Axis Magazine April 2021 issue

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The independent, intelligent guide to everything that matters locally April 2021


Our round-up of the news stories you need to know


Local retailers prepare to reopen after lockdown

THE GREAT OUTDOORS Parks, gardens and venues welcome back visitors


Summer events and festivals to book tickets for now


Pubs and restaurants offering dining outdoors

Your leading high quality local news magazine since 2003





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APRIL 2021 | NO. 219

What’s in this issue ELEANOR BENTALL

21 y Shake off lockdown lethargy Places to go, things to do as our local venues reopen their doors

11 y Shopping & business news The duo helping you find the perfect wine in Bishop’s Stortford


Axis magazine was founded in 2003 by two award-winning former local newspaper editors who still own and run the business today. We are the independent, intelligent guide to everything that matters in and around eastern Hertfordshire and we aim to provide a concise, useful guide to local life. Our editorial content is targeted towards readers’ interests, to maximise readership and gain the best exposure for our advertisers. The magazine is delivered to homes and businesses in selected areas and copies can also be picked up free from venues across the area.



Axis Magazine, Lyric House, 6b St Andrew St, Hertford SG14 1JA 01992 500198


Aaron Gransby & Justine Woods


Read us online at or (search axis magazine)


22 y Great gardens Perfect places to socially distance: The gardens now open to visitors

25-27 y Food & drink Pubs and restaurants offering alfresco dining this month

AXIS HAS A NEW ADDRESS We have moved offices, to Lyric House, 6b St Andrew Street, Hertford SG14 1JA. If writing to us, please note our new address. Front cover images (clockwise from top) Portrait by Benjamin Hope (p11); Luna Drive-In Cinema at Knebworth House (p23); Kaleidoscope Festival at Alexandra Palace (p23); Hatfield Park which is now open to visitors (p22); Details from artwork by Gabrielle Vickery of Bishop’s Stortford Art Society (p24).

For just £25 per year we’ll send you your own copy of Axis by post upon publication each month. Call us on 01992 500198 with card details to start a subscription or send a cheque made payable to Axis Publications Ltd to the address in the Contact Us section above.


Here at Axis we look to build long-lasting relationships with local businesses that understand the benefits of advertising to an affluent and intelligent audience on a regular, ongoing basis. To find out more about promoting your business with us please call 01992 500198. axis magazine 3

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November 2020

January 2021


Preparation works begin for new Bircherley Green Broxbourne Council buys The Pavilions Harlow bids for improvements cash Jackson Square redevelopment plans


How the pandemic continues to affect local life


Government grants to help our struggling arts venues

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If you enjoy reading Axis but live outside our free distribution area you can receive your very own copy each month by post 12 issues delivered to your door for just £25 To subscribe, please call 01992 500198 or email

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Old River Lane project to go ahead – without planned new theatre East Herts Council is to push ahead with its redevelopment plans for Old River Lane in Bishop’s Stortford despite objections from the local community and arts groups unhappy at the removal of a promised 544-seat theatre from the scheme. At an extraordinary meeting of the council on 18th March, councillors, though not unanimously, voted to allow officers to progress the project. Their decision will be a disappointment to local groups, many of which were represented at the meeting and reiterated their concerns the new arts facilities would not suit their needs. Councillors were also asked if the project could be delayed until a better solution had been found. The theatre had originally been planned as the centrepiece of an arts centre which was to be built as part of the wider mixed-use redevelopment of the councilowned Causeway car park site. The development is intended to regenerate this part of the town and will also include new shops, restaurants, homes and offices. It had been envisaged that the auditorium would attract professional productions to the area as well as provide facilities for local theatre, comedy, music and community groups. But after reviewing its major projects the council announced

More of town’s arts space to be lost

The way things were meant to be: The original arts centre design

that the theatre plan was no longer regarded as being viable. Cinema-led arts centre In January, councillors were asked to agree to make the arts centre cinema-led, with the originally proposed four-screen cinema increased to five screens and without a theatre auditorium. It is now proposed that one of the 80-seat cinema spaces could also be used for live performances, with the possible exploration of whether a second 150-seat cinema space could also be used in this way. However, these would provide nowhere near the capacity of the originally intended auditorium. At the March meeting, councillors were presented with a new business case for the site with further revisions to the proposed make-up of the new development. Along with the arts centre it will

now include 137 homes, 90 senior living apartments, food and drink space, commercial space, work space and office space. Opposition Liberal Democrats had already argued in January that the new proposals were so different to the original ones that further public consultation should be held. They again called for community involvement before final details of the arts centre were decided. Lib Dem councillor Chris Wilson said the people of the town and local arts groups were “saying loud and clear this is not going to serve their needs” and he said not to listen to them at this stage would be akin to later “asking an 11-a-side football team how they would like a golf course designed to suit their purposes.” However, a Lib Dem amendment put forward was defeated at a vote with the original recommendation to proceed approved.

The URC hall

Disappointment at the lack of the promised theatre at Old River Lane has been compounded by the realisation that East Herts Council still intends to demolish the United Reformed Church hall to make way for the redevelopment. The facility in Water Lane has been hired in the past by groups and societies but the church sold the hall, which it said needed considerable repairs which were beyond the present congregation’s needs, to the council. It had been thought that many of the users would be able to migrate to the new arts centre but arts groups say that the revised plans do not provide them with the space that they need. It was also confirmed at March’s council meeting that the new centre won’t offer any spaces for the community to hire, although the council is considering how to provide space elsewhere.

Road charging plan for the A10 is abandoned Plans to introduce road charging for motorists whose vehicles do not meet strict emissions criteria on a section of the A10 through Cheshunt have been abandoned. Broxbourne Council had been told by the Government in 2018 that it must identify ways of urgently reducing levels of nitrogen dioxide in the air along the stretch of the road between its junction with College Road and

the slip road leading towards the A1170/B156 roundabout near the Brookfield Centre. The EU legal limit is 40 micrograms per cubic metre of air but levels along this stretch were found to be as high as 76. Working with Hertfordshire County Council, Broxbourne reluctantly concluded that some form of air quality charging zone would be the only way to achieve

this. However, the Government’s Joint Air Quality Unit has now agreed that the idea would be likely to displace traffic onto other roads which could simply mean moving the problem elsewhere. Broxbourne has now been asked to investigate ‘softer’ measures including anti-idling campaigns to encourage motorists to turn off engines when stationary in traffic. axis magazine 5


New River Bridge opens, ushering in a new era for Hoddesdon Business Park Work due to begin on new-look Hartham Leisure Centre

This aerial view shows the New River Bridge on the right. Dinant Link Road from the A10 is on the left

The New River Bridge has opened at Essex Road in Hoddesdon providing vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists with improved access to and from Hoddesdon Business Park. The 118-hectare business park is one of the largest employment areas in Hertfordshire and is home to major employers including Sainsbury’s as well as the Ambition Broxbourne Business Centre. Prior to the opening of the new

bridge in March, access was limited to a 60-year-old bridge with narrow road and pavement which made it difficult for large vehicles to pass, often resulting in bottlenecks. Any incident requiring repairs to the bridge also used to have a major impact on the business park. That bridge is now closed to vehicles and the new one, which has a design life of 125 years and is significantly stronger than the

previous one, is open to all road users. The scheme was developed by Hertfordshire County and Broxbourne councils and was funded through an £8.9 million Local Growth Fund investment from Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, £1.47m from the county council and £400,000 from Broxbourne. It was completed on schedule by contractor Osborne in 15 months.

