Beautiful South Nov/Dec 2021

Page 1

November/December 2o21




Christmas Gift Guide




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Dear Readers, Welcome to the November/December issue of Beautiful South.

Cover photo: The Real Flower Company

Sales team: Designer: Editor: Tel: 01730 260746 Address: Beautiful South, Unit 1 Viceroy Court, Bedford Road, Petersfield, Hampshire, GU32 3LJ

Follow us on Instagram @BeautifulSouthMagazine Find us on Facebook /beautifulsouthmag Follow us on Twitter @beautifulsouthmagazine

Whilst we know that this time of year brings shorter, darker days and frostier winter nights, it also offers us all the chance to unwind and delve into some well-earned indoor relaxation time with the ones we love. An excuse to get warm, get comfortable, get excited for your end of year celebrations, and most importantly, relish in the extra special company of your family and friends this year, especially after last. This issue is filled to the brim with features ready for you to enjoy. Dive into our style edit, giving you the timeless glamour advice you need, just in time for this upcoming celebratory season. For health, read up on how beneficial CBD Oil can be for your mental and physical health and how you can adopt this natural remedy into your daily health practice. Enjoy an interview with Mina Blair on her story, including ‘Not for the last time,’ her uplifting self-empowerment book on dealing

with hardship in life. Or read up on The Winchester Beacon (formerly Winchester Churches Nightshelter), a local charity fighting to make ‘kindness the new cool’ in supporting people experiencing homelessness in Hampshire. Meanwhile, with this being our winter edition, get into the Christmas spirit early with our Tipple Talk of ‘Festive Fizz’, exploring the different English sparkling wines available to kick off your festive celebrations. Or why not explore the history of the Christmas Cracker, and learn how this now famous, traditional decoration found its way onto many people’s dinner tables this Christmas. So - whatever it is that takes your interest, get comfortable and enjoy this new issue. We wish you all the very best for the festive celebrations for you and your family and friends, and we look forward to seeing you in the New Year.

Denise Lloyd Denise Lloyd, Managing Director

Beautiful South | November /December 2021 | EDITOR’S LETTER | 3


What’s Inside? 35







4 | Beautiful South | November /December 2021 | CONTENTS


THE STYLE EDIT Timeless Glamour


HEALTH & BEAUTY The benefits Of CBD Oil Christmas Party Ready?


OUTDOOR LIVING The Barn Emporium


GENTLEMAN’S NOTEBOOK Your Essential Guide To Smart-Casual


INTERIORS Making Your Home Cosy This Winter


SPECIAL FEATURE Your Luxury Christmas Gift Guide


SPECIAL FEATURE 8 Ways To Have A More Sustainable Christmas


SPECIAL FEATURE A Beacon Of Hope For The Homeless




FOOD & DRINK Tipple Talk - Festive Fizz






SPECIAL FEATURE The History Of The Christmas Cracker





Beautiful South, Unit 1 Viceroy Court, Bedford Road, Petersfield, Hampshire GU32 3LJ

style insider SHOE EDITION WITH

They can make an outfit. From pumps and mules to stilettos and sling-backs, the right shoe can make you look timeless and chic. As we approach the party season and add to our wardrobe, it’s important to feel your very best. And, what better way to do this than by adding to your shoe collection? If you haven’t heard of the iconic Jimmy Choo, then take this all in. Jimmy Choo is one of the most luxurious fashion brands globally, with glamour at its core, alongside having a playful spirit. The brand’s roots trace back to East London in the 1990s, where shoemaker Jimmy Choo would create bespoke shoes for the rich and famous. Princess Diana was one of many that loved his designs. The sharp

cuts, fashionable designs, and exceptional Italian craftsmanship struck a chord with elite groups, and the first collection enjoyed immediate success. Fast track to over 20 years on, and Jimmy Choo now encompasses a complete luxury accessories brand. Under the watch of the brand’s remarkable Creative Director, Sandra Choi, who was born locally on the Isle of Wight, women’s shoes remain the core of the product offer. However, Jimmy Choo’s portfolio has expanded alongside handbags, small leather goods, scarves, sunglasses, eyewear, belts, fragrance and even men’s shoes. Simply browse the brand’s website to see the full extent of the products available. Despite being investment pieces, they are aspirational and beautifully created. Looking for a reason? Well, now is the time to treat yourself.

the style EDIT Party season is back, and it has never felt so special. With two years of celebrations to make up for, we are upping the glamour and upping the outfits this holiday. Our winter wardrobes are going to demand sequins, feathers and jewels, as opposed to last year’s loungewear. So say goodbye to your comfortable 2020 wardrobe and hello to a whole new you. Whether you’re planning your office party outfit, or are after something to wear on Christmas day, simply read on to find out this season’s top picks. Beautiful South Magazine has pulled together our must-have items, celebrating timeless glamour. From glitzy heels to frilly blouses, we have you covered.

You won’t want to miss it..

Clockwise from top: 1. Alloy Ribbed Dress, Net-a-porter £275, 2. Monica Vinader, Gold Muse Large Hoop and Pearl Earring Set £280, 3. Karen George, Check Print Trousers £75, 4. Oliver Bonas, Faux Pearl Square Clutch £45, 5. Jimmy Choo, Embellished Velvet Mules £660, 6. Ganni Silk Stretch Satin Dress, £475, 7. Isla, Feather Clutch, £303, 8. Daily Sleeper, Party Pajama Set £290,

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Natural Remedies: The Benefits of

Natural remedies have been used by humans since the start of time and still to this day are a huge part of our physical and mental healthcare system.

not contain more than 0.2% THC. Rather it is the THC that is present in the cannabis plant that CBD is extracted from, that gets you high. [1] If under 0.2% THC, then CBD oil is both safe and legal for consumption and can offer amazing benefits to one’s body.

Probiotics, chamomile tea, and peppermint are natural remedies and medicines that most will be familiar with. In recent years, there has been a steady increase in the consumption of a more controversial CBD oil, formally named Cannabidiol.

