Serving the American Community in the UK
THIS ISSUE’S FEATURES INCLUDE: Tax Issues • Eating Out • Wealth Management Theatre • American Women’s Clubs News • American Eye Travel • Arts & Antiques • Hotel Review • A Letter From Scotland Embassy Corner • UK Sports • Legal Matters
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2 Eating Out 6 Hotel Review 9 Travel 12 Tax Issues
14 Wealth Management 16 Theatre 17 Take Five 22 American Eye
24 American Womenâ€™s Clubs News 28 Surviving The British Summer 30 Legal Matters
32 A Letter From Scotland 34 UK Sports 35 Arts & Antiques 37 BritishAmerican Business
39 Useful Contacts 40 Embassy Corner
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Park Plaza Riverbank, 18 Albert Embankment, London, SE1 7TJ Telephone: 020 7769 2525 When you are looking for places to eat in London I am sure that you, like me, would not think of Vauxhall, but this has changed for me after visiting Chino Latino. Vauxhall borders the congestion charge zone and for some maybe on the wrong side of the river, but it is well supported by public transport having tube, train and bus links as well as river boats. Vauxhall, as the name suggests, does actually give its name to the car manufacturer, but its main claim to fame is that it hosts the central headquarters of the British Intelligence Service (more commonly referred to as MI6), which has been seen in many James Bond films including Skyfall, Die Another Day, and also Spectre in 2015 when it was demolished! Despite this attack the building is in fact still standing, and it is between this building and the Houses of Parliament that you will find the imposing Park Plaza Hotel, which is home to Chino Latino. Chino Latino is located on the first floor of the hotel and is accessed via an escalator which passes up and through psychedelic purple walls, transporting you into an airy and bright space. The restaurant is smart and stylish and as you enter the first thing that strikes you is the wall to ceiling glass frontage giving spectacular views of the Thames and to the right great views of The Houses of Parliament. This is enhanced by the high ceilings which are filled with lights mounted on metal beams, which struck me as similar to the back stage at a theatre, but although it sounds odd it just works, and provides a truly contemporary feel in which to enjoy great food. The room is split into three sections divided by two bars on each side, one serving drinks, and one preparing mouthwatering sushi. The central area is a modern bar serving an extensive list of cocktails and aperitifs, but what struck me immediately were not the retro high backed chairs, but the fabulous ‘pixaresque’ Luxo lamps which lean over the drinkers, posing like sentinals, which I would just love to have in my home. Having ordered ourselves a glass of something cold, we then set about determining what to eat. In the past, I have always felt a little intimidated by Japanese/Asian restaurants, as I didn’t really understand what each section was offering, but the menu is actually very simple when you look a little closer, but if you are still unsure Chino Latino provide 3 great tasting menus ranging from £37 to £55 which will take you through a wonderful culinary journey. With my newfound confidence with Asian food, I 2
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decided to accompany our drinks with some Edamame Beans (£3.50) which were nicely salted and were really the perfect start to our journey into Pan Asian food. Once these were devoured we moved to our table right by the glass frontage, and whilst we marvelled at how beautiful the London Skyline can be as the sun set over the Houses of Parliament and under the ‘theatre lighted ceiling’, the ‘show’ began. A meal should not just be about the food (although it is a critical part), it is a combination of the décor and the service as well, and this show started well with our waiter pouring hot water onto two small disc shaped tablets which then as if by magic grew into two hot hand towels. For our first course we chose the Calamari with Tamarind dressing, tomato, red onion and mint (£7.50), Prawn Tempura wrapped in shiso leaf (£8.50) and the Wagyu Beef Taquitos (£12.50). I loved the Taquitos which were little ice cream cone shaped tacos packed with a big flavour and melt in the mouth beef. The tempura were light and everything you would want, as were the calamari. Our next course was an unashamed throw back to a Chinese meal as we selected the Crispy Duck with cucumber, spring onion and hoisin sauce (£14.50). This is a firm favourite of mine and I wasn’t disappointed as the duck was moist and its skin crispy, and with the texture of the onion and the warm richness of the hoisin sauce, the pancakes were so moreish I considered ordering another portion. We then ordered some Sushi, including Tiger Maki (£12) and Tenkasu Roll (£11) both
providing 8 pieces. The Tuna, salmon and seabass and avocado filling in the Tenkasu Roll was so fresh and crisp, and provided a perfect contrast to the sticky sushi rice, all topped off, for me, with a little soy sauce. For those as dedicated as we were to doing the menu justice, we then turned our thoughts to the main courses which has an eclectic mix of dishes, including influences from England (Sirloin Steak on hot rocks £19), Korea (Lamb Cutlets marinated in Korean hot pepper paste £28), Japanese (Black Cod with spicy miso £29.50) and Thailand (Thai Chicken in green curry £16.50). The choice is extensive and varied as mentioned, but eventually we plumped for the Chilean Sea Bass with smoked chipotle miso and tender stem broccoli (£32.50) and the Thai Chicken in green curry, micro bok choi and sweet potato (£16.50) with steamed bok choi (£4.50) and jasmine rice (£2.50), and we were not disappointed. The Chilean Sea bass received a makeover in the 70’s ,as it used to be called the Patagonian Tootfish (well would you order this if on the menu?!!), and was cooked to perfection, allowing the buttery fat taste, which is unusual for a white fish, to break through. The Thai Green Curry was rich and creamy and had just enough heat to make our mouths tingle, lovely! I am now a true convert to Asian food, and at Chino Latino’s the menu draws upon the delicate flavours of China, South East Asia and modern Japan, all within a stylish and smart interior, and the piece de resistance is that every night there is live music. What more do you need on a night out?
The Oxford Kitchen 215 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 7HQ Telephone: 01865 511 149
After a beautiful Spring day in “the city of dreaming spires” - as Oxford was famously described by poet Matthew Arnold - during which we had enjoyed punting on the river, a visit to Christchurch College and even letting the kids eat a whole bag of fudge, we had planned to spend our evening at The Oxford Kitchen. A short taxi ride out of the town centre brought us to Summertown, where the restaurant is located. The Oxford Kitchen is seemingly well known in the area, as various people we had spoken to knew of it by reputation; indeed the restaurant has gathered an impressive collection of awards since opening in 2014. On the night of our visit there was a busy hum about the place, and we were welcomed by friendly staff who showed us as to our seats in a comfortable booth. I always love a ‘booth’ as it takes away the feeling of formality and stuffiness that sometimes comes with visiting a ‘good’ restaurant as a family with children. The overall feel of the restaurant is stylish and contemporary with a relaxed vibe, and the booths provide a bit of intimacy from other diners. Offering fine British cuisine, there were a few menu options to consider. We selected the £40 for three courses menu (£35 for two courses). There was also the option of a 7-course tasting menu for £55 per person (add £40 for sommelier wine pairing), which is available for lunch and dinner. Side dishes have an additional charge and range from £4 to £6 for the Parmesan and truffle fries. A good range of entrées are offered, including Buffala Burrata, and Chicken Wing Presse, but I chose the Roasted Scallop, black pudding, cauliflower and onion bhaji (£5 supplement), whilst my husband opted for Hot Smoked Salmon, bulgar wheat, wild garlic and asparagus. Both of these dishes were impressively presented and interesting to eat, offering variety in texture and flavour - there is nothing worse to me than bland food with one overriding flavour or texture: tapioca pudding springs to mind! The Children’s Menu offered a good selection and was reasonably priced at £10 for 2-courses WWW.THEAMERICANHOUR.COM
and two side dishes. One of the kids tucked into a Mini Burger (which did not seem so mini!), and the other had Macaroni Cheese (this would fit into the ‘bland’ category by my reckoning, but is one of his all-time favourites) – both accompanied with fries and salad. They were very happy, and I had to admit that the macaroni was pretty tasty. They were even happier with the homemade ice-cream for dessert! For the main course, I chose the Poached Brill Fillet, langoustine, garden pea nage and lemon thyme. This was comfort food at its best: easy to eat and full of flavour. My partner enjoyed the Oak Smoked Beef Fillet, Jacobs ladder, red wine braised onions, watercress (£7 supplement for this dish). I sampled some of this dish and found it absolutely delicious, perfectly tender, and well worthy of its supplementary charge the fight to get permission to try some before it disappeared, ought to have told me that! We shared a range of sides including perfectly blanched seasonal vegetables, Aura potatoes and skinny fries (skinny in cut not calories, I hasten to add!). The wine list offers an excellent choice, with many of the wines available by the glass or bottle (starting at £25 a bottle, and a very reasonably priced selection overall). Executive Chef John Footman is at the helm in the kitchen, and according to our waiter has built a reputation around producing inspired creations that get people talking. The clever placing of mirrors towards the back of the restaurant provides glimpses into the stainless-steel kitchen where this creativity takes place. We were about to sample some particularly impressive examples of this with our third course. The dessert choices are refreshingly different, and clearly this is where the chef’s imagination is allowed to run free. Amongst the options, I was tempted by the Spiced Nougatine Parfait, toasted almond sponge, cherries and cherry sorbet, whilst my husband opted for the Cheese: Beauvale, white chocolate, apricot and almonds. The parfait was superb, but this restaurant is worth a visit for the Cheese alone! We ended up sampling all three of the cheese platters, which carries a £10 supplement – so along with
the Beavale, we sampled the Smoked Tomme Brûlée & Tunworth mousse. Forget the term ‘cheese platter’, as these dishes were like no cheese platter I have ever encountered - not only were they works of art (one of them came smoking!), but the combinations of flavours, including white chocolate, tamarind, date, and white truffle honey, provided an absolute taste sensation and an unforgettable food experience. The Oxford Kitchen also offers a great lunch menu, vegetarian menu and an extensive list of cocktails (all made with fresh, local ingredients) which all sound extremely appealing as I write this at 6pm on a Friday evening accompanied by the soundtrack of my rumbling stomach. If you haven’t yet been to Oxford, you must go – it is a truly stunning city with an incredible history that is visible around every corner. Whilst you are there, we certainly recommend you call into The Oxford Kitchen for lunch or dinner – it’s an exciting, fine-dining experience that seems to be going from strength to strength.
Upper Ground, London, SE1 9PD Telephone: 020 3747 1063 Strolling along the Southbank of the River Thames, you can’t fail to notice the Sea Containers building and in particular the restaurant that looks straight out onto the bank, with its large plate glass windows and intriguing interiors. The restaurant is part of the trendy Mondrian Hotel, and really is a great addition to the Southbank. The entrance to the restaurant is impressive. From the lobby of the hotel, a copper-clad hull guides you into the large restaurant, which boasts an open-plan kitchen featuring an impressive wood-fired oven. Apparently, the design of the restaurant is inspired by the Golden Age of Transatlantic travel and was designed under the creative direction of visionary Tom Dixon. At the centre of the restaurant, there is an amazing iconic 18-seat signature stainless steel bar designed to reflect an American diner, together with a Yellow Submarine which continues the maritime theme of the hotel. The atmosphere buzzes with family groups, girly get-togethers, occasion celebrators, business discussions, dating couples and friendly banter. This was early afternoon on a Saturday, and provided the perfect casual, yet upbeat vibe to start the weekend. Oh, and it is (arguably) one of the best spots in London to enjoy people watching, if you manage to be seated in one of the window tables that looks onto the Southbank. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily and offers a Grey Goose bottomless Bloody Mary or Prosecco, brunch on the weekend, with menus reflecting the best locally sourced produce. We were there for Brunch, which is available between 12 – 4pm every Saturday and Sunday. The Brunch menu offers a sumptuous American and British selection. I opted for the Braised Beef Brunch Burrito (£18). It was served WWW.AMERICANINBRITAIN.CO.UK
with spicy BBQ beans, sunny side up egg, rice, avocado purée, tomato salsa and corn nuts. This was undoubtedly the tastiest burrito I have ever enjoyed in London. Consumed with a side order of Truffled Mac and Cheese (£7) I was in heaven! My wife chose to be slightly healthier and opted for the Crab Omelette (£15); Portland crab with avocado, heritage tomato, jalapeño and coriander. She did, however, compliment it with a side order of Triple Cooked Chips (£5)! The kids, who by the way eat free between 12pm and 5pm every weekend, tucked into an equally appetising menu suitable for a younger palette. We enjoyed a couple of delicious, freshly made cocktails (I really recommend Le Grand Fizz Riviera), and they also offer some fresh juices for the more health conscious, including Clean Beet and Lean Green (both £8). The cocktails are £13 - £14, but we must give mention to the amazing Bottomless Grey Goose Bloody Mary (which is excellent value at £18). Whilst I am not a Bloody Mary fan, I simply had to give it a try, especially with the added attraction of the dedicated ‘Bloody Mary wagon’. This wooden wagon looks like it has been wheeled straight from an artisan food market and invites you to ‘pimp’ your drink with an amazing selection of fresh ingredients, to create your own, perfectly individual, version of a Bloody Mary. I was tempted to venture completely out of my comfort zone and found myself adding fresh chilli, cornichons, Sicilian lemon, Himalayan salt, celery and a good slug of tabasco sauce! It was not only fun, but tasted great (maybe a little less tabasco next time). I would certainly have a Bloody Mary again, and maybe next time will even go bottomless! We noticed that many of the diners around us were enjoying the bottomless Prosecco, which again is excellent value at £18. Other diners were enjoying some amazing looking Roasts – from a choice of Roast CornFed Chicken, Leg of Lamb, Double-cut Heritage Pork Chop, Dry-age Bone in Ribeye and Whole Brill, ranging in price from £35 to £75 (these are made for two to share), and served with roast potatoes, season British vegetables and Yorkshire Pudding. Not that we had food envy, but let’s just say that another visit on a Sunday, around lunch time, looks imminent! Brunch in my experience does not traditionally include dessert, but once you have seen the dessert options you may think this tradition needs an overhaul. With favourites 4
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including Chocolate Lava Cake (£9), Classic Carrot Cake (£9), and Selection of British Cheeses (£14), we were too weak to resist. I shared the Trio of Ice Cream Sundae (£9) with the kids (well, I just about got a look-in). Comprised of Oreo, Snickers & chocolate ice cream, where could you go wrong? It was a perfect conclusion to my brunch experience, and a real weekend treat. My wife chose the Pecan Pie (£9), which she savoured over every mouthful. Served with vanilla ice cream, this was a classic American dessert done extremely well - I can write this, as the person who had the task of polishing off the plate! Sea Containers boasts stunning views over the Thames, and if you want to get a step closer to the vista, the riverside terrace offers al fresco dining (operational until September) with heaters, cosy cushions and throws for the changeable British weather. Picket fencing lines the dining area and blue and white fabrics, fitting of the nautical Riviera theme, transforming the space into London’s very own Cote D‘Azur. Sea Containers is a venue you will want to return to. It was great for brunch, but I imagine it has a very cool, sophisticated evening vibe. Together with the stunning backdrop of St Pauls and the City, I can’t think of a better location to spend a balmy summer’s evening than outside on the Riverside Terrace enjoying some drinks, or even a chilly one wrapped in blankets being warmed by the heaters!
Afternoon Tea on the Suzy Ann Cliveden House & Spa, Taplow, Berkshire, SL6 0JF Telephone: 01628 607107
What could be more pleasant than spending an hour on one of the prettiest stretches of The Thames, whilst eating Afternoon Tea and sipping cold champagne? The Suzy Ann, one of Cliveden’s stunningly restored flotilla’s, offers groups of up to ten people the opportunity to indulge in an hour’s luxury private cruise, slowly meandering along this pretty stretch of water whilst enjoying the delights from the pastry chef that included traditional scones, clotted cream, jam and fresh strawberries, along with a lemon tart, chocolate cake, a white chocolate eclair, and a light sponge cake topped with frosted berries.
