A specially curated guide to help you enjoy the next 48 hours (or more) in Bristol
BRAND NEW DRAMA |THE CHAIR
A highly anticipated debut season
At a major university, the first woman of colour to become chair tries to meet the dizzying demands and high expectations of a failing English department.
Starring Golden Globe winner Sandra Oh and Emmy winner Jay Duplass, this academic 'dramedy' is set at the fictional Pembroke College. After the darkness of Killing Eve, The Chair will transport viewers into the hilarious, high-pressured world of this university professor.
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, please see our website.
Like all classic dishes that boast a very long history, there are as many recipes for fragrant, soul-soothing, life-affirming laksa as there are fans of this enduringly popular noodle-based broth.
This recipe brings a fusion of flavours to the laksa party and uses the first of the autumnal crop of butternut squash to add vitamins and vitality, grating rather than chopping it to make for a super-speedy dish ready to serve in no more than half an hour, start to finish.
You can, if you so wish, make the base of this laksa in the morning and leave the flavours to mingle and mellow until suppertime; if you take this route, simply stop cooking after you've simmered the basic broth, reheating back to simmering point and adding the noodles around four minutes before you're ready to eat. If you want to bring a bit of protein the party, add cubes of silken tofu or cooked king prawns with the noodles, or serve with chicken breasts that have perhaps been marinated in sesame oil and five-spice to taste before chargrilling.
Ingredients (serves 4)
800ml chicken or vegetable stock 400g butternut squash, peeled and roughly chopped 2 cloves of garlic, peeled 5cm nub of fresh ginger, peeled and grated 1 fresh red chilli 1 tsp ground turmeric 1 bunch spring onions 1 tbsp peanut butter A generous bunch of fresh coriander 1 tbsp sesame oil 1 tbsp dark soy sauce 1 tbsp fish sauce (omit if vegetarian) 300g medium rice noodles (dried, not fresh) 1 x 400g tin of light coconut milk Juice of 1 large lime To serve: crushed roasted peanuts (optional)
1. Grate the squash using either the grater attachment of a food processor or a box grater.
2. Bring the stock to boiling point in a large pan. Add the grated squash and allow to simmer while you get on with making the spice paste.
3. Tear the stalks from the coriander, finely chop the leaves and reserve in separate piles.
4. If you used a food processor to grate the vegetables, swap the grater attachment for the blender attachment and blitz the garlic, ginger, chilli, peanut butter, spring onions, turmeric, coriander stalks, sesame oil, soy sauce and fish sauce until you have a smooth paste. If making the paste by hand, chop all the dry ingredients finely and blend with the wet ingredients using a pestle and mortar.
5. Add the spice paste to the stock pan with the coconut milk. Stir well and allow to simmer for 3 minutes before adding the noodles. Simmer again for around 4 minutes or until the noodles have cooked through. Add half of the lime juice and stir again before serving in large, warmed bowls drizzled with splashes of sesame oil and soy sauce, the chopped coriander leaves, the remaining lime juice and a smattering of crushed roasted peanuts.
*Bun appreciation post!* by Melissa Blease
Bao through the ages
For the past six or seven years, bao buns – those seductive, fluffy little pillows of steamed, yeasty delight filled with all manner of tantalising, deeply umami fillings – have dominated the fashionable food-lover's consciousness.
From hundreds of super-hip, bao-dedicated restaurants all the way down to most supermarket shelves by way of multiple pop-up street food ventures or meal kits containing a bag of premixed flour, yeast and sugar alongside a sachet of barbecue sauce and a splash of pickling vinegar, nationwide bao mania has reached a market saturation point that makes it clear that, this time next year, bao buns will be 'last year' enough for KFC to introduce them to the menu.
The thing is, since bao buns were first made in China circa 300BC, I didn't know they'd ever gone out of fashion.
I was born and grew up just a stone's throw away from Liverpool's Chinatown, where a fully laden bao bun was, in my very early days, a little something piquant to nibble on while we were waiting for our order to be cooked. This was circa 1968, before the Chinese takeaway was convenient, let alone ubiquitous; if we wanted Chinese food 'to go', we'd have to take our own bowls and containers to the restaurant, and sit on rickety little ex-restaurant chairs adjacent to a hot kitchen while waiting for our Very British Order of chow mein, sweet and sour vegetables and special fried rice for four.
