AMERICAN IN BRITAIN Serving the American Community in the UK
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3 Eating Out 8 Wealth Management 10 Taxing Issues 13 Hotel Review
14 Theatre 16 Orthodontic Treatment 18 Take Five 22 Travel
25 Arts & Antiques 28 Cooking
30 Reader’s Lives 32 British American Business 34 Days Out
36 American Expatriate Clubs & News
40 Useful Numbers IBC Embassy Corner
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NFL UK Coach Aden Durde who has been given a position on the Atlanta Falcons full time coaching staff. This is the first time it’s been granted to a British Coach. Picture Dave Shopland/NFL UK.
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Galvin at Windows
Smith & Wollensky
Adelphi Building, 1-11 John Adam Street, London, WC2N 6HT Telephone: 020 7321 6007 Sometimes only steak will do, and for those times there is Smith & Wollensky. The New York Times described it as “A steakhouse to end all arguments”, and this US steakhouse has certainly enjoyed a triumphant expansion, from its original flagship premises in New York (opened in 1977), across the US and now into the heart of London, where it opened its’ first UK steakhouse in 2015. In keeping with a brand which has become known for its elegant dining rooms in intimate or iconic locations, the London steakhouse is no exception. Located in the monumental art deco styled Adelphi Building, situated between the Strand and the Thames, it forms part of the London Skyline as you cross Waterloo Bridge. Former residents of the Adelphi building have included JM Barrie (author of Peter Pan), George Bernard Shaw and Thomas Hardy, all notable in their fields, as Smith & Wollensky are in theirs. It is interesting to note that ‘Smith & Wollensky’ was founded by Alan Stillman (creator of TGI Friday) and Ben Benson. You may be wondering, as I was, how they happened upon the name. In fact, the story goes that “Smith” and “Wollensky” were names selected at random from a New York phone book, late one night! One thing that hasn’t changed is the style, quality and service that were present then, and the attention to detail. As you slip from the hustle and bustle of the Strand with its’ theatres and shops, into John Adam Street, you seem to not only leave the crowds, but also to step back in time. This feeling is perfectly evoked by the Martin Brudnizki designed interior, decked in mahogany. The WWW.THEAMERICANHOUR.COM
ceilings are high and the space extensive (15,000 square feet), but the clever interiors manage to still create a feeling of intimacy. The art deco features are impressive; from the lighting and patterned floor tiles to the wall art and furnishings - there is a wonderful feeling of being in 1920s New York. On entering, my wife and I made our way past well-spaced out tables and booths to the bar, where we relaxed with a cocktail whilst perusing the menu. There is a fantastic range of speciality cocktails, and I enjoyed my Scorpion (rum based) whilst my wife sipped her Greenhouse Gimlet (gin based). There are also Americansized (80ml) Martinis and Manhattans available – next time! We were shown to our booth by a waiter dressed in a pristine white jacket, where we knuckled down to the serious job of choosing our dinner. The starter choice is extensive and is mainly dominated by seafood including Tuna Ceviche (£9), Seared Chilli & Garlic Shrimp (£14) and Octopus & Chorizo Carpaccio (£16), with Fillet of Beef and Chop. My wife chose the Hand-Dived Scottish Scallops with Garlic & Parsley Butter (£19), and I selected the Half Cold Poached Lobster (£16). If you really want a feast then you should look no further than the two sharing platters which consist of a tower of Lobster, Jumbo Lump Crabmeat, Jumbo Shrimp, Pyefleet Pure Oysters & Cherry Stone Clams paired with Classic Cocktail Sauce, Cognac Mustard Sauce, Ginger Sauce and Sherry Migonette, priced at £90 for the ‘Charlie Smith’ (2-4 people), or £125 for the ‘Ralph Wollensky’ (4-6 people). The mains are unashamedly dominated by steak, (well it is a steakhouse!) but for the sake of variety, there are options including burger, fish, lobster, chicken, salad and pork chop. Let’s be honest, it’s the steak that holds the headlines here. There is an enormous amount of knowledge and pride amongst the staff when
it comes to the steaks. The meat is butchered and dry-aged on-site, and is hand-cut in their in-house butchery by their own butcher; making it the only steakhouse in London which offers a cut of meat that combines all three. Sitting alongside the American steaks are patriotic British and Irish cuts and premium seafood together with locally-sourced ingredients from the very best UK suppliers. All of this is enhanced through a careful dry-ageing process lasting 28 days which intensifies the flavour and tenderness. I went for the USDA Prime Sirloin (250g, £36) as I just love the rich flavour. My steak was chargrilled to perfection and served with a Béarnaise Sauce. There is an impressive selection of enhancements and sauces to choose from including rubs, crusts and even lobster tail. Other cuts include the Chateaubriand 600g (£80; to share), T-Bone 500g (£58) or a Kansas City Cut Bone-In Sirloin (£64). My wife had the Seared Tuna (£26), which was served with a cauliflower couscous, and complemented with a citrus dressing. To accompany our mains, we ordered French Fries (£5), Creamed Spinach (£10) – for me a musthave with steak - Onion Rings (£7) and Truffled Mac ‘n’ Cheese (£10). There is a comprehensive wine list, including Smith and Wollensky’s own Private Reserve from California available as Sauvignon Blanc and Red Blend. On this particular evening, we enjoyed the house Californian wine. Prices per glass range from £5.25 (125ml) for a Chardonnay Blend to £12.50 (125ml) for the Private Reserve Red Blend from Napa. From a previous visit, I remembered not to eat too much before coming here and I advise you to do the same, as the portions are American size, not UK. That said, when the dessert menu arrived, I suffered from an immediate case of ‘eyes bigger than belly’. WWW.AMERICANINBRITAIN.CO.UK
Smith & Wollensky do not do things by halves and have their own pastry chef who prepares the desserts daily on site. I opted for the Gigantic Chocolate Cake (£18) which truly lives up to its name. This can be shared between up to 4 people and consists of moist chocolate layers of cake brushed with Baileys Irish Cream, sandwiched with chocolate mousse and covered with chocolate ganache. This was my kind of pudding, with the cake being light in texture and the mousse suitably gooey, but even with my love of chocolate, there was not even the smallest chance of finishing this gargantuan slice of cake, and some days later I was still to be found carving off slithers from my fridge at home (they are used to requests for a doggy-bag!). My wife, in addition to sampling the cake, opted for cheese and biscuits from the cheese trolley (£14) and enjoyed some fantastic British cheeses. Smith & Wollensky’s stylish dining room is split over two levels, each with a separate bar, meaning they are well equipped to cater for large private parties. If your party is more compact in size, there are 3 additional private dining rooms for those special occasions. With such large and versatile dining space at their fingertips it’s great to see that they run a range of special events including Thanksgiving and 4th July celebrations along with Wine Events. Keep your eye on their website www. smithandwollensky.co.uk to find out details of these and other events throughout the year. Smith & Wollensky offers a timeless, vibrant, yet relaxed atmosphere that envelopes guests in gracious hospitality. It takes many of the features of the Adelphi Building and its art deco style and marries them with the distinctive Smith & Wollensky brand, the result of which is a dining experience that offers simple refinement in the grand tradition and justifies their claim of offering the “best steak in London”. I am not sure my waistband agrees!
Stockcross, Newbury, Berkshire RG20 8JU Telephone: 01635 897589 The Judgement of Paris at The Vineyard Hotel Hopefully you are as intrigued as we were by the rather grand title given to this wine and tasting menu experience created by the Vineyard Hotel in Berkshire. First things first, whilst the Vineyard Hotel does not sit amongst its own vines, (surrounded instead by the Berkshire countryside), it does hold some 30,000 bottles in an extraordinary glass cellar that is visible from the floor of the hotel’s reception. In addition, the hotel owner Sir Peter Michael is a rather big name in wine production, having his own vineyard in California, from where many of his awardwinning wines have been imported to the hotel. Wine is a huge focus for the hotel, and ‘The Judgement of Paris’ as we found out, was an important event in the wine world that had 4
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The Vineyard Hotel Restaurant
Devonshire Cod by Robby Jenks The Vineyard Hotel
such lasting influence, it has been recreated here as a fun and enormously enjoyable challenge to anyone that enjoys a glass of wine – however, lacking in wine knowledge you may be (and we are as it turns out!). The Judgement of Paris (or the Paris Wine Tasting of May 24 1976) is seen as one of the most pivotal moments in wine history. A blind wine tasting of French and Californian wines, nearly forty years ago, that forever changed the future of winemaking, when unknown Californian wines were chosen over some of France’s finest by some of France’s top wine aficionados. Organised by British wine merchant Steven Spurrier, excellent Californian Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignons were tasted alongside white Burgundies and Bordeaux reds. For Californian winemakers, and for winemakers around the world, the event transformed the industry. Those in attendance included journalists Odette Kahn: the editor of ‘La Revue du Vin de France’, and George M. Taber from Time Magazine who later wrote a book about the event. Years later, in 2008, a comedy drama film; Bottle Shock starring Alan Rickman, was released which tells the story of The Judgement of Paris. Indeed, the final result of this event was so shocking that some of the judges withdrew their ballots.
From then on Sir Peter Michael, owner of The Vineyard, was inspired. The Paris tasting set him on a journey to California in search of a suitable vineyard location, which he found in 1982 starting the Peter Michael Winery in Knights Valley, Sonoma. In 1998, he opened the five-star Vineyard hotel in Berkshire, now established as the UK’s leading wine hotel. Here, amongst some 3,000 bins in the Vineyard’s wine cellar, are over 800 Californian wines including a unique collection from Peter Michael’s own vineyard. The story of the Paris tasting lives on at the Vineyard. The hotel’s impressive art collection includes a huge canvas of the legendary 1976 ‘Judgement of Paris’ (not to be confused with the 17th century works of Art by Rubens of the same name) commissioned by Sir Peter in honour of the event. Steven Spurrier himself (the organiser of the original Paris tasting) was invited to The Vineyard to unveil the extraordinary work of art in May 2012. The ‘Judgement of Paris’ wine tasting experience invites guests to recreate their very own blind tasting with wines matched to each of seven delicious courses prepared by British chef Robby Jenks. Traditionally, a French and Californian glass are served with each course and the diner decides which they prefer, along with a few guessing games. The tasting also includes two blind taste tests served in blackened glasses, the diners’ task being to guess the variety of grape, along with the origin - California or France? You’ll pick up clues and tips from the Sommelier along the way, helping you to make your best educated guesses - although where we were concerned we still only managed to successfully guess the origin of two of the wines! At the end of the dinner, guests raise a glass to California or to France. Which one gets your vote? With so many delicious wines to taste
EATING OUT you may think that the food would be overshadowed, but you would be quite wrong. The tasting menus are carefully constructed with each new season, using the highest quality, locally sourced ingredients. Chef Jenks aims to provide a ‘gastronomic experience’ and in our humble opinion, succeeds in doing just this. The food we were served was so memorable, it had us reminiscing for days afterwards. You may feel, as I have done in the past, a certain wariness when approaching a tasting menu - the element of choice has been all but removed, and the decisions are in someone else’s hands, which results in sampling dishes you may never have otherwise discovered. This can go one of two ways: you will either end up cleaning your plate and wanting more, or being glad that the portion is small! The menu we sampled on a wet, cold late November evening included such dishes as Loch Duart Salmon with beetroots, walnut and wasabi, Pan-fried Foie Gras with grape, hazelnut and pain d’epices and Venison Loin with blackberries, parsnip and cabbage and bacon. Each of these dishes was impeccably presented. The quality of the ingredients and high standard of cuisine was consistently apparent across all the dishes- with the result that our plates were clean after each and every course. My personal favourite was the Venison Loin, which definitely fell into the category of a dish I would never have otherwise discovered. The meat was perfectly tender and beautifully complemented by the flavour combination of blackberry, parsnip and bacon - it really was a delight to eat, and a complete surprise to me, as I have never particularly enjoyed venison in the past. My partner’s dish of choice was the PanFried Foie Gras which he couldn’t help making satisfied noises over for the (short) duration of eating. He kept urging me to sample it, as I had chosen to substitute this dish for the handdived scallop with celeriac, truffle and apple. The pre-dessert served as a palate cleanser, but was so much more than that with its classic combination of lime, coconut, pineapple and basil. The dessert itself made quite an impression with its decoration of long shards of spun sugar adorning the salted caramel, manjari (Madagascan chocolate) tonka bean and coffee concoction. A delicious way to finish a wonderful meal. Of course, the flavour and texture of the food is enhanced at every course by the wine pairings served alongside, and it must be this fusion of good wine, good food and good fun that makes ‘The Judgement of Paris’ a memorable experience rather than simply a great meal in a nice hotel. You may even come away having learnt a thing or two about wine - here’s hoping! The Vineyard is a destination, and not just for the wine buffs among you. The hotel’s facilities include an award-winning spa, 49 suites and rooms and an impressive private art collection - so there is every reason to make the journey to Berkshire to experience it for yourself - if the promise of award winning wines and 3AA rosette standard food were not enough. WWW.THEAMERICANHOUR.COM
16 Albermarle Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 4HW Telephone: 020 7629 9802 Fine dining has for years been associated with the cuisine connected to either France, Italy or a number of other countries, and when people think of these countries I am amazed that Indian food is never considered. Indian cuisine has rarely featured as a fine dining option and indeed it has been that meal that you had after a few pints. There are many Indian restaurants which satisfy this and offer a great option after a few pints, but Indian Accent isn’t one of these and therefore bucks that trend as it is a place to visit regardless, as it is truly an experience that you really should not miss. In 2015, an Indian Accent restaurant opens in New York, a city usually indifferent to Indian cuisine, but despite that barrier it triumphed, and now Indian Accent is in London where UK audiences are more attuned to Indian food, and this new offering is located in that hotbed of quality restaurants, Mayfair, and is rapidly becoming the place to eat. As you enter you immediately feel that the décor is a cut above some Indian restaurants that have the gaudy carpet and terrible music that some may be used to. These clichés are replaced by an ultramodern and minimalistic offering. The entrance is dominated by a dazzling array of scotches which are available for those of discerning tastes, and once you hand over your coat and pass through the door to the main area of the restaurant the well-spaced tables and green padded chairs and wooden tables are bathed in low, seductive lighting, giving an air of calm and sophistication. Whilst we were negotiating the wonderful selection of dishes on offer, we were presented with an amuse-bouche of Pumpkin and Coconut Soup with a blue cheese naan. I am usually not one for hyperbole, but this is probably one of the best things I have tasted and I truly wished that this wasn’t just a taster and was a starter, as the tastes were so delicate and rewarding. The soup was wonderful with the pumpkins richness and
the sweetness of the coconut, complemented with a subtle hint of spice, all accompanied by a blue cheese naan. I am not a fan of blue cheese, but I could, and did, eat not just one but two naans as the flavour was subtle and delicate, and the savoury cheese complimented the sweet and spicy soup perfectly. Having reconciled myself to only a small portion of the soup I turned my attention to the starters. My wife chose the Kashmiri Morels, walnut powder and parmesan papad and I chose the Mathri Trio. Mathri is a kind of flaky biscuit from the north-west region of India. It is made from flour, water, and cumin seeds and these were made in to 3 mini cones encasing a rich and Tomatoey Egg Plant Bharta, a moist Chicken Khurchan and a fulsome Duck Khurchan. Mathri is usually a biscuit, so its use here is to provide texture to the moist fillings is so inventive. Our second course also contained no dishes you would find on an average menu, with Sweet Pickle Pork Ribs with sundried mango and phulka, pulled jackfruit, Chilli Pork and Tawa Chicken but my wife decided on the Tiger Prawns with Indian sorrel chutney, and I decided on the Lamb Seekh Kabab, cumin new potatoes, and stilton (yes another blue cheese option!). Both had a wonderfully subtle heat and the prawns were wonderfully meaty and the lamb incredibly tender. Our third course was the main which includes bread and a side. The selection for the mains is varied including fish, scallops and vegetarian options but we decided to share our mains and went for the Chicken Malai Tikka, green chilli cream, sugar snap peas and summer truffle along with Ghee Roast Lamb, roomali roti pancakes and chutneys. There is a dazzling array of breads with parantha, roti and kulcha, but we went for a light and delicate Lachta Butter Naan and our choice of sides selected from a list that included black dairy dal, wasabi cucumber raita, cumin basmati pulao, ghee roast potato or kadhai snap peas. The tikka consisted of generous chunks of succulent chicken smothered in a light chilli cream with the crunch of the sugar snap peas working well with the buttered naan and the rice but I personally felt it would have been
enhanced by a little more zing, but the ghee roast lamb was the stand out dish as it was so tender and mirrored crispy duck Indian style! To complete our meal we perused the desserts menu, and believe me when I say, appealing as the other dishes sound there really is only one choice you should make and that is the Makhan Malai, saffron milk, rose petal jiggery brittle and almonds. This was voted New York’s best desert 2017 and it is really no surprise why. The light and milky dessert has its roots in Northern Indian but inventive twists take it to a new level. The almonds and honeycomb add welcome crunch and texture and the gold leaf covering it is literally the icing on the cake. Indian Accent offer a 3-course journey for £55 and if you want dessert, and I totally recommend you do, it is £9. The wine selection is well balanced and will suit all tastes, and these wines complement the finesse of the food perfectly. It is not hard to see why Indian Accent broke down the barriers against Indian food in NY and it triumphed there, and it will triumph here, as it serves great food at accessible prices and I left vowing to return to sample other dishes on the menu, although there will be some that I would, and will eat again and again.
