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Celebrity s h t u r t e m ho




Emma Dance Editor T: 01225 322224

Ann Oddy Advertising Director T: 01749 832303 ann.johnston

Joanne Reynolds Advertising Manager South Somerset T: 01935 709707 joanne.reynolds

Flora Thompson Senior Writer T: 01935 709742 flora.thompson

Christina Sim Fashion Editor


ith Valentine’s Day just around the corner we are really feeling the love at County Magazine this month.

So in honour of the patron saint of lovers we have packed the pages of this edition with all sorts of ideas to ensure that you have a day filled with romance. It’s been especially fun for me compiling the pages this month, as I recently got engaged, so at the moment everything is hearts and flowers! I’m not sure how long that will last though, as I have to face up to the reality of planning a wedding.

If you are struggling to find the perfect Valentine’s gift, take a look at our gift guide on pages 38-41. We’ve come up with some ideas to suit all tastes and budgets. Lesley Taylor Interiors Editor

Kim Beer Business Support Manager T: 01749 832317

We’ve also got a lovely recipe that you can cook at home to give your other half a special treat. It’s sure to win you plenty of Brownie points. If you fancy whisking your loved one away on a romantic break (at any time of year) then I can’t recommend The Pig at Brockenhurst highly enough. Not only is it a gorgeous countryside bolthole, but the food is simply fantastic, with almost everything on the menu sourced from within 25 miles. You can read all about it on our travel pages (31-33). Soon you won’t even have to travel to the New Forest to sample The Pig style of hospitality, with The Pig near Bath set to open at Hunstrete House at the start of March. I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek at the transformation and I can promise that it will be just as wonderful as the original. Even if you don’t stay, have dinner there at the very least. Get your reservations in quick though as I predict that it will soon become the hottest ticket in town. Another hot ticket will be Martin Blunos’s new restaurant, Blunos, at The County Hotel in Bath which opens this month. I caught up with the moustachioed celebrity chef and you can find out all about his plans on pages 23-25. I hope you enjoy this month’s edition of The County Magazine and I wish you a lovely St Valentine’s Day.

Mtth Lhujl EDITOR




Graham Holburn Lead Designer



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We celebrate the stylish success of Frome’s vintage fashion boutique Deadly Is The Female, by meeting owner Claudia Adrianna PLUS look radiant in orchid – this season’s statement colour







Have you ever wondered about what your dreams mean? Dream psychologist Ian Wallace interprets the five most common dreams PLUS We go back in time at cosmetics brand Lush to find out how it all began

Emma Dance talks to celebrity chef Martin Blunos ahead of the opening of his new restaurant in Bath PLUS how to pick the perfect wine for Valentine’s Day



Cook your way into you loved one’s heart with this recipe for sweet pancakes with vodka-flamed strawberries and vanilla clotted cream



Escape on a romantic break to The Pig at Brockenhurst










38 43


No need to panic about finding the perfect gift this Valentine’s Day. We’ve done all the hard work and compiled a gift guide to suit all tastes and budgets.


Journalist and author Kate Adie talks to Siobhan Stayt about her new book


Interior designer Lesley Taylor gives advice on how to work the minimalist look PLUS celebrities talk about their favourite room of the house


The new season of National Gardens Scheme open gardens has begun. Each month we will take a closer look at one of the gardens in the county. This month, East Lambrook Manor near South Petherton.








Queen guitarist Brian May and West End singer Kerry Ellis are teaming up to perform at Bath Theatre Royal later this month. Laura Tremelling talks to the duo

We go out and about to capture the action at some of the area’s most glamorous events

Matt Kimberley finds out just what the new Porsche Macan is capable of


Have a go at our crossword. Quick clues if you’re short of time, or cryptic ones if you want to test yourself










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We celebrate the stylish success of Frome’s vintage fashion boutique Deadly Is The Female, by meeting owner Claudia Adrianna




■ Billion Dollar Baby Dress, £175



or five fabulous years Deadly Is The Female, situated in the bustling artisan quarter of St Catherines in Frome, has been bringing a touch Hollywood glamour to the town. Specialising in ’40s and ’50s style, pin up and femme fatale fashion, Deadly is run with earnest excitement by Claudia Adrianna. “I absolutely love being in Frome and the crazy things that go on,” says Claudia. “It’s so open and such a hub of creativity. It’s a beautiful place unlike any other town. “Where many town high streets are just cookie-cutter copycat replicas of each other, Frome and Catherine Hill is rare and unique. “On my first visit I walked up the hill and fell in love with the place – it was just so beautiful and different. It was a real princess: ‘I want a pretty shop’ moment, and when I saw the vacant shop I just knew. It looked a bit shabby around the edges but I’d fallen in love. “I was super naive, without a real business plan; my only expectation was to pay the rent. At the time, the economy was crashing and people warned me: ‘you’re brave, shops just come and go’. “But I had a vision and dream ... I think to be still here five years later is a big deal. It’s been a fascinating experience and I love it.” In the autumn of 2008, Deadly opened its doors to an unsuspecting public but soon developed a strong reputation for celebrating women and womanliness. “I was already buying and importing clothes for myself and thought that others may want something different to the normal high street too,” recalls Claudia.

“Our clothing is all about fantasy, luxury, indulgence and escapism. “When we first opened I had so little stock and Deadly has definitely evolved – it needed to if it was to succeed. “So much has changed but the idea has stayed the same ... to provide classic women’s wear that makes women feel fantastic – to accentuate the good bits and hide any flaws. “The range of clothing is vintage inspired, stylish and flattering designed with women in mind. I find with high street fashion you have to fit into the clothing, but our range looks to reflect who you are and works with your body. “I see customers physically change when they try on clothes. They stand differently, their posture changes and they become more confident – it comes from within and it’s really special. It’s hard to be feminine, girly and sexy today – sexy as in something you feel rather than a judgement.

■ Claudia Adrianna, owner of Deadly Is The Female in Frome, with shop pooch Gomez

“It’s a very old fashioned approach to the shopping experience. I’m pretty nosy and want to find out why they’re buying and listen to the customers’ stories – it’s a helpful way to get them the perfect look. “Customers vary and I love it. From toddlers who want sparkly shoes to office workers wanting a touch of glamour. Shoppers fit Deadly into all aspects of their lives. “We have such a giggle and customers often send or tweet me pictures of themselves looking fantastic in their dresses – so much positivity.” And Deadly has had its fair share of high-profiled shoppers – none more so than Nigella Lawson who appeared on American television in a dress from Deadly’s Billion Dollar Baby range. “That was a once in a life-time experience,” smiles Claudia.

“We were getting messages from people all over the world talking about that dress. She looked fantastic in it and she was amazing, tweeting links to the shop.” Key to Deadly’s success is Claudia’s support network. “I have an army of support and I couldn’t manage without my Saturday girl – my mum, Siobhan, who has been doing it since the beginning. She’s brilliant with people and I always run things by her first and totally trust her opinion and honesty. “My friends are all amazing, Lauren works in the shop with me, and does the hair and make-up for our photoshoots with her Lolita Noir Beauty Emporium. When the Nigella thing hit, Lauren would help pack boxes before she’d start her day job – I wouldn’t have coped without her. “ I also have a network of beautiful Deadly girls who model for me.


“I’m inspired by American film noir, ’40s and ’50s Hollywood glamour – red carpets and cocktails. It’s a fascination that all started with movies such as Grease and Dirty Dancing.




■ Dulce Dress, £185

“There are so many people to thank and Deadly’s helm. mention, but I couldn’t possibly ignore Gomez When asked what next for Deadly, Claudia ... my hairless Chinese crested pooch. answers with a sparkle that only comes with “I think he sees himself as a supervisor, genuine excitement and passion: “Keep over-seeing everything. He is integral and also working, keep moving forward and to keep in the Deadly logo.” shopping.

“I just want to make people smile. Make people feel sexy and happy about themselves ... that what makes me happy.”

The whirlwind shows little sign of abating as Claudia looks ahead to another hectic year at

■ Words Dan Biggane ■ Pictures Sebastian Bober & Gayle Glover

“It’s hard work, but if I keep getting excited others will be excited too.

■ Dream Coat, £395 and Courtney Coat Dress, £140




Visit for further information.

■ Deville Dress, £175




FASHION Say hello to the statement colour of 2014 – pinky-purple Radiant Orchid. Lisa Haynes shows you how to carry off the new shade with style. If you’ve overdosed on festive red, green and gold, colour respite comes in the form of Radiant Orchid. The uplifting pinky-purple hybrid has been unveiled as the Colour of the Year for 2014 by global colour experts, Pantone. “A modern and surprisingly versatile shade, Radiant Orchid enlivens the skin, making all who wear it feel more healthy and energetic,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Colour Institute. Invest now and you can get a full 12 months’ wear out of this of-the-moment hue.

