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Loving where we live!



Everything you need to make your home festive


Tips from local Chefs

@StamfordLiving1 Stamford Living

Christmas Gifts For Him, For Her, for the kids

DECEMBER 2016 £1.50

Food/Fashion/Health & Beauty/Home & Garden/Lifestyle


9 771478 377017





December Contents


HAT a year it has been politically. Big changes, an uncertain world; some will feel it is for the better, others for the worse. My favourite political commentator, Matthew Parris, says we shouldn’t get too worked up about it, change is always more gradual than we imagine and life goes on. Anyway, the events of this year make the values of Christmas feel more relevant that ever – the importance of caring for each other, friendships, family, a chance to come off the day to day treadmill and reflect a little on ‘a life well lived’. Many happy returns of the Season.

Nicholas Rudd-Jones Editor

@StamfordLiving1 Stamford Living Editor and Publisher Nicholas Rudd-Jones 01780 765571 Write to Stamford Living, PO Box 208, Stamford, PE9 9FY Advertisement Manager Claudia Bayley 01780 482828 Advertising Copy Rachel Beecroft 01780 765320 Head of Design Steven Handley Designer Sarah Compton Publisher Nicholas Rudd-Jones 01780 765571 Published by Local Living Ltd, PO Box 208, Stamford, Lincs. PE9 9FY Printed by Warners of Bourne Cover photo this month: This wreath was prepared and photographed by Tracy Burr of The Flower House in St Mary’s St. Pop down and order yours!



UPDATES, SHOPPING 10 Santa Fun Run, Claire Murphy workshop, Russell & Jones 24 Local Christmas Gifts: For Him, For Her, for the kids

FASHION, HEALTH & BEAUTY 6 Party dresses 20 Christmas beauty gifting special

HOME & GARDEN 12 Decorate for Christmas in style 16 Christmas Decorations: Everything you need to make your home festive 37 Property: UPP, English Limestone Co. 56 Architecture: Civic Society Awards 59 Nature & nurture at Barnsdale Gardens 63 Snow Design’s Kraft Club

FOOD & DRINK 34 Wine recommendations from Bat & Bottle 40 Your Local Christmas Pantry 44 Cooking for Christmas: Tips from our local Chefs 48 Manor Cookery School 50 Eating Out: Jackson Stops; Bread, Meat, Cheese hamper 53 Olive Branch: Christmas recipes 78 James Bowie, new GM at Barnsdale Lodge



38 Places to go, people to see 54 Child-friendly Stamford: Pantos, roller skating 64 Local History; Under Attack! 66 Pet Page: Christmas dangers for your pet 74 Local Walk: Ely 81 What’s On

PEOPLE & PLACES 78 Ask Leo: A Victorian Christmas 86 Stamford People: James Ellis, Musicality Gig




Claudia wears Isabel Marant dress £150 Arch

Victoria wears burgundy French Connection dress £90 John Lewis


Party Dresses It was hard to feel Christmassy when planning this issue’s Party Dress photoshoot at Wadenhoe House. Sally Stillingfleet spent a barmy day in October with models Victoria Magnall and Claudia Bayley to highlight the very best luxurious fabrics and winter colours highlighted in and around our glamorous location - get ready to party!

Claudia wears Maison Scotch blue velvet jacket £175 and Silvian Heech faux leather skirt £75 both Energy



Victoria (right) wears silver silk Modern Rarity (New range!) dress £200 with silver John Lewis necklace both John Lewis. Claudia wears Glamorous pink cami £22 and culottes £35 with YaYa silk kimono £75 all Energy. Silver Clarks shoes £60 Cottons (Oundle)




Victoria wears grey sequined dress £69.98 Diversity Boutique. Lotus shoes £59.99 Marcia May Shoes

Claudia wears Maison Scotch pink top £90 Energy

Claudia wears Maison Scotch dress £140 Energy with Kylie and Kendall velvet heels £130 both Energy. Fendi Baguette bag £350 Arch

Victoria wears fringed Patrizia Pepe dress £120 Arch with shoes from Office Shoes

CONTACTS Energy – Ironmonger St. Stamford. Tel. 01780 765633 Arch Label Agency – 43 St. Paul’s St. Tel. 01780 764 746 Marcia May Shoes – 41 St. Mary’s St. Stamford. Tel. 01780 766608 John Lewis - Queensgate Centre, Peterborough. Tel. 01733 344644 Office Shoes – Queensgate Centre, Peterborough. Tel. 01733 894779 Diversity Boutique – Oysths Lane, Oundle. Tel. 01832 270330 Cottons – 7 Market Place, Oundle. Tel. 01832 272534 Many thanks to Sacha from Gerards Hair and Beauty – Tel. 01780 753002 and to Laura Thomson-Dunne for doing the fabulous party make-up Tel. 07399 591343 / Website




ANY thanks to Sacha, who did the hair for our photoshoot (newly qualified Level 3 Hairdresser and former apprentice with Gerards) Sacha has had a run of competition wins to add to her qualifications. 1st in the Regional rounds, followed by the prestigious ATH Blackpool finals, where she came 3rd in the Bridal category overall. She really enjoys doing hair up, whatever the event and is always willing to try new things and extend her creative talents. She can be contacted via the salon. Currently there is an introductory offer for the two new members to the Gerards team. £25 for a cut and blow-dry or £60 for a colour, cut and blow-dry. Wadenhoe House (near Oundle), Peterborough, PE8 5SR For weddings, business and pleasure. Phone: 01832 720777 Weddings: Events: Accommodation: Pictures by Elli Dean (07932 055548)


UPDATES Women’s Stories: ‘What our words say about us’ This is a retreat-style workshop for women being held on Saturday 14 January 2017 at the Stamford Arts Centre (10.00 until 16.30).


HE day will be facilitated by Claire Murphy – a vibrant and compassionate meditation and yoga teacher with more than 25 years’ experience. As an avid practitioner of mindful activities, she has been exploring the benefits of mindful and wild writing for more than 3 years. The day will incorporate several mindful activities (no prior experience required): Restorative yoga – deeply relaxing and nourishing yoga practices, aimed to leave you feeling balanced and revitalised. Meditation – periods of stillness with guided practices throughout the day to enable inner reflection on the writing practices themselves. Mindful writing – using a variety of prompts and topics, suitable for the novice as well as aspiring writers alike. Expressive writing (journaling or writing about how you feel) is linked to improved mood and wellbeing and is also known to reduce stress for those who do it regularly. “Writing is the process one follows to learn what is already known deep within: it sharpens the spirit, disciplines the mind and leads to solutions. In the spaces between words and solitude observe what happens when words and silence meet. Words matter. Pay attention. Write to learn what you know.” [Mary Anne Radmacher] • Further details / online booking can be found at: workshops or by calling Claire on 07980 415698 Early-bird pricing is available until 01 December 2016 (£40.00) rising to £50.00 after this date.

One Touch Football Holiday Courses O

NE Touch Football are going to be running festive football fun/development days. The sessions will be for BOYS & GIRLS from ages 4 to 12 years, from beginners to more experience players. The days will be based on learning new skills in a fun and relaxed environment. All the football courses will include football inflatables! Book now, £12 per day. All venues will have indoor facilities so there will be no cancellations! Venues Address Dates Age Grantham Huntingtower School, Huntingtower Road, NG31 7AU 19th & 20th December 4 - 12 Great Casterton Great Casterton Primary School, PE9 4AT 19th & 20th December 4 - 12 Cottesmore Community Centre, 23 Main Street, Cottesmore, 20th December 4 - 12 Oakham, Rutland, LE15 7DH Oundle Oundle CE Primary School, Cotterstock Road, Oundle, 21st / 22nd December 4 - 12 Northamptonshire, PE8 5HA • Visit for booking form.



Russell and Jones M

AYBE you are looking to add something different to your home, moving into a new house or just redecorating. You’ll find just the right thing to put a smile on your face at Russell and Jones in St George’s Mews. The range is constantly changing as they are passionate about finding new products for you. Whatever you are looking for you will discover beautiful things, something a little bit different when you visit the shop and there are lots of fabulous Christmas decorations for you to adorn your homes with. • 2-4 The George Hotel Mews, High Street, St Martins, Stamford PE9 2LB Tel: 01780 481033

The Tenth Annual Santa Fun Run Sun 11th Dec at Burghley Park starting at 11am


HARITIES who wish to raise funds this year will get some help from the Rotary Club of Stamford Burghley this year. All you have to do is find 20 people or more to take part; register on line at and Rotary will donate £50 towards your charity. In addition, any individual who books their run from this article will be entered into a free draw, with a chance of winning £100 - to be donated towards their Charity. When you register, quote (Stamford Living) after your name on the entry form and you will go automatically into the draw. A “Santa Doggy” competition is to be held prior to the start of the Fun Run. To take part, just turn up with your dog on a lead and dressed as Santa! Register in the Orange tent between 10am and 10.30am. Please have your Santa Fun Run number ready. The prizes for the winners of the best dressed dog will be donated by Pets’ Korner and Green Pantry. The President of Burghley Rotary, Geoff Mayling, would like to thank: Anne Corder Recruitment, Concept Magazine, Don Paddy’s Restaurant, Falcon Hotel Uppingham, Aveland Hospitality, Borderville Sports Stadium, Pets’ Korner, Green Pantry, Sharman’s Agriculture and PC Howard Transport. • For information on last year’s event, see ‘Stamford Santa Fun Run’

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas

RUSSELL & JONES Home Accessories, Jewellery & Gifts 2-4 The George Hotel Mews High Street St Martins Stamford PE9 2LB Open every day up to Christmas

01780 481033 email

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Christmas in Style! Christmas! A time to introduce fun, warmth and magic to your interior décor; what could be better? With the wonderful array of Christmas decorations hitting Stamford shops, I encourage you to find your Christmas spirit and start planning your design. It may be the whole house; it may simply be the dining table or front porch. However far you go, make it feel magical and welcoming. After all, the Christmas spirit is all about giving. Rannveig Stone.

‘Less is more’ is not a phrase one might associate with Christmas. On the contrary it plays a very important part. Do not be tempted to layer tacky tinsel over every day ornaments. Christmas decorations work best against other Christmas decorations. Once you have relocated Aunt Bessie’s flowery vase to the loft, cleaned away the cobwebs and swept away the autumn leaves you will be ready to add that Christmas sparkle to your home. With a little bit of thought and attention your home will feel magical and cosy and a place you will enjoy during this often hectic and fabulously crazy season. Swapping your regular art work around creates an instant up lift. This works at Christmas too. Why not swap key art work / family photographs for one of Father Christmas or a beautiful wreath. It helps to pull the whole look together if the art above the table top decorations is of a complementary theme.

The biggest trend this season seems to be woodland animals. There are robins galore, pheasants, hedgehogs and squirrels all ready to take part in your wintry decorations. “The Robins look great on trees or can be used to add fun to homemade wreaths; they are also really good value” says Steph O’Flaherty from Floral Silk.



For the dining table sprinkle, fake snow around white wooden trees and star adorned white candle light; layer on top of a red festive table cloth, surround with clear glass and white crockery to create an elegant Christmas setting; very simple but ultra effective.

Obvious areas to decorate are the front door, porch and fire place. If your property doesn’t boast a fireplace, then a radiator cover or wreath hung on a mirror can be equally as effective. Consider a beautiful garland draped across, with this season forest animals dotted about within. Don’t forget the odd splash of red – whatever your Scheme, this colour screams festive!

Lighting is so important. Illuminating the dining room like Blackpool tower does not evoke a cosy atmosphere. Dim overhead and wall lights if possible; and turn on lamps and better still, candle light. There are some beautiful lanterns and candle votives out in the shops now and to carry the Christmas theme into the bedrooms a beautiful star light in the window will do the trick.

Complementing the woodland animals, table top trees are becoming increasingly popular and bring Christmas into any room in the house. They come in all styles, from natural wood, painted, frosted and jewel encrusted. Mixed together with illuminated table top houses they create a rustic winter wonderland.


• Every front door needs a Christmas wreath, the first place to start! • Swap day to day ornaments for festive pieces to avoid feeling cluttered. • Fire surrounds & stairs are a perfect place to weave a beautiful garland! • Cute Christmas touches to the dining table create instant conversation! • Get those carols blaring– it helps bring out the Christmas spirit! • Keep your lighting subdued and cosy; use the dimmer switch! • Light up the windows to create a friendly warm glow for passers by.

For those of us who are timepoor, keeping it simple counts, but how can this be festive? Consider keeping your tree understated with pinecones, white lights and a splash of red here and there. Red tartan mixed with warm leathers, natural fabrics and woven baskets may appeal to those of you less fond of the ‘bling’ or the effort decorating takes! Keeping the tree understated is strangely a brave move but one that can be ultra effective if layered correctly and day to day paraphernalia removed.

CONTACTS: The Stamford Garden Centre Tel; 01780 765656 Web; Chez Soi Tel; 01780 482845 The Flower House, Stamford. Tel; 01780 753225 Web; You, Living & Giving Tel; 01780 765001 Web;

Snow Designs & Interiors Tel; 01780 751551 Web; Waterside Garden Centre Web; Nook Furniture Co Ltd Tel; 01780 751029 Photography by Elli Dean; Web; Tel; 07932 055548






Where to shop to get the Christmas look? A selection from some of our wonderful retailers for this Christmas season….go forth and spend with festive abandon! Rannveig Stone

Deep green embroidered tree decoration, ever so elegant, ever so evergreen! £9.95 White metal wreath, it’s all in the detail with this piece; beautiful on a dark background. £32.95 Moss and Pine cone heart wreath – in various sizes. From £16.95 Chez Soi Tel; 01780 482845

Beautiful bronze baubles sit perfectly with those deep red tartan touches. £1.99

For the quirky souls of Stamford, a kitsch hippo and goose will raise a smile. £8.99

Cheeky Mr Pheasant will enjoy a place on the Christmas tree this year! £7.99

Sparkly fake snow; perfect for scattering on table tops and window sills. £5.99

A collection of table top houses; add battery operated fairy lights to the interior and watch them glow. From £7.50

These gorgeous little woodland creatures perfectly complement those rustic scenes. £5.99

Bronze is the new gold – pure elegance. £32.99

Snow covered Pine trees to bring a touch of Norway to our British homes. £14.95

The Stamford Garden Centre Tel; 01780 765656 Web;

You, Living & Giving Tel; 01780 765001 Web;



Star shaped, antique glass votives in 2 different sizes; group together for maximum impact. From £3.50-£3.95 Snow Designs & Interiors Tel; 01780 751551 Web;

Free-standing Santas dressed in a wintry getup, lovely by fireplaces and front doors. £17.99 Waterside Garden Centre Web;

Small artificial red poinsettia; Perfect for that splash of red! £4.99 Red berries, cone and pine needle sprigs from £2.99, Copper vases at £7.50 and winter spice potpourri £5. What’s not to love! Ever popular and easy to hang the Kiss Mistletoe bundle £5.99 The Flower House, Stamford. Tel; 01780 753225 Web; STAMFORD LIVING DECEMBER 2016



Party Lashes £20 Jessica Geleration Nails or Toe Nails £18 Eyebrow Thread/Wax and Tint £18 Eyebrow Thread/Wax £8 Party Makeup & Hair Styled £50 Full Set Nouveau Lashes with Cassie £35 Lycon Brazilian/Hollywood £25 Fake Bake Manual Application Tan £15 35% off Hair Colour, Cuts and Blow Dry

Join us for Mince Pies and Bubbly every day in December B O O K E A R LY TO AV O I D D I S A P P O I N T M E N T **Not in conjunction with any other offers. Offer expires 31 Dec 2016


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Christmas beauty gifting special Genevieve Potter sources some luxurious beauty treats to make Christmas merry, bright and beautiful


F buying a beauty-related gift for a loved one this Christmas entails a hasty trip to a high street chemist for a tub of bath salts, a re-think is in order! Consider instead all of the wonderful treats and experiences that are available from Stamford’s beauty

Equilibrium’s top picks Neom intensive skin treatment candle (£36) available in ‘tranquility’ and ‘de-stress’ This is one of my very favourite gifts, combining potent aromatherapy with a gorgeously hydrating treat for the skin. Light the candle for 30 minutes, allowing it to form a pool of oil, then blow out and let it cool for two minutes, making it the perfect temperature for application to the skin. Drizzle the warm oil over any part of the body; it’s ideal for legs, hands, feet, and arms or even better, a warm, all-over body massage oil. The ‘tranquility’ treatment candle is a heavenly blend of English lavender, sweet basil and jasmine. Thalgo Atlantic Spa Ritual, £35 (contents worth £77.40) The perfect gift for the men in your life from iconic French brand Thalgo, this is a great value gift set, packed with anti-ageing skincare and body treatments. It includes the aquatic massage oil, scrub and the revered Oceane silky body milk. Equilibrium gift voucher - OFFER If you can’t decide what to buy someone, but want to give them the “me time” they deserve, an Equilibrium gift voucher fits the bill perfectly. These can be made out for any monetary value or for a specific treatment, and there’s no minimum amount. This Christmas there’s a very special offer just for Stamford Living readers. Receive an additional 20% in value when purchasing your Equilibrium gift voucher on or before 20th November 2016 – for example purchase a £50 voucher and it will be made out for £60 – please mention Stamford Living at the time of purchase. • Equilibrium, 7 St Paul’s Street, Stamford, PE9 2BE Tel: 01780 757579



salons. I’ve sourced some of the very best; from high-tech patches that promise to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, to fabulous hair products, to some wonderfully indulgent organic therapies for face and body.

