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Autumn 2011

Price £5 Serving the American Community in the UK

Features include:  •  News  •  UK Sports  •  Travel • Eating Out   Theatre  •  Tax  •  American Women’s Clubs News • Arts & Antiques  Insurance  •  Property • Hotel Review • Top Ten Tips • Immigration


Claire

Assunta & Fabrice on their wedding day

Pierre Tony Mondello and me on Assunta’s wedding day

Please help us raise money to build a nursery school in loving memory of Assunta and her family As many readers know, my late business partner Assunta Mondello, with whom I presented The American Hour Radio Show, managed The American Hour Online and the networking events we held, sadly and tragically passed away with her husband Fabrice and their two young children Pierre 5, and Claire 3, due to carbon monoxide poisoning in their home in France. As a tribute to them, and Assunta's brother Tony, who sadly also passed away this year at the age of 34, I am going to raise ÂŁ20,000 to build a nursery school in Uganda that will be named the Comard-Mondello School, in their memory. Assunta's two children were both at school, and Assunta was a big supporter of children's charities, so after months of trying to decide what to do in their memory, I am delighted to say that I now have a project which I know Assunta would have been proud to be associated with, and a financial target to reach. The North of Uganda has enjoyed peace for the last few years and the effects can be seen as people leave their temporary mud huts that housed them for up to 20 years, and head back to the land they once farmed. Joseph Kony has not completely left their minds as he continues his destruction in Congo, but, for now, for this community, there is hope. The children of this area have had more years of war than peace and many only know fear and danger. They have witnessed things that no child should observe. There are no professionals to explain the nightmares, or why they only draw guns. The schools in this area have a massive job ahead. There are at present a few primary schools in Uganda, but my aim is to build a nursery school attached to one of these schools, which seems fitting as Pierre was 5 and Claire was 3 when they passed away. I am walking the marathon on October 1st as the start of my campaign and as many readers asked if they could make a donation to a charity as a tribute to Assunta and her work with the American Hour and the American Hour Online, I have set up a Just Giving Page so that those who would like to contribute to this project, can. People will also be able to see how close to the target we get, and then once the project is underway, I will publish pictures in future issues of American in Britain. The address if you would like to make a donation is www.justgiving.com/Assunta-Comard-Mondello-and-family For further information on the charity that will be building the nursery in their memory, please visit www.abaana.org I would like to thank you for your support and look forward to letting you know how this worthwhile project, in memory of a beautiful family, is coming along. Best wishes, Helen xx


Contents

AUTUMN 2011

News���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 3 Expat Stress������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 6 American Women's Clubs News�������������������������������������������������������������� 8 Theatre���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������13 UK Sports����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������17 US Sports�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������19 Eating Out���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������20 Insurance�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������24 Hotel Review���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������26 Travel�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������29 Top Ten Tips�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������32 Property��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������35 Taxing Matters������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������38 Immigration������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������40 American Church in London��������������������������������������������������������������������43 Arts & Antiques����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������44 A Relocation Experience��������������������������������������������������������������������������46 Useful Numbers����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������48

Autumn 2011

Price £5 Serving the American Community in the UK

PUBLISHER: Helen Elliott Tel: 020 8661 0186 American in Britain, PO Box 921, Sutton SM1 2WB E-mail: helen@theamericanhour.com Helen Elliott

Advisory Panel: Features include: • News • UK Sports • Travel • Eating Out Theatre • Tax • American Women’s Clubs News • Arts & Antiques Insurance • Property • Hotel Review • Top Ten Tips • Immigration

Front Cover: Mr William Bratton

No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission of the publishers Origination and Printing by Quentin Press Ltd

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News A Note From Helen Elliott, Publisher of American in Britain Raising money for a memorial to Assunta and her family Hopefully you have seen the inside front cover of this issue, as I am trying to raise £20,000 so that a nursery school can be built in Uganda in memory of Assunta, with whom I used to present The American Hour radio show, manage The American Hour website, as well as organising the networking receptions for American expatriates living in the UK. As many readers know, Assunta, her husband Fabrice, and their two little children Pierre aged 5 and Claire aged 3, all passed away due to carbon monoxide poisoning last year, and tragically Assunta’s younger brother Tony passed away this year at the young age of 34. As a tribute to all of them I have started a campaign to raise money so that a nursery can be built that will be named The ComardMondello Nursery. I started the campaign to raise funds by walking the marathon on 1st October, and I’m hoping to have reached the target of £20,000 in the near future.

Many readers and clients asked if they could donate to a charity when the tragedy happened, and it has taken a while for me to find something that I thought was a fitting tribute to them, but I now have a project and a financial target to reach. If you would like to donate to this worthwhile cause, please visit www.justgiving.com/assunta-comard-mondello-and-family where you can make a donation online and see how close to the target we are getting. I would like to thank you in advance if you are able to donate, it means a lot to me and all those who knew and loved Assunta and her family, and it would have meant a lot to Assunta too. Mr William Bratton (front cover)

In August 2011, Mr William Bratton was approached by the UK Prime Minister David Cameron, on behalf of the British Government, to become an advisor on gang-related issues that affected London earlier this summer. Prime Minister Cameron initially wanted to appoint Bratton Commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police Service, but was overruled by Home Secretary Theresa May, who insisted that only a British citizen should be able to run the Service. Bill Bratton has voiced his disappointment at not getting the chance to run London's Metropolitan Police. He told the BBC's HARDtalk he had no quarrel with the decision, but said: "I would have liked the opportunity." Senior police officers have questioned the Prime Minister's plan to get him to advise on tackling gang violence. There had been speculation Mr Bratton, who has been labelled "Supercop", was also the Prime Minister's preferred candidate to head up the Metropolitan Police, after his success in turning around troubled police departments in New York and Los Angeles. But Mr Bratton said David Cameron had not asked him to apply for the

post. "He and I have never had a conversation about the issue of leadership of the Met," he said. He said his advice was being sought after the recent riots, and he would be an informal adviser to the Home Office rather than to the prime minister. Bernard Hogan-Howe was named the new commissioner of the Metropolitan Police last week. Mr Bratton said: "It would certainly be a position I would entertain applying for. It is the most prestigious police position in the world in democratic policing. I would have liked the opportunity... I would be deceiving you if I was to profess that I would not have been interested." Mr Bratton made his name in the US by combining a "zero tolerance" of petty crime, being tough on gangs and building a strong relationship with the law-abiding community. He is a strong supporter of ethnic diversity within police forces. Mr. Bratton and Zachary Tumin, a senior researcher at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, have co-authored a management leadership book, COLLABORATE OR PERISH that will be published by Random House in January 2012. The Spanish Riding School of Vienna comes to UK for first time in over 5 years The Spanish Riding School of Vienna and their famous white Lipizzaner stallions are coming to London for the first time in five years. It is five years since the majestic, highly trained horses and riders of the 430 year old “High School for Classical Horsemanship” have graced the halls of the UK. Their last tour sold out within days as the opportunity to see the scholars of the Winter Riding School based in the Hofburg Palace in Vienna is a rare occurrence. They’re back with the show entitled “Imperial Dream” at Wembley Arena on 25, 26, 27th November 2011, which sees an impressive display of classical equitation in the Renaissance tradition of the haute école. The two Olympic Team GB Dressage riders will be performing a specially choreographed routine at Wembley Arena prior to the Spanish Riding School’s main event giving visitors the opportunity to see modern dressage and classical equitation all in one evening. He is the only disabled person to have won a title at the British Dressage National Championships competing against able-bodied riders. Mr. Bachinger has been the Director of the Spanish Riding School since 2006 where he serves as the official link between the Management and the Riders, and is key in preserving the traditions in training and riding within the School. He has been involved in the school for most of his long and successful career as a dressage riders. Visitors to the world famous Spanish Rid3


ing School in Vienna will be thrilled with the absolute balance and harmony achieved by these beautiful White Lipizzaner stallions and their regal riders. Famed for their in-hand work and movements above the ground such as the Capriole, Levade and Courbette the Imperial Dream Show will feature all the classics but with a difference. In keeping with their Austrian heritage the addition of live orchestral music and dance will add another dimension to this breathtaking extravaganza. Incredibly moving, highly sophisticated and full of the glamour of Imperial Vienna, this is one ticket that lovers of horses and the arts won’t want to miss out on. The Imperial Dream by the Spanish Riding School, Wembley Arena, London: Tickets go on sale at 9am on Wednesday 17th November priced at £65, £55, £35 & £25 (subject to booking fee) and are available from www.livenation.co.uk. For VIP packages or Hospitality go to www. LiveNationExperience.co.uk or +44 (0)207 009 3484. ‘Pole to Pole’ A fascinating illustrated dinner lecture from both Sir Ranulph Fiennes Bt OBE & Jonathan Scott on Friday 21st October 2011, at The MayFair Hotel, London. From his career in the SAS (he was the youngest captain in the British Army), to

fighting Marxist terrorists, and along with explorer Charles Burton, being the first man to reach both Poles as well as circumnavigating the world along its polar axis, Sir Ranulph’s life has been anything but uneventful and its re-telling will truly captivate you ! Your evening will begin in the company of our National Treasures with a champagne reception, followed by a delicious 3 course dinner, with carefully selected wines, during which Jonathan and Sir Ranulph will entertain you with anecdotes and a few serious moments from their action-packed careers, not only in the North and South Poles, but in Sir Ranulph's case, anywhere in the world where a dangerous expedition could be mounted! After coffee you will have your chance to ask them your own questions. Prices are just £225 per person or with overnight accommodation at the 5* May Fair Hotel, £365 pp (based on two people sharing). For further information telephone 01442 879000. COUNTRY LIVING MAGAZINE CHRISTMAS FAIR 9-13 November 2011 The Country Living Magazine Christmas Fair sets the mood for feasting, festivities and fun in the run up to the Christmas celebrations. It’s a brilliant source of Yuletide inspiration, with hundreds of ideas for gifts and stocking fillers; traditional and contemporary decorations; glamorous outfits and accessories for the party season; mouthwatering specialist food producers as well as fascinating demonstrations and tastings. Why leave the planning to the last minute when you can have it all wrapped and ready with one visit to the Country Living Magazine Christmas Fair. The event will take place at the Business Design Centre, Islington, London, N1 OQH (nearest tube Angel). Opening Hours: Wednesday 9th November - 10.00am to 6.00pm Wednesday Gala Evening - 6.30pm to 9.00pm* Thursday 10th November -10.00am to 6.00pm Friday 11th November - 9.30am to 6.00pm Saturday 12th November - 9.30am to 6.00pm Sunday 13th November - 10.00am to 3.00pm Standard Ticket prices: Adult tickets £12.50 in advance/£16.00 on the door Child tickets (5-16) £7.00 in advance/£8.50 on the door OAP advance n/a / On the door £12.50 All ticket bookings are subject to a 0.95p booking fee per booking (not per ticket). Web: www.countrylivingfair.com Tickets: 0844 848 0160 * The Gala evening donates £4 per ticket to the Prince’s Countryside Trust.

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The 2012 Corporate Relocation Conference & Exhibition The annual Corporate Relocation Conference & Exhibition, that is aimed at expatriates and professionals in global mobility, will take place on Monday 6th February 2012 at Hotel Russell, Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London from 10am – 5pm. There will be 42 exhibitors with products and services that benefit the expatriate community, and six free seminars that you can attend. Further information can be found on page 31. If you would like to register for any of these seminars please email helen@theamericanhour.com Places are limited so please do rsvp as early as possible. We look forward to seeing you there. www.theamericanhour. com & The American Hour Monthly Email Newsletter We continue to enhance our website www. theamericanhour.com. There are two new additions, and two updated areas on the ‘Useful Advice Pages’ section. The first addition is ‘International Mailing’, sponsored by PMI Expatriate Mail Services through which you can sign up to PMI’s useful Mail and Package service. The second addition is ‘Jobs in the UK’ which outlines the job market and employment in the UK. The updated areas cover Immigration information, and the Theatre section highlights the latest shows, plays and musicals. We have also run a number of exciting competitions on the website since the last issue of American in Britain, including tickets to see PARADE, The Vagina Monologues Tour and BBC Radio 2 – music festival in a day at Hyde Park. There are some excellent prizes coming up over the festive period, so keep your eyes on this area of the website! The American Hour Monthly Email Newsletter continues to be emailed on the first Monday of every month. If you are not on the distribution list, please email damian@ theamericanhour.com. The Newsletter contains news, updates, events, information and competitions relevant to any American living in the UK. n

We would like to wish all our readers and clients a very Happy Thanksgiving and Christmas!! Best wishes, Helen & Damian


Expat Stress Key Stress Management Strategies for the Expat by Carole Spiers

Psychological Support The adjustments needed to relocate are not only about time zones. Whilst you yourself may have come to terms with working in a new environment, your family could still be getting to grips with the different way of living and the conflicts that this sometimes creates have been known to cause family rifts. Psychological support at times such as these is essential and whilst back home you might have discussed family problems with close friends, in your new environment, this may not always be possible. So what are these so-called ‘stressors’? The move itself Moving is never easy. Often one needs help with de-cluttering and sorting out the fine details of the move and at times such as these, it is sometimes necessary to call in professional help. So don’t be brave and ‘go it alone’, plan ahead for the help you might need. Working in a new country Living and working in a new country should be an exciting and stimulating experience – which is why so many people opt to do it. You will be exposed to a culture that may be totally different from your own, and a way of life that may enable you to ‘stretch’ yourself, both physically and mentally – and sometimes, spiritually. The downside is that what ‘at home’ were the most simple aspects of day-to-day living can take on a whole new level of complexity. Buying food, accessing public transport, arranging medical and dental care, driving on a different side of the road, speaking a foreign language – all of these pose hurdles to be overcome, and all at a time when you’re trying to do your best to impress your new staff, colleagues or boss. Making new contacts If you’ve moved to the UK within your existing organisation, you will have a peer group of people around you with whom you share a common bond. If not, it can be difficult to start to network with new people when you don’t feel sufficiently confident in doing so, or to sustain the relationships you need to support you when you’re feeling under pressure.

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f you’re an expatriate working in the UK – particularly if you’re new to the country – you may find yourself subject to a range of ‘stressors’ that may stop you from fully enjoying the success you came here to achieve. 6

Getting a new job If you don’t already have a job to go to when you arrive in the UK, then finding one can be a challenge to know how to get started. You may need to take on a different role to the one you’re used to; it will take a while for you to build up your contacts and it can be both challenging to know whom you can trust and to whom to give a wide

berth. Then, when you are finally at your desk, there will be issues surrounding tax, insurance, driving licence, bank accounts, schools etc., with which to deal. Personal expectations When you enter into any new group or society, it’s understandable to try to be ‘all things to all people’. If you have a family, you may find that you need to be there for them when they are finding it hard to adapt. If you’re a husband, wife or partner, you may find yourself having to juggle many different roles, all of which can put a strain on what, in some instances, could already be a fragile relationship. So what can you do? If you feel that stressors such as these are holding you back, it’s time to follow these 10 key strategies for coping with personal stress: 1. Learn to say “No!” to excessive demands 2. Acknowledge that which you cannot change or control 3. Use exercise to help work-off stress 4. Avoid excessive use of nicotine, alcohol, caffeine or tranquillisers 5. Recharge your batteries with adequate rest and sleep 6. Use time-management. Learn to prioritise and delegate 7. Learn stress reduction techniques and practice them daily 8. Book ten minutes in your diary, every day, for personal time 9. Bring in relocation professionals for the move and to help you de-clutter 10. Find a ‘sounding-board’ - someone who will listen to you. You have left your home to work in a new country because you want to improve your life, further your career and stretch your horizons. You can ensure that you achieve these goals by monitoring and dealing efficiently with any stress-related situations either at home or at work. n The Author: Carole Spiers’ credibility is rooted in twenty years’ success as CEO of the UK’s No 1 Stress Management Consultancy. She is a leading authority on Corporate Stress, Motivational Speaker, BBC Guest-Broadcaster and bestselling author. Special offer for American in Britain readers. Contact us for our FREE Special Report: '45 Essential Strategies to Relieve Stress’. For more information on our counselling and relocation/moving home services, please contact us: Stress and Anxiety Counselling Email: help@saac.co.uk. www.stressandanxietycounselling.co.uk


American Women’s Clubs News AMERICAN WOMEN’S CLUB OF LONDON What a great time to meet up with old friends and meet new ones! Autumn is packed with so much to do in the American Women’s Club. There is dining-in, dining out, playing bridge, playing mah jong, stitching, golfing, gardening, going to the movies, going to the theatre, or cooking for the Ronald McDonald House. Not tickling your fancy yet? How about the travel club (this Autumn groups are going to Jordan and Dubrovnik), writing group, spanish conversation, or book discussion? Would you like to meet the ladies in the business women's group? It's the perfect time to meet our shopaholics! Would you like to join ladies for lunch, drinks, afternoon tea or at the pub? Would you like to visit a museum? Or join in for a London Walks tour? Maybe you would like to join out new Fitness Fanatics? It’s the perfect antidote for “Let’s Do Lunch” and “Drinks Etc...” 8

If any or all of these sound appealing to you, you will find all this and more along with a warm welcome at the American Women's Club! We are a close-knit group of women either from the US, or with strong ties to the US who enjoy working and playing together. We have a wide-range of activities that appeal to every age. With something on the calendar for almost every day of the month, you are sure to find an activity that is appealing. AWC belongs to FAWCO (Federation of American Women's Clubs Overseas) and FIWAL (Federation of Women's Associations in London). By associating with women all over the world, and from all over the world, AWC offers a global perspective and a comfortable base. Even if you choose to not join AWC, you are still invited to our 2011 AWC Holiday Bazaar! Do your Holiday shopping early with over 30 vendors offering a wide variety of products including: jewellry, handmade knitware, candles, clothing, accessories, artwork and more! Date: Monday, November 7, 2011 Time: 11 am to 2:30 pm Place: Lansdowne Club, 9 Fitzmaurice Place, Mayfair W1J 5JD Station: Green Park (Piccadilly, Jubilee and Victoria Lines Dress: Smart (No trainers, jeans or outside coffee) RSVP: AWC Office or order tickets through paypal Cost: £10 (includes a drink) Bring your friends and family for an amazing day of shopping! All vendors will contribute items for a raffle. For those who cannot attend, raffle tickets will be available prior to the event at the AWC Office. You will receive a warm welcome at the American Women’s Club. Telephone 020 7589 8292. Address: 68 Old Brompton Road, London SW7 3LQ.

