Food/Arts/Entertainment/Shopping/Property ISSUE 265 / JANUARY 2019 / £3
POP THE QUESTION WEDDING EXPERTS‘ INSIGHTS
CELEBRATING THE BEST IN SALISBURY & WILTSHIRE
TELLING TALES LOCAL AUTHORS REVEAL SALISBURY INSPIRATION
TALKING ABOUT A RESOLUTION NEW YEAR HOPES FOR LOCAL BUSINESSES
YEAR OF THE PIG
PRETTY PORCINE PICKS
ISSUE 265 / JANUARY 2019 / HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS
LIVING IN THE PAST
MATHEW PRIEST ON REFORMING THE BAND
EXPLORE A MEDIEVAL DREAM HOME ALSO SPLASH OF COLOUR / SUSIE BLAKE / BECKFORD BOTTLE SHOP / LOUISE MASON
a Dinton medieval home LEFT: Mathew Priest - he’s with the band
ife’s too short to waste it on the January blues. After the year we’ve had, let’s cut to the chase and start as we mean to go on. Big dreams, new hopes, new ambitions, and maybe even new homes – like the magniﬁcent medieval Dinton home on our cover (page 58). (Okay, I accept this last part is just a daydream.) 2019 is also the Chinese Year of The Pig, (page 38), which is known for positive traits such as sincerity, compassion and bravery. Taking this on board, and as part of making this new year count, I’m going to attempt a little creative writing. This resolution has also been encouraged by local authors talk about the inﬂuence Salisbury has on their work on page 10. On page 24, we meet Mathew Priest, whose transformation from drummer with the hugely successful 90s Britpop band Dodgy to teaching disadvantaged children in Salisbury is nothing short of inspirational. We also pop lots of wedding questions to experts on page 42, and on page 54 ask a few indie businesses to share their plans and hopes for 2019. Stay resolved, and see you next issue!
COVER An impressive Dinton home comes on the market. Turn to page 58 for more details.
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Issue 265/January 2019
58 showcase On the home front with a 700 year old
17 INTRO Dying Swan by Jonathan Wylder is part of the
new Creative Wiltshire exhibition
18 WHAT’S ON Arts, gigs, festivals and family fun, it’s time
to update your diary
22 FILM Lucy Rouse trails Salisbury Arts Centre new
24 BIG INTERVIEW Dodgy’s drummer Mathew Priest on
why he left London for Salisbury
© LYDIA STAMPS
30 RESTAURANT The Beckford Bottle Shop in Bath 32 RECIPE Riverford winter warmers 35 FOOD NEWS New Hampshire food awards, and the
desert island dishes of Sunny Sin
37 SHOPPING INTRO Amy Louise’s These Little Piggies
Stayed At Home
38 ed’s choice To celebrate Chinese Year of the Pig, we
40 MARVELLOUS MAKERS A creative visit to the
pottery and paint café, Splash of Colour
42 pop the question Local wedding experts answer
big day planning queries
51 business insider News, views and interviews from
the region’s professionals
53 MY DESK The work space of Eddie Deighton
56 talking head Meet Walhampton’s Titus Mills
travel © JOHN ROSE
64 best of the west A guide to nearby Bath
6 Spotlight A photo album look back at 2018 62 scene Money & Millie launch, and the honouring of
musician Tim Smith
66 just visiting Susie Blake on being Miss Marple
Editor Sarah Moolla firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor Deri Robins email@example.com Senior Art Editor Andrew Richmond Graphic Design Megan Allison Cover Design Trevor Gilham Editor’s photo John Rose Contributors Adrian Harris, John Rose, Elsie Chadwick, Jayne Woodhouse, Lucy Rouse, and John Mather Advertising Manager Dan Nichols firstname.lastname@example.org Production/Distribution Manager Sarah Kingston email@example.com Deputy Production Manager Kirstie Howe firstname.lastname@example.org Production Designer Gemma Scrine email@example.com Chief Executive Jane Ingham firstname.lastname@example.org Chief Executive Greg Ingham email@example.com Salisbury Life MediaClash, Circus Mews House, Circus Mews, Bath BA1 2PW 01225 475800 www.mediaclash.co.uk @The MediaClash © All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without written permission of MediaClash. We’re a Bath-based publisher, creative agency and event organiser Magazines Our portfolio of regional magazines celebrates the best of local living: Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter and Salisbury. We also publish foodie mag Crumbs (www.crumbsmag.com, @CrumbsMag) Agency From the design and build of websites to digital marketing and creating company magazines, we can help. Events We create, market, promote and operate a wide variety of events both for MediaClash and our clients Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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All YEAR ROUND WE BRING YOU BEST OF SALISBURY NEWS. HERE’S A FEW OF 2018’s MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS APRIL
Photographer Simon Ward shared a few of his images with Salisbury Life to help tell the story of the Novichok poisoning of the Skripals on 4 March, including this one of Theresa May with Keir Pritchard and John Glen, surrounded by the world’s media. For more: www.simonwardphotography.com
The city played host to the grand final of the OVO Energy cycling tour at the end of May, which saw Canyon Eisberg and Team Breeze crowned champions of the Tour Series. For more: www.tourofbritain.co.uk
As part of Stonehenge’s anniversary of 100 years of being given to the nation, celebrations included Stonehenge and Old Sarum teaming up with filmmakers Aardman and Studiocanal to help celebrate the release of their latest animation film, Early Man. For more: www.english-heritage.org.uk
A cracked teapot bought for just £15 in 2016, turned out to be a very rare and significant porcelain work by 18th-century John Bartlam of which only six other pieces are known. It sold at auction for £460,000 at the Salisbury auctioneers Woolley & Wallis For more: www.woolleyandwallis.co.uk
6 I SALISBURY LIFE I www.mediaclash.co.uk
An estimated 5,000 lined the Market Square in Salisbury to welcome The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall on 22 June when they visited the city to show their support for its recovery. For more: www.wiltshire.gov.uk
The Beast from the East flew in and tried to mess with the West. While it did disrupt a fair bit, it also provided some incredibly beautiful Instagram opportunities, like this from Salisbury photographer Martin Cook. For more: www.facebook.com/SalisburyPhotography
Hollywood stars Idris Elba and Luke Evans were the surprise mega guest stars at the Glow in the Park fundraiser in Longleat on 9 September. For more: www.alabare.co.uk
The umbrellas, along with some illuminated doves, representing the Les Colombes that had been at Salisbury Cathedral, were put up on 17 July in Salisbury High Street. For more: www.salisburybid.co.uk
More than 13,000 people enjoyed Lift Off!, four days of free entertainment in the city over the August Bank Holiday, organised by Wiltshire Creative. For more: www.wiltshirecreative.co.uk
The city came out in force to enjoy the ninth Salisbury Carnival on 19 October with illuminated processions, musical floats and happy crowds lining the streets, helping to raise money for The Mayor Of Salisburyâ€™s Appeal which was the Rose Gale Trust and Childrenâ€™s Chance. For more: www.salisburycitycouncil.gov.uk
Over Armistice weekend the West Front of the Cathedral was illuminated by The Royal British Legion Poppies installation, a gigantic and evocative colour projection of tumbling poppies. For more: www.salisburycathedral.org.uk
Longleat Safari Park saw their quartet of cheetah cubs venture outside with their mum Wilma, for the first time since their birth in August. For more: www.longleat.co.uk
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The largest collection of tiles in Salisbury
Mon: Fri 07.30 - 17.00 Sat: 09.00 - 17.00
www.salisburytilestore.net Salisbury Tile Store, Unit 2 Faraday Centre, Faraday Road, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP2 7NR Also at: Unit 5, The Enterprise Centre, William Road, Nursteed, Devizes, SN10 3EW
Jayne Woodhouse asks local writers to share their inspiring Salisbury tales
re you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin. We’re celebrating National Storytelling Week, which starts 29 January, by asking a few local authors, writers and scribes, many of whom are members of the Salisbury Writing Circle, to tell us their story and share why Salisbury is so special to them...
JAYNE WOODHOUSE, Children’s author and playwright; www.jaynewoodhouse.wordpress.com How long have you been writing?: I came across an old exercise book full of stories I’d written when I was seven, so it’s been a long time! Then I began my ‘real’ writing career about 30 years ago. Have you had any other jobs?: I’ve been a primary school teacher and a university lecturer in teacher training. I now teach creative writing to adults, many of whom have gone on to become authors themselves. Talk us through some of your work: I’ve written a large number of non-fiction books for children and curriculum resources for schools for many different publishers, especially the BBC. I’ve also written a trilogy of novels for children about Rocky the rescue greyhound. I began writing for the stage three years ago and have had several long and short plays performed. My eBook of fiction for adults, Getting Away, features several short stories set in Salisbury. What are you currently working on?: A full-length play exploring
one woman’s memories of her younger self, plus a collaborative piece with a choreographer about the impact of artificial intelligence on life in the future. I also run my own small theatre company, Loosely Based. We’ve had two sell-out productions at The Chapel in Salisbury, as well as performances in London and Brighton.
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How does Salisbury influence your writing?: I live in the centre of Salisbury with a wonderful view of the Cathedral spire, having moved from Southampton about six years ago. Living in such a historic place inspires me every day, as I love imagining all the people who’ve walked these same streets over the years. After spending all my life in large cities, I particularly enjoy the riverside walks and open areas where you can always find quiet spaces for reflection.
literature PETER LINEY, novelist; email@example.com
A little blurb about yourself please: I live in Salisbury and
I’ve done all kinds of jobs – everything from acting in Aussie soaps to teaching English to Russian politicians and Italian football managers.
And writing for how long?: All my
life, aside from a short break in my 20s.
What’s in your back catalogue?: I write a very broad range of things and have had a sitcom on Channel 4, drama on Radio 4, and have had work produced in Germany, South Africa and Australia. In addition, I have a dystopian trilogy published, The Detainee, and another novel on Kindle entitled Beauty. Anything based in Salisbury yet?: I’ve been working on a children’s
trilogy that is set around the city.
How do you cope with creative blocks?: Maybe I shouldn’t say this,
but I’ve never had one.
RICHARD PARKER, novelist; www.richard-parker.com
What’s your story Richard?:
I live in Wilton, and I’ve been a pot cleaner, TV comedy writer, TV script editor and TV producer. How long have you been working with words?: 32 years. In
that time, I’ve written eight thrillers, including Stop Me, which was shortlisted for the Dagger Award, while the movie rights for Scare Me were sold to Hollywood and the screenplay written by Prison Break’s Wentworth Miller.
What are you currently working on?: Book three in the DI Tom
Fabian series, which is currently untitled.
How long have you lived in Salisbury?: I’ve lived here for 12 years
now. Prior to that, I lived in London, but visited Salisbury and liked it so much that I decided to move here. It’s a relaxing place to live and write. My first book was published a year after I moved here, so that has to be a good sign.
Is that because Salisbury is so inspiring?: Of course, especially the
Cathedral. One day I’d love to write a story set around it.
What’s next?: I’ve just finished Honeyboys, the story of two brothers in
Los Angeles during World War II and a road trip unlike any other. Oh, and it has 15 million leading ladies, which has to be a record.
“I love imagining all the people who’ve walked these same streets over the years”
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ROB RICHARDSON, novelist; www.tarnrichardson.co.uk What’s the blurb about you?: I live in Farley, Salisbury and have done so for the last 20 years. I have also run the Salisbury-based web agency enotions for the last 17 years. Plus I’m a full-time dad taxi. How long have you been writing?:
Professionally for about six years. But I started writing as a pipe dream when I was 18. A lot of words have since flowed under that bridge. Tell us about some of those words: The Darkest Hand trilogy has been published by Duckworth Overlook in the UK, and Overlook Press in the US. In book one, The Damned, the lead character dreams of returning back to his childhood home in Harnham whilst in the trenches of World War I. What’s next on your writing list?: A dark and twisty murder mystery, set in a village, not unlike the one I currently reside in. I hasten to add that it is not the same village, nor based on any of the people in it(!). How does Salisbury inspire you?: There’s no better way to fuel the creativity in my opinion than to take a long walk in the beautiful Wiltshire countryside. Salisbury is a wonderful city, with a rich literary heritage, full of wonderful people, clubs, pubs, restaurants, events and businesses. I find inspiration within our city everywhere. Any downsides to being an author?: Writing can be a very insular
and lonely thing to do, so the Salisbury Writing Circle led by Tom Bromley, is a great way to support and receive support from fellow local authors. JULIA NORTH, novelist; firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you always loved writing?:
I’ve been writing since I was a child, then wrote my own stories when teaching drama. I started working on my first published children’s story about 18 years ago. I believe writing should connect with the human spirit. Writing is my passion and my dream – everything I experience, both good and bad, feeds it. Talk us through some of your work: I’ve written a children’s book, Alexandra Trott and the Muti Machinations, plus two books for adults, Hear Me, and Lieutenant Hotshot. I was the winner of the first Salisbury Literary Festival short story competition (adult section) in 2017. I have an MSc in Creative Writing from Edinburgh University. I am currently working on a psychological thriller, plus I have ideas for two more in the same genre as well as some young adult fiction. Recently I collaborated on a book with a Canadian writer, which has Salisbury as one of the settings. How does the city provide inspiration?: I first visited Salisbury while
travelling way back in 1984 and fell in love with the place. I returned in 2010 when I secured a post as deputy head – I always knew I would come back and live here. It just felt right for me. I now live in Old Sarum. The history around me feeds my imagination, and I love the spiritual depth of the Cathedral.
