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Winter 2019 • Issue 7



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Adapted from the bestselling books by


Based on the books by Kes Gray and Jim Field. Published by Hachette Children’s Group


Contents Winter 2019 • Issue 7


Well hello to all my wonderful readers. Yes, it’s the most wonderful time of the year again and yes, we’re all wondering where the year went! I’m sure I only took the tree down (what felt like) yesterday and now it’s about to take residence again for the next few weeks. The children have officially started to go on what I can only call ‘a smarties hype’ and I’m guessing I will soon be in a cheese board comma – here’s hoping. I use this time, stereotypically, to reflect on everything that’s happened throughout the year. Often, I can’t actually believe it and feel like I’ve been living in some sort of movie. There’s been beautiful memories created with my family – witnessing marriages between loved ones, my little cherubs starting school and holidays that have made their mark in my mind forever. There’s been wonderful moments watching Cherubs’ readership rocket into the thousands (35,000-plus to be precise). Then there’s been rock bottom lows, lows that have been indescribable, which I’m still struggling to process. 2019 has taught me to moan less about the things that really are not important. To appreciate your existence on this earth is the most important life lesson you will ever have, don’t allow something to slap you in the face in order for you to wake up and start living. Whether you celebrate Christmas or are just having a few days off from work, allow yourself to have some time to switch off and be with the ones that matter. There will always be tomorrow to answer the work email or message back to the million WhatsApp groups that you have going.

18 28 46 52

Education 9 Little Miss Squid 14 Fine motor fun Health & Wellbeing 19 Endometriosis - Dr Larisa Corda 26 Baby loss Lifestyle & Christmas 34 Mother and daughter golf day 36 Party ready with Ali & Nesh Travel 47 A winter wonderland trip 50 Christmas in Leicester Winter Activities 58 I’m bored 64 La la la la laaaaaa

Live, laugh, eat and repeat that’s my motto this season. As for my New Year’s resolution – I will wing it, just like I do every year and the choices I make will be the ones the universe will allow me to conquer. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year. Peace, love and Yorkshire puddings

Sevim x


Publisher & Editor: Sevim Safer Style Editor: Antonia Sanchez–Toomey Health & Fitness Editor: Mary Huckle Fertility Expert: Dr Larisa Corda Yoga and Movement Therapist: Cathy Underwood Healthy Food Columnist: Christianna Karaolis Lifestyle Blogger: Jason Suttie Make up Column: Elena Lazarou Travel Expert: Eda Ayyildiz Cake Artist: Stevie Georgiou Designer: Chris Webb Printers: The Roma Group, 3 Drakes, Enfield Bio Picture: Duncan McCabe - McQueens

Be sure to come and visit us at our first ever Christmas Fair and Grotto on the 30th November. See page 38 for details.

To advertise in our next issue email or call 0203 978 7332 While we take every care to ensure details are correct the publisher will take no responsibility for errors or omissions. Readers are advised to check information published with individual advertisers and take legal advice where appropriate before entering into any transactions. Where prices or dates are quoted they are correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change. Unless specifically stated the publisher does not endorse any product or service appearing in the magazine. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the prior permission of the publisher.

Follow us on social media for regular updates @CherubsMagazine




Meet LIttle Miss Squid, Cherubs’ new child writer and ambassador for Family Based Solutions (FBS).

As it’s Anti-bullying Week in November, we thought what better way to introduce the littlest member of our team than with a message from her to our readers explaining a bit about her and the aims of her cause. So here she is...

Hello everyone. Oh my goodness it's so nice to write for you all. I'm 10 years old and I live with my family in North London. My daddy calls me Squid, which is where I got my name from. I have had experience in being bullied and I know I am not the only one. I felt invisible for a very long time. My parents tried to help but sometimes it can be hard for them to understand. This makes my parents feel powerless. Feeling invisible and alone is not nice for anybody. I've spent many days sitting on the buddy bench at school, waiting for someone to come over and ask me to play. If I approached anyone to play with me, they would call me really mean names and laugh at me for asking to be someone's friend. I didn't have the confidence to STAND UP to the bullies, with the help of my private tutor, my parents, Cherubs and FBS I feel like I'm finding my voice. Together with my new team we're running a

These words are used a lot and it is easier said than done. Those who are bullied can feel scared, humiliated and lack confidence so, 'standing up to them' is very hard. My idea is to help those who are bullied by showing them support. It is hard to open up to a grown up when you are going through something so hard. I hope if anyone's reading this, going through the same thing, they can find the strength to 'stand up'. My message to everyone being bullied is, you are not alone out there. There are so many that feel the same as you. My parents listened to me, which really helped. Grown-ups please make time to listen, even if you think it is a small problem it may not be for your child. I felt invisible and worried until I spoke to my parents. I know parents are really busy but sometimes we need your help. We have a Facebook group running for anyone who is experiencing a similar problem or seeking advice, it is an open group run by the grown-ups in the office. Little Miss Squid and her friend Little Miss Owl come in once a week to our offices and read your posts – under adult supervision. A lot of care, thought and brainstorming goes on and together we try our best to help families going through similar situations. To join our group please type Little Miss Squid & Little Miss Owl.

To advertise email or call 0203 978 7332

Little Miss Squid (whose name has been changed for data protection reasons) will be a regular feature in Cherubs, talking about a subject that really matters to her – bullying.

campaign called Stand Up, an idea I had from the concept 'stand up to bullies'. This will involve anyone wanting to raise awareness to bullying by standing up for an hour in the workplace or school. (More information on our Facebook page.)


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As the academic year resumes its routine pace and we are already bracing the second term, it is easy for students to become disengaged in their studies; schools must ensure that energy and expectation remain at the heart of practice says one North London headteacher. After celebrating top GCSE and A Level results last summer, high–achieving independent school group, North Bridge House is set to continue to build on its success under the leadership of one collegiate senior school headteacher. Having this year extended his role as Head of North Bridge House Senior Hampstead across the school’s senior and sixth form campus in Canonbury too, Brendan Pavey says that by setting the expectations very high, but supporting rather than pressurising pupils, excellent academic outcomes will follow. With NBH Senior Hampstead achieving record GCSE results for the second successive year since Brendan’s start in 2017, and NBH Senior Canonbury celebrating its best ever A Level results this 2019, the school’s focus on understanding teens as both adolescents and unique, individual learners has evidently created a successful learning environment for its diverse student community. NBH is not academically selective like many

of its competitors – it is mixed ability. The school prides itself on developing a broader range of pupil abilities than schools that set a very high academic bar for entry. The school has celebrated outstanding success in subjects ranging from Physics and Geography to French and Art this year, and from students gaining straight 9 grades at GCSE to an impressive 32 per cent of A*/A grades at A Level, Brendan maintains that it is important to consider where a pupil’s abilities lie. An eight–year–old child who may be amazing at maths and English can also be brilliant at the piano, have a passion for history and progress to the top of the class over the next 10 years. Conversely, a pupil who has made wonderful progress in primary school may find the challenges of senior school very difficult and may need to develop confidence in other areas to succeed beyond the school gates.’ North Bridge House purposefully identifies students’ strengths and challenges them with further opportunity to excel in these areas, consequently exceeding even their own expectations. “We build our pupils’ confidence in areas in which they are strong – positively impacting on their overall studies – and support them when they need more time to make progress,” says NBH Senior School Head, Brendan.

Those who are academically strong are pushed to achieve great things in, for example, maths (and the school boasts some of the country’s best mathematicians, celebrating top grades in Additional Maths – a GCSE qualification designed to stretch particularly high achieving mathematicians– year on year) and are also challenged to cook a great meal or complete their Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme. “There is a difference in students being taught to the test in the expectation that they will get the highest grades – some children do not respond well to this kind of pressure – and setting high expectations reinforced by meaningful support and the nurturing of intellectual curiosity and a life–long love of a subject,” Brendan concludes. He maintains that students’ individual learning needs must be a priority in order for them to be happy at school and that happy children learn best. In setting high expectations of both staff and students at North Bridge House, with the school’s focus firmly on the whole child, their whole environment, and their well–being, Brendan is committed to maintaining a fun and successful place to come to work and learn.

To advertise email or call 0203 978 7332

North Bridge House Senior School, Canonbury

Setting Expectations

12 Education

Conversations with my teenagers By Sunayana Clark Recently I have had conversations with parents about conflict with teenagers. Teenagers that have run away; where there have been screaming matches or they have tried to take control of the household by giving their parents ultimatums. These conflicts have several factors and they don’t appear overnight. Your teenager wants to show that they are independent and are their own person; their primary concern is their friends and personal relationships with boyfriends/girlfriends. They are a mass of raging hormones and confusion created by being a child-adult. They have poor impulse control and are unable to foresee the consequences of their actions. Other factors include the changes in how society, culture and families. You are frustrated that your sweet, loving child has turned into a lippy, annoying, rude stranger who doesn’t want to abide by the house rules. Simple conversations escalate into arguments and slammed doors. Even when we are angry, we need to remember that there is a distinction between the person and their behaviour. We may dislike their behaviour but we still love them.

So what can you do? Empower them to make good decisions by setting the ground rules about possible scenarios before they become an issue. Agree on curfews, what will happen if they get a boyfriend or girlfriend, overnight stays with friends, allowances are just a few things that you should discuss. These may need renegotiating but because there is already a framework in place, it is much easier. Applaud their good decisions. Recognise that how you speak to your children needs to change from a more authoritarian style to a more co-operative one. Where possible try not to give ultimatums. Instead, offer choices. Short conversations in the car can help keep lines of communication open. Find something to laugh about. In our family, we play a silly game of spot the yellow car. Don’t be afraid to make unpopular decisions. Firm clear boundaries help your children feel safe (even when they think they are unnecessary or unfair). When you make those decisions, make sure that you stand

your ground. If you give in, you erode your authority. When annoyed with your child, don’t respond straight away; tell them that you are cross and that you need some time away from them. When you are calm, decide how you want to respond. It models that it’s important to be in control of your emotions before responding. Acknowledge and where appropriate apologies for losing your temper or for being unreasonable. Remind your kids that you are human, you get tired and sometimes you get it wrong. When you are annoyed, keep the lines of communication open by text email or Snapchat and remind them that you love them. It doesn’t matter how, just make sure that they know. This can be a challenging phase. But if we hold our nerve, remember that we love our children and keep telling them you will get through it. Feelgood Treatments T: 07515 561514


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14 Education

Fine Motor Fun By Aimee Hart

Pencil control, fine motor skills, precise positioning. These skills that children develop from as young as 10 months have become something of a focus on the Early Years setting at Primary school. The ability to grip, manoeuvre and place seem like skills that children will gain instinctively but without opportunities, they can become overlooked. Studies are inconclusive as to when the ‘dominant hand’ develops. Some believe it is established between the ages of two and four, some believe it is around 18 months

and others believe it begins establishing in the uterus. What this tells me is that each child is different. I am a leftie (proud of it), as is my mother and maternal grandmother. My husband is a righty (common as muck). Our daughter swapped hands quite frequently up until around 18 months when she decided on her right (boo). However, giving children opportunities to develop their own preferred hand might enable them to come to the conclusion quicker.

Fine motor skills are the tools that get children using their hands as effectively as possible. They build up the muscles in the hand to be able to manipulate instruments smoothly. Being able to pick up small objects with two-finger grips, threading beads using two hands in co-ordination and precisely fit shapes into holes are just some of the activities that schools provide to build up fine motor skills. The implications of underdeveloped fine

motor skills can affect children’s ability to undertake certain tasks – one, in particular, is writing and controlling their pencil. Another is dressing themselves, buttons, zips, tying their shoes. As with all things to do with child development, each child hits their milestones at different times. There are charts and information that lays out when children should be doing certain things but you know your child and you know their development story. Around six to 12 months is when children usually begin to start their journey to dexterity and fine motor. Being able to grasp and move objects from one hand to the other is a good starting point and giving them a variety of objects to manipulate will support this. Their journey will then progress to building towers from blocks, pushing shapes through holes and moving beads along a string. Encourage them to complete these tasks independently so you can gain an insight into their ability.

Why is fine motor important?

2. PomPom picker – buy colourful pompoms from most craft shops or use cotton wool balls. Trap them in a box with elastic bands and get the children to use plastic tweezers (or salad tongs) to pull them out.