12 St George Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 2FB Telephone: 020 7758 9160 In my quieter moments I sometimes ponder over why things are named the way they are. Why was chocolate named chocolate, why an apple and not something else, and so when presented with a restaurant named Wild Honey my interest was piqued. Is it owned by a fan of the Beach Boys (Wild Honey was their 13th Album), a fan of Checkov (a play based on a Checkov untitled piece), or are they just a lover of an organic sweet sticky substance? Having visited Wild Honey I am unsure it matters, as this is a restaurant with a name that will be ingrained on your memory, not for any other reason than its quality and amazing value. Wild Honey is owned by celebrated chef Anthony Demetre, and is the sister restaurant to the multi award-winning Arbutus. It was opened in 2007, and since then has continued to wow restaurant goers with its contemporary European menu made with wonderfully fresh and seasonal English ingredients (a European collaboration that both ‘remainers’ and ‘brexiteers’ would approve of!). Wild Honey is well located just off New Bond Street, near to Hannover Square just across the road from St Georges Church, and its discrete entrance leads you to a wonderfully proportioned oak panelled room which has an upmarket members club feel to it. Art Deco chandeliers look down on you, and on one side there is a marble counter where you can sample inventive cocktails and on the other red banquettes and crisp white tablecloths. There is a sophisticated elegance about the 6
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place that is welcoming and immediately makes you feel at ease. We were warmly welcomed by the staff and taken to our table where, whilst scanning the menu, we nibbled on fresh white and brown sour dough bread, whilst deciding between the set 4-course menu for £39 or the treats on the à la carte menu. Although the set menu offered incredible value, there were a few dishes which I truly had to try, so we plumped for the à la carte, but either way I doubt we would have been disappointed. There were 6 starters to choose from, and it is rare for me to say that I could have chosen any of them, as the creamy Burrata, crushed autumn Delicia squash, Brogdale pears and candied walnuts (£12) was nearly my choice, but instead we chose the Hare Ragu with fresh hand cut macaroni, olive oil and parmesan (£12), and the Grilled Sardines, wood roasted sweet pepper salsa (£9). I always have a soft spot for sardines as they are my Dad’s favourite, and they were a great tribute to one of his most loved dishes as the sardine skin was wonderfully chargrilled, and the bones I always remembered as a child, had all been removed, so I was left with crispy skin, oily fish and a robust salsa - my kind of heaven. The Hare Ragu was rich and truly gamey and the generous chunks of hare were moist and tender, and the macaroni slightly crunchy, creating a wonderful dish. The mains selection is again a choice of 6 options, and once more I genuinely could have chosen any of them, so it was a really difficult choice. Despite the lure of venison and cod, I selected the Denbighshire Lamb, rump and slow cooked breast, grilled hispi cabbage and green vinaigrette (£24), and my wife selected the Ricotta Dumplings ‘Grundi’, Delicia pumpkin, olive oil and parmesan (£17). People think that dishes like lamb are simple to cook, but a meat as delicate as lamb needs tender
loving care and this lamb was cared for very well! The meat was pink and just melted in my mouth. My wife’s ricotta dumplings were again a true delight, and the Delicia pumpkin treatment enhanced the sweetness of the pumpkin and that clash/marriage with the intense parmesan cheesy flavour made a dish that could convert me to vegetarianism, such was the intensity of the flavours. Portion size is generous so we didn’t take up the optional cheese course (£14) as we wanted to leave room for dessert, and we were truly grateful we did. A number of restaurants have a signature dessert which is more hype than substance, but here that is not the case as the classic Tarte Tatin of apples is truly a must (£20 but serves up to 4 people). I still don’t know why apples are named apples, but when they are perfectly cooked, encased in moist layers of flaky pastry and covered in a rich caramel sauce I frankly stop caring and just delight in the explosion of tastes in my mouth! This is a masterpiece, so please leave room for it, as you will kick yourself if you don’t, although the honeycomb ice cream we also picked was also worthy of note. Service is of the highest standard with highly trained staff attending to the guest’s every need, while a concise and eclectic wine list is available by bottle or by carafe, allowing visitors to try a range of different labels without breaking the bank. The selection of wines is extensive and with the option of selecting wines by the carafe rather than bottle you can select wines for each course which helps when your wine choice differs from your partner’s. Wild Honey have thought of everything, from a wine dilemma to what food to choose, and this is all done in stylish surroundings with attentive but not pushy staff and I love it. Eating out should be an experience far more than just the food (although this is crucial), and Wild Honey delivers in spades, and for £39 for 4 courses in the heart of Mayfair this is really a steal.
WEALTH MANAGEMENT Diversify, Diversify, Diversify Over the last few months volatility has returned to global equity markets. The seemingly wild ride has resulted in some market experts and economists discussing revisions to economic forecasts and what that means for equity markets over the next few years. When the conversation turns towards a potential future recession or a downward trend in equity markets it is important to remember a key tenant of investing. Similar to how critical ‘location’ is to the value of a property in the real estate world, leading to statements such as “location, location, location”, ‘diversification’ is critical for successful investing. Given its level of importance, it is no surprise that it features in nearly every published piece of investment marketing literature. But, can you answer a simple question: “How does diversification work?” In the next few paragraphs, we will try to help you gain a better appreciation for what diversification is and what it is not along with an understanding of the different dimensions of diversification. Before you stop reading because you believe you already know all about it, we encourage you to have a look at the following graph and answer the following question for yourself: “Which of the three diversifying assets, A, B or C, would you pick to add to a current position to create a 50/50 combination with reduced risk?” Many people would pick Asset B because its line looks the most different to the current position. Some people might choose Asset C because its line ends at the highest point compared to the other two alternatives. However, the right answer is represented by the green line (Asset A) because it has the lowest correlation and slightly lower risk. Correlation is the closest relative of diversification. It is a statistic that measures the degree to which two or more measurements
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(like investment returns) show a tendency to vary together. A correlation coefficient can have a value that ranges between +1 and -1. At +1, the investment returns are always both above or below their respective averages at the same time. At -1, the investment return of one asset is always above at the same time as the investment return of the other asset being below its average. The lower the correlation, the higher the diversification. Have another look at the same chart. Can you now see that the variations of the yellow and the blue line appear more in sync with the black line? Assets B and C are perfectly positively correlated to the current position. Asset A, on the other hand, has a slight negative correlation to the current position. Let’s now look at a couple of examples. Asset 1
If you combine two assets with equal risk (volatility) that have a correlation of +1, the portfolio has the same risk as both assets. So, there is no risk reduction. This changes dramatically if the assumed correlation drops to 0: Asset 1
Now portfolio risk has dropped to 10.61% from 15%, a reduction of nearly 30 percent. Can one do better? As shown in the following table, we could mix equities with bonds. At 7.65%, portfolio risk has nearly halved.
Aren’t low correlations amazing? Not only that but bonds typically have a lower risk than equities. In our stylised example, bonds only have 20% of the volatility that equities exhibit. Can we isolate the correlation effect from the effect of mixing two assets with very different volatility levels? The answer is that we can, by assuming a correlation of +1 between them: Stock
In this worked example portfolio volatility is still 40% lower. From this we can conclude that the low correlation delivered the additional 10% from the 50% volatility reduction we saw in the previous example. In other words, when mixing bonds with equities, most of the risk reduction comes from adding a lower risk asset class to a higher risk asset class, and only to a smaller degree from low correlations. Low correlations are a rare breed. Below we provide an update of historical asset class correlations for some of the most common investable asset classes: As is widely known and evident in the Table on the next page in Column 1, bonds are an important diversifier to equities as those asset classes exhibit negative correlations over the longer-term. While all asset classes in the table have some degree of diversification benefit, styles within one equity region (Column 4) have the least diversification benefit. This is followed by regional diversification within equities (Column 6). We can also see that Real Estate Investment Trusts (Column 7) and Commodities historically proved to be good diversifiers for an equity portfolio (Column 8). However, Managed Futures (Column 9) beat all other asset classes, apart from bonds, as far as diversification benefit is concerned. In summary, different volatility levels and pairwise correlations of multiple assets
Similar to how critical ‘location’ is to the value of a property in the real estate world, leading to statements such as “location, location, location”, ‘diversification’ is critical for successful investing always come as a package, technically referred to as covariance. They are the drivers of diversification and risk reduction. Hopefully these examples have shown you that sometimes correlation is the driving force in achieving significant risk reduction and sometimes it is a difference in volatility levels. However, it is only the correlation term that causes the famous efficient frontier to have a bended shape, with portfolio risk to be lower than one would expect from combining multiple assets or asset classes. Sadly, both volatility and correlations change over time and are difficult to predict, though they have less uncertainty than returns. However, understanding them as well as possible is a valuable exercise for any investor and modelling them as robust as possible is an essential ingredient to the success of any professional wealth manager. Both these statements hold particularly true in periods of increased market volatility. WWW.THEAMERICANHOUR.COM
Risk Warnings and Important Information
MASECO LLP (trading as MASECO Private Wealth and MASECO Institutional) is registered in England and Wales as a Limited Liability Partnership (Companies House No. OC337650) and has its registered office at Burleigh House, 357 Strand, London WC2R 0HS. MASECO LLP is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for the conduct of investment business in the UK and is an SEC Registered Investment Advisor in the United States of America. Any views or opinions expressed in this document do not necessarily reflect the views of MASECO LLP as a whole or any part thereof and are not a description of MASECO’s investment policy nor a forecast of future events and are subject to change. Certain information in this document has been obtained by MASECO from reputable third-party sources, however, MASECO does not warrant the completeness or accuracy of such information and it should not be relied upon as such. This article does not take into account the specific goals or requirements of individuals and is not intended to be, nor should be construed as, investment or tax advice. You should carefully consider the suitability of any strategies along with your financial situation prior to making any decisions on an appropriate strategy. We strongly recommend that every client seeks their own tax and financial advice prior to acting on any of the opportunities described in this article. MASECO LLP will have no liability (except as may arise under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000) for any loss or damage arising out of the use or reliance of the information in this document including, without limitation, any loss of profit or other damage, direct or consequential. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results. The value of investments, and the income from them, may fall as well as rise and you may not get back the amount originally invested. Fluctuations may be particularly marked in the case of higher volatility investments or portfolio. Rates of currency exchange may cause of the value of investments to go down as well as up.
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 multi-asset 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: firstname.lastname@example.org WWW.AMERICANINBRITAIN.CO.UK
TAXING ISSUES Cross-Border Tax Impact Of Gain From The Sale Of A Personal Home In The United Kingdom Considering a challenging and overly burdensome tax landscape, American expats living in the UK will be pleasantly surprised to find that owning a personal residence remains a relatively tax efficient investment. Many who own homes in the United Kingdom will be able to effectively shield gains from both US and UK tax by using the tax benefits in place. But, the tax laws in both countries are not identical, and the protection provided in the United Kingdom through personal residence relief can be substantially more favourable than the sale of home exclusion benefit provided in the United States. The result is that some American expats who have been able to generate significant gains from the sale of a personal home in the United Kingdom could be facing a US tax bill. Given the tremendous performance of the UK real estate market in recent years, many American expats are in fact finding themselves in a position where the tax benefits in place for homeowners in the United States do not offer adequate protection. To complicate matters, the dynamic exchange rate between the US dollar and the Pound sterling over the past decade can also have the potential to materially impact tax attributes and create difficulties with UK mortgages. For American expats who own or are considering purchasing a personal home in the United Kingdom, this article will provide a brief overview of the cross-border tax framework you will encounter and explain how the US tax treatment of foreign currency fluctuations can turn a foreign mortgage into a tax trap. To illustrate these rules, we’ll consider the following scenario: • Elaine and John are American citizens who moved to London in 2008 and purchased a flat for £500,000, financing it with a mortgage of £300,000. The exchange rate at that time was £1 : $1.48. They paid a stamp duty tax of £10,000 when the home was purchased and made no significant improvements • In 2018, after having lived in the property for over ten years, they accepted an offer to sell for £1.1 million. The outstanding balance of their mortgage at that time was £100,000 and the exchange rate was £1 : $1.28 • Elaine and John are both taxed in the United Kingdom as residents and they file a joint federal tax return in the United States. The taxable income reported on their 2018 US tax return before any gain from the home sale was $250,000. 10
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UK Tax Guidelines for Homeowners
Personal Residence Relief Broad relief exists in the United Kingdom protecting homeowners from capital gains tax. To qualify for full relief, the property must have been a main home for the entire period of ownership, not been used for trade or business purposes, and not acquired as an investment. Limitations are also in place for properties larger than 5,000 square metres. Under personal residence relief provisions, there is generally no limit on the amount of gain that can be protected from capital gains tax. And when periods of non-personal use have occurred subsequently, the portion of the gain allocable to the period of time the property was a main home will still be eligible for limited relief. Given that Elaine and John have lived in the London flat for their entire period of ownership, they would qualify for full personal residence relief and would not be subject to capital gains tax in the United Kingdom from the sale.
