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Rutland Covering Rutland, Market Harborough and the surrounding area

LIVING March 2018 ÂŁ1.50

Be inspired by where you live

Dream Wedding T R E N D S , FA S H I O N , V E N U E S


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6 12

Contents March 2018


WEDDINGS 29 30 36 39 40 42 44

Wedding Trends for 2018 Bridal Fashion Wedding Venues Heavenly Feast: Caterers/Cakes Attention to Detail Local Love Story: Alix and James Fashion: Wedding Guests – How to Wow!

HEALTH & BEAUTY Cover photography this month: RL: Alix and James on their wedding day, photographed by Elli Dean ( MHL: Kenneth Winston bridal gown – image courtesy of Vow Bridal Gallery (

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 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

48 Health & Beauty: Spring Makeover

HOME & GARDEN, SHOPPING 54 Outdoor Living


16 The Olive Branch: Bread


Little Living World Osprey Week Out & About History: Harborough’s Theatrical Past


Artist of the Month: Andrea Naylor Rutland Hero: Macmillan Tim Walker Richard Clarke: The Rutland Potter Emma Smith, Head of Stamford Junior School 24 Days Out: Explore Ely 60 Dagmar Price of boheme, Wansford 62 Weekend Stay: Tuddenham Mill 8 10 12 18 22



6 Editor’s Page 66 WiRE, UPP Property, Dingley Races 69 Kilworth House Theatre, The Seasons Art Class, Charity Single with Paul McClure

Stamford Shakespeare Company at Tolethorpe Hall

The Merchant of Venice


12th June - 1st September 2018

The Merry Wives The School of Windsor for Scandal

For 10% off ticket price quote code TOLERUTLIVMA when booking.

☎ BOX OFFICE: 01780 756133




Welcome Welcome to our March issue, which we’ve packed full of wedding-related gems, uncovering the finest venues, caterers, cake makers, bridal shops and other wedding-related providers in our local area. It’s intended to be both inspirational and practical – invaluable reading for anyone with a wedding on the horizon and a gorgeous read showcasing the very best of the region (as always) for everyone else. A big thank you to everyone who contributed to this special feature and especially to Alix and James, our gorgeous cover

models for Rutland Living this month and stars of our real-life wedding feature (page 42). Additionally, we’ve got lots of lovely March-related articles for you: mad March hares for our picture of the month (pages 8–9), an interview with local bookseller Tim Walker (page 12) for World Book Day on 1 March, and a fabulous feature on ospreys (pages 56–7) to celebrate World Osprey Week in the middle of the month. We’ve got a special offer for you in March, too, courtesy of Easton Walled Gardens:

a voucher offering 2-for-1 entrance to the gardens (page 54). Hopefully, by the time you read this, it will finally be feeling like spring is here, and our beautiful region will be looking spectacular.


@rutlandliving @rutlandlivingmag

F Editor’s selection F A few suggestions for Mother’s Day (Sunday 11 March)

Jewellery from the Ada Gallery Jewellery always makes a lovely gift, and these “Cadence” ear-climber earrings (above, £195) by Heather O’Connor at the Ada Gallery in Market Harborough will certainly put you in mum’s good books.


Radley bags from Fords Fords of Oakham stocks a great selection of Radley bags and purses at a range of prices. A practical, stylish, long-lasting treat for mum. (Who can resist that little Radley dog?)


Mother’s Day at Barnsdale Gardens Garden fans of all ages will love Barnsdale on Mother’s Day: it’s the most exciting time of the garden’s year, when everything is really coming alive again after the long winter snooze, with hundreds of spring blooms carpeting the borders, beautiful birdsong and the scent of flowering shrubs in the air. On this special day, mums (if accompanied by children) visit free – a welcome rarity (in my experience) when taking the kids potentially costs you less! If you just want to go for a spot of retail therapy and lunch or afternoon tea, then entry to the gift shop, nursery and tea room is free. Garden admission: adult £9, concession £8, child £5, family (2 adults + 3 children) £28, free for mums accompanied by children. Gardens open 9am-5pm.

International Women’s Day

Kavanagh’s afternoon teas Treat mum to a trip to Oakham’s Kavanagh’s Tea Room, where Clare, Martyn and their team offer an unfailingly warm welcome and a fabulous afternoon tea, prettily presented on vintage crockery. Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea is £18.95 each (or £23.95 with a glass of Prosecco) and includes a selection of sandwiches, scones and homemade cakes and pastries. Highly recommended. www.



And while we’re on the subject of mums, note that Thursday 8 March is International Women’s Day (IWD), a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It also marks a call to action to accelerate gender parity – an enduringly relevant subject. The event has now taken place for over a century, with the first one run by the Suffragettes in 1911. See www. for more information, including details of special events being held in celebration of the cause.




Artist of the month March is the month of the boxing hare – inspiring the phrase “mad as a March hare” and, famously, the frenetic, crazed character at the tea party in Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”. The extraordinary, dynamic act of hares boxing, which takes place in the breeding season between a female and a male (not between rival males) when the former is fending off a suitor’s unwanted attention, is beautifully depicted here in pastels by Rutland artist Andrea Naylor. Andrea has been working in pastels – “a very subtle medium”, she says, “that is perfect for capturing the reality of fur and skin” – for around 12 to 13 years and is completely self-taught. She specialises in highly realistic portraits, mostly of animals, and she likes to work on velour paper, which, with its soft, slightly fuzzy texture, lends itself wonderfully to her subject matter. Andrea won the People’s Choice Award for the third year running at Art in Lyddington in 2017 (the first time in the exhibition’s history that the top award had been awarded to the same artist) and the Colemans prize at the Rutland Open Art Exhibition in Oakham. If you’re inspired by Andrea’s iconic hares and would like to try your hand at using pastels, sign up for one of her monthly workshops, which she holds at her studio in Whitwell. She also offers one-to-one classes and gives art demonstrations in venues across the region. For more information you can contact Andrea on 07590 678468 or visit her website, where there are further examples of her exceptional work:



March is Macmillan Cancer Awareness month for both prostate and ovarian cancer. To support these initiatives, Amander Meade spoke to Elaine Rootham, who is employed by Age UK Leicestershire and Rutland and is the Macmillan Volunteer Co-ordinator for the area.




Most people will be familiar with the Macmillan name. How does the charity operate in this area? Macmillan is a “one-stop shop” for anyone affected by cancer. We provide practical, medical and financial support and campaign for better research and cancer care. Historically, Macmillan was best known for their end-of-life care – in particular the work of our nurses. Although we are very much available for those dealing with terminal illness, that area is by no means all we are involved with. My role and that of my volunteers is community based, and, as this is a new project for Rutland and the surrounding areas, I am very keen to spread the word that Macmillan is here and available to help. What exactly is your role as Volunteer Co-ordinator? My job is to recruit, train and retain volunteers. My team offers time in support of people affected by cancer and their families. Volunteers get involved in all kinds of emotional and practical support, and each individual situation is different. It may be that a patient is recently home from treatment and needs a little help with shopping or simply someone to chat to. I am based in Uppingham and get involved in all sorts of events to raise awareness of the volunteering scheme as well as setting up training for volunteers. What kind of training is involved? We offer both Age UK and Macmillan training in basic Health and Safety, confidentiality, setting boundaries – nothing too vigorous and mainly common sense. Training usually takes about half a day, but volunteers can take this forward and go on to do extra learning within the organisation if they wish, which can be very useful and looks excellent on a CV. We have found that volunteering can be a really helpful step back into work or a great outlet for the recently retired, who are not quite ready for their chair and slippers. What are you looking for in a volunteer? Absolutely any age group and both genders too. Volunteers might have had experience with cancer themselves or within their family, but this is not always the case. Anyone who has a passion to help others. Sometimes I am asked whether my job is depressing, but I find the opposite applies – it is so rewarding to be able to help individuals at a very difficult time in their lives. Volunteers really need to be able to offer a minimum of a couple of hours per week, but our team members often do more, as they enjoy it. There is no personal or medical care involved – purely companionship or practical help in other ways. The greater the variety of volunteers, the better, 10

Photo of Elaine by Elli Dean

as we have clients in all age groups and from all walks of life. The project is still under a year old – how is it being received? Really well so far. We hear from clients all the time that the medical care they receive is fantastic – it’s when they get home that questions or non-clinical problems arise, which is where we come in. Rutlanders are so generous with their time and fundraising. I feel very lucky to be working on behalf of Age UK and Macmillan in this county.


To find out more about volunteering for Macmillan, fundraising or to refer someone you know to the scheme, contact Elaine Rootham at: Age UK Leicester Shire & Rutland, 13 High Street East, Uppingham, Rutland LE15 9PY, 01572 823942. For more details, visit


Interior Design

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Elizabeth Stanhope offer a full making up, reupholstery, and project management service. 27 Mill St, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 6EA 01572 722 345


World Book Day is Thursday 1 March and to celebrate Clare Peel talked to Tim Walker, owner of Walkers Bookshops and major advocate of promoting children’s literacy through events such as this.

Tim Walker Can we start with a little background to the business? Yes, my father opened the Oakham shop in 1972 and Stamford followed in 1978. I’m a born-andbred Rutlander and grew up in the business, so for me it’s a way of life. I started working in the shop when I was 12, which gave me an excellent grounding in bookselling and especially in customer service – something that we try hard to get right at Walkers. It was a very natural progression to develop this into a career. How do you choose which titles to stock? I do the buying and so get the great job of choosing which books to pile on our display tables in store. There are 1.2 million titles in print and sadly this needs to be whittled down to the 7,500 that we keep in stock at any one time. I follow national trends (recent ones of these have included mindfulness, adult colouring books and, currently, gin) and keep up to date with what key authors are doing to make sure that our offering is bang up to date and reflects the very best of what’s available. The two stores carry a similar stock range, although Stamford does have room for a couple of thousand more books than Oakham – there’s no big difference in terms of favourite categories in each of the two branches. The staff at Walkers are very happy to order titles in for customers, with over 300,000 available for collection the next working day. Just pop in, call or email the store, and we’ll be delighted to help. What is your approach to local authors? We always try to support local authors where we can and we’re always keen to increase our stock of local-interest books – good new books on Rutland or Stamford are extremely popular. The book world has seen enormous changes in the last decade or so, with the death of the printed book long being predicted. Recently, however, a number of reports have indicated that printed books are enjoying a resurgence. What is your take on this? I think there’ll always be a place in the market for e-books, but for now their initial newness, combined with how long we are all spending on screens, has meant that their popularity has fallen away somewhat. For many people there is still something unbeatably appealing about the physicality of the printed book. What about the battle between online retailers and high-street bookshops? I think that shopping online is great if you know what you want, but one of the strengths of the high-street bookshop is that there’s great joy in just pottering around, discovering something unexpected and wonderful tucked away on the open shelves. 12


From 2014 until 2016 Tim was President of the Booksellers’ Association. I ask about how that impacted on his own business. It gave me a unique overview of the book trade both here and internationally, which has been invaluable with respect to Walkers, even down to the subtlest details, such as how the shops are lit for maximum customer retail experience and many of those little things that the customer will take for granted if they hit the spot. Are there any titles that look set to be big this year? One book that stands out as having been a surprise hit so far has been the much publicised one about Donald Trump, the fast-selling “Fire and Fury” by Michael Wolff. That one’s selling very well in both Oakham and Stamford and has caught us by surprise! Finally, let’s talk about World Book Day, which this year is on Thursday 1 March. What will Walkers be doing to celebrate? As usual, we’ll be carrying the full range of World Book Day books. Every child of school age will be given a voucher – a gift from the bookseller – that they can use either in exchange for one of the World Book Day books produced specially for the occasion, or else towards the purchase of another


book in store. It’s the 21st time World Book Day will have been held – an event that was set up to help improve children’s literacy, a topic very dear to my heart. I think improving literacy among youngsters is one of the most important things that we can do for them. It’s vital to encourage reluctant readers to pick up books to read, and this is a key thing about World Book Day. If a child doesn’t like reading a book, it simply means they’re reading the wrong thing. Being able to read is the gatekeeper to everything. Walkers branches are at 27 High Street, Oakham, 01572 723957, and 10 High Street, Stamford, 01780 764405, EVENTS AT WALKERS, STAMFORD

Book Signings: • Margaret Dickinson: 11am, Friday 23 March • Henry Blofeld, 12pm, Friday 13 April • Roger McGough, 4pm, Saturday 14 April Pop-up Poetry: • 11am–1pm, Wednesday 7 March • 11am–1pm, Saturday 14 April Verse Poetry Festival • Wednesday 11 to Sunday 15 April

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Sean Hope and The Olive Branch team want to get more people kneading in 2018


Let’s make dough!

