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November / December 2017

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a l on g t h e t h a m es

to our Christmas edition

Serena Edwards Editor

By the time you are reading this we will all be counting down to Christmas, looking forward to parties and celebrating with family and friends at this lovely time of year.

ADVERTISING: 01628 627 488 CONTACT US: Living Along the Thames Magazine Studio 108, 5 High Street, Maidenhead, Berks SL6 1JN Tel: 01628 627 488

As ever we have a jam-packed edition full of Christmas gifts, Christmas beauty and hair styling along with a travel feature takes us to the Great Barrier Reef. We have some fabulous competitions to win, a family health Club membership with David Lloyd for two adults and up to 3 children worth approximately £1750, a £60 voucher from Copas Traditional Turkey’s and a pair of women’s skates from We feature an interview with George Michael’s Manager, David Austin, with the release of Freedom, the film of his career, along with all our usual articles, including your Stars for November, recipes, the crossword and more. The National Trust has rounded up things to do and see at some of their local properties over Christmas, so hopefully you’ll get the opportunity to get out and enjoy our countryside during the winter months. Our January/February edition will feature health and well-being so do get in touch if you are interested in featuring your business to our readership. All that is left for me to do is thank all of my advertisers for their support through 2017 and to wish them and you, the Reader, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We look forward to catching back up with you in 2018

CONTRIBUTORS: Dru Ross, Christine Chalklin, Karine Jackson, Katy Dunn, Jacky & Mark Bloomfield ACCOUNTS: Lisa Dansey Tel: 07863 136951 DESIGNED BY: Digital Bear Design Tel: 01949 839206 LOVE MAGAZINES?: subscribe to 6 copies for £18 a year Tel: 01628 627 488 View our recent editions online at: FOLLOW US: @AlongtheThames LIKE US: LivingAlongTheThames


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Living Along the Thames is hand delivered into 12,000 ABC1 homes every two months in Maidenhead, Marlow, Henley, Cookham & Bourne End, including High Streets. Produced by Living Along The Thames Magazines. All Rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the prior written permission of the Publisher and is protected by copyright. The views expressed in Living Along the Thames magazine are not necessarily the views of the editor/publisher. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure quality and content, the publisher cannot be held responsible for errors in articles, advertisements and photographs. Copyright © November/December 2017 Living Along the Thames 2017 ISSN 2398-9343

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2017

Dine at Humphry’s, Stoke Park’s 3 AA Rosette Award winning restaurant and enjoy a complimentary dessert! On booking please quote “Living Along the Thames” to receive a complimentary dessert at the restaurant.

Humphry’s is open for all: Lunch (12-2.30pm): Sunday

Dinner (7-10pm): Wednesday - Sunday

To book please call our Reservations Team on 01753 71 71 72.


Stoke Park, Park Road, Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire SL2 4PG

T&C’s: This offer is valid until 31st March 2018 and only valid if you enjoy a starter and main course per person. Subject to availability.

365 Chefs for Charity Charitable Bookings is a philanthropic restaurant booking platform that raises funds for UK registered charities at absolutely no cost! When making a booking through, £1 for every diner will be donated to charity. The Charitable Bookings Signature Dish recipe book retails at £40.00 including a £5 donation to a charity of the recipient’s choice. 365 leading UK chefs with their main course signature dish recipes is the perfect gift for all foodies. The elegantly designed 754 page hardback book, encased in a stylish sleeve, features an incredible array of mouth- watering main course dishes across a wide range of cuisines. Transport yourself into the kitchens of the likes of John Williams at The Ritz, Marcus Wareing, Alan Coxon, Jun Tanaka, Atul Kochhar, Claude Bosi, Mickael Weiss at Quaglino’s, Tom Kerridge, Jamie Dobbin at The Groucho Club, Paul Ainsworth, Michael Brown at Daphne’s, Andrew McLay at

J.Sheekey, Albert Roux, Ken Hom, Theo Randall, Brian Turner, Claudio Cardoso at Sushi Samba, Tom Aikens and Jason Atherton. Dreaming of the book already? You could otherwise win this book for free when you make and honour 30 bookings for 3 or more people through the Charitable Bookings Platform.

Every time you complete the 30 Bookings Challenge you will have raised £90 for charity at absolutely no cost to you. No booking is necessary to sign up and takes no more than 10 seconds. Sign up today and start enjoying making bookings via phone or online at over 8,000 restaurants across the UK and help us raise much needed unrestricted funds.

Bray’s Caldesi in Campagna Celebrates its 10th Birthday with a Magnificent Makeover… The Caldesis have increased the floor space of their restaurant to give a more spacious dining experience with the bar area now a welcoming space for guests and somewhere to linger over a drink after dinner. There’s brand new plush seating and leather chairs and banquettes in the bar area which, with its marble tables and checkered tiled floor, is now an ideal spot for an aperitivo and some antipasti or the new light bites menu for those customers who just want to drop by for a quick drink and a snack. Katie Caldesi has introduced a new blue colour palette to the decoration with lavishly extravagant patterned wall coverings and two feature walls of Italian memorabilia and Giancarlo’s old family photographs. These give fascinating glimpses into Giancarlo’s history, heritage and influences.


“We’re delighted with the beautiful new restaurant” said Giancarlo “The feature walls and mirror in the

conservatory really give the room a ‘wow’ factor”.

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER /DECEMBER 2017

THE OXFORD BLUE, OLD WINDSOR welcomes you to try their new lunchtime menu

2 courses £20 3 courses £25 Available Wednesday to Saturday | Booking recommended!

Quote ‘Living Along the Thames’ when booking. The Oxford Blue | 10 Crimp Hill | Old Windsor | Berkshire SL4 2QY 01753 861954 |

Tarte Tatin Is a traditional French pudding that we do with our own slight twist or interpretation.

Method: Spread the butter into the bottom of a heavy based 15cm sauce pan. Evenly spread the sugar over the butter. Place the cinnamon stick and star anise across the middle of the pan. Tightly pack the apple pieces in the pan, placing the cored end of the apple in the centre.


Ingredients: 3 Pink lady apples, peeled quartered and turned 50g of butter 100g caster sugar 1 cinnamon stick 1 star anise 1 puff pastry disc

Put the pan onto a stove and at high heat let the sugar caramelize until it’s a light golden brown colour. Take off the heat and let cool slightly before placing a 4mm puff pastry disc on top, pushing it in round the apples at the edge of the pan and spiking the pastry a few times to let steam out.

Place in the oven and bake at 200 degrees C, for about 25 minutes, when the pasty will be a nice golden colour and crispy. The caramel in and around the apples will be a nice dark caramel colour. Let it rest for a while then turn out onto a plate and serve with vanilla ice cream. Courtesy Executive Chef Ronnie Kimbugwe

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER /DECEMBER 2017

Christmas at Bianco Nero 3 courses for ÂŁ24.95 A complimentary glass of Prosecco on arrival A ÂŁ30 voucher for the party organiser to use in the restaurant in January.

Family Run | Authentic Italian Cuisine | A La Carte Italian Menu Booking Recommended

01628 636137 Mon-Sat 11.30am - 2.30pm | Evenings from 6.00pm | Closed Sunday

Bianco Nero Ristorante Italiano | 12-14 Bridge Street | SL6 8BJ 9|

The voucher cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers. Offer expires 31/12/17. Please book in advance either by phone or through our website mentioning the offer. The voucher Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2017 must be presented to a member of staff on request of the bill.

along the thames MAIDENHEAD LIBRARY: Now - 18th December MARLOW INFORMATION CENTRE: Now- 23rd December ST DUNSTAN’S CHURCH, BOURNE END: 8th November -16th December THE CHRIST CHURCH, HENLEY: Now -18th December T: 01264 361 555 or shop on-line at CARDS FOR GOOD CAUSES LIMITED IS THE TRADING COMPANY OF THE 1959 GROUP OF CHARITIES (REGISTERED CHARITY NO. 249039)

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Wishing all of our readers and advertisers a Happy Christmas

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER /DECEMBER 2017

CELEBRATE at OURS this CHRISTMAS Festive menus from £40 per person

Taplow, Berkshire, SL6 0JF Tel: 01628 607107




Dress up for an evening of glamour as we whisk you back in time to the decadent 1920s

Our elegant Regency Suite holds up to 120 guests and is perfect for a private Christmas party

• Drinks reception • Lavish three course dinner • Disco to dance the night away

Dates available November, December and January 2018

From £45.00 per person

From £39.50 per person

Book on 0344 879 9128 or email Marlow Bridge, Marlow, Buckinghamshire, SL7 1RG

Turkey and Creamy Stilton Pies Makes 4 50g butter 1 tbsp rapeseed oil 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped 250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced 400g leftover Golden Turkey, brown and white meat (cut into chunks) 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed 2 sprigs fresh thyme (leaves only) 1 tbsp of brandy 100ml turkey or chicken stock 150ml double cream 120g stilton cheese, crumbled 375g pack ready rolled puff pastry 1 egg beaten Sea salt and black pepper

Nutritional Information

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Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4

and stir in the stilton, season with sea salt and black pepper.


Divide the turkey mixture between 4 individual pie dishes.

Heat the butter and rapeseed oil in a large frying pan, add the onion mushrooms and cook over a low heat for 2-3minutes or until soft. Then stir in the cooked turkey, garlic and thyme and cook for a further 3 minutes, pour over the brandy and allow to bubble for 1 minute, then add the stock and cream and warm through gently. Remove from the heat

Unroll the pastry and cut into four pastry lids (slightly larger than the individual pie dishes). Then wet the rim of the dishes with water. Lay the pastry circles over the top and press to the rim firmly. Make a small slit with a knife to allow the steam to escape. Brush with beaten egg and place on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes until golden. Courtesy

Per pie 913 kcal | 67.4g fat | 36.5g saturates | 3.9g sugars | 1.7g salt

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER /DECEMBER 2017

Reader's Offer

Living Along The Thames and Copas Traditional Turkeys have teamed up to offer two lucky readers the opportunity to win a £60 voucher each. This year, Copas Traditional Turkeys hit their milestone 60th Anniversary and, to celebrate this momentous occasion, are offering two lucky “Living Along The Thames” readers the chance to win a £60 gift voucher each. The vouchers can be used against any Copas Traditional Turkeys products which can be seen at Copas Turkeys are reared to full maturity in beautiful meadows & cherry orchards in Cookham, Berkshire. Each bird is game-hung and hand-plucked, providing an award-winning, delicious dense meat that doesn’t require basting. Copas Traditional Turkeys can deliver UK wide, but every year, hundreds of families choose to start their festivities by picking up their turkeys at the annual Collection Day at the farm on December 23rd. Come & meet Santa & his reindeer, listen to the choir & kick-off Christmas in style.


What milestone anniversary are Copas Traditional Turkeys celebrating in 2017? Please send your answer to by 10th December. Each winner will receive their £60 voucher by email on December 14th & have until 17th December to place their order at One entry per family only, winners chosen at random, voucher can only be redeemed against Copas product

Christmas with


The Traditional Way

Exceptional Flavour Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2017

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5 of the best bars from around the world

Drinks writers Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley map out their favourite watering holes from around the globe. 1. Dukes Hotel, London If Dukes had a theme tune, it would be Monty Norman’s James Bond Theme, as this discreet hotel bar nestled in the back streets of St James’ has suave spy written all over it. Dukes is supposedly the location where Ian Fleming developed some of his most memorable characters, and the cocktail list reflects the Bond connections sympathetically such as the zesty double punch of the classic Vesper. The real highlight is the drinks trolley, where Alessandro Palazzi crafts his takes on the classics by using an array of frozen spirits and zero dilution. Powerful, charismatic and charming, the drinks should be issued with a licence to kill, given their potency. 2. Little Red Door, Paris Artistic, avant-garde and undoubtedly stylish is the Little Red Door. The bar, headed up by Remy Savage, has redefined the approach to the creation of the cocktail, looking beyond merely bringing flavours together, to applying art concepts and architecture, too.

