Hand-carved from British timber, George Winks’ serving boards are inspired by the choppy English seas; the other side’s perfectly flat, btw From Midgley Green

Bone china mug, £8 ‘Relentless Optimism’ is a Stokes Croft mantra; a bigger version of this design is regularly rescued from vandalism in the Bear Pit. Like all PRSC mugs, it’s a joy to drink from From PRSC Stokes Croft China, 35 Jamaica Street

Tog knives, from £44.99 Investment knifewear, handmade (in Dundry) using techniques that are inspired by ancient Samurai sword-making From or from Kitchens Cookshop 167 Whiteladies Road

Fridge/freezer, £1079


We could tell you the energy rating and capacity of this fridge/freezer – but seriously, when it’s as beautiful as this SMEG, who cares? From Nailsea Electrical 102 Gloucester Road nailseaelectricalonline.













Orla Kiely tray, £25 Also available as a round tray (£30) with the classic Orla design rendered in an eye-catching black and white. Would look a treat paired with the glasses at number 8, above... From Pod 24 The Mall, Clifton

Donna Wilson plate, £24 Yes, we’ve featured this bone china Mog plate before, but we’re not apologising, as it’s adorable and always makes us smile From Soma Gallery 4 Boyce’s Avenue

Spot wine glass, now reduced to £7.40 Classic wine glass by Italian design studio Bitossi; hand-dipped in creamy white paste, to create a playful fusion of old and new From Howkapow

Porcelain berry bowl, £21 Banish all plastic fruit containers and replace them with these little beauties; available in dark ‘slate’ and light grey ‘concrete’. From Between Dog & Wolf

Theo coffee jug, £49.95 With a so-much-nicer-thanthe-paper-variety ceramic filter and a bamboo lid – turn it one way round and it’s closed, the other way and it’s ready to pour From Oskar Furniture 47 Whiteladies Road II CLIFTON BRISTOL LIFE LIFE II 45 69

N S o al w e On

Formerly The Lighting Warehouse

Lighting the way it should be... New Silk Shade Colours available Visit us in store at: Unit 2, Bedminster Retail Park, Sheene Way, Bedminster, Bristol BS3 4TA Tel: 0117 963 5943 Email:


IN ANY LANGUAGE, IT’S ALWAYS BETTER TOGETHER INTERNATIONAL HOUSE BRISTOL, founded in 1987, is a member of one of the largest and oldest groups of language schools in the world


hatever you aim to achieve in life or whatever your professional goals, sharing the experience with others makes the journey so much more enjoyable and rewarding. Learning a language at International House Bristol will put you on the right path.

At IHB, it is all about the people who make the difference: from the highly qualified teachers, who support your progress and help you communicate effectively, to the amazing friends you will make along the way. We offer 10-week evening language courses for adults in 11 different languages from £135 and one-to-one lessons for £38 per

“SHARING THE EXPERIENCE MAKES THE JOURNEY SO MUCH MORE REWARDING” hour. In-company courses are also available. We teach you in a group at your company and help develop the language needed to communicate effectively in business in any industry. Did you know that learning a new language can also make a huge difference to keeping your brain young? We offer 10-week language courses for over 65s in French, Spanish, German, Italian and Welsh for just £71. You will be able to make friends, work in a group and socialise with like-minded people. Every parent wants to give their child the best start in life. Speaking a second language is a wonderful skill that can boost the confidence needed to fulfil dreams and ambitions. At IHB, your child will study in a safe and friendly environment, form friendships and benefit from the expertise of our highly qualified and DBS-checked teachers. We offer 10-week GCSE and A-levels courses in Spanish, German and French for only £70, every Tuesday from 4.30-5.30pm. We also provide cultural workshops and gift vouchers! At International House Bristol we fulfil everyone’s needs. Let’s succeed together. BL I BRISTOL LIFE I 47


MARINA . . . Aqua and coral are two of the hottest hues for spring/summer 2017 – soft, retro shades that conjure up all kinds of sea-world loveliness. This magical world has been captured by ANI STAFFORD-TOWNEND for her Milliner’s Guild SS17 collection – shown off here at a special aquatic shoot at Bristol Zoo


nlike another pair of blonde sisters we could mention (yes, we’re looking at you, Ronnie and Roxy), identical Bristol twins Leela and Yasmin Carr-Bond had the sense to stay the right side of the water for this millinery fashion shoot at Bristol Zoo. Daughters of Neptune was designed to show off Ani Stafford-Townsend’s Milliners’ Guild SS17 collection in the perfect setting. Themed around mythical oceanic imagery, and drawing on the aquas and coral shades that are set to be the major colours of SS17, the headgear takes Ani’s hallmark sculptural flair into the spirals, curves and swirls of the maritime world. Photographer John Barwood shot the photos in the Penguin House of Bristol Zoo, and the shoot was styled by Sue Fyfe Williams – a Bristol team collaborating creatively to show, once again, that Bristol has fashion talent. w





Move over Ariel: there’s a new pair of mermaids in town

THE TEAM Photographer John Barwood Millinery Ani Stafford-Townsend, Milliner’s Guild Stylist Sue Fyfe-Williams MUA Jenny Davies Hair Stylist Lukas Szejka Models Yasmin and Leela Carr-Bond THE CLOTHES Pink silk dress Yen Design Black and white dress Mishi May Silver and plum ball gown skirts Abby Glanville T H E L O C AT I O N Bristol Zoo Gardens 50 I BRISTOL LIFE I

craftsmanship means FOCUSING ON F I N E D E TA I L S A N D TA K I N G T H E T I M E TO M A K E E V E R Y J O B O U T S TA N D I N G


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CABINET RESHUFFLE Could it be time to give the most important room in the house a refresh?


Neptune Kitchens know that the colour green is nothing to be scared of

what you really want in the most important room in the house is efficiency and sleekness

Y There’s nothing that we’re not madly coveting in Wren’s Autograph kitchen

ou know how it goes. Once the tinsel’s down, you find yourself glancing round the house in a displeased kind of manner. The winter sunlight reveals flaws you didn’t suspect existed; the curtains look about as tired as you felt at 5pm on New Year’s Day, and you suddenly loathe that parakeet feature wall in the dining room with the fire of a thousand suns. And while you’re at it, the dogs/kids’ bikes/baby stroller haven’t done the paintwork in the hallway any favours, either. But the one room you’d really, really love to give a makeover is the kitchen; are we right? You can get away with shabby chic in the living rooms, but unless you’re devoted to the distressed French farmhouse look – and admittedly, it has its charms – what you really want in the most useful room in the house is efficiency and sleekness. Know you want to make a change, but not sure where to start? We asked three local experts to tell us about some of their recent kitchens and styles, and to predict the trends of the future.  I BRISTOL LIFE I 55


RON CASH of Kutchenhaus Bristol What the client wanted: A good-quality stylish modern kitchen at an affordable price; a breakfast bar seating area with plenty of worktop space to prepare food. How did you create the look? During our initial design we selected door and worktop samples and began creating a colour scheme. We were keen to create a contrast by combining light, gloss, coloured doors with darker matt surrounds. We achieved this by using basalt oak worktops, end panels and plinths surrounding the ivory gloss doors. What’s new for 2017? Our new products include the introduction of our copper and concrete door finishes. We are expanding our matt finished doors after seeing a higher demand in recent years. We are also expanding our Line N handless ranges as they contribute to nearly 50% of last year’s sales. There is even a new hob, which includes an extractor fan in the middle – brilliant for island or open-plan living spaces.