EW things are more comforting than the smell of freshly baked bread drifting from your own oven. And there’s not much more mouthwatering than the moment you cut that first still-warm slice, smother it with butter and prepare to take a bite. If you’re a fellow “bread head”, you might be interested to know that we’re now running half-day Bread Masterclasses at The Olive Branch under the tutorship of Chris Ansell, ex-chef at Hambleton Hall. In the classes we show guests how to make a range of breads using just four ingredients: flour, yeast, salt and water. Most commercially made bread is created using more than 10 ingredients via what is known as the Chorleywood Process. This method was devised to mass-produce bread quickly and cheaply using inferior flour. It’s time to dump those pappy Chorleywood Chris Ansell loaves and rediscover the taste and texture of real bread! Ingredients in a typical shop-bought loaf: Wheat flour, water, yeast, wheat protein, salt, vinegar, dextrose, soya flour, vegetable fat, emulsifier, flour treatment agent, preservative calcium propionate. Ingredients in a “proper” loaf: Flour, yeast, salt, water.

White bread recipe (loaf and rolls) • 500g strong white bread flour • 10g yeast (fresh if possible) • 10g salt • 350g warm water or 350ml (you can use a measuring jug, but weighing is more accurate) 1. Pre-heat the oven to 250ºC (Gas Mark 9). 2. Put flour and yeast into a bowl. Rub yeast into flour. 3. If using a stand mixer, use a dough hook, switch to lowest speed, add salt and water and mix for two minutes. Then turn speed up to the next level and mix for a further 8–10 minutes to form a smooth and elastic dough. If kneading by hand, spread flour on to work surface and get to work. The average kneading time is about 10 minutes, but if you are new to bread making, you might need longer. The dough is ready once it feels smooth and has an elastic quality. You can test the dough to see if you’ve kneaded it enough by tearing off a small piece. Stretch the piece of dough into a flat square. The dough should develop a thin membrane as you stretch it. If the membrane breaks or the dough tears in half, knead for a bit longer. 4. Form dough into a ball.


5. Flour inside the mixing bowl and put the ball of dough into it. 6. Cover with a clean tea towel and rest the dough in a draught-free area for around one hour, until the dough doubles its size. Don’t worry if this happens quicker or slower, as the dough will react differently according to the temperature of your kitchen. 7. Knock back the dough. 8. Shape the dough into individual rolls or make it into loaves.

Date & walnut loaf recipe • 200g dates • 200g water • 2 eggs • 100g muscovado sugar

• 240g wholemeal flour • 14g baking powder • 5g bicarbonate of soda • 125g chopped walnuts

1. Boil together dates and water to soften. 2. Allow to cool a little then blitz until smooth. 3. Whisk together eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. 4. Add date mix to egg mix. 5. Mix in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and walnuts. 6. Place into a greased, lined loaf tin. 7. Bake on 180ºC for 30 minutes. 8. Turn down the oven to 150ºC and cook for a further 20–30 minutes. To test if it is cooked, insert a skewer – it will come out clean when ready. 9. Cool for 10 minutes in the loaf tin before turning out onto a cooling rack.

Bread Masterclasses at The Olive Branch We run a new Kitchen Masterclass at The Olive Branch each season. Last autumn it was pasta, now we’re focusing on bread! Space is limited to two guests for each half-day Masterclass, so you receive very personal tuition with a light lunch to follow. To book or enquire, please call 01780 410355.

For the rolls 1. Place shaped rolls on a baking sheet, cover and let them stand for 45 minutes. 2. Turn down oven to 220ºC (Gas Mark 7) and bake for 8–10 minutes until golden brown. For larger loaves 1. Place 500g of the dough into a well-greased loaf tin. 2. Cover the tin with a clean tea towel for 45 minutes. 3. Turn down the oven to 220ºC (Gas Mark 7) and bake for 20–25 minutes until you have a golden brown loaf.



If you are passionate about local food and drink, then you might like to join Great Food Club. • Sign up at, free of charge.

LUNCH SPECIAL OFFER Wednesday to Friday Free Glass of Bubbly for every Mother when a main meal is ordered. Two Courses for £13.50

Mother’s Day - Sunday 11th March Easter Weekend Special Events

TAKE OUT TUESDAY Fish & Chips £8.95 per portion

Check out our website for more information.

WICKED WEDNESDAY Two Steaks (Ribeye, Fish or Gammon) & two glasses of house wine £30 THIRSTY THURSDAY HAPPY HOUR £3 a pint or 175ml glass of house wine between 6pm and 7pm FAMILY FRIDAY Children’s meals half price whilst you enjoy a drink between 6pm and 7pm

WE OFFER A Warm Welcome I Selection of Real Ales Premium Lagers & Quality Wines Seasonal & Varied Menu Roaring Log Fire I Large Garden I Parties & Functions Accommodation I Children & Dogs Welcome


Tue: 6pm - 10.30pm Wed & Thur: 12 noon - 3pm, 6pm - 10.30pm Fri & Sat: 12 noon - 3pm, 6pm - 11pm Sun: 12 noon - 6pm Mon closed.

More information and our current menu on our website

at Ashley

OPEN MIC NIGHT 3rd Thursday of the month. Talented local musicians playing Live Music from 8pm. T: 01572 747365

The George

QUIZ NIGHT 1st Thursday of the month £5 per team of four. Prize for the winning team. All funds from ticket sales go to the Rutland Air Ambulance.


M I C H E L I N P L AT E AWA R D 2 0 1 8

The Jackson Stops Great food in a relaxed setting Extensive wine list, local ales, wide range of gins

(Available Tuesday to Friday. Excluding Good Friday. Booking advisable - please mention offer when booking) K S O N ST AC



21 Main Street, Ashley, Northamptonshire. LE16 8HF T 01858 565411 E

2 COURSES £12.95 3RD COURSE £3.95


Mother’s Day Lunch - Sunday 11th March from 12pm. Free glass of Prosecco for your Mother, £25pp France v England 6 Nations Rugby K.O Saturday 10th March, 4.45pm - Coq au Vin Special  St Patrick’s Day, England v Ireland 6 Nations Rugby K.O Saturday 17th March, 2.45pm - Irish Stew & Dumplings  Good Friday Fish Specials - Friday 30th March, 6.30pm- 9pm





Rookery Lane I Stretton I Rutland I LE15 7RA

Call us on 01780 410237


Richard Clarke The Rutland Potter





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


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



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

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

Curry Night

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

Friday Lunchtime Special

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


14 Arnhill Road, Gretton | Northants, NN17 3DN

Tel: 01536 770268


t Es



al Comp an

1981 - 37 Years



25 large room settings in our extensive showroom

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Emma Smith has both a clarity of vision and a passion for delivering outstanding primary education. During her five years as Headteacher at Stamford Junior School (SJS), Emma has restructured and grown the school whilst also pouring boundless energy into nurturing all those within it. The result is a very successful and magical learning environment. Kate Cadman finds out more.

Emma Smith, Stamford Junior School


QUINE enthusiast, Emma Smith, spent years horse riding as a youngster, knee deep in mud. If she wasn’t mucking out stables, Emma could be found messing around in the woods making camps with her friends. Her hands-on, energetic and adventurous nature is still very much in existence, it’s just that these days much of her focus and positivity centres around SJS. “I like the magic and sparkle of this school; pupils should bounce in and bounce out of their school day. At this stage in their learning career it’s all about establishing a good work ethic and nurturing a love for learning,” Emma says. “As a Headteacher I embrace forward thinking, change and innovation and always strive to lead by example. Caring for the wellbeing and individual needs of all in my care – pupils, staff and parents alike – is central to my approach as a leader.” This is Emma’s 12th year with the Stamford Endowed Schools (SES), having joined as a Year 6 class teacher, and during that time Emma has demonstrated, communicated and delivered a clarity of vision that has resulted in an inspiring and successful school. Some of Emma’s main achievements include: restructuring and extending the school day from Reception to Year 6, by introducing an earlier start and later finish time; progressing years 5 and 6 from a three- to a four-form entry, and working instrumentally in the strategic planning and advancement of the schools alongside the SES Senior Executive Team which consists of the three Heads, Principal and Bursar. “My philosophy is that these formative years 22

in education should be the best that a child experiences and should be full of excitement and diversity. We focus on a holistic educational offering at SJS, with the mindset that every child shines in different ways and that we have a duty to teach these children to believe in themselves and to be the best version of themselves that they can be.” The recently introduced extended school day delivers clear advantages to pupils; it has enabled the introduction of new subjects, incorporated homework into the school day and provided for an extensive range of co-curricular clubs. In addition, it allows children to go home at the end of each day and switch off from school and enjoy family time without having to worry about completing homework. “It’s really important that we teach youngsters to empty their cortisol (stress) buckets; we use play, drama and music during the school day to help them to do this.” In addition to all the educational and strategic advancements introduced by Emma, she has also trained as an Independent Schools Inspector and worked as a Team Inspector on annual inspections and has led the Junior School through a highly successful Boarding Inspection (November 2013) and a Focused Compliance and Education Quality Inspection (September 2017). Emma has also taken the lead on significant structural projects that have resulted in providing additional teaching environments for the science, music and art faculties and led the refurbishment of the Early Years environment. Looking to the future, Emma hopes to continue to develop the academic ethos “Independent


Learning and Intellectual Curiosity”, which is affectionately known as ILIC by staff and pupils. “This is a very popular and successful approach that permeates every aspect of pupil life at SJS and promotes and explores the use of metacognitive strategies in critical thinking.” Emma takes a keen interest in mental-health issues and recently attended a postgraduate course at Cambridge University relating to child and adolescent mental-health counselling with a focus on child-centred therapeutic play. “It is so important to me that I have invested in training a member of staff at the Junior School as a Play Therapist; the power of play cannot be underestimated.” “I am a strong advocate for the importance of emotional literacy and believe children need to feel confident in expressing themselves effectively and to be provided with a safe setting in which they can develop their personalities and character,” adds Emma. Staff too benefit from ongoing development, support and supervision under Emma’s watch. “I have a great, hardworking and dedicated team of staff and a fantastically involved and supportive Parents Association. There’s an open-door policy here, and it’s a formula I am keen to continue, as it works so well. When she is granted only one wish for her pupils, Emma gives an unequivocal answer: “That’s simple - for them to be healthy and happy. Our job as educators is to pave the way for our children to achieve this - through a safe, happy and inspiring school life with plenty of opportunity to be active and expressive both inside and outside the classroom.”

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Rutland’s premier department store

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Days Out

Explore Ely Easily accessible from our area by road – and by rail from Rutland too (a direct train from Oakham takes just over an hour) – the Fen city makes a great day out.



O matter where you choose to walk in Ely, you can see the cathedral. It is located in the centre of the city, and, as you stroll through the surrounding streets and parkland, you’ll catch glimpses of its spires. The West Tower is 65.5m tall, so it rises up dramatically from the flat Fenland landscape and is especially striking if you arrive by rail. I spent a few hours exploring this compact city, crossing the Dean’s Meadow and Cherry Hill Park, following lanes, alleys and cutthroughs, walking along the Great Ouse river, taking in the busy little market in the central square, rummaging in the antiques shops and having afternoon tea at Peacocks Tearoom.

THE MARKET AND SHOPS I arrived by train at the small station, and it was an easy five-minute walk into town. First stop was the lively little market, selling everything from cheese to household rugs, brushes, eggs and pies. The drawback of travelling by rail is that you can’t stock up on gorgeous bedding plants, but you could buy a selection of delicious cheeses, or an extremely stylish leather bag. There is a market every Thursday, with a Craft and Collectable Market on Saturdays, and a Farmers Market every second and fourth Saturday. For details, visit www. There are plenty of individual shops in the high street, including no fewer than two independent bookshops. Topping & Company at 9 High Street ( has a charming blue frontage and a staggering 50,000 titles in stock. Browsing is encouraged, and complimentary coffee and tea are served. For gifts, The Eel Catcher’s Daughter at 28d High Street was a real find. Costume jewellery, homewares by Nkuku and great-value bags and scarves were beautifully displayed in a building that was once part of Ely Cathedral school. For gorgeous cut flowers and tastefully displayed houseplants, Thyme, at 30 St Mary’s Street is an inspirational destination (www.elyflowers. It smells beautiful, too!