3. Door 74, Amsterdam Door 74 can make the lofty claim of being Amsterdam’s first speakeasy-styled bar, and since it opened back in 2008 it has been thrilling customers with its timeless Prohibition-style chic. From the sliding panel in the nondescript front door where you are greeted, all the way through to where you are served incredibly well-crafted cocktails from a variety of frankly bizarre glassware (think drinking horns and glass skulls). 4. McSorley’s Ale House, New York New York is steeped in history, shaping much of the 19th and 20th century with music, fashion, art, architecture, politics, film and literature. Originally called The Old House at Home, this watering hole first flung open its saloon doors in the mid-1800s, but only to men.It only admitted women for the first time after legally being forced to do so in 1970 and is said to have had such luminaries as Abe Lincoln, John Lennon and Hunter S Thompson through its doors.


A must-visit when you’re in Manhattan, this is a true spit-and-sawdust venue that gives only ales, and of course a cheese platter with raw onions.

4. 2. 5. 3.

5. Zoetrope, Tokyo An intriguing bar, which is named after the ancient spinning cylindrical device that gives an illusion of a moving image. However, there are no illusions here as you stare at the incredibly well-stocked back bar with a good few hundred rare Japanese single malts. Zoetrope has lovingly been curated and cared for by the owner, Atsushi Horigami. You can enjoy one of his many whisky recommendations while watching old films from the age of silent movies, which are projected onto the back wall. Straight Up: Where To drink & What To Drink On Every Continent by Joel Harrison & Neil Ridley by Mitchell Beazley, £16.99.

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Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER /DECEMBER 2017

cocktail culture through the years: the trendiest tipples from the past seven decades To coincide with The Ivy’s centenary celebrations, we catch up with Darren Ball, bar manager to hear his thoughts on cocktails through the decades.







1. 1950s... Vesper Martini The scene was Montengro, the character was Bond, the drink? Gin, vodka, and Kina Lillet. Such a classic serve should never be changed, especially one that was created in the 1950s by Ian Fleming, in his first Bond novel, Casino Royale. 2. 1960s... Pina Colada In an era of peace and free love, this creamy tipple was consumed in spades. Indeed, if yoga isn’t your thing and you like getting caught in the rain, this Puerto Rican export is the answer. Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2017

3. 1970s... Sloe Comfortable Screw Against The Wall It’s a long name, sure, but certainly a worthy cocktail. What it comes down to is: Sloe for the Sloe Gin, Comfortable - for the Southern Comfort, Screw - for the Screwdriver ingredients of orange juice and vodka, and Up Against The Wall - references a Harvey “Wall” banger cocktail, which is basically a Screwdriver with Galliano. Put it all together and marvel at the taste - it’s simply delicious, and the colours are very Seventies to boot. 4. 1980s... Long Island Iced Tea Synonymous with cult film Cocktail, the Long Island Iced Tea is a worldwide favourite, encouraging hedonism amongst the most unlikely of culprits, including that of a babyfaced Tom Cruise. 5. 1990s... Watermelon Martini As the end of the Nineties soared into the millennium, we witnessed a world spun around by the UK’s favourite Aussie singer, Kylie. To accompany this shoe-tapping hit was the honeydew Watermelon Martini, created at famed London hotspot, the Met Bar. 6. 2000s... Cosmopolitan As seen in much-loved Sex And The City, where it was merrily sipped by the brilliant Samantha, the Cosmopolitan has become a favourite tipple throughout cityscapes across the globe; created by cocktail mastermind Toby Cecchini. 7. Now... Old Fashioned An American cocktail of old created in the 1700s, this whisky serve is now the drink of choice for trendy hipsters wanting a bourbon hit. After all, if it’s good enough for Don Draper... Feel instantly transported back to the high-pressure world of Madison Avenue, advertising firms and pin-stripe suits.

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christmas at Stubbings ‘In the bleak mid-winter Frosty winds made moan. Earth stood hard as iron, Water like a stone” The Christmas tree forest at Stubbings Nursey awaits the arrival of Father Christmas - flying in by helicopter at 11am (sharp) on Saturday 2nd December (weather permitting). As carols are played by the Maindenhead Concert Band excited children throng the lawn of the Esate to greet Elsa, from Frozen, and Santa’s reindeer grazing in their coral.

Children can then meet Santa in his grotto, receive a small gift and have a photo taken.

Santa arrives by helicopter in the adjoining field where he boards the ‘Santa Bus’ that takes him to his reindeer.

Parents wander through the forset of Christmas trees selecting and reserving the tree of their choice from the widest range of trees in the Thames Valley: Nordman, Noble, Fraser, Korean Fir; Norway, Concolour Fir, Blue Spruce and Lodgepole Pine etc. Pot grown varieties to plant in the garden in the New Year or the everlasting Artificial trees. All can be reserved and delivered to the door closer to Christmas. The seasonal fayre of the Café awaits tired legs and will be in full swing with hot drinks, mince pies and ‘lite’ lunches accompanied by seasoned music.

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Mistlete and holly grown on the adjoining Estate together with the widest selection of Christmas Wreaths will tempt shoppers with prices ranging from the cheapest to the amazing full, fruit-laden, wreaths hand prepared in the floral studio of Richard Elder.

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER /DECEMBER 2017

how to keep your christmas lights safe this winter

Don’t leave the lights on when the room is empty. Remember to switch them off when you go to bed and when you leave the house.

No one wants Christmas ruined by dodgy old Christmas lights catching on fire. Christmas isn’t Christmas if the house and tree aren’t festooned with sparkling fairy lights, but Christmas tree lights can be dangerous, and a potential fire hazard. Ashley Martin, public health project manager for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), says: “If you have old lights, seriously consider buying new ones which will meet much higher safety standards. RoSPA has the following advice for enjoying twinkly lights in safety: What you should think about when buying your Christmas lights: • Look for safety marks e.g. BS Kitemark. • Buy from a reputable store. • Avoid buying second-hand unless you have them professionally checked first.

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• New lights are transformed down to 24 volt for added safety, or they may be double insulated. Always remember to: NEVER insert or remove bulbs when switched on. • Inspect cables and bulbs for damage. • Not use lights that are damaged, dispose of them safely. What you should think about when using Christmas lights: Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. • Use an RCD (residual current device) for added protection against shock.

• Keep lights clear of decorations and other flammable materials. • Avoid cables becoming a tripping hazard. • Use a stable support when hanging the lights. • Don’t leave the lights on when the room is empty. Remember to switch them off when you go to bed and when you leave the house. • Don’t allow children to play with the lights. How to store your Christmas lights: • Take care when dismantling and packing the lights not to damage them.

• Do not use the lights outdoors unless specifically made for such use.

• Keep them safely stored away out of reach of children.

• Don’t run the cable under carpets or where it can be damaged.

• Avoid damp or excessively hot conditions.

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER /DECEMBER 2017

Your Hair this Winter So here we are again; party season and the chance to play with our hair for a full month of social engagements! Use November to start prepping, and book your pre-Christmas hair appointment now. Lots of nourishing treatments are key to keeping hair in good condition when the weather changes: temperature variations from central heating to cold winds really affect it. Hero products for winter are deep conditioning treatments (swap your conditioner for a heavier treatment once a week), heat protection products if you’re blow drying or heat styling, and a good serum or argan oil - this helps to seal the hair’s cuticles keeping it from frizzing up.

Winter’s also time to change up your colour - have a consultation to find what shade will work with your skin tone this season as we do tend to be paler at this time of year.

Keratin blow dries are often associated with summer but they work brilliantly to stop the frizz in winter too, and give you a healthy, sleek base to work your party looks with. Winter’s also time to change up your colour - have a consultation to find what shade will work with your skin tone this season as we do tend to be paler at this time of year. Even a few lighter pieces around the face can really lift your colour (and your mood!) Have a look for salon offers as well; it can be well worth treating yourself to a blow dry if you’ve got a few events on and lots of places have great deals on that can also include nails, make-up and other treats. Salons also offer great re-booking deals for January as they tend to be quieter, and also hold fun shopping events where you can try products, see demonstrations and have items wrapped while you enjoy complimentary drinks and nibbles, much less stressful than a department store! You could also have a styling lesson if you’re struggling with your hair, and get your stylist to teach you some go-to party looks you can do at home. You can’t go wrong with a hair accessory, such as, unusual things like, a brooch, chains or ribbons. The key is to have fun! Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2017

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Gucci Catwalk

7 high street handbags

that could almost be Gucci These catwalk copycats are as stylish as their luxury counterparts - but at a fraction of the cost.

SimplyBe Across Body Bag with Studs, £35

V by Very Flower and Bumble Bee Embellished Crossbody Bag, £28

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Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER /DECEMBER 2017

In less than three years, Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele has overhauled the Italian brand, producing a string of stand-out collections in his trademark quirky-cool style.

River Island Tan Snake Cross Body Bag, £32

From chintzy borrowed-from-Grandma frocks, to silk bomber jackets that celebs can’t get enough of, Michele has been responsible for more than his fair share of high fashion musthaves - but it’s Gucci’s handbags that have been most ubiquitous since the 44-year-old was installed at its helm. These boxy bags, in patchwork snakeskin or logo-covered leather, come encrusted with bejewelled bees or animal brooches - the beige chain-handled Dionysus is the fashionista’s favourite - but at upwards of £2,000 each, they’re a bit on the pricey side to say the least.

Dune Dessie Grey Bag, £60

Gucci Catwalk

Fear not, however, because the ‘Gucci Effect’ is being felt on the high street - big time with handbags that combine a ladylike shape with unexpected embellishments and embroidery. Marks and Spencer Collection Faux Leather Embroidered Tote Bag, £45

Therapy Dhalia Tote Bag, currently reduced to £30 from £55, House of Fraser

Accessorize Snake Handheld Bag, £40

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2017

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A Beautiful

Clarins 12 days of Christmas Calendar | £60

Christmas Thierry Mugler Angel Gift Set | 25ml refillable fragrance, 50ml body lotion, 50ml perfume shower gel £64 |

Ghost Gift Set 30ml Deep Night fragrance and eyeshadow palette & brush | £27 The Perfume Shop

Perricone Glow on the Go No Foundation serum 910ml, No Lipgloss lipgloss (3.3ml), No mascara mascara (8g), Hypo-allergenic firming eye cream (7.5ml) | £59

Ari by Ariana Grande 30ml fragrance, 100ml body lotion | £23

Natura Siberica Natural restoring Kit | £14.99

Thierry Mugler Alien Prestige Gift Set | £151

Moroccan Oil Repair & style Gift Set Travel kit | £26.85

Murad Joyful Gift sets 4 Limited Edition | Joyful & Rejuvenated Joyful & Radiant | Joyful & Renewed Ultimate Skin Perfectors | £65

Spa Heavenly Hydration Salt brushing remineralise 500gm and Balm 200ml Shimmer gift set | £20

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Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER /DECEMBER 2017

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Your Stars for November 2017

November brings the deep and mysterious sign of Scorpio into the spotlight; this is your cosmic invitation to review anything in your life that has outlived its purpose and needs shifting. Venus, the planet of love and romance, enters Scorpio on the 7th and then on the 13th there is a brilliant alignment with the bountiful planet Jupiter – chances are romantic attachments can blossom as they become more passionate and intense. Mercury’s arrival in visionary Sagittarius on the 6th opens minds to a wide range of new interests, including plans for the perfect winter getaway. The new moon is in emotive Scorpio on the 18th, this Scorpio new moon is also the perfect time to review your well-being before the winter sets in. ARIES March 21 - April 20 With the emphasis on the partnership sector of your chart November will surely turn out to be a busy and rewarding month. Your ruler, dynamic Mars, shows you that the heat is on, then after the 19th you can begin to take things a bit easier. Financial matters may need some attention around the new moon on the 18th. TAURUS April 21 - May 21 The radiant Sun and mighty Jupiter are both shining a beneficial light on all your partnerships and relationships this month. The 13th is a particularly auspicious day and things should run smoothly and be very much to your liking; prepare for new encounters and rewarding relationships. GEMINI May 22 - June 21 Three planets occupy the work and wellbeing angle of your chart; daily routines and general health will be your top priorities this month. Mercury, your ruler, gets energetic and motivated in fiery Sagittarius after the 6th as interesting new opportunities come your way. CANCER June 22 - July 22 The Moon, your ruling planet, starts the month in fiery Aries, illuminating the career and ambition sector of your chart. Communication is good as the Sun Jupiter and Mercury ensure that your confidence and self-esteem are at their highest. This could be the month for brilliant breakthroughs!