When they hit nursery age children usually have had experience with threading beads, snipping with scissors (not necessarily neatly) and copying basic shapes with a tripod pencil grip. If you notice your child struggles with these things… don’t panic. Usually, their behaviours might suggest they need support with their fine motor, things like refusing to complete certain tasks, not dress themselves or requesting things be done for them. There are thousands of activities designed to support fine motor skills that you can set up at home with things you may already have.

To advertise email or call 0203 978 7332

I have given you my top five activities to set up for children. These can be tailored to focus on their own individual interest. For example, if they are dino mad, include some of their figurines within the play or stickers with their favourite characters. This way it will keep their attention for longer. All fun. All engaging. And all will help build those muscles. I guarantee that they will start off frustrated but by the end, they will see their own improvements and want to play more. Happy playing!

5. Number thread – stick rolls of paper (kitchen roll works well, too) and number each one. Get your child to thread in order.

It allows children to complete tasks independently and with success and it ensures that they have the best foundations for writing and using hand-held tools. Their self-esteem will grow and they will feel like they have achieved – less frustration.

4. Weaving – this takes a bit more set up. Stick four lolly sticks together to create a square; wind string around to create a loom; take different ribbons or strings and get your child to practice weaving in and out.

3. Colander creations – another simple one! Use your kitchen colander and some pipe cleaners to practise threading with precision.

1. Cutting along lines – simply draw different line styles along coloured card or paper and get your child to cut as close to the line as possible.


Christmas reads

Recommended by Pickled Pepper Books Christmas, ensuring grown ups and children some bonding time in the excitement and anticipation of Christmas Day, with Shirley Hughes’ trademark warm and classic illustrations. Whether reading stories and poems to little ones or encouraging them to make beautiful crafts and Christmas treats, this book is the perfect introduction to this very special time of year.

Press Here

by Herve Tullet 18 months-99 years

themes, including: empathy, kindness, persistence, and the importance of being true to one’s self.

The Night Before Christmas in Wonderland



by Carys Bexington 4-10 years

This bestselling picture book is now available in board book especially for babies and toddlers to play with. Press the yellow dot on the cover, follow the instructions within, and embark upon a magical journey. Each page of this surprising touch book instructs the reader to push the button, shake it up, tilt the book, and who knows what will happen next! Children and adults alike will giggle with delight as the dots multiply, change direction, and grow in size. Especially remarkable because the adventure occurs on the flat surface of the simple, printed page, this unique interactive picture book about the power of imagination and interactivity will provide read-aloud fun for all ages on Christmas day.

Snow in the Garden: A First Book of Christmas by Shirley Hughes 2-7 years

The Story Orchestra: Swan Lake If you’re looking for a new take on this classic you can’t go wrong with this wonderful twist! Lewis Carroll’s classic Wonderland returns but this time instead of Alice, it’s Santa’s turn for an adventure down the rabbit hole. Join the Cheshire-Cat, the Mad Hatter, and the reindeer for a tea party with lots of festive fun! The Queen of Hearts hates Christmas – she’s banned tinsel, mince pies and even good cheer -because when she was a little Princess the White Rabbit was late delivering her letter to Father Christmas and she didn’t receive a present. But one snowy Christmas Eve, Santa finally receives her letter and races to deliver her gift. Will Santa and his reindeer be able to put the merry back into Christmas in Wonderland? The Night Before Christmas In Wonderland is a fun mash-up of two classics, showing the true meaning of Christmas is to be kind.

by Katy Flint; illustrated by Jessica Courtney Tickle 3-10 years This is the latest in the beautiful Story Orchestra series where you can discover the spellbinding magic of Swan Lake in this musical retelling of the ballet – just push the button on each beautiful scene to hear the vivid sound of an orchestra playing from Tchaikovsky’s score. This tale of a prince, a beautiful swan princess and an evil sorcerer begins in a woodland clearing far, far away. The Story Orchestra series brings classical music to life for children through gorgeously illustrated retellings of classic ballet stories paired with sound clips of orchestras playing from their musical scores.

Dog Man: Fetch-22

This is a classic collection of festive poems, stories and activities by much loved author and illustrator Shirley Hughes. It’s perfect for sharing in those days running up to

by Dav Pilkey 6-10 years This is a bestseller here at Pickled Pepper Books and the powers that be are bringing out the latest of Dav Pilkey’s wildly popular Dog Man series before Christmas this year. If you want to be the coolest grown up, gift this to your niece, nephew, grandchild, godchild or any child aged 6-10 years! Dog Man is a graphic novel which appeals to readers of all ages and explores universally positive | 10 Middle Lane, Crouch End, London N8 8PL | 020 3632 0823

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Keble Prep has a long established tradition in preparing boys for their next school. At Keble we understand the importance of strong foundations, which is why we have a committed Early Years team in Reception. Their aim is to set your son on the right track in his school life, and our dedicated teaching staff continue this throughout his Keble career. Studying at Keble is about more than passing exams, and we ensure that the boys are not only well educated but also develop their skills and talents across a range of areas. We are able to achieve this due to our small class sizes and the high expectations we have of the boys. We pride ourselves in combining high academic standards with opportunities for boys to achieve in Sport, Music and Drama, as well as enjoying a broad extra-curricular programme. Being a standalone school means our boys sit entrance exams to a large array of senior school for 11+ and 13+, and with great results. This year is no exception and we are proud of our current Year 6 and Year 8 boys’ success in gaining senior school places. In recent years boys have been offered places at selective grammar school such as Latymer, Dame Alice Owens and Queen Elizabeth Boys, testament to the preparation they have received for the examinations here at Keble.

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We have also secured places for our boys at many Independent schools at both 11 and 13, including Mill Hill, St Albans, Haileybury, Haberdashers’, Highgate, St Edmunds, St Columba’s, Westminster and City of London. If you are looking for a school where your son can grow, achieve and succeed, then do come along to one of our Open Mornings where you can see for yourself how our approach to learning can benefit your son. Contact Admissions for more information on 020 8360 3359

01/10/2019 09:54

Health & Wellbeing

Health & Wellbeing


Endometriosis Dr Larisa Corda is an obstetrician and gynaecologist and is one of the UK’s leading fertility experts. Here, she talks to us about a common condition in women that is hardly spoken about and takes years to diagnose. For more details and to read more about what Dr Larisa has to say visit We’ve all heard of endometriosis, with two million women in the UK alone affected by it. Yet you may be surprised to find that it takes on average between seven to 10 years to diagnose. Up to 31% of women suffering from a sexual dysfunction, such as pain, or problems conceiving, never go and seek medical help for this.

There seems to be a problem with our society finding period talk shameful or embarrassing, and doctors not doing enough to investigate symptoms such as painful menstruation. In truth, due to the taboo and lack of awareness surrounding conditions such as endometriosis, it remains under diagnosed and festers for many years, causing scarring that is not just internal, but also psychological due to the many debilitating symptoms it inflicts on the women affected.

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Being diagnosed is just the first hurdle for many, as the suffering often persists due to lack of effective management, leading to crippling anxiety, social isolation and depression that affects every area of a woman’s life, from her relationships to her career, even leading some women to take their own life. Reversing these statistics is a priority and ensuring that the condition is diagnosed as early as possible, before it has a chance to cause long term damage. Endometriosis involves tissue which normally lines the inside of the womb, being found on the outside, and instead of being shed each month, it can build up around other organs, such as the bowel or bladder, to cause scarring that ultimately leads to pain or infertility. Common symptoms include painful or heavy periods, pain during sex, or pain with bowel movement or urination. Because the condition is associated with inflammation, which is when the body’s defence mechanisms go into over drive, management starts off with alleviating inflammation through lifestyle measures, such as diet, exercise, stress relief and reducing your exposure to toxins in any products you may be using, as well as cutting out smoking and alcohol. If this isn’t enough, then there are a whole range of medical interventions that can be used, that vary between contraceptives such as the pill or Mirena coil, to surgery. Not everyone will need an operation to diagnose the condition, as sometimes we can find clues on the internal ultrasound, but a laparoscopy or keyhole surgery is the gold standard for diagnosing it definitively and can also be used to treat it. Sometimes this is the only option for women who can’t take contraceptives for medical reasons or because they wish to become pregnant. Bizarrely, the extent of symptoms does not

necessarily correlate with the severity of the condition, meaning that women who may have mild symptoms can end up having widespread disease, and vica versa. Learning to recognise what isn’t normal and seeking help as soon as possible from

your doctor is vital, as well as utilising lifestyle strategies to help, such as those I recommend in The Conception Plan (www. the-conception-plan), as not only can this help to manage the condition, but it may also reduce recurrence.

Health & Wellbeing


My Top 11 Tips For Exercising in Cold Weather

As the days get shorter and the nights longer, the weather is also getting colder, and hence our motivation to stay fit can also wane. However, working out in the cold has many hidden benefits. Whatever the weather, an outdoor workout can be low-cost and be easy to access. It can improve our moods, reduce anxiety and depression, and can enhance our selfesteem. Being at one with nature also provides a mental health kick beyond that of an indoor gym. Cold weather in particular,

can make us feel refreshed and invigorated. Now for some science. The colder temperatures force our bodies to work harder during training, and this also applies to our cardiovascular system. As the heart works harder to pump blood around the body, this workout helps to keep our heart healthier. The body can regulate its temperature better in the cold, allowing you to exercise harder and longer; therefore, you can potentially

burn even more calories, according to the American Heart Association. Exercising in extreme temperatures, hot or cold, can increase both endurance and mental resilience, and boost your immune system. What about exercising in extreme weather conditions, like heavy rain or snow? I would say that light rain isn’t an excuse to miss out on your workout. If you’re dressed appropriately and you’re safe, without the risk of slipping over or injury, then please don’t let a bit of rain put you off. You’ll feel

so much better once you’re done. On the

immediately, so your body needs to adjust.

other hand, exercising in extreme conditions

Warming up before you launch into a full-on

could be hazardous, and I therefore wouldn’t

workout is still required.

recommend it. So, how do you stay motivated to continue The garden, the park, the woods or the beach

exercising throughout the cold season?

are all accessible areas for your invigorating workout. If you’re a little apprehensive, here are 11 of my practical top tips, but before we start, first and foremost, if you have any health conditions, please get clearance from your GP before undertaking any exercise.

trainers or running shoes are adequate, unless you’re exercising in the woods or hill walking/running, and therefore walking or trail running shoes are required. Wherever you choose to exercise, absorbing any impact and reducing the risk of injury should be a priority. Even the beach on cold days will require adequate footwear and not flip flops. Sensible




5 minutes in the warm is daunting or out of reach, but even in the cold you can achieve this quite quickly if you make a commitment. Setting yourself a goal will help. If running

1. The correct footwear is paramount. Cross


7. For some, the prospect of running for even


as you will still warm up even in extreme cold temperatures, and of course hat and gloves. Wet weather will require waterproofs, unless you don’t mind getting wet.

programme is ideal. Otherwise, Park Runs take place all over the country on Saturday mornings and are free. There’s no pressure at these events but walking or running with others is definitely motivational. 8. Exercise with a friend! You’ll encourage each other when one of you isn’t keen to get out, and to stay focused as you both strive towards a common goal. 9. Block out your workouts in your diary, so that you remain committed to doing it. Quite often, exercise isn’t a priority, but it should be at the very top of your list. Make that appointment with yourself and stick to it.

3. For evening running, it’s safe to be seen, so wear reflective clothing. Reflective arm Running in well-lit areas and against the traffic, during the day too, is safer. 4. Even in cold weather and especially if you’re training hard, you can still sweat and lose fluids. Keep water handy and take sips not gulps. Also, depending on how long you exercise for, you may not feel the need to hydrate as much in colder weather, but it

doing, note down each workout. For example, if running, include your route, distance, time, weather conditions and how you felt. That way, whenever your motivation is flagging, you can look back and be encouraged by how much you’ve improved. Likewise, if you’re doing a 20-minute HIIT session in your garden, note down the details, and plan to improve.

does no harm to bring it along.

11. Mix it up. Keep your workouts varied

5. Ensure you eat approximately 1.5 to 2

getting bored will only serve to sabotage

hours before any exercise. If you eat rubbish,

your good intentions, so change your

you’ll feel rubbish. Eat moderately and be

workouts, change the scenery, change the

mindful of food choices before and after

music you listen to. The smallest of tweaks

your workouts.

may make the biggest difference.

