A specially curated guide to help you enjoy the next 48 hours (or more) in Bath
GLORIOUSLY EXHILARATING |THEATRE ROYAL BATH
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
Words by Melissa Blease
Restrictions are lifting, holidays are on the near horizon and happy days are (almost) here again; if we’re going to have any kind of coming out party at all, three drag queens in a battered camper van are the perfect hosts.
When writer/director Stephan Elliott’s uniquely offbeat Australian road movie The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert shimmied into the cultural consciousness in 1994 it became an unexpected worldwide hit, lauded and applauded for bringing an intelligently positive portrayal of LGBT themes to a mainstream audience and swiftly earning global cult classic status. Twelve years later, the stage musical adaptation premiered at Sydney’s Lyric Theatre; since then, Priscilla has dragged Bernadette,Tick/Mitzi, Adam/Felicia and all the tears, tantrums and tiaras their battered suitcases can hold to theatres around the world multiple times… and on this outing, they’re in the hands of a very competent tour guide.
As always, our current issue has a collection of great reading by our team of wonderful writers as well as beautifully presented advertising by Bath's best businesses. We hope you'll enjoy this month's magazine.
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.
If you've been enjoying the Tokyo Olympics and inspired to go Japanese, then the new Robun restaurant on George Street will certainly satisfy.
Robun is a tribute to Japanese author Kanagaki Robun and his 1872 book Seiyō ryōritsū, which introduced Western barbecue to Japan.
With a modern-day interpretation of 'Yakiniku' Robun is set to delight Bath's dining scene with a beautifully crafted menu of sharing plates featuring a selection of fresh sushi, gyoza, skewers as well as delicious Robata grilled meats, seafood and vegetables, fused with elements from across Asia.
On the ground floor, the restaurant has been cleverly transformed into a smart and vibrant dining space with Japanese poster art and manga murals, and an open kitchen allows diners not only to see the chef and team creating beautiful plates but to whet the appetite with the sensory sounds and aromas of sizzling food.
The bar area is great for pre-dinner drinks with inspired an inspired choice of cocktails, wines and as well as some very impressive Japanese whiskys.
Robun is elegant, wonderfully different and a fashionable addition the city's restaurant line-up [as well as our Delicious Guide].
The Ivy Bath Brasserie celebrates the summer with a refreshing new cocktail menu in partnership with Ramsbury Single Estate Spirits, alongside an eye-catching installation complete with bees and sprawling foliage for guests and passers-by to enjoy.
Available now, cocktails include the showstopping Queen Bee's Delight (£9.75), an eclectic blend of Ramsbury Single Estate Gin, peach puree, lemon juice, honey syrup and fresh thyme, as well as a refreshing summer tipple, the Ramsbury Apricot Fizz (£9.75), complete with Ramsbury Single Estate Vodka, Apricot Briottet, topped with apricot and grape soda.
Other delicious creations include the Mr Blue Sky (£9.50), a creative blend of Ramsbury Single Estate Gin, Blue Curacao, Benedictine, lemon juice, sugar and a dash of orange bitters, and the Bumblebee Garden (£10.75), a blend of Ramsbury Single Estate Vodka, lemon juice, hibiscus syrup, cranberry bitters, cucumber and raspberries.
Freckles and Boo's filled-to-the-brim hamper of local treats
Freckles and Boo, the family-run Somerset farm shop with a focus on artisan-made treats, has added a new string to its bow: gourmet hampers that take you on a foodie adventure that supports local independent producers.
Available to buy on the website individually or as a collection in one of the wonderfully curated hampers, the local produce is rich in taste and low in miles.
There is no better gift to receive than a filled-to-the-brim hamper of thoughtfully selected local treats. Whatever the occasion, their hampers are designed to deliver a smile.
Available to buy individually, for corporate giving or curate your own, the Freckles & Boo hamper collection is a treasure trove of taste extravagance.
The Decanter World Wine Awards 2021 -
and the medals go to…
Here are some of the star performers at the Decanter awards 2021. Wines that have been specially accredited as best in class. If you haven't tried an award winner before then you have been missing out on some seriously great tastes. Surprisingly good prices too.
