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Autumn 2012

Free Subscription Offer Enclosed Serving the American Community in the UK

Features Include:  •  News  •  UK Sports  •  Travel • Eating Out   Wealth Management • Property • Top Tens • Immigration • Health Theatre  •  American Women’s Clubs News • Arts & Antiques 


Contents

autumn 2012

News���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 3 Eating Out����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 5 Hotel Review����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 8 Travel�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������10 Mark Scott’s Parisian Hot Spots�����������������������������������������������������������12 Leith’s School Of Food & Wine���������������������������������������������������������������14 Challenges Facing US Tax Payers In The UK��������������������������������16 UK Sports����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������18 Top Tens Take Time Out For Tea����������������������������������������������������������20 Property��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������26 Raising Children Abroad����������������������������������������������������������������������������28 Theatre���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������30 Olympics - My Story�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������32 American Women’s Clubs News������������������������������������������������������������34 Health������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������38 Immigration������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������40 Arts & Antiques����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������42 Children’s Health�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������45 American Church In London��������������������������������������������������������������������46 Free Subscription Form�����������������������������������������������������������������������������47 Useful Numbers����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������48 Embassy Corner���������������������������������������������������������� Inside Back Cover

Autumn 2012

Free Subscription Offer Enclosed Serving the American Community in the UK

PUBLISHER: Helen Elliott Tel: 020 8661 0186 Email: helen@theamericanhour.com Publishing Director: Damian Porter Tel: 01737 551506 Email: damian@theamericanhour.com American in Britain, PO Box 921, Sutton SM1 2WB Advisory Panel:

Features Include: • News • UK Sports • Travel • Eating Out Wealth Management • Property • Top Tens • Immigration • Health Theatre • American Women’s Clubs News • Arts & Antiques

Photograph supplied by US Embassy, London

No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission of the publishers Origination and Printing by Gemini Group

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News The Facts on Voting from Abroad Americans living abroad number in the millions. With elections being decided by microscopic margins, the importance of overseas votes has never been more obvious. In 2008, Al Franken became US Senator from Minnesota by a margin of 312 votes. In 2004, Democrat Christine Gregoire became governor of Washington by just 133 votes. And who could forget the 537 votes in Florida that sent George Bush to the White House in 2000? The Law All Americans abroad retain the right to vote in US Federal elections no matter where they live in the world, how long they have been overseas, or when and where they last voted.* This right was granted by Congress in 1975. Today, it is guaranteed and governed by the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act of 1986 (UOCAVA), which was recently amended in 2009 by the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act. * The only possible exception is children of US citizens who have never resided in the United States. In most cases, they may vote in the state where their American parent(s) last resided. Check with your local election official. The only state which explicitly prohibits these citizens from voting is Virginia. The Process Americans abroad must register and request a ballot from their local voting authority, wherever they last resided in the United States. The request must be received and accepted. The voting authority transmits a ballot overseas (by post or electronically). The voter must complete and mail it back. Democrats Abroad has a global team to assist with any complications you may face. Contact us at votercentral@democratsabroad.org. Start early to

allow adequate time for mailings and possible requests for additional information. The form used to register and request a ballot is known as the Federal Post Card Application, or FPCA. Each state provides its own explicit instructions on how this form needs to be completed in order to be valid. Votefromabroad.org produces the FPCA tailored to the latest instructions for your voting state. In the event a voter fails to receive a duly requested ballot, a backup is available: the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot, or FWAB. Recent legislation (MOVE Act) requires overseas voters to file a new ballot request each year. The Easy Way – VoteFromAbroad.org VoteFromAbroad.org is the easiest and most comprehensive online solution to the complexities of overseas voting. By answering a few simple questions, the voter immediately receives a completed FPCA ballot request – ready to be printed, signed and mailed to the address provided. VoteFromAbroad.org also immediately provides a FWAB write-in ballot, to be used in the event that the state ballot fails to arrive in time. Myths About Voting from Abroad There are a number of common misconceptions about voting from abroad, which can prevent Americans abroad from exercising their right to vote. Please help us dispel these myths! • Myth 1 “I can’t vote. I don’t have a US address anymore.” WRONG. Regardless how long you have lived outside the country, you always retain the right to vote in US Federal elections. Your legal voting address is the last place you resided prior to departing the US. (If you have never lived in the US, many states will allow you to vote using the legal voting address of one of your American parents. Also, depending on state law, it could be that studying or summering in the US is enough to establish residence. Check with local authorities.) • Myth 2 “I don’t need to register. I did it last time.” WRONG. The law has changed. Voters living abroad need to mail in a ballot request every Federal election year. Yes, there are some places, like California, which permit “permanent absentee” registration. But, don’t forget that our votes are administered by thousands of different local authorities across the country, each with its own understanding of the law. Better safe than sorry – send a new ballot request every election year! • Myth 3 “They don’t even count overseas ballots.” WRONG. Absolutely 100% false. By law,

every properly executed absentee ballot must be counted before a final vote count can be certified. However, if the number of outstanding ballots – overseas or otherwise – is smaller than the difference between two candidates, a winner may be called before every last vote has been tallied. Nonetheless, all outstanding ballots are counted before the election result can be certified. • Myth 4 “One vote can’t make a difference.” WRONG. Just look at recent election results. Florida 2000: George W. Bush wins the state – and the presidency – by a margin of 537 votes. Washington 2004: Democrat Christine Gregoire becomes Governor by just 133 votes. Minnesota 2008: Al Franken is finally seated in the Senate with a 312vote victory. • Myth 5 “If I vote, the IRS will hassle me.” WRONG. Voting in US Federal elections does not affect the determination of tax liability or tax residence. You will not hear from the IRS because you voted in a Federal election, i.e. President, Senate, or House of Representatives. (Note: Voting in state and local elections can potentially affect state and local tax status. You should seek expert advice before voting in state or local elections.) • Myth 6 “Voting from abroad is so complicated.” WRONG. This used to be true! Now, US citizens can complete the process of registering and requesting an absentee ballot – and spread the word to friends and colleagues! – in just two minutes flat at www. VoteFromAbroad.org. Host UK HOST was founded by the British Council to help international students at UK universities feel welcome here. It has grown to 1600 volunteer hosts, who open their homes at Christmas or for a weekend once or twice a year, to one or two students at a time. Many American students take advantage of this opportunity. HOST visits are free, thanks to the hosts’ generosity; but there are administrative costs. While some of the American universities in London pay for their students to join in, there are many other US students at British universities whichare not able to commit funding to HOST. These students, too, often find themselves, as one of them put it, ‘living in a bubble of American friends’ with little chance to explore the real life of the country. Wouldn’t it be great if Americans living here, who have many opportunities to enjoy the British way of life, could help enable their young compatriots to discover at first hand the fun and value of appreciating a culture different from their own? For further information please visit: Image courtesy of Derek Bremner www.hostuk.org n 3


You are cordially invited to

The 2013

Corporate Relocation Conference & Exhibition on

Monday 4th February 2013 10.00am - 5.00pm at

Hotel Russell, 1-8 Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London, WC1B 5BE

This event is FREE TO ATTEND

FREE SEMINARS 10.30am — Third Culture Kids - Raising Portable Children

There are many challenges associated with an international move, and how global mobility impacts children is a concern for many families. This session on Third Culture Kids will discuss what research tells us about these unique youngsters and how we can best support them during this life-changing experience. This session is for parents, but also educators, human resources and and relocation professionals who want to understand more about raising and educating children abroad. Mary Langford is an independent international education consultant who has over 30 years experience working in international schools with families of many nationalities. As a TCk who spent a transient childhood in Europe, the USA and Latin America, her personal insights and professional experience make her a strong believer in the many advantages gained by internationally-mobile children when they are supported by parents and schools.

11.30am — I’m Settled....What’s Next? - A Focus On Long-Term Relocation Support

Often all of the attention is placed on the first few weeks of an international move. Join FOCUS to learn the longer-term support factors which have been proven to ensure a successful relocation for the whole family.

12.30pm — Tax Planning Tips For Expatriates

Imperative tax issues for foreign nationals living in the UK including understanding the UK tax system as it applies to a non-UK national, choosing between the remittance and arising basis of taxation, maximising foreign tax credits and dealing with investment considerations”. Presented by Frank Hirth

2.00pm — Global Immigration

Hosted by Ferguson Snell, this seminar will be a practical session providing advice on the latest Immigration developments and the implications for businesses and will cover: Immigration Policies Updates, Global Immigration Management, Compliance and Risk Management, and United Kingdom Sponsor Licencing and Management. If you have an immigration enquiry that you would like our consultants to cover on the day please email your enquiry in advance to fs@fergusonsnell.co.uk

You will need to pre-register for the seminars as places are limited so please email helen@theamericanhour.com If you would like complimentary invitations for your friends, club members or colleagues, please email helen@theamericanhour.com with the quantity and where you would like them sent to. For further information on this event please call Helen Elliott on 020 8661 0186. We look forward to seeing you there.


Eating Out Cut at 45 Park Lane

London Restaurant Reviews

Cut at 45 Park Lane 45 Park Lane, Mayfair,London, W1K 1PN Telephone: 020 7493 4545 Not every morning, but many, I do think how lucky I am that as a resident of London I have access to one of the most rich and diverse culture’s that exists on the planet. Other cities are special, but I think London just has the edge. As part of that culture London is blessed with countless amazing restaurants catering for all manner of cuisine, but I do feel that if there is a slight gap it is in the American genre. That is not to say there aren’t some excellent American restaurants, it is just that they are few and

far between. I am delighted to say that this has been identified by the Dorchester with their opening of CUT in September last year under the watchful eye of Wolfgang Puck and executive chef David McIntyre. Cut is located in the Dorchester Collection’s new Mayfair hotel, 45 Park Lane, which also uncannily is the address (useful for those who remember names but forget addresses!) and serves a mix of well-loved American favourites in a contemporary style. The food is not the only thing ‘with style’ with the restaurant mirroring the hotel as being the height of art deco fashion. The restaurant is narrow but made decidedly more spacious by the double height ceilings and an end wall dominated by an enormous mirror giving an almost infinity pool feeling that the room goes on forever. It is all gilt with marble floors and voluminous silk curtains with cream and tan leather chairs all lit by the most amazing lights which resemble large metal wire zeppelins. I visited with a friend on a Tuesday and be warned you do need to book as the restaurant was already filling up when we arrived at 6.30pm. We were escorted to our seats by a member of staff and settled down to peruse the menu. Whilst we were doing this a number of amuse bouches were brought out along with a selection of breads, and salted and seaweed butters. Be careful as there were so many you could fill yourself up with before you had ordered anything. The Tuna Tartar Canapé served in a sesame and meso paste cone was breathtaking. The freshness of the Tuna perfectly offset by the crunchiness of the

cone was truly a joy and must be my candidate for best canapé 2012. This was followed by some warm Cheese Puffs, a melting mouthful of Steak Tartar and also Kobe Mini Burgers. The Steak Tartar was in the same league as its Tuna counterpart and the Mini Burger cooked just as I like it, medium rare. With the canapés devoured we turned to the serious decision of what to order from the menu, which although not overly long, does provide a number of agonising choices. Discussions held and decisions made I started with the Big Eye Tuna Tartar, Wasabi Aioli, Ginger, Togarashi Crisps and Tosa Soy (£21) and my companion had the Dorset Crab and Lobster “Louis” with spicy Tomato-Horseradish (£21). Neither of us were disappointed as the piquancy and crunchiness of the Togarashi spiced crisps blended perfectly with the smooth and clean taste of the Tuna and the slight ‘bite’ the horseradish gave to the “Louis” enhanced the crab and lobster which I feel always needs a little extra help as they can be very bland. Other starters that caught the eye, and were discussed at some length, include Maple Glazed Pork Belly, Asian Spices, Watercress, Sesame Orange dressing with a Sour Cherry Compote (£14) and the Australian Wagyu Steak Sashimi, Spicy Radishes, Greek Cress (£24). To explain what CUTs of meat are on the menu that night the waitress brought a number of cold cuts to our table and explained knowledgably the pros and cons of each. The choice is extensive with USDA Prime, Black Angus Beef, South Devon Angus and also Wagyu from either Australia or Chile. There 5


are the standard Sirloin and Filet for the UK and USDA steaks and also for the USDA the Rib Eye and the Porter House. I chose the 14 oz. Rib Eye (£46) and my companion the 6 oz. Petit Filet (£32). CUTs steaks are initially grilled over hard wood and charcoal but are then finished under a 650 degree Broiler. This enables the chef to slightly char the outer layer whilst allowing the core to remain succulent. Another nice touch is you can get a choice of the three with a little USDA, UK and Wagyu on one plate if you really can’t decide. The choice of accompaniments to the steaks is extensive with every type of sauce you could name along with onions, mushrooms, fried egg etc., if you want them on your steak. The sides (£7-14) are enormous so share, otherwise you will make the same mistake we made and have lots left over as we ordered two each. The Tempura Onion Rings (served in a stack) and the Cavatappi Pasta “Mac & Cheese” made with Westcombe Cheddar were the standouts with the light and crunchy herb French Fries a close second. The problem I have with restaurants like CUT is after providing such a delightful meal they then, just as you are about to wave your white napkin and surrender, provide a dessert menu of such quality that you start thinking maybe I could just squeeze a small dessert in. Desserts are well worth that optimism and for Thanksgiving there is a special dessert with Apple, Pecan and Pumpkin pie tartlets which are perfectly accompanied with a Thanksgiving cocktail. I have managed to avoid the obvious pun for this restaurant for almost all of this review but in the end I just have to succumb and say this is truly a ‘cut’ above the rest and if you find yourself in Mayfair try it for yourself it is a worthy addition to the list of exceptional Dorchester restaurants. Ba Siam Summer Road, Thames Ditton, Surrey KT7 0QQ Telephone: 0208 716 7161 Thames Ditton is one of Surrey’s best kept secrets, as although it is on the fringes of London, it

retains the character of a village with its picturesque houses abutting the Thames. Thames Ditton lies almost directly opposite Hampton Court, one of Henry VIII’s most famous palaces, and after a day either lazing about on the river or immersing yourself in the history of the Palace and its gardens, what better than to try the delights of Ba Siam, a Thai restaurant in the heart of the village. Thai food is rapidly becoming one of the UK’s most popular types of food and it is easy to see why. Good Thai food cannot be beaten as it blends a multitude of tastes and textures to delight and challenge the diner, and Ba Siam is right up there with those restaurants in the heart of the city. On entering Ba Siam you can’t help but notice the minimalistic approach following a trend in a number of new Thai restaurants by removing fussy decorations and going for a more sophisticated freshness. The bar facing you divides the room into the bar area for your pre-dining drinks and the main dining area. For the brave, or if it is a lovely summer evening, there is also an outdoor dining area. As you settle in the bar area making those allimportant choices, what better way to start the evening than with a Thai inspired cocktail (non-alcoholic also available) like a Lemongrass Lychee Martini. Alternatively for the less adventurous there is a small but very reasonably priced wine list to choose from which will have something for every taste. At Ba Siam the food combines the rich and intense flavours of Southern Thailand with the hot and tangy flavours of the Central regions, reflecting the Head Chef, Kanjana Issaravit’s background. Here family recipes handed down from generation to generation rub shoulders with those better known dishes to make up an extensive menu. For starters we chose the Duck Spring Rolls, where the succulent duck was encased in a crispy batter with an indulgently rich dark sweet soya sauce, Siam Prawn Cakes which were light and crisp and the fresh Chicken Roll nicely accompanied by a sweet chilli sauce. Our final choice was the Deep Fried Calamari, which again was delightfully seasoned and the flesh calamari offset perfectly by a light crispy Ba Siam

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batter. The choice here is extensive with prices from £4.95 to £5.95 and you can get totally carried away and choose too much. If the starters were good the mains were even better. We chose the Chicken Massaman (£8.50) which was rich and spicy with a hint of sweetness and for me was the signature dish; the Jumbo Prawns in Chu Chi Curry Cream Sauce (£14.95) and the Seafood Black Pepper Sauce (£14.95) and were rewarded with an abundance of flavours and textures. Accompanying these we had Vegetable Pad Thai (£7.50) and a rich creamy Coconut Rice (£3.25). Thai food, as I have mentioned before, is the blend of the four fundamental taste senses, sour, sweet, creamy and salty and here the balance is just right complimenting perfectly the quality of the ingredients. Ba Siam is not your ordinary Thai restaurant, it is first class and it is great to see such quality away from the centre of London at very reasonable prices. It also does a takeaway service if you fancy fine dining in the peace and quiet of your own home and it’s a shame it doesn’t deliver in my area as I would have their number on speed dial. Big Easy Bar.B.Q & Crabshack 332-334 Kings Road, Chelsea, London, SW3 5UR Telephone: 020 7352 4071 This little piece of America is found on London's busy King's Road amidst a wide variety of bars, shops and restaurants. As you enter from the street the atmosphere is welcoming and easy going. The rustic charm of the decor really does make you feel like you have stepped straight into a Crabshack on the Gulf Coast. All the midweek stresses melted away as we were taken downstairs to our table. We really couldn't believe it was a Tuesday evening as the place was absolutely buzzing. Live music came from a small stage set amongst the tables; a two piece band played American classics including Brown-Eyed Girl, Mustang Sally and Sweet Home Alabama, and there was not an empty table to be found in the room! Wooden beams, strings of coloured lights, red checked table cloths, and old advertising boards offering lobster, crab and shrimp all added to the atmosphere. The menu choices reflect Big Easy's own definition of itself as a 'BBQ and Crabshack', with four main contenders for main course; Lobster, Shrimp, Steak and Ribs. There are other options of course, including Burgers, Chicken, Fajitas and Salads, ranging in price from £7.90 for a simple burger to £18.90 for Chicken, Shrimp and Steak Fajitas. In fact, so hard pressed were we to choose, we decided to defer the decision to our waiter. He was friendly, charming and genuinely pleased to help. On his recommendation we opted for BBQ


