A specially curated guide to help you enjoy the next 48 hours (or more) in Bath
RICHARD WYATT DEBATES | BATH'S REGENERATION
Building for a new future
The pandemic may have cleared the streets and turned our city centre into a ghost town, but behind the scenes vital construction work continues on two multi-million pound projects that are going to help revitalise Bath when this viral nightmare is over.
Inside the historic abbey the Footprint Project continues with the intricate and highly invasive job of stabilising the floor and re-laying hundreds of ledger stones and the final memorial slab is due to be in place soon. By the end of February there should be a clear abbey floor and, with the pews gone, an amazing and versatile space.
While the new underfloor heating pipes have also been fitted, the abbey’s new heating system, which utilises the spring waters from the Great Roman Drain, will not be fully active until the spring. Elsewhere good progress is being made on the new learning space, the Discovery Centre, the abbey shop and the church offices.
Work in the new Song School is ongoing and progressing well with fitting out now underway in these spaces being created for the abbey choirs, music department and visiting musicians.
No date is being given for completion of the Footprint Project and the abbey is still keen to fundraise towards the continuing work, but it does seem the end is in sight. The project will improve facilities for abbey staff and visitors and, pandemic willing, this ancient church will once more be able to offer an uninterrupted welcome to its congregation and thousands of visitors. As an abbey spokesperson told me: "Footprint is transforming Bath Abbey, and a transformed Bath Abbey is vital for the renewed future of our community."
Meanwhile, behind the screens on York Street, more construction workers have managed to observe social-distancing rules while working on the Archway Project, named after the decorative arch that carried water pipes across the road to this former Victorian laundry. It’s a name that will disappear as the building takes on its new dual roles as both the Clore Learning and World Heritage Centres. One will provide new educational facilities for youngsters visiting the Roman Baths and the other will explain and illustrate how Bath got its UNESCO inscription confirming it as a World Heritage city.
The completion date for the Archway Project is estimated to be in the early summer and with the project also opening up new and unseen parts of the Roman excavation, it’s something else to look forward to as (with crossed fingers) we look forward to opening up our city for business again.
Images (above): Nave south section in Bath Abbey, learning space, World Heritage Centre artist’s impression. Below: View of the Abbey's Learning Space from the Song School, and the arch of the Archway project
WINE WISHES | A WEEKEND SELECTION
Vini, vidi, bibi
A step-up from the Weekend Essential box, this mixed six-bottle case (two whites and four reds) are some of The Great Wine Co's stand-out wines from the last 12 months. This is a great selection of delicious wines from great estates with no compromise on quality. The Weekend Selection features:
1 x 2018 Organic Sauvignon Blanc, Seresin Estate 1 x 2017 Massaccio Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore, Fazi Battaglia 1 x 2018 Cairanne Rouge Les Travers, Domaine Brusset 1 x 2017 Wild Scarlet Shiraz, Rojomoma 1 x 2017 Pinot Noir, Sutherland 1 x 2017 Silver Label Monastrell, Juan Gil
Shake up your senses with this tantalising, Moroccan-inspired twist on a Sunday roast: super-succulent lamb abundant in sweet, spicy and savoury flavours, guaranteed to bring an non-stop exotic cabaret of flavour to your table... but the oven does all the hard work for you. This recipe easily serves up to six people, but the leftovers are absolutely delicious: add to a simple tomato sauce and top with sweet potato to make a North African shepherd's pie; add an egg and some breadcrumbs to minced up meat and form into patties to create Marrakech market burgers; griddle the meat until crisp and serve kebab-style in pitta bread with salad, pickles and chilli sauce. B'saha!