Current colour

Radiant Orchid, or shade 18-3224 as it’s known on the colour charts, is described by Pantone as a captivating and enigmatic purple. Eiseman enthuses: “Blending both cool and warm undertones, purple’s an appealing hue and flattering to many hair, eye and skin tones.” This petal-inspired shade is brighter than lavender but darker than mauve, and follows in the colour-crowned footsteps of 2013’s Emerald and 2012’s Tangerine Tango. “Enhancing how you look and feel, Radiant Orchid is a surprisingly versatile shade,” Eiseman adds. “It can look very exotic with yellow-greens, lively with yellow or orange, and seductive with red. It is complementary to blues, turquoise and teal, brightens up neutral shades of grey, beige and taupe, and is compatible with its sister shades of lavender, purple and pink.”

Orchid fashion

Candy pink reigned supreme on the catwalks

■ Lavender leather satchel, £80.50, Cambridge Satchel Company

for autumn/winter 13, so there’s a slight shift in the colour spectrum for spring/summer 14 season, with pinky-purple Radiant Orchid. The shade is undeniably feminine, so either use it sparingly via statement accessories, or pick out boxy or boyish pieces to offset the uber-girliness. “Consider the fabric, as different materials create a different effect,” advises Fiona Wellins at Colour Me Beautiful. “If you have a softer, more muted colouring with very little contrast between your hair, eye and skin colour, then you want to keep your colours softer – go for matte fabrics, or something with a textured surface, like wool, tweed or velvet. “If you have a striking contrast between your eyes and hair – bright eyes and dark hair for instance – you need to make Radiant Orchid look brighter to complement your look.” For a high-fashion statement look, wear your 2014 colour with contrasting pinks to create a striking tone-on-tone effect.

2014 must have

If you love this hue, opt for a Radiant Orchid-tone jacket to brighten up your wardrobe.

■ Georgie Girl courts, £180, Diane Hassall for Rainbow Club ■ Pastel check tee, £24; pencil skirt, £22; clutch, £18; all Dorothy Perkins, available March


■ Purple wool coat, £195, Boutique at Topshop




FASHION ■ Kimchi Blue Ruby dress, £48, Urban Outfitters

VALENTINE’S DAY ■ Left, Erin jumpsuit, £99, Phase Eight; right, Rachel jacquard dress, £59, Monsoon; below, Gene black suede mid courts, £58, Topshop

South West fashion blogger Christina Sim, from Just So Fashion, shares her Valentine’s Day favourites!


hether you are going out on a hot date or having a night with the girls, glam it up this Valentine’s! It’s a great opportunity to put on that red dress. A plain red, tailored cut is very chic, and floral-printed tea dresses are also big this season – there are plenty to choose from. If you shy away from bright reds, why not go for a black jumpsuit with a pastel pink jacket to soften it for a more girly look.

Remember to get the essential black courts if you don’t already own a pair – they will go with that red dress and black jumpsuit! Even if you’re not going out, glam it up at home in a pretty Teddy and have a pamper sesh. Condition your hair, put on a face mask and paint your nails while watching your favourite chick flick with a big bowl of popcorn. So whatever you are doing this Valentine’s, be girly and have lots of fun! Check out my favourites and add some sparkle to your wardrobe. Happy shopping!

Christina x

■ Rosie for Autograph chiffon teddy, £45, Marks & Spencer


For more fashion ideas visit Follow Christina on twitter @justsofashion







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]usvjrpun YOUR DREAMS

Dreams can be bizarre and baffling, but unlocking their meaning could be a useful guide for waking life, as dream psychologist Ian Wallace tells Abi Jackson.


reams have fascinated us for centuries. As far back as 3000 BC they were documented on clay tablets, and countless philosophers and scientists through the ages have written about them, attempting to dissect and explain them. Theories have ranged from dreams being messages from the gods, flashes from another world, signs of illness and predictions of the future. Our curiosity – and belief that they ‘mean’ things – still endures. A recent survey by ibis Hotels found that a third of under-35s let their dreams guide their way and influence their decisions, while one-in-five claimed they’d made a life-changing decision based on a dream.

consciously process, either because we don’t notice them, or because they’re too confusing or paradoxical. “Dreaming’s evolved as a way of making sense of all the information we unconsciously absorb, and all the experiences and emotions that occur during the day.” While some dream analysts focus on more spiritual theories or some solely on lab data, for Wallace language is key to unlocking their meaning – in a nutshell, how language translates to the imagery we see during our sleep. “What happens in a dream is very often not what it relates to in real life,” he notes.

The process is highly instinctive and emotional, and these emotions, in our sleeping heads, are symbolised through language and imagery. For example, if our subconscious mind is heavily focused on achieving a goal, our brain might highlight the word ‘pursuit‘, and this could translate to recurring dreams about being chased. Dream psychologist and author of Top 100 Similarly, dreaming about eating an ice-cream at Dreams, Ian Wallace has no doubt that our the top of a volcano doesn’t necessarily mean slumber-induced visions are meaningful. “We use dreams as a sense-making process,” says we’re hankering after an adventurous holiday... It’s all about analysing the language and emotions Wallace, who has analysed more than 170,000 dreams during his three-decade career. that helped build that scene. The survey, which questioned 2,000 Brits, revealed almost a fifth had gone travelling after dreaming about it, while nearly one-in-ten had made decisions about buying a house, getting married and having a baby.

“Every day, we unconsciously absorb millions and ● For more information about Ian Wallace visit millions of pieces of information that we can’t




■ Dream psychologist Ian Wallace


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exam does, is allow you to examine your performance and knowledge, so people who De-coding this dream starts with thinking have this dream may be a little too self-critical about the functions of exams; they’re about in real life, and maybe too judgemental of their “judging our abilities and capabilities,” notes own abilities. So the action for this dream is, Wallace. “People who have this dream are instead of being so self-critical and doubting of very often the most-prepared people you your talents, you should be celebrating them could meet!” he adds. “They’re very organised and feeling proud.” and good at putting things together. What an

Unprepared for an exam

“Being chased is the most common dream around the world and probably has been for about 30,000 years, since people started writing and drawing their dreams down,” says Wallace. The word ‘pursuit’ is at the centre of the dream, but this doesn’t mean you feel you’re being pursued in the waking world. “If you dream you’re being pursued, there’s something in waking life that you’re in pursuit of, and there’s

Naked or semi-naked in public As well as protecting us and keeping us warm and comfortable, clothes are also a symbol of the image we present of ourselves to others. This dream is all about feeling exposed, or worrying about becoming exposed. “For example, if you’ve started a new job, or perhaps a new relationship, you might be lacking confidence in yourself and your talents,” notes Wallace. “Very often in the dream, while you’re missing a vital item of clothes, no one else seems to care! And that’s what happens in real life too – you might feel you’re lacking in confidence but everyone else thinks you’re full of confidence and everything’s fine. Sometimes, to really show your talents in life, you have to open up a bit and be vulnerable, until people can begin to appreciate how good you really are.”

something you’re trying to identify, that you’re unsure of and that’s perhaps getting in your way,” says Wallace. “One of the most powerful things you can do in a chase dream is turn around and ask your pursuer who they are and what they need. Usually you get a very powerful answer.”

Teeth falling out This is extremely common, even for people with

excellent dental hygiene who have no reason to fear it happening for real. “Teeth symbolise power and confidence,” says Wallace. “We tend to show our teeth on two occasions – when we’re happy and smiling, and perhaps when we’re snarling; asserting our anger. If you dream your teeth are falling out, or crumbling, there’s something in waking life that’s causing your feelings of power and confidence to diminish in some way. So if we take that imagery, the action from that is to be more confident in waking life and take control of a situation, even if you feel a bit wobbly inside.”

Can’t find a toilet/Exposed on the toilet “This is all about tending to your needs,” says Wallace. “Again, going back to language, we tend to say, ‘I need the toilet’. Often in waking life, people tend to look after others’ needs rather than their own. When you can’t find the toilet in a dream, there’s something in waking life where you need to express your needs to another person, but you feel guilty and ashamed about doing that and think it might end up being quite messy, so you repress those needs and end up tending to other peoples’ needs instead. Very often in dreams the toilet’s missing a door or walls, and it seems you’re missing personal boundaries. A good way of dealing with that is the little word ‘no’. Sometimes you need to say, ‘No, I need to look after this for myself first, and then I can look after you’.”


Being chased





Former Lush Saturday girl, Mira Manga, talks to Emma Dance about her new book entitled Danger! Cosmetics to Go which charts the history of the cosmetics brand


ush may be best known for its multi-coloured bath bombs, and sweet sherbety scent which wafts up our High Streets, but the cosmetics company has a fascinating story to tell. What most people do not realise, is that the Poole-based purveyor of tantalising toiletries started as a business manufacturing products for other brands, including top hair salons, and was even responsible for coming up with now-iconic items like The Body Shop’s Cocoa Butter Hand and Body Lotion, and Peppermint Foot lotion.

But soon the owners, Mark Constantine and Liz Weir, decided that they wanted the freedom to create and sell their own ranges, as well as manufacturing for their clients, and Cosmetics to Go was born.