Alongside the sweet treats were the traditional Afternoon Tea sandwiches, including smoked salmon, egg and cress and coronation chicken, and to accompany these we had a choice of tea or champagne (not a difficult decision for me!). The day we went four friends and I were celebrating a friend’s 50th birthday, and the staff discreetly took away the bunting and balloon we had taken as a surprise, so that by the time we had been transported in the luxury mini bus down to the river, The Suzy Ann had already been decorated, and the entire experience brought tears to my friend’s eyes, and in return ours! This service is one of the many reasons that Cliveden, and its sister hotel Chewton Glen, are five star properties, as nothing is ever too much trouble, and the staff are polite, efficient and incredibly capable. Cliveden has a few boats within its flotilla, that can be hired for longer than an hour, and can include picnics as well as Afternoon Tea, and if the weather is on your side, will provide you and your friends or family, with a magical experience that you will never forget. The Captain of the Suzy Ann was full of interesting information about the history of Cliveden and the surrounding areas, and recounted several stories of people’s experiences on the Suzy Ann, including several marriage proposals. Cliveden House & Spa is set in the heart of the Berkshire countryside, surrounded by 376 acres of magnificent National Trust managed Grade I listed formal gardens and parkland. Cliveden has wonderful panoramic views over the River Thames and is just 20 minutes drive from Heathrow and 40 minutes from central London and Oxford, making this a fabulous day out, as the house is steeped in history and the gardens are stunning. You could even treat yourself to a stay at the hotel so you don’t have to worry about how much champagne you drink during your luxury private cruise! For further information the Suzy Ann and Cliveden House & Spa, please visit: www.clivedenhouse.co.uk
Whatley Manor prides itself on quality and service and these qualities shine through in everything they do or serve. Nothing is left to chance and guests are treated to the best of everything.
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Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa Malmesbury, near The Cotswolds
In my youth my brother and I always used to love visiting my Mum and Dad’s friends in Malmesbury, as they were great fun and always had what we thought were amusing stories about the local area, including tales that it was once the capital of England, man’s first recorded flight was here, and it has the honour(?) of being the place where the first person in England to be killed by a tiger was. So imagine my surprise when all these years later I find out that these tales are in actual fact true! One fact I always knew, was how beautiful Malmesbury is. It is a market town in North West Wiltshire with lots of quirky independent shops and is a perfect location to investigate the southern Cotswold region and the stunning Malmesbury Abbey, which is a rare survivor of the dissolution of the monasteries. When you do stay in this area, there is really only one hotel to choose, Whatley Manor, which is conveniently situated 3 miles outside the town centre. You know you are entering somewhere special when you turn off the main road and start down the drive which is flanked by trees and lavender. The Manor is situated in its own 12 acres and these grounds are truly stunning, putting my feeble efforts at gardening to shame. When you get to the end of the drive you pull up to a large wooden gate which automatically opens, allowing you a glimpse of a cobbled inner courtyard surrounded by rustic flower beds, bursting with country flowers. The British weather was at its best on the day we arrived, and we were truly grateful for the welcoming umbrella ensuring we and our luggage reached reception dry! Whatley Manor has been restored to its former glory by the recent owners, and this grade 2 listed building is now home to a top of the range spa, private cinema (a 40 seater which can be hired for you and your partner to have a private showing) and 23 bedrooms. All rooms are large and spacious with every mod con you could want, including L’Occitane toiletries, a Bang & Olufsen sound system and MP3 player,
dressing gowns and slippers. I have written to the AA to see if they would have a new additional classification for hotels based on the fluffiness of the towels and the dressing gowns and maybe a tog rating for each. They are still to buy into my suggestion, but if they did, Whatley Manor would rate at the top as I just loved the towels, as they were are so soft. The Egyptian cotton sheets and duvet cover ensured I had one of the best night’s sleep I have had for many months, and this set me up perfectly for the substantial breakfast and my investigation of the spa. Although grade 2 listed, Whatley Manor has a state of the art spa and treatment rooms which are more akin to the 21st Century and it oozes charm and exclusivity. The cool, calm spa is centred around a large hydro pool with luxury loungers, and each thermal suite has its own aromatherapy scent. Upstairs there are six treatment rooms which host facials and body treatments and is one of only two places in the UK that offer a Natura Bisse Bubble Suite which houses the Natura Bisse Bubble. The Natura Bisse Treatment Bubble offers complete purity and detoxification in a completely isolated atmosphere. It’s a place where the air you breathe will be 99.995% pure. It’s a singular experience that provides exceptional results that rejuvenate and purify. The large hydrotherapy pool has 3 swan necked water jets to massage away your stress and to create the feeling of being one with the outside there is an outside pool area with water massage jets. If you visit on a sunny day (which unfortunately ours wasn’t), try the comfortable outdoor loungers, where you can soak up some sunshine. The decor in Whatley Manor’s communal rooms are in keeping with its grade 2 listing, and fit perfectly with the age of the building. Before dinner we relaxed in the lounge and sank back into comfortable period chairs whilst enjoying its warm décor, which is in keeping with a country home rather than a hotel, resulting in making you feel very at home. Although the last head chef left along with his 2 Michelin stars, the new Head
Chef, Niall Keating, has taken up the mantle, and in our opinion it will only be a matter of time before that coveted first star will be awarded to the new team at the Dining Room. The Dining Room is open from Wednesday to Sunday and serves a 12 course menu (£99) which is truly sublime. The starter was a Spiced Cracker with Exmoor caviar, mayo and parmesan shavings which was so light it was a surprise it didn’t collapse in our hand, and the creamy mayo, spice and parmesan combined perfectly. It would take another page or two to describe the meal properly, but each course was a delight and included Oysters, Salmon Roe, fresh Spring Lamb and a Chorizo and raw Scallop Risotto, all cooked to perfection. The dishes drew inspiration from many different cuisines, including Korean, Japanese and classic French, resulting in menus that balance contemporary and classic styles in terms of ingredients and presentation. All the dishes were presented and explained by one of the team of chefs, which allows the diner to see who has prepared the dish they are eating and was a great touch. The wine list is extensive, and there is a wine for every taste and budget including a wine flight (£78) which includes 7 different selections. The other choice for dining at Whatley Manor is Grey’s Brasserie with a more contemporary feel which serves a wide choice of bistro dishes. Food here is equally as good, and indeed comes from the same kitchen, with standout dishes being the Pearl Barley Risotto with roasted cauliflower and parmesan (£16.50) and the Pan Seared Pollack with leeks, bacon and wild garlic sauce (£17.50). Whatley Manor prides itself on quality and service and these qualities shine through in everything they do or serve. Nothing is left to chance and guests are treated to the best of everything, and I for one loved everything about it, and my wife says she did too! For further information please visit: www.whatleymanor.com
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TRAVEL What I truly love about England is its diverse culture and the large number of gems that can be found in the form of areas of natural beauty. Many of these are not well known, and one that I have just visited is the North Wessex Downs. The North Wessex Downs is a unique and spectacular landscape that includes tranquil open downland, ancient woodland, and chalk streams in the centre of southern England, and is sandwiched between Newbury in the East and Swindon in the West. Within the North Wessex Downs there are so many fascinating places to visit and experience, from pre-history to the present day, that it is impossible to mention them all, but they include some of the most magical pre-historic locations in the country. The internationally renowned Avebury Stone Circle and White Horse Hill are well known to visitors, but there are many other interesting sites such as the Neolithic tombs of Kennet Long Barrow and Wayland’s Smithy, that are equally mysterious places to visit. For a predominantly rural area, the North Wessex Downs has a surprisingly rich industrial heritage, and the Kennet and Avon Canal is well worth a visit as it was a vital thoroughfare connecting the river Avon with the River Thames in the 18th and 19th centuries. It also flows through Newbury, giving many lovely places to enjoy a drink or lunch by the water. The North Wessex Downs is also home to some of England’s finest country houses from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Highclere Castle (famous as the location in the hit television series WWW.THEAMERICANHOUR.COM
The North Wessex Downs ‘Downton Abbey’) has impressive staterooms, an Egyptian exhibition, and wonderful grounds to roam, but more of this later. Newbury’s history is not well documented, but a settlement grew up here over 1000 years ago due to its position as a river crossing and a cross roads of north/south and east/west trade routes. The name Newbury was first mentioned in 1079 in the “Ecclesiastical History of England and Normandy” and was granted the right to hold a fair and a market (which it does to this day). In the late 15th century Newbury was renowned for its cloth manufacture, and its most famous clothier was John Smallwood who was a close friend of Henry VIII and Queen Catherine of Aragon. Newbury was also the site of two battles during the English Civil War (1642-46). The first battle was in 1643, when the Earl of Essex was returning to London after reliving the siege of Gloucester and found his way barred by King Charles’s army. The Earl of Essex won, after the King’s army ran out of gunpowder! The second battle was in 1644, near Donnington Castle. Now a partial ruin, it was besieged for 20 months. It fell to the Parliamentarians, but the King’s defenders of the castle were allowed to withdraw because they had put up a stout defence. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Newbury was important as a coaching centre, being on the Great Bath Road, and it developed many inns, theatres and horse races to entertain the travellers, and these pleasures remain to this day. The racecourse that exists today, Newbury Racecourse,
was opened in 1905, and apart from a brief gap in 1942 when the course became a marshalling yard for the American army, continues to hold race meetings throughout the year. The 18th century also saw new industrial industries spring up, with some even surviving to the present day, and due to its great road links Newbury has now attracted many high technology companies such as Vodafone, Merant (formerly Micro Focus) and Quantel. Newbury has been synonymous with the Nuclear debate for many years as the Greenham Common Airbase is near Newbury. This base was used to participate in the invasion of Europe on D-Day, 6th June 1944, but what stirred up the fury of many people was that it was used during the Cold War as an American nuclear bomber base, and then a Cruise Missile Base, prompting many demonstrations, and a permanent tented village set up by CND outside the main entrance for many years. Since the end of the Cold War, Greenham Common has returned partly to a common and partly an industrial estate, and the protesters moved on. On our visit to Newbury our first port of call was to Donnington Castle which is a ruined medieval castle, situated in the small village of Donnington, just north of Newbury. It was built by Sir Richard Abberbury the Elder in 1386, and was bought by Thomas Chaucer (politician and son of the poet Geoffrey Chaucer), before the castle was taken under royal control during the Tudor period. As mentioned, the castle survived a 20 month siege during the First English WWW.AMERICANINBRITAIN.CO.UK
Civil War and after the surrender Parliament voted to demolish the castle and now only the impressive four towered gatehouse survive. There are no tourist facilities here and entry is free, which to me shows that this site is all about history, and not money. Entry is during any reasonable hour, and please note the gatehouse itself cannot be entered. Our second port of call was to Highclere Castle which is about 5 miles (8 km) south of Newbury. This was something my wife was really looking forward to as she is a big fan of the television series Downton Abbey which is filmed here, and she couldn’t wait to see where The Crawleys (fictional characters) had spent their years. We drove up through the understated entrance gate through the stunning gardens designed by Capability Brown, and then were treated to our first sight of this truly striking Jacobethan styled house designed by the architect Charles Barry. This is the very impressive country seat of the Earl of Carnarvon, and he and his wife do live here, so rather than it being a museum house this is actually someone’s home, and this comes to light as you pass through each room and explains why it is not open all year round, so do check opening times. Highclere Castle will not disappoint Downton fans, as filming didn’t just take place on the outside as most of the internal rooms were used too, so you really are on set here. Highclere not only delights those who love Downton, it will also delight those who love architecture (as it really is a stunning building full of antiques and old masters paintings) and to add icing to the cake it has a third string to its bow as a museum of Egyptian artifacts. That appears odd for a country house in Berkshire, but the clue is in who owns the house. The most recent Lord Carnarvon is descended to the Lord Carnarvon, who, with Howard Carter, discovered Tutankhamun’s Tomb, and so there are many artifacts from that tomb in their museum. What I found most interesting is that a copy of everything found in the tomb has been made for security reasons, and only a few know which is at The British Museum and which is at Highclere at any given time. As well as the house, the gardens are extensive, and you could spend many hours enjoying walks to one of the many folly’s which litter the grounds. The stable block houses many thoroughbred horses used for breeding (indeed the Queen’s trainer has his stables next door, well, the next estate, so a few miles away!). The castle and gardens are open to the public during July and August and at various other times during the the year, but there are several special events coming up at Highclere, the dates of which you can see on the website. For me this house is a must see for everyone, and it has something for all the family. Newbury still has many inns and places to stay, but we stayed at The Donnington Valley Hotel and Spa, which is perfectly located to not only visit the sights of Newbury and the surrounding area, but also has enough to keep you in or near the hotel, with its state of the art 10
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Spa, and a lovely challenging 6296 yards, 18 hole, par 71 parkland golf course, set in beautiful rolling countryside. The rooms have a warm modern feel, and are well equipped with large flat screen TV’s, Egyptian cotton duvets, marble bathrooms, Wi-Fi internet access, laptop-sized safes and complimentary bottled water. This is not just a golf hotel, as it has bars and restaurant full not just of people bemoaning their misfortune on the course, but families were there celebrating birthdays and couples were enjoying a great night out. This modern 4 star hotel truly caters for everyone, as along with the spa it has a very good size swimming pool and jacuzzi, surrounded by comfortable loungers. The actual golf course has its own clubhouse, so by the time golfers have returned from their trials and tribulations on the course, they are able to relax and make the most of the welcoming bar, or head back to the hotel with its large bar area and fabulous restaurant. The restaurant at Donnington Valley, The Wine Press, is in my view the jewel in this hotel’s crown. This 2 AA rosette restaurant offers the perfect blend of classic British dishes served in an intimate yet informal atmosphere, and there is an à la carte menu, or as part of our one night deal we could choose dishes from a set menu (4 options for each course) which was exceptional value. I started with Pressed Confit Piglet, pickled turnips and greengage and the peppery greens complemented the piglet perfectly, whereas my wife had the Spiced Goats Cheese. Our mains were the Corn Fed Chicken Wellington with smoked mash which was an original twist on a classic, and Scorched Cauliflower Risotto, which was warm and creamy with a lovely crunch provided by the cauliflower. The desserts we chose were Bitter Chocolate Tart and a Bramley Apple Crème Brûlée, which rounded off a lovely meal. Newbury may not be the first place to visit on everyone’s list, but you should really reconsider, as it is very easy to get to, and has lots of things to see and wonderful places to stay. My wife has previously stayed at The Vineyard, where she did a day of wine tasting and gained her WSET Level One Sommelier certificate. This one day course is open to all wine lovers, and after a few hours tasting and tutoring you are able to gain a qualification which is the first stepping stone to becoming a fully fledged sommelier, or you can just use the knowledge to impress your friends! The Vineyard is a 5 star award winning hotel, with a 3 AA Rosette restaurant and award winning 30,000 bottle wine cellar, as well as its excellent dining facilities, also has a spa and indoor swimming pool. It is also closely associated with Donnington Valley Hotel and Spa, but is probably more suited to adults rather than young children, although they are very welcome! For further information on Highclere Castle visit: www.highclerecastle.co.uk For further information on Donnington Valley Hotel & Spa, please visit: www.donningtonvalley.co.uk For further information on The Vineyard please visit www.the-vineyard.co.uk
TAX ISSUES US Tax Consequences Of Owning A UK Private Limited Company Many small business owners set up entity arrangements to both protect themselves from the personal liabilities of the company, and to achieve better tax structures. A common form of this method in the US is the LLC with the private limited being the UK counterpart. If you formed a business as a private limited company – or are thinking about doing so – to take advantage of the UK’s beneficial dividend tax treatment, you will want to make sure you file the appropriate tax forms, as the US has very strict rules on foreign corporation reporting.
Private Limited Setups In the UK, a private limited company (Pvt. Ltd.) is a good idea, especially before the 2016/2017 tax year. Before this year, taxpayers could take a dividend tax credit, which greatly reduced the amount of tax paid out of the owner’s pocket. Many people formed a Pvt. Ltd. as a separate entity to be paid in dividends in lieu of higher wages, which resulted in lower taxation. With the new rules for the 2016/2017 tax year, taxpayers can receive up to £5,000 of dividends tax-free, and will still pay preferential rates on dividend income compared to wages.
US Reporting Requirements This can have an unintended effect on your US tax filings. Even if you may consider yourself self-employed, a Pvt. Ltd. is treated as a foreign corporation under US law. This means it may need to be reported on foreign informational reporting forms. These forms include Form 5471 and Form 926, which report your interest in, and contributions to a foreign corporation. They also include Form 8938 and FinCEN Form 114 (FBAR), which report your interest in both your personal and business-related foreign accounts. All four forms can have large statutory penalties if they are not filed correctly and on time. a. Foreign Asset & Financial Account Reporting The reporting requirements for some of these forms may be confusing at first look. Due to the reporting rules for these tax forms, it is easy to inadvertently reach the reporting thresholds. For example, if you have financial interest or signature authority over foreign financial accounts and the aggregate of those accounts is at least $10,000 (USD), then you must file an FBAR. This includes business accounts, even if they are technically owned by your corporation. Therefore, if you are able to draft cheques on behalf of your business, the value of the business’s account must be included in your FBAR report. Generally, a married US person residing 12
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abroad does not have to file Form 8938 unless their foreign financial assets exceed $400,000. However, if you are married to someone who is not a US citizen or green card holder (a nonresident alien), this threshold decreases to $200,000 (or $300,000 at any point during the year). Some assets like foreign real estate are not reportable if held by a US person. However, if land is held by a foreign corporation such as a Pvt. Ltd. or any type of foreign entity, then the interest in the entity must be reported on Form 8938.
