A LOVE AFFAIR WITH THE CITY
ISSUE 276 / FEBRUARY 2020 / £3
ISSUE 276 / FEBRUARY 2020 / LOVE AND THE CITY
ALL THINGS BRIDE AND BEAUTIFUL
HOW TO HAVE THE BEST WEDDING EVER
BRISTOL PUBS USE ‘EM, OR LOSE ‘EM
SNAPPED! LIFE ON THE BRISTOL STREETS (YOU MAY EVEN SPOT YOURSELF, OR YOUR MUM!)
GO WEST* NICE AND HENLEAZE DOES IT: THE DISCREET CHARM OF BS6 (* We’re talking Westbury Park and Westbury-on-Trym – so good, even Freddy Bird’s up here!)
9 Bring me a hygge love You’ve heard of hygge, yes? That Danish philosophy based on cosiness and small pleasures, that first worked its way into the national consciousness in 2016, despite the fact that only actual Danish people could pronounce it. (It’s not ‘higger’, it’s definitely not ‘higgy’; it’s kind of a throat-clearing noise, that sounds a bit like ‘hoo-gher’.) To begin with, we were all over it; then, just as rapidly, we were over it, as the world hit hygge saturation point. Hygge was used to market everything from candles to soaps and socks; it even gave rise to a rash of little books, all solemnly proposing that we should light log fires and wear warm clothing during the colder months, presumably for the benefit of someone who’d recently relocated to the northern hemisphere and couldn’t quite get the hang of how winter worked. On the other hand, Denmark is always at the top of the list of the world’s happiest countries, despite having far harsher, longer winters than ours, so we guess they know what they’re talking about. And it’s February. So hygge up, out there; fill the coming weeks with treats, nice food, trips to warm galleries and theatres – and (peak hygge) – curling up in your favourite cosy corner, with your favourite local mag – think of it as a big hygge from us. It’ll be spring before you know it.
Pies. Hygge on a plate, as far as we’re concerned; see both our wedding feature and food and drink news
DERI ROBINS Follow us on Twitter @BristolLifeMag Instagram @BristolLifeMag
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Issue 276 / February 2020 COVER Freddy Bird at Little French; photo by irstie oung
10 BRIDE AND PREJUDICE? Get married in your own
19 FREE THE SPIRIT Paris meets Bristol
29 ART PAGE Afternoon de-lights 30 WHAT’S ON Now the cultural calendar’s sucking
36 PHOTOGRAPHY A longing for homeland at
© BEN ROBINS
Arnolfini, and a bunch of ristolians in cagoules at Martin Parr 41 BOOKS inch, punch, there’s a in the month 44 BRISTOL HEROES ast orders p to you, really
FOOD & DRINK
50 RESTAURANT We think we’ve worked out why
Aqua has lasted the distance
53 FOOD AND DRINK NEWS Tasty bites 55 STAN y e cellent planning on our part (yeah), Stan’s
at Little French
59 INTRO ouple goals 60 ED’S CHOICE hat did you e pect to find in a
alentine’s issue – aster eggs
STREET LIFE 64 GO WEST
estbury ark – and
76 WALKS At the risk of sounding like your old gym
© ALBERT PALMER PHOTOGR APHY
mistress, a nice walk would do you the world of good
85 BRISTOLWORKS Pro Bristol
100 SHOWCASE ast Street promise at Factory
REGULARS 7 9 57 106
SPOTLIGHT BRIZZOGRAM ON THE RADIO Kam Kelly BRISTOL LIVES Herbalist ily anetty- larke
Editor Deri Robins firstname.lastname@example.org Deputy editor Meg Coast email@example.com Senior art editor Andrew Richmond Graphic design Megan Allison Cover design Trevor Gilham Contributors Mal Rogers, Christian Annesley, Colin Moody, Stan Cullimore, Kam Kelly Advertising manager Neil Snow neil.snow@mediaclash. co.uk New business manager Craig Wallberg firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising & sales executive Hayley Allwood email@example.com Account Manager Jake Horwood firstname.lastname@example.orgProduction/distribution manager Sarah Kingston email@example.com Deputy production manager/ production designer Kirstie Howe firstname.lastname@example.org Chief executive Jane Ingham email@example.com Chief executive Greg Ingham firstname.lastname@example.org Bristol Life MediaClash, Circus Mews House, Circus Mews, Bath BA1 2PW 01225 475800 www.mediaclash.co.uk @The MediaClash © All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without written permission of MediaClash. We’re a Bath-based publisher, creative agency and event organiser Magazines Our portfolio of regional magazines celebrates the best of local living: Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter. We also publish foodie mag Crumbs (www.crumbsmag.com, @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: email@example.com
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“So I said, Stephen, if you call me ‘little baby’ one more time, I’m complaining to the BFO”
WELCOME TO BRISTOLWOOD
Back in 2007, it was a thrilling novelty to be able to spot such Bristol landmarks as the banana bridge and Ashton Court in Skins. Since then, thanks to sterling work by the ristol Film O ce, ristol locations have been popping up all over the shop – recent films such as Stan & Ollie and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, or example, made excellent use of Harbourside. Meanwhile, for interiors shots, The Bottle Yard studios has become the go-to for TV shows as varied as Fortitude and Poldark. No surprise, then, that BBC regional head Stephanie Marshall has just described Bristol as the ‘Hollywood of the South West’. The praise came shortly after the début of new drama The Trial Of Christine Keeler, filmed over weeks in ristol (above). The si -part series is just one of a number of shows filmed here over the last few years, including upcoming Agatha Christie thriller The Pale Horse and His Dark Materials; in December, Lena Dunham’s new HBO series Industry was spotted shooting in Small Street. Chrstine Keeler executive producer Douglas Rae said it was ‘remarkable’ that the team was able to find everything they needed in the city, adding that ristol deserves a BAFTA for the best place to make drama.” For more: www.filmbristol.co.uk
BRISTOL’S MOST WANTED
ight o the back of ristol’s new Hollywoodes ue status (above right) we learn that homeboy Stephen erchant is writing, directing and starring in new crime drama series The Offenders – also shot right here in Bristol. The six-part crime drama, created by Stephen with lgin ames, follows seven strangers from di erent walks of life who are forced together as they complete a community payback sentence. As unlikely friendships begin to develop, the group have to come together and protect one of their own against Bristol’s most dangerous criminal gang. The Offenders is a long-standing passion project for me says erchant. y parents used to work in the community service world, and I was always intrigued that the many and varied people they dealt with only had one thing in common they’d committed a crime. Ever since The Office, I’ve loved finding ways to bring unlikely groups of people together and watch the sparks y. As a writer I always include humour, but with The Offenders I also get to add drama, pathos, crime genre thrills and say something optimistic about the common humanity that unites us all, whatever our background.”
Throwing it back to the Fog Bridge – In Between Time’s weather installation for Bristol’s year as European Green Capital
GO GREEN OR GO HOME
Fill that resuable co ee cup and refillable bottle with pride ristol has once again bagged the title of ‘The UK’s Greenest City’, coming out tops in recycling, air quality and green spaces. It’s also home to the country’s most eco-conscious citizens, with the highest number of green-related Google searches. Lead the scene and keep it green, Bristol.
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He’s the morning shooter who’s out and about before you’ve taken your first sip of coffee; the dawn raider snapping the Ashton Court deer in the early mist, and all in all, we thought it was high time we gave Sam Binding his own page. Frankly, if you’re not following him at @sambinding you are not living your best insta life
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© REBECCA CARPENTER PHOTOGR APHY
…brought the dog?
OK; so this little tinker yapped all through the vows, bit a small bridesmaid, and chewed the heel off the mother of the bride’s shoes. But oh, the cuteness… blooms by Hayley of Wilderness Flowers
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“Why wouldn’t you invite your best friend to the most important day of your life? You probably prefer him or her to some of your prospective in-laws…”
ell, and why not? Why wouldn’t you invite your best friend to the most important day of your life? We bet you prefer him or her to some of your prospective in-laws anyway, but let’s not go there. Point being, it’s your day; and it needs to be bespoke to you and your partner. Sounds easy? It can be. Just remember: all that’s happening here is that you are entering into a legal agreement to be married to someone, and throwing a bit of a bash to celebrate the fact. Apart from that, there’s not a single old-school tradition that you can’t jettison, or replace with a fresh idea of your own – this is Bristol, after all, and frankly we’d be a bit disappointed if you slavishly followed a bunch of rules made up aeons ago. Feel that being ‘given away’ smacks of outdated patriarchy? Fine; just turn up hand-in-hand with your partner. Have male bridegrooms, female ushers and a best woman, or two, if you like. And yes, invite the dog. Or the cat, the budgie or the goldfish (but maybe not all four together). Do your thing, your way – but spare a modicum of consideration for your guests. Festival weddings are cool; but it may not be entirely fair to ask your nonogenarian great-aunt to perch on a hay bale for five hours in the name of a bit of rustic ambience.
IS FOR... ADVICE
Admittedly, it’s a bit disingenuous of us to say this, given that we’re just about to write a five-page feature on this very topic – but do try to take other people’s advice with a pinch of salt. Accept it, listen to it; but then go ahead and rock the hell out of that Daenerys-style toga dress you’d planned to wear anyway.
IS FOR... BUDGET
Set one and stick to it. Ignore those ‘the average Brit spends £32.4k on a UK wedding’ stats. If you happen to be minted, and are hellbent on packing as much glamour and glitz as humanly possible into a week-long bash in Ibiza, do so by all means; but if you can only afford to splash a month’s salary, prioritise what you really want, and ditch the rest. We’re looking at you, wedding favours; no grown-up needs a goody bag.
IS FOR... CATERING
You’re from Bristol, yeah, so no surprise to hear from wedding planner Michele Jetzer that she’s seeing “food that is local and seasonal” along with “lots of family platter food, food trucks and biodynamic wines.” Food vans and other ‘pop-up’-style street-food offerings are fun; top options include pie and mash from Pieminister, or posh fish-and-chip vans. Check out Travelling Bistro – a local family-run business with a mobile fully functioning kitchen, who are happy to fit into any wedding theme. Cake options are also wide open, from truckles of cheese to towers of profiteroles. Some of the most beautiful cakes in this city are made by Tam at Aah Toots at St Nick’s, while Pearly King Cakes on Chandos Road can supply an outrageously tempting range of seasonal sweet treats. Just order what you like to eat, and try not to be swayed by the latest fashion. To quote Bryan Rafanelli in Vogue. “Donuts are not the new cupcakes. Avoid this trend unless your father owns a donut shop.”
IS FOR DRONE
No, not the father of the bride’s interminable speech; there’s not much we can do about that. We’re talking about those cool overhead shots we’re increasingly seeing, from creative photographers such as Brad Wakefield, a commercial drone pilot – you need to have a PfCO licence to do this kind of work, so check all the legals before booking rather than unleashing the new toy your nephew got for Christmas.
IS FOR... ENTERTAINMENT
Tired wedding singers crooning corny covers have had their day, and you won’t struggle to find top-notch musicians in every genre. There are, of course, many other options, from casinos to karaoke, magicians, photobooths, silent discos, fairground rides and marryoke; if you thought the gospel choir wedding scene in Love Actually was the single most romantic thing you’ve ever seen in your life, Bravo Singing Waiters can recreate it, or indeed spring any other kind of musical surprise on your partner. Which kind of brings us to the first dance. Options are wide open, including not having one at all. If you and your new spouse are hellbent on smooching to Take My Breath Away, far be it for us to dissuade you; on the other hand, if you and the girls have polished your Single Ladies routine to perfection in a hundred loos and bedrooms, now is the ideal opportunity to unleash it on an appreciative public.
Fancy getting high? Brad Wakefield is both a photographer and an official drone pilot
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IS FOR FLOWERS
Eco-friendly Wildnerness Flowers works with the seasons to create timeless natural arrangements – “as if they’re straight from the garden,” says Hayley. “We’re noticing a big trend in textures – foliage, grasses and filler flowers to create impact. Caramel tones, ochres and ballet pinks are often requested too, to create a soft artisanal aesthetic.” And check out Edith Wilmot Flowers; they have some handy wedding tips on their site. Fun fact: this is longest running flower shop in Bristol, dating back to1895; one of their first jobs was to decorated a tram for Queen Victoria’s visit!
IS FOR... GREEN
Not for nothing was Bristol a former European green capital; more and more of you are insisting on sustainable weddings.“Never has the environment been more at the forefront of couples’ minds,” says Jo Maggs at Berwick Lodge. “We are regularly asked if we can host environmentally friendly weddings, from keeping the carbon footprint as low as possible to a full vegan wedding, and/or with the bride in a preloved dress. “When it comes to choosing menus there are always a number of dishes with ingredients sourced from local, independent producers, farmers and our very own Berwick kitchen and herb garden. In the last year, couples have donated trees to our venue that are planted in the grounds, to help offset some of their carbon footprint. Bee bombs – seeds scattered to create a meadow that attracts bees – are also a popular way to give back to nature. And organising carpooling for guests is another way we’re seeing couples go.”
IS FOR… HAIR
Sam Bell of Hair at 58 is seeing a lot of 3-D florals. “Fresh and fun, these hair accessories just scream springtime. The funky florals are either on kitschy headbands or worn freely floating through hair. Either way, consider these the new flower crowns!” Sam’s also seeing a fresh enthusiasm for barrettes. “The ’90s hair accessory staple has had a wedding-worthy makeover, thanks to the addition of sparkle and delicate detailing. These little gems are just the thing to hold your hair out of your face for the perfect half-up, half-down style.” Don’t go drastically off-piste when it comes to your usual look, though. The reaction you want to see when your new spouse turns to greet you is one of adoring recognition, not baffled terror at the sight of an apparent stranger bearing down in full bridal regalia.
This why Albert Palmer is one of our favourite photographers
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IS FOR... INVITATIONS AND SIGNAGE
Send invitations out at least eight weeks before the day. That way, if anyone can’t attend, you can ask someone else without them ever realising they’ve been promoted from the subs bench. Signage has become a huge trend at weddings and events over recent years. “It’s a great way to introduce your personality through romantic, personal and fun quotes,” says Laura of Urban Frame. “Chalkboard signs have always been a popular choice; however, new materials are coming out in full force, such as reclaimed wood, metal, fabric, letter boards and neon. And perspex is so versatile, as it can be backpainted or pressed with flowers to suit any theme.”
IS FOR… JUST THE TWO OF YOU
“Smaller weddings and elopements appear to be on the rise,” says Jo Maggs of Berwick Lodge. “For more couples, the idea of eloping, just the two of them, works perfectly. Appealing to many are packages for stays including a tiny and intimate wedding with witnesses, a photographer, honeymoon suite, Champagne and gorgeous food, so you can just enjoy chilled-out time together as newlyweds, and no dramas!”
IS FOR... KIDS
Planning some elegant/funky grown-up do that’s not compatible (or safe for) rugrats? It’s fine to make it politely clear that kids aren’t invited. If you do want to include them, but worried they’ll get bored, you can hire pop-up bell tents and even nannies; Pitch up and Play will head off tears before bedtime.
IS FOR... LIST
As in wedding list, as in gifts. It makes total sense to specify what you want; in all likelihood you’ve been sharing a home for a while anyway, and are absolutely A-OK for toasters. Some couples even ask for cash, though some guests feel this rather smacks of selling a ticket. “Do we need a festival wristband to get in?” was one tart comment we’ve heard. Point. If you have everything you need already – especially true of older couples – how about a standout piece of art? Hidden Gallery have
“Bee bombs – seeds scattered to create a meadow that attracts bees – are also a popular way to give back to nature”
You’re not likely to wear a big white wedding meringue more than once, but these gorgeous creations by Mishi May have endless wardrobe life
an elegant solution. “Couples can select a particular piece of art, and their friends and family contribute towards that; or guests simply contribute to a fund for a voucher to be spent in the gallery.” We’re seriously thinking of renewing our vows just so that we can bag us a Banksy.
IS FOR... MAKE UP
Upcycling is increasingly popular; some brides rework their mother’s, or even grandmother’s, dresses. Check out the preloved dress at Bristol Bridal Boutique, where you’ll find designer gowns sold at a fraction of their original cost.
IS FOR… PHOTOGRAPHY
You remember: the reason you’re actually doing this thing? Just when you already felt swamped with choices, it’s now legal for opposite-sex couples, as well as same-sex ones, to choose secular civil ceremonies instead of a traditional wedding. These offer many of the same benefits as marriage, but couples refer to one another as civil partners rather than husband and wife.
You can make your own bunting; you can bake your own cupcakes; but however handy your best mate is with his Canon 5D and 1.2 f-stop lens, photos should always be entrusted to a pro. It’s easy to choose the right one; most wedding photographers have websites with galleries of past work. Many will also offer an engagement shoot, either as part of the package or as a separate job – it’s the ideal way for them to get to know you, and the photos may well feel more genuinely ‘you’ than the wedding shots, as you’ll be a lot more relaxed. Obviously, Bristol offers the finest backdrop for outdoor photos known to humanity. “The Clifton Suspension Bridge is an obvious classic but there are so many other amazing settings: Harbourside, Brandon Hill, Nelson Street with its graffiti, Stokes Croft, the list goes on…” says Ruth Garner.
As with hair, as with hemlines, the less outré you go, the greater the likelihood that you won’t wince at your wedding photos in 30 years’ time. Soft and subtle is always pretty. If, despite a lifetime of practice, you’re still rubbish with a mascara wand, consider using a MUA such as Annabella (see page 19).
IS FOR... NUPTIALS
IS FOR... OUTFIT
Even the most fractious of brides will calm down a little when her dress is hanging in the wardrobe. The concept of a big white dress is relatively new; until late Victorian times, brides just wore their best frock. These days, there’s been something of a reversal, with many brides choosing an outfit that would work just as well later on at a black-tie event; Molly Mishi May’s sublime satin trouser suits and tulle wraps, for example, would definitely have a life long after the wedding.
IS FOR... QUIET TIME
While you may take a full year planning your wedding, the actual day is likely to flash past like the Millennium Falcon negotiating light speed. Try to grab ten minutes with your spouse, away from the mêlée, to enjoy the moment.