Now Lush has produced its first ever book, Danger! Cosmetics to Go which tells the story of the company that preceded the international brand that we know today. It recounts the tale of the dynamic cosmetics brand that revolutionised bathing and enchanted customers with its innovative offerings. Despite its explosive arrival, Cosmetics To Go only existed for a brief six years, before losing everything. In the book, for the first time, the founders of Lush share their thoughts and feelings on the rise and fall of their ill-fated first venture, revealing the truth

behind the attempts to save the ailing company and its eventual collapse. Writing the book was a labour of love for author Mira Manga, who has worked for the company for more than ten years – starting as a Saturday girl in Lush’s Carnaby Street store. She said: “Even when I got a job in the music business, I was still working in Lush as a Saturday girl. “I loved the company and after spending five days in a testosterone-filled environment I enjoyed working with such lovely people. “I knew Mark and one day he told me that I was too old to be a Saturday girl. He asked me why I was still doing it and suggested I get a job ■ Angels on Bare Skin


LOOKING LUSH Lush’s top-selling products (available all year) from 2013 were: ■ The Comforter Bubble Bar (£4.50)

■ Dream Cream (£11.25)

■ New Shampoo Bar (£5.50)

■ Author Mira Manga has worked at Lush for more than ten years, starting as a Saturday girl in Lush’s Carnaby Street store

in the London office. So I started working in retail “It wasn’t something you would want your parents to read, let alone your boss, and to this support. day we have never spoken about the contents. “I was writing a book to make myself feel better “But he liked something about it, as he said he about my horrific dates. It wasn’t meant for anyone to read, but one of my colleagues passed would like me to write a book. a copy to Mark. “I didn’t have any idea about Cosmetics to Go

■ Dragon’s Egg (£3.25)

and I was completely terrified. It all felt so unknown to me. “Cosmetics to Go was all pre-internet, so Googling was out of the question.”

After months of tracking people down, begging for interviews, and wading through piles of old paperwork, Mira had collected enough information to write the book.

■ Bubblegum Lip Scrub (£5.50)

“We managed to get in touch with the graphics company who did the original catalogues, and eventually they came and helped design the book for me. Without them the book would not look so awesome. “I tried to make it as bright and beautiful as possible to really celebrate the history.” Danger! Cosmetics to Go is available from Lush stores and online for £19.95.


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Celebrity chef Martin Blunos talks to Emma Dance about his latest venture







ath celebrity chef Martin Blunos is coming home. The moustachioed hob god is opening his latest venture at The County Hotel on Pulteney Road in Bath this month. Martin became a fixture on the Bath culinary scene in the l990s, with his restaurant Lettonie which earned two Michelin stars. But in 2001 he closed the restaurant, and while he and his family have continued to live in Bath, Martin’s career took him away from the city and for the past ten years he has been overseeing kitchens in hotels and restaurants around the

country, and forging a TV career appearing on shows such as Saturday Kitchen and Iron Chef UK.

’ ’

but it belongs back in that time.

“That worked then, but this is now. Not only Now he is looking forward to bringing the Blunos Bath, but the world is a different place now. brand back to Bath. “Hindsight and history are lovely things but we Simply named Blunos, the new restaurant will be don’t know what’s round the corner. dedicated to serving fresh fish and seafood, and “It’s very exciting because this place has not been Martin says it will be very different from Lettonie. a restaurant before, so people won’t be “This is bringing me home,” he said. “I am known comparing it to what was here before. in Bath – I had two stars which was a big “Blunos will be serving almost only fish. There achievement for me. will be one meat dish, and one vegetarian, but that is it. “But this is not Lettonie. That was what it was,

“It will be a short menu, and it will be decided by what we get in that day. “If we only have turbot, halibut and red mullet then that’s what we have. We’re also going to do Fruits de Mer and lobster and chips. “It will be a bit of fun for the kitchen and the menu will be written every day. “The furthest you ever are from the sea in Britain is about 80 miles and we are a damn sight closer than that here. We will be getting our fish up from Looe and Plymouth, oysters from Sussex and smoked fish from Chew Valley Lake. “It will all be seasonal and local where we can. But only if it is the best. “People put a lot of emphasis on local produce but I don’t believe you should use local just for the sake of it. It should be the best.” And while many chefs adorn their dishes with foams and gels, and scatterings of micro herbs, Martin says he will be letting the ingredients speak for themselves. ■ Martin Blunos’s new restaurant will be dedicated to serving almost only fish




“I have done all the playing around and the


■ Martin Blunos with his wife Sian at the opening of Lettonie

looked.” pretty-pretties,” he said. “It can be form over function. Microherbs get thrown over everything Martin is also keen to emphasise that the these days but they just cover everything up. This restaurant will be relaxed and informal. is something different. “We’re moving away from flunkies and that sort “If you have an amazing piece of fish, the last of thing,” he said. “We want people to just come thing you want to do is mess around with it. in and have a good time. “I’m just trying to be a bit more honest with it all. “What we are giving is the best of what we have

“I’m sure there are lots of chefs who will say I’m got. not showing my skills but the skill is in the buying. “It’s all accessible. You can come in and just have “If you buy the best then you don’t want to hide a glass of champagne and a couple of oysters, or you can have the whole lot. the ingredients.

“If people can talk about eating an amazing plate of grilled Dover Sole then that’s much more satisfying than someone remembering just how it

“Going to a restaurant is not just going out for food, it is a great night out, and we want people to enjoy themselves.

“We want it to be very much ‘it is what it is’ with a house party feel.” And although Bath is almost bursting at the seams with restaurants, Martin is confident that there is space for Blunos. “I’m not worried about diluting the restaurant scene at all,” he said. “If you are doing something good then there’s a place for you.” “I was born in Peasedown St John and grew up in Thornbury, so it’s nice to be working back home.

“It is exciting times ahead and I’m really looking “If someone comes in wearing jeans and a T-shirt forward to it.” and that’s how they feel relaxed, then that’s fine. Blunos is due to open on February 19.


“Comfort food works because it brings back memories and that’s what we want to do here.

“If you’re feeling hot and uncomfortable you won’t enjoy your food, so what’s the point in that?




TIPPLES TO TEMPT YOUR VALENTINE Wine columnist Linda Piggott-Vijeh gives her tips for picking a tipple for the most romantic day of the year.


hatever your views, the very mention of St Valentine’s Day can conjure up a sense of fear and trepidation in even the most ardent admirer. While many of us may now consider it a purely commercial exercise created by business opportunists, rather than the opportunity to show one’s loved one just how much they mean to you, the tradition of Valentine’s Day, initially a Christian festival, does in fact have a long and complicated history, going back as far as the Middle Ages. Gift buying and giving, along with romantic dinners, has always been something of a minefield. Flowers, chocolate, perfume, lingerie, jewels, or wine, the sky’s the limit, but you’d be hard pushed to go far wrong with a hearts and flowers theme. There is also the delicate balance between hope and expectation – or disappointment.


The well-established link between the scent of wine and arousal means that for me, the choice of champagne as a romantic initiator is a given. There can be few more romantic gifts than Perrier-Jouët Fleur de Champagne, at around £100, but better still, plump for the rosé if you can, at £130. This is bubbly with class, an excellent cuvée with a soft, approachable style and a delicate richness on the palate. The graceful Japanese anemones designed by artist Emile Gallé add to the celebratory festive feel, making the bottle alone a desirable keepsake. The more budget conscious among us can make a passable Cava or Prosecco, available at around £10 a bottle, into something a little more special than the standard kir, by the addition of just a teaspoonful of rose or violet syrup, or a wild hibiscus flower in syrup, which opens up beautifully in the glass. All are available from good ■ Top tipples from Linda Piggott-Vijeh supermarkets. would be the sexy Beaujolais Saint-Amour. As For those not enthralled by bubbly, or if buying romantic in style as its name suggests, Georges for the man in your life, there are reputable still Duboeuf enhances his offering with flowers on wines to be had without resorting to the fake the bottle, while reputable names to look out for ‘Valentine’ theme. are Jadot and Drouhin. A powerful wine with the A consistently reliable and affordable choice big, red and black fruit flavours of Gamay, it goes





well with any grilled meat. Around £12 a bottle. For something a little more exotic seek out Amarula Liqueur at £12.50 a bottle. The fruit of this tree from Africa cannot be cultivated and must be harvested in the wild. Much favoured by elephants for its sweetness, they ram the trees to obtain the fruit. It quickly ferments once on the ground, and when elephants eat too much of it they behave as if drunk. The tree is also known as ‘The Marriage Tree’, as the fruit is said to have special aphrodisiac properties. Many marriage ceremonies are still held under the marula tree, so this liqueur is very appropriate for Valentine’s Day. Keeping with the heart theme, Riedel, the Rolls Royce of drinking glasses, have available, at £50 for a boxed pair, their ‘Heart to Heart’ collection, each with different bowl shapes designed to ensure that a given wine can be enjoyed to its maximum. ● Linda Piggott-Vijeh has been advising the hospitality industry on food and wine for almost three decades and has a 100 per cent pass rating for WSET exam courses.



ou don’t need to spend a lot of money or make a grand gesture to show your loved one just how much they mean to you on Valentine’s Day. Preparing a special meal at home can be a wonderfully romantic way to spend the evening. Luke Richards, head chef at the Archangel in Frome, has shared his recipe for sweet pancakes with vodka-flamed strawberries and vanilla clotted cream. Most of the preparation can be done in advance, so you won’t have to spend hours in the kitchen, and the flaming is sure to give your dish a real wow factor.