THE CATHEDRAL Above all, however, you can’t miss visiting the cathedral and its precincts. The monastic buildings are some of the oldest inhabited in the country. See Prior Crauden’s Chapel with vaulted undercroft, and the infirmary


buildings used by the monks. By the end of the 13th century, the cathedral and its monastic buildings were largely complete. It’s said that the stone used to build the cathedral was paid for by the humble eel, which at that time was the currency of the Fens. The shallow waters were prime habitat for the slippery creatures, and the Domesday book lists hundreds of watermills whose tenants paid their rent with the fish in “sticks” of five. The sense of history is strong, and it’s a particularly atmospheric cathedral. I kept thinking I might catch sight of a hooded figure passing along one of the lanes.

OLIVER CROMWELL Oliver Cromwell famously shut the cathedral for 11 years. He also lived in Ely, and his Grade II-listed house in St Mary’s Street is now a tourist attraction. Cromwell inherited the house along with the title “Farmer of the Tithes”, which in modern parlance means the local tax collector. The house has retained many of its original features, including some 17th-century oak panelling and wall paintings. There are plenty of children’s activities, if you are visiting with younger family members. Other than Hampton Court in London, it is the only remaining Cromwell residence ( Despite his role as a ruthless military leader (he ordered the execution of King Charles I), Cromwell reportedly enjoyed a settled domestic and family life with his wife Elizabeth. Mrs Cromwell loved to cook with eels, and there’s a recipe for roasted ones outside on a metal seat.

PEACOCKS AND THE WATERFRONT All this talk of food was making me hungry. I have tried smoked eel, and it is very good, but I was on the trail of cake in Peacocks Tearoom down by the river. It was lovely to step in from a chilly day to the smell of baking and homemade soup in the glorious surroundings of a Grade II-listed house with a very pretty garden. This is a popular spot, regularly winning national awards, so you may have to queue for a short while, but it is worth waiting. There’s a vast selection of special teas on the menu (from every continent in the world). I chose Mycroft, smoky and a little bit aromatic, to go with a savoury Welsh Rarebit and salad. Portion sizes were delicate, so a massive slice of coffee-andwalnut sponge rounded things off nicely. It’s lovely to wander by the river afterwards. The


canal boats were settled in for winter when I went, but short river tours were still running. After refreshment, I browsed the excellent Waterside Antiques Centre next door (www. With everything from rustic country style to elegant Georgian, vintage toys to kitchenalia, it’s a reasonably priced treasure trove. Then it was just a short stroll back to the station and time to go home. The Fens is a special place. I like its stark beauty, sense of mystery and huge skies. As its centrepiece, Ely has heart and soul – it’s far less crowded than Cambridge and makes a superb destination for a day trip in any season. The Tourist Information Centre is at Oliver Cromwell’s House, 29 St Mary’s Street, Ely CB7 4HF, where a free map is available. For more details, see



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After a turbulent 2017, the property market this year is in a much more stable and favourable condition according to Vernon Moore who shares his observations, plans and advice for homeowners.

What changes have you noticed within your business in the last twelve months? In some sectors of our business over 70% of buyers are from out of this region and there has been a major shift in the kinds of properties they are seeking. Initially, many out of region buyers were looking for large, country properties but thanks to our marketing campaigns which have reached out to commuters through our platform offices at Grantham and Peterborough, these buyers have been joined by those looking for family homes of all sizes as well as those downsizing for retirement. This means that any home in Rutland or Stamford could be of interest to buyers from central London and the South East which is an exciting opportunity – especially as these cash buyers are much more likely to pay the asking price. Moores: taking your home to the buyers. Our road show office will be across the country promoting our Country & Commuting Service: l March - Hertforshire l April - Bedfordshire l May - North London & Kings Cross l May - Move To The Country Exibition You hold ‘property surgeries’ and exhibitions across London and the South East – how do they work for Moores clients? I visit the offices of our partner agents in the South and showcase the Moores portfolio of property to clients who are interested in our region. I find that speaking to potential buyers personally and directly addressing their questions really helps galvanise them into making a trip to see this area for themselves. Our Premium Home Search team will then organise a visit, collecting buyers from the


railway station and chauffeuring them around to view properties tailored to their specification. We have great success through this very personal approach and have sold many ‘Country and Commuting’ homes this way. So many people are realising that with our great transport networks and lifestyle opportunities, they can commute easily whilst enjoying the benefits of releasing cash from their homes and buying here which equates to great value for money. Why is it important for local buyers to register their interest? Across the region, and in particular in Stamford, demand is so high we often sell homes without them ever being featured in the

local press or on line. We are finding that vendors in the villages between Stamford and Peterborough are having particular success marketing to commuters via our new Peterborough Platform office. It is vitally important for buyers to register their interest with us to avoid missing out on their dream home. For a valuation or advice on any aspect of buying or selling your property: Tel: 01572 757979 Oakham Team Tel: 01572 821935 Uppingham team Tel: 01780 484555 Stamford team Tel: 01664 491610 Melton Team Tel: 01476 855618 Grantham Team Tel: 01733 788888 Peterborough Team

Wedding trends for 2018 From the colour violet to romantically embellished dresses and from artistically painted cakes to transparent decorations, this year’s wedding trends continue to mix the heritage with the contemporary, writes Rebecca Chatterton. Read on to find inspiration for your big day.




The dress

Minimal dresses are still in vogue but with bigger skirts and whimsical additions such as full-blown sleeves, capes and subtle, romantic silk flowers. Expect to see touches of colour added to accents on dresses this year, in particular black! Bring drama to your dress with a black velvet belt or bow.

Hair trends

This year, the look for hair is predicted to be low key – instead of a formal chignon, consider wearing your hair in a loose braid or down with natural, soft curls. Go for fairy-tale flowers and lace woven through a half-up, half-down style for a really dreamy look.

Styles for invitations: from marble-effect to metallic

What better way to announce your date than on beautiful handmade paper and using the latest look? Marble-effect designs or watercolour washes are predicted to be the background for many invites in 2018, with metallic lettering enduringly popular. Contemporary geometric designs are bang on trend too.

Fashions in decoration

Transparent materials are set to be a big thing, with glass and acrylics providing an elegant background for flowers and accessories. You’ll see this look used from “ghost” chairs to translucent marquees. What better excuse for




Show-stopping cakes

choosing to stage your day in a glasshouse or orangery? As with the trend for invitations, marble-effect details add elegance and are predicted to appear everywhere from place names to dance floors.

Floral favourites

Bridal bouquets are still expected to follow the trend for free form, with greenery still a strong influence, as it was in 2017; this year, however, sees the addition of overblown blooms such Chinese dogwood. Flower walls and arches still make dramatic statements and provide stunning backdrops for photos, but another fashion is the use of exotic houseplants to dress the venue.

Ultra Violet

Pantone’s 2018 “Color of the Year” – Ultra Violet – is set to be everywhere: in floral arrangements, in other decorations and for bridesmaid dresses. Pantone describes it as “a blue-based purple that is enigmatic and complex, and suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead and the discoveries beyond where we are now”.

Themes for the big day

Adopting a theme is an effective way of tying the day together. With a Royal Wedding this year, the quintessentially English look is expected to stay firmly in fashion. Expect Meghan’s choices to influence weddings taking place after her own marriage to Harry in May.

Let your imagination run riot with your wedding cake and choose from countless wonderful styles. Trends predicted this year include painted cakes, including fabulously artistic ones covered with Monet-inspired splashes of colour. Add gold leaf and iridescent pigments for a glamorous look, or swathe cakes in flowers and aesthetically pleasing fruit such as figs for a romantic effect – this kind of fruit suits an autumn wedding especially well.

The feast

When it comes to feeding your guests, ideas for what to eat and how to deliver it are predicted to be as eclectic as ever. The fashion for funky food vans, pop-up stalls and other similarly quirky choices shows no sign of abating. Opting for locally sourced food – fare “from farm to table” – is right on trend. Additionally, try cocktails inspired by the Great Gatsby for that extra touch of glamour.

Gift-giving trends

Traditional wedding lists now include items such as popcorn makers and coffee machines as well as “experiences” that the couple can share together. If the question is posed appropriately (with sensitivity or with alternatives, perhaps), it seems increasingly acceptable to ask for contributions to the cost of the honeymoon. Suggesting guests donate to charity instead of buying a gift is, of course, always an option.



Bridal fashion Buying your wedding dress is incredibly exciting and we are lucky to have some fantastic bridal boutiques on our doorstep. Fashion stylist Sally Stillingfleet is not alone in feeling it’s still all about the dress!

Vow Bridal Gallery

Little can be more exciting for a bride than going wedding dress shopping, but it can be daunting. Lisa, owner of bridal boutique Vow in Wansford (voted Best Bridal Boutique in The English Wedding Awards 2016 and 2017), says that her first comment to brides is “Don’t panic! We’re here to make the experience of finding your perfect dress as rewarding and enjoyable for you as possible. “We want brides to remember the experience with us as much as they love the dress,” she continues. “We appreciate it’s one of the biggest decisions of the whole wedding and we want to make it as straightforward as possible. We’ll guide you through each stage, helping you assess what is right for your body shape as well as your style and personality.” At Vow there is a great range of different dress styles from designers around the world, and you can enjoy them all in beautiful relaxing surroundings with natural light in the bridal room. Designers: Kenneth Winston, Ella Rosa, Theia, Diane Harbridge, Sadoni, with some dresses by Sanyukta Shrestha and Terry Fox. Also including lace sarees and saree-inspired dresses by Ramani.



Anna Couture

Anna spent 20 years in the fashion and film business before relocating to Stamford from London and setting up Anna Couture. From her delightful shop, tucked away on Stamford’s St Mary’s Street, she specialises in bespoke wedding and bridesmaid dresses (also in ocassionwear), as well as stocking wedding shoes and offering an

alteration service. Anna’s experience in film production has given her a fabulous sense of style, creativity and old-style Hollywood glamour. Take time to chat through ideas with her and let her create your perfect bespoke gown or bridesmaid dresses. Designers: Rainbow shoes, Chanticleer, Forever Unique.

The Wedding Room

Laura and Rachel are relatively new to Stamford, having established themselves in Peterborough. “It just seemed right for us to open here,” Laura explained. Rachel has been in the wedding industry for over 20 years, offering bridesto-be a unique experience and a high-quality service, while Laura has been in the industry since she was 14 years old, working as a Saturday girl in a local bridal boutique, before training as a dressmaker and joining Rachel four years ago to form The Wedding Room. “Together we are a great team and have a fantastic group of ladies working with us to help brides. We offer a laid-back approach to helping brides – we just try to guide them and offer advice to find the ONE! We are lucky in that we have a huge variety of designs and styles for clients to try on. We always advise brides to remain open minded – the dress they usually love is the one they didn’t want to try on!” Designers: Pronovias of Barcelona, Maggie Sottero, Callista, Eliza Jane Howell, etc. Â RUTLAND & MARKET HARBOROUGH LIVING MARCH 2018


Abigail’s Vintage Bridal

Abigail’s Oakham atelier, run by Abigail and her husband Matt and voted Best Vintage Wedding Dress Supplier at the National Vintage Awards 2013, is perfect for savvy brides wanting something vintage and unique. Abigail has acquired over 200 dresses from the late 19th century (the earliest is around 1890) to the mid-1960s, and, within reason, they can be altered to fit. This is where the magic begins – Abigail trained in Theatre, Screen and Costume Interpretation, so getting to grips with period clothing is her absolute speciality. Check out her website, where you can get lots of inspiration. Don’t miss the gorgeous “Past Perfects Real Brides” section, showing brides (such as Roisin McGrory, seen here) on their wedding day.

Bridal fashion Top tips from our lovely shops

Amanda Caroline Couture

Amanda Caroline offers a bespoke service directly to clients (by appointment only), most of whom are brides and wedding guests. She can create a real statement piece or something subtle. Her aim is to create a design that suits each bride or member of the bridal party and complements an outfit beautifully. When working on The Bridal Collection Amanda Caroline takes inspiration from both vintage and contemporary styles. Every item she makes is hand-crafted with great attention to detail. Featuring decoration from leaves made of embroidered lace to individually handmade petals, many of the pieces exhibit Amanda Caroline’s love of textiles and embellishment, reflecting the fact that she studied textile design.



