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ISSUE 279 / 20 MARCH-3 APRIL 2020 / £3







16 T

here’s an elephant mooching about the room as I type this letter, and its name begins with the letter C. We can’t swerve mentioning the virus altogether; but I hope you’ll forgive us if we do what we always do at Bristol Life: ie, accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative and latch on to the affirmative. We’ll continue to promote the best of the city; but things are changing fast, so expect a fair amount of cancellations, postponements and temporary closures. One thing that does seem fairly sure is that we’ll all be spending a lot more time indoors for the forseeable – which neatly brings us to our big spring interiors feature. As ever, there are trends aplenty, but two major ones seem to be vying for our attention. Big, splashy, statement patterns are huge; but so is the converse side of the coin – tranquil, biophilic homes fit for an eco-aware new decade. Read the full SS20 edit on page 16. However, our favourite feature this issue (it’s OK to have a favourite yes? I mean, it’s not like children, or dogs) is on page 50. As Bristol is fondly nicknamed ‘Bristollywood’ by an appreciative film and TV industry, we pay tribute to Bristol’s immense Film Office and Bottle Yard Studios, who are increasingly putting Bristol on the big and small screens, and bringing in so much benefit to the local economy. Senior film officer Natalie Moore: if you ever fancy a temporary job swap, give me a call...

DERI ROBINS Manuel Canovas’s new collection: big patterns, biophilia and a dash of vintage: SS20 interiors style on a stick

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


50 Issue 279/ 20 March-3 April 2020 COVER Crate expectations? If you want a dramatic wallcovering, Rebel Walls has everything from Nordic cool to urban grunge; find the range at Bracey Interiors


15 SHOP INTRO Fifteen miles to the Loaf shack, Loaf shack yeah 16 SS20 EDIT What the best-dressed homes will be wearing this year 26 HOME INSPIRATION A divine conversion


43 ART PAGE The man and the moon 44 WHAT’S ON Four pages of unmissable, but possibly due to be

cancelled, shizzle

50 FILM ...followed by a whopping seven pages devoted to the mighty

Bristol Film Office and Bottle Yard Studios

58 ARTS WEEKENDER Go Weston 60 MUSIC No, Mr Hazlewood; we expect you to conduct… 65 BOOKS Books for all seasons. Well, early spring 67 THE VERDICT Welcome, new theatre columnist Jamie Rees!


71 FOOD INTRO Poultry in motion 72 RESTAURANT A classic Bristol banger 76 DAL FESTIVAL Peas please us 81 STAN Waffle central. The food, not the writing


83 MILLY A dire warning to all LTR slobs 85 HEALTH & BEAUTY Meg’s mane chance


93 BRISTOLWORKS Finally; Arena news


99 PROPERTY NEWS The new Copper Building 100 NEW BUILDS The best new homes appearing across the city


7 SPOTLIGHT 11 BRIZZOGRAM 89 SOCIETY 114 BRISTOL LIVES The Birdgirl of Compton Martin

Editor Deri Robins Deputy editor Meg Coast Senior art editor Andrew Richmond Graphic design Megan Allison Cover design Trevor Gilham Contributors, Stan Cullimore, Milly Vaughan, Emily Ross, Jamie Rees Advertising manager Neil Snow New business manager Craig Wallberg Advertising/sales executive Hayley Allwood Account manager Jake Horwood Production/distribution manager Sarah Kingston Deputy production manager/production designer Kirstie Howe Chief executive Jane Ingham Chief executive Greg Ingham Bristol Life MediaClash, Circus Mews House, Circus Mews, Bath BA1 2PW 01225 475800 @The MediaClash © All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without written permission of MediaClash. We’re a Bath-based publisher, creative agency and event organiser Magazines Our portfolio of regional magazines celebrates the best of local living: Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter. We also publish foodie mag Crumbs (, @CrumbsMag. Agency From the design and build of websites to digital marketing and creating company magazines, we can help. Events We create, market, promote and operate a wide variety of events both for MediaClash and our clients Contact: I BRISTOL LIFE I 5


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Colour us excited; Upfest is returning to the streets of South Bristol once more for 2020 with an earlier date, a tweaked location. a whole new vibe and its biggest ever line-up of local, national and international artists. From 30 May 30 – 1 June, Europe’s largest live street and urban art festival will take over Greville Smyth Park for the first ever ‘greenfield’ festival, bringing together the boards and canvases previously spread between several South Bristol venues for a massive weekend-long celebration of street art in the park. The celebrations continue at Upfest’s original Tobacco Factory venue, but this year the huge murals and wall paintings that were traditionally made over the festival weekend will now be created in the two weeks running up to the event, “giving more people the chance to witness these spectacular creations come to life first hand,” said fest director Steve Hayles. The completed work will then be on show while over 250 artists paint live, with music, food and drink experiences alongside. Upfest is free to attend, but needs your help to reach its £25,000 crowd-funding target. If supporting an amazing event isn’t quite enough to sway you, the Upfest artists have sweetened the deal, offering up such tasty rewards as designs, artwork and clothing to those who make a pledge, regardless of whether it’s a fiver or five hundred pounds. Let’s make it happen people. For more:

top and first left:

Jody’s Greta was succeeded Kobra’s Lennon on the Tobacco Factory walls photos by Neil James), and we’re in no hurry to see it go; right: Unmistakeably Doctor Love, photo by Paul Box


Apropos, just a few days after we wave goodbye to Upfest, M Shed brings us ‘Vanguard’ Bristol Street Art: the Evolution of a Global Movement, from 6 June-1 November – a spectacular collection of works by British and international artists, that celebrates the pivotal role of Bristol and its creatives as the birthplace of street art and graf. Seminal works from Henry Chalfant, Banksy and Beezer will feature, through to deepfake viral sensation Bill Posters, and Conor Harrington. A selection of the works on display have not previously been seen, and some not shown in public for over 20 years. Spotlight features will also include the work of artist, musician and activist Robert Del Naja (Massive Attack’s 3D), one of Bristol’s earliest street artists. Vanguard will address the development of the movement from the subcultural perspective of Bristol, exploring the triumphs and

hardships of street art’s anarchist origins in the ’80s and ’90s, the explosion of works in the early noughtiess to ‘Then and Now’, which takes a closer look at Bristol artists’ stylistic development over the last three decades, with some big names in the line up. Moving beyond Bristol to the United Kingdom and Ireland, the exhibition reflects on the diversity of practice brought about by the momentum of the movement, concluding with a spotlight on artists evolving globally from street art practices to affect meaningful change in the world. “Bristol is the undisputed home of British street art,” says councillor Craig Cheney, deputy mayor of Bristol, “so what better place to host this landmark show than M Shed? With plenty of exciting details still to come, it promises to be one of the biggest cultural events in 2020.” For more:

© IAN COX 2020


Jago at Best Kept Secret festival, 2012 I BRISTOL LIFE I 7


Hotwells Road, back in ye olden days



In our last issue, we amused ourselves by running a bunch of ‘true or false?’ facts about Bristol. @weirdbristol kindly supplied the former, @timmersfacts the latter. In fact, we liked them so much that we’ve decided to carry on the fun in every issue; we’ll even try to tie it into a news piece on the same page, if we can be bothered. of worship in the late 1990s, but the annual pantomime lives on and the book celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. The book will be launched at this year’s pantomime The Mardyke Mermaid; you can pick up a copy at Hope Chapel or buy online from Bristol Books, below. For more:

Art and science


In tribute to the huge global scientific and medical effort to combat the coronovirus pandemic, Bristol’s multidisciplinary ninja Luke Jerram has just added a glass sculpture of the germ to his Glass Microbiology series. The sculpture is one million times larger than the actual virus – and in keeping with its fellow glass models, is bizarrely beautiful. For more




Did you know that Hotwells gets its name because of the hot springs that used to be prevalent in the 18th century? The springs were heated by the lava flow to the now dormant volcano which is today known as Brandon Hill.


The jetties in Hotwells were built for wealthy day trippers who’d used the Clifton Rocks Railway to board cruises on the Bristol Channel. 1. False @timmersfacts 2. True @weirdbristol

Bristol’s Hotwells district has witnessed some major changes over the centuries. Now, a new book by local resident Sue Stops tells the story of this remarkable area and the resilience of the community spirit, which is still alive and well, and which manifests itself – among many other things – in an annual pantomime every year. Hotwells – Spa to Pantomime tells the story of the fascinating area next to the River Avon, created in the 17th century by rich merchants, keen to take advantage of the natural hot springs to provide a spa that would rival fashionable Bath and Cheltenham. As well as a canter through history, the book chronicles the remarkable story of how the community rolled up its sleeves in the late 1970s and renovated the derelict Hope Chapel, turning it into a thriving and vibrant Community Arts Centre. For 20 years, Hope Centre has hosted an extraordinary array of bands, performers and touring theatre companies. It reverted to a place




In the second week in March, an exceptionally high spring tide flooded parts of Bristol three times in two days. Inconvenient for many; but a bit of a gift for our local ‘grammers and puddlegram-chasers‌












@tjphillips78 I BRISTOL LIFE I 11

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The clue’s in the photo above: Loaf isn’t your average interiors shop. It’s fun, witty and playful – though deadly serious, of course, when it comes to quality. It’s famed for its improbably comfy mattresses and stylish handmade furniture – including the new SS20 must-have cocktail cabinets and trolleys (more about that encouraging trend in our feature, page 16). As for the supremely soft linen bedding, trust us; it’s like sleeping in a cloud. Until last August, we had to get our Loaf fix online, but it’s now possible to bounce gently on actual sofas and beds, and admire the latest laidback wares, in the large new open-plan site up at Cribbs.

The ‘Shack’, they say, pays homage to life in the slow lane – hey, we get it, it’s a slowroom, not a showroom. With a mattress-testing station, squidgy sofas and arcade games for kids and the easily bored, you’re invited to kick back and relax. We love the big retro signs, large swatches and the giant colour charts; oh, and that photo above? Yes, there’s even an old-school ice-cream parlour, where you can lap up your favourite scoop; just try not to get sticky fingers on that nice pale blue sofa, yeah? For more: Bristol Loaf Shack, Cribbs Causeway I BRISTOL LIFE I 15


TOGETHER IN ECLECTIC DREAMS It’s the first year of a new decade. An opportunity to reassess and renew – if not your entire life choices, then at least your surroundings. Like a certain Doctor, it’s time to regenerate; so take our hand as we cautiously step into the SS20 trend zone… Words by Deri Robins 16 I BRISTOL LIFE I

Florals just got bolder (yet designs are more delicate) Cole & Sons’ Talvera, from Bracey Interiors


ou could quite easily argue that the most woke trend of all for 2020 is not to do anything at all; there’s nothing especially eco about ripping out entire rooms and filling them with brand new stuff. So we’re not suggesting you do that. But we’re not killjoys, either; there’s nothing to say that you can’t still have a bit of fun tinkering with the mojo. As ever, there are endless trends and micro-trends to baffle and beguile. Usefully, though, while recent years have seen interior design experts contradicting each other all over the shop, leaving us mere mortals to shrug our shoulders and say “OK, so, whatever, then?”, this year everyone seems to be mostly singing from the same hymn book, and the overriding trends fall into three distinct camps. The first trend involves getting back to basics, with lots of calming pigments, natural materials and lashings of biophilia. The second, in total contrast, is for big, OTT statement patterns in wallpaper and furnishings. And thirdly – and helpfully – you can combine both, in the retro fusion trend. Before we get stuck in, one final curve ball: we are assured that for 2020, ‘off trend will be on trend’ and ‘individuality’ and ‘authenticity’ is all-important. Good luck, everybody.


In fact, what we’re doing is going eco at home. Interiors trends are rarely divorced from the bigger picture, so no surprise that ditching the plastic in favour of more sustainable materials is huge for 2020, along with ‘biophilia’ – filling the home with nature and natural materials in order to feel a connection with the great outdoors. Handmade crafted stuff is also key – great news for all small children bringing home from school the kind of shapeless clay things that previously would have been relegated to the back of a cupboard. What this all means, of course, is that those clever Nordic types have been years ahead of the pack, with all their chilledout, comfy, hyggetastic havens filled with weathered woods, imperfect leather sofas, rattan and wicker, in bleached, faded hues and time-worn patinas: the ideal sanctuary in which to rest, regenerate, and if we absolutely have to (and frankly by now we’re feeling so laidback that we’re not sure we can be bothered), socialise. Less is more; declutter. Collect carefully considered, pared-back pieces in raw materials, and add plenty of texture to stop the whole caboodle looking too minimalist and bland. Colourwise, it all ties in beautifully with the pash for natural pigments; go for a mix of cool blues and greens mixed with plaster pinks and browns. Upcycle wherever you can. And if you want to make it all a bit edgier, mix in some vintage, mid-century or modern bits and pieces – see trend 3.


2 3

4 4 5


1. Sheepskin rug, £135, BoConcept 2. Walnut mantle clock, £55, Bristol Artisan 3. Kenneggy Downs Willow Basket, £115, Midgley Green 4. Wooden cake slices, £22, Midgley Green 5. Oslo rattan dining chair, £195, Graham and Green


left and above: Rocking Scandi cool long before anyone dreamed up the phrase: IKEA’s SS20 philosophy is ‘digital detox’ with rustic décor and natural materials; the home as sanctuary

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: “The big trend for us this season is sustainable design, with a real trend towards bamboo and dried or faux flowers,” says Jamie Graham of Graham & Green.“Bamboo is becoming incredibly popular, both with the eco-conscious sourcing products made from sustainable materials, and the design-savvy who love its rich natural colour and versatility.” “We’re loving an abundance of natural textures, rugs, throws, fabrics and wallpapers,” says Sarah Bailey of SJP Interiors,“coupled with nature at its simplest form, and as always, mixing old and new to breathe character into our projects.” “In constantly digital times, embracing the physical is essential to our well-being,” says Mariagiovanna Palmiero of IKEA. “Bringing more tactile surfaces into the home, such as seagrass, cotton, and wood, is an easy way to

engage and lift your senses. Living in the city is challenging, and homes become like cooling oases to relax, refresh, and most importantly: reload ourselves. Neutral colours, light wood furniture and plants are the essential kit to provide the sanctuary we need at home. “And plants are part of your furniture, so adding to, or rearranging them, will bring some fresh notes to your interior, whether you prefer a few seedlings or full jungle.” “The interiors we are increasingly designing are warm and tactile, shunning the digital for the analogue, the abstract for the tangible,” says Ruth Wainwright of commercial interiors specialists, Studio Cwtch. “The interiors you will start to see more of over the coming months will embrace this longing for the handmade and the tactile, with neutral, warmer colours creeping in, furnitures and fixtures with a conscience and a new ‘luxe-eco’ style emerging.’”

“Clients are seeking a greater connection to nature, something as evident inside as it is out,” says Nick Woodhouse of Woodhouse and Law. “Inspired by natural elements, we’ve noticed a growing trend towards a more earthy palette of colours; ochres, browns, rust and terracotta. Often these might be accompanied by textured neutrals or house plants.” “For so long we have been hardwired to believe that beige is dull and tired,” says Jasmine Main of Main Interiors. “However, get the right tone and it can be beautifully calming, especially mixed with soft pastels and natural textures. “With spring approaching, it’s the perfect time to jump feet-first into the biophilia trend; don’t forget about wallpapers and soft furnishings to bring in some plant influence. If you don’t have much space for large house plants, why not try some trailing plants hanging from the ceiling or popped on a shelf?” I BRISTOL LIFE I 19


In total contrast to the cool neutrals on the previous page, there’s also been a shift away from clean, bare interiors towards more flamboyant décor – and SS20 offers us the wildly enticing option of going as bold as we dare, with a brilliant new range of statement wallpaper. And we’re not even talking a timid feature wall here or there, either; we’re covering whole rooms with blousy/jazzy/scenic designs, and sometimes even taking it up across the ceiling, and anything else that will stand still long enough for us to shower it with pattern. No? How about the revival of the statement sofa, last seen some time in the mid-1980s? Apart from anything else, those stain-camouflaging patterns are highly practical. Florals have been big (literally) for a while, but now we’re seeing them with a more delicate, gentler, nostalgic, even oldfashioned feel, with finely drawn outlines; this needn’t mean chintz (though it can), as many designers have translated the trend in a decidedly in modern, punchy way.

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: “Everyone’s SS20 collections are super-exciting, as they are all showcasing an exciting mix of pattern and colour – the more the better,” says Alison Bracey. “Big, colourful designs in wallpapers are back, and there’s a welcome nod to classic prints; many designers have chosen to use their archive prints and to re-introduce them in more contemporary colourways. Geometric designs and botanicals are big, too.” “Some wallpapers are like a work of art, and can add a statement or focal point to a room or a colourful backdrop,” says Finola Kelly of Nola Interiors. “Little Greene’s new ‘National Trust Papers’ collection are based on original designs from the NT property portfolio, and recreated into timeless patterns and colours, suitable for contemporary and period homes.”