Even if you may consider yourself self-employed, a Pvt. Ltd. is treated as a foreign corporation under US law. This means it may need to be reported on foreign informational reporting forms. b. Foreign Corporation Reporting Form 5471 must be filed for a US person who has an interest in a foreign corporation if certain events and/or ownership thresholds are met. Typically, if you have at least a 10% ownership interest but less than 50%, you must file the form in the year of incorporation and the year you dispose of your shares. If you have over a 50% interest in the Pvt. Ltd., you must file this form every year. However, there are ownership attribution rules that can change the amount of shares you are deemed to own, most notably where ownership through family members can be attributed to you. For example, if you own 50% of the Pvt. Ltd. and your non-US spouse owns the other 50%, you are treated as owning 100% of the
corporation for reporting purposes and must file this form every year. This does not mean that 100% of the income is attributable to you, rather for informational reporting purposes you are treated as constructively owning 100% of the Pvt. Ltd. The attribution rules also apply to other entities, trusts, and estates that may have an interest in the Pvt. Ltd., if you yourself have an interest in those other tax structures. Additionally, Form 926 may also be required in the year you open a Pvt. Ltd. if you contribute cash or other property to the business.
US Tax Consequences Although there is beneficial treatment on the UK side, this can have unintentional consequences on your US return. In order to avoid double taxation, US persons can use the foreign earned income exclusion or the foreign tax credit. The foreign earned income exclusion (FEIE) excludes up to $101,300 of foreign earned income from taxation. However, dividend income is not considered earned income, which means that even if you can exclude your wages, you cannot exclude dividend income. The FEIE also has the consequence of the excluded income being factored into your tax rate. Therefore, even if you can exclude $100,000 of earned income, your tax rate on your dividend income will be figured as if the earned income was never excluded. Furthermore, while you may pay a larger amount of taxes on other types of income in the UK (like wages), you are generally only able to apply foreign tax credits on your US return towards similar income. This means that you cannot apply the taxes paid on wages in the UK against your UK dividend income, and vice versa. Since no, or a lower amount of taxes are generally paid on dividends, you will usually incur some type of tax liability on the US side. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing as you should take a holistic view of the tax savings you are generating from both sides. One plus on the US side is that the tax treaty that is in place between the US & UK affords you the ability to classify UK dividends as ‘qualified’ for US purposes. Qualified dividends are taxed at lower preferential tax rates (the same as US capital gain rates). This can provide even further overall tax savings if no tax is owed in the UK. A major issue to be aware of if you are considering this set-up, or already have one in place, is that tax compliance costs on the US side can be high. The above forms can require complex reporting, similar to that of a US corporation, so tax preparation fees will generally be higher. Additionally, if the
A major issue to be aware of if you are considering this setup, or already have one in place is that tax compliance costs on the US side can be high. business is owned by more than 50% of US based investors, and you yourself own 10% or more of the business, you generally must report your income statements and balance sheets on the US calendar year (January to December). If your statements match the UK tax year, your tax preparer will have to adjust your statements to match the US tax year, and you may need to keep two sets of books for proper reporting. If you are planning on setting up a Pvt. Ltd., or you are operating one currently, you
may want to take a close look at not only the UK tax perspective, but also the US treatment. While this type of business set-up can be advantageous to you from an overall viewpoint, you want to be aware of what it means to you as far as reporting the income and your ownership interest on both countryâ€™s tax returns.
If you are planning on setting up a Pvt. Ltd., or you are operating one currently you may want to take a close look at not only the UK tax perspective, but also the US treatment.
Aleksandra Drakulovic is a Senior Expat Tax Advisor at H&R Block Expat Tax Services. She is a licensed attorney with a Master of Laws in Taxation. With a background in international taxation and compliance, she brings her expertise to complicated international reporting issues facing overseas businesses, as well as individuals. H&R Block Expat Tax Services is a highlyspecialised team of tax attorneys, CPAs and enrolled agents whose singular focus is expat tax preparation for Americans abroad. Remember that due to the complexity of US tax reporting for expats and its highly factspecific nature, this article is general in nature. For further information visit: www.hrblock.com/expats
WEALTH MANAGEMENT The Two Sides Of Value I can no longer count the number of flights that I have boarded in my life. Today, unfortunately, has been another of far too many examples, where I am going to arrive with great delay. Though some of you might be part of the lucky crowd, I guess most of you have already had the same annoying experience. At least this time my ticket was a real bargain. Many flights that I have been on before have cost two or three times as much and I nonetheless suffered from the same bad outcome. In other words, I cannot confirm any strong link between the price I paid, and the value of the good I received for it. It is part of our everyday life that we make decisions about the goods and services we want, and the prices we are happy to pay for them. For example, we perform some quick mental math that, if buying one bottle of wine for £10 versus buying two bottles on a “buy one, get one free”offer, the latter purchase is twice as good as the former. In the world of investment management, relating price information to fundamental data is called valuation. When you hear that US equities are expensive, or that emerging markets are cheap, someone has looked at the respective current prices for all securities that are components of market indices and compared them with data released by the companies that make up the respective index. Data such as earnings, book values or dividends are used to calculate price earnings (P/E) multiples, price to book ratios or dividend yields (dividends divided by price). Is this the same as value investing? Yes and No! Though the same ratios are considered, the decision is taken with respect to an individual stock, not a market. Is Apple expensive? Is Tesco cheap? Value investing is broadly understood to be a stock selection exercise, not a market timing one. Benjamin Graham has been one of the earliest, widely known investors (his 1949 book “The Intelligent Investor” is an evergreen hit), whom put value investing at the very centre of his investment decision making process. These days the most commonly quoted name, when asked for an example of a value investor, is Warren Buffet. Over the next few paragraphs I will look at the rationale for value investing from two different angles, a risk based argument and a behavioural based point of view. Everybody knows that buying something cheap and selling it for a higher price creates a profit. So why are we not all Warren Buffets and Benjamin Grahams? It turns out that the really tricky part lies within determining 14
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the true intrinsic value of a company that its security price is supposed to reflect. An investor is buying the expectation of all profits that will be generated and all dividends that will be paid in the future. Now, looking into the future is not a simple task by any means, like weather forecasts illustrate to us on a regular basis. This is where financial theory is attempting to help.
It is part of our everyday life that we make decisions about the goods and services we want, and the prices we are happy to pay for them. A gentleman by the name of Eugene Fama developed a theoretical framework in 1970 known as the Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH). It assumes that investors, at all times, have access to all available information about a company and its security; and that they have homogenous expectations and act rationally. And so according to the theory, the current price is the best possible predictor of the future, and financial markets are completely efficient. The practical implications of EMH are wonderful. Investors cannot outsmart the market, and the best way to invest is not to attempt to beat the market but instead invest passively at the lowest possible cost. The model is brilliant and earned Eugene Fama a Nobel Prize in 2013. Now, hundreds of billions of dollars are passively tracking various equity and fixed income market indices. In 1977, the EMH was tested with P/E ratio data. To avoid that the test outcome is not just reflecting the fortune or misfortune of a single company and its correct or incorrect pricing, researchers analyse groups containing dozens of securities that exhibit very similar characteristics. The results of the test showed
that the group of stocks with the lowest P/E ratios outperformed groups of securities with higher P/E ratios and, most importantly, also the market. The value premium was born and because applying the EMH would not lead one to expect to be able to generate such premium, the term ‘value anomaly’ also became part of the admittedly sometimes confusing and overwhelming, financial vocabulary. Many academics then joined the search for an explanation of this anomaly. From Eugene Fama’s point of view, you can only earn an additional premium over the market premium for value stocks, if there is an additional risk. In his work with Ken French, published in 1993, he observed that prices of value stocks move together and he argues the reason to be a common macro risk factor. Often this risk is argued to be financial distress. Finance at the end of the day is a social, and not a hard science like physics. It is therefore very possible that financial markets work differently than modelled in the EMH. The same year the Nobel Prize committee announced Fama to be one of the winners for Economics, Robert Shiller also won that prize. He argues that markets are inefficient and predictable. Shiller is arguably the biggest name in the section of academic finance called behavioural finance. He does not believe that investors act as rationally as assumed in the EMH. Many of his thoughts are captured in his famous book “Irrational Exuberance”. You might have heard about some of the terms coming out of behavioural finance such as “herding”, “overconfidence” or “overreaction to news”. Financial market bubbles like the Technology/Media/ Telecommunication (TMT) stock prize bubble are prime examples of market participants’ behaviour leading prices of whole market segments away from a defendable argument of future company fundamentals. It is therefore entirely reasonable to also search for the explanation of the value anomaly by looking at investor behaviour, and in 1994 academics provided evidence in support of this alternative thesis. Later, other authors became more specific, making the case that growth stocks, or non-value stocks, underperform value stocks because they are overvalued due to ill-motivated Wall Street analysts and the impact of financial media. This is a good time to stop and take stock: Why am I telling you all of this? For starters, I hope some readers have learned something new. It also allows me to share some of my own conclusions.
Everybody knows that buying something cheap and selling it for a higher price creates a profit. So why are we not all Warren Buffets and Benjamin Grahams? 1) Value investing is very intuitive to understand as we perform similar mental accounting regularly in our daily lives 2) Even on a Nobel Prize winning level, people disagree in the way they attempt to model the real world. Finance at the end of the day is not a hard science 3) The continued existence of the value premium can be argued very well from two different angles. Such strong, theoretical rationale is critical for any decision to pursue value investing
4) Eugene Fama and Ken French researched other return premia that they believe are likely to be the result of investors being compensated for an additional risk. Once you allow yourself to broaden your search for other return premia, by also looking for anomalies that are a result of investor behaviour, which is the Shiller school of thought, the opportunity set broadens even further. Helge Kostka, Chief Investment Officer Prior to joining MASECO Private Wealth, Helge helped to establish and grow the presence of Research Affiliates in Europe over the last 4 years. He began his career at Deutsche Bank in 1995, serving in a number of investment roles, including as head of qualitative alpha selection and head of portfolio engineering. Helge started at Aviva Investors in 2009, initially heading up the product specialist team in the areas of investment solutions, equity, and multiasset and later establishing the respective product management function. Helge holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting from Hogeschool, Utrecht, the Netherlands, and a Diplom Betriebswirt from Fachhochschule für Oekonomie und Management in Essen, Germany. Helge also graduated with an Executive MSc in risk management and investment management from EDHEC-Risk Institute.
Helge is considered an expert in Smart Beta and quantitative investing, and has spoken at various conferences around the globe. Having worked with HNW individuals as well as large institutions in different jurisdictions, his rich experience allows him to bring institutional investment practises into the private client world. In 2016 the Financial Analysts Journal (FAJ) published Helge’s co-authored research around factor and smart beta exposures. In March 2017 CFA Institute named Helge and two co-authors as the winners of the 2016 Graham and Dodd Award of Excellence via CFA Institute; it is the first time that a Chief Investment Officer at a UK Private Wealth Management firm has received such honour. Contact: email@example.com
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A Review of ‘An American in Paris’ at The Dominion Theatre by Lydia Parker
The original An American in Paris, the film musical directed by Vincente Minelli with Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron, is such a wellloved classic that it is difficult to imagine how a stage adaptation could compare. The creators of An American in Paris the stage musical have done a very clever thing by rewriting the book and saying it is “inspired by the motion picture.” This version is all the more exciting as it does not try to copy the film but gives us a brand-new take on the characters. The play begins with Adam, the American composer, alone on stage as our narrator. He has a slight limp, obviously, a wound from the recently finished war. We see the exhilaration of Paris being liberated from Nazi occupation, but also the bitterness as a female collaborator with a shaven head is mobbed by a crowd. Lise, a ballet student in this version, gives some of her bread to people waiting for rations. She is attacked by a group of men but saved by American ex-soldier Jerry Mulligan, who falls in love with her immediately as he keeps running into her in the streets of Paris. Jerry, artist friend to Adam, is more sophisticated and suave here, rather than the cheeky, energetic joker played by Gene Kelly. Henri Baurel is completely transformed into a mild mannered and awkward mother’s boy whom everyone hints is probably gay. Rather than being an established
cabaret artist, he is hiding from his conservative parents his desire to be a musical star. Adam is rehearsal pianist not only for aspiring singer Henri but also for the ballet school Lise attends, which is run by Madame Baurel, and sponsored by wealthy American Milo Davenport. She brings in Jerry to design sets for a ballet she wants to commission, with music composed by Adam. All three men are in love with Lise, despite her being engaged to Henri. Milo, meanwhile, is pursuing the handsome Jerry, hoping to buy his affections through her patronage. Writer Craig Lucas has kept a similar story to the original while trying to bring together, sometimes improbably, all the various plot elements. It does, however, put the focus on dance, which makes sense in this beautifully choreographed production. Although not Broadway belters, the two leads have nice singing voices and are magnificent dancers. Robert Fairchild and Leanne Cope, reprising their roles from the Broadway production, are both ballet dancers, Mr Fairchild with the New York City Ballet and Miss Cope with the Royal Ballet. The choreography, by Christopher Wheeldon, who also doubles as director, captures the sumptuous beauty and fun of George Gershwin’s timeless music. These dancers, along with the ensemble, are a joy to watch, as they execute sometimes
From left, David Seadon-Young, Robert Fairchild and Haydn Oakley in An American In Paris at The Dominion Theatre. Credit Johan Persson.
breath-taking moves. It’s a very different style from what we are used to in musicals, less razzmatazz and more graceful artistry. The stage play draws upon more Gershwin compositions than the ones used in the film, including the The Man I Love, They Can’t Take That Away From Me and even Liza, which is shoe-horned in as Jerry decides to Americanise Lise’s name. I missed Our Love is Here to Stay, which is sadly omitted, but enjoyed I’ve Got Beginner’s Luck, which Jerry sings while attempting to charm Lise as she works at Galleries Lafayette. He raucously wreaks havoc everywhere as he leaps over counters and twirls around dress racks. The fantastic set and costumes, designed by Bob Crowley, are works of art in themselves. The set mostly consists of sliding screens upon which drawings, paintings, street scenes, interiors and abstract designs, inspired by Matisse cut-outs, are projected. It is stunning work, creating ever changing environments with a minimum of fuss. The costumes are also glorious, especially those worn by the ladies, evoking Dior and Chanel. The cast are uniformly excellent. Jane Asher, in the new character of Madame Baurel, does a lovely job of portraying a woman who appears to be haughty and condescending but has just spent too long trying to hold onto her dignity while secretly resisting the Nazi occupation. Zoe Rainey is a fun-loving and ebullient Milo Davenport, who enjoys flaunting her wealth to wield power, but does so in a good-humoured way. The duet she has with David Seadon-Young’s grumpy but sympathetic dreamer Adam, But Not For Me, shows two losers in love who luckily don’t take themselves or their plight too seriously. Haydn Oakley’s Henri is a wonderful comic creation, who has all the best lines. He is never a true contender for Lise’s love, despite their engagement, but is loveable in his silliness and insecurities all the same. His iconic song Stairway to Paradise is not the polished number of Georges Guetary in the film, but is instead a fantasy sequence of Henri’s dream of being a star. Robert Fairchild and Leanne Cope prove themselves to be true stars; there is a real chemistry between them in their dance sequences, which are a joy to watch. They give the production elegance, panache, and warmth. It is a pleasure to see two such accomplished dancers slip easily into musical theatre. An American in Paris will melt the heart of even the most world-weary Londoner. Luckily it has been extended to 18 January 2018 - this unmissable musical is S’Wonderful. Visit www.anamericaninparisthemusical.co.uk for further information or to book tickets.
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Summer of Love: Sizzling Seasonal Treats by Judith Schrut
Family friendly, wonderful WOMAD, photo courtesy Dee McCourt, Borkowski Arts&Ents
Unbelievably, it’s fifty years since the Summer of Love. For those young enough to remember, that’s when American tennis great Billie Jean King beat Britain’s Ann Jones at Wimbledon, the Beatles released their groundbreaking Sergeant Pepper album, and 100,000 long haired, flower strewn, hippy-hued youth converged on San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district for a memorable season of peace, love and music. Now, we welcome the Great British Summer of 2017, with plenty to love and to celebrate. Outdoors, in tents or underground, whatever the weather, you’ll find the coming weeks packed with strawberries and cream, fetes and fairs, wellies, macs and more music, festivals and cultural events than you can shake a beaded headband at. Let us help you make the most of these glorious long days and late, light nights with our Take Five summer arts preview.