Renaissance top picks Micheline Arcier Aromatherapie products These beautiful bath and body oils are exclusive to Renaissance in this area and make a perfect and indulgent Christmas gift. Priced from £15. Medik8 ultimate eye kit (£49) Medik8 is a brand of ‘green’ cosmeceutical skincare. For Christmas, Renaissance stock a range of kits in branded pouches and the ultimate eye kit is a favourite for nourished, brighter eyes. Renaissance gift vouchers If you’re in a hurry, Renaissance gift vouchers can be ordered by ‘phone and sent out on the same day. Available for any amount, they are valid for six months. • Renaissance, 2 Mallory Lane, Stamford PE9 2AZ Tel: 01780 763768

Gerards top picks A trio of Aveda hand relief cream – instant hydration for hard-working winter hands, they work in tandem to hydrate, soften and improve suppleness. Luxury Aveda hair treatments, bespoke to your hair type. Aveda’s award-winning hair products address a range of hair issues, from thinning to colour-treated hair and just about everything in between. Limited edition Aveda body products – including calming or energising oils that can be used to treat the hair, face and body. All of these Aveda treats can be gift wrapped in hand-made Nepalese Christmas gift boxes – prices start from £8.50 and gifts can be tailor-made to suit your budget. • Gerards, George Hotel Mews, Stamford, PE9 2LB Tel: 01780 753002

Advanced Skin Clinic top picks

Francesca Alexander’s top picks

Environ Christmas gift box (from £155.90) This year’s stylish Environ box contains seven of the cult brand’s skin care staples, including a full sized AVST moisturizer..

Bumble and Bumble hairdresser’s ‘wishes do come true’ set (£33) Comprising a shampoo, conditioner and ‘invisible’ oil, this stylish gift set will transform hair, even if it’s suffering from frosty winter air.

MPL permanent hair reduction Whist it may not seem like the most romantic gift, reducing unwanted facial or body hair can provide a major confidence boost. The Advanced Skin Clinic offer clients the Skin First machine, an advanced system that’s safer and more comfortable than traditional laser treatments. The clinic offers a 15% discount off a course of six treatments (please mention Stamford Living at the time of purchase). Jane Iredale Christmas make up gift sets Two limited edition Christmas gift bags for eyes or lips and cheeks, containing all the essentials you need (£39.95 each). Eyes - new naked smooth affair for eyes, gold 24-karat gold dust shimmer powder and a black eye pencil. Lips and cheeks - new Cindy pure moist lipstick, crimson lip pencil and sheer honey pure pressed blush. • The Advanced Skin Clinic, 8 High Street St Martin’s, Stamford PE9 2LF Tel: 01780 481155

Bumble and Bumble thickening ‘the height of holiday chic’ set (£22) A trio of thickening essentials for a soiree-worthy style, this set comprises a shampoo and conditioner and a thickening hairspray. The result is fuller looking, shiny hair. Bumble and Bumble prêt-à-powder (£22) The perfect stocking filler, this product is equal parts dry shampoo, style extender and volume when you’re in a rush. It’s brilliant at making yesterday’s hairstyle ready to wear again. • Francesca Alexander Hair and Beauty, 7 Ironmonger Street, Stamford, PE9 1PL Tel: 01780 482888 www.

The Ivy Lodge top picks Elemis gift sets The Ivy Lodge has the full range of this season’s Gift Sets from Elemis, including the popular ‘Treasures of the Sea’ anti-ageing pro-collagen trio that’s clinically proven to firm and smooth the complexion. The salon also stocks the beautifully scented Elemis ‘glow’ candles. Elemis gift sets start from £32.50, glow candles £27.50. Jessica nail gift bags Polished nails are a must during the festive season; and Jessica gift sets have some fabulous new colour ranges including ‘into the wild’. Dare to go to the dark side with these sumptuous new shades, presented in a gold snakeskin cosmetic bag (£19.95). The Ivy Lodge gift vouchers Gift vouchers make a wonderfully thoughtful gift and you can select any of the treatments available at The Ivy Lodge, or simply give a specific value. They are valid for 12 months from the date of purchase. • The Ivy Lodge, Stamford Garden Centre, Great Casterton, PE9 4BB Tel: 01780 766583

Elysia’s top picks

Laura Thomson-Dunne (LTD) Beauty top picks

Elysia is a premium salon situated in the tranquil village of Tansor, near to Oundle. Owner Lisa stocks some exceptional gifts, including: -

Pinks Boutique organic cuticle oil (£15.50) This is a rich, intense cuticle quenching treatment, for hands and feet.

Radara patches These are scientifically formulated rejuvenating microneedling patches. When used at home daily, they improve cell renewal and hydration to deliver smoother, firmer skin around the eye area in just four weeks. They certainly aren’t cheap at £200, but they receive rave reviews and are available from Elysia at a special Christmas promotional price of £175.

Pinks Boutique rose clay and rosehip mask (£38.50) A rejuvenating mask to leave skin soft and smooth – it’s great for perking up dull ‘winter skin’.

Mii minerals - light loving illuminator (£18.95) A pearlised powder that transforms to a weightless, creamy finish, giving the face a gorgeous glow. It can be worn alone or layered with a contouring bronzer.

Pinks Boutique lemongrass facial ‘try me set (£20) A delightful box of organic delights! This travel-sized set includes cleanser, moisturiser, toner, green clay camellia mask and bamboo oatmeal facial polish.

• Elysia Health & Beauty, Tansor, Oundle, PE8 5HP Tel: 01832 226328

• LTD Beauty , Laura Thomson-Dunne Tel: 07399 591 343 STAMFORD LIVING DECEMBER 2016


Creative Designer

Charlie Francis now at

GARIE NIGEL HAIRWORK 6 Silver Lane . Stamford . PE9 2BT


sta mford’s deluxe salon Our e xp e r ie n c e d t eam w ill h av e yo u po sit iv e ly glo w in g and merry this Christmas with our extensive range of beauty treatments fro m E l em is F ac ials , S t Tro pe z S pray Tan , Je ssic a P o lish incl u d i ng t h e P h e n o m an d G e l ran ge , an d lu sc io u s LVL Lashes. V i si t u s f o r a w id e r an g e of beaut iful gift set s from Elem i s. K n ow s om e o n e w h o de se rv e s a t re at ? O ur G i f t Vo u c h e r s le t y o ur loved one c hoose 2 beaut y or p am p e r t re at m e n ts out of a v ariet y of opt ions. ( £ 4 0 o r £8 0 gift vouc hers)

T h e Iv y Lod ge would l i k e to wi sh our c us tom ers

a very Merry Christm as & Happy New Year O p e n 7 d ay s a w e e k an d unt il 9 pm on Tues, Wed s & Thu rs. S e a r c h f o r T h e Ivy Lod g e A p p and download on any andr oid devic e .

F re e c ar parking.

View our Treatment Menu and book online

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Christmas Gifts: Something for everyone With less than a month to go, don’t leave Christmas shopping to the last minute. For a stress-free experience, shop local, there is plenty of choice on our high street! Here are few gifts we found. WORDS & PICTURES: ELLI DEAN

For Him Beautiful cashmere jumper, £145 from Gagliardi

Brogue leather punched belt, £60 from Anand Shoes

David Hockney limited edition book of 10,000 numbered copies, each signed By David Hockney. The book is Sumo size 19.6”x 27.5” 498 pp. 13 fold-outs and comes with a stand. £1,750 pre-order price, with free local setup and installation in your home. From St. Mary’s Books.

A Christmas hamper from The Fine Food Store



Ted Baker men’s manicure set £34.99 from You Living & Giving The Stamford Original watch is made entirely in England with in-house movement. This is a limited edition of 24, 12 white gold and 12 yellow gold (both 18ct). £28,000 from Robert Loomes.

Ted Baker men’s pen £24.99 from You Living & Giving

Dominos and Dice set from £31 each from Delcor

Card designed coasters, £31 from Delcor

A festive beer hamper just for him with irresistible ales, festive food and scrumptious treats all hand packed in a black, hand-woven wicker hamper. £45.95 From Under Fine Wraps, a local online business www.underfinewraps. No man can resist this chunky merino wool throw, £250 from The Wool Shop

Imposing classical style Roman bust £110 from St. Martin’s Antiques



Less than a mile from the A1 Now with more than 70 dealers, the centre has a variety of antiques unmatched in the surrounding area. Items range from £5 to £5,000 and regular turnover of stock frequently brings customers back for more. Open 10am-5pm Mon-Sat

and 10.30am-5pm Sundays

23a High Street, St. Martins, Stamford, Lincolnshire, PE9 2LF (01780) 481158

MARCIA MAY SHOES Now open at 36 St Mary’s Street Stamford 01780 762699

36 St Mary’s Street, Stamford, PE9 2DS Tel: 01780 762699

41 St Mary’s Street, Stamford, PE9 2DS Tel: 01780 766608

17b Mill Street, Oakham, LE15 6EA Tel: 01572 759313

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Helen Moore ‘How faux can you go’ large clutch with pom pom, £75 from Russell & Jones (The George Hotel Mews)

For Her Swarovski Crystaldust in Grey. The irresistible Crystaldust Cuff is a new signature Swarovski design. It is lavishly encrusted with chromeeffect crystals for unparalleled sparkle! £59 from You & Beyond

Gorgeous Esprit bobble hat, £25 from Attic

Clarins body gift set, £31 from Maples Hair & Beauty Paul Mitchell styling gift sets from Oliver Lee Wacoal bra & briefs set, bra £46, briefs £26 from POZE Lingerie Gift voucher from ToeTally the foot clinic

Tiffany & Co silk & cashmere scarf from The Arch Label agency

Katie Alice Vintage Indigo Set of 4 Espresso Cups & Saucers - £27.99. All Katie Alice products are designed in Stamford. Available online at Ted Baker ladies pen £24.99 from You Living & Giving

Robin Welch ceramics from £180, Robert Fogell Gallery

Ted Baker ladies manicure set £34.99 from You Living & Giving



Pair of quality 19th century heavily cut glass decanters, £68 from St. Martin’s Antiques

Soft and cosy sheepskin Swedish shepherd slippers, prices from £55 from Marcia May Shoes

A selection of Dermalogica, Sienna X and Aroma Works gifts from Stamford Beauty

Lise Charmel Splendeur Soie lace up silk chemise from Chameleon

Caudalie gift set, prices starting at £10 from Chameleon Start dreaming about better weather with a Shaw’s Coaches voucher. Find it online at

For little ones What a great idea if you want a gift that will also get your kids cleaning their rooms! A battery-operated Dyson vacuum cleaner from the Vacuum Store Breakfast set, prices from £4.95 per item from Country Traditionals

Perfect stocking fillers ideas from £1, Sinclairs

Gibsons jigsaw, £10.49 from Colemans



On the lead up to Christmas we will be providing our clients with our party season “signature” Bumble and bumble blow-dry, a classic strong and bouncy blowdry which lasts for days; and an Artistic Colour Gloss manicure, which lasts up to 10 days, all for just £40! Meet the team for a complementary consultation on our hair & beauty treatments and if following a service in November or December, you rebook for January you will receive 10% off your January service. All New Clients Receive 20% off on your first visit and our existing clients will receive our ongoing loyalty card. Holiday Season Gift Boxes

A mix (and a-mingle) of party essentials for styles that last ‘til the ball drops.

THE VACUUM STORE •The only vacuum cleaner specialists in the area • We stock the largest range of new cleaners around • Massive range of spares and accessories in stock

Six miracu lous oils to transform your hair – even in the frosty air.

A trio of Bb.Thickening essentials – for a soiree-worthy style . that speaks volumes

• Fast repair & servicing available in store Gents gift boxes to look

sharp this Christmas!

7, Ironmonger Street, Stamford, PE9 1PL francescaalexanderhairandbeauty


Tel 01780 482 888


We constantly check our prices… to always give you the best value

• Friendly and experienced staff to help you choose the right new cleaner

TEL: 01780 482935

Clarins Tri-Active & Elemis Biotec Treatments

Clarins and Elemis Gift Sets available for him and her or why not spoil the one you love with a Maples Gift Voucher.

Go on, spoil them, they deserve it Tel: 01780 752725 24 St. Mary’s Street, Stamford, Lincolnshire, PE9 2DJ









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Private and NHS eye examinations

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)

Glaucoma clinic

Contact lenses


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Pirrie Optometrists | 7-8 Maiden Lane | Stamford PE9 2AZ t 01780 753488 |

Stockist of high quality leather footwear A LOCAL FAMILY BUSINESS

28 High Street, Stamford, PE9 2BB T: 01780 767688 E: 32


A royal scandal right on our doorstep Caroline Aston reveals how Leicestershire and Rutland played a pivotal part in King Edward VIII’s abdication from the throne.


N 10th December it will be eighty years since the short-reigned Edward VIII abdicated. To say that his subjects were shocked is an understatement: unlike today the newspapers had largely kept silent as the King’s romance with twice-divorced Mrs Wallis Simpson was played out against a backdrop of night clubs and luxury yachts. Not until the reluctant monarch was about to step away from the throne and into a future of glossy oblivion did the British people fully realise what was happening – and both Rutland and Leicestershire played their own parts in one of the most famous (and scandalous) love affairs of the 20th century. Born in 1894 while his greatgrandmother Queen Victoria was still on the throne, Prince Edward (known as David in his family) was the first child of George V and his wife Queen Mary. His upbringing was the same as many of his ancestors, his life lived largely apart from his parents to whom he was exhibited by nannies at set times. He grew up to fear his father’s wrath and, sadly, to loathe what he called ‘the stunt’ of royal duty. Kept at a distance from any real action during the 1914-18 War he emerged into high society once the guns had fallen silent as an uberglamorous star. Looking far younger than his years, dressed in the height of fashion, Edward was a Prince Charming who foxtrotted the nights away with satin-clad lovelies, usually married and sometimes American. He adored everything modern, everything his father (who had become King George V in 1910) detested – the scene was set for conflict. Both David and his brother Albert, Duke of York (the future George VI) loved hunting and the fine foxhunting country around Market Harborough was well known to them. The two princes often based themselves at Pitsford Hall, about 13 miles from the town when hunting with the Pytchley. Melton Mowbray, set in the middle of country hunted over by the Quorn, Belvoir and Fernie, along with Rutland’s Cottesmore, was another favourite haunt – all four of George V’s surviving sons stayed in luxurious apartments there which were known as the Craven Lodge Club. And, naturally, there was a rich social life to be savoured along with the pleasures of hard riding to hounds…… One of the most prized local invitations was to Burrough Court, near Melton, home of Lord Pitsford Hall and Lady Furness. Thelma (always pronounced

Telma) Furness had been the Prince of Wales’ mistress of choice for some time; she was a darkly glamorous American who sparkled like the champagne she loved to serve and delighted in assembling witty, attractive people for her lover to enjoy on his visits. On January 10th 1931 one of those people was a certain Mrs Wallis Simpson with whom Thelma shopped, lunched and played bridge when in London. Mrs Simpson and her stolid, reliable second husband Ernest, were actually substitutes for Thelma’s sister and brother-inlaw on that occasion. There were no fireworks, no love at first sight, no bolt of sexual chemistry lightning - and Wallis had a streaming cold as well! Thelma’s royal affair continued along its predictable, undemanding course for some years to come. But slowly and surely the Simpsons became part of the Prince’s ‘inner circle’, enjoying numerous party invitations and weekends at Fort Belvedere, his retreat in Windsor Great Park. With Thelma acting as hostess, the guests drank cocktails, swam in the outdoor pool, danced to the latest tunes and discussed the latest love affairs (and indulged in more than a few of their own!). And then fate stepped in and the whole course of royal history was changed. Early in 1934 Thelma set off on an extended visit to her sister Gloria in America. By now the Simpsons were at the heart of David’s social set….. especially Wallis. Before Thelma departed the two ladies lunched at the Ritz and Lady Furness spoke the words she would never, ever forget. Afraid her royal lover would languish in her absence, she turned to Wallis and asked her to ‘look after the little man’ while she was gone. Fateful words indeed! Three months or so later, when she returned, Thelma found that Wallis was now in pole position and her own reign as mistress in chief had come to a chilly end. Two years later, so had the reign of the uncrowned King Edward VIII who swapped the lush greenness of our counties for a nomadic exile of rootless high society life. And it all began here – if only the walls of Craven Lodge and Pitsford Hall could talk! And as for Burrough Court, where Mrs Simpson met her nemesis and Lady Furness rode a zebra (yes, really!), sadly it burnt down in the 1940s, taking with it the ghosts of a romance born here in the heart of our beautiful countryside. STAMFORD LIVING DECEMBER 2016



Festive tipple treats

Ben Robson of Oakham’s specialist Italian wine importers, Bat and Bottle, divulges his top tipple tips for the festive season. GUSBOURNE BRUT RESERVE 2010, KENT AND EAST SUSSEX Toast the season with England’s finest, Gusbourne goes head to head with Champagne; the same grapes and method of winemaking and even the same soils. Rich and pure, multiaward winning, find out what all the fuss is about. £28, Bat and Bottle.

