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ART AT HOME Open studios are back! GROW YOUR OWN SALADS Green fingered tips

THE GREAT OUTDOORS Picnics, barbecues and parties NVLAPRILCOVER copy.indd 1

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Nene Valley Living



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Unit 7 Orion Way, The Constellations, Kettering Business Park NN15 6NL Email: 22/5/13 12:58:24



This Issue JUNE 2013


ou don’t have to travel far to find some great entertainment in our region. Coming in July, we have the Willow Festival in Peterborough, great for live music and local bands, and the Levity Festival, which is bringing some top comedy names to Peterborough. Al Murray, Stephen K Amos and Richard Herring are all confirmed for this new event, taking place on July 19th -21st. Recently I saw Ian McCulloch from Echo and the Bunnymen in Corby, along with Ian Broudie of the Lightning Seeds at a new venue called The Zombie Hut. Keep an eye on it if you enjoy indie music as they are attracting some very interesting bands. I am not sure how happy Ian McCulloch was to find himself at such an intimate venue on a wet Friday night in the middle of Northamptonshire, but the audience certainly appreciated his undiminished talents. Between September 20 -28, look out for Michael Portillo and Germaine Greer, who will be speaking (separately!) at Peterborough’s second literary festival, We Love Words. For classical music lovers, leading local chamber group The Buonamici String Quartet will be performing a concert at St Mary the Virgin in South Luffenham, Rutland, on June 14th, 7.30pm. Four talented musicians will play a selection of pieces by Mozart, Haydn and Tchaikovsky in the stunning architectural setting of this 12th century church. Tickets are £10. Call 01780 720688 or purchase on the door. I think that probably covers something for every political and musical persuasion! Have a good month – and don’t forget our Facebook page! Just type in Nene Valley Living.

Fion a Cu mberpatch Editor

5 Editor’s selection

25 Health and beauty notes

7 Upfront

27 A better, brighter bathroom

Ideas for Father’s Day

A new toy shop for Thrapston

8 Upfront

A beautiful wedding fair

11 Upfront

Get active with Trek-Kits

13 Upfront

A summer cake recipe

15 Party in the garden Plus, win a John Lewis BBQ!

18 A ray of sunshine

Reflexology and infertility

The hardest working room in your home

31 Food News

Elton Furze Golf Club reviewed

32 Salad days

Grow your own fresh leaves

34 Free ranger

A day in the life of a country park warden

37 Diary dates

The pick of the month’s events

Olive Grove Nurseries expands

20 A passion for the countryside

Peterborough Artists Open Studios this month

22 Here comes summer Eye care in the sunshine months

Editor Fiona Cumberpatch Write to Nene Valley Living, PO Box 208, Stamford, PE9 9FY Advertisement Manager Bridget Steele 01733 707538 Advertisement Director Helen Walton 01780 754801 Head of Design Steven Handley Senior Designer Nik Ellis Advertising Copy Rachel Beecroft 01780 765320 Publisher Nicholas Rudd-Jones 01780 765571 Email: Published by Local Living Ltd, PO Box 208, Stamford, Lincs. PE9 9FY Printed by Warners of Bourne

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Editor’s selection


King for a Day mug, £2.50, Sainsburys, Bretton Centre, Peterborough


Ziggyology by Simon Goddard (Random House), to order from The Oundle Bookshop. A work of pop archaeology exploring David Bowie’s iconic alter ego.


Hat, £15, Marks and Spencer, Bridge Street, Peterborough.


Original chapatti board, £30, available from local business Sugden and Daughters, www.


Vintage locker room shelf, £60, from www. sugdenand

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Swimshorts, £19.50, Marks and Spencer, Peterborough

Folio bag, handmade locally by one of the last remaining case makers in England, and developed by young Oundle entrepreneur Raimonda Navickaite. 12” folio £185, 14” folio, £210. To purchase, visit NENE VALLEY LIVING JUNE 2013

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Advertisement Feature

Inheritance Tax

Inheritance Tax (IHT) can be very emotive. Whatever your views, prior planning can help in resolving family tensions or ensure that your wishes are fulfilled.


here are many opinions, you may take the view that you are fortunate enough (through hard work and planning) to be in a position where your estate is sufficient to pay the tax. You may want to do almost anything possible to reduce a tax you see as pernicious at best. Or you may believe that your beneficiaries should only inherit a limited amount and therefore reducing the estate they would receive is positive – generally the inheritance tax is reduced as a large proportion of the estate in these instances is often left to charity. It is important to decide where you stand and plan accordingly. Some of the following actions may be appropriate:• Leaving 10% of your estate to charity can help to reduce the inheritance tax rate on the remaining estate from 40% to 36%. • For those really wishing to reduce the tax and prepared to take a reasonably high level

of risk in so doing then investment into trading companies qualifying for business property relief can be considered. Holding these for 2 years can result in the value being outside of the estate for IHT – this is really for sophisticated investors with significant capital elsewhere. • Use your annual gift exemption of £3,000 per person, £250 small gift exemption and consider whether the gift from normal expenditure exemption (often ignored and can allow substantial gifts which are immediately exempt) is available. • Outright gifts – seeing your beneficiaries benefiting from your hard work during your lifetime can offer a high degree of satisfaction, you can help advise and guide the beneficiaries. Make sure that the gift is affordable in the long term! • The use of trusts – a wide range of trust solutions exist and can offer more control and some access to the creator of the trust whilst

conferring IHT benefits long term. • And firstly ensure that your wills are up to date and where appropriate lasting powers of attorney are in place. • As ever, you should not take any significant action without advice. If inheritance tax and estate planning are a concern then do call us on 01733 425818. Waveney McKenna Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority although not all of the services mentioned above may be so regulated.

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22/5/13 12:58:56


UpFront Cricket legends come to Stamford You’ve heard of The Ashes, now there is the Stamford Cinders 20/20 cricket match. On Friday 26th July, Stamford will be hosting the event, which pits the England Masters’ XI against the Australian Masters XI. Both teams, made up of former international cricketers are currently being assembled by DCR Events Ltd, organisers of the event under the guidance of ex-England player Dean Headley and the Professional Cricketers Association. They have already secured batsman Mark Ramprakash, along with other star players such as Gladstone Small, Phil DeFreitas, Paul Nixon, Alex Tudor and Neil Fairbrother, with other big names to follow. The game will be held on the Stamford School cricket ground, with entertainment provided for the whole family. For example, Leicester Tigers’ ‘the Maul’ and the ECB Cricket Factory road shows will be present on the day, running activities to keep children entertained. There will be beer tents provided by Bateman’s, supported by Fosters, and a Bulmers sampling tent. Rumour has it that the main sponsor, the Sytner Group have will be displaying five very special cars on the day. Dean Headley, cricket professional at Stamford School said: “The Stamford Cinders match will be this summer’s ‘alternative Ashes’ and I am really looking forward to welcoming back many of my former team mates and rekindling our rivalry against the former Aussies.” Tickets are on sale via If you would like to get involved as a sponsor, supplier or advertiser, contact DCR Events, email

Get in touch with wildlife

Wildlife Trust events at Irthlingborough Lakes and Meadows this June: The Big Lunch, Sunday 2nd June, 12 -3pm. Bring a picnic and celebrate the national Big Lunch campaign with the Wildlife Trust. Fun and family friendly wildlife crafts and activities available. Free, no booking needed. Contact, tel 01604 405285 for more info. Greenway Day, Saturday 29th June, 10.30am – 12.30pm. Stop off for some wildlife crafts and activities to launch the new Greenway across the site. Other activities will be taking place to promote the Greenway route through Higham Ferrers and Rushden. For info, contact Karen Williams, East Northamptonshire Council on 01832 742064.

New toy shop for Thrapston Charlotte Croser is already running Jollys Toys and Games as a successful online business, but now she has opened a shop in Thrapston too. Jollys will be a funky and affordable emporium of fun toys suitable for all ages. Charlotte, from Barnwell, previously worked in children’s retail in London, and she’s putting the emphasis on well priced stock, suitable for birthday presents and pocket money treats. Fun features include an in-store pocket money ‘bar’, and a party bag service. Gift wrapping is free. Jollys is opposite Barclays Bank in Thrapston, and you can visit and order online at .



