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RUTLAND LIVING Covering Rutland, Market Harborough & surrounding villages

Catch of the day Our top tips for Valentine’s Day

FEBRUARY 2017 £1.50 02



9 771741 580014

OA K H A M R U G S est. 1993 The finest selection of hand knotted rugs in the area. Traditional and Contemporary. New and Old. OPEN TUESDAY TO SATURDAY 10.00AM TO 5.00PM 6 The Maltings, off Mill St, Oakham, Rutland. LE15 6EA 01572 724441 Oakham Oriental Rugs Ltd t/as Oakham Rugs



February Contents

Loving where we live


H Valentine’s Day…. Love it or hate it, there’s no getting away from it. So at Rutland and Market Harborough Living we’re embracing it. You’ll find this month’s issue brimming with ideas of how to treat a special someone in your life, whether that’s a pressie from a local independent shop, a meal out at one of our many delicious eateries… or perhaps a pampering session for two at a spa? The choice is yours.

4 Editor’s Selection 6 Updates Shops & Services

8 Fashion

Let’s talk accessories

11 Out & About


Music in Lyddington

Rachael @RutlandLiving @rutlandlivingmag INCORPORATING

Village Lifestyle

12 Local People

RSVP premier dating agency

14 Local People

Amnesty International

18 Food & Drink

The Olive Branch recipe

20 Food & Drink The Great Food Club

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

25 Food News

Market Harborough: a foodie’s dream

26 Eating Out

Valentine’s meals out

29 Updates

Shops & Services

32 Family fun

Family skiing holidays

28 Out & About

What’s on this month

36 Health & Beauty Pampering treats for two

40 Out & About Winter walks

42 Local Care

Local carers for the elderly

47 Updates

Shops & Services

49 Harborough Happenings Shops & Services

52 Local History

A tragic Hollywood love affair

54 Profile

Hi-de-Hi!’s Ruth Madoc

RL cover: © Matty Graham MHL cover: Supplied by Bigstock

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




Love is in the air Editor Rachael is playing cupid – here are her top Valentine’s tips

A guaranteed winner A striking necklace and scarf combo that will work across the seasons – this gorgeous Nicola Hardy necklace is from Duo and SET scarf from Vanilla, both in Oakham. Turn to page 8 for more accessories ideas. Duo, 29b High Street, Oakham, 01572 722116 Vanilla, 23b Mill Street, Oakham, 01572 757577

Spice it up…

… with some stunning lingerie from Browns Lingerie Boutique on Francis Street, Stoneygate – they stock designer lingerie from luxury brands including Stella McCartney, Mimi Holliday and Freya. Browns Lingerie, 35 Francis Street, Stoneygate, 0116 2707188

A brunch date at Bowden Stores Surprise your other half in the morning and treat them to brunch at Bowden Stores, an independent coffee house and lifestyle store that recently opened in Great Bowden near Market Harborough. Fantastic coffee, gorgeous homewares and gifts and a brilliant menu of proper wholesome food – the veggie breakfast (pictured) is out of this world. Bowden Stores, The Green, Great Bowden, 01858 440957

A present for him He might pooh-pooh Valentine’s but you’ll convert him with this hand-woven wicker ‘Manper’ from Under Fine Wraps, brimming with awardwinning ales, fiery treats and fine food. Even the most notoriously difficult chap will be bowled over. Call 03332 000190 or visit www.

And if you’re going big… …Oakham’s fine jewelers Heidi Kjeldsen is the place to go. Heidi will make sure that your knee-dropping moment is unforgettable with her jaw-dropping collection of exquisite engagement rings and jewellery. Heidi Kjeldsen, The Maltings, 15 Mill Street, Oakham, 01572 722666




Professional InteriorDesign DesignService Service Professional Design Service Professional Interior Interior Re-Upholstery andSoft SoftFurnishings Furnishings Re-Upholstery Soft Furnishings Re-Upholstery and Unique and BeautifulFurniture Furniture Uniqueand and Beautiful Beautiful Unique Furniture Suppliers of Designers Designers Guild, Zoffany, SuppliersSuppliers of Designers Guild, Zoffany, Colefax and Fowler, of Guild, Zoffany, Colefax and Fowler, Romo and Harlequin Nina Campbell, Romo and Harlequin Colefax and Fowler, Romo and Harlequin MARKETPLACE PLACE· ·UPPINGHAM UPPINGHAM· ·RUTLAND RUTLAND· ·LE15 LE159QH 9QH · · 01572 01572823389 823389 66MARKET · ·


UPDATES Shops & Services

New Easter GCSE revision course at Uppingham School


PPINGHAM School has launched a brand new course of intensive tutoring for students about to sit their IGCSE exams in biology, chemistry, physics or maths. The course will take place during the Easter holidays, from Sunday 9th to Thursday 13th April, and is the ideal preparation for this important stage in every student’s life. Subjects will be taught by a team of highly qualified and experienced teachers, many of whom teach at Uppingham School, and students will receive three hours’ tutored revision a day for each of their chosen subjects. This will include reviewing core areas of the syllabus and improving understanding of key facts in order to boost confidence and motivate each student. Tutors will recommend different revision techniques, and students will practise past papers under exam conditions. They will be given additional set work each evening to prepare for the following day. Class sizes will be a maximum of 10 to ensure every student is given individual attention and directed tuition. Both residential and non-residential places are available. Residential students will study two subjects so they are studying one in the morning, and one in the afternoon, and non-residential students may choose one or two subjects. Residential students will have an opportunity to take part in sporting activities at Uppingham School Sports Centre at the end of each day, and there will be supervised study time each evening after dinner in the boarding houses. A residential place will cost £950, which includes full board accommodation for five nights, six hours’ tuition per day covering two subjects, supervised prep time and use of Uppingham School Sports Centre. Non-residential places cost £375 per subject, which includes three hours’ tuition per day, either morning or afternoon. • For further information or to book, visit or call 01572 820800.

Dodgeball holiday camp this half term What: Dodgeball holiday camp Who: ANYONE aged between 5 and 14 Venue: Whissendine Primary school, LE15 7ET Dates: Thursday 16 & Friday 17 February Time: 09:00-15:30 Cost: £10 per day


ODGEBALL is back in town this half term, with the Dodgeball holiday camp with Eshelby Leisure. It’s a great chance for kids to have fun whilst learning about dodgeball and the chance to win prizes and join the dodgeball tournament every afternoon. Sessions are led by Pro Coach Ben Eshelby, primary school PE coach and Dodgeball qualified instructor. All coaches are fully qualified, DBS checked and have undertaken child protection and first aid training. • Contact Ben on 07800967927 or to book a place.

Brooke Priory School open morning


NJOY a relaxed wander around Brooke Priory School and catch a glimpse of what life is like after the register has been called during the open morning on Tuesday 28 February.


There is no need to pre-book but you can get in touch beforehand to get the school timetable so you don’t miss your favourite subject. Brooke Priory is a preparatory school for


boys and girls aged two to 11 years. The open morning is on 28 February from 9.30-11.30am. • For more information call 01572 724778 or email

Beautiful Interiors 27 Mill St, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 6EA 01572 722 345



Let’s talk accessories! Stand out with a striking handbag, necklace, bracelet or scarf to complement any outfit FASHION: NIKKI BEATTY PHOTOGRAPHY: ELLI DEAN

SET scarf £55.95, Vanilla; Luisa Cerano pink shirt £169, Cavells

Essentiel Antwerp blouse £129, DL jeans £179, both Cavells. Clutch bag £52.50, Vanilla

Miss Shorthair silk scarf £35, Duo



360 Cashmere jumper £230, Weekend Maxmara stripy trousers £175, Coccinelle blue handbag £199, all Cavells. Bodybangle silver bangle £36, Silver ring £36, both Vanilla Nicola Hardy necklace £74.99, Duo; Luisa Cerano pink shirt £169, Cavells; SET scarf, as before

Coccinelle blue bag £199, Weekend Maxmara £175, both Cavells; Bodybangle silver bangle £36, Silver ring £36, both Vanilla

Essentiel Antwerp blouse £129, Essentiel Antwerp necklace £59, both Cavells

Patrizia Pepe navy shirt £155, Patrizia Pepe trousers £179, Weekend Maxmara necklace £90, Coccinelle pink bag £290, all Cavells

Patrizia Pepe navy blouse £155, Patrizia Pepe trousers £179, Weekend Maxmara necklace £90, Coccinelle pink bag £290

WITH THANKS TO: Cavells boutique for letting us camp out there all morning. Elli Dean for the amazing photography, STOCKISTS Duo, Oakham, 015722722116, Cavells, Oakham, 01572770372, Vanilla, Oakham, 01572757577,





Music in Lyddington celebrates 25 years Launched in 1991 by the late Brian Stokes, Music in Lyddington was intended as a one-off series of four fundraising concerts. Proving phenomenally popular, the concerts continued as a permanent fixture offering local audiences the chance to hear world-class young musicians at the beginning of their careers. Committee chair Roland Stringer tells Amander Meade what has been planned for the new season. A very special atmosphere Every month during the spring and summer months, capacity audiences of around 200 music lovers take their seats in St Andrew’s Church in the picturesque Rutland village of Lyddington to hear some of the world’s most exciting new classical musicians – often more accustomed to large crowds in prestigious venues such as the Barbican or the Royal Festival Hall. I wonder what their impressions are of arriving to perform at a small, if charming, village church. “It’s true that some are a little bewildered initially,” admits Roland. “We offer something a little different in that we collect the musicians personally from the station offering them home cooked hospitality and often a bed for the night too before delivering them back onto their trains the next day. They always appreciate the warm welcome they receive and it makes a pleasant change for them to play in a less formal setting – usually they can’t wait to make a return visit.” The 2016 season celebrated its 200th concert in 25 successful years and culminated in a major coup for the charity, with the appointment of outstanding pianist Alexandra Dariescu as Patron. “We are thrilled that Alexandra has agreed to be our Patron and are really looking forward to working with her” says Roland. “We

Grammy nominated Saxophonist Amy Dickson have immense local support and are indebted to all our sponsors, without whom we could not function. It’s not unusual for people to travel from all parts of the Midlands to see our performers – it really is such a very special atmosphere, especially in the really good weather when we spill outside with a glass of something cold at the interval and the performers like to take the opportunity to meet the audience and have a chat.” A varied and exciting programme for 2017 Programme Director Hilary Williams and her team scour the country during the year scouting out talent to appear in Lyddington and have put

Elias Quartet

together a varied and exciting programme for 2017 beginning in March. “Highlights this year will include Andrew Kennedy (Tenor) and Jams Coleman (piano) due to visit in April. This will be a WW1 themed recital to coincide with the centenary of the Battle of Arras at which several young men from Lyddington lost their lives. Also much anticipated will be the Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments in May.” During the ‘off’ season, the Travelling Music in Lyddington team organise visits by coach to classical concerts around the Midlands so enthusiasts can access the best live music during the winter months. After performances, Roland says he frequently hears visitors comment that their season subscription has been worthwhile for that one particular concert alone – “It’s lovely to hear that people enjoy the music we offer and so gratifying to have the opportunity to witness such immense talent on our own doorstep.” • To book tickets, find out more or if you wish to explore sponsorship opportunities or join the organising team, Tel: 01572 823513 or visit




Meet the matchmakers RSVP is Rutland’s premier Dating Agency and Singles Club and celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Amander Meade meets owners Roland and Anne Stringer.