• Don’t be tempted to bring too many people along for a fitting – as lovely as your friends and family are, it can be overwhelming to have lots of opinions. It is your dress and you have to feel right in it. There will be follow-up appointments, if other people need to be included. • It’s never too early to start, as styles and trends in bridalwear don’t change as quickly as high-street fashions. • Be open minded – you might be surprised by the look and style you end up choosing. DIRECTORY Abigail’s Vintage Bridal, Oakham, 07729 888751 to book an appointment, Amanda Caroline Bridal, 07811 167816 (only by appointment), Anna Couture, 17c St Mary’s Street/Cheyne Lane, Stamford, 01780 765174, https://en-gb. Vow Bridal Gallery, 26–30 London Road, Wansford PE8 6JE, 01780 783607 (appointments recommended), The Wedding Room, 31 St Mary’s Street, Stamford, 01780 480004 (appointments advised),

A fabulous setting for a dream wedding and an unforgettable day. Hambleton Hall is the ultimate in small country house hotels, part of the world renowned Relais & Châteaux group and one of the region’s favourite Michelin starred fine dining destinations. The interior is stylish and supremely comfortable with a combination of elegant surroundings and spectacular lakeside views. There are four rooms in which civil ceremonies can be held; the Study and Croquet Pavilion each seat 12, the Private Dining Room seats 20, whilst the Main Dining Room seats 40, and can be combined with the Private Dining Room for 64. Hambleton can also be hired exclusively and has 17 individually decorated bedrooms.

Hambleton runs with the smoothness that comes not only from long practice, but also from unremitting attention to detail. HAMBLETON, OAKHAM, RUTLAND, LE15 8TH

T: 01572 756991



With its imposing stone façade, exquisite interiors, intricate ceilings and dazzling crystal chandeliers, the spectacular Orangery at Rushton Hall is the perfect venue for your Wedding. Surrounded by 25 acres of gardens and parkland, ancient trees and a lake.

We can cater for weddings from 80 to 280 guests. Licensed for Civil Ceremonies.

To arrange a viewing of the Orangery or to meet with a member of our dedicated Wedding Team, please call 01536 713001 or email us on







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


Wedding venues

From romantic waterside follies to Michelin-starred countryhouse hotels, there are some extraordinarily beautiful places to get married in our local area. Rebecca Chatterton takes a look…

Normanton Church. Photo: ©Dottie Photography (

Barnsdale Hall Hotel

Barnsdale Hall is set in beautiful parkland opening out onto Rutland Water and licensed to hold indoor and outdoor civil ceremonies for up to 140 guests. Whether you’re planning an intimate gathering or a large celebration, its reception rooms and gardens provide the flexibility to create your perfect wedding from formal drinks party to a relaxed evening BBQ or hog roast. Barnsdale Hall Spa is on hand for pampering and pre-wedding hair and make-up packages for brides and bridesmaids. Nr Oakham LE15 8AB, 01572 757901,

Barnsdale Lodge

Situated near Rutland Water’s north shore, Barnsdale Lodge enjoys outstanding vistas across the surrounding countryside, providing a wonderfully picturesque setting. The lodge was originally a 17th-century farmhouse on the Exton estate, and its attractive buildings have been transformed into a 44-bedroom hotel and restaurant that can accommodate between 20 and 180 guests and is licensed for ceremonies. The gardens are lovely, with the option of croquet on the lawn and a swing for children. GLOW salon is on site for hair and beauty needs. Should anyone wish to make a very grand entrance, there’s even a landing area for a helicopter. The Avenue, Oakham LE15 8AH, 01572 724678, 36

Burghley House

The George

Fort Henry

Hambleton Hall

Burghley’s fairy-tale Tudor architecture and glorious Capability Brown landscape create a magnificent backdrop for a wedding. The house has three licensed rooms, and there are four wedding packages to suit a range of budgets and numbers – whether your plans include a civil ceremony, reception with canapés or wedding breakfast. Parts of the estate open for weddings include the intimate lakeside Summerhouse (for up to 20 guests), the historic Old Kitchen, the picturesque Rose Garden, the elegant Orangery and the opulent Great Hall. Note that there are some limitations on days that the house is available for weddings – see website for details. Stamford PE9 3JY, 01780 752451, Civil ceremonies for up to 70 guests can be held in the exquisite Fort Henry, a mock-gothic fishing folly built in 1788 for Henry, Earl of Gainsborough. A range of options for wedding receptions are also offered and both the private catholic chapel at Exton Park and Exton’s Church of England church of St Peter and Paul are nearby, should you wish to have a religious ceremony. For larger receptions, a marquee can be erected in the grounds. Options also available in conjunction with Barnsdale Lodge. Gorgeous. Exton Park, Oakham LE15 8AN, 01572 812208,


A classic Stamford choice, this historic coaching inn makes an impressive setting for a town wedding, with wonderful appeal all year round. It has four rooms licensed for civil ceremonies, each with its own character and style, ranging from the intimate King Charles Room (up to 20 guests) to the Henry Whincup Room (max. 50 guests). For wedding breakfasts, options include the oakpanelled dining room for up to 110 guests and even a marquee on the picturesque lawns with a capacity of seating 150 to 200 guests. The hotel has 47 en-suite bedrooms, making it a great option if you have a lot of guests who need to stay overnight. 71 St Martins, Stamford PE9 2LB, 01780 750750, One of Britain’s finest country house hotels, Hambleton Hall sits on the peninsular with stunning gardens and incredible views over Rutland Water. Oozing elegance and class, it provides an exclusive wedding venue for up to 60 guests and is licensed for ceremonies. The exquisite creations from the kitchen of Michelinstarred chef Aaron Patterson, coupled with the wine cellar headed by sommelier Dominique Baduel, make this a gastronome’s wedding heaven. An impeccable choice. Hambleton, Oakham LE15 8TH, 01572 756991,

Barnsdale Lodge Photo: Elli Dean

Kilworth House Hotel

Photo: Elli Dean

Hothorpe Hall

Hothorpe Hall is a magnificent, historic country house catering for civil ceremonies and dining for up to 110 guests and up to 200 for the evening reception. It’s a classic, elegant venue and an excellent choice if you need to accommodate large numbers in your party. A stylish option. Theddingworth, Leicestershire LE17 6QX, 01858 881500,

Kilworth House Hotel

Set amid 38 acres of rolling parkland in rural Leicestershire, the elegant Italianate, late 19thcentury Kilworth House offers the whole package for your fairy-tale wedding, whether you have 20 or up to 200 guests. It has a licence for the civil ceremony, a range of beautiful rooms for the reception, a two AA Rosette restaurant and a large number of luxurious rooms to house the bridal party and guests. Lutterworth Road, North Kilworth LE17 6JE, 01858 880058,

Normanton Church

Oakham Castle Photo: Elli Dean

The Woodlands

One of the most iconic buildings in the region offers a romantic setting for a civil ceremony right on the water, with space for up to 100 guests. Registrar availability needs to made in addition to booking the church. A trip on Rutland Belle could add to the fun! A local classic! South Shore, Rutland Water LE15 8RP, 01780 686800,

Oakham Castle

An oasis of peace in the heart of Oakham with its atmospheric Norman Great Hall, 12th-century sculptures and a unique collection of ceremonial horseshoes, Oakham Castle provides one of the most impressive heritage venues in the area. It can hold up to 120 people for civil ceremonies and 90 people for evening receptions. This ancient building takes guests back in time while still offering all the benefits of Oakham beyond its extensive grounds. (The gardens are great, too, if you’ve got lots of children at the wedding and you need somewhere for them to run off steam. They can learn all about royal history while they’re indoors, too.) Market Place, Oakham LE15 6DR, 01572 758440,

Rushton Hall

Set in 25 acres of beautiful grounds, the 16thcentury Grade I-listed Rushton Hall Hotel and Spa makes a magnificent setting for a wedding and is licensed for civil ceremonies. Highlights include its romantic new Orangery, which can host up to 280 guests for a wedding breakfast. Crystal chandeliers, high ceilings and beautiful large windows with views onto the gardens make this a spectacular venue. At time of printing, the 4 Red Star Hotel’s restaurant was the only one with 3 AA rosettes in Northamptonshire. Nr Kettering, Northamptonshire NN14 1RR, 01536 713001,

Rutland Water Golf Course

This venue offers views towards Rutland Water, a marquee-lined barn for up to 180 guests or a balconied function room for a smaller affair. Lodge Farm, Oakham LE15 8HB, 01572 737149,

The William Cecil

Standing on the edge of Stamford, with the celebrated Burghley Estate as its neighbour, The William Cecil is licensed for civil ceremonies. Events can take place inside in one of their stylishly designed, historic reception rooms, or the happy couple can say “I do” in the quintessentially English and romantic Garden Pavilion, set in gorgeous gardens. St Martins, Stamford PE9 2LJ, 01780 750070,

The Woodlands

For an enchantingly whimsical, nature-inspired vibe (“Rustic Luxe”), The Woodlands is perfect. You can hold your ceremony outdoors at The Hideaway, an idyllic licensed space nestled by the River Welland. If the weather proves inclement, you can move inside The Woodlands, where floor-to-ceiling glass keeps the woods in sight. There’s room for 60 seated or 150 for a reception. Guests can stay in one of the lodges, and the bridal suite is a treehouse. Magical! Theddingworth, Leicestershire LE17 6QX, 01858 881500,




Custom made to compliment your outfit or choose from a range of ready to wear pieces. Opening Times: Mon, Tue, Thurs 9-12.30. Appointments can be made for alternative days and times. To book an appointment please contact us on 01572 490432. 23b Suite 9, Oakham Enterprise Park Ashwell Road, Oakham LE15 7TU

Caterers specialising in bespoke afternoon tea wedding breakfasts, quality fork buffets, posh hog roast service, & canapĂŠs. Evening reception catering options also available.

Contact Sian on 07969108083 Find us on Facebook 'Audreys Bespoke Caterers'


Heavenly feast A wedding is a marvellous excuse for some fabulous food and a slice of happiness in the shape of cake. Rebecca Chatterton takes a look at some of our talented local suppliers.


HETHER you’d like a street-food van at your wedding or a laid-back hog roast or BBQ, or you’d prefer to sustain your guests with cuisine in the more traditional style, rest assured that there’ll be a local supplier to cater to your needs and create a bespoke menu that’s just right for your perfect day. With cakes, too, the options seem endless, and the marvellously creative bakers in our region will do their all to bring your dream sweet fancies to life, whether you want vintage-style cupcakes, a trendy naked cake or something alternative such as a cake made of tiers of cheese. Key practical things to consider include how many portions you’ll need to serve, whether your cake will also act as the dessert at your wedding breakfast, how it will be displayed, and whether or not you’ll need to involve your florist in the preparation – a good option for showstopping effect. And, of course, there’s the issue of the flavour you’re going for – what better excuse to make appointments for tastings with several bakers to find out for sure what you like best.

Audrey’s Bespoke Caterers

Audrey’s offers bespoke catering at your chosen venue throughout areas including Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland. All menus are written for each customer, based on requirements. Sourcing local ingredients, Audrey creates beautiful bespoke afternoon teas presented on grand tiered stands, handcrafted canapés, fork buffets and posh hog roasts. 07969 108083,

Otters Fine Foods

The Cheese Wedding Cake from Otters Fine Foods is a magnificent thing to behold and something guests won’t forget in a hurry. Deli staff are on hand to help the bride and groom sample a wide selection of cheeses and create a tailored tower combination that is spectacular and delicious. They say “Black Bomber is always a favourite”, but go, taste and decide for yourself. Catering for 30 to 300 guests! 01572 756481,

The Rutland Cake Company

Photo: ©Dottie Photography

Photo: Elli Dean Otters

Naomi Morgan, owner of The Rutland Cake Company, loves wedding cake commissions. “It’s wonderful to design and create cakes exactly the way couples want them with those personal touches.” Naked cakes are particularly popular but with unexpected twists in flavour and fillings. 01572 723185,

Rutland Gourmet

Rutland Gourmet caters for wedding all around the Midlands, including Rutland, Stamford, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire and surrounding areas. High-quality food beautifully presented means founder Sarah Rivett is in high demand. “Your function is as important to Rutland Gourmet as it is to you. You can always expect a personal service.” 01572 747909,

Sara Mcallister

Sara’s mantra is “We aim to create a unique celebration that reflects your vision” with the flexibility to provide menus from classic wedding breakfasts to more informal food. She caters mainly to events in Rutland and Leicestershire but also covers Stamford and further afield. 07778 227734,

Wistow cake. Photo: Dorte Kjaerulff

Wistow Event Catering

Audrey’s Caterers Photo: Dorte Kjaerulff

Photo: Elli Dean

Photo: Elli Dean

Jane Clifford, owner, says “People come to us for vibrant, impactful food that is locally sourced, looks gorgeous and is packed with flavour.” No event is too big or small, just always very personal with the horsebox bar proving popular.” The cakes are divine, too. Wistow is hoping to add a mobile pizza oven some time this year. 0116 2593756,



Attention to detail The make-up, flowers, invitations, photography – the list of things to organise, especially all those little details, can seem long and daunting. You’re not alone, though – here’s our selection of fabulous local professionals to make the run up to your wedding and the big day itself absolutely perfect.


