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November / December 2018

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MARLOW | HENLEY | MAIDENHEAD | COOKHAM | BOURNE END


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A Warm Welcome

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

to our Christmas Edition

Serena Edwards

The weather has turned crisp and the leaves have just about fallen off the trees, so we know that Winter is coming and of course Christmas, which brings with it parties and more parties along with time to celebrate with family and friends at this lovely time of year.

Editor

We have some fabulous competitions to win, two £50 vouchers from Copas Traditional Turkey’s towards your Christmas Feast, two £50 vouchers from Wingly for those of you who love aviation and 50 pairs of tickets to The Best You, next February. We also have 25 pairs of tickets to the Ideal Home Christmas Show at the end of November, so if you’d like to browse everything Christmas you need to act quickly. So, hop on over to Pages 8, 10 and 14 for your chance to win. In this edition we feature Christmas outfits, ideas for gifts and some Christmas tipple for friends and family – how about a Gin Advent Calendar? We also have a guide to carving your Christmas turkey along with featuring some great kitchen gadgets that may come in handy over the festive period. The National Trust has suggested 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 these winter months. We have featured a few articles on your health over the winter months, a recipe from Prue Leith as well as some tips From Phil Spencer on questions to ask when buying a house. We have two travel articles, one visiting Vietnam and the other Mallorca, so if you’re looking for a little inspiration, hopefully we have given you some ‘food for thought’. All that is left for me to do is thank all of my advertisers for their support through 2018 and to wish them and you, the Reader, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. As always Happy Reading

ADVERTISING: Living Along the Thames Magazine Studio 108, 5 High Street, Maidenhead, Berks SL6 1JN Tel: 01628 627 488 Office@AlongTheThames.co.uk CONTRIBUTORS: Christine Chalklin, Katy Dunn, Jacky & Mark Bloomfield ACCOUNTS: Lisa Dansey Tel: 07863 136951 lisa@sundialaccounting.co.uk DESIGNED BY: Digital Bear Design Tel: 01949 839206 mat@digitalbear.co.uk View our recent editions online at: www.VIVIDTITLES.co.uk 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.

Living Along The Thames is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (which regulates the UK’s magazine and newspaper industry). We abide by the Editors’ Code of Practice and are committed to upholding the highest standards of journalism. If you think that we have not met those standards and want to make a complaint please contact 01628 627488. If we are unable to resolve your complaint, or if you would like more information about IPSO or the Editors’ Code, contact IPSO on 0300 123 2220 or visit www.ipso.co.uk

ISSN 2398-9343

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2018


Supplying & Installing Qualit y Log Cabins since 1982 Log Cabins, Summerhouses, Home Offices, Garages, Gazebos, Sheds and much more. Quality Garden Buildings are a family-run business and have been established in Berkshire for over 30 years. In addition to supplying your log cabin or summerhouse, we offer a full range of services including base preparation, electrical installation, water and drainage, and a FREE site survey. Based in Hare Hatch, Reading we have an extensive on-site display of sheds, log cabins, garden buildings and we offer FREE delivery. Quality Garden Buildings are authorised main dealers for Lugarde, Shedlands, Regency Garden Buildings and TGB sheds, and can supply their entire ranges of garden buildings. If you cannot find what you are looking for on our website you can download their brochures here - we would be more than happy to give you a FREE Quote. The sizes listed on this website are standard sizes but all of our Lugarde wooden buildings can be made bespoke for your garden and can be fitted with uPVC windows. We can also supply larger buildings for schools and other commercial purposes.

Quality Garden Buildings Ladds Garden Village, A4, Bath Road, Hare Hatch, Reading, RG10 9SB

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018

0118 940 1423 07471 350770/07831 462829 dlc@qualitygb.co.uk www.qualitygb.co.uk

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Dreaming of clear youthful skin It wasn’t until recently that I realised that you don’t have to have plastic surgery to improve your skin, and give you that uplift that age and gravity causes you to lose over time. Whether we realise it or not, constant exposure to pollution and sun in particular can cause damage. One day you look at yourself in the mirror and realise that you have pigmentation, fine lines or small thread veins on your face and really what can you do to change it? There are plenty of options, but do you have the time and the money to have plastic surgery to bring back the youthfulness you once possessed? Most of us do not want to go down this route so what are the solutions? You can have Botox® and fillers, which help to erase wrinkles around your forehead and eyes and give you back a youthful look or you can take the route I recently chose. I’ve known Elisabeth Bester, owner of Marlow Face and Body, for some time but had never appreciated that the services she offers gives women back confidence in their looks, not only through the body but the face, neck

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Before

After

and décolletage. We all age in different ways but you can be sure that age and sun have a massive impact on the skin ageing.

So how do you embark on this journey? I had a consultation with Elisabeth to find out what was special about her machines and what they could

achieve. At the initial consultation, Elisabeth went through the solutions for improving your skin; all that she can help you with from reducing pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, acne and just about anything else you feel has become an imperfection. After analysing your skin, you arrange for 6-8 treatments over a period of 12-16 weeks in the comfort of her clinic in the centre of Marlow. Parking is available,

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018


The process for removing the spider veins is very similar to the removal of pigmentation, but a different laser is used. The results to date are fantastic as my face has a plumpness that I haven’t seen since my younger years. If you are looking for a natural looking anti-ageing treatment, why not go and have an initial consultation. The results are fantastic with minimal downtime as the appointments are approximately an hour long and Elisabeth works with you so that you feel comfortable through every treatment.

Before so you don’t have to worry about trying to find a space. Of course, anything new will always fill you with some form of anxiety because although you have discussed the treatment, you are not quite sure what form it will take. Elisabeth puts you at your ease and talks you through exactly what she is going to do when showing you the laser machine. The laser is placed on your face and Elisabeth gives you a demonstration so you know exactly what it will feel like. I can only say that I found the warmth of the laser on my face quite relaxing. The laser does make a small noise, but it didn’t bother me at all. Wow, after three treatments I could really notice a difference in my skin. It looked fresher, felt plumper, softer and smoother. I could only imagine what it would be like at the end of six treatments.

After The next two treatments consisted of removing the pigmentation and spider veins in my face. These treatments are slightly different to the tone and texture sessions as they require you to numb your face prior to an appointment as the laser is more intense and can be a little uncomfortable. Prior to taking one of these sessions, Elisabeth does a patch test so that you know exactly what to expect. These two treatments, as well as causing a little discomfort, can leave your face initially looking quite pink from where the laser has been. Elisabeth described that the pigmentation would intensify and then disappear, which it indeed did. I couldn’t believe how patchy my skin had become, but after the treatment it is lovely and smooth and clear of pigmentation, blemishes and sun spots.

To maintain the changes in my skin I will be returning every two months. It has given me back so much confidence in my appearance, and yet, I really didn’t think my skin was too bad. It just shows that as we age we don’t always see the differences that others do and now you can correct it effortlessly.

What does Harmony XL Pro do? The machine has seven different lasers that can be used individually or together to treat a variety of different conditions, hence the name “Harmony”. Apart from just about everything you can imagine from improving the appearance of skin, treating acne, pigmentation, fine lines to reducing spider veins. It also has other treatments like pixelated skin resurfacing, Rosacea and nail fungus. Marlow Face and Body are running a promotion in the lead up to Christmas, so it’s the perfect opportunity to give yourself an early gift to turn back time and look youthful again. www.marlowfaceandbody.com The Marlow Clinic | Crown Road Marlow SL7 2QG | 01628 302028

Marlow Face and Body use Alma Lasers which have been extensively clinically tested and given FDA approval, something that is important in this day and age. The three lasers used on me were ‘ClearLift’, DyeVL and DyeVR. ClearLift is a course of 6 photo acoustic laser sessions to improve fine lines, laxity, pigmentation, tone and texture. All the hallmarks of youthful skin that we see over time as we age and expose ourselves to the sun. The Clearlift laser treats age-related skin imperfections as it targets the dermis to stimulate the healing process and collagen production to smooth out and balance the skin revealing an even-toned and unblemished results; a painless, safe and effective treatment for all skin types.

The DyeVR targets the pigmentation at a deeper layer and draws the pigment to the surface. The pigmentation turns dark, scabs over and falls off revealing new healthy and fresh skin. The DyeVR feels a bit like IPL and I was told to stay out of the sun and to wear SPF 50 every day.

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018

The DyeVL laser focuses on redness and spider veins, which have become enlarged and visible due to weakened and blocked veins, which cause blood to pool rather than flow to the heart. The laser closes these veins and reduces or eliminates their appearance and this can be on the face or the body and gives long term results.

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SATURDAY 1ST DECEMBER Santa’s arrival and Christmas at Stubbings

Christmas tree forest at Stubbings Nursery The largest range in the Thames Valley

We are thrilled that Santa will be arriving by helicopter again this year, and there’ll be lots to see and do for our 2018 landing...

Please see our website for more details and to book tickets (online bookings only) The gate to the Main House lawns will open from the Walled Garden at 10.00am, Saturday 1st December.

See Santa Arrive by Helicopter* and meet his Reindeer! Sing Christmas Carols with Santa and the Maidenhead Concert Band, take a selfie with Santa, meet Princesses Belle and Elsa.

Browse our excellent selection of Christmas trees – cut trees, pot grown and artificial. We also have an extensive Christmas Boutique with stunning decorations, gifts, tree stands and lights and some rather tempting delicious seasonal treats in our cosy Café!

Decorate a delicious pizza with Barrel & Stone (thin, crispy, stone baked on the premises), decorate your own hanging gingerbread Christmas tree biscuit and then take it home (or eat it…)

www.stubbingsnursery.co.uk *normal weather conditions permitting

WIN

Living Along the Thames and Wingly have teamed up to bring two lucky readers the opportunity to win one of two £50 vouchers.

All you have to do is answer the question

How many pilots are registered with Wingly? Send your answer to office@alongthethames.co.uk by 12th December for a chance to win. Please ensure that you provide your name, town you live in and phone number in the email or send a postcard with your answer to Vivid, Studio 108, 5 High Street, Maidenhead, Berks SL6 1JN. Please note there is only one entry per household. Wingly is a flight sharing platform that connects both pilots and passengers in a similar way to carpooling. Choose your destination and take to the skies and enjoy an affordable and exhilarating mini-break, trip around the country or across the Channel by visiting Northern France the Channel Islands or a day out over Oxford, for example. The choice is yours and is for people with a passion for aviation. These leisure flights can be in two to six-seater planes, depending on destination and number of passengers interested and the price is from approximately £50 per person and you can sign up whenever you want. A fabulous opportunity to spoil the aviator in your life. www.en.wingly.io for more information

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Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018


Seasonal Treats

The largest range of cut and pot grown Christmas trees www.stubbingsnursery.co.uk tel: 01628 825454 email: info@stubbingsnursery.co.uk

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018 Stubbings Nursery Ltd | Stubbings Lane | Maidenhead | Berkshire | SL6 6QL

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READER’S OFFERS We are super excited as we are giving away Free Tickets to

The Ideal Home Show Christmas 2018 21st - 25th November at London's Olympia Looking for inspiration and ideas to deck the halls and fill your stockings ready for Christmas? Living Along The Thames has partnered with the UK’s best loved seasonal home event, the Ideal Home Show Christmas, to offer 25 lucky readers a FREE pair of tickets to enjoy its eighth magical year. With over 600 exhibitors, the Ideal Home Show Christmas brings together all of the seasonal essentials to create your perfect Christmas at home. Split across six sections including; Home, Gifts, Decorations, Pets, and the Eat & Drink Festival. For the second year, the Eat and Drink Festival will be alongside the Christmas show giving you free access to the ultimate foodie experience. See your favourite Chef’s in action including Rosemary Shrager, Theo Randall, Aldo Zilli, Rachel Green and Ed Baines; offering their top tips and expert advice on perfecting a festive feast in The Christmas Kitchen. Independent Artisan food producers will be selling fresh produce alongside a range of eclectic street food vendors while Olly Smith will be sharing his top tips and expert advice on this year’s festive tipples. There’s not much time so to enter, please send your details including your name address and phone number to office@alongthethames.co.uk by 14th November

The Best You Expo in London Living Along The Thames have partnered with The Best You Expo 2019, to offer 50 lucky readers FREE tickets to next year’s show which runs from the 15th-16th February 2019 at Olympia London. Now in its fourth year, The Best You Expo is Europe’s largest event dedicated to personal and professional development. The show brings together the world’s best motivational speakers, authors, publishers, experts and brands in one place to help inspire visitors to live their best life, gaining greater mindfulness and meaning in our modern age. Across two days, The Best You, will explore a wide range of topics relevant to modern society across nine dedicated areas which include; Empowering Women, Best for Business, Wealth and Riches, Health and Lifestyle, Yoga and Meditation, Passion to Profit, Mindfulness and Wellbeing, and new for 2019 Best Youth.

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Are you looking to accelerate your business performance, improve your business acumen, prepare yourself for entering into a new career, or improve your life and work balance? The Best You provides an unrivalled programme of seminars and main stage talks hosted by an acclaimed suite of speakers, who will share their personal experiences, insight as well as discuss the very latest ideas and concepts in the industry to inspire and educate and empower visitors.

Whether you’re looking to dip your toe in the water of personal development or are striving to optimize your professional success in 2019, The Best You Expo offers the tools you need to unlock your greatest potential. To claim your free tickets please enter the code L10290T in the following link https://theukcompany. isrefer.com/go/expo19-free-tickets/ K1032M/ and follow the instructions.

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018

T&Cs – Recipients can select tickets for the 15th February 2018, 16th February 2018 or both the 15th & 16th February 2019. Offer valid until 15th January 2019 or once the free tickets have expired, all clicks will be rerouted to a paid ticketing page. Tickets cannot be resold, or claimed for any cash value.

If you can’t make this year’s Christmas show, fear not, your ticket is valid for all Ideal Home Show events until Spring 2019.


