A specially curated guide to help you enjoy the next 48 hours (or more) in Bath
THE BATH FESTIVAL | PARTY ON
The Bath Festival kicks off with its Party in the City event: tonight!
The Bath Festival invites you to celebrate the opening of the 2022 festival with Party in the City: taking place tonight (Friday 13 May).
The fun kicks off from 5pm, when partygoers will find music in every kind of venue throughout Bath city centre – and it’s all free. Call your friends, get your dancing shoes on and head into Bath for a great night out.
You can either pick up a Party in the City leaflet which lists all the venues, acts and times, or you can download the Pixie app and use your phone to help you decide where you want to be.
Our May magazine features a collection of great reading by our team of wonderful writers as well as beautifully presented advertising by Bath's best businesses. We really hope you'll enjoy the read!
Every month we deliver 15,000 copies door to door, but if you don't get a copy at home then you can pick up a copy at many places around town and from our floor stands at: Waitrose, Sainsbury [Green Park], M&S Foods in Twerton, Tesco in Weston Village, and at The Holburne Museum.
And if you would like to have a copy sent in the post every month, then we offer a postal subscription for just £30 for 12 issues, £15 for six issues or buy a copy for just £3.95. UK mainland prices. For Euro and World zone subscription prices – see our website.
"Bad things happen to every single one of us – but most of them are survivable. In every one of my books, the characters, whoever they are, go through something grim - and we all do in life. And I think that whenever something horrible hits any of us, we think ‘oh my god, I can’t believe this is happening to me’ and ‘I don’t have the resources to endure it’. I’ve felt like that so many times. But I would really like people to know that the worst thing can hit – and it’ll be really unpleasant – but it’ll be okay, and a time will come when it will no longer be crippling." | Marian Keyes
📚 Ahead of her appearance at @thebathfestival later this month, we chatted all things character, catharsis and happy endings with best selling novelist @marian_keyes.
The Man in the White Suit: in conversation with Martin Bell
In over 30 years as a foreign affairs correspondent, Martin Bell saw major changes in the way news was reported. Emma Clegg asks about his time as a reporter, as an MP and as a UNICEF ambassador, ahead of his arrival at The Bath Festival.
Martin Bell: War & Peacekeeping, Sunday 15 May, Assembly Rooms
Martin will be at The Bath Festival on Sunday 15 May, when he will be looking back on our efforts to keep the peace since the end of the Second World War and considering the current darkening political landscape with broadcaster and journalist Mark Lawson. Tickets available from The Bath Festivals website: bathfestivals.org.uk
• FOOD & DRINK •
WEEKEND RECIPE | AN ELEGANT DISH
By Melissa Blease
Baked Sea Bass with Rosemary, Olives and Capers
This elegant dish is bursting with the kind of piquant flavours that perfectly compliment the delicate, subtly-sweet taste of Sea Bass, which is at its very best right now.
Don't be squeamish about cooking whole fish – as long as you buy it 'cleaned', all the yukky bits (guts, entrails, scales, etc) will have been removed and, if you really don't fancy the fish looking at you, ask your fishmonger to take the head and tail off too. A 'cleaned' fish, however, won't be filleted, but the bones add to the flavoursome-end result and keep the fish moist in the oven while cooking; while this can make tucking in a bit fiddly, Sea Bass flesh, once roasted or baked, tends to come away from the bone really easily.
Due to the current market price climate, Sea Bass isn't going to be an everyday ingredient for most of us. But if you're dining à deux and fancy pushing the boat out, it's time to make a splash.
Ingredients (serves 2)
2 medium-sized Sea Bass, preferably wild and line-caught, cleaned (see notes above) 500g new potatoes 4 bushy sprigs rosemary 1 medium-sized red chilli 1 tbsp red wine or sherry vinegar 1 tbsp capers, rinsed 8 black olives, rinsed of any brine and sliced The juice of 1 small lemon 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed 4 large sprigs parsley, finely chopped Olive oil
1. Rinse (but don't peel) the new potatoes and cut into thin slices, about the thickness of a £1 coin. Warm a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large shallow pan over a low to medium heat and slowly sauté the potatoes until their edges are just starting to colour (around 10-12 minutes), turning them occasionally.
