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Covering Rutland, Market Harborough & surrounding villages








Anniversary special Celebrating 20 years of Rutland’s independence

APRIL 2017 ÂŁ1.50 04



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April Contents





Welcome to the April issue of Rutland & Market Harborough Living


AST your mind back 20 years to 1997. What a momentous year it was – the world lost Princess Diana and Mother Teresa… Tony Blair became Prime Minister… Mike Tyson bit someone’s ear off… Titanic and The Fully Monty came to the big screen and the first ever Harry Potter book was published. But as important as these events are, it’s Rutland’s independence as a county that we’re celebrating 20 years later. ‘Multum in Parvo’ indeed. As editor of this ‘proper local’ magazine, every single month I’m blown away by the abundance of offerings in this little county, with all its superb pubs and restaurants, shops, events, attractions and scenery. Good things come in small packages, as they say. Celebratory events were just being finalised as we went to press so be sure to keep your eyes on for the most up-to-date information. What I can tell you is that Saturday 1 April looks to be jam-packed – starting with a For Rutland charity fun run at 9am (see page 4 for more info), followed by music and entertainment at Oakham Castle from 11am to 4.30pm. There’s a spring concert at All Saint’s Church, Oakham at 7pm, a beacon lighting at Cutts Close at 9pm followed by a free fireworks display. Tying in with the 20th anniversary celebrations is the launch of our new series, ‘Rutland Heroes’. Our very first Rutland hero is none other than our favourite Tweeting bobby on the beat, PC Joe Lloyd, who will no doubt be working hard on 1 April with his emergency services colleagues to ensure we all have a fantastic, fun and safe day. Joe and colleagues, thank you from us all! Enjoy,

Rachael @RutlandLiving @rutlandlivingmag INCORPORATING

Village Lifestyle

4 Updates

38 Shopping

6 Local People

44 Home & Garden

8 Marathon

51 Home & Garden

11 Fashion

55 Home & Garden

News & Views

Rutland Hero: PC Joe Lloyd

On your marks, get set...

Girl about town

18 Updates News & Views

20 Rutland Independence Rutland flashback

Wonderful Wistow

Room for improvement

Sheds… a place to retreat to

This month at Welland Vale Garden Centre

59 Health & Beauty Nailed it!

63 Kids

Kids’ fashion at Ford’s

23 Food & Drink

66 Local People

24 Food & Drink

68 Harborough Happenings

The Olive Branch recipe

Three of the best

27 Food & Drink Local bakeries

31 Food & Drink Food news

33 Food & Drink Restaurant reviews

35 Updates News & Views

David Ross

Shops & Services

70 Local walks Stamford canal walk

72 Out & About

What’s on this month

78 Local People

Author Louise Doughty

Editor Rachael Bull 07734 218155 Advertisement Manager, Rutland Tracy Watkinson 01572 813187 Advertisement Manager, Market Harborough Sosennah Every 07884 124316 Advertising Copy & Subscriptions Rachel Beecroft 01780 765320 Head of Design Steven Handley Designer Sarah Compton Publisher Nicholas Rudd-Jones 01780 765571 Printed by Warners of Bourne RL cover: Artwork courtesy of Mark Kaiser, MHL cover: courtesy of

Subscribe to Rutland & Market Harborough Living Subscriptions – annual rate £25 (UK only). Please write to: Publisher, Local Living, PO Box 208, Stamford, PE9 9FY enclosing cheque made payable to Local Living Ltd. Or subscribe online at



UPDATES News & Views

Be inspired! Paralympic heroes visit Rutland Two inspiring world-class athletes will meet triathlon fans when they visit a Rutland fitness studio this month.

Dr Mary Hardwick


NDY J Lewis MBE and Clare Cunningham will take part in a very informal ‘meet and greet’ session at The Barn in Manton. Andy is a four-time Triathlon gold medallist, was British Champion 2015, World Champion 2016, European Champion 2016 and won a gold medal for Great Britain in the Rio 2016 Paralympics. Clare began representing Great Britain on the world stage at just 13, winning gold and silver medals in swimming in Barcelona in 1992 aged 15. She now competes for her country as an international Para-triathlete. The visit will be led by ArcticOne Foundation and hosted by Dr Mary Hardwick who runs Inspire2Tri, an award-winning Rutland company dedicated to rehabilitation, fitness training for all levels of ability, triathlon coaching, sport and open water swimming. Mary commented, “We are thrilled to host athletes of Andy and Clare’s calibre and are particularly hopeful that lots of young triathletes and disability athletes of all ages will come along and enjoy the session.” Open to anyone interested, the meet and greet is free to attend and if enough people are interested, Andy and Clare will conduct a presentation. • Meet Andy and Clare at The Barn Fitness Studio, Manton between 9.30am and 11.30am on Saturday 15 April. If you would like to attend, please register your interest with Mary on Tel: 01572 244224 or email by 8 April if possible.

Everyone is running For Rutland! The 20th anniversary of Rutland’s independence will be celebrated with the ‘Run for Rutland’ race on 1 April at the Rutland Show Ground, Oakham, at 9am.


UNNERS from Rutland’s primary and secondary schools have been invited to participate and help raise funds for ‘For Rutland’, to support people with long-term conditions in the community. Trophies will be presented at the end of each run and each runner will receive a certificate and medal. Spectators will be able to enjoy a lovely breakfast from Northfield Farm foods. George Peach of GO Finances in Oakham is tackling numerous tough challenges to raise funds for the For Rutland charity. George has offered to run a sponsored 155 miles, with 500 obstacles, across eight runs, starting with the Valentines run in Stamford and including the Rutland full Marathon. He will be joined by his wife Julie on the Market Harborough half marathon, Brighton Marathon and Rutland Marathon. George said, “For someone who works in an office all day this is will be a pretty exhausting year, so any support you can give to me and this fantastic charity would be very much appreciated”. You can support George and Julie at • For more information about For Rutland or to find out how you can help, contact Trish Ruddle on 07801 319222.

Bruce’s 150-mile ultra marathon Sahara Challenge


RETTON resident and ex-Northampton Saints rugby player Bruce Donald is competing in the 2017 Marathon Des Sables for two local charities. Deemed the toughest footrace on Earth, it’s run over six days over a course of between 150 and 156 miles in the Moroccan Sahara Desert. The gruelling adventure will take Bruce through one of the world’s most inhospitable environments, through endless dunes, over rocky jebels and across white-hot sand plains in soaring temperatures and stinging sand. On top of all this, Bruce will have to be completely self-sufficient, carrying all his own food and equipment for the week on his back. Water is rationed, and if that ration is exceeded a time penalty is issued. Bruce is fundraising for two local groups, The Travers Foundation, a volunteer-run charity that helps 13- to 30-year-olds living in Northamptonshire, Rutland and Leicestershire to improve their skills in sports, the creative arts and the performing arts, and Ups ‘N’ Downs,



Bruce training for the Sahara in the English mud

which offers support and advice for families and individuals affected by Down’s Syndrome. • For more information about Bruce’s extreme desert running challenge, visit his Facebook page BrucesSaharaChallenge or follow him on Twitter @BrucePDonald. For more information on the two charities, visit and







w w w .kn i g h t so f o a k h a m . co m 33-37 High Street, Oakham, Rutland LE15 6AH • Tel: (01572) 722240 •



On the Beat



Joe Lloyd began his career with the British Army followed by a move to the Police Force. In the first of our ‘Rutland Hero’ series, he tells Amander Meade about his current role as Beat Management Officer in Oakham and Barleythorpe. What led you to a career with the Police Force?

I loved the Army but decided to leave when I met my wife and we got married. I wanted to stay within a disciplined service so the Police Force was the obvious choice for me. I started policing in Melton Mowbray and trained as an advanced driver before a secondment to the UK Border Agency Foreign National Crime Team, which I really enjoyed. I was dealing with matters of passport fraud, forgery and it was the early days of trafficking crime too. I learned a great deal about liaison and inter-agency work, which I still use in my work locally.

What does being Beat Management Officer in Rutland entail? I successfully applied for the role in Oakham and Barleythorpe in 2010 as I wanted to make a difference in the community I call home. The role is entirely community based and, like all policing, is challenging and diverse. Essentially, my job is to listen to the public and find solutions to local problems of all kinds. Issues can range from speeding or parking problems to specifically rural crime such as hare coursing or the theft of expensive farm machinery. I also visit schools to highlight matters around child protection and internet safety. Predominantly my priority is to protect the vulnerable members of our community – the very young, the elderly and everyone in between.

What is your personal policing style? I try to combine the best of modern policing with traditional values. I try to be an ‘open book’ – I like to be highly visible in the community, either physically out and about on the beat or on social media. It definitely helps that I grew up in Rutland and that I live here with my wife and our two boys because the area really matters to me; what happens here concerns all of us. I am never really ‘off duty’ and although people are usually very respectful if I am out with my family, I never begrudge chatting to people about their concerns even if I am not officially at work.

What are the best and worst parts of the job? It never gets any easier to deliver bad news and any kind of incident where someone has been badly hurt is always difficult. I try and use these experiences to lend perspective to my own life when they happen. The job is so varied I can go from assisting at a serious



trauma or road accident to dealing with a case of littering in a matter of a few hours which is quite an adjustment. The best part of the job is when someone says ‘thank you’ when you have done something to help. That simple gesture means more to me than awards or official commendations. (PC Lloyd was a runner up in last year’s Beat Officer of the Year Awards.)

What is next for you in terms of your career? I have recently completed a secondment with the Tactical Road Policing Team, which was great. If an opportunity came up with that team I would be tempted but for now I am very happy in my role. I love Rutland and the people here and am proud to be part of the team that makes Rutland such a safe, beautiful place to live. • The Police desk is open between 10am and 4pm within Customer Services at the Rutland County Council offices. Rutland residents can report crime, seek advice or register any concerns.

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On your marks, get set… The Virgin Money London Marathon 2017 is nearly here. As well as being one of the most iconic and exciting running events in the calendar, more than three-quarters of all runners will be raising money for charity. Katie Mitchell speaks to five of our local residents running for good causes close to their heart. JANE HALES, LANGHAM, RUTLAND This will be Jane’s second London Marathon and forms part of her extensive support of Headway, the UK-wide charity that works to improve life after brain injury. The charity was there for Jane and her family when tragically her son Simon was left in a coma for five weeks after a 20-foot fall during a night out from Newcastle University. Simon had to learn how to walk and talk again and was the subject of Channel 4’s documentary ‘My New Brain’, which followed their journey through rehabilitation. “Headway have been amazing and I am delighted that my middle son Tim will be running with me in London.” You can support Jane at TRACEY POOLE, LANGHAM, RUTLAND Amazingly, Tracey only started her running journey two years ago. “I participated in a beginner course run by the Rutland Running and Triathlon Club, which aims to get people running non-stop for 30 minutes over 10 weeks. I had never run before and was initially daunted by it, but now I love it!” Tracey has been in training since November with the support of her triathlon coach and clubmates. “I am achieving things I never believed I was capable of.” Tracey is raising money for Cancer Research UK and running in memory of her late father David Partner, who sadly lost his life to cancer. You can support Tracey at

KATHERINE COLEMAN, SPROXTON, LEICESTERSHIRE Katherine is raising money for the Leicester Royal Infirmary Teenage Cancer Unit. “This is my first London Marathon and training is squeezed in between work and bringing up two boys. I’m hugely motivated in knowing that any money I help raise will really make a difference. My son plays for a local football team and one of his team mates has a sister who is being treated in the Unit, this is just a little way to show our support.” You can support Katherine at



IAN PRENDERGRAST, WHISSENDINE, RUTLAND This will be Ian’s first experience of the London Marathon. “To be truthful, I am excited and slightly nervous,” Ian says, “but hopefully the training with my club mates at the Rutland Running and Triathlon Club will hold me in good stead.” Ian is raising money for The Ear Foundation, a charity that offers support, advice and activities to deaf children, adults and their families. He is dedicating his run to his late wife, Sally. “She was my rock for the more than thirty years and I would like to think that she will be with me every step of the way on the big day.” You can support Ian at

KELLY SHIELDS, SPALDING, LINCS “After completing a couple of half marathons and a triathlon, I felt like there might just be a marathon in me. My family is really involved with Spalding Rugby Club so I thought that I would apply for a charity place from the Matt Hampson Foundation and was over the moon when they offered me a place to join their team.” The charity provides support for anyone suffering serious injury or disability that has arisen from any cause, but in particular from participation in or training for any sport. “The training is going well and my friends have been great at joining me for runs – it’s tough but I am determined to beat my £2000 fundraising target.” You can support Kelly at

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Girl about town This month, fashion editor Nikki Beatty takes to the streets and boutiques of Stoneygate and Oakham FASHION: NIKKI BEATTY PHOTOGRAPHY: ELLI DEAN

Abro bag, £145; Paul Green trainers, £130, both CoCo Shoes Fransa Leggings, £44.99; Fransa pink vest top, £24.99; Fransa track top, £49.99, all Duo




Left: Des petite haut blouse, £110; Des petits haut mohair cardigan, £205; Dl1961 jeans, £199; Ash silver trainers, £159, all from Cavells

Left: Charlie trousers, £114; Lolly Laundry blouse, £65, both Abiti Sol Sana Tabbie silver shoes, £139, Kiki&fleur



Above: Marie mero jacket, £199; Hartford t-shirt, £54; Mac pink jeans, £105, all from Vanilla Paul Smith scarf, £124, Cavells

Chloe Stora trousers, £145; Essentiel Antwerp shirt, £130; Cavells cashmere cardigan, £215; Ash snake platform shoes, £159, all from Cavells




WITH THANKS TO: Simon Cawthorne hairdressers Oakham for the fabulous French plaits, tel: 01572 722774, George’s Hairdressing, Stoneygate for the last-minute hair fix, tel: 0116 2708882, Elli Dean for the amazing photography, Above: Munthe star blouse, £107; Pelle leather bag, £110,both Abiti, jeans model’s own. Left: Pelle leather bag, £107; Annie Haak silver ring, £38 both Abiti Top right: Charlie maxi dress, £186; Charlie jumper, £216; Annie Haak long feather necklace, £85; Annie Haak necklace, £55, all from Abiti, Alpe Silver shoes, £115, Kiki&fleur

Stockists Duo, Oakham, Tel: 01572 2722116, Cavells, Oakham, Tel: 01572 770372, Vanilla, Oakham, Tel: 01572 757577, Abiti Ladieswear, Stoneygate, Leicester, tel: 0116 270 4379, Kiki&fleur, Stoneygate, Leicester, tel: 0116 270 5260, For more fashion inspo go to fashion editor Nikki Beatty’s Instagram @Styleinthestix




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PROPERTY MARKET UPDATE WITH Are you ready to find out exactly what your home could be worth? DON’T MISS THE CHANCE TO SELL THROUGH THE COUNTRY LIFE ‘MOVE TO THE COUNTRY’ SHOW WITH MOORES. Early next month, Managing Director Vernon Moore will showcase an expansive portfolio of homes in Rutland and Stamford at the ‘Move to the Country’ Show in Chelsea. The show offers the perfect opportunity to place your home in front of buyers without having to enter into a full marketing package. With no ‘For Sale’ board and no local press required, why not let Moores test the London market on your behalf to see what potential your home could achieve?

