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Nene LIVING April 2018 ÂŁ1.50

April’s Green Shoots Foodie secrets Bold spring fashion Artisan potter Garden inspiration

Covering Peterborough, Oundle and the Nene Valley



Welcome to the April issue of Nene Living


E’RE getting into the spring groove here at Nene Living. Winter’s last icy blast has made us even more appreciative of the season’s goodness, and keen to get back outside in the garden to make the most of the longer days and lighter evenings. Don’t miss our preview of some inspiring gardens that will be open under the brilliant NGS scheme for 2018 (page 27). Visiting private gardens is one of the best ways to gain ideas for your own plot, and an ideal chance to speak to talented gardeners who know what grows well in local conditions. Better still, the open gardens raise money for a host of caring charities. And if you’re ready to tackle your own space, don’t miss our fast makeover tips on page 43. I’ve really enjoyed exploring the city to find some of the less well-known places for foodies to try fresh flavours and authentic dishes (page 19 and 20). This is just a snapshot of what’s out there, I know there are a host of brilliant eateries to try, including plenty of well- established favourites that we didn’t have room to include this time. Let us know about your personal favourites. We’re always keen to hear about great food and service. You can contact me by emailing Fiona@, via our Instagram account @neneliving or why not follow us on Twitter @neneliving? We’ve had to restart our account from scratch so you may need to re-follow us. Enjoy the issue, which is packed with ideas for enjoying the area, and making the most of where we live, whether that’s making new friends via a book group, volunteering for the Foodcycle Scheme which is doing such amazing work in Peterborough or catching a concert, gig or art exhibition.

Fiona Editor

Incorporating Nene Valley Living @neneliving @neneliving Nene Living



Contents Nene April 2018 April 2018 £1.50


April’s Green Shoots Foodie secrets Bold spring fashion Artisan potter Garden inspiration

5 Six Good Things in April What to make, buy and try this month

6 Nene News

Local businesses, happenings and events

12 Bold and Beautiful Fashion for the new season

17 Food and Drink News

The Wheatsheaf, Titchmarsh, reviewed

19 The Insiders’ Guide to Foodie Peterborough

The best Thai takeaway, Chinese buns, fresh fish and lots more!

Covering Peterborough, Oundle and the Nene Valley 1 NL COVER APRIL.indd 4

13/03/2018 23:46

Cover photo: Ceramics from The English Garden Collection by Stamford-based Katie Alice, Photography by

22 The Rutland Potter Meet maker Richard Clarke

24 Stylish Cinema

Visit The Regal in Melton Mowbray

27 Come into the Garden!

Visit the best private gardens in the region

31 Lunch is Served

How Foodcycle is helping the community

34 Wellbeing Notes

Health and beauty treatments from local businesses

37 Set up a Book Club!

Meet new people and enjoy reading

Editor Fiona Cumberpatch Write to Nene Living, PO Box 208, Stamford, PE9 9FY Advertisement Manager Bridget Steele 01733 707538 Advertising Copy Rachel Beecroft 01780 765320 Head of Design Steven Handley Designer Sarah Patterson Published by Local Living Ltd, PO Box 208, Stamford, PE9 9FY Printed by Warners of Bourne Subscriptions; annual rate £25 (UK only). Please write to the Publisher at Local Living Ltd, with £25 cheque payable to Local Living, or go online to

41 Little Living

Ideas for the Easter holidays

43 Ready, Steady…Garden Quick makeover tips for your plot

45 One to Watch

Talented young illustrator Aderice Palmer-Jones

46 A Shakespearian Life

Lynette Ford of the Stamford Shakespeare Company

48 Out & About Essential diary dates


53 Nene People Meet Raj Regmi




Six good things in



Plant sweet scented tulips in pots and tubs for added colour and interest in your garden. Try parrot tulips with their frilly, ornamental petals for a dramatic look.



your dog to a smart new bed and a neckerchief. Labs dog bed, £61, and necker, £11, from local designer Sophie Allport’s shop in Stamford or

Help to craft a banner celebrating the centenary celebrations of the female vote. If you can’t attend workshops at Metal Peterborough, make a pansy to add to the banner which will be taken to the London march on June 10. Violet hybrid pansies are often associated with Free Thought and radical causes. Green represented hope, white was for purity and purple signified dignity, the colours of the suffragettes. Collect a pansy pack, containing all materials, from Tourist Information Centre, Bridge Street, Peterborough or from Chauffeurs Cottage, St Peters Rd, Peterborough, PE1 1YX (Mon – Fri, 9am – 5pm). For instructions and templates, visit processions. Pansies to be completed and returned to Metal by April 30.


A pretty bag to update your Spring wardrobe. Starburst Jewelled Zip Top Clutch Bag, £30 from Accessorize, Queensgate Centre, Peterborough.


The Book of Hours exhibition at Peterborough Cathedral, April 9 – May 4 in the Exhibition Room at the Cathedral Visitor Centre. Facsimiles of beautifully decorated Christian devotional books lent by a private collector. Admission free.


This print by local artist Sam Purcell, whose spring-like hare costs £35 from Hilly Horton Home, Thrapston. NENE LIVING APRIL 2018


Nene News People, places, businesses

Stylish interiors in Stamford


ITHOUT doubt one of the real gems amongst Stamford`s collection of wonderful independent retail shops is Chez Soi, situated in St. Mary`s Street in the old Stamford Hotel building. There are two separate showrooms with the larger one, Chez Soi Interiors, featuring beautiful hand-made tables, larger European pieces of furniture, lighting, and an extensive range of mirrors. In addition, the Interiors showroom offers the full range of Farrow & Ball traditional paints and wallpapers. Across the stunning marble- floored hallway can be found Chez Soi Vintage. This is a relatively new addition to the business and offers unique hand painted furniture pieces, an amazing selection of faux flowers, and hand turned lamp bases with shades made from vintage fabrics. In addition, the full range of Annie Sloan paints is also now available, together with advice on colour scheming and paint finishing techniques. Plans are in place to offer decorative workshops during the year, so if this is of interest to you, please contact Chez Soi to register your interest. Chez Soi, St. Mary’s Street, Stamford PE9 2DF 01780 757446

Check in to The Lightbox Café


ETERBOROUGH’S café and restaurant scene has blossomed over the last two years, but The Lightbox Café claims to have a unique proposition for its customers. Situated on Bridge Street, the “modern tea room” is the brainchild of Eve Warner, who has local roots. Fiercely independent and fully licensed, The Lightbox provides brunches, lunches, savoury and sweet afternoon teas. Having already built a loyal following during the day, The Lightbox is now attracting large numbers on weekend nights, serving cocktails, wines and beers to a crowd enjoying the high profile visiting DJs. Eve says: “It’s a very competitive market, within 200 metres of our door we have numerous chain establishments with deep pockets, so it’s important we provide something different. We have pastry chefs for example, making sweets others buy in, and on weekend nights we have DJs, pop-up restaurants with a twist and comedy nights. We have even hosted our first baby showers, so there are plenty of ideas to keep our offering fresh and appealing.” The venue is also available for private hire Sunday to Thursday evenings. The Lightbox Café, 31 Bridge Street, Peterborough. 01733 894444



Riverford launches Summer Walks


ETERBOROUGH organic farm Riverford is opening to the public this summer for a series of walks at its site at Sacrewell. David Simpson, who helps to run the farm at Sacrewell, says: “each week we deliver boxes of veg and other organic produce across the region, and we thought it would be a great idea to throw our gates open so people can see what we do. During summer, the farm is alive with activity and it’s the one time of the year when we plant, pick and sow crops all at once – it’s quite a sight. Because our produce is organic, visitors will be able to taste our crops straight off the stalk.” Visitors will also have the chance to see plenty of wildlife, with a diverse mix of animals and insects living on the farm. David explains: “our farm at Sacrewell is home to a number of rare and endangered species. The butterflies Brown Argus and Small Heath have both been spotted on our farm, as have reed buntings and yellowhammers. We also have flourishing communities of skylark and lapwing, despite their levels declining nationally.” The walks will take place from May until September, with exact dates set to be announced soon. For more information, call 01803 227227 or visit

Making sense of it all


NUMBER of new groups have been set up in the area, aimed at creating a comfortable space for people to discuss philosophical topics. Owen Wheatley started the first group and it is held most weeks on a Tuesday evening from his home at 9d, Irving Burgess Close, Whittlesey 7.30-9pm. £2. Another group is held monthly, on a Thursday in The Snug Room in The Talbot Hotel, 7-9pm. £5. There will also be a morning group in the Coffee Shop at the Chapel Bazaar, Oundle. 1011.30am. £2, starting on May 1. The groups can be found on www.meetup. com or by emailing o.wheatley711@ or rachelgiddens55@gmail. com for Oundle meetings.

• daytime classes Tuesdays or Thursdays • evening class on Mondays • for complete beginners or improvers • drawing, pastels, watercolours, acrylics • all materials included • next 12 week course starts soon • held at Yarwell Village Hall

Nene News Calling professional women in Peterborough!


ETERBOROUGH Women’s Development Community (PWDC) resulted from a conversation between a group of Peterborough businesswomen who were keen to create something stimulating and beneficial for women in the city. The purpose is to provide opportunities for working women to gain confidence, inspiration, and ideas to help them fill their full potential. Quarterly learning events are held, and there are participants from all kinds of organizations, as well as female students, individuals and entrepreneurs. Everyone is welcome, and events are free. Says organizer Jennifer Cramb: “a highlight last year was Olympic Badminton winner, Gail Emms MBE, and this year, the theme of our meeting in February was “Inspiring Women - Making a Difference.” Hazel Cottrell engaged us with details of her volunteering work at Peterborough Prison, and Carol Hughes told the moving story about how she founded Anna’s Hope, a charity dedicated to children and young people diagnosed with a brain tumour. Our special interest groups meet to focus on particular topics. These include Leadership, Confidence, and Mindfulness.” The next event is on Thursday April 19, 4 -6.30pm at the Allia Future Business Centre. The theme will be staying safe and making the most of the internet and social media. For more info, email



In April, I love spotting the new blossom unfurling in the gardens and hedgerows where I walk. Crab apple blossom is a wonderful spectacle, and then there’s the lacy tops of the cow parsley and its bright green foliage heralding signs of new life at my feet. Towards the end of the month, I’ll be making my way to Short Wood near Oundle, where bluebells carpet the forest floor. The smell and the sight of these always boosts the weariest of spirits.

Shake it to Shalamar

Don’t miss!