1. Around The World With WOMAD Roll up for the biggest international festival on the planet! The 35th WOMAD– or World of Music, Art and Dance– takes place at the end of July, bringing together hundreds of performing artists from dozens of countries and around 40,000 world music fans to its beautiful open air site in the heart of rural Wiltshire. If you’ve ever been to WOMAD you’ll know what a unique and joyous festival it always is. Topping this year’s stunning lineup are South Africa’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo Band. Three decades ago, the world fell head over heels for Ladysmith Black Mambazo when they famously backed Paul Simon on his Graceland album. Many years, tours and awards later, Ladysmith Black Mambazo are back with their uplifting voices and spellbinding rhythms. From Eastern Europe comes Emir Kusturica and his No Smoking Orchestra with its irreverent, anarchic, genre-defying gypsy sound. From West Africa, there’s legendary, jubilant dance band, Orchestra Baobob. Australia is lending us the Spooky Men’s Chorale, mesmerising and WWW.THEAMERICANHOUR.COM
hilarious in equal doses, and inventive and adventurous Eliza Carthy and her Wayward Band will be taking traditional folk music to places it has never been before. The brilliant BBC Introducing Stage and Cerys Matthew’s live Sunday radio simulcast will also be back. A diversity of American musicians will be strongly represented, with charismatic Las Cafeteras flying in from East LA for its UK and European debut, the energetic Orkestra Mendoza bringing its ‘Indie Mambo’ sound, and sweet and soulful Leila McCalla sharing her Haitian-Creole roots music. Fabulously family-friendly, WOMAD is free for under 13s and welcomes young people of all ages and abilities to its dedicated Kids Zone, World of Children, numerous workshops and annual Children’s Parade. Traipsing from stage to stage in the fresh country air is hungry work, and WOMAD is well-prepared for this. Not far from the multiple performing stages and beneath hallmark giant
flags waving majestically in the breeze, is the Global Market, where you can eat your way around the world from a mouthwatering range of international food and drink. Try savoury sambar from the Madras Cafe, hot cheese raclette from le Rac Shack (“Masters of Melting”), smoky gourmet burgers from Holy Cow and handmade falafels from Chai Shop Organic, but remember to leave room for a scrumptious slurp of Shepherds sheepmilk ice cream. Although WOMAD’s music is its main draw, you’ll find loads of other imaginative events to tickle your festival fancy. Taste the World serves up a popular combo of food, music and conversation under one intimate tent, as WOMAD artists take time out to cook, chat and share a favourite dish from their homeland. Breathe deeply in the cool shade of the Arboretum, sip tea and munch homemade cake in the shade of the giant turkey oaks and discover myriad ways to bathe body, mind and soul in the World of Well Being. This is your
Something for everyone in the Global Village, WOMAD, photo JS
chance to sample sunrise yoga, gong baths, holistic massage, shamanic healing, butterfly life coaching and back inversion therapy (hanging upside down to you and me). Debate and discuss in the World of Words, check out a book from the Human Library and indulge in spoken word shenanigans in the Hip Yak Poetry Shack. There’s also opportunity for much blissful browsing amongst WOMAD’s huge selection of crafts, clothing, musical paraphernalia and worthy causes on display. For a little extra indulgence, invest in a weekend pass to the La Di La Loos or the WOMAD Spa, an oasis of pampering treatments set in a sumptuously-decorated oriental tent, replete with coffee and cocktail bar, Spa gardens with wood-fired hot tubs, Finnish barrel saunas, jacuzzis and hammocks, and that luxury of festival luxuries, hot showers! Further information www.womad.co.uk
2. Family Fun Families with school-agers will certainly want to make the most of Britain’s notably shorter summer vacations. As well as WOMAD, there are many other UK festivals ideal for family relaxation and enjoyment; our favourites include Camp Bestival, Port Eliot and the Big Feastival. For the best in ferociously family-friendly music, magic, circus and comedy, head to London’s Southbank riverside for the summerlong Underbelly Festival. Underbelly proudly presents affordable live entertainment for all ages, with many shows priced at £10 or less, along with plenty of street food and refreshment bars. Look out for Monski Mouse’s Baby Disco Dance Hall, the Amazing Bubble Man, Comedy Club 4 Kids and “acts that don’t seem humanly possible” from Quebec’s Flip FabriQue. There’s also Children are Stinky, the award-winning Australian circus sensation featuring incredible acrobatics, lightning fast hula hoops and loads of laughs, Metta Theatre’s spectacular hip-hop Jungle Book, high energy comedy and song from Four Femmes on the Thames and evenings of hilarious nonsense and interactive madness with Margaret Thatcher’s Queen of Gameshows. Not far away, in the cool and mysterious Vaults The Underbelly Festival’s Children are Stinky, from Jen Pearce, the Underbelly
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A Relaxed Prom for all, photo credit, Betina Skovbro, courtesy BBC Proms
beneath Waterloo Station, you’ll find more kicks for kids as Les Petits Theatre Company stages an extraordinary, immersive Alice in Wonderland. Set in multiple, magical rooms, this version of the beloved classic tale is an award-winning, push-the-boundaries theatre experience for 5-10 year olds, who will follow the White Rabbit down the rabbit hole, choose between ‘eat me’ and ‘drink me’, tumble with the Tweedle Twins and take tea at the biggest unbirthday party with the maddest of Hatters. But do heed the Company’s warning: Don’t be late! Logic will fail you! Nonsense will overwhelm you! Toddlers in tutus as well as seasoned dance lovers will be equally enchanted by My FirstBallet: Cinderella. This beautifullystaged joint production by the English National Ballet and English National Ballet School, turns everyone’s favourite rags-to-riches story into a charming show for children aged 3 and up. Based on our recent visit in the company of a transfixed two year old, this Cinderella is guaranteed to have young audiences crawling, skipping and twirling in the aisles by intermission. For a wonderful way to introduce your youngsters to classical and other great music, take your pick from several family focussed BBC Proms this summer. Ten Pieces: Sir Henry’s Magnificent Musical Inspirations Prom will lead audiences on a splendid musical adventure, whilst the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra Prom offers an exciting intergalactic journey featuring the lively sounds of Holst’s The Planets. There’s a Relaxed Prom filled with colour, laughter and audience participation, suitable for everyone, but especially children and adults with mental, physical or sensory disabilities. Always utterly fabulous is the John Wilson Orchestra, with a joyful semi-staging of Oklahoma! bursting with timeless tunes like Oh, what a Beautiful Morning! and Surrey with the Fringe on Top. The Proms also hosts lots of free family workshops and Prom Extras, where you are encouraged to bring your instrument or your voices, whatever your ability. Further information www.underbellyfestival.com www.bbc.co.uk/proms www.ballet.org.uk/ production/my-first-ballet-cinderella www.alice-underground.com
Kool for Kids, the Underbelly Festival, Southbank, photo courtesy of Borkowski Arts&Ents
3. Gorgeous Gardens In the Summer of Love, all beautiful people wore flowers in their long hair and everything went floral. But for the British gardening world, every season is a Summer of Love. In a land where so much conversation revolves around the weather, where a deep relationship with nature has been celebrated through the centuries by poets, painters, philosophers and kings and recited in the most familiar of nursery rhymes, this seems, well, only natural. A seemingly insatiable appetite for all things botanical extends to TV and other media. BBC2’s hugely popular Gardeners World is in its Golden Jubilee Year, whilst Love your Garden, Garden Rescue and the Edible Garden are all massive hit shows. Gardeners’ Question Time has been pitting BBC Radio listeners against celebrity gardeners from village halls around the UK weekly since 1947. Vertical Veg, Guerilla Gardening, Real Men Sow and Potting Shed UK are amongst hundreds of dedicated magazines, websites and blogs. The nation’s passion for plants thrives year round, but it’s a love with particular potency in the summer season. Is there anything more quintessentially British than our gardens in summer, fragrant with roses, lavender and jasmine; floribundant with hollyhocks, peonies and delphinia? The Chelsea Flower Show, Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, National Garden Competition and Shed of the Year, are ever-flourishing annual summer events. Newsstand magazines are awash with garden tips and treats, recipes for homegrown fruit and veg
TAKE FIVE 4. Jazz At 100
Charleston House and Gardens, Sussex, licensed under Creative Commons
Beth Chatto Gardens in Essex photo credit, Grahamec, licensed under Creative Commons
and ads for inventive garden paraphernalia. If you’d like to share in the nation’s horticultural hysteria, you’ll find an infinite variety of wonderful gardens around the country open to view, from stately homes and castles to wildflower meadows, urban parks and neighbourhood allotments, all proud to show off their rainbow wares this summer. Amongst our favourites are Wisley Gardens, Surrey, a magical paradise of the formal and the wild, Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire, with its matchless collection of trees and breathtaking treetop walkway, and Mottisfont, Hampshire, home to the national collection of old fashioned roses. In summer, it’s a vast bouquet of colour and fragrance displaying over 500 types of scented, climbing, rambling and bush. Add a romantic medieval house, art gallery and beautiful riverside gardens and you have the recipe for a total feast of the senses. Mottisfont also warmly welcomes children, with devoted wild play areas and plenty of space to run, play and bike. We highly recommend a visit to remarkable Beth Chatto Gardens in Essex. In 1960, plantswoman Chatto took an overgrown wasteland of bramble, bog and dry gravel, and transformed it into inspirational gardens, using her successful mantra of “the right plant for the right place”. Lush themed areas include neverwatered gravel gardens, splendid and serene water gardens and cooling canopied woodlands. There’s an imaginative programme of activities like Bee Safaris, Pond Detectives and Mini Beasts Rule days, a Wildlife Fair in August and a Great Pumpkin Hunt in October, a wonderful plant nursery and quaint tea room with homemade scones and tantalising cakes. Now aged 94, Beth Chatto still oversees her WWW.THEAMERICANHOUR.COM
world famous and award-winning gardens, and can often be seen zipping about the grounds on her mobility scooter. Bloomsbury fans will want to make pilgrimage to Charleston House in Sussex and Sissinghurst Castle Gardens in Kent. At various times a Saxon pig farm, Elizabethan mansion, prison and Victorian poorhouse, Sissinghurst was transformed by Vita Sackville West in the 1930s to its current magnificence, attracting garden lovers from all over the world. Charleston House, former home of 20th century artists and creative partners Vanessa Bell (Virginia Woolf’s sister) and Duncan Grant, is celebrating its 100th year. Treat yourself to its special centenary house and garden tour to get up close and personal with Charleston’s fabulous decorated interiors and magical walled ‘artists gardens’ created by Bell and Grant: intense and colourful, filled with sculpture, mosaics, tile-edged pools and touches of Bloomsbury humour. Poldark fan or not, you’ll find Cornwall’s abundant and varied gardens the very best of British, from the world’s largest greenhouses of the Eden Project to more intimate gardens like Trelowarren, Glendurgan, Tresco Abbey and Tregothnan Botanic. We especially love the Lost Gardens of Heligan, with its exuberant subtropical jungle, romantic pleasure grounds, pioneering wildlife conservation projects, awesome setting and exclusive handmade walnut and honey ripple ice cream. Further information www.greatbritishgardens.co.uk www.bethchatto.co.uk www.charleston.org.uk www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mottisfont
The Summer of Love may be feasting its fiftieth, but it’s a mere babe next to the world of jazz, which this year celebrates its first 100 years. Not only is 2017 the centenary of the first ever jazz recording– Livery Stable Blues by the New Orleans’ Dixieland Jazz Band– but would have seen the 100th birthdays of three of jazz’s best-loved stars, Ella Fitzgerald (25 April), Thelonius Monk (10 October) and Dizzy Gillespie (21 October). For all these reasons, Jazz 100 has curated a year-long programme to mark the musical milestones, kicking off with International Jazz Day at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival in spring and partying on through the year with loads of incredible gigs and events. A summer jumping with jazz jewels opens with a rare public performance from Woody Allen and his New Orleans band, playing London’s Royal Albert Hall in July. As well as a long and illustrious filmmaking career, Woody Allen has a legendary devotion to his beloved clarinet and sax, famously missing acceptance of the 1978 Academy Award for Best Picture because he was busy playing at his weekly Dixieland jazz gig. In the jazz spirit of improvisation, Woody’s upcoming show will have no playlist and none of his musicians know in advance what he will ask them to play. The weeklong Manchester Jazz Festival heats up at the end of July with over 100 concerts, films and other electric events. Festival highlights include the New York Brass Band and the Haggis Horns, and the Festival’s full sensory experience will be abetted and refreshed by jazz brunches and afternoon teas. As ever, this year’s BBC Proms (14 July 9 September) are rich with jazz sounds. Prom 27 pays a delectable double tribute to Ella and Dizzy’s 100th birthdays; the music of jazz giant Charles Mingus is honoured at Prom 53 by the rocking Metropole Orkest and its dynamic young conductor Jules Buckley, and Prom 57’s Swing No End matinée promises blues, boogie-woogie, bebop and a slice of musical action from the Woody Allen and his New Orleans Jazz Band, photo courtesy BaxterPR
The Doobie Brothers, appearing at Bluesfest 2017, photo courtesy BaxterPR
1930s and 1940s. Charismatic singer and radio presenter Clare Teal will officiate at its riproaring battle of the bands, led by bandleaders extraordinaire Guy Barker and Winston Rollins. BluesFest, the brilliant annual jazz, blues and roots festival, caps off October (27-29), this year headlined by exclusive classic gold appearances from Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers. Last but not least, the 25th EFG London Jazz Festival will shatter the chill of late autumn with two full weeks of gigs by a diverse range of artists in concert halls, clubs and stages across the capital. Chief amongst this year’s thrills will be renowned South Africans Abdullah Ibrahim and Hugh Masekela, the Jazz Voice opening gala, the effervescent Harlem Gospel Choir and mindblowing piano-mandolin duets from Brad Meldau and Chris Thile. Further information www.bbc.co.uk/proms www.manchesterjazz.com www.bluesfest.co.uk
5. Get Thee To The Globe How do I love thee Shakespeare? This summer, you can count many ways, as Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre re-invents the Summer of Love in the Bard’s image. The Globe, on London’s Southbank, is a faithful-to-the-fingertips re-construction of the Elizabethan playhouse which once stood nearby, where Shakespeare worked and where many of his greatest plays were performed for the very first time. The original Globe enjoyed huge success, until one fateful evening in 1613 when a stage cannon misfired into the theatre’s thatched roof mid-performance. It took less than an hour for the glorious Globe to be reduced to a pile of smouldering straw and ash.
Twelfth Night at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, photo by Hugo Glendinning
Astonishingly, there were no serious casualties, although one theatregoer’s breeches were reported to have caught fire. Luckily, flames were swiftly extinguished with a swash of ale. Today’s rebuilt Globe is in its 20th year, the triumphant result of American expatriate actor and activist Sam Wanamaker’s decades of tireless fundraising, research and planning battles. It’s historically accurate, right down to the lime-washed walls, oak beams and water reed-thatched roof, London’s only permitted thatch since the Great Fire of London in 1666– but don’t worry, it’s packed with modern fireproofing and real cannons are no longer allowed on stage. The Globe’s themed, open-air season runs from April to October each year. This year it celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love with portrayals of love in its many forms, from the star-crossed ill-fated love of Romeo and Juliet to the cross-dressing, genderbending romance of Twelfth Night; from wit-
pitting, comic love in Much Ado About Nothing to love torn apart in King Lear. You can also glimpse forbidden desire in Tristan and Iseult and thrilling, illicit love in Nell Gwyn, actress and mistress of King Charles II. Globe seats sell out fast, but 700 ‘groundling’ tickets are always available for £5 on the day of every performance, giving you a standing spot in front of the stage and the best and most authentic way to see a show. Audiences are forewarned that the theatre is virtually open to the elements and the show goes on in all weathers. But come rain or shine, we guarantee your Globe visit will be one to remember. Further information www.shakespearesglobe.com Take Five is our quarterly feature bringing the best of British to Americans in Britain. Did you or anyone you know experience the Summer of Love? You can email Judith at firstname.lastname@example.org Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, photo by John Wildgoose, courtesy Globe Press Office
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AMERICAN EYE Joe Allen: A Celebrated American in Britain turns 40 The unique Joe Allens, American dining in the heart of London Theatreland, photo credit Geoffrey Davies
Judith Schrut goes behind the red canopy on a Covent Garden back street to meet the folks behind Joe Allen, as the iconic restaurant marks 40 memorable years as an American on the London scene.
became key players on the UK restaurant scene, who helped re-define eating out in London. Rowley Leigh, Russell Norman and Jeremy King are all famous alumni. But it’s a myth that Graham Norton once worked here as a waiter!
