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Rutland Covering Rutland, Market Harborough and the surrounding area

LIVING February 2018 ÂŁ1.50

Loving the shortest month L O C A L FA S H I O N , R O M A N C E , C O S Y P U B S

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Contents February 2018



Spring Wardrobe – We Have Lift Off! Nadinoo – Rutland Fashion Loving Later Life Health & Beauty: Love is All Around

HOME & GARDEN, SHOPPING 14 Valentine’s Treats 30 Catesbys: Style in the Country


26 Great Food Club: Cosy and Comforting Cover photography this month: RL: Photo by Rutland fashion designer/maker Nadia Izruna of Nadinoo ( Model: Natacha M from Alan Sharman Agency with hair/make up by Jessica Nurse. MHL: Photo by Elli Dean (www.ellideanphotography. of Emma wearing clothing from Jacks for Women, Market Harborough, Editor Clare Peel Advertisement Manager, Rutland Tracy Watkinson 01572 813187 Advertisement Manager, Market Harborough Kirstie Mitchell 07864 065778 Advertising Copy & Subscriptions Rachel Beecroft 01780 765320 Head of Design Steven Handley Designers Sarah Patterson, Calum Handley Publisher Nicholas Rudd-Jones 01780 765571 Printed by Warners of Bourne

ACTIVITIES, CULTURE, LEARNING & BUSINESS 34 Little Living 50 Out & About 54 History – Love Story


6 Easton Walled Gardens 10 Rutland Heroes: Sustainable Land Trust 24 Griff Rhys Jones


4 Editor’s Page 46 Buckles Law, UPP Property 48 Davis Optometrists, The Good and New Clothes Sale 2018

12 6


Subscriptions: annual rate £25 (UK only). Please write to the Publisher at Local Living Ltd, PO Box 208, Stamford PE9 9FY, with a cheque payable to Local Living, or go online to RUTLAND & MARKET HARBOROUGH LIVING FEBRUARY 2018



Welcome I’m an optimist, so I like to think of February not as a “month of despair, with a skewered heart in the centre” (Margaret Atwood) but as a positive transitional month, signifying the uplifting shift from winter into spring. Nothing seems to reflect this more than those little signs of new life in the garden, from crocuses to the snowdrops in our Picture of the Month (pages 6–7). To see these small yet tenacious white flowers in all their

glory, head to Easton Walled Gardens for Snowdrop Week – it’s an event that will boost even the most drooping of late-winter spirits. And, as alluded to in that quotation, with February comes Valentine’s Day – loved by some, loathed by others. Here at Local Living we’re embracing it with features on how to treat your loved one with gifts from the local high street (a great excuse to get out there and support our neighbourhood retailers)

or with a special experience in the area – a romantic hotel break or a spa break, for example (pages 14 and 42–43). It all sounds fabulously heartwarming to me.

Ce @rutlandliving @rutlandlivingmag

Editor’s selection Some thoughts for this month…

Shrove Tuesday On 13 February, it’s Shrove Tuesday, so I’ll be whipping out the pancake pan, reaching for the whisk and attempting to dazzle the kids with my tentative pancake tossing. Important for delicious-tasting pancakes, of course, are lovely fresh eggs – why not head to one of our fabulous local farm shops for these. Among our favourites in the Harborough area are Ashley Farm Shop and Farndon Fields.

Rutland Reminders – can you help? Rutland Reminders are a group of volunteers organising therapy through singing for people with dementia. The group, who usually hold two sessions per month, urgently require a new organiser to join their team. If you feel you can help and have a little free time to offer, then the job description is available at in the News section. Further information about this volunteer role is available from Diana Ellard on 07779 413889.

Ideas for half term with Rockblok/ Rutland Cycling Need something to do during February half term with your active youngsters? Attractions at the Whitwell site at Rutland Water include Rockblok’s 8-metrehigh climbing wall and (for ages 8+) the treetop-high rope. During half term, from Saturday 10 to Sunday 18 February, the Rockblok will be open from 11am, with the last booking at 3.30pm. For more information see Additionally, why not consider half term cycle hire? Rutland Cycling’s team of friendly staff will talk you through the route options, including 4- to 8-mile familyfriendly trails, taking in adventure playgrounds, mini golf, cafes, the sandy beach and Bugtopia zoo; alternatively, take on the full 17mile lap of the water. Pick up a free children’s activity sheet from Whitwell and ride to Normanton. The hire fleet includes electric bikes, mountain and hybrid bikes, tandems, children’s bikes, buggies, tag-a-longs, child seats and helmets. Cycle-hire prices start at £14.99 for adults/£7.99 for children; a family cycling ticket for 2 adults and 2 children (under 14) costs from £39.99. For more information and to book visit



National Nest Box Week (NNBW) A well-established part of the ornithological calendar, this annual event – taking place from 14 to 21 February – aims to encourage everyone to put up nest boxes in their local area in order to promote and enhance biodiversity and conservation of our breeding birds and wildlife. For more information and for a NNBW information pack, visit We spoke to Market Harborough experts Eyebrook Wild Bird Feeds, who are strong supporters of giving our garden birds a little homely help by putting up a nest box. Eyebrook’s boxes are crafted from sustainable FSC timber and are developed in conjunction with the British Trust for Ornithology. Their range includes this multiplehole box (£18.25) and this single-hole box (£4). For more details, visit




Picture of the month For February, here’s a mood-lifting image of snowdrops from Easton Walled Gardens, showing the grounds peppered with these engagingly dainty yet tough flowers that Wordsworth called the “venturous harbinger of spring”. Snowdrops were first discovered at Easton over 15 years ago, when Ursula Cholmeley began the process of reclaiming the gardens from the wild. With careful nurture these little flowers, also once known as Candlemass Bells, now spread in dramatic swathes along the banks of the river and and brighten even the gloomiest day. Snowdrop Week, when you are invited to “wrap up warm for a winter walk full of snowdrops and winter flowers”, is from Saturday 17 to Sunday 25 February at Easton, when the gardens will be open daily from 11am–4pm. This year, to coincide with Snowdrop Week, Easton is hosting its inaugural botanical art exhibition “A Year in the Garden” in the Coach House. Three renowned artists – Norma Gregory, Dawn Wright and Sue Vize – detail the beautiful intricacies of flora and continue the tradition of botanical art that stretches back to the 16th century. The exhibition will run until Sunday 11 March. For more information on Snowdrop Week, the botanical art exhibition or Easton Walled Gardens in general, check out Photo courtesy of Easton Walled Gardens



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THE END OF YEAR CHECKS THAT COULD SAVE YOU MONEY Chartered Financial Planner, Charlie Reading, talks about the important steps you should consider at this time of year, which could save you money and give you future financial security.


re you worried that you’re not making the most out of your savings? And are you confident that you are creating sufficient income for the future? Astute investors make use of their tax-free allowances every year, and save thousands of pounds in the process. With the end of the Tax Year just around the corner, it’s a strategy to start thinking about.

MAXIMISE YOUR ISA ALLOWANCES Spending time with your loved ones or taking part in activities that you are passionate about is the crux of happiness, but if you’re working endless hours, how are you going to have any free time? The trick is to make your money work harder for you, not work excessively hard for your money. That’s the ultimate goal and is how you will reach financial freedom. So how do you do that? Saving tax, reducing erosion from inflation and increasing growth are key ways to make your money work harder for you, and ISAs are a great starting point. Up until 5th April 2018, you can contribute up to £20,000 into an ISA, and a further £20,000 from 6th April 2018, ergo sheltering up to £40,000 per person (aged over 18). With ISAs, you can place savings into either a Cash ISA or a Stocks & Shares ISA. Whilst Cash ISAs receive tax-free interest and involve less risk, they are likely to produce similar returns to savings accounts, which, based on current market 8

rates, are likely to be minimal and could see your capital being eroded by inflation. In comparison, a Stocks & Shares ISA can provide the opportunity for growth above inflation (although not guaranteed), providing an uplift to your future ISA pot, therefore making your money work even harder.

TOP UP YOUR PENSION WHILST YOU STILL CAN At the time of writing, the current State Pension in the UK is £159.55 a week. Do you think that this sum from the Government will provide you with a sufficient retirement income? Imagine trying to live your desired lifestyle on that amount of money. If you do not save enough for your retirement, that is what is going to end up happening to you. Not only will pensions provide a pivotal role to your future income requirements, they can offer compound growth (the growth on top of your growth) and an abundance of tax benefits, which will bolster your savings pot and give you a far greater chance of achieving your goals and living out a comfortable, secure future. Accessing pension benefits is now far more relaxed than it used to be, and as such it is now possible for you to draw as much or as little from your pension as required. Whilst caution

should be used when drawing benefits, it allows you to draw an income in line with your requirements, which can be dovetailed in with any other available sources of income. This potentially improves the overall tax efficiency of your income, meaning your retirement funds should last longer.


Tax-efficient planning can benefit a wide range of people and circumstances, but can sometimes be complex and time-consuming. If you would like to speak to one of our Independent Financial Planners, we would be delighted to offer you a free introductory call. Simply call 01572 898060 or email to book your call today.

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Based at the Burrough Court Estate on the Rutland and Leicestershire border, the Sustainable Land Trust uses the local landscape to provide training and work experience to vulnerable adults and young people. Amander Meade paid a visit to find out more from the Trust’s CEO, Kate Hiseman.



The Sustainable Land Trust

What exactly is the work of the trust? Our work falls broadly into two main areas. We work with universities and industry to carry out practical research into a range of innovative ways of managing land sustainably and then offer the findings in the form of advice to other agencies, land owners, councils, planners and building firms among many others. Our aim is to help these organisations improve the lives of communities by enhancing the natural environment. For example, if a new housing estate is to be built, we get involved in the planning stages to ensure the inclusion of green spaces and good neighbourhood planning etc. We are also involved in many different conservation projects across the region. Additionally we offer practical, outdoor training as an alternative to mainstream education. We work predominantly with young men who are not in education – usually because they have been excluded from school or are about to be.

for young people to develop practical skills such as land management, landscaping, horticulture, ecology and wildlife, game keeping and many other types of stewardship. This gives them a unique experience beyond what a school can offer and helps them value the contribution they can make to society.

