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Food/Arts/Entertainment/Shopping/Property ISSUE 262 / APRIL 2019 / £3

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ANNIVERSARY ISSUE: 15 years of living for the city

Editor’s letter One of the anniversary features we did manage to squeeze in – turn to page 16. Thanks to Sam ‘Blinder’ Binding for this photo


appy birthday to us: sweet 15 this month! Fifteen years of making a magazine for the best city in the known universe. It’s been, and continues to be, a total blast. The only trouble with putting together a milestone issue is finding the space to squeeze in anniversary features. There’s so much new stuff to cover that has prior claim on our pages, which limits the extent to which we can wax mistily nostalgic. Perhaps that’s a good thing. We’ve found room for a couple of nice retrospectives, though; we hope you enjoy them. This issue is singular in another respect, too. It comes out the day after the 2019 Bristol Life Awards – which means that at the time of going to press, I couldn’t reveal the winners even if I wanted to (hurtfully, nobody will entrust me with the results). All will be revealed in our next issue, with lavish photo coverage; hope you were showing the camera your best side. Congratulations, all you winners (whoever you are); and huge thanks to everyone who has ever picked up a copy of this magazine since we launched it in 2004, and found something to enjoy in it. Can’t wait to see what the old place looks like in another 15 years . . .

deri robins Follow us on Twitter @BristolLifeMag Instagram @BristolLifeMag I BRISTOL LIFE I 3

Issue 262/April 2019

the arts

23 art page The sharpest cuts in town 24 WHAT’S ON What’s competing for your diary, heart

and wallet this month?

32 theatre Girl power at the Hippodrome 38 music The modern face of folk 44 bristol heroes Wake us up before you Glo Ro 51 books Spring at Storysmith

food & DRINK

54 RESTAURANT Turning Japanese? We really think so 58 food and drink Can cook, will cook 62 private dining Cater, alligator 69 café society Café twitching


shopping 70 editor’s choice It’s Easter; what did you


expect, gin?

homes 72 gardens Tips and inspiration from three of

Bristol’s finest


81  Health & beauty Five beauty fixes


91  business insider Two big stories; lots of awards

and new events


118 showcase Rooms with a view


7 spotlight 9 instas 83 society 122 bristol lives He said, she said

Editor Deri Robins Senior Art Editor Andrew Richmond Graphic Design Megan Allison Cover Design Trevor Gilham Contributors Colin Moody, Stan Cullimore, Lauren Ellis, Rich Carter, Anna Rutherford Advertising manager Neil Snow Account manager Craig Wallberg craig. Account manager Samantha Roach Sales Executive Gabriella Cronchey gabriella.cronchey@mediaclash. Production/distribution manager Sarah Kingston Deputy production manager/production designer Kirstie Howe kirstie.howe@ 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. 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. Agency From the design and build of websites to digital marketing and creating company magazines, we can help. Events We create, market, promote and operate a wide variety of events both for MediaClash and our clients Contact: I BRISTOL LIFE I 5


Nathan and Jay’s beards are probably a bit longer than this by now; above: The Bristol to Basecamp team head for Nepal for Phase Worldwide


the phwoarhh pavilions

With so many of Bristol’s major arts venues getting a facelift, why should the Royal West of England Academy be left out? The historic gallery (the oldest in the South West) is currently planning a transformation that will improve exhibition space while improving its carbon footprint, and enhancing the space for visitors, by opening up the main entrance and modernising the café and shop. Last month, the gallery invited UWE students to help reimagine designs for its redevelopment. Final year interior architecture students submitted a range of suggestions and ideas, that included beautiful new pavilions for video and virtual reality exhibits. The students’ designs were displayed in an exhibition called Re-Imagining the RWA, which ran in early April.

hyde and seek Yes, you’re absolutely right; we normally stick all the food and drink news in our, err, Food and Drink News section. But the foodie part of the magazine is rammed this issue, so you’ll have to readjust. Somehow. Just this once. Topping the must-announce list this month is news that Hyde & Co (The Ox, Bambalan, Milk Thistle etc) have confirmed they’ll be opening their new Asian-inspired dining and drinking bar Seven Lucky Gods in Cargo 2 next month. The venture is inspired by Japan’s casual izakaya bars; expect ice-cold Asahi beer on tap, and wines and cocktails created in homage to the seven Japanese gods of fortune, after which the venue is named. It’s next door to Kaiju, so we fully expect to be dubbing this quarter of the Wharf ‘Little Tokyo’ in no time. At the moment though, Hyde’s Nathan Lee and Jay Mead are part of the Bristol to Basecamp team in Nepal, on a sponsored trek for charity Phase: if you’d like to support them head to Blamelessly seamless link coming up. Dom Borel of Pasta Loco/Ripiena is also on the trek; Dom and chefs Ben and Joe Harvey also have two new openings coming up: they’re taking over the Bell’s Diner site in Montpelier for a new restaurant, and opening Italian cantina-style bar and deli La Sorella in Old City, close to Ripiena.;


one better day

We’re told it’s not ‘an extension to The Downs Bristol’. It just happens to be on the day after The Downs Bristol. Held on The Downs. Courtesy of Crosstown Concerts, who also curate The Downs Bristol. They’re definitely not sneakyPete-ing towards a two-day fest. But who cares; because actual Madness are booked to play Bristol as part of their 40th anniversary tour; and if that don’t make you feel old, we don’t know what will. I BRISTOL LIFE I 7


...or fog, snow or hail – sometimes the whole lot within the space of a few hours. In this issue, we celebrate the exciting unpredictabillity of the Bristol spring
















@dont4getthesun I BRISTOL LIFE I 9

TOP TERRACES Bristol – colour capital of the West . . .


f you had to describe Bristol to a friend who’d never seen the place, you’d probably extol the virtues of such attractions as Harbourside, the food scene, the street art (indeed, the arts in general) – and the rows and rows of colourful terraces that make Bristol England’s answer to Portofino. You’ll see shots of these terraces – from Totterdown to Bathurst, from Freemantle to Cliftonwood – all over Instagram, but few photographers have chronicled them as frequently and lovingly as our friend Rich Carter of @igersBristol. For our 15th anniversary issue, Rich kindly selected his top favourite streets – some of them a riot of colour, some with subtler charms – and tells us why he can’t stop taking photos of them. Maybe he’ll inspire you to get out and about with your phone or camera, too . . .

BATHURST PARADE One of the quieter and more peaceful areas of the floating harbour, and an ideal place to shoot buildings and boats reflected in the water. Look out for the old Byzantine Robinsons Warehouse, too.

QUEEN’S PARADE The lovely Queen’s Parade is a quiet terrace of subtle colour at the foot of Brandon Hill. I love capturing the seasons here. This charming street looks beautiful set against the rolling landscape of Brandon Hill and spring daffodils, the green leaves of summer or beautiful autumnal colour. And at this time of year, the houses catch the golden light of late afternoon.

ROYAL YORK CRESCENT It’s not just the elegant architecture and curve of Royal York Crescent that makes this one of my favourite streets to photograph. It’s the early morning sun that bathes the crescent in golden light. It’s the details on the doorsteps. I like finding the symmetrical topiary, hanging baskets and colourful doors. 10 I BRISTOL LIFE I

PHOTOGRAPHY Freeland Place Yes, I’m attracted to colour. But that’s not the only reason I enjoy photograping Clifton’s Freeland Place. Its sloping position means you can find some interesting angles of those beautiful verandahs and balconies.

The Polygon The cheery Polygon never fails to make me smile, and the attractive gardens make this spot a summertime favourite of mine. I like to look for the human touches here, like lights in the trees, laundry hanging from a balcony or festive garden ornaments. It’s another street where a variety of angles keeps me coming back for more.

Freemantle Square Bristol’s most colourful square is another place with more than just architectural interest. I enjoy using the central garden to provide an ever-changing foreground and green contrast to the buildings around it. The traditional red telephone box in the square adds a vibrant point of interest.

Redcliffe Parade The unique position of Redcliffe Parade high above the harbour makes it possible to photograph this terrace from a variety of places and angles. And the views from the street across the water aren’t too shabby, either! I BRISTOL LIFE I 11


SION HILL Overlooking Clifton Suspension Bridge, Sion Hill has one of the best outlooks in the city. But I like looking at it! The subtly changing architectural styles provide plenty of interest; I’m attracted to the differing bay windows and wrought-iron balconies, not forgetting the trees and plants which add seasonal context. Like all good Instagrammers, I’m patiently waiting for the wisteria to flower again.

ST LUKE’S CRESCENT FROM ST JOHN’S ROAD St Luke’s Crescent is one street that I prefer to see from the back. The colourful terrace with ever-changing murals provides a great backdrop to the beautiful green expanse of Victoria Park. From the park I like trying to find new perspectives of these houses. Footpaths provide leading lines and there are plenty of trees to frame my shots.

SOUTHERNHAY CRESCENT, LOOKING TOWARD CLIFTONWOOD CRESCENT To generalise a bit, there are two types of street in Cliftonwood. One is the colourful urban rainbow the area is well-known for. The other is a terrace of untarnished stone. Both worlds meet at Southernhay Crescent, with the southern, colourful side locked in an eternal face-off with the northern side of stone. This makes for myriad possible shots.

QUEEN SQUARE Bristol’s best-known square has lots to offer the urban photographer, with its Georgian architecture and geometric lines of paths and trees. I’m fascinated by the natural light in the square and the shadows it creates. I especially like capturing the early morning light through the trees.


PICTON STREET This is another street of contrasts, with beautiful brick facades on the western side opposing the colourful houses on the east. Combined with street art, traditional shop fronts and the occasional sculpture, this street has so much to photograph.

ST ANDREW’S ROAD Once again, it’s the colour that brings me here. And not just on the houses – the adjacent Montpelier Park has its own colourful walls, murals and a beautiful mosaic around the basketball court.

ST JOHN’S LANE A great place to capture the layers of Totterdown’s terraces. The Bristol Jamia Mosque provides a welcome contrast of architecture and focal point.

NINE TREE HILL This little row of houses provides a colourful connection between Cotham and Stokes Croft. It’s right next to the cheery Freemantle Square, and there’s the bonus of some nice views on the horizon, too.

Rich is one of the moderators of the official Instagrammers Bristol network (@igersBristol) and also works in corporate and digital communications. ■ Instagram: @richimal_bristol Twitter: @richimal I BRISTOL LIFE I 13

advertising feature

Skin deep Spring’s in the air; but while you wait for the weather to warm up, consol can give you the same tanned looks (and vitamin D) as the Mediterranean sun at midday


inally, the daylight hours are getting longer, daffodils are in full bloom and spring is in the air. Still, the long, bright, sunny summer days seem an eternity away and many of us are still feeling the effects of a long, dark and cold winter. Getting your recommended dose of sunshine and Vitamin D could not be easier, thanks to Consol, conveniently located both on the Horsefair and Broadwalk, Bristol. Originating from Denmark and now with over 40 studios in the South and Midlands, Consol offers the highest quality facilities, revolutionary technology and world class tanning equipment for an experience like no other. With both Bristol studios offering numerous private cabins with brand-new, top-of-the-range stand-up and lay-down sunbeds from the world’s leading supplier Ergoline, customers can enjoy a safe and unrivalled experience with climate control and exceptional tanning results with every session. Using only the highest quality tubes operating to the safe limit of 0.3, a session at Consol has been measured as the same as the Mediterranean sun at midday. Unlike the outdoor sun, with the session tailored to your exact skin type, the risk of burning is eliminated, and a


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For more information please call 08000 88 60 90 or visit Horsefair studio Consol, 59 The Horsefair, Bristol, BS1 3JP Wells Road Consol, 294 Wells Road, Bristol, BS4 4QG.

“Revolts and revolutionaries, art and war, bombs and hot air balloons – Bristol’s seen it all”

MOMENTS THAT DEFINED BRISTOL What better way to mark our 15th anniversary milestone (we thought) than by exploring 15 of Bristol’s most important moments? Words by Lauren Ellis 16 I BRISTOL LIFE I

Craig Derrick took this ‘why would you even bother going anywhere else on holiday?’ shot of the Harbour at night @ craigderrick40


Why shoot from the ground when you can shoot from the sky, eh Ben Adams? @ mrbenadams


evolts and revolutionaries, art and war, bombs and hot air balloons – Bristol’s seen it all. Not all of our history is shiny, we know that; but we’re proud of the city we’re becoming. So here we go: 15 of the good, the bad and the ugly moments that defined Bristol.


To begin at the beginning

Long ago, when the world was ice, a glacier made a river alter course. Over several thousand years, incessant streams gradually wore away the limestone and sandstone, forming the Gorge and surrounding area. The landscape is part of what gives Bristol its charm, bounty of calf-burning hills and port, and inevitably shaped the growth of the city.


Brothers Brennus and Belinus threaten to ransack Rome (before founding Bristol)

You may have heard of the mythical giants Vincent and Goram, said to have carved out the Avon Gorge. But they’re not the only brothers credited with Bristol’s creation. Meet Brennus and Belinus, two warring siblings who competed for the kingship of Britain circa 390BC.

Once their mother convinced them to stop scrapping and start collaborating, B & B took their armies on a pillaging tour of Europe, but they soon returned to Britain, stopping to scorch a few villages on the way before establishing a settlement that would eventually become Bristol.


two partly successful expeditions

In 1481, Bristolians Thomas Croft and John Jay set off for the mythical island of Hy-Brasil. According to ancient Irish myth, this phantom island is said to emerge from the fog just once every seven years; tangible, but impossible to reach. Croft and Jay mistook Newfoundland for Hy-Brasil and headed ashore. They returned home soon after, laden down with dried cod fillets. Fast-forward to 1497. Having secured financing from the British crown, the Italian John Cabot set off to seek a shortcut to the Orient. Instead, he became the first modern European to discover North America, and his voyage would trigger a barbaric string of consequences that revealed the worst of humanity. The ugly and undeniable fact is that Bristol proceeded to grow fat and prosperous off the slave trade. I BRISTOL LIFE I 17



Bristol bags city status

People have lived here since the Stone Age, and there’s been a port here since the Romans, but it wasn’t until 1542 that it could call itself a city. The new title partly came as a result of the burgeoning population size and the ‘discovery’ of America, which transformed Bristol from a trading port to a global presence.


Fair Exchange

Housing market stalls, coffee shops (and even the Rolling Stones, during its brief stint as concert venue), the Exchange has undergone many iterations and changes since its inception in 1743. It was its twice-weekly corn market and vegetable pop-ups that caught the city’s attention though, and St. Nicks’ delectable eateries, bars and food stalls have been sustaining us ever since.


Centre stage

It’s the oldest continuously working theatre in the English-speaking world, but its recently completed refurbishment and fresh community outlook has

propelled Bristol Old Vic fully into the 21st century. The associated theatre school has trained some of the UK’s finest, from Daniel Day-Lewis to Jeremy Irons, Alan Rickman, Patrick Stewart and Olivia Colman.


Dock of a bay

Nothing, apart from the Bridge, perhaps, offers a better example of Bristol’s engineering ingenuity than the floating harbour. Back in 1809, lock gates were installed on the Avon to draw tidal streams into the city centre; at its zenith, there were so many ships in the port that you could cross the river on their decks. The waterfront is now the epicentre of the city’s artistic activities, from Spike Island to Arnolfini, and a growing number of the kind of indie restaurants that Bristol does best.


Great Western Railway connects Bristol and London

He may never have actually lived here, but no single human being has helped to define Bristol more than Isambard Kingdom Brunel. In the early 1800s, IKB dreamt of a railway that would connect

Bristol to London – no easy feat, as the line would have to traverse towns and valleys, rivers and woodlands. After years of toiling with tunnels, landscapes and relentlessly bad weather, the line was completed in 1841 and eventually extended to Exeter, Plymouth and Cornwall. It’s said that Brunel hid an ‘Easter egg’ in one of the route’s longest tunnels. According to train lore, the Box Tunnel is constructed in such a way that each year on his birthday, you can see the sunrise all the way through.


Bridge of sighs (of Bristolian adoration)

IKB’s crowning achievement, the Clifton Suspension Bridge, was revealed in a ceremony attended by over 150,000 attendees in 1864. Described as Brunel’s “first love, [his] darling”, the bridge was nearly Egyptian-themed and adorned with sphinxes. Luckily, tastes changed before they got around to building it. Bonus trivia: this month also marks 40 years since David Kirke and his eclectic group of adrenaline junkies launched themselves off the Suspension Bridge. Barely tested and

left to right: More awesome shots from our Igers friends: St Nicks by Badral Erdenedalai @_badrale; Bristol Docks by Sam Binding @ sambinding; The Suspension Bridge by xxxxxxx Lloyd Evans @lloydevansphoto


Upfest image by Paul Box Photography

purely hypothetical, Kirke’s deep dive into the gorge was the western world’s first bungee jump. Not sure if he’ll be allowed to repeat it for the anniversary, mind.