BURLEIGH’S DISTILLERS CUT GIN 47% Export strength, show gin crafted by master distiller Jamie Baxter. The botanicals are consistent, the balance is different, this has a floral lift and candied lemon fruit that is perfect for a Tom Collins. This Leicestershire distiller has an excellent ‘gin school’, now there’s a great Christmas prezzie! £33.95 (70cl) Burleigh’s | Bat and Bottle, Oakham | The Lord Nelson, Oakham

AGOSTINO VICENTINI, SOAVE SUPERIORE ‘LA CASALE’ 2014, ITALY Soave is a beautiful hilltop village between Verona and Venice. Jancis Robinson loved ‘the fabulous intensity and length’ of this wine. No oak, almost crystalline qualities simply one of the best wines of the vintage. Perfect with fowl, cold cuts or flavourful salads. £17, Bat and Bottle.

EMILIO BULFON, PICULÌT NERI 2014, ITALY Incredibly rare (the perfect gift for wine lovers). This wine is more silk than velvet, berry and bramble fruit will perfectly match turkey or goose, the Christmas wine for red wine drinkers. £15, Bat and Bottle

WARNER EDWARDS VICTORIA’S RHUBARB GIN 40% The original stock was from Queen Victoria’s garden, it made its way to Lincolnshire via Dublin and was finally discovered by maverick Harrington distillers, Tom and Sion, who found a way to make Rhubarb taste great! There is no better pink G&T, delicate spice and fruit, delicious. £33.00 (70cl) Bat and Bottle, Oakham | Oakham Wines, Oakham | Stamford Cheese Cellar, Stamford | Wistow Deli TWO BIRDS ABSINTHE 70% Market Harbour craft distillers unleash the legendary green fairy: this little bottle is probably enough for most – a great (grown-up) stocking-filler. £5.50 (5cl) Bat and Bottle, Oakham | The Wine Emporium, Oakham | The Offie, Leicester



STOCKISTS: Bat and Bottle, 18d Oakham Enterprise Park, Ashwell Road, Oakham LE15 7TU. Tel: 01572 759735 Oakham Wines, 1-3 High Street, Oakham, LE15 6AH, Tel: 01572 757124 Stamford Cheese Cellar, 17 St Mary’s Street, Stamford, PE9 2DG. Tel: 01780 489269 Wistow Mediterranean Deli, Wistow Rural Centre, 12 Kibworth Road, Wistow, LE8 0QF. Tel: 0116 2593441 The Wine Emporium, 10b Mill Street, Oakham, LE15 6EA. Tel: 07737 963827 The Offie, 142 Clarendon Park Road, Leicester, LE2 3AE. Tel: 07955 402187 Burleigh’s London Dry Gin, tel: 0116 2627336 Two Birds Countryside Spirit, tel: 01858 414256 The Lord Nelson, 11 Market Place, Oakham LE15 6DT. Tel: 01572 868340




716% rise in Stamford property prices since 1981 This month, our local buy-to-let expert and property investment advisor, David Crooke, owner of UPP Property Agents reflects on the history of home ownership in Stamford and the impact on house prices in the town.


ETTING straight to the point, since 1981 Stamford property values have risen by 716%. Now that’s really not bad when you consider inflation over the same time period has been 271.9%, meaning in real terms (i.e. after inflation), property values in Stamford are 444.1% higher. Referring to local authority data for South Kesteven District Council (SKDC) in 1981, 28.6% of Stamfordians lived in a council house, whilst today its 13.4%. This massive drop can mostly be attributed to Margaret Thatcher allowing council tenants the ‘right to buy’ their council house. As one would have expected, the private rental sector since 1981 has also changed. Nationally it’s almost doubled, however, with the proportion of properties privately rented in the Stamford area (i.e. through a private landlord or a letting agency) there has been a slight increase, rising from 12.4% to 14.6% of property. In 1981, the proportion of people who lived in the SKDC area who owned their own home was 58.9%, and today it’s 69.4%. Homeownership in the 1980’s and 1990’s in Stamford did in fact rise, but that was because

nearly every council tenant was buying their council house. Now there are hardly any council houses for the younger generation to move into (because of the ‘right to buy’ scheme) so they have no choice but to privately rent. Therefore, this is why the buy-to-let market is an investment sector that will continue to grow as councils aren’t building council houses in their thousands each year (like they were in the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s). The property market is constantly changing and buy-to-let for too long has been heavily dependent on house price growth, where yield has been almost forgotten. To look at the recent changes in tax regulations and landlord and tenant law in a different, more positive, perspective should offer opportunities for some where yield will become more important. These changes will make some landlords panic, meaning competition for decent buyto-let bargains will reduce as fear of change kicks in and amateur investors flee the market. These opportunities will provide a more stable platform for knowledgeable and wise buy-to-let landlords to thrive in. • For professional advice on buying, selling, renting and managing your homes and property investments call David Crooke, UPP Property Sales and Letting Agents on 01780 484 554 or email

Stamford Shoestring presents timeless classic ‘Roots’ A play by Arnold Wesker 6 - 10 December 2016 at the Stamford Arts Centre


HIS December, Stamford’s Shoestring Theatre company wraps up their successful 2016 season with a production of Arnold Wesker’s lyric about self-discovery, Roots, dedicated to the memory of the playwright, who died earlier this year. Roots is one of the most important plays of its time. Roots is a timeless classic; a touching portrait of a young woman struggling to find her voice. Hailed by the Daily Telegraph as “a beautiful, rich piece that has a strong claim to being Wesker’s greatest dramatic achievement”. Stamford Shoestring Theatre is bringing a fresh new perspective to this classic drama, contrasting the exuberance and vitality of Beatie with the harshness of the Norfolk rural setting. • For more information on Roots, or to book tickets, visit the Stamford Arts Centre website at

English Limestone Company T

HE standard of workmanship of a local company specialising in the restoration and conservation of period and stone properties was recently recognised with the presentation of two awards at the annual dinner of the Leicestershire and Rutland Joint Consultative Committee for the Building Industry. The Committee brings together construction professionals such as Architects, Surveyors and Building Engineers to acknowledge and award projects representing the highest levels of craftsmanship and of the 15 awards presented this year, English Limestone Company received two. The Company was nominated by the Uppingham School for extensive restoration works to “The Common Room” which was classed as “an exceptional piece of work involving large areas of Stone masonry repairs, replacement of a Collyweston roof and forming a new secret lead valley”. Their further work on the East Block classrooms promoted the comment –

“The outstanding skill and care used to carry out the replacement stonework is self-evident, pleasing on the eye and will, no doubt, stand the test of time.” English Limestone Company is a family run business based at its production unit in Manton, Rutland. At the forefront of the company, Vic Abbott has near 40 years of experience of all aspects of the stone industry and of traditional building skills. But as well as offering a quality restoration and conservation service the company promotes its sawing and workshop facilities, offering a bespoke stone masonry supply service to trade and private clients alike – sawing, working and carving architectural masonry in only the best

and named locally quarried limestones, as well as bespoke fire surrounds, flooring and flagstones. • Illustrations of the Company’s work can found on its web site – STAMFORD LIVING DECEMBER 2016



Places to go... People to see... If you have spare time on your hands and are flirting with the idea of widening your skills base or meeting a new bunch of friends, then why not take the plunge and join a local club or group. You will be spoilt for choice as Stamford is positively teeming with societies, circles, clusters and committees which between them offer a plethora of pastimes and pursuits.


URING the run-up to the festive season, you may feel an urge to try out your hand at a one-day workshop. Professional craftswoman and owner of Stamford-based, crafting business, Two Little Birds, Vicky Palmer, runs a variety of sewing courses from her home in town. Vicky’s courses allow you to learn new sewing skills with like-minded people in a social and friendly atmosphere. Her regular ‘Make It Friday!’ sessions run weekly during term time. Some of the longer running crafting clubs offer insights into arts and crafts such as willow weaving, oil painting, art sculpture, textiles, photography and poetry writing. Similarly, if learning a musical instrument or a foreign language appeals, there are many local courses that can channel your enthusiasm for learning in your desired direction. If you prefer practical pursuits have you ever contemplated learning how to ring church bells? It’s a skill that takes years to perfect, but according to St Martin’s Church bell ringer, James Thorpe, “only takes about 10 weeks to be able to ring the bells competently and safely”. The bellringing group meet every Tuesday evening (7.30pm at St Martin’s) to practice, following swiftly on to The George for a discussion around campanology over a pint! Outdoorsy types might prefer to join a rambling or Nordic walking group. Both pursuits are well supported locally; the Stamford Ramblers meet every other Sunday throughout the year and usually cover between 8 to 11 miles per session; ‘Nordic Walk it!’, began three years ago and is now a thriving club supporting the Rutland, Stamford and Harborough communities and offers a comprehensive training programme and an extensive range of walks. If terra firma is not for you, maybe Rutland Sailing School or some other water-based sport would float your boat! We are very lucky to have two of the country’s best water facilities



at our fingertips - Rutland Water and Tallington Lakes. Both offer a diverse selection of clubs and interest groups which include fishing, wildlife appreciation, climbing, sailing, biking, hiking, camping, paddling and more. In addition, Rutland Sailability, which works to enable people with any disability to enjoy sailing in a safe environment, is always keen to recruit new members and volunteers. Maybe you are feeling super energetic and like to feel the burn, then why not try out Stamford Amateur Boxing Club. The club, run by husband and wife team, Catherine and Rick Green, provides a gym for talented boxers. Training nights are on Tuesdays and Thursdays evenings and are suitable for anyone between the ages of seven and 50 years young. Another pastime that knows no age boundaries is ballroom dancing. Nene School of Dancing is just one of several organisations that has assisted with the resurgence of classical dance steps within our town. It offers regular lessons which cover the Foxtrot, Quickstep, Cha Cha Cha, Viennese Waltz, Tango, Samba, Waltz, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Rumba, Paso Doble, Jive, Salsa and Line dancing. Whether you are a beginner with two left feet or an advanced smooth mover, there will be a lesson locally to suit you. Slowing down the pace a little - possibly a spot of contemplation appeals. Meditation, Pilates and yoga classes locally are plentiful and offer spiritual awakening or just some good old-fashioned stretch and exercise. Stamford Yoga on Broad Street offers classes for everyone seven days a week. Maybe you would rather stretch your vocal chords for pleasure. If that’s the case, then why not spend an evening with Woven Chords, the Stamford-based mixed community choir. “We sing unaccompanied harmony songs (A capella) from across the globe,” explains Abi Moore, the dynamic leader of the group which meets each Thursday in the Ballroom at Stamford Arts

Centre. “We are a very friendly and informal choir, open to anyone over 16 years of age, men and women. We do not hold auditions and no previous experience or the need to read music is necessary.” Of course, joining a club doesn’t appeal to everyone and maybe you prefer a different pathway to meeting new people. Stamford has many charity shops that are often looking for volunteers. Sheila Rowell (88) has worked at the Cancer Research shop for over 20 years and says “it’s very sociable. I love getting to know the regular customers and I have many friends among the other volunteers.” CONTACTS: Stamford Arts Centre:; 01780 763203 Two Little Birds:; 07906 804085 St Martin’s Church Bell Ringing: Nick Faux: 01780 752156 Stamford Ramblers: stamford; 01780 755681 Nordic Walk It!; 07949 392018 Rutland Sailability:; 01832 280351 Rutland Sailing School:; 01780 721999 Tallington Lakes:; 01778 347000 Stamford Amateur Boxing Club: stamfordboxingclub; 07854 729234 Nene School of Dancing:; 01778 590655 Stamford Yoga:; 07738 272474 Woven Chords:; 01778 393429


IM DREAMING OF A WINE CHRISTMAS! Come and celebrate Christmas cheer in our new cosy back room! Taking bookings now!



Your Local Christmas Pantry Deborah Pennell heads into town and seeks out tasty food and drink items to enrich your Christmas table.

Silver Lane Whole Foods, Silver Lane, PE9 2BT Askers, Red Lion St, PE9 1PA Walk into the bakery from November onwards and you will be hit by the warm and aromatic smell of Christmas spices; cinnamon, cloves and brandy. For Kerry Asker and his team Christmas means the bakery is busy making mince pies, Christmas cakes, Yule logs and Christmas Shortbread biscuits – all of which fill the shelves of the shop in Red Lion Street.

The Fine Food Store, St Mary’s St, PE9 2DS

Stamford Cheese Cellar, St Mary’s St, PE9 2DG As you walk down the spiral staircase into the cavernous cellar of one of my favourite shops in town, you enter a world of foodie heaven. The pungent smell of cheese in the air is strangely enticing, and the shelves are stacked high with treats, which can help make your festive celebrations just that little bit more special. I question anyone who can walk out of this shop without buying anything. Pickled fruits, pickled nuts for cheese, relishes from the local Bytham Kitchen, Medjool dates, green peppercorns, gentleman’s relish and the most incredible selection of cheese biscuits. Cheeses from all over the world, as well as local favourites, cheese boards and selections of trendy cheese knives, all make great presents. Upstairs you have the largest selection of Gins and Whiskies available in town, alongside excellent wines, and accompanying glasses for those who have an interest in the finer things in life. Create your own hampers from this wonderful array of delicacies – prices start from £20 and there are hampers of all sizes. Mix deli and cheese products, with wine and spirits, to make a truly fantastic Christmas present.



You would be incorrect to think Fine Foods was just a café. Behind the scenes they run a catering company and have a sister company, Deliciously Different that makes cakes for the shop and whole cakes for all occasions. Choose from over 10 different flavours in sizes ranging from 7” upwards. During the festive period, they produce hampers to order, filled high with wonderful Christmas treats.

Hambleton Bakery, Ironmonger St, PE9 1PL It is difficult to come out of the Hambleton Bakery Shop without that extra something, such are the delicious creations that grace the shelves. For the Christmas period, expect to find seasonal additions such as tarts with Cranberry and White Chocolate, Morello Cherry and Almond alongside excellent Christmas puds and mince pies. For those with a savoury palate they are offering an Applewood Cheese Soufflé with pear, date and ale chutney and Arancini with cranberries, pinenuts and gorgonzola.

I visit this shop regularly for day to day health food products but at Christmas there are two things I will always buy from here, as they are exceptional, and Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without them – exceptional quality Glacé fruits (pineapple, pear, fig, orange, apricot and melon) and tasty gluten free Mince Pies.

The Stamford Friday Market Apart from offering an incredible wealth of products to grace anyone’s Christmas table, the atmosphere on the Stamford Market just days before Christmas, is enough to warm the hearts of even the biggest Scrooge. I beg you to make the most of our wonderful Friday market – you will find everything you want and more. I love walking down the market just before Christmas – not only can you decorate your house with the wonderful festive wreaths, you can fill your pantry with delicious coffee, spices from the spice market for your mulled wine and turkey curry, an array of vegetables including some deliciously different yellow carrots, purple sprouting broccoli and fresh horseradish, for those who just cannot face turkey and go for beef instead. Huge chunks of cheese and mountainous volumes of delicious breads are all great to accompany your cold meats and chutney.