The Junior League of London The Junior League of London’s (JLL) volunteers were busy over the summer months with charitable and fundraising activities as well as preparation for the League’s biggest events of the year, Boutique de Noel and Holiday Hampers, which take place in November and December respectively. The JLL’s current community focus is on poverty and the membership invests more than 20,000 hours of volunteer service and more than £50,000 directly into the community. Our community programmes include The Learning Club, which provides one-on-one classroom support for the students at Colville Primary School. The committee opened the new school year with a bag of back-to-school supplies donated to each Colville student. On 9th September, the volunteers took part in an all-school assembly where they were introduced by the Head Teacher. In addition to one-on-one tutoring, this year the volunteers will create extra-curricular clubs such as a Chess Club, a Latin Club and a Creative Writing Club. Another JLL community programme, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (DPIL), encourages reading by providing children in low-income families with a free book every


month from birth to the age of five. Over the summer, the DPIL worked with St Vincent in Westminster and signed up 50 more children to the programme. The committee has several events planned for the children this autumn and winter. The JLL’s Centrepoint committee, which helps the youth charity re-integrate residents into society through a programme of events, workshops and mentoring, spent the summer planning an activity-packed calendar for the coming year. The committee’s upcoming events include cooking workshops, debate nights, career seminars, life skills courses, tutoring and social activities. Holiday Hampers, a JLL tradition since 1997, delivers gifts and essential basics to nearly 1,000 individuals and families in need over the festive season. The Holiday Hampers committee spent the summer months securing corporate donors to help provide some of the 19,000 food, toiletry and gift items that go in to the hampers. With only three months to go, the committee has also been hard at work planning the autumn’s purchasing, communications and assembly processes in order to hit the ground running after the summer holidays. The next priority for the committee is to secure an assembly site. If you’d like to support the Holiday Hampers programme with a corporate donation or to suggest an assembly site, please get in touch with the JLL at jrleague@ jll.org.uk. Our Events Committee raises vital funds for our community programmes. In July, the committee held a boat cruise on the Thames in July which raised funds to support the League’s community programmes. If you’d like to support the Junior League of London, attend one of our upcoming events! • Tory Burch Shopping Event to launch its new collection – 22nd September, 6:00pm-8:30pm, 149 New Bond Street, W1. Canapés and Champagne will be served. • Buckingham Palace Private Tour - 30th September, 5pm • Halloween Party - 28th October, 8pm, Beautfort House. The JLL’s fundraising initiatives for the autumn culminate in our largest event of the year, Boutique de Noel (BdN), which takes place on the 9th and 10th November. The annual event features a shopping fair with over 100 unique merchants where shoppers can find unusual gifts for everyone on their list. The BdN committee spent the summer coordinating with merchants, securing silent auction items and planning the many details that make the event a massive success! For more information or to buy a ticket to one of the Junior League’s events, visit: www.jll.org.uk.

Kensington Chelsea Women's Club welcomes newcomers to London The KCWC, London's largest international women's association, has members from all over the world as well as British women, living in Greater London and surrounding counties. It welcomes newcomers to this great city as well as old-timers with new found time on their hands, to explore all that this country has to offer. Organising activities and social events in over 30 areas of interest, from antiques to art history; daytime and evening book groups; Bridge and MahJong; tennis and golf; parenting, photography and a professional forum for career women; theatre, travel, and a toddler group; creative pursuits and glorious gardening and even a wine society. The club meets on a monthly basis at a morning general membership meeting at a historical venue such as the Royal Geographical Society or the Royal Automobile Club or the Royal Institute of British Architects, while specific activity groups meet regularly or for lectures, trips and entertainment on different days of the month. This October, members, friends and women interested in joining the fun will meet on Thursday, 6 October from 9:30 am till 12 noon at the Royal Geographical Soci-

ety on Kensington Gore opposite Kensington Gardens (entrance on Exhibition Road). The Guest Speaker will be Biographer Anne Sebba who has written the newest biography of Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor, entitled "That Woman". The talk begins at the RGS's lecture hall at 10:30 am. No tickets are necessary. Coffee from 9:30 am is complimentary. The Fall/ Winter schedule is chockablock with exciting new events. For instance, the Antiques and Design Group have organised a lecture on the "History of Style and Design in Britain from 1660 to the Present" on 13 October at the East India Club. They also plan a tour of the V&A Architecture Gallery on 20 October. If one is interested in the American Country House, a lecture is scheduled on 27 October. A visit to the historical Leighton House is on for 17 November as well as a tour of the fabulous newly restored St. Pancras Hotel and station on 1 December. The Art History gang and interested new members will meet on 4 October to begin a Contemporary Art Series which will include lectures and gallery tours. A curator from the famed Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg will lecture on " The Prodigal Son: from Rembrandt to Britten" on 17 October at the exclusive Carlton Club at St. James's, while on 15 November, the group will meet there for

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a talk on the famed photographer "Gerhard Richter: Panorama". The much-heralded Leonardo da Vinci exhibition at the National Gallery is the focus of a lecture on 29 November. One of the most awaited events at the KCWC is its Halloween Party for children and their parents on Saturday, 29 October at the Baden Powell House in Kensington from 12 noon till 3 pm. For more information, contact Cookie Allred or Janet Turner via e-mail at kcwckids@kcwc.org.uk. The November General Meeting will be held at the Royal Geographical Society on Thursday, 3 November for a coffee morning and talk at the usual time of 9:30 am till 12 noon. The guest speaker will be author Juliet Nicolson, granddaughter of the flamboyant literary couple Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson, also known for their Sissinghurst estate, which is presently run by Juliet's brother, the author Adam Nicolson. Juliet will present her book, "The Great Silence" about the devastating effect of the Great War leading into the Jazz Age and the fabulous Roaring Twenties. Another highlight of KCWC's new activity year is it's Nearly New Sale which will take place on Saturday, 12 November at the Brompton Oratory Church Hall on Brompton Road, SW7. This event is open to nonmembers with a token £1 entry fee. Pre-owned children's clothing and toys, DVDs and accessories from birth to age 12 may be purchased for a bargain with proceeds going to KCWC's local charities. In December, the KCWC always meets for its special Christmas coffee morning at the very exclusive Royal Automobile Club on Pall Mall at St. James's from 9:30 am till 12 noon. The Guest Speaker is the entertaining historical biographer Helen Rappaport who will present her latest book, "Magnificent Obsession". This book examines the ionisation of Prince Albert and commemorates the 150th anniversary of the untimely passing at the age of 42 of the brilliant Prince Consort and much-beloved husband of Queen Victoria and its effect on her Reign. The club's Lifestyling Group offers "Networking at Home House", a joint event with Professional Forum on 11 October from 6:30 till 8 pm. The group welcomes KCWC members and their guests to " The Art of Discovering One's Purpose in Life"' an inspiring talk by Patricia Tashiro at 9:45 till 11:45 am at Whole Foods Market's Room With A View. Lifestyling group will also host "Turning Passion into Profession: the Art of Creating Your Own Business" on 16 November at the same venue, as well as a talk on 14 December on"Ending 2011 with Gratitude and Setting Intentions for 2012" again at the same venue 10

and time. For information on all Lifestyling Group events, contact Susan at lifestyle@ kcwc.org.uk. The KCWC London Walks group will explore St. Katherine's Dock to Wapping Dock Stairs on 17 October while the Theatre Group have organised discounted group tickets to see the new musical " Rock of Ages" on 13 October and "The Last of the Duchess", again about the famed American for whom King Edward VIII gave up his throne. The popular Travel Group will visit Dover Castle and the White Cliffs of Dover on 19 October and Jane Austen's Life in Chawton House on 8 November while the Art History Group will travel to The Hague on 1-2 November. Another popular group is the British History group who will hear a lecture on the History of St. James's Palace on 9 November at the exclusive East India Club nearby. Among the Creative Pursuits that the Club have launched is Watercolour Painting after-

noons on Mondays starting 3 October till 19 December at the Kensington and Chelsea Town Hall. This is open only to KCWC members. For more on how to join the busiest women's organisation in London, either e-mail info@kcwc.org.uk or ring (020) 7863 7562. Northwood Area Women’s club Northwood Area Women’s club invites ladies from all corners of the world to join us for Friendship, Fun and Fundraising. We are a truly international club with a membership of around 100 ladies who represent 25 different nationalities. Whether you are resident in the Northwood district area on a temporary or permanent basis a warm welcome awaits you. Our past season was particularly successful with a 33% increase in membership, an increased number of interest groups and a 50% increase in fundraising. However, the


2011/12 season promises to be even bigger and better than the last. Our informal social club aims to provide a wonderful varied programme of monthly meetings, interest groups, outings and events, to inform, interest, entertainment and even inspire members. This season started as usual with a “Meet and Greet” in September but also featured an interest group fair. Our dozen different interest groups, where members meet in smaller groups to have fun, share, extend and develop interests or even learn new ones, offer a great way to build friendships. Our groups include art appreciation, book clubs, knitting, ladies who lunch, mah jong, quilting and stitching, stage and screen, themed dining, walkers and ramblers. A wide range of speakers are booked to attend the monthly general meetings and November’s meeting will be revealing the mysteries of the Magic Circle, the premier magical society in the fascinating world of mystery and illusion. Our 'out and about' programme provides the opportunity to visit of places, events and attractions, both local and further afield. This season’s programme includes The Deutsche Bank art collection, guided tour of St Pancreas Hotel, an East London Olympic Park tour, coach trip to Aston Potteries and Bicester Designer shopping village and much more. Throughout its history our club has supported a local based charity. This year’s nominated charity is RAFT (the Restoration of Appearance and Function Trust). A charity which conducts pioneering research work to develop new treatments for those affected by skin conditions from burns and wounds to skin cancer. Funds will be raised through the sale of raffle tickets, profits from events and outings, book sales, bunco parties as well as

specific fundraising events. Whether you have been here in the in the UK for just a few months, or years, you are bound to find plenty to interest you at Northwood Area Women’s club. If you are in the area please join us as a guest at any event. See our web site for further information www.northwoodareawomensclub.co.uk or contact us on info@northwoodareawomensclub.co.uk . 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! Regular member activities include adventures abroad, antiquing trips, art and history lectures, book discussions, bridge, charity fundraising and participation, country walks, cycling outings, golf lessons, French lessons, let's go local outings, saddle club, scrapbooking, pilates, and weekly tennis matches. Our next membership meeting, to be held in Chertsey on October 4, will feature a special programme on "A Royal Life: The Queen's Diamond Jubilee" with guest speaker Nicholas Witchell, esteemed BBC news broadcaster and Royal and Diplomatic Correspondent. Mr Witchell be sharing royal stories from his 35-year career with the BBC and will discuss what's ahead for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations. We are looking forward to our largest charity fundraising event of the year -- the 2011 AWBS Holiday Craft and Gift Fayre on Friday, November 4 from 9 am until 3:30pm at the Ascot Racecourse. Get a head start on your Christmas shopping and avoid the London crush! With over 80 designers, artists, and exhibitors from London and the south

east, find fabulous fashion; handpicked jewellery, vintage and home wares; the very best art, ceramics, glass and woodcraft; and gourmet food in the stunning historic Pavilion ballroom complex at Ascot Racecourse. Shop with some of the very best exhibitors from the big London events (Chelsea Flower Show, the Spirit of Christmas and the Country Living Fairs) without the hassle. 100% of the Fayre’s profits and a percentage of each purchase goes to charities within Berkshire and Surrey. Accessible from the M4 and M3, Ascot Racecourse (SL5 7JX) is well signposted and offers free car parking. Or you can walk from the nearby Ascot train station. For more information about the Fayre or our club, please visit www.awbs.org.uk. We look forward to meeting you soon! American Women of Surrey Why not take strain out of holiday and Christmas shopping this year by doing all your festive shopping at The American Women of Surrey (AWS) “21st Gift Fayre. With 1000's of outstanding gift ideas this is the perfect family event to fill those Christmas stockings. This year we have jewellery, scarves, cashmere, unique Christmas decorations, Olympic memorabilia, pottery, children's accessories, and homemade fudge and cheese, in addition to many accessories not found in high street stores. Join us at the Elmbridge Xcel centre in Walton on Thames and meet an amazing range of retailers, manufacturers, craftspeople, wholesalers and importers. This is our major annual fundraising event and all proceeds to benefit local charities in Surrey. The 2010 Gift Fayre was a great success and the Mayor of Elmbridge Cllr Barry Cheyne was also on hand to lend support, along with Susan Duncan (AWS) and Kelly Walsh (AWS). Date: Tuesday 8th November 2011, 9am to 2 pm. Entry fee £4.00 Location: The Elmbridge Xcel Centre, Waterside Drive, Walton on Thames Surrey KT12 2JG. For further details please visit www.awsurrey.org. n

If you would like news and events published from your club, please email helen@theamericanhour.com by December 2nd for our winter edition.

11


Theatre Shrek - The Musical

Some news and reviews of London's Theatre

From start to finish this show has comedy, colour, great music, great acting and great special effects. The characters from childhood stories appear throughout the show and add such fantastic colour to the production that children will be mesmerized. On seeing in the programme that there was a dragon, Daisy at the age of five started to become quite anxious, but when the dragon hit the stage she

Shrek – The Musical As my five year old niece Daisy and I sat in the theatre, (Daisy on the special blow up booster seats the theatre provides for children, which is a great idea and one I’d not seen before), little did I know how much I was going to end up raving about a show about a green ogre!

was completely enthralled as the dragon has a female voice that belted out the most incredible song whilst she (the dragon) danced on the stage, as she is a life size puppet, expertly moved around the stage by two or three puppeteers. It really was one of the many highlights of the show and reminiscent of the horses in War Horse. The acting by Nigel Lindsay as Shrek, Richard Blackwood at Donkey and Nigel Harman as Lord Farquaad was exceptional. Their voices

are strong and there is a good sense of humour in all three characters that they portray wonderfully, and you do truly believe they are their fictional characters. We saw the understudy for Fiona and she was equally brilliant, and I have heard that Kimberly Walsh from Girls Aloud is due to take the role of Fiona shortly and I am sure she will be great too. Based on the Oscar winning films, Shrek is a magical experience that all the family will enjoy, and I can’t wait to go back and see it again! For further information please visit www.shrekthemusical.co.uk The Wizard Of Oz Watching the film of The Wizard of Oz every Christmas is a British institution and I think the Frank Baum story of an innocent girl being transferred from Kansas to the Land of Oz is known and loved by everyone. I for one know every line and song in the film, as I suspect do most others, and it is against that tough background that Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber's version comes to the West End. To update the old version for 2011 and to turn what was a story with a few songs into a full musical, (note the original film was made in 1939), new songs have been added and they fit well with the old much loved classics. The West End never ceases to surprise me with how they manage to cover all of the sets a story requires and here the production team excel themselves. The scenery is so good you truly believe you are in Kansas at the start and the special effects for the cyclone made me believe I was caught up in the twister and on my way to Oz. Once there I delighted in how they continued to portray the scenes I had avidly watched as a boy and I loved the Witches castle which I felt had a little inspiration from the Thunderdome in the Mad Max films. 13


For those who followed the BBC1 search for Dorothy and Toto in 'Over the Rainbow' you won’t be disappointed by Danielle Hope in the lead role, as she gets the balance just right between Dorothy’s nerves and her need to stand up for what is right. Michael Crawford has also made a welcome return to the West End as the Wizard and Professor Marvel, the latter a role not too dissimilar to PT Barnum which he made his own. They are ably supported by David Ganly as the cowardly lion, Paul Keating and the Scarecrow and Edward Baker-Duly as the Tin man, but the ‘star’ of the show for me was Hannah Waddingham, as the Wicked Witch of the West. It’s a great part, but it needs to be ‘hammed’ to the max and that is done to perfection, and at one point she flies over the audience on her 14

broomstick speaking through a megaphone! Toto also gets lots of ooohs and aaahs from the audience! What I liked about this production was that although more songs and some surprises/additional scenes have been added, these additions are sympathetic to the original story. There is an old adage that if it isn’t broken don’t try to fix it and it is a relief that this production doesn’t fall into the trap that other adaptations of old classics have fallen into recently of adding scenes that detract from the original. Here the story of a young girl discovering that ‘there is no place like home’ is so good that to change it would be almost heresy, and the concept of ‘there is no place like home’ is probably as relevant today as it was in 1900 when Baum wrote his book.