What form does the alternative education take? By working closely with local schools and service providers, we offer landbased training, pastoral care, work-experience opportunities and bespoke courses adapted to meet individual needs. Our learners are taught in small groups of no more than four, which means they get personalised support, care and teaching. Being outdoors and using nature as a classroom has been proven to have wide-ranging positive effects on young people and their development – especially those who are troubled. Landscapes and ecosystems offer a great place for learning and improving health and well-being. Based on a 1,200acre farm with over 350 acres of habitat, we provide plenty of opportunities

What can readers do to find out more? There’s lots of information about all our work on our website, and we are delighted to now be hosting “Weekend Farming for All”. The aim of the weekend project is to give people of all ages experience in sustainable land management, working alongside our team of experts. Due to very recent funding cuts to the local educational sector, we need to subsidise our current learners by approximately £20,000 to help them get through the last few months of their course, so any donations or fundraising would be very much appreciated. If you are interested in getting involved, call 01664 400150 or visit



What about formal qualifications? Alongside the outdoor skills, our students study for NCFE or City and Guilds qualifications and we have a very high success rate. Our aim is to get our students back on to an even keel, turn things around socially and educationally and guide them on to the next stage in their lives. So far we have had 53 young people through the process with some great results. One young man was fascinated by the farm vehicles, so we found him a work placement with a motor engineer, and he is now working there and studying to be a mechanic, which is wonderful.

Fords Of Oakham

Rutland’s premier department store

New Spring Collection in store February 2018

8 Church Street, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 6AA Tel: 01572 722654 Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @Fordsofoakham 11

SPRING WARDROBE we have lift off!

From florals and mood-lifting colours to vintage one-offs, here’s our style inspiration for February. Spring really now is just around the corner! FASHION: NIKKI BEATTY PHOTOGRAPHY: ELLI DEAN

Radley vintage dress, £65, faux astrakhan and Chinese silk coat, £120, both Amy’s Vintage



Left: Anchor jumper, £209, Marella stripy trousers, £129, both Jacks for Women. Blankets from £67.50, Lavender Blue Below: Marella checked skirt, £159, Jumper 1234 top, £165, orange scarf, £29, all Jacks

Above: Vintage Welsh blanket cape, £175, 1940s’ black dress, £85, 1940s-style bespoke hat, £95, all from Amy’s Vintage Right: Marella floral trousers, £179, JUST orange jumper, £89, and i say long wool cardigan, £129, all Jacks for Women

Derby Pineapple trousers, £75,, Cocoa blue jumper, £219, necklace, £20, all Jacks for Women

Cocoa jumper, £209, JUST floral trousers, £179, Marella red coat, £299, all Jacks for Women OUR THANKS A big thank you to our gorgeous model Emma – she is a superstar! To Gill and the lovely ladies at Jacks for Women and Lavender Blue for letting us camp out, rearrange and take photos in their fabulous Church Street stores in Market Harborough. And thank you to Elli Dean (07932 055548, for the beautiful photography.

STOCKISTS (All in Market Harborough) Jacks for Women, 16 Church Street, 01858 431396, Amy’s Vintage, Church Square, 07811 450975 Lavender Blue Flowers & Home Decor, 15 & 20 Church Street, 01858 466906/419090, For more fashion inspo go to fashion editor Nikki Beatty’s Instagram @styleinthestix



Valentine’s treats

Looking for something to spoil your loved one this 14 February? Here are some wonderfully romantic ideas to suit a range of budgets, from gifts from the local high street to special experiences in our beautiful area.

Lovely lingerie

Fancy some pretty lingerie? Try Fantasie’s “Sienna” in pink (sizes D–GG), from £60 for the set, from Harborough’s The Little Big Bra Shop.

For a proposal

If you’re ready to pop the question, how about this exquisite morganite and diamond 18ct rose gold ring, £1,795, from Oakham’s Heidi Kjeldsen?

Romantic break

Spoil someone with a stay and/or dinner at the romantically located Hambleton Hall. Bedroom rates, including breakfast, morning paper and VAT for two, from £290. The Tasting Menu will be the Valentine Menu at £92. A La Carte Menu 3 courses £73, 4 courses £92. Prices do not include the discretionary service charge.

His and hers

Not forgetting the man in your life… why not get him this Gentlemen’s Hardware hand care kit (above), £24.99, from Fords of Oakham? Also from Fords is Fantasie’s chic “Leona” lingerie trio (right): bra (sizes DD–G), £40, thong £16, chemise £52.


Pampering treatments

Why not treat your loved one to a pampering treatment? Naomi Nails & Beauty in Market Harborough offer Elemis facials from £55 to £73 as well as a range of relaxing, beautifying manicures and pedicures.



Who doesn’t love a romantic gift in the shape of jewellery? These small parallel hoops, £110, and small parallel necklace, £90, are both by Heather O’Connor at the Ada Gallery in Market Harborough.






Mon – Fri: 9.30am – 5pm I Saturday: 9.30am – 5.30pm I Sunday: Closed

16 Church Street, Market Harborough, LE16 7AA T: 01858 431396 l 15

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he New Year brings lots of resolutions to improve our lifestyle, maybe to be healthier or more active in 2018. Why not help your pets to achieve this as well? See if you can fit in one extra short walk each day with your dog before or after work. Build in some play time with your cat during the day or make them work for their food with a fun treat ball.

As a profession there are a couple of resolutions that we would love pet owners to ‘stick’ to in 2018. Two of our emergency cases in the hospital over the New Year period were stick injuries in dogs. One of these was a very nasty laceration to the back of the throat which had caused significant bleeding. Fortunately, both dogs survived but their stories highlight what we already know; sticks are dangerous and we want to avoid our dogs playing with/fetching them wherever possible. Take a tennis ball and a thrower with you on walks instead. Keep a couple in the car so you always have one with you and actively discourage your dog from picking up sticks on walks and carrying them. In 2017 we saw a record number of stray or lost cats being brought into the practice, some in need of medical attention and some just cold, hungry or dehydrated. One of the first things we do is to scan them all over for the presence of an ID chip

- once found we can quickly access the contact details of the owner on a secure database and let them know that their cat is safe. If there is one resolution we could ask cat owners to keep in 2018 it would be to get their cat microchipped and make it easier for us to reunite them with you. Once January is over it can be a good time to think about how best to structure your finances during 2018. Why not extend this to your pets? The easiest way to ensure your pet has all the preventative healthcare they need on an annual basis is one of our Pet Club Packages. Available for both cats and dogs they represent significant cost savings by providing booster vaccinations, flea/tick and worm treatments, nurse clinics and product discounts with just one monthly payment. Find out more on our website:

During February we are offering 25% off selected Royal Canin diets for both cats and dogs, specifically those aimed at neutered pets or those needing a calorie-controlled diet. Like the rest of us our pets can be prone to weight gain over the winter if they are exercising less and consuming the same amount of food. Our weight watcher clinics with one of our

qualified veterinary nurses are available throughout the year. These are free of charge and will involve an initial consultation where your pets’ exercise level, environment and diet will all be discussed. We will then come up with a diet and exercise plan and a target weight to be achieved over a realistic time frame. Follow up clinics will allow you to accurately monitor your pets’ weight loss and assess if the changes are working for your pet. For those of our pets who have mobility issues, being overweight can have a negative effect on chronic conditions such as arthritis. Any increased load on affected joints can speed up the deterioration and have a knock-on effect on decreasing mobility and making it harder to lose weight. For these pets, our mobility awareness clinics may be even more helpful in advising steps you can take to assist your pet on a daily basis.



“Woven into the very fabric of Nadinoo is our deep love for the craft and process of making good clothes. From pattern cutting to the comfiest fit.”

Sally Stillingfleet first came across Nadinoo via an Instagram post. (Isn’t technology a wonderful thing?) When she explored further, she discovered that this brand she coveted and whose posts she kept liking was local – based in Rutland – and after several Direct Messages (DMs) she and talented Designer/ Maker Nadia Izruna arranged to chat over coffee. Nadia told Sally more about sustainable fashion and the wonderful freedom of designing your own clothing in a changing fashion scene.