Nelsons, Grasmere & Simpsons

Not many towns in the UK can boast they still have three wonderful local Butchers, and they are all equally good as each other. They all sell meat that can be tracked back to its origins on local farms and a good range of additional home made products such as sausage rolls, and raised pies. Nelsons, Red Lion Square and Ironmonger St. – pre-order your Kelly Bronze Turkey, pigs in blankets, Lincolnshire sausage meat and raised pies in 4 different flavours from 1lb to 15lb in weight. Grasmere, High St, PE9 2BB – as well as your staple meats Grasmere have put together two extremely good value Christmas essential hampers and include pigs in blankets, stuffing (with 3 recipes to choose from), bacon, a gammon joint and more. Simpsons, Casterton Road, PE9 4BB – proud holder of ‘Butchers Shop of the Year 2015/6 with his flagship Heckington store, Gary Simpson has recreated a smaller butchers, based at the popular Stamford Garden Centre. With everything you could possibly need for your Christmas table plus ease of parking, the possibility of a coffee and cake in the restaurant and a spot of Christmas shopping, this offers a good option.

Stamford Heavenly Chocolates, George Farm, PE9 3JP

Stamford Delicatessen, High St, PE9 2BB Head to Stamford Deli for delicious Christmas puddings made by local company Pudding & Pie, chutneys, relishes, jams, the deli’s own seasonal baking, and the ultimate Christmas Brownie. Create your own Hamper from their delicious range of products. Kelly will be holding two preChristmas taster sessions, with Pudding & Pie and Jam & Spoon, which means you can try before you buy.

The Pickled Shop (online)

Adnams, St Mary’s Passage, east end of Bath Row, PE9 2HG

An emporium of everything to add that little extra touch to Christmas, Adnams is a shop for people who both love their food and wine. Tins of festive Teas, Bloody Mary dip, the Naughty Sheep range of jams, jellies, marmalades and chutneys, Olive Wood Bowls and boards, flavoured oils and a deliciously indulgent Advocat custard - a present I am definitely buying for my grandmother! They have champagne stoppers, beautiful Oak stoppered glass decanters, Christmas Claret and Rioja Cases, Gin Indulgence sets, and the ultimate present to impress the in-laws, and add a bit of wow factor, a LSA Champagne Tower.

Camille and Camilla from the quirky Bulwick Village Stores have recently decided to go online with a new venture named www. Featuring a selection of lovingly put together goodie boxes tailored for different occasions, these are great presents for friends and family who love their food and drink. Choose from 3 sizes of goodie box – small (£30), medium (£50) and large (£100) and from 8 different themes. Orders placed by 2pm will be dispatched for next day delivery. The Pickled Shop stocks the full range of marmalades, jams, pickles, chutneys and relishes from The Pickled Village. contact

Lamberts, Cheyne Lane, PE9 2AX

Although Lamberts only have a small deli section, they have one or two little extras that will add to your Christmas festivities – pick up your smoked salmon, smoked halibut, smoked chicken and smoked trout from here. Also, a good selection of olives. A recent addition on the drinks side is the award-winning Saxby’s Cider range – this local company produces ciders of the highest calibre. Their fantastic range of fruit ciders include rhubarb, plum and blackcurrant and a seasonal mulled cider. Buy Saxby’s gift packs with 2 bottles of cider and a glass; a very good present for a man.

Visit the shop based at George Farm, on the outskirts of Stamford. This Chocolate lovers’ dream has chocolate sensations to suit everyone. Barbara and the team have been busy making some fabulous gifts for Christmas - festive Chocolate Shoes, Father Christmases, snowmen, chocolate Brussels sprouts (do not contain any trace of the vegetable!), iPhones and delectable Truffles. An inspired range of chocolate gift sets from game controllers, tool sets, golf set, nurses set and horse set beat any “off the shelf” selection box. Something I will be buying for the Christmas stockings; hot chocolate spoons - each one has a chocolate Santa transfer around it and you can have the initial of your choice – available in milk, dark, white and Baileys chocolate.

Cook, High St, PE9 2LG Although not filled with local produce, this store stocks high quality products that are as good as home cooked. Their range of ‘homemade’ frozen goods multiplies each year and a larger sized party meal from Cook can be an easy way to entertain a large number of people, hassle free and with them believing you cooked it yourself. They do a good line of tasty and original canapés, terrines, pâtés, meat loaf, savoury tarts and a full Christmas lunch including potatoes and accompaniments. For pudding Chocolate and Salted Caramel Vacherin caught my eye and a showstopper party piece – chocolate and raspberry bombe. Cook offer a hassle-free Christmas and your guests might even believe you cooked it yourself!




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Christmas Lunch by our Local Chefs This month our local chefs offer recipes, and helpful tips on how to produce your ‘Best Ever’ Christmas Lunch; and I even get involved, with some deliciously different ideas for vegetables. Deborah Pennell PHIL KENT, award winning Head Chef at The William Cecil and The Bull & Swan, and Game Chef of the Year 2015 creates the ultimate Christmas Turkey and pigs in blankets. Phil says, “Christmas Lunch is all about tradition, not creating gastronomy; keeping it simple, and making sure everything is cooked to perfection. It doesn’t need to be over complicated.” What size Turkey do I need? • 2-2.5kg feeds 4-6 persons • 4-4.5kg feeds 8-10 persons • 6-6.5kg feeds 12-15 persons Turkey Cooking Times Cooking a Christmas Turkey is a notoriously worrying exercise. Your main aim is to arrive at the Christmas table with something that is cooked through, moist and succulent. Phil prefers long and slow cooking for the perfect end result. Two important things to remember – always weigh your bird when it is ready to go into the oven, i.e. if you are stuffing the cavity, weigh it once this is done. Secondly, bring the whole bird up to room temperature before putting it in the oven. There are some great Turkey cooking calculators online, which will help you work out the suggested cooking time for your bird. Phil’s tip – before putting the bird in the oven, mix together garlic, sea salt and pepper, with butter and fresh thyme and spread evenly over the turkey crown. If you want to impart a unique flavour, add thinly sliced orange and press cloves into the breast or lemon zest. Then cover the crown in muslin and tie with string. The muslin holds in the moisture, leaving you with a succulent, juicy meat. Sit on a bed of roughly diced vegetables – carrots, onions, garlic, cloves, fresh thyme and celery and add 1/2 pint of water. Always cook on a low temperature, most of the cooking can be done at 120°C, increasing to 160 – 180°C towards the end. The low temperature plays a key part in retaining moisture in the meat. Baste over the muslin every 20 minutes and 20 minutes before the end of cooking take off the muslin to achieve a crispy and brown skin. Invest in a meat thermometer: when cooked, turkey thighs should reach 80°C, turkey breast 75°C. For the pigs in blankets, take good quality locally produced chipolatas, wrap each with a sage leaf and then thinly sliced smoked, streaky bacon or pancetta. Cook in a separate tin or add them around the Turkey, toward the end of cooking.



DEBORAH PENNELL, former location chef for McLarenF1 and outside caterer, now turned Food Writer for Stamford Living pimps your veg and creates awesome roasties. Root vegetables Roast, parsnip, celeriac, carrots, squash and beetroot with maple syrup and thyme or honey and coriander seeds Brussels sprouts Add sautéed red onions with a touch of sherry vinegar Make a chestnut and bacon butter Shred and stir fry with sesame and chilli Add butter, lemon and crispy prosciutto Purple, White and Yellow Carrots Toss in honey, cumin and chilli and roast Glaze with orange zest, parsley and butter Mash with parsnips Cauliflower and Broccoli/Purple Sprouting Broccoli Blanch and roast for fuller flavour Make a gratin with strong cheddar, parmesan and sourdough breadcrumbs, sprinkle with pine nuts and oven bake Blanch broccoli, cool, chargrill and toss in hot olive oil, red chilli and garlic – this is good cold too. Roast Potatoes The key to awesome roasties is to choose a variety of potato that holds up well to cooking for a length of time, and is floury inside with great flavour. I generally use Maris Piper, King Edward or Desiree. Par-boil for a good 5 minutes, drain and sit them in the colander to steam dry. Then pop them back in the pan put the lid on and give them a good shake to ‘ruffle’ the edges. Heat goose fat/olive oil in the roasting tin and pour your potatoes in making sure they are in a single layer. Turn them a couple of times. They will take about an hour to cook depending on what other things you have in the oven.

PAUL RESEIGH, Executive Head Chef of The George Hotel guides us through the steps required to create your perfect Christmas Ham Sugar Baked Ham 4-5kg Gammon, on the bone, soaked overnight in cold water half a head of celery 4 large whole carrots, peeled 1 leek cut in half 4 bay leaves 12 peppercorns Glaze: 2 1/2 tblsp English Mustard 2 1/2 tblsp Demerara Sugar 20-30 cloves Place the gammon in a large pan with the aromatic herbs, spices and vegetables. Cover with cold water. Place on a medium heat and bring to the boil. Remove any impurities that float to the top of the pan by gently skimming the surface with a ladle. Simmer the Gammon for 21/2 hours, submerged in the stock. Make sure it does not boil. Let the gammon cool down for an hour, remove it from the stock and place on a baking tray. Score the tender skin of the ham diagonally in opposite directions and gently push the cloves into the gammon about 2-3cm apart. Mix the mustard and sugar together, then add a little milk bit by bit until it forms a paste, with the consistency of double cream. Spread this evenly over the surface of the ham. Place in a preheated oven at 200°C for 30-45 minutes, or until it is shiny and golden brown. Pour over the liquid from the bottom of the oven tray to ensure a rich glaze.

STEVEN CONWAY, Head Chef/Owner of Lamberts takes on the ultimate sauces, stuffing and gravy challenge Chunky Bread sauce 1/2 large onion

6 cloves 1 Bay leaf 4 peppercorns 1 pint milk Bring to the boil and infuse for 15-20 minutes 1/2 onion sautéed (no colour) 6 slices of sourdough bread – remove crust and dice, add to onions and pour milk into bread and onion mix. Finish with freshly grated nutmeg Cranberry Sauce with port and orange 250g fresh cranberries grated zest of 1 orange and juice of 2 oranges 150ml port 50g light soft brown sugar Place all the ingredients in a pan and bring slowly to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cook gently over a low heat for 15-20 minutes, until the cranberries have burst and the sauce thickens. To add an extra warming spice, add a star anise at the beginning of cooking and remove just before serving Turkey Gravy 2 onions diced 1/2 bottle of red wine or white wine, if you prefer a lighter gravy 1.5 ltr turkey or chicken stock Once your turkey is cooked, carefully remove it from the roasting tin onto a tray and pass the liquid from the tray through a fine sieve, retaining the vegetables. Place the empty roasting tin on the hob and deglaze with wine and reduce by half. Sauté onions in a saucepan, add the mix from the tray and all the liquids and reduce by half. Add sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve. If you prefer a thicker gravy, use a flour and water paste to thicken. Pancetta, Apricot and Cranberry and Stuffing 50g butter 100g dried apricots 50g dried cranberries 100g diced pancetta/smoked bacon 1 large onion, diced and sautéed 100g chopped cooked peeled chestnuts 300g sausage meat 3 tblsp chopped parsley 2 eggs sea salt and freshly ground pepper 100g breadcrumbs Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and pancetta and cook for 5-8 minutes or until softened and turning slightly golden. Remove from the heat, tip into a mixing bowl and leave to cool. Add the remaining ingredients and season to taste. Mix well. Roll into balls and lay on a baking parchment. To cook, place stuffing balls into a preheated oven, 180°C/gas 6 and cook for 20- 30 minutes or until lightly golden and cooked through. Serve alongside the turkey. STAMFORD LIVING DECEMBER 2016



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Christmas Lunch by our Local Chefs Sweet things

JULIAN CARTER, Award winning Head Baker at Hambleton Bakery shares his ingredients for the Ultimate Christmas pudding. “It’s all in the ingredients. Using high quality ingredients results in a fantastic Christmas pudding. The return of X Factor to our screens in the Autumn, prompts me to start making them, as they will need at least 2 months to mature, once cooked”. Hambleton Bakery soak currants, raisins, sultanas and mixed peel in good quality

brandy overnight. Add light muscovado sugar for a delicious caramel flavour, good quality traditional beef suet from a local butcher (although you could use vegetarian suet). Mix wholemeal or sourdough breadcrumbs with free range eggs in a separate bowl and leave this for half an hour to infuse. Then add the zest and juice of oranges and lemons, salt, freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon sticks, which are blitzed in a spice grinder. Mix all the ingredients together and add the suet at the end. Transfer the final product to a plastic or

Pyrex bowl, place a ring of greaseproof over the top, then cling film and finally tin foil. Place in a pan of water, which comes halfway up the dish, put the pan lid on and lightly simmer for a minimum of 5 hours. Longer cooking results in further caramelising the sugars. Once cooked the pudding should keep for up to one year. Flame with brandy and serve with indulgent Brandy sauce made from a basic roux, sweetened with sugar and flavoured with vanilla essence, brandy and fresh cream.

To finish your mince pies Kerry suggests: spray the lid of the mince pie with water and sprinkle with light caster sugar. Serve with homemade brandy butter or thick double cream

KERRY ASKER, Head Baker at Askers Bakery gives top tips on making the ultimate mince pies. Askers produce nearly 2,000 mince pies during the run-up to Christmas - cinnamon, cloves, orange and lemon zest and a dash of good quality brandy all go into their mincemeat. Kerry suggests using half butter, half white shortening for good short pastry, which melts in the mouth; add an egg for richness. Leave pastry in the fridge for at least an hour before you work with it.

Easy Peasy Luxury Mincemeat 250g sultanas 150g currants 150g cranberries 100g dried chopped apricots 100g chopped mixed peel 25g chopped almonds 175g dark soft brown sugar 100g shredded vegetable or beef suet 200g grated apple 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp mixed spice juice of 1/2 lemon 100ml brandy Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and leave for 24 hours. Spoon into sterilised jars making sure it is well packed down. Seal and keep until required.

Brandy Butter There are not many recipes, where it is really important to use unsalted butter but this is one. 250g unsalted butter, at room temperature 230g icing sugar 80ml good quality brandy Using an electric hand whisk, beat the butter in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add the icing sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Gradually add the brandy and beat until well combined.

Thanks go to all our wonderful Local Chefs and Bakers for their advice: Phil Kent of The William Cecil Hotel Paul Reseigh of The George Hotel Steve Conway of Lamberts Julian Carter of Hambleton Bakery Kerry Asker of Askers Bakery May this be your ‘Best Ever’ Christmas Lunch Happy Christmas STAMFORD LIVING DECEMBER 2016



Cookery Courses, Workshops, and Cookery Clubs for all ages and abilities Set in the stunning countryside of The Vale of Belvoir and only a short drive up the A1 from Stamford, Manor Farm Cookery School offers a fresh and relaxed approach to the art of cooking. Deborah Pennell recently took part in a day course and thoroughly enjoyed her foodie experience.


HE Owned by Diana Thompson, a fully trained and experienced cook in her own right, the Manor Farm Cookery School opened its doors earlier this year. This new venture was sparked by Diana’s ongoing interest in food, and what she called ‘a gap in the market’. The kitchen facilities provide a state of the art environment, perfect for hosting cooking days for up to 20 people. Diana has been lucky enough to track down the excellent and endlessly patient Chef, Rob Jessop, who moved locally 3 years ago. A passionate chef, he started his career in food at the tender age of 14, working full time in a bakery, as “he just got the bug”. He has kept busy ever since. Having spent 4 years at River Cottage under the wing of Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall he decided to head back to his roots in this area and set up his own business, Lemon Tree Dining. Diana approached Rob to be her main Chef/Demonstrator and they work really well as a team. As well as using Rob, Diana draws on her contacts from her former cooking days, with an array of guest chefs from London. In 2017 Diana plans to tailor courses to specific areas of cooking such as Thai, Chocolate, Bakery and is always open to suggestions from clients, should they wish to learn a specific type of cooking. As a cook myself who trained some years ago, and went on to cook in extraordinary locations around the world, I count myself lucky that, on deciding not to go to university I took a 6 month cookery course. My knowledge of food and my ability to cook has since seen me travel the world, cooking in extraordinary locations, and I can honestly say I have never looked back. Being able to cook is a life skill and one that anyone is capable of learning. So I entered Manor Farm Cookery School with a will to learn new things and come away with some top tips – I can honestly say I was not disappointed. Our day kicked off with a delicious loaf of bread and the preparation of a Chilli, Pumpkin and Wild Mushroom Soup – we watched, chatted and listened to Rob guide us through our recipes before heading off to our



work stations to try and reconstruct what we had just been taught. A superb dish with partridge was to follow served on a smoky chickpea stew. Rammed with flavour and so far from any other partridge dish I had ever eaten, it was a revelation. For pudding a timeless classic, Hazelnut meringue pavlova, but pimped with the addition of mulled pears. The wonderful aroma of the pears poaching transported you into Autumn. The end results were generally a triumph. All washed down with a generous glass of red wine. Top marks all round.