The Blitz hits Bristol

Home to an important port and aircraft manufacturing plants, it’s not hard to see why Bristol became the target of a Nazi bombing campaign in late 1940. Bristol’s own Blitz saw the destruction of the Broadmead area, including Castle Park (where you can still see the carcass of two churches) and the area where Cabot now stands. But the Blitz didn’t just drastically change the cityscape. A post-war need to rebuild the city caused the British government to call on labour from the Caribbean. Pushed into the bombedout homes in St Paul’s and Easton upon arrival, the Windrush generation were subject to discrimination, segregation and aggression; this despite the fact that many of them fought for the British during WWII. While Bristol’s Caribbean roots are now a rich and celebrated part of our history, manifesting everywhere from St Paul’s Carnival to the origins of bands like Massive Attack, it took a long time and tireless campaigning to get here. Which neatly brings us to our next, more positive event: the Bristol Bus Boycott.


The Bristol Bus Boycott

In the early 1960s, the Bristol Omnibus Company had a policy refusing the employment of anyone of Black or Asian descent. In 1963, activist Paul Stephenson organised a citywide boycott; lasting four months, the activists forced the company to rescind its racist policy. The boycott itself was instrumental in the passing of the Race Relations Act of 1965.

“Nothing offers a better example of Bristol’s ingenuity than the floating harbour”


First hot air balloon ride

The Bristol skyline just isn’t complete without hot air balloons The first time the city caught sight of one was on 9 July 1967, when Bristol Gliding Club took the Bristol Belle out for its maiden voyage.


feat of clay

Aardman is up there with Brunel, Banksy and Ribena as one of Bristol’s greatest exports. With plasticene characters ranging from neurotic chickens to evil penguins, sardonic dogs, and

cheese-crazed OAP inventors, Aardman has been delighting families everywhere with its stop motion marvels since 1972.


Let us spray

A composite of mood, music and culture converged in Bristol in the late 1980s. The result of this fusion turned the city into a canvas. Street artists began scaling buildings, tagging trains and dodging coppers. Simple scrawlings turned into elaborate pieces imbued with cultural commentary. The art world took note, and Banksy became a household name. Its legacy is Upfest, attracting artists from across Europe and beyond. It’s unlikely that the likes of 3D, Cheo, Cheba, Jody and Inkie anticipated the impact graffiti would have on the city, but we certainly have them (and mentor John Nation) to thank.


Green days

We’re still rather chuffed about being named the Green Capital of Europe in 2015. Bristol was the first British city to claim the title, and Bristol has kept its word. We’ll have cut carbon dioxide emissions by 40% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. We’re a city of cyclists, we’re committed to sustainability, and we have green spaces around every corner. In these tremulous times, we can be slightly assured we’re trying our best – so, just try and remember to take out the recycling. I BRISTOL LIFE I 19

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the arts s n a p s h o t s o f B R I STO L’ S c u lt u r a l li f e

short cuts 24 hours. Six cities. A thousand stories. Following two – yep, two – sell-out runs at the National Theatre and a world tour, Inua Ellams’s acclaimed Barber Shop Chronicles is heading to Bristol Old Vic. As the action jumps from Peckham to Johannesburg, Harare, Kampala, Lagos and Accra over the course of a single day, African men gather in barber shops to shoot the breeze and put the world to rights. Newsroom, political platform, confession box, preacher-pulpit and football stadium – for generations, these are places where the banter is as sharp as the cuts. Look out for the full feature in our May issue; in the meantime, better book tickets while you can. Barber Shop Chronicles plays 2-18 May at Bristol Old Vic; I BRISTOL LIFE I 23

What’s on

Quirky exhibitions, cool beats, fresh new shows and the start of the outdoor festival season – 2019 is GO

12 April-12 May

This really doesn’t bode well for Bosworth, Richard III...


animal artist (and his links to Bristol);

LEONARDO DA VINCI: A LIFE IN DRAWING To mark the 500th anniversary of the Renaissance polymath’s death, Bristol Museum displays 12 of his finest drawings;

Until 8 June yoUng americans

Until 6 May

Until 25 May

IT’S CALLED FFASIWN Clémentine Schneiderman and Charlotte James began hosting fashion-themed workshops for young people in Abertillery. The result is a series of portraits that juxtapose the reality of social deprivation in the Welsh Valleys with the vivacity, promise and hope of youth; at Martin Parr Foundation;

Until 2 June

sculpture open The RWA’s new Open, celebrating the diversity of form, medium and scale in modern sculpture; henri Gaudier-Brzeska: Disputing the Earth RWA’s new exhibition examines Gaudier-Brzeska’s versatility as an

Rainmaker is showcasing a new generation of Native American artists, who bring an explosive visual mixture of techniques, experimentation and individual perspectives to shatter clichéd perceptions of ‘Indian’ art and life.

Until 16 June

A sobering second exhibition for RPS. The award-winning photographer investigates the issue of marine plastic debris; working with scientists, she aims to raise awareness about plastic pollution in the world’s oceans. SRIWHANA SPONG: IDA-IDA The artist’s largest exhibition to date outside her native NZ, including a new film, shot in and around her ancestral home in Bali, Indonesia. Spike Island,

tattoo Cutting-edge designers, leading academics and major private collectors tell a story that challenges long-standing myths and preconceptions about tattooing; at M Shed

NICHOLAS WRIGHT: A CHANCE TO LOOK AT CHICKEN A selection of work produced over the last 30 years, including ceramic wall pieces inspired by 12th-century French sculpture.

PAUL SIMON RICHARDS: QUASI-MONTE CARLO An ambitious new video work exploring patterns of randomisation and their role in the production of an image. Spike Island,

15-21 April

Until 23 June

spike island open studios Spike Island’s accessibiity and family-friendliness is never more

mandy barker: altered ocean


street stories Excellent snapper Tim Woolf has a street photography exhibition at Hamilton House. @timbopic

3-6 May

evident than during its open days, when you can explore the working environments of hundreds of artists, designers and creative businesses.

SHOWS Until 13 April

richard III Last chance to catch Headlong’s brilliant new take on Shakespeare’s infamous villain (spoiler alert: he’s still bad), incorporating bits of Henry VI Part II and with an electrifying performance from Tom Mothersdale as the last of the Plantagenets. At BOV; welsH national opera Last outing for WNO at the Hippodrome this spring: it’s Donizetti’s spine-tingling Roberto Devereux on the 12th and Mozart’s Magic Flute on the 13th.

14 April

hutch Three vulnerable people sharing an attic divided into ‘hutches’ meekly eke out an existence, but their landlord’s plans force

what’s on them to choose between surrender or resistance... Alma Tavern;

to BOV with a contrasting pair of new ballets; one based on a historic milestone in South African history, the other in an altogether more lighthearted vein;

16-17 April

The Long Walk Back Drugs – don’t do it, baby: the epic story of an international cricketing star Chris Lewis’s catastrophic fall from grace. At Wardrobe;

23-27 April

road Kelvin Players are celebrating 90 years in theatre by reviving an old favourite; Jim Cartwright’s slice of Thatcherite Britain, rife with political uncertainty and austerity: draw your own parallels. Kelvin Theatre,

16-20 April

rock of ages An LA love story lavished with over 25 classic rock anthems. Big tunes. Big hair; Hippodrome,

The Believers Are But Brothers Javaad Alipoor’s urgent political riff on young men and the internet’s smoke-and-mirrors world of online extremism, anonymity and hate speech. At TFT;

16-29 April

above: He coughs as he passes her Ford Mustang . . . No, not THOSE Young Americans.... left: Taking a trip up to Abertillery below: So, what is it like over there, Circa Waves?

equus English Touring Theatre’s bold new production of Peter Shaffer’s hit psychological thriller about a boy with a troubling relationship with horses. National Velvet it ain’t. BOV

24-27 April

dark venus Does the femme fatale exist? This cabaret of music and stories on bizarre ideas about the dangerous nature of women, and women’s irreverent response, makes the case in song at Alma Tavern;

17 April-11 May

our country’s good The fearlessly bold, witty and thought-provoking play based on the true story of the first convict colony in Australia cunningly redresses ideas about the morality of crime and punishment; at TFT;

25 April

19-21 April

Beyond The Ridiculous The improv guys tell their own real life stories, feelings and thoughts through storytelling, clowning, physical theatre, movement and live music, to create audaciously authentic, gobsmackingly resonant, instant theatre. The Wardrobe;

20 April-11 May

the future of sex It’s 1972. An era of possibility and polyester. Ziggy Stardust is on Top of the Pops, Penny is writing an essay on Lady Chatterley’s Lover and Christine is watching Deepthroat. Brian is confused... the Wardrobe Ensemble’s very funny retro comedy comes to BOV;

© Marc Brenner

23 April

the carpenters The recreation of the classic songbook that made Karen and Richard legends in the world of pop has only just begun at Bristol Hippodrome;

23-24 April

ballet black The inventive dance troupe return

baal Brecht’s anti-hero is still busily searching for freedom in expression and extremity of experience with disdain for mediocrity – but at what cost? At BOV;

25-26 April

Endless featuring N:Dless An entertaining, irreverent, clever and saucy coming-of-middle-age music mockumentary for the stage by Trifle Gathering. At The Wardrobe;

27-28 April

balletboyz: them/us The Boyz are back in town, with a typically innovative double bill of new dance. BOV;

30 April-4 May

we want you to watch Bristol Old Vic Theatre School’s Directors’ Cuts for 2019 is Alice Birch and Rashdash’s bold show about wanting to eradicate porn forever.

1-4 May

birmingham royal ballet: Beauty and the beast The tale as old as time gets the I BRISTOL LIFE I 25

what’s on classical ballet treatment from this highly rated touring troupe. At Hippodrome; keep on walking federico The Actors Touring Company returns to TFT with this funny and moving tale of a journey across borders;

2-18 May

Barber shop chronicles See page 23. BOV;

7-11 May

Directors’ Cuts: The Greatest of the Greatest The almost-true story of what actually happened when two male creative geniuses met to produce the greatest work of their careers, and failed. Oh, and Thommy and Mikael? They’re played by women. BOV;

7 May-6 June

matilda the musical One of 2019’s unmissables; see page 32. Hippodrome,

8-11 May

stardust Physical theatre, new writing and hand-drawn animation take you on an unflinching journey into the dark heart of cocaine production; it’s BlackBeard Theatre’s first appearance at TFT, and they’re excited;

COMEDY 13 April

George Lewis: A Man, A Plan, A Girl with Fake Tan George looks back on teenage life in a world going crazy for Britpop, Minidiscs and New Labour; at Bristol Improv,

18 April

Anson Rooms;

22 April

closer each day The world’s longest-running improvised comedy soap continues to bubble amusingly away at The Wardrobe;

24 April

andrew lawrence: clean Comedy’s foremost contrarian takes a break from controversy for his new show. No politics. No religion. No smut. No swearing. Just great jokes and good clean fun; at Wardrobe; thewardrobetheatre

28 April

Tom Neenan: It’s always infinity In his narrative-driven character show, Tom takes on toxic masculinity and the questionable role of the male creator. Tom who sees himself as one of the good guys, but is anything but.. At TFT,

9 May

reginald d Hunter No quirky puntastic show header here; just a celebration of RDH’s anniversary as a comedian living and performing in the UK. Anson Rooms;

MUSIc 14 April

sleeper Synonymous with Britpop, Sleeper’s astute, observational lyrics and big, hook-driven melodies still sound as fresh today as upon their release; catch them at O2; rumours of fleetwood mac Now recognised globally as the ultimate Fleetwood Mac concert experience, the band is even endorsed by Mick Fleetwood. At O2;

lloyd griffith: all-rounder The comedian, choirboy and host of Soccer AM is back on the road and heading to Wardrobe; thewardrobetheatre

15 April

19 April

17 April

lost voice guy Lee Ridley is the only stand-up to use a communication aid; this didn’t stop him winning Britain’s Got Talent this year. Catch him at

papa roach The Irish-English rapper, singersongwriter and guitarist brings his R&B, soul, folk and post-dubstep blend to Trinity; yasiin bey . . . that’ll be rapper Mos Def, and he’s performing classic album, The Ecstatic in full at O2;


above: The class of ‘72 are still pondering The Future of Sex left: Can someone please let Reginald out of the darkroom in time for his Anson Rooms gig? below: Do we want to go to O2 on 17 April? Mos Def we do


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what’s on 18 April

judge jules live Jules performs the reworked tracks that have defined his career through a 10-piece band, orchestrating everything in his inimitable style. Thekla;

19 April

Metalheadz vs Virus Two historic labels from the DnB world come to SWX; these new puritans The experimental duo that is twin brothers Jack and George Barnett bring their masterful concoction of sounds to Thekla.

3-5 May

bristol folk festival A bank holiday’s worth of folk; see page 38. bristol early music festival While if Renaissance and Baroque are more your cup of tea, head to All Saints;

4 May

the undertones The Derry boys bring their lyrical invention and musical flair to SWX, along with special guests The Neville Staple Band;

idlewild Reunited in 2015, the Scots are stronger than ever and coming to Anson rooms to prove it;

midge ure The former Ultravox frontman, who in our heads will forever be sporting a collar-up gaberdine coat and a spiv moustache, comes to Anson Rooms with the India Electric Company;

25 April

7 May

24 April

circa waves One of the UK’s most exciting guitar acts has embarked on a series of huge shows in support of new album, What’s It Like Over There; guess we’ll find out at O2;

27 April

the wildhearts With a distinctive fusion of hard rock and contemporary melodies, The Wildhearts helped change the landscape of British rock through the ’90s, and show no signs of slowing down. At SWX;

Bristol takeover Free one-day mini festival at Colston Hall, celebrating Bristol’s emerging musical talent as well as the venue’s long-term place within the city’s music scene;

11 May

michael ball The multi-platinum recording artist and theatrical all-rounder comes to Hippodrome;

king bee One of the funkiest bands on the planet comes to Bristol Zed Alley for the launch party of a new funk and soul club: The Funk Train. We are talking about the funk, the whole funk, and nothing but the funk . . .

the wurzels Somerset’s favourite sons drive the combine harvester to Cadbury House; ask nicely and they’ll give you the key.

2 May

built to spill 20 years after the release of seminal album Keep It Like A Secret, the Idaho indie-rockers are back in the UK to play the album in its entirety; see ’em at Thekla;

3 May

fat white family The Fam are back with lush and masterful new album Serfs Up! which sees the band somewhat reborn and sophisticated; At O2;

cut capers To launch new album Metropolis, Bristol’s Cut Capers kick off their first UK album tour with a home gig at SWX;


Until 28 April

filmic Bristol’s annual film-meets-music fest has the usual heady mix of screenings, concerts and events.This year, the programme will explore themes of minimalism, works of the great soundtrack composers and specially commissioned AV shows.

1-31 May

Bristol Walk Fest Over 150 walks and events for all


above: This is either (a) Stardust or (b) an audience member who sat too near the front at Richard III right: A nice lie-in for Scouting for Girls before they bring the tunes to Foodies Fest

ages and abilities; it’s the UK’s largest urban celebration of walking and offers everyone the chance to join.

3-5 May

bespoked The handmade bike show returns to Brunel’s Old Station showcasing the work of dozens of indie bike-makers.

4 May

musical line-up that’s as tasty as the food;

12-22 April

Fire & Iron Festival A special from ss Great Britain for Easter: experience the sights, sounds and smells of a working forge in a living Victorian dockyard;

13-14 April

the women who built bristol A talk about Bristol’s notable women – gone but nor forgotten, thanks to author Jane Duffus, at Arnos Vale;

zombie nightmare Ever wondered what it’d be like to be trapped in a shopping centre full of ravenous zombies? Head to Cribbs on a Saturday – sorry, that’s The Galleries on 13-14 April.

9-12 May

3-5 May

crimefest Top crime novelists, readers, editors, publishers and reviewers from around the world assemble at Bristol Marriott. In the library. With the lead piping...