Argent Rose Brut Nature Organic - Gramona A subtle and complex sparkling wine, made from pure Pinot Noir. Very pale pink in appearance, this could easily be top notch rosé Champagne, absolutely delicious and a well-integrated mousse of super-fine bubbles. £55
Zweigelt Vom Haus - Pfaffl Deep, vibrant colour, soft and light-bodied with delicious crunchy fruit, crisp acidity and just a tiny nip of tannin. Reminiscent of a Barbera d'Alba - yumwohl! Weingut Pfaffl was awarded Wine Enthusiast European Winery of the Year in 2016 and now a Silver at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2021. £14.95
Sutherland Chardonnay - Thelema Mountain Vineyards Masterfully understated and nuanced on the nose, with citrus and greengage, sesame oil, flint and a suggestion of oak. Fresh and zesty in the mouth, with a richness that gradually builds on the palate. This is great to drink now, and it will gain further roundness and complexity over the next 3-5 years. Fantastic!£14.40
Côtes du Rhône 'Élément Terra’- Maison Sinnae What! A French red award winning medallist for under a tenner? This bright and elegant red from the southern Rhône, offering a perfume of herb- and pepper-tinged cherries and a mouthful of strawberry fruit. Very easy-drinking, with soft tannins. £9.95
Côtes de Provence 'Symphonie’- Château Sainte Marguerite This stunner from Château Sainte Marguerite is one of the ultimate expressions of this famous region's rosé wines. Finesse, elegance and aromatic pleasure and the most delicate taste on the palate. Comes in a rather stylish shaped bottle to boot... This could easily be the best rosé in the world. £25
Pinot Grigio DOC - Colterenzio Forget the mass market Southern Italian Pinot Grigio, this cooler Alto Adige wine is what proper Pinot Grigio should taste like. Sourced from the foothills of the Dolomites, it is full bodied with a lightly floral bouquet, notes of lime, melon and pineapple with a rich, fabulous finish. Superb! £14.95
Explore these and a many more award-winning wines on sale at The Great Wine Company.
Mild, fresh, milky Paneer cheese is an oft-spotted star of many Indian dishes such as the popular Saag Paneer side dish and the centre-stage superstar that is Paneer Tikka. As a stand-alone ingredient, it's pretty bland; you wouldn't, for example, want to eat it in a sandwich. But once cooked and teamed with plenty of spices or a rich, thick sauce, Paneer takes on a different personality altogether, absorbing flavours without sacrificing its characteristically soft bite.
This speedy little Paneer dish – perfect as a light starter, a satisfying side or just a with-drinks nibble (if opting for the latter, serve with cocktail sticks as it's quite sticky) – takes just 15 minutes to rustle up and puts caramelised Paneer cubes in the spotlight, glazed with a moreish combination of earthy cumin, sweet honey and a satisfying hit of chilli, finished off with a sprinkle of lively fresh mint and crisp red onion.
Ingredients (serves 2 as a starter, 4 as a side dish, or 6 as a with-drinks nibble)
1 x 250g pack Paneer, cut into 2cm cubes
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp medium curry powder
1 level tsp chilli flakes
2 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp malt vinegar
1 tbsp runny honey
1 generous handful chopped fresh mint
1 red onion, finely diced
½ red or green chilli, seeded and sliced
Toss the Paneer cubes (or strips) with the cumin, curry powder, chilli flakes and cornflour.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the Paneer and shallow fry, turning frequently, until golden on all sides.
Add the vinegar and honey to the pan and swirl the mixture around until the Paneer is thoroughly coated and beginning to turn sticky.
Tumble the Paneer and pan juices onto a warm serving plate and scatter with the fresh mint, red onion and chilli.
DELICIOUS GUIDE 2021 |OUR FAVOURITE RESTAURANTS
Boho Marché offers a touch of eclectic dining in Bath’s restaurant scene, celebrating the culinary cultures along the hippy trail to Marrakech – followed by rock stars, filmmakers, fashion designers, artists and writers in the Sixties and Seventies. It’s wildly Bohemian, playfully creative, quirky, indulgent – a feast for all the senses. The city’s hottest venue offers a menu that celebrates modern, playful Mediterranean and Moroccan dishes that are bursting with colour and flavours. With an interior that feels like a never-ending summer, Boho Marché fuses Parisian café culture with lush tropical greenery, Andalusian floral walkways and punctuated with cues from the infinitely stylish era of the 1970s in Marrakech.
Click through to browse our full new look Delicious Guide below!
• SHOPPING •
BEAUTY MUST-HAVES | EVERYDAY SKINCARE ESSENTIALS
The Body Shop: clean conscience reusable make up remover pads
Say NO to disposable cotton pads with seven days of guilt free cleansing. Feeling wasteful for going through countless cotton pads every week? Not anymore! Replace your disposable cotton pads with The Body Shop's super gentle and effective reusable make-up remover pads. Use with their Camomile Make Up Cleansing Oil and Sumptuous Cleansing Butter to remove daily grime, face and eye make-up. The pads are machine washable and come with their own mini laundry bag, so you can use them again and again to reduce waste. Pack of seven; £10.00
Good wine deserves to be cared for and a decanter is the best way to avoid sediment and allow the wine to breathe.