ADIA has relocated to Rutland with her young family and has developed her business to suit her needs and those of her burgeoning customer base. Having studied Fashion Design at Manchester Metropolitan University, Nadia has travelled the world and has been responsible for many collections for multi-national brands. The decision to set up her own company in 2009 to reflect her own “slow fashion” principles is clearly the driving force to communicate an emphasis on good design. Using beautiful natural fabrics her designs are made with exquisite craftsmanship. The dream to reduce waste and buy less is an ethos I love the idea of, and it was great to meet someone who has experienced the flip side of commercial fashion production but has all the skills needed to pioneer her own brand ethos, cleverly turning ideas into beautiful, wearable clothing. Clear design beliefs have enabled her to develop her brand’s handwriting in a fluid, personal way. The shapes she designs are straightforward, easy and comfortable and translate into garments to cherish. It’s fashion that won’t wear out as fast and sit in the wardrobe unworn. By buying her fabrics from companies who can sell her smaller quantities, Nadia further consciously reduces waste, and this also means her followers can curate their own Nadinoo wardrobes knowing not everyone is walking around in the same clothes, allowing her pieces to be worn in many different ways. By developing an individual approach to dressing and layering, her collection “Simplewear” was born, she explains. “My current collections feature soft fluid cottons, block prints and laundered linen.” The design beliefs she upholds have helped develop her brand’s handwriting alongside her personal fashion needs as a woman and a mother. Juggling her time and seeing every garment through from design, pattern cutting and production to the posted parcel is satisfying and works for her “for now anyway! It would be lovely in the future to have small-scale British production. It is slowly coming back.” She is clearly passionate about what she does and loves the ability to get the “instant feedback and community feel” from her ethereal shots, mainly photographed at Rutland Water by her photographer sister. She has built up 5,000 Instagram followers – not to be sniffed at! Connecting with people via social media, especially Instagram, has meant likeminded people can appreciate shared interests and passions, and therefore Nadia’s brand has evolved in just the way she hoped. Each order is handmade in her Rutland-based studio. The aim is to make only what is truly needed and therefore offer a bespoke service that can be tailored to individual needs. You can switch the fabric and increase the hemline or sleeve length… custom orders are well catered for. Email or see for yourself a small collection at Priddy Essentials, Uppingham. Studio photography by Nadia Izruna Sign up and receive a £15 voucher off (on orders over £100) Instagram:






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Following the success of his first solo tour Jones and Smith, Griff Rhys Jones will be embarking on a brand new national tour in 2018 with his show “Where Was I?” Amander Meade spoke with the star of Not the Nine O’Clock News, Alas Smith and Jones, and Three Men in a Boat, as he prepared for his appearance at Curve, Leicester, later this month.

Griff Rhys Jones You have been so successful in so many formats. Is there something you always wanted to do that nobody has ever asked? When I was first employed at the BBC I was in radio production and loved it, but I get asked to do very little radio, which is my secret disappointment. I’d love to do more – perhaps on some panel shows. Maybe the phone call will come now. What has been the biggest change in how TV is produced since you began? TV is different in every conceivable way now. Just the amount of it available is mind-blowing. When I was a young comedian, there were only three channels, so if you made it on to the TV, you had a good chance of being seen – now young comedians have so many more platforms, which makes it more difficult to get noticed. I’m hooked on box sets myself and often binge watch. I think more and more that format is how we are receiving programming and think the networks’ days are numbered in their current format. The best thing I have watched recently was the Ken Burns documentary on the Vietnam War. You have had lots of success in the West End – is there any more acting planned? I’d love to do some more musical theatre at some point when time permits. What gives you the impetus to take on national tours like this one? I love engaging with an audience and talking essentially – I really enjoy it. As a young man I was never a stand-up comedian. I’ve noticed that many of the really successful stand ups go on to do TV and film, theatre and books etc. I guess this is my version of stand up and I have done it all the other way around. What can audiences expect from your latest show? Where Was I? takes as its starting point some of my personal jaunts from the last 15 years as well as journeys I have taken to make TV programmes. I’m going to expose the real truth about TV travel as well as talking about the nature of travel itself. Why do we go? What are we searching for? And why are all us old people taking gap years? So did you discover what you are searching for? I have learned that I am looking for escape and adventure, but the world is a very small place these days, so it is getting more difficult to find places where it’s impossible to buy a Daily Telegraph. When I was a child we never 24

I’m going to expose the real truth about TV travel as well as talking about the nature of travel itself. Why do we go? What are we searching for? And why are all us old people taking gap years? went on foreign holidays but we did meander the waterways in my dad’s boat and had great adventures. It was very Arthur Ransome and made me suspicious of luxury, I think. Having said that… I’d love to try a cruise. If you had to do one… I’m a Celebrity or Strictly? I really couldn’t do either – I’m just too easily


distracted. Especially in the jungle, I hear it’s very boring for a great deal of the time and that wouldn’t be good for me at all. Griff Rhys Jones will be performing “Where Was I?” at Curve, Leicester, on Friday 23 February. Tickets are £18 from the box office – tel 0116 242 3595 or visit


A few ideas from Great Food Club’s Matt Wright for making the most of the tail end of winter

Cosy and comforting F

EBRUARY is the perfect time for hunkering down in cosy places with comforting food and drink. For me, a good country pub takes some beating, especially when it has a roaring fire, wood beams, a solid range of cask ales and a menu packed with classics such as steak pie (no puff pastry lids though, please – a real pie must be fully encased in pastry). Slow cooking at home using excellent local ingredients is another way to enjoy February to the maximum. Make yourself a casserole – use whatever you fancy – stick it in the oven on Gas Mark 2 and go for a bracing walk. A few hours later you’ll be enjoying a great, healthy, nutritious meal. And if you “accidentally” end up in the pub post-walk, no matter – it won’t burn. Here are a few tips for places to visit and things to do to ensure your February is delicious and cosy.


Nothing beats a bit of slow cooking at home when it’s grey and rainy outside. For the perfect ingredients, visit Northfield Farm Shop near Cold Overton. It’s an oasis of first-class steaks, top-quality sausages, award-winning pies, fine local ales, fresh bread and rural charm. It should be on every local food lover’s mental food map. The Rare Breeds Survival Trust-accredited farm, run by ex-City investment manager Jan McCourt since 1994, straddles the Rutland/Leicestershire border and is home to numerous rare-breed animals, including ancient White Park cattle, Aberdeen Angus and British Lop pigs. The shop sells an excellent array of meat, much of it from animals raised in the surrounding fields and butchered on site, plus fruit and vegetables, and a good range of locally sourced products. Great Taste Awards judges are regularly impressed by Northfield Farm produce, and have awarded its lamb a rare triple gold star. In addition, Northfield Farm’s bramley and blackberry apple pie scooped a top prize in the British Pie Awards, and its Melton Mowbray pork pies have also enjoyed success. “Our principal aim at Northfield Farm is to source and produce premium-quality beef, lamb and pork, which has lived well and has been humanely killed,” says proprietor Jan. “We hang our meat carefully and appropriately, and butcher it to provide the very best quality.” 01664 474271


THE BLACK BULL, MARKET OVERTON If you like kicking back in unpretentious, comfy, friendly village pubs that serve locally sourced, home-cooked food, then you should try The Black Bull. A thatched, cosy 17th-century building, where the woodburner is always aglow on cold days and the beams in the bar are low enough to make six-footers duck or grouse, it does what all good pubs should do – provide a cosseting space to escape from the world. Steaks are a speciality, and the beef is from Harker’s Farm Shop at Clipston, Notts, while pork is from Redhill Farm, Gainsborough. Freerange eggs come from Whissendine, and local farmers supply game. A number of allotments opposite the pub provide fresh fruit and veg. 01572 767677


Sometimes you quickly know that you’ve stumbled across something special, and you get that impression as you amble through the door of The King’s Arms in the attractive village of Wing, located between Oakham and Uppingham. This family-run pub offers outstanding seasonal cooking, with head chef and owner James Goss using on-the-doorstep ingredients and making everything in-house, from the tomato ketchup up. The 17-century country pub is in a beautiful setting and has an appealing homely feel, with strippedwood tables, exposed flagstones and floorboards, open fire, gingham curtains and low, beamed ceilings. There are also en-suite rooms. James also runs Jimmy’s Smokehouse (attached to the pub), where he smokes produce including Rutland trout, Hambleton mutton and Grasmere ham. He learned to smoke food in Denmark and to cure in Switzerland. The King’s Arms is a pub run with passion, and this shows in its food and drink. 01572 737634


SCANDIMANIA COFFEE HOUSE, UPPINGHAM What a little gem Scandimania is! It’s tiny, but in a lovely, cosy way. It oozes Scandi chic and serves delicious food – home-baked and freshly prepared to eat in or take out. Try a healthy and invigorating juice or smoothie followed by a homemade sandwich, a coffee from locally roasted beans and some classic Swedish cardamom buns. All-day breakfasts include toasts (using Hambleton Bakery sourdough) with almond butter, banana, cinnamon and chia seeds or mashed avocado, cream cheese, chilli flakes and mixed seeds. There’s more – including smoothie bowls, acai super berry topped with homemade maple and pecan granola, or maple and Greek yoghurt with pecan granola and berry compote. The chai latte is seriously good too. 07951 345807


Launde Farm Foods specialises in lamb raised on Launde Farm, which is located a stone’s throw from Launde Abbey on the east Leicestershire/ Rutland border. Husband and wife team Gwilym and Alex Owen sell directly to households (“just email us or give us a call,” says Alex) but also to some of the area’s best pubs and restaurants, including GFC-recommended venues Hambleton Hall in Rutland, The Berkeley Arms in Wymondham, The Mad Turk in Stamford and many more besides. So, what makes their lamb so good? “A few things,” says Alex. “Firstly, it’s the breed selections and the fact they eat just grass, not concentrates. Even when they come in for a couple of months in the winter, they eat home-cut silage. Launde Farm brings them on slowly rather than hurrying things, so the spring lamb starts coming through in July. Secondly, the abattoir Launde Farm uses is just 4 miles away in Pickwell, so that reduces stress. Thirdly, we hang our lamb for between seven and 14 days, depending on customer preference.” Launde Farm is run by Gwilym’s brother Gareth and his wife Hannah. They look after around 1,700 sheep – Aberfields crossed with Hill ewes mainly, plus a few Charollais-Suffolk-cross tups – who roam over hundreds of acres. Getting the grassland right is high priority, so that the sheep are hardy, healthy and tasty. 01572 490428

GELATO VILLAGE, LEICESTER Gelato in February? Are you sure? In the case of Gelato Village, for sure! This place is guaranteed to beat the winter blues. In 2017, Gelato Village cemented its position as one of the world’s best gelato makers by coming third for the second consecutive year in the prestigious global Agrimontana Agugliano Cup in Italy. It is a bright, warm and welcoming cafe, where the gelato is made on site and the coffee is outstanding. It was founded by Antonio De Vecchi and Daniele Taverna, who hail from Turin, and the gelato is special because it’s made using the very best ingredients. All milk and cream comes from Belvoir Ridge Creamery in Leicestershire. This is an unhomogenised, fresh product from a single herd of rarebreed Red Poll cows, which provides an unparalleled flavour and changes seasonally, as the cows’ diet varies through the year. They are also Slow Food supporters and the pistachio gelato is made using Slow Food Presidia pistachios from Bronte in Sicily. Open 11am–11pm Monday to Saturday and 11am-6pm Sunday. 0116 319 2252