10-12 May

foodies fest The UK’s biggest food festival returns to Durdham Downs with a

thekla 35 A weekend of live and club events, celebrating 35 years of Thekla in Bristol Harbour;

11-12 May

bristol thai and multicultural festival An eclectic taste of the food and culture of the East, at Millennium Square;

our girl Is there a more loveable heroine in literature than Matilda? As the RSC’s multi-award-winning musical comes to Bristol Hippodrome, book-writer Dennis Kelly takes us back to how it all began

Clever kids and hideous adults: it can only be Planet Dahl




n 2009, the Royal Shakespeare Company announced its intention to stage a musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s novel Matilda. It’s not all endless reboots of Henry IV Part II over in Stratford; the company is no stranger to musicals, with Les Mis being one of their biggest hits. What’s more, Dahl’s books had proven previous when it came to musical adaptations; quite apart from penning Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr Fox and James and the Giant Peach, Dahl had adapted Ian Fleming’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for the screen. And Matilda effortlessly ticked all the important Dahl boxes – a clever, bookish child overcomes the neglect of dimwit adults and the cruelty of a bullying teacher; it’s funny and subversive, with a spirited heroine that appealed to girls and boys alike. The RSC hired Dennis Kelly to write the book and Tim Minchin the tunes; the director would be Matthew Warchus. An engaging cast was added to the mix, and after a successful

12-week trial at Stratford, the show – now called Matilda the Musical – stormed first the West End and then Broadway. Since then, it’s won 90 international awards, including seven Oliviers – the most ever won by a musical, until spoilsport Hamilton came along and evened the playing field. Critics fell over themselves to outfulsome one another. Matilda was dubbed ‘inexpressibly moving,’ ‘anarchically joyous,’ and ‘sublimely good fun’. On Broadway, the influential New York Times critic Ben Brantley called it ‘the most satisfying musical ever to have come out of Britain’. And it wasn’t just a creative success; the RSC’s adaptation has become an essential cash cow, at a time when all theatres are at risk from ongoing Arts Council cuts. So much for hindsight – but naturally writer Dennis knew none of the above when it began. “I mainly remember it being a laugh,” he says. “We did a series of two-week workshops in the RSC’s rehearsal rooms, and we had so much fun. It wasn’t easy, by any means; I’d written a play with holes in, and it wasn’t until

Tim Minchin came in that it started growing into a full show. But it was a lovely time, and a great learning curve to go on.” The hardest thing, says Dennis, was working out the structure. “Dahl is a master of his craft, but his craft is books. And a book is very different to a play or musical. For example, in the book, Matilda is quite passive at the beginning and doesn’t meet Miss Trunchbull so early, so we had to pull that story forward. There were also lots of decisions to make about how to tell the story – whether to have a narrator, and things like that.” The reaction at the first preview night was the envy of theatre producers up and down the country.“I remember that after the song Naughty the crowd went wild,” says Dennis. “At the end they were on their feet, which isn’t something I’m used to, as most of my plays are really dark. It was a great moment, and the first time we realised we were really on to something. But we never took it for granted that it would be a success.” Dahl’s no stranger to darkness, of course, and has never been shy of dispatching unlovely

“One of the reasons children like Roald Dahl is because he doesn’t lie. Kids are constantly lied to” I BRISTOL LIFE I 33

THEATRE characters in gruesome circumstances. Dennis agrees:“One of the reasons children like Dahl is because he doesn’t lie. Kids are constantly lied to, but Dahl says ‘life’s hard, and people die, but you can manage’. So we certainly didn’t want to whitewash the story. “That being said, there’s obviously a line you have to be aware of. Matthew Warchus, the director, said to me that when adults cry in theatre it’s great, but when kids cry you know there’s something’s wrong. That was a useful thing to bear in mind.” By the time Matilda hit the West End, you had to sell a kidney for a ticket – so what does it mean to the team to be able to take it on tour? “It means a huge amount, because a lot of people haven’t been able to see it in Stratford or London,” says Dennis. “We’re taking it to some great theatres, and it’s really exciting to be showing it to a new audience. It feels a bit like when it first opened all over again.” So how about Matilda herself? From Annie to Billy, to the entire cast of Bugsy, talented child stars are key to success. Here’s a handy steer for Mrs Worthingtons everywhere . . . “When we cast the role we’re not just looking for ability, we’re also looking at personality,” says Dennis. “A good Matilda is someone who is open and honest, and can express that on stage. We’re also very mindful that they should enjoy their experience in the show, and not be too polished.

“I remember Matthew giving a brilliant speech to the company just before the children joined, saying ‘“We want these children to have a fun time – this isn’t about their careers”. I’m always so impressed by the ability of those young performers. Let’s talk about Matilda in a wider sense; its contemporary resonance, and (let’s not be coy) what all those ringing box office tills mean for the RSC.

“When adults cry in theatre that’s great, but when kids cry you know there’s something wrong”

“Matilda The Musical was developed by a publicly funded charity. This means a lot of the money it makes goes back to support the RSC’s work, rather than to investors. It also means we can put lots of funding into education programmes such as Change Your Story, which is happening alongside the tour. This feels so important, especially considering that Matilda centres so much

on the value of education. I think the show’s message is crucial in a climate where creativity feels under threat. There’s also the fact that Matilda is such a good role model for young girls, at a time when they really need her. “There was an awful mantra in Hollywood for a long time that girls will watch boys, but boys won’t watch girls. Matilda gives the lie to that; we have girls and boys rooting for her equally.” Penultimate question: does Dennis have a favourite moment in the play? “I have a lot, but one that keeps recurring is when Matilda sings Quiet. It’s just amazing to be among a thousand people sitting in total silence listening to a young girl. It always breaks my heart. I also love when the kids get on the swings during When I Grow Up – how can you not?” And the final question please, Dennis: Matilda’s not merely super-bright; for a while, at least, she has telekinesis. If he could have a superpower, what would it be? “Good question! I should say world peace, but I think I’ll go for flying. Who doesn’t want to fly?” We do! But we’ll happily settle for a few magical hours in the theatre, in the company of an extraordinary little girl… Matilda the Musical plays Bristol Hippodrome 7 May-6 June;

Tim Minchin, music and lyrics “Like millions of others, I feel like Dahl is in my blood, because I grew up with his books. So to have contributed to a piece of work that brings one of his most famous stories to life is one of my life’s great joys. I’m utterly thrilled that audiences in cities all across the UK and Ireland will now share and be part of Matilda’s story.” I BRISTOL LIFE I 35

advertising feature

Prime Minister’s Publication recognises Bristol letting agency Bristol letting agency The Letting Game is celebrating its tenth anniversary – along with a prestigious inclusion in The Parliamentary Review


he government’s yearly publication The Parliamentary Review showcases the work of a number of highly successful organisations, with the principal aim of sharing knowledge and best practice in an attempt to raise standards within industries. In a UK-wide search, The Letting Game was identified to share its innovations and working practices for this year’s publication. Managing director Jack Head gives some background into the company and how their fresh approach to residential lettings and property management has led to high levels of success: “It was 2009, and I sensed a change. People were now using the internet to find their next property, but letting and estate agents were still focused on the high-street shopfront model. We would have a serious advantage if we could deliver a high quality service alongside an internet marketing model, offering a traditional lettings service without the costs of a high street shop front. “Ten years on, we are so proud of how successful this approach has proven to be. The Letting Game is now Bristol’s largest letting agent, employing 16 staff. “As a company we’ve always embraced technology, and this has given us a competitive advantage in an industry often viewed as slow to adapt to innovation. Processes are vital to each stage of our service, and our trained staff follow these to ensure smooth service delivery. We understand the importance of internal communication, so we work in a large open-plan office which encourages staff to communicate across all departments.

“Working from an office rather than a highstreet shop gives us the advantage of having lower operating overheads compared to many of our competitors, meaning we can offer a competitive pricing strategy for our clients.We don’t want to be viewed as a cliched letting agent, and instead aim to add some ‘Bristol’ into our brand and culture.

Company culture

“We have just launched Bristol’s first petfriendly lettings service, aptly named The Petting Game. This new service launched alongside our new charitable partnership with the Bristol Animal Rescue Centre. We are proud to assist tenants renting with pets, and to support a fantastic local charity. The Letting Game is 10 years old this spring, and being featured in The Parliamentary Review is a fantastic way to celebrate this milestone. n

“Our company culture has, and continues to be, extremely important to us; we understand that our staff are the lifeblood of our company. We have an open culture which encourages staff to make suggestions for improvements to processes, which we listen to. We feel it’s also important to let our hair down occasionally and celebrate successes, so we enjoy regular staff team building and social events.”

Looking forward “The residential lettings sector is thriving. Bristol is a growing city, and a fabulous place to do business with a thriving local economy. There are challenges ahead for landlords, with what seems like continuous tax changes and new legislation, which is why we are here to support you. 36 I BRISTOL LIFE I

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clockwise: Hannah James; Grace Petrie; Amadou Diagne, Kris Drever; Cara Dillon

“The next generation are singing less about maidens and castles, and more about #MeToo and social housing ”

Roots manoeuvres Traditional music is enjoying a renaissance, with a newly urgent social agenda; and if you don’t believe us, get along to this year’s Bristol Folk Fest this May




ur tastes in the arts are often in response to, or a reaction against, other elements in society. In an increasingly industrialised, homogenous world, for example, we crave the authenticity of the independent, the homespun and the artisanal. Could this also be behind the resurgence of the folk scene in an era of austerity/social division? And could Bristol once again become an important hotspot for traditional music, as it was back in the days of Clifton’s Troubadour Club? The return of the Bristol Folk Festival can’t fail to help. “Folk musicians have always been the chroniclers of our times,” says festival organiser Anna Rutherford. “From Woody Guthrie through Martin Carthy to Kate Rusby and The Unthanks, folk tells of our shared human experience from our plague-blighted or press-ganged ancestors right through to today. “What’s really interesting are the moments when music and society align. Suddenly, folk musicians refer less to history and more to the present, in a way that feels urgent. We saw this with Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and their peers in the civil rights movement, and perhaps we are seeing it now. The next generation are singing less about maidens and castles and more about #MeToo and social housing – and their audiences are growing. Musicians, says Anna, can call out society’s failings in a way that unites people. “I think whatever your politics, a lot of us look around and see our city breaking at the seams. Whether that happens to be rising numbers of people sleeping rough in Stokes Croft, queues at foodbanks, spikes in hate crime or, further afield, news updates on Trump’s goddam wall. A lot of us feel thoroughly uncomfortable right now; uncomfortable, and powerless.”

Take, for example, Jimmy Aldridge and Sid Goldsmith’s Moved On – a song about the residents of Newham in East London, the campaigners fighting to secure social housing in their area, and the battle with the council who sought to relocate them as far away as Manchester. “I’m not worth the land that I live on,” goes one verse, “although I’ve lived here for all of my life. Three generations have rooted me here, now I’m moved on and kept out of sight”. More melodious than Billy Bragg, perhaps; but no less protesting. “In these moments, music and folk music particularly can offer hope,” says Anna. “Hope might feel like a rallying cry, a shared expression of pain, or the simple catharsis of hearing music together. I’ll get ribbed by the blokes in my team for being so emotional, but the shared experience of a great festival can feel like a church; without the complication of religion.” And harnessing the spirit of these uncertain times is the return of Bristol Folk Festival, after a gap of four years. “It was originally run by a great stalwart of the Bristol music scene, Jan Ayers,” says Anna. “Jan’s an incredibly busy woman, and given that every festival is powered more by love than money, by 2015 she felt she’d done her stint. “I have a passion for festivals; I founded Pride in Bristol, where we programmed some big pop and rock acts. But I’ve always harboured a secret love of folk music. “In 2018, I reached out to Jim Moray, who put me in touch with the inspirational Ant Miles. Ant has done an astonishing job of developing Downend Folk Club into one of the hottest tickets in the city – it’s a brilliantly ‘Bristol’ example of success from the grass-roots up. We bonded over Lady Maisery, Bellowhead, beer and a desire to share the music we love with as many people as we can. With Jan’s blessing and the support of Rich Toller, who works to connect us with the region’s folk clubs and dance groups, we took the plunge.” I BRISTOL LIFE I 39


Nick Hart

Sam Kelly seems to have found his Lost Boys after all . . .

The team are justifiably proud of the line-up they’ve assembled for 2019; the festival is headlined by Cara Dillon and Kris Drever (Lau) – multi-BBC Folk Award winners. Cara is an angel-voiced Irish artist who plays with Sam Lakeman, while Kris is a dour Scot who will devour your heart. “Cara and Kris headline a full day of music on Sunday 5 May at St George’s Bristol, where folk takes over the whole building. In a first for St George’s, alongside the stellar main stage we’ll have morris dancers, rapper (think flailing swords) and live showcases from local clubs in the new bar. Peter Lord from Aardman and Ian Anderson from fRoots will be also interviewing some of their favourite singers in the new building.” The festival opens on Friday evening at Bristol Folk House and Saint Stephens Church with some of the best acts from the South West, including stomping folk from Sam Kelly and the Lost Boys, shanties from The Longest Johns and the swirling tunes of Spiro. Saturday brings a huge variety of music from the world folk of Senegalese artist Amadou Diagne, to the storming Grace Petrie, who’s just returned from a stadium tour with Frank Black, and is leading a charge for the ‘snowflake’ generation, serving politics with warmth, unlikely charm and humour. Accordionist Hannah James and violinist Mike Dennis bring exquisite musicianship to Saturday afternoon and Bristolians will be pleased to see the return of Rachel Dadd (This is The Kit) for a rare appearance. Tipped as the next Unthanks, Lady Maisery headline the Saturday night at Saint Stephens, and are, says Anna, a must-see. And in true folk tradition, when the main stages close, they’ll be tipping into The Three Tuns in Hotwells where the national acts join the local folk clubs for sessions into the wee hours. What if some of our readers are still worried that folk is all beardstroking and bodrums? “Well this year we’ve got loop pedals, rap, koras, melodians, guitars, violins, raucous cries, laughter and lullabies,” says Anna. “As Pete Seeger once said, ‘if folks sings them, they’re folk songs’. Folk is such a broad church, that if you ‘don’t like folk music’, you probably don’t like music – and we find that hard to believe . . .” n Bristol Folk Festival returns 3-5 May at various venues. Dip into the festival with a day ticket, or join them for the whole weekend.

The hard-working Bristol Folk Fest team

Lady Maisery’s Hannah, Hazel and Rowan bring the girl power I BRISTOL LIFE I 41

advertising feature

advertising feature

Paw-fect for pets and people B.A.R.C. Clifton is a brand new premium pet lifestyle and luxury grooming salon located in the heart of Clifton Village. Bristol Animal Rescue Centre tells us about their exciting new venture, run by and for their charity.


.A.R.C. Clifton is a brand new addition to Clifton Village, with animals’ health, happiness and welfare firmly at its heart. We stock everything your favourite family member needs – plus one or two things for owners too! We’re proud to offer a large range of organic, natural food and treats from trusted premium brands. Whether it’s to support sensitive tums (or reduce the size of a tum!), something from our special treat table or our ‘pick & mix’ selection, there’s something to suit every dog or cat’s appetite. We also stock a stylish range of toys and accessories which where possible are natural, made from recycled materials and positively support your pet’s well-being and our environment. Our ethos of positive animal welfare runs through everything we do and our bright, welcoming salon provides a calm and relaxing haven for your dog. Whichever of our grooming

packages you choose; our ‘Express Brush Out’, ‘Wash & Go’, ‘Wash & Trim’ or our Full Groom, your dog is in the best hands. Our experienced groomers cater for all ages and breeds and use only non-animal tested, cruelty-free products from the award winning ethical HOWND range. We also sell both HOWND and Wildwash products for owners to use at home between grooms.

Something for your pet, something for you And that’s not all. It’s not just your four-legged friend who’ll find something special at B.A.R.C. Clifton – we stock a beautiful range of pre-loved and new luxury outdoor clothing and accessories too. Treat yourself, your family or pick up a gift from our range of brands including Barbour, Musto and Aquascutum. You’ll also find brand new seasonal items including Harris Tweed scarves, ladies hats, bags and gents caps from Tweedmill.

For pets, for people, for Bristol It’s a different model of charity shop, but given the previous pet-focused set up of the premises, and our passion and dedication to the city’s animals, it made sense. The profits from B.A.R.C. Clifton go back into Bristol Animal Rescue Centre, enabling us to continue helping, healing and homing animals and supporting Bristol pet owners, across the city’s communities. Bristol Animal Rescue Centre (Bristol A.R.C.) is the oldest and the largest local animal charity and has been caring for the city’s pets and wildlife since 1887 - helping, healing and homing over 14,000 vulnerable animals each year.

