A specially curated guide to help you enjoy the next 48 hours (or more) in Bristol
SPREAD THE LOVE |VALENTINE'S DAY
Send your love across the airways
Registration for Beacons of Love - an opportunity to tune into 'Love Under Lockdown' this Valentine's Day – is now open. Created by Bristol-based artists Gemma Paintin and James Stenhouse, aka Action Hero, the project invites 150 people to experience and share their love across the airways via a digital audio artwork with a 24-hour stream of love songs that can be transmitted to GPS co-ordinates anywhere in the UK.
The songs have been collected as part of two-year international audio project Oh Europa, developed out of Watershed's Pervasive Media Studio, which saw them travel across Europe in a motorhome converted into a recording studio, asking people they met along the way to sing in their own language. The result is a rich, eclectic archive of over 1000 love songs sung in 46 different languages by people aged between up to 100, bringing sentiments of passion, poignancy, union and heartbreak.
The first 150 people to register for Beacons of Love on the Action Hero website will be invited to enter the GPS location of where they would like their temporary digital 'beacon' to be sited on 14 February. On Valentine's Day, the beacon will be accessible for 24 hours via the free Oh Europa app, which is available for both IoS and Android. Each will also receive a digital version of the Oh Europa book Postcards from the Edge and invited to share a photo of their personal beacon on social media.
Moist but crumbly, satisfying but satisfyingly light and super easy to make, Cornbread is your flexible friend – super with soups, stews and casseroles, brilliant with brunch and charming with cheese.
Buttermilk is usually readily available in supermarkets but if you can't get your hands on it 150ml whole milk mixed with 3 tbsp soured cream is a good substitute. And if you can't find fine cornmeal, many folk actually prefer to use fine polenta instead as it offers a much lighter end result.
Fancy ringing the changes? Add chopped spring onions, chopped chives or dried herbs of your choice to the dry ingredients, turn up the heat with a sprinkling of dried chilli flakes or, for a cheese cornbread, add 75-100g finely grated Cheddar cheese to the mix just before baking.
Ingredients 175g plain flour 175g fine cornmeal or fine polenta 1 tsp salt 1 tbsp baking powder 2 tsp caster sugar 50g butter, melted 200ml buttermilk (or 150ml whole milk mixed with 3tbsp soured cream) 3 eggs, beaten 1 tbsp olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 5.
2. Sift the flour into a large bowl, add the cornmeal/polenta, salt, baking powder and sugar and, using a fork, stir well.
3. Whisk the eggs, buttermilk (or milk and soured cream), melted butter and olive oil together in a separate bowl or large jug. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients, whisking as you go to create a smooth batter.
4. Pour the batter into a greased/lined suitably sized square cake tin or a 2lb loaf tin. Bake for 25–30 mins until golden and just beginning to crisp on top, by which time a skewer inserted into the cornbread should come out clean.
5. Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning the loaf out onto a cooling rack, and serve warm or cold. Leftovers are delicious toasted or pan fried in a little hot olive oil the next day and are particularly good with scrambled eggs for brunch, sprinkled with tabasco sauce to taste.
WEEKEND WINE |SUPPORT BUBBLES
Five romantic fizzes
Prosecco Rosé Vintage Brut Argeo. 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. Italy £13.95.
Classic Reserve Brut. Hattingley Valley Winner of the gold medal at the Sommelier Wine Awards 2019. Pale gold in colour with an abundance of fine bubbles, the wine has baked apple, creamy nougat and brioche on the nose, supported by hints of toast and fresh red fruit. With notes of soft lemon sherbet on the palate, it has beautiful roundness of texture and a lovely finish. UK £33.
Vintage Brut Gran Reserva Cava. Pere Ventura This is a signature cava, which unites the body and structure of the XarelÂ·lo with the floral and fruity qualities of the Chardonnay. The result is a fine, harmonious and subtle cava, whose expressive aromas, creamy touch, and exquisite character are seductive. Spain £33.
Champagne Grand Brut. Perrier-Jouët One of the most beautiful labels in Champagne - The palate is impetuous yet full, with a cheerful vitality due to its persistent stream of sprightly bubbles. There are rich flavours of brioche, butter and a long dry finish. France £42.50.
Eins Zwei Zero Sparkling Riesling (Alcohol Free). JJ Leitz The Leitz EINS-ZWEI-ZERO Sparkling offers an original character that is clean and fresh with notes of lime and citrus, surprisingly rhubarb and a little hint of red apples on an underlying mineral base. The finish is dry and relatively long. Germany. £10.95.