CELEBRATE at OURS this CHRISTMAS Festive menus from £42 per person Taplow, Berkshire, SL6 0JF Tel: 01628 607107 Reservations@clivedenhouse.co.uk www.clivedenhouse.co.uk Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018

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Prue Leith’s Braised Duck Salad with Pomegranate, Juniper and Ginger Ingredients (Serves 6) 5 celery sticks, finely diced 1 large red onion, finely chopped 6 garlic cloves, crushed 6cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped 2tsp juniper berries Juice and finely grated zest of 1 orange A glug of vegetable oil 2tsp za’atar 4 duck legs, skin on 1 large pomegranate 1 bunch of spring onions, finely sliced on the diagonal Salt and pepper to season For the dressing: Juice of 1/2 lemon 2tbsp pomegranate molasses 2tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Method 1. Heat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4. 2. Put the celery, onion, garlic and ginger in the bottom of a shallow casserole dish. Bash the juniper berries lightly in a small pestle and mortar and add them to the casserole. Add the orange juice and zest and drizzle with a good glug of vegetable oil. Give it a good mix and spread out to make a bed for the duck legs. 3. Rub the za’atar all over the duck legs and lay them on top of the vegetables in the casserole. Season well with salt and pepper. Now simply place in the oven and cook, uncovered, for roughly one-and-a-half hours, depending on the size of your duck legs. The duck is done when the flesh easily pulls away from the bone with the touch of a fork. 4. Meanwhile, remove the seeds from the pomegranate. The best method for this is to score the tough outer skin into quarters. Submerge the fruit in a large, deep bowl of cold water and, using your hands, gently pull apart the quarters and ease out the seeds with your fingers. The seeds sink to the bottom and the skin and pith will float to the top and can be scooped away. Drain off the water and the seeds remain. Tip Seeds out onto kitchen paper to dry. 5. Remove the duck from the oven. Pour off the duck fat from the vegetables. Allow the duck to cool for a few minutes to make removing the meat from the bones easier. 6. Shred the duck and skin and tip into a large mixing bowl. Tumble together with the roasted vegetables and then turn out onto a generous serving platter. 7. Make the dressing by combining the lemon juice, pomegranate, molasses and olive oil. 8. Serve before the duck cools completely: Drizzle the dressing all over, then top with the pomegranate seeds and sliced spring onions.

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Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018


Stoke Park... the Perfect Christmas Gift

CONTACT US NOW ON 01753 717171 | WWW.STOKEPARK.COM

STOKE PARK, PARK ROAD, STOKE POGES, BUCKINGHAMSHIRE SL2 4PG


For The Foodie ‘Getting every little bit from the turkey’ a precise knife by Skalpel. A luxury item for any foodie from Stuart Mitchell in Sheffield | www.theskalpel.com | £120.00 Spice Drops - natural extracts of herbs, spics, fruits and flowers eachbottle comes with its own dropper - Various collections available from www.holylama.co.uk | from £16 Joule by Chefsteps - small at home ‘sous vide’ ie cooking your food in a water bath or steam environment to cook evenly while retaining moisture plus a handy app | £89 | Amazon

Roccbox by Gozney - Portable Outdoor wood & Gas Stone Oven | £499 | www.gozney.com

Any Sharp Pro - Cuts like a diamond Variety of colours to suit any kitchen £19.99 | Amazon

Reader’s Offer Living Along The Thames and Copas Traditional Turkeys have teamed up to offer two lucky readers the opportunity to win a £50 voucher each. Copas Traditional Turkeys were awarded the prestigious Best Christmas Turkey Award at the 2017 British Poultry Awards and, to celebrate this achievement, are offering two lucky “Living Along The Thames” readers the chance to win a £50 gift voucher each. The vouchers can be used against any Copas Traditional Turkeys products which can be seen at www.copasturkeys.co.uk. 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 annual festivities by picking up their turkeys at the annual Festive Collection Day at the farm on December 23rd. Come & meet Santa & his reindeer, listen to the choir & kick off Christmas in style. For your chance to win a £50 voucher answer the following question:

What date is the Copas Traditional Annual Festive Collection Day? All entries must include, name, contact number and town you reside in by12th December to office@alongthethames.co.uk. The winners details will be shared with Copas as each winner will receive their £50 voucher by email on 14th December and have until 17th December to place their order at www.copasturkeys.co.uk

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Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018


BERKSHIRE

ENGLAND

Very Very Special Turkeys

Officially Britain’s Best Christmas Turkey British Poultry Awards 2017

FAMILY RUN • HAND PLUCKED • FREE RANGE since 1957

dry aged for 14 days

living naturally

www.copasturkeys.co.uk • 01628 499980 Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018

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Golden Turkey, Ham and Gruyere Pasties Ingredients Makes 6-8

For the pastry:

200g butter, chilled and diced 400g plain flour A pinch of mustard powder A pinch of salt 1 medium egg, beaten A little milk

For the filling:

25g butter 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped 1 tbsp chopped sage Sea salt and black pepper 250g cooked/roasted Golden Turkey, dark and white meat, cubed 125g ham, cubed 125g Gruyere cheese, grated 1 tbsp chopped parsley 1 tbsp double cream 3 tbsp mayonnaise ½ tsp Dijon mustard 1 egg, beaten for brushing Courtesy of: www.goldenturkeys.co.uk

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Method Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 Make the pastry: rub the butter into the flour, mustard powder and salt with your finger tips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and mix well, then add enough milk to make a firm dough. Wrap the pastry in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge. For the filling, melt the butter in a pan, add the onion and sage and cook, stirring regularly until the onion is soft – this will take about 5 minutes. Season and leave to cool. Mix together the Golden Turkey, ham, onion mixture, Gruyere cheese, parsley, cream, mayonnaise and Dijon mustard and season with a little sea salt and black pepper. If the mixture is a little dry, add more cream. Divide the pastry into six equal pieces and roll each out to a 23cm disc on a lightly floured board. Lay the pastry discs out and divide the filling equally in the centre of each disc, leaving a margin at the edge. Brush the pastry around the edge with the beaten egg and carefully draw the edges together to form a seam across the top, pinch together to seal. Repeat with the remaining pasties. Place the pasties on a lined baking tray, glaze with the egg and bake for 10 minutes then reduce the oven temperature to 170°C/325°F/Gas 3 and cook for a further 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Serve hot or cold. Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018


Christmas Turkey Carving Tips Courtesy of: Paul Kelly | www.kellybronze.co.uk

Wings Off First

Legs Off Next

Breast Meat Off

Peel Off Both Leg and Breast Skin

Slice it up

Enjoy!

Hold the wing by the tip. Cut it at the midsection, then do the same again on the other wing.

Place on a baking tray. Season and return to a hot oven for approximately 10-15 minutes until crisp - it’s delicious!

Hold the leg by the end knuckle. Cut through the skin between the leg and the body and twist off, then do the same again to the other leg.

Slice up the breast meat and carve the leg off the bone.

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018

Use the tip of the knife, cut along the breast bone and keep the knife close to the bone until the breast is removed, do the same again on the other side.

Pour over the reheated gravy juices from the bird. Allow time to soak up the juices before serving.

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GET READY TO RUM-BLE Thanks to the new golden era of cocktails and the premiumisation of spirits, rum is now taking its rightful place next to gin, vodka and whisky. What’s your style? White or gold, aged or spiced? In keeping with the trend for elevated cocktails (the premium rum segment is growing 24%, year on year), we’ve rounded up some amber rums that can be sipped neat, but also work beautifully as the base spirit for you to build around.

Especial Cuba Libre With a summer makeover inspired by Cuban street culture, Havana Club Anejo Especial’s (£18.95, 70cl, TheWhiskyExchange.com) new label has vibrant blue and red edges, tree rings, oak barrels and a sand timer to channel the brand’s double aged maturation method. A golden rum with notes of vanilla and caramel, it marries beautifully with the flavours of cola; a simple but spirited classic. Ingredients: 50ml Havana Club Especial, 100ml Fever-Tree Madagascan Cola, large lime wedge. Method: Fill a highball glass with quality ice cubes. Add the rum, top with cola. Squeeze the juice of a lime wedge into the glass and garnish with another lime wedge. Note: The lime is a crucial ingredient, as it lightens and evens out the sweetness of the drink.

Bloody Death With its rich, pirate past, spiced rum has become a real thing in Cornwall, where Dead Man’s Fingers (£22.95, 70cl, 31Dover.com) is made with a combination of Caribbean rums, bottled and blended in this seafaring town. Dangerously smooth, with cinnamon, nutmeg, orange, caramel and vanilla notes, you’ll definitely want to try this spicy twist... Ingredients: 50ml Dead Man’s Fingers Spiced, 90ml tomato juice, 10ml cranberry juice, 10ml lemon juice, 10ml Worcestershire Sauce, pinch of sea salt. Method: Half fill a high ball with ice. Add the ingredients, stir slowly and garnish with lemon slices, cucumber slices and twist of black pepper.

Bacardi Cuatro Air Mail From Puerto Rico with love, champagne chimes with the honey, vanilla and spicy notes in Bacardi Anejo Cuatro 4 Year Old (£22.95, 70cl, TheWhiskyExchange.com) to create this refreshingly good, high-end cocktail to bring some sparkle to your rum fest. Ingredients: 30ml Bacardi Anejo Cuatro, 15ml honey water (2 parts honey, 1 part hot water, 1 part sugar syrup), 15ml fresh lime, champagne to top. Method: Half fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the rum, honey water and lime. Shake vigorously and double strain into a chilled flute. Top with champagne and garnish with discarded orange zest.

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Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018


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Christmas Outfits for every occasion

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1 . Alula Cami dress with fluted hem in Painterley Floral | £62 | www.elvi.com 2. Luisa Cerano | www.swishboutique.co.uk 3. Invisilifts self-adhesive transparent breast lifts for a strapless/backless look | Up to F Cup £11 | www.jdwilliams.co.uk 4. Va-Va-Voom Backless Adhesive Bra in Velvet | 2 colours | A-E Cup | £26.50 www.magicbodyfashion.com 5. Velour 3D Neckline Cocktail Dress | £85 | kaleidoscope.co.uk 6. Crystal Embellished Pashmina | £150 - £175 | www.cashmererebel.co.uk 7. Diamante Bag | £29 | kaleidoscope.co.uk 8. Jerome Dreyfuss Sautoir Niko Bag in Black Velour | £215 | www.jerome-dreyfuss.com 9. Accessorize Parma Clutch | £22 | kaleidoscope.co.uk 10. Kristen Dress In celeste Lace Blue | www.bombpetite.com 11. Winnie Cropped Jumpsuit with Cape Back | £55 | www.elvi.com 12. Studio Mouthy White Wide Leg Jumpsuit with Lace | £65 | www.littlemistress.com 13. Frank Lyman Black Dress | £219 | www.swishboutique.co.uk


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Gifts for the beauty lovers in your life

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8. 7. 1. Brushworks HD cruelty free and vegan friendly brushes | 10 different shapes | www.soinvogue.com 2. Delilah Rose Gold Collection | Colour Intense Eyeshadow Palette - nine shades (mattes, metallics & shimmers) plus Lipgloss | £34 | www.delilahcosmetics.com 3. Gosh Copenhagan ... to Rock Down Under | Eyeshadow palette comprising 9 shades (mattes, metallics & shimmers) | £11.99 | www.superdrug.com 4. Mistletoe Kiss (Mini Pucker Up Lipstick, Mini Lashtastic Mascara, Mini Glowcomotion Pink Highlighter) | £9.95 5. Profusion Face Set including a 6 colour eyeshadow palette, 3 colour blush set, lip crème, eyeliner pencil + duo brush | £16 | www.boots.com 6. Gosh Rebel Eyes Lengthening Mascara | £8.99 | www.superdrug.com 7. Flawless Eyeliner | £14.95 | www.flawlesslashesbyloreta.com 8. Gosh Metallic Eyeliners | £6.99 | www.superdrug.com 9. StylPro Limited Edition Gift Set in Rose God, Pearlescent or Glitter | make-up brush, cleaner & dryer, brush cleanser (150ml) & make-up brushes | £49.99 | www.styltom.co.uk

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Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018


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1. Eucerin Anti-ageing starter kit, includes Hyaluron Filler Day Cream SPF 15 (20ml), night cream (20ml) & Concentrate (5ml) | £20 | www.boots.com 2. Mavala Wellness Pampering Set | various | £16.95 | www.lookfantastic.com 3. Angela Langford Bloom & Glow Radiance restoring Facial Oil | £20.50 | www.angelalangford.com 4. Kimberley Sayer French Hydrating Anti-Oxidant Facial Mask | £21.60 | www.lovelula.com 5. Odylique 3-in-1 Mask | £20 | www.odylique.co.uk 6. Sudocrem NEW Skin Recovery Cream | £5.99 (30ml) | www.Boots.com 7. Mavala Trio’s Mini Colours (5ml) in various colours with a snowflake charm | £14.95 www.lookfantastic.com 8. Nail Berry Hippie Chic, Boho Chic & Mystique Red | £14.50 | www.nailberry.co.uk

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Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018


Biggest women’s fragrance launches of 2018

1. Cartier Carat Eau de Parfum | £67.50 for 50ml | John Lewis | Carat is inspired by the way diamonds refract light and is made up of seven different flower scents. From red tulip to purple violet, the florals are perfectly balanced. 2. Dolce & Gabbana The Only One Eau de Parfum | £63 for 50ml | John Lewis | The Only One contains notes of coffee, which gives an overall effect as warm and rich as a steaming Americano. Combined with violet, iris and vanilla, this perfume smells, in a word, expensive. 3. Givenchy L’Interdit Eau de Parfum | £69 for 50ml | Boots | Inspired by a Givenchy perfume of the same name from 1957 (it means ‘forbidden’), the new version pairs heady white florals with woody notes, and a healthy dose of amber

Stop fighting with your curls, visit us today for your free consultation and product sample

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The benefits of retirement living with McCarthy and Stone McCarthy & Stone is the UK’s leading retirement housebuilder with a c.70% share of the owner-occupied market. They’ve sold over 51,000 properties across more than 1,100 retirement developments since 1977 which are situated in locations close to local amenities, transport links, and are renowned for their focus on the needs of those in later life. They’ve been building outstanding apartments in prime locations for over 40 years to suit all lifestyles and stages of retirement. All their properties are designed to make living easier and are built to high standards – just two of the reasons they’ve been awarded the 5-star rating for customer satisfaction in an

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independent survey by the Home Builders Federation every year since the awards began. They are the only house builder of any size or type to ever achieve this. All apartments are built to help you or a loved one keep their independence and they offer a choice of developments and lifestyles to suit your needs. McCarthy & Stone believe that retirement should be everything you or a loved one hoped it would be, without having to compromise on quality of life or the level of freedom you’re used to. They create a place that you can call your own. Privately-owned spacious apartments located near the centre

of town that gives you the level of freedom you want within an environment that is safe and secure. With social lounges, beautiful year-round landscaped gardens and guest suites all under one roof, when you’re not out and about, you can relax and entertain your family, friends and new neighbours. They also provide a varied level of support depending on your needs to help you lead your retirement to the full. Kevin Sims, Regional Sales and Marketing Director for McCarthy & Stone comments: “All of our developments have been designed to offer future homeowners the very best in independent living with the opportunity to benefit from privacy when they need it, and companionship when they choose to.”