What brought Joe Allen to Britain?
What keeps Joe’s going after 40 years? What’s changed and what’s stayed the same?
It was the mid-1970s.The real Joe Allen, who ran his eponymous restaurant in New York, recognised the keen British taste for Americana. He wanted to offer something beyond burgers, a more sophisticated feel. That came together with a chance to buy property cheap in Covent Garden, which at that time was run down and off the beaten track. He saw the opportunity for something unique.
Loyalty plays a key part of Joe’s longevity on the ever-changing London restaurant scene. Current
owners Lawrence Hartley and Tim Healy, who took over 5 years ago, are both experienced and successful restaurateurs. But, more importantly, both cherish fond memories of visits to Joe Allen in their youth, and care deeply about its heritage. Joe’s has always relied on truly loyal staff, some of whom have been with us a very long time. Like Cathy, our general manager, who has worked here for over 25 years. The London food scene has changed enormously since 1977- the sheer number of restaurants and the boom in quality and choice,
How has Joe’s made its mark? From the beginning Joe’s has gone out of its way not to be an American food or theme restaurant, but American-style dining, meaning a relaxed place for a great pre-or post-theatre experience and atmosphere, a solid menu, fabulous cocktails, and real cheesecake. And Joe’s rejected the class system and instead embraced London’s diversity way before it was openly acceptable to do so. When Joe’s opened it was the only place in London where you could be sitting next to a punk on one side and a suited City boy on the other. We’ve also been the starting point for loads of amazing young chefs and people who 22
AMERICAN IN BRITAIN
Fabulous cocktails and the first slider bar in Britain, photo credit Geoffrey Davies
AMERICAN EYE for example- but Joe Allen just keeps going like it’s always been. We still have live piano every night, brunch on Sunday, and a traditional turkey dinner at Thanksgiving.
Tell us about a memorable moment at Joe’s. On Joe’s opening day, 14 January 1977, a smash hit new musical called Chorus Line had recently opened at nearby Drury Lane Theatre. The show’s stars came and high-kicked their way down the stairs and across the bar to the show’s hit tune, Singular Sensation. Since then we’ve had many stars dancing on the bar or playing the piano. Peter Cook and Richard Harris singing, drunkenly, round the piano, was a pretty memorable moment for us.
You’ve had quite a few notable diners over the years. Why did they come? Indeed, anybody who is anybody has been here. You can see their pictures on the walls. Rock Hudson, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Elizabeth Taylor, Robert Wagner, and Stephen Sondheim, to name a few. They’d expect to sit at one of the tables along the far wall, known as “the Fifties”. Chita Rivera practically lived here when she visited London. Elaine Stritch had her own table. Kenneth Williams would always sit in the corner table and snipe at people. People came to be seen— not particularly for the food— which could be a bit wounding for the chefs! Joe’s has always been a place to relax and feel comfortable. Theatre people, especially Americans playing the West End, would come here after a show, dressed in jeans or no makeup, for down time, to feel home from home. They could bring their lovers, boyfriends, mistresses, knowing Joe’s firm policy:“we don’t kiss and we don’t tell”.
customers each had their own tune which he’d play as soon as they walked in. This was known as a Jimmy Jam. He was such a talent, he knew every single show tune by heart. And if you were famous— or he fancied you— he might just let you sing with him at the piano.
Tell us three things about Joe’s that might surprise us. Well, Joe Allen’s was the first restaurant in the UK to have an American-style‘hatch’and a beer slider on our long bar. We have a secret underground passage from Joe Allen to our sister restaurant, Orso. Also, we have an incredible collection of first edition theatre posters and photos of American stage and screen greats lining our walls, but notably no Brits in any of our photos.
Tell us about your menu and the famous secret burger. Well, from the beginning Joe refused to have burgers on our menu. But diners wanted burgers, so they became our ‘secret’ menu item. They’ve always been our best seller, but they’re still not on the menu and never will be. From the menu we’d suggest starting with our Caesar salad, beautifully executed, followed by either sticky ribs or Mac Ragu, with a side of fries and coleslaw. Finish with pecan pie or our classic chocolate brownie smothered in ice cream. Or, if you’re a vegetarian, try the three-bean chili from our Green Menu. And a cold American beer, of course.
How is Joe’s marking its 40th birthday and what does the future look like?
Your pianist Jimmy was a legend, wasn’t he?
We’re having a year-long party with lots of surprises and treats, including a £19.77 retro menu. As for what’s next, we’re super-excited about moving house very soon. But we really don’t feel we’re moving the restaurant: we’ll still be nearby, in Covent Garden, the whole team are coming with us and we intend to keep our soul!
The great Jimmy Hardwick was our pianist for 37 years, the longest serving house pianist anywhere. He played 6 nights a week from our opening night till the day he died, aged 88. He was a real character, genuinely a legend in his own lunchtime. With Jimmy, our regular
Joe Allen’s is at 13 Exeter Street, London WC2, moving nearby soon. Our thanks to Geoffrey Davies for his photography, and to Lawrence, Cathy, Sadie, Francesco and the rest of Joe’s lovely team.
EXCLUSIVE READERS OFFER To celebrate it’s 40th birthday, Joe Allen’s is offering a complimentary 77up Cocktail to all readers who bring a copy (or snap) of American in Britain’s summer magazine when dining. Joe’s canopy entrance on Exeter Street, photo credit Geoffrey Davies
Offer valid until 16 July 2017 for restaurant diners only and subject to availability.
AMERICAN WOMEN’S CLUBS NEWS North American Connection (NAC)
West Midlands Summer is here at last which means it’s actually the beginning of our new membership year at the NAC which runs from beginning of June to the end of May. Looking back at the past several months, we can’t believe how fast this year has gone! We’ve had so many fun social events,with many of them raising money for our chosen charity for the year June 2016 to May 2017, which was MacMillan Cancer Support. We have also delightedly welcomed new members this past year into our increasing West Midlands expat family. Our last charity event for the year was ‘Cinco de Mayo’held at a member’s home. We decorated the house and garden in festive colours and lights and served lots of home made Mexican food and some fabulous frozen margaritas! We invited our spouses and our British friends to join us and over 50 of us ate and drank and danced to Mexican and Spanish music, and then settled down for a fun American & British pub style quiz. We raised over £1,300 on the evening for MacMillan Cancer Support through drink sales, quiz entries and a raffle. Cinco de Mayo
This year we have so many more events to look forward to, including our family 4th July celebration taking place on the Sunday before. We’re looking forward to a great American style barbecue with face painting and games for the kids. We also have our usual coffee mornings, pub lunches and dinner evenings lined up. Plus, some interesting book club meetings, craft days, theatre nights and day excursions to enjoy. Last but not least, we have scheduled in several of our very popular and lively Bunco charity nights for the coming year! If you live in the West Midlands area and haven’t found us yet, we would love to meet you! Most of us are women from the United States or Canada, but we welcome other expatriates too, and anyone with a particular connection or interest in joining. We are a diverse group ranging from short to long-term expats and also have quite a few ‘lifers’, expats who have chosen to settle here in the UK permanently! We live in the West Midlands with members reaching as far as an hour radius outside Birmingham, including Solihull, Leamington Spa, Lichfield, Straford upon Avon, Worcester and Oxford. Please do come along to one of our events to see if you would be interested in joining us as a member. You can find out more about us by visiting www.naconnect.com
AMERICAN IN BRITAIN
Are you new to London or interested in attending lectures from leading experts, enjoying exclusive experiences, and meeting new friends? Then KCWC is a great starting point. As one of London’s longest established and largest women’s organisations, we have more than 800 British and international members from over 52 countries. Each month KCWC holds a General Meeting with a high profile guest speaker at a prime London location. Past speakers have included HRH Princess Michael of Kent, Anthony Geffen, Zac Goldsmith, Earl Spencer, Anton Du Beke, Alexandra Shulman and Jo Malone. The meetings are a good way to meet other members, sign up for activities, enjoy listening to a keynote speaker and join fellow members for an optional lunch at a prestigious local restaurant afterwards. The General Meetings are also a great opportunity to know more about discounts and promotions offered by our preferred partners as they display their products and offers at our showcase tables. KCWC members benefit from special discounts on these showcase tables. In addition to the General Meetings, KCWC also offers approximately 35 activities. These
are organised by members who volunteer their time and skills by running a wide variety of weekly and monthly activities. Topics include history, culture, art, design, fashion, music, theatre, local tours, UK and international travel, special events, technology, sports, golf, tennis, languages, arts and crafts, food, dining, wine tasting, book and lecture groups, country walks, bridge, feng shui, and much more. There are also a variety of evening and weekend activities which working women can enjoy. These include theatre, happy hour, dining out, jazz and music appreciation, evening speakers, and special events. For those interested in making a difference in the community, KCWC’s Volunteers for Charity group works with several local charitable organisations. There is so much on offer at KCWC and members get to discover London while making new friends at the same time. Recent Highlights Our April General Meeting featured guest speaker Alexandra Shulman, former Editor of British Vogue and author of the recent book Inside Vogue: A Diary of My 100th Year in conversation with renowned interior designer Nicky Haslam. Also in April, we distributed Easter gift baskets to Befriending Plus and the Wandsworth Foodbank, and our Special Events team hosted members for an evening of pampering and luxury treatments at Harrods’ Urban Retreat. In May, our keynote speaker was Jo Malone, the founder of Jo Malone London and Jo Loves. She delighted members with stories from her life, from humble beginnings to building two internationally renowned fragrance brands. KCWC’s June General Meeting was held at the Roof Gardens in Kensington with guest speaker Emma Manners, Duchess of Rutland. The Duchess spoke about the fascinating history of Belvoir Castle with a focus on how she has been painstakingly restoring its gardens to Capability Brown’s original plans. The meeting was followed by KCWC’s annual luncheon where department store Fenwick of Bond Street presented a fashion show on The Summer Look. Meanwhile, our activity leaders welcomed the beginning of spring with a full programme of activities and events. Following their successful spring 2016 World War II lecture series, the British History group walked from London Bridge to Rotherhithe for a two-mile stroll through some of the city’s most historic areas, after which they lunched at the historic Mayflower pub. The London Walks and Treasures group toured
AMERICAN WOMEN’S CLUBS NEWS Society and Foodies will co-host an evening exploring the delights of Sicilian cuisine and wine. British History has planned a lecture on Women in the Frame at the National Portrait Museum. In the autumn, British History’s popular History of London course returns and over several weeks it will cover the development of the city from Roman times to present day.
KCWC General Meetings at the Royal Geographical Society KCWC April General Meeting Speaker Alexandra Shulman in conversation with Nicky Haslam
KCWC May General Meeting Speaker Jo Malone with KCWC President Catia Dal Poz
Jewish Hampstead and Woodberry Down, and Country Walks hit the trails from Milford to Godalming in search of bluebells. The Antiques and Design group visited the collections of Clive Christian Perfume Town House Mayfair and also toured Crosby Hall on the Embankment. Contemporary Art Club visited art galleries in Fitzrovia, while Art History hosted lectures on the Russian Revolution, Giacometti, and Michelangelo and Sebastiano. Classical Music and Opera visited Wigmore Hall, one of the world’s great concert halls, to hear award-winning keyboard virtuoso Kristian Bezuidenhout and Classical Opera’s period orchestra perform Mozart’s earliest keyboard concertos. The After Six in the City group hosted a dinner at the riverside Sea Containers Restaurant at the Mondrian Hotel, in addition to a series of evening lectures at the Victoria & Albert Museum. Foodies enjoyed cooking classes on the topics of Polish cakes and French sauces and basic knife techniques. Theatre group attended performances of 42nd Street, An American in Paris, The Kid Stays in the Picture, and Don Juan in Soho. Travel group visited Petworth House in the South Downs, and also travelled to Lisbon and Sintra in Portugal and Bologna and Ravenna in Italy. WWW.THEAMERICANHOUR.COM
KCWC Volunteers for Charity prepare Easter baskets for the community
Upcoming Events Though summer holidays are upon us, KCWC’s activity leaders have plenty of activities planned for the warmer months. The Country Walks group will hit the trails from Hassocks to Lewes on the South Downs Way, and London Walks & Treasures will learn about the regeneration of the new river from Woodberry Down to Woodberry Park. The Dog Walking group will explore London’s parks with their four-legged companions, including outings to Hampstead Heath and Richmond along the Thames Path. Antiques & Design will host a lecture on Jade: The Chinese Jewel, and Classical Music & Opera will visit the historic St John’s Smith Square to enjoy one of Mozart’s first operas, ‘Apollo et Hyacinthus’. Foodies and After Six in the City will co-host an Asian Fusion Cooking Demo, and After Six in the City will host dinners at Bank Restaurant and Bar as well as BBAR in the Rubens Hotel. Wine Society will visit Boodles Gentleman’s Club for a Californian/ French Fine Wine Pairing Dinner with wine critic Steven Spurrier. The Wine
Learn More About KCWC KCWC General Meetings are open to nonmembers for a guest fee of £10, redeemable if joining on the day. The meetings are usually held on the first or second Thursday of each month between September and June. Prospective members are welcome to attend a Coffee Morning or a Happy Hour where guests can come along for an informal chat over coffee or a drink and enjoy the company of other international women. There is no need to preregister to attend a Hospitality event and the cost is your own tab. For further information please contact email@example.com or visit the website: www.kcwc.org.uk. To join KCWC, please visit www.kcwc.org.uk and click on Join Us or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Save The Date September General Meeting: Thursday, 21 September 2017, Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR 9:30am -12pm.