2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5. Rinse the fish, wrap them in paper towels and set to one side.
3. Remove the needles from the rosemary sprigs, chop them finely and put them into a mixing bowl along with the finely-chopped chilli (flesh only, seeds discarded). Add the red wine or sherry vinegar, rinsed capers, sliced olives, lemon juice, peeled and crushed garlic, finely-chopped parsley, a grinding of black pepper and 3 tbsp of olive oil.
4. Transfer the softened, golden-edged potatoes to a roasting tin. Lay the fish on top of the potatoes and spoon the dressing over the top and into the open belly of the fish. Roast for about 25 minutes or until the fish is tender, opaque and just cooked through to the bone.
5. Remove the head and tail from the fish (by this time, it'll be so tender you'll be able to do this with a fork and spoon) then lift onto warm plates. Divide the potatoes between the plates and serve immediately, perhaps accompanied by steamed asparagus and/or a nicely-dressed green salad.
FOUR OF A KIND | RAVISHING RADISHES
Words by Melissa Blease
Roast Radishes with Roast Garlic Puree (serves 4 as a side dish)
Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Tip 400g scrubbed, whole radishes into a roasting tin along with 6 large, unpeeled garlic cloves. Season well, drizzle with 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil and roast for 30-40 minutes or until the radishes are tender. Carefully remove the roasted garlic cloves from the tray and tumble the roasted radishes into a warm serving dish. Squeeze the roasted garlic puree from the roasted cloves (discarding the skin) and stir into the warm radishes. Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately.
Slice 1 large, peeled red onion and 12 unpeeled radishes into thin rings. Put them into a suitably-sized bowl, sprinkle with 1 tbsp salt and 1 tbsp caster sugar, and set to one side for 20 minutes. Warm 100ml red wine or cider vinegar and 50ml water in a small saucepan, then pour the mixture over the vegetables. Stir to dissolve the sugar and salt and cover the bowl with a plate or lid. Set aside to cool completely before serving with cheese, charcuterie, smoked salmon or hot, well-dressed Asian noodles.
Stir-fried Radishes (serves 2 as a side dish)
Chop 20 radishes into wedges. Heat 2 tsp sesame oil in a wok or frying pan and sauté the radishes over a medium heat for 3-5 minutes, or until the radishes start to soften. Add 2 tsp light soy sauce, 2 tsp Mirin (or dry sherry) and 3 peeled, finely-chopped spring onions and continue to sauté for a couple of minutes. Serve as a side dish to any Asian dish, spritzed with fresh lime juice and sprinkled with roughly-chopped fresh coriander.
Radish Refresher 2 ways (serves 2)
The most thirst-quenching drink of the summer – guaranteed! Peel and core 2 large apples and 2 large pears and chop into chunks. Slice 3 sticks of celery and add the whole lot to a juicer or blender along with 10-15 whole radishes. Now, simply allow the machine to work its magic, then chill before serving over ice. For an 'adult' version, add 100ml tomato juice, 2-4 shots of vodka and Tabasco sauce to taste – cheers!
AFTERNOON TEA | GREAT BRITISH TRADITION
The Bath Priory
Enjoy a great British tradition in the peaceful haven of The Bath Priory – a full afternoon tea including a selection of delicate finger sandwiches, delicious homemade cakes and warm scones served with clotted cream and homemade preserve. A vast selection of teas and coffees are available to accompany your treats. Tea can be taken in the celebrated 3 AA Rosette restaurant, with magnificent views across the hotel’s award-winning gardens, in the relaxing atmosphere of The Pantry, with cosy log-fired lounges or on the wisteria-clad terrace in the summer months. Make an afternoon of it with a spa treatment and full use of the indoor pool, heated outdoor pool, aroma steam room and sauna in The Garden Spa by L’Occitane.
Here's our pick of some top European, easy drinking fizz to help get that Eurovision party started.
Brut di Pinot Nero Rosé VS – Ruggeri Cherry red with a hint of salmon pink. The nose is fresh, fragrant and inviting, offering light red fruit aromas and hints of biscuity yeast. Finely textured with a consistent mousse. This wine is medium bodied and dry, but possesses a ripe cranberry fruit intensity that balances the bubbles and the crisp finish beautifully. £15.50 or a Magnum at £25.