Elli Dean Photography

Local Living’s very own photographer, Oakham-based Elli, offers four different wedding packages that can be tailored to your own preferences. Her gorgeous, contemporary shots bring out the best of every situation, and her engaging, relaxed approach wins praise from all her clients. At Local Living we think she’s fabulous! “Each photo I take tells part of your day’s story and brings it back to life… I pay attention to the smallest and biggest details of your day, including the ones you never noticed!” Call Elli on 07932 055548 or visit www.ellideanphotography. to find out more.

Stamford’s Renaissance offers a range of treatments including hair cutting and colouring using ammoniafree, vegan colour, plus manicures and pedicures. Other favourites with bridesto-be include facials for maximum skin luminosity and mineral make-up to look flawless on the day. Other services include wax and IPL hair removal to be hairfree for the honeymoon. For more information, see www. or call 01780 763768.

Anand Shoes and Formal Hire

Anand is a local independent retailer on Market Harborough’s High Street, now specialising in gents’ formal hire. The firm provides a personal service for your special occasion in the privacy of its hire department. Anand cuts keys, too, should you be moving in together straight after tying the knot! For more details, visit anandshoes. or call 01858 466033.

After many years flowering in London Amanda moved to Rutland to bring up her family. “My passion for loose, country-style flowers and foliages was nurtured by my Grandma, who was also a florist, and it has continued to grow. I offer brides a bespoke service. I usually meet them at their wedding venue and we share ideas to achieve their perfect day.” Find out more at www. uk/01572 717757. 40

ShutterBox Photography

Local photographer Lyndsay Ford, owner of ShutterBox Photography, has specialised in weddings in the Rutland and Stamford area for 18 years. Lyndsay carefully tailors her style of photography to each individual client’s requirements – from a documentary style of shooting throughout the day to more posed, artistic portraits of the bride and groom, as in the image at Rutland Water above. To see her portfolio and details of her wedding packages, visit www. To speak to Lyndsay call 07580 388880.


A previous National Make-up Artist for a luxury cosmetic brand, Rebecca Chantrell is now a freelance make-up artist and hair stylist with over 12 years’ experience in the industry – you may recognise her name from her articles in Stamford Living. Having moved back to this area from London, she is available for weddings, photo shoots and special occasions and also hosts make-up lessons. “I invest a lot of time getting to know brides before their big day and finding the perfect style to express their personality and complement the dress. I absolutely love what I do!” For more details, visit www. or contact Rebecca on 07841 622366.

Leanne Mobile Beauty Miss Pickering

Amanda Steele

Makeup by Becca

In Stamford, Miss Pickering creates flowers for weddings using her signature wild and romantic style. She starts with a private consultation, allowing her to understand the vision you have for your day, and offering suggestions on flower choices and styles of arrangements. Along with the flowers, she also provides a prop hire service. Truly gorgeous. For more details, see misspickeringflowers.

Heidi Kjeldsen

This mobile service is perfect for busy brides-tobe, who can relax in the tranquillity and comfort of their own homes while Leanne preps body and mind – whether with a massage or facial (perfect preparation for wedding-day make-up) or by having nails, waxing or tinting done. Perfect for feeling relaxed, gorgeous and confident on the big day! For more details, including special offers on massages and facials for brides-to-be, visit LeanneMobileBeauty/ or call 07599 908605.

Spiegl Press

Ryhall-based Spiegl Press, a family-run firm of commercial printers, has been producing beautiful bespoke wedding stationery for many years. Spiegl will bring your stationery to life using traditional artisan techniques including hot foiling, thermographing and embossing. From your “Save the Date” cards to your “Thank you” cards, you can be assured of achieving the “wow” factor. Call 01780 762550 and ask for Jo for more information.

In the market for engagement or wedding jewels? Oakham-based Heidi offers a beautiful range of rings and other jewellery, and makes items to order. Visit her Mill Street store, see or call 01572 722666.

Bespoke Catering... For advice and further information please contact M 07778 227 734 E




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Local love story Bio scientist James and accountant Alix met on a night away in Leeds that James had been persuaded to attend by his friend who worked with Alix. Three years later, James proposed during a surprise weekend away in Berlin. After moving into their home together and having their son, Harry, they set about planning a winter wedding. PHOTOGRAPHY: ELLI DEAN

The mood: We decided to embrace the cold and planned a relaxed, personal day with plenty of fun, especially as lots of children were attending.

The ceremony: Crowland Abbey (in the parish in which Alix’s parents live), with choir and church bells.

The palette: Shimmering whites with touches of silver and grey, accompanied by twinkling fairy lights, flickering tea lights and sparkly silver candelabras.

The reception: The Barn at Barnsdale Lodge. Guests were welcomed to a beautifully dressed room with a warming Winter Pimm’s, followed by a three-course meal of hearty comfort food. The children had activity packs, which included games, and the sweet-toothed bride put jars of her favourite candy on a dressing table provided by Lola Rose. Instead of favours, money was donated to the Alzheimer’s trust. The table plan was inspired by the periodic table (a nod to James’s profession), and the couple also provided a photo booth with props and a Polaroid camera for guests to take snaps. Guests were encouraged to leave messages in a dictionary, circling a word to best describe the couple, and to write notes on wooden love hearts. A string trio played throughout the drinks reception and dinner, then the band (The Aesthetic) struck up and kept the dance floor filled throughout the evening.

The dress: A classic A-line, ivory, beaded wedding dress with lots of detail, complemented by a cathedral-length veil and pearl earrings. The bridesmaids: They wore silver multiway dresses that allowed them each to show off their individual style. The flowers: Alix’s hand-tied bouquet and all the flowers were created by Rebecca from Parsons and consisted of large-headed white and ivory roses, white freesias, white and ivory spray roses, brunia berries, senecio foliage and eucalyptus, with ivory ribbon and pearl pins. The bridesmaid’s bouquets were pretty gypsophila, and the flower girl had a flower crown using the same flowers as in the bride’s bouquet. The groomsmen had sprigs of gypsophila as their buttonholes. In the church an arch of passifloras complemented the flowers in the bride’s bouquet. 42

The photographer: We were aware of Elli through this magazine, as James’s mum [a designer at Local Living] has worked with her many times. She completely captured the whole day fabulously.


Top tip: Make use of your groomsmen and bridesmaids – they can be a huge help. To ensure our day ran smoothly, they all had something to help out with. It meant the day ran without a hitch. DIRECTORY Photography: Elli Dean, 07932 055548, Reception: Barnsdale Lodge Hotel, 01572 724678, Venue dressing: Lola Rose Event Dressing, 07944 655995, Bridal gown: WED2B Milton Keynes, 01908 766364, Bridesmaids: Victoria Lou, 07714 715269, Groom’s suit hire: Robert Goddard, 01775 722001, Hair: Hair by Ashleigh Okeeffe, 07999 436598 Make-up: The Painted Lady, 07932 548652 Flowers: Parsons (floristry and event planning business – launching soon), 07800 894761, and Passiflora’s, 07766 007170 Entertainment: The Aesthetic at DG Music, 01572 756386, String trio: Ariella Strings, 07746 309880, Stationery: Creative Print & Design, 01780 756166,

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How to WOW at a wedding From amazing hat inspiration to the perfect dress, here are some outfit ideas to “style out” that all important wedding season! FASHION: NIKKI BEATTY PHOTOGRAPHY: ELLI DEAN

All the beautiful hats supplied for this shoot are from the very talented Rebecca, from Rebecca Couture Millinery (see page 46 for contact details)


Tracey wears Oui tropical print dress, £199, with Tea and Tequila palm tree bag, £149, both Cavells, blue hat, £395, Rebecca Couture.

Rachel wears Marie Mero dress, £195, Marie Mero jacket, £255, both from Vanilla, and cream hat, £525, Rebecca Couture

Yvonne wears Robell jacket, £115, and Fransa dress, £37.99, both Duo, and black-and-white hat, £295, Rebecca Couture

Opposite: Outfit as before, blue hat, £395, Rebecca Couture Right: Outfit as before, bespoke hat with blue roses, price on request, Rebecca Couture Far right: Outfit as before, hat with the gold flower, £295, Rebecca Couture



How to WOW at a wedding Left: Outfit and hat as before Bottom right: Outfit as before, hat with blue netting, ÂŁ295, Rebecca Couture

BIG THANKS A huge thank you to our amazing models Yvonne, Rachel and Tracey, to our local boutiques for helping to dress these beautiful ladies and to all at Oakham Castle for making us incredibly welcome and allowing us to use the magnificent castle inside and out for our shoot. And thank you to our lovely photographer Elli Dean, 07932 055548,

DIRECTORY Cavells 16 Mill Street, Oakham, 01572 770372, Duo Boutique 29a High Street, Oakham, 01572 722116, Rebecca Couture Millinery 23b suite 9, Oakham Enterprise Park, Ashwell Road, Oakham, 01572 490432, Vanilla 23b Mill Street, Oakham, 01572 757577, For more information on weddings at Oakham Castle, call 01572 758440 or visit See also page 37. 46



HEALTH Spring makeover & Catherine Varney joins the talented team at Creme Hair and Beauty in Oakham to create a new look for busy mum-of-two and editor, Clare Peel.


UGGLING a job and two young boys means that Clare doesn’t always have much time to spend on herself – so, with warmer days in sight, we thought it the perfect time to give her hair and beauty routine a bit of an overhaul and create a natural yet polished daytime look that’s easy to achieve at home.

Skincare routine

The make-up

Clare told me about her current skincare regime: “I use a lovely botanical facial oil cleanser by de Mamiel, their Pure Calm Cleansing Dew. It advises you to take a moment to breathe in the botanical scent, which offers a moment of indulgence and some uplift in my otherwise hectic start to the day. I also use an eye cream by thisworks; the tube has a metal applicator at the end for massaging in the cream, which is really soothing and works a treat to combat the signs of tiredness.” (Both products are available from Space NK in Stamford.) Beauty therapist Jessie confirmed that Clare’s skincare routine was paying dividends, as she has a lovely blemish-free complexion. Even great skin needs a good base, however, so Jessie began applying the Smoothing Face Primer (£21) from Mii – this has a light, gel-like consistency and fills in fine lines and open pores. Jessie told me: “the Mii range of cosmetics is brilliant for creating a natural look. They’re made from natural minerals, which allow skin to breath, so they won’t clog pores or cause breakouts like some cosmetics can do.”

Jessie then applied the Absolute Face Base foundation (£26.50), which is a popular choice for many clients, especially brides, due to its longevity and flawless finish – and also contains SPF30, which is great for added protection from the elements. If you prefer a lighter option, the Irresistible Face Base powder (£21) is perfect, as it offers lightweight, buildable coverage. To add shape and colour to Clare’s features, Jessie used the Sculpting Contour Palette (£25) and a pretty sweep of blusher in the shade “Tickle” (£16.50), before banishing dark circles with a touch of Illuminating Concealer (£20.50) in the very aptly named shade “Awake”! Lucky Clare has naturally thick eyebrows, so Jessie simply needed to use a creamy eyebrow pencil to add slight definition and fill in any gaps before moving on to the eye shadow to make the most of Clare’s gorgeous brown eyes. Clare told me: “Most days, eye shadow is the only make-up I have time to apply – a quick sweep of either a brown or olive eye shadow stick and that’s my look finished.” Jessie agreed that these were great colours to complement Clare’s colouring and set about creating a simple look by layering three different shades of the One & Only Eye Colour singles (£15.50) for depth and definition: the lighter shade “Peep” was applied all over the eyelid and taken up to just under the brow, followed by “Wink”, a soft biscuit colour under the crease, before Jessie then worked “Behold” on to the outer corner for a subtle smokey look. The Forever Eye Crayon (£17) in “Walnut” made the perfect eyeliner when applied with a brush, and Clare’s eyes were finished with a few coats of Showstopping Lash Lover mascara (£14.50) in “Starlet”, a rich, dark brown. Jessie didn’t want Clare’s lip colour to compete with her eyes, so kept it neutral with a slick of Silk Crème Lip Colour in “Sleek 02” (£16.95) and the Delight Lip Liner (£8.95) in a co-ordinating shade, which ensured this fresh, dewy pink colour would stay put all day.