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MICHAEL WILLS, historical novelist; www.michaelwills.eu What’s your background?: I have lived in Salisbury for 40 years, and as well as writing for the last 12 years, I also work as an ombudsman. I was previously the principal of the Salisbury School of English. What are your writing interests?: My main interest is in the Viking period, but, while on a visit to New York, I discovered a fascinating link between the American War of Independence and Wiltshire, concerning the horrifying fate of the 62nd Regiment of Foot, (which later became the Wiltshire Regiment), in America. How does Salisbury influence your writing?: Salisbury presents the ideal backdrop for a work of historical fiction, of which I have written seven books around. The city’s streets are a constant source of inspiration, although a writer needs to do a lot of careful research. The Rifles (Berkshire and Wiltshire) Museum in the Close helped with me
piece together the story for The Wessex Turncoat. It is based on the story of a young man from Fordingbridge who, after a being robbed in the Red Lion Hotel in Salisbury, is tricked into joining the 62nd Regiment and sent abroad to fight. What are you working on next?: Bound for Home, which is the fourth and final book in my series of Viking stories for young readers, Children of the Chieftain. Hovering in the background and waiting for attention, is a half-finished novel based on two rune stones I discovered in Sweden.
ANDY MASLEN, novelist, www.andymaslen.com What do you write?: I’ve been writing my whole life from the age of six — so about 50 years. I write action and crime thrillers. The hero of my Gabriel Wolfe series lives in a village outside Salisbury and trains at Marlborough Lines army base. I’ve written seven books in the series, the latest is No Further. I’ve also written four books in the Stella Cole series, including Let The Bones Be Charred, which is coming soon. My book Hit and Done, was shortlisted for the 2018 Kindle Storyteller Award. It was one of five finalists out of a field of many thousands of novels. I also work as a copywriter. How do you approach writing?: I find nothing frees up the creative juices so much as a long walk with my whippet, Merlin. I actually have more ideas than I can write about so would like an extra couple of days in the week. Current projects? Several including two audio books of Fury, and Hit
How does Salisbury inspire you?: I moved here in 2003 from London, and in that time, I have met some truly inspiring and interesting people, from army officers to detectives. They are friends, as well as sources of ideas. And also the landscape here never fails to inspire me – although I can’t walk through a peaceful cornfield without wondering what it would be like if a jet fighter were to crash into the middle of it.
editor and producer. I’m a regular contributor of jokes and comedy sketches to programmes on BBC radio, including Newsjack, The News Quiz, and Breaking the News. I’ve also had several short plays produced in London. What are you currently working on?:
Two spec TV scripts – a thriller and a sitcom. I teach courses on how to write comedy, in Salisbury and London. I’ve also started a local group for new comedy writers in Salisbury – we have a Facebook page, Salisbury Comedy Writers. Where do you find creative motivation in Salisbury?: A walk in the
surrounding countryside usually does the trick. MICHELLE MOORE, novelist; www.michellemoore.co.uk
What is your connection to the area?: My family lives at Middle
Wallop Army Base, where my husband, Ben, works in the Royal Air Force. How long have you been writing?: Since 2009. Jayne
Woodhouse’s creative writing classes connected me to a group of women with a passion for writing. We still meet regularly to discuss writing projects and support each other’s work.
What have you written?:
I recently self-published my first novel, The Fool, the first part of a trilogy. It’s a magical / historical story set in ancient Egypt, based on my love of the Thoth Tarot. I entered a competition with the Salisbury Writing Circle in 2016 called Bee Creative, based at the Secret Garden. My story won a place in the anthology and is on permanent display in the old churchyard. An extract from my novel was chosen for one of the local events at the 2018 Salisbury Literary Festival. I am currently working on The Magician, the next story in my Egyptian Tarot trilogy of novels. How do you defeat writer’s block?: I find reading newspaper
clippings, old letters, looking at photographs and listening to gossip, all help. Also Salisbury with its architecture, Cathedral, and ancient pubs, triggers the imagination and generates ideas.
“Living in such a historic place inspires me every day”
What support do you get from other Salisbury authors?: I was one of the first people to join Salisbury
Writing Circle, where I met Tom Bromley, who edited my first two novels and is now a friend. Mark Dawson, a self-publishing sensation, also lives here and we were introduced by our vet. DANIEL PAGE, comedy writer; www.whydidthechicken.com What’s your story?: I moved to Salisbury for work and stayed for the cultural scene. I now live in Alderbury and am a consultant, script
DEREK HAYES, novelist; email@example.com
What’s your story Derek?: I live in Laverstock, Salisbury, and have worked with the Health Service for about 40 years. I’ve been writing seriously for about 20 years.
What have you written?: I have published a trilogy of light-hearted books set in the 1950s about life in the coastal village community of Langford Quay. The stories revolve around the mischievous activities of beachcomber who is also a boatbuilder. This was followed by a spy thriller, The Maid of Turpin’s, set in 18th-century London about a young woman who runs a notorious tavern. I write for the sheer pleasure of
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literature POLLY NOAKES, children’s author and illustrator; www.pollynoakesillustration.com Have you always been an author?: I worked at Neal’s Yard for two years whilst training as a therapist. I then worked as an alternative therapist in Salisbury, before becoming a full-time writer and illustrator. What’s in your back catalogue?: I wrote and illustrated my first
picture book in 1991 called Sally Sky Diver. I went on to illustrate many books until 2000, after which I took a break to raise my family and train as an alternative therapist. I returned to publishing in 2015.
What has the return to writing been like?: In 2016 I was offered
a three-book deal by Childs Play International: The Very Long Sleep was launched at 2017’s Salisbury Literary Festival and published the same year. Hide and Seek was out November 2018, and Monkey Business will be published in 2020. I’ve just finished illustrating Dare, a picture book by Lorna Gutierrez, which is due out later this year. I’m also illustrating picture books for Walker Books and Bloomsbury Children’s Books.
Describe your working day: I turn up and work! I write
it and always have two or three projects on the go. If I get stuck I simply swap to another story. Any Salisbury connections to your work?:
“Salisbury is the perfect place for people watching”
All my characters are based upon people I have met and come to know in the 30 years I have lived in Salisbury. You don’t have to look far to find really interesting characters, and the city centre is the perfect place for people watching. What are you current projects?: I’ve recently finished a new novel,
Periwinkle in Suburbia, which is waiting, at this very moment, to be launched. The hero is Arthur Wreckless, a champion of downtrodden communities, who is loathed and feared by the forces of law and order, as well as by the criminal fraternity. LINDA MORSE, playwright; firstname.lastname@example.org
How long have you been writing for, Linda?: For community and
children for many years, and for adult theatre, about eight years. I have completed several full length plays, one of which A Shared Breath, a piece exploring the effects of adoption, was performed in April 2015 as part of Theatre Fest West at Salisbury Playhouse’s Salberg theatre, as a rehearsed reading. Two others, The Girl With No Feet and Empty Mirrors reached the top twenty in Bristol Old Vic’s Open Session 2014 and 2016, and various other short lists. I’ve also had a number of short plays performed throughout the South West and in London. What’s coming next?: I am currently working on a full-length piece
about sexual harassment in the art industry, entitled World Wide Web.
What are your Salisbury connections?: Although I live in Cranborne, Dorset I am very much part of the Salisbury Fringe. I studied with Angie Street at Salisbury Arts Centre for a number of years and the theatre company, Out of Joint, with Sam Potter and Barney Norris, at Salisbury Playhouse. I am a founder member of the Salisbury Fringe Festival and also involved in running its monthly Scratch Nights at The Pheasant Inn, Salt Lane.
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a morning journal to order my thoughts and gain clarity, and find walking often solves creative problems. I also sketch most days, as it keeps my work spontaneous. What inspiration do you find in Salisbury:
The fabulous Salisbury Museum and Young Gallery both host high quality exhibitions. I also aim to become more involved in the Salisbury Writing Circle. n
The Salisbury Writing Circle has over 100 members, ranging from enthusiastic beginners through to internationally published novelists. They get together once a month at Sarum College in the Cathedral Close. For more information contact email@example.com; www.salisburywritingcircle.com
Reach the best in the west AďŹ„uent, active and inďŹ‚uential and just a call away
Salisbury Life 01225 475800
the arts s n a p s h o t s o f SA L I S B U R Y ’ s c ult ur a l li f e
CREATIVE FORCES Creative Wiltshire: A Celebration of Art in Wiltshire is exactly that – an exhibition to tell the story of our region’s creative community and showcase the amazing, eclectic and acclaimed work this area helps to inspire and nurture. Some of the artworks on show have only very recently been acquired by Salisbury Museum, so this will be a unique opportunity to view paintings by Rex Whistler and Wilfred de Glehn; etched glass by Sir Laurence Whistler; and the bronze sculpture Dying Swan by Jonathan Wylder (pictured). Creative Wiltshire: A Celebration of Art in Wiltshire, which is a Heritage Lottery Funded project, can be seen between 19 January – 4 May at Salisbury Museum; www.salisburymuseum.org.uk
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What’s on 11 January – 15 February
Yoko Ono and Bill Murray are just two of the star voices in the movie Isle of Dogs
EXHIBITIONS Until 13 January
ROBYN DENNY Denny’s large-scale, colourful abstract paintings embody the cool, modernising mood associated with the 1960s. NewArtCentre; www.sculpture.uk.com
Until 3 February
FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT ILLUMINATIONS Best viewed when dark, this is a unique and beautiful set of light installations, some with sound and movement in the Close and Cathedral. Salisbury Cathedral. www.salisburycathedral.org.uk
Until 3 February MATERIAL: LIght
Dante Marioni, pioneering glass artist, for whom making objects is about the art of glass blowing rather than the creation of glass art is exhibited alongside Elliot Walker and Michael Hulls, whose light installation Tungsten Requiem, will be extending through the full length of the barn. Messums Wiltshire; www.messumswiltshire.com
Until 16 February
ANELLO FLOW: AN EXHIBITION BY ALMUTH TEBBENHOFF This exhibition expands on the origins of Anello Flow, currently on display on the Wessex Plinth, and other work in this series, reflecting on Almuth’s fascination with the patterns made by water. The Salisbury Museum; www.salisburymuseum.org.uk
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Until 23 February
VENUS IN THE LANDSCAPE This exhibition showcases the collection of Mirka Golden-Hann’s 365 ceramic female figures inspired by the Ice Age Venuses. The installation was made during 2018’s Year of the Woman, as a study of the female. The intention for this installation is to later intern the individual figurines into landscapes between the UK and the Czech Republic. Salisbury Arts Centre; www.wiltshirecreative.co.uk
Until 21 April 2019
MAKING CONNECTIONS: STONEHENGE IN ITS PREHISTORIC WORLD In partnership with the British Museum, this exhibition features stunning precious artefacts made
between 4000BC and 800BC, from a jade axe to an elaborate gold neckpiece, and charts the changing relationships between the British Isles and Europe over the Neolithic and Bronze Ages. Price with general admission. Stonehenge; www.english-heritage.org.uk
12 January – 23 February
CALENDAR ARTISTS 2019 EXHIBITION 13 artists and creators, all of whom are exhibitors at Fisherton Mill, contributed a piece of their artwork to feature on the pages of this year’s gallery charity calendar. This collection will showcase a selection of these paintings, prints, illustrations, sculptures, ceramics and jewellery. Fisherton Mill; www.fishertonmill.co.uk
what’s on 19 January – 4 May
THE ORIGINS OF PHOTOGRAPHY IN SALISBURY 1839 – 1919 An exploration of the rise of amateur photography in Salisbury starting around 1840s, and up to the end of World War I. The varied and absorbing images provide a fascinating look back at the development of the city. Salisbury Museum; www.salisburymuseum.org.uk
19 January – 4 May
A Celebration of Art in Wiltshire The aim of this exhibition is to continue to tell the story of Wiltshire’s creative community and showcase the best art this county has to offer, such as the bronze Dying Swan by Jonathan Wylder. Turn to page 17 for more. The Salisbury Museum; www.salisburymuseum.org.uk
Go a few rounds with The Thinking Drinkers on 9 February left: Lumen by David Ogle can be seen in the Cloisters of Salisbury Cathedral below: Christmas may be behind you, but the Salisbury Playhouse recordbreaking panto is still with us. Oh yes it is!