Work was due to begin at the end of March on the expansion of Hertford’s Hartham Leisure Centre. It follows the granting of planning permission for the scheme in December and, recently, the awarding of the contract for the works by East Herts Council to Cadman Construction. The work will include a new state of the art gym, additional studio spaces, a new café opening out onto Hartham Common and a new soft play facility. Changing facilities will be improved and the pool hall is to be refurbished. For more information and to keep up to date with the project visit harthamdevelopment. Meanwhile, work continues on a new leisure centre to replace Grange Paddocks in Bishop’s Stortford. For more on this, visit grangedevelopment.

Ware’s new recycling super-site to be open seven days a week from May

Permanently busy The authority’s cabinet member for waste management Cllr Terry Hone said: “We’re making this permanent change as we’ve seen long queues at many of our sites. While people have used lockdown as an opportunity for clear-outs 6 axis magazine


Ware’s new recycling centre in Westmill Road is to be one of three in Hertfordshire to move to seven-day-a-week opening from mid-May. Hertfordshire County Council says the county’s biggest and busiest centres at Ware, Stevenage and Waterdale in north Watford will switch from five-day to seven-day opening to give residents a wider window for visiting which should help reduce waiting times and reduce pressure on the other sites.

The recycling super-site in Ware will soon be open 7 days a week

and gardening, we believe demand will remain high and we want to try and ease pressure at other smaller sites around the county. “In many ways it’s great news that people in Hertfordshire are so keen to recycle their waste, but with the social distancing measures in

place at the moment to keep sites safe and this increased number of visits, it’s putting real pressure on our centres. “Increasing the opening hours at our biggest and busiest centres will mean we can make the most of our new super-site in Ware, and reduce

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axis magazine 7


Local elections 2021: Your guide to what’s up for grabs East Herts District Council There are no elections to Conservative-controlled East Herts this year other than a by-election for one seat in Bishop’s Stortford. The whole of the council is elected every four years, with the next election due in 2023.

There is just one month to go before voters are asked to go the polls to cast their votes in a variety of different local elections. Polling day is Thursday 6th May. Here is your guide to the different elections taking place, and what the outcomes could mean in each of them. Hertfordshire County Council All 78 seats on the county council are up for election in one go – this election takes place every four years. Based at County Hall in Hertford, the county council is the largest single local authority in Hertfordshire and is responsible for services including education, social services, libraries and roads and highways across the county, from Chorleywood in the southwest to Bishop’s Stortford in the north-east. This election comes at an interesting time, some months after the unveiling of a plan put forward by the county’s Conservative leadership to abolish all 10 district and borough councils across Hertfordshire and consolidate their powers in one unitary authority in years to come. This isn’t a uniquely Hertfordshire issue; the Government is keen to move to unitary authorities and elected mayors across England wherever possible, but the idea has generated opposition from all 10 district and borough councils, all of which believe that a single countywide authority would make decision-making, services and

County Hall in Hertford, for which all 78 seats are being contested

accountability too remote from the local communities councils are meant to serve. The current make-up of the council is: Conservatives 49 seats; Liberal Democrats 18, Labour 9, Independents 2 (one former Conservative, one former Labour councillor). Broxbourne Borough Council The Conservative-dominated Broxbourne Council may be one of the smaller local authorities in Hertfordshire but it is also one of the most agile and proactive ones. It follows the traditional “thirds” election cycle, whereby one third of its councillors are elected for a four-year term in three years out of four. Like all district or borough councils, Broxbourne is responsible for local planning and development, rubbish collection and recycling, housing, leisure and recreation, environmental health

and the collection of local taxes through the council tax, much of which is then redistributed to other authorities. On 6th May, one councillor is up for election in each of 10 wards across Hoddesdon, Broxbourne, Cheshunt, Waltham Cross, Flamstead End and Goffs Oak. Broxbourne has 30 councillors, of whom 27 are currently Conservative, two Labour with one described as “unaligned”. Harlow District Council Over the Essex border, Harlow Council also works on the “thirds” principle, with one third of councillors elected for four years in three years out of four. Although Harlow re-elected its high-profile Conservative MP Robert Halfon with an increased majority in 2019, the council is controlled by Labour, with 20 of its 33 members from the party, with 13 Conservatives.

Town/Parish councils There are by-elections being held for individual seats in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertford, Sawbridgeworth and Ware Town Councils. Check each of the town council’s websites for full details of who is standing. Police and Crime Commissioner Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner is elected every four years, other than last year when elections were delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The role of the PCC is to hold the Chief Constable and local police force to account, making the police answerable to the communities they serve. They are responsible for setting police and crime objectives for their area through a police and crime plan, set the force budget and, where necessary, appoint and dismiss the chief constable. Conservative David Lloyd has held the PCC post since it was created in 2012 and he is standing for election again. The other candidates declared by the time Axis went to print are: Philip Ross (Labour) and Sam North (Liberal Democrats).

Business and technology centre to be built next to the A10 at Cheshunt Details of the proposed new business and technology centre by the A10 in Cheshunt have been revealed by Broxbourne Council. Axis reported last month that the council had earmarked funds to develop the new business centre on land at Maxwell’s Farm. Broxbourne says the centre will “bring forward new employment opportunities for local people” and be made up of 3,209 square metres of flexible space with a mix of offices, studios and training facilities. It will also provide digital technology training and support 8 axis magazine

services to ensure the success of future tenant businesses. The centre will be sited next to the proposed Park Plaza commercial development, a new science and business park covering 90 acres of land by Junction 25 of the M25. The two developments form a key element of Broxbourne Council’s strategy for employment growth. Subject to planning permission (which Broxbourne Council itself will decide), construction of the centre is expected to begin this July, with completion and occupancy expected in early 2023.

An artist’s impression of the new business centre in Cheshunt


Hertford Theatre plans set to be approved Plans for the redevelopment of Hertford Theatre were due to be put before East Herts Council’s development management committee at the end of March, with a recommendation from officers that they be approved. The council plans a £19.9 million investment in the venue in The Wash, which will increase the size of the main auditorium with the introduction of a new circle level. The plans also include a new studio auditorium seating 150, three new cinema screens enabling the venue to show new releases and an improved riverside café bar. A new boardwalk is proposed linking the theatre with Hertford Castle Gardens which will enable the public to better appreciate local features including the river and castle motte. Under the plans, which were set to be discussed by councillors on 31st March, the existing central auditorium with its conical fly tower will remain with the current single storey ancillary elements to the front and side of the building

Grant funds repairs to historic Knebworth

How the proposed entrance to the new Hertford Theatre will look

demolished. New linked buildings will be added, wrapping around the front and side of the current auditorium. The council hopes that town centre car parks will be able to cope with the increased demand resulting from the improved facilities but says it will monitor the situation and if demand ends up being higher than anticipated, it will make spaces available at weekends

and evenings in its council offices car park at Wallfields. The theatre is due to reopen briefly after lockdown from 17th May and, provided planning permission has been granted, close again from 7th June in preparation for the redevelopment work. Anyone who has booked tickets for events after that date will be contacted after the closure date has been confirmed.