I remember gazing, partly in horror (I was bought up vegetarian) and partly in yearning-to-try fascination, at the whole, fluorescent red roast ducks that hung by their feet over the wok station, and watching in awe as the chefs effortlessly turned massive bowls of whole red peppers, onions and daikon into shreds in seconds. Our bao buns, packed with unctuous fatty globules in a thick, smoky sauce, would turn up unbidden while Dad and I waited, and I watched. "What's in it, Dad?" "Probably pork, so don't tell your mum."
In the 1980s, bao buns were late night post-club snacks to eat while we waited in the taxi queue before giving up on a ride and tottering home on foot, high heels in hand, sticky sauce all over our clothes. In the 1990s, they were the familiar old friends that kept me sitting comfortably throughout a dim sum extravaganza at New York's legendary Jing Fong, where the jellyfish, chicken claws and turnip cake were as scary as the prospect of David Bowie (allegedly a Jing Fong regular) taking a seat at the table next to ours.
My bao bun friendship rolled across the globe, taking in tofu baos at Berlin's Quà Phê, a satay version at Indochine in LA, and a surreal bao that arrived as a side dish, cold and naked, in a Swiss restaurant where my order was lost in translation. For decades, I've ordered them out at any and every opportunity and I make my own, at home, on a regular basis. But just yesterday...
Email from a fast food restaurant PR: "Hey Melissa, you're probably not familiar with the bao bun – so let me be the first to introduce you to the new UK food revolution that's guaranteed to bao WOW your world!"
Bao buns: after 1721 years waiting in the wings, their moment in the spotlight has finally arrived.
WEEKEND WINE |THE JOY OF SIX
Six-bottle case of planet-friendly wines
An ever popular buy from The Great Wine Co., this is a wonderful collection of wines from some of their most environmentally conscious producers. £75.
1 x 2020 Rioja Blanco, Sierra Cantabria 1 x 2019 Yealands Estate Single Vineyard Gruner Veltliner, Yealands 1 x 2019 Más Amor Rosado, Massard 1 x 2019 IGP Côtes Catalanes Organic Rouge Canon du Maréchal, Domain Cazes 1 x 2017 Renegade Shiraz-Grenache, Ken Forrester Wines 1 x 2019 Gallardia Cinsault, De Martino
We're fans of the Montblanc Fine Stationery collection, produced in Florence, Italy, and best paired with a lovely Montblanc pen (see below). Each notebook features the Montblanc snowcap crest on the cover and weighs around 350gm for the A5 sized editions. With a wonderful choice of elegant covers you'll be making notes in style.
Just a few, shown here: Top left: Montblanc blue marble effect lined notebook.£80 Top right: Montblanc calligraphy edition lined notebook. £80 Bottom left: Montblanc Croco print fuchsia notebook. £80 Bottom right: Montblanc Croco print poppy red notebook. £80
Today, the skincare gurus at Sublimage are unveiling a new body cream whose texture transforms when applied to the skin and, as such, goes hand in hand with massage: Sublimage La Crème Corps et Décolleté. Rich and enveloping to the touch, it delivers a surprising, regenerative feeling of freshness on contact. This velvety veil quickly absorbs into the skin, leaving it feeling deeply nourished.
Sublimage La Crème Corps et Décolleté Regenerating radiant fresh body cream; £250.
Whether there are puddles in sight or not, slipping on these glossy PVC rain boots with their distinctive metal buckle is always a smart move once autumn hits. £80.
Shop here: uk.tommy.com or browse the collection in store at John Lewis.
The Mall at Cribbs Causeway, Bristol BS34 5QU
LIMITED EDITION | NEW FRAGRANCE COLLECTION
Jo Malone introduces English pear and freesia collection
This luscious Jo Malone London fragrance is inspired by orchards awash with golden sunshine. Think: the sensuous freshness of just-ripe pears wrapped in a bouquet of bright white freesias, their unmistakeable blooms radiating innocence and a delicate, cool touch.
Portishead RNLI Lifesavers feature in new series of Saving Lives At Sea
The volunteer lifeboat crew of Portishead RNLI will be taking to the small screen next week as they feature in the first episode of the BBC TV series Saving Lives at Sea.
Real-life rescue footage captured on their helmet cameras gives a frontline view of how the charity’s lifesavers risk their own lives as they go to the aid of those in danger at sea and strive to save every one.
Now in its sixth series, the 10-part documentary showcases the work of the RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards from around the UK and Ireland. The series will air on BBC Two on Tuesdays at 8pm, as well as being available on BBC iPlayer following broadcast.