Smoked Baby Back Ribs, (£11.90) with a side order of Golden Fried Onion Rings (£3.45), to start. There is a wide range of appetisers on offer including Deep Fried Jumbo Shrimp, Calamari and Mixed Platters for two or four people, but having heard how unmissable the Ribs were, we had to give them a try! And we were not disappointed, they were superb. Having polished off frozen Margaritas we wanted to sample a bottle from their award winning wine list. They offer an impressive selection of wines from around the world and we sought help to choose something to complement our main course choice of meat and shellfish; a tricky match! The bottle of 2006 Luigi Bosca Malbec we were recommended was delicious. At £39 a bottle this was at the higher end of the price list, with an average priced bottle costing around £25. For our main course we chose the 'Steak and Lobster feast'. At £32.50 per person this consisted of a 22oz dry aged longhorn beef steak, 3lb Maine Lobster, fries, salad and creamy coleslaw. It also included the two frozen Margaritas. The quality of the steak and lobster was immediately obvious as we tucked in. Very few words were spoken as we gave our meal the attention it deserved and enjoyed the music! Among the other main course choices are offers that run on different

Big Easy Bar.B.Q & Crabshack

days, including all you can eat BBQ and Shrimp Nights for an amazing £14.95 per person, including a cold beer or frozen Margarita. We could probably have passed on dessert, so large was our main course, but my partner was tempted into ordering the Apple Cinnamon Waffles served with ice cream. This was comfort food at its best...homemade, warm and delicious. The dessert choices include Ice Cream Sundaes, Sticky Toffee Pudding

and Chocolate Fudge Cake at £5.50 each. I finished off the meal with a Sherbert Drop cocktail, the perfect alternative to dessert, providing the sweet/sour combination that my taste buds love! We left Big Easy talking about when we could next come back, and still under the illusion that it must be a Saturday night. If you fancy a little piece of America in London, I have one piece of advice; make sure you book in advance! n

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Hotel Review Cliveden

W

hen I start looking for a hotel to stay at there are a few criteria I always use - its location, facilities and the food. Well Cliveden ticks all those boxes and offers so much more. It is not so much a hotel as an ancestral home where you are a treasured guest. Cliveden is steeped in history and the original house dates back to 1666 when the 2nd Duke of Buckingham, who was a renown rake and all round cad, built it as a hunting lodge where he could entertain his two loves, women and fox hunting! Since then it has had a long and interesting history. It has burnt down twice, has been connected with every British Monarch since, and finally it was the home of the Astor Family bringing with that its connections with the USA. It was rumoured that Queen Victoria, who was a frequent visitor to Cliveden, was ‘not amused’ when she heard that one of her favourite retreats had been bought by William Astor, America’s richest citizen, but was soon placated when treated to the special Cliveden hospitality which luckily endures to the present day. Cliveden is, as its brochure says, ‘unique’. It is a stately home on a par with anything England has to offer, set in 376 Acres of National Trust managed formal gardens and parkland, and only 20 minutes from Heathrow and 25 8

minutes from the heart of London. If that wasn’t enough, it also has commanding views as described by Jerome K Jerome in ‘Three men in a boat’ as "unbroken loveliness, this is, perhaps, the sweetest stretch of all the river ...” and this unbroken loveliness can and should be fully appreciated on one of Cliveden’s flotilla of boats which are available to hire. These, like the house, are lovingly restored and just ooze class. I recommend a champagne cruise or if you feel more adventurous, why not venture further afield to Bray (the gastronomic capital of England), or even as far as Henley and its famous Regatta. As you turn off the road to Cliveden and drive past National Trust buildings, you start to get a feeling of the size and grandeur of this place, especially when you come face to face with Thomas Waldo Story’s masterpiece - the ‘Fountain of Love’. This stands at one end of a regal drive, which we negotiated sedately down to the main house, at which point we started to feel like visiting dignitaries rather than hotel guests. This was heightened by the welcome party waiting for us at the entrance where two staff appeared from nowhere to take the luggage and park the car (at which point I wished I had valeted my car before arriving!).

The entrance hall was everything we imagined it would be as we drove up, with a commanding fireplace dominating one end and a spiral staircase the other. Inbetween are suits of armour and paintings of many famous guests or owners interlaced with tables ladened down with a dazzling array of cakes and sandwiches which make up an afternoon tea at Cliveden. Check in was ultra swift and efficient and whilst our luggage took a different route, we were escorted to our room by knowledgeable staff who gave us more of the history of Cliveden, and all of the intrigue and skulduggery that went on here. Cliveden only has 38 bedrooms or suites all named after a prominent guest or figure from Cliveden’s past. All are unique and lavishly decorated with periodic features and antiques and no one room is the same, increasing that growing feeling that you are a guest of the master and mistress of the house rather than being in a hotel. Our room looked over the gardens to the back, and the Thames beyond, and was more like a guest wing of a house rather than a hotel room. It was one of the most luxurious and opulent rooms I have ever had the pleasure of staying in. Somehow the modern touches that all hotel rooms need (TV etc.) are perfectly


blended with all the antiques giving a warm and comforting feel. This is fine living at its best. If you fancy the ultimate luxury book the Spring cottage which nestles away by the Thames where you are catered for by your own butler and is the perfect romantic getaway. Those who are dog lovers are also catered for with special menus for their pets and boy do they have a large ‘garden’ to play in. If you are looking for activities, Cliveden doesn’t disappoint there either, and if you tire of the breathtaking walks through the National Trust parkland you can amuse yourself by playing squash or tennis, or use the well equipped gym, and for those of you who like your sports, a little more sedate, like I do, you can play a few frames of snooker before dinner! There is also the Pavillion Spa with a sauna and swimming pools (indoor and out), and I am delighted that although everything you could need or want is there, rather than housing it in an ultra-modern building it has been kept in keeping with the rest of the buildings. My pulse did start to race when I approached the entrance gate to the walled garden as I was about to see the pool where John Profumo first met Christine Keeler in the 1960’s sparking one of the most infamous scandals of the 1960’s (and the film 'Scandal'). Rumour has it that Christine had forgotten her costume so was skinny dipping, but either luckily or unluckily dress codes have been tightened since then! Whatever the truth, the charm of the outdoor period pool with two oak Jacuzzi tubs at one end and a cherub at the other, will always endure, and I pray it is left exactly as it is for another 100 years. Diners are spoilt for choice at Cliveden with the more formal Terrace dining room in the main house or the more informal Club room. When booking make sure you ask for one of the tables near to the window, as what could be better than exquisite food, good wine and a spectacular view over the gardens and further afield the Berkshire countryside. The food is classically inspired and is served with the style

you come to expect. The club room is situated in the old stable block and is more Bistro in style with your choice of food cooked to order. Each stable has been adapted to seat tables of six, and another delightful touch is that all the bar stools are saddles and all table legs are in the shape of of horses’s legs with hooves. The final touch is a saucy cartoon depicting further ‘horse play’ that happened at Cliveden, the liaison between Christine Keeler and John Profumo. See if you can find it! Everywhere you look Cliveden has those

special touches that turn the good into great, and add that to all its colourful history, this is a home away from home where you are treated as a valued guest, rather like Lady Astor used to do. I thought its sister hotel, Chewton Glen, was untouchable when it comes to service and quality, but I just might have to change my mind! I am sure you too will not only have great difficulty deciding, you will have great fun as well. n For further information please visit www.clivedenhouse.co.uk

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Travel Roman Forum

When in Rome...

by Lynne McAlister

T

he British poet, Robert Browning, correctly mused, “Everyone soon or late comes round by Rome.” St. Ambrose counselled, “If you are in Rome, live in the Roman way...” Who am I to question these great thinkers? So off to Rome where I went to seek to learn what Romans do. Surely a civilisation that stretches back more than two millennia would have something to teach a modern woman? The investigation period turned out to be brief, from St. Peter’s Square to Piazza de Spagna (Spanish Steps) I detected one commonality. What do Romans do? Romans eat Gelato! I saw clustered groups of men, decked out in long overcoats, and hair which has benefitted from product, walking along licking waffle cones. Young mothers negotiate a stroller with one hand and a delightful, creamy treat with the other. Even teenagers who one might assume are too cool to eat ice cream are not too cool to eat gelato. To do as Romans do, I set about the serious business of tasting gelato. Two of Rome’s most renowned creameries are near the Pantheon. Giolitti’s is Rome’s most famous gelateria, having dished up delights for almost 100 years. Gelateria San Crispino is younger and known for it’s all natural approach.

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On the way to these celebrated eateries, I felt compelled to visit the Piazza della Rotonda and the best preserved monument in Rome, the Pantheon. Originally dedicated to all Gods in 27 BC by Marcus Agrippa, rebuilt after a fire in 120 AD by Hadrian, the Pantheon is an excellent place to close your eyes and imagine life when Rome ruled the world. Step-sitters fill every available space of the fountain in the centre of the Piazza, hawkers sell their wares, lovers romance in the corners of the restaurants that line two sides, and tourists pose and snap. Crossing the buzzing piazza and stepping on to the Pantheon’s portico with it’s 40 foot granite columns, and entering through the huge bronze doors, I’m wonderstruck by the height of this early cement ceiling. It’s easy to see why many believe this to be the most influential building in art history! This 142 foot dome was the model for the Dome of Florence Cathedral and Michelangelo’s dome at St. Peter’s! Even our own US Capitol building was inspired by this rotunda! The soft light filters from the only light Rome

source, the 30 foot oculus in the centre of the once bronze coffered ceiling. Where now the alter resides, larger than life Jupiter, King of the Gods, would have struck an imposing figure to all who came to worship their many deities. Upon stepping back out into the bustle of the square, I noticed chatty school girls lapping up pinky coloured gelato and am reminded of my research! Just a stone’s throw from the Pantheon, in Piazza Colonna, is Giolitti’s, which has been dishing up gelato to royals, politicians, locals and tourists since the end of World War I. There I found two types of gelato enthusiast. The majority gather around the long glass case filled with rectangles of yellow, green, pink, creamy white and dark chocolate. They made their selection and wandered back into the afternoon. Others, ready for a respite, took a seat under chandeliers for more flamboyant creations; this looks like my crowd. I pointed at the picture on the menu that looked most decadent and was rewarded with a delicious sundae in proper china. (It’s funny to


be surrounded by Roman antiquities but feel a bit homesick for Franklin, TN and the old soda fountain where a Starbucks now resides). I couldn’t dally too long at Giolitti’s, as duty called me to Gelateria San Crispino on Piazza della Maddalena. Here each delicacy is covered by shiny stainless steel lids to be uncovered by the white hatted, serious servers. San Crispino specialises in unique flavours created by the finest, organic ingredients. They serve small portions only in cups, not cones. I drove the servers crazy asking about different options. Should it be the Zabaione, made of the highly alcoholic Sicilian wine, or the gelateria’s namesake made of honey from a protected WWF reserve? In the end, I chose Coco! Silky, fresh, rich, while not an exciting an option, a satisfying one. The next day I decided to linger in Vatican City which is near my intended goal. Having been awe struck by the Sistine Chapel and been dwarfed by St. Peter’s Basilica’s double football field length on previous trips, this time I explored the Vatican gardens. The tour guide sadly was monotone and uninspiring, but the gardens that date back to Medieval times with the fountains, statues and monuments were magnificent. Each blade of grass in the 57 acres is polished to perfection, it’s fun to see the back of the fabulous architecture. Finally it was lunch time and I indulged. Gelateria Old Bridge had a short line of tourist and nuns. I gladly waited because I quickly saw that this place understands quantity (US portion sizes), but do they get quality? When my turn comes at the tiny counter, which is no more than a hole-in-the-wall, three tightly- packed, smiling young men dished up the basic flavours with enthusiasm. Oh Yes, they get quality! What they lack in space and flavour options they made up with intense and luscious taste. I make my way to the Tiber River to tour the Jewish Ghetto, the forced home of the

St. Peter's, the Vatican Garden Tour

The Pantheon

Roman Jewish population from the 16th to the 19th Century. Nearby I found Trip Advisor’s number one recommendation Gelateria, Il Dolce Sorriso. Anti-Semitism grew across Europe from the eighth century. In 1555, Pope Paul IV forced all of Rome’s 4000 Jews to live in a miserable, seven acre flood zone. Most of the old ghetto has been demolished by a city ashamed of it’s behaviour, however, some note worthy architecture remains. The Synagogue and Jewish Museum are here and definitely worth a visit. There is also a sobering square, Largo 16 Octtobre 1943, which commemorates the day that Nazi trucks blasted in and threatened to take away all the Jews to concentration camps unless the community produced 110 pounds of gold in 24 hours. Jews and non-Jews alike tossed in wedding bands and necklaces to meet the demands. The Nazis took the gold and later returned for the Jews. Fortunately, today nearly 20,000 Jews call Rome home and many still live in this trendy area. Luckily for us, not too far away was Il Dolce Sorriso Gelateria, where you will find the affable proprietor Raphael Fracassi. Raphael has been serving his gelato and pastries for over twenty

years. In his circus-colour eatery, he welcomed me in like we are old friends. He insisted that I tried a variety of flavours. His passion is palpable, his enthusiasm, contagious, his gelato divine! Sure there are other sites worth seeing in Rome, the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and Villa Borghese just to name a few and if you have time after visiting all the above, mentioned gelaterias, you should definitely squeeze them in. Happy Exploring! n Lynne McAlister is on a diet at her home in Notting Hill and may be reached at lynnemcalister@me.com. Il Dolce Sorriso

Good news, gelato is less fattening than ice cream! Gelato is made with milk. Ice cream, as the name indicates, is made from a mixture of milk and cream, therefore while gelato tastes richer it’s less fattening. Also because there is less fat, it lays on the tongue differently. The fat is not there to coat the taste buds, so the flavours are more intense. Gelato is churned at a slower speed than ice cream, therefore less air is whipped into gelato than ice cream which gives it a denser texture. Finally it is served at a slightly warmer temperature which ensures an even more potent flavour!

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Mark Scott’s Parisian Hot Spots Where else, but Le Rive Gauche Paris 12

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i fellow travellers, welcome back! So, before we get down to my choice of restaurants and hotels on the Rive Gauche, I should make you aware of my particular taste, first in cuisine then in hotel. To be truthful, I am not a lover of the cult of ‘gourmet’. I much prefer the style offered by the traditional French bistros where you are generally served plain and simple comfort food. I do not want to chase around my plate with my fork trying to grab a morsel of food. I am there to eat, not to go on safari! Yes, my first love is the French bistro where the cooking is created by the chef and the atmosphere by the clientele. So here goes. To me, the bistros of bistros and my absolute favourite is La Rotisserie du Beaujolais at 19,Quai de la Tournelle, Paris 5e., owned and run by Claude Terrial, who also owns La Tour d’Argent. Can’t be bad. Small and very simply furnished, it has a real life feeling. The comprehensive bill of fare is written in chalk on the wall. Everything is cooked in the open kitchen on either the grill or rotisserie in front of you. The choice of chicken, duck, pigeon, lamb or veal chops add deliciously to the variety of vegetables on offer. The starters and desserts remind me of when we were kids and the basics were our favourites. Naturally, as the name suggests, the wine list is fine. Not expensive so won’t hurt your pocket. Once done, visit the bookstands across the road alongside the Seine. I have a story to tell about The Balzar Brasserie at 49, Rue des Ecoles 75005. I nearly got picked up by two gorgeous Canadian ladies visiting Paris. They were sitting at the next table, but the only problem was I had my wife with me. Now to less important subjects; Cuisine at The Balzar Brasserie is very palatable. Interior? Art Deco. Gained its popularity in years gone by as a meeting place for Jean-Paul Satre and Albert Camus. Good choice of food and wines. Not expensive by any means. Next, La Rotisserie d’en Face. Rue Christine, Paris 6e. If you like spit roast chicken, then this is the place for you! You will be asked for your preference of dark or white meat. Make sure you order pommes purée (creamed potatoes to you). This restaurant is a must for Parisians, simply priced and simply furnished. Another of my favourites is L’Epi Dupin, 11 Rue Dupin, Paris 6e. Not only must you make a reservation, but get a cab as well otherwise you might spend your vacation trying to find it. It is very small and the table and chairs are so close together, need I say that besides having good food, sex could also be on the menu. Oh yes the food…..out of this world, simply delicious traditional French home cooking, look around you – very popular. After your meal, I am sure you are going

to need a roof over your head so why not try the newly renovated Hotel Bel Ami, 7-11 Rue Saint Benoit 75006, Paris, hardly one hundred metres from Blvd. St Germain-des Pres. Now rated five star, modern in décor, one step from minimalist and has a warm welcoming atmosphere. The rooms and suites are not big and it has no restaurant, you won’t need one as there are many wonderful eateries close by. The hotel does however, offer twenty four hour room service, has a good concierge, breakfast room, small spa, sauna and workout room and bar with live music positioned in the best area on the Rive Gauche. Although no garage, the hotel can provide security parking if you are driving. Great value for money. Should you prefer something more traditional, the Hotel Relais Christine, 3 Rue Christine, Paris 6e., may be more to your taste. Originally built on the remains of the Abbey Grand Augustine dating back to 1231, the present building is around three centuries old. All bedrooms are furnished to a different style and are very attractive. The reception rooms and lounge area are decorated with wood paneling and artwork. Once again, there is no restaurant. But it compensates by having a cosy working fireplace. Another favourite of mine is the Hotel de l’Abbeye de Saint Germain at 10 Rue Cassette, Paris 6e…a real gem. To me, this is a deluxe speciality pension with a feel all of its very own. Small bedrooms and bathrooms and if I remember correctly not one bedroom the same, still all very attractive. Here you may take breakfast in the sun in the garden. Do not expect the hotel to be cheap. For some of the accommodation you might find the price in excess of 500 euros per night - but worth it. If you are on a strict budget, try the Hotel de Buci on Rue de Buci, Paris 6e. Small, clean, inexpensive and on the Rive Gauche. Sorry, but space does not allow me to fully elaborate on my recommendation. So dear travellers, if you want more information on the Rive Gauche please email me and I will be happy to send you the ‘Full Monty’. Here’s to the next time somewhere equally as exciting. n For over 50 years, Mark Scott has worked at the top end of the travel industry and now owns Cassis Travel Services Ltd, based in London’s affluent St. John’s Wood. After being heavily persuaded by his previous ‘key’ employees and due to the success of Cassis, he proceeded to open up once again in Los Angeles and Manhattan. Mark, now into his eighties, still actively engages in the business although spends a lot of his time on his passion which is writing about hotels, restaurants and resorts. If you would like to contact Mark Scott please email: marks@cassistravel.co.uk


Leith's School Of Food & Wine Helen Elliott reviews a one-day cookery course

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aving recently got engaged, and having kept joking that I was going to give up work once married and become a housewife, I was delighted when Leith's School of Food and Wine invited me to review their Spicy Vegetarian one-day cookery course. Armed with my apron, containers, long-sleeved top, notepad and pen, I headed off to Stamford Green on the District Line for my initiation into Domestic Goddess! I arrived 15 minutes early, so settled myself into the student canteen where I was offered a cup of tea and coffee, and then watched my equally nervous classmates follow the same routine. After about 10 minutes, one of our teachers, Andrea, came in and introduced herself and took my classmates and I up to our kitchen for the day, where we were offered another drink and a slice of the most delicious carrot cake for which we were given the recipe.