LEO July 23 - August 23 As dynamic Mars powers up your financial sector you’ll be on the lookout for new ways to make money. Abundant Jupiter lends a helping hand and ensures there isn’t much that you can’t achieve this month. The Scorpio new moon on the 11th brings a domestic issue into the spotlight.

SAGITTARIUS November 23 - December 21 The friendship angle of your chart comes into focus this month, making you aware that it has never been more important to listen to others when making important decisions. As communicative Mercury enters your sign on the 6th, long held dreams and aspirations can begin to take shape.

VIRGO August 24 - September 22 Three planets in the communication corner of your chart ensure that this will be an important month. High energy, successful interaction and new projects are the main themes to keep you occupied. Your confidence is strong and you should have the determination to do things your way.

CAPRICORN December 22 - January 20 The Sun, Jupiter and Mercury are all in Scorpio, stirring up anything to do with friendships and group endeavours. Romance is also favoured as the love planet Venus moves into passionate Scorpio on the 7th increasing the chances of a meeting with someone new.

LIBRA September 23 - October 23 With dynamic Mars in your sign all month you have the perfect opportunity to be more assertive and to step up into a more important role. Jupiter is strong in your financial area and the new moon on the 18th could see a boom in your income, or even a lucky breakthrough. SCORPIO October 24 - November 22 November is your birthday month and the fabulous new moon in your sign on the 18th brings the start of a brand new cycle of transformation and personal growth. Dynamic Mars is confronted by powerful Pluto on the 19th, ensuring that spiritual and psychological regeneration are also important themes.

AQUARIUS January 21 - February 18 Goals and ambition are favoured this month as the Sun illuminates this area of your chart. Mars and Venus are both in Libra increasing the chances of a new romance, or reviving desire in a current partnership. A breakthrough comes around the time of the new moon on the 18th. PISCES February 19 - March 20 Stern Saturn, at the highest point in your chart, makes a brilliant aspect to innovative Uranus keeping you focussed and attentive to any new prospects that may further your career. The new moon in Scorpio on the 18th offers exciting opportunities and opens your mind to new horizons.


with in-depth knowledge and cosmic awareness. Book now for a revealing personal astrology consultation. Inspirational Astrologer and Life Coach, | Telephone: 07813 483549 |

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Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER /DECEMBER 2017


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pole dancing might soon be an olympic sport Pole dancing has boomed in popularity as a workout method in recent years (and a bloomin’ hard one at that - seriously, have you seen the muscles on these polers?). Plus, it’s now looking like it might become an Olympic sport. Recently, the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) confirmed it’s given observer status to the International Pole Sports Federation (IPSF), which hopefully means a ‘clear pathway’ towards full Olympic recognition. 1. It’s a full-body workout Sarah-Jayne, who runs PPD STUDIOS, home of Princess Pole Dancing and Huddersfield University Pole Dancing Academy, explains that pole helps improve both strength and cardio. “The main physical benefits include core work, cardio, muscle strength and conditioning and increased flexibility and endurance. The moves incorporated really target the whole body, working with your body weight as resistance,” she says. “The spins, lifts and holds target the core, while putting together and performing a routine brings the cardio element.”

“The spins, lifts and holds target the core, while putting together and performing a routine brings the cardio element.”

2. It boosts flexibility and balance “Increased flexibility, co-ordination and balance come from regular practise. While a strong core can help with a bad back and reduces your chance of injury, both during exercise and in your daily life,” adds Sarah-Jayne. 3. It’s a ‘happy hobby’ “It’s important to remember the mental and emotional benefits too,” says Sarah-Jayne. “I love the fact that you don’t have to be good at pole to enjoy it! The excitement of nailing a new move, combined with the endorphins from exercising make pole a really happy hobby. Perfect for well-earned stress relief after a long hard week!” 4. You’ll be amazed what your body can do Pole fans often sport seriously impressive physiques and moves – but even they had to start somewhere, and probably struggled to hold a spin on their early attempts. “You’ll learn to move your body in ways you may not think are possible, improving your strength, movement and flexibility along the way,” says fitness instructor and pole fan Tara. 5. Your body confidence will get a boost “Laughter and friendship come hand-in-hand with pole classes,” says Sarah-Jayne. “It can help with self-confidence and body confidence - you learn to love your body for what it can do and to be genuinely proud of your achievements.” 6. There’s some complex choreography The routines can be complicated, balletic and technical and it’s very impressive gymnastics, on a pole. “ 7. It’s empowering While pole is now widely recognised as a seriously impressive and skilled workout, there’s still a big element of performance. For some, the sexiness is part of the appeal - and there isn’t anything wrong with that says Tara. Abi Jackson

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Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER /DECEMBER 2017

Reader's Offer

David Lloyd Royal Berkshire is looking fit and healthy after a £1million makeover

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Lee Townsley, general manager said: “Our clubs provide the perfect haven where members of all ages can spend time under one roof in a warm and friendly environment, while ensuring everyone stays fit and healthy at the same time.”

According to a study commissioned by David Lloyd Clubs, Berkshire families spend over five times as many hours each week looking at a screen – mobile or TV – as they do exercising! The research showed that the average Berkshire family spends a staggering 28 hours a week on their phones or watching TV Now is your chance to get moving again! Living Along the Thames has teamed up with David Lloyd Clubs to offer a lucky reader the chance to win a six month family membership. For your chance to win this fabulous Reader’s Offer send your details to by 10th December. Following its £1million refurbishment David Lloyd Royal Berkshire is introducing a range of family friendly facilities including DL Kids clubs, All Star tennis and swimming lessons and a refurbished soft play area for little ones. The new look club also features a DLicious cafébar where members can relax, eat and drink in stylish surroundings, with an adults-only lounge and business hub for those looking for some down-time or to work whist the kids enjoy themselves. David Lloyd Clubs is famous for tennis, and the club continues to offer twelve indoor and seven outdoor courts, and the locker rooms and indoor pool have also been refurbished. for terms and conditions visit

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2017

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Murder on The Orient Express With the release of Kenneth Branagh’s Murder On The Orient Express this November, we follow in the footsteps of the crime writer by visiting her favourite haunts.

The writer’s early years Agatha spent her first 28 years in Torquay, a coastal town whose faded glory has become its charm. A blue plaque marks the place where she was born at home on the Hilly Barton Road, and there’s a commemorative bust in the town square. Local guide John Risdon, reveals that a young Agatha would roller-skate along Torquay’s Princess Pier, where she played pranks on unsuspecting locals with her school friends. Just a few minutes’ walk from the pier is Beacon Cove, formally Ladies Bathing Cove, where Agatha claimed she once almost drowned while trying to save her young nephew. Agatha was sucked out of her depth, only for a lifeguard to scoop her up at the last minute. As John quips: “There would be no Murder On The Orient Express if it wasn’t for him!” Source material for her books There’s also the remote and undeniably romantic Ansteys Cove, only accessible by foot, where Agatha was supposedly once caught canoodling with a young man by the name of Amyas Boston. While their romance was short-lived and didn’t result in marriage, the astute Christie fans will note that Amyas is the name of a victim in Christie’s celebrated novel Five Little Pigs.

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But it wasn’t all fun and games for young Agatha. She also studied to be a nurse during WWI and helped wounded veterans at a local Torquay hospital where Agatha gained her vast knowledge of poisons from the dispensary and felt inspired to start writing her first detective novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles. Falling in love with The Grand Agatha settled for a new life in St John’s Wood, London, with her first husband Archie Christie after they were married in 1914. They stayed at Torquay’s The Grand hotel for their honeymoon which dates back to 1881. Fans of the writer will be pleased to know that her suite is still available to book and kept in much of its original condition, boasting Art Deco design flurries and glorious ocean views. Naturally very popular, the suite books up quickly, and typically costs around £300 per night. Picking her poisons A short drive away from The Grand lies the stunning 12th century Torre Abbey, where the International Agatha Christie Festival is held every September. Each year thousands of Christie fans gather to swap books, hear lectures, enjoy high tea and much more. Although the writer had no direct links to the Abbey, its team of gardeners has planted a poison garden patch in her memory. Featuring dozens of surprisingly lethal plants featured in her novels, it’s become a popular talking point. Her favourite escape An essential stop for any Agatha Christie aficionado is Greenway Estate, on the River Dart near Brixham. It’s the

magnificent rural summer home she purchased with her husband in 1938. She fondly describes it in her memoir as a “dream home” and it’s even referred to in some of her novels, including Dead Man’s Folly and Five Little Pigs. Getting to Greenway is half the fun for visitors who choose to travel as Agatha did - by train and ferry. Board the fabulously romantic Dartmouth Steam Railway train at seaside town Paignton, hop off at Dartmouth to board the Ferry as it steers towards Greenway Quay. The entire journey should take approximately an hour, depending upon connections, and costs around £17 pp for a round trip. As you arrive Greenway Estate peaks out through the wilderness. You can roam the sprawling grounds of the National Trust (entry for non-National Trust members is £11 per adult), with much of its original and rugged charm still intact. The house is jam-packed with memorabilia and many of the author’s first-edition works and you can also wander through the Christie’s family’s pet graveyard and Agatha’s own flower garden. There’s an option to stay at the house as the National Trust has converted parts of the mansion’s first and second floor into a luxury holiday rental that can sleep up to eight. Visitors are required to stay for a minimum of three nights, costing around £500. Charming and quintessentially English, a trip to Agatha Christie Country is highly recommended for both the hardcore and newbie fan. Murder On The Orient Express is in cinemas from early November.

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER /DECEMBER 2017

Nicola Dove © 2017 | 20th Century Fox Film Core

Kenneth Branagh’s all-star reboot of Murder On The Orient Express, starring Judi Dench, Penelope Cruz and Johnny Depp, is set to spark a resurgence of interest in author Agatha Christie’s books and the many exotic locations she featured.