MOORES’ PROPERTY MATCHING SERVICE MAKES BUYING SO EASY… It couldn’t be easier to register your home as one of those shown to hundreds of buyers from London and the South East – Vernon explains how. “Douglas & Gordon are our sister agency in London and have invited all their clients seeking a move to this region to visit the Moores stand at the show. We will show buyers the wealth of homes available in Rutland and Stamford as well as offering them our bespoke property matching service at no extra cost. Visitors to the Moores stand will be invited to take a train to one of our platform offices at Peterborough or Grantham – both under an hour’s journey from Kings Cross. These potential buyers will then be chauffeured to viewings around a selection of suitable homes. Property matching ensures the maximum number of hand-picked properties can be shown to buyers who are ready to move and have the finance in place to do so. On one

occasion, we spoke with a couple at the show on a Friday; they visited homes in the region over the same weekend and were ready to make an offer by Monday morning. Thanks to the skill of our property matching team, finding the right buyer can be as straightforward as that.”

PERFECT TIMING… Moores’ presence at the show makes it easy for buyers to find out first-hand about the high standard of living in this region including key information on schools, transport links and lifestyle opportunities. “The show is an important event for us as the timing is perfect. Moving in spring and early summer is ideal for families wanting to be settled before the new school term begins in September and many buyers visiting the stand have already made the decision to move to this region – we simply use our local knowledge to match them up with the right home.”

early signs are pointing towards a significant increase in house sales across the board this year. If vendors have been waiting for the right time to bring their homes to market – now is the time. We are finding that buyers are willing to pay a premium to be first through the door and we need more local homes on our data base to satisfy that demand. Contact us to have your home included in our ‘Move to the Country’ Show portfolio or seek advice on how best to market your home this spring.”

MOVE FAST… Moores need to hear from vendors in Rutland and Stamford swiftly in order to have details ready to present at the show and with just a simple floor plan and some photographs, your home could be one of those snapped up next month. “Even if properties are currently on the market with other agencies, it is still possible for us to include them in our portfolio,” adds Vernon. “The show is such a prestigious event in the property calendar and a destination event for buyers ready to move that we always have great success in converting clients visiting the stand into completed sales. Everything we do and all our bespoke services are geared towards making it easy for our London buyers to select, view and buy their perfect home.”

LOCAL OVERVIEW… As far as the local market is concerned, Vernon is just as positive. “Compared with the same period in 2016, the uncertainty surrounding Brexit has settled and all the

Moores Estate Agency has offices in London, Oakham, Stamford, Melton, Uppingham, and the London platforms of Peterborough and Grantham Railway Stations. Oakham Office – Tel: 01572 757979 Stamford Office – Tel: 01780 484555 Full contact details can be found at


UPDATES News & Views

Avoid the trap – have a will Paul Belliere-Wilson, senior solicitor at Buckles Solicitors LLP, sets out the importance of having a will for those in second marriages or civil partnerships and unmarried couples.


ITHOUT a will, you allow no say as to whom or how you want to benefit from your estate and leave it instead under Intestacy Rules. This means that if you are married, in a civil partnership, simply cohabiting with your partner or single, whether you have children or not, those whom you wish to benefit may be left with nothing or significantly less. If you are thinking – this doesn’t seem fair – you are correct! So don’t leave this to fate. Second marriage or civil partnership If you are both in your second marriage or civil partnership with children, you may wish to consider how your property and other assets are owned, whether you want a trust over some or all of your estate, and who you’d like the Courts to consider looking after your minor child or children if you are not there. Unmarried couple with children from previous relationships A will provides certainty for both your children and partner. If you are engaged, your solicitor will advise on a ‘contemplation of marriage’ clause so that your will is not cancelled out by your previous marriage. If an unmarried couple leave everything to each other, you have no spouse exemption and, subject to neither of you being a widower, only your single nil rate band. Therefore, if your estate is above this rate, currently £325,000, you could pay Inheritance Tax (IHT) twice!

To avoid the same assets being subject to IHT twice, your will could place some or all of your estate in Discretionary Trust. If this is not your concern, you may also wish to consider a Life Interest Trust providing the survivor of you with certain rights (i.e. income, residency, etc.). A solicitor should consider all aspects regarding your personal and financial background before advising you of your options. Your will should be bespoke and catered for you and not be ‘one-size-fits-all’. • At Buckles Solicitors LLP our approach has, and always will be “legally focused, relationship driven”. Why not make a no-obligation first meeting at your nearest office to see for yourself. Call 01780 484570 or visit

Cleaning ‘hacks’ from the experts


ID you know that many cleaning tasks can be carried out using products and items that you already have kicking around in cupboards, thereby saving you money whilst also being green? Ditch those many bottles, sprays and cans and give these cleaning hacks from MOLLY MAID, the domestic cleaning experts, a go.

Lemon Their natural antibacterial and antiseptic properties make lemons amazing cleaning tools. To get rid of musty smells in your dishwasher, fill the soap dispenser with 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice and run the machine empty. The lemon will freshen up the machine, help to kill bacteria and remove musty odours.


Lemons can also dissolve hard water deposits and soap scum. Rub a cut lemon around your taps or around your sink, leave for a few minutes, then rinse. Don’t leave for too long as this will discolour your taps. Toothpaste Chrome taps: Pop a blob of toothpaste on a cleaning cloth, rub onto the taps and rinse off with warm water. Tumble dryer sheets Clean irons: Set the heat on low, rub the tumble dryer sheet over the area and the residue will come straight off. Removing hair: Whether it’s pet or human hair that’s causing the problem on sofas, clothing or other furniture,


try running the tumble dryer sheet over these areas. Old suitcases: Try leaving a tumble dryer sheet in your old suitcase so the next time you open it, it will smell fresh. Vodka To eliminate mould, spray a vodka and water mixture on the mould and allow it to soak for a while before wiping it clean. The alcohol will kill the mould. Polish: Wet a soft cloth, such as a microfiber cloth with vodka and polish your glasses with it. You can also spray a vodka and water mixture on windows and mirrors to make them shine. Flowers: Add a few drops of vodka into a vase to extend the life of flowers. Vodka lengthens the life of the blooms.

• Of course, if you’d rather have some expert help around the house, then you can contact Susan Garon, owner of MOLLY MAID Rutland, Melton Mowbray and Market Harborough at susan.garon@mollymaid. or call 01858 439 925.



Rutland flashback D





Henry I




URELY no county in England ever had a better motto than ours, here in Rutland - ‘Multum in parvo’ - meaning, of course, ’Much in Little’. Small in size - 382 square kilometres to be precise - this little English gem of a place is a true diamond in every way. Back in 2015 the annual Halifax Rural Areas Quality of Life Survey saw Rutland heading the list of top places in Britain to enjoy a rural idyll and, as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of our county being granted unitary status once more, let’s remind ourselves of some of its fascinating history, personalities and events.


By our very own Caroline Aston Duke of York and Richard II’s cousin. He loved hunting and translated a book called ‘The Master of Game’, which would have come in very handy in medieval Rutland!

TURNING BACK TIME Back in the reign of Henry I (1100-35) Rutland truly was a green and pleasant land - most of it was lush forest, a favourite for royal huntsmen. In fact, it hardly merited the title ‘county’ at all and its Domesday Book entry (1086) is distinctly unimpressive. Drive out to Beaumont Chase, near Uppingham, and you get a glimpse though the keyhole of history as you look across to the remains of Leyfield Forest - that’s what much of Rutland looked like. Oakham Castle was built between 1180 and 1190 for Wakelin de Ferrers and it’s of national importance, not truly a castle but more a Great Hall, probably of a larger fortified manor house. It’s a stunning example of Norman domestic architecture and features carvings thought to be by Canterbury Cathedral masons and is the longest running seat of justice in Britain. The first Assizes are recorded in 1229 and the 19th century court fittings remain in situ. Twenty years ago, we were liberated from our absorption into Leicestershire but Rutland was historically attached to Northamptonshire until the reign of King John (1198-1216) who briefly gifted the area to his Queen, Isabel. The first Earl of Rutland was Edward Plantagenet (1390), later



THE OAKHAM HORSESHOE Oakham Castle is home to the unique collection of ornamental horseshoes gifted over the centuries by royalty and aristocracy who passed through the county. It’s thought that the tradition arose from the de Ferrers family name - in Norman French it means farrier, a shoer of horses, and the horseshoe forms part of the county coat of arms to this day. The oldest example was gifted by Edward IV in 1470 during the War of the Roses. His horseshoe is defiantly dark and dominant, a reminder of the King’s authority and was originally decorated with painted red roses. Four future monarchs left their marks: the Prince Regent (later George IV) in 1814, little

Princess Victoria (1835), the future Edward VII (1895) and the short reigned Edward VIII (1921). George VI is the only ‘repeater’ - he donated shoes as Duke of York in 1921 and as King in 1944. It’s 50 years since our Queen donated her tribute on a Rutland visit in 1967. A stroll around the magnificently renovated Castle hall is like walking through a copy of Debretts Peerage, many of the titles now defunct. LINKS TO LORD’S Little Rutland has been home to some big names. The Earls of Gainsborough, Winchilsea and Denbigh have all lived here. Exton Park, the Gainsborough’s family George Finch, 9th Earl of seat, was visited Winchilsea by personalities as diverse as Shakespeare and Handel - who put on performances in the gardens there. George Finch, 9th Earl of Winchilsea (1752-1826), who lived at Burley House near Oakham, founded the MCC and some of the earliest Test matches were played at Burley on the Hill. His servant Thomas Lord acquired a cricket pitch in London’s Marylebone which to this day is known as ‘Lords’. As to the Denbighs, their seat was in the longvanished village of Martinsthorpe, about two miles from Oakham on the Uppingham Handel road.

WELL-SCHOOLED Rutland is home to two famous schools - Oakham and Uppingham. Both were founded in 1584 by local cleric Archdeacon Robert Johnson, Rector of North Luffenham for 51 years. They enjoy national reputations for excellence and Uppingham was the setting for the first Headmasters’ Conference in 1869 at the instigation of famed Headmaster Edward Thring. THE SHORTEST KNIGHT IN HISTORY Still standing in Oakham is the cottage home of Sir Jeffrey Hudson (1619 to around 1682). Known as ‘Lord Minimus of Rutland’ (and also as ‘the shortest Knight in history’), Hudson was just 18 inches high till he was 30 when a sudden growth surge shot him up to a dizzying 3 feet 6 inches. No one knows where the once famous little man is buried but his adventures were legendary. He came to the attention of Charles I’s queen, Henrietta Maria, when she was visiting the Duke of Buckingham at Burley. Dressed in a tiny suit of armour, he erupted through the crust of a joke pie, making a sweeping bow to a startled Queen who instantly decided to take him home with her to Court.

THE POPISH PLOT Titus Oates, known to history as the ‘greatest liar in Christendom’ was born at Flore’s House in Oakham High Street in 1649. He devised the ‘Popish Plot’, convincing many that Catholics were plotting to kill Charles II. Exposed as a liar he was pilloried, mocked and beaten through the streets of London at a cart’s tail, ultimately dying in obscurity in 1705.

WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE… Or so it seemed back in 1976 when what was then called ‘Empingham Reservoir’ officially opened. Following lobbying it became ‘Rutland Water’ but opposition to its creation had initially been fierce, especially from farmers and families whose homes and land disappeared into the watery depths. Now a huge tourist attraction, it is paradise for birdwatchers who flock to see the famous ospreys among the many other feathered stars that flourish there.

THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT Until the mid-20th century, Rutland’s population hardly changed. Between 1801 and 1881, just 1600 people lived here. Slowly this rose to, and remained at, 3,500 - there was even a decline in the ‘30s. How things have changed! The 2011 Census shows that well over 37,000 people can now call themselves Rutlanders. And what a proud title that is, one that we thought would be lost forever 20 years ago. Who can forget the 1960s campaign with its stirring slogan ‘Rutland Fights for Minority Rights’ when the county’s unitary status was first attacked and the celebrations when victory seemed to have been won? But relief was short lived - 1974 saw us engulfed, absorbed into Leicestershire. But ‘Vivat Rutland!’ - 23 years on the little county regained its separate status and we are once again raising our glasses and toasting its amazing past, present and, hopefully, even more glittering future quite a place to live! RUTLAND & MARKET HARBOROUGH LIVING APRIL 2017


Thankyou so much for our fantastic wedding breakfast! The food was amazing and we’ve had so much great feedback from our guests. The help from your staff setting up and on the day was above and beyond and they are an asset to your team. Natalie and James



A taste of the unexpected! Sean Hope names the 10 most unusual food and drink items ever served at The Olive Branch… PHOTO: HTTPS://TEMPEREDSPIRITS.COM

2. Crème de Violette

3. Plum Saké


E’VE run The Olive Branch since 1999 and in that time we’ve served some pretty interesting things: Stamford Truffles, Marmite Bloody Marys, Seaweed Meringues… you name it! So, inspired by our very recent flirtation with the amazing Finger Lime (see below), we thought it’d be good fun to list the top ten most intriguing things we’ve served.

We bought this especially for one of our Gourmet Dinners and it has become incredibly popular at The Olive Branch ever since – so much so that our wine suppliers now import it especially for us. Saké originates from Japan and is made by fermenting rice that has been polished to remove the bran.

We didn’t serve them raw, straight out of the shell like they do in the Far East. However, sea urchin (“urchin” is an old word for “hedgehog”, apparently) roe is delicious when mixed into wonderfully creamy scrambled eggs.

7. Black-Headed Gulls Eggs

These were a special request by one of our regulars at a party we were catering for at his home. Blackheaded gulls eggs have been described as having “the creamiest, richest flavour imaginable, with a subtle lingering aftertaste”. The gull’s egg season is short – April 1 to May 15 – and collectors (or “eggers” as they are known) must hold a government licence. There are only 25 or so licence holders in the world!

8. Seaweed Meringue This is currently on the menu and being served with scallops.

4. Stamford Truffles

9. 1943 Chateau Le Caillou Monbazillac This wine was discovered in a secret cellar in the Chateau in 1989 and is said to have been hidden away from the Nazis and only discovered by accident during building work. The casks weren’t dated so the wine could have been from any date prior to then. We bought two bottles. The wine is very dark in colour due to the length of time it spent in a cask. The flavour consists of raisins and dried fruit, with a great length of finish.

10. Kopi Luwak (a.k.a. cat poo coffee!)

1. Finger Limes

5. Marmite Bloody Mary

What can we say? It seemed a good idea at the time!

Kopi Luwak are coffee beans that contain partdigested coffee cherries eaten and then pooed out by the Asian palm civet! And actually we have never tried this – it just seems to be going too far! However, if any guests out there would like to request some, we would be happy to source it for you! RUTLAND & MARKET HARBOROUGH LIVING APRIL 2017



Ssshhh. Yes, once upon a time someone arrived at our back door with a wonderful black, earthy, nobbly fungus about the size of a golf ball. “I think this is a truffle,” he said, “I found it while digging up a tree in my field just down the road. What do you think?” There have been more since but we are not spilling the beans on the location!

We used these in a recent spring scallop dish and someone described them as a “zesty explosion”, which is a good choice of words. Originating from Australia, the finger lime – or the ‘distinctly ocker fruit’ as it is known (citrus Australasica) – is a long, slender, gherkin-shaped fruit that contains what can only be described as “lime caviar” – fishegg-like globules that release a lime punch when they burst in your mouth.


This liqueur is made with violet flowers and was requested by one of our guests to make a great cocktail with Champagne. It’s a floral, sweet liqueur and yes, it does remind you a bit of those Parma Violet sweets. Apparently: “Its known production dates back to the early 19th century when it was served with dry vermouth or alone as a cordial.”

6. Sea Urchin


Three of the best A hat-trick of local recommendations from Great Food Club. By Matt Wright & Anna Forgaard


ERE at Great Food Club, our Area Editors are always busy finding independent food and drink businesses to recommend to our members. Here are a trio of local places we’ve added to our network recently. Our advice is to pay them a visit (or in the case of B is for Brownie, order a slab!). We hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

B is for Brownie, Ryhall

Lou Cox has combined her love of food and cooking with her experience (gained at Hotel Chocolat) of working with high quality, singleorigin chocolate – and developed the most luxurious, rich, smooth and flavour-packed brownies you could hope to find. Lou’s objective is to produce brownies where chocolate is the star, bringing the unique and distinct flavours found in single-origin chocolate to the fore, and carefully balancing the other ingredients to complement the chocolate rather than mask it. She uses two varieties of chocolate: 100% Madagascan and 85% Colombian. The former contributes red berry flavours, gentle acidity and butteriness, the latter is dark with a smokey hit. The business may be called B is for Brownie, but do not expect a standard brownie. They are a cross between chocolate torte, truffle and the best chocolate cake, with a smooth, dense and moist consistency. Alongside the individual chocolate flavours, unrefined soft light brown sugar contributes a subtle hint of molasses, gluten-free flour produces a velvety texture and Guerande coarse



The Rutland Cookery School, Oakham Robin Stewart, ex-chef and Great Food Club’s Rutland Editor, is the man behind the brand new Rutland Cookery School on Oakham Enterprise Park. We recently held a Great Food Club team meeting there and were hugely impressed by what Robin has created. Once you’re inside the School you’ll be blown away by the layout, facilities and, of course, Robin’s superb tuition. Rutland Cookery School is receiving fantastic feedback on our website. Here’s what GFC member Amanda Keeble wrote after attending a fish course: “The premises are clean, modern and bright with beautiful decor and artwork. They are laid out as a kitchen with a dining area: each cooking station is fully equipped and there is a big screen on the wall so that you can copy Robin the chef. He was easy to listen to and able to give instructions, help and advice yet make you feel you were not on a course but cooking with friends. I used wonderful knives and chopped leeks, peppers and garlic so finely I realised I might need new knives at home! I learned how to fillet mackerel and produce a wonderful dish on a bed of cavolo nero. I also cooked smoked haddock with an egg on leeks with piped mash. Both dishes tasted incredible and I now feel confident that I can cook these for a dinner party. The presentation was so simple without loads of ingredients. I will be going again and have several friends who would also like to

sea salt is used in subtle but noticeable flakes. Plain is delicious but there is a wide range of flavours. Choose from Sea Salted Butterscotch or Raspberry Jam & Rosewater; flame raisins soaked in spiced rum produce a subtle Rum & Raisin. Then there’s The Blonde – singleorigin Dominican Republic white chocolate, creamy and sweet with just a hint of vanilla; and Banoffee Blonde, made with single-origin

attend. Thank you to Robin and team for a very enjoyable and educational morning.” Great Food Club members get 15% off courses at Rutland Cookery School.

Dominican Republic white chocolate, real banana and butterscotch. Other flavours are available according to seasons, events, or Lou’s creative mood. They are sold in slabs of half a kilo or more and posted out. They make perfect gifts and come carefully wrapped and boxed with a handwritten gift card if required. You can get 20% off all online orders by using the code “GFC” at checkout.

Tap & Kitchen, Oundle Based at the buzzing Oundle Wharf, Tap & Kitchen is a restaurant and bar owned and operated by Nene Valley Brewery. The interior is interesting, the food and drink menus are extensive and varied, and the opening hours will take you from morning coffee to post-dinner cocktails. Head chef Chris Peasgood, previously of The George in Stamford, and his team are serving some interesting and creative dishes. The ethos of the Tap & Kitchen is to serve “unpretentious, honest dishes” from locally sourced ingredients (where possible). Nearly everything is homemade, including pasta, sauces, home-cured bacon and sausages – even the tomato ketchup. The menu is a good length and changes daily according to the seasonal ingredients available. There is a broad choice of vegetarian, fish and meat dishes, so everyone is catered for. Sandwiches are a step up from the norm – for example: grilled halloumi, spiced tomato, avocado and rocket served on Hambleton Bakery brioche. The salads are creative, with marinated cauliflower, beansprouts, red onion, tomato, peas and feta offering plenty of colour, taste and texture. Main courses range from staple dishes such as cheeseburger with home-cured bacon and pickles served on a Hambleton Bakery bun, to roast hake with cockles, prawns, samphire and hipsi cabbage, and a roasted butternut, kale and cranberry cous cous served with feta and toasted walnuts. Desserts are divine. Expect favourites such as sticky toffee pudding and homemade ice creams, but don’t expect them to be boring – ice cream flavours include peanut butter and ginger. The drinks on offer include the entire Nene Valley Brewery range and there are plenty of wines by the glass as well as by the bottle. For those who want something special there is a limited Cellar List offering more expensive classics such as Chateau Talbot, Meursault Domaine Cornu and Chateau Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Papes. A venue that offers fabulous food is what we seek out at Great Food Club – a vibrant venue and an eclectic clientele is the icing on the cake. The Tap & Kitchen offer all three.

Get the 2017 Handbook The Great Food Club Handbook 2017 is out now. With over 100 pages, the new Handbook is a handbag or glovebox-sized publication with one simple aim: to guide you to some of the best independent restaurants, pubs, farm shops, breweries, food producers, delis and cafes. It is available to buy now for £4.95 including postage. Go to www., scroll to the bottom of the home page and click ‘Buy the Handbook’.

Join Great Food Club With its new editing team, Great Food Club is on a mission to unearth brilliant food and drink gems in your area and beyond. We currently recommend around 320 pubs, restaurants, producers and food shops, and around 200 of them run exclusive offers for Great Food Club members. Offers include 10% off at Stamford Cheese Cellar, 10% off at The Tobie Norris, a complimentary cocktail when you dine from the a la carte menu at The Olive Branch, 10% off at The King’s Arms in Wing, and 25% off at The Fox & Hounds in Exton. It is completely free to join and get a membership card – no catches – and we never share your data – sign up at

About the writer Matt Wright founded and runs, a Leicestershire-based website that celebrates and promotes local food and drink. His Great Food Club Handbook 2017 is out now



The George at Ashley

Come and join us at the following events:

Sunday 2nd April – Quiz Night Friday 14th April – Good Friday Fish Night Sunday 16th April – Easter Sunday Lunch and Afternoon Tea Monday 17th April – Easter Monday Lunch and Afternoon Tea Saturday 22nd & Sunday 23rd April – St. George’s Day Weekend Festival Saturday 29th April – Gourmet Tasting Evening introducing Steve Bulmer 

For more details and menus please visit our Facebook page or our website. 21 Main Street, Ashley, Northamptonshire. LE16 8HF T 01858 565411 E


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

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


Local bakers prepare an Easter feast When it comes to delicious Easter goodies, we’re spoiled for choice. The region boasts some wonderful bakeries that will be working around the clock to serve up treats such as hot cross buns, simnel cakes and crème egg brownies. Nick Rennie spoke to some of our talented bakers at one of their busiest times of the year. HAMBLETON BAKERY Julian Carter comes from a family line of 10 generations of bakers. He’s been head baker at Hambleton Bakery, at Exton, since it first fired up its ovens eight years ago. Julian (54) leads an operation that will make and sell thousands and thousands of hot cross buns this Easter, made to his own family recipe that dates back to the 1880s. “Easter is like Christmas for us - it’s the busiest time of the year by far,” he said. “We sell a lot of hot cross buns. It’s a heavier bun than most because it contains a lot more fruit PHOTO: ELLI DEAN and currants. I stole the recipe from my grandad. “We will not use additives or preservatives. Our buns are traditionally made and we use local producers for the ingredients.”

Hambleton Bakery started up with just two people but it now has 96 staff, including van drivers and packers as well as the bakery staff. It’s based in a building that was formerly a derelict power station that powered Exton estate. The bakery is in a secluded location. “It’s in the middle of nowhere,” said Julian. He added, with a chuckle: “People say ‘it must be lovely out there’ but at 2am in the morning it looks like everywhere else.” Hambleton Bakery is reviving a popular delicacy from over a century ago, the plum shuffle, containing ginger, caraway seeds and fruits. Julian added: “It was originally a Valentine’s bread but we’ve missed that day so we’ve decided to bring it out for Easter. It is traditionally cut in half, toasted and buttered.” BAINES BAKERY, UPPINGHAM Staff at Baines Bakery in Uppingham are celebrating the company’s 150th anniversary this year. Richard Baines (70), who runs the business with his wife Karen and daughter Kate, is the fifth generation of his family to be involved, baking quality bread, cakes, sandwiches and more on the same premises. Hot cross buns will once again be in big demand at the High Street West shop, a lovely old building dating back to the 17th century. “We’ve used the same recipe for hot cross buns almost forever,” said Richard. “It’s basically a sweet currant fruit dough with spices, it’s pretty simple. “We’ll sell thousands and thousands this Easter.” Richard succeeded his parents Maurice and Dora and says he will continue as long as he enjoys it. He added: “It’s nice that we have served generations of the same families over the years and our staff come from some families who have worked for us through different generations.”




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THE RUTLAND CAKE COMPANY, OAKHAM Naomi Morgan began baking cakes to sell from her own home a year ago. Her business, Rutland Cake Company, is now thriving with a busy kitchen based at the Oakham Enterprise Park. Her biggest seller this Easter, she says, is likely to be her crème egg brownies. “When I make them someone usually comes in and buys the lot,” she said. As well as baking for orders, Naomi also runs a café for tenants at the business park, on the former prison site on Ashwell Road. Her specialism is creating indulgent treats, as well as bespoke cakes made to order. Naomi’s cupcakes are very popular, as are her brownies, with fillings such as hazelnuts and salted caramel. She added: “We bake everything ourselves and we take a pride in using local produce and ingredients. “We could sell double the amount of cakes we do if we had more staff.”