6. When you’re stepping out into the cold,

There is a saying that Summer bodies are

your muscles will start to feel the cold almost

made in the Winter. What do you think?

to avoid boredom setting in. The cold and

MARY HUCKLE Mary Huckle is a personal trainer and Pilates instructor from Enfield, North London and is the founder/owner of Breakthrough Fitness. She is married with three children. Her passion for anything health and fitness related has been a lifelong affair. After working in finance for many years she eventually changed her career path in 2003 when she left the world of finance to retrain as a fitness instructor and personal trainer at the YMCA. She is also qualified in prenatal, postnatal and children’s fitness. Instagram @maryhuckle Facebook @breakthroughfitness1 Twitter @mary_huckle

To advertise email or call 0203 978 7332

bands for children are better than nothing.

10. Take notes. Whatever it is that you’re

particularly cold weather. Layers are better

is your objective, the ‘Couch to 5k’ running


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EatHappyFeelGood Chicken

If your family is anything like mine, roast chicken is a favourite meal. We always seem to cook more than we need but don’t like to waste so I love finding delicious ways to use leftovers. Two things we often do with leftover chicken is pastry parcels and wraps. Easy, tasty and a great way to cook once, eat twice.

Ingredients Makes 4 large parcels (filling quantities are approximate)

• Three cups cooked, chopped chicken • Two cups cooked, chopped broccoli • Two cups frozen peas • 4 tbsp sauce or gravy • 2 sheets of pastry (I use Jus Roll) • 1 egg, beaten to make an egg wash Method

• Preheat the oven to 180C • Mix the chopped chicken, broccoli, peas and sauce to make your filling.

• Take the pastry out a few minutes before you need it. Roll it out and cut into 4 large rectangles by cutting a cross in the middle.

• Put the filling in two of the rectangles making sure to leave about

Health & Wellbeing


an inch border.

• Egg wash the border and cover with the other two rectangles. • Using a fork, crimp all around the edges to seal. • Egg wash the top and bake for 20 - 25 minutes until golden brown. Recipe tips: 1. Make sure your filling is completely cold when putting it on the pastry. 2. When you start to make your parcels, work fast. You don’t want the pastry to get too warm or it will be too soft and difficult to handle.

Slow Cooked Beef One of the things I love the most about the cold months is the food. Comforting, warming, flavourful, this is the kind of food I really enjoy cooking and serving my family.


• 1.5kg stewing beef, cut into cubes • Big bunch of thyme • 750ml beef stock • 10 garlic cloves • 2 tbsp plain flour • 2 tbsp olive oil • Salt and pepper Method

• Preheat the oven to 160C. • Put the beef and flour in a large bowl, add a little salt and mix well till the beef is coated.

• Heat some oil in a pan and when very hot, brown the beef making sure it’s browned on all sides. Do this in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan (which lowers the temperature and stops that all important browning.) • Transfer to an ovenproof dish and add the stock, thyme and garlic. • Cover tightly with foil and cook for four hours. Check after three hours. If it needs more liquid, add a little water and stir. • It’s ready when the meat pulls apart easily. • Don’t forget to check for seasoning. • Serve with rice or mash and veg. Notes: This is a simple and really delicious version of this recipe but you can add more flavour by adding any the following options: bay leaf, glass of red wine, Worcestershire sauce.

Carrot and Coriander Soup If you would have asked me a few years ago if I liked carrot and coriander soup it would have been a definite no! Then I tried this version at my friends house and I was converted. She gave me the recipe and it’s been a favourite of mine ever since.


• 1 kg carrots, peeled and chopped • 2 tbsp butter • 1 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds • 2 garlic cloves, chopped • 4 cups water • 1 veg stock cube • Salt and pepper • Creme fraiche, fresh coriander and pumpkin seeds to garnish Method

• Dry roast the coriander seeds in a pan over a medium heat for

To advertise email or call 0203 978 7332

It’s the season of indulging, enjoying family time, friends and food. So why not have a special treat that’s delicious and full of goodness. If you like chocolate orange then you’ll love these. The cinnamon is optional but goes beautifully and is so seasonal.

Recipe tips: To make it vegan, replace the butter with olive oil and omit the creme fraiche garnish.

Festive Energy Balls

about two minutes. Keep shaking the pan so the seeds don’t burn. Then grind them as fine as you can, either in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder. • Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the carrots, garlic and ground coriander. Cook for about 10 minutes on a medium heat. • Add the water and stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 30 minutes till the carrots are tender. • Let it cool a little and blitz till smooth. I do this using a hand blender. • Season and garnish.


• 14 large medjool dates, pitted • 100g chopped, roasted hazelnuts • 2 tbsp raw, unsweetened cacao • 2 tbsp hazelnut butter • 1 tsp orange zest • 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon (optional) • Fun extras: festive decoration Method

• Put all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse

untill it resembles bread crumbs. Do not overmix or you will break down the nuts too much; they will release their oils and make the mixture oily. • To check if it’s ready, take a little bit of mixture and firmly press it together. It should stick together. If it’s not, add a little more hazelnut butter and give another quick blitz. • Roll into balls (this mixture makes about 20). • Pop in the fridge to set. • Enjoy! • Keep them in the fridge... they will happily last several days but they never last that long in our home.

CHRISTIANNA Food is to be enjoyed! Especially in this festive season when we’re all having fun making happy memories with family and friends. So let’s eat our favourite foods without guilt and just enjoy ourselves. Wishing you all a merry Christmas and a happy healthy 2020. With lots of love, Christianna. Follow me on @eathappyfeelgood

Baby Loss

By Vicki Fryer A personal and heartbreaking encounter into one woman’s life and how she managed to find a small light after living through the most difficult time of her life. Vicki tells her story...

To you and your kin… “I’m pregnant.” Wow! Two life-changing words. I was ecstatic. A honeymoon baby indeed. Much quicker than we expected but so exciting. My mind was racing… will it be a boy or a girl? Will the baby look like me or daddy? I couldn’t wait for their first birthday, their first christmas, the first day of school. You see, I was naive. I think I just thought that you became pregnant, had a baby and that was it.

Health & Wellbeing


At the 13-week scan, everything was fine. Nothing unusual to report. Pictures of the scan were posted on social media. People were contacted to tell them the good news. Christmas came and went and I spent most of it envisaging the next one with a sixmonth-old, hanging up their stocking and putting a mince pie out for Santa. Come the 20-week scan, all we could think about was finding out the gender. We were slightly shaken but not alarmed to hear that our baby girl (yes, girl) was measuring on the small side. We casually put this down to ourselves being small at birth. However, we agreed to go to UCLH hospital to be rescanned using more advanced equipment. The news hit me like a train. “Have no hope for this baby”. Those were the exact words we were given. “No hope”. When someone tells you not to have any hope, you cling on to it as if it is the only thing left in the world, as if your life depends on it. It consumes you. Hope is a powerful thing. Our daughter was diagnosed as having Foetal Growth Restriction. We were faced with two options… a termination (via

lethal injection) or the looming fate of her becoming still born and giving birth to her. To us, there was no option. I was signed off sick for the foreseeable future and for the next three months I spent my days walking and doing the Times crossword with my parents. A simple life, but it was all I knew to give this baby every chance. Darcy was born alive at 31 weeks. She was taken straight to Neo-natal care from the operating theatre. After 11 hours, I could finally see her. I was told she was only 1lb10 at birth and they doubted her chances of survival. All I could do was wait and hope. There’s that word again. Whilst living in the cocoon of her incubator Darcy underwent procedure after procedure. We sat. We waited. We cried but we also laughed as you have to find joy wherever you can. Darcy was transferred from UCLH to Great Ormond Street. I’m sure that this highlights the intensity of her condition. The doctors had changed their tone with me. I understood. We were offered a Christening. We sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star through sobs as we all knew the inevitable. On the morning of 27th April 2015, Darcy died in her Daddy’s arms. I had only my second cuddle with her and I tried to reassure her that we would see her in the rain, the sun, the snow and wind. The healing process then had to begin, this was lengthy and hard. Whilst we sat in the registry office to register both her birth and death, Simon and I promised each other that we would not let this drive us apart like we knew it could. When I got back to my parents’ house, I lay on the sofa. Numb. There wasn’t a feeling or expression in me. Soon, flowers began arriving and the ‘With Sympathy’ cards took place on the mantelpiece alongside the ‘Baby Girl’ ones. They were intertwined like

pages of two books mixed together although part of the same one. It is during these testing times that true friends show their worth and bad ones simply slip away. People I barely knew stepped forward and took the places of those close to me that simply ‘didn’t know what to say’. After the funeral, we picked ourselves up and decided that we needed to move forward with our lives. The doctors had told us to wait nine months before trying for another baby. A good amount of time to heal both physically and psychologically. I chose to change jobs and go back to work in the following September which proved a great decision. I couldn’t bear the sorrowful looks and always being the poor woman whose baby died. This choice meant I could tell people as and when I felt comfortable. There were no preconceptions. As a couple, we decided to do everything that you cannot do when you have a baby. We had boozy weekends to Bruges and Krakow, we went skiing and backpacking around Greece. It was a hedonistic but much needed time to try to get back on track. The most important thing that we did was set up a fund in Darcy’s name for Great Ormond Street. Through fundraising and 10k runs, we have made over £11K in her name. The aim is to one day bring that to around £40K to buy an incubator to give others like her as much hope as they can have. Not a day goes by when I don’t think about my beautiful angel baby. We have gone on to have two beautiful and healthy children but not without struggle. Grief ebbs and flows like waves that you cannot control. So please, this Christmas, be kind as you never know others’ silent struggles. Folow Vicki: @coldteamama @justkiddingabout

Sands (stillbirth and neonatal death charity) supports anyone affected by the death of a baby. Call their Freephone helpline on 0808 164 3332, email: or visit:

3 tips to make Christmas less stressful for the child living with Autism By Cathy Underwood

Planning ahead is therefore key. The following offers my top three strategies and coping mechanisms that just might help make this Christmas particularly stress free for you and your child.

Waiting is not a strong point for most children, so creating a visual calendar hung in the bedroom can be useful. Together, several weeks before Christmas, mark in when the decorations go up, any social events that will happen, when visitors are likely to arrive and highlight Christmas Day. Before bed, you can then count down the number of sleeps before each happens. 2. Introduce a morning stretch and evening relaxation routine Many children living with autism will use a visual checklist to help manage their day and lessen anxiety. Introduce a simple yoga and relaxation schedule to the list of morning and evening tasks. Practised regularly, prior to the big day, your child will have gained some useful self-regulation tools. You can agree on what to include and draw them together. These can be placed alongside other visual prompts such as ‘getting dressed’ and ‘brushing teeth’. Below are two suggested routines you can try. My morning stretch:

• Take a deep breath in and slowly out three times.

• Stretch

your arms above your head and then relax them by your side. • Stand tall and strong. • Smile and repeat – ‘I am happy, I am calm and I am loved!

During the evening, reintroduce a calming sequence to help soothe and prepare for a good night’s sleep. My evening wind down:

• Lie down on your bed. Stretch your arms

and legs away from your belly. Then hug in your legs and tuck your head up to your knees. • Relax and place your hands on your belly. Breathe in slowly until you feel your hands lifting, breathe out slowly feel your hands lowering. • Try this with your favorite soft toy. Place it on your belly watch it lift as you breathe in and watch it lower as you breathe out. 3. Create a relaxing chill out zone Decorate your festive home together and at the same time create a relaxing space where your child can retreat to should they feel anxious. Within this area include their personal sensory items and any relaxation visual guides too. Give permission to use this space when social expectations can be tricky. Avoid forcing hugs and stagger present giving. In some cases children prefer knowing what is inside before opening it and it is always best to buy them what they want rather than must have toys.

CATHY UNDERWOOD Cathy is the founder of award winning Yoga4mums offering classes, retreats and training. She has senior teacher trainer status with the Yoga Alliance professionals UK and provides yoga therapy for The Priory Hospital and Ambitious about Autism/ Treehouse School. Visit Cathy at

To advertise email or call 0203 978 7332

That’s not to say that every child on the spectrum dislikes Christmas. It’s simply that the common characteristics of autism often sees heightened levels of anticipation and expectation. A recent National Autistic Society survey revealed that 64% of autistic adults and children avoid going to the shops over Christmas because it’s too overwhelming. Social expectations can also be tricky. Receiving presents, not knowing what is inside, trying to hide any disappointment and too many hugs can increase levels of anxiety.

1. Use a visual calendar

For the child living with autism and complex needs, Christmas can signal a period of extreme anxiety as the World around them becomes busier, brighter and noisier. Twinkling lights, overbearing sounds, crowds and characters dressed in bright colours can trigger sensory overload and intensify unexpected behaviours and meltdowns.