Planning for your Pension Pensions Not everyone wants to spend valuable time deciphering and processing their pension information into real facts: what does this actually mean to me - now and in my retirement? Having a number of different employer pensions can mean different scheme rules, investment profiles, charges, and retirement income projections. Charges and under performance can seriously affect the money already built up. Similarly attractive benefits attached to an existing pension can be overlooked. It’s vital to know what’s going on with your retirement planning now. Why Save in a Pension? A pension is just a savings plan with very generous tax advantages. These can be felt immediately, and even more so for company directors, higher rate taxpayers, and people without taxable income, such as stay at home parents and children. Changes in legislation make pensions important in broader financial planning. They are generally not subject to inheritance tax and can be passed to future generations. Access is permitted from age 55, (likely to increase in line with State Pension age) with the potential for 25% tax free cash to be taken. Women and Pensions Many women consider their husband’s or partner’s pension to be the main source of their retirement income, especially if they have taken time off work with family. Sadly this can cause serious complications in events such as divorce, loss of capacity, passing away, or even simply not being named as intended beneficiary. Where household income comes to just one person this could lead to paying unnecessary income tax. Simple financial planning can help save a lot of money and stress in both unexpected and normal predictable circumstances. State Pension State Pension Age will rise to 68 from 2037, affecting everyone currently between the ages of 39 and 47. Those younger than 39 may well see this increase again in the future. Women in particular are seeing very real changes, with the increase from age 60 to 65 already happening. In today’s terms, maximum State Pension is around £8,000 each year. Imagine if this was your only income, would this be enough to pay your bills and support your lifestyle? We’re all living longer and can expect to spend more time in retirement. There’s no getting away from the fact that that means we need our money to last longer than ever before. Elaine Given BA (Hons) DipPFS | 01491 412513 | 07718 908679 Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2017

Advice As a financial planner I can help you to identify your retirement goals, and provide the planning to help achieve them. Whether your goal is early retirement, or to maintain your current lifestyle after you stop working, I can help you plan now in order to help make this possible. •Friendly, expert, up to date advice in plain English. I will be available to explain paperwork and complete follow up actions • Assessment of your Risk Profile to ensure that your money is invested in a way that is appropriate for you • Advice will be personal to you, taking into account your individual circumstances, experience, needs and objectives • All charges are clear and transparent, with no charge for an hour’s initial meeting • Ongoing advice to ensure that plans are on course and match any changes in circumstances Elaine is an Independent Financial Adviser advising in Pensions, Investments, Family and Business Protection, Estate Planning and Later Life Planning Levels, bases of and reliefs from taxation may be subject to change. The content of this article is for information only and must not be considered as financial advice. We always recommend that you seek independent financial advice before making any financial decisions

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Godstowe Welcomes its new Headmistress This September, Godstowe Preparatory School welcomed new headmistress Sophie Green. She succeeded David Gainer who retired after 11 years of service. Sophie hasn’t moved far, having previously been Head of Herries Preparatory School in Cookham, near Maidenhead. She has a wealth of experience and Godstowe is very fortunate to have her at its helm. Godstowe caters for boys and girls in the Nursery (age 3-4) and in Pre-Prep (ages 4-7), known as “Lodge”. Children can start in the recently refurbished Nursery, before moving to the Beginners Building, where the Reception classes are housed. The Beginners Building features two spacious classrooms, has its own garden area overlooking the sports fields and has direct access straight out onto the main playground. Children thrive here, in classes no bigger than 18, and they have access to the wonderful facilities in Lodge, including the art room, library and dining hall. All the children in Lodge, including Kindergarten and Transition (Years 1 and 2), enjoy a multitude of activities which includes PE in the Jubilee Sports Hall – a multi-million pound facility which was opened five years ago. There are after-school clubs, including ballet,

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judo, drama, technology and French. Once the girls move up into Main School (Years 3-8), the list of clubs on offer is extensive, amounting to more than 50. There is certainly never a dull moment at Godstowe. Girls have the option to board from the age of seven – full time, weekly or flexi – and it is in high demand. There are three boarding houses, each run by a full-time housemistress and deputy housemistress. The weekends are jam-packed with outings, activities, cooking, film nights, sport and much more. However, there is always time to read a book and relax too. Many of the boarders opt to stay in for the weekend just so they can enjoy what’s on offer.

Godstowe is non-selective, yet girls achieve unrivalled academic results. Over the past two years, more than 80 scholarships to senior schools were awarded. However, the school isn’t an academic “hot-house”. It is through innovative teaching ideas, dynamic and caring staff and first-rate facilities and grounds that they thrive and succeed. Godstowe’s next Open Days are on Tuesday 27th February 2018 (Years 3-8), from 9.30am and Thursday 1st March 2018 (Nursery – Year 2), from 9am. To book an appointment on either of these days, please contact Mrs Annie Bird on 01494 429006 or email

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER /DECEMBER 2017

Godstowe Open Mornings: Main Main School School & & Boarding Boarding (Years (Years 3-8), 3-8), from from 9.30am: 9.30am: Tuesday Tuesday 27th 27th February February 2018 2018 Nursery Nursery & & Pre-Prep, Pre-Prep, from from 9am: 9am: Thursday Thursday 1st 1st March March 2018 2018 Come Come and and meet meet our our new new Headmistress, Headmistress, teachers teachers and and pupils pupils and and take take an an informal tour of the school and grounds. informal tour of the school and grounds. Please Please contact contact the the Registrar, Registrar, Mrs Mrs Annie Annie Bird, Bird, ifif you you would would like like to to book book an an appointment to attend. appointment to attend. NURSERY NURSERY 3-4 3-4 PRE-PREP PRE-PREP 4-7 4-7 PREP PREP 7-13 7-13 BOARDING BOARDING 7-13 7-13 BOYS BOYS 3-7 3-7 GIRLS GIRLS 3-13 3-13 For For more more information information about about the the nursery, nursery, school or school or our our Open Open Mornings, Mornings, please please contact contact the Registrar, Annie Bird by telephoning the Registrar, Annie Bird by telephoning 01494 01494 429006 or or emailing emailing 429006

t: t: 01494 01494 529273 529273 e: e: w: w:

Lady Elliott Island, Great Barrier Reef

reef encounter As Attenborough’s Blue Planet II hits TV screens, Sarah Marshall visits the world’s largest coral reef system and finds out what’s really going on with Australia’s biggest tourist attraction. There’s something universally irritating about noisy eaters, but below the surface of the ocean, dining etiquette doesn’t really apply. Munching merrily on brittle stumps of branch coral, a shoal of rainbow-hued parrot fish is causing quite a commotion. A black-tip reef shark wriggles to the silent safety of a shadowy jetty, white-spotted eagle rays flap their wings to pick up speed and giant clams appear to purse their thick blue lips in a concertina of disgust. It’s restaurant rush hour off the shores of Heron Island, a coral cay sprouting with dense pisonia forest and ringed by a brilliant white halo of sand, off the east coast of Australia at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef. Yet, lifting my head out of the water to

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gasp air, I’m met with silence and calm. Teeming with wildlife and natural wonders, our oceans are a noisy place. And right now, they’re crying out for help, a reality we’re only just tuning into.

been destroyed. Having narrowly escaped being listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in Danger, a recovery plan is now under way both for the reef and its worldwide reputation.

Marine conservation is a central theme of BBC One’s Blue Planet II series, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, and the naturalist is urging us to protect an environment we know woefully little about.

Sir David has been to Heron Island several times and describes it as one of the most magical places on earth. After his last visit, the 300 person resort was at full capacity. “We call that the Attenborough effect,” says general manager Sandy McFeeters.

Earlier this year, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef was the subject of controversy when scientists warned that more than 90% of the planet’s largest living organism might have

Located 81km from Gladstone, Queensland, the island is reached by a two-and-a-half-hour boat journey or, as in my case, by a 20-minute seaplane ride, wading to shore in

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER /DECEMBER 2017

species of fish living on the Great Barrier Reef, 60% can be found in the 21 dive sites at Heron island, says scuba and snorkel guide Rick.

Black Tip Reef Shark

Passing the wreck of HMAS Protector, one of Australia’s first naval vessels which will be declared a preservation site from 2018, we snorkel to Heron Bommie, a heaving tower of coral not far from the shore. Two blacktip sharks relentlessly chase a whitetip around spiral-ridged brain coral, while a green turtle makes himself a comfortable bed on cushioned plates. Most corals on the Barrier Reef are hard, meaning the underwater scenery is a swirl of camouflage hues, rather than the bold neon brights associated with soft corals. “Besides, below five metres, you lose any colour,” explains Rick.

Sunset on Heron Island

Even during winter (August) when I visit, the water is a pleasant 21C and the visibility is excellent. Cooler temperatures partially explain why coral has survived much better here than in northern reaches of the reef. Anything above 30C causes the organisms to expel their zooxanthellae algae, leaving behind a frail white skeleton, a phenomenon known as coral bleaching.

clear, warm water with luggage hoisted overhead. There’s no phone coverage, no disturbance and no locking system on doors. At sunset, a burning ember fizzles below the horizon, the sky is singing with charcoal streaks, and nightfall invites a starlit 40 minute circumnavigation.

Now the island, part of the Capricornia Cays National Park, is heavily protected. Of the 1,500

Investigation into the effects of climate change is being carried out at the island’s Research Centre, built in 1951 and partly funded by the University of Queensland. Heron Island Resort

An important nesting site for loggerhead and green turtles, the peaceful island has a grim past as a turtle and mutton bird canning factory. Over the course of two summers, 128,000 cans of turtle soup were produced, but an alarming drop in numbers meant the business was no longer economically viable. A resort opened in 1932, although any ecotourism was crude, and gasp-inducing photos from the 1950s show holidaymakers riding on the back of carapaces. Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2017

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“The scientific community is divided,” explains Education Officer Lauren Bailey. “Some researchers say it’s too late and others are confident the reef will survive - it might just look a little different.” Innovative projects in development at the centre include Professor Peter Harrison’s plan to funnel spawning to affected reefs, and Professor Bernard Degnan’s groundbreaking solution for controlling crown of thorns starfish (a potential threat to reefs), - by replicating a natural pheromone to lure them in. “We have to redress all these negative messages,” stresses Lauren. “We can’t give up hope.” A similar outlook is shared by Peter Gash, manager of the eco resort on Lady Elliot Island, at the southern tip of the reef. Mined for guano in the 1860s, the wind-whipped coral cay was left barren and desolate. Many years later, it opened as a resort and when Peter visited in 1979, a love affair began. Since taking over the lease in 2005, Peter has installed solar panels, cut fuel burn by 90% and replanted much of the original casuarina forest, bringing back a cacophony of screeching bridled terns and white-capped noddies. “Not everyone is happy about that,” he tells me. “But we make sure there are earplugs in every room.”

Snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef

One afternoon, I spend several hours wallowing in a shallow lagoon, only accessible at high tide. “Look out for Buddy, our resident turtle,” shouts resort manager Andreas Supper, from the restaurant decking. “He likes having his back scratched.” Within 45 minutes, I’ve seen 14 turtles. Distracted by filling their stomachs, none are perplexed by my presence although I don’t receive any invitations for tummy tickling!

sites. Polyps finishing their night’s feed sway with the tide, sage loggerheads drift over ancient living columns and mantas glide elegantly with wind in their sails. We’re the only two-legged land mammals out of their depth; down here it’s a real democracy.

As much as the sights are enticing, so too are the sounds.

The best time to explore is at dawn, Peter tells me, so I nervously agree to a 6.30am snorkel. As we walk across the island in semi-darkness, gloomy pandanus trees appear to be lifting their sinewy roots to join us as bats are in a rush to reach home.

An undulating whine wends into my headspace and I realise I’m listening to humpback whale song. Even though the migrating animals are probably a long distance away, their stirring voices are not only beautiful but penetrate the silence.

Leaving the shadow of the beaming lighthouse behind us, we dive into the clear sea and Peter guides me on an underwater safari of his favourite

Yet, there’s nothing melancholic or mournful about their cry. Instead, it’s graceful and uplifting, striking a chord with hope.

Green Sea Turtle

“Look out for Buddy, our resident turtle, he likes having his back scratched” Although no spring chicken, Peter is a dynamo. On a guided tour of the resort’s back room operations, I’m lost in a muddle of mathematics as he details engineering innovations with vigour. Swept away by his energy and enthusiasm, it’s impossible not to smile. And he’s obviously making a success; bookings for Lady Elliot need to be made at least six months in advance. Simple rooms curve around the fringes of the island, and drift snorkel sites have been clearly marked out. Like Heron, the underwater spectacles are outstanding, and all within easy reach.

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How to get there Travelbag (; 0207 001 5252) offers a 9-day trip to the southern Great Barrier Reef, split between Brisbane, Heron Island and Lady Elliot Island on a mixed board basis, for £2,999pp. Includes flights from London Heathrow. Based on a January 1, 2018 departure. Book by November 30. For more information on the destination, visit and

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER /DECEMBER 2017

Visit us any time! You’ll find everything from sturdy footwear and country clothing, to scopes, binoculars, and shot guns and rifles for beginners and experts alike.