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018


Discover retirement living to the full Two exclusive retirement solutions...

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Is your slow metabolism actually the reason you struggle to lose weight? The metabolism has a bad rep when it comes to weight loss, but is it the enemy we make it out to be? Liz Connor asks some experts to explain. You’re eating a balanced, nutrient-rich diet, you’re regularly working up a sweat in your local spin studio, and you’ve put a virtuous ban on all after-work wines at the pub. So when you step on the scales after weeks of blood, sweat and tears, why has your weight-loss progress stubbornly plateaued? Perhaps it’s your genes, rather than your lack of gusto on the treadmill, that holds the answer. Chances are you’ll have heard someone blame their slow metabolism for their weight-loss struggles at some point. The general idea is that if you’ve been blessed with an overactive or fast one, you can eat more, work out less, and still maintain a svelte figure. But what exactly is the mythical ‘M’ word, how does it work, and can it really be the reason why some people find it harder to lose weight than others?

The metabolism in a nutshell

Your metabolism isn’t a single organ. It’s actually an umbrella term that’s used to describe lots of different metabolic reactions that occur in the body, whose job it is to keep you alive (it’s about way more than just controlling weight and body fat). “These reactions do a variety of things, like generate energy, regulate growth, repair and general body maintenance,” explains Dr Sarah Brewer, medical director at Healthspan. Think of it like the engine that keeps your body running. If you laid in bed all day and didn’t move a muscle, the calories you’d burn just from staying alive would be what’s known as your ‘basal metabolic rate’. This explains

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why, if you wear an activity tracker, you might see a fairly hefty calorie burn for the hours you’ve been asleep in bed. Generally speaking, the speed of your metabolism is judged on the number of calories you burn in a given amount of time. On top of your basal rate, how ‘fast’ your internal engine runs is based on how many calories it takes to digest and process food, undertake exercise and perform activities like fidgeting, changing posture, standing and walking around. It’s as simple as this: The faster your metabolism, the more calories your body needs. This is the reason some people can eat a lot without gaining weight, while others seem to need less to accumulate fat.

So why do some people have a faster metabolism than others?

“The rate at which you burn calories depends on many factors, including your age, gender, hormone balance, level of physical activity and your diet and lifestyle,” says Dr Brewer. “It also depends on your weight and, in general, the more you weigh, the higher your resting metabolic rate.” Brewer explains that your metabolism is also partly regulated by the thyroid gland, which produces two iodinecontaining hormones, thyroxine and triiodothyronine. These hormones enter cells and ‘switch on’ genes that boost the burning of glucose, fat and protein to generate energy. If you have an underactive thyroid gland, low levels of these hormones can cause your resting metabolic rate to slow by as much as 40%, so you’ll gain weight more easily. If it’s overactive? An excess production of these hormones can cause it to increase by as much as

double, making it conversely difficult to gain weight. Your metabolic rate also depends on your lean body-mass percentage, as muscle burns more energy than fat, and it’s also affected by your level of physical activity. “Even your diet and lifestyle play a part too,” says Brewer. She explains that eating protein-based foods, for example, uses up more energy and generates more heat during processing than eating fat and carbohydrates. “This effect, known as ‘dietary-induced thermogenesis’, can account for 10% or more of the energy provided by foods especially protein-rich foods.” Sadly, there’s no food that burns more energy during processing than it provides. Even celery and grapefruit, which are often touted as ‘negativecalorie’ foods.

How does having a slow or fast metabolism affect weight gain?

If you have a slower metabolism, you’ll burn less glucose and fat, and may gain weight if your energy intake is more than your energy expenditure. Evidence seems to suggest that, generally speaking, the metabolism slows down as we get older, which may be why some people suddenly find it harder to keep extra weight off (but of course, this isn’t the case for everyone). “Weight is put on more easily in later years because of changes in your body and lifestyle,” explains Brewer. “The most significant change is loss of lean muscle tissue, which is mostly replaced with fat. This process, known as ‘sarcopenia’, will occur naturally unless you continue to follow a

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018


muscle-building regime and obtain sufficient protein in your diet to build new muscle. “Resting metabolism also slows by around 5% every 10 years after age 25 and as a result, your daily need for calories goes down. By the time a woman is 75, she actually needs around 300 calories less per day than when she was 18, and 130 calories less per day than when she was 50. The difference is even greater in men, who need around 655 fewer calories per day at age 75 than when they were 18 years old.”

Bottom line: Is your metabolism to blame?

When it comes to weight, metabolism is important, and while some believe that genetics play a part in its speed, it’s still an area that needs further research. “In a sense, your metabolism may play a small part in whether you lose or put on weight,” says Dr Will Hawkins, a nutritionist from Push Doctor. “However, the main contributor to weight-loss or gain is always how many calories your eating vs how many calories you’re expending.”

If you’re looking to lose weight this autumn, Hawkins believes the best way to see results is to make sure you balance the calories you take in against the calories you burn up through good old-fashioned exercise.

Can you speed up your metabolism?

Experts seem to think it’s possible. “One of the easiest ways to boost your metabolism is to increase your exercise,” says Hawkins, “whether that be a brisk walk, run or gym activities.” High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is one of the most effective types of exercise you can do. “It increases your heart rate, burns more calories and helps you lose more fat than more traditional forms of exercise, and clinical trials also show that the fat-burning effects of HIIT last for a significant length of time after the exercise is over,” says Brewer. Hawkins adds: “If you’re not an active person, then a good way of speeding up your metabolism would be to concentrate on nonexercise activity thermogenesis activities instead.”

If you spend a lot of time sitting, such as an office environment, he suggests moving around as much as possible regularly throughout the day - standing up, stretching your legs and walking around, using a standing desk, and opting for the stairs rather than the lift, etc. Finally, good nutrition is vital for a healthy metabolism, and some foods also have a significant effect on metabolic rate. When you eat a hot curry and start to sweat, for example, this is partly because substances present in the chillies (capsaicinoids) and turmeric (curcumin) increase the thermogenesis process. If you’re concerned about rapid weight loss or weight gain, you should always speak to your GP.

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www.independentliv.co.uk Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018

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personal trainers and nutritionists reveal their simple secrets to a healthier christmas Ah, Christmas. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but equally the most disastrous for your waistline, liver and stress levels. Between the thousands of chocolates, visits from the in-laws, gallons of booze and a mammoth roast dinner to fork your way through, it’s no wonder we usually enter January feeling hungover, burnt out and ready to splurge on whatever gym membership or wellness cure claims to restore some semblance of vitality. But December doesn’t have to be a calorie-laden blowout, as keeping the decadence in check is easier than you might think.

“Get a Christmas workout buddy,” says Israel Rivera, head of group exercise at Virgin Active “A little friendly competition can provide support, accountability and motivation over the festive week.”

you drink, it takes your body around one hour to digest it, so be mindful of how fast and how much you’re drinking and try to space your drinks out.”

As the weather in the winter months can be unpredictable, it’s good to stay flexible about how you’ll be getting a sweat on. Perhaps the roads are too icy for a run? Or the gym is closed because of a heating problem? “Christmas is the perfect time to take to the living room instead with a free YouTube workout video” says Sealy.

If you’re on chef duty this Christmas, think about making a few simple switches that can slash your allimportant calorie count, without sacrificing the taste.

Swap your drinks for lower-calorie alternatives

Keep it real

When you’re busy socialising during the festive season, it can be tricky to keep track of what you’re drinking - one drink turns into many, and before you know it, you’ve polished off a whole bottle.

With January looming, it’s tempting to get a head start and kid yourself you’ll be hitting the gym every morning. You might be off work for a week, but let’s face it - amongst all the festive drinking and killer Christmas TV, the likelihood of you sticking to your plan is pretty low.

“Many of us are unaware of just how much sugar and how many calories there are in some of our favourite alcoholic beverages,” says Elliot Moore, lifestyle health adviser for Bupa UK, and it can easily add up. “A pint of lager for example, contains the same amount of calories as a slice of pizza.”

“Keep your goals realistic so you can minimise the number of excuses you could be tempted to give yourself,” says Darren Sealy, a personal trainer from Mindset. “Switching your plan to three times a week, for example, is so much more achievable than aiming for a daily workout.”

As well as staying conscious of your drink count, Moore advises switching to low-calorie mixers with spirits, plumping for a spritzer instead of white wine and nixing the sugar-laden cocktails completely.

We spoke to leading fitness and nutrition experts to find out how you can have a healthy Christmas this year, without missing out on the festive fun.

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It’s important to pace yourself and stay hydrated too. “For every unit of alcohol

Consider these dinner table swaps

“As a general rule, if you’re trying to limit your calorie intake, avoid anything deep fried, battered or covered in pastry,” says Moore. “Swap crisps and salted nuts for popcorn, raw nuts or olives, and instead of serving sausage rolls or pigs in blankets, why not try smoked salmon blinis or prawn skewers instead?”

Poach your turkey Not everyone is a fan of eating turkey on Christmas day, but white meat is secretly your best friend as it’s an excellent source of protein, and turkey in particular is very lean - plus, it’s particularly low in saturated fat. It’s also rich in essential amino acids such as tryptophan, which Moore explains are important for supporting mood and sleep, and packs an iron and B vitamin punch - both of which are both important for energy production. If you’re looking to make your roast healthier this year, Moore suggests poaching your bird in a broth of herbs, spices and vegetables - it’s just as delicious but won’t leave you with that ‘food coma’ feeling.

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018


Pimp your potatoes Christmas dinner requires roast potatoes, and although they may not count towards one of your five-a-day, they actually contain good amounts of vitamin C, potassium and fibre. “Keeping the skins on will mean you can benefit from some extra fibre and no fat is needed. Prick them all over and pop them in the oven for an hour on a low heat and they will be lovely and crispy on the outside with a fluffy centre,” says Moore. “Try swapping regular oil for coconut oil instead, which contains medium chain triglycerides which have been shown to support energy expenditure and heart health.” You could also add some rosemary, which helps to support your circulation. Try putting some purple on your plate too, such as beetroot as it’s a fantastic addition to your roasting tray as it rich in iron and phytonutrients.

Don’t scrimp on the sprouts and cranberry sauce “Sprouts are so underrated,” says Moore, “they really are little nutrient powerhouses.” Loaded with important

vitamins and minerals including B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron and magnesium, they can help to give that all-important winter boost. “Try roasting them alongside some traditional chestnuts for an added sweetness, as these are another surprising source of vitamin C.” Cranberry sauce is another healthy guest pleaser. “Berries are packed with nutrients - brightly coloured foods are often super rich in antioxidants - and cranberries boast an impressive array of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, which is good for skin health, and iodine, to help support your metabolism.” Make your own cranberry sauce to avoid pre-packaged versions high in added sugar, and give it a splash of orange juice for an extra charge of sweetness and vitamin C.

Finally, don’t skip the Christmas brekkie In the excitement of unwrapping presents, it’s easy to skip out on breakfast on Christmas day, or run solely on chocolate and Bucks Fizz. “Although this may seem like an easy way to eat fewer calories on the big day,

skipping meals is a really bad idea,” says Harley Street nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert, “as it often leads to overeating and may also promote binge eating behaviour.” Research has shown that those who skip breakfast are significantly more likely to consume unhealthy foods than those who make time for a quick bite in the morning, she explains it “so it’s important to sit down for regular, nutritionally balanced meals.” Vegetables, protein sources and complex carbohydrates are a great way to satisfy hunger and prevent over-consumption of calorie dense foods over time, so an early morning bowl of porridge, a slathering of avocado on toast or a smoked salmon bagel could be all it takes to curb the temptation to go in for seconds or thirds at the Christmas dinner table. Liz Connor

Memorable Moments & Near Death Experiences John Laker, a local Marlow resident, has written a book containing many of the memorable moments he has experienced in his life. The book includes sections on favourite music and songs, food and drink, even road traffic accidents, all of which can transport you back to a particular time or place. The book features poems learnt at school, holidays which were eventful and memorable and embarrassing moments which we all have experienced at some point in our lives. Readers are encouraged to write their memorable moments on blank pages, which follow each mini-chapter.

Readers can also submit their contributions to the author for possible use in a second book, which will contain the best memorable moments received. It is intended that the RNLI will benefit from sales of his book through a 50% donation of any net profits and that any follow up books will benefit the RNLI through a 100% donation of net profits. “Happy, uplifting, hilarious and at times cathartic, this book will have wide appeal to those who enjoy reflecting on memorable moments”.

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018

The book is available in WH Smith, the Marlow Bookshop, the Marlow Visitor Centre (£8.99) and Amazon (e-book £4.99)

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Bellato Grey

If you can’t decide on one colour for your new kitchen, why not pick two! Two tone kitchens have become ever more popular in the last few years, as the kitchen has fast become the ‘hub of the home’. They really do make a statement. Perfect if you love two colours and can’t decide, or if you want your personality to be reflected in your new space! We love the contrast of Limestone and Anthracite in the new Savoy range from Sheraton (pictured). The Savoy is a handle-less shaker, giving a twist to the original shaker style door, perfect if you are not looking for handles in your new kitchen, but are still wishing for the look of a shaker style door. The lighter wall units, contrasted with the darker base units as shown here enhance the space and make your kitchen look larger. With 15 painted colours over the variety of ranges, you can choose the contrast that best fits your personality, reflecting you in your new space.

You could also combine a colour in your kitchen with a woodgrain door. The combination of texture (pictured) is New England Oak with Gloss Cashmere. The woodgrain doors add more texture to your space and can give a natural warmth, perfect if you have an open plan kitchen come living space and want it to feel warmer and flow throughout. This gorgeous modern kitchen really makes a statement with the open shelving. By incorporating the Gloss Cashmere finish it accentuates the stylish look of these two door styles.

Combining one colour in your kitchen, with a contrasting colour or texture, such as the Bellato Grey (pictured), really enhances the difference between the units, catching your eye. The fantastic thing about designing your ideal kitchen, is that you can decide exactly where you want to make a statement in order to make your dreams become reality.

You could also have a more subtle contrast of colouring within your kitchen, in order to have two colours you love, without either colour overpowering the other. This Painted Ivory and Painted Cashmere collaboration (pictured) is a fantastic example of this. The colours compliment each other beautifully, leaving a sophisticated impression to the area.