Are you about to become a first time employer? Kerry Hilliard of accountancy firm Stephenson Smart & Co offers the following advice Once you’ve found the right person to employ, you must check that they have a right to work in the UK, you might also have to do other checks depending on the job role that you are looking to fill. If you are employing someone for a month or more, then you will need to give them a written statement of employment within the first two months. Amongst other things, this should include their job description, salary (by law you must pay your employees the National Minimum Wage), hours, notice period and holiday entitlement. Before you pay your employee, you will need to register as an employer with HM Revenue & Customs and set up a PAYE scheme. You are responsible for calculating and deducting PAYE and National Insurance contributions and paying them over to HMRC on behalf of the employee. Employers are also now responsible for reporting PAYE information to HMRC in real time – you must send certain information to HMRC electronically every time that you pay an employee at the time that you pay them. You can choose to run the payroll yourself or ask an accountant or payroll bureau to run it for you. As an employer, there are other requirements that you need to comply with, such as health and safety, maternity and paternity leave, working hours, sick pay and disciplinary procedures. Most employers will also need to ensure that they have employers liability insurance. For more information on payroll services contact Stephenson Smart & Co. Tel: 01733 343275 or visit


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UpFront The Essential Weddings Show at Burghley 2013 Sunday 10th November 10am to 4pm

Getting married in 2014? Look no further than the region’s leading wedding show. Essential Weddings at Burghley is now in its sixth successful year and brings together the best the region has to offer, from milliners and cake makers to exquisite dresses and fabulous floristry; the show has everything you need to plan your day. The show features a stunning wedding fashion showcase in one of the region’s most exclusive locations with more than 70 other exhibitors spread throughout Burghley House, which offers a relaxing environment to discuss and plan the most important aspects of your day with the region’s foremost exhibitors. There is a limited number of stands still available, contact Holly Cammarata-Hall at Burghley on 01780 761992 for your opportunity to share in this exciting event. Tickets are available to purchase now at special discount prices, so book now at

A school of choice The move from primary to secondary school can be an exciting yet daunting prospect for parents and students alike. Every year, Bourne Grammar School welcomes applicants from primary schools that, following its recent expansion, include Bourne, Stamford, The Deepings and Peterborough. Having achieved a qualifying score in the 11+ test, these students join a thriving school community where excellence in teaching, academic achievement, pastoral support and encouragement to fulfil potential are at the heart of what is offered. As one of the top performing selective secondary schools in Lincolnshire with a high demand for places, Bourne Grammar recently expanded its year seven. With more places on offer, the school has invested in modern new facilities, including a new Systems and Control and Computing building, The Turing Centre, with additional classrooms for the growing number of students. Subject choice is a high priority and Bourne Grammar is quick to take the initiative, introducing emerging GCSE subject options such as Computer Science from September 2013. Every student is given the best possible chance to become a well qualified and well rounded individual with the skills, experience and confidence for a successful future. Extra-curricular sports, music, drama and subject related clubs all add to school life. Exciting school trips are a regular feature of school life across all year groups and those with special interests and talents can take part in inter-school competitions. The school is hosting an open evening on Tuesday June 27th from 5.30pm-9pm to which current year five students and their parents are warmly invited. For more information, visit or email admissions@

Author Rosie Thomas in Oundle Best selling author Rosie Thomas comes to Oundle on June 21st 2013. She will be talking about her latest book, The Cashmere Shawl, and how her love of travel and adventure has inspired much of her writing. Rosie travelled extensively for her new book, following the same route as the ancient pashmina trade, crossing the Himalayas from Ladakh to the Vale of Shrinigar in Kashmir. 7.30pm. Tickets are £7 from Oundle Box Office on 01832 274734 or online at www. All proceeds go to HEAL, a registered charity which is committed to providing shelter, support, education and healthcare for over 1000 children in India.


A summer pud from The Crown, Elton

Chef Marcus Lamb shows you how to make Baileys crème brûlée, an indulgent treat from his new menu You’ll need: 8 egg yolks Two whole eggs 180g caster sugar 800ml double cream A load of brown sugar A generous glug of Baileys Irish Cream A blow torch Method: Pre-heat the oven to 100 degrees centigrade. Take a bowl and start beating your egg yolks and whole eggs. Add the caster sugar. Next, whisk the mixture, but go easy, because we don’t want lots of bubbles. Just use a hand whisk. Now gently add the double cream, stirring as you go. Now for a generous glug of Baileys. Stir, then pour your mixture into ramekins and pop them on to a baking tray and into the oven. They will take about an hour to cook, but you need to look after them by gently rocking the tray every now and then during cooking to stop them burning. When the centre of each one has set, remove from oven and cool. Now put a generous heap of brown sugar on each ramekin, shake for an even covering. Using a kitchen blow torch, run the flame across the surface of each brûlée, not too close to the sugar. You want a nice even brown sparkling colour. Enjoy on its own, or with a nice dessert wine. Allez crème brûlée! As we say in Elton. or call 01832 280232


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23/5/13 14:35:54

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23/5/13 10:26:28


UpFront Spotlight on Australia Planning a holiday to Australia may seem daunting but Oundle Travel is a designated Aussie Specialist for 2013, as recommended by the Australian Tourist Board. Itineraries can include smaller hotels, rail journeys, car hire and prebookable excursions, such as a Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb. For indulgence and luxury, try the coastal resorts on the eastern seaboard. Both Sydney and Melbourne are vibrant state capitals and make perfect bases for exploration. Queensland stretches up to the tropics, where hydrofoils from Cairns and Port Douglas take you to snorkel or dive amongst the marine life on the Great Barrier Reef. The must-see northern rainforests – Mossman Gorge in the World Heritage –listed Daintree National Park and the area around Kuranda are easily reached from Cairns and Port Douglas. Alice Springs is Australia’s most famous outback township. Today you can explore the area’s rich history and heritage from Uluru – Ayers Rock to the nearby Olgas, to King’s Canyon and the amazing landscape of the Watarrka National Park. Oundle Travel is also able to arrange flights only, if you wish to visit friends and family. For more information, contact Oundle Travel on 01832 273600.

Vintage and handmade The Tilly Rose Vintage Workshop and Craft Studio has been established at Hill Farm Chesterton since 2011, offering a range of workshops in quilting, crochet, felting, knitting, patchwork and weaving. Now Karen Tibbett, who runs the business, is expanding to provide some new features, including a beautiful haberdashery shop, selling new and vintage items. “I have sold handmade goodies before, but now I am offering ribbons, trims, fat quarters and buttons for people to use in their own creations,” says Karen. “I source lots of my items at French flea markets and hope to offer something really unique.” In June, Karen will also be running some mini master classes on Fridays, 9.30am-10.30am where you can learn to put in a zip, use bias binding, perfect button holes and learn embellishing techniques. This is held just before the popular Sewing Café, where visitors can hire a machine and work alongside other crafters, with Karen on hand to give advice. The Tilly Rose Vintage Workshop and Craft Studio is open Thursdays to Saturdays, 10am4pm. Classes must be pre-booked. The Barn, Hill Farm, Chesterton, Oundle Rd, Peterborough PE7 3UA Tel: 01733 768594 email There is also a Facebook page.

What to do this weekend? Exciting developments are now taking place at Trek-Kits at Oundle Wharf. From humble beginnings five years ago supplying local schools with Duke of Edinburgh Award Expedition Kit, Trek-Kits has developed into an activity centre offering a range of exciting adventures. The kayak and canoe fleet has grown to include open Canadian style canoes, suitable for two adults and two children. Kids’ parties are available, combining canoeing with bushcraft, and there are also camping and canoeing packages. Working closely with Nene Valley Brewery on the Wharf, Trek-Kits even offer Paddle and a Pint packages! Expeditions are available further afield. Qualified leaders can take you to any mountain in the UK for a mountaineering or rock climbing experience. The shop on site continues to thrive and the option of renting walking boots is still popular, especially for Duke of Edinburgh award participants, for whom a 15 per cent discount is available. So, no excuse to be a couch potato this summer. Get down to Trek-Kits! Purchase of equipment is available online at

An amicable divorce By Baljit Bem, Metcalf Copeman and Pettefar Solicitors, Peterborough The reduction in legal aid for family matters has been widely discussed in the news throughout 2012. A direct consequence of this is that many couples are now seeking a ‘quickie’ divorce without giving any thought to their financial affairs. We advise clients that there should be full and frank financial disclosure from both parties so that a fair financial agreement can be reached. If the parties are able to agree on a clean break (where all the financial claims one against the other are dismissed for the future and on death) then this can be incorporated into a consent order which is filed at Court once the preliminary order (known as the Decree Nisi) has been pronounced. What most people do not realise is that financial claims can remain open even after the Decree Absolute has been pronounced. Whilst you may not have many assets now, have you thought about what would happen in the future if you came into an inheritance or even won the Lottery? If you have not already remarried then your ex-spouse may have some claim on that money. Divorcing or separating couples should therefore deal with their finances before obtaining their final order (known as the Decree Absolute). There are also certain advantages to remaining married until there is a financial order in place. If you fail to do so and problems later arise, your solicitor will need to unravel all of your financial affairs, with potentially significant legal costs. If your financial situation is straightforward, a simple order can be drafted before the divorce is finalised at relatively little cost to you. For more information, contact Baljit Bem on 01733 865883 or email


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23/5/13 14:36:47

Smiths at No 4 Cafe-Bar At the Heart of the Community

Vintage workshop & craft studio Craft Workshops Vintage Haberdashery & Craft Kits Sewing Café Children’s ‘Craft & Create’ Sessions Gorgeous Range of Handmade Designs & Gifts

handmade, vintage & shabby loveliness Open Thur – Sat 10am – 4pm

Warm & welcoming family run Cafe-Bar offering light meals all day from an eclectic menu. A relaxed place for meeting friends and family, in comfortable surroundings.