2kg (approx) leg of lamb or lamb shoulder 6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed 2–3 tbs olive oil 1 x tin chopped tomatoes 50g dried apricots, chopped 50g dates, chopped 1 tbsp runny honey 2 tsp ground cumin 2 tsp ground ginger 2 tsp ground coriander 1 tsp paprika
OR: 4 tbsp Ras el Hanout (a ready-made North African spice mix readily available in supermarkets) in place of the cumin, ginger, coriander and paprika
To serve (optional but highly recommended): thick Greek yogurt; generous handful of chopped fresh mint leaves; sprinkle of toasted flaked almonds; pomegranate seeds
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4. Add the chopped tomatoes, apricots dates and a splash of water to the base of a large roasting tin.
2. Mix the cumin, ginger, coriander and paprika OR the Ras el Hanout with the honey, garlic and olive oil and season well.
3. Using a sharp knife, make small, deep incisions all over the lamb and rub the olive oil mixture into the meat, working it into the incisions as you go (note: the lamb will benefit greatly from being allowed to relax in this marinade for up to 8 hours in advance of cooking).
4. Place the lamb skin-side up on top of the tomatoes in the roasting tin. Cover the tray tightly with kitchen foil and roast the lamb for around 2.5 hours, basting every 30–45 minutes with the juices in the tray. If the tomatoes seem to be drying out a little bit, add a splash of boiling water each time you baste the meat.
5. After 2.5 hours, remove the foil and roast the lamb for a further 30–40 minutes, or until the skin is crisp and slightly charred and the meat is tender and falling off the bone.
6. Cover the lamb with kitchen foil and leave to rest for 15 minutes before using two forks to shred the meat off the bone. Serve on a large, warm platter topped with a dollop of thick Greek yogurt scattered with fresh mint, flaked almonds and pomegranate seeds. Recommended accompaniments include warm flatbreads, baba ganoush and hummus, or a couscous salad and sweet potato wedges.
LOCKDOWN EATS | THE PIES HAVE IT
Ultimate takeaway meals for a lockdown feast
Lockdown may have returned, but The Bird, Bath, has announced a handmade ‘Pies by Plate’ takeaway service to launch this Friday. So diners can now enjoy a satisfying taste of dishes from The Bird, Bath's restaurant Plate at home.
Head Chef Leon Smith has created three beautifully crafted pies, available on Friday and Saturday evenings. Each dish – including Chicken & Tarragon Pie with buttered mash, Bromham winter vegetables and chicken gravy, and Sweet Potato & Spiced Lentil Pie with buttered mash and winter vegetables – is bursting with produce hand-picked by Leon and his team. Diners may also add a rich Winter Berry Cheesecake to their order, served with lashings of Chantilly cream.
Saturday Takeaway is also available from The Bird’s sister hotel, Homewood Bath. Bringing back its popular ‘drive through’ offering from the first lockdown, diners can tuck into delicious homemade food without having to heat up the hob. Dishes include Chicken Malay Curry, with coconut, lime, coriander and poppadom, or Halloumi Massaman Curry with sweet potato and spinach, and poppadom. Both dishes, at £12, are served with either rice or naan at the side.
Last spring, during the first lockdown, an unprecedented number of people took to exploring the green spaces around Bath on foot. For many, it was a journey into uncharted territory. But, as we all struggled to come to terms with something we had never dealt with before, the countryside around the city looked better than ever. Not only was it a glorious spring, with weeks of unbroken sunshine, but, with all but essential travel banned, pollution plummeted and nature moved in to recolonise spaces that had been off limits to it for years.
Ten months on, and we are back in lockdown once again. Unfamiliar no longer, the dull ache of familiarity has replaced the heightened awareness and apprehension that characterised those long spring days. Exercise, though, which for most of us now equates to walking, and getting out into the fresh air, is more important than ever. But this is winter, when the fresh air is likely to be cold and wet, and the going underfoot is likely to be muddy, and, on the slopes around Bath, slippery.
There is always the option of sticking to tarmac paths and pavements, of course, but that can raise problems of social distancing – not something you want to have to think about if you’re trying to recharge your batteries. Bath is, of course, blessed with some splendid parks, but for something a little more expansive – and not too challenging – one answer is to drive or walk up to the escarpment encircling the city where the land stretches plateau-like into the distance and the views are fantastic.