WIN A PAIR OF TICKETS TO THE 'LION IN WINTER' From 5 November www.trh.co.uk Starring Robert Lindsay and Joanna Lumley, Trevor Nunn continues his electrifying season with his fourth production at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. A family Christmas becomes a family at war. Henry II, not so young as he was, invites his estranged wife Eleanor of Aquitane, and his three sons, Richard, Geoffrey and John, to spend the festive season with him, his mistress Princess Alais, and her brother, the young King Philip of France. Will Henry name who is to be his successor as King of England? Their yuletide celebration turns into a combat zone of deceit, betrayal, bitter power games and scabrous wit. To enter, please email damian@theamericanhour.com and put ‘The Lion in Winter’ in the subject. 1 x pair of tickets valid for Monday to Thursday performances until 5 January 2012. Subject to availability. Not valid for 15th November. Tickets are non-transferable and no cash alternative will be offered. Winning tickets will be reserved for collection at theatre Box Office. This competition closes at 5pm on Friday 4th November, and the winner will be notified by email. n


UK Sports Our quarterly overview of UK Sports We hope all American expats living in Britain have enjoyed our summer sports, especially cricket (our nearest equivalent to baseball!!), and the Wimbledon tennis tournament (somewhat pompously named THE CHAMPIONSHIPS!!) and also our Open golf championship (similarly called THE OPEN!!) We also review the GB team performances at the world athletics and rowing championships. Now in October, the soccer season is under way and we review the current Rugby Union World Cup in New Zealand. Cricket In our last issue we commented on the start of the England cricket team’s three match Test series against Sri Lanka. That series ended in a win for England and set the team up for the ensuing four Test series against the world number one ranked team - India. We all expected four very tight Test matches against one of the best batting line ups in Test cricket. Tendulkar, Dravid, Gambhir, Laxman, Sehwag (last two Tests) and Dhoni had destroyed opposition bowling attacks around

the world. Until, that is, they came up against the current England bowling attack of Anderson, Broad, Bresnan, Swan and Tremlett. The England bowlers never let the India batting attack get on top of them. Only Dravid batted consistently well throughout the series. Tendulkar, seeking his one hundreth century in Test cricket failed to deliver, although he came close with ninety one in the second innings of the final Test. By contrast, England’s batters excelled against what proved to be a weak Indian bowling attack. India suffered with the loss of their main strike bowler to injury during the first Test and only once dominated England’s top order batters. In the first innings of the second Test England were reeling at 124 for 8, but even then India could not finish England off. England’s eighth wicket put on 73 runs and the last wicket pair an invaluable 24 runs. Broad scored an immaculate 64 with Swann contributing 28 runs. Nevertheless, this put India in a strong position and when they reached 267 for 5, already 46 runs ahead of England’s total of 221, England looked to be in trouble. But Broad struck again with a hat trick of wickets, taking 6 wickets for 46 runs in total and India were all out for 288. Bell then scored a brilliant 159, Bresnan 90, Prior 73, Morgan 70, Pietersen 63 and Broad again with 44 to set India 479 to win. They were all out for 158. This second Test was the watershed in the Series. England showed what a great all round team they are and India never recovered. This was the sort of never-say-die, we can still win when our backs are against the wall attitude that the great all conquering Australian teams of the past always possessed. Well, England have that great quality now. As a result of a resounding four match series whitewash against India, England replaced India as the number one ranked Test team in the world. Congratulations to Andrew Strauss, who captains the team so well, Andy Flower, our excellent team coach, and the whole Test squad. Tennis Europeans dominated the Wimbledon championships (sorry, THE Championships) once again. Only America’s Bryan brothers, who won the Men’s Doubles title, interrupted Europe’s current domination of world tennis. In the Men’s singles, world number one, Novak Djokovic won his first Wimbledon title defeating defending champion Rafael Nadal in the final. Britain’s only hope, Andy Murray, faltered again in his semi final, a feat he then repeated in the US Open. The other British entrants all failed dismally once again. As in Women’s tennis, the British (including our media) get excited and count it a major achievement if one of our boys gets through

the first round of a major championship - how to make underachievement a success story. The LTA still needs to take a very serious look at how we locate and prepare our players of the future because that organisation has failed dismally to do so since probably the era of John Lloyd; Henman, Rusedski and Murray: of more recent times, having reached the top through routes other than that provided by the LTA schemes. Having said this, one glimmer of hope was raised in the US Open Boys championship when Oliver Golding took the title and we had two other boys in the semifinals. Well done Oliver! In the Women’s singles, Petra Kvitova from the Czech Republic surprised most observers by defeating hot favourite, Maria Sharapova, in the final. Kvitova is twenty one and she demonstrates to our best female hopefuls, Heather Watson (19) and Laura Robson (17), that progress to the top if you want to win Open titles has to be swift. As with our young men, our girls need to develop fast if they want to achieve more than first round victories at the top level. Incidentally, it is worth noting that, as with our best recent male tennis players mentioned above, neither Watson nor Robson have been trained through LTA schemes. Watson has come through the Boltierie Acadamy in Florida and Robson has had private coaching organised by her parents. Enough said!! The Women’s Doubles title went to Kveta Peschke (another Czech) and Katarina Srebotnik (Slovenia) and the Mixed Doubles was won by Jurgen Melzer (Austria) and Iveta Benesova (yet another Czech!). Is the Czech Republic going to dominate Women’s tennis? There was some future hope for Australia, once the powerhouse of world tennis. Luke Saville won the Boy’s singles title and Ashleigh Barty the Girl’s title. And just to give our antipodean friends another pat on the back, Samantha Stosur defeated Serena Williams in the US Open singles final. Golf Northern Ireland has been dominating the golf scene this summer. Following Graeme McDowell’s victory in the 2010 US Open and Rory McIlroy’s victory at the US Open this year, fellow countryman, Darren Clarke, won the British Open (sorry, THE Open) at Royal St. George’s by three strokes from America’s Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson. Forty two year old Clarke became the oldest player to win The Open since Roberto de Vicenzo in 1967 and no player had played more Open championships than Clarke before winning it - twenty attempts before this year! Clarke’s was a very popular victory. Having lost his wife to cancer in 2006, “It’s for the kids” he said after his triumph. A very popular victory indeed and Phil 17


Mickelson, whose wife and mother are recovering from the same disease, was one of the first to greet Clarke outside the recorder’s hut and congratulate him on his victory - a poignant and generous moment on behalf of the equally popular American. World Athletics and Rowing Championships With the 2012 London Olympics getting nearer and nearer we had a chance to see how Team GB might perform at the big event. The athletics team produced the seven medals predicted by UK Head Coach, Charles van Commenee, but not quite as he might have hoped. Many congratulations go to Mo Farah and Dai Greene who both brought home gold medals. Farah became the first Britain to win a medal in the middle distance races winning gold in the 5,000 metres and silver in the 10,000 metres, a magnificent achievement. Dai Greene took gold in the 400 metres hurdles. Three other silver medals were won by Jessica Ennis in the heptathlon (although many expected her to take the gold - a poor performance in the javelin event let Jessica down badly), Phillips Idowu in the triple jump (although, again, a gold was expected here) and Hannah England in the 1,500 metres which was an excellent and perhaps unexpected achievement. One bronze medal was won by Andy Turner in the 110 metres hurdles after the gold medal winner was disqualified and fourth placed Andy was placed third. Overall, the athletics performance showed that Team GB has a massive task to improve individual chances of medals, let alone golds, in the 2012 Olympics. Hopefully, home territory and the support from the home fans might just help some athletes to produce something extra special on the day. In the world Rowing championships Team GB returned seven gold medals, three silver and four bronze. Rowing has been a major success for Team GB ever since Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent achieved such great success in multiple Olympics. Soccer Recession, what recession? Premiership teams went on a gross spending spree in the transfer window that ended at 11pm on 31 August, with a total of £485 million being spent on hoped for team performances. Naturally the biggest spenders were Manchester City who spent a net £52.25 million on Aguero, Nasri, Savic and Clichy, these being their major acquisitions. Manchester United were not far behind spending a net £42.9 million on, predominantly, De Gea, Jones and Ashley Young. Not to be out done, Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea had a net spend 18

of £41.75 million on Mata, Lukaku, Romeu, Courtois and Piazon. Liverpool bought Downing, Henderson, Adam, Coates and Enrique for a net £34.1 million. These four big clubs clearly intend to make a big impact in the 2011/12 season but time will tell how far the money spent will achieve trophies. Tottenham Hotspur were the only other Premiership club with a net spend in excess of £10 million, spending £13.5 million on Parker, Coulibaly, Friedel and Ceballos. Four clubs actually gained financially from the transfer window. Aston Villa gained £20.5 million by selling Downing, Ashley Young and Luke Young for a gross £39.5 million. Despite spending £72.4 million on, primarily, OxladeChamberlain, Gervinho, Arteta, Per Mertesacker, Santos and Park, Arsenal profited by £16.4 million selling, reluctantly, their captain Fabregas and Nasri together with Clichy and Eboue. Everton were being pushed to pay down their debt and reluctantly sold Arteta, Beckford and Vaughan to make a net profit of £12.5 million. Finally, Blackburn profited by £10.2 million primarily from the sale of Jones and Kalinic. Many clubs also indulged in loan arrangements which not only give fringe players a chance of regular soccer but also reduce their home clubs’ wages bill. As the season progresses it will be interesting to see how the results of the big net spenders compare to the clubs who profited financially from their transfer deals and, then, against the other clubs with small net spending records. We will report in the next issues. Once again, four Premiership clubs will represent England in the European Champions League - Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal, the latter entering the main draw after a difficult qualifying tie against Udinese of Italy. The Group stages begin in September, three home and three away games. Manchester United look to have the easiest passage in the Group stages having been drawn against Benfica, Basel and Otelul whilst local rivals Manchester City have difficult matches against Bayern Munich, Vilarreal and Napoli. This being City’s first appearance in the Champions League they were placed in pot 3 in the draw, below teams with a better European competition pedigree in pots 1 and 2. Chelsea and Arsenal should progress to the knock out stage, the former being drawn against Valencia, Bayer Leverkusen and Genk and the latter against Marseille, Olympiakos and Borussia Dortmund. In the International scene, England are looking favourites for automatic qualification to the 2012 European Championship finals. Recent victories away to Bulgaria and home to Wales leave England needing only a draw in

their last qualifying match to reach the finals next summer. At last the England team appear to have found some really good young prospects to replace the old guard who were such a disappointment in recent World and European finals. Players like Smalling, Jones, Cleverley, Ashley Young (all Manchester United), Walcott and Wilshere (both Arsenal) may well represent the future face of the England team, and there are other promising youngsters currently playing for the England Under-21 team. Rugby Union The Rugby World Cup is now under way in the land of the All Blacks, the silver fern and the haka, the spectacular war dance of the Maori performed before every All Black rugby match - New Zealand. To New Zealanders there is greater pride in being awarded an All Black rugby jersey than receiving a knighthood from the Queen! Although New Zealand have failed only once to reach a rugby world cup semi-final, they have only won the trophy itself once, again in New Zealand in 1987. Will they choke again or will Dan Carter, the New Zealand playmaker, create the chances for a second world cup victory to send the home country into rapturous delight? England are ranked fifth in the tournament behind New Zealand (1), Australia (2), South Africa (3) and France (4). They have, however, shown their intent to match the All Blacks at their own game - by wearing an all black strip of their own instead of our traditional all white kit!! Apart from infuriating the New Zealand nation, the idea that we can transform our team into an All Black equivalent by our choice of kit colour has caused considerable mirth elsewhere in the rugby world. At the time of writing, the first Group matches have been played. England had a late narrow victory over Argentina 13-9, Scotland beat Romania 34-24 and Wales lost to South Africa 16-17. Of the twenty countries in the world cup (playing in four groups with the top two from each Group qualifying for the quarter finals), some are there to make up the numbers but Wales have a particularly difficult Group with South Africa, Fiji, Samoa and Namibia. England have the auld enemy, Scotland, in their Group along with Argentina, Georgia and Romania, and should qualify. Likewise, Ireland who play Australia, Russia, the USA and Italy should also make the quarter finals. ITV is covering all the world cup matches. The semi-finals will be on 15 and 16 October with the final on 23 October at 9am British time. Should be well worth getting up early on a Sunday morning to watch. n


US Sports ESPN AMERICA HD and ESPN HD this Fall

Come October, only one event makes the hearts of baseball fans beat faster, it’s the Fall Classic! ESPN America will have coverage of the MLB Playoffs including all of the Divisional and Conference Series, culminating with the MLB World Series. It seems that the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies are headed for an inevitable showdown. Find out if any of the upstarts can rock these heavyweights or are the favourites just too strong this year? ESPN America has another treat for you baseball fans out there, be sure to check out our “Step up to the Plate” app on Facebook (facebook.com/espnamerica). Enter the ESPN America Wall of Fame and customise your MLB Scoreboard! All you need to do is upload a picture of yourself, fill in your details, come up with a unique stat and a career highlight and you will have the chance to win the Ultimate Baseball Experience. We’ll fly you to Tuscany, home of the MLB European Baseball Academy for a two day training session with MLB Coaches and a former Major Leaguer plus play a game with fellow fans from around Europe and have an almighty BBQ. Plus we will feature your Scoreboard live on SportsCenter, so what are you waiting for...? Pig Skin is live all season and within just a few weeks some NFL contenders have shown signs of life, while some have already lost key matchups. No team has had a bigger blow to their title hopes than the Indianapolis Colts. Losing Peyton Manning means that it will most likely be an uphill battle to reach the Postseason.

The NCAA College Football season has already seen some stunning upsets and instant classic games. All fall we will continue our comprehensive coverage of NCAA Football, including our marquee shows College GameDay, College Football Live, and College Football Scoreboard. Can the SEC dominate another year or is this finally the year of Mountain West’s Boise State really busts the BCS? Stay with us all season long as we have all the important Conference Championships and throughout December and January we are the exclusive home for college football’s Bowl season. With up to 15 live games per month, ESPN America provides the most comprehensive College Football coverage in Europe! ESPN UK is primed to show you the best NBA coverage too, but as you are probably aware we are eagerly waiting news on the NBA lockout. But all is not lost as you can get your basketball fix by watching NCAA College Basketball on ESPN America. Many of the brightest college stars will return to the hardwood floors of the NCAA this November, promising that the battle for the number 1 ranking will be as fierce as ever. And to round it all up, stay on top of all your American sports news, views and reviews with the one and only SportsCenter. Wake up every weekday and join Michael Kim and JW Stewart as they break down all the scores, highlights, and top stories from North America. Tune in every Monday to Friday at 6am, repeated till 8am with an updated show at 10.30pm. n

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Eating Out Aubergine at the Compleat Angler Marlow Bridge, Marlow, Buckinghamshire SL7 1RG Telephone: 0844 879 9128 Chef Miles Nixon and the staff of Aubergine have moved from London and are now resident at the Complete Angler at Marlow and I for one think this is a perfect match. Marlow is a delightful historic town on the River Thames and although it has easy links to London and the M40 and M4 it is surrounded by beautiful countryside. Marlow has many restaurants and its residents are renowned gourmets so I can just imagine their delight in 2009 when Aubergine opened, as it brings the quality and sophistication of a top quality London Restaurant to the suburbs. This compliments perfectly the old style and elegance of the hotel in which it now resides. The Compleat Angler can be found on the outskirts of Marlow right by Marlow Weir on the River Thames and is the perfect riverside retreat for that luxury spa or golf break. It has 64 luxurious bedrooms many of which look out over the lawns to the characteristic weeping willow trees that adorn the Thames. The hotel has its own Jetty and two boats that can be hired, and as the name suggests if you want to try your hand at fishing this is the place to be. All the rooms are spacious and all are beautifully decorated, but I suggest requesting a view of the Thames to ensure the maximum relaxation as there is something therapeutic about watching the flow of the water down the weir and the anglers huddled in their boats awaiting their next catch whilst you are relaxing on your balcony. 20

