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Few dishes sing 'Party!' quite as loudly as paella: the hearty, harmonious rice/vegetable/seafood and/or meat combination that originated in Valencia over 12 centuries ago.

There is heated debate regarding the 'authenticity' of any given paella recipe, but there are three basic rules: firstly, use a large, wide, heavy based pan (preferably a dedicated paella pan, readily available in most kitchen shops). Secondly, the rice must be paella rice, preferably Spanish (again, easy to source). And chorizo is never, ever included in a proper Spanish paella... except many home cooks love the smoky, oily depth-charge flavour it brings to the fiesta.

You, of course, don't have to break the chorizo rule. You don't have to use cooked chicken either, but this a great way to use up leftovers and simplify the cooking process. You can also leave the prawns out and double-up on the chicken, which can easily be substituted for pork.

Are you getting the general vibe here? Paella is one of the easiest-going, most cheerful ways to feed a crowd and also makes a great rustled-up romantic supper-a-deux, yielding big results in terms of both flavour and picturesque impact for very little effort. Olé!

Ingredients (to serve 4)

140g cooking chorizo, roughly chopped (optional)
2 large onions, roughly chopped
2 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 green or red pepper, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 level tbsp smoked paprika
300g paella rice
900ml hot chicken stock
300g cold roast chicken, shredded or roughly chopped
200g frozen peas
225g raw king prawns (fresh or frozen)
Lemon wedges/spritz of lemon juice (optional), flaky sea salt, a generous drizzle of olive oil and a handful of fresh rosemary sprigs, to serve


If you're using chorizo, heat around 2 tbsp olive oil in a paella pan (or the biggest frying pan you've got) and sauté until the smoky oils are released and the chorizo is starting to caramelise. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. If not, start the recipe from the next step.

Sauté the onions and pepper for around 5 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute before introducing the chorizo back to the pan, along with the tomatoes and the smoked paprika. Stir and sauté for around one minute.

Add the rice, stirring well to mix everything in the pan together. Add the saffron-infused chicken stock, bring to the boil and simmer on a gentle heat for around 20 minutes until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid.

Stir the chicken, prawns and frozen peas into the rice, chorizo and vegetable mixture and cook for a further 5-10 minutes until the chicken has reheated all the way through, the prawns have turned pink and a soft crust has formed around the edges of the pan.

Serve in warmed bowls.


Where to eat?

In search of a mid-week dining out treat? Here are four ideas for simple, easy, and delicious options.

The Oven

You'll find perfect wood-fired pizzas in this Saw Close pizzeria, served pronto either pavement café style or in the spacious indoor contemporary trattoria.

Bouvardia Restaurant

This brand new restaurant at Bathen House, Bathwick Hill will give you an elegant taste of midweek luxury at reassuringly wallet-friendly prices.

Popinjays at The Bird

The all-encompassing menu, served on the terrace in this popular Pulteney Street venue, has extended the Eat Out To Help Out deal (50% off food and soft drinks to a max of £10pp every Mon–Weds) to the end of September.

The Peking Restaurant

Head to Kingsmead Square for upmarket, affordable incarnations of Cantonese, Szechuan and Peking classics in subtly sophisticated surroundings.

The Firehouse re-opens

Bath diners will be delighted to learn that one of the city’s favourite restaurants, The Firehouse Rotisserie is set to re-open its doors on 10 September. We have certainly missed their delicious offerings of free range rotisserie chicken, stone-baked pizzas, dry-aged steaks, burgers, seafood and salads… Not to mention that excellent wine list. 

For the time being the Firehouse will be open for Thursday and Friday evening sittings, Saturday lunch and evening, and Sunday lunches. For bookings and full details see their website



Artist Nick Cudworth’s latest work – shown on our front cover this issue – has certainly been a labour of love. Here, Nick shares here his artistic inspiration and recounts the crucial aspects of the creative process that brought it to life.

"The initial idea for this major work, Reproduction, came from a visual flash as I passed by Meticulous Ink – the fine stationery and letterpress print shop – in Walcot Street early one evening in 2011. The proprietor Athena was leaning studiously over the old Heidelberg printing press and the light was concentrated in a downward beam creating this tableau. I retained this visual idea, which gradually gestated into forming the composition for this large oil painting." Nick says
    "I began by photographing Athena in the position that I remembered and taking detailed pictures of the working innards of the press. This painting is about contrasts; the light flowing gently over the head of the girl, recalling the breathless quiet of a Georges de la Tour or a Renaissance Madonna. It represents the perfect equation of someone young (and female) operating old and industrial heavy machinery (male) to make something new – a reproduction of herself. The softness of the female figure is placed against the heavy steel and brass in the foreground with its jagged highlights, which puts me in mind of Norman Rockwell’s Rose the Riveter and the warm paintings of Laura Knight.
    "I have spent over three years (on and off) making this work, as the accuracy of the Heidelberg is important in fully realising the initial idea. Once all the under-painting had been completed (detailed to the very edge of the canvas), the next day’s work involved glazing with a large brush, swiftly working a blue black into the outer edges to concentrate the eye into the centre.
   "The final glaze provides the achievement of the original idea – that first glance through the window. The very first idea is always the best one and I can often spend months chasing, and sometimes losing, it."