HOW ABOUT A TRIP INTO THE PEAKS? Derbyshire’s Peak District is only a couple of hours away and is perfect for a walk followed by a meal in one of its many classic and cosy village pubs. Here are a couple you should try. THE PACKHORSE INN


The Packhorse at Little Longstone, just off the Monsal Trail, is exactly the sort of country pub you want to be in – most likely for quite a while. It’s timeless inside and out. The lovely old stone building contains a warm and cosy two-room setup – a main bar and a smallish back dining room. There’s no modern technology on show, just old wooden tables, an old clock or two and candlelight. There’s even an ancient telephone with a proper bell that rings every now and again. The beer is as outstanding as the ambience, with much of it coming from craft brewer Thornbridge, based just down the road near Bakewell. The food menu is on a large chalkboard, and you’ll find satisfying, comforting dishes such as slow-roast pork belly and black pudding with mustard mash and cabbage, seafood and pearl barley stew with crusty bread, and smoked beef brisket (all the beef served at The Packhorse is reared two fields away and comes from Critchlows Farm Shop in Bakewell), with horseradish mash and roast root veg. There are also sharing platters and wholesome sarnies. 01629 640471

The Old Dog near Ashbourne is a large country pub full of character. More than 300 years old, this freehouse feels like it’s been hewn from solid stone and sprinkled with Derbyshire grit. In a world where just about everything feels “Ikea-ised”, this pub gives the opposite impression: flagstone floors, wood-burning stoves, candlelight and antique wood furniture provide a feeling of timeless solidity in keeping with the hills on its doorstep. Contrasting nicely with this rustic atmosphere is a modern, American-influenced menu. Burgers, ribs and salads are the order of the day, alongside a nice range of craft and cask beers and a decent wine selection. Refreshingly, you can’t book a table. The Old Dog is warm, cosy and full of rural charm. It has also been beautifully updated for the 21st century. If you like your pubs honest, atmospheric and in keeping with their surroundings, you’ll love it. 01335 350990

The handbag- or glovebox-sized Great Food Club Handbook 2018 is out now. Packed with over 600 recommendations on where to eat out and buy food and drink in Rutland, Leicestershire, Northants, Notts and beyond – all spread out over 132 pages. It focuses on independents only and covers restaurants, pubs, farm shops, breweries, producers, delis and cafes. It is available to buy now for £5.95. Go to, 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, Great Food Club Fridays at The Olive Branch and 10% off at The King’s Arms in Wing. 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 2018 is out now.



The George at Ashley

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

Cheese and Wine Tasting - Thursday 10th February, 7.30pm, £20pp

Valentines Day Wednesday 14th February, £28 pp Booking for Lunch and Dinner and includes a Red Rose for the lady

Tasting Dinner - Saturday 3rd March, Tickets £35 pp 21 Main Street, Ashley, Northamptonshire. LE16 8HF T 01858 565411 E


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


Catesbys: style in the country

Neil Honor and Jonathon Pegg have moved their successful home accessories and interiors business to a Georgian rectory in the heart of the Rutland countryside. Fiona Cumberpatch found out more.


T’S just over a year since Neil Honor and Jonathon Pegg relocated their home-interiors business from a busy city centre to an idyllic rectory in a swathe of unspoilt parkland on the Exton estate. The couple’s business in Cambridge had become a seven-day-aweek operation, with Neil overseeing the super-stylish shop and Jonathon managing the kitchen, which was famous for its mouth-watering bakes and delicious lunches. “We reached a point where we wanted to get back in control of our lives and make the business work around us instead of vice versa,” explains Neil. “Almost without noticing, our online business had been growing, and the face of retail was – and still is – changing. We decided that it was possible to sell to people in many different ways, not just through a shop in the high street.”

The Exton rectory

Jonathon and Neil had been visiting Rutland for years and loved the county, which they describe as “the Cotswolds of the North”. When Jonathon saw that the rectory at Exton had come up for rent, they decided to take the plunge. After commuting to Cambridge for six months, they closed the shop there and are now based in the countryside. 30


As experienced interior designers with clients nationwide, they swiftly put their unique stamp on the house with a French-Scandinavian style fusion. Tasteful tones of grey predominate, complementing the many original features, such as beautiful flagstones and scrubbed terracotta floor tiles. The look is modern country, pared back, yet with quirky accents, such as a collection of beautiful old French glassware, an old portrait hung on the wall and items of painted vintage furniture mixed with more modern pieces, many of which are for sale on Catesbys’ website. Cosy rugs and throws are placed on chairs to soften the look, and a bowl of Chinese lanterns from the garden adds a pop of orange. “The house dates back to 1788, and it is listed, but we were able to make it work without any major changes,” says Neil. “It’s north facing, as many rectories were, to face the church, and it has beautiful proportions, with large windows, so there’s plenty of light.”

Online business and special events

Now that the interior is completed, Jonathon and Neil will combine their online business with special events in their home. A small barn in the garden has been converted into a showroom, open by appointment only, and there

BRING IN THE SPRING Neil and Jonathon’s tips for the new season: • February is the time to start bringing the outside in after winter. Find old or old-looking containers and fill them with snowdrops or daffodils. • Introduce shades of green into your home. We have some lovely Danish geometric blankets that fit the bill. • Introduce fragrance – if you can’t throw your windows open and fill your home with fresh air, you can burn aromatic candles instead. • Get in the kitchen and enjoy the first, early flavours of spring. You might be lucky enough to find some English asparagus already. • Anticipate a new season in the garden. Our chard platter and pumpkin terrine offer a great way to evoke the feeling of the outdoors, even if it is too early to be harvesting your own fruit and vegetables just yet.

Three of the best spring products from Catesbys

are plans afoot to run cookery and interior design courses. A weekend brocante has already been scheduled for 14 and 15 April, following on from a successful Christmas shopping event last November. “We have a lot of vintage and antique pieces that we have used in our shop, and it’s time to let some of it go. But we will always combine old with new items,” explains Jonathon. “Our business has really evolved from our ability to source unique stock at a good price. When we were travelling we kept finding interesting things from makers who were doing things in a different way. We develop collaborative partnerships rather than just placing orders at trade fairs. Our ethos is to buy less, but buy better, so you have things to keep and love for a long time. We really do live the way we espouse, so when you come to our home, you’ll see us using the things we sell.” A simple kitchen overlooking the rectory garden has open shelves with the same classic glass cake stands, beautiful but practical tumblers, wine glasses and white tableware that can be found on the website. A dining room wall displays a collection of quirky John Derian mushroom plates, another Catesbys favourite.

Bertie – and the future

Life has changed for Jonathon and Neil, not least with the addition of Bertie, their much-loved French Bulldog, whom they adopted from a rescue charity after making their move out of town. “I think sometimes it takes time for your heart to catch up with your head, but we are really enjoying life here and we have so many plans,” sums up Neil. “We think of ourselves as a national business, but with a personal touch, and that will never change.”

Merino Geometric Blanket in green, £89

Chard platter from the Potager collection, £60

Nordic table runner in soft green, £15

Catesbys’ top three Rutland destinations 1. The Wheatsheaf, Greetham We love this pub and have been coming for the last eight years. Simple, honest cooking with amazing flavours and run by a great couple who really look after their guests. 1 Stretton Rd, Greetham, LE15 7NP, 2. Hambleton Bakery The bakery is just around the corner from us, near the village of Exton, so we can walk across the fields with Bertie to get there. We love the bread, but also the Rutland Pippin, a pastry filled with ham hock, sausage meat, Colston Bassett Stilton and apple puree. 2 Cottesmore Rd, Exton LE15 8AN (also in Oakham, Market Harborough, Oundle and Stamford), 3. Priddy Essentials A great shop that sells fragranced candles, amongst other original home accessories. 25 High Street, Uppingham LE15 9PY,




WE CREATE STYLISH, BESPOKE AND INSPIRATIONAL INTERIORS TO MAKE YOUR HOUSE A HOME. VISIT OUR SHOWROOM FOR ALL YOUR INTERIOR NEEDS. SUPPLIERS OF Paint | Wallpaper | Lighting | Home Accessories | Furniture | Curtains & Blinds | Flooring | Interior Design VISIT OUR ONLINE SHOP Visit our showroom six days a week including Saturdays:

A16 Uffington, Stamford PE9 4TD or telephone: 01780 757 946 32


A liTtlE MUsiC

Music can cheer up the dreariest of days, so why not join one of the many melodic classes in the area? Music Bugs runs in Uppingham, Oakham, Tinwell, Oadby, Houghton on the Hill and Market Deeping, and you can try a one-off taster session for £5. For ages 0–4 there is a range of multi-sensory classes, which involve percussion instruments, puppets, bubbles and lots of nursery rhymes, counting songs and musical action. Find your nearest class at Over in Market Harborough Castanet Kids will be running music sessions during half term at The Oat Hill Bar & Restaurant, 31 Kettering Road. The pay-as-you-go sessions are £4, and the first one is free. Alternatively, why not try Hartbeeps’ interactive play sessions at The Party Centre in Market Harborough, involving original songs, lights and puppets for a truly theatrical experience. The new spring term starts on Monday 19 February. For more details visit www. or

A liTtlE DOinG During half term Rutland’s Paint a Pot with Tooty will be running fun pop-up workshops for children of all ages. These are good for those with babies wanting precious hand and footprints as keepsakes, toddlers having creative fingerprint fun, and older primary school-aged children painting solo masterpieces. Keep an eye on the Facebook page for the latest dates and venue details ( or contact 07779 332790. Paint a Pot with Tooty regularly visits soft play centres including Mini Monsters in Oakham and Oakham Softplay Centre at Ashwell Garden Centre, along with The Yard soft play and the Arts Centre in Stamford. The Paint Pottle in St Mary’s Road, Market Harborough, is another great rainy-day venue, where you can take part in workshops with your little ones to paint your own pottery and ceramic art before it is fired in a professional kiln. For more details, visit

LIttLe livIng February is often a cold and damp month and the school half term can be a difficult time to fill. Lily Canter prefers to mix up indoor and outdoor pursuits at this time of year to keep her two little sons busy. Here she shares some of the best activities in the region.