Theatre/ Dance /Film
ISLE OF DOGS Set in a dystopian near-future Japan, the story follows a young boy searching for his dog after the species is banished to an island following the outbreak of a canine flu. The film’s ensemble voice cast includes Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson and Yoko Ono. 7.30pm, £8. Salisbury Arts Centre; www. wiltshirecreative.co.uk
HELEN CHADWICK: TRUTH A beautiful and thought-provoking song theatre show, which explores the once-simple notion of truth in our messy modern age of fake news. 7.30pm, £14. Salisbury Arts Centre; www.wiltshirecreative.co.uk
MET OPERA: ADRIANA LECOUVREUR Soprano Anna Netrebko sings the role of Adriana Lecouvreur, the 18th-century actress whose real-life intrigues inspired Cilea’s tragic opera. Adriana is adored by many but loves only Maurizio, played by Piotr Beczała, who adores her in return. But first Maurizio has to extricate himself from his previous lover, the Princess deof Bouillon played by Anita Rachvelishvili. 5.55pm, £17. Salisbury Arts Centre; www.wiltshirecreative.co.uk
NT LIVE: THE TRAGEDY OF KING RICHARD THE SECOND Richard II, played by Simon Russell Beale, is irresponsible, foolish and vain. His weak leadership sends England into disarray and his court into uproar. Seeing no other option but to seize power, the ambitious Bolingbroke challenges the throne. 6.15pm, £17. Salisbury Arts Centre; www.wiltshirecreative.co.uk
emotional life, illuminated by a sequence of his most famous and atmospheric solo piano works. 7.30pm, £22. Salisbury Playhouse; www.wiltshirecreative.co.uk
RÊVERIE – THE LIFE AND LOVES OF CLAUDE DEBUSSY Created in 2012 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Claude Debussy, Rêverie was scripted by pianist Lucy Parham, with Alex Jennings narrating. This tells the story of Debussy’s complex
MET OPERA: CARMEN Mezzo-soprano Clémentine Margaine plays opera’s ultimate seductress, while Roberto Alagna returns to the role of Don José, the good-hearted soldier in whom she unleashes an uncontrollable passion. 5.55pm, £17. Salisbury Arts Centre; www.wiltshirecreative.co.uk
Music / Comedy 24 January
SALISBURY PLAIN MILITARY WIVES CHOIR Inspired by Gareth Malone’s show The Choir, the Salisbury Plain Military Wives Choir first formed in January 2012, under the musical direction of Susan Raeburn, as a local community project for women connected to the military. This performance promises a variety of traditional and military style songs, plus tracks from their new album Remember. 7.30pm, £15. Salisbury Playhouse; www.wiltshirecreative.co.uk
THE ELVIS YEARS This glittering production charts the musical and emotional highs and lows of Elvis’s amazing journey from a poor truck-driving teenager from Tupelo, Mississippi through to the army, Hollywood, and finally
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What’s on the legendary Las Vegas concerts. 7.30pm, £24. City Hall Salisbury; www.cityhallsalisbury.co.uk
RORY BREMNER AND JAN RAVENS She's Merkel to his Trump. He's Boris to her Theresa. Two of Britain's finest impressionists come together to help support Wiltshire Creative. Tickets also available at £50 for an exclusive post-show drinks reception with the mimicking duo. 7.30pm, £25. Salisbury Playhouse; www.wiltshirecreative.co.uk
31 January – 2 February
WOKE Join world record-holding beatboxer Testament as he starts to unpick his own prejudices. Expect spoken word, rap, beatboxing and hip-hop classics and a truck-load of honesty. £13.50. The Salberg; www. wiltshirecreative.co.uk
THE THINKING DRINKERS The Thinking Drinkers are back on tour with a brand-new, hilarious, intoxicating bar-hop through history. Enjoy five free drinks as the awardwinning experts take you from the symposiums of Ancient Greece to the classic British boozer via a Wild West saloon, Victorian gin palace, and the secret speakeasy. 8pm, £20. Theatre Royal Winchester; www.theatreroyalwinchester.co.uk
other 19 January
ALL STAR SUPERSLAM WRESTLING Superslam Wrestling continues its reign as the nation’s longest-running, number-one professional wrestling outfit, bringing its lycra’d brand of live high-flying, heart-stopping, all-in ring action to Salisbury at the start of its 2019 UK tour. 7.30pm. £15. City Hall Salisbury; www.cityhallsalisbury.co.uk
STORIES ON THE MANTLEPIECE Stephen Duckworth, the author of Victorian Staffordshire Pottery Religious Figures, and a collector for over 40 years, tells the fascinating story of the colourful, naive, and often religious pottery figures, which found their way into British Victorian homes in the nineteenth century. 6.30pm, £8/£10. Salisbury Museum, www.salisburymuseum.org.uk
26 –27 January
GLASS FESTIVAL Devised to complement the exhibition, Material Light glass, artists Dante Marioni, Elliot Walker and Michael Hulls will all be demonstrating their artistry over the weekend with live demonstrations. Messums Wiltshire; www.messumswiltshire.com
Family FUN Until 13 January
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST From the team behind last year’s record-breaking and multi-award winning panto Jack and the Beanstalk, is the famous fairytale of Amorette who is taken prisoner by a prince who has been turned into a beast. £12-£28. Salisbury Playhouse; www.wiltshirecreative.co.uk
JUST WILLIAM READ BY MARTIN JARVIS Martin Jarvis’s award-winning recordings of the Just William stories have delighted generations of children and adults. Martin will bring Richmal Crompton’s timeless characters vividly to life in his definitive performance of two of her mini-masterpieces, along with pianist and composer Richard Sisson. 2.15pm, £19. Salisbury Playhouse; www.wiltshirecreative.co.uk
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above: A piece by Mirka GoldenHann from her new collection left: Martin Jarvis reads Just William at the Salisbury Playhouse below: See the opera Carmen at the Salisbury Arts Centre on 2 February
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Just the ticket Lucy Rouse delivers a round-up of the old, new, classic and contemporary movies coming to the Salisbury Arts Centre this new year
f one of your New Year resolutions is to see more films, (and if it wasn’t, it will be after you’ve read this), then we have just the ticket for you at Salisbury Arts Centre. The season starts on 15 January with an NT Live screening of The Tragedy of King Richard the Second with Simon Russell Beale, live from the Almeida Theatre. It’s described as a ‘visceral’ new production of Shakespeare’s play about the limits of power and sees Russell Beale returning to the NT Live screens after his recent role in the National Theatre’s critically acclaimed production The Lehman Trilogy. Met Opera screenings resume at the Arts Centre in 2019 with Adriana Lecouvreur, about the eighteenth-century actress whose real-life intrigues inspired Cilea’s tragic opera, followed by Bizet’s greatest opera about the ultimate seductress Carmen. On 20 February the regular screenings form part of Fest West, a festival of arts from the South West. The matinée showing is 2018’s The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society starring Lily James and Tom Courtenay. Based on the novel of the same name, it tells the tale of a writer forming an unexpected bond with the people of Guernsey after she decides to write about the island’s occupation
in World War II. The Telegraph gave it four stars and called it “a mini-break for the soul”. The following week, still as part of Fest West, there’s a screening of The Secret Spitfires, the true story of young girls, boys, women and a handful of men who built spitfire planes in secret in Salisbury after the factories at Southampton had been destroyed by the Germans. There’s also a series of shorts including Needletail, by former Salisbury-resident Barney Norris. While we celebrate the newer movies, revisiting the classics is like being hugged by an old pal who we’d forgotten just how much we cared for. From this month, Salisbury Arts Centre will host Silver Screenings, these are Wednesday matinées of movie classics with the matinée tickets costing £5 with a free ice cream included. Robert Wise’s 1961 take on Romeo and Juliet: West Side Story with Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer and George Chakiris is loved by many as one of the best musical films of all time, and tells a timeless and moving tale of love across a social divide, through a series of rousing numbers. If I had to select my own do-notmiss it would be the 1940 version of Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine directed by Alfred Hitchcock, which The Guardian called one of
“A timeless tale of love across a social divide”
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from top left: Rami Malek plays Freddie Mercury; Hitchcock’s Rebecca; The 1988 classic Cinema Paradiso; NT Live: The Tragedy of King Richard the Second
Hitchcock’s “creepiest, most oppressive films”. On Wednesday evenings there’s a chance to catch any films you may have missed on recent general release including Disney’s Christopher Robin starring Ewan McGregor. Family man McGregor comes across his childhood friend Winnie-the-Pooh who helps him rediscover the joys of life. The Hollywood Outsider said the mix of live action and CGI animation works “effortlessly providing a pitch perfect highlight for Winnie-the-Pooh fans”. Wes Anderson’s 2018 Isle of Dogs follows one boy’s odyssey in search of his lost dog. Screen International said the film was “so lush with gorgeous detail it’s like a piece of highly textured haute couture”. The Guardian billed it “a hugely enjoyable package” and gave it four stars.
FILM FROM TOP TO BOTTOM: Secret Spitfires; Ewan
McGregor in Christopher Robin; The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society; Rupert Everett and Colin Firth star in Oscar Wilde
Rounding oﬀ January are two exceptional ﬁlms, one known to be a classic and the other destined to be one. First, Cinema Paradiso – the nostalgic and triumphant Italian 1986 ﬁlm that is a beautiful ode to the medium of ﬁlm itself. And then last year’s The Happy Prince starring Rupert Everett and Colin Firth (and directed by Everett) which focuses on the ﬁnal days of Oscar Wilde. The Telegraph reviewed it as bringing “power and empathy to Oscar Wilde’s gutter years”. February delivers a second chance to see the Met’s Carmen at a matinée screening and 2017’s The Children Act, adapted from Ian McEwan’s novel of the same name, directed by Richard Eyre and starring Emma Thompson and Stanley Tucci. Thompson must decide a case of a teenage boy who is refusing a blood transfusion on religious grounds, against the backdrop of her crumbling marriage. The BFI’s Sight and Sound magazine called it “a heart-breaking lament for loves lost and lives unrealised”. Merchant Ivory’s 1985 deﬁning costume drama A Room With a View features Maggie Smith, Helena Bonham Carter, Denholm Elliott and Judi Dench, who all deliver performances perfectly balanced between the heart and the mind. It’s back through the mists of time with the 1942 ﬁlm Now Voyager starring Bette Davies about a frumpy spinster ﬂourishing through therapy to become a sophisticated and conﬁdent woman. It’s this 1942 classic that gives us the legendary line, “Don’t ask for the moon; we have the stars.” The Levelling arrives at the end of February. Set in Somerset after the devastating ﬂoods of 2014, it tells the story of Clover returning home to her family farm after her brother commits suicide. “The Levelling is a superbly shot and piercingly acted realist tragedy, like a really disturbing folk horror movie with the horror amputated, so that only the folk remains,” said The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw. There’s also a plethora of contemporary titles to look out for including On Chesil Beach, Bohemian Rhapsody and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, which sit shoulder to shoulder with our old friends such as Fiddler on the Roof, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Brief Encounter.
For more: Salisbury Arts Centre, Bedwin St, Salisbury SP1 3UT. tel: 01722 321744; www.wiltshirecreative.co.uk
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the big interview
CONFESSIONS OF A PRIEST Mathew Priest, co-founder and drummer of 90s leading light pop sensation Dodgy, reveals why Salisbury is good enough for him, and why the band are making the most of their time, second time around
Words by Sarah Moolla
odgy rose to prominence during the Britpop era of the 1990s with Mathew Priest on drums, Nigel Clark on bass, and Andy Miller on guitar. Their bright, breezy lyrics juxtaposed with their accomplished and polished rock sounds on numerous hit singles including Good Enough, Staying Out for the Summer, and If You’re Thinking of Me, earned them a huge loyal fan base, as well as securing their place in the 90s hall of pop fame. Just as they were about try and crack America in 1998, the band split up. They have since successfully reformed and Mathew, who now lives in Shaftesbury also teaches music and maths to disadvantaged children in Salisbury.
Hi Mathew, starting at the beginning, tell us a little about your upbringing….
I was born in Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital in Selly Oak in Birmingham on 3 April 3 1970. I’m one of those rare folk who was conceived in the 60s, born in 70s and a teenager in the 80s. My dad was a drinker until I was about seven years old, when he just stopped, just like that. No fanfare, no relapse. Amazing really, but he couldn’t have done it without my mum, who is probably the strongest person I know. What was it like growing up in Birmingham in the 70s?
I only have fond memories. My dad had a few hairdressing salons in and around Birmingham, so I was very lucky to have a comfortable and happy childhood. We weren’t loaded at all but we had a few foreign holidays and a nice house. Did music play a part in your life back then?