“The Alcazar Gardens wallpaper from Cole & Son’s new Seville collection ticks quite a few of this season’s trend boxes for me,” says Zoe Hewett of Stylemongers. “With its earthy tones and tropical palms, and the orange tree repeat, it’s not unlike the soft geometry that is gaining in popularity. “Archways and strong curves are also creeping in, and using wallpaper like the Alcazar Gardens is a great way to feel the benefits of being surrounded by curves in the home without the disruption.” “Wallpaper is having a glorious moment; especially the floral botanical patterns,” says Kay James of K-Interiors. “They bring a glamour and drama that are perfect for bedrooms and dining rooms; try toning your paint colour to complement. I also love a wall mural paper, especially in a bedroom; it creates such a whimsical romantic vibe.”


TOP: Rebel Walls

are your go-to for mural wallpaper

LEFT: are you bold enough for Cole & Sons’ new geometrics? Both from Bracey


There’s nothing new about this trend, which basically mixes vintage and modern to an eclectic (yet stylish) effect; but now it’s going by the name of ‘grandmillenial style’. What we’re doing here is mixing mid-century and Art Deco vintage pieces with 1970s colour palettes – yep, browns, reds and mustards (designers are even muttering darkly about smoked glass, don’t shoot the messenger) – but in a modern room. It’s an eco-friendly and nostalgic look, mixing handme-downs from your nan’s home: foxed mirrors, tassels and fringing, chinoiserie, topiary, floral prints. To avoid ending up with something that looks like Steptoe’s living room, limit yourself to just one or two statement vintage pieces.

ABOVE: Timeless with a mid-centry vibe; wing chair by Archer + Co RIGHT: Rebel Walls do abstract

BELOW: Jasmine Main pairs convex mirrors with mid-centry style

for an eclectic vibe

BAUHAUS, IN THE MIDDLE OF OUR STREET The interiors world is celebrating 100 years of Bauhaus design this year; if you can’t spring for vintage pieces, choose contemporary pieces with clean lines; that should do the trick. “We always try to reflect a client’s personality and individuality on any scheme we work on, taking inspiration from their very personal pieces; perhaps a piece of artwork, or even an old radio or record player,” says Nick of Woodhouse and Law. “It’s always much more fun when there is a story behind each piece, and we’ll often layer these up with additional accessories, both new and old, that complement and reflect their own style. These might be antique pieces for example, offering a more sustainable approach to design, with timeless pieces that can stay with the client for years or even generations ahead.” I BRISTOL LIFE I 21

Specialists in home & commercial Interior Design Beautiful show homes created via our large stock of furniture rental

SJP Interior Design, 36 The Mall, Clifton Village, Bristol, BS8 4DS @sjpinterior | 01179 730880

Interior Design



Grey has famously had its day. We’re so over living in homes that resemble a conference lounge. Warmer neutrals are sweeping in, such as pink, peach, lilac and oatmeal (Oh, okay, it’s beige), joined by the palest greens; meanwhile, just as our big trends divide into calm, natural hues and in-yer-face statements, we also have a strong alternative epitomised by Pantone’s Classic Blue. Invincible Paris Cyanotype prints by Addicted to Patterns

PINK Think a more sophisticated, earthy evolution of the millennial pink and candies we’ve seen in recent years. Ask yourself: would Barbie wear it? If the answer is ‘hell, yes!” it’s probably a no. Many interior designers hedge their bets, and murmur things like ‘combine it with green’, but Hannah Walkiewicz of Build Bristol is thinking even pinker. “If 2017 was 50 shades of grey, 2018 was navy and 2019 was rich greens, in 2020 it would appear that pink is strong enough to stand on its own two feet,” she says. “It’s a bold move – some may think it’s too feminine, but with a strong accent colour – say green, grey or navy – it can incorporate a masculine feel. We think it’s smart, sleek and quite frankly cannot get enough of it.”

BLUE While interiors gurus in recent years may have bickered over which metallics were in or out, and whether we should be installing or ripping up the terrazzo, they were pretty much united in their loathing of Pantone’s colour of the year for 2018, the flashy 2018 Ultra Violet (Cadbury’s meets The Crown), and dislike of 2019’s Living Coral (we haven’t yearned for a peach bedroom since we were nine). But everyone seems to like this year’s hue of Classic Blue, a kind of royal/navy blue hybrid. “Navy blue has held its own for a few seasons now, says Finola Kelly, “due to it being so versatile and sophisticated. Use it on its own to create a moody atmosphere or bold statement, or contrast it with a warm neutral for a dramatic lift.”

GREEN Oh, the relief when we realised that Dulux’s Tranquil Dawn wasn’t the colour of a haliborange after all, but the softest, most neutral green imaginable. Dulux say it’s all about ‘the nation’s mood on the approach of a new decade’. We say, it ties in beautifully with the current preoccupation with nature and plants; and if it’s a bit too wishy-washy for you, try combining with darker greens or warm pinks. “Green, from darks to more muted shades, has the ability to exude calm and relaxation, which sums up how to live our lives in this noisy world,” muses Charlotte Cosby of Farrow and Ball. “The key to this look is to avoid too much in the way in the way of pattern, and use different textures and plants instead,” advises Zoe Hewett.

FROM LEFT: Hannah of Build Bristol is unafraid of pink on pink; Finola of Nola Interiors is loving Little Greene’s

Hicks’ Blue and the (not dissimilar to Tranquil Dawn – maybe a little greener?) Hidey Hole I BRISTOL LIFE I 23






1. Crittal frames are everywhere – even in the bathroom (Ripples) 2, 6. As are coloured bathrooms also Ripples 3. The shell-like shape of this chair says ‘Deco’, but the legs hint at an earlier era: we’re calling ‘retro fusion’ here. £795, Graham & Green 4. Whale soap dish, £10.50, Pod 5. Irridescent tiling, Fired Earth




Living walls. Short of outdoor space? If you can’t grow out, grow up

Fringing – aka passementerie – all over the shop, from lampshades to wallhangings. Ideal for that must-have séance chic

Sea-inspired designs – Dave Attenborough’s Blue Planet chic, with shells, starfish etc, along with iridescence; aka the mermaid effect.

Woven furniture – specifically, rattan and wicker: inexpensive, lightweight and sustainable. Try to avoid the overwhelming temptation to pair with a spider plant in a macramé pot holder.

Chintz. No need to panic; it’s just a busy traditional design on a white background; nobody needs to get hurt here.

Chintzy china. Dine Downton Abbey style on vintage-inspired flowered plates.

Curvy chairs and sofas; Deco-style shell chairs are especially lush. Terrazzo. Innovative in the ’70s, naff in the ’80s, allegedly back for 2020. If you don’t fancy ripping up the flooring in 2030, maybe restrict it to accessories? A nice soap dish, perhaps? Velvet. Yep, still big, don’t panic

Crittal frames – not just for windows, but also doors, walls, room dividers and showers. Animal prints – still in! But handle with restraint. Nobody wants to live in a cross between the Playboy mansion and Kat Slater’s wardrobe.


Kitchens painted in several tones, especially dark hues; especially blues.

Fake pot plants (though dried flowers are in).

Natural materials; not just humble woods etc, but also glammy marble.

Pineapples, flamingos, cactuses and parrots. Enough with the kitsch already.

Coloured bathroom suites (though we haven’t heard the dreaded word ‘avocado’ yet). Plastic. Unless it’s recycled, into rugs, for example; Nola Interiors has some lovely ones. Shiny metallics. Brass, gold and copper are brushed; chrome is yielding to pewter. Boring flat surfaces. If it keeps still, it will be covered in reeding. Farmhouse kitchens. About as on-trend as a Keep Calm and Carry On print. Instead, see the retro revival trend, mixing pattern and vintage into fresh modern décor. Industrial style. Only kidding! We’re still loving it, as long as it comes softened up with natural, tactile fabrics – but maybe unscrew the Edison bulbs now, hey? Granite worktops. Admittedly, the fact that some designers have gone off the stuff is unlikely to persuade you to rip out several grand’s worth of countertops; but if you’re starting from scratch, then ‘quartz’ is the word on the streets. I BRISTOL LIFE I 25


Set the sat nav; we’re heading east. No, not to Chew Magna, or West Harptree: even more east than that. We’re off to Frome, to admire one of the best examples of modern rustic you’ll ever see By Lissie Warren



ou know how sometimes, just sometimes, you wake up, take one look at the beautiful morning outside, and, like Bill Withers, know it’s gonna be a lovely day? On such occasions, simply walking downstairs can feel a bit, well, prosaic. But unless you happen to be Mary Poppins or James Bond, sliding down bannisters rarely ends well; what you need on a day like this – or indeed, any day in which you need an extra injection of jauntiness in your life – is an internal slide. Hapsford Stables has such a slide; but in this knockout beauty of a home, you’d be forgiven for not spotting it at once. There are just so many other stellar features here to grab the attention and beguile the eye. The house is set on the outskirts of Frome, in the kind of Somerset countryside that estate agents invariably describe as ‘rolling’. As you may have guessed, it didn’t always look like this; in fact, the original building was never designed for human habitation at all. There’s no fake rusticity in the name; as it suggests, Hapsford was once a humble cluster of stables, that have now been repurposed to create the most alluring domestic space imaginable. How astonished would Gabriel Oak, the stolid yeoman hero of Thomas Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd, have been if you’d told him that one day, his humble barns and stables would change hands for several millions? If Bathsheba could have seen the future she’d have promptly married him in Chapter One, which wouldn’t have made for much of a story. Of course, the agrarian changes that took place during the last century came a few generations after Hardy. As barns became redundant, property developers quickly spotted the potential of these characterful buildings, with their soaring roofs and huge doorways, and it wasn’t long before these humble barns made the jump from rural dereliction to des-res; the new cathedrals of the countryside. At their best, barn conversions combine the rustic vernacular of the original architecture with a thoroughly modern, even industrial sensibility. If one thing epitomises a top-of-the-range 21st-century home, it’s an airy, open-plan flow; and what could be more conducive to that kind of flow than the cavernous spaces of a barn?

Industrial chic in a rural setting: modern rustic at its best. And yes, you’re right – that is a slide in the living room

As mentioned earlier, Hapsford Stables started life as a stable block. In fact there were so many stables that even after this sizeable home had been created, there were several left over, making this the ideal home for the equine-inclined, whether those who grew up with My Friend Flicka and always fancied a pony, to would-be thoroughbred breeders. Inside, the home feels modern, fun and full of character. Exposed whitewashed brickwork and polished concrete floors team modishly with the original stone; in the main living space, sliding walls of metal-framed glass open the room out to the gardens, with yet more glass overhead. However dour the weather, it’s impossible to imagine this area ever feeling gloomy; in fact, it would probably be thrilling in a storm. This main room is divided by a double-sided open fireplace; mezzanines and lowered ceilings carve laterally through the space to create neat and inviting lounge areas beneath. Set to one end of the main living space is an open-plan live/work space and yoga room, with a wall of glass making a picture of the surrounding countryside; a folded metal staircase leads to a mezzanine lounge and master bedroom suite, which stretches expansively across one entire side of the upper floor. Three more bedrooms and a bathroom are also on this level. But let’s head back into the split-level, open plan kitchen and dining room, since this is where you’ll invariably spend most of your waking hours. It’s a perfect space for both entertaining and cooking, with poured concrete worktops and an Aga built into the brickwork. A third lounge is set behind the kitchen, reached by a steel staircase, with sliding glass panels leading out to a decked terrace overlooking a swimming pool and paddocks. The estate-like 30 acres surrounding the buildings include wildflower meadows, a vegetable garden and numerous paddocks for the Flickas. There’s also a one-bedroom stone cottage offering self-contained accommodation, which is just as well, as once your city friends get a look at your thoroughly modern rural idyll they may be disinclined to leave…

“It wasn’t long before these barns became the cathedrals of the countryside”


Hapsford Stables is currently marketed by


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62-64 The Mall, Clifton I BRISTOL LIFE I 31


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Fancy Plants Check out the jungle in the city...


beautiful houseplant can transform a dreary corner or a dull desk space, but they do so much more. They oxygenate our air, improve our productivity and just make us feel better about our environment. If you don’t believe us, just step into Fancy Plants on Perry Road, just along from the BRI. It is a real jungle in the city, stocking plants from the tiniest cacti and succulents to the largest palms and birds of paradise. Here are just a few of our top tips when it comes to choosing and looking after your plants. When you are choosing a new plant, think about its natural habitat when you are deciding which one is right for your home or office... A cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa) is a great example. In its natural habitat in southern Mexico it will use trees for support. So it prefers the indirect or filtered light that it would get in this environment rather than direct sun. Other plants such as Calatheas are

Fancy Plants offer.. • Home and office consultations • Delivery for larger orders • Gift vouchers • A pop up Fancy Plants shop in your office

rainforest floor plants from South America and so they like to be kept lightly damp and in light shade, ideally with some good humidity. South African beauties like birds of paradise (Strelitzia) love to sunbathe. How can you make sure you choose the right plant? If you come and see us at Fancy Plants and need some help to choose, we might ask you to think about where you want the plant to go. Is it in direct sun? A shady spot? Which way does the window in the room face? If you’re not sure, check out the compass on your phone and point it at the window. We might ask you if your house is draughty or warm and even if you have pets or children, as some plants are not great for a nibbling puppy or a curious toddler. Lots of our customers bring photos of the room they want a plant for; we love this, as it helps us recommend the best plant for the space. Can you get rid of the plastic pot and put it in something more attractive? We all love a nice pot to show off our plants and at Fancy Plants we have a big selection of pots and baskets. But whatever you do, don’t take it out of it’s plastic pot unless you are putting it into another pot with drainage holes. The water needs to drain away and not sit round the roots for too long to avoid root rot. At Fancy Plants we reuse plastic pots where possible so pop by to pick up a free

recycled pot if you are thinking about repotting. Don’t be tempted to repot until the spring. The best time for most plants is MaySeptember - and just go up one pot size. ■

Address: 15 Perry Road, Bristol, BS1 5BG Web: Telephone: 0117 927 3171 Email: Instagram #hellofancy_plants I BRISTOL LIFE I 37


Picture credit:

Build Bristol Construction on the cards? THE BUILD BRISTOL GROUP will get the job done and dusted


om and Hannah Walkiewicz are the Co-Founders of The Build Bristol Group, a 3 times Bristol Life Award finalist who also received Highly Commended at the 2019 Bristol Property Awards.




The Build Bristol Group is a Residential & Commercial construction company. We are proud to offer design and build – managing the whole project with a turnkey service from start to finish.

George and Lara’s basement conversion in Windmill Hill, Bristol. If you could only see the ‘before’ pics you’d be able to truly appreciate what we created here!


One of the core strengths of our business is working with equally brilliant local businesses in both Bristol and Bath. George and Lara’s project saw us work again with Thomas Speed, a brilliant Bristol based Architectural Designer. ■

Back in 2013, we identified an opportunity in the market for not just a good building company but an excellent one. From modest beginnings with a select few Polish builders and craftsmen, we are now in our sixth year.

The Build Bristol Group offers clients a turnkey service. For clients who’ve never undertaken a build it can be daunting, so we have a core team of architects, designers and project managers who will help you through the whole process.

WE LOVE... The Build Bristol Group Consultancy | Design | Build 01179 091969 I BRISTOL LIFE I 39

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THE MOON’S A BALLOON Houston, stand by; because Bristol’s multidisciplinary artist Luke Jerram is bringing his Museum of the Moon back to Bristol for three weeks this summer. It is, of course, no stranger to the city; you may have admired it while it hung serenely in Wills Memorial back in 2017, or spotted it floating on the harbour waters (a fabulously surreal experience) last year. This time, it’s coming to Bristol Cathedral. The seven-metre balloon-like installation has detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface, and is complemented by a surround-sound composition by award-winning Bristol composer Dan Jones. The Moon travels the word, gathering new musical compositions along with personal responses, stories and mythologies, as well as highlighting the latest lunar science; but we like to think it calls Bristol home. The Moon will be on display in the crossing of Bristol Cathedral from 7-31 August 2020; I BRISTOL LIFE I 43

WHAT’S ON 20 March -20 April Bring it on, spring…

If you thought you’d seen the last of The Pelican Daughters, you almost have


identity, inclusion and the environment. At RPS;

PACITA ABAD: LIFE IN THE MARGINS Characterised by bright colours and intricate construction, Abad’s first UK exhibition reveals a pluralist approach to image making across cultures, histories and styles. At Spike Island;

Until 31 March

AMAK MAHMOODIAN: ZANJIR An imagined photographic conversation between Bristol-based Amak Mahmoodian and the Persian princess Taj al-Saltaneh that explores universal themes of family, loss and homesickness. At Arnolfini;

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;

Until 22 March

INTERNATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION 162 The world’s longest running photography exhibition at Royal Photographic Society features 43 international photographers and centres on themes of spirituality,

ART OF WALES Lime Tree Gallery are bringing the artistic talent of Wales to Bristol, featuring work by selection of painters, sculptors and ceramicists. Tidy;

Until 19 April

Until 26 April

ANGELICA MESITI: ASSEMBLY A large-scale video installation that imagines a community of movement, poetry and song. At Arnolfini;

Until 4 May



Wild things; we think we love you. The world-renowned photography exhibition continues at M Shed.