A liTtlE LAmbIng Springtime comes early at Mini Meadows Farm in Welford, and for £1 a bottle children can feed the lambs before meeting all of the cute newborn animals in the baby barn. My pair love feeding the variety of indoor and outdoor animals and getting to pet the fluffy rabbits. When things turn too wet or chilly outside, there are few better places than the new Treetops indoor play area with bridges, climbing walls, slides and ropes, plus a miniature version for toddlers. Find out more at www.minimeadowsfarm. com. Rutland Farm Park is another great wellystomping venue, where under threes have free entry all year round. Meet the newborn calves and lambs in the barn throughout the month: rutlandfarmpark/.

A liTtlE AId If a child in your care had an accident or fell ill, would you know what to do? Whether you’re an expectant parent, parent, grandparent or carer of a baby or young child, it is essential to know how to protect the most precious little people in your life. Mini First Aid run two-hour classes in Oakham and Market Harborough, covering emergencies such as choking, bumps, burns, breaks and meningitis awareness. Classes are £20 per person and can be booked at or by emailing susan@



A liTtlE COokIng Emma Steed from Nature’s Pantry in Church Street, Market Harborough, recommends making this delicious jam and using it to decorate rice cakes cut into the shape of love hearts for a nutritious snack. Children can take part in a range of special cooking workshops during February half term at Nature’s. See the full timetable here:

Raspberry chia jam Ingredients: • 2 cups raspberries • 2 tbsp chia seeds – whole or ground • Lemon juice • 1 tbsp agave or maple syrup or honey • 0.25 tsp ginger Method: • Heat the raspberries on a low temperature to reduce them, stirring occasionally. • Set them aside to cool. Add the chia seeds, a squeeze of lemon juice (to taste), sweetener (the syrup or honey) and ginger. You can add more sweetener if desired. Chia seeds can be ground in a nutribullet. • Store in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to two weeks.


CARPET & UPHOLSTERY CLEANING • I wish my carpet was cleaned & stain guarded • I wish my leather sofa was cleaned & conditioned • I wish my oriental rug was cleaned & moth treated • I wish my natural stone floor was cleaned & sealed If you wish for the best cleaning for your fine fabrics, then please call us. We will grant your wishes, and provide a 10% discount Weaver Ltd a high quality specialist cleaning company based in Oakham with all the equipment and materials necessary to carefully clean and restore your precious carpets, upholstery, rugs, antiques and natural stone floors. 24hrs Emergency service.

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

Window Repair

Why replace your timber windows when you can restore? Traditional Restoration offers a cost-saving alternative to window replacement.

• Repairs and renovations • Overhaul and draught proofing • Reglazing and reputtying • Converting single glazing to double glazing Call James on:





Exterior joinery repair

01572 720524 or 07841 527855 @tradrest

Please contact Weaver Ltd on

01572 759899

or visit and watch our videos. 24F Pillings Road Oakham LE15 6QF


WEAVING MAGIC Shop online at



EYE CLINIC Blinds & Curtains Made to Measure & Fitted Fast Locally We can use our fabrics or source Your Designer Fabric for you. Makeup and installation or supply only



FOR A QUOTATION OR ADVICE Call Richard on 01572 759176 or 07967 383827

Fitting Blinds & Curtains Fast: Oakham, Rutland, Stamford, Melton & Bourne

5 Day Blinds

30 Pillings Road, Oakham, Leics LE15 6QF (By appointment to assure our best attention)



Private Hire & Local Taxi Service

Our friendly experienced drivers will ensure you a safe and comfortable journey all at a very fair price. • Airport transfers • Short & longer journeys • Corporate and private work • 5 star chauffeur service • Unmarked prestige cars • 24 hour availability

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The East of England


Goody Bag for the first 250 Brides Over 80 Exhibitors Free Glass of Bubbly Catwalk Shows Free Parking Free Bridal Directory


Free Prize Draw

10.30am – 3.00pm - The East of England Showground, Peterborough Tel: 07738 912092 / 01775 765385 for details

Admission: £4.00

The Regions Greatest Wedding Show!

Everything you need to plan your special day

Opening Times Monday: Tuesday: Wednesday: Thursday:

Closed 10.00am – 5.30pm Friday: 10.00am – 7.00pm Saturday: 10.00am – 5.30pm Sunday:

10.00am – 5.30pm 10.00am – 1.30pm Closed

For further information visit us at: 32 St Peters Street, Stamford, PE9 2PF (next door to the Bathroom Shop) T: 01780 767 403 E:


Loving later life As we get older and live longer, our care and support needs may change. Perhaps a family member requires some extra help to stay independent in their own home or is considering a move towards a tailored retirement-living option? Amander Meade speaks to some regional experts.

Coping with care

The power of choice The team at McCarthy & Stone, the UK’s largest retirement house builder, believes that your retirement should be everything you hoped it would be and that you shouldn’t have to compromise on quality of life or the level of freedom you’re used to. Lonsdale Park, located on Barleythorpe Road in Oakham, will officially open next month. The retirement living development will comprise 43 privately owned spacious one and two bedroom apartments and with a stunning homeowner’s lounge, beautiful year-round landscaped gardens and guest suites, you have everything you need to relax and entertain visiting family and friends. Coming soon in 2018 is Saxon Gardens, a stunning Retirement Living Plus development in Oakham. These developments aim to bridge the gap between conventional retirement living and residential care. Retain your independence with your privately owned home, but have peace of mind that a range of additional 24/7 security and support services are available.

Aleisha White is one of only a handful of Independent Social Workers operating in the East Midlands, running The Care Advice Centre. If you are considering a care home for a loved one, her advice is clear. “Don’t rush into selling a property – there are other options. The house could be rented out, or you could apply for a deferred payment whereby the council will fund residential care and put a legal charge against your home. The loan will need to be repaid when the property is sold. Look into NHS continuing healthcare to see if you might be eligible for care funding.” Aleisha provides a consultation service for a fixed fee to discuss individual circumstances and solutions.

Award-winning teams Signature South Lodge is established in a beautiful residential area within easy reach of shops, churches and Leicester city centre, but it is the extraordinary care found there that sets it apart from most residential care homes. In 2017 the team at South Lodge were finalists in the Great British Care Home Awards’ Care Home of the Year and Care Home Worker of the Year categories and won the Good Nurse Award for the region as well as winning a high commendation for the Best Care Home Group. Additionally, Bindi Kaur won the Leicester Mercury Carer of the Year award, nominated by the families of those she looks after in South Lodge’s specialist dementia suite. Visit the excellent website for an overview of South Lodge’s facilities or book a tour. Signature South Lodge

Today’s solution

Living at home safely

Assisted Living describes a service that provides an elderly individual or couple with their own private accommodation whilst offering support with catering, cleaning, laundry and personal care as and when required. Manor House at Middleton has eight self-contained apartments with all of the comforts of home, combined with tailored support packages that ensure individual personal health, safety and security. Owner Kiran Pancholi thinks that assisted-living apartments might replace the traditional care-home option for many, and, with prices starting from £395 per apartment per week, suggests they offer great value for money. “Our residents enjoy a fulfilling and long-term independent lifestyle with plenty of companionship and a full social life.”

Sometimes adapting your own home can ensure your continued safety and independence, so if stairs are becoming a problem, specialist stairlift installer Westwood Stairlifts can offer expert advice and quotations with no obligation to buy. “We provide everything from simple, straight stairlifts to more complex lifts for curved, outdoor or multiple-flight staircases with prices from £1,295. Reconditioned lifts and rental agreements are also an option, and, as everyone is employed rather than working on commission, there is no need to worry about pushy salespeople – just professionals who offer the best advice for each individual situation.”



Bespoke care packages

Exceptional care at home

Based in Stamford Bluebird Care UK first opened its doors in 2004 as a small family business dedicated to providing high-quality home-care services. The firm has now grown into a leading care-at-home provider, delivering around 20,000 visits each day right across the country. “Our commitment to delivering the services you want, how you want them, in the comfort of your own home is stronger now than ever. We aim to provide the same standard of care that we would expect for our own families. This means valuing each person’s unique qualities and seeing them as an individual, and not as a list of care needs.” Bluebird Care Peterborough & Rutland were named National Franchisee of the Year 2016, chosen via a rigorous selection process from 18 nominees.

Always Take Care is a family-run, Gold Standard Care Agency based in Rutland. Founder Heather Gebbie has over 50 years’ nursing experience and takes great pride in the outstanding quality of care her team provides. “The greatest of attention is paid to matching the right carer with the right client. The majority of our clients are retired professionals seeking the dignity of remaining at home despite personal limitations. We offer professional help with daily care, companionship, dementia care, palliative care, respite care and end-of-life care through our highly trained staff who live with clients in their homes and take care of all their needs.”

Heart of the community Oak House Residential Home in Greetham offers short- and longerterm care, full-time residential and respite care. The home is well known for three key elements. The first is the exceptional quality of the food supplied by the kitchen team who have received several national awards for consistently high standards of nutrition. Secondly, there’s the vibrant programme of activities including regular visits from local volunteers as well as professional hairdressers, chiropodists and ministers. And thirdly, the home’s reputation is strong thanks to a very happy and dedicated team of staff ensuring great continuity of relationships.

