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WELCOME

CONTRIBUTORS Emma Dance Editor T: 01225 322224

e.dance@bathchron.co.uk

Ann Oddy Advertising Director T: 01749 832303 ann.johnston @midsomnews.co.uk

Joanne Reynolds Advertising Manager South Somerset T: 01935 709707 joanne.reynolds @westgaz.co.uk

Flora Thompson Senior Writer T: 01935 709742 flora.thompson @westgaz.co.uk

Christina Sim Fashion Editor

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hristmas has been and gone, the decorations have been packed away for another year, and you’ve finally eaten your way through all the leftover turkey.

I hope you had a wonderful festive season and managed to find time to relax between all the preparations and celebrations, so you’re refreshed and ready for 2014. The start of a new year is always a great time to make changes, whether it’s making resolutions or simply giving your home a spring clean to make room for all those lovely new Christmas presents! We’ve got some top advice on how to get motivated for the coming year to make sure you stick to those resolutions and achieve your goals. You might want to make one of your new year tasks clearing out your wardrobe. We’ve been lucky enough to get an exclusive sneak preview of the new spring/summer collection from Marks & Spencer.

Lesley Taylor Interiors Editor

It might seem a bit early (and cold!) to start thinking about next season’s fashions, but trust me, when you see what’s going to be hitting the stores over the next few months, you will be dying to shed those winter woollies and get shopping. The lovely people at M&S have also given one lucky reader the chance to win a fabulous beauty hamper, stuffed with gorgeous goodies to celebrate the opening of the beauty hall in their Yeovil branch. If you’re feeling a bit jaded after the party season, it will be the perfect pick-me-up to get you looking and feeling your best again.

Kim Beer Business Support Manager T: 01749 832317 kimberley.beer @midsomnews.co.uk

The party season isn’t quite over yet, though. Burns’ Night is on January 25, and while it might traditionally be a Scottish holiday, there’s no reason why we can’t all join in the fun, so we’ve put together some great recipes to help you plan a fabulous celebration. I hope you enjoy this first County Magazine of 2014 and I wish you a very happy New Year!

Mtth

EDITOR Becky Feather Lead Designer Rebecca.feather @bathchron.co.uk

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CONTENTS

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FASHION

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JUST SO FASHION

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HEALTH & BEAUTY

25

COMPETITION

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FOOD & DRINK

We get an exclusive look at next season’s fashions from High Street favourite Marks & Spencer

32

Christina Sim shows you how to wear sparkles in the New Year

Prevent winter taking its toll on your skin with these tips PLUS how to stay walking tall in high heels and keeping motivated in 2014

Win a hamper of beauty products from M&S

The party season isn’t over yet. Get ready to celebrate Burns’ Night on January 25 PLUS Linda Vijeh gives her pick of party champagnes

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RECIPES

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TRAVEL

Throw your own Burns’ Night Supper with these recipes

Mallorca isn’t just about beaches. Emma Dance visits the exclusive La Residencia

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CONTENTS THE BIG INTERVIEW

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HOMES

Lesley Taylor gives her advice on how to make the most of small spaces in the house PLUS we look at the interiors trends for the coming season with M&S and tips on how to keep the outside of your home in tip-top condition

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GARDENS

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FILM

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SOCIETY

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MOTORS

Creating a space for parking in front of your home doesn’t have to mean losing greenery. We show you how

Hollywood director Martin Scorsese is set to make a virtual appearance in Wells Cathedral with a special screening of The Last Temptation of Christ

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

Matt Joy takes the Honda Civic Type-R 2015 for a test drive

COFFEE BREAK

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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Emma Dance meets Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams

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FASHION

Marks & Spencer has given us a sneak preview of what we can expect on the rails next season.

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TRENDS FOR S/S14

■ WHITE OUT: Autograph dress, £69

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e might still be wrapped up in winter woollies, but it won’t be long before the shops are filled with their spring/summer

High street favourite Marks & Spencer has given County Magazine an exclusive sneak preview of the top trends for women, men and kids, that you can expect to see out and about next season. Says style director Belinda Earl: “Quality, innovation and exceptional design are now synonymous with Marks & Spencer and continue to be a steering force behind our Spring/Summer 14 collection.

“Exquisite attention to detail and an awareness of the contemporary woman have underpinned every aspect of this collection. Luxurious fabrics, a bold and muted colour palette and vivid new prints have shaped the Spring/Summer 14 collection into a vibrant and fresh aesthetic, with a distinctive trend direction.” There are five key trends to be looking out for next season. White Out Simple, clean and effortless, white is the colour of the season. Neat details, fluid draping and shapes help reaffirm white as a bold, new colour direction. Pretty Things A rendezvous with romances sees textured florals, razor pleats and sugary shades collide. Sheer layering, elegant lace and metallic fabrics will achieve this feminine and contemporary look. ’90s Luxe Easy elegance and sophistication with a sartorial edge define the ultra-sleek ’90s revival. Monochromatic tailoring and taupe leathers punctuate the urban minimalist appeal in a redefinition of the classic.

■ ’90S LUXE: Limited Edition Dungaree, £59, Limited Edition waistcoat, £59, Autograph shoes, £99, bangle, £15

■ PAINTBOX: Limited Edition Jumper £39.50, Limited Edition Trousers, £39.50, bag £29.50, shoes, £25 ■ WORLDWIDE: caption needed

Paint Box A contemporary use of the colour palette unites punchy primaries with the simple silhouette in an explosion of tonal diversity. Colourful leathers offset with luxe neutrals and contrasting texture epitomise the paint box visual. Worldwide Worldwide fuses proportions, abstract prints and bohemian layering to create a graphic explosion of sleek femininity. Don’t forget the undergarments either. See overleaf.

■ PRETTY THINGS: bag, £29.50 THE

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FASHION

■ Limited Collection Bra, £17.50 and Knickers, £7.50

Soozie Jenkinson, head of lingerie design and product direction at Marks & Spencer, says: “Romantic influences, flashes of colour and the ultra-sleek taking centre stage with SS14 lingerie. ■ Limited Collection, £25

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“A love affair with florals, softer silhouettes, paler tones and ethereal lightness meet clean, cutting edge pieces

that sculpt, shape and add structure. “Long-line bras and higher waist knickers have become the new essentials for the modern woman. “Alluring glamour blends with the ultra-feminine to create seductive pieces too beautiful to be kept under wraps.”


FASHION ■ Blazer £299, Shirt £99, Bow Tie, £19.50, Trousers £99

■ Jacket £199, Cashmere Jumper £149, Shirt £99, Bow Tie £19.50, Trousers £99

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DESIGNS

hen it comes to our food, we are encouraged to eat as ‘local’ as possible, so there’s no reason why we shouldn’t apply the same philosophy to our wardrobes.

Last year Marks & Spencer launched the M&S Best of British collection, celebrating the best of British design and manufacture, as part of a three-year partnership with the British Fashion Council.

■ Suit £799, Shirt £99,Tie £25, Shoes £235

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All garments in the range are 100 per cent

designed and made in Britain, combining our rich heritage with modern styling, placing an emphasis on true British craftsmanship and quality.

Spring 2014 will see the launch of the second collection under the Best of British brand. For menswear, the design team at M&S has captured the iconic British look in luxurious lighter weight fabrics and a spring colour pallet, with relevant style updates for the new season. The collection will be available online (www.marksandspencer.com) from February.


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YOUNG THINGS

■ T-shirt, £9

■ Shirt, from £10

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■ Shoes, from £14

he M&S Spring Summer 14 Kidswear collection is bright, upbeat and optimistic, with vibrant and practical pieces.

Designed to be both kid and parent friendly, the clothes combine quality upgrades with fun innovation and the very best essentials. The collection includes something for everyone, from the cutest pastel prints in ‘Crayola Pop’, to washed indigos and new nautical in ‘Sea Farer’ or bright folk styles in ‘Gretal’.

■ Skirt, from £16

M&S’s Autograph has managed to bring designer lux into reach with perfectly crafted collections for every occasion.

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■ Dress from £14, Socks £4 (pack of 4)

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Wellness FOR YOUR SKIN Semi-Permanent Make up Wake up to a fresh look everyday with smudge proof make-up that can last for many months even years!