& BEAUTY The hair Next, it was time for Clare’s hair to get some TLC. Stylist Sophie thought Clare’s naturally thick hair was in great condition but would benefit from a few more layers to frame her face. Clare told me she’s normally a “‘wash-and-go girl”, so her new look had to be easy to style and maintain. “My hair routine is quite relaxed – I use a diffuser to try to encourage some waves, but in summer I just leave it to dry naturally, using a few drops of hair oil to try and eliminate any frizz.” Sophie started by washing Clare’s hair with Pureology “Hydrate” shampoo (£16.50) and conditioner (£20.50), which I know from experience are absolutely divine, leaving hair super-soft without weighing it down. Sophie cut Clare’s hair, and, before blow drying it, applied some Kérastase K Forme Fatale, which is a voluptuous blow-dry gel (£20.30), and a spritz of Kérastase Elixir Ultime spray oil (£37) for softness and smoothness – this can also be used as a finishing spray to keep the style looking smooth throughout the day. “This smelt wonderful and felt very light and not at all greasy,” Clare told us. After drying, Sophie chopped in a few more layers, curled the hair using a Cloud 9 wand, then smoothed the ends using straightening irons. She then finished with a waft of Kérastase Laque Noire hairspray (£16.70) to ensure Clare’s new do had staying power. And how did Clare feel about the finished result? “I had such a lovely time at Creme – Jessie took enormous care over the make-up and she inspired me to make a little more effort and to try out new products. Sophie listened really carefully to what my hair needs were and she’s given me a cut that feels fab and has been very easy to style at home – back in the real world where speed is often of the essence! I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience – thank you so much!” DIRECTORY • With big thanks to Creme Hair and Beauty, The Old Church, 8 Mill Street, Oakham LE15 6EA, 01572 723823, • Clare’s skincare products: Space NK, 63 High Street, Stamford PE9 2AT, 020 3931 8601,





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A liTtlE SCooTinG

A liTtlE MEssY pLay

A liTtlE HIstOry

My little ones are ideal ages to enjoy whizzing around on their scooters. Market Harborough Leisure Centre hosts an under eights public scooter disco every Sunday from 11am to 11.45am, and it offers the perfect safe environment to try out those new wheels. Entry is £3.50. Over in Oakham at Catmose Sports Centre there is a Skaters Club for all ages each Friday night from 6.45pm to 8.15pm. Entry is £5 and you can hire roller skates for £2 or bring your own skates along. Alternatively, if you feel like going off road, then the old airfield at Desborough has miles of tarmac, making it ideal for bikes, trikes and scooters – it has public access via the B669.

The combination of soft, sensory, musical and messy play will send any toddler into a whirlwind of giddy delight, so why not try out Creepy Crawlies, which encompasses all four activities? Run at Catmose Sports Centre on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9.30am to 11.30am, the sessions are £4.60 each, including a healthy snack for the children and hot drink for the adult. Call 01572 490030 to find out more. Or, if you are closer to Market Harborough, you can check out the new Messy Monsters class at Gallone’s Ice Cream Parlour in Adam and Eve Street. These run every Wednesday and Friday from 10.30am and cost £4 for over ones and £2.50 for under ones. There is a theme each week, and places tend to book up, so it is best to head over to their Facebook page to grab a spot: www.

If you have older children, why not help them to trace their family history during the Easter holidays? Discover your family tree using Ancestry and Find My Past with support from the Family History Session at Oakham Library. These run each Thursday including 29 March from 10.30am to 11.30am for a drop-in session or bookable one-to-one appointments between 11.15am and 12pm. Find out more at www.

LIttLe livIng Spring is in the air, so there is no better time to get active, get messy and go exploring with your little ones. Lily Canter suggests some family activities to keep the kids busy over term time and into the Easter holidays.

A liTtlE X-faCtoR Want to discover the best musical talent in Harborough? Then why not attend the finals of the 2018 Great Bowden Recital Trust Junior X Factor competition on Saturday 10 March from 7pm? It’s a brilliant opportunity to see talented young musicians perform at Jubilee Hall, Bowden Lane. Entry is free, but tickets must be booked in advance via

A liTtlE HUntIng Have a cracking good time hunting for Easter eggs at beautiful venues across the region this Easter. Barnsdale Gardens ( is hosting its kids’ Easter hunt everyday from Friday 30 March to Monday 2 April from 9am to 5pm. Paint an egg or decorate the Easter tree before setting off to find some chocolately treats. Over at Rockingham Castle ( there is a Children’s Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday 1 April and Monday 2 April across the magnificent gardens, and it also involves a clever word puzzle and family quiz. And an Easter Eggstravaganza will be hopping into West Lodge Rural Centre ( from Friday 30 March to Monday 2 April. There will be a themed quiz with clues around the farm plus egg painting and a good old traditional egg and spoon race. Finally, over at Burghley House and Gardens there is a hunt in the Garden of Surprises on Sunday 1 April from 11am to 5pm. Follow the treasure hunt and solve the riddle to claim a chocolate egg from the Easter Bunny. Parents are also asked to test their Easter knowledge to try and win afternoon tea in The Orangery Restaurant. For more information, visit



A liTtlE COokIng This month Emma Steed of Nature’s Pantry, Market Harborough, suggests making a dairy- and gluten-free Easter treat with no processed sugar. The hot cross bun freezer fudge is quick and easy to make, but if you run out of time, you can pop into their shop in Church Street to pick up a batch. Emma also runs fun cookery classes for little ones in term time and throughout the holidays. Find out more at

Hot cross bun freezer fudge • 200g medjool dates • 5 tbsp almond butter • 2 tbsp coconut oil

• Zest of half an orange • 2 tsp pumpkin spice mix • 1/4 cup currants

• Pit the dates and soak them for 10 minutes in boiling water. • Place all the ingredients except the currants into a food processor and blend the mixture into a smooth paste. Fold in the currants. • Line a tray with baking paper. Fill the tray with the mixture and smooth it over. Freeze it overnight. • Enjoy!

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Stargazing – the bright sky at night March skies can be perfect for stargazing, so why not wrap up warm, find something comfortable to sit on and look up! Here are some beginner’s tips for navigating the night sky: • Get your bearings – as the earth rotates, so the sky changes. Monthly star charts are available online, but you’ll need to find a recognisable point in the sky from which to start. • The best constellation to use as a marker is the Plough. It’s large, bright and visible all year round. • From the Plough, you can find Polaris, otherwise known as the North Star. It’s positioned almost exactly above the earth’s axis and, unlike the rest of the sky, appears to be stationary. • Look out for man up there – occasionally it’s possible to spot the International Space Station – visit for more information. • Learn the difference between planets and stars – stars really do sparkle! • Use binoculars. Not only do they bring the stars closer, but they also brighten the view into the darker reaches of the sky. If you’re interested in learning more about astronomy and stargazing, contact Rutland Astronomical Society, who hold monthly meetings, on

The sky at night above Oakham, January 2018, by Leo Gehlcken of Rutland Astronomical Society

OUTDOOR Living The clocks change on Sunday 25 March and we leap forward into spring!

Mother’s Day Make your mum’s day with a beautiful bunch of flowers from one of our local high-street florists. They include: The Flower Company at Oakham market weekly on Wednesday/Saturday. Pollen Florists, 7 High Street, Oakham, 01572 724404, Earthwork’s Florists, 22 High Street East, Uppingham, 01572 822276, To personalise your floral gift, you could consider foraging. Add foraged stems such as Witch Hazel (Hamamelis), with its eye-catching, spidery flowers, or the coloured twigs of Dogwood (Cornus) to create striking fillers in a Mother’s Day bouquet. Always ensure you forage sustainably and responsibly; only collect flowers and leaves where they’re in abundance and remember it’s illegal to dig up or remove a plant without permission from the landowner.

Sophie Allport mugs What is cheerier than the sight of a garden bird on a spring day? If you want to combine the glory of nature with your daily refreshment, you could invest in one of these gorgeous china mugs from local designer Sophie Allport. The mugs cost £11 each and are available from Sophie’s shop at 26–27 High Street, Stamford PE9 2AY or online at

Start your garden from seed

Gnomes and more

Try growing something from seed this spring. Produce your own English garden favourites such as Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus), Nigella (Nigella papillosa) and cornflowers (Centaurea cyanus). Start your seeds in trays inside on a sunny windowsill, and, as they grow and the weather warms up, transfer them to larger pots in a sunny corner of the garden – but do take them in if there’s a frost. For ideas and advice on what to grow visit Welland Vale Garden Inspirations, Uppingham, 01572 822729,

Garden gnome sales went up by 42% in 2017, so if you want to follow the trend, head down to one of our local garden centres and pick out one of these cheery little garden companions. For something more heavyweight, try Rutland Garden Classics, Langham, 01572 720070, They stock a range of architectural antiques, stone troughs, antique olive jars, Cretan pots, bronze garden statues and more.




• EASTON WALLED GARDENS are pleased to offer the readers of Living Magazines a 2 for 1 admission voucher for use during our 2018 open season. Come and explore 12 acres of gardens steeped in 400 years of history, nestled in the Lincolnshire Vales. • T&Cs: Voucher entitles the bearer to admission for two people for the price of £7.50. The voucher is non-transferable and non-refundable. Please present the voucher upon arrival. Photocopies will not be accepted. Only one voucher can be used per transaction. Voucher may only be used once during 2018. Valid between 4/03/2018 – 28/10/2018. Voucher cannot be used during the following special events: Snowdrop Week (17th – 25th Feb), Sweet Pea Week (1st – 8th July) & Autumn Country Market (2nd Sept). • For more information about Easton Walled Gardens, go to



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Osprey Week

The education of the next generation has always been at the heart of conservation at Rutland Water. The Rutland Water Osprey Project has seen unprecedented success, which, more recently, has included the creation of World Osprey Week (WOW), an educational event for children and young people that has been embraced within Rutland and across the world. This year WOW takes place from 12 to 18 March. Lucy Moss went to find out more… Osprey photos above and opposite © John Wright


SPREYS are a migratory species of bird also known as fish hawks, which can be found on three continents. Most of Rutland’s ospreys migrate in winter, down through Spain and across the Western Sahara to The Gambia and Senegal. Satellite-tracking technology has been invaluable in monitoring the progress and wellbeing of these resilient birds on their long journeys.

Education and conservation

World Osprey Week (WOW) has been the driving force behind the education of communities, not only around Rutland, but along the migratory route. WOW activities serve to educate children and communities about ospreys, which strengthens the conservation efforts more widely. “It would be pointless to protect the ospreys in Rutland only for them to be hunted and killed during migration or in their wintering grounds,” explains Jackie Murray, one of the Education Officers on the project. “WOW enables us to educate communities along the ospreys’ flight path, which is vital for the conservation of the species.” Held every March, WOW heralds the beginning of the ospreys’ spring migration back to their breeding grounds in Rutland. This year, WOW will run from Monday 12 to Sunday 18 March and offers a unique opportunity for children to follow the ospreys’ amazing journey, which can be as great a distance as 4,000 miles. “WOW operates on different levels,” explains Jackie. “On a local level, myself, my husband Pete and a third Education Officer, Ken Davies, go into local primary and secondary schools to deliver assemblies and presentations with information and updates on the project.



“We work with both state and public schools in Oakham, Uppingham, Stamford and the surrounding area and provide learning resources for teachers, free of charge, which enables them to incorporate ospreys into their lesson plans. Some schools change the whole curriculum for World Osprey Week, using ospreys as a learning tool across a variety of subjects. We have lesson plans, worksheets and activities that cover geography, science, maths and citizenship, and we even have worksheets in French.” The education officers have over 100 years of teaching experience between them, and it is easy to understand the passion that Jackie, Pete and Ken have for teaching young people about the plight of the ospreys, not only on a local level but on a national and international level, too. “There is such a wealth of information on our website, and not all schools are aware that they can access these free teaching resources,” says Pete. “Also, you can follow the satellite tracking of the birds during their migration, and there is a live webcam on one of our nests where you can follow the birds throughout the breeding season – we have people tuning in from all over the world.”