Milano Shaker style by Wren

Top tips for planning a new kitchen? 1. Choose the right layout: consider the requirements of everyone who’ll be using it. 2. Plan ahead: think about appliances, accessories, lighting, flooring, tiles, paint, etc. You also need to make sure it all arrives together. 3. Choose the right installer: a bad installer can make a quality product look cheap.

TILLY GRAY of Neptune Kitchens The colour concept Green is a tricky colour for many people. It’s less frequently seen and so we can be fearful of how to use it in our homes. But we’ve always loved green at Neptune; it’s just so fresh, has natural connotations with the great outdoors, and even in its deeper tones, it manages to make a room feel utterly calm. So we thought it was time that we showed what a beautiful fit green is in every room of the home, starting with the kitchen. Everything about this kitchen (page 54) is special, but it’s the colour story that sets our heart aflutter the most.

Mono contrasts in this Kutchenhaus kitchen


How did you create the look? We used our Shaker-inspired Suffolk kitchen for this look, but the colour would work on any of our collections. We decided that we’d use an uncomplicated palette of green with white, because the one offsets the other perfectly, balancing depth and crispness, light with shade.


On both the walls and cabinetry we used our Cactus paint. We used emulsion to paint over the exposed brick wall and eggshell on the cabinetry, which provides a subtle contrast as their finishes are slightly different. With the double Belfast sink, Carrara marble worktop and three of our Keats lights in Snow dangling in a row, it doesn’t feel heavy at all; it feels dramatic and exciting. Top tips for creating a new kitchen? 1. Make a wishlist, but prioritise it. There are lots of things that we want to incorporate into our kitchens, but sometimes it’s not always possible to fit it all in. Order them in terms of importance, and from there you can decide which ones you can bring into your kitchen plan. 2. Don’t underestimate storage. A kitchen has to be a pleasure to use as well as to look at. It’s always wise to have a clear-out when you have a new kitchen fitted so that you’re not harbouring things that you never actually use, but at the same time, you don’t want to be in a position where you’re running out of space in a few years’ time. Cabinets, shelves, a larder (if you have the room), pot boards and so forth are all there to offer different storage options. And remember, a

BEAUMONT KITCHENS TOP TIPS • Make sure you choose the best room in the house for the kitchen – it’s where your family will spend most of their time. • Make sure you have plenty of workspace between the hob and sink. It doesn’t matter how big your kitchen is, you’ll work in this area – don’t make it too small or it will be a bugbear in your kitchen. • Start your design by putting all the important items in – then filling in with the extras, that way you won’t have to compromise the things you really want.

As cool as the coolest Malmö loft apartment – but this Wren kitchen avoids actual iciness through the use of vibrant Bumblebee yellow units

kitchen isn’t solely about cabinets. Free-standing pieces of furniture that you typically see in other parts of the home can be outstanding additions to a kitchen, offering storage in a more unexpected form – like console tables and dressers. 3. Think outside of the kitchen. Your kitchen should fit in with the rest of your home, so consider how it will sit with the rest of your interior and try to choose a palette that will drive the aesthetic for your entire house.

ROB LAWRENCE of Wren Kitchens The design The definition of luxury is uniquely personal. A truly luxurious kitchen is not one that’s filled with the most expensive units, worktops and appliances but one that has everything you’ve ever wanted in it. With the Infinity range, we set out to provide all the elements needed to create a unique kitchen that everyone could afford, with thousands of unit options, frontals, colours, details and accessories. w





Beaufort blue

How did you create the look? We used our decades of kitchen knowledge and experience to create masses of choice so everyone’s kitchen will be absolutely unique to them and their lifestyle. What do your customers love most about your kitchens? The amazing details and the affordable prices! You can have your perfect kitchen whatever your style, budget or the size of your home. The choices are endless and include a range of over 700 feature units from cook’s tables

KITCHENS DIRECTORY Alno Beaufort Kitchens Ben Argent Design Gardiner Haskins Harvey Jones Kitchens in-toto Kitchens Kitchens Cookshop KutchenHaus Neptune Kitchens Park Furnishers Stephen Graver The Kitchen Man Wren Kitchens

to pet beds, dressers and open shelves. We’ve introduced special colours such as the vibrant yellow Bumblebee and tranquil Lagoon. There’s also a new Elements range with dramatic modern finishes from Italian Concrete to Ocean Cypress, worktops in a variety of materials and thicknesses, curves and edges. Hottest kitchen trends at the moment? Marble – even a slice in the form of our Carrara marble pastry slabs – adds a luxurious touch to a kitchen. Try a marble-effect luxury laminate worktop, or go for gorgeous granite. Metallics remain popular, particularly warm tones such as copper and gold. A subtle way to introduce this into your kitchen is through a metallic-effect profile paired with a contemporary unit. Milano kitchens offer six profiles, including copper and gold. Retro is another key trend – check out our metal frame units with smoked glass. Blues and greys remain the hottest colours, but they are evolving. Embrace the blues with Baltic and Midnight or go grey with a natural twist with Pebble and Nimbus, or calm Cathedral. Top tips for planning a new kitchen 1. Think about who uses it, and how they use it. Cooking and dining? Entertaining and working? Is it your pet’s home? 2. Think style. Contemporary or traditional? Sleek or decorative? Matt or gloss? Spend as much time as you can in the kitchen showroom to find the style that suits you and your home. 3. Plan ahead. Measure up your room and think about how to make the most of your space. I BRISTOL LIFE I 59