Air Rifle Range on site! Your Local Country Sports Experts 9am-5pm Mon-Sat Wilton Farm Marlow Road Little Marlow Bucks SL7 3RR

01628 474 187

5 minutes with... When the late George Michael decided to make a film about his career, Freedom, the idea was to focus on his infamous court case with Sony, it soon became apparent there was a much bigger story to tell. The film’s co-director and executive producer says what fans can expect from the legendary singer’s - and his lifelong friend’s - final piece of work. What inspired you and George to make freedom? George’s publicist Connie Filippello approached me and said “the 25th anniversary of Listen Without Prejudice is sort of looming, you need to go and see Sony”. So she set up some meetings and I realised that they were really into working this project. I talked to George about it and he said to me, “you know, we should make a film to support it, because I’m not going to promote it”. He said: “I didn’t promote it (Listen Without Prejudice) the first time round, why am I going to do it now?” How did the creative process move forward from there? Initially, we were just going to make the film about the Sony court case, the period leading up to Listen Without Prejudice, and just slightly after; that was the kind of arc of the whole thing. It soon became apparent that there was a bigger story to tell because, you know, the loss of airplay in the US, the court case itself, Anselmo (Feleppa, George’s first love who died in 1993) and George’s mother (being diagnosed with cancer). Once we’d realised we had this mammoth project ahead of us, we then discovered about 75,000ft of 35ml that David Fincher had shot

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© Channel 4 Television /Sony Music Entertainment Ltd


in the archives at Sony. We had it all restored and we started assembling as much of the footage as we could, plus George gave us all of his private home footage to use as well. What role did George play in producing the film? George would come to London and would edit the film, literally. In actual fact, he was editing right up until the 23rd of December; we had Nile Rodgers over in London filming his part and George was due to go back in on the 27th December 2016 to continue editing, which, sadly, didn’t happen. Did he mind looking back at all this old footage of himself? No, he didn’t. I was a bit apprehensive to start with because I was going through a cupboard and I found a Harrods bag, that had all of his home footage that he’d shot himself, which is the bit in the centre of the film. I’d already cut a few bits of Anselmo into the film and I thought he’d be nervous about that, but he wasn’t, he embraced it and loved it. Why do you think George felt it was important to include the parts about Anselmo? It was just something that George wanted to do; he loved Anselmo, he was an incredibly important person in his life and it came from George’s heart.

The court case is a fascinating element of the film, how did a guy in his mid-twenties go against a whole industry? George was brave to do what he did, that’s for sure; a lot of people would have stepped back and would have done as they were told. Not George, he felt slighted and he believed in what he was saying. Is the court case something he later regretted? Yeah, he did actually. He says in the film that he wished he’d never taken Sony on in the first place, because it dented his career in America. In your opinion, do you think George ever found happiness? Oh yeah, totally. He absolutely did especially with Anselmo and later on in his life. You know, he was a very happy, contented man, he found happiness in love and in his friends and family. We had a fantastic relationship. Do you have a sense of where George’s career might have gone to next? George had a rare gift, where if you can resonate with the public, if you can touch people; that’s another level. Next would have been about writing and giving amazing music and vocal performances full of integrity.

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER /DECEMBER 2017

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Daughter of The Soil Gift Sets UK | Body [Baobab & Rooiboos body lotion 250ml + body wash 250ml | £40 4 other gift sets available from £30

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Essence of Regional Candles Bournemouth | Christchurch Southbourne | £15 |

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2017

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Porto Kopke Colheita 2003 375ml | £16.99 Porto Kopke Colheita 1999 375ml | £16.99 |

Loch Lomond Inchmoan 12 year old Whisky £44.95 Inchmurrin 12 year old £41.95 Loch Lomond 12 year old £36.95

Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum Limited Edition £20.29 | Major Supermarkets

Oliver Sweeney & Talisker Whisky Limited Edition set 200 pairs only | £595

Glen Scotia Double Cask £36.99 Gift Pack £19.99 18 year old £84.95 25 year old £275

Indigo Nutrition Organic Chocolate Starter Kit 300gm £12.99 | 750gm £23.99 Seed & Bean Chocolate Hampers from £10.75 Ultimate Hamper £75 (26 bars)

Guylain Chocolates Praline Shells 375gm - £6.75 Temptations 522gm -£10 Belgian Classics + Deluxe Assortment 528gm - £14

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Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER /DECEMBER 2017

Lucky Karaoke Kits 4 colours | from £60

Fracture Comic VT Complete Skateboard for Men various colours | 7.75” | £49.95

Retro styled waxed canvas and leather backpack | £125

Derwent Wooden Boxes from £59.99

Cross Pen X £50 | various colours

Lotus Driving Academy a range of driving experiences from £119


Roller Skates for Women worth £69.95

Polo Experience vouchers from £145 perfect for everyone including non-riders

Rio have taken the skate style and combfigure with the retro trainer ined it ska to give us the Rio Ro te Milkshake Quad Ska ller tes Cotton Candy from in

For your chance Milkshake Quad Ska to win a pair of these beautiful, fun and bri tes 10th December, tell , send your details to office@alongth ght Rio Roller by ing us in 25 words or less why you would like to win a pair.

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2017

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City Loft Fabric Corner Sofa £1,465.00 | Furniture Village



“People are becoming more adventurous with colour in their homes, as sites like Pinterest are providing people with inspiration, making it easier for them to get bolder colours right.

everything you need to know before choosing a new sofa Buying a new settee can be stressful. Three experts share their top tips and trends to plump for. Over the course of a sofa’s life (which lasts, on average, 11 years) it will witness 1,236 arguments, 2,105 kissing couples, 3,135 films watched by families, and overhear 2,631 phone conversations, according to new research for Furniture Village. So, it’s all the more important then, to choose a sofa that doesn’t just look good and fit in, but can withstand all that activity and emotion.

‘Big families should opt for a statement sofa’ Experts reveal their buying secrets to help you choose the best seat in the house... “A sofa’s one of the most used and best-loved pieces of furniture in our home,” says Malcolm Walker, director of product at Furniture Village. “Far from just being a place to sit, it can be the centre of many pivotal moments in family life - whether it’s arguments and the subsequent

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making up, or a power nap after a long day. “But the sheer amount of time that we spend on a sofa, along with the number of activities that we do while lounging on it can mean it needs to stand up to a lot of wear and tear - particularly if you have children.” “As the seasons shift from summer to autumn, we have seen the re-emergence of earthy hues and tactile finishes. Worn leathers and raw materials pair together to create a rustic decor, perfect for those looking to achieve a sense of warmth and comfort,” says Malcolm. “Velvet continues to enjoy a renaissance around this time of year, with jewel tones and brass finishes accompanying this textile, to introduce a sense of sophisticated luxury to any scheme.”

“If your home caters for a big family, then a statement sofa will work wonders. A large corner unit may be a good option to consider, as this offers flexible seating solutions, as well as adding structure to open-plan spaces. “If you’re working with a more compact room, consider a raised sofa with smaller proportions and slender tapered legs, which will help create the illusion of space and light.” Malcolm’s favourite sofa... “The Nicoletti Movimento Recliner Corner Chaise is my top pick, as its deep, luxurious foam-filled seats and optional touch sensitive power recliner function make this a stylish and superbly comfortable choice,” says Malcolm.

“The two key concepts to take into account when choosing a sofa are the space you are working with and your own personal style. A sofa will naturally become the focal point in any space, so ensuring that it captures the look you want is essential,” says Malcolm. Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER /DECEMBER 2017

‘Check the basics’ “We’re fans of sofas that are big enough to lounge around on, look good and most importantly are super-comfy,” says Charlie Marshall, founder of Loaf. “People are becoming more adventurous with colour in their homes, as sites like Pinterest are providing people with inspiration, making it easier for them to get bolder colours right.

Cloud Sofa with Oyster White Linen - Removable Covers from £1,195.00 | Loaf

“Our new fabric collection for 2018 is full of vibrant hues, including Carnival (a red/pink coral hue), Maize Yellow, Clean Green and Deep Blue Lido, in velvets and linens.

- ask for access advice - bolt-on arms can be a great solution.”

“We recently updated our Souffle Sofa as a modular design, and each unit can be customised in a different fabric and colour for a statement look, or in one fabric for a classic look.”

“The Pudding Sofa is a fresh take on a classic design and it has a super-deep comfy seat. It looks great in our classic linens and neutral fabrics, as much as it does in our bolder choices, such as Burnt Orange velvet.”

“Check a sofa has a solid beech frame, held together with screws and dowels, rather than glued and stapled chipboard versions, which aren’t as durable and break easily. “If you have your very own team of ‘stain spreaders’ (young children and pets) removable covers are a good choice, as they can be easily whipped off for cleaning,” advises Charlie. “Always measure up before buying. Check a room is not only large enough for the size of the sofa, but also that its proportions are right. High-back sofas can be overpowering in a smaller room with a low ceiling. Fitting a new sofa through narrow doorways can be tricky

Charlie’s favourite sofa...

‘Green and orange are the hottest sofa colours right now’ “We’re always keeping abreast of trends and this year, in Italy, at Salone del Mobile - which showcases the latest in furniture and design from around the world - we saw two colours dominate - burnt orange and forest green,” says Alison Hill, creative director at DFS. “Forest green reflects our desire to bring the ‘outside in’ and orange is a complementary colour to green. Curved-back ‘cocooning’ furniture is increasingly popular, too. “We’ve really seen craftsmanship

trending in recent years - highlighted in detail on upholstery and frames. Raising furniture forms on plinths another popular look - provides a sense of continuous space in a room, and is an advantage if you’re constrained for space.” “All cushions are not created equal some people like a firm and supportive feel, while others want something soft and squishy to sink into. We have fibre filling for a soft feel; a foam core for balanced softness, and support and foam for a supportive, slightly springy feel. An extra set of loose covers are available to buy with our sofas, too.”

Alison’s favourite sofa... “The Fliss is country-style meets urban living, with its sweeping curved arms and stunning turned legs. I love the pink and plum colour combination.”

Topaz Sofa £1,598.00 Patterned standard chair £1098.00 Foot Stool £698.00 | DFS

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2017

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five puzzles FOUR Ws

1 WHO... were the six daughters of Baron Redesdale better known as? WHAT... type of plant is traveller’s joy? WHERE... were Ben Travers’s famous farces first performed? WHEN... did Rangoon change its name to Yangon?

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Answers: The Mitford Sisters; Clematis; The Aldwych Theatre; 1989.

2 WHO... wrote the play Chips With Everything in 1962?

4 WHO... was Socrates’s pupil and Aristotle’s teacher?

WHAT... is an ondes Martenot?

WHAT... do the letters RIP stand for in Latin?

WHERE... are the Plains of Abraham?

WHERE... in Canada is Winnipeg the capital?

WHEN... was Greenpeace founded?

WHEN... did Karl Marx die?

Answers: Arnold Wesker; Electronic musical instrument; Canada; 1971.

Answers: Plato; Requiescat in pace; Manitoba; 1883.

3 WHO... played Mia Wallace in the film Pulp Fiction?

5 WHO... is the patron saint of Spain?

WHAT... marine mammal has Steller and California varieties?

WHAT... animal is the babirusa a wild variety of?

WHERE... did Cain go after he had killed Abel?

WHERE... did Judge Jeffreys start the Bloody Assizes of 1685?

WHEN... did Catherine II become Empress of Russia?

WHEN... did the Korean War end?

Answers: Uma Thurman; Sea lion; The Land of Nod; 1762.

Answers: St James; Pig; Winchester; 1953.

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Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER /DECEMBER 2017


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Hyperion Tiles introduces Alex Turco decorative art panels Hyperion Tiles in Marlow and Ascot has over 30 years of experience in supplying and installing tiles and wooden floors to both private and professional clients, that continue to push the boundaries of innovation and style by bringing in products that encompass current trends alongside our timeless classic collections

“Everyone’s home is their castle,” says Richard, “and we respect that. Our clients are our number one priority.”