Find out more For more details on our grooming services and range of products and accessories please visit, and to keep up to date with B.A.R.C. Clifton news, events and grooming transformations, follow us on social media. From bed time to meal time, bath time, training or play time and everything in-between – you’ll find it all at B.A.R.C. Clifton. We look forward to welcoming you soon! n

B.A.R.C. Clifton, 18 Portland St, Bristol, BS8 4JH 0117 9735389 Registered charity number: 205858

42 I bristol LIFE I


“It’s an icy winter’s morning; it’s not even 7am yet, but the window display is filled, the red and white striped awning is out”

Wake me up before you Glo Ro

In which we celebrate the unique, eclectic, idiosyncratic Gloucester Road – not just the longest strip of indie shops in Bristol, but the whole of Europe . . . Words and pictures by Colin Moody 44 I BRISTOL LIFE I




et’s hit the high street. And what a high street! Longest strip of indie shops in Europe. Boom! That’s pretty cool, right? But what does that mean, at street level? Door to shop door? And how do we make sure we support these shops, in what I learn is a many-tiered system – shops you need, shops you love to hang in and drink coffee, destination shops, and so much more? I’ve been asked to capture the ‘humans of Gloucester Road’ in a photo project, and have heard from the shopkeepers, the supperclub chefs, the butchers, bakers and candlestick makers (oh all right, I’ve not found them yet) what matters, why the street is important, and other stuff. As we go to press, one more Facebook message just pops up, telling me there is a natural funeral director who runs her business here with wicker coffins. Right. Let’s go shopping . . .


Dave Giles Butchers opened in 1990; Amy Osborne became owner when her father died a few years ago. “I love my job, and working with the lovely people of Bishopston and beyond,” says Amy, confirming that Dave Giles supports the local industry by sourcing everything from Bristol, Somerset and Gloucester. Amy doesn’t stop to talk for long. It’s an icy winter’s morning; it’s not even 7am yet, but the window display is filled, the red and white striped awning is out, and it feels like this high street is opening up ready for the day.



Joe’s Bakery has been owned and run by Martin and Jane Hunt since 1990. Their bakers Paul Viner and Wayne Thick were the first people to be photographed for our campaign, and it was an early start for us all. At 6.30am, they let me see the whole show. These are the folk who literally bring you your daily bread. Their first bakery used very traditional baking methods; Martin spent two to three years working alongside two of the best artisan bakers in Bristol, learning about various techniques and fermentation methods. Study tours to Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium and the USA, as well as short courses and visits to craft bakeries within the UK, has enriched their selection on the shelves.


“Having CoLab is really important to me, as the shop is a way for independent artists, makers and designers to have a voice and an outlet,” says owner Andrea Mahoney. “I love supporting the talent that surrounds me. I want CoLab to be a way to showcase creativity in all its forms, from writing to sewing to painting. “Being on Gloucester Road is great. I never imagined that I would feel so welcomed, not just by the other shop owners but also the local community; it really has its own unique feel, which sets it apart from other places. I love what we have here, and I hope that others love it, too.”


Vincenzo’s Haircuts has been on the road for 52 years. I walked in early one Monday, to find four chairs filled with four happy customers. Vincenzo brought his barbering expertise to the UK when he arrived from Sicily back in 1963; there are photos of him dated from that time on the walls. He was living in London to begin with; the harsh winter of 1963 nearly caused him to change his mind, and he was about to pack up and go home. But a mate said, try Bristol, it’s not so cold. He tried it, and has never left. I BRISTOL LIFE I 45

Sons Franco and Giuseppe grew up in the barbershop observing their dad. On the 50th year of trading, Vincenzo, his wife Pierina, sons and family friend Pino merged their shops under one roof bringing the family back together. Welcome to Vincenzo and Sons Barbering Emporium! They wanted to extend their gratitude to the community here that makes the road the great place it is. I’ve never seen such a happy crew, and it’s a place you’re guaranteed to leave with a big smile on your face.


“I started KudaCan Softplay over six years ago, after I had my first child,” says Pegah Esmaili. “I wanted a place where every family would feel comfortable. Welcome back to KudaCan – as we get to say to everyone. “It’s changed over the years. Now we are known for afterschool clubs. I went back to uni, had two more kids, and this place is everything. Friendly places are important; lots of people befriend each other here. It’s a parenting hub.”


4 5

Both Alchemy 198 and Room 212 are at the hub of Gloucester Road, offering a creative array of Bristol art, events, locally sourced drinks and friendly vibes. Sarah Thorp, the driving force behind both businesses, is passionate about keeping her high street independent, alive and thriving. It was her commitment to the street that got this whole photo campaign started when she asked me to be the photographer, after seeing my first book about Stokes Croft and Montpelier. “This project to look at the traders will show what keeps the shops going and what makes the street feel unique” she says.


“I’ve never seen such a happy crew; Vincenzos is a place you’re guaranteed to leave with a big smile on your face” 46 I BRISTOL LIFE I


photography Pete introduces me to three local heroes: Rex Body (left), Wendy Body and Roger Gibbons. “My interest was always in the history, and especially the social history, of the game” says Roger “and the lives of some of the older players, so listening to the curator of the old museum talking about some of the lesser known early Gloucestershire players always had me spellbound.” “You don’t have to be keen on cricket to wonder at the sight of gloves reinforced with bits of bicycle tyre created by Gilbert Jessop over a hundred years ago to protect his hands” said Wendy Body of the GCCC Heritage Trust. “I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved in setting up the Museum and Learning Centre, but my favourite item is probably the Benson and Hedges Super Cup. This is because it not only represents the start of the most successful playing period in the Club’s history, with seven trophies in six years, but also the way that Gloucestershire helped to change how the one-day game was played, as other counties began to emulate Gloucestershire’s superior fielding skills and its tightly-knit team forged from individual talents.” “They didn’t call the County Ground ‘Fortress Bristol’ for nothing,” adds Rex. This street is so long, and I don’t think we have done anything but scratch the surface. In 2020, my new book about the street will be out – so if you know of any local heroes on the street, please drop me a message and let me know. Colin is available as a ‘mini-mobile PR/marketing/social media unit’, to shoot striking street-style photographs at live events: parties, launches, promos and performances, for impactful immediate social media. Fees start at £100 for a two-hour package. email: Twitter: @moodycolin; Instagram @moodycolin319



“We started The Fish Shop in April 2009,” says Dan Stern, “specialising in all sorts of fresh fish, delivered daily from the south coast. We know all the suppliers we work with by name. “We only sell what we want to eat, and can advise our customers how to cook fish. One man recently needed a menu for a date; we gave him a recipe. Now he and his date are married with children; they still live in the area, and still shop with us. “Kids love to come in through the hanging chainmail screen doorway, and there is a lot of fish flowing out of this shop as we talk.”


Pete Lamb is community engagement manager at Gloucester Cricket Ground. I get the full tour, and you can feel a real pride in this club; a destination sporting arena that locals can feel a part of, proud of, whether using the gym and facilities or visiting the museum, and lending it that community Gloucester Road magic. “We want everyone to feel a part of the club,” says Pete. “We want to see more of first-timers coming down”. I BRISTOL LIFE I 47

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Is Spring here yet? No, not the season, the book; oh, let Emily explain it all to you . . .


t’s been an exciting few weeks of deliveries in the shop. Every box that arrives is packed full of tempting new books, and with this fresh burst of spring sunshine it’s a struggle not to pack them all into a Storysmith tote bag and scamper across to Ashton Court to sit and read outdoors. Here’s a snapshot of some of the new books that we’re excited about.

“Reading Zadie Smith’s essays feels like setting the world to rights with a (much cooler and more intelligent) friend”

SPRING by Ali Smith These cloth-bound beauties arrived in the shop to much excitement, after months of book-lovers knocking on our window asking “Is Spring here yet?” This is the third book in the Seasonal Quartet, in which Man Bookershortlisted author Ali Smith expertly weaves together ancient, mythical and modern storytelling, exploring the ways in which stories connect us throughout time. Her themes are remarkably prevalent, and her writing, like spring itself, provides a glimmer of hope – and it can only be a matter of time before our customers are knocking on the window demanding Summer… LANNY by Max Porter If the arrival of spring makes you want to run for the trees immediately, then you need to read Max Porter’s long-awaited new novel. Set in a seemingly-normal country village with a population of commuters and locals, it’s a heart-poppingly beautiful fable about a young boy, the titular Lanny, who spends a little too long in the woods, and the slightly terrifying figure of Dead Papa Toothwort (what a name), whose dialogue literally crawls around the pages of the book. It’s lyrical and funny, and thoroughly scary when it needs to be: but it would be wrong to give away any

more than that. We got a bit obsessed with Max’s début, 2015’s Grief Is The Thing With Feathers, so it feels strangely comforting to have his dark talent back in our lives. This one is going to be scooping up countless awards in the next year, so make sure you read it before everyone else does. FEEL FREE by Zadie Smith These refreshing essays by the writer who brought us White Teeth and Swing Time give a frank and curious voice to questions and issues that affect us all. Smith covers topics ranging from politics and climate change to Facebook and Beyoncé, all with her trademark wisdom and wit. Her tone is urgent and questioning, but honest and down-to-earth, and reading them feels like setting the world to rights with a (much cooler and more intelligent) friend. SHORT STORIES, Faber I’m obsessed with this newly published collection of short stories from Faber. To celebrate the legendary publisher’s 90th birthday, they’ve released a range of gems from authors such as Sally Rooney, Kazuo Ishiguro, Samuel Beckett and Edna O’Brien. It’s a collection that crosses genres and styles, from crafted classics to dystopian imaginings, and they make a great gateway to authors that you may not have come across. The whole collection is beautifully designed and small enough to fit in your pocket, making them perfect for train journeys or a stolen hour in the garden. These are small stories that pack a big punch, and stay with you long after you’ve finished reading. Storysmith,49 North Street, BS3 1EN 0117 279 1751; I BRISTOL LIFE I 51

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Woky Ko: Kaiju

Larkin Cen’s third restaurant has opened in Cargo 2 – and everyone but everyone is talking about the ramen… Words by Deri Robins


weird thing tends to happen, when you mention Kaiju to certain friends. An evangelical look transforms their face – they may clutch your sleeve – as with the kind of glittering-eyed fanaticism more commonly associated with ancient mariners and recently converted vegans, they hiss, “you simply must order the ramen.” You’ll nod solemnly, of course, with the gravitas this imperative seems to merit, while privately wondering how mind-blowing a little bowl of broth with noodles and so forth swimming about in it could possibly be. Oh ye of little faith. But hey, let’s get a bit of context before we dive in. Kaiju is the third opening from the chap we used to refer to as ‘former Masterchef finalist, Larkin Cen’ but now tend to think of as ‘local chef hellbent on world domination, Larkin Cen’. After launching Woky Ko in 2016 at Wapping Wharf, Larkin went on to open Woky Ko: Kauto on Queen’s Road, with a similar menu, more covers, and new cocktails. Bristol promptly went baowow-wow for Larkin’s Chinese cuisine. And now he’s followed these two with Kaiju – back down at Cargo, but in a bigger container with a large roof terrace. And this time, it’s all gone Japanese.


To head up the Kaiju kitchen, Larkin recruited John Watson, the former chef/owner of No Man’s Grace. John’s also clocked up impressive previous at Casamia, The Kenny and The Galli, and tells us us that he jumped at the chance to try his hand at a different cuisine. Judging by our visit, he’s taken to it like a duck to water; we have a hunch that before long he’ll be adding tweaks of his own, too. Duck hearts, anyone? The overall inspiration for Kaiju is izakaya, an informal dining style not dissimilar to tapas. Kaiju’s is a short menu, so if there’s a few of you, you could conceivably try just about everything. John serves ramen dishes alongside the likes of yakitori skewers seared over a traditional Japanese robata grill, using Binchotan charcoal. Adding to the distinctive flavour are ferments; there’s a soy-like sauce called tare, which is not remotely confusing, given that fine-dining neighbour Tare is about two containers away. We did, of course, order the ramen – or to be strictly accurate, tantanmen, a style of ramen adapted by Japanese cuisine from the Chinese. Try not to swear out loud as you take the first mouthful. It’s a knockout; almost unbelievably flavoursome, and pretty much guaranteed to earn a place in the ‘dishes you need to try in Bristol before you die’ lists so beloved by bloggers.


From a choice of two (the other was mushroom-based) we selected the minced pork, which along with mustard greens, noodles and bean shoots came packed in a nighmiraculous broth; a little pot of chilli oil is supplied to ramp up the heat. If there’s a way of eating this dish that precludes dribbling half of it down your front then we didn’t manage to find it, but who cares. With this star attraction, the rest of the menu might easily have rested on its laurels, but there wasn’t a dud among the dishes; we’re still having occasional wistful flashbacks to the crispy fried chicken skins, served with a Japanese take on mayo. Kamo dango, a trio of fat little duck meatballs, came with an umeboshi plum ketchup that was less sweet and more sour and salty than we’d assumed. Negima yakitori with kimichi sesame seeds turned out to be succulent chicken thighs flavoured with tare sauce, while a tender tentacle of grilled octopus, smoky from the robata grill, was set off with a spicy-sweet chilli sauce. Also outstandingly good was a dish of tenderstem broccoli piled high with togarashi miso – the result being not a million miles away from crispy ‘seaweed’, but a million times better, Depending on your capacity for greed, you can cap off the meal with one of the three puds on offer; we passed on the miso marshmellow (sic) and matcha millicrepe, and gave the set custard a whirl. By now, as fully paid-up Japanese cuisine experts, we were able to nod knowingly when we detected the fermented plum flavour of umeboshi in what would otherwise have been a standard crème brûlée. The news as we go to press is that Hyde & Co are planning to open an Asian fusion bar right next door, so you can fairly expect this corner of Cargo 2 to be buzzing by the summer. Meanwhile, Larkin has his sights on a fourth venture; a pan-Asian stand at St Nick’s. Oh and finally, what’s in the name? Film geeks will know that kaiju is a Japanese genre featuring giant monsters who busy themselves with attacking big cities and other monsters – a metaphor for Larkin’s aforementioned bid for culinary domination, perhaps? We’re not sure. He seems far too nice. n

“Bristol promptly went baowow-wow for Larkin Cen’s cuisine”

Dining details Woky Ko: Kaiju, Unit 25, Cargo 2, Museum Street, Wapping Wharf, Bristol, BS1 6ZA; 0117 403 8050 Opening hours Tues- Thurs 11.30am-10pm; Fri –Sat 11.30am -10pm; Sun 11.30am-6pm; (NB Mon-Fri closed 3pm-4:30pm) We visited Tuesday lunchtime Prices Ramen £12.95; other dishes £3-£9 Service Informed, enthuiastic and friendly Disabled access Cargo has a lift to both levels I BRISTOL LIFE I 55

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Planning a party? Get a bartender . . . You’ve sent the invites, put the nibbles in a bowl and set the iPod to shuffle. When your guests arrive, don’t get them a drink; let The Bartender do it for you. Lewis Spindlove, founder of THE BARTENDER HIRE CO explains how… I’ve never booked a bartender before; can you come to our home? Yes, most of our parties take place in people’s homes and gardens. We can work with the space that you have, sometimes utilising a kitchen island or dining table as a bar, or we can bring in one of our stunning mobile bar units. Tell me more about these mobile bars . . . Our bars are available in one-metre sections, and include ice chests, plenty of shelving, sinks and host a range of different bar fronts, including colour-changing LED, leather chesterfield, and rustic wood. We can even brand the bar fronts with whatever you like. Sounds impressive – however, will it fit in my house? We deliver the bars in parts and build them on-site, meaning we can get it into the skinniest doorways and around the edges of homes. We’ve even managed to get them on rooftops overlooking the city! What about the drinks? Who brings them? That’s entirely up to you. We’re happy to supply the drinks; however if you prefer to provide your own, we will give you a shopping list based upon

your cocktail choices and quantities. The same goes for the glassware and ice – either you or we can provide them. How many cocktail choices do you recommend for a small party? Between four and six is the most successful. Too many and your guests will panic and just choose something they recognise, leaving a large selection untouched. Also you will need to provide the bar with all the various spirits, liqueurs, purées, syrups and other mixers to accommodate all these drinks. Too few, and your guests may get bored.

assistance with helping you choose cocktails, writing up the shopping list, full insurance and a back-up bartender in case anything goes wrong with yours on the day. Realistically, how much will it cost me to put on a cocktail party at home? If we base the question on a four-hour service, for 40 people with you providing your own drinks and bar, with us supplying a bartender, equipment, glassware and management, you’ll be looking to spend around £600 all in. n

I LOVE espresso martinis – can we have those? You can choose any cocktails that you want! We have a suggested list of things that we like that you may not have heard of, but we’re pretty used to mixing classics throughout the year. Mojitos, Collins and Cosmopolitans are just as popular now as they were 10 years ago! Can I hire just a bartender and nothing else? Cocktail bartenders are priced at £50 per hour. This covers your professional cocktail bartender, one-hour setup time in advance (you do not pay for this time), cocktail-making equipment, our

Unit 5 Easton Business Centre, Felix Road, Bristol, BS5 0HE. 01179 415 825 I BRISTOL LIFE I 57

clockwise from left: A masterclass at The Pony; Adrian; butchery and fish masterclasses

can cook, will cook

Solving two food industry problems with one innovative stroke is Bristol’s brilliant School for Food; here, co-founder Adrian Kirikmaa tells us what it’s all about


food & drink


good chef never stops learning. We’ve lost count of the times we’ve spotted one of Bristol’s finest dining at another restaurant, legs tucked comfortably under the chef ’s table while they exchange foodie know-

how with the boss. But what if you have no idea how to get on to the first rung of the ladder that leads to chefdom? Where do you start? This was one of the issues that Bristol’s School for Food set out to address – but that was only half the story. It was established to help existing chefs, just as much as newbies. “The School of Food is an innovative chef apprenticeship programme that we launched last year in Bristol,” explains co-founder Adrian Kirikmaa. “It’s designed to tackle the local skills shortage, and is aimed at young people looking to break into the industry, as well as those already working in restaurants, hotels and other food businesses looking to enhance their skills.” How did it get off the ground?