Old Market Assembly Opening a restaurant/bar/bakery/theatre complex in a part of town that has yet to properly up-and-come was a bold venture, but one that has been comprehensively nailed by the OMA By DE R I ROBI NS


entrification: now there’s a divisive word for you. If you’re a Stokes Crofter, say, with a deep-seated allergy to hipsterfication, you may take issue with the way that Bristol’s scruffier postal codes are being dusted down and smartened up. Unless, of course, you happen to own a nice terraced house in the area, and are quietly watching the house prices rocket; that tends to soften the blow quite a bit, we find. But few Bristol folk would grumble about recent improvements to Old Market, where new coffee bars and art galleries are slowly replacing less salubrious establishments. Standing like a shining beacon of progress on West Street, while still embracing the creative and alternative quirk of the area, is the Old Market Assembly. Originally a grand Victorian bank, built on the site of a fairground, with a chequered subsequent career involving clubs and theatres, it still retains the pomp of the building at its dignified height – full-length leaded windows, an octagonal domed skylight, impressive pillars, a lofty sense of space; an echo of an era when banks looked more like small palaces than smartphone shops. Within, you’ll find a mixed offering of food, drink and culture, in a very Bristol offering that’s both collaborative and eclectic. Spread over the ground floor and the galleried mezzanine is the restaurant – itself a sub-collaboration between the team behind No.1 Harbourside and The Canteen. The menu, overseen by Scott Hislop and cooked by former chefs at the likes of Ottolenghi, The Kenny and The Spotted Cow, prides itself on being ethically and seasonally focused, and has already clocked up three stars by the Sustainable Restaurant Association; veggies and vegans have plenty of choice, too, as it’s as flexitarian as f. The pumps, predictably, are stuffed with local brews. Service is a laidback affair that requires you to place your order at the bar. While you wait for the exceptionally pleasant staff to bring your food, or if you’ve just popped in for a drink, you can lounge about on sofas and play board games. Meanwhile, at the back of the building, The Wardrobe Theatre will be preparing for the evening show, alternating excellent improv with a varied programme of to-notch visiting fringe productions.





The OMA is also a café, and a bakery; turn up after 9 am and bask in the mingled aroma of very-seriously-taken coffee and fresh bread and cakes, baked by Sanjay. Oh, and there’s often live music in the evening. You can come for dinner, and you can come to see a show, and we’ve done both separately, but on this occasion we were in for the full OMA experience. As theatre tickets are a tenner and main meals about the same, it’s a surprisingly affordable night out, As the four of us were tucking into our meal, a fellow diner wandered over (it’s that kind of place) and asked us what was good that night. “Everything” we responded; as it happened, we’d all chosen a different dish. I’d gone for a wintry, flaky strudel combining soft, tangy Homewood Farm ewe’s curd with roasted chestnuts, served with olive-mashed potato and smoked shallot purée; a dish that perfectly summed the OMA’s style of healthy comfort food served with imagination and a side order of sophistication. If ingredients are locally sourced where possible, the flavours are well-travelled. Your Man’s Stream Farm chicken had been baked in lemongrass and coconut and served with rice noodles and winter vegetables: filling, warming and spicy, the bird flavoursome and tender. Son Down for the Holidays went the kedgeree route (presumably it was around breakfast time for him). A satisfyingly smoky medley of Cornish haddock, River Fowey mussels and curried rice was bulked out further by root vegetables and a soft boiled egg. The Only Daughter’s risotto was a festive assemblage of baked saddleback ham, roasted sprouts and poached salsify, topped with Grow Bristol shoots and home-smoked oil. As a chronic punctualaholic, I’ve never been a fan of the pre-theatre dinner concept; I always have one nervous eye on the clock. But when the show’s taking place in the very next room, and everyone’s totally fine with you wandering in with your wine, yes, in a proper glass, it’s a totally different kettle. They’ll probably let you balance the rest of your dinner on your lap, if you really want to. Because the thing that we really, really love about OMA, and which keeps us coming back again and again, is the winning balance of informality with professionalism. The food, drink and service is as delicious as it’s nutritious; the shows – well, all the one’s we’ve seen, anyway – are hugely entertaining. But it’s as unstuffy a venue as you could ever hope to visit. One last bit of advice; if you want to dine, better book. Word is out.

DINING DETAILS The Old Market Assembly, 25 West Street, Old Market, BS2 0DF; 0117 373 8199 Opening hours Monday-Thursday 12-3pm, 5-10pm Friday: 12-3pm, 5-9pm, Saturday 11-3pm, 5-9pm Sunday 11-3pm, 5-8pm Prices all dishes are priced between £5.50 and £11.50 Drinks limited but imaginative wine list, ranging from a house red Primitivo, Boheme at £14.50 to an Italian sauvignon blanc at £23 Atmosphere buzzy and laidback Service friendly Invalid access fully accessible on the ground floor; there is a lift to the theatre I BRISTOL LIFE I 61



We talk spice and all things nice with chef Saravanan Nambirajan of The Mint Room


ristol’s not short of stellar Indian restaurants, from Nutmeg to Kohi Noor to the Thali Cafés. Right at the top of the fine-dining tree, though, is Clifton’s The Mint Room, where chef Saravanan Nambirajan is in charge of kitchen proceedings. Bristol has a huge number of Indian restaurants; so what makes The Mint Room special? The Mint Room brought Indian fine dining to Bristol. We pride ourselves on top-quality cuisine, focusing on authentic, regional dishes, especially from southern India, but with a contemporary twist and eye-catching presentation. India has a very rich and diverse cuisine, with widely varying styles of food, and nuances of spicing, which is what we showcase. Your website describes your approach as ‘redefining Indian cuisine’ – can you tell us a bit more about that? Before coming to Bristol, I worked with a number of top chefs in London, including Peter Joseph and Alfred Prasad at Michelinstarred Tamarind. When Luthfur Rahman invited me to join his team, it was a great opportunity for me to head up a kitchen 62 I BRISTOL LIFE I

that was focused on a similar style of sophisticated Indian cuisine. What are your own culinary influences? I am from southern India, and my style reflects that. In the UK, there is still too much perception of Indian restaurants as simply curry houses – we want to showcase the very best of what Indian food has to

offer, at the highest level. My menus stay true to regional roots, but showcase the subtleties, complexities and variety of our rich culture. What dish do you most love cooking at home? My favourite dish is chicken pieces with Indian drumsticks (a type of long, thin green bean), cooked in a coconut-based southern Indian spiced sauce. Pick a few favourite dishes from the current menu I’m very proud of all our dishes, but if I have to pick a few, it would include my signature dish: six-hour slow cooked Masala lamb shank, together with our marinated ‘Chettinad style’ lamb rump. My spiced salmon gravadlax and quail cooked threeways are also favourites. Any exciting plans for 2017? We will be launching a ‘Tour of India’ tasting menu, taking guests through a range of regional styles, matched to specifically chosen wines. The Mint Room, 12-16 Clifton Road 0117 329 1300;

It’s just arrived: Cargo II



MORE TASTY BITES… Chef Paul O’Neill at Berwick Lodge’s two-AA rosette restaurant Hattusa has taken his search for locally-sourced produce to a new level, by buying beef over the fence from his neighbours at Berwick Lodge Farm. Paul had been looking for a local supplier of pasture fed beef, so he was delighted to find the perfect supplier right next door at Berwick Lodge Farm, which has been run by the McEwen Smith family for over 50 years.