American Women’s Club of London (AWC)
“Summertime is always the best of what might be”Charles Bowden. What a fantastic time of year it is, to be outside visiting gardens, taking in some of London’s great Museums, travelling to some far away land or volunteering at a local charity close to home. If you are new to London, the AWC can help you settle in, answer all of those crazy questions, help you transition into the new area and all the while making some wonderful friendships along the way! The American Women’s Club of London, the AWC, is an international organisation that helps members meet and greet other women to form true friendships. Our mission is to provide social, cultural, educational and philanthropic activities for our members living in and around London. We have some perfect opportunities coming up this summer for you to learn more about the club and make some new friends! At the Soup Kitchen the AWC volunteers help prepare and serve food, coffee and tea, as well as pass out clothes to homeless and marginally homed, elderly, and poor individuals. AWC’s volunteers work under the direction of the Kitchen Manager for food prep and serving, and with a church employee in handing out clothing and toiletries from the Clothes Closet. On July 3rd, 17th or 31st team up with other ladies and feel great by the end of the day. Have you ever wanted to experience a traditional British pub quiz, but didn’t think you would know any of the answers? Well, this is your chance! Our fabulous quizmaster, Adam from AdVenture Quizzes, will be creating a truly special quiz just for us, so no need to study up on premier league soccer or 1000 years of British history. And it’s not just a bunch of trivia - some of the challenges are visual, musical, and even edible! He will also put your puzzle-solving skills to the test and literally keep you guessing. What quirky questions will he come up with this time? Win or lose, you are guaranteed to
AMERICAN IN BRITAIN
have fun! On Saturday, July 29th and Saturday, September 23rd, join us in the private room in the back of the charming Queen’s Head pub. We will compete in teams of 4-6 people, with multiple opportunities to win prizes. Partners and guests are welcome, and food and drink will be available for purchase at the pub. This is a popular event, so sign up early! Our biggest fundraiser- Founder’s Day Gala that took place at the end of April, was an incredible event! It took place at the Hippodrome Casino and was themed “Casino Royale”! The tickets included four drinks (welcome prosecco and three beers/wine or soft drinks), hors d’oeuvres, gaming tournament and live entertainment. In addition, there was a silent auction to benefit the AWC with plenty of alluring items. The attire for the evening was Bond themed and it was a smashing success! Are you a big fan of beer, new friends and exploring fun neighbourhoods? If so, meet us on any of the Thursdays for a weekly pub meet up. We try to explore a new neighbourhood every week, so stay tuned for where it’ll take place next. No RSVP required. On Thursday, August 10 join us on a private tour of Frogmore House and Savill Gardens. They are located within Windsor Home Park, the private park adjacent to Windsor Castle. It is open to the public a small number of dates each year known as Charity Open Days, which usually take place in June, except during the month of August, when applications for tours are brisk. A short taxi ride from Frogmore lays The Savill Garden, where we will enjoy lunch in the café before setting out to explore. The 35 acres of interconnected gardens include the Hidden Gardens, Spring Wood, the Summer Gardens, the New Zealand Garden, Summer Wood, The Glades, Autumn Wood and the Winter Beds. Sir Eric Savill first created this woodland garden in the 1930s, and since then many others have undertaken a tireless quest to add their own expertise and creativity. The Rose Garden in particular, designed by Andrew Wilson and opened by H.M. the Queen in 2010, is a magnificent addition. Visitors can wander the swirls of rose beds, and enjoy the perfume at its best from a central walkway. If you like to travel, then why not spend the last few days of summer in the charming Italian town of Verona. See the ancient Roman arena where gladiators once spilled each other’s blood on the sand. There will also be visits to Giotto’s amazing 14th century masterpiece, the Scrovegni Chapel in Padova, and Palladio’s remarkable neo-classical architecture in Vicenza, as well as the serene waters of beautiful Lake Garda. Verona is also the medieval setting for Romeo and Juliet, with its own Casa di Giulietta on whose balcony romantics from around the world act out the play’s famous scenes. The trip will take place on Monday, September 18th, coming back on Thursday, September 21st. Join us for a“New Member Wine and Cheese Party” on Wednesday, July 26th, from 7pm till 8pm. No need to explain this event! It’s a great
way to meet new friends, current members and do a little socialising! Come and learn more about the Club and London and mellow out with a glass of wine. It is open to everyone and please RSVP – we hate it when we run out of wine! It’s at the AWC Office on 68 Old Brompton Road, SW7 3LQ. If evenings don’t work, then come along on Tuesday, July 11th at 10:00 am for a “New Member Coffee”. It is, just what it says, a coffee for women who are thinking about joining and want to know a little bit more about the Club. It’s a great way to meet members or make a new friend. It’s in this safe environment that you can ask all those silly questions we all have about being new and living in a new country. The coffee is open to everyone, but please RSVP so we have enough coffee and pastries! It’s very casual and at the AWC Office on 68 Old Brompton Road, SW7 3LQ. Each month we host a meeting with a special guest speaker to provide members with an opportunity to learn something new! We also use the time to talk about the AWC club news and upcoming events, and of course, it is always fun to see and meet other women in a social environment. Our next meeting is on Tuesday, July, 25th, from 10am till 12pm. The guest speaker is Helen Sanderson who will teach us how we can easily declutter our homes and bring calm to our lives. Helen began her career as a painter and fine artist, and through this developed her interest in creating calming and inspiring spaces. She also has a background in psychotherapy, giving her a unique combination of skills and experience. She works as a personal declutter coach, dealing with each person’s mindset and individual situation, not just their clutter. In 2005, she set up Quiet Room Designs (now Ministry of Calm) and has worked with the NHS, Marie Curie Cancer Care, The Ministry of Justice, and Guardian News and Media. She will talk about the positive and transformative effects that decluttering has on people’s lives and how it can meet an individual’s need not only for physical organisation, but also for emotional and spiritual order. She will bring practical tips and advice on how to undertake this task, and how to create wellbeing, peace, and order in one’s home and life. The meeting will take place at the Marriott Kensington Hotel, 147c Cromwell Road, Kensington, London SW5 0TH. For more information and to RSVP please email email@example.com or call 020 7589 8292. There really is no need to look further! Join the AWC and you can take advantage of all the events and activities on offer throughout the year. For more information about these events and to RSVP, or for more information about the Club in general, come by the AWC office at 68 Old Brompton Road, SW7 3LQ or call and talk to Lauren, our Office Manager, on 020 7589 8292, or check out the website at www.awclondon.org or email the office firstname.lastname@example.org. No matter how you look at it the AWC is a great resource and a wonderful way to make some new friendships!
SURVIVING THE BRITISH SUMMER By Karen Storey
At Polzeath, Cornwall
Jephson Gardens, Royal Leamington Spa
It’s the time of year when I torture myself the most as an expat. I imagine in some alternative universe, there is still a version of me who never actually left New York City all those years ago and is now enjoying a long hot stretch of predictable sticky summer. Here in the UK I check my weather app on the phone most mornings to see if it’s an umbrella or a sunglasses day, as the reports seem to change daily. Then I can’t help but scroll down to the weather in New York to see what that other me, in an alternative life, would have been enjoying today. No surprises there, it’s usually hotter! I’m not going to pretend that over the years I have come to prefer the British summer, or the somewhat lack of it that it feels like at times. The weather here is rarely as reliable as those long hot summers back in the USA. However, I have learned that there are ways to get the most out of a British summer, and dare I say, even enjoy the advantages of being an expat in Britain during this time of year. But first, the disadvantages. Yes, the weather here can be very unpredictable. I have a dear Danish friend who will often exclaim to me in exasperation “Britain is the only country in the world where you can have all four seasons in one day!”Okay, this may be a bit of an exaggeration, but if you have been here for a little while, I think you’ll know where she is coming from. But if you are new to the UK, there are a few things us longer-term expats have learned about surviving the British summer. I have been asking a few friends from my Midlands American Expat group, The North American Connection, for some of their favourite tips. Very much in line with my Danish friend’s sentiment, Kerianne, who is originally from upstate New York, advises
on how you should dress for a typical summer’s day here.“Layers, layers, layers! Also, accept that on most days you can either wear shorts or a short sleeve top but not both.” Edwina, one of our honourary British members says “Always keep sunglasses and an umbrella in the car”. According to my friend Becky, originally from California, you should “always have a back-up plan for a barbeque and a marquee or tarp in case of showers. Pimms and lemonade help in any situation!”
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I check my weather app on the phone most mornings to see if it’s an umbrella or a sunglasses day. For me, these are the advantages. Rain or shine, there are so many absolutely stunning parts of Britain to explore and discover and summer is one of the best times to do this when the temperatures are going to be at least slightly, although most likely, quite a bit warmer, than any other time of the year. Growing up in New York City, I spent my summers down on Rockaway Beach, Queens (remember the famous Ramones song?). I don’t mean to be unfaithful to my beloved Rockaway, but the scenery I have discovered on this side of the
The coastline near Polzeath, Cornwall
Atlantic coast knocks socks off of Rockaway’s. Although, I’m sure many of the readers from the Atlantic East coast will quite rightly tell me that there are far nicer beaches than Rockaway, I have come to love parts of the British coastline. My favourite places here include Polzeath in Cornwall. This beach was also a favourite of Britain’s former prime minister, David Cameron and his wife who would often spend summer breaks there. Fantastic for body boarding and surfing or taking the short boat ride from Rock over to Padstow where you can enjoy numerous seafood restaurants or a cold glass of wine at an outdoor table of one of the many cafés and watch the sailing boats out at sea. I also adore Morfa Nefyn in deepest North Wales with it’s rugged cliffs and coastline. According to a newspaper article in the Daily Mail in 2013, it also boasts the third best beach pub in the world! The Ty Cock Inn is reasonably priced and the waiting staff will bring your food and drink right out to you on your beach blanket while you enjoy views over unspoilt beaches and mountains in the distance. If you are not near a coast or don’t have the time to get to one, then wherever you are in Britain, it seems that you are not too far from a stunning park which you can stroll through or picnic in whilst enjoying vastly beautiful lawns and flower displays. The park in my own adopted home town of Royal Leamington Spa, Jephson Gardens, boasts lovely fountains and a boat hire down the River Leam. And of course there are the numerous stately homes you can visit with their wonderful gardens, including Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire (where Winston Churchill was born). Not forgetting the must see places such as stunning Kew Gardens just thirty minutes from central
SURVIVING THE BRITISH SUMMER London and the beautiful gardens of Hampton Court Palace in Richmond upon Thames.
Whatever cares people have, they seem to vanish whilst the sun is gloriously shining. When you have enough of exploring the beauty that the British countryside and coastlines have to offer, the other huge advantage of being an expat in Britain is, of course, the close proximity we are to other countries and cultures. A short plane ride, or boat, or tunnel and drive can take you to some gorgeous places in the Mediterranean where you can enjoy the typical hot summer. For example, the chic South of France, the amazing Amalfi Coast of Italy, the stunning Greek Islands where the Mama Mia movie sequel is currently being filmed. This, and more, just an hour or two’s flight from a British Airport. It’s perfect if you just want to get away even for a couple of summer days. That’s something you can’t do when you’re living in the USA!
But back to Britain and doing your best to enjoy the summertime here. The best tip I can give you is this; if the sun is shining outside your window on a summer’s day, if at all possible, just get out there. You’ll notice that Britain’s inhabitants do not take for granted the luxury of a beautiful summer’s day, or what they quaintly refer to as a heatwave (that’s anything over 80 degrees for more than a few days, folks!). When that happens, it’s pretty magical here. Whatever cares people have, they seem to vanish whilst the sun is gloriously shining. Notice how everyone appears to be smiling and upbeat, convivial to all around them. So while a part of my heart may always long for hot and sticky New York City when it’s a cool or rainy day here and I’m reaching for that weather app, I have truly come to believe that when the sun is shining here on a summer’s day in Britain, there is no other place in the world that I would rather be.
Kew Gardens, London
Kew Gardens, London
LEGAL MATTERS On Behalf of the Entire Legal Community Around the World, I Apologise Any system created by humans can become complex, needlessly complex. Legal systems may be the epitome of complex human systems. When you add an international component to the law mix, the complexity can race off the charts. On behalf of lawyers and judges and law professors around the world, for the complexity of our international law, I apologise. I practice international family law. First of all, family law is a peculiar animal. At its most provincial, family law is one-half law and onehalf politics, with a small “p.” Some might refer to that element as diplomacy or psychology or psychiatry, if that’s your bent. Of course, family law practitioners need to know the law and how it provides avenues for success or pitfalls for failure, but then they also need to know societal norms, expectations, biases, customs, and nuance. Next, a practitioner needs to learn all the players in a given case, not just the parties, that’s a given, but also the legal opposition, the court assistants like guardians and social workers and, of course, the judges. And when you add the element of International family law, you’ve rocketed the complexity to an exponential level. I suppose the only thing to take it to a level beyond would be to have a Martian somewhere in the mix! The central element of international family law is the same as regular family law, families. And the central element of families is couples. Couples are largely the same across county, state and national boundaries.“Peoples is peoples,”as a Muppet once explained. Couples have similar issues whether they are from Birmingham, England or Birmingham, Alabama. How they respond to those issues is likewise, fairly similar. When a couple comes apart, quite frequently one or both of the parties aren’t from where they find themselves. Quite often, the parties want to go home, back to their home base, their stomping ground, back to their safe place. When there is a child involved, and when that home is far away from the other party, the real trouble sets in. Here’s a scenario: Mom and Dad break up. Perhaps it has been on the horizon for a long time. Perhaps it is borne of some sudden discovery or act that tears them apart. Dad is from France and Mom is from South Carolina. By some circuitous route, they find themselves in Chelsea. Now that they are going their separate ways, there is nothing important enough to keep Mom in the UK. She wants to go home. She needs to go home. Can she pack up their four-year-old and catch the next flight out of Heathrow? Can she file for divorce against Dad in South Carolina, surrounded by the comfort of her folks’row house 30
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in Charleston? Is there anything that Dad could do about Mom’s departure to the United States? To some extent, Mom and Dad’s choices are what made their situation more complex. They could have each stayed put in their own country. They could have never married someone from another country. However, some of the issues that must be resolved would exist even if Mom were from Liverpool and Dad were from London. Long distance can be quite a relative term. In our scenario however, Mom and Dad’s situation and options will involve English law, British Law, South Carolina Law, United States Federal Law and International Law. Each level of law will carry its own requirements. Each requirement will impose its own issues to be resolved. Each issue will compel a strategy to resolve that issue.
International family law will probably always be complex for as long as the people it serves are equally complex. For example, where does the couple reside? Where does the child reside? Is it different than the parents? Could it be different from one or both of them? The facts provided in our scenario are largely silent. How long did they live in Chelsea? Did they live together? Are they married? Has the child lived with one or both of them? Resolution of these questions will help determine which court should exercise jurisdiction over them. Hopefully, regardless of which court evaluates and rules on a case, whether it is in Chelsea or London or a South Carolina state court or a South Carolina Federal court, the facts will remain the same. But how each court is required to evaluate each fact and how much weight to attribute to the differing facts and the interplay of those facts can be significantly different. In some jurisdictions, you can be considered to reside somewhere when you are doing something other than vacationing there. Perhaps
your company has transferred you there for eight months to work in the local branch. You might still have your home back state-side. Still, you might be stuck in that jurisdiction. In other jurisdictions, you need to have put down far more roots. In still other jurisdictions, if you have been there for six months, you are a resident there, that court will exercise jurisdiction over you. In still other jurisdictions, it can take a year before a court gains jurisdiction over you. There are many other issues to explore, just from the scant facts provided. What was the recent discovery? What was the act that tore the couple apart? Did it involve the child? Again, what one court may deem as inconsequential, another court may deem dispositive. Yet another critical factor is what relief are the parties’ seeking. Some courts can grant some forms of relief while other courts can grant other kinds of relief. You have to have the right key to the right door, but you also need to know which door you are knocking on. Okay. Is that complex enough for you? Still, I’m only touching on the tip of the iceberg. When faced with competing strategies from competing courts, what is a person to do? Consult an attorney. It probably stands to reason that there are a number of lawyers who are well versed in International family law in the UK. France is not very far away, after all. However, in the United States, probably because of the vastness of territory, International family law does not come up often enough for many attorneys to become fluent in its language and its vigor. When you decide that you need an attorney well versed in international family law, you need to do your due diligence to ensure that you have found an attorney competent in this field. Here are a few questions you need to ask, • In how many international family law cases have you been lead counsel? • How often have you appeared in a higher court, such as Federal court, on an international family law matter? • How many of your cases have been reported? Usually, this is a good indicator of the significance of their case. • How often have those reported cases been cited by subsequent cases? • Have you developed standing relationships with attorneys in foreign jurisdictions? • Have you perfected service of process around the world? • Have you prevailed upon appeal in any foreign jurisdictions? • Have you ever been qualified as a witness in court on international family law or Hague
LEGAL MATTERS Convention on Child Abduction matters? • How far up the court hierarchy have you gone? • Have you practiced before the highest court? Forewarned is forearmed and knowledge is power. Whenever possible, before you take any action, you should consult a well-qualified international family law attorney to seek guidance, gain insight and strategise your best next steps so as to maximise your chance to accomplish your goals. Whenever possible, don’t leave your future to chance. Perhaps there is no way resolution of international family law situations could be any less complex. I suppose all the nations of the world could just agree that fathers would always get custody of their children under every circumstance. That would certainly simplify matters. But that iron-clad resolution would not work. No one would sit still for it. No one should. So, we need judges judging. We need systems of laws that provide direction to the judges. And we need the honest and faithful execution of those laws by those judges. International family law will probably always be complex for as long as the people it serves are equally complex. If, however, we all succumb to a chemical lobotomy from toxic exposure to covfefe, then perhaps our newfound simplicity will render the complexity of law quite obsolete. Until that fateful day, I apologise.
Michael E. Manely Family Law Attorney The Manely Firm, PC Email: email@example.com www.allfamilylaw.com 211 Roswell Street, Marietta, Georgia 30060 Tel: 001 770 421 0808 Michael Manely is the founding attorney for The Manely Firm, PC, an all family law firm serving clients all around Georgia and all around the world. Michael serves as a supervisor and mentor to five associate attorneys and twelve contract attorneys. He works directly on complex litigation matters, counseling and representing parents and children in state, interstate, UCCJEA and international family law and child law cases. His practice includes
divorce, marital property division, custody, child support, alimony, adoption, second parent adoption, marital contracts and guardianships. Michael serves as an expert witness on the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction in the United States. He also provides expert witness testimony on American Family Law in foreign courts. Additionally, he advocates for American and foreign citizens in both American and foreign courts, having been admitted pro hac vice in Costa Rica in 2013, winning a Hague Action both at trial level and on appeal. Michael is the only all family law attorney to win unanimous decisions from both the United States Supreme Court and The Supreme Court of Georgia. Michael also manages international and multinational family law litigation. Michael Manely is established as a thought leader in the quality of practice of family law. The Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS) called upon Michael to contribute to their work outlining ways to advance the practice of family law. IAALs specifically recognised Michael as an innovator in the delivery of family law who personally makes the resolution of family conflict more beneficial to the welfare of family members.