US Tax Guidelines for Homeowners
Sale of Home Exclusion As a general rule, American taxpayers who have owned a residence that has been their main home during at least two of the five years prior to the sale will not be taxed on the first $250,000 of gain produced. This exclusion is doubled to $500,000 for married taxpayers filing a joint tax return. The exclusion is available in full to Americans who reside overseas and own foreign property. For Elaine and John, as they have owned and lived in the London flat for more than the two-year requirement, they would qualify for the full $500,000 exclusion available to married taxpayers filing jointly. However, given that the gain produced from the sale will likely exceed this threshold, tax will still need to be calculated for US tax purposes. Currency Fluctuations For US tax purposes, the sale of an asset will always need to be reported in US dollar terms. Therefore, when property is acquired outside of the United States, fluctuations between the dollar and the currency in which the transaction is denominated will be factored into the gain or loss calculations. Accordingly, in scenarios where a currency has fluctuated significantly against the US dollar during the period of ownership, a material impact on the
gain or loss calculated from the sale of the property will result. To figure the gain or loss from the transaction, the purchase price is converted to US dollars using the exchange rate in effect on the date the property was purchased. The sales proceeds are then converted using the rate in effect on the date of sale. Any capital improvements to the property would be added to the cost and converted to US dollars using the effective rate on the date the expenses were paid. For Elaine and John, with the exchange rate of £1 : $1.48 in 2008, cost basis for calculating gain from sale would be $754,800 ($740,000 for purchase price plus $14,800 for stamp duty). Gross proceeds from the transaction of $1,408,000 will result by applying an exchange rate at the time of sale of £1 : $1.28. The result will be $653,200 in gain for US tax purposes. From this amount $500,000 will be eligible for exclusion, leaving $153,200 of taxable gain. While a gain is still produced, the amount calculated does take into account a foreign currency loss attributable to the depreciation of the Pound against the dollar during this time. Capital Gains Tax Any gain produced beyond the $500,000 threshold will be taxed at long-term capital gains rates of either 0%, 15%, or 20%. UK capital gains tax paid on the sale of the property can be credited against US tax. John and Elaine would qualify for a 15% long-term capital gains rate, resulting in a projected US tax liability of $22,980. As no tax is due from the transaction in the United Kingdom, there will not be a foreign tax credit available to reduce this amount. Net Investment Income Tax Additionally, the 3.8% Net Investment Income Tax (NIIT) will also be applicable to the taxable portion of the gain from the sale to the extent it exceeds the $200,000 ($250,000 for jointly filing taxpayers) threshold. With Elaine and John having taxable income at $250,000 before accounting for gain from the sale, it is assumed that the entire portion of the taxable gain of $153,200 will be subject to NIIT resulting in an additional tax of $5,822. Elaine and John’s total US tax projected from the sale of the London flat in 2018 would be $28,802 ($22,980 in capital gains tax and $5,822 of NIIT). While the US tax liability on gain from the sale of the UK home could very well come as a surprise, the foreign currency gain that could
TAXING ISSUES be produced by redemption of the mortgage encumbering the property will always be a bitter pill to swallow.
Complications of Foreign Mortgages
Owning the home itself may be relatively straightforward from a US tax standpoint, but foreign mortgages can complicate matters. The concern for American taxpayers relates again to the way the US tax rules view foreign currency-denominated transactions. Two important considerations must be kept in mind: 1. Foreign currency gains are taxable, with the exception of “personal” transactions where the net gain is less than $200. This would generally cover gain attributable to any monthly mortgage payment but is unlikely to protect a redemption of the remaining principal balance when the property is sold. 2. Personal losses cannot be claimed. What this means is that even though currency gain over $200 from the redemption of mortgage on a personal home would be taxable, if the same transaction were to produce a loss, it would not offset the gain from the sale. The unfortunate result of this rule is that in many scenarios where a disallowed loss would be produced from the redemption of a personal mortgage, the gain calculated on the same property will encompass foreign currency gain
that would be taxable if in excess of the sale of home exclusion threshold. And when a taxable currency gain is produced by the redemption of the mortgage, it will be taxed at ordinary income tax rates, not the reduced capital gains rates applied to gain from the sale of the property. For American Expats who currently hold UK mortgages that have been taken out for personal homes during the past decade, there is likely a risk of phantom income being produced upon redemption of the note due to how the currencies have performed in recent years. The phantom income is created by the fact that it now requires fewer dollars to pay off the mortgage than it would have when the loans were taken out initially. For Elaine and John, while the $200 limit would likely have protected them from tax exposure for monthly payments made prior to the redemption, currency gain will be produced when the remaining £100,000 mortgage balance is paid off with the sales proceeds. Considering the exchange rates in effect when the loan was taken and subsequently paid off, a currency gain of $20,000 is produced ($148,000 initially received and $128,000 needed to repay the balance in full). They will face an estimated $4,800 in tax from the foreign currency gains from the mortgage redemption assuming they are in the 24% bracket. In total, for a property that more than doubled in value, Elaine and John can expect to pay no income tax in the United Kingdom but will owe an estimated $33,602 in total tax in the United States.
Undoubtedly, a number of options will be available to American expats to help manage the potential tax risk associated with foreign currency mortgages and working with a lender who will understand this risk is crucial. Moreover, given the differences in tax rules, planning opportunities available to married individuals for owning or financing a personal home in the UK when only one spouse is American should not be overlooked. Nevertheless, the challenges identified in this article are largely unavoidable in most cases. Planning against the prospect of your personal home doubling in value can be challenging and it is not financially realistic for the vast majority of American expats to acquire a home without mortgage financing. Simply being knowledgeable of the differences in the rules impacting American expat homeowners in the UK and accounting for a potential US tax liability will be the most prudent course of action. American Tax Partners is a US-based tax services company dedicated to providing expert global tax support for American expats in the United Kingdom and UK Nationals with business or investment activities in the United States. Offering flat fee pricing, we serve as a single point of contact for managing all your international tax compliance obligations. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation at email@example.com or visit our website at amtaxpartners.com.
AMERICAN EXPAT TAX UPDATE & WEALTH MANAGEMENT SEMINAR Monday 1st April 2019 from 12pm - 3pm
Smith & Wollensky, The Adelphi Building, 1-11 John Adam Street, London, WC2N 6HT PLEASE JOIN US FOR THIS FREE FINANCE & NETWORKING EVENT FOR AMERICANS LIVING IN THE UK Roland Sabates, Managing Member of Expat Legal Services Group and founder of American Tax Partners, will be providing a tax update for American expats living and working in the United Kingdom. The seminar will cover basic cross-border tax filing requirements and planning opportunities, an overview of pension and retirement savings options, and guidelines for managing international investments in a tax-efficient manner, and given the dynamic legislative environment, a discussion of any new or pending tax law changes that may be relevant to the American expat community will also be included. Daniel Freedman, Managing Director of London & Capital will also cover Wealth Management issues facing Americans living in the UK. To register your free place at this event please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the names of those who would like to attend. We look forward to seeing you there!
The 2019 Expatriate’s Guide to Living in the UK will be Published at the end of March 2019 Pre-order your FREE copy now! 14th Ann
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 2019 Ex Guide to L patriate's iving in th e UK
Supporting Internationa l HR Profes sionals World wide
The 2019 Guide will contain content covering: Banking & Wealth • Expatriate Clubs • Embassies & High Commissions • Driving & Transport • Education - Schools & Universities • Healthcare & Hospitals • Immigration & Residency • Legal Issues • Moving & Relocation Residential Lettings • Serviced Apartments • Taxation To pre-register for your FREE copy please email: email@example.com, providing the mailing address you would like it sent to. PLEASE SHARE THE WEBSITE WITH FRIENDS, FAMILY, COLLEAGUES OR EMPLOYEES RELOCATING TO THE UK.
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HOTEL REVIEW The Eastbury Sherborne, Dorset
I am actually writing this review whilst still at The Eastbury in the historic town of Sherborne, as is it so comfortable and welcoming that I really don’t want to leave! Located in the centre of Sherborne, Dorset, a stone’s throw away from the High Street and the beautiful Sherborne Abbey, this hotel, owned and run by The De Savary family, is definitely a place to come and stay, where you will be able to enjoy a peaceful, relaxing break, whilst either just enjoying the local area, or visiting beautiful Somerset and Dorset. The Eastbury is a boutique Georgian period listed townhouse hotel (dated 1740), situated in a pretty walled garden. It has 22 bedrooms and a fabulous award-winning restaurant, with lovely, comfortable decor, The White Company products in the modern bathrooms and little personal touches that the De Savary Family have perfected as an art. The hotel has recently undergone an extensive refurbishment so everything is immaculate and the carpets not only still look new, they even smell new! The hotel has two lounge areas, with fires and very comfortable settees, with magazines to read and games to play, a modern cocktail bar, and its two AA Rosette ‘Seasons’ restaurant with lovely glass windows that look out on to the lawn where you can enjoy a game of croquet, or enjoy spending time in the outdoor pod. The staff are a young, tight knit team, who all seem to be really proud of their refurbished hotel and the plans for this year, and the welcome and service is second to none, which is really refreshing to see. The Seasons restaurant offers high quality WWW.THEAMERICANHOUR.COM
food at reasonable prices, and they thoroughly deserve their two rosettes, if not more! My friend and I enjoyed a delicious three course dinner that included Vale of Camelot brûlée, pear, celeriac, chicory, caramelised walnut, and Devon crab cucumber & horseradish, green apple, dill oil, followed by Baked Cod, wild garlic crumb, roast cauliflower, leeks, wild garlic sauce, crispy capers and Rump of Lamb, caramelised red onions, Greek yoghurt, courgette, oregano, all of which were beautifully presented and relished by us both, as was our dessert - Banana Mille Feuille, peanut brittle, coconut & kaffir lime leaf sorbet. There is also a 7-course Tasting Menu at a very reasonable price of £45 that I would highly recommend as it includes most of the dishes that we enjoyed from the à la carte menu. This year, The Eastbury will be opening the first UK “Hobbit House Spa” tucked into a leafy corner of the garden, as well as five new Potting Shed Garden Suites. The quirky Spa building, designed as a Hobbit House – built from local stone and complete with sedum and moss roof and a circular doorway – will house a boutique Spa, consisting of two treatment rooms (including a couples room), a hydrotherapy pool, sauna and steam room, exercise area and private relaxation space. The Potting Shed Garden Suites have been imagined to offer guests the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the glorious hotel gardens. The stylish new dog-friendly suites will take inspiration from traditional English Victorian Potting Sheds and will be located discreetly within the landscaping of the garden whilst preserving the integrity of the historical brick garden wall. Private patios, fire pits, sedum roofs and tasteful
and creative de Savary interiors will complete a bucolic experience rarely available within a hotel. Sherborne is at the heart of Dorset surrounded by glorious, quintessentially English Countryside. With undisputed beauty, characterful villages and many scenic places of interest; this unspoiled landscape is devoid of crowds of tourists and remains one of England’s undiscovered secrets. During our stay my friend and I visited the stunning Sherborne Abbey and walked up and down the High Street a couple of times, enjoying the boutiques and individual shops that line the High Street, locally known as the Sherborne Indies, as there are very few chain shops here, but instead shops where everyone greets you and asks if you are ok just browsing, so make sure you leave some time to enjoy one of my favourite past times – shopping! I cannot recommend this hotel highly enough, and I am personally looking forward to returning, especially as I have friends and family who live in the area, and it is half way for my school friend Jude and I to meet up! I drove from Sutton to Sherborne that took about two and a half hours, but it is a pretty drive down the A303, but if you haven’t got a car there is a direct train from London to Sherborne, and if you book ahead, Ian will come and collect you in their 1964 classic car, which is an absolute treat! We were lucky enough to have a ride in the car, and felt like royalty! Cosy Doubles at The Eastbury start from £170 B&B per night and further information can be found on www.theeastburyhotel.co.uk / firstname.lastname@example.org. WWW.AMERICANINBRITAIN.CO.UK
THEATRE Review of London’s Theatre Productions by Lydia Parker True West Donald Sage MacKay, Johnny Flynn & Kit Harington Photo Marc Brenner
True West at the Vaudeville Theatre
After the excellent revival of Buried Child in 2016, it is heartening to see yet another Sam Shephard classic, True West, in the West End. This play, written in 1980, was apparently a box office failure when it debuted at the Public Theatre in New York. It only became a long running hit when staged with John Malkovich and Gary Sinise as warring brothers Lee and Austin. It is understandable as these two demanding roles need to be cast just right in this tricky work which veers wildly from kitchen sink realism to Beckettian absurdism. Johnny Flynn is perfectly comfortable in his role as the ne’re- do-well Lee, who, when he isn’t stealing TV’s from the neighbours is running dog fights to make a fast buck. At first glance Kit Harington, Jon Snow from Game of Thrones, may not seem ideal as the hardworking, studious screenwriter Austin. However, from the opening scene of this production he is virtually unrecognisable in his slicked back hair and aviator glasses, diligently typing away by candle light. I am happy to say both actors hold their own and have a fiery chemistry between them as well as great comic rapport. Austin has come to stay in his mother’s house while she is in Alaska, needing some quiet time alone to work on his latest screenplay. The appearance of his beer swilling older brother Lee, whom he hasn’t seen in five years, is more an annoyance than a surprise, despite Lee’s frequent physical threats, which he seems to take in his stride. Not much ruffles Austin’s feathers until Lee walks in on an important meeting he has set up with Hollywood producer Saul Kimmer and proceeds to hijack it, arranging an early morning 14
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golf game and pitching his own idea for a movie. Amazingly the producer likes Lee’s idea, a strange western, which Lee asks Austin to write up as an outline. Although Austin is initially happy to help, thinking Lee will finally stop burglarising the neighbourhood, he is furious when Saul says he prefers Lee’s idea, has sold it to a studio and secured a large advance. By the second act, the tables have turned. The celebration champagne is gone and Austin is now blind drunk, swigging from a whiskey bottle. Lee works furiously at a typewriter that he pulls apart while trying to fix. He cannot put his words down and is getting increasingly frustrated. A hilarious scene in which Austin makes toast in a line- up of many toasters he has just stolen and then proceeds to butter each one, leads not into peace between the brothers but more competitive fighting which escalates in a nasty turn of events. This play, like most of Shephard’s work, goes in unpredictable directions, keeping the audience constantly guessing. The play is almost over before Madeleine Potter makes an appearance as the mother, newly returned from her holiday to complete chaos. There have been several productions of True West where the actors playing the brothers have alternated the roles during the run. Although that is not the case here, it is clear that they are meant to be two aspects of the same person, perhaps even of Shephard himself; the hard-working intellectual vying with the wild renegade who is prone to disappearing into the desert. Kit Harington is a revelation as Austin, a role which was clearly a challenge as the character goes through drastic changes. He is a fine actor and deserves to take on more
True West Kit Harington & Johnny Flynn Photo Marc Brenner
great stage roles. Johnny Flynn has already made a name for himself in the West End in Martin McDonagh’s Hangmen, also directed by the talented Matthew Dunster, where he played another menacing trickster. Here he brilliantly inhabits Lee completely, bodily taking up space as he prowls about the house, looming intimidatingly over his brother and yet reigning in his volatility to manipulate and charm the Hollywood producer. Flynn, who also composed the music for this production and is a singer/songwriter, is clearly a force to be reckoned with. Donald Sage Mackay, an American actor who recently moved to the UK, is excellent as the amiable Saul as is Madeleine Potter who makes the most of a small but striking role as Mom. In her detached befuddlement and complete lack of caring for her grown children she makes it clear why her sons turned out as they did.
