A specially curated guide to help you enjoy the next 48 hours (or more) in Bristol
CHARITY | TAKE A SEAT
Charity bench to be installed at Ashton Court Estate
Following the release of Ricky Gervais' After Life (season three), suicide prevention charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) have teamed up with Netflix to donate twenty five benches to councils around the UK: providing people with a place to sit and talk.
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.
As Sir Matthew Bourne’s ever-exuberant Nutcracker! celebrates its 30th anniversary and returns to the stage for the first time in 10 years, Melissa Blease chats to the “undisputed king of dance theatre” ahead of its launch at The Bristol Hippodrome next month.
Luxurious, super-tasty and supremely comforting, Cullen Skink (named after the town of Cullen in Moray, Aberdeenshire, where the recipe originated) is second only to Haggis on Scotland's Greatest Dish charts, perfect to serve as a start to your Burns Night feast... or indeed, as the main event.
Ingredients (serves 4)
1 tbsp unsalted butter 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped 1 medium leek, finely-chopped 400g medium-sized potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes 250g undyed smoked haddock 1 bay leaf 12 black peppercorns 250ml whole milk
To serve: single cream; fresh parsley and/or chives, finely-chopped
1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat, then add the onion and the leek and sauté for 5-8 mins until translucent but not browned. Add the potatoes and 300ml water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat slightly and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are soft but not mushy and take the pan off the heat (without draining).
2. Meanwhile, put the haddock in another pan and cover with the the milk. Add the peppercorns and the bay leaf, bring to a gentle simmer and cook gently for 5 mins, or until the haddock is just tender. Remove the haddock from the milk with a slotted spoon (reserving the milk), transfer to a plate and leave to cool enough to handle before removing the skin and flaking into large pieces, removing any bones.
3. Strain the reserved haddock liqueur to remove the bay leaf and peppercorns and add the milky juice to the potato pan. Bring back to simmering point, add the flaked haddock and cook until the fish has reheated through. Season with white pepper (you probably won't need any salt as smoked haddock is quite salty) and serve in warm bowls drizzled with single cream and sprinkled with the fresh herbs.
FOUR OF A KIND | KEEPING IT CLASSIC
Words by Melissa Blease
4 Classic Scottish Dishes
To accompany your Haggis, perhaps?
Warm Potato Pancakes with Scottish Smoked Salmon (serves 4, as a starter)
Peel and chop 225g floury potatoes (eg. Maris Piper). Place in a large pan of cold salted water, bring to the boil then simmer for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain well before mashing with 75ml milk and plenty of seasoning and putting to one side to cool. In a small bowl, combine 50ml crème fraîche with 1 tbsp creamed horseradish and a squirt of fresh lemon juice, and set to one side. Beat 2 egg yolks and 1tbsp buttermilk together, mix with the cooled mashed potato and fold 50g plain flour into the mix. In a separate bowl, whisk 2 egg whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form. Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the potato mix to create a batter. Heat a little oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, add 3-4 heaped tbsp batter and fry for around 2 minutes, or until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip and fry for 1-2 minutes more until just golden; repeat until all the batter is used up (you're aiming for 12 pancakes in total). Serve 3 warm pancakes per person, draped with slivers of Scottish smoked salmon, the crème fraîche and horseradish cream and a sprinkling of freshly-chopped chives.
Neeps and Tatties (serves 4, as a side dish)
Bring a large pan of salted cold water to the boil. Meanwhile, peel 1 medium-sized swede (approx. 500g in weight) and cut it into 2cm chunks. Add the swede chunks to the boiling water and simmer rapidly for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, peel 500g of potatoes and cut them into 2.5cm chunks. When the 15 minute timer goes off on the swede, add the potatoes, bring back to boiling point and simmer for a further 12-15 minutes, or until both the swede and the potatoes are soft and cooked through. Drain well and leave to steam dry for a couple of minutes before mashing with a good pinch of salt, plenty of white pepper and lots of butter.