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A LETTER FROM SCOTLAND 21st Century Pilgrimages In Scotland By Yvonne & Clive Willcocks
The word ‘Pilgrimage’ has taken on a whole new meaning since the beginning of the 21st century. Although it is still a religious journey for many, and the routes are mainly based on the paths trodden by medieval pilgrims to reduce the expected punishment of their souls in purgatory, there are many pilgrims today who find other benefits from a journey on foot or by cycle.
One of the oldest and longest pilgrimage routes is the Camino de Santiago (St James) in northwest Spain. In England, The Pilgrim’s Way, stretching from Winchester to Canterbury, particularly harks back to the murder of St Thomas a Beckett, although it may have been in use for centuries before that. However, more and more people are
discovering the joys of “off-road” travel for non- religious reasons. “Green tourism” is in step with the protection of the environment and a healthy lifestyle. The physical exercise of walking is an obvious benefit, especially for those working in offices or at home. Slowing down the speed of modern life to a walkingpace is a benefit in itself, with time to breathe in fresh air and see sights in comfort, sights that a car driver can enjoy only briefly, even if the route allows. Walking clubs are becoming more popular, not only for athletes trying to beat records, but also for the older folks and others who enjoy just visiting out-of-the-way and historic places and the company of like-minded colleagues. The aspect of bringing more tourist business to normally off-the-track locations is another positive outcome. At the beginning of 2012 a group of individuals and representatives of certain organisations set up “Scottish Pilgrim Routes Forum” to promote the use and upkeep of ancient pathways used by pilgrims and others for hundreds of years. Although Scottish religious groups were strongly represented, SPRF members included tourist bodies, local government, heritage groups, walking clubs and many others. Identifying the old Pilgrim Routes was an initial research project. Many of the pathways had been affected in the course of time and it was necessary to re-establish the routes and obtain the permission of landlords to allow access. The “Fife Pilgrim Way” was chosen as the first project because of the number of organisations already interested and the historical sites on the route. In the Middle Ages, pilgrims from England and southern Scotland on their way to St Andrews, used to head for the ferry at the narrowest crossing of the River Forth, which became known as Queensferry after the saintly Queen Margaret decided to pay for their Dunfermline Skyline
Pilgrimage Map 32
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A LETTER FROM SCOTLAND passage. Her son, King David I, built the grand Abbey and Monastery of Dunfermline which itself became a pilgrimage site, especially after her canonisation. Pilgrims from Western Scotland travelled to Dunfermline via Culross, a picturesque fishing village, now refurbished by ‘Scotland in Trust’, to visit the small abbey built to honour St Kentigern/St Mungo who founded Glasgow. Fife already has a path leading all round its coast but the Fife Pilgrim Way will lead inland, eastwards from Dunfermline to Markinch where there are the remains of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments as well as an ancient church, via the agricultural town of Ceres to St Andrews, with its ancient University where Prince William met Katherine Middleton. The ruins of the Cathedral and monastery, as well as the remains of the clifftop castle provide a wealth of history, and the famous Royal & Ancient Golf Club may entice the traveller to exchange his or her walking-stick for a golf club! Also terminating at St Andrews, another much longer Pilgrim Route is being worked on, starting at Iona in western Scotland, famous as the first christian community in the country, founded by St Columba in AD 563. From the Isle of Mull, the route will cross to Oban, then on to Tyndrum, Balquhiddr, Crieff, Perth and finally to St Andrews. Whithorn, in the southwest of Scotland, another early pilgrimage site, was founded by St Ninian at the beginning of the 5th century. ‘St Ninian’s Way’ is already operational and leads north through Galloway to Ayr, Paisley, and ends at St Mungo’s Cathedral in Glasgow. In the south of Scotland, “The Borders” (with England), there is a group of five ancient abbeys which are now linked by the “Borders Abbeys Way”, which celebrates the patronage of monastic life initiated by Queen Margaret and her son, King David. This route is now connected to“St Cuthbert’s Way”which follows the journey of the monks with the coffin of St Cuthbert, fleeing from the Norse invaders at their abbey of Lindisfarne on the Northumberland coast. The unmeasurable enjoyment of companionship and the shared experience of travelling ancient pathways, enjoying exercise and fresh air, visiting historic sites and refreshing hostelries - surely the ‘21st CENTURY PILGRIMAGE’ is the embodiment of “Back to the Future”.
Culross Abbey and Manse
Dunfermline Abbey, 12th century carved capitals
Jedburgh Abbey, Borders, ‘Borders Abbeys Way’
UK SPORTS With the soccer season now concluded we can look forward to some excellent summer sports events.
Soccer The Premiership concluded with little excitement in so far as the champions were concerned as Chelsea were crowned with a few games still to be played. This was a remarkable achievement for new manager Antonio Conte who took over a team last summer that could only finish tenth in the league the previous season. Tottenham Hotspur chased Chelsea hard and had an excellent season and were worthy runners-up. Commiserations go to two North East teams, Sunderland and Middlesborough, who were both relegated along with Hull City to the Championship diivision. But next season will see Newcastle United, also from the North East, return to the Premiership after being relegated the previous season, Brighton & Hove Albion and, somewhat surprisingly, Huddersfield Town, who beat Reading in a penalty shoot out in the Play Off final. What will the odds be on Brighton and Huddersfield returning straight back to the Championship division or winning the Premiership? Undoubtedly very low and very high respectively, but remember Leicester City!!! The FA Cup final produced an excellent game of football with a surprise result. Chelsea seeking to achieve the elusive ‘Double’ were the hot favourites against an Arsenal side smarting from failure to make the top four in the Premiership but playing in their third FA Cup Final in four years. Well, to most peoples’ surprise it was Arsenal who prevailed, winning a record thirteenth FA Cup and a record seventh for their manager, Arsene Wenger. That result may have been the catalyst for Mr Wenger being offered a further two year extension to his contract which he readily accepted!
Rugby Union The big event in June and early July is the British Lions tour of New Zealand. The Lions are made up of players from England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland. Seven tour matches will be overshadowed by the three Test matches against the famous New Zealand All Blacks which will be played on 24 June, 1 and 8 July. It will be well worth watching these games on TV, all on a Saturday morning. The All Blacks have a maxim that“better never stops”. The Lions are in for one hell of a battle. Here are some statistics – New Zealand have won 69 of their last 75 matches with an average winning score of 35-15. The first and third Tests will be played at Eden Park, Aukland and New Zealand have not lost there for 23 years; and the second Test at Westpac Stadium at Whangarei has given New Zealand a 90% win percentage. 34
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Worse is to come – the Lions coach, Warren Gatland, has faced New Zealand 9 times as head coach and lost every game; and seven All Blacks who are likely to play against the Lions have been nominated for the World Player of the Year since 2011. Good luck, you never know!!!
Cricket Currently under way in England and Wales is the ICC One Day International Champions Trophy. Eight countries are contesting the tournament with England, Australia, New Zealand and Bangladesh in Group A; and India, Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka in Group B. In the round robin stage, the top two teams will qualify for the semi finals. Following the ICC Tournament England will begin a very busy schedule of Test Matches, ODI and Twenty20 matches against South Africa and the West Indies. For those readers who are interested and want to watch our version of Baseball here is the England schedule: Three Twenty20 matches against South Africa on 21, 23 and 25 June at Southampton, Taunton and Cardiff respectively; Four five day Test matches against South Africa beginning on 6, 14 and 27 July and 4 August at London (Lord’s), Nottingham, London (the Oval) and Manchester respectively; Three five day Test matches against the West Indies beginning on 17 and 25 August and 7 September at Birmingham, Leeds and London (Lord’s); One Twenty20 match against the West Indies on 16 September at Durham; and finally, Five One Day Internationals against the West Indies on 19, 21, 24, 27 and 29 September at Manchester, Nottingham, Bristol, London (the Oval) and Southampton. After that exhausting schedule England will head off to Australia to contest those famous ‘Ashes’ Test matches, together with yet more ODI and T20 games.
Tennis The Championships at Wimbledon begins on 3 July with the Ladies’ and Men’s finals scheduled for 15 and 16 July. Will Andy Murray retain the title he won for the second time last year? Will Roger Federer, champion this year at the Australian Open, Indian Wells and Miami win his eighth Wimbledon title? Will Novak Djokovic regain the form he has shown for so many years of late take the title or will fit again Rafael Nadal surpass them all? It looks like a great Men’s singles tournament yet again and do not write off the ever improving young players, Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem, not to mention last year’s runner up Milos Raonic and other big servers like Stan Wawrinka, Kevin Anderson, Marin Cilic, John Isner, Juan Martin Del Potro, Grigor Dimitrov and Ivo Karlovic who can all
prosper and cause an upset on grass courts. British hopes all lie, of course, with Andy Murray as Kyle Edmund, Dan Evans and Aljaz Bedene will do well just to make the second week. American interest will focus on John Isner, Jack Sock and Sam Querrey but, again, a second week appearance is probably the best they could achieve. With the absence of the current champion, Serena Williams, the Ladies’ title is wide open. So many possible winners this year with Joanna Konta our British hope. America will field a strong and talented number of players including the ever young Venus Williams and the younger generation of Coco Vanderweghe, Madison Keys, Shelby Rogers, Christina McHale and Lauren Davis. Angelique Kerber, last year’s runner up and current world number one, seems to be way out of form, as does Agnieszka Radwanska but Elina Svitolina, Karolina Pliskova, Simona Halep, Garbine Muguruza and Caroline Wozniaki are all playing well and will be strong contenders. It was good to see Petra Kvitova return to the Tour at the French Open after the knife wound she suffered confronting an intruder in her home last year. A Wimbledon champion she may well be again but perhaps not this year as she has only just returned to her tennis career. Victoria Azarenka, she of the ghastly screech, may also return after becoming a mother. If she does play she too is capable of some upsets. And then there is Maria Sharapova who will have to qualify at Roehampton this year if she is to contest the title. That at least should add to the LTA coffers as they are charging an entrance fee to the Qualifying tournament for the first time.
Golf The Open Golf Championship takes place this year from 20 to 23 July at Royal Birkdale in Southport. This will be the 146th Open championship and will, once again, be played on a dreaded Links course, of which one famous American golfer once said “on a Links course no good shot goes unpunished”!! Once again there are so many great players who could carry off the famous claret jug on 23 July, but will anything this year compare to the drama, excitement and quality of golf that was served up in the final round of last year’s championship at Royal Troon by Henrik Stenson, the eventual winner, and Phil Mickelson. That final round still resounds in the memory as possibly the greatest single round of golf in the history of the Open championship, especially as it was the final round between the two leading contenders at the start of the day and which determined the champion. Let us hope for more of the same this year. So, enjoy all the summer sports Britain has to offer you.
ARTS & ANTIQUES
Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, The Roses of Heliogabalus,1888 © Perez Simon Collection.
ARTS & ANTIQUES Alma-Tadema: At Home in Antiquity By Abby Cronin
The Victorian artist Lawrence Alma-Tadema is famous for his gorgeous paintings of domestic interiors set in classical antiquity. Born in 1835 in the northern Netherlands, he trained at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and was already an established artist by the time he settled with his family in London in 1870. Tadema’s work is remarkable for its technical skill, detail, perspective and sumptuous rendering of textiles, tiles and marble. His scenes of luxury and decadence have a recognisable signature style. The allure of classical themes was inspired by a visit to the rediscovered Roman town of Pompeii while on honeymoon in 1863 with his first wife. This was a watershed journey. Enthralled by the excavations of Pompeii he set about meticulously gathering data and taking measurements from sections of buildings, rooms and streets. His collection of archaeological drawings and photographs became a personal archive of source materials. His paintings are remarkable for their architectural accuracy and he was tagged the ‘archaeologist of artists’. Shortly after that visit, Pompeii began to come to life in his paintings. A major exhibition of Alma-Tadema’s work can be seen until 29th October in the Leighton House Museum. With more than 130 paintings and objects on display, this is the first retrospective exhibition in London since 1913. Leighton House, with its extraordinary Arab Hall, marble and mosaics, is the perfect setting for Tadema’s work. Pictures by his second wife Laura, their daughter Anna and artists in his WWW.THEAMERICANHOUR.COM
circle are included. The exhibit takes the form of a journey though the interior rooms of Leighton’s studio-house. Leighton and Tadema were friends, prominent Royal Academicians who took enormous pride in their studio-homes. After Alma-Tadema’s first studio-house, Townshend House, suffered from a gas explosion on the Regent’s Canal, the family moved to an even grander house, Casa Tadema, on Grove End Road in St John’s Wood. Tadema’s two studiohouses were luxurious family homes which provided a rich source of artistic inspiration for picture-making. They served the needs of working artists and provided a place to entertain in the ample rooms furnished with an elaborate collection of antiques. The lavishly decorated aesthetic interiors of Alma-Tadema’s Grove End Road home are portrayed in his painting, In My Studio, 1893. Here is visible evidence of the atmosphere and wealth in Casa Tadema. In My Studio captures a graceful model dressed in soft toga-like apparel, a reference frequently seen in Tadema’s Roman pictures. She has paused from her labours to enjoy the scents and textures of the studio. The influence of Tadema’s Northern European heritage is revealed in this contemporary domestic interior and paired incongruously with a hint of classicism, a duality he reconciled in subtle ways throughout his career. He gave this stunning painting to Frederic Leighton who hung it in the Silk Room of Leighton’s
home in Holland Park Road. In exchange, Leighton gave Tadema a panel, The Bath of Psyche, which joined the other works in the Hall of Panels in Grove End Road. Scenes set in classical antiquity are among his famous compositions. Two of the most wellknown examples are the Roses of Heliogabalus, 1888 and The Finding of Moses, 1904. AlmaTadema painted the Roses of Heliogabalus in London during the last few months of 1887. Since it was too cold for roses to be in bloom, he arranged for the flowers to be shipped from the French Riviera every week for as long as it took
Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, In My Studio, 1893. © Ann and Gordon Getty. WWW.AMERICANINBRITAIN.CO.UK
Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, The Finding of Moses, 1904. ©Private Collection to complete the picture. The artwork depicts the third-century Roman emperor, Heliogabalus, reclining in a golden robe and tiara, and watching with indifference as his banquet guests suffocate in the sudden deluge of petals. Clearly Tadema tweaked classical history here, but the painting remains one of his most famous. The Finding of Moses was commissioned by Sir John Aird, engineer of the Aswan Dam in Egypt. In 1902, Alma-Tadema left London as Aird’s guest for the occasion of the opening of the dam. He brought home many sketches and used artistic license in this complex composition, the well-known Biblical story. In the 1890s Tadema’s reputation as an eminent Victorian artist led to a major commission from the New York financier, art collector and philanthropist, Henry Gurdon Marquand, a founder member and then president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1889. Marquand invited Alma-Tadema to create the Greco-Roman music room for his New York mansion. One of Tadema’s most famous paintings, A Reading from Homer, was painted for this room. But the showpiece for the Marquand music room was the Steinway grand piano, now in the permanent collection at the Clark Institute of Art in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Alma-Tadema designed the decoration for the piano along with a matching suite of furniture and textiles. Today, twelve pieces of the original furniture along with paintings, ceramics, textiles and sculpture from the room will be brought together in an exhibition, Orchestrating Elegance, Alma-Tadema and Design, at the Clark Institute of Art. The Alma-Tadema piano pictured here may be “… the most beautiful piece of work, both in design and workmanship that I ever saw…” wrote Sir Edward Poynter, President of the Royal Academy (1836-1919) who had painted the panel above the keyboard. By the beginning of the 20th century, High 36
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Victorian paintings were beginning to lose their popularity. Still, Alma-Tadema’s subject matter continued to influence the ideal of ‘Roman Life’ in the popular imagination. In the course of the 20th century, his work was an important visual reference in art, architecture, theatre and films. His commissions for theatrical designs led to active involvement in stage productions. The emerging film industry found Tadema’s scenes of antiquity valuable sources for set designs, costumes and ways to stage spectacular crowd scenes like the arena and the burning of Rome. Classical films of the 1950s and 1960s as well as silents from the 1910s referenced Tadema’s paintings. Of particular note is Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, 2000, which portrays a romantic vision of Rome and owes much to the artistic vision of Alma-Tadema. Long after his death in 1912 Tadema’s interpretation of classical antiquity continues to enthral and influence a wide range of artistic genres. Be sure to visit this unique exhibition in Leighton’s ‘Private Palace of Art’. Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (British, born Netherlands, 1836–1912), designer Courtesy The Clark Institute of Art
Exhibition: Alma-Tadema: At Home in Antiquity Dates: 7 July 2017 - 29 October 2017 Leighton House Museum, 12 Holland Park Rd, London, W14 8LZ www.leightonhouse.co.uk Catalogue - Alma-Tadema: At Home in Antiquity. Published by Prestel, 2016 Images Courtesy Leighton House Museum Press Office Exhibition: Orchestrating Elegance, AlmaTadema and Design Dates: 4 June - 4 September 2017 The Clark Institute of Art, Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA www.clarkart.edu Image: Alma-Tadema Pianoforte. Courtesy Clark Institute of Art Press Office Get in Touch: Abby Cronin firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.abbycronin.co.uk
BRITISHAMERICAN BUSINESS MATTERS
BRITISHAMERICAN BUSINESS MATTERS The ‘Special Relationship’ The United Kingdom has no closer ally than the United States. Jointly our two countries take action to meet the challenges we face locally, nationally and globally. Our bilateral co-operation reflects the common language, ideals and democratic principles of two nations built over the centuries. Despite the current period of uncertainty, largely owing to the UK’s decision to leave the EU and a new Administration in Washington DC, there is considerable reason for optimism as the British-American economic relationship remains a source of strength.