The Netflix period drama Bridgerton, much of which was filmed in Bath, has taken us by storm in lockdown, allowing us to location spot from scene to scene. The series – based on the books of Julia Quinn, produced by Shonda Rhimes and written by Chris Van Dusen – has given us Georgian romance and intrigue in abundance, with more sexually explicit content than is traditional in the genre. It also brings diversity with a number of Black actors cast in leading roles, which feels refreshingly modern as well as true to the era, which was ethnically diverse, a fact not represented in Austen's books and most often overlooked by Georgian dramas.
Another element that has given fresh energy to Bridgerton is the choice of popular contemporary music over pieces in the style of the period, with reworked instrumental versions of songs by award-winning artists such as Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, Maroon 5 and Billie Eilish. The words are absent, but as contemporary anthems the melodies and their lyrics are firmly embedded in the memory of the audience, and they resonate effectively with the universal themes of love and marriage played out in the drama.
Vitamin String Quartet, an ensemble formed in the late 90s who specialise in classical covers, have provided the bulk of the classical versions of these songs, and amazingly they have reported a 350% increase in the number of people streaming their work since the show was released.
Another mesmeric song, The End, by relatively unknown singer JPOLND – played in its original form during a controversial sex scene with Daphne and Simon in episode five – has proved a massive hit on Spotify, despite not being included on Netflix's official Bridgerton playlist.
Bridgerton was conceived as a period drama with a difference, one that would break down barriers and register with a modern audience. This has been firmly endorsed with its use of modern music, both original and reinvented.
The main clip above shows the Vitamin String Quartet's cover of Bille Eilish's 2019 Grammy winner Bad Guy, played in episode 3. The 'bad guy' is Simon as he pretends to get jealous about other men asking Daphne to dance.
What you see above may well be a game-changer in the world of trainers.
This week, Nike announced the release of its first-ever hands-free shoe, the GO FlyEase. Available in three colourways, the style is an advancement of the brand’s FlyEase series, which was originally designed to improve the lives of athletes with disabilities, using zippers and straps rather than laces.
The latest launch, however, takes that design a step further, with technology that allows wearers to step into their shoes without a single adjustment or closure point.
Featuring a bistable hinge in the shoe’s midsole, the Nike GO FlyEase can transition from the open position to the closed position simply by stepping in and down on the footbed. To open the shoe back up, step on the heel’s ledge with the opposite foot and the hinge releases to allow the foot to slide out.
Sarah Reinertsen, the first woman to finish the Ironman World Championships on a prosthetic leg and a world-record holder for the Ironman triathlon, is the manager of FlyEase Innovation at Nike and led the project's design. In interviews this week, Reinertsen said that Nike wanted to make a shoe that made it "easier for everybody".
What do you think of the latest invention? 👟
The Nike GO FlyEase is available initially via invite for select Nike Members on 15 February, with broader consumer availability planned for later this year.
PREPARE FOUR |YOU'VE GOT KALE
Preheat the oven to 140ºC/gas mark 1 and line two baking trays with greaseproof paper. Shred or tear 100g clean, dry kale (leaves only) into small strips, tip into a large bowl and drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil and 2 tsp smoked paprika. Toss with your hands until the kale is thoroughly coated in oil and paprika then spread it in even layers between the two baking trays, making sure that none of the leaves overlap. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 10 minutes, turning occasionally and keeping a close eye on proceedings as the kale can burn easily. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before serving.
Garlic and chilli kale
Serves 3–4 as a side dish; vegan
Roughly chop approx. 400g kale (leaves only), rinse well and shake dry. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan and gently sauté 1 crushed garlic clove, a sprinkle of dried red chilli flakes and the finely grated zest of 1 lemon for 2-3 minutes. Add the kale and continue to sauté over a medium heat until the leaves have just wilted (about 5 minutes.) Season well, add lemon juice to taste and serve warm as a side dish to chicken, fish or steak, or toss with hot noodles and serve topped with roasted tofu and a drizzle of sesame oil.
Put 90g toasted pine nuts, 90g Parmesan cheese (or vegetarian/vegan alternative), 3 cloves of garlic, 150ml olive oil (a mixture of extra virgin and regular olive oil works well), 85g kale (leaves only, washed and dried) and the juice of 1 lemon juice into the bowl of a food processor and whizz to form a textured paste. Season to taste and stir through hot pasta topped with more Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil, dollop on top of a hot jacket potato, or serve as a dip with the kale crisps. The pesto will keep in the fridge in a sealed container (cover the surface with a little more olive oil) for up to a week.