WHAT’S ON OFFER AT MANOR FARM? Cookery Clubs - hosted over five Mondays – either daytime or evening. Children’s Cookery - I got the impression from both Rob and Diana, they absolutely love the children’s cookery classes. Providing hands-on experience, they introduce children to healthy eating and the pleasures of making their own food. Getting Ready for University Course - A 5 day course learning cooking techniques in preparation for university life. Hen or stag weekends - a range of cookery courses from butchery to bakery are on offer, followed by relaxing activities such as swimming, croquet, or more energetic walking/cycling... Corporate day – generally tailored to the clients requirements, events are not only great fun; they offer a relaxed interactive team building experience.

AND WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD? Diana says: “We are so excited about Manor Farm Cookery School’s first Christmas and also the variety of courses we have planned for 2017. We are due to host Christmas parties for local businesses; and have several courses specifically geared towards cooking over the festive period. 2017 is going to be an exciting year for the school. Our gift vouchers are proving very popular as they offer people an original and fun present to give to friends and loved ones.” • For full details on courses, party booking enquiries, in house catering or to purchase gift vouchers contact Manor Farm Cookery School on 01476 879320 or email diana@

Neil & Louise Hitchen welcome you to

Award Winning Country Pub

Find us in the latest editions of The Michelin Guide, Hardens Food Guide, Waitrose Good Food Guide and Alistair Sawdays Pubs & Inns.

59 Main Street, Wymondham, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire LE14 2AG 01572 787587



Jackson Stops culinary excellence Nicholas Rudd-Jones exhorts you to try out the Jackson Stops, which offers some of the best food in the region


E met for a half-business, half-social lunch to talk about work, children and to generally put the world to rights; each coming from a different direction, meeting together in the quaint front bar of the pub, which is the perfect spot to pause for a drink – all old-world charm and character. We looked through the menus over our drinks and were then taken through to our table. The food itself quickly took centre stage. I started with The Soup of the Day, ‘Parsnip with celeriac and apple’ – full of flavour and sufficiently ‘full bodied’; Bridget and Tracy both had the ‘Smoked Haddock, Spring & Brown Shrimp Fishcake’, and exclaimed almost in unison how bursting with flavour the fishcake was; not at all bland as fishcakes can be. For mains, both Bridget and I went for the Dishes of the Day. Bridget chose ‘Roast Italian vegetables, with Kedgeree and chargrilled Halloumi’, which looked and tasted masterful. I was truly blown away by the ’Wild Mushroom & Baby Spinach Rösti, finished with parmesan and truffle oil’ – I would choose that every day for lunch if I could, full of flavour and interest, but not too filling – and I hadn’t even noticed that it was a vegetarian dish! Tracy enjoyed the classic ‘Pan-seared sea bass, dill, sweet potato and pea shoot risotto’. She declared the fish to be fresh, expertly cooked and the risotto up to the very high standards of the establishment - risotto seems to be something of a speciality here. This pub punches far above its weight – much more than just pub food, top-end of gastro pub food, it would acquit itself in fine dining even. Impressed. And good value too. • Jackson Stops, Rookery Lane, Stretton, LE15 7RA Tel: 01780 410237

Celebrating the true taste of Stamford this Christmas with Bread Meat Cheese Great Food Hamper


HE good folk of Stamford love to support local bakers, farmers and cheesemakers, so what better way to celebrate this Christmas than with all the best our local artisan food producers can offer? Lovingly sourced and brought together by Stamford’s own “destination” lunchtime food spot Bread Meat Cheese. A Taste of Stamford Lincolnshire Poacher: An award-winning Cheddar like cheese from Simon Jones’ own herd of 230 Holstein Friesian cows. Smoked Poacher: A hand-smoked in oak, very Christmassy version of the original. Cote Hill Blue: Officially one of the best cheeses in the world, soft and creamy, made by Mary Davenport. Colston Bassett Stilton or Cote Hill Yellow: Colston Bassett is one of the smallest dairies in the UK and unlike most cheesemakers still hand-ladle in the traditional manner. A great “Stilton”. Cote Hill Yellow is a soft, creamy, mellow flavoured cheese in a distinctive



yellow wax and made by Mary Davenport. Modens Plum Bread: Locally renowned, individually hand-baked since 1936 and award winning lightly spiced fruit loaf – fantastic with blue cheese. The Bytham Kitchen Piccalilli: Handmade by Andy Heaps; this is his personal favourite, not too sweet and with a little kick. The Bytham Kitchen Caramelised Red Onion Chutney: Also, handmade by Andy Heaps, the perfect accompaniment to the Poacher. Rutland Charcuterie Bresaola, Coppa & Noix Jambon: A tasting board of the area’s finest air dried meats from Nick Brake, Head Charcutier. The cheeses are cut by hand to a weight of between 200-250grams with the exception of the Cote Hill Blue which weighs between 300-350grams. • 8-9 Red Lion St, Stamford PE9 1PA 01780 752500

December Lunch Specials

2 Courses £17.95 / 3 Courses £21.50 Served from 12pm until 2.30pm Tuesday – Friday

December Dinner Menu

2 Courses £24.50 / 3 Courses £29.50 including glass of mulled cider on arrival Served from 7pm until 9pm, Thursdays & Fridays

Christmas Goodies available from December

Email Steve on or call 01780 767063

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner | Takeaway | Private Hire | Gift Card 5 Cheyne Lane, Stamford, PE9 2AX 01780 767063 -



Festive Greetings We all wish you the best and welcome everyone to celebrate with us

Our Christmas range will include a selection of delicious goodies, Christmas Puddings, Mince Pies, Fruit & Savoury Tarts, Cranberry & White Chocolate Cookies, Chocolate Brownies, Stilton & Celery Scones, Rutland Pippins, all made with the finest ingredients and full of flavour.

Christmas Party Bookings from £23.50 Open Christmas Day Bookings still available throughout December Contact us by phone on 01780 756080 or visit No.3 The Yard, Ironmonger Street, Stamford, PE9 1PL 01780 756080 -

Shops: Exton Bakery, Market Harborough, Oakham, Oundle, Stamford & West Bridgford 51


t Es



al Comp



1981 - 35 Years

Tel:01780 756666 Showroom: Unit 4, Cherryholt Lane, Stamford, PE9 2EQ Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm Sat 10am-3pm

Images show the design & finished build by QKS



Seasonal delights The Olive Branch’s head chef Sean Hope shares two recipes to keep you warm over the Christmas break…


ITH Christmas nearly upon us, I have two wonderful seasonal recipes to share with you. I cooked these at my recent cookery demonstration at The Olive Branch and they went down very well with all the guests. They are the sorts of dishes that will work well during festive celebrations but during other times of the year too. If you don’t know where to source guinea fowl, ask your local butcher. Alternatively, you could use locally sourced free-range chicken or cockerel breast – try Fosse Meadows Farm in Leicestershire (

Caramelised apple pie with vanilla custard/mousse: serves 4

Roast breast of guinea fowl, pin-head oats, honey-roast pumpkin, braised celery: serves four

Apple pie • 200g ready-rolled puff pastry • 50g soft butter • Teaspoon ground cinnamon • Tablespoon soft brown sugar • 2 dessert apples – peeled/ quartered/cored and thinly sliced

Roast breast of guinea fowl • 4 breasts of trimmed guinea foul • 1 clove garlic, crushed • 1 sprig thyme • Knob unsalted butter 1. Drizzle a little oil into a frying pan add the thyme, garlic, butter 2. Place over a medium heat and when the butter starts to foam, carefully place the breasts skin-side down and fry for two minutes until golden brown 3. Turn over the guinea fowl and cook for a further two minutes 4. Place into a pre-heated oven at 190 degrees Celsius (Gas Mark 5) and roast for seven minutes 5. Remove from the oven and rest the meat for three minutes before slicing and serving Pin-head oats • 400g pin-head oats • Pinch fresh chopped thyme • 1 large shallot, peeled & finely chopped

• 1 litre chicken stock • Drop of smoked oil • Tablespoon sherry vinegar • Knob of butter 1. Sweat off the shallot in a pan with a drizzle of rapeseed oil until soft 2. Add the vinegar and reduce completely 3. Add the pin-head oats, chopped fresh thyme and the stock 4. Cook on a low heat for 12 minutes until of a porridge consistency 5. Add the butter to finish and season to taste 6. Serve Braised celery • 1 head of celery, peeled & cut into large sticks • 500ml vegetable stock • Sprig thyme • Crushed clove garlic • Half a teaspoon of fennel seeds 1. Place all ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a simmer

2. Braise in the pan for 12 minutes until soft 3. Serve Roast pumpkin • 500g prepared pumpkin • Sprig thyme • 1 x crushed garlic clove • Knob of butter • Sherry vinegar • 1 teaspoon Lincolnshire honey • 1 teaspoon mixed spice 1. Pre heat oven to 190 degrees Celsius (Gas Mark 5) 2. Place pumpkin into a roasting tin with thyme, garlic, butter and a drizzle of rapeseed oil. 3. Roast in the oven for approximately 10 minutes until golden brown. 4. Remove from the oven, add the honey, sherry vinegar and season with salt, pepper and mixed spice. 5. Serve

1. Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface, 2mm thick 2. Cut into strips 5cm wide x 30cm 3. Brush the strips with the soft butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar 3. Lay the thin sliced apples along the strip of pastry, then roll up into a swirl 4. Place the pastry on its end in a greased and lined tartlet mould 5. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 Celsius (Gas Mark 6) for 12-15 minutes until golden brown 6. Dust with icing sugar and serve

Vanilla custard/mousse • 4 egg yolks • 4 tablespoons sugar • 250ml whipping cream • 250ml milk • 1 vanilla pod 1. Mix the yolks with the sugar in a bowl 2. Heat the milk & cream and vanilla in a saucepan 3. Pour onto the egg yolks and mix well 4. Return to the heat and gradually cook the custard until it coats the back of a spoon 5. Strain through a sieve and chill 6. Optional: dispense the cream into a whipper gun and charge twice with Co2 7. Serve with the apple pie


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




Child Friendly

Stamford “HE’S BEHIND YOU!”

Antonia Scott discover what theatrical festive fun is on this December


ANTOMINE – Love it or loathe it, there is nothing quite like a bit of live theatre to get everyone feeling festive. Children (and many adults!) marvel at the vibrant costumes and make-up, audience participation and the obvious plot lines. Here are a few pantomime suggestions to get you feeling ‘Christmassy’!

THE CRESSET, BRETTON, PETERBOROUGH. PE3 8DX Tel: 01733 265705 SATURDAY 10th – SUNDAY 30th DECEMBER: PETER PAN The classic tale of the boy who refused to grow up is a perennial favourite so join Peter and Wendy and let your imagination fly as they travel to Neverland and do battle with the dastardly Captain Hook and the pirates. A sprinkle of fairy dust sees Peter take to the air in stunning flying sequences, plus all the usual pantomime magic with plenty of audience participation, music and laughter. The original author of Peter Pan, J.M.Barrie, gifted the rights to the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital in 1929. This incredible gift means that for every pantomime ticket sold at The Cresset, a percentage will go to this amazing charity. Tickets: £15 / £11.50


Talent Youth Theatre run by local resident Tal Franklin has had a busy first year of setting up children’s Drama Classes in Stamford and is happy to be expanding, both its staff and timetable. Based at The Stamford Corn Exchange (Back Stage entrance down Silver Lane), Talent Youth Theatre’s Drama workshops are energetic and creative, working closely with the students’ interests to both instil and develop a love and passion for Drama. Tal and her side-kick Amber Goddard offer Diddy Drama for 2-4 year olds, Fresh Drama for 4-7 year olds and Preen Drama for 8-12 year



STAMFORD ARTS CENTRE, ST MARY’S STREET, PE9 2DL Tel: 01780 763203 SATURDAY 17TH DECEMBER: RAPUNZEL AND THE TOWER OF DOOM A modern twist on a fairytale classic - this enchanting show by the Theatre of Widdershins promises plenty of body, volume and loads of highlights! It’s hard enough having a bad hair day, but pity poor Rapunzel spending her life in a tower with some strange woman using her captive’s locks as a step ladder - What sort of damage is that going to do to your hair?! Tickets: £8 / £1

THE KEY THEATRE, EMBANKMENT ROAD, PETERBOROUGH. PE1 1EF Tel: 01733 207239 THURS 1ST DECEMBER SUNDAY 8TH JAN 2017: DICK WHITTINGTON Adventure and excitement are always a major part of panto, together with an abundance of slapstick, humour, music and spectacle. Tickets: £18.50 / £10

olds. This term, the Diddy gang will be performing their Christmas show on the main stage at The Stamford Corn Exchange on Friday 9th December. Tickets are available at the Box Office. Amber Goddard is also running Saturday workshops from 10.30am – 12pm for 4-12 year olds. Get in touch with Tal to book your space: Tel: 07795 311777 or email: talentyouththeatre@ or

STAMFORD CORN EXCHANGE, BROAD STREET, PE9 1PX Stamford Corn Exchange: or Tel: 01780 766455 SUNDAY 4TH DECEMBER: SANTA AND THE PIRATES THAT DON’T WANT CHRISTMAS! Staring CBeebies favourites - Callum Donnelly and Robin Hatcher. This rollercoaster of a show has all that you would expect from a panto that cleverly mixes pirates and Christmas. There’s also a chance to post Santa a Christmas wish list and a meet and greet with a present afterwards too. Tickets: £10 / £7 WEDNESDAY 7TH DECEMBER: ELF JUNIOR THE MUSICAL Based on the beloved holiday film, this hilarious fish-out-of-water comedy follows Buddy the Elf in his quest to find his true identity. This modern-day holiday classic is performed by talented children from Wildcats Theatre School. Tickets: £10 / Child £7.50 SUNDAY 11TH DECEMBER: NUTCRAKER Share in Clara’s adventures as she is swept away by her Nutcracker Prince into a magical winter wonderland of dancing snowflakes and the famous Sugar Plum Fairy. Performed by pupils from The Hebden School of Dance. Tickets: Adult £9 / Child £6 SATURDAY 17H DECEMBER: CINDERELLA Tomorrow’s Dream Performers are a brand new theatrical organisation featuring local performers from the Bourne, Deepings and Stamford area. Cinderella is a traditional panto with plenty of interactive fun for all the family to relive this magical fairytale on stage. Tickets: Adult £8.50 / Child £7.50 TUESDAY 27TH DECEMER – SUNDAY 1STJAN: SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS Performed by the hugely popular and talented cast that make up the Stamford Pantomime Players. Tickets: Adult £9.50 / Child £8

Learning to Roller Skate Antonia Scott speaks to Jason Gray – roller skating legend - on his passion for getting children on their skates! How it all began: Jason started performing from a young age and after leaving school went on to train for three years at Body Work, Cambridge Performing Arts. Since graduating, Jason has worked as a performer in numerous London West End shows and international touring productions. Most recently he finished a 2 1/2 year stint in the world-famous Andrew Lloyd Webber Musical, ‘Starlight Express’. “It was during this time that I went through an extensive skate school process where I was taught by one of the world’s leading skate coaches - Michael Fraley. Training was intensive - 6 days a week, 10am till 6pm for 3 months, followed by 8 shows a week for 2 years! This has enabled me to not only become very comfortable skating myself but also given me the knowledge and training to now be able to teach what I have learnt to others. Due to the vast range of skating used in the show I was trained in all skating techniques including figure skating, speed skating, derby skating and how to dance on skates including ‘Jam skating’ and ‘Rexing’. I continue to train and work in the skating industry alongside other professional skaters, which allows me to keep up to date with all the current styles and techniques of a skater.” What are your main aims in teaching children to roller skate at Borderville Sports Centre, Stamford? “My aim is to teach children the skills to skate confidently whilst creating a safe, fun and sociable environment for them to learn in, with skaters of similar abilities allowing them to learn and grow as confident skaters in a group. We have a nice balance of training mixed with games, so the children can apply the skills they learn in a fun way. Each child is given individual attention throughout the session and you will generally see an improvement within the first few weeks of lessons, as well as a rapid growth in confidence.” What age and abilities do you teach? “We teach all abilities from children that have never skated before, through to more confident / advanced skaters. We teach them from as young as 4 years of age. Abilities are split into two one hour groups, a Beginners/ Improvers group and an Intermediate/Advanced group.