OLAND and Anne have been married for 16 years and were looking for a complete change from their corporate roles when they took up the opportunity to buy RSVP. “We jumped at the chance to run a business with so much personal contact with clients and the best thing about the company is influencing a happy ending,” explains Roland. “The whole team at RSVP are continuously motivated by our successful outcomes – we have helped facilitate thousands of great matches, many of which have converted into happy marriages, which is extremely gratifying.” According to Anne, there are no typical RSVP clients, who range in age from their early thirties to those in their eighties. “Lots of members are seeking a partner postdivorce or bereavement as well as those who have spent years establishing their careers and find themselves unsure how to navigate modern dating.” New members are invited to have an initial chat with one of RSVP’s specially trained consultants who spend time getting to know the individual and what exactly they are looking for in a partner. “Software is used to define matches by age and location, for example, but the personal approach is crucial to creating an accurate and insightful profile.” There is a stringent screening process with background and identity checks to ensure that clients are genuine and most importantly – single. After screening, RSVP provide a shortlist of matches and encourage clients to get together initially not for a date but a short introductory meeting – after that they can set up further arrangements if they wish. “We exchange feedback from both parties and ensure we provide a ‘safety net’ to make sure all our clients feel safe and secure. Members can feel confident in our discretion at all times; surnames are never revealed and your image won’t appear on any websites,” adds Roland. With three levels of membership, RSVP clients can have as much or little input from the team as they require. “Clients all have access to our specially tailored and hosted events and with over 30 different events each month there is always something to appeal. Events take place both in Rutland and neighbouring counties and range from adventurous outdoor pursuits to relaxed ‘mix and mingle’ pub nights, which provide the opportunity to meet other discerning individuals in the same boat.


Not everyone is looking for a partner; some members just relish the events as a social platform, which is fine with us.” For those that need extra confidence there are the Platinum and Gold levels of membership, both of which offer a high level of support and ‘hand holding’ throughout the matching and meeting process. Undoubtedly the dating landscape has changed beyond recognition in the last two decades with the advent of all the specific technology now available, but Anne and Roland are convinced that successful matches rely on much more than accessibility. “We focus primarily on personality and personal values and our aim is to try and establish couples we think have a good chance of sustaining longevity – that’s where the satisfaction lies for the matchmaker and it’s a service we are proud to provide.” Events this month include a Sunday Walk, Dinner at the Chequered Skipper in Oundle, a ‘Mix and Mingle’ at the Anne of Cleves in Melton and a helicopter lesson in Nottingham. • For a free, no-obligation consultation with a member of the RSVP team, to discover more about events locally or to discuss membership call 01572 774884 or visit


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Going local with Amnesty International Rutland and Market Harborough Living is pleased to share what this very local group get up to

Did you know?: Amnesty International (AI) is a global movement of over 7 million people investigating and exposing abuses; educating and mobilising the public; and helping to transform societies to create a safer, more just world; and they are about people just like you - because Amnesty is all about men, women and children, from whatever walk of life, taking a stand in their own way – wherever there are human rights concerns.

How did it all begin?: Back in 1960 a Londonbased barrister, Peter Benenson, opened his newspaper and read an article about two students in Portugal who had been imprisoned for seven years after raising their glasses in a toast to freedom. Sounds uneventful, but this was to become one of the most significant moments in the global movement for human rights. Benenson’s outrage at the imprisonment led to the birth of Amnesty International (AI). Now, over 50 years and a Nobel Peace Prize later, AI continues to campaign for justice wherever it has been denied. AI protects people, defending their right to freedom, to truth, and to dignity, by investigating and exposing abuses where they happen. They galvanise the global movement to intervene where individuals are at risk; and by educating future generations, to work towards the dream of human rights for all becoming a reality. What are human rights?: We often take them for granted, because they are based on principles that are intuitive – dignity, fairness, equality, respect and autonomy. The Human

Rights Act protects the fundamental rights we all have as human beings and allows us to challenge the authorities if they violate them. It’s an invisible safety net for all of us and a crucial protection for the most vulnerable: from women fleeing domestic violence to older people in care homes. Often, it is only when our rights are being violated that we stand up and take notice. A key human right, much supported by Amnesty’s work, is the right to freedom of expression. Just speaking out, in many parts of the world, can result in imprisonment and other punishments, such as the public flogging of Raef Badawi in Saudi Arabia, for standing up for human rights on his blog. Amnesty asks that people join them in lobbying MP, Liz Truss, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, to save the Human Rights Act. STAMFORD AND RUTLAND AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL GROUP Who are they & what do they do? They are a small, friendly and active group, working to make a difference both here in the UK and across the globe. As one of 285 local groups across the UK, they meet every month and work to support global human rights through a range of social activities. Their most recent initiative has been sending greetings’ cards to prisoners of conscience around the world, including Eren Keskin, a lawyer from Turkey, who is facing a life sentence for writing about human rights. She has been arrested over 100 times and after the attempted coup in July 2016 was again imprisoned, as the Kurdish newspaper she writes for was declared a ‘terrorist organisation’. They recently wrote to authorities to appeal

for clemency and the upholding of human rights. One of this year’s appeals is for 11 year old Annie Alfred, from Malawi, whose life is in constant danger because of the colour of her skin. Annie has the genetic condition albinism, which makes her susceptible to abduction, mutilation and murder, linked to superstitious beliefs and witchcraft. They are asking the President of Malawi to protect people with this condition and to ensure the prosecution of their attackers. One of the exciting aspects of Amnesty’s work is that they make it very easy for an individual to make a difference: through emails, signing petitions, writing letters, all of which can make a positive impact on someone’s life. Think of the person in solitary confinement in a cell, who suddenly receives hundreds of greetings from around the world and the reaction of their imprisoners! Stamford and Rutland AI Group carries out a wide range of activities from campaigning for individuals, to raising money for human rights: • Letter writing and other forms of action on behalf of individuals whose rights have been abused. • Local fundraising through organising events, stalls and linking in with local activities, for example: Stamford market cake stalls, ‘Amnestea’ events, plant sales, second hand book stalls, Arts Centre Reception and film nights • Lobbying MPs and MEPs to hold the government to account on human rights – they have recently written to the Rt. Hon. Sir Alan Duncan, Minister of State for Europe and the Americas, about the situation in Turkey. • Raising awareness about human rights through the local press and their new Facebook page.

How can you get involved?: Stamford and Rutland Amnesty International Group are keen to attract new members and supporters; and hope that in 2017 some readers consider joining them, to help in their local and international activities. • You can contact them by email: stamfordandrutlandamnesty@outlook. com or visit their Facebook page: Stamford and Rutland Amnesty International Group For information on AI UK: https://www.





Advertisement Feature

Vernon explaining our unique service, video available on Youtube and our website.

HOUSING MARKET UPDATE WITH MOORES Sell Your Home With No Agency Fee and No Contract!?!?


oised to launch another record breaking year, Vernon of Moores Estate Agents and Country Equestrian Homes offers his advice to readers considering a move this year. With 0 week contracts available and buyers even paying sellers agency fees for off market introductions!

WHAT IS THE CURRENT STATE OF THE HOUSING MARKET IN RUTLAND AND STAMFORD? Currently a little frustrating! Many buyers on our data base have sold homes in London and are ready to view homes in Rutland and Stamford immediately. Vendors often feel they should wait until April or May to market their home but my advice is to act now to avoid joining an overcrowded market later in the spring.

IS THE LOCAL MARKET THRIVING? Most certainly. We are seeing a culture emerge where buyers are offering to pay the vendor’s agency fee as well as paying the full asking price or very close to it.

endorsed by TV presenter Hannah Patterson. The website showcases the region which is much in demand due to the fantastic lifestyle, great transport links and superb education. Being the only firm in the area that has set their stall out to deal with out of area buyers, with certain parts of the market having over 70% of the buyers coming from London and the South East. We use our London partners Douglas & Gordon – one of London’s largest independent estate agents – to link directly with buyers looking for rural properties of all kinds. These clients utilise our bespoke home search service which is now so popular we TO have a dedicated team matching homes to buyers. This is made easier for the buyers by having the offices at Grantham and Peterborough, it means buyers travelling up can be met at the stations and chauffeured around suitable properties. It also makes the area much more accessible with people able to travel up to view house and be back in an afternoon rather than taking days out travelling by car.

HOW DOES YOUR DISCREET MARKETING SERVICE WORK? Marketing discreetly means vendors can test the water without a ‘For Sale’ board, press or even internet marketing. This approach is reflected in a reduced agency fee too if the house is sold.

THE MOORES COUNTRY AND EQUESTRIAN BRAND IS TOP OF ANY RELATED INTERNET SEARCH – THAT’S A GREAT RESULT. We are very proud of our new specialist home search website www.countryequestrianhomes. com which was launched, presented and

WHAT DISTINGUISHES MOORES FROM OTHER AGENTS? I think we manage to combine a really traditional approach to customer service with cutting edge technology and innovative ideas. Our team are all highly motivated and incentivised but with courtesy, honesty and

One of the 19 London branches referring buyers.

communication prioritised within their training – I think that’s why customers use us time and time again and recommend us to others. Most importantly, my wife and co-director Jenny is a solicitor and it is thanks to her skills that our fall through rate is extremely low. Last year only 1 in 9 sales with Moores did not complete which is exceptional when compared with the national average of 1 in 3. Securing an offer on a property is only half the battle; steering the sale through to completion is what really counts for our clients.


A FINAL PIECE OF ADVICE FOR THIS YEAR? If you are considering a move, don’t delay. Call us now for free, no obligation advice on valuations and all aspects of buying property. We very much look forward to being of service. • Contact Moores Moores Estate Agency has offices in London, Oakham, Stamford, Melton, Uppingham, and the London platforms of Peterborough and Grantham Railway Stations. Oakham Office – Tel: 01572 757979 Stamford Office – Tel: 01780 484555 Uppingham Office – Tel: 01572 821935 Full contact details can be found at



Kitchen inspiration! The Olive Branch’s head chef Sean Hope shares some inspirational pictures and two comforting recipes…


INTER is the best time to cook. Lay out all the ingredients in front of you in the warmth of your kitchen, grab a glass of wine or beer, turn on the hob, and you’re away! And after all that hard cooking, what could be more satisfying than settling down with your family to eat? It’s the simple joy of food. This issue I’ve got two comforting yet zingy recipes that are perfect for the time of year – crab and lemon risotto with crispy sage; and pork belly and celeriac boulangere, braised red cabbage, apple sauce. To inspire you, here are some pictures from a recent food photoshoot at The Olive Branch, taken by Clive Doyle. I hope they encourage you to get cooking and to have a go at the recipes below! Happy cooking!