The Barn, Hill Farm, Chesterton, Oundle Road, Peterborough, PE7 3UA - Tel: 01733 768594 - Email:

We Cater for Wo

rking Lunches, Picnics, ings. Live Music Nights Private Function Room Hire

Parties & Wedd

Beautiful cakes to complement your own style.

For the chance to win Lunch for 2 including either a Bottle of Wine to Share or 2 Soft Drinks each; Please ‘Like and Share’ our Page on by 30 June. The Draw will take place on 1 July and the Winner will be notified through .G .Good Luck!

handcrafted sugarflowers hand painted cakes delicious flavour menu for a free consultation and tasting call 01832 272573

Smiths at No 4 Café-Bar, 4 North Street, Oundle, Peterborough, PE8 4AL, 01832 270011,,

THE OLD BARN WADENHOE Set in the beautiful village of Wadenhoe • Light Lunches & Set 2 Course Daily Special • Afternoon Tea - Home Made Cakes & Preserves • Inside & Outside Seating

Luxury Afternoon Tea £12pp

GIFTS • IRONWORK • CRAFTS • PLANTS SHRUBS • BAY TREES • OLIVE TREES Theme nights once a month. Booking essential

• Italian Banquet on 29th June

• Book Lunch for Father’s Day - Sun 16th June

Large Selection of Summer Bedding Plants Lemon Drizzle & Black Forrest Hanging Baskets - Pre - order available

Open 7 days a week 9.30am - 5.30pm

All enquires welcome, please call:

01832 721129 12

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UpFront Nene Valley Living

From the Riverford Kitchen… At Riverford our aim to make fresh, seasonal organic food available to everyone. Three years ago, we launched our Riverford Cooks campaign to inspire people to cook from scratch using a veg box. Our local Riverford cook, Diana Burke, is based at our farm in Sacrewell. As well as keeping the farm team well fed, Diana works across the region helping communities to get cooking. Here is her recipe for a summery cake which will serve 12 people. Rhubarb, orange, pistachio and cardamom cake • 150g light brown sugar • 250ml sunflower oil, plus a little for greasing • 3 eggs • 1 tablespoon orange flower water (optional) • Zest of one orange • Seeds from 12 cardamom pods • Half teaspoon ground ginger • 300g self raising flour • 350g rhubarb, cut into 1cm pieces • 80g pistachios, finely chopped, plus extra for topping (optional) For the icing • 250g mascarpone or cream cheese • 50g icing sugar, sifted • Zest of one orange • 1 tbspn lemon juice Method: Grease a 20cm cake tin and line with baking parchment. In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, eggs and oil. Stir in the orange flower water, zest, cardamom seeds and ginger. Fold in the flour. Stir in rhubarb and pistachios. Pour into the tin and even it out. Bake at 180 degrees centigrade for one to one and a quarter hours or until a skewer comes out clean. Keep an eye on it as it cooks and cover with foil if it is turning too brown. Turn out on a wire rack and cool. To make the icing, beat the marscapone, icing sugar, orange zest and lemon juice. Spread over the top and sides of the cake once it has cooled completely. Sprinkle over some chopped pistachios, if using. To order your Riverford box, call 01780 789700




miths at No.4 in Oundle is more than just a quick coffee stop. The hub of the Oundle community, owners Alan and Anna Smith are open six days a week, offering teas, cakes and light lunches, and they also run a successful catering business from the café. It is a great meeting place, with a mix of sofas and informal seating which is just as welcoming for the lone visitor as it is for groups having a business meeting or a get together. We visited for lunch. The menu changes regularly, and focusses on deli treats, as well as soup, sandwiches and jacket potatoes with various fillings. Alison opted for the vegetarian Grazing Platter, which included small dishes of hummus, olives, feta cheese, sundried tomatoes, stuffed peppers, grilled vegetables and toast triangles. Fiona had the local pork pie with home made coleslaw, pickles, peppers and salad, while I chose the fish platter, an open sandwich topped with herring and smoked salmon, tuna stuffed peppers, anchovies and salad. All of platters were colourful and appetising, and service was prompt and very friendly. There were obviously plenty of regulars in the house, and the atmosphere is extremely welcoming. There’s a good selection of home made cakes: we chose a slice of Bakewell tiffin and a wedge of flapjack to enjoy with our (excellent) cappuccinos. On a sunny day, you can sit outside at a pavement table and watch the world go by. It’s also worth checking Smith’s Facebook page regularly as they are currently running a series of events. On Saturday June 8th, for example, former Peterborough MP Lord Brian Mawhinney will be signing copies of his new autobiography. On Friday 21st June, Matt Carter is playing live and acoustic. Bridget Steele Smiths at No 4, 4 North Street, Oundle PE8 4AL Tel: 01832 270011

organic meat reared to the highest standards Riverford farmer Geoffrey Maddever

01780 789700



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We would like to thank Mr and Mrs Burborough who kindly allowed us to photograph thier new Hurford & Tebbutt kitchen

Simple, stylish and great value…

Our new timeless kitchen collections are available in Natural Oak and painted finishes Kitchens are individually designed for you and offer outstanding value

“The work was carefully planned and carried out in a very professional way. Mr Hurford took a keen interest and his fitter was efficient and friendly.” Peterborough client, March 2013

visit our showroom 17-18 Fenlake Business Centre Fengate Peterborough PE1 5BQ 01733 561991

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Party in the garden

PHOTOS: Marks and Spencer

Make the most of our fleeting summer with these ideas for outdoor entertaining. Words: Fiona Cumberpatch


This year, primary colours are hot for garden furniture: try John Lewis for brightly coloured bistro style tables and chairs (around £139 for a table, £80 for two chairs). If you prefer a more classic look, Dobbies have a vast selection of styles: we liked their French style white metal work garden seat for around £125. Local business The Barn Garden Centre is a popular destination for well priced garden furniture, or try Van Hage at Peterborough Garden Park and The Olive Grove Nurseries (see feature on page 18). For decorative touches, try Asha’s in Oundle for fun cushions made from coffee sacks, ideal for garden benches. Foxtail Lilly, Oundle is great for country style zinc tubs, one off vintage pieces and country garden plants, four for £10. If you’re having a party and need a marquee, or a dance floor, local company Kit or Caboodle can help. They can plan a complete party for you, but if you prefer, you can just hire a tent and furniture. NENE VALLEY LIVING JUNE 2013

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Stay warm

If you want to warm up on those chilly evenings, a traditional Mexican clay chiminea will keep you toasty and it’s perfect for grilling foods to get an authentically smoky flavour. They come in a range of designs and colours. Alternatively, a fire pit is an attractive source of heat as the temperature goes down. Available from www.greensquares., and Lambs, St Peter’s Street, Stamford.

Eating outside

Garden makeover

Spruce up garden furniture with a coat of paint. Cuprinol’s Garden Shades comes in a range of pretty colours, such as Sweet Pea pink. From £13.98 a litre at B&Q. You can also overhaul your decking with Ultra Tough Decking Stain. For a quick fix, chalk paint is easy to apply, needs minimal preparation and gives a French style feel to wooden furniture (although it sticks to any surface). Foxtail Lilly, Oundle, now sells Authentico chalk paints in a range of subtle shades. For rusty metal furniture which needs a facelift, try a spray paint. Wilkinsons, Stamford and Peterborough, stocks the PlastiKote range, around £10 for 400ml. Get creative with planters and containers. Old tea pots (try car boot sales and charity shops) make pretty planters, you’ll need to use a tile drill bit to make a few drainage holes in the base before you plant. Arrange in a group for the best effect. You can also adapt vintage tins, or old watering cans.

Find the look

Ready for the summer months, Riverford has launched a new organic barbecue range featuring RSPCA award winning free range meat, as well as halloumi cheese, summer vegetables, sauces, drinks and desserts. Riverford’s bbq meat boxes start at £19.95. The meat boxes are full of easy to cook organic cuts. Salad boxes start at £12.45 and include seven salad items, such as lettuce, leaves, cucumber and tomatoes. Riverford helps you to know where you stand with your food. Meat can be traced back to the small farm it came from, giving you peace of mind and no surprises. The full bbq range, along with recipe suggestions, can be found at or for more information call 01780 789700. Tip: For the bbq, buy the best sausages you can afford. Our top choices are from: Seven Wells family butchers, Oundle, Trendalls, Oundle and RG and S Mould, Nassington.