CBD has a plethora of medical and spiritual benefits. Used as a natural pain remedy by thousands, CBD can help to ease the symptoms of chronic pain, arthritis and anxiety, depression and PTSD.

Infamously known for being extracted from the hemp plant, this natural remedy bears a weight of prejudice as a natural remedy in the UK. Contrary to some beliefs, CBD is legal, albeit the CBD does

Studies have found that CBD may help reduce chronic pain by affecting the endocannabinoid receptor activity, which regulates a variety of functions, including sleep, appetite, pain and immune system response. [2]

“CBD FOUND IN BALMS AND CREAMS CAN SOOTHE MUSCLE SORENESS USING ITS RELAXING PROPERTIES.” Another huge reason behind the adoption of CBD by the masses is the ability to relieve side effect symptoms caused by cancer treatment, such as nausea and pain. CBD is also incorporated into skincare regimes around the world to treat acne, thanks to its antiinflammatory attributes and oil fighting defences.

CBD OIL CAN BE ADOPTED INTO ONE’S HEALTH PRACTICE IN MULTIPLE WAYS: A drop of oil under the tongue or spray into the mouth will help absorb the CBD quickly. Those with sensitive palates may opt for capsules or gummies, which help eliminate the sometimesunpalatable taste of CBD without taking away any of the benefits. [3] Consuming CBD oil through food can increase the rate of bioavailability, to which the rate at which the drug is absorbed and therefore be distributed into your bloodstream quicker. It is advised that CBD food enhancers should be consumed with fatty foods, such as olive coconut or sesame oil, avocados, eggs and red meats. Why not try making a CBD guacamole for your next Mexican themed dinner party? Additionally, teas and smoothies are a popular way to consume CBD in a liquid form and are becoming increasingly popular amongst high-street eateries. Not only is it excellent for the inside, but CBD found in balms and creams can soothe muscle soreness using its relaxing properties, assist the skins oil control, restore moisture in dry hands and act as a powerful anti-oxidant to help prevent wrinkles. Once we understand the benefits of natural medicines, the opportunity to implement them into our healthcare becomes endless. So now the misconceptions of CBD are squashed, try researching how it can work for your body and get ready to relish in this green plant goodness. [1] [2] [3]

CHRISTMAS Party Ready?

Next up are the Tom Ford Cream Colour for Eyes - the metallic cousins to the Hourglass eyeshadows. A cream eyeshadow that illuminates the eyes, promising to seamlessly glide onto the lid without creasing and smudging. If your eyelids are inevitably changing with age and powder doesn’t give you the effect that it used to, then a cream shadow is your new best friend, and it won’t need serious blending or fall into your contact lenses before you have even had a glass of bubbles! Effortless and chic is the plan of action with a cream eyeshadow. Tom Ford Cream Colour for Eyes, £34,

The thought of spending hours getting ready might still seem completely alien after nearly two years of working from home wearing ‘zoom makeup’ consisting of tinted moisturiser and minimal mascara, if that! However, now is the time to dust off your makeup brushes and delve into the depths of your makeup bag and realign ourselves with an old friend, eyeshadow! Hopefully, it all comes flooding back to you. However, to ease ourselves in, I have handpicked four of my go-to recommendations designed to make your job easy. Creating magical eyes with minimal effort. As it is Christmas party season, it would be only fitting to start with something glittery, and the Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadows are precisely that. With this eyeshadow, you can get away with using your fingertips for application amazing. This cream-to-powder formula creates an intense colour payoff for an effortless yet sophisticated look. Gently tap your clean fingertip into the pot and glide in one full sweep across your lid. It applies like a cream and then dries into a powder - genius. It’s available in a variety of shades, ranging from a hazy taupe ‘Smoke’ to a shimmering champagne ‘Reflect’ or my personal favourite and a show stopper for green eyes is a divine deep reddish brown ‘Rapture’. Hourglass champions cruelty free beauty without compromising on its formulas - nothing not to love. Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow, £28,

A Laura Mercier classic - the Caviar Stick. Ideal for anyone who loves fuss-free makeup. This buttery soft eyeshadow stick is the easiest of them all! It perfectly slots into your handbag for on-the-go touch-ups in the back of the taxi or whilst fixing your lipstick in the ladies bathroom. The go-to for beginners; apply to the lash line or all over the lid, and blend with a small brush or your finger! If you want to dramatise your eye look, taking it from day to night, apply to the lower lash line for maximum impact and instant glamour. Laura Mercier Caviar Stick, £25,

Finally, something a little different with Danessa Myricks Beauty - Vision Flush Multi-Purpose Cream. This does what it says on the tin and is a multi-use cream that works on your cheeks, lips, and eyes - a desert island makeup essential. This multifunctional formula is pigmented, blendable and long-wearing that leaves a satin-like, demi matte finish and comes in a variety of pinky orange neutral shades. This simple way of bringing life and a pop of colour into tired complexions will get you looking party-ready in five! Less is more, so start with a small amount and build if you need to. This beautiful product is available online at Algorithum, founded in 2020 by two women who truly appreciate beauty without filters and passionately love skin in its raw form. One of the founders, Rose, is a local to the South Downs! Always a pleasure to support small and to support local. Danessa Myricks Vision Flush Multi Purpose Cream £20,

A wonderful space hosting artisans, crafters and small independent traders.


n exciting new venture opened in July at Durleighmarsh farm, near Petersfield, in the heart of the South Downs National Park.

The Barn Emporium has been set up by the Henslow family in a beautiful Victorian barn on their farm. The seed of an idea conceived many years ago, grew and working hard during lockdowns, the second and third generations of the family threw themselves into the task of renovating and refurbishing the spacious interior. The result is a welcoming, light, airy space, divided into smaller units, with a shared central till for the forty-six current independent traders, artisans, crafters and artists to sell their unique products.