Using precise techniques your specialist, Pamela Rastall, can create or improve the shape and balance of your eyebrows; enhance the shape and deďŹ nition of your eyes; improve the colour and contour of your lips. All treatments provide a smudge free solution for your make-up needs. We offer you a full consultation and assist you in choosing the shape, colour and style you require. Once, you are happy the treatment will commence. Using state-of-the art equipment your make-up will be tattooed to your speciďŹ cation, creating a natural look that stays in place 24/7. The results will last for months, slowly fading with time. An annual colour boost is recommended to keep the look fresh and realistic.

Medical Micropigmentation

This incredible technique can help to reduce the appearance of scars, stretch marks and help with reducing breast surgery scars and introduce pigment for Aerola reconstruction.

GIFT VOUCHERS AVAILABLE!

Using MCA dry needling technique scar tissue can be ďŹ&#x201A;attened and reduced. In some cases the scar repigments naturally and seems much less of a concern as it blends in with the surrounding skin. CamouďŹ&#x201A;age skin coloured pigments can be implanted to help disguise unsightly areas.

01935 433147

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Bath Opticians welcomes both new & existing clients        !       ###!!"  !!"


FASHION

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SPARKLES

■ Premium Gold embellished T-shirt, £55, ASOS

South West fashion blogger Christina Sim, from Just So Fashion, shows us how to sparkle into the New Year!

■ Sophia sequin jacket, £99, Monsoon

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he New Year’s Eve celebrations may be over, but that doesn’t mean we can’t carry the sparkle into 2014. I am like a magpie when it comes to shiny clothes and accessories, and using just one item of sparkle adds glamour to any outfit.

I love mixing textures such as a shiny gold chunky necklace worn over a woollen jumper or a sequin clutch bag worn with denim jeans and heels.

Sequins worn with wool is another good look, try a sequin skirt with a chunky knit. You don’t want to find yourself dressed like your Christmas tree so just add one sparkly item to your look.

■ Baroque Pearl Hardcase Clutch, £45, Accessorize

If you are wearing a glitzy top or dress, make your accessories simple with no sparkle and vice versa. One of my favourite items is this black fluffy floral glittery skirt from Topshop – I wore it throughout the Christmas party period. I wear mine with a petrol-blue polo neck, black heels, black velvet clutch and a gold chunky necklace. Check out my favourites and add some sparkle to your wardrobe. ■ Crystal oversize crest earrings, £10, Accessorize

Happy shopping!

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■ Epiphany nail varnish, £6, Topshop

For more fashion ideas visit justsofashion.blogspot.co.uk Follow Christina on twitter @justsofashion

■ Ballroom heels, £89, Dune

■ Ultimate Disco Collar, £25, Accessorize

■ Fluffy floral glittery pelmet skirt, £40, Topshop

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HEALTH & BEAUTY

Rescue your skin before it goes into winter meltdown. Lisa Haynes reveals some expert SOS (Save Our Skin) techniques.

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SKINCARE PLAN


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t’s that time of year when we ramp up our party beauty regime, but put skincare on the back burner. Blame the weather. Swathed in layers, with limbs in tights to keep warm, it’s easy to forget about your flesh until the return of spring.

Almost a quarter of women admit to neglecting their skin in the winter, according to a recent survey by skincare expert E45. Most suffer from symptoms such as sensitive skin (27 per cent), snakeskin-like legs (21 per cent) and dry elbows and knees (25 per cent). “As the colder weather sets in, the low humidity in the air enhances its drying effect on the skin,” says dermatologist Tabi Leslie. “This, coupled with the increase in central heating and us trying to warm up with baths and showers, can really suck the moisture from our skin.” Step up your maintenance and winter-proof your skin for the frosty months ahead. CHAPPED HANDS Winter woe: Removing winter gloves to unveil red, chapped and angry-looking hands. Exposed to the elements, hands often bear the brunt of cold weather, and dry hands are especially common in winter if you’re prone to symptoms of sensitive skin like inflammation or eczema. “Dryness and chapping can be caused by exposure to dry winds and cold water,” says Tabi. “Sufferers with very dry skin are also more susceptible to sensitivity from soaps and other products.” Maintenance: Keep a tube of hand cream in your bag to keep hands hydrated and try to use immediately after washing hands. Before bed, use a rich formula that can soak in overnight. RED FACED Winter woe: No matter how much foundation you slap on, those red cheeks and Rudolph nose just won’t disappear. When you go from inside to outside in the winter, you’re challenging your skin to adapt quickly from hot to cold and cold to hot, which causes capillaries in the face to contract and expand rapidly, leading to broken veins and skin redness. Maintenance: Try a hydrating serum containing Vitamin C and antioxidants to minimise and soothe damaged skin, while nourishing and protecting.

■ Winter-proof your skin with our expert’s advice

COLD CUSTOMER

Maintenance: Soothe your scalp with a nourishing conditioner or hair mask that’s free of harsh Winter woe: You feel like you’ve constantly got the shivers and only a steaming hot bath will help. synthetic ingredients to help replenish lost moisture. Wearing a hat can also help protect SNAKE SKIN Ease up on the hot tap. When baths and showers your hair during the winter. are hotter than they should be, it can increase Winter woe: When you undress, your clothes WINTER REGIME are covered in an unsightly speckling of dead skin. skin sensitivity. Maintenance: Reduce your water temperature, Keep Jack Frost out and hydration in with Cold winds and central heating both take their cosmetic dermatologist and Aveeno ambassador toll on your skin, sapping it of essential moisture. ideally to tepid or slightly warm. If the very idea gives you a chill, at least cool the temperature Dr Sam Bunting’s top tips: “Many people experience itching, flaking and down when cleansing your face, as the skin tissue Exfoliate less often – dry, winter skin may only dryness in winter,” says Dr Sam Bunting, a on the face, neck and chest is more vulnerable to need it once a week. cosmetic dermatologist. “The outer layer of our developing sensitivity. epidermis needs to maintain adequate moisture Use a soap-free, emollient wash. FLAKY SCALP levels in order to preserve its function as a Gently pat skin dry after your shower as rough protective barrier.” Winter woe: It’s snowing... on your shoulders towel drying can irritate sensitive winter skin. Maintenance: Step up your skincare routine with due to an abrupt case of dandruff. Apply body moisturiser straight after a shower to intensely hydrating products. Apply your Like the skin on your body, your scalp can lock moisture. moisturiser to damp skin within two or three become dehydrated during cold snaps. minutes of getting out of the bath or shower, to Upping the central heating can also create a Be generous with your moisturiser – aim to use lock in moisture and minimise dehydration. 30ml for each top-to-toe application. sudden imbalance. THE

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HEALTH & BEAUTY

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HEAVEN

Stilettos may be stylish but excessive use of heels can cause you problems.

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HEALTH & BEAUTY ■ Don’t be afraid of heights: follow our tips and you can enjoy wearing your favourite shoes without causing lasting damage

Matt Shepherd, from Physio Impulse in Bath, has put together a guide to the five most common high-heel related afflictions and five top tips to manage them. He said: “These tips should help overcome those day-to-day niggles, but if symptoms persist it is always advisable to seek the help of a chartered physiotherapist to fully assess your problem.

2. Inversion injury/ankle sprain Reduced balance and supination (turning in) of the foot while wearing heels increases the risk of inversion injuries on the dance floor, particularly after a few glasses of wine! 3. Calf/Achilles pain A recent study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology found that women who wore high heels five times a week for two years had calf muscles that were 13 per cent shorter and Achilles tendons that were substantially stiffer and thicker than those of women who wore flat shoes. These changes will often lead to pain on walking, running and jumping activities.

