A specially curated guide to help you enjoy the next 48 hours (or more) in Bath
DOORS OPEN |THEBATH FESTIVAL GETS GOING
The Bath Festival opens this week!
The Bath Festival is delighted to be one of the first arts festivals in the country to open its doors from Monday 17 May, for live events following the national lockdown. Its diverse programme of more than 40 music and books events runs until Monday 24 May in some of Bath's most beautiful venues, (all held under social distancing guidelines).
Highlights include an appearance by Richard Osman, whose debut crime novel The Thursday Murder Club has been one of the biggest hits during lockdown. Other big names visiting the south west in person include Telegraph columnist and author (No Such Thing as Normal) Bryony Gordon, comedian and TV presenter Mel Giedroyc, columnist Polly Toynbee and BBC correspondent turned thriller writer Frank Gardner and bestselling author Kate Mosse.
Events are selling out so head to The Bath Festival's website to book in advance: bathfestivals.org.uk
Image: comedian and TV presenter Mel Giedroyc
A GENTLEMAN THIEF RETURNS|FRENCH CRIME DRAMA
Lupin: Part Two
This week, Netflix confirmed that the second series of the highly-acclaimed French crime drama will be released on 11 June.
Fans have been eagerly awaiting part two since the first five-part series was left on a dramatic cliffhanger.
According to the streamer's official synopsis, "Assane's quest for revenge against Hubert Pelligrini has torn his family to pieces. With his back to the wall, he now has to think of a new plan, even if it means putting himself in danger."
As the Great British summer of staycations draws ever-closer, ethical, sustainable online farm shop 44 Foods has the perfect start to your holiday - the Staycation Bundle.
The bundle contains everything you need to rustle up a delicious, hearty breakfast to start your day and can be ordered to be delivered directly to your holiday home - so the essentials will be waiting for you when you arrive.
The Staycation Bundle (£22.50) contains:
- Dry Cured Back Bacon (300g).
- Sliced Everyday Harvest Loaf (800g)
- Cacklebean Mixed Chicken Eggs (6)
- Cotswold Salted Butter (250g)
- Mudwalls British Apple Juice (750ml)
- Wholemilk Yogurt Selection (4 x 150g)
- Fresh Semi Skimmed Milk (1l)
- Strawberry Jam (340g)
- British Piccolo Tomatoes (220g)
- Ready To Eat Avocado (single)
Launched in January 2021, 44 Foods is a collective of farmers and food producers who are passionate about ethically produced, fairly priced, sustainable food. Together, they supply fruit and veg, meat and dairy and larder essentials direct from their farms to your door - offering customers a fairer way to shop, and promising to pay producers and farmers a fair price.
Visit 44foods.com for more information and be tempted by some of the other fabulous food packages available.
OBJECTS OF DESIRE |WHICH ROLEX?
The Air King or the Explorer?
If you are looking to acquire a classic sports Rolex, then both the Explorer and Air King are often considered as very the best options to introduce you to the brand, and although the watches may be hard to differentiate, with similarities such as the black dial, the Oystersteel case and link bracelet, they are unique in their own way.
One of the biggest differences - and one that is not easily seen - is the movement in the Air King is Rolex’s 3131, while the Explorer is powered by the 3132. True to their tradition, the Air King is a pilots watch and must resist magnetic forces as not to interfere with the plane’s instrumentation, while the Explorer’s movement is one that can take all the knocks and shocks that an explorer might endure thanks to its Paraflex shock absorbers.
The iconic black Rolex dial may be similar on both models, as are the hour hands with their Mercedes style star, both models also have arabic numerals at 3, 6, and 9 but subtle variations again separate the two, such as the green second hand and a single lume triangle at the top on the Air King - while on the Explorer all markers and the 3, 6. and 9 numbers are luminous as well. The Air King also counts up the seconds with numerals displayed above the other markers.
Physically the Air King is a little deeper, and the case diameter is 40mm. The Explorer has been made in 36mm - 39mm case sizes - but the 2021 models settle for the preferred 36mm - there’s also a new addition to the Explorer look which is Rolesor edition, mixing Oystersteel and 18k yellow gold in the bracelet and bezel to create a two tone look. Shown below
Live jazz/funk/soul/swing is set to return to Green Park Brasserie every Weds, Thurs, Fri & Sat night from 19 May.