East Herts has its own Jackie Weaver moment as councillor says ‘you silly girl’ as opponent abstains during budget vote

Cllr Rosemary Bolton reacted with shock at Cllr McMullen’s comment

East Herts councillor Michael McMullen is to attend equality training after being heard to say “you silly girl” as a female opposition councillor cast her vote during an online meeting on 2nd March. The Conservative councillor for Bengeo Rural North had apparently forgotten that his mic was still switched on as councillors were being asked individually how they were voting on the council’s budget. Labour’s Mary Brady is captured saying “abstain”

before Mr McMullen’s comment can be heard off screen prompting other members to clasp their hands over their mouths in shock. After the vote, Liberal Democrat Joseph Dumont drew members’ attention to the comment and asked for it to be withdrawn. While Ms Brady brushed off the remark saying “It would be lovely to be called a girl”, the Labour party later raised the issue with Democratic Services staff at the council.

Historic England has awarded a grant of £74,175 to fund emergency repairs and investigative works to Knebworth House. The grant, given to the Knebworth House Education and Preservation Trust, will fund repairs to the north west turret of the property where cracks have appeared. A survey of the house will also be carried out to determine the cause of the cracks and inform a longterm repair plan. It is believed the issues could be related to climate change – namely increased levels and cycles of rainfall combined with periods of higher temperatures. The historic property, home to the Lytton family since the estate was purchased by their ancestors in 1490, is a popular local visitor attraction. The house and grounds have appeared in many films and television adaptations including The Crown, Paddington 2, The King’s Speech and Batman the Movie.

Cllr Brady, whose abstention came before the remark

An apology was read out on Cllr McMullen’s behalf at the next full council meeting on March 18th by council chairman Jonathan Kaye who said while the comment had not been intended to be heard it was nevertheless inappropriate and that Cllr McMullen wished to offer an unreserved apology. He added: “Some equalities training is also being arranged for the end of the month which Cllr McMullen will attend.”

Mini emporium with a selection of dealers selling antiques, vintage and retro collectables 4 Mill Bridge, Hertford SG14 1PY 01992 509547 axis magazine 9


The success of the Government’s coronavirus vaccine roll-out means that England is still on track to follow the road map set out by Prime Minister Boris Johnson for the phased reopening of society following the third period of national lockdown restrictions. This means that non-essential shops are due to reopen from Monday 12th April, giving a much-needed boost to hundreds of local businesses which have been forced to close for the first three and a half months of the year. Some have managed to keep trading to some degree through their online presence and/or offering a click and collect or delivery service, but for bricks and mortar shops this is no substitute for having customers actually come through their doors. In its 18 years of history, Axis has always been at the forefront of promoting and supporting local shops and businesses, with a particular focus on our independent retailers, who offer customers so much diversity, great customer service and product knowledge. This month, above all others, our message is the same: We know that our readers are in favour of backing local businesses, and we

all know that the need to support our own area is a mantra that has become even more resonant through the long months of the pandemic restrictions. So, please, do go out and show your support for our hardworking local businesspeople by using their shops. They all need you now more than ever. Preparations underway Shopkeepers across the Axis area have been busy preparing their shops, salons and venues for the grand reopening on 12th April.

Pictured above is Louise Rideout, owner of Frankie and Olive in Hertford, who has been updating displays of her latest stock. Frankie and Olive specialises in ethical, sustainable and organic women’s clothes and accessories, as well as some lovely products for the home, and is on the final shortlist of three for best fashion shop in this year’s Love Hertford Awards (see report below). You’ll find Frankie and Olive at 19 Old Cross, Hertford SG14 1RE. Call 01992 677150 or visit

Love Hertford Awards: Vote for your favourite business The shortlist for each category is as follows:

The public vote is now open for the 2021 Love Hertford Awards. Organised annually by Hertford Town Council, the awards are designed to recognise and promote the county town’s businesses. Local people are asked to cast their votes online for their favourite businesses in each of 10 categories, before Sunday 25th April. 10 axis magazine

Café or Fast Food: Hertford Cake Co; Giambrones; Mudlarks Garden Café. Community & Voluntary: McMullen & Sons; Mudlarks Garden Café; Brothership. Fashion: Frankie and Olive; Mint of Hertford; The Women’s Society Boutique. Food & Drink Retailers: Mind the Gap; Picketts of Hertford; Cavavin The Wine Shop. Hair & Beauty: Fred & Ginger; The Skull Club barber shop; The Beauty Room. Health & Wellbeing: The Secret Space; Replenish Refill

Store; Highway Cycles. Home & Interiors: Albany Radio; Visp Bathrooms; Messages. Professional Services: Chapter 79 (formerly Lance James the Jewellers); Cariad Marketing; Post and Packing. Specialist Retailer: UOE Post Office & Store; Highway Cycles; Concord Trophies & Sportswear. Pub or Restaurant: Lussmanns Fish & Grill; Old Cross Tavern; The White Lion. An awards ceremony, live or virtual to be confirmed, will take place on Thursday 13th May. To cast your vote, visit


Shopkeepers prepare to reopen their doors from Monday 12th April as lockdown restrictions ease

FIRST TENANT SIGNS UP FOR NEXUS IN HARLOW A Japanese-based multinational company has become the first tenant to sign up for space in Harlow Council’s flagship office development Nexus at Harlow Innovation Park. Global company Renesas is moving into the new building. Renesas employs around 19,000 people around the world and is moving its UK office within Harlow and expanding it to occupy a floor of the building. Renesas’s information and communication technology solutions enable billions of devices to connect, enhancing the way people work and live. The park, which was formerly called Harlow Science Park, is next to Kao Park in London Road.

SOCIAL MEDIA SUPPORT FOR BROXBOURNE BUSINESSES A new online guide that showcases the latest social media content of businesses across Broxbourne has gone live. The online social hub, created by Maybe*, makes it easy to discover the latest news and offers from businesses across the borough in one place. Residents who sign up will be eligible for rewards at shops taking part in the scheme too. The service runs on Facebook Messenger and local people can view it by visiting the web address Broxbourne Council has financed access for businesses for 2021, with money from the Government’s Reopening High Streets Safely Fund.