Until 24 May

WILHELMINA BARNSGRAHAM AND THE ARTISTS OF ST IVES RWA’s spring season presents two exhibitions respectively exploring the work of Wilhelmina Barns-Graham and her peers;

25 March – 23 May

CHRIS KILLIP: THE STATION A photo documentation of the anarcho-punk movement taken at The Station. At Martin Parr Foundation;

28 March – April 1

EARTH BODIES Earth Bodies celebrates and encourages a sustainable practice within contemporary art with a showcase of young artists’ responses to the current crisis of environmental neglect. At Centrespace Gallery;

1– 28 April

NO LIMITS A photographic celebration of active ageing with an outdoor exhibition in Castle Park;

2 – 25 April

GLOUCESTER ROAD PHOTOGRAPHIC EXHIBITION The photographic exhibition of the mighty Glo Road kicks off with the launch of Colin Moody’s latest book, with a speech and signings from the man himself at Alchemy 198’s Downstairs Gallery;

10 April – 21 June

SQUARING THE CIRCLE OF CONFUSION Taking its inspiration from pictorialism, the latest exhibition at RPS shows how photography has evolved as an artform, combining historical influences with today’s technology and approaches to photography;

18 – 29 April

SECRET POSTCARD EXHIBITION Listen up; the RWA Secret Postcard

WHAT’S ON 26 – 27 March

Exhibition offers you the chance to view all of the miniature artworks up close and to place some early bids before the actual auction event. At RWA;

BEST OF BE FESTIVAL 2020 An all-female line up of companies from Belgium, Switzerland and Hungary will showcase snapshots of storytelling, dance, physical theatre all in one evening;



Until 21 March

ABOVE: A female Faust strikes a more altruistic bargain than her male predecessors LEFT: Police Cops’ ’90s inspired comedy blockbuster at TFT BELOW:

Glacier Knot by Wilhelmina BarnsGraham

27 – 28 March

WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? A new production of Edward Albee’s celebrated domestic bitchfest (review page 67) Unsettling, claustrophobic and darkly funny, it’s ideally suited to the Factory Theatre’s intimate setting; FAUSTUS: THAT DAMNED WOMAN A controversial new take on the ultimate deal with the devil continues at Bristol Old Vic. And Faustus is female;

Until 28 March

THE RED LION In a world removed from the wealth and television cameras, a nonleague team are struggling to make ends meet. So when a gifted young player arrives out of nowhere, it’s the opportunity everyone’s been waiting for. At BOV;

POLICE COPS: BADASS BE THY NAME In a gritty northern town in 1999, complete with a ’90s rave soundtrack, a kitchen sink drama turns into a vampire-slaying horror epic. At Tobacco Factory Theatres;

30 March – 4 April

COULROPHOBIA Dik and Adam are clowns. They couldn’t fight their way out of a paper bag, let alone a surreal cardboard world. Why are they there and what are they supposed to be doing? Join them on their quest for freedom at The Wardrobe;

DOCTOR DRACULA This new immersive theatre project at Ashton Court integrates actors' performances with film projection and live music and explores the links between mythology, culture and medicine, with the aim of raising the profile of rare and treatable medical conditions;

1 – 4 April

THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD A glimpse into the bloodthirsty world of Tudor London. For once, even in the fantasy world of light operetta, everything might not be alright in the end. At Redgrave;

24 March – 4 April

3 April

THE KING AND I Set in 1860s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the relationship that develops between the King of Siam and governess Anna, who is brought to Siam to teach the king’s many wives and children. At Bristol Hippodrome;

25 – 26 March

A GIRL IN SCHOOL UNIFORM (WALKS INTO A BAR) It’s the future. But only slightly. There are blackouts. No one knows what’s causing them, but that doesn’t stop people going missing and Steph and Bell, a schoolgirl and barmaid, have to search for their missing friend. At The Wardrobe;

FIJI Nick and Sam have a date this weekend, and if things go well, it will be the first and last time they will ever see each other. You see, Nick wants to eat Sam – and Sam really wants to be eaten. Yup, this cannibalistic rom-com is pretty much as taboo as they come. At The Wardrobe;

VERVE: MIXED BILL Fourteen dancers. Four distinct, exhilarating works. See where dance is now and where it may go next from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance’s touring postgraduate company. At 1532 Performing Arts Centre;

7 – 11 April

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (*SORT OF) Blood of the Young returnby popular demand to BOV with their unique karaoke take on the Jane Austen classic. Six young women have a story to tell, and there are no blokes in the cast; I BRISTOL LIFE I 45

WHAT’S ON 14 – 25 April

lost control. The coffee has run out. A child scribbles on the wall. Someone spills a drink. Everyone is shouting. This is Toddlergeddon. At Redgrave;

POLLY (THE HEARTBREAK OPERA) Sharp Teeth Theatre and Marie Hamilton present a radical adaptation of Polly, John Gay's banned sequel to The Beggar's Opera. At The Wardrobe;

3 – 4 April

SMILE CLUB A darkly comic, searingly satirical one-woman show, set in the dystopian world of Smile Club, in which a government drive exists to tame and prune unruly women deemed unable to fit into society. At Tobacco Factory;

18 – 19 April

ABOVE: Wild Swimming have got the Monster Munch out again LEFT: No-one works a brick wall like JP Cooper

I BELIEVE IN UNICORNS Tomas doesn’t like books or stories, until the Unicorn Lady comes to town and reels him in with her irresistible magic tales. But then disaster strikes and puts everything that matters most in Tomas’s life in terrible danger. This stage adaptation of Morpurgo’s spellbinding story should be even more magical in the Tobacco Factory Theatre’s intimate space;

21 – 25 April

23 March, 6 April, 20 April

LES MISÉRABLES Hailed as ‘Les Mis for the 21st century’, this new staging tells the story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption. At Bristol Hippodrome;

8 – 9 April

SEXY LAMP Ever since landing a lead role in her school play, Katie believed there was a place for her in showbiz, but since then named, speaking and fully clothed roles have been thin on the ground. Her solo show at The Wardrobe combines storytelling, comedy and song to shed a light on how ridiculous the arts industry can be;

WILD SWIMMING Nell and Oscar meet on a deserted beach in Dorset. It’s 1595...or maybe it’s 1610. They will meet here, again and again, on this beach, for the next 400 years. Stuff will change, as it does with time. They will try to keep up. At BOV;

10 – 11 April

THE ACCIDENT DID NOT TAKE PLACE Somewhere on the other side of the world a plane is falling from the sky. You can see it on your laptop; watch it happening on YouTube; hit rewind and watch it burning on repeat. YESYESNONO come to The Wardrobe with a hyperreal exploration of the way we consume information, and the way information consumes us;

JAYDE ADAMS AND GUESTS Bristolian funny girl Jayde Adams is “an uncut gem; a force of nature; dangerous and unafraid; the future” – and she’s at The Wardrobe for one night only;

19 April

THE LAST OF THE PELICAN DAUGHTERS The Pelican Daughters are home for the last time. With their trademark irreverent humour and lovable characters, The Wardrobe Ensemble explore what it means for young people to grapple with inheritance, loss and justice in this comedy about four sisters trying to come to terms with their mother’s death. At BOV;

COMEDY 7 April – 9 May

5 April

CLOSER EACH DAY The world’s longest improvised narrative. Unplanned. Unscripted. Unconventional. Think EastEnders meets The League of Gentlemen via Love Island. At The Wardrobe;

25 – 26 March

ALEXEI SAYLE Alexei Sayle has been performing stand-up for 40 years since the day he invented modern comedy. He’d like to stay at home with his cat, but he’s still really funny, dangerously political and wildly energetic, so he feels compelled to do a live tour. At Redgrave;

28 March

SAM AVERY: TODDLERGEDDON The time is 4.17pm. No-one is dressed yet. Civilisation has collapsed. Law and order have broken down. The adults have

JOHN SHUTTLEWORTH’S BACK! John Shuttleworth’s back... is giving him trouble. Years of strenuous DIY, not to mention playing his organ whilst perched upon a multi pack of Diet Sprite with no lumber support, has taken its toll; At BOV;

MUSIC 21 March

SAMANTHA LINDO Samantha Lindo will be performing a stripped back set at St George’s, focusing solely on her ‘hauntingly flawless’ voice and her words; PHOENIX CHOIR BRISTOL Bristol Phoenix Choir and Orchestra and the Bristol Cathedral Consort will perform Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem and Vaughan Williams’s Five Mystical Songs at Bristol Cathedral;

23 March

CIGARETTES AFTER SEX Cigarettes After Sex return with their second album, Cry, and a brand-new set of tour dates across the UK.

26 March

JIMMY ALDRIDGE AND SID GOLDSMITH Bristol folk and acoustic scene’s celebrated duo are coming to Bristol’s New Room with their timeless music; I BRISTOL LIFE I 47

WHAT’S ON 26 March – 29 March

BRISTOL INTERNATIONAL JAZZ & BLUES FESTIVAL Bristol Jazz & Blues Festival presents as many different genres under the jazz and blues umbrella as possible, featuring international and local talent; see feature page 60. Various venues;

27 March

PEE WEE ELLIS PLAYS THE BLUES Saxophone maestro Pee Wee Ellis’s new show features a personal selection of classic compositions and originals with a hand-picked all-star group. At St G’s;

28 March

RITUAL UNION Ritual Union are bringing their multi-venue festival to Bristol for the first time, celebrating home-grown acts as well as artists from further afield;

29 March

CHINA MOSES The high voltage soul and jazz diva is back in Bristol following the release of her new album. At St George’s;

29 March

THE SLOW READERS CLUB The Manchester electronic-rock outfit are back with aptly-titled new album: The Joy Of The Return. At Thekla;

4 April

BECKY HILL The chart-topping artist’s 2020 UK tour will showcase Becky’s incredible on-stage energy along with an array of her most recent releases. At SWX;

6 April

CARIBOU Caribou is welcoming in a new era with new music and a fresh set of tour dates for 2020, joined by Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith. At O2;

7 April

LLOYD COLE The latest album Guesswork sees Cole turn to keyboards, creating a mostly electronic setting for his voice. At St George’s;

10 April

TERRACE SESSIONS: JOEY NEGRA AT BAMBALAN Terrace Sessions are back at Bambalan with an even bigger line-

up for 2020, kicking off with dance legend Joey Negro;

17 April

MAKI NAMEKAWA One of the pre-eminent interpreters of Philip Glass’s music on the piano, Maki Namekawa will light up St George’s with the UK première of his first piano sonata, written specially for her by the composer;

21 April

JP COOPER JP’s at SWX with Raised Under Grey Skies, his debut album inspired by his life and times. At SWX; swxbristol. com

23 April

FEEDER The British rock band have extended the live run and are heading our way after the huge success of their Tallulah album tour. At O2;

23 – 26 April

BRISTOL NEW MUSIC Returning for its fourth edition with four days of concerts, exhibitions and workshops across the city. Various locations;


Until 22 March

LYRA: BRISTOL POETRY FESTIVAL Back and bigger for 2020 with an array of local, national and international poets performing in venues around the city;


Michael Morpurgo’s magical story comes to TFT Feeder will be Feeling a Moment at O2


25 March

BRISTOL FILM FESTIVAL Catch a variety of screenings at site-specific venues across the city, ranging from wine cellars to spooky caves. Various locations;

BRISTOL LIFE BUSINESS CLUB: NICK STURGE, ENGINE SHED In this edition of Bristol Life Business Club, we’ll be speaking to Nick Sturge, the founder of Engine Shed, who has just recently left the business. At Avon Gorge Hotel;

21 March

28 – 29 March

Until July 4

THE BRISTOL FOOD TOUR A triple bill of foodie tours offering a taste of Bristol’s best indie businesses across the city;

21– 31 March

THE BRITISH DAL FESTIVAL A nationwide celebration of the magic of dal and pulse dishes, encompassing a Dal Trail of shops and eateries across the UK. See page 76;


12 April

BRISTOL VINTAGE PHOTOGRAPH FAIR A new event that gives collectors of early photography a chance to meet specialist photograph dealers from the UK and Europe, and to view and purchase fine and rare vintage photographs from all around the world. At RPS House;

BRISTOL WOMEN’S LITERATURE FESTIVAL At Watershed with a fourth programme for a tremendous celebration of women’s writing and literary history. At Watershed;

21 April

30 March – 4 April

23 April

UNFINISHED BUSINESS A week-long series of events marking the 40th anniversary of the St Pauls Uprising, its context and legacy. At BOV;

5 X 15 BRISTOL Five speakers, 15 minutes each, no scripts. This month’s talks include ‘Memoirs of a Muslim Drag Queen’, and that’s just for starters. At The Station; BRISTOL LIFE AWARDS The best of Bristol businesses and organisations join us for an evening of glitz, glamour and music – oh, and awards; n





Mandy’s beehive gets a tweak before her courtroom scene in The Trial of Christine Keeler. “Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he?”

Move over Elstree; stand down, Pinewood. National and international TV and film crews are increasingly making a beeline for Bristol, attracted by its creativity and versatility – and right at the centre of this booming local industry is the Bristol Film Office. So, lights, cameras, action: welcome to Bristollywood, baby! Words by Deri Robins I BRISTOL LIFE I 51




“To be able to produce a major drama with over 80 speaking parts, with up to 500 people working on it, and to find everything you need in one city that you can get around so easily compared to London, is a remarkable thing. Bristol deserves a BAFTA for the best place to make drama” Executive producer Douglas Rae, The Trial of Christine Keeler “Bristol is my home city, so I’m biased, but I think it’s the most fascinating city in the country. I’m so proud it’s got this new City of Film status, it’s a place where stories should be told” Jack Thorne, five-time BAFTA-winning screenwriter; Kiri, His Dark Materials “Bristol is fantastic, vibrant, really colourful, really edgy, completely non-conformist. It was a really good place to film” Sarah Lancashire, actress, Kiri “I love Bristol. We shot Dirk Gently in Bristol, and it’s a nice mixture of the gritty and the seedy. It’s got a life. Bristol’s past has given it a liveliness which I really enjoy” Stephen Mangan, actor

below: Notting Hill? Nah, St Paul’s, babs

opposite: Poldarks’ Cornwall and London, via BS14


emember how totally buzzed we all got when the first episode of Skins aired back in 2007? “OMG, it’s Bristol, Nigel! Look; Tony’s crossing actual Vauxhall Bridge! Cassie and Sid are up on Brandon Hill!” Or our touching excitement, tuning in to Being Human, to discover a vamp, a werewolf and a ghost house-sharing up in Totterdown. Or when a dazed Jodie Comer staggered out from that basement in Thirteen; not a particularly good advert for Lockleaze, but even so. Of course, we’d always enjoyed glimpses of Bristol on the box. An irate Andrew Lincoln, trying to weave his bike through traffic in Teachers. Trevor Eve, rocking a ’70s ’tache in Shoestring. Only Fools and Horses pretending that Redcliffe was Peckham, and the Young Ones downing pints at the ‘Kebab and Calculator’ at Westbury Park. And that’s even before we get started on Casualty… The occasional film was filmed here, too, the most inherently ‘Bristol’ of them being Clive Donner’s 1962 Some People, with its fascinating views of the mid-century city; and 2006 movie Starter for Ten, co-starring a young James McAvoy, York Crescent, and Bristol Uni. But over the last decade or so (yes, season one of Skins aired in 2007, feel old), Bristol Film Office has taken the whole thing up a serious notch, with back-to-back location shoots for numerous TV dramas ostensibly set elsewhere (we’re looking at you, Sherlock, Wolf Hall, Doctor Who, His Dark Materials, The Trial of Christine Keeler and The Pale Horse) along with a few series that put the city dead-centre (Kiri). Thanks to its versatility, beauty and creativity, Bristol has become the TV producer’s go-to; you can hardly walk through Old City these days without tripping over a dolly rail or bumping into a best boy.