“Once we were ready, it didn’t take long for word to travel, and we were inundated with enquiries from all sorts of interesting local people. We were amazed at the hidden talent right on our doorstep, and of course, times have been so difficult that the shared use of space and resources was the perfect answer for smaller traders. The idea has proved so popular that we are expanding into another part of the barn.” There is also a small annexe room available for workshops, pop-ups and tabletop sales. Visiting this dynamic community of like-minded people, staffed by the members themselves, you can always be sure of a warm welcome.

both well established, on-site. The Barn Emporium is open seven days a week, and with Christmas fast approaching, keep an eye on our website and Facebook pages for late-night shopping days. You’re sure to find that perfect gift, and you will also be supporting local small traders and talented artisans.

We look forward to seeing you. For more information, visit: BarnEmporium

Every day, a new treasure

We were amazed at the hidden talent right on our doorstep! The building is set in the front courtyard of the farm, with free customer parking on site. Browsers are welcome. Give yourself plenty of time to peruse the treasures inside, including handmade silver jewellery, glassware, ceramics, pictures, handbags, needlework, crafted wood and wrought ironwork, as well as; vintage items, furniture, clothes and much more. To quote a happy customer, “it’s a never-ending delight”. You can combine your trip with a visit to Durleighmarsh Farm Shop and The Tea Barn, Images clockwise from top left: Elm & resin coffee table by Dama Designs. Velvet handbag by Mon Cabas. Original painting by Niki Anderson. Jasmonite vases by Candymoon Studios.



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YOUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO SMART-CASUAL This season’s smart-wear looks a little different. Thanks to the increasing casualisation of our wardrobes from the pandemic, at the hands of a year of home-based living, the smart-casual dress code has never been so key. We’ve all heard of the phrase “smart-casual”, yet it still remains one the most misunderstood terms in the menswear vocabulary. The key to getting smart-casual right is to consider both words with equal weight. You must combine both to create an outfit that doesn’t appear too formal yet looks lazy.

Yes, your look should be comfortable and make you and the people around you feel at ease, but it should also be well cut and just elegant enough to hold its own. We’re talking suits with t-shirts and denim with blazers. With the occasions to attend this year, Beautiful South Magazine has pulled together your go-to guide for the new 2021 smart-wear dress code. We’ve picked out your must-have five items to nail the style throughout this year’s festivities. So, whether you’re having a dinner party, are spending a Sunday at your local club, or are evening planning for your work Christmas party, we have you covered. The main point is to stay neutral, minimalistic and avoid any OTT patterns or colours. So, where to start?

Fitted yet relaxed and comfortable, this will be your go-to item this winter. Paired with a smart shirt or a t-shirt, they are both versatile and stylish. A blazer worn with anything will automatically make your outfit look smarter. Hugo Boss Slim-fit jacket, £349,

You must combine both to create an outfit that doesn’t appear too formal yet looks lazy.

Suede Shoes As often with footwear, a pair of Derby suede shoes can be an investment piece. Timeless and versatile, they’re your go-to when trainers are not an option. Mr P Lucien Suede Derby Shoes, £295,

CHINOS When denim is too casual, but suit trousers seem too much, chinos will be your best friend. We would recommend having two shades of chinos to hand and purchasing in both a dark navy alongside a camel beige. Tom Ford Dyed Cotton Navy Tapered Leg Chinos, £560,

Oxford Shirt A structured, thick-fabric shirt that takes on a clean-cut appearance when tucked in and a casual nature when left untucked. Suitable with a full suit, or simply with chinos. Ralph Lauren Oxford Shirt, £85,


your look should be well cut and just elegant enough to hold its own.

A few years ago, this would have been unheard of. But as the athleisure wear trend continues to grow, as does our trainer collection. We’re not talking about running shoes or your weekend trainers. Some specific trainers suit a smart outfit. Ensure they are clean, minimalist and leather for extra points. Axel Arigato Clean 90 Navy Leather Shoes, £165,

15 | Beautiful South | November /December 2021 | GENTLEMAN’S NOTEBOOK

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Make Your Home

This Winter Written by Sophie Howard As the days grow shorter and the nights get longer, it’s the perfect time of year to add some seasonal cosiness to your homes. A cosy home is one that is comfortable, relaxing and welcoming. Having a cosy home you know you can retreat to is a key element to wellbeing. The want for a cosy

home comes from the early stages of human life when a safe home was a small shelter and a fire (warm and cosy). Now even though times have changed and our living spaces have gotten bigger, the want for a cosy room hasn’t left us. The good news is, it isn’t as hard as you think. A few simple changes and you can create a warm space that feels like it’s hugging you, perfect for the colder weather. Let start with the big but straightforward things you can do to your spaces. Paint colour and placement is one of the easiest ways to change how a room feels, and it’s really important to get

this right. To make your space feel cosy, I would stick to a warm based paint, something with a red or orange undertone (this can still be neutral, just stay away from blue and green undertones), and I would paint your ceiling an accent colour.

Choose woollen, fur and knitted accents that make you want to curl up with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate in front of a fire.

If you don’t want to completely redecorate your spaces, these following smaller changes are super simple and are a quick seasonal switch. One of the first things I think about when designing a room is lighting. In the darker months, lighting is super important for practical reasons and to create the perfect ambience. This time of year, I always find myself switching on my lamps rather than the overhead lights because these cast a much softer glow. Candlelight is also a sure way to soften a space and instantly make it feel more cosy. Such a simple, primal addition to your home that can make a big difference.

Wait, what? On the ceiling? Yes, on the ceiling. By painting the ceiling, it brings it closer and creates the illusion of less height. This will instantly make a space feel cosier. The next big thing I would recommend is to change your curtains seasonally. Now, this is not something people usually do, but I think it can completely change the feel of a room and should be something we do as the seasons change. Let me explain. In the summer, we want light curtains and allow breeze, think sheer curtains and fabrics like linen which are thin and airy. So it would make sense that in the Winter we want heavier curtains that help keep the heat in. Think velvets and wools, thicker fabrics that create cosy vibes. You could also bring in some deeper colours like rust or burgundy to really add a warming touch.