We had one main music venue, the Birmingham Odeon, and we were lucky that all the major bands came there – Depeche Mode and Duran Duran in 1983; Run DMC with The Beastie Boys supporting was a particular favourite. My folks were quite trusting, I suppose everyone was back then, they allowed me to go into Birmingham every Saturday to meet up with my mates from about the age of 13.
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What was the first record you ever bought?
We were driving back from Birmingham one day in my dad’s old Scirocco, I was probably around 11, and bizarrely EastEnders’ Dirty Den and Lofty were presenting a show on Radio One. They played the song Moondance by Van Morrison which I immediately fell in love with and up to that point my music taste revolved around my dad and my older brother’s record collection (apart from when I went rogue with Duran Duran), so I asked them if they had this. “I don’t think we do”, said my brother, “but you could buy it if you like it”. I know this sounds like a perfectly rational instruction but for some reason, up to that point I didn’t think I could buy my own records. Or I didn’t need to, as their records were amazing. So I did buy it, the very next day, and I’ve still got it and it’s still one of my favourite albums of all time. What were you like at school?
My brother was pretty much amazing at everything when I was a kid – he was the best dancer, the best looking, the best at football, the best at art (he could be the biggest poser as well); so when I followed him into school two years below, it was an easy ride. I was Little Priesty and all his mates looked out for me. I switched schools when I was 13 to one closer to where we had moved to in Bromsgrove so I didn’t have that family connection, so I was a bit nervous, as every kid is before a new school but luckily I’d met some of the cool kids from that school at a party in Birmingham the summer before I was due to arrive, and that helped. I passed my maths O-Level a year early so I was quite bright, although I messed up my A-Levels but that didn’t matter too much as I wanted to be in a band by then. What was the first song you ever wrote?
There’s A Hold Around My Soul (And It’s Pulling Me Down). I was about 16 years old. I probably fancied myself as a little Leonard Cohen, but was more like a little Leonard Rossiter.
â€œI think everyone secretly loves the drummerâ€?
this page: Mathew keeps to the beat with
Dodgy; opposite: a man on a wildlife mission
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the big interview Who would you cite as your inspiration?
My family were my biggest inspiration. My parents were so loving, I was very lucky. If he could, my dad would turn anything into a joke – an affliction which has cursed me all my life. My mum’s resilience and clear headedness and my brother’s flair and desire for the peculiar. Lyrically, Bob Dylan was a massive influence, but how can he not be? How and when did Dodgy form?
Nige [Clark] and I met in a band around 1986 and very soon formed a strong bond. I had just finished my A-Levels and my mum obviously wanted me to go to university or do something constructive and normal but Nige had other ideas – he phoned me one evening, I remember speaking to him on the phone in the kitchen as we still had curly phone cords back then, and him telling me that he was going to leave his job, leave his fiancée and wanted me to move to London with him. Of course, that’s exactly what I wanted to do but I knew I had to convince mum. That took about a month. She said I wore her down and agreed to it just to stop me going on about it. Within two years we were signed to A&M records and we were on our way. Why the name Dodgy?
I know, it’s a question I ask my self on a weekly basis, it’s a shocking name really but at the time, maybe due to the slightly hippy, hedonistic times, we thought it was hilarious. Yeah. Really funny, guys. *slow handclap* Was performing in the black hat an intentional gimmick? You don’t wear it now do you...?
I’ve always been partial to a spot of hattery – the pork pie hat was quite conservative compared to the white Russian cossack hat I wore in the early 90s. The hat wearing in Dodgy now though has been taken up quite enthusiastically by Andy. Did you ever mind the ‘Britpop’ label?
Our first album actually came out the year before Britpop all kicked off so we never felt part of it, and therefore we never liked it. But we were happy to ride the wave at the time, and boy, what a wave. What’s your very best ‘I’m dining-out on that forever’ celebrity anecdote?
I’ve got a few. I was responsible for Ian Brown from the Stone Roses being called King Monkey, but I’m sure your readers would much prefer to hear about the time I snogged Lulu? Elton John was a fan of our song, Good Enough and very generously invited us to his 50th birthday bash at the Hammersmith Palais (this was the one where he got lowered off the back of a lorry with a massive wig on). It was fancy dress and I went as a Mexican. I was happily helping myself to the free cocktails at the bar stood next to Charlie Watts dressed as a Cavalier, when a young chap came up and said he was a massive fan and would I like to meet his mum? Not really, I thought, but he seemed very nice and I didn’t want to upset him. I went over to the other side of the club and there’s Lulu dressed as Tinkerbell. Maybe she had a thing for Mexicans but she became quite flirty almost immediately. She gave me her number and asked for a “wee kiss”. I felt a bit awkward as her son was still stood there, so I leaned in for a quick peck and she grabbed my head. I had just started going out with my girlfriend, who I’m still with, so no, I didn’t call her.
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You were brilliant on Never Mind The Buzzcocks. Did you ever consider a permanent career move to TV presenting?
Thank you – I enjoyed doing that show. I was asked to do a few things and did a TV pilot once, but I prefer radio. I’ve got a better face for that. What was doing the Edinburgh Fringe like? Have you done more writing since your acclaimed 2 Drummers Drumming? Do you think the piece helped dispel any myths about drummers?
I’ve played at the Fringe quite a few times, it’s incredible, I love it. But, man, was it hard work. 22 nights in a row without a break. It would have been a tad easier if I had a few early nights but that would have been far too responsible. I think everyone secretly loves the drummer. Was the Dodgy split in 1998 a difficult time in your life?
Definitely. I regret it and with hindsight I think we could have handled it so much better but Nige was feeling estranged and I couldn’t see it – everything was so crazy back then. I’ve learned a lot since then. We all have. Do you ever allow yourself to drift down the ‘what if’ path, if PolyGram had released your records in the US?
Absolutely, we were totally let down and apparently it was petty politics that stopped our records from being released. It took two years of legal wranglings to have our records back in our control so we could finally release them with a different label. And then we split up. What finally prompted Dodgy’s reunion in 2008?
Well, time really is a great healer as you tend to forget why you split up in the first place; that or the reasons don’t seem as important as they did. We were asked by some crappy TV show, Reunion or something, if we wanted to appear. It was awful but it got us talking, mainly to laugh at how shocking it would be. Then Andy Moore, who had been our beloved lighting technician from Manchester, discovered he had a tumour. He knew he was dying so he held a testimonial to raise money for his family before he died and he asked me and Nigel to perform. We couldn’t exactly say no could we? He pulled the death card. He held out for another year or so and actually died whilst we were rehearsing for the reunion tour. I loved that guy. How have Dodgy managed to avoid the whole ‘creative differences’ falling out spats happening again?
I recommend to anyone in a long-term relationship to have a fall-out and then take a break for 10 years. It’s amazing when you get back together. The creativity between you all seems stronger than ever – what is the process of writing and recording like now?
Each album is different but Nige is the central creative force for the song-writing so nothing will get started without him but similarly, nothing really gets finished without us all. Nige and I recently spent a few days writing in a caravan in Mwnt in West Wales. Very desolate. No phone signal or wifi. Not many distractions. It’s like – create, or go mad. And what’s the difference between touring now and touring then?
At its height, Dodgy had a crew of about 20 including band and management. Now, it tends to just be the four of us. So that’s the main difference but we will be hiring in some crew for the tour this year. We still love it though, probably more so now, and in February and March, we will be touring in celebration of 25 years of the album Homegrown.
this page: Rock pop (don’t say Brit) sensations Dodgy are back
on the road, left to right, Nigel Clark, Andy Miller, Mathew, and Stuart Thoy opposite: the original trio looking pretty Dodgy, left to right, Andy, Nigel, and Mathew with a lollipop
What is your own favourite Dodgy track to perform?
There’s a track from our most recent album called California Gold that is a real joy to play live as it changes every time we play it. But the best songs to play are always the ones that mean the most to the audience, as you get the best reaction and feedback. When and why did you move to this part of the country?
It was in 2003. We had a three-year-old son Oscar and we were living in a basement flat on busy road in London. He kept on getting a bad chest and my partner was getting increasingly frustrated with that. Her folks live near Blandford and every time we visited she would say things like – ‘Salisbury is lovely’ and ‘isn’t the countryside gorgeous round here?’ I really didn’t want to move, I loved it in London but you know, when a woman’s mind is set, it’s like concrete. She was right, of course. She invariably is. I knew I wouldn’t be able to help look for a house as I was on tour in the States with Electric Soft Parade, also I trusted her. So the first time I actually saw the house was when I walked through the door with my suitcase. Never regretted it although it literally took me two years to get used to the silence. I didn’t realise I had tinnitus until I moved here.
skin, a great deal of patience and a good sense of humour – qualities that are essential in this job. I literally fell into it and I love it. I was going round loads of different schools in Dorset teaching drums. A head teacher saw the way I was with special needs kids and asked me if I wanted to teach maths in her new school. Bit of a curveball, but she believed I could do it. That was over four years ago and I haven’t looked back. It can be so hard, but so bloody rewarding, and the team I work with are brilliant and hilarious. The school is paying for me to get a proper qualified teacher status next year.
“Lulu gave me her number and asked for a ‘wee kiss’”
Tell us about your family life now. Is the musical talent being passed on at all?
Oscar is now 19 and having a year off before going to university next year. He’s very musical and loves music as much as me but thankfully he doesn’t want to be in a band. It’s such a different industry now, it’s very hard for new bands to make a decent living. I’m much happier with him finding his own path, which he will. We hear you also now teach in Salisbury…
It’s a school for kids with emotional and behavioural difficulties, I teach drums and mathematics! It’s a joke I’ve often told, but being in Dodgy, and around musicians in general for 28 years, has given me a unique set of skills for dealing with people with emotional and behavioural difficulties. Also, years on the tour bus helps you develop a very thick
Is it something you’ve always wanted to do?
Not at all, and certainly not the maths part. Lord knows why she thought I could do it as I don’t exactly look like a maths teacher, but I’ll always be grateful to her as it has given me another focus in my life besides music, which makes joining up with the boys in Dodgy even sweeter when we do.
Are you active in the local community?
Well, I mow the grass in the churchyard. My bit for the village. I’m not religious but if I’m completely wrong and there is a heaven then I reckon the big fella will let me in because I’ve been mowing his lawn all this time. What’s your favourite thing about Salisbury?