It will probably sell out just on its star power to Game of Thrones fans This exciting production runs only until 23 February so catch it while you can. It will probably sell out just on its star power to Game of Thrones fans but is an enervating evening at the theatre for admirers of this great American playwright.
The Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda the Musical at the Cambridge Theatre
The Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda the Musical opened in the West End over seven years ago and is still going strong today. On the night I saw it at the Cambridge Theatre in London, there was a happy mixture of families, school groups, tourists and adults on their own who just enjoy a great musical. There is much in this show to appeal to people of all ages and despite the presence of so many children both on and off stage, it is a very dark tale indeed. Adapted from the book by Roald Dahl, who understood that children like scary fairy stories full of revenge and violence, the musical makes a bold statement about the strength and resilience of children. Matilda may be misunderstood and unloved by her family but still manages to triumph through sheer willpower. Matilda is the black sheep of the Wormwood family, a highly intelligent girl who despite just starting school has already read Dostoevsky and Dickens. Her mother is far more interested in her competitive dancing partner Rudolpho than in her children. Mr Wormwood is busy scamming Russians in a faulty used car deal and wishes Matilda were more like her TV watching couch potato brother Michael, who can only speak in one word utterances. Matilda feels more at home in the library where she tells stories to the warm-hearted librarian, Mrs Phelps. As if her life couldn’t get any worse, her father enrols her in Crunchem Hall run by the fierce Miss Trunchbull who delights in calling children
maggots and hanging them by their ears. Her abusive behaviour is constant, yet little Matilda somehow keeps finding the courage to stand up to this harridan because her punishments “are not fair!”. It is Matilda’s sense of justice which leads her to rebel and discover within herself mysterious powers which bring about the evil Miss Trunchbull’s downfall. Aside from Mrs Phelps, the only adult who believes in and appreciates Matilda is the lovely Miss Honey who, despite her kindness is too meek to be of much help. In this story, the children are the only ones brave enough to make a difference and kindness is not going to cut it with the likes of Miss Trunchbull. Unlike more contemporary children’s authors, Roald Dahl didn’t bother to look for psychological reasons why people are horrible, they just are. The only way to defeat them is with a strong sense of morality and a lot of pluck. Dahl revelled in showing the wicked, silly and stupid getting their comeuppance and many of his tales are revenge stories. In Matilda the Musical the baddies, Mr and Mrs Wormwood and Miss Trunchbull are cruel yet ridiculous figures, wildly entertaining in their outrageousness. Matilda’s parents scream and shout at her because they don’t understand her intelligence and find it a bit scary. They are cartoon characters who are too self-involved to notice their younger child is exceptional, seeing instead a threat to everything they know and love. A metaphor for our times? The book by Dennis Kelly is brilliantly funny, full of witty dialogue but enough pathos to bring tears to your eyes at the end. The changes to the original story, such as Matilda’s ability to make up involving stories which turn out to be true, work well for the stage. Tim Minchin’s music
and lyrics are all one would expect from this extraordinary comedian, full of surprising twists and turns. He has said Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes were a great influence on his own work so this project was a dream job for him. In the first number, Miracle, where each child sings about the love they receive from their overly doting parents “My mummy says I’m a miracle!” poor Matilda sings “My mum says I’m a good case for population control”. It was difficult to catch all the lyrics in the group numbers which is a good reason to buy a cast album. The performances are first-rate. Haydn Tee is hilarious as Miss Trunchbull who seems to truly believe that all children are horrible creatures out to get her and make her life a misery. She is in many ways a panto villain, so will make children laugh as much as she frightens them. Holly Dale Spencer and Rob Compton as the Wormwoods were also very enjoyable. I especially liked the father’s ode to television, Telly, which opened the second act. Malinda Parris as Mrs Phelps and Gina Beck as Miss Honey lent the production much needed warmth and sweetness. In the performance I attended, Olivia Wells played Matilda with just the right amount of determination and spirit to make her a complex character. She is not the loveable angel of so many children’s stories but a wilful, clever child who gives almost as good as she gets. All of the children were exceptional performers, Sadie Victoria Lim as Lavender and Archie Lewis as Bruce Bogtrotter were stand outs. This is a show which is perfect for the entire family and deserves to be seen several times. It is currently touring the world as well as the UK, so wherever you are you have no excuse to not catch Matilda the Musical.
Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda The Musical, photography by Manuel Harlan.
The Patient Journey Is Changing - But How, And Is It Better?
If you are in the process of considering orthodontic treatment for children or yourself, you may not be up to date with today’s ‘Orthodontic journey’. So, what has changed?
1. Choose A Specialist Orthodontist
The first step in your journey is choosing a qualified specialist orthodontist. In recent years, the number of general dentists providing orthodontic treatment has soared with mixed results. By choosing a specialist you can be confident of knowing that your doctor has achieved the highest level of certification available. To be a registered specialist a dentist must have undergone an additional three years of full-time training on a recognised orthodontic programme.
2. The 3D Digital Impression
At our practice, the days of messy dental impressions are gone. We have been using a 3D optical scanner from 3Shape since 2016. The system works by taking thousands of photographs with a probe the size of an electric toothbrush; this is passed over the surface of the teeth with no contact making the whole experience effortless. The process is clean, comfortable and relaxed and so much kinder for our younger patients and anyone who finds it hard to tolerate traditional dental impressions. The 3Shape software cleverly stitches the photographs into a 3D image which is instantly visible on a touch screen computer monitor. The 3D image is a fantastic way for parents and patients to see their own teeth and makes it much easier for the orthodontist to explain treatment; 3D images can also provide simulated tooth movements.
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3. The 3D Printed Appliances
Digital files can be shared using secure portals in order to create appliances more quickly than using standard postal services to laboratories. Many traditional appliances can now be 3D printed or milled allowing the fabrication of accurate appliances, which are easier to fit and more comfortable to wear. This applies particularly to the expander appliances we use in the 7 to 9-year-olds, as well as the functional appliances used in early teenagers.
Orthodontics believes it is fundamental that a specialist makes the diagnosis and selects the most appropriate tooth movements and therefore only adopts those treatments that have been shown to work. The American Orthodontic Association recommends a first visit to a specialist orthodontist at about 7 years of age.
4. Expanding The Role Of Clear Aligners
The quest for invisible braces has long been the preserve of adults, using ‘transparent’ or tooth coloured braces on the outside of the teeth as well as braces on the back surfaces of the teeth, ‘lingual braces’. Clear aligner treatment can now correct many of the cases traditionally treated by braces; improvements in the technology behind them means they can treat a much wider range of irregularities. Clear aligners such as Invisalign® are increasingly the appliance of choice for the disciplined teenager. That is because when having their teeth straightened teenagers tend to be just as keen as adults on aesthetics. There are new aligners for growing teenagers who need functional appliances, with special ‘wings’ in the same appliance to provide the jaw posturing effect needed.
5. Remote Monitoring
In an international city, such as London, many of our patients are short of time. Work, home and after school schedules mean that trips to the orthodontist consume precious time. Although specialists are as yet unable to dispatch robots to your home, we are able to use remote monitoring devices. This works by using an app on your smart phone and a special cheek retractor which together can be used to send a series of photos or videos via the app back to the specialist. The images allow the orthodontist to select the right time to start treatment, monitor progress or spot breakages. The system can also be used after treatment to pick up early retention problems. The aim of this is to reduce the number of physical visits needed to the orthodontic office while maintaining professional supervision. Orthodontic technology is very different and today’s advances facilitate a better experience for everyone. Dr Simon Manara at London
Simon Manara BDS. (Lond), FDS., RCS., M.Orth. RCS. (Eng.), M.Phil. is an Orthodontic Specialist. He qualified at Guys Hospital, London and Birmingham, gaining his Fellowship in Dental Surgery whilst working oral and maxillofacial surgery posts. He has experience in treating anxious children in a community clinic. He won the Winston Churchill Fellowship, giving an insight into orthodontic research in the USA and Sweden. He is a member of the American Orthodontic Association and the British Orthodontic Society. Dr Manara has been working as an Orthodontist in London’s West End since 2001, first working in a long established orthodontic practice and then setting up his own London Orthodontics in 2006. Address: 40 Harley Street, London W1G 9PP Email: email@example.com Call: +44 (0)207 486 0088 Visit: www.LondonOrthodontics.com
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SPECIALIST IN FAMILY, COSMETIC & IMPLANT DENTISTRY
Dr Sam Sherif BDS DMedSc HARvARD UNIvERISTY PhD
Practised in Beverly Hills 90210 and licensed in New York BOOk TODAY 40 Harley Street, w1g 9PP T: 020 7580 5954 www.veritasDentalCare.com
TAKE FIVE Winter Warmers By Judith Schrut
Matthew Bourne’s extraordinary Swan Lake, Matthew Ball as ‘The Swan’, photo by Johan Persson
By the time you are reading this, the year end’s seasonal lights and holiday cheer will be fond memories, while it will be some weeks before the daffodils, snowdrops and chocolate mini eggs of spring are with us. Well, we say that just gives us more time to snuggle up and savour the best toasty treats of the new year. Here are five of our favourite ways to cheat that chill and warm those cockles.
1. Hot Tickets
British theatrical tradition burns bright any time of the year but has a particularly warm glow in the chillier season. True to form, this winter’s UK Theatreland has a steamy array of hot tickets. There’s always a time and place for cherished West End oldies but goodies, especially where they’ve been re-energised with fresh casts and creatives. Shows like Matilda the Musical, Mamma Mia and the Lion King still take the breath away. We’re looking forward to seeing all of these again soon. Topping our West End newbie list is Broadway smash hit musical Waitress, opening soon at London’s beautiful and historic Adelphi Theatre. Gillian Anderson and Lily James explore our perpetual fascination with celebrity, youth and identity in a sparkling new version of All About Eve at the Noel Coward Theatre, and Sally Field is sure to shine in All My Sons, half of an Arthur Miller double bill at the Old Vic. If you love soul-filled jazz, blues and the sensational Sharon D. Clarke, you’ll treasure a ticket to Blues in the Night at the Kiln. Wearing its cheeky tagline, “Divorced, Beheaded, Live! - The show everyone’s losing 18
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Hadestown at the National Theatre, Amber Gray (Persephone) and Nathaniel Cross (Trombone), photo credit Helen Maybanks
their head over”, Six is an audacious musical which lets Henry VIII’s infamous six wives tell their own version of events. South of the river, Hadestown hits London town for a National Theatre interlude prior to Broadway. It’s a bold, energetic and genre-defying show which mixes American folk music with vintage New Orleans jazz to re-imagine the ancient tale of Orpheus and Eurydice. We’ll also see the first stage version of Andrea Levy’s award-winning Small Island, and after last year’s sold out, award-winning run, a return of NT’s sparkling version of Sondheim’s Follies. This spring the Theatre is staging an alluring revival of Top Girls, a theatrical tour de force on what it takes for a woman to get to the top. It will be fascinating to see how it looks in the age of “#MeToo” considering the original play came out of and reflected the Margaret Thatcher era. We love knowing that friends and family back home can also enjoy the NT’s outstanding shows as, once again, National Theatre Live will broadcast in dozens of venues across the USA. Finally, it’s worth remembering that some of Britain’s best theatre can be found at, or touring, its many wonderful regional stages. Newly touring shows worth going that extra mile for include Amelie the Musical, Little Miss Sunshine and Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake. We’ve also just learned that due to overwhelming popular demand, Les Misérables will continue to tour throughout 2019, hitting Edinburgh, Manchester, Newcastle and more venues than you could have dreamed a dream of.
Further information: www.nationaltheatre.org.uk www.kilntheatre.com/whats-on/blues-in-thenight/ www.delfontmackintosh.co.uk/tickets/allabout-eve/ www.oldvictheatre.com/whats-on/2019/ all-my-sons
2. Soul Music
St James Church Piccadilly is but one pearl in a glittering string of historic and welcoming UK churches, halls and other venues which host free lunchtime concerts throughout the year and provide a warm and cosy refuge on a cold winter’s day. St James’ is a Sir Christopher Wrendesigned church, famed for its exquisite wood and marble carvings by the masterful Grinling Gibbons and celebrity past parishioners like poet-painter William Blake. With a large, light and airy space and perfect acoustics for both preaching and music, St James’ has long been a quality concert venue, with three lunchtime recitals each week and other music events year round, including innovative jazz evenings.