Feature Walls, using custom made decorative art panels from Alex Turco, Italy, are the latest edition to the offering from Hyperion Tiles. All art panels are custom made in any size, can be one-offs, repeated patterns using one of his themed collections or personal photographs and made to perfectly match your environment, whether that be for your home or office, inside and/or outside, the choice is yours. All the artworks made on canvas are applied to lacquered wood panels and worked by a technique Alex Turco has perfected, using acrylic colours and resin that can trap natural elements, such as crystals, semi-precious minerals, sand, cellophane, glass and metal pigments to create unique and personalised panels for a stylish interior or exterior. The showroom, a relaxed and informal atmosphere where you can freely browse and gain creative advice

and insights from the team to suit your project needs, highlights the complete range of materials that Hyperion offers to achieve the ultimate floor and wall solutions, including the decorative art panels from Alex Turco which are considered a cult object in their own right and highly sought after. Take advantage of the complimentary premium home visit service where a member of the Hyperion Tiles team will complete a site survey and technically advise you on your project

Image courtesy of Villeroy & Boch

Villeroy & Boch’s Artis bathroom comes in a variety of romantic hues, including soft powder pink. Available from European Bathrooms (price on application).

european bathrooms Bathe in Colour

Updating your bathroom fittings and fixtures is a fantastic way to inject colour into your bathroom.

Pretty, practical and oh-so colourful, this season’s bathrooms look good enough to eat. If the thought of a coloured bathroom gives you flashbacks to avocado suites of the seventies, think again. Coloured bathrooms are back and they are beautiful. Far from the muddy colours of yesteryear, the latest bathroom furniture and accessories come in a range of sumptuous spring colours – from bold blues to soft rose tones. Colour me Happy A splash of colour is the perfect way to stamp your style on your bathroom. It also packs powerful mood-enhancing properties to invigorate or soothe, depending on how you feel. If you want to create a sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle, cool, wintery blues evoke a calm, contemplative atmosphere. While for an instant lift, sunny yellows and Hot right now - Bisque coloured radiators look amazing in classic and contemporary bathrooms.

mint greens will put a spring in your step. For a romantic retreat, accents of pink and red ooze warmth and femininity. Bathroom Eye-candy Championing the latest colour theme is European designer Villeroy & Boch whose coloured baths and washbasins take inspiration from the changing seasons in Paris. The collection includes a palette of 12 pretty Parisian-inspired colours, including shades of green, yellow pink and blue. The intensity of the colour is made to stand out even more by crisp, white ceramics. Get Your Colour Fix Updating your bathroom fittings and fixtures is a fantastic way to inject colour into your bathroom. If you don’t want to splurge on a new suite, get the latest look with these ideas: Coloured Radiators – The humble radiator has been given a colour makeover and they look seriously hot! Bisque’s iconic Classic radiator

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comes in an enormous range of pastel shades. Tiles – If you’re keen to keep a neutral bathroom suite, why not refresh the walls or floor with coloured or decorated tiles? Stone bathroom tiles give a warm, natural finish. For a sultry Moorish feel, try Arabesque tiles which come in range of rich colours and patterns. Lighting – Take inspiration from a luxury spa with softly coloured LED lights, or choose a sleek bathroom cabinet with built-in lighting. Where to buy: For professional planning advice and to browse the latest Villeroy & Boch collections and other luxury bathroom suites, simply visit one of European Bathrooms’ showrooms. You can also book an in-store or home design appointment online:

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER /DECEMBER 2017

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ashford kitchens & interiors Welcome You to their Stunning Showrooms Proudly designing, supplying and installing quality fitted Kitchens, Bedrooms and Home Offices since 1984. Ashford Kitchens & Interiors are an independent family business based in Farnham Common, Buckinghamshire & Ashford, Middlesex. The family run business have got a great team who are friendly and keen to help. They offer a free, no obligation design service and their showrooms are the perfect place to get some new ideas and inspiration. Ashford Kitchens & Interiors pride themselves on offering a complete design and fully project managed installation service for kitchens, bedrooms and home offices, utilising high quality cabinetry from leading British manufacturers and a vast range of appliances, specialised worktops, glass splashbacks, flooring, tiles and lighting. They also offer kitchens on a supply only basis if required. Delivering and installing your kitchen, bedroom or home office should be timely, efficient and most importantly stress-free for you. With this in mind, Ashford Kitchens & Interiors’ highly experienced, professional installers and craftsmen will ensure that they are efficient, tidy and timely and that you are delighted with the end result. Their specialist installers have many years experience and can cover all aspects

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Being a local, family run business Ashford Kitchens & Interiors genuinely care that their customers receive the best possible service... including carpentry, electrical, plumbing, gas, tiling, flooring and plastering. They are particularly proud of the quality of their fitter’s workmanship and of course all installations come complete with the relevant Part P electrical or Gas Safety certification. Being a local, family run business Ashford Kitchens & Interiors genuinely care that their customers receive the best possible service and are happy

with their experience from the moment they step into the showroom. They pride themselves on their customer service, and the teams’ friendly and professional approach. Ashford Kitchens & Interiors is at 1-2 The Parade, The Broadway, Farnham Common SL2 3QJ and 85, Church Road, Ashford, Middlesex TW15 2PE. The showrooms are open Monday to Saturday, 9am-5.30pm

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER /DECEMBER 2017

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how to transform a feature wall with wallpaper Tip 1: Invest in the best Rooms usually have four walls and if you’re only doing one of them, you can afford to spend a few pounds on a decent bit of wallpaper. Don’t be afraid to choose something vibrant as it’s only one wall. Get a number of different samples and tape them to the proposed feature wall to get used to them for a couple of weeks, before making a decision. If you fancy something a little more dramatic, you can order a bespoke mural to fit your wall from Hyperion Tiles, Marlow & Ascot. They have an incredible collection to choose from and take feature walls to the next level. Tip 2: Do your maths You need to measure the area of the wall you are going to place your paper on but you must remember to allow for the pattern drop and match. Wallpaper is usually 52cm wide and about 10m long and you will always be told the


repeat length and pattern. So, for example, you may have a wall that’s 2.5m high and 3m wide, and a wallpaper with a pattern repeat of 0.5m. Take 0.5 from 10 and then see how many times 2.6 goes into this adding 0.1m on to the wall’s length to allow for cutting-in the paper. This tells us we’ll get three drops from the roll, so two rolls will be sufficient to paper the whole wall. It’s always best to err on the side of caution with estimating quantities, especially if you’re less experienced with wallpapering. Tip 3: Get the right kit You do need a trestle table as the floor is too dusty to lay the paper on, and you’ll end up with fluff or grit in your paste and lumpy walls. You can buy a wallpapering kit for about £10 including a pasting brush, hanging brush, long scissors, paper scraper, seam roller, plumb bob, sharp Stanley knife etc. You’ll also need a bucket and your wallpaper will come with


instructions on whether to paste the paper (most likely) or the wall. Tip 4: Level and straighten Nine times out of 10, walls are not level or straight, so you can’t guarantee that your wall’s corners are going to be even. Use a large spirit level to identify where any dips or contours are in your wall and remember if you are using a patterned wallpaper to match the pattern at your eye-line. Tip 5: Unscrew sockets and switches and don’t touch any of the wiring. Richard Burr



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18/08/2015 09:51 Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER /DECEMBER 2017

beds are not a food item The destruction of beds or other soft furnishings is not a natural activity for dogs. It is a strong indicator of unhappiness of some sort. If I received a pound for every time someone said to me ‘I can’t buy my dog a decent bed because they just destroy them’. What astonishes me is how accepting of this behaviour people are – ‘It’s what dogs do’. Well, no, what needs to happen is an examination of why the behaviour is taking place. Bed destruction is a sign of an unhappy dog. We need to examine why a behaviour is happening. Granted, bed chewing can commence when a puppy is growing its adult teeth and if left unchecked, it can become a habit. But stopping a puppy from chewing items you don’t want them to chew is an easy activity, provided you dedicate the time. Time – ah, there’s the nub of the matter. We don’t give our dogs enough of our time, and quality time at that. Most dog breeds were developed to do a job and hence, have the mental capacity to take complex instructions and assess situations. Studies indicate the average dog is as linguistically intelligent as a two year old child. By under-engaging our dog’s intelligence, we end up with behaviours we don’t

like – such as bed chewing or barking. Chewing is the consequence of boredom or anxiety. Boredom is not a lack of exercise, it is a lack of engagement with family and the world at large. We need to employ our dogs’ brains more – 20 minutes thinking is as effective as an hour walking in terms of tiring your dog. Chewing often takes place when the family is present, as it is designed to attract your attention. To a dog, being scolded is better than being ignored. If the only time you focus directly on your dog is to tell it off, you will encourage the behaviour you are trying to stop. Take the initiative. Don’t wait until it brings you a toy before you engage in play, otherwise the dog will repeatedly bring you a toy until it becomes an irritation to you. Anxiety can also be expressed as bed chewing. Changes in routine can cause anxiety. I believe that, where possible, you should avoid developing an over- rigid routine involving your dog so that they are better able to accommodate variations in daily life. That said, there are situations when routine provides useful anchors in a

dog’s life. Such as giving a treat on their bed helps reinforce that they are staying and avoid uncertainty leading up to your departure. Dogs can understand over 200 words and phrases so use that capability to keep them informed. If there is a period of uncertainty in the household, manage your dog’s response to that. Don’t just expect them to absorb everything without support or you will end up with unacceptable behaviours. A bed chewer is not a happy dog. So, if this is your dog, take some time to analyse when and how long it has been going on and develop a plan to eliminate it. Removing the bed is not solving the problem. A dog’s sense of place is very strong. Its bed is its safe space, its den, its refuge. If it is comfortable and in the right location(s) – you should have more than one bed even if you only have one dog – your dog will use it in preference to any other place and will not actively destroy it. Dru Ross

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Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2017

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Frost & Ice The days are getting ever shorter; the weather ever colder, winter is almost upon us. It means only one thing; frost and ice are here. For most of us it means getting up ten minutes earlier, so we have time to find the ice scraper and can be extra careful where we walk.

As you do daily battle with frost and ice, take a minute. Although it is nasty slidey stuff, it is also magical, beautiful and certainly worth a closer look. Here is our guide on all things frost and ice. To get either frost or ice you need a low temperature. Most of us think they form when the temperature is below freezing. This is not strictly true. Ground frost can form when the air temperature is above zero degrees Celsius; a phenomenon known as radiative cooling. On a clear winter night, after a short day, the ground, plants, trees and other objects have not been warmed by the day. As night falls they all start to cool faster than the surrounding air and frost forms. Clear and black ice is the nemesis of many a walker and motorist and only forms in very cold conditions. When

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rain comes into contact with a surface that is below 0°C, glaze ice is formed. If it continues to rain layers of glaze ice build up causing trees and some overhead power lines to become so heavy they break. When glaze ice forms on roads and pavements, because it is so clear, you don’t see the ice only the surface beneath. It may look like a wet road but in reality it’s ice. Hoar frost are thin white ice crystals these are formed when dew settles on a surface well below freezing point, particulary on nights with little or no cloud and low temperatures. Rime frost is a rough white ice. It forms in foggy or misty weather when the temperatures are very low. The supercooled, tiny water droplets in the

mist or fog drift past a surface where they freeze on contact and the frost is formed. Vehicle windscreens are a great place to study ice and frost. With a dry atmosphere and a cloudless sky, ice has no chance to build up. If the atmosphere is damp or during the night, the temperature has risen and fallen, ice will form and then melt again. Each warming and cooling builds up the ice layer. Stop, take a minute, look more closely, you will be amazed by the beauty of frost and ice and its formations. We hope you have enjoyed reading our articles this year and we both wish you a very peaceful and happy festive season. Jacky & Mark Bloomfield

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER /DECEMBER 2017

How to brighten your garden With berries and feed the birds at the same time

As autumn leaves fall and the days become shorter, many gardens are plunged into gloom. Rosehips last through winter Berries, or hips, are a must for anyone who wants colour in their garden in the coldest months. And the first place to look is roses, some of which produce wonderful hips such as Rosa ‘Scharlachglut’ and Rosa x jacksonii ‘Max Graf’, which both produce a profusion of red hips. Bright orange and red hues also come from Rosa moyesii, while darker hips, ranging from a deep chocolate colour to black, come from the burnet roses, Rosa pimpinellifolia. When you are buying roses, do remember that not all of them produce hips, so you need to ask at your garden centre. Keep it low-maintenance Other common berry-producers include the easy-to-grow, low-maintenance cotoneaster, which provides a wealth of colour in winter. Its nutritious berries are feasted on by blackbirds, waxwings and thrushes. Big-berried varieties include C microphyllus - the berries are as big as the leaves - which look even better if the frost clings to them, while C lacteus red berries will endure the harshest winter

and C Rothschildianus produces bright yellow berries. Deter intruders A slightly harsher but no less colourful addition to the winter garden is the pyracantha, a sharp-spiked to deter the berries provide a wonderful show of colour, such as ‘Orange Glow’ or ‘Golden Dome’ for a splash of cheer against a drab backdrop. Check plant gender for berry success Although holly berries are often ripe by autumn, birds such as song thrushes, blackbirds, fieldfares and redwings don’t usually feed on them until late winter.

