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Nene LIVING February 2018 £1.50

Banish grey February! Winter retreats Nourishing breakfasts Cosy local pubs Great days out

Covering Peterborough, Oundle and the Nene Valley



Welcome to the February issue of Nene Living W

E’VE had a bit of a facelift this month to bring in the new season, and I’m delighted to introduce some fresh features and regular columnists who’ll be joining the regular team. I’m pleased to welcome Ann Graves, aka Fenland Lottie, who’ll be sharing her allotment adventures in the Fens. Ann not only grows her own, but she’s a talented cook and photographer too, so I look forward to her images and recipes every month on the food pages. I’m also really pleased that a fantastic local instagrammer and blogger, Kelly Castelete, has contributed her ideas on ways to power up your breakfast using locally sourced superfoods this month. It’s not about soul destroying New Year dieting, it’s more about making a few healthy changes to traditional favourites - and you can’t fail to be tempted. Joining us, too, is Rachel AndrewsIngram, who’ll be sharing ideas on activities for children in our new Little Living column. Rachel is also compiling our diary pages, so if you have an event that you’d like to see included in the magazine, she would like to hear from you (please give us about eight weeks notice if you can). Regular readers might know that this isn’t my first time at Nene Living. I’ve recently re-joined the title and I am looking forward to continuing to celebrate the best aspects of living in this region. A lot has changed in the two years since I’ve been away, and I can’t wait to catch up and start rediscovering everything that our area has to offer. Do get in touch with me Fiona@ bestlocalliving.co.uk if you have something to share with us. Enjoy the issue!

Fiona Editor

Incorporating Nene Valley Living www.neneliving.co.uk @neneliving Nene Living



Contents Nene February 2018 February 2018 £1.50


Banish grey February! Winter retreats Nourishing breakfasts Cosy local pubs Great days out

5 Six good things in February Things to see, buy – and grow!

6 Nene News

Updates on local business and people

12 Power up your breakfast Simple, delicious ways to make breakfast healthier

14 Food and Drink News

Reviews, news and our new allotment blog!

19 Rest and relaxation

Covering Peterborough, Oundle and the Nene Valley 1 NL COVER FEB.indd 2

17/01/2018 11:18

Cover image: Eagle owl print by Laxton-based print maker Sam Marshall. www.sammarshallart.com

Recharge at a local retreat

23 Wellbeing notes

All the latest on local health and beauty businesses

24 Lift your spirits at Soul Happy

A new approach to mind and body

26 At the heart of the village The Wheatsheaf, Titchmarsh starts a new era

29 Go faster!

The inaugural Oundle 20 run

31 Little Living

Activities and ideas for children

Editor Fiona Cumberpatch fiona@bestlocalliving.co.uk Write to Nene Living, PO Box 208, Stamford, PE9 9FY www.neneliving.co.uk Advertisement Manager Bridget Steele 01733 707538 bridget.neneliving@ntlworld.com Advertising Copy Rachel Beecroft 01780 765320 rachel@locallivingdesign.co.uk Head of Design Steven Handley steve@locallivingdesign.co.uk Designer Sarah Patterson inkdesign@virginmedia.com Designer Calum Handley Published by Local Living Ltd, PO Box 208, Stamford, PE9 9FY www.locallivingltd.co.uk 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 www. bestlocalliving.co.uk

32 Treasured Memories Keeping photos in the digital age

35 Make an indoor garden Green up your interior!

38 Days out

Explore beautiful Ely

41 Out and About Essential diary dates

44 Nene People

Shop owner Dagmar Price of boheme, Wansford




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Six good things in

…February SEE

artist Carry Akroyd as the locally based and nationally acclaimed painter and printmaker celebrates the publication of her second book Found in the Fields, which brings together the persistent threads in her work portraying imagined and familiar landscapes and the words of Helpston poet John Clare. Sponsored by Colemans of Oundle. Friday February 23, 7.45pm, St Peter’s Church, Oundle Tickets £8 (£6), £1 off early bird tickets bought before February 16, available from Oundle Box Office. Tel 01832 274734 www.oundlefestival.org.uk


drifts of honey scented snowdrops during Easton Walled Gardens Snowdrop Week, February 17 – 25 inclusive. 11am -4pm. £7.50 per adult. £3.50 child. Easton Lane, NG33 5AP. www.visiteaston.co.uk



some sunshine with a cute Valentine’s card, £2.75 from Paperchase, Queensgate Centre, Peterborough.

cheesy kale potatoes, the ultimate comfort food, with this recipe from www.riverford.co.uk


some Daphnes. Evergreen shrubs with the sweetest smelling flowers. Put some in pots by the front door. Available from the Barn Garden Centre (Peterborough and Oundle) and Elton Walled Garden Centre.

delicious sharing plates at Paten & Co, Stamford’s beautiful new bar and eaterie, with the prettiest façade ever (7, All Saints Place, Stamford). NENE LIVING FEBRUARY 2018


Nene News People, places, businesses

Get your lawn ready for spring


RE you looking out at a tired and mossy lawn? Does it need some help to recover after the weather this winter? Sisters Sarah and Jo Parish who run the local GreenThumb lawn treatment service say that a few hours hard work on the lawn now will reap rewards in the months to come. Here are their top tips:

Peters’ Cleaners original owners Peter and Peter Grist

Peters’ Cleaners new owner Vicky Whiter

Celebrations for Peters’ Cleaners


DRY cleaner in Peterborough is celebrating its 55th anniversary in 2018, having remained at the forefront of industry innovation for more than five decades. Peters’ Cleaners in Mayor’s Walk and Lincoln Road first opened on Broadway, Peterborough in February 1963 by father and son team Peter and Peter Grist, who were later joined by Peter senior’s younger son, Paul. It was not long before their ideas and exceptional service drew a crowd, as Paul explains: “The dry-cleaning industry was ready for some new ideas. Prior to this, ‘same-day’ turnaround was rare, and garments were folded and wrapped in brown paper. We offered normal service and a same-day service and presented garments hanging and wrapped in film with the maxim ‘Your clothes – cleaned with care – quickly.’ This was our simple logo, and word soon got out that our service was efficient. We barely had time to breathe, such was Dry cleaning, 1960s style! the work load!” Within 18 months, the team had opened a second shop in Lincoln Road, Peterborough, which was followed by sites in Newark Avenue, Mayors Walk, Hampton Court and, lastly, in 1994 they took over Peter Bulbick in Stamford – adding another Peter to the brand. During that time they opened and later sold an office cleaning company, investing the money in Industrial Supplies Ltd which had depots in Peterborough, Nottingham, Ipswich and Enfield. It was sold in 2006 when Peter junior retired and Paul retained the shops in Mayor’s Walk, Lincoln Road and Stamford. “None of this would have been possible without the huge contribution of blood, sweat and tears by family members and the loyalty and hard work of the amazing staff, some of whom are still working at Peters’ Cleaners today. We have been blessed with many loyal customers, whose children and grandchildren are now using our services.” In 2016, Paul retired and sold the business to Vicky Whiter who has already introduced further services, such as online booking and office pick-up/drop-off and has retained the company’s core values of reliable customer service. Paul added: “Vicky has amazing energy and has had to make some difficult decisions to modernise and improve the business, and is happily achieving this. Vicky is keen to maintain the same high standards of finish and customer service and she really values the history of the company.” 1 Mayors Walk, Peterborough, 791 Lincoln Rd, Peterborough, 13 St Pauls Street, Stamford.

Swing out with sixties hits!


HIS February sees one of the biggest ever line ups of 60s artistes to visit The Cresset. Topping the bill is Gerry & The Pacemakers who had hits with such songs as “Ferry Across the Mersey.” Joining Gerry is Brian Poole who had top ten hits with “Do you Love me?” and “Twist and Shout.” Special guests will be the Joe Meek recording sensation The Tornados. Vanity Fare visited the Cresset a while ago and are one of the most talented sixties bands around today. Also making an appearance will be Love Affair’s Steve Ellis who enjoyed a string of hits. The East of England’s own Sounds Force 5 also return to the Cresset. They were one of the most popular bands in Peterborough in the sixties, regularly appearing at the Peterborough Palais with bands such as The Small Faces. For tickets, tel: 01733 265705 or visit www.cresset.co.uk



• Give the grass a cut - on a frost free and dry day give your lawn a cut on a high setting. This will help it dry out and this will minimise the invasion of moss. • Grass needs as much sunlight as possible rake up any leaves smothering the grass and use secateurs to cut back overhanging plants and shrubs. • Give your lawn a winter feed and apply a moss control - avoid a nitrogen feed and use an iron based one which will improve the strength and colour. It will also keep moss under control. • Hollow-tine aerate the lawn – puncturing the soil and removing lots of cores improves air flow around the grass roots, reduces ground compaction and helps with drainage. It’s one of the best things to do to achieve a healthy and lovely lawn.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF GREENTHUMB’S £10 SPRING OFFER Give Sarah and Jo a call to get them to come and look at your lawn. They offer a free initial visit where they carry out a full analysis of the lawn and give advice. GreenThumb’s seasonal ‘weed & feed’ treatments are four times a year and they’ve got some great offers for their first spring treatment! To find out more, contact Sarah or Jo on 01733 755028 or email peterborough@greenthumb. co.uk www.greenthumb.co.uk


The Fox at Folksworth C A S U A L D I N I N G 7 D AY S A W E E K Family friendly seasonal food I Selection of real ales and beers I Children's menu I Specials board Bar menu I Sun room I Functions catered for and outside catering Marquee available for larger events

We are also taking bookings for Mothering Sunday.