This is also the perfect opportunity to introduce some seasonal scents into your homes. The nose is often forgotten when creating spaces, but nothing can evoke a memory or a feeling quite like scent. This time of year, I opt for spiced apple, cinnamon and mulled wine type scents to add a velvety touch to your home. Nothing says ‘cosy home’ quite like autumnal scents. The final tip is equally as important, add texture. For similar reasons to changing your curtains, adding seasonal texture is such an easy way to add comfort into any space.

A few simple changes and you can create a warm space that feels like it’s hugging you, perfect for the colder weather. By adding throws and cushions with texture, you are creating cosy moments throughout your home. Choose woollen, fur & knitted accents, as well as using rattan baskets and wooden ornaments to add those tactile moments that make you want to curl up with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate in front of a fire. So there you have it, my tips to make your homes more cosy this Winter. Some really simple and actionable things to make your spaces warmer and more inviting. Combining these tips will help you create a cosy and welcoming retreat that you won’t want to leave.

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Beautiful South | November /December 2021 | 21

1. Ashling Park Estate Stayover Retreat £250

2. The White Company Silk Pyjama Set £189



3. Anya Hindmarch Neeson Tassel Tote £995

4. Cartier Santos-Dumont Watch £15,000

1. Ashling Park Estate Stayover Retreat - Sip, Swirl & Indulge, £250, 2. The White Company Silk Stripe-Trim Piped Pyjama Set in Vintage Pink, £189,

The giving season is just around the corner and comes with it, the yearly struggle of finding a grand gift for someone who deserves the world and more. We are here to make the search slightly easier. Ponder on the suggestions throughout our Luxury Gift Guide to find the perfect present for that special someone.

3. Anya Hindmarch Neeson Tassel Tote,Shiny Capra Leather in Khaki, £995, 4. Cartier Santos-Dumont Watch, quartz movement, rose gold, diamonds, leather, £15,000,

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Ways to have a more

Sustainable Christmas Written by Sophie Howard With the festive season quickly approaching Sophie Howard of Studio Lawson talks us through her best tips to have a more sustainable Christmas. Easy and actionable changes to a more eco-friendly festive season.

1. Rent your Christmas tree You can’t have Christmas without some form of Christmas tree, and for me, it has to be a real one. But having a new real Christmas tree every year throws up some valid questions about sustainability. A great option is to rent your Christmas tree. A lot of Christmas tree farms now offer this option. You simply choose your tree, keep it over the festive period and then give it back to the farm to replant and allow the tree to continue growing. Then next year you can either choose the same tree or a new one. An option that’s a lot kinder to the planet.

2. Avoid glitter Glitter on wrapping paper is the main reason festive wrapping paper can’t be recycled, and as fun, as glitter is, it’s terrible for the planet. So instead, opt for glitterfree wrapping paper or, better yet, choose brown craft paper, which is made from recycled paper and can easily be recycled again. Make your craft paper wrapping beautiful with a gorgeous ribbon and a sprig of holly for the perfect festive touch.

3. Use washi tape Washi tape is a fantastic alternative to Sellotape. It is made from paper and natural rubber adhesive, making it biodegradable and so much better for the planet. It also comes in hundreds of different colours and patterns; you’re bound to find one that suits.

4. Give a gift of charity The perfect gift for the person who has everything. Find a charity close to their heart and donate to that organisation in their name. This is a really thoughtful and personal gift, and you’re helping those in need too. Bonus points for planet focused charities.

5. Avoid food waste This one I feel we are all guilty of. Everyone always cooks far too much food, and we all overfill ourselves. So why not cook only what you actually need and then use up any leftovers. Make a curry from the leftover meat or have sandwiches. Cook what you need, use what you can and donate what you don’t use.

6. Choose a gift that lasts Novelty throw away gifts are very popular this time of year, but they are terrible for the planet. Usually made from plastic and thrown away a few days after opening, they end up in landfill. It’s much more environmentally friendly to give a gift that lasts, like a house plant or an experience, so the memory is the gift that they will have forever.

7. Shop locally Not only does this help support your local community, but it also reduces the miles in which your food and gifts have travelled. When shopping independent, you’re also more liking to find unique gifts. So why not head into your local town to do your shopping this year and support your local businesses this Christmas.

8. Buy second-hand decorations It might take some looking, but there are some gorgeous second-hand decorations out there. I personally love my decorations telling a story; it’s a great talking point and an eco-friendly option for your decorations. So there you have it, my simple and easy ways to make your Christmas a little kinder to the planet. For more sustainable tips and Interior Design goodness, head over to Instagram and give @studio.lawson a follow.

A Beacon of Hope for the Homeless


inchester Churches Nightshelter recently announced a new working name for their charity, changing it to The Winchester Beacon, to better reflect the service they have become after adapting and evolving to cope in the pandemic. As the charity is no longer just a night-time facility, it motivated the change, with residents sharing that the name ‘Nightshelter’ can carry feelings of shame and embarrassment with it and can be a barrier to people seeking support. The charity consulted with residents, volunteers, staff and supporters over several months before launching its new identity for the operational side of the charity whilst still retaining its original name as its registered charity. There are many complex and varied reasons for people becoming homeless. The Winchester Beacon will continue to focus on rebuilding lives and providing much more than a bed, giving one to one support and wrap-around care. A good example of this is 22 year old Owen, who was drawn into the

world of online gambling at a time when he was struggling with mental health issues. “Staff were really approachable, I felt safe and supported, and I am feeling optimistic about the future.” Owen was also given counselling support, help with registering for social housing and writing his CV. One of the charity’s volunteers, who is a maths teacher, offered to help him gain maths qualifications. After five months, Owen was able to move to his own accommodation in the local area.