What are the benefits to skating? “Roller skating has many benefits, the obvious one being that it is a great form of exercise; it is a good alternative or addition to running because it uses a slightly different set of muscles and causes 50% less stress to joints than running. It builds strength, stamina and muscle endurance and just one hour a week can burn 600 calories! Not to mention the fact that you have great fun and can make new friends whilst doing so! There are also mental health benefits of roller skating, it clears the mind, minimises mild forms of depression and just makes you happy. To quote one of my students from my Advance class: “I just love skating. It makes me feel free and relaxed,” and I have to say, I totally agree with her!”

What are your plans for 2017? Jason has plans to expand Stamford Skate School in 2017 by adding an Adult class in Stamford which he would like to develop into a skating/exercise/dance-based class. He would also like to host children’s birthday parties and to branch out to the Lincolnshire/ Rutland surrounding areas to give the same opportunity to children whose parents may find it difficult to get them to Stamford. “Roller Skating is certainly making a comeback! My aim is to get as many children and adults skilled on wheels as I possibly can. Come and join the fun at Stamford Skate School!” • For more information: Tel: 07810 374776 / 07725 574596 Email: You can also find us on Facebook – ‘Stamford Skate School’ Twitter and Instagram




Celebrating the Achievements of Stamford’s Citizens Who Have Enhanced the Town


HE At Stamford Civic Society’s 2016 Annual General Meeting the Society’s President, Orlando Rock, praised the efforts of individuals and companies whose activities have made a significant improvement to the town. Gwyneth Gibbs, the Society’s Chairman, said that ‘this year our winners are as wide-ranging as ever, and the town is made even better by their hard work and creative contributions’. Every two or three years the Society asks its members to suggest which outstanding developments and refurbishments in the town should be noted and celebrated. These could be the impressive craftsmanship of stonemasons or other skilled artisans, the creation of notable buildings through new builds or conversion, the attractive displays and fittings which shop owners create within the constraints of caring for old buildings and the beautiful green spaces made possible by the many volunteers who spend time and effort on planting and maintaining these areas.

Those chosen for an award this year are: Renovation and conversion • Andrew Beeson, from Beeson Wright Ltd: for renovating a derelict site on Bath Row which consisted of a listed warehouse and outbuildings. Cobblestone Yard now forms an impressive office space and retail unit, with the outbuildings turned into residential units.

Restoration and embellishment of shop facade • Cllr John Dawson, the Mayor of Stamford: for carrying out renovations to the shopfront of Dawson’s of Stamford in Red Lion Square and erecting a 1.9m gilded statue of Mercury on the top of the premises, facing down High Street.

Enhancing Stamford’s green spaces • The Rotary Clubs of Stamford: for bulb planting in 25 locations around the town. Tony Springett represented the Stamford Rotary Club; Geoff Mayling represented Stamford Burghley Rotary Club; Kathy Harrison represented Stamford St Martin’s Rotary Club. • Hilary and John Spooner, volunteers from the congregation of St George’s Church: for creating a beautifully planted garden around the Church. Special award • Peter Heyes - lifetime award for gardening services over very many years. Each winner received a certificate with a beautiful manuscript inscription by Canon Donald Gray, a practiced calligrapher. About Stamford Civic Society The Stamford Civic Society was formed by a small group in the early 1960s to defend the town’s heritage and actively fight for its preservation and improvement. Since then, it has grown to a membership of over 200 people. In addition to concerns about the town’s heritage and conservation, they organise visits to local places of interest and hold talks on a variety of subjects, run projects to enhance the town, work with local schools to encourage the children to take an interest in their town, run the awards scheme and when necessary, campaign on issues affecting Stamford. NEWS FOR 2017 In 2017 there will be local and national celebrations commemorating the 50th anniversary of the creation of Conservation Areas in 1967. Stamford holds the honour of being the first place to be designated as a Conservation Area in 1967. The concept of conservation areas was introduced in England, Wales and Scotland by the Civic Amenities Act 1967 through a private members bill led by Lord Duncan Sandys.



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Japanese Garden Autumn © Richard Adams


WENTY years ago, Nick Hamilton was quietly building a nursery business in Exton while his famous father Geoff broadcast to millions as chief presenter on ‘Gardener’s World’. Geoff’s sudden and untimely death in 1996 plunged his family into shock and left them with a quandary as to what would become of his beloved garden at Barnsdale – enjoyed on the small screen by millions but never open to the public. Nick and the family decided to continue Geoff’s legacy and in the last two decades have doubled the size of the gardens, developed and opened them all year round to the delight of visitors from all over Europe. Nick reflects on the progress of the gardens and offers his advice on how to make the best of your own plot at this time of year.

Inspiration and education…

Having acquired the piece of land adjacent to Geoff’s original TV garden some years before his death, Nick’s team has been able to develop gardens twice the size of the original site including 38 different themed areas, features and attractions. Favourites include the Gentleman’s Cottage Garden, the Wildlife Garden, the Japanese Garden and the Woodland Walk. But Nick’s aim is that these should be far from ‘show gardens’.

“We are professional horticulturists so our aim is to create wonderful planting but ultimately to educate and inspire. The realism is very important so that visitors can take our ideas and professional expertise and apply it to their own garden, which is the best reward for us.” To mark Geoff’s 20th anniversary, the Winter Border was recently redesigned by a recipient of a bursary from Geoff Hamilton’s New Gardeners Foundation and officially reopened by TV gardener, Carol Klein who was a close friend of Geoff. The bursary scheme was created in Geoff’s memory to support students at Writtle College in Chelmsford where he and Nick both studied. Barnsdale supply an annual bursary of up to £4,000 for a student of any age and level studying practical horticulture. Nick is also a well-known supporter of local community cohesion – often to be found speaking to clubs and societies, ‘In Bloom’ groups, local primary schools or colleges and generally banging the drum for gardening

on all levels. With the kind of ‘can do’ attitude that often accompanies busy people, it’s hard to imagine Nick turning down an invitation to speak or accompany a group on a tour – his love of his subject is both compelling and infectious.

The best ideas….

According to Nick, Barnsdale is as inspiring in January as it is in June. “People always ask when the best time to come is. My reply is when your own garden looks at its worst because that’s when you will take home the best ideas.” A ‘Mecca’ for gardeners from all over the UK and beyond, the Barnsdale Nursery produces a wide variety of high-quality plants including more unusual and rare species that are all propagated from the gardens – the ultimate gift idea for those with green fingers. The Tea Rooms serve delicious lunches and teas made from home-grown ingredients and come highly recommended. STAMFORD LIVING DECEMBER 2016


Preparing for the season ahead Even in the coldest months, Nick believes there is always plenty to do outside – here’s his advice on jobs to complete this month. • Sow your early broad beans and peas outside now (hardy varieties include Aqua Dulce Claudia and Douce Provence). Cover with a cloche to mollycoddle them a little. • Give the greenhouse a good clean using a pressure washer or plenty of hot soapy water and a scrubbing brush to dislodge algae and hibernating pests/eggs from all the cracks and crevices. • Collect up fallen leaves around the garden and compost them for seed sowing, potting or as organic matter for the borders. Put the leaves in bin bags, pierce a couple of holes in each, tie the tops and, if possible, put them somewhere warmish to break down for about a year. • Take rose cuttings by pruning out a healthy shoot. Select a good strong basal bud and cut horizontally underneath then about 8 inches from the base, cut a sloping cut above another strong healthy bud. Dip in hormone rooting powder or liquid then push two thirds of its depth into the ground and firm well. Japanese Garden in Autumn © Hemant Jariwala

• It’s not too late to plant garlic this month by pushing cloves just below ground level at a spacing of 15cm with 30cm between the rows. • Lift your dahlias as soon as a good frost has turned the tops black. Cut the tops down, lift them carefully and remove the soil with your hands then using water so they are absolutely clean before placing them upside down to dry for a couple of weeks. Pack them into boxes or pots with just moist compost and store in a frost free area for winter. • Cover tender shrubs with horticultural fleece. I cover anything I feel might be damaged by the weather including Myrtus, Laurus, Abelia, Rosmarinus, Phormium etc as it’s better to be safe than sorry. The fleece allows light, air and water to pass through it removing the need to keep taking it off and replacing.

Winter kale & lettuce small © Pip Warters

Autumn Maple © Award Photography

A ‘Mecca’ for gardeners from all over the UK and beyond, the Barnsdale Nursery produces a wide variety of high-quality plants including more unusual and rare species that are all propagated from the gardens – the ultimate gift idea for those with green fingers. 60


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MEET THE MAKER Clare Kelly chats to Camilla Carscadden owner of one of Stamford’s favourite stores about her latest venture – Kraft Klub



lot of people walk by because they think we are a posh interiors shop,” says Camilla of Snow Designs. But that isn’t so. If you haven’t yet stepped into this emporium yet, isn’t it time that you did? Inside you’ll find a veritable feast of goods for yourself and those you love – handmade lampshades, well-chosen books, unique jewellery, gorgeous vintage pieces and nestled in between, playfully-posed taxidermy mice peep out. For the moustached man, there’s special combs and oils to keep the look dandy, while the cow hides hung on the wall invite a casual little stroke. When I visit, I meet Ben, the black Labrador and we shake paws while Camilla unpacks a box of goods that has just been delivered. A man appears behind her and she takes another parcel in. The phone rings and she tells the caller the lampshade is ready for collection. A man walks in and says “I’m back about the mirror” and with that, she removes a mirror from the wall (it reminds me of the one that Van Eyck painted in the Arnolfini Portrait), a lady pays for a cheeky slogan birthday card and a neighbour pops in and fusses the dog, diverting his attention away from me. It’s Monday and it’s all go. The shop is alive. The door opens and closes. Opens and closes. More customers arrive. “Is it always like this?” I ask. “Yes, it is,” she says smiling. The shop has been open for four years and provides a real showcase for many local makers many of whom who’ve just started out; but Camilla has been a maker for far

longer than that having originally started off with a slate design business in Rutland supplying handmade slate tableware. “We are so lucky being in Stamford. There are so many great creative businesses working locally and I think it’s great to meet them face-to-face and support them. It’s more important now than ever. It’s all too easy to send off your printing to be done by an online company but you don’t need to. I work with Creative Design & Print in Gas Street and Sarah Hatherill of Well Street Studio in Langham designed my logo.” Earlier this year, Camilla decided to start Kraft Klub to allow creatives to showcase their skills and give people the opportunity to socialise in the evenings while learning something new. You might even have been to one yourself and you’re lucky if you have because they sell out pretty quickly. “I wanted to do something different and so I invited my friend Caroline Austin from Two Turtle Doves to come and do a workshop on the art of embroidery. It all started there and since then, we’ve done macramé wall hangings, calligraphy and lino printing and had some great feedback.” But there’s one workshop in particular that has been garnering a lot of interest and it involves those mice I mentioned earlier: “People are really curious about taxidermy – it’s been around since Egyptian times but it’s now having quite a moment. The taxidermy workshop has been one of our most popular and it’s taught by my mum Virginia. Some people initially go ‘eugh’ but they are the ones who get really stuck into it. I think people want to say they’ve done it.”

While it goes without saying that this isn’t for the faint-hearted, the course teaches a skill that’s been around for years and it’s not something you’d find in every shop. All those who attend are invited to bring a few props for their mice – one brings a tiny mouse-sized glass of red wine, another mouse sports a top hat and is clutching a cork. And Camilla admits that all too often “people think they have to go to London to do these kinds of workshops but they don’t. They can bring their friends, have a glass of wine and they get a 10% discount off items in the shop during the evening.” All workshops take place around the main table underneath clusters of beautiful lampshades so it’s a cosy and sociable environment. Laura Harvey of Paper Plane ( recently went to the Modern Calligraphy workshop and says: “I went with my friend and we had a great night learning this craft. Imogen Owen who led the workshop was fantastic and to watch her write was mesmerising, it just flows. When I first had a go, I was literally scratching at the paper but after a few attempts, I was getting the hang of it. You get to take the kit home too so I’ve been doing some practice.” Though this year’s’ workshops will shortly be drawing to a close, there will be more to come in 2017 with Camilla happy to hear from makers who have the capability to lead a class. She admits to being quite keen on spoon carving too, so who knows? This may well be in the offing. • Find out more at: STAMFORD LIVING DECEMBER 2016



Under attack!

Caroline Aston uncovers one night 100 years ago, when a German Zeppelin bombed Rutland and Leicestershire “At about 11.15pm Mathy decided to lighten his airship’s load by ditching 32 bombs, all of which fell into deserted fields near Sproxton, Leicestershire. A few moments later, he loosed a high explosive device over Edmondthorpe on the Rutland/ Leicestershire border, following it up with 14 or 15 more of the same.“


EARS ago, round about this time of remembrance, I recall listening to a very old lady telling me about the night Rutland was bombed by a German Zeppelin airship during the Great War of 1914-18. It was certainly a gripping story, but I admit that I was dubious. Maybe a scrap of long forgotten local legend had been added to, embroidered just a tad – so I filed this snippet away in the attic that is my brain and more or less forgot about it, until now. 2016 is a year of anniversaries: in December it will be 80 years since Edward VIII abdicated for love of Mrs Wallis Simpson and it’s a century since the horror of the Battle of the Somme. However, I now find that it’s also 100 years since that a Zeppelin bombed Rutland: I must eat my words because that raid did happen and was just as dramatic as I’d been told so long ago.

The Zeppelin

Zeppelins, named after their inventor Count von Zeppelin, came to be much-feared weapons of war. Cigarshaped and sinister, they had a lightweight metal framework containing gasbags filled with highly flammable hydrogen gas. The whole thing was covered with a linen skin called an envelope and underneath it hung its control centre, housed in a capsule known as a gondola. In here was the engine that drove the airship’s propellers, the steering equipment and a crew armed with machine guns plus the bombs intended to rain down death and destruction. Britain got its first taste of a ‘blitz’ in January 1915, four months after war was declared. Kaiser Wilhelm was King George V’s first cousin and had vetoed this new tactic until then. Like many others at the time, he was pretty sure that the war would be short and sharp, maybe over by Christmas, and was loth to potentially destroy cultural heritage sites. And, quite naturally, he was uncomfortable about dropping bombs on his relatives at Buckingham Palace! But pressure on him mounted and he ultimately gave permission to attack Britain (though with the exclusion of London at first). In May 1915 the capital finally joined the list of targets with a raid east of the Tower of London.

The night of the attack

Captained by Kapitanleutnant Heinrich Mathy Zeppelin L.13 nosed its way over the British coast at around 9.15pm on March 5th 1916. His was the third Zeppelin to attack that night – but Mathy was not a happy man. He’d



had engine trouble, run into a terrible snowstorm over the North Sea and visibility was dreadful. Added to this, and unknown to him at the time, he was way off course too. He thought he was near Sunderland when he was actually near the mouth of the Humber in Lincolnshire and contemporary reports have him assuming he was approaching Scotland - when he was really near Nottingham. Finally, exasperated by yet more engine problems, Mathy decided to abandon his original targets, turn off the power and hopefully let the wind carry him towards Hull… But, of course, his drift was beginning in the East Midlands, not the North, and would ultimately lead him to the Kent coast later that night. At about 11.15pm Mathy decided to lighten his airship’s load by ditching 32 bombs, all of which fell into deserted fields near Sproxton, Leicestershire. A few moments later, he loosed a high explosive device over Edmondthorpe on the Rutland/ Leicestershire border, following it up with 14 or 15 more of the same. The second batch fell into farmland bounded by the triangle made up of Rutland villages Market Overton, Thistleton and Greetham but, mercifully, there was not a single casualty and no property damaged. Overall that night the three Zeppelin raiders killed 18 people, injured another 52 and caused over £25,000 worth of damage, a vast sum at the time. As for Mathy, he eventually made it home but, by then, only two of his four engines were working, his traversing gears had jammed and he’d been damaged by two rounds from the anti-craft gun at Shoeburyness. The gunners at Sheerness did their best to bring him down with their six-pounder gun but he passed safely out to sea at Deal on March 6th, around 2.25am. Earlier in 1915 Loughborough suffered 10 fatalities and 12 casualties in what became the first aerial attack on Leicestershire of the War while Harringworth, near Rutland’s Seaton village, was bombed in the October of that year. Interestingly, Zeppelin L.34 which carried out that raid was captained by Max Dietrich, uncle of screen legend Marlene Dietrich. To finish, some sobering statistics. By 1918, that first German ‘blitz’ had killed 835 people, injured 1,358 more and had caused over one and a half million pounds worth of damage. Thankfully Rutland doesn’t appear in the list of victims but, as you can see, it was a close run thing.