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The areas largest Siemens dealer The areas main KBSA member

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Nene News

Mulberry Homes expands in Weldon


ULBERRY Homes, one of the region’s leading independent house builders is inviting prospective home buyers to attend the launch weekend of its latest development of three and four bedroom homes in Weldon on the weekend of February 3 and 4. A number of the properties, which are currently under construction will be ready to move into this spring. Situated in the heart of the village, Winchelsea Gate is a collection of 27 three and four bedroom homes modelled on the lasting character of picturesque Weldon. The private development consists of a blend of stone and brick homes designed to complement the surrounding area. Kerry Jones, Head of Sales at Mulberry Homes, said: “The launch weekend will be the first opportunity for house hunters to visit Winchelsea Gate and walk around the View Home. “Winchelsea Gate has a number of different house type layouts catering for all buyer profiles - in particular we are finding the homes are proving very popular with young families and downsizers. We are also seeing a number of first time buyers who have been given a boost through the recent axing of stamp duty on all first time buyer purchases up to £300,000, and on the first £300,000 of homes up to £500,000.” Amongst the new homes being built at Winchelsea Gate is the four bedroom detached Humberstone priced at £329,950. It is an excellent family home with a large, light kitchen diner and a generously sized family living room leading to a private garden. Upstairs, there is a master bedroom with en-suite, three double bedrooms and family bathroom. Outside, the property fronts onto open space and features a garage, generous driveway, and private garden to the rear. Weldon offers amenities including two thriving pubs and a post office and general store. Winchelsea Gate is only a short journey from all the facilities of a bustling town, with excellent connections by road and rail. There is a pre-school and primary school within the village and secondary schooling available in Corby, Oundle and Kettering. The 40 acre Weldon Woodland Park is a few minutes walk away, with adult fitness trail, BMX and skateboard facility, junior football and basketball pitches and play area. Three bedroom homes at Winchelsea Gate start at £259,950 and four bedroom homes start at £324,950 with Help to Buy available. To register for an invitation to the Winchelsea Gate launch weekend (located off the Oundle Road, Weldon, NN17 3JT) on Saturday 3 from 10am - 5pm and Sunday 4 February from 10am - 4pm, call 01536 261666, or email winchelseagate@mulberryhomes.co.uk or visit www.mulberryhomes.co.uk for more details.

Nature notes The countryside is unfurling and coming alive. Crocuses are pushing through in my garden, glowing like tiny boiled sweets among the tangle of vegetation in my untended borders. As I walk through the woods, pale lemon catkins are hanging from bare hazel branches, and buds are emerging on the horse chestnut tree, with the promise of fresh green leaves to follow. ILLUSTRATION: FIONA CUMBERPATCH

DON’T MISS the Snowdrop Festival Weekend, St John’s Church, Chelveston, Northants, 17 February (10am – 4pm) and 18 (11am – 4pm) February. Entrance free. Beautiful rural church surrounded by carpets of snowdrops and aconites. Refreshments throughout the day and stalls.

Book review

Torpel Manor: The Biography of a Landscape

By Frieda Gosling, Steven P Ashby and Aleksandra McClain Price: £12. Available from Walkers Books, Stamford, Waterstones, Peterborough, Clare Cottage, Helpston and Annakin, Helpston


F you’ve noticed a mysterious collection of lumps and bumps that buck the characteristically flat landscape just outside Helpston, you may not have thought anything of it. This book will make you look twice at Torpel Manor Field, which was once a significant medieval manor and settlement. The site is preserved as a Scheduled Ancient Monument but until recently, little had been done to investigate its past. The result of a collaboration between the local village community and academics associated with the University of York, this book builds up a picture of what was there and places it in a wider historical context. Using illustrations to re-imagine the settlement, its buildings and their inhabitants, with photographs of intriguing finds, the result is a vivid depiction of one small area and a fascinating profile of the wider locality at different points in a colourful history.

National recognition for Shaws


HAWS of Maxey have been shortlisted as finalists for a couple of awards at the British Coach Tourism Awards 2018 in the following categories: Holiday Programme and Day Excursion Programme. The winners will be announced at the awards dinner and presentation evening which takes place on Wednesday 21 March, at the National Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham. These are both hotly contested categories and so it’s a real accolade for the company to have reached the finals once again. NENE LIVING FEBRUARY 2018

➧ 9

Nene News Landlords continue to be targeted by HMRC


Love finds you when you least expect it


T’S hard to meet new people in this hyper-mobile, fragmented and fast-paced world; but Earls & Pearls, a world-class platonic introduction agency, makes it easy. The exclusive service is designed to help increase your circle of contacts, friends and acquaintances through a series of one-to-one introductions. Once approved, you’re introduced to a string of like-minded individuals, all of whom have been ID checked and pre-assessed as being compatible based on factors such as interests, proximity and lifestyle. Mother & daughter founders, Mary-Ann and EJ Henningham, spotted a gap in the market when they realised that there aren’t many options for meeting new people if attending events or joining clubs and classes don’t appeal, or aren’t practical. “That’s when we decided to create a high-end service that would help the busy, discerning or high-profile to make new friends, unite as companions or find love organically,” says Mary-Ann. From discerning housewives to retired captains of industry, architects to actors, they’ve helped hundreds of men and women in their quest to find a social life of substance. Membership fees range from £1100 to £8500 + VAT. Visit www.earlsandpearls.com

We Love Local floral bouquets

Wow your Valentine! Mel Greville makes bouquets and posies using flowers from her gorgeous garden in Peakirk (supplemented by some bought in blooms at this time of year). Prices start at £10 for a jam jar posy, £28 for a regular hand tied bouquet and £35 for a large one (pictured). Contact Mel via www.thewild-garden.co.uk. Mel’s flowers are also available from Northborough Village Shop.



HE Let Property Campaign is aimed at individual Landlords who have failed to disclose rental income to HMRC, writes Kerry Hilliard of Stephenson Smart. The campaign has been open since the Autumn of 2013 and was originally intended to last for just 18 months, but there is no indication that it will be closed any time soon. It allows those who owe tax as a result of letting out property in the UK or abroad to tell HMRC about the income that they haven’t declared by making a voluntary disclosure to them. If HMRC are notified without being prompted, lower penalties and a payment plan may be negotiated. Rental income is often not declared to HMRC because people simply don’t think of themselves as landlords. There are numerous examples of situations where rental income may be liable to tax without the taxpayer being aware. This could be where someone inherits a property and then lets it out, rents a holiday home (even if it is also used personally) or relocates for work and rents out their house. It is also sometimes assumed that if a property is let just to cover the mortgage payments then no tax is due but that is not always the case because only mortgage interest is an allowable deduction for tax. In addition, measures have been introduced effective since 6 April 2017 that start to restrict tax relief on finance costs, including mortgage interest, to the basic rate of income tax. This will create a tax liability for many who have previously not owed any tax on their rented property. There is detailed guidance available on the GOV.UK website, including information on the scope of the campaign and how to make a disclosure to HMRC. For further assistance and advice please contact Stephenson Smart on 01733 343275 or go to www.stephensonsmart.com.


As part of Vivacity’s week of events for children during February half term, local author Sayeh Stone will be bringing her new book Shaped Animals to Vivacity’s Central, Werrington and Hampton libraries. There will be storytelling and craft sessions based on the book for under 5s – all of which will help teach young children about shapes and early maths. Tickets are FREE but must be booked in advance - in person at any Vivacity Library or email reading@vivacity.org.

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hree luxury self-catering holiday houses located on the famous Ashton Estate surrounded by wildflower meadows, rolling farmland and magical woodlands – the perfect country ESTATE, retreat. The housesASHTON are finished with an emphasis on quality, inholiday a style that is both Luxury self-catering houses comfortable andfamous elegantly modern. The located on the Ashton solid oak finishes andby natural features Estate, surrounded wildflower make each house individual. meadows, rolling farmlandThe andLady magical woodlands the perfect Rothschild Dairy is of –exceptional country retreat. The houses are awarded architectural interest and has been finished emphasis on quality, Grade II*with listedan status.

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Power up your A super-healthy breakfast enhances your performance at work, helps regulate weight and boosts mood. Local food blogger Kelly Castelete reveals the best ways to start the day


HERE are lots of distractions that can play havoc with breakfast time. If, like me, you have children of school age, getting out the door on time is an achievement. And who is ready to eat at 5am when you have a train to catch by 6am? Our lifestyles and working patterns, as well as personal dietary preferences, can all make breakfast time feel a bit more challenging. Most mornings, I need my breakfasts to be quick, convenient and wholesome. According to the British Nutrition Foundation, a healthy breakfast will combat low blood sugar levels, boost your mental function, mood and concentration during the morning, as well as help regulate weight. By taking time to discover new, healthier ingredients, I have created my own personal breakfast menu of recipes I enjoy morning after morning. Here I share some of my personal and family favourites, using ingredients I love such as dark chocolate (yes, some chocolate can be good for you!). These recipes are easy to make. Some need a little preparation, but they all taste wonderful and are a great way to introduce a healthier vibe to your morning routine. It’s time to make your breakfast a priority!