One of the most obvious destinations, where there is always plenty of parking, is Lansdown. The park and ride car park is, with so few people now using the service, emptier than ever, and, if you head for the north end of the car park, gates lead directly out into a large field.
Admittedly, when you first arrive, it may seem like nothing more than a vast expanse of grass, with areas marked out as sports pitches. Head over to the edge of the escarpment, though, and one of the finest views in Somerset awaits. Head south, and, after walking along a short length of tarmac, you come to another large field. This is as far as you can walk along the edge of escarpment in this direction, but, if you’re up for something a bit more adventurous, a kissing gate leads to a rough track running along the contours. Although parts of it are likely to be muddy or waterlogged, this makes for a splendid walk, which eventually, after leading through several kissing gates, runs past Beckford’s Tower.
You can also head north across the field from the car park and, after crossing a busy lane, carry on, bearing left alongside a wall beside the racecourse. Although this follows the edge of the escarpment, the views are largely hidden by trees – until you come to the end of the racecourse and a kissing gate leads to Prospect Stile, where a toposcope is on hand to identify landmarks such as Alfred’s Tower and the Westbury White Horse. The architect John Wood, writing in 1742, claimed that from this commanding spot you could not only ‘look down upon the cities of Bath and Bristol’, but ‘behold a region that sets paradise itself before one’s eyes’.
The only drawback to walking on Lansdown is that, whichever direction the wind is coming from, there is nothing to stop it, and if it’s coming from the east it can be bitter. But, if you’re wrapped up well, it’s surely worth braving the elements for a glimpse of paradise.
Preheat the oven to 190ºC/gas mark 6. Chop 2 large, deseeded red peppers, 2 banana shallots and around 500g large ripe plum tomatoes into similarly sized chunks. Tumble the prepared vegetables onto a baking tray, scatter with 4 cloves of garlic (sliced), season well and drizzle with olive oil before roasting in the oven for around 40 minutes, turning occasionally until the vegetables have just started to caramelise. Melt 30g butter in a large pan over a medium heat, add the roasted vegetables, cover with around 450ml chicken or vegetable stock, bring to the boil and simmer together for 5–10 minutes. Season to taste and blend with a stick blender to your preferred consistency before serving topped with a dollop of crème fraiche and a handful of croutons (optional).
Roast Butternut Squash Soup with Chilli, Coconut and Lime
Preheat the oven to 190ºC/gas mark 6. Peel and deseed one large butternut squash (1.5k approx) and cut into bite-sized chunks. Deseed one red pepper, peel one large onion, and chop both into chunks. Toss the prepared vegetables in olive oil and roast for 40–45 minutes until tender and caramelised. Grate 1 thumb-sized chunk of root ginger, crush 2 cloves of garlic and sauté together in a large pan over medium heat for 2 minutes, adding chilli flakes to taste for the last 30 seconds. Add 800ml chicken or vegetable stock and 1 x 400ml light coconut milk and bring to the boil before adding the roasted vegetables and simmering for 20–30 minutes. Season to taste and blend with a stick blender to your preferred consistency before serving topped with a squirt of fresh lime juice.
Curried Parsnip Soup
Peel and slice 1 large onion and sauté in a large pan over a medium heat for around 4 minutes, until just turning translucent. Add 2 crushed garlic cloves and 1–2 tbsp of your preferred strength of curry powder and sauté for a further minute before adding 3 large, peeled, chopped parsnips and 1 large, peeled, diced potato to the mix. Stir well, add around 1.2 litres chicken or vegetable stock, bring to the boil and simmer for around 15–20 minutes until the parsnips and potato are completely soft. Season to taste and blend with a stick blender to your preferred consistency before serving topped with an optional drizzle of single cream or crème fraiche.