WHISSENDINE WINDMILL One of England’s few remaining fully operational 19th century windmills, Whissendine supplies flour to local bakeries including Hambleton Bakery. Fancy making your own bread? Buy it direct from the mill during opening hours or from Whissendine’s mace village store. The windmill also runs break-making courses. Call 01780 410078 or visit for more information.



LOCAL BAKERIES Hambleton Bakery, 2 Cottesmore Road, Exton LE15 8AN (shops in Oakham, Stamford, Market Harborough, Exton, Oundle, West Bridgford). 01572 757541 Baines Bakery, High Street West, Uppingham LE15 9QB. 01572 823317 The Bakery at Farndon Fields Farm Shop, Farndon Road, Market Harborough LE16 9NP. 01858 464838 bakery The Garage Bakehouse, 6 Roman Way, Market Harborough LE16 7PQ. 07791 951984 The Rutland Cake Company, Oakham Enterprise Park, Ashwell Road, Oakham.

Easter Weekend Sunday 16th & Monday 17th April Children’s Free Easter Egg Hunt

LUNCH SPECIAL OFFER Wednesday to Friday. Two Courses for £12.50

STEAK NIGHT EVERY WEDNESDAY Two Steaks (Ribeye, Fish or Gammon) & Two glasses of house wine for £25


3rd Thursday of the month. Talented local musicians playing Live Music from 8pm WE OFFER A Warm Welcome I A Selection of Real Ales Premium Lagers and Quality Wines Seasonal and Varied Menu I Roaring Log Fire Large Garden I Parties and Functions Overnight Accommodation I Children and Dogs Welcome

More information and our current menu on our website


Tuesday 6pm - 10.30pm Wednesday & Thursday 12 noon - 3pm, 6pm - 10.30pm Friday & Saturday 12 noon - 3pm, 6pm - 11pm Sunday 12 noon - 6pm Monday Closed

T: 01572 747365 E:

Country Inn and Restaurant A warm welcome is assured at our quintessential old English county pub, bringing you the best of British home cooked meals and a choice of well kept Real Ales.

Why not join us for Sunday Lunch? Choice of 3 roasts all served with the traditional trimmings £9.95 for one course up to £15.95 for three courses

Curry Night

1st Thursday of every month. Two course menu with selection of starters, followed by three homemade curries £10.95 a head

Friday Lunchtime Special

2 Portions of Cod, Chips and Mushy Peas for £10 Tue, Wed, Thur 12pm – 11pm (Food 12pm – 2.30pm/6.30pm – 9.30pm) Fri, Sat 12pm – 12am (Food 12pm – 2.30pm/6.30pm – 9.30pm) Sun 12pm – 6pm (Food 12.30pm – 3pm).Closed Mondays


14 Arnhill Road, Gretton | Northants, NN17 3DN

Tel: 01536 770268 29

Advertisement Feature

HARBOROUGH MARKET Market Harborough, a beautiful town nestling in the Welland Valley right on the Northamptonshire/Leicestershire border is undergoing a bit of a food revolution!


lready home to an impressive range of outlets for locally sourced produce the town will soon play host to an exciting monthly artisanal and street food event. Starting this April, the third Thursday of each month will see the brand new ”Market Harborough Food Fair” on the square. You can expect a large selection of mouth wateringly delicious street food from around the world alongside locally sourced and produced hot ready to eat and ambient produce. The first event will be hosted on the 20th April by local legends 102.3 Harborough FM who will be broadcasting and talking live to traders and public alike on air from the square. The food fair is designed to complement the already hugely successful first Thursday monthly Farmers Market where you can purchase fresh fruit and veg, locally sourced meats, vegan produce, flowers and plants, handmade pies and cakes, local cheeses and even a locally brewed beer or two! Whilst visiting the events why not pop over the bridge to the award-winning Harborough Indoor market and sample some of the amazing local produce on offer regularly there? The food hall features John Ross & Son butchers, Boyds` fruit `n` veg, Routs Fishmonger and Sue`s Cheese stall, all bringing you the personal touch and produce fresh from the farm and producer direct to the market. Have a full meal or just a light bite in one of the two great cafes, try the best fish and chips in town or something from the unique Dim Sum Master serving the most amazing authentic Chinese cuisine right in the heart of the market. All this combines with a great range of retail, craft and antique markets in the main hall to make it easy to see how the market has won so many accolades, including “Best Small Indoor Market” in 2016.


So, if you can’t make it to the Indoor Market or Farmers Markets before, mark the 20th of April in your diaries for the first “Market Harborough Food Fair” and tickle your taste buds with some perfect produce from the square in Market Harborough. You could say it’s like normal food...squared.

Harborough Market is operated by Market Place and is open 8am to 5pm Tuesday to Saturday and 10am to 4pm Sunday.


Rutland Cake Company launches in Ashwell A local baker has built her own custom café and bakery at Oakham Enterprise Park from the ground up to use as a community hub.


AOMI Morgan from Langham started baking 10 years ago to combat depression and has been baking celebration cakes for friends ever since. The Rutland Cake Company began operation from Naomi’s home 18 months ago but when she needed more space, she approached the enterprise park based at the former Ashwell prison site. Naomi said, “There was a need for a café on site and we knew we could build something really special. My husband Owen is an international landscape architect, so we started planning and finally finished building at the beginning of February. We’re already attracting businesses looking for somewhere different with lots of parking, but we also want to work with clubs, cyclists and older people who are looking for a quiet place to meet.” Naomi is keen to support other Rutland enterprises and many of her ingredients are locally sourced. “We want to work with the community, so if we’re asked to open outside normal hours we will do our best to accommodate everyone,” adds Naomi. The café is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 2pm on Saturdays. • Find Naomi at

Top chef Ben Tish joins Nevill Holt Opera festival N

EVILL Holt Opera and Stones Events are welcoming celebrity chef Ben Tish into the culinary mix at this year’s Nevill Holt Opera summer festival, taking place on 15, 17, 18, 20 and 22 June. Lincolnshire-born Ben earnt his stripes across the London restaurant scene at Maze in Mayfair, Coast, One Lawn Terrace and The Ritz to name but a few. He’s worked with some of the greats, including Stephen Terry and Jason Atherton, and made a name for himself at The Crinan Hotel in Scotland, where he was awarded ‘Best Newcomer’ and ‘Best Gastro Pub in Scotland’ by the Good Food Guide. In 2016, he released a book on Basque-style barbequing, ‘Grill Smoke BBQ’. Working with Stones Events, Ben has created a Kitchen Garden menu, new for the 2017 season. A delectable menu of buffet dishes and desserts designed to tantalise your taste buds whilst showcasing, where possible, the freshest seasonal ingredients from the estate’s own kitchen gardens. • For more information on the collaboration between Ben Tish and Stones Events at Nevill Holt Opera, visit or to book tickets, call the booking office on 0115 8467777.

Braunston’s Blue Ball art exhibition T

HE Blue Ball at Braunston-in-Rutland is hosting a colourful exhibition of artwork by three local artists – Bob Willars, Carolyn Siddall and Alison Bowles. The exhibition opened on 23 March, and will be available for viewing during usual pub opening hours until 7 May. The collection is an eclectic mixture of media, styles and subjects – but all from the perspective of each individual’s time spent in Rutland. Bob is the relative newcomer, having moved to the country from Devon four years ago. Coastal scenes continue to fascinate him, along with interesting buildings. He has explored a wide range of media (including printing and acrylics) as a means of personal expression and exploration, which is reflected in the works shown in the exhibition, although his love of

watercolour has been a mainstay throughout this period. Carolyn Siddall, however, has been a Rutlander for more than 40 years, and her love of gardening and flowers is clear from her collection of acrylics and mixed media artwork. Carolyn is fascinated by the structure and colours of flowers, and has recently been inspired through working with the artist, Soraya French. Alison Bowles is a multi-media artist, who is well known for her torn paper collages featuring scenes on and around Rutland Water. She likes to experiment with a wide range of media, and expresses her creativity through her bold use of colour, form and materials. • The Blue Ball at Braunston, 6 Cedar Street, Braunston, Nr Oakham, LE15 8QS. 01572 722135 RUTLAND & MARKET HARBOROUGH LIVING APRIL 2017




Lake Isle Fine Dining Nicholas Rudd-Jones thoroughly enjoys Uppingham’s premier eating establishment


AKE Isle is a proper restaurant for those evenings when you are done with the hitand-miss of pub grub and want a meal that you know will deliver three interesting and wellcooked courses. Our evening began with a very enlivening gin & tonic, complimentary nibbles and a gentle perusal of the menu in the lounge area - a convivial space with some good paintings on the wall. We were then taken to our table when the meal was ready to be served. For starters, my partner chose the ‘Steamed Brae mussels with cider, smoked bacon, spring onion and clotted cream, Somerset brie on toast’ – one of the most flavourful sauces imaginable and a real treat. I chose the ‘Crispy Panko scallops, pulled beef brisket, with roasted cauliflower and satay crème’ – a little bit out of the ordinary flavour-wise and absolutely delicious. For mains, my partner went for the ‘Jerk spiced vegetables, coconut rice and peas, chilli cheese and green onion fritters, avocado and lime ketchup.’ To me, it’s a sign of confidence

and commitment that the chef puts the vegetarian options first on the menu, a refreshing change from the afterthought that the vegetarian option so often is. But that in no way means they don’t do great meat dishes too, as I was soon to discover. I opted for the ‘Bacon wrapped fillet of pork, apple and hash browns, with white stilton creamed leeks and black pudding purée’. Rich, powerful, delicious and, above all, good ingredients well cooked. For dessert, we shared the mightily indulgent Millionaire’s Shortbread – a chocolate crème with toffee jelly shortbread and caramelised white chocolate ice cream. The wine list is seriously good too – with a leaning to the classics, a great showing of French and one or two interesting twists… If you haven’t been recently, set sail for the Lake Isle once again, you will not be disappointed. • 16 High St E, Uppingham, Oakham, LE15 9PZ 01572 822951

The Tobie Norris Some pubs ooze character and in Stamford, they are in abundance. However, in Victoria Magnall’s view, one particular pub stands out for more than just its unique charm and sets itself apart with the most enticing offering.


ORE a thinkers’ pub than a drinkers’ pub, the Tobie Norris (modestly located alongside the Mad Turk and The Wine Bar on St Paul’s Street) ticks every point on a wish list for the ultimate cosy pub experience. Often called the Tobie or the Norris, and part of the recognised Knead group, this unique establishment is a welcoming hub, sprawling from one beamed room to another. Dried hops, Chanel dispensers and historical newspaper cuttings adorn the walls and indicate that if the walls could talk you would never leave! Each room at the Tobie has a different feel and because of this you can have an alternative yet complementary experience with each visit. What is consistent is the outstanding service and legendary great food. The eclectic team are diverse, interesting and interested! A lone diner will happily find

invigorating conversation with any one of the Tobie team who are the heartbeat of the notable warm atmosphere. A collective of friendly, regular customers (and their array of charismatic dogs!) endorses the Tobie...many a friendship has started in the beer garden over an Aspall or sharing a shot of salted caramel gin for the first time. The delicious and varied menu served at the Tobie is so sought after that those in the know arrive ‘early doors’ to ensure a great table and first food order. Catering for vegetarians and specialising in alternative pizzas & luxury roasts it is no wonder that there is such recognition of the Tobie. Holding events throughout the year, including a bank holiday gin bar, and a sold out New Year’s Eve party, April at the Tobie is sure to be the go-to place to enjoy a drink or two in the spring evenings. RUTLAND & MARKET HARBOROUGH LIVING APRIL 2017



UPDATES News & Views Tallinn


Top five holiday destinations for 2017 The holiday experts at Oundle Travel offer this year’s prime destinations. For relaxation…. Croatia and The Dalmatian Coast – outstandingly beautiful, the newest star of the Mediterranean…. Beautiful

coastline, unspoilt towns, medieval walled cities, churches and palaces. For tailor-made adventure…. Argentina – visit Buenos Aires, classic architecture and a cosmopolitan feel, take in a Tango show in a traditional theatre then combine with Iguazu Falls and end with a stay at an Estancia and experience Gaucho life. For a weekend away …. Tallinn – one of Northern Europe’s

best preserved medieval towns and founded in the early 13th century, Tallin has been influenced by periods of Danish, Swedish and Russian rule. For an activity holiday…. Cuba – why not take one of our cycling tours and combine with sightseeing on this historical island? Ride into the Sierra Maetra Mountain Range and enjoy staying in small Casas with local guides.

For the family…. Paxos – one of the smallest and least-developed islands in the Ionian, Paxos has it all… turquoise waters, picturesque villages and fantastic beaches. Villas are a firm favourite with families. • For more information on the above destinations or for further inspiration, contact Oundle Travel on 01832 273600 or sales@oundletravel.