The Gildenburgh Choir’s Spring Concert on April 28 at St Johns Church, Cathedral Square Peterborough at 7.30pm. Music includes Mozart’s Requiem and Monteverdi’s Beatus Vir. Tickets cost £10 and will be available at the door. Details from

HO hasn’t thrown some shapes on the dance floor to US Soul legends Shalamar? The good news is that the band, featuring Howard Hewett, Jeffrey Daniel and Carolyn Griffey, are returning to The Broadway Theatre, Peterborough on May 13 for the final show of their tour. “We played Peterborough for the first time last year,” says Jeffrey Daniel. “We were knocked out by the reception the crowd gave us. It was as if they’d been waiting 35 years for us to come!” Shalamar are regarded as one of the most influential soul bands of their time. “Friends” is the album that helped to cement their place in soul/dance music history. The album, released in 1982 featured four top twenty hit singles: Friends, There It Is, I Can Make You Feel Good and the iconic A Night To Remember. After the May 13 show, Walters Bar at the venue is going to host a special 80’s club night to remind people just how good an era it was for soul music! Tickets for the show priced at £32.50 and £24.50 are on sale from The Broadway Box Office. Telephone 01733 306071, from the Visitor Information Centre on Bridge Street Peterborough. Or book online at

Thriller writer in Oundle


N Friday April 20 at 7.45pm, St Peter’s Church, Oundle, bestselling thriller writer B. A. Paris will be discussing her latest book, the tense Bring Me Back, and shedding light on creating a bestselling novel. Tickets £8 (£6), £1 off early bird tickets bought before April 13, available from the Oundle Box Office, 4 New Street, Oundle. Tel 01832 274734, online at

Have you received a new tax code? Y

OU will usually receive a new tax code around the start of the tax year because this is normally when changes to your personal allowance come into effect. Your tax code is used by your employer or pension provider to tell them what tax to take and if you have been allocated the wrong tax code you could be paying a lot more, or a lot less than you need to. You can find your tax code on the PAYE coding notice sent to you by HMRC or on your wage slip. The most common tax codes are made up of numbers and letters and these indicate the amount that you can earn in a year before your employer needs to deduct tax. In most cases, you can work out the total amount of income that you can earn in a year before you pay tax by multiplying the number in your tax code by ten. For example, the basic personal allowance for 2018-19 is £11,850 and the tax code for an employee entitled to the standard tax-free personal allowance is 1185L. There might be a different number or letter in your tax code. If your code contains a different number, allowances or other amounts may have been added to the amount that you can earn before you pay tax. For example, you may be entitled to claim tax relief for pension contributions, charitable donations or job expenses - these items will increase the amount that you can earn before you pay tax. On the other hand, your code could include deductions for items that increase the amount of tax that is taken, for example taxable benefits like a company car. The letter used in your tax code may not mean much to you, but it can affect the tax that you pay. Here are some of the main letters or special codes that are in use: L – you are under 65 and entitled to the basic personal allowance BR – your income is all taxed at the basic rate of tax which currently 20%. This is commonly used for a second job or pension. D0 or D1 – your income is taxed at the higher rate of tax, currently 40% or 45%. NT – no tax is to be taken M or N – a transfer or receipt of some personal allowance between a spouse or civil partner K – indicates that your total deductions are more than any allowances given. It is important to review any items that are added or deducted from your basic code, and check whether the letter that is used is relevant to your personal situation. There are often notes on the tax code to explain any adjustments that that have been made. If you spot an error in your tax code then contact HMRC as soon as possible so that it can be corrected. For more information contact Stephenson Smart Tel: 01733 343275 or visit


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Nene News All change in The Olive Grove bistro


ELL known local chef Justin Capp is currently working with the kitchen team at The Olive Grove, Oundle, to bring a taste of the Mediterranean to the popular dining area within the garden centre. A new menu with influences from Greece, Spain and Morocco, together with the popular wood-fired pizzas, has now been introduced. “The aim is that people can pop down the road and get a feel of the Mediterranean, from the plants, trees and herbs that are on sale, to the authentic taste of the food,” explains Justin. Having trained in Spain, and now spending some of his time in Greece, Justin is well qualified to introduce a medley of authentic delicious, hearty flavours. Tapas and mezze will be on offer, together with barista coffee, and tempting homemade cakes such as Greek Orange cake and Sicilian Lemon. Justin has also overhauled the breakfast menu, to bring a fresh feel to some old favourites. “This isn’t about fancy food, it’s homely, soulful fare but well executed and prepared from scratch. It’s all about the quality of ingredients and the atmosphere we are creating here,” he explains. The Olive Grove, Polebrook, Northants, PE8 5LQ Tel: 01832 275660

Join in with Peterborough Pride


IMON Courtney Green is coordinator of Peterborough’s first Pride event, a weeklong programme of events to celebrate and support the city’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual (LGBTQIA+) communities. Planned for June 29 – July 6, there will be parties, picnics, film nights, cabarets and book groups with a large number of city businesses, neighbourhoods, churches, schools and venues taking part. Why does Peterborough need a Pride event? It’s one of the country’s fastest growing cities and it’s unusual in not having one. Much has changed for the better, but all too often there are still reports of bullying or harassment. In a 2016 survey, Peterborough was identified as a national hotspot for online homophobic hate speech. Pride is designed to demonstrate support and solidarity. What’s the aim of the week? It’s about education and celebration. It will be an outward facing series of events, which the whole city will benefit from, not just the LGBTQIA+ community, but their families, friends and supporters. What kind of response have you had to the idea? Very positive. It feels like the right time for the city to be involved. At the moment, there’s no safe space in Peterborough, no gay bars, and the community feels fragmented. The aim is to pull all the different strands together and make Pride representative of the whole city. How can people get involved? We need sponsorship, and if any businesses or individuals think they can help, email or call Simon on 07484 772729.



Heart and soul


OCAL soul band, Motor City Vipers, will be hosting their seventh annual charity soul night at The Brewery Tap on Saturday April 7 to help raise funds for Sue Ryder Care Thorpe Hall Hospice, Peterborough. Expect tunes by The Temptations, Wilson Pickett, The Four Tops and Dobie Gray,The Supremes, Smokey Robinson and Otis Redding. The event also includes support from top soul DJs and Brewery Tap regulars, Julz and Ollie. Tickets are £10 each and available by credit/debit card from the Brewery Tap on 01733 358500.

Here comes the Book Bus!


IVACITY has launched a new book bus aimed at improving children’s literacy in the city. Designed by local children’s author and illustrator, Ellie Sandall (best known for the Everybunny series), the Book Bus is bright, colourful, and the perfect setting for primary school children (between the ages of 4-11) to enjoy and immerse themselves in books and learning. The Book Bus forms part of the Reading Vision for Peterborough - a collaboration between Vivacity, Peterborough City Council, and the National Literacy Trust to improve the literacy rates of local children. The Vivacity Book Bus aims to achieve this by giving children a positive experience with stories, reading and libraries at an early age.Director of Culture at Vivacity, Richard Hunt says: “This is an excellent step forward for Peterborough. The Vivacity Book Bus promises to really make a difference with children’s reading and is just one more asset to the city - including Peterborough Heritage Festival and its Storytelling Festival - that puts Peterborough on the Cultural Map.”

In good voice


OW in its seventh season, Sing for Life is back for 2018, once again raising money for Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice. Launching in May, the project will take 40 local women with a range of previous singing experience to rehearse over 10 weeks for a charity concert at the Cresset Theatre on July 21. Over the years, the project has introduced hundreds of local women to the joys of singing while raising thousands for charity. Sing for Life launches with introduction sessions at the Key Theatre on Thursday May 10 (7-9pm), Friday May 11 (7-9pm) and Saturday May 12 (10.30am12.30pm). No experience necessary. For further information call 01733 425194 or email


Bright and Beautiful!

Bold blocks of strong colour are filling the rails at local independent retailers. Fashion editor Sally Stillingfleet and model Jennie showcase the best of the new season’s brights PHOTOGRAPHY: ELLI DEAN


PRING showers couldn’t dampen the mood when Jennie, a hairdresser, hit the streets of Oundle and Stamford. “This gorgeous girl really sums up spring for me,” says fashion editor Sally. “She’s so full of energy and such fun – she modelled the clothes so beautifully and cheered up a dull day!”



Jennie wears mustard spot shirt by Thought £49.99 with navy wide trousers £59.95, all from Asha’s Attire. Clarks metallic flatforms £65 North Shoes, Oundle.

White cotton shirt, £49.99, and pin striped navy trousers, £44.95, red chain handled bag £39.99. From Diversity Boutique.

Make a statement in a French Connection red striped dress, £90, Energy, Stamford.

Striped vest £36 worn with pale pink Sandwich jacket, £119, and navy wide legged trousers, £59.95. All from Asha’s Attire.

Burgundy military style jacket, £75, with pale pink star print shirt, £29.99. Navy trousers £44.95, all from Diversity Boutique. NENE LIVING APRIL 2018


Bright and Beautiful!

Mustard linen shirt, £49, worn with wide denim culottes, £55. Both from White Vanilla.

STOCKISTS: Asha’s Attire – The Bazar, West Street, Oundle 01832 275259 White Vanilla – 1 Market Street, Oundle 01832 247107 North Shoes - 7 Market Place, Oundle 01832 272534 Diversity Boutique - 2a Osyths Lane, Oundle 01832 270330 Energy 9 Ironmonger Street, Stamford PE9 1PL 01780 765633 23 Seven – 3 Stamford Walk, Stamford Tel 01780 238008


Primary colours! Jennie wears red and navy print dress £49, with red cardigan, £35, both from 23 Seven, Stamford.



HANKS to our model Jennie, who works as a hairdresser at The Stamford Hair Studio. Having opened in November 2017, the salon now has a fantastic team with Anna and Jacob along with Jennie and Alison, all exceptional stylists in their own right. 5A Cheyne Lane, Stamford. To book an appointment, call 01780 757297 Or book on line. 01780 757297 Instagram @stamfordhairstudio


We bake a selection of delicious breads, savouries, cakes & desserts. Using traditional techniques and the finest ingredients we develop the real taste of our products, full of flavour with no preservatives or enhancers.

Shops: Exton Bakery, Oundle, Market Harborough, Oakham, Stamford & West Bridgford


What’s new and where to go

Food & Drink News

Meet Nene Living’s brand new blogger and allotmenteer, Annie, who gardens in the Cambridgeshire Fens.