“‘Aidan’s Maidens’ have worked out how to find him when he’s filming in Bristol by following production unit signs”


The Trial of Christine Keeler used more of Bristol than any single drama for years. Central Library doubled for Marylebone Police Station, offices above St Nicholas’ Market stood in for the War Office and MI5, Wills Memorial Building became the House of Commons and the Lord Mayor’s Mansion House became a Mayfair hotel. St Paul’s doubled for Notting Hill, and many more locations were featured on screen, including Goldney Hall, City Hall, Caledonia Place, Berkley Square, Corn Street, Small Street and Broad Street. In The Pale Horse, Frogmore Street and Cave Street doubled for the East End, Denmark Street for Soho, properties overlooking St Nicholas Market were brought to life as a period police station, Queen Square doubled as a Chelsea apartment block and Clifton Village’s West Mall doubled as the capital’s King’s Road. Redcliffe Caves are consistently popular, thanks to their dark and atmospheric look. Most recently they have stood in for the Cornish tin mines in Poldark and as Mars for Doctor Who. Princes Wharf has accommodated huge crowd scenes for feature films on and around The Balmoral, for example Stan & Ollie and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

Meanwhile, up on the big screen, Harbourside has been used for such recent major movies as Stan and Ollie and The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society. It’s hard to work out, some days, whether the ss Great Britain has some historical re-enactment thing going on, or whether Hollywood’s come a-calling; either way, we bet Bristol Council’s glad it preserved those M Shed cranes now. And that’s without taking into account the massive boom in studio work, which knows no geographical bounds; did you know, for example, that Poldark’s Nampara, and many other interior shots, were filmed at The Bottle Yard in Hartcliffe? And while it would have been a bit of a push to use Bristol as stand-in for Svalbard for outdoor shots, the studios had no problem whatsoever creating the roomsets for massive Sky drama series Fortitude. It’s all very exciting, and we’re a bit jealous of Natalie Moore, senior film officer at Bristol Film Office. Natalie’s job includes liaising with the TV and film producers, and making them aware of all the locations, crew and facilities available in Bristol. “We work with location managers, taking them out on recces and showing them the best sites to fit what they’re looking for,” she says. “Once a production decides to film in Bristol, it’s our job to put permits, security and other arrangements in place, to ensure every shoot goes as smoothly as possible, for both the production and the public.” Natalie is also project manager for Bristol UNESCO City of Film, working with organisations and individuals to connect and promote the great work coming out of the city in terms of production, talent, festivals, venues, education and skills initiatives; she also works with fellow UNESCO Cities of Film across the world on new and exciting projects. “Being a UNESCO City of Film means that Bristol is now a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, a worldwide group of over 240 creative cities working together towards a common mission for cultural diversity and sustainable urban development,” says Natalie. “This gives us a unique opportunity to build on our success in film and the moving image, while further embedding those values into how we watch, make and learn about film in Bristol. It also means we can I BRISTOL LIFE I 53

FILM help Bristol’s film community engage with, and learn from, other cities around the world, by forging international collaborations, creating new artistic exchange programmes and exploring cross cultural projects that might combine film with other mediums within UNESCO’s Creative City fields – for example music, literature and craft.” So, why’s it all happening here? Why in Bristol? “Bristol has so much to offer in terms of locations – everything from caves to green spaces, period architecture, urban streets and more modern developments,” says Natalie. “The skills and experience of our local crew, facilities and postproduction companies are second to none, and for the last 15 years the Film Office has been consistently providing a ‘film-friendly’ service behind the scenes, giving producers reassurance that they can overcome any problems that might crop up. “Production teams tell us that they love being able to move around the city more easily than they can in London. We’re on the doorstep of the South West, with period properties, dramatic coastlines, country villages and rugged scenery all a short drive away. And we’re consistently told that the city is popular with visiting cast and crew: they love the sights, the nightlife and restaurants while they are enjoying their downtime.” We’re trying to picture Fortitude’s Dennis Quaid down Mr Wolf ’s, but not entirely succeeding. Then of course, there’s The Bottle Yard Studios, opened in 2010 and growing rapidly ever since; it’s already hosted over 50 productions, including some of the biggest dramas on screen. More than 20

“We’re now trying to picture Dennis Quaid down Mr Wolf’s but not entirely succeeding…”

businesses are now based on site, providing lighting, kit hire, casting and special effects to productions. “It really has become the heart of Bristol’s production industry,” says Natalie. “The staff are incredibly knowledgeable. Fiona Francombe and her small team are all from production industry backgrounds, meaning they understand the challenges of a production schedule. “The studio space is very flexible, and priced competitively, not too far from London and on the gateway to the South West, so it has developed a reputation as a place where nearly anything is possible. It has a gigantic green screen, the largest outside London, and a huge back lot that can accommodate outdoor street sets, such as the one recently built for Sanditon. “There’s also a real commitment to training the next generation of talent – boomsatsuma runs two diploma courses for 16-19 year olds on site, giving hands-on experience of sets, bringing local benefit, as well as business to the area.”


“Night shoots at Waring House for the Hellboy movie featuring armoured vehicle, and David Harbour in full superhero costume… the transformation of Blaise Orangery into an ethereal portal to another world for His Dark Materials… the buzz of The Trial of Christine Keeler’s shoot, with all the glamorous 1960s costumes … seeing Frog Lane strewn with apocalyptic dead bodies for Fox’s War of the Worlds… the large Tudor court scenes filming up at Ashton Court for The Spanish Princess… street scenes with horse-drawn carriages for Sherlock…”


clockwise from left: Has that Gabriel Byrne been down Asdol’s and nicked a trolley for War of the Worlds? A young Ray Brooks and David Hemmings in Some People; Rufus Sewell in The Pale Horse



© BRISTOL FILM OFFICE ABOVE: Ghost, vamp, werewolf: your average Totterdown house-share in Being Human; TOP: Stan & Ollie filming on Princes Wharf I BRISTOL LIFE I 55




No wonder Lily James looks so thoughtful: cranes had to be moved and trains turned around to shoot The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on Harbourside

And with Channel 4’s arrival in Bristol, says Natalie, the Film Office has started 2020 stronger than ever. “The fact that C4 opted to base one of their regional hubs here is a massive endorsement of the strength of the industry in Bristol, and has further boosted the momentum we were already enjoying after winning the City of Film status a couple of years ago,’ says Natalie. “It’s really exciting to have their Creative Diversity department based here, which will be working to nurture and develop on- and off-screen talent from all backgrounds. I also hope that having drama commissioners working at the Bristol hub will mean the development of more home-grown drama series for the city. And films don’t come more home-grown than Bait – a back-to-basics, low-budget movie shot entirely on 16mm black-and-white film with a


“We almost had Star Wars filming in a Filton aircraft hangar a few years ago. They cancelled just before they were due to start” “Some savvy fans of Aidan Turner’s (‘Aidan’s Maidens’) have worked out how to find him when he’s filming in Bristol by following production unit signs that are placed around the city.” “Kylie once visited The Bottle Yard to see then-fiancé, Joshua Sasse, and filmed cameo scenes for the US TV series, Galavant” “For Stan & Ollie and The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society to film on The Balmoral, cranes had to be moved and locomotives turned around to accommodate both productions. And all during the Easter school holidays…”

vintage wind-up Bolex camera, hand-processed in an old Bakelite tank. Since its release last year, it’s been mopping up awards all over the shop. “Bait blasted a strong trail through last year’s international festival circuit and went on to win the Outstanding Debut award at the 2020 BAFTAs, and was nominated in the Outstanding British Film category – it was amazing to see it listed alongside major films like 1917 and Rocketman,” says Natalie. “Although filmed in Cornwall, Bait was produced by Totterdownbased Early Day Films. Bristol audiences really got behind it during its nine week run at Watershed; it proved so popular that they had to bring it back for an extra week over Christmas and the New Year.” Obviously, the huge increase in filming means numerous benefits for the local economy, with productions at Bristol locations and/or based at The Bottle Yard Studios bringing in £16 million into Bristol last year alone. “For every ‘broadcast hour’ of on-screen drama made at the Studios, we estimate that around 14 FTE jobs were created. Then you have all the knock-on business brought into the city, by cast and crews booking accommodation, transport, catering and so on. “Perhaps most importantly, there’s the direct benefit to local crew and the next generation of production professionals living in Bristol; they are able to stay and work here rather than being forced to move to do the job that they love. We also know that seeing a city featured on screen brings film tourism into cities, so we work closely with Destination Bristol to promote walking tours of popular locations to the public, for example with our online Movie Maps and location features.” In the past, we’ve gaily suggested that watching shows and films shot in Bristol made for the ultimate drinking game: down one shot whenever you see Park Street, one for The Downs, and so on. At the pace that Bristollywood’s going, it’s rapidly getting to the point where it’s impossible to do this and drink responsibly… n; I BRISTOL LIFE I 57



Not since Dismaland have we been so persuaded to visit Westonsuper-Mare – and even better, the new Weston Arts and Health Weekender is far easier to get into…


ristolians have been visiting Weston-superMare since before the arrival of the railways. It’s always offered a great day out for kids and an uplifting break for their grown-ups, while retirees often chose to settle here, where they could see the sea. In 2015, Banksy’s Dismaland invited an international and younger crowd to look anew at the traditional kiss-me-quick kitsch through an arty lens. Most recently, North Somerset Council asked local people to think about how their town should be shaped in the 21st century; over 5000 residents have since shared their ‘Weston Wishes’. As house prices in Bristol continue to soar, Weston-super-Mare is fast becoming a primary destination and go-to resort.

9 Million Nobodies draws on real life experiences to explore loneliness, social isolation, and what it means to be human in a world of decreasing community


And now, just in case its bucket-and-spade, fish-and-chips delights were not enough to lure you down, we are all invited to the new Weston Arts and Health Weekender. So what’s it all about, then? We now know that simple things like daylight, fresh air and outdoor exercise can help us to stay fit and get well. Those who spend their weekdays indoors staring at screens need easy access to big skies at weekends. There is also scientific evidence that doing an engaging activity in good company can boost moods and support mental health. What the medical profession calls ‘social prescribing’ helps by making links between individuals in need and organisations that offer meaningful experiences in supported environments. Fortunately, Weston offers plenty of opportunities to busy our bodies and employ creativity, as well as wide horizons to help us empty our minds of stress. Hence this pioneering new three-day event, showcasing these links between place, the arts, and health. The festival marks two significant events; the joining of two hospital trusts to form

Luke Jerram will be creating a bespoke artwork near the pier. Luke was once described by a New York TV show as “probably the most famous artist you’ve never heard of”. Well, we’re from Bristol; we’ve heard of him alright

University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust, and the launch of Culture Weston, a new initiative that promotes cultural and heritage-based activity as a vital part of the town’s life, supported by North Somerset Council and Arts Council England as part of their commitment to arts and culture as a central element of the town’s future identity and growth. The Weekender offers over 50 events, from outdoor arts, including internationallyacclaimed acts, to performances and activities indoors. Headline artist Luke Jerram, whose Museum of the Moon has been seen by over 10 million people worldwide, will be presenting his own take on the arts and health theme. Subject to weather conditions, Luke will be creating a large-scale bespoke outdoor temporary artwork near the pier, solely for the duration of the festival. There are opportunities to play beach volleyball and join in with wild swimming; if that sounds a bit too energetic, on Saturday, on the roof of the Sovereign Centre, you can be serenaded by the soothing sounds of the Sing With Soul choir as the sun sets over the sea. There’s plenty more going on at such venues as the Blakehay Theatre, Loves Café,

The Stable, Weston Museum and the Library, where visitors can expect dance, theatre, music, poetry, storytelling, heritage and food. Look out for a mural by Andy Council, poetry by Beth Calverley, music from North Somerset Music Service and green spaces to enjoy. In Dolphin Square, Paul Blakemore’s photo exhibition Shifting Horizons will explore the endless possibilities that roll in with the tide, and at the Sovereign Centre, North Somerset Artists will be creating an exhibition and Empathy Room in a pop-up shop. Those who enjoy exploring new neighbourhoods can pick up an arts trail, but if you just fancy a nice trip to the seaside (with benefits), look out for arts therapist Helen Wheelock, who will be getting creative with sandcastles to interpret seaside memories shared by residents of care homes. The Weston Art and Health Weekender is a first. The organisers hope it will be the first of many. Take a deep breath, and dive into this refreshing and uplifting programme.

“North Somerset Artists will be creating an exhibition and Empathy Room in a pop-up shop”

The Weston Arts + Health Weekender takes place 3-5 April For more: I BRISTOL LIFE I 59

THE NAME’S HAZLEWOOD… …Charles Hazlewood; and this month he takes on Bond at the Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival. His weapon of choice? A baton…



veryone has a favourite Bond actor, right? You probably have a favourite Bond theme, too; and while the two don’t necessarily go together, we’re hazarding a guess that if your textbook 007 is sexy, suave Sean Connery, Goldfinger might be your favourite tune, while if you prefer ironic, eyebrowarching Roger Moore, it’s probably a toss-up between Live and Let Die and The Spy Who Loved Me. Stylistically, the Bond tunes range far and wide, reflecting the tastes of their eras: from the flamboyant brassiness of the Bassey-Barry 1960s dream team, to the ’70s pop of Wings, to Duran Duran’s ’80s New-Romantic synth, and most recently, the Prozac-dreaminess of millennial-ofthe-moment Billy Eilish, singing Hans Zimmer’s theme to No Time to Die. And while Bond is rarely romantic, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service gave us one of the world’s greatest love songs in We Have All The Time in the World (spoiler alert: they didn’t). Many would argue that it’s the original Bond signature theme – which was either penned by Monty Norman or John Barry, depending on whose lawyer you’re talking too – that’s the most evocative of all, being packed with intrigue, adventure, evil, opulence and glamour. Nothing says “007 is just about to peel off a wetsuit to reveal a dinner jacket” better than that tense, mysterious vintage guitar sound, the stealthy opening ‘dum di-di dum dum’ bars culminating in an explosive fanfare. In some cases, it didn’t just set the scene for the high drama to come, but offered the best minute-and-a-half of the entire film.

In honour of the release of No Time to Die – originally planned for next month, but now pushed back until the end of the year – this year’s Bristol International Jazz & Blues Festival is putting on a spectacular concert of the entire catalogue of Bond theme tunes, conducted by Charles Hazlewood in collaboration with musician, arranger and festival organiser Denny Ilett. Sounds like a bit of a challenge, lads… Denny: I’ve always been fascinated by film soundtracks from the ’60s

and ’70s, and the Bond franchise plays a big part in that. I was approached last year by producer Steve Fulcher to transcribe the themes of every Bond tune in the run-up to the new movie. It seemed like a good idea to stage it at Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival, where we could feature many of our finest jazz, big band and classical instrumentalists and vocalists from our region as possible. I’m at my happiest when rummaging among the orchestrations of great writers and arrangers. I love working out how they write and how they use the myriad colours that a full orchestra offers. As for the challenge; that was down to having enough time to do it…

“Bond is hardwired into our national DNA: as British and as hard to resist as a pint of stout”

Charles: I love working with Denny on any project. He smashed it as

co-guitarist, with Adrian Utley, on our Barry White Paraorchestra Love Unlimited Synth Orchestra project at Glastonbury last summer, and I hope to return the favour. And then there’s Bond; hardwired into our national DNA, as British and as hard to resist as a pint of stout… I BRISTOL LIFE I 61


But how does this fit into a jazz festival? Denny: Certainly, the early themes, written by John Barry, fit straight

into the jazz/big band canon. As for the later stuff, which is more in the pop realm, there are always little nods to the Barry tradition, where you’ll find those patent Cold War chord sequences mixed with jazz harmony along with that everpresent and powerful big band brass sound.

What can people expect on the night? Denny: We have an orchestra consisting

Ahead of James Bond in Concert, you’ll be able to enjoy an exclusive evening of classic Martinis and live music at The Milk Thistle, between 5.30-8pm Fri 27; tickets £38+ booking fee

Charles : Goldfinger, because of the dark

“Shirley Bassey’s voice: world-weary, yet with the power of an ocean wave, the heat of a furnace, and a swing, bend and wobble like no other”

of 10 brass, two woodwind, 12 strings, two keyboards, two guitars, three percussion and, of course, the glorious harp for those marvellous Hollywood glissandi. On top of that, we have no fewer than six guest vocalists to cover the plethora of vocal styles that 50-plus years of Bond music features. Everyone is local to Bristol, which is a fantastic advert for the quality of performers we have here; all except exception of lead trumpeter Simon Gardner, who has performed on several James Bond soundtracks, and the irrepressible Ian Shaw on vocals. SHAKEN, NOT STIRRED

Having said that, I grew to love and respect many of the later themes, such as Licence To Kill and The Living Daylights, while transcribing them.

Have you got a favourite theme tune? Denny: The John Barry

years are my favourite, especially You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and, of course, the iconic instrumental main theme.

velvet of Barry’s music (which just sounds expensive, doesn’t it?). He had such genius at instantly creating a world – you hear literally one bar of Barry and you know exactly where you are. But most of all because of Shirley Bassey’s voice. Worldweary, yet with the power of an ocean wave, the heat of a furnace – and a swing, bend and wobble like no other.

What’s your favourite Bond film – and Bond? Denny: My favourite movie is On Her

Majesty’s Secret Service and Live And Let Die. I wish George Lazenby had been given more of a shot at developing his Bond character in the former, and, the movie features that beautiful We Have All The Time In The World, sung so poignantly by Louis Armstrong, in the middle. Favourite Bond? Roger Moore, simply because I love the way he hams it up and gives 007 a sense of humour that none of the others do.