Lifestyle & Christmas

159 Bramley Rd, London N14 4XA 020 8363 3734

Everyone needs an Elemis Gift Set under the tree... To advertise email or call 0203 978 7332

Christmas gift sets will be available to purchase from November

Office chick to party queen with Elena @els_makeup_box

Christmas is fast approaching and everyone is running around like headless chickens, wrapping presents and trying to find yet more elf on the shelf ideas. There’s never enough time to make yourself feel glam, especially for the office Christmas party. So, here’s my quick makeup guide to help you become a glamorous night-party queen!



All you need are a few multi versatile products, sparkly frocks and a few cocktails!

By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra-Powder By Terry’s hyaluronic powder is a makeup bag staple. The fine-milled face powder sets makeup, blurs imperfections, controls shine and retains moisture. It comes in a mini bag size, so there are no excuses.

The Vintage Vamp Classic makeup Artist Charlotte Tilbury has very cleverly put together a vintage vamp seven-piece set for all your night out needs. Consists of seven iconic CT makeup essentials for your day-to-night transformation, and even better, you can purchase the items separately too.



Cult Beauty

Cult Beauty

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter Mini For that added ‘glowing from within’ look, I recommend this amazing product. If you have dryer skin along the cheeks, I recommend using the liquid version instead. For added glow, use the powder version on top of the liquid. You’re guaranteed to be noticed at the party.

Vaseline Original Petroleum Jelly 50ml Now who doesn’t want kissable lips for the mistletoe eh?! Keep your lips hydrated under any lipstick/gloss with good old Vaseline. Use an old toothbrush with Vaseline to gently exfoliate the lips. You’ll thank me later!

Yu Ling Jade Facial Roller After a few alcoholic beverages, my skin always needs a little RnR (I’m such a lightweight). This gorgeous jade stone facial roller literally is amazing for boosting circulation and eliminating puffiness. You’re more or less giving your skin a gym workout, without stepping foot in the gym. What a treat!




Cult Beauty


Cult Beauty

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

A wonderful world of music for children... and adults too! Cherubs editor Sevim had the pleasure of being invited to the launch of My Moozik and boy did she and her family have a fabulous time! This is a brand shiny new musical venture written by the doubleplatinum selling artist Newton Faulkner, for kids designed to bridge the gap between nursery rhymes and inappropriate pop music.

The My Day! CD album comes packaged with a beautifully illustrated, hardback, lyric book. All songs can be streamed and downloaded via all the usual platforms and all songs will be available for the whole family to enjoy on the My Moozik YouTube channel. My Day! is the first album that parents will truly love as much as kids.

Photo credit: Kelly Reeves

As well as offering families an album that won’t make parents want to tear their hair out, the album has also been designed to support kids and their development. The songs explore key themes such as kindness, making friends, why we learn, why we have to eat our greens and everything in-between.

Jimmy, Sevim, Newton, Toby

The album has taken into account the role that music can play when it comes to helping children manage their routine and develop their emotional intelligence. The My Moozik debut

Book £12.99

To advertise email or call 0203 978 7332

Lottie says, “We wanted to create an album of very high quality music that kids and grown ups can enjoy together that hopefully also makes those (often tough) jobs such as making friends, eating greens and going to bed, just that little bit easier. It’s an amazing album and one that will make a great soundtrack to their day.”

album, My Day! is available to buy now over at

This impressive venture has been created by Lottie Faulkner, the sister (and manager) of Faulkner, who also wrote the album with his older brother Toby Faulkner and

friend Jimmy Sims. It makes sense that the Faulkner team have gone in this direction; their father, Keith Faulkner is a celebrated children’s author with well-known bestsellers such as The Wide Mouth Frog. They also have John Davis on board to master the album who’s discography reads like a who’s who of music: The Killers, Led Zeppelin, U2, Dua Lipa, Noel Gallagher and Primal Scream to name but a few.

Party vs

Chunky Cable Funnel Neck Jumper Wrap yourself up in the softest and cosiest sweater.

Christmas Day


The White Company

CHRISTMAS DAY Piped Silk Pyjama Set Decadent pyjamas because not everyone gets dressed on Christmas day.

18ct Gold Lightning Stud Earrings A Finishing touch.




The White Company



Leather Jeans An indulgent seasonal treat in the form of buttery soft leather trousers.



High Neck Jersey Midi Dress An elegant and ladylike dress.



Agnes Jumpsuit - Navy Country Ditsy Multi Flattering and with plenty of room to accommodate all those delicious food courses.



JOVI Leather Black Point Mules Heels that won’t kill your feet.



Office Destiny Trim Loafers Dark Red Leather Designer look and effortless style without the designer pricetag.




One Shoulder Top The one-shouldered nature of this top elevates it from a simple basic to a wardrobe must-have.



Leopard Bangle A textured bangle in the print that refuses to go away will draw no end of compliments.

Contrast Ruffled Skirt Indulgent layers of lace and texture create a rich and decadent look.



Tutti & Co


GUCCI Leather belt It’s all in the details.




John Lewis

Camilla Tassel Velvet Jacket Party all night in a sleek and sophisticated jacket with a rock-chic twist.

Vinyl Slingback Shoes All the Dynasty vibes here for some major glamour.





ANTONIA Antonia is the founder of Tailor Made Living, a lifestyle store and online destination. Follow her on Instagram @tailormadelivingstore for a dose of everyday luxury and style inspiration

To advertise email or call 0203 978 7332

Dune Ejessie Leopard Print Evening Bag The contemporary and sophisticated companion to any Christmas party!

Mother and Daughter Golf Day Lifestyle - Advertising Feature


As the sun decided to make an appearance on a crisp, fresh tuesday morning, Sevim and her mum were invited down to experience a ladies’ golf morning at Bush Hill Park Golf Club. Here’s what our Editor thought about her golf experience… What was your first impression of golf today? I’m not entirely sure what I imagined golf would have been like. In fact, if I’m totally honest, I wasn’t expecting to like it and thought it would be a little boring. As me and mum arrived, we were greeted by some other members of the class who had been coming to the ladies’ morning for a few weeks and were totally hooked. Waiting eagerly for our teacher to arrive, we were extremely surprised when this young, vibrant, confident girl called Nicola showed up and said “good morning ladies, are you ready for class?” Why did I assume golf to be for the more mature market? The beauty about golf is that it really is designed for anyone, of any gender and of any age, from aged three upwards. When do you ever go out to play sports with a range of generations? I did think you had to be a member of BHPGC, but to my surprise everyone is welcome. For

example in our Tuesday’s sessions you just pay £10 on the day and all the equipment is provided. You don’t need to book or commit to a specific number of sessions, just pop in, call 020 3146 9898 or book online at www. There’s no need to wear fancy gear and a lot of the women are in normal gym/fitness gear. Very relaxed, extremely enjoyable and everybody is friendly. What did you enjoy the most? Golf can be time well spent – spending time with my mum and watching her master the lesson like a pro was extremely rewarding to see. We laughed with the other ladies, had random chats about dogs, kitchen cupboards and sinks and spoke about the children — some had young ones, some were my age. Me and mum had a little catch up on life, while breathing in the fresh air and taking in the gorgeous grounds. What more could one ask for? What did you learn today? That golf isn’t as simple as swinging a stick and watching the ball fall miraculously in the hole. It’s not as easy as you think – there’s a technique! There’s great health benefits for golfers: in one round of golf you’ll cover 10,000 steps and burn up to 1,000 calories. You don’t

need to go to the gym and you can bring a friend along and make a morning out of it (or even a weekend) By being out in the fresh air it can help reduce stress and anxiety, it’s a good break to clear the mind and a great reason to step away from my desk and feel totally energised. How has this experience changed your perspective about golf? Well it certainly wasn’t boring. It was rather wonderful to spend my morning with people I wouldn’t necessarily cross paths with on a day-to-day basis. To have some much needed time with my mum, laughing and forgetting about life outside of the course. It cleared my mind and made me feel ready for the day, it certainly allowed me to feel energised which really surprised me, as I’ve always thought it was a ‘lazy’ sport. It’s also a great opportunity to socialise and great for your well being, both mind and body. We stayed afterwards to have lunch, which was delicious, with lots of variety and they even catered for my allergies. We met the friendly staff, who made time to come over and speak to us, the views were scenic and calm and it was just a general warm, friendly atmosphere. Unsurprisingly, enough, we both asked how we can sign up. My advice to anyone would be, don’t assume this sport is a dull, boring game. It comes with many wonderful aspects and can be extremely rewarding for the mind, body and soul. This is the type of club I would want my family to be involved in and for the children to grow up around. Imagine spending your weekends surrounded by fresh air, good food and a round of golf. Simply fabulous! To find out more about BHPGC visit their website or Facebook page @BushHillParkGC where you will also find details of many social events coming up.

Be party ready with

Ali & Nesh’s undies edit

The party season is fast approaching and we’ve got all your underwear solutions sorted for those trickier outfits. As mentioned in our YouTube videos, the key to feeling fabulous in an outfit always starts from wearing the right underwear. Many celebrity red carpet outfits have a lot of shape-wear going on underneath those gorgeous looks, so don’t ever be discouraged from wearing something. It is also a vital part of our model kitbag and as models we wouldn’t be without them on fashion shoots or catwalk shows. By outlining your waist, lifting your bust and smoothing the hips, you can create an illusion of a sleeker silhouette. Define the areas that you like best to give you the confidence to hit that dance floor in style! YouTube – Ali & Nesh Edits. Instagram – aliandneshedits



If your hips/thighs are your area of concern,a side split dress may not have been an option before. The queen of shape-wear Kim Kardashian has brought out her own range, SKims! Always customising pieces of shapewear to work with her different outfits, Kim decided to make her own, and they look really good even taking into consideration nine different shades to suit all skin tones. This one leg shorts option is perfect for cocktail dresses with a thigh-high split. Be quick as when the stock arrives they sell out fast.

If it’s the tummy area you are most conscious about, and need extra firm control, The Miraclesuit Waist Cincher will do the job. It’s light boning gives you a smooth well defined waist. It sits right underneath your bra and down to your hips smoothing out any muffin top areas.





Bronwyn Twist Detail Tiger Print Dress £54.00

Solution Short #1 $42.00 plus shipping


Miracle Waist Cincher



This genius plunge bra allows for a clean line on a low cut outfit but still giving you the security and confidence to feel fabulous. If you are still conscious of your tummy area then these high-rise Spanx thong will give you the support you need but without the lines around your thigh that you might see if you were to wear the original Spanx.

Black Lillian Plisse Jersey Jumpsuit £80.00

We couldn’t think of a better name for the Ultimate Strapless Bra by Wonderbra, a bra that both of us have and is an essential in our model kit. With a special moulding built in rather than a wire, this gives you the perfect shape with comfort as we no that a strapless bra can be uncomfortable. Some might be frightened by the thought of wearing a bodycon dress but wearing the right underwear, we guarantee you’ll look sensational. Spanx are a must have for any woman’s wardrobe and we wouldn’t be without them.

Green Cut-out Bow Neck Bodycon Midi Dress £55.00 Wonderbra Ultimate Strapless Bra

Spanx Undietechable High-rise Jersey Thong



Wonderbra Ultimate Plunge Bra


Spanx Higher Power Shorts


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas Christmas decor to make your home stand out from the rest Holly & Berry Side Plate


Velvet Stocking

(Green / White)

Sophie Allport


John Lewis & Partners Snowscape Pine Cone and Mistletoe Wreath


Cox & Cox


John Lewis

Luxury Golden Leopard Crackers


Small Ceramic Christmas Tree Plate


LED Wooden Star

(35cm x 33cm x 8cm)


Matalan Silver Bauble Candle (Medium)


Sophie Allport Set of 2 Prosecco Baubles


next Pinecone Placecard Holders Set of 6


The White Company

Spiced Orange & Red Berry Scented Candle


Plum & Ashby

To advertise email or call 0203 978 7332


Cox & Cox


Saturday 30 November 2019 10am-4pm Bush Hill Park Golf Club - Winchmore Hill, London N21 2BU

T‛was the month before Christmas when Santa came to see, all the Cherubs readers and their loving family. Mystical little elves and an appearance from Mrs. C, what more could you ask for? Maybe a hot cup of tea? A magical post box that sends your special letter – straight to the North Pole, what could be better? What are you waiting for, book your special slot and enjoy the festive season with your mini cherub lot.