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We were then given our safety instructions, introduced to our teacher Jane, handed recipe cards, put into groups of two and four, shown the timetable and were then basically told to start! As mentioned earlier, this course was a Spicy Vegetarian course, and on today's menu was Panir, an Aubergine Tart and Dahl. We started by creating the Panir. Two bottles of milk sat in a pan on the stove, whilst the yoghurt and lemon were to the side. The milk had to be heated, and just before boiling, I added the lemon juice and yoghurt, and once mixed poured it into a clothed sieve. This was then left to sit for the duration of the course. Our next dish was an Aubergine, Potato and Onion Tart. I laid 3 sheets of filo pastry on a baking tray and put a layer of melted butter between each sheet and then baked for 20 minutes. I then cubed potato, aubergine and peppers and fried them until golden brown. We then added spices, tomato purĂŠe and water and mixed and then added fresh coriander. When this was made, we placed it on the cooked pastry and then covered it with three more layers of filo, making a parcel of our tart and then cooked for half an hour. Once all the dishes were prepared and cooked, our work tops were cleared and cleaned, serviettes, cutlery, crockery and glasses appeared, shortly followed by bottles of wine and jugs of water, and we sat down to enjoy the meal we had spent four hours creating! Don't think for one minute you won't be exhausted at the end of this course! We were

on our feet for four and a half hours, and I stood over a boiling hot oven for over an hour frying my vegetables to perfection. I only had to shout 'fire' twice, the second time because my napkin caught alight, but I managed to get both out fairly quickly with no damage!! The teachers are great fun. They are informative, will teach you tricks of the trade, keep everything to schedule and rescue the odd dish or two. There are two hard working guys who did all the washing up which was great, and other than doing all the cooking yourself, you do feel quite pampered. All the food is ready for you on arrival, so all you have to do is follow instructions and you will soon believe you are a Michelin Star chef! Leith's do offer a variety of courses including baking, how to use knives, fish, pastry, Thai, Middle Eastern and Italian. They offer one-day classes, a course of evening classes, and courses that will lead to professional qualifications, and I am sure they are all as much fun as the course I attended. Many of my classmates were there as they had been given vouchers as a present which is a great idea, especially with Christmas on the horizon. Individuals and groups of friends alike would have a great day at Leith's and your wares can then be shared with friends and family as you are allowed to take home what isn't consumed at lunch - although this doesn't go for the wine! For further information please visit www.leiths.com Student at Leith’s School of Food & Wine


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Kelly Bronze Turkeys, Canned Pumpkin, Canned Yams, Candy Corn, Chocolate Chips and more.

Try our Party platters for home and office entertaining All our USA foods are listed on the website

www.panzers.co.uk T: 0207 722 8162 / 722 8856 F: 0207 586 0209 E: shop@panzers.co.uk

London CTS Ltd. 2 - 4 Circus Road, St. John’s Wood, London NW8 6PG Phone: 0207 483 1933 E-mail: mariad@cassistravel.co.uk Leisure Manager: Maria Dunn

“We deliver the world” Cassis Travel is your local Travel Agent who knows the American way of travel. Cassis Travel is a Virtuoso Member. Cassis Travel offers Luxury Travel customised to your dreams. Experienced dedicated travel consultants who know their way around the world. Ability to pay in UK Pounds or US Dollars. V.I.P Concierge and full Advisory Service. Destinations where ‘kids take their parents’. Hotel based vacations, Cruises, Villa and Apartment Rentals. Yacht Charters Winter Ski. Meet and Greet Airport Service.

Leisure Division • Corporate Business House Division VIP Concierge Division • Groups and Conventions Division

Thames Valley CTS Ltd. at Camberley Travel 2a Princess Way, Camberley, Surrey GU15 3SR Phone: 01276 64366 E-mail: gail.seakens@camberleytravel.com Leisure Manager: Gail Seakens Los Angeles CTS Inc. 9200 Sunset Blvd. Suite 320, Los Angeles, California 90069 Phone: 310 246 5400 E-mail: pato@travelcts.com Leisure Manager: Pat O’Neill New York CTS Inc. 90 Park Avenue, Suite 1700 New York, NY 10016 Phone: 212 333 3633 E-mail: linas@travelcts.com Leisure Manager: Lillina Spatola North Carolina CTS Inc. One Woodlawn Green, Suite 350, Charlotte, North Carolina

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Cassis Travel Services Ltd. 2 - 4 Circus Road, St. John’s Wood, London NW8 6PG Tel: 0207 483 1933

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Phone: 704 522 1419 E-mail: alan@travelcts.com Leisure Manager: Alan Farlowe


Challenges Facing US Taxpayers in the UK MASECO Private Wealth Offer Advice On Wealth Management In The First Of A Series Of Four Articles

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igh net worth US citizens living in the UK face a number of complex challenges when it comes to allocating and investing their assets. Most of this comes from IRS and HMRC dual reporting requirements and conflicting tax considerations. 16

RULES AND REGULATIONS As a US tax payer living in the UK, you probably have tax reporting obligations to both the IRS and HMRC. Sometimes, the different country tax laws are ‘in sync’ as a result of tax treaties and sometimes they are not. What follows below is a very basic description of some of the tax rules that increase the investment challenges of US taxpayers living in the UK. • The US taxes the worldwide income and capital gains of all US citizens, residents and Green card holders (who we will refer to as a US taxpayer in this article) regardless of where in the world they live • The US Bank Secrecy Act states that every US taxpayer must file a report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) if they have a financial interest in (or signatory authority over) foreign accounts worth $10,000 or more during any one tax year. This includes US beneficiaries of foreign trusts. The FBAR is required because foreign financial institutions (FFIs) may not be subject to the same reporting requirements as US financial institutions • The passing of the recent Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act in the US and its Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) provisions were set up with the explicit aim of tackling offshore tax evasion. The Act requires all Foreign Financial Intermediaries (FFIs) to report all significant accounts held by US taxpayers to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) • The UK’s introduction of a ‘stay-related’ threshold (resident for seven of nine years) automatically attracts UK income tax residency status. As of 6th April 2008, UK resident non-domiciles have to pay either an annual (£30,000 or £50,000 – depending on how long they have lived in the UK) levy to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and continue paying tax on a remittance basis, or they must declare their income and gains on US (and offshore) assets and pay tax in the UK annually on an arising basis. The vast majority of Americans living in the UK elect to pay tax on an arising basis and are therefore taxed by the UK on their global portfolios. TAX CHALLENGES ARISING FROM DIFFERENT INVESTMENTS • Investing in UK or offshore ETFs, Unit Trusts and Open-Ended Investment Companies (OEICs) will cause investors to fall foul of the IRS’s Passive Foreign Investment Company (PFIC) rules. The IRS will tax investors aggressively and all gains may be subject to taxes and penalties of up to 100% of the growth in value of the investment • Utilising UK-based savings arrangements such as Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs)

and Self Invested Pension Plans (SIPPs) may have unattractive US tax consequences for US Taxpayers resident in the UK. ISAs do not enjoy a tax deferred status in the eyes of the IRS and the US tax consequences of SIPPs are even more complex • The way the IRS classifies UK pensions is too complicated for the purpose of this article. In brief, many SIPPs may be classified by the IRS as ‘foreign trusts’. As a ‘foreign trust’, growth within a SIPP would then be fully taxable and additional US trust reporting may arise for individuals. Fortunately, the UK has a treaty with the US that may allow the US taxpayer to claim the SIPP is a Foreign Pension and thus any growth in value will be tax deferred. This same provision may also protect the growth in company pension arrangements from becoming US taxable. US tax payers may consider using a pension plan outside of the UK known as a Qualified Retirement Offshore Pension Scheme (QROPS) as a potential pension structure once they leave the UK or while still UK resident. However, care should be taken as the transfer of assets from a UK pension to an offshore QROPS is typically considered a US taxable event, and the QROPS may also not be covered by the valuable treaty protection on any future growth in value • HMRC classifies the growth of most US based Mutual Funds, Money Market Funds, Hedge Funds, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and other collective investment schemes as Offshore Income Gains (OIG) and any growth is taxed at the individual’s UK marginal income tax rate rather than at capital gains tax rate. For most wealthy Americans, this would mean being taxed at up to 50% (the highest UK tax rate is being reduced to 45% on April 6, 2013) on all gains made on their portfolios. This can be exacerbated if the foreign exchange rate moves in an unfavourable direction. The net result is that there is a much larger gross UK tax liability for Americans who own US Mutual Funds and other collective investments. In order to avoid OIG, the collective investment needs to make an application to HMRC to have their growth treated as a capital gain and taxed at the UK Capital Gains tax rate, which has a maximum rate currently of 28% • US College Savings Plans (529s) are a very US-tax efficient way to invest money to be used for university education. HMRC, however, does not necessarily give UK residents the same tax benefits that the US does when invested in these plans. HMRC may tax the beneficiary on any growth in a 529 plan, but it all depends on how the plan was set up, by whom and how it was funded • Many US taxpayers have their investments


inside a US living trust established to avoid US probate and make the transition of their estate to the next generation seamless and easy. Many US taxpayers will establish the trust, fund it and become the trustees of a living trust. It is important, however, to remember that HMRC does not always see things the same way the IRS does and will often look at who the trustees are and may try to tax the trust as if the assets were remitted, if the trustee(s) are also UK residents. INVESTMENT CONSIDERATIONS It is essential that a US taxpayer’s investments are designed to be risk-managed, currencysensitive and tax-compliant. There are a number of key considerations in developing an appropriate investment strategy and it is important that they are not looked at in isolation. What follows is a short list of considerations US taxpayers should ask themselves. • Are any of my current investments US Mutual Funds or collective investments and therefore taxed at income tax levels in the UK? • Are any of my current investments PFICs for US purposes? • Are my US College Saving Plans (529s) structured appropriately for UK residents and what are the UK tax implications based

on how they are currently structured? • Are my trust structures tax efficient from a US and UK perspective? • Am I using appropriate tax wrappers to ensure that the currency my assets are held in matches any long-term currency liabilities? • Do I have any US Foreign Tax Credits (FTCs) and am I burning through them by making strategic investments before they expire? • In the case of couples who are of dual nationality, do we understand the framework of both tax jurisdictions and are we maximising our investment opportunities and reducing our investment tax liabilities? • In the case of entrepreneurs or when owning company stock, will I qualify for UK Entrepreneurs Relief and long-term US Capital Gains taxes or have I not considered both jurisdictions? • How am I going to keep on top of the ever changing tax rules and how they affect my investments? Do I have a good team of professionals that may include a Wealth Manager, Tax Advisor and Estate and Trust Attorney who understand the cross border issues my family faces? • How am I going to get my US calendar year investment tax reporting in US dollars and my UK tax year investment reporting in British pounds?

MASECO Private Wealth was named as the winner in the “Investment Product or Service Innovation” category at the PAM Awards in 2011, in recognition of the firm’s work with expatriate Americans living in the UK and Europe. n Josh Matthews After travelling extensively and working in Europe, South-East Asia and Africa postgraduation, Josh started his Wealth Management career with Salomon Smith Barney in 1997 in their Park Avenue branch in New York. In 2001, Josh was transferred to London and started the US Expat team with James at what then became known as CitiSmith Barney following the merger with Citibank. On the heels of major tax law changes, Josh, James and Emilia left Citigroup and founded MASECO in 2008. If you have any questions relating to the points raised in this article, or would like to let us know what investment issues you would like us to cover in the next issue of 'American in Britain', please email: josh.matthews@masecopw.com

17


UK Sports Our Quarterly Overview Of UK Sports

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hat a summer of UK sports dominated, of course, by the Olympic and Paralympic Games - but we have not forgotten our other summer sports and forthcoming winter sports either. London 2012 - The Olympic and Paralympic Games What a fantastic show it was! “We lit a flame in London and we lit up the world” - Sebastian Coe. So many fantastic moments that it is impossible to review them all. I had intended to reflect on so many great performances across all the sports but we would need a special edition of ‘American in Britain’ to do so, and on reflection I realised that it was not just the individual or team performances alone that encompassed the spirit of the Olympic and Paralympic Games - it was also the participation of the crowds who turned out in their thousands to support all the events and the brilliant contribution from the thousands of volunteers who did so much, not just in directing spectators to their events, with their 18

infectious enthusiasm and friendliness. We should not forget also the contribution from our armed forces personnel who stepped in at late notice to man the security arrangements and who, like the volunteers, added to the sheer enjoyment of the Games. Also, where else would an armed police officer be able to give “knuckles” to a passing ten year old boy or a “high five” to a grandparent? It was all just brilliant and an unforgettable experience. For Team GB, so many Olympic and Paralympic gold, silver and bronze medals. The participation of the cheering crowds clearly played a big part in encouraging Team GB to so much success but the true meaning of Olympic and Paralympic participation was demonstrated when the female athlete from Saudi Arabia, the first female from that country allowed to participate in the Games and who had endured opposition at home simply because of her gender, completed her athletics event; she was cheered to the rafters by the crowd in the Olympic stadium as she finished a distant last some forty five seconds behind the winner. The Olympic and Paralympic crowds give tremendous support to all the athletes but especially so to those whose very presence at, and participation in the Games represents a victory. That is the Olympic and Paralympic spirit. So what next for Team GB? Rio in four years time for sure but before then it has been mooted that a special Honours List be drawn up to reward our most successful medal winners, London 2012 organisers, Team GB coaches and volunteers. This could be a very long list but it would be greeted more enthusiastically by the Brits than those conventional honours dished out twice a year to civil servants, so-called celebrities and, at times, dubious bankers, business people and politicians!! Perhaps the ongoing discussions about the reform of the House of Lords - but then again, no, perhaps not. Lord Coe, however, the architect of the London 2012 success, is virtually certain to be elected chairman of the British Olympic Association - good choice. Tennis We had another great Wimbledon and the old stagers triumphed again. Roger Federer again denied our British hopeful, Andy Murray, his first Grand Slam winning 4-6 7-5 6-3 6-4. This was Federer’s seventeenth Grand Slam title and record equalling seventh Wimbledon singles title; at the age of thirty that is some going. In the Ladies singles, Serena Williams took her fifth Wimbledon title, equalling that of her sister Venus. This time, world number two, Agneiszka Radwanska, lost 6-1 5-7 6-2 in the final, but she put up a terrific fight with her more subtle, slower paced shots. Serena, who like Federer is also thirty, and sister Venus have now taken ten of the last thirteen Wimbledon singles titles.