Blueberry Banana Boost Smoothie The secret to a great smoothie is to make it ice cold. This recipe uses frozen blueberries, and with the bananas, milk and natural yoghurt, it’s yummy and filling. The ground flaxseed gives it a wonderful nutty flavour and extra boost of fibre. Ground flaxseed is more beneficial to our digestion than unground, and along with the natural yoghurt it helps encourages healthy gut bacteria. Pop all the ingredients in a blender, blitz till smooth, pour and enjoy. Serves 2 - 3 • 350ml milk • 150g frozen blueberries • 2 medium size bananas • 4 tbsp of natural yoghurt • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed (aka linseed)

Chocolate orange granola This chocolate granola is oh-so-easy to make using only four ingredients. I like using jumbo oats, for a bigger crunch. Oats provide slow energy release, and soluble fibre. Another key ingredient is cold pressed rapeseed oil with its excellent nutritional properties - the right balance of omega 3 to 6 that we need in our diet, as well as vitamin E. Northamptonshire’s homegrown brand, Farrington’s Mellow Yellow, has been the UK pioneer of this tasty cooking ingredient and is available locally. 100% cocoa, also high in fibre and sugarfree, complemented with the honey sweetness and fresh orange chunks, will satisfy those cravings for that famous brand of chocolate orange many of us have grown to love! Makes 8 to 10 portions of granola • 6 tbsp cold pressed rapeseed oil • 6 tbsp honey • 2 tbsp 100% cocoa • 300g jumbo oats Preheat your oven to 180°C. Add the rapeseed oil and honey to a pan and gently warm. Add in the cocoa and stir. Next, mix in the oats, folding well to make sure the oats are fully coated with the oil and honey mixture. Spread the mixture onto an oven dish or tray so the mixture is about 1cm deep. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove it from the oven, place on a heat proof surface and leave to cool. Serve with natural yoghurt, clementine and pumpkin sprinkles, if liked.



Oat and chia pudding to-go Many people are turned off by the texture of chia seeds but this powerhouse of a little seed packs in so much nutritional benefit it has earned its superfood status. In this recipe, chia seeds combine beautifully with oats for a creamy taste, and a little honey for sweetness. Make it the night before in a jar and it’s the perfect to-go breakfast. Daily Bread, a cooperative in Northampton (www.dailybread. co.uk) is a super-duper health store where I pick up my stocks of chia seeds and jumbo oats. Serves 1 in a medium size jar • 3 tbsp oats • 1 tbsp chia seeds • 100ml milk • 1 tsp raw honey Add the oats, chia seeds, honey and milk into your jar. Secure the lid and give it a good shake. Don’t fill to the brim as you need room for some fruit. Leave overnight in the fridge and in the morning, stir in a few grapes, and add some kiwi or your fruit of choice.

breakfast! Toast toppings: sweet or savoury?

Transform your toast with a gorgeous spelt loaf and a variety of yummy toppings. Many bakeries now bake with spelt and I buy mine from Hambleton Bakery in Oundle and The Good Loaf in Northampton. Here are some ideas to get your taste buds tingling.

Homemade baked beans; so easy to make with tinned chopped tomatoes, haricot beans and seasoning Hummus topped with pumpkin seeds and rocket for crunch and a peppery finish.

Low fat cream cheese and mixed berry compote




Peanut butter topped with banana and chocolate granola sprinkles


Fresh spinach pesto with toasted pine nuts

Hard boiled egg, mixed with a little mayonnaise, and garnished with thinly sliced radish and cress.

Spelt pancakes I am a big fan of spelt flour. It is a lovely, light flour and has been enjoying a revival in the UK. It’s different to other grains and has a hardier husk which protects the nutrients within. The gluten in spelt is thought to be more fragile and water soluble, which helps us to digest it and avoid bloating. Makes 6 pancakes • 100g white spelt flour • 2 free-range eggs • 300ml milk • 1 tbsp cold pressed rapeseed oil, plus extra for frying I make my pancakes in a 7.5” skillet. Based on the BBC Good Food Easy Pancake recipe, I’ve switched the flour and oil. First, add the flour and eggs to a bowl, mixing it all together. Then add the oil and milk, whisking till smooth. Heat the oil in your pan, and pour one ladle of batter at a time. Cook on both sides for around a minute, or till you have a nice golden colour. Serve with lemon and honey. I particularly love to add a spoonful of cool natural yoghurt and the juicy pops of pomegranate seeds.

About Kelly Kelly Castelete is a Northamptonshire-based food blogger and healthy eating advocate, often found in the kitchen, making and baking, or with camera in hand styling nice food shots. Kelly is also a beekeeper and, with husband Mike, she has launched a range of honey-based foods, including sugar-free jams and raw chocolate honey. Follow Kelly on Instagram @goodfoodbee. Find out more about Castelete’s Honey Foods: www.tastegoodvibes.com NENE LIVING FEBRUARY 2018


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.

Nene Living visits…

The allotment is still deep in its winter slumber; the earth cold and wet. And despite the protective hedge which runs along one side, bitter winds blow across plot 84b. I’m getting impatient. I’m ready to shake off winter’s woolly blanket and get outside, but there’ll be no gardening for several weeks yet. So to cheer myself up on a cold winter’s morning, when mists hang heavy across the fields, I spend a couple of hours in my cosy kitchen, radio on, cup of tea to hand and a preserving pan full of golden liquid bubbling on the hob. If you are quick, there is still time to pick up a big bag of Seville oranges from your local market before their short season comes to an end. Unlike their glossy, thinskinned cousins, the Seville orange with its knobbly peel, thick pith and copious amounts of pips is an unprepossessing fruit. Not a fruit to be eaten in its raw state, but bubbled with sugar, it makes a most delicious golden marmalade. A quick Google or flick through a cookbook will reveal any number of different recipes and tips for making the perfect preserve, but when it comes to making marmalade, I always turn to Delia for an easy to follow, reliable recipe. Her recipe for Traditional Seville Orange marmalade can be found in ‘Delia’s Complete How to Cook’ or online. Though time consuming, I find something deeply satisfying about making marmalade or indeed jam of any sort. A little chopping (cut the peel thick or thin according to preference) can be very restful and time spent waiting while it simmers on the hob, is the perfect antidote to a busy lifestyle. When the marmalade has reached setting point, I ladle it into warm, sterilised jars, cover it, and when it is cool, add a label. Then it’s time to sit back and admire my work - a row of jars filled with the most beautiful amber preserve. Spread thickly on hot buttered toast, it is truly one of life’s little pleasures and with its zingy flavour and perfect sweet/sharp balance, it is guaranteed to brighten even the dullest winter morning.

Stepping in to the Country Lounge at A cosy corner in the Wansford Wansford on a blustery cold day is a Country Lounge relief. There’s a woodburner glowing in the corner, relaxing tunes playing and an appetising menu up on the chalk board. The place is buzzing, with every table taken. The former hairdressing salon has been transformed by owner Bradley Freeman and his family. The walls have been taken back to the brickwork, the floorboards have been sanded, and beams exposed, giving it a fresh, modern country style look. “I drove past the building one day and thought that it would make a great café,” explains Bradley. “This is a beautiful area but a lot of the surrounding villages don’t have a daytime meeting place. With so many people running businesses from home now, and the world heading in a café style direction, I thought it could work in this location. Hospitality runs in the family. Bradley’s parents Julia and Alan own the Royal Oak at Duddington (although they no longer run it), and he grew up in the industry. His aim here is to serve light, appetising food, such as home made soups, flatbreads, and delicious cakes, which are baked nearby, in a laid back atmosphere. We tried the poached eggs, smashed avocado and chilli flakes on toast, and the balsamic roasted cherry tomato and ricotta cheese flatbread, both of which were light and appetising. The lounge is open for evening meals on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at present. “We want to do some themed nights, such as tapas, or steaks, scallops, and we’ll always cater for vegetarians or people who are gluten free.” Business has been brisk ever since the doors opened in November. “We had 200 people here on the opening day!” grins Bradley. It’s a great destination for a winter warmer, or, as spring approaches, coffee and a stroll around this beautiful village. Wansford Country Lounge, 12 London Road, Wansford PE8 6JB Tel: 07712266382

Fenland Lottie

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.



Wansford Country Lounge

WE LOVE… FRATELLI TAVOLA CALDA There are many new eateries on the Peterborough dining scene, but don’t forget this traditional gem tucked away in the Rivergate Centre. Excellent coffee, with freshly made pizza and pasta and great table service ensures that it is always buzzing. Visit the deli for pastas, sauces, Italian sausages and the gorgeous crusty bread, all at very reasonable prices. 2-3 Rivergate Shopping Centre, Peterborough PE1 1EL www. theitalianfoodstore.co.uk

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Rest and Relaxation Slough off winter and recharge the batteries at a spoil-yourself local retreat. You’ll be all set up for spring! WORDS: BRIDGET STEELE

Country Hideaway


Nestled within 23 acres of beautiful Northamptonshire countryside in the village of Rushton, a visit to Homefield Grange will make you feel that everyday life is left behind. This dedicated day and residential retreat offers packages for weight loss, detoxing, fitness, beauty, aesthetics and wellbeing. Owner Suzanne Peck says: “the tranquil setting here allows you to concentrate on yourself within the experienced hands of health professionals. Live blood analysis, dietary intolerance testing, nutritional consultation, and colonic irrigation are some of the treatments on offer.” Treatment programmes are tailormade for individuals and experts in their field will work with you to get optimum results. This retreat offers a pragmatic approach to health and wellbeing. For more information on packages available contact Homefield Grange, Manor Road, Rushton, Northampton, NN14 1RH Tel 01536 712219 www.homefieldgrangeretreat.co.uk

Peaceful Haven


Village Day Spa And so Beautiful opened a second salon in Woodnewton, near Oundle, early in 2017. It’s based in a relaxed garden setting with comfortable treatment rooms, relaxation areas and a spa pool. My trip to And So Beautiful started with an hour in the garden Jacuzzi hydrotherapy pool – a delight on a cold day sitting in the warm bubbles overlooking the gardens with a deep massage setting on. Next, therapist Natasha gave me a Decleor anti-ageing facial that starts with a back and shoulder massage quickly ironing out stress points using luxurious aromatherapy products which left my skin feeling deeply hydrated and revitalised. A delicious afternoon tea rounded off my day perfectly. This is an ideal treat to take alone, as a couple or for small groups. And So Beautiful offers a range of different packages and is happy to tailor treatments to your requests. Contact Rebecca at And So Beautiful, Woodnewton Oundle, Peterborough Tel 07905 926902 or book on-line visit www.andsobeautiful.co.uk