Rescue footage is accompanied by emotive interviews from the volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards alongside the people they rescue and their families.
This forthcoming episode, on 24 August, sees Portishead RNLI launch to save an exhausted swimmer in the Bristol Channel, alongside rescue stories from their colleagues at other stations and beaches around our coasts.
It’s often said that ‘the old ones are the best ones’. It’s no truism but our venerable titles certainly remain among our strongest. And one of the best is Delayed Gratification, first published in 2011 by former Time Out journalists who noticed that news reporting moves on astonishingly quickly but the truth often only emerges after the dust has settled. So they decided to revisit past news events in chronological order with investigative updates, revealing matrices and fine infographics. Issue 42 examines January to March of this year which, if you’ve forgotten already, takes us back to the beginning of the vaccine rollout, the Capitol Siege, the blocking of the Suez Canal, Gamestop’s battle with Wall Street, the coup in Myanmar and more. £10
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 •
A FABULOUS FESTIVAL | IDYLLIC IFORD
Make a beeline for Belcombe Court on 21 August
The Iford Festival is returning to the gorgeous 18th-century grounds of Belcombe Court on 21 August. Rarely open to the public, the Grade I listed house is set in 60 acres of glorious formal gardens, parkland and woodland, and the organisers are taking full advantage of the outdoors for this exciting (socially distanced if applicable) series of events in a spectacular saddlespan structure, starting with the ever-popular picnic prom!
Expect at least three different class acts in the garden – the perfect way to while away a summer evening with picnics shared with friends.
Keep an eye on the website for more announcements, coming soon: ifordarts.org.uk
INCREDIBLE SCENES |A HISTORIC MOMENT
Iron Island at the SS Great Britain, 23 August – 19 September
Brunel’s SS Great Britain is the top-rated visitor attraction in Bristol, known for offering a fun day out for locals and tourists alike. Visitors can discover two interactive museums along with the historic dockyard before stepping aboard to explore the SS Great Britain herself – the world’s first great ocean liner.
From 23 August to 19 September, however, the dramatic dry dock will take centre-stage. The cavernous, cathedral-like space is where the ship was constructed between 1839 and 1843, now covered with a 'glass sea' that helps to maintain the conservation environment that protects the fragile iron hull.
The front end of the Grade II listed dry dock has been transformed into an immersive experience by award-winning local multimedia design studio Limbic Cinema. It combines projection, lighting and surround sound to transport audiences on a journey through underwater worlds.
Much of the 1,000 square metres of laminated glass overhead will be darkened, providing a truly unique space for projection-mapped imagery to emerge on the walls and the iron hull.
Speakers set within the dry dock resonate with music and sounds of the ocean, with an original score composed by Joe Acheson (Hidden Orchestra). Performance poet, Saili Katebe, has written a new spoken word piece for the installation, which leads the narrative. Having undertaken two residencies previously at Brunel’s SS Great Britain, Saili’s creative response explores themes of invention, discovery, migration and freedom.
Visitors descend under the glass sea to walk around the iron hull, becoming immersed in the multi-sensory storytelling as they reach the bow. Set in three acts – ‘departure’, ‘storm’ and ‘icefield’ – the audience is taken on a journey that sets off across the ocean, encountering various forms of sea life before a storm has the ship rising and falling in the waves with thunder and lightning all around. Glowing icebergs signal a more reflective pace as the ship navigates carefully through an icefield.
Events depicted through the storytelling are developed from passenger diaries, providing a real sense of revisiting the ship’s long and dramatic history.
Theatre On The Downs welcomes show for children aged up to three
A new summer-themed show for babies and toddlers is coming to pop-up venue The Theatre On The Downs from 27-29 August. Beach Baby is a show from Bristol-based company Wilderbeast, which was born out of Bristol Old Vic’s emerging talent scheme Made In Bristol.
It follows their hit winter-themed show for tots, Ice Ice Baby, which played to sell-out audiences at Alma Tavern and Theatre in 2020 and Bristol Beacon’s Lantern in 2017.
This beautiful 30-minute theatre experience encourages infants to discover the sights, sounds and textures of the beach in a playful sensory exploration, featuring original music and interactive design.
A Bristol-based art advisory service, established by Claudia Kennaugh in 2019, is set to launch streamable tutorials that offer accessible guidance to artists and collectors.