SWEET PANCAKES WITH VODKA FLAMED STRAWBERRIES AND VANILLA CLOTTED CREAM INGREDIENTS (Serves 4) Ingredients 300g self raising flour 2 large eggs Milk to texture 24 strawberries 50ml vodka 100g clotted cream 1 vanilla pod 50g icing sugar




10g sugar 10g butter

METHOD 1. Mix flour, eggs and milk so it has the texture of double cream 2. Hull the strawberries 3. De-seed the vanilla pod and add to clotted cream and icing sugar 4. Put a non-stick pan with a little oil on a medium heat 5. Add the pancake mix to make 12 small pancakes 6. Add butter and sugar to a very hot pan 7. Add strawberries and vodka 8. Then flame! This should take about 3 minutes


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The Perfect Balance

Altogether Care is a family business established for 25 years and brings family values to life. Creating the ideal environment and support for individuals we deliver just the right balance between independent living and professional care. Care Match available throughout Dorset and South Somerset. Care Homes located in Dorchester, Maiden Newton, Weymouth and Yeovil.

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• Our groomer is qualified to City & Guilds Level 3 • We have a comprehensive range of well priced natural food including Symply, Lily’s Kitchen, Canagan, plus many more

Our forward-thinking Care Match options are designed for your future, so no matter how your care needs might change, you can simply switch to the most appropriate service for care that fits around you.







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■ The country house that is The Pig; left, the dining room; below, Piggy bits on the menu

Don’t be put off by the name. Emma Dance wasn’t when she visited The Pig in the New Forest


he Pig. As hotel names go, it’s not exactly elegant, let alone glamorous, and certainly not romantic.

Instead, it smacks of earthiness, grubbiness even, and gluttony, and a complete lack of sophistication, belying the reality of this New Forest bolthole. A sweeping gravel drive leads up to the wisteriacoated country house, where stone dogs guard the front door. We step inside. On one side there’s a door leading to a room filled with squashy sofas, while the other leads to a bar filled with the sound of chatter and laughter.

The reception staff are friendly and chatty, and

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much more than that.

There are 26 rooms, which come in a few varieties – Snug, Comfy and Comfy Luxe, as well as a couple of Hideaways if you’re looking for something extra special and Family Rooms if you’re coming with kids in tow. All have monsoon showers, but if you want a freestanding bath as well, then opt for the larger size. The beds are large and luxurious, the decor in muted tones straight out of a Farrow & Ball swatch book. They are cosy and comfortable, and our courtyard room even has a table and chairs outside. But lovely though the rooms are, it is the

restaurant which is The Pig’s real selling point and which has earned it a reputation as a foodie destination. Much of the produce is grown in the beautiful kitchen garden or reared in the grounds, but everything else is sourced from within a 25-mile radius and as if to prove it, on the back of the menu there’s a map showing exactly where each ingredient is found. There’s even a forager who is charged with unearthing the precious morsels from the surrounding countryside, and the menu changes on an almost daily basis to make the most of the very freshest ingredients available. We decide to make the most of the sunny evening and return to the courtyard for an aperitif, passing the carefully tended kitchen garden, bursting with produce, and vowing to return for a closer look in the morning.


Across from the reception desk there is a row of offer to help with our bags as they lead us out Wellington boots in various sizes and colours, into the sunny courtyard and through the neatly lined up against the wall. grounds to our room. It feels as if we are arriving at a party at a friend’s The Pig describes itself as a ‘restaurant with home, rather than checking into a hotel. rooms’ rather than a hotel, although in reality it’s




■ The Pig’s kitchen garden and, below right, the Snug room; bottom, quail roaming in the courtyard

The atmosphere is relaxed and convivial, with children happily sitting alongside parents, nibbling mini chorizo and pork scratchings. As we peruse the drinks menu, the barman leaps to our aid and recommends a rather moreish white wine, at the same time insisting that we try some Piggy Bits with our drinks. A plate arrives laden with perfectly crispy and salty pork scratchings, and mini scotch eggs with melting bright-yellow yolks. Both are exquisite and it’s a good indication that we are in for a treat later on. The restaurant is a greenhouse, with mismatched furniture and crockery, and terracotta pots overflowing with greenery lined up by the windows, the scent of the herbs filling the air. Dinner does not disappoint. the menu is varied and interesting, with what seems like an endless list of different cuts of pork – perhaps not surprising given the name of the place. It’s delicious, honest food. There’s no pretentious veloutés or foams here, and the portions are enormous. When my Bath Chap arrives, a enormous piece of crackling balanced on top, our waiter offers some sage advice to save the crackling to last, as he’s seen many people fill up on that and not have room for the delicious meat of the pig cheek that is concealed beneath.

It’s not surprising when you look at the pedigree of the breed though, really. Its parent hotel is the swanky Limewood just up the road, and the brains behind the operation is inspired hotelier Robin Hutson who reinvented the townhouse hotel with the Hotel du Vin brand. And he is having just as much success with his rural hotels.

The Pig at Brockenhurst only opened in 2011, but since then it has built up a loyal following and more Piglets are popping up across the country to satisfy demand. There’s a mini version in Southampton, The Pig in the Wall, which only serves breakfast, but offers free transfers to Brockenhurst for dinner. Early next year The Pig on the Beach will be opening on Studland in Breakfast the next morning is a leisurely affair and Dorset, and Hunstrete House just outside Bath we sit outside reading the newspapers as we tuck and fruit cages. We meet the quails and the pet will be reopening as another porcine destination into yet more food, telling ourselves that because pigs, find a lake, and across the bridge the Potting at the start of March. it’s home grown and home made that it must be Shed which instead of housing garden tools, has Prices start at £135 a night for a Snug room been converted into a small treatment room in good for us and the calories won’t count. midweek, while a Hideaway will cost £225 a night case you feel the urge for a massage. Before we leave, we make sure to visit the at weekends, although there are occasional late There’s an effortlessness about The Pig. grounds that yielded so much of our meals. We deals available. see not only the kitchen garden with its carefully Everything seems to have just happened, to have For more information visit planted rows of vegetables, but also greenhouses just evolved and yet every detail is just right. After dinner we retire to the bar for a cocktail before bed. The lighting is soft, and the smell is just right – a faintly musty aroma of books and worn leather with a hint of tobacco. It feels homely and comforting, and my eyelids soon start to feel heavy.




Love is in THE AIR


For ideas of where to go this Valentine’s Day and what to get your partner look no further. Valentine’s Day is a hodgepodge of distant traditions and beliefs that have culminated in the annual celebration of love and romance as we now know it. Back in its inception, in Ancient Rome, the festival was marked by the slaying of a goat, but nowadays the more affable tradition of exchanging gifts and floral presentations is common place amongst lovers. The fourteenth of February is now collectively regarded as an opportunity to

show a loved one how much they mean to you and your appreciation for all that they do. The customary presents of flowers, chocolates and cuddly toys remain staple choices of gifts but a sentimental purchase that will remind your loved one of your time together can make the day extra special. A memento from a date or trip you and your partner shared years ago, coupled with a romantic card, can be cherished for

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years to come and are evidence that you have put genuine thought into your gifts. Being creative and doing something original to mark the occasion will show your lover just how much they mean to you. In this month’s Valentines special you’ll find plenty of inspiration for what to do this Valentines and gifts to get your other half.


Not sure where to take your date on Valentine’s Day? Don’t worry, we’re here to help you decide what to do. If you’re hoping to surprise your partner with an entire day of romantic activities then you’ll need to discreetly free up both your diaries. Book a baby sitter, tell friends to avoid planning anything with either of you on your chosen day and maybe drop a subtle hint so your partner doesn’t make conflicting arrangements.

Whether you’re spending Valentine’s Day with your boyfriend, fiancÊ or husband, a romantic meal for two is probably on the cards. If you are planning to eat out then you’ll need to book well in advance, making now a good time to start looking around and considering your options.

With the fourteenth falling on a Friday this year you could even try to get out of work early and plan an extended weekend for two.

Of course, while an evening sipping wine in a swanky restaurant is the traditional choice, you can always set the ambience at home instead. Glowing candles and romantic music can make a simple takeaway just as romantic and inevitably cheaper. For some couples just finding the time alone together is an obstacle, so planning ahead is invaluable if both you and your partner have busy schedules.

To get you in the mood why not treat yourself and get pampered at a local salon or spa before the weekend. There are usually some great offers to be found in the week leading up to Valentine’s Day so keep your eyes peeled.