Wine and spirits boutique aims to help you Find something you love Opening a new business on the High Street during a time of renewed and protracted lockdowns might not be a challenge everyone would be up for, but Shanna Joseph decided to embrace it with open arms. Her wine and spirits shop, Find Boutique, opened in Station Road, Bishop’s Stortford before Christmas and has since seen steady growth – something Shanna hopes will continue when lockdown restrictions are eased further on 12th April and footfall increases. Shanna had at first considered opening a food shop, and then an African-Caribbean salon, but eventually decided to go down the drinks route, as it was an industry she already had connections with. With her own taste for fine wines, Champagnes and the exotic, and family roots in St Lucia, which has a big rum culture, she felt well placed to make it a success. Find is a boutique store selling wines and spirits, including many names which are hard to find. Shanna said: “I like the idea that people can come to the shop and find something they love, so this was the inspiration for the

name, Find Boutique. I am able to purchase certain stock from my suppliers which is difficult to find elsewhere, and I sell it at reduced prices, and because of this I came up with the slogan ‘When it’s gone, it’s gone’, which you will see in the shop.” Find stocks some of the finest wine vintages to be found locally, and further sophistication is added to the customer experience through the knowledge of sommelier Raffaele Martinelli who Shanna hired as sales manager. He will help find exactly what you want. Shanna has been heartened by the response to her new shop since it opened. “The local community have been fantastic,” she said. “People are so kind; I get great feedback from customers. “Everyone is saying that we have something great here and a good future ahead of us. It really keeps us going.” Find Boutique is currently open Tuesday to Friday 12-7pm and Saturday 11am-7pm. Find Boutique 8 Station Road, Bishop’s Stortford CM23 3BL 01279 657940

Ben has high hopes for his new art and interiors business Another new business that has just been launched locally is Benjamin Hope Art and Interiors. Hertford resident Ben, who was born and bred in the county town, is a former actor, teacher and university administrator who has long had a love of art. For some years he has been a keen artist, upholsterer and soft furnisher, mainly creating pieces and doing work for friends, family and for his own home, which he shares with his opera singer wife Rosie and daughter Beatrice. But a meeting with an old schoolfriend, which was quickly followed by a series of commissions through word of mouth, persuaded Ben to turn the three strands of his work into a full-time business, which he launched earlier this year. He now sells and takes

commissions for oil paintings, watercolours and pen and ink illustrations. Ben says he is already getting a lot of portrait work, particularly of children and babies, and he says his aim is always to “grab the essence of the person I am painting” rather than try to achieve a faithful photographictype reproduction.

His original food and drink ink and watercolour works are also on display at the French and Day deli in Ware High Street, which Axis featured last month. Ben says he enjoys working with different fabrics to create soft furnishings such as cushions and curtains, while he loves the challenge of upholstering different

types of chairs as well. Away from his new business, Ben is an indie author and is currently working on a sequel to his debut gothic fantasy novel, The Procurement of Souls. To see more of Ben’s work, visit Contact him through the website or email axis magazine 11

Welcome back...

Shop safe Shop local TRAVEL AGENT





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Love Hoddesdon BID launches Town Centre Recovery Plan to support local businesses as they begin to reopen after the latest lockdown With restrictions on shop closures due to be lifted this month, Love Hoddesdon is continuing its work to help the town and its businesses ‘bounce back’ quickly and effectively from the Covid-19 pandemic. Love Hoddesdon BID is a notfor-profit company responsible for the business improvement district representing around 200 businesses in Hoddesdon town centre. Its Board of Directors, which includes representatives from a variety of local businesses, recently approved its Town Centre Recovery Plan. Plan of action The plan takes into account a range of issues about the way the town has coped during the pandemic and concluded: l A co-ordinated approach is needed to help the town ‘bounce back’ as quickly as possible and Love Hoddesdon BID is in a good position to facilitate this. l The support of both Broxbourne Council and Hertfordshire County Council around aspects affecting the public domain will be crucial. l This crisis has strengthened the standing of Love Hoddesdon BID with local business owners through the support and guidance it has provided. l The existing mix of businesses in the town puts it in a good position to ‘bounce back’ – better than many neighbouring towns. l There will be a need to increase confidence among

shoppers that Hoddesdon is a ‘safe’ place to visit. Safe social distancing both in public areas and within individual businesses will be a key factor in reopening the town. l Small businesses will want support and guidance to help them steer towards the ‘new normal’. Many will need to develop their online presence, whilst those in the hospitality sector may need innovative support to help increase potential floorspace, such as pavement licences to make reopening in the next month or so viable. l There is a need to find ways to facilitate events/promotions that draw people to the town centre, whilst not detracting from the need for social distancing measures. Co-ordinated campaigns Broxbourne Council is this month launching a Shop Safe/ Shop Local campaign to increase customer confidence. This is part of the Government’s Reopening High Streets Safely initiative, and will include promotional banners on lampposts, railings, buses and bus shelters. Love Hoddesdon is also currently working on its own Welcome Back to Hoddesdon campaign, which will complement the council’s campaign, looking at a range of ways to encourage local residents to shop locally and to promote local businesses as they start to reopen, via a range of promotional channels.

BID manager Tony Cox hopes to bring events back to the town centre from July

It will also look to slowly rebuild its well-established programme of town centre events with effect from July, provided the social distancing requirements are removed in late June, as the Government has suggested. BID manager Tony Cox said: “The last year has been incredibly difficult for us all, but Love Hoddesdon is convinced it

can help the town bounce back stronger and better! “However, it is crucial local residents support the small, independent shops and hospitality businesses in our town – they won’t survive if we don’t support them!” l For more information go to

Welcome back to Hoddesdon Help businesses survive and thrive

axis magazine 13


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CALL 01992 460 546

*By train travelling from Broxbourne station. Travel times taken from National Rail. Computer generated imagery is indicative only.



Create more space at home with a garden room or conservatory There has never been a better time to create some extra space at your home. With the trend in working from home set to continue, having a garden room built that can operate as a home office is a great way to make sure you can work uninterrupted without turning the dining room table into your desk or having to convert a spare bedroom. Presswarm’s stunning garden rooms are a cost-effective and hassle-free solution to create extra living space to do the things you love. Constructed for all year-round use, they can be used not only as home offices but also as teenage dens, music or art studios, therapy rooms and home gyms. All of Presswarm’s garden rooms are built to last a lifetime and do not require any planning permission. Alternatively, a conservatory will add extra space to your home without compromising on a room’s existing use.

Conservatories come in a variety of colours and are available with many different roof types, and with the Spring now here and summer on its way, now is the ideal time to go ahead. Presswarm Home Improvements is a long-established business that has been carrying out home improvement projects for local customers for almost 50 years. They also specialise in doubleglazed windows, doors, porches, French and patio doors including bi-folds, as well as extensions. For more information or to discuss your project, call 01992 636400 or email The office remains open for enquiries, whilst Presswarm’s showroom on Brookfield Retail Park in Cheshunt will be reopening to visitors soon. Presswarm Brookfield Retail Park, Cheshunt EN8 0NL 01992 636400

Presswarm are experts in building gardens rooms, conservatories and summer houses for local customers


01992 636400

Looking to create some extra space at home?