Jointly our two countries take action to meet the challenges we face locally, nationally and globally. We are the largest investors in each other’s economies and every day more than one million Americans go to work for a UK company headquartered in the US. Similarly, more than one million British people go to work every day for an American company in the UK. The business activities of thousands of companies drive trade and investment across our two nations. It was in this spirit that BritishAmerican Business recently launched two new publications, in partnership with the UK Embassy in Washington DC. Across the Pond looks at 32 transatlantic success stories, featuring companies who have successfully branched out across the Atlantic Ocean. Featuring stories from companies including Boeing, National Football League, BT, NBC Universal, Brompton and Jaguar Land Rover among others these stories highlight the best qualities of the ‘special relationship’. Take a company like Zebra Technologies, founded in the US in 1969, who entered the UK market in 1991 with the establishment of their European HQ in Buckinghamshire. Since that time, the company has grown to more than 470 WWW.THEAMERICANHOUR.COM
employees in the United Kingdom. Or Pavegen, founded in the UK in 2009, who have grown to become the global leader in converting footfall into energy and data. The company recently completed installations in Dupont Circle, Washington DC, powering outdoor street lights and has worked with leading US brands including American Express, Ford and Nike. We were delighted to welcome more than 100 guests to the iconic One Great George Street venue for the official launch of Across the Pond, including senior MPs, representatives from the UK and US Government and BAB members. Promoting the US-UK relationship lies at the very heart of what BritishAmerican Business does, and in that context it was a welcome opportunity to be invited to address the UK House of Commons International Trade Committee looking at UK-US relations. Addressing our Submission entitled, Moving Forward, we identified ten key areas that serve as a starting point for collaboration between the two countries that could serve as a framework for a future trade agreement. Below are the 10 areas that we see as a starting point for collaboration, which can help leaders strengthen this special relationship and shape objectives for the future:
The UK and the US share the world’s largest foreign direct investment partnership. We encourage the UK and the US Government to make a joint commitment on investment, reflecting the largest bilateral investment relationship of one trillion dollars between the UK and the US and offering joint leadership to sustain open, inclusive and competitive markets as a basis for prosperity. As part of this commitment, the UK and the US should develop new approaches for a state-of-the-art dispute resolution mechanism. Further, the UK and the US should explore incentive schemes for bilateral investment and capital flows, particularly around public-private partnerships and with respect to government procurement opportunities.
The UK and the US should continue searching areas and sectors where the alignment of bilateral regulatory systems can lead to new business opportunities and reduce costs of unnecessary regulation. Future alignment should be around science based pursuit of norms
that ensure balance and proportion between risk and precaution, while supporting innovation led approaches to deliver better outcomes in healthcare, consumer safety, environmental management and emerging technologies.
3. Research And Innovation
The UK and the US have world leading research and innovation systems, benefitting our economies and citizens. We encourage leaders to develop a joint agreement that builds on the existing Horizon 2020 EU-US Agreement and enables further collaboration in science and research between UK and US scientists and researchers. The UK and US Governments should also explore increasing collaboration in higher education, particularly between our world-leading universities, which will allow for our countries to build on their joint leadership role and to draw on the great economic potential linked to it.
4. Financial Services
The UK and the US are home to the leading financial centres in the world. UK – US financial services offer deep pools of liquidity and agile product and service structures and share many common features including an overriding commitment to prudence over excessive risk taking. UK and US Governments should make a joint commitment to the UK-US financial services relationship that seeks to explore how UK and US markets can be integrated under one regulatory umbrella.
5. Talent Mobility
Attracting and employing skilled workers by drawing on an international pool of talented professionals is imperative in yielding a successful economy, particularly to address shortages of high-skilled labour. Our history of immigration and the role played by immigrants has been closely tied to the economic success of our nations. The UK and the US should therefore examine new visa arrangements for UK and US citizens to foster the bilateral movement of talent, with enhanced abilities to live, study and work.
The free flow of data is more crucial than ever to companies operating across the Atlantic. Building on progress being made with the EU-US ‘Privacy WWW.AMERICANINBRITAIN.CO.UK
Shield’ mechanism, the UK and the US should lead driving new pragmatic solutions that protect citizens’ privacy while allowing for the free flow of data. In any innovation economy, data is the heart and soul of growth. The pragmatism of the UK and the US can offer a path that is globally compelling for sustainable deployment of data driven technologies.
The UK and the US economies are characterised by large and growing services sectors. The UK and the US should explore ways of enhancing trade in services, particularly in business services, which are a key input for global values chains. The UK and the US should also investigate ways to further enhance competition and encourage growth in the market for ICT and services.
8. A Rules-Based System For Trade
The UK and the US have been leading in creating a global rules-based system for trade. The UK and the US should assess if and how both countries can help further develop global governance structures of trade, particularly through the World Trade organisation (WTO). With that, the UK and the US should commit their leadership role in the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) negotiations.
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9. A New Trade Policy
Both the UK and the US benefit from trade, but trade also changes economic infrastructures. The UK and the US should be leading in developing a new trade policy that includes improved mechanisms, such as trade Adjustment Assistance Programmes, designed to help workers to adapt to global trade and protects public service obligations, while spurring innovation and growth for our economies.
10. Trade Outreach And Consultation
In light of future formal trade arrangements, the UK and the US should prepare trade education campaigns aimed to showcase the benefits of mutual trade and investment for our economies and its citizens. Governments should also use the opportunity to map out future stakeholder consultation processes on trade.
RECOGNISING CORPORATE CITIZENSHIP
This year marked the 14th Annual Corporate Citizenship Awards, an opportunity for BritishAmerican Business to recognise companies and individuals for their exceptional commitment to corporate responsibility. This year’s honourees were Douglas Flint,
Group Chairman HSBC Holdings, Kate Robertson, Founder, OneYoung World and Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr, Chairman The New York Times Company. These business leaders are embracing the spirit of corporate citizenship, promoting trust, inclusive business models and managing global impacts – putting these values into action to drive prosperity and economic development in communities globally and locally, and BAB were particularly thrilled to honour their achievements.
BAB WOMEN’S CONFERENCE
The next event on the 2017 BAB Women’s Network Series, will be our Annual Conference to be held on 1 November. This event, hosted at the University of Chicago Booth, School of Business, will be the culmination of a programme of events that has seen hundreds of women and men attend events on a range of topics, including strategic career choices, authentic leadership and engaging men as sponsors and champions. In 2016, more than 300 people attended the half-day conference and we expect to exceed those numbers on the back of our fantastic 2017 programme. For more information on this event visit: www.babinc.org/womens-network-conference For further information or to contact BAB, please visit www.babinc.org
USEFUL CONTACTS EDUCATION - SCHOOLS
AMERICAN SAT/ACT TUITION London W1B 3HH Contact: Elizabeth von Nardroff Email: Elizabeth@AmericanSATtuition.com Telephone +44 (0)20 7692 0766 Website: www.AmericanSATtuition.com Twitter: @elivonna American SAT/ACT Tuition is a small, independent company based in the London, UK area. Our focus is on the needs of American, British and International students applying to US Colleges/Universities or Prep Schools. We offer SAT/ACT/PSAT/SSAT advice, tutoring and bespoke online courses, as well as help with applications, admissions advice, and interview technique coaching. Our specialists are knowledgeable, experienced, and we love what we do! Plus we’ve shown results - past students now attend Yale, Princeton, MIT, Harvard, Dartmouth, and other top US Universities. DWIGHT SCHOOL LONDON 6 Friern Barnet Lane, London, N11 3LX Contact: Karen Strickland Email: email@example.com Telephone: + 44(0)20 8920 0600 Website: www.dwightlondon.org Twitter: @DwightSchoolUK Dwight School London, formerly known as The North London International School is an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School and is one of the first schools in the UK to offer the full IB Programme. ISL GROUP OF SCHOOLS ISL SURREY Old Woking Road, Woking, Surrey GU22 8HY Contact: Marc Carter Telephone: +44 (0)1483 750 409 ISL LONDON 139 Gunnersbury Avenue, London W3 8LG Contact: Yoel Gordon Telephone: +44 (0)20 8992 5823 ISL QATAR Po Box 18511, North Duhail, Qatar Contact: Nivin el Aawar Telephone: +974 4433 8600 Website: www.islschools.org
The International School of London (ISL) Group has schools in London, Surrey, and Qatar. The internationally recognised primary and secondary curricula have embedded language programmes (mother tongue, English as an Additional Language, and second language) which continue throughout the student’s stay in the school. A team of experienced and qualified teachers and administrators provides every student with the opportunity to grow and learn in an environment that respects diversity and promotes identity, understanding, and a passion for learning. TASIS THE AMERICAN SCHOOL IN ENGLAND Coldharbour Lane, Thorpe, Surrey TW20 8TE Contact: Karen House Telephone: +44 (0)1932 582316 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.tasisengland.org TASIS England offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma, an American college preparatory curriculum, and AP courses to its diverse community of coed day (3-18) and boarding (14-18) students from 50 nations. The excellent academic programme, including ESL, is taught in small classes, allowing the individualised attention needed to encourage every student to reach their potential. Outstanding opportunities in art, drama, music, and athletics provide a balanced education. Extensive summer opportunities are also offered. Located close to London on a beautiful and historic 46-acre estate.
DT MOVING 49 Wates Way, Mitcham, Greater London CR4 4HR Tel: 020 7622 4393 Email: email@example.com Web: www.dtmoving.com Contact: Tim Daniells DT Moving is a long established and awardwinning* international moving company. Founded in 1870, we have vast experience in moving Americans to and from the United States and to other worldwide destinations. With a customer satisfaction rating of 96% throughout
2016, we offer a quality service at competitive rates. First class storage facilities are available. *Awarded eleven global relocation awards since 2010. FOX INTERNATIONAL 10 Somerset Road, Cwmbran, NP44 1QX Telephone: 01633 488100 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.fox-moving.com Contact: Stephen Denning Fox International is one of the UK’s largest removal companies, offering a full range of moving and storage service to Americans throughout the UK, Europe and Worldwide.
ADVANCED AMERICAN TAX Telephone: +44 203 289 1040 Website: www.AdvancedAmericanTax.co.uk and Edinburgh.AdvancedAmericanTax.co.uk Email: Help@AdvancedAmericanTax.com Our international tax team has over 80 years’ experience and we are fully qualified and licensed to practice before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). We are 3 independent but allied offices in the United States, the United Kingdom and now Singapore. Our team is united in our drive to serve the US Tax needs of our clients.
MASECO Private Wealth Burleigh House, 357 Strand, London WC2R 0HS Telephone: +44 (0)20 7043 0455 Email: email@example.com Website: www.masecoprivatewealth.com MASECO Private Wealth gives peace of mind by providing expert guidance to US families on how to simplify their cross-border wealth management needs. We serve and care for Americans living at home or abroad through the planning and implementation of rational, practical and tax efficient wealth management strategies.
To advertise please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The 2017 Expatriate’s Guide To Living in the UK has just been published! Order your free copy now!
WWW.EXPATSGUIDETOTHEUK.COM Living and working in the UK can provide a fantastic opportunity to any expatriate individual or family. The UK offers a diverse range of cultures, and if you have relocated for business, family or lifestyle reasons, then the useful information covered inside this Guide will prove to be an invaluable resource. The 2017 Guide will contain content covering: Banking & Wealth • Expatriate Clubs • Embassies & High Commissions • Driving & Transport Education - Schools & Universities • Healthcare & Hospitals • Legal Issues Moving & Relocation Residential Lettings • Private Health Insurance • Serviced Apartments • Taxation To order your FREE copy please email: email@example.com, providing the mailing address you would like it sent to. If you would rather receive a soft (pdf) copy, please let Damian know. PLEASE SHARE THE WEBSITE WITH FRIENDS, FAMILY, COLLEAGUES OR EMPLOYEES RELOCATING TO THE UK.
EMBASSY CORNER Getting Your US Social Security Card Is Easier Than You Think Changes in US law have made it more important than ever for Americans abroad to have a US Social Security number. Whether you are filing US tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service or renewing your US passport, a Social Security number can be indispensable. Fortunately, with a little research and preparation, the process to request a Social Security card, be it a replacement for a lost card or your very first one, can be quick and painless and it’s free! The experienced Federal Benefits Unit at the US Embassy in London is standing by to help.
First Steps Your first step is to visit the US Embassy’s website at uk.usembassy.gov, and then click on “US Citizen Services” and “Social Security.” There you’ll find all kinds of information about applying for a Social Security card, as well as contact information for our Federal Benefits Unit. Next, you’ll need to locate and print out the Social Security card application, known as Form SS-05. You can find it on the Embassy website, or at ssa.gov/forms/ss-5.pdf. It’s a onepage form that can be completed in a short time and includes detailed instructions in case you need guidance.
Submitting The Application Once the form is completed, you’ll of course need to submit it. If you are replacing a lost card, you will typically be permitted to mail your application directly to the Embassy, using an address you’ll find on our website, with no personal appearance required. On the other hand, if you are requesting your very first Social Security card and you’re over 12 years old, you’ll likely need to visit us in person when you turn in your application, so that our staff can help avoid fraudulent applications. You can request an appointment by emailing us at FBU.London@state.gov. If you have a young child who was recently born in the United Kingdom and has a right to US citizenship, you’ll be able to submit the child’s Social Security application at the same time that you request his/her first passport and Consular Report of Birth Abroad. Please visit the Embassy’s website for details on how to book an appointment for those services. 40
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What Documents Should I Submit With My Application? In some cases, you’ll need to submit supporting documentation with your application. Details about which documents are required can be found on our website and will vary based on factors such as the applicant’s age, whether the applicant has previously had a Social Security number, and if the applicant’s name has changed since birth. If documents are required, please note that you must submit originals, not just copies. Don’t worry: we’ll take good care of the originals and send them back to you.
What If I’m In Scotland Or Northern Ireland? If you are required to submit your application in person and you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland, our consulates in Edinburgh and Belfast are happy for you to visit them to submit your application and documents. But first, please review the consulate’s own website for instructions about booking an appointment. On the other hand, if no personal appearance is required, you’ll receive faster service if you submit your application by mail to the Federal Benefits Unit in London, and not to one of the consulates.
Don’t Delay! If you or your child has never had a Social Security number, don’t wait to get one! The longer you delay, the harder it can be to establish eligibility. As US citizens get older, additional documentation may be required to prevent identity theft, and you may even be asked to prove where you have lived over the course of your lifetime.
Not Sure What to Do? Just Ask! While obtaining a Social Security card may seem complicated, our expert staff at the US Embassy is standing by to advise you. If you’re confused by documentary requirements, or not sure where to submit your application, just ask. Send an email to FBU.London@ssa.gov, providing your name, date of birth, and contact information, and we’ll be in touch. Once your card is approved, you’ll usually receive it within just a few weeks.
EMBASSY INFORMATION US Embassy, 24 Grosvenor Square, London W1K 6AH uk.usembassy.gov Switchboard: (020)7499 9000 Business Hours: 8:30am- 5:30pm, Monday-Friday. Closed on American and UK holidays. An officer is available via the switchboard all day, every day, for a life or death emergency involving a US citizen in the United Kingdom. Passport and Citizenship Services: By Appointment Monday - Friday Notary Services: By appointment Appointments available only online at uk.usembassy.gov Federal Benefits Unit: uk.usembassy.gov General Social Security information: ssa.gov Travel Advice: travel.state.gov
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Published on Jun 27, 2017
Features in this issue include US Tax Consequences Of Owning A UK Private Limited Company by H&R Block; Wealth Management: The Two Sides Of...