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HEARTS, FLOWERS AND CHILLI CHOCOLATE As Valentine’s Day approaches, restaurants are booking up, shops are overflowing with hearts and flowers and couples everywhere are panicking about what to buy their loved ones. This year, get creative in the kitchen and add a touch of spice to Valentine’s Day. Chocolate has long been associated with love and romance, it’s also known to contain ‘feel good’ chemicals, and as chillies are a natural aphrodisiac (they contain capsaicin – a substance known to induce a temporary ‘high’) there’s no better gift than homemade chilli chocolate truffles. Tabasco® Pepper Sauce has teamed up with leading patissier and chocolatier Will Torrent who has created these melt-in-themouth truffles, they’re simple to make, they’re delicious and they’re guaranteed to heat up Valentine’s Day this year.





Add a surprise element to your chocolates by making a truffle with red pepper puree and Tab asco® Pepper Sauce.

125g whipping cream 125g red pepper puree < 1 tsp Tabasco® Sauc e < 25g butter < 25g honey < 350g good quality dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids, chopped < Cocoa powder to finis h METHOD < Place the cream, pure e and sauce along with the butt er and honey into a saucepan and slow ly bring to the boil < Once boiled, carefully whisk in the chocolate < This will create a gana che – a rich, shiny emulsified mixture which you can then pour back in to the bowl < Clingfilm and place into the fridge < Leave overnight to set < When set, using a teas poon or a melon baller, spoon little truff les out and roll into coco a powder. Alternatively you can pipe these into little chocolate logs and then roll in cocoa pow der. <


HOW TO BUY THE PERFECT GIFT Finding the right gift for your other half can be a daunting task. Here are some ideas of what to buy and who for.

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The Person you Admire

If you’ve developed feelings for someone but haven’t found the right time to tell them then use Valentine’s Day to show them how you really feel. A card with a simple suffice. message should suffi ce.

Your Date


For a first or second date you don’t need to go overboard with gifts, but a small gesture such as a bottle of his favourite beer or whisky will get the night off to a good start.

Your Boyfriend

Try and personalise your gifts to make them extra special. If he is into music then why not compile a playlist of songs that mean something to you both.

Now that you’re planning to spend your lives together it makes sense to get him a present you can both enjoy. Why not book yourselves in for a weekend break in the countryside?

Your Husband


It’s especially important to make a fuss of each other once you’ve tied the knot so be sure to spend some quality time together; a romantic meal for two followed by a film is ideal.

See pages 38-41 for more ideas and where to buy your gifts.

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38 38


The most romantic day of the year is on the way, but finding the perfect present can be difficult. Don’t worry though – we’ve done the hard work for you and come up with some ideas for gorgeous gifts that are sure to win you plenty of Brownie points.


£ ■ Love Locket Bath bomb, £6.95, Lush. Like any love locket, you need to unlock the bath bomb to reveal the secret hidden within. Crack your locket in half, to unveil the hidden heart in the centre.

■ Valentine’s Day doughnuts, from £1.45, Krispy Kreme. Hand made with love and affection, the delicious new Valentine’s range from Krispy Kreme features Love Hearts and Hug and Kiss doughnuts. Only available until February 16.

■ Heat-changing love mug, £8.95, Sometimes there’s nothing more romantic than having a cuppa brought to you in bed. Give that cuppa a loved-up edge by serving tea in this heart-shaped and heart-adorned mug, then watch it transform to reveal the message: “I love you” as the mug reacts to the hot liquid.


■ Perfect Partners chocolates, £6.50, Hotel Chocolat. Just like Romeo and Juliet, some flavours were destined to be together. Four of Hotel Chocolat’s finest pairings, including the classically romantic Strawberry & Champagne.

■ Heart-shaped pasta, £3.95, Carluccio’s. For a cosy night in, why not cook your way into your loved one’s heart with Carluccio’s brand new Cuori di Pasta – heart-shaped pasta coloured with spinach, beetroot and tomato.





■ Love Letters, £15, Give your loved one a personalised gift this year, with these freestanding wooden initials.

■ Love Potion Eau de Parfum, £21.95, Oriflame’s aphrodisiac perfume Love Potion is the embodiment of seduction. Perfect to increase desire and passion! The fragrance has an oriental character and is based on two well-known aphrodisiac ingredients – ginger and chocolate. The sensuality of the scent is provided by ginger and spices from India, as well as exotic aromas of slightly sweet cocoa flowers, fresh tangerine, tender lily and vanilla.

■ Yon-Ka Massage Oil Candle, £42, Succumb to the pleasure of Yon-Ka’s exceptional Neroli Massage Oil Candle treatment for one or for two. The Neroli candle and its indulging ingredients make the perfect treat for a completely relaxing and rejuvenating experience of the body and mind. And what’s more? You can also enjoy it with your partner!




■ Red Coco Chocolate Pot, £45, Think outside the (chocolate) box this Valentine’s Day with this gorgeous red chocolate pot from La Cafetière. Perfect for creating an indulgent treat to share.

■ Marshall Micro Amp, £30, Serenade your lover anywhere you like, thanks to this mini MS2 Marshall Amp in postbox red – a perfectly scaled-down version of the iconic Marshall amplifier.



■ Rosie for Autograph Pure Silk Kimono Wrap, £79, Marks & Spencer. This beautiful silk wrap is both sexy and sophisticated, and a great alternative to lingerie.

■ Valentine’s Boudoir Hamper, £165, Looking for that perfect pamper package for the love of your life? Bringing ‘The Boudoir’ to the table this Valentine’s, King’s Fine Food has designed the ultimate indulgence hamper gift set for your special someone. This deliciously decadent hamper includes the finest delicacies, gifts and treats to ignite all the senses – including soothing and relaxing bath oils, Tuscan chocolates, elegant Ayala Rose Champagne and accompanying flutes.

■ Red Roses Bath Oil Glass Decanter, £52, Jo Malone London. This luxurious bath oil is inspired by a voluptuous blend of seven of the world’s most exquisite roses. With crushed violet leaves and a hint of lemon, it unfolds like a bouquet of freshly cut flowers to make bath time a truly decadent experience.

■ Engraved oak rope swing, £329, Pop the question on the ultimate love seat. These carved oak swings can be personalised with any message you choose.


■ Thomas Sabo Pendant, £179, Fabulous. Every woman loves jewellery and there’s no better way to show your love for her than this beautiful heart pendant by Thomas Sabo.






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For a generation, the name Kate Adie is synonymous with the coverage of conflicts from far-flung corners of the world. Siobhan Stayt talks to the Dorset-based journalist and author about her new book. MAGAZINE



■ Kate Adie in Bath to open an exhibition of images by war photographer Don McCullin; right, Kate Adie’s new book


ate Adie, the veteran journalist, is hoping to educate the public about the war experiences of those much closer to home, in her latest book, Fighting on the Home Front: The Legacy of Women in World War One.

every part of it,” she said. “You not only need to look at the frontline and the military aspect of war, but at how all people are affected.

The book tells the stories of very ordinary women who found themselves at the centre of a new type of war. For the first time, those left behind at home found their lives dramatically altered by events taking place overseas.

“All other wars before this were hundreds of miles away, so this was the first time that war

Adie said it was her experiences as a BBC war correspondent that prompted her to look again at a war which she, like everybody, had grown up hearing about. “I have always thought that if you are reporting on a conflict, wherever it is taking place, then you need to report on




“The First World War was the first time that this happened, where ordinary people in Britain were affected.

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actually came into people’s homes.” The book looks at the many different ways the role of women changed during the First World War, their desire to contribute to the war effort and the need for them to fill the jobs left by men who went away to fight. Adie’s research saw her travel all over the country to uncover the human stories behind a topic which is already well documented. She looked through the archives of local newspapers, visited history centres, and was staggered by the depth of detail about the


■ Kate Adie’s years of reporting with the BBC have seen her travel the world

challenges women were facing in a fast-changing world.

had been on the frontline covering conflicts just decades later, had not escaped her.

War, the timing of Adie’s new book is sure to mean a new group of interested readers are likely to pick it up to find out more about such an iconic chapter in the country’s history.

She added: “And it is not just my job, but the everyday jobs that women had not been allowed to do. They weren’t allowed to deliver the post, And she said looking back to the past was an they weren’t allowed to work in a signal box, it is important part of understanding the present day, especially when wanting to learn more about these jobs that we just take for granted now.” She said: “It was a very different world back then, conflicts. the accepted conventions and attitudes of women With the upcoming anniversary of the Great “It was always hugely important to me as a in work. journalist,” she said. “You can’t understand “And it was a slow process. At the end of why people are fighting, unless you go back the book I do briefly touch on the fact that decades and look at what happened back it was still a long time after the First World then. War that things began to really change for


“For example, it wasn’t until the 1980s that a woman was allowed to drive a train.” Adie said the contrast between the attitudes to women in war in the early 20th century and the fact that she, as a female journalist,

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“You have to know what’s fuelling them.”

Adie grew up in the North East of England and has many links to the Bath area, having covered the city as a reporter for BBC Radio Bristol in the 1970s. The 68-year-old now lives in Dorset.


And one of the biggest things that struck her, and one which she hopes will resonate with readers, is how much life has changed over the past 100 years.