Only Sharapova, Mauresmo and Kvitova have prevailed during this amazing Williams era. Serena and Venus also won, again, the Ladies Doubles title beating Hlavackova and Hradecka 7-5 6-4 in the final. Surely Wimbledon must create some fitting monument to these two sisters who raised the level of women’s tennis to previously unknown heights and who have dominated the modern Wimbledon era for so long. Just a quick word about Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan who became the first player in a Grand Slam to complete a set without losing a point! She won the opening twenty four points in her third round match against tenth seed Sara Errani of Italy in just fifteen minutes and went on to win 6-0 6-4. Then she played Serena!! Britain did have one, perhaps unexpected, success when England’s Jonathon Marray (yes, not Murray!) won the Men’s Doubles title with Danish partner, Frederick Nielsen, defeating Lindstedt and Tecau in a thrilling final 4-6 6-4 7-6(7-5) 6-7(5-7) 6-3. The American partnership of Mike Bryan and Lisa Raymond picked up the Mixed Doubles title beating Paes and Vesnina 6-3 5-7 6-4. Keep an eye on the Canadians. Raonic is already making good progress on the ATP Tour and Grand Slam events but Filip Peliwo and Eugenie Bouchard took the Boys and Girls Singles titles respectively and Peliwo reached the Boys final at all four Grand Slams this year, and has just won the US Open Boys title. We cannot sign off on Wimbledon without a short mention about the Olympic tennis event where Andy Murray took the gold medal beating Roger Federer in the final. And guess what? Serena Williams won gold in the Ladies Singles and then took gold with sister Venus in the Ladies Doubles. What can you say? And, some stop press at the time of writing, Andy Murray has won his first Grand Slam at the US Open beating Novak Djokovic 7-6 7-5 2-6 3-6 6-2. And guess what? Serena Williams won her fourth US Ladies Singles title defeating Victoria Azarenka, the world number one, 6-2 2-6 7-5. Finally, don’t forget the ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena in London from 5 to 11 November when the top eight men, and top eight doubles pairs, will contest the year’s final major tournament. Cricket The South Africans have done it again! I’m not talking about them beating England in the three Test Series (Two wins, one draw) to depose England as the World’s top ranked Test team; no, they have, for the third time, got rid of a successful England captain! First, Nasser Hussain resigned after losing a Test Series to the Springboks, then Michael Vaughan did the same and now Andrew Strauss has followed


suit. What is it about these South Africans? Well, for a start, they have been the better team but this time they had a secret weapon. England’s batsman, and possibly best batsman, Kevin Pietersen, who was born in South Africa but qualified to play for England, allegedly contacted some South African players with text messages with derogatory comments about Strauss and coach, Andy Flower, and with suggestions as to how they could dismiss Strauss when he was batting. Should this be proven to be true then it would be the most appalling betrayal of a team mate, let alone your captain and coach. Strauss claimed that his resignation was not influenced by the Pietersen situation, but it is hard to believe that it did not have some effect. The opportunity to lead England to a third successive Ashes Series victory in 2014 would have been a great temptation for Strauss. Many will put Strauss amongst the best and most successful of England’s past captains along with Sir Len Hutton, Mike Brearly and Michael Vaughan. He played in one hundred Test matches and captained the side in fifty of them. He played the game with great dignity and with coach, Andy Flower, took England to number one in the World Test rankings. He will be sorely missed. And what of Pietersen who not long ago announced that he did not want to play One Day or Twenty20 international cricket for England anymore. Then he announced he would make himself available for all formats of the game, but with the proviso that he miss the Test series against New Zealand so as to play the full annual Indian IPL Twenty20 tournament with all the personal riches that accompanies that competition. That proviso led to his omission from England’s provisional squad for the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka. One player, no matter how good, cannot pick and choose when he wants to play for his country. If he wants the riches of the IPL and cricket with Surrey County Cricket Club, so be it. Discussions continue with the England and Wales Cricket Board to see if there is a way back into the England set up for Pietersen, but if the allegations about the text messages to South African players is proven, he surely cannot possibly be allowed back into the England teams. England are the current World Twenty20 champions and ranked number one in this format of the game. The next World championships takes place in Sri Lanka between 18 September and 7 October. The Women’s Twenty20 World Cup takes place in Sri Lanka at the same time. The location will be difficult for the England teams. Spin bowling will be prevalent in Sri Lanka and England’s batters have not shown the greatest technique against such spin. After the Twenty20 World Cup, England will play a four Test Series in November and December

against India in India - that will not be easy either!! Golf What an astonishing finish to The Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes when Adam Scott of Australia snatched defeat from the jaws of victory over the final four holes. With four holes to play and leading by four strokes the bookmakers had Scott at 1-50 to win the coveted claret jug. How could it be that Scott would then bogey the last four holes whilst Ernie Els, the South African, pared 15, 16 and 17 and then birdied the 18th to win by one stroke? Shades of that other Aussie, Greg Norman, at The Masters at Augusta and the Frenchman, Jean Van de Velde, at The Open. It just shows, yet again, what can happen in sport when all seems lost but you just keep asking one more question of your opponent right to the very end. It was ten years since Els last won The Open at Muirfield. Els had finished second in 1996 and third in 2001 at Royal Lytham and this latest victory puts him level with Phil Mickelson on four majors. Coming up next is The Ryder Cup which will be held at Medinah, Illinois from 28 to 30 September. The captains’ “picks” have been made to join the automatically qualified players and the chants of “USA USA” and “Europe Europe” will soon be heard around the Medinah course. It looks, once again, to be a tight contest. Let’s hope it will be played with the traditional sportsmanship of the Ryder Cup and with traditional impartiality we can only say “Come on Europe”! Soccer It did not take long - Premiership and League soccer is back again! It’s too soon to consider early results but Manchester City and Chelsea have again laid out massive amounts of money to strengthen their squads, and the latter have got off to a good start with three straight wins. Hopefully, the Premiership will be as exciting as last season with lots of surprise results and “top” teams falling prey to lesser rated mortals. Last season, for example, Arsenal lost ten of their thirty eight games and finished third! In earlier times, that record would have been mid-table. In the European Champions League, Manchester City have drawn a difficult Group with Real Madrid of Spain, Ajax of Holland and Borussia Dortmund of Germany. Chelsea, the reigning champions, also have two difficult opponents in Juventus of Italy and Shaktar Donetsk of the Ukraine but an easier opponent in FC Nordsjaelland. Arsenal will play Scalke 04 of Germany, Olympiacos of Greece and Montpellier of France. Manchester United have the easiest task on paper having drawn Braga of Portugal, Galatasaray of Turkey and CFR Cluj.

The Group stage will be complete by the time of our winter issue - hopefully we can report that all four English clubs will have progressed to the knock out stage. Scotland have one club that has qualified for the Group stage after an elimination play off. Celtic have drawn Barcelona of Spain, Benfica of Portugal and Spartak Moscow of Russia. Very difficult but Celtic should remember Ernie Els! In the Europa Cup, Liverpool will play their Group matches against Udinese of Italy, Young Boys of Switzerland and Anzhi Makhachkala of Russia. Newcastle United have drawn Bordeaux of France, Bruges of Belgium and Maritimo of Portugal. Tottenham Hotspur, who were denied a place in the European Champions League as a result of Chelsea winning that tournament last season and taking Spurs fourth placed Premiership position, will play Panathinaikos of Greece, Lazio of Italy and Maribor of Slovenia. Although this is Europe’s secondary competition, the quality of the teams remains very high with many having had past experience in the Champions League competition. England have got off to a mixed start in their Group stage of the World Cup qualifying competition for the 2014 finals in Rio beating Moldova (away) 5-0 in their opening game but managing only a 1-1 draw against a very good team from the Ukraine at Wembley. England will next play San Marino (home) on 12 October, Poland (away) on 16 October, San Marino (away) on 22 March 2013, Montenegro (away) on 26 March, Moldova (home) on 6 September, Ukraine (away) on 10 September, Montenegro (home) on 11 October and, finally, Poland (home) on 15 October. Hopefully, we will then be on our way to Rio for the finals the following summer. NFL in London Probably the item of most interest to our expat readers is that Wembley Stadium will again be hosting an NFL International Series game, this time between the St. Louis Rams and the New England Patriots. The Rams are designated as the home team and quarterback, Tom Brady’s Patriots as the “road team” - that’s so much more descriptive than the Brits’ “away” team designations! The match takes place on Sunday 28 October. The Patriots played an NFL game at Wembley in 2009 and defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 35-7, so Old England may be a lucky venue for New England! n Well, it has been a fantastic summer of sport led by the amazing Olympic and Paralympic Games which have inspired the nation and generated a great sense of national pride and patriotism. I don’t think so many Union Jack flags have been seen for many a long year - like America with its Stars and Stripes, long may it continue. 19


Top Tens Top Tens Takes Time Out For Tea by Judith Schrut

Tea time favourites, photo by Joanna Wilkinson, courtesy High Tea of Highgate

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wise philosopher once said there was no trouble so great or grave that could not be diminished by a cup of tea, and even Queen Victoria’s first words on ascending the throne were reputedly ‘Bring me a cup of tea and The Times”. Frapuccinos and skinny lattes have their place, but at heart the British nation’s favourite beverage remains the humble cup of tea. It’s still the supreme cure all, offered in all times and circumstances.

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Claridges' award-winning chefs take time out for tea

Modern life in Britain is full of tea moments, from a groggy morning’s pick up brew to the strong sugary cup served up with buttered toast to mothers in hospital following childbirth. After a brisk autumn walk there’s nothing like curling up on the couch with a hot steaming mug of tea and a biscuit, and in times of crisis a cup of tea will make everything all right. “Nice cuppa tea?” is as common a social greeting as “How are you?” Every day Brits get through 65 million ‘cuppas’-- 98% with milk, 30% with sugar and 96% made from tea bags, with PG Tips the nation’s favourite brand. Whether it’s ‘builder’s brew’ in a chipped mug, black Assam leaves poured into fine porcelain or a pot served with scones, cream and jam in a village tea shop, you’ll find infinite ways to enjoy tea time in Britain. Here are just ten of our favourites. 1. POSH TEA American expat and Anglophile Henry James famously quipped, “There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea." But for a long time tea was a drink only the rich could afford, not surprising when a pound of tea might cost a labourer his annual wage. By the late 18th century the price of tea went down and its popularity shot up. The Victorian Duchess of Bedford, desperate for a pick me up between lunch and dinner, is commonly given credit for inventing the ritual of afternoon tea. Traditional afternoon tea has long been top of the list for visitors to Britain and an immensely enjoyable special treat for the rest of us. With countless London and provincial hotels, restaurants and cafes offering up their version of afternoon tea, it’s not surprising that competition for the UK Tea Guild awards, the Oscars of the tea world, is a stiff one. Standing head and shoulders above the fray, winning the Guild’s Award of Excellence for the past five years and Top London Afternoon Tea Place in 2011, is the legend

that is Claridge’s Hotel. Claridge’s is nestled in Mayfair’s cosy heart, finger-sandwiched between the shopping buzz of Oxford Street and Piccadilly’s traffic roar but a world away in atmosphere, elegance and ambience. Tea time takes place in the hotel’s splendid Art Deco foyer and the adjacent Reading Room, and Claridge’s takes this daily celebration very seriously indeed. It just gets all the details right, from the generously filled allyou-can-eat sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and daily changing pastries created under the baking baton of Head Pastry Chef, Nick Patterson, to the exquisite live music and friendly, energetic and uniformly knowledgeable staff. Tea timers have the very challenging task of selecting their fresh brew or infusion from over 40 specialty blends from around the globe. Deservedly, most popular is Claridge’s own Royal Blend, but it’s a tough decision when the lovingly described menu includes tempting Cornish Tregnothnan Estate teas, exclusive Royal White Silver Needles and hand rolled Dragon Pearl Jasmine. Infusion lovers should consider the extraordinary Japanese Sencha Genmai Cha, a fragrant green tea laced with tiny toasted puffs of popcorn and rice. Never mind; those lovely Claridge’s staff will happily suggest you try something different for your second pot. Or your third. Further information: www.claridges.co.uk 2. RURAL REFRESHMENT “Stands the church clock at ten to three?... And is there honey still for tea?" Indeed, the charming rural church and clock of Rupert Brooke’s famous poem do still stand. Perhaps not at ten to three, but a hop, skip and riverside walk from Cambridge in the timeless village of Grantchester. And you can still enjoy tea, scones, jam and honey beneath blossoming fruit trees in the shadow of that iconic church at Grantchester’s Orchard Tea Garden, close to where ill-fated young scholar Rupert rented lodgings nearly 100 years ago. The Orchard is one of countless village tea


shops where you can sample quintessential tea time delights in a rural setting. Another is Primrose Cottage Tea Rooms in postcard perfect Lustleigh, Devon, which this writer came across some 20 years ago and still uses two tiny handmade pinchpots bought there and signed by potter ‘Angela’. It’s no secret that we Americans have a particular soft spot and seemingly infinite belly space for English cream teas, so it was hard to forget Primrose Cottage’s oversized fluffy scones heaving with mounds of fresh clotted cream and hedgerow jam. Potter Angela may have moved on, but we were delighted to find Primrose Cottage still thriving today with new but equally enthusiastic owners. Just one word of warning, abandon all diets ye who enter here. We also have deliciously fond memories of cosy Tollgate Teashop near Bath, where you’ll struggle to select from cherry, cheese, coconut or wholemeal scones, superb cakes and homemade savouries to accompany an uplifting pot of tea. All menu choices are garnished with stunning country views, classical music, friendly service and warmth from the wood burning stove. Further information: www.orchard-grantchester.com www.primrosetearooms.co.uk 3. LE TEA FRANGLAIS Luxurious Sofitel St James Hotel is where the Union Jack meets the Tricolore. Here you’ll have a unique chance to try British afternoon tea with a distinctive French twist, and a choice of two very different tea experiences. You’ll find classic elegance, stylish leather comfort and background music from the French Belle Époque served with afternoon tea in the grand Le Balcon brasserie. For the ultimate Gallic touch, kick off with a glass of champagne! Le Balcon’s afternoon tea features a wide choice of teas and infusions to enjoy with seasonal sandwiches, three kinds of buttery scone and generous portions of clotted cream, exquisite rose-scented strawberry jam and mouthwatering lemon curd. After this you may find it hard to finish the spread of miniature Parisienne pastries, which might include chocolate Tea with a French twist, The Rose Lounge at Sofitel St James

Bettys Beautiful Bakes, York

milles feuilles and rose and raspberry cream macaroons edged with candy violets, but fear not, for the charming and attentive staff will happily transfer any leftovers into a designer take-home box. Sofitel St James offers a similar tea menu in its Rose Lounge, but with an atmosphere as different as ‘nuit’ and ‘jour’. Le Tea en Rose is served on cream and pink Bernaudad porcelain in a room scented with fresh roses, decorated in French brocade and reverberating with the relaxing sounds of a harp. The Rose Lounge has deservedly been honoured with the Tea Guild’s Award of Excellence 2012. Further information: www.thebalconlondon.com 4. EDWARDIAN ELEGANCE There are many reasons to visit the wonderful northern county of Yorkshire-- ancient towns like York, Leeds and Harrogate, picturesque seaside villages like Whitby and Robin Hood’s Bay and the windswept, atmospheric moors of Bronte ‘Wuthering Heights’ country. But many locals might tell you that Yorkshire is equally famous for the tea time phenomenon which is ‘Bettys’. Reknowned for outstanding baked goodies and chocolates, charming and knowledgeable staff and no-nonsense Yorkshire hospitality, Bettys’ original family-run café and tea rooms in Harrogate date from 1919, when a penniless but ambitious chocolatier and baker named Frederick arrived from Switzerland to realise his dreams. The origin of the ‘Betty’ name is still a mystery, though some say it’s in honour of Queen Mother Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. Today Bettys is still proudly family-owned and has six thriving Café Tea Rooms, a cookery school, craft bakery and chocolate rooms. Bettys Northallerton has just been awarded the UK Tea Guild’s prestigious ‘Top Tea Place 2012’. Bettys has come far in its nearly 100 years but still turns out traditional bestsellers like Yorkshire tea loaves, made with vine fruits drenched in tea and a great deal of butter, and the famously plump and fruity ‘Fat Rascal’ scones with their cheeky cherry and almond faces. Bettys also prides itself on serving and selling an outstanding range of high quality teas and tisanes, particularly since joining forces with sister Yorkshire tea and coffee firm, Taylors of Harrogate. Bettys Art Deco-style York branch was

especially popular with American and Canadian servicemen and ‘bomber boys’ stationed locally during World War II, not least because it was one of the few cafes to have a liquor licence. If you visit the downstairs Oak Room, formerly known as Bettys Bar, you can still see remnants of Bettys Mirror, where hundreds of servicemen engraved their signatures with a diamond pen before setting off on their brave missions. Further information: www.bettys.co.uk 5. DIY TEA Yearning to create a great tea experience in your own home? With many colleges, cookery schools and tea shops following today’s Do It Yourself baking trend, there are lots of opportunities to learn to make your own tea time scones, Victorian sponge and flapjacks. We’ve long been fans of Divertimenti, whose cookware shops in London’s Marylebone and Knightsbridge are paradise for both newbie cooks and serious gourmets. As well as an unparalleled range of everything a chef could long for, Divertimenti’s splendid Cookery School is the perfect place to learn about food and culinary arts. There are plenty of options to ‘put those burnt baking days behind you’, everything from Mastering Macaroons and Perfecting Pastry to Breadmaking and Baking for Beginners. Divertimenti also has great hands on classes for children with its inventive Growing Gourmets range. Further information: www.divertimenti.co.uk/cookery-school 6. HIGH TEA IN HIGHGATE Once upon a time every English high street had its tea shop. Sadly that’s no longer true, as Georgina Worthington discovered a few years ago when, out with friends near the classic North London village of Highgate, she could find nowhere to go for a cup of tea and a piece of cake. The effervescent Georgina, an artist and former fashion designer with a lifelong passion for baking, has done her bit to fix that. In 2008 she gave up her day job, baked up a storm in newly leased village premises and warmly welcomed the first eager customers into High Tea of Highgate. Her secret of success is simple. “We bake fresh every day. And it’s important that we all believe in what we do and want to serve good food and a great cup of tea at a fair price.” Topping customer favourites are Georgina’s 21


Cuppas with Culture, V&A Refreshment Rooms, copyright V&A Images

The Venerable Miss Worthington's High Tea lads and lasses, photo by Joanna Wilkinson

scones – made from Grandma Eileen’s secret recipe – and a changing array of scrumptious cakes such as lemon drizzle and chocolate buttercream sponge, made daily with love and the finest ingredients. These are perfectly paired with High Tea’s range of specially blended loose leaf house teas like London Afternoon Blend, Miss Worthington’s Rose Tea and Almond Tea, all of which may be purchased to enjoy at home. Accentuating the vintage feel, Georgina’s tea lads and lasses serve tea on traditional English china, particularly the distinctive Burleigh earthenware, still handmade in one of the last working Victorian potteries. These items are also for sale in High Tea’s gift shop, along with a tempting selection of artful homewares and tea time knick knacks. Highgate locals are clearly delighted with Georgina’s venture, including celebrities George Michael, Victoria Wood, Ray Davies and Helen Mirren, all of whom have stopped by to sample the hospitality and tasty treats. Further information: www.highteaofhighgate.com 7. FASHIONISTA TEA For ladies who lunch and the otherwise fashion conscious, luxurious Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge offers its take on traditional afternoon tea with the unique and fun Prêt-a-Portea. Here, cakes and pastries mirror the latest catwalk creations and change with the fashion seasons. Relax with a glass of couture champagne in the stylish comfort of the Caramel Room and

nibble your way through Miu Miu vanilla bikini and Christian Louboutin chocolate high heeled biscuits, Dolce & Gabbana blueberry sponge handbags and Gucci Valrhona chocolate mousse, all served on bespoke Paul Smith china. You’ll savour these artful, almost too good to eat, delights with a wide selection of loose leaf teas or herbal infusions including the invigorating signature blend, Caramel Indulgence. Or, to take poet John Milton’s advice, “One sip of this will bathe the drooping spirits in delight beyond the bliss of dreams.” Further information: www.the-berkeley.co.uk/ fashion-afternoon-tea.aspx 8. CUPPAS WITH CULTURE Fancy your cuppa with a dash of culture? If so, we recommend afternoon tea at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the UK’s favourite and home to the world’s very first museum restaurant. Whet your appetite first with a A taste for fashion, Pret-a-Portea at the Berkeley Hotel

stroll round the V&A’s amazing Ceramics Galleries, displaying the world’s greatest collection of teapots, creamers, sugar bowls, cups and saucers followed by oversized scones, tea, clotted cream and jam in the historic William Morris or Gamble refreshment rooms, considered showpieces of modern design. There’s even a pianist on Monday and a harpist on Wednesday. You can sip tea surrounded by striking 1930s Art Deco design at the RIBA café, the award-winning headquarters of the Royal Institute of British Architects near Oxford Circus. After tea, take a detour to view the elegant basement rest rooms, marble staircases, etched glass screens, garden terraces and superb bookshop. If you’re visiting a cultural gem outside of London, you’re sure to find a homely cuppa at hundreds of museum, castle and stately home tea shops of every conceivable size and style. Inspired by the Victorian vision of the Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony? If so, you’ll enjoy a visit to Ironbridge Gorge, birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. Set amid stunning scenery in rural Shopshire, Ironbridge is home to over 35 museums and historic sites and offers plenty of tea time options such as Blists Hill Hot Metal Café and Lena’s Swedish Tea Room. Further information: www.vam.ac.uk www.architecture.com/RIBAVenues www.ironbridge.org.uk 9. GOURMET WITHOUT THE GAIN If you’d prefer to indulge your senses but not your hips, London’s Metropolitan Hotel offers a waist friendly and guilt free alternative to those classic but calorific cream teas, with its original Afternoon DeLight Tea served in the Hotel’s chic Met Bar.