Chickpea and coconut kale
Serves 2; vegetarian/vegan
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan or wok and sauté 1 thinly-sliced shallot for around 3 minutes before adding 4 crushed garlic cloves and 2 tbsp minced lemongrass (readily available in supermarkets) and gently frying for a further 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Add 350g clean, dry, shredded kale leaves, 1 tbsp dark soy sauce, 1 tbsp fish sauce (omit if vegetarian and add a little more dark soy sauce instead), 1 x 400ml can coconut milk (reduced fat is fine), 1 x 400g chickpeas and 1 tsp caster sugar. Stir, bring to a gentle boil, cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes until the kale is tender and the sauce has slightly reduced. Serve over hot steamed rice, sprinkled with toasted dessicated coconut.
OBJECTS OF INTEREST |BIRTHSTONE OF THE MONTH
The beauty of amethyst
February’s birthstone is amethyst, a variety of crystalline quartz that is known for its spectacular deep purple colour but can also range from a blend of violet and red to a lighter lilac hue and occasionally a light green. Ancient Greeks believed that the stone protected the wearer from intoxication and enabled them to be level headed when stressed.
Mallory Jewellers have a fine display of designer collections as well as their own bespoke jewellery, all showing off the beauty of amethyst in many faceted forms. Here are four fabulous rings that caught our eye.
From left, clockwise. Chopard ‘Imperiale’ 18ct white gold cushion-cut amethyst ring, on sale at £1,308. (was £2,180). Marco Bicego ‘Jaipur’ 18ct yellow gold amethyst ring, £960.00. Mallory 18ct white gold four claw-set cushion-cut amethyst and diamond halo cluster ring with diamond grain-set shoulders £4,930.00. Pomellato Nudo Maxi 18ct rose and white gold amethyst ring, £2,300.
The team behind Breaking Bread have created a new ready-meal service - with dishes created by some of the city’s top restaurateurs - with a focus on helping the city’s most vulnerable.
Breaking Bread At Home has been created by The Pony & Trap, Bianchis and Team Love. Each meal is a portion for two and every meal bought funds a meal for a Bristolian facing food vulnerability.
Josh Eggleton and Ben Harvey have devised a menu of warming winter dishes of Salt and Malt fish pie, Bianchis smoked mozzarella and mushroom lasagne and The Pony & Trap cottage pie – created from fresh seasonal ingredients and prepped and assembled by the restaurant's respective teams, while their restaurants are closed.
First orders will be live from today (5 Feb), closing on the following Wednesday for collection on Friday 12 February, with weekly collections each Friday from Pasta Loco, Salt and Malt (Wapping Wharf), Bianchis and Bristol Beer Factory (Southville).
Breaking Bread itself will return to The Downs in spring 2021. The unique hospitality project was launched in direct response to the Covid crisis and the difficulties it caused for the hospitality industry, providing much needed jobs for both hospitality and events professionals in the city, as well as support for the hospitality industry supply chain.
During lockdown and wishing to abide by the guidelines, we have temporarily suspended our print editions. In view of the increased risks, 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 Bristol Magazine's back issues. Explore and enjoy. It'll help keep you off Netflix.
Professor Christiane Berger-Schaffitzel, professor of biochemistry at the University of Bristol, shares the science behind her groundbreaking Covid-19 discovery, and recalls her surreal lab commute through the deserted city during the peak of the first wave.
In autumn 2020, a ‘druggable pocket’ in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, which could be used to stop the virus from infecting human cells, was discovered by an international team of scientists led by the University of Bristol. Their findings were deemed potentially game-changing in defeating the pandemic, as it was believed that small molecule anti-viral drugs could be developed to target the pocket they discovered, and eliminate Covid-19. The Berger-Schaffitzel lab’s Professor Christiane tells us what it was like.
Fed up with ongoing discomfort or pain? At Lucy Smith Osteopathy, they provide a safe, effective hands-on approach to musculoskeletal pain.
Lucy Smith qualified in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in osteopathy and has a broad knowledge base having treated a variety of people. After graduating she worked at the Royal Ballet School in Covent Garden diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal injuries in young student dancers. This started Lucy’s interest in sports rehabilitation and injury prevention.
Following many years working as an associate in busy multi-disciplinary practices, she founded Lucy Smith Osteopathy at The Practice Rooms in Westbury-on-Trym, with a vision to provide expert osteopathic care in Bristol suitable for the entire family.
Adventure travel company launches Covid-19 testing lab
Secret Compass, a Bristol-based extreme adventure travel and risk management company, has extended its services to offer a Covid-19 testing solution to businesses across the country.