Christmas With Your Pets Deborah Pennell cooks Christmas dog biscuits, sources some great presents and on the more serious side of things, investigates what extra dangers lie ahead in the festive period, for our beloved four legged friends.


NIMALS are inquisitive by nature, and without putting too much of a dampener on things, Christmas can be a rather hazardous time for our pets. Here’s a quick run down of things to be aware of:

The 12 Hazards of Christmas Tinsel – an attractive, sparkly and interesting item especially for cats. If eaten it can cause blockages in the gut and sometimes get wrapped around the tongue. Fruitcake – contains raisins and currants, both highly toxic to a dog’s kidneys. Mistletoe – if eaten can lead to excessive drooling and gut upset, along with heart rate and rhythm problems Batteries – if eaten or chewed, can cause severe burns in a cat or dog’s mouth and oesophagus. Lilies – highly toxic for cats, they should be kept out of reach or not allowed in the house at all. Christmas Ornaments – broken glass ornaments can be swallowed or lacerate paws. The ornament hangers are another part that can be swallowed and cause blockages. Christmas Lights and electrical wires – if chewed through can cause burns to the tongue and mouth. Chocolate - highly toxic to both dogs and cats. The darker the chocolate the increased toxicity. Wrapping Bows and Ribbons – like tinsel, bows and ribbons can be similarly problematic. They can be enticing for cats and if eaten can cause intestinal obstruction. Liquid Pot Pourri – if ingested the detergents in most liquid pot pourri can cause severe ulceration and chemical burns to the mouth or along the gut. Skin and eyes may also be affected. Cyclamen – a pretty plant, often given as a present. If eaten by pets the toxins can cause excessive salivation, digestive upset, seizures and heart rhythm abnormalities. And finally, one thing that most of us cannot avoid…… Unfamiliar people in the House (House guests) – this may not be the most obvious hazard, until you think about it for a moment. House guests bring presents, often flowers and chocolates, which can be problematic for animals. Brief all your house guests well - no tit bits, presents containing chocolate to be kept out of reach, and flowers also.

Have a go at these wonderful Turkey and Cranberry Dog Biscuits. Children love making these biscuits! Ingredients: 490g wholewheat flour 1 tsp baking powder 175g shredded cooked turkey 175g dried cranberries 1 egg 1 tblsp sunflower oil 240ml low salt chicken stock made from a stock cube, cooled 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/gas 4 2. Line several baking sheets with non-stick baking parchment. 3. Mix the flour and baking powder together in a large bowl. Stir in the turkey meat and dried cranberries. 4. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and drop the egg into it. Add the sunflower oil and about 120ml chicken stock. 5. Mix to form a soft dough, adding more chicken stock a tablespoonful at a time until you reach the correct consistency. 6. Turn the dough out onto a floured board or work surface and knead for 1-2 minutes. 7. Roll the dough out to approximately 1/4 inch thick and cut out your shaped biscuits 8. Bake until brown, approximately 25 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the biscuits in the oven for another 30 minutes, to dry out. 9. Cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge

Shop locally for Christmas gifts for your pets Stamford Animal Pet Supplies (SAPS), Hallidays Yard, PE9 1ED Tel: 01780 755758 With a good selection of treats, stockings, squeaky toys as well as dog chocolates that they are allowed to eat, this compact little shop situated up near the police station is well worth a visit. Pets Korner, Stamford Walk, PE9 2JE Tel: 01780 756082 You can always guarantee to have a wide range of products to choose from when you head for Pets Korner. This year is no exception. With Advent Calendars, dog and cat stockings, Christmas selection boxes, bling collars with bells. And for the pet who has everything and is thoroughly spoilt, why not invest in a reindeer jumper, Father Christmas or Elf outfit. Alternatively, they can put their paws up on the sofa and enjoy a dog Beer and a dog friendly mince pie – has the world gone mad?!

Tel: 01780 763180 32 Main Street, Great Casterton, Stamford, Lincs. PE9 4AA

A Veterinar y Practice with a Difference Email: 66



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Preparing for Christmas in Mid-19th Century Stamford Jean Orpin and Sue Lee discover that Christmas was already becoming commercial a hundred and sixty years ago.

Each house is swept the day before, And windows stuck wi’ evergreens, The snow is beesom’d from the door, And comfort crowns the cottage scenes. Gilt holly, wi’ its thorny pricks, And yew and box, wi’ berry’s small, These deck the unus’d candlesticks, And pictures hanging by the wall. So wrote local poet, John Clare (1793-1864), in his poem December. He describes traditions that were centuries old and continue today; however, during his lifetime preparations for Christmas became more elaborate, more lengthy and more commercial.

Decorated Christmas Trees The idea of bringing a tree into the house and decorating it was introduced to Britain by the Royal Family. This is a description of a party at Windsor given by Queen Charlotte the German wife of George III. “In the middle of the room stood an immense tub with a yew tree placed in it, from the branches of which hung bunches of sweetmeats, almonds, and raisins in papers, fruits and toys, most tastefully arranged, and the whole illuminated by small wax candles.” Surprisingly that was in 1800. Queen Victoria was familiar with such trees before she married Prince Albert in 1840 but it was Albert who was to popularise the idea. In 1848 the Illustrated London News published a drawing of the Windsor Castle tree and it had an immediate impact. By the end of that December the tree had been described in the Stamford Mercury. It was 8 feet high with 6 tiers of branches and on each branch there was a dozen wax tapers. The writer told of “hanging baskets and bonboniers of sweetmeats” with fancy cakes and gilt gingerbread on ribbons. On the top was, “the small figures of an angel holding in each hand a wreath”. It wasn’t long before Stamford tradesmen were providing the town with the necessary supplies to emulate the Royals! John Oswin was a substantial ‘Grocer etc’ employing several shopmen and an apprentice at his shop in Red Lion Square (where the Central Café is now). By




Luxuries were imported from all over the world and even in 1849, shopkeepers were promoting Christmas goods in November. John Rose advertised his teas and coffees with a rhyme about Christmas time. Rose’s main shop was in Shoreditch where he had two shops each with a teapot on top. His agent in Stamford Mr Holmes also called his establishment ‘The Teapot’ and soon marketed it too with a rhyme: The Illustrated London News 1848

1850 he was informing his customers he had been to London and was pleased to offer them, “a great variety of Fancy Articles for decorating Christmas Trees” and “small lamps for lighting them up”. In subsequent years he added items of German and French manufacture together with “Davis’s Magic Flowers”. Others soon followed suit selecting items in London so we can imagine well-to-do residents of the town bedecking trees of their own or perhaps visiting Mrs Henry Johnson’s shop on the High St where she could also offer “Christmas Trees lent on hire for the Evening”. The Fancy Articles advertised at this time for decorating trees were usually edible and by the late 1850s it was common for charities, churches and other benefactors to follow the royal example by setting up a tree and distributing the sweetmeats to poor children. The Marchioness of Exeter sent carriages to collect the children from the Unionhouse (workhouse) to Burghley House where she gave them tea and cake and they all received gifts from the Christmas tree.

“His Christmas preparations we may name For these will please you equally the same Holmes is prepared to sell you as he should Teas, coffees, fruits and spices cheap and good.” Other Stamford shopkeepers competed to provide the townspeople with everything that they would need for Christmas. H.Wright a baker in All Saints Street advised his customers in December1856 that he had just received a stock of the “finest imported fruits, French plums in cartons and bottles, the latter very superior, muscatels, Turkey figs of very fine quality, crystallised fruits, St Michael oranges, Barcelona Spanish nuts etc”. The same year W. Dawson in St Mary’s street advertised “Twelfth cakes plain and ornamental and British wines of the highest quality, East India ginger, Metz cherries, apricots and greengages, fine figs in drums and boxes suitable for presents.” John Oswin, who tended to be one step ahead of other shopkeepers, offered his customers Christmas Cakes as well as Twelfth Cakes. The Christmas cake was a relatively recent development from plum puddings.

Christmas Dinners Geese were a Christmas favourite for those who could afford them. Prices were high in Stamford in 1848 when they were for sale at 6/-, 7/- and 8/- although on this occasion they were reduced before the end of the day. Specialities such as York hams, Bath chaps, German sausages and pickled and dried tongues were available from Grocers stores. Although Stamford did not have a fat stock show, butchers competed to purchase prize animals from local shows. Two Stamford traders, John Payne of All Saints’ Place and Mr Riley of the High Street, were successful in obtaining prize beef from the Rutland Agricultural Show in 1858. In the same year the Christmas market was held a few days before Christmas producing “a show of meat and other edibles that few towns of similar size can equal, much less surpass …… several of the shops there was a splendid exhibition of rich beef, choice mutton and immensely fat pork”.

Gifts Gifts had traditionally been given at New Year but moved to Christmas which was considered more important to the Victorians. At first the gifts were small - fruit, nuts, sweets and handmade trinkets, which would be hung on the Christmas tree. As the gifts became larger and bought from shops they were put under the tree.

Twelfth Cake

Cake Decoration Moulds


Twelfth cakes were bought in preparation for Twelfth night celebrations on January 6th. Parties were popular and the cake contained a bean and a pea. The man who received the slice with the bean was king for the evening and the woman receiving the slice with the pea was queen. The cake was very elaborate and was the centrepiece of the party.

Middle class children may have received jigsaws, marbles, small dolls and tea-sets. Stationary and books were often recommended as suitable Christmas gifts. W Newcomb of Ironmonger St had new and elegantly bound books and H. Johnson, bookseller of Stamford, advertised an extensive range of French and German novelties “adapted for presents for every class of purchaser. The new books surpass in beauty, variety and excellence those of former years, particularly for junior readers”. A rather intriguing advert in 1853 said, “Parties desirous of spending a cheerful Christmas should visit R.F.Yeoman’s establishment, High Street, Stamford” and a very unusual present was advertised in 1857, “In creating and sustaining luxuriant silken tresses Rowland’s Macassar oil is highly appreciated by rank and fashion and patronised by all Sovereigns of Europe. No present can be more worthy of recommendation”.

Music, Games and Dance Music played an important part at Christmas. Before carol singing in public became popular there were official musicians called Waits. The Stamford Waits, wore scarlet cloaks and a badge with the arms of the borough and formerly received an annual stipend. The Waits were no longer employed by the town after 1832 but in 1850 they were still singing twice a week for six weeks before Christmas and were allowed to accept money from the public. The Victorians liked carols and by the middle of the century new words were being put to old tunes. The first collection of carols was published in 1833 and popular carols we sing today were published in the 1840s and 1850s - Once in Royal David’s City in 1848, O Come All ye Faithful in 1843 and Good King Wenceslas in 1853. J.E.Hart on the High Street advertised his new stock of music for the Christmas season at 3d a sheet and people could also hire a piano from him. Games like squails (a very new game), bagatelle, lotto, chess and draughts could also be hired for the season. The townspeople looked forward to the Dorcas charity ball at the Assembly Rooms. Miss Young of the French House High Street travelled to London in December 1858 and returned with “an elegant assortment of Ball and Evening dresses in tulle, lace and muslin and the new silk headdress in every shade”. Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol” published in 1843 spread the traditions of the festival. The themes of charity, goodwill, peace and happiness are familiar, but the Victorians transformed Christmas into the family celebration it is today. The preparation, the meal, the tree, giving gifts and entertainments are all part of a 21st century Christmas.

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This makes a great winter walk, with beautiful views and buildings throughout the route; and, of course, numerous opportunities to pop in to a café for a warming drink.

WALK DATA Distance: 3.5 kms (2.2 miles) Typical time: 1 hour (excluding stops and visits) Start & Finish: Ely Station (CB7 4BS) Terrain: all on pavement, stout shoes required. Getting there: hourly train services from Oakham, Stamford & Peterborough; typically, faster than driving, and a great view of the cathedral and marina as you arrive.

BACKGROUND The ancient city of Ely occupies the largest island in the Cambridgeshire Fens. The “Isle of Ely” is so called because it was only accessible by boat until the waterlogged Fens were drained in the 17th century. It was these watery surrounds that gave Ely its original name the ‘Isle of Eels’, a translation of the Anglo-Saxon word ‘Eilig’. The Cathedral had its origins in the 11th century and the settlement developed around it. It is often listed as one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the Mediaeval World’, and during this walk you get to see it from so many vantage points. Cromwell lived with his family in Ely for just over ten years; and his house, which you can visit, provides an evocative insight into 17th century life.

PLACES TO VISIT Ely Cathedral is one of England’s architectural treasures. Take the time to explore this remarkable building and the Octagon at its heart, built to replace the original Norman tower that collapsed in 1322. Visit to find out more. It also houses the very interesting stained glass museum. Ely Museum. Housed in Ely’s Old Gaol that dates from the 13th Century when it was used as a prison by the Bishops of Ely, it has also been a tavern, a house and a registry office. The Museum presents the history of the Isle of Ely and its people through its eclectic collection and special exhibitions and is well worth a visit. Cromwell’s House. With its origins in the 13th Century, this was home to Oliver Cromwell and his family from 1636. During his time in Ely, Cromwell became MP for Cambridge and took an active part in the drainage of the fens. The House gives a fascinating insight into 17th Century life and the home life of one of history’s most famous figures.



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

Set out from the station and turn left when you reach the main road; cross over at the pedestrian crossing and head towards town, taking the first right at Annesdale This shortly brings you to the waterside, which you walk along as far as the Babylon footbridge Turn left up Waterside at this point, which takes you all the way up to Fore Hill and then the High St, past the Market Place on your right Turn right just before Oxfam down a tiny passage called High St Passage, to reach Market St, where you turn left, soon passing The Ely Museum on your right At the end of Market St, turn left into Lynn Rd and then first right into St Mary’s St;

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when you reach the green, you will see Oliver Cromwell’s House on the far side of it Head past this and then back into the cathedral precinct, heading past the cannon to reach the western entrance to Ely Cathedral From here, turn right down The Gallery (with the Bishop’s Palace immediately on your right, until you reach the Ely Porta gate on your left Head through the gate, through Ely Park, with the cathedral on your left and the remains of the castle mound on your right On reaching Broad St at the bottom, kink right then left into Jubilee Gardens, which takes you back to the river From here, re-trace the first steps of your journey back to the station

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SHOPPING Babylon Art Gallery, right by the footbridge. Waterside Antiques Centre 3 floors of Antiques to rummage through, just up from the Babylon footbridge STAMFORD LIVING DECEMBER 2016




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Woven Chords Christmas Concert Stamford Arts Centre, 16th December 8.00pm

Tickets from Tel: 01780 763203 • More information on choir and sound clips

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HE Christmas season is the busiest time of the year for Willow Brook Farm Shop and that’s no surprise. Conveniently situated between Stamford and Peterborough you’re guaranteed not only excellent produce but a friendly Farm Shop welcome. Rosemary Morton explains why people come back year after year: “Our field to fork ethic is as important at Christmas as it is at any time of the year and our customers value this. Provenance is at our heart - people want to know about what they’re buying and where it came from and our expert Butchers are always pleased to help. Our suppliers are local where possible and we’re incredibly proud of our own home-reared beef.” Of course, being a farm shop it’s not just meat on offer - there’s seasonal vegetables, accompaniments and other artisan products too. The food hampers make great gifts and if you have a foodie in the family then there’s pork pie making evenings available as a gift package. In the run-up to Christmas, make the most of Willow Brook’s Christmas offers. If you place your order before the 1st December, you win the chance to get it for free! The website has the details along with other offers like the Christmas meat packs, recipes and pick up days. (www. ) Finally, Rosemary adds “If you’ve haven’t been before, come along, have a look at what we have to offer and stop for some tea and cake in our Granary Tea Room, you won’t be disappointed.