“ In clinic we find that excessive use of heels can 4. Knee pain lead to some pretty debilitating issues, but as with Studies have shown an increase in pressure of up most things in life moderation is the key. to 26 per cent in the patellofemoral joint (behind “Varying shoes from flats to heels and maintaining the knee caps) when heels are worn. Over time a regular stretching and strengthening routine will this can lead to osteoarthritis within the joint, ensure that you can enjoy wearing your favourite which is twice as common in females. shoes without causing lasting damage.” 5. Low back pain Affliction: Wearing heels has been linked to an increase in 1. Foot pain lumbar lordosis (curvature in the low back) which Donning heels shifts our centre of mass forward may increase load through the facet joints of the increasing pressure through the forefoot by up to spine and lead to nagging back pain. 70 per cent with just a three-inch heel. This can Keeping healthy on high heels cause a multitude of nasty ailments such as 1. RICE hammer toes, bunions and Morton’s neuroma (compression of the nerves between the toes). If you take a tumble, hangover plans should

include rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE). 2. Stretch Stretch after wearing heels to give those muscles some much-needed relief. The ‘Downward Dog’ yoga pose restores length to the calves. 3. Strengthen Optimal strength in the hips and thighs is imperative to maintaining healthy knee joints, so hit the gym and work those glutes with squats and lunges. To stabilise your spine, again buns of steel will help and some hard work on those abdominals will also reap rewards. 4. Balance Standing on one leg while brushing your teeth or practising on balance boards at the gym will help reduce the risk of injury. 5. Massage Try rolling a golf ball or a frozen water bottle gently underneath the foot to release those tight areas and relieve inflammation. These tips should help overcome day-to-day niggles, but if symptoms persist it is always advisable to seek the help of a chartered physiotherapist. In clinic we find that excessive use of heels can lead to some pretty debilitating issues, but as with most things in life, moderation is the key.

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hat girl doesn’t love a pair of gorgeous high heels? But although our favourite footwear might look stunning, regular tottering around in six-inch heels could be causing you more damage than you realise.

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HEALTH & BEAUTY Personal trainer James Eacott offers advice on how to get motivated in 2014

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YOUR GOALS

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thinking about what you can achieve. I specialise in personal training, as well as running and triathlon coaching, but there is so much more out there if you don’t want to join the Lycra brigade. Here’s what I believe is do-able if you make the decision now to pursue that goal:

t’s that time of year again. Christmas is a distant memory, although the seasonal weight gain and worse-than-ever hangovers from a great party season are very much present. It’s the same every year.

But why? Because we let it encroach and do nothing about it. It doesn’t need to be that way.

Can you walk for 30 minutes? Then you can run a 10km by the end of summer.

To make 2014 a year to surpass all those that came before, my absolute best piece of advice is this: Set a goal.

Can you run for 30 minutes? Then you can run a half marathon by August. Can you swim, bike and run any distance? Then you can complete an Olympic-distance triathlon by September.

Recently, I’ve had an influx of clients wanting to set specific goals for next year, rather than ambiguous ones such as “I want to lose weight” or “I want to be stronger”. I’m delighted about this, for many reasons. Although the above are noble aims, they are difficult to achieve because they are immeasurable. Setting the right goal is crucial to achieving it. Even if your goal is more specific, such as “I want to weigh 68kg by March”, well what are you going to do when you get there? I meet very few weight-loss clients who, once they reach their target number, are truly satisfied. They either want to lose more (which isn’t always necessary or sensible) or they need something else to work towards. Something bigger. In my experience, few stick with long-term resolutions purely because they are not motivating enough in their nature. As the days remain drawn in and we snuggle around the fire, now is the best time to decide what you want to achieve in 2014. There are three important components of goal setting: 1. It needs to be realistic. Don’t aim to swim the Pacific. It’s not going to happen. Dream big, yes, but don’t dream silly. Having said that,

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Can you swim 1,000m (non-stop) and run a half marathon? Then you could be an Ironman triathlete by the end of the year. Yes, really. ■ Training with James Eacott

Can you run a marathon? Then you can run a 50miler by June, and/or a 100-mile non-stop ultramarathon by December.

consider what ‘realistic’ actually is. It’s probably Can you cycle 100 miles in a day? Then you can more than you think. Ponder what others have done, not just what you think you’re capable of. If cycle from Lands End to John O’Groats by another human being has done it, why can’t you? September. 2. It needs to be measurable. Every goal needs a specific target so you know whether you’ve achieved or not. Run 10km in 45 minutes; finish a half marathon; summit Kilimanjaro. Whatever it is, there needs to be a definite “yes, I achieved my goal... what’s next?” at the end of it. 3. It must be fuelled by passion. It’s possible to reach ‘small’ targets even if passion isn’t the driving force behind it, but if you’re going for a sizeable one, then I believe you need something more than “I want to lose weight to look better” to provide you with the motivation needed to push through tough sessions. It needs to be for a bigger cause. Complete your goal for charity, or do it in remembrance of someone. As long as your goal ticks all the above, start

Believe it or not, most of the above are within the majority of the populations’ capabilities. My motto is “we’re capable of so much more than we realise”, and I truly believe it. Use my philosophy: Find an event or devise your own challenge. Pay the entry fee/commit yourself to it. Tell everyone about it. Then, and only then, figure out how you’re going to do it. So, what now? Sit down at your computer this evening and take that first foray on the net to see what’s out there. What would you like to achieve? Who would you like to be? Have a think about it. You’ll be surprised what you could be doing this time next year if you dedicate a little time to the cause now.


COMPETITION

■ The new Beauty Hall at M&S where you will find some of the leading niche beauty brands from around the world, alongside own-brand beauty ranges

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HAMPER TO WIN

Experienced, trained beauty advisers are on hand in-store to offer specialist and impartial advice to customers. All are specially selected and trained by industry experts. This includes skincare, hair care and make-up training, skin analysis and practical make-up application for all occasions.

M&S Your Beauty has reinvented the beauty shopping experience, both in store and online, with groundbreaking new technology, allowing customers to access expert advice at all times of Beauty brands such as; Apivita – Greece’s top natural skin and hair-care range, derived from the the day. Innovative new interactive tools – honey of Greek bees; Dr Murad, from one of the exclusive to M&S – include the ‘Virtual Makeover’ counter which allows customers to experience leading doctor brands in the US, Filorga, a different make-up looks and skin consultations skincare brand from France, which combines ‘virtually’, either from a photo or a model. cosmetics with scientific ingredients taken from To celebrate the opening, County Magazine has aesthetic medicine, and Skyn Iceland, created to teamed up with M&S to offer one lucky reader address the effects of stress on skin, using pure the opportunity to win a beauty hamper packed and potent natural ingredients from Iceland. Experts have sourced the best brands and products for the store, providing product answers to every possible beauty need.

with some of the best brands and products available from M&S. For a chance at winning this fabulous prize, all you have to do is answer this question: Q. On what special day did the Your Beauty department open in M&S Yeovil? A – Halloween B – Christmas Day C – Pancake Day Email your answer along with your name, address and telephone number to e.dance@bathchron.co.uk with M&S Beauty Competition in the subject line. Entries must be received by 5pm on Friday, January 24, and must include all contact details to be eligible. See page 65 for competition terms and conditions.

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arks & Spencer has launched a brand new M&S Your Beauty department at its Yeovil store. The Beauty Hall opened on October 31, offering the very best of some of the leading niche beauty brands from around the world, alongside M&S own-brand beauty ranges.

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FOOD & DRINK ■ Cranachan ‘wickedly rich and decadent’

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ust when you thought the party was over, it’s time to roll out the tartan carpet on January 25 and sing the praises of Robert Burns, Scotland’s most famous poet.

Whether you’re a Scot or not, getting together for a cosy Burns’ Night celebration is the perfect antidote to the cold January weather.

The first Burns’ Night Supper was held in 1801, five years after the poet’s death, by a group of his friends and acquaintances, to celebrate his life and works. They devised an evening which looked a bit like a Masonic lodge ceremonial, with a haggis as a centrepiece and the recitation and singing of Burns’ works, along with a toast, in verse, to the memory of their friend. They enjoyed the evening so much that the group of friends decided to meet the following January, this time for a dinner to celebrate Burns’ birthday, never imagining that it would grow to become a global phenomenon. But Burns’ popularity grew rapidly after his untimely death and the idea of meeting annually to share his poems and songs in the bonds of friendship caught the public imagination. The first Supper outside Scotland was at Oxford University in 1806 (hosted by a few Glasgow students) with London seeing its first Bard-day party in 1810. Wherever there were Scots merchants trading in the English county towns, festivals sprung up over the next 20 years. ■ Dougie Bonar

There’s no one better to host a Burns’ Night Supper than Scottish chef Dougie Bonar, of the Kilted Chef in Kingsmead Square, who is hosting an authentic celebration in the fine dining restaurant.

