Visit West Staff's Top 5 picks

Visit West Staff’s Top 5 Picks for The Bath Festival 2023

Our friends over at Visit West have been eyeing up our programme and chosen their top picks for Festival Week.

What takes your fancy?


Shonette Laffy, Digital Marketing Manager:


1. Party in the City – always a good way to kickstart the week’s festivities with music across several stages. And it’s free too!


2. Bath on Screen: The Other Star of the Show – Fred Mawer’s tours are always so entertaining and informative, so this tour of Bath’s filming locations from Bridgerton, Persuasion, Wonka and more is bound to be a good’un.


3. Iconicon: Contemporary British Building – I love learning about architecture, and this talk from John Grindrod on the good, the bad and the ugly of modern buildings should be fascinating.


4. Lyra Comes to Bath – Bristol’s poetry festival always throws up some fun and thought-provoking works, and this showcase is sure to be no different.


5. Raynor Winn and Isabella Tree – The Salt Path is one of my favourite books, so I can’t wait to listen to this talk on returning to nature.


Emma Frayling, PR & Communications Manager:


Visit West Top Picks

1. Tom Borrow – The piano has to be one of my favourite instruments – the versality of its sound is incredible whether it’s belting out pop and rock tunes or exquisite romantic classical music. I have been playing myself (albeit quite badly) since I was a child, so hearing Tom Borrow, one of the most exciting young pianists of today play it to perfection will be an absolute joy!


2. Libby Page & Lauren Bravo – Libby Page’s new book The Vintage Shop of Second Chances with its gorgeous, vibrant yellow cover is currently adorning the window of the local book shop in Frome, my hometown where Libby also lives, so I can’t wait to hear all about her writing career and the inspiration behind her latest novel along with chatting all things vintage and pre-loved with author Lauren Bravo.


3. Esme Young: Behind the Seams – Following the fashion theme here! I am also looking forward to hearing from the creative genius and Great British Sewing Bee judge Esme Young. From her fashion student days in the 1970s and her love of punk fashion, Esme chats about a live of creativity with Sewing Bee’s youngest ever winner Serena Baker.


4. On Loving and Leaving Ballet – I’m a huge dance fan and never miss the opportunity to catch ballet repertoires and dance company performances when they come to Bath and the area – I am also the mum of 3 daughters who dance, the eldest of which is about to embark on a career in dance, so I think this conversation between Alice Robb and Lottie May discussing what it means to be a ballet dancer in today’s world, and challenging the discipline and body stereotypes will be absolutely fascinating.


5. Navigating Miscarriage and Baby Loss – I think one of the most inspiring events will be the conversation around baby loss and miscarriage with Pippa Vosper (author of Beyond Grief), writer Vanessa Haye and Kate Davies from the charity Tommy who are carrying out vital research into the area. I know it can be very painful for those who have experienced baby loss to open up about it, so I’m so it’s great to see this talk taking place during the festival which I’m sure will be empowering and inspiring as well as extremely informative.


Jon Chamberlain, Head of Marketing:


Visit West Top Picks

1. Reading Bath Between the Lines – Starting with a good leg-stretch, the Reading Bath Between The Lines tour with Bath Walking Tours should set the scene of Bath as a literary city.


2. Spies Among Friends – Spies Among Friends sounds right up my street. I love an espionage thriller and this event brings together three authors of the genre, including new Bond writer, Kim Sherwood.


3. Will Gompertz – On Friday 19 May, Will Gompertz is at the Guildhall for ‘See What You’re Missing.’ He’s always engaging on TV, so I’m looking forward to his takes here.


4. The Lies America Tells – This event sounds like a fascinating exploration of the U.S. in 2023, and how the stark divisions present in American society today have been generations in the making.


5. Tea with Miss Marple – Finish off with a lovely-sounding event at Francis Hotel: Tea with Miss Marple. Authors who have written new Miss Marple mysteries come together with a cream tea to talk about one of Agatha Christie’s famous characters and their spin on it – like wrapping a warm blanket around yourself!


Max Rawlinson, Marketing & Content Executive:


Visit West Top Picks

1. Party in the City – The Festival’s opening event provides a golden opportunity to not only explore Bath and all of its beauty, but also enjoy some of its superb local talent at the same time, without paying a single penny.


2. Jolyon Maugham: How Good Law Can Topple the Powerful – Like many others, I have been thoroughly impressed by Jolyon and the Good Law Project’s remarkable achievements in holding those at the centre of our government to account over the past few years. I’m confident that this exploration of how the law can work better for us all in the fight against injustice will leave myself and others feeling more hopeful about our judicial system.


3. Politics: A Survivor’s Guide – As someone very passionate about politics, it saddens me that many citizens across the world have become so disillusioned that they choose not to stay informed or exercise their right to vote. This event caught my eye due to its focus on the positives of being politically engaged, rather than apathetic.


4. Bath Blitz Tour with Bath Walking Tours – Bath is famed partly for the beauty of its stunning Georgian architecture, so I’m curious to learn more about the effects of the Blitz on the city, and the story of its recovery in the following years.


5. Lev Parikian: Taking Flight – Birdwatching is something I always enjoy doing subconsciously when out for a walk in nature, so I’m looking forward to hearing more about the wonder behind creatures most of us take for granted from someone with such knowledge and passion for the subject.

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