IS FOR... RINGS
“We’ve seen the rise of alternative gemstones, and 2020 will be about continuing to break with tradition, and
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Swim before the ceremony optional: Sam Gibson captured Polly and Tom’s lovely Lido wedding
people wanting jewellery that highlights their unique style and personality,”says Diana Porter. “Irregular-shaped gemstones and coloured diamonds will be increasingly more in demand. Vivid gemstones are becoming even more popular in wedding bands too, as they are used to bring eye-catching colour to the ring stack. “Rubies, sapphires, black diamonds and tourmalines are going to be big hits. We stock an array of one-of-a-kind stones where the customer can choose their favourite. These can then be made into an engagement ring, or set into irregular cluster wedding bands for a contemporary look.”
IS FOR... STAGS AND HENS
How about a team-building challenge? Wild Place has just the thing, with a range of activities from Situation Survival (think Escape the Room crossed with Wilderness) to the Leap of Faith high ropes challenge, bubble football inside giant inflatable balls, and the madly popular pastime of axe throwing, all within the 250acre conservation park with bears, cheetahs, giraffes, wolves and lemurs all padding about nearby. Don’t pack the deely boppers.
IS FOR... TRANSPORT
Even on the most Cistercian budget, your wedding is not the time or place for Metrobus (unless, we guess, you fancy recreating the final scene of The Graduate). Chauffeured limos are trad, but classic cars are arguably better for cool, vintage photo opps.
IS FOR... USHERS
The groom’s squad. Usually a bunch of likely lads, whose duties are to (a) ensure the groom survives his stag unscathed, (b) seat everyone correctly at the ceremony and get them to the reception (c) try to get off with the bridesmaids.
IS FOR... VENUES
The sky’s the limit – literally so, if you get married at M Shed, where you can hire one of the cranes to hoik you up to the top-floor events space. Otherwise you can choose from every type of imaginable venue; you can, for example, get married on the stage of
Bristol Old Vic, and hold the reception in opulent Coopers Hall; or do the whole shebang shipshape-style, aboard the ss Great Britain. Berwick Lodge is seeing a rise in the two-day wedding, says Jo Maggs . “Couples are loving the relaxed vibe of making Berwick feel like their own, starting celebrations on the eve of the wedding, with a barbecue in summer or casual brasserie-style eating, and hiring all the bedrooms for last-minute relaxation and pampering.” Bristol Harbour Hotel & Spa has fused two grand former banks and fitted them out with beautiful interiors, from the intimate Vaults to the grand Sansovino Hall and chic Gold Bar. Kings Weston House combines 18th-century elegance with the charm of a family home, while The Marriott combines a central location with classic elegance.
IS FOR… VEGAN
Pieminister have always been at the veggie vanguard, and have now introduced a wedding menu for couples opting for a fully plant-based wedding, from canapés and pies through to desserts and wedding cakes and a 100% vegan bar.
IS FOR... WEDDING FAIRS
Need inspo and info? Wedding fairs pop up throughout the year – keep an eye on the websites of local hotels.
IS FOR... EXES
Should you invite them? If you’re on good terms and your partner is 100% down with it, then certainly, especially if you share children. But if you can’t be in a room with them for more than five minutes before it’s all kicking off, then best not, eh?
IS FOR... YURTS AND MARQUEES
If you want an outdoor wedding, or just fancy a festival style, you’ll need a tent of some kind. Clifton Marquees are pros in the field (!), and will design the space to your exact requirements.
If you fancy adding lions, monkeys and scorpions to the guest list, and who doesn’t, why not get married at Bristol Zoo? n
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Join thousands of our delighted Brides and book your free consultation today! 5 Carlton Court, Canford Lane, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, BS39 5DE 0117 950 8589 firstname.lastname@example.org edithwilmot.co.uk
BESPOKE WEDDING & CELEBRATION CAKES Made using all natural, seasonal ingredients. We also specialise in creating cakes for a variety of dietary requirements, so please get in touch to discuss your big day. Pearly King Cake, 17 Chandos Road, Bristol, BS6 6PG 01173294334 � pearlykingcake.co.uk � f a
FREE THE SPIRIT
What happens when you take a collection inspired by the romance of Paris and shoot it in a quintessentially English setting?
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odern boho wedding dress designers Rue De Seine are best-known for modelling their incredible dresses in deserts, high on mountain tops with rolling vistas, or with rustic wooden doors and barns as backdrops. However: “We wanted to shoot their fantastic and intricate designs in an old English country house, to showcase the e ibility of the dresses, says photograher Jamie Dodd. “Our aim was to achieve a varied look, using light airy spaces along with dark and moody corridors and rooms, with several models and a variety of options from Rue De Seine. ith a wide mi of owers, from subtle grasses to vibrant orchids, faces made-up in warm tones, and soft rela ed hair styles, we brought the free-spirited brand into the four walls of a historic country mansion – and it worked perfectly. Every photo was taken inside the building, and we managed to squeeze a great selection together in a short space of time. n
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Photographer Jamie Dodd; www.jamiedoddphotography.co.uk Models Francesca Cosh, Laura Alldred and Oliver Goodwill; www.gingersnap.co.uk Dresses The Mews Bridal; www.themewsclifton.co.uk Suits Haig Harrisonâ€™s; www.menshire.co.uk Florist Nicole; www.blomme.co.uk Hair Louise Alway www.louisealway.com and Chris Allen; www.atelierclifton.co.uk MUA By Annabella; www.byannabella.co.uk Venue North Cadbury Court; www.northcadburycourt.com
Weston Lodge Shooting Ground
Stag & Hen Party? Looking for an exciting action packed corporate activity day out with colleagues or an exciting Stag and Hen day for friends? Just 20 minutes from the centre of Bristol, we are totally dedicated to making your party a memorable one all at a great price! We offer karting on our purpose built track with jumps, and also a Quad trail on our 300cc quads which is open all year round. Why not give clay pigeon shooting a go? Whether you are a sure shot or couldn’t hit a barn door, you’ll be expertly taught on our 5 shooting stand layout.
Contact us Call 01275 842225 or 07770 688918 or e-mail email@example.com
WEDDING SHOWCASE Sunday 26th April 2020, 11am-2pm
Orangery at Goldney House
A hidden gem within Bristol’s famous Clifton Village, The Orangery at Goldney House offers the perfect fairy-tale backdrop for your wedding day. Goldney House, Lower Clifton Hill, Clifton, Bristol BS8 1BH. 0117 42 84000 firstname.lastname@example.org. www.bristol.ac.uk/venues
Meet the Hair & Beauty Expert For a cut above the rest, put yourself in the able hands of Bristol’s best hair & beauty experts
DR BEATRIZ MOLINA
BME 0117 444 9330; www.bmesalon.co.uk What sets you apart from your competition? We care! Here at BME we don’t want every chair to be filled, it’s more about the personable relaxing space/time that our clients love. What is your background and when and how did you get involved in your profession? My background is hairdressing. I’ve worked for 21 years teaching and running salons. What is your favourite hair style/beauty treatments of all time? The Bob as it’s timeless and so versatile. What trends do you see happening in 2020? Subtle warmer tones for the rest of the cooler months and texture and curls are making their way back. Stop fighting them! Why are your customers loyal to you? We go the extra mile. I’ve been so overwhelmed with the massive amount of support I’ve had. Why should our readers come to you? If you like the sound of a grown-up, professional, clean relaxing space, then we just might be the salon for you.
RUSSELL LAMBARD & CHERYL HANCOCK
MEDIKAS 01179 736661; www.medikas.co.uk
HQHAIRDRESSING 01179508899 WWW.HQHAIRDRESSING.CO.UK What is your background and when and how did you get involved in your profession? R: I was living in London and working on Baker street salon Daniel Galvin in 1994. I then moved to Bristol at age 21 and worked for various salons including Hobbs until 2011 when Cheryl and I opened HQHairdressing. C: In 2000 I joined Toni & Guy, and achieved managing technical director status, as well as completing various technical courses and L’Oreal colour specialist course, which I passed with distinction. How long has your salon been established? HQ Hair has now been open 9 years. What professional accomplishment has made you the proudest? R: My proudest accomplishment throughout my hairdressing career was the opening of HQ Hair and winning the L’Oreal men’s colour trophy south west. Do you sell the products you use in the salon? C: Yes, we love and believe in our LABEL.M products which we have in salon and retail.
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What area do you specialise in? My key passion and speciality has always been facial injectables and in particular dermal fillers. Working as a Key Opinion Leader for various pharmaceutical companies over the last ten years and travelling the world teaching, I have an incredible knowledge of injectable products on the market. What is the biggest misconception about cosmetic surgery/procedures? Big lips and over-inflated faces are some of the misconceptions of cosmetics and of course the inevitable pictures of those that have gone drastically wrong. At Medikas, we believe in providing a holistic approach with patient safety paramount. This is reflected in the ethos and policies within our clinic. Medical solutions : natural results. What’s been your proudest professional moment? My proudest moment was winning Best Aesthetic Practitioner of the Year 2017 at the prestigious Aesthetic Awards in London, beating other finalists from all over the UK and Ireland. How long has your clinic been established? The exclusive Medikas brand and clinic was established 14 years ago in 2005, with our premier flagship clinic opening in Bristol in 2014. Since 2009, Medikas has won multiple awards at a national level.
BARBER COMPANY 01179624280; www.barbercompany.co.uk
Russell Lambard & Cheryl Hancock
What sets you apart from your competition? We are a barber shop that’s professional, chilled and fun. What is your background and when and how did you get involved in your profession? I always loved the atmosphere and buzz of the barbers, plus the music and the banter, so at 18 I thought ‘let’s have a go!’ What are your top tips for hair care/beauty regime? Wash it twice a week, get a trim once a month minimum and find a product to style it that suits you. What trends do you see happening in 2020? Classic, gentleman cuts are coming back in. What are the biggest misconceptions about your profession? That we are uneducated, and that we should open early and stay late for customers. At times people forget we have lives and families too. Have you ever had anyone famous in your salon? If so who? We get quite a few sports professionals, actors and stuntmen, but it would be distasteful to disclose more...
What sets you apart from your competition? We have 4 salons, 3 of which are within a mile apart from each other all offering different treatments. We can therefore always offer an appointment and treatment individually tailored to our clients. Who inspires you? My amazing team of therapists that surround me every day. Their passion and enthusiasm for the industry is just amazing. What are your top tips for hair care/beauty regime? My absolute top tip is double cleansing – the first cleanse removes makeup and impurities, the second cleanse (most importantly) cleans your skin! How long has your clinic/salon been established? 11 years, from humble beginnings. Our owner Julia started doing treatments in her living room; four salons later she’s still often found being a helping hand wherever she’s needed. What is your favourite beauty treatment? I can’t live without a lash lift and tint. It lifts, volumises and lengthens lashes meaning there’s no need for mascara for 6 weeks! What part of your work do you particularly enjoy? Making and seeing results with my clients, whether it’s improving their skin, thickening their eyebrows or lengthening their lashes…it’s all about the results. Why should our readers come to you? We are a down to earth, highly skilled bunch of therapists offering excellent value treatments with a personal touch.
What sets you apart from your competition? We cater for all textures of hair but specialize in wavy, curly and textured hair. I have created my own cutting and styling technique called The Nuala Morey System. Check out our Instagram to see our before and after pictures - @nualamoreysalon. Who inspires you? My dad inspires me. He sadly passed away when I was 15 but watching him create his business empire when I was younger always made me hungry for success from a young age. What hair care tips do you have? If you have curly, wavy or textured hair you should always find a hairdresser who will cut your hair dry so that they can work with the different textures you have in your hair and visually see what shape they are creating. What professional accomplishment has made you the proudest? In the last year the salon has gone international. I have guests who have come from Switzerland, Germany, France, Ireland and Spain. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever dream of guests travelling such a long distance for me to do their hair. Why are your customers loyal to you? My customers are loyal because we always provide an excellent service and our team are so welcoming, friendly and helpful that they can’t stay away. We always try to keep our guests excited and recommend different styles.
BEAUTY BOX BRISTOL 01173363485; www.beautyboxbristol.co.uk
NUALA MOREY SALON 07533232692; www.nualahairdressing.com
Nuala Morey (left)
SOPHIA TURKI CONSOL www.consol.eu
What sets you apart from your competition? Our state-of-the-art facilities and tube technology provide an unbeatable experience and signature Consol tan. What is your background and when and how did you get involved in your profession? I used sunbeds frequently whilst studying Biology and Business A-levels and formed a deeper interest into skin and the tanning process, eventually working my way through the industry to become the Sales Training and Development Manager of Consol across the UK! What are your top tips for hair care/beauty regime? Take care of your skin! We offer products that help achieve better tanning results whilst improving the condition of your skin. It’s a win-win! How long has your clinic/salon been established? Recognising a niche in the market for high quality tanning facilities, Consol came from Denmark and set up in the UK in 1996 and we’ve been rapidly expanding ever since. What is the one piece of kit you could not work without? Our Hybrid sunbeds – They provide UV and red light (collagen) treatment in one. What investments has your salon/clinic recently made? The development of our Consol app, coming very soon! What part of your work do your particularly enjoy? Training our staff to effectively help our clients achieve
their goals – from a perfect natural wedding day tan to helping advise on using sunbeds for psoriasis/eczema conditions. Why are your customers loyal to you? We always build a personal rapport with customers and regularly check to make sure they are happy with the results that they’re achieving. Our customers will always have access to the best equipment, lotions and have confidence in using our sunbeds. What are the biggest misconceptions about your profession? That safe tanning isn’t possible. Do you sell the products you use in the salon? Of course! We stock Australian Gold products, because, well, they’re the best on the market - and we only offer the best products at the lowest prices! Is there anything else we should know? Joining Consol has never been easier! Signing up is free, quick and easy and can be done in your local studio or online at www.consol.eu/register
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Telephone: 0117 329 5525 www.starplumbingsupplies.co.uk 15 Kenn Court, Roman Farm Road, Bristol BS4 1UL. Open Monday to Saturday.