“But I can’t resist the temptation mark the birth of Scotland’s most celebrated poet.

He said: “I’m no stranger to the softer lifestyles and lighter cuisines of the south, as you can see from our usual menus.

“On January 24 and 25 I will return to my roots of classic northern cooking and celebrate in true Scottish style.

“Local Bard followers and poetry lovers will have the unique opportunity to experience a traditional Burns’ Supper, all in the relaxing stylish surroundings of The Kilted Chef, Bath – no need to travel north of the border to enjoy a typical Burns’ Night Supper. “The evenings will start at 7.30pm with a Welcome and Selkirk Grace, followed by a delicious helping of Cullen Skink. Despite its name, Cullen Skink is notably a Scottish dish. It is a truly delicious soup, made with smoked haddock, potatoes, onions and parsley. “Next in line is the obligatory Parade of the Haggis, which, in true traditional style, will be piped in by a Piper suitably clad in customary attire. To follow, will be the Address and a healthy serving of homemade haggis, and the habitual chappitt tatties. “Once this has been digested, guests will be treated to a generous serving of mouthwatering roast sirloin of beef, Balmoral style. “After a Toast to the Immortal Memory, guests will have the chance to try one of my favourite puddings – Cranachan with Drambuie and raspberries. Cranachan is a deliciously light and fluffy pudding, but wickedly rich and decadent – the perfect way to finish off an evening’s entertainment in celebration of the life of the Bard.” The Burns’ Night Menu at the Kilted Chef costs £60 per person. For more details visit www.thekiltedchef.com. If you want to throw your own Burns’ Night Supper see our recipes on pages 32-33

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■ Traditional haggis

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FOOD & DRINK

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e all deserve to celebrate the beginning of a new year with something special. For me, there is certainly no match for the delights of a great bottle of bubbly.

While there are many perfectly acceptable sparkling wines readily available, there can be few drinks, that match champagne for elegance and sophistication. Often I encounter people who state emphatically: “I can’t stand champagne”; I would argue that often this is because they have been exposed to cheap imitations, or lesser-known brands lacking in quality.

While the most desirable ‘grand marques’ champagnes will set you back well over £100, for little more than the price of a modest bottle of restaurant wine you can afford to splash out and enjoy a bit of fizz at home. I would expect to pay a minimum of around £30 a bottle for something decent. To earn the title ‘champagne’ the wine must adhere to strict criteria, such as secondary fermentation in the bottle, and the area in which the three permitted grape varietiesare grown. To brighten up the start of the year, and encourage you to try something a little different, splurge on either a ‘blanc de blancs’ or ‘blanc de noirs’ champagne.The first of these translates as ‘white from white’, meaning white wine made from white grapes, in this case, Chardonnay, as it is the only white grape allowed in the making of true champagne. ‘Blanc de noirs’ refers to white wine made from black grapes, either Pinot Noir or a blend of this and Pinot Meunier. Most supermarkets offer their own house versions at under £20 a bottle. ‘Blanc de Noirs’ recommendations Bollinger’s Vieilles Vignes Français, £200+ a bottle. The yardstick by which all ‘blanc de noirs’ champagnes are judged. Jacquesson 2004, £150. Exclusively Pinot Noir, from a highly regarded small producer. Grand Cru Mailly, £35. 100% Pinot Noir. Considered one of the best for the price, you’ll find it hard to go wrong here. ‘Blanc de Blancs’ recommendations. Gosset Grand Blanc de Blancs, £65. The oldest wine house in Champagne, look out for their new blend, made from Grand Cru Chardonnay grapes of three different vintages. Ruinart Blanc de Blancs NV, £45. Another Grand Cru production, ideal with oysters. Ayala Blanc de Blancs, £36. Made from three different grand Cru Chardonnays, and much admired.

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Chef and wine examiner Linda Vijeh gives her picks of some bottles of bubbly to help chase away the winter blues.


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FOOD & DRINK You might not have a set of bagpipes or a kilt in your clan’s tartan, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enter into the spirit of Burns’ Night. If you’re planning a traditional Burns’ Night supper then try these recipes from Waitrose.

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FOOD & DRINK HAGGIS, NEEPS & TATTIES Serves: 6 Preparation time: 40 minutes Cooking time: 105 minutes Total time: 2 hours, 25 minutes Ingredients

COCK-A-LEEKIE SOUP Serves 6 Preparation time: 150 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes Total time: 3 hours Ingredients 3 leeks 1,500g chicken 2 bay leaves 4 thyme sprigs 40g long grain white rice 75g soft-stoned prunes, chopped 2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley Method 1. Chop the green ends from the leeks and put in a large saucepan with the chicken, bay leaves and thyme. Cover with 2.5 litres water, bring to the boil and simmer gently for two hours, skimming any scum from the surface.

1,300g haggis 1,500g King Edward potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks 100ml whole milk 60g unsalted butter 1,500g swede, peeled and diced 50ml whisky Gravy 1 tbsp sunflower oil 1 celery stick, roughly chopped 1 carrot, roughly chopped 1 small onion, roughly chopped 1 tbsp plain flour 1 tsp tomato purée 750ml beef stock 3 tbsp redcurrant jelly 1 splash Worcestershire sauce 1 splash Tabasco sauce

minutes until just brown. Add the flour and tomato purée and cook for 2-3 minutes. Slowly add the stock, stirring until smooth. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 30 minutes, then pass through a sieve. Return the gravy to a clean pan and add the redcurrant jelly, Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces. Simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from the hob. 3. For the tatties, place the potatoes in a pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 12-15 minutes until tender. Drain, return to the pan and allow to dry for 2-3 minutes, then mash. Warm the milk and half the butter in a small pan until the butter has melted. Stir into the mashed potato and season.

4. For the neeps, place the swede in a pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes until tender. Method Drain and return to the pan to dry out for 2-3 minutes. Mash, stir in the remaining 1. Preheat the oven to 160°C, gas mark 3. Remove the haggis from its outer packaging butter and season. and wrap tightly in foil. Place in an 5. Reheat the gravy, neeps and tatties if ovenproof dish and add water to come 2cm necessary. Remove the haggis from the up the sides of the dish. Cook for 1 hour, oven and unwrap from the foil. Make a slit 45 minutes. through the casing and pour in the whisky. 2. Meanwhile, make the gravy. Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the vegetables for 5

Serve spoonfuls of haggis with the tatties, neeps and gravy.

2. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside, then pass the poaching liquid through a fine sieve into a jug. Discard the leeks and herbs, return the liquid to the pan and boil for 15 minutes to reduce. 3. Cut the white part of the leeks into 1cm slices, then add to the pan with the rice and prunes. Simmer for a further 15 minutes.

CRANACHAN

Serves 6 Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus cooling Total time: 15 minutes Ingredients 50g porridge oats 300g frozen raspberries, defrosted 1 tbsp icing sugar 300ml double cream 3 tbsp heather honey 3 tbsp whisky Method 1. Place a large frying pan over a medium heat. Toast the oats for 3-4 minutes, tossing regularly, until golden; set aside. 2. Put 100g raspberries in a small pan over a low heat. Add the icing sugar and heat gently until warmed through and there is a small pool of juice at the bottom of the pan. Allow to cool, then gently stir in the remaining raspberries,

reserving some to garnish. 3. Whisk the cream to medium peaks, then stir in the honey, whisky and three-quarters of the oats. Spoon into individual dishes, top with a few raspberries, then spoon over a little more cream. Scatter over the remaining oats, top with a few more raspberries and serve.

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4. Remove the meat from the chicken, discarding the skin and bones; shred the meat. Return the shredded chicken to the soup, heating through before serving. Season, then ladle the soup into bowls, scattering each with a little parsley. Serve with crusty bread and butter.

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TRAVEL Emma Dance makes friends in Deia on the island of Mallorca.

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HIDEAWAY

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TRAVEL ■ The view of the Med from the top of the hill

Y

ou hear the word ‘Mallorca’ and immediately images of crowded beaches, British pubs serving all-day breakfasts and unattractive tower block hotels spring to

mind.

But you don’t have to travel far from the throngs of tourists jostling for space on the sand, to find an altogether different experience. The truth is that most visitors to the island flock to a couple of very small stretches of coast, leaving the rest of the island unspoilt and charming. So charming in fact, that the likes of Jeffrey Archer, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Catherine Zeta-Jones all have properties there.