Care and companionship by Home Instead Gail Devereux-Batchelor runs Home Instead Senior Care for Market Harborough, Corby and Rutland. Gail believes that high-quality recruitment and training results in excellent care for her clients – a stance that is borne out by the latest Care Quality Commission inspector’s report, which rates Home Instead’s service as “Outstanding”. Home Instead offers a wide range of services from home-cooked lunches to companionship and help around the home. “For us, care and companionship go hand in hand,” explains Gail. “Some of our clients simply require someone to go shopping or to visit a garden centre; others may require support getting up and feeling gorgeous in the morning, for example. We really enjoy matching our Care Givers with a client and tailoring our service to each client’s personal requirements.”

Live actively Dedicated to senior living and with a gym, spa, swimming pool and private landscaped gardens, MHA Welland Place offers an active and fulfilled retired lifestyle. Residents enjoy the benefits of a sitting room and snooker room, along with a library, hair salon, restaurant and bar. Welland Place offers residents independence and privacy, a range of options to live life to the full within a community of likeminded friends, and the reassurance of discreet, tailored support, if and when it may be needed. There is also secure underground parking. Properties are available to purchase, part-own or rent to suit all circumstances. Flexible purchasing options available include shared ownership, rental and try before you buy. Run by volunteers Harborough Shopmobility is an independent charity that aims to promote the welfare and independence of people with impaired mobility. You can visit the team at the Roman Way Community Centre in Market Harborough or call them to find out more or arrange a home visit.

DIRECTORY Always Take Care, 01572 869138, Bluebird Care, 01780 480881, The Care Advice Centre, 01572 720705/07766 490473, Harborough Shopmobility, 0116 305 2343, Home Instead Senior Care, Market Harborough 01858 540317 Rutland 01572 898147, McCarthy & Stone Retirement Properties, 0800 201 4811 (or visit the show property on site), Manor House, 01536 771 722, MHA Welland Place, 01858 412060, Oak House, 01572 812647, Signature South Lodge, 0116 274 8000, Westwood Stairlifts, 01733 609777 or freephone 0800 246 1016, RUTLAND & MARKET HARBOROUGH LIVING FEBRUARY 2018



A GOLD STANDARD CARE AGENCY Helping and supporting you with one to one care in your own home.

Highly qualified - Family run agency with employed carers of the best quality. We specialise in 24 hour live in care. THE GUILD OF MASTER CHIMNEY SWEEPS Powering chimney sweeping into the 21st Century

Permanent or Respite. All levels of care considered.



Phone Bridget to discuss our friendly personal service

01572 869138

We have moved to 21A Burley Road, Oakham, LE15 6DH


We will all need to think about care options and how we can fund them at some point in our lives. The Care Advice Centre offers independent, no jargon, advice on care and funding issues. It is vital that the most cost effective methods of funding care fees are considered. Such planning will give peace of mind that the available capital will last as long as possible.


You may be able to claim Attendance Allowance if you have care needs. You don’t actually have to receive help from a carer because Attendance Allowance is based on the help you need, not the help you actually get. Attendance Allowance is not means-tested.

NHS CONTINUING HEALTHCARE FUNDING You may be able to claim NHS continuing healthcare funding if you have a complex, progressive health care need. This is funding from the NHS. If you are found eligible, it can pay all of your care fees, whether you are at home or in a care home. NHS continuing healthcare is not means-tested.

For more details please contact Aleisha: T: 01572 720705 M: 07766 490473 Email: 41

HEALTH Love is all around… & This month Catherine Varney suggests lots of lovely pampering treats and experiences to share with your loved one. Alternatively, if you fancy some “me time”, then simply spoil yourself with a relaxing spa break for one – go on, you deserve it!

My five favourite spa breaks for Valentine’s Day 1. The Romantic Getaway (from £385 per person) This is the priciest package to make it on to my Top 5 list, but, if you’re looking to impress, then it’s well worth it. This two-night stay is available at Ragdale Hall throughout February and March, and includes all meals, the use of all heat and water facilities, a bottle of champagne and the choice of a 50-minute Blissful Face and Back Therapy or a Soothing Back Massage and Lavender Tea Tree Exfoliation (both 25 minutes). Ragdale Hall Health Hydro and Thermal Spa, Ragdale Village, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire LE14 3PB, 01664 433000, 2. Ultimate Two-Night Spa Break (£209 per person) Sketchley Grange in Hinkley might not be your first thought when it comes to spa breaks, but I love it here and it really does offer exceptional value for money. This residential package includes a two-night stay in a classic room, unlimited access to Romans Health and Leisure Club facilities (swimming pool, whirlpool, sauna, steam room and a state-of-the-art gym), three 25-minute treatments (Back Massage, Express Facial, Mini Manicure or Pedicure), a delicious three-course dinner both nights and full English breakfasts both mornings – phew! Sketchley Grange Hotel & Spa, Sketchley Lane, Burbage, Hinckley LE10 3HU, 01455 251133, 3. Relax and Unwind Hotel break (£240 per couple) There are oodles of spa package options at Barnsdale Spa, but this overnight break represents great value for money. Enjoy dinner, bed and breakfast with your other half in this beautifully situated spa on the shores of Rutland Water and choose from one of the following 30-minute treatments each too: ESPA Back Massage, Indian Head massage, bespoke ESPA facial, floatation treatment, file and polish, spray tan or a wash and blow dry in the on-site salon. The hotel is also offering dinner, bed and breakfast for two nights to the end of February from £62.50 per person per night – call or see the website for details. Barnsdale Spa, Barnsdale Hall Hotel, Barnsdale, Oakham LE15 8AB, 01572 757901,

Sketchley Grange

Ragdale Hall

vitality pool, outdoor hot tubs, a Saunarium, a Steam Room, Herbal Caldarium, a relaxing conservatory area and a Slumber Lounge where you can catch a well-deserved 40 winks! The Simply Spa Day includes full use of the above facilities and a fabulous three-course lunch in the restaurant, with the option to add additional spa treatments. At the time of going to press, Eden Hall were offering a £20 discount on selected dates in February, making this incredible package even better value for money. Eden Hall, Elston Village, Newark, Nottinghamshire NG23 5PG, 01636 525555, 5. Cupid’s Couples Day (from £249 per couple) This is my second recommendation for Ragdale Hall – and proof that this luxury spa really can cater for all budgets. This day experiences lasts from 10am–7pm and is available throughout February and March and includes full use of all the facilities including the candle pool, indoor and outdoor waterfall pool and a three-course healthy buffet lunch. Relax and unwind in the

4. Simply Spa Day (from £95 per person) Eden Hall in Newark is something of a hidden gem and is actually my all-time favourite day spa. The facilities here are second to none and include the Thermal Spa Suite, a saltwater


Barnsdale Spa


afternoon with a classic manicure for her and a Sooth ‘n’ Splash facial for him before ending your romantic day in style with a glass of pink bubbly and a sharing plate of tapas. Ragdale Hall Health Hydro and Thermal Spa (details as for no.1, above left)

Eden Hall

& BEAUTY Pucker up!

Turn heads with my pick of the best beauty treats for Valentine’s Day

Searching for the perfect, long-lasting Valentine’s Day lippie? I’ve done the hard work for you with my five recommendations that will stay put throughout a romantic three-course meal… and a spot of smooching too, of course!


Jeffree Star Velour Liquid lipstick (£16) If you haven’t heard of this cult beauty brand, it won’t be long before you do. Loved by make-up artists worldwide, this lightweight lipstick is formulated to offer opaque coverage that lasts all day. “Rich Blood” is a metallic ruby red – ideal for creating the perfect pout with a hint of shimmer.


NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil (£21) This foolproof lip pencil makes it easy to get a professional finish, even if you’re something of a make-up novice. The precision tip guarantees a perfect look every time – and you’re spoilt for choice with the fabulous range of shades. I’d recommend “Cruella” for a deep, easy-towear red, or “Dolce Vita”, a creamy nude pink for something more natural.


Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick (£16) This impressive-looking little tube of lipgloss boasts 6 hours continuous wear, and the satin finish adds a perfect sheen without looking dry and cakey on the lips. Try the aptly named “Amore”, which is a super-flattering deep plum.


Estée Lauder Pure Colour Long Lasting Lipstick (£23) As the name suggests, this classy-looking lipstick gets top marks for longevity in customer reviews. If you like a lip colour that isn’t too bold, opt for “Blushing”, a gorgeous rose pink that works well with lighter make-up looks.


Mac Pro lipstick (£16.50) This gets top marks for its dense pigmentation and long-lasting, moisturising formula. Try the shade “Diva” – a reddish burgundy that complements all skin tones.