Kindness is the New Cool! The success and survival of every charity depend upon the support gained from their local community, with The Winchester Beacon helped by many volunteers and fundraisers right across the age range. Ten-year-old Etienne, who was distressed to see people sleeping rough, came up with the idea of ‘Kindness is the New Cool!’ “I realised how important it is to be kind to myself and others,” explained Etienne. With the help of her family and friends, she created a logo out of her concept and designed a range of t-shirts and hoodies, available to buy online, with all profits raised donated to the charity. Eight-year-old Charlotte Furby has also been busy making and selling friendship bracelets to raise money to support the charity. “It’s not fair for the homeless people; I wish we could give them as much as we can. After Covid is over, I would like to volunteer at the charity.” Other innovative fundraising schemes with the charity include a collaboration with Ooooby

Hampshire, to bring healthy and nutritious meals to the Winchester Beacon residents and offer supporters an opportunity to order and donate a veg box online that will be delivered to the charity. The charity’s vision is to transform lives, inspire hope and end homelessness by providing a safe and caring temporary home open all year. Residents stay until more permanent accommodation is found to match their needs while also benefiting from practical and emotional support to help them break the cycle of homelessness and rebuild their lives.

Award winners This year the charity’s staff, volunteers and residents celebrated winning the Charity Award at the Winchester Business Excellence Awards. Michele Price, Chief Executive, commented: “We are extremely moved to have won this award. The last 18 months have been full of challenges and change as we have adapted to the pandemic. Our goal throughout has been to ensure that our vital support could continue; we achieved this and much more. I would like to thank our board, every member of staff, all our volunteers and our loyal and supportive local community for making this possible.”

Top image: Etienne’s ‘Kindness is the New Cool’ fundraising clothing range. Left image: Michele Price and Nancy Judge with the charity’s Winchester Excellence Award. Right image: Nancy Judge with Seb from Ooooby veg box scheme.

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Beautiful South | November /December 2021 | 27


Not for the last time...


t takes a great deal of courage to write about the most emotional and challenging aspects of your life. Mina Blair’s book ‘Not for the last time’ is her moving and yet uplifting account of a spiritual search for meaning, that began with the loss of her 12-year-old daughter Francesca. In her thought-provoking book, Mina asks ‘what happens after the worst happens?’ It is every parent’s nightmare to endure the death of a child. “I find it hard to remember who I was before Francesca was born; the extraordinary years she was with us passed so quickly.” Yet, in the years that have followed her loss, Mina has experienced a transformation she never thought possible.

as representatives of JET, we visit the projects to see how everyone is doing and get updates from them.” Mina’s book explores many different aspects of her life. “When I thought about it, hadn’t the universe always given me what I needed and asked for?” From meeting her first husband Malcolm and having her family, to finding the spiritual and emotional support of a wide range of people who seemed to show up in her life at just the right time. From her dear friend and village vicar Colin, who helped her explore and discover her own spiritual path, to her second husband Hamish, then meeting just the right people to help her on her new career path as a yoga teacher.

Even Mina’s choice of new canine companion seemed to have been Her book lovingly reflects on her life with her daughter, how she directed. “When I needed to open up my heart more, I found a dogfound meaning and hope, as well as the motivation to make brave breeder who matched me with Barley.” It took a little decisions to change many aspects of her life. while for Mina to adjust to having a bundle of fun and Firstly leaving the pressures of working in the to fully bond with mischievous Barley, who at times corporate world to become a counsellor, then THROUGH PAIN, tested her patience, but who has become her constant travelling to Bali to train as a yoga teacher, WE LEARN THERE IS companion enjoying long walks across the South graduating in 2017. Downs. Mina now runs her own yoga practice from NO EVENT, HOWEVER her base in West Sussex, teaching Hatha The final chapters of Mina’s book are full of spiritual yoga and a bespoke form of yoga that works TRAGIC, FROM insight, as she found the last thing to open up was her on the body’s subtle energy system, mind, WHICH WE CANNOT heart. “My heart was the last stop. It had to happen and emotions. Her podcasts on all aspects in that order because I couldn’t go near it initially, like of wellbeing have also attracted a loyal a post-operative wound that is so sensitive and painful LEARN & GROW. following. you can’t bear anyone touching it. But then gradually it heals, and it’s okay to go there, the stitches come out, Mina also became involved with Ugandan and it doesn’t hurt as much. It can tolerate a bit of pressure on it. Over based educational charity, The Jinja Educational Trust (JET), which time all that is left is the scar that indicates something happened, but you she writes about in her book and how she was particularly touched have recovered.” by her experiences of visiting three orphanages connected to the charity. “Something softens inside as you hold a malnourished baby “The good news is that you can start that was found abandoned in a field, or on the roadside, or church to open whatever has been closed at steps. Or a baby brought in by a friend of a 13-year-old girl who any time. And yoga lovingly holds your was raped and is now unable to care for her child physically or hand the whole way. You see, when psychologically. Every child in the orphanage represents one less your heart breaks, it ultimately breaks child abandoned; a life saved, a new potential.” open.” Mina quotes Eknath Easwaran’s words: “Through pain, we learn there “Reflecting on all the privileges we enjoy in the UK, all the things is no event, however tragic, from which we take for granted would be a gift in this part of the world, grabbed we cannot learn and grow.” with both hands and cherished. What do we really have to complain about?” “The title of the book was inspired by Francesca; when we were taking her On her trips to the charity, Mina has been accompanied by her eldest back home from hospital, she would daughter Karina and her husband, Hamish. “JET provides new always say: ‘not for the last time’.” classrooms, latrines, water sources and even a cow to provide milk for the children. We, in turn, had brought with us school supplies, and

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ENGLISH SPARKLING WINE Acclaimed for its glowing acidity and orchard-fruit freshness, alongside its exceptional quality, it is no surprise that English sparkling wines continue to gain popularity and establish themselves as the perfect choice to celebrate this coming festive season. Locations in the South of the UK dominated by chalky soil have presented ideal grape-growing conditions for UK wineries & vineyards, whose blossoming success is showing no sign of slowing in their battle against established Champagne brands. So with the Christmas period soon to be upon us, why not enjoy the celebrations with your loved ones accompanied with a bottle of local sparkling wine, perfect to kick off the festivities! Here are our three top picks for you to try and enjoy:

Hattingley Valley Classic Reserve is pale gold in colour with delicate and fine long-lasting bubbles. The beautifully complex bouquet combines aromas of green apples with creamy nougat, freshly baked brioche and delicate toasted notes from ageing in bottle. On the palate, the complexity continues with notes of soft lemon sherbet, biscuit and a subtle oak character.