Soul Music: Neil Finn plays jazz at St James Church, Piccadilly
Musical stars of tomorrow at Free on Fridays, Royal Academy of Music
Wednesdays and Thursdays are music days at St Olave’s Hart Street. St Olave’s was one of the few medieval City churches to escape the Great Fire of London in 1666, although sadly its interior only partially survived the Nazi bombings of World War II. Its most notable parishioners were 17th century diarist Samuel Pepys and his wife, who lived nearby and are buried in the church’s nave. After some delightful lunchtime music, it’s worth having a good look round this fascinating and historic space. The church has several American connections, including a memorial to Mssrs Davison and Newman, grocers who famously shipped crates of tea to Boston in late 1773. The very same crates were dumped into harbour waters during the Boston Tea Party. You can also enjoy piano Mondays at St Lawrence Jewry, recital Tuesdays at St Brides Fleet Street, and organ Wednesdays at Temple Church. Thursdays are ideal for concerts at St-Mary-Le-Bow, renowned for its bells, magnificent steeple, gourmet café in the crypt and American colonial connections. And we adore Free on Fridays at the Royal Academy of Music in Marylebone, a unique chance to hear top musicians of the future performing in the inspiring environs of the Academy’s Duke’s Hall, with its wall to wall portraits and astonishing modern organ funded by a former student, Sir Elton John. Southwark, St Paul’s and Westminster Cathedrals all hold organ, choral and other free musical events in their noble spaces. Further afield, St Albans Abbey has a rich tradition and a splendid setting for all kinds of music. St Martin’s Dorking offers monthly Saturday concerts, and you’ll find top notch choral music and an early music festival at Keble College, Oxford. Kings College, Cambridge hosts free Sunday afternoon organ recitals in its wondrous Gothic Chapel, where you can warm your soul and bathe your spirit in the vibrant tones of Kings’ gorgeous and ancient pipe organ. Further information: www.st-james-piccadilly.org www.cityevents.org.uk www.sanctuaryinthecity.net/st-olave www.ram.ac.uk/free-on-fridays WWW.THEAMERICANHOUR.COM
Young Toby & Ariel on the ice at Somerset House
3. Get your Skates on
Whether you’re a champion figure skater, a rink regular or a nervous novice, you’ll be wowed by the UK’s fabulous, freezerific ice skating options. Favourite London skate sites include the Natural History Museum, Somerset House and the Tower of London. The Tower rink is in an illuminated dry moat under fortress battlements while Somerset House’s rink fills its magnificent 18th century courtyard. New this year are its Skate Lates, a curated programme of live music nights with DJs spinning the tunes for you to spin to. Nestled beneath the soaring buildings of Canada Square’s financial giants and surrounded by glamorous shops, bars and restaurants, Canary Wharf Ice Rink features an off-rink skate path, allowing skaters to leave the main rink and glide through tree-lined paths glittering with fairy lights. A massive screen offers an everchanging visual backdrop and a unique rolling Instagram feed lets skaters upload their own images. Like most venues, skate aids are available for young’uns in the form of adorable childsize polar bears and penguins. Skaters outside the capital have plenty of choice too. There’s Edinburgh’s circular rink around St Andrews Square, Eden Project’s glittering indoor ice dome in Cornwall and a fairy tale skate setting at Hampton Court, Henry VIII’s riverside palace. Brighton Ice Rink is always popular, with its illuminated light show and spectacular Royal Pavilion backdrop. Further information: www.nhm.ac.uk/visit/exhibitions/ice-rink.html www.royalpavilionicerink.co.uk www.edenproject.com www.icerinkcanarywharf.co.uk
Twilight at Brighton’s Royal Pavilion Ice Rink, photo credit Brighton Pictures
4. Kitchen and Caboodle
If you fancy your chances as the next Masterchef, or are just keen to keep warm, learn new skills and share the joy of cooking with loved ones, here’s a little food for thought. There’s always something fresh, fragrant and innards-warming going on at Waitrose, and its offspring, Waitrose Cookery School, is no exception. It hosts state-of-the-art kitchen classrooms in London and Salisbury where crafty culinarians can try their hand at Curries of the World, Middle East Feast or Chinese Dim Sum. The more sweet-toothed may prefer to have a go at Chocolate Eclairs, Macaroons or Japanese Patisserie. Bettys’ renowned Harrogate, Yorkshire tea rooms date from 1919, when a penniless but ambitious chocolatier and baker named Frederick arrived from Switzerland to realise his dreams. Since then, Bettys has become a northern byword for outstanding tea and baked goodies such as Yorkshire tea loaves and famously plump and fruity ‘Fat Rascal’ scones, along with no-nonsense Yorkshire hospitality. The origin of the ‘Betty’ name is still a mystery, though some say it’s in honour of the late Queen Mother, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. Today, Bettys remains proudly familyowned with six thriving Café Tea Rooms, a craft bakery, chocolate rooms and an awardwinning cookery school. Any of its tempting classes will give you the chance to cook the Bettys way and discover secrets from its century of baking expertise. Choices like Baking for Beginners, Intermediate Viennoiserie and Patisserie Perfection show you how to make the best of Bettys, from vanilla slices and fondant fancies to Bakewell tarts and dark chocolate-pistachio Battenberg.
Making Sushi in Rachel’s Kitchen, photo courtesy Rachel Davies
For the oven and stovetop-minded, we also recommend a cooking date with another Northern kitchen, Yorkshire Wolds Cookery School. Situated on a picturesque farm enjoying panoramic views of the Yorkshire countryside, we’ve heard fine things about this lovely place to relax, socialise and cook up a storm. The School has loads of tasty options including cooking with game, pie and pastry making, guest chef masterclasses and imaginative courses for children and adults together. Or spend a day making authentic dishes from Yorkshire as well as India, Thailand, Lebanon or Nigeria. Add an extra special oomph to your visit with an overnight stay at the farm’s luxury B&B accommodation. With a degree in Theology and no culinary ability whatsoever, Rachel Davies’ passion for cooking started some years ago as a VSO volunteer in Africa. Having never cooked before, she had to learn fast whilst living in a village with no supermarket. She started baking her own bread, making granita using lemons from her garden, and searching for recipes wherever she could find them, and the rest, as they say, is history. Nowadays, Rachel welcomes people into her home-based cookery school in North London, Rachel’s Kitchen, where she shares her passion for great food using quality, carefully sourced ingredients. Known for a relaxed approach, fun teaching style and hearty flavours, Rachel’s Kitchen is an ideal place to learn to cook or bake, brush up on skills and learn new ones whilst smiling at the same time. Rachel’s popular Baking with Confidence class covers all the baking basics while creating tempting treats like pavlovas with passion fruit and Chantilly cream, chocolate and sea salt brownies and sponge sandwich with raspberry and mascarpone filling. Easy, Healthy, Delicious focuses on food that’s good for you, quick and easy to make and that will keep you feeling satisfied without compromising on flavour. Dishes include Turkish kisir, miso salmon, Persian herb frittata with barberries and interesting salads chock full of fresh veggies, leaves, grains, nuts and seeds. Further information: www.waitrose.com/home/inspiration/ waitrose_cookery_school www.rachels-kitchen.com www.bettyscookeryschool.co.uk www.yorkshirewoldscookeryschool.co.uk Somethin’s Cookin’ at Waitrose Cookery School, photo by Judith Schrut
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Mary Quant & models, Quant Afoot footwear collection launch, 1967 © PA Prints 2008, courtesy V&A Museum Press Office
5. Cosy Culture
If you’re on the lookout for simple, pleasurable and free ways to come in the from the cold, why not visit one of Britain’s radiant range of museums and galleries? With over 2,500 to choose from, you’re sure to find something for every interest, age or attention span in your household. Top of our favourites is the Victoria & Albert Museum, best known as the V&A, the world’s greatest museum of art and design. Wander at leisure through some of its 150 galleries and seven miles of fashion, photography, jewellery, ceramics, glass and much, much more, from across the globe and through the ages. All free and invitingly displayed– along with loads of free activities, special events, late night openings and daily guided tours, including the unique and award-winning LGBTQ tour. Take time out for tea and tempting cakes in the Refreshment Rooms, the world’s first museum café, designed by none other than William Morris and his contemporaries. Look out for this year’s hotly anticipated paid ticket exhibitions like Christian Dior, Designer of Dreams, Mary Quant, and Cars. If you’ve got children in tow– or just feel young at heart– you’ll want to head east to the V&A’s adorable little sister, the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood, with its treasure trove of toys, games, dollhouses and teddy bears. And if you’re visiting Scotland this year, it’s worth going out of your way to visit their shiny new sibling, V&A Dundee. At long last, the iconic Hayward Gallery, part of London’s Southbank Centre, has reopened after a major refresh. It hits the ground running with a show of photographs by the late great Diane Arbus. It promises to be an in-depth look at her striking work which captured an extraordinary cross section of American society, from couples and children to carnival performers, strippers and transvestites. Tate Modern’s recent expansion added ten stories and many more galleries of cutting
edge design, event and display space. An awe-inspiring place to begin is its 10th floor open viewing gallery, with panoramic views of London’s skyline and the River Thames below. Entry to the Tate remains free although you really won’t want to miss this coming year’s ticketed shows. They’re topped by Pierre Bonnard: the Colour of Memory, a rare retrospective of the exquisite French colourist and painter of people and intimate interiors, and Dorothea Tanning, a display of works by the painter, writer, printmaker, textile designer and pioneer of surrealism, who recently passed away, aged 101, and whose achievements have for too long been overshadowed by those of her more celebrated husband, Max Ernst. If you haven’t been, there’s still got a few hundred hours left to see the amazing Christian Marclay: The Clock. Down river, Tate Britain is mounting major exhibitions on legendary war and urban photographer Don McCullin, Van Gogh and Britain and William Blake, the Artist. London’s full of intimate and enchanting small museums, like the Charles Dickens Dinner with Dickens, Charles Dickens House, photo by Geoffrey Davies
TAKE FIVE Museum, set in the only remaining home of the beloved Victorian writer and social activist. In this renovated Georgian terraced house in a Bloomsbury back street, you can experience the sights, sounds and living spirit of the man, explore the family home of the writer, his wife Catherine and several of their 10 children, the furnished rooms where Dickens dined and entertained many famous guests, the working rooms where he wrote Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby. From amongst more than 100,000 treasures in the Museum’s collection, you can view original manuscripts and drawings, his writing desk and more unusual items such as a commode (chair with a concealed chamber pot) and hip bath. The Museum’s current exhibition, Food Glorious Food: Dinner with Dickens, highlights the importance of food throughout Dickens work and life, and the haunting hunger of his childhood that remained secret until after he died. If you’ve time to linger, the Museum’s cosy garden café is ideal for sipping hot chocolate and sampling some enticing cakes. The Dickens Museum is but one masterpiece in London’s Museum Mile. A walk along Museum Mile will provide you with fascinating insights into London past and present and an opportunity to discover 15 museums and galleries and their diverse collections. These include Sir John Soane’s Museum, the Foundling Museum, Wellcome Collection
Dorothea Tanning, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, 1943, © copyright Tate Gallery
of Science and Medicine, the Cartoon Museum and the British Museum. Amongst many other small but perfectlyformed gallery gems outside London, we highly recommend the International Slavery Museum, Liverpool, telling the history of the transatlantic slave trade through stories of resilience and resistance, Wales’ Big Pit National Coal Museum, with its unforgettable underground tour, the spooky Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in Cornwall and Portsmouth’s newly refurbished D-Day Museum which this year commemorates the
75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. Further information: www.dickensmuseum.com www.vam.ac.uk www.tate.org.uk www.museum-mile.org.uk Take Five is our quarterly feature bringing the best of British to Americans in Britain. Dear Reader, we’d love to hear how you’ve been warming up your winter – get in touch with Judith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TRAVEL Toulouse Travel Guide by Valerio Esposito
A particularly slow week in the news resulted in me getting a few days off. Not enough for a holiday, but a reasonable amount of time for a quiet city break. I got a friend to agree, browsed a flight search engine, looked at the cheapest option and bought a return ticket to Toulouse, France for £32. Easy. Buying the cheapest ticket meant having to get a late-ish flight which was, of course, delayed. Merci beaucoup, Ryanair! I had never heard much about Toulouse before. I remembered that it is known as the ‘Pink City’, though I wasn’t exactly sure why (it’s because of the type of stone used to construct most of its buildings, I later found out). It wasn’t exactly Ibiza, but then again, life is what you make it, as the song goes. So I boarded the plane with an open mind. In less than two hours, we were in France. The airport is small but efficient and the passport control and baggage reclaim were quick and smooth. We got the Tisseo airport shuttle for around £7 and arrived at the Gare Routiere, one of the city’s main stations, in less than 30 minutes. We then headed straight for our AirBnb, minutes away from Boulevard de Strasbourg. The city was quite dead at that point, with a couple of loud exceptions – a group of redcheeked British folk in an Irish pub, and me screaming silly things with a grotesque French accent. It was too late for dinner and the only ‘restaurant’ still open was a McDonalds and a poorly stocked Epicerie De Nuite (a more depressing version of a British corner shop). Our first French meal, it follows, consisted of the (suitably called) French fries and a bar of Milka chocolate. Sorry, Julia Childs, je ne regrette rien. 22
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The following morning we woke up to a beautiful, sunny French dawn. I took a stroll, determined to get myself a fresh baguette at a local bakery. I was given a tiny piece of brown paper to carry it. Not sanitary, I know, but how very Parisienne of me. We then headed off for the Place Du Capitole, a popular spot with a Neo-Classical façade, and after five minutes, we were having breakfast at the Grand Café Albert, sitting at one of the outside tables next to an old, chainsmoking French couple. We stuck with the traditional plan and ordered a French espresso (longer than an Italian Ristretto, way shorter than an Americano) and a criminally buttery croissant with jam. Simple but delicious nonetheless. The French sure know how to work that pastry. Energised by the caffeine (and in desperate need to burn some calories) we walked to the Pont Saint-Pierre de Tolouse, a beautiful bridge parallel to the (ironically) older Pont Neuf, which translates as ‘New Bridge’. We stopped to admire the stillness of the Garonne and set out to visit the Chapelle St Joseph de La Grave, in the in the Saint-Cyprien quartier, according to the Toulouse tourism site the “most photographed building in Toulouse”. Of course, it was closed for the day so photographing the building from the outside was pretty much all we could do. Once we crossed the bridge, we decided to explore the other half of the city. Most shops were closed – despite it being a weekday – but I think that contributed to its charm, making Toulouse a sort of ever-sleeping beauty even in broad daylight. We walked past the Château d’Eau, a
delightful tower that once provided clean water to the city and is now used to host galleries. It was also closed, so we didn’t get to see much of what was going on inside. By that point, I couldn’t help but wonder how the French get anything done, but I then remembered that everyone I know back in London could use an extra day off and nodded in agreement to every local resident enjoying the view from the park on a Wednesday morning. We crossed the Pont Neuf and walked to the other side of the city, admiring the elegant shops on Place Esquirol and Rue de Metz, all the way to the Cathédrale Saint-Étienne, a Roman Catholic cathedral. It is minutes away from the impressive Monument aux Combattants de la Haute-Garonne, a tribute to WWI veterans.