Around a 40-minute drive from Palma de Mallorca airport is the idyllic village of Deia, perched in the hills on the west coast of the island. Once the home of English poet Robert Graves, the village isn’t exactly a stranger to foreign visitors and today it is a popular destination for well-heeled tourists, but it still retains an air of authenticity, even if it comes with a hefty price tag. In the heart of the village is La Residencia – a luxurious hotel once owned by Richard Branson and now part of the Orient Express portfolio of properties. A blend of two manor houses from the 16th and 17th centuries, it’s surrounded by 30 acres of landscaped gardens, terraces and orchards, which spill down the hillside towards the glittering blue Med and is the perfect destination for a pampered break in the sun. In the entrance hall hangs a letter from Princess Diana thanking La Residencia for a wonderful stay, and Tom Hanks and Harrison Ford have also stayed there. Recommendations don’t get much better than that.

■ La Residencia in Deia

There are two swimming pools: a larger one for families and a slightly smaller one close to the spa which is a kid-free zone. Next to all the loungers is a buzzer to summon a waiter so you can cool off with a Caipirinha without having to stray from the sunbed. It’s not hard finding peace and quiet at La Residencia, but if you really want to hide away there’s plenty of hidden corners.

There are just 67 rooms, scattered between the buildings, so there’s a real feeling of space.

One little pathway leads to a sweet little kitchen garden, carry on up and there’s a Jacuzzi where you can chill out completely undisturbed.

Our suite was the height of luxury, with a living area, bathroom bigger than the average living area and a beautiful terrace, complete with plunge pool, looking out over the gardens towards the sea.

Walk a little further up the hill and you’ll find the home of the hotel’s most popular residents, a trio of gorgeous donkeys. While burras around the world spend their days lugging heavy loads, this trio have little to burden them.

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Some hotels provide dogs for guests to take walkies – at La Residencia it’s the donkeys. The hotel organises regular guided walks up through the olive groves accompanied by the donkeys, which culminate in a picnic at a shepherd’s hut on the hill. It sounds simple and rustic, and a wonderful way to spend a morning, so we sign up. We gather with our fellow picnickers and are formally introduced to the donkeys by our guide. Pancho and Luna will be accompanying us. Alba, however, will be staying behind as she is expecting and therefore excused the exercise. We meander slowly up the hill, the donkeys padding alongside us in peaceful silence. Occasionally we pause to admire the view and the donkeys pause to grab the occasional


TRAVEL

■ The hotel organises regular guided walks up through the olive groves accompanied by the donkeys

■ Al fresco dining area

■ Chef Lorenzo prepares the delicious spread for guests after their trek up the hill

Th Zlzpklujph Deia, Mallorca

Rooms start from around £440 per night. For more information, or to book visit www.hotel-laresidencia.com Please note the hotel s closed until March 26. easyJet flies between Bristol and Palma. Flight prices start from £23.99 per person (one-way, including taxes based on two people on the same booking). Visit www.easyJet.com Avis offers car hire in Mallorca. For prices and to book visit www.avis.co.uk

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mouthful of grass or dried carob pods which have cooking on a fire in the hut. We were prepared for a simple, rustic picnic – what we are given is a fallen on to the pathways. veritable banquet. We round a corner and our guide points out the Lorenzo speaks little English but talks to us stone hut where we are headed. A few corners enthusiastically in Spanish, miming and laughing, later and we have arrived. and our guide tries to keep up with the It soon becomes clear that the donkeys’ wicker translation. His good humour is contagious and panniers were more for decoration than function. even though we understand little, we laugh too. We were expecting a rustic picnic but are As the wine flows, so does the conversation, and greeted by a table laid with pristine white linen by the time we have finished and are wandering and gleaming glassware, laden with Mallorcan back down the hill we are not just a group of specialities of meats, cheeses and olives. guests, but a group of friends. We sink into chairs draped in swathes of The sun is starting to drop by the time we get sheepskin and the donkeys arrange themselves in back to the hotel and it’s later than we had the shade. anticipated. It doesn’t matter though. I wouldn’t Chef Lorenzo has got there before us and is have wished to spend the day any other way.

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STAR INTERVIEW

STAR

Emma Dance meets Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams. THE

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■ Maisie Williams as Arya Stark. Picture by Helen Sloan © HBO Enterprises


STAR INTERVIEW

I

f you haven’t heard of Maisie Williams, you soon will. The teenage actress, from Clutton plays a leading role in hit TV show Game of Thrones which has proved to be a smash on both sides of the Atlantic. The last series averaged more than 14 million viewers in the States, becoming cable network HBO’s most-watched series since season four of The Sopranos, while in the UK the premiere drew a record-breaking 4.4 million viewers for Sky Atlantic.

■ Maisie Williams may have a leading role in a smash hit TV programme but her feet are firmly on the ground

Season 4, which is due to air early this year, is expected to top those figures again. The young actress landed the role of Arya Stark when she was just 12, (she is now 16) despite having no previous TV experience. “I always wanted to be a dancer,” says Maisie. “I went to a talent show to try to get noticed and that’s when I met my agent and we started going for auditions. “I never had any idea how successful Game of Thrones would be. When I went for the audition I didn’t even really know who HBO were!” She may star in one of the hottest shows of the moment but Maisie still has her feet firmly on the ground. “I’m not famous,” she insists. “It’s not what everyone makes it out to be. I come home and eat beans on toast like everyone else.” But juggling the pressures of filming with everyday activities, like going to school, has not always been easy for Maisie. “I ended up leaving my old school because I was away filming so much they said it was too difficult to educate a student who was never there,” says Maisie. “I was home-schooled for a while but then I started a new school and they have been really helpful.” And how do her peers react to having a TV star in their midst?

see what I’m really like and I can show them that I really am just a normal person.”

“Everyone is usually just really nice,” she shrugs. “But it made me realise who my friends really are. Some people aren’t very cool about it and don’t know how to react, but it’s nice when people just see you as another teenager.

Although she enjoys her visits across the Pond, Maisie says she has no plans to ditch the fields of Somerset for the bright lights of Hollywood just yet.

“I’m just a normal person, I haven’t changed. I still have the same friendship group and I had a sleepover with my friend last night. She’s asleep in my bed at home now.” There is a more glamorous side to Maisie’s life however.

“I never thought I would be doing all of that. I really like doing interviews so that people can

“I’m a bit of a tomboy as well. I’ve always enjoyed getting muddy and messing around. I think I’m quite confident, but maybe not as outspoken as her. She’s kind of cool and not a bad character to be similar to.” You might imagine that learning all the lines would be a mammoth task, but Maisie says it’s

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■ Maisie at a red carpet event

On Game of Thrones, Maisie stars alongside there are similarities between her on- and veteran actors like Charles Dance and Sean Bean, off-screen personas. not bad for her first major role. “She’s a fantastic character,” says Maisie. “Really “It was really nice to have my first job with so feisty, and really different to any other characters many fantastic actors,” she says. “It’s great being her age. surrounded by so many talented people and “She’s a very likeable character, very relateable. learning as much I can from them.” She talks a lot of sense and there’s not many And she loves her role as Arya and says that people like that on the show. They are doing things for personal gain and she’s one of the only characters to speak the truth.

“I do red carpets and things,” she says. “It’s really great. We did a big press thing in the US and I really like it out there. We had the premiere for Season 3 at the Chinese Theatre in LA and people were waiting outside the hotel for us.

“We were over there for about two weeks last time and it got a bit crazy in the end,” she says. “At the moment I just want to stay here. If I ever moved it would be for me, not for business. I would love to go travelling though. I want to see more of the world that I live in.”