Fenland Lottie A

PRIL marks the beginning of the growing year. On the allotment there is a flurry of activity. It’s time to survey the plot as it awakens from its winter slumber. And there’s work to be done! Raised beds need to be cleared of winter debris and the shed roof seems to have sprung a leak. There are also crops to be sown. At last, I can start to implement those plans I made during long, dark evenings indoors. April and more particularly, Easter is traditionally the time to plant potatoes. Charlotte is a favourite. Come early summer we will be enjoying new potatoes fresh from the plot, lightly steamed and served with lashings of butter. Time too, to start planting some hardy seeds, such as beetroot. Whilst indoors, little pots of seeds start appearing on the kitchen windowsill; climbing beans, winter squash, the seeds soon germinate. Nurtured as carefully as any baby, the little seedlings will be ready to be planted out mid-May when fear of frost has passed. But despite all the activity on the allotment there is little to harvest at this time of year. Lovely daughter, however, has an idea to go foraging for wild garlic and nettles. For the inexperienced forager, nettles and wild garlic are reassuringly easy to identify and at this time of year, simple to find. Armed with bags and rubber gloves, we set off for the local woods. Wild garlic grows in swathes amidst the trees and its pretty white flower is a joy to behold. We soon gather a small bagful of wild garlic leaves and nettle tops. Back home, the plan is to make nettle and wild garlic pesto. The ingredients/quantities are roughly as follows: 2 handfuls of nettle tops 1 handful wild garlic 50g pine nuts, toasted 50g parmesan 150-200ml olive oil Salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste. Using rubber gloves, wash the nettles and garlic in plenty of cold water, then blanch the nettles in boiling salted water for a few minutes. Drain and squeeze out excess water. Place the nettles, chopped garlic leaves, grated parmesan and pine nuts into a food processor and blitz to a coarse paste then with the motor still running add the oil until a good consistency is reached. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste. The pesto can be stirred into pasta or used as a dip with crackers. I’m Annie, an avid reader and collector of cookbooks, grower of vegetables, fruit and flowers. I’m married to Mr Digandweed, my allotment helper. I have two lovely daughters and a beautiful granddaughter. Read more about Annie’s life on her plot every month in Nene Living.

Nene Living visits… The Wheatsheaf, Titchmarsh


T the bar with a pint of JHB in my hand and the pleasant heat from the wood burner on my back the evening started well. A good selection of local ales and heritage ciders make interesting reading on a chalk board, but next time I shall try one of the artisan gins. The Northamptonshire produced rhubarb gin for example. A fiver with a premium mixer on Friday gin nights. Recently refurbished in a country modern style the pub has lost none of its historic character. Once seated, we were left to choose from a good selection of dishes on the menu and from a specials board and a dedicated pie board. Pies comes in tempting flavours like Moroccan lamb or sweet potato and spinach. There is plenty on the menu for vegetarians and vegan and gluten free dishes are clearly marked. The starters arrived quickly and my scallops were perfectly cooked. The crayfish and crevettes with chilli and lime mayo were also particularly good. However, the star of the show was the slow cooked beef. This is beautifully presented on a bed of horseradish mash, with a layer of vibrant green kale and topped with crispy parsnips shavings. It’s a generous portion and the flavours combine wonderfully. Our waitress recommended the Pietas, a spicy French red to accompany. The Wheatsheaf believes in buying locally and wine is from Amps in Oundle, meat is from the butcher in Stanwick and cheese comes from a supplier in Brigstock. I had opted for the chicken and apricot pie. The pastry was buttery and the pie was served with an individual jug of gravy, roughly hewn veg and fat, floury chips. And on Tuesdays it’s £11 for all that and a pint. To finish we had a Winter Trifle with seasonal blackberries and apple cream. And my ‘Titchmarsh Mess’ wouldn’t look out of place on Masterchef, served stylishly on slate with crunchy meringue and a refreshing lemon sorbet. The recently reopened Wheatsheaf at Titchmarsh has upped the ante with the quality of food. Yet they haven’t forgotten their country pub roots, a combination that works for me! Perry Miller The Wheatsheaf at Titchmarsh, tel 01832 732203



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Home delivery, pop ups and catering ACHILLEOS

Tel: 01733 735082 Homemade Greek Cypriot food delivered to the door in the PE1 – PE7 area. Gina has been preparing food for her family since she was a young girl. Coming from a family of halloumi producers, she sources the best ingredients to make classic dishes such as Kleftiko (slow roast lamb), dolmades (vine leaves stuffed with seasoned pork and rice), moussaka, gemista (whole vegetables stuffed with rice, olive oil and lemon) and honey soaked baklava. Home delivery is available from Monday to Saturday, 6pm -10pm, but you must book your order the previous day. Perfect sharing food for a party or special occasion.


Email Well known for its pop ups at The Ostrich Inn in Peterborough, this company offers a vegan take on street food, and is available for event catering, pop ups and private functions.

The Insiders’ Guide to Foodie Peterborough From delicious Thai takeaways to homemade Portugese pastries, Peterborough is full of hidden gems. Fiona Cumberpatch explores ILLUSTRATIONS: FIONA CUMBERPATCH


Peterborough City Market, Peterborough Tel: 07494 353097 A takeaway stall, which also has undercover seating, serving freshly prepared delicious Caribbean food. It could include a Jerk Chicken Wrap, Jumbalaya, a vegan wrap or goat curry. Owner Nick Rutta also does pop up events, including appearances at The Lighthouse Café on Bridge Street.




10 Midgate, Peterborough PE1 1TN Tel: 01733 751756 We love this café for its egg custard tarts and great coffee, but it’s also recommended for Portugese specialities such as Stone Soup and Salted Cod pies. The service is excellent and very friendly.


298 Eastfield Rd, Peterborough PE1 1RA Tel: 01733 686484 Situated near Peterborough Regional College, this is a cosy, quirky café with original art on the walls, upcycled counters, vintage finds and a book corner. Sweet and savoury waffles are served, along with burgers, cakes and desserts, and the cold press coffee comes highly recommended (the cappuccino is good too). There’s also a milk shake bar. Good atmosphere with mellow tunes playing.


69 Oundle Rd, PE2 9PB Tel: 07411 023336 Peterborough’s best kept secret? This modest looking café has gained a great reputation for its home cooked Thai food. You can eat in, although the number of tables is limited, or take away. Choose from Thai fish cakes, hot and sour chicken soup, chicken satay, and noodle dishes such as stir fried egg noodle, mixed veggies in oyster sauce and stir fried noodles in Pad Thai sauce. They also serve cracking English breakfasts. Ring to check opening times.


81-83 Eastfield Rd, Peterborough PE1 4AS A Portugese café and attached deli and food store. Excellent espresso and authentic cakes.

THE PIZZA PARLOUR AND MUSIC CAFÉ 5 Cowgate, Peterborough PE1 1LR Tel: 01733 902233 Not only are the wood-fired pizzas and pasta dishes delicious and great value, there’s a lovely atmosphere in this independently run café thanks to the retro chic and music (often live). If you’re a closet performer, why not try the open mic night every Tuesday?


77 Lincoln Rd, Peterborough PE1 2SH Tel: 01733 685850 Turkish and Moroccan food is on offer here. We reviewed it recently, and can vouch for good service and delicious dishes, including excellent hot and cold mezze (try the to-die-for borek!), and generously sized main courses.


34 New Rd, Peterborough PE1 1FW Tel: 01733 555167 The kebabs, cooked on a traditional Turkish barbecue and grill were nominated for a national award at the time of going to press, and we’ve also had good reports about the mixed mezze which is good value at £11.95 for a cold platter for two, or £13.95 for a hot version. Try the Lahmacun, a thin pizza topped with minced, seasoned lamb, with onions, tomatoes, parsley and peppers. Or go for a kebab served with homemade flat bread and yogurt. There are veggie options too, including mushroom dolma and vegetarian moussaka. NENE LIVING APRIL 2018


’ s r e d i s n The I to Foodie Guiderborough Pete


Review: The Chubby Castor Just outside Peterborough, this new restaurant is already making its mark. Georgie Fenn paid a visit


HEF owner Adebola Adeshina has transformed the former Fratellis restaurant into a country dining venue with comfortable chairs, plenty of light and a lovely modern bar area. You can see the kitchen over western-style swing doors, always a reassuring sign in my opinion, and I look forward to the summer when they will be able to make the most of their perfect space for alfresco dining. Ade himself is a charming man, buzzing with energy for this new venture, while Alena, his partner, is keeping front of house operating beautifully. I chose Ham Hock Terrine to start, a refreshing dish paired with beetroot, spiced apple and pickled Lincolnshire onions. Next, I had the Guinea Fowl which came with honey carrots, creamy potatoes with rhubarb, and a thyme jus. Now, I shouldn’t have had room for dessert but I am so happy that I did as the rhubarb sponge, honeycomb, meringue, yoghurt ice cream and caramel were the most satisfying end to the meal. The wine list is extensive but not overwhelming. Next time I go (which I hope will be soon) I will try The Chubby Castor’s very own champagne. On this visit, I had a glass of the Chateau Musar, a red wine from the Bekka Valley in Lebanon. It’s incredibly plummy but sweet, with thick and sensuous flavours. At the end of the meal, I was chatting to chef Ade and his partner Alena and it’s clear that The Chubby Castor is here to stay. Ade will only be using seasonal, local produce such as the Guinea Fowl, which came from Seven Wells butchers in Oundle. The menu may change, but I’m confident the immaculate service and comfortable atmosphere will remain. 34 Peterborough Rd, PE5 7AX. Tel: 01733 380801

PEIXARIA FISHMONGER, PETERBOROUGH MARKET It’s the go-to for many local caterers and keen cooks for the selection of fresh fish and sea food. Keen prices and great choice.


59b Bridge St, Peterborough PE1 1HA Tel: 01733 568388 Everything you need to create Chinese and Thai dishes at home, and the range includes ingredients for Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Filipino and Singporian cuisine too. As well as a huge selection of tinned and packet foods, there are fresh noodles and bean curd, imported veggies, and every Tuesday and Saturday, deliveries of freshly baked Chinese buns. Helpful staff will offer advice if you need it.


84-86 Mayor’s Walk, Peterborough PE3 6ET Tel: 01733 565046 Excellent selection of fresh spices and everything you need to make a brilliant curry is available in this bustling store.


62 Gladstone Street, Peterborough PE1 2BL Pick up authentic Asian spices, pulses, dried fruits and grains from a wide selection.



Fine dining PRÉVOST 20 Priestgate, Peterborough PE1 1JA Tel: 01733 313623 Serving highly imaginative, locally sourced dishes, chef Lee Clarke and his team deserve the many plaudits they receive - and their inclusion in the Michelin Guide. The lunch menu is exceptionally good value for money, and could consist of potato and wild garlic soup, pork belly with potato gratin and purple sprouting broccoli, followed by Whiskey fudge ice cream with caramelised oats and a roast cox pippin apple, all for £18.95. For a real treat, push the boat out and opt for a nine-course tasting menu with wines. You won’t be disappointed. Great cocktails, locally crafted beers and a carefully selected wine list.


41 Crowland Rd, Peterborough PE6 7TP Tel: 01733 221279 Email Here’s an interesting addition to the local fine dining scene. Chef Damian Wawrzyniak was head chef at the 2012 Olympics, makes regular appearances on TV and radio and travels the world as a chef consultant. He serves a la carte menus on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and tasting menus (£45 and £65) on Fridays and Saturdays (ring to confirm). Expect finely crafted and creative dishes such as aged rib of beef tartare, cured egg yolk, preserved cucumber and smoked cheese, or salt and sugar-cured salmon with pickled beetroot and cured sea weed. Damian bakes his own sourdough bread and sometimes runs masterclasses for would-be bakers.