£7 per child

£14 family ticket

+ booking fee

+ booking fee

(up to three children)


• Santa meet & greet • Photograph with Santa • Present


• Santa meet & greet • Family photograph with Santa • Present for each child




Christmas gift ideas for dog loving families With Christmas just around the corner, Isobel and Victoria from Pooches & Prams share their favourite gift ideas for the whole family, including those with four legs! @poochesandprams

Personalised Bamboo Pet Christmas Decoration by Oakdene Designs

Family drawing By Steph Illustration

A really special Christmas gift that captures a family moment forever. The illustrator works from personal photos and creates the image how you wish in her illustrative style. A truly lovely gift and one which you can enjoy every day in your home.

From £30.00

Bumble Babies Boutique Frenchie Muslin

Clearly this was always going to be a winner with the Frenchie print but this gorgeous extra large and soft muslin made from 70% Bamboo and 30% Cotton is the perfect gift for someone with a new baby. £15.95

Personalised Portraits by Little Peach Portrait

A beautiful portrait of your family members, whether that’s kids, dogs or both! It’s subtle and classy and lights up any room. From £69.00

Personalised Pet Kids Sweater

What an incredible gift for your little one! A top with their very own pet on it! Dog, cat, rabbit, whatever your pet, they can be featured on a gorgeous sweatshirt using a hand drawn sketch and embroidery. £65.00

Lily’s Kitchen Advent Calendar

Treat your pooch to a little pre-Christmas treat every day in the lead up to the big day. £10.00 Available at Ocado, Amazon, Pets at Home, Waitrose, Tesco and independent pet shops.

Barc London dog accessories

Barc do some stylish collars, leads and harnesses in a range of colours that will look great on your pup. Perfect for those Christmas walks. From £15.00

Pets Apothecary by Bath Country Pets

A great ‘practical’ pressie but also one which looks lovely are these Apothecary cleaning products from Bath Country Pets, completely natural and in gorgeous little jars. £12.00

Knitted Jumper by Woolly Lou

Keep your pooch warm in these gorgeous handmade knitted jumpers from Woolly Lou. From £55.00 No extra cost to customise the length

A Charley Chau bed

A special pressie for sure! These stunning beds are super cosy and look good in any home. A real treat for your furry best friend. From £75.00

To advertise email or call 0203 978 7332

This is such a great gift for anyone with a dog or even to buy yourself to have on the tree. You choose your breed out of a large selection (105 different animals and breeds) and put his or her name on it. A special Christmas decoration that you can get out every year and you can’t go wrong for £7.00

For the dogs

For the family

Christmas Cakesicles Get into the festive season by making these cute, easy little treats that children and adults will absolutely love. These are cakesicles, in other words they are cake pops but they have the shape of a lolly. Super easy to make, and you can make any shape or any design. Just have fun!

Step by step... Step 1 (pic 1) Crumble your cake sponge in a bowl, until you have a breadcrumb-like consistency. Step 2 (pics 2 & 3) Add a spoonful at a time of your chosen frosting and mix it well into the crumbled cake sponge. You may need to add more frosting the more you mix it in. You should be able to roll the mixture into a ball shape and it remain like that, but it shouldn’t be too squidgy.



Step 3 (pic 4) Prepare your silicone mould. If you have a silicone mould like the one in the picture then you can make the same shapes, otherwise you can use any mould, or roll up into a ball to make cake pops. In this picture, I have melted my candy melts, and I am layering it around the base and sides of the mould. I use a paintbrush to do this. You can use coloured white chocolate here in the same method, and throughout the rest of the instructions where I refer to candy melts. Step 4 (pic 5) Once your candy melts have set for a

minute, get a small ball of the cakesicle mix and add it into the mould. Pat it down so that it fills the hole nicely and the cake mix is not protruding out of the top of the mould. Step 5 (pic 6) Add more of the candy melts on top of the mould and flatten with your spatula. Step 6 (pic 7) Leave the mould to set in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Remove from the freezer and gently pull back the mould to take the cakesicle out without breaking it.

Decorate SnowFlake

Step 7 (pic 8) Add a little bit of water to the top of your blue cakesicle, and sprinkle with your chosen sprinkles. I added a snowflake on top, made from fondant using a snowflake cutter.

Santa’s Belly

Step 8 (pics 9 & 10) Using black coloured royal icing, pipe a small box across the red cakesicle into the shape of a belt across the lower part. Once this has dried slightly, you can pipe a small white shaped box over the top of the black

belt, to give the effect of the buckle. Also, use the black icing to pipe three small dots up the rest of the cakesicle for the buttons.

Christmas Trees

Step 9 (pics 11 & 12) Use some white royal icing and pipe a Christmas Tree shape (triangle) on the top of the green cakesicle. Then immediately, add your Christmas sprinkles so that the white icing is completely covered. Add a star at the top to finish off your tree.


Step 10 (pics 13 & 14) Using a bit of coloured fondant, make the hat by rolling out a thin piece of fondant and then wrapping around the top part of the white cakesicle. To stick it together, I used a little bit of water. Add another narrow strip to the base of the hat and texture it by adding small holes with a fork. Add a little ball to the top of the hat and a snowflake to compete the look. Use some orange fondant and roll out a small cone shape for the nose, stick this with a bit of water. I used black royal icing for the eyes and the mouth of the snowman. Pipe carefully. Check out my Instagram and YouTube channel for other Christmas ideas and tutorials.

Photo credit: Jenny Duce


STEVIE’S PANTRY Stevie’s Pantry offers bespoke cakes, french macarons, biscuits and healthy treats. As a busy mum of three Stevie still finds time to create masterpieces from her very own kitchen and we were surprised to learn that this lovely North London mama taught herself all she needed to know. Follow this yummy mummy to see what amazing creations she produces while juggling mum life. Instagram, Facebook & Youtube @steviespantry















What you will need... • Cake (any flavour) • Frosting • Coloured Candy melt (or white chocolate and food colouring) • Silicone mould • Sprinkles • Fondant for decorations • Royal icing • Spatula • Piping bags • Black & red royal icing To advertise email or call 0203 978 7332





ALL by MAMA supports parents to start and grow a business alongside raising a family. Our products are all made by mums who are running their businesses alongside raising children, often small business owners that are running solo. For more information on ALL by MAMA or any of the products below please contact

Knitted T-Rex £14.99

Set Of Five Black And White Picture Animal Books £30.00

Personalised My Dad Book £22.50

Personalised Cable Pouch £12.00

Men’s Leather Handprint Bracelet £59.00

Sleepover Gift Set £53.95

Personalised Children’s Apron £14.00

Christmas Activity Book £10.00

Dear Santa Keepsake £11.95

Personalised Letters From The North Pole £20.00

Santa Please Stop Here £10.00

Emmeline Pankhurst Peg Dog £2.75

Personalised Keepsake Tin £3.95

Linen Lapin £29.00

Star Pendant Mini £22.50

Christmas - Advertising Feature


Christmas Paper Sack £12.50


The Snail and the Whale © Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler 2003 – Macmillan Children’s Books

A play with music inspired by the book by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler


The Scotsman

Broadway Baby

A P O L L O T H E AT R E • 3 0 N O V - 5 J A N

When ParentVille does Christmas Big Parties for Tiny People



ParentVille Parties is an online market for children’s parties. Planning a child’s party can be daunting, whether it is finding a venue, entertainer, caterer, ordering party bags, decorations, buying a delicious cake, or even hiring a photographer for the day. ParentVille Parties are here to make planning a kids dream party fun and stress free. Get in touch with our party planning service or browse and shop ParentVille’s curated collection and find everything you need for your children’s party.

8 Elf Hats £12.50

Biscuit Making Kits from £22.00

Festive Iced Biscuits Selection from £48.00

Nutcracker Advent Jewellery Box from £25.00

Nutcracker Drum Cup from £4.00

Santa & Reindeer Crackers from £21.50

Santa Napkins £5.75

Santa Plates from £5.00

Santa’s Elves Crackers £21.50

10-26 January 2020 Discover a Whole New World with North London’s Best Urban Pantomime Box Office: 020 8807 6680 • Online:

Photo credit: Lucy Dodsworth




A winter wonderland trip to Rovaniemi, Finnish Lapland By Lucy Dodsworth

But the igloos will set you back €860 a night and even a standard family cottage is €1,100 for four nights B&B. Another option is to rent a property privately through sites like AirBnB. We found a five-bedroom house sleeping 11 for €1,800 for four nights. It was only a 10-minute walk from Santa Claus Village so we didn’t need to hire a car. Nights in the north are long so it was good to have somewhere warm to cosy up, with underfloor heating, a fire, sauna and a brilliant BBQ hut in the garden where we cooked salmon over the fire.

exhibition. The line of the Arctic Circle runs right through the middle of the village – you can see it marked with a row of lanterns and strip of blue lights.

Go husky sledding Speeding through the snowy forest behind a team of Siberian Huskies was a mustdo for my trip to Rovaniemi, and it didn’t disappoint. There are various different lengths of route you can take, from 500 metres to eight kilometres. But these guys really move, so hold on to your hats (literally) and wrap up warm as the ride soon whizzes past. Whether you’re taking a sled ride or not, you can visit the Husky Park to meet and stroke some of the park’s gorgeous dogs.

Take a reindeer sleigh ride

The two big questions about visiting Lapland in January are how cold is it going to be and is it going to be dark all the time? The sun rises at 11am and sets at 2pm in early January, but that doesn’t mean it’s pitch black the rest of the day. It’s twilight between 9.30am and 3.30pm with beautiful long sunrises and sunsets. Rovaniemi’s daytime temperatures average highs of -10°C/14°F and lows of -18°C/0°F at night. It might sound scarily chilly, but if you’ve grown up with damp British winters, this crisp, icy cold doesn’t penetrate in quite the same way. And if you’re covered up in a good set of winter clothing and head inside to warm up every now and then, it’s bearable.

Where to stay in Rovaniemi Most visitors to Rovaniemi stay in one of two main areas. Either the city centre which has a good selection of accommodation and easy access to shops, restaurants and transport, but isn’t quite the idyllic winter experience. Or outside the city for snowy forest scenery, and less light pollution so you’re more likely

If you want to actually see the scenery, a reindeer sleigh ride is a lot more sedate, and a chance to get up close to these amazing creatures. Like the husky sledding, there are different lengths of circuit so you can decide how far you want to go. Sleighs can hold up to two adults and you’re wrapped up in reindeer hides so you stay nice and warm.

Plenty to do in Rovaniemi’s Santa Claus Village Santa Claus Village is the epicentre of all things festive in Rovaniemi and there are a ton of wintery activities you can do on site, making it an easy place to base yourself if you’ve only got a few days in Lapland. The park gets super busy in the run up to Christmas, but things calm down in the new year – making it a good time to visit. Read on to find out more about activities in the village...

Meet Santa and cross the Arctic Circle You can visit Santa in the Santa Claus Office all year round. There’s also a Post Office where you can send letters with a special Arctic Circle postmark, and a Christmas

Visit the Moomin Snow Castle A castle for five-metre tall Moomins made out of snow? Only in Finland. The Moomins are a Finnish institution, with a family of white creatures that look a bit like hippos, based on the books by illustrator Tove Jansson. The Moomin Snow Castle covers a huge 10,000 square meters, with a mini maze, igloos, an ice bar and a couple of sledge runs, as well as a lot of enormous Moomins carved out of snow and ice. On the Luce travel blog:

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Visiting Rovaniemi in winter

to see the Northern Lights. Santa Claus Holiday Village is one of Rovaniemi’s biggest accommodation areas with accommodation ranging from glass igloos to wooden cottages.

A winter wonderland of pink skies, husky sleds, frosty fir trees, steaming hot chocolate and twinkling lights – Finnish Lapland is where snow-filled fantasies come to life. And right at the heart of it is Rovaniemi, perched on the edge of the Arctic Circle and the official home of Santa Claus (and he’s got to know the best place to live). From the Northern Lights to reindeer sleigh rides, the winter months in the far north are full of magic, and my first Arctic adventure more than lived up to expectations. So here’s how to plan a winter trip to Rovaniemi.