Many gardeners complain that their shrubs do not produce berries, and this is likely to be a problem of gender rather than any disease or weakness in the plant. Most varieties of holly, for instance, carry the male and female flowers on separate plants, so one of each is required for fertilisation to take place.

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2017

There are varieties that are self-fertile, with male and female flowers, where one plant is therefore capable of producing berries such as Ilex aquifolium ‘J.C. van and I. a. ‘Pyramidalis’. Display skimmias Another wonderful shrub producing berries in autumn and winter is Skimmia Japonica, but that also needs both male and female plants to produce its vibrant red berries, apart from the hermaphrodite S. japonica ssp. reevesiana, which has both male and female parts. Dark and dramatic Other winter wonders - both for their delicious scents and their flowers and berries are viburnums. V tinus has deep blue berries which contrast effectively with its evergreen leaves, while V opulus Xanthocarpum provides us with big bunches of yellow berries and makes a good hedging plant, and provides food for birds throughout winter. So winter doesn’t have to be so drab after all. Hannah Stephenson

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Removing Tree Stumps Is often problematic and atime-consuming exercise without the help of a good tree surgeon, says Calibra Tree Surgeons. The root systems which the tree creates can differ depending on the species and age of the plant and can often extend metres from the tree and within flower beds or lawns. Stump grinding is a way of removing a tree stump as the blades cut at the stump creating ‘sawdust and woodchips’ until the stump has disappeared. You can use the woodchips and sawdust in your gardens and beds to conserve moisture, improve fertility and health of the soil, reduce weed growth and to enhance the visual appeal of the area. Stumps are best removed when the plants are dormant.

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Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER /DECEMBER 2017

Aston Martin DB11 v8 Simon Davis heads to Spain to put the eye-catching GT through its paces WHAT IS IT? Aston Martin claims the V8 model is the one to go for if you’re a keen driver as it’s 115kg lighter, has better fuel consumption and lower Co2 emissions than the V12 . WHATS NEW? The V8 engine. Aston Martin got its hands on the AMG-sourced unit thanks to its working relationship with the Daimler Group. Aside from that new engine, it has darker headlamp bezels, different vents in the bonnet, and darker tail lights. These changes have been introduced to give the DB11 V8 a slightly more sporting and athletic image than the V12 model. WHAT’S UNDER THE BONNET? The DB11’s V8 engine may have been

sourced from Mercedes’ but it hasn’t just been dropped into the British grand tourer as is. Aston Martin has fitted its own air intake, exhaust and wet sump lubrication systems, and has worked to “Astonise” the German engine.

the knowledge that it won’t suddenly wash out. Out on the motorway, the DB11 eats the miles up, and is an incredibly comfortable car with power on tap, and even in seventh gear it pulls astonishingly well.

There is a 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 that develops 503bhp and 675Nm of torque. This allows the DB11 to complete the benchmark sprint from 0-60mph in just 3.8 seconds, while its top speed sits at 187mph. WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE? In a word, the DB11 V8 is sublime as it’s not only devastatingly quick in a straight line, but seriously impressive through the twisty stuff as well. The steering is precise and has a healthy weight to it, allowing you to point the car’s nose into a bend safe in

WHAT’S IT LIKE INSIDE? The infotainment system is very similar to the Mercedes but after that the DB11 is all Aston Martin. There’s leather all over the place and according to Aston Martin the DB11’s cabin is a great place to spend time. WHAT’S THE SPEC LIKE? The DB11 V8 has a RRP of £144,900, so it’s certainly not cheap. That said, it is intended to be an exclusive, luxurious GT car with many features, including a 360-degree parking camera and a V8 soundtrack or you can order yours at a premium with a Bang & Olufsen audio system.

For those who value outright dynamic ability over challenging roads, this might just be the car to go for.

FACTS A Price as T A GLANCE tested: Engine: 4 £144,900 twin-turb .0-litre o Max spe charged V8 ed 0-60mph (mph): 187 : MPG (co 3.8 seconds m Emission bined): 28.5 s (g/km): 230

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Coffee Break Across 1. 8. 9. 10. 12. 14. 15. 17. 18. 19. 21. 22.

No weak business concern (4) Competing as it turned out (2,3,5) Had melon from native country (8) In Peru, Incas faced destruction (4) Loves getting out sea-rod (6) Puts up secret plan (6) Cutting instrument needs the pieces fitting together (6) Cart causes quarrel in drinking-place (6) Evidence of sorrow caused by rent? (4) Flying is not certain (2,3,3) Apparently only the outside was touched by the forward (6,4) Part of this is a shoulder band (4)

Down 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 11. 13. 16. 17. 18. 20.

Early - and enjoying oneself, apparently (2,4,4) The pit I dug for myself? (4) Belts enable some to be put up in ship (6) Require the French to produce pointed instrument (6) The foreman is one who gets a good sight too much? (8) A school of note (4) Uncertain, and evidently not thinking alone (2,3,5) Hold back the others: wet weather (8) He serves but doesn’t get things immediately (6) The gambler has recovered (6) Work to produce tip-top lubricant (4) Consumes teas (4)

Down: 2 In good time; 3 Mine; 4 Straps; 5 Needle; 6 Overseer; 7 Eton; 11 In two minds; 13 Restrain; 16 Waiter; 17 Better; 18 Toil; 20 Eats. Across: 1 Firm; 8 In the event; 9 Homeland; 10 Ruin; 12 Adores; 14 Erects; 15 Jigsaw; 17 Barrow; 18 Tear; 19 In the air; 21 Inside left; 22 Sash.

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Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER /DECEMBER 2017

With the National Trust

this christmas

Out & About

There are certain things you expect from a National Trust Christmas – gorgeous decorated houses, holly wreaths and quirky handmade decorations, irresistible seasonal treats in the tea-room and a warm welcome.

There are copies of the original Lady Brunner recipes available for visitors to take home, and if you’re lucky, there may be some tasters on offer. One of the reasons for the closedcurtain presentation this year is to preserve the collections from the damaging effects of sunlight. Specialist conservators assign a number of annual ‘light hours’ to each of our historic houses. The evening setting is the house team’s creative way of looking after the precious collection whilst presenting the house in an atmospheric new light.

However, layered on top like icing on a fruit cake, there are also a few twists on the theme this year to keep things interesting. Here’s a round-up of what you can enjoy at National Trust places in and around the Thames Valley. Basildon Park, near Reading, is an elegant 18th century mansion which sits in 400 acres of historic parkland and gardens. The house was purchased by Lord and Lady Iliffe in the 1950s and brought back to life with a historic collection of fine furnishings and carefully selected Old Masters. Lady Iliffe may have lived the English country house dream, but she was actually French Mauritian. She usually took the family off to France for the festive period where they’d socialise with illustrious friends such as Grace Kelly. But every tenth year, the family would spend Christmas at home in Berkshire. It’s this French family Christmas that is on display at Basildon Park this year in a glorious celebration of Joyeux Noel. The mansion is lavishly

decorated to capture a moment in time on Christmas eve – as if the family had just stepped out into the crisp night air after their celebratory dinner. The table is set and sumptuously decorated, the candles are lit and the champagne is on ice. Basildon Park’s atmospheric, curtains closed evening feel is echoed at Greys Court near Henley-on-Thames. Whereas Basildon is all about the glamour, Greys Court has a more cosy, domestic take on the festive season. On display are Brunner family photographs, the illustrated calendars drawn by friend of the family, Laurence Irving, and glassware which is only brought out at Christmas. As befits a former chairman of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes, Lady Brunner was enthusiastic about home-made food. In tribute to her busy kitchen, the house volunteers at Greys Court are baking a different Christmas recipe each week in December in the kitchen of the main house.

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2017

No such concerns at Cliveden, near Maidenhead, where the great outdoors is their playground. We can look forward to Cliveden looking more festive than ever as more traditional, natural outdoor decorations are planned. Plus, for the little ones there’s the Angel Academy Christmas trail where ‘Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings.’ But learning to ‘fly’ is no easy task. There are lots of festive quests to complete before the little angels graduate. Over at Hughenden near High Wycombe, there’s a literary theme with an Alice-inspired adventure in the house and grounds. It continues the programme from the summer with the Queen of Hearts, white rabbit and Mad Hatter all making an appearance. Thanks for making the National Trust part of your Christmas traditions. Every time you visit us, enjoy one of our mince pies or buy gifts from the shop, you’re helping to look after the houses, collections and countryside in our care. Katy Dunn

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Diary Dates November 10 - 19: ‘Brakspear Jazz and Blues Festival’ Pubs across Berkshire and Oxfordshire 13: Boutique Cinema ‘The Breakfast Club’ At Clayton’s Marlow, 20:00, sit back on one of our comfy leather sofas, sip on a cocktail, grab some food from our tasty menu and watch a film on our big screen, caters for 25 people so booking advisable 01628 488404. 13 - 15: ‘Christmas Candle Workshop’ At Hughenden Manor, learn to roll traditional beeswax candles and decorate a pre-moulded Christmas candle with wax paints and wax applique, all materials and tea and coffee provided, £18, 10:30 - 12:00 & 13:00 - 14:30 0344 249 1895. 16 - 18: The Marlow Players present ‘A Night on the Tiles’ By Frank Vickery, Shelley Theatre, Marlow 20:00, Not suitable for children. Tickets £12 from Marlow Library or tel. 01296 382415 or 17 - 19: ‘Christmas Market’ Market Place, Henley on Thames, all day 18 - 02 Dec: ‘Marlow Festival of Music and Drama’ 09:30 – 19:30. Everyday at Marlow Court Gardens. 20: ‘Exclusive House Tours’ 10:30 - 14:30pm | Enjoy a ‘behind the scenes’ guided tour of Cliveden House followed by a two-course lunch in the Orangery| £35 B 0344 249 1895 | Cliveden | Taplow. SL1 8NS | 01628 605069

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20 - 22: ‘Christmas Wreath Making’ At Hughenden Manor, local florist Karen Elliott will teach you to make a stunning Christmas wreath to take home, all materials included, £40 10:30 - 13:30 to book call 0344 249 1895. 23: Marlow Switch on and Shop Russell Brand will illuminate this year’s Christmas light display, from 18.00. 23: Archaeology in Marlow + Marlow Archaeology Society presents a talk by Barbara Askew - ‘The Vikings’ 20:00, Main Hall, Liston Hall, Marlow Members £3, Visitors £4.50. 25: ‘Maidenhead Christmas Lights Switch on’ Town Hall, St Ives Road, from 14:00, light switch on at 18:00 followed by Fireworks. 25: ‘Visit Santa for Free’ Nicholson’s Centre, Maidenhead, 11:00 - 15:00 25: ‘Free Car Parking’ In Maidenhead Town Centre until Christmas. 29: ‘ Christmas Artisan Craft Fair’ Town hall, Henley on Thames, 18:00 30: ‘The Marlow Music Makers Christmas Concert’. Raising funds for charity “Hearts & Souls’, Christchurch united Reformed Church, Oxford Road, Marlow. Tickets £10 including refreshments, from Leightons Insight Opticians or 01494 883392/01628 484618 30 – 05 Dec: Christmas Ornaments Fair’ Old Fire Station Gallery, Gravel Hill, Henley on Thames, 10:00 – 19:00 | Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER /DECEMBER 2017

December 01 - 24: Living Advent Calendar ‘Maidenhead Living Advent Calendar’ Daily events, various locations, from 16:30 ‘Henley Living Advent Calandar’ Daily events, various locations, from 18:15 ‘Windsor & Eton Living Advent Calendar’ Daily events, various locations, from 18:15 01 Dec - 03 Jan: ‘An Adventure in Wonderland’ Step into an Alice inspired adventure in the house and grounds at Hughenden, follow a family trail through the gardens and discover themed decorations inside the Manor, 10:00 - 15:00 – 01494 755573. 01: ‘Henley Christmas Festival’ Market Place, Henley on Thames, 17:00 - 21:00

07: ‘Marlow Late Night Shopping’ Hosted by Marlow Chamber of Trade & Commerce, more details to follow. 08 - 10: ‘Christmas Tree Festival’ Vote for your favourite tree, St Lukes Church, Maidenhead, 08 -12:’ Henley Arts & Crafts Guild Christmas Craft Exhibition’ Old Fire Station Gallery, Gravel Hill, Henley on Thames, 10:00 - 16:00 | 09: ‘Visit Santa for Free’ Nicholson’s Centre, Maidenhead, 11:00 - 15:00 09: ‘Reindeer and Reindeer Racing’ High Street, Nicholson Centre and Queen Street Maidenhead from 11.30 and Reindeers can be visited until 14:30. Reindeer Racing 10:00 - 16:00.