Crab and lemon risotto, crispy sage Serves 4 • 30g butter • 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil • 1 small onion, chopped finely • 1 clove of garlic, chopped finely • 250g risotto rice (arborio) • Splash white wine and Madeira • 1 litre vegetable or chicken stock (hot) • Zest and juice of 1 lemon • 200g fresh white crab meat • 50g Parmesan, grated finely • 16 x sage leaves PHOTOS: CLIVE DOYLE

Pork belly and celeriac boulangere, braised red cabbage, apple sauce Serves 4 Pork belly • 1kg trimmed pork belly, cut into strips • 1 small celeriac, peeled and sliced • 1 sprig thyme • 1 onion, peeled and sliced • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped • 4 Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and sliced • 1lt chicken or pork stock • Half a pint of cider Method 1. Seal the strips of pork in a frying pan until golden brown. 2. In a large casserole dish, layer the pork belly, celeriac, onion, garlic, thyme & potatoes.

3. Bring the cider to the boil and reduce by half, then pour over the ingredients. 4. Add the stock to the casserole dish, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. 5. Cover tightly with foil and then place in a pre-heated oven at Gas Mark 3 (170C) for three hours (until tender). 6. Serve with braised red cabbage and apple sauce. Braised red cabbage Serves 4 • 1 red cabbage (finely sliced) • 1 tablespoon olive oil • 1 knob of butter • 100ml red wine vinegar • 100ml orange juice • 1 tablespoon red currant jelly • 1 tablespoon brown sugar • 100g raisins Method 1. Sweat the cabbage in the oil and butter over a medium

heat for 10 minutes. 2. Then add the rest of the ingredients and cook out at a low temperature until soft but with still a little texture. NB. This can be cooked in advance and reheated prior to serving! Bramley apple sauce • 3 Bramley apples, peeled, cored and chopped • 50g caster sugar • Juice of one lemon • 1 teaspoon English mustard • Knob of butter Method 1. Place all ingredients into a large saucepan. 2. Bring to the boil and cook until soft (around five minutes). 3. Strain the cooked apples off when soft and blend with the English mustard until smooth. 4. Allow to cool to room temperature, and serve!

Lunch For Even Less This year we’re running our Lunch For Even Less menu again, along with seven other local pubs and restaurants. Our offer runs from Monday January 16 to Friday March 31, excluding Valentine’s Day, and you can enjoy two courses plus a glass of wine for £20. Book early to avoid disappointment.



Method 1. Sweat the garlic and onion in the butter and oil over a medium heat until soft. 2. Add the rice, stir and coat the grains for two minutes before adding the alcohol. 3. Gradually add the hot stock until the grains are perfectly cooked (around 15 minutes). 4. Add the lemon zest and juice. 5. Finish with the crab & Parmesan, season to taste and serve. 6. Top the risotto with crispy sage leaves.

“Winter is the best time to cook. Lay out all the ingredients in front of you in the warmth of your kitchen, grab a glass of wine or beer, turn on the hob, and you’re away!”


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



Who’s leading the Great Food Club Top 100? Great Food Club’s new website features a league table showcasing some of the most highly rated local food and drink businesses…


HAT’S your favourite local pub or restaurant? Great Food Club members have been sharing their opinions on our new website, where they’ve been influencing a constantly fluctuating Top 100 league table. The table changes according to the ratings supplied by you. Although it’s still very early days, it makes for interesting reading, with plenty of local venues and producers taking the premier slots. Here’s the Top 10 at the time of writing… Another venue that has received a huge amount of positive feedback but which does not appear in this Top 10 is The Bewicke Arms in Hallaton, Leicestershire. It has been edged out because the table is so new, which means a single rating makes a big difference to placings. This will even out over time, but judging by the comments received about The Bewicke, it’s a pub that’s well worth trying. There’s a good chance you’re familiar with most of the businesses in this Top 10, but if not, you should seek them out, and you should also take a look at all the other places we recommend on our website – every place we feature online, not just in the Top 100, is selected on merit. Just head to the homepage ( and search by location.

1 The Fox & Hounds, Exton 2 Rutland Charcuterie Company, Braunston-in-Rutland 3 The Olive Branch, Clipsham 4 Bread Meat Cheese, Stamford 5 The Berkeley Arms, Wymondham 6 Stanley Street, Barnwell 7 The King’s Arms, Wing 8 Hambleton Bakery, Oundle 9 The Wheatsheaf, Greetham 10 The Fine Food Store, Stamford




OWEVER, there’s one business in the list – Stanley Street – that you may not have heard of. Allow us to fill you in with this review by Anna Forgaard, Great Food Club’s Rutland and north Northants editor… Stanley Street is a caterer and street-food-purveyor based in Barnwell, Northamptonshire, not far from Oundle. The man behind it is Stanley Crump, a well-travelled and experienced chef who originally trained in patisserie and confectionery. He takes his inspiration from street food served in Europe and the Middle East and then adds his own touch. A frequent traveller, Stanley takes a cookery class in whichever country he visits to pick up tips, flavour combinations and menu inspiration. This leads to dishes such as Moroccan lamb meatball tagine, traditional falafel, massaman beef curry, raclette, and Lebanese chicken tawook. When vetting him for GFC, we tried an absolutely delicious, flavour-packed mezze of tabbouleh, ‘slaw, beetroot hummus, falafel and harissa chicken served with homemade flatbreads. The flavours were authentic and punchy, the colours were vibrant and the smells were reminiscent of the street stalls of Jerusalem. In street food tradition, the prep and cooking is generally done in full view of the customer, allowing you to see the dish progress from ingredients to finished serving and to interact with the cooks. This is an important part of the Stanley Street ethos – to understand how the dish was prepared and for it to be an experience from first slice to final mouthful. Any pre-event cooking and prep is done from his wonderful shed in Barnwell – a small but perfectly kitted out kitchen with a place for everything and everything in its place. Stanley adjusts his menus according to the seasons and availability, using locally produced ingredients where possible. He sources the more exotic items from Peterborough market and the Middle Eastern food stores around Gladstone Street. He serves a delicious merguez sausage, which is made for him at Kingsthorpe Farm, Polebrook. Stanley will cater for events across Northamptonshire, Rutland, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and beyond. Keep your eyes open for the Stanley Street stall at festivals, private parties, weddings and occasional pop-up events, including the monthly sofa sessions at the Old Forge, Cranford. If you want the sights, smells, tastes and diversity of global street food without having to travel too far, Stanley Street is the place to go. The only downside is what to choose…

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

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

RATE AND WIN DINNER! We’d like you to rate and comment on places and producers you’ve visited on the Great Food Club website. As an incentive we’re running a monthly competition – everyone who rates and comments is entered into a monthly prize draw to win a meal for two at a GFC venue of your choice. The draw takes place on the last weekday of each month. Visit, search by location and find somewhere you’ve been to, then leave your feedback. You could win a meal out and you’ll help to create a more useful and informative Top 100 list.

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



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

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Valentine’s Day Tuesday 14th February

Wednesday to Friday. Two Courses for £12.50

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

Free Glass of Bubbly with every main meal ordered

Mother’s Day Sunday 26th March


1st Thursday of the month £5 per Team of Four. Prize for the winning team (Funds from ticket sales go to Rutland Air Ambulance)

Free Glass of Bubbly for every Mother when a main meal is ordered


3rd Thursday of the month. Talented local musicians playing Live Music from 8pm

Book Early to avoid disappointment


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

More information and our current menu on our website

The George at Ashley


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

T: 01572 747365 E:

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

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

Curry Night Valentine’s Day Dinner

On 14th and 17th February enjoy dinner for two and why not spend the night in one of our individually decorated en-suite bedrooms with a full English breakfast in the morning for only £100.* Also on any other day during February and March enjoy a special room rate of £60 per room, per night. *(excluding drinks)

21 Main Street, Ashley, Northamptonshire. LE16 8HF T 01858 565411 E 24

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


Harborough: a foodie’s dream Kirstie Mitchell checks out two Harborough companies offering quality food experiences. Baking at its best If you haven’t yet discovered the baking genius that is Daniel Cadoo, then I urge that you down your tools now and seek out the founder and artisan baker of The Garage Bakehouse. This small but cool bakery is situated in the heart of Market Harborough and sells delicious artisan bread, great coffee and cakes. Open since August 2014, it has earned an enviable reputation, achieving 5 stars and excellent reviews on Trip Advisor. Dan’s baking career took off after leaving as Head Chef at his family restaurant in St Ives, Cornwall, to work at the St Ives Bakery. Dan explains, “I was making pasties, cakes and various types of bread on a daily basis, and from then on I decided this is what I wanted to focus on.’ Born and bred in Market Harborough, Dan decided to make the move back home and turn his passion for baking into a business. He converted his Grandad’s garage and the rest is history. On offer are Artisan breads including sourdough, spelt, focaccia, Turkish flatbread, white and, wholemeal and seeded, plus lots of freshly baked pastries and cakes. Their famous Cheese and Marmite Swirls sell out almost as soon as they have come out of the oven and the Cinnamon Buns (just WOW!) with Cream Cheese Frosting fly out of the door every Saturday. Not to mention their freshly made breakfast rolls, soups and legendary sourdough pizza slices. Open Tues-Sat 07.30 - 15.00 hours. • Orders 07791 951984 8 Roman Way, Market Harborough

Natures Pantry Hazelnut Freezer Fudge Recipe Ingredients: • 200g Medjool dates • 5 tbsp. Hazelnut Butter • 1 1/2 tbsp. raw cacao powder • 2 tbsp. coconut oil

Natural approach to food and play For our readers who enjoy quality ingredients and delicious food without the guilt, then Natures Pantry is a definite must try. Matt and Emma opened the shop in 2016 and have been thrilled with the response from customers. Not only does the shop sell wholesome products including grains, rice and seeds sold by weight, but also healthy takeaway smoothies, such as ‘Vitamin C’ which includes pineapple, carrot, papaya, banana and orange - yum! For cold winter days try their range of hot tonic drinks and hearty fresh soups. Sweet treats are also on the menu using natural ingredients and sugars such as Agave Syrup, honey and coconut sugar. Emma’s freezer fudge tastes too good to be healthy, but I was assured that only natural, healthy, quality ingredients are used. New for customers is fresh bean-to-cup coffee with Rainforest Alliance Certified beans from local firm Carrara Collection luxury artisan coffee with a choice of cow, almond or coconut milk. While upstairs is where Emma’s 15 years of being a Nanny comes in to its own. The lovely light space allows children of all ages to enjoy a natural approach to food and play, with specific learning and arts and craft play sessions during both the school term and holidays. Sessions can be booked online. Bookings now being taken for February half term. • Orders 01858 468568, 3 Church Street, Market Harborough

Instructions: • Firstly, pit the dates and place them in a bowl. Pour boiling water over the dates making sure they are fully submerged and soak for 10 minutes. • Next add the Hazelnut butter, coconut oil and raw cacao to a food processor. • Drain the dates, squeezing out any excess water and add them to the food processor with the rest of the mixture. Blitz the mixture on high until a smooth paste is achieved, scrape the mixture from the sides in necessary. • If using a mould spoon the mixture and spread evenly. If you don’t have a mould, then line a dish with baking paper and spoon in the mixture. • Place the mixture in a freezer and leave overnight. • The fudge should be stored in the freezer and taken out a few minutes before eating.