Charles: From Russia with Love, because it stars Lotte Lenya as the starkest and most ascetic of all the Bond villains. In real life she was Kurt Weill’s missus, and starred in the original Threepenny Opera. What a woman; and what a pair of shoes… n

James Bond in Concert is at O2 Academy on 27 March; tickets £22; I BRISTOL LIFE I 63

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Seasons change As spring makes its mind up about whether to arrive or not, Emily has the perfect reads for mulchy March

“The challenge is something she could not have anticipated: looking after twins who burst into flames when they are upset or agitated”


ooks have seasons too, you know. Certain novels read differently in spring than they do in winter; or they might take on different characteristics if they’re devoured in front of a log fire rather than in a hot beer garden. So in this mulchy part of the year, between winter and spring, we’ve picked some recent highlights which, we hope, are improved by this transitionary climate – books about changing perspectives, unexpected heroes and rewriting history for the better. THE FIVE by Hallie Rubenhold Could this be one of the most important history books in recent years? We think Hallie Rubenhold’s electrifying and humane portraits of the victims of Jack The Ripper is an almighty balance-tipper, a deeply researched work that challenges our dismissive attitudes to forgotten women. There’s barely a single mention of the criminal himself, and the entirety of the book is rightly given over to these remarkable and often bracing life stories. DJINN PATROL ON THE PURPLE LINE by Deepa Anappara We were lucky enough to be visited by Deepa Anappara last year while she was on the promotional trail for her sensational début novel. This is absolutely not a factor in the book’s inclusion here, but she did bring us some delicious Indian sweets; Deepa, you know us too well. Regardless of the snacks, Djinn Patrol is astonishing: a young boy in the slums of India turns detective when kids start to go missing from school, but it’s unclear whether they are pursuing a criminal mastermind or bad djinn who lurks around the slums at night. There’s such a vivid sense of place in this novel – the air heavy with masala chai mingled with the suffocating smog and piles of rotten rubbish – but there’s so much warmth and charm underneath, and characters who will go straight to your heart. MOTHERWELL: A GIRLHOOD by Deborah Orr The much-missed journalist Deborah Orr’s memoir has finally arrived, just a few short

months after her untimely death from cancer. What shines through in this moving book is what made Orr such a brilliant writer about her own life: supreme honesty and humour in all things, even the bad stuff. Motherwell is the story of Orr’s early life, her difficult relationship with her mother, and is also a searing portrait of working class life in 1960s Scotland. WINTER IN SOKCHO by Elisa Shua Dusapin “Oozing with winter and fish, Sokcho waited.” With lines like that, we couldn’t resist this simple and elegant debut from French-Korean author Elisa Shua Dusapin. A young woman is working at a run-down hotel near the South-North Korean border out of season, and when a French comic book artist comes to stay, she starts to view her situation and surroundings through his eyes. It’s a fascinating novel about anticipation; the chilly emptiness of a seaside resort in its downtime, of growing up and wanting to be seen, and with a delicately woven comment about the reality of living close to the North Korean border in troubled times. And fish. Lots and lots of fish. NOTHING TO SEE HERE by Kevin Wilson If you’re looking for a fast-paced entertaining read we would recommend this slightly deranged and surprisingly sweet novel. 28-year-old Lillian feels that her life is going nowhere, so when she gets a mysterious job offer from an old school friend she jumps at the chance for a change of pace. But the challenge is something she could not have anticipated: looking after twin children who burst into flames when they are upset or agitated. The twins also happen to be the children of a very high-profile politician, and their unique ‘abilities’ must be kept very quiet. Lillian and the twins have to learn trust over the course of one summer, and find a way to accept each other for who they are. It’s an atypical feel-good novel with a wholly original plot and endless wry chuckles to be had along the way. Storysmith, 49 North Street, Bedminster I BRISTOL LIFE I 65


Sebastian Orozco as Doc O’Connor in The Laramie Project

Everyone’s talking about…theatre Give a warm Bristol welcome (or maybe a standing ovation might be more appropriate?) to our new columnist…


here comes a point in everybody’s life when they need a new perspective. Once you hit your forties, you can feel the clock is ticking a little faster, the body moving a little slower, yet the mind seems stronger than ever. Having lived in Cardiff for 25 years or so, following 17 formative years in the wonderful wilds of Pembrokeshire, I felt ready for a new adventure in 2020. But where? The list, which needed a strong cultural offering, ranked as follows: Manchester to Birmingham in the joint top spot, with Brighton and Newcastle in second and third respectively. Until, that is, I swiped right on a Bristolian who was going to turn my life upside down. Coming from Cardiff, Bristol was always ‘just down the road’,

and so never felt like a destination like London, Liverpool or Edinburgh. It had always passed me by, or I had always passed it by, en route to other places. I knew I was looking for love on Tinder, but who knew I would fall in love with the city as well as the man? Bristol possesses a cultural confidence that I’m finding most empowering, and since moving to the city last month, my theatre tour has taken me from the Hippodrome to Bristol Old Vic and Tobacco Factory Theatres, to a school hall in Bedminster, and I’ve loved every second of it. I live for theatre, having worked in professional theatre my entire adult life, minus a stint in rugby. (I am Welsh, after all). In fact, when I talk about ‘cultural-confidence’ I consider sport to be a huge factor in that. To me, stadiums are among the

“Bristol possesses a cultural confidence that I’m finding most empowering”

greatest theatres of all, so in the coming weeks I’ll be heading to Ashton Gate to see what drama unfolds on that lush, green stage. But for now, to the wooden boards of Bristol… What better way to kick off this column than at two of Bristol’s most famous theatrical institutions. First off, a serious treat, watching the outrageously talented acting students of Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in The Laramie Project. Reliving the harrowing true story of the 1998 murder of Matthew Shephard in Laramie, Wyoming and with frequent references to hate crime, being kind, human rights and press intrusion, this production felt incredibly pertinent in the aftermath of Caroline Flack’s death. Never before have I seen versatility like this from actors in training; I’ve seen a lot of student drama at the country’s top acting conservatoires, but this was nextlevel stuff. The characterisation, as each performer took on several roles, was breathtaking in a sublimely directed piece by Nancy Medina. Not a single missed beat in the delivery, and special mention to movement director Michelle Gaskell and voice coach Carol Fairlamb. The performances they achieve, alongside Medina, from this young cast is nothing

short of astounding. Standing ovation well and truly deserved. From a cast in training to one in its professional prime, and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at Tobacco Factory Theatres. A gift of a script for any actor, these performers devour every drop of pathos and comedy in this classic play by Edward Albee, in a round setting with no corners to hide in. Everything is laid bare in this toxic drama about love and vengeance in relationships. Again, the precision in the storytelling and execution of these performances through expert direction from David Mercatali is remarkable. While Pooky Quesnel is delightfully vitriolic as Martha, Mark Meadows as her conflicted husband George provides a masterclass in how to pitch a most difficult ‘supporting’ player to a famous character. He was dry and sublime. A big shout out, too, to the wonderful productions of Book of Mormon and Beautiful: The Carole King Story at the Hippodrome – and my final word goes to the cast of Bristol South Gang Show, who showed at Bedminster Down Secondary School that, young or old, Bristol has talent. Follow Jamie on Twitter @JamRees I BRISTOL LIFE I 67



Camper fantastic holidays Stuart Shotton, founder of SUN KISSED CAMPERS has a holiday-ready solution that’s far from in-tents… Tell us a bit about your background. We’re a boutique holiday company. My wife and I started the business over five years ago and we’re very proud of our fleet of seven VW T6 California campervans. So you are a true family business? Yes, we run a home office, so we can both be around for our 10 year old. This works well, due to our Gypsy Lane garage and reception, near Keynsham being only a 10 minute drive away. Customers appreciate our personal touch. It is reassuring to know that from the first contact to return greeting at your holiday’s end, you will be looked after by Jan or myself. We even get stuck into the valeting, so we know our vans head out on holiday in tip top condition. Are your campervans suitable for family holidays? Yes, they are perfect. Each van is guaranteed ‘Holiday Ready’. My family holiday in them,

when we can, and we go that extra mile to ensure each camper is kitted out as if it were our own personal holiday home. You say your campervans are ‘Holiday Ready’. What would I need to bring? Just your clothes, toiletries and towels. Many people prefer to bring their own bedding, but we can supply that too. To complement the impressive kitchen kit, each camper is stocked with olive oil and local rapeseed oil, salt, pepper, tea and coffee; you just need to think about food. How many people can comfortably sleep in one of your campervans? They sleep four. Two downstairs and two up in the pop-top roof. If you’re a group of adults, you’d need to be on friendly terms though, as they are quite intimate. I’m six foot tall, and there is easily plenty of length for anyone taller.

We have two seasons. October to April is £95 per day and May to September is £125. Our very popular DSG automatics are an extra £10 per day. So our three day minimum starts at £285. Do you ever offer any discounts on campervan hire? Yes. Outside August, which is crazy busy, we offer 10 per cent discount on bookings over six days. In June that increases to a whopping 20 per cent. Mind you, that doesn’t include Glastonbury Festival week! Is there a limit on how far you can travel? We have an unlimited mileage policy. Our vans regularly head up to the Lake District and Scotland. Also our European Travel Upgrade gives access to most of mainland Europe. I’ve just taken a booking from a family, planning a three week tour of Switzerland this summer. ■

Campervans can be big and difficult to drive – what’s it like driving yours? They handle like a car. You’re up high, so visibility is great. They’ve parking sensors and the automatics have reversing cameras via the dashboard touchscreen, on which you can even access your phones’ apps. You don’t need to worry about losing power uphill and they cruise like a dream during long journeys. What do your customers say about their camping experiences? “We don’t want to give the keys back!” How much does it cost to hire a campervan?

45 Burnett Business Park, Gypsy Lane, Saltford, Bristol, BS31 2ED 01225 330106; @sunkissedvwhire I BRISTOL LIFE I 69


Find a little sunshine on Gloucester Road at The Blue Lagoon! - Open Mic Night: every Tuesday. Free drink for every performer - New Brunch Menu: served every day until 3pm. - New Evening Menu: served every day from 5pm.

LOCAL PRODUCE The Promenade, 18/20 Gloucester Road, Bristol BS7 8AE 0117 942 7471 |




f you’ve been pining for Grillstock – and we’ll admit to having been very partial to all that midsummer meat, music and mayhem – then a new festival coming your way may help to fill the hunger gap. Between 8-9 May, The Bristol Wing Fest will transform Lloyds Amphitheatre into a poultry-eating mecca, with music thumping, axe throwing and beer and bourbon drinking, in two days of epic proportion: sounds like bank holiday fun on a stick, no? Following successful outings in London and Manchester, the festival will showcase a range of restaurants and street food traders, including Chicken

George (current reigning wing champions), Gurt Wings (local favourites), and London’s El Pollote (part of the famous KERB street food scene). All the traders will be competing to win the Bristol vote, as they let their creativity and imagination run riot with flavours and toppings; the competition gets seriously heated with the deadly Lava Wing Challenge hosted by Clifton Chilli Club. It’s the UK’s hottest wing competition, and renowned for creating absolute carnage. Think of it as poultry in motion. Bristol Wing Fest takes place 8-9 May Lloyds Amphitheatre For more: I BRISTOL LIFE I 71

THE CLIFTON SAUSAGE Making Great British food, one sausage at a time… Words by Meg Coast Photos by Ben Robins

“It’s a great thing when the service at a restaurant is your idea of perfect, and for us that’s how it was at The Clifton Sausage”



he negative international perception of British food is miniature of size, mighty of flavour – all accompanied by thick slabs of hard to shake off, and I’ve noticed (to my annoyance) country-style homemade bread that we lavishly slathered with butter. that friends visiting from overseas seem to take gleeful Of course, it’s called The Sausage for a reason, and that’s exactly delight in dissing the fare over here. Those same what we came for; there are usually at least eight varieties on the menu friends would devote hours to compiling an exhaustive at one time, but it’s not all bangers and mash. Classic British dishes are sightseeing itinerary, but skimp on the planning when it in plentiful supply, with venison, pork belly, braised beef cheek and fish came to meal times, getting their first taste of ‘British’ specials of the day for the more carnivorously inclined. Veggies and cuisine at some tragic chain or tourist trap – so it’s vegans haven’t been forgotten, either – there’s a sausage for you, too, no wonder they came away with an altogether forgettable or negative among other tempting plant-based offerings. experience. Serves them right. I opted for the eponymous Clifton sausage, which arrived nestled in As a country that takes a perverse pride in being rubbish at most things, an island of mash, surrounded by rich, dark onion gravy, winning an maybe we got into the bad habit of absorbing the insults about British instant thumbs up from this Northerner who has no patience for delicate grub; but why? As someone lucky enough to grow up in a food-loving drizzlings of the stuff. I need it to be swimming. The bangers were plump, household with plenty of homemade meals, I know that we’ve got more hearty and full of flavour, with pops of sweet cider and zingy mustard, to offer; so why don’t we stand up for our cuisine? the champ creamy and the side of lush winter greens deliciously buttery, Thankfully, there are plenty of veteran establishments quietly setting cooked to al dente perfection. these culinary critiques to rights, one dish at time. The Clifton Sausage My partner’s mains featured an indecently indulgent slab of slowhave been around since 2002, and they’re on a roast belly of Old Spot pork; its crispy crackling mission to show that, when done well, simple perfectly preserving meltingly tender flesh, British food can be up there with the world’s best accompanied by a tower of light and creamy DINING DETAILS when it comes to taste and satisfaction. Dauphinoise potatoes and spiced red cabbage, The Clifton Sausage 7 Portland St, Clifton, Bristol They must’ve been doing something right, with a pool of inky rioja gravy. This dish is BS8 4JA because they’re an enduring favourite with locals definitely not for the fainthearted or light of Opening hours Monday-Friday noon to and passers-by alike: even on a dreary grey hump appetite, and even my rapacious companion had midnight, Saturday and Sunday 10am to midnight day, the place was filling with drinkers and diners to wave the white flag and admit defeat, albeit We visited Wednesday evening when we rocked up. unwillingly. Prices Starters and nibbles from £3; mains Digs in the exclusive Clifton Village enclave I’m a sucker for a traditional pud, and at this £11-23; dessert £4-8.50 are about as far from humble as you can get, point even our second ‘dessert’ stomachs were in Drinks A good range of wines, beers, ciders and but as you enter the Sausage you could be protest; but we nonetheless persevered and ordered spirits on offer forgiven for feeling you’d strolled into a country one to share. Semi-submerged in a moat of molten Atmosphere Relaxed with a nice buzz pub. Everything about the place speaks rustic butterscotch sauce, our sticky toffee pudding was but stylish comfort; simple, unpretentious fiendishly sweet, the gooey and the rapidly melting furnishings are the signature look, from the ball of vanilla ice cream proving a cooling addition wood panelling, to the solid, sturdy pine tables and buttermilk as we repeatedly seared our mouths in our enthusiasm. flagstone floors. Feeling a little fuzzy from our second round of drinks, and increasingly Each space in the restaurant has its own shade and personality – we grateful for the downhill journey home, we took our time leaving, and walked past rooms of sky blue and deep red before settling in a warmstopped at the bar on our way out to natter with the staff. It’s a great thing yellow area, with an ideal people-watching spot by the window. when the service at a restaurant is your idea of perfect, and for us that’s After a bit of a chat with our charming host Elle, we kicked off with a how it was at The Clifton Sausage. round of drinks; a prosecco for me and a smoky Laphroaig whisky for my The lovely Elle made sure our every need was met, but kept it casual: companion. We had already eyeballed the specials menu and zeroed in on she chatted, she checked in once or twice, but otherwise left us to it the grazing platter for our appetizer – realising, when it showed up, that without any over the top formality and fuss. gorging platter would have been a more apt description. And that, right there, is where the success of the Sausage lies – it’s one Milano, salami, Serrano ham and chorizo arrived on a sturdy wooden of those self-effacing places that doesn’t need to pretend to be anything board, fighting for room with chunky mozzarella pearls, crunchy little other than what it is. It’s British food done well, and we’d challenge any of cornichons, a fresh, springy mixed leaf salad and meaty sausage rolls – our friends across the pond to say otherwise. n I BRISTOL LIFE I 73


MOVE OVER, DALING Since its launch in 2018, Bristol’s Dal Festival hasn’t merely grown in size: it’s gone nationwide. Let Nick Saltmarsh, the Dal Fest chair, give you the dalicious lowdown. Say peas…


n the spring of 2018, we received a press release announcing the inaugural outing for the British Dal Festival. Not the ‘Bristol’ Dal Festival, mind, but the ‘British’ one, even though it was launched right here in the city. And it wasn’t just some little fly-by-night weekend affair, either, but a full week-long event. We covered it in the magazine, we made the obligatory pun about taking the pulse; but deep down, we were sceptical. Was there really that much fun to be had from puréed peas, beans and lentils? Once again, we were wrong. With numerous chefs and restaurants enthusiastically jumping on board, the first festival proved a major hit with Bristol foodies, and after an equally successful 2019, the festival is returning for third helpings for 2020 – and now it’s accrued a nationwide following, as Nick Saltmarsh explains.

Which would those new Bristol venues be, then?

So Nick; how has the festival changed since it launched in 2018?

Pulses are so valuable in combating climate change and increasing biodiversity that the United Nations designated 2016 as the International Year of Pulses, and 10 February every year is now World Pulses Day. Introducing pulses into farm crop rotations brings many environmental benefits. As leguminous plants, all pulses fix atmospheric nitrogen, reducing the need for energy-intensive artificial fertilisers. They increase microbial activity in soils, increasing biodiversity and building resilience to soil stress. Pulses also require less water than other crops, and many varieties are drought-tolerant.