Live music at the Brasserie varies in styles from dynamic duos, to modern trios to a Hot Club style quintet. The Brasserie kitchen will be open from 12-10pm Weds-Sat serving up local produce including Steak, Fish, Chicken, Burgers and weekly specials. Sister business Bath Pizza Co returns on the back terrace from 17 May, 7 days a week.
It’s the transport debate that is dividing Britain – and this programme has plenty of evidence on the pros and cons. Trials of legal, rentable e-scooters have been accelerated because of the pandemic, but are they really the green, clean machines the industry says they are? ITV’s Consumer Editor Chris Choi has new figures revealing the extent of injuries, collisions and anti-social behaviour associated with e-scooters. The family of a 75 year old who died after trying to shift one from the pavement calls for more regulation. But there’s also the positive side, as riders rave about the convenience and environmental advantages. Expert road tests commissioned by Tonight will be of interest to anyone thinking of joining this novel travel trend. Privately-owned e-scooters remain illegal on public roads yet sales are booming. Chris asks if retailers are doing enough to get that message across and whether the Government needs to introduce new regulation to keep our streets safe. These little vehicles are stirring-up some big issues.
As Bath’s publicans prepare to throw open their doors and we are finally allowed to sit inside pubs again, this month’s archive photo looks back at one of the many Bath pubs that long ago called last orders for the last time. The Newbridge Inn on the corner of Brougham Hayes and the Lower Bristol Road opened – as the New Bridge Tavern – around 1840, taking its name from the newly opened Victoria Bridge nearby. It was largely rebuilt in the early 1880s, and is seen here in the 1940s when – like the majority of Bath’s pubs – it was owned by Courage’s Brewery. There was another Courage house, the East Twerton Hotel, five doors away, on the corner of Lorne Road. Both pubs survived until 1971, when the City Engineer decided that the whole block, which also included Hiscott’s fishmonger’s and Gray’s butchers, had to be demolished to improve the junction of Brougham Hayes and Lower Bristol Road. Last orders were called and two pubs which had survived in friendly rivalry for over a century were razed to the ground.
Bath's Holburne Museum has a big celebration weekend coming up.
Not only is it ten years since the Grade 1 listed building reopened – after a major refit which included adding its amazing glass and ceramic extension – but it’s coming out of lockdown on Monday, and throwing open its doors to the public again.
We’ve been unable to holiday abroad for a while now, but the new exhibition filling the top gallery will be able to whisk us all away to Italy, at least in spirit.
Here’s Museum Director, Chris Stephens to tell us more.
And guess who l bumped into outside the gates of the Holburne this week?
Our very own ‘Pete the Street’ – aka Peter Brown, a Bath-based artist, all-weather painter of street scenes and city landscapes and frequent exhibitor at the Victoria Art Gallery – at the other end of Great Pulteney Street. Unlike Canaletto, the sun doesn’t always shine in Pete’s paintings. If it rains or snows he’ll paint that too!
Plant Heritage, a leading horticultural conservation charity, is calling for volunteers in all corners of the UK to help save ten different plant groups at risk of being lost from our gardens.
Anyone with a passion for plants, or whose interest in gardening or caring for houseplants was sparked during 2020’s lockdowns, is being asked to consider looking after a specific plant group as part of Plant Heritage’s annual ‘Missing Genera’ campaign.
Each year the Missing Genera showcases different plant groups that aren’t cared for as part of a ‘National Plant Collection’. If plants aren’t being actively conserved in these collections, they are at risk of disappearing from cultivation. Since the campaign began in 2016, the Missing Genera has resulted in eight new National Plant Collections conserving over 650 species and cultivars, including Alcea (Hollyhocks) and Aeonium, and there are many more in the process of building up their collection.
A locally sourced 8-foot holed stone framing the Bath skyline is now in place at Kensington Meadows in Bath as part of a scheme to enhance the open space.