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STAR INTERVIEW

■ Maisie on location between shoots; below, at a studio promotional event

not her biggest challenge. “Learning lines is one of the things I’m actually quite good at,” she says. “If I read something before I go to bed it just sort of ticks and ticks, and when I’m asleep my head goes over it and a lot goes in. “There’s plenty of other things to worry about than learning lines! “Game of Thrones is based on a series of books called A Song of Ice and Fire and in the books my character is left-handed. She does a lot of sword fighting and even though I’m right-handed I thought I would try it left-handed because I wanted to stay true to the books. “When I’m filming I try to do as much as

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possible with my left hand, like brushing my hair or cleaning my teeth to make it easier.” At just 16, Maisie has a long career ahead of her, and she is keen to return to her first love of dancing: “I have always wanted to be a dancer and I would love to incorporate dancing and really get to show people what I can do. “There’s nothing like dancing on stage; it sounds really clichéd but I just can’t explain the feeling. It would be cool to be in a music video too. “I have never really had an end goal. I think that way I won’t be disappointed. “I just want to perform. I have got my foot in the door now, so I really hope it takes off and I get to do what I love for the rest of my life.”


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[thss

HOMES

IS BEAUTIFUL

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

Interior designer Lesley Taylor has some tricks up her sleeve for making the most of limited spaces

■ Opt for a neutral backdrop, but inject colour and a sense of individuality with a quilt or throw if you’re decorating a smaller room. Pictured is Designers Guild’s ‘Chenevard’ pure silk quilt – www.designersguild.com

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T

he ‘box room’, also known as the taboo of the property industry, has gained a bit of a reputation for being more of a problematic space within a home, rather than a room which has potential to fulfil a purpose.

HOMES ■ Cushions are a great way of introducing bold colour into a room where less space is available. Look to Villa Nova for inspiration www.villanova.co.uk

In many cases it’s seen as an area which can only be used for storage; a dumping ground for various items of gym equipment, vacuum cleaners and coats, all of which need to be hidden from view. Homeowners can really benefit by viewing rooms where space is limited in a more positive way, as they have the potential to be great spaces. After all, just because it compromises on size, that doesn’t mean you need to compromise on style or functionality. I’ve got plenty of tricks up my sleeve that will allow you to utilise the space available in the best way possible. Working with a small room requires you to think carefully about the décor in place and the furniture and storage solutions used. First things first, let’s start with the decorating. When working with a small space, and it doesn’t matter which room in the house this is, it’s crucial to ensure that you opt for a light colour scheme. Steer clear of dark or bright colours as they can make the room feel closed-in. Instead, incorporate neutral shades. Remember, neutral definitely does not mean bland and boring; duck-egg blues, sage and mushroom tones are neutral shades too and they will work to add a sense of character and individuality to the room, without becoming a dominant focus. While it’s best to try and keep the backdrop as plain as possible, if your desire is to make the most of a bedroom, living room or even a hallway, you may wish to introduce wallpaper as a form of interest. While it is fine to opt for patterned wallpaper, try to resist from large motifs that will overpower the small space available and opt instead for a delicate design. Vertical stripes in subtle shades are an ideal way of adding height to the room and you will be amazed at how much difference a touch of extra headroom can make! Another option is to choose a wallpaper which contains hints of a metallic shade. The reflective properties of this kind of pattern will brighten up a room. In the same way that metallic hues work to brighten a space, mirrors are fantastic at making a space feel more open. They can be used just as an additional accessory, or alternatively as a decorating tool. A wall made up of mirrors, for example, will work wonderfully at creating the illusion of space.

accessories on display. Try not to incorporate too many different patterns though, as this can cause the room to look cluttered. When it comes to furniture and appliances in your home, be smart in your choices. Try to purchase a select few larger pieces, rather than squeezing in lots of little items. If your utility room is particularly small, opt for a washer-dryer as opposed to two separate appliances.

Also, think about a pull-out table if your dining room’s fairly small. It will allow you to make the most of the space you have on an everyday basis, yet still enable you to cater for dinner parties and family meals when you have them. In the bedroom, fitted wardrobes in a gloss finish are ideal and beds with incorporated storage space Whether you are accessorising your bedroom or will help you to keep the room nice and tidy. your family living space, add plenty of scatter Often the smaller rooms of the home have the cushions, throws and bright bedding that will best design schemes, as we have to be inventive bring the room to life. with our choices. By having a few, select, bold pieces, it will help to Make up for the space a room lacks by injecting divert the eye away from the size of the room plenty of style! and focus instead on the beautiful fabrics and When it comes to choosing your soft furnishings and accessories, this is where you can introduce elements of bold, bright colour and be creative in your choices. By choosing colours that stand out against your neutral canvas, you will be able to truly reflect your personality and style.

■ Soft, light materials will make a room feel light and airy, regardless of its size. Romo’s range of ‘Cirrus’ linen mix sheers could be just the thing you’re looking for – www.romo.com THE

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HOMES

1

INSPIRATION

It’s not just on the catwalk that we see new styles emerging for the coming season. Head of Buying at Marks & Spencer, Paul Clarkson, considers the key interior trends of the coming season and picks out some pieces from the Spring Summer 2014 Home collection. 1. Pretty in Pink Pink is having a moment in interiors, and the bold colour and pattern of this season’s new upholstery fabrics are the perfect way to give a contemporary feel to your living room. Mix and match block colour, ombre and florals for a fresh new look – all made to order in M&S’s eco-factory in Holywell, Wales. Maisie Armchair in Watercolour Floral Peony, £1,099

2

2. Simple, Practical, Elegant Simple lines, contemporary touches and a muted colour palette characterise this season’s new Conran collaborative collection, which continues to go from strength to strength. The new Kitson side table for example is elegance personified, with an understated yet on-trend detail of copper tipped legs. Conran Kitson Side Table £199 3. Natural High

4

Newly sourced materials and beautifully crafted wood pieces create a contemporary and simply stunning collection of home accessories for spring. Authentic woods, concrete and blown recycled glass are expertly handled to create a look that is modern and chic with an industrial edge. Recycled Glass Vases from £49.50 4. Favourite Piece The Albany table is a real success story. Its mix of materials and salvaged style gives it a slightly industrial feel. For me, modern spaces are all about contrast and I can see this adding a warm atmosphere to a really sleek, minimal kitchen. Plus, it can handle any mix of chairs – the more eclectic the better.

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Albany dining table £649

3


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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. alexatmontague@aol.com www.oldbankantiquescentre.com


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HOME FRONT

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f your home has a painted exterior, it won’t stay looking good forever because, inevitably, the elements will take their toll. The easiest way to give it a new look is to paint it a different colour, using a high-quality masonry paint, such as those by Sandtex or Dulux.

finest in terms of architecture, and some homes from the 1950s onwards just are not that attractive.

If your home is among these, an architect or building company will be able to help you transform the exterior. Detached houses are the best candidates for an extreme exterior Even if you’re happy with the existing colour, transformation, since there isn’t an adjoining repainting it can work wonders. Discoloured, reminder of the old look, but properties of all peeling and patchy paint isn’t pretty or practical and can lead to damage that’s expensive to repair. shapes and sizes can benefit from an expert While you can rarely be as adventurous with the redesign. colours you use on the outside of your home as Rendering and/or cladding (with wood or wood-effect panelling) can make a big difference the inside, you don’t have to restrict yourself to to the exterior, as can changing the windows and white, cream or magnolia. doors, adding balconies and extensions, and That said, you do need to consider what will go re-tiling the roof. with your neighbours’ houses, if there are any

cheap, it will certainly add value and make your home more attractive and sellable. Before you start changing the exterior though, remember it’s essential to find out whether planning permission is required. The area in which you live, as well as the type of building can affect your plans (for example, listed buildings usually can’t be altered without listed building consent from the council). If you live on ‘designated land’, which includes conservation areas, you also may not be able to do what you want with your home’s exterior – wooden windows are usually preferred by the local council. In some cases, permitted development rights have been removed from houses (flats don’t have permitted development rights), which means everything from fitting new windows to painting the front door needs planning permission.

Adding dormer windows and replacing unattractive concrete roof tiles with slate ones can go a long way to giving your home character For some homes, though, a lick of paint won’t cut and kerb appeal. In practice, not everyone will apply for planning it – and only a radical makeover will do. Sadly, the In fact, exteriors can be transformed beyond for everything they should, but if you break the recognition and while this type of work often isn’t rules, you risk the council’s wrath. latter decades of the 20th century weren’t our

restrictions (such as planning ones) on the colours you can use, and what suits the style and period of the building.

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The leading property professionals in the South West

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GARDENS

Llzpnu

Jo Swift looks at transforming your front garden.

SOLUTIONS

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GARDENS

H

aving a place to park a car by your home is important, there’s no arguing that. But is it more important than having an open green space to welcome you, visitors and nature to your front door?