In its first year, the British Dal Festival was entirely focused on Bristol, but it’s since grown to span the country. 2019 saw events celebrating dal from Lewes to Norwich, with dal being served from Whitstable to Leeds. In 2020 we’re expecting the nationwide Dal Trail to be bigger than ever, but always with plenty of new and favourite Bristol restaurants on board.

We’re excited to have Bocabar’s new Finzels Reach restaurant on the Trail; other Bristol newcomers include Café Matariki in Redcliffe and Chai Shai Kitchen on Jacob’s Wells Road. But surely dal’s just a bowl of mushy lentils, isn’t it? *ducks*

No! There are hundreds of varieties of lentils, beans and other pulses, and thousands of traditional dal recipes from across the Indian subcontinent, from simple but sustaining everyday dishes to extravagant dals for feasting on special occasions. Not only that, but almost every global culture has its own traditional pulse crops, and equivalent dishes to dal, from Mexican refried beans and Greek fava dips to British mushy peas. Cerys Matthews has said that pulses are ‘one of our best weapons against climate change’ – explainy?

What’s the best dal you have ever eaten?

Almost every dal is magnificent, and the best dal is the dal I’ve eaten most recently. Right now, my best dal was last night’s supper, made with split yellow peas, aubergine, tomato, fenugreek, coriander and coconut milk. If people could take just one thing from the festival, what would you like it to be?

Realising the enormous variety of delicious ways to cook, eat and enjoy pulses. They’re among the healthiest foods, with great benefit to be had if they’re eaten on a daily basis. How do we get involved?

Anyone anywhere can get involved by cooking up one of the dozens of recipes on the British Dal Festival website. Or find a restaurant on the Dal Trail and go out and enjoy the chef ’s speciality dal… Find out more at DAL AFTER DARK On 27 March, St Nick's Night Market is holding a one-off Dal special edition with dal-based street food, cookery demonstrations from the likes of Jenny Chandler and Kalpna Woolf, Bollywood dance classes, street games and rangoli painting – all in celebration of the magic of dal. Find the event on Facebook.



MEET THE BARISTA Whether you’re a flat white fan or a latte lover, these Bristol Baristas have the perfect cup of joe to kick-start your day



What sets you apart from other businesses like yours? We buy our coffee directly from small farmers back in Colombia which enables us to have regular contact with the farmer, their families and the people who work for them. What do you find most rewarding about your role? Every customer enjoying their coffee. We take pride in every cup of coffee we serve. What is your ideal cup of coffee? Lukewarm flat white. What does your industry mean to you? I can proudly show the British population the amazing coffee that small Colombian farms have to offer!! What first attracted you to the industry? I grew up surrounded by coffee farms, watching the plants growing, the cherries being picked and carried…. And enjoying a good cup of coffee of course! What is your specialty? Perfectly balanced flat white but, if you like mochas, my Colombian chocolate mocha is not to be missed either. What do you love about Bristol? I love Bristol’s independent scenery. We all must do our best to make sure it is not lost. What is the one piece of kit that you can’t do without? A good tamper! It doesn’t matter how good your machine or grinder is, if you haven’t got a good tamper you won’t be able to make a good espresso. When did you train as a barista? I have been working in the coffee industry for over ten years now. I also qualified as a coffee roaster in 2017 back in Colombia.

What sets you apart from other businesses like yours? We are warm & welcoming, friendly & ethical. We get to know a lot of our customers too, as both our coffee shops are in residential areas. What do you find most rewarding about your role? Making peoples’ day is easy to do when you’re behind a counter. Simply asking a customer what they’re up to today – it lights up their face and that is definitely the most rewarding! What is your ideal cup of coffee? If I’m making my own – an extra dry cappuccino with a double shot, & chocolate and cinnamon sprinkles. But if I’m ordering it I’ll just ask for a cappuccino. What first attracted you to the industry? If I’m being honest, I became a barista because it was cool! I didn’t know then how much there was to learn & how much skill is involved. I’m happy I thought it was cool, otherwise I never would have learned all the intricacies & the science of coffee, which I now find fascinating. What is your specialty? A tulip (latte art) in a flat white. What do you love about Bristol? Absolutely everything! I grew up in a lovely part of Birmingham & loved it as I knew nothing else. Then moved to Bristol 3 years ago and it cannot compare. The people are kinder & seem happier, the whole city is more relaxed. It’s beautiful & green – literally & economically. And I love finding quaint shops around every corner. Not forgetting the cafes, bars & restaurants that are incredible; no matter what you’re looking to eat & drink, you can find a lovely independent equivalent that blows your mind.

THE COLOMBIAN CO 07534 391 992


TINCAN COFFEE CO 0117 963 3979;

Jhampoll Gutierrez Gomez

Matilda Solomon-Brady



PERFECTO COFFEE 0117 9241003; What is your ideal cup of coffee? My ideal cup of coffee is to first clean the cup, have a glass of water on the side and for the foam to be super creamy. The drink itself must not be boiling hot, just cool enough to drink. What first attracted you to the industry? I chose this job because I love to see my customers in the morning; when they arrive in the shop they look very tired, but after drinking my coffee they leave feeling energised and happy. I also enjoy searching and learning about how to be the best barista and how to offer my customers the very best quality of coffee. Have you any special achievements? One of my best days as a barista came when I was in Romania. There was a national competition for all baristas from across Romania to become crowned the best barista in Romania. The competition itself was about how to start the day, latte art and having to explain about each of the beans and the regions they are from. I came in 3rd place which was a superb achievement. The whole experience was amazing and now I can pass on my experiences onto colleagues and also my customers. What do you love about Bristol? Bristol is an open-minded city with a fantastic indie vibe.

BOCABAR 07943 053053;

Gaman Toni


Adam Heaton

99 QUEENS CLIFTON 01173 179806; What sets you apart from other businesses like yours? I tried to create an environment that anyone would enjoy, rather than being set to one thing - I think that’s helped make us very unique. What do you find most rewarding about your role? The friendships I’ve created with customers and the regulars that come back everyday. What is your ideal cup of coffee? I’m a bad barista, I drink caramel lattes… Don’t judge. What does your industry mean to you? The industry is a way of life.. I think once you’re in it, it’s hard to stop loving it. What first attracted you to the industry? I’ve always been a drinker and eater.. Actually being able to do what I loved as a job helped me to get into the industry. What is your specialty? Being a hands-on owner, being able to adapt from coffee to chef in two seconds might be my specialty.. Creating good coffee and food dishes. What do you love about Bristol? I love Bristol because of its hugely diverse culture and constantly changing food/drink scene. What is the one piece of kit that you can’t do without? My brand new grinder (thanks to Triple Co Roast) Most rewarding part of your job? The most rewarding part of my job is having a successful cafe that people love.. that’s also been the hardest part too.. but I love 99 Queens, its my home.

What sets you apart from other businesses like yours? I believe it’s the variety of food and drink we have to offer meaning there’s something for everyone. Being part of an independent with the ethos of keeping things local and environmentally conscious without sacrificing quality is where you really feel unique. When did you train as a barista? Some time after I began working for Boca I started doing real research online, so I’m self taught. I’ve been following people like James Hoffman and bought some material of his online to better understand the industry. What does your industry mean to you? I used to work a 9-5 which gave me no creative outlet. Having worked in this industry for close to three years, I can say its changed my life for the better, whether it’s my new found passion for the industry or the friends I’ve made inside of it. I’ve re-evaluated what’s important in my job. What first attracted you to the industry? The first time I used a coffee machine. I’m meticulous by nature so all of the variables had me hooked. I wasn’t supposed to get so wrapped up in what I used to think was just making a cup of coffee. I’m still learning and I think that’s what’s special about it. What do you love about Bristol? I grew up here and I think it’s only as you get older that you begin to appreciate the appeal of living in a hub for creativity, diversity and acceptance. That and the abundance of good food and drink.


SOCIETY CAFE 0117 930 4660;

Richard Avison

Jack Stead

What sets you apart from other businesses like yours? Society has always put the customer at the heart of everything we do. Although we strive to serve exceptional and delicious coffee, we’re even more committed to providing the best and friendliest service that we can. What do you find most rewarding about your role? There’s a real joy in getting to know regular customers. above just being able to predict their order, I love how you can make real and genuine connections with people just by making them coffee every day. What is your ideal cup of coffee? The fruitier the better! Kenyans and Natural Ethiopians are my favourite, brewed up as a filter and enjoyed black. What first attracted you to the industry? Like a lot of Baristas, it was mostly accidental! I fell into a part time cafe job and quickly grew to love coffee and the craft of making it; there was so much more to it than I could have imagined and I always enjoy learning new things. What do you love about Bristol? Bristol has such a vibrant, creative and artistic community that I just can’t get enough of. It’s a beautiful city filled with friendly, interesting people, and there’s always so much going on. The food and coffee scene is also spectacular. Most rewarding part of your job? When a customer takes the time to come and say how much they enjoyed their coffee. I BRISTOL LIFE I 79


The full waffle With ice-cream, or without? Fruit or bacon? And what do waffles have to do with cows? Or indeed, bees?

“The possibilities are almost endless; if Homeland’s waffleloving Dar Adal was to meet Saul Berensen at Cowbee, they’d never get around to discussing matters of national security”


here is a time to laugh, and a time to cry. In my experience, the same is true with breakfasts. There is a time for Full English and a time for waffles; and this week’s coffee shop of choice is all about the latter. Mmm. Sweet or savoury, fruity or not, this place has got the waffley lot. I’m talking about Cowbee, at the bottom of Park Street, opposite the corner of College Green. The name is a mashup of cow and bee. Reason being that cows make milk and bees make honey, both wonderful things, and key ingredients in a lot of the stuff they sell. There. Simple. We were down that way after visiting Brandon Hill, which, by the way, turns out to be officially known as St Brandon’s Hill. Something I was not aware of before today. Interesting. Could be useful information in a pub quiz. I shall file that tidbit away. But I digress.  Point is, we were there to take our two small and well behaved pooches out for a walk, though, in the interests of honesty, I should probably admit our dogs are more small than well behaved. After missing breakfast and braving the mountainous paths that take you up hill, down dale and round Cabot Tower, we had built up a powerful hunger, so we made our way down to the crossing on Park Street and went into the café on the

corner, taking our two small and indeterminedly behaved dogs with us. Luckily, there was no problem with either of them because the place is dog-friendly and they were both happy to have a quiet lie down under the table. The menu really is an object lesson in just how many different ways there are to eat waffles. With ice-cream, or without. With fruit or without. With bacon, or with bacon and maple syrup. In fact, the waffle possibilities are almost endless; if Homeland’s waffle-loving Dar Adal was to meet Saul Berensen here, they’d never get around to discussing matters of national security That includes vegan options. If there are any vegans in your life, this would be a good place to take them, as there are vegan waffles and ices on offer that look gorgeous. However, my carnivorous companion and I both went for the bacon and maple syrup option, along with a handsome pair of coffees, all of which were a complete delight for the senses. So if you are ever down by College Green, in the mood for a waffles or ice-cream, you know where to go. Keep an eye out for a couple of small and occasionally well behaved dogs. n Former Housemartins guitarist Stan is now a journalist and travel writer I BRISTOL LIFE I 81


Samsoe & Samsoe, £65 (sale) Maze

Velvet, tee, £65

The loungewear conundrum

Feelgood Trousers, £110, Grace & Mabel

What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve answered the door in?


n this issue of Bristol Life I’m going to dive into the sloppy subject of loungewear. The very word ‘lounge’, with its drawn-out grapheme, makes me cringe on numerous levels. But love it or loathe it, there is a burgeoning market in that murky area of what to wear post-work, pre-bed; when we neither want to swan around our homes after an exhausting eight-hour day looking

like Alex Levy from The Morning Show, nor like a grumpy adolescent in a vintage varsity tracksuit. A friend once told me in the aftermath of a break-up that maybe in my next relationship I shouldn’t immediately change into my plaid pajamas the instant I got home from work. Ouch. But in hindsight maybe she had a point. My threadbare tartan pajamas meant my boyfriend was effectively having dinner with Rupert Bear, and was akin to

“My threadbare tartan pajamas meant my boyfriend was effectively having dinner with Rupert Bear”

leaving the bathroom door open. And most of us would probably admit that we’ve been caught out answering the door to a delivery man wearing something a little inappropriate for outside human interaction, or not being ‘doorready’ as a friend calls it. What we need is an alternative dress code of ‘smart-sloppy’, which transitions us from the office to the bedroom, without slacking on style; clothes to wear when we want to be supremely comfortable, but decent, so you can look the Ocado delivery person in the eyes and save his blushes. Here are some of my favourite finds to slouch in – and without a plaid print or see through t-shirt in sight. ■

Victoria plimsolls, £38, Maze

@millyvaughan on instagram I BRISTOL LIFE I 83



If you think that means just BROWN or GREY think again! Nikon have 100+ colour options to allow you to customise your sunglasses. Nikon polarised lenses offer enhanced contrast and protection from UV light, while reducing distracting glare and reflections available in an extensive range of colours Nikon’s range of mirrored lenses has 6 colours to choose from. Choose the style to suit you with Nikon prescription sun lenses

LUNAR OPTICAL WAS ESTABLISHED IN 2012 AS A LOCAL, INDEPENDENT PRACTICE, TO OFFER THE BEST FRAMES, SPECTACLE LENSES, CONTACT LENSES AND, MOST OF ALL THE, BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE POSSIBLE. *OFFER ENDS APRIL 30TH. T&C’s APPLY* 291 Gloucester Road, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 8NY. Tel: 0117 942 0011 Email: Open: Monday 9.30am - 5.30pm, Tuesday - Friday 9.30am - 6.00pm, Saturday 9.30am - 4.30pm




BME SALON Hairway to heaven…


y hair has really been through it over the last year or so. I’m not just talking about skipping the odd trim or forgetting to use a nourishing hair mask every Tuesday evening: I actually can’t remember the last time I set foot in a hair salon. Add to that a period of cavorting around hot countries and subjecting my locks to a triple arsenal of scorching sun, sea and sand – without even the courtesy of an occasional condition (far too much of a luxury for a backpacker). Then, with little respite from the onslaught, I went straight from tropical summer to the cold, dry UK winter. My hair had, unsurprisingly, become dry, brittle and horribly unruly. Brushing had become a lost cause, and I daydreamed about running my fingers through glossy locks worthy of a L’Oreal ad instead of becoming ensnared by straggly curls that had blended together into one megadreadlock. All in all, ya girl was in need of a revolution from the roots downwards; but as someone who considers a trim adventurous, a cut, style and colour seemed daunting to a low maintenance lass. Despite spending the best part of an hour accumulating a Pinterest board of potential colour and style combos, I approached BME salon, still feeling unclear about what I wanted and just a little apprehensive.