Richard Clarke The Rutland Potter





ICHARD Clarke is a born-and-bred Rutlander and has been making pots there for over 35 years. He credits a talented pottery teacher at his former school, the Vale of Catmose College (now Catmose College), for inspiring his lifelong passion for ceramics. “I just loved making pots from the very first lesson I had and later became determined to try and make a career using my skill with clay,” he remembers. Fast forward to teacher-training college, after which Richard found himself teaching ceramics in a secondary school in Uttoxeter and hoping to inspire other youngsters like himself. A visit home during one Christmas holiday reignited a relationship with Anna, a young teacher working in Suffolk and whom Richard had known briefly during their teenage years in Rutland. The couple embraced the 1970s wanderlust, bought themselves a camper van and toured North Africa – visiting potteries en route, of course. “I remember free camping with a group of other travellers in Tunisia and creating a makeshift kiln with some local potters who thought I was mad,” he laughs. Richard and Anna returned home to settle in Rutland and start their family. Anna had a successful career in teaching and learning support, and Richard started his first pottery at Barnsdale Hall – long before it became a hotel. Alongside his ongoing ceramic work, Richard was invited by his father to join the family business – the Old House Gallery in Oakham’s Market Place. When Mr Clarke senior sadly died aged only 58, Richard took over and began to move the gallery into a more contemporary direction. Today he represents an eclectic group of artists from painters and wood turners to jewellers and weavers, which makes for a rich collection that is a joy to browse. Richard embraces traditional artisan values, and it’s


clear from spending time chatting to him that the artists whose work fills his gallery are the most important thing to him. “I have relationships with my fellow artists built up over many years; I support them, and they are very loyal to me in turn. Loyalty and integrity is at the heart of everything we do.” The gallery is very much a family concern – Richard’s mum Bette works there for two days per week, as does his sister. Artists showing at the gallery include: Alan Oliver, Steve Handley, Barbara Rae Norridge, Paul Proctor, Jan Burridge, Des Murrie, Sue Gunn, Terry Austin, Julie Wilson, Michael Gibbison and Jennie McCall. Stock changes all the time, and the team encourages browsers to pop in and see what’s new. Richard’s own work is available, of course, although the making is done in his workshop at home in Barrowden. Despite almost four decades of making, his enthusiasm is as great as ever. “Pots can give so much; they can enhance a meal, make a bowl of soup or salad look really special and make a cup of coffee taste even better.” Richard’s work is as beautiful as it is functional, and it is dishwasher and microwave safe too. “My work is reductionfired stoneware. I mix my own clay and make glazes from wood ash, dolomite and other raw materials. The pots are then fired for 17 hours to 1,290ºC in a down-draught, propane-fired kiln.” The results are highly collectable pieces of tableware, jugs, bowls and cups that are beautifully hued in natural shades of greens, browns, grey and blue. “Pots are an essential part of my life and to be able to produce work that others can enjoy gives me great pleasure.” You can see Richard’s work at the Old House Gallery, 13 Market Place, Oakham LE15 6DT and find out more on 01572 755538 or at or



Bryony and Jacob Mundin have modern audiences flocking to The Regal Cinema at Melton Mowbray after their loving restoration of the place five years ago. Words and photographs by Rebecca Chatterton.

The Regal Cinema Bryony and Jacob Mundin


S I stand outside The Regal Cinema in Melton taking a photo on a sunny wintery day, a passer by smiles at me and says, “It’s such a wonderfully iconic local landmark, isn’t it?” The current owners, Jacob and Bryony Mundin, are acutely aware of this too. Breathing life back into this special resource at the heart of the community has underpinned all the hard work they’ve put in over the last five years. They’ve ensured that The Regal continues to be so much more than just a pretty face. This grand old dame of Melton town centre was built in 1934 and bought by the couple in November 2012. The Mundins knew they had the big boots of the previous owner to fill and a loyal local fan base to please. Luckily, they weren’t daunted by the project itself, having grown up in the world of independent cinema management – Jacob’s family runs The Ritz in Belper, and both he and Bryony worked there in their teens. Bryony says, “We had a very clear vision of what we wanted to do here, and how we wanted the place to look, and we made sure we stuck to it.” They set about remodelling the auditorium, reducing the number of seats from 214 to 110, so that they could introduce sofas and big chairs at the back. The latest surround sound and a digital screen were added and the sightlines were re-aligned for the best viewing experience. Bryony describes the whole design as “1930s’ plush”, with people going to The Regal to experience cinema as in its heyday. Tickets still print out from the original brass machine, and food, drinks and the foyer itself encourage everyone to arrive early and linger afterwards.



This is an enlightened film-going experience away from the conveyor-belt viewing of the multiplexes. All slurping of drinks is discreet, and no one rustles their snacks. If accidents do happen, they may be of the spilled-wine variety (apologies to the gentleman sitting in front of me at a Tuesday night viewing of “Blade Runner”). Justifiably, The Regal has been gaining honours, their most treasured being the 2017 winners of the Melton Mowbray “After Dark” Award voted for by locals. It seems that Bryony and Jacob have hit on the right formula, as they talk about the two things most important to them and which they believe have helped the business thrive. Not the films – but their loyal and growing customer base and their loyal and enthusiastic staff. Understanding their customers and then getting the programming right was their first challenge. Luckily their patrons love sharing their views – either Bryony or Jacob is always on hand for a chat, and they value the feedback. They tend to show most films a couple of weeks after their general release date, as with only one screen available this enables them to provide variety. However big “event” films such as “Star Wars” are shown on their opening nights and The Regal interior comes alive to the theme and is decorated accordingly. Conversation turns to their staff and how much they value them for their hard work and wonderful way with the public. In turn it seems that the staff love working at The Regal, contributing with ideas and naturally assuming more responsibility when it’s offered in what seems like a warm and inclusive environment. How many other independent cinemas boast

a 17-year-old projectionist? Another staff member is the third generation to work at The Regal, following in the footsteps of their mother and grandmother before them. Asked if she has any advice for other would-be young entrepreneurs (the Mundins were only 23 when they embarked on this project), Bryony says that they were lucky with family support and were prepared to learn on the hoof. Then she adds, almost apologetically, “…and don’t sweat the small stuff! Things can and do go wrong, but you have to move on.” They’ve learnt that people respect honesty and communication, and any teething problems in the early days were easily forgiven. In 2016 they sold over 60,000 tickets, which was up from 47,000 in their first year. Working as a husband-and-wife team they’ve assumed different roles – Bryony handles the technical side, and Jacob manages the staff. With two young children and another on the way they make the juggling act on the home front look easy. They love this way of life, believing that the working day of a cinema fits with their young pre-schoolers and allows more family days together, with childcare shared in the evenings. Jacob and Bryony plan to mark 2018 with more free screenings for members and special events to celebrate the last five years. Jacob says, “We can’t stress enough how grateful we are for the community’s support and for the appreciation of what we do… and that people just keep on coming.” To book your sofa or comfy chair or to find out about becoming a member of The Regal (8 King Street, Melton Mowbray), call 01664 500642 or visit


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For the last 90 years, the National Garden Scheme has been offering people access to some of the most beautiful private gardens in the country. Fiona Cumberpatch previews the 2018 season in this region

Gunthorpe Hall


Come into

the garden!

NSPIRATIONAL gardens come in all shapes and sizes. Rolling country acres or a tiny urban plot, there is no limit to what can be achieved with a little knowledge, a lot of imagination and some hard graft. The beauty of the National Garden Scheme (NGS) is that it celebrates the British obsession with gardening in all its varied and eccentric glory. Some 3,700 gardens now open countrywide under the NGS umbrella, and the charity has donated over £50 million to beneficiaries such as The Queen’s Nursing Institute, Marie Curie, the Carer’s Trust, Hospice UK, Perennial and Parkinson’s UK. And what nicer way could there be to contribute to a good cause? During most weekends from March to October, it’s possible to find an open garden. Use the NGS website uk or the ‘Find a Garden’ app (available for Apple and android devices) to help you. With tulips in April, peonies in May, roses in June and glorious kitchen gardens in late summer, there is always something to look forward to in the seasonal calendar. Simply turn up, pay the modest entry fee and spend a happy few hours exploring. In many cases, children go free. An added bonus might be a cup of tea and a slice of delicious homemade cake, a plant stall, and the expertise of the owner, most of whom are only too pleased to share their knowledge. Even more pleasurable is when a number of gardens in the same village get together on the same day. This will be happening on Sunday June 24 in Empingham, when four garden owners will be sharing the date. Don’t miss the beautiful Prebendal House, opening after a break and under new ownership. There is also the tiny and charming Lavender Cottage, and a new garden, Honeylea, that has been specially adapted for wheelchair use. This is just one of a host of regional highlights to look forward to.

Rutland and Leicestershire Northamptonshire Gunthorpe Hall Blatherwyke Estate March 25 2 -5pm. Homemade teas. £4. Don’t miss this large garden with extensive views over Rutland, carpeted with drifts of daffodils. There are five distinct areas, including a lawn with mulberry, cherry and lime trees. There’s a new tulip bed, and a charming old orchard.

Wing gardens June 17 11am-5pm. £5 admission (covers seven gardens). Teas served in Wing Village Hall. One not to be missed is this collection of seven village gardens in pretty Wing. Sizes range from half an acre (Stonecrop House and Autumn House) to the small and charming with stunning views (the artist’s garden at 33 Morcott Rd). From formal to cottagey, you cannot fail to be charmed, and if you can find a better cream tea that the ones served in this village hall, then we’d like to know about it!

Blatherwyke, Peterborough PE8 6YW July 22 11am-4pm. Homemade teas. £4. See the transformation of a stunning walled garden which has been restored from dereliction. The house, Blatherwyke Hall, was knocked down in the 1940s, and the grounds left to run wild, but in April 2011, reconstruction began. There’s a large kitchen garden, pleached fruit trees, seasonal beds, and wild flower meadows. An arboretum is currently being planted.




Cambridgeshire Manor House Alwalton PE7 3UU. June 17 1.304.30pm. Homemade teas. £4. Gardens of a 17th century farmhouse, with a formal walled garden divided into ‘rooms’, and path leading to a wild area overlooking the River Nene. Pretty mixed borders.

Castor House 136 High Street Irchester NN29 7AB July 29 12-4pm. Home made teas. £3.50. An attractive, half acre plot which is a riot of colour in July. Varied borders including sunny, shady, and bee-friendly. Wildlife pond.

Peterborough Rd, Castor PE5 7AX. August 19 2- 5pm. Homemade teas. Admission £6. 12 acres of gardens and woodland on a slope, which was terraced and redesigned in 2010. There’s a potager with greenhouse and exotic borders, a willow arbour, rose and cottage gardens and new loggia.