02: ‘Art on the Street’ Maidenhead, 10:00 – 16:00,

10: ‘Cookham Annual Christmas Street Fayre’ 12:00-16:00, Cookham High St.

02: ‘Visit Santa for Free’ Nicholson’s Centre, Maidenhead, 11:00 - 15:00.

10: ‘ Festive Christmas Shopping Event + Santa in his Grotto’ Town Hall, Henley on Thames, 11:00 - 16:00

03:’Cookham Dean Christmas Tree Lighting’, 17:00, Cookham Dean Village Hall

16: ‘Visit Santa for Free’ Nicholson’s Centre, Maidenhead, 11:00 - 15:00 20: ‘Christmas Street Food Market’ Maidenhead High St, all day.

03: ‘Santa Fun Run Higginson Park, 09:30, a 5k run around the town for all ages, run, jog, push or walk, all proceeds go to charities, Scanappeal and Alliance of Hope, book online at 07: ‘Hurley House Hotel Party Night’ 3-course Gala buffet by Michelin-starred Chef, Live entertainment, High on Heels, Laser light show and DJ Anna Richards all night. More details

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2017

21: ‘Hurley House Hotel Party Night’ 3-course Gala buffet by Michelin-starred Chef, Live entertainment by JGCollective, Laser light show and DJ Anna Richards all night. More details 31: ‘Hurley House Hotel New Year’s Eve Celebration’ Winter wonderland themed pavilion to welcome in the New Year with star-studded entertainment, a Champagne and canapé reception plus 3-course Gala buffet, including wine by Michelin-starred Chef. For more details

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Christmas Lights in London 17 Nov – 1st Jan: Winter Wonderland Hyde Park 07 Nov – 05 Jan Oxford Street 07 Nov – 05 Jan Carnaby Street Christmas Lights 14 Nov – 05 Jan Covent Garden Christmas Lights 16 Nov – 05 Jan Regent Street Christmas Lights 04 Nov – 31 Dec Shard Christmas Lights

Ongoing Events Marlow Museum Mar – Oct 13:00 - 17:00: Sat, Sun & Bank holidays | Nov – Feb: 14:00 – 16:00 Sun Maidenhead Heritage Centre last Wednesday of the month | WRVS, Maidenhead | 780555 Stanley Spencer Gallery Mar – Nov: Tues – Sun 10:30 – 17:30 | Nov – Mar: Thurs – Sun 11:00 – 16:30 Closed 24 & 25 Dec. Marlow Camera Club every Tuesday | 19:45 - 20:00 | The Methodist Church Hall, Spittal Street, Marlow, SL7 3HJ Maidenhead Camera Club every Tuesday, Cox Green Community Centre | 01628 630861 Henley Photographic Club every Tuesday evening | 20:00 - 22:00 | YMCA Hall, off Waterman’s Road, Henley Speak Spanish in Beaconsfield, Beaconsfield High School Wednesdays | 19:30 | All levels except beginners Tony on 07947 508755 | The East Berks RSPB Group monthly | 7.30pm to 9.30pm on Thursdays | High Street Methodist Church Hall, Maidenhead | Colenorton Dragon Boat Club Sunday 10.00 - 12.30 | Bray Lake Water Sports, Maidenhead SL6 2EB

Outdoor Skating

South Bucks Walking Group Regular walks programme + club weekends | Di Olden - 01494 714486

18 Nov – 24 Dec Reading Winter-on-ice at Forbury Park

Henley & Goring Ramblers No need to book, just turn up, new walkers and non members are always welcome |

18 Nov - 07 Jan Windsor on Ice at Alexandra Gardens

Maidenhead National Trust Second Thursday of every month, except August Jakoby Drama Studio at Desborough College, Maidenhead.

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Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER /DECEMBER 2017

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thor: ragnarok Three is the magic number for Marvel Comics’ dreamy incarnation of the hammer-wielding Norse god of thunder. Portrayed on screen since 2011 by Chris Hemsworth with flowing golden locks, gym-sculpted abs and laid-back Antipodean charm, Thor finally gets into an otherworldly groove in this third solo outing directed by Taika Waititi (Hunt For The Wilderpeople). In front of the camera, a holy trinity of Oscar winners chews the multimillion-dollar scenery with fervour, including Sir Anthony Hopkins, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba and Tom Hiddleston.

Met Opera: The Exterminating Angel 2017 (12A) Co-commissioned by the Met and sung in English, this black comedy, with shades of JG Ballard/Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise, is based on the screenplay of Luis Buñuel’s 1962 surrealist film. Live: Sat 18 Nov, 5.55 | Encore: Mon 20 Nov, 1.00 Oscar Wilde Season Live: A Woman Of No Importance Olivier award-winner Eve Best and BAFTA-nominated actress Anne Reid star in this new classically staged production of Oscar Wilde’s comedy directed by Dominic Dromgoole, former Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe. Tue 28 Nov, 7.15 Bolshoi Ballet: The Nutcracker 2017 (12A) A holiday tradition for the whole family, The Nutcracker sweeps the Bolshoi stage for two hours of enchantment and magic. Sun 3 Dec, 3.00 ROH Live: The Nutcracker 2017 (12A) Peter Wright’s nigh-on definitive production for The Royal Ballet ranks as one of the most enduring and enchanting versions of ‘The Nutcracker’. Tue 5 Dec, 7.15

Three members of the Avengers also make appearances to whet appetites for next summer’s superhero smackdown, Infinity War.

NT Live: Young Marx (12A) Rory Kinnear is Marx and Oliver Chris is Engels, in this new comedy written by Richard Bean and Clive Coleman. Broadcast live from The Bridge Theatre, London, and directed by Nicholas Hytner. Thu 7 Dec, 7.00

The heavenly convergence of direction, writing and performance would align perfectly if Blanchett was allowed to fully inhabit her snarling villainess, as she sets in motion the Ragnarok: a prophetic downfall of the kingdom of Asgard.

December Film Club Interested in film and would like to discuss a recent release with likeminded individuals over a free tea or coffee. For more details ask at the cinema or follow us on Facebook

Consequently, the freshly shorn god of thunder is pitted against a smashing ally (Mark Ruffalo) in gladiatorial battle.

For Bookings: 0871 902 5738 Regal Picturehouse, 2 Boroma Way, Henley RG9 2BZ

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Useful Numbers CLUBS: MAIDENHEAD Rotary Club of Maidenhead 632797 The Maidenhead Players 07879 476301 Maidenhead Drama Guild 635017 Maidenhead Operatic Society 671589 Maidenhead Musical Comedy Society 07813 979894 Grimm Players 820429 Maidenhead Concert Band 624514 Maidenhead Folk Club 448268 Tuesday Singers 629012 Athletics 522797 Maidenhead & Bray CC 07885 240209 North Maid enhead Cricket Club 624137 Rugby 629663 Hockey 622669 Desborough Bowls Club 629403 Rowing 622664 SportsAble 627690 Maidenhead Tennis 623785 Thames Valley Cycling Club 638984 East Berks Badminton 636283 Maidenhead Camera Club 630861 East Berkshire Ramblers 634561 Lions Club of Maidenhead 634333 Maidenhead Golf Club 624693 Five Aces Duplicate Bridge Club 625663 River Thames Society 624025 Belmont Badminton Club 638844 Scottish Dancing Club 628372 Stanley Spencer Gallery 471885 COOKHAM Tennis & Croquet 07968 173757 Line Dancing 486362 Petanque 417453 Cookham Bridge Rotary Club 07724 042708 Cookham & Bourne End Inner Wheel Club 07715 441713 Bourne End & Cookham Rotary 810967 HENLEY Rotary Club of Henley Bridge Henley Rowing Club Henley Players Henley Hawks Rugby Club Henley Cricket Club Lions Club of Henley Henley Bowling Club Henley Tennis Club Henley Hockey Club Henley Wednesday Bridge Club Henley Choral Society HADISC Badminton Club Henley Music School Henley Henley-on-Thames U3A

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01491 628284 01491 573943 01491 636253 01491 574499 01491 577743 01491 576717 01491 579271 01491 572230 01491 576988 01491 573958 01491 576929 01491 577909 07989 396210 07812 998318

MARLOW Liston Hall 472558 Archaeology in Marlow 481792 Marlow Archaeological Society 523896 Bowls 485274 Boxing 01494 532826 Crafts 473872/473539 Football 483970 Hockey 521830 Plants (Orchids) 486640 Petanque 521783 Photography 483030 Rugby 483911/477054 Marlow Striders 475548 Four Seasons Club 484528 Tennis 483638 New Marlow Tennis Academy 488438 Rifle & Pistol Club 01494 676676 ALF (Longridge) 486595 Marlow & District Wine Society 483294 Marlow Museum 01628 482515 Marlow Society/History 476140 MOAS 07899 867757 Rotary Club 01494 530952 LETS 01494 523978 U3A 485220/488865 Community Choir 602581/661182 Railway Society 01494 488283 Choral Society 472998 Marlow Orators 07738 540287 COUNCIL SERVICES MARLOW Bus Services 0871 2002233 Marlow Information centre 483597/481717 Library 0845 2303232 Town Council 484024 Neighbourhood Watch - Nic Martin 01895 837220 Wycombe Council 01494 461000 RBWM Bus Services 0871 2002233 CIS 507587 Council Tax 683850 Library - Cox Green 673942 Library - Holyport Container 796555 Library - Maidenhead 796969 Library - Cookham 526147 Recycling 796474 Town Hall 683800 Youth & Community Centre 685999 Thames Valley Adventure Playground 628599 HENLEY Henley Library Henley Town Council

01491 575278 01491 576982

BOURNE END Library 524814 Community Centre 527502

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER /DECEMBER 2017


CHRISTMAS AT THE OAKLEY COURT This festive season treat the whole family to one of our enchanting experiences and enjoy a Christmas to remember. Santa’s Family Lunch Christmas Afternoon Tea Christmas Day Lunch Festive Spirit Package New Years Eve Gala Ball For more details contact: or call +44 (0)1753 609988

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2017

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Living Along the Thames Mag November/December 2017  

View our latest Luxury Lifestyle magazine for residents of Marlow, Maidenhead, Henley, Cookham and Bourne End in the Thames Valley. Contain...