Ali Coutts and Jacqueline Bland have established Gently Be over the last 18 months running workshops, evening groups and retreats encouraging people to take control over their health in an informative and fun way. In 2018 they invite people to attend their Time Out Days at Ferrar House in Great Gidding. Then one, or all, of the Time Out days can be booked. Each day will have a different focus, such as Happy with Eating on April 28. That will cover weight, nutrients, energy, sugar, time and convenience and guilt. On Saturday June 23 the group will explore Moving made Easy and on Saturday October 6 the theme is Simply Good Moods, understanding feelings such as anxiety, depression, lack of motivation, and sharing techniques and practices that can both uplift and calm. I attended one of the Time Out days – it was great fun and a perfect way to meet like-minded people. I tried meditation, T’ai Chi and Laughter Yoga. Ali and Jacqui go to a lot of effort to make people feel at ease, sharing lots of valuable tips throughout the day as well as providing a delicious healthy lunch and snacks throughout the day. Contact Ali on 07840 737588 www.gentlybe.com

Meditation In The City


If you’ve ever wondered about meditation, how it works and what it has to offer – the classes and courses at the Drolma Buddhist Centre Peterborough offer a great introduction. Mainly taught by western Buddhist nun and Principal Teacher, Kelsang Rak-ma, classes explore how meditation can help us to reduce stress and anxiety; enjoy deeper inner peace and happiness; experience increased selfconfidence; improve our mental and physical wellbeing – and more. Kelsang Rak-ma explains: “Everybody can benefit from and learn to meditate. You don’t need to be Buddhist or have any type of faith to attend; everyone is warmly welcome and no experience is required. The talks are practical and down to earth, focusing on how meditation can make a real, positive impact on the quality of our daily life and relationships with others. All meditations are guided. Come along and have a go!” Drolma Buddhist Centre www.meditateinpeterborough.org.uk Contact Sue Gunn on 01733 755444



Rest and Relaxation

Garden Goodness


This state-of-the-art Secret Garden Spa is part of Congham Hall Hotel, close to Kings Lynn. It has a 12-metre swimming pool, with views over the surrounding parkland, and a refreshing outdoor hot tub on the terrace that brings guests closer to nature. There is a thermal suite including a sauna, bio sauna, steam room, relaxing footbaths and experience showers, where guests can embark on a journey of the senses. There are four treatment rooms and a tranquil relaxation room. Therapies use products from UK specialist brand Elemental Herbology. Signature treatments, such as the specially created Herb Garden treatment, incorporate some of the hotel’s homegrown seasonal herbs and the comprehensive spa menu is reasonably priced. Treatment packages range from £65 for a half day Treat and Taste including lunch and a treatment to a full day Divine, including lunch with two hours of blissful treatments at £140. Residential Spa breaks are also available. Congham Hall, Grimston, Kings Lynn, Norfolk PE32 1AH Tel: 01485 609300 Email spa@conghamhallhotel.co.uk

A Luxe Evening Treat


Every Thursday, Alwalton Hall offers a four hour mini retreat starting at 4pm. It’s ideal if you’re time poor, but in need of pampering. Our visit started with tea in the drawing room snuggled up in our complimentary robes perusing the supper menu ready to eat after our treatment. The rooms are spacious, and each one has a different theme. I was in the Kenyan room for my hour Winter Warmer treatment consisting of a hot stone massage followed by a hydrating Decleor anti-aging facial by Olivia, one of the so-called Alwalton Angels! A delicious supper of home made tomato soup with warm bread, followed by a blue cheese and butternut tart with salad leaves went down very well with a glass of chilled rosé. The package costs £90 and with plenty of space, it is ideal for a group and makes a perfect evening treat. Other day packages are available, and a wide selection of beauty treatments is also offered at Alwalton Hall. Alwalton Hall, Church Street, Alwalton, Peterborough PE7 3UN or visit alwaltonhall.com Tel: 01733 391166



Farm Setting


Situated on the outskirts of the stunning medieval village of Lavenham sits this beautiful retreat at Hill Farm run by hosts Jo and Dominic Derosa. Their luxury retreats range from mini day breaks with yoga and meditation to residential breaks designed to help overcome addiction. You will be assured a warm welcome and delicious healthy food. I attended one of their Clean Eating Days run by Dominic which was great fun, learning tips and tasting along the way finishing with us all sitting in the dining room devouring a three course meal and picking up lots of recipe ideas to take home. Jo says: “if you don’t want to be tied down to a full retreat, try one of our or Mini-Retreats, immerse yourself in practice and reflection, or try one of the lovely local walks. Know that you are coming to a dedicated peaceful space to unwind, reflect and rebalance.” Inner Guidance is also available for groups to run their own retreats and take advantage of the facilities and countryside that Hill Farm has in abundance. For more information contact Inner Guidance; Hill Farm, Brent Eleigh Road, Lavenham, Suffolk CO10 9PB Tel: 01787 249798 or e-mail info@innerguidance.co.uk www.innerguidance.co.uk

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Wellbeing Notes

New hairdresser in Hampton

Paul Short Hairdressing opened in Hampton Vale, Peterborough, during October 2017. Paul has over 22 years of hairdressing experience and has worked in Peterborough, London and Stamford. He says: “I’m passionate about hairdressing and have wanted my own salon for some time, so when this location became available it ticked all the boxes with plenty of parking, a bright modern interior and it was situated within the growing, vibrant area of Hampton.” Paul and his team specialise in Wella products and also promote the Olaplex Strengthening system that is a long lasting conditioning treatment for coloured hair. The salon also has its own training academy, and all staff are encouraged to keep learning and perfecting their skills. For more information and appointments contact: Paul Short Hairdressing, 110 Four Chimneys Crescent, Peterborough PE7 8FH Tel: 01733 247848

Yoga facial

The Decleor Lift Yoga Facial is the latest facial treatment on the menu at Alwalton Hall. Perfect for older skin, this non-invasive anti-ageing facial promises to revitalise, firm and plump. It can be used as a standalone 30 minute treatment or as part of a luxurious longer 75 minute treatment that includes a relaxing diagnostic back massage. Olivia, my therapist, used Aromessence Lavandula Iris Serum and Iris Night Balm. This is applied with tiny lifting and tapping movements from the chin upwards. The specially designed movements are inspired by the Japanese KO BY DO massage system that activate collagen and eliminate toxins. The motion is continuous and gently stimulates each area of the face. The massage is followed by the application of a Collagen-rich warming mask while my neck, and shoulders were massaged, before moisturiser and eye cream were applied. Alwalton Hall’s Jess Topping explains: “this is a non-invasive facial that is results-driven and a perfect stop for people wanting a relaxing facial without electrical based or more invasive treatments.” My verdict? I loved the luxurious Decleor products with their beautiful aromas and I noticed a hydrating and firming effect on my tired winter skin. Alwalton Hall specialises in Decleor treatments and offers a home care range for all skin types to compliment the facials. The Prolagene Lift range of products use the latest technology and advanced ingredients. Contact www.alwaltonhall.com or call 01733 391166 for more information

Say goodbye to problem veins “Creating space and time within Stamford” Varicose veins are caused by the small valves in your veins that push your blood to your heart becoming weak and less effective. Blood then collects in the veins making them enlarged and sometimes painful.The Fitzwilliam Hospital, Peterborough offers treatment for varicose veins using surgical litigation and stripping including radio frequency ablation. A new Vein Glue technique is also available. Varicose veins are diagnosed by your doctor who will check your legs for swelling while you’re standing and may ask you to describe any pain and aching in the legs. Fortunately, treatment doesn’t mean a hospital stay or a long, uncomfortable recovery. Thanks to less invasive procedures, varicose veins can generally be treated on an outpatient basis. Ask your doctor if insurance will cover any of the cost of your treatment. If it’s being done for purely cosmetic reasons, treatment will need to be paid for. Treatment for thread veins using the Microsclerotherapy technique is also available. The procedure involves injecting a chemical, called a sclerosant, into your thread vein using a very fine needle. This closes the thread vein and it eventually fades. Three or four treatments, separated by eight weeks, will usually be required to achieve the required degree of fading. For more information, contact the Hospital Service Advisor on: 01733 842304 or visit www.fitzwilliamhospital.co.uk

Johan Truter, Chartered Clinical Psychologist writes: My practice began just over 10 years ago, starting with just one client seen for the first month and then two the second month. It gives me the opportunity to engage and immerse with clients’ difficulties, which range from requesting information to managing internal chaos. It allows me to utilise the skills I enjoy, enabling me to learn and develop with the clients. Two principles that governed the practice over the years are: being fair and learning from others. This puts the client central to the process with the psychological interventions tailored to support them. The world has changed. Technology speeds up life and our understanding of mental health has changed, making challenges clearer - and yet more complex. An example would be our understanding of adults with developmental disorders such as Autistic Spectrum Disorder and ADHD. These are just two examples of invisible disabilities. Initially we thought people outgrow these difficulties, then we boxed them all as being similar, only to realise there is vast neuro-diversity present with a common thread. In an effort to create more space, a friend and I are setting up a new venture, Pause-i, providing opportunities for immersive self-exploration. For more details, call 01780 758556 Web: www.psychologistuk.co.uk NENE LIVING FEBRUARY 2018


Peterborough has a new wellbeing centre. Its founder Kim Coley tells Rebecca Downey about the healing power of touch and the benefits of social bonding