BME means to be the ‘Best Me’, or the best version of yourself. With over 42 years’ experience between top stylists Benjamin (also the owner) and Lucy, the salon opened its doors in July 2019, taking a slot in the lovely red brick buildings at Bristol Paintworks. Once inside the bright, airy, modern salon and comfortably settled with a creamy latte and biscuit in hand, I confessed all of the hair atrocities I’d committed to Lucy. To her credit, she didn’t flinch even a little and managed to tease out the semi-formed ideas I had in mind, taking my wishes on board while being realistic and offering her own advice where necessary. She picked up on cues I didn’t even know I was giving: did you know, for instance, that when someone plays with their hair during a consultation, it means they probably don’t want too much of it lopped off? Neither did I – but Lucy does; and these subconscious signals inform the decisions she makes for her clients’ cuts. “Meg showed me pictures of very subtle colour; easy maintenance and condition were the main concerns so we decided we could achieve this by using mainly tint, and add little pops of free-hand bleach”, said Lucy. “Meg wanted to keep a lot of the length as she’s got beautiful curls, but I advised for the thickness of her hair she would get the most of it if she went just below shoulders to add more volume and make her feel like the hair was more styled. Grown-out colour and a long bob were decided as

“BME means to be the ‘Best Me’”

the best options for Meg.” Having agreed on our plan of action, Lucy got to work, and I watched as she artfully wove strands of hair and dabbed them with colour, marvelling at the intricacy of the whole process. After sitting with a head full of foils and another hot beverage, the real luxury began when I was summoned to the sink. As someone who’s a bit of a stranger to salons, I was expecting my hair to get a quick rinse down and a rough towel dry. So the coma-inducing head massage and hot towel treatment came as a surprise – and I’d go back for those alone. The final cut and dry is always the bit where I get worked up and fret over the end result, but by this point I had full faith in the process. Just as promised, the long bob really lifted my hair, and gave it a weightless bouncy volume – assisted by the subtle highlights that complemented my natural hair colour perfectly. I left the salon armed with haircare products feeling thoroughly pampered and, well, like the best version of myself. The proof ’s in the name; now can someone point me in the direction of a red carpet I can strut down? n For more:


How can I get my mane in tip-top shape for summer? “Winter and summer months can leave hair dry, static, and bleached. So make sure you up your hair care routine coming up to these months. Hair is similar to skin, so don’t forget to step up to a treatment mask, oil or extra moisturising products. Having in salon treatments when you don’t have time to do them at home is also a time saving way to look after your locks.” Lucy, BME Salon I BRISTOL LIFE I 85


The vein chance

Wondering if you need your varicose veins treated? Visit THE WHITELEY CLINIC - don’t suffer in vein...


or decades, patients have been told that varicose veins are “only cosmetic”. That is now been shown to be wrong. Every year, 1 in 23 people with varicose veins will progress¹. This progression can be swollen ankles, red or brown skin marks around the ankles to leg ulcers. Also, others will bleed from their varicose veins or get “phlebitis” (clots in varicose veins). However, treatment of the varicose veins gives patients a better quality of life², and stops this deterioration. Of course, it is also nice that treatment makes your legs look better as well! So who needs treatment? Anyone with varicose veins and any of the following: • Aching • Discomfort

• Swelling • Heaviness and itching • Pain • “Phlebitis” (clots in the varicose veins) • Red or brown ankle skin • Ankle eczema • Open sore (leg ulcer) - even if it has healed! Years of research and audits have shown treatment by The Whiteley Protocol both cures the varicose veins and also has the lowest possible risk of recurrence. The Whiteley Clinic has exclusive access to the latest vein treatments in the UK, and is a founding member of the College of Phlebology Venous Registry. This registry shows we are transparent about our results so patients can be safe in the knowledge that our results are monitored. See our patient feedback on Trustpilot and Doctify. ■

For more information visit or please call 0330 058 1850 The Whiteley Clinic, Litfield House Medical Centre, Clifton, Bristol BS8 3LS Reference 1 J Vasc Surg Venous Lymphat Disord. 2015;3(1):18–26. 2 - Health Technol Assess. 2006;10(13):1–iv 3 - I BRISTOL LIFE I 87

Reach the best in the west Affluent, active and influential and just a call away

Bristol Life team 01225 475800


Michelle Bresnahan, Sue Simpson and Sally Carter

Andrew Morgan Auctioneer


Sian James, Pippa Atkinson, Sarah Probert, Sophie Cook, Michelle Bresnahan, Jen Woolfson, Rosie Joseland Mel Waycott and Jane Power

It was eyes down and game on for a glamorous charity evening at the sixth Ladies Blingo Evening for ‘a Life for a Cure’, the charity Michelle Bresnahan founded with her family following the death of her 16-year-old son Ryan from meningitis in 2010. “The Blingo evening is one of my favourite fundraising events, full of laughter, warmth and huge support” said Michelle. “Thank you to everyone who contributed to the fantastic total raised of £19,200.” Hazel Rugg, Sally Fry and Imogen Triner

Photos by Watson Media

Paul Beanlands, Vivienne Williams, Richard Cobb and Edward Porter (Michelmores – partners)

Richard Nancekivell, Chris Haworth and Kit Harding

Richard Watkins, Sarah Philips, Nick Vaughan and Erik Dirdal

Charles Evans, Andrew Kelly, Charles Elderton and Sandra Brown


Adam Quint, Kate Bell and Ian Holyoak

Partners and staff at Michelmores welcomed guests to their annual Winter Party at the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery under the watchful eyes of the museum’s resident dinosaur. The £39m turnover law firm’s Bristol office has grown by a third in the last year and their teams advise clients across the whole of the UK. Photos by Ben Robins I BRISTOL LIFE I 89

Email: Telephone: 07734 928 327


Providing specialist permanent recruiting services along the M4 corridor Aspiring to change the perception of the recruitment industry.

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• Indian Head Massage Certificate Course MTI Level 3 Certificate - apply now for April 2020 (Worcester) and October 2020 (Bristol) • Holistic Massage Diploma Course MTI Level 4 Diploma - apply now for September 2020 • Two day Holistic and Thai Massage Introductory Workshops • Exciting CPD programme for therapists from in-house, national and international tutors. Low cost massage available from our students and graduates - please call for availability and prices. Lower Ground Floor, 109 Pembroke Road, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 3EU - 0117 946 6371 - BCMB has been providing high quality training since 1987. We are accredited by the Massage Training Institute (MTI). Our courses exceed the training standards of the General Council for Massage Therapy.

It’s the city’s business

BRISTOLWORKS WHAT WILL YTL ARENA COMPLEX COMPRISE? The Brabazon Hangars offer three individual but interlinked areas CENTRAL HANGAR – YTL ARENA 17,080 capacity, the third largest in the UK. Multi-purpose, flexible and unique arena auditorium. Providing the ability to host theatre format shows for 4,000, a super theatre for 8,000 and full capacity gigs at 17,080. The new and unique UK arena configuration allows Bristol to host full-capacity live music shows, but also to offer sporting events, family entertainment (eg Dancing on Ice, Strictly Come Dancing) and comedy shows. As the third-largest UK arena, it will attract major events and shows previously unable to include Bristol in their touring programme. EAST HANGAR - FESTIVAL HALL A flat floor space for trade shows, exhibitions, conventions and other events. The Festival Hall will also be able to compliment the Arena shows – as a break-out area or extension to the show.

It’s happening…


ristol is a city that’s constantly evolving and reinventing itself. There’s no room for stagnation here; and the latest change will come in the form of a new arena for the city after Bristol City Council gave YTL the green light to repurpose the old Brabazon Hangars in Filton on 4 March. It’s a landmark moment for the Malaysian family business, who submitted an application in November 2019, but also for the people of Bristol, who will probably have some strong opinions on the matter (two words: ‘Temple Island’). The birthplace of Concorde will be reimagined and brought back to life, with the character, history and industrial feel of the building showcased throughout the arena – the UK’s third

WEST HANGAR - THE HUB A place to eat, work and play, with a visitor attraction, leisure, workspace and food and drink. This will be the heartbeat of the complex, a 365-day a year venue creating quality, full and part-time contracted jobs and opportunities for career progression.

largest after Manchester and the O2 in London. “We’re delighted that the council has entrusted us with this brilliant opportunity to put Bristol on the world stage. It’s a huge step forward for our plans,” said YTL Arena MD Andrew Billingham. “We’re incredibly grateful to all those who have supported us and encouraged us on this journey. And I am particularly proud of our team who have worked so hard to get us this far. “We are committed to delivering a venue that everyone can be proud of, and that will benefit not just Bristol, but the whole of the wider city region. Today’s decision is a huge step forward in our plans to put Bristol on the world stage.” Despite concerns to the contrary, YTL Arena will be both financially and environmentally

sustainable. It will be flexible to attract a wide range of events to suit all interests, from music and sport to comedy and family entertainment. “We will celebrate all that is great about Bristol and the south west”, said Andrew. “If you are local, we hope you will feel at home. If you are visiting, we hope you will leave wanting to come back for more. Famed for being the birthplace of Concorde, this is the next step in the amazing history of the home of Supersonic. “We committed to submitting a planning application which we have now done and have a successful outcome. Now we are focused on getting the arena open and creating memories that will last a lifetime.” For more:



The proposed Redcliffe & Temple BID boundary

BID for success


usinesses in Bristol’s fast-growing Redcliffe and Temple areas will be invited to vote for the area to become a Business Improvement District (BID) in September 2020. If the majority vote in favour of the BID, it is anticipated that £5m would be raised over the five-year BID term. A BID aims to enhance an area and the performance of the businesses within it by delivering projects which are decided upon, and funded by, the businesses themselves. This initiative is being proposed by Destination Bristol, who already operates the successful Broadmead and Bristol City Centre BIDs, with a vision for a Redcliffe and Temple area which is vibrant, thriving, sustainable, inspirational and welcoming. Following the first stage of consultation, businesses have been sent a draft prospectus which outlines how projects would be delivered if the initiative is successful. They include: marketing the area and creating an identity for it, ensuring that the businesses have a strong and effective voice and improving the public realm, aiming to make the area accessible to all in addition to ensuring it is safe and free from anti-social issues. Redcliffe and Temple BID Development

manager Jo Hawkins has been appointed to lead on this project and is being assisted by Tom Swithinbank. Jo previously managed the Broadmead BID for 15 years, working with retailers to maintain the appeal of the city centre’s main shopping destination. “The businesses I have spoken to love this area; they have watched it change beyond recognition over the last decade, and many are keen to work more closely with their neighbours to ensure that it improves further”, said Jo. “This is where a BID could make a real difference, by connecting businesses and delivering projects proposed by them for the benefit of the whole area.” If successful at ballot, all eligible businesses, irrespective of how they voted, would have to pay 1.5% of their rateable value towards the BID; those who contribute to a managed space would receive a 50% discount to account for the services that are already provided to them as part of their management charge. A further stage of consultation is now taking place which includes a series of workshops giving businesses the opportunity to help refine the BID proposals before a final prospectus is produced in April 2020. For more:

It’s been another record-breaking year for the Bristol Life Awards. After receiving no less than 400 nominations, the finalists were revealed on 11 March, with more names than ever making it through. The glamorous business celebration is just over a month away and capacity has been increased to a record high of 720 following sell-outs in previous years. Tickets, as ever, are selling swiftly and can be purchased on the website. “Businesses can secure their seats to our biggest Awards event yet in Bristol – though they’ll have to be quick with huge demand again this year,” said Steph Dodd, event director at MediaClash, Bristol Life’s publisher. “There’s also opportunity to treat your clients and reward your colleagues by hosting a partner table of ten – many companies already have! We’re looking forward to seeing the best that Bristol has to offer next month.” The Awards will be held within Lloyd’s Amphitheatre on 23 April. Tickets can be purchased on the website or contact For more: @BristolLifeAwds


It’s not too late to win a prestigious Bristol Property award, but with nominations closing 2 April, time is running out – so if you’re a company on the Bristol property scene, you’ll want to get yours in pronto. Finalists will be revealed at midday on 8 April by email, social media and on the Awards site. Tickets are selling steadily, and are expected to go quickly once finalists are revealed. The Bristol Property Awards will be held on 5 June at Ashton Gate Stadium as a daytime event. For more information, and to find out more about tickets, see the Awards website. For more: @BrisPropertyAwd

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and shops where the logo is built into the pattern. The most exciting commission we had was from Jo Loves, Jo Malone’s shop in London. We created a bespoke design for her shop in Mayfair a couple of years ago. Did you notice any positive effects for Blossom & Brush after winning the Bristol Life Awards 2019, Homes & Interiors category?

Absolutely. We got many more orders from across Bristol and were invited to loads of interesting networking events for interior designers and creatives. It was wonderful to be recognised for designing something completely new. Without meaning to, we’d solved a problem and were able to find a simple way to help other’s with homes like ours.

Full bloom

What do you love about being a Bristol-based business?

People are bursting with ideas and willing to try new things and support small businesses. It’s the type of city where street art is welcomed and celebrated. In many ways, the films are part of Bristol’s look.

Bristol Life Award 2019 winner Rhiannon Southwell of Blossom & Brush explains how a business grew out of a creative solution to a problem


e moved to a Victorian terrace in Bishopston in 2013,” begins Rhiannon. “While the house has a small front garden, our large bay window looks out onto the street. “We’d be sitting in the front room feeling a little on show. We decided it was time to get some privacy, but net curtains were too twee, blinds were ugly and shutters would cut out too much light. “I decided to hand-paint a pattern on the window to obscure the view. It did the trick. People couldn’t see in, but we still had plenty of light. “Soon enough, neighbours were knocking on the door, asking where we got the design. I explained, and began to get commissions to paint other windows. After a while, there wasn’t enough time in the day to do it by hand, so I redrew the designs on my computer and found a supplier who could print window film.”

back to the UK, I started designing for Next, and then we moved to London where most of my work was for Monsoon and M&S. I still design for fashion brands now. Creating prints for a dress is actually very similar to a window; you need to consider the composition and repeat of the design very carefully. I love being able to put my designs on different products.

What were you dong before you launched Blossom & Brush?

What’s unique or special about your range?

Having studied textile design at university, my first job was as a womenswear print designer for H&M in Stockholm. I lived there for a fantastic year in 2002 and loved the Scandinavian style. When I moved

Give us a brief overview of the designs you offer

There are 12 designs in the range. Most are inspired by nature, and feature flowers, leaves and woodland creatures. I think this comes from my childhood in a remote part of Snowdonia. As a little girl I loved seeing wild animals and collecting everything from acorns and pine cones to different leaves and flowers. Other designs are inspired by my work in fashion. There are block prints, laces and one that’s reminiscent of Polish paper cut art.

Each piece of window film has a design that’s specifically resized to fit the pane of glass it goes on. That means you get a perfect fit that never cuts off part of the repeat. No two are alike. We also take commissions,

so if you want something completely different, we can do it. That’s the beauty of applying print design skills to the home.

Have trends changed since Blossom & Brush started out?

How do your window films work?

They’re very simple. The film arrives rolled in a tube. All you have to do is lay it out one a flat surface, gently peel off the backing, spray water on to wet the adhesive and then carefully raise it to the inside of the window pane. It will easily stick on and then you have time to place it and squeeze out any air bubbles before it dries. The film’s semipermanent, meaning it’s durable and can be cleaned like a normal window, but you can peel it off if needed. Which designs have been the most popular?

The ‘folk’ design is definitely a favourite. It was the original pattern I painted on the windows at home. It features flowers, leaves, rabbits and birds. It’s a traditional woodland style a little reminiscent of the arts and crafts movement. Pretty, but not twee. Perfect for a Victorian terrace. What are some of the most interesting commissions you’ve had?

I’ve done all sorts. It’s mainly personalised designs for homes, but we also do our fair share of cafés

The designs are timeless and inspired by nature and historic or ethnic images. Just as Victorian and Georgian houses will always remain popular, there will always be an interest in art that will fit them. Having said that, we have continued to innovate and introduce new patterns. Being a fashion print designer means I’m always working a year ahead of the current trends. This means we can work in subtle elements that keep the range up to date. We’ve noticed you’re a dab hand at interior design. Can you leave us with a design tip or two to give our houses a bit of a spring awakening?

It’s all about subtlety and careful consideration. Too often people think they have to be really daring rather than thinking about how a room will come together. Don’t let one element become too overpowering, but a common theme is essential. Don’t be afraid of mixing and matching prints, but there must be a clear link. It might be a colour, a style or even just a scale. A tiny floral will look odd next to large, bold, modern shapes. For more: I BRISTOL LIFE I 97




Shared ownership


The once-deserted site of Bristol’s Imperial Tobacco Factory has undergone something of a transformation, and the brand-new Copper Building, flanking the original Lakeshore structure, is the latest additio, bringing much-needed housing to South Bristol. As part of a joint venture, Urban Splash and Places for People have released a collection of 14 new duplex homes, all of which can be bagged through shared ownership. Urban Splash has spent more than two decades working with world-class architects and designers to restore old buildings and create new, sustainable communities. Owned by Places for People, with Urban Splash acting as a selling agent, the homes are located on the building’s top floor and offer two-bedrooms and two bathrooms,

with duplex living and dual-aspect views over the surrounding 10 acres of private residents’ gardens – and a lake, just in case the rest wasn’t enough to win you over. Worried that you’ll never set foot on the property ladder? Think again. Shared ownership is a simple, cost-effective Government initiative which makes properties like these more affordable. It allows firsttime buyers – or people who don’t currently own a home – the opportunity to purchase a share in a new-build property. As David Morgan, sales manager for the JV explained: “This is a great initiative for anyone who wants to own a beautifully designed home, but wants to explore an alternative way of financing the process. “Through shared ownership, purchasers take out a mortgage on the share they own, while then paying a monthly rent on the remaining share – equating on these homes to a small

annual figure of around 1.75%. Because the buyer only needs a mortgage for the share they are purchasing, the amount required for a deposit is often a lot lower when compared to buying outright, meaning this is a really viable route to home ownership for many customers.” Once the property is purchased, customers then have the option to increase this share during their time in the property via a process known as ‘staircasing’, and in most cases can purchase all the way up to 100% – owning the property outright. Prices start at £260,000 including parking for the duplex penthouses which boast up to 753 sq ft of living space. Copper building comprises a total of 136 homes, each of which is packed with excellent design points created by Bristol-based architects Ferguson Mann. For more information about Shared Ownership, with shares from £65,000-£195,000, visit I BRISTOL LIFE I 99

“Wapping Wharf is a vibrant new community with an enviable harbourside location�


NEW BUILDS ON THE BLOCK Just check the national polls: Bristol is officially the best place to live and work in the West. But with so many making the move here, where will we put them all? Well, here, for a start… By Meg Coast

W CGI image of Wapping Wharf

e’ve lost count of the number of times that Bristol’s topped ‘best in the UK’ lists; it’s been named one of Europe’s top ten cities, the happiest city in Britain, the ecofriendliest – the accolades go on and on. This being the case, we weren’t remotely surprised when research from Rightmove revealed that Bristol was the most searched-for location outside of London for buyers and renters last year. Of course people want to live here. Who wouldn’t? While it’s great that the city is booming and attracting so many prospective property buyers, there is the small issue of supply and demand; the population isn’t exactly shrinking, and the housing shortage makes the process of acquiring sticks easier said than done. The city’s enduring popularity also means that property prices here have soared - all well and good for those lucky enough to be on the ladder, but what about first-time buyers? Thankfully, Bristol is always on the go in one way or another – and new and reimagined spaces are popping up all the time, both in and around the city. We approached a choice selection of pros on the Bristol newbuild scene and asked them to share some of their latest favourite developments. With a range of innovative regenerations and buying options, property ownership in some of the most up-and-coming areas of Bristol is very much on the cards, even if you’re a first-time buyer. Let’s go around the houses and have a look, shall we? I BRISTOL LIFE I 101

Brooks Dye Works: the only development we know of with a gurt big chimney


“Brooks Dye Works is an exciting new collection of homes in St Werburghs, Bristol,” said Cassie Perkins from Acorn Property Group. “The properties centre around the retained 19th-century chimney and offer you the chance to be part of a vibrant new community. ” Who can buy them? 