Business users are also well catered for at the Compleat Angler and although it retains the feel of a small hotel, it does have extensive facilities for conferences or weddings and offers complimentary broadband in every room. The hotel has two restaurants, the Bowater and Aubergine and it was the latter that I couldn’t wait to try. On entering the dining area the first thing that struck me was that although the ceilings are lower than usual nowadays, how much warmth the room had, and the décor and building were as one rather than being at odds with each other. The idea is to provide a cosy and relaxed atmosphere and they have got it exactly right. The feeling that this is going to be special is increased when you also realise just how few tables there are here and that all those chefs who you observed on the way in via the large feature window into the kitchen are preparing food solely for you. My guest and I chose the Menu Gormand but declined the option to have the accompanying wines (£55 for 5 courses, £95 with

wines.) It was a great choice, as was the delightful Pouilly Fume which we selected from the extensive wine list. Course 1 on the Gourmand menu was Lyme Bay Hand Dived Seared Scallops with and an Apple and Ginger Puree followed by a Tortellini of Native Lobster with Cauliflower Two Ways (a puree and deep fried) and Lobster butter. All of our senses were stimulated as the subtle smells and immaculate presentation wooed us before delivering the coup de gras with the exquisite taste. Sauteed Foie Gras followed served with figs that had been roasted in sweet wine. This was served with a lightly spiced brioche which was to die for. Course 4, the Fillet of Beef served delicately sliced on a celariac Puree with a Truffle and Madeira Jus was divine. The beef was perfectly cooked so it was succulent and just melted in your mouth and the Celariac was not too overpowering and was a perfect accompaniment. Although we were having the tasting menu, the portion sizes are generous and it was at this point we hesitated as we had a choice of an extra cheese course (£10 supplement) before our dessert. There was a moment’s hesitation as we debated whether we would be able to finish this course and the remaining dessert, but the dazzling array of cheeses seduced us again and we succumbed. Dessert was a Banana Crumb Soufflé with Toffee Ice Cream which again was a vision when brought out and didn’t disappoint when tasted. There are many tasting menus where restaurants put a few of their signature dishes on the menu but not all. Aubergine is not one of those and ensures that all of the courses are their signature dishes. As I sipped my tea watching the swans glide gracefully past me down the Thames in the fading light I looked back to where I thought they could improve anything. I concluded that the only thing they could do is to move this idyllic and peaceful location and its truly wonderful restaurant closer to where I live so I could visit more easily. One thing for certain is that the


distance won’t stop me returning to one of the best meals I have tasted for a long time. Miles Nixon also runs a number of cookery courses for people where he demonstrates how to turn everyday ingredients into gourmet dishes. These are run at various times of the year and are extremely popular, so make sure you book in advance if you fancy understanding how to become a gourmet chef. Kai Mayfair 65 South Audley Street, London, W1K 2QU Telephone: 020 7493 8988 If you are looking for a standard Chinese restaurant with the standard mixed hors d’oeuvres to start, duck and then a few mains, then I suggest you don’t come to Kai. There are a few ‘classics’ but rather than play safe I suggest being a bit more adventurous and try a few of head chef ’s Alex Chow’s speciality dishes. Kai Mayfair was opened in 1993 and Head Chef Alex Chow continues to serve up a mixture of the standard Chinese fare with the unexpected. The menu is littered with specialities unique to them and the recipes are true to their original roots. Duck is still on the menu, and is a must to order, as the way it is cooked ensures that although the skin is delightfully crispy, the meat is still moist and tender, and I for one haven’t tasted a richer and better hoisin sauce anywhere in London. Everything about Kai distinguishes it from other restaurants and although the welcome and décor is exceptional, its differences start when you receive the menu. On opening the menu the first thing that strikes you is that the first section is the desserts. That is surprising, as until now I can't remember a time when I had a dessert at a Chinese restaurant and that is the reason for having the list at the front. The thought is that if you know what delights await you the diner will keep some room for pudding. It certainly worked for me as my guest and I delighted in the Sunshine Dumplings and the ‘Mandarin’ Chocolate Fondant served with Kumquat Ice-Cream. To start we ordered the Wasabi prawns (£21), the Nest of Imperial Jewels (£13), and as old habits die hard, Garlic Spare Ribs (£16). The Wasabi prawns are a delight with the succulent King Prawns nestling in a spicy wasabi infused mayonnaise accompanied by cubes of sweet mango and basil seed, and they were ably supported by the rich chicken and mustard greens in the ‘Nest’ of crisp lettuce. The only slight disappointment was the Garlic Spare Ribs, but I guess that they were good but just didn’t live up to the standard set by our other two starters. There are many other delightful starters with the Lamb Shank (£14) and the Parcels of Prosperity (£12) worthy of mention. As mentioned, our second course

was the Duck but you can try a number of delightfully named soups which include Mermaids in the Mist (£14) which subtly incorporates Szechuan spices with Chilean Sea Bass in a light broth or ‘A Sea of Eight Treasures (£14) which is a thick soup incorporating eight ingredients including gold and wolfberries. Main courses are divided into sections with Seafood, Meats, Poultry and Vegetables and start at £20. As with all of the courses, standard dishes are given a delightful twist and the quality of the ingredients shone through in the dishes we ordered. The Classic platter of ‘Char Siew’ and Crispy Pork Belly (£24) complemented each other well and the Sirloin with Black Pepper, garlic flakes and sliced Chinese Croissant (£26) was cut into cubes instead of the usual traditional slices and this method ensures any imperfections would be obvious. Alongside the standard dishes, again there are a number of surprises including two Ostrich dishes one pan fried with 3 chillies (£22) and the other cooked with ginger, spring onions and oyster sauce (£22). Vegetarians are also well catered for with a wide variety of dishes using the versatile Chinese vegetables. We ordered Spice Scented Rice (£5.50) and some poached Lobster Essence Noodles (£12) to accompany our mains, each complimenting the meal well, although be warned that the lobster essence is strong and in my opinion the dish would be enhanced by the old adage ‘ less is more’. Again most people think that beer is the standard drink with Chinese food as they

think that it is a waste to order a good wine as the spices overcome all but the most robust wines. Again Kai bucks the trend here as their food is so delicately spiced that even the lightest of wines can be fully enjoyed and Kai has an extensive wine list to cater for every taste. Kai serves delightfully tasting original Chinese food and I think that it is difficult not to have a strong opinion on it. You will either love or hate the experience as it is very different from your local offerings. I for one loved it and for those who delight in new experiences you will too. Chelsea Riverside Brasserie Wyndham Grand Chelsea Harbour, Chelsea Harbour, London SW10 0XG Telephone: 020 7300 8443 It was a sunny evening, with a slight autumn chill in the air, that found my partner and I heading to Chelsea Harbour to have dinner in the Riverside Brasserie. This part of London offers an atmosphere that is refreshingly different from the usual buzz and hubbub of the West End. Both my partner and I commented that there is a real holiday vibe about this area, perhaps conjured up by the bobbing boats surrounding us and couples strolling arm in arm around the harbour. We made our way inside and sat at a table overlooking the marina. There is a beautiful terrace featuring an impressive outdoor barbecue (something that we were told may become a year-round fixture offering alfresco dining with heating!), but we chose to stay inside to 21


The Gallery at the Westbury HOTEL Bond Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 2YF Telephone: 020 7078 9577

soak up the ambience. The decor is light and modern, with comfortable seating and large soft-pastel hangings in an impressionist style. A pianist played throughout the meal; setting the scene for a memorable evening ahead. Although very tempted by the Barbecue Grill menu, we both chose from the À La Carte dinner menu. This offers a British interpretation of simple but timeless dishes, with an emphasis on the quality of locally sourced ingredients. Starters range in price from £6.00 for Soup of the Day to £15.50 for Foie gras Roulade. I chose to start with the Pyramid Ash Goats cheese with citrus dressing, peanuts and orange. This was a deliciously different twist to the goats cheese starters I have had in the past, as it was encased by a caramelised crust. My partner is a seafood lover and was not disappointed by his choice of Crab Tian with avocado puree, grapefruit and a sesame dressing. For the main course I opted for a Monkfish Curry with bamboo shoots and aubergine, served with basmati rice (£21.00). This had just the right amount of spice for my palette, and the generous chunks of monkfish were beautifully tender. The more traditional favourite of ‘Steak and Chips’ was ordered by my partner. He chose an 8oz Aberdeenshire 28 day aged Rib Eye (£23), with sides of French Fries and Baby Spinach, and ate every last morsel, commenting throughout on the excellent flavour and quality of the meat. The menu also includes several pasta dishes and, as you might expect from a riverside restaurant, various fish options. Main courses range from £11.50 for Aubergine Tian to £20.00 for the Line caught Cornish Sea Bass. We both managed to squeeze in one final course from the tempting selection on offer. I chose the ‘Chocolate Cherry Delice’; a warm cherry compote with chocolate sorbet. The combinations of hot and cold with the 22

tangy and sweet flavours worked beautifully together. I also sampled the generous portion of British and Continental cheeses chosen by my partner. This was served with walnut bread and grape compote. There was a particularly good stilton, my favourite cheese, amongst the selection. Desserts are £7.00 each, and the cheeses are £8.50. Finally, we could not leave without stepping outside to soak up some of that holiday vibe and admire the twinkling lights that glisten around the harbour. We stayed outside, in spite of the chill in the air, to drink our green tea and enjoy the setting. On a summer’s evening I cannot imagine a better London location in which to enjoy a delicious, relaxed meal. Having said this I am sure the location and food would be equally welcome at any other time of year, but you may prefer to enjoy the view from inside the restaurant!

The Gallery is the latest addition to the choice guests at the Westbury hotel can select. It was opened on the 4th July and is perfectly located as an oasis after a day of intense shopping or sightseeing as it is in the heart of Mayfair, just off Bond Street. The Westbury is renowned for its modern elegance and its latest addition is no exception. On entering my initial feeling was very much of being in Versailles in the days of Louis XIV as you stare at the ornate 18th century style gold chandeliers which adorn the high ceilings. Once you avert your gaze downwards the floor is an intricate Italian mosaic in a classical pattern and the colours compliment perfectly the sofa banquettes that stretch down the side of the room. At the far end the Gallery has an engraved mirrored front bar topped with burgundy Italian marble which has plenty of room where guests awaiting a table can relax in comfort. The Gallery is open every day from breakfast through to dinner and serves modern Mediterranean food. Head chef Brian Fantoni has an impeccable cv having previously been with Cantina del Ponte, Enoteca, Claridge’s and The Savoy and his menu is informal and concentrates on offering accessible dishes in a modern European style. The starters include a Pork&-Pistachio Terrine and a Melon Soup which should be tried at all costs, and range from £7.50 to £11. Main dishes include Ravioli of Langoustines with fennel and tomato confit, Risotto of Broad Beans with salted ricotta and hazelnuts to name just two. Meat lovers are also well catered for with Poached Black Leg Chicken Breast with spinach and girolles and


slow cooked brisket of veal with baby artichokes and fresh peas, just two of a number of delightful dishes. Prices range from £13.50 to £24. The portions are generous so I would recommend that that you order with care to ensure that you leave enough room for the delightful Strawberry and the White Chocolate desserts. The Gallery also has an extensive wine list with many wines by the glass which compliments the menu perfectly with prices starting from £19.50 a bottle or £6.50 a glass. The Gallery is a welcome addition to the Brasseries in London and is a more informal dining experience if you are staying at the Westbury or a perfect stopping point if you are just passing having tired slightly of the hustle and bustle of the Mayfair streets. Rainforest Café 20 Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 7EU Telephone: 020 7434 3111 Rainforest Café is one of London’s largest family restaurants. It is like a tropical hideaway, which is in fact actually in the heart of the West End! On entering the restaurant you find yourself in a shop full of cuddly toys and animal merchandise. Glancing to the right reveals a life-size crocodile in water that two of our children thought was real! Our dining guests included four children, ranging in age from 5 to 12, and let’s face it, they are the real critics! As you wind your way down the spiral staircase you are transported to a tropical rainforest with the help of stunning special effects such as thunder and lightning storms, tropical rain showers and cascading waterfalls (luckily you don’t get wet!). It is also home to a cast of astounding, lifelike, animated inhabitants including chattering gorillas, a menacing treebound jaguar, trumpeting elephants, a life-like crocodile and fluttering butterflies. We were sat with the elephants, and on the table next to us sat Kirsty Allsopp (a British television celebrity, famous for ‘Property’ programmes – who was there with her own children). The elephants certainly made us aware of their presence throughout the meal! The atmosphere was literally ‘buzzing’, and the kids really enjoyed it as there is so much to look at. The restaurants’ mascot, Cha Cha the Frog, was walking round the tables meeting the kids. Children can also get their faces painted by a ‘make-up artist’. If your child is celebrating a birthday the staff will make them feel very special by presenting them with a dessert with candles, asking them to stand on their chair whilst the staff and the other guests sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to them – this happened about six times whilst we were having lunch! This all added to the feeling of fun. We started our meal with some fabulous smoothies – definitely the best I have ever

tasted, and the waiter convinced us that they are actually low in fat and very healthy! The kids menu was very good, and quite varied. There is quite a lot of attention paid to those with food allergies, and a high percentage of the menu is organic. You also have the option to include the Rainforest Activity Pack with a child’s meal (£14.95), which I would highly recommend. This includes a main course, dessert and a drink. The pack itself contained an activity book, a wallet, colouring pencils, a card game, stickers, a ruler and an animal mask – definitely the best pack our kids have been given in a restaurant – they are still playing with theirs at home and it certainly kept them occupied before and in-between the food. The children chose a variety of dishes from ‘Simply Spaghetti’, ‘Margherita Pizza’ and two of them had the ‘Ozzie Burger’, which they all enjoyed with a side order of fries. There is a wide variety of courses in the adult menu. I enjoyed the fresh fish and salad (which was the Chef ’s Special of the Day) with some tasty runner beans as a side dish, and my partner struggled to finish her Rainforest Steak Burger and fries (£14.40)! The desserts in general were very good. One of the kids enjoyed a huge Fruit Salad, whilst the others tucked gleefully into the Hokey Pokey Chocolate & Toffee Ice Cream Sundae (which I did, of course, have to sample!). This is a great family restaurant which everyone should experience at least once – the kids will love it! It is especially worthy of consideration if you have a child who is celebrating a birthday. We would advise that you reserve your table to avoid disappointment, as this restaurant can be very busy!

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Insurance

make as an expatriate driving in Britain, securing the proper international car insurance can be easily overlooked. Here are a few tips to help you with that: International Car Insurance 101 Standard insurance policies written in the US do not carry over across the “pond”. Under the “Road Traffic Act” in the UK, drivers are required to have Primary Liability insurance (called Third Party in England). A good international car insurance coverage should provide you with that and keep you protected, so that you can make the transition from Route 66 to the M1 motorway. Also, if you are planning on taking your car for weekend jaunts to France, be sure to check that your insurance provides temporary out-of-country coverage (known as the Green Card in the UK) Your International Car Policy: Basic Definitions If you own your car and plan to drive it in the UK, you have several different levels of coverage to consider when determining your car insurance. Here are a few to think about:

The American’s Guide for Worry-Free Driving in the UK

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lements Worldwide takes the anxiety out of British motoring with these tips about international car insurance. As an American driving in Britain, you may have had to overcome some unique hurdles: driving on the opposite side of the road, filling your tank with petrol instead of gas, and discovering your car has a boot in the back… just to name a few. With so many adjustments to 24

• Primary Third Party - This is the minimum car insurance required in the UK. This protects you and your passengers from any claim for damage to people or objects involved in an accident (not including you, your car and your possessions). As the insured, Primary Third Party covers you as a result of an accident if it is deemed to have been your fault • Third Party Fire and Theft - This type of coverage is one step above the required Primary Third Party insurance: it provides additional protection in the event that your car is stolen or damaged by fire • Fully Comprehensive – This insurance shields you from almost every potential claim: it covers any damage or injury that you or your passengers cause to property and/or persons involved in an accident, subject to certain general exclusions. In addition, it pays for any damage to your car, and will often cover injury to you as well • Ad-On Coverage – Check what else comes with your policy! You may be entitled to Breakdown Assistance,

Uninsured Loss Recovery and a courtesy car in the event of a claim. There may be instances where a car insurance policy may not cover a rental car, so make sure to review the terms of your agreement • Deductibles (“excess” in the UK) Find out how much your deductible is, and how it applies to your situation. A higher deductible may entitle you to additional discounts. This can vary, so get familiar with your policy and whether it meets your needs. Lost in Translation Overseas insurance agents often use different terminology than in the US when it comes to international car policy. Moreover, service standards may differ widely and the policies they offer may not support you in the event a case follows you back home. This means that American clients are often left more confused than relieved after speaking to an agent outside of the US. This challenge can be avoided by using a dependable international insurance provider. Accident Forgiveness Even the best drivers can find navigating all those European roundabouts dizzying. If you do end up in a fender-bender, it’s likely that you’ll see your insurance rates go up. Find out if your international insurance provider grants first accident forgiveness, and go for it if you can! Conclusion: Be Proactive Assuming you have adequate coverage when you don’t could be a costly mistake. Start by reviewing the details of your current international car insurance protection to make sure it provides you with all the legal requirements to drive in the UK. Most importantly, be proactive in seeking the additional protection that you really need to drive abroad, so your safety and peace of mind is guaranteed. n Clements Worldwide is a leading insurance provider for expatriates and international organisations. Founded in 1947, Clements offers international car, property, term life, health, specialty and high risk insurance in over 170 countries. With offices in Washington, DC and London, Clements provides comprehensive coverage, superior customer service and unparalleled claims response. To learn more and quote online, visit www.clements.com.