Fresh sourdough, magnolia and lily scents mingle with a hint of smoke over a core of greengage, red plums and dessert apples. The palate is vivid, almost vibrantly crunchy, with precise, structured yet ripe acidity. It is linear, dense and long, with momentum and power that bodes well for the future. This wine has energy and latent tension that will unfold to reveal layers of floral and stone fruit aromas and a rich palate with great length.

A sparkling of amazing focus, loaded with personality. A blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. Light of taste, with a long and complex finish, with aromas of white flowers and ripe stone fruit. There’s a reason this wine has received rave reviews: fresh notes of fruit, crisp and balanced.

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WE’LL MEET AGAIN REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY 14TH NOV, FROM 12PM, AT THE GAIETY, SOUTH PARADE PIER, SOUTHSEA With performances from The Southsea Belles, Frank and Dean and a Vera Lynn Tribute. To book, visit: WINCHESTER CHRISTMAS MARKET 19TH NOV – 22ND DEC, INNER CLOSE, WINCHESTER, SO23 9LS Recognised as one of the best in Europe, renowned for its unique location, high quality exhibitors and bustling festive atmosphere. It is inspired by traditional German Christmas markets with pretty wooden chalets situated in the Cathedral’s historic Inner Close surrounding a stunning real ice rink. For more info visit WATERCRESS LINE ILLUMINATIONS 26TH-28TH NOV, 3RD-5TH, 10TH-12TH, 16TH -23RD, 27TH – 31ST DEC 1ST – 2ND JAN, THE WATERCRESS LINE, ALRESFORD Back this year, and even bigger than before! Steam Illuminations is a unique Christmas, pixel mappable digital LED train, consisting of thousands of fully controllable colour mixing LED lights and LED wristbands. This makes the train look magical both inside and out! To book tickets, call 01962 733810 or visit

WICKHAM INDOOR CHRISTMAS MARKET 20TH NOV FROM 12 – 6PM, WICKHAM COMMUNITY CENTRE, MILL LANE, WICKHAM PO17 5AL Start your Christmas shopping early at the Wickham Indoor Christmas Market on Saturday 20th Nov. The vast market will sell all things festive from local crafters, designers, makers and businesses and will serve food and drink. JACK AND THE BEANSTALK THE GIANT POMPEY PANTO 27TH NOV - 2ND JAN , VARIOUS TIMES, THE KINGS THEATRE Join the King’s Theatre this season as it throws a huge sprinkling of fairy dust over an amazing production with lavish sets, costumes and huge production values that you won’t want to miss – and of course, the all-important 12 Days of Christmas – don’t forget your toilet rolls!


THE SNOWMAN TOUR AT WINCHESTER CATHEDRAL 4TH DEC, 2PM & 4PM Make it a Christmas to remember, with a special screening of family favourite The Snowman accompanied by a magnificent live orchestra. Immerse yourself in this magical concert, set in the amazing Winchester Cathedral. For tickets visit

WINCHESTER SANTA FUN RUN 5TH DEC, WINCHESTER CITY CENTRE Join a flurry of Santas in this years popular Santa Fun Run! The event starts with a festive Zumba warm-up before a 5k run around the streets of Winchester! Have fun while supporting local hospices – Naomi House and Jacksplace. To enter visit CHRISTMAS CONCERT BY CANDLELIGHT FOR ROWANS HOSPICE 11TH DEC, 7:30PM, PORTSMOUTH CATHEDRAL In aid of Rowans Silver Jubilee Appeal. With Portsmouth Cathedral Choir. Visit: THE GOOSE GIRL PANTO 8TH – 18TH DEC, TITCHFIELD FESTIVAL THEATRE This year Titchfield Festival Theatre brings you a brand new pantomime based on the wonderful Grimm’s story of The Goose Girl. Take a talking horse, a false bride, a princess, a madcap dame and a fairytale prince, and you have all the ingredients for a fantastic fun-filled evening! CHRISTMAS GARDENERS’ BREAKFAST & TOUR 4TH DEC 2021, 8.30AM, SIR HAROLD HILLIER GARDENS, JERMYNS LN, ROMSEY A delicious breakfast will be followed by an exclusive guided tour of the Gardens before opening to the public. You will be led on a spectacular tour featuring seasonal highlights of the Winter Garden and beyond. To book, visit

As Japanese cuisine grows in popularity, one UK producer at the forefront of the movement is The Wasabi Company. For ten years, this pioneering family business has been cultivating the only fresh wasabi in the UK. The seed to do so was sown by a throwaway comment from a chef who was visiting the watercress beds of sister business, The Watercress Company. He happened to mention that the only other produce he’d ever seen growing in similar conditions to the watercress was wasabi in the mountain streams of Japan. Jon Old, Founder of The Wasabi Company, explains: “We were intrigued, and on further investigation realised we really were in a unique position to grow fresh wasabi. We were able to re-create the wild wasabi conditions in specially adapted, unused Victorian watercress beds on our farms, deep in the rolling hills of Dorset and Hampshire, mimicking mountain streams full of spring water loaded with nutrients and minerals. Here we were able to experiment!” But it wasn’t easy; there was plenty to learn to better replicate the climate and environment of the Japanese mountains. Wasabi has evolved to grow in deep shade provided by the canopy of trees growing alongside the mountain streams. Too much exposure to the sun and the leaves bleach, and the plant becomes stressed.

It became clear that a covering of shade was necessary, so layers of netting were built above and to the sides of the beds to provide protection. Wasabi likes a constant flow of water delivering nutrients and dissolved oxygen, but it has to be just the right amount. Slightly too much, and the roots will not thrive; they will even cease to hold the plant in place and make a raft to move downstream.