Private renting in Oakham set to hit 929 households by 2021 This month, our local buy-to-let expert and property investment advisor, David Crooke, owner of UPP Property Agents, reflects on the big factors currently affecting the local property market


RE the 55 to 70 year olds to blame for the current housing crisis in our towns? Also known as the ‘Baby Boomers’, they were born after the end of WWII as the country recovered from wartime economic hardships and saw a massive population explosion. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, whilst in their 20s, 30s and 40s, they experienced an unparalleled level of economic growth and prosperity on the back of improved education, government subsidies, escalating property prices and technological developments. Yet some have suggested these baby boomers have (and are) making too much money to the detriment of their children creating a ‘generational economic imbalance’, where mature people benefit from houseprice growth, whilst their children are forced

either to pay massive rents or pay large mortgages. The issue of housing is particularly acute with the generation born between the mid-80s and 90s. These 18 to 30 year olds are finding it very difficult to buy property, as ‘greedy’ landlords are buying up all the property to rent back to them at exorbitant rents. It’s no wonder they are lashing out at buy-to-let landlords, often seen as immoral people cashing in on a social despair. However, the three biggest influencing factors on the property market in the latter half of the 20th Century were: firstly, the mass building of council housing in the 1950s and 60s; secondly, for the Tories to sell most of those council houses off in the 1980s and, finally, 15% interest rates in the early

1990s, which resulted in many houses being repossessed. In 1995, the USA relaxed its lending rules, with the viewpoint that anyone should be able to buy a home. Unsurprisingly, the UK followed suit in the early 2000s, as companies relaxed their lending criteria and marketed 100% mortgages, even Northern Rock offered 125% mortgages. Today, we can observe the same footloose approach with 125% mortgages, but this time ironically reciting the Bank of England backed hymn-sheet of ‘responsible lending’. Now, on every ‘first-time buyer’s’ mortgage application the lenders are looking at every transaction on the applicant’s bank statements. It’s no wonder they are afraid to ask for a mortgage, as more often than not, the answer is negative. Conversely, you have unregulated buy-tolet mortgages, where as long as you have a 25% deposit, have a pulse, pass a few very basic yardsticks and have a reasonable job, the banks will literally throw money at you. Virgin Money, for example, are offering 2.99% fixed for three years – so cheap! So, it seems young people aren’t buying property any more and it’s not always for the reasons you think.






Wonderful Wistow – the best kept secret in Leicestershire Wistow is a beautiful and historic hamlet in rolling countryside just a few miles south of Leicester and north of Market Harborough. Amander Meade explores the thriving Rural Centre with its awardwinning Café Bistro, large garden centre and a variety of independent shops. PHOTOGRAPHY: ELLI DEAN


HE highly acclaimed Wistow Café Bistro celebrates 10 years in business this month and has certainly come a long, long way from the derelict, abandoned unit taken on by owner Jane Clifford a decade ago. “We had just four weeks to turn around a dirty, dank unit running with damp into a cheerful café – it was a real labour of love as well as a big financial risk, with all the family pitching in to make sure we could open our doors on time. Thank goodness our opening weekend proved hot and sunny as we were really only geared up at that time for cake and ice cream.” Fast forward to the present day and the cafe has expanded beyond recognition into a



Bistro with a beautiful interior space as well as outside seating for summer dining. Two years ago, a brand new industrial-size kitchen enabled the team to fulfil their potential with outside catering and now are in constantly high demand to supply their trademark dishes for corporate lunches, parties, celebratory events, launches, funerals, baby showers and, of course, weddings. Jane is passionate about good food and will only serve the kind of high-quality fare she would like to eat herself. “Our core menu consists of all the classic favourites but we tweak and alter ingredients and add dishes both seasonally and according to what our customers tell us they like,” she explains. “My

personal feeling is that food can be delicious, tempting and full of great flavour whilst at the same time being wholesome and healthy – the two elements come together here and our customers seem to love it.” Always exploring new ways of serving imaginative and nutritious treats, Jane’s menu for summer includes Buddha Bowls, internationally inspired brunch and lunch options and of course, her stunning homemade cakes and scones. With a team of five dedicated bakers on site, the freshness of the bakes is unsurpassed and, having recently reduced the sugar content of all her bakes, customers have reported the flavour is better than ever. A very happy birthday to Wistow Bistro and

here’s to the next 10 years. Ken Bailey at Wistow is a long established and very popular garden centre with everything you need to cultivate a beautiful garden design with seasonal plants, trees and shrubs ready to plant. Very well laid out, tidy and easy to navigate, there’s a wide selection of garden sundries, equipment and accessories including pots and planters, tools, terracotta and stone and a local compost delivery service too. The staff are very approachable and are all trained to offer the very best advice – one of the best garden centres in the region, according to their loyal customers. If you can’t visit in person, take advantage of the excellent website and online ordering service.

Turkish-born Sefer Ustabas, owner of The Olive Tree Company is dedicated to changing the way UK consumers think about olives. Sefer sources and marinates the best Turkish black olives flavouring them with garlic, chilli, basil and oregano. The deli sells stuffed vine leaves, sun-dried tomatoes with Italian cheese, Turkish Delight, Baklava and a small range of gorgeous authentic Turkish rugs and lanterns. Out of the ordinary home-cooked Turkish food - a deli with a difference for sure. Jocalia is a fantastic shop brimming with fashion accessories, scarves, bags and jewellery by a mixture of local and national suppliers. Loyal customers return time and time again to seek out unusual giftware, cards and stationery

as well as men’s accessories and leather goods. Outerspace specialise in out-of-the-ordinary garden ware – much of it with a wildlife theme. You will find an array of items ranging from candle holders to sets of garden furniture as well as oil burners, gel burners, lanterns, seed boxes, plant markers, zinc pots, metal signs and bird feeders. A great range of outdoor ‘canvas art’, sculpture and plenty of indoor and outdoor lights with a modern twist. Owned by the same family, sister store Utopia specialises in fragrance-led products with a huge range of scented candles, diffusers, toiletries and burners for the home and that also make ideal gifts. Brands stocked include St Eval, Fired Earth, Heart & Home and Wax Lyrical. If you RUTLAND & MARKET HARBOROUGH LIVING APRIL 2017



Additional extras Wistow Rural Centre has ample free parking and is found on Kibworth Road, Wistow, Leicestershire LE8 0FQ. Find details of all the businesses at the centre at value exceptional customer service then you will appreciate the warm welcome and superb advice offered by Sharon Mihlethaler, who is an expert on all the brands she handles. Akiko Womenswear opened just under three years ago and has already racked up a loyal following of fans who love their design-led and distinctive women’s fashion collection. You’ll find great styling advice and unique jewellery brands including the hand made Millou range made by Rachael Higham. There’s an online store too with brands including East of India homewares and clothing by Lottie and Moll. Lovely to browse and very helpful staff. The Porcupine Company is an established family business supplying high-quality furniture ranging from traditional to modern styles. The showroom stocks all the most popular ranges, but there is also a comprehensive website and a made-tomeasure service for unique pieces. “Our craftsmen can make almost anything from a range of different woods and can even offer a colour-matching service.” As well as furniture, there is a dedicated gift section containing cards, crafts and home accessories. Specialist items for dogs including harnesses,


high-quality food and treats, coats, collars and leads can all be found at Inner Wolf. They also supply all kinds of equipment and clothing for fans of camping, running, cycling and canicross. You will also find great advice and accessories for gun dog training, rigs and mushing. Wistow Gallery exclusively promotes and showcases the creative talents of Leicestershire and Rutland artists, makers and designers. Their work is displayed in a welcoming and relaxing environment. Throughout the year there is a packed programme of art and craft workshops on offer in the workspace within the gallery and all the details are listed on their website. An ideal destination to relax, shop and develop your creative talents. Summertime brings with it the seasonal opening of the famous and award-winning Wistow Maze. Open from mid-July to early September seven days a week, the giant maize and sunflower maze is great fun to explore. Children are challenged to unravel the quiz trail and find all 12 clues hidden amongst the three miles of paths. The maze also incorporates high bridges and viewing towers that give visitors stunning panoramic views over the giant maze and the beautiful surrounding countryside.


Directory: Wistow Café Bistro 0116 259 3756 Utopia Home Fragrance 0116 259 2023 Olive Tree Company 0116 2593 441 Jocalia 0116 259 1035 Inner Wolf 0116 337 3053 Outer Space 0116 259 2467 The Porcupine Company 0116 259 3000 Akiko Womenswear 07745 064737 Ken Bailey at Wistow 0116 259 2009 Wistow Maze 07884 403889 Wistow Gallery phone: 0116 259 2400 There are numerous country walks around St Wistan’s Church and the Grand Union Canal, attractive cottages and flats for rental, and views of historic Wistow Hall with its scenic parkland and lake.

Situated in the tranquil surroundings of Wistow Rural Centre our individual shop presents a carefully selected range of handbags, jewellery and fashion accessories to ensure that whatever the mood or event there is one to flatter you.

The Porcupine Company is the place to go for beautifully made furniture and a range of lovely gifts and accessories for all.

Wistow Rural Centre, Kibworth Road, Leic. LE8 0QF

Tel: 0116 259 3000 Facebook

• Handbags, including leathers • Contemporary & classic fashion jewellery and scarves • Stylish and interesting gifts for any occasion and all the family.

Opening Times: Daily 10:30 to 16:30 Closed Easter Sunday Unit 8, Wistow Rural Centre, Kibworth Road, Wistow, Leicestershire, LE8 0QF Telephone: 0116 2591035 Web: 41


SHEP Design Ltd Leicester’s Premier Garden Centre

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Traditional Restoration Timber Renovation Specialists Old sash & casement windows, exterior doors & joinery

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Room for improvement

Nathaniel Oliver

Whether you’re ripping out and installing a new kitchen or bathroom or tackling another big home improvement project, Kirstie Mitchell has some top tips from our local industry experts to guide you through the planning process.

Nathaniel Oliver

Manufacturing quality fitted kitchen furniture for over 40 years, Kitchens by Nathaniel Oliver can offer design and installation, or even full project management if desired. Follow their important points to consider when planning a new kitchen:

Alexander Lewis



TARTING a new kitchen project can seem a daunting task at first, but following these top tips from these local companies will help your project run smoothly. Leading the way in the bespoke furniture industry is local firm Alexander Lewis Kitchens. Their quality, service and attention to detail has an unrivalled reputation across the UK and their work is regularly featured in national magazines. They produce simply stunning kitchens, bedrooms, studies and libraries for the most discerning clients across the country and beyond. The showroom in Market Harborough displays examples of their high-quality craftsmanship and passion for manufacturing exceptional bespoke furniture.

Having the area’s largest kitchen showroom, QKS Kitchens’ impressive showroom has over 30 room settings. Bespoke handmade, rigid and non-rigid cabinetry with 1,000 different door styles and colours and 200 types of work surfaces are available. They also stock Siemens and are a Master Dealer for Neff Appliances. Malcolm Brandwood and the team offer a wealth of experience so they can provide the best possible kitchens with service that reflects 36 years in the industry.

QKS Kitchens

TOP TIP Kitchens need to provide the storage and functionality that’s needed and, more than ever before, the kitchen is a multi-purpose room. Think about how you plan on using your kitchen and plan the layout in a way that makes best use of the space. Use a highquality product that ensures longevity.

TOP TIP Plan ahead! When embarking on a new kitchen, it’s never too early to plan your layout and design. Consider factors such as windows and doors and how these will fit in with your new kitchen design. QKS Kitchens



• Put function first. Style and aesthetic are important but, first and foremost, a kitchen needs to be functional. • Ensure that you maximise the storage space. This is important to allow the work spaces to remain clear. • Spend time considering the lighting – don’t stand at the worktop in shadow. • Consider safety, especially if there are young children around. Consider rounded worktops and high-level appliances. • Think about how you will handle waste. Think not only about your general waste but also consider recycling and food waste. • Finally, be sure that you find a kitchen designer that you can work with and that has a proven track record in their field.

Harborough Lights



ETTING your lighting right is key to achieving the perfect finish to your home or outside space. Lighting the different rooms in your home requires a little thought and planning, so we’ve asked two local lighting companies for their top tips. Livingstone Moore Interiors

Bathrooms and wet rooms


GOOD bathroom should be a place of solitude where we go to re-energise in the morning or wind down and relax with a long soak in the bath in the evening. Redesigning a new bathroom is an exciting task that poses many questions, so you might be wondering where to begin… Livingstone Moore Interiors is a familyrun independent business that prides itself on helping customers achieve their perfect bathroom. They can carry out the full project from design to installation. Here are their top tips to consider when redesigning a bathroom: 1. Think about what you want from your new bathroom - a more modern look and feel perhaps, more user-friendly, more space, size (what will and won’t fit), storage (now and in the future), daily routine, your favourite bathrooms. 2. What can affect the cost of your new bathroom? 3. What are the time scales to fit a new bathroom? 4. Consider your drainage. 5. Get clever with your storage. 6. Consider building regulations.

Hidden problems with a new bathroom: • Re-plastering: it’s very common for old plaster to come away when tiles are being removed. • Does the pipework need replacing? Old plumbing may need to be looked at once the old suite is removed. • Bathroom floor joists. When you start pulling up baths and sinks, you can find that the joists below may need attention. • Electrics: Old electrics may need upgrading to cope with new lighting or simply to bring it into line with new regulations. All Water Solutions are one of the area’s most experienced home improvement companies, specialising in bespoke bathrooms and wet rooms. With over 30 years of trading, they can provide all the help and expertise required, from design to installation.


All Water Solutions

Extensions QKS Ltd specialises in home extensions, conservatories, traditional and contemporary orangeries, glass rooms and annexes. Established in 1981, they have gained extensive experience in dealing with Heritage sites and Grade 1 & 2 listed buildings, situations where architectural sensitivity is paramount. A visit to the newly refurbished QKS showroom in Stamford provides the opportunity to view a representative selection of products. QKS also offer a full range of other products to complete your home makeover including electronically operated roller garage doors, and a full range of replacement fascia, soffits and all rainwater goods.

