Visit Bath Launch ‘Independent Bath’ Campaign with Artwork Created by Local Artist
Visit Bath, yesterday (2nd April) unveiled a piece of artwork created by local artist Jessica Palmer, to launch their Independent Bath campaign which aims to highlight the diverse range of independent businesses in the city. The event took place in local art gallery 44AD artspace, with food and drink provided by independents, Comptoir+Cuisine and Beckford Bottle Shop.
Executive Chairman for Visit Bath, Craig Jenkins, said, “One of Bath’s pulls is that it offers unique shopping, dining and accommodation experiences. From one-off boutiques, quirky cafés, bars and restaurants, to jewellers, artists, museums, galleries, markets and festivals, Bath has something for everyone to enjoy and the team at Visit Bath want to shine a light on this specifically during the months of April and May.”
Visit Bath commissioned Jessica Palmer to create a piece of artwork that reflected the independent spirit of the city. Jessica’s creation is a fictional representation of individual artisans and makers. The figures are colourful and characterful, conjuring up that ‘special something’ that makes Bath’s independents so appealing.
Artist Jessica Palmer said, “This project was the perfect opportunity for me to combine design, painting and a touch of collage. The brief asked for a colourful, vibrant image which would spark interest in Bath’s Independents. I found a reclaimed Victorian door, and Batheaston-based framers Lark Designs framed and built a stand for the piece. The finished artwork features glass blowing, cocktail mixing, cheese making, bookselling and much more, with decoupaged references to traditional crafts and the history of Bath.”
The artwork will go on tour in some of the independent shops in Bath during the campaign so that residents and visitors can take a closer look. Visit Bath plan to sell the artwork at the end of May, with proceeds going to local independent support group We Get It. Anyone wishing to express an interest in purchasing the artwork should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit Bath support a local organisation as part of their activity for each of their campaigns. We Get It was chosen for this campaign as it is run by a team of local people who have a deep understanding of tackling cancer and now provide much-needed support and information for people in Bath who are dealing with cancer via workshops and meet ups.
Patron of We Get It and former journalist and TV presenter, Bob Crampton, said, “What makes the newly-formed cancer support group special is that it is run by people who’ve experienced cancer or are still being treated. The organisation offers help to those just diagnosed, patients facing up to life after the NHS care and all those touched by cancer – whether patients themselves or those caring for them. We run nutritional and exercise regimes – and, most importantly, organise gatherings where patients and former patients can meet in the Bath area.”
Find out more about Independent Bath at visitbath/independent
A Selection of Bath’s Much-Loved Indies
Food and Drink
Bath has an exceptional food and drink scene. Restaurant owners, Stefano and Maud, bring the best of France to Bath with their restaurant and concept store Comptoir+Cuisine. This is the perfect spot for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with pastries, nibbles, cheese and charcuterie boards, gateaux, plus a selection of Grower Champagnes by the glass, as well as beer and wine. Headed by Garry Rosser, The Scallop Shell flies the flag for sustainable fishing from UK waters, changing the menu daily depending on coastal landings and family-owned Bath Pizza Co works with Bath’s farmers and local producers to create fantastic wood-fired pizzas in the quirky setting of Green Park Station. Thai Balcony has been serving authentic Thai cuisine in luxurious surroundings since 1990.
Stylish and Italian influenced Café Lucca is the perfect place to soak up the local buzz and treat yourself to an artisan coffee and slice of homemade cake or be transported back in time and try a famous Bath delicacy at Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House, one of the oldest houses in the city, dating back to 1482. Harvest Natural Foods in Bath’s Artisan Quarter has been passionate about providing ethically-sourced, vegetarian, speciality foods since 1971, and their much-loved deli stocks vegan and gluten-free treats. Head ten minutes outside the city to find Newton Farm, a family farm with an award-winning shop, traditional butchery and charming café.
There are many hidden gems to seek out after-hours to enjoy a drink or two. For expert advice on fine wines, hang out at the bar with Marty Grant at Corkage and sample their menu of small plates designed by Michelin-trained chef Richard Knighting. New kids on the block, Beckford Bottle Shop have fast gained a reputation as a sophisticated bar with a carefully curated wine list and appetising selection of British cheeses and charcuterie. For classy cocktails, there’s Sub 13, an award-winning bar which has been open since 2003 and is set over three floors of a Georgian townhouse.
If wine bars and cocktails aren’t your thing, then head to one of Bath’s much-loved pubs. The Bell Inn is a historic free house and live music pub on the edge of the city centre, owned by 536 of its customers and workers. A glorious gastropub with outstanding views across Bath, Hare & Houndsserves fabulous food and The Bath Brew House specialises in craft beers with its own microbrewery and brewery tours available daily. A traditional family-owned British pub in the heart of the city, The Raven is known for its extensive selection of real ales and tasty pies.
Bath is a shopper’s paradise. The city’s oldest shopping venue, Guildhall Market has everything you need, from a haberdashery to greengrocers, whilst design-led department store, Rossiter’s of Bath, is an Aladdin’s Cave of furniture, homewares, gifts and fashion.
Chanii B in Milsom Place is a must for shoe and handbag lovers with a distinctive collection designed by Chantal Pilon and for beautiful handmade silver jewellery, pop in to Icarus Jewellery, founded by Dilek Koroglu in 2015. Bookworms can peruse the shelves of the characterful independent bookshop Topping & Company, which holds regular author events.
Next to Bath Abbey, Bath Aqua Glass is an independent glass shop and studio where you can watch their beautiful baubles, vases and jewellery being made. Try your hand at glassblowing at Bath Aqua Theatre of Glass or learn a new skill at one of Julia Davey’s workshops, from needle punch sewing to candle making, before browsing her wonderful collection of handmade ceramics.
Whether it’s a cosy bed and breakfast or a grand guesthouse, there are plenty of independent accommodation options to suit all tastes and budgets in Bath. Independently-owned and set in three Grade-I listed Georgian townhouses, No.15 Great Pulteney is a stylish hotel full of surprises and curiosities. Eight, the aptly-named boutique hotel, has eight charming rooms and eight seasonal dishes on the menu, and Brooks Guesthouse serves delicious breakfasts using the best locally-sourced organic ingredients.
The Bath Festival (17th–26th May) offers a multi-arts celebration of music and literature with over 120 events, culminating in their Finale Weekend (1st–2nd June) with headliners, Clean Bandit and Van Morrison
Bringing Bath to life each spring, Bath Comedy Festival (27th March–14th April) sees 20 days of exciting events, starring both established and up-and-coming comedians, that are guaranteed to get you laughing. For more laughs, head to Komedia Bath for their Krater Comedy Club held every Saturday, and niche magazine, The Independent Comedy Appreciation Society, will bring their live show to Bath on 7th, 8th and 9th April.
Bath Fringe (24th May–9th June) unites Bath’s creative scene with a packed summer programme featuring everything from theatre to dance and music to comedy, including Fringe Arts Bath, which celebrates contemporary visual arts with a range of exhibitions, events and workshops during the festival.