It all started with a conversation back in 2017 between myself, Josh Eggleton at the Pony & Trap, and Dave Crew of Weston College. I’ve known Josh for years, and we’ve always wanted to set up a chef training school; something different and exciting, changing the way chefs are trained in the city, inspiring the next generation. During that discussion, we realised that we all had the same idea, and agreed to work together to make it happen. Bristol has also had a food revolution within the last 10 years, with a huge number of independent bars, cafés and restaurants opening. This is fantastic for Bristol and the local economy, and has created hundreds of jobs in the hospitality sector, which we are helping to fill. What is your own involvement?

In my role as food development manager at the St Monica Trust, I’m responsible for the Bristolbased training at The School of Food. Using my industry contacts, I secure guest trainers and work with the college to maintain quality. What makes it so innovative?

It’s a chef training school run by chefs, backed

by an approved apprenticeship training provider in Weston College. We focus on teaching the students topics such as food origins and sustainability, and business skills; we’ve also designed a brilliant 28-week intensive masterclass programme with a guest chef coming in each week. We have bakers, butchers, fishmongers – all specialists in their fields – and top chefs from across Bristol, including Josh. Why did you team up with Weston College?

One simple reason: they bought into our vision. Choosing the right partner college was so important; and we needed to work with someone with a proven track record and good reputation. Where is the School based?

Our base is Ashton Gate Stadium, but we take our students to different venues, including Nisbets Catering Exhibition to teach business skills, Total Produce at the Bristol Food Market to learn about ingredients, Joe’s Bakery host a masterclass and Paul Loader Butchers for a butchery masterclass. Our students have even spent time in the development kitchen at the Pony & Trap.

“It’s an example of Bristol coming together to create something special” How receptive have local chefs and restaurants been to the initiative?

Everybody in the industry has embraced the School, and the guest chefs have been brilliant, from Root in Wapping Wharf and Pump House in Hotwells to the team at Ashton Gate, who have provided a ‘classroom’ for us. It’s important to mention the employers who offer apprenticeship jobs too, as without them, we wouldn’t have a School of Food. Which chefs have taught masterclasses?

Toby Gritton from the Pump House, Martin Hunt from Joe’s Bakery, Ben Rodd from St Monica Trust, Paul Loader from Loaders

Butchers, Charley Hurrell and Nathan Budd from Zazu’s Kitchen. There are so many people who have supported our students, including the team at Total Produce and at the Pony & Trap. This is an example of Bristol coming together to create something special. How many students are currently being trained up each year?

So far we’ve recruited over 30 chefs, and we have plans for more in 2019. It’s still early days, but we’re clearly making an impact on the Bristol food scene. Is the School open to older people as well as young ones?

Absolutely; being inclusive is so important to us. Anyone aged 16+ can join. It’s also open to people already working in kitchens, or even business owners who want to train with the best chefs in the city. We recognise that one of Bristol’s strengths is its diversity, and the response we’ve seen from communities across the city, working with partners, has been just fantastic.

As well as cooking skills, what else do you teach your students?

We teach life skills to build confidence and self-esteem. We also focus on customer-service skills, and teach about sustainability, providence and wastage. A third of all food is wasted, which is a terrible statistic; we can all do something to reduce food waste. It’s early days, but can you shout about any successes?

So much has happened in 12 months. One of our first students, Elliott, has got through to the South West Young Chef semi-finals and achieved a distinction in his final course exams. We’ve been recognised as ‘highly commended’ at the 2018 Crumbs Awards, and we’re a finalist at the 2019 Bristol Life Awards. Our students have cooked with chefs from the Royal Navy, and they’ve been part of kitchen teams at high-profile events including the Bristol Lord Mayor Gala Dinner in March, and the BBC Food and Farming Awards last year. We’ve even hosted a live radio broadcast with Ujima Radio at the 2018 Bristol Food Connections event. So many highlights; and in April 2019, we’ll be celebrating our one-year anniversary, which is very exciting. How do people apply, and what’s the cost?

So, you want to be a chef…?

The food scene can offer a fantastic career – but what does it take? Adrian offers six steps to chef heaven…. 1 Have a passion for food and love cooking 2 Study at the School for Food 3 Find a job in ones of Bristol’s many great restaurants 4 Enjoy working hard and follow

instructions 5 Have great listening skills and be always wanting to learn 6 Be innovative and change with the times. Simples.

Visit or email the team at Weston College at apprenticeships@ and their team will answer all questions. There are no course fees for students to pay and employers will see 95% of training fees covered by the government. It’s a brilliant, cost-effective way to find and train talent for your kitchen. For more I BRISTOL LIFE I 59

Chandeliers and exposed brick: loving your style, Avon Gorge by Hotel du Vin

Come dine with them


Cocktails on a ship? Brunch in a theatre? Specially curated cocktails? No problem at all . . .

ven the keenest cook would quail at the prospect of cooking for 30+ hungry diners; even the sparkiest of party animals would baulk at event-managing a bash for 100 (even presuming they had the space to do it in). And when it comes to business lunches, naturally you’ll want to keep things as smooth and professional as possible. This is where Bristol’s caterers come in – and you’ll find them at a surprisingly eclectic range of venues . . .


Luxuriously refurbished by the Hotel du Vin, the historic Clifton hotel can now vie with the best of the city. The event space is named Aquam Bibe (‘drink water’) after the original 1898 spa, and offers a blend of original floor tiles, spa artefacts, chandeliers – and access to a private terrace with an unique view of the Suspension Bridge. What kind of catering is on offer? Anything from informal canapés and buffets to a four-course lunch or dinner; afternoon tea and BBQs. Numbers and prices Private dining for 6-200; menus from £37.50pp. Up to 250 can be catered for informally; buffets from £19.50pp; canapés from £6.95pp.


Sharing feasts are served in converted bank vaults, each fitted out to capture two areas of Spain: the Xixarito Lounge has a hand-painted tile


mural that evokes the sherry town of San Lucar, while the Vilarnau Cava Lounge whisks you to an underground bodega in Penedes. What’s the catering style? Tapas y copas, of course. Numbers and prices Up to 12 guests in each vault; breakfasts £15 pp; lunches £20pp; dinners from £38pp. All include your own waiter and chef.


Relaxed country-house style hotel just a few miles out of town, overlooking 18 acres of gardens with views across to Wales. Oh, and the helipad in the grounds is available if you like to arrive in style. What kind of catering is on offer? Anything from a baby shower to afternoon tea in the garden, to a celebratory dinner, a corporate party or an exclusive-use wedding. A completely bespoke menu can easily be put together by Chef. Numbers and prices Minimum for private dining is 16 in the lounge. The restaurant can hold 20 to 90 for dinner or 150 for a party. In the summer, a marquee can accommodate up to 400 guests. Exclusive hire from £2,000; lounge hire from £150; restaurant hire from £500; menus £21.95£65pp.

food & drink BRISTOL OLD VIC


What kind of catering is on offer? You name it, they’ll do it; from breakfast meetings to team away-day lunches or à-la-carte dining. The team love creating tasting menus and dishes, so don’t hold back with your ideas.

What kind of catering is on offer? A wide choice of casual dining options that won’t break the bank.

Following BOV’s recent transformation, you can fine-dine in a pair of elegant rooms within an illustrious building where some of the greatest names in theatre once trod the boards.

Numbers and prices No minimum number, though there is a minimum spend. The maximum is 12 in The Foyle Room and up to120 for dinner in Coopers’ Hall. For a private dinner, expect to pay from £46.95pp.


Bristol’s ‘secluded cocktail experience for the curious’ stays open until 2am for sophisticated night owls. Hidden away in a secretive basement, it offers a luxurious environment for classy evening parties. What kind of catering is on offer? The team will design the perfect combination of cocktails and light-bites for a private party or business event. They’ll create a unique drinks menu, dress the room to match any theme, while the resident DJ will bring the beats. There’s also an outdoor space for summer months. Numbers and prices Minimum booking is for 30 people, maximum 70. Two price options: private hire based on minimum spend over the bar, and a business event space fee; contact them for a quote.


All the charm you’d expect from a Georgian town house interior, with a garden that’s perfect for summertime BBQs. What kind of catering is on offer? Fine dining.

Numbers and prices Maximum 50, minimum eight. Buffet menus start from around £10pp, private dining at £17.50 for two courses. No room hire charge.


Launched in 1843 as the world’s first luxury ocean liner, the SSGB can still show a clean pair of heels to newer venues. You’ll be hosting your event on the ship that changed the world, at the heart of Harbourside; the team can arrange for ‘Isambard Kingdom Brunel’ to greet your guests, or supply Victorian passengers for them to mingle with. What kind of catering is on offer? All dining events, from birthdays to family celebrations, corporate dining, weddings and launch events; receptions, themed evenings and summer parties. Banquets, dinners, and after-dinner entertainments are held in the First Class dining saloon (once admired by Queen Victoria). Hidden cutting-edge technologies and early Victorian opulence combine to ensure the highest standards in luxury and

“The Yurt’s ethos is to offer interesting spaces that echo the Eat Drink Bristol Fashion company’s festival-going roots” below from left: Cocktails at Kinkajou; in-tents

events at the Yurt; party on down at Racks


Numbers and prices Maximum 50, minimum eight; private dining menus start at £22pp for a three-course meal. No charge for room hire.

Party-loving Racks can host everything from large corporate Christmas dos to birthday parties, stags and hens. Converted from old wine cellars, the unique layout offers a large private function space, The Playroom, with smaller semi-private spaces for up to 30 people each. I BRISTOL LIFE I 63

WHERE IDEAS CAN GROW An inspiring eco-friendly venue for meetings, residential conferences and team building activities for up to 150 delegates, located in the heart of a 250 acre nature reserve with great views and plenty of fresh air. Folly Farm Centre, Stowey, Bristol, BS39 4DW.

All profits gift aided to Avon Wildlife Trust.

food & drink comfort. The Weather Deck has one of Bristol’s most striking views, and is the perfect space to host drinks and canapé receptions. Numbers and prices Across the whole ship they can cater for 300; for smaller intimate dinners they can host a minimum of 12 in the Shakespeare Room (in the Being Brunel museum). A celebration for 30-50 is from £1,800; champagne and canapé reception for 150-200 from £5,000; threecourse dinner with drinks for 50-100 from £5,500. A summer party package including hire of either the Dockyard or Harbourside Kitchen is £33 pp for 20- 60.


Nothing about the anonymous exterior prepares you for the sexy luxury within – and this secret bar even hides a further secret… What kind of catering is on offer? Completely exclusive dining in the secret Attic dining room at the top of the building, with its own bar, which can be manned by expert cocktail mixologists, and specially created menus from the Ox chefs.


Bristol pioneers of luxury, Prohibition-style Hyde & Co effortlessly carried over their signature style to create this opulent steak house and cocktail bar tucked away beneath The Commercial Rooms on Corn Street. What kind of catering is on offer? Semi-private dining for up to 30 in the decadent wood-panelled Green Room. Ideal for breakfast briefings, lunch or dinners, with British fare cooked to exceptional standards.

“The Attic at the top of the building has its own private bar, which can be manned by expert bartenders”

Numbers and pricing The Attic can seat up to 16 for a seated dinner, or up to 40 for a buffet. Pricing is on a minimum-spend basis, which varies depending on the day of the week and the time of the year.

Numbers and prices Hire of The Green Room at The Ox is based on a minimum-spend basis, with space for up to 30 people. Minimum spend is usually around £1,500 – so if someone was feeling extra fancy they could, in theory, offer private dining for two people . . .


An elegant private members’ club for the creative industries, offering dining for wedding receptions, networking meals and more. Artwork from local Bristol artists (available to buy) complements the restaurant, and there’s the option of hiring out private cocktail bar The Lower Deck, too. What kind of catering is on offer? Fine -dining from the award-winning Square Kitchen.

Dine in the company of preRaphaelite nymphs at The Ox I BRISTOL LIFE I 65

Country Pub & Kitchen Boutique Accommodation Private Function Room & Bar T: 01275 857 473 E: The Battleaxes, Bristol Road, Wraxall, Somerset, BS48 1LQ

food & drink One of the prettiest urban gardens in Bristol waits for you to bring the party at Square

“We have an unusual request...” “We once had to prepare an environment fit for a professional private poker tuition event – which we are now looking to offer out ourselves as a regular event!” – Kinkajou “We had a bride and groom ‘Go Aloft’ on their wedding day. A special wedding dress was commissioned so the bride could climb the rigging” – ss Great Britain “A Casino Royale party. Not so weird, you might think; but every guest was dressed as a specific character from the film in a specific scene, including extras! This was next-level themed. You halfexpected to see camera men lurking in the corners…” – Racks “We’re well used to gluten-free requests, but one diner insisted on extra gluten in their food! It was difficult to work out whether or not they were being serious...” – Square Club “Our Admiral Room was hired for a day of doggy auditions. The pooches ate with us, and then made their way to the garden for a second round of talent-scouting for an ITV series.” – No 4 Clifton “One guest dressed up the event space as an enchanted forest; another wanted it set up as a Spanish fiesta, complete with piñata” – Avon Gorge by Hotel du Vin “One customer hired both of the vaults: one for a dinner with his partner, where he would propose, and the other in which all her family and best friends were waiting to surprise her and join them for celebrations” – Bar 44 “One high-profile guest brought his own member of staff to try the food before it was served to him, for security reasons” – Berwick Lodge “We’ve had everything from early-morning yoga sessions to divorce parties to life-drawing sessions – unfortunately we couldn’t do that one, as it was a Saturday afternoon and we didn’t want to put anyone off their brunch. Sausage sandwiches would never be the same…” – Yurt Lush

Numbers and pricing Maximum 70, minimum eight. Private dining menus start at £25pp for three courses. No charge for room hire.


The Yurt comprises three interlinked Mongolian yurts with a kitchen, bar and log burner – a cosy, quirky and brilliant space for anyone who wants to escape the city centre into relaxed surroundings. It’s part of the Eat Drink Bristol Fashion group, whose ethos is to offer interesting spaces that echo their festival-going roots. It’s become a bit of a cult favourite for the city.

“We’re used to gluten-free requests, but one diner insisted on extra gluten with their food...”

What kind of catering is on offer? Private hire at Yurt Lush is flexible both in terms of the space on offer and the dining experiences. Guests can hire the whole of the venue, or individual yurts while the main yurt remains open to the public. Dining ranges from canapés to informal buffet to formal dining.