Lift your spirits at Soul Happy


HE discreet entrance of Soul Happy belies its big welcome. Aptly situated in the heart of the city down Keebles Alleyway at 18 Cowgate, Soul Happy is a new, not-for-profit wellbeing centre where healing and self exploration are at the core. Founded by Kim Coley, the centre is less than a year old but has already received the Peterborough Small Business award and Peterborough Small Business Owner of 2017 accolades. The Soul Happy ‘tribe’ aims to enable people to thrive by divesting themselves of stress, anxiety, depression, bad habits and negativity. Kim realised she wanted to create a wellbeing workspace when her mum was diagnosed with cancer. “I’d been working as a project manager for Peterborough Environment City Trust and wanted to reduce my hours to care for my Mum. I felt that this was the path I needed to take.” Kim is not afraid of confronting pain and suffering and she observes that humans can learn a great deal from the ‘lows’ we experience in our lifetime. “We’re so powerful, we just need to harness our potential and use it in the right way,” she says. The Soul Happy space comprises three treatment rooms plus a community room and it is a lively hub for several qualified therapists offering sports massage, reflexology, hypnotherapy, Indian head massage, Reiki, health and nutrition coaching – all on a one-to-one basis. Soul Happy also provides the setting for several wellbeing workshops and groups such as baby reflexology, confidence and empowerment, mindfulness, Essential Oils remedies, expressive dance and flash mob mass meditation, to name a few. Kim is excited about the latest addition, a medical herbalist whose training and experience will provide a holistic approach to wellness. EXPLORING THE OPTIONS

Kim is keen to stress that there is no quick fix or miracle cure for illness but she believes that there are alternative ways to address health issues: “Soul Happy is about providing a place for people to explore their options and discover non-invasive treatments through scientific and spiritual practices.” Specialising in hypnotherapy, Kim describes the case study of a client suffering from claustrophobia and panic attacks, combined with bouts of IBS which caused him to be late at work, creating further stress. He had been given a course of hypnotherapy sessions by his fiancé in a last-ditch attempt to resolve the problem. Despite describing himself as a sceptic, the panic attacks had gone after the first two sessions and by the fifth, his work performance improved so much he got a pay rise! Kim uses the analogy of an onion to describe the hypnotherapy process of peeling back each layer to reveal cause, conditioning and discover who we are when we’re at our best. “It’s all about connectivity”, says Kim, “we too often have deep connections with the wrong thing; whether it’s food, social media, drugs, alcohol or consumerism.” Tribe members support each other through therapy swaps and referrals, for example, sports therapist, Henry Godfree, has referred clients to Kim for psyche training to improve confidence and gain a competitive edge. There is a very inclusive, open vibe at Soul Happy, which seems to be a second home to tribe members who are essentially running their own businesses from the central hub under shared resources and a shared PR package. EMBRACE LIFE

Advocates of social experiments, the Soul Happy team has created a number of schemes to connect with fellow citizens, such as random



“We’re so powerful, we just need to harness our potential and use it in the right way,” acts of kindness and free hugs in Cathedral Square. On a very basic level, hugging is an easy way to reduce anxiety and stress, lower blood pressure and increase our happy hormones; oxytocin and serotonin. “It’s a win-win,” says Kim, and she’s dead right, people take all manner of prescribed medication to do all those things, adding pressure to a beleaguered NHS system, when the healing power of touch achieves some of it for free. Soul Happy has also created a wellbeing at work ‘W@W’ scheme offering massage and workshops to increase happiness and productivity in the workplace. Links with the Oxjam grass roots music festival and Tesco’s community room at Serpentine Green have given Soul Happy’s team the opportunity to spread the word. Vegan and veggie food sharing, litterpicks and helping the homeless are all part of Soul Happy’s agenda, while the hub itself aims to have the smallest carbon footprint possible. Kim believes it’s vital to look after yourself to help others and shares her mindful mantra: “Be the change you want to see”. To find out more about Soul Happy’s therapies, hugathons, volunteering opportunites and offers, connect on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @SoulHappyCentre. www.soulhappy.org.uk


The Wheatsheaf at Titchmarsh has received a welcome refurbishment following its acquisition by The Proper Pub Company in October 2017. Rebecca Downey meets the new management

At the heart of the village


REATING a thriving village pub is no easy task in this day and age, but The Proper Pub Co (Midlands) Ltd is building up a good reputation for doing exactly that. Carefully selecting establishments that have individuality and character but have perhaps become a bit tired over the years, its aim is to revitalize them, injecting just the right balance of tradition and modernity. Operations director Stuart Wright (above) insists it’s vital for a pub to be warm and welcoming, “If you want to sit at the bar and eat your roast dinner, that’s fine by us – we aim to be at the heart of the community – a family friendly place where women feel they can walk in alone.” The pub got a face lift in six busy days prior to opening last autumn with a new colour scheme, soft furnishings, fixtures and fittings, all the chairs were stripped back and the menu was given a complete overhaul. Having previously turned around The White Horse in Old and The Green Dragon at Brigstock, the company, made up of founding directors Emma and Rory McCabe and Stuart Wright are dab hands at creating a pub that reflects the spirit of the community, with a menu to suit the culinary tastes of people today. “Interiors and graphic design are Emma’s forte and Rory’s expertise as an architect means technical planning are all in safe hands. There has been huge support from the villagers who have really helped to create a great vibe here,” says Stuart, who employs local people as bar tenders, serving staff and pot washers.



“We have also introduced schemes such as ‘pints for produce’ whereby allotment owners in the village can bring in produce in exchange for a couple of pints or vouchers to spend in the pub.” Local man ‘Matt the hunter’ looks after the deer herd and supplies muntjac and venison for the kitchen, while 16 brace of pheasant were recently gleaned from the local shoot. Local provenance is all part of the outfit, with lamb coming from Redhill Farm in Old, meat from the Stanwick butcher and Eddie Bates of Market Harborough, and cheese from Cheesestore-Direct in Brigstock. CREATIVE THINKING The Wheatsheaf does far more than the traditional Sunday roast; introducing regular food and drink promotions such as steak nights, fish and fizz, gin and streetfood, and pie nights. The latter offers refreshing combinations such as steak and stilton; chicken and chorizo; Moroccan bean; and venison and red wine in a hand-crafted hot water crust pastry pie alongside a choice of chips or mash plus seasonal vegetables and gravy. Head chef Simon Brunskill has created a seasonal menu alongside a selection of daily specials. Food is prepared in-house as much as possible and the pub is also part of the ‘Eat Out Eat Well’ scheme which enables healthconscious customers to make suitable choices as indicated by the symbol on the menu, which also caters for vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians and those requiring gluten- and nut-free options.

Craft beers, heritage ciders, artisan gins and mixers are all welcome additions but the new management likes to keep it real with real fires, real ale and increasingly important to many – free wifi. The relaxed ambiance allows people to eat, drink, meet and work wherever they choose in the extensive lounge and dining rooms, which have dispensed with the somewhat sterile formality of previous ownership. Accompanied children and wellbehaved dogs are positively encouraged, and the pub hosts parties, raffles, and functions for the community making it a proper public house. Marquee hire, decoration and outside catering are all part of the company’s enterprise. The pub is looking forward to more clement weather this spring when the vine covered patio, summerhouse and beer garden will hopefully entice ramblers and visitors from further afield. Plans are evolving to make use of the old sheds on the premises, possibly as a cider press or brewery. Stuart’s extensive background in hospitality consulting, and the management of night clubs and country pubs in the UK and Spain means he is not afraid to roll up his sleeves and get stuck in: “I still enjoy the buzz of being behind the bar, you’ve got to be part of it to make it work. There is no big franchise agenda, The Proper Pub company wants to do it right; providing good food and a good service at a reasonable price in a warm and welcoming atmosphere.” Facebook: The Wheatsheaf at Titchmarsh 01832 732203 www.properpubco.co.uk


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Go faster… There’s a pretty new race on the marathon runner’s calendar, and it’s taking place around Oundle. Ronnie Haydon can’t wait to try it


HERE’S good news for experienced runners with the arrival of the all-new Oundle 20-Mile Road Race on March 4. The route passes through the villages of Nassington, Fotheringhay, Yarwell and Kings Cliffe. Why 20 miles? It’s what’s known in marathon circles as a ‘sharpener’. Many people will have signed up for a marathon (26.2miles) this spring; the most famous of these is the Virgin Money London Marathon, which takes place on April 22. Brighton, Manchester and Paris marathons also happen around this time. Runners preparing for a spring marathon follow a 24-week training plan. By March, they’re looking to have increased their mileage on the weekly long run to 20 miles or more. But their shiny post-Christmas resolve is wobbling. They’re tired, hungry all the time and bored jogging round the same old streets. That’s why a local, well-organised 20 mile race with lovely views, a T-shirt and medal at the end, prizes and new faces to see is such a tonic. Local runner Darryl Coulter certainly thought so. An ultra runner who likes to race every week, Darryl moved to Oundle from south London, and fell in love with the area. “I had no idea the countryside around here was so spectacular, and I thought as I toured these beautiful country lanes how wonderful it would be to have a road race that took in all this beauty.”