Sassomoro Lambrusco di Modena – Castelvetro Intense purple, with shocking pink foam. Morello cherries, elderberries, blackberries, gentle tannin and a little prickle from the bubbles. £15.95
Prosecco Extra Dry – Fiabesco A lively crisp sparkling wine with a delicate lemony character and an aromatic, dry, refreshing finish. Lovely, light, fresh pear drop fruit with plenty of acidity; a great aperitif to get your party going with a touch of style. £13.30
Sparkling de Léoube Organic – Château Leoube A traditional method sparkling from Provence, made from Cabernet Franc grapes. Lively and fresh, with a beautiful translucent rosé petal colour. This Brut Nature sparkling has vibrant bubbles and delicate aromas of pink grapefruit and peach. With lovely golden brioche notes and mineral characters on the palate, leading to a round creamy finish. £37.50
Asti DOCG – Fontanafredda An aromatic medium sweet sparkling wine with notes of musk, sage and honey on the nose and a taste of just-picked grapes. £16.95
Divina Cava – Pere Ventura Fresh and intense, this Cava has beautiful notes of green apple and honey and a refreshing acidity. £12.20
Click the button below to see a fabulous selection of sparkling wines from Europe and across the globe at The Great Wine Company.
In 1893, Kokichi Mikimoto successfully created the world's first cultured pearls.
His obsessive love for these precious organic gems has become known world over as Mikimoto: the Japanese jewellery house associated with cultivating the finest quality cultured Akoya, South Sea, Tahitia and freshwater pearls and turning them into sophisticated and iconic pieces of beautiful jewellery. Highly sought-after, a Mikimoto creation is a pleasure to wear and a timeless statement of elegance.
Here are just a few from the Mikimoto display at Mallory. Shown above (left to right):
Mikimoto Classic. 18ct yellow gold Akoya cultured pearl stud earrings with a post and scroll fitting. Pearl size: 7–7.75mm, £520. Other sizes and prices are available
Mikimoto Bubble. 18ct yellow gold Akoya cultured pearl and diamond ring. Pearl size: 4.75–6.25mm, £1,400
Mikimoto Infinity. 18ct white gold Akoya cultured pearl and diamond necklace with a diamond set clasp. Pearl size: 6.5–7mm. Necklace length: 48cm, £7,150
To see these and the full range click here and visit the Mikimoto collection at Mallory.
Whistles have announced a new Spring Summer 2022 collaboration with Hai, a brand born out of silk steeped in nostalgia.
The capsule collection comprises 13 signature Hai styles in 100% silk, all reworked to echo the vibrant tones of Whistles SS22 colour palette. From playful handbags and scrunchies to a lilac bias cut skirt and coordinating ruffle blouse, as well as two classic slip dresses in bold shades of lime green and hot pink, these are pieces designed to complement each other and can be easily mixed and matched.
The Whistles x Hai collection launches Thursday 19 May and will be available exclusively online at whistles.com and in selected Whistles stores.
Featured image: Whistles X Hai Slip Dress in Pink, £198
ACCESSORIES | BAGS FOR LIFE
Mulberry introduces its first carbon neutral collection
With a name inspired by Mulberry’s commitment to becoming Net Zero by 2035, the Lily Zero collection comprises twelve styles from the iconic Lily family, which are fully carbon neutral from field to shop floor.
Lily Zero is available in a selection of classic and seasonal colours, from timeless Black and Oak to bright Mulberry Pink.
The collection is available globally in stores and on the Mulberry website, with prices starting at £950: mulberry.com
ACCESSORIES| HATS OFF
Nancy Rose Hats, exhibiting at Tundra Jewellers until 21 May
Nancy Rose designs and makes beautiful bespoke millinery.
Her work is stylish, colourful and inventive, and the hat maker often incorporates fabulous fabrics, vintage jewellery and handmade embellishments into her designs.
Nancy Rose's exhibition above Tundra Jewellers, Devizes has been a great success. With the event coming to a close at the end of day on the 21 May, if you have an occasion coming up and would like the chance to meet the milliner and try on her delightful, creative headwear, or to discuss ideas for commissions, make sure you go along.