Dinner á deux Want to ensure your Valentine’s meal is truly memorable? Catherine Varney checks out the best pubs, restaurants and eateries that offer a little extra magic on the 14th February. Bon appétit!

An idyllic country location

For food with a view

Whatever the weather, you can’t beat the stunning views afforded by Barnsdale Hall Hotel on the shores of Rutland Water. The impressive dining hall and friendly service make this a fabulous choice to spend an evening with your loved one. Valentine’s offer: A lavish 5 course menu including a glass of champagne for £35pp, available Friday 10th, Saturday 11th and Tuesday 14th February. Valentine’s menu: An amuse bouche of Roasted Celeriac Soup, followed by a sharing platter to start (Oak Smoked Salmon, individual Baked Truffled Goats Cheese, Calamari, Lamb croquettes). Main course options include Roast Hereford Beef Fillet, Roast Chicken Breast, Poached Hake and Parmesan Baked Polenta, finishing with a selection of desserts (the assiette of Dark Chocolate and Rosewater Tart, Pistachio Crumble and Pistachio Ice cream to share sounds particularly divine) plus coffee and truffles. Address: Barnsdale Hall Hotel, Oakham, Rutland, To book: 01572 725174


The Berkeley Arms is an award-winning country pub owned by Neil and Louise Hitchen who are thrilled to have been awarded the Bib Gourmand in the Michelin Guide 2017 for the 6th year running. A vibrant and popular choice with locals, the fine wines and cask ales are exceptional so you will be well catered for if you fancy a tipple or two! Valentine’s offer: A two course menu, available for either lunch or dinner costing £30pp; add a third course for £35pp. Sample menu: Ex-Hambleton chef Neil is consistently praised for his bold, punchy flavours and popular choices from the menu include Pork Fillet with Black Pudding, Fondant Potato and Apple Cider Sauce whilst seafood lovers adore the Dover Sole roasted on the bone with Pink Fir Potatoes and Brixham Cockles and Clams. Sweet treats include Warm Chocolate Fondant, Passion Fruit Cheesecake and Fruit Crumbles using local, seasonal produce. Address: The Berkeley Arms, 59 Main Street, Wymondham, To book: 01572 787587

Traditional with a twist Nestled in a pretty village, The George at Ashley has recently undergone a restoration of the 18th century ironstone building and is now owned by Chris Hand and his partner Carole who reopened it in September. Boasting a 6-bedroom Coach House, they are offering a special dinner, bed & breakfast rate for Tuesday 14th and Friday 17th February at £100 per couple. Valentine’s offer: 3 courses for £25pp Valentine’s menu: Starters include Roasted Tomato Soup with Basil Pesto and Baked Tunworth Cheese with Rosemary Focaccia; the main course offers a choice of Duck with Ginger and Rosti, a Cod Fillet with a Parsley Crust and Butter Mash or Roast Pork stuffed with garlic and herbs. The tempting trio of dessert options are Passion Fruit Delice with Raspberries, Warm Melting Chocolate Moelleux and Turkish Delight Ice Cream or a Cheeseboard with Crackers, Chutney and Grapes. Address: The George, 21 Main Street, Ashley, Market Harborough To book: 01858 565411


Fabulous if you love fine dining

Warm, cosy and welcoming There aren’t many places that offer the homely comforts of a real log fire and outstanding cuisine: but The Kings Arms at Wing is one such gem. With a focus on seasonal, locally sourced ingredients, they also have a smokehouse on site where delicious fish and meats are available to purchase as well as being readily available on the frequently updated menus. Valentine’s offer: 2 courses for £26pp or 3 for £30pp Valentine’s menu: Starters include a romantic Trio of Oysters as well as Cured Spicy Pork Coppa (from the smokehouse) and Pan Fried Scallops with a Cauliflower Puree; the main course offers a choice of Rolled Sirloin with a Red Wine Confit, Grilled Fillet of Sole with Sunblush Cherry Tomato Risotto, Stuffed Supreme of Wing Guinea Fowl and a Butternut and Chickpea Chilli. Desserts include Salted Vanilla Caramel Panna Cotta, Chocolate Mousse, a classic Lemon Tart and cheeseboard selection. Address: The Kings Arms Inn, 13 Top Street, Wing, To book: 01572 737634

If you love country pub comfort Set in the heart of Rutland, the Coach House Inn is a traditional country pub offering a warm welcome and comforting, home cooked food; perfect if you’re after a relaxed and informal dinner for two. Valentine’s offer: A 3 course meal including chocolates and coffee for £22.50pp plus 25% off a bottle of champagne for Valentine’s night only. Sample menu: Renowned for their variety of steaks from the grill, the Coach House Inn also offers fresh, light meals such as Roasted Fillet of Cod topped with Chorizo crumb, Parmentier Potatoes, Curly Kale and Sundried Tomatoes as well as more rustic dishes of Grasmere Farm Pork Chops and traditional Fish and Chips. Address: The Coach House Inn, 3 Stamford Road, South Luffenham, Rutland, To book: 01780 720166 PLEASE NOTE: For those restaurants who hadn’t confirmed their Valentine’s menus at the time of going to press, we have shown a sample of the current menu.

With a whole host of culinary awards to their name, including Leicestershire and Rutland Dining Pub of the year in The Good Pub Guide again for 2017, The Olive Branch will be guaranteed to appeal to even the most fussy of foodies. Valentine’s offer: A 5 course gourmet menu with a choice of 4 options for each course. Priced at £75pp last year (please call to confirm price for this year at time of booking). Sample menu: Whilst The Olive Branch are celebrated for their game dishes including Roast Partridge and Pan Seared Pigeon Breast, the fish (fresh from Devon and Newhaven daily) is also popular, with flavoursome dishes such as Pan fried Fillet of Sea Bream with Spiced Aubergine Potato, Cherry Tomatoes and Artichoke also making a splash on the menu. Address: The Olive Branch, Main Street, Clipsham, Rutland, To book: 01780 410355

If you dream of getting away from it all Got a babysitter booked? Make the most of it and head to Barnsdale Lodge where they are offering a complete Valentine’s package: perfect for spending even more quality time with your loved one. Valentine’s offer: A 3-course candlelit dinner with a bottle of prosecco and an overnight stay in a superior bedroom with breakfast the following morning for £199 per couple – available on the 13, 14 and 15 February. Sample menu: With an excellent reputation for fine cuisine, you are guaranteed to be well catered for here. The menu boasts favourites such as Ribeye Steak and Roasted Scottish Salmon Fillet as well as food with real flair – the Crushed Juniper Venison Loin served with Parsnip Puree, Spiced Red Cabbage and a Sloe Gin Sauce is delicious. And don’t forget to sample some of the very fine wines on offer; after all, it’s only a short walk back to one of the beautifully appointed bedrooms! Address: Barnsdale Lodge, The Avenue, Oakham, Rutland, To book: 01572 724678

If you fancy something a little different For a cosy, candlelit atmosphere and a menu that offers something unique in Rutland, a visit to newly-opened Scandinavian café and homewares shop, Fika in Oakham is a must. Owners Jo and Shaun told me: “Valentine’s Day is pretty big in Sweden and they have a particular fondness for flowers so we’ll be dressing the place accordingly with lots of lovely fresh blooms and plenty of romantic candles too of course.” Valentine’s offer: A typically Nordic 3 course meal for £35pp including a glass of prosecco Valentine’s menu: Starters of mini Nordic platters (small rye breads with Nordic toppings such as smoked salmon, prawns and soft cheese); the main course will be a romantic sharing platter including Scandinavian cheeses, meats from Rutland Charcuterie and Swedish Knacke crackers, Sourdough bread and dips, finished with a mouthwatering dessert of Princess Torte or Chocolate Kladkakka cake. Address: 21 Northgate, Oakham, Rutland, To book: 01572 337337 RUTLAND & MARKET HARBOROUGH LIVING FEBRUARY 2017


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F you want to improve the look of your home but are not quite sure where to start, a local interiors expert is offering home staging and styling advice to maximise the potential of your property. Denise Cable is a qualified interiors stylist and has been so successful that her own home has featured in multiple national interiors

magazines. Denise’s new business offers her skills to homeowners across the region whether you require decoration advice for your own benefit or especially if you want to present your house for sale in the best possible condition. “Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes can help establish why a property may not be selling or help prepare a home for sale to attract the broadest market and ultimately secure the highest price,” says Denise who can help with a single room makeover or transform a whole house. “Often we are so familiar with our own home we need a little impartial help to maximise what we have,” she adds. Working within even the smallest of budgets, Denise approaches each project on a completely individual basis. Fixed priced options are presented to clients depending on the level of assistance they require. One recent client remarked, “Denise kept me fully in the picture at all times and guided me every step of the way whilst listening carefully to my requirements and budgetary constraints.” After a free initial telephone consultation, Denise will arrange a home consultation (around 2 hours) and follow up with a full report for £150. Clients can then opt to move forward alone or commission Denise to put her recommendations into action. “Home staging is a great investment that, combined with good marketing and a realistic selling price, should make you money.” • To find out more, contact Denise Cable at or 07870 751108.

50s and 60s Spectacular at Peterborough’s Cresset

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0S and 60s music icon Marty Wilde will be appearing at The Cresset Peterborough on Friday 17th February with his band The Wild Cats and a massive line up of 60s stars. Marty Wilde started his career on the hit TV show ‘Oh Boy!’ He was always in the charts in the late 50s and 60s and to this day is deemed one of the most exciting acts on the theatre circuit. Joining Marty will be 60s heat throb Billie Davies who had hits with ‘Tell Him’ and ‘Angel of the Morning’. Cupids Inspiration had a global hit with ‘Yesterday has gone’ - and lead singer Terry Rice Milton makes a rare guest appearance. The Hollies were a 1960s’ favourite with many hits and original founder member Eric Haydock also joins the show. Other bands include Top of the Pops’ stars Gidea Park and, from The Cavern Club, Sounds Force 5. If you like 60s’ music, you will just love this all-star show with hit after hit. • Tickets are available from The Cresset and at

NJOY peace of mind when you’re away from home by installing a CCTV system. Peterborough-based Ace 4 CCTV says home systems are becoming increasingly popular as a cost-effective way of protecting homes, driveways and gardens against intrusion and other crimes, with the latest technology offering remote monitoring that can be viewed on smart phones and tablets. And, should the worst happen, CCTV systems can also be used to obtain images and recordings of suspects that could serve as evidence in any criminal investigation. “CCTV systems have come a long way from being cumbersome, expensive and complex systems requiring expert help to simple, easy-to-use systems that are easy to configure, easy to maintain and reasonably priced,” says the company’s Chris Christophi. “At Ace 4 CCTV we are professional and affordable, with prices for a fully fitted CCTV camera and recorder system in full HD starting from just £495.” • Find out more on 01733 552048, or




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Head off piste If you are looking for a family ski holiday but want to try somewhere a bit different from some of Europe’s mainstream resorts, then head off piste and take a look at our pick of seven resorts that you might not have heard of. By Katie Mitchell.