Visit Vancouver in the wintertime

Travel - Advertising Feature


With a backdrop of snow-capped peaks, lush forests and the sparkling waters of the Pacific Ocean, together with a worldrenowned ski resort just down the road, a Vancouver winter offers plenty for all types of traveller to enjoy. Wintertime in Vancouver is mild and moderate, rather than cold and unforgiving, truly making it an incredible year-round destination. It’s also the perfect place to enjoy a pre or post ski break.

Stage and over 80 stalls offering culinary treats and beautiful crafts. Take an outdoor stroll and see some of Vancouver’s fabulous winter light displays. Make sure to check out VanDusen Botanical Garden’s Festival of Lights and the Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, which makes for a breath-taking winter evening.

Vancouver below you? All of this and you’re still just a short transfer from your city hotel.

Explore the iconic sights

Hit the slopes

Here are just a few things that you can get up to during a winter visit to vibrant Vancouver.

Fabulous festivals and exciting events

Vancouver’s mild daytime winter temperatures mean that visiting iconic spots such as Stanley Park, strolling colourful local neighbourhoods and even cycling the seawall are all still possible during the wintertime.

The winter months see Vancouver playing host to a wealth of cultural festivals across the city. Food and wine events such as the Vancouver International Wine Festival and the signature Dine Out Vancouver Festival with its action-packed schedule of delicious events including guided dining tours, cocktail masterclasses and wine brunches, are certain to impress foodies. There’s also the annual outdoor Christmas Market at Jack Poole Plaza on Vancouver’s waterfront in December. This signature yuletide celebrations include Lover’s Lane, a 30-footlong tunnel illuminated by the glow of 10,000 twinkling lights, live seasonal entertainment performed on the Christmas Pyramid’s Flying

Vancouver may be just a short ride from the famous Whistler Blackcomb ski resort, but there’s also skiing and snowboarding on the local mountains. Vancouver’s Cypress and Grouse mountains are visible from just about anywhere downtown, and skiers and non-skiers alike will love the quick commute of just 20 minutes. Grouse Mountain is the closest and it presents a myriad of options for all of the family, including downhill skiing and boarding, snowshoeing tours, magic carpet rides, ziplining over alpine forests and skating on an outdoor rink. Cypress Mountain offers snow-tubing, crosscountry skiing and snowshoeing trails that lead you to a historic rustic lodge in the woods – perfect for a warming cocoa midtrek. For a truly unique alpine experience, why not try night skiing with a spectacular view of the sparkling lights of downtown

Walking around this welcoming and friendly city is easy as there is rarely any ice and snow, and there are a multitude of guided tours available, which will give you a greater understanding of Vancouver whilst taking in some of its most iconic sites. Explore the city’s indigenous history on an interpretive tour or a visit to the breathtaking Museum of Anthropology, sample the city’s acclaimed culinary scene on a Vancouver foodie or brewery tour or enjoy a visit to the Vancouver Aquarium, where you’ll have the chance to see penguins, dolphins and over 70,000 of the aquarium’s other residents. Whatever the season, Vancouver is home to a phenomenal amount of yearround attractions, with something for all types of travellers to enjoy. If you would like to book your winter adventure in Vancouver, contact Eda Ayyildiz your local Travel Counsellor

With the promise that all your holiday plans are in the safest possible hands. Remember how easy it used to be to go on holiday? When someone else took care of everything? At Travel Counsellors we believe this is the only way to sell travel – it’s such a personal thing that everybody deserves their very own personal expert. At Travel Counsellors we’re all about you. So if you’re looking for a holiday to remember, contact me today. Travel, tailor-made for you, with care.

Eda Ayyildiz Travel Counsellor 020 3393 5460

Christmas in Leicester



with with Daddy & Dad

That was another excellent impromptu chat with Lyall on the way to school. I enjoy my candid chats with the boys, although I do wonder where they get their ideas!

“Daddy?” “Yes Lyall?” “Do you know champagne?” “Erm yes I do, yeah?” “Well. If you open a bottle of champagne on Christmas day and the cork hits somebody in the head you have to give them a pound.” “Is that right, Lyall?” “Yep!”

I’m Jamie from the Daddy & Dad blog, by the way. You might remember in the last issue I told you all about our epic journey to parenthood via adoption. Quite early on, Tom and I decided we’d make up for the lost time before we met Lyall and Richard by taking them everywhere with us; to the supermarket, on holiday, to the pub, restaurants, into town, you get the idea. We face the world as a family team. The boys behave like little grown-ups when we’re out and about and they love spending time with us, so we’ve never really felt the need to pay a babysitter and leave them at home. As a family we spend a lot of time in London – our media and blog work gravitates to the capital and we have a lot of London-based friends. But we’re proud to call Leicester our home city. So, with Christmas fast approaching I thought I’d fly the flag for Leicester and tell you all about why Leicester is a great family destination for a Christmassy weekend away!

At Christmas, Leicester lights up and becomes home to several seasonal attractions – more about that in a moment. You might remember a couple of years ago, King Richard III’s bones were discovered in Leicester. While the king has gone from the news, his legacy is in the city’s redevelopment. They have invested millions on the city centre’s public spaces and the city looks fantastic. There are hundreds of world-class international restaurants, beautiful city parks and public spaces and of course Leicester Cathedral, the resting place of Richard III.

Shopping New Market Square and Knight & Garter Leicester’s just an hour from London St Pancras station. The city is small enough to navigate on foot – its main attractions are all within a 15-minute walk from the train station, although we do have cheap Ubers if you’re carrying luggage. The whole shopping area (give or take a couple of access roads) is pedestrianised.

Leicester city centre has three main shopping areas – Highcross Leicester, Humberstone Gate and The Lanes. Highcross Leicester is the city’s indoor shopping centre, famous for its huge John Lewis and 40-plus restaurants. Similar in size to a Westfield or Intu, you’ll find all the leading high street brands there. Humberstone Gate and adjoining High Street are more budget friendly, with a giant Primark, HMV, TK Maxx and several independent stores. The Lanes is Leicester’s

historic quarter with several small boutiques and high-end restaurants and bars – it’s very pretty.

Photo: by NotFromUtrecht, Wikimedia Commons

Theatres and attractions

At Christmas the area around the Cathedral and Jubilee Square is given a festive makeover with a huge ferris wheel and one of the country’s largest temporary ice-rinks ( Allow a couple of hours for both activities and try to visit in the afternoon to avoid the evening crowds.

Hotels and restaurants

Martin’s Square) for its bustling atmosphere and tasty food.

A quick google will tell you the best hotels in Leicester, but our faves for their modern facilities and family rooms are The Mercure Grand Hotel ( and Ramada Encore ( Both are located right in the very middle of the city, close to the station and all the city’s attractions. The Ramada Encore is particularly convenient for The Curve theatre, by the way.

There’s so much more I could tell you about Leicester and I’m sure you’ll discover loads of hidden gems for yourselves. I should also mention Leicester’s a really good night out if you were lucky enough to manage to a weekend without children in tow. If you are heading out without kids, head to St Martin’s Square for stylish G&T and cocktail bars and The Knight & Garter ( for its Nordic heated terrace.

As a diverse city, Leicester is spoiled for choice when it comes to international restaurants. Our current favourite restaurant is Tamatanga (St Peter’s Square) – a contemporary Indian restaurant and cocktail bar. Expect spicy curry, juicy cocktails and vibrant interior style. They do fruity mocktails for the kids, too. We also love Mexican street-food restaurant Bodega (St

We feel lucky to call Leicester our home city, especially in the festive season and we hope you enjoy it too. If you happen to see us around, please do pop over and say Merry Christmas! Find the Daddy & Dad blog over at

St Peter’s Square at Highcross Leicester St Peter’s Square (a modern, public space outside John Lewis/Highcross Leicester) becomes an outdoor wooden bierkeller in the winter, with Christmassy wooden huts and faux snow falling from the rooftops. It’s really quite magical in the evenings. St Peter’s Square is also home to Showcase Cinema de Lux and several popular restaurants.

St Martin’s Square

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Giant ferris wheel near Jubilee Square

Christmas Bierkeller at St Peter’s Square

Of course, a weekend away as a family can’t revolve completely around shopping or you’ll end up with grumpy kids. Leicester is home to four theatres including The Curve ( pictured below – arguably the most celebrated theatre outside London. At Christmas, West Side Story is coming to The Curve. For a classic panto, Demontfort Hall ( has Sam Bailey and Anthony Costa (5ive) in Aladdin.

Winter Activities


Winter Activities

Top things to do this Winter with our favourites! We’ve rounded up our most loved, local #instaparents to bring you the best things to do in your area. of art, homewares and gifts from the local creative community. Free.

ENFIELD It was hard for Kat to narrow down her favourites. Here’s her top 8 festive things to do.

Enfield’s Christmas Parade of Light The Market Square, Enfield Town 1 Dec 16.00 Enfield’s popular Christmas Parade of Lights returns for a 9thYear! There will be a market and entertainment from 2pm in The Market Square ahead of the main parade, which starts at Enfield Civic Centre. The ultimate festive fun! Free.

Resistance Comedy – Live Stand Up at The Dugdale Dugdale Theatre, 39 London Road, Enfield, EN2 6DS 22 Nov 19:45 Dugdale is hosting a regular new comedy club with some of the best comics from across the globe. LOL on the weekend! Adults only, £10 or £13.

Grease – A TNT Production Dugdale Theatre, 39 London Road, Enfield, EN2 6DS 13-21 Dec 19:30, Saturday matinees 15:00 TNT productions are bringing this family classic to Enfield this Christmas. This wonderful musical is packed with humour and heart and is sure to leave you Hopelessly Devoted to the stellar cast. Adults, evening shows £21, matinees £20.

Calligraphy for Christmas at Forty Hall Forty Hall, Forty Hill, Enfield EN2 9HA 23 Nov 11:00-15:00 Add a touch your own creative flair to the Christmas season! You will learn how to create modern style calligraphy and apply this to season items such as gift tags, Christmas cards and special place settings. Adults and children (aged 14 +) £45.

Christmas Garland Workshop Tailor Made Living Store, 13 Queen Anne’s Parade, Enfield, EN1 2QB 15 Dec 15:00-17:00 Learn to make a stunning garland to adorn your staircase, mantle or Christmas dinner table with expert guidance from Lisa Furnell from Cabbage White Flowers. Adults £50.

Under the Arches – A Christmas Fair Arnos Grove Park and The Arnos Arms, N14 24 Nov 10:00-16:00 Under the Arches returns with its second Christmas fair. Join as they open the beautiful arches once again to a curated mix

Aimee Hart @hart_at_home

Santa Arrives at Paradise Wildlife Park! White Stubbs Lane, Broxbourne, EN10 7QA 23 Nov 15 Dec Santa’s timetable varies (check website for more information) Santa officially opens the Christmas Market before taking pride of place in his grotto from noon. Enjoy a hot chocolate and a mince pie whilst wandering a selection of festive stalls to purchase those special Christmas gifts! Santa’s Grotto includes Ginger bread and bauble decorating – the bauble is yours to keep. Day ticket: child £17.86, adult £20.21 (kids aged two and under free). An extra £7.50 is charged for a grotto visit. Santa Spectacular Willows Farm, Coursers Road, London Colney, St Albans 23 Nov-24 Dec Willows farm are offering a full day of festive family fun and the child ticket price includes all the activities and shows plus a visit to Santa and being able to choose a gift from his Toy Shop, making a toy bear in the create-a-character workshop and biscuit decorating. Under-2s can go free but paying Under-2s visit Santa, do the create-a-cuddle workshop and biscuit decorating. Prices vary: Adults from £14, child from £30. Van Hage Skating 14 Nov-6 Jan 9:00-18:00 Experience the magic of ice skating at Van Hage this Christmas. Whether you think of yourself as a Torvill and Dean or simply scramble around like Bambi, our popular Ice Rink is the ultimate experience for all the family, no matter your age or ability. Adult from £6, Child from £6 (prices vary). Continued overleaf...

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Cherubs Christmas Fair & Grotto Bush Hill Park Golf Club, Winchmore Hill, London N21 2BU 30 Nov 10:00-16:00 Twas the month before Christmas when Santa came to see, all the Cherubs readers and their loving families… Don’t miss Cherub’s magical Christmas fair and the chance to meet our favourite man in red. Includes a Santa meet and greet, picture and present. General admission free. Grotto: child £7, family ticket (up to three children) £14. Book online in advance.

Its Aimee’s favourite time of the year, especially in her own area. The Christmas things to do are endless and here she shares her top faves!