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We offer a no-obligation kitchen, bedroom or home office design visit and planning service with computer aided design software. This helps our clients visualise their renovation project and make adjustments right for them. We are passionate about transforming your space into somewhere you love spending your time. Our showrooms in Ashford, Middlesex and Farnham Common, Buckinghamshire are open 9:00 – 17:30 Monday to Saturday. We invite you to visit our large showrooms, for inspiration towards your new kitchen space! Ashford Kitchens & Interiors is at: The Parade, The Broadway, Farnham Common and 85, Church Road, Ashford, Middlesex. www.ashfordinteriors.co.uk info@ashfordinteriors.co.uk Ashford 01784 245964 or Farnham Common 01753 642362

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018


Local specialists since 1984 Let us help you find your perfect kitchen, bedroom or home office.

www.ashfordkitchensandinteriors.co.uk Farnham Common Showroom 1-2 The Parade, Farnham Common, Bucks SL2 3QJ 01753 642362 Ashford Showroom 85 Church Road, Ashford, Middlesex TW15 2PE 01784 245964


Pushing the boundaries of innovation and style Hyperion tiles a mark of distinction

Discover a whole new range of products to style your home both inside and out. Hyperion Tiles in Marlow and Ascot has over 30 years of experience in supplying and installing tiles, wooden floors and innovative wall coverings 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 timeless classic collections. Step through the doors of either the Marlow or Ascot showroom where you can freely browse amongst the

complete range of materials that Hyperion offers. An opportunity to view floor and wall solutions that you won’t find anywhere else. From large marble and porcelain tiles that can be cut to any size, mosaics of all sizes, shapes and colours, decorative art panels custom made, from Alex Turco, which are considered a cult object in their own right and highly sought after. Wallcoverings from Brian Yates, a British Company and Phillip Jefferies, USA who are both leaders in natural, textured and specialty wall coverings; offering something for every taste and interior from cutting edge through to classical including granites, suede,

silk, metallic finishes and so much more. Achieve the ultimate floor and wall solution for your home, you won’t be disappointed by the choice available along with the workmanship on all projects which is of the highest quality. From conception through design to completion. It all starts with a visit to the showroom or a complimentary home visit where advice is given on the project you wish to undertake. Call Marlow on 01628 475 888 or Ascot 01344 620 211 or visit www.hyperiontiles.co.uk to start your project today.

“Hyperion are without doubt the most professional tiling/design company I have experienced. Their wealth of knowledge is exceptional as is their ability to install and deliver product. they are passionate and subsequently deliver perfection. A highly motivated, helpful team, who have always supported us throughout a complex demanding project. Thank you, Hyperion, you really went the distance! Here’s to future projects and working together again”. grainnelamphee

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Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018


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Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018

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How To Tile Your Own Splashbacks Kitchens and bathrooms are the most important rooms in the house, and a little DIY can bring them bang up to date.

When it comes to DIY, some rooms are easier to tackle than others. Kitchens are best left to the experts, and bathrooms - aside from a bit of resealing - can often be the same. One easy update that is pretty simple to do, however, is splashbacks. They sit behind the sink and are essential to stop water being sprayed everywhere when hands, fruit, vegetables and whatnot are washed. It is tiling, but it tends to be quite a small area, so should be achievable for most people. “Adding a splashback is a great way to inject a touch of personality into your kitchen, by creating a focal point,” says Sian O’Neill, from Topps Tiles. “It’s also a very cost-effective way of updating the appearance of a room and giving it a new look, just by making some small changes.”

What you will need There are a few things to keep in mind when tiling your own splashbacks. Firstly, says O’Neill, ensure you have all the right equipment - including the correct adhesive, a notched trowel, safety goggles, spirit level, tile spacers and a cutter. Next, work out how many tiles you need by measuring the area

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and adding 10% for any cuts and wastage.

Choosing your tiles “As splashbacks create a focal point, they lend themselves to more vibrant colours or patterns to make a real statement,” notes O’Neill. A herringbone style, for example, can add real interest to the area and create a unique look. “Block colours can offer a classic and timeless look, while intricately patterned tiles create more of a contemporary finish,” she adds. “And when it comes to the type of tile, ceramic or porcelain tend to be more favourable than the likes of natural stone, as they are lower in maintenance - an important consideration given the fact your splashback needs to be water resistant and less susceptible to staining.”

Think about the grouting Not many of us have spent much time deliberating grout, but there are different colours available and despite the subtle differences - choosing the right grout can really enhance the overall effect. Darker grouts can

offer lower maintenance compared to the traditional white, when used in areas with high activity or likely food splatters,” says O’Neill.

Preparing and tiling the wall “When you have your tiles and all the necessary tiling equipment, prepare the wall to ensure it is smooth, clean, completely dry and free from any dust or debris, apply an even layer of adhesive to a tiling or notched trowel, and starting from the corner, spread the product over the area of two or three tiles at a time. Place the tiles firmly on the adhesive, using spacers to create an even layout.” O’Neill says. “Allow your tiles to dry for 24 hours, and then fill the spaces between each tile, using grout and a grout float tool. Pushing the grout deep into the joints will prevent moisture from getting behind the tiles, which is particularly important in kitchen areas. “Once finished, wipe down your tiles with a clean, damp sponge, working at a 45-degree angle down your surface.” And that’s it! Leave everything to properly dry, then show off your handy work to all your friends and family.

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018


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Merry Christmas from everybody at Living Along the Thames

Ω re-upholstery Ω sofas & chairs Ω loose covers Ω antiques

Ω pubs & clubs Ω schools Ω hospitals Ω office chairs

large contracts - over 300 fabrics available

Free Estimates Contact Bob on

07809 140988 / 01494 461481

email: contact@rshallupholstery.co.uk www.rshallupholstery.co.uk

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018

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Ways To Weave Woodland Magic Into Your Home This Autumn

Country style may be a perennial favourite, with its outdoor influences and animal-inspired accessories, but this season, designers have given it a chic new shake-up. Walk on the wild side

“A dreamy country interior doesn’t have to be cutesy,” declares Nadia McCowan Hill, style advisor for Wayfair.co.uk. “It can be chic, contemporary and cool if you embrace inte resting textures, luxury materials and accessories full of character. “Keep the space uncluttered so that carefully curated pieces can really shine. This should be a witty, tongue- in-cheek urban approach that’s warm but oh-so-wild, and a world away from the cliche of chintz and cottages.”

Wander a woodland path

“There’s a growing trend to reconnect with nature and bring the outdoors in, by merging modern design with a classic country aesthetic,” says Julie Varma, senior design director, George Home. “Prints inspired by nature, beautiful ceramic vases in ombre and tonal colours, while whimsical forest patterns adorn cushions and bedding. Copper tones and metallic touches give it a fashionable sharpness and edge.”

Set a Scandi scene

“Pastels and neutrals are a natural choice for this trend which is simple

and pared-back,” says McCowan Hill. “Handmade homewares are the heart of this style. To keep the look modern, layer up with woven rugs, opt for cushions and duvet sets adorned with embroidery - a huge trend for 2019. “Cosy cranberry, deepest plum, and rich mustard hues will add warmth to the space if you feel the scheme’s too cool,” she adds. “Bring decor alive with a botanical pattern of pretty floral, fauna and bird motifs for wallpaper or bedding.” Gabrielle Fagan

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We can Improve the Appearance & Value of your Paintings Over time, varnish discolours and general wear and tear means you see less and less of the artist’s original painting. Ohlenschlager & Rice offer a personalised service to clean and conserve your paintings so they once again show their true colours. Here Jane and Anne talk to us about their love of art and how that interest laid the foundation for the conservation skills they offer today. How did you two meet? We met through work 15 years ago and always got on really well. We discovered we shared a love of art and also theatre, travel, good food and red wine. On starting their business some 5 years ago, Anne recalls: “We had been following news on repairs to famous paintings damaged by knife attacks or by fire and flood and decided we wanted to learn how this work was done. We have now studied and worked all over the UK and also in Italy.”

How do you assess a painting for a client? “We prefer of course to examine a painting at first hand,” explains Jane, “but we can provide a free, no-obligation estimate with initial information about condition and size of the painting together with as much of the history of the painting as the client knows.” Anne confirms that a physical examination of both the front and reverse of the painting is undertaken to assess the conservation work required and this is discussed with the client before any work is started. What do you enjoy most about what you do? “Definitely restoring a painting as closely as possible to what the artist originally painted,” says Anne. “The cleaning process is detailed but the difference it makes can be striking.” Jane agrees and adds,” And of course we get a huge buzz from our clients’ delight when they see their revived painting and know they have taken care of it for another generation.”

Ohlenschlager & Rice Oil Painting Cleaning and Restoration

Are you the proud owner of an inherited painting?

Before

Maybe a damaged or dirty painting in need of tlc? Are you spring cleaning or re-decorating? Or looking for an unusual present? We repair holes & tears, stabilise flaking paint, remove old discoloured varnish and conserve the painted surface.

After

We specialise in cleaning oil paintings to give them a whole new lease of life.

www.ohlenrice.com for more information For a free estimate email: ohlenrice@aol.com Members of the British Association of Paintings Conservator-Restorers (BAPCR)

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018

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PHIL SPENCER SHARES 5 QUESTIONS all buyers should ask when house-hunting Buying a property can be a very lengthy process with lots of back and forth with many buyers still end up wishing they’d found out just a few more crucial details before the deal was finalised. California Shutters (californiashutters. co.uk) recently asked 1000 UK homeowners what they most wished they’d known about before purchasing their property: Competition for parking spaces came out tops (20%), followed by noisy neighbours (19%), high renovation costs (13%) and traffic noise (11%). TV property guru Phil Spencer, who recently launched the advice site for buyers MoveIQ, agrees that as well as the ‘big’ questions, the ‘small’ things should not be overlooked. “Buying a home is always a mixture of heart and head. Your first impression as you walk through the door is crucial to your decision, but so too are many other less obvious factors,” says Spencer. “It’s essential that you do your homework, or you risk being blinded by emotion during the purchase. Even worse, you could end up with expensive problems down the line. Asking the right questions before, during or after that first viewing can make the difference between identifying the perfect home and having an unwanted surprise after you’ve committed to buying.” So what questions should you be asking?

How long has the property been on the market? “This should be one of your first questions,” says Spencer. “The average time it takes to sell a home in the UK is two to three months, according to the Government. So, if the property has been on the market for considerably longer, it may have an issue that is stopping it selling, beyond just being priced too highly. But you’ll need to get your detective hat on to find out what it is. “One red flag to look out for would be if the current owners have lived there for

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an unusually short period of time. There is usually a reason behind a seller trying to get shot of a property after a short period. You’ll need to push the agent or sellers for clues: Is there a nuisance neighbour, what are crime levels like in the area, how busy are the roads and how much does the property cost to run (utility bills, council tax etc)?”

“By contrast, if you buy a freehold property there’s no ground rent to worry about, but you will be responsible for everything, including the roof and the maintenance of the structure. It’s important to get a detailed survey that will flag up any issues that need urgent - or expensive - repair.”

Is the property in a conservation area?

Are there any pending planning applications that might impact me?

“If you are drawn to the history and charm of older homes, bear in mind that your scope for making changes to such a property could be severely limited,” says Spencer. “Specific rules about what you can and cannot do to the property will vary from local authority to local authority. Some may prohibit you from making changes to metal railings, windows, trees and even the colour of the front door. So, if your heart is set on a house with history but you’ve got an eye on modernisation, make sure to ask about anything that might block your plans.”

Is the property a freehold or a leasehold? “There are pros and cons to both freehold and leasehold properties. As a leaseholder, you will have to pay annual fees to the owner of the freehold, from ground rent to maintenance charges. These can fluctuate over time, so make sure that when you’re budgeting you factor in the possibility that ground rent will increase or maintenance charges could spike if the building needs major repairs,” says Spencer.

“This is a quick bit research you could carry out before actually viewing your prospective home. Nearly all local authorities have a planning portal on their website that allows you to view any previous or pending planning applications. If, for example, you were considering buying a home close to agricultural land, it might be a good idea to check whether the friendly farmer next door has just submitted a planning application for a new pig-rearing facility!”

Has the seller made any changes to the property? “If changes have been made recently especially structural ones - you need to know so you can ask the seller for any relevant documents, receipts or guarantee certificates. Equally if the seller has spent money doing the place up, they will have raised the asking price accordingly - so you need to make a judgement on whether the premium is justified. One other question I always ask a seller which can prove revealing is, ‘If you were staying, what other improvements would you make?’”

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018


A Gift For Those Who Enjoy A Christmas Tipple 1.

4. 3.

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1. ‘Best of British Blend’ Gin Advent Calender | Case of 24 | £124.95 www.laithwaites.co.uk 2. Maker’s Mark Bourbon | £30 | Tesco & Waitrose 3. Laithwaites: Whisky Baubles from Keswick Lake District | £35 4. Cut Spice Rum | £24 | Cut over proof Rum | £39 | Cut Smoked Rum | £26 www.masterofmalt.com 5. Jawbone Small Batch Gin (70cl) plus Jawbone Ceramic Mug | £35 Amazon & Ocado 6. Godminster After Dinner Port Selection | 2 x 200gm organic cheddars + bottle of Churchill’s Reserve Porto (20cl) | £25.45 | www.godminster.com 7. Roku Japanese Gin by Suntory | £25 | Waitrose 8. Glen Moray Elgin Heritage 12 year old Single Malt Whisky | £40 (70ml) 15 year old £55 | 18 year old £80 | www.glenmoray.com 9. Cazcabel Coffee Liquer | £20 | Sainsburys | Blanco Luxury Tequila | £22 Honey Liquer | £26The | www.masterofmalt.com Living Along Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018

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CHRISTMAS gift ideas 1. 3.

4. 2. 5.

1. Noble Isle Little Tinker ‘Fireside’ Bath & Shower gel and ‘Summer Rising’ Bath & Shower Gel (75ml) £10 | www.nobleisle.com 2. 2019 Diaries | £59 | Sapphire Valet Tray | £150 Fuchsia Chelsea Leather Jewellery Box £130 | Chelsea Scalloped edge cosmetics case | £70 | www.noblemacmillan.com 3. Noble Isle ‘Fireside Glow’ three wick candle | £75 | (85-95 hours burn time) www.nobleisle.com 4. RikRak by Kit Kemprikrak - Lavender & Juniper Candle | £35 | www.stanwells.com

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6.

5. Bella Freud Stary Stary Nights Candle | £48 | johnlewis.com 6. Chelsea Peers NYC Christmas Pyjamas | from £25 | www.chelseapeersync.com 7. Lazy Days Travel Backgammon (Variety of colours) £190 | Classic Leather Perudo Set £110 | www.noblemacmillan.com 8. Skyroam Solis and App for travel enhusiasts - portable hotspot connecting up to 5 devices to its secured 4G LTE WiFi in more than 130 countries with power bank for battery life of up to 16 hours | £135 | www.skyroam.com/uk

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018


8.