THE ARTS S N A P S H O T S O F B R I S T O L’ S C U LT U R A L L I F E
PINK MIST Not since the Mickey Mouse ears of Pero’s disappeared into fog in the spring of 2015 have we been so excited about a mist-engulfed bridge. The new installation is called Pink Enchantment, and it’s coming our way between 28 February1 March. It’s part of the brand-new Bristol Light Festival, which will showcase work by renowned international light artists alongside Bristol talent at six locations across the city centre, making a bewitching illuminated trail from Castle Park to Cascade Steps. Pink Enchantment was created by Tine Bech, who designed the installation while studying at UWE. Tine has showcased it internationally, but this will be the first time it’ll be exhibited in the city for which it was originally intended, immersing Castle Bridge in an ethereal pink light as people cross the water. Other de-lights will include giant illuminated see-saws in Queen Square, and four-foot neon letters spelling CHEERS DRIVE at the top of Cascade Steps – instagrammers, you ready for this? For more: www.bristollightfestival.org @BrisCentreBID #Bristollight on Twitter
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You won’t find hearts and flowers here; just a round up of the the best stuff in the city - and a couple of stuffed antelope
31 January – 28 February
Taking the kitsch: satirising Western preconceptions of Africa in The Last Journey of the Dictator Mussunda N’Zombo Before the Great Extinction at RWA
Until 2 February
FARRAH FORTNAM At TFT with her ‘Rainforest’ collection to raise awareness of the importance of nurturing and protecting our big, lush beautiful green forests; tobaccofactory.com
Until 1 March
AFRICA STATE OF MIND/ REFUGE AND RENEWAL We’re still in an RWA state of mind as the exciting duo of exhibitions continue: one explores the work of an emergent generation of photographers from across Africa; the other is a timely exploration of the impact of artist refugees on art in Britain, taking a perspective across the last 150 years; shop.rwa.org.uk
Until 14 March
HANS EIJKELBOOM The artist’s first solo e hibition in the UK is getting up close and personal with series of snapshots
showing Bristolians at a single point in time. At Martin Parr Foundation. martinparrfoundation.org
Until 22 March
PACITA ABAD: LIFE IN THE MARGINS The Filipino-American artist’s first e hibition in the o ers an informed and distinct global perspective on art-making as a cultural tradition rooted in many places at once. At Spike Island; spikeisland.org.uk ZANJIR Bristol-based Amak Mahmoodian’s series of photographs taken in Iran and the UK. See pages 36-37. rnolfini.or .uk
Until 19 April
DO YOU BELIEVE IN MAGIC? From ancient uses of witchcraft to the role superstition plays in the modern mind, Bristol Museum explores how magic has been used to heal, hunt and harm down the ages; bristolmuseums.org.uk
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Until 26 April
ANGELICA MESITI: ASSEMBLY A large-scale video installation that imagines a community of movement, poetry and song exploring our need to come together democratically across many nations, to speak di erently, act together, and form new assembles. rnolfini.or .uk
Until 4 May
WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR EXHIBITION The world-renowned photography exhibition returns to M Shed. Wild things, we think we love you. bristolmuseums.org.uk
15 February - 22 March
INTERNATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION 162 No biggie - only the world’s longest running photography exhibition, featuring the work of 43 international photographers. At RPS house; rps.org
Until 1 February
JESSICA FOSTEKEW: HENCH Regular host of The Guilty Feminist and “absolute power-shed” Jessica Fostekew explores her big strong strength. Have you ever watched a feminist try and take ‘hench’ as a compliment? It’s like watching a snake eat but funny. thewardrobetheatre.com ROMANTICS ANONYMOUS One for the (early) V-day calendar: Wise Children’s AD Emma Rice directs a musical love story about breaking the mould and finding the courage to be happy; it’s based on the movie Les Émotifs Anonymes. Shades of Amélie, peut-être? At BristolOd Vic; bristololdvic.org.uk
Until 8 February
FERMENT FORTNIGHT The two week festival is back for its 10 year anniversary, showcasing the
WHAT’S ON 13-16 February
ideas of budding artists by allowing the audience to engage with works in progress and o er feedback. bristololdvic.org.uk
Until 9 February
LIVING SPIT’S SWAN LAKE Howard ad Stu are joined on stage by two real-life ballet dancers in what promises to be the funniest, danciest, water-foulest micro-ballet the world has ever seen; tobaccofactorytheatres.com
Until 22 February
THE BOOK OF MORMON Singing Mormons! The outrageous musical comedy from the creators of South Park and Bobby Lopez follows the misadventures of a mismatched pair of missionaries; at Bristol Hippodrome; atgtickets.com
ABOVE: A decade of Ferment fortnight – let’s dance… LEFT: Smile! Fish here is part of the amazing Wildlife Photographer of the Year at M Shed BELOW: left holding the baby at TFT
REVELATIONS A few years ago, James’s best friends asked for his sperm – to start a family. An epic story about faith, foxes, and trying to do the right thing even when it involves taking all your clothes o . tobaccofactorytheatres.com
THE SHAKE PULLERS & LASH STACKERS SOCIAL CLUB A quarterly drag-cabaret night in a league of its own. Dress code innie ones meets race ones. At The Wardrobe; thewardrobetheatre.com
19 February – 21 March
WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? Tobacco Factory Theatres are ringing in the new decade with a 5-8 February new production of Edward Albee’s RETURN TO HEAVEN celebrated domestic bitch-fest Who’s Facing their inner demons head on, Afraid of Virginia Woolf. nsettling, two explorers search the dark mysteries claustrophobic and darkly funny, of the ancient world and enter a it should be ideally suited to the perilous land beyond time and death in Factory Theatre’s inimate setting. an intricately choreographed piece of tobaccofactorytheatres.com dance theatre laced with dark humour. 20 – 29 February tobaccofactorytheatres.com LARAMIE PROJECT 8 February A play that challenges us to consider BOX what it means to be human through Circus tricks, hand-balancing and an examination of the aftermath playful acrobatics aplenty here of the 1998 murder of Matthew as brother and sister use their Shepard and its e ect on his imagination, skills and showmanship community; bristololdvic.org.uk to contend for the attentions of the 23, 25, 27, 29 February, audience, only to learn that success is 1 March found closer to home; circomedia.com MACBETH 10, 24 February Shakespearean tragedy, but not how CLOSER EACH DAY (or where) you’d e pect performed The world’s longest improvised in the tunnels of Temple Meads by narrative. nplanned. nscripted. Opera in a Box alongside the music nconventional. Think EastEnders meets of Verdi – with drinks and canapés; The League of Gentlemen via Love Island…at operainabox.com Wardrobe, thewardrobetheatre.com
25 – 29 February
RAMBERT 2: TRIPLE BILL Following a sell-out run in 2019, the world’s most exhilarating early career dancers return to Bristol Old Vic with their latest triple bill. bristololdvic.org.uk
12 February – 8 March
MID LIFE Claire was the South East of England Disco Dancing hampion in . Jacqui’s busy looking after the grandkids and keeping an eye on her e -partner’s mum. aren lives alone by the sea. These are menopausal women join them as they find a way through the loss, despair, frustration, freedom, joy and possibility of the middle years. bristololdvic.org.uk
BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL efore she was arole ing, she was just an ordinary girl with e traordinary talent. The true story of the great singer-songwriters incredible rise to fame comes to The Hippodrome. atgtickets.com
COMEDY 1 February
GARY DELANEY: GAGSTER’S PARADISE Britain’s leading one-liner and Mock The Week regular is back on the road and headed to Redgrave with a fresh onslaught of lean, expertly crafted gaggery. redgravetheatre.com
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LADY NADE Sooth the soul with the velveteen voice of alternative folk-pop-jazz balladeer Lady Nade At St George’s; stgeorgesbristol.co.uk
MADAM BUTTERFLY OperaUpClose return with a new English version of Puccini’s Madam utter y, retold from a female, EastAsian perspective. At BOV; bristololdvic.org.uk
Fatamouta reaching new heights Pacita Abad’s Sampaloc Walls BELOW: Madam Butterfly through a new lens LEFT:
MAX & IVAN: COMMITMENT A true story of the unreasonable lengths one best man (Max) will go to give one groom (Ivan) the greatest weekend of his life. Say “I do” and commit this one to the calendar. thewardrobetheatre.com RHYS JAMES: SNITCH Rhys was asked to go back to his school and inspire the Year 11s, giving rise to some hilarious re ection on his current life situation. thewardrobetheatre.com
THE BRISTOL FOOD TOUR A triple bill of foodie tours o ering a taste of Bristol’s best indie businesses across the city: East to West, South of the river and Stokes Croft. Wherever you go, don’t forget to bring your appetite; thebristolfoodtour.com
27 February – 1 March
MUSIC FATAMOUTA DIAWARA Hailed as one of the most vital standard-bearers of modern African music, Fatoumata Diawara takes her artistry to fresh heights in her new album FENFO. At Trinity Bristol; trinitybristol.org.uk RUSH Get ready to dance to the likes of Desmond Dekker, immy li , ob Marley and many more in a joyous Jamaican journey that tells the story of reggae and how its history and music has evolved through the decades to take the world by storm. BOV; bristololdvic.org.uk
1, 8, 15, 22, 29 February
CHINESE NEW YEAR Bristol Museums are ringing in the year of the rat with a host of traditional and contemporary performances, stalls, workshops and activities. They’re even giving rodents the run of the place with a rat detective trail, challenging you to spot the rats throughout the museum. bristolmuseums.org.uk
SAM LEE Breaking the boundaries between contemporary and folk, the restlessly creative Sam Lee is at St George’s with his upcoming Album Old Wow. stgeorgesbristol.co.uk
BRISTOL LIGHT FESTIVAL Prepare to be dazzled: we’ve got a new event on the city’s festival calendar to shed a little light during these dark evenings. The Bristol Light Festival will bring colour, light and play to city centre spaces with commissions from local and internationally renowned artists. bristolcitycentrebid.co.uk
WILDERLAND WILDLIFE FILM FESTIVAL A must-see for lovers of wildlife, film, travel, conservation and adventure. Back for its second year with short films o ering e ceptional insight into some of the world’s most incredible wildlife. wilderlandfestival.com n
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The lives of a ristol-based artist and a ersian princess may be separated by a century, but in Zanjir, they connect their e periences to address universal themes of family, loss and homesickness
urrently running at Arnolfini is Zanjir – an imagined photographic conversation between contemporary ristol-based artist Amak ahmoodian, and the ersian princess Taj al-Saltaneh, born in . A universal meditation on loss and separation, the project draws on archive photos; but the sentiments will be immediately recognisable to anyone separated from their family and homeland. In , Amak visited the olestan museum in central Tehran to begin work on academic archival research. The museum was once home to the ing’s wives and relatives. The photos she found here would become the cornerstone of a new photographic project, Zanjir ( ersian for ‘chain’), in which Amak would tell her story through that of others – those who lived in the past, whose stories still e ist in the present. In the images, Amak uses archival images to
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create paper masks, and asked her family and friends to hold them as they performed daily routines in familiar settings. These acts symbolise Amak’s feeling of loss and separation, as she lives far away from her birthplace and relatives. I started taking photos of people around me, whom I saw every day – they were my present time, says Amak. I concealed their faces behind the mask of the past to share their lives and stories. Zanjir gives voice to the people of the past and present who don’t have a voice. The desire to be home and the sorrow of separation create a new narrative within my images, which is now the narrative of my life. The hope of return transformed my photos into the people whom I love, missed and have lost. Zanjir b m k hmoodi n e hibits t rnolfini until rch ree entr www. rnolfini.or .uk
TWO WOMEN; ONE JOURNEY Artist Amak Mahmoodian was born in Shiraz and lives in Bristol. Her work questions Western notions of identity, expressing personal stories that pertain to wider social issues, drawing on her experiences in the Middle East, Asia and the West. Born in 1883 Iran, Taj al-Saltaneh was a princess far ahead of her time; an activist who fought for women’s rights through her life. Amak’s photographs and the Taj’s writing combine in a mirrored journey separated by 105 years – a connection bound by memory, land, family, death, and birth.
ALL IMAGES: FROM ‘Z ANJIR’ © AMAK MAHMOODIAN COURTESY RRB PHOTOBOOKS
The princess Taj al-Saltaneh. Other photos by Amak, for Zanjir
HUMANS OF BRISTOL
For the past 20 years, Dutch artist Hans Eijkelboom has been working on a street photography project, capturing city dwellers as far apart as Amsterdam and New York, Paris and Shanghai Finally, last year he turned his lens on Bristol. Hans, mate â€“ what kept you?
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ans Eijkelboom’s latest project was shot in Bristol over the space of 11 days last July (hence, we guess, the rainy pics shown here). He set up in the city centre, selecting a busy pedestrian area, and methodically snapped away over several hours. Before taking his shots, Hans spent some time observing passers-by, looking for a common type or trend: sometimes it was a garment such as a transparent mac, or an omnipresent brand; sometimes he concentrated on people accompanied by little dogs, or eating street food, or rocking brightly coloured hair. The resultant photos represent a snapshot of the people of Bristol at one particular point in time, and will form Hans’s first solo exhibition in the UK. The exhibition is a continuation of Hans’s ongoing People of the 21st Century project, but also a departure. Thematically, Hans employed his trademark focus on the role of appearance and clothing on identity and the individual; the collections are simple and engaging in their conception, replete with humour, and yet address wider questions about contemporary society, globalisation and the individual’s level of choice and role within this. It’s a departure, though, in that over 750 photographs will be laid out over 24 metres in a grid of three lines – the first time that Hans has used this format. The photos will all relate to those on either side, and above or below, drawing on superficial visual connections. For the first time, my photos are not on display in isolated groups, but as part of a continuous stream of observations,” says Hans. “The basis of the exhibition is the question: which is more important for forming our image of the world, the isolated moment, or the continuous ow of more or less repeating images? The exhibition has two ambitions; to show a moment from the stream of images that form my world view, and a eeting snapshot of society in ristol.
Street Fusion: Bristol in 2019 by Hans Eijkelboom shows until 14 March at Martin Parr Foundations; www.martinparrfoundation.org
PARR ON EIJKELBOOM
“If I were an anthropologist, the first photographer I would call upon would be Hans Eijkelboom,” says Martin Parr. “Over a long career, he has photographed mainly in the
street, observing people and places with the discipline, rigour and engagement that have all the hallmarks of anthropology. “In fact, if I were a visitor from another planet
looking for information on the nature of city life, I would also engage the services of Eijkelboom. Because of this, we commissioned him to study the people of Bristol, and this set of over 750 images is both spellbinding and fascinating.” www.mediaclash.co.uk I BRISTOL LIFE I 39
EMILY ROSS BOOKS
There’s a V in the month; but before you rush to turn the page, please note that this selection isn’t just aimed at loved-up couples
ookseller’s tip: don’t buy Gone with the Wind for a Valentine’s Day gift. Nobody needs a 992-page doorstop novel to say ‘I really fancy you’; there are more inventive (and lighter) ways of doing it. We also know this particular celebration is romantic for some and cosmically depressing for others, so we’ve had a bit of a rethink about the books we’re recommending in the shop around this divisive time of year, and come up with some slightly more unconventional options for the object of your a ection. FLEABAG: THE SCRIPTURES by Phoebe Waller-Bridge Yes, everyone has now seen and loved Fleabag. Everyone has marvelled at the writing, the hot priest, the breaking of the fourth wall and the fox. So why would you need the scripts? The genius of this beautifully packaged compendium of PW-B’s work is in the detail; the stage directions and asides, which illuminate all the things you missed when you were too busy watching the show through your fingers. And as it proudly states on the cover, it is very much a love story.
“Nobody needs a 992-page doorstop novel in order to say ‘I really fancy you’”
LOVE by Hanne Orstavik Don’t be fooled by the title of this slim but mighty Norwegian novelette; this is no overwrought weepie about the unstoppable union of two fated lovers. It’s the story of Vibeke and Jon, a single mother and her eightyear-old son who, over the course of one very cold winter night, have two very separate and confusing adventures. Jon thinks his mother has gone to the shops to get ingredients for his birthday cake, but Vibeke has actually gone on a rather more selfish errand, and their separate evenings make for a bizarrely compelling and beautifully written tale of what it means to be a family. LOVE LETTERS: INTIMATE CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN FAMOUS LOVERS by Andrea Clarke If you want to play Valentine’s Day safe, then
you won’t do better than this beautiful volume of love letters between notable couples from history, painstakingly curated from the archives of the ritish ibrary by Andrea larke. ou’ll find deeply personal handwritten notes from the likes of harles Dickens, harlotte ront , Oscar Wilde, Ted Hughes and more. If you’re struggling to put your devotion into words, why not let the professionals do it for you? MEATY by Samantha Irby If you’re feeling a little bit cynical about the whole Valentine’s thing, Samantha Irby is here to guide you (quite haphazardly, it has to be said) through the perils of modern life, including the tricky area of romance. Irby’s litany of disastrous and awkward encounters in single and coupled life are painfully honest and equally as funny, so much so that you won’t be able to look away even when it seems like the right thing to do. These essays are essential reading from a modern maestra of the genre. A CAT, A MAN, AND TWO WOMEN by Junichiro Tanizaki Far more than just a novelty book for feliphiles, we discovered this little gem a few years ago and have been recommending it in the shop ever since we opened. It’s a love triangle in which angry and heartsore Shozo considers her new position as a singleton but also, more importantly, devises a way to get Lily, her dreamy tortoiseshell cat, back from her ex-partner and his new lover. A funny, bittersweet, graceful and poignant way to tell someone, ‘I love the cat more than I love you’. So if you are planning to let the object of your a ection know how you feel with some appropriate reading material, no matter your views on the big day itself, we always recommend a little outside-the-box thinking. Oh, and that includes just buying these books for yourself to read on your own with a massive glass of wine, while completely ignoring Valentine’s Day. Storysmith 49 North Street, Bedminster www.storysmithbooks.com
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LAST ORDERS Love your local pub? Use it, or lose it Words and pictures by Colin Moody
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ran into community activist Annie McGann in a pub one night, and she told me about her campaign, Save Bristol Nightlife. Its aim is to save, protect and promote Bristolâ€™s nightlife, and the culture, creativity and communities that go with it. I wanted to learn more. Together, we began to chart the pubs that act as real, amazing community hubs; some struggling, some with long traditions in diverse communities. At the heart of the story are people; here are just a few of those we have found so far. With 18 or so pubs shutting every week in the UK, Annie and I felt it was time to focus on what works, what matters and what these spaces have to o er the nighttime economy of the city and their communities. If you know of any pubs you think we should feature, any stories that need to go on record and be photographed, any landlords, local heroes, any community, community, community â€“ then get in touch with us.
THE STAR AND GARTER, STOKES CROFT Annie McGann: “The Star & Garter recently had a complete refurbishment, and the new décor is partly a shrine to Bristol legend DJ Derek. His music and memorabilia is displayed on the walls, and you can hear the contents of his mini-discs on a special jukebox which contains all sorts of Bristolian musical treasure. “In this picture, the mother of Massive Attack’s Grant Marshall is looking up at Derek’s mini-discs displayed in their case. This reminds me of the time when Derek lost his discs. He was excited by new technology, and back in the day recorded his sets on discs because vinyl was too heavy to cart around. “He got home late and slightly worse for wear one night after a gig, and absentmindedly left his mini-disc case on his front doorstep. When he emerged the next day, the case was gone. Panic stations ensued, but miraculously he got his mini-discs back, because Grantley gave a shoutout to the community to give them back. Years later, Derek disappeared himself, last seen on CCTV the night before he went missing, leaving The Criterion, around the corner from The Star & Garter. He was found months later in undergrowth by the bus stop at Cribbs Causeway. “Very tragic and strange, and nobody knows what happened. I took some American visitors to the Star & Garter recently and they said it was like a museum, which it is in a way. Good to see Bristol’s sound system history curated and cared for by the future generation.” Colin Moody: “As a newbie to the Star and Garter, but used to photographing community events and festivals, I found a lot of both at the pub’s reopening. So many local people turned up to support it, and I have been back several times to experience what is a real community space. This photo shows di erent layers of experience that young and elder can have in one pub at the same time, and that gives me a lot of hope”.
THE BEAUMONT, MONTPELIER Colin Moody: “I’m a Brum”, says Dave, “and when I came to Bristol, decades ago, I walked into a pub and saw this guy put a fiver on the bar and go to the loo. When he got back there was his pint and there was his change. That was the first time I’d ever seen that happen. Been coming here ever since. “I got talking to one local and he told me that ‘It’s OK to come in here and talk, and it’s OK to come in here and not talk. To just be there. And that’s important’. “The TV screens have the racing and the cricket on. One bloke gets up and leaves his seat when an elder man comes in. Maybe it’s politeness, maybe it’s respect; maybe it’s just his seat. Yes, it’s only 11am, and me and Lee are the only ones in here drinking co ee. est is all pints, but it’s not all blokes, and there is a real sense of fun growing by mid-lunchtime. Got a foot-long French stick sandwich for £1.50, too.
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This is not an ad. This is remarkable. “By the time we get up to go, we’ve got two blokes’ nicknames, know all the dogs’ names, donated to the blind dogs and have given Dave here a new nickname that he quite likes. “You might say you should bottle this energy. But that’s not right. You need to come in as it’s on tap.”
THE BEAUFORT, YORK ROAD Annie McGann: “During Carnival, The Beaufort is a sanctuary from the intensity of the crowded streets of St Paul’s – pop across to The Beaufort in York Road, away from the drum’n’bass and grime, and find the locals in a real Bristol/Caribbean pub, where they’re playing Frank Sinatra and old-skool reggae. Bit of Elvis thrown in, with Patsy the landlady singing along. Here’s DJ Foxy giving it some wellie, with Elvis and Bob looking on.” Colin Moody: “DJ Foxy was so good, and so funny. For every song, she played a sound clip declaring we should ‘call security’, but there was none. No need for one. Anyone coming in could see this is a place to celebrate life, not taking itself too seriously; and I would wager that if Elvis or Bob were out wandering the streets today, this is the place their heart would be fullest; here in the snug, sharing stories over a pint.”
BARLEY MOW, EAST STREET, BEDMINSTER Annie McGann: “Local pubs are an extension of people’s living rooms. I was working to save a local pub, and I asked an elderly man, ‘what will you do if the pub gets closed down?’ and he said, ‘get divorced’. He told me that if his wife hadn’t been able to throw him out of the house and send him up the pub now and again, they’d have split up years ago. He’d been drinking in there, with her permission, for over 50 years…” Colin Moody: “It’s a pub that feels like you are in someone’s front room. I walked in with a pal, an amazing street photographer called it ad (find him on Instagram pit lad), who knows and loves this area. This is the kind of place where you don’t start photographing until you know people are happy that you mean well by taking shots. So many people told me this place had a great landlord, and that does seem key.