COMING SOON… It’s a bit like a foodie Groundhog Day. Last January, a huge number of new restaurants were all set to open; now, at the start of 2017, things show no sign of slowing down. If you skip over the vague promises, and ignore new branches of global chains, the most interesting ones are mostly at Cargo II, coming soon to Wapping Wharf SO – WHAT’S COOKING? • Gambas The sister restaurant to tapas bar, Bravas specialising in prawns, seafood and authentic Andalucian tapas. • Salt & Malt The second branch of Josh Eggleton’s gluten-free fish and chipperie; once again, Josh has bagged a big terrace overlooking the harbour. • The Athenian Street food focusing on Greek souvlaki.

• TARE 20-cover restaurant focusing on local seasonal produce. • Story @ Cargo Luke Hassell’s nose-to-tail butchery and takeaway; often organic and always free-range. • Pizzarova The second branch for the popular pizza gang. • Big Juice Freshly-prepared fruit and veg juices and smoothies. HERE’S WHAT THEY SAY: “We’ve worked hard to strike a balance so that each business complements one another; together they provide a brilliant offering,” Stuart Hatton, Cargo developer “It was always important that our second branch would have that waterfront and community vibe – Cargo II is the perfect spot for that.” Josh Eggleton, Salt & Malt “We’re inspired by the casual and fun dining culture in Spain; our guests will all have a front row view of food being grilled and fried in the kitchen.” Kieran Waite, Gambas

• CUPP – authentic Taiwanese bubble tea and noodles. • The Pickled Brisket – Bristol’s first dedicated salt beef bar. • Oliver’s Ice Cream – artisan Italian gelato and sorbets.

There’s local, and then there’s buying from the neighbours

If the eclectic offerings at Cargo I and II fail to whet your appetite – and if so, how hard are you to please? – how about trying M Shed’s M Café? Head chef Thomas Pitchford has invested a lot of time into creating a menu dominated by seasonal ingredients with bold and exciting flavours. The menu, which takes inspiration from the local culinary melting pot, can now be sampled in the evening; since 12 January, extended opening hours are 10am-9pm. “The menu’s inspiration came from so many different places, thanks to Bristol’s vibrant food scene, which embraces new flavours, new ingredients, new start-ups and our many different cultures. This is evident in so many wonderful restaurant menus and ever-changing food trends that definitely keep Bristol’s food industry on its toes,” Tom says. “We offer Marshfield ice-cream, Thatchers cider and Bath Ales, we buy our meat from John Shepherd butchers, our bread from Hobbs House Bakery and our coffee from Clifton Coffee Bristol. We’re excited to be able to offer our customers a unique taste of the South West.” Thomas at M Café – now open until 9pm

“The takeaway and butcher’s shop will cohabit in the Cargo space and will create a beautiful lifecycle for whole animals – beef, pork, lamb, chicken, rabbit and duck. The animals all come from farms that are organic or are part of the Pasture Fed Livestock Association.” Luke Hassell, Story @ Cargo I BRISTOL LIFE I 63

10 The Mall | Clifton | BS8 4DR | 0117 360 0288 |



LIAR, LIAR For his first column of the year, Baz outs yet another flawed pal from his past. Be very careful when befriending this man.


hen people say that lies come back to haunt you, that’s not quite true. When they do, though, they come at you like a hurricane. Over the Christmas holidays, I met up with an old work colleague for drinks. Beer after beer was sunk, and what followed was like something from Simon Mayo’s Confessions on BBC Radio 2. One particular story of his remained clear in my otherwise frosty head the next day. As a sixth form student studying for his A Levels several years ago in deepest West Wales, he was called to his art teacher’s office one morning. There he was told he had fallen so far behind in his assignments that his teacher was going to give him one last chance to prove he deserved to stay on the course. “I want you to create a piece of work over the weekend and bring it to me on Monday,” said the teacher. “If I’m not happy with it, you’re out of my class.” My friend was devastated. Not only was he fully aware of his lack of artistic skills, but without that A Level he wouldn’t be able to enrol at his preferred university. In desperation, he sought out a family friend who was an artist in a nearby village. Surprisingly, this artist agreed to help.

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Collecting the artwork late on Sunday that weekend, my friend was more than a little dismayed to see just how good it was: a charcoal rendering, on velour paper, natch, of a hand squeezing toothpaste out of a tube. Faced with little choice but to hand in this minor masterpiece to his teacher the following morning at school, he did so with a sinking feeling in his heart.

WHAT’S BETTER: A LIE THAT BRINGS A SMILE, OR A TRUTH THAT BRINGS A TEAR? Later that afternoon, he was called back in to see the art teacher, whose back was turned when he entered the office. Braced for the worst, my friend was then stunned to realise that when his teacher turned around to face him, he was holding the drawing in his hands. And crying. ‘This is the most beautiful piece of art I’ve seen a pupil produce in all my years in education,’ he whispered. Any feeling of guilt on my friend’s behalf – even his family thought it was his own handiwork – was assuaged by the knowledge that his passage to university was surely

saved. But when the teacher took it upon himself to enter the artwork in a national school art competition, he realised he was only just entering the rabbit hole. One that took him all the way to a fancy event in a famous art gallery in West London. Getting over the fact that he was taking credit for somebody else’s work at a major exhibition, my friend started to enjoy himself. That was until a keen reporter from the Evening Standard asked all the artists to do a sketch of their work; something the organisers were all for. This would be the moment the web of deceit came falling down around him, rumbled at last. But no, rest assured, this isn’t a straightforward tale of comeuppance. My friend had another unorthodox idea up his sleeve: he held his breath until he passed out. An ambulance was called and, after a wholly unnecessary visit to the local infirmary, he spent a lazy afternoon kicking about in foggy London town. That squeezed toothpaste tube still takes pride of place in the main reception area of my friend’s old school. Ask yourself which is better: a lie that brings a smile, or a truth that brings a tear? Seb Barrett works in sports communications. Follow him on Twitter @bazzbarrett

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KYLE TRAYNOR Loosehead prop




It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new year of opportunity for Bristol Rugby – and the lads can’t wait


new year means new resolutions and fresh challenges. For everyone at Bristol Rugby, it’s business as usual as we continue to battle for survival in the Aviva Premiership. The festive period is always an incredibly busy time for a player – juggling family and professional commitments – but now the focus is solely on how we take this club forward.