7. 10.

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9. Dash Cam 412GW from Next Base | £129.99 | www.nextbase.com 10. The Langham Seasonal iTea Afternoon Tea for 2 | £110 | www.virginexperiencedays.co.uk 11. Brunch at the Gherkin for 2. Four course lunch with Champagne | £90 | www.virginexperiencedays.co.uk 12. Kodak Printomatic Instant Print Camera in a variety of colours | Currys and www.very.co.uk | £89.99 13. Adonit Snap 2 Stylus - Digital pen with a bluetooth camera shutter remote | £29.99 | Amazon 14. Weber Grill Academy Vouchers | give the gift of cooking | BBQ Techniques, choose from American classics or charcoal grilling | From £69 per person | www.weber.com

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018

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Could this be the most spiritual retreat in Vietnam? Built on the birthplace of Vietnamese Buddhism, the Legacy Yen Tu hotel celebrates a revered pilgrimage route. striking temples, snake up through the dense forest and offer spectacular views.

Legacy Yen Tu M Gallery Hotel

The 133-room hotel is part of a 2.8 hectare complex, which was inspired by the story of the Buddha King. It’s built in the style of a 13th Century Vietnamese village with a quaint collection of buildings with low-slung tiled roofs, shops and market stalls selling local arts and crafts, including woven baskets and delicious ginger sweets as well as a hostel for travellers on a budget.

What better place to master a headstand than at the base of a sacred mountain with a Buddhist yoga instructor? Despite being quite a keen yogi, I’ve always been nervous about trying the pose. But my teacher, Thuy, patiently demonstrates the steps and calmly guides me through them. The tranquillity of the Yen Tu Mountain must have worked its magic on me, because I’m able to lift my legs for a few moments, while balancing upside down with my hands either side of my head.

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My feat is carried out at the newlyopened Legacy Yen Tu MGallery hotel, in the Quang Ninh Province of northern Vietnam, built on Yen Tu Mountain, a sacred site considered to be the cradle of Buddhism in Vietnam. It’s revered as the place where King Tran Nhan Tong (who reigned from 1279-1293) achieved enlightenment after he renounced his earthly possessions and established Truc Lam, the Vietnamese school of Zen Buddhism. The mountain is rich in natural beauty. Winding stone paths, dotted with

Designed by Bangkok-based architect Bill Bensley, whose other works include the Oberoi Vilas projects in India and Four Seasons’ award-winning resorts in Thailand, it nestles in a valley at the foot of the slopes and focuses on spirituality and tranquillity. “It’s all about the tomb, everything points towards it,” Bill explains, as he proudly takes me on a tour of his creation. He is referring to a sacred site halfway up the mountain, which is said to contain some of the king’s remains.

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018


Strolling through the tranquil cloistered hallways, it’s easy to imagine you’re in an ancient monastery. The property is even more magical when it rains and the secluded courtyards are filled with the sound of drumming water. There’s a calm atmosphere and stillness flowing around every corner. Within hours of arriving, I felt the worries of everyday life slipping away. “Yen Tu means journey back into yourself,” adds a beaming Bill. When it’s completed, the hotel will include a swimming pool and wellness centre, offering guests meditation, herbal steams and baths, and back scrubs. I get another taste of spirituality when I join a singing-bowl meditation class. It’s a wonderful moment when I feel my metal bowl vibrating in my hands as I chant “om” while sitting cross-legged in a pillared hall. Every aspect of the hotel has been meticulously designed in keeping with the traditions of the religion. A huge portrait of the majestic, pink-robed Tiger Princess, one of the king’s concubines, dominates a wall of the bar. Many of the rooms have high ceilings and all are fitted with solid wooden sliding shutters and traditional rice husk walls. In the village square, a procession of dancers dressed as lions, birds and dragons put on a mesmerising display of music and dance. I’m invited to join in and manage to do the traditional bamboo dance, where participants run over a line of poles as they are tapped and clapped in rhythm to the music. At the end of the evening, I’m presented with an array of exotic fruits which have been carved into the designs of fish, porcupines and even a puppy.

Climbing Yen Tu Maximum use has also been made of the environment. I spend a quiet moment sat at a granite table on my balcony, overwhelmed by the lush green mountain slopes across the valley. Swathed in wisps of clouds, the 1,086-metre summit of Yen Tu Mountain is beckoning me. It’s possible to walk, but I take the easier

Shrine on Yen Tu Mountain

A place to relax and reconnect

option of gliding above the treetops in a cable car.

combination with the two better known bucket-list destinations.

The first stop, between the lower and upper cable cars and around halfway to the top, is a sacred stone shrine, which is said to contain relics of the Buddha King. Gnarled trees form a ring around the site and lean protectively over the spot, giving the place a slightly eerie atmosphere. Offerings of food, fruit and flowers can be seen nestling in ancient nooks within the stone monuments.

It’s a contrast to the hectic streets of Hanoi, teeming with scooters and lined with cramped bazaars. I enjoy exploring the narrow streets of the Old Quarter, each one filled with a different speciality, from shoes and bags to door handles.

The next stop is the Mot Mai - or ‘one roof’ - Pagoda which clings precariously to the side of the mountain. Half of the structure consists of a natural cave filled with carved statues of animals and gods that date back hundreds of years. There is a mountain spring in one corner and it’s said that anyone who drinks the water will be granted one wish. After my second cable car ride, there is a short hike through dense bamboo forest with glimpses of the spectacular scenery below. My final stop is a towering golden statue of the Buddha King, just below the summit. The effigy is flanked by a huge bronze gong and bell, which are used during religious ceremonies and said to bring good luck if you touch them.

The grand elegance of the colonial-era Legend Metropole Hotel in the French Quarter offers the perfect place to unwind after a busy day of sightseeing. My final destination is the towering limestone formations of Halong Bay. Kayaking is the ideal way to get up close to the dramatic peaks and I feel like a proper explorer paddling through narrow gullies and caves. Another unique way to see the Unesco World Heritage Site is from a 12-seater seaplane. It’s only with the bird’s-eye view that I realise the magnificent scale of the bay, with rows of lush green peaks stretching into the horizon.

Where else can you go?

Remote fishing villages can be seen floating on rafts in hidden nooks, while majestic cruise ships glide through the turquoise waters.

Although situated a few hours along the well-trodden route from Hanoi to Halong Bay, Yen Tu Mountain has yet to be discovered by international tourists. But it works perfectly in

After a surprisingly cushioned landing, it is time to say goodbye to this enchanting country. I leave Vietnam feeling enlightened and in touch with my inner peace.

Words Rachael Burnett How to get there: Vietnam Airlines (vietnamairlines.com) operates the UK’s only non-stop scheduled flights to Vietnam, with daily Dreamliner services from Heathrow to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. Returns from £464 per person in Economy; £938 in Premium Economy; and £1,818 in Business Class. Experience Travel Group (020 3355 7873; experiencetravelgroup.com) offers a four-night package including stays at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, Legacy Yen Tu - MGallery by Sofitel, and the Paradise Luxury Halong Bay Cruise, plus return Vietnam Airlines flights from £1,746 per person.

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018

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Cultwated Terraces in Banyalbufar

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO STAY IN RICHARD BRANSON’S FAVOURITE BALEARIC RETREAT? From Necker Island to South Africa and Verbier, Sir Richard Branson has homes all over the world. Yet, there’s one place he holds particularly close to his heart - Son Bunyola, a luxury retreat on the north-west coast of Mallorca, which is open to the public as a Virgin Limited Edition property. But how often does the busy business magnate actually get to visit the sprawling 680-acre estate with three villas nestled amongst seemingly endless rows of trees? General manager Lee Bowes reveals her boss rocked up to stay twice this year, and on his most recent visit, he even challenged some guests to a game of tennis. Sa Punta, Son Bunyola, Mallorca

Eager to sample the place for myself, I head over for a long weekend.

Location, location, location The founder of Virgin group first visited Mallorca as a child, and he later took his own children to the Spanish island for summer holidays.

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Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018


In fact, the Bransons are such fans of this region, his son, Sam, even named daughter Eva-Deia after the town Deia, which is a 45-minute drive from Son Bunyola. Sa Punta, Son Bunyola, Mallorca

Surrounded by the Tramuntana mountain range, jutting out from the lime green coastline to the azure sea, Son Bunyola is close to plenty of hiking and cycling trails and is perfect for an adrenaline junkie like Branson. It’s also peacefully unspoilt.

A property with a story to tell On the helter skelter of a drive down from the main road, you’ll gasp at the central 18th century finca building, typical of the grand farmhouses that can be found all over Mallorca and Spain. Rows upon rows of crumbling terraces lead down from it, making patterns on a landscape dotted with vines and towering olive trees. Amazingly, some members of the team who work at Son Bunyola today actually lived in the finca as children in the 1970s. Back then, the estate was used as farmland and harvested alfalfa, almonds and vegetables. As for the future? Plans are in the pipeline to transform the finca into a villa, and olive oil will be produced on the estate within a year.

Holidaying in the lap of luxury Perhaps it’s the secluded location, with no other buildings in view for kilometres, or the fact guests have their own team and chef on hand to cater for every need - but I’ve never stayed somewhere so tranquil. There are three individual villas to choose from - Sa Terra Rotja, Son Balagueret and Sa Punta de S’Aguila and each feels very different. With handcrafted terracotta flooring and local Binissalem stone used throughout, the vibe is undoubtedly traditional - and yet, there’s a clever contemporary contrast thanks to pops of bright artwork. I stay in Sa Punta de S’Aguila, which translates as ‘Eagle’s Point’, a five-bedroom villa located along a track above the coastline. My room feels light and airy, thanks to the exposed beam ceiling, large windows and traditional dark green shutters opening out onto a terrace.

I have access to a private heated swimming pool with a great choice of fun inflatables, and relaxing with the mountains in view is a picture-perfect holiday memory. Post-swim, I relish my huge walk-in shower - it takes up the entire length of one side of the bathroom.

Unwind and relax Mornings begin with downward dogs at sunrise on my terrace overlooking the sea. Jay from Earth Yoga, a studio in Deia, comes to lead classes tailored to experiences and preferences. Spa therapists from Mountain Wellness also venture onto the estate to rejuvenate me with an outdoor massage. The sound of birdsong means there’s no need for relaxing spa music. When it comes to eating and drinking at the villa, you’re encouraged to help yourself to anything in the fridges - there’s every alcohol imaginable on hand, ice lollies for the kids, canapes, punchy cocktails and bowls brimming with chocolates.

Out and about Branson loves hiking around the estate, and a walk not to miss is the one down to Son Bunyola pebble beach, which takes 40 minutes from Son Balagueret. Ask the team for a pair of aqua shoes, so you can clamber over the rocks pain-free, and float in the ocean with an uninterrupted view down the wild terracotta-red coast. My favourite activity is a hike along the path to Banyalbufar. Our guide, Eduard, who founded MallorcAlpina with his brother David, teaches me about the flora. I spot wild strawberry trees and mushrooms - along with houses belonging to famous faces, such as Michael Douglas. Following a quick swim and fiery sunset at Banyalbufar, I head for dinner. (Once a week, staff at the villas have a day off, encouraging everyone to go out and explore.)

Grinning chef Bruno cooks lunch and dinner at the villa, and will sneakily listen in on mealtime conversations for inspiration about what guests might like to eat next.

Run by a local lady called Magdalena, Can Paco is a favourite haunt for Son Bunyola guests. After devouring their crispy garlic squid, I can see why. But if you really want to holiday like Sir Richard Branson, he always goes for their signature paella.

Breakfast is laid out in the mornings, so you can come and go as you please - just make sure you ask the chef to pre-cook his special pancakes to leave in the fridge for you.

It’s true, the entrepreneur is a man with good taste. And his special retreat Son Bunyola is quickly becoming one of my favourite places too.

Words: Georgia Humphreys How to get there: A seven-night stay Sa Punta de S’Aguila costs from E23,150 (approx £20,300) per week, sleeping up to 10 people and including all drinks and meals. Visit virginlimitededition.com/en/ son-bunyola

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018

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Your Stars for November 2018

The Scorpio Sun is in perfect harmony with mystical Neptune at the start November, making this the ideal month for exciting friendships and passionate romance to blossom. Mercury, the planet of ideas and communication speeds up the pace in Sagittarius, offering a brilliant time to invest in education and training, especially when it comes to your career. Mercury is heading for another retrograde phase on the 17th, be sure to get your important documents signed, sealed and delivered by then. The big planetary move this month is expansive Jupiter leaving Scorpio on the 7th and preparing for a one year stay in its own sign of Sagittarius. This major shift offers the possibility of a new world vision and enables us all to explore new horizons in greater depth. The new moon is in Scorpio on the 7th, There’s nothing halfway about intense Scorpio energy, so be prepared for some deep emotional delving. The lighter and more playful full moon is in Gemini on the 23rd. ARIES March 21 - April 20 Both Saturn and Pluto continue to put the emphasis on work and career issues in November; but playful Mercury, just entering Sagittarius, suggests there’s a lighter mood for you to enjoy. The arrival of expansive Jupiter on the 8th puts the enthusiasm for new adventures firmly in the spotlight.

LEO July 23 - August 23 Your home and family are in the spotlight this month as some difficult decisions may need your attention; try to get things sorted before Mercury goes retrograde on the 17th. Otherwise abundant Jupiter lends a helping hand and ensures there isn’t much that you can’t achieve this month.

TAURUS April 21 - May 21 Jupiter and the Sun highlight your closest relationships this month. Venus, your ruling planet, remains in retrograde motion until the 16th, challenging problems may well remain on hold until then. The new moon on the 7th ask you to attend to the small details rather than the bigger picture.

VIRGO August 24 - September 22 Mercury is active in your domestic area during November, emphasising the need to be firm on some major decisions. Make sure you double-check any information that you have received, particularly after the 17th as your ruling planet goes into the retrograde phase.

GEMINI May 22 - June 21 Mercury, your ruler, is now in Sagittarius and demands that you broaden your horizons and bring some new adventures in to your life. Do try to get any important matters organised before the Mercury retrograde period sets in around the 17th. The Scorpio new moon is an excellent time for reviewing health and well-being.

LIBRA September 23 - October 23 Jupiter, planet of abundance and growth, moves to a pivotal position on the 8th. This major shift introduces a time when you can benefit from a more extrovert approach than usual, and be open to new information from social contacts. Anything to do with learning and communication is positive.