This Georg Jensen carafe not only looks beautiful, with its natural organic shape, but it is designed specifically with a wine connoisseur’s needs in mind.
The shape of the decanter helps aeration highlighting the wine’s bouquet and the deep dimple in the base allows easier serving. Good looking and practical, this is the perfect gift for a wine lover.
Swedish born designer Thomas Sandell has a multi-disciplinary approach to his work, bringing together product design, interiors and even advertising. His work is always elegant but involves painstaking research into the practicalities and requirements of each piece.
The decanter is made from glass with a stopper in polished stainless steel and silicone. £125
Available from Mallory, 1–5 Bridge Street, Bath BA2 4AP mallory-jewellers.
John, a 35-year-old window cleaner, devotes his life to raising his four-year-old son Michael, as the child’s mother left them immediately after his birth. Their life is a simple one, made up of universal daily rituals, a life of complete dedication, and innocent love that reveals the strength of their relationship. But John only has a few months to live. Since he has no family to turn to, he will spend the days left to him looking for a new and perfect one to adopt Michael, trying to protect his child from the terrible reality.
Directed byUberto Pasoliniand starring James Norton.
New BBC documentary shows the daredevil grit and determination of one of Britain's top high wire walkers.
The observational BBC documentary series Our Lives features Chris Bullzini from Evercreech in Somerset who is one of Britain's top high wire artists.
This gripping film reveals why he is prepared to risk his life to perform, and just what it takes to walk the wire with no safety net.
After running away and joining the circus as a teenager, Chris turned his love of street performance into a hugely successful career resulting in a high demand for him, right across the world. Since the summer of 2019, BBC cameras have followed Chris as he faces what could be his greatest ever challenge.
The documentary takes viewers up on the wire as he stages an astounding 230 metre length tightrope walk, 20 metres high over Norwich city centre. But as the pandemic hits his future as a high wire performer hangs in the balance, as all his acts are cancelled. With a daughter to raise, bills to pay and his wire walking career at stake, Chris is determined to keep pushing the limits and find new ways to perform, as cameras follow his journey right through to 2021.
With his life and livelihood literally up in the air, walking the tight rope high above towns and cities with no safety net or harness makes him feel alive, but with no crowds allowed to see him – could this be a challenge too far?
This documentary reveals what it takes to be a high wire walker, risking life and limb for the ultimate performance art.
Our Lives: Life On The High Wire directed by Dave Lowder and produced by Eye Film and TV for BBC One airs on Wednesday 11th August at 7.30pm.
ON THE BOOKSHELF |TRACING THE EDGES OF REALITY
Review by Saskia Hayward
When We Cease To Understand the World by Benjamín Labatut
Shortlisted for the 2021 International Booker, When We Cease To Understand the World is a novelised retelling of real historical events by the Chilean author Benjamín Labatut.
It takes place in the form of a series of chapters, akin to short stories, each focusing on an extraordinary individual – a scientific and mathematical visionary of the 20th century. By superimposing – and perhaps occasionally embellishing – a narrative on to history, Labatut illuminates the web of associations between historical context and the seismic discoveries that have transformed our notion of the real. We learn of Karl Schwarzschild, writing letters to Einstein from the trenches of WW1, his own blood blurring the ink of his equations. There Schwarzschild unearthed the terrifying concept of a black hole – “the heart of the heart" – that would haunt him for the rest of his life.
At parts it felt reminiscent of Adam Roberts’ The Thing Itself and David Eagleman’s Sum in its blending of the real and the poetic and its philosophical scope. In weaving stories as he does, Labatut constructs a remarkable tableau of past and present, of humanity's drive to trace the edges of reality.
“It was mathematics – not nuclear weapons, computers, biological warfare or our climate Armageddon – which was changing our world to the point where, in a couple of decades at most, we would simply not be able to grasp what being human really meant.”
BRICK is a landmark UK hip-hop magazine founded in 2015 by Hayley Louisa Brown as ‘an intelligent union between fashion and music’. It’s a seemingly simple blend many magazines have strived for, yet few have managed it as successfully as BRICK. That said, we’ve only seen ten issues so far and the last was a digital version because of the pandemic, so #10 is something special and celebrated with 10 cover stars: Lil Durk, Slowthai, Flo Milli, Lil Baby, Chika, Grandmaster Flash, Berwyn, Ray BLK, Coi Leray and Ian Isiah. It’s packed with in-depth features, exclusive articles and wrapped inside a protective sleeve to make it last forever. £15
The Trowbridge Craft Beer and Cider Festival will be held at Innox Mills from 27 – 30 August, featuring up to 60 regional beers and ciders, plus street food and live music.