As traffic increases and time-hungry householders opt to pave or concrete their driveway to avoid garden maintenance, there’s little doubt the state of our front gardens is spiralling downwards. Yet, points out horticulturist Joe Swift, the front garden should be the first point of a welcoming haven. Swift, one of many gardening experts appearing in BBC2’s Great British Garden Revival, visited one such haven in award-winning Rockcliffe Avenue, Whitley Bay, north Tyneside, where residents have transformed their paved street with colourful plants and containers overflowing with flowers.

■ You could break up the expanse of gravel with some plants – perhaps a small plum blossom tree, as seen here

The result isn’t just aesthetic, residents have also reported a much greater sense of community, with kids no longer ‘causing havoc’ in the street and people no longer dropping litter, because the beautiful gardens have given them a sense of pride. “A lot of people just concrete or pave their gardens over and forget about the plants, but research shows how important plants are in reducing pollution, for wellbeing and house prices,” says Joe. Creating a planting buffer between your home and traffic is also like putting a filter paper between you and the pollution,” explains Rob MacKenzie, Professor of Atmospheric Science at Birmingham University. “If you put plants very close to the traffic, then they have a greater chance of soaking up the pollution and making a significant reduction, perhaps as much as ten or 20 per cent,” he explains. easily be incorporated into many front gardens, he notes.

“If your front garden is in a shady area, you could go for plants like hostas and ferns; anything that can take a bit of a battering and which you can Swift says there are products out there which can get into the ground.” accommodate both plants and vehicles. In the He also recommends planting strongly scented BBC programme, he looks at reinforced plants in your front garden su ch as Christmas hexagonal plastic mesh which goes into the box, a really tough evergreen which you will ground, and you can park your car on it when it notice as you enter or leave your front garden has been filled with either gravel or plants. You every day. lay it by firstly putting landscaping fabric over the “Wintersweet is another good scented plant, as soil to allow water to drain through and suppress are a lot of winter-flowering viburnums which can weeds. Then place a layer of sand on to the fabric fill the whole street with an incredible fragrance.” and embed your mesh into it. Then you fill your Eyesores such as drainpipes can easily be covered hexagonal slots with loamy topsoil and sand, with climbing plants, which can be trained using a which is perfect for sowing grass seed. Sow the semi-circular trellis specifically designed to frame seed in late summer, early autumn or spring. the drainpipe. Before long, the grass will be growing above the mesh, but you can drive a car over it. “People are very cautious about planting climbers Alternatively, use gravel or use a combination of up their houses but as long as the pointing is gravel and grass seed, or other low-growing plant, sound before you start, plants like ivy and like thyme or chamomile. climbing hydrangea which self-cling to the wall can

“It’s a way of softening the ground but still making it durable and tough enough to drive a car on. There are several products out there and you can get them online. Herbaceous ground cover, like hardy geraniums and Alchemilla mollis, are pretty tough and can

actually protect the wall and insulate the house.”

If you don’t have soil you can always plant climbers such as Clematis armandii in pots and, provided you keep them well-watered and shade their roots by topping the pot of compost with decorative stones or gravel, they should soon

start climbing up the trellis. If you have a number of dustbins and recycling boxes, think about creating a trellis framework which you can tuck them behind and then grow plants up it to screen the bins. Joe says those who live in urban areas may be more limited as to what they can grow, because some plants don’t thrive in highly polluted areas. “It depends how far back you are and if you have a physical barrier like a wall or a hedge between the garden and the road. Vegetables and herbs might not do so well in an extremely polluted area. “But according to research from Birmingham University, plants with small hairy leaves, like lavender and Convolvulus cneorum, will create a barrier, as pollutants stick to them but will not kill them.” If you are having your driveway gravelled, break it up by cutting the membrane under the gravel and planting some tough plants in there, like grasses, asters, cosmos, rudbeckias or even a small tree. Joe adds: “Pots are also a fantastic way of adding seasonal interest and getting more plants in where you have paved areas but you will have to water them. And don’t scrimp on the size of the pot. Two or three really big ones are a better option than five or six small ones.”

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Some three-quarters of households in Britain have cars – 40 per cent of those have two cars – and the increased use of concrete or paving to accommodate them has led to huge drainage problems in some areas.

■ Hydrangea macrophylla

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Uv}pl

FILM

HISTORY

■ Willem Dafoe stars in The Last Temptation of Christ

H

ollywood legend Martin Scorsese will make a virtual visit to Wells Cathedral on Saturday, January 25 to introduce a 25th anniversary screening of his highly-acclaimed yet still controversial film The Last Temptation of Christ which stars Willem Dafoe, Barbara Hershey and Harvey Keitel and features a landmark soundtrack by Peter Gabriel. The screening is being arranged by Bath Film Festival as a companion event to its recent showing of The Passion of Joan of Arc in Bath Abbey.

Director Martin Scorsese will give a video link introduction to the screening, which is happening almost 25 years to the day of his film’s UK premiere in January 1989. In addition, Scorsese’s long-time collaborator, the triple Oscar-winning film editor Thelma Schoonmaker, is flying in from her home in New ■ Martin Scors ese York to attend the screening and take part in a pre-film discussion to explore screen chains to refuse to show it, fire-bombings of two representations of religious figures. cinemas in France, and to screening bans or heavy The Last Temptation of Christ is based on the 1953 censorship in several countries around the world. novel by Nikos Kazantzakis, who also wrote But, says Festival Director Philip Raby: “What the Zorba the Greek. Scorsese bought the film rights in protesters overlook is that Scorsese was raised in the late 1970s soon after being given a copy by a devoutly Catholic family, talked seriously at Barbara Hershey (who plays Mary Magdalene in school about becoming a priest and thinks deeply the film) but then spent a decade struggling to about matters of faith and morality. In this film, he find production backers because of the wrestles with a question that is in no way controversial nature of the final section in which blasphemous – did Jesus have to experience the Satan tempts Jesus (Willem Dafoe) to abandon his hopes, pleasures, fears and doubts of humanity to calling by conjuring up a vision of what life would add divine meaning to his choice of sacrifice for be like as a happily married and good family man. humanity’s sake?” On release, fears of a backlash proved well-founded. Often without ever viewing the film, religious zealots in the USA and elsewhere led protests against it, prompting some cinema

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■ Wells Cathedral

Gabriel, including Grammy and Golden Globe nominations. For the Wells Cathedral screening, every member of the audience will be equipped with headphones. By coincidence, the Wells Cathedral Choir is among a global cast of musical performers that also includes Baaba Maal, Shankar, Youssou N’Dour and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Organisers are keen to get in touch with anyone who was a member of the Wells Cathedral Choir in 1989. Former choristers should contact Holly Tarquini on holly@bathfilmfestival.org.uk or 01225 463458.

As well as winning many awards and prize nominations for Scorsese, his production team Tickets for The Last Temptation of Christ in Wells and actors, the film’s score also earned numerous Cathedral are £15/£12, bookable now via accolades for its West Country composer Peter www.bathfilmfestival.org.uk.


no no nonon o n SOCIETY

GH GH H GH GH

Kvvslz{

VENUE IN TOWN

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SOCIETY

■ Adam and Jessica Lloyd-Smith

A

■ Tim Coventon and Darren Strange

Pop Up Après-Ski Bar at the Abbey Hotel opened its doors for Alpine fun during December. The festive pop-up was a partnership between hotel owners Ian and Christa Taylor and event planners You are So Invited (Helen Godfrey and Claire Hardy), with catering by local company Barker & Green. Mr Taylor said: “During warmer months the terrace area of the hotel is hugely popular and the pop-up filled a gap to provide a festive bar, with a theme that offered a totally new experience. “The interior was been styled by You are So Invited to create an Alpine setting with a lot of snow-fun thrown in! A fully stocked bar run by Andrew Fisher, manager of the hotel’s ArtBar, offered a range of themed cocktails, schnapps and shots, alongside vin chaud and mulled cider, and hot drinks. “Festive fayre came courtesy of local caterers Barker & Green who provided a daily menu of hearty soups and stews, and tempting cakes and pastries. “The bar was supported by local businesses, including Stagg gifts, Cotswold Outdoors and Bang & Olufsen Bath.”

