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Pictured: Sharland and Lewis – Tetbury.
TOP 10 INTERIORS SHOPS by Laura Campbell (in no particular order) read more
Enter Discount Code CC15 Here: http://www.rivercottage.net
Fantastic offer here from our friends at River Cottage. They’re offering 15% off all of their wildly popular foraging courses from April-October 2013. You can choose from Hedgerow, Mushroom or Seashore foraging – all hosted by resident wild food guru John Wright. John will take you on an edible adventure around the seashore, hedgerows or fields, before returning to River Cottage HQ for cookery demos and a slap up foragers supper.
To book: Go to www.rivercottage.net to select your course and enter offer code CC15 at the checkout. Discount valid until 15 May 2013, for use on courses between April and October 2013.
The Skateboarder by Eric Olson
The latest exhibition at Exeter’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM) – the BP Portrait Award 2012 – is essential viewing, a stunning show with real warmth and personality.
Take this stunning painting The Skateboarder (pictured above) by artist Eric Olson who uses vivid colours and tattoos to portray his friend Steve and, at the same time, evoke the culture of skateboarding. He says: “Although the painting is unmistakably of Steve, it is also a portrait of a particular urban generation, combining the traditional portrait bust with the imagery of North American skateboard culture by using the tattoo as a device.’
Richie Culver by Alan Coulson
This mesmerising portrait by Alan Coulson seems to pierce right through the prejudices often felt about people with tattoos. The simplicity of his white t-shirt and black hat, brings the subject’s tattooed arms into high relief, his expression is one of serenity. The portrait of his friend and fellow artist Richie Culver was drawn from preparatory sketches and then painted in his studio.
He says: “My aim was to produce a direct and honest painting that would capture Richie’s unique appearance alongside his easygoing nature’.
I love this portrait of a young girl holding the family Bantam, Pumpkin painted by Venessa Lubach and the story that comes with it. As the bird would not sit still enough to pose, initial sketches and longer sittings were made with the artist’s daughter Rosie holding a toy helmet. Quick sketches of Pumpin helped finish the portrait. Lubach says, above all, she wanted to: “convey the moment of quiet astonishment that followed the battle of wits necessary to capture the agile and evasive bantam.
There are touching flashes of character and warmth throughout this evocative show. Peter Goodfellow’s wonderful self portrait shows the artist opening his coat to reveal a lining of miniature sketches of his parents before their children were born.
He says: ‘I wanted to record my parents’ lives when they were young and glamorous, before and up to the point I was born. I owe them so much and this way I carry them with me always.’
Another very moving portrait is 92 Years by Tim Benson, a depiction of his grandmother Margaret who suffered dementia at the end of her life. In the painting the subject looks a little haunted but also as if she is having a conversation, which was exactly what the artist intended.
He says: “I wanted to show her in an ambiguous light. She could just as easily be in a conversation as in a state of anxiety.’
Throughout this show there are portraits which will stop you in your tracks, others which give real insights and flashes into the artists’ interior worlds. Not to be missed. Until May 19.
Picture credit: David Glaves
Hannah Needam of This Is Your Kingdom shares one of her favourite hidden gems in the West Country…
On the rare occasion I mange to swap city life for a weekend visiting family in Devon I love nothing more than enjoying a nostalgic cycle along the banks of the River Exe followed by a yummy supper in the grounds of the Turf Hotel. This lovely spot holds many happy memories and despite it becoming an annual family pilgrimage for the last 16 years, is somewhere I never tire of!
Parking up near Powderham Castle it’s a half hour gentle pootle past green fields of cows and glorious estuary views before arriving at one of Devon’s finest public houses. Run by Clive and Ginny Redfurn since 1990, the Turf is a true testament to what hard work and dedication can achieve and better still, pretty much all the goodies on offer homemade and locally sourced. I always order the crispy beer battered fish of the day followed swiftly by sticky toffee pudding with custard and Devon clotted cream (of course) plus a cheeky glass of Devon cider.
The Turf can only be reached by foot, boat or bicycle, making it the perfect place to go slow and set aside an entire afternoon for your outing. A great day out for all the family, the grounds provide the perfect place to embark on a Famous Five style adventure, indulge in a raucous game of cricket or just sit back, look out over the water and watch the world go by…
The Turf Hotel – River Exe – 01392833128
Hannah runs This is Your Kingdom, a trusted place to share and celebrate lovely discoveries, great delights and simple pleasures, the very best the UK has to offer.
Love everything about this brand new Luciana Valentine clutch (main image above) £75 from Cameron Saul’s cult ethical label Bottletop – tough, luxurious and with just the right amount of bling (proceeds help young people in developing countries to protect against AIDS)
Pictured: Sumbler Bros, Marlborough
Good butchers have never been more in demand and the South West is lucky to have some of the best in the country. You’ll find high quality meat with guaranteed provenance – a far cry from the pre-packed selection in supermarket chiller cabinets. Here are our Top 10 Best Butchers – a cut above the rest…
At last a bit of good news…the South West property market is going to kickstart into action this year according to analysts with London buyers driving the trend. There will be an influx of urban escapees looking to get their hands on eco houses, cut price manors and potential holiday lets. Property searcher Gigi Allen of GA Property Search says: ‘Finally we’re going to see some real movement in the South West market with many new buyers coming from London. High end eco houses are the ‘new’ Georgian rectories, and there’s a real trend for buying properties with additional accommodation such as cottages, annexes and barns to let for extra income.” read more
Main pic: Santa at Pennywell Farm, Devon
Wondering where to go for that magical Christmas outing to see Father Christmas? Skip the North Pole with a visit to one of our best Santas in the South West… read more
The Thali Cafe, Bristol (pictured above)
Taj Mahal, Bridport
Locals can get watery eyed when they talk about the Taj Mahal in Bridport a consistently good Indian that has been run by the same couple Rafique and Helen Choudhury for more than 25 years. Hugh Fearnley Whittingshall even asked the Choudhurys to knock up a rabbit tikka curry for a recent Channel 4 series. Traditional cooking to the highest standard, fans go for staples such as lamb passanda and king prawn massala. Try the maharajah set meal for 2: samosa and chicken tikka to start, lamb karahi, chicken tikka masala, aloo gobi, saag and bhindi, pilau rice, naan and popadums £30.95. A lovely restaurant run by lovely people. Takeaways available. read more