CANCER June 22 - July 22 November is an important month as expansive and abundant Jupiter moves into a pivotal position on the 8th, setting the tone for the next twelve months. Work related issues surface as the chance for growth and success become evident. Any concerns around your home and family should ease after the 16th.

SCORPIO October 24 - November 22 This month brings Jupiter’s year long stay in your sign to an end; hopefully you used this time wisely and created a magical new future for yourself. Finances are now in the spotlight and Mercury offers a chance to plan ahead and make some significant changes, before the 17th if you can.

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SAGITTARIUS November 23 - December 21 Hold on to your hat – your ruling planet is coming home! November is the start of major shifts in all areas of your life as abundant Jupiter ensures that the winds of change are blowing. Pull out all the stops and get busy with major initiatives and be sure to broaden your horizons. CAPRICORN December 22 - January 20 The first half of November may feel as if things are dragging, particularly where your ambitions are concerned, Venus finally goes direct on the 16th , offering a favourable period for advancing short-term plans and career aspirations. It’s a good time to expand your contacts with the world. AQUARIUS January 21 - February 18 Dynamic Mars leaves your sign on the 16th, entering the sensitive and mystical sign of Pisces. Promising new developments could arise in social matters and your charitable instincts may come to the fore. Jupiter‘s arrival in the friendship sector of your chart is a huge bonus. PISCES February 19 - March 20 November brings the start of an optimistic and lucky trend as abundant Jupiter moves to the highest point in your chart (for a one year stay!) Be ready for change and a new lease of life, whether in social or professional affairs. The Scorpio new moon on the 15th brings travel to your agenda.

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018


Your Stars for December 2018

December starts with an exciting and dynamic connection between the Sagittarian Sun and expansive Jupiter, this alignment is perfect as our attention turns to Christmas festivities and socialising on a grand scale. Motivational Mars and visionary Neptune offer some exciting new opportunities, suggesting that it’s time to embrace the freedom to pursue your inspirational ideas for 2018. Mercury turns direct on the 7th, just in time to ensure that our Christmas wishes don’t get lost in the post. On Friday the 21st we celebrate the winter solstice, this is the shortest day of the year and from now on the days will slowly get longer. The new moon is in Sagittarius on the 7thand the full moon is in Cancer on the 22nd. Solstice blessings and Christmas wishes to all. ARIES March 21 - April 20 The Sun and Jupiter are stirring up the sector of your chart that longs for adventure and broadening horizons. You may need to sweep out the old to create space for the new. The powerful Sagittarian new moon on the 7th turns your attention to communication and learning new things, an exciting new chapter is beginning!

LEO July 23 - August 23 Venus arrives in Scorpio on the 3rd offering a new sense of direction where domestic matters are concerned. Future plans look rosy so don’t be afraid to take the initiative. The winter solstice is important as it highlights the possibility of linking your creative ideas with some firm foundations.

SAGITTARIUS November 23 - December 21 Jupiter, your ruler, is challenged by dynamic Mars and intuitive Neptune – major change may be on the cards! Mercury moves back into your sign on the 13th, helping you to focus on important future plans. Be sure to stand your ground, and be ready to achieve whatever you set your mind to.

TAURUS April 21 - May 21 Finances and assets are in the spotlight this month as the Sun and Jupiter illuminate some interesting money making ventures. Venus arrives in Scorpio on the 3rd bringing romantic liaisons into the spotlight; take advantage of an opportunity to meet new people. The full moon on the 22nd brings up an important family matter.

VIRGO August 24 - September 22 Mars in intuitive Pisces ignites your relationship sector during December, this period of heightened potential ensures that prospects are looking rather good for your love life. Communication improves after Mercury goes direct on the 7th. The Sagittarian new moon suggests that a domestic issue needs attention.

CAPRICORN December 22 - January 20 The all-important new moon in fiery Sagittarius on the 7th suggests an exciting new beginning. You may feel the need to break free from old ways of doing things, but if you keep an open mind, you can learn a great deal. Mars is intuitive in your communication sector, bringing you a sense of changing priorities.

GEMINI May 22 - June 21 The high energy planet Mars is illuminating the highest point of your chart, bringing fresh determination to push yourself forward in many areas of your life. Things pick up pace after the 7th of December as your ruler moves direct; then as Mercury re-enters Sagittarius on the 13th a new phase of life can finally get going.

LIBRA September 23 - October 23 Venus, your ruling planet, moves into intuitive Scorpio on the 3rd of December, this shift suggests that financial goals may bring rewards. Energetic Mars connects with mystical Neptune in Pisces, stirring up new and creative ways of working. Be alert to a sudden change in fortune after the full moon on the 22nd.

AQUARIUS January 21 - February 18 Dynamic Mars is almost halfway through your financial sector, suggesting that some adjustments might need to be made. Jupiter is strong in your social sector and a personal or professional situation may give you a distinct advantage over others. The Sagittarian new moon on the 7th is particularly enlightening.

CANCER June 22 - July 22 Maverick planet Uranus is back in dynamic Aries highlighting professional and career matters. You begin to sense that change is coming and that it’s best to keep your options open. December is also good for passionate romance as Venus arrives in your love and relationship sector on the 3rd.

SCORPIO October 24 - November 22 Venus, the planet of love and romance re-enters your sign on the 3rd. You’ll breathe a sigh of relief as your powers of attraction resume and your intuition is enhanced. Finances should be strong as Jupiter and the Sun illuminate this area of your chart, enabling you to make some positive decisions.

PISCES February 19 - March 20 If your ambition has been lacking lately, don’t worry, it’s all change this month as dynamic Mars and mystical Neptune are potent in your sign. Big ideas lead to remarkable results, so be sure to make your thinking optimistic and forward-looking. The new moon on the 7th highlights your personal aims and goals.

NAVIGATE YOUR WAY TO SUCCESS IN 2019

Take a look at your year ahead and plan with in-depth knowledge and cosmic awareness. Become aware of your potential and tune into positive and productive planetary cycles. Find out how to become more successful in life and in business. Consultations are available on Skype or telephone. Inspirational Astrologer and Life Coach, Christine@restyleyourlife.co.uk | Telephone: 07813 483549 | www.restyleyourlife.co.uk

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018

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Make The Most Of Your Greenhouse This Autumn As the weather gets cooler, Matthew Biggs offers 5 tips on what to do in the greenhouse to ensure you’re ready for winter.

Sow while it’s warm

While it is still warm and sunny, sow trays, pots or old growing bags in your greenhouse with ‘cut and come again’ crops which you can harvest throughout autumn and into winter. If you are looking for inspirational species ideas, try land cress, oriental salad leaves like pak choi, mizuna and mibuna. Or stick to classic lettuce varieties, like ‘Valdor’, chicory and radishes. You can also add brassica crops for microgreens which can be harvested earlier.

Grow out-of-season flowers

By providing extra warmth, plants which are normally dormant during early autumn and winter months can be ‘woken early’ and will look their best several months ahead of those grown naturally outdoors. Some, such as hyacinths, are often available as ‘prepared’ bulbs, which means they have been treated to simulate an artificial winter and will therefore spring into growth as soon as planted. Buy quality bulbs in autumn and plant closely in pots using peat-free potting compost and keep them in cool, deep shade under the

greenhouse bench until the leaves are 5cm long. If you have a greenhouse bed and have grown summer food crops, a good autumn and winter use for the vacant space is to raise cut flowers. Freesias can be grown for display or cutting and flower naturally in late winter and thrive in a cool greenhouse.

Clear up

Along with spring, autumn provides a natural opportunity to do some essential greenhouse cleaning. Aim to clean up both the inside and outside of your greenhouse on a warm, dry autumn day. Clean the windows of your greenhouse, paying attention to the individual frames. Remove moss from overlapping panes with an old kitchen knife or plant label. Use a cleaning product which is suited to your particular greenhouse’s glazing system.

Check guttering

Check your gutters are clear of leaves and clean down pipes. Scoop leaves out with your hands, wearing gloves, and flush debris away with a hosepipe or watering can. While protecting and removing any delicate plants, clean the floor of your

greenhouse and disinfect all benches, shelving and equipment.

Get ready for winter

Check your greenhouse heater to make sure it’s working. There are pros and cons to insulating the greenhouse with bubble wrap in winter. For many gardeners, myself included, it’s not one of my favourite jobs. If you do choose to do it, an important consideration is to maintain a balance between the amount of light, heat conservation and ventilation. Full insulation reduces the amount of light coming into the greenhouse and increases humidity, which can cause disease problems. To minimise this, be sure to remember to cut holes for the ventilators. If you live in an area where winters are usually mild, it is worth taking the gamble of not insulating at all but have a heater and protective layers on standby should the weather change. If plants need more than protection from frost, wrap them individually with fleece in the greenhouse.

Removing Tree Stumps You need the help of a good tree surgeon, says Calibra Tree Surgeons. The root systems which the tree creates can differ depending on the species, age of the plant and often extend metres from the tree and within flower beds or lawns. Stump grinding is a way of removing the tree stump. The blades cut at the stump creating ‘sawdust and woodchips’ until the stump disappears. Stumps are best removed when the plants are dormant. 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.

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Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018


Calibra Calibra Tree Surgeons

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Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018

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Houseplants Can Boost Your Wellbeing Give your skin, lungs and mental health a helping hand by filling your home with foliage and flowers. As the urban footprint becomes larger, more people are destined to be living in properties without a garden, yet houseplants can help bring the outside in. From giant rubber plants and ferns as feature pieces to a spider plant trailing from a shelf, they can completely change the look of any room. Beyond the aesthetics, there’s evidence to suggest houseplants are also good for your health and wellbeing. Dr Tijana Blanusa, principal horticultural scientist at the Royal Horticultural Society, offers five suggestions as to how houseplants can benefit your body and mind. They can reduce ‘sick building syndrome’ Houseplants can help reduce the impact of ‘sick building syndrome’ which includes dry skin, itchy eyes, respiratory irritations and headaches. They help moisturise the skin and alleviate dry eyes by increasing relative humidity inside the home or office. This happens through evapo-transpiration, the movement

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of water from leaves and soil into the atmosphere. Varieties such as peace lilies and ivy with higher transpiration rates appear to be better than most other houseplants. Some plants trap chemical gases Cooking can make the kitchen smell wonderful, as garlic, wine and spices fill the air. The aftermath of a good fry up or casserole is also a range of potentially harmful gaseous and volatile chemical compounds (VOCs). However, plants can capture these in three ways: via small pores in their leaves called the stomata, by diffusion through the plant cuticle on the leaf surface and via the activity of soil micro-organisms. Varieties of dracaena (a small shrub), ficus (figs), nephrolepis (ferns) and syngonium (vines) have the potential to remove the largest quantities of these compounds. They do the dusting for you (well, almost) Likewise houseplants capture little airborne particles that would otherwise be breathed in. This is simply by providing additional surface area on which particles can be captured.

Plants with large canopies like Ficus Arabica with large individual leaves or Ficus Benjamina with huge numbers of smaller leaves provide a good surface. Plants can help increase productivity Houseplants can also help improve productivity in offices and workspaces, along with occupants’ perceived wellbeing; the so called ‘attention restoration theory’. There is a suggestion that a variation in plant shape, size and colour within planting schemes elicits positive responses. They boost your mental health We all know the joy a garden can bring and filling the home with plants is similar; greenery is pretty, and tending for houseplants can give you a great sense of purpose and reward, too. Try pretty succulents or orchids to bring some flower power to your collection. Alternatively go for some large ferns for drama and impact. Additionally, groupings of plants often grow better as humidity tends to naturally increase around them, reducing stress on the plants as well as you. For more advice on getting the most from your houseplants visit the RHS website for more information.

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018


Money Scams And The Warning Signs Anyone can fall prey to a fraudster, so could you spot the tricks scammers use? It may be harder than you think, as frauds become increasingly sophisticated. Consumers lost £92.9 million to scams, where they were tricked into transferring money directly to a fraudster, in the first half of 2018 alone. By adding insult to injury, people who have been tricked in this way may sadly never see their money again. A voluntary code for banks to follow has just been proposed, which could give people more help in getting their money back. However, victims may still find themselves out of pocket, so it’s always best, if at all possible, to avoid falling for a fraud in the first place. Nationwide Building Society recently found that three in ten (30%) people would be willing to transfer their own money into another account ‘to keep it safe’ if asked by someone they thought was from the police, even though the police or a bank would never ask anyone to do this. Stuart Skinner, director of fraud at Nationwide, whose branches are running fraud awareness events, says: “The key to thwarting the scam artists and fraudsters is education. We’d urge people to learn as much as they can about the tricks that scammers use.” Here are some of the warning signs to spot, highlighted by trade association UK Finance...

Purchase scam

The victim pays up-front for goods or services that are never received. These scams often happen online, such as when someone uses an auction website or social media. A warning sign could be if you spot something of high value, such as a car, phone or computer, advertised at a low price. Fake holiday rentals and concert tickets may also be advertised online. Victims may be persuaded by the fraudster to pay

for the goods via direct bank transfer, instead of using websites’ secure payment options.

Advance fee scam

With this scam, victims may be tricked into parting with their money as a ‘fee’ after being promised a larger reward. Criminals may claim they have won an overseas lottery, or that gold or jewellery is being held at customs of which a fee must be paid to release money or goods which don’t really exist.

Investment scam

People are persuaded to move their money into a fictitious fund, or to pay for a fake investment. The criminal usually offers high returns to entice them. These scams include investment in items such as gold, property, carbon credits, land banks and wine.

Romance scam

The victim is convinced to make a payment to a person they have met, often online through social media or dating websites, and with whom they believe they are in a relationship. The ‘relationship’ is often developed over a long period and the person is convinced to make multiple, generally smaller, payments to the criminal.

Invoice and mandate scam

Scammers step into the middle of people’s legitimate transactions to swipe money that was intended for someone else. Someone could be paying a solicitor or a builder, for example, but the criminal intervenes and convinces the victim to redirect the

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018

payment into their account instead. The criminal may persuade their victim that the bank details of the person they intended to pay have changed. Businesses can also be tricked by this scam, when trying to pay a supplier.

Impersonation scam

Someone pretends to be from the police or the victim’s bank, to convince them to make a payment. Often, they will claim there has been a fraud on the victim’s account and they need to transfer the money to a ‘safe account’ to protect their funds. However, the criminal actually controls the recipient account. Criminals may pose as the police and ask the individual to take part in an undercover operation to investigate ‘fraudulent’ activity.