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Go ‘skinny dipping’ with a menu which features no-bread sandwich pots with a selection of fat friendly fillings and wheat free macaroons. Banish the bingo wings with featherlight desserts like cocoa nibs, low gluten jasmine-orange, lemon-rhubarb and passion fruit cupcakes or potato flour scones topped with low fat crème fraiche and organic strawberry puree. Quench your thirst from the choice of hot or iced tea creations such as Earl Grey, organic honey, cucumber and lemon juice served over crushed ice.

includes frequent stops for photos, soaking in sights and learning local history from expert guides, and finishes in triumphant style with vintage-style afternoon cream tea in a Secret Tea Room. If you’re on a tight budget and prefer to build your own tea-on-two-wheels tour, we are delighted to confirm that ‘Boris Bikes’ are available to rent just minutes from any of the London venues mentioned in our feature.

Further information: www.tallyhocycletours.com Tally Ho Cycle Tours is delighted to offer American in Britain readers a special discount on presentation of the code ‘AIBMAG’. For further details of this exclusive offer please see their website. This is the latest in our featured series of Top Tens for Americans in Britain. If you’ve got a hot Top Ten tip to share with our readers, contact Judith at judith0777@gmail.com. n Tally Ho does the Royal Loop

10. TEA ON TWO WHEELS It’s often been said that the best way to see London is on a bicycle. Tally Ho Cycle Tours has created a winning way to combine cyclesightseeing with the traditional British tea time. Book a place on its Royal Loop Tour and enjoy London’s most famous and favourite sights atop the comfy leather saddle of a vintage hand-built Pashley bike, a bike style you’ll recognise if you’ve been following BBC’s ‘Call the Midwife’ series. Not only will you be able to get up close and personal with Big Ben, the Changing of the Guard, Tower Bridge and London Eye during this unique 2½ hour spin, you’ll build up your appetite as well as pre-burn those tea time calories. The Royal Loop

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Property Focus On Cobham

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istorically at one time Cobham was seen as a stop off for those travelling between Portsmouth and London. This was prevalent in the 18th and early 19th century, the great coaching era, which died when the first railways route went via Brighton and in 1859 a direct line to Portsmouth was opened. The arrival of a train line led to the expansion of the original village gradually attracting new residents to the area as a recognised popular place to live along the London commuter belt. Today, Cobham has been referred to as the Beverley Hills Of Surrey, mainly since the arrival of the Chelsea Football Club's training complex in 2005 which attracted a rush of footballers moving to the area to adhere to the rule that players must be within a four mile radius of the training ground. This led to a minor gold rush for gated estates boasting neo-classical mansions with home cinemas, aromatherapy pools and heated garages. This influx is mainly evident in the private Crown Estate, a grid of gated mansions to the north of Cobham where at least four of the Chelsea football team have homes. With the abolition of this four mile rule came the slow decline in the flood of football stars but in its place the area has attracted city bankers keen to escape the rigors of the city and other wealthy individuals eager to buy into the cult of the new including tennis star Andy Murray and cricketer Andrew Flintoff. The centre of this now prosperous village is the High Street which has a good range of 26

Cedars

boutique clothes shop’s, restaurants, cafés and long-established local businesses. La Capanna, a long standing family run Italian restaurant, is a popular haunt for both local families and celebrities. There are also many good local pubs around Cobham and the surrounding areas which offer more traditional British food in a rural setting. The high street boasts a plethora of cafes both well known chains and independents offering a comfortable meeting point for local mums. There is very much a sense of community in Cobham and many social events are organised throughout the year including an annual Christmas Parade and a Farmers Market on the fourth Saturday of each month which is a great opportunity to sample home grown local produce. Primarily a residential area with many private estates and roads boasting newly built homes, Cobham attracts not only city workers looking to move further down the commuter belt but expatriates relocating from around the globe, and as such the village now has a large international population. The property market in the area is largely comprised of good sized 3-5 bedroom houses, most of which were built in the 30’s and 50’s although there is also a limited supply of Victorian and Edwardian

The Tilt

semi-detached houses and cottages as well as a large number of new developments. The private residential developments such as the Fairmile estate, Oxshott Way Estate and Crown Estate tend to be the most sought after in the area, and offer secluded executive style accommodation with large gardens and more often than not swimming pools and tennis courts. Many residents with families are drawn to the area due to the excellent choice of schools catering for all age ranges. Of particular appeal to expatriates relocating from abroad is the acclaimed American Community School which offers international qualifications for those up to the age of 18. Other local independent schools include Notre Dame, a Catholic school for girls up until the age of 18, and Reeds boy’s boarding school offering a co-ed sixth form. In addition to these there are two state primary schools in the area, the well-established Church of England primary school, St Andrews, and the Cobham Free School which is opening in autumn this year. However, despite Cobham’s proximity to London and the celebrity residents it attracts, it still retains a rural charm and has been described as a ‘creature of the mole’ as the village is tucked into a loop of the delightful


Town clock Cobham Mill The Tilt

River Mole which flows around part of the Town. Adding to the charm and rural feel of Cobham is the fact that the village has several conservation areas the most popular being the area known as ‘The Tilt’. This area includes many commons and is a popular place to live due to the amount of attractive period properties and listed buildings built there, many of which have views onto open countryside. The village boasts many fine country houses and listed buildings which still stand today and add to the character and history of the area. One of Cobham’s finest houses is Cobham Park which was the family home of the Coombe family until the early 20th century. There is evidence that a house has stood on this spot since the 12th century, but the present house is believed to have been re-built from around 1720 when it was built to a classical design by John Bridges. Following the departure of the Bridges family in 1930 the estate transferred to corporate ownership and today Cobham Park and the surrounding estate has been converted to provide a number of luxury apartments and cottages set in the 12 acres of beautiful Parkland making it a desirable place to live. One of Cobham’s key attractions is Painshill Park, which is considered to be amongst the finest eighteenth century landscape gardens found in the UK. It was created between1738 and 1773 as a romantic landscape by the Hon Charles Hamilton. Over the years it has been lovingly restored and built up to over 250 acres of tranquil gardens featuring follies, a lake, a gothic temple, grotto and vineyard amongst many other impressive features. This exceptional Grade 1 landscape which is often described as a living work of art is open to the public to explore and offers a variety of seasonal entertaining events throughout the year ranging from family fun adventure days to a night of opera in the conservatory. Other famous gardens to be found nearby are those of the Royal Horticultural society at Wisley and the National Trust’s Claremont Landscape garden between Cobham and Esher, both offering attractions for all ages.

Another attraction to the area is the landmark red brick Grade II listed water mill originally constructed in 1822 and restored in the early 1990’s which is now the only surviving working water mill in Surrey. This mill rests on a picturesque stretch of the River Mole surrounded by weeping willows and graceful swans, which makes it a must to visit when in Cobham and offers an idyllic picnic spot. n For further information on living in and around Cobham, please contact Camilla Molyneux on 01932 864252 or cmolyneux@johndwood.co.uk www.johndwood.co.uk

Graveyard Stafford House Hall

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Raising Children Abroad

I

Inspiring a Generation

t’s no surprise that Londoners – both native-born and those who are amongst the thousands who have adopted the city as their own – are still basking in Olympic glory. Expatriate families whose postings to the UK, by some fortunate twist of fate, coincided with the London 2012 Olympics were handed a big ‘added-value’ benefit to their assignments. Many re-arranged their usual summer holiday travel routines to enable their children to be in London in order to participate in what many have described as the best Olympics ever. Those who heeded the

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doomsayers and fled have been heard expressing their regret at their exodus from the golden Olympic City. ‘Inspiring a Generation’ was an ‘inspired’ choice of slogan offered by LOCOG (the official Olympic organising committee) that authentically captured the emotion and excitement that touched many of us, including our children, and also permeated the Olympics and the Paralympics. Starting with the ingenious torch relay, expatriate families and their children living in every part of the country had the opportunity to witness first-hand the passing of the Olympic flame. While Danny Boyle’s creative and wonderfully eccentric Opening Ceremony was quintessentially British, many expatriates in Britain were nonetheless able to appreciate its depiction of the value our host country places on iconic institutions such as the NHS and Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, Shakespeare, the Industrial Revolution, and an aging Paul McCartney. Some expats here were called upon by relatives overseas to explain why everyone in Britain was so worked up about Boyle’s production with its rising Victorian chimneys, and nurses, doctors and children jumping on hospital beds. The significance of having David Beckham (who failed to make the cut for the national football team yet was an early champion of the London 2012 bid) escorting the Olympic flame in a speedboat down the Thames, and why a 5-second clip of HRH and Daniel Craig made the Jubilee-saturated public adulation of the Queen even stronger, were concepts whose subtleties were appreciated by expats living here that did not necessarily resonate with the wider world. In understanding the nuances of these wonderfully British Opening and Closing Ceremonies, expats were made to feel as though they had reached another stage of ‘belonging and acceptance’ here in Britain. The warm welcome provided by the Olympic Gamesmakers and Ambassadors was noted by many expatriates who tend to subscribe to the stereotypical image of the Brits as reserved and ‘stand-offish’. The volunteers were inspiring, as was the public’s insatiable appetite for the Olympic and Paralympic athletes themselves. To have witnessed all this as local residents gave expats a place of privilege. The Olympic legacy is yet to be judged, but there is every reason to believe that London 2012 will live up to Lord Coe’s promise to ‘Inspire a Generation'. Reflecting on this powerful statement, I have thought about the experience of our ‘third culture kids’ (TCKs) – defined as children who are spending a significant part of their developmental years outside of their passport country/ies or their parents’ passport country/ies because of a parent’s occupation.

Is it too much to say that this experience of international mobility can ‘inspire a generation’ of TCKS’? I think it can, and it does, if everyone involved is looking at it with the right perspective. Over the years working with expatriate families as an educator in international schools, I have encountered many people who regard the whole ‘children’ element of international mobility as a chore, even dare I say, a ‘problem’ on a tick list of tasks that must be managed to enable the international move, normally precipitated by a strategic decision to move Employee XX abroad. Everyone agrees that the objective of most international transfers is to get Employee XX relocated and productive asap, and then the list of ‘to do’s’ follows: sort out remuneration package, apply for work permits, deal with spouse – normally the wife, though this is changing (will she/he even want to come?, does she/he need a job?, must we provide a spouse incentive?), children (find schools, heavy ticket cost or do they go ‘local’?), pets, find accommodation, furniture (ship, or store and hire locally), etc. How many parents or employers or HR/relocation professionals ever begin thinking about the transfer of a family away from the familiar and known home patch to a country like Great Britain as, ‘Wow, here is a life-changing terrific opportunity to inspire this child to change the world’? How many expat employees think, ‘a key goal in my career development strategy is to get an overseas posting so my children can have the life-changing experience of living in a new culture?' And yet for the child who, granted, is a significant factor in the ‘to-do list’ (the accommodation has to take into consideration the needs of the child – bedrooms, play room, garden, the cost of the school which and healthcare factored into the remuneration package, locating the school often influences the housing options), this experience can be amazing and life changing and the making of them! And part of this is down to approaching the experience with the right outlook. Research tells us about the advantages gained by the Third Culture Kid experience. TCKs often develop unique characteristics and qualities that potentially give them great advantage in the world they will inherit. TCKs can learn to adapt and manage change, they become open-minded through their exposure to many different and new ways of doing things. TCKs can become tolerant and non-judgmental by meeting people of diversity whose customs and thinking they may not totally agree with but that they can nonetheless understand. TCKs can become excellent bridge-builders and negotiators as they learn to see many points of view. TCKs can become excellent communicators, particularly if their


international childhood exposes them at an early age to languages other than their own, and if they have the good fortune to become bilingual or multilingual there is research that shows that this leads to strong cognitive and reasoning skills, greater economic advantage with better incomes, and a better chance at avoiding the onset of brain-degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s in old age! TCKs can become more globally-aware and politically-astute having been raised in different countries and interacting with people from many national systems of government. TCKs can become highly sensitive to the misfortune of others, and research shows that many go into aid work, diplomacy, or become teachers. Of course, this is not always the case, and there are challenges to address: learning to make friends and to say goodbye to beloved people and places, changing to new schools and curricula, adapting to new cultures, languages and ways of doing things, living far away from grandparents and family members, losing the familiar, and a struggle to ‘fit in’ with others from your own country. But conventional wisdom suggests that the more we know and understand about TCKs and the more that we equip them with the

skills to manage their transient and portable childhoods, the better chances the positives will overcome the negatives and result in possibilities for an adult life that they may have never otherwise imagined or foreseen. ‘We’ means it is a collaborative effort, parents, educators, sponsoring organisations that are responsible for the transfer, and anyone supporting the family in the process. The late Dave Pollock who devoted his life to the study and support of TCKs, once described TCKs as the ‘prototypes of the citizens of the 21st Century’. (He said this during the last quarter of the 20th century.) He recognised that the unique skills and characteristics that TCKs develop would enable them to cope in a future world where one of the few predictable features would be the increasing pace of change. The number of children living these international lives is growing incrementally each year. If local international school enrolment figures are anything to go by, the number of internationally-mobile children in the UK continues to increase despite the current economic climate. It is exciting to reflect on how our expatriate children who were fortunate to witness first-hand these summer Olympic and Paralympics will have been inspired. Their

understanding of the importance of sport, and their attitudes and empathy toward the disabled may have been transformed for life. The unleashed public enthusiasm for unconditional celebration of the successes of athletes of other nations, even ‘enemy states’, may serve our young TCKs as they inherit a world that faces inevitable future conflicts. There is no doubt in my mind that, if the TCK experience is properly supported, the experience of a childhood abroad will continue to ‘inspire a generation’. n Mary Langford is a London-based independent education consultant with more than 30 years’ experience specialising in the area of international school placements and supporting families, TCKs, and school with the transition process. Her Master’s research at University of Bath centred on how international schools respond to internationally-mobile pupils. Mary is presenting a seminar on Third Culture Kids - Raising Portable Children, at The 2013 Corporate Relocation Confernce & Exhibition on Monday 4th February 2013 at Hotel Russell, Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London. This is free to attend. To register please email: helen@theamericanhour.com.

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Theatre Some Reviews Of London's Theatre Chariots of Fire How does one adapt a wildly popular film about Olymipic athletics to the stage and not invite comparisons to the original? This was the task undertaken by Edward Hall, director of Chariots of Fire and Mike Bartlett, who adapted the original screenplay by Colin Welland. The production, which recently transferred to the West End from Hampstead Theatre, solves this by employing a multitalented cast who run and run and run around the simple yet inventive set. It consists of a track which is laid out on the stage of the Gielgud Theatre, along with some of the seats to give the impression of a stadium, with the centre used as a playing area for the dramatic scenes. As the audience enters we see modern day athletes warming up for a race, dressed in their Nike sports clothes. When the play begins and the cast start moving around the track, they are gradually replaced by the main protagonists, Harold Abrahams, Eric Liddell, Aubrey Montague and Lord Andrew Lindsay, running to the strains of the Vangelis film soundtrack. The familiar story of Jewish Harold fighting subtle prejudice and the missionary’s son, Eric Liddle, fighting with his own conscience are played out in simple scenes. We first meet Harold as he arrives at Cambridge, confident, arrogant and determined to prove himself as an athlete; he wants to compete in the Olympics and will stop at nothing to achieve his goals, even to the detriment of his budding romance with a young actress. He never reveals what drives his desire to win, but hints 30