Nick Cudworth Gallery, 5 London Street, Bath; nickcudworthgallery
Meticulous Ink, 134 Walcot Street, Bath;

Click Here to Read September's edition


Luke Jackson

Singer-songwriter Luke Jackson will be gracing the stage at Chapel Arts Centre on 17 September. Nominated for the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Best Emerging Talent in 2013, the 26-year-old is not one to miss this month. Doors open at 7.30pm; tickets cost £14 in advance.

Rock Island Lines

On 26 September, Chapel Arts Centre is set to take audiences back to the birth of British rock'n'roll. The Foxes will explore the music from the late '50s and early ’60s that inspired droves of young Brits to teach themselves guitar. Doors open at 7.30pm; tickets cost £15 in advance.

Theatre Royal Bath – Live stream to your home

RAMBERT – Draw from Within

The Theatre Royal Bath is joining with RAMBERT and theatres around the world to livestream a brand new work, Draw From Within, to audiences at home. Rambert’s full company of dancers will perform their first real-time, live-stream performance with leading choreographer and film-maker, Wim Vandekeybus on 24 September at 12pm and 25 September at 8pm. Tickets can be purchased via the Theatre Royal Bath website, priced at £10.


The new 2020 collection by Rolex

As part of the new 2020 collection of its beautifully redesigned, classic watches, Rolex has a new generation of its Oyster Perpetual watches. Now it has brought a new model to the range, the Oyster Perpetual 41, as well as versions of the Oyster Perpetual 36 with a range of  dials in vivid colours. Mallory Jewellers – Bath’s official Rolex retailer – has many of the new models available to view. For further details see the Mallory website.


Everything you need to know...

According to a number of news sources, the Government have plans to make green parking spaces more attractive to help promote the uptake of electric vehicles and hasten the ban on sales of new internal combustion engine vehicles.

Bath, having introduced reduced parking permits for zero emission vehicles, is ready to continue its development towards being a more eco-friendly city. In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, Britain, too, is poised to profit from a much-needed green economic boom.

This month, we asked Bath-based electrician Gavin Hyde of Sulis Electrical – who specialises in installing electric vehicle charge points – to tell us everything we need to know about electric cars and the current fastest growing sector. It's just a three-minute read on our website.

Read the full and informative Q&A here


Connecting our communities...

TrueSpeed delivers future-proof connectivity to some of the South West’s hardest to reach areas, and is a full-fibre broadband and infrastructure company with a difference.
Across the region, TrueSpeed have built an entirely new network (going where other broadband service providers refuse to go) in order to provide residents and businesses with a solution to all their online needs.

Read more about Truespeed here


Perfectly imperfect ceramic mugs 

New from Loaf is the Muggins range of ceramic mugs. Wonky in all the right places and with nine colours to choose from, they'll add a touch of arty class to your kitchen, or make the perfect university send-off gift for a loved one. Arrives in-the Loaf stores and at from 17 September. 


The year of the kneeling stool

As many of us relocate from our ergonomic office chairs to our backless kitchen benches, back pain has become part of our daily routines. Switch it up with TR Hayes’s adjustable kneeling stool, the practical – and stylish – solution to those long working days at home.

Kaye Adjustable Kneeling Stool; £125;


by Philip Pettermerides, Edgar Buildings Dental and Implant Clinic

The aftermath of Covid continues: social distancing, masks when shopping, cancelled holidays and an unsure future. Dentists and their patients have also been affected.

From the middle of March, we were unable to see patients face to face. We did our best to give advice on the telephone for those with broken teeth or in pain. We could only prescribe antibiotics and pain killers when required and advise on travel kits to temporarily repair fractured teeth. For those in severe pain the NHS eventually opened Emergency Dental Hubs.

In time we were able to reopen, but not all practices could acquire the enhanced PPE needed to treat patients safely. Portman Dental, however, had gone to great lengths to provide us with the correct PPE and we prepared our own standard operating procedures. These have been altered over time as new research has indicated that some procedures could be relaxed and others became more stringent.

Our main concern in post-Covid dentistry is the creation of aerosols when we use the high-speed drill and when the air and water syringe is used. The Covid virus is thought to exist in aerosols, so the dental team need enhanced protection and to remove the aerosol that may have been used in the surgery before the next patient. This means wearing surgical gowns and a very close-fitting mask that prevents inhalation of the aerosol.

These masks are extremely uncomfortable and often leave the wearer with red marks on their face and even abrasions. I often think it’s more uncomfortable for the team than for our patients!

We have had a backlog of patients, which has been challenging because we have to leave 60 minutes after an aerosol-generating procedure with a further 30-minute clean down for each surgery after every patient. We are awaiting clearance to use new air purifiers which may help to reduce this time, but it may be a while before we return to our usual regime.

Fortunately, we are now able to offer all the treatments that we were offering pre Covid-19; it might just take us a little longer to see you.

Edgar Buildings Dental and Implant Clinic:

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