The installation of the granite monolith comes ahead of work starting this summer to improve the play area with natural play features including a wooden climbing frame and slide, a willow tunnel and an agility trail. There will also be new play mounds with balance beams and junior football goals.
The Kensington Meadows Improvement Scheme is being carried out by Bath & North East Somerset Council following a community consultation held in 2018 about how people wanted to develop the green space.
Wildflower meadows and new tree planting have already been established to create new biodiverse habitats where there was previously only grass.
The £60,000 play improvement project is being funded by the council, which includes a further £10,000 grant from the Government’s Pocket Parks Programme, secured by the London Road Partnership and Friends of Kensington Meadows working with the council.
Councillor David Wood, cabinet member for Neighbourhood Services, said: “The unusual feature and the natural improvements to the play area will encourage people to visit and enjoy Kensington Meadows for many years to come."
The existing play area will be closed when work starts and will reopen once the planting at the site has established.
Kensington Meadows was once home to a Georgian pleasure garden, Grosvenor Gardens. Visit the Kensington Meadows bathnes.gov.uk webpage to read more about the project and the history of the site.
CITY ART | SOMERSET ARTWORKS
In Pursuit of Spring
Somerset Art Works have joined forces with Black Swan Arts in Frome, Somerset for a unique SAW Members' exhibition and the first at Black Swan Arts since last year's coronavirus lockdown. 'In Pursuit of Spring' has been inspired by poet Edward Thomas' account of his journey by bicycle between London and Somerset to meet the arrival of spring in 1913.
Responding to various themes in Thomas' book, In Pursuit of Spring, such as hope, change and renewal, around 50 Somerset Art Works members have created artwork to illustrate the Somerset leg of Thomas' journey. He enters the county near Farleigh Hungerford and travels west through Norton St Philip, Shepton Mallet, Wells and Glastonbury, eventually arriving on Cothelstone Hill in the Quantocks on 28 March, as the storm clouds of the Great War gathered. Thomas was killed four years later at the Battle of Arras. The work will be displayed alongside excerpts from the book, which is published by Little Toller Books in Dorset.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the natural world has been an important consolation for many of us. Now, when we all need a sense of hope and renewal, Thomas' descriptions of springtime Somerset – the 'noble elms', verdant banks teaming with celandine, pennywort and cranesbill, the calls of larks and linnets – are a poignant reminder of the beauty of our county. This exhibition brings together Thomas' text with contemporary images and representations of Somerset, and is a wonderful way to celebrate the re-launch of Black Swan Arts – almost 108 years to the day since Thomas completed his journey.
Black Swan Arts are hosting a carefully curated online exhibition and all work is on sale. The shop is now open with the full exhibition on show.
Criterion Auctioneers in Corsham have collaborated with Lilac Blue London to curate quarterly Luxury Handbags and Accessories sales. The sales are filled with a fabulous variety of Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Cartier and many other high-end bags and accessories, some of which are vintage and limited-edition pieces.
The sale is live on the website. Buyers have the option to purchase for a Buy It Now price or leave absentee online bids up until the sale begins to close on Wednesday 25 May at 7pm.
Hotel Chocolat is introducing five NEW distinctive-tasting blends: delicious on their own, and as you would expect, ideal for pairing with chocolate.
Become a coffee tourist elevating your tastebuds from around the world with diversity in origin and flavour. From comforting and delicate sweet notes of crème caramel to a lively and flavour-flare sense of dark chocolate, peaches and blueberry jam with a tangy cranberry flourish.
The beans - the most important part - are noteworthy and generally as aromatic as they are flavourful. They are roasted so deftly that you can re-create the quintessential barista grade experience at home with ease.
Each flavour is available in Nespresso-compatible capsules, fully recyclable with our Podcycler, or as whole beans.
Products will be available in-store and online from 17 May! Keep on eye on Hotel Chocolat's website for the new launch: hotelchocolat.com
INTERIORS | CLASSIC STYLING FROM SWEDEN
Take Timeout for the perfect lounge chair
Timeout is a stunning Eames-style chair from the Scandinavian Conform company. Manufactured to the highest standards using top quality materials, with high-grade semi-aniline leathers in a wide range of colours. You can further customise your chair by choosing from various different wood finishes, and there are also different base styles available. The headrest is adjustable, and the base has a ‘return memory’ function whereby the chair will always revert to its original position.