The company provides affordable access to specialist advice, granting artists and collectors convenient guidance in their own time from their own homes. From September 2021, the artist coaching will be available as individual tutorials on Teachable with topics including: writing and talking about your work; pricing your artwork; and exhibiting your work and gallery submissions. Each one is an easily digestible 20-30 minutes that comes with downloadable worksheets, priced at £25. The curating course comes in a pack of three half-hour tutorials, divided into bite-sized chapters entitled, ‘Curating Art at Home – How to Buy, Frame and Hang your Own Art Collection,’ all for £95. It covers everything from how to find and buy your first artwork to hanging an existing collection, making collecting art easy and enjoyable.
Kris Hallenga, author of Glittering a Turd, at Penny Brohn UK's Bristol Hub
Kris Hallenga, author and founder of breast health charity, CoppaFeel! is coming to Bristol. Kris will be speaking about her autobiography, Glittering a Turd, and signing copiesat the Penny Brohn UK Hub on Queens Road on 31 August from 5-7pm.
Glittering a Turd is Kris's first book and covers the 12 years since she was diagnosed with incurable breast cancer at the tender age of 23. Along with the typical ups and downs any person in their twenties and thirties has to navigate, Kris has survived the unsurvivable, and thrived.
Free pre-booked tickets are available on Eventbrite, but members of the public are welcome to drop in, buy a copy of the book and get it signed by Kris.
New dates for the Trowbridge Craft Beer and Cider Festival
Head to Innox Mills from 15-17 October for a wide variety of regional beers and ciders, plus street food and live music.
DeCanter Mobile bar will be serving a range of different alcoholic drinks including gins and wines, plus a selection of soft drinks to make sure no one is left thirsty. Music will be provided by The Pump, an organisation that aims to promote musical talent within the town and surrounding area.
Funded training for new and established Bristol businesses
Do you have a brilliant idea to turn a hobby into a business? Thinking about taking the leap into self-employment? Or do you have an early stage or established business that you'd like to grow? Wherever you are, free training on how to start and grow a business is now available via the North and East Bristol Enterprise Support (NEBES) programme.
NEBES is fully funded by Bristol City Council and the West of England Combined Authority, delivering a range of workshops in marketing, social media, business plan writing, finance, branding, strategy and much more. The programme also offers access to one-to-one mentoring sessions with expert business advisors; networking; and award-winning e-learning platforms. Running until March 2023, NEBES is completely free to use and, with a mixture of online and live resources, it can be tailored around your own schedule and life commitments.
Audi’s skysphere concept - a vision of the future is here
Audi has unveiled a new concept electric vehicle, a spectacular roadster named skysphere, yes, lower case 's'. This two-door convertible, with its ultra-smart lines, will lead the way for Audi’s future innovation and design.
The skysphere concept car will be able to drive itself as a luxurious, fully electric Grand Tourer, but… (get this) at the touch of a button the body length will shorten by 10 inches, ride height is reduced, and a steering wheel and pedal controls will appear as the skysphere transforms into powerful, more compact sportster experience for the driver to enjoy.
Audi’s future is all about EVs and leading the transition to clean and green motoring – clearly there is still so much fun to be had and the thrill of getting from A to B will be just as cool as it ever was.
In the meantime, look out for our review of Audi’s game-changing, all-electric Q4 e-tron in our September edition, out soon.
This is a spectacular city-centre penthouse apartment with wrap-around terrace, two allocated underground parking spaces and lift access, being sold with no onward chain. Located just off the Bristol Harbourside, next to the historic College Green and Bristol Cathedral, the apartment is in a highly sought-after central location with everything you could ask for easily accessible on foot, including Temple Meads Train Station. The M32 out of Bristol is minutes' drive away, while you're at Bristol Airport after just a 20-minute taxi ride.
On entering the apartment, there is an immediate sense of the quality to come, with parquet hardwood flooring in a spacious entrance hall. This takes you through to a south-west facing dual-aspect living room that opens into a well-specified kitchen-diner with access out to a substantial balcony.
This private balcony lines three walls of the flat, with rooftop views across Bristol and ample space for a proper outside dining space. Both double bedrooms enjoy penthouse-style en-suites and beautiful panoramas, with the master housing a large in-built wardrobe. The apartment also has an additional w/c, as well as a great deal of additional storage throughout. Guide price £550,000.
On sale with Ocean estate agents. See the property page on their website for more images and information: oceanhome.co.uk