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, od o W , n’s ton h g o in tJ ns e e oS t K idg , r y b l d i n ts Da st E gh i g n e K W & y e a h da e s e l ,T e m sa Ch e h et m ho ry e v eli The best d ur selection in London o y nd of groceries e s l’ l from the U.S.A. e w Specialities for Halloween, Thanksgiving & Christmas inc. ‘Kelly Bronze’ Turkeys Party platters for home & office entertaining Check out our website www.panzers.co.uk Tel: 0207 722 8596/0207 722 8162 Fax: 0207 586 0209 Email: shop@panzers.co.uk


Hotel Review Chewton Glen, New Forest, Hampshire

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hewton Glen is a delightful mix of styles and character. It has all the class and elegance of a country manor in the 1920’s whilst interweaving that old world charm with an ultra modern spa facility and pulls it off spectacularly. It not only manages to mix the old with the new in style and décor but also with its clientele as it welcomes all ages and manages to satisfy all of them. Your journey to Chewton Glen takes you through one of the most underrated and best kept secrets in the UK, the New Forest. The New Forest isn’t a forest as such, but a mixture of heathland and bogs where wild horses and other game roam free. Picture postcard villages with the mandatory cricket pitch and local pub on the village green are scattered amongst some of the South of England’s most beautiful scenery. The New Forest was created in 1079AD when William I designated it a royal hunting ground. All of this is within reach from your luxurious base at Chewton Glen. From the moment you enter the sweeping diveway up to Chewton Glen you feel the sense of occasion, and as you pull into the immaculately maintained courtyard adorned

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with the most wonderful flowers, you realise that this is going to be something special and you would not be wrong. Staff materialise from nowhere to whisk away your bags and your car and you enter the main house which has stood proudly on this site since the early 18th Century. As I walked through the main house to my room I noted the eclectic mix of old and new which, despite their apparent differences, blend together perfectly. Chewton Glen has 58 bedrooms and suites all of which are individually decorated and again, like the reception rooms, each room is a delightful mixture of country house and modern which enables each room to have a character all of their own. Our room was located on the ‘new’ wing overlooking the croquet lawn and from our balcony we were able to look out across the lawn, across the 9 hole golf course to the gardens surrounding the house which totals almost 130 acres. This is country living at its finest. Our room was sumptuous and I think the style would be described as ‘contemporary country’ with a perfect mix of the modern (including all

of the high tech gadgets you would expect) mixed with a chic chinze. I have been aware of double showers for a long time but not one as large as the one in our bathroom which, as well as being enormous, actually had two showers at either end. Guests at Chewton Glen are spoilt for choice when it comes to activities and sports. The choice is in fact so great that I expect that however long you spent here there would always be something else you could do. The hotel provides mountain bikes for those who want to explore the surrounding countryside and provides a number of suggestions of routes you might want to take. You can also borrow a pair of 'those' green wellingtons at the front door if your prefer walking. Nothing is too much trouble for the staff as they ensure you enjoy every moment of your stay. Other activities include the 9 hole par 3 golf course (clubs provided) and indoor and outdoor tennis courts with a resident pro if your game needs a polish. Other activities that can be arranged include clay pigeon shooting, archery, falconry and even apache buggy racing.


The spa has won a number of awards and was voted “In the top 10 of UK Hotel Spa’s” in 2011 and once you enter you can easily see why. The centerpiece is the large classically styled indoor pool which is thoughtfully divided for those who want to swim and the younger guest who prefer to play. Leading off from the pool is the Roman themed hydrotherapy area where a variety of water ‘tortures’ await to relieve the stress’ and strains of the day!! The gym is state of the art and guests can choose between a serious work out (or not so serious work out in my case) and afterwards relax in the sauna or the outdoor Jacuzzi. In summer there is also an outdoor swimming pool to enjoy. The spa also offers a multitude of treatments with facials, massages and holistic treatments all tailored to the individual guests' needs. I opted for a sports massage which promised to relieve muscle fatigue and the masseur was so skillful that at the end of my hour my body felt totally relaxed and I almost felt like a sportsman! When it comes to the restaurant and the food, Chewton Glen doesn’t disappoint and both mirror the quality experienced in the rest of the hotel. The restaurant is spread over 5 rooms and each room suits a different occasion as you can dine in the airy conservatory or the wine room. The dishes are expertly constructed and the wine list is extensive. The style is again a mix of the formal and informal and guests can have a light lunch as comfortably as a formal tasting dinner with wine. The menu is English at its core and Head Chef Luke Matthews ensures the majority of ingredients are sourced locally, which I for one wish more establishments would do as there are so many undiscovered delights in this part of England. Visitors can also dine, but I would

recommend booking as the 3 course Sunday Lunch priced at £35 and the daily 3 course set Lunch at £25 are extremely popular. I also cannot leave without mentioning the extravagant afternoon teas with the homemade scones cream and jam as well as the cakes and sandwiches. Truly a delight! Everything I expect from a hotel was matched and then exceeded by Chewton Glen. The location is idyllic, the décor sumptuous and the attention to detail is second to none. To me this is what a hotel should be and it won’t be long before I will return. n For further information on Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa, New Milton, New Forest, Hampshire, BH25 6QS, please telephone 01425 275341 or visit www.chewtonglen.com

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Travel William Shakespeare's birthplace

Stratford-uponAvon, Home of The Bard by Lynne McAlister

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ll the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances...” (As You Like It, Act 2, scene 7) In Stratford-upon-Avon the men and women have a fabulous new stage on which to make those exits and entrances! The £112.8 million, four year redevelopment project was completed earlier this year welcoming guests to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the more intimate Swan Theatre. Taking an autumnal trip to Stratford-uponAvon to check out the transformation, taking a theatre tour, seeing a couple of productions and visiting the homes near and dear to William Shakespeare’s heart seemed like the perfect way to celebrate the 50th birthday of The Royal Shakespeare Company. From London, Stratford-upon-Avon is just a two hour drive up the M40. Upon arrival I was greeted by an 800 year-old splendidly preserved market town. It’s touristy, and has been since the 1700’s. As Stratford has been welcoming fans of the poet and playwright for over 250 years, the town of only 24,000 residents nicely accommodates the multitude of visitors. There are ample hotels, B&B’s,

shops, restaurants, cafés and sites. Over the years aspiring writers and prominent visitors have included Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens, John Keats, Walter Scott and Thomas Hardy. On our first night in the Bard’s hometown, we were to be rewarded with A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Before entering the new, stateof-the-art theatre complex one feels its perfect balance of sophistication and warmth. Nestled with its back to the River Avon, and Bancroft Gardens flanking either side, the brick building finds the perfect mix of traditional and contemporary. The 36 metre tower offers views of William Shakespeare’s home town and provides an anchoring architectural addition. Of course, where theatres are concerned the real story is inside! And a story beautifully told it was, by the end of the play when Puck bids the audience farewell with, “If we shadows have offended, Think but this, and all is mended, That you have but slumbered here, While

these visions did appear.” (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 5 Scene 1), I thought no one could have possibly slumbered! It was a dynamic performance in a perfectly designed theatre. As we learned on the guided theatre tour the next morning, the transformation to this new performance space was not without its dissenters. Just as the “course of true love never did run smooth” (A Midsummer Night’s Dream Act 1, Scene 1) neither does building the “best theatre in the world for Shakespeare.” The original plans had been to demolish the 1932 building. Fortunately that decision was scrapped by the new artistic director, Michael Boyd. Instead the best of the original art deco building was incorporated into the new design. There was also concern about introducing a thrust stage and reducing the seating capacity by 400. However, All’s Well That Ends Well, audiences and actors alike praise the new theatre! Next, it’s time to visit the birthplace of William Shakespeare. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust introduces us to the house, by first introducing us to the man. A short film shares a little about the timeless and international influence of the Bard. Once inside his childhood home, visitors walk on the same flagstone floor where young William would have played. We learn about his mother (a wealthy heiress) and his father who provided well for his family with a leather and wool business. The knowledgable curators greet us in each room to answer questions about the life and times of the Shakespeare family. Also, we stopped in Hall’s Croft. This is the Jacobean home of Shakespeare’s daughter, Susanna. It is the most furnished of the the Shakespeare houses in town. Susanna was married to a physician, so one has the opportunity to see a doctor’s office frozen in 29


time and be grateful for our 21st Century advancements. Also Nash’s House and New Place, adjacent properties, are well worth a visit. Nash’s House is the home of Shakespeare’s granddaughter, a lovingly restored tudor house. New Place was a medieval property Shakespeare bought and renovated. New Place is currently “Dig for Shakespeare”, a live archaeological excavation where experts and volunteers are unearthing Shakespeare’s last home! Many of the discovered finds are on display in Nash House, some dating back 2000 years. The foundations of New Place are visible and I can see where the house once stood. I try to imagine what it was like for Shakespeare to return to his hometown as the “local boy done good” and buying the second largest house in town. New Place would have been where he lived from 1597 till his death in 1616. This is where he would have penned his last work, The Tempest, bidding good-bye to the stage, “The solemn temples, the great globe itself...We are such stuff, As dreams are made on; and our little life, Is rounded with a sleep.” (The Tempest, Act 4, Scene 1). At the end of the day, it seemed appropriate to include a visit to Holy Trinity Church, the home to some of the most significant events in Shakespeare's life. Here, three days after his birth, William Shakespeare was baptised on the 26th of April 1564. Also here he was wedded hastily to Anne Hathaway (who was already with child) in November 1582. Finally, after penning thirty-seven plays and 154 sonnets, he died from unknown causes on his birthday, 23 April 1616 and was buried in the chancel of the Holy Trinity Church. Perhaps Shakespeare knew of the practice of burning old bones when cemeteries became full, or he might have thought someone RSC new auditorium

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Hall's Croft

would move his bones to Westminster. Either way those with such notions were given fair warning. Upon Shakespeare’s burial stone appears his final poem, “Good Friends for Jesus’ sake forbear, to dig the dust enclosed here. Blest be ye man that spares these stones and curst be he that moves my bones.” I’ve loved Shakespeare for about 18 years, which just so happens to correlate with meeting my husband at a production of A Comedy of Errors. However, spending a weekend in Stratford-upon-Avon turned Shakespeare the legend into Shakespeare the man. n

Tower and Swan Theatre

Lynne McAlister is a freelance journalist, living in London with her husband Tony and faithful companion Coco. She may be reached at lynnemcalister@me.com. Nash's House


The 2012 Corporate Relocation Conference & Exhibition

Monday 6th February, Hotel Russell, Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London, WC1B 5BE

FREE SEMINARS Chaired by Martin Humphrys, Humphrys’ Education Winner of Relocation Personality of the Year 2009 10.30am — Third Culture And Cross-Cultural Kids – Who They Are And How We Can Help!

International mobility continues to increase with the profiles and experiences of international and globally-mobile families becoming more diverse. Understanding the benefits, challenges and potential long-term effects of third culture and cross-culture children is important for parents, educators, counsellors, educational consultants and relocation specialists, human resource managers, and any others who influence important decisions, particularly school selection and language learning, as these choices have a lasting influence on learning, academic outcomes and the formation of personal identity. Our speaker is Mary Langford, formerly Deputy Executive Director of the European Council of International Schools and now recently-appointed as Head of Primary at the King Fahad Academy in London. A US/UK dual national with over 30 years’ experience of international education as Admissions Director, Teacher, Communications Director, and Head, she frequently writes, speak, and teaches on this topic.

11.30am — Relocating Successfully

As an expatriate living in the UK, or a professional liaising with expatriate, it is vital to communicate effectively. Join FOCUS for an insightful and informative talk on setting expectations and tailoring communication to meet individual needs.

12.30pm — Tax Planning Essentials For Expatriates In The UK

This seminar covers residency and taxation for non-domiciled individuals living in the UK, including an overview of what is meant by non-domicile status and the taxation choices available annually. It looks at the interaction between tax systems in the UK and other countries, particularly the USA. Recent changes and proposals will be covered, including strategies to minimise taxes and manage the complex compliance burden. Presented by Frank Hirth plc.

1.30pm — “All You Wanted To Know About Corporate Immigration But Were Afraid To Ask?”

“In the current economic climate governments around the world are reviewing and amending their immigration rules. This compelling seminar will focus on UK corporate immigration and provide a useful and interesting guide to the current UK immigration system, a review of recent changes, the challenges faced as a result as well as providing some practical solutions to help companies work effectively with the new system.

2.30pm — Strategic Partner: The Next Move For Global Mobility

This session will provide the results of ground breaking research undertaken by Deloitte to establish the key challenges facing global mobility in this ever changing world. In a recent global survey of HR and business leaders of Fortune 500 businesses we sought to establish the extent to which global mobility, as a function, is aligned to business strategy. The increasing challenges that international organisations are facing, from both a business and talent objective perspective, call for a more strategic approach to Global Mobility and the function as a whole. Is your Global Mobility function ready for its next assignment? Hosted by Emigra.

3.30pm — Setting Competitive Expatriate Management Policies: Current Trends And Best Practices

HR professionals in charge of managing expatriate employees must continually balance competing interests. Management wants to curtail costs, yet geographic talent imbalances require some mid-level to senior managers spend some time outside their home countries. A global economy that seemed to be improving, then appeared to stall, has made this balance even more precarious. Come and learn what other global employers are doing to adjust their expatriation policies to balance macro and micro forces now buffeting talent management. Hosted by Mercer.

Places at these seminars are free, but visitors must pre-register as there is limited availability. To register your place on any or all of these seminars, please email helen@theamericanhour.com or telephone Helen Elliott on 020 8661 0186 We look forward to seeing you there.


Top Ten Tips Top Ten American Eats and Treats by Judith Schrut

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or this issue’s Top Ten Tips, we invited a genuine Anglo-American teenager to join us on some crucial taste testing and for once we had his full attention! Our mission: to taste the way to our Top Ten American Eats and Treats in Britain. We are delighted to report that whether you crave a pancake brunch, Hershey’s Kisses or a rack of smokehouse ribs, we’ve got ten mouthwatering recommendations for you. But only a few decades ago, an American expatriates' eating life in Britain was very different. Those were long, cupboard-barren days when homesick longings for cinnamon chewing gum or dreams of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups went unanswered into the English ether. Cheerios for breakfast? Pumpkins for Halloween? Fresh turkey and cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving? Forget it. In those heady days of more generous baggage allowances for air economy travellers, the suitcase contents of this writer’s returns back from the Golden State were heavily weighted in favour of Oreo cookies, Cardini’s Caesar dressing, 12 varieties of bagel and a bottle or two of Zinfandel. 1. BORN TO BRUNCH Given the large US community living here as well as a reliably steady, hungry American student and tourist intake, we’ve always 32

wondered why it has taken so long for a really authentic brunch place to take root in the UK. Many brunch imposters seem to have come and gone, but with the recent Brunching at the Breakfast Club arrival of the Breakthe long-term. fast Club the long Byron, apparently meaning ‘from the cowwait is over. shed’ in old English, is the simple but highly On recommendation of Breakfast Club successful brainwave of experienced restauco-founder and brunch enthusiast Jonathan rateur Tom Byng, who opened his original Arana-Morton, we visited and sampled the Kensington branch four years ago. Tom credits delights of the original, petite and egg-yolk Byron’s origins and success to the Silver Top, yellow Club in Soho as well as the latest and an old fashioned diner in Providence, Rhode biggest ‘American-feel’ Club in Spitalfields, Island, where he spent some years as a college with its Cheers-inspired ‘Mayor of Scaredy student in the 1990s. He returned time and Cat Town’ speakeasy cocktail bar. again to the Silver Top to experience its simple, As Jonathan explained, “Our inspiration tasty and deliciously messy hamburgers. On his has always come from the American approach return to London, Tom suffered recurrent hamto brunch. Americans have always done it so burger memories, some of which haunted him much better than us and we are only now late into the night, but he could find nothing catching on…however, we wanted a British comparable here. Now there are a remarkable take on it. We like to think of ourselves as a 16 Byron’s dotted around London. blend of American diners and British Greasy Clearly, Byron’s secret of success lies in Spoons - with our own personal little twist.” its delicious, fuss-free and simply-prepared The Breakfast Club, now with four Lonhamburgers using top quality meat from don locations, has won a gallery of accocarefully-sourced Scottish family farms. lades, top reviews and hordes of loyal fans. Unsurprisingly, Byron’s best selling burger is Its trademark brunch menu is on offer daily ‘The Byron’, generously topped with melted until 5pm and includes the best-selling ‘All cheddar, dry cure bacon and secret sauce. This American’: pancakes, US-style bacon, sausummer Byron launched a craft beer menu sage, eggs, hash browns and, Jonathan was featuring 10 carefully chosen beers to complekind enough to assure me, real maple syrup. ment its burgers. Amongst other delectables on offer are Tom frequently returns to the USA on French Toast, Huevos Rancheros, Breakfast research trips to keep his burger knowledge up Burritos and, in tribute to the wonderful Dr to date, often taking his UK restaurant manSeuss, Green Eggs and Ham. In addition agers with him. to brunch, there’s a wide-ranging menu of In addition to its restaurants, Byron’s burger tasty day-through-night food and drinks too mobile, known as the Shack, appears at poptempting to mention. ups, festivals and private events and has been Famous Breakfast Clubbers include the chosen for the last two years by US Ambaslikes of Keira Knightley, Ronnie Wood, Neve sador Louis Susman for the annual official Campbell and Hobbits Frodo and Pippin Fourth of July celebrations at Winfield House. (Elijah Wood and Billy Boyd). We understand ‘The Hoff ’ once walked into one of the kitchens and started chatting to the chefs. 'The Byron' Jonathan told us, “mostly, famous people blend in quite well and our customers and staff tend to leave them alone. The one time the place came to a standstill was when Hugh Grant and Liz Hurley walked in together the whole cafe went silent and just stared.” Further information: www.thebreakfastclubcafes.com 2. BURGER HEAVEN We’ve also seen a great many American burger joints come and go over the years, but if its adoring crowds are any clue, it looks like Byron’s hamburgers are here for