Kat @the_enfield_explorer

Mother Goose – Millfields Christmas Pantomime The Millfield Theatre, Silver St, Edmonton, N18 28 Nov-4 Jan Various times Millfield’s audience can expect a fabulous telling of this infamous story, full of laughter, music and dance, this is North London’s biggest family Pantomime. Ticket prices range from £12-£22. Family ticket £78 (two full price, two children’s concessions).


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Santa Claus and the Night Before Christmas Watford Colosseum, Rickmansworth Road, Watford 3 Dec-24 Dec Varied performance times A truly unforgettable experience which includes bubbles and the magical moment when snowflakes fall over the audience, this interactive show is a must-see over the festive season. As an added Christmas treat, all of the good boys and girls in the audience will meet Santa after the show and receive a special present of their own. Adult £16.50, child £15.50, family £56.00.

Winter Activities


The Santa Show Hertford Theatre, The Wash, Hertford 14-24 Dec Performance times vary (check website for more information) Follow the adventures of Santa and Jingleberry the Elf who have the very important task of preparing all the presents for Christmas day. You’ll also get to meet Santa’s friends Rudolph the rapping reindeer and Frosty the Singing Snowman! This exciting, colourful, sing along interactive show is perfect for two to six-year-olds, their families, pre-schools and nurseries. Children will also get the chance to meet Santa and receive their very own Christmas present. Adults £9, children £12. The Knebworth Christmas Fair Knebworth Park, KnebworthHouse 8-10 Nov 10:00-16:00 This is the event where you can kick-off your festive shopping in style, meet the makers and designers and find that unique gift for family, friends or treat yourself to something extra special. Tickets £4 in advance/£5 on the gate. Under18s are free. Christmas Frost Fair at Aldenham Country Park Aldenham Country Park, Elstree, Hertfordshire 14-17 Nov 10:00-17:00 With up to 180 exhibitors, Father Christmas, plenty of festive entertainment, great crafts, unique gift ideas, fine foods and an extensive Street food offer, this really is the ideal way to kick start your festive season. Adults £7.50, children under 16 free.

Christmas Craft Market - Ally Pally

HARINGEY With baby number 3 on the way, Karen is definitely looking for all things Christmassy to keep the kiddies entertained this season. She’s found you some crackers! Enjoy.

Karen @n4mummy

Meet Father Christmas Sutton House and Breaker’s Yard, Hackney Central, E9 6JQ 23 Nov-22 Dec 12:00-16:30 Explore the traditions of Christmases past and meet Father Christmas in a Tudor grotto and receive a present. Price: Adult £9.50, Child £5.50 National Trust members £2 Book online. Christmas Craft Market Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Park, N22 1-2 Dec, 8-9 Dec & 15-16 Dec 10:00-17:00 Local stalls from Crouch End Festival and Muswell Hill Creatives browse festival stalls for seasonal fare, gifts, clothing, decorations, jewellery and more. Free. Panto On Ice Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Park, N22 7-10 Dec 12:00, 16:30, 18:30 various times on different days Alexandra Palace Ice Rink Amateur Productions presents a magical retelling of Aladdin on ice. Tickets: Adult: £15, child £12.50. Toy Wreath Making Workshop Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Park, N22 9Dec 11:00, 11:45, 12:30 & 13:15 Designer and up-cycler artist Lucy Griffiths,

The Santa Show - Hertford Theatre

will be showing you have to make a hanging festive decorations from an unwanted small toy. Toys will be provided or you can bring something of your own along. Free. Sign up online Harry’s Christmas Spirit Pickled Pepper Books, 10 Middle Lane, Crouch End, N8 8PL 30 Nov & 7 Dec 10:30 Every Christmas, Harry celebrates with the help of his mischievous seasonal friend, the Christmas Spirit. But this year there is a problem… Harry can’t find it anywhere. An inclusive Christmas theatre show for children ages 2+ with puppetry. Entry: £8.50. Christmas Carol Service Christ Church, Crouch Hill, N8 8AX 8 Dec & 15 Dec 10:30 Family-friendly Christmas services in Crouch End. Get in the Christmas spirit with carols and the Christmas story from the bible. Feel free to dress the children up as a character from the Christmas story: angels, kings and shepherds are most welcome. Mince pies and festive treats will be served. Free.

HACKNEY, CAMDEN & CENTRAL LONDON Max juggles parenthood between a teen and a baby, so you can rest assured that she knows all the best places to go this winter that will keep all age ranges happy.

Max @struggleofthejuggle

Primrose Hill Christmas Festival Regents Park road, Primrose Hill, NW1 26 Nov There is nothing quite like an entire neighbourhood shutting up shop to participate in a winter festival, and no one

BARNET There is so much to do around Christmas in Barnet and Stephanie brings us her top 7!

Stephanie @barnet_mum

Regent Street Lights

Regent Street Christmas Lights Regent Street, Soho, London W1B 4JD 14 Nov Nothing signifies the approach of Christmas more than the glow of seasonal street lights, so wrap up warm, grab a complimentary hot chocolate and enjoy some pre-December Christmas shopping, all before watching the magic of Oxford and Regent Street light up. Free to attend, additional costs vary. Winter Wonderland Hyde Park, Marble 14 Nov 21 Nov-5 Jan Since we’re on the subject of Christmas in London, I couldn’t get away with not mentioning Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. With an incredible Christmas market, themed tours and attractions like ice skating and Santa’s Grotto, and some of the most delectable hot chocolate combinations on the planet, it’s the ultimate festive one-stop shop for all. Free to attend, additional costs vary.

Barnet Christmas Fayre High Street Barnet, EN5 1 Dec 12:00-17:00 A parade, stalls, craft, theatre show at the Bull Theatre, rides and more. Suitable for all Free. Breakfast With Santa The Red Lion, 31 High St, Barnet EN5 5UW Selected dates throughout December 09:00-11:00 Surprise the kids with a trip to see Santa. No, not in the North Pole but at Red Lion Barnet. Give them their favourite cooked breakfast with a drink of their choice, and they can tell Santa what they expect under the tree for Christmas. £5.99 per child. Santa’s Grotto Brent Cross Shopping Centre – Prince Charles Dr, London NW4 3FP Nov-24 Dec

RAF Christmas Grotto RAF Museum, Grahame Park Way, London NW9 5LL Dates to be confirmed 11:00-16:00 This year our magical Christmas Grotto returns to the RAF Museum. Get into the festive spirit and bring the whole family to meet Father Christmas! Father Christmas is camping out in our Nissen Hut, surrounded by our First World War aircraft. We are very lucky that he’s able to spare the time before he gets too busy for Christmas. Every child will have the chance to meet Father Christmas in his special First World War era grotto. Gift given to each child. £7 per child.

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Everybody’s Talking About Jamie Shaftesbury Ave, Soho, London W1D 7EZ Extended until Aug 2020 Inspired by true events, the show follows 16-year-old Jamie, who wants to be a drag queen, on the journey to find himself. Jamie overcomes prejudice, beats the bullies and steps out of the darkness, into the spotlight. Fun and inspirational, take advantage of the extension dates and take the whole family this October half term. Prices vary, tickets start from £20pp.

Toy’s Tale The Bull Theatre, 68 High St, Barnet EN5 5SJ30 1 Dec 13:00, 14:15 & 13:30 It’s Christmas and all the toys are excited about where Santa will be taking them and who their child will be. However, one toy is broken. Who would want him? This heartwarming tale will take you on a magical journey where you will meet all your favourite Christmas characters — Santa, elves, the snowman, the Grinch, a fairy, and lots of toys. Great songs, amazing dancing and fabulous characters. All tickets £5.

Winter Lights Stephen’s House and Gardens, Finchley London N3 3QE 14 Dec 16:30-19:00 Come and take Christmassy walk around the lit up gardens. The cafe will be open so try some yummy hot chocolate or mulled wine. £3 per adult/child, under-2s free.

quite does it like Primrose Hill. As ever, they hold a dog show, that has grown to gargantuan proportions over the years. Local suppliers offer up their food on stalls, and small business owners set up shop with gifts like beautiful pashmina scarves, delicate jewellery and independent kids clothes brands. There’s a funfair, live music, and of course the big man in red will be making an appearance with his elves, too. Free to attend, additional costs vary.

Cinderella – The Rockin Panto by Peter Rowe The Arts Depo, 5 Nether St, North Finchley, London N12 0GA 30 Nov-5 Jan Get ready for a pantomime party for all generations, as the multi-talented cast of actor-musicians present your favourite story packed with your favourite songs. Rock, pop and soul classics include It’s Raining Men, In The Midnight Hour, I Gotta Feeling, Try A Little Tenderness and many more – We’re Gonna Make You Wanna Shout! Tickets From £18.

With everything you need all in one place, Brent Cross has Christmas in the bag. Come along to Santa’s Grotto and let him know whether you’ve been naughty or nice, and truly get yourself into the spirit of the most wonderful time of the year. Throughout the centre we’ve got festive fun, an amazing interactive game, and seasonal surprises to delight all the family. Each child receives a free gift. Free or you can pre-book a slot for £1 per child. Open during shopping centre hours.

Christmas at Grandma Christina’s House With Christina @basket.of.treasures

It’s a special time of year with the grandchildren and I’ve put together some fun things to do with them this festive season. After all, it is the season to be creative!

Everyone loves a treasure basket

Sing, sing, sing

Winter Activities


‘Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way...’ Children love listening to all the Christmas songs and rhymes that are around at this time of year. Did you know that rhyming of any kind helps promote children’s language development, increases their range of vocabulary, improves memory, and helps to differentiate the sounds and syllables in words which will lay the foundation for early reading? So get singing – here are some examples easily found on YouTube: When Santa Got Stuck Up The Chimney, Father Christmas He Got Stuck, Christmas Pudding Steaming Hot (all sung to the tune of Frere Jacques), Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Jingle Bells, and I’m A Little Snowman (sung to the tune of I’m A Little Teapot).

Tinker tray Create a tinker tray. Use an old cutlery tray or anything else with compartments. Add a selection of open ended Christmas themed activities that children can really use their imagination with. Try not to use anything plastic, natural materials are always best. Tinker Trays promote creativity and problem solving and can be used either on their own or with play dough, for example, to create... well anything they want to!

Let’s get creative Christmas for children is all about glitter and sparkle, decorations and presents, parties and Santa. Making decorations for the tree can be a fun activity that can last all day; you can even give these as gifts to close family members who might appreciate them. Paint fir cones, these can be collected whilst out on walks with the children or use conkers, acorns, leaves, sticks – anything natural that you find. Use cinnamon sticks, cloves and dried orange slices (just slice, and place into the oven on a low heat for an hour or so, keep checking them, when they have dried out, allow to cool) these have a real seasonal feel to them and of course smell great. Everything can be painted, using seasonal colours, red and green, silver and gold, and make sure you have lots of glitter in different colours that can be shaken all over. You might, however, want to do the glitter outdoors to save grandad moaning later on when it’s all over his favourite armchair! Tie your decoration together with twine or ribbon and wait to dry. It’s the process that’s important with this type of activity and not the finished product, allow your child to explore the textures, colours and mediums available to them, it doesn’t matter if whatever they’ve created doesn’t look perfect, as long as they have accomplished something they are proud of, and enjoyed the process. Remember to protect any furnishings and your floor; I’ve used tarpaulins that are easy to clean.

Make a Christmas-themed Treasure Basket. Fill it with green, red and shiny objects babies will find interesting. Use the treasure basket when the child is content, not tired or hungry etc. Place the treasure basket on the floor on a plain surface. If you use it on a patterned base the items get lost in the pattern, we want to encourage the baby to concentrate. This is the child’s time to feel, touch, taste, reflect, remember and learn. This encourages the early stage of brain development by strengthening and stimulating the formation of their neural pathways. Always stay with the child at all times and check everything is safe for babies to put in their mouths. Remember when a child is three years old, their brain has developed to 80 per cent of its size so we need to be giving our children as many experiences as possible.

Baking made easy There’s not always time to bake, have some gingerbread men (or any other plain biscuits) ready in the cupboard and pull out all your decorating tools to design. Let the child’s creative side come out, while you sit back with a warm drink not having to worry about washing all the bowls and spoons.