Carrot and Coriander Soup
Sauté 1 large, sliced onion in 1 tbsp vegetable oil until translucent. Stir in 1 peeled, diced potato, 1 tsp ground coriander and 1 tsp cumin and sauté for a further minute before adding 450g peeled, diced carrots and 1.2 litres chicken or vegetable stock. Bring to the boil before simmering for 20–30 minutes until the potato has dissolved and the carrots are tender. Add a generous handful of chopped, fresh coriander, season to taste and blend with a stick blender to your preferred consistency before serving topped with crème fraiche (optional) and more chopped, fresh coriander.
IN THE KITCHEN |TRENDING NOW
The viral wrap hack
Although not a brand new concept, this method of making a wrap has gone viral on social media.
The hack involves dividing a wrap into quarters, putting a different ingredient in each section, folding it up, then cooking in a panini press – and it looks delicious!
Magazine B is a biannual magazine we import from South Korea that profiles a single, specific international brand in every issue. Theoretically aimed at people interested or working in brand marketing management, it explores such a large and diverse galaxy of names (including cities and foods) such as Porsche, Star Wars, Lululemon, IKEA, Rapha, Soho House, Kyoto, Penguin, Rolex, Instagram, Lego and others to entertain those of us who are, well, just fans. In this week from Seoul is Number 85, the gorgeous artisanal homeware brand Astier de Villate. If you’re new to this ‘brand documentary’ magazine, it’s not a bad place to start.
Following the announcement of the latest lockdown, and wishing to abide by the guidelines, we have decided to postpone publication of our January issue.
In view of the increased risks and concerns, we feel that it is not appropriate to deliver magazines door-to-door. We hope to resume publishing soon.
In the meantime, if you fancy catching up on some great reads that you may have missed, there's an often overlooked link on our website, which will take you to a wondrous digital bookshelf of The Bath Magazine's back issues. Explore and enjoy. It'll help keep you off Netflix.
Engraved on tweed suit buttons or the clasps of her bags, the lion was a favourite subject and a lucky talisman for Gabrielle Chanel and a classic icon feature of Chanel high fashion jewellery. It is now making a majestic leap into the world of Chanel fragrances as the latest addition to the Les Exclusifs de Chanel collection.
In a limited edition, Rouge Allure Velvet lipstick, Le Lion de Chanel comes in 8 velvet-effect shades with a luminous matte finish. To invent this colour palette, Chanel's Makeup Creation Studio have captured the lion's radiant characteristics into an exclusive collection of reds, oranges and beiges.
Since Allbirds' official launch in 2016, actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who has long been committed to the environment and climate protection, has invested in the company. Allbirds' trainers, which have been dubbed the world's most comfortable shoes, are made with sustainable materials, with one recycled bottle equaling one pair of Allbirds laces and the soles made of renewable sugar cane.
The running shoes – which are designed for both men and women – have also been a hit with patrons from Barack Obama to Gwyneth Paltrow.
So, why not forgo the fast fashion this year and step into a shoe that doesn't cost the earth?
Every piece of Marco Bicego jewellery features a combination of fine Italian craftsmanship and creativity, the designs are based on three signature features: multi-coloured gemstones, the finest detailing and hand engraved 18ct gold.
Here we take a look at the Jaipur collection, Inspired by the tropical Indian sunset and the stonecutting heritage of Jaipur, each piece is characterised by its prism-cut gemstones and epitomises the understated elegance that the jeweller is famous for.
Those born in January have the beautiful and diverse garnet as their birthstone. Garnets are widely considered as red but also can be found in a range of beautiful colours, including orange, yellow, purple and even vibrant green.
Here we have the Marco Bicego Jaipur 18ct yellow gold garnet ring £525, and matching stud earrings with a post and scroll fitting, £575. Mallory has a brilliant selection of Marco Bicego pieces waiting to be discovered.