Scottish Whisky Sauce (delicious with Haggis or Scottish Venison; serves 4)
Heat 2 tsp butter and 2 tsp olive oil in a small pan over a medium heat until the butter starts to foam. Add 2 peeled, finely-chopped shallots and sauté for around 6-8 minutes until soft but not golden. Add 1 bay leaf and 2 cloves of garlic (peeled and minced) and continue to sauté for 1 minute before adding 170ml Scottish whisky to the pan. Bubble the whisky until absorbed by the shallots and almost evaporated (1-3 minutes approx.) Add 200ml beef consommé or beef stock to the pan and simmer for 5-10 mins until reduced by half. Stir in the 200ml double cream and simmer for another 5 mins until thickened to a smooth sauce consistency. Season to taste and add another 70ml Scottish whisky if a stronger whisky flavour is preferred.
Classic Cranachan (serves 4)
Toast 3 generous tbsp oatmeal in a dry frying pan, using your sense of smell to tell you when it's 'nutty' enough (probably around 2-4 minutes). Put the toasted oatmeal to one side to cool. Meanwhile, crush and sieve 150g fresh Scottish raspberries and sweeten to taste with a little caster sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk 350ml double cream until just set. Gently fold 2 tbsp Scottish Heather Honey and 2-3 tbsp Scottish whisky into the whipped cream, adding more honey, whisky or both according to taste. Stir in the toasted oatmeal and whisk very lightly until the mixture is just firm. Alternate layers of the creamy mixture with the raspberry purée and smatterings of whole, fresh raspberries across 4 serving dishes (whisky tumblers, perhaps?). Chill to set slightly before serving.
WEEKEND WINE | MANY A MICKLE MAKES A MUCKLE
Wines for Burns Night
“If you look after the pennies then the pounds will look after themselves” as they say, and just added to The Great Wine Co’s January sale are several superb wines that won’t break the bank and will pair beautifully with the wholesome traditional feast to honour the great Bard.
Big fruit-laden reds or intense whites all with a higher alcohol measure will cut through the hearty dishes, clear the palette, and add depth and flavour to your celebrations.
Sancerre 'Grandmontains' Rouge – Domaine Laporte This extraordinary glimmering red Sancerre has aromas of ripe red fruit. Further bottle ageing reveals aromas of candied cherries. On the palate, a seductive suppleness and freshness is apparent, as well as the presence of silky tannins. This is a wine of elegance and finesse; a real homage to Pinot Noir in a tender style that is bursting with flavour. £17.77 (was £26) 14% ABV
660 Reserve Chardonnay – McWilliams This gorgeous, high-altitude Chardonnay definitely takes its inspiration from Chablis, with its lean, mouthwatering style. The fine pear fruit is seasoned with hints of toasted sesame and umami. £13.30 (was £15.95) 13% ABV
2014 Stoned Crow Syrah – Squawking Magpie Concentrated, enticing aromas of blackberry and blueberry married to complex herb, black pepper and violet inflections. Medium to full-bodied, with a richness of sweet dark fruit flavours, intertwined with iron-earth minerals, iris and a hint of savoury game. Stoned Crow Syrah has a long succulent finish with a fine line of tannin. £17.77 (was £27.50) 13% ABV
Frankland River Mourvedre Syrah Grenache – Swinney Vineyards Deep garnet with purple hues, dark and inviting with fresh blueberry and satsuma plums, couverture, slight white pepper and coal dust. A plush and velvety structure supports the distinct blueberry fruit aromas. The wine is medium to full-bodied with a rich texture balanced by a savoury, dry and mouth-watering finish. £18.88 (was £29.50) 14% ABV
Finca El Tomillo Chardonnay, Gualtallary – Trapiche A Chardonnay from the high-altitude Gualtallary district of Mendoza's Uco Valley, which is rapidly gaining a reputation for world-class white wines, it is a rich yet refined wine, with lemon, Chinese five spice and chicken broth notes: zesty and a little savoury at the same time. £27.75 (was £33) 13.5% ABV
Cabernet Sauvignon 'La Cancha' – De Martino Fresh aromas of blackcurrants and violets, together with complex notes of tobacco leaf, cedar and graphite. Very enjoyable – and it sounds a bit like Dean Martin… always a good thing. Volare! £17.77 (was £27.50) 13.5% ABV
See these and many more top wines in The Great Wine Co sale.