Numbers and pricing In the small yurts the minimum for private dining is usually 20, while the maximum we can cater for sitting is 100 across the whole venue. The small yurt usually starts at £400 building up to £1500 if you want the whole place to yourself. I BRISTOL LIFE I 67

cafÉ society Stan Cullimore

God save the Queen . . . it’s more than a caffeine regime


don’t do requests. Reason being, it’s taken a lifetime to build a reputation for being a curmudgeonly old reviewer. Why throw it all away now by being kind and considerate? So when someone asked me to pop along to review a quirky little café they had just found, my first instinct was to ignore them. But then I remembered that revenge is a dish best served cold, and came up with a cunning little plan. I would go along, check out this so-called lovely café, and write

“I have a bit of a bird-spotter mentality, and I tend to observe café customers as if they were garden avians”

a review so horrid, so mean, so vicious, that no-one would ever ask me to do anything ever again. Ha. Perfect. Which is how I found myself at 99 Queens recently. As you would expect, it is on Queens Road, at number 99. Go past the Victoria Rooms, heading towards the Students Union buildings and you’ll find it opposite a bland 1930s apartment block. From the outside, it looks mighty fine, with a terrace that would be the perfect spot to while away sunny hours. What mainly caught my eye, however, centre stage of the decking, were a couple of high-end bikes propped casually around the place, which got my pulse racing. I have a bit of a bird-spotter mentality, and when it comes to café customers, I tend to observe them as if they were garden avians. You’ve got your everyday ones; sparrows, blackbirds and pigeons; then you’ve got your exotics. Woodpeckers, redwings and secret squirrels with fairy wings. Stepping inside, I found a welcoming space that resembled for all the world a shabby-chic, Scandi-enhanced pleasure dome, complete with wonky table and handwritten sign, warning you it was a bit wobbly. Very sweet. With bird-spotting metaphors in mind, I took a glance round at

the clientèle. The everydays were out in force. A clutch of couples, making eyes at each other; some mums with buggies, comparing notes, and several lone wolves wrapped up in their phones. Then, joy of joys, I spotted the exotics. A couple of secret squirrels. Proper cyclists, with all the gear and muscles to match. Perfect. At this point, I broke off to peruse the menu and realised why there was such range of customer types. The food on offer embraces both sides of the foodie divide, with a selection of standards such as full English breakfasts, paninis and winter warmers alongside some well-thought-out bonus curveballs. Vegan corn and chilli fritters, anyone? I chose American-style savoury pancakes, complete with black pudding, which was heavenly.  All of which means I can’t find a single, solitary, bad word to say about the place. Sigh. It’s fab. So whether you’re looking for an everyday place, or an exotic hipster haunt to tingle your taste buds, Queens may well be the one for you.  As for myself, think I might just have to change my ways. So, dear reader, future cafés. Any requests? n Former Housemartins guitarist Stan is now a journalist and travel writer I BRISTOL LIFE I 69

ASH & BRASS TRUG, £175 Ideal for Easter egg hunts, if you can bear to let the kids get their hands on this exquisite creation by maker Jane Crisp From Midgley Green, 26 Alexandra Road, Clevedon


COLUMBA, £14.50 Columba is Italian for dove; and we can just about discern a birdlike shape in this panettone-style cake, eaten all over Italy at Easter time From Carluccio’s,

Finally, Easter! What took you? And what do Bristol’s most style-conscious Easter bunnies have in store this year?

RUBY CHOCOLATE EGG, £18.50 It’s taking all our willpower not to crack open this Easter egg from Chococo. It’s made from a new type of naturally pink chocolate, with raspberry fruit flavour notes, and no added flavours or colours From Papadeli, 84 Alma Road;


BONE CHINA CUP, £20; MATCHING TEAPOT £75 When we last called in, Stokes Croft China still had a few of these adorable-yet-notremotely-twee limited range left, but you’ll need to move as quickly as the White Rabbit if you want to nab one From Stokes Croft China, 35 Jamaica Street

MAGIC BUNNY TOOTHPICK HOLDER, RRP £20.50 What’s up, Doc? This Alessi toothpick holder, that’s what; one of those things that you absolutely don’t need, but kinda want anyway From Bristol Guild 68-70 Park Street

ED’S CHOICE YOU CRACK ME UP EGG, £27.50 Death to all diets; the Hotel Chocolat’s Extra-thick Easter egg has landed, and we are powerless – powerless! – before its majesty From Hotel Chocolat 15 Brigstowe Street GLASS EGG BAUBLES, £3.25 EACH Don’t have the time, talent or inclination to paint your own decorated eggs? We hear you! Just go to Pod From Pod Company 24 The Mall, Clifton

DISTORTED CERAMIC BUD VASES, £22 EACH Playful, muted pastel vases by potter Leighan Thomas; daffs not included From Midgley Green, 26 Alexandra Road Clevedon

TRIPLE PRALINE EGG, £24 One-half ground hazelnut lattice, the other half a smooth dark praline, with two foil-wrapped eggs; milk or dairy-free From Zara’s Chocolates 200 North Street www.

CERAMIC EGGCUP, £20.99 Easter gives you a cast-iron excuse to add another Hannah Turner egg cup to your ceramic menagerie. This fish is just one of many flesh, fish and fowl designs on offer From

ADOPT A PENGUIN, £50 We printed an Easter shopping feature in the very first issue of this magazine, and one of our picks was a chance to adopt a penguin at Bristol Zoo. Fifteen years later, this still strikes us as a very sound Easter gift From Bristol Zoo Gardens Clifton Down; I BRISTOL LIFE I 71

“We like the fact that Bristol has so many types of architecture, allowing us to work in many different styles”

Gone to earth

What makes the ideal garden? A romantic bower with secret ‘rooms’ buzzing gently with wildlife? A productive potager? A sociable paved terrace with a pizza oven? Nothing is beyond our three local experts… 72 I BRISTOL LIFE I


main pics: corners of Artisan’s ‘Formality in Clifton’ project. Hands up who now wishes their garden had a name . . .


reaming of the perfect garden? Dreaming’s the easy bit. The hard part is actually heading outside on a frosty November afternoon to turn over icy clods of soil. Digging holes for spring bulbs in a hard-as-nails October lawn. Pruning wisteria in icy February rain. Did you do those things? Did you hell. Luckily, we’ve had a word with three local gardeners, who can help, advise and inspire you, as well as physically rescuing your garden from neglect. Come and meet them . . .

Artisan Landscapes Artisan gaffer Will Cooke really likes the fact that Bristol has so many types of architecture, allowing him and horticulturists Jamie Innes and Aidan Cifelli to work in differing styles


“We like the increased emphasis on bespoke detailing and design, paired with an abundance of planting,” Will says. “The focus on promoting bio-diversity, insect habitats and improving air quality within the city is a challenge that we are certainly on board with, and always try to include within our designs.”


“Our ‘Formality in Clifton’ Project is one of our favourites from the past year. The client loved the planting and natural stone walls. We love it too, as it balances the hard and soft features. It’s sensitive to the location and reflects the character of the house.”

The Gardeners

James Doyle and his team offer landscaping and garden maintenance for domestic and commercial customers


“Rather than a traditional garden with a central lawn and borders, we’re finding that outdoor ‘rooms’ suited for dining and entertaining are high on our clients’ wishlists,” says James. “This also often has to be balanced with the garden being child-friendly. “Porcelain is a popular paving choice in the high-end market, for its clean, contemporary look and easy-to-maintain properties. Natural stone products remain popular, especially limestone and reclaimed materials. “Artificial grass, the quality of which has improved massively in recent years, is still on the rise” – though James adds that he likes to offset any negative environmental factors with positive ones, such as including as much pollination-friendly planting as possible. “We feel we have a particular responsibility to educate people in using their own outdoor space in a sustainable and environmentally responsible manner,” he says. “This can be through home composting to reduce food waste, to building attractive storage units for bins and recycling boxes with planted green roofs on top, encouraging wildlife into the garden with considerate planting – and for us, as landscapers, using sustainable building techniques and products wherever possible.”


James’s Long Ashton clients wanted a contemporary and stylish garden designed for cooking, dining, entertaining and relaxing. “We love the kitchenette, which includes a wood-fired pizza oven mounted on a bespoke manufactured polished concrete worktop. “Other materials used throughout the garden include beautiful dark natural slate paving and eco-friendly recycled black composite decking, within which a hot tub nestles. We used western red cedar to create a fabulous, curved, slatted fence on top of the boundary wall, with custom-made cedar panels to link the rest of garden together.

Artisan’s Will and Jamie receive a photo of the Bristol Life‘s garden in March . . .

Planting pitfalls

“Many people undertake improvement work to their own gardens a bit at a time; this can lead to a jumbled and confused space. It’s best to have an overall plan in place first; you don’t have to do everything all at once, but each time you work on it, everything should fit in with that initial vision. Creating a mood board of things you really like is a great way to start.” James Doyle, The Gardeners “Avoid overcrowding your garden. Too many decorative items create a distraction and make your garden look cluttered and busy. Less is definitely more!” Sheldon Wressell, Eden Garden Design “Garden work can be more costly than people first think. Enlisting the help of a designer can save you money in the long run. They will be able to guide you on where money can be saved and where the budget is best spent.” Will Cooke, Artisan Landscapes I BRISTOL LIFE I 73

clockwise from top left: Part of The Gardeners’ ‘sociable terrace’ in Long Ashton; a little corner of Eden; the pizza oven in the kitchenette created by The Gardeners; geometric lines by Eden

• Create a garden from different perspectives. A beautiful garden divided into sections appears larger; when a view is obscured and you can’t see everything in one go, it creates an illusion of more space and interest. Draw your plan in advance, and divide the space into different sections. You don’t need solid divisions like a wall or fence; you can use large trees, shrubs, grasses or potted plants densely arranged. • Most of us buy plants for flowers and fruit, but to get year-round interest, buy more evergreen foliage plants for their texture, colour, shape – their leaves are what you’ll see most of the year.

“The planting is designed with a restricted and sophisticated colour palette of purples and whites. Architectural plants such as the multi-trunk palm tree (Chamaerops humilis ) Astelia and clipped Buxus topiary balls provide the structure in this understated, stylish and calming scheme.”

Eden Garden Design “At Eden, our aim is to create together something beautiful, something that transcends and elevates the everyday, creating a sanctuary so that you feel drawn into the space, held there and somehow nurtured and nourished by being there,” says Sheldon Wressell.


“People are wanting their gardens to be a reflection and connection to the interior, and visa versa. The colourful approach to interiors is being translated to the garden, with bold designs, clashing colours and the inclusion of large-leaved architectural plants. Brightly coloured planters are being used, as well as industrial and reclaimed materials. “There’s also a growing demand for gardens


to work for the whole family, with secluded garden buildings or separate seating areas featuring outdoor firepits, fireplaces and outdoor kitchens.”


The design brief was to create a lowmaintenance garden, with a large area for socialising, a terrace area, raised beds and herb beds; a lawn, formal and informal, cottage-style planting, and a smaller, more intimate area away from the social area with a firepit. “The garden had a step/slope dividing it into a third and two thirds,” says Sheldon. “In the third, I created a large, mostly hardlandscaped, geometric-style area broken up with different materials and levels to create texture, contrast and added interest. “For the second two-thirds, I created a very different, wilder area, achieved by curving the deck and lawn. The property was built in a mature woodland setting, and I wanted to connect the garden to the wider landscape by disguising the fence with some clever planting and climbing shrubs and planting several trees and woodland type planting in the more wild, curvilinear area.” n

• Aim for a good view of the garden from inside the house. Before planting or placing your containers at the exact spot, go inside and look from every window to see how it’ll look. • Limit your colour palette. Unharmonious colours can cause a distraction, so decide on a colour palette for every section of your garden and add plants according to it. Too many colours together can create chaos. • Consider your future and changing needs and how this might impact how you use your garden. Young children will grow up; you may have pets. Do you aspire to grow vegetables? Are you about to retire? Always plan ahead. • It may not always be dry, but it might still be warm enough to sit outside. Even a small covered area in your garden allows you to enjoy your garden more often, and clever lighting can bring added dimensions and interest at night. Sheldon Wressell, Eden Garden Design

gardens Little Green Book

Green fingers for hire, right left and centre . . . Building Contractors Build Bristol Group JAS Building Services   Fencing Bristol Fencing Services   Colour Fence Bristol   Garden Design Abigail Hazell Landscape & Garden Design

“A garden should make you feel you’ve entered a privileged space — a place not just set apart but reverberant — and it seems to me that, to achieve this, the gardener must put some kind of twist on the existing landscape, turn its prose into something nearer poetry.” Michael Pollan in Second Nature: A Gardeners Education

Artisan Landscapes Eden Garden Design www.edengardendesignbristol. The Gardeners Nicola Greaves Design   Garden Furniture Gardiner Haskins  

Park Furnishers Garden Services Artificial Grass Solutions   Bristol and Somerset Garden Services www.bristolandsomersetgarden   Geometric Stone   RJH Groundworks

Garden Supplies Brackenwood Plant and Garden Centre Miety Stone   Whitehall Garden Centre   Skip Hire Bateman Skip Hire


Tree Stump Grinding Specialist All mowing and gardening works undertaken Hedge/shrub/tree pruning and felling Pressure washing - patios, drives, paths and decking Garden clearance and maintenance Weed control Stump grinding Turfing, gravelling and fencing No job too big or small!

“Let us do the heavy work, so that you can enjoy your garden”



For a competitive rate and no obligation quote call:

Mike: 07413 383425 Email:

We specialise in a variety of aspects of groundwork. From landscaping to surfacing, we pride ourselves in top customer care and great communication. No job is too small or too far for us! We are an approved local authority contractor and are construction health and safety scheme accredited. “I was very happy with the service I got from RJH Groundwork! They were reasonable, reliable and very friendly and pleasant to deal with. I would certainly recommend them.” Karin – East Bristol Area

To get in touch with us for a no obligation quote, call Rory on 07545 057794 or email and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible with your tailored quote.

"A garden should make you feel you've entered privileged space - a place not just set apart but reverberant - and it seems to me that, to achieve this, the gardener must put some kind of twist on the existing landscape, turn its prose into something nearer poetry." Michael Pollan – Second Nature: A Gardeners Education

Let us at Eden Garden Design help create your perfect outdoor space.

✆ 01454 412117/07850655913 @

Mon-Fri, 8.30am-6.30pm


x michael_blow_sculpture

Award Winning Landscape Design

+44 (0)7957 295034

Specialists in Natural Stone Paving and More Flagstones, Cobbles, Copings and Setts Sandstone, Limestone, Granite Slate And Travertine ß Internal or External ß Civil or Domestic ß Free Local Delivery ß Open 6 Days a Week ß Helpful Advice ß Large Selection of Stock

Tel: 01275 333589 or 07872 665602. Or Email Website: Miety Stone Limited. Hillmans Transport Depot, Chelwood Bridge, Chelwood, Bristol, BS39 4NJ | 01179 091969

six of the best

Health and beauty

From fillers to hair conditioners, there are an overwhelming number of treatments to make you more beautiful. With winter on the run, and spring in the air, we asked six local clinics and salons to choose just one killer procedure or product they can offer –and tell us why it works Hair at 58 Salon owner Sam Bell recommends the Aveda

Damage Remedy intensive restructuring treatment.

“It’s packed with quinoa protein, which instantly strengthens damaged hair up to 65% with deep penetration, leaving it healthy and smooth,” says Sam. “It restores the hair from within, leaving it stronger and full of shine. “

How much is it?

£30 for 150ml bottle; £70 for 500ml.

CMedical Aesthetic Clinic Christine Cowpland recommends The Hydrafacial. “It is suitable for all ages and skin types with no downtime. Unlike other facials, you can actually ‘see’ the benefits when it is done. The serums hydrate the skin, so there is an instant effect; the salicyclic acid dries up spots and the LED therapy stimulates collagen production.” How much is it?

£120 for a one-off, or 20% off for a course of five.

“It exfoliates, infuses, oxygenates, tightens and contours, and provides superior anti-ageing results by treating skin at a deeper level. We recommend a course of six weekly treatments, but it is also a good one-off treatment for a special occasion.”

Simon Lee Clinic Clinic manager Cat Ryan recommends the Endocare Growth Factor Facial.“It’s suitable for all ages and skin types,” says Cat. “It’s great for anyone wanting to take their facial treatments to the next level. The micro-channels created by the light micro-needling process super-boosts the growth factor ingredients, giving superior product penetration in comparison to traditional facials.”

£600 for a course of six treatments.

Single treatment £140; three treatments £297.

Quinn Clinics Manager Sharon Claridge recommends the Oxygeneo 4 in 1 super facial.

How much is it?

Medikas “My key passion is dermal fillers,” says Steve Bartlett. “I personally believe that there is nothing else more capable, not even surgery, which can provide me with the ability to treat all aspects of the ageing process using a single procedure.” How much is it ?

From £350 for a lip filler.

“I believe that there is nothing more capable than fillers, not even surgery, which gives me the ability to treat all aspects of the ageing process in a single procedure”

How much is it?