MASONIC , NORTH STREET, BEDMINSTER Kelly shoots for the Women’s A Team in the Darts League. edcli e and edminster are a big part of my family history,” she says. “When I saw Colin’s article in Bristol Life about BS3 I wanted to get in touch, as he mentioned our home pub. “The Bedminster Ladies Darts League has been running for well over 50 years. My nan, mum, godmother, aunt and cousin have all been, or still are, part of the team; lots of teams are the same, and it’s a brilliant game
46 I BRISTOL LIFE I www.mediaclash.co.uk
pint. ags of avour all round, this one. These micro-pubs are amazing, as it’s all good all at once.” Here’s Garvin Hickey, who co-owns the pub with Vincent Crocker. “I read about micropubs, which are small, mostly ex-shop, units, where you have limited hours, no music, no jukebox, no phones; it’s all about beer and conversation. “I thought that sounded like the kind of thing I could live with, so we looked around and we found this old shop on the Gloucester Road. It was a drapers for 100 years. We took it over and opened in December 2015.” Annie McGann: “Relationship goals: having an agreeable pint in the pub during daylight hours.”
for cross-generational social time. It keeps the proper pubs going, and while the competition is friendly, having a team depend on you keeps you committed.” Colin Moody: “So love this pub. When Kelly invited me to come and shoot her darts team in action at home, I had banter about my beret and coat combo before I walked past the bar crowd, meandered past the noisy skittle alley where wooden skittles were crashing and people were whooping. And then, there by a big plate of chips and battered sausage, were the teams, who told me that for them it’s all about being together, being social. We shared stories and I took a few shots. I am going back soon as poss. Wonderful people.”
ALCHEMY 198, GLOUCESTER ROAD Annie McGann: “Alchemy is home to ristol’s first plastic-free caf , run by local cousins May and Rosy. Celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley- hittingstall said the ristol caf , with its community focused bar at night, was ‘blazing a trail’ in making waste-free and
plastic-free practice in the industry the norm”. Colin Moody: “Owner Sarah Thorp has been instrumental in helping me start work on my next book about the community and trading community that is the glorious loucester oad, and basically set up the first dozen or so people I ‘had to meet’ nearby. Her place is a real community hub, and is an important social and social activism centre; so many events, meetings, gigs, exhibitions in there already. “Caring and tenacious – that’s a winning combination for this new kind of bar/space.”
DRAPERS ARMS, GLOUCESTER ROAD Colin Moody: “This is what a pub should be. What a way to make a pub work. It is small enough that the owners don’t need to open all the time, and they serve beer they love to a very grateful local community. “Nobody is on a phone; it is a place to chat, to share, to engage, or sit and read the paper while the bar lady or barman serves you a
“Some pubs act as real community hubs; some are struggling, while some have long traditions in diverse communities. At the heart of the story are the people”
LOCO CLUB, TEMPLE MEADS Colin Moody: “I came here to shoot the singer who was releasing a new album, but I loved everything about this place. The way it rumbled a little when trains were leaving the station; the whole ambience. People making an e ort to look how they want, to dress up for the event of coming out. Can we bring the best parts of the ‘80s back?” Annie McGann: “The club is run by an arm of The Invisible Circus. It is a ‘meanwhile’ space, which means that they have use of it until the owners decide to develop it into something else. “There are several ‘meanwhile’ venues in Bristol, mostly the most interesting and unusual like Ashton Court Mansion, the old magistrate’s court and the police cells in the city centre. The venues have real character, and the custodians are artists who put on incredible immersive theatre and events. This is great, but their tenancy could come to an end at any time. It would be wonderful if these ‘meanwhile’ spaces could become more permanent, so that the custodians could invest in the places with confidence, knowing there will be some longevity. “Meanwhile spaces are basically places that artists hold for the owners, making them viable and cool and bringing life into what would otherwise be an empty, derelict building. It is a step toward gentrification. It artwashes what goes on in the so-called regeneration of a city. “We say that the community spaces are there already if they are not pushed out by property speculation. Venues need protective status, investment and stability. Use it and please don’t take it away so we lose it.” Get in touch if you want your favourite pub to be part of this project. And use it or lose it. Let’s not ring the bell for last orders on these yet, shall we?
Colin can be reached on Twitter @moodycolin or email email@example.com Annie can be found on Facebook working hard on Save Bristol Nightlife; www.facebook.com/savebristolnightlife
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Medikas Medispa Doctor-led premier aesthetic clinic, MEDIKAS MEDISPA provides advanced non-surgical cosmetic procedures in a beautiful setting and this year is celebrating their 15th anniversary...
ur founder, Dr Beatriz Molina, is one of the world’s leading experts on non-invasive aesthetic medicine. She is a KOL (Key Opinion Leader) for major pharmaceutical companies around the world, a Fellow Member of the British College of Aesthetic Medicine and President of IAPCAM (International Association for Prevention of Complications in Aesthetic Medicine). In 2019 Dr Molina presented and conducted masterclasses at IMCAS, AWMC, the SIME Congress and FACE and continues to travel the world sharing her passion for aesthetic medicine. Dr. Molina believes deeply in sharing knowledge between all practitioners of aesthetic medicine and therefore promoting a safer environment for all patients undergoing treatments, wherever they are in the UK. Beatriz’s key passion and speciality remains facial injectables and in particular dermal fillers, but her clinic and team offers a multitude of treatments.
48 I BRISTOL LIFE I www.mediaclash.co.uk
“ALWAYS A PLEASURE TO VISIT MEDIKAS! I HAVE BEEN A CLIENT THERE FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS NOW. BEATRIZ IS THE ONLY PERSON I WOULD TRUST WITH ANY MEDICAL PROCEDURE!” Through various training in her early days, constant development and as a KOL, Beatriz has an incredible knowledge of injectable products on the market. Beatriz feels this is important for her patients so as to ensure the correct product is used depending on the treatment and look that needs to be achieved. As part of our 15th anniversary celebrations we will be offering amazing discounts throughout the year on various treatments. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like our newsletter notifications. n
BEST ADVICE FOR PATIENTS When it comes to facial treatments, listen to the advice being provided by your practitioner. A patient may come in with ideas of what they want for improvements but it is the practitioner who conducts a full 3 dimensional assessment and has years of experience who will know exactly what areas to treat to give the best results. It’s our vocation.
“CUSTOM D.O.S.E TECHNOLOGY NAMED TO TIME’S LIST OF THE 100 BEST INVENTIONS OF 2019” BEFORE
TREATMENT GALLERY: Non Surgical Rhinoplasty and Chin Enhancement using Dermal Fillers
PRACTICE SPOTLIGHT We strongly believe the need to provide the continued excellence of care, service and safety to our patients. To provide best clinical practice, we constantly research treatments and products on the market and review protocols to ensure use of safe techniques and clinically proven products which have an outstanding safety record. Patient safety is paramount and is reflected in the ethos and policies within our clinic. • Our Professional Team work closely together to ensure our customers receive the highest quality of care and customer service at all times. • Medikas aims to provide a comprehensive range of services and solutions to promote good skin health and treat the signs of ageing. • We believe that through natural enhancement we can make our customers look and feel their best. • We treat our customers with respect and discretion so that they feel safe in our care. • We are highly trained experts and innovators within the aesthetic field, dedicated to the safety and care of our patients.
SERVICES • Dermal fillers, profhilo and anti-wrinkle treatments, • Lasers and IPL systems, • Chemical peels, light therapy (LED) and medical facials, • Plasma technology and micro- needling, • Body contouring using cryolipolisis, HIFU and RF.
CREDENTIALS - AA & MFMB AWARDS 2012 - Highly Commended Best Aesthetic Clinic 2012 - High Commended Best Customer Experience 2014 - Best New Clinic 2015 - Best Clinic in South England 2017 - Best Aesthetic Practitioner in UK & Ireland 2018 - Best Aesthetic Practice - UK
20 Whiteladies Road, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 2LG Tel: 0117 973 6661 | www.medikas.co.uk Email: email@example.com Facebook: @Medikas | Twitter: Medikas1 | You Tube: Medikas Medispa
CUSTOM D•O•S•E LAUNCHING SOON 5TH MARCH 2020 By appointment only, for more information or to book please call us: 0117 973 6661
CUSTOM D•O•S•E A PERSONALISED CORRECTION DESIGNED FOR YOUR SKIN CUSTOM D.O.S.E is a state-of-the-art service engineered to scan and evaluate consumers’ unique skin needs to create an entirely personalized corrective serum – developed, measured, and dispensed in only 10 minutes. The made-to-measure formula addresses individual skin types, tones, concerns, and signs of aging. Whether you are experiencing the service for the first time or a returning patient, you will discuss your skincare goals with your professional and recieve a diagnostic to assess biological and environmental differences that make your skin concerns unique to you. n
www.mediaclash.co.uk I BRISTOL LIFE I 49
It takes a special restaurant to survive over two decades in the biz – so what’s Aqua’s secret? Deri Robins is going in…
50 I BRISTOL LIFE I www.mediaclash.co.uk
f Aqua on Whiteladies Road appears to be one of those so his choice of chickpea and red kidney bean kofta was eye-rollingly restaurants that’s been around for ages, it’s because it has. predictable. Drier and crumblier than my fabulous arancini, it was It’s part of a family-run mini-chain, with two branches in nonetheless packed with avour, with mint soya yoghurt for the dipping, Bristol, one in Portishead and one in Bath; it clocked up and blamelessly vegan to boot. its 20th anniversary in 2018, in a tricky era for hospitality. y now we had full confidence in the kitchen, but my mains of They must be ticking a fair number of boxes, then, which seafood linguine still blew me away. This dish is delightful when simply made us want to pay a visit. drenched in garlicky butter, but exec chef Liam Staddon has made The A ua menus originally had a fully Italian avour, the happy tweak of tossing the pasta in a punchy ragu, made all the but the current one – extensive enough to create enjoyable punchier with the addition of n’duja and chilli. The pasta indecision, not so long as to ring alarm bells – reveals that the cooking was done perfectly al dente, at least to our British palates, ie not as philosophy has become more eclectic; rather than focus on one cuisine, chewy as actual Italians seem to like. Is it just us that finds pasta the emphasis is more on quality and seasonality – quite right, too. in Italy always tastes underdone? Naturally, the success of this dish The Whiteladies branch was the second ultimately rested with the freshness of the in the city, opening in 2009 after the success seafood; A ua’s is unmistakeably just o the of the Welshback Aqua. It’s a grand and airy boat (or foraged from rocks), with generous DINING DETAILS two-storey a air, furnished with astonishingly helpings of fat king prawns, plump mussels Aqua, 153 Whiteladies Road, Redland, BS8 2RF; comfy upholstered armchairs and a glamorous and tender rings of calamari. 0117 973 3314; www.aqua-restaurant.com bar; with the wrong sta , it might easily be a et them eat hake, said our an, Opening hours from 9.30am till late every day tad impersonal. not especially wittily, as he tucked into his We visited Tuesday lunch time It has the right sta . anager en is a mains. According to him, hake is the very Prices starters and nibbles £3.5-£8; main courses scion of the family biz, and could hardly be best of the white fish; at A ua it is roasted £13-£23; pizzas from £10; desserts; set menus (lunch more invested in its success. We watched him but otherwise left alone, leaving it ethereally and early dinner) 2 courses £14, 3 courses £17; drinks: work the room, making everyone feel like a light and mild, with plenty of opportunity for cocktails £7.50-£8.50; bottles of wine from £22 valued regular of 20 years standing; a couple the accompanying chard, blistered cherry Veggie options a good selection of vegetarian, of business types popping in for a lunchtime tomatoes and fennel butter to shine. An vegan and dairy-free dishes drink received the same love as a large bigindulgently creamy wedge of dauphinoise Atmosphere and service A sort of nonchalant spending birthday party. As ever, potatoes proved ideal for the mopping. sophistication pervades the place, belying the highly a great FOH means great sta across the Regular readers may know that while we efficient service board; service was e cient, empty glasses endlessly profess to dislike desserts (I’d often promptly refilled, and just the right amount rather just have three starters) we invariably of chat exchanged, without any badly-timed “is everything OK, guys?” forget this once we’ve sunk a few bevvies. Besides, Aqua are so proud of interruptions just as you were about to deliver your best punchline. their chocolate bombe that it would have felt churlish to pass on it. heerfully putting up two fingers to dry anuary, we hit up the waiter “Share it between you” advised Ben; he should have said “share it with for cocktails from a short but tempting list. I’ve never been quite sure the two gentlemen on the next table, too, and maybe also that birthday why the ornstar artini deserves such a filthy name when it’s positively party over there,” as it turned out to be a monster: a huge, theatrical bursting with five-a-day goodness – well, a slug o passion fruit, anyway; confection of a pudding, whose gold- ecked chocolate shell yielded A ua’s version is a delight, the sweet vanilla vodka avours balanced promiscuously when doused in warm caramel sauce, revealing the by the sharpness of the fruit and a fi y shot of prosecco. retty, and hazelnut torte and vanilla ice within. We’re pretty sure the sweet-toothed powerful enough to kickstart a dodo. brigade would become Aqua regulars on the basis of this dish alone. ust as insta-ready was the prettiest arancini dish I’ve ever seen. It was a genuinely awless lunch, served with the utmost charm by The combo of beetroot, goats’ cheese, and chilli jam was inspired, the people who obviously care about every part of your dining experience. pretty-in-pink filling positively juicy, the coating blissfully crisp, the hile we’re the first to get e cited about new openings and fresh faces whole o set by a punchy smear of ochre-coloured harissa aioli. on the scene, it’s well worth remembering places like Aqua, who were our an’s a bit of an old hippy at heart, whose culinary tastes keeping standards high long before anyone coined the phrase ‘Bristol were stunted by decades of dining out on Brick Lane veggie curries, food revolution’. There’s a reason they’re still thriving. n
www.mediaclash.co.uk I BRISTOL LIFE I 51
FOOD & DRINK S N A P S H O T S O F B R I S T O L’ S F O O D S C E N E
THE BEST THINGS COME IN THREES... Bristol Food Tour is back to wreck the diet once and for all (and we’re totally okay with it) with a triple bill of tours o ering a taste of the best indie businesses across the city. The East to West food tour will take you from Old Market to Park Street where you can sample local breads, apane e gyo as, gelato, pi a and e citing street food. Meanwhile, the South of the River Tour
treats you to tasters across apping harf and Bedminster where you can listen to tales of traders and their food, with some titbits of local trivia thrown in along the way. If you’ve still got room for more, e plore the brilliant businesses of ristol’s fiercely independent Stokes Croft. Wherever you go, don’t forget to bring your appetite. www.thebristolfoodtour.com
MAKE IT EVERGREEN So long, kale and spinach shakes Pieminister’s latest plant-based pie is the tastiest way to eat your greens this anuary. reen by name and green by nature, vergreen is a celebration of lovely, leaves and beans. Packed with the greenest greens and esty aromatic ingredients, it’s the perfect antidote to the e cesses of the festive period , says ieminister co-founder and D, Tristan Hogg. And it’s guaranteed to give you a warm feeling inside, as we all know that meat-free eating is good for our health, and our planet . If you’re still not sold – try one – the proof ’s in the pie. www.pieminister.co.uk
Eating your greens? Easy as pie
IT’S BACK! EAT DRINK BRISTOL FASHION 2020 It came, we rejoiced; it disappeared, we sulked, and now we’re very e cited to say that (cue drum roll) Eat Drink Bristol
Fashion will be returning in ay to celebrate the city’s thriving food and drink culture once more. Initially curated by osh ggleton and uke Hasell before disappearing for a few years, it’s back even bigger than before with Team ove joining the crew. In addition to hours of food and feasting there will also be musical performances throughout the day and evening from some of the city’s best live acts and DJs. e’d e pect no less from these ristol food and music powerhouses. eatdrinkbristolfashion.co.uk
EXPANDING HORIZONS It’s full steam ahead at independent restaurant, deli and retailer Spoke & Stringer, who are e tending the opening hours of their Whiteladies Road store to launch a new casual evening food and drink o ering this February. A prime spot for after work drinks or a pre-cinema dinner, the new location will now o er uesadillas, tapas and cocktails from 6pm, with a focus on fresh, locally sourced ingredients and dishes designed for sharing. It’s accompanied by a delectable new evening drinks menu, featuring refreshing house cocktails, a full wine list, local craft beers and Spoke & Stringer’s own cold pressed juices. PSST! Still looking for a V-Day venue?