I love the people I work with and I’ve grown to really like the place. I was a bit shocked at how quiet it is when I first arrived. I was used to places like Liverpool, where the weekend starts on Wednesday lunchtime. I do now love the fact that it’s quite peaceful, and the recent run in with the Russians has shown how resilient the folk round here can be. For more: Dodgy are on tour in February and March to celebrate 25 years since the release of their gold disc album Homegrown. They are also releasing a re-recording of Staying Out For The Summer on 25 January, with all the proceeds going to the charity, Musicians Against Homelessness. The 25th Anniversary of Homegrown tour starts 1 February at O2 Academy, Bristol. www.homegrown25.dodgyology.com
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The Beckford Bottle Shop It started life in the village of Tisbury, and now its succesful creativity with wine and food is flowing through to nearby Bath By Lisa Evans
itting down for drinks at a new wine shop featuring 250 carefully selected bottles from around the world, including many not available anywhere else, I worried I’d be at risk of a puffed-up, orotund bombardment of lectures about mouth-feels and tannins, but asking for a recommendation at The Beckford Bottle Shop goes something like this... Me: “What white would you recommend to go with these small plates I’m going to order?” Friendly waitress: “I’ve got just the thing.” That’s it. She went away, and came back with a bottle of Hen & Chicken chardonnay, poured it with a smile, and tottered off. Had I asked her to wax lyrical, I suppose she would have transformed, butterfly-like, into an enthusiastic oenophile with oodles to say, but the simplistic, to-the-point way in which we were assisted is the kind of no-frills service I want after a busy day at the office. And the wine was good. I’m light on detail about
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it, but detail isn’t really what’s important, it’s the taste, so I’m not even going to worry about adjectives. The team, thankfully, believes that wine shouldn’t be intimidating or too serious to choose or buy, and that it should be enjoyed in a lovely environment with tasty accompaniments to hand – although you can just buy a bottle to take home, if you wish, too. The simple rule is, they say, you should always buy what you like, but it can be rewarding to try something new, too. BBS only opened in Bath’s Saville Row, but it’s had a lot of practise in the lead-up, what with the much acclaimed venue on Tisbury High Street, which opened in 2015. The Bath version is larger; it’s comprised of a row of buildings knocked together – the extensive refurbishment makes for a multi-purpose site in which you’ll find tastefully chic and characterful areas flowing from one to the next, including a wine shop, a stylish subterranean gentleman’s club-esque cellar lounge, a private dining room, seductively candle-lit tasting rooms,
and a cheese and charcuterie counter. Obviously we weren’t going to bypass the food menu, so, between the two of us, we chose eight small-plate options to enjoy with our full glasses. Refreshingly, the menu isn’t all meats and cheeses, it’s much more substantial than that. In fact, if we didn’t know any better, we’d have said food was the primary focus here, not the wine. You can tell the menu isn’t just thrown together so that tipsy customers can line their stomachs, it’s well thought-out and inventive. The long, dippable marrow fritti, for example, were golden, perfectly crisp on the outside and tender in the middle, and were given their sparkle by a generous pot of posh aioli for dredging. And the crunchy-at-the-edges chickpea and harissa pancake on a tomatoey bed was so good we ordered two. The amber Bath chaps – pork cheeks, a regional speciality associated with Georgian Bath – with Bramley apple sauce was another star dish, and the fat portion of buffalo milk burrata paired its milky sweetness with the crunch of crushed, toasted pistachios, and was as comforting as it was naughty. There was also thick, creamy smoked cod’s roe with balsamic onions, served with wafer-thin, rustic-looking crackers, plus there was a bowl of meaty green olives, and hunks of warm sourdough with lashings of butter. There was more on the menu that we wished we had room in our bellies to try – like the beetroot with ricotta and hazelnuts; the creamed leaks with Westcombe cheddar; the octopus with chorizo and black bean stew; and the red wine-glazed ox cheek with horseradish – but it’s the perfect justification to come back for round two (and three, and four, etcetera). We finished by sharing an intense, rich affogato, all we had room for, although the madeleines and the ice cream sandwich will be calling my name until my return. So do come here for wine – especially if you relish a laid-back, unpretentious approach to good vino – but I urge you not to leave without trying the food. Whether Tisbury or Bath I guarantee you’ll be coming back for more. n Turn to page 64 for our Bath travel special
“Do come here for wine, but I urge you not to leave without trying the food” Dining details The Beckford Bottle Shop, 5-8 Saville Row, Bath, BA1 2QP; 01225 809302; www.beckfordbottleshop.com In a nutshell A modern wine shop and smallplate tasting rooms with old-fashioned values We ate Marrow fritti; chickpea and harissa pancakes; Bath chaps; burrata with toasted pistachios; smoked cod’s roe; and affogato Vegetarian options A great array, with over half of the menu being suitable for plantbased eaters Drinks As well as 250 wines to chose from – to drink in or takeaway – there are also craft beers, ciders and spirits Prices Cheese and charcuterie £3 – £8; small plates £4 – £9; desserts £3 – £6 The interior Sexy and sophisticated Service Laid-back, fuss-free, sociable
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irsty Hale is something of a cooking legend at Riverford. She’s been writing the much-loved recipes for the weekly veg boxes for years. Her love of teaching and sharing knowledge, especially with less confident cooks, has led her to pioneer many of Riverford’s cookery projects, and more recently Kirsty developed a vegan range. Of her butternut salad Kirsty says, “Pumpkin seeds are one of my favourite extra toppings, they’re delicious when roasted and add a real crunch, as well as some extra nutrients. Squash and red onion are lovely and colourful, but you can also use sweet potatoes or any other root veg.”
BUTTERNUT, RED ONION & PUMPKIN SEED SALAD Serves 4 as a side
Ingredients 3 red onions, sliced into 1cm-thick discs 6–7 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks a few thyme sprigs (optional) 30g pumpkin seeds pinch of hot smoked paprika 1 tbsp red or white wine vinegar (or use more balsamic) 1 tsp Dijon mustard, or to taste ¼ tsp crushed garlic, or to taste 1 bag of mixed salad leaves (100–150g) salt and black pepper
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Method 1. Heat the oven to 190°C/Gas 5. Keeping the onion discs whole, place them in a roasting tin and drizzle with a tablespoon or two of olive oil, the balsamic vinegar and a splash of water. Season with salt and pepper. 2. Cover the tin with foil and roast for 30-40 minutes on a low shelf in the oven, until the onions are soft and sweet. 3. Meanwhile, place the squash chunks in another roasting tin, toss with a further tablespoon or so of oil to coat and a good sprinkling of salt and roast for around 30 minutes, until tender and lightly caramelised, throwing in the sprigs of thyme halfway through
the cooking time (if using). 4. While the vegetables are roasting, put the pumpkin seeds in a small pan with a teaspoon of olive oil, a pinch of salt and a pinch of paprika. Toast over a medium heat, stirring or tossing frequently, until lightly browned, then transfer to a plate to stop them toasting further. 5. Make a simple vinaigrette: whisk together the vinegar, around 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the mustard and garlic to taste. Season with salt and pepper. 6. Put the salad leaves in a large salad bowl, pour over the dressing and toss to combine. Scatter over the butternut, onions and seeds.
recipe Guy’s kale hash Serves 4
“This is a real treat on a cold day. You can use any cabbage or sliced Brussels sprouts in place of kale here. To make a complete supper, top with a poached egg. It earned the name Guy’s Hash because it’s one of the favourites of Riverford founder Guy Watson.” Ingredients 300g kale, stripped from its stems (cavolo nero or curly are best for this recipe, but you can use red Russian too) 1 tbsp olive oil 300g chorizo, chopped 1 onion, chopped 500g cooked potatoes, cut into 2cm dice 2 garlic cloves, crushed salt and black pepper
Method 1. Blanch the kale in a large saucepan of boiling water (1–2 minutes for curly, 2–3 minutes for cavolo nero; 30 seconds for red Russian). Drain well, refresh in cold water and drain again. Squeeze out excess water and chop roughly. 2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the chorizo and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes, until just starting to brown. Remove the chorizo with a slotted spoon and set aside. 3. Add the onion to the chorizo fat in the pan and cook gently for 10 minutes, until soft. Add the potatoes and garlic, turn up the heat to get some colour on the potatoes, and cook for 5 minutes, turning the potatoes until browned all over. 4. Return the chorizo to the pan with the kale, reduce the heat and cook gently for a further 5 minutes, until well mixed and thoroughly heated through. Season and serve. For more: www.riverford.co.uk
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FA N TA ST I C E A R LY E V E N I N G M E N U ! 5:30pm - 7pm
2 courses with wine
WE PRIDE OURSELVES ON THE BASIC PHILOSOPHY OF PROVENANCE To us this means authenticity, assurance and rigorous attention to obtain the finest quality ingredients at source. This dedication ensures that every time you visit us, you experience the true essence of Italian life. It’s food, it’s wine, it’s culture and most importantly the passion of our team. AUTHENTIC ITALIAN CUISINE OUTSIDE CATERING
To make a reservation call us on
01722 324 350
Delicious Indian street food in relaxed surroundings
Enjoy Rasheed and Dipender’s exciting menus along with Chef Kumar’s 25 years of experience. Ever-changing menus made with locally sourced ingredients and fine craft ales.
A LITTLE SOMETHING FOR THE NEW YEAR 20% off your bill when you dine with us in January *bring this advert to redeem MAKING YOUR JANUARY LIGHTER Discover our range of delicious vegetarian dishes
90 Crane Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP1 2QD 01722 329700 cafediwali.com
Th e M a y f ly , Fu lle r t o n , S t o c kb r id g e S O2 0 6 AX 0 1 2 6 4 8 6 0 2 8 3 | ma y f ly f u lle r ton.co.uk Only 4 miles from Stockbridge
FOOD & DRINK NEWS
Sunny is head chef at Messums Yo
FOOD FOR THOUGHT In this occasional miniseries, we ask foodies to share their good taste. Here The Mess’s SUNNY SIN, head chef at the Messums Wiltshire café, talks about her favourite foods Your desert island dish: Noodle soup, any sort, as long as there is noodles and soup. It’s just so comforting.
No rhubarb, rhubarb for Sunny please
Best ever food memory as a child: My mum’s seafood hotpot. It is all-inone goodness, like love in a pot. Lots of prawns, squid, ﬁsh and vegetables and best enjoyed with the whole family sitting around the table sharing it. Your failsafe fast food recipe: Grilled chicken thighs marinated in soy sauce, honey and garlic. You can serve it with anything! Salads, mash, rice, pasta – the options are endless. Your dinner party staple: Pork satay with peanut sauce. A family recipe and I’ve never met a person who didn’t love it.
Guilty pleasure: Fried hot chicken wings – crunchy and spicy deliciousness. What’s your idea of a yucky food and something you’d never eat?: Rhubarb, I have tried it many times but still cannot stand the taste or texture. For more: www.messumswiltshire.com
Looking for the region’s best street food vendors
A search has been launched in Hampshire to ﬁnd the county’s best street food vendor and the tastiest food sold from mobile kitchens, market stalls and on-street sellers. The inaugural Hampshire Street Food Awards will be held in November this year but the categories are open now for vendors to register for the award that best suits the food and drink that they oﬀer. Judges will be looking for the best street food in a wide range of categories, including best street food burger, best vegetarian or vegan food vendor, best newcomer or start-up vendor and best market street food. Backed by Hampshire Fare, the awards have been launched by Jeremy Gaskin, who owns and runs Winchester Vintage Catering – a crepe and coﬀee kitchen in Jenne, a converted van. Jeremy says, “I want to celebrate the great work that goes on from street food vendors in Hampshire and to reward their eﬀorts. The wide range of categories is designed to promote a whole host of diﬀerent traders across the county.” For more: www.hampshirestreetfoodawards.co.uk
“Noodle soup is so comforting”
Helpers in the Winchester Vintage Catering van
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Need help at home? We have Time For You. For help with personal care, housework, sitting and more call:
01722 774444 www.there4u.org.uk
SHOPPING LIVE WELL, BUY BETTER
BORN TO BE WILD According to Chinese horoscopes, people born in the year of the pig, which starts on 5 February, are honest, easygoing and party-loving. We think those characteristics are pretty well represented by these little fellas. Amy Louise, whose work can currently be seen and purchased at Gallery 21, has a knack of developing characters in the artwork and giving her animal subjects personalities and energy, without being too cutesy or sentimental. For more: These Little Piggies Stayed At Home costs ÂŁ795 and can be purchased from Gallery 21, 21 Queen Street, Salisbury. tel: 01722 32400; www.gallery21.co.uk
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RACING PIGLET CHALKBOARD, £17.50 A notice board inspired by Cholderton Charlie's Farm, the rare breeds farm famous for its pig races From Dancing Mole, The Boiler House, Dean Hill Park, West Dean, Salisbury, tel: 01794 341876; www.dancingmole.co.uk
A PAIR OF CUDDLING PIGS, £655 Sterling silver, enamel and having a hug, what more could you want? From H R Tribbeck & Son, 12 Bridge Street, Salisbury. tel: 01722 324395; www.tribbecks.com
THE WHOLE HOG
EMMA BRIDGEWATER MUG, £17.95 Sandy and black pigs adorn this china half-pint mug From Dinghams Cookshop, 28 Market Place, Salisbury. tel: 01722 506045; www.dinghams.co.uk
We’re paying homage to the Chinese Year of The Pig starting 5 February FLOPPY SISSI STEIFF PIG, £22.90 Made of the ﬁnest mohair, this super-soft pig , with the signature ‘button in ear’, is ready for a cuddle From Just Bears, 54 Cheap Street, Sherborne, Dorset; tel: 01935 593483; www.justbears.co.uk
OLIVIA AND THE FAIRY PRINCESSES BY, IAN FALCONER, £12.99 Tired of boring princesses, this lively and lovely pig embarks upon a quest for identity and individuality From Waterstones Salisbury, 7-9 High Street, Salisbury, tel: 01722 415596; www.waterstones.com
38 I SALISBURY LIFE I www.mediaclash.co.uk
FUSED GLASS PIG KEYRING, £3.50 Made in Salisbury from glass and fused to over 800 degrees to strengthen it From WarmGlassFusion; www.facebook.com/warmglassfusion
THIS LITTLE PIGGY STAYED HOME BY AMY LOUISE, £312 A quirky, humorous and aﬀectionate portrait of a happy little porker From Gallery 21, 21 Queen Street, Salisbury. tel: 01722 324000; www.gallery21.co.uk
PIG’S NOSE WHISKY, £23.99 The smoothness is achieved over ﬁve years through oak-aged Speyside, Islay and Lowland malts. From Regent, 73 New Street, Salisbury. tel: 01722 335151; www.regenttailoring.co.uk PIG MODELS BY ANNE-MARIE MARSHALL FIEBER, £50 EACH Stoneware ﬁred ceramic farm animals from the Salisbury-based artist From Fisherton Mill, 108 Fisherton Street, Salisbury. tel: 07557 985935; www.ﬁshertonmill.co.uk
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COLOUR WHEEL John Mather finds a calming oasis of creativity at the pottery painting coffee shop SPLASH OF COLOUR
Photos by John Rose
es, there are splashes of colour everywhere but the overall effect is actually a calming oasis of creativity. The day I call in there are groups of friends quietly chatting and catching up while they decorate piece of their own, or already-made, pottery. It’s like watching a more artistically productive version of adult colouring-in. There’s an array of items that can be personalised, gifted or simply kept for yourself, from love hearts, to tea pots, and from skulls to biscuit barrels. It’s such a beautifully simple concept, that can be adapted to suit all ages, any ability and any taste. The manager and owner is Kristine Goldberga who says, “It is a wonderful activity for all ages. From young mothers with babies and toddlers up to teenagers, young adults, and
40 I SALISBURY LIFE I www.mediaclash.co.uk
seniors. Our massive range of pottery can satisfy all desires from little things up to big items.” And it’s not just Salisbury who have taken this crafty, arty centre to its heart, as Kristine, who took over the running of the Fisherton Street shop last year, explains, “Our customers are absolutely delightful people, who have been visiting Splash of Colour for more than 16 years, each time bringing with them more friends and family. We also did a bit of research and discovered that some of our customers are coming from all over UK, and even other parts of the world.” For those who want the challenge of creating something beginning to end, but with enough guidance so the endeavour doesn’t become a frustrating waste of time, this is the place.