A new garden room, or conservatory, will give you more space and enhance the value of your home Presswarm is a family-run business with 48 years of experience in improving the homes of local customers. Contact us to find out more, or visit our showroom when we reopen, to discuss your requirements. We’re opposite Tesco and Marks and Spencer at the Brookfield Centre in Cheshunt. | E S TA B L I S H E D 19 7 3 Since 1973 Presswarm has helped thousands of satisfied customers improve and extend their homes 16 axis magazine


New chapter for wedding ring specialist formerly known as Lance James As shops reopen this month, a new chapter begins for Hertford jewellers Lance James. The well-established jewellers, run by Jackie and Andy Benson, marked its 15th anniversary in March, and has undergone a thorough rebrand with a new name and new look to become Chapter 79 (79 being the atomic number of gold). The couple felt it was time for a fresh new look and so the shop, at 15 Market Place, is due to reopen under its new name as soon as restrictions allow. It will still feature the same team, led by Jackie and Andy, and the same great levels of customer service for which it is renowned. The shop has an excellent reputation for its bespoke ring and jewellery-making service, with goldsmith Jackie regularly taking commissions to design and create individual rings and other pieces. It is also well known for its extensive wedding and

engagement rings collection, including the extremely popular carbon fibre range and rings from some of Europe’s finest jewellery houses including Furrer-Jacot. Jackie and the team carry out jewellery remodelling of all types and, with its on-site workshop, Chapter 79 is the go-to local jewellers for repairs too – catering for anything from a simple chain repair to a complete restoration, including replacing missing stones. The shop also sells a wide range of jewellery, showcasing collections from individual silver designers such as ChloBo, Virtue and San. Do pop in and see the new shop when it reopens this month. A new website,, is up and running now too. Chapter 79 15 Market Place, Hertford SG14 1DQ 01992 534555

Top: The new-look shop; Above: Andy and Jackie in their workshop

axis magazine 17



Will Rishi’s Budget 2021 be the shot in the arm we all need? groups to take over the pubs at risk of closure. There is lots more, so no wonder there seems to be so little objection.

Stuart Everett of Hertford accountants Meyer Williams offers his Budget analysis Well, we have finally had the details of spending plans for the forthcoming year announced – and who knows perhaps even designed – by that nice Mr Rishi. It certainly seemed to attract less criticism or hostile comment than any Budget I can remember. Are divisive and confrontational politics a casualty of the pandemic? More likely everybody is spellbound by the antics of the Great P and his hair. I sometimes get the feeling I’m watching Carry On Coronavirus rather than a government dealing with a crisis. However, I will try and summarise Rishi’s Budget by showing the spending and then where the money is coming from. Increased spending: l Extending the job retention scheme until the end of September 2021.

Has the Chancellor been using an abacus to do his sums?

l Extending the cash grant support for the self-employed until the end of September 2021. l Wider access to said selfemployed grants (apparently another £600,000). l Stamp Duty holiday on house purchases in England and Northern Ireland extended to 30th June, no tax charged on sales less than £500,000. l Business rates holiday for firms in England to continue until June with a 75% discount after that. l £5 billion Restart grants for shops and other businesses in England which have been forced to close. l A £20 weekly uplift in Universal Credit worth £1,000 a year to its recipients to be extended for another six months. l Working Tax Credit claimants will get a one off £500 payment. l £19 million for domestic violence programmes, funding

a network of respite rooms for homeless women. l £40 million of new funding for victims of the 1960s Thalidomide scandal and lifetime support guarantee. l £10 million to support armed forces veterans with mental health needs. l £400 million to help arts venues in England, including museums and art galleries. l £300 million recovery package for professional sport and £25 million for grassroots football. l £1.2 million to help stage the delayed women’s Euros football tournament in England in 2022. l £6,000 per premises for non-essential outlets due to re-open in April and £18,000 for gyms, personal care providers and other hospitality or leisure businesses. l £150 million for community

RELIABLE, APPROACHABLE AND PROACTIVE ACCOUNTANTS TO HELP YOU SUCCEED IN BUSINESS & IN LIFE Audit & Accountancy | Business Development | Personal Finances Personal & Corporate Tax | Tax Planning | Corporate Finance | Business Start-ups

Call or email Stephanie to arrange an appointment for an informal chat with one of our directors about your business or financial affairs

Stag House, Old London Road, Hertford, Herts SG13 7LA 01992 550721 | | 18 axis magazine

Where the money is coming from: l No changes to rates of Income Tax, National Insurance or VAT. l Tax-free personal allowances to be frozen from 2021 to 2026. l Corporation Tax on company profits above £250,000 to rise from 19% to 25% in April 2023, except for 1.5 million smaller companies with profits of less than £500,000. l Inheritance Tax thresholds, pension lifetime allowances and Capital Gains Tax exemptions to be frozen at 2020-2021 levels until 2025-26. Does it all add up? Surely that cannot be it? That is not going to pay for everything. Either Rishi’s maths is a bit suspect, or I have missed something? Ah yes, there it is! Could it be that the 750 UK civil servants being relocated to a New Treasury campus in Darlington are actually joining a new Treasury facility to print money quicker than Rishi can spend it? Surely that must be the only answer if our taxes are not increasing! l The new tax year will be with us by the time you read this and your notice to file a tax return will be in the post. Get it done early this year; phone 01992 550721 if you need help with it.


Picture-perfect Fore Street in Old Hatfield just oozes history, while Hatfield Park offers both leisure and business space

Historic Old Hatfield and Park offer a new way of life for both residents and businesses The events of the last year have, for many, called into question where we live, work and play. Destinations which provide access to green space and fresh air, yet remain conveniently located, have become more appealing. Hatfield Park is well-known as a long-established visitor attraction, but it is also at the centre of a thriving estate and community. It is owned by Gascoyne Estates, a uniquely placed landowner with a long-term outlook founded on traditional values yet with an understanding of the needs of 21st century occupiers. Both the Park and neighbouring Old Hatfield, where Gascoyne Estates owns many properties, are home to a growing cluster of companies which operate from characterful workspaces. Hatfield is increasingly viewed as a destination for energetic, creative and innovative occupiers. Despite the lockdowns, the estate has welcomed a new tech company, an award-winning independent dessert creator and a bespoke floral stylist, amongst others. Homes managed by Gascoyne range from period farmhouses and cottages to modern townhouses

and flats, all maintained to modern standards whilst retaining original features. In the coming weeks notable properties on Fore Street, in Old Hatfield, will be marketed to let, representing a rare opportunity to live in this unique and historic neighbourhood. Residents benefit from free membership of Friends of Hatfield Park which provides access to the Park, early access to event notifications and exclusive offers from Stable Yard businesses. The Stable Yard itself acts as a central hub where residents and business staff can have breakfast, coffee or lunch. Hatfield Railway Station is moments’ walk from the park and Old Hatfield, with London Kings Cross just 25 minutes by train, whilst Oxford and Cambridge are within easy reach owing to Hatfield’s proximity to the A1(M) and the M25. If you are considering moving home, relocating your business or perhaps plan to found a start-up and appreciate the benefits a home or workspace in a setting such as Hatfield can offer, you can find out more, and see available properties, at

Arm and Sword Lane is a development of houses and office space

Residents benefit from free membership to Friends of Hatfield Park axis magazine 19


Explore the park & gardens

Indulge at the Stable Yard Shops & restaurant

Book an exclusive experience in the park





Seasons to be cheerful: Venues to visit this month as Spring begins and restrictions start to ease MARK SIMS

LET OFF STEAM AT THE WHITE WATER CENTRE Lee Valley White Water Centre at Waltham Cross is now open again, offering the perfect opportunity to shake off that lockdown lethargy with a series of adrenalin-fuelled activities. The 2012 Olympic venue offers kayaking, canoeing, paddle

boarding, white water rafting, hot dogs (two person inflatable rafts) and hydrospeeding on the white water course. Sessions start from as little as £5, with prices rising to £50 and £100 for some longer experiences. For more information go to whitewater.