Spoke Stringer’s Harbourside restaurant will reopen for a one-nightonly themed evening for alentine’s Day, o ering two courses for . www.spokeandstringer.com
A FEW OTHER TASTY BITES.. Keep your eyes peeled and your appetite primed; Indian street food restaurant owgli is landing in ristol and, if all goes according to plan, doors should be open by the time this mag hits the streets; www.mowglistreetfood.com
Hot news indeed local food hero eter Sanche Iglesias is opening a third restaurant called, well, The 3rd, in the same spot as Pi Shop. A new concept designed to connect oco Tapas and asamia, it will o er a place to chill during the day with a co ee and a pastry . oming in March; www.sanchez-brothers.co.uk
www.mediaclash.co.uk I BRISTOL LIFE I 53
Reach the best in the west Affluent, active and influential and just a call away
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www.woewineschool.co.uk We look forward to welcoming you soon
Bristol Life team 01225 475800
CAFÉ SOCIETY STAN CULLIMORE
rk li e
We’d love to say that we’d planned for Stan to visit the very same place we’ve featured on this issue’s cover. Yeah; let’s just say that…
hen is a café not a café? Hmm. Interesting philosophical question, and highly appropriate that it should be asked on this, of all weeks, when our ‘co ee shop’ of choice is called Little French. Seem to recall that one of the many things our Gallic cousins are famous for is their passion for practical philosophy. But I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let’s go back and begin at the beginning… In Westbury Park, on North View, towards White Tree
“One of my deeply held views about cafés is that they aren’t ust l ces or coffee nd sn cks the re l ces to t ke time out from the grind of daily life”
roundabout, sits a delightful restaurant. A top-notch place, run by legendary Bristol chef (and, through an amazing coincidence* this issue’s cover star) Freddy Bird. It serves exquisite food and, I’m reliably informed by friends, makes for a great night out. But as regular readers of this column will know, nights out are not my thing. I’m more of a daytime, co ee and cake type. So when I found myself on a morning mooch around that neck of the woods, I wasn’t expecting to visit this particular establishment. In my mind, it was an after-dark sort of place, and therefore o the radar. However, as I strolled past the door, a young lady opened it and came out with a friendly smile. Never one to miss an opportunity, I asked if they were open for co ee. She told me that they were indeed open, but they were also in the middle of doing some decorative rearrangements. Though if I was prepared to put up with a bit of mess and mayhem, I was most welcome to come on in. Which was exactly what I did. Went inside. Mainly because one of my deeply held views about cafés is that they aren’t just places for co ee and snacks. They are also places to go, to take time out from the slipping and grinding of daily life, to enjoy
precious moments of calm and contentment. All with a cup of happiness in hand. Long story short, I sat there enjoying a most magnificent co ee while the lady and her husband (presumably Freddy and his French wife Nessa), wandered around putting up plastic pheasants, pretty pictures and generally making the place feel happy and bright. It was a moment of calm and contentment; as if I were backstage, watching what goes on behind the scenes. Very enjoyable. I was enjoying myself so much that I even forgot, incredibly, to enquire about snacks and cakey things. However, to answer the question, when is a café not a café: turns out, it is when it’s a friendly little place that throws open its arms and invites you in, even when they’re busy doing other things. If you are ever out and about in Westbury Park, looking for a warm welcome, some fine co ee and a joyous few minutes of peace. I can thoroughly recommend it. n * I have been sharply informed that this was not a coincidence in any shape or form. It was the result of excellent forward planning. Apparently. Former Housemartins guitarist Stan is now a journalist and travel writer www.stancullimore.com
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OPINION KAM KELLY
Teenage dream Romeo and Juliet are probably the most celebrated lovers in history, but Kam reckons that they’d have been unlikely to have made it to Valentine’s Day…
s sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti – and fair play to Toto for shoehorning that many syllables into a single line of a song lyric – every time I see my mum at various family gatherings, she will always ask when are you going to find someone? Well the answer to that is obvious: the next time I play ‘hide and seek’, I guess. Another year, another Valentine’s, and another piece by me extolling the virtues of singleness. Some may say “he doeth protest too much”; to those
people I say, “speak properly, ya big melt! It’s not 1595!” Actually, if it was, and I could track down Shakespeare, I would be curious to ask how, had it not been for their tragic ends, he saw Romeo and Juliet’s future as a couple panning out. What we do know is that they were both in their early teens. They were together for four days in total. And they were together in the month of July, a full six months before Valentine’s day, plus birthdays, and a big old Christmas in between. I don’t think they’d have made it to Valentine’s Day. If the wrong present was given by Romeo on any of these occasions, tapestries
“Essentially, two or three shared hours ended up in an all-out bloodbath”
would have been ripped from walls. Nethersocks and velvet doublets would have been packed in to a handkerchief, tied in a package, attached to a stick and thrown out on the lawn with a well-quilled note suggesting that Romeo know where he can shove said stick and his attached belongings. After all, R & J were both on the sensitive side, weren’t they? Together for four days, and one fakes his own death, with predictably tragic results. And presumably, being teens, those four days would have included a few hours of homework, and Romeo mucking about with swords after school, etc. So, of those four days, they probably spent a couple of hours together. And most of that time would have been spent behind the science block at lunchtime, smashing down a couple of cheeky smokes. So essentially, two or three shared hours ended in an all-out bloodbath. My point is, the most famous couple in possibly the world’s greatest love story wouldn’t have been together come Valentine’s Day. So why should I be? Don’t get me wrong, I love going out on Valentine’s weekend. The expressions on faces reveal everything you need to know from whether he chose the right venue, to the amount of e ort put in, to whether they will be still together for next Valentine’s Day.
Did he get her owers as the card bought and sent in time or hastily picked up at the Shell station on the way home from work the night before? I don’t want to be the love Grinch, ‘cos I’m really not. And when I witness true and pure love, I well up. I just think that my mum, very much like society, expects me to be with someone. I am just not sure I’m meant to be, and find myself most relieved about that at this time of year. And at Christmas. Oh, and on birthdays. And on anniversaries, if you manage to remember the date. Ooh and on your partner’s parents’ birthdays or anniversary. I don’t think it would take a trained psychologist to read this and sum it up in one word selfish I won’t deny that. But you know what kind of person is not good in a relationship A selfish one. I would like to apologise if I have ruined Valentine’s Day or Romeo and Juliet for you. Next month we’ll deconstruct Pretty Woman. ( Julia would be set up with a huge house in Beverly Hills bought by a massive divorce settlement when it turns out she wasn’t the first, nor last lady Richard rescued from the curb.) Happy Valentine’s Day, die-hard romantics! Kam Kelly’s breakfast show, every weekday from 6am, Sam FM Bristol, 106.5fm www.mediaclash.co.uk I BRISTOL LIFE I 57
Steak t Niginh e 2D for £35*
Stunning function room Available for free hire Weddings, Birthdays & Corporate meetings
OPEN FROM 11AM DAILY The George Inn, Abbots Leigh, Bristol BS8 3RP www.georgeinn.pub n 01275 376 985
SHOPPING LIVE WELL, BUY BETTER
Stuck in a lacklustre LTR? Can’t remember the last time you had a date night, or any conversation that didn’t revolve around the kids and the household chores? Or, maybe a recent Tinder date turned out better than expected, but somehow you can’t get far beyond superficial chat. Boy, do you need a pack of Q Cards. Created by Jennifer Short from Downend – herself married for 10 years, and outnumbered by three kids – the packs contain 52 question cards that work across three levels, each intended to spark fun and meaningful conversations. Reflect cards have light-hearted questions designed to open up the conversation; Reveal elicits a more personal/emotional response, while the Relate questions are specific to you as a couple. They’re aimed at anyone between 18-118, from newly hooked-ups to DINKYs, knackered new parents to empty nesters. The aim is to deepen/ refresh understanding and communication – if only Q Cards had been around in 1595, Romeo and Juliet might have had a very different fate… Q Cards: The Couples Edition costs £20, makes the ideal V Day gift, and is available at: www.qcards.co.uk
www.mediaclash.co.uk I BRISTOL LIFE I 59
SKIPPER HAT, £27 The reek fisherman’s hat is a staple for celebs from ate oss to iam allagher ( ate wore it better); we’re loving this romantic, ultra feminine ri on the style in baby pink From Fox + Feather, 43 Gloucester Road www.foxandfeather.co.uk
ALRITE, MY LOVER?
MALENE BIRGER SILK SCARF, £125 To us, this screams ‘ race elly in the passenger seat of an open-topped Sunbeam, driven by ary rant along a winding road on the iviera. race also wearing white cats’ eye sunnies’. That specific enough From Grace and Mabel, 32 The Mall, Clifton www.graceandmabel.co.uk
VIVIENNE WESTWOOD EARRINGS, £85 ast in pinkish gold and encrusted with light rose crystals, iv’s ‘ race’ earrings are designed to da le From Garment Quarter 23-25 Penn Street www.garmentquarter.com
V Day loometh. Predictable to a fault, we’re thinking pink
BLOOMINGVILLE VASE, NOW £7 (FROM £10) A bunch of blooms lasts a week, if you’re lucky. This will last forever, if you don’t drop it From Mon Pote, 177 North Street www.monpote.co.uk
HEARTS IN HANDS PRINT, A3: £85; A2: £110 Signed gicl e print by ristol’s master of street art lu e; the one and only ody From www.jodyart.co.uk
60 I BRISTOL LIFE I www.mediaclash.co.uk
SHEARLING MINIAUDIÈRE, £1,600 ush little bag in blush pink from errin aris; hardly a steal, but you know, fingers crossed From Harvey Nichols 27 Philadelphia Street www.harveynichols.com
LACE BOYSHORTS, £35 Pretty in pink, lovely in lace, but also super-comfortable due to the stretchy fabric and boyshort cut. Also, in our book, about 100% subtler and sexier than a thong From Grace & Mabel 32 The Mall www.graceandmabel.co.uk
WALLPAPER CITY GUIDE, £6.95 Insider guides to practically every city worth visiting. Slip a couple of airline tickets inside and you have basically won V Day From Papersmiths 6A Boyce’s Avenue www.papersmiths.co.uk
ESTELLA BARTLETT WATCH, £39 The strap is vegan leather; ideal for those preferring to be blamelessly plant-based, inside and out From Pod Company, 24 The Mall www.thepodcompany.co.uk
TOURMALINE AND WHITE GOLD RING, £946 We’ve included a Diana Porter ring in our Valentine’s round-up for several years, as a hopeful hint to our other halves. No luck yet. From Diana Porter 33 Park Street www.dianaporter.co.uk
BRISTOL MUG, £15 Stokes Croft China combines the classic Bristol scroll with randomly applied vintage Rose of Tralee prints, making each mug unique. Every Bristol tea-lover needs one From Stokes Croft China, 35 Jamaica Street www.prscshop.co.uk
‘CANDY BAA’ FIGURINE, £35 A suitably sweet figurine from the Shaun the Sheep stable, with love hearts, candy oss and sprinkles – all proceeds, as ever, to the amazing Grand Appeal and their work in Bristol’s children’s hospital. Now that’s truly heartwarming… From Grand Appeal The Mall, Cribbs Causeway or online at www.grandappeal.org.uk
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The Vein Attraction Professor Mark Whiteley explains why celebrities choose THE WHITELEY CLINIC
he Whiteley Clinic has an international reputation for excellence in treating veins. Not only varicose veins of the legs, but also pelvic varicose veins (pelvic congestion syndrome), haemorrhoids, thread veins and veins of the face and forehead. Not surprisingly, celebrities such as Chris Evans and Kate Lawler have publicised their treatment at The Whiteley Clinic in the media. Also, having been featured in Tatler for the last 11 years, countless other celebrities have chosen Prof Mark Whiteley and his colleagues for their vein treatments.
SO WHY IS THE WHITELEY CLINIC DIFFERENT? Simply, unlike any other UK vein clinic or centre, all of our consultants follow a research proven protocol (The Whiteley Protocol®), and all scans are performed by The Whiteley Clinic trained and audited vascular technologists. Also, unlike any other UK vein clinic or centre, we publish our results proving our long-term successes. Not surprisingly, medical companies bring their new vein devices to The Whiteley Clinic first in the UK. In 2019 we were the first in Europe to perform Endovenous Microwave Ablation (the technique Chris Evans had and featured). Also, we performed the first commercial Sonovein (high intensity focused Ultrasound - HIFU) treatment for varicose veins in the world. Both of these new techniques are currently exclusively available in the UK at The Whiteley Clinic. Of course, we also have all of the other venous techniques available such as endovenous laser, ultrasound foam sclerotherapy, TRLOP, pelvic vein embolisation and indeed, we monitor all of these techniques to ensure optimal results.
We have also joined the College of Phlebology Venous Registry, so that all of our results will be open for anyone to review in the future. If you have varicose veins or any venous condition such as pelvic congestion, thread veins or venous leg ulcers, why would you choose anywhere else for your treatment? n
For more information visit www.thewhiteleyclinic.co.uk or please call 0330 058 1850† The Whiteley Clinic, Litﬁeld House Medical Centre Clifton, Bristol BS8 3LS Calls cost no more than standard landline rates
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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Things are swimming along nicely at Smithfish; the legendary Freddy Bird of Little French; meat your friendly neighbourhood butcher
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WoT’S IN A NAME?
Westbury-on-Trym and Westbury Park may be quite the mouthfuls, but try to resist the temptation to shorten them to‘ estbury’(and definitey don’t stretch a local’s patience by asking for directions to the White Horse). Do, however, pay a visit to this serene north western suburb, where you’ll find a beating heart of local business and community; join us as we take a tour of the best local traders, through both Westburys and Henleaze Words by Meg Coast Photos by Ben Robins; www.benrobinsphoto.com
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et’s skip back in time for a moment. Before Banksy, before Brunel, before Blackbeard, before Bristol itself, there was Westberrye-super-Trim – as it was known in 1621. Eponymously named after the river Trym, its origins go way back to the 8th century, but it wasn’t until the early 18th that it became a suburb of the city. Next-door neighbour Henleaze is the newer kid on the block, being an inter-war residential development thought to be named after property owner Robert Henley. (Henley’s – get it?) Fast-forward to the present, and both areas are a uent and coveted property hotspots in northwestern ristol, o ering the perfect compromise of life away from the frenetic city centre while remaining within easy reach of its amenities. Independent spirit is strong in these parts, and WoT and Henleaze are well served by a host of resilient local businesses. Both areas are known for steadfastly batting away the advances of big businesses – they may never have thrown a full-on Stokes Croft style riot, but in 2001, local villagers in WoT kicked up such almighty uproar over plans to install a large Sainsbury’s that construction was eventually scrapped. Over time, a few smaller chains have crept in but both the WoT & Henleaze remain populated by plenty of independent and local businesses that are well supported in their communities. Let’s meet the traders, then, shall we?
(LOCAL) RETAIL REIGNS HERE
C THE WORLD, 33 North View The only local, independent travel agency in the area, C The World will see you safely from Bristol and beyond. The extensively travelled and knowledgeable team of travel agents take the time to really understand what clients want from their trip in order to o er the best e periences at the best rates – giving you peace of mind while you roam the globe. FISH WITH FEET, 12A North View A community gem of an art gallery selling exquisite Italian crockery and high-quality, handcrafted ceramics at bellissimo prices.
IN THE BEGINNING… THE STORY OF THE LAKE
After it ceased production, Southmead Quarry was allowed to flood and became an informal swimming and ice-skating spot sometime around 1903. To this day, Henleaze Swimming Club, formed in 1919, is still going strong and remains a favourite spot for freshwater swimming and diving in the area. We think we’ll wait for warmer weather before dipping our toes in, though.
HOW THE DIAL HOUSE GOT ITS NAME Easily distinguished by its inlaid clock, WoT’s Dial House was once a former toll house, with the road leading to the ferry across Bristol Channel on the left. Legend has it that the lady who lived in the house was courting a young man in the village, who had second thoughts and jilted her. Devastated, but determined to get her own back, she had the dial of a clock painted on the house, set to the exact time he left her – to show him up to the village and make an example of his ungentlemanly behaviour.
JULIE ANNE PALMER JEWELLERY, 129 Stoke Lane From concept to completion, Julie works closely with her clients to produce unique pieces of jewellery in her studio workshop. KONDI GIFTS, 103 Henleaze Road If you’re a magpie for pretty things, Kondi Gifts on Henleaze High Street will catch your beady little eye instantly. A veritable cornucopia stocked full of handpicked gifts, Kondi artfully avoids the tacky kitsch territory that many high street counterparts purvey; you won’t find a ‘world’s best mum’ mug in sight here, but you will uncover a host of joy-sparking products – many from local and independent suppliers, designers and artists. LLOYD’S GREENGROCER, 81 Henleaze Road nsuring Henlea e never goes without its five-a-day this independent, family-run greengrocers have been in the fruit and veg trade for over three generations, selling only the freshest selection of produce to customers at fair prices.
WEATHERING THE STORM
Being an independent trader isn’t without its challenges... “We’re completely reliant on the weather”, explains David at Smithfish. “If it’s blowing a gale outside our fishermen can’t get out on their boats and we don’t get our fish.” David, Smithfish “Our main challenge has always been staying ahead of the supermarkets. We have managed this through standout local products such as game and Gower Salt Marsh lamb and our level of advice and service.” Peter, Molesworth of Henleaze Butchers “It’s sometimes hard to keep positive when the streets are empty of all people because of Brexit/January/snow - basically because of things you can’t control. Retail is tricky!” Jess, Max Minerva’s Bookshop “At one point we had a scare with the road traffic system being changed, which would have had devastating effects on all the local retailers and the village life in general. Everyone started to campaign against the road changes and the changes have fortunately been squashed for now.” Emma, The Laundry Basket Wrap star: Kondi Gifts
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MAX MINERVA’S BOOKSHOP, 39 North View Selling marvellous books and more, Max Minerva’s came to be when owners Jessica and Sam decided to take action and bring a bookshop back to the local community. Books have always been in the blood for Jessica, and Max Minerva’s is committed to supporting Bristol’s bibliophiles. hy not pop in and find your ne t good read MOLESWORTH OF HENLEAZE BUTCHERS, 101 Henleaze Road Exciting changes are afoot at this beloved community butcher, as Peter and Graham hand over the reins to longstanding employee Nick Rapps. “It’s been a great ten years, and a privilege to serve the local community”, said eter who will still be on hand, alongside raham, to o er e pert advice and serve great-tasting meat and poultry. Fresh fish will also be on the cards with a ‘Shore to Door’ delivery service coming soon. SMITHFISH, 23 North View You can’t get more independent or local than father-and-son-owned fishmongers Smithfish. They’ve been in business for , years and show no signs of closing their doors anytime soon. Matthew and David Smith pride themselves on selling only the freshest, highest quality catches and, despite the arrival of a Waitrose down the road, they’re still holding their own as local customers in the community consistently come back to them for their seafood needs.
Marvellous reads and more at Max Minervas
THE DOG SHOP & SPA, 83 Henleaze Road The canine client le of Henlea e and estbury-on-Trym are pawsitively spoiled for choice at this luxury boutique store and grooming spa that caters for all of your pup’s needs. The Dog Shop stocks a stylish collection of handpicked products for your four-legged friends, in addition to delicious and nutritious food and treats and a seriously impressive variety of toys that guarantee to delight the most discerning four-legged pal.