39 Foster Rd Campaign Avenue, Sugar Way, Peterborough PE2 9RS Open by arrangement. Email See what can be done in a modest estate plot when two plantsmen let their imagination and skills run riot. Large number of pots, over 250 hostas, daphnes, acers and an impressive selection of trees and hedging in a small space. Four British shorthair cats add extra charm!

16 Leys Avenue Desborough NN14 2PY July 15 2 -6.30pm. Light refreshments. £3. Opening for the first time with the NGS, this town garden has been transformed from a long, flat plot to place full of interest with five raised beds, a pond flanked by a 12ft boat, shingle pathways and a large variety of acers.

Lincolnshire Yew Tree Farm Westthorpe Rd, Gosberton July 29 11am - 5pm. Homemade teas. £4. A stunning country garden thriving on rich Fen soil, with deep borders crammed with tall, plants in a tapestry of colour and shape. There’s a pond and two bog gardens, plus an organic vegetable plot and a magical meadow of yellow and orange annuals which looks as if someone has spilt sunshine across the fields. Quirky garden antiques make attractive focal points.

Willoughby Road Allotments Willoughby Rd, Boston PE21 9HN August 19 10am -4pm. Light refreshments. £3. Seed and plant stall. www. Over 60 plots growing veg, fruit, flowers and herbs, an orchard and a wildflower meadow. Come and pick up some growing tips and enjoy the sense of community in this space.



“I welcome visitors to my garden!”


NGIE Jones and her husband Jonathan have been opening their garden, Willow Holt, in Thorney, Cambridgeshire, with the NGS since 2006. Their two acre plot is peacefully relaxing, with trees, shrubs, wildflowers, ponds, metal sculptures and an impressive collection of plants and shrubs. Angie and Jonathan will be opening on Sunday May 27 and Monday May 28, 11am- 5pm. Homemade teas. Tel: 01733 222367

Does your garden need to be super tidy and professional to be accepted by the NGS?

A garden needs to be well maintained but that doesn’t mean perfectly neat and tidy. The scheme welcomes gardens designed for wildlife and these can never be pristine. All styles of garden are welcome in the NGS. There are small and tidy ones, large and rambling, formal and informal gardens. There are also allotments and smallholdings in the scheme. Why do you like being involved?

I love hosting visitors, meeting different people, discussing plants and gardens. Conversation moves in some very interesting directions and we’ve heard some fascinating stories over the years. Everyone is complimentary about the garden (or maybe too polite to criticize!). We have a then and now photo album that stimulates discussion.

Is it hard work just before you open?

I never stop gardening. It would be just the same if we didn’t open the garden What sort of questions do people ask?

Questions are usually about plants, any that are looking good on open day or something that is unusual. Do you ever meet other NGS garden owners?

Yes, we meet up once a year for a talk and distribution of garden posters and tickets etc. Those that open their gardens also get complimentary tickets to visit other gardens and meet up that way. Is this something you’d recommend to other gardeners?

I would. It’s great fun and it raises millions for the caring charities. beneficiaries/


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Lunch is served! Every week, volunteers at FoodCycle Peterborough turn surplus food into nutritious three-course vegetarian meals for people in need. Sue Dobson joined them


Starter: Vegetable soup and crusty bread Main: Mediterranean pasta bake with roast potatoes and parsnips Dessert: Panettone surprise

T’S 9.30 on a cold, wet and windy Monday morning and the hall at Park Road Baptist Church is a hive of activity. Crates of fresh fruit and vegetables, boxes of canned food, bags of bread and carriers filled with packets of dry goods are piled high on the floor. A team of volunteers is sorting the contents and weighing them. Within three hours there’ll be a free, hot and nutritious vegetarian meal on the table for around 60 guests, people who may be homeless, elderly, in need of a cooked meal or lonely and seeking company. What you notice first is the camaraderie among the volunteers (later I’ll see that repeated among the guests, too) and the impressive, yet seemingly effortless, organisation. Everyone knows what they’re doing; everything works to time. Before I’d arrived, volunteer drivers had been collecting surplus food from seven supermarkets around Peterborough, and from Riverford Organics at Sacrewell Farm, and delivered them to the church. With the contents sorted, it’s over to the kitchen team where Project Leader Heather is devising the day’s menu. “Every week is different,” she says. “We work with what we’re given. One week we had so many eggs that we made frittata for 60 people and there were still boxes to give away!” Today she has stacks of vegetables destined for soup, fresh pineapples, grapes, kiwi fruit and bananas that will be put to good use in an

imaginative pudding she’s calling Panettone Surprise, while the main course will be Mediterranean Pasta Bake, served with roast potatoes and roast parsnips. There’s a flurry of activity as vegetables are peeled, chopped, sliced, diced and prepared for cooking. Back in the hall, team leader Tracy and her group are filling carrier bags for the guests to take away with them after lunch. They sort carefully. “Most of our guests have no, or very limited, cooking facilities, so we make sure that whatever we put in will be of use to them,” she explains. “We never know how many guests we’ll have – we’ve had over 70 but the average is around 60 – so we make up as many bags as we can from everything that’s been donated. The volunteers can have one too, if they wish. After lunch is served and the guests have left, we take some bags and boxed up hot food to people we know on the streets who, for whatever reason, don’t want to come in. Any overs go to a hostel. Nothing is wasted here!” Having carried the bags out to trestle tables in the foyer, together with parcels of fresh fruit – there’s a glut of bananas today – they’ve freed up space in the hall and can get to work setting up six big lunch tables, each seating ten people. Big red poppies pattern the tablecloths, cutlery is arranged, a paper napkin is tucked into each glass, jugs of water and condiment sets are in place. Pretty china mugs stack up on the tea trolley. Time for everyone to have a brief sit down and enjoy a bowl of soup.



Lunch is served!


Delicious hot food

It’s very warm in the kitchen. Soup bubbles in big saucepans and three huge trays of Mediterranean pasta bake are safely in the oven. Pudding preparations are in full swing. Dennis, who I’d first seen peeling mounds of potatoes and then stirring the soup, has taken up his place at the sink. For the next two hours he’ll be washing up, working methodically as he ploughs through a seemingly endless procession of pans, plates, bowls and cutlery. I find a quiet corner to chat to Project Leader Liz, who tells me that every week around 15 volunteers from all walks of life come in to help. Several of them have been involved since the project started nearly two years ago. Some are retired or unemployed, some are mums with school age children; others are working but have Mondays off. They see it as a chance to give back to the community and while it’s a long, full-on and tiring morning, it’s also very enjoyable. Friendships build very quickly. “The people from the church are brilliant,” she says. “They welcome guests as they arrive and join tables to chat to them. They’ve been so helpful giving us the use of their hall and kitchen.” FoodCycle Peterborough opened in 2016 in partnership with Cross Keys Homes and every week they receive hundreds of kilos of surplus food that would otherwise go to waste. “All the food we receive is fresh and perfectly usable,” Liz says. “We check everything as it comes in and never use anything past its use-by date. Then, in Ready, Steady Cook style, create the menu of the day. Other than fresh milk, we buy in very little.” Bundled up against the cold and rain, the guests start arriving at 12.30. Suddenly the hall is filled with warmth and chatter as they are greeted and offered tea or coffee. The tables fill quickly and a team of volunteers heads for the kitchen. It’s all fast-paced action as service begins. Much thought is given to the presentation of the food as it is plated and taken on trays to be served individually at the tables. When the soup and main course have been served the volunteers join their guests for a chat before it’s time to serve up the pudding. “We don’t ask anyone about their personal circumstances, but sometimes they tell us,” Millie tells me. With four adult children and “six beautiful grandchildren,” she’s been volunteering here since the beginning of the project, and with 21 years’ experience as a catering assistant around Peterborough, her skills are valued. There are compliments on the food (which, I can attest, is delicious!) and grateful thanks from the guests as they head back out into the cold. There’s work to be done clearing up and sorting bags and food boxes to be delivered around town. Today the kitchen has fed 58 guests and 15 volunteers. • Aiming to reduce food poverty by providing nutritious meals to vulnerable groups, FoodCycle is an award-winning national organisation with a network of volunteer-powered projects across England. For more information visit and @FoodCyclePeterborough on Facebook.



Community fridges

• Sourced from farms, cafés, stores and supermarkets, food that would otherwise go to waste is being made available to Peterborough residents for free in a community fridge project recently launched by the environmental charity PECT (Peterborough Environment City Trust).

• The aim is to reduce food waste and provide nutritious ingredients to people struggling to feed themselves and their families. The surplus food, which is updated regularly, is collected and distributed to the venues by the social enterprise Food for Nought. • The fridges can be found in the WestRaven Community Café, Hampton Court, Westwood PE3 7LD and Gladstone Community Centre, Bourges Boulevard PE1 2AN.

Much thought is given to the presentation of the food as it is plated and taken on trays to be served individually at the tables. When the soup and main course have been served the volunteers join their guests for a chat before it’s time to serve up the pudding.

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Wellbeing Notes

Could Hypno-Slimming work for you?

Peterborough Hypnotherapy Clinic run by Tim Pinning in Priestgate Peterborough offers a wide range of specialist programmes for everything from smoking cessation to anxiety issues. Tim has now developed a Hypno-Slimming programme that includes the Hypno Gastric Band, which claims to help people regain control over their eating habits. Tim says: “this is not a diet, it is about developing a new way of thinking about food, allowing clients to reduce portion size, and still feel full, and deal with their cravings and emotional eating.” Tim uses advanced techniques combining Cognitive Hypnotherapy, Hypo-Analysis, Psychotherapy, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and counselling, if required, taking the power of Hypnosis to a greater level and producing excellent results. For more information contact Tim Pinning at the Peterborough Hypnotherapy Clinic, 26 Priestgate, Peterborough PE1 1WG Tel: 01733 768839 or 07963 419829 or e-mail

Beauty at John Lewis Did you know that John Lewis Peterborough has two beauty rooms where customers can experience beauty advice and demonstrations, from popular brands such as Elizabeth Arden, Clarins, Clinique, Benefit, Dior, YSL and Guerlain? It is an ideal way to “try before you buy,” and the beauty department often have regular special offers to take advantage of. How about a Brow Bar Experience with Benefit, a Clarins Pamper Experience or a super sleek blow dry using the latest technology from the Dyson Supersonic hairdryer, with a hands-on demonstration by expert in-store hairdresser Asa? Readers can contact the Beauty Room directly on 01733 294181 to book an appointment.