DISCOVER WILDLIFE IN THE LEE VALLEY Bird watchers and nature lovers can get up close to the glorious wildlife and habitats to be found in the Lee Valley when the Wildlife Discovery Centre reopens on Monday 12th April. The impressive new centre in the River Lee Country Park in

Waltham Abbey, which was completed last year, offers far-reaching, 360-degree views of the surrounding area and the wildlife around it. The nearest car park is in Stubbins Hall Lane, Waltham Abbey EN9 2EF. The centre will be open for pre-booked visits only – go to JONTY WILDE

DISCOVER THE FARM IN HERTFORD TOWN CENTRE A Farm Characters Town Centre Trail is taking place around the streets of Hertford until Saturday 10th April. Organised by Hertford Town Council and the Secret Society of Hertford Crafters, it is aimed at children and their families and is free. Knitted farm characters such as chickens and turkeys can be found in shop windows around the town, as well as tractors and

even a farm with a farmer! To take part, people should pick up a trail leaflet from the leaflet holder outside Hertford Town and Tourist Information Centre in The Wash and then follow the trail to find at least nine of the 13 hidden characters. Once completed, trail maps should be returned through the letterbox of the TTIC for a chance to win a £30, £20 or £10 gift voucher to spend at a Hertford retailer.

APPRECIATE THE GENIUS OF HENRY MOORE Henry Moore Studios and Gardens are now open again. The famed sculpture gardens can be found in the hamlet of Perry Green, close to Much Hadham and are able to open as an outdoor attraction, with Covid security measures in place of course. The home and workplace of 20th century sculptor Henry Moore, the venue features 70 acres of

gardens and rolling fields, with the great man’s work placed in the outdoor setting he envisaged for it. Tickets are now available for the gardens only at this time, with standard entry £6.35 (with Gift Aid £7). Concessions are £5.45/£6 and children aged 5-18 £3.25/£3.60. Family (2+2) admission is £16.25/£17.90. Book tickets at or call 01279 843333 for more information. axis magazine 21


It’s time to go outside: Enjoy the beauty of these gardens

HATFIELD PARK & GARDENS WELCOME BACK VISITORS Hatfield Park and Gardens, one of Hertfordshire’s premier attractions, are now open to the public again for the season. You can explore the park as the gardens begin to bloom, while the on-site Coach House Kitchen in the Stable Yard is also now open for takeaway. It will offer outside dining from Monday

12th April, which is when the Stable Yard shops will also be able to open. Hatfield House itself is scheduled to open from 3rd June. Tickets cost £11 for adults and £7 for children aged 3-15 for entry to the garden, park and woodland walks and must be booked in advance. Tickets can be booked online at

THE GARDENS DESIGNED BY GUSSIE BOWLES The delightful Myddelton House Gardens in Enfield are now open again and remain free to enjoy, though visits must currently be pre-booked. The former lifelong home and gardens of the renowned botanist EA (Gussie) Bowles span eight acres and are home to a variety of rare and unusual plants, including an


extensive heritage kitchen garden and cut flower beds, all of which have been restored to tell the story of Bowles’s life and gardening style. The gardens are accessed off Bulls Cross, Enfield (EN2 9HG) and sessions are available to be booked at 10am, 12noon and 2pm from Wednesday to Sunday. Book at Myddelton. REBECCA DURRANT

Marsh Lane, Harlow, Essex CM17 0NA


The Gibberd Garden will open initially every Wednesday and Sunday, 2pm – 5pm (last entry 4pm).

Adults, £5; Concessions, £4; Children, 5-16 yrs, £1; under 5s Free

We are taking a cautious approach to possible future events so please continue to check the website for updates.

The Gibberd Garden is run almost entirely by volunteers. Registered Charity No: 1053608

22 axis magazine

SURPRISES ABOUND IN THE GIBBERD GARDEN The unique and beautiful Gibberd Garden in Harlow has reopened to visitors, initially every Wednesday and Sunday from 2-5pm, last entry at 4pm. The house and garden was the home of Harlow New Town’s master planner, the architect Sir Frederick Gibberd, who lived there from 1970 until his death in 1984. The site is now run by the Gibberd Garden Trust, and the gardens are filled with surprises,

including sculpture, at almost every turn. If you are visiting by car, you need to pre-book at the moment and there is a cost of £10 per car. If walking, no booking is required. Entry is £5 for adults, £4 for concessions (those aged over 60 or students) and £1 for children aged 5-16. The garden is in Marsh Lane, Harlow CM17 0NA. For further information call 01279 442112 or visit


Luna drive-in cinema returning to Knebworth in May The Luna Cinema is bringing its outdoor drive-in film experience back to Knebworth House in May. It’s a retro experience but with state of the art sound and visuals, and became increasingly popular last year when Luna, the UK’s leading outdoor cinema company, pivoted during the Covid restrictions to put on socially distanced in-car showings rather than its traditional offering. Luna says it hopes to begin its usual outdoor films in June but, for now, the drive-in experience can be enjoyed at Knebworth House every evening from Saturday 8th to Wednesday 26th May. Doors open at 7.30pm with the film showing each night from 8.45pm (8th-11th May) and 9pm (12th-26th May). Admission for a standard or large car is £37.50 while Gold Circle parking (1st three rows) is £47.50 for standard sized cars only.

The Greatest Showman: 15th and 22nd May Bohemian Rhapsody: 16th May Romeo + Juliet: 18th May Jurassic Park: 19th and 25th May Star Wars: A New Hope: 20th May Rocketman: 23rd May.

Full programme: Grease: 8th and 21st May Pretty Woman: 9th and 24th May Jaws: 10th May Back to the Future: 11th and 17th May Notting Hill: 12th May Pulp Fiction: 13th May Dirty Dancing: 14th and 26th May

l Book now at




Festival fever: Kaleidoscope and Standon Calling to go ahead

Alexandra Palace in north London is confident its Kaleidoscope festival will go ahead on Saturday 24th July. Set in the grounds of one of the capital’s most iconic venues, Kaleidoscope launched in 2018 as a one-day festival on the doorsteps of people living in north London and Herts. This year, the music is set to be provided by Groove Armada, Norman Jay MBE, House Gospel Choir and The Coral, while words and comedy will feature Irvine Welsh, Phil Wang, Sophie Dukor and others. Kaleidoscope’s main stage boasts sweeping views of London’s impressive skyline and as well as live music, DJ sets and comedy there will be family entertainment and food and drink available.