ÅRE, SWEDEN Sweden’s most popular resort stretches for 10km along a frozen lake in a beautiful setting amongst the mountains and snow-covered forests. With Scandinavia’s family-friendly approach, not only is there special family zones on the slopes, there’s also discounted lift tickets and kids go free until aged 8 years old. Toboggan runs, well thought-through family ski trails, snow kiting and ice climbing add to its attraction, as does a rather yummy chocolate factory.


LENZERHEIDE, SWITZERLAND Recently doubled in size with a new peak-topeak, state-of-the art cable car with nearby resort Arosa, lovely Lenzerheide offers 225km of ski slopes and plenty of traditional alpine charm. With dedicated family slopes, ski school, igloos and skiing until April, it’s definitely worth a look. And if you have any LEGO fans, the Valbella Inn has two giant kids’ areas designed by LEGO just waiting to keep them entertained.


LA ROSIERE, FRANCE Situated in South East France, high above the quaint little town of Bourg -St-Maurice, La Rosiere is near to the well-known resorts of Val d’Isere and Tignes. Offering an excellent variety of skiing for different abilities and great ski schools, plenty of childcare options and some fun apres-ski activities including a bowling alley, ice rink and floodlit walk of Les Eucherts, this is a great snow-sure option. There is also a free bus service around this close-knit resort to help littler legs get home (and the bigger legs who are carrying all the kit).

Swedish brand Polarn O Pyret produce some outstanding Scandinavian kids outerwear and design features that make life easier for parents! Visit

Sorel’s fabulously warm and robust Children’s Yoot Pac Nylon Snow Boots come in a great range of colours and are priced at £55. Visit

SUN PEAKS, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA Now Canada’s second largest ski area and boasting over 4700 acres of varied terrain. From beginners’ greens, to cruisey blues, to black and double black diamond trails, and amazing back-country skiing. The recent big investment in the mountain and the village has made this small, car-free resort a major player with easy access to all three of the mountains via a superb and queue-free lift system. And the skier density here is very low - crowds and lift lines are virtually unheard of.

CHAMPOLUC, ITALY “This is one of our favourite resorts”, says Market Harborough ski experts Snowfinders. “The problem is that the more we promote Champoluc, the more upset a lot of people will get with us because they want to keep it to themselves! If you ever wondered where there is left to go with empty pistes and beautiful scenery, this is the place for you.” The pretty resort itself has a classic ski resort ambience with an ice rink, plus lots of traditional restaurants, and although the town has grown in the past few years it has still retained its charm and friendliness of the Italian Aosta Valley.

PUY-SAINT-VINCENT, FRANCE This pretty resort sits on the edge of the Ecrins national park in the southern French Alps, not far from the Italian border. Little ones (six months to 11 years) are very well cared for at morning ski school, all-day crèche and evening kids’ clubs, all a few steps away from the shops and ski lifts. The pistes are quiet (except during French school holidays), queues are rare and ski passes are among the cheapest in the Alps. With a surprising variety of skiing on offer, this resort packs a punch far beyond its weight.

KATSCHBERG, AUSTRIA A perfect family resort with dedicated nursery slopes and wide uncrowded slopes. Beginners and early intermediates will enjoy this pretty ski area with doorstep skiing, an unspoilt, quiet ski area, a huge array of child-friendly activities and an excellent snow record. And after a fun day on the slopes, there’s plenty of chilled out activities like night skiing, tobogganing and horse-drawn sleigh rides on offer.

If you are in need of inspiration and help in creating your perfect family ski holiday, contact local travel experts: Millington Travel 01858 780333 More Travel: 01780 433333 Oundle Travel: 01832 273600 Savvi Travel: 01572 842 012 Snowfinders: 01858 466888 Tots to Travel: 0800 014 2770 RUTLAND & MARKET HARBOROUGH LIVING FEBRUARY 2017


Rutland County Council is offering some FREE refresher driving theory courses aimed at drivers in Rutland. THE COURSES HAVE BEEN ARRANGED ON THE FOLLOWING DATES: Thursday 23rdOctober March Monday 12th Friday 21st Tuesday 3rdApril November

Monday 18th17th September Wednesday March Thursday 12th 24rd October March

2.00 – 4.00 10.00-12.00 10.00 – 12.00 14.00-16.00

2.00 – 4.00 14:00-16:00 10.00 – 12.00 10.00-12.00

Council CouncilChambers, Chambers,Oakham Oakham Council Chambers, Oakham Uppingham Town Hall Council Chambers, Cottesmore Village Oakham Hall Council Chambers, Tinwell Village Hall Oakham

These courses are for Rutland residents who would like to update their knowledge as well as learn how to drive more safely and efficiently. There will be an opportunity for a practical driving session at a later date.

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


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OUT & ABOUT Amander Meade selects the best entertainment in the region this month Friday 3 February, 6.45pm for a 7.30pm showing EVENT: Film Night This month’s film shown in support of the Village Hall Fund is ‘Bridget Jones’s Baby’ – a heartwarming comedy starring Renee Zellweger and Colin Firth. Lyddington Village Hall Admission is £5 on the door. Sunday 12 February at 2.30pm and Tuesday 14 February at 7.45pm THEATRE: Abelard and Heloise In honour of St. Valentine’s Day, this is a studio production of Ronald Duncan’s beautiful and moving ‘Correspondence for the Stage in Two Acts’. The text is a poetic translation of the letters exchanged between the Famous 12th century scholars and lovers Peter Abelard and Heloise Garlande, living in different monasteries on different sides of France, years after they were forced apart by tragic circumstances. This production will be performed as a dramatic reading directed by Sarah Clarke, with musical interludes from Opera Minima under the direction of Gillian Leftwich. Harborough Theatre Tickets are £10 each, which includes a drink or ice cream for the evening performance with tea and cake for the matinee. Tickets will be on sale from the Theatre Box Office on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 9.30-11.30am or at www.harboroughtheatre. com Wednesday 15 February, 7.30pm CONCERT: Gordon Haskell Gordon’s career spans many years including a spell during the late 1960s when he shared a flat with Jimi Hendrix, playing supporting stints with Cliff

8 to 26 February FESTIVAL: Leicester Comedy Festival Dozens of comedy performers will descend on the city to perform in the Festival, which is now in its thirteenth year. Expect almost a thousand events taking place during the days and evenings at venues around Leicester featuring comedians breaking through as well as established names like Stuart Lee, Richard Herring, Phil Kay and Romesh Ranganathan. You can buy tickets through the website or by phone: 0116 456 6812

Throughout February It’s one of the most exciting times of the year at Barnsdale Gardens as everything starts to burst into life. Visit during Spring Flower Fortnight to see all the fresh new foliage and drifts of spring flowers throughout the gardens. Courses and other events this month include a Willow Animal Workshop with Martin Keeley, Making the most of your Kitchen Garden with GQT regular Matt Biggs, watercolour painting with Sandra Peck, Vegetable Growing and Growing in Raised Beds with Nick Hamilton. Barnsdale Gardens For details of all courses or to book, call 01572 813200 or visit

Richard and Tim Hardin. His single ‘How Wonderful You Are’ surpassed the Beatles’ ‘Hey Jude’ and Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’ to become the most requested song on BBC Radio 2. Whissendine Village Hall Tickets £10 from Tracey on 01664 474437 / 07771 333212

Wednesday 22 February, 7.30pm TALK: The History of the Grand Union Canal Great Easton & District Local History Society will welcome Dr Len Holden to give a talk with accompanying film about the History of the Grand Union Canal. Great Easton Village Hall Admission is £2 for visitors

From Friday 24 February EVENT: The For Rutland, In Rutland Annual Good And New Clothes Sales 2017 With all proceeds to support people living with long-term conditions in Rutland and the surrounding community, the annual sales begin with The Mens Good and New Clothes Sale. A chance for men to buy from an extensive selection. Taking place on Friday 24 from 5pm to 8pm and Saturday 25 February from 9am to 1pm at 33 Pilings Road, Oakham LE15 6QF. Admission is free with cash and cheques only for clothing. To follow the Men’s event will be the much anticipated ladies event, which will be held on Friday 3 and Saturday 4 March at Barnsdale Lodge Hotel near Oakham. Friday’s sale begins at 5pm with a ticketed event priced £15 to include a glass

Thursday 23 February, 7.30pm COMEDY: Alex Horne and The Horne Section Alex Horne has gathered some of the UK’s finest jazz musicians and mixed them with the most exciting comics in the country to create some unique and hilarious noises. It’s jazz-infused comedy; live and loud – part improvised, part honed, part performance, part party. O2 Academy, Leicester Tickets are £16.50 Tel: 0116 223 1181 or of champagne and gourmet canapés supplied by Hambleton Hall. Saturday’s halfprice sale event runs between 8.30am and 1pm and admission is free. Shoppers can expect over seventy rails of high quality nearly new or never worn clothing and accessories including

designer wear, children’s wear, accessories and much more. Donations of high quality clothing and accessories would be much appreciated. Tickets and further information regarding donations from Trish Ruddle Tel: 01572 724400 or Elizabeth Mills 07801 319222.




Pampering treats for two

Treat that special someone to a day of rest and relaxation and you’re guaranteed to be in their good books all year ‘round. Catherine Varney picks her favourite spa breaks for Valentine’s Day and beyond…

Eden Hall

Cupid’s Couples Day For pure indulgence, head to Ragdale Hall in the heart of the Leicestershire countryside where the thermal spa is second to none. Available throughout February and March, the Cupid’s Couples Day includes full use of all the facilities including the candle pool, indoor and outdoor waterfall pool and a three-course healthy buffet lunch. Relax and unwind in the afternoon with a classic manicure for her and a Sooth ‘n’ Splash facial for him before ending your romantic day in style with a glass of pink bubbly and a sharing plate of tapas. Price: From £239 per couple Address: Ragdale Hall Health Hydro and Thermal Spa, Ragdale Village, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, LE14 3PB, 01664 433000,

Romantic Spa Massage

Sleeping Beauty Package

Afternoon Treat Spa Day

Throughout February, take your loved one to the dual treatment room at Barnsdale Spa where you can both enjoy a relaxing back, neck and shoulder massage together plus a glass of sparkling wine and chocolates. And at such amazing value, there’ll be plenty left in the budget for some extra treatments, which are offered at 25% off when booked at the same time. Try the wonderfully therapeutic floatation therapy for a day you won’t forget. Price: £55 per couple • Address: Barnsdale Spa, Barnsdale Hall Hotel, Barnsdale, Oakham, LE15 8AB, 01572 757901,

If you’re aiming for the wow factor then head to Kilworth House Hotel, a stunning grade II listed Victorian building set in 38 acres of parkland in rural Leicestershire. Here you can enjoy a day and night of complete relaxation with a pampering back, shoulder & neck massage, a light lunch and a bottle of champagne on arrival in your bedroom plus an overnight stay in one of the beautifully appointed bedrooms. Price: £95 plus dinner, bed and breakfast rate (varies depending on date). Address: Kilworth House Hotel, Lutterworth Road, North Kilworth, Leicestershire, LE17 6JE, 01858 880058,