Hugely underrated, Domaine Louis Michel produces consistently exquisite and good value Chablis, a fact recognised and praised by The Wine Advocate. Guillaume Michel makes no apology for his refusal to use oak barrels to age his wines, to ensure that they convey - unmasked - a very special sense of their unique vineyard origins.
These Chablis wines are expressive, individual and fabulous value: offering quality to rival the most famous white Burgundy from further south, at a fraction of the cost.
Explore this superb collection of fine Chablis with The Great Wine Co.
Here are a few highlights:
This comes from from a special vineyard site on the hillside above the Chablis Grand Cru vineyards. While cooler, it experiences exceptional drainage and exposure to sunlight, making it one of the very finest Petit Chablis locations. The wine is bright white-gold in colour, with an expressive apple and citrus zest aroma. £18.50
Chablis Premier Cru Montmain
Louis Michel's four Montmain vineyards are planted with mature vines, and extend along a clay slope known for being sensitive to spring frosts. Careful attention is therefore required to cultivate this land. It's worth it, because the wine demonstrates that magical Premier Cru combination of ripe fruit with quintessential Chablis saline character. Intricately complex, with spicy ﬂoral aromas, toasted almonds, candied lemon and apple; it is dry, lively, pure and accessible, with no artiﬁce. £30
Chablis Premier Cru Montée de Tonnerre
Montée de Tonnerre is the very finest and most prestigious Premier Cru, offering quality regularly approaching that of Grand Cru Chablis. Louis Michel produces grapes from an entire slope at this location, creating a powerful wine with complexity, balance, wonderful refinement and ageing potential. It has concentration and richness, carried in such a subtle way. "Grand Cru, at half the price" - fabulous, and not to be missed. £36
Chablis Grand Cru Vaudésir
Grand Cru Vaudésir is truly one of the profound white wines of Burgundy, and yet it costs the same as a simple 'village' Meursault. Louis Michel's vines are in the lower part of the Grand Cru vineyard, and therefore yield fabulous 'puissance', richness and concentration, underpinned by the region's hallmark dryness. There are hints of buttered brioche and gorse flower, alongside rhubarb and acacia flower. Remember, this is fermented and aged exclusively in stainless steel, so these flavours come entirely from the site, the fruit and the fermentation - no 'artificial flavour' from oak barrels. It demands keeping at least a couple of years, and will age gracefully for a decade or longer. £59.50
Here we celebrate two pubs that have been sadly missed – but take heart because their doors open once again on Monday.
With origins dating back to 1736, this lovely little Bath Ales venture on John Street has been an established part of the richly textured fabric of life in Bath for such a long time that it's too easy to take it for granted, almost as if just knowing it’s there makes you a regular. But if you don't take a pint (or two, or three…) at the sturdy, welcoming, characterful bar (or in one of the many super-appealing nooks and crannies) on a regular basis, you're seriously missing out; this hearty little hostelry epitomises the kind of hearty, honest-to-goodness sustenance that makes a real pub a really good pub, and deserves to be treasured. Food includes classic doorstop sandwiches, Hoisin pork belly bites with sesame and scallions as a bite for lunch and a Salamander beef burger with molten cheddar, crispy bacon, onion marmalade.
Occupying a supremely inviting location/position twixt proper pub and upmarket modern bistro, the Marlborough Tavern offers an appealing blend of friendly familiarity and a fresh, smart outlook... and the Bath Pub Co have spent their time in lockdown well, renovating both inside and out to prove that you can make a good thing even better. Whatever your mood, size of party or occasion, the Tav can accommodate your every whim without the folk next door impinging on your personal space. The big, chunky farmhouse tables provide room for groups and plenty of smoochy tables for two for the old romantics amongst us. The food includes delights such as beetroot and orange cured salmon with horseradish, honey and mustard glazed gammon with free range egg and chips, and roasted fillet of cornish hake with saffron aioli and champ potatoes.