The CHANEL Spring-Summer 2022 Collection, La Pausa de CHANEL, was inspired by the villa that once belonged to Gabrielle Chanel, located high on the ridge of Roquebrune: La Pausa.
This place, bathed in soft, warm sunlight and existing in perfect harmony with the bountiful natural landscape that surrounds it, provided inspiration for this new collection.
The Rouge Coco Baume's smart formula allows for custom coverage, ranging from a sheer wash of colour after a single coat to lipstick-like intensity after three coats. Available in seven shades. £32 each.
Proving that your underwear drawer can be filled with pieces that are both eco-conscious and covetable, the label's lingerie is crafted from TENCEL Micro Modal sustainably made in Austria and sourced from beechwood trees and doused in an array of eye-catching prints and playful patterns.
Kenneth Branagh writes and directs this personal and poignant coming-of-age tale set amidst the music and social tumult of late-1960s Belfast.
It is 1969 and the imaginative young Buddy (major discovery Jude Hill) has a life filled with family, childhood hijinks and a blossoming romance. He knows every person in his street of Protestant and Catholic families, who all look out for him while his parents (Jamie Dornan and Caitríona Balfe) hustle to make ends meet. But when sectarian violence and tanks sweep through the city, Buddy's perspective on the increasing social unrest begins to give way to imaginings inspired by his love of movies.
With an outstanding supporting cast that also includes Judi Dench and Ciarán Hinds as Buddy’s beloved grandparents, shot in lustrous black and white and accompanied by a rousing Van Morrison soundtrack, Belfast is a big-hearted ode to a city, its community, and to family.
Belfast is in cinemas from today (Friday 21 January). You can book tickets to see it at the Watershed cinema here: watershed.co.uk
COMING SOON | BRISTOL BASED THRILLER
Trailer released for new Bristol-set BBC One thriller, Chloe
Chloe – a brand new psychological thriller starring The Crown's Erin Doherty – will be available first on BBC 1 and (and also on BBC iPlayer) on Sunday 6 February in the United Kingdom, and everywhere else on Amazon Prime Video.
You can watch the trailer for the show above – make sure to keep an eye out for any familiar locations...!
Static image credit: Chloe and BBC One/BBC iPlayer
THE MAGAZINE KIOSK |WHY WE LOVE PRINT
Curated by Daniel McCabe
Sociotype is a plush new journal from design studio and type foundry Socio which reworks the traditional type specimen into a platform for thinking around issues in the arts, culture and society. It’s neatly created using the studio's own fonts, ‘Rework’ and ‘Gestura’, as each issue is focused on a single theme – and here it’s 'The Gesture’. This is a look at gestures of power and political influence, sign language poetry, the secret codes of the illuminati, street gangs and flight attendants, NASA’s gestural VR programme, the raised fist and more. Who said typography was boring?
Magalleria is a Bath-based shop and online retailer, selling fine and interesting magazines from independent and selected publishers from all over the globe. Visit the website to find out more: magalleria.co.uk
• WHAT'S ON •
MUSIC | CLASSICAL CONCERT
Aled Jones to perform at Bristol Cathedral, 24 February
Aled Jones MBE, one of the classical world's vocal powerhouses, has announced a very special tour for February and March 2022, as he brings his unique concert of music and stories to cathedrals and churches around the UK.
The tour will see Aled perform tracks from his album Blessings, which features songs from a range of different faiths – Quaker, Christian, Catholic, Muslim and Buddhism – including uplifting hymns, texts and scriptures set to music.
40 years have passed since Aled was a choir boy at Bangor Cathedral, having gone onto receive countless prestigious awards, record-breaking sales and chart successes. He is the original classical crossover star, having performed for the Pope and the Royal Family, received an MBE and racked up over 10 million album sales throughout his extraordinary career.
The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School presents Pride and Prejudice
In a leafy corner of England, in the early years of the nineteenth century, Mrs Bennet hears exciting news.