Deep in the

ROLLING HILLS of Dorset and Hampshire, we were able to Conversely, too little water flowing through the roots and the plant will dry up and grow poorly. Trial and error was the only way to find the best water levels to allow the plants to flourish. With all this in mind, it is perhaps no surprise that it took two years for the first plants grown by The Wasabi Company to be brought to maturity successfully. Jon continues: “Each year we learn something different, and any mistakes take a long time to put right with a two-year growth curve. Harvesting a fully mature plant is always an event as it is only when you pull the whole plant you can see what you have achieved.”

Today, The Wasabi Company cultivates tens of thousands of wasabi plants, yielding up to 2 tons of wasabi annually. Every aspect of the growing and harvesting of the wasabi is done by hand, including preparation of the fresh wasabi rhizomes used for their fiery green paste. As well as growing fresh wasabi, The Wasabi Company imports an extensive range of Japanese products from small artisanal producers and has a raft of own-label products, many of which have been awarded Great Taste Awards, including mustard and mayonnaise containing fresh English wasabi and even a wasabi vodka! All products are available for delivery from, and it’s well worth checking out their gift sets for the foodie in your life this Christmas.

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f all the Christmas traditions we see from around the world, the Christmas Cracker has to be one of the more notable ones we encounter, especially here in the UK. But where exactly did this famous tradition originate from? Surprisingly, there is a fascinating history behind the infamous Christmas cracker. Although there are many different tellings of the history around the Christmas cracker, most versions follow a similar narrative. An English candy maker in the 1800’s by the name of Tom Swift embarked on a mission to evolve the way he packaged and sold his sweets to make them more enticing for customers. He was particularly

e h t f o y r o t is h e h T

r e k c a r c s a Christm inspired by the bright, bold paper packaging used to sell bonbons in France. This idea of perfectly packaged sweets didn’t catch on how Tom envisioned; however, this didn’t stop his search for a new, innovative approach to the packaging of his sweets. One night, Tom found inspiration through the crack sounds that came from his log fire, sparking him to create his now famous, cracking packaging. As many of us know so well, these wrappers that Tom created, opened with a ‘crack’ when pulled in half. The idea soon caught on, with more and more crackers being created for special occasions, events, celebrities and more. However, the most popular of them all was the Christmas crackers, with them still being a staple in the Christmas season in the UK today. Depending on the Christmas crackers you buy, your cracker could include a small toy, a ‘Christmas Crown’ hat commonly used to symbolise the crowns of the Three Wise Men from the Nativity story, a festive joke or riddle, a fun gift, and so much more! As well as these items, another tradition adopted

alongside the cracker in the UK is the crossing of the arms around the table when they are opened, allowing for all members of your celebration to enjoy the excitement and surprise of opening their cracker all at once. Nowadays, although the core idea of the Christmas cracker has remained, there are many different types of crackers available for people to buy and enjoy during their festive celebrations. With one of the biggest environmental concerns of Christmas crackers being that they are used once and then thrown away and contain many plastic toys and gifts inside, many brands have taken it upon themselves to create more eco-friendly crackers to help reduce their environmental impact. For example, in 2020, Waitrose & Partners announced that they would no longer sell any Christmas crackers ‘containing plastic toys, whether it was plastic wrappers, whether it had microplastic glitter or if the toys that were included would end up in landfill.’ That’s not all! Many brands have also introduced ‘fill your own’ Christmas crackers, allowing people to fill their crackers with whatever they please, allowing for an even more personalised Christmas celebration experience with their loved ones. Written by Zac Lloyd

E-TRON GT By Wayne Gorrett

Sharing the same underpinnings as the Porsche Taycan, the all-electric Audi e-tron GT has more performance than most will ever need and an insatiable ability to entertain on a twisty road. The Audi e-tron GT, which comes in ‘standard’ and white-knuckle ‘RS’ form – is the first electric Audi to wear the marque’s famous RS badge. All the familiar Audi styling elements are present, but the bodywork has been stretched to give the GT a wide and low stance, swollen wheel arches and a coupé-like roofline. It looks fast even when it isn’t moving. The interior is first-rate Audi fare, even if it can’t quite match the drama when you’re standing outside the car. It all looks rather conservative inside but with pin-sharp design and plenty of high-tech features, it will suit executive buyers seeking elements of style and sophistication. The boot measures a respectable 405 litres on the standard GT. Like the Tesla Model S, the Audi has a less practical boot lid rather than a hatchback. Fold its rear seats down, and this expands to 1,171 litres, making it possible to carry more bulky items, plus there are another 85 litres available under the bonnet. It might weigh as much as a luxury SUV, but the dual electric motors fitted in the e-tron GT give it a total of 469bhp under normal driving conditions, or 523bhp for 2.5 seconds with overboost deployed. Use launch control, and the 0-62mph time is just 4.1 seconds, while its top speed is 152 mph. Not quite as ‘ludicrous’ as Tesla’s Model S, which manages 0-60mph in a blistering 2.3 seconds, which, frankly, is just showing off. The RS e-tron GT has an even




TERROR more impressive 590bhp (637bhp with over-boost), for a 0-62mph time of 3.3 seconds. Both models feature a 93kW/h battery as standard. Audi says the standard e-tron GT will be able to cover around 295 miles between charges, while the hot RS e-tron GT model offers a range of 280 miles. Both figures will vary according to the ambient temperature and style of driving. Out on the open road, the car’s acceleration is addictive, with a sustained surge that will have passengers laughing in disbelief – and terror. One surprise is that, while light, the steering is better than that of many other Audis, with genuine feel; it makes it very easy to place the car precisely when driving quickly.