DeCanter Mobile bar will be providing a range of different alcoholic drinks including gins and wines, plus a selection of soft drinks to make sure no one is left thirsty.
Set against the backdrop of the historic buildings at Innox Mills, the festival will be hosted within the courtyard, which is set to become the Innox Quarter once development has been completed.
A strictly over-18s event, there will be eight sessions across four days over the bank holiday weekend. The earlier sessions will run each day from 11.30am – 4pm, with the later sessions running from 6pm – 10.30pm. Tickets cost £12.50, including two beer tokens.
Bath along with ten other historic spa towns has secured much-coveted UNESCO World Heritage status as part of the ‘Great Spa Towns of Europe’ nomination.
A UNESCO committee, currently being held in China has inscribed the ‘Great Spas of Europe’ on to the World Heritage list. It means that the City of Bath will have an exceptional second inscription, overlaying the first.
The Great Spa Towns of Europe project focuses on historic spa towns based around mineral springs, which formed fashionable resorts of health, leisure and recreational ‘diversions’ such as gambling and dancing from the 18th to the early 20th centuries.
The towns were built in harmony with their natural therapeutic landscape settings to create unique urban forms. They were the pioneers of modern tourism and although often small in size, they attracted guests who might otherwise only gather in great metropolises and capital cities. Only a few spas rose to great prominence and of those only a few remain in a good state of conservation.
The spas included in the inscription are Bath, Baden bei Wien (Austria), Spa (Belgium), Vichy (France), Baden-Baden, Bad Ems and Bad Kissingen (Germany), Montecatini Terme (Italy), and Karlovy Vary, Mariánské Lázně and Františkovy Lázně (Czech Republic). This is a transnational nomination, meaning that the 11 towns are seen as a single World Heritage Site.
Bath is the only one of the 11 towns to already have World Heritage Status.
LOOKING BACK |BOATING, GOLF AND GALLOPING
By Andrew Swift
Early 20th century sporting venues
With sport very much in our minds at present, this week’s archive image isn’t a photograph but a panel of vignettes entitled ‘sports and pastimes’. It appeared in an early 20th-century guidebook to Bath, and gives a fascinating insight into what were regarded as the city’s most popular sporting venues back then.
Three of the vignettes are given over to golf, depicting the Bath Golf Links and the Lansdown Golf Links – both still going strong today – as well as the Bladud Golf Links, which disappeared over 90 years ago. They opened at Stirtingale Farm, south west of Bloomfield Crescent in 1898 and, although prestigious enough to feature alongside the city’s two other golf courses, closed in 1930. Much of the site is now covered by the houses of Bloomfield Drive and Corston View.
As well as vignettes featuring boating (at Saltford) and the racecourse, prominence is given to ‘galloping on the Lansdown Road’ (with Beckford’s Tower in the background) – something that would have been a good deal more practical when cars were still a rarity.
Neither rugby nor football gets a look in, although the recreation ground does appear in the guise of the County Ground, with a batsman striding out from the pavilion. The pavilion, which is still there today, was built in 1895, and two years later the first Somerset County Cricket Festival was held on the Rec. For years this was one of the most eagerly awaited events of the Bath season, but the last time the county cricket club played on the Rec was ten years ago.
This is a fabulous four bedroom, semi-detatched property, built in 2007 and has the most wonderful far-reaching views across the city. Situated on an elevated position on Englishcombe Lane and close to many great schools.
In brief, the accommodation features a bright, large reception room to the front of the property, with double doors that lead to a spacious kitchen and dining area. The kitchen is extremely well presented with bespoke, hand-painted fitted units, polished granite work surfaces and sandstone flooring ( with underfloor heating) that flows from the entrance hall. The dining area benefits from double doors that lead straight into a dining terrace in the garden.
The first floor has three bedrooms and a family shower room. The main bedroom has double doors that open on to a balcony to enjoy the spectacular panoramic views, it also benefits from an ensuite shower room.
On the second floor is the fourth bedroom that also has its own shower room. Outside the rear garden has a dining area with feature seating area surrounded by raised beds. At the top of the upper garden sits a stone outbuilding currently being used as utility room. To the front of the house is a pretty front garden and there is unrestricted on-street parking, as well as private parking spaces.
This is a beautifully presented property and makes a perfect family home.
Just on the market and priced at £775,000, further information and particulars can be found at Hamptons Bath office at 32 Gay Street, Bath.