International outreach

The global distribution of the species together with the benefits that the internet and new monitoring technology can bring mean that ospreys can connect people across the globe. So far, nearly 300 schools across three continents have registered for WOW, including schools in the Americas, Europe (in Italy, Poland and Spain) and West Africa. Jackie and the team celebrate this and are proud of the influence the project has had. Jackie explains: “Last year we visited a school in Bilbao in the Basque Country, Spain, where they have recently started their own osprey

Osprey facts

Osprey Ambassadors at the Volunteer Training Centre at Rutland Water

Above: WOW at Edith Weston Primary School

Lyndon Reserve © Aerial Picture House

reintroduction programme. The entire student body took part in WOW under the theme ‘I am a migrant.’ They utilised the worksheets and organised a festival where they paraded through the streets dressed as ospreys. “It is fantastic to see the waves that ospreys can create around the world.” One place that has seen great success through WOW is The Gambia, a country not much bigger than the county of Rutland and a wintering ground for ospreys. The Osprey Project has worked with a number of schools in The Gambia, teaching local children about the importance of osprey conservation and providing learning resources. In 2014, computers were installed in Tanji Lower Basic School and St Martin’s Basic Cycle School in Kartong thanks to a grant from Melton Mowbray Rotary Club. This new equipment, whilst providing countless other benefits, enables pupils in The Gambia to communicate via Skype with students in Rutland.

Osprey Ambassadors

In 2015, with WOW seeing such great success, the Osprey Ambassador Programme was introduced to help maintain the momentum of the project and the flow of information to local schools, and beyond. “The Ambassadors are great!” exclaims Pete. “They give so much impetus to the project. We have a few Ambassadors in our local registered schools, ranging from seven to 16 years old. Some keep the role when they move up to secondary. They have become an integral link for sharing information between the Osprey Project and the schools.” The osprey season starts with the “Warm Up to WOW” event, at which Osprey Ambassadors get together to learn about the project and to

• The Osprey translocation programme started in 1996. • In 2001, one of the translocated males 03(97), dubbed “Mr Rutland”, raised a single chick, the first for the Project. Mr Rutland went on to raise a total of 32 chicks and now has great-grandchildren breeding at Rutland. • In 2017 there were eight pairs of breeding ospreys, a record for the project. Some 15 chicks fledged, bringing the total to 132 chicks fledged since 2001. • A male osprey has a wingspan of 147–166cm. The females are larger, weighing up to 1.6kg, and can be distinguished by their heavily marked breast band. • Ospreys almost exclusively eat fish, with juveniles being fed by the adults. Some young birds have never caught a fish for themselves when they embark on their first migration. • Migration can be between 3,000 and 4,000 miles, depending on location, and can take up to two weeks. Ospreys’ daily migration averages around 250 miles, but some have been known to travel as much as 400 miles in a single day.

World Osprey Week (WOW) has been the driving force behind the education of communities, not only around Rutland, but along the migratory route. be updated with project news. “We give them a presentation and help children to develop their own presentations to take back to school, whether to the whole class, their friends or the school at large,” Jackie told me. “There is cake, plus games and some bird-watching – the children have great fun.” Jackie and the team also run a monthly Osprey Club throughout the season (March to September), when they are on site at the Lyndon Centre to update ambassadors with the latest news on the Rutland ospreys. Ambassadors have access to the Manton Bay hide along with a supervising parent, and everyone is encouraged to visit the site where they can view the nest and, if lucky, see ospreys fishing. Binoculars and telescopes are provided, and a member of the team will be in the hide to answer any questions. “Osprey Ambassadors are invaluable in keeping the schools and the students informed about the project. Our Ambassadors from Leighfield Primary School in Uppingham have visited Corby schools and given their own presentations about WOW – which is fantastic.” Whether you are a student, parent or teacher, or if you would like more information about the project, Jackie and the Osprey team can be found at the Lyndon Nature Reserve during the season on the south shore of Rutland Water, between Manton and Edith Weston. For further information or to register for WOW, please contact Jackie or Ken on 01572 737378 (March–September) or 01572 720049 (rest of the year). You can also email on: or There is also a host of information about the Osprey Project and WOW at RUTLAND & MARKET HARBOROUGH LIVING MARCH 2018



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

Dagmar Price, owner of boheme, Wansford WORDS: SALLY STILLINGFLEET


Tell me how you came to have this beautiful shop! I started boheme in 2000, so it’s almost 18 years ago now. I felt that this beautiful Georgian building was ideal for selling Vivienne Westwood clothing and accessories. I did have a shoe shop previously in Northamptonshire and although I loved doing it, my heart was in clothing! Why did you choose Wansford? At the time I had no intention of opening another shop but after thinking about it, I just though to myself, why not give it a try? Wansford is a beautiful village with great amenities but it was really the building that sold the idea to me. I knew the owners and they wanted to sell, so that’s really how it came about. How did your love for Vivienne Westwood clothing begin? It started when my son Lee worked for her. I always thought of her as a Punk designer but then in the 1980s, her design influences expanded and developed. She went more towards using historical influences and that was more interesting for me. Her take on everything is what I think of as a “Vivienne” twist, and I love her clever use of beautiful fabrics. What is it about her designs that make her so special in your opinion? I love her tailoring and the tweeds, tartans, argyles and herringbones which she uses, they are such classic fabrics, which I personally have collected and worn over the years and which I am still wearing! What is your favourite piece of clothing in your wardrobe? I love all of her designs, they will never date because they are so unique. I do feel that Vivienne’s idea of buying well and buying less is a way of life I wish more would adopt. If you take care of good clothes, then they do last. Have you ever met her? I did meet Vivienne once when I used to go to the fashion shows in London when I sold the new seasonal collections, which I did for 15 years. I now mainly sell her vintage pre-loved pieces, and sometimes the new pieces too. Tell me a bit about your customers I’m very lucky, I have got lovely customers who come here from all over the country and who I think more of as friends. When they come to look, sometimes they buy and sometimes they don’t. It doesn’t matter to me, just to see them and play catch up is great. I would hate to think that anyone felt I’d talked them into buying anything they didn’t want. I also give honest opinions. If I felt something really didn’t look right, I would say so! Which other designers and designs do you admire? I like Keith Haring for his abstract design, David Hockney and also Moorcroft pottery, which is very tactile. I also love the idea of antique chairs upholstered with modern fabrics. What is your favourite local café or restaurant? In Wansford, we are really spoilt for choice. We have The Paper Mills Pub, The Wansford Country Lounge Café and Bar and The Haycock Hotel all on the doorstep. It’s brilliant! What else do you like about your village? We’re so lucky to have a shop with a post office, a health centre with a pharmacy and dentist, plus there is the VOW Bridal Gallery next door to me! It’s a great community here. 60


boheme - Drayton House, London Road, Wansford, PE8 6JD Tel 01780 784799. Open Tuesday – Sunday, 11am – 4.30pm.

Dagmar’stop three weekend recommendations

1 3

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


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

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


The perfect place to eat, meet or simply retreat

Tuddenham Mill, Suffolk


O you have a day or two to spare? In need of some luxury pampering and a relaxing retreat? Do you simply want to have fun away from home with the family? If it’s yes to any of the above, then head south on the A1, take the A14 towards Cambridge, turn off on to the A11, and a little further (just about 75 miles in total from Oakham and 65 miles from Stamford) is a site mentioned in the Domesday Book: Tuddenham Mill, in the hamlet of Tuddenham St Mary (usually just called “Tuddenham”). This ancient watermill has been transformed into a luxury boutique hotel with a restaurant boasting 3 AA rosettes. It didn’t matter that when we visited it was wintry weather, as at Tuddenham Mill we were greeted by the warmest of welcomes. The rooms The main building, housing the waterwheel, is flanked by a series of lodges, “Meadow Nooks” (pods) and beautiful rooms leading out on to the water meadows. Here we enjoyed modern contemporary Italian decor with every comfort, including a Bose radio and Apple TV, and gorgeous views from the patios. Everything speaks of luxury – the fine bed linen, soft feather pillows, fresh (not UHT) milk and squeezed orange juice, not to mention complimentary sloe gin! In addition, you can enjoy the ESPA products in the generously sized bathrooms. The stunning loft rooms are particularly spacious and hence very popular with families, whilst the ground floor rooms are ideal if you can’t bear to leave your family pet at home. For a real treat, book the Meadow Nook with the outdoor hot tub – perfect for winding down or for a romantic break. Much of the accommodation is easily accessible for guests with disabilities, but there is also a dedicated suite on offer too. The restaurant A break from the kitchen is definitely a holiday for me, so it was a delight to relax in the calm, candlelit restaurant, which was well patronised – a sure sign of a good establishment. The Mill is acclaimed for the high quality of its food, much of which comes from its own allotment, with the menus prompted by what is in season. The three AA rosettes indicate an “outstanding restaurant that achieves a standard that demands recognition well beyond the local area.” Lee Bye, the young and highly praised chef-patron, offers an interesting combination of ingredients with a comprehensive wine list to match. In 2016 he received an Acorn Award, which recognises 30 of the country’s most promising hospitality professionals under the age of 30. Highlights at dinner during our stay included a delicately presented Fenland parsnip soup topped with toasted almonds and apple, a



standout hake cooked on the bone, with pepperonata, brown shrimps and baby spinach, and, to finish, a mouth-watering baked croissant pudding with whisky-soaked raisins and sea-salt toffee, accompanied by vanilla ice cream. The service was spot on too. All-round fabulous! My tip for seating in the restaurant would be to choose a window table where you can enjoy looking down on the mill pool and be mesmerised by the gliding swans – it’s especially picturesque after dark. The whole area, incidentally, is a wonderful for bird-watching and stargazing. (If you’re outside, just be careful not to venture too near to the swans, as they can be somewhat possessive of their territory. Another tip is to pack a little torch to help keep a sure footing on your stroll back after the evening meal.) The experience Tuddenham Mill is a beautifully presented, wonderfully atmospheric hotel offering a stylish, upmarket retreat and fine gourmet experience. There’s lots to do nearby for those who like to combine relaxation with sightseeing, culture or something more active. Highly recommended.

What to do in the vicinity For strollers, hikers and cyclists • Explore Britain’s oldest road, the Icknield Way, which runs straight through Tuddenham St Mary. Alternatively, enjoy a hike into the Suffolk countryside, sustained by the hostelries along the way, or borrow a bike from the Mill to go further afield. For townies and culture vultures • Head off to Bury St Edmunds, 20 minutes’ drive away, with its famous Cathedral, or to Newmarket, national home of horse racing, with Palace House, now the National Horse Racing Museum showcasing a fine art gallery of sporting pictures. For families • Drive out for a day to Thetford Forest, offering lots of climbing and play activities, including Go Ape. Tuddenham Mill, Tuddenham St Mary, Suffolk IP28 6SQ, 01638 713552. For details of rates and special offers, visit

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News & Notes

Helping you make the most of Rutland and Market Harborough living


OMEN in Rural Enterprise (WiRE) Leicestershire and Rutland was formed in 2017 as a creative networking group for businesswomen in the area to engage, connect and support each other. The group meets once a month at a different venue in the region, and the aim is very positive – to encourage productive conversations, enable networking opportunities and facilitate learning. At each meeting there’s a speaker from an inspirational rural business and the chance to find out what challenges that person has faced and overcome in their professional capacity. WiRE has events planned 2018, from a vineyard tour to Christmas PR planning. The group also fundraises for local causes – WiRE Rutland and Leicestershire founders Jane Batty, Megan Allen and Claire

McFadden are seen above presenting a cheque to Change Agents, an Oakham-based charity and not-for-profit organisation that supports early careerists to realise their potential

working for ethical and responsible businesses. For more information, visit and, in the Local Networks option, select Leicestershire and Rutland.

Rutland property market boosted with 257 new homes in the last 12 months It is encouraging to see some of the new households in Rutland had This month, our local property advisor David Crooke, owner of UPP Property, reviews the number of new homes created in the county over the last year and assesses the impact for Rutland homeowners, landlords and tenants in the long-term.