At dinnertime, we headed back to the Place du Capitol, which turned out to be even more exquisite at night. We had dinner at Le Fabric, a moderately priced restaurant with a set menu comprising different options. I ordered a forgettable carpaccio, followed by a more satisfying piece of Sausage Toulousienne and a Chocolate Soufflé with vanilla ice cream. We paid less than £30 for a three course meal and a glass of wine. On the second day, we visited the few remaining attractions on our list, starting with the Museum de Toulouse (£8 entry price) which was small but very interesting with an entire section on Easter Island and a convincing selection of stuffed animals, minerals and plants. The museum’s garden is also worth a visit.
We finished our ecclesiastic tour with the Church of Les Jacobins - which houses the relics of Thomas Aquinas and the Basilique St-Sernin, completing our excursion at the Jardin Japonais, a bizarre Japanese oasis in the middle of Toulouse. Back at Place du Capitole, we had dinner at Le Florida. We ordered a two-course meal and a glass of wine for around £25. Both the starter - a Caesar salad - and the main - Salmon Tagliatelle – left us full and satisfied. And so did the trip, overall. On our first night in Toulouse, we openly wondered why we had decided to visit Tolouse. By the end of our trip, we found ourselves making plans to come back. If only for those formidable croissants.
FREE AMERICAN EXPAT TAX UPDATE & WEALTH MANAGEMENT SEMINAR Monday 1st April 2019 from 12pm - 3pm Smith & Wollensky, The Adelphi Building, 1-11 John Adam Street, London, WC2N 6HT
PLEASE JOIN US FOR THIS FREE FINANCE & NETWORKING EVENT FOR AMERICANS LIVING IN THE UK Roland Sabates, Managing Member of Expat Legal Services Group and founder of American Tax Partners, will be providing a tax update for American expats living and working in the United Kingdom. The seminar will cover basic cross-border tax filing requirements and planning opportunities, an overview of pension and retirement savings options, and guidelines for managing international investments in a tax-efficient manner, and given the dynamic legislative environment, a discussion of any new or pending tax law changes that may be relevant to the American expat community will also be included. Daniel Freedman, Managing Director of London & Capital will also cover Wealth Management issues facing Americans living in the UK. To register your free place at this event please email email@example.com with the names of those who would like to attend. We look forward to seeing you there!
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ARTS & ANTIQUES
ARTS & ANTIQUES
Edward Burne-Jones: Pre-Raphaelite Visionary By Abby Cronin
Love Among the Ruins
By the end of the 19th century, critics began to rail against Edward Burne-Jones’s preoccupation with medieval fantasy. They felt his mysterious and intricate designs depicted “worlds that never were or never will be”. But for art lovers unfamiliar with Burne-Jones’ magical world and his Pre-Raphaelite visions, here’s a chance to peek into this artist’s studio. Step into the first gallery in Tate Britain where early sketches reveal his emerging greatness. As you progress through the exhibition you are bound to take in the brilliance of his paintings, cartoons, tapestries and stained glass.
Who Was Edward Burne-Jones? He was the last major artist associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood formed in 1848. The Brotherhood was a small group of British artists repelled by the ugly effects of industrialisation they saw emerging all around them. What drew them together was WWW.THEAMERICANHOUR.COM
their shared love of nature and the ideals of beauty together with poetic myths and the legends of medievalism. Their art and philosophy stood in stark contrast to the harsh reality of Victorian industrial change. They took their name from the artistic vision inspired by early Italian painters - before Raphael - thus ‘Pre-Raphaelite’. Burne-Jones shared these views and was intellectually drawn to similar subject matter: enchanting medieval myths and legends, Roman architecture, poetry and especially, notions of beauty. These themes served to inspire and drive his artistic compositions. Born in Birmingham, Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898) (EBJ) was an only child from modest circumstances. Yet he rose to achieve artistic acclaim, international fame and great wealth. A studious child, he entered the undergraduate world at Oxford intending to find a career in the Church. It was when he met William Morris, a fellow student at Exeter College, they both abandoned their religious
studies and set out to develop their artistic visions. Even at a young age Burne-Jones knew he would be an artist, and meeting Morris at university sent him firmly on that path. Both men shared a love of medieval romance, the decorative arts and architecture. Their friendship and collaboration was confirmed when Morris set up the design collection Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. in 1861 with Burne-Jones as a founder member. EBJ provided designs for stained glass, tapestries and other decorative elements. Eschewing the conventions of studio training, EBJ’s education and outlook were entirely independent of the art school system and the art establishment. His intellectual curiosity was nourished from his study of Renaissance works of art. Spending time in Italy enabled him to absorb the beauty and designs of early Italian masterpieces. His understanding was further enhanced from great collections in the National Gallery in London and other museums and libraries. WWW.AMERICANINBRITAIN.CO.UK
Find The Legends, Poems, Music And Decorative Art In The Work Of Burne-Jones Burne-Jones’ love of poetry and legends were important influences in the subjects he chose to portray. King Cophetua and the Beggar Girl, 1884, one of EBJ’s most famous paintings, is a stunning interpretation of Tennyson’s poem, The Beggar Maid, 1883. Here the king and beggar maid are presented in a tall vertical canvas. She is placed in the centre and is the focus of his attention. This simple beautiful maid is elevated in the king’s view. Seated below, he looks up at her, enraptured by her beauty and simplicity. He has removed his crown and placed it on his lap indicating that her lower status is irrelevant. They are equals. Here love wins out over status and
King Cophetua & the Beggar Maid, 1884 Photo by Abby Cronin
The Golden Stairs 1880
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money, a core theme reflecting EBJ and William Morris’ egalitarian ideas of social reform. King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid was well received when it was exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery in the spring of 1884, and when it was exhibited in 1889 at the Paris Universal Exhibition, Burne-Jones received a Cross of the Legion of Honour from the French government. It was during the 1890s that Burne-Jones became a celebrity in Europe. The ever-intriguing painting, The Golden Stairs, 1880, is an extraordinary vertical composition. While there does not appear to be any specific subject, what we see is an endless stream of beautiful women whose passive faces are typical of Burne-Jones. The more we look, the more the viewer can sense a timeless mood within this monochromatic palette. The 18 women are clothed in classically inspired robes in shades of gold and silver. They move gracefully down the curved stairs, each holding a musical instrument. A dreamlike quality pervades the painting and a musical dimension complements a harmony of colour. The musical mood suggests a particular story, but a story is absent. So- we viewers are left to
The Calling of St Peter
For EBJ a picture is “a beautiful dream of something that never was and never could be”
Burne-Jones & William Morris Copyright National Portrait Gallery London
our own interpretative devices as we gaze at The Golden Stairs. The figures in this painting firmly established Burne-Jones as a painter who captured images of slender and wistful young women: many were women EBJ knew. The painting has a symbolic quality and reflects the aesthetic standard of beauty admired by Victorians. Contemporary art critics and scholars have noted that The Golden Stairs may have influenced Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending the Stairs, 1912, an early 20th century cubist depiction of human movement. For EBJ a picture is “a beautiful dream of something that never was and never could be”. His exquisite painting Love Among the Ruins, 1870-1873 epitomises this sentiment. The inspiration for this work comes from Robert Browning’s poem of the same name. The poem is the story of two lovers reunited in the ruins of a once great city. Architectural features frame the couple, who are dressed in classically patterned draperies. Thus the picture’s theme is the ephemerality of love and youth; it portrays the lovers among the ruins of Cythera with the briar rose around them. It has an obvious similarity with the ‘Briar Rose’ series of paintings of the Sleeping Beauty legend (1873 and 1890) which are at Buscot
ARTS & ANTIQUES Park, Oxfordshire (National Trust). Both the Briar Rose series and the Sleeping Beauty legend are in the exhibition. Occasionally Victorians commissioned major artists to decorate their pianos. So it is a great treat to become acquainted with The Graham Piano, which EBJ’s patron William Graham wanted for his daughter. The piano is on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum and features prominently in the middle of the exhibition. Visitors can walk around it and study the illustration of Orpheus and Eurydice and the underside of the lid with its vivid representation of Mother Earth and her children. Further details of this piano can be found on YouTube (www.youtube.com/ watch?v=GRrZcxgvEy8). Stained glass church windows were very popular in this period and there was a
The Graham Piano, photo by Abby Cronin
vibrant market for them throughout Britain and the Empire. A few superb examples of EBJ’s windows are included in the Tate exhibition. EBJ was a major designer of stained glass commissioned from Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. If readers find they are curious to see EBJ’s windows in situ, note that these original windows are alive in churches all over the country. Not long ago I had a delightful tour of Christ Church, Southgate in North London, where an enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide showed me the EBJ windows. If you fancy an opportunity to view them, you can contact the church for an appointment.
Edward Burne-Jones was an exceptional artist who bridged the gap between the fine and decorative arts and crafts
Edward Burne-Jones was an exceptional artist who bridged the gap between the fine and decorative arts and crafts. More than 150 of his works are displayed in seven themed galleries, each of which features different aspects of EBJ’s fine and applied art. Since this is the first major retrospective of Edward Burne-Jones’s art in London for over 40 years, now is the time put a date in your diary to visit. You will learn about and absorb the exquisite art and designs of this unique late PreRaphaelite visionary. EDWARD BURNE-JONES TATE BRITAIN 24 October 2018 – 24 February 2019 Catalogue: Edward Burne-Jones, Edited by Alison Smith TATE publications 2018 Photo Credits: Courtesy Tate Britain Photos by Abby Cronin: King Cophetua and the Beggar Girl and The Graham Piano Get in Touch: I am available to consult if you are interested in collecting or researching the decorative arts and arts heritage. Abby Cronin E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.abbycronin.co.uk
COOKERY Potato Gnocchi by Valerio Esposito The smell of gnocchi takes me back to Sunday mornings at my grandmother’s house. I remember visiting her house after the 10am mass to find a kiss on the cheek, a big pot of ragu’ simmering on the stove and a tray of freshly made gnocchi waiting for me. Gnocchi are heavenly potato balls, small dumplings that - thanks to their shape and texture - can be eaten with different sauces, from the ridiculously simple to the more elaborate. They’re easy to make, but as with every recipe that involves making small, even-sized things - it may take some time. Make sure you’re in the right mood before you embark on this journey, especially if you’re feeding a crowd. My grandma has ten children and 18 grandchildren. At some point, she had to give up and buy hers at a local artisan pasta place. As enjoyable as it may be, I don’t wish that amount of kneading and chopping to anyone! Luckily for her - and the pasta shop lady we don’t eat them every Sunday, but they’re a great alternative to pasta. I am not trying to insinuate that we (Italians) are ever tired of pasta. We do, indeed, eat it every day and gnocchi is as far as we’re willing to go when it comes to spicing things up for a change. Ingredients - Serves: 4 • White Potatoes 1kg • Flour 250g • Egg 1 • Salt Method Peel the potatoes. Cut them in quarters and make sure that they are even sized. This will help the cooking process and ensure that they will reach the same texture at the same time - which will make them easier to work with. Also, this will prevent those horrible, raw potato chunks from ruining the smooth moonshaped dough that we’re aiming to create. Transfer the potatoes to a large pot, cover them in cold water and bring to a boil. Lower the flame and let them simmer for about 25 minutes or until they’re tender and you can easily pierce them with a fork. In the meantime, gather the flour on a flat surface in the shape of a volcano or a fontana (fountain), as we call it. Drain the potatoes, smash them and put mix them with the flour, salt and a medium egg. Make sure you do this while the potatoes are still warm! That’s why I suggest peeling the potatoes first. Yes, it is easier to do it after they’ve been cooked but they will go cold in the meantime, which is not ideal according to the experts I’ve consulted (my aunts). Work the ingredients into a smooth dough. Cut it into eight pieces of the same size. Roll 28
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each one into ropes and cut them into in small bite-sized pieces. Roll the little dough balls on the back of a fork to add grooves, helping them “collect” the sauce. Some argue that gnocchi are merely a vehicle to transfer sauce from the bowl to your mouth. I’m not sure I would agree with that, but that’s part of what they do. Place the gnocchi on a dry kitchen cloth, making sure they don’t touch, and sprinkle them with semolina flour to prevent them from sticking together. Eat within two hours (or they will go black) or freeze for later use.
Gnocchi Sorrentina Gnocchi alla Sorrentina is a traditional dish from Sorrento, a magical coastal town not far from Naples. They are, again, very simple to make but end up looking and tasting like something that seemingly took hours of effort and hard work. Ingredients - Serves: 4 • Tomato Passata 500g • Gnocchi • Small Onion • Extra Virgin Olive Oil • Basil 6 leaves • Mozzarella • Parmesan Cheese
Method Follow the recipe above to make homemade gnocchi. Take a large pan. Pour a generous amount of olive oil and let it warm on a medium flame for about three minutes. Chop the onions and add to the pan. Once they’re soft and translucent, add passata and cover. Try to cook it on low-medium heat, add salt and pepper. You know it’s cooked when the tomato loses its acidic factor. If that persists, add a knob of butter to control the taste. In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the gnocchi. You know they’re ready when they rise to the top. Drain them, add to the tomato sauce and mix well. Add mozzarella and transfer to small, individual oven-safe bowls. Cover with more mozzarella, parmesan cheese and a leaf of basil. Pop them in the oven a 250 degrees in grill mode for about five minutes. Garnish with a leaf of basil and serve hot! Alternatively… If you don’t have time for all of the passatastirring and oven action and you want a quick white sauce to go with your gnocchi just add butter and a few leaves of fresh sage to cooked gnocchi. Sprinkle with pepper and parmesan cheese. This recipe is called Gnocchi Burro e Salvia, welcome to the Italian Alps!
READER’S LIVES Challenges And Opportunities Of International Living: A Personal Story Arlene Broadhurst is an American, born in Colorado, now married to an Englishman and living in Kent. Despite being an expat since 1976 and following spousal careers, she has found it possible to work, study languages and cultures, raise children, volunteer abroad and achieve personal goals. She also has a family whose privacy is being protected in her story. In this moment of rising nationalism, divided polities, fear of foreigners and drawing inward rather than reaching out on both sides of the Atlantic, perhaps it is also the moment to celebrate the benefits of international living. We all know that one case study does not establish a trend; on the other hand, one life can serve to inspire and comfort as well as to instruct. It is with that hope in mind that I wanted to share part of my story with other expats living, working and studying abroad. Firstly, the facts. I have lived in six countries: USA (Colorado, California, Virginia, Washington, DC); England (Kent, Bedfordshire, Berkshire); Canada (Montreal and Calgary); Germany (Munich), El Salvador (San Salvador); Spain (Madrid), and I have packed up my belongings to move 18 times. Simply stated, these facts disguise a reality of complex challenges which, on occasion, were utterly daunting but ultimately rewarding and worthwhile. What follows is a glance at the highlights, and a few downturns, of living abroad, off and on, for 53 years.