Ambassador Susman recently commented, “Byron may be a British company but its burgers are the real thing. All of our guests love the fantastic food it produces”. Further information: www.byronhamburgers.com 3. RED VELVET HUMMINGBIRD How wonderful to learn from Hummingbird Bakery’s spokesman that the bakery’s sole and simple purpose is to “bring the authentic taste of American home baking to the UK”. The story goes that Tarek Malouf, Hummingbird’s founder, developed his enduring love for the tastes and smells of American baking whilst a pupil at an American School in London, where classmates often brought in memorable home-baked treats to share. Once at university, Tarek missed these treats but could find nowhere in the UK to satisfy his American sweet tooth. Hence, Hummingbird Bakery was born, named for that tiny but remarkable, nectar-sucking creature which, like Tarek’s bakers, knows how to do astonishing things with sugar. Hummingbird’s original bakery opened on Portobello Road in the spring of 2004. On that first day, over 250 cupcakes were sold. By summer Hummingbird was known all over London – the good news spread by word of mouth and via a number of cupcake-hooked journalists and celebrities. Hummingbird’s main claim to fame remains its award-winning buttercream frosty-licious cupcakes, especially the top selling red velvet variety, but it also bakes an equally mouthwatering range of authentic American layer cakes, pies, cheesecakes and brownies and has a ‘Cakes by Consultation’ service, enabling customer to create their own unique items. Its recent cookery books have been national bestsellers. Hummingbird also claims credit for introducing the Whoopie Pie to the UK. We understand that many US visitors have mentioned how much Hummingbird’s goodies and welcoming atmosphere remind them of home. Baked goods are made fresh daily at Hummingbird Bakery does Red Velvet, photo by Benjamin C.M Backhouse

each venue using finest natural ingredients and traditional recipes, guaranteeing premises are filled with the fragrant smells of home baking all day and that every item is “unashamedly rich, indulgent and unmistakeably American.” Every few months Hummingbird premieres a new range of special celebration treats. This October, we look forward to its Carnival Range, inspired by the flavours of the fairground and giving us a chance to try innovations like the Cotton Candy Cupcake, Popcorn Cupcake and Cherry Cola-Float Cupcake. Further information: www.hummingbirdbakery.com 4. BACK TO BAGEL The first UK Bagel Factory opened in an old building in London’s Covent Garden in 1997. The intention was to make bagels ‘“the American way”, using specially milled and imported high-protein US wheat flour and recreating authentic bagel-making practices such as boiling bagels before baking to produce a traditionally chewy texture. At that time the Factory’s co-founders lived in a flat over the Covent Garden store, and would thunder down in their dressing gowns each morning at 4 am, dash through the office and shop to the basement bakery, turn the ovens on ready for the bakers to bake the bagels, then go back to bed. Things have moved on a bit since then, with bagel ovens now digitally-timed so staff can get a bit more of a lie in. Rapid success means today’s Bagel Factory has dozens of shops around the UK and Ireland and produces a variety of bagels including poppy, sesame and health seed, onion and granary. Bestselling bagel combos are the Chicken Caesar, the Stars and Stripes (double bacon, cream cheese, tomato and guacamole), the Little Italy and the Classic, boasting fresh slices of Scottish oak smoked salmon and low fat cream cheese with a twist of lemon and a crack of black pepper. Further information: www.bagelfactory.co.uk 5. CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE CANDY KIND The Stateside Candy Co is proud to offer the widest selection of American candy, soda and groceries in the UK, with many exclusive items not found anywhere else this side of The Pond. Its aim is not to offer novelty or nostalgia but to focus on those sweet and tasty favourites we expats apparently can’t live without. The Candy Co was born in late 2004, when British couple Al and Emma Baker went on holiday to Florida. Not wanting to take American coins home with them, Al spent the last of his cash on candy. He was particularly disappointed when he realised he’d picked up Reese’s products in his hoard – we understand Al is not a fan of peanut butter. But instead

Stateside Candy Co, for all your Reese's needs and more

of trashing his candy cornucopia, Al put those bars on eBay in an attempt to make some of his money back. Before he could say “Baby Ruth”, Al found himself in a bidding war for the candy bars, providing him with the cash and the inspiration for his new venture. It wasn’t long before Al and Emma needed to rent a large Surrey warehouse to cope with ever-increasing orders for candy and other products difficult to get hold of in the UK think Twinkies, Corn Dog Mix, Kool Aid and Goober Grape. Business has continued to boom and Al’s initial innocent venture has since expanded to a huge online shop, trade website, Amazon store and successful retail outlet, with another in the works. We’re told that the Candy Co’s customers are an extremely varied bunch, “everyone from Moms trying to calm their kids with their favourite candies to older customers excited to see products they haven’t been able to get in years”. The Candy Co is also delighted to supply American goodies to top hotels, television shows such as X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent and to be mentioned in Nigella Lawson’s cookery books. Current bestsellers include Lucky Charms, Froot Loops, Mountain Dew, Hershey’s Kisses, Kraft Mac’n Cheese and last but not least, 28 sizes and varieties of Reese’s. Further information: www.americansweets. co.uk 6. GORGEOUS GROCERIES Whole Foods Market calls itself the world’s leading natural and organic supermarket, a concept which has been a runaway, if sometimes controversial, success across the US since the first store opened in 1980s’ Texas. Whole Foods has long been committed to stocking wholesome, safe and tasty food, much of it locally-sourced or organic. With five stores in London and a Glasgow superstore opening soon, discerning UK shoppers can now access Whole Foods’ unique American–style shopping experience. Aiming to offer the best of British and encouraging regional suppliers to get in touch, each UK Whole Foods venue has a unique local flavour, an instore bakery, cafe and ‘Whole Body’ department dedicated to quality natural remedies, skin and body care with trained advisors on hand to give personal help. The largest UK Whole Foods is located on Kensington High Street, in the historic Art Deco ex-Barkers department store building and in the heart of one of our biggest expat communities. In addition to a remarkable range of products, it has a restaurant, local delivery service, free WiFi and tempting regu33


lar instore events such as Mummies’ Mornings and Thirsty Thursdays, the latter featuring five gourmet food and five selected wine samplings for £5 – starting at 5 pm, naturally. Recent tasty treats have included spicy cowboy meatballs and Texas BBQ wings. Further information: www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/unitedkingdom 7. WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE Starbucks, this year celebrating its 40th birthday, has earned itself the title of largest coffeehouse in the world. With more than 17,000 outlets in 50+ countries around the globe, no other coffee company even comes close. Named for a character in the 19th century novel Moby Dick, Starbucks was founded by three intellectual pals in 1971 Seattle. Astonishingly, Starbucks was originally intended to be a small, local coffee bean roasting shop in that city, long known for its coffee counterculture. After Starbucks’ founding fathers overcame an initial resistance from just selling beans to expansion into the ready made drinks and edibles market, by the 1990s Starbucks was opening a new shop every day somewhere in the world. The first UK Starbucks opened in 1998, followed by a phase of crazily-rapid expansion here. Amongst UK offerings in this 40th celebration year are a drive-through store near Manchester, the Starbucks Reserve range of exotic whole bean coffees and a breakfast menu featuring items such as oat and fruit pots and buttermilk pancakes with maple syrup. If you have just returned from a deserted island and somehow can’t find one of the 700 UK Starbucks on your own, consider downloading a free myStarbucks App and locate the nearest branch on your Ipod Touch or Iphone. You can then use the App to send invites to your friends to meet you there or use the App’s ‘drink builder’ to create favourite drinks--fresh, ready and smelling gorgeous for your arrival. Further information: www.starbucks.co.uk 8. CONES TILL THE COWS COME HOME Meanwhile back in 1970s’ Vermont, 3000 miles and a continental divide away from Seattle, the first Ben & Jerry’s ice cream store opened in a refurbished gas station after two close friends (Ben and Jerry, of course) invested in a $5 correspondence course in ice cream making. Now selling its famous range of scoops and tubs in over 25 countries, B&J’s has become known not only for some of the world’s most delicious and original ice cream using fine natural ingredients and plenty of chunks, but also for its generous community and charitable giv34

ing. In its day to day operations across the globe, B&J’s consistently supports ethical and sustainable dairies and ‘Caring Dairy’ family farmers. To p p i n g the world’s favourite B&J Taster Toby in American scoop list are Chubby ice cream heaven Hubby, a mouthwatering mix of vanilla ice cream, fudge and peanut butter-filled pretzel nuggets; Yes Pecan, a tasteful reference to President Barack Obama’s victory in the 2008 US elections; and Vermonster, a mammoth ice cream sundae served in a bucket and made with 20 scoops of ice cream surrounded by bananas, cookies, brownies, whipped cream and oodles of hot fudge. Not all ice cream varieties are sold in the UK and you will only find a handful of independent scoop shops here. But B&J’s is widely available in UK supermarkets and cinemas and can also be enjoyed for free at the Company’s yearly ‘Sundae Festivals’ in Manchester and London. And don’t miss the annual Free Cone Day, when thousands of scoops of ice cream are given out at B&J shops around the world to celebrate the Company’s anniversary. For everything you’ve ever wanted to know about B&J and more, visit its colourful, entertaining and lovingly-created website. We guarantee you will enjoy the “cow to cone” videos as well as the animated guided tour of B&J’s European ice cream factory, set in the Dutch countryside. Further information: www.benjerry.co.uk 9. KEEP ON TRUCKIN’ Although not strictly speaking about tasting American in Britain, the US-originated food truck trend is such a successful import to hit the streets of the UK that we feel it is essential to include it here. Food trucks – or, as some have translated into Britspeak, ‘street food’ or ‘meals on wheels’-- are one of this year’s hugest food hits, particularly in and around London. The ever-expanding world of food trucks clearly owes a great debt to the challenge of trying to eat well in tough economic times as well as the rise of social media. Often changing locations day to day or even hour to hour, many truck businesses rely on their promotion entirely via Twitter, Facebook and blogs. There are so many worthy, delicious, original food truckers here that it’s a tough task to be able to mention only a handful. Based simply, if unfairly, on this writer’s personal favourites, top of the UK food truck pops are The Meatwagon, with its memorably yummy diner treats such as fried chicken, chilli dogs

and Philly Cheese steaks; Anna Mae’s Smoke House, offering authentic Southern classics like pulled pork, ranch beans, mac‘n cheese and sweetheart sesame coleslaw; Luardo’s Mexivan with its killer burritos; and Kimchi Cult, helping to satisfy London’s current passion for Korean Sliders -- hot and sweet little heavens of mini burger. Further information: www.themeatwagon.co.uk www.Anna-maes.co.uk www.luardos.co.uk www.eat.st/traders 10. KANSAS CITY HERE WE COME With its supercool motto, ”smoke it slow, cook it low”, Bodean's has become reknowned for bringing the best of Kansas City-style smokehouse barbecue cooking to London. Bodean’s founder, Andre Blais, opened the Company’s first and flagship Soho restaurant in 2002. Building on its huge success, Bodean’s now boasts four popular smokehouse restaurants and a thriving catering business. Its signature smoked hickory and hot chipotle sauces hit UK supermarket shelves earlier this year. The best of Bodean cuisine includes smoky barbecue ribs, pulled pork, Boston ‘butt’ sandwiches and other hot deli delights, BBQ beans, creamed corn, clam chowder - and if, after all that, you can manage dessert, key lime pie and cheesecake-- all washed down with a choice of frosty American sodas, craft beers and specialty Bourbons. You can also order one of Bodean’s pre-smoked and roasted platters to take home with you, or better yet, go the whole hog and hire the mobile BBQ catering team to create a slow-smoked Kansas City hog roast right in your own backyard. Bodean's has become increasingly known for its year-round celebration events including Superbowl bashes, Mardi Gras, Fourth of July shindigs and impressive Thanksgiving feasts. Its exciting recent partnership with NFL UK means that Bodean's will be catering NFL’s annual Trafalgar Square Rally and Tailgate Party in late October. Further information: www.bodeansbbq.com This is the latest in our featured series of Top Ten Tips for Americans in Britain. A big thanks goes to all the bakers, cooks, tasters and other Top Ten supporters. If you’ve got a hot Top Ten tip to share with our readers, contact Judith at judith0777@gmail.com n Smokehouse ribs, fries 'n slaw


Property Focus on Wimbledon Village

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imbledon is thought to have been inhabited since at least the Iron Age when a hill fort on Wimbledon Hill is believed to have been constructed. In a charter signed by King Edgar the Peaceful in 967, the area was referred to as Wimbedounyng. At the time of the Domesday Book Survey in c. 1087, Wimbledon was included within the Manor of Mortlake and was therefore not recorded as a separate entity. The Manor of Mortlake was owned by the Archbishop of Canterbury and over the years, as the manor was handed down from one archbishop to the next, a small hamlet started to grow at the top of Wimbledon Hill to house workers working on the Archbishop’s estate, and by the 1200s, the settlement was of a large enough size to begin to appear on maps as a manor itself. Wimmeldun or Wymbaldone, as it was variously referred to, was now officially on the map!

From about 1280, there was a manor located in Wimbledon and grapes from Vineyard Hill (which now overlooks the world famous Centre Court) were used to make wine for the Archbishop. The manor was held by the church until 1398 when Thomas Arundel, the Archbishop of Canterbury, fell out of favour with Richard II and was exiled. The manor was confiscated and became crown property. In 1588 the Earl of Exeter, Sir Thomas Cecil decided to move to Wimbledon and built an impressive manor house in the area with spectacular views over London. The house was built of brick in the Elizabethan style and had extensive formal geometric gardens recorded on a plan made by Robert Smythson in 1609. In addition to several courtyards, the house included a great hall and a chapel, and both Elizabeth I and James I were entertained here on a number of occasions. Cecil’s greatest legacy in the area, however, was not his grand manor house into which he and his architect had put so much thought,

but the improvements he made to the road connecting Wimbledon to London. It was this advancement more than anything that really made Wimbledon accessible and transformed the area from a rural backwater to one of the most fashionable social centres in England. In addition to the jobs that were created as a large staff was required to service the house and the estate, other wealthy people realised that Wimbledon was the ideal country retreat being a mere 10 miles and, therefore, a short horse ride from the centre of London. Other wealthy families bought land and built houses in the area including the Spencers and the Churchills, as well as the Duke and Duchess of Cannizaro and Pitt the Younger. In 1678, the estate was bought by the Earl of Danby, chief minister to Charles II, and was then acquired after his death by Sir Theodore Janssen, director of the South Sea Company. Janssen demolished the original manor house, and started to build a new one, which was never completed, presumably as a result of the South Sea Bubble in 1720. Each subsequent owner improved and changed the estate according to his or her tastes and during the 18th Century, the famous landscape designer Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown was employed to lay out much of the park. By the time the Spencer family sold the estate to the developer John Augustus Beaumont in 1846, Wimbledon was a thriving and increasingly busy area. Beaumont developed much of the area and built many of the houses on prime residential streets that still exist today such as Arthur Road, Leopold Road and Home Park Road. The railway had arrived in 1838, bringing with it the Victorian professional classes, their servants, shopkeepers and other services. 35