ATKINSON’S SPA “The treatment we get great quick results with is the Hollywood Facial,” says Lyn Jubrail . “It includes photo-regeneration treatment, which improves the texture, colour and look of the skin, followed by peptide therapy which effectively signals to the skin to repair itself. We also include a microdermabrasion treatment to smooth, lift and plump, and to finish we use lymphatic massage techniques to totally refresh the look and contour of the face.” How much is it?

On offer for £95 (usually £125); a course is £495 for six. n I BRISTOL LIFE I 81

Skin Saturday at Simon Lee Clinic

Receive our Endocare Growth Factor Facial only ÂŁ89 instead of ÂŁ140! Leaves skin looking luminous and restores radiance. *on Saturdays only, pre-booking required* Simon Lee, Aesthetic Medical Clinic 3 Whiteladies Gate, Clifton, Bristol BS8 2PH Telephone 01173 292027


Jayne Bidwell

Sarah Kelley

Emma Richards, Amanda Dickinson and Rachael Seedhouse

Martine and Sadie Jane Batt and Heather Cowper


Cardiff Airport held a reception at Severnshed for travel bloggers and agents; a joint event between the Airport, If Only and Qatar Airways. Photos by Tim Woolf

Wendy Walker, Ann Taylor, Jane Burton, Rachel Ball, Tanya Langdon, Caroline Elliker Alex and Sophie Saint

Felicity Ralphs and Andre Ashford

Ashley Grant and Lisa Miles I BRISTOL LIFE I 83

Exceptional Landscaping & Gardening Services in Bristol and Surrounding Areas Put simply, we build exceptional gardens. We take enormous pride in our attention to detail and looking after you, the client, every step of the way including a clean and tidy site throughout the build. You may already have your own ideas or simply be looking for some inspiration. Talk to us today about how we can build your dream garden. We also offer an exceptional garden maintenance service. We specialise in large gardens, estates and commercial premises. Visit our website for more information.

t: 0117 369 1235 e:


Dorian Wainwright, David Hoare, Angie Belcher, Richard James and Greg

Simon Horsford, Nick Steel and Sarah Slater


To introduce the 2019 Bath Comedy Festival to Bristol audiences, festival director Nick Steel threw a drinks reception at Harvey Nichols for friends, colleagues and comedians from both cities. Photos by Richard Clarke

Vaneetha Balasubramaniam and Phoebe Frost

Franco and Polly de la Croix-Vaubois


Briony Williams and husband Steve

Marriott Bristol Royal celebrated the relaunch of the newly renovated hotel with a glamorous cocktail party – and a lot of oodlit palms.

James Laverick, Jacqui Pilling and Ronny Maier Halina Javoszewska and Peaches Golding OBE

Ronnie Maier, Bianca Denecia Caroline Durrant, Cllr Cleo Lake, Charles Barks and Alok Dixit I BRISTOL LIFE I 85

advertising feature

Meet the Vet

Your best friend deserves the very best treatment – who you gonna call? Maria Lowe

Viking Vets 0117 9505888; Facebook: Viking Vets What made you want to be a vet? I wanted to be a vet for as long as I can remember! At first I thought it was only about caring for animals but during my 25 years in practice I have realised it is as much about caring for people as it is for their pets. What’s the secret of being a great vet? Truly caring about each patient, showing compassion, listening to my clients and providing sound clinical knowledge. I am privileged to have a job where you can make a real difference to the lives of wonderful animals and their owners. What sets you apart from other veterinary practices? Viking Vets is an independent family run practice and I am so very proud of the experienced team here. We provide a caring and compassionate environment for our clients, their animals and each other. We aim for your pets to see their favourite vet each time you come in and our receptionists and nursing team are always on hand to give

DR Rayana Kamal

Bristol Animal Rescue Centre 0117 9714197; How long have you been a vet? Like a lot of children, all I wanted to be when I grew up was a vet. It’s just a phase, my parents thought, pretty certain I would grow out of it! I stubbornly persevered and my childhood dream became reality when I qualified from the University of Liverpool as a vet in 2009.

plenty of fuss and treats! What is the best advice you can offer when choosing a new pet? Contact your vet prior to getting a new pet. They can really help you make the right choice instead of buying a pet on a whim! Do you cater for all species of animals? We are a companion animal practice and that means we will see all pets - from a dog to a tarantula. Mostly, we see dogs, cats and rabbits. Making sure all our patients are happy is incredibly important to us. We invested in a cat ward to separate our waiting areas and cattery from the noisy dogs. We are an accredited gold standard cat friendly clinic. What can owners do to keep their pets healthy? We take a pro-active approach to keeping our patients healthy. We have a dedicated, highly trained nursing team who run many nursing clinics to help keep our patients healthy and provide preventative healthcare. Our knowledgeable nursing team is on hand to give expert advice on a variety of different subjects. Our nursing team will also be there to answer phone calls on a daily basis and help you with any queries.

What made you want to become a vet? My childhood was spent in Bahrain, where I grew up looking after a menagerie of animals. I was always bringing home waifs and strays to feed and look after. There were limited veterinary facilities available at the time and I remember promising myself that I would do everything I could to help and treat animals in the future. What’s the secret of being a great vet? I believe a combination of compassion, dedication and effective communication skills creates a super vet. If I could have a super power, it would definitely be to talk to the animals but sadly vets have to rely on good communication to talk effectively with pet owners to determine exactly what their animal needs, as well as explain clearly to the owner what the diagnosis is and what the treatment will be. What sets you apart from other veterinary practices? Bristol Animal Rescue Centre is a charity, which means our services depend on donations from members of the public. We offer a subsidised service for animals belonging to individuals facing financial hardship; as well as this we also care for

animals brought in by RSPCA inspectors as a result of a welfare concern, stray animals, and all sick and injured wildlife that arrive at our doors. What is the most common question you get asked? A lot of people do ask how vets deal with sad and difficult situations like ‘put to sleeps’. It isn’t easy at all but I certainly see it as a great responsibility and privilege to be able to prevent the suffering of animals under my care and to offer support to their owners. Vet bills can be expensive; do you offer any payment plans? We provide veterinary care and treatments to animals belonging to individuals who are on a low income or who are facing financial hardship. If you are struggling to afford veterinary costs we may be able to help. Many households qualify on the basis of a low income or as a result of receiving meanstested benefits. What’s the best advice you can offer when choosing a new pet? My best advice would be to consider adoption! At Bristol A.R.C. there are so many wonderful animals – ranging from hamsters to huskies – all looking for their forever homes. I BRISTOL LIFE I 87

businessinsights B R IS T O L g e t s s e r i o u s

boules is back!


Bristol’s very own version of the classic French game returns to the city on 20-21 June this year – and organisers are promising an even bigger, boules-ier event, headlinesponsored by Canon UK. This year’s event will be organised in partnership with MediaClash, publishers of Bristol Life magazine. Canon Boules runs in Queen Square, where companies compete over two evenings. Launched last year, the event raised funds for local charities, and was an instant success with the Bristol business community. Businesses can either sponsor the event, which includes a team and the benefit of multi-channel marketing, or buy a team; the event is free for anyone to attend and includes a bespoke bar and BBQ. Team tickets are available from midday on 23 April and are expected to sell fast.

sorry. you’ll just have to be patient . . .

For more info, contact Rosanna Hood #CanonBoules

This issue comes out one day after the Bristol Life Awards winners were revealed – look out for full details and pics in our next edition . . .


re you reading this magazine on 12 April, the day of its publication? If so, you’re probably still recovering from last night’s Bristol Life Awards. Feeling fragile? We’ll try to type quietly. We don’t have all the pics and all the results ready for publication yet – expect this to dominate our next issue. Let’s just say that it was an evening long on celebration and deep on emotion and marinated in vino, supported by a stellar line-up of sponsors and immaculately judged by a panel

of impartial, discerning, independent judges. Unprecedented support this year saw the following sponsors aligning their brand with the event: headline sponsor Bristol Airport, platinum sponsor Jelf and category sponsors The Alternative Board, Curo, Weston College, Burston Cook, Nicholas Wylde, SAM FM, Anderson Financial Management, Acorn Property Group, Cabot Circus, Lexus Bristol, Clear River, Triangle Networks, Dribuild Group, Clifton College, VWV, Amarelle, Kersfield, Medikas, Brunel, Regus, SLX, CMC Marquees,

Thornton’s Travel and British Corner Shop. Silver Sponsors include Audley Group, Harbour Hotels, Heat Recruitment, Bristol BID and Bevan Brittan. Huge congratulations to all the winners and finalists, as well as all those businesses who attended, for making this year’s Awards such a truly special event. And apologies for the several dozen people on the waiting list who we just couldn’t fit in this time. Shall we do it all again next year? Twitter: @BristolLifeAwds 115




What do banks want? To get bigger and make lots of money, of course. But not so much Triodos, the Dutch bank with a big Bristol presence and a mission to change the world. UK MD Bevis Watts explains… Is your money doing good work or bad? Bevis gets the room thinking…

Photos by Tim Woolf


mid-career swerve into banking might seem odd for anyone, but especially for Bevis Watts – who made his name working with green charities, and once headed up Avon Wildlife Trust. But then Triodos is no normal bank. This Dutch-based leader in sustainable banking has its UK headquarters in Bristol, where Bevis manages around 180 people,

a career in sustainability, notably in the recycling industry at WRAP, the Waste & Resources Action Programme. “Part of my job there was to use government money as guarantees, incentivising banks to invest in the recycling industry,” he says, “and I soon realised banking has no real sense of what its money does, beyond making returns for itself. The motivation to go into banking myself came from that.” Triodos was one bank that seemed different, with a rep for financing pioneers in the renewable energy

“THERE’S THIS HUGE DEMOCRATIC POWER WE CAN UNLEASH, IF ONLY THE BANKS WERE MORE TRANSPARENT” all dedicated to a single belief: that money can be a force for good. If you own an organic farm – or promote green energy, or run any business with an eco-agenda – chances are they’ll want to talk to you. Of late, Triodos has financed Stroud’s green energy company Ecotricity, as well as Neal’s Yard Remedies, Fairtrade coffee company Cafédirect and, locally – because they’re into culture as well as the environment – everything from the refurb of St George’s to Bristol Wood Recycling Project. As a student, Bevis spent a year in Sweden, where he was impressed by a society that integrates environmental issues with its planning. This led to

industry. “I took them the business plan for a Cornish company turning glass bottles into cheese boards,” Bevis says, “and they said yes and financed it. Later – when I was doing voluntary work overseas – I got an email from their outgoing head of business banking, saying I should apply for his job.” After five years in that role, then three at the Wildlife Trust, he was tapped up for the big job at Triodos. “We’re in the middle of an important moment in banking right now,” Bevis says. “For the last 40 years, it’s been the goose that lays the golden egg – with 25% of UK tax revenues coming from financial services – but is this the right balance for the economy? We recently managed to


get an all-party group of MPs to look at the banking model started in the 1980s – with deregulation and huge consolidation and banks becoming ‘too big to fail’ – and they’ve started asking, ‘Does that really serve us?’” The future, Bevis feels, is with smaller, more specialist banks – and especially ones with more than just the bottom line in mind. “We screen every project we finance to judge its social and environmental impact,” he says, “and sometimes take on a higher degree of risk if we really believe in something. This doesn’t limit us, though: there are more than enough good projects to keep us busy.” Triodos is a young bank, and its customer base is young too: around 60% of those taking up its recently launched current account are millennials. “We’re seeing a generational shift in terms of awareness,” Bevis says, “partly driven by years of effective EU directives and legislation, though it’s hard to underestimate the Blue Planet effect too. The reason I went into banking is that there’s this huge democratic power we can unleash, if only the banks were more transparent – and people could make informed choices on what their money’s doing.” When Triodos first came to the UK, it merged with a small East Sussex mutual called Mercury Provident, upping sticks for Bristol in ’95. So why come here? “Well, Bristol has everything: great transport links; it’s in the heart of the South West, the UK home of organic farming; and it’s a centre for sustainable energy. The first Urban

Wildlife Trust started here, as did Sustrans. Also, being outside London made a statement.” Over the years the bank has grown slowly but steadily, both to ensure a fair return for shareholders – “we’ve paid between 3.5% and 5.5% return on equity each year,” Bevis says – and to demonstrate solidity alongside the integrity. “We currently represent 40% of the UK social finance market, and though we’d like to get bigger, it’s more important that we remain a reference point for change. We typically offer loans of up to £30m ourselves, but for the really big projects we bring in partners aligned to our thinking. We often make the biggest impact using our expertise and contacts, not just our money.” And what about you and me? How can we ensure that our own money does more than just make certain bankers rich? Well, one easy thing would be to switch banks – though few of us ever do. “In the future, the successful businesses will be those with a deep sense of their role within society,” Bevis says, and that applies to banks as much as anything. “We want customers who connect with our values, who’ll stay with us for a significant period of time, and who – like us – want to be part of a community of change.” For more:

For future Business Clubs, see

Bevis and the Butt-heads Bevis Watts is a man of strong opinions…

Things he likes Charities “You’re in the middle of a spider’s web, pulling everything and everyone towards you. It gives you a real sense of your own impact.” Things he dislikes Governments “One of my great mentors said, ‘Never trust governments,’ and he’s been proven right a number of times.” Things he’s on the fence about Cryptocurrencies “The big fear is that they’ll just be used for money laundering, and that’s kind of what’s happened. Ultimately they need to be regulated and accountable: the myth that they will do away with money and banks is nonsense.”

We’ve never been in the Triodos office, but we get the feeling ties are optional I BRISTOL LIFE I 93

HEAVEN’S GATE Ashton Gate’s recent £45m refurb has opened up myriad new possibilities for the stadium; and that’s just the first part of the story . . .


o; we still don’t have an Arena. We don’t even have a confirmed site for an Arena, although the recent Massive Attack gig in an improvised shed up in Filton was generally seen as a ‘huge clue’. But nobody seems to have told some of the biggest acts on the rock and pop scene this, as many big-venue bands are heading to Bristol this year – and it’s all down to the recently renovated Ashton Gate Stadium. We asked Lisa Knights, group head of communications at the stadium, to tell us how the events side has taken off since the completion of the recent £45m refurbishment of the Stadium, and about the acts coming our way. “We can’t wait for the concerts

series, and are really excited to have been able to deliver such a cracking line-up to play here,” says Lisa. “We think the four acts – Take That, The Spice Girls, Rod Stewart and Muse – will have a really positive impact on the Bristol economy as a whole and really strengthen our status as a destination city. “The £45m refurb has hugely changed our proposition. The vision was to deliver a sustainable venue that would operate 365 days a year. We’re not quite on 365 yet, but sometimes it feels like it! It’s become ‘normal’ to go from holding a large-scale conference in the daytime, with thousands of delegates, to evening ‘matchday’ mode with 1,400 hospitality guests, a huge fan village and 20,000 football or rugby fans. “Before the refurb, the stadium used to turn over about £250k worth of non-matchday hospitality. Since


2016 (and the completion of the work) that figure has grown by a factor of 10. For anyone who hasn’t been to the ‘new’ Ashton, it’s changed beyond recognition. “We built two new stands – the Lansdown and South Stands – and remodelled the Dolman Stand. The fact that these are now all linked concourses means you can walk in a horseshoe through all three stands – this opens up not just your matchday experience, but also the opportunity to host large conferences and expositions in one linked show space.”

The other major difference, says Lisa, is in the hospitality areas. “The Lansdown Restaurant can hold dinners of up to 850 guests and now hosts more than 30 of the large-scale corporate dinners in the city. The fact that we have our own brilliant in-house catering team means we can guarantee the quality every single time.” Let’s get back to the four acts lined up for spring – each a very different offering. Which act is Lisa most excited to see? Her reply is blamelessly diplomatic.


Business insights

left: Exciting times ahead for Ashton; below: But for now, what we really,

really want are The Spice Girls, Take That, Muse and Rod

“Take That are the anthem of my university years; I went to their Ultimate Tour in Cardiff so I’m chuffed that this time they’re in my home city. That said, my kids are really looking forward to the Spice Girls, so we’re going to that one as a family. I’ve treated my parents to Rod Stewart, and my husband is looking forward to Muse. “It’s such a great line-up, as it ticks so many different demographics. That was a big part of Mark Kelly [MD of Ashton Gate]’s strategy for the concerts. Over the last couple of years we actually turned down bands because it wasn’t the right deal. For our first line-up we specifically wanted to hit four very different demographics, from Rod Stewart to the ultimate boy/girl bands to the ultimate live band with Muse. “We’re already in talks for next summer with a number of people. The most critical thing is that the deal has to stack up; it can’t just be a PR exercise. On my personal wishlist are Pink, Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and Massive Attack…” If Bristol does, eventually, get an Arena, would she see this as competing for the same kind of acts? “I think it would be great for Bristol to have several options. Look at all the cities around the world that are successful – they thrive and grow because of the multiple facilities they have, not the opposite. “The nature of our stadium means that we only have a four-week window in which to do big concerts (in our sports’ off-season). Our proposed 4,000 capacity Sports and Convention Centre next door wouldn’t conflict with anything planned for the city centre or Filton, because they’re a different proposition.”