New hair and beauty offering at Alwalton Hall Beauty and wellness sanctuary, Alwalton Hall, is celebrating its first anniversary by opening the doors to a new hair salon. The Hall, a Grade II listed manor house on the outskirts of Peterborough, welcomed its first clients in March 2017. Maggie Jones, co-owner and managing director of Alwalton Hall, explains: “We’ve had a brilliant first year with great feedback from clients, so we started thinking about how we can make their experience even better.” “The obvious next step was to open a hair salon. Now clients can visit, enjoy a day of pampering and round off their experience with both hair and beauty appointments. Perfect if you’re thinking of heading to a special occasion after visiting. Equally, clients will be able to visit the salon separately from the Hall, for their regular hair styling. There’s even an “at seat” manicure service if clients want to have their hair and nails done without moving.” The salon is due to open in spring 2018 and will be based in the Hall’s former stables. “We have transformed the stables to create a hair salon that has the same luxury feel as the rest of the beauty and wellness sanctuary,” adds Maggie. To find out more about the opening of the salon, or to book an appointment, visit or call 01733 391166



The benefits of Lymphatic Drainage

Lynne Canning has worked as a Body Therapist for over sixteen years with clinics in Baston and recently at The Fane Clinic, Peterborough. The treatments she offers include clinically proven Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD), Lymphoedema support, The Bowen Technique, and Reflexology. With specialist training and qualifications from the Vodder Clinic in Austria, Lynne has a special interest in the Lymphatic system, offering post-surgery massage that uses precise, light and rhythmical hand movements following the lymphatic pathways. This encourages toxins to drain away from swollen painful tissues which has a powerful cleansing, relaxing and pain relieving effect on the body. Sessions are individually tailored to specific needs with care and compassion. For more information on treatments and clinics contact Lynne Canning on 01778 560309 or 07816 386284

Vitamin C Boost Peel If there is one facial that I go back for time and time again and highly recommend, it is the Vitamin C Boost Peel, developed by the advanced Dermatology led brand ZO Skincare by Dr Zein Obagi. It is available in different strengths. Don’t be put off by the word “peel.” The treatment takes about an hour and the results are instant, leaving skin with a fabulous glow and no downtime. The treatment is available at Elysia Health and Beauty, Tansor. Salon owner Lisa Claypole says: “if you’re serious about your skin and want results for anti-ageing, lifting, pigmentation, sun damage, or acne, we can guide you through the process on this ‘Red Carpet’ Peel.” With spring on the way Lisa encourages readers to try the Vitamin C Boost Peel – and see the difference it makes for themselves. Call and quote SPRING to qualify for a £15 discount. Bridget Steele Elysia Health and Beauty, Tansor, Oundle, PE8 5HP Tel: 01832 226328 or 07879 620196


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a p Set u b! u l c book

Lily Canter finds out how to create a lasting local reading group


HARING your love of literature should be an easy process. You set up a book club and invite people along to discuss a preselected title. But in reality, getting the structure right to sustain a successful book club is trickier than it sounds, particularly when members are juggling work and family commitments. Avid reader Barbara Reid who set up a book club in Peterborough last spring, has these tips.

1. Research the demand

S 3. Be inclusive to all participants

Whether you have moved to a new area or are just looking for a different pastime, setting up a book club is a great way to meet local people and socialise. But before you get too carried away it is always worth putting out some feelers to see how much demand there is. Ask friends and family, put notices in the library and get posting on social media to gauge interest. “I looked for ages for book groups without success. My friend had set one up elsewhere and I thought I would give it a go. Using an online community group I found very quickly that there was interest in the area. We now have six core members and about 8 to 10 people at each meet up,” says Barbara.

S 2. Know what kind of club you want

groups which were a social thing for friends and decided I wanted to do something different,” says Barbara.

It is important that people feel comfortable joining a new group and are able to speak their mind without being judged. Barbara says: “We have people that have been in other book groups before and some that are joining one for the first time. We have some men and there is a range of ages. We have also had international members. We are open to everyone and we don’t place any expectation on people. Though a few of our members knew each other beforehand we are not friends first and foremost which means new members don’t have to break into a group.”

S 4. Meet in the right

Some clubs are far more focused on the social aspect and use the book as a device to get people together to have a general natter. And this is fine if your main objective is to meet new people. However other clubs take their reading more seriously and spend a lot of time discussing and analysing the chosen book each month. Make sure you know from the beginning what kind of club you are looking to develop, so you are able to set the right tone. “My original hope for my group was to be reading books of substance. We don’t know each other and in the beginning we were meeting for the first time. I had one or two false starts with other


Inclusivity is also built into the meeting place. Barbara says she deliberately chose not to meet in a bar as she didn’t want to exclude anyone. Instead the group meet in a café, early evening so people can come straight from work. Another option is to rotate around members’ homes which can make for a comfier, more personal setting but conversely it may put unwanted pressure on people to host and they

It is important that people feel comfortable joining a new group and are able to speak their mind without being judged. may not have enough space or privacy. Weigh up the pros and cons of each venue option and try to find a compromise that suits most members.

S 5. Decide on your book selection process

There are many different ways to choose a book for each meeting. Allow each member to take a turn choosing one, use an online book club or library list or have several suggestions in a hat from which one is picked at random. Again, it depends on the type of book club you want to develop. For Barbara it was important that her focused more on literary fiction than best sellers. She explains: “It is about having a bit of edge. All of our books are long or shortlisted for the main British literary prizes. Each month I collect a random selection and put together a brief description and then the group vote at the end of the meeting.” NENE LIVING APRIL 2018


! b u l c k oo b a p u t e S

6. Have a meeting structure

Think about structure otherwise the conversation will soon veer onto unrelated topics. Do you want someone to present the book each meeting, giving a brief background to the author and their response to the novel? Do you want someone to prepare questions in advance for the group to consider at the meet up? Are you going to rate the book? “We open each meeting by everyone giving their initial impressions. We also have a checklist of different kinds of questions to use in a book group. We use them loosely as a guide and we usually have a discussion for an hour to an hour and a quarter. Then at the end we plan the next meeting and what we will be reading,” says Barbara.

S 7. Embrace books you dislike

Being prepared to read books you would normally avoid or powering through a text you loathe is all part of the stimulating challenge of being in a book club. Barbara says having opposing opinions is actually a great way to spark debate: “Some people will have really hated the book but we are still able to have an interesting discussion. You don’t need to like the book to be able to talk about it. We have very energetic and lively discussions at each meeting.”

S 8. Keep to a fixed date

This is probably the most important tip and can make or break your book club. How often do you want to meet and do you want a break over the summer or Christmas holidays? Most groups meet monthly on the same date or day of the week, at the same time and place. This means it becomes a regular fixture in members’ diaries. “Some of our members want to meet more often as they are fast readers but it is difficult for others particularly those with families, so every month is a midway point for everyone,” says Barbara.

S 9. Pick one communication method

Whether it’s email, Facebook, WhatsApp, an online community website or any other means, choose one communication method to make sure everyone is receiving all of the same



Looking for reading recommendations? Check out these digital book clubs: Richard and Judy Book Club Emma Watson’s Our Shared Shelf show/179584-our-shared-shelf One Book One Facebook greatreads/

information. You can use this virtual location to remind members of the current book choice and have a place for everyone to check-in and see when the next meet up is.

S 10. Keep a reading record As your book club develops you will find yourself cross referencing books that have gone before, or reaching to the back of your mind for a relevant nugget of information about a previous storyline. Having a notebook can help to jog your memory and gives each member an opportunity to summarise their thoughts at the end of the meeting. “We have members who often bring notes that they have made and one member picks out these amazing quotes. People bring material along and we encourage whatever they are comfortable with,” says Barbara.

Don’t want to set up your own? Find an established local book group instead Visit Go to Libraries & Archives, click on libraries and then select ‘reading groups.’ This will give details of some of the local groups which have registered with Reading Groups for Everyone, and includes specialist groups such as those concentrating on crime fiction or feminist writing, for example. Alternatively, email to find out which groups are near to you and if they are taking new members.

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A liTtlE eXplOriNg Barnwell Country Park is must for any budding little bird watchers. It has one of the best fenced play parks we’ve visited for a while, with a huge wooden climbing frame, generous sandpit, a variety of swings and slides for older and younger children. My little ones loved the bird watching viewing area by the play park where we admired the lake and watched the swans come close up to us. There’s lots of nature trails, plenty of space for kids to tear around on their scooters or bikes, with bird watching hides to stop off on the way. The Kingfisher Café is also worth a visit where there is an outdoor play area for littler ones. They also sell delicious lunches, a kids’ packed lunch deal and Evelyn’s favourite, the Unicorn Hot Chocolate, a real feast for the eyes! The café also has a bird cam so you can watch the birds eat their lunch on a flat screen TV while you have yours! There’s also plenty of spots around the park you can take a picnic. Barnwell Country Park, Barnwell Road, Oundle, Northamptonshire, PE8 5PB Kingfisher Cafe opening times: weekdays 10am - 5pm. Weekends 10am - 6pm.

LIttLe livIng Rachel Andrews-Ingram (and her two under fives) seeks out some activities for April... come rain or shine!

A liTtlE sHopPinG Visiting toy shops used to be one of my favourite childhood pastimes, for obvious reasons! But it’s rare you find an independent toy shop these days. I was just as excited as the kids to discover Jollys Toys in Thrapston - an Aladdin’s cave of toys for all ages. Set up by Charlotte Croser, it has become big hit with customers for her personal service and range of amazing toys from the hottest trends to toys with a retro twist. You’ll find spinning tops, slinkys, wooden toys, pocket money toys for under £2, plus lots more. What’s noticeable when visiting the shop is the amount of toys you just haven’t seen before, which is great when looking for a unique present and Charlotte will even wrap your items with paper and a bow for £1. You can also buy from her online shop, where Charlotte will deliver free to most local areas. Her most popular toy is the Magic Cube and I liked the look of this cute swing which will be perfect in our garden when the weather warms up. 28a High Street, Thrapston, NN14 4JH (01832) 358 915

A liTtlE jUmpIng in muDdy pUddLes! Like most children my kids are obsessed with Peppa Pig so I can’t think of anything better than raising money for Save the Children by holding a Muddy Puddle walk. Between 23 and 29 April the charity is encouraging people to organize their own sponsored muddy puddle walk. You can pick up a fundraising pack from

A liTtlE pAinTinG What to do on rainy days? There’s plenty of them in April and even my most novel suggestions are often met with “but that’s boring mummy!” Cue Lucy Niven who has come to my rescue, with Little & Lovely take-away kits. Think Paint a Pot brought to you. Lucy will deliver the whole kit needed for your little Picasso to paint a masterpiece, from a money boxes, plates, mugs and more. The kit has everything you possibly need, even a table cover, aprons and stacks of paint brushes, sponges, stencils and some handy instructions. The kit is supplied free, the only cost involved is the items you’ve painted. Lucy will deliver and pick-up for free within five miles of Cotterstock, and will glaze the items for you. The kids loved an afternoon of painting and I could see this would be a great idea for little-ones who are stuck at home with illness. If you have a play date or want to hold a party, for a fee Lucy will also set up, help children paint and clear up. Tel: 07510 615665




Ready, steady! Whether you only have a few minutes or a whole day to spare, there are lots of ways to give your outdoor space a makeover, say Sarah and Jo from GreenThumb


IKE everything else in the garden, our lawns are learning to cope with the ups and downs of climate change. Lawns have taken a real battering over the last weeks and months with snow, frost and cold temperatures. Their ability to bounce back is amazing but that doesn’t mean they don’t need some help to look great this season. Here are some jobs to do in April alongside the allimportant regular mowing.