Tickets start from £39.50. For more information and to book visit Standon Calling The team behind Hertfordshire’s popular festival Standon Calling are going full steam ahead with planning for this year’s event, which will be its rescheduled 15th birthday party after missing last year. Due to be held at Standon, north of Hertford, Ware and Bishop’s Stortford from Thursday 22nd to Sunday 25th July, the festival will be headlined by Bastille, Hot Chip and Primal Scream, as well as De La Soul, Sister Sledge, Everything Everything and Sophie Ellis-Bextor featuring Sink The Pink. Standon Calling is renowned

for being about a lot more than music however, and this year the family attractions include Horrible Histories and a Dick & Dom DJ Battle, as well as a climbing wall, giant zip line, adventure playground, talks, workshops, dog show, swimming pool, hot tubs and street food. There will also be comedy from Ed Gamble, Hannah Fairweather, Zoe Lyons and Owen Roberts. Tickets are now on sale for the weekend (£179) and individual days (£65). All weekend tickets include camping from Thursday 22nd to Monday 26th July as standard. Book with confidence – should Covid lead the festival to be cancelled tickets will be refunded or rolled over. Book at

Principal artist Chloe Hanslip

Re-scheduled Hertfordshire Festival of Music set to take place in June Hertfordshire Festival of Music 2021 is expected to go ahead, taking place in and around Hertford from Friday 4th to Thursday 10th June. The classical music festival, now in its fifth year, was postponed in 2020 as a result of the pandemic but is now set to once again bring world class musicians to the county town. It has grown from a weekend event to a longer summer celebration of classical music, featuring international artists and ensembles alongside innovative outreach and educational projects. This year’s principal artist is violinist Chloe Hanslip, while Judith Weir CBE is the featured living composer. Other performers will include pianist Danny Driver, Albion Quartet, Matthew Sharp (cello/ voice), Fontanella Recorder Consort, pianist Florian Mitrea, Hertfordshire Festival Orchestra and ZRI. The festival is the brainchild of the co-artistic directors, conductor Tom Hammond and composer James Francis Brown. For details of the range of concerts, recitals and master classes, and to book tickets, visit axis magazine 23


Degard: Direct from VR at the RCA to Hertford The RCA-trained contemporary artist Degard is showing her latest collection of paintings in the virtual reality exhibition Drip: Still Lifes, recorded directly from the Royal College of Art, on the online platform Artsy until Sunday 18th April. The Hertfordshire-based artist will then be showing some of the works in the Vision On Gallery in Hertford, as soon as the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions permits. Degard is a pioneering “painter of auras” and her new exhibition captures some of the world’s most impactful brands, exploring the psychometry of high-end objects, brands and works of art. In her work, Degard visualises the auras or energy fields around people, objects and even places which, she says, can create “a type of transient happiness in our lives”. To view the online exhibition, visit The physical exhibition will be at Vision On Gallery, Agility House, 37-39 Cowbridge, Hertford SG14 1PN, as soon after Wednesday 21st April as Covid restrictions allow. Keep up to date at

Follow this year’s Hertford Arts Trail This year’s Hertford Arts Trail takes place around the county town from Monday 12th April to Saturday 8th May. Organised by Hertford Town Council and Courtyard Arts, the free, month-long activity sees local artists exhibiting pieces of art in shops and venues around Hertford. The start of the trail coincides with the opening of shops following the latest lockdown and more than 30 artists will be showing their work this year. To see all the locations, pick up a copy of the trail programme from Hertford Town and Tourist Information Centre in The Wash or view it at

Some of Degard’s striking work from her new exhibition

Works include these from Gabrielle Vickery, Margaret Blascos, Nick Dittrich and Hilary Brice (below)

Stortford Art Society’s Spring exhibition Bishop’s Stortford Art Society’s online Spring Exhibition will be available to view from Tuesday 6th April. The society’s previous two online exhibitions can also still be viewed on its website and, should you wish to buy any of the pieces, a safe, convenient handover can be arranged as all the artists live locally. 24 axis magazine

Meanwhile, the society has decided to continue its free membership offer for the year 2021-22 so anyone over the age of 18, of any ability, can join. To do so or to request further information, send an email to You can view all the artwork for sale at, under the Exhibitions tab.

Parndon Mill adds changing exhibition to its online gallery The Gallery at Parndon Mill has supplemented its excellent online gallery by adding a changing exhibition. Currently showing is Facing Forward, a collection of portraits by artists who all have a very different approach. This was the last physical exhibition to be shown in the gallery before lockdown but only managed two (very successful) weeks before being forced to close. Now, everyone has the chance to view it again. You can view the exhibition at l Pictured above is Red Dress II by Corrina Dunlea.



Pubs and restaurants prepare for an alfresco April...

Time to go outside: The George IV’s renovated heated patio area; The Golden Fleece’s garden terrace and Down Hall hotel’s dining area

Monday 12th April is the date when pubs and restaurants are able to reopen to serve food and drink outdoors, subject to the rule of six or two households meeting. The dedicated owners and staff at our local eateries have become masters at reinventing themselves over the past 12 months and now they are doing so again, with many reworking outdoor spaces such as terraces and courtyards to offer as much alfresco dining as possible. With indoor spaces not due to reopen until 17th May at the earliest, now is the time to go out with confidence and support our great local hospitality sector. Here are some suggestions for places to visit this month: Golden Fleece, Braughing Peter and Jess Tatlow’s country pub will be open on Monday 12th April, then closed Tuesday and Wednesday that week other than for the usual Wednesday Tapas Evening. It will then be open from Thursday to Sunday each week for food at lunchtimes outside and in the evening. If you prefer you can have a drink outside and

order a takeaway to go home with. Spaces will be available on the terrace, on the grass or at the front of the pub. Booking, though welcome, is not essential. / 01920 823555 George IV, Great Amwell The George IV will be open on Monday 12th and Tuesday 13th April to celebrate the easing of lockdown restrictions, for lunch and dinner. The George has two outdoor spaces, having invested in a renovated heated patio area at the front of the pub last year, together with its courtyard garden. After the first two opening days The George will be open Wednesday to Friday from 12noon to 3.30pm and then 5-11pm; plus Saturdays from 12noon to 11pm and Sunday from 12noon to 6pm. 01920 870039 The Fox and Hounds, Hunsdon The Fox and Hounds is installing a new weather-proof gazebo to add some extra comfort to the outdoor dining