Harborough Lights is a lighting design consultancy with a showroom displaying the very best in British and European decorative lighting options. Their expert lighting advice? • Zone areas for different times and activities, have separate switches for down lights, pendants and under cabinet lights. • If a pendant is your main light source, be aware that a solid one will only allow light down, so is great over a table, but not to light a whole room. • Consider accent lighting for effects, or to give a guide light if you don’t want to put on the main lights just to make a cuppa. • Bathroom lights are regulated. Ensure you have the correct IP rating (Ingress Protection) depending on where the lights are to be fitted.

QKS Homes

All Water Solutions

Lighting design specialists, Lumison Lighting, has an extensive range of stylish inspirational lighting in their Oakham showroom. Their tips for planning a new lighting scheme: • Start to plan the lighting at the beginning of any project. Think of lighting as a way of enhancing your surroundings, not just so you can see in the dark. • Consider the room, what it’s used for and its needs with ambient, accent and task lighting. • If there’s room, hang a central statement piece. If the lighting for the rest of any room has been well considered, this doesn’t need to be a main source of light but more aesthetic. • Consider sockets when drawing up a lighting scheme. Where on the walls do you need them? Do you need floor sockets? Do you need a 5 Amp lighting circuit for dimming and switching table lamps and floor lamps from a single wall switch? • Exterior lighting for a garden should be subtle and help bring the outside into your property, especially where rooms with a large glazed area look out towards a garden. Without any subtle exterior lighting, large glazed areas can feel dull and reflect the interior of a room. RUTLAND & MARKET HARBOROUGH LIVING APRIL 2017



Restoration and salvage


HEN you come across rotted wood in your house project, instead of replacing the damaged wood, you can repair it. Wood is so long lasting if it is taken care of, and even if you think it is beyond repair it can usually be restored. Traditional Restoration use a resin for repairing some areas or cut out the rotten timber and add new with amazing results. TOP TIP The key to keeping timber as good as new is painting it every few years to keep the elements out.

Traditional Restoration - BEFORE

Traditional Restoration - AFTER

Oak-framed projects and joinery


AK-FRAMED extensions, conservatories and outbuildings are a desirable option for those wishing to enlarge any style of home. With over 12 highly trained professional staff and a team of apprentices working under them, Natural Structures is a family-run business passionate and very proud of their artisan heritage. They have the flexibility to cope with large, highly detailed oak-frame projects and simple smaller designs.

Natural Structures Natural Structures

2nd space

Salvaging and rejuvenating wooden furniture can add a vintage and retro feel to your interior. 2ND SPACE in Market Harborough offers a bespoke service for the creation of furniture from salvaged materials. If you have an idea, come and run it past them. 2nd space is currently open to the public on Saturdays and other times by appointment.

TOP TIP Natural light is a big thing and plays the most dominant rule for Natural Structures.

With over 42 years of experience in the joinery trade, Roger Kendrick Bespoke Carpentry and Joinery has built up an enviable reputation of high-quality workmanship and affordable pricing. Working mainly with oak, recent commissions include kitchens, timber-framed extensions, windows, gates and bespoke furniture.

Harborough Stone



ITH spring in full swing, it’s the perfect time to update your fireplace and add an uplifting new focal point to your home. Whether it be adding a wood-burning or multifuel stove, open, electric, or gas fire, or creating a fresh look by adding a wooden beam or mantel, or a bespoke stone fireplace… Starting the process couldn’t be easier with Harborough Stone, one of the region’s leading stonemasons and fireplace specialists. Visit their showroom in Market Harborough to find out how their made-to-measure service can meet your taste and budget.



Roger Kendrick Bespoke Carpentry and Joinery

DIRECTORY 2nd Space/Keals, 10a Abbey Street, Market Harborough, 01858 419798, Alexander Lewis Kitchens, Millers Yard, Market Harborough, 01858 434444, All Water Solutions, The Offices, Glaston Road, Uppingham, 01572 824004, Harborough Lights, 13 Manor Walk, Market Harborough, 01858 467716, Harborough Stone, Sully’s Yard, Adam and Eve Street, Market Harborough, 01858 410033, Kitchens by Nathaniel Oliver, Braunston Road, Oakham, 01572 722636 Livingstone Moore Interiors, Cockerell Road, Corby,

TOP TIP Do your research. Find out as much as you can about your forthcoming project, whether it be a new kitchen or an extension. Use the internet and magazines for inspiration and ideas on what you want your project to look like.

01536 260663, Lumison Lighting, 1 South Street, Oakham, 01572 724600, Natural Structures, The Manor, Tur Langton, 01858 545518 QKS Ltd, Unit 4, Priory Industries, Cherryholt Lane, Stamford, 01780 756666 QKS Kitchens, Barnack Road, Stamford, 01780 755855, Roger Kendrick Bespoke Carpentry and Joinery, 01536 400095/07786 861211 Traditional Restoration, 01572 720524,

With beds, mattresses, headboards and more, chosen and designed with you in mind. 47


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Sheds… a place to retreat to Local artist Nicola Hardy reveals her love for the hut at the bottom of her garden


HEDS are so wonderfully adaptable. Not only are they many men’s favourite hideaway and tool storage area, they are taking shape as offices and studios. Women are wanting sheds of their own now, a place to retreat to - to read, write, create pottery, paint or simply to relax in and enjoy the garden. For me, my shed’s my private den, packed to the rafters with painting paraphernalia - where I can listen to music and get lost in the world of my imagination. I take a flask of coffee and a snack or two and stay for hours, happily painting away until the guilt of not doing chores eventually gets the better of me. And the beauty of having this separate place is that I don’t have to keep tidying up after myself… I can leave all the mess just as it is and return to it whenever I want, without it disturbing the rest of the family. The commute to my shed, leaving the domestic behind to embrace the creative takes just seconds, so I can pop back last thing at night to take a final look at what I’ve done during the day and secretly hope it looks better in the morning! If you are considering relocating to the bottom of the garden, grab yourself a copy of ‘Shed Chic’ or simply absorb a few ideas from

Pinterest. There are solutions to suit almost any garden shape, size or budget, and many incorporate extras like underfloor heating, air conditioning, sinks, fridges and wonderful light fixtures. Even if you’ve never dreamed of having your own little idyll at the bottom of your garden, after a session of research on the internet and pontificating through shed lifestyle books and magazines, your minds will be changed and you’ll want one - now! My mind was changed after watching ‘George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces - Shed of the Year’. Before heading out to the nearest garden centre or shed specialist, you may need to consider these following points: 1. Size-planning rules may prevent you from building a massive shed but common sense tells you not to make the structure out of proportion to your house. 2. As a key feature, what do you want your shed to look like? In keeping with your existing house or garden or a contemporary design? It

can take centre-stage in the garden or you may prefer it to blend into the natural surroundings, creating a secret den. 3. Orientation - do you need natural light? Yes - if you plan to paint or design in there. Or would a shady spot suffice? Chose a sheltered area away from prevailing and driving wind, and think about the views you’ll see from the windows. 4. If you live in a preservation area, check with your local council before you chop down any trees. 5. Make the space around your shed attractive - create an access path, pave, pebble or deck to the front and sides and add planters and flowers to give it a small garden. The more homely your shed is, the more you’ll want to spend time in it. Sheds can range from a few hundreds of pounds to £100,000. While most people can’t afford the top-range sheds, this doesn’t mean you miss out - you just need to use your imagination to come up with unique and fun ideas.



My shed The original plan was just to have one. My husband wanted one, so I wanted one too, but then my daughter Tamara piped up saying she wanted it to be like a cosy retreat for her and her friends. She even went as far designing a vibrant moroccan/Tibetan scheme (see moodboard to the right) before her A level work became a more important topic to focus on. That’s when I moved in with my paints and canvasses. The dining room table could finally be somewhere to eat again - free from the hideous mess I used to make. I moved another small table into the shed so Tamara could join me there to experiment with various mixed media on her latest A level art pieces. She was a little rude about my choice of music - but apart from that we’d spend hours in our shed daintily daubing at canvasses. We’d liberally splatter the floor, walls and ceiling with generous globs of paint (when our daubs were a little less than dainty) but nobody cared - not even my hubby. We found some interesting light fittings with a remote control, so you can light up your shed when night falls, which makes the journey to and fro a lot easier. Lumison Lighting in Oakham stock a variety of external light designs - they’ll advise you how best to light up your shed and garden. The surrounding area was tidied up - hubby built a couple of raised vegetable beds to one side and I planted flowers alongside the shed, we pebbled the walkways to make access easier and more attractive. We will, one day, insulate it (I have a small portable radiator in there, which helps in cooler months) and paint - inside and out to make it more gorgeous to look at and reside in. But for now, it’s a great place to spend time painting and enjoying myself!

CONTACTS: Rutland Sheds and Leisure Buildings Rutland Village Ashwell Road Oakham LE15 7QN Tel: 01572 723583 Chris Hamilton: 07850 999522 Lumison Lighting 1 South Street Oakham LE15 6BG Tel: 01572 724600



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H O M E & G A R D EN

Spring is bursting out at Welland Vale April is a busy month for gardeners as everything bursts into growth. So what has Welland Vale, Uppingham’s garden centre, got to tempt you with this month?

Prunus – the flowering cherries, possibly the most beautiful blossom of all trees. A wide variety means there is one to suit all gardens.

An all-time favourite is Exochorda macrantha ‘The Bride’. Flowering in full sun or dappled shade, this graceful shrub has arching branches clothed in large white flowers along the entire length.

Cercis chinensis – a large shrub or small tree, makes a stunning Spring display when its bare stems are covered with pretty purplepink flowers before the leaves emerge.

Check out Welland Vale’s special promotions this month including wisteria and magnolia, seasonal bedding and basket plants, alpines and bulbs.

Lengthen fine spring evenings with our choice of LED lighting and lanterns, which have just arrived in store. Metal garden screens and roundels are ideal for adding interest to a courtyard, bare fence or wall.

The Pasque Flower, Pulsatilla, is a sign that Easter has arrived. This perennial doesn’t like to be disturbed but if it’s happy, leave to self-seed and it will reward you with its pretty flowers.

As the temperatures rise there’s plenty to do in the garden. Keep those weeds under control. Use a general purpose fertiliser for borders and beds. Remove faded daffodil and tulip heads, dead-head spring bedding to lengthen flowering time. Use fine grit to top dress alpines including saxifrage to help prevent stem rot and slug damage.

Don’t forget tubs and pots – now is the time to replace the top 5cm of old compost with new. Pot up any plants wthat are pot-bound. This advice applies to your houseplants as well. Our selection grows with new arrivals monthly.

In the Orchard Café it’s UK Coffee Week from 10 to 16 April with speciality coffees to sample. Special Easter Fare will feature from Good Friday to Bank Holiday Monday (except Easter Sunday, when both the café and garden centre are closed). Check our Facebook and website for further details. Enjoy al fresco dining in the courtyard as the days get warmer. Celebrate St George’s Day on 23 April with a traditional roast lunch and pudding.

Join our talk ‘Back to Basics – the importance of structure and creating areas of interest’ with guest speaker Gillian Goodson, Garden Designer on Thursday 6 April at 11am. Tickets cost £5 which includes coffee and cake in the Orchard Café being served from 10am.

• Welland Vale Garden Inspirations: open Mon-Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 10am-4pm; call 01572 822729. The Orchard Café: open Mon-Sat 9am4.30pm, Sun 10am-3.30pm; for bookings call 01572 824935 Welland Vale Nurseries, Glaston Rd, Uppingham LE15 9EU RUTLAND & MARKET HARBOROUGH LIVING APRIL 2017





with design problems, hot, dry or shady places, screening issues or just with that idea

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Gretton Garden Services Reliable landscape gardener located in the Gretton area and offering a range of gardening services including: • Grass Cutting • Hedge Cutting • Fencing • Decking • Patios

• Driveways • Turfing • Weed Spraying • Scarification • Pressure Washing

Call Chris Stubbs to see how his practical knowledge can turn your dreams into reality

Mob. 07976 286664/Home. 01536 772434 email




Nailed it!

Fancy sporting long, strong, sexy nails? Our beauty expert Catherine Varney discovers how to max your manicures and get the perfect 10.


CONFESS: I have hand envy, or perhaps more specifically, nail envy. There’s something inherently elegant about slim fingers and long, manicured nails. I’ve often secretly coveted friends’ and colleagues’ naturally slender fingers and neat nails whilst bemoaning the fact that my nails just simply don’t grow – ever. But with summer just around the corner, I’m determined to improve the condition of my nails so I can wear some of the fabulous new colours and finishes on the market this season. Here’s what I’ve learned: YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT As with anything in life, what you put into your body, reflects on the outside… so in theory, you can eat your way to strong, healthy nails: 1. Plenty of protein – nails are made of protein so stock up on lean meats and fish as well as vegetables that contain protein, such as spinach. 2. Eggs – the humble egg is a real powerhouse and is one of the few dietary sources of vitamin D, which is crucial for strong fingernails. 3. Beans – obviously not just good for your heart! They are a rich source of biotin, which has been scientifically proven to increase fingernail thickness and reduce splitting. 4. Sunflower seeds – when it comes to building healthy bones, you can’t beat sunflower seeds as they’re packed full of magnesium – so get nibbling.


Tried & Tested

recently had a paraffin wax hand and foot treatment at the Urban Day Spa in Grantham and was really impressed with what it did for the condition of my nails and skin. Firstly, my hands and feet were scrubbed with an exfoliating cream to remove dry skin and rough patches before being cleansed with hot cloths. Next came the part that worked the magic – an ‘only just bearably hot’ paraffin wax was poured onto my hands and feet, which were then wrapped in plastic bags and encased in heated mitts. My skin felt softer, as I expected, but the disappearance of ridges and cracks from repeated gel polishes on my nails was an unexpected bonus – they looked instantly healthier and stronger. Probably the wisest thing to do would been to leave my nails bare and give them a break; but the vibrant purple Shellac on offer proved too great to resist!