“We have potter’s wheel sessions and mosaic making classes. The way it works is customers book a session, so we can prepare for their time. Then it is simple, they choose their pottery piece and after instructions from the staff member, they can get started. We need one week for firing as all pottery is dishwasher, microwave and oven proof, but if customers live far away, we can always post their pottery.” The magic of pottery works particularly well with young children, who regularly attend sessions with parents, playgroups and schools, and an increasing number, as part of organised birthday parties. “I do love working with children,” says Latvian-born Kristine, “It is always a bit of miracle to open the kiln with fired pottery because you never know what really to expect, and I love how children
opposite page: Splash of Colour is increasingly popular with children; Kristine, the owner of Splash of Colour; this page, clockwise from top left: a huge array of colours to choose from; a range to suit all tastes; make your own part or buy own ready-made; personalised gifts
“I have been doing art therapy sessions with Wessex Care home residents”
appreciate that and their wonderment of the process never diminishes.” Another age range Kristine really enjoys working with is the elderly. “I would love to do more activities with old people. For many years I have been doing art therapy sessions with Wessex Care home residents. It is fascinating to see how much they enjoy painting – they have that same sense of marvelling and excitement that young people do. It’s so rewarding.” With a café on site, and having been part of the Salisbury Art Trail last year, Kristine’s ingenious enterprise looks set to continue making a Salisbury splash. n For more: Splash of Colour, 72 Fisherton Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP2 7RB. tel: 01722 322250; www.splashofcolourcafe.net
www.mediaclash.co.uk I SALISBURY LIFE I 41
Popping the questions about wedding plans to our experts By John Mather 42 I salisbury LIFE I www.mediaclash.co.uk
Photo by Lydia Stamps
WHAT DO YOU PROPOSE?
We hope she said yes!
ou’ve said yes, or been told yes, so now you have a few more questions on your mind, from choosing the right venue, to arranging the seating plan. To help you get the nuptials rolling, our panel of wedding professionals provide the answers to some of the most frequently asked marriage planning pop-the-questions...
WITH THIS RING
What is the best metal with which to make a wedding band?
Paulette: Some metals are softer than others so it is advisable to choose the same material where possible, for both engagement ring and wedding band, to avoid unnecessary wear. Platinum is still considered the most luxurious metal but the silvery-white palladium would be a cheaper alternative. What shape should a ring be?
Paulette: The court wedding ring is still the most popular wedding ring profile. It is rounded on the inside as well as the outside and offers the most comfortable fit. Can we personalise our wedding rings?
Emily: Initials, wedding dates, vows or personal messages are popular engravings, but you could have a fingerprint, your heartbeat, your own handwriting, or all three, etched onto the bands. What would you suggest as good gifts for groomsmen?
Emily: Watches, leather bracelets and cufflinks all make great thank you presents, and can be engraved for the perfect finishing touch.
Do you have a special wedding camera?
Ash: I really believe there are no bad cameras any more, professional results can be had from cheap cameras. However to get consistent results in poor light, you need to invest in good lenses, and take care with what’s in the frame. I hate having my photograph taken, how will you make sure I look great but enjoy the experience?
“You could have a fingerprint, your heartbeat, your own handwriting, etched onto the bands”
Bella: It’s important to book a photographer who is discreet, gentle and respectful of these feelings. I intuitively know how someone is feeling in front of the camera and if they are looking anxious, so I remain a fly on the wall until they are more relaxed. There really is nothing worse than a photographer who dominates the day.
www.mediaclash.co.uk I salisbury LIFE I 43
WEDDINGS We have sensitive family issues. How will you go about making sure we have some family group photographs?
Bella: It’s so important to discuss this with your photographer prior to the wedding and for them to keep a note of who is who within the wedding party. The worst thing to happen would be for the photographer not to know, and for this to cause tension. What if it rains on my wedding day?
Lydia: Then we get creative! I have years of experience shooting in both rain and shine and it’s pretty unusual that it rains solidly all day, so usually I just get flexible with the schedule. I also always travel with a brolly in the boot so we can embrace it and have fun.
Happiness at Hatch House
How many photographs can we expect to receive?
Lydia: I always love the ones which show emotion or when people are having a big old belly laugh, but I also know from experience that my favourite photo of a bride will be different to hers. From a full wedding day I usually deliver around 800 plus images to give lots of choice.
DING DONG THE BELLS ARE GONNA CHIME! Would a marquee be very expensive?
Lady Rumbold: We have many amazing and varied suppliers who can work on all sorts of budgets. We have had beautiful receptions in the 17th-century walled Dutch garden with no marquee, to a marquee inside the walled garden. Should I use traditional transport, like a car, to arrive?
Lady Rumbold: You should arrive in whatever reflects your style, whether that be a helicopter or a muddy Land Rover – both are wonderful.
Photographer Bella West aims to capture the mood
What time should we hold our wedding ceremony to make the most of the day?
A wedding on our doorstep at the Guildhall, Salisbury
Claire: It is tempting to start proceedings as early as possible to make the most of the venue. However, a twelve hour party is very long and with all the emotion of the day, everyone can start to flag by mid-evening. Holding the ceremony in the early afternoon gives the bride plenty of time to prepare beforehand. We are inviting an intimate group to our ceremony, with a larger number of guests for the evening party. How can we blend the two elements of the day so that the evening guests feel part of our wedding?
Claire: Save some of the traditional elements of the day until the evening guests have arrived, for example a speech and a toast, and cutting the cake. It also means the cake can be part of the evening food. 44 I salisbury LIFE I www.mediaclash.co.uk
© W CARTER & SON
“Holding the ceremony in the early afternoon gives the bride plenty of time to prepare” Surely having our wedding somewhere like the Guildhall is very expensive?
Elizabeth: It’s nowhere near as pricey as people think it will be. Our Bronze package starts at £700, and our Platinum package is £3,200, which includes exclusive use of the Guildhall from 8am to midnight. What makes Salisbury’s Guildhall unique?
Elizabeth: The building, which is directly adjacent to the Market Square, dates back to 1795 and oﬀers historic charm, grand architecture, priceless artwork, coupled with modern venue facilities. What size of wedding should I plan for?
Charlotte: Once you have an idea of numbers, a venue can help you explore options. Howard’s House’s Coach House can host small, intimate wedding breakfasts, or our country garden is ideal for a marquee, and can accommodate up to 150 guests. What is your standard package?
Charlotte: We don’t have one as all our weddings are completely bespoke and tailored to your wishes and requirements.
Do we need to have a top table?
Lindsay and Xanthe: It’s becoming more and more acceptable now to ditch the traditional set up and go for a more informal seating plan. Many couples are losing the top table and placing themselves in the centre of their guests. How do I start drawing up my table plans?
Lindsay and Xanthe: To work out your seating plan, arm yourself with pieces of A3 and some yellow sticky notes with your guests names on. Draw out your room and place the
sticky notes around the tables. Leave it to the last minute to print the actual placenames in case of changes.
LEFT: A wedding in the Howard’s House
Hotel gardens; ABOVE: Personalise the bands for a special touch
ushers, to wear one on the day. But there’s no deﬁnitive answer. It can also be female friends, and I recently did a wedding where we did a buttonhole for every male guest.
BOUQUETS AND BANQUETS
Is providing food very expensive?
Kate: I encourage brides to let me use local growers and English seasonal ﬂowers as much as possible. Also using in season plants makes for a much more stylish and contemporary look and you get better value for money. However, if the bride has her heart set on something, I will try and source it for her.
What sort of food should we serve?
Where do your flowers come from?
Who should wear buttonholes?
Kate: Most brides usually like the men in their lives, such as the groom, the fathers and the
Tom: A good caterer can guide accordingly and prepare a selection of dishes that suits your pocket, without compromising on choice or quality. Tom: Go with your own favourites as it is your day, and we can adapt these to work. Our core food is pies and mash and sausages with mash, however we also have a range of freshly made canapés, divine desserts, burgers in buns, ﬂame cooked chilli, cauldron cooked casseroles and cheese platters.
THANKS TO OUR WEDDING PANEL Ash Mills, photographer; www.ashmills.com
Kate Robinson Flowers; www.katerobinsonflowers.co.uk
Bella West Photography; www.bellawest.co.uk
Lady Rumbold, Hatch House; www.hatch-house.co.uk
Charlotte Greenwood, partner at Howard’s House Hotel; howardshousehotel.co.uk
Lindsay and Xanthe, founders of Grace & Favour Vintage Hire; www.graceandfavourvintagehire.co.uk
Claire Whitehead, wedding co-ordinator at The Garden Room at Cranborne; www.thegardenroomatcranborne.co.uk Elizabeth Allen, business team support officer for Salisbury City Council inc the Guildhall; www.salisburycitycouncil.gov.uk Emily Palmer, manager at Allum & Sidaway Salisbury; www.allumandsidaway.co.uk
Lydia Stamps Photography; www.lydiastampsphotography.com Paulette Newman, director at W Carter & Son; www.wcarterandson.co.uk Tom Kinderman, director of The Sausage and Mash Company; www.thesausageandmashcompany.com
www.mediaclash.co.uk I SALISBURY LIFE I 45
Hatch House is a historic Arts & Crafts family owned country house in an idyllic rural setting in the Wiltshire countryside. With a 17th century walled Dutch garden, lawns and magnificent views across the Vale of Wardour, itâ€™s a romantic, private and perfect wedding venue. There are three areas licensed for weddings and civil ceremonies.
Photo: A Long Legged Bird, atalllongleggedbird.com
West Hatch, Tisbury, Wiltshire SP3 6PA T: 01747 870622 E: email@example.com
www.hatch-house.co.uk Photo: Lydia Stamps, lydiastampsphotography.com
Photo: Lydia Stamps, lydiastampsphotography.com
Photo: A Long Legged Bird, atalllongleggedbird.com
Sausage & Mash Company
From weddings to private parties and corporate events, The Sausage and Mash Company brings taste and style together. firstname.lastname@example.org | thesausageandmashcompany.co.uk
Courtesy of Jeanette Ellis and Barbara Leatham
Shrewton Cake Company
EXPERIENCED CAKE MAKER AND DECORATER. Small, family run business based near Salisbury. Professional, tailored/personal service; from concept through to design and production. Caters for every event - Wedding to corporate Small and large orders • Competitive rates • Fully insured 07450408386 • SarahCunningham491@hotmail.com
NEWHOUSE ESTATE If you think you might like to be married in a Grade I Jacobean country house, on the edge of the famous village of Lover, with ducks on the pond and ample space for stunning photographs... Then please do contact us to arrange a viewing on
01725 510055 Newhouse Estate, Redlynch, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP5 2NX
Family business based in Salisbury
Coloured table linen hire stretching across Dorset, Hampshire, Somerset and Wiltshire and now across the UK.
Over 33 colours to choose from including sequin table linen. With 20 years experience previously working in helping brides, venues, barns, marquee companies, event coordinators and catering companies within the industry we decided to start out on our own as we felt we could give a better service doing everything ourselves. Including the laundering. If you only need to hire some napkins or need to hire for a larger affair we would be happy to send a full quotation for you. 01722 333444 | email@example.com WWW.365CATERERSLINEN.CO.UK
businessinsider salisbury gets serious Celebrating the launch in the Market Square
Quote of the issue
“At this time of year a casserole made with bone broth is perfect” Turn to page 52 for more nutrition expert advice
The Big Number
Find out opposite why this many visitors are expected in Salisbury next June
HUP TWO THREE FOUR The countdown begins to Salisbury hosting the 2019 Armed Forces Day National Weekend
he official countdown has begun to the city hosting the 2019 National Armed Forces Day National Weekend, with a small celebratory ceremony outside Guildhall in November. Among those in attendance were defence secretary Gavin Williamson and Baroness Scott of Bybrook, leader of Wiltshire Council, along with the
Royal British Legion Band. The event which takes place over three days from 28-30 June this year will be widely covered by local, national and international media, attended by Royal Family members, senior government ministers, dignitaries and wellknown celebrities. With an expected attendance of 250,000 people, it is hoped to provide a major boost to the local economy.