If you only have 10 minutes to spare

• Rake away any remaining dead leaves, twigs or branches. The less debris on the lawn, the healthier it will be. • Ring and book in a free no-obligation lawn analysis with GreenThumb and take advantage of their great spring offers. If you’re looking at a tired, weedy and mossy lawn, Sarah and Jo who run the local GreenThumb branch are able to transform your lawn for you to enjoy this summer. They’re cheaper than DIY and they have a great team who do all the work!

If you only have 30 minutes to spare

• With long handled edging shears, trim the scruffy edges of your lawn and pick up the bits of grass in your borders and beds. This instantly gives your lawn a smart and cared-for appearance.

• Apply a good balanced spring fertiliser to feed the lawn. GreenThumb apply their exclusive Nutragreen® fertiliser developed over 30 years specifically for UK lawns. It’s more nutritious for the grass than anything you can buy off the shelf and it also provides a scorch-free result.

If you only have one hour to spare

• If any of your lawn’s edges need repairing, now is the best time to do it. Use turf cut from other areas of the garden to neaten up the areas around flower and shrub beds. Alternatively reshape and tidy edges with a lawn edge cutter. • As the ground starts to warm, April is a good time to repair bare patches that can appear over winter. Carefully rake the patch to create a seed bed, sow the seeds with a little top-soil and importantly don’t let them dry out. They’ll germinate in a week or two (temperature permitting). If you don’t have time, speak to GreenThumb about doing this as they have the best seed and an excellent 100% organic, sterilised top dressing.

If you only have half a

oon: day to spare n r e t Af arden! • Lawns don’t like shade so take a g

good look at those border plants, shrubs and trees. They have a habit of gradually encroaching on the lawn’s space and weakening it by restricting the light.

If your borders have become overgrown, then it’s time to get the secateurs out! • Paths and patios will look grubby after a long winter so pressure wash them off to brighten the garden. A serious word of warning though. If you buy a patio cleaning product, be careful to keep it well away from your lawn. At GreenThumb we see many ruined lawns as a result of the over ambitious use of patio cleaning products. Even your wet footprints can burn the lawn.

en! Gard

If you have a whole day to spare

• Because of the heavy snowfall at the beginning of March, your lawn could have been waterlogged. You can use a garden fork to spike the lawn and aerate the ground, but even better you could invest in a hollow-tine aeration treatment from GreenThumb. • April is usually the last month for scarifying a lawn before it gets any warmer. For small areas use a garden rake to lift out the dead matter (thatch) and moss. Alternatively, use a mechanical scarifier if you have one and feed your lawn afterwards to help rejuvenation and kick start growth. The best and most convenient way is to call GreenThumb if you don’t fancy a full body work out! NENE LIVING APRIL 2018


Louvred and Solid Window Shutters


Young illustrator Aderice Palmer-Jones is currently completing her second year at Leeds Art University. Sarah Chase finds out what’s on the cards for this talented local artist

One to watch

Has illustration always been your chosen path - and have you been encouraged in that? From the start of sixth form I was all set to study Fine Art - mainly because I didn’t know any of the other possibilities out there. My teachers encouraged me instead to go for a Foundation course - I would describe it as a year to think, experiment and enjoy art whilst gaining a qualification. This gave me time and space to figure out what it was I wanted to do within the industry. I chose Illustration because it gives me a direct link with people in the ‘real world’ - the idea of being a Fine Artist brought to mind an image of the lonely, eccentric creative which just wasn’t me! Illustration allows me to stay versatile. It really is what you make of it. My family and teachers have all been incredibly supportive throughout, both emotionally and educationally. Mrs Larter, Mrs Green and Mrs Burlington, my teachers at Prince William School, Oundle and The King’s School, Peterborough are golden people for not giving up on me! How would you describe your style? Well, I wouldn’t say I have a specific style or way of working, I kind of just begin to develop an idea and go from there. My whole bird collection came about when I knocked over an ink pot and tried to rectify a mistake! I love drawing wildlife, but the political and empowerment side of things is very important to me, too: it’s just finding the best way to showcase both interests. Currently, I am exploring screen printing and have created a collection of portraits based on black female empowerment. Studying Illustration has made me question whether I really need a ‘style’: one of my strengths is variety and right now my focus is more to just create work I like and which am proud of. Who have been your major artistic influences? I am hugely inspired by illustrators Laura Callaghan, Kei Maye and David Downton - their work is more than just beautiful, to me it is insanely

sophisticated and charismatic - I dream of being on this level! I’m also interested in what people outside the art world are saying. I like to create work that has reason or meaning behind it. Bloggers like The Slumflower, Grace Victory and even my course mates and friends have a really strong influence on what I want to create. My most important mentor has been local artist Jan Hazzard. I started having lessons with her after school to improve my technical skills - you should have seen my first portrait! I would not be where I am today without her and I can’t thank her enough. Whenever I am drawing anything I can still hear her voice in my head telling me to “draw what you see, not what you think you see!!” You had a stand at the Oundle Wharf Christmas Fayre. Will you be selling your work locally again in the future? This was my second year and both times have been steep learning curves about how to approach selling my work. Oundle has an amazingly supportive community, so I’d love to come back! Cards, prints and original work form the basis of what I’m selling at the moment, but I recently printed a set of t-shirts, and the tote bags were popular, too. I’m in the process of creating an on-line shop but am currently taking orders through Instagram. Where do you see your work taking you? Will illustration have a place in your future career? So far, I have just pursued something I love to do and while I want to keep Illustration as a focus I don’t want to limit myself to a set career path. The course has equipped me with so much more than just working to a brief and drawing a picture. Life after university is very up in the air: I’d like to get into the fashion industry, and recently completed an internship with a PR firm for London Fashion Week, which was great experience. I’m also interested in putting my practice into printed textiles and I have ambitions to pursue a Masters in Business and Marketing…I honestly change my mind every day! Find Aderice on Instagram: @adericelaura NENE LIVING APRIL 2018


Lynette Ford of the Stamford Shakespeare Company talks to Louise Goss

A Shakespearian Life T

HERE is a saying that behind every great man is a great woman; in the case of Stamford Shakespeare Company the saying could be, that behind every great performance is Lynnette Ford. Stamford Shakespeare Company (SSC), renowned for its resplendent annual productions in the grounds of Tolethorpe Hall, marks its 50th anniversary with what it hopes will be its most successful year ever. The work of the actors, directors, costumiers and stage crew is staggering and evident in all the performances, but you rarely hear about the woman behind the scenes, who, with the Marketing Director, works throughout the year to keep the company and its impressive home at Tolethorpe, running smoothly. Lynnette Ford holds the title of Administrator and Company Secretary but it’s a role which encompasses looking after the grounds, the house, security services, all the planning (of which there has been a huge amount), as well as supporting the board of directors. Lynnette started in 1995 when the SSC was still headed by its founder, Jean Harley. “I miss Jean,” says Lynnette. “She knew so much about Shakespeare and the theatre and she was terribly interesting.” Jean secured Tolethorpe Hall in 1977 after launching the company in 1968 with a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, performed by local actors in the grounds of The George Hotel. She died in 2014 and Lynnette holds fond memories of her and her husband, Rev. David Harley. “He did everything for her,” Lynnette says. “She never put petrol in her car, never cooked, nor did the housework, because she lived and breathed for this place.” She remembers how Jean would sit and sew everyday in a room known as the Fairy Factory, because it is where many of the props, such as fairy wings for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, were made. “It would be so cold in there; she would have her old Singer sewing machine and do a lot of the sewing herself.” Initially, the whole company was run by volunteers. “They would act, but they would also do the grounds and build sets,” Lynnette says. “Founder members like Mark Hooson would work tirelessly and then be in a play that evening… but as Jean used to say, ‘Expect all good and expect it now.’” Eventually, to increase sales, they employed Derek Harrison, who Lynette worked with for a time and recalls working, with cigarette in mouth, “in a great frenzy… and full of ideas.” With Tolethorpe’ s rich history spanning nearly 1,000 years, there are many visitors to the Hall, and some who still have links to the families who used to reside there. They are predominantly from the USA, with connections to the Browne family who lived at the hall for over 300 years 46


from the 1500s. They were connected to The Pilgrim Fathers in America and some were among the pioneer settlers of Boston. A big part of Lynette’s job is to show visitors around and she enjoys calling Tolethorpe her workplace, even with tales of the White Lady walking through the house and up the garden steps. “I sometimes get a funny feeling and have heard footsteps and things, but I’ve never seen anything,” she says. She has, however, seen many plays. “King John is my favourite Shakespeare play and Hobson’s Choice is a brilliant story,” she says. “I quite like the restoration comedies, they’re brilliantly written.” Has she ever been tempted to turn her hand to acting? “No,” is the emphatic answer. “I like

to stay in the background.” However, she once experienced being on stage. “I was in a scene in Henry V,” she says. “We have a school who come every year from Leicester and that particular year one of the children wanted to go on… They said, ‘why don’t you both go on?’ We were just part of the first milling around scene. The headmaster told me last year that that boy is appearing in the West End now. He got bitten by the bug.” That is just one of the many tales which form the SSC’s own story and there are plenty of ideas about how to mark its 50th year which include a costume exhibition and revamping the bar to celebrate the history of the theatre. Now preparing for a new season, the SSC is setting the scene for the next chapter and the next part of Tolethorpe’ s history.

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Out & About

Rachel Andrews-Ingram picks the must-not-miss events in April!

Horrible Histories.

Friday 6 and Saturday 7 April Horrible Histories Live Ever wondered why the Romans were revolting? Or perhaps whether you’d survive against the vicious Vikings? Head down to the Key Theatre and you’ll find out just that in this family special production of Horrible Histories, featuring some notorious characters! Clap along with crazy King Charles, vomit with the vile Victorians and prepare to do battle in the frightful First World War. Billed to be ‘history with the nasty bits left in’ this humorous exploration of Britain’s history will pique the interest of kids and adults alike. 1.30pm & 4.30pm, £16.50, The Key Theatre, Embankment Rd, Peterborough PE1 1EF www. Tuesday 10 April The Wizard of Oz - A Spectacular Professional Easter Pantomime Follow the yellow brick road and join Dorothy on a magical adventure to the Land of Oz in this adaptation of L Frank Baum’s classic story. Be dazzled with humour, song, dance and spectacular scenery whilst watching Dorothy try and find her way home as she meets the lovable Tin Man, Cowardly Lion and the Scarecrow. Rekindle fond memories or introduce the kids to an old favourite, this is one for all the family. 7.00pm, From £14, The Broadway Theatre, 40 Broadway, Peterborough PE1 1RT, today



Thursday 12 April Rock for Heroes Pay homage to the late and the great and flex those air guitar muscles whilst helping a great cause: Help for Heroes. Watch this performance by a live rock band as they play tribute to a whole plethora of rock and pop icons: from David Bowie and Dire Straits, Madonna and Elton John. This is a great way to recapture the energy of all your favourite rock and pop legends, past and present, under one roof – so let loose and rock out! 7.30pm, £17.25, The Cresset, Rightwell, Peterborough PE3 8DX, 01733 265705, Friday 13 April The Members & The Face “Live & Loud” Expect a high-octane performance with the revival of The Members who rose to fame in the late 1970’s with one of the classic hits of the original Punk/New Wave era, Sound of the Suburbs. Reaching number 12 in 1979, they also went on to have hits with Offshore Banking Business and Solitary Confinement from their acclaimed album At the Chelsea Nightclub. The band Classic Mod Revival with songs influenced by 60s bands like The Kinks and Small Faces will be special guests to top off an evening of music nostalgia. 7.30pm – 11pm. Tickets £15 advance / £17 on the door (Both including free entrance to the after club 11pm-3am) The Met Lounge 59B Bridge St, Peterborough PE1 1HA

The Members.