Darryl mentioned this to his friend Martin Burke, of Nice Work Race Management, who suggested a scenic 20 miler. “I couldn’t believe my luck,” recalls Darryl, “when a company as respected as Nice Work take on the job of race directors, you know it’s going to be a great event. What’s more, their agreeing to run with my idea for a new local race means I can take part as a warm up to running London in April. I will have just run the Tokyo Marathon the week before, too.” Darryl, you will have gathered, is a serious runner, as anyone who chases him at Peterborough parkrun will attest. “The Oundle race should be a great event for people in marathon training who want to test their endurance under race conditions,’ adds Martin Burke. “Those who are speedy can look forward to running the distance in a good time as this promises to be a pretty fast course.” Recording a brisk 20 miler six months before The Big One can do a marathon runner the power of good, physically and psychologically. You know you’re on track, you can practise your race strategy: when to eat breakfast, and what to have, what you’re going to use as fuel on the way, how much to drink and, most importantly, how much energy is left for those last six miles. After running at marathon pace for 20 miles your body will be immensely fatigued, but your brain will be abuzz

“I had no idea the countryside around here was so spectacular, and I thought as I toured these beautiful country lanes how wonderful it would be to have a road race that took in all this beauty.”

with making it through to marathon distance in a month or so. And what of the not-so-speedy participants? Martin has soothing news for the joggers: “There’s no cut-off time for joggers. We’re not just here for the elites. Our philosophy is to put on friendly races that are fully inclusive, aimed at runners of all abilities, from beginners to experienced athletes of all ages and backgrounds. I do have to add, however, that this race isn’t suitable for people who want to walk the whole way. We can give people who are run/walkers a head start, so they can finish the course with the runners at the back of the pack.” And how big will that pack be? “The race capacity is 350 runners, but if we don’t sell all the places in advance runners will have the chance to enter on the day. Keep an eye on the website to see if it’s sold out.” So it’s a bijou field, but fewer entrants means that Nice Work can promise lavatories, showers, changing rooms and refreshments at Oundle C of E Primary School, where the race starts and finishes, and for whom this not-for-profit race is a fundraiser. The route, still being finalised as we go to press, will take runners north through Cotterstock to Bedford Purlieus historic woodland before heading south west to Apethorpe then back to Oundle for tea, cake, medals, prizes and all the hoopla associated with great road races. This is one long Sunday run it would be a shame to miss. The inaugural Oundle 20 Mile Road Race takes place on March 4, at 9.30am. For more details visit www.nice-work.org.uk NENE LIVING FEBRUARY 2018



A liTtlE rEst stOp

A liTtlE eXplOriNg

I’m always seeking out child friendly cafes when I’m out with the kids. It can break up a boring but necessary shopping trip – or it can provide a great place to take a break if it starts to pour down. My daughter looks forward to the promise of a ‘babyccino’ (frothy milk) or hot chocolate. So when we stumbled across Bru Babu on a recent trip to Oundle, we had to sample what it had to offer. It certainly hit the spot for a tea-lover like me (there’s a choice of 14) and for kids it didn’t disappoint. Evelyn enjoyed her hot chocolate with accompanying dish of marshmallows and playing with the vintage Snakes and Ladders. Be sure to try the Tea Bubble, a fruit juice drink with fruit ‘popples’ that burst in your mouth – a firm favourite with the kids, so I hear! www.brewbabu.co.uk 6 West Street, Oundle, 01832 273909

Fans of the popular Julia Donaldson children’s book should head to Fineshade Wood for The Highway Rat Trail this half term. Evelyn enjoyed following the interactive forest trail wearing the mask which came in her Highway Rat ‘saddle bag’ – packed with activities to help us along the (forest) highway, complete with a host of animal encounters and interesting facts. She loved the brass-style rubbings along the journey with her crayon and activity sheet, and having to find a stick as long as her arm and tie a piece of supplied string with various treasures she found on the journey. This is an inspired idea and a great way to get children interacting with the forest environment. Afterwards, head to the Grounds Café, which sells a range of refreshments and is next to a lovely little play park. https://www.forestry.gov.uk/toplodge Highway Rat Trail activity pack £3 Parking for £1.50/hour, or £4 for all day.

LIttLe livIng Rachel Andrews-Ingram (and her two under fives) delve into some fun for half-term and beyond…

A liTtlE bIt Of MusIc


Sometimes the weather in February can be a little bit, well… ‘meh’. It’s hard to know what to do on bad weather days with a lively toddler. My saviour recently has been Jo Jingles classes. These are friendly, fun and interactive music and movement classes that are geared towards children three months to five years of age and they last 30 to 45 minutes. I took one year-old Eliott to Andreas’ walking to two-year old class in Stamford. After a warm welcome, Andreas and his assistant Vicky went through a range of interactive songs, using musical instruments, props and miming songs to get the little ones grooving. Eliott loved the music and he was able to move around in a safe and friendly environment. He was particularly drawn to the loveable Jo Jingles puppet who comes to life during the session. Andreas will be focusing on books and themes such as space this month. If you head over to Carla’s classes at the Moorhen Pub in Hampton, Peterborough or the Wyevale Garden Centre, Yaxley, she’ll be focusing on people who help us, counting, colours, and under the sea. www.jojingles.com Stamford: jojinglesstamford@gmail.com 07590 434016 Peterborough: carla.jojingles@gmail.com 07850 420848

A liTtlE cReaTivIty Try this cute Valentine’s baby or toddler foot-print keepsake (your toddler will enjoy helping you make this!) You will need: • 2 cups of Flour • 1 cup of Salt • Up to 1 cup of water (this will make one set of footprints) • Measure out and mix together ingredients • Roll out the dough • On a flat surface press your child’s left foot gently into the dough • Overlap the heel from the right foot into the heel of the left foot to create a heart shape • Once your little one is standing well clear, use a sharp knife to cut around the footprint, leaving space to write a message around the edge • Leave to dry for a few hours and then pop in the oven at 125F for a couple of hours or until dry • Once cooled, paint the footprint and write your message around the edge • Brush on a coat of PVA glue to seal



Treasured Memories

In the digital age, what is the best way to preserve and display your photos? Sarah Chase has some ideas


customers can send us their images and pick up F your house were on fire, what object the prints in-store when they’re next in town.” would you save? Past generations Visual memories don’t have to be 2D, though: would certainly have answered “the opportunities for personalised memorabilia are family photograph album”, such was the plentiful, whether from online giants such as importance of this heirloom item and the Photobox or Snapfish, or smaller businesses treasured memories it contained. The act of trading though websites such as Not on the visually recording our lives has never been High Street and Etsy. easier, and the stunning advances in technology Choose from useful and practical mugs, tea over the past decade mean that for many of towels and mouse mats or us, photo albums are now make more of a statement often entirely stored on our with personalised smartphones. From artistic photographic cushions, expressions to informal duvet covers and even selfies, they are perfectly handbags and wallets. Try portable and ready to share www.bagsoflove.co.uk for a with one touch. wealth of eco-friendly and With the benefit of handmade convenience, though, ideas on comes inevitable problems which to - we all know someone who print your has lost their phone along images with the photos stored on Wedding box from the it and, once gone, these more outlandish (flip flops!) visual reminders are irreplaceable. through the practical (clocks, So, what options are there for those of us lampshades, towels) to the who enjoy the expediency of the digital image, enduring (a keepsake tin but want something tangible to browse through featuring your loved ones on with a cup of tea - and perhaps to pass on to Towel by the lid). future generations? Bags of Love If you are wishing to display If you’re after hard copies for an album, your photos in a more traditional medium, look no further than Shrives Chemists and then consider having your favourites printed Photodealers in Peterborough (tel 01733 up onto canvases to be wall-hung; or create a 554319). “We work with our customers to make ‘collage of the year’ which can be printed out printing their photos a quick and easy process”, and framed. The online companies mentioned says Atul Pandya, the shop’s proprietor. “We above offer these products as standard options invite them to download the Fujifilm Imagine and are very quick to turn them around: you will App onto their device. By linking it to our store,



just need to upload your images in the format they require, following the clear and easy instructions on their websites. Box frames are fantastic as a means of generating lasting memories: putting baby shoes together with your baby’s hand print and its cutest photograph; the dried flowers from a special wedding day arranged alongside a photo of the bride and groom and the champagne cork; even a dog’s collar and a picture of the pooch you want to remember - all of these everyday items are elevated by virtue of appearing together in a beautiful frame. Contact Felicity Thistlethwaite at Kings Cliffebased framing business Effeljay (www.effeljay. co.uk) to discuss your ideas. But if, for you, it all comes back to curating a photo album with pages to return to over the years, the answer is to create a photobook. Formatted in much the same way you would a traditional album, you can choose how to document your life - whether by year, by event, by family member or in a more abstract way. Companies such as Photobox and others offer hardback or soft cover books in a variety of sizes and styles, allowing you to personalise your memories as never before. As a gift to a grandparent, they are unbeatable - but even the children who have flown the nest will welcome such a confirmation of their importance in your life. Nostalgia: it’s not just a thing of the past…

The perfect gift for your Valentine


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Make an indoor garden It might be too cold to get out in the garden at present, but you can green up your interior at any time of the year WORDS & ILLUSTRATIONS: FIONA CUMBERPATCH


ORGET the sight of a single spider plant sitting sadly in a window. House plants have been reinvented and can now form the centrepiece of a stylish interior. Grouped together, or used as a single statement piece, it’s a relatively inexpensive way to update a home. Sales have soared in recent years: figures show that they shot up by one third in 2016 thanks to a flurry of new books, and Instagram accounts showcasing the merits of indoor greenery. “The trend has moved away from traditional plants like orchids, and towards succulents such as echeveria and money plants,” says Paul Wilson, manager of The Barn Garden Centre which has branches in Peterborough and Oundle and sells a variety of indoor plants. “We do still sell favourites such as African violets and white cyclamen at this time of year, but we’ve definitely seen a rise in foliage plants recently and also the pots to showcase them in.” There’s a plant for every spot in the home, including dark corners and humid environments. Research shows that it’s good for us to have them around as they clean the air and boost oxygen levels, as well as enhancing the feel good factor that comes from being surrounded by living things. Whereas some houseplants do demand a bit of specialist care, others thrive on neglect. So even if you don’t have green fingers, the chances are there is a match made in plant heaven for you.