Get into


Bridgwater College, in conjunction with a major international engineering company, has developed the UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first Level 2 qualification in Steel Fixing in preparation for the nuclear new build at Hinkley C. If you have a head for heights, are fit and well, enjoy working as part of a team and are able to read and interpret three-dimensional drawings and diagrams, then we want to talk to you now. rtunities o p p o Call our business team on ip h s e Apprentic ring â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;14. p S m o fr 01278 655111 or email le b availa


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Interior designer and member of the BIID Lesley Taylor is the Design Director of Taylor’s Etc.


hroughout 2014 you’re sure to come across a plethora of new trends that will inspire you as you update your interiors, but one idea that is consistent across the board when it comes to contemporary style is the trend for minimalist living.

As the name suggests, the theme is all about keeping the overall style simple and uncluttered. However, despite many people thinking this type of interior scheme lacks a sense of individuality, the idea behind the trend that ‘less is more’ is one to follow if you want to create a scheme that benefits from open-plan living. With a little careful planning, it’s by all means possible to design an ultra-contemporary home on a budget that not only reflects every aspect of your personality, but doesn’t look cluttered or overpowering. Best of all, you can achieve this look in next to no time. Read on for ways in which you can refresh your home in 2014 with a contemporary look that’s bang on trend. The key to achieving the minimalist look is to follow the rules of stark, contemporary styling and then dress it up with a touch of pattern, texture and colour to add depth, personality and individuality to the space.

my favourite accent colours that are set to be hot shelving hidden behind closed doors and consider in 2014 and will certainly freshen up your buying a large-mirrored wardrobe as both will interior, are teal blue and khaki green. work to make the room look bigger and hide all your clothes and shoes. When introducing pattern into a minimalist

design scheme, the key is to be sparing to ensure you achieve a balanced look with maximum appeal. Patterned tiles can look superb on a feature wall in a sharp, white bathroom scheme and patterned fabric or wallpaper will look the part in a living room or bedroom scheme. Err towards geometric designs, as they will complement and mirror the subtle detailing you find in a minimalist interior scheme. Be careful with the size of the pattern you choose, as larger motifs will suit bigger rooms, but can overpower those with smaller proportions – so choose smaller styles where space is tight.

The clean, minimalist and stylish urban look can also be achieved with well-designed storage solutions, which will help you clear away unnecessary clutter and leave your home looking neat and tidy. In the master bedroom, why not invest in an upholstered bed with full-base storage? Make sure your bedside cabinets include

Incorporating different textures into your interior design scheme is not just a great way of making it feel more cosy and inviting; it also adds detail via tactile surfaces that create a point of interest in a room. Contemporary pieces that feature tactile fabrics will give the key rooms in your home a chic, clean appearance all the while, adding warmth in what may otherwise feel like a cold interior. In the bathroom, make sure the furniture you choose looks sleek, but will store everything you need behind closed doors – this includes the kids’ bath-time toys! You can still create minimalist charm in a communal family room in your home, yet the trick is to ensure you have enough storage to support everyone’s needs. Minimalist chic is not only easy to achieve, but is ideal if you are looking to spend wisely and still update your home with the latest trends. Just remember, less is more with this look.


When considering colour, there are plenty of ways in which to introduce some pizzazz into your home. From creating a feature wall, opting for bold soft furnishings or, investing in one bright, statement piece of furniture, you can be sure to stand out against the more subdued shades usually chosen as your backdrop. Two of






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he number of homes sold per chartered surveyor in the South West reached its highest point since June 2007 at the end of 2103, as the recovery in the region’s property sector continued full steam ahead, says December’s Residential Market Survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Over the festive period, the average number of transactions per surveyor in the region reached 22, more than double the lowest point of the downturn back in February 2009 when respondents were selling a mere nine. With more sales now going through, growth in demand for rented accommodation has began to slow significantly, as a growing number of renters opt to test the sales market. Respondents note that increased confidence is a key driver behind growing activity.

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increase, with London and the South East experiencing the biggest jumps.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the more positive tone to the market, expectations for 2014 are decidedly upbeat. Respondents predict that both sales and price numbers will continue to increase across the UK through the course of this year. This is largely being driven by an easing in credit Meanwhile, with the amount of homes coming conditions, resulting in higher loan-to-value onto the market are still nowhere near enough to mortgages, and the ongoing imbalance between meet the higher level of demand, and prices supply and demand. continue to rise across the region. Roger Punch, RICS Residential Spokesperson for During December, a net balance of 56 per cent the South West, said: “The recovery in the South more chartered surveyors reported growing West housing market continues with sales hitting prices in the South West. the highest level in over six years in some parts Significantly, every area of the UK saw prices of the region, showing continued confidence in




the market. The picture, however, does vary across the region, with local employment factors having a significant influence. Price levels still remain below the 2007 high in many areas. “Sellers would be very wise to take professional advice, not only regarding pricing and taking into account their particular locality, but also in the management of their sale in a potentially challenging market, as the strong activity continues. Overall, we have the best market we have experienced for many years, and both buyers and sellers should gain much confidence from this.” Peter Bolton King, RICS Global Residential Director, commented: “The housing market is starting to thrive once more. Sales are at their highest level in almost six years, and this is being reflected right across the UK. Growing availability of affordable mortgages has released some pent-up demand from a market that, in recent years, has seen many viable buyers unable to enter the market. On the face of it, this seems like good news, but unless we see a marked increase in the number of homes coming up for sale we could well be looking at price rises becoming unsustainable in some areas.”




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14-17 Walcot Buildings, London Road, Bath Tel. 01225 338813 The largest antiques retailer in Bath & voted in the top 50 antiques shops in Britain, by the Independent on Sunday

Maybe even find time to look at some antiques... we’ve got everything from 17th century furniture to 1970s retro and kitchenalia, spread through lots of showrooms. We’re on the A4, London Road, near Morrisons. About 15 minutes walk from the bottom of Walcot Street. We’re open 10-6 Monday to Saturday. 11-5 on Sunday. We have our own parking at the rear, accessed via Bedford Street.

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Marco Pierre White, 52, celebrity chef, restaurateur and television personality “I like all areas of my home but, of course, I spend most of my time in the kitchen which is set up to the standard of a professional one,” says White, who recently re-launched his specially ‘brewed for food’ amber ale, The Governor, produced in partnership with independent Manchester brewery, JW Lees. “I’m comfortable in this room and have things around me which delight me, including my collection of antique toys. “I don’t have a dishwasher, instead I wash everything in an old Belfast sink, as I was taught to do as a trainee years ago. My pride and joy are two black 3-oven AGA Total Control cookers. It means I have six ovens, four solid tops and lots of space – you can’t ask for more.” ● Get the look: AGA prices start at £4,995 ( 712 5207).

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“My kitchen is my favourite, because it runs from the front of the house to the back, and at each end the windows look out onto gardens,” says Ellis, whose daughter is singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor. “It’s got fitted cream Ikea kitchen units, stainless steel worktops and a huge oven. There’s a large central island and running on from that, a dining table which seats 12. It’s great for family meals when Sophie and her family come over.”

● Get the look: Ikea’s Stornas extendable table, £300, Almsta chairs, £70 each, are good value from Ikea. (; Abigail Ahern bulldog lamp, £295, The French Bedroom Company (



Everybody has a favourite part of their home – and celebrities are no different. Stars tell Gabrielle Fagan about the rooms they feel most relaxed and happy in.




Lhuu€ _hsshjl4 ;?4 ~yp{ly4 hj{vy huk yhkpv wylzlu{ly “My attic study, where I feel relaxed and in charge and do all my writing. The light is brilliant and the walls are white, apart from one wall papered with wood-effect wallpaper, where my desk is,” he says. “There are loads of bookshelves groaning with books and, of course, being a man’s retreat, a sofa and a large TV. In one corner is a vintage Forties school desk, which I bought for my four-year-old son, Elliot. “He’s writing his own book about Big Ben, which he adores for some reason.” ● Get the look: Union Jack Big Ben Wall Clock sticker, £120, Nubie (; Irene reclaimed wood writing desk, £492, Sisters Guild (; Aged Driftwood Panel wallpaper, from £40, Decor Wallpaper (

Rhul [l€tv|y4 >:4 hj{ylzz huk hy{pz{ “My art studio at my beach-side home in Malibu, California. It’s a really personal, really private place and very inspirational to me,” she says. “It overlooks a koi pond with a waterfall and a rose garden, and it’s a quiet spot with beautiful light. “I can lose track of time there, forget my worries and become totally absorbed when I’m designing furniture, lamps, jewellery and fabrics or painting.” ● Get the look: Evoke a pond teeming with exotic fish with a dazzling fish-design wallpaper, Koromo Clearwater Designer Wallpaper, £95 a roll, A Shade Wilder (




Spyz{€ Ohsshjoly4 ;?4 \^ wylzlu{ly “My kitchen dining area is a playroom, homework area and social zone, with glass doors which lead onto the garden,” says the mother-of-two. “We have a three-storey townhouse so the bottom floor is the hub of the house, with my sons, who are aged seven and three, and the dog running in out from the garden, especially in the summer. “On the patio we have a hen house, a reminder of the time when we used to have hens – they come in and out of the house too. There’s a country atmosphere to this room and I still have hen ornaments.” ● Get the look: Laura Ashley has a country-style Dorset furniture collection; Dining Table, £950 (currently on sale for £665) and Dining Chair Pai, £332.50 ( Quail Ceramics Maran Hen Salt & Pepper Set, £15.99, Cotswold Trading (