HRISTMAS with all its fun and excitement can be a stressful time. The team at Elysia have a wealth of experience and knowledge to ease you through. Why leave it until the New Year? Now is the time to change your life Party Season Results – you want to look and feel your best. Boost your confidence and look amazing in your LBD. If your arms, tummy, thighs are letting you down Exilis Elite and Lipofirm Pro offer permanent fat removal, inch loss and skin tightening. Aesthetic skin treatments will treat lines and wrinkles, sagging jowls, acne and rosacea and loose skin around the eye area. Relax X Unwind – specialised massage therapy to give you some ‘me time’. Hot Stone, lava shell, deep tissue to name but a few. Elysia Pamper Parties are perfect for a catch up with friends whilst enjoying amazing treatments. They have a dedicated area to all relax and enjoy a glass of something and can even arrange lunch or supper. Sparkle – Don’t forget the finishing touches. Gel nails, LVL Lashes, Brows, make-up. Pop in to see beautiful Christmas gifts and vouchers. • 1 Tansor Court Cottages, Fotheringhay Rd, Peterborough PE8 5HP Tel: 01832 226328

Stamford United Reformed Church S

TAMFORD United Reformed Church this year celebrates 50 years of running their Friday Coffee Mornings from their Hall in Broad Street Stamford. It was formed 50 years ago by what was then the Congregational Church, but which has now become the United Reformed Church. Over the years the weekly event has provided and continues to provide a welcome retreat for market day shoppers who visit on a regular basis, and also one-off visitors to the town. The market traders also make use of the facility to purchase refreshments. The Coffee Morning is regarded as an outreach for the Church where we can welcome many regular friends and visitors. It provides a means of fund raising for the Church and on occasions is used for charity appeals including the Macmillan Nurses Appeal The drinks are very reasonably priced and they also offer specialist teas The event also runs a well-stocked book stall and on occasions a cake stall. The sessions are run by members of the Church but they are also grateful to a number of outside helpers who help on a regular basis. They have a reasonable number of helpers, but are always happy to hear from volunteer helpers. Naturally there have been a number of Convenors & many helpers over the years. One of the original helpers, Mrs Elizabeth Banks, still visits most Friday mornings. The current convenors are Ms Isobel Macnab & Mrs Pamela Wilk, with much appreciated help from many reliable volunteers. The Coffee Morning runs from 8.30am to 11.30am in the United Reformed Church Hall each Friday morning and they look forward to continuing to serve the town in the years to come. The support of the town over the years is much appreciated.

Rose Lodge Care Home Christmas Fair

Saturday 17th December 3 – 5pm Rose Lodge Care Home, 35a Church Street, Market Deeping, PE6 8AN Everyone is welcome to come along. Games, craft stalls, hot chocolate, mulled wine, hot food and mince pies. Entertainment will be provided by some fantastic local carol singers, not forgetting Santa who will be in his grotto! STAMFORD LIVING DECEMBER 2016



James Bowie, Barnsdale Lodge’s new General Manager


OSITIONED on the North shore of the spectacular Rutland Water, Barnsdale Lodge has become somewhat of an institution. Originally a farmhouse and owned by Thomas Noel’s family since 1760, Thomas converted it to a hotel in 1989 and, since then, we’ve seen it earn numerous accolades including being in the Sunday Telegraph’s ’50 of Britain’s cosiest hotels’ and runner up in the Telegraph’s ‘20 Top Places for a Warm Welcome’. Rachael Bull caught up with the new General Manager, James Bowie, about the hotel and their plans for the future.

You joined Barnsdale in July – what were you up to before then?

‘Yes I started officially on 4th July. Before then I’d been Deputy General Manager at Fawsley Hall Hotel and Spa in Northamptonshire, so not a million miles from here.

So you’ve been in the hotel industry for some time then?

You could say that! My first home was The Belmont Hotel in Leicester. My great-grandmother bought it in 1934, then my grandparents ran it and now it’s my father’s. So the industry has been in our blood for generations – I worked at The Belmont for eight years and, apart from a couple of forays into other things, I’ve been in hospitality my whole career.

What attracted you to Barnsdale Lodge?

There are a few different things. It’s my first General Manager role, which is really exciting. And when I first met Ed, his vision for the Rutland Retreats project and the hotel generally was really impressive. He already has a fantastic legacy for quality food and service offer and has a real, renewed focus of what to do with the Lodge. And the beautiful location helps – it can’t be beaten.

What have you got coming up at Barnsdale Lodge in the near future?

I’m excited about the plans we have for refurbishment – in the main hotel we’re completely redoing all the bedrooms and have some big changes with our banqueting offer. We’re also doing a lot of work with the whole team to improve the service and make everything spot on for our guests, from start to finish – lots of team training and such like. I’m a real believer in having engaged people on the team. If people feel engaged and valued, that’s reflected in how they welcome the guests.

What has impressed you the most since arriving?

There’s so much, but the team has really impressed me. It’s a very welcoming, friendly and professional group of people we’ve got at Barnsdale Lodge – I felt that personally when I started and I see it in the way our guests are welcomed. It’s great to see.

summer and seeing people relaxing out there, enjoying a drink and basking in the sunshine was great. Another favourite part of it for me is our guests – they’re a really nice mix of people and I’m enjoying getting to know them.

What do you love most about your job?

Have you and your family been able to enjoy the area?

It’s got to be the variety – every day is different and I never know what I’m going to turn up to when I arrive each morning. I also enjoy meeting such an interesting variety of people, both those who I work with and guests too. It certainly keeps the brain ticking over.

What do you like most about the hotel itself?

It’s got a really warm and homely feel to it. Ed treats it like a big family home rather than anything corporate or stuffy. Guests feel like it’s home away from home. The pet-friendly aspect is a surprisingly important one – people like that. My favourite part of the hotel is the courtyard. We had such a lovely



Yes, very much so. We’ve been on bike rides around the lake and my seven-year-old managed to get round the full circuit, bless her. She did very well. I’m a big fan of Oakham and its lovely mix of independent shops and the kids love Oakham Castle – especially the dressing up. We also really like farm shops – Farndon Fields in Market Harborough is a firm favourite in our family. • Barnsdale Lodge Hotel, The Avenue, Exton, Oakham, Rutland LE15 8AH. Tel: 01572 724678

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7.45pm tickets £10.00 £8.00 conc. box office 01780 763203 a performance by our resident amateur theatre company


This amateur production of Roots is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French Ltd

06 -10 december 2016

by arnold wesker

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

Friday 9 December MUSIC: Just You, Just Me Award-winning vocalist Jacqui Dankworth is joined onstage by her husband, acclaimed American pianist-vocalist Charlie Wood, for a unique concert of duet arrangements celebrating a century of song. Inspired by some of the great musical partnerships, this concert features numbers including Alone Together, Autumn in New York, It Don’t Mean A Thing, A Foggy Day and other favourites. Stamford Arts Centre Tickets £18/£16 Tel: 01780 763 203 Sunday 4 December, 11am and 2.30pm FAMILY SHOW: Santa and the Pirates (that don’t want Christmas!) Callum Donnelly and Robin Hatcher are the stars of the popular hit CBeebies TV show ‘Spotbots’. The loveable duo star in this hilarious brand new adventure that cleverly mixes pirates and Christmas as the duo is ready to cast off hoping to see a crew of little ones on board too. Stamford Corn Exchange Theatre Tickets from £7 Tel: 01780 766 455 www.stamfordcornexchange. Saturday 10 December, 8pm EVENT: 80s Rock Show and Hair Rock Experience An 80s nostalgia filled show performed by a seven piece live band playing all the biggest 80s rock classics from bands such as Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Def Leppard, Kiss, Whitesnake, Foreigner and Journey. Over two hours of rock anthems and power ballads to take you back. Very tongue in cheek and family friendly. Dressing up is encouraged.

Stamford Corn Exchange Theatre Tickets £17 Tel: 01780 766455 Various dates and times between 10 and 24 December PANTOMIME: Peter Pan The classic tale of the boy who refused to grow up is a perennial favourite and this production is a swashbuckling spectacular for all the family. Join Peter and Wendy and let your imagination fly as they travel to Neverland and do battle with the dastardly Captain Hook and the pirates. Expect all the usual pantomime magic with plenty of audience participation, music and laughter. Cresset Theatre Tickets from £11.50 Tel: 01733 265705 www. Sunday 11 December, from 11.30am FUNDRAISING EVENT: Stamford Santa Fun Run 2016 sees the tenth anniversary of the Stamford Santa Fun Run which has seen a doubling in numbers year on year. The organisers

Tuesday 6 to Saturday 10 December, 7.45pm THEATRE: Roots by Arnold Wesker In September 1958 Beatie Bryant, returns from London, like a breath of fresh air, to the rural Norfolk community of her birth. Beatie means to marry her socialist boyfriend Ronnie, and brings with her a wealth of new ideas on politics, music and art, to enlighten her family. A play full of compassion, humour and sharply-observed humanity. A true classic, this play has stood the test of time and remains relevant in contemporary Britain. Performed by Stamford Shoestring Theatre. Stamford Arts Centre Tickets £10/8 Tel: 01780 763203 or www.stamfordartscentre. com

are hoping for record attendance this year with entrants of all ages and abilities encouraged as well as serious runners all bedecked in Santa suits, hats and beards – guaranteed to put you in the festive spirit. Burghley Park Entry fees remain at £14 for adults and £7 for children 12 years of age and under. (Children 4 and under are free to enter but no suit will be issued). Information at www. Wednesday 14 December, 6pm EVENT: Carol Concert What better way to begin your festive celebrations than to enjoy hearing your favourite carols and Christmas music performed by the Cantus Choir and Orchestra. The evening will begin with a complimentary glass of wine served in the Orangery, moving through to the Great Hall at 6.30pm. With audience participation this will be an evening of festive fun and sparkle for all of the family to enjoy. Burghley House Tickets and information at





Simeon Stafford, The Yellow Carousel, oil on canvas

CHAMPAGNE OPENING Saturday 3rd December

Saturday 14 January 2017

Women's Stories What our words say about us


Sunday 4th December 2016 12pm – 4pm and by appointment thereafter


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

Monday 19 December, doors at 7pm MUSIC: Brooke and Friends Local girl and major music talent Brooke Peverell will perform a mixture of covers and original music along with some of her friends and fellow musicians. This performance will preview Brooke’s eagerly awaited first EP due out early next year. Stamford Arts Centre Tickets £4 in advance or on the door Tel: 01780 763 203

Friday 16 December, 8pm CONCERT: Woven Chords’ Acapella Christmas Join Stamford’s acapella choir for an evening of songs from around the world with a sprinkling of festive magic. Expect heartwarming Polish, bouncing Catalan and classic English carols, both traditional and contemporary. Add in a handful of new American gospel spirituals and sweeping Italian ballads for an atmospheric evening not to be missed. Stamford Arts Centre Tickets £10/£8 Tel: 01780 763 203 www.stamfordartscentre. com Saturday 17 December, 11, 1.30 and 4pm PANTOMIME: Cinderella This story of Cinderella features local performers from the Bourne, Deepings and Stamford area. With a wicked stepmother and two jealous stepsisters who keep her enslaved, Cinderella stands no chance of attending the royal ball. When her fairy godmother appears and magically transforms her reality into a dream come true, Cinderella enchants the handsome prince but must face the wrath of her enraged stepmother and sisters when the spell wears off at midnight. Stamford Corn Exchange Theatre Tickets from £7.50 Tel: 01780 766 455 www. stamfordcornexchange.

Saturday 17 December, 2pm FAMILY SHOW: Rapunzel and the Tower of Doom Pity poor Rapunzel spending her life in a tower with some strange woman using her locks as a step ladder. This traditional tale goes right back to its roots, teasing out the tangles and styled beautifully. Stamford Arts Centre Tickets £8 Tel: 01780 763203 www.stamfordartscentre. com Saturday 17 December, 3pm and 7.30pm CHARITY EVENT: Christmas Concert South Kesteven Acting and Musical Players present a festive feast performed by local musical theatre and dance groups in support of Root 4 Ryley. United Reformed Church Hall, Stamford Tickets are £7/£6 Tel: 01780 763203 www.stamfordartscentre. com

Wednesday 21 December, 7.30pm MUSIC: The Albion Christmas Band Many fans say that their Christmas doesn’t start until they have seen The Albion Christmas Show. Featuring the combined talents of Simon Nicol (Fairport Convention), Kellie While (Albion Band) Simon Care (Edward II) and Ashley Hutchings, this show takes you on a guided tour through the Christmas customs of Britain. Stamford Arts Centre Tickets £18/£16 Tel: 01780 763 203

Players present this year’s production in which the beautiful and kindhearted Princess Snow White celebrates her 18th birthday with a party. When the Prince falls in love with Snow White, the outraged queen arranges to have her killed. Finding refuge with the seven dwarves, when the Queen tracks her down disguised as an old apple seller, only the magic of true love’s kiss can save her. Stamford Corn Exchange Theatre Tickets from £7.50 Tel: 01780 766 455 www.stamfordcornexchange.

Friday 6 and Saturday 7 January – multiple performance times PANTOMIME: Snow White and the Seven Dwarves Polka Dot Pantomimes return with their usual brand of witty, sparkly and truly fabulous pantomime. This much loved family classic is suitable for all the family, so get ready for a Tuesday 27 Dec to Sunday wonderful show. 1 Jan, 2pm daily plus 7pm Stamford Arts Centre Tickets £12 or £42 for a performance on Friday PANTOMIME: Snow White family of four Tel: 01780 763203 www. and the Seven Dwarves Stamford Pantomime Thursday 15 December to Saturday December 17 2015, 2pm FAMILY SHOW: The Cat in the Hat From the moment his tall, red and white striped hat appears around the door, Sally and her brother know that The Cat in the Hat is the funniest, most mischievous cat they have ever met. With the trickiest of tricks and craziest of ideas, he turns a rainy afternoon into an amazing adventure. Recommended for young children aged 3 plus. Broadway Theatre, Peterborough Tickets from £5 Tel: 01733 822225





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JAMES ELLIS AND THE MUSICALITY EVENT What do you get if you take determination, focus and a young, energetic and positive mind - something outstanding of course! Kate Cadman talks to James Ellis about Musicality - a dream that turned to reality ...

James and his mum


Vernon Kay


OST of us when faced with a resounding ‘No’, don’t keep pushing it, especially when that negative response comes consistently - 15 times over. Not so, James Ellis, an 18-yearold boarder at Stamford Endowed Schools. Last year James was on the same rugby tour in South Africa as his friend George Robinson and witnessed, pitch-side, the terrible accident which resulted in George incurring a life changing spinal injury. “George’s accident made me want to do something. It was the kind of accident that could have happened to any one of us. It could have been my mum crying. When we got home from the tour I just kept thinking if only we could do something that would put smiles on faces.” Spin 12 months on to today and James, who’s now 18, has just pulled off an incredibly successful music gig which has earned him huge kudos within the industry. It wasn’t plain sailing all the way though. James had to ‘hound’ a London booking agent, MN2S, and keep calling despite getting nowhere many times over. “Eventually I think I had worn down the PA and, after promising that I only needed a minute to explain my idea, she eventually put me through to an agent called Sharron.” James had his chance to relay his vision of creating a high profile, charitable musical event based at Peterborough Arena with a musical line up that would bring people together and raise money for charity at the same time. His tenacity paid off and James managed to persuade MN2S to get on board and help make his dream become a reality. They did and the rest, as they say, is history. Musicality, a live music show, evolved and took place last month. The evening was a huge success attracting a total of 3,000 music lovers to Peterborough. Celebrity and TV presenter, Vernon Kay, compered the evening urging people to people to donate to four chosen charities, the Injured Jockey’s Fund, the Matt Hampson Foundation, #teamgeorge and Stamford-based children’s charity Anna’s Hope.

Musically the lineup was eclectic serving up an exquisite mix of rock, pop, urban and rap music. Toploader, Scouting for Girls, Jay Sean and B.o.B. all pulled off hugely engaging performances to a very diverse audience. “I really wanted to bring multiple communities together and get people sharing the same space who would never normally do so,” explains the wise-beyond-his-years teenager. “The crowd reaction was awesome.” “We sold 75 family tickets, so knew we would have small children at the event. At the other end of the age spectrum, my 73-year-old Grandma, Sarah, came along and had a fantastic evening. She loved all of the performances although she couldn’t quite understand why the crowd got so hyped up. Her highlight of the evening was a hug and a kiss from Vernon.” The event took a huge amount of work to organise and publicise and James, along with his family and friends worked tirelessly to build the event profile during the run up to the show. The actual stage set build began at 5pm on the Thursday beforehand and James, wearing his Event Manager hat, worked through the night and right through the following day with just 1 or 2 hours’ rest. He eventually got to bed at 4.30am on Saturday morning. The event was a resounding success. “Vernon Kay was surprised at how well the event was organised, bearing in mind my age and the fact that it’s the first one I’ve done. Jay Sean’s manager texted straight after the show asking me when the next event would be and saying “It went so smoothly. You absolutely smashed it”, adds a proud James. “What really put a smile on my face and restored my faith in why people actually get on and do stuff,” says James, “was that the Musicality event put George’s family in touch with the family of jockey Freddy Tylicki, who was paralysed during a race at Kempton only last month. That’s what this event was all about, people sharing experiences and helping others.”

“I would like to say a special thanks to Peter Gibbons, Director of Lux Technical, the specialist live event production and technical design company based in Market Deeping who gave us enormous support and help staging this event.” James Ellis



We would like to wish all our customers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 7KH0DOWLQJV%DUQDFN5RDG6WDPIRUG3(1$7HO



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Stamford Living December 2016  
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