There are Efficiency, Comfort, Dynamic and Individual driving modes, which have an appreciable effect on the suspension, throttle response and electronics. Comfort mode is good, with a compliant ride even on crusty British roads, while Dynamic makes the car feel sharper but remains refined. Perhaps what’s most commendable is that the Audi e-tron GT, despite sharing the architecture of the Taycan, is a hugely different car from the Porsche. And this bodes well for those worried about manufacturers sharing EV platforms. Here you have a true grand tourer built for eating up the miles in serious comfort and style. Audi’s new flagship is an assured success.

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Contributors Issue 32 November/December 2021

Take Beautiful South with you wherever you go... Read the latest issue on your tablet and mobile at: beautifulsouthmagazine Beautiful

Bathrooms Despite being one of the smaller rooms, Bathrooms have quickly become a focal point in the home; a place of relaxation, tranquillity and cleanliness. Bathrooms are the first place you visit when you wake up and one of the last before you sleep, so they deserve to be treated with the same love that other prized rooms inside your home receive, to set you in a good mood for the day ahead or relax your mind before bed.

Adding colour to a bathroom can be an excellent way to compliment eccentric stones and exciting tiles,

Design The Natural Outdoors - Incorporating natural woods, potted plants and eco-materials helps create a relaxing feel by bringing outside world indoors. Injecting Colour - Adding colour to a bathroom can be an excellent way to compliment eccentric stones and exciting tiles, bringing it all together with gold features; if you’ve ever visited the famous ‘Sketch’ in London then you’ll be able to gather inspiration from its modern quirky 18thcentury designs. Warm blues or pinks show off your personality and create an inviting place to get ready each morning. Details in the Dark - Dark colours are making a strong comeback in the interior design world. Perhaps one of the trendiest things of this season, dark features are no longer boring or intimidating, instead they can wonderfully contrast against feature colours and tiling.

A well-designed bathroom is a thing of beauty and can also boost the value of your home. From lighting to flooring, features to accessories, colour, texture and of course, the tubs, basins, sinks and showers – there’s a lot of elements to consider.

You don’t need to install a brand-new bathroom to achieve your #bathroomgoals. Decor You don’t need to install a brand-new bathroom to achieve your #bathroomgoals. Stripping your current bathroom back to its canvas and adding new features and accessories can take your bathroom to meh to mwah! To create a calm ‘sanctuary’ feel on a budget, use warm earthy tones throughout your bathroom accessories to contrast against bold black accents for handles and hangers, that will help deliver a mixed soft industrial appeal.

Details With so many products for haircare, beauty and hygiene, our bathrooms can often feel cluttered. Try utilising your storage space and reducing the amount of products you have on display. Only leave the products out that are appealing to the eye and help tie-in with the true sanctuary feel to provide a welcome antidote.

Products featured: Opposite page: H&M Home Stoneware soap dispenser, £9.99, available at Above: MADE Jovi Knurled Solid Brass Toilet Roll Holder, Black Nickel, £29, available at Westlab Bathing Epsom Salt 1kg, £4.99, available at Next Black Round Wall Mirror, £60, available at Neal’s Yard English Lavender Bath and Shower Gel 200ml, £14, available at Image opposite page: Good House Keeping / Elsie Larson, image top right Stylist / Home Catalog.

Managing Director Denise Lloyd Designer Zoe Mirza Proudly published by Hampshire Media Group Ltd, trading as Beautiful South. Sales team: Designer: Editor: Tel: 01730 260746 Address: Beautiful South, Unit 1 Viceroy Court Bedford Road, Petersfield, Hampshire, GU32 3LJ Hampshire Media Group Limited cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts and photographs. While every care is taken, prices and details are subject to change and Hampshire Media Group Limited takes no responsibility for omissions or errors. We reserve the right to publish and edit any letters. All rights reserved

Sophie Howard

Sophie Peel

Sophie Paravicini

Sophie Howard is Creative Director of Studio Lawson, an Interior Design studio with a sustainable approach. Sophie is a dog-obsessed, self-proclaimed eco-warrior and is passionate about all things creative. She has an infectious attitude towards design, her business and each and every job that comes into the studio.

Sophie founded London based Currant Communications six years ago to focus on PR campaigns for fresh produce growers and artisanal food and drink producers. With several clients based in Hampshire, including The Watercress Company and The Wasabi Company, and hailing from there herself, she can often be found in the Beautiful South, escaping the big smoke!

Sophie is passionate about the beauty industry and has worked for Estée Lauder, Space NK and is currently with Sarah Chapman. Sophie has worked on films, magazines, at London Fashion Week, interned in Beauty PR and has her own beauty blog. She enjoys hot yoga and walking her sausage dogs!

Beautiful South has 32,000 copies printed with 29,000 distributed directly into ABC1 homes, and a further 3,000 at pick up points, including superstores and Hampshire Farmer’s markets throughout the following areas: Petersfield, Winchester, Alresford and the Meon Valley, Havant, Rowlands Castle, Hayling Island, Emsworth, Old Portsmouth and Southsea.

Where to find a copy of Beautiful South… Winchester Theatre Royal Winchester Mail Boxes Etc - Winchester Alresford Horse & Groom Susie Watson Designs Old Portsmouth A Bar Bistro Sparkies Emporium Emsworth Driftwood Café Blue Bell Inn The Brookfield Hotel Hampshire Health Clinic Treagust & Co Estate Agents H. H. Treagust & Sons Southbourne Farm Shop

Nyewood John Jenkins Southsea David Antony Hair Southsea Bathing Hut Roux at 27 Charlotte Cornelius G Boutique Hotel Garage Lounge Blossom Boutique Buckwells of Southsea Hayling Island The Langstone Hotel Hayling Christian Centre R J Morris Jewellers

Petersfield Cloisters Café The Natural Apothecary TIME to be ME Sew Creative Lavant Rowe Velvet and Rose Rebecca Barnes Interiors COOK One Tree Books Café Madeleine’s Kitchen Nicky Wells JP Hair Design Rowlands Castle & Havant Pavilion Tea Room, Stansted House The Robin Hood Public House

The copy deadline date for our January/February edition is 5th December 2021

42 | Beautiful South | November /December 2021 | CONTRIBUTORS


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