Sunday 15 April Red Riding Hood and the Wolf What if we told you that the Big Bad Wolf was just misunderstood? What then? In this new spin on a legendary story, Robyn – from the warmth and security of her bed – explores the very notion that there are two sides to every tale. Through the world of makebelieve, she rewrites the story of a gentle wolf with a broken heart. Are you sitting comfortably? The story begins…. 11.30pm & 1.30pm, £9.50 adult, £7.50 child, Key Studio, Embankment Rd, Peterborough PE1 1EF www. Thursday 19 April The Sleeper British writer Karina is on an overnight train travelling through Europe when she naively reports a woman sleeping in her bunk – who then becomes forever connected to her mind. Telling the story of unheard voices and examining the stories we tell each other, this is a dark and quirky play highlighting the dilemma refugees find themselves in when they become stuck somewhere between leaving home, and finding a new one. 7.45pm, £12, The Stahl Theatre, Oundle PE8 4EJ, www. oundleschool.

Garden Open Day

Milton Hall (Peterborough PE3 9HD)

By kind permission of Sir Philip and Lady Isabella Naylor-Leyland

Sunday 13th May 2018 In conjunction with

MILTON SHOW Gardens open from 11am – 4pm. Lakeside Walk – Formal Walled Garden – Kitchen Garden Plant Stall

SUMPTUOUS CREAM TEAS IN THE ORANGERY Admission £5 per car including driver. £2 each extra Adult. Children free. Includes entry into Milton Show (Gate opens from 8:00 am)

DOGS WELCOME INCLUDING: Horse & Pony Competitions, Dressage, Dog Agility Demonstrations, Mini Clear Round Cross Country, Vintage Tractors, Family Dog Show, Trade Stands, Tours of the Hunt Kennels and more.



Out & About

An audience with Ian Waite & Oti Mabuse. Friday 20 April Carpenters Gold Fans of the Carpenters will not want to miss West End vocalist Vikki Holland-Bowyer authentically bring to life the velvety tone and character of Karen Carpenter. This is a recreation of the look and sound of the Carpenters worldwide 1970s tour - including the famous highlight where Karen plays the drums with her full live band. Playing greatest hits such as Goodbye to Love, Solitaire, We’ve Only Just Begun, Top of the World and Yesterday, watch Vikki meticulously deliver the character of Karen right down to her mannerisms, and her brother-sister relationship with Richard – played by musical arranger vocalist Greg Stevenson. 7.30pm, £21.50, The Key Theatre, Embankment Rd, Peterborough PE1 1EF www.vivacity-peterborough. Saturday 21 April Prince Nite, 2 Years Gone Gone but not forgotten, for a second year running the Brewery Tap will play homage to this legend of pop hosted by local DJs Mister Wicketer and Uncle Funk. Expect an evening packed full of well-known chart hits, album tracks, funky B-sides and some of the more obscure tunes that only dedicated Prince fans will recognise. Get those purple outfits ready as there’s a free shot for anyone wearing Prince’s colour of choice – and a meal-for-two up for grabs for the best dressed person on the night! 7.30pm. Entry on the door: £3 before 9pm & £5 after, The Brewery Tap, 80 Westgate, Peterborough, PE1 2AA, 01733 358500, More info: https://www.

Wednesday 25 April The Peterborough Local History Society Annual Event 2018 History is everywhere, wherever you are – and learning about your local patch has the habit of enriching your appreciation of where you live. The Peterborough Local History Society Annual Event of 2018 is centered on two talks: one urban, one rural. The former celebrates Cathedral Square, and the events that have shaped the cultural heart of the city. The latter looks at the famously idyllic villages around Peterborough’s edges, that over time have become part of the city’s fabric and heritage. You’ll never look at the area the same way again. £7, The Knights’ Chamber, in the new Peterborough Cathedral Visitor Centre, 25 Minster Precincts, Peterborough, PE1 1XZ, tickets can be purchased from the Visitor Information Centre, 41 Bridge Street, Peterborough, 01733 452336 Monday 23- Saturday 28 April Blood Brothers This award-winning musical is coming to town, bringing Willy Russell’s heart-breaking tale to the Peterborough stage. This is a story of twin brothers separated at birth but brought together by an unlikely friendship of polar opposites: a privileged life versus a poverty-stricken existence. Their parents try to keep the true relationship under wraps and keep them apart, but the brothers find themselves irrevocably drawn together – but the cracks of class and social division begin to show. As adults, caught up in a love triangle, the truth behind their true identities becomes ever closer to being revealed. The memorable score includes A Bright New Day, Marilyn Monroe and the emotionally charged hit Tell Me It’s Not True. 7.30pm (23-28 April) 2.30pm (25 & 28 April), From £20, The Broadway Theatre, 40 Broadway, Peterborough PE1 1RT,

Thursday 26 April Rhythm of the Night- an audience with Ian Waite & Oti Mabuse A perfect pairing, Strictly Come Dancing pros Ian Waite and Oti Mabuse will dazzle audiences with a spectacular mix of Latin and ballroom numbers with close up history of all things related to their lives and careers. 7.30pm £28.50 The Cresset, Rightwell, Peterborough PE3 8DX, 01733 265705, Saturday 28 April Mama Mia Open Air Cinema Head to Ferry Meadows and sing your heart out under the stars watching musical rom-com Mama Mia. Bring a picnic and some bubbly and enjoy Meryl Streep and a star-filled cast belt out some classic tunes on the big screen. Organised by East Anglia Children’s Hospices, you’ll be helping families with children and young people with life-threatening conditions across the area in this charity event. £12, doors open:6pm, live band 7pm 8pm film starts Ferry Meadows Country Park, Peterborough, PE2 5UU More information and to book: uk/support-us/events-diary/details/open-air-cinemapeterborough


Saturday 23 – 24 Jun The Cambridgeshire Food & Drink Festival Calling all foodies! See some of the UK’s top celebrity chefs do what they do best with the option to camp under the stars during this three-day event. Watch the Hairy Bikers and James Martin demonstrate their favourite recipes for you to try at home. Packed full of workshops, tasting sessions, tantalising street food, a vintage fair, live music and lots of shopping, don’t miss this top event that’s arriving on your doorstep. £58.20, Saturday 9am-7pm, East of England Showground Oundle Rd, Peterborough PE2 6XE,




Nene People At Nene Park’s Lakeside Kitchen & Bar, Sue Dobson hears a story of determination and success

Raj Regmi


AJ Regmi was 19 when he arrived in London from Nepal with £250 in his pocket. That was 17 years ago and his catering career trajectory tells of sheer hard work and determination. “I’d done my A Levels and started university in Nepal, but I wanted to travel and signed up to do an IT course in London. My money didn’t last long and I needed a job to survive. I got one at McDonalds in Oxford Street. They put me to cleaning the chip machine. That was a shock,” he laughs. Having “got into the London lifestyle,” survival became more important than studying. “At one time I was working in an Indian restaurant from 7am to 5pm then from 6pm to 2am in a warehouse. I did that for a year, not quite sure how, but it has certainly made me appreciate what I have now.” Then he met Neera, who would become his wife, “and I decided I’d better grow up!” Getting a job as a waiter in the Champagne Bar in Selfridges proved the turning point when his potential was spotted and he was offered a place on the company’s three-year management training programme. From there he went on to manage some prestigious venues – the Serpentine Bar and Kitchen in Hyde Park, a restaurant in the Southbank Centre and the café at historic Chiswick House. In the autumn of 2012 he heard that the contract to run Ferry Meadows Café was up for tender. “We’d just had our second son and often talked of running our own business, so we applied, in hope rather than expectation, and got it. As soon as I saw its location at the heart of Nene Park I knew it would be the perfect fit. However, the café was running at a considerable loss at the time and it seemed a scary leap, but Neera’s support for the project didn’t waver and it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life.” Under Raj’s management, Ferry Meadows Café was a success from the start and “actually made a decent profit in the first year.” Managing the Lakeside Kitchen & Bar followed and Raj recently signed a contract to run both venues until 2026. Last November he won Young Entrepreneur of the Year in the Peterborough Telegraph Business Awards 2017.

Daily changing specials supplement the gastro pub-style menu, with plenty to keep both adults and children happy.


Improving the facilities at both venues, with an eye on ensuring they make the most of their park and lake settings, has been a priority. Major highlights include building a conservatory with a log burner at its heart at Lakeside and a roofed area outside the Café “so dog walkers can stay warm and dry while enjoying their breakfast, a spot of lunch or a break for coffee and cake.” He continues to invest in extensive refurbishments, with plans for an outside bar at Lakeside this summer. “The views over the lake are spectacular, it’s simply a great place to be,” he enthuses. Keeping everything as local as possible is at the heart of his catering mission. “We source everything we can from local suppliers. Most of our visitors come from around Peterborough and the money they spend here stays local – that’s important to me.”

Open from 8am for breakfast through to the late afternoon in winter and early evenings in summer, the food on offer is affordable and the servings are large and very good value. Daily changing specials supplement the gastro pub-style menu, with plenty to keep both adults and children happy. Everything is cooked freshly to order, the cakes are homemade and the service friendly. The day doesn’t end there, however. He’s turned the Lakeside Kitchen & Bar into a popular venue for wedding receptions, parties, barbecues and corporate events. “At the start of this year we were fully booked for summer weddings and we’ve already received lunch and party bookings for next Christmas!” He has, he says, worked in some “amazing places” but “Nene Park has got everything and it’s so close to the busy city. It’s perfect!”

Raj’stop three local attractions


Being part of a diverse community



Peterborough’s city centre, especially at night, the floodlit Cathedral is beautiful

Nene Park, a wonderful space for everyone to enjoy NENE LIVING APRIL 2018


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Profile for Best Local Living

Nene Living April 2018  

Nene Living April 2018