Following on from this, Nancy Rose designs are also available at Sumptuous Designerwear, Walcot street, Bath, or via @spirit_devizes, or by by appointment in Devizes, Nancy's home studio. For appointments, email email@example.com.
Jo Malone London supports mental health with Charity Candle collection
This Mental Health Awareness Week (9-15 May), Jo Malone London is proud to support mental wellbeing through the sales of its Charity Candle collection, which come in a selection of garden-inspired fragrances.
For each Charity Home Candle sold in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, Jo Malone Limited will donate 75% of the RRP (less VAT) to support individuals and families affected by mental health problems through dedicated projects with inspirational charities.
The perfume and scented candle brand is also honoured to announce its new Jo Malone London Global Ambassador, Adwoa Aboah. Actor, mental health activist and model, Adwoa is one of the most recognisable faces and courageous voices of her generation, speaking out about her own mental health struggles and using her platform to promote and normalise difficult conversations to inspire and build hope.
To find out more about Jo Malone London's commitment to supporting mental health, visit the Jo Malone London website: jomalone.co.uk
BEAUTY | PAMPER YOURSELF
Lush's 'Book a Bath' experience comes to Bath
Book a Bath is an indulgent, self led bathing experience offering new and existing customers the opportunity to discover Lush’s best kept secret, the Lush Spa.
Created with all the senses in mind, during the Book a Bath experience you will be paired with products tailored to your skin and a soundtrack to immerse you in your adventure in bathing. Each experience includes a bath bomb, a fresh face mask and cooling eye pads.
Lush Bath’s Book a Bath features an immersive bathing experience inspired by The Lakes bath bomb for those looking to reconnect with nature and submerge in lush, floral landscapes.
The Book a Bath experience is available until 8 June; £40 for 30-minute bathing experience + 15 minute consultation. You can call 01225 428271, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Lush website, lush.com/uk to book.
Featured image: Book a Bath, The Lakes Experience
WEDDINGS | HIRE YOUR DECORATION
Perfect Day Bunting
Perfect Day Bunting produces beautiful quality, high-end, handmade fabric bunting available for indoor hire for your wedding day and any other special occasions. Hiring gives you the option of having gorgeous quality bunting, without the time and expense of making it: just hire and hang! Exceptional quality fabrics which photograph very well.
Hiring is environmentally friendly with low waste. Perfect Day Bunting aims for brilliant client customer service with an added personal touch to help create your special day. There are currently four unique designs to hire, which can be seen on the Perfect Day Bunting website. The business can also be found on Etsy and Instagram.
Glitter on cheeks, CHECK. Red feather boa, CHECK. 1.5 litres of Lambrusco… Oh, if you insist. Yes, it’s Eurovision time and our publisher Steve’s Saturday night is sorted.
This year it’s broadcast from Turin, however the real hip swinging will be going on in homes across the globe, in which 180 million viewers in 45 countries will be shouting out: “Good God, what’s he come as?”.
True to form there will be plenty of macho leads, divas, anthems, electro-pop, some folkie stuff, skimpy costumes, big costumes, angel wings, plus some very strange acts indeed…. Check out the Norwegians (shown above) making their contribution Give that Wolf a Banana. Believe me, you’ll be whistling it while waiting for the bus on Monday. Not.
Of course, all ears and eyes will be on the Ukraine entry – Stephanie – sung in Ukrainian by the Kalush Orchestra but with subtitles shown on screen. It's a powerful, emotional rollercoaster with translated lyrics such as "I'll always find my way home, even if all roads are destroyed”. It certainly get’s ‘douze points’ from the panel here at The Bath Mag.
In stark contrast, last (and probably last) is the UK entry. Joking aside, Sam Ryder (made famous for singing on something called TikTok) might surpass the expected ‘nul points’ for the UK with a not half bad song called Space Man – Sam has notched up over 100 million streams and is reported to have over 18 million followers. So he should be okay to pay his return fair. Enjoy the moment Sam.