Sessions for children aged 18 months - 7 years | Teams for U7 to U10 |

I'm bored! How to keep boredom at bay over Winter

Winter Activities


with Jason Suttie

With shorter days and colder weather, it’s inevitable that you’re going to spend more time indoors over winter. And as much as our family likes to get outside in all weather, sometimes we just need a day indoors. But the comfort of being inside on a cold, wet day is always threatened with the risk of... child boredom! This horrible infliction can manifest itself in many ways depending on the age of the victim. One symptom is the incessant moaning about anything and everything. Another is random destruction. And one symptom we commonly see with our boy could be confused with needing the toilet. He can be sitting nicely on the sofa and then the fidgets start. First his arms, then his legs just twitch like he’s flicking off Mexican itching ants. It’s like his energy needs to get out somehow. “Fear Not!”, as those Christmas angels famously said. There are some remedies which don’t involve expensive treatments, or raiding the wine cupboard (you, not the children).

With Christmas conveniently falling in the middle of winter some of the ideas even make use of the mounds of recycling that you couldn’t cram into your recycling bin. That is assuming that your sweet little cherubs have made it onto the nice list and are getting presents this year.

Building a den or a fort inside is a pretty standard indoor activity and generally ranks pretty highly for fun. Especially when there is some destruction involved. Dens can be built out of tables, sofas, chairs, the exercise bike you got last Christmas you’ve been meaning to use. You can build leftover Christmas boxes into your den to create doorways or extra rooms. We often have an excess of really strong boxes, you know the ones with 12 bottle shaped holes? They can be great for adding a fort to the den. Something that will inevitably need to be blown up at some point. As well as playing inside a den, watching a movie or playing a board game by torchlight inside can add a new lease of life to activities that were boring in the plain light of day.

As is standard dad behaviour, I have a growing stash of timber offcuts and random DIY bits that I hold onto because they will come in handy one day. Until that day, we find they make great crazy golf courses. If you don’t have spare wood offcuts you can just as easily use rolled up towels. Don’t forget to make it interesting with a fairway down the stairs, or in the bathtub. We find plastic cups on their side work well as the hole.

You could get your kids to make a recipe, writing out the ingredients and taking photos at each step of the method. Maybe there could be a winter workout plan where you come up with a circuit to test your skills. Once you’ve come up with your articles and written them up, draw some art around the page, colour them in, add some photos and stick it all together.

You can use empty Christmas wrapping paper tubes as the golf clubs and squeeze wrapping paper into balls and tape them to make the balls. You can adjust the level of potential damage by how tightly you scrunch the wrapping paper. Just remember that the looser the scrunch, the less they’ll roll, but the more times the clubs will be swung at them. So choose wisely.

Indoor treasure hunt Hopefully your little kiddies have been spoilt over Christmas and they’ve got some new toys. Now’s your chance to hide them all again. Doing an indoor treasure hunt takes a little bit of brain space to come up with clues, but you can make it as short or as long as your think they’ll be entertained for. You could even add in some surprise leftover chocolate as a surprise treat after the 50th clue! There are some great resources online to help with scavenger hunts, including clue sheets. Just Google it.

Make a magazine For the creative types why not put together a family magazine? Think about what makes up a great magazine, flicking through Cherubs will give you somewhere to start,

Bored dice Having a bored dice is more of a quick fix than an activity. The idea is that when someone’s showing signs of being bored or you actually hear them say those dreaded words, “I’m Bored”, they roll the dice. You can either make a dice out of a box and write an activity on each side or use a normal dice and give each number an activity. Eg. 1 = 20 Jumping Jacks, 2 = stand on one leg for one minute. For older kids you could make it more competitive by seeing who can do the activity the fastest, or hold it the longest.

Tidy up games When all else fails it’s ok to let the kiddies go a little crazy and make a mess. But while they’re doing that think about how you can make games out of tidying up. Kids have a knack of working out quite quickly when they’re being scammed, but this can sometimes be masked by throwing some healthy competition. Who can be the first to tidy up 5 red things? This activity might not get you all the way back to your show home living room, but hopefully your children are a little more worn out, more likely to sleep and you’ve staved off boredom for another day.

To advertise email or call 0203 978 7332

Forts and dens

and come up with articles that suit your family’s interests.

Some of them will help spend the excessive energy that’s bubbling dangerously close to nuclear meltdown. Others will help keep their brains occupied and may even make some nice memories.

Crazy golf

Street Dance Commercial Dance ISTD Ballet ISTD Tap Contemporary Singing Drama Enrolling Now for 2-25 year olds! Book a FREE TRIAL SESSION today!

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62 Winter Activities

DAVID WALLIAMS’ BILLIONAIRE BOY The bestselling children’s author David Walliams and the award-winning Birmingham Stage Company have teamed up again for a brand-new production of Billionaire Boy. This will be their third collaboration after the Olivier Award nominated Gangsta Granny and acclaimed Awful Auntie productions. Billionaire Boy started life as a David Walliams novel for children in 2010, published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, and was filmed for the BBC in 2016. As part of a major national tour the show can be seen across the UK until November 2020. Billionaire Boy tells the story of Joe Spud,

Performances local to aders Cherubs magazine re Orchard Theatre, Dartford 13 - 16 November 2019 Box Office: 01322 220000 New Theatre, Oxford 4 - 7 December 2019 Box Office: 0844 871 3020 Bloomsbury Theatre, London 14 December 2019 - 5 January 2020 Box Office: 020 3108 1000 Billionaire Boy will be playing in various theatres across the country please see for more tour info

who is twelve years old and the richest boy in the country. He has his own sports car, two crocodiles as pets and £100,000 a week pocket money. But what Joe doesn’t have is a friend. So he decides to leave his posh school and start at the local comp. But things don’t go as planned for Joe and life becomes a rollercoaster as he tries to find what money can’t buy! David Walliams has become one of today’s most influential writers. Since the publication of his first novel, The Boy in the Dress (2008), illustrated by the iconic Sir Quentin Blake, David Walliams has celebrated more than 10 years of writing

success with global sales exceeding twentynine million copies, and his books have been translated into fifty-three languages. David’s titles have spent 138 weeks (nonconsecutive) at the top of the children’s charts – more than any other children’s author ever. He closed 2018 as the UK’s biggest-selling author for the second year running. In addition to his fiction, David has worked with Tony Ross on six picture books as well as three bestselling short-story collections, The World’s Worst Children. Billionaire Boy is suitable for ages five-plus.

Cliff’s Pavilion, Southend 23 - 26 Jan 2020 Box Office: 01702 351135

Hertford Theatre 12 - 16 February 2020 Box Office: 01992 531500

The Churchill Theatre, Bromley 29 January - 2 February 2020 Box Office: 020 3285 6000

Theatre Royal Windsor 19 - 22 February 2020 Box Office: 01753 853888


Why Choose us?

We run Sports sessions throughout the boroughs of Enfield and Barnet in Rugby and Football for Children aged 18 months to 11.

• • • •

We also partner with numerous nurseries and schools in the area delivering Tennis, Yoga, Gymnastics, Dance, Football and Rugby as well as our ActivKids programme.

What’s Important to us?

is revolutionizing the way toddlers and children are introduced to sport throughout the UK.

We would love to meet you little one at one of our weekend or weekday development Centers currently running out of St Ignatius College, Southgate School, St Andrews Parish Centre and Bush HIll Park Primary School. We are also still looking to partner with further schools and nurseries in the area.

• • • • • •

FA Qualified Coaches Early Years Trained Coaches Montessori Teaching Methods Practice at Home Booklets and Nursery/Curriculum Pathway booklets to monitor and track progression

Our children’s health and happiness Our children’s Confidence Our children’s fun and entertainment Our children’s sporting development Our parents experience Recruiting , retaining and promoting World Class Sports Entertainers - Not just Coaches

Find us on Facebook: sports4kids Cockfosters & Southgate & Sport4Kids Enfield To book a free taster at any of our venues you can do so at

64 Winter Activities

“La la la la laaaaaa” By Richard Forbes - R Voices

As we walked through the park, alternating our ‘buggy-pushing’ arms while scrolling through our phone with the other, another dad and I managed to have half a conversation as my 14-month-old daughter shouted “Go faster!” My companion had to go out with some of the ‘other dads’ that evening. So did I. This could be a special friendship. It wasn’t. We were two of many tired adults, in awe of our wondrous offspring. Standing tall as the pressures and expectation pile themselves on our shoulders with every dawn. Creating memories and photographing all of them... but sooo tired. “You should start a choir,’’ my wife said, about a week later. I was perplexed. “How have I got the time to start a choir?” If I’m honest I was also deeply offended. More because I thought she still looked at me as the aspiring rockstar, indie frontman (circa 2003) that I used to be. In my head, I was! A choir, on a Thursday night, in the suburbs, was a big mental departure from my other musical ventures. She even threatened to come along. Four weeks later we opened to 25 people – 21 were my mates. Three and a half years on we have 130 members across three evenings in Winchmore Hill and Muswell Hill and about to open in North Finchley and Bounds green. What I have learned from running R Voices is that the singing is almost secondary to the other individual elements that people are

extracting from it. Some want to talk, some want to be left alone. Some want to sing, others don’t mind if they don’t. Some want to get it right, others don’t feel it matters that much. Some want to have a drink (during or after) others want to get home. Some are quite young, some are getting on. Some are still there, and some have said goodbye. Whether it be to avoid bedtime, or putting a wash on. Whether it is to have a glass of wine or to ‘not think about work’. Whether it is to do something with your partner or alternatively to get away from them, the choir is a space where all of that can take place. Through the jokes and the flat notes, friendship and trust is built through music. We sing together! It is one of the most bonding things one can do. We have welcomed new lives together and mourned our lost friends. And we have sung... some of our favourite songs and others that we had never heard. We don’t dance, but we have moved, been moved and moved others.

song. Whether it is Weddings, drunkenness, parties, the shower, the car, with your kids or your friends and family, singing is brilliant! We don’t make you wear matching T-shirts, we don’t make you dance, in fact we rarely stand up! But we sing great songs right across the spectrum. From Oasis to Dolly, Sia, Chaka Khan, Nirvana, Coldplay, Britney and many more. Everyone’s first session is free. Read the literature about why it’s good for your body, your mind and your soul, it’s all out there – but above all else, it’s a great crack.

Choir members have told me that, initially, it feels selfish to leave the house one evening a week to go to a pub and sit upstairs with strangers singing Blur songs with a G&T in hand. But the positive effect that it has on the rest of the week makes it an essential part of their lives. None of us really have the time to do things for ourselves. The choir is full of people that don’t have the time to be there. They have made the time. The bonus is the sheer enjoyment of a good sing-

Mondays The Bohemia , North Finchley 8-9:30pm Tuesdays The Winchmore, N21 8:30-10:00pm Wednesdays The Clissold Arms , N2 8-9:30pm Thursdays The Winchmore N21 and Shaftesbury Hall N11 8-9:30pm

My mate from the park turned up at choir. He decided that in order to give back the energy and joy he gets from his family he had to do something for himself. He’s now a regular and rarely misses a practice. Still looks knackered though. Richard Forbes runs the ‘R’ Voices choir.

27 Nov - 11 Jan

Sponsored by

For ages 5+

Christmas Tales

2 - 30 Dec

For ages 0-7yrs

020 8292 9222 Registered charity no:1012369

Wednesday 12 - Sunday 23 February 2020, Southbank Centre

Winter Activities


Southbank Centre presents the nineteenth Imagine Children’s Festival from 12 to 23 February 2020. The largest festival of its kind in the UK, Imagine is dedicated to families experiencing and enjoying all kinds of art and culture together, presenting 12 days of the best international performance, music, literature, comedy, creativity, parties, participation and free fun for children aged 0-11 and their grownups

Photo credits: top and botoom middle: Belinda Lawley, bottom left: Simon Weir, bottom right: ZooNation

Join the conversation: #SCImagineFest @southbankcentre

ABOUT SOUTHBANK CENTRE Southbank Centre is the UK’s largest arts centre and one of the UK’s top five visitor attractions, occupying a 17-acre site that sits in the midst of London’s most vibrant cultural quarter on the South Bank of the Thames. We exist to present great cultural experiences that bring people together and we achieve this by providing the space for artists to create and present their best work and by creating a place where as many people as possible can come together to experience bold, unusual and eye-opening work. We want to take people out of the everyday, every day. The site has an extraordinary creative and architectural history stretching back to the 1951 Festival of Britain. Southbank Centre is made up of the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery as well as being home to the National Poetry Library and the Arts Council Collection. It is also home to four Resident Orchestras (London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Sinfonietta and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment) and four Associate Orchestras (Aurora Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, Chineke! Orchestra and National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain).





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Cherubs Magazine - Winter Edition 2019