Jack Lowden (Eric Liddell) and James McArdle (Harold Abrahams) in Chariots of Fire at the Gielgud Theatre. Photo credit Hugo Glendenning

that he wants to prove something to his father, a Lithuanian immigrant who worked his way up to be a powerful financier. Harold also wants to prove that Jewish people can succeed beyond the expectations of the Establishment- he says running is his “weapon against being Jewish.” He ruffles the feathers of the Cambridge dons when he decides to employ a coach, Sam Mussabini, to help him improve his technique- the dons think this is bad form as British amateur athletes should not seem to be trying too hard. We first see Eric at the Highland Games where he is handing out prizes- he is already a celebrity for his incredible speed. His sister, Jennie, thinks that his love of running is contrary to their Christian beliefs and is just a form of showing off. She wants him to return to China with her and their missionary father to continue their work. Eric tries to explain that “To win is to honour God.” Both Eric and Harold make the Olympic team, as well as fellow Cambridge students Lord Lindsay and Aubrey and all head over to Paris for the games. The turning point comes when Eric decides that he cannot run in the one hundred metre heat as it falls on a Sunday. In an over long scene, the Prince of Wales as well as the Olympic committee try to get him to change his mind but Eric courageously sticks to his principles. It is left to Harold to compete for Great Britain in the blue riband event. Lord Lindsay comes to the rescue after winning a silver in hurdles- he gives up his place in the four hundred metres so that Eric can run. The rest, as they say, is history. The performances will invariably be compared to those of the 1981 film, but I felt that the actors succeeded in creating their own versions of these famous characters. James McArdle was a fine Abrahams, often described as ruthless. He has a hard edge and is difficult to sympathise with, but we occasionally catch glimpses of the insecure man underneath who is desperate for his father’s approval. The scenes between Harold and Mussabini, played by the excellent Nicholas Woodeson were especially revealing of Harold’s need for a kindly father figure. Paul Tinto played Eric on the night we attended- although he is listed as an understudy there was no notification and if he did go on last minute he did a very admirable job

indeed! Simon Williams, familiar to American audiences from Upstairs Downstairs amongst other TV programmes, was suitably stuffy as a Cambridge don and Lord Birkenhead. Tam Williams, who also played trombone, was a stand out as the likeable Lord Lindsay, as was Simon Slater, who not only took on the roles of Lindsay’s manservant, Eric’s father and a Cambridge porter, but played piano and clarinet for the musical interludes and entertained the audience during the interval. The entire cast is to be commended on their versatility, going from athletics to singing to playing instruments, not to mention taking on several different roles. In addition to the enthusiastic and talented cast, the staging and choreography were equally impressive. The running scenes are so beautiful to look at that they sometimes overpower the dramatic scenes. The play is given a healthy dose of humour as well, with some of the funniest lines given to the older actors. The musical numbers ranged from Gilbert and Sullivan to Jerusalem, which the audience, without being asked, enthusiastically joined in singing. A very enjoyable night out indeed. Review by Lydia Parker. www.chariotsoffireonstage.com JUMPY How much influence can a parent have over their child is the disturbing and thought provoking central question of Jumpy, the excellent new play by April de Angelis, a Royal Court transfer to the Duke of York’s. Fifty year old Hilary, played by the extraordinary Tamsin Grieg, is mother to an out of control fifteen year old, Tilly. Her daughter goes out clubbing regularly with her pregnant best friend, Lyndsey, a sweet girl whose boyfriend was stabbed to death at a bus stop, “It’s alright, it was last year!” They both dress in skin tight clothes and see it as their right to drink and stay out as late as they please. Hilary is afraid to stand up to Tilly, who bullies and insults her mercilessly; when Hilary tries to set some rules, Tilly throws a strop, telling her mum not to “go psycho”. Mark, Tilly’s easy going father, is equally ineffectual, trying to just keep the peace. When Hilary finds out that


Tilly is having sex with a boyfriend, Joshua, she meets with his parents to come up with a plan for controlling their encounters, i.e. they have sex at her house. Joshua’s parents, the overly controlling Bea and flirtatious Roland, uneasily agree to this. Hilary thinks she is really handling things well until she and Mark have to listen to their own daughter having sex in the next room- he finds it a bit of a turn on which disgusts her. Part of the problem seems to be that she and Mark don’t have sex; instead she attempts to read Great Expectations to him every night, but he keeps falling asleep. Tilly accuses her mother of not having a life and being obsessed with her, which seems harsh, until we realise Hilary is deeply unhappy; although overly focused on her daughter’s life, she cannot relate to her in any way. Hilary, a nice, caring person who once protested at Greenham Common, has brought up a daughter who is shallow, selfish, rude and promiscuous. Hilary sees her own life unravelling- she finds herself attracted to the newly divorced Roland who she was trying to match up with her amusingly desperate friend Frances. She separates from Mark, drowns her sorrows in white wine and becomes more lonely than ever, all the time getting further away from understanding or relating to her daughter. Tamsin Grieg plays the part of Hilary with every part of her body- from the moment she first comes on stage, she is all nerves, her fingers wiggling absent mindedly, her face full of grief and confusion. She is so real that one constantly wants to watch her, to see what she is feeling, how she is reacting. This can be a bit tough for the other actors who do an admirable job in their roles. Doon Mackichan is hilarious as failed actress Frances, who has decided to take up burlesque dancing, declaring that she is “ironically deconstructing it”. The scene where she shows off her new talents in the middle of a tension filled holiday to Norfolk is painfully funny. Amanda Root also shines as Bea, Joshua’s tightly wound mother. Richard Lintern beautifully played the weak willed and insecure Roland. Mark’s role was underwritten- we really don’t get to know him or much about his relationship

Jumpy - 18. Doon Mackichan (Frances), Tamsin Greig (Hilary). Credit - Robert Workman

with Hilary. Bel Powley was suitably monstrous as Tilly, but I felt that there could have been more depth to her character, which is again an issue with the writing. As the mother of two delightful teenage girls, I found myself by turns denying that any kid could be that horrible and then remembering stories of friends whose children completely walked all over their nice parents who were only trying to make them happy. I couldn’t stop thinking of the play and the issues it raised that most people can relate to; the demise of feminism, the sexualisation of children, the difficult relationship women can have with their daughters when they themselves are afraid of getting older and want to cling to their youth. Despite some overly ridiculous comic scenes, this play is a moving depiction of the way we live now. Review by Lydia Parker. www.jumpytheplay.com Rock of Ages A tale of love combined with an exciting backdrop of eighties classic rock hits was just what I needed on a chilly autumnal evening. Rock of Ages is a fun and lively musical featuring songs from Journey, Bon Jovi, Pat Benatar, Poison and Europe, among other well-known rock bands. It has enjoyed a successful run in the West End for over 12 months, and you may have seen that the show was recently transformed into a movie starring Tom Cruise and Catherine Zeta-Jones which was released earlier this summer. The show’s narrator (and main comedic role), Lonny Barnett, sets the scene in 1987 with an aspiring rocker, Drew Boley, working in an LA bar called The Bourbon Room on the infamous Sunset Strip. Drew falls for the new girl in town, Sherrie Christian, who has arrived from Kansas, and is seeking her big acting break. Both of them are in LA to chase their dreams of making it big and falling in love. However, some German developers convince the City’s Mayor to demolish the Sunset Strip, and replace it with a ‘clean living’ area. The plan does not go down well with the City Planner, Regina, providing the opportunity to launch into the well-known song “We Built This City’. When the owner of The Bourbon Bar learns

Rock Of Ages

that this plan will also see it’s demolition, he believes he can generate more money by having Stacee Jaxx and his band, Arsenal, perform their last show at his bar. Needless to say, the plot takes the audience on a rollercoaster journey as the characters develop and sing their way through their stories and various situations. The mix of soft rock ballads and hits (all thirty of them including ‘The Final Countdown’, ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’, ‘Here I Go Again’, ‘Can’t Fight This Feeling ‘and my personal favourite, ‘I Want To Know What Love Is’) are very well integrated into the storyline, and will have you clapping along. You will certainly be on your feet for the fabulous finale, featuring “Don’t Stop Believing”. British celebrities, Justin Lee Collins and Shayne Ward currently play two of the leading roles in the stage version, although I believe that a cast change is imminent. Shayne Ward’s role of Stacee Jaxx perfectly captures the image of an eighties rock legend with a huge ego and hair to match. I haven’t seen a cast wearing so much make-up and with such big hair since 'We Will Rock You.' And that’s just the men! The performances and choreography are excellent, and the costumes (some rather provocative with a fair bit of flesh on show!) capture the mood of those classic eighties rockhits. The musicians (who perform at the back of the stage for the entire show) are incredibly talented, and performsome superb guitar solos. The clever combination of the lighting, and music ramped up at key moments made my hair stand on end on occasion! The set was simple but effective, with a background video screen flashing some memorable eighties images. There was a lot of laughter from the audience, and it appears to have attracted a broad fan base, some of which it seems have been once or twice before. I believe the show is currently running on Broadway, which I imagine goes down a storm. This show is not to betaken too seriously due to its fun, lighthearted feeling and it will certainly provide an entertaining (and for some of us, nostalgic) night out. It is cheesy, funny and extremely visual. You can even catch this show twice on a Saturday and a Sunday. Now to watch the movie and dig out some of those old eighties cd’s …. www.rockofagesmusical.co.uk n 31


Olympics - My Story Gamze Newell (Newsletter Editor of kcwc)

I

was one of the dancers in the Olympics Opening Ceremony. I went through two auditions in November 2011 to be given a part as an NHS nurse in the show. We started rehearsals in February, initially for 2 days a week, each time for 6 hours, then 3, 4 and 5 days a week, for 91/2 - 12 hours per day. We started at the Three Mills film studio and moved on to an open field specially designed on a 1:1 scale with the Olympic stadium. At the end of June 2012, we moved to the stadium itself. Our first dress rehearsal was in front of 20,000 people! I am no stranger to audiences (I do shows with a ballroom dance group) but not on this scale. And for the first time in my life, I felt that kind of energy - tangible and inspiring - which made me gasp for breath and brought tears to my eyes. Imagine this; the stadium has a capacity of 80,000, 32

and it was full-house on Friday, 27 July at the Opening Ceremony. We came in after that famous parachute jump! Mike Oldfield was playing Tubular Bells, live. I had the time of my life during the rehearsals and the show; I made lots of friends and shared so many great memories, but the best one for me was seeing the spark in my children's eyes after they saw the biggest show on earth before the whole world saw it at the technical rehearsal on Wednesday, 25 July. My feet wouldn’t forgive me for what they went through for several

Before a rehearsal

With Danny Boyle

Lara and Patrick getting ready for the show

months but that was just a small price I paid to have this once in a lifetime experience. I have since participated in the Closing Ceremony of Paralympics, this time as a marshal at the Athletes’ Parade. My children had their own Olympic experience as well. They took part in the celebrations to meet the Olympic torch in Cambridge at the beginning of July, as drummers in Arco Iris, a Samba band. The BBC did an interview with the band. So, they too, had their 15 minutes of fame. n

During one of the rehearsals

With the bearers of the Union Jack backstage

On the way to the stadium from the costume changing area, about 1.5 mile walk! The long walk to the stadium


American Women’s Clubs News American Women of Surrey (AWS) To be an expat is to fully experience the impact of change. Some of us enthusiastically dive into the frequently cold waters of change, feeling revived and exhilarated by the shock of new culture, new home, new routine, new friends. Others are more hesitant even to dip in a toe. The fear and uncertainty of everything new convincingly invites us to stand still rather than jump right in. Whatever your response to living in a new place, we are all experiencing the chance of a lifetime. Why waste this brilliant opportunity by grieving the loss of or clinging to the familiar? There’s room for only one thought at a time, so if your thought is, “I want to go home,” then there is no room for “Change can be good.” Choose your thoughts wisely, as they will guide your speech, behaviour, and ultimately your emotions. American Women of Surrey’s (AWS) new president, Betsy Cook Speer, has chosen a 34

Top: A packed house for AWS's first meeting of the year! The more the merrier, we always say. Bottom Left: AWS's ever smiling new president, Betsy Cook Speer. Bottom Right: Giving new and returning AWS members a warm welcome: Nicole Bateman, Newsletter Editor and Carla Dosmond, Membership Chair.

theme for our club this year: “Do one thing everyday that scares you” (Eleanor Roosevelt). As we held our first meeting of the year on September 4, I welcomed new AWS members and watched them sign up for our many class and activity offerings. A members’ newness was easily betrayed by the wide-eyed, awestruck expressions in response to all the different ways to grow, make new friends, be challenged, and have fun within the vast array of AWS activities. They also were undoubtedly overwhelmed by our endearing first meeting cattle call that is the activity sign-up process. I watched the new members scurrying to keep pace with the old, queueing at this table and that, tippy-toeing to glimpse each activity table’s signage. Oh, the uncertainty on their faces! “Is this the English Experience group? What is this long line for? Will I get a spot?” Yet, they did it! They were there queueing with the best of them; waiting in line to begin an adventure, to start a new life. As I watched, I thought of the similarities between our new members, many of whom landed in England merely days ago, and the 3-year old I just dropped off at school for the first time. I felt proud and somewhat surprised by their boldness, the way they walked right in, stepped right up, and quickly set to work making new friends. Yes, change can be very good. Trying out new hobbies and taking old skills to new levels with new people in new settings requires a bit of bravery. Fortunately, AWS is a warm, welcoming environment, and all of us are in the same boat regardless of how long we have been in Britain. We are all ever encountering the “new.” So, if you find yourself struggling

to keep your head above water in the sea of expat change, reach out to AWS, and we’ll pull you aboard for fun, friendship, and fantastic philanthropic opportunities. Remember, as you do that one thing each day that scares you, there is safety in numbers! AWS has over 400 potential friends just waiting to welcome you. Join us at awsurrey.org. • Upcoming AWS events. We hope to see you there! • Tuesday, October 9, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. General Meeting at Cobham Hilton, 7 Hills Road South, Cobham, KT11 1JE • Sunday, November 4, 10:00am - 5:00pm. 21st Annual Gift Fayre at Cobham Hilton, 7 Hills Road South, Cobham, KT11 1EW • Wednesday, December 5, St. Ebbas/Pine Lodge Holiday Party • Friday, December 7, General Meeting & Holiday Luncheon

The thrill of the chase...the intense yet invigorating first meeting activity sign up session.


• Saturday, December 8, Holiday Party: To Russia With Love, Mercedes Benz World • Tuesday, December 11, Holiday Home Tour *Natasha Lowery is the Vice President of Communications for AWS. kcwc – international women in London Submitted by Gamze Newell, Editor New to London? Gain insight from other women who understand the transition in moving to this wonderful city you too will soon call home! Established in 1983, kcwc is run by its members as volunteers working to foster friendship and interaction amongst international women in London and its surrounding areas. Our members enjoy various activities to introduce them to the culture of London and the rich heritage of Britain. Contributing to our Community We support local charities in our community

by raising funds each year while our members share their expertise and talents with local groups in need. Activities Our programmes appeal both to newcomers and to those who have lived in England for many years. Some of our activities are Open to the Public and some are Members Only.

Joining kcwc It is easy to become a member of kcwc! Go to www.kcwc.org.uk and click “How to Join”. This season as we kicked off celebrations for the 30th Anniversary in 2013, our volunteers were busy planning exciting events. We invited you to meet our members, dynamic women from all over the world, ready to welcome you to kcwc. The following are some of kcwc’s popular interest groups. All MEMBERS ONLY unless otherwise stated. ANTIQUES & DESIGN: Explore the antiques shops in London and beyond. This year’s visits include Bushwood Antiques in Hertfordshire and Church Street in London. ART HISTORY: Lectures take place at the Carlton Club, the social club of the Conservative Party. This year’s highlights are Baroque Art and Western Art Survey by Sotheby’s Institute. BRITISH HISTORY: Learning about British History while living in this cosmopolitan city! There are “walks through history” and cultural immersions via lectures on “The Season”. GLORIOUS GARDENS: London is the city of gardens and garden shows! PHOTOGRAPHY: Beginners to advanced – You have the eye and enthusiasm; we have the group for you. THEATRE: For all theatre enthusiasts – London is the city; kcwc’s Theatre is the group!

Photos of activity groups (clockwise from top left) Magic of the East, Golf, Wine Society, Annual Luncheon at the RAC, Travel group, London Walks.

TRAVEL: Out of London and beyond – this year’s highlights include Brighton and Tuscany. kcwc offers many more activities such as book groups, languages, tennis and bridge. 35


SAVE THE DATES: New Members’ Coffee: NEW MEMBERS ONLY Wednesday 31 October; 9:30am - 12noon Meet other new members, Board members and Activity Leaders, and get your questions answered. Nearly New Sale: OPEN TO THE PUBLIC Saturday 10 November; 9:30am – 1pm Notting Hill Community Church, Kensington Park Rd, W11 2ES • Huge discounts on high quality, gently used clothing and equipment (birth -12 years) and so much more. Cash only • Everyone is eligible to participate as a seller • Registration fee: £15 for members / £20 for non-members • If you register before 10 Oct: £10 for members / £15 for non-members! • All proceeds go to our charities • Invite your friends • For more information and registration form, please check www.kcwc.org.uk • Contact: Prathima Baron at 07921 253 448 or bordeaux_ct@yahoo.com. Chilterns American Women’s Club The Chilterns American Women’s Club invites all to a fabulous day out to get a head start on Christmas shopping at its annual Bazaar. Autumn is officially here and it’s time to start thinking about the Christmas holidays. The Chilterns American Women’s Club is hosting its Annual Christmas Bazaar on Sunday, November 18, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at The Bellhouse Hotel in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire (Oxford Road/A40 between Gerrards Cross and Beaconsfield). Last year, this event attracted over 50 outstanding specialty vendors, crafters, and local artisans – offering the community an opportunity to shop for the upcoming holidays in a fun and festive atmosphere. Shoppers looking to find unique gift items will be impressed by the quality and variety of items for sale. Stroll through a marketplace of quality handcrafted items including jewellery, fine wine and chocolates, gift baskets, wood carving, original art, woven and wearable art, custom holiday decorations and more! Festive music and delicious treats will add to the enjoyment of Christmas shopping. The CAWC Christmas Bazaar will offer shoppers a chance to purchase raffle tickets to win one or more of over 60 items donated by each of the exhibitors. Admission is £3.00 and children under 12 will be admitted free. Free and ample parking will be available at The Bellhouse Hotel. The CAWC is an active group of over 100 36

expatriate individuals from all over the world. We provide assistance to newcomers in Britain and one of the key missions of the club is to give back to the community. We are proud to have raised over £220,000 for local charities over the past 20 years with our annual Christmas Bazaar! This year we are very excited to showcase an impressive lineup of speakers and activities! These including a festive Christmas celebration at The Landmark Hotel, the popular happines and success coach, Alexandra Watch, and coach tours to the German Christmas markets. Halloween will bring our annual Trunk or Treat alive, and October will be dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We are pleased to announce, on October 20th, the CAWC will host it's first Bunco for Breast Cancer Awareness event. All proceeds will go towards Scannappeal, for improving the medical equipment in the Buckinghamshire area. Please contact us if you would like more information about CAWC or would like to get involved!!!! The Chilterns American Women's Club will be hosting their second general meeting of the 2012-2013 year on October 18th at the Activity Hall of the Epilepsy Society in Chalfont St. Peter. The address is: Chesham Lane, Chalfont St. Peter, Bucks, SL9 0RJ. The Chilterns American Women’s Club (CAWC) is a group of approximately 150 North American and International women. With many long-term residents in our midst, as well as newcomers, we provide a network of support and local information to those new to the area. We’re located approximately 20 miles west from London in the Area of Outstanding Beauty known as the Chilterns, which includes most of Buckinghamshire and parts of Oxfordshire. At our general meetings, we visit with other members, share our latest experiences, and sign up for various activities. The general meetings offer practical information and feature a different speaker or activity each month. We also have vendors who sell unique British and also American products. For more details on when our next meeting will take place, email our Membership Chair: membership@cawc.co.uk. CAWC is committed to supporting our adopted UK community by raising funds to support local charities. We hold an annual Holiday Bazaar in November of each year with all funds raised donated to charities. This year we will present checks to the following charities: Epilepsy Society and Williams Fund. To date, the annual CAWC Holiday Bazaar has raised in excess of £144k for the club’s designated charities, including £70k alone for the Epilepsy Society. Please mark your calendars for this years event: Sunday, November 18 2012, 10am - 3pm, Bellhouse Hotel, Beaconsfield. Visit us at www.cawc.co.uk