’ “I love all the rooms in my home. However, the room I spend the most time in is probably my bedroom. It’s like my own sanctuary, where I retreat at the end of the day,” says Hoppen, who recently published a new book, Kelly Hoppen Design Masterclass: How To Achieve The Home Of Your Dreams (Jacqui Small, £40). “It contains lots of cushions to add cosiness and a wonderfully comfy bed, made by Duxiana. I have a rather large en suite with a big bath tub to help really enjoy a soak.” ● Get the look: Kelly Hoppen Embroidered Coral Design Reversible Bedcover, in taupe, from £43.92, QVC (

“My favourite room is the den at my home in Beverley Hills, Los Angeles. It has leather armchairs, a well-stocked, built-in bar with French wines and classic English beers, and charcoal-grey painted walls on which I’ve hung brilliant memorabilia. “There are framed front pages to remind me of my time editing the News of the World and the Daily Mirror newspapers, as well as framed album covers of one of my heroes, Frank Sinatra. I also have a small collection of Winston Churchill plaster busts,” he says. “It’s a dark little den where I relax on my own or with friends.” ● Get the look: Frank Sinatra in Los Angeles, 1969, framed print from £75 or as a mounted print from £45, Sonic Editions. ( A Memphis Metal & Leather Aviator Bar Trunk, £2,995, Alexander & Pearl ( THE




Npyz{ [pnuz OF SPRING


The new season of National Gardens Scheme (NGS) open gardens has begun. Each month we will take a closer look at one of the gardens in the county. This month, East Lambrook Manor Gardens near South Petherton.


The mild weather in December means that this year the snowdrops may be earlier than in recent years so what better day to come than Sunday February 9 when, weather permitting, the garden will be open for the annual NGS Snowdrop Day.

Mike & Gail Werkmeister; Telephone: 01460 240328; Email:; Website:

Somerset to open for the NGS each year. As always, the wood-burning stove will be blazing away in the Malthouse to welcome visitors who pop in for tea and cake and the nursery will be selling Galanthus, other spring bulbs, hellebores and herbaceous plants, all grown in peat-free compost.

Owners Mike and Gail Werkmeister reserve Margery Fish came to East Lambrook in 1938 several days every year towards raising money for with her husband Walter Fish who had been NGS charities and are one of the first gardens in editor of the Daily Mail..




Tuesday to Saturday and Bank Holiday Mondays from February to the end of October, plus Sundays in February, May, June and July. Closed all other Mondays Admission costs: Adults £5.75, Seniors £5.25, Groups £5, children under 16 free Contact information:

argery Fish, who created the famous cottage garden at East Lambrook Manor in the 1950s and 60s, set out to create a garden for all seasons hence, as winter turns to spring, the garden bursts into life with her collection of rare and not so rare snowdrops. Galanthophiles, the name for those enthusiasts hooked on Galanthus, or snowdrops as they are better known, head there in February to see the display which is to be found mainly in the Ditch and Woodland Garden. A special raised bed in the nursery also allows some of the garden’s 80 or so choicer and more unusual varieties to be seen close-up.

East Lambrook. 2m north of South Petherton. Postcode: TA13 5HH Opening times:

She too had had a successful career in Fleet Street but when she came to gardening in her mid-forties she was a complete novice gardener. However she soon became hooked and by her death in 1969 was the ‘leading lady of gardening’ in the mid-20th Century, a noted plantswoman and gardening writer. The English cottage garden she created at East Lambrook has by some miracle survived and is much loved by visitors from all over the world who come to wander its many winding paths through abundant borders overflowing with fabulous snowdrops, hellebores, hardy geraniums and much more. It was the lead cottage garden last December on the Great British Garden Revival on BBC 2 presented by Carol Klein.



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rock guitarist and West End singer have teamed up for a brand new show, and will be entertaining audiences in Bath. Queen guitarist Brian May and singer Kerry Ellis will be performing versions of Queen classics, alongside a number of their personal favourite songs for their Candlelight Concerts tour. Audiences in Bath will be able to catch the duo at the Theatre Royal on February 23 for a show that promises to tell a story. Guitarist May is well known for performing with Queen, and frequently wrote songs for the band. He said the show would be very intimate and that anything could happen: “The Candlelight Concerts take us back to the old-style tours. They are very intimate and tell a story. “I am a guitarist, and I just love to make a noise, and in this tour I really do. “I am also very passionate about music and singing, and working with Kerry is brilliant as she is a singer in a million.” The partnership between May and Ellis began when Ellis created the role of Meat in Queen’s show We Will Rock You. She then went on to star as the Green Witch in the musical Wicked, before releasing her debut album Anthems in 2010, produced by May. Ellis said she enjoys working with May, and is looking forward to the tour. She said: “I am so excited to be taking to the road with the Candlelight Concerts. “I can’t tell you how much I enjoy performing these songs with Brian and what fun we have with the audiences in these intimate settings. “The concert has an intimate feel, and it is lovely to see people singing and dancing away.” In a show with so many amazing songs, it would be hard to pick a favourite.




However, Ellis and May both have a soft spot for their version of Dust in the Wind by the American rock band Kansas. May said: “It is very hard to pick a favourite, as there are so many, and we love all the songs we do. However, I do really enjoy performing Dust in the Wind, and it goes down very well.” May spends a lot of time in Bath and is looking forward to returning. He was named as the new patron of the Herschel Museum of Astronomy last month, stepping into the role left vacant by Sir Patrick Moore. May said: “I seem to spend a big part of my life in Bath, which is wonderful as it is a beautiful city. “I am very honoured to be the new patron of the Herschel Museum of Astronomy, as astrophysics is one of my passions.” Tickets for the show are £39/£40, and can be purchased from the box office on 01225 448844 or from www.ticketzone.

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Uhrpun h [wshzo SOCIETY



ipples the multi award-winning premier bathroom retailer, marked 25 years of business with a glamorous night of celebration, held at the world-famous Tea Room at The Assembly Rooms, Bath. Around 120 guests, including franchisees, suppliers from the bathroom industry, friends and family, as well as local and national media, were invited to join Ripples founders Roger and Sandra Kyme for a fabulous evening. The celebrations began with a champagne reception, followed by a sumptuous dinner followed by dancing to live music provided by the fantastically talented The King Swingers.

Roger commented: “There is no doubt that one of the most important factors in Ripples’ success has been the support we get from our suppliers.

■ Juliet Harris (Brand Manager, Ripples) and Leanna Fry (Senior Designer, Ripples Tunbridge Wells)

■ Kimberly Finch, Billie Towers, Chris O’Halloran, Jade O’Bryan and Susan Garwood




“Combine that with the incredible hard work of our franchisees and the dedication of managing director Paul Crow and the team at head office, and you have the recipe of Ripples’ success over the last 25 years.”


■ Sameeha Nasir and Laura Shelby

■ Annabel and Peter Saunders

■ From left, Paul Crow (MD), Lisa Kyme, Juliet Harris (Brand Manager), Roger Kyme (Chief Executive), Sandra Kyme (Company Secretary) and Nicola Crow (Sales Manager)

■ The King Swingers


■ Andy Beers (Dansani), Chris Newbery (Cifial) and Graham Soutar (Dansani).




■ Kim Marcer and Michel Marcer (Ripples Bath, Bristol) ■ Johana Abiodun, Kerri Andrews and Gemma Owen

■ Jacqui Cooper, Chris Palmer, Martin Cooper and Annabel Saunders

■ Mike Lombard, Kimberly Finch, Susan Garwood and Victoria Lombard




■ Mark Plummer and Sophie Baylis

25 January — 5 May 2014


The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art ‘Vesuvius in Eruption, with a View over the Islands in the Bay of Naples’, Joseph Wright c.1776-80 Oil on canvas. © Tate, London 2013


_lh{oly ilh{lyz DAY FOR JUMPERS


early 10,000 racegoers celebrated Boxing Day at Wincanton Racecourse that overcame horrendous weather to stage a seven-race card on going described as heavy, soft in places. Wincanton Racecourse operates a ‘dress for the weather and occasion’ policy and on

Boxing Day never had the code been more appropriate with racegoers invited to don a festive jumper for the chance to win a Racing Post 2014 calendar. After the fourth race, on-course announcer – Luke Harvey – randomly distributed Racing Post calendars to racegoers on proof of a Christmas jumper. Pictures by Matthew Webb










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Please contact Ann Oddy on 01749 832303 or Jo Reynolds on 01935 709707.


I Y|lz{pvu OF SPORT


he location is the ADAC Fahrsicherheitszentrum test facility, a short motorway drive from Dusseldorf’s international airport.

The cars have been warmed, our technological briefings have come and gone, and the time has come for a first taste of the Macan (in the passenger seat, of course).

Porsche still won’t let the media actually drive its new Macan, but Matt Kimberley is one of the first to experience what it can do in the hands of a test driver.

