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“Wear this” said Gavin Turk, handing me a tiny plastic pouch and a bulldog clip. Inside, after endless unfolding, was a foil cape. Sheepishly I wrapped it around my shoulders and instantly my temperature rocketed.
I was at the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery helping Turk set up an installation for Culture24’s “Museums at Night 2013” – an inspiring festival which celebrates art, history and heritage in Britain; encouraging the public into museums and galleries by opening after-hours for rare and exclusive experiences. read more
Pictured above Giffords Circus
Guest blogger and committed Bristolite Lottie Storey lines up her favourite West Country happenings for Spring
Clifton Hill Costume and Textiles
Tucked away down a little side street in Clifton, Bristol, is Clifton Hill Costume and Textiles. For many years, it was run by Gillian Hodder but has been closed since her death in 2011. Now, vintage clothing and antique fans are in for a treat. The shop is re-opening, newly refurbished and with the very best selection of vintage gems from Gillian’s 30-year collection available to view and buy once more. To celebrate the shop’s re-opening, Clifton Hill Costume and Textiles are holding a launch party at Clifton Hill House. Think The Great Gatsby meets Midnight in Paris, the party promises to be an evening of glamour, fashion and fun, with live tableaux, music, stalls, a catwalk show, and vintage hair and make-up artists on hand to give you a retro do. read more
Our admiration for Wallace and Gromit creators Aardman Animations knows no bounds so we love the sound of this talk at Bristol’s The Cube Cinema on Wed 17 April. Peter Lord, co-founder of Academy Award-winning Aardman, and director of Pirates: An Adventure With Scientists will be showing clips of his work and fielding questions from the audience. There’s an animation craze down this neck of the woods right now so we can think of a few…
Peter Lord at the Cube is organised by Bristol’s Show Me The Animation.
Wed 17 April, 7pm, The Cube Cinema, Dove Street South, Bristol BS2 8JD
We feature a lot of gorgeous, lustworthy properties here at Living the Dream but to me this exquisitely beautiful Grade 11 listed house in the heart of Glastonbury embodies the essence of the West Country.
Situated between 2 famous landmarks the Tor and the Abbey, Chalice Hill House has a romantic, mystical feel about it, a nostalgic reminder of days gone by.
Nothing old-fashioned about its current role, though, multi-tasking as a family home, boutique B&B and artist’s studio – yes this place has plenty of scope. Come and take a look.
So much to love in this atmospheric old house it’s hard to know where to begin but let’s start with the drive which ends in a costume-drama carriage sweep in front of the house. The gardens are full of mature trees, my favourites being 2 oaks – Axel and Omega – which have stood together for 300 years.
At the back of the house you’ll find the “Love Garden”, originally a tennis court and now partly paved with a weeping willow and sweeping views of the meadows of Chalice Hill. You feel like you’re in the heart of the countryside, yet Glastonbury’s high street is only a few minutes away.
Inside Chalice Hill House has unquestionable grandeur with its lofty tiled entrance hall and a choice of vast rooms to hole up in – sitting room, drawing room or kitchen/breakfast room according to your mood.
The rooms all have those wonderful Georgian proportions with fabulous views over Glastonbury and the hills beyond. The drawing room has French doors onto the orangery, Ionic marble columns and a marble fireplace. It’s all very Pride & Prejudice.
The kitchen, to my mind, would benefit from a mini-facelift, nothing structural just a little botox injection of Farrow & Ball paint, for it’s large, airy and perfectly suited to modern family living.
Upstairs, a crazy wealth of rooms, 5 principal bedrooms and 5 bathrooms. There are also 3 secondary bedrooms and a shower room in the converted storeroom in the grounds.
All that space instantly sets my mind whirring – I’m thinking Glastonbury Festival, I’m thinking uber-cool boutique hotel, I’m imagining Mumford & Sons and Rhianna hobnobbing over the organic boiled eggs at breakfast.
Talking of which, summer dining, breakfast, lunch and dinner would be in the conservatory with its beautiful garden views.
We need to show you the artist’s studio which is so perfect you’d want to take up painting.
The gardens are spectacular and there’s an indoor swimming pool in the orangery – you really could have a lot of fun with this place. I especially love the BBQ area which has hot, summer nights written all over it.
Chalice Hill House (love the name) stands alone but with incredible views of the Tor and the Abbey. What you’re getting here is a stunningly beautiful house that is soaked in history and feels somehow imbued with the mysticism of the West. Not to mention its location close by the best festival in the world. Need we say more?
Chalice Hill House is for sale through Roderick Thomas for £1.39m
We’re booking ahead for this one – 90s legends Dodgy in the Westway Cinema in Frome on 6 April.
There’s much to love here, the Britpop heroes who had classic hits with Staying Out for the Summer and Good Enough have reinvented themselves with a brilliant new album Stand Upright In A Cool Place. read more
Hall & Woodhouse in Bath turns out to be the best find, a place that just gets everything right.
I’d been hearing great reports about this bar/cafe/all things to all people kind of gaffe in the heart of Bath and now I wonder what took me so long to get there. read more
Foodies will want to book ahead for this one – truffle hunting in the prime August to October season in Somerset.
Organised by The Food Travel Company and hosted by truffle expert Marion Dean the one-day events (8 August, 12 September, 9 October) will show you how to source these most precious delicacies and turn them into delicious dishes like the truffle ice cream pictured above. read more
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…