Pictures by Paolo Ferla

■ The festive pop-up at the Abbey Hotel gave guests an Alpine experience without snow!

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■ Ian Taylor, owner of the Abbey Hotel, with Claire Hardy and Helen Godfrey of You are So Invited

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SOCIETY

■ The pop-up was a partnership between the hotel and event planners You are So Invited; right, authentic Alpine decor

■ Nicholas Wylde, Lucy Wylde and Corrinda Wakefield

■ Chris Barker and Jana Frith

■ Dulci Mae and Louisa Nairne

■ Tim Whelehan and Alex Miller

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SOCIETY

Ko|yjolz \y|z{

LAUNCH PARTY

F

riends of Somerset Churches and Chapels Trust relaunched under its new name, Somerset Churches Trust, at a special event at Wells Town Hall. As well as simplifying the name to The Somerset Churches Trust, the event was held in order to launch The Playfair Prize, named in honour of the trust’s founder, Hugh Playfair. It will be awarded to the church or chapel which has completed works to enhance and extend the use of its building to its wider community from March 31, 2005, to March 31, 2015. Dr John Goodall, who spoke at the event, is one of the judges.

■ Fr Peter Clarke, William Newson and Ann Clarke

■ Admiral Morris and Gerard & Juliet Leighton

■ Sue Bougood, Eliizabeth and Tony Stirratt

■ Lucy White, Rosemary Blackford and Norman Edmonds

■ David Sissons, Lady Gas and Abbot Bellenger

■ Jane Venner Pack, Gary Fawcett, Gareth Davies and Dr John Goodall


SOCIETY

Np}l €lhyz vm

FEMME FATALE FASHION

■ Miss Pinup UK Sarah Wingrove, aka Miss Scarlett Luxe, modelling at the recent Deadly Is The Female fifth birthday party

■ Muriel Lavender in her very first Deadly outfit

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■ Annette Gabbedey with Claudia

■ Holly Moy with Deadly Is The Female shop pooch Gomez

■ Russ Ellingham with Tori Allison


SOCIETY

■ Emma Frayling and Missy Book

■ Tamara Dibsdale with Deadly’s Lauren Lolita Noir Glover

I

■ Window model Gracie Howells

n the autumn of 2008, Deadly Is The Female opened its doors to an unsuspecting Frome public for the first time but soon developed a strong reputation for celebrating women and womanliness.

Located in the bustling artisan quarter of St Catherines, Deadly is the dream of Claudia Adrianna. Claudia’s earnest excitement and devotion has made the boutique, specialising in the femme fatale fashion of the ’40s and ’50s, such a sparkling success story.

■ Sharon Rogers with Claudia’s mother and shop Saturday girl Siobhan

■ Nigel Bowers and Ash Loudon

■ Five years of killer queen fashion

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Pictures by Kevin Mitchell & Gayle Glover

Alongside her dedicated team of Deadly girls (and the shop’s Chinese crested pooch, Gomez), Claudia recently turned on the charm, wooing everyone from the casually curious to the dearly devoted, to celebrate five fabulous years of ■ Hostess with the mostess and Deadly Is The Female owner Claudia Hollywood glamour on the hill. Adrianna with the specially designed Deadly cocktail

MAGAZINE

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MOTORING

Matt Joy takes the Honda Civic Type-R 2015 for a test drive.

T

hat 2015 is not a slip of the keyboard; this really is a test drive of a car that won’t go on sale for 12 months. But that’s how important the Type-R is.

Previous generations of the Civic Type-R garnered the kind of devotion that money can’t buy, and for a while it appeared there would be no new Type-R. But now there is, and that’s why Honda allowed a brief taste of it just before the Tokyo Motor Show.

Even though it won’t appear in showrooms until 2015, this car is so important that we’re getting to drive a prototype version very close to the finished article. You won’t mistake it for a regular Civic, that’s for sure. Admittedly this example is finished in military-look matte paint and has ‘VTEC TURBO’ emblazoned down the flanks in a pleasingly ’80s retro touch. But it’s a fantastically aggressive-looking thing, with big scoops, unsubtle wheel arch extensions and a rear wing that would suit its BTCC cousin. It looks like a serious piece of hardware and, given that there are plenty of other options if you want a quieter life, it’s a good thing the Type-R looks the part.

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THE WAIT

wheel. Purposeful, comfortable and highly appealing. There’s one other addition too. Where the Eco button normally sits high up on the dash there is, instead, the distinctive ‘R’. Punch this button and R mode is engaged, which alters both the throttle and steering response, the damper settings and also the reactions of the ESP system. But before all that, you have to start it up. To some, the news that the Civic Type-R will use a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, rather than a naturally-aspirated one, will be a surprise, but in truth it is inevitable. Efficient turbocharged engines are everywhere – even Formula 1 cars from next year, as Honda knows, so to provide Type-R levels of performance without abandoning respectable economy and emissions, turbo is the only way to go. More importantly, Honda is introducing a trio of turbocharged engines for different cars in the range, but the Type-R gets the most powerful of the lot. The engineers are coy, but say the Type-R will have at least 280 horsepower.

It feels like that too. Slot the Type-R’s manual-only gearshift into first, pull away with It’s the same on the inside, too. Although it can’t intent and the performance is right there from be taken as entirely representative of the finished low revs. There’s a roar from the exhaust, the throttle response is nice and sharp, and there’s product, the chunky bucket seats are exactly power right around the rev range. what you’d expect, while the familiar Civic dashboard has the addition of a centrallyInstead of the expected Type-R high-rev mania mounted rev counter and a thicker steering there is instead a broad spread of torque – and

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Nhj{z h{ h nshujl Honda Civic Type-R 2015 Price: £30,000 (est) Engine: 2.0 litre petrol unit producing 280bhp and 280lb.ft of torque (est) Transmission: Six-speed manual gearbox driving the rear wheels Performance: Top speed 155 mph, 0-62mph in under six seconds (est) Economy: 30mpg combined (est) while that might not sound as exciting, the reality is it feels fast everywhere. Despite all that power going through the front wheels, the traction is excellent and there’s no fight through the steering wheel. Although our time behind the wheel was limited, the steering felt delightfully sharp and responsive, with a nice firm feeling to it – that little bit of extra weight compared to the standard car encourages confidence. That there are still 18 months to go before the Type-R arrives is probably the best news of all. If this car was launched tomorrow it would be in a real battle with the established hot hatch champions, but with so much development time still to go, it looks very much like the king is back.


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TAKE A BREAK

CRYPTIC CLUES Across 1. Points to part of engine (6) 4. A Carib tongue (6) 9. Worshipping spies? (6,7) 10. Work in the theatre, perhaps (7) 11. Sham public transport to go back in (5) 12. Game for a striker (5) 14. What the candidate must do before winning a seat (5) 18. There’s nothing in twisting yarn to form material (5) 19. Undress as is bored unfortunately (7) 21. Fortitude after local anaesthetic at the dentist’s? (5,5,3) 22. Commanding status of priest? (6) 23. Set day, but didn’t go away (6) Down 1. Gun may be spoilt (6) 2. Cause of a flutter in the office? (9,4) 3. Grow old under doctor: it’s all up to the last letter (5) 5. Scarce piece is usually Welsh (7) 6. Begin to make dramatic use of? (5,4,4) 7. Fold note in container (6) 8. Cinema attendant, female, in ancient city (5) 13. Have a discussion about one kind of tree (7) 15. Forces to produce wall-painting (6) 16. Taped wrong expert (5) 17. Again copied and got the harvest in (6) 20. Dispatched about 100 for perfume (5)

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Kyvzz~vyk CORNER

QUICK CLUES Across

Down

1. Breathe in (6) 4. Lured (6) 9. Skill in law (13) 10. Disease (7) 11. Relative (5) 12. Wrap (5) 14. Store (5) 18. Speechify (5) 19. Decree (7) 21. Continuous (13) 22. Tenacious (6) 23. Sex (6)

1. Insert (6) 2. Deaf (4,2,7) 3. Thread (5) 5. Appendices (7) 6. Kind (6-7) 7. Judged (6) 8. Snap (5) 13. Wind (7) 15. Cheerful (6) 16. Worship (5) 17. Seller (6) 20. Unrefined (5)


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The County Magazine | January 2014