Win! A £145 Weber Barbeque from John Lewis, Peterborough, for Father’s Day

At John Lewis there is a BBQ to suit all budgets, from the economical £29 House Portable Kettle Barbecue to the top of the range £5,999 Weber Summit S670 Grill Centre with Social Area for those optimistic souls wanting to dine outside with friends for the entire summer! What better gift could there be on Father’s Day than a BBQ, a chance for your Dad to show off his brilliance at cooking sausages over a naked flame to family applause? John Lewis Peterborough is offering the chance to win the brilliant Weber One Touch Original Charcoal Barbecue, 47cm wide, in spring green, valued at £145. Just answer these two questions: a) At what price does the range of BBQs offered by John Lewis begin? b) What makes your Dad so special, in not more than 140 characters? The recipient of the prize must be a father. Please email giving the answer to your questions, your name, email address, mobile and the name of your nominated dad and your relationship to him (e.g partner, daughter, son). Closing date for entries is the end of the day on June 10th 2013. Prize will be available to collect from John Lewis that week, just in time for Father’s Day. The winning entry will be published on Twitter and the NVL Facebook page.

The Barn Garden Centre, Paston Parkway, Peterborough PE3 7AD and Barnwell Rd, Oundle, PE8 5PB Tel 01832 273310 Van Hage Garden Centre, Peterborough Garden Park, Peterborough PE1 4YZ Tel: 01733 221400 Foxtail Lilly, 41 South Rd, Oundle Tel: 01832 274593 Kit or Caboodle Tel: 01536 330166 or visit



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A ray of sunshine The Olive Grove Nurseries, near Polebrook, Oundle, has just added a new interiors shop to the deli, coffee shop and gelateria already on site. Co-owner Jackie Thackeray tells Fiona Cumberpatch how she and her husband Tim have grown a business during a recession

Jackie and Tim Thackeray


n paper, it sounds unlikely. A Mediterranean plant nursery in the middle of the Northamptonshire countryside, which launched during the wettest summer and coldest winter on record. Yet four years on, owners Jackie and Tim Thackeray have a success on their hands. “Over bank holiday weekend, our main car park and the overspill were full, and there were vehicles parked on the verges outside. The courtyard was packed with people enjoying a coffee or a cold beer in the sunshine. I walked through and I thought to myself, this is ours, we’ve put this together,” says Jackie. “It is hard work keeping it all going, of course it is, but it’s paying off.” “It was just Tim and I to start with, we now have 15 staff during the summer season,” says Jackie. “We’d run businesses before, and we both have a corporate backgrounds in sales and marketing. But it was after I lost my Dad that I changed my perception of life, and I felt that I wanted to get out of the rat race. Then Tim lost his Dad and felt the same, so we decided to do something about it.” The couple ran a holiday lodge business in Suffolk, but they didn’t enjoy it and soon sold up, moving to France for six weeks, and staying for three years. “We travelled around Europe, got bored and decided to come home and create a lifestyle business. That’s what this is: our customers are our friends. We don’t need to go out and socialise because it all happens here. Although admittedly, sometimes it feels more


like a life sentence than a lifestyle,” deadpans Jackie. The coffee shop and deli are a core part of the business. The original idea was to expand the deli into a larger building, but then came the news that a new Waitrose store is to open in nearby Oundle at Christmas 2013. “When we heard, we knew we could never compete,” says Jackie. “So we had to change our plans. The more we thought about it, the more an interiors shop seemed like a natural addition to what we have. It gives our customers a destination, because let’s face it, once you’ve bought a big olive tree, you probably won’t be wanting another one!”

The quirky home The large shop stocks a huge range of items for the home, from cushions and candle holders, to cute kitchen signs, teak root furniture and some large shiny floor standing elephants. “It is different, and it is a bit mad. But we’ve sold two giant crocodiles and three giraffes this week already, so I think people do appreciate something that you can’t find in John Lewis,” laughs Jackie. “Even if you don’t like plants, you could come here for a half day, have a coffee, a look round, buy a gift, and then get some lunch. It’s about getting our existing customers to come back, so there is always something new and different to see.” Items are sourced from all over the world: the famous outdoor crocodiles and giraffes

are made from recycled oil drums in Kenya, for example. “The temptation is to buy only what you like, but we’ve had to make ourselves think about what will sell, and what will appeal to others,” says Jackie. So far, trading has been promising. “Our first month was April and we smashed our target,” says Jackie. “We’re now a quarter of the way through May and we’re well on the way to breaking this month’s target as well, so we’re very happy.” Customer relations are an essential part of the business and something the couple clearly work tirelessly to build. “It has been a difficult time with the economy, but I think it’s up to you, the individual, to make the future brighter,” suggests Jackie. “You have to keep growing, keep changing, and give off a positive vibe. We try to get this attitude to rub off on our staff and they are like-minded now, too. This year, for example, our coffee shop has really come into its own.” The sun shines obediently on the courtyard with its paved areas, olive trees and bright pebbled areas a direct contrast to the rolling fields which surround it. “On a bright day, where else in this area could you feel like you’re sat in the Med?” asks Jackie. It’s hard to disagree. • Olive Grove Nurseries, Oundle Rd, Polebrook, Northamptonshire, PE8 5LQ Tel: 01832 275660 www.olivegrovenurseries. Open Tuesday – Saturday 10am-5pm, Sundays 11am – 4pm. Closed Monday.


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OLIVE GROVE_Olive Grove 04/03/2013 08:57 Page 1

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THE JUNGLE AREA - has exotic plants, palm trees, ferns, grasses, pots, stunning statues and Teak Root Furniture. THE HOME INTERIORS COLLECTION - captures the beauty of the earthy colours of the Mediterranean which are reflected in an extensive interiors furnishings and gifts collection!


Open 6 days a week Tue - Sat 10am till 5pm (Sun 11am till 4pm)


• NVL june ADS.indd 19

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A passion for the countryside As Peterborough artists prepare to open their studios, homes and gardens to public view this month, Sue Dobson meets a printmaker, a potter and a painter who are inspired by nature

Sue Shields


eterborough Artists’ Open Studios (PAOS) was born when artist and printmaker Sue Shields moved to Peterborough from Brighton, where ‘open studios’ was a popular annual event. Keen to contact other artists in the city, she opened her own home one weekend, to see if there was any interest in starting something similar. Now in its 13th year, PAOS has grown to become an essential diary date in the region. On three weekends this month, more than 70 artists and craftspeople will be exhibiting their work in 27 venues across the city and in surrounding villages. Sue will be opening her house as usual this year, but she’ll also be spending time, along with fellow artists Anita Bruce and Julie Reid, occupying a hut at Swaddywell Pit nature reserve near Helpston to reveal site-specific artwork, drawings and sketchbooks, the result of the group’s two-year residency with the Langdyke Countryside Trust. For those who visit, it will be an interesting introduction to these artists’ interpretations of the reserve. “A girdle of limestone cliffs frames Swaddywell, hiding it from the open road. Although heavily polluted in the past, it is now an oasis filled with wild flowers,” Sue explains. “Large shallow pools of water are surrounded by tall grasses and reed which ebb and flow in the breeze. The reserve fosters a sense of


a hideaway or haven and is full of constantly changing colour. “My work explores current attitudes to nature, proposing that our conservation of it resembles a quest for solace and salvation, overriding the harshness of the environmental pressures and pollution we impose on the land.” Time spent at Swaddywell has led her to delve into textile art, developing a series of conceptual maps of stitches that explore the area’s textures and land patterns. “These new works have begun to inform both my painting and prints,” she says. At the end of their time as artists-inresidence, there are plans for a group show. It’s going to be a busy year. Sue is taking part in Fresh Take, a contemporary art residency programme with an autumn exhibition at Burghley House and is also working towards Landed, her solo exhibition at Peterborough’s City Gallery at the end of November. Reflecting her lifelong relationship with both landscape and nature, she describes it as “A pilgrimage to a land full of wonder struggling for survival; but ultimately sacred and beautiful.”