Bristol Rugby v Northampton Saints

It’s a big five months for Bristol now. Every game, every minute, every play counts if we are to climb the table and secure our safety. The way that the squad have stabilised, particularly after a period of uncertainty back in November when Andy Robinson departed, has been admirable. We’ve maintained that desire and work ethic and it has shown in our performances. We can’t afford to be off our game now, irrespective of the competition. We have to keep showing the same level of intensity every time we play. We have that attitude in the dressing room and, believe me, in

rugby, a positive team environment and a strong culture will go a long way. Even when we have lost games, there’s been no finger pointing, no blame culture and nobody moping about the training ground. We understand what a privilege it is to represent Bristol Rugby and we’re enjoying every moment of top-flight sport. When you have a culture driven by the players and the leadership group, it means that we set our standards and hold each other to account – that’s important. We have to keep striving to improve and adding to our performances. The wins will keep coming if the performances are right. A shift in momentum, and the confidence that performing well bring, can serve as a real boost to the outcome of games in the second half of the campaign. One thing that we can really look forward to in 2017 is our proud supporters continuing to pack Ashton Gate on rugby match days. It is truly amazing how the city backs rugby and gets behind the Club, especially in challenging times. We saw it in the play-off final when 16,000 people – a league record – roared us over the line, and we’ve seen it during the Premiership campaign already with some huge attendances. The stadium is magnificent and an inspiring place to play our rugby. When your crowds dwarf many other teams in the league it just underlines the need for Bristol to have a top-flight rugby club. That’s our responsibility, as players, to ensure we fulfil that ambition and retain our place come May. It’ll be a rollercoaster five months, but we’re really looking forward to every moment. Follow Kyle on Twitter @KyleTraynor I BRISTOL LIFE I 69

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

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OPen(day) season When a city is as blessed with as many good schools as Bristol, how do you pick the one that’s just right? You head for an open day, obviously



elow you’ll find a brief summary of some of Bristol’s top schools, along with dates of the next open days; if there are none in the school’s diary then we’ve given details of the exam admission days. As ever, see the schools’ websites for full details.


Badminton is a thriving day and boarding school which has remained at the forefront of girls education for well over 150 years. Junior School open day – Friday 27 January. Westbury Road, Westbury On Trym, Bristol BS9 3BA; 0117 905 5200


Bristol Steiner School believe that education is a journey, not a race. Open day – Thursday 9 February. Redland Hill House, Redland Hill, Bristol BS6 6UX; 0117 933 9990;

Opposite page clockwise from top: Redmaids School, QEH Bristol, Clifton College, Redmaids School; This page: Clifton College


Amazing success in returning pupils to mainstream education. Unlocking the potential of dyslexic and dyspraxic children. Open day – Thursday 26 January. Thickwood Lane, Colerne, Chippenham SN14 8BN; 01225 743566


Clifton College is a traditional British public school with modern teaching values. Open Day – Saturday 4 February. Guthrie Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 3EZ; 0117 315 7000;


The philosophy at Clifton High School is simple. Provide an environment that fosters curiosity, creativity and confidence, deliver first-class teaching that inspires and challenges and celebrate each child for who they are and what they do. Senior School open morning – Wednesday 10 May. College Road, Bristol BS8 3JD; 0117 933 9087;


There is no such thing as a typical pupil at Colston’s, say this school; they are proud of their friendly and welcoming environment where new children settle in very quickly. Open day – Friday 20 January. Stapleton, Bristol, Upper School BS16 1BJ 0117 965 5207;


Junior open morning – Thursday 26 January.

Specialist Academy for science, technology, engineering and maths, offering A Level and Btec courses. Information evening – Thursday 2 February.

Berkeley Place, Bristol BS8 1JX; 0117 930 3068;

64 Bath Road, Keynsham, Bristol BS31 1SP; 0117 916 1025;

The country’s oldest existing girls’ school, founded in 1634. Open day – Thursday 9 February.


Independent school in Monmouth, Wales. The school was established by the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers in 1892, and continues to enjoy their support. Open morning – Saturday 21 January. 24 Hereford Road, Monmouth NP25 5XT; 01600 711100;


With only 585 Senior and 100 Junior day pupils, every boy is known as an individual: there’s space for each boy to be himself. Visitors comment on the friendliness and confidence of the boys, and the boys speak about how well they get on with each other and the staff. Open morning – Friday 10 March. Berkeley Place, Bristol BS8 1JX; 0117 930 3068;


The 100-strong QEH Junior School (for years 3 to 6) provides a happy, enriched educational experience which is relevant and meaningful for every single boy.


Westbury Road, Bristol BS9 3AW; 0117 962 2641;


An independent day and boarding school in Somerset countryside for boys and girls aged 3 to 18. Open morning – Friday 27 January. Oakridge Lane, Winscombe BS25 1PD; 01934 843102;


St Brendan’s is a modern, forward-thinking sixth-form college delivering quality teaching and learning to students from all cultural and religious backgrounds. Open evening – Wednesday 8 February. Broomhill Road, Bristol BS4 5RQ; 0117 977 7766;


St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School is the only Church of England voluntary-aided secondary school in Bristol. Open days held in autumn.

Somerset Square, Bristol BS1 6RT; 0117 377 2100; I BRISTOL LIFE I 73

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Adventures in party-going


PART YING WITH IN-TENT As far as we’re concerned, the Masquerade Ball at The Spiegeltent is the Christmas party you should never miss – and this year’s costumes, food and entertainment were possibly the best yet. Blame the lack of names on the masks . . . Photos by

We know these ones! Jason Barnes, Amanda Barnes and Deri Robins I BRISTOL LIFE I 77





SOFA, SO GOOD You may know all about the provenance of the quinoa you’ve just polished off – you’re from Bristol, after all – but how about the sofa you’re currently sitting on? That sofa that you sink into gratefully at the end of the working day – bet you take it for granted, right? For those of a more curious nature, local upholstery ninjas Sofa Magic offered a unique peek into their bespoke world with the launch of a new urban industrial workshop and showroom Barton Hill Trading Estate on 3 December, when customers had the chance to watch their handmade sofa taking shape. Bristol has a long, proud history of industry and innovation, which Sofa Magic’s new workshop fully embraces, showcasing skills accumulated over many years of creating beautifully crafted pieces of furniture. On the banks of the Feeder Canal, where Bristol’s cotton mills once chugged away, the well-established sofa making business is expanding to include fabric retail, under the new name Sofa Magic and The Fabric Rack, with designer upholstery and curtain fabrics being available off the roll. Scott Davidson, founder of Sofa Magic, has been producing sofas for over 30 years. Having always hosted showrooms on the high street, Scott has long dreamed of

uniting the two sides of his business in one central hub. “With increasing public awareness and interest in the provenance of goods, now is the perfect time to make this vision a reality,” said Scott. “Splitting our premises between workshop and showroom cuts out the middle man, and shifts the focus to our exquisite workmanship and unparalleled customer service that sets us apart from other high street names.” Sofa Magic and the Fabric Rack is handily located 10 minutes’ drive from Temple Meads Railway Station. The 3,500 sq ft premises is split between the colourful Fabric Rack, offering over 10,000 metres of carefully selected fabrics, and the workshop, where experts craft beautiful sofas (corner designs are a specialty) and re-upholster existing furniture. Upstairs, customers will find a spacious lifestyle showroom with an extensive range of bespoke sofas, available in fabrics off the roll or from a library of top brands. For more