Money plant (Crassula ovate) With thick, round, fleshy leaves with a glossy sheen, this succulent is perfect for a sunny window ledge. Let the top 2-3cm of compost dry out between watering times. It will need less water during the winter months. Pull off any dried leaves. If your plant suddenly drops its leaves, it may be because it has been moved suddenly into different conditions. If you are going to reposition the plant, do it gradually over a week to allow it to acclimatise. Care rating: EASY

Birds Nest fern (Asplenium nidus) Large leafed plants like this one cope best with shady spots, in a north facing room, for example. This one has gorgeous shiny leaves, which need regular wiping to keep them looking tip top. Keep the compost moist all the time. Repot in spring if the roots have filled the pot. Care rating: INTERMEDIATE

Hens and chicks (Echeveria) This pretty, geometrically shaped plant looks great in a contemporary interior. It likes a lot of bright light, and will tolerate some direct sunshine if it is acclimatised gradually. Water it when the top 2-3 cm of compost are dry through spring, summer and autumn, less in the winter. Pop a layer of gravel on top of the compost, it will keep the neck of the plant dry and stop it rotting. You can put it outside in the summer, but bring inside well before the first frosts are forecast. Care rating: EASY

Japanese Aralia (Fatsia japonica) Make a statement in your living room with this handsome specimen, which has big, glossy variegated leaves. It will tolerate low light levels quite happily. Keep the compost moist from spring to autumn, but water it more sparingly in the winter. Feed it monthly in spring and summer. Care rating: EASY



Make an indoor garden

Top plant care tips  Read the label! It may sound basic, but many people don’t take time to see what conditions a plant prefers. “If you water plants every day, you risk killing them with kindness,” says Paul Wilson of the Barn Garden Centre. “But all the basic information you need will be on the label.” Plants need more watering in spring and summer when they are actively growing.  All plants need light, but some like more than others. Avoid putting any plant in direct bright sunlight, as this may scorch the leaves.  If you are going to re-pot your plant, and it has not filled the pot, then put it in a container of a similar size. If the roots are pushing out of the bottom, it is time to rehome it into a larger container. Don’t upsize more than by about 5cm.  “Don’t overwater succulents,” says Tracey Mathieson of Foxtail Lilly, who stocks a good selection of the plants in her barn shop. “They only need an occasional drink. The best way to water them is from the underneath, so put the water in the saucer not directly on to the plant. If you do, it may cause the plant to rot and it will die.”

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STATEMENT PLANTS Looking for something to create a feature? Go for one large plant with a dramatic, architectural shape. Kentia Palm (Howea Fosteriana) It has been popular since Victorian times and it’s not surprising, as this exotic palm has a fabulous shape, yet it’s so easy to look after. It should be kept away from radiators, but it won’t need a lot of watering during the winter. Even in spring and summer, you should let the compost dry out slightly between drinks. Clean its leaves regularly (you can stand it outside in the rain during the summer). Repot only when you can see the roots growing through the drainage holes. Care rating: EASY



Swiss Cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa) A 1970s favourite, this plant is having another moment in the limelight. Popular for its large, split leaves and jungly appearance, it brings personality to your living space. It likes a bright spot, a few feet from a window, but do avoid bright sunlight. It needs watering when the compost has dried out a little. This plant can grow tall, but it will only do do if the temperature is over 65 degrees F). Repot every spring when the plants are young. As it gets larger, the plant may need supporting with a cane. Care rating: MODERATE

 Invest in a misting spray, available at garden centres. Most houseplants need more humidity than the average centrally heated home provides, so they do need a moisture boost on their leaves. If your plant has brown tipped leaves, you’ll know that it needs extra humidity. The best time to mist is in the morning.  For a foolproof guide to caring for indoor plants, try How Not to Kill Your Houseplant by Veronia Peerless, published by Dorling Kindersley. Available from Oundle Bookshop.

Where to buy house plants Nurseries and garden centres offer specialist help, so if you’re unsure about what to choose, staff can advise. The Barn Garden Centre, Gunthorpe Rd, Peterborough PE4 7AD and Barnwell Rd, Oundle PE8 5PB The Walled Garden Centre, Elton Hall, Elton PE8 6SH Foxtail Lilly, 41 South Rd, Oundle PE8 4PB (open Weds to Sat only).

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Days Out

Explore Ely Just a short hop from Peterborough by train, the Fen city makes an easy and convenient day out



O matter where you choose to walk in Ely, you can see the Cathedral. It is located in the centre of the city, and as you stroll through the surrounding streets and parkland, you’ll catch glimpses of the spires. The West Tower is 65.5m tall, so it rises up dramatically from the flat Fenland landscape, it’s especially striking if you come into the city by rail. I spent a few hours exploring this compact city, crossing the Dean’s Meadow and Cherry Hill Park, following lanes, alley and cutthroughs, walking along by the Great Ouse river, taking in the busy little market in the central square, rummaging the in the antiques shops and having afternoon tea at the famous Peacocks tearoom. I arrived by train from Peterborough at the small station, and it’s an easy five minute walk into town. First stop was the lively little market, selling everything from cheese to household rugs, brushes, eggs and pies. The drawback of travelling by rail is that you can’t stock up on gorgeous bedding plants, but you could buy a selection of delicious cheeses, or an extremely stylish leather bag. There is a market every Thursday, with a Craft and Collectable market on Saturdays, and a Farmers Market every second and fourth Saturday. For details, visit www.elymarkets.co.uk There are plenty of individual shops in the high street, an increasingly rare sight now. I spotted no fewer than two independent bookshops. Topping & Company at 9 High Street (www.toppingbooks.co.uk) has a distinctive and charming blue frontage and enticing displays with a staggering 50,000 titles in stock. Browsing is encouraged, and complimentary coffee and tea is served. For gifts, The Eel Catchers Daughter at 28D High Street was a real find. Costume jewellery, homewares by Nkuku and great value bags and scarves were beautifully displayed in a building that was once part of Ely Cathedral school. For gorgeous cut flowers and tastefully displayed houseplants, Thyme, at 30 St Mary’s Street is an inspirational destination (www.elyflowers. co.uk). It smells beautiful, too! But above all, you simply can’t miss visiting the Cathedral and its precincts. The monastic buildings are some of the oldest inhabited in the country. See Prior Crauden’s Chapel with vaulted undercroft, and the infirmary buildings used by the monks. By the end of the 13th century, the Cathedral and its monastic



buildings were largely complete. It’s said that the stone used to build the Cathedral was paid for by the humble eel, which at that time was the currency of the Fens. The shallow waters were prime habitat for the slippery creatures and the Domesday book lists hundreds of watermills whose tenants who paid their rent with the fish in ‘sticks’ of five. The sense of history is strong and it’s a particularly atmospheric cathedral. I kept thinking I might catch sight of a hooded figure passing along one of the lanes.

CROMWELL WAS HERE! Oliver Cromwell famously shut the cathedral for 11 years. He also lived in Ely and his Grade II listed house in St Mary’s Street is now a tourist attraction. Cromwell inherited the house along with the title ‘Farmer of the Tithes’ which in modern parlance means the local tax collector. The house has retained many of its original features including some seventeenth century oak panelling and wall paintings. There are plenty of children’s activities if you are visiting with younger family members. Other than Hampton Court in London, it is the only remaining Cromwell residence (www. olivercromwellshouse.co.uk) Despite his role as a ruthless military leader (he ordered the execution of King Charles 1), Cromwell reportedly enjoyed a settled domestic and family life with his wife Elizabeth. Mrs Cromwell loved to cook with eels, and there’s a recipe for roasted ones outside on a metal seat. All this talk of food was making me hungry. I have tried smoked eel, and it is very good, but I was on the trail of cake in Peacocks Tearoom down by the river. It was lovely to step in from a chilly day to the smell of baking and home made soup in the glorious surroundings of a grade 2 listed house with a very pretty garden. This is a popular spot, regularly winning national awards, so you may have to queue for a short while but it is worth waiting. There’s a vast selection of special teas on the menu (from every continent in the world). I chose Mycroft, smoky and a little bit aromatic, to go with a savoury Welsh Rarebit and salad. Portion sizes were delicate, so a massive slice of coffee and walnut sponge rounded things off nicely. It’s lovely to wander by the river afterwards. The canal boats are settled in for winter, but it’s possible to take a short river boat tour. After refreshment, I browsed the excellent Waterside Antiques Centre next door (www.

watersideantiques.co.uk). With everything from rustic country style to elegant Georgian, vintage toys to kitchenalia, it’s a reasonably priced treasure trove. Then it was just a short stroll back to the station and time to go home. The Fens is a special place. I like its stark beauty, sense of mystery and huge skies. As its centrepiece, Ely has heart and soul, it’s far less crowded than Cambridge and it makes an excellent destination to wile away a few hours in any season. Fares to Ely cost £12.50 return from Peterborough station. The Tourist Information Centre is at Oliver Cromwell’s House, 29 St Mary’s Street, Ely CB7 4HF www.visitely.org.uk where a free map is available.