Stylish pottery It hardly seems possible that three years ago Kathryn Parsons was teaching City and Guilds courses at Peterborough Regional

College, decorating wedding cakes and winning competitions in sugarcraft. When a colleague suggested she try working in clay, “it lasts longer”, little did she realise that a mere 18 months into her new career in ceramics, Kathryn’s work would be selected for a mixedmedia exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. “Much as I enjoyed teaching, I wanted something more art-based and to use my own ideas and response to things around me,” Kathryn says. “I found a fine clay, started experimenting and spent months with Rob Bibby at Woodnewton Pottery, learning about firing and glazing and coming to understand the technical side. I’ve just got my own kiln, which is very exciting. Now all I need is a garden shed for a studio. At the moment I’m still working in my small kitchen!” Favouring gentle colours and working in earthenware to create pieces inspired by nature and a sense of place, Kathryn’s plates, dishes and vases are constructed using small pieces of earthenware that are shaped by hand, then joined to create the desired form. Some of her most intricate bowls are made of over a hundred tiny pieces. It is a technique she has developed herself and each piece of pottery she creates is unique. For her jewellery, she uses leaves, flowers


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Kathryn Parsons

Charron Pugsley-Hill

and seedheads from her garden to imprint the clay with a design, which is then kiln fired, hand painted, glazed and fired again. The garden at the John Clare Cottage at Helpston is a source of inspiration, too, and she makes exclusive jewellery for sale there. “I want to create beautiful objects that capture and evoke something of the essence and uniqueness of a place. I love being by the sea. On the Kent coast, the old forts, breakwaters and windswept shingle beaches fascinated me. In Wales the beach flowers and hillside trees were shapes I could simplify and turn into a design. The drive over to Woodnewton, among trees and fields, has translated into tall, straight-sided vases.” A member of Anglian Potters, Kathryn has exhibited in Peterborough, Cambridge, Oakham, Leicester and Stamford and, like Sue Shields, is one of the six artists selected for Fresh Take at Burghley House. “I’m so thrilled about that project. I’m visiting the house often, talking to the guides, finding out about its history. It’s great fun and such a privilege.”

Brilliant colour Charron Pugsley-Hill’s big, bold and brilliantly colourful canvases reflect her outgoing personality and lifelong passion for the countryside. Her career as an urban

conservationist working for English Nature and Natural England included developing a wildlife strategy for the Greater Peterborough area and leading the fight to protect the habitat of great crested newts in Hampton. “I’d always liked crafts and still enjoy ceramics and making jewellery, but not being particularly good at drawing, I didn’t think I could paint. Then a couple of years ago while we were on holiday in Cornwall, I bought one of Caroline Walker’s quirky cow paintings and suddenly realised that I didn’t have to paint accurate representations; I could paint instinctively from my mind and heart. It inspired me to go out and buy big tubes of brightly coloured acrylics and big canvasses and just paint what came into my head.” The result was her first meadow painting, a theme she enjoys expanding on in myriad ways. “I love wildflower meadows,” she explains, “and I still work spontaneously. I don’t plan what I’m going to paint or the colours I’m going to use, I just let myself go and see what happens!” Whether it’s a fun portrait of Poppy, her beloved cockerpoo known locally as “the artist’s dog”; Gertrude the fluorescent orange cow, or vibrant shades shimmering against her trademark wide, blue, swirly circle skies, Charron’s cheerful work is guaranteed to make the viewer smile.

She is also making it available inexpensively to everyone because, as well as limited edition prints, her paintings can be found on cards, notebooks, pens, bags and bone china mugs. Soon there’ll be cushion covers – an international textile company currently has five of her designs in production – and there are options for bed linen and limited edition china plates. “I want everything to be good quality, but affordable,” she says. Charron also makes extremely good cakes, which she’ll be sharing with visitors during all three weekends of Open Studios. • Peterborough Artists’ Open Studios 2013 takes place over the weekends 8th and 9th, 15th and 16th, and 22nd and 23rd June. Entry is free and there’s no obligation to buy. The free PAOS Directory is available at the Visitor Information Centre and at Art in the Heart, both on Bridge Street, Peterborough, and local libraries. The interactive website gives artists’ details, maps and opening hours: NENE VALLEY LIVING JUNE 2013

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It’s finally summer! Which sunglasses should I buy? What’s the difference between a £10 sunglass and a £100 sunglass? Is it safe to buy them on the internet? Can I get my sunglass lens with my prescription? Dispensing Optician Emma Woolner and Optometrist Gerry Sondh at The Oculist Opticians in Westgate Arcade, Peterborough answer your questions about summer eye care Which sunglasses should I buy? The most important thing to look for when buying your sunglasses is the CE marking. This will ensure that the lenses provide 100% UV protection. The sunglasses frame fit is also essential to ensure that the harmful rays don’t pass around a poor fitting frame and into your eyes. Have a think about what you primarily are using the sunglasses for and then decide. For sports – choose wrap around For driving – choose polarised For fashion –anything goes!

What’s the difference between £10 sunglasses and £100 sunglasses? Frame quality - The £100 sunglass frame will be fully adjustable. The Oculist Opticians fit every sunglass before you leave with them and offers an aftercare service for the lifetime of your sunglass. Lens quality - The £100 sunglass frame will provide better optical image quality across the lens. Most will provide a wider band of UV protection and have a special coating on the inside of the lens to reduce reflections in to the eye. Your £100 sunglass will come with a full manufacturing warranty for at least one year.

Is it safe to buy sunglasses on the internet? Yes and no. The fake market has become highly sophisticated so always buy them from a reputable supplier. Buying from a specialist like The Oculist means that you receive expert advice on the fit – a sunglass that doesn’t fit properly will be uncomfortable and can feel heavy. You wouldn’t know this until you have worn them, and then it’s too late to return them to the online supplier. Glare when driving


Can I get my sunglass lens with my prescription? Absolutely, there are very few designs which are not prescription compatible. Most people think that it is not possible to have large or wrap-around sunglasses with their prescription, but this is not the case. We have a sophisticated range of lenses to suit every need and prescription. Single vision, bifocal and varifocal – no problem Pop in to see Gerry or Emma for a sunglass consultation. • The Oculist, 24 Westgate Arcade, Peterborough, PE1 1PY 01733 555621 Polarised lenses for driving


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THE PRACTICE INDEPENDENT boutique opticians in Peterborough’s Westgate Arcade. A fantastic collection of frames from mainstream brands and specialist engineered frame designers. Rimless, lightweight, retro, geek sheek you decide. The Oculist specialises in wrap-around prescription eyewear and has a fantastic range for children.

OPTOMETRIST GERRY - Spends 40 minutes examining your eyes. He caters the eye test to address your needs. The test includes digital retinal photography, glaucoma pressure check, visual field examination as standard. Gerry concludes the examination by giving advice about the most suitable eyewear. DISPENSING OPTICIAN EMMA - Helps you find the “perfect “ pair of glasses. Emma analyses your prescription and finds the perfect frame to compliment your face and personality. She also designs bespoke frames in almost any colour, style and shape. She can provide lens thicknesses and weight for your chosen frame. The Oculist uses spectacle lenses from all suppliers but benefits from being the only SEIKO lens specialist opticians in Peterborough.

STYLE CONSULTANT LISA – Gets you to try on styles outside your comfort zone, she helps you compliment your current look or help you start a new look.


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• NVL june ADS.indd 24

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Health & Beauty Notes All the latest news on local health and beauty businesses. By Bridget Steele HOW TO GET BEAUTIFUL NAILS


Holly Wright has recently set up Wright Feet. She works as a mobile foot health practitioner and after two years of training and a great interest in feet (working with her parents, local business people David and Maggie Wright) she is establishing a successful practice. Holly visited my home and I sat back on the sofa whilst she removed hard skin, clipping toe nails and filing down a badly bruised toe nail with an electric hard skin remover, then massaging them with foot softener. Holly also specialises in Diabetic and Neurovascular patients and, depending on foot health, suggests a visit about every six weeks. She is available for removal of corns and calluses, help with ingrowing toe nails, verrucas, and fungal nail conditions. It costs £35 for the first appointment, and from £25-£35 after that. • Holly Wright MCFHP MAFHP, Foot Health Practitioner, Tel: 07931 624325 e-mail

REFLEXOLOGY AND FERTILITY Reflexology is based on the understanding that every part of the body is reflected in miniature on the feet and hands. By applying pressure on the reflexes corresponding to the systems in the body, we can stimulate the body’s own healing process and assist it in preventing illness by helping to alleviate congestion and maintain good circulation. The aim of fertility reflexology is to enhance the chances of natural conception by trying to create the best possible emotional and physical environment for the pregnancy. Local reflexologist Liz Brock works on the basis that stress can often create pressure on the bodies systems that are vital to fertility. By reducing stress reflexology appears to have a balancing effect on the body and mind. However, reflexology does not claim to cure infertility and Liz warns clients to avoid any complementary therapist who claims that they can do this. However, reflexology is incredibly calming and relaxing and claims to: •Balance hormones and regulate the menstrual cycle •Encourage the whole body to relax •Stimulate the release of endorphins - the feel good hormones •Create a balanced environment for conception to take place For people undergoing IVF, The Association of Reflexologists (AOR) guidelines on fertility state that drugs used do not appear to be affected by reflexology and there is no reason why a person should not have reflexology at the same time. • Contact Liz Brock, Lily Holistics, 4 Old North Road, Wansford, Peterborough PE8 6LB