Pretending to be from a legitimate company Fraudsters pose as organisations such as utility companies, communications service providers or government departments, and claim that the victim must settle a fictitious fine or to return an erroneous refund. The scams can often involve the criminal requesting remote access to the victim’s computer.

CEO fraud

This mostly affects businesses. Criminals may access a company’s email system or use spoofing software to email a member of the finance team, with what appears to be a legitimate email from the chief executive with a request to change payment details or make an urgent payment to a new account.

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Work Life Balance is one of those juggling acts that many of us try and often fail to master. Especially when the job has to provide an income but also make us feel fulfilled and have a sense of purpose. After being made redundant twice, Louisa Dunbar realised that she was just not getting the opportunities to fulfil her ambitions and her potential. Alongside her full-time job she began to design and build websites before going freelance. At this point her “office” was the corner of her bedroom in Henley. Louise’s client list grew organically and just over six years ago she switched from being a freelancer to running a business called OrangeGrove. She realised how important it was to identify what sets you apart from the rest, whatever your trade or profession. She wanted to work with businesses to create great looking websites that would actually help them grow too.

could continue with the current workload and she would have to change how she worked within the business to survive her time off with her new baby. So she chose to take on a Project Administrator, despite the finanical risks this would bring in those uncertain months ahead. Working with the Project Administrator was easier for Louisa as she was able to use what time she had to focus on targeting clients, whose aims and desires were clearly aligned with the USP of the agency i.e to utilise their website as a means of increasing profitability.

After a few years the business plateaued. Louisa found she was juggling too many roles within the business, dispite using freelancers to assist her; she struggled to find the way to the next level.

Louisa admits she sometimes frequently ended up working during “nap-times”, but she was able to focus on the work that mattered. Within weeks of her daughter being born, Louisa secured several projects which created a snowball effect and resulted in OrangeGrove receiving enquiries of a similar nature.

Time in the business became challenging when Louisa became pregnant with her daughter and realised there would be no way she

“With my Project Administrator on-board I continued to focus on new enquiries and refining our offering.” said Louisa.

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Louisa now only works about 80% of the time she used to, freeing up time to spend with her young family which has resulted in the agency growing in both turnover and profit. Now working from her in office in Reading, Louisa has realised you do not always need to work longer hours to gain greater results and has now been able to take on a second member of staff who specialises in search engine optimisation. Louisa uses freelancers as needed and over the years has pulled together a fantastic, expert team around her. Louisa’s business works on projects for all kinds of small to medium businesses helping them to utilise their own business, with the ultimate goal being to fill these roles with permanent staff. Dolly Parton may have sung “Working nine-to-five, what a way to make a living”, but Louisa says; “In the future, the aim is to create a truly ‘flexible and efficient workforce’; one that sets their own hours and achieves more.”

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018


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Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018

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Coffee Break Across 1. Trained leader to request job to do (4)

3. Get through examination with skill _ but only just satisfactorily (8) 9. Tuneless and possibly damp? (7) 10. Sailor half-takes the tiller with greater skill (5) 11. Imposing percussion examination at altitude? (4-8) 13. Perfection achieved as a beginner (6)

Down 1. Concerning pathetic contact (8) 2. Made a song about fifty using jargon (5) 4. For part of the year do urge warmth of passion (6)

6. Graduate has spear to give him equilibrium (7)

8. Race in angry state? (5-7) 12. Conspiring as members of sporting association? (2-6)

17. Brief sale fun, but not to be tolerated (12)

14. Sour stuff in grave (7)

20. Knowledge carrying a little weight (5)

16. Hound, half-deaf, will hang around (6)

22. Try gains off the straight and narrow (8) 23. I had taken the French to be unemployed (4)

2

3

4

5

6

7

8 9

10

7. Feet in an enclosure (4)

15. The sun is out, even poetically, but not observed (6)

21. Cry of derision from the motorist? (7)

1

5. A chamber without seats? (8-4)

11 12 13

15 16

18. Tie up about fifty who cannot see (5) 19. Mountains mentioned in an unusual psalm (4)

14

17

18

19 20

21

Down: 1 Touching; 2 Slang; 4 Ardour; 5 Standing-room; 6 Balance; 7 Yard; 8 Cross-country; 12 In league; 14 Vinegar; 16 Afghan; 18 Blind; 19 Alps.

22

23

Across: 1 Task; 3 Passably; 9 Unaired; 10 Abler; 11 High-sounding; 13 Novice; 15 Unseen; 17 Insufferable; 20 Light; 21 Hooting; 22 Straying; 23 Idle.

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Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018


The NEW Mercedes C-Class WHAT IS IT? The Mercedes C-Class is one of the most popular premium compact saloons on sale, going up against the likes of the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series. In fact, it’s Mercedes’ bestselling model - the German manufacturer registered 46,000 of them in 2017 alone. To keep things current, the C-Class has been refreshed, ensuring it remains competitive against several capable rivals. We try it in C200 form, which uses a 1.5-litre petrol motor and something called EQ Boost technology. WHAT’S NEW? The 2018 C-Class has been updated with the variety of new functions and touches. In AMG Line, as our test car was, you get a full exterior body styling package, heated sports seats and 18-inch alloy wheels. The biggest change is the inclusion of a 10.25-inch infotainment screen, which is superbly clear and elevates the look of the cabin. This can be combined with the optional 12.3-inch digital cockpit screen to create a really good-looking system - though not quite as pretty as the fully widescreen version you’ll find in E and A-Class models. It also costs £2795 extra, and has to be specified as part of Mercedes’ ‘Premium package’. WHAT’S UNDER THE BONNET? As we mentioned, this C200 uses a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine to send to all four wheels though a nine-speed automatic transmission.

Peak power output is 182bhp, and you get a useful 280Nm of torque too. WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE? The C-Class really needs to be able to handle all situations, be it a long motorway slog or a quick dart down a rutted b-road. Fortunately, it delivers in all areas. The ride is firm but welldamped, and the engine settles down to a distant thrum when you’re travelling on the motorway. The steering lacks any real feel - but we’ve come to expect this from new electric power racks - but it remains accurate, allowing you to easily place the car where you want it. The new 1.5-litre engine does feel a touch underpowered for this size of car and is noisy under heavy acceleration. If you’re planning on frequent long journeys then we’d still look towards the diesel, despite the negative press oil-burners have been getting of late. That said, around town it feels quiet and refined. HOW DOES IT LOOK? The latest updates to the C-Class do make it into a much sharper-looking machine. The new single bar grille gives it a purposeful appearance, while the overall effect of the AMG Line bodykit is to give the car just a little more presence and bring it closer to the full-blooded, high-performance AMG versions. WHAT’S IT LIKE INSIDE? The interior of the C-Class is now dominated by that widescreen

infotainment system we’ve mentioned, and it does help to lift the overall look and feel of the cabin. There are some harsher plastics to be found - not something you’d expect for a car costing £39,415 - but the overall fit-and-finish feels good enough. The seats are supportive for long-distance driving, and the rear seats offer up a decent amount of legroom. WHAT’S THE SPEC LIKE? Prices for the C200 in AMG Line trim start at £35,405, and for that you get 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels, parking sensors and a full connectivity package, including smartphone connectivity and satellite navigation. Of course, AMG Line cars also get a full exterior sports bodykit as well as the nine-speed automatic gearbox (a must-have for long-journey drivers). VERDICT The C-Class does everything you’d want a premium saloon to do. It’s comfortable over long distances, feels special enough both inside and out, and comes with plenty of standard equipment too. This C200 model doesn’t quite make as much sense as the diesel, particularly if you’re planning on longer journeys. We’d understand if it offered rock-bottom emissions, but given that it emits more than a diesel while offering worse economy too, for now we’d recommend the oil-burner. Jack Evans

FACTS AT A GLANCE Model: Mercedes C200 4MATIC | Price: £39,415 | Engine: 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol | Power (bhp): 182 Torque (Nm): 280 | Max speed (mph): 145 | 0-60mph: 7.9 seconds | MPG: 53.3 Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018

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Our winter countryside Jacky & Mark Bloomfield

Forget the thought that runs through your head; its winter – it’s cold and dreary. Winter is a truly magical time. Trees without their leaves makes spotting wildlife easier and very soon the winter migrants will start arriving on our shores, adding to our native populations.

for a small reward found a willing gardener to plant its seeds. Of the seeds that are eaten, many will pass straight through the animal. Eventually, being deposited some distance from the parent plant wrapped in a rich fertiliser package to help the seed with its start in life.

For many animals in our countryside now is a time of plenty. Much of our native and adoptive trees and shrubs come into fruit at this time of year. Shorter days and a need to stockpile food for the cold months to come makes wildlife more active. Muchneeded food, like nuts and seeds, drop to the woodland floor where it is easier to reach. Some animals will store some of the bonanza, while others use the extra food to put on weight and grow a thick coat.

Winter also brings new faces to our countryside. Think of the UK as a sun-drenched semi-tropical paradise. Not possible you think, as you pull on another layer of clothing. However, for millions of birds that is just what the UK is. Their home is becoming perpetually dark and covered in snow and ice many centimetres thick. Our countryside with hedgerows overflowing with goodies to eat is a haven and a life-saver.

Either way, it’s an essential part of our countryside’s regeneration. Locations of every cache of seed are challenging to remember. Inevitably some will be forgotten, and remain buried out of sight. The trees have

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With the arrivals from the near continent, numbers of common garden birds such as the Starlings and Robins can double or triple. Larger birds, like geese and swans, cross thousands of miles of ocean, in a single flight, to come and feed

in our farmlands for the winter. They will be here all winter before returning in the spring to their northern breeding grounds. Let’s not forget what winter is all about, snow, that beautiful white blanket that envelops our countryside. Forget about cancelled trains, 15-mile tailbacks on the M25, closed schools. Find the time to go outside and look around. The snow allows you to see what has walked close to your house. Become a detective work out what animals have left the imprints and follow the trail to see where they went. If you want to learn more about animal tracks, you can download a handy guide from the RSPB website, (rspb.org.uk). When winter comes to our lands, it is a magical time of year. It might be a little colder, and maybe the weather a little unpredictable. However, on a cold crisp day, what could be better than getting out for a walk? Enjoy the season and the best it has to offer.

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018


Festive fun at the National Trust Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a decorated National Trust house this year, Hughenden in High Wycombe is dressed for royalty. The country manor is stepping back in time to 1877 when Queen Victoria paid a visit. The then Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, who lived at Hughenden, enjoyed a unique relationship with Queen Victoria and called her his Faery. The manor will be decorated in traditional Victorian splendour, with the dining table set as if Queen Victoria were joining the family for Christmas dinner. On the North lawn there are plans to recreate the huge ‘chair arch’ which welcomed the Queen in 1877, recognising High Wycombe’s heritage as the chair-making capital of the country. For younger visitors who might otherwise be disappointed at the absence of a ‘real’ faery, there’ll be a trail of filled bell jars to follow from the car park hinting at an ethereal presence in the garden. Father Christmas returns to Hughenden in his decorated grotto on weekends from 8 December. Over at Basildon Park near Reading, the house team never disappoint with their Christmas display. Giant Christmas trees donated from the Yattendon estate with sumptuous decorations and floral displays are the order of the day. Basildon Park is celebrating its 40th year of National Trust ownership with Christmas through the ages represented in different rooms. There’ll be a Georgian feast from the time of the manor’s construction by Sir Francis Sykes as a seat to entertain wealthy guests from London. Other rooms will capture the romance and elegance of the Regency period and there’ll be Edwardian splendour representing the grand era of Archie Morrison who frittered £11 million in 19 years. The Victorians are recognised in the library and Second World War in the Sutherland Room. Greys Court in Henley always has a lovely domestic feel at Christmas as the house team take inspiration from the Brunner family, the last residents of Greys Court. The family often spent Christmas with family in Switzerland and the house team are recreating some of their family traditions in the house. The scent of gingerbread and mince pies being prepared by the volunteers in Lady Brunners kitchen always adds to the magic.

This year Greys Court is offering some special candlelit tours in the evening followed by mulled wine and mince pies and is also serving two course Christmas dinners in the tea-room 3 -21 December. Cliveden, near Maidenhead, has a festive trail for children on the theme of Mother Christmas who needs help to complete some challenges and send Father Christmas off with his deliveries. Trails cost £5 and include a gift. They run every weekend in December and 20-23 December, 10.30am-2.30pm. No one does Christmas quite like Waddesdon the manor is starting Christmas on 10 November this year. The Christmas market houses more than 80 exhibitors in charming wooden chalets either side of the lawns in front of the house. It’s a great place to pick up unique gifts, decorations and delicious street food in a truly awe-inspiring setting. Booking is absolutely essential for Waddesdon and the earlier the better as tickets for the house get booked up very quickly. In the grounds there are interactive light displays, sound and 3D light projections and children’s craft activities. The winter wigwam is also back this year with hearty hotpots and snacks and snuggly sheepskins to keep you warm. If you’re looking for somewhere special to escape the high street crowds this Christmas, all National Trust places have lovely gift shops for Christmas shopping. It all gets too much there’s nothing like a frosty walk in a beautiful landscape to refresh body and soul.

Hughenden

A Very Royal Christmas: a visit from the Faery 23 November – 2 January Price: Normal admission applies, plus £8 to visit Father Christmas in his grotto and receive a Christmas gift. The grotto is always popular so book early on 0344 249 1895. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hughenden

Basildon Park

Christmas in the House 1 December – 6 January Price: Normal admission applies and Christmas dinners in the tea-room (served 3-21 December) must be pre-booked online. Two courses: Adult £19.95, Child £10.95 www.nationaltrust.org.uk/basildon-park

Greys Court

Swiss Christmas at Greys Court 1 December – 6 January Price: Christmas dinners and Candlelit Tours must be pre-booked online. Christmas dinners: two courses: Adult £19.95, Child £10.95. Candlelit tours £12. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/greys-court

Cliveden

Mother Christmas: Cliveden’s festive adventure Weekends in December, plus 20-24 December. Price: £5 per trail www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cliveden

Waddesdon

Christmas Fair 10 November – 16 December Christmas Carnival 10 November – 2 January Price: £5 Child £2.50 for National Trust members who visit the decorated house. Normal admission applies for non-members. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/waddesdon

After all that, you can warm yourself with the knowledge that each magical day out supports the National Trust’s work as a charity looking after special places for future generations to enjoy. We look forward to seeing you this Christmas.