That’s enough to push you back into your seat, hard, as our new, not-so-long-haired German driver kindly demonstrates to the sound of a muted woofle from the exhausts, turning into a muffled bark at high revs. Its brakes are devastatingly effective too, hauling the German beefcake down to corner-appropriate speeds as It electronically shuffles power to the wheels that though someone has thrown an anchor out of the window. can best use it, while simultaneously killing wheelspin at those that can’t, absolutely That a Porsche of any shape or size would be maximising the potential traction and dragging the anything other than rapid at both going and compact but rather tubby (at nearly two tonnes) stopping is unthinkable. But the jury is out as to Macan up challenging slopes with gusto. It’s only on standard road tyres, too. First up is some off-roading, for which I climb into the Macan Diesel alongside a long, curly-haired German engineer who’s quite keen to tell the ‘assembled’ journalists in three of the four passenger seats all about how the four-wheel drive system works.

The diesel engine, a very familiar single-turbo unit with 254bhp, will eventually be put in the shade by the excellent Bi-Turbo lump, which packs more than 300bhp. But for now, the lower-powered 3.0-litre V6 does an impressive all-round job. But now it’s time for the track. I make a bee-line for the Macan Turbo, the fastest and most expensive model in the range. A newly-developed 3.6-litre V6 provides the grunt, while turbocharging helps boost power up to 400 metric horses.




the dynamic merits of the Macan’s gargantuan Cayenne big brother, so as the driver launches the smaller car over a corner-exit crest, the chassis snaking sideways across the tarmac as much of the weight leaves the wheels, I realise I don’t know how this is going to end. Very well, as it turns out. When the car’s bulk lands back on its adaptive air springs it simply settles itself with a hint of electronic intervention at the back end, and carries on its way. It doesn’t feel lightweight, but as a passenger, it feels astonishingly capable. Helpfully, Herr Driver seems to sense my positive leanings and decides to demonstrate how well the Macan can power-slide. It does, if only with a dedicated boot-full of the go-go pedal, but as I gaze blankly at the approaching scenery through the side window, I can’t help but notice that, actually, this big, heavy Macan has a mighty balance and stability about it. Even when sideways. The electronics make a big difference to the overall experience. Softly-sprung suspension gets much firmer at the push of a button, and the gearbox can be set up to hang onto each ratio for as long as it can. Arguably most fun, though, are the parps and gargles that come from the exhaust. Porsche calls its non-sports cars, the Panamera and Cayenne, the sports cars within their sectors. The truth of that is, frankly, subjective, but after this preview it looks like the Macan might genuinely put the Sports into SUV.


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Houndstone, Business Park, Yeovil BA22 8RT 01935 423423

LIKE US Official Fuel Economy Figures for the MINI Hatch Range: Urban 36.7-67.3 mpg (7.7-4.2 l/100km). Extra Urban 58.9-91.1 mpg (4.8-3.1 l/100km). Combined 48.7-80.7 mpg (5.8-3.5 l/100km). CO2 Emissions 136-92 g/km. Figures may vary depending on driving style and conditions.


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HOW ALIVE ARE YOU? Official fuel consumption for the Jaguar XF range in mpg (l/100km): Urban from 16.7 (16.9) to 48.7 (5.8). Extra Urban from 32.8 (8.6) to 64.2 (4.4). from 24.4 (11.6) to 57.7 (4.9). CO2 emissions from 270 to 129 (g/km). The figures provided are as a result of official manufacturer’s tests in accordance with EU legislation. A vehicle’s actual fuel consumption may differ from that achieved in such tests and these figures are for comparative purposes only.

*Plus deposit and final payment. Finance is subject to status and only available to applicants aged 18 and over resident in Mainland UK and N.Ireland. Indemnities may be required. This finance offer is available from Black Horse Limited trading as Jaguar Financial Services, St William House, Tresillian Terrace, Cardiff, CF10 5BH. *This offer is available on new XF Saloon and Sportbrake models only (excluding all 163PS models apart from Luxury), registered between 1st January and 31st March 2014 at participating Dealers only. **This promotion applies to eligible Jaguar XF Saloon and Sportbrake cars registered between 1st January and 31st March 2014 at participating Jaguar dealers. Services must take place at participating Jaguar Authorised Repairers. The ‘free servicing certificate’ should be presented to the dealership at time of booking the vehicle in for a service in order to qualify. The promotion is only available at the point of registration of the vehicle in the customer’s name. Free servicing covers scheduled servicing and associated parts (oils, hydraulic fluids, seals, filters, elements and antifreeze) and labour for three years from the date of invoice up to a maximum of three services (3 years or 48,000 miles diesel / 45,000 miles petrol, whichever is sooner). Scheduled servicing intervals are detailed in the vehicle handbook. Excludes wear and tear items such as shock absorbers, exhaust systems, tyres, windscreens, windows, engines, transmissions, electronics, cost of fitting or repairing accessories and any form of accident damage and non-routine servicing work, parts or labour. The service package is not a warranty package. The free service promotion is only valid for the vehicle purchased.

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Cryptic clues

Across 1. Kind of varnish provided by company colleague (5) 4. Precise arrangement used by those who prepare food (7) 8. Partly discover allusion to this garment (7) 9. Young member of the family squandering coins (5) 10. See 6 Down. 11. Wonder whether to blend this tea before starting exports (8) 13. Pity it’s only part of the Old Testament (4) 14. See 18 Down. 16. Didn’t go to sea in a rush (8) 17. Copies part of a shape symmetrically (4) 20. Languid feeling that makes some of the children nuisances (5) 21. Play on words? (7) 22. They slip easily from a shelf in the ship (7) 23. As cads, they’re trodden underfoot (5) Down 1. Stuffy army accommodation at which hand-to-hand fighting takes place (5,8) 2. Kind of meal done bit-by-bit (5) 3. Hang around for some bread (4) 4. This will even out the wave (6) 5. Ignominiously dismisses the accountants (8) 6 And 10 Across. Soldier observes the detectives (7,4) 7. Lack of feeling shows stupidity (13) 12. Taking industrial action is attractive (8) 13. More can be distracted by novel story (7) 15. They are intended to keep out the receivers (6) 18 And 14 Across. But it’s not the source of timber for aircraft (5-4) 19. What the witness gives evidence on (4)




Quick clues

Across 1. Defraud (5) 4. Antiquated (7) 8. Skinflint (7) 9. Document (5) 10. Merit (4) 11. Fighting (2,6) 13. Refuse (4) 14. Remain (4) 16. Aerodrome (8) 17. Haul (4) 20. Likeness (5) 21. Encampment (7)

22. Normal (7) 23. Live (5) Down 1. Thought (13) 2. Keen (5) 3. Rip (4) 4. Zealous (6) 5. Volume (8) 6. Enlarge (7) 7. By date (13) 12. Contrive (8) 13. Sleeping (7) 15. World-wide (6) 18. Stimulate (5) 19. Greedy (4)

Solutions to January’s crossword Cryptic solutions Across: 1 Piston; 4 Arabic; 9 Secret service; 10 Operate; 11 Bogus; 12 Match; 14 Stand; 18 Rayon; 19 Disrobe; 21 Stiff upper lip; 22 Orders; 23 Stayed. Down: 1 Pistol; 2 Secretary bird; 3 Omega; 5 Rarebit; 6 Bring into play; 7 Crease; 8 Usher; 13 Conifer; 15 Fresco; 16 Adept; 17 Reaped; 20 Scent. Quick solutions Across: 1 Inhale; 4 Baited; 9 Jurisprudence; 10 Cholera; 11 Niece; 12 Shawl; 14 Cache; 18 Orate; 19 Dictate; 21 Uninterrupted; 22 Dogged; 23 Gender. Down: 1 Inject; 2 Hard of hearing; 3 Lisle; 5 Addenda; 6 Tender-hearted; 7 Deemed; 8 Break; 13 Wreathe; 15 Jocund; 16 Adore; 17 Vendor; 20 Crude.

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The Blue School, Wells The Blue School has served the families of the City of Wells and its surrounding communities since 1641. We cater for students aged 11-18 and are a non-fee paying, state maintained Church of England School with a fully inclusive admissions policy. As the largest school in Somerset, we are able to offer a range of diverse and enriching experiences for the students in our care. We encourage all students to play a full part in pastoral and extra curricular events.

Our sixth form has grown exponentially in recent years while maintaining high standards and excellent results, leading to the vast majority of our students gaining places at Russell Group universities. Our students flourish academically and our results speak for themselves, but key to our philosophy is development of the person as a whole. In our recent Ofsted report, the inspectors found that “Students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is central to the life of the school.” Ofsted, October 2013 We strive to establish an ethos where all members of the school community are respected and can develop a real sense of their individual worth. We have high expectations of all our students and achievement is celebrated at all levels. Come and see for yourselves what The Blue has to offer. Tours available by appointment 01749 678799. We are currently holding guidance interviews for Sixth Form 2014 and welcome applications from students from across the region. The Blue School, Kennion Road, Wells, BA5 2NR

The County Magazine | February 2014  
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