Baroness Scott says, “Wiltshire is the beating heart of the Armed Forces and we are extremely proud of our long association with the military. We are absolutely delighted that Wiltshire has been selected to host Armed Forces Day National Event 2019. Just how much we need and owe to our Armed Forces was brought home this year – this extraordinary year – following the terrible
and unprecedented incidents in Salisbury and Amesbury.” The packed programme will feature military parades, fly pasts and an air show, concerts, live entertainment, trade stands and exhibitors, and the addition of a veterans’ and cadets’ day, which will include a service of remembrance. For more: www.wiltshire.gov.uk
Louise Mason, who lives in Amesbury, is a naturopath and nutritionist whose health and wellbeing clinic offers clients help with health conditions, losing weight and managing stress, through a combination of dietary and lifestyle advice. Here she talks cake, kale and tasty casseroles… Tell us a little about the background and inspiration to setting up your company? I have seen the eﬀect that poor health can have on individuals and their family members. Whilst studying nutrition and naturopathy in London I saw even simple changes to diet have a positive impact. Any other previous jobs? I was a manager at Tesco for over 20 years and have found that the skills that gave me have equipped me well to help to motivate my clients and to understand the stress that the modern workplace can place on us. I saw many people be absent through stress and whilst they had support with counselling, there was no dietary advice given but there is a proven link between diet and how well we manage stress. Why this branch of work? My parents were both naturopaths and whilst like many children I had no desire to follow them in to the business when I was young, I found that in my 30s I was looking to do some more training and it felt like the perfect choice for me. I really believe in what I do and I think that is key to making a business a success. Do you have a mantra you live by professionally? I deﬁnitely describe my philosophy as ‘practise what you preach’. I never ask my clients to do something that I have not tried myself. Integrity is the most important thing to me. What are the highs and the lows you’ve experienced in setting up and continuing the business? My most memorable moments are: my ﬁrst client, meeting fellow healthcare professionals in Salisbury, and my ﬁrst public speaking event. The lows are that a business takes a lot of hard work to grow and accepting clients will not be queuing up to see you as soon as you graduate.
What have you found to be the best tools for growth in your business? So far it has been social networking, professional events such as seminars, and social media platforms. On a personal level, it helps that I have great family support – my partner David is my number one cheerleader and tells everyone he meets what I do and how great I am at it. He believes in me 100 per cent. What are your plans for the future? I want the business to have a specialised programme within the next year for couples wishing to conceive and through pregnancy and onwards. In the next ﬁve years, I would like to have a multi-discipline clinic that is centre of excellence for fertility, pregnancy and postnatal support. I think this is something that is lacking outside of London. How would you define good nutrition? It is eating the right balance of nutrients to ensure that your body and mind are in balance and functioning at their optimum levels so that you are full of energy and feel great. And of course food should taste delicious as well.
Louise with son Brandon
fruit and vegetables daily when they ﬁrst come to see me. What would be your idea of an ideal health-giving comfort food? At this time of year a casserole made with bone broth, organic grass fed beef and full of vegetables is perfect. The bone broth is gut healing and the beef and vegetables will be full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which will all be retained due to the method of cooking. Additionally it is easy to digest as it has been slow cooked and can be prepared in advance and just put in a slow cooker to cook in the day so when you get home dinner is ready. What is your ‘indulgence’? I love a slice of cake – gluten-free though!
Have you always eaten well and looked after yourself? Yes, my parents understood the importance of a healthy diet and I think this gave me a great basis for adulthood. My diet did improve during my training as I gained more knowledge and started to implement small changes as I saw the improvements in my energy levels.
Do you see people following ‘trends’, and if so how do you deal with such requests? I do get clients who are following the latest trend. My role is to help educate my clients about food and lifestyle choices and the impact on their body so I give them my professional knowledge and the latest research so they can make up their own mind. However, if I was very concerned they were doing something detrimental to their health, and it was showing as a red ﬂag symptom, I would contact their GP.
What’s the one thing people can take to improve their health right now? I think a good quality multi-vitamin can make a huge diﬀerence to people as many of my clients are not eating the minimum recommendation of
What are the breakthroughs in your line of work? Current research is still focussed on the microbiome and the links with mental health. I think this area will continue to grow and I hope we see more GPs working with nutritionists
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to help support clients with stress and anxiety. Another breakthrough area is epigenetics and the role of personalised nutrition based on individual DNA reports. What supplements and dietary changes have you incorporated into your own life? I take a good multi-vitamin, omega 3 oils and probiotics daily and then add in magnesium if I feel stressed or run down. I am now gluten-free and have increased the amount of fruit and vegetables I eat daily. Are there any negative perceptions associated with your work? Some people still think we eat just kale and avocados, and that we are there to judge them. But in recent years, as there is an increased awareness about eating well, this misconception is diminishing. Any recent case that helps illustrate your work? I had a client in London who was incredibly stressed, not sleeping enough, and having real problems with her digestion. We reviewed her diet and made some simple changes and added in some relaxation strategies and techniques. When she returned for a follow up four weeks later she was bursting with energy and enthusiasm. What do you to relax? We have a two-year old son, Brandon, so he is our source of fun! We love exploring and visiting National Trust properties as a family and dancing to Strictly Come Dancing in the lounge. For more: Louise Mason naturopath and nutritionist. tel: 07881 654787; www.nutritionwithlouisemason.co.uk
I love to listen to music while I work. I used to DJ and my first job was designing record sleeves for Chrysalis Records
I also run a publishing company called Com.X, which has been publishing comics and graphic novels since 2000
95 percent of the time, I design on the iMac but I still sketch out my design concepts using traditional pencil and paper
The original British Rail Corporate Identity Manual from 1965 is a thing of absolute design beauty
EDDIE DEIGHTON Photos by John Rose This is Metal Gear Solid from the game Stealth Ninja, which we designed the packaging for in 1995 and still work on now
I was trained in traditional printing methods and still love the look and feel of vintage wood type letters
We’re currently working with Salisbury firm Blueflame Digital on a series of educational games built for mobile devices
ddie Deighton is the founder and creative director of An X. Agency. He has created iconic covers for some of the greatest musicians of the 80s and 90s, as well as orchestrating the design direction for AAA video game brands. The agency, which was started in 2005, is located in Wilton. ■
For more: An.X Agency, Wilton Shopping Village, King Street, Wilton SP2 0RS. tel: 01722 420820; www.anxagency.com My colour swatch books – I particularly enjoy pairing metallic inks with fluorescent ones
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business plans for the new year We ask a few local businesses for their ambitions, plans, predictions and initiatives for 2019 1
Perrin & Rowe is an English manufacturer and we are finding that since Brexit, people are very keen to put money into British products. Gary Nutting, creative director at Wave Bathrooms; www.wavebathrooms.co.uk
Spire FM’s New Year’s resolution is to put more smiles on the faces of people living and working in Salisbury. We want to make 2019 the year of smiling faces in the city! Martin Stark, DJ at SpireFM; www.spirefm.co.uk
This year will see us expanding our team with a lovely new receptionist later this month. We are also offering a free blood pressure check at each appointment. And as a practice, we are all committed to lots more charity work, and a lot less biscuits! The team at THE dentist; www.thedentistsalisbury.co.uk
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Salisbury City Almshouse & Welfare Charities have taken over the St Mary Magdalene Hospital Charity in Wilton. As soon as planning consent has been granted, the charities hope to start work to transform the current six houses into affordable, modern and secure homes, to house local residents aged 50+ with limited income and capital. The trustees also plan to build five new bungalows on the site. Susan Coen, clerk at Salisbury City Almshouse & Welfare Charities; www.salisburyalmshouses.co.uk
I have a number of potential film and television projects pending for 2019 for my Salisbury comic company Com.X, and I would love to see at least one of them finally reach fruition this year. Eddie Deighton founder of An.X; www.anxagency.com (turn to page 53 to see Eddie’s desk)
Having just moved office to West Street in Wilton, our New Year resolution for 2019 is to get to know all the other businesses in Wilton and get fully involved with the business community. Lou Fletcher owner of Piccolo Property; www.piccoloproperty.co.uk
We are extending our range of natural wood effects, with the Decorative Collection, which offers a variety of textured oaks, elms and birches, to complement the on-trend hues of grey that will carry on through 2019. Jo Phillips, co-owner of Custom Creations; www.customcreations.furniture
The priority for 2019 is to make sure that Salisbury and Amesbury move forward and can be even better than before. We are looking at long-term plans to regenerate the city and create a cultural area and enhanced retail offer. Pauline Church, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for economy and South Wiltshire recovery; www.wiltshire.gov.uk
When I started my nutrition business, I didnâ€™t quite take on board the huge impact of social media, but am working to improve this for 2019. Louise Mason; www.nutritionwithlouisemason.co.uk
We shall be expanding into the unit next door, and all our garments will be made on the premises. I would also like to set up an apprenticeship scheme for young people to learn tailoring, and to be able to support foreign students in Turkey to learn tailoring and the English language. Murat Neguzel, director and master tailor of Stonehenge Tailoring; www.stonehengetailoring.co.uk
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We put Titus Mills, headmaster at Walhamption School, to the test with our questions, which reveal his being asked to leave Eton, a childhood dislike for subjects that involved numbers, and how his teaching inspiration was found in a refugee camp What is your first schoolrelated memory? Starting at a new school, aged five, and being terribly homesick on the first morning. I recall drawing a house, with a fat brown crayon, but I was crying so much my tears literally washed the picture away. Can you tell us where you spent your education – both primary and secondary? I spent five years at Pilgrims’ School, in Winchester’s Cathedral Close. I was very happy there and the feeling of ‘family’ made a strong impression on me. I then spent five years at Eton. Academic life slightly passed me by, but I loved the arts and chasing after a football. What did you most enjoy about your schools days? The friendships. You can learn every bit as much through
your friends, as you can in any academic lesson. That’s where many of life’s enduring lessons are forged – on the games field, the dining room, the stage, the dormitories, the playground … with your pals. What was your favourite subject? History of Art. Late on in my education I realised that I was – and still am – predominantly a visual learner. History of Art became a complete passion, first at secondary school and then at university. History of Art unlocked learning for me. Here was a subject that showed me the joy of study. It was a ‘light bulb’ moment. …and the subject you most struggled with? Maths, physics, chemistry. Any subject with a number in it.
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What was the ‘naughtiest’ thing you recall doing as a pupil? I was caught climbing up a drain pipe to get back into my house at Eton, having spent the night revelling in the bright lights of Windsor, which was out of bounds at the time. The headmaster took a dim view and asked me to leave Eton as soon as I had completed my A-levels. Was there one teacher who really helped shape your love of learning? Sonam Choden. A wonderful Tibetan lady, who taught English at a refugee school in northern India. I spent six months working with her in the 1980s, and Sonam’s passion for her subject, and her love of those pupils, opened my eyes to the power of education and inspirational teaching. I aim to go back to the Himalayas next April, to meet her, thank her and tell her how she changed the course of my life. Do you get much chance to teach now? Not as much as I would like. I teach some history lessons, which I love, and I really enjoy preparing weekly assembly and chapel talks, which are like ‘mini’ lessons. What other jobs did you consider when you were younger? I definitely didn’t consider being Titus helping heroes!