Further development rapidly ensued as many large houses with pleasant gardens were built, along with streets of terraced houses to accommodate the new arrivals. The town continued to grow organically, and when the tram was introduced in 1902, another rapid period of growth began. The greater accessibility meant that many people began to flock to the area and a large number of cheaper housing developments were built at the bottom of the hill in what is now known as the town. Today, Wimbledon Village remains at the top of Wimbledon Hill and is still centred around the old High Street. Interestingly, the very reasons that drew many of the original residents in the 16th and 17th centuries, are still the main draw today. Being a mere ten miles from Central London means that accessibility into the centre is easy. Local residents can enjoy the benefit of more spacious houses than one would ordinarily find in central London and a quiet atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle of Central London. Although the area is technically part of London, it remains a mix of London and the country with Wimbledon Common being a particular attraction. Wimbledon Common backs onto the Village and its vast spread of c.1,140 acres consists of woodland, scrubland and heathland as well as mown recreational areas. Parts of the Common have been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and much of it is a conservation area. Within the Common, there is an 18 hole golf course, cricket pitches, sixteen miles of horse trails and nine ponds which are home to a wide variety of

bird, animal and plant life. The Common is unfenced and, as such, is open to the public continually throughout the year. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Common was the site where duels took place, and gentlemen were often seen settling scores and defending their honour with pistols in hand. Most famously, were duels involving the Duke of York in 1789, the Marquis of Londonderry in 1839, and the Earl of Cardigan in 1841. Today, one is more likely to see joggers, dog-walkers and horse riders at first light, followed later in the day by families with children enjoying the wide open spaces. The houses along the Common are the most sought after and rank amongst the most expensive mansions in London with prices

reaching tens of millions, and are owned mostly by a mixture of wealthy business oligarchs, hedge fund executives and other affluent people. Many of these properties have been renovated and boast swimming pools, gyms and all the modern conveniences one would expect. The more modest houses, albeit that it would be hard to find a house much for less than £1m in the Village itself, are owned by professionals who are drawn to the area by the abundance of good schools, the quiet tree-lined roads, and the outdoor lifestyle that the area affords. Places at Wimbledon High School for Girls and Kings College School for boys are particularly sought after. Expatriates are especially drawn to the area by the availability of laterally spacious housing stock, as distinct from the ‘up and down’ houses in central London. Walking through the High Street today, one almost feels one is in a small country village, with beautiful old buildings, the occasional horse riders passing by, glimpses of the Common and a quaint atmosphere. The amenities, however, are thoroughly superb with a wide variety of restaurants and cafes, and a good selection of pubs, some of which date from the 1600s and are reputedly haunted. Fashionable shops and boutiques abound and reflect the affluence of the residents. All of these factors combine to make Wimbledon Village an especially soughtafter place to live, and that is without making mention of the small matter of an annual tennis tournament. n For further information on living in Wimbledon Village, please contact Nik Madan on 020 7908 1109 or nmadan@johndwood.co.uk or isit www.johndwood.co.uk

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Taxing Issues Carol Hipwell of Frank Hirth highlights a few tax related matters for American expatriates

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n the June 2011 edition, I summarised the 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (OVDI) which was by then in full swing. The OVDI was initiated by the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in February

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2011 to encourage voluntary disclosure of overseas accounts and other matters, and was due to close 31 August 2011. Hurricane Irene caused an extension of this deadline until 9 September 2011, but I understand that no new applications to enter the Initiative are now being accepted. As the focus shifts from reviewing and correcting prior year returns and declarations to finalising current US and UK tax returns, it is worth recapping a few noteworthy items in the tax world and highlighting the coming deadlines. THE REMITTANCE BASIS CHARGE (RBC) – THE GOOD NEWS The welcome news for US taxpayers is that the IRS has issued a Revenue Ruling which concludes that the UK Remittance Basis Charge (RBC) is a creditable tax for US tax purposes. For the UK tax years ended 5 April 2009 and 5 April 2010, many US taxpayers needed to decide whether to pay this charge without knowing the IRS position regarding the creditability of the charge. As a refresher, the UK rules for remittance basis taxpayers changed significantly from 6 April 2008 for non-domiciled individuals who had been resident in the UK for seven or more of the preceding nine years. For those wishing to continue to elect the remittance basis of UK taxation on income and capital gains generated outside of the UK but not remitted here, the £30,000 RBC was imposed for the privilege of choosing this method. Those under 18 or with unremitted foreign income and gains of less than £2,000 would not be subject to the charge. For non-domiciled taxpayers subject to tax at a 40% rate in the UK, this roughly equates to £75,000 of offshore income. However, a US taxpayer with an even higher level of such income, such as £100,000, would be reluctant to pay the £30,000 UK RBC without knowing the extent to which the US tax already assessed on this income would be reduced; for example they may already be paying US tax on the total income of £35,000 at 35% and expect to receive a credit for £26,250 using a rate of 35% on the doubly taxed portion. Unless at least £75,000 of income was protected from double taxation, the RBC would represent a significant increase to their overall tax obligations. They might prefer to pay £40,000 to the UK on the £100,000 of income by using the arising basis and including worldwide income and gains on their UK return. This treatment would provide more assurance that the resourcing provisions of the US/UK income tax treaty would operate to eliminate the double taxation and determine which country would have priority over the taxation of various categories of income.

It is worth noting that the use of the arising basis in a particular tax year does not eliminate the need to carefully structure and segregate funds. Funds brought into the UK could still represent a taxable remittance of untaxed income from a previous year in which the remittance basis had been claimed. The Revenue Ruling also gives consideration to the effect of the UK nomination rules. The nomination rules regarding income or capital gains from offshore sources are complex and the IRS did appear to indicate that the RBC itself would remain creditable when a nominal amount of income had been declared. However there is still uncertainty regarding how the US/UK income tax treaty resourcing rules can provide relief for the double taxation when the nomination may not provide sufficient detail regarding the non-UK income which has been generated. Therefore, the best practice for UK purposes of nominating very small amounts of income or gains can conflict with the US best practice of matching income and gains to the UK taxes paid. The situation is further complicated in 2011 by new US rules affecting the segregation of treaty re-sourced income. When evaluating the remittance basis versus the arising basis, which can be changed on a year by year basis, don’t forget that family members without UK source income may have sufficient non-UK income or gains to be affected and can make a separate choice regarding their tax treatment. THE REMITTANCE BASIS CHARGE (RBC) – THE INCREASE As previously announced, the Government intend to introduce an increased remittance basis charge of £50,000 for those non-domiciled individuals who are longer-term residents in the UK with effect from 6 April 2012. This is expected to affect those who have been resident in the UK for 12 out of the previous 14 UK tax years. This would not replace the current £30,000 RBC once a non-domiciled individual has been resident in the UK for 7 of the previous 9 tax years, but would be an increase to the RBC once the extended residency test is met. Again, it is anticipated that those under the age and income thresholds will not be subject to the higher charge. For US citizens already paying tax on a worldwide basis in the US, it is likely to provide an even more compelling reason to pay tax on the arising basis in the UK. OTHER REMITTANCE BASIS MATTERS The consultation document published in June 2011 by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) provides for an exemption from remittance basis taxation for funds remitted into the UK


for specific investment purposes. This is an area to keep an eye on as the rules are finalised. Another improvement in the consultation surrounds simplification of some aspects of the remittance basis rules. For example, it is suggested that foreign currency gains arising from the remittance of funds from a foreign currency bank account would not need to be traced and calculated for the purposes of the UK capital gains tax. Lastly there is confirmation of the intention to legislate a concession widely used by those individuals not ordinarily resident in the UK who claim overseas workdays relief. This concession allows the taxpayer, where certain conditions are met, to consider the effect of the total transfers of employment income made to the UK over the course of the tax year rather than having to consider each transfer separately. This concession has helped to greatly simplify the administration required for those claiming overseas workdays relief and it is good news that this concession will now become law.

RESIDENCY HMRC released a consultation document in June 2011 regarding a statutory residence test. The changes are expected to provide greater certainty regarding residency situations, particularly for taxpayers coming to or leaving the UK. Many tax practitioners have submitted comments on the changes for consideration, basing this on their experience of the existing guidance and the types of residency situations that they have encountered. Under the new residence tests it will be more difficult to break UK residency once it is established than it will be to become resident. It may be necessary to make a clean break with the UK in order for certain taxpayers to lose their residency, but unlike the ambiguous nature of the existing guidance, the new tests more specifically assess the various factors which impact upon an individual’s residency position. This greater clarity will assist taxpayers in planning their affairs and knowing what needs to be done to achieve a desired result.

UPCOMING DEADLINES US Federal tax returns which were extended in June 2011 are due 17 October 2011, but taxpayers living overseas at 15 April 2011 can request a further two months in order to complete and file their tax return to 15 December 2011. Please be aware that any State income tax return required may not allow this additional extension of time. It is also time to finalise UK tax returns for the year ended 5 April 2011, and US taxpayers will often benefit from paying any outstanding tax liability in December 2011 rather than in January 2012. Should you wish to discuss any points in this article, or you have any concerns surrounding your UK and US tax reporting, please contact our team at: mail@frankhirth.com. n By Carol Hipwell of Frank Hirth plc Telephone 020 7833 3500 Enquiries email: Mail@frankhirth.com Website: www.frankhirth.com

Carol Hipwell will be hosting a free tax seminar on Monday 6th February 2012 For further information please see page 31.

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Immigration Separation Anxiety: The high costs of long waits for Americans abroad

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or Americans living abroad faced with the prospect of relocating to the United States with their foreign families, the proverbial homecoming may not be as simple as a plane ticket and the purchase of a new house. Having gone through the immigration gauntlet themselves to live and work in a foreign country — perhaps several years ago — immigration requirements may not be at the forefront of their minds. However, Americans who have started families with foreign citizens need to keep in mind that their families will have no status in the US and need to be sponsored by their US citizen relative. Recent changes in US immigration law may 40

make this a more protracted process, so it is critical Americans living abroad stay abreast of new developments and plan their relocations well in advance, to the extent possible. Therefore, our motto for this article will be to plan ahead-it wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark! There are two classes of immigrant visa petitions which ultimately result in a green card for family members. The first is the immediate relative category, which allows for unlimited petitions and includes spouses, unmarried children under the age of 21, and parents of US citizens. The second is the family preference category, which is subject to an annual numerical cap and usually a wait of many years. Family preference petitions include married children or children over the age of 21 of US citizens, siblings of US citizens, and spouses and minor children of green card holders (“lawful permanent residents”). For purposes of this article, we will limit the discussion to immediate relative petitions. The time it takes to get a green card varies greatly depending on whether the US citizen and his/her family live inside or outside the US, (and more recently which country) resulting in potential lengthy separations and great personal expenses. Adjustment of Status Cases The vast majority of green card filings cover situations where the US citizen and her/his family members already live in the US. When filed from within the country, the process is referred to as “Adjustment of Status” (AOS) and offers the family the distinct advantage of being able to remain in the US for the duration of the process, which generally lasts anywhere from 4 to 12 months. The remaining green card cases are split between the following two scenarios: Consular Processing Cases In situations where the US citizen already lives in the US but her/his family is located abroad, the “Consular Processing” procedure must be followed. The first stage is the filing of an immigrant petition (Form I-130) with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the US. These cases currently take approximately 5-12 months to process. Once approved, the immigrant petition is then sent directly to the National Visa Center (NVC) in New Hampshire, where the document collection stage is completed. The NVC typically takes about 2-3 months to complete this step. Finally, everything is sent to the nearest US Embassy or Consulate overseas, where an interview is scheduled for the relative to attend. Interview wait times can range from a

few weeks in London, to nearly a year at some of the busiest posts. This causes great hardship to families that are essentially separated for months. PLAN AHEAD! Direct Filing Cases Abroad For cases in which both the US citizen and the foreign relative reside abroad, the I-130 can be filed at a local USCIS office (usually located at a US Embassy) and fees can be paid in local currency. This is based on the presumption that the US citizen has maintained a nontemporary immigration status for more than 6 months in the country of application. There are 28 USCIS sub-offices scattered across the globe in 24 countries, including six in Europe: Germany, Italy, Austria, Greece, Russia and the UK. The benefits of filing at an overseas office are numerous: the whole process is typically much more expeditious and sending documents to the NVC is completely eliminated. Furthermore, often USCIS and the Embassy are accessible - in many locations they will respond to email, and sometimes, even phone calls. Anyone who has tried to receive information from USCIS in the US about their particular application knows it can be difficult, and is only possible after waiting through tedious 1-800 menu! It is not uncommon for families to complete the process and be able to move to the US in as little as 2-4 months, with a green card waiting for them on the other end, as opposed to the 7-15 months it takes on average for US citizens within the US trying to sponsor relatives living abroad. PLAN AHEAD! Recent Change in Direct Embassy Filing Procedure Now, however, this benefit to overseas US citizens has been eroded. Historically, Department of State (DOS) officers have processed the immigrant petition filed overseas where USCIS does not have a presence, availing all US citizens residing abroad to the shorter processing times. On August 15, 2011, the Department of Homeland Security issued a policy memorandum stating that unless the US citizen and family reside in one of the 24 countries with USCIS sub-offices, all I-130 immigrant petitions must now be filed at the USCIS lockbox address in Chicago. There are a limited number of humanitarian exceptions to this rule; however, these are rare and decided on a case-by-case basis. In defence of this new procedure, USCIS cites benefits such as uniformity of processing times for all applicants, lower costs for the Agency, and simplified filing procedures with nearly all I-130 petitions going to the one Chicago address.


The vast majority of immigration lawyers and many bodies representing US citizens abroad, however, strongly disagree. For eligible US citizens residing in the UK, the new procedures will (luckily) not apply, as there is a USCIS sub-office in London, located inside the US Embassy. However, it is important to be aware of the new process, particularly for applicants who are frequently subject to international transfer and who may find themselves in a country without a USCIS sub-office, forcing them to apply through the Chicago lockbox in the US. If the US citizen is suddenly asked to move back to the US for work purposes, this could create huge problems for the family; from start to finish, the family can expect a prolonged separation while waiting for the process to conclude, actively putting the US citizen at a commercial and personal disadvantage over a non-US citizen eligible for a non-immigrant visa (work permit). Ironically, work permit applications for non-US citizens can be much faster; it is not uncommon for an entire family to be able to move to the US within a few weeks of starting the visa process. Whether or not the non-American relative can travel in and out of the US during this time depends on a number of circum-

stances, but is generally not advised, particularly if the non-American relative would need to apply for a B tourist visa to visit. When entering under the Visa Waiver Program (i.e., travel without a visa) or with a B tourist visa, applicants are automatically presumed to be intending immigrants unless they can convince an immigration official otherwise. So the Catch-22 is that all those with pending immigrant petitions confirm this presumption, which will make entry into the US, or indeed applying for a visa, risky. All in all, then, US citizens planning on bringing their foreign families to live in the US are well advised to keep up to date on procedures and processing times and seek advice where necessary. It often takes considerably longer for a US national to bring their family over to the US than for a foreign national to relocate under a nonimmigrant visa, and this new USCIS policy may widen the gap further, disadvantaging the very citizens it is designed to serve. When accompanied by foreign family members, then, the route of the return of the native should be set out well before the expected homecoming, as a concerted effort to PLAN AHEAD. n Researched by Jonathan Davis

Contact details: Charlotte Slocombe Solicitor and US Attorney Charlotte has been with Fragomen since 2005. Charlotte is the Department head for the US Foreign Consular Practice in London, and supervises a team of five professionals, including two US attorneys. She specialises in US out-bound immigration through the EMEA and South American regions. T +44 (0) 20 3077 5250 cslocombe@fragomen.com www.fragomen.com

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The American Church In London Revd John A. D’Elia Senior Minister of the American Church in London September 2011 Everyone has a story When I was growing up my parents used to talk about where they were when John F. Kennedy was killed. I remember walking across the UCLA campus when the Challenger space shuttle exploded. It was the way my grandparents remembered Pearl Harbor or VE-Day. All of those tragic, historic moments become markers that stay with us—they become a part of the way we see the world around us. They shape how we think about everything that happens after that moment. Everyone has a story This season, as we’ve remembered the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, people have been sharing their stories of where they were and what they were doing - of people they knew who had been lost or who had suffered losses. One of my closest friends from childhood is a flight attendant for American Airlines.

She has a terrifying story to tell. Some of my colleagues who are pastors in New York or New Jersey or Connecticut remember the tragic funerals that filled their calendars and broke the hearts of their congregations. For months after the attacks, The New York Times ran a series of biographical sketches called “Portraits of Grief,” telling a little of the stories of almost 2000 of the victims who died that day - from bankers to busboys, from soldiers to security guards, from police officers to transit workers to those 343 firefighters who ran into the Towers and never came back. The stories gave faces and names to the numbers we heard on the news. It was essential reading. I was working for Fuller Seminary in California at the time of the attacks and had been in New York on a fund raising trip about a week and a half before. Most of us on the west coast were sleeping when the first plane crashed into the World Trade Center - it was 5:45am in California. Many of us who woke up to the news at 6 saw the second plane crash a few minutes later. My son was not quite a year and a half old that day. I wondered what kind of world he was going to grow up in. Everyone has a story (Acts 1:8) [Jesus said] “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” In so many words Jesus told them: You have a new story to tell, and I want you to tell it everywhere. What was that story? The first part of that story is that God came in the first place, that he took on human form. At Christmas when we sing about “Emmanuel,” we’re celebrating the mystery of “God with us,” of God coming to reconcile us to himself. The second part of our story is the message that Jesus came to share. More than anything else he talked about the Kingdom of God. In his sermons and parables and his confrontations with religious and political power, Jesus described a world with values that went against the grain - a world of generosity and forgiveness, of grace and love for enemies. But most importantly our story tells of the sacrifice Jesus made, and of the hope we have in his resurrection. When Jesus told his disciples to “be my witnesses,” this is the story he wanted them to tell.