“CORPORATE BRANDING CAN BE TRICKY FOR A DESIGN ADDICT” Who’s had to make a few compromises (but can now see the benefit?) See page 83


Why is this the magic number for Colston Hall? Find out at www.colstonhall. org/45kfor45m I BRISTOL LIFE I 81



SAKS AND THE CITY A new branch of Saks Health & Beauty has opened on Park Street – and salon director Donna Downey knows precisely what she wants to achieve with it . . .


efore Donna became salon director of Saks Health & Beauty she was a project manager, undertaking a myriad of IT, banking and regulatory projects, and playing lead roles in many international enterprises. “I loved my work, but there was a lot of responsibility, and it was often stressful,” she admits. We’re starting to see why she moved into the beauty business . . . When did you get into the beauty biz? When I had my daughter, I knew it was time for a change. I wanted to lead a healthier, calmer and less stressful life, bringing happiness and wellbeing to myself and others. What makes the new Park Street salon stand out from the crowd? We strive for impeccable standards in our treatments and throughout the salon. We are all about the customer experience, and want to ensure our clients leave feeling that they have received value for money, a first-class service and have also made new friends. I also plan on the salon becoming a hub of activity, for networking, events and links to other healthcare professionals. It’s a very exciting time for us and 2017 is going to be a big year. Tell us about a treatment you’re especially excited about... Skeyndor, our facial treatment brand, is going to be huge. It straddles the boundaries of beauty and clinical in a relaxing and gentle way, using cutting-edge science and virtual mesotherapy, which has won Skeyndor a Nobel prize. I’m also passionate about massage and the benefits that we could all receive from incorporating it into Launch day!

our self-care routine. My team are especially brilliant in the field of massage. What kind of investment was required in terms of equipment? There was a total investment of around £100k. What are the advantages of being part of a franchise? The wealth of experience and expertise that’s always available. As this was a complete career change for me, I think the scale of my project wouldn’t have been achievable without the support of the Saks franchise model. The setting up of the salon was demanding at times, but I had a great experience throughout and I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again.

I’M PASSIONATE ABOUT MASSAGE, AND THE BENEFITS THAT WE COULD ALL RECEIVE FROM IT Are there any drawbacks? Corporate branding can be a little restrictive when you’re a design addict like me. However, I was given sufficient scope to add my own touch and I think it’s been a winning combination. I couldn’t be happier with how the salon looks: contemporary and stylish. How many people are employed at Saks, and what’s the secret of a happy team working at the top of their powers? We have a dream team of four at the moment. We have a happy and fun working environment built on foundations of friendship and respect. There are 20 years of salon experience in my small team and my therapists are capable and serious about delivering quality treatments. How did you launch the salon? The salon was about a year in the planning in total but when I found the right premises it was all systems go. I put to use my project manager skills to manage the operation and we had a launch party in December, joined by Lord Mayor Jeff Lovell for the ribbon-cutting.

How important is social media to your business? I’ve found it to be an invaluable medium in promoting my business and spreading our key messages. Facebook followed by Instagram have been the most effective. How much time do you spend on marketing as opposed to practical? My main role at the salon is to market and promote the business. To build relationships with local businesses and residents and to ensure we are positioned as the premier salon and go-to for the savvy female (and male) population of Bristol. Are you someone who can switch off the emails in the evening and weekends? I am now; previously no, but I owe it to myself and my family to be fully present whenever I am with them. So the business stuff has to wait. What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever been given? To hang up any issues on the salon door on the way out; they’ll always be there the next day to be dealt with. And anything you’ve learnt that you wished you’d known before? I think the curve of my learning is a long one as I’m constantly facing new things, challenges and opportunities. It’s early days still, I’ll get back to you . . . For more I BRISTOL LIFE I 83

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LIFE IN THE FAST LANE Support for the inaugural Bristol Life Awards continues to ramp up with news that the latest sponsor is Guy Salmon Land Rover/ Jaguar Bristol. There is now barely three months to go before the glamorous Awards night on 27 April - nominations are still open and tickets are on sale – both via the Awards site. With Guy Salmon’s sponsorship of the Event category, there will be an array of gorgeous cars there on the night. “We’re absolutely delighted to welcome Guy Salmon Land Rover/Jaguar Bristol. It’s superb to have their endorsement of the Awards, especially on a long-term deal,” said Steph Dodd, event manager at MediaClash, which publishes Bristol Life. “We are attempting something very special, very different here with these Awards. We’re aiming to have the most prestigious, credible Awards across the full spectrum of Bristol businesses and organisations – from the coolest indie to the largest of corporates. The support we have had already has exceeded our own high expectations, with much more to come.” Any company or organisation in the area can nominate themselves for an Award, free of charge. Entries can be made in more than one category and cover the year of 2016. The Headline Sponsor of the Awards is Bristol Airport. The Bristol Life Awards are on April 27 in a huge marquee in Lloyds Amphitheatre. For sponsorship enquiries, please contact Or to be involved on the night, it’s Full details are on the site with updates on Twitter @BristolLifeAwds


WANT MORE? Sign up now for the Bristol Life newsletter Our aim at Bristol Life is to highlight all that’s best about the city – its events, places and people. To keep readers even more up-to-date about what’s happening in the city, we’ve launchied a new, free, Friday email newsletter with news, tips and special offers. (Note: we’ll never share your data with any third parties). So if you’d like a friendly weekly hello from us in your inbox as the weekend beckons, sign up today: local-magazines/bristol-life