ASK A LOCAL
“Henleaze High Street is a fabulous and traditional high street with a great range of independent shops. You can get pretty much everything you need here.” Ian, Kondi Gifts “I absolutely love the area. There is a wide variety of businesses here along with a great community feel. We have the nicest customers, many of whom are now friends.” Amanda, We Make Bristol “What I have really enjoyed is the people. They have a great sense of humour and despite the relative affluence of the area they demand value for money and appreciate tradition and service. Seeing the generations grow up and mature is fascinating.” Peter, Molesworth of Henleaze Butchers “We have a neighbourhood full of eminent writers and academics; the beloved Helen Dunmore used to live in the area [...] and we get a ton of twenty- and thirty something customers who used to visit as children (when it was the Durdham Downs Bookshop) and now bring their children in.” Jessica Paul, Max Minerva’s Bookshop
“Independent spirit is strong in these parts and WoT and Henleaze are well served by a host of resilient local businesses”
A cut above at Bristol Barbers
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MENS CUT £15 SKINFADE FROM £18 BOYS CUTS £11 STUDENTS 16+ AND OAP’S £13
STREET LIFE THE LOCALS’ LOCAL
“Coffee One, Kondi Brasserie and Chandos Deli are fabulous places for coffee, breakfast and lunches. Molesworth Butchers offers fabulous, meat, pies and cheeses and will always give great advice on the best cuts of meat for different recipes. Lloyds Greengrocers has a wonderful range of fruit and veg.“ Ian, Kondi Gifts “The White Horse is steeped in history and is a lovely place to go for some good food and relaxing drinks in the village.” Emma, The Laundry Basket “I enjoy a coffee break at Coffee#1 on Henleaze Road. A great atmosphere, and of course, wonderful coffee! Prego restaurant on North View is a favourite, and you can’t beat the Westbury Park Pub for lunch.” Nick, Scott Cinemas “My favourite businesses are Mogfords, Sew n Sew and Maries” Amanda, We Make Bristol “It’s great to still have an independent butcher and fishmonger on North View. Café Arabica fo coffee, cakes and lunches is always a favourite, and Little French and Prego are hard to resist for dinner Claire Rosser, C The World “Cafe Arabica does a mean flat white, along with a steaming bowl of shakshuka for those winter breakfasts. Westbury Park Tavern is just down the street and is our favourite local. We’re also lucky to have the incredible Little French on our street. ” Jessica Paul, Max Minerva’s Bookshop
WoT’s distinctive war memorial - and roundabout
WE MAKE BRISTOL, 16 Canford Lane Living up to its name, We Make Bristol is the go-to spot for unique gifts that give back to the community. Everything in here is covetable, and if it’s on the shelf, it’s made by Bristol’s best artisans and creatives. We Make ristol is a Social nterprise and gives back about of its profits to the city’s makers, so you can happily adopt the ‘one for you, two for me’ gift-giving rule without a smidgeon of guilt. WH MOGFORD & SON, 2 High Street Also known as heaven on earth for die-hard DIYers, selling everything from hardware and electrical goods to pet supplies and the odd novelty. If they don’t have what you need, just ask; if the thing’s to be found, they’ll source it.
GOOD FEEDS & WATERING HOLES
ATHENA, 38 High Street Nothing says ‘authentic dining experience’ better than Athena’s homemade Greek and Mediterranean food, made from recipes passed down through generations. We’re looking forward to some baklava and a glass of retsina in the outdoor private courtyard when it warms up a bit. KONDI BRASSERIE, 105 Henleaze Road Run by father and son Daniele and Lucio Cerullo, and highly rated by locals and passers-by alike, this cosy café-restaurant serves up an innovative mix of Italian and British homemade food – and they make a mean barista co ee, too.
A local watering hole for local people
LITTLE FRENCH, 2 North View One of the foodie openings of 2019.Classic French bistro style meets modern boho Bristol in this independent, family-owned restaurant in Westbury Park. With a daily changing menu cooked by Freddy Bird, you can enjoy unpretentious French fare and wines seven days a week within a chilled, friendly atmosphere.
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JAS Building Services
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Call us today on: 01454 877520 www.jasbuildingservices.co.uk
- Unusual & affordable art 12A North View, Westbury Park, BS6 7QB 0117 923 9674 | Open Weds-Sat 10-4
- Beautiful ceramics, direct from Italy
fish with feet
Extensions – Renovations – Refurbishments
Residential & Commercial
STREET LIFE WESTBURY PARK, Northumbria Drive Once the famed Kebab and Calculator pub from ’80s cult classic sitcom The Young Ones, this circular-shaped pub serves sumptuous grub and a range of drinks to young and yester-young.
MEET THE HEALTH AND BEAUTY EXPERTS
BARBER COMPANY BRISTOL, 85 Henleaze Road No appointments necessary here. A committed ‘barber for the people’, welcoming drop-ins from all walks of life, the Barber Company have a passion for hair and style, and o er modern fashion cuts with oldschool air. PAMPERBANANA, 99 Henleaze Road Put yourself in the expert hands of highly trained therapists and indulge in wellbeing and maintenance treatments in relaxed surroundings.
SCOTT CINEMAS, 51 Northumbria Drive Scott inemas is the place to go for your filmic fi – whether it’s the latest blockbuster or a lesser-known indie. “Bristol is very much a moviegoing city, and our three-screen cinema is very much a popular choice”, explains Nick Scott.“We pride ourselves on giving our existing and new customers a true cinema experience with exceptional customer service.” THE LAUNDRY BASKET, 55 High Street Pretty in pastel, The Laundry Basket sets itself well apart from the plain old washhouse competition, providing laundry, ironing, wash fold and dry-cleaning from their beautiful spot in Mealings Yard. From February, they’re going clean and green, introducing brand new eco-friendly drycleaning services for the earth-conscious customers. n Crafty business at We Make Bristol
FOOD & DRINK Athena 38 High Street www.athenabristol.co.uk Eastfield Inn 219 Henleaze Road www.theeastfieldinn.co.uk Kondi Brasserie 105 Henleaze Road 0117 9628230 Little French 2 North View www.littlefrench.co.uk The White Horse 24 High Street www.thewhitehorse westbury.com The White Lion Passage Road www.emberinns.co.uk Westbury Park Pub Northumbria Drive wwww.westburyparkpub. co.uk
HEALTH & BEAUTY Cindy Jane Barber on Trym 9 Canford Lane Carlton Court www.cindyjane.co.uk www.barberontrym007.co.uk Edith Wilmot Florist Bristol Barber Company 5 Carlton Court 85 Henleaze Road www.edithwilmot.co.uk www.barbercompany.co.uk Fish with Feet Elizabeth Charles 12A North View 75 Westbury Hill 0117 9239674 0117 9623992 Kondi Gifts Franco Joseph 103 Henleaze Road 59 Westbury Hill 0117 9625464 0117 9624537 Lloyd’s Greengrocer Lucia’s beauty 81 Henleaze Road 129A Stoke Lane 0117 962 3640 www.luciasbeautybristol. co.uk Max Minerva’s Bookshop 39 North View Pamperbanana www.maxminervas.co.uk 99 Henleaze Road www.pamperbanana.co.uk Molesworth of Henleaze 101 Henleaze Road RETAIL www.henleazebutchers.co.uk C The World 33 North View Shore to Door Fish from www.ctheworld.co.uk Molesworths 101 Henleaze Road 07720924684
Smithfish 23 North View www.smithfish.co.uk
Devereux & Co 52A High Street www.devlaw.co.uk
The Carpet Shop 45 North View www.thecarpetshopbristol. co.uk The Dog Shop & Spa 83 Henleaze Road www.thedogshopbristol. co.uk Julie Anne Palmer 129 Stoke Lane www.julieannepalmer.com
Full Service Cleaning Westbury on Trym 0117 3215815
We Make Bristol 16 Canford Lane www.wemakebristol.co.uk WH MOGFORD & SON 2 High Street 0117 950 6801 OTHER Build Bristol Charles Road www.thebuildbristolgroup. com
Heads Apart Property Maintenance Henleaze House, 13 Harbury Road www.heads-apart.co.uk Helping Hands 41 Henleaze Road www.helpinghands homecare.co.uk JAS Building Services The Quadrant www.jasbuildingservices. co.uk Scott Cinemas 51 Northumbria Drive www. bristolwestburypark. scottcinemas.co.uk The Laundry Basket 55 High Street www.thelaundrybasketwot.com
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A local, reliable building & maintenance company covering all aspects of kitchen and bathroom renovations or installations.
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0117 959 3344
We only do 3 things - because we like to do them well Conveyancing
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52A High Street, Westbury on Trym, Bristol BS9 3DZ
Family run business serving Bristol and surrounding areas
www.thecarpetshopbristol.co.uk 45 North View, Westbury Park, Bristol BS6 7PY
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16 Canford Lane, Westbury on Trym, Bristol BS9 3DH. Phone: 07888 323 844 Online: www.wemakebristol.co.uk
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BRISTOL AND BEYOND Nothing beats the winter blues better than a good country walk – something that’s easily accessible from Bristol, and even easier if you have recently published guidebook Beyond Bristol 2 to hand… By Stephen Morris
ast week, I was lost in Spain. A romantic notion, but for the halfcrazed dogs of the sierras. Already that day we’d met fellow-hikers forced to detour by slavering Alanos – dogs bred for bull fights and masters of fright. Short on water and temper, and with night falling, we looked about us. Our path was ancient, well-defined and broad through wooded pasture. Like those we’d followed on previous days it was an old way between villages and farms and church. We had a compass, a map and a guidebook. Being English the word ‘map’ is synonymous with the Ordnance Survey: a beautiful, intimately detailed piece of perfection, first created to move military men and supplies around the kingdom and now a secular bible for the walker and cyclist. The map we now spread in front of us, our map of the sierras, The Severn at Arlingham
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OUT & ABOUT was a sorry substitute; our guidebook a orid imitation of usefulness. Together they would have any (lost) rambler hu ng with impatience and, in my case, composing possibly posthumous complaints to the publisher. ut here I am, back home and with a new guidebook in my hands obin Tetlow’s Beyond ristol ore ountr lks. obin has lived in ristol for much of his adult life and has happily passed much of his life e ploring the countryside around it. oming from ‘ at and dull’ countryside near ichfield, his books celebrate the novelty of living in ristol, a village-cum-city on the cusp of extraordinary countryside where even a short walk can o er food for the soul. In his first Beyond Bristol book published two years ago, obin condensed years of e ploration in a single, pocket-si ed companion and guide. Its good sense, authentic OS maps and supreme accuracy saw the book y o the shelves and through two reprints. e ond ristol follows the same recipe of the first volume, drawing a circle around the city, the outer edges of which can be reached by road in an hour, sometimes less by train. It’s a simple idea, and one that everyone should try. I did, and using a modest five-mile radius found a do en places I’d never been and more I’d never heard of. y casting his net wider, but in reach and sometimes in sight of ristol, obin has come up with another magical routes, all circular and from si to miles, or three to si hours long. On the banks of the ristol hannel and gently-moving streams, on the soggy tops of the endips and the encircling woods above the ye, obin has contrived to mostly avoid busy roads and other distractions. ceptionally, one
of his favourite walks follows the footbridge over the M48 by Aust – a noisy but dramatic interlude adjacent to the fierce beauty of the first Severn rossing and a spot I can never pass without thinking of ob Dylan waiting for the old Aust Ferry on his 1966 tour of ritain; an image later used on his album No Direction Home. I guess ob, you needed obin’s guidebook. Further upriver, the author takes us on a -mile walk around the Arlingham eninsula, that horseshoe meander of the Severn which obin’s route connects with the towpaths of the loucester and Sharpness and the Stroudwater anal. Though it closed in there are hopes of reopening the Stroudwater to boaters.
“To walk freely on a footpath is an act both of simple utility and quiet beauty” I’m pleased to say that I had no idea there ever was a Stroudwater anal, and nor did I know of ellaways and remhill – two villages at the eastern edge of the book’s reach. The route between them is described in the walker’s precise, no-nonsense manner Turn right with the hedgerow and alongside the river. In just over metres, take the footbridge to cross over the river. On the other side, take the gate and proceed straight across the narrow field. ith the OS plorer reproduced on the adjacent page of the book and with the route marked on it, I’d feel safe finding my way after a pint or two in the aptly-named Dumb ost Inn.
obin e cels at delivering instructions that he tells me he has checked repeatedly for accuracy. Amid such practical and precise directions, his introduction to any particular walk from a personal repertoire of is sometimes inadvertently poetic The terrain and scenery includes an ancient hill fort, e tensive woodland, a pretty combe, panoramic views towards the endips, a historic north Somerset village and a lengthy stretch of riverside meadow. eat that for variety in eight miles. And there are nuggets of historic information, too “Much of the walk is along country tracks and roads, including a part of aud Heath’s auseway. aud Heath died in , bequeathing her life savings for this route to be constructed and maintained from ick Hill to hippenham, a distance of about . miles. alking is the most democratic of activities. Thanks to a generation or more of dogged trespassers and bullish agitators, our countryside, though we may not own it, is at least open to us. To walk freely on a footpath is an act both of simple utility and uiet beauty. In a deskbound age, it’s a means of averting ill health and funding physical and mental well-being. It’s also a way of getting to know people and places, as we were meant to – at walking pace. ( ory Stewart, would-be mayor of ondon as an got to know his , s uare-mile constituency of Penrith by walking it – in winter.) And sometimes it’s an opportunity to get wet, howl at the moon and curse your rotten old boots. n Beyond Bristol 2, 24 More Country Walks is ublished b edcliffe ress. u direct rom www.be ondbristol w lks.co.uk or rom our booksho . .
Cotswold Hills by Lansdown
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ROMANTIC RETREATS Looking for an excuse to get away from the humdrum of it all and spend some quality time with your other half? Weâ€™ve rounded up the some of the best romantic retreats to make V-Day come up roses
NORTHCOTE MANOR HOTEL AND SPA
BURRINGTON, UMBERLEIGH, NORTH DEVON, EX37 9LZ TEL: 01769 560501 WWW.NORTHCOTEMANOR.CO.UK Northcote Manor Hotel and Spa is an 18th century hotel set in 25 Acres of woodland and Grounds. It has a 2 AA rosette restaurant with 16 individually decorated bedrooms that take in the character and history of the main house. Our attentive and skilled staff will ensure your stay with us is both relaxing and cared for. Our brand new spa brings an extra touch of relaxation to your stay and allows you to enjoy our swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, steam room, gym, light lunches, veranda and superb treatments with temple spa products being used.
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BEACH COVE COASTAL RETREAT BEACH COVE COASTAL RETREAT, HELE BAY, ILFRACOMBE, DEVON, EX34 9QZ TEL: 01271 863006 WWW.BEACHCOVERETREAT.CO.UK
If you’re looking for the perfect romantic escape for you and your partner, then how about a traditional beachside holiday but with a luxurious and quirky twist? Darwin Escapes’ beach hut accommodation at Beach Cove Coastal Retreat offer spectacular views of Hele Bay, so you’re just a few steps away from being on the sand. Set in North Devon, Beach Cove is a great location for those wanting to explore Ilfracombe or the surrounding towns and villages whether that be on foot, or via car or bike.
MULLION COVE COASTAL RETREAT
MULLION COVE COASTAL RETREAT, MULLION, HELSTON, CORNWALL, TR12 7EU TEL: 01326 242120 WWW.MULLIONCOVERETREAT.CO.UK Mullion Cove Coastal Retreat in South Cornwall is an idyllic location to escape to with your other half. If peace and tranquillity is what you’re looking for then the 5 star accredited accommodation at this Darwin Escapes resort will be a luxurious escape for you and your partner. Set in an area of outstanding natural beauty, you can choose to take a trip out and stroll down to the harbour which is just a 5 minute walk away and spend your evenings lounging in your well-equipped self-catering lodge or take a dip in your very own hot tub.
PENTILLIE CASTLE & ESTATE
PAYNTER’S CROSS, ST MELLION, SALTASH, CORNWALL, PL12 6QD. TEL: 01579 350044 WWW.PENTILLIE.CO.UK Set in the midst of a breathtaking 1500 acre estate, Pentillie Castle sits on the Cornish banks of the Devon border, with dreamy views over the river Tamar. Less than 2 hours from Bristol, Pentillie is an award-winning bed & breakfast, offering luxury accommodation, beautifully decorated reception rooms with roaring log fires and deep sofas to sink into after exploring the best of what Pentillie and South East Cornwall has to offer! Book before the 30th April and enjoy a romantic 2 night B&B stay in one of our luxury bedrooms with a complimentary glass of bubbly and cream tea on arrival, from £340. Quote BUBBLY2020.
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Strawberryﬁeld Forever Let me take you down, ‘Cause I’m going to Strawberryfield Park
here’s no better feeling than leaving behind our busy lives for a getaway with a warm, welcoming hot tub – especially one which is less than an hour’s drive from Bristol! Strawberryfield Park is a stunning selection of luxury self-catering lodges with unique, stylish interiors, spacious decking, and private hot tubs. Set within the beautiful Somerset countryside, our lodges offer picturesque views of the Somerset Levels and rolling Mendip Hills, offering country living in contemporary style. Seven of the lodges are pet-friendly, making those fun-filled stays with your four-legged friend extra special, and six of the lodges even have a wood burner, perfect for a cosy weekend break at any time of year.
10% OFF Book today and receive 10% off your booking using code LIFESFP, and start planning your break at Strawberryfield Park without a long journey to get there!
During the past six years the park has grown to 23 beautiful eco-lodges, and from the very beginning of our journey we have always made it our mission to stand out from other lodge parks by offering our guests true luxury. So inside our lodges you’ll find Bang & Olufsen technology, super-king beds, rainforest showers, a freestanding bath, hot tubs, and some even have a whimsical starlit canopy above the decking. There is plenty to do locally – Cheddar is just a few minutes’ drive away, where you’ll discover the Wold-famous Cheddar Gorge, you can try your hand at mini golf in the village, or head to the Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company and indulge in some delicious samples. Wells is less than half an hour’s drive from the park and is the smallest city in England. As well as visiting the Cathedral you can take part in a Hot Fuzz tour, seeing many places shown in the film, or stock up on local produce at the Wednesday farmers’ market and cook up a storm back at your lodge (be warned, it’s impossible to resist those tasters as you make your way around!). For retail lovers, Clarks Village outlet is less than an hour away, and Kilver Court in Shepton Mallet has designer bargains, as well as the
neighbouring Mulberry Factory shop. Our lodges are available to book all year round. Stay for 2, 3 or 7 nights (arriving on a Friday), or 4 or 7 nights if you arrive on a Monday. Prices start from £384 for a onebedroom lodge or £403 for a two bedroom (for our paw-friendly lodges we charge an additional £40, per pet, per week). But don’t just take our word for it; here’s what some of our recent guests have said: “We stayed in The Levels for 3 nights, have to say what a stunning lodge!... far superior compared to other similar parks we have stayed in.“ (November 2019) “Very smart lodges, well presented, nice and cosy, great hot tubs, will visit again!” (December 2019) ■
Strawberryﬁeld Park, Draycott, Somerset, BS27 3FN. Tel: 01934 533280 www.strawberryﬁeldpark.co.uk www.mediaclash.co.uk I BRISTOL LIFE I 81
It’s the city’s business
BRISTOLWORKS THIS ISSUE >>DOUBLE RETAIL MATT TIPPING (88) >>ROVCO BRIAN ALLEN (91) >>NEW TO BRISTOL (95)
Awards season IS ON…
ominations are in full ow for the 2020 Bristol Life Awards, and the deadline for companies to enter has been revealed as arch. usinesses are therefore encouraged to get cracking, and to leave plenty of time to make a strong case for their category. There are now only limited numbers of sponsorships left, and partner tables have just gone on sale. There’s not long left to submit your nomination for the Bristol Life Awards, said Steph Dodd, events director at edia lash. ecoming a finalist is highly beneficial for your business profile, and provides great recognition for teams and individuals who go the e tra mile for your company. The Awards celebrates all aspects of ristol – from all areas of business to culture, arts and charity. veryone plays their part in shaping this city from the smallest of indies to the largest of corporates. And uni uely, they all come together in the Awards. In previous years, tickets to the
Awards, held in an impressive mar uee outside loyds Amphitheatre on April, have been snapped up weeks in advance, with attendees and do ens on the waiting list. Tickets are on track to sell out again and are available now on the Awards website. Winners receive coverage in Bristol Life maga ine, a hand-crafted trophy and window stickers to proudly display – plus the long-lasting remembrance of an award-winning moment. ominees are also encouraged to check the ‘top tips’ page on the Awards site, which cover everything from what to include in a nomination and how best to showcase achievements to a freshly selected panel of judges. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact osanna Hood rosanna.hood mediaclash.co.uk Stories & ideas to share?