John A. D’Elia

If that’s the Christian story, what does it mean for us as we remember a horrible day and the impact it’s had on our lives? First, it means that our lives aren’t trapped or limited by our memories of what happened 10 years ago. The gospel story is there to keep our fear and our anger in check - we have to keep from lashing out in revenge against people Christ came to redeem and to reconcile to himself. Second, that new story means this: In the upside-down values of the Kingdom of God, our story of the September 11th attacks can become a catalyst for more forgiveness, not less. More work in the area of peacemaking, not less. More acts of gospel-sharing grace that tell the story of Jesus Christ in a meaningful, life-changing way. But most importantly, to be a witness to the story of Jesus Christ is a daring, worldchanging act of hope in a world that doesn’t have much of it right now. It’s an act of hope wrapped in the Christian faith that announces to the world that Christ has come, Christ has risen, and Christ is coming again to make all things new. How does all of that happen? That’s what we’re meant to discover together as the family of God, as local churches and faith communities. Everyone has a story My prayer is that as you move on through this autumn season and toward the joy of Thanksgiving and Christmas, that you find a family of faith that gives your own story a sense of hope. May it be so for you and yours. n God bless you! 43


Arts And Antiques E. McKnight Kauffer: The Poster King by Abby Cronin

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he gifted graphic artist Edward Kauffer was a pioneer in every sense of the word. Born in 1890 in Great Falls, Montana, he was the only child of John and Anna Kauffer. Sadly, his parents’ divorced when young Ted was only three and he spent two years in an orphanage while his mother went out to work. After his mother remarried happily in 1899 Kauffer’s childhood was markedly more stable. The family settled in Evansville, Indiana which Kauffer remembered as ‘lonely, nostalgic and uninspiring’. From an early age he was a solitary lad and spent time sketching flowers and copying images from Wild West paintings, notably those of Frederic Remington. Yet beneath his quiet facade, there was a pioneering spirit, a desire to get away like the galloping pace of Remington’s horses, a momentum which was to characterise his development as an artist. In his teens, encouraged by his stepfather to pursue his artistic bent, Kauffer found work as a scene painter with a travelling repertory theatre company which took him to California. There he studied at an art school in the evenings while working as a bookseller during the day. In the bookshop he met Professor Joseph E McKnight, a regular customer. The professor admired Kauffer’s paintings and recognised his artistic promise. They formed a strong friendship and the professor offered to loan the young Kauffer enough funds to continue his studies in Paris. Ted was so grateful to McKnight for his generosity that he adopted ‘McKnight’ as his

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middle name and has been known as Edward McKnight Kauffer ever since. Before travelling to Paris, Kauffer spent six months in Chicago where he took courses at the Art Institute. The timing of his stay coincided with the remarkable Armory Show of 1913. This exhibition displayed important post-impressionist paintings by European masters whose art had not yet been seen in the United States. Works by Picasso, Duchamp, Kandinsky, Matisse, Gauguin and Van Gogh outraged many critics and students, but the impact of these artists’ visions opened Kauffer’s eyes to recent movements in modern art. Just before the outbreak of the First World War, Kauffer left Chicago for Europe. He lived briefly in Munich, a city throbbing with artistic, musical and choreographic experimentation. There Kauffer became acquainted with the poster art of the Munich realist school designer Ludwig Holwein. The elegance and simplicity of Holwein’s designs were stimulating; they helped him appreciate the importance of typographical content in posters. It was through Holwein’s poster designs that Kauffer came to understand that art could be used to advertise, provide information and promote commercial enterprises. Indeed, posters by Mucha, Lautrec and Cheret were already integral to the surface life of city streets in the 1890s. When the war broke out in 1914 Kauffer went quickly to Paris and then to England. Now married and in search of work, he and his American wife found themselves in London where friends introduced him to Frank Pick, publicity manager for London Underground Electric Railways. Pick was instrumental in insisting that advertising needed to be modernised and that posters were an important way to achieve this. Pick wanted posters to be displayed strategically both inside and outside stations, on main walls and platforms, and changed frequently. It was Pick who commissioned Kauffer to design posters for the Underground, a relationship which Exhibition of Modern Art 1919 V&A Museum

In Watford 1915 © TfL London Transport Museum

established Kauffer as one of Britain’s most celebrated graphic designers. Through the inter-war years, from 1915 to 1940, Kauffer created an extraordinary variety of posters for the London Underground and Shell-Mex, the joint publicity branch of Shell and BP. McKnight Kauffer’s visual synthesis of artistic styles was unique. His first posters for the London Underground were painterly landscapes; they prompted visits to suburban areas of beauty. In Watford, 1915, was followed by other boldly painted views of the countryside such as Oxley Woods and Surrey in 1916. These posters revealed the influence of Van Gogh and the Fauves in Kauffer’s use of colour and space. A few years later heavily influenced by the Vorticist group, the style of his posters was increasingly hard-edged. In his poster, Exhibition of Modern Art: The London Group, designed in1919, there are primitive figures, no doubt an explicit reference to the sculptures of Gaudier-Brzeska and Epstein. It was the Vorticist painter Wyndham Lewis who described Kauffer as ‘The Poster King.’ In several early posters McKnight Kauffer achieved a stunning balance between visual and topographic content. One of his most successful designs was Flight, 1919. He developed this image from a woodcut into a more sophisticated poster which was bought by the Daily Herald and used to launch that newspaper in 1919. The elegance and simplicity of Flight captured the energy of splintered planes in geometric clusters against a yellow background. The full title of this poster: Soaring to Success! Daily Herald – The Early Bird perfectly expresses this dynamism. In the 1920s commissions continued to come from London Underground, London’s museums, book publishers and newspaper advertisers. His 1922 poster Winter Sales are best reached by Underground, has a swirling central focus where silhouetted figures push against the rain in London’s streets. Several Kauffer book jackets graced publications by the Hogarth Press, Gollancz, and the BBC handbook, to name but a few. His extensive


Checkmate-photo-Bill Cooper

Soaring to Success! Daily Herald – The Early Bird 1919 V&A Museum

repertoire included illustrations for books, tickets, theatre programmes, film posters, photomurals, costumes and stage sets. By the mid-twenties he had separated from his wife and daughter and established a permanent relationship with textile designer Marian Dorn. Their furnishing designs were widely admired. One of Kauffer’s abstract rugs, 1929, is a pattern heavily influenced by the geometry of Constructivism. And, unusually, the editor of The Studio magazine introduced a new cover design by Kauffer in the January Winter sales are best reached by Underground © TfL from the London Transport Museum BELOW: BP Ethyl Controls Horse-Power 1933 BP Archive

1929 issue. The cover incorporated the classic tradition of the West in the form of ‘Greek sculpture, silhouetted against the symbol of the new age, the aeroplane, pointing upwards as if to soar to heights yet undreamed of ’. (1) Throughout the twenties and thirties one of Kauffer’s main patrons was Shell-Mex. He did a series of ‘lorry bills’ displayed on the sides of the company’s delivery lorries. The series was instrumental in establishing Shell as a brand. A fine example of these lorry bills is the 1933 poster BP Ethyl Controls Horse-power, a clever blend of Vorticist elements, precise typography and a photo image of a powerful male figure reining in the horse. Ever fascinated with theatre and dance, Kauffer created stage sets and costumes for a number of major theatrical productions. Perhaps he is best known for the set and costumes he designed for Ninette de Valois’s ballet Checkmate, 1937, performed in Paris by the Sadler’s Wells Company, at the Metropolitan Opera House in 1949, and in the repertoire of the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden. These designs are still in use and can be seen again at Sadler’s Wells in October 2011 when the Birmingham Royal Ballet performs Checkmate as part of its Autumn Glory programme. Although Kauffer is better known in England than in America, a retrospective exhibition (1937) of his work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York enhanced his reputation in the United States. Towards the end of the thirties work in England was harder to find; since he had not taken British citizenship, he was regarded as an alien. War was looming and American citizens were considered a liability. The option to remain in England faded and in 1940 he and Marian left on the last passenger ship to the United States, leaving most of their belongings behind. They settled in New York for fourteen years until his death in 1954. Though he worked for various American clients during those times, Kauffer missed England deeply. In a letter to a friend he wrote: ‘My American youth may now be useful at last.’(2) Indeed, it turned out to be so. He received a generous commission from American Airlines between 1946 and 1953. This, together with illustrations for books, Barnum and Bailey’s circus, the New York subways and many other

institutions made it possible for him to survive financially. Public recognition came when he was awarded a ‘Certificate of Honor’ from the American Red Cross in 1945 and made an Honorary Advisor to the Department of Public Information of the United Nations in 1947. In 1950 he revisited the American Southwest and called it ‘a good kind of reality - robust, uncomplicated, direct, with brilliant light and great spaces’.(3) Kauffer’s career was like his most famous design Flight, constantly forward-looking, aspiring and visionary. He was a pioneer to the end. n

Edward McKnight Kauffer's STUDIO cover 1929 Courtesy of Mike Ashworth on FLickr

An exhibition: The Poster King: Edward McKnight Kauffer opens at The Estorick Collection, 39a Canonbury Square, London, N1 2AN on 14th September 2011 and closes on 18th December 2011. www.estorickcollection.com Images courtesy of: The Victoria and Albert Museum, London Transport Museum, BP Archive, Birmingham Royal Ballet, The Studio magazine January 1929. Contact: Abby Cronin artsjournalist@abbycronin.co.uk Website: www.abbycronin.co.uk Notes (1) Skipwith P. E. McKnight Kauffer Design Antique Collectors’ Club 2007 p.60 (2) Skipwith P. Ibid. p.31 (3) Haworth-Booth M. E Mcknight Kauffer: A Designer and His Public V&A Publications 2005 p.106 45


A Relocation Experience Bluebells, Regatta and Coming to Grips with All Things British

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hen author and executive coach, Elizabeth Lindsay Kuhnke, packed up her New York City apartment and moved to a flat in Henley-on-Thames, she had little idea of what awaited her. When I boarded the ship in New York harbour and moved to England 26 years ago, my mother said, “Don’t worry, it’s not like

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Elizabeth Lindsay Kuhnke

you’re moving to a country where you don’t speak the language.” My father’s only words were, “Take things slowly.” Mom was a little off base in her assessment – “bless her”, as my English friends say - and life might have been smoother sailing in the early days had I heeded Dad’s advice. I had a great apartment (flat) in Manhattan, was working in PR and living the Sex and the City life - more or less - when my German boyfriend asked me to marry him and move to Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire where he lived. My biological clock was ticking and the image of raising a family in rural England appealed to my fantasies more than the reality of running the rat race in the Big Apple. Plus, I rationalised, Henley is only 40 miles west of the Big Smoke, and in those days I could be in London’s west end within an hour whenever I felt the need for a shot of city buzz or a skinny latte. In addition, Henley’s 30 minutes west of Heathrow enabling a speedy get-away should I be hit with the desire to abandon my new home. Henley Royal the Regatta started the day after Karl and I docked in Southampton. A member of the Stewards Enclosure, Karl had organised 4 days of gourmet dining and copious amounts of champagne and Pimms in the car park with his friends, most of whom I had never met and some of whom became friends of mine. A world far removed from rock concerts in Central Park, Regatta (pronounced with a flat ‘a’, to my surprise) is a highlight of the Silly Season, as the early summer months are known, and an invitation to the Enclosure is highly valued. Rules are rife at Regatta; no denim, no trousers (for women) and ladies’ knees must be covered. I have yet to discover a rule governing the amount of cleavage that is permissible

and have been impressed over the years at the expanse of embonpoint on display. While hats are not required within the Enclosure, women wear them with aplomb. Men must keep their jackets on at all times – blue, school or rowing club blazers - unless the Stewards grant permission to remove them, and only then in the case of extreme heat. (As a side note, I find the concept of extreme heat and the British Isles an oxymoron. Perhaps that’s because I grew up in Florida.) Ties are never removed. Gentlemen of varying ages sporting their rowing caps and slightly moth eaten blazers, as well as lads and lassies in lycra, mill about the boat tents where crews from around the world congregate before and after racing the 1 mile 550 yard course. Manners are a must, and all crews are applauded at the finish line, regardless of how long it took them to complete the course. Expressions like, “Well rowed, Leander,” are pronounced in the clipped tones of the British upper classes, as are words of congratulations, encouragement and solace in languages I’ve yet to identify. Within days of my having arrived in England, the rains came. In spite of my new best friend, a member of the British aristocracy – a world far removed from New York’s Upper West Side - telling me that the English weather is good not only for the gardens but for the skin, I had my doubts. Scheduled tennis matches were cancelled and I spent many a grey, wet day walking the banks of the Thames, questioning my decision to move to a country where people and places were very different from what I had expected and previously experienced. Boots and bonnets were not what I thought, and when I introduced myself to people at parties I was often snubbed, not knowing that in England, one waits to be presented. While I was thrilled to be pregnant within three months of being married, I missed my friends and family. It all came to a head at church on Christmas Eve, when I began singing O, Little Town of Bethlehem, only to discover that the tune was different from what I had sung at home. Floods of tears and a sense of despair enveloped me throughout that first winter. When the snowdrops began showing their heads in February, followed by the crocus, daffodils and woodland bluebells in May, my sadness lifted and I began feeling at home. Perhaps it was the birth of our daughter in the June a year after arriving in the UK, or maybe it was having been invited to edit the parish magazine. Whatever it was, I began to feel I belonged. And have ever since. n Telephone: 01491 640919 Email: info@kuhnkecommunication.com Website www.kuhnkecommunication.com


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CLOKE DENTAL Pall Mall Dental Clinic, 15 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5LU Telephone: 020 7766 7150 Contact: Dr. Laura J. Cloke DDS Email: clokedental@yahoo.com Dr. Laura J. Cloke is an American Dentist. With over 15 years’ experience in Family and Cosmetic Dentistry both in the US and Europe, she welcomes new patients to her Central London location. Member of the American Dental Association, New York State Dental Association, British Dental Association and American Dental Society London.

EDUCATION

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.

Estate Agents

John D Wood & Co. 140 Kensington Church Street, London W8 4BN Telephone: 020 7908 1109 Email: nmadan@johndwood.co.uk Website: www.johndwood.co.uk Contact: Nik Madan John D Wood & Co. is a long established and highly regarded firm of estate agents handling residential sales and lettings in London and the South of England. 48

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 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 98% throughout 2009, DT Moving offer a quality service at competitive rates. 1st class storage facilities are available.

POSTAL SERVICES

Personal Mail International, Inc./PMI Expatriate Mail Services 5 Cold Hill Road South, Suite 28, (PO Box 311), Mendham, NJ, USA 07945 (973) 543-6001 or 800 548-3622 Email: askpmi@pmipmi.com Website: www.pmipmi.com Contact: Lisa Calimano Cannon PMI Expatriate Mail Services has provided professional mail and package forwarding services for Americans abroad since 1987. Use our box or street USA address for reliable, confidential shipments world-wide.

Private Wealth

MASECO Private Wealth 10 Charles II Street, London, SW1Y 4AA www.masecoprivatewealth.com enquiries@masecopw.com 020 7043 0455 MASECO Private Wealth provides wealth management services to expatriate Americans living in the UK and Europe.

SCHOOLS

ISL Group of Schools Two UK schools: Old Woking Road, Woking, Surrey GU22 8HY 139 Gunnersbury Avenue, London W3 8LG Tel: +44 (0)1483 750409/+44 (0) 20 8992 5823 Email: hmulkey@islsurrey.com Website: www.islschools.org Contact: Heather Mulkey The ISL Group of Schools provides a dynamic and balanced curriculum, based on reputable and highly recognised international curricula like the International Baccalaureate programmes and the International Primary Curriculum. Drawing on the rich variety of cultures represented at the school, ISL develops in each student a global outlook, which seeks to understand and appreciate the attitudes and values of others.

TAXATION

Frank Hirth plc 236 Gray’s Inn Road, London WC1X 8HL Telephone: +44 (0)20 7833 3500 Fax: +44 (0)20 7833 2550 Website: www.frankhirth.com Email: mail@frankhirth.com Contact: Mark Walters Email: markw@frankhirth.com Frank Hirth is a leading international taxation and accounting practice, offering advice on UK and US cross-border taxation on individuals, corporations, partnerships and trusts. INGLETON PARTNERS LLP Berkeley Square, Berkeley Square House, London, W1J 6BD Email: tom.griffiths@ingletonpartners.com Telephone: 020 7183 2251 www.ingletonpartners.com Ingleton Partners is a boutique US/UK tax consultancy advising on expatriate taxation matters for individuals, trustees, corporations and partnerships. Included within our service is UK and US tax return preparation.

If you would like to advertise your company’s products or services in this Useful Numbers section, please call Helen Elliott on 020 8661 0186 or email helen@theamericanhour.com Entries cost £175 per issue, or £600 for the year.


American in Britain Autumn 2011  

Autumn issue of American in Britain magazine - published 4th October 2011

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