Out & About

From presidential satires to iconic opera... there’s a lot going on in February! Compiled by Rachel Andrews-Ingram

Trumpageddon Thursday 1 February Trumpageddon Kicking off the month with a fake-tanned nuclear bang is a critically acclaimed treat that – as the name suggests – takes the already hysterical media spectacle of Donald Trump and turns it into what The British Theatre Guide described as a ‘remarkable satiric performance’. Essentially this is an intimate audience-cum-political rally with a version of the man himself, where the audience can fire questions, discuss policy and even play golf with ‘The Donald’. A sell out even before he was president, this new run is sure to have sharper teeth now the real Trump is in the White House. £15, 7.30pm; The Broadway Suite, Peterborough www.broadway.today Travelling Wilburys Experience

Saturday 3 February Travelling Wilburys Experience They were one of the most super ‘supergroups’ of all time – Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, George Harrison and Tom Petty, as the fictional travelling family never performed live during their brief time together. This tribute show goes where the band

didn’t with convincing soundalikes for all five artists united in a working band in this unique production, which not only incorporates the story of the Wilburys but also explores the music of the five historymaking artists who made up its ranks. Part concert and part storytelling, the tour marks the 30th year since the band’s first critically-acclaimed album. £21.50; 7.30pm, Key Theatre, Embankment Rd, Peterborough PE1 1EF www.vivacity-peterborough.com

Thursday 8 February to Saturday 10th February Vinegar Tom In Oundle School’s production of Caryl Churchill’s atmospheric play, suspicions run rife in a 17th century rural commuinity. ‘Witch’ is the word on everyone’s lips – but is it witchcraft, or simply a convenient way to be rid of someone who doesn’t share your views? 7.45pm, £6; Stahl Theatre, Oundle PE8 4EJ www.oundleschool.org.uk/Stahl-Theatre

Sunday 4 February 4x4 and Vintage Spares Day Any off-road tinkerers or lovers of vintage vehicles better ring-fence this date in their diary. The place to talk, buy or sell all manner of components for Land Rovers and vintage 4x4 vehicles and tractors, this is the show’s first visit to Peterborough. Expect a heady dose of nostalgia and inspiration from owners of fascinating historic vehicles and the opportunity to talk shop with some of the UK’s top experts. From 9am; £6.50; The Pavilion Hall and Cattle Buildings, East Of England Showground, PE2 6XE

Sunday 11 February Katleris and Stonkus Something of a cultural coup for the Broadway theatre, Lithuania’s top stand-up comics Katleris and Stonkus are visiting Peterborough this month with their #ManTaiVienodai show. A rare opportunity to catch this top Eastern European act in the East of England delivering comedy in their own language – which will no doubt appeal to Peterborough’s thriving Lithuanian population. 5pm, £30-£45; Broadway Theatre, 40 Broadway, Peterborough PE1 1RT www.broadway.today

Wednesday 7 February Tosca Your chance to experience one of the greatest theatre epics of all time, broadcast live from London’s Royal Opera House. Tosca is one of the great thrillers by Puccini, set in Rome during 1800 when the city was under threat from Napoleonic invasion. All the ingredients are here: love, murder, suicide, torture and melodrama, all delivered with a hugely powerful score over three acts. Surely one of the best ways to take advantage of the blossoming live-broadcast phenomenon. £16.50; 7.15pm, Key Theatre, Peterborough PE1 1EF www.vivacity-peterborough.com

Monday 12 February Up ‘n’ Under A novel re-imagining of John Godber’s play about a woefully under-prepared pub rugby team on the verge of a big match. But theatre company Fingersmiths have inserted the plot twist that the team in question are deaf. The result, other than being hugely endearing and entertaining, is a show delivered with visual and physical storytelling accessible to both a hearing audience and those conversant with British Sign Language. A comedy retold with innovation and style by a criticallyacclaimed theatre company. 7.45pm, £16; Key Studio, Peterborough, PE1 1EF; www.vivacity-peterborough.com


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Out & About

The Fine Art of Punk and New Wave Ian Dury by Chalkie Davies

Wednesday 14 February Tim Vine Hailed for his puns, his eccentric homemade props, the sheer number of jokes he manages to cram into a set - and his famous big brother Jeremy – Time Vine’s UK tour visits the Cresset this month. He is also known for his incredible rate of jokes, so you’re sure to get your money’s worth –who could resist an evening with the man who once won the Edinburgh Fringe’s best joke with: “I decided to sell my Hoover... well, it was just collecting dust.” 8.00pm, £25; The Cresset, Bretton www.cresset.ticketsolve.com Thursday 22 February Griff Rhys Jones Actor, comedian, presenter, raconteur – with over 40 years in the business, this fellow has some stories to tell – and here he is in person to tell them, for his Where Was I? Tour. 8.00pm, £19.50; The Cresset, Bretton PE3 8DX www.cresset.ticketsolve.com Saturday 24 February Tree Planting Day With the Peterborough Environment City Trust you have the chance to do something enduring and amazing by helping them fulfil their aim of ‘a forest for Peterborough’ – essentially planting a tree for every man, woman and child living in the city. 100,000 trees have been planted to date with 1,200

tonnes of carbon offset – and it’s fun planting days like this that make it happen. Register with the project officer at simon.belham@ pect.org.uk or call 07715 372432 Free, 10.30am-4pm; Wittering Grange, Wansford, Peterborough,PE8 6NR www.pect.org.uk Sunday 25 February La Boheme A matinee performance beamed from the Metropolitan Opera in London, Franco Zeffirelli’s classic Parisian spectacle – the world’s most popular, no less – is sure to leave you breathless. When Rodolfo, a penniless poet, meets Mimì, a seamstress, they fall instantly in love. But their happiness is threatened when Rodolfo learns that Mimì is gravely ill. 2.30pm, £16.50; Key Theatre, Embankment Rd, Peterborough PE1 1EF www. vivacity-peterborough.com


2 March The Fine Art of Punk and New Wave An extensive UK tour of fine-art photographs hits the road, some 40 years after the birth of a music genre that shook the world.

The Peterborough Sycamore MINI showroom on Papyrus Road will be transformed into a stunning gallery featuring the work of New Musical Express (NME) photographers Chalkie Davies and Denis O’Regan who are responsible for some iconic shots of live performances and off-stage moments from this time. Either O’Regan or Chalkie Davies will be in attendance for a VIP ticket-holder-only Q&A session. The event runs from 7:30pm to 9pm for standard admission tickets, with VIP ticket holders gaining access from 6.30pm for a ‘Question and Answer’ session and private view. Debbie Harry Tickets: www. by Chalkie offbeatlounge.co.uk/ Davies artofpunk. 24 March Peterborough Comic Con Could there be a better time to be an aficionado of all things fantastic? From Stranger Things to Star Wars – via Guardians of the Galaxy and Game of Thrones – being a geek is officially cool, and the Comic Con is the ultimate feeding ground. Expect celebrity guests, props, collectables and, of course... comics. £16.50, 24 March, The Cresset cresset. ticketsolve.com/



Nene People Dagmar Price’s quirky shop - boheme in Wansford - celebrates our most cherished British designer Vivienne Westwood. Stocking men’s and women’s clothing, and accessories including bags, belts, scarves, ties and sunglasses, super-stylish Dagmar attracts customers to her shop from all over the country and she sells online too.

Dagmar Price, owner of boheme, Wansford Tell me how you came to have this beautiful shop! I started boheme in 2000, so it’s almost 18 years ago now. I felt that this beautiful Georgian building was ideal for selling Vivienne Westwood clothing and accessories. I did have a shoe shop previously in Northamptonshire and although I loved doing it, my heart was in clothing! Why did you choose Wansford? At the time I had no intention of opening another shop but after thinking about it, I just though to myself, why not give it a try? Wansford is a beautiful village with great amenities but it was really the building that sold the idea to me. I knew the owners and they wanted to sell, so that’s really how it came about. How did your love for Vivienne Westwood clothing begin? It started when my son Lee worked for her. I always thought of her as a Punk designer but then in the 1980s, her design influences expanded and developed. She went more towards using historical influences and that was more interesting for me. Her take on everything is what I think of as a “Vivienne” twist, and I love her clever use of beautiful fabrics. What is it about her designs that make her so special in your opinion? I love her tailoring and the tweeds, tartans, argyles and herringbones which she uses, they are such classic fabrics, which I personally have collected and worn over the years and which I am still wearing! What is your favourite piece of clothing in your wardrobe? I love all of her designs, they will never date because they are so unique. I do feel that Vivienne’s idea of buying well and buying less is a way of life I wish more would adopt. If you take care of good clothes, then they do last. Have you ever met her? I did meet Vivienne once when I used to go to the fashion shows in London when I sold the new seasonal collections, which I did for 15 years. I now mainly sell her vintage pre-loved pieces, and sometimes the new pieces too. Tell me a bit about your customers I’m very lucky, I have got lovely customers who come here from all over the country and who I think more of as friends. When they come to look, sometimes they buy and sometimes they don’t. It doesn’t matter to me, just to see them and play catch up is great. I would hate to think that anyone felt I’d talked them into buying anything they didn’t want. I also give honest opinions. If I felt something really didn’t look right, I would say so! Which other designers and designs do you admire? I like Keith Haring for his abstract design, David Hockney and also Moorcroft pottery, which is very tactile. I also love the idea of antique chairs upholstered with modern fabrics. What is your favourite local café or restaurant? In Wansford, we are really spoilt for choice. We have The Paper Mills Pub, The Wansford Country Lounge Café and Bar and The Haycock Hotel all on the doorstep. It’s brilliant! What else do you like about your village? We’re so lucky to have a shop with a post office, a health centre with a pharmacy and dentist, plus there is the VOW Bridal Gallery next door to me! It’s a great community here. 44


PORTRAIT: ELLI DEAN WORDS: SALLY STILLINGFLEET boheme - Drayton House, London Road, Wansford, PE8 6JD Tel 01780 784799. Open Tuesday – Sunday, 11am – 4.30pm. www.bohemeclothing.com

Dagmar’stop three weekend recommendations

1 3

I love to go to Burghley Park for a long walk.


I’d recommend popping into The Orangery at Burghley House for coffee and cakes or lunch.

A trip to Ferry Meadows is always on my list when my family visit.

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Quote Discount Code: NL17 to get 10% off your first treatment


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Telephone 01733 768839 Peterborough Hypnotherapy Clinic, 26 Priestgate, Peterborough City Centre. Free initial consultation www.curativehypnotherapy.com

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Saturday 3rd March 2018 9.30am-12.30pm

Northamptonshire’s leading independent day school for boys and girls aged 3-18

Open Day We invite you to experience the everyday magic of life at Wellingborough School. Meet the pupils, talk to staff and learn how your family could be a part of the Wellingborough School community. Scholarships and bursaries are available.

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www.wellingboroughschool.org 48

Profile for Best Local Living

Nene Living February 2018  

Nene Living February 2018