Tracy Maddox of Natural Nails answers some frequently asked questions My nails are dry and cracked, can you help? Nails need nourishing like the rest of our bodies. I would recommend a professional protein manicure conditioning treatment. We work on the cuticles, file and moisturise the hands, recommending products that will encourage healthy nails. A treatment starts at £17. My nails are very short and I would love to have a more glamorous look Why not try our Gel nails? They add strength and length to the nails, they are low maintenance and last about three weeks and you can choose from a French finish, a natural look or try one of the new seasons hot trends such hot chilli, or pink pepper. The first appointment is from £35 and a follow up is required for inlays is from £29. Tracy and her team are highly qualified in nail care and the salon in Newborough is also a Training centre for LCN nails. • Natural Nails, School Road, Newborough, Peterborough, PE6 7SF Tel: 01733 810071


As well as dental treatments, Dr Beverly Brabbins specialises in skin treatments, and offers Botox, Restylane and Juvederm for facial lines. Botox is a popular choice and works particularly well on frown lines, crows feet and forehead creases. The treatment is quick and painless and the Botox solution is injected straight into the muscle. The treatment itself only takes a few minutes and there is no down time. However, results are not obvious until after a few days when lines are visibly soften and smoothed. All treatments are administered by Dr Brabbins and are available at the Newborough Skin Clinic. • Newborough Cosmetic and Dental Surgery, 1 School Road, Newborough, Peterborough PE6 7RG Tel: 01733 810235


The Hair Boutique in Wansford has recently been renamed Beaux Amis and a beauty salon has been added, with Jasmin Fletcher heading up this side of the business. I met owner, Stacey Chalkley and Jasmin as the salon was opening. It will specialise in Decleor treatments and offers a range of prescriptive facial and body treatments starting with “Express” energy facials that are done in half an hour to the full works - a 75 minute Aroma Expert facial. Treatments are suitable for men and women. The salon will also offer Jessica Nail treatments including Geleration Nails, Hair removal, Eye lash and brow tinting. Body treatments such as a Tension relief, back, neck and shoulder massage are available as well as holistic treatments including Indian Head Massage and Hot Stone treatments. • For more information and appointments contact Beaux Amis, The Haycock Hotel, London Road, Wansford , Peterborough 01780 781102 NENE VALLEY LIVING JUNE 2013

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• NVL june ADS.indd 26

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A better bathroom It’s the hardest working room in the house yet many of us put up with tatty and outdated bathrooms for years. Time for a refit? Local companies can help, says Fiona Cumberpatch

Java Wenge Linea available at Küchen Kraft


hat tucked away bathroom may not top your list of priorities when it comes to home improvements but in terms of family life, it’s essential to domestic harmony. There is nothing worse than starting the day with an argumentative queue for the bathroom, or a lukewarm shower with an intermittent flow. With a bit of planning and careful budgeting, it’s possible to create a comfortable, efficient space that will add value to your home and keep domestic relations sweet.

Getting started Decide on your budget and then choose the level of service you can afford. Some bathroom companies will do everything for you, from planning the layout to arranging the installation, the tiling, decorating and the finishing touches. It may mean that your choice of fittings is limited to the companies they deal with, but this option does remove a lot of hassle from the proceedings and means that you don’t have to search separately for the tradesmen who will be involved. “It isn’t necessarily the

cheapest option but it will save you a lot of time,” points out Guy Bolsover of Küchen Kraft in Oundle. “When you’re fitting a bathroom, you probably need to buy items from four or five different places, which is time consuming. You need to know whether you need high or low pressure taps, what sort of pump you need for your shower and whether your shower can be recessed into the wall. We can offer that expert advice, and we’ll do a free plan for you. Likewise, if something is damaged or missing, we will sort that out.” Guy uses a trusted fitter, and expert tilers. “Lots of people can tile, not many can do it really well,” says Guy.

Bath or shower? A shower is water-efficient and quick, so it may be tempting to get rid of your bath, especially if you’re pushed for space. Is this a wise move? “I would be careful about doing this in certain properties,” says Chris Woodford of Woodford & Co estate agents in Oundle. “If you have a family house, buyers will want somewhere to bath babies and small children. But we are

seeing a trend for shower-only in smaller properties and flats.” “It’s not a deal breaker, however,” says Chris. “The cost of fitting a bathroom is now relatively low. You can have a new one for about £5,000 now if you’re careful, and as a proportion of house prices, this has changed a lot since I first started out.”

Choosing your fitter If you’re not going for a project-managed bathroom, you’ll need to choose your fitter carefully. Ask around for recommendations, check references and get at least three quotes before you make a decision. Look for the FairTrades logo, which means the company has passed rigorous screening processes. Check that you can buy fittings through your fitter, as they often get discount for trade prices. Experienced fitters are great because they will usually have worked with lots of different brands, and can give you the benefit of their experience. Don’t be afraid to consult them all the way through. NENE VALLEY LIVING JUNE 2013

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Where to shop

Before you go ahead with your bathroom project, make sure the basics are in place. Have your boiler serviced so you know your hot water supply is running efficiently. If you’re moving or changing a window, you might need to call your council’s building control department before you go ahead.

The Bathroom Store in Kettering has around 40 room displays to browse. Quality brands such as Villeroy and Boch, Aqualisa, Bristan and Vitra are all on sale, with accessories, lighting and underfloor heating options on offer. The experienced team have strong links with local installers, so everything can be set up for you, from design to fitting. Küchen Kraft in Oundle offers complete project management, or supply-only, in the mid to upper price bracket. Service is helpful and friendly, with a free design plan. CTD in Werrington, Peterborough offers a great source of floor and wall tiles at competitive prices. From the currently popular ‘tube train’ rectangular style, to faux marble and stone, it is a favourite with the trade and well worth a visit. Sticking with your current layout will be the most cost effective option, because you’ll just be replacing the existing fittings. Moving the waste and the water can be expensive as it involves changing the pipework. Talk to the planners at your local bathroom showrooms for experienced advice.

Cost effective Bathrooms take a battering, so buy the best sanitary ware and taps that you can afford. You can make savings with tiles and lighting if needed. Whole tiled walls are fashionable at the moment, but they’re not essential. Speak to your fitter about the savings you can make with some simple adjustments.

What’s hot There is a vast range of looks available on the high street now. “Many people are choosing two toned tiling, or perhaps a feature stripe,” says Guy Bolsover. “Modular furniture and fitted furniture is increasingly popular, and people are using more colour in their bathrooms. Wood effect is also gaining ground. It’s not sterile.”


PHOTO: KÜchen Kraft

PHOTO: KÜchen Kraft

Checking the basics

Contacts Küchen Kraft, Waterland House, 81 West Street, Oundle Peterborough PE8 4EJ Tel: 01832 270300 The Bathroom Store, Unit 7, Vista Park, Telford Way Industrial Estate, Kettering, Northants NN16 8AS Tel: 01536 485085 CTD Tiling, 1270 Lincoln Rd, Peterborough PE4 6LE NENE VALLEY LIVING JUNE 2013

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FREE MARQUEE HIRE! Conditions apply

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he Royal Oak has created a superb new dedicated wedding venue in an idyllic setting overlooking the Welland River. Showcasing the brand new marquee, an experienced and friendly team will be on hand to discuss your wedding requirements and show you the stunning location. The wedding package is great value at £35 per head, which includes a reception drink on arrival and a two course meal with tea and coffee. Marquee hire is £750 and unique wedding packages can be tailored to suit each bridal couple’s desires.

Fri 12th July in our marquee - hog Roast, Strawberries & Cream Appearance of Elvis! £17.50 - booking essential Just get in touch with us to find out more:

The Royal Oak, Duddington, PE9 3QE

Tel: 01780 444267


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Food News All the latest on local food and drink

Nene Valley Living


As Elton Furze celebrates its 20th birthday, Bridget Steele and family visited the club house for Sunday lunch.


f a golf club house conjours up images of a loud, chummy all-male environment, don’t despair. Here at Elton Furze you are assured of a very warm welcome, fabulous views over the fairways and a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Sunday lunches are popular here and they offer excellent value with plenty of choice. We visited with our 15 year old son who, as soon as we arrived, was eyeing up the succulent topside of beef and giant Yorkshire puddings in the carvery. We all chose different starters: there is a choice of four. Matt had the peppered duck breast with pickled cucumber and a chilli and ginger salsa, which was a great combination of flavours. Tim had the garlic mushrooms with toasted bruschetta, which he said were just perfect, while I had the smoked mackerel pate with homemade oatmeal biscuits and horseradish cream. A classic combination with complimentary flavours. The men went for the roast topside of beef. Portions were generous and the meat was pink and tender. There were lots of fresh vegetables and the crispiest, fluffiest roast potatoes we’ve had for a long time, served with plenty of gravy and horseradish sauce. Just to be different, I chose the supreme of salmon with a parmesan and pesto crust, warm potato salad and dressed leaves. This was a great choice, not too heavy, and I loved the crusty cheesy topping. We were feeling pretty full by now as portions are generous, but

we could not resist the dessert menu, and we each chose something from the choice of four. Matt loved his pineapple cheesecake with coconut ice cream, Tim thought the lemon posset was delicious, with the sharp lemon flavour cutting through the creamy posset. I had apple tarte tatin with Chantilly cream. The apples were firm enough to hold their shape, but oozing in a butterscotch sauce. We rounded off with coffee and mints, and all remarked on what a delicious meal it was. We met chef Paul Monks, who has been at Elton Furze for the last two years and he explained that the menu changes every two weeks. You don’t have to play golf to enjoy the bar and restaurant facilities and everyone is welcome. Elton Furze is particularly suitable for parties, too. It’s adviseable to book for Sunday lunch. One course costs £7.95, two courses £10.95 or three courses £13.95. • For more information, contact Elton Furze Golf Club, Bullock Rd, Haddon Peterborough PE7 3TT Tel: 01832 280189 or visit the website