A young bachelor has moved into neighbouring Netherfield Park – and what’s more he’s incredibly wealthy. With five unmarried daughters and no fortune, Mrs Bennet makes it her mission to play matchmaker.
Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and director Jenny Stephens invites you to join their graduating cohort for a lively production of Pride and Prejudice this February. Can the wilful and determined Elizabeth Bennet ever find her match? Is happiness in marriage always entirely a matter of chance?
Simon Reade’s adaptation of the original Jane Austen rom-com will be staged in one of Bristol’s newest and most evocative performance spaces, The Mount Without, from Sat 12 February to Sat 19 February.
Young Bristolian's fight for better air quality supported by global expert
Nine-year-old Jakub Kozlowski had been campaigning to reduce the level of air pollution around his school after learning that it was located in one of the most polluted locations in Bristol.
Parson Street Primary School sits on the corner of one of Bristol’s busiest junctions and the location of nearby traffic lights means that there is a constant queue of cars waiting for extended periods immediately outside the school gates. Jakub began his campaign in early 2021 by heroically running 2km every school day for two weeks in order to raise enough money to purchase banners for his school’s fence that ask drivers to turn off their engines whilst idling near the building.
After his efforts made local press, he contacted Blueair, who were more than happy to support the young activist and his classmates by offering to donate enough air purifiers to ensure every classroom would benefit from clean indoor air.
You can find out more about Blueair's purifiers on their website: blueair.com. You can also visit Parson Street Primary online: parsonstreet.com
CHARITY | CLIMATE CHANGE
Greenpeace petition: help save bees from deadly pesticides
Bee-killing neonicotinoids have been banned across Europe since 2013, but the UK government has just approved these deadly chemicals for emergency use, posing a lethal threat to bee populations.
Bees are essential for our survival. They pollinate much of what we eat and play a critical role in sustaining ecosystems around the world. But the last decade has been devastating for insect populations, and bees have been hit hard - with populations shrinking by a third in the UK.
Every petition signature helps put pressure on the Environment Secretary to act.
Heineken Champions Cup, Saturday January 22, kick off at 5.30p
Dan Thomas will make his 100th competitive appearance.
The back rower – who joined the club in 2017 having graduated through the Scarlets Academy - is one of four changes to the line-up.
Bears go in search of a highest-ranking seeding of the sixteen teams, having already clinched a spot in the knockout stages.
Bryan Byrne makes a welcome return to the starting line-up for the first time since 8th May 2021 in the away victory over Bath, while Siva Naulago could make his first outing of the campaign from the replacements bench after breaking his arm during pre-season.
Charles Piutau comes into an exciting backline with Ioan Lloyd switching to midfield, while Ed Holmes is named in the second row.
Inviting a touch of classicism into your space, this moulded candle takes cues from the Roman busts of yesteryear complete with artfully draped robes and timeless updo. Don't be surprised if you can never quite bring yourself to light it up.
A wonderful opportunity to purchase this sizeable, refurbished, three-storey terraced home on one of Coombe Dingle’s favoured roads.
The property is located on Arbutus Drive which is close to the beautiful Grade II parkland's estate at Blaise as well as convenient for local shops, local bus routes and access to the Downs and Bristol centre.
The property has been totally refurbished throughout and ended to offer modern and stylish accommodation consisting of entrance hall, downstairs WC, utility, a lounge with half bay, a spacious kitchen/diner with a full range of units, workspace and built in appliances. The extended dining area opens out to the rear garden patio. Additionally there are two landings, four sizeable bedrooms, a bathroom and ensuite shower room – all very well presented.
Externally to the front there is off street parking, an electric vehicle charge point and bike and bin storage.
At the rear there is an attractive garden with an easterly aspect and an extremely useful garden building with electrics, hard-wired TV, hard-wired broadband, insulation and insurer approved double glazed windows that is currently being used as a home office. There is also a separate garden storage area.
There are six solar panels fitted on the roof, ownership of which will be passed to the buyers.
All in all a lovely, very spacious property with flexible accommodation for all the family in a popular and sought after location. £595,000
For more images, details and to request a viewing, visit Ocean's website: oceanhome.co.uk