Eurovision is back. Tune into BBC One, Saturday 14 May at 8pm for The Grand Final:bbc.co.uk
Main image Norway’s Subwoolfer on rehearsal. Courtesy of Eurovision.TV
ON THE BOX | ROONEY RETURNS
BBC Three: Conversations with Friends
In this television adaptation of Sally Rooney's best-selling novel, an intense affair with a married man challenges protagonist Frances’s close relationship with her best friend – and her sense of self.
The first two episodes of Conversations with Friends will air on BBC Three this Sunday (15 May) starting at 10pm. All 12 episodes will also be available to stream on BBC iPlayer from Sunday (15 May): bbc.co.uk/iplayer
THE MAGAZINE KIOSK | WHY WE LOVE PRINT
Curated by Daniel McCabe
Carcy is a large format journal from Paris focused on a new representation of eroticism with the working tagline "Lust at Large". That said, this not a magazine we put on the top shelf, not because we don’t have a top shelf (we don’t) but because it’s about ideas more than anything else and we fully chime with its brief "to sublimate and widen notions of beauty and sensuality". What you get with Carcy is plenty of vintage-looking, cinematic and narrative-based photography and portraiture at the high end of these genres. You would be hard pressed to find anything else like it on the market and as Kenny Everett once said, "It’s all in the best possible taste". £20
Bear Flat Artists Open Studios 2022, Saturday 21 – Sunday 22 May
More than thirty artists are due to open their studio doors or create a pop-up exhibition at this year’s popular Bear Flat Artists Arts Trail.
A free event, it takes place over the weekend of 21 and 22 May, 11am to 6pm daily. Discover a hive of creativity all within walking distance of each other, and just ten minutes from Bath city centre. Visitors can expect to see a dynamic mix of painting, ceramics, jewellery, printmaking, photography, wood turning, glass, illustration, upholstery, and other media. The weekend is a chance to meet the artists in their place of work, find out about the many processes involved, and browse or buy original artwork direct in a relaxed setting.
Artists taking part this year include ceramicists Kate Marshall and Esther Norman, photographer Pey Oh, watercolourist Bea Colborne, abstract artists Maggie Simonsen and Lindy Dickins, painter Ben Hughes, and many more.
The Art Trail is a free event, open to everyone.
Visit bearflatartists.co.uk for more information including artists’ statements, and to download a trail map. Brochures are also available in shops and galleries locally.
Featured image: Stormy Skies by Kristine O'Connor
SCHOOLS | OPEN MORNING
The Paragon School Open Door Morning, Friday 20 May
Prospective families are warmly invited to attend an informal Open Door Morning at The Paragon to meet Head of School Rosie Allen, tour the school with current pupils and ask questions of staff. The event will run from 9.30am – 11am. For further information and to register, please email Susie Rees-Jones, the school's Registrar: email@example.com.
Bath’s secondary schools have united to create a unique choir of young people who are creating and performing their own songs for The Bath Festival.
The choir, Schools Voices, is made up of 110 young people from 11 of Bath’s secondary schools. They have been creating and rehearsing with Bath Philharmonia’s Creative Learning team of musicians and singers to put on two live performances, at St Swithin’s Church, Walcot, this evening (Friday 13 May) as part of Party in the City, and on Thursday 19 May at The Forum as part of the Concert for the People of Bath.
The Schools Voices project was set up as a collaboration of Bath Festivals’ Creative Learning programme, teachers from both state and independent schools in Bath and North East Somerset and the Creative Learning team at Bath Philharmonia.
Royal High School Bath brings together meeting of minds
More than 110 students from schools across the region will be gathering at Royal High School Bath on Wednesday 18 May for a ‘Gifted and Talented Conference’ for high achievers in Years 9, 10 and 12: a day of lectures designed to stretch and challenge the students’ thinking and knowledge of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
This will be the first time Royal High School Bath is hosting the conference in person. Featuring key-note speakers covering topics as wide ranging as plastic pollution to time-travel, students can look forward to exciting talks full of visuals and the latest scientific thinking.
Bath College Music alumni bags Early Morning Breakfast show on Radio 1
Seb Bailey, who studied Music Technology at Bath College, has just finished a residency as the Early Morning Breakfast presenter on BBC Radio 1.
24-year-old Seb came into Bath College to share his story with current students and give them advice on how they can develop their careers in radio.