a teacher. I wanted to be Robin Hood, a footballer, a soldier and a journalist. Actually, I still want to be Robin Hood. If you had magic powers, what is the one thing that might improve the current education system? I would ensure that inner city state schools, with cramped concrete playgrounds, had immediate access to huge green fields, woodland, sports pitches and acres of open space. I spent years teaching in state primaries in inner city London and I always longed for my pupils to be able run freely and to feel close to nature. What recent achievement for the school have you been most proud of? The unique relationship that has grown up between Walhampton and the surviving veterans of the Battle of Arnhem, from World War II. We take parents and pupils to Arnhem, Holland, every year to learn about the battle and to hear, first hand, the stories from the veterans, many of whom have become close friends and now visit Walhampton annually. These remarkable friendships, that span the generations, have taught us more about humanity, than military matters. n For more: Walhampton School, Lymington, Hampshire, SO41 5ZG. tel: 01590 613300; www.walhampton.com
residential lettings & property management
We have moved! Find us at: The Old School House, West Street, Wilton
www.piccoloproperty.co.uk 01722 580059
property a pl ace to c all home
A grand welcome home
Elsie Chadwick explores a 700 year old Dinton house and finds a home that has moved with the times 58 I salisbury LIFE I www.mediaclash.co.uk
n the 1380s, it was the end of the Hundred Years’ War, Richard II came to the throne, Geoffrey Chaucer started writing Canterbury Tales, the Salisbury Cathedral clock started ticking, and Speargate House came into being. And much like the famous Cathedral timepiece, this property is still going strong. It is believed that the Grade II medieval hall house was once owned by the Abbess of Shaftesbury, the then wealthiest woman in the country. Built using local Chilmark stone, it was originally thatched, but this has since been replaced by the more practical, but still striking Cotswold tiles. The medieval frame and roof structure remains intact and preserved, with the rooms sympathetically and artfully restored and renovated by the current owners. Its ancient providence provides a plethora of coveted original features including open fireplaces, exposed beams, stone-mullion windows and leaded window panes. The drawing room is a particularly striking space with carved ornate wooden beams, charming window seats, and an impressive stone, open fireplace. Speargate is one of those rare homes that while it is undoubtedly grand, it also immediately embraces you
with a warm welcome that is both cosy and comforting. Across the hall is the pretty dining room with direct access to the elegant, Smallbone of Devizes designed kitchen/breakfast room. A decent-sized home office has been created to the north flank of the house, with its own private entrance. Along with a delightful sitting room with a wood burning stove, there’s a bespoke pantry, utility room, boot room, cloakroom and a timber framed conservatory, which drinks in the surrounding outside vista all year round. On the first floor are four generous double bedrooms, the master is dual aspect with views over the gardens and serviced by an en suite bathroom. The second bedroom also benefits from a luxe en suite and there is a separate shower room situated in the remaining bedroom. The fourth bedroom is a remarkable guest suite that has been thoughtfully designed and affords the lucky visitor a glorious bird’s eye view over the gorgeous gardens. And oh, at the risk of going on about the gardens – just how gorgeous are those grounds! At the rear of the house and enjoying an excellent degree of privacy and seclusion, they have mature herbaceous borders, ornamental shrubs, flag stoned terrace areas, and
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a gravelled terrace, bordered by an attractive stone wall, ideal for outdoor entertaining and dining. And the more active gardeners are catered for with a greenhouse, log shed, potting shed and garden sheds Found in ancient acres of outstanding beauty, farmland and parkland and in the highly sought after Nadder Valley village of Dinton, it is believed Speargate is the only house of its age in the area that has not been given to the National Trust and has remained in private hands since it belonged to the Wyndham estate. Dinton itself is a quintessential English village surrounded by beautiful countryside offering an array of country pursuits, a medieval church, community shop, cricket green, pub and a primary and preschool. The increasingly trendy Tisbury is a mere five miles away and offers a direct train service from its station into Waterloo. The nationally-renowned Beckford Arms pub and Beckford Bottle Shop are on the doorstep (for a review of the newly launched sister branch in Bath turn to page 30), as well as the newly opened Royal Oak pub at Swallowcliffe. If youâ€™re looking for a forward-thinking way of life, in an historical setting, in a fabulous new home, then with Speargate House, you have come to the right place.
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House numbers Square footage 2,940
Hamptons International Sales, 54 Castle Street, Salisbury. tel: 01722 688007; www.hamptons.co.uk
Bedrooms 4 Outbuildings
SCENE AC ROSS SA L ISBU RY, O N E SH I N D I G AT A T I M E Amy Money and Sarah Sowerby
Lynda Appleby and Leila White
Luke Robson and Darryn Michael
Sam Miller, Katie Gillingham and Kieran Miller
HATS OFF TO THE BRIDAL PARTY!
Mollie Phillpot, Julie Lane, Leesa Miller, Amy Money, Mandy Thompson and Austin Cohen
Amy Money Millinery and Millie Couture Bridal held a launch party on 26 October at their new business premises on Ox Row, Salisbury to launch their joint venture, Money & Millie. Mike Osment, the Mayor of Salisbury attended along with jewellery designer Sarah Sowerby. Pictures by Adrian Harris
Danni Waters, Harriet White and Kate Welsey
Gino Nardiello, Julia Mitchell, Jason Andrews, Emma Andrews and Sharon Evens
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Rhian Gove, Mike Osment, Nikki Savage and Poppy Babbage
Dave Dawson and Lucy Dawson Melanie Woods and Kavus Torabi
Derek Tagg and Peter Tagg
A lot of love in the room for Tim Smith Clive Hutton
James Stevens and Tim Smith
Dr Gordon Munro and Jim Smith
Earlier this year, acclaimed songwriter and producer Tim Smith, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Music from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. On 25 November, at the Medieval Hall in Salisbury in front of friends, family and colleagues, Tim, who in 2008 suďŹ€ered a cardiac arrest which resulted in severe brain damage, was presented with his scroll by Dr. Gordon Munro, head of music at the RCS. Pictures by Adrian Harris www.adrianharrisphotography.co.uk
Sean Kitching, Sarah Jones and Starlynn Jacobs-Kitching
Nick Elborough and Bill Hiles
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© OLIVER JORDAN
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© ANDY STEVENS
BATH? Incredible scenery, elegant Georgian architecture and a buzzing independent shopping and food scene put the city on the must-visit list, says Bath Life editor LISA EVANS Bath oﬀers beautiful sights, such as the Roman Baths, Bath Abbey and Pulteney Bridge, it has a fascinating, easily accessible history in which to submerge yourself, and is a indie shopper’s paradise.
Built for pleasure and relaxation, Bath has been a wellbeing destination since Roman times. The naturally warm thermal waters are still a massive draw; there’s the ancient Roman Baths, the modern Thermae Bath Spa where you can bathe in the openair rooftop pool while looking out over the city, and the Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel where even the water that runs out of the taps in some of the bedrooms comes from natural hot springs. There are, of course, plenty of other places to chill, too – one of our favourites being No.15 Great Pulteney hotel’s Hideout Suite, the ultimate private sybaritic sanctuary just for you (and whoever you want to invite) complete with a hot tub, steam room and rainfall shower.
Broad Street, where you’ll ﬁnd design-led department store Rossiters; Bartlett Street for fashion, homeware and antiques; and the artisan quarter of Walcot Street, where our favourite shops include furniture store Graham & Green, and The Fine Cheese Co.
So hefty is the foodie oﬀering around these parts that it’s said you could, if you wanted to, eat out for breakfast, lunch and dinner in a diﬀerent restaurant or café every day for a year and never once return to the same place. And despite its rich historical background, Bath is anything but living in the past when it comes to all things culinary – although we do love a traditional afternoon tea at The Pump Room or The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa. Veggie and vegan eateries are on the rise – try Rooted on Newbridge Road for a towering BBQ pulled jackfruit burger, or go to Acorn on North Parade Passage to see plants transformed into art on a plate – as are pop-up food stalls, farmers’ markets, small-plate eateries and supper clubs. If high-end is what you’re after, we’d suggest a visit to the Olive Tree, on Russell Street, which was recently granted a Michelin star; if you fancy more of a casual and convivial vibe, head to Corkage on Chapel Row, where little bites and well-chosen wines are the order of the day; and if you’re a fan of ﬁsh and chips, get a reservation at The Scallop Shell seafood restaurant on Monmouth Place for no-frills, impeccably sourced fare.
“Bath is anything but living in the past when it comes to all things culinary”
FOR THE SHOPPERS...
There are huge amounts of one-of-a-kind independent retailers here, all within easy walking distance. Get oﬀ the main drag (Milsom, Union and Stall Streets) to dig out the tucked-away boutiques and specialist small shops. Some of our favourite areas for indie shopping include
The Dark Horse has been voted as one of the best bars in the world
You won’t have to hunt far before stumbling across interesting galleries and museums here. We’re especially big fans of No.1 Royal Crescent – a magniﬁcent townhouse, furnished in period style, which allows visitors to see what life was like for wealthy residents in the 18th century – and the Fashion Museum, at the Assembly Rooms, which houses a world-class collection of famous contemporary and historic garments. ■ For current events and more ideas, check the excellent Visit Bath website at www.visitbath.co.uk
WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT BATH?
We’ve pretty much only told you about the city elements of Bath, but there’s plenty of greenery, parks and countryside to lap up, too. If you love a good view, we’d suggest you take on the Bath Skyline walk, which feels like entering another world, onto the skyline hills above Bath, through six miles of meadows, ancient woodlands and secluded valleys.
BY NIGHT © BONNIE ROSE
When it comes to boozing spots, we’re drawn to The Bell Inn on Walcot Street, the place to go for live music; Kingsmead Square’s The Dark Horse, which has been voted as one of the best bars in the world a number of times; and the civilised Canary Gin Bar
on Queen Street. But if you’re not such a fan of going out-out, then Bath’s alternative after-dark scene could be one for you: think underground cinema screenings, chocolate tastings, comedy clubs, salsa dancing, evening watersports, a spot of gambling, secret gigs in unexpected places, and twilight spa experiences.
WHERE TO STAY
The Bath Priory – Weston Road The Bird – Pulteney Road Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel – Sydney Road The Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa – the Royal Crescent The Queensberry Hotel – Russell Street
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“At my age, I never worry about down time” to end, and you’ve got control of it. It’s always a thrill when somebody says, “Oh, I enjoyed your performance in ...”, and then they mention a play that you’ve done. Doing Grumpy Old Women was amazing. I’ve never done
anything that could be remotely termed stand-up. It was terrifying – in front of a live audience like that, unscripted, and no character to hide behind – it’s not an option to go wrong. Jenny Éclair told me to trust her, and I did.
Susie talks about being a Grumpy Old Woman, her new role as Miss Marple and how she keeps putting off retirement Susie Blake found fame for her portrayals of the judgemental TV announcer in Victoria Wood: As Seen On TV and as Coronation Street’s Bev Unwin. She has recently starred in the hit-BBC comedy Mrs. Brown’s Boys. Susie, who is the granddaughter of actress Annette Mills, the great-niece of actor Sir John Mills, and is related to Hayley and Juliet Mills, has also had a prolific stage career with major roles in Wicked; Handbagged; and Boeing Boeing, as well as appearing as part of the Grumpy Old Women panel on their live tour. She is about to play Miss Marple in the first ever UK stage adaptation of Agatha Christie’s The Mirror Crack’d From Side to Side, alongside Simon Shepherd. A Wiltshire Creative, and Wales Millennium Centre co-production, this is a European première and opens at Salisbury Playhouse on 15 February.
Coming from a background of actors, it was a sort of
accepted that people could go into showbusiness for a living. It was a natural thing to do and not considered extraordinary at all. It also meant I never had stars in my eyes.
I’ve always loved making people laugh, even when I was
little. My mum was bringing up two kids on her own, and quite harassed. So to make her laugh, and my brother who was always quite serious, I was always making jokes and dancing around. Looking back I must have been bloody annoying. Depending on the age group,
will depend on whether they know me as the Victoria Wood newsreader, Corrie’s Bev Unwin or Mrs Brown’s Boys. Yet I’ve spent most of my career in the theatre.
The theatre is where my heart lies. I think it is because you’re
telling the story from beginning
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I realised the audience are just so lovely – it was like hanging
out with some great friends and discussing everything under the sun from the menopause to twerking to female problems and relationships. It was a real breakthrough for me, actually.
Jenny has become a really good friend. She’s the sort of the
person I would go to for advice on anything be it moral, spiritual, political or personal. I respect her opinions.
It’s difficult to look after yourself, and stay healthy on a tour. Often you’re surviving
on Marks & Spencer’s take-away meals for one. I don’t have one signature dish. I usually learn a new dish from a TV cookery show, and then cook it to death. At the moment that is slow-cooked lamb shanks with flageolet beans.
My secret to staying young is to
live in a home with lots of stairs! It keeps me active without trying.
My son had no interest in being an actor – he’s an
electronic engineer and teaches at a university. My granddaughers, who are eight and six, love dancing and go to ballet classes. Sometimes I think, ‘it’s time to sell-up and retire, and never
work again.’ But then a lovely job like The Mirror Crack’d comes along, and I think ‘maybe later.’
I remember watching, and loving, the Miss Marple films starring Margaret Rutherford,
when I was about 10. Rachel Wagstaff, who has written this adaptation, has made Miss Marple incredibly compassionate, and very fair. I see her as a combination of my mum and a very benign dictator – like a good headmistress. You also get glimpses that she may be a tiny bit lonely, and feeling out of touch.
I’ve performed a few times in Salisbury and it’s a beautiful city.
One time, my daily walk to work took me across the Cathedral Close – absolute bliss.
I have no idea what I’m doing after this, workwise. In this
business, it’s a miracle for an actor to know six months in advance of their next job. However there is talk of doing Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em again on stage in the future. A lot of the grander theatres, who thought it wasn’t for them, saw how successful the show was and have reconsidered. At my age, I never worry about down time. Hand on
heart, I actually enjoy it now. I love being able to have my grandchildren come and stay, I’ve got an allotment to tend to, and I’ve got a lot of good, very close friends, who I travel all over the country to see. n For more: The Mirror Crack’d opens at Salisbury Playhouse on 15 February and runs until 9 March; www.wiltshirecreative.co.uk Susie as the newsreader
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