American Women’s Club of London What a year it has been! The Royal Wedding, Queens Diamond Jubilee, Olympics and Paralympics - London has put on her best party dress and been the belle of the ball! Wasn’t it wonderful to be in the thick of it, be part of history in the making? London exceeded all expectations and is, and will continue to be, a first choice destination; we are lucky enough to live here each and every day. So many choices ..... we at the American Woman’s Club of London hope to be a familiar touchstone for Americans residing in London. Although we ourselves are most likely not going “back to school”, Autumn is a wonderful time to reset our schedules. The AWC offers a place to meet up with friends old and new. Involvement in the club, affiliated clubs or our many activities will help fill up the greyer winter hours to come. Friendships are what is at the core of the AWC. Building a new life for yourself in a new country or city, while holding on to your roots is what it’s all about. The expat community is unique, much more fluid than most of our lives in the USA. Even if you have lived in the UK for a while more people move in and out of your life while you are here. The AWC joins us together as we experience these changes. Experienced members offer information and advice for easing the transition for new members, lead activities and support each other. New members have an opportunity to meet others who are experiencing similar challenges and “get it” in way their friends back home may not. The American Women’s Club of London offers something for everyone. Whether it be hands on service at the Ronald McDonald House or The Soup Kitchen; working to help raise funds for worthy causes such as Cancer Research UK, Benjamin Franklin House or building wells in Cambodia. Give as much of your time and resources as you are willing

American Women's Club London, Golf Group


Book Group

or able, “any little helps”! Helping others with fellow Americans is fun, challenging, rewarding, AND helps us help our country put it’s best face forward. Our activities are varied and if you can’t find one that piques your interest, please join us and start a new group! Country hikes, writing group, book club, theatre group, and classical music appreciation are just a few of our offerings. Our travel group is very active, we often book Monday through Thursday trips all over the continent. Alsace Christmas Markets in Colmar, France and the Amolfi Coast are two such planned trips but we also have a weekend trip to Krakow, Poland in the works as well. Check us out online at www.awclondon. org, come to our New Member Coffee on Tuesday, September 18 at 10:00 am, or just give the office a call at 020 7589 8292. We are located at 68 Old Brompton Road, SW7 3LQ. You will receive a warm welcome and hardy “how do you do”. AMERICAN WOMEN OF BERKSHIRE AND SURREY AWBS offers encouragement, support, and abundant activities to international women in the Berkshire and Surrey areas. Whether you've just relocated to England or have been living here for years, AWBS has something to offer you! We have a vast array of ongoing member activities, including travel and adventures abroad, antiquing trips, art and history lectures, book discussions, charity fundraising and participation, country walks, cycling outings, golf lessons, local outings, a saddle club, and weekly tennis matches. Our weekly membership meetings are held in Chertsey and feature interesting and internationally recognised guest speakers. Meeting dates and times are provided on our website at www.awbs.org.uk; please join us for next meeting on October 9 where the speaker is Josephine Fairley, the founder of Green and Blacks, one of the UK's finest organic chocolate companies. On Friday, 2 November, we hold our largest charity fundraising event of the year - our Holiday Craft and Gift Fayre from 10 am until 5 pm at the Ascot Racecourse's stunning and historic Pavilion ballroom complex. The event will feature over 90 award winning designers, artists, and exhibitors

Craft fayre

from London and the south east and offers a complete range of original yet affordable art, fashion, ceramics, home wares, jewellery, vintage and gourmet food. 100% of the Fayre’s profits and a percentage of each purchase goes to charities within Berkshire and Surrey. Last year, a record £10,500 was raised and was distributed to local charities! Please visit www.awbs.org.uk for further information. JUNIOR LEAGUE OF LONDON Boutique De Noel Christmas Market Shop for a good cause at the Junior League of London’s annual fundraiser, Boutique de Noel, a two day Christmas market taking place at the Kensington Town Hall W8 7NX on 14 – 15 November 2012. Boutique de Noel begins with a Gala Shopping Evening on 14 November that includes premier shopping, cocktails and canapés, and live and silent auctions with a wide range of luxury prizes. Purchase a Patron ticket for complimentary gift bags and a night of après-ski themed fun in our exclusive Patron Room. The Shopping Day on 15 November features about a hundred unique vendors offering art and antiques, fashion and jewellery, toys and baby gifts, stationery and gourmet food. Please visit www.jll. org.uk/bdn to purchase tickets, learn more about Boutique de Noel and our exhibitors and have a look at the exciting donations secured for the live and silent auctions. Tickets are also available by calling the JLL office on +44 (0) 20 7499 8159. Funds raised at

Boutique de Noel support the Junior League of London (JLL), a registered UK charity (1103298) committed to promoting voluntary service, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Our 400+ members contribute their time, leadership and skills to the London community, all with the goal of improving the lives of local families in need. Each year, through our community programmes, we invest over 20,000 hours of volunteer service and touch the lives of over 3,500 Londoners, including more than 1,000 children. Learn more about the Junior League of London, our community programmes and other ways you could support the organisation at www.jll.org.uk n

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Health I Think I’ve Found A Lump In My Breast. What Do I Do? It is completely understandable that you might worry about the possibility of breast cancer if you find a lump, but remember; most lumps are not cancer. The most likely cause for a lump depends on your age. In women from 20 to 30 a definite lump is most likely to be a fibroadenoma. These are benign lumps that can sometimes be painful or enlarge but they are not cancerous and do not turn cancerous. Between 40 and 50 breast cysts become more common. These are also entirely benign. They are collections of fluid within the breast

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and although they can also be painful they are not dangerous. From the age of 30 onwards the gland tissue in the breast changes and it becomes more fibrous and nodular. The way the breast feels has been described as like a scaled down packet of frozen peas and occasionally, in just the same way that frozen peas can stick together to form a clump, so breast tissue can “stick together” to form definite nodular areas. These areas are also often tender but, once again, are not a sign of cancer. The rate of breast cancer begins to rise after the age of 40 and increases with age. Of course, breast cancer can occur at any age and I have seen cases in women as young as 19 and in their early 20s, but they are very, very rare. The important message is, if you notice a change in your breast please get it checked. Let’s go through what you need to do. The first thing to do is to see your GP and explain what you have noticed. They will examine you and in some cases may suggest a further check at a different time of your menstrual cycle. Some of the nodular areas can change with the cycle and this is actually a reassuring sign. If a discrete nodular area persists or your GP finds a definite lump, or is unsure, they will refer you to a breast clinic for a full assessment by the breast team. The team should consist of several consultants working together, and includes a surgeon a radiologist and a pathologist. The investigation of any breast problem revolves around, what is called, the triple assessment. It is like doing a jigsaw puzzle; pieces (of information) are collected and put together until the whole picture (the diagnosis) becomes clear. Indeed, this is often termed “the diagnostic jigsaw”. In some cases only 2 pieces may be needed, in others 4, but 3 (the triple assessment) is most common. Let’s have a look at what the pieces are. The first specialist you meet will often be the breast surgeon. They will ask questions about your symptoms (called taking your “history”). They will also ask about previous medical problems and your family history. They will then examine both breasts. How the breast feels when it is examined is the first part of the jigsaw. If there is a definite area of change then a fine needle aspiration may be carried out. This test uses a normal sized syringe and needle. The needle is placed into the area of the breast and “jiggled” so that a small amount of material is sucked into the syringe. This is sent away to be looked at under the microscope. More commonly now a test known as a core biopsy is done. A core biopsy takes a core of breast tissue about 1.5 cm long and 2 mm in diameter. The core biopsy is carried out by first putting some local anaesthetic into the skin of

the breast. Once this has worked (it is quite quick) a small nick is made in the skin to allow the core biopsy needle, attached to the biopsy “gun”, to be placed into the breast. When the “gun” is “fired” (it is painless, but does make a noise rather like a large stapler) the needle takes the sample. This is often repeated a few times. The appearance of the cells that have been removed with a fine needle aspiration, or the result of the core biopsy, is the second part of the jigsaw. The final part of the triple assessment involves taking images of the breast. In ladies under 35 an ultrasound scan is the commonest way of doing this. In ladies over 35 they will have a mammogram as well. Full field digital mammograms are the most sensitive type available at the moment. What an area of the breast looks like on a mammogram or an ultrasound scan is the third piece of the jigsaw. If the triple assessment produces the same answer at each stage the result is said to be concordant and no further tests may be needed. For example, a lump in a 30 year old lady may feel like a fibroadenoma, look like one on an ultrasound scan and a core biopsy shows pieces of a fibroadenoma. What if the pieces don’t quite fit and the picture (diagnosis) is not initially obvious (the triple assessment is then said to be discordant)? For example, in a 50 year old lady a lump may feel like a benign nodular area but look odd on an ultrasound with a normal mammogram. In this case another piece of the jigsaw may be needed, such as an MRI scan or even, occasionally an operation to remove an area for full examination under the microscope. An important part of the triple assessment that is not commonly mentioned is to watch how things change (or not) with time. It would not be unusual to check things a few months later, repeating some, or all, of the assessment to make sure nothing has changed. A thorough triple assessment may actually be a quadruple assessment! Once again it should be emphasised that in the majority of cases a triple assessment (or a quadruple one) will reveal that cancer is not present. Most symptoms are age related changes or benign lumps. However, it is important that any new change is thoroughly investigated by a specialist to make absolutely sure that all is well. n Mr Simon Marsh MA MD FRCS is a Consultant Breast Surgeon at The London Breast Clinic, 108 Harley Street, London W1G 7ET


Immigration As Easy As A, B...E? The E Visa Option for US-British Business Partners

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magine a scenario where an American living in the UK under an investment visa, having successfully established a taco franchise with their British investment partner, now wishes to move back to the US. The partner was integral to the success of the business, and now they wish to bring them over to the US to establish the business across the Atlantic. Traditional sponsorship routes, such as the L intracompany transfer or H new hire, may not be ideal for the aggressive growth plans the business duo envisions. The L, for instance, requires 1 year of continuous employment abroad to be eligible, whilst the H works on a quota system, and the cap may have been met for that year, with additional numbers not becoming available for another 6 months. The business partners were counting on first-mover advantage in the burgeoning Nebraska taco market, but will immigration restrictions slam the door on this crucial growth period? They don’t have to. There is another option which often gets overlooked (or, indeed, is not even known about), but which may be ideal for these situations: the E visa category. The E category is available for foreign nationals of a 40

country that maintains a treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation with the United States. It is designed for foreign business owners with substantial trade and investment interests in the US. The E visa offers important shortterm advantages over other categories such as the L and the H, which require work permit filings with the US domestic immigration body, including cost efficiency and long-term strategic positioning for US expansion. The category is divided into the E-1 visa, based on substantial trade relationships, and the E-2, based on substantial investment. In order to qualify, the applying individual or firm must possess the nationality of the treaty country, and at least 50% of the company must be owned by nationals of the treaty country. This is a critical component of the legislation, as it means that the American business holder could not take a majority stake, although it can be a joint venture of equal partnership. This derives from the idea that the foreign investor must have a controlling interest of the enterprise, meaning that each partner retains full management rights and responsibilities. Applications where the American business partner takes a minority stake are generally ‘safer’ in that they steer well clear of the idea of ‘negative control,’ i.e. where each partner can make equally-binding decisions, thus blurring the ability of the foreign partner to control the investment. For E-1 purposes, the substantiality bar is met once the applicant has provided evidence of minimum 50% trade between the US and their firm. For E-2 applications, substantiality is one of the more interpretative elements. General guidelines are that the investment must be substantial in a proportional sense (in relation to the cost of starting up the business), it must provide enough to cover the operating costs and it should be of a magnitude to allow the investor to successfully direct and develop the enterprise. There is no bright-line figure which constitutes a threshold of substantiality; rather, the investment must be set in the context of the capital requirements for the industry in which it operates. In addition to evidencing substantiality, E applicants must demonstrate that the funds are being actively injected into the US enterprise, such that it is a real and operating business and the funds are not merely sitting in a bank account. The applicant must also demonstrate that their business is more than marginal, i.e. will produce enough income to sustain the employees’ salaries and also make a positive contribution to the US economy. It is important to note that E visas are renewable indefinitely, although this presents a catch-22 because an applicant seeking E status for the first time cannot carry the dual intention of permanently settling in the US. Applications must demonstrate an intent to

return at some point in the future (although the timeframe is not explicitly defined), as well as binding ties outside the US. In terms of settling in the US, for first-time investors, the E visa does not by default allow for a path to permanent residency and eventual citizenship. However, there is another option for applicants seeking to permanently relocate to the US, the EB-5 Investor option, which is a permanent resident category, although this requires substantially higher capital input. For E employees of a registered business, they are eventually able to apply for permanent residence under employment based categories. On the whole, then, the E visa option is a lesser-known but attractive option for foreign nationals seeking to do business in the US. In the short term, because most applications are filed at a consulate abroad and eligibility is conducted in advance and all applicants are permitted an interview with an adjudicating officer, the E offers the added benefit of bypassing the often domestic adjudication process, which can result in a cold denial with no recourse to oral argument. In the long term, whilst employers often have to prioritise the secondment of an existing employee under the L or new hire under the H, the E is open to both sets of candidates and provides a path for smooth transference of human capital in the slipstream of the foreign company’s investment or trade in the US. When contrasted with other immigration categories, the E option is a refreshingly flexible and business-friendly. It is more in tune with modern business imperatives and makes room for online, service-oriented industries in a globalised world. It furthermore offers a wide range of benefits over other traditional employment-based categories, including the ability to deal with just one immigration office (at the Embassy) rather than multiple jurisdictions, flexibility in application procedures, better communication channels and adaptability to the wide range of business operations, from small business owners to large publiclytraded corporations. In the alphabet soup of US immigration, then, the E may be the most appetising of all. Article was researched by Terrance Fedigan. n Charlotte Slocombe, Solicitor and U.S. Attorney London (Holborn Gate) 4th Floor, Holborn Gate, 326 - 330 High Holborn, London WC1V 7PP United Kingdom (t) +44 (0) 20 3077 5250 (f) +44 (0) 20 3077 5001 cslocombe@fragomen.com


“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful” William Morris, 1834 -1896

by Abby Cronin

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sat in the new tea room in the refurbished William Morris Gallery, looked up at the glass roof etched with one of Morris’ most elegant designs, ‘Thistle’, and reflected on how important it is that once again this Gallery is open to the public. Light pours through the glass and the atmosphere is calm and welcoming. Sitting there visitors can enjoy their tea and look out at the beautiful Lloyd Park Gardens. The restoration of this graceful Grade II listed Georgian villa was designed by architects Pringle Richards Sharratt and is sensitive to the preservation of the building and needs of a public museum. An East Wing extension contains a café and exhibition area and there are new facilities on the second floor for learning and research. In keeping with Morris’ ideals of arts and crafts design, Grayson Perry’s remarkable Walthamstow Tapestry is the first artwork to be displayed in the new exhibition space.