Top tips for improving condition


Wear rubber gloves when washing up or handling detergents as the chemicals in these products are the quickest way to ruin the condition of your nails and the skin on your hands. If your nails are stained from using dark polishes, a good home remedy is to rub a cut lemon over them to remove discoluration; or better still, a good clear base coat prevents this in the first place. Try CND Stickey Anchoring Base Coat (£8.95), which acts as a gripping agent for nail polish to prevent peeling. Coconut oil is still all the rage for cooking and there’s good news for beauty buffs too – rub some of this multi-purpose product into your cuticles and it will get rid of ragged edges and condition them beautifully. Unless you’re attempting to remove gel nail colour, use an acetone-free remover as it is far kinder to nails and won’t dry them out. Some of the more stubborn polishes on the market might take a while to respond but I’ve found that Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Remover (£4.99) does the job in no time.

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H E A L T H & B EA U T Y

Well gel Shellac, OPI, Jessica GELeration, Gelish… essentially they’re all variations of the new breed of gel polish colours. These hit the market a few years back and revolutionised the simple manicure and pedicure. Cured with a UV light, they promise chip-free colour for 2-3 weeks, meaning they’re perfect for summer holidays and any occasions that call for long-lasting gloss and shine. So if you have a favourite brand, check out our handy local guide to where to have your colours applied: OAKHAM: Ellique: offering OPI gel polish in literally hundreds of colours; plus the fun and funky Barry M range in the new nail bar on Gaol Street. Pure Beauty: perfect for Shellac Nail colours and a warm, friendly welcome, they’ve recently relocated to bigger premises on Mill Street. Creme Hair and Beauty: Jessica GELeration polish plus hand-applied nail art: spot on for special occasions. MARKET HARBOROUGH: Naomi Nails and Beauty: Market Harborough’s premier nail salon offers Shellac and Minx gel colour plus oodles of options for nail extensions: acrylics, gel extensions, fibreglass or silk wraps and overlays, all designed to add length and strength to your natural nails. Beauty Defined: luxury manicures and pedicures using Morgan Taylor products plus Artistic Nail Design Gel polish. Beauty Spot: here you’ll find Orly Gel FX containing antioxidant vitamins A and E and pro-vitamin B5, which protects the structure of the natural nail.

High street heroes Even the most dedicated of us can’t always make time for salon visits and have to apply a little DIY polish every now and then. But before you waste your money on high street brands that don’t even last until the end of the day, it’s worth remembering: If you find that your nail polish goes gloopy, don’t bin it. Simply add a couple of drops of nail varnish remover to the bottle to thin it out, shake and then continue to use. Some brands are now bringing out polishes that imitate the longevity of gel colour, without the need for curing with a UV light: try the Nails Inc Gel Effect nail polish (£15) or Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Colour (£9.99) Choose a polish with added moisturising ingredients to keep them at their best: try Barry M Coconut Infusion Nail Paint in Flamingo, which contains coconut oil to nourish nails. Rimmel Salon Pro in Soul Session is the perfect nude pink in my opinion and absolutely ideal for making nails look clean and fresh for everyday wear. Plus, for the price (£4.49), it’s pretty long-lasting too.

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DIRECTORY: Creme Hair and Beauty, The Old Church, 8 Mill Street, Oakham, Tel 01572 723823, Ellique, 55 South Street, Oakham Tel: 01572 723950 Pure Beauty, 22 Mill Street, Oakham, Tel: 01572 757844 Naomi Nails and Beauty, 14-16 Manor Walk, Market Harborough, Tel: 01858 657001, Beauty Defined, 3 Stable Block, Union Wharf, Market Harborough, Tel: 01858 288242, Beauty Spot, 53-55 High Street, Market Harborough, Tel: 01858 465344, Urban Day Spa Grantham, Swingbridge Road, Grantham, Tel: 01476 593000,



The future of nail colour There are so many innovations in the beauty industry, it’s difficult to keep up. One of the latest and greatest is SNS nails, which promises to be an even bigger phenomenon than gel polish. Signature Nail Systems is a nail dipping system that uses a brush-on gel base on the nail that is then dipped in powder. The powder actually strengthens nails and, unlike gel polish, doesn’t require curing with a UV light. As yet, I’ve only found this in major cities so you’ll have to travel a bit further for nail perfection… but I’m hoping it will be coming to a salon near us soon!


Pilates/core stability classes Led by Chartered Physiotherapist Michele Evans 1:1 Sessions available for a personalised programme

Email: Tel: 07813 760758

Specialist in the manufacture, installation and care of natural stone. With our experience in materials such as Marble, Granite, Neolith and Quartz, we are able to create stunning kitchen worktops, bath surrounds, vanity units, staircases, fireplaces, flooring and wall coverings. We offer a personal and knowledgeable service with highly skilled craftsmen and pride ourselves on the quality of service, the quality of materials used and the workmanship of your finished product. We offer a full supply, template, manufacture and installation service Open Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm, Saturday 8am – 3pm Unit 14-15 Wainman Road, Woodston, Peterborough, PE2 7BU Tel: 01733 687414 or 01733 370941 61

Fords Of Oakham


In Store 13th April 2-4pm 62

8 Church Street, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 6AA Tel: 01572 722654 Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @Fordsofoakham


SUMMER FUN Rutland’s top department store, Ford’s of Oakham, has a fantastic range of kids’ clothes in its new children’s wear department. Here’s a few of their top picks for spring/summer 2017. Kite Clothing Little Fishies sleepsuit in sizes 0-18 months, £17

“Our premium brand Kite Clothing is a planet-friendly clothing brand from Dorset. All their garments are made using certified organic cotton or fleece with at least 50% recycled plastic bottles. Gorgeous colours, prints and embroidery. From size 0-8 years old.”

Reversible wrap dress in sizes 3-8 years, £34

Green car t-shirt in sizes 0-12 months, £14 and 1-4 years, £16

Other kids’ clothing brands at Ford’s “Blue Seven is our mid-range brand. It’s far more fashion orientated for the cool kid and we tend to have different colours for the season.” Also 0-8 years. “Knot so bad is our entry-level brand. It’s trendy with slogan tees and jeans. Quirky but fun!” 0-8 years old. RUTLAND & MARKET HARBOROUGH LIVING APRIL 2017


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I promised mum she wouldn’t go into a care home…

Thanks to Autumn Assisted Apartments I’ve been able to keep that promise Leaving the family home to move into a care home can be a daunting prospect, moving into a one or two bed serviced apartment with lounge, diner, kitchenette, and en suite bathroom at Autumn Assisted is a reassuring cost effective alternative from only £495 per week per apartment all inclusive. Set in beautifully landscaped gardens our apartments offer 24 hour security with nurse call and intercom service, chef, complete laundry and cleaning service, utility bills, council tax and much more included in the price. Our professionally trained carers are on site 24 hours a day to assist you at your request and a private minibus is available for shopping or social visits.

Autumn Assisted, Manor House, 58-60 Main Street, Middleton, Market Harborough, LE16 8YU visit call 01536 771722 or email: 65


David Ross

David Ross made his fortune running the Carphone Warehouse empire with his school friend Charles Dunstone. Now his day to day activities are mostly filled with the philanthropic pursuit to make the schools in the East Midlands some of the best in the country. Sosennah Every finds out more


GREW up in Grimsby in Yorkshire but went to Uppingham School at 13 and now most of my family live in Leicestershire and Rutland. I still live most of the week in London but love coming home to Nevill Holt Hall to enjoy the peace, do some exercise and see friends and family. When I bought Nevill Holt Hall, there was a mass of empty wall space. Although I had always had an appreciation of art, this really kicked off my desire to purchase art by young aspiring British artists. Luckily my school friend Charlie Phillips is an art dealer and he helped me find some outstanding pictures and sculptures. Bridget Riley (known as a pioneer in the optical art movement) features strongly in my collection. I had lots of letters from the local community saying they were saddened to see the former Nevill Holt School close down and become a private house. I wanted to come up with a way for the house to continue to maintain its links with the local community, and this is how the idea for an Opera Festival was born. With nothing else like it in the region, it combines my love for opera with an opportunity to share the house and gardens. The house truly comes alive when there are lots of people about having



a good time. And the festival was recently awarded Best Event at the Leicestershire Tourism Awards, so we’re proud of that. Nevill Holt Opera (NHO) is staging two operas this year - Tosca and Noah’s Flood. Tosca has five performances between 15 to 22 June and Noah’s Flood is on 1 and 2 July. Tosca is being directed by our frequent guest Director, Oliver Mears, who has recently been made Director of Opera at the Royal Opera House. Mears is joined by Nicholas Chalmers as Artistic Director and conductor of the NHO orchestra. I’m passionate that the Nevill Holt Opera is open to younger audiences. Noah’s Flood is our first community opera and will see 130 children from across the East Midlands perform and play in the orchestra alongside professional opera singers. The 50-minute performance, which is outside in the gardens of Nevill Holt, is a great way to introduce children to opera with a familiar story in a relaxed outdoor setting. Education and the promotion of young talent is my main mission and that of the David Ross Education Trust. The Trust now has 33 schools in the East Midlands and we hope to grow this to 50, however the main aim is to look at how our academies can offer

“I wanted to come up with a way for the house to continue to maintain its links with the local community, and this is how the idea for an Opera Festival was born.”

DAVID’S FAVOURITE PLACES IN LEICESTERSHIRE & RUTLAND FAVOURITE PLACE Nevill Holt Hall – it is a place to relax and marvel at the stunning views.

FAVOURITE PLACE TO EAT Marquess of Exeter in Lyddington for their beef sharing dishes and also Hambleton Hall.

FAVOURITE SHOP I’m not much of a shopper but I do love Baines Bakery in Uppingham and the art galleries there too.

the very highest standards in the maintained sector. We value teaching our pupils life skills, music and sport as well as the academic side. We see this as a collective effort with parents and we want them to get engaged with everything we do. Bringhurst Primary is my closest DRET academy and I was delighted when it was awarded ‘best primary school in Leicestershire’ as a result of the 2015 SATS tests, but I’m very ambitious for it and want it to be the best in the East Midlands.

These days, my motivation is giving back to the communities that matter a lot to me. In my 20s I had the hunger to work 20 hour days in a basement office in London, but these days, giving back is my passion - this is what drives me and what keeps me happy. To book tickets for Tosca and Noah’s Flood, call 0115 8467777 or visit

BEST KEPT LOCAL SECRET Foxton Locks is incredible. It isn’t much of a local secret but nobody outside of Leicestershire seems to know about it. RUTLAND & MARKET HARBOROUGH LIVING APRIL 2017


HARBOROUGH HAPPENINGS Shops & Services in Market Harborough

Big move for Jeffrey & Day


AVING recently relocated to a warehouse in Skeffington, at Jeffrey and Day you will find an eclectic mix of antique furnishings, decorative salvage, architectural finds and everything in between. After a successful year based in the Old Town Hall, Market Harborough, the business quickly built a loyal customer base and outgrew the space so the owners, Charlie and Matthew have just moved into their new warehouse in Skeffington, Leicestershire. Driven by a passion for aesthetic and functionality, Charlie and Matthew simply buy what grabs their attention. This ethos is evident when you step into their new warehouse, with a collection of stock from different time periods coming together. With a wealth of experience between them, the duo enjoy working with everyone from international clients, private individuals and interior decorators but can also be found getting stuck into the antique fair circuit throughout the year. The new warehouse will be available to private clients by

appointment only and the exciting website aims to give their customers a great online experience that can be accessed from anywhere at any time. • For more information visit or call 07798 718370 / 07834 104709l

The Big Bang at Leicester Grammar


Easter family fun at Kelmarsh Country Show


RRIVING this Easter Bank Holiday, the Kelmarsh Country Show brings an all-new line up of activities and features to the Northants showground on 16 and 17 April. From the ever-popular Folk Roots Festival, the Kelmarsh Food Festival and the Plants & Floral Art Marquee to equestrian magic with The Devil’s Horsemen, Britain’s longest established and leading dog display team, The Essex Dog Display Team, there’s so much fun to be had for the entire family. New features for this year include a dedicated BASC Village housing everything to do with shooting and conservation, a British Hunting Collection, Hot Air Balloons, a Survival Camp and Craft and Antiques Fairs, not to mention a whole host of family-inspired entertainment. From animal displays, airsoft to a pet dog show, there is also a huge array of have-a-go fun, musical entertainment and demonstrations in every rural craft. • Visit for more information and to book tickets. Book before 9 April for an early bird discount.



EICESTER Grammar School hosted its third Big Bang Science and Technology Fair and it proved to be even bigger and better than ever. Over 3000 visitors aged between 0 and 80+ years from over 170 schools, nurseries, Brownie and Guide groups as well as home-educated children enjoyed the 60+ activities on offer. Highlights of the day included Heartwize Leicester training over 300 people in the life saving skills of CPR and how to use a defibrillator, and The University of Leicester Ophthalmology Department testing 40 pairs of children’s eyes as part of their ongoing research into the development of vision in childhood. Budding engineers tested their bridge building skills with a 12m long cable stayed bridge, played ball games with remote controlled robotic arms and learnt how to fly a microlight with a full size Flexwing simulator. The Immersive Theatre’s 360 Planetarium gave people the chance to ‘fly across the night sky’, and the Astro Zone let visitors taste ‘meteor’ ice cream, build and launch a rocket, play with a plasma ball and learn all about space travel with the Science Theatre. Animal lovers met Exotic Zoo’s meerkats and some overcame their fears of tarantulas and other reptiles such as the python. Potential doctors honed their injection skills and learned how to stitch a wound with Medical Maverick’s fake arm. PepsiCo showed visitors the science and engineering behind making Monster Munch and Wotsits, while FUZE inspired the next generation of app builders with their hands-on programming workshop. Meanwhile Leicestershire Police demonstrated forensic science and drug testing. There were also a host of Police and Fire and Rescue vehicles to explore and Helicentre even landed their helicopter on site and allowed children to climb into the cockpit. The school is hoping to host the event again in the future and will confirm when a date has been set.