Madrid, in the mid-1960s, had a lively population who responded to the occasionally heavy hand of Franco’s dictatorship with dark humour repeated quietly in tapas bars. University student demonstrations sometimes resulted in the Guardia Civil entering the university on horseback, thumping students and then closing the university for a month, just before final exams were scheduled. Fortunately, the Casa Americana came to the rescue of the political science students and I was asked to teach a course in political theory to help them prepare for their exams. They were serious, eager students and I suspect I learned more from them than they did from me. Studying Spanish and taking a 30
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course in Spanish culture and history at the University of Madrid was another splendid opportunity, as was research on my doctoral thesis and another course offered at the University of Santander. I am often asked, ‘Can you find anything to do living as an expat supporting spouse?’. With imagination and determination, the answer is yes, especially if combined with a steep learning curve when you get it wrong.
In this moment of rising nationalism, divided polities, fear of foreigners and drawing inward rather than reaching out on both sides of the Atlantic, perhaps it is also the moment to celebrate the benefits of international living El Salvador
Living in a small, underdeveloped country with a high level of violence and poverty is a challenge for anyone, especially someone arriving with a three-month old baby. On the other hand, where else would there have been an opportunity to hike up the sides of a volcano with Peace Corps volunteers? Travel by canoe down the Rio Lempa with friends, sleeping under tarps hung from upturned boats? Visit a poor home in a rural village where the family owned two turkeys, and killed one to entertain us for lunch? Meeting the wealthy owners of
coffee plantations was a vivid, real-world eyeopener into extreme income inequality and social injustice, especially as one approached the grand fincas along roads lined with tin and cardboard huts where Indian workers lived. When an incipient revolution began, it was no surprise. Was one bereft of culture and learning in this environment? One of the best experiences was a small book/discussion group organised by a German-Jewish Salvadoran who introduced me to Hasidic and Salvadoran poetry. Believe it or not, we heard Harvey ‘Van’ Cliburn play Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor there, an experience as rich as learning about the vivid Indian culture in neighbouring Guatemala. Life-long friends were made in a closely knit expat community, and I left with strong admiration for the creative ingenuity of people living beyond the familiar and comfortable, even to the point of one of our friends later being kidnapped and fortunately released relatively unharmed.
Cultured, well-educated, supremely organised, efficient, impatient combined with sometimes outrageous behaviour during Octoberfest and Pfingsten, (Pentecost), Germans were a delightful discovery and who would not want to share their beautiful country with them? But once again, restricted access to work meant being imaginative in inventing opportunities. Continuing the study of German, giving voluntary lectures and public speeches, being elected to the board of the Munich International School, studying Wagnerian opera with German and American friends, skiing in the Alps and the Dolomites, playing the piano and entertaining with ever more elaborate and numerous dinner parties filled time until opportunity struck. A teaching position opened at the USC Post-graduate Programme in Munich and I taught on American military bases in Munich, Frankfurt and Stuttgart. Green Berets, parachutists, tank mechanics, noncommissioned and commissioned army and naval officers were my unique students. Their grasp of international political strategy and tactics was unparalleled. And to be honest, I had never before seen students arrive for class in the central quadrangle via parachutes! Would I have seen that if I had refused to live abroad? One anecdote is worth telling: I was sitting at a long table in a beer hall during Octoberfest when a man heard my accent
READER’S LIVES and said, somewhat aggressively, ‘Ah, you are American. Perhaps you can tell me why Americans have no opera?’. Well, we do, of course, but the answer I gave was more fun. “I don’t know; perhaps it is the same reason there are no Germans on the moon’. He raised a stein and said, ‘Prost!’.
Montréal, Quebec was a daunting challenge because the historic and sometimes violent division between English and French Quebecers resulted in what one Canadian writer referred to as ‘The Two Solitudes’. All foreign-born couples living in Montreal had to send their children to French schools unless they attended private schools so the public school system was off limits and the housing areas were informally separated into the two languages. The family studied French but the practice of it was limited, especially for me as I began lecturing first part-time at Concordia University and then full-time at McGill University, both English-language universities. It was very difficult for foreigners to work in English and yet another reduction in salary was required; indeed, at one point, I sat down in a shopping mall and wept into my coffee cup! But I had learned that getting a toe in the door often leads to wider openings, and so it did. Eventually we settled into the rhythm of ordinary life sufficiently well to
begin enjoying ‘francophone’ and ‘allophone’ friends, the cuisine, the music, the schools, the outdoor sports of Quebec and driving across the border to Vermont where we spent happy weekends sailing on Lake Champlain in our French Canadian boat. Quebec was also the place where I first heard the phrase, ‘Colonial Cringe’. A university colleague explained, “As an American, you will not be familiar with this”. “Well, I thought, “thank goodness for 1776”.
Now, after that last comment, you may well wonder why I have lived so happily in England for 22 years. It was even more difficult to find work here than in Quebec and I was initially told that Americans would be last in the queue for hiring, after the English, British, Commonwealth and EU applicants. Perseverance was required, not for the first time, and with the help of another expat, I re-invented myself from lecturer to senior research fellow. In the end, the University of Greenwich was willing to take a gamble and I progressed, gratefully with more time to write and publish and with congenial colleagues. ‘Lessons need to be learned’ is a popular phrase in England and I learned the following: It is definitely a mistake for Americans to assume that the common basic language creates commonality of culture. One needs a thick skin and a slow fuse to survive, but
ultimately, Kate Adie’s ‘kindness of strangers’ prevails. Then one can join a community of people who are intelligent, articulate, witty, good conversationalists, who are mad about football (soccer), like their wine and beer and who have a strong sense of history, even if the British version is sometimes not quite the same as the American one! Another singular experience was joining the Maidenhead Women’s Group for European Friendship with branches in France, Germany and Austria. Visits are exchanged and I was asked to read the discourse on England in German when we visited Germany and Austria. The group was formed after the Second World War to foster friendship and understanding between England and the other countries. Excellent! Ausgezeichnet! Merveilleux! Upon retiring, I continued voluntary activities in the Kentish village where I now live, planned travel to more unknown countries and spend several months a year in the United States. Were all these extraordinary experiences exciting adventures abroad worth a truncated academic career, lower income and sometimes a loss of professional status? On balance, I would say ‘yes’. At this advanced age, I think it is perfectly splendid to have such rich memories and an international family who appreciate national, ethnic and linguistic differences without condemnation.
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Would You Like To Receive Our Monthly Email Newsletters And Invitations To The Events We Organise? Have you registered to receive The American Hour’s Monthly Email Newsletters and invitations to the Networking & Finance Events we organise for Americans living in the UK? On the 1st of each month we send out our monthly email newsletters, which include useful advice, information and details of events happening in the forthcoming month, all relevant to the American community in the UK. We also organise at least two events a year for Americans living in the UK, which are free to attend. In order to register for both, please email email@example.com and put Newsletter Please in the email subject, and let Helen know your nationality so that you can be placed into the correct database. Follow us on
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TRADE If the UK ‘Takes Back Control’ on Trade… While challenging in practice; ideas for a new US-UK alliance on trade are welcome Last year, leading up to the holiday season, Robert Wood Johnson, Ambassador of the Unites States of America to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, published an op-ed in The Times, making a strong case for why the UK would be the ‘perfect trading partner’ and ‘first in line’ for a comprehensive trade deal with the US. The arguments made in the piece are without doubt strong and reasonable: The article refers to the existing successful economic relationship between both countries, bringing together the first and fifth largest economies in the world - mutual flows of investment are still without an equal; and trade between both countries is flourishing. Further, the piece highlights the role of the US and the UK as leaders in science and innovation - the UK and the US are continuously ranked among the top of the most innovative countries in the world. Finally, the article emphasises how both countries exert the same attitude towards business and trade - a useful starting point when talking about opening up each other’s markets. The arguments mentioned above make indeed a good case. But it is particularly the passion and assertiveness that the piece expresses that makes it so notable. The Ambassador makes it clear that, as the UK prepares to leave the European Union (EU), the US Government stands at Britain’s side. In comparison to previous years, never has the special relationship between the US and the UK been so visible. 32
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In early 2017, when the US President and the UK Prime Minister jointly announced their ambition to bring the US and the UK closer together economically, the author of this article discussed the likelihood of a scenario based on which the US and the UK, thanks to their unique cultural and economic ties and encouraged through current political momentum, could re-shape the world trading system by jumping ahead of the EU with a 21st century trade agreement; more ambitious and comprehensive than anything that we had seen so far. As the Ambassador’s piece suggests, there is even stronger political momentum for such a scenario, particularly as the US and the EU have seem to moved even further apart in terms of the where the focus of the future US - EU economic collaboration should be - In all fairness, that the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminium, put in place last year under national security concerns, continue to apply to EU countries does not make things easier. Yet, as appealing as the idea of a new US-UK alliance on trade is to some; so challenging is its execution in practice. No matter whether we see an orderly ‘EU Exit’ in March 2019, there is still a question as to whether the UK will be in the position to agree a comprehensive trade deal in the near future as the scope of the UK’s ability to define its own trade policy will be subject to the terms of the future relationship between the UK and the EU. The Ambassador’s article, and comments made by the US President on the topic
acknowledge this by emphasising that the ambition of a comprehensive and ambitious trade deal can only be realised “if Britain takes back control on trade”; that is full control. But even if the UK were to have full control over its trade policy, when it comes to controversial areas such as agriculture, public procurement or healthcare, the UK may, at least for now, be still more aligned with EU positions than the US, making bilateral negotiations in these areas as complicated as they would be between the US and the EU. The transatlantic business community has been somewhat hesitant to embrace a closer economic relationship between the US and the UK as a price for more restricted access to the EU single market. Too important is the European market for firms with physical operations in the UK, particularly exporting manufacturers. In a paper published by BritishAmerican Business (BAB), the primary voice for transatlantic businesses in the UK and the US, it emphasised that a future US-UK economic partnership needs to be built alongside a strong economic relationship between the UK and the EU. At the same time, the momentum for a new chapter in US-UK relations that the Ambassador’s op-ed expresses has also been positively perceived. It re-energised a relationship that has contributed so much to the economic success of both countries for so long, putting, for example, additional resources and efforts behind bilateral initiatives such
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as support schemes for smaller businesses wanting to expand across the Atlantic or bilateral research collaboration, all of which will help integrate the US and the UK further. More importantly, it encourages both Governments to think creatively about what is generally possible when it comes to collaboration on trade, going beyond the scope of existing trade agreements, for example, on services, but also reflecting the different scenarios the UK may find itself with the EU down the line. With that, whether it is bilaterally or in a scenario that includes the EU in some form, a special US-UK alliance on trade driving the process and offering options for transatlantic cooperation on trade is welcome.