Whilst studying, Seb started a dance music radio show on local station Somer Valley FM, for which he continues to host the drivetime programme, which he started doing in lockdown.
“Taking on the drivetime programme at Somer Valley was an incredible opportunity as I had to learn how to change from just talking about music to putting my personality across. I could dedicate the time to it as I was furloughed from my job.
“Eighteen months later I submitted the demo to Radio 1.”
Seb was one of five new presenters who joined BBC Radio 1 on rotation from February out of thousands of applicants to take a guest slot as part of Radio 1’s Christmas Takeover 2021.
Bath College offers courses in Music Technology and Music Performance; applications are open for September 2022.
On the east side of St Saviour’s Road in Larkhall there once stood a spa. Known as Bladud Spa, it was built by a property developer called Joseph Blackwin. Born in Suffolk in 1771, Blackwin went out to Jamaica where he worked for 23 years as an agent on a sugar plantation. Having made a tidy fortune, he returned to England, settled in Bath and started buying land. By 1825, he was living at "Rose Hill Cottage near Lark Hall, Walcot" and four years later spent £1,100 building Swainswick House.
In 1834, as the suburb of Larkhall continued to expand, he announced that he was going to open a pump room there, fed by the waters of what he described as the strongest Chalybeate spring in Europe. He engaged eminent doctors to vouch for its medical properties and spared no expense in developing the range of buildings seen in this engraving from 1837. A surgery was built, along with "furnished lodgings" and there were also "hot baths of all descriptions, to any temperature". In the spring of 1838, a series of subscription balls were held at the spa, and an archery ground was opened.
Despite all the hype, however, in March 1839, Joseph Blackwin was declared bankrupt. Notwithstanding the praise Bladud Spa had received, there were no takers for it as a going concern, and a builder called John Adams took it on as a private house. The pump room became a mission hall in the late 19th century and was demolished around 1973. The open space where the spa once stood has now been turned into St Saviour’s Little Park, a community project backed by the council to enhance the natural environment and attract wildlife to the area. Trees have been planted, a pond dug and a group of large stones set down, while an information board explains the site’s history and the ecological aims of its makeover.
Create space for home working, hobbies, a growing family or even a new business venture with a cost-effective, versatile, fully-insulated garden room – or what about the perfect summerhouse or gazebo to relax or entertain under? Garden Affairs offer a huge range of high quality, sustainable garden buildings and will help you get the design, the installation, the quality and the price spot on. Visit their extensive display centre at Trowbridge Garden Centre in Wiltshire to see garden offices, art and craft studios, teenage dens, granny annexes as well as a range of ‘posh sheds’ and summerhouses.
This is a splendid and beautiful four bedroom detached house situated in the idyllic Limpley Stoke valley just a few miles on the outskirts of Bath.
From the entrance hall, there’s a cloakroom and a sitting room to the left which has a beautiful bay window area taking in the wonderful vista as well as double doors leading to the terrace. A central fireplace adds extra appeal to the room.
The kitchen area has been carefully designed to provide open plan living with the main part of the kitchen comprising a range of floor and wall units sitting below a granite worktop with a kitchen island featuring hob and overhead extractor. There’s also a full range of other integrated appliances including dishwasher and fridge/freezer.
The family room area has a central fireplace housing a wood burner as well as double doors opening to the terrace – perfect for a summer’s evening dining. The conservatory is currently used as a dining room which leads from the kitchen. The utility room completes the accommodation on the ground floor.
On the first floor are four well-proportioned bedrooms. The principal bedroom has fitted cupboards and a balcony enjoying the marvellous views. The second bedroom has an ensuite shower room and double doors leading to a garden area. The family bathroom has been tastefully finished with a separate bath and shower cubicle.
Outside, to the front of the property is the driveway with parking available for a number of vehicles as well as a double carport and workshop. At the top of the lane are two garages with parking in front. A raised patio area leads from the kitchen and living rooms with steps leading down to a mature lawn area bordered by hedging.
To the other side of the property is a further garden area with raised beds and lawn; also on offer here is a large studio which is an ideal place for home working. A path and steps lead to the two additional garages just off Middle Stoke. Offers in excess of £950,000