With origins dating back to the 16th century, this Maghrebi dish is a breakfast/brunch menu staple across Israel, the Middle East, North Africa... and, for the last couple of years at least, the UK.
The word 'shakshuka' translates from the original Arabic as 'a mixture' and, like all recipes with a long-standing history, there are multiple variations on the theme; you might see onions, mushrooms, feta cheese, parsley and various spices such as nutmeg included on menu descriptions, so feel free to shake it all about. One strict rule must, however, be adhered to: the tomatoes and eggs are non-negotiable.
I've used spinach in this version because it brings a lovely silkiness to the party plus a pop of vibrancy, and by using roasted red peppers from a jar (one of my favourite store cupboard stand-bys) we're saving ourselves the trouble of slaving too long over a hot stove on a laid back weekend morning.
Ingredients (serves 2) 4 large eggs 4 large, ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped 200g roasted red peppers from a jar, drained and sliced 200g/7oz baby spinach leaves 2 garlic cloves, crushed 1 bunch spring onions, thinly sliced 1 tbsp tomato purée 2 tsp cumin 1 tsp smoked paprika 1 tsp red chilli flakes Salt and freshly-ground pepper Olive oil, for sautéing To serve: thick plain yogurt, toasted sourdough
1. Heat a slick of olive oil in a large, lidded frying pan over a medium heat and sauté the spring onions and garlic until just turning translucent.
2. Add the tomatoes and the tomato purée, season well and cook for about 5–8 minutes, or until the tomatoes have softened (if they start to catch on the bottom of the pan, add a splash of boiling water to loosen), adding the cumin and smoked paprika for the last couple of minutes of cooking time.
3. Add the spinach, a handful at a time, stirring the leaves into the tomato mixture as you go. Put the lid on the pan and allow the spinach to wilt completely (which should take a couple of minutes.)
4. Take the lid off the pan and allow the mixture to reduce and thicken for another couple of minutes before making four cavities in the tomato mixture, at regular intervals. Crack an egg into each cavity, put the lid back onto the pan and leave on the heat for around 4 minutes, or until the egg whites are cooked but the yolks are still runny.
5. Take off the lid off the pan and sprinkle the chilli flakes over the eggs. Spoon the tomato/spinach sauce topped with 2 eggs onto each plate and top with a dollop of yogurt. Serve immediately, with toasted sourdough.
THE KIOSK|MAGAZINE MOMENTS
Curated by Daniel McCabe – Magalleria
Offscreen examines how we shape technology and how technology shapes us. It’s a move away from its old strapline ‘people behind the pixels’ which still stands as an effective description of the magazine, the notion that someone designed the interface on your mobile phone (for example) or the app you’re using on it, and they have a life. Not geeks, but people like us with families, successes and failures, hopes, fears and so on but crucially they’re people well-placed to offer invaluable perspectives into tech-driven trends and, more crucially, 'Big Tech' which is more or less running all our lives. Every edition features a quartet of experts and Issue 24 features Ali Alkhatib, Jutta Treviranus, Xiaowei Wang and Jillian C York. Go on, google their names.
This beautifully presented three-bedroom, two bathroom Edwardian family home is ideally situated close to the city centre but has a private feel as it is nicely set back from the road with mature hedging along the front garden.
Inside the rooms are spacious and inviting and presented to a standard with a wealth of character and charm with period features throughout.
In brief, the accommodation includes: entrance hallway, sitting room, dining room, open plan kitchen/breakfast room, sun room, utility room/ workshop, ground floor WC, three bedrooms and the family bathroom.
The sitting room is to the front of the property and is a bright and airy room with lovely proportions and has a feature fireplace to the centre. The dining room is directly behind but is currently used as work space linking through to the sun room.
The kitchen is an open space with a dining table to the centre, it has modern units fitted and has natural daylight flooding through. Upstairs there are three bedrooms as well as the family bathroom, the bathroom is fitted with modern tiles creating tranquil space.
To the rear of the property there is a country, cottage style garden, with mature planting. Asking price £725,000.