Nominations close on 5 March at midday and fin lists re nnounced on rch. bristolli e w rds.co.uk ristol i e wds
FLIGHT CONTROL ristol Airport has become the first airport in urope to o set all passenger journeys to and from the airport by road. The carbon-o setting scheme came into e ect on anuary, and forms part of the airport’s carbon roadmap, published last year. O sets will be purchased retrospectively, based on an annual passenger survey showing the di erent modes of travel used by passengers. The environmental e ects working group of the airport’s consultative committee – on which local communities and airport users are represented – will play a role in selecting suitable o setting schemes, with a focus on local projects where possible. This commitment to o set carbon emissions from surface access recognises that environmental
impacts reach beyond the boundary of the airport, said ames Shearman, head of sustainability. ith airlines taking steps to reduce and o set carbon emissions it means many customer journeys could be carbon-neutral from front door to final destination in . In ovember, easy et – which operates more than per cent of ights to and from ristol Airport – became the first major airline to o set carbon emissions from fuel used by its aircraft. e t year also sees the start of the carbon o setting reduction scheme for international aviation ( O SIA) – a global agreement to stabilise net carbon emissions from ights at levels. For more: www.bristol ir ort.co.uk
Get in touch with our business editor, the experienced business writer and event host Christian Annesley at firstname.lastname@example.org
Crumbs 100 celebration
Our award-winning sister foodie title rumbs is issues old ne t month – and it’s set for a massive celebratory issue and party. rumbs in arch will be packed with special features on our foodie scene since its launch in , with top-name interviews and info about the making of rumbs inside secrets revealed The party for supporters of rumbs will be on arch. Think the rumbs Awards ‘before’ part – and then the after-party It’ll be just the best shindig, says its editor, ess arter. For advertising details, please contact cl ire.h wkins medi cl sh.co.uk
www.mediaclash.co.uk I BRISTOL LIFE I 85
Future plans for the Gate: they’re thinking BIG
Heaven’s Gate Arena? What Arena? Bristol’s already doing pretty nicely, thanks, due to some smooth business thinking at Ashton Gate… By Steve Mellen
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ou’d think Mark Kelly, Managing Director of Ashton Gate Stadium, would have been spraying champagne around his o ce on ovember. That was the day all , tickets for next summer’s The Killers’ concert sold out inside half an hour – a record for the venue. But despite Mark and his team having pursued the Vegas superstars for more than a year, he says he couldn’t celebrate. “It was a bittersweet feeling,” he recalls. “We were pleased from a business point of view, but it’s a shame that so many people who wanted to come, couldn’t.” There had been a bid to get The Killers to come to South Bristol last summer on their way to headlining lastonbury, but it wasn’t to be. ot that missing out on them meant it
was a quiet summer in BS3 – far from it. Muse, Take That, The Spice Girls and Rod Stewart all played to huge audiences, as Ashton Gate put itself on the map as a serious music venue. For Mark, who racks up 45,000 steps per gig pacing the corridors and stadium boundaries to make sure everything is going smoothly, the success of those events proves that when it comes to major live music events, Bristol has the appetite. “We’re very proud. I said last year that I didn’t want us to just put on a commercial event, I wanted us to put on a really good show. We spent a lot of time planning last year from the arrival, so that if people wanted a drink they could have one in the event village outside the stadium, and get a taste of Bristol at all the local street food stalls.
“We wanted to create an event, rather than have people turn up half an hour before and leave straight after.” The foundations for jawdropping concerts at Ashton Gate were laid when the architects were working on the designs for the revamped stadium. Although it’s primarily a sports venue, Mark says Bristol City and Bristol Rugby owner Steve Lansdown always saw the potential to make South Bristol an entertainment destination. And in that spirit, they won’t just be booking anyone. “The old Ashton Gate had held concerts, arguably most notably the Rolling Stones in 1979 and then The Who not long after,” said Mark. “With the most recent concerts (prior to the redevelopment) the idea was just to put on a concert, because we’re a venue, a stadium, and we should be doing concerts and that included acts like Ronan Keating, Meatloaf – which was by all accounts a bit of a disaster – and Elton John. So it was just the same old, same old; whoever’s touring at the time, let’s put a concert on. Bon Jovi was probably the last big one. “So when we designed the stadium with the architects, we wanted to make sure we could host credible international acts, not just the same old touring ‘legends’.” In fact, when Ashton Gate reopened after its extensive rebuild, Mark says they even turned away some bands who wanted to play there as they weren’t the right fit. “We wanted to make a statement. We’d spent £50million on the stadium and Steve has always said that providing entertainment for Bristol was one of the main drivers. “We held out until we felt we could get the right acts. We were really lucky last year; whatever your tastes, Take That, The Spice Girls and Muse are three very large names which are well known around the world, so we felt incredibly lucky that they were all touring at the same time. “Rod Stewart on his own; would we have done it? Possibly not, because even though it was a great show, we didn’t feel that on its own that would have been a strong
Could The Killers be the Bristol gig of 2020?
enough statement. So we booked the other three first, and then we were able to go back to Rod and say ‘look, we’d love to work with you’.” If Mark and his team get their way, the days of Bristolians having to travel to irmingham or ardi to see their favourite bands while muttering about how ‘nothing ever gets done’ in their home city could soon be over. More acts could yet be announced for 2020, and some dates have already been set aside for the following summer when, Mark says, there are rumours of some “big, big international stars” returning to the live circuit. What’s more, the building work at Ashton ate isn’t finished. A new conference, sports and entertainment centre is set to rise up next to the stadium by 2023. Music will also be at the heart of the programming in the new venue. “We’re looking to build our own mini-arena here, which we’re calling a sports and convention centre which will house basketball but my ambition would be to hold gigs for 5,000 people as well,” said Mark. “That could be a Michael McIntyre show, or Walking with Dinosaurs, or whatever really and if all goes well that could open in 2023. It’ll be a 365-day venue for us.”
“WE’RE NOT INTERFERING WITH YTL, AND VICE VERSA, BECAUSE I THINK WE’LL ONLY COMPLEMENT EACH OTHER ”
Last year’s Muse gig
Meanwhile,the debate about where to build the city’s longawaited arena goes on, but Mark says his plans won’t change if YTL manage to construct their venue up at Filton. In fact, he’s looking forward to working with the arena rather than seeing it as competition. “I know the YTL team, I spoke to them yesterday, in fact. We’re both very much aligned,” he said. “Their ambition is17-18,000 capacity gigs, and it’ll be an all-yearround venue. Bristol needs that, and I would support them 100 per cent. “We’re not interfering with YTL,
and vice versa, because a stadium act that will draw 30,000 people is a di erent artist to an arena act playing to 17,000. “I think we’ll only complement each other and I hope it happens. Someone could play one night there and one night here.” That’s the future. For now Mark and his team are planning for the night when 32,000 people welcome The Killers to BS3 and who knows, there may be others – as long as they fit the bill. For more: www.ashtongatestadium.co.uk
www.mediaclash.co.uk I BRISTOL LIFE I 87
THE BRISTOLWORKS INTERVIEW
Looking for the right exit When Matt Tipping began pondering a departure from the business he founded, Double Retail, selling to an employee ownership trust seemed the right option all round. Christian Annesley met him to find out more about the journey
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hat’s the best option for a company owner who is ready to pass on the management baton and leave behind the business they created? For many owner-managers, it’s a huge question – and one that can hang in the air for years. Is a trade sale to a rival a good option? Or perhaps a management buyout backed by private equity might be a possibility if growth prospects are su ciently strong In many cases, there is no simple answer to this conundrum. But one choice that’s available and a good fit
for creative and design businesses, with their generally steady revenues and dependence on a talented, committed workforce to deliver the service, is a sale by the departing owner to the entire employee collective. Matt Tipping is in the midst of working through just this kind of departure as we meet, in a café tucked away on a Broadmead side street, and it’s clear that the wider uestions that ow from his e it matter greatly to him. FOUNDING PRINCIPLES “When Double Retail started, back in 2009, there was a certain ethos
we brought to the founding of the company that we’ve lived by ever since – and it was a self-conscious attempt to do things di erently, he explains. In what way di erent “I had worked previously for a large international outfit that was very e ciently run but pretty cold-blooded about seeking profits above all else, even at the e pense of customer relationships, with sta development and engagement a low priority. ith Double etail, the idea of partnership and collaboration on all fronts – with customers, with suppliers, and between everyone working in the business – was always e plicit. ven the name, double, is a reference to partnership, and to the involvement of multiple parties in the process. What Tipping says he was always reaching for with the business was longevity and sustainability – with customer relationships, with longserving sta , with suppliers and more. “The companies I worked in or saw across my industry, design, were imbalanced. They didn’t put enough emphasis on trust, respect or fairness of relationships. That became a good principle to organise around, not just for ethical reasons but as a point of di erentiation. These are principles that count for something. ALL CHANGE hen Double etail first set up, there were two other directors working alongside Tipping, who is a designer by background. One of the other founders had a pedigree in building and developing businesses and the other was a salesperson by background and superb at building relationships. “That set-up and management
structure sustained us for a few years, and then si years ago both of my fellow directors left: one retired and sold out as planned, and the other left more unexpectedly for di erent reasons. It was initially stressful and a big change but also an opportunity to mould things, as the business was in good shape commercially. What Matt Tipping had to think about back in , he says, and with a headcount of 10 at that time, was how to foster an even better culture in the company: one characterised by individual selfmanagement and mutual trust and shared decision-making. “That initial period of running things with me at the helm just wasn’t sustainable and wasn’t working. I got to the end of 2014 and was just e hausted. I had been thinking constantly about the business and its needs, and there was no downtime built in. I knew I needed to take a di erent approach long-term, for many good reasons. The kind of change Tipping embarked on was informed by a period of self-conscious selfimprovement. He read and was in uenced by business books like Reinventing Organisations by Frederic alou , which proposes the more self-managed, collectiveminded organisation as a di erent paradigm. And he also personally started using business coaches to help his development. “I knew I wanted to give everyone in the business more autonomy and responsibility, and also that this was the right thing to do for the long term and my eventual e it. SMALL TWEAKS, BIG SHIFT You start with the small things when making such a change, says Tipping. By no longer policing aspects of work arrangements like
WHAT IS DOUBLE RETAIL? • The company started in 2009 in Bristol. It’s a retail designand-build company focused on sustainable design and fit-out. • It’s customers are mostly multinational brands and retailers, but many of Double’s manufacturing suppliers are local even if its work goes around the world • There are 14 staff • It’s based at Brunswick Square in St Pauls, right by the city centre. • Matt Tipping started the company with two other directors after gaining experience in one of the large companies that dominate the retail design-and-build industry. He wanted to build a company that forged longer term relationships with its customers and was focused on more than bottom-line profits • Customers include FootBalance, Icebreaker, Canada Goose, Havaianas.
booking time o or making travel arrangements, you give individuals back control and increase their personal agency. “Having good systems in place helps, too, of course. reat organisation and systems means individuals can engage productively on every project, but there is this underlying democracy now to our decision-making that was missing in the past. With a more collective approach instilled, it means decisions are reached between all the sta
now, which breeds loyalty and engagement, and it is also helping to inform Tipping’s exit from Double Retail, which is now slated for the autumn of this year. “I love how it runs today. What happens isn’t defined by me but by all of us, and as I bow out everyone else has already stepped in and is shaping the way ahead. It’s the di erence between the kind of consent that most workers have to implicitly give that they will take instruction when they take a job and true consensus.” If that sounds like a nice idea, how does it work in practice Tipping says it is down to having the right governance structures and financial transparency in place to foster self-management, including the use of regular group meetings where agreement is reached on key decisions. “One question that has also come up in the context is how to manage personal growth. That is to say, in an organisation where individuals self-manage and there is no conventional ladder to climb where does development fit It is something that’s being worked on, and has to take account of each individual. EXIT AND OWNERSHIP As Double Retail’s self-managed organisation continues to develop, what’s the fit with Tipping’s departure and with the shape of the future business Here, the overlap between those related agendas is compelling and
clear, he says. As the company presses ahead as a democratic collective, beneficial ownership by the sta is the best fit – and secures the company for the long term, as being employee-owned means the business cannot be sold on and can maintain a particular collective ethos and culture for future sustainability. “When it comes to my departure, if you’d asked me months ago when I might go I would probably have said five years, but things have taken on a particular momentum. A friend of mine e ited more uickly than expected recently from his business, and it got me thinking. Once I opened up the discussion with other board members – with the managing director Polly rinnell and with finance director aura Templeton- o – things soon developed. The end of 2020 was mentioned and then an exit later this year started to crystallise.” B CORP TARGET The other journey that’s been travelled by Double Retail, which has informed Tipping’s exit in a small way, is a company decision to aim for B Corp accreditation in the year ahead. ertified orporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose – and, as you’d expect, achieving this gold standard is onerous.
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“This is another move by us that in a way shakes up an industry that hasn’t been all that progressive historically. Designing retail spaces can be quite wasteful in materials terms, unless you work hard at it, and Double has been travelling this road for a long time now, with John Caswell leading as our sustainability champion,” says Tipping. “Beyond that materials challenge – sourcing sustainably and designing for reuse – to be a Corp puts demands on every part of the business and its relationships. The goal is to get there in 2020 if possible, and it will shape the future of the business thereafter, as I step down. It therefore makes it an even better time to step aside.” GOING EMPLOYEE-OWNED How does moving to an employeeowned model work in buyout terms There are di erent models, but it doesn’t re uire that sta buy out the exiting owner with their own money. Instead, the owner exits with an agreement to take some agreed future profits figure over a defined period, at which point the buyout is complete. It isn’t necessarily the most financially beneficial way to e it a business, but many business owners have priorities that sit beyond the money equation. Clearly it is a model and approach that tends to secure the company for the long term and ensure the legacy of a departing owner.
NEXT STEPS “For me, it’s a time of transition right now,” says Tipping. “The goal is to be ready to leave in September, and I am already working in the business far less. Come September, the idea is that it will be a clean break. Sometimes owners agree to stay on in the business on some terms, but the company is in good hands already and has been set up to thrive without my involvement. I can be a cheerleader from afar.” As Tipping looks to the future, he is planning some consultancy work with other business owners considering their own exits, where he can obviously draw on his recent experience. I know how hard it is for e iting owners, so there is work to be done there. I also have a raft of other business ideas and it would be nice to get some of them o the ground. We’ll see!” Bristol is close to Tipping’s heart and he says he will remain involved with networks and communities such as the Future Economy etwork and ristol edia. “Business is facing up to so many challenges, and particularly the environmental challenge. The idea of GDP as the only measure of value is broken now. e cannot measure just in financial terms any longer, and that’s why the move by Double Retail for B Corp accreditation matters. It’s something many other businesses will have to grapple with in the years ahead.” For more: www.doubleretail.com
Testing the waters Some companies fly under the radar in Bristol, and one that’s growing fast hidden in plain sight is Rovco. The business is now 45-strong and uses imaging tech and artificial intelligence to survey underwater sites at offshore wind arrays. The potential global market is huge already and rapidly increasing as more arrays are developed. Christian Annesley found out more
he rise and rise of renewable energy as an ever-more viable alternative to fossil fuels is one bright spot in an energy-hungry world that’s now facing up to climate emergency. For the UK, perhaps the most startling opportunity in renewables lies in o shore wind arrays. Our status as a windy island nation that’s constantly bu eted by the jet stream, and with hundreds of thousands of square miles of seas all around Britain, has served to make the country the numberone location for o shore wind production. Today, it accounts for about a third of all global capacity, with Germany close behind and delivering close to another third.
Mojave ROV with SubSLAM X2
With the technology continuing to make strides, the potential to increase capacity more and more is clear. All those wind arrays need to be maintained in extreme marine environments, and this is where Rovco comes in. The company’s name derives from the remotely operated underwater vehicles – or ROVs for short – that it deploys to survey underwater sites, using 3D modelling technology to build up incredibly detailed imagery that can be instantly beamed to a browser anywhere in the world. It’s a technology that Rovco has developed itself, aided initially by some Innovate UK grants, and is demonstrably a step up from the video surveys the industry relied on for many years.
www.mediaclash.co.uk I BRISTOL LIFE I 81
ROV Pilot and Windfarm
If Rovco looks to have the subseasurveys world at its feet today, how did it get here? Its founder, Brian Allen, meets me in the company’s fairly anonymous o ces by Old arket,
ROVCO – THE NUMBERS Founded 2015 Business launched in 2016 First large contract 2017, The Wave Hub HQ The Quorum, Bond Street Remote autonomous vehicles 6 Staff 45 Investors include Cambridge Angels, Green Angel Syndicate, Sustainable Ventures, Bristol Private Equity Club, Foresight Williams Technology Fund Offshore wind project revenues 95% of all sales Turnover £4.4m projected for 2019/20
but it’s immediately clear he has quite a story to tell. “I worked in underwater robotics as a technician for many years, and started to see an evolving opportunity in aerial 3D survey along the way,” he begins. Specifically I could see the chance for improved subsea surveys using similar methods and started thinking about how I could set up a company. I even registered the company name, Rovco, and then started planning the business for the next two years, timing would be key as if we were too early we wouldn’t have a market, and I still needed more experience.” In Allen was ready to take the plunge. A subsea business in Great Yarmouth was in the hands of administrators and he picked up an O cheaply from there. “It was about a quarter of its normal price, if I remember, but was still about , and re uired getting a loan. This O was about a metre long – about the si e of a co ee table; they can be as large as a transit van but all are designed for extreme environments and are very costly.” With some kit at the ready, and therefore the capability to undertake surveys with the right tools to hand, Allen’s forays into utilising D modelling and S A technology – Simultaneous ocalisation and apping – were soon underway. (S A describes
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the computational problem of constructing or updating a map of an unknown environment while simultaneously keeping track of location.) “We applied to Innovate UK, the government’s innovation agency, for a feasibility study grant and secured £30,000 to undertake a desktop study, which proved revealing and confirmed the opportunity. Allen started the business from his garage at home in Westbury-onTrym, then hired an employee for the market survey – and Rovco soon gained a spot in an Entrepreneurial Spark incubator, where it remained for 18 months. “To begin with we were picking up tiny surveying contracts, but then, in the summer of 2017, we landed a £100,000 project to survey the Wave Hub wind farm at Hayle in Cornwall. That kept us going and enabled another senior hire which allowed us to really start pushing ahead with R&D.”