What: Highly distinctive, uber-glamorousness celebration of the best of Bristol’s businesses and organisations. When, where: April 27 2017 in a massive, purpose-built marquee at Lloyds Amphitheatre Which sectors: Arts, Business Services, Café/Coffee Shop, Cocktail/Bar, Charity, Creative, Education, Event, Food/Drink producer, Gastropub, Hair & Beauty, Health, Interiors, Legal and Financial, Leisure & Tourism, New Business, Property, Restaurant, Retailer and Technology & Innovation. Plus Platinum award for best individual winner. Who can win? Anyone – Awards open to all How do I enter? Nominations via the site; winners chosen by independent judges And who are those Judges? Alison Bracey (Bracey Interiors), Dominic Davis (Burges Salmon), Emma Stenning (Bristol Old Vic), George Cardale (Savills), Graham Brown (Plaster), Josh Eggleton (Pony & Trap), Monika Radclyffe (The Bristol SETsquared Centre), Sarah Mead (Yeo Valley), Sarah Robertson (Colston Hall) and Tim Greene (Clifton College). Sponsors: Headline – Bristol Airport. Current sponsors: The Alternative Board, Veale Wasbrough Vizards, Park Furnishers, Clear River, Guy Salmon Land Rover/Jaguar Bristol, SDS, Burston Cook, SAM FM, Enlightened Lighting and Clifton Marquee Company plus Associates RBS and Quarter. Next steps: Nominations are now open and Early Bird tickets and tables are available, as are sponsorships. Key dates: Finalists revealed March 7; Finalists’ Reception March 20; Awards April 27; Winners Dinner in May Latest: @BristolLifeAwds I BRISTOL LIFE I 85

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

Mesothelioma claims – What you should know By Kay McCluskey at Metcalfes Solicitors


he Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) have published the most recent statistics for the ongoing tragedy that is the high rate of deaths from mesothelioma throughout the UK.

The shocking news is that six people die every day from this preventable condition, many from exposure decades ago when safety standards were not stringently observed. Because it can take 20 or 30 years after exposure to asbestos fibres before the disease becomes apparent, many more victims will fall ill in the years to come, with a peak expected in 2018. In the south west, there were over 3,500 deaths from mesothelioma between 1981 and 2011 compared to 37,000 in Great Britain as a whole. Bristol had 256 fatalities placing it 74th in the local authority areas in the list and placing it ahead of Bath and North East Somerset (110th), Cardiff (117th), Gloucester (152nd) and Exeter (198th). More worryingly, local areas such as Swindon was 25th on the list; Plymouth was 4th and Southampton was 8th. As lawyers dealing with asbestos exposure claims, we know the importance of speedy action when a possible claim is notified to us. This could be because of the direct exposure of a worker in an environment that has allowed exposure to

asbestos fibres or, indirectly, by the relatives of those carrying fibres home on their clothing. Such people have successfully claimed damages when they have succumbed to this disease. APIL has referred to this as a “national tragedy”. It is not just construction workers and associated tradesmen that face the high risk of contamination from asbestos exposure; teachers are at risk as asbestos was used so widely when building schools such that, shockingly, 19 teachers a year die from mesothelioma. Sadly, the condition is always fatal, often within 18 months of diagnosis and so for a victim to benefit from the compensation that is due to them, early advice in the legal process is required. Because of the time between exposure and diagnosis, and because of the possibility of a worker being exposed in a number of different work places, the task of the lawyer is to identify the likely causes and to ensure that the link is swiftly identified and a claim put forward. Recent changes in the law have made the process of claiming much more straightforward with access to employment histories being available through HMRC. It is, perhaps, obvious that compensation cannot really make up for the loss of a life nor for the debilitating condition of a victim once the disease takes hold. It can, however, provide for a victim’s family and may provide vital funds to replace lost income and to assist with care in the late stages of the disease. Contact Kay McCluskey or anyone in the personal injury team at Metcalfes for more information. Making a claim is far less painful than the disease and choosing a firm with experience and expertise will ensure that the process is swift and each step is fully understood. BL

For more information or advice, please contact Kay McCluskey on 0117 929 0451, or visit I BRISTOL LIFE I 87

House of straw

Tucked away on a lane behind the Room 212 Gallery on Gloucester Road stands a small house with impeccable eco credentials. Owner Sarah Thorp thinks it should be the model for all homes in the future . . .

i’ve left a truth

window, so that you can see what it looks like inside . . .




t may not look like your average Bishopston semi, but the idea and philosophy behind 212 Eco House is pure BS7. The house was built by Sarah Thorp, the artist-owner of Room 212 Gallery, which stands just in front of the house on the Gloucester Road. Sarah has run the art collective/ shop here for over 20 years, and she’s as Bishopstonian as you get; her gallery is the hub of Gloucester Road Central and it’s a rare month that she doesn’t get in touch with us with news of some imaginative new community initiative or other; at the moment, the big project is the series of art banners that will flutter proudly from lampposts up and down the road from June. Sarah’s vision was to demolish the dilapidated Victorian warehouse that originally stood on the spot, retaining the bricks and roof timbers to create a concretefree detached house with a large kitchen living area, as a paying guest house. “I originally planned to have a straw bale building, and employed local experts Red Kite Build to build it for me,” says Sarah. “In the end though, I decided to allow more space for a garden, and so it made more sense to have a timber frame, wood-board exterior walls with internal walls of mud and straw. “I’ve left a ‘truth’ window so that you can see what it looks like inside. The insulation is sheep’s wool, which keeps out noise as well as conserving heat and the walls are lime-plastered, rendered and lime-washed. “We’ve tried to reuse materials wherever possible; there are old glass bottle ends set above the doorways and the built-in kingsize bed is made with the chunky timber Kingpins, which held up the original

Upcycled cupboards have worktops made by a local carpenter

roof. Other bricks and railways timbers were used to create seating areas and garden beds, which in summer overflow with flowers and climbing plants such as jasmine, honeysuckle and grapevines. The living roof on the bike shed is planted with herbs and flowers, while the main house has a roof of sedum. There is a living hedge of willow, making the house private from the lane. “The kitchen is made from cupboards donated by a friend, and bits and bobs I’ve picked up on my travels; the solid oak worktop was made by a local carpenter. The oak floor was made from off-cuts. “I took some simple white tiles I’d found to the PRSC (Peoples Republic of Stokes Croft) pottery and they decorated them with their signature blue roses motif so the bathroom tiles match the Bristol mugs in the kitchen. All the walls are painted with natural clay paints, and – of course! – adorned with artwork from Room 212; many of the artists’ work are about the environment, or use natural materials. Finally, I furnished the house with tables and chairs I découpaged myself.” Sarah is keen to spread the word about building in an environmentally friendly way and hopes that 212 Eco House will inspire people (call into the gallery for more information). The house, which sleeps up to five people, is available for rent for short or long term stays on Air BnB or via www. I BRISTOL LIFE I 89