Oundle Food festival returns

Oundle’s popular Food Festival is being held on Saturday 20th July with a fabulous line up of events taking place all over town to showcase local food producers and their produce. This year, for the first time the whole of the centre of Oundle will be closed to traffic, allowing the stalls to expand and allow visitors the full experience of taste and spectacle. “We have seventy stalls this year, compared to 50 last year, and we have drawn producers from Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Suffolk and Bedfordshire,” explains organiser Alison Newcomb. Drop-in talks and demonstrations will take place in the Market Place throughout the day: “everything from how to skin a fish to juggling in quick 15 minute sessions,” says Alison. Barnwell Country Park will be staging activities for children, and there will be street theatre in the main area. Longer cookery demonstrations will take place at nearby local venues such as the AGA showroom near Warmington during the week of 15-19 July. • Visit the website for details at NENE VALLEY LIVING JUNE 2013

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Salad days

Grow your own leaves for the freshest, easiest ingredients around, says Ronnie Haydon you’ve arranged them on a plate, however, they’ll have been in cold storage and on the supermarket shelf for a few days, so their freshness is but a memory. The only guarantee of perky, tasty leaves is to grow your own.


hether it’s flaming or not, June is the time when a five-a-day habit can be more than a good intention. British-grown greens are plentiful, so it’s easy to base every meal around a generous portion of leaves. The supermarkets trumpet the freshness of their plastic-wrapped salad leaves: bagged ones are ‘washed in spring water’ so you don’t even have to put them under a tap. By the time

Sow easy Keep it simple. Unless you want a fine crop of lettuces in serried ranks, as in Mr Macgregor’s garden, there’s no need for double-digging and daily weeding. You can bring on a fine crop of nutritious salad leaves using a pack of seeds, a large pot on the patio (or a planter that fits your window sill), a bag of multi-purpose compost and a watering can. Make sure the container you use has some drainage holes, place some crocks or gravel on the bottom, then fill with compost. Water well until the soil is thoroughly soaked. Then you’re ready to sow. Buy salad seeds that mix up varieties and colours of leaf, so that the container looks pretty. Also, when growing in containers, look for evidence that the leaves are ‘cut and come again:’ new ones will grow back after you’ve snipped off a portion for your dinner. All the major seed companies sell packets especially for kitchen snipping purposes. Suttons do a kitchen windowsill/windowbox range, Mr Fothergill’s have a selection entitled ‘The Contained Garden’ I like Mr Fothergill’s Lettuce Gourmet Mixed – 500 seeds that will produce good looking lettuce leaves in all shapes and colours: spilling out over the top of a container they look really special. If lettuce seems a little too workaday, try some more punchy greens, such as Thompson & Morgan’s Speedy Mix, which contains arugola, rucola, garden cress, Japanese greens and mustard. One packet of Speedy Mix contains 1000 seeds, which produce leaves ready to eat in just 25 days.

With tiny seeds take care not to sow them too thickly. Mixing a pinch of the seeds in with a handful of compost and scattering them like that helps. Rake them in a little with a handfork, so that they’re just covered, then water them. Keep the soil moist, but don’t over water. Pocket rocket The punchy, peppery taste of rocket really sets off sweet lettuce flavours. Growing these dark green leaves is as easy as falling off a log. Rocket likes to be confined to a container, and it’s easier to keep the pests off the leaves when it’s grown this way. Rocket seeds are quite big and round so it can be sown in a jiffy. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of compost, water in, and wait. Shooting peas Pea shoots make a sophisticated addition to your salad. They taste just like young fresh peas, they’re full of vitamin C and you can grow them for pennies. Just buy a pack of dried peas from the shop – the marrowfat ones you have to soak then boil for ages - the ones our grannies used to like before they bought freezers. Scatter a handful in the container of your choice, cover them with about 2cm of compost and water in. Your shoots will be ready in 2-4 weeks, depending on the temperature, light levels and just how elderly that pack of dried peas is. Eat up Once you have your super fresh, young leaves they can become the backbone of a quick and easy main meal salad. Try dressing them with a light, lemony dressing (try 2tbsp lemon juice, 1tsp wholegrain mustard and one tbsp flax oil), then throwing avocado, flaked almonds, chickpeas, grated ginger and some roasted beetroot into the mix. This is a perfect combination of proteins, fats and carbs to keep energy levels steady.

Supermarket sweep If you have to resort to shop-bought leaves (while you’re waiting for your own to grow, natch!) try buying those living leaves packs, sold in little trays of compost as living plants (Waitrose and Sainsburys do them for £1). Once you’ve snipped off your dinner, either replant the stumps in your garden or a container, and watch the leaves come back. You get a lot more salad for your quid this way.



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Discover more this spring @

YOUR LOCAL GARDENING CENTRE Garden care Seeds & bulbs Gardening tools Pots, planters & compost Plants for the garden & home Landscaping & fencing Garden furniture Outdoor living

Barnwell Road, Oundle PE8 5PB

01832 273310


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Act ivit ie s

Free ranger We spent a day with Senior Ranger Philippa Croucher to find out what’s involved looking after Barnwell Country Park, one of the area’s most popular green spaces. Words: Lucy Banwell


I arrive at work, open up, and get on with my morning checks around the site. I make sure there are enough work sheets out for the children’s activities in the Visitor Centre, and do a quick check of the toilets. My role involves anything and everything, really. But in essence, along with the other ranger, Paul Easthope, I’m responsible for all the buildings, the parkland and for looking after the public who visit the park.


I head outside to litter pick the main paths across the park and check that everything is in order. I also check the children’s play area really carefully because sometimes teenagers come onto the site at night and break bottles in the bark pit. The play area’s really popular, especially since it’s been extended. I’d say 65% of our visitors are families coming here to play, and then we also have dog walkers, people who want to fish and some bird watchers. So we’re trying to make the Park as attractive as possible for families. The Park really is the perfect outdoor space for the local community. It offers the chance to get close to nature in a safe environment and there really is something for everyone here, whether you’re an older person going for a walk or a child wanting to play or feed the ducks.


I unlock the hides and also the barrier halfway round the car park which is intended to deter boy racers from using the car park as a race track at night. The car park itself is never locked but we have had problems with people stealing the car parking machine. We empty it daily so usually there’s only a few pounds in it. It’s such a shame when it’s been stolen because although we’re insured we have to pay a £500 excess and that all eats into our limited budget. Sometimes people complain about the car parking charge of £2.60 per car but they’re usually fine once I explain that the park has limited council funding which means that their car parking money is what pays for me to be on site, for tree planting, our machinery, grass seed, repair of the play area, all of that. The Park also has a really active Friends group which is invaluable. People generally don’t like giving donations to something which has a county council logo on it, so we find that people are more willing to give to the Friends of Barnwell Country Park because it’s more community orientated. The Friends also access extra funding grants, hold events and do lots of fundraising.



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I head back into the office and start going through all the emails and phone messages we receive. I like to have a productive morning, mainly in the office, and then a practical afternoon doing jobs outside.


A quick catch-up with my boss Chris Haines, the Countryside Services Manager at Northamptonshire County Council. He’s here to meet an ecological expert who’s been called in to advise us on our proposed plan to convert Kingfisher Lodge into a café. We’re planning to build a deck out over the water so he’s doing an ecological survey on the possible impact on the surrounding trees. The café is due to open in January next year (hopefully) which is brilliant news for the Park.


I order in materials required for repairs on site such as stone for the paths which were damaged during the flood. I think we’ve got about 25 metres of path to repair following flood damage. With the help of volunteers, that represents about four days’ work for us. The floods drastically affected our visitor numbers. It also significantly delayed the nesting season. For a small site, the Park has an amazing array of birdlife. You can usually spot reed warblers, bull finches, long-tailed tits and woodpeckers, as well as swans, coots, moorhens and mallards. We used to have a kingfisher that nested on the riverbank and then came onto the lakes here to feed. Now that spring is here we’re on the lookout for him making another appearance. Quite often if you’re walking alongside the backwater in the morning, you’ll see a flash of blue darting across the water.

1pm: 2pm:

Time for lunch. I generally eat a sandwich at my desk while continuing to check emails.