If you’re not a morning person, this is the perfect package for you! Start your day in style by making breakfast in bed for your other half and then head to Stapleford Park Spa for a relaxing ‘Head in the Clouds’ head and shoulder massage, a glass of prosecco, and full use of the gym, tennis courts and pool facilities from 1pm to 5pm. And if you’re not calorie counting, you should definitely upgrade your spa day to include the divine afternoon tea they serve. Price: From £49 per person (from £67pp including afternoon tea) Address: Stapleford Park Country House Hotel, nr Melton Mowbray, LE14 2EF, 01572 787057,



Totally tailored to you If she loves her beauty treatments, then she’ll love you forever if you book a spa package at The Little Retreat Spa in the Vale of Belvoir; an idyllic location that is guaranteed to relax you from the moment you step out of the car. The team here can tailor almost any package to suit –including beauty treatments by Dermalogica and Elemis, a wide range of massages, manicures, pedicures, plus male grooming options. Price: From £60pp for 2 x 30 minute treatments, afternoon tea and use of the relaxation facilities. Address: The Little Retreat Spa, Oddhouse Farm, Colston Bassett Lane, Owthorpe, Nottinghamshire, NG12 3SF, 01949 81464,

Go Green Spa Day If your girl is something of a green queen, make her day with a healthy spa treat at Eden Hall. Available throughout January and February 2017, this exclusive package offers the unique Matcha Green Tea Body Wrap that’s designed to cleanse your body and boost your immune system, detoxifying body and mind. A fabulous three-course lunch plus full use of all spa facilities are also included. Price: From £125 per person Address: Eden Hall, Elston Village, Newark, Nottinghamshire, NG23 5PG, 01636 525555,

The look of love: If you’re lucky enough to be going out for the night (check out our Valentine’s Eating Out guide for inspiration) then create that perfect romantic look in a few easy in steps… • Fabulous facial: Prep your skin with a dermabrasion facial at Langham Body and Beauty Studio that will ensure the perfect base for make up. The microdermabrasion technique works with microcrystals that slough away unwanted, tired skin cells that cause dull looking skin, leaving a lovely healthy glow. The Body & Beauty Studio, 12 Cold Overton Road, Langham, 07917 672815 • Crowning glory: Sexy hair shouldn’t be too stiff and structured; something he could run his fingers through is just right! The stylists at William Wheelwright in Oakham come highly recommended and prices for a wash and finish of beautiful, tousled curls start from just £15. You could also combine this with a beauty treat or two thanks to the newly opened Alice Brown beauty room. William Wheelwright, 16 Church Street, Oakham, LE15 6AA, 01572 757137, • Silky-soft skin: Relax in the prosecco bar in Moko in Market Harborough before you have an Aveda body wrap, which will leave your skin amazingly soft and nourished all over. An ideal treatment if you’re baring a little more skin than usual at this time of year, it combines exfoliation, body mask and body wrap for the ultimate top to toe treat. Moko Salon and Spa, 2 Church Street, Market Harborough, LE16 7AA, 01858 432525, • The eyes have it: Flirty, fluttery eyelashes don’t need to be fake. Make the most of what nature gave you with an LVL lash treatment at Naomi Nails and Beauty in Market Harborough. This unique treatment straightens lashes at the root to give you that wide-eyed effect without the need for mascara (I recommend a few coats

of L’Oreal telescopic mascara anyway just for extra ‘oomph’). Naomi Nails and Beauty, 14-16 Manor Walk, Market Harborough, LE16 9BP, 01858 657001, www.naominailsbeauty. • Nailed it: If there’s any possibility of a proposal on the cards, you need to ensure your hands and nails are in tip-top condition. For an easy home remedy, simply mix olive oil and sugar together, rubbing the paste into your hands to remove rough skin. Follow with a thick, creamy hand lotion before popping on some cotton gloves to let the moisturiser work its magic overnight. Finish with a trip to the new Ellique nail bar and chose from hundreds of fabulous OPI nail colours – you’ll be ringready in no time! Ellique, 55 South Street, Oakham, 01572 723950

The Ultimate Date Night Look: If you’re looking for a top to toe overhaul, then I would recommend booking early at Creme Hair and Beauty. This Valentine’s Day they are offering their date night duo: a Jessica Geleration gel shape and polish for your hands and cluster lashes to flutter at your date for the amazing price of £30. The beauty team here told me: “Cluster lashes are ideal for a special evening as they have a weightless feel and they’re so easy to take off at home too. Jessica nail products are renowned for being kind to the nails: choose either a flirty red or French polish with glitter on the tips for added sparkle. And if you also need a little assistance with your make-up, we’re here to help too: we offer either 25 minute or 55 minute make-up applications using Mii cosmetics depending how dramatic you’d like your look to be!” Creme Hair and Beauty, The Old Church, 8 Mill Street, Oakham, 01572 723823,

Fitness test – RESULTS! You may remember I wrote about the GRIT fitness and nutrition test carried out by personal trainer Jeanette Wilkinson at Catmose Sports Centre in the January edition of the magazine. Well the results are in – and they’re impressive! The candidates were tested with a BodiTrax machine, which helped to assess any changes in body shape by analysing body fat, water, muscle, and bone mass as well as metabolic age. All of the candidates who completed the trial showed significant improvements across all areas. But the biggest difference came from those two candidates who also completed Jeanette’s Two Week Active Detox as she explained: “I have run these programmes since 2013 and have always had awesome results when people apply my methods. In fact, one of our candidates lost 12lbs and a total of 4 inches off her waist in just 14 days!” Active Detox costs just £45 for the full 14 days which includes recipes and daily support. Contact Jeanette via her Facebook page JFitness Personal Training and Sports Massage or via email GRIT training launched fully in January and Catmose is the first centre in the area to be using Les Mills Smart Tech, the most up to date equipment. Contact Catmose Sports Centre directly for prices and further information. RUTLAND & MARKET HARBOROUGH LIVING FEBRUARY 2017


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Our readers really enjoy receiving Rutland Living through their letterbox each month. So if you enjoy walking and want to earn a little extra money whilst getting some exercise and getting to know your local community then please contact: Tracey Green on 07725 535515 or email: Applicants must be 13 years old or over.



Best Places to Walk the Coast Many of us think of a trip to the beach as something to do when the weather gets warmer, but there is no need to save the seaside for the summer. In fact, winter can be the best time to experience the wild splendour of the coast, with foaming seas, dramatic skies, and deserted sands. Here are three places along the Norfolk coast which show off their best features during the winter months.

Sea Palling (NE of Norwich) Snettisham Beach It’s easy to miss Snettisham Beach, and most people heading for the coast whizz past on their way to the more familiar coastal resorts of Hunstanton, Wells, or Cromer. But, in fact, Snettisham is the closest beach to Stamford, and is well worth a visit, especially in the winter when the holiday parks are closed and the place is practically empty. As you approach the signs to Snettisham village, turn left onto a little beach road. Either park in the RSPB car park, which is free, or carry on to the car park right next to the beach. From there it’s only a short climb over a low line of dunes to the shingle bank and the beach below. If the tide is in, the waves will be lapping right up to the shingle. If the tide is low, you will have a stretch of unspoilt beach of sand and pebbles, perfect for a bracing walk and a great place to take your dog for a run. Turn to the right, and you can walk northwards all the way to Hunstanton, but be prepared for a ten-mile round hike. Walk out along the beach, and return via the inland bank, depending on the tides. Better still, turn to your left and enjoy a circular walk. Follow the path along the top of the beach, with wonderful vistas over the broad expanse of the Wash, and then continue walking around a series of inland lakes. This is an RSPB reserve and is usually teeming with birds. Take your binoculars. Snettisham village is only a few minutes’ drive away on the other side of the A149. It is a typical Norfolk village with a number of cosy teashops, a couple of pubs, and an impressive 14th century church, also well worth a visit.

Like Snettisham, Sea Palling is another overlooked resort. Busy in summer, with crowded holiday parks, the best time to visit this section of the coast is out of season. What makes Sea Palling special? A line of offshore reefs, designed to hold back tidal flooding, has created a series of delightful sandy coves. On either side stretch miles and miles of unspoilt beach, and the resort won the Blue Flag award, in 2016. Turn left and walk along the shore towards the doomed village of Happisburg, with its crumbling cliffs and sea defences. This sight is always a humbling experience and a reminder of the power of the waves. Alternatively, turn right and walk towards the National Nature Reserve of Winterton Dunes. On the way, keep your eyes open for seals, as this section of Norfolk beach is a good place to spot them Sea Palling is a two and a half hours’ drive away from Stamford and so, if you are planning a day trip, an early start is essential. Remember, winter is a great time to visit the Norfolk coast, and to experience wonderful seascapes and empty beaches. But be prepared for wild weather and shorter days. Set your alarm for an early start, wrap up warm in a windproof and waterproof jacket, and don’t forget to take your camera and a pair of binoculars.

Hunstanton Hunstanton is famous for being the only major resort on the Norfolk coast that faces west, and for its dramatic, multi-layered and multi-coloured cliffs. In the summer, Hunstanton is a bustling place, but out of season you can avoid the crowds and really appreciate the special nature of the resort. If the tide is low, walk along the beach and stroll beneath the splendid cliffs. Once you get round past Old Hunstanton the scenery changes, from shingle and cliffs, to sandy beach and dunes. Walk back towards Hunstanton along the top of the cliffs, passing the old lighthouse. Or, if you prefer, continue walking eastwards until you reach Thornham, five miles further along the coast. From there, you can catch the Coasthopper bus back to Hunstanton if you wish. It runs hourly on most days, and two-hourly on Sunday. Don’t forget to take your camera. Check the tides and time your walk to get the most from the views. Late afternoon, when the sun slants in from the west, is the best time to photograph the cliffs. • Ruth Livingstone is a retired GP and long-distance coastal walker. Her recently published book, Walking the English Coast, a Beginner’s Guide, is available from Amazon.





Local carers for the elderly are proud of their gold standards Caring for the elderly is an increasingly important sector. Nick Rennie looks at the range of services available in this area and talked to some of the people who deliver them.


CCORDING to the latest census, in Rutland there are 5,500 people aged 70 or over, which is 14.7 per cent of the population. In the Harborough district, almost one in five residents are 65-year-olds and older. And these senior citizens are living much longer than they did a few generations back. The average life expectancy for women in Rutland at 65 has risen from 85.5 years in 2000 to 88.3, says the Office for National Statistics. Rutland men aged 65 can expect to live another 21 years, which has increased by nearly three years since the New Millennium.

THE CARE HOME Some older people prefer the company of others rather than remaining at home, often after losing a long-term partner. Oak House at Greetham prides itself on offering a place to live that feels like a family home. This is no coincidence as it has been a family-run establishment since being opened by the late Don and Carolyn Walker almost 30 years ago. Their sons now help to run it and one of them, Preston, has fond memories of growing up there. He recalled: “My parents used to say it was the smallest care home in the smallest county. “They only had three residents at the start. Me and my brothers were secondary school age. We used to eat meals and watch TV with the residents.” Residents clearly enjoy living there, with some spending the last 10 to 12 years of their life in the lovely old building, which dates back more than 250 years and was once a pub called the Royal Oak, at a time when amazingly Greetham had 11 pubs. Grace Robinson lived at the home happily until she passed away at the ripe old age of 107. There are 38 full and part-time staff, many of whom are carers, looking after residents in 25 en-suite bedrooms.


