Head of communications & events at The FMLY Store and all-round dynamo supremo, Jessica Parkhouse, answers our People of Bath questions….
Where do you live and who do you live with (partners, children, pets etc)?
I live in Larkhall with my son Toby, our sassy cat Lulu and rescue dog Penny Lane. We’ve been in Larkhall for about 7 years – I love its friendly community and little high street, particularly the butchers, Beaufort Bookshop and Leak gift shop. Oh, and the family-run Langbridge Hardware – seriously, they have every grown-up DIY essential and are a fountain of knowledge!
When did you first move to Bath and why?
I was born here! Then I had my son whilst on my gap year, and decided to stay – because I know it’s an amazing (and safe) place to grow up. He’s just starting secondary school and I already know he’s going to make some great memories and friends for life here.
Tell us about your business/job
My job is actually in Bruton, so most days I drive into the depths of Somerset to head up Communications & Events at The FMLY Store, home of Selfish Mother’s fundraising #GoodTees. The store’s mostly online, but part of my role is booking guests to visit our destination space for talks and workshops, making sure there’s always something cool happening. We’re edging closer to our £1m charity donation total, which is really exciting.
What inspires you about Bath?
I’ve lived here all my life, but am still affected by its beauty. That feeling of being surrounded by green hills wherever you are, even in the centre of town; the way the evening sun hits the Bath stone and creates a golden glow you don’t find anywhere else…it’s still magical to me. I have thought about moving, but whenever I return from a holiday or work trip, I’m reminded why this is home. I also find Bath’s independent spirit inspiring, especially in the face of a council that seems hellbent on ruining it.
You need coffee, where do you go?
You need something stronger, which bar do you prop up?
Unless I’m going for cocktails, I’ll take a pub over a bar. There’s still some great pubs with character in this city – like The Griffin Inn, The Thief, The Raven, The Pulteney Arms and our local, The Rose & Crown.
The babysitter’s booked, what’s your ideal night out in the city?
Where’s your favourite place to go with the family on a sunny day?
We’ll head somewhere green to walk the dog and take in some views, like Bathford Woods or Solsbury Hill, rewarding ourselves with an al fresco lunch – Castle Farm Café in Midford is a new favourite. This summer we’ve gotten really into wild swimming – there’s so many good spots around the city so we’ve been making the most of those – I even tried paddle boarding, and yes I did fall in!
And on a rainy day?
You’ve got an afternoon to go shopping, where do you splash the cash?
I’m a total sucker for Anthropologie and Graham and Green, despite not having space in my home for any more cushions. I love a food or vintage market, so will often have a browse at Green Park Station. Indie-wise, Found is always on point and Grace & Ted is a little pre-loved treasure trove – I recently got a leather Mulberry jacket I’ve been dying to bust out now that it’s turning colder.
Tell us a secret (a little known place, business or activity you love visiting or doing)
The Longs Arms in South Wraxall is incredible – some of the best food I’ve ever eaten, but so unsuspecting from the outside. Chef Rob does pretty much everything in house, from baking bread to smoking fish and making his own chocolate. Go!