Burwalls is so much more than an impressively refurbished mansion with a killer view; it’s a proper little hamlet of 11 homes, set in almost five acres of park-like grounds By L I SA WA R R E N ICLIFTON BRISTOLLIFE LIFE I I 113 91




t’s one of the most distinguished and recognisable buildings in Bristol. Anyone who’s ever paused, even momentarily, on the western side of the Suspension Bridge is guaranteed to have looked across at its elaborate red-brick frontage and thought, hey, what’s that? – and when it was sold to developers a few years ago, it was the most expensive Bristol house-sale ever, at around £5m. Like a few other impressive Leigh Woods mansions, Burwalls once belonged to the ubiquitous Wills family, though, in fact, it was originally built in 1872 for local newspaper magnate Joseph Leech, the then-owner of the Bristol Times. And while it may not be quite on the same scale as Charles Foster Kane’s Xanadu, the main building reveals a similar passion for enjoyably over-the-top revival architecture; think of a decorative detail, from gables to pediments to oriels, balustrades and incredibly ornate carved porches, and you’ll be able to tick it off in your ‘Jacobethan’ spotter’s guide. Burwalls was subsequently acquired by the Wills tobacco clan, became requisitioned, à la Brideshead, as a war office during World War II, and ended the last century in the hands of Bristol University, who used it as upmarket student digs before turning it into a conference centre. In 2012, Bristol University sold it back to the private sector, who then developed it into luxury apartments. 92 I BRISTOL LIFE I

Stellar architectural features team with sleek new fittings in the main house



luxury apartments


stable conversions


brand new homes


acres of grounds

£1.1M £1.5M guide price

At around 4.9 acres, the park-like grounds are exactly 10,000th the size of Kane’s estate (yes, we’ve Googled it, it’s a slow day) and sizable enough for extra homes to have been built here, turning Burwalls into a mini-hamlet. In addition to the five two- and three-bedroomed luxury apartments – carefully remodelled in consultation with English Heritage and Bristol’s Conservation Department, and retaining fireplaces, timber panelling and decorative ceilings – the original stables have been refurbished into a pair of three-bedroom semis. A quartet of four-bedroom new-build houses have also been built in the same red-brick style, with ‘rural references’ designed to complement the main house and the local setting, and reflect the Edwardian Arts & Crafts architectural style. All of the houses have their own private gardens as well as use of the shared grounds – formal gardens, a croquet lawn, mature woodland with terraced lawns and pathways, which border a 400-acre expanse of National Trust woodland, which stretches down to the banks of the River Avon. Admittedly, these homes have a top-end price tag to match the high-spec build and prestigious location – two-bed apartments start at £1.1m – but, then, since when did stately pleasure domes come cheap? Knight Frank, Regent House, 27a Regent Street, Clifton BS8 4HR 0117 317 1999;




arents! If you need a living example of girl power to prove to your daughters that women can succeed in any field they choose, show them this page. Ellen Husain is a rising star in the adventurous field of wildlife film production, directing/producing the large scale, big-budget, David Attenborough-style BBC series that take several years to make. She’s just been named a ‘Breakthrough Brit’ in the BAFTAs, so this is only the start. Oh, and she has an excellent piece of news for anyone with a – shall we say – laidback approach to garden maintenance... How long have you wanted to work in wildlife filming? What ignited the passion? I was born in London but I grew up Cornwall, which I guess is where it all started. I was constantly in and out of the sea and by the age of 12 I knew I wanted to be a marine biologist. I did my MSc. and Ph.D with research on the Caribbean and Great Barrier Reef before making the move to TV. Do you have a speciality in this field? As a marine biologist and professional scuba diver, I specialise in underwater content. Having said that, I just made a show on plains and deserts. I definitely see the diving as a speciality, rather than a limitation. Tell us a bit about your recent series The Hunt, and how it came about Narrated by David Attenborough, The Hunt is a BBC1 wildlife series about the strategy and counter-strategy that both predators and prey use to stay alive. I’ve always been a huge fan of [executive producer] Alastair Fothergill’s series – Blue Planet, Planet Earth, Frozen Planet – so I felt honoured to be asked to work on the project. What were the highlights during filming? I’ll never forget filming aerials of a huge battle between orcas and humpback whales off Australia’s Ningaloo reef. It was the first time this had been captured and it represented really hardwon footage after two years of research. Sitting in that helicopter, it was amazing to think that no one else on the planet had ever had that view. It’s inspiring that there are still natural events on this scale waiting to be discovered.


Imagine hearing the revered tones of David Attenborough reading a script you’ve written, on a show you’ve spent years filming, and you’ll get a window into producer/director Ellen’s amazing world What were the scariest moments during the filming of The Hunt? On the whole, we were pretty safe. There was a moment when a lioness came sniffing around an open pickup I was in the back of in Zambia. Her gaze suddenly locked on from less than two metres away. It’s like when a pet cat sees a bird and all its attention is suddenly engaged on deciding whether it’s food. I was the bird. You were named ‘a breakthrough Brit’ in the last BAFTAs – has this opened lots of doors for you? It’s super-exciting and such an honour to have BAFTA’s endorsement. I’ve already been in meetings with Jeremy Kleiner, head of Brad Pitt’s production company Plan B, and Barry Jenkins – the director of Moonlight, nominated for a tonne of awards right now, including five Golden Globes. It’s exciting to meet people like that. As a Breakthrough Brit, BAFTA work hard to put you in touch with connections you want to make; I’ll likely do a trip to the States fairly soon. Can you share a memory of working with the legendary Sir David? I was blown away by his performance in my commentary record for The Hunt. Hearing that oh-so-familiar voice delivering my script so powerfully… it was quite a moment. Tell us a bit about your Bristol life: where do you live and what’s the best thing about it? I live in Leigh Woods. It’s perfect for me – I have


spectacular views of the Bridge and the Gorge, owls in the garden and sometimes the peregrine comes through. So I get a massive dose of natural inspiration, but I’m also right by the city. What single thing could we do in Bristol to help wildlife? Not keep gardens too manicured – all those bits of rough ground and piles of leaves and débris are food and homes for insects and small animals, which in turn feed the food chain. Where’s your favourite Bristol place for a drink/meal with friends? Ooh – so many options. Bravas is fantastic, I love Poco in Stokes Croft, The Lido’s an old fav’ with great food and The Lion in Clifton Wood is a nice pub. I’m also quite excited that Malmaison have taken over the Avon Gorge – my nearest bar – it’s always been a stunning location. Favourite Bristol shop? I don’t go often enough because of all the temptation, but Chandos Deli’s got to be up there. Amazing cheeses and charcuterie… the Trevélez ham is spectacular! Apart from the day job, what else are you really good at? Cooking. A lot of people are surprised by that. I also make a lethal espresso martini.

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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
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