The highly anticipated new novel from Olivia Sudjic, Asylum Road, is finally here. It opens as a young couple, Anya and Luke, drive to coastal Provence where Luke proposes. Olivia brilliantly and incisively crafts a psychological portrait of a relationship through the lens of Anya, who arrived in Britain fleeing the Balkans conflict as a child. She is preoccupied by her sense of imbalance within their relationship, feeling that Luke is reserved and withdrawn, intentionally holding back from her. Their engagement causes her to travel with him for the first time to Sarajevo to meet her family, a collision of past and future that begins her steady unravelling.
It is easy to see why comparisons have been drawn between Olivia and writers like Deborah Levy and Rachel Cusk. It is a novel of our time, fully embedded in post-Brexit-referendum Britain and rife with astute observation of millennial life and love.
At its centre are borders, both politically and the unspoken between men and women. Cool, introspective, unsettling, Olivia masterfully captures how close two people can be and yet how vast the distance between them, of the unique loneliness that can occur within couples, and how rich the spaces are of what is left unsaid.
Democracy For Sale – Dark Money and Dirty Politics
Profoundly relevant to the events of the present, Peter Geoghegan’s Democracy for Sale offers a damning insight into the inadequacy of British electoral law in preventing the spread of ‘dark money’ in infiltrating and undermining our democratic process. Peter, an investigative journalist for openDemocracy, dissects and exposes the mutating nature of politics, demonstrating with urgency how the fabric of democracy is threatened by our inability to regulate the new technological frontiers on which political battles are now held, where disinformation and data mining is rife.
He demonstrates how British politics are vulnerable to corporate capture, and how donor anonymity and dark money funded think tanks are increasingly influencing mainstream political ideology. Structured thematically, he guides us through the seismic political events of the last 10 years, exploring how they came to be, and underpinning the web of connections that links the American rightwing to contemporary British politics. He convingly draws forth parallels between Brexit and US libertarian ideology, both with nascent roots in desire for deregulation. At once carefully researched, urgent and lucid, it is a remarkably readable and compelling analysis of the changing face of our political system, and what action is necessary to protect modern democracy.
In Regina King's powerful directorial debut, One Night in Miami imagines an incredible night where icons Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown gather to discuss their roles in the civil rights movement and cultural upheaval of the 1960s.
Starring Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge and Leslie Odom Jr, the film reflects on these larger-than-life figures and celebrates their success. It premiered at the Venice Film Festival on 7 September 2020 and was the first film directed by an African-American woman to be selected in the festival's history.
With no commute, no office politics and time for an extra 40 winks at the start of your day, there's time to focus on the morning routine. So look to Graham and Green for ideas on how to cosset yourself in an environment you can control as you work up to opening the laptop. Here you see their Oslo Blush Linen Duvet Cover (£185) – pre-washed for a soft feel and natural look, and finished with classic button detailing – and their Rose Quartz Tea Light (£19.95) – made of natural rose quartz, notorious for its soft feminine energy of compassion, peace, tenderness and healing – to get you in the mood for work. And if you make bed your permanent workstation, who's going to know?
An incredible opportunity to own a small piece of Bath’s Georgian history. Cleveland Bridge was built in in 1827 for horse drawn vehicles and pedestrians to access the city of Bath. The bridge is a Grade II* listed structure with 4 former toll houses positioned, 2 at either end of the bridge.
Number 4 is a 2 bedroom leasehold house arranged over three storeys leading down to a riverside patio and garden area. The property is accessed at street level with a bathroom and drawing room on this level. On the next level down there are two bedrooms with one having a secreted en suite shower room.
Stairs then lead down to the lower floor which comprises a high ceilinged kitchen/dining/living room with exposed stone walls and patio doors leading out to the decked area overlooking the river Avon with a small riverside garden giving access for boating and observing life on the river.
In brief: Drawing room, Bathroom, 2 bedrooms one with en suite shower room, kitchen/breakfast room, riverside deck and garden.
With a level walk into the shopping centre of Bath and there are a number of parks and walks within the nearby (Sydney Gardens and Henrietta Park) and perfect for cycling on the Kennet and Avon canal. £550,000 to be advised.
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