YOUNG LOVE If your teenage lad is looking to spoil his girlfriend for Valentine’s Day, then he won’t go wrong with the fabulous range of cosmetics by Barry M at Ellique – all for affordable pocket-money prices. Some of the most popular products with the gorgeous girls of Oakham include the liquid chrome highlighter drops, strobe creams, contour sets and glitter dust – all guaranteed to enhance their youthful glow. Contact: Ellique, 55 South Street, Oakham, 01572 723950 NAILED IT Secretly hoping for a proposal? Then you need to make sure your nails are “ringready”, just in case! I would recommend paying a visit to Market Harborough’s Naomi Nails and Beauty, where the experienced technicians have a wealth of experience with different products and techniques including gel and acrylic nail extensions, Shellac, Minx and, new for 2018, the EVO Bio Sculpture System, which is a revolutionary gel designed to improve air permeability and promote good overall nail health. Contact: Naomi Nails and Beauty, 14–16 Manor Walk, Market Harborough, 01858 657001, BE A SUPER-SMOOTHIE If you’ve been bundled up in woolly jumpers and jeans for most of the winter months, your skin may need a little TLC before you’re ready to dress up for a romantic night out. Head to Creme Hair and Beauty, where the ESPA Body Polish treatment uses skin brushing and a spearmint scrub to remove dead skin cells and hydrate tired, dry skin. Contact: Creme Hair and Beauty, The Old Church, Mill Street, Oakham, 01572 723823, FEEL RADIANT AT RENAISSANCE New to this friendly Stamford salon are Lightfusion photo facials, which use the latest LED technology combined with an exclusive Hydrogel mask to instantly improve the signs of ageing, redness and minor skin problems – perfect for improving skin tone and texture prior to a make-up application. Contact: Renaissance Hair, Health and Beauty Therapy, 15 Maiden Lane, Stamford, 01780 763768,



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News & Notes

Helping you make the most of Rutland and Market Harborough living

Lasting Powers of Attorney – not just an optional extra T is impossible to know whether you will ever need someone to act for you, should there come a time when you are physically or mentally unable to do so independently. However, it is extremely prudent to prepare for such an eventuality, with a reliable option being to obtain a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for property and financial affairs. This document allows you to appoint someone to make certain financial decisions on your behalf, including paying bills, managing bank accounts and selling your property, should you become unable to do so yourself. A common situation where an LPA is invaluable relates to married couples living in a house that is jointly owned. If one spouse loses capacity through a stroke or dementia and moves into a residential home, the other may not be able to afford to remain in the house and may wish to sell and downsize to a smaller property. In this instance, it is necessary to apply for a Deputy for their spouse and make a separate application to the Court to enable the sale of the property. Both applications could be avoided by having a Power of Attorney in place. The phrase “next of kin” frequently arises in relation to the medical treatment or care of a person. It is a commonly held belief that this definition refers to someone’s closest relative, who has some authority to make relevant decisions on their behalf. Unfortunately, however, this is not the case, as “next of kin” does not mean anything in law or bestow any legal powers. In reality, it is only health and care professionals, such as doctors and social workers, who can decide on a mentally incapable person’s medical treatment and



This document allows you to appoint someone to make certain financial decisions on your behalf, including paying bills, managing bank accounts and selling your property, should there ever be a time when you are physically or mentally unable to do so yourself. care. In the process of making these decisions, they should consult with those people who are close to the person concerned, ie relatives or someone nominated by the individual. That said, the final decision rests with the health and care professionals involved. If a Lasting Power of Attorney for health and welfare is

in place, however, then such decisions can be made by the appointed Attorney instead. If you would like to discuss Lasting Power of Attorneys further, please contact Paul Belliere-Wilson on 01780 484570 or email See also

Rutland flats are more affordable than 10 years ago Local property advisor David Crooke, owner of UPP Property, reports that certain types of Rutland property are now more affordable than before the credit crunch.


OLLOWING the 2007 credit crunch, Rutland property values lay in the doldrums, only starting to rise slowly from 2011. Even though property values have now passed those 2007 peaks, research indicates that Oakham flats are now more affordable than they were before the crunch. In 2007, the average value of an Oakham flat stood at £133,810; today, it is £161,946, a rise of £28,136 or 21%. However, since 2007 the country has experienced inflation of 25.97% (as measured by the government’s Consumer Price Index), meaning that in terms of real spending power Oakham flats are 4.9% more affordable than in 2007. Or, if the average Oakham flat (valued at £133,810 in 2007) had risen by 25.97% inflation over those 10 years, it would be worth £168,560 today (instead of the current £161,946). In fact, property is more affordable than many people think. First-time buyers can get on to the property ladder, as 95% mortgages have been readily available to them since 2010. It comes down to choice, and, if



first-time buyers can get over the hurdle of saving the 5% deposit for a mortgage, they will be on to a winner. Over the last 10 years a residential revolution has evolved across Britain as a whole, bringing a much more positive attitude towards renting, meaning many find it a better option than buying a property – and even a lifestyle choice. Over the next 10 to 15 years, the number of people who choose renting over buying will continue to rise. Interestingly, over the last few years higher expectations from tenants on the finish and specification of their rental home have emerged, and, as tenants’ expectations are becoming more discerning, the tenancy term is increasing (this was backed up recently by stats from a government report), although there can be a tendency for some landlords not to keep the rental payments at the going market rates. Landlords will need to be more conscious of tenants’ “needs and wants” and consider their financial planning for future enhancements to their rental properties over the coming years. For professional advice on buying, selling, renting and managing your homes and property investments, please call UPP Property Sales & Lettings on 01572 725825. See also

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News & Notes Top tips for looking after your eyes from the experts at Davis Optometrists


Eat right for good sight: Eye-friendly nutrients in fruit and vegetables and fatty acids derived from fish, nuts and oils can all protect your sight. Vitamins B and E can help protect against cataracts, and Omega 3 fish oils can help maintain healthy blood vessels within the eye. Research has shown that eating one portion of oily fish a week can reduce your risk of ARMD (Age-Related Macular Degeneration) by up to 40%.


Give up smoking: Toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke can damage the eye. This can lead to increased risk of conditions including ARMD, cataracts, thyroid eye disease, dry eye and poor colour vision.


Watch your weight: Maintaining a healthy weight helps preserve macular pigment density, which in turn protects against cell breakdown and the onset of ARMD.


Get fit: Aerobic exercise can help to increase oxygen supply to the optic nerve and lower the pressure building up inside the eye. This can assist with controlling conditions such as Glaucoma and ocular hypertension.


Cover up: Exposure to UV light increases your risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration. Always wear sunglasses if the UV index is above 3, and check that your glasses filter at least 99% of UVA and UVB light. Sunglasses should have a CE or British standard UV filter mark of 400.


Get screen smart: On average we spend 35 hours a week at the computer screen and 90% of us say we experience screen fatigue (tired eyes, blurred vision, headaches and poor colour perception). Avoid strain with the 20-20-20 rule – look 20 feet away from yourself for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.

Book an eye examination if you have any symptoms that affect your daily life or schedule one in every two years even if you’re not aware of any problems yourself. Davis Optometrists have 3D scanners that can detect signs of some eye disease up to 5 years before you notice symptoms, so remember to include those check ups as part of your general health routine. Davis Optometrists are at 12 St Mary’s Road, Market Harborough, Leics LE16 7DU. For more details, call 01858 462061 or visit

The Good and New Clothes Sales 2018


REPARATIONS for The Good and New Clothes Sale, the largest of its kind in the country, are well underway. All proceeds of the sale will be used to pay for Specialist Advisers based at Citizens Advice Rutland. The sale provides something for all the family, including designer fashions (from Roberto Cavalli and Christian Louboutin to Paul Smith and Chloé) plus clothing for children, daytime fashions, sportswear, vintage and eveningwear, and an extensive selection of shoes and accessories. This year the organisers are delighted to announce that Hegarty LLP Solicitors are the main sponsor. If you would like to support by donating any new or nearly new clothing or accessories, please contact Trish Ruddle on 07801 319222 or Elizabeth Mills on 07710 873811, or email Alternatively, you can donate items using one of the drop-off points in Oakham: Cavells on Mill Street or John Porter Dry Cleaning on Market Street. Any quality clothes that are in good condition would be most gratefully received. The Good and New Clothes Sale will kick off with the Men’s Sale on 23 and 24 February (venue to be confirmed – see the Facebook or Twitter pages for details), followed by the Evening Sale on Friday 2 March and the Great Sale on 3 March at Barnsdale Lodge Hotel, near Oakham. For tickets to the Evening Sale on 2 March, please email info@forrutland. Pre-bought tickets cost £15. Tickets on the door will be £20. Entrance to the Great Sale will be £5 on the door, with all clothes and accessories at half price. Follow Twitter FRIRcharity or Facebook “For Rutland” for up-to-date details.




Out & About

Amander Meade selects some of the best entertainment in the region this month. including Barry Cryer, Harry Hill, Sara Pascoe, Katherine Ryan, Dr John Cooper Clarke and Griff Rhys Jones. Tickets available by telephone on 0116 456 6812, and through the website: Sunday 11 February, 7.45pm COMEDY: Lucy Porter Lucy is a regular face and voice on TV and radio panel shows and an accomplished comedy writer and performer. Her show “Choose Your Battles” is touring after a sell-out run in Edinburgh. The Cookie, Leicester Tickets £15.40, 01162 531212,

Lucy Porter

Friday 2 February, 7.30pm EVENT: Lyddington Film Night This month’s film is “Dunkirk” (12A), which tells the story of how, in May 1940, Germany advanced into France, trapping Allied troops on the beaches of Dunkirk. Under air and ground cover from British and French forces, troops were slowly and methodically evacuated from the beach using every serviceable naval and civilian vessel that could be found. At the end of this heroic mission, 330,000 French, British, Belgian and Dutch soldiers were safely evacuated. Lyddington Village Hall Admission £5 on the door Saturday 3 February, 7.45pm CONCERT: Janette Monroe and Il Destino A new South Leicestershire group called the “Village People” has been formed to help with projects and fundraising in local villages. The group will be launched with a concert featuring soprano Janette Monroe and duo Il Destino. Janette has worked with the likes of Russell Watson and Joe Cocker and will be joined by Jon Christos and Adam Lacey. The show will encompass some of the world’s most loved and timeless music in a variety of styles, with the proceeds donated to help the villages of Bringhurst, Drayton and Nevill Holt to purchase defibrillators. Medbourne Church Tickets £15 each (including mulled wine and canapes), from Peter Oppenheimer on 01858 565392 or 07770 607674 Wednesday 7 to Sunday 25 February EVENT: Leicester Comedy Festival Dozens of comedy performers will descend on the city to perform in this festival, which in 2018 is in its 14th year. Almost a thousand events will take place during the days and in the evenings at venues all around the city and throughout Leicestershire and Rutland. Shows will feature comedians breaking through as well as established names