Preston, a former Hambleton Hall chef who is kitchen manager at Oak House, is proud of some of the innovations they have introduced, such as the highly nutritional food his staff serve up. He added: “The residents pay a lot of money to live here so they should get the possible food served to them. We’ve had good feedback on the food from everyone.”

break from looking after an older loved one. Part-owner Bridget Hayward, whose clients range in age from 56 to 103, said: “It’s often the first choice of people, to continue living at home. “Some people thrive in the care home environment with the interaction with others and making friendships but, given the choice, many would prefer to stay in their own home.” She added: “We’re very person-centred. If someone is resisting any help but it is clear that they need some form of care, we will say ‘just try it out and see how it goes’.” Home Instead Senior Care has around 100 clients in Market Harborough, Rutland and Corby. Gail Devereux-Batchelor, the company’s MD, takes the unique approach of matching elderly clients with carers based on interests and hobbies so they have something in common. Visits to someone in their own home are a minimum of one hour so there is no rushing and there is plenty of time to nurture a bond of trust and companionship. Gail said: “Everyone wants to be able to stay in the comfort of their own home as long as possible and, when the time comes to have care, to receive it from people they know and can trust.”

HOME CARE SERVICES There are an increasing number of people who hanker to stay in their own homes for as long as they possibly can. Fortunately for those who live in Rutland and Market Harborough there are plenty of highly rated services that can give them the care they need to help them retain independent lifestyles. Bluebird Care has a team of carers who go into people’s homes in the Rutland, Stamford and Peterborough areas. Directors Leisa Mackenzie and Tim Carey have clients who approach them privately or via local authorities or the NHS. Leisa said: “People are living longer and they are looking to continue to live independent lives. “More people are choosing to stay at home rather than going in to some form of institution.” She added: “There are some who resist having any care at first. They think ‘I’m going to lose all control’. But we work with the person to see how we can help them live independently and we make a difference where there is a deficit.” Always Take Care, which has an office in Oakham’s High Street, offers 24-hour care in an individual’s home and its staff also deliver respite care to give relatives a Oak House’s Preston Walker & Debbie Dalby


Gail Devereux-Batchelor, MD of Home Instead Senior Care in Market Harborough, Corby and Rutland (back). With clients (on the sofa) and caregiver in the centre.

DEDICATED CARE PROFESSIONALS We are fortunate in Rutland and Market Harborough to have elderly care services staffed by experienced people who treat the profession as a vocation. Debbie Dalby has looked after residents at Oak House since 1993. She is now care manager at the Greetham home and a director of the business. “The industry has changed a lot since I started out,” said Debbie. “It’s much more regulated than it used to be and people are living longer and staying at home later in life. “Twenty years ago we used to take people in their late 70s and 80s but now it is mostly late 80s and 90s.” Staff have stayed loyal to Oak House, she said, which has helped residents to enjoy their stay and give the home its warm family-style vibe. Debbie added: “We have an open door policy here. We encourage relatives to come in and speak to us about the care their loved ones are getting, which they like.” Bridget Hayward is carrying on the family business through her work at Always Take Care. Mum Heather started the company almost a decade ago and many of the carers they use are from their native Zimbabwe. The good service they provide often leads to recommendations from satisfied clients. “I would say 90 to 95 per cent of our customers are through word-of-mouth,” said Bridget. “We pride ourselves on not getting too big as a business because we want to retain that personal touch for the people we care for.” Gail Devereux-Batchelor’s team at Home Instead Senior Care has grown to 84 caregivers and office staff during the last five years. Her motto for carers is ‘the mum test’, delivering the standard of care they would want for their own family member. “It’s not all about care qualifications or previous care experience,” Gail explained. “If I can see a caring spirit shining, then I think that’s a person I want to have in my team.”

REBUILDING THE REPUTATION OF THE INDUSTRY We’ve all seen press reports where caring professionals have been prosecuted for not meeting standards of care due to cost-cutting measures, a lack of professionalism or plain cruelty. Those incidents are unlikely to happen with carers in Rutland and Harborough, though, with a collective desire to achieve gold standard services for those they look after. Residents at Oak House are encouraged to do activities and exercise classes and volunteers visit regularly to do readings or take flower-arranging classes. There is also a greenhouse where residents can get involved in growing vegetables. Members of the community are also invited into the home every month to have lunch with them, take tours and chat to people. Director Preston Walker said: “We’re very proud of what we do. We like to try and break down the preconceptions that some have about the care home industry.” An example of this is the regular fundraising activities residents take part in. They recently raised £175 for the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance with a raffle in the home. Staff at Home Instead Senior Care have just had a ringing endorsement of their quality of service after the company received an ‘outstanding’ rating from health and social care regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC). This is the highest possible standard the Market Harborough-based business could have achieved.

MD Gail Devereux-Batchelor said: “I have a team of dedicated caregivers who make dignified homecare a reality in the area. “I’m proud to dedicate this ‘outstanding’ rating to my team who make this result possible. I couldn’t have made my dream of dignified care come true without their tireless devotion.” Some of our local care professionals were motivated to raise standards because the industry had received such a bad press. One of them was Leisa Mackenzie, at Bluebird Care, who said: “We came into the business five years ago when there was lots of stuff in the media about the terrible care elderly people were receiving in the UK. “I want my carers to be completely professional in everything they do. We could be double the size we are now as a company but we have resisted this because we want to maintain the high quality of service we give.” The elderly are far more protected by industry guidelines in the present day, compared to two or three generations ago. Bridget Hayward, of Always Take Care, added: “The industry has become more and more regulated which I think can only be a good thing, for the reputation of the carers and for the people we care for.” CARE EXPERTS We are blessed to have respected experts in elderly care in Rutland, such as Aleisha White at the Oakham-based Care Advice Centre. A qualified social worker, she gives clients independent care advice. Aleisha works closely with solicitors, financial advisers and other professionals involved in the provision of care for the elderly. WHERE TO FIND THEM Oak House, Pond Lane, Greetham, Rutland LE15 7NW 01572 812647 Bluebird Care, Peterborough and Rutland 01780 480881 Always Take Care, 9 High Street, Oakham, Rutland LE15 6AH 01572 869138 Home Instead Senior Care, Market Harborough, Corby and Rutland 01858 540317 MarketHarborough Care Advice Centre, Noel Avenue, Oakham Email: 01572 720 705 or 07766 490 473

Aleisha White from The Care Advice Centre RUTLAND & MARKET HARBOROUGH LIVING FEBRUARY 2017


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Depending on the complexity of your health care needs, it may be possible that the NHS should be paying for your care at home or in a care home. It is also possible to reclaim care fees paid retrospectively. Aleisha from The Care Advice Centre has helped many families to reclaim substantial amounts of care fees paid. Aleisha also provides independent advice on all care issues, including setting up care packages at home or helping to find an appropriate care home. For a free initial chat please call Aleisha on 01572 720705 or email her at

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UPDATES Shops & Services

Are your legal affairs in order?


OU cannot predict what will happen in life, however you can plan for both the best and the worst circumstances that may arise. “We provide legal advice and guidance around protecting your estate and assets as you get older as well as managing changes that can happen in your family life,” says Claire Clarke, Trusts and Probate Solicitor at Hegarty Solicitors. The Hegarty Solicitors Trusts and Probate department can advise on creating trusts, preparing wills as well as probate applications and the administration of estates. They look at all aspects of safeguarding your future, including areas such as inheritance planning, later life planning and the granting of Lasting Powers of Attorney where you can appoint trusted people to make decisions on your behalf. Claire says, “Many people think it is just about creating a will but it is much more. It is still surprising how many people have not made the time to prepare a will with a Solicitor – there are many misconceptions about the intestacy rules that apply when there is no will – especially in these days of blended and extended families and even more so with those who own and run a business.” “Legal planning is a responsibility that can easily be put off until another day, and concerns weigh heavily on elderly clients but also on families who also want to protect them.” “There is a sense of relief for my clients who have made provision for the future. Some families feel it is a difficult subject to broach, but it actually takes a lot of thought and consideration and I think it shows how much people care.”

£9m paid in stamp duty by Rutland residents This month, our local buy-to-let expert and property investment advisor, David Crooke, owner of UPP Property Agents, reports on the annual stamp duty paid by Rutland residents.


PART from some minor exemptions, ‘stamp duty’ is paid by anyone buying a property over £125,000 in the UK. This raises £10.68bn a year for the HM Treasury – interesting when compared with £27.6bn in fuel duty, £10.69bn in alcohol duty and £9.48bn in tobacco duty. In the latest set of data from HMRC, property buyers in the Rutland constituency paid £9million stamp duty in one year alone… although that’s not as much as the eye-watering £324million in income tax paid. George Osborne introduced an additional tax for landlords and from 1st April 2016 they had to pay a further 3% stamp duty surcharge on top of the normal stamp duty rate when purchasing a buy-to-let (BTL) property.

• For more information call Claire at Hegarty Solicitors on 01572 757 565 or email claire. clarke@hegarty. See more at www.hegarty.

Deutsche Bank issued a report suggesting the new surcharge could see house prices fall by as much as 20%. In data released by HMRC for Quarter 2 (Q2), those fears seemed justified – only one in seven properties purchased was a second home or BTL. There was a slump of property transactions after 1st April as landlords rushed through their property purchases in March to beat the April deadline. In Q2 of 2016, £1.976bn was raised in stamp duty from residential property. Of that £1.976bn, £652m was paid by BTL landlords. By Q3, the numbers improved significantly. Of the 235,000 property sales, nearly one in four of them were bought by BTL landlords and of the £2.208bn in stamp duty, £864m was paid in ‘normal’ stamp duty by BTL landlords and £442m paid by those same landlords in the additional stamp duty surcharge. The statistics suggest BTL investors have not been deterred by the stamp duty surcharge; 65.4% of BTL purchases cost less than £250,000, 23.7% were in the £250k to £500k range and 10.9% cost over £500k. Nearly one in four of £500k properties were BTL properties. It just goes to back up reports that many investors had rushed to make purchases before 31st March 2016, making figures in the following months (Q2) artificially low when the 3% supplement was introduced, but in Q3 the number of buy-to-let properties purchased increased by 85%. • For more analysis and opinion on the Rutland property market, visit the Rutland Property Blog:




HARBOROUGH HAPPENINGS Shops & Services in Market Harborough

Local knitting donations bring joy to orphans in Nepal


HE residents of a children’s home in Nepal are a little warmer this winter, thanks to the contribution of a local knitting group. Donations of blankets from Lubenham Knit’n’Natter group, as well as scarves from the Inner Wheel Group and ski jackets were delivered to the Hope Centre in Nepal by local couple Charles and Anne Barton on a recent trip to Nepal. The Market Harborough couple have been trustees of the New Futures Nepal charity, which runs two children’s homes in the country, for 14 years. Along with other trustees, the couple regularly visit and have been personally involved in fundraising and helping to set up the centres. The Hope Centre near Kathmandu houses 28 Nepalese children who would otherwise be homeless, providing carers, education and medical support. The delivery was a chance for Anne and Charles to meet and get to know new children whom they had only seen in pictures. Three of the latest arrivals, Diwas (6), Dolma (8) and her five-year-old sister Chhring are all earthquake orphans. “All the trustees have a personal connection to the charity,” Anne explained. “We know the children and see first-hand

exactly where the money goes and the joy that even the most simplest of items can bring. We both turned 70 last year so it was nice to still be able to make the journey. Charles left me in Kathmandu whilst he trekked east to a remote earthquake community.” The couple also brought back messages and photographs to supporters so they could see the difference that their help makes to the children, including photos of the children enjoying their knitted contributions. Charles explains: “One local person who has been sponsoring two children for over 12 years is always pleased to receive our photos and amazed and proud at how his support has helped them grow into young adults, one at college and one at work.”