Since that turning point, it’s fair to say that the company has not taken a backwards step – and, crucially, investment in the company to realise all the opportunities it can now go after has been owing. “The Wave Hub work gave us a great reference customer,” says Allen. “That large-scale work immediately drove investor interest and provided a proof-of-concept in
terms of our survey capability.” Investors since have included business angels network Cambridge Angels, Green Angels, Sustainable Ventures and, more recently, funding rounds from the city’s own Bristol Private Equity Club led by the Foresight Williams VCT Fund. “All those investment rounds have helped us to scale up fast and to keep working on the technology to stay ahead,” says Allen. “When Sustainable entures first invested we only had three full-time sta , and two part-timers. That new equity helped us grow the headcount to eight. Six months later we completed another raise bringing in £1.2m, and it has continued in much the same way since.” What investors like about Rovco, with good reason, is its steepling growth trajectory since it got established with that Wave Hub work, with most of its already excellent growth expectations from year to year being comfortably exceeded in practice. There’s also the fact that many of its contracts are long term and quite predictable, with subsea surveys being a regular undertaking for the owners of wind farms. Allen sets it in context when he tells me that sales in the first uarter of this year are c. £1m and 670 per cent higher than the same quarter last year. As it stands, he expects the company to record sales of £4.4m this financial year and . m in
Helicopter 3D Model
ROVCO LANDS £5M INVESTMENT
2020, but admits those numbers might very well have to be revised upwards. “So far we are reinvesting heavily to stay ahead, rather than targeting short-term profits, but there is a huge volume of work out there that we can deliver for customers with a superior service... We are competing in tenders worth a combined £30m right now, to give you a feel. We will only win a proportion of those contracts but you can see how we are in the large-contracts mix now.” How has Allen navigated the investor interest? Does it take up all his time? “Not really. I am a technical expert, and try to stay involved on that side while dealing with the management challenge of a fastgrowth business. Investment-wise, as a company we are very used to telling our story with pitch decks and slides and so on, and those investors that like the opportunity follow up.” Rovco also recently raised an additional £5m from a London private e uity firm and, including
an earlier Seedrs crowdfunding campaign that attracted 267 investors, in all there are now over 300 separate investors in the company as it stands.
BRISTOL IS HOME
How does Bristol work as a base for Rovco? It has worked very well. I first moved here because my wife is from the city, but it has always been a good fit for ovco. There is a good pool of robotics skills in the city, re ecting the robotics work owing from Bristol Robotics Lab and from both of the city’s universities. The UK also is strong in general, with lots of o shore skills due to orth Sea oil and gas, but much of our recruitment is from within Bristol so far. There is also a bit of scene in the city, in terms of o shore wind skills, and with ocean marine skills to be found in Plymouth, in particular, which is relatively close.” With a global market to go after, even if the UK is the leader, Rovco is planning on opening small o ces
In January 2020, Foresight Group, a private equity house, confirmed a £3.9m investment into Rovco. The investment comprises £2m from the Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund and £1.9m from Foresight venture capital trusts. The capital injection was part of a larger round totalling £5m which included funds from existing shareholders including members of Bristol Private Equity Club. Foresight’s investment will support the growth of Rovco’s commercial and operational capabilities, and help it to continue to expand globally. Williams Advanced Engineering and Rovco have already identified several opportunities to collaborate on enhancements to one of Rovco’s technologies: its SubSLAM camera system. Andrew Bloxam, senior investment manager at Foresight, says: “Rovco has developed technology offering gamechanging improvements in an industry that really needs it. It is a large international market and Rovco has already generated early interest from some prominent customers, which hints at a substantial opportunity.” Matthew Burke, head of technology ventures at Williams Advanced Engineering, adds: “We are proud to back Rovco, whose pioneering SubSLAM camera technology has the potential to transform productivity in subsea surveying.” Says Allen of Rovco: “We are very excited to be working with Foresight and Williams. These funds will be used to further commercialise our technology, to strengthen management, and to accelerate growth. The subsea industry has been extremely receptive to our computer vision and AI tech so far, and the offshore wind industry has been an incredible early adopter. We enter 2020 with a strong forward order book.”
around the world – Edinburgh, oston, Taiwan, to name three – but Allen says Bristol will always remain the headquarters. ot all our developer sta are in the city, but most are. We also have people travelling and working on sites, some of whom are freelance.” Allen says the city works well not just for the talent pool – there are great skills in London and Aberdeen, too – but because there
is less sta churn than there might be in the capital. “Bristol is a good, stable environment for recruitment. People really like living here and commit to it long term for a settled life. That tendency means we get good sta retention, as well as there being the machine learning, AI and computer vision talent that we really look to foster.”
Rovco has been in its current o ce for only months of a fiveyear contract but shortly e pects to move as it has outgrown its current home. Allen won’t be drawn on uite where the ne t o ce will be, e cept to say it is somewhere in Temple uarter. e have sta now and are planning for at the year-end and for by December . y December that number should be about . So we are talking about rapid e pansion.
CHALLENGES AND RISKS
TOP: Brian Allen presenting MIDDLE: Live 3D Subsea Streaming Technology BELOW: Jacket Structure 3D Model
If ovco sounds superbly wellplaced for a stellar future, there must surely be some clouds on the hori on. Are there any othing that we can foresee. Our ama ing sta really are the key to making sure we can weather whatever is thrown in our path. The sector where we operate will continue to evolve, and that might lead to some di erent opportunities, but overall there should be more of them. The end-game with the kind of work we do is more automation, but again that is something we are planning for and should benefit from, rather than get caught out. hat about the o shore wind market hat’s the growth trajectory there In the ne t years, it is projected that capacity will increase si fold, no less, with sharp increases in South orea, Taiwan and apan in particular.
Right now, three-quarters of ovco’s work ows from the , but in five years time, Allen sees the proportion of work falling to perhaps 40% – but based on ovco having massively grown its revenues. “We can keep up our current strong growth. e are in a market that is e panding rapidly and the technology we have created is a step-change compared with what went before. That trajectory should continue, we think. We aren’t complacent, but we are well-placed. ltimately we have a three-year headstart on the competition with this type of service, and the idea is to ensure the gap doesn’t close any time soon. ooking further out, Allen says a listing on AI or ASDA is a real prospect for ovco, though not perhaps for four or five years. “We need to keep working hard and see where the business gets to by then, but we won’t take a backwards step in the meantime. ore immediately, Allen’s ne t challenge is to grow the company’s board and get some others to share the load. I’ve spent many years working 80 to 100 hours a week, and that isn’t sustainable long term. I have a young family and need to bring in some more e perience for the ne t phase of growth. ut I am as e cited as ever For more: www.rovco.com
NEW to Bristol JAN 2020 Who’s this? Accelerate Agency, a digital marketing and SEO agency What’s the back story? Accelerate has recently opened an office near Queen Square, having spent 18 months in the city’s NatWest Accelerator. Before that, it was run out of Bath, but is very much at home in Bristol now. What kinds of organisations does it work with? The University of Bristol is one eye-catching reference client, as well as the retail management platform BrightPearl, which is also here in the city. What do they have in common? Not all that much, but every organisation is wrestling with data and how to put it to good use and be smart about marketing
spend. Accelerate is particularly focused now on working with software-as-a-service companies like BrightPearl, where its knowhow can have real impact.
quality leads and then to convert them, and there is a lot that can go into making it happen successfully,” says Brown.
Who is the best contact? Co-founder Nick Brown is one, but the best email is hello@accelerate-agency. com
Did the NatWest Accelerator make a difference? “It was transformative,” says Brown. “It was challenging to secure a place, and we had to reapply and prove strong growth every six months, but the access to free office space, mentoring, workshops and more has been fundamental to our growth journey.”
How big is Accelerate? It has seven employees right now and is busy recruiting for three more. It also works regularly with freelancers. The expectation is that in the next year it will grow its full-time head count to 15, plus half-a-dozen freelancers. Doesn’t every company have a handle on digital now? Hardly. Brown says being smart about digital marketing and SEO is a delicate art, and most companies only have a limited understanding of what’s possible. “The art is to identify and develop
How does Bristol compare with Bath as a location for the company? “In Bristol there is a bigger talent pool, which makes recruitment a bit easier. The next step might be to open a satellite office in London, but Bristol will remain our HQ.” For more: www.accelerate-agency.com
www.mediaclash.co.uk I BRISTOL LIFE I 95
GDPR Update Anna Sivula of AMD SOLICITORS explains the penalties of not being GDPR compliant under the new data protection regime.
ust over 18 months have passed since the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the supplementary Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018). Many will recall that one of the most significant changes brought by the new regime is a higher maximum fine. The regulator is now able to issue fines up to €20 million (c. £17 million at the date of writing) or 4% of global turnover, whichever is greater. This is a significant increase from the previous
regulatory regime where the maximum fine was £500,000. In the first use of these increased fining powers, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined a London pharmacy £275,000 for failing to comply with data protection rules. The data breach relates to unsecure storage of documents containing personal data. The pharmacy left some 500,000 documents in unlocked crates, bags and cardboard boxes in a locked courtyard at the back of its premises. The documents were not marked as confidential waste even though they included highly sensitive information, such as NHS numbers, medical information and prescriptions. Some of the documents were soaking wet which indicated that they had been stored in this way for some time and had not been protected against the elements. Businesses are required to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure the security of the personal data they process. This requires protection not only against unauthorised or unlawful processing by third parties (such as hacking incidents and theft of data) but also against accidental loss, destruction or damage of the information. Clearly, the pharmacy had failed to comply with these obligations. The ICO also found that it had failed to comply with a number of other obligations, such as having appropriate policies and procedures and providing practical advice to employees. It had also failed to provide individuals with information required by the GDPR. The penalty notice (which can be found on
the ICO’s website at https://ico.org.uk/actionweve-taken/enforcement/doorstep-dispensareeltd-mpn) is useful reading for all organisations as it highlights what bad practice looks like and outlines the factors which the ICO will consider when carrying out its investigations and deciding on the appropriate penalty. It is clear that the ICO will take data breaches seriously and is willing to use its power to issue substantial fines. A fine under the new regime can have a serious impact on any business. Data protection should be a key consideration for all businesses and it is important that policies and procedures are kept under continuous review and are updated regularly. As the first enforcement decisions have been published, now is a good time for businesses to review their policies and procedures and to remind themselves of their data protection obligations. ■
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 www.mediaclash.co.uk I BRISTOL LIFE I 97
FACTORY SETTINGS From cigarettes to city living: welcome to a new development filled with ast Street promise By Lisa Warren 100 I BRISTOL LIFE I www.mediaclash.co.uk
llow us to introduce you to the latest kid on the residential Bedminster block: Factory No 1. Why the name? Steeped in South Bristol history, the main building, Consort House, was the Wills family’s first tobacco factory; right next door, Regent House became the company HQ. Today, thanks to a typically sensitive refurb by City & Country – the award winning heritage development team behind The General, among others – it’s become the site of an exciting new residential complex located right at the gateway to Bedminster. The site is part of the Bedminster Conservation Area, and the Grade-II buildings make for a compelling and vibrant place to live, in this increasingly appealing area. This is the centre for ristol street art; home to the Tobacco Factory, and numerous independent bars, restaurants and shops, yet still with a friendly
HOUSE NUMBERS Where?
1-3 From £255,000
For more information visit www.cityandcountry.co.uk or call 01173 219 729
old-school community vibe – witness, for e ample the neighbourhood’s annual inter antern arade. The imposing red brick buildings were designed by noted ritish architect Sir Frank ills (the ills clearly liked to keep things in the family). Frank also served as ord ayor of ristol; ill’s fingers were firmly in several late- th-century pies. Tobacco continued to be manufactured at the site until the s, but now ity ountry is creating a new community, both within onsort and egent House and in a uintet of stylish new apartment blocks designed around landscaped courtyard gardens. Imperial Arcade on ast Street will also be restored, and transformed into a collection of workspaces and shops, providing a new mi ed-use environment destined to attract yet more creatives to the area. ehind the impressive fa ades of the older ictorian buildings, the apartments have retained a range of original features that include fireplaces, cornicing and plasterwork; the large windows and generous ceiling heights so typical of this era come as standard. eanwhile, the si new apartment buildings, each
named to re ect the site’s heritage – atkins House, apstan oom, utting oom, ombard House Tobacco Store and ills House (we assume imagination fatigue may have crept in with the last two), is set within landscaped courtyard with car parking below; many also have attractive terraces or balconies. All of the homes feature contemporary open-plan interiors; kitchens have contrasting tonal finishes, including te tured bron ed sleek handles, wood and matt finishes and uart marble worktops. There are two distinctive spec styles for the bathroom a gold and charcoal-black theme, creating a softened industrial feel; and a sleek, elegant white and grey marble theme, with chrome taps and shower fittings. ith prices that range from k for a modern one-bed apartment to around k for a typical three-bedroom at in onsort House, Factory o ers a fresh and enticing opportunity to become part of the vibrant edminster community, within a high- uality restoration of an iconic ristol landmark. A number of apartments have already been sold or reserved; to get involved, contact ity ountry.
www.mediaclash.co.uk I BRISTOL LIFE I 101
Bristol & Clifton's premier Commercial Property Agents Keep up-to-date with our latest news, deals, testimonials and market comment at our website: www.burstoncook.co.uk
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• One of Clifton’s best restaurant/ bar sites
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BRISTOL CITY CENTRE • Office or retail unit • Undergoing contemporary fit out • 820 sq ft • New flexible lease • Rent on application
DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITY • High St Nailsea • Consent for 9 residential units • Price £495,000
Bridgewater Road (The ‘Airport’ Road!) BS48 • Retail/ showroom space • 1st floor offices (separately available) • Large site with parking • Close to Bristol Airport & 15 mins from BS1 • Terms on application
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“Bristol has a very open-minded attitude towards alternative health” We are now picturing shelves groaning with old-school apothecary bottles…
I do indeed have an apothecary cupboard, filled from oor to ceiling with an alphabetised plethora of brown bottles and glass jars; most of the time I dispense tinctures, alcoholbased herbal e tractions, as alcohol is a useful way to e tract phytochemicals in plants.
Do you have a favourite herb?
LILY CANETTYCLARKE Herbalist Lily brings a holistic approach to healing, drawing on the gentle, timeless power of natural remedies So, how does someone wind up being a herbalist? In Lily’s case, you could say that the seeds were literally sown from the beginning; she grew up on an organic farm, and was introduced to a natural approach to nutrition and health from the get-go. Lily, you aren’t just trained as a medical herbalist, are you?
o; after gaining a Sc in e perimental psychology at ristol ni, I became fascinated by the power of herbs while studying nutritional health science. y ears started twitching when I overheard the herbal medicine students discussing their work, and it wasn’t long before I had signed up to a three-year formal herbal medicine training.
For the uninitiated (ie, us), what exactly does a herbalist do?
Herbalists use plants to help
people. These plants have thousands of years’ worth of traditional use and a growing support by modern research and clinical trials. As part of a herbalist’s studies we cover orthodo medical anatomy, physiology and pathology and train in the same diagnostic skills as a , but we have the added bonus of learning about plant medicine. Where does the psychology degree come in…?
Herbalists use a holistic approach which includes e ploring the mind as well as all the di erent body systems to help find and treat the root cause and restore balance. Where are you based?
I practice from a lovely clinic space up in Horfield at the ristol atural Health Service, but I dispense all my medicine at home.
106 I BRISTOL LIFE I www.mediaclash.co.uk
y favourite topical use of a herb is chamomile, as it is an antiin ammatory, a mild antiseptic, and an ama ing wound-healer. An infusion of chamomile used on in amed skin is incredibly soothing, and then placing chamomile tea bags, once cooled, on your eyelids is cooling and can fight o eye infections. Can you give us two hero herbs for winter?
Thyme is a life-saver during anuary. Infuse it in hot water with lemon, honey and ginger, and keep the lid on the pot for minutes to keep in the volatile oils. Drink three times a day at the first sign of a sore throat, cough or stu y nose. acao, the basis of chocolate, has an astounding repertoire of medicinal benefits including hormonal regulation, thanks to its high percentage of magnesium, and it has also been found to increase libido. ither add pure cacao to a warm nut milk with honey to sweeten, or eat some dark chocolate; or higher. Is Bristol receptive to alternative medicine?
es; I think ristol has a very open-minded attitude towards alternative and complementary health care. Where’s your manor?
I live in otham. I have an independent vegetable shop,
bakery, health food shop and even a ero-waste shop all on my doorstep, so I can really connect and invest in the local community. Favourite places to eat/drink?
oco for a special dinner; iblos for the best falafel wrap, and St erburgh’s ity Farm af for brunch by the fire. ild eer for a drink in the evening, and Dela for a co ee in the day. Favourite shops?
ristol Artisan, rban Fringe Dispensary, la e, Fancy lants, Ottowin Studio, and all the vintage shops. Do you have any secret skills?
ot e actly a skill – but my joint love alongside herbs is wild swimming. Since arriving in ristol I have joined the fabulous ippers (morning dippers) who enjoy swimming in free ing cold temperatures. The water is as cold as three degrees and we are swimming before sunrise to s uee e it in before work Most regrettable habit?
y ability to break all technology – it’s an e pensive habit. What was the best Christmas present you received?
A new super-warm and waterproof coat, as I had forgotten how much it loves to rain here. Surprise us…
I work part time for a bank ut it’s not just any bank; it’s a sustainable bank called Triodos who, knowing that money has the power to change the world, only invest and lend money to positive businesses that promote people and the planet. For more www.lilycanettyclarke.com