Emanuel Adam is Director of Policy Trade for BritishAmerican Business (BAB) and a known expert and stakeholder in the field of transatlantic economic relations. BritishAmerican Business (BAB) is an exclusive membersâ€™ organisation; we create networking opportunities for our members, which often lead to business opportunities, through the events and programming that we run. As a policy and advocacy organisation we are the voice of transatlantic business; we support policies and action that will protect and enhance the environment for trade and investment between the US and UK. BritishAmerican Business is a friend of
American in Britain magazine and www. theamericanhour.com. For more information, please visit www.babinc.org
DAYS OUT WITH THE FAMILY Queens What family doesn’t enjoy a day out bowling, skating or eating together? Well, I am sure there may be a few, but for the majority of us who enjoy these family activities there is a venue in Central London where you can enjoy all three under one roof! Queens is based at 17 Queensway, West London, so is very easily accessible by tube, and offers 12 bowling lanes (£9.95 per game), a decent sized ice rink and a bar and restaurant. We started our family afternoon with a game of bowls, listening to great music, enjoying the neon lights which my step-daughter even commented on (in a positive way!), and giggling at the bowling pins which are lifted from the lane by wires or string, which is a version we had never seen before but was very entertaining to watch! The lighting and the atmosphere is very US-centric, so whereas readers may feel like they are back home, we felt like we were on holiday! There was an ample choice of bowling balls, and shoes that can be used free of charge if you are unable to bowl in the shoes you are wearing. Drinks including beers and cocktails, and snacks such as Buffalo Wings, Honey Mustard Wings, Fries, Hash Browns, Onion Rings and Deep Fried Mac n’ Cheese can be ordered from a waitress and consumed in the seating area allocated to your bowling lane, but as we were having lunch we decided to wait, although I was sorely tempted! Having come last in our competition, I decided to drown my sorrow with a couple of beers and a delicious cheeseburger in Liquor 34
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Lanes, which at the time was packed with two children’s parties and several families enjoying the American food on offer. The menu includes several options for burgers, chicken burgers and vegan burgers, along with a large choice of sides and vegetarian and vegan dishes, plus the dishes from the Bowls Menu as mentioned above. The burgers arrived on paper on trays, and tin plates were piled on the end of our table, along with condiments and cutlery. I am usually a stickler for children using their knives and forks properly, but this Sunday we all got very messy as we just picked up the food with our hands and tucked in - and enjoyed every mouthful! There is also a dessert menu, but as we were heading to the ice we gave this a miss as I didn’t want it to affect my pirouettes! The ice rink is located just off the restaurant, so once we had our skates on and had put our bags in the locker (£1) we hit the ice and spent a fun half an hour initially clinging to the side, but after a lap or two skating freely around the rink. The rink itself is a good size so you can really get some speed up, but do be aware of other skaters on the ice! There are penguins for the little ones to hold on to if they have novice skaters, and marshals on the ice to ensure everyone is kept safe. Queens also offers skating lessons and classes for all ages. An hour’s session for kids is £13.50 and £14.50 for adults which includes the skate hire, and can be booked online in hour long sessions. Although Queens is vey family friendly, it is also a great venue for adults, as after 7pm the venue becomes adults only. During the adult only times, readers can
also have a go at curling, which is available on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, and is something I am definitely going back to Queens with friends for as I have always wanted to give that Olympic sport a try! Curling costs £54 for eight people and there will be someone on the ice to teach you how to play. Queens is a cool place to spend time at, listening to some great music whilst having a lot of fun with your family and friends. For further information and to book for the above activities, please visit: www.queens.london
AMERICAN EXPATRIATE CLUBS & NEWS Junior League of London (JLL) Join us! Are you familiar with the Junior League of London? We are women from all generations and backgrounds bound by one goal: developing ourselves to become catalysts for change and breaking the cycle of poverty in London. Here is a sampling of what we do: • Assist in English classes and help refugees secure jobs • Provide job interview advice and mock interviews for students from low income families • Support & provide professional clothing to those who can’t afford it • Teach young vulnerable women how to cook an affordable meal • Provide reading support, books and activities for children in schools and community centres • Deliver hampers of food, essentials and gifts to over 1200 vulnerable Londoners in the holiday period • Organise events that raise funds for community needs • Provide structured and hand-on training to develop our members into civic leaders
• Make lasting friendships. And much, much more. We welcome women into the League in September and February as New Members and are holding information sessions in January for anyone who is interested in learning more about who we are and how we work with and help the London community. Find out more at www.jll.org.uk/join-us/ and we hope to see you at a session! Holiday Hampers We are very pleased to wrap up another successful Holiday Hampers campaign this past holiday season. For over 20 consecutive years, Holiday Hampers has provided customised hampers filled with gifts, food, toiletries and other essentials for some of London’s most vulnerable populations during the holiday season. In December, our volunteers assembled nearly 14,000 items into 803 hampers, that touched the lives of 1,278 vulnerable Londoners. We understand from our community partners that our hampers are often the only gifts they receive, and they make a real difference in their lives. As a West London Action for Children staff member reported,
“The Hampers were the highlight of the Christmas activities for our clients. They made them feel cared for and far less isolated.” We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to our many corporate and individual donors who made this happen! The Little Black Dress Initiative Did you know nearly 30% of Londoners live below the poverty line? And that poverty is often cyclical, locking successive generations into the trap of low incomes and social exclusion? These are just some of the reasons that Junior League of London advocates poverty awareness as one of our community focuses. To support our vision where everyone in London has the means and opportunity to proposer, we are preparing for our 6th annual Little Black Dress Initiative (LBDI) and we would love your support! The LBDI is a fundraising campaign where participants wear the same black dress or outfit for five consecutive days and harness the power of social media to drive online donations. This year, we are encouraging individuals along with offices, community groups and alike to work together as a team and embrace Team LBDI. Your participation will enable the JLL to support our community and contribute to programmes that help fight against poverty. There are several ways to get involved: • Join TeamLBDI. Wear a Little Black Dress or Outfit to raise awareness and funds to combat the impact of poverty the week commencing 11th February • Organise a clothing drive at your office or school • Unable to wear a Little Black Dress or Outfit for a week? Don’t Despair. Donate funds in support of those who are participating in the 2019 campaign via our JustGiving page. We are really excited to make this our best year yet and are grateful for your support! If you are curious to learn more or have any questions at all, please visit www.jll.org.uk/thelbdi or get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The American Society in London The American Society in London is the oldest American society in the UK, pre-dating the Pilgrims, American Aid and The Harvard Club in England to name a few. Founded in 1895 to promote good fellowship between the USA and UK, it has a rich history including Gordon H. Selfridge as a past chairman and Jacqueline Kennedy as a past event attendee. 36
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AMERICAN EXPATRIATE CLUBS & NEWS American Society in London
The society is extending a warm invitation to Americans in the UK to join our upcoming 2019 events including Spring drinks, Independence Day Celebration, Autumn Drinks and our Black Tie Thanksgiving Dinner! To learn more about these events and/or joining the American Society in London, please email info@ americansocietyuk.com. And please follow us on Facebook: @americansocietyinlondon Twitter: @ASL_1895.
Kensington and Chelsea Women’s Club Kensington and Chelsea Women’s Club is an organisation of International and British women who want to enjoy everything London has to offer. We offer over 35 different activities and special events, as well as, regular General Meetings with prestigious speakers. We are a non-profit group and all of our activities are
organised by members who volunteer their time and skills. We appeal not only to expatriates and to those new to London, but also to those who want to experience the UK at its best. All are welcome to join so please visit www.kcwc. org.uk to find out more about membership and participate in our activities. We have something for everyone, during the day or evening, most days of the week. Members organise and participate in over 35 Activities, including Art History, Antiques & Design, British History, Fashion, Lifestyle, Foodies, Travel, Spanish, Italian, German and French Conversation, Tennis and Golf. Members with children can join the New & Expectant Mums, Toddler and Parenting Groups. If your preference is for Evening Activities, attend our Evening Speaker Series, join our Book Group, or enjoy a wine tasting session with our Wine Society. For a fun night out, try our After Six in the City or attend plays and shows with our Theatre Group. Almost every month, September to June, kcwc hosts a General Meeting at The Royal Geographical Society in London. It is a great opportunity to meet other members and hear our high-profile guest speakers. Members can also meet our Activity Leaders there to hear more about our wide range of activities. Several of our recent high profile guest speakers have included Celebrity Chef and Restaurateur, Marcus Wareing; Fashion
Designer, Samantha Cameron and Broadcaster, Writer, Adventurer, Ben Fogle. Our November Speaker, Mellissa Fung, highly acclaimed veteran journalist talked about her best-selling book, Under an Afghan Sky that chronicles her experience as a hostage. In recent years, Mellissa has turned her attention to human rights reporting on the challenges that continue to exist, particularly for women and children. We have many more wonderful speakers planned for our 2019 General Meetings. On Thursday 10 January 2019, our Guest Speaker is Trinny Woodall, the highly successful and acclaimed Fashion Adviser and Television Presenter, who has carved out a unique voice for women through social media, addressing her loyal following across Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Her desire to empower and communicate with women, also led her to launch the digital beauty brand TRINNY London in October 2017. After bringing her fashion and makeover advice to popular US TV programmes such as the Oprah Winfrey Show, NBC Today Show and ABC’s Good Morning America, Trinny’s intrinsic desire to empower and communicate with women, led her to launch the digital beauty brand TRINNY London in October 2017. Although known for her honest and authentic advice, Trinny has carved out a unique voice for women; she channels this through social media, addressing her loyal following of 750k across Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
On Thursday 14 February 2019, our guest speaker is Chris Jackson, multi-award winning photographer and three-time UK Picture Editor’s Guild Royal Photographer of the Year. Royal Photographer Chris Jackson’s photographs of the British Royal family have garnered worldwide acclaim and are published regularly on the front pages of newspapers and magazines around the world. He has worked closely with many Royal charities such as Tusk Trust and Prince Harry’s charity, Sentebale. Chris Jackson, has been at the Royal family’s side on domestic visits and overseas tours for the past fifteen years, resulting in an unparalleled photographic archive of the evolving British Royal family. Occupying a front-row seat to history, Jackson’s assignments have taken him to the four corners of the Earth to document the extraordinary breadth and devotion of the Royals to causes such as cancer research, mental health, and HIV awareness in Africa. We hope you will become a member of kcwc, and please visit our website www. kcwc.org.uk for more information or email email@example.com to become a member today. We hope you will join us for our next General Meetings in January and February 2019, and we very much look forward to welcoming any American in Britain readers as new kcwc members.
AWS Hosts Annual Gift Fayre For Charity The American Women of Surrey (AWS) hosted their 28th annual Gift Fayre on Sunday, November 18, at the ACS Cobham International School Sports Centre. The event featured more 38
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than 120 exhibitors, including craftspeople, importers, retailers and food suppliers. The Mayor of the Borough of Elmbridge, her worship Shweta Kapadia, and the ACS Deputy Head of School, Simon Leyshon, attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open this year’s fayre. Choral group ACS Voices also performed Christmas carols for the enjoyment of the attendees. The Gift Fayre is the club’s largest annual charity fundraising event, with proceeds going to AWS’ chosen local charities: The Meeting Room, Headway Surrey and the international charity, FAWCO. This year’s corporate sponsors included APW Lettings - Cobham, Prime Health, Oatlands Dental Lounge, Costco, ACS Cobham, Love Water, Traveltime Weybridge, Travellers Boutique, and Light Touch Clinic. The event is a labour of love for the organisation. It requires hundreds of volunteer hours, with planning for the next year’s event starting almost immediately after the current event. “We are so grateful for all of the time and effort that our volunteers put into this event, and for the generosity of our corporate sponsors”, said Kathy Marascalchi, event co-chair. For more information about the fayre, including how to be an exhibitor next year, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. The American Women of Surrey (AWS) is a not-for-profit club founded in 1975 to provide a welcoming atmosphere for expatriates and their families living in Surrey. Since that time, the club has served hundreds of members from more than 40 countries, offering social, cultural and philanthropic opportunities for its members. For more information about AWS, go to awsurrey.org
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USEFUL CONTACTS EDUCATION - SCHOOLS DWIGHT SCHOOL LONDON 6 Friern Barnet Lane, London, N11 3LX Contact: Karen Strickland Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 PRIMARY SCHOOL Old Woking Road, Woking, Surrey GU22 8HY Contact: Admissions Telephone: +44 (0)1483 750 409 www.islsurrey.org/ ISL LONDON 139 Gunnersbury Avenue, London W3 8LG Contact: Yoel Gordon Telephone: +44 (0)20 8992 5823 www.isllondon.org ISL QATAR Po Box 18511, North Duhail, Qatar Contact: Admissions Telephone: +974 4433 8600 www.islqatar.org/ Website: www.islschools.org Founded in 1972, the International School of London (ISL) Group comprises two International Baccalaureate (1B) primary schools situated in London (UK) and Doha (Qatar) plus an IPC primary school in Surrey (UK) providing education for internationally mobile students. Although the languages of the school is English, the schools are known for integrating home languages and English as an Additional Language (EAL) into the internationally recognised curricula. The schools are culturally diverse communities which foster a passion and enthusiasm for learning, and where students’ cultural and linguistic identities are valued and nurtured. ISL Schools develop the attitudes, skills and understanding needed for further education and to become active and responsible contributors to local and global communities. The ISL Group enrols over 1800 students from 88 countries, and teaches 25 languages. TASIS THE AMERICAN SCHOOL IN ENGLAND Coldharbour Lane, Thorpe, Surrey TW20 8TE Contact: Karen House Telephone: +44 (0)1932 582316 Email: email@example.com 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 40
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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.
LEGAL MUNDAYS LLP Surrey Office: 400 Dashwood Lang Road, Weybridge Surrey KT15 2HJ London Office: 1 Berkeley Street, Mayfair, London W1J 8DJ Contact: Oliver Taylor Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone +44 (0)1932 590523 Website: www.mundays.co.uk Twitter: @MundaysLaw Mundays LLP are a top UK law firm based in Surrey and London. Ranked in The Legal 500 UK, Chambers & Partners UK and Chambers HNW legal directories as a leading law firm in the South using expertise to deliver the full range of legal services to individuals, families and businesses. Our highly experienced friendly team offer a range of knowledge. Delivering not just legal advice, but tailored advice that is appropriate to your specific circumstances.
MOVING DT MOVING (A GOSSELIN MOBILITY GROUP COMPANY) 49 Wates Way, Mitcham, Greater London CR4 4HR Tel: 020 7622 4393 Email: email@example.com Web: www.dtmoving.com DT Moving (A Gosselin Mobility Group company) 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, courtesy of our 56 global offices. With a customer satisfaction rating of 97% in 2017, we offer a quality service at competitive rates. First class storage facilities are available worldwide. 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.
TAXATION ADVANCEDAMERICANTAX.CO.UK Telephone: +44 (0)20 3289 1040 Website: www.AdvancedAmericanTax.co.uk and www.htj.tax Email: Help@htj.tax 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. US TAX & FINANCIAL SERVICES 3 Harbour Exchange Square, London, E14 9GE Telephone: +44 20 7357 8220 Contact: Joni Trulock, Group Marketing Manager Email: email@example.com Website: ustaxfs.com Twitter: @ustaxfs With 30 years’ experience, our US/UK expat tax specialists provide US and UK tax return preparation, planning, compliance, and expatriation as well as all US business tax services, wherever you are in the world.
WEALTH MANAGEMENT MASECO PRIVATE WEALTH Burleigh House, 357 Strand, London WC2R 0HS Telephone: +44 (0)20 7043 0455 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 in American in Britain magazine, contribute a feature, or promote your organisation in this Directory, please email Damian at email@example.com
EMBASSY CORNER What’s A Consular Section? What’s a consular section? And what can the consular section at the US Embassy London actually do? Well, let’s start off by telling you about some of the more interesting requests for assistance we’ve received over the years. We’ve been asked to help a Texan trace back to his British great-great-great-great grandfather who was born in the UK. We also get emails addressed to the President or recommendations on US foreign policy. Each day we get multiple requests for legal advice. We’ve even once received a “very, very, very urgent” request to assist with a research project on Abraham Lincoln. Not surprisingly, we can’t help with these kinds of issues – but, we can do a lot. A main goal of the US Embassy London is to serve and protect US citizens in the UK, help facilitate legitimate travel to the United States, and to protect our borders. The consular section implements these aims. Our team works on every stage of the passport and visa process – helping citizens before they apply, processing applications, making decisions, and everything else that comes in between. In addition to helping US citizens renew their passports from abroad and register their children as US citizens, we help Americans in our consular district in a variety of ways. We ensure that US citizens arrested in the UK have access to the resources they need and are being treated in accordance with local laws and standards. We also work with our local counterparts to share reliable information with our citizens when there has been a large-scale disaster. We can help with routine questions, such as social security inquiries and notarising certain documents. Finally, we help citizens who have adopted a child abroad legally immigrate their new son or daughter. So, what does this mean for you? We are committed to helping out each person who enters the Embassy’s doors. We provide a lot of information online to give you step-bystep instructions on our services. Be sure to check out information on renewing your passport at uk.usembassy.gov/passports WWW.THEAMERICANHOUR.COM
and our local resources for Americans abroad at uk.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizenservices/local-resources-of-u-s-citizens. This should be your go-to guide while you are in the UK for verified information from the US Embassy. Although our top priority is to serve US citizens, we also assist non-Americans who hope to travel to our beautiful country. Every day citizens from nearly every country in the world enter our doors to apply for an assortment of visas ranging from tourism, marriage, and employment. In addition to
adjudicating hundreds of visa and passport applications each day, our staff members share information by meeting applicants in person, such as at educational fairs. We also continuously update our website and other social media channels to explain US immigration and citizenship laws and regulations to a UK audience. We hope to provide the best possible customer service for you and your family when you visit to renew your passport and while we are adjudicating your cases. We hope to serve you soon down in Nine Elms!
EMBASSY INFORMATION US Embassy, 33 Nine Elms Lane, London, SW11 7US 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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