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Stamford Canal and Skyline


Distance: 10 kms (6.25 miles) Typical time: 2 1/2 hours Height gain: 25 metres Map: OS Explorer 234 Start & Finish: Morrison’s Car Park (PE9 2FT; check any parking restrictions) Terrain: muddy in parts, especially in winter months

This walk takes you along the old Stamford Canal, through the delightful village of Uffington and along a ridge giving you a great skyline view of Stamford, including Burghley House; then back down across the gurgling Gwash River. A perfect walk for the Easter weekend. 70



Stamford Canal, disused and without any water in it but still easy to spot; it’s one of the earliest post-Roman canals in England. It opened in 1670, around 100 years before most of the canal network. It ran from Stamford to Market Deeping and had 12 locks. It contributed to the wealth of Stamford, allowing barley to be transported to the town for malting. It closed in 1863, soon after the arrival of the Midland Railway in the area. The River Gwash has its source in Knossington and is the main feeder river to Rutland Water, which was formed by damming its valley at Empingham. From the reservoir, a controlled flow is released to maintain the flow around Tolethorpe Hall and Stamford and into the River Welland. The river feeds the millpond at Newstead before entering the Welland at Newstead Bridge. Uffington Manor was a glorious post-Restoration country house that tragically was burnt down in 1904. Our walk takes you past the original main entrance gates (shown left).


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Set out from Morrison’s car park along Uffington Rd; turn right down the track to Hudds Mill just after the bridge At Hudds Mill turn left, and follow the track E across a meadow; at the stile, cross over the Gwash and soon you reach the bed of the canal Take a right here through the kissing gate and follow the old tow path on the S side of the canal bed for 2 km until you reach the Uffington Bridge Turn left (N) up the hill past Copthill School and at the main road turn right (E) along the pavement towards Tallington. After 200 metres cross the main road carefully to head N along a footpath; this heads left, then right, then left again through a gate and then right over a stile into a garden On entering the garden walk straight ahead past the pond, then around to the right between pond and hedge until you reach a stile Over the stile, turn right along the Bertie Lane footpath. After 200 metres turn left into Casewick Lane and right into School Lane, entering Uffington churchyard through a gate Walk around the church, up the yew tree avenue to the main road and turn right. Follow the pavement W for 500 metres until, just before a bungalow, you turn right through 2 metal gates onto a public footpath Now it’s plain sailing for a while as the footpath heads N for 1.7kms, following the field boundaries. Eventually you reach a bridle way, where you turn left and soon meet the road Head S along the road for 200 metres, before crossing a style in a wooded area on the right and heading down the hill on the Macmillan Way towards Stamford; the path then crosses the River Gwash and heads across Gypsy Meadows before eventually exiting via the disused railway bridge On reaching the Ryhall Rd, turn left towards town; just before the Ryhall Rd Post office turn left to enter Morrison’s through the back (green) gate Skirt round the left of the building once through the gate and you will soon find yourself passing the Morrison’s Café.



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©Crown copyright 2015 Ordnance Survey. Media 048/15


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PIT STOPS The Old Fire Engine, 25 St Mary’s St, Ely CB7 4ER (01353 66258 www.theoldfireenginehouse. ) I love this restaurant. It’s not fine dining, rather very fine home cooking. The setting is unparalleled, just by the Cathedral Close. An old Georgian house that incorporates an art gallery. Special atmosphere, book ahead. And in the same ownership since the mid-60s! Peacocks Teahouse, 65 Waterside, Ely CB7 4AU (just alongside Babylon footbridge) Samovar Tea House, 23 Fore Hill, Ely CB7 4AA. Every type of tea you can imagine!


Ye Olde Bertie Arms, Uffington (01780 763834, www. bertiearms. Traditional pub, with outside area. Due to re-open in the summer under new ownership. Morrison’s Café Always convivial, and exceptional value RUTLAND & MARKET HARBOROUGH LIVING APRIL 2017


OUT & ABOUT Amander Meade selects the best entertainment in the region this month

This month and throughout spring EVENT: Open Gardens Discover the hidden beauties of Rutland Gardens and help celebrate 90 glorious years of Open Gardens for charity. The National Gardens Scheme has been raising money for nursing and caring charities since 1927 and last year donated over £2.7 million. Admission ranges from £4 to £5 with children free and 80p in every pound going straight to the charity. Opening dates this spring are: Sunday 23 April, The Old Hall, Market Overton, 2pm to 6pm Sunday 14 May, Burrough Gardens 2pm to 5pm Sunday 21 May, The Old Vicarage, Whissendine, 2pm to 5pm Sunday 28 May, The Old Vicarage, Burley, 1.30pm to 5pm For full details visit Friday 7 April, 7.30pm EVENT: Lyddington Film Night This month’s film is ‘The Girl on the Train’ starring Emily Blunt and based on the best-selling book. On Friday 5 May there is another chance to see ‘Starfish’, which tells the story of a remarkable man from Oakham who fell ill with sepsis. Filmed on location in and around Rutland and featuring many local landmarks and people. £5 on the door. Lyddington Village Hall


Sunday 9 April, 2pm to 6pm EVENT: Uppingham Open Gardens Activities around the open gardens include refreshments in St Peter and St Paul church hall and an Easter egg hunt. Advance tickets are £4, accompanied children £1 (includes the Easter egg hunt) from Richard Harris Tel: 01572 822428 or on the day from the Church Hall, Uppingham School Porter’s Lodge (by the science block) Thursday 13 to Monday 17 April EVENT: Craft Lager, Ale and Tribute Band Festival Accompanying the range of traditional lagers and ales on offer over the Easter weekend will be tribute acts to some of the greatest music acts in the world, including Sticky Fingers playing the classics from the Rolling Stones and Pure Magic, a tribute to the late great Freddie Mercury and Brian May. Hambleton Fine Foods will be serving its delicious Snackbox Pies and hot snacks. The Grainstore Brewery, Oakham. Free entry. www.

proceeds to charity. To book a place call 01780 729006 Wednesday 26 April, 7.30pm TALK: More Houses with a Story to Tell Great Easton & District Local History Society welcome guest speaker Brian Johnson. Great Easton Village Hall £2 for visitors Saturday 29 April, 7.30pm MUSIC: Andrew Kennedy and Jams Coleman Music in Lyddington presents a programme of poetry, prose and music to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of Arras, May 1917, in which so many Rutlanders lost their lives. Andrew Kennedy is a former Uppingham School pupil and former BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist. St Andrew’s Church, Lyddington Tickets £16 (Students £3) at Uppingham Sports & books or Oakham Wines. More information at www. Monday 1 May EVENT: Hambleton Open Gardens With all proceeds towards the renovation and upkeep of the church, several Hambleton villagers are opening their beautiful gardens, along with artisan food stalls and home-made refreshments served all day. From 10am to 5pm. Tickets £4.

Saturday 22 April, 10am to 5pm (registration 9.30am) EVENT: Rutland Come and Sing! An invitation to all singers in Rutland to come a long and join in a singing day – everyone welcome. Performance for family and Hambleton Open Garden friends at 4.15pm. Edith Weston Academy £10 per person to cover music hire and refreshments with any


Friday 7 April, 7.30pm MUSIC: The Magic of Motown Revel in hit after hit as the huge cast marks a decade of continuing the legend of Motown artistes - The Supremes, Temptations, Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder and many more. Classics are revived amid a flurry of glittering costumes and dazzling dance moves. De Montfort Hall, Leicester Tickets £24.50 £26.50

Saturday 22 April, 2pm, 4pm and 6pm BALLET: Goldilocks and the Three Bears Goldilocks and the Three Bears is a re-imagining of the classic children’s story, telling the tale of a mischievous little girl whose curiosity leads her to a house full of many surprises. Created especially for children and young families to experience live dance, music and theatre. Recommended for pre-school age and upwards. (Duration 40 minutes) The Core at Corby Cube Tickets £8.50/£6.50 at or Tel: 01536 470 470.


OUT & ABOUT Amander Meade selects the best entertainment in the region this month Rockingham Castle Gardens

Monday 1 May, 10am to 4pm EVENT: Braunston May Fayre Duck racing, craft stalls in the church, an open air market, a treasure hunt and classic games outside the village hall, finishing off with traditional maypole dancing led by the May Queen. High-quality teas, cakes and other refreshments will be served in the village hall throughout the day. Stall holders/traders interested in having a stall can contact Sue on Friday 5, Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 May EVENT: Dreaming Our Woods With events throughout April and culminating in May, Our Woods is a multi-event festival for everyone to celebrate, enjoy and dare to try something new in and around the woods of Corby. Our Woods will feature discovery walks, tree climbing, printmaking, drawing, and storytelling plus


the chance to learn about the plants and wildlife in the woods. These events lead up to a final performance Dreaming Our Woods – an amazing light, sound and movement extravaganza not be missed. The Core, Corby To book visit www. Tel: 01536 470470 Friday 14 to Monday 17 April Easter Eggstravaganza Throughout the Easter school holidays there are lots of fun activities on offer at West Lodge Rural Centre near Desborough. Over the Easter weekend you can take part in the Easter Quiz, follow clues around the farm to find the Easter Bunny in his Easter garden and receive an Easter egg. Everyone can take part in the egg and spoon race and egg painting competition. West Lodge Rural Centre www. westlodgeruralcentre.


Sunday 16 and Monday 17 from 12 noon Easter Egg Hunt Search for coloured stars around the famous gardens at Rockingham Castle then trade them in for mini eggs. Castle and gardens open as normal. Family ticket £36.50, under 5s are free. www.

Wednesday 31 May to Sunday 16 July/Wednesday 16 August to Sunday 17 September MUSICAL THEATRE: Kiss Me Kate followed by Top Hat Next month sees the opening of the phenomenally successful Kilworth House season. This year audiences can see two dazzling Broadway classics Kiss Me Kate and Top Hat – both shows are uplifting romantic comedies for all ages to enjoy. Kilworth House Open Air Theatre Booking at or Tel: 01858 881939.

Friday 14 to Monday 17 April, 9am to 5pm Easter at Barnsdale Gardens Easter Egg painting 12pm – 4pm on Saturday with an Easter Hunt every day. Everyone can paint an egg to help decorate the special Easter Tree and youngsters can have a cracking good time hunting for tokens to swap for a chocolatey Easter treat.






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Louise Doughty grew up in Rutland and is the highly acclaimed author of eight best-selling novels, including the recently published ‘Black Water’. Her previous book was ‘Apple Tree Yard’, which has been translated into 28 languages and was recently adapted for television. Louise tells Amander Meade about her work.

The TV adaptation of Apple Tree Yard has been a major success – were you pleased with how your characters and story were portrayed? I was delighted with the adaptation – I think the programme makers did a terrific job. It’s a nerve-wracking business, handing your novel over, but Kudos TV who made it for the BBC were very good at consulting me and I went on set about once a week. It was fascinating to watch. What is your advice to other young writers hoping to emulate your success? There are three words that every aspiring writer should have tattooed on their foreheads. ‘Keep your nerve’. The most important quality any writer needs – after raw talent of course – is stamina. It takes years and years to train yourself to write and often years after that to break through. My first novel was published in 1995 but I only started earning a full-time living from writing alone with ‘Apple Tree Yard’, my seventh novel, published in 2013. You have received so many illustrious awards and endorsements by other highly acclaimed writers – how important are these to you? It’s very rewarding to have the approval of your peer group, certainly, but a reader dropping you a line to say how much they enjoyed your book means more than anything. You are often asked to judge others’ work – do you enjoy that process? Judging literary prizes is a great cure for worrying about whether or not you’ll ever win one. I do enjoy it but it’s a great responsibility – particularly with a prize like the Man Booker, which I judged in 2008. You’re anointing



someone for the rest of their career – and the corollary of that is you’re not anointing the ones you don’t choose. Winning an award can, for some writers, mean the difference between getting their next book published or disappearing into obscurity, so it’s a serious business. Do you have fond memories of Rutland? I grew up in Oakham so have very fond memories of the countryside especially the drive over to Melton Mowbray, where I was born, to visit my grandparents in Nether Broughton. I’m old enough to remember Rutland Water being created, all the controversy over it at the time, and how it became, very rapidly, part of Rutland life You are appearing this month at the Deepings Literary Festival – do you enjoy this kind of event? Very much so. There is nothing better than meeting people who still love reading books and are reading and writing enthusiasts. It’s important to get away from your desk and remind yourself that you have readers; otherwise you can get quite stale as a writer. Nothing makes me happier than talking about books to people outside that strange literary bubble. I’m a huge believer in a vibrant library culture. I doubt I would have become a writer if it wasn’t for the access I had to free books in Oakham Library when I was young – I spent hours and hours there and credit it with giving me the chance to discover literature, so I will always try and do any event in support of a library if I can. • ‘Black Water’ and ‘Apple Tree Yard’ by Louise Doughty are both out in paperback now. (Faber & Faber, £7.99). Tickets for ‘An Afternoon Conversation and Workshop with Louise Doughty’ at Deepings Library on Friday 28 April are available at



Rutland Living Magazine April 2017  
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