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Images Courtesy: http://mediacentre.kallaway.co.uk/william-morris-gallery-picture-library.htm

Arts & Antiques Visit the Wonderful Refurbished William Morris Gallery

The William Morris Gallery

Block printing at the Morris & Co Merton Abbey workshop

Appropriately, it reflects Morris’ devotion to the tradition of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Outside, the gardens have been restored using planting designs inspired by Morris and the 18th Century. First opened in 1950 by the Prime Minister Clement Atlee, the William Morris Gallery was threatened with closure when Waltham Forest Council imposed strict budget cuts in 2007. With an archive consisting of over 10,000 objects, it is the best and largest Morris collection in the world. The threat of closure precipitated a sustained campaign to keep the Gallery open and was led by the former culture secretary, Chris Smith, and many supporters. The Council received thousands of letters of protest from as far afield as California and Australia. More than 5,700 people signed an online petition demanding the preservation of the Morris heritage. But raising funds in these economically challenging times was difficult. Fortunately, the refurbishment was assured when a £1.5m Heritage Lottery Fund grant was matched by the Walthamstow Forest Council. Additional sources came from the Friends of the William Morris Gallery, charitable trusts, sponsors and donors. Celebrations marked the re-opening in August 2012, and now the public is once again invited to view this acclaimed collection of original work by Morris and many of his contemporaries. William Morris was one of Britain’s most prolific and gifted Victorian artisan-craftsmen and social activists. He may be best known for his remarkable wallpapers, but his inexhaustible talents extended to designs for textiles, tapestries, furniture, weaving, embroidery, ceramics and stained glass as well as poetry and the art of the book. Eldest son of a wealthy bill-

Queen's first televised 1957 Georgebroadcast, Street Showroom. Courtesy: The William Morris Gallery

broker in the City, he moved with the family to Water House (now known as the William Morris Gallery), where he lived from1848 to 1856. He read voraciously in this rural setting, became steeped in Romantic medievalism, absorbed Arthurian legends and found inspiration for Gothic revival architecture as a student in the medieval city of Oxford, where he met his lifelong friend and collaborator, the painter Edward Burne-Jones. These youthful passions contributed to Morris’ disdain for the increasingly mechanised and dehumanising world of Victorian manufacture which he saw all around him. His response was to seek a more communal way of living in which artisan craftsmanship was to be the central activity. He was a founder member of the Arts and Crafts Movement, a supporter of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, a successful retailer and became a committed socialist. In 1861, together with colleagues, he established ‘the Firm’, Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Company, initially in Red Lion Square before moving to Oxford Street. The company produced murals, wood carvings, stained glass windows, metalwork, furniture and embroideries. All production techniques were to be accomplished according to the long-abandoned principles of craftsmanship that had governed medieval art. In 1875 the company became Morris & Co under the sole control of Morris. It offered all manner of interior design services such as stained glass, bespoke furniture, textiles and wallpapers to a mainly wealthy middle class clientele. In keeping with his wish to preserve the best of the past, he founded the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings in 1877, a forerunner of today’s National Trust. When he became active in the early British


socialist movement in the 1880s, he wrote endless pamphlets and songs to promote the cause. He published the utopian novel, News From Nowhere in 1890, and set up the Kelmscott Press the following year. The collections are presented in twelve galleries which highlight six themes. Several objects on show have never been seen before. There are interactives, touch screen information points, recordings and videos. The first gallery, to the right of the entrance, sets the scene with an interactive map showing Morris’ connections with Walthamstow. A painting of Morris in his 30s and the Socialist Hall bust convey his imperious presence. An intricate woven tapestry, The Woodpecker Tapestry (1885), is the only one designed by Morris alone. Many examples of Morris’ early designs are displayed in the second gallery. Original furniture from the Sussex chair range (1860s) is notable for its rush-bottomed seats, simplicity and elegance. The Morris rocker sits aside the Sussex range, and is famous as a classic design. It has been widely copied and adapted by arts and crafts firms such as the Stickley Brothers in the USA. His stunning first wallpaper design, ‘Trellis’, hints at the direction his wallpapers and textiles will take. They soon formed a staple of ‘The Firm’s’ production. There are photos of his wife, Jane Burden, their first marital home, the Red House by architect Philip Webb and a Burne-Jones painting of St George. Examples of public commissions Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Company designed for St James’s Palace and the South Kensington Museum (now the V&A) are exhibited. The Green Dining Room commissioned for

William Morris, design for Chrysanthemum wallpaper, 1877

South Kensington Museum, known today as the Morris Room, is still in use as a dining area in the restaurant. The Workshop gallery is particularly instructive. Here visitors will observe fine details about how products were designed and made. There is a handson display that shows the dyeing process and a touch screen virtual exhibit explaining the processes of weaving, carpet knotting, making stained glass and textile printing. Original textile printing blocks are displayed and used to show that several stages of block printing are required to complete a finished design. A curious visitor might want to know more about the original Morris & Co shop in Oxford Street. Their curiosity will surely be satisfied when they enter the room set featuring merchandise displayed in the manner of Morris’ own time. In this replica shop there are samples of wallpapers, textiles, furniture and much more. Customers could take time to study exactly what they wanted and then place orders, much like our shopping habits today. Upstairs, in the room devoted to the Ideal Book, is a selection of Morris’ writings: pamphlets, poetry and legendary volumes produced when he started the Kelmscott Press. The Kelmscott volumes were made using traditional methods of typographical techniques and printing technology from the 15th century. The Folio Society edition of the Kelmscott Chaucer is on show for visitors to handle. As you move into the room featuring Morris’ Fighting for a Cause - The Campaigning Years, watch the video of well-known scholars discussing his support for many causes, most famously socialism and his concern to save natural landscapes and valued buildings. You can study outstanding examples of arts and crafts design and craftsmanship in the room dedicated to the Arts and Crafts Movement. The silverware by Ashbee, stained glass by Whall, furniture by Mackmurdo and wallpaper by Voysey are as beautiful today as they were when they were made. The gallery dedicated to Frank Brangwyn is filled with works donated from Brangwyn’s private collection. Brangwyn’s connection with Morris came from his brief apprenticeship in Morris’ workshops. This bequest includes important works by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood ranging from paintings and murals, to carpets and more. The refurbishment of this wonderful gallery has saved a unique collection of one of Britain’s most accomplished Victorian artistcraftsmen. There is so much to learn here that one visit may feel like a ‘taster’ a peek into the multiple worlds of William Morris and his colleagues. Combine your visit to the William Morris Gallery with a picnic in the Lloyd Park Gardens-a perfect combination for a family outing. Enjoy delicacies from the tea room and have a look at the toilet

doors covered with Morris wallpapers. The shop offers a selection of books, tea towels, cushions, and a variety of items with Morris designs. Throughout the refurbished William Morris Gallery there is a joyous sense of design that provides visual delight and is immediately accessible to everyone. n William Morris Gallery – Entry is Free Lloyd Park, Forest Road, Walthamstow, London E17 4PP www.wmgallery.org.uk Opening times: 10am - 5pm Wednesday - Sunday. Pre-Booked group visits on Tuesdays Closed Mondays Public transport links: The Gallery is a 15 minute walk from Walthamstow Central or Blackhorse Road Underground stations - the Victoria Line. Buses: 97, 215, 34, 357 from Walthamstow Central or the 123 from Blackhorse Road Images Credit: http://mediacentre.kallaway.co.uk/ william-morris-gallery-picture-library.htm Image of George Street Showroom courtesy William Morris Gallery Image of William Morris Gallery South courtesy Pringle Richards Sharratt Architects Contact: Abby Cronin artsjournalist@abbycronin.co.uk Website: www.abbycronin.co.uk

The Woodpecker Tapestry. The only tapestry designed completely by Morris, created 1885

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Children's Health Children’s Doc Around The Clock Childhood Infections A Guide For Parents

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r Ahmed Massoud, Consultant Paediatrician at the Portland Hospital and Honorary Senior Lecturer in Child Health at Imperial College School of Medicine, offers guidance on dealing with childhood infections. After 23 years of Paediatric practice and having 3 children of my own, I am yet to come across a child who has never had an infection/ fever. No matter how hygienic a surrounding we attempt to maintain for our children, the fact of the matter is that we do not live in a sterile environment. Viruses still constitute the major cause of infections in children and are invariably associated with a fever. Most of these infections are “minor” and self-limiting, so do not require

specific medication. The most common infections encountered in children are upper respiratory tract infections (manifesting in a cough, runny nose and/or a sore throat), gastroenteritis (manifesting in diarrhoea and/or vomiting) and ear infections (manifesting in earache and/or ear discharge). Although specific anti-viral medications are not required, certain measures should be taken to make the child more comfortable, such as the use of medication to control fever and pain (Paracetamol and/or Ibuprofen) and the use of oral rehydration solution (Dioralyte) to prevent dehydration in cases of gastroenteritis. Certain features in a child’s illness should prompt urgent medical assessment. These include excessive lethargy, a very high temperature (over 39.5°C) that does not respond to adequate doses of fever-lowering medication, repeated vomiting such that adequate fluid intake is not being maintained, a non-blanching rash (a purple-looking rash that does not go white when pressure is exerted on it) and prolonged duration of what is presumed to be viral illness. In these circumstances, bacterial and/or potentially serious infections should be suspected and medical help must be sought. Most children will not be interested in eating when they are ill or have a fever. This is not a cause for concern - once they have recovered, their food intake reverts and they regain the weight they had lost. What is

vitally important is to maintain fluid intake to avoid dehydration. A certain group of children deserve a special mention. Newborns and infants (defined medically as those under 12 months of age), particularly those under the age of 3 months are particularly vulnerable to acquiring infections. Moreover, the source of infection is often unclear and the signs of illness are nonspecific. These include poor feeding, a change in character (e.g. too sleepy or too unsettled), vomiting, a mildly elevated (or even lowered) body temperature and “just not being their usual self ”. One should have a low threshold for seeking prompt medical advice in these circumstances. n For more information about The Portland Hospital’s Children’s Doc Around The Clock service please visit www.theportlandhostpital.com/ childrensdoc For an urgent appointment please call 020 7390 8022. Please note that this is an appointment based service and walk-ins are not accepted.

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The American Church In London Revd. John A. D’Elia Senior Minister Of The American Church In London

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any of you are reading this magazine as you settle into life in Britain for the first time. Let me take this opportunity to say welcome! This is a wonderful place, full of charm and challenges on almost every corner. There is a depth of history and tradition here that simply will not go away, no matter how many new buildings they try to squeeze in. As it says on this page, I’m the minister at The American Church in London. My family and I have been in the UK for almost six years now, and we’ve come to love it. When you think about it, churches are pretty counter-cultural institutions. They’re voluntary organisations built around a common faith. For the most part they’re funded 46

through the donations of the people who attend. And they often spend a lot of time and money helping people who may never pass through their doors. Isn’t that strange? Churches, no matter how ingrained in the culture they may be, often cut precisely against that grain. That’s a good thing I represent a Christian church in an urban area, but what I just said goes for most communities of faith. By their very existence and how they maintain that existence they are revolutionary, even radical, places. Belief in a transcendent God who seeks out opportunities to be with his people, while giving our time and money away to strangers, isn’t exactly how the culture expects sensible people to behave. I think that’s what makes churches and other faith communities special. I also think it’s why people continue to seek them out when they move to new cities and new countries. I believe that we are designed for that kind of community - for being together and working together and laughing and crying and grieving together. It’s in our hard-wiring to gather and to share, and when we do it we feel better…more alive…more human. A few years ago Natalie Angier, a science reporter for the New York Times, wrote this: “Scientists have discovered that the small, brave act of cooperating with another person, of choosing trust over cynicism, generosity over selfishness, makes the brain light up with quiet joy.” Wow! Cooperating…choosing trust over cynicism… being generous instead of selfish—these are the choices that make life rich indeed, if not worth living in the first place. We can’t always rely on science or other research to confirm what’s best for us (I mean, have you ever heard an evolutionary biologist try to make sense out of sacrificial love?), but this statement has a resounding ring of truth to it. The Christian Scriptures have a word to describe this revolutionary kind of community. It’s called koinonia. This word has a wonderfully wide range of meaning: it can describe the act of sharing or giving or participating within a group, but can also describe the state of being connected to another person

John A. D’Elia

in a meaningful way. In church life we often refer to koinonia as fellowship. In my congregation we define fellowship as everything from the way we’re greeted at the door, to the depth of friendships we build in church over a long period of time. Whatever else it is, fellowship is the willful, courageous, revolutionary act of “choosing trust over cynicism, generosity over selfishness.” If we think back on the rest of Natalie Angier’s quote, then we’re left with one very important question. What makes your “brain light up with quiet joy,” or any kind of joy for that matter? Let me invite you. No, wait. That’s not quite strong enough. Let me urge you to seek out places where you can experience true community, true fellowship. That could be a church or synagogue, a coffee klatch or any of the other informal ways to be in the presence of other people. If you’re new here, find someone who’s been here a while and ask some questions. If you’ve been here for years and think that there are no new adventures for you, find someone who’s just moving in and pass along some of what you’ve learned about living here. We are hard-wired to be together, to share and cooperate and explore together. As we all begin this new school year, my wish for all of you is that you’ll find yourself surrounded by friends, old and new, and that each of your hearts and minds will light up with the joy that comes from true fellowship. God’s richest blessing to you all this autumn season! n


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Useful Numbers AMERICAN FOODS & PRODUCTS

PANZER’S 13-19 Circus Road, St John’s Wood, London NW8 6PB Telephone: 020 7722 8162/8596 Fax: 020 7586 0209 Email: shop@panzers.co.uk Website: www.panzers.co.uk We deliver groceries and fruit & veg daily to St John’s Wood, Hampstead, The West End, Kensington, Chelsea and Knightsbridge. Phone, fax or email and we’ll send your delivery home the same day. We offer the best selection in London of groceries from the USA, and specialities for seasonal events.

EDUCATION - SCHOOLS

ACS International Schools Heywood, Portsmouth Road, Cobham, Surrey, KT11 1BL Telephone: 01932 869721 Email: frose@acs-england.co.uk Website: www.acs-england.co.uk Contact: Fergus Rose Three superb locations close to London, ACS provides a stable environment, high educational standards and a happy social life for relocated youngsters. Brigidine School Windsor Queensmead, Kings Road, Windsor, Berkshire SL4 2AX Telephone: 01753 863779 Email for registrations: registrar@Brigidine.org.uk General enquiries: mail@Brigidine.org.uk Website: www.brigidine.org.uk Brigidine School Windsor is a private 48

school for girls age 2-18 and boys age 2-11. Individually tailored education. Historical building set in 5 acres close to Windsor Castle. ISL Group of Schools ISL Surrey Old Woking Road, Woking, Surrey GU22 8HY Contact: Claudine Hakim Telephone: +44 (0)1483 750 409 ISL London 139 Gunnersbury Avenue, London W3 8LG Contact: Yoel Gordon Telephone: +44 (0)20 8992 5823 ISL Qatar PO Box 18511, North Duhail, Qatar Contact: Nivin El Aawar Telephone: +974 4433 8600 Website: www.islschools.org Email: hmulkey@islschools.org Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2012, the International School of London (ISL) Group has schools in London, Surrey, and Qatar. The internationally recognised primary and secondary curricula have embedded language programmes (mother tongue, English as an Additional Language, and second language) which continue throughout the student’s stay in the school. A team of experienced and qualified teachers and administrators provides every student with the opportunity to grow and learn in an environment that respects diversity and promotes identity, understanding, and a passion for learning. TASIS THE AMERICAN SCHOOL IN ENGLAND Coldharbour Lane, Thorpe, Surrey TW20 8TE Contact: Karen House Telephone: +44 (0)1932 582316 Email: ukadmissions@tasisengland.org Website: www.tasisengland.org TASIS England offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma, an American college preparatory curriculum, and AP courses to its diverse community of coed day (3-18) and boarding (14-18) students from 50 nations. The excellent academic program, including ESL, is taught in small classes, allowing the individualized attention needed to encourage every student to reach their potential. Outstanding opportunities in art, drama, music, and athletics provide a balanced education. Extensive summer opportunities are also offered. Located close to London on a beautiful and historic 46-acre estate.

IMMIGRATION Legal Services

FRAGOMEN 4th Floor, Holborn Gate, 326-330 High Holborn, London WC1V 7PP

Contact: Charlotte Slocombe Telephone: +44 (0)20 3077 5250 Email: cslocombe@fragomen.com Website: www.fragomen.com As the world's leading provider of immigration legal services and advice, Fragomen has served the immigration needs of clients ranging from individuals to the world’s leading multinational corporations for 60 years. With 36 offices in 15 countries worldwide, Fragomen has the resources and the reach to provide strategic and effective immigration solutions for over 140 countries around the globe.

MOVING

DT MOVING 49 Wates Way, Mitcham, Greater London CR4 4HR Tel: 020 7622 4393 Email: london@dtmoving.com Web: www.dtmoving.com Contact: Tim Daniells DT Moving is a long established and awardwinning international moving company. Founded in 1870 as Davies Turner, DT Moving has vast experience in moving Americans to and from the United States and to other worldwide destinations. With a customer satisfaction rating of 96% for 2011, DT Moving offer a quality service at competitive rates. 1st class storage facilities are available.

TAXATION

WESTLETON DRAKE LLP 9 Devonshire Square, London EC2M 4YF Telephone: +44 (0)20 3178 6041 Fax: +44 (0)20 3178 4083 Email: info@westletondrake.com Website: www.westletondrake.com US and UK tax advisors who specialise in assisting Americans living in the UK, and corporations and partnerships doing business in the US and UK.

WEALTH MANAGEMENT

MASECO Private Wealth Buchanan House 3 St James’s Square London SW1Y 4JU Telephone: +44 (0)20 7043 0455 Email: enquiries@masecopw.com Website: www.masecoprivatewealth.com MASECO Private Wealth gives peace of mind by providing expert guidance to US families on how to simplify their cross-border wealth management needs. We serve and care for Americans living at home or abroad through the planning and implementation of rational, practical and tax efficient wealth management strategies.


Your Vote Counts! The 2012 US Elections You didn’t register or vote in the Primaries? Not to worry - there is just enough time to apply for an absentee ballot to vote in the November 2012 General Elections!

who want to vote in the 2012 election need to go to www.FVAP.gov to complete and submit · All US citizens a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) if they haven’t yet done so this calendar year · Anyone may request electronic delivery of his/her ballot and include an email address on his/her application vote in 2012, even if they have never lived in the US or have been · Almost all adult US citizens overseasawaycanfrom the US for a long time. Don’t miss out - submit your Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) with enough time to meet your state’s election date requirements. Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) website at www.fvap.gov to download your FPCA and the complete 2012 Voting Assistance Guide with each state’s requirements. Don’t forget there is always - The Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB), available at http://www.fvap.gov/resources/media/fwab.pdf. If you submit your FPCA in accordance with your state’s election date requirements you can use the FWAB as a back-up ballot. See the 2012 Voting Assistance Guide with each state’s requirements for completing the FWAB. US Elections Laws have Changed! States may, but are no longer required, to recognise voter registrations from previous years. To ensure your registration is valid for the November 2012 elections, US citizens residing or travelling abroad are advised to submit an FPCA in compliance with their state’s deadlines. The Military & Overseas Voters Empowerment Act (MOVE) requires States to send the ballot 45 days before Election Day but only if the State receives your ballot request form 45 days prior. If a State receives your ballot request form after the 45 day mark, a State is still required to accept and process your ballot request form up to 30 days before the Election Day and must send the ballot to you as expeditiously as possible. THE EMBASSY IS NOT A POLLING STATION SO YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO VOTE AT THE EMBASSY. Information is also available on the Embassy’s website under the overseas voting tab at http://london.usembassy. gov/cons_new/acs/scs/voting.html or on the Department of State’s website at http://www.travel.state.gov/travel/ living/overseas_voting/overseas_voting_4754.html. You can also request your FPCA and state instructions by sending an e-mail to londonvote@state.gov. If you do not have internet access, send a written request to: American Embassy, Voting Unit, 24 Grosvenor Square, London W1A 2LQ. Provide your name, full UK mailing address, your current or last state of residence in the U.S. along with the number of applications you require. For information about passport, including emergency passports, and other citizen services, please check our website at: http://london.usembassy.gov/service.html


American in Britain Autumn 2012  

The autumn 2012 issue of the quarterly magazine for Americans living in the UK, American in Britain. Articles in this issue include Challen...

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