Which takes us to Ashton’s ambitious future plans for a £100m sports and entertainment quarter for the city, along with hotels and housing. Lisa explains: “At the heart of the plans is a permanent home for our Flyers Basketball team here at BS3. The Flyers sell-out consistently, so in order for them to grow they need a bigger home. Led by our chairman Martin Griffiths (and the same team that successfully delivered the £45m rebuild), it makes up Phase 2 of the evolution of Ashton Gate. “The development would extend our current footprint to encompass a 4000-capacity sports and convention centre; a couple of hotels, more retail space; a multi-storey car park; apartments and additional housing on the Ashton Vale site. It all forms part of Steve Lansdown’s vision of sustainability, and using sport as a hook to drive much-needed investment and regeneration to an area of the city that has traditionally been overlooked. “This project also provides an amazing opportunity to improve transport and parking in the BS3 area. With the linked residential development proposed for the site on Ashton Vale (where the football club’s previous stadium was due to be built), it brings much needed housing and employment to the area. The Ashton Vale site is essential in providing partial funding for the SCC development. “There’s still a long way to go but we hope to submit full planning by the end of the summer. Exciting times ahead!”

For more: I BRISTOL LIFE I 95

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First hurdle but not the finishing line Brenda Smyth of AMD SOLICITORS considers the ramifications of recent changes in probate law


ecent changes at the Probate Registry designed to make it easier to obtain a grant of probate may encourage executors to try to deal with the administration of an estate themselves without professional assistance. However, obtaining the grant is only the first hurdle and not the finishing line, and after issue of the grant there are still traps for the unwary. The executors will have completed an inheritance tax form on applying for the grant. However, any changes to the estate may still have to be reported to HMRC. There may also be further tax reliefs which can be claimed during the administration period to reduce the amount of any tax paid. Any gains made on the sale of assets in the administration period may result in a capital gains tax liability. There are ways to mitigate potential CGT lability and these should be carefully considered before the sales are effected. The executors will need to account to HMRC for tax on gross income received in the administration period and may need to submit tax returns. Failure by the executors to deal correctly with tax liabilities could result in penalties and additional tax and could leave them personally liable for unpaid tax and open to claims against them by beneficiaries. Sometimes executors acting without professional help do not understand the terms of the will, especially where there is a trust in the will. In the past, it was common to include nil rate band discretionary trusts in wills for tax planning purposes. These trusts may no longer be required, but nevertheless steps need to be

taken to either set them up or wind them up. Where this is not done and the omission does not come to light until years later, it is more difficult and costly to resolve the problem and there may be adverse tax consequences. Executors may make mistakes when distributing the estate. Situations where this may occur include where the beneficiaries are minors, where they have already died, where they are bankrupt, where they are mentally incapable or where they cannot be traced. There are also extra factors to consider when administering the estate where some of the beneficiaries are charities. Executors will also wish to consider protecting themselves from personal liability in case any debts or liabilities come to light after the estate has been distributed and may wish to delay distributing the estate where there is any likelihood of a claim being made on the estate by a dependant who claims inadequate provision has been made for them in the will. For advice on the administration of estates and trusts and other private client matters, please contact Brenda Smyth or any other member of our team on 0117 962 1205, email or call into one of our four Bristol offices. ■

Call into one of our four Bristol offices. 100 Henleaze Road, Henleaze BS9 4JZ 15 The Mall, Clifton BS8 4DS 139 Whiteladies Road, Clifton BS8 2PL 2 Station Road, Shirehampton BS11 9TT I BRISTOL LIFE I 99

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bRISTOL property awards preview

If we build it…

The first-ever Bristol Property Awards take place on 17 May at Ashton Gate Stadium. In this special preview, we explain why the Awards are happening, and highlight the leading companies in Bristol property matters. And Bristol’s leading the way in many aspects of this sector… Our Sponsors Amarelle, AWW, BuroHappold Engineering, Burston Cook, Cotswold Homes, Iesis, Interaction, Kingston Barnes, Regus, Sanderson Weatherall, Shawbrook Bank, SWBF, Together, Wilmott Dixon

Key Dates: November: Launched December: Tickets on sale January: Launch Reception at Bristol Old Vic March: Finalists Announced April: Sponsors’ and Finalists’ Reception at St George’s Bristol 17 May: from 12pm: Bristol Property Awards 14 June: Special Bristol Property Awards Winners’ supplement published in Bristol Life May 2020: Bristol Property Awards 2.0…


roperty matters domestically – where we live, how we experience the city, and how exactly we navigate it from our base. It matters commercially – where our companies are, what retail and office space there is, how the city houses and encourages clever expanding enterprises. And it matters aesthetically. Bristol’s architecture legacy is so varied and iconic, and this extraordinary creativity has bequeathed a visual legacy that enriches all our lives, daily. No wonder this city simply teems with clever property companies shaping our city’s destiny. It is for all those reasons and more that we launched the Bristol Property Awards, to celebrate the best property businesses and to highlight the centrality of property to us all. Just think of the connectedness of the world of property: landowners, planners, visionaries, entrepreneurs, deal-makers, architects, engineers, imagineers, developers, builders, suppliers, designers, lawyers, accountants, conveyancers, financiers, mortgagers, underwriters, marketers, all manner of specialists – and agents: for lettings, for residential, for commercial. And then, once built, once transformed, once sold, it all starts over again… Consider this. The tectonic plates in Bristol are shifting. The focus on sustainable, ethical and green buildings is becoming a core consideration in new developments, backed by

a progressive council. Mayor Martin Rees is passionate about driving this focus forward, and backs this event. “I welcome these new Awards, which focus attention on all aspects of the Bristol property scene, celebrating successes in the city,” he said. “I am especially pleased that there are categories that recognise the role property companies have within the community, including the provision of much-needed social housing, and awards to highlight the importance of environmental and sustainable initiatives.” Tectonic plates take time to shift. But shift they do. With all the clever companies, all the energy, all the opportunities, the Bristol Property Awards are set to be a great success on 17 May when all will be revealed…

ORGANISERS The Bristol Property Awards have been created, designed, promoted, sold and organised by MediaClash, the South West’s leading events company. It also produces client events, from parties to launches, talks, receptions to conferences. Please contact stephanie.dodd@ for more information. I BRISTOL LIFE I 101

Offices in: Henleaze, Whiteladies Road Clifton Village, Shirehampton 0117 962 1205


bRISTOL property awards preview

here come the judges…

A panel of independent judges, drawn from all areas of the property sector, will decide the winners of the inaugural Bristol Property Awards

David Powell partner, Osborne Clarke David is a partner in the real estate practice and heads the RE Development sector group at Osborne Clarke. With more than 30 years’ experience advising developers, David has a deep knowledge and understanding of the residential development market, strategic land joint ventures and consortia arrangements.

Jane Harrison marketing director, L&C Mortgages Jane is marketing director at L&C mortgages, the UK’s leading fee-free mortgage broker. With over 30 years’ experience in financial services marketing, and particular focus on mortgage financing, Jane has a keen interest in the fortunes of the property market, both residential and buy to let.

Kirsty Pesticcio senior architect, Atkins and Bristol & Bath chair, RIBA Kirsty’s project profile and skills range significantly having worked on major project phases from masterplanning and concept design both internationally and nationally. This has seen her work across both public and private sectors in the design and delivery of commercial, healthcare and aviation as well as education.

Lynn Robinson regional director, RICS Lynn manages the implementation of the RICS global strategy across the South of England and Wales. Implementing activities that promote RICS Standards and also add value to RICS professionals within the built environment through a regional engagement programme which comprises over 52,000 qualified members and 17,000 trainees.

Robin Squire regional managing director, Acorn Property Group Following working for architects and PLC housebuilders, Robin joined Acorn’s Devon and Cornwall region as development director in 2007. In 2012 Robin returned to Bristol to spearhead the opening of Acorn Bristol which he has successfully grown over the past seven years.

Tim Cann senior director, BNP Paribas With over 30 years’ experience, Tim has based his career in Bristol, Southampton and London and held key leadership roles in the residential development consulting business lines for both Chesterton and more recently BNP Paribas Real Estate.

Yuli Cadney-Toh architect director, BDP Bristol Yuli is architect director at BDP Bristol, leading a multi-disciplinary studio of 70. Her career has been in international architecture, where she has placed design at the forefront. Her focus currently is on Bristol’s future visioning with property and engineering partners.


Hannah Walkiewicz co-founder, The Build Bristol Group In 2013 Hannah set up The Build Bristol Group with husband Dominik. Combining his 13 years’ experience within the construction industry and her agency background. Hannah is an advocate for raising the profile of Women in Construction and broadening career opportunities for them within the industry.

Paul Baker director, JLL and senior vice president,

BPAAA Paul is a national director, leading the planning and development consultancy team across the South and Wales region. Paul deals with the acquisition, disposal, and development of land for landowners in the private and public sectors, property developers, occupiers, and funds across a broad range of uses.

Nuala Gallagher director of economy, Bristol City Council A registered architect and urban designer, Nuala has been working in urban development internationally for 20 years. She took up the role as director for economy of place with Bristol City Council in July 2018. Preceding that, she was director of city centre development with Belfast City Council.


The beautiful new café area, taken by volunteer photographer-in-residence Evan Dawson

Rob Cash, Gary Smith, Joycelyn Smith, Carla Bartholomew and Kirsty Pesticcio

Sarah Newton


Claire Smith, Gavin Land and Nick Brown

The sponsors and finalists of the first Bristol Property Awards assembled for congratulatory drinks and mingling at St George’s Bristol’s beautiful new café area Photos by @JonCraig_Photos

Rhys Davies and Mya Castillo Hannah Walkiewicz, Tim Eastment and Matthew Jones

Tom Dugay, Hayley Blacker, Rebecca Harries and Charlie Moss I BRISTOL LIFE I 109

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property a pl ace to c all home


Even the most uncompromising home-buyer is unlikely to have any reservations about this Sea Walls beauty, says Lisa Warren 118 I BRISTOL LIFE I



ell; this is a bit special. Even to our jaundiced eyes, perpetually trained as they are on the most impressive Bristol homes – we’ve been featuring one in every issue for 15 years, after all – Avonwood is right up there

House numbers Reception rooms 2 plus large kitchen/family area Bedrooms 5 Bathrooms 5 Other rooms Study, cinema and gym Guide price POA For more: Knight Frank, Regent House, 27a Regent Street, Clifton BS8 4HR| 0117 317 1999

with the best. It’s what we believe is called a ‘box-ticker’. No need to sacrifice architectural splendour for a majestic view; it has both. Fond of exquisite period detail, but don’t want to live in a draughty museum? Avonwood brings all the Georgian style, but has thoroughly modern manners and is as spick and span as any new build. Love privacy and seclusion, but can’t be doing with remote rural living? Avonwood’s tucked away on Sea Walls Road, in desirable Sneyd Park. Not that you actually need to leave the house very often; it has its own cinema room, a gym, and an incredibly pretty tiled spa. Oh, and it has a separate cottage. Oh, and a vineyard. And overlooks the Gorge! But let’s begin at the beginning. Avonwood is approached, as all the very best houses are, down a long private drive. You’ll probably park up in the big drive at the front of the house, but if you carry on a bit you’ll reach the cottage beyond.

The main house – designed in a quirky wedge-shape, its Georgian symmetry best appreciated from the back – spreads lavishly over four floors; the main rooms, as you’d hope, all face south over the Gorge. The vast 37ft drawing room and adjacent dining room lead to a fulllength balcony, while a similar trick is pulled off by the 37ft kitchen/breakfast room at garden level, which opens to a verandah; a summer house stands nearby. There’s a study and en suite bathroom on these two floors too, along with a laundry, and that must-have – a ‘butler’s pantry/reading room’. Four bedrooms with as many bathrooms occupy the first floor, but even more exciting is the lower ground level, given over to leisure pursuits: the aforementioned cinema, steam room and gym. The sizeable gardens are landscaped and terraced to provide the maximum balance of space and seclusion, with a terrace and BBQ patio; further afield are wild areas of flower meadow and shrubs, interspersed with walks through woods. The vineyard has recently been re-planted with Chardonnay grapes, with potential to provide about 1,200 to 1,500 bottles a year. And if you want to invite friends to share the harvest, they can stagger off to bed later in The Cottage, which has a kitchen, living room, bedroom and shower room. I BRISTOL LIFE I 119

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(*We haven’t included our Twitter spat with Geoff Barrow)


INKIE, Street artist “The UK’s spiritual home of graffiti is Bristol. No other city does it shipshape and Bristol fashion.”


AD, Bristol Old Vic “Head down Picton Street to the assorted tea cups, fly swats and rocking chairs in the street sale outside Galliford Stores. Bedroom music is hanging over the street like bunting on a Saturday morning in May .”

“The trail of smoke stacks and smell of jerk chicken means St Pauls Carnival. The sight and sound of a dozen kids cruising past on their skateboards with the wheels scraping the tarmac is always Park Street.”




All-round famous son “I feel kind of bedded into Bristol, part of the fabric of it in some way.”


Programmer, Colston Hall

“The best thing about Montpelier is the relaxed bohemian vibe of the place. The worst thing is that bohemian types tend to be rather noisy at night.”

“There’s not going to be many people picking up Bristol Life saying, ‘That guy! I caught him with three other women’. I’ve not left too many broken hearts behind. But if you could just say that I’ve had a string of lovers and a couple of illegitimate children in Clifton, that would be great.”



Upfest founder “Bristol’s street art is a public extension of the creativity that oozed from the pores of many Bristolians. Street art makes us smile, challenges us, makes us laugh and gets us annoyed.”

“Whenever you hear Bansky interviewed, he has exactly what I associate with Bristol, which is that dry sarcastic wit, that seems quite working class, but there is a real smartness and bite to it.”



(Apropos, to totally cheat on the 15 limit, here’s Bansky on his Bristol Museum takeover: “Bristol has always been very good to me. I decided the best way to show my appreciation was by putting a bunch of old toilets and some live chicken nuggets in their museum.”)


Over the past 15 years, Bristol Life has chatted to the good, the great and the just plain interesting about ‘their’ Bristol. To mark our 15th anniversary, here are 15 (ish) favourite quotes*

Publisher “What makes it the best city in the UK for me? Not taking itself too seriously. Giving authority a slap now and again. The way it has thrived on civic neglect. “What stops it being even better? Bristol City.”



Food and arts writer “When I started reviewing Bristol restaurants in the mid1990s, there was no scene at all, just a handful of fine-dining restaurants, some of which were starting to look very dated – one was still flambéing things at the table (which I secretly miss now, of course).




Bell in the Wills Tower “I had some handbells visit a few years ago – they were attached to humans, but I fi rmly believe the bells wanted to visit independently.”



Architect and former Bristol mayor “Bristol is the most culturally independent city west of London, but much of it is in spite of the city and down to an eclectic mix of people who make things happen.”


Director of We the Curious “In a far corner of our space gallery you can watch real cosmic rays arriving from far across the universe…”


9 13



Founder of Sawday’s travel books “In the late 1960s, planners were set on destroying much of Cifton and the centre to create an inner ring road. Much of the harbour was to be fi lled in!”



“I was at school with Tricky. Also, I have been complimented for my left-arm orthodox spin and yorkers.”



Comedian “Bristol is one of the few places outside of London I would consider living in. It’s cool, arty and ever so slightly piratey. What’s not to love about the West Country?”


JAMIE OLIVER Celeb chef “Classic Bristol! Elegant Georgian buildings on one side, hip hop graffiti on the other.”



Restaurateur “Whiteladies Road at 6am, quiet, purposeful, a secret meeting of those who love mornings, runners, fi shmongers and bakers.”



Author “Ships – proper ships, not white plastic gin palaces – at Cumberland Basin. It’s what Bristol was made for.”


Profile for MediaClash

Bristol Life - Issue 262  

Bristol Life - Issue 262