“The homes are available suit a variety of people from first-time buyers to those looking for a place for a growing family.”   Let’s talk money – what’s the price range?

Phase 1 prices from: Three-bed coach houses from £375,000 Three-bed houses from £435,000 Four-bed houses from £485,000 Any other special touches?  

“New and reimagined spaces are popping up all the time”

“The homes feature open-plan living and modern fitted kitchens with allocated parking and outside space. Considerate design concepts offer different colour choices for kitchen units, bathroom tiles and flooring finish. The homes are built with quality specification and sustainable features including timber frame construction, communal cycle storage and PV solar panels and electric car charging points to selected homes.” The first phase of homes are now released for sale.

CITY & COUNTRY What’s new?

Factory No.1, the latest development by City & Country, is “a sophisticated blend of warehouse architecture and contemporary new-build style, creating a wonderful atmosphere in Bedminster and bringing significant regeneration to this part of the city”, said Immy O’Keeffe, Savills Regional PR Manager. Located on East Street, at the gateway to Bedminster, Factory No.1 includes two listed, historic buildings – Consort House and Regent


House, as well as Imperial Arcade on East Street. In total the development will provide 271 new apartments. “We are restoring and converting the listed buildings into a range of stylish apartments, many of them featuring original details like fireplaces, cornicing and plasterwork, as well as large windows and generous ceiling heights,” said Alex Reid at City & Country. “Alongside the original buildings, we are also building five stylish new apartment buildings designed around attractively landscaped courtyard gardens. Each of these new apartment buildings have been named to reflect the site’s tobacco heritage and many have attractive terraces or balconies. “We have already transformed Imperial Arcade and you may have noticed the striking graffiti design that was created by a local artist. We are now creating a range of creative workspaces and new retail premises, so that the arcade will become a vibrant mixed-use environment attracting a range of new people to the area.”

What kind of buyers are they aimed at?

“With one- and two-bedroom apartments available, Factory No.1 is likely to appeal to young professionals and first-time buyers looking for a city centre home in a vibrant, stylish part of Bristol.” What are the top and minimum prices? Is Help to Buy on offer?

From £255,000 for a one-bedroom apartment, to £430,000 for a two-bedroom apartment. Help to Buy is available on all qualifying properties. What makes them special?

“Factory No.1’s historic buildings are some of the most distinctive in Bristol. Designed by Sir Frank Wills, Consort House is known for being the first factory of tobacco importers and manufacturers in 1886, hence the development name.”


Tell us about your most recent developments.

“2020 sees Juniper Homes launch the spectacular reimagined Redland Court, the landmark development of new build and exquisitely refurbished homes on the former site of Redland High Girls School,” says Jenny Gee. “With many of the original period details meticulously retained, these 44 apartments, duplexes and town houses provide a luxurious standard of urban living.  In addition, Juniper will be launching St Gabriel’s Court in Easton, a development that offers 10 family town houses in the heart of this popular urban community.” What kind of buyers are they aimed at?

“These developments showcase Juniper’s breadth of style and flexibility. Homes range from one-bedroom apartments through to fivebedroom family homes. There is something here for everyone, from first-time buyers and families to downsizers.”   Is shared ownership or Help to Buy on offer?

“Redland Court has five beautiful one- and two-bedroom shared ownership apartments on Woodstock Road. Help to Buy is available on all developments below the regional property price caps.”   What’s the price range?

“Three-bedroom family homes are available at around £350,000, and we have duplex apartments in excess of £1m, with plenty of options in between.”   What makes them special?  

“With Juniper Homes the end results speak for themselves: high-quality, affordable urban residential projects that combine both form and function to create well designed homes that truly meet the needs of today’s buyers.”


“Wapping Wharf is a vibrant new community with an enviable harbourside location,” said Immy O’Keeffe, Savills regional PR manager. “A landmark for Bristol, Wapping Wharf is breathing fresh

life into its historic location. This exciting new neighbourhood offers the very best of urban living with a superb mix of restaurants, bars and retail.” Tell us about the latest development

“The most recent and exciting development is Phase 2 at Wapping Wharf, Bristol’s much-loved harbourside neighbourhood”. “Of the 163 one-, two- and three-bed apartments, 30% are already sold. The new apartments buildings, Abel Yard and Hope Quay, have been designed with the same contemporary style and high quality as the first homes, and will also benefit from the vibrant mix of independent shops, cafes and restaurants on their doorstep.” What kind of buyers are they aimed at?

Everyone, from first time buyers to older down-sizers. Is there Help to Buy?

Help to Buy has just launched meaning you can snap up an apartment at one of Bristol’s most sought after waterside locations with just a 5% deposit. What are the top and minimum prices?

Prices for a one-bedroom apartment start from £255,000; a two-bedroom apartment from £355,000; and a three-bedroom apartment from £499,950. What makes them special?

“Wapping Wharf is right in the heart of the city, located next to the harbour in Bristol’s cultural hub. In keeping with the historic dockside location and the original homes, the new development has the same industrial wharf-like character. “Many apartments have balconies overlooking the new street scenes or internal garden courtyards, whilst airy vaulted ceilings and terraces feature in many of the top floor apartments. The restored early 19th-century, Grade-II Gaol Gate is set to become an impressive new public entrance to Wapping Wharf.” n Factory No. 1


“Filwood Park, at the heart of a multi-million-pound regeneration scheme, is proving incredibly popular. As well as a broad range of three- and four-bedroom homes, this development currently offers a large selection of twobedroom houses in a contemporary style, designed to appeal to first-time buyers and couples in particular. Semi-detached, and featuring French doors onto a spacious garden, prices start at £261,995. And with Help to Buy, which will change this time next year, buyers need only a 5% deposit to secure one of these stylish new homes.”

Northfields Park

“Opposite the up-and-coming Brabazon development, Northfields Park is a new community of two-, three- and fourbedroom homes close to Charlton Hayes. Linked to Bristol city centre via the M32 and just a seven minute drive to Bristol Parkway it is a convenient commuter base, yet also has all the benefits of a green outlook with allotments and a play area close by.” For more: I BRISTOL LIFE I 103


Golden days Move to The Vincent on Redland Hill and you’ll be living your retirement amongst the most beautiful surroundings.


he late 19th-century Queen Victoria House is a magnificent building that’s rich in history, with its own Grade II-listed obelisk, erected in commemoration of Charlotte Augusta, Princess of Wales. It’s now been refurbished as 25 new apartments with terraces, an arboretum garden, luxury lounge areas and a fully equipped gym and spa. Newly built terraces have been designed by architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris in the spirit of Redland’s Victorian mansion blocks with light brick façades and bay windows offering fabulous floor-to-ceiling views. Each apartment has been sympathetically designed to incorporate original period features and make the most of views across

the grounds, the Bristol skyline and beyond. Open-plan living areas and large kitchens fitted with overhead storage, wide composite-stone worktops and integrated appliances make for luxurious living. Bedrooms have large windows with views across the grounds, while built-in wardrobes in master bedrooms present ample space for clothes and belongings. The tiled bathrooms have mirror-fronted cabinets and either a bathtub or walk-in shower. At the heart of the development is the arboretum garden, a green oasis of calm with Victorian-inspired stepped landscaping, colourful hedges, magnificent trees and a seating area with views of Queen Victoria House. The house has a space functioning as a cafe during the day, and a restaurant serving a delicious seasonal menu made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients and artisanal produce. The south terrace, with its views across the grounds, is a lovely place to be in the summer months – it’s made for alfresco dining and socialising with friends. For the rest of the year, the lounge area at the front of the building is a cosy place to hang out and catch up over a drink. Everything from cheese and wine-tasting nights to debating sessions will be held here in the lounge; you can trust you’ll never be stuck for things to do. There’s also a private dining room which is available for bookings. On the lower ground floor of the new build terraces are the spa, gym and stretch studio.

Come here to relax in the herbal sauna and hydrotherapy pool, or work up a sweat in the steam room. The spa gives out everything from manicures to massages, available in the treatment room or your own apartment. Keep active in the gym and stretch studio where you can sign up for personal training and join in yoga, aerobics and Pilates classes. If you believe life only gets better with age, then come to The Vincent and enjoy an incredible quality of living in fabulous surroundings. PegasusLife developments are built for independent living as well as socialising, ensuring you can make the most of beautiful communal spaces and facilities without compromising your own space. n

Prices start at £400,000 for a one-bedroom apartment, £475,000 for a two-bedroom apartment and £890,000 for a three-bedroom apartment. To arrange to view the beautifully dressed apartments and social spaces call us on 01172 050 359. I BRISTOL LIFE I 105

BUILD A NEW FUTURE Doing up an old house? Don’t panic! These guys have been there before, know what it’s like, and have plenty of tips to help you on your way…




6 DOWNEND ROAD, DOWNEND, BRISTOL, BS16 5UJ TEL: 0117 9569000 WWW.KUSTOMFLOORSANDFURNITURE.CO.UK Based over 3 stores in and around Bristol, we are an independent retailer of flooring and furniture. We supply and fit real wood, LVT, laminate, vinyl, carpets, underlay and safety flooring as well as any preparation work if needed. We also supply a wide range of high quality furniture, accessories and soft furnishings to Bristol and the south west. Having such a vast array of flooring and furniture options with staff that are specialised in all areas, who will go above and beyond for our customers, is what makes us stand out from the crowd. Simply, for all things flooring and furniture in Bristol (and the south west), think Kustom Floors and Furniture.


At Eden Garden Design, we’re passionate about garden design and believe that a well-designed garden will add considerable value to your lifestyle as well as to your home. We see gardens and outdoor spaces like outdoor rooms; perfect places to relax, entertain and have fun in - yet they tend to be underused and undervalued. Often this is simply because we are unable to see their potential, or we feel lacking in inspiration or overwhelmed by the space. Take your first step, contact us and let us help you release the potential of your outdoor space and home.



Star Plumbing & Heating Supplies is an independent business owned by Rob who has over 35 years of experience in the trade. The business prides itself on good old fashioned customer service. If you’re not sure what you need, Rob will help; whether it’s a washer for your tap, replacement boiler or a new bathroom. All known brands such as Worcester Bosch, Vaillant and Ideal boilers are available for next day delivery. The showroom has plenty of inspiration for you to design your perfect bathroom. Come in and grab a free coffee and discuss all your plumbing, heating and bathroom needs.


Eurimex Fencing & Construction is a small family business which started in 1998 providing a fencing, landscaping and garden service in the Bristol area. From this beginning Eurimex expanded in 2001 and took on contracts from various utility companies throughout the South West. Whilst maintaining our local business we are now installing cross country pipeline fencing and gates as well as related works such as tree work, small building work, ground work and all types of surfacing EG: tarmac brick paving etc. In recent years we have expanded into the security sector, installing security fencing and gates at various locations throughout the SW, SE, Midlands & Wales.




We are Bristol’s established roofing specialist. A small, friendly business run by three fully qualified roofers. All aspects of pitched and flat roofing. Replacement of rainwater goods, valley gutters, parapets, fascia’s and soffits and any related works. We have years of experience in the roofing trade and we’re able to help you with any aspect of roofing repair, replacement or installation. Please don’t hesitate to call us if you’ve specific roofing needs. We’re so confident in the quality of our work that we offer a minimum of 10 years guarantee on all work we do, and up to 20 years guarantee on all felt or fibreglass roofing.

177 SOUTH LIBERTY LANE, ASHTON, BRISTOL BS3 2TN TEL: 01179 665292 WWW.BRISTOLWINDOWSLTD.CO.UK Bristol Windows have over 30 years experience in manufacturing UPVC window, doors and conservatories and have expanded into the professional window and door manufacturers they are today. Our aim is to ensure all customers get the best quality made products for the best price. We source our glass from a local supplier less than 10 minutes away. We also manufacturer our own wide selection of Composite doors. Please contact us today to get a free no obligation quotation. I BRISTOL LIFE I 107



Multi award-winning Kate Savill Landscapes undertakes a full range of projects from inner-city sanctuaries to large family gardens. Kate combines her love of functional design, her sharp eye for detail and her passion for plants in every garden; taking pride in listening to a client’s brief and aspirations to create their truly personal space. With 8 years’ experience and an RHS Gold medal, Kate has a reputation for creating beautiful gardens both locally and nationally. She recently won Channel 5’s Great Gardening Challenge and has designed and built two RHS Chelsea Flower Show gardens including the Jo Whiley Scent Garden.


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“Ayesha was a cool teenager, and if she loved birds, so did I”

MYA-ROSE CRAIG (AKA BirdGirl) The 17-year-old British Bangladeshi young birder from the Chew Valley is redefining ‘teen rebel’ Despite her tender age, MyaRose has achieved more than many would in a lifetime. She recently became the youngest person to receive an honorary doctorate of science from Bristol University, created the non-profit organisation Black2Nature and was a Bristol European Green Capital 2015 Ambassador – and that’s just a few of the feathers in her cap. We caught up with the incredible young ornithologist to talk birds and beyond. How did it all start? What sparked your interest in birds, nature and conservation, and when did you become Birdgirl?

I have been birding with my parents and older sister, Ayesha, all my life. It is what I have always loved. My dad has been obsessed

with birds since he was young. My mum grew up in Bristol and didn’t become interested in birds until she met my dad. Ayesha was 12 years older than me and was the youngest person to see the landmark 400 birds in the UK until I broke her record. Ayesha was a cool teenager, and if she loved birds, so did I. I came up with Birdgirl age nine; in Peru I wrote a song, They Call her Birdgirl. What are your three favourite birdwatching spots in the Bristol area?

My favourite places around Bristol are Brandon Hill, Chew Valley Lake and WWT Slimbridge. For the uninitiated, tell us a little about twitching. What’s your most memorable twitching moment?

Birding is when you go out and look at the birds you find.


Twitching is when you get news of a specific rare bird and travel to see it. One of my most memorable twitches was to see an eastern crowned warbler. I happened to have an inset day so we could go. It was exciting because there were a lot of people; everyone who was there saw it and there was a BBC camera crew there with us.

regrettable habit?

Can you give us some tips for attracting different species of birds into our garden?

I think it’s key to find something you feel passionately about, read and find out as much as you can, work out your thoughts and then speak up.

If you want to attract birds into your garden, it’s important to make it safe from cats. Then, have a bird bath and break the ice in bad weather. A turnedover bin lid will do. It’s good to have different types of food – for instance, sunflowers hearts and Niger seeds, two types of feeders for tits and finches and seeds and maggots on the ground for robins and song thrushes. How does it feel to be the youngest person to receive an honorary doctorate from Bristol University?

It’s absolutely incredible to be recognised for my work, and I feel enormously proud, as well as wanting to use the honour to promote my work with Black2Nature and my camps and conferences.

TV presenter and nature enthusiast Bill Oddie described you as a superhero – and rightly so. What super powers would Birdgirl have?

Ah, I love Bill, he has been incredibly supportive and kind. There is actually a little-known DC female superhero called Birdgirl who can fly as well as communicate with birds. That would be pretty cool.

Even superheroes have their flaws. What’s your most

I am very harsh on myself and am quite a perfectionist. It often leads me to have a lot of selfdoubt. I think that’s why trolls get to me so much, and why I need reassurance that I’m doing ok. What advice would you give to young people who want to make a difference but don’t know where to start?

What challenges have you come up against so far?

As a visible minority ethnic and young Muslim girl, the biggest challenge I face are from racist, sexist and plain nasty birders and so-called environments who troll me. They will dress it up with some kind of ‘legitimate’ issue but that’s just cover. You’ve already met the likes of Sir David Attenborough and shared the stage with Greta Thunberg. Who would you like to meet next?

It was lovely to meet Sir David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg, but I think it would be fascinating to meet Al Gore or Kofi Annan. Both have achieved a huge amount in their different ways. Another person that I’d love to meet is Autumn Peltier, the Canadian indigenous girl who campaigns for water rights. Have you got anything exciting lined up this year?

I want speak at the UN Convention on Biodiversity in China in October 2020, by the TransSiberian Train. I plan to write, give talks and do media work. For more:

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Bristol Life - Issue 279