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018

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Diary Dates November, December & Janaury 17 Nov – 06 Jan: ‘Windsor on Ice’ Ice-skating in Alexandra Gardens, Windsor. www.windsor.gov.uk for more details 23 Nov – 06 Jan: ‘ Winter Wonderland’ Hyde Park, daily 10:00 – 20:00 except Christmas Day www.hydeparkwinterwonderland.com

NOVEMBER 06:‘Rebellion Brewery Open Night’ all ales currently being brewed available on the night. Talks also given on brewing history and methods, 19.00-21.30, Bencombe Farm, Marlow Bottom, SL7 3LT. All welcome, £12.50pp, BBQ all year round, www.rebellionbeer.co.uk 06: ‘Oxford Street Christmas Lights Switch-on’ www.londonist.com 08: ‘Carnaby Street Christmas Lights Switch-on’ www.londonist.com 12: Boutique Cinema ‘The Leisure Seeker’ at Clayton’s Oxford Road, cinema caters for 25 people, entrance is free, however bookings are only taken if you are having dinner with us, screening starts 20:00 – 01628 448404, www.claytonsmarlow.com

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28 Nov - 23 Dec: Santa Stories and Gingerbread Join us for stories with Santa, decorating gingerbread and craft activities. Online booking available. RHS Wisley, Surrey, GU23 6QB. 01483 224234 www.rhs.org.uk/wisley 29 Nov – 2 Jan: Christmas by the River Magical Christmas Markets at London Bridge, SE1 2DB, nearest Tube: London Bridge

15: ‘Regent Street Christmas Lights Switch-on’ www.londonist.com 19: Boutique Cinema ‘Leave no Trace’ at Clayton’s Oxford Road, cinema caters for 25 people, entrance is free, however bookings are only taken if you are having dinner with us, screening starts 20:00 – 01628 448404, www.claytonsmarlow.com 21-25: Christmas Craft Fair Seek out that unique Christmas gift from a wide range of traditional and contemporary crafts from some of the country’s finest makers, taking place within the beautiful surroundings of the garden in late-autumn. RHS Wisley, Surrey, GU23 6QB. 01483 224234 www.rhs.org.uk/wisley 24: ‘Maidenhead Christmas Lights Switch-on’, Maidenhead Town Hall with a display of fireworks as the finale, from 16:30-18:00

25: ‘Alexander Devine’s Santa Dash’ 5km run taking in the Long Walk, Windsor Castle, Queen Victoria Statue and Windsor Shopping Streets, 09:00 start www.alexanderdevine.org 26: Boutique Cinema ‘A Bad Moms Christmas’ at Clayton’s Oxford Road, cinema caters for 25 people, entrance is free, however bookings are only taken if you are having dinner with us, screening starts 20:00 – 01628 448404, www.claytonsmarlow.com 28-30: The Marlow Players ‘Barefoot in the Park’ Shelley Theatre, Marlow, 20:00, Tickets 01296 382 415, Tickets Adults £13, under 12 £5, www.marlowplayers.org.uk

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018


29 – 1 Dec: Marlow Music Makers ‘Christmas Concert’ United Reformed Church, Oxford Rd, Marlow SL7 2NP, 19:30-22:00, Tickets £10

02: ‘Cookham Christmas Fayre’ Cookham High Street, From 12:00-16:00. Road closed from 10:00-18:00 with Santa arriving at midday.

DECEMBER

03: ‘The Shard Christmas Lights Switch-on’ www.londonist.com

01-24: Living Advent Calendar: Henley www.livingadventcalendar.co.uk Windsor & Eton www.windsor.gov.uk

03: Boutique Cinema ‘ELF’ at Clayton’s Oxford Road, cinema caters for 25 people, entrance is free, however bookings are only taken if you are having dinner with us, screening starts 20:00 – 01628 448404, www.claytonsmarlow.com

01-31: ‘Christmas Adventures at Cliveden’ this winter with a new children’s Christmas trail, winter walks, Christmas Shopping and seasonal treats, 10:00-16:00, Cliveden National Trust, Cliveden Rd, Taplow SL1 8NS, www.cliveden@nationaltrust.org.uk, Please note that on 01+02, 08+09, 15+16 & 20-23 times are 10.30 -14.30

04:‘Rebellion Brewery Open Night’ all ales currently being brewed available on the night. Talks also given on brewing history and methods, 19.00-21.30, Bencombe Farm, Marlow Bottom, SL7 3LT. All welcome, £12.50pp, BBQ all year round, www.rebellionbeer.co.uk

01: Marlow Choral Society presents ‘Mozart’s Mass in C minor’ Conducted by Chris Grant with the Cygnus Orchestra, 19:30, All Saints’ Church, Marlow, SL7 2AA. Tickets £13 from Runners’ Retreat in Marlow, Marlow Information Centre, www.marlowchoralsociety.org.uk/Box Office and on the door 02: ‘Marlow Santa fun Run’ 09:30 start in Higginsons Park, for more information or to register www.santasfunrun.org

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018

06:‘Late Night Shopping’ Marlow High St, 18:00-21:00 07: ‘Christmas Swing Party’ live at the Pinder Hall, 2 Lower Rd, Cookham, SL6 9HF, from 19:00 – 23:00, a night of sparkling dresses & bow-ties for a festive night of swing music and dancing, £14 in advance, £15 on door. For more information. www.cookham.com 08: ‘Maidenhead Community Lantern Parade’ from 16:30, Maidenhead Town Centre

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08: ‘Maidenhead Rotary Reindeer Racing’ 11:00-15:00, Nicholson’s Centre, turn up on the day, £1 donation www.maidenheadbridgerotary.org.uk 10: Boutique Cinema ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ at Clayton’s Oxford Road, cinema caters for 25 people, entrance is free, however bookings are only taken if you are having dinner with us, screening starts 20:00 | 01628 448404 www.claytonsmarlow.com

15: Marlow Choral Society presents ‘Fantasia on Christmas Carols’ by Ralph Vaughan Williams, conducted by Sean Bui, 17:30, All Saints’ Church, Marlow, SL7 2AA. Tickets £10 on the door include mulled wine and mince pies. Marlow Choral Society invites non-members to come and sing at the Workshop at 13:30 followed by the concert at 17.30. For more details 01628 482520 or alison@arr22.plus.com or www.marlowchoralsociety.org.uk.

17: Boutique Cinema ‘ELF’ at Clayton’s Oxford Road, cinema caters for 25 people, entrance is free, however bookings are only taken if you are having dinner with us, screening starts 20:00 – 01628 448404, www.claytonsmarlow.com 22: ‘Marlow Christmas Lights Switch-on’ lights turned on by Edd China on the double decker bus. From 17:00-19:30, snow 18:00, switch-on 18:30

Ongoing Events Marlow Museum Mar – Oct 13:00 - 17:00: Sat, Sun & Bank holidays Nov – Feb: 14:00 – 16:00 Sun | www.marlowmuseum.uk Maidenhead Heritage Centre 10: 00 - 16:00 Tues - Sat & 2nd Sunday of month www.maidenheadheritage.org.uk Stanley Spencer Gallery 08 Nov – 24 Mar 2019 | Thurs – Sun 11:00 – 16:30 Closed 24 & 25 Dec | www.stanleyspencer.org.uk Marlow Camera Club Tuesday | 19:45 - 20:00 | The Methodist Church Hall, Spittal Street, Marlow, SL7 3HJ Maidenhead Camera Club Tuesday, Cox Green Community Centre | 01628 630861 Henley Photographic Club Tuesday | 20:00 - 22:00 | YMCA Hall, off Waterman’s Road, Henley | www.henleyphotoclub.com High Wycombe Croquet Club April-August | Friday 10:00 -12:00 & Sundays 10:00 - 16:00 Hazlemere Rec Grd, Amersham Rd, Hazlemere, HP15 7QW www.hwcroquetclub.com | 01494 858202

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The East Berks RSPB Group Monthly | 7.30pm to 9.30pm on Thursdays High Street Methodist, Church Hall, Maidenhead www.eastberksrspb.org.uk Colenorton Dragon Boat Club Sunday 10.00 - 12.30 | Bray Lake Water Sports, Maidenhead SL6 2EB | www.colenorton.co.uk South Bucks Walking Group Regular walks programme + club weekends 01494 714486 | www.southbuckshfwalkingclub.co.uk Henley & Goring Ramblers No need to book, just turn up | www.ramblers-oxon.org.uk Maidenhead National Trust Second Thursday, except August United Reformed Church Hall, West St, Maidenhead www.Maidenheadnta.org.uk. Midsomer Murder Filming Locations 17 Mar - 27 Oct | Saturday 11:00 | 1 hour Tour Argyll Pub, Market Place, Henley Kenton Theatre www.kentontheatre.co.uk

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018


BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY Rami Malek is hotly tipped for awards consideration for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in Bryan Singer’s musical biopic, which charts the rise of rock band Queen and its charismatic front man. Scripted by Anthony McCarten, who earned Oscar nominations for his screenplays for The Theory Of Everything and Darkest Hour, Bohemian Rhapsody meets lead guitarist Brian May (Gwilym Lee), drummer Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy) and bassist John Deacon (Joseph Mazzello) as they hunt for a new lead singer. Flamboyant showman Freddie Mercury (Malek) seizes his moment in the spotlight and he inspires the band to think outside the box with the operatic title song. Flanked by his lifelong companion Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton) and personal manager Paul Prenter (Allen Leech), Freddie creates one of the defining images of Live Aid in 1985 and also struggles to keep secret his Aids diagnosis.

Bolshoi Ballet: Don Quixote (TBC) With panache and sparkling technique, principal dancers Ekaterina Krysanova and Semyon Chudin lead the spectacular cast of toreadors, flamenco dancers, gypsies, and dryads in virtuosic dancing that is quintessential Bolshoi. Sun 2 Dec, 3.00 ROH Live: The Nutcracker (12A) A Christmas treat for the whole family and a classic with a special place in the hearts of ballet fans around the world. Mon 3 Dec, 7.15 NT: Antony & Cleopatra (12A) Director Simon Godwin returns to National Theatre Live screens with this hotly anticipated production, following broadcasts of Twelfth Night, Man and Superman and The Beaux’ Stratagem. LIVE: Thu 6 Dec, 7.00 ENCORE: Thu 20 Dec, 12.00 A Christmas Carol Starring Simon Callow (TBC) Based on Charles Dickens’s own performance adaptation, Simon Callow and director Tom Cairns have created a one-man theatrical extravaganza of festive storytelling that is both heartwarming and deeply moving. Wed 12 Dec, 6.45 Hymn: Sarah Brightman in Concert (TBC) In celebration of her upcoming new album Hymn, best-selling soprano Sarah Brightman is in cinemas with an incredible performance. Thu 13 Dec, 7.45 Met Opera: La Traviata (TBC) New Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin launches his tenure by conducting Verdi’s timeless tragedy. LIVE: Sat 15 Dec, 5.55 ENCORE: Mon 17 Dec, 1.45 Bolshoi Ballet: The Nutcracker (12A) The holiday classic returns to the majestic Bolshoi stage for a live broadcast of the timeless story. Sun 23 Dec, 3.00 For Bookings: 0871 902 5738 | www.picturehouses.com Regal Picturehouse, 2 Boroma Way, Henley RG9 2BZ

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018

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Useful Numbers CLUBS MAIDENHEAD Rotary Club of Maidenhead 01628 632797 The Maidenhead Players 07879 476301 Maidenhead Drama Guild 01628 635017 Maidenhead Operatic Society 01628 671589 Maidenhead Musical Comedy Society 07813 979894 Grimm Players 01628 820429 Maidenhead Concert Band 01628 624514 Maidenhead Folk Club 01628 448268 Tuesday Singers 01628 634124 Athletics 01628 522797 Maidenhead & Bray CC 07885 240209 North Maidenhead Cricket Club 01628 624137 Rugby 01628 629663 Hockey 01628 622669 Desborough Bowls Club 01628 629403 Rowing 01628 622664 SportsAble 01628 627690 Maidenhead Tennis 01628 623785 Thames Valley Cycling Club 01628 638984 East Berks Badminton 01628 636283 Maidenhead Camera Club 01628 630861 East Berkshire Ramblers 01628 634561 Lions Club of Maidenhead 01628 634333 Maidenhead Golf Club 01628 624693 Five Aces Duplicate Bridge Club 01628 625663 River Thames Society 01628 624025 Belmont Badminton Club 01628 638844 Scottish Dancing Club 01628 628372 Stanley Spencer Gallery 01628 471885 COOKHAM Tennis & Croquet Line Dancing Cookham Bridge Rotary Club Cookham & Bourne End Inner Wheel Club Bourne End & Cookham Rotary 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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07968 173757 01628 486362 07724 042708 07715 441713 01628 810967 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 01628 472558 Archaeology in Marlow 01628 481792 Marlow Archaeological Society 01628 523896 Bowls 01628 485274 Boxing 01494 532826 Crafts 01494 473872 /473539 Football 01628 483970 Hockey 01628 521830 Plants (Orchids) 01628 486640 Photography 01628 483030 Rugby 01628 483911 /477054 Marlow Petenque Club 01628 440808 Marlow Striders 01628 475548 Four Seasons Club 01628 484528 Tennis 01628 483638 New Marlow Tennis Academy 01628 488438 Rifle & Pistol Club 01494 676676 ALF (Longridge) 01628 486595 Marlow & District Wine Society 01628 483294 Marlow Museum 01628 482515 Marlow Society/History 01628 476140 MOAS 07899 867757 Rotary Club 01494 530952 LETS 01494 523978 U3A 01628 485220 /488865 Community Choir 01628 602581 /661182 Railway Society 01494 488283 Choral Society 01628 472998 Marlow Orators 07738 540287 COUNCIL SERVICES MARLOW Library / Information Centre Town Council Neighbourhood Watch - Nic Martin Wycombe Council

0845 2303232 01628 484024 01895 837220 01494 461000

RBWM CIS 01628 507587 Council Tax 01628 683850 Library - Cox Green 01628 673942 Library - Holyport Container 01628 796555 Library - Maidenhead 01628 796969 Library - Cookham 01628 526147 Recycling 01628 796474 Town Hall 01628 683800 Youth & Community Centre 01628 685999 Thames Valley Adventure Playground 01628 628599 HENLEY Library 01491 575278 Town Council 01491 576982 BOURNE END Library 01628 524814 Community Centre 01628 527502 Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018


The Christmas experience 24 Nov–24 Dec Join us on a magical festive journey where you can meet Santa in his gingerbread house, get creative at his winter workshop, then explore our magical tree and snow zones to collect stickers for your Christmas adventurer passport.

Š 2018 intu properties plc

Join the fun and pick up your passport in centre

Living Along The Thames | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018

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Profile for Living Along theThames

Living Along the Thames Christmas 2018 Edition  

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