experience when it reopens. The popular pub, which is the only establishment in Hertfordshire to hold a Michelin Bib Gourmand award, will reopen on Wednesday 14th April. Its new opening hours will be: Wednesday to Saturday from 10am-3.30pm (last food orders at 2pm) and from 5.30-10pm (last food orders at 8.30pm). On Sunday, the pub will be open from 10am to 5pm, with last food orders at 3.30pm. Dining reservations are available for Terrace Gazebo tables only – the gazebo has heaters and lights. The other terrace tables are not weather-proof and are available on a walk-in basis, first come first served. Tables in the garden itself will be allocated for drinkers and cannot be reserved. 01279 843999 Erman’s Kitchen, Old Harlow Now is a great time to go and support Erman’s Kitchen in Old Harlow. This smart Turkish restaurant only opened last year and has had to suffer lockdown after lockdown in its first 12 months. The restaurant has a covered and heated outdoor

space and will be reopening on Monday 12th April, from 8am to offer breakfast. 01279 454000 Down Hall, Hatfield Heath Down Hall Country House Hotel will be serving lunch and afternoon tea on its terrace for locals looking for a touch of luxury on their doorstep from Monday 12th April. Overlooking the hotel’s grounds, the terrace is a south-west facing sun trap with its own outdoor bar and plenty of patio heaters. All menus celebrate the best in British produce with ingredients sourced from local suppliers and the hotel’s own kitchen garden. Afternoon tea is also available, featuring finger sandwiches, scones with cream and jam, followed by sweet treats and a selection of fine tea, for £30 per person, or with Champagne or prosecco for up to £10 extra per glass. You can also order a picnic hamper in advance and find a spot to enjoy it in the 110-acre grounds if you prefer. 01279 731441 axis magazine 25


THE WINE SHOP Discover our exclusive range of products on our website: Local & Nationwide Delivery and Click & Collect available Weddings, Trade Accounts and Corporate Events

The Wine Column

By Ritchie Tough of Cavavin

Step into Spring with this Château D’Ollières Prestige Rosé

Rosé, a success story that lasts longer than the summer Rosé is one of the wine industry’s biggest recent success stories and its popularity is showing no sign of slowing down. Whether it’s popping a bottle of pink fizz in the summer or sipping on a glass as an aperitif, this style of wine is as trendy as ever. But what exactly is rosé wine? Red grapes produce clear juice, so you can make any colour wine with them. It’s the length of time that the juice is left to hang out with the dark skins that determines whether it will be white, pink or red, so it’s actually the skins that give the wine you will eventually drink its colour. Rosé, Rosato, Rosado, Rosewen … no matter how you say it, in French, Italian, Spanish or German, respectively … there’s no denying the appeal of this cheery wine style, and it will become even more popular with warmer weather on the horizon. Of course, as with all trends, brands start to emerge, and among those you may have already noticed is Miraval rosé, from the Provence vineyard that is part-owned by Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. Does knowing who is behind the product subconsciously affect our product choice? Then there is the mighty Whispering Angel – an entry level product from a vineyard with an easy to remember name. Both of these wines are coming in at around £20. Personally, I would rather choose a top end wine in a vineyard’s portfolio. Try the Chateau D’Ollières Prestige, from a small, unknown Provence house, for example. Chateau D’Ollières

Direct from Provence, the home of rosé wine, just £18.50 from Cavavin, The Wine Shop In store or order online 22 Maidenhead Street, Hertford SG14 1DR 01992 558311 Tuesday to Saturday: 10am-5pm Sunday and Monday: 12pm-5pm 26 axis magazine

Cavavin is your local, independent wine shop. It’s at 22 Maidenhead Street, Hertford SG14 1DR. Call 01992 558311 or visit Online ordering available. “You can’t buy happiness but you can buy rosé – and that’s close enough”




THE GEORGE IV Pub & Dining


The quality of the well-established Saffron in Hoddesdon was recognised when it won Best Indian Restaurant in Hertfordshire in the 2017 Curry Life Awards. This stylish restaurant is a contemporary venue in which both traditional and unique Indian dishes can be enjoyed alongside superb service. It can cater for both large gatherings and more intimate dinners. If you fancy trying Saffron’s great food at home, both delivery and collection are currently available with a 10% discount for collections.

The George IV is delighted to reopen and welcome you back in April. The recently renovated terrace area with heaters, together with a private courtyard, are perfect to enjoy alfresco dining this Spring. The George IV offers freshly prepared dishes, including traditional pub classics, in a friendly pub atmosphere and is an ideal venue for private events including intimate weddings, birthdays, anniversaries or corporate functions.

The Golden Fleece is an old English pub with a contemporary twist, and one where the food is so good that it has earned an entry in the Michelin Guide for Hotels and Restaurants. Set at the heart of the village of Braughing, Jess and Peter Tatlow’s pub offers a menu of fresh, seasonal and delicious locally sourced food and also caters for diners who require gluten-free meals. As a free house at the heart of its community, the Fleece is also able to offer a wide range of real ales, beers, wines and spirits. A takeaway menu is now available.

25 High Street, Hoddesdon EN11 8SX 01992 461171 / 01992 461160

Cautherly Lane, Great Amwell SG12 9SW / 01920 870039

20 Green End, Braughing SG11 2PG 01920 823555



FOX AND HOUNDS Restaurant & The Fox Shop & Deli

This family-run restaurant, which opened in 2020, plans to reopen to diners with its covered and heated outdoor space from 12th April. It offers a menu of Turkish cuisine, high quality drinks and cocktails and will now be open from 8am daily for breakfast too. It is housed in a Grade II listed former pub that has been refurbished into three contemporary and comfortable dining areas plus the garden. The menu offers hot and cold starters, grills and Erman’s signature dishes that include Turkish fish and seafood specialities.

The popular authentic family-run Villa Italia restaurant in Sawbridgeworth opened in March 2019 and quickly became a firm local favourite. It offers a wide range of crowd-pleasing Italian dishes to suit every occasion, including pizza, pasta, meat and fish dishes as well as homemade desserts. Villa Italia is currently open for takeaway orders on Friday and Saturday from 5-9pm and on Sunday from 1-5.30pm. A roast dinner is available on Sunday as well with meats changing weekly – just call or email to order.

The Fox and Hounds, now in its 16th year of trading under owners Bianca and James Rix, is well established as one of Hertfordshire’s leading eating out destinations. The Josper oven, seasonal menus, superb Sunday lunch and relaxed atmosphere are all great reasons to visit. Bianca and James have also added a popular shop and deli in the bar area, selling their homemade ready meals to take away, Brindisa deli treats, fresh bread, pastries, flowers, plants and gifts from local suppliers. Open from 9am (10am weekends) Weds-Sun.

2 Fore Street, Old Harlow CM17 0AA 01279 454000

48 & 52 Bell Street, Sawbridgeworth CM21 9AN 01279 358358

2 High Street, Hunsdon SG12 8NH 01279 843999 axis magazine 27

9-13 Parliament Square n Hertford n SG14 1EX


For Sale: £650,000 – Youngs Mews, Hertford. Freehold. Three bedroom mews house in prime position on the park. Spread over three floors with river views, landscaped garden, first floor balcony and off street parking.

01992 721 321 n

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