Some students from Oundle School arrive to help out as part of their Community Action scheme. It’s fantastic because most of them are sixth formers so they’re quite physically strong and we can really set them to work! They get stuck in helping to prune and clear the edges of one of the lakes.


I hop onto the ride-on mower to tackle the grassed areas. We mow the whole site ourselves which can take up to a day and a half and needs to be done weekly at the moment. This is my favourite time of the day because all my little tasks are done and I can get on with doing something practical outdoors. I actually take great pride in mowing, it’s quite strange! But I love it when you see a freshly-mown patch of grass, especially if the sun’s shining.


I take a phone call from someone asking whether they can have their loved one’s ashes scattered at the Park. We do allow it as long as there aren’t too many people around. We’ve also got about 20 memorials across the park, although we’re actually up to capacity for memorial benches so we’re trying to encourage people to create memorial sculptures instead. I think it’s lovely. People often say their relative had a favourite spot where they used to stand and watch the wildlife and that’s where they’d like them to be remembered.

3.45pm: 5pm:

Back on the mower. Need to keep going to tackle all that grass!

Time to lock up and head home, safe in the knowledge that I really do have the best job in the world! I’ve worked here for more than five years now and I love the variety - every day is different. There aren’t many jobs in which you can work outside, work with your hands, and see a real, physical result at the end of the day. I also get to work with children and see people out enjoying themselves in the countryside. I take great pride in what I do. • Barnwell Country Park is open all day, every day. Parking costs £2.60 per car but it is free to visit the park if you arrive on foot or by bike. For more info: - Tel: 01832 273435 NENE VALLEY LIVING june 2013

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12-21 july 2013 From 20 april 2013, book your tickets at Oundle Box Office, 4 new Street, telephone 01832 274734 or at

Presented by Oundle Music trust

Friday 12 July • Tasmin little, with European union Chamber Orchestra • illyria: “Babe, The Sheep-Pig”

SaTurday 13 July • Picnic in the Park, Boughton House

Sunday 14 July • young-Choon Park • richard Suart: “as a Matter of Patter”

MOnday 15 July • • • •

Chen Meng: lunchtime concert Margaret Phillips: organ recital impropera!: “Wobbly World of Opera” dominic alldis Trio

TuESday 16 July


• • • •

amy Green: lunchtime concert Prime Brass an evening at Boughton House Film: Quartet

WEdnESday 17 July • Virginia Black: lunchtime concert • The Bach Walk • Piano 4 Hands

THurSday 18 July • • • •

Becky Taylor: lunchtime concert Film: les Miserables Evensong: Peterborough Cathedral Gordon Stewart: organ recital

Friday 19 July • Monteverdi Experience • Film: Sing-a-long-a ‘Grease’

SaTurday 20 July • Ceilidh, with Fringe Festival

Sunday 21 July • Morning Service, BBC radio 4 • young Organists recital


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june 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30


Sunday 30 June Villages of Rockingham Forest Bike Ride 9am/10am Enter or support the scenic 25 mileor 50 mile- route and fundraise for the British Heart Foundation and Peterborough Minster Rotary Club. Entry fees: £15 (adult) on the day. 01733 234025.

What’s On Yasmin Bradley’s events highlights for June

Monday 1 June - 7 October Space: Fact and Fiction Exhibition 10am – 5pm Found out the facts and enjoy the sci-fi with Dr Who memorabilia on show plus an exciting programme of lectures, family fun event days, and a space-themed film festival! Exhibition: free. Special event days: £3 (£2). Peterborough Museum, Priestgate Peterborough, PE11 01733 864 663.

Thursday 6 June Oundle International Music Festival: Sacconi Quartet - 7.45pm Tipped as a classical chart ‘Hot Shot’ by Classic FM, the multi-award -winning quartet is internationally acclaimed for its performance style and fresh interpretations. Tickets: Oundle Music Trust, 4 New Street, Oundle, PE8 4ED. 01832 274734. information@oundlefestival. Oundle School Chapel, Milton Road, Oundle, PE8 4AB Tuesday 11 June Mediterranean Crime Evening with Author, Anne Zouroudi - 7pm Discover more about the latest detective series set in sumptuous Greece. £5 (£4) including themed refreshments. Peterborough Central Library, Broadway, Peterborough, PE1 1RX. 01733 864280 from any Peterborough library or Waterstone’s. http://www. Friday 14 June Music in Quiet Places: Three Oboes Dancing - Pipers 3 - 7.30 – 10pm A magical performance featuring Alasdair Nicolson’s new piece ‘Tempest Suite’ written for the Orkney Festival in 2011. Tickets £13 (£11/£8) Oundle Music Trust, 4 New Street, Oundle, PE8 4ED. 01832 274734. information@ Church of St Mary and All Saints, Pilton, PE8 5SN

Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 June West Deeping Midsummer Open Gardens A chance to see gardens large and small in this beautiful village, once described as “the queen of all the Deepings.” Tea and homemade cake served at the Manor House and in the Village Hall. Ample off-street parking. Art exhibition in the church. Gardens open 1pm-6pm Admission £5 (for both days), children free. More info: or tel 01778 344768 Saturday 15 June The Sofa Sessions: An Evening With Martin Carthy - 7.20 – 10.30pm An exclusive session with arguably the greatest living English folk song performer, writer and collector in a home setting. Tickets: £15 – numbers very limited - by invitation only. Call 07903 551708, or visit 59 Sussex Road, Kettering, NN15 6LA or Sofa Sessions on Facebook for your invitation. Sunday 16 June Father’s Day Kite Day - 11-3pm Fly a kite in spectacular countryside alongside the Great Ouse Kite Flyers! Bring or make a kite, or buy one from Trek Kits … and take teddy parachuting!Free. Parking: £2.60. Kite workshop: £2 for materials. Fermyn Woods Country Park, Lyveden Road, Brigstock, NN14 3HS. 01536 373186. http:// uk/en/councilservices/Leisure/ countryside/Pages/Fermyn.aspx.

Saturday 29 June Friends of Hampton Hargate Primary School PTA Summer Fun Day 1p – 4pm Stalls, club displays, ice-cream, raffle, bouncy castles and lucky dip. Adults: 50p. Children: free. Hampton Hargate Primary School, Hargate Way, Hampton Hargate, Peterborough, PE7 8BZ. 01733 296780. ktreharne@btinternet. com. www.hampton-hargate. Sunday 30 June Northamptonshire Angling Festival Give fishing a go completely free of charge. Free. 07791 786251 or james.roche@ Barnwell Country Park, Barnwell Road, Oundle PE8 5PB. 01832 273435.

Saturday 23 June Stibbington Church Fete 2-5pm Traditional fete for church funds. Stibbington Hall, Church Lane, PE8 6LP. Entry: £1


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23/5/13 14:52:06

Abacus Tutoring Academy Whether your child is preparing for SATS, GCSEs or A-levels, we can help with preparation to increase knowledge, confidence and examination technique.

Our experienced teachers can Regular weekly help to improve confidence lessons and standards of work for KS1, KS2, KS3, GCSE, A Level children of all abilities and ages. Primary Secondary Numeracy Maths We help children at primary school as well as Key Stage 3 Reasoning English Literacy Physics (when they are laying the Biology foundation for GCSE studies). Science 11+ Chemistry Our GCSE classes will help Secondary entrance with all types of syllabus. A-level students appreciate Summer holiday Easter revision help with exam technique as crammer for revision for well as the purely academic GCSE and A-level side of their course. GCSE and A-level

Start Time: 7.30pm Tickets £37.50 (£40 after 1st June) available from

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2pm to 8pm Monday to Friday

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open june - oct

farm shop and pick your own Strawberries. Raspberries. Gooseberries. Plums. Black & Redcurrants. Blackberries. Tayberries. Seasonable vegetables. Locally produced beef & lamb.

refreshments available.

Facilities for Disabled Visitors. Picnic Area. Children's Play Area. Caravan Club C.L. Site Tue-Fri 9am - 6pm Sat/Sun 9am - 5pm closed Mondays except bank holidays Please ring for up to date crop information or to order ready picked produce

teL & faX 01733 233270

• NVL june.indd 47

HOME VISITS FOR:* Removal of Corns and Calluses * Ingrowning Toenails * Toenails clipped * Fungal Nail Treatments * Specialising in the Diabetic and Neurovascular patient * competitive rates Telephone 07931 624325 email:


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53110 GW Delcor Stamford Living Mag 297x210 08/05/2013 14:45 Page 1

In an off the peg world, live bespoke. You want it longer, shorter, taller, wider. You want floral for the sofa, tartan for the chairs.You want square legs, not turned. You want your sofa put together in the lounge because you won't get it in without taking the windows out. The answer is yes. It's what we mean by 'Live bespoke'. Sofas and chairs handmade to perfection.

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Nene Valley Living June 13  

Nene Valley Living June 13

Nene Valley Living June 13  

Nene Valley Living June 13