When the pandemic hit, Secret Compass was forced to cancel its international expeditions and risk management work for TV and film productions. The team, accustomed to thriving in adversity and seeking opportunity, worked tirelessly to expand their expertise to offer Covid-19 risk assessment and testing.
Their lab, based in the University of the West of England, uses state-of-the-art LAMP technology, which has undergone extensive validation by Public Health England.
The College of Naturopathic Medicine's Health Coach Online Open Evening
Find out why the CNM online or in-person health coach course is right for you in this free webinar. Learn about the course and have a personal consultation with the course consultant. The evening will offer an insight into the unique experience that the health coach course offers you, and answer any questions you may have about studying with CNM.
Rising Arts Agency | Wellbeing Workshops for Young People and Adults
12 February to 30 May 2021
Responding to Arnolfini's current exhibitions, A Picture of Health and Jo Spence: From Fairy Tales to Phototherapy, four young creatives from Rising Arts Agency will be sharing their creative wellbeing practices to help you through the half term and beyond.
A Map Made By Stitching Art and Acceptance Connecting Past and Present A Love Letter To My Limbs
Please visit Arnolfini's website for more details. Rising Arts Agency is a community of young creatives aged 16 - 30 at all stages of their careers based in and around Bristol. More details of their work at rising.org.uk.
We Are Family | Let's Make Art – Drawing With Sound
Until 30 May 2021, free online event
What colour is the sound of a cat meowing?
What kind of shape is the sound of a flock of pigeons?
How do you draw the sound of running water?
Arnolfini's friends at Let's Make Art have created another fun activity inspired by A Picture of Health. Drawing With Sound explores how you can create pictures from the sounds we hear in and around our home.
This activity encourages all the family to let their imagination run wild!
Four Hundred Souls by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain
In Four Hundred Souls, Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to be an Antirascist, and Keisha N. Blain have orchestrated a remarkable and expansive piece of history writing. Created as a collaboration of leading Black writers and thinkers, each writer was given a five-year period from 1619 to 2019 to explore whatever they felt most fitting. The result is a groundbreaking and redefining act of communal history spanning four centuries and crossing mediums: a constellation of perspectives through historical essays, short stories, polemics and personal vignettes. It begins in 1619 with the arrival of 20 Ndongo people on the shores of the first British colony in mainland America, the year before the Mayflower arrived, and takes us right up until the present, charting centuries of inhuman oppression and injustice alongside magnificent resistance. As a piece of collaborative writing, it refracts a multitude of pasts unlike any other piece of history writing.
Now that many are well and truly settled into the working-from-home life – with some staying put for the foreseeable future – why not spice up your make-shift office and treat yourself to a well-deserved upgrade?
Wayfair's Eneas Ergonomic Task Chair is a double-whammy – it has the practical functionality required for a reliable office chair and acts as a great accent piece for when you want to return your living/kitchen/working/dining/sleeping room back into its intended form.
Situated at the top of Whiteladies Road and within easy reach of an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants this exceptional, Grade-II, three-bedroom, end-of-terrace house forms part of an exclusive gated development which was once St John's Church of England primary school.
One of just six other properties, it retains many of the original Tudor-Gothic features and has bundles of charm throughout. It also has the benefit of overlooking the Durdham Downs and has a south-facing terrace and a garage.
The living space is generous and all rooms luxuriously fitted, in brief the property consists of: beautiful 25'11 x 14'9 sitting / dining room with bi-fold doors leading to the terrace, a separate well-fitted kitchen/breakfast room which also has access to the terrace. There’s a utily room and on the first floor there are three double bedrooms (main bedroom ensuite), and a well-appointed family bathroom. Total floor area: 1465 sq. ft. Guide price £575,000.
The wintry weather, for most of us, can be a challenge, as we yearn for longer days and some warmth to draw one outside to the garden.
Snowdrops start pushing through the soil at this time, but there is another plant which brings the most stunning display, providing much-needed nectar to the hungry bees. It's the Lenten Rose (Helleborus x hybridus) that truly comes into its own. No longer the shy debutante, it flowers from January right through to April, through the worst of the weather.
After many years of hybridising the best of my plants, I have been able to create very unique crosses in a lovely range of colours. With many outward-facing flowers they look very natural in a garden setting. These well-established plants should be bought when they are in flower and planted in good soil enriched with well-rotted compost. They prefer a semi-shaded spot but not deep shade to allow them to produce the many flowers which create so much excitement at this time of year. And once you have one, there is always room for one more!
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