Monday 12 to Friday 16 February WORKSHOPS: Musical Theatre Street dance, The Jungle Book, Harry Potter, Frozen and Little Mix are some of the themes to workshops available this half term from Wildcats Theatre School in Stamford. Workshops take place at the Wildcats premises on Castle Hill and at Stamford Arts Centre with early drop off and late collection available (Castle Hill only). £23.50 per day, per child with booking online at or Wednesday 14 February, 7.30pm for 8pm EVENT: Ashley Film Night This month’s film is “Sully” (PG13), featuring Tom Hanks and Clint Eastwood Son Yambu and telling the story of Captain Chesley (Sully) Sullenberger, the pilot who made an emergency landing in New York’s Hudson River, saving 155 passengers and crew. Despite the accolades the pilot faced an investigation that threatened to destroy his career and reputation. Ashley Village Hall Tickets £5 on the door, refreshments available Friday 16 February, 7.30pm DRAMA: No Finer Life Graham Harvey, for 20 years the Agricultural Story Editor of The Archers and writer of more than 600 episodes, brings to the stage the true tale of an unlikely Cotswold hero, an enduring romance and the fight to retain the heart of rural Britain. Oakham Castle Admission £12, 01572 757578, www.,


Sunday 18 February, 10.30am to 3pm EVENT: Wedding Fair Couples are invited to enjoy a complimentary glass of sparkling wine while meeting a host of suppliers all aiming to make their special day even more special. The Edith Weston Suite, Barnsdale Hall Hotel Admission free. More details on 01572 725142 Tuesday 20 February, 7.30pm DRAMA: Quilter and the Ghost Part of the Live and Local Drama for Rutland Project, which brings professional touring

shows to small venues. This is the warm, nostalgic story of a reclusive hoarder and her strange but sweet ghost, who together in their ramshackle home collect real stories of strong and inspiring women lest they be lost to history. A comic and compelling modern fairy tale. Cottesmore Village Hall Tickets £10, 01572 812350 Friday 23 February, 7.30pm COMEDY: Griff Rhys Jones Following the success of his first solo tour, Griff Rhys Jones will perform his new show “Where Was I?”, which takes as its starting point some of Griff’s personal jaunts from the last 15 years. Join the star of Not the Nine O’Clock News, Alas Smith and Jones and Three Men in a Boat as he airs stories, anecdotes, reminiscences and outright lies from 40 years of travelling down rivers and up mountains, into Africa, out of India, and across the arid wastes of the BBC canteen. Curve, Leicester Tickets £18, 0116 242 3560, Sunday 25 February 12–3.30pm EVENT: Snowdrop Walk The village of Ashley is hosting a snowdrop walk followed by hot soup in the church. Ideal for families. Dogs on leads are welcome too. More information at

Wednesday 28 February, 7.30pm TALK: The History of Corby Old Town This month’s guest speaker at Great Easton History Society’s meeting is the Heritage Development Worker at Corby Heritage Centre, Billy Dalziel. Great Easton Village Hall. Admission £2 Friday 2 March, 8pm MUSIC: Son Yambu in Concert All spicy rhythms, tight horns and vivacious stage presence, this acoustic septet of new generation Cuban musicians feed the Latin soul. Northwick Arms, Ketton Tickets £10 on the door or from Adam, 01780 720521 Sunday 4 March, 7.30pm DRAMA: Cat Weatherill and Naomi Paul A captivating show about the little indulgences that make life worth living from compelling storyteller Cat Weatherill and hilarious comic Naomi Paul. Rutland Museum. Tickets £10 from Oakham Wines or

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houses located on the famous Ashton Estate surrounded by wildflower Gainsborough – Sleeps 8 meadows, rolling House farmland and magical Morland Manor – Sleeps 10 woodlands – the perfect country retreat. The houses are finished Newmarket Rooms – Sleepswith 4 an emphasis on quality, in a style that is both comfortable and elegantly modern. The solid oak finishes and natural features make each house individual. The Lady Rothschild Dairy is of exceptional architectural interest and has been awarded Grade II* listed status.

Rutland is some offering some Rutland CountyCounty Council Council is offering FREE refresher refresher driving courses aimed at Rutland drivers. driving theory courses aimed at drivers in Rutland. THE NEXT COURSES ARE BEING HELD AT THE COUNCIL THE COURSES HAVE BEEN ARRANGED ON THE FOLLOWING DATES: OFFICES IN OAKHAM ON THE FOLLOWING DATES: Monday 12th October 10.00-12.00 Council Chambers, Oakham Monday 19th March 1.30-4.00 Tuesday 3rd November Uppingham Town Hall Friday14.00-16.00 20th April 10.00-12.30 Wednesday 17th Thursday March 14:00-16:00 Cottesmore Village Hall 3rd May 10.00-12.30 Thursday 24rd March


Tinwell Village Hall

These theory courses are aimed at drivers who would like to update their knowledge as well as learn how to drive more safely and efficiently. These courses are for Rutland residents who would like to update their knowledge as There behow a short break for safely refreshments. The course free for Rutland well as will learn to drive more and efficiently. There is willcurrently be an opportunity for a residents and £30 for non-residents. practical driving session at a later date. It consists of a 2 ½ theory discussion and a voucher for an hour practical session to use with a local driving instructor at a later date.

For more information or to book your place telephone 01572-758248 or email


The Constable House – Sleeps 9 + 3 Email: The Turner House – Sleeps 8 + 2 Tel:House 01832 272264 The Gainsborough – Sleeps 8 / 07831 855206 Email: Tel: 01832 272264 / 07831 855206



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For the month of St Valentine’s Day, Caroline Aston uncovers a tragically romantic tale that connects Rutland with Hollywood.

Love Story


IGHTY years ago the hugely glamorous Lord and Lady Plunket had just arrived in Hollywood for an extended stay. Much feted by prominent movers and shakers the Plunkets were invited to visit newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst (inspiration for Orson Welles’ famous movie “Citizen Kane”) at his San Simeon estate, half way between San Francisco and Los Angeles. On 24 February the couple, accompanied by their friend James Lawrence, boarded a private plane supplied by their host. As they neared their destination, they ran into thick coastal fog and overshot the runway by a mile and a half. One of the plane’s wings caught the ground, and it crashed, bursting into flames. Lawrence survived – thrown clear he suffered a broken ankle and burns – but the Plunkets were killed along with the pilot, leaving three young sons. This tragic golden couple had married in December 1922. The bride was a widow, previously married to wealthy aviator Captain Jack Barnato, who had died of pneumonia not long after their 1918 wedding. But the new Lady Plunket had a whiff of scandal about her – she was illegitimate, the love child of an American silent film star and her lover, the 7th Marquess of Londonderry, who for many years had a country home, Springfields, just outside Oakham. Fannie Ward, real name Fannie Buchanan, was born in St Louis, Missouri, in 1872. Aged 18 she made her stage debut and was a big hit, mainly


due to her pretty “baby face” looks, though she was a capable enough light actress. She arrived in London in 1894 and quickly became a favourite of the wealthy, aristocratic young men who haunted the stage doors of London theatres. In 1898 Fannie married Joseph Lewis, a rich British diamond tycoon, and she retired from the stage. Unfortunately, by 1905 he had virtually lost all his wealth, so Fannie went back to work. Fannie and Joseph divorced in 1913, and Fannie remarried a year later to a future frequent co-star of hers, actor Jack Dean. In 1915, with her stage career waning, Fannie made a film with her new husband and a largely unknown director – Cecil B. DeMille! Entitled “The Cheat” this movie was considered shocking at the time: it features a Japanese co-star and a sexually charged plot, two things that contemporary audiences found shocking. But it was DeMille’s big break, his launch pad to international fame and fortune, and Fannie became a major movie star, one with a past! Back in 1900 Fannie had given birth to a daughter, the fruit of a passionate affair with Charles Vane-Tempest-Stewart, then Viscount Castlereagh. Just under three months before, Castlereagh had married the Honourable Edith Chaplin, daughter of Viscount Chaplin (another society high-flier with Leicestershire and Rutland connections). But accidents do happen, and we have no idea what Edith thought or felt or maybe even knew about baby Dorothé Mabel Lewis, the


“The Cheat” was considered shocking at the time: it features a Japanese co-star and a sexually charged plot, two things that contemporary audiences found shocking. But it was DeMille’s big break, his launch pad to international fame and fortune, and Fannie became a major movie star, one with a past! future Lady Plunket. The Castlereaghs succeeded to the Londonderry title, appropriately in 1915, the year that “The Cheat” was released! The new Marquess was to have an influential role in politics, serving as Secretary of State for Air in the 1930s, though his pro-Nazi sympathies ultimately put paid to his career – German ambassador Joachim von Ribbentrop was a welcome guest at Springfields before the war. Edith was beautiful and held in high esteem by all who knew her – but what of her rival in love, the American film star whose daughter was half-sister to Edith’s five children? Fannie Ward was one of those women who don’t seem to age much. She had amazing bone structure, which helps of course, but even allowing for that she remained stunning for years, almost as if she had found the secret to eternal youth or, as Edith Londonderry might have pondered, had a pact with the Devil! Suffice it to say that this sassy and sexy actress promoted her youthful appearance to great effect – in 1926 she opened a beauty parlour in Paris called The Fountain of Youth. Fannie died from a stroke in her Park Avenue apartment in 1952, two years after the death of her husband Jack. Her aristocratic lover, Lady Plunket’s natural father, Lord Londonderry had died on his Irish estate at Mount Stewart, County Down, in February 1949, after a gliding accident caused a stroke. And so ends a February love story of desire, society scandal, betrayal and tragedy.



Rutland Living February 2018  
Rutland Living February 2018