“We have seen many of these children grow up since 2002 and are so proud of what they have achieved. Between them there are two qualified nurses, four engineers, one health clinic manager, one pharmacy assistant and two working in tourism and hotels. Without the Hope Centre, these children would have faced a bleak future.” Nepal is still recovering from the effects of a series of devastating earthquakes in 2015. In the aftermath, New Futures Nepal helped raise funds for first aid kits, stretchers, zinc roofing and tarpaulins. • For more information about the Hope Centre of New Futures Nepal, email Charles at or visit

Pitsford School open day


PEN days are about giving parents and pupils alike access to all that a school has to offer. It’s about getting a feel for the school, the staff and pupils. Pitsford School Open day seeks to do just that. On the day, pupil guides provide an alternative viewpoint on a tour of the school, taking in classrooms, libraries and recreational areas, whilst teachers and staff are on hand to answer further questions from prospective parents and pupils. Pitsford prides itself on its friendly atmosphere and caring approach, whilst expectations of pupils are high and they are motivated to be ambitious, it is all done within a supportive environment. Small class sizes allow for more individual attention and excellent exam results are

achieved, whilst after school activities and wrap around care offer the opportunity for children to socialise and develop their individuality. Set in the same grounds, both Junior and Senior schools benefit from a beautiful 26-acre site in rural Northamptonshire. The green open spaces provide a secure and positive setting for study, which can be fully experienced on the day. Parents and pupils will also be able to experience a taste of the freshly cooked school meals that our onsite kitchen provides. Refreshments will also be provided in the Sports Café, where visitors will be able take the opportunity to ask further questions or simply relax with a drink and some cake. RUTLAND & MARKET HARBOROUGH LIVING FEBRUARY 2017




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OAKHAM VETERINARY HOSPITAL The New Year so often marks the start of a healthier lifestyle for many of us so why not extend this to your pets?


n basic terms, as an owner you are responsible for maintaining the balance between calorie intake and energy output which equates to a healthy weight for your pet. As a disease obesity can be the cause of many health problems and will ultimately lower your pet’s life expectancy. For cat owners this can mean juggling the different needs of both ‘indoor’ and ‘outdoor’ cats. For dog owners this will depend hugely on the breed, size and activity level of your pet. Other factors to take into account are whether or not your pet has been neutered. Not everyone is aware of the automatic increase in desire to consume food that this procedure will have on your pet. Coupled with the fact that their metabolic rate will reduce by up to 30% it is inevitable that their diet will need to change to react to these factors. Please see the factsheets on our website ( for more specific guidance for cat and dog owners. Free weight watcher clinics with our qualified veterinary nurses can provide your pet with a body condition score and an ongoing weight

management plan which will lead to a healthier pet in the long term. We have achieved Cat Friendly Clinic gold standard accreditation for the facilities and care that we offer, making us the only clinic in Stamford and Rutland with this accolade. Our ‘Cat Advocate’, Registered Veterinary Nurse Rachel Bell, has just received her ISFM Certificate in Feline Friendly Nursing. To celebrate this we are offering free feline nurse clinics with Rachel throughout January and February. These can be used for a general check up, minor procedure or just advice on your cat’s health and wellbeing. Please phone 01572 722646 for more information or to book an appointment. The seasonally low temperatures this time of year are responsible for some fabulous, frosty morning walks. However, for those pets who suffer from conditions such as osteoarthritis a run around on the frozen ground might be the last thing they feel like doing. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition of cartilage and bone where the cartilage in the joint breaks down faster than it can repair. Some pets may limp, others may show only mild signs of stiffness after getting up in the

mornings, or may have difficulty getting up steps or into the car. Arthritis is a progressive, painful condition, which can’t be cured. However, there are lots of ways we can help your pet to relieve their pain and suffering. We can provide pain relief either with anti-inflammatory drugs or more alternative ways such as acupuncture. Please see our website for more information on acupuncture or phone to book an initial assessment with vets Rachel Bowen or Eve Tarleton. It is important that your pet is kept fit to help with weight control and also because fit muscles will help support the arthritic joints. Shorter, more frequent walks are advised and lead exercise is preferable to running, jumping and chasing games.



A tragic Hollywood love affair WORDS: CAROLINE ASTON


February is the month of romance - moonlight, roses, chocolates and Valentine cards sent by secret admirers. And who would have thought that quiet Barleythorpe village, close by Oakham, has an amazing link to a Hollywood love affair…?

Y 1939 suave, sophisticated actor David Niven was an established star in the Hollywood constellation. In his hugely amusing and very witty autobiography ‘The Moon’s a Balloon’, he gives us a colourful look through the keyhole of his life. He’d arrived in Tinseltown from England in 1935. Urbane, charming and deliciously British, he managed to get a contract with Sam Goldwyn and rapidly developed into a dependable leading man. When World War II broke out 29-year-old Niven, who had made 22 films by then, turned his back on his burgeoning movie career and came home to do his bit. Enlisting in the Rifle Brigade he was the first major star to join the armed forces. Dashingly dazzling in his uniform, the actor caused many a female heart to flutter but Cupid’s arrow hit him hard one night in London when he was dining at the Cafe de Paris. He was riveted by a tall, elegant blonde foxtrotting on the dance floor in the blue uniform of the Womens’ Auxiliary Air Force. He was, to use a phrase of today, gobsmacked. Introduced to this goddess he later wrote that he ‘found himself gazing into a face of such beauty and such sweetness that I just stared blankly back’. The mystery blonde was Primula Rollo, known to Niven as ‘Primmie, and the two married nine months later on 21st September 1941 in Wiltshire. Their apparently blissful union produced two sons, David Jnr and Jamie. The family returned to Los Angeles after the war, where her husband’s film star friends warmly welcomed the new Mrs Niven. In 1946, barely two months after their arrival, David and Primmie were invited to a small party thrown in their honour by hearthrob Tyrone Power and his wife Annabella. Primmie adored the Power’s house - this beautiful sprawling Spanish-style mansion in Bel Air had been built by Al Jolson, singing star of the first talkie, for his third wife Ruby Keeler in the late 20s. The marriage hit the rocks and Jolson sold the place to Power who had married Annabella there. The party might have been small but it was decidedly glitzy. Fellow guests included Rex Harrison and his wife Lilli Palmer, Cesar Romero and Gene Tierney among others. Cocktails were shaken and Champagne flowed - it was a good evening for all concerned. Someone suggested playing hide and seek in the dark, a game known as ‘Sardines’. Twenty eight-year-old Primmie entered into the spirit of things and looked for a hiding place. Seeing what she thought was the door of a coat closet she opened it and stepped inside... Only to realise, too late, that the door led on to a steep flight of stairs down to the cellar. Ty Power heard a sudden cry followed by some muffled thuds. He found Primmie lying unconscious at the bottom of the cellar steps. She was mortally injured and died the next day from her terrible head injuries.



So how does Barleythorpe fit into all this? Well, for some years it was home to Captain the Hon. William Hereward Charles Rollo. Primmie was his daughter from his first marriage to Lady Katherine Hill whom he’d married in 1917. The two divorced in the year Primmie died and ‘Bill’ Rollo was to die in a hunting accident in 1962. Incidentally, Lady Katherine was a daughter of the 6th Marquis of Downshire, a maverick aristocrat who often swapped places with his chauffeur and drove his own steamroller round his estate at Wokingham. He divorced Katherine’s mother in 1902 - and here is a final Valentine’s twist to the story. After the divorce ‘Kitty’ Downshire married a man called Joe Laycock. Joe was a real ladies’ man, renowned for his love affairs and he was rumoured to be the REAL father of Daisy, Countess of Warwick’s youngest child. Formerly a favourite mistress of the future King Edward VII, Lady Warwick was 41 when she fell pregnant and had her baby daughter christened ‘Mercy’ because that was what she exclaimed to her doctor on being told that she was in an interesting condition!

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Ruth Madoc says ‘Hi-de-hi!’ to Curve Much loved star of stage and screen, Ruth Madoc is best known for playing love-struck Yellow Coat Gladys Pugh in the iconic 1980s TV series Hi-De-Hi. More recently Ruth has appeared in Little Britain, Casualty and Benidorm and this month she stars as Grandma Rosie in The Wedding Singer at Curve. Amander Meade spoke to Ruth during rehearsals for the show. You were born in Norwich but we always think of you as Welsh – do you feel Welsh through and through? Yes I really do. My parents were both very busy working in medicine during the war when I was born, so as a very young child I was taken to Swansea and placed in the safe care of my maternal grandmother, Etta Williams and that’s where I feel my roots were put down.

You gained a place at RADA at only sixteen years old – where did your urge to perform originate? Well my grandmother and mother both had wonderful singing voices and I was brought up with music in the family so would sing at any opportunity. I also think my mother would have liked to be a performer if she hadn’t pursued a career in nursing so the whole family was very proud and supportive of my choices. Both my Grandmother and mother lived to see Hi-De-Hi and that is something I really cherish.

How did the iconic role of Gladys come about?

Well I have been very lucky indeed and have worked solidly since leaving RADA. I met Jimmy Perry whilst working in rep almost fifty years ago; he became a dear friend and wrote the part of Gladys for me, which was a dream come true.

Can you go anywhere without someone shouting your famous catchphrase? Yes and no… I am 30 years older now of course so people sometimes look at me and think ‘is it her?’. I used to do wonderful summer seasons in seaside towns and it was Lionel Blair who taught me always to be respectful of the part that gave me so much and to appreciate the attention of the public. It’s about a mutual respect. The 10 years I spent working on Hi-De-Hi were some of the happiest in my life so the show is definitely a blessing and never a curse.

Are you looking forward to your role in The Wedding Singer? I can’t wait! It’s a wonderful part. I had heard so much about Curve before arriving here and it really is a superb theatre. I was in Calendar Girls at the De Montfort Hall a



few years ago and love Leicester – there are some wonderful restaurants here.

Are you happier on stage or on TV?

I genuinely love both. I’m very lucky that I can still sing and have plenty of energy so lots of opportunities come my way. I do wish I had done Hello Dolly but have left it about 15 years too late I think.

What would surprise theatre goers to know about you?

I can’t swim. I come from a long line of seafaring ancestors and apparently none of them could swim either. • The Wedding Singer starring Ruth alongside Ray Quinn and Jon Robyns runs between Friday 10 and Saturday 18 February. Book tickets at or Tel: 0116 242 3595



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