N what appears to be a change in focus by the Tories to ensure they remain in government in 2022, they seem to have fallen in love with house building again, with the Chancellor’s promise to create 300,000 new households each year. Nationally, the number of new homes created has topped 217,344 in the last year, the highest since the financial crash of 2007/8. Looking closer to home, in total there were 257 “net additional dwellings” in the last 12 months in the Rutland County Council area, a decent increase of 96% on the 2010 figure. The figures show that 94% of this additional housing was down to new-build properties. In total, there were 242 new dwellings built over the last year in Rutland, with 22 additional dwellings created from converting commercial or office buildings into residential property. While these all added to the total housing stock in the Rutland area, there were 7 demolitions to take into account.

come from a change of use. The planning laws were revised a few years back, so that in certain circumstances owners of properties didn’t need planning permission to convert office space into residential use. With the scarcity of building land available locally (or the builders being very slow to build on what they have, for fear of flooding the market), it was pleasing to see the number of developers who had reutilised vacant office space into residential homes in the local council area. Converting offices and shops to residential use will be vital in helping to solve the housing crisis. Also on a positive note, the government is introducing a variety of changes to improve housing, including more funding for the supply side and an injection of urgency into the planning system. The focus on the housing market by the government is good news for all homeowners and landlords, as it will encourage greater fluidity in the market in the longer term, sharing the wealth and benefits of homeownership for all. However, in the short term, demand still outstrips supply for homes and that will mean continued upward pressures on rents for tenants. 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

Easter Point-to-Point at Dingley


HE Easter Point-to-Point at Dingley, just east of Market Harborough, is being held on Saturday 31 March. You can either get up close to the action or watch from the top of Dingley hill, which gives you a wonderful view of the entire course. There will be a bar and several food stands, but you can also get set up with an award-winning picnic. Fingers crossed for the weather. Admission to Dingley is £15 per adult, with children under 16 gaining entry free of charge. You can buy tickets on the gate or before the event on the official Dingley website:



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News & Notes

Helping you make the most of Rutland and Market Harborough living

Kilworth House Theatre: “A hidden gem of a venue… Beg, borrow or steal a ticket”


ILWORTH House Theatre is dedicated to producing and presenting large-scale professional musical theatre and is renowned for its sell-out shows. In 2016 the theatre was awarded the highly sought-after 5-Star Critics’ Choice Award for both of their summer productions. This year the season opens with “Guys and Dolls”, running from 29 May to 8 July. With showstopping numbers, a timeless story and some of the catchiest show tunes ever, it’s set to be a hit, and early booking is recommended. The enduringly popular family musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, which is 50 years old in 2018, then runs from 25 July to 2 September. To enhance the whole experience, guests have the option of dining before the show in the ornate Victorian Orangery, enjoying a picnic in the estate’s beautiful grounds or even staying overnight at the luxurious Kilworth House Hotel. It’s little wonder that this lovely venue attracts over 60,000 people in their summer season. Book early, as it does sell out.

The Seasons Art Class


F you’re in the market for something creative, The Seasons Art Class might be for you. It’s a friendly, informal class suitable for all abilities – complete beginners are very welcome. Students learn about the practical

Kilworth House Theatre, Lutterworth Road, North Kilworth, Leicestershire LE17 6JE, 01858 881939. For more details, see

methods, tools and techniques for using oil paints, and all equipment and materials are provided. The only thing that students need to bring is an apron. Michael has been teaching and painting in oils for many years. He combines demonstrations with practice exercises and, mostly, lots and lots of painting – he is a big believer in learning by getting stuck in and putting brush to canvas. The

class covers a variety of genres, including landscapes, seascapes, still life, abstract, buildings, flowers etc. Also provided are free tea, coffee, biscuits and, quite often, cake! Classes are held every Wednesday, from 10am–1pm at Oakham Rugby Club. The next 12-week course starts on 14 March. For more details, contact Helen on 01832 273749.

Charity Single Launched R

UTLAND-based musician Paul McClure and TV actor James Sutton have joined forces with a charity music video and single release with Paul naming the East Midlands Immediate Care Scheme (EMICS) as the recipient of his donation – he was recently named the first official “Ambassador” for the charity. Singer/Songwriter Paul, also known as The Rutland Troubadour, met actor James Sutton whilst working on the development of the independent romantic comedy “Made You Look”, directed by Martyn Chalk. Paul is writing the soundtrack to the film, which stars James, along with Gemma Oaten and Matt Di Angelo. James is best known for his recent roles in Hollyoaks and Emmerdale and says he bonded with Paul over their mutual love of music. “We thought it might be fun to make a video for ‘Baby That’s You’, which is one of my songs,” explains Paul. “The film company provided a crew, and we shot the video in one afternoon.” Paul and James will divide 100% of the profits from the sale of the single between their two chosen charities, with EMICS receiving Paul’s share. James has chosen “Once Upon A Smile”, a charity of which of he is patron in the north-west of England, to receive his donation. Paul added “We would be very grateful if as many people as possible would also ‘like’ and share the video by email, text and on social media platforms.” The full video can be viewed on Paul’s website and on YouTube, and the single is available on iTunes.

Dr Tim Gray (MBE), founder and Chair of EMICS expressed his delight at the charity being named as a beneficiary of the single. “We are thrilled at the opportunity not only to benefit financially from sales of the single but to raise awareness of the work of our volunteer doctors with a new audience of music lovers via social media.” For more details, see RUTLAND & MARKET HARBOROUGH LIVING MARCH 2018



Out & About

Amander Meade selects some of the best entertainment in the region this month.

The Carice Singers

Thursday 1 March, 7.30pm EVENT: Cinema for Rutland This month’s film is “Things To Come” (L’Avenir), in which a philosophy teacher soldiers through the death of her mother, getting fired and dealing with a cheating husband. Rutland County Museum Tickets are £5 from Oakham Wines. Friday 2 March, 5pm to 8pm, and Saturday 3 March, 8.30am to 1.30pm EVENT: The Good and New Clothing Sale The much-anticipated “First Night Sale” of the annual designer clothing sale in support of local charity, For Rutland, takes place on the Friday evening. Tickets include champagne and canapés on arrival. The event continues with the “Great Sale” the following day. (Note there will also be menswear sales at Rutland County Museum on 23 and 24 Feb). Barnsdale Lodge Hotel For “First Night Sale” tickets (£15 in advance; £20 on the door) call 01572 724400. “Great Sale” tickets are £5 on the door. Friday 2 March, 7pm for 7.30pm showing FILM NIGHT: My Cousin Rachel (PG) Based on the 1951 novel set in Cornwall by the British writer Daphne du Maurier, “My Cousin Rachel” tells of a young Englishman, Philip, who plots revenge against his late cousin’s mysterious, beautiful wife, believing her to be responsible for the death. However, Philip’s feelings become complicated, as he finds himself falling under the beguiling spell of Rachel’s charms. Lyddington Village Hall Admission is £5 on the door. Sunday 4 March, 7.30pm CONCERT: Haydn: “The Creation” Haydn’s vision of the word emerging from chaos can only be described as pure exuberance. With large musical forces, sparkling melodies and glowing orchestral colour, he depicts the creation of all living things with equal joy and delight. Oakham School Chapel Tickets £8 from Walkers of Oakham and

Wednesday 7 March, 7.30pm MUSICAL THEATRE: Austen The Musical Written by Rob Winlow, this fresh, new musical adaptation of the life of Jane Austen explores Jane’s struggle to have her work published in Austen The a male-dominated environment, her Musical failed romances and her vow to reject a woman’s conventional lifestyle in Georgian England. Harborough Theatre Tickets £12 at the Box Office or at From Thursday 8 March onwards EVENTS: Barnsdale Gardens There’s plenty to do at Barnsdale Gardens this month, beginning with Spring Flower Fortnight between 8 and 15 March, showcasing all the new foliage and drifts of spring flowers. Why not visit on Mother’s Day (11 March), when mums accompanied by children visit free? And there will be more family fun (egg painting and an Easter hunt) between 30 March and 2 April. All details at

Thursday 15 March, 7.30pm CHORAL MUSIC: The Carice Singers One of the UK’s most promising choirs performs at this evening of choral music by composers including Holst, Elgar and Vaughan Williams. “Few British choirs currently emerging can match the Carice Singers for musicality and beauty of tone” – Gramophone magazine. Oakham School Chapel Tickets £10 (free for schoolage children) from Walkers of Oakham and Saturday 24 March, 7.30pm CONCERT: Annelies Rutland Choral Society will perform this full-length choral work written by British composer James Whitbourn and based on the Diary of Anne Frank (Annelies), written between 1942 and 1944, when she and her family hid in the back of an Amsterdam warehouse. Oakham School Chapel Tickets are £10 including interval refreshments and available at or on the door. Saturday 24 March, 7.30pm CONCERT: Uppingham Choral Society Uppingham Choral Society will sing Vivaldi’s “Gloria”, Haydn’s St Nicholas Mass and Holst’s Psalms 1 and 2. An orchestra and soloists will be performing with the choir. Uppingham School Chapel Tickets are £8 on the door; free for under 16s

Barnsdale borders in March by Hamilton Photography

Wednesday 14 March, 7.30pm TALK: The Stones of Harborough As the guest of Market Harborough History Society, Geologist, Dr Stephen Parry, will put the geology of the Harborough area into context. Roman Way Community Centre Admission £3 for non-members

Wednesday 28 March, 7.30pm TALK: Life in a Medieval Village Guest speaker this month at Great Easton History Society’s meeting is Vicki Score, Deputy Director of University of Leicester Archaeological Services. Vicki will be talking about life in a medieval village. Great Easton Village Hall Admission is £2





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Curtain up! Light the lights! Who doesn’t enjoy a night out at the theatre? In this region we are blessed with some fantastic venues including Leicester’s Curve, Uppingham Theatre, Harborough Theatre and Nevill Holt, to name but a few. But what about our forebears, especially the ones living in Market Harborough? Read on for Caroline Aston’s fascinating insight into theatre life of yesteryear.

Harborough’s theatrical history W

EDNESDAY 1 September 1790 was a fine early autumn day and Harborough was agog. For the past few weeks there had been talk of nothing but the upcoming visit of a travelling theatre company. This was a red-letter event in those pre-telly days, and expectations and excitement were high. The performances were to take place at the High Street’s Talbot Inn, one of the town’s coaching inns later to be re-named the Market Tavern. There was even talk of special effects, not to mention musical entertainment too! And so it was that the Mr and Mrs Phelps Company presented a performance that a contemporary playbill describes as “A Favourite New Comedy called ‘Henry IV’ – with the humours of Sir John Falstaff”. Yes… Shakespeare had come to Harborough! But not JUST the Bard – the audience that night got an awful lot for their money, and just to read the programme of delights on offer that evening leaves you quite dizzy. Doors opened at 6pm, and this was obviously a heavily edited version of the play, as theatregoers also enjoyed a farce and some songs and sketches as well – and all for either one or two shillings, depending on where you sat. Between the play and the farce Harborough theatregoers were treated to “The Mogul’s Tale or The Cobbler’s Flight in an Air Balloon”, with the promise of an “Exact Representation of an Air Balloon’s Descent into the Gardens of the Great Mogul”! Mr and Mrs Phelps starred in this, playing Johnny Atkins the cobbler and his


wife Fanny with supporting actors Mr and Mrs Vernsberg as balloonist Dr Phlogiston and a lady of the Mogul’s harem. Mr Phelps warbled “Lunardi’s Gone Up to the Moon!” in a fine tenor voice during all this, later returning to perform a “Snorting, Grunting, Rhyming Rhapsody” called “The Learned Pig’s Levee”, “The New Bow-Wow” (in the “Character of a Queer Dog”, no less), plus a smash hit of the times called “The Dripping Pan Lover”. Mrs Vernsberg (an actress who was to audition none too successfully for the great actor David Garrick) also obliged with a ballad, before the evening concluded with a farce called “The Mayor of Garratt or The Humours of a Mock Election”. The audience was assured that this piece had never been seen before and Mr Phelps cropped up again playing a spivvish type called

The performances were to take place at the High Street’s Talbot Inn, one of the town’s coaching inns later to be re-named the Market Tavern. There was even talk of special effects, not to mention musical entertainment too!


Jerry Sneak – and singing yet again (this time it was “The Song of Johnny Pringle’s Pig”)! So Market Harborough witnessed the première of a long-lost playlet and lapped up Mr Phelps’s pig impersonations to boot! All this went down so well that the Phelps’s and their company were back again just 12 days later! This time Mr and Mrs Phelps don’t seem to have spent much time on stage, and there wasn’t a pig to be seen or heard! “Romeo and Juliet” was the main event of the night, with the promise of a “solemn dirge” to accompany the tragic Juliet to her grave! Mrs Vernsberg sang a ditty, as did another actor, Mr Perry, and the farce this time was “Thomas and Sally or A Sailor’s Return from Drubbing the Spaniards”, with a spirited hornpipe at the end! Mr Perry concluded things by reciting a monologue about John Gilpin, before these travelling thespians disappeared from theatrical history. How do we know all this? Well, The British Library in London holds the Burney Collection of old newspapers, pamphlets, periodicals… and playbills! There are literally hundreds of items, lovingly collected by the Rev. Charles Burney (1726–1814). Burney was the brother of the 18thcentury novelist Fanny Burney, whose diary of her life in the household of George III offers a fascinating peep through a royal keyhole of the past. But thanks to her brother we have the chance to sit in the audience that packed the Talbot Inn, Market Harborough 227 years ago and marvelled at Mr Phelps’s comic songs and caperings, not to mention his grunts and snorts!



Rutland Living March 2018  
Rutland Living March 2018