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We preview the London Festival of Architecture, turn heads with Louis Mariette’s striking hat designs and take a Bentley Continental GT snow driving in Sweden


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Energy, Understanding and Innovation

For information on Steinway & Sons pianos or to arrange a private appointment to visit our London showrooms, please call 0207 487 3391 or email WWW.STEINWAYHALL.CO.UK

Front Cover Image: Ruislip Manor High Street.

Hillingdon Office 109 Hillingdon Hill, Uxbridge UB10 0JQ 01895 230 103 Uxbridge Office 279 High Street, Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 1LQ 01895 257 566 Ruislip Office 126 -128 High Street, Ruislip HA4 8LL 01895 625 625 Ruislip Manor Office 71 Victoria Road, Ruislip Manor HA4 9BH 01895 677400 West Drayton Office 1 Tavistock Road, West Drayton UB7 7QT 01895 459 950 Fitzrovia Office 22 Cleveland Street, Fitzrovia London, W1T 4JB 0207 580 9658

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Welcome to the Spring edition of Coopers Street Magazine. Historically, the housing market holds its breath before the General Election and whilst there has been a slight reduction in the number of buyers, we haven’t seen transaction numbers decrease significantly. This is in sharp contrast to the prime Central London market where transaction levels in February were down 22%. Mortgage approval levels remain well below pre-crisis norms, and the rapid house price growth has now priced some aspiring homeowners out of the market altogether, particularly as wage increases have been less forthcoming. December saw the stamp duty system reformed, ending the slab system, which created large gaps between transactions at prices just below the cut off points for higher tax rates, and where they picked up again. By flattening this system, there should be sudden house price growth, as people have larger deposits because of a lower stamp duty burden, while those selling homes can demand higher prices without deterring stamp duty-conscious buyers. Another recent reform has seen overseas landlords facing capital gains tax from April 2015, after the Chancellor announced he was closing

a loophole which meant they were treated more favourably than British-based landlords. The rule change will apply to future increases in value, not any previous growth. As well as foreign investors, it will affect UK ex-pats selling properties while based overseas, and is expected to earn the government £125m by 2018/19. The latest national statistics tell us property prices in England and Wales are up 6.7% annually, and 1.3% over the month of January. Comparing this with an annual increase of 12% for London gives you some indication of how London really is a separate market altogether. The average price of property in the capital is £458,283, with the average for England and Wales at £179,492. So what’s happening in the Borough of Hillingdon? The latest data shows us that prices are up 16.3% over the last 12 months, with an increase of 1.3% in January alone. The average price in the borough is now £330,008.

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Energy, Understanding and Innovation

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We take a look back at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, have a chat with renowned chef Cyrus Todiwala, and explore the best golfing spots in Andalusia. 1

Editor Gemma Rose Assistant Editor Catherine Law Graphic Design Oliver Hilton Mark Pentney Contributors Katie Bamford Claire Durkin Chris Farmer Kevin Haggarthy Emily Moss Colm O’Rourke Jennifer Paisley Antony Sore

When you have finished with your magazine please share it with others

Advertising T: 0845 521 5221 E: Editorial T: 0845 521 5221 E: Š Cream Club. All rights reserved. Reproduction is forbidden except by express permission of the publishers. The content of this magazine is believed to be correct but its accuracy is not guaranteed and does not form part of any offer or contract. Coopers cannot accept responsibility for any omissions or errors. The views expressed within editorials are those of the writers and not those of Cream Club.



Contents 40. Events

84. Arts and culture

Property by Coopers

Progress in motion

From stitch to stage

A selection of some of the finest properties currently available in your area from Coopers

Now in its eighth year, what can we expect from the London Festival of Architecture 2015?

We discover the magic of costume making at the Royal Opera House


52. Travel

92. Motoring

Coopers sponsor Haydon School

Bravissimo Bologna

Bentley on ice

Coopers become the twelfth man for a local school’s football team

Explore the beautiful medieval city of Bologna

The Bentley Continental GT V8 S takes to Sweden’s snowy roads





68. Technology Exclusive

Tunnel vision

Droning on We chart the rising popularity of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

How will the Crossrail services affect you?

24. Fashion and Beauty

Turning heads

80. Food and Drink

Introducing: Alexis Soyer Flamboyant and determined; meet the first celebrity chef

Louis Mariette reveals what it takes to be a successful milliner



96. Motoring

Audi R8 V10 Plus As the new Audi R8 makes its debut, we bid farewell to the current model


Blagrove Crescent


Four bedroom detached residence Set within the sought after and prestigious Sandringham Park development, this four bedroom detached residence offers a wealth of elegance and is flawlessly presented throughout. Showcasing a versatile floor plan, stylish finishes and multiple living spaces, the property briefly comprises an entrance hallway, ground floor WC, a study, kitchen/family room, conservatory, three bedrooms, a master bedroom with en suite and a bathroom. The property also benefits from off street parking, a private rear garden and a garage.

Stylish finishes and multiple living spaces

Ruislip Office 01895 625 625 |

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Bury Avenue Blends traditional themes with smart, modern additions

Ruislip Office 01895 625 625 |

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Four bedroom detached residence This impressive four bedroom detached residence blends traditional themes with smart, modern additions, providing an ideal setting for family living. With a choice of generous living areas, this home will impress those seeking space, luxury and a convenient address. To the ground floor there is an entrance hallway with doors leading to the master bedroom, dining room and living room. The master bedroom on the ground floor benefits from fitted wardrobes and a stylish contemporary en suite shower room. To the front of the property is a dining room, perfect for entertaining.


Campden Road


Four bedroom semi-detached home A superb four bedroom semi-detached home, beautifully arranged over three floors. The property comprises an entrance hallway, modern fitted kitchen with dining room, living room, ground floor WC and a study room. There are three bedrooms to the first floor and a family bathroom, as well as a fantastic master bedroom to the second floor with en suite.

Beautifully arranged over three floors

Ruislip Office 01895 625 625 |

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Hoylake Crescent Well presented and unrivalled living space

Ruislip Office 01895 625 625 |

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Three bedroom semi-detached chalet bungalow Set in a beautiful tree lined street, this three bedroom semi-detached chalet bungalow offers well presented and unrivalled living space. Boasting bright, breezy and generously proportioned interiors and complemented by the most perfect garden. Located on Hoylake Crescent, which is a short stroll to Ickenham village and its selection of shops, trendy eateries and transport connections.


Highgrove House


Luxury first floor, two bedroom apartment Impressively spacious and larger than average, this luxury first floor, two bedroom, two bathroom apartment is within walking distance of Ruislip and Ruislip Manor shops and underground stations, and is located within the sought after Sandringham Grange development. Beautifully designed and finished to a high standard throughout, this is the perfect place to explore and enjoy life’s true pleasures.

Within the sought after Sandringham Grange development

Ruislip Office 01895 625 625 |

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Generations of expertise, a passion for perfection and an unrivalled attention to detail ensure that an Abels move will always be the right move for you. Founded as a family business Abels has grown into one of the most highly regarded removal companies in the country, holding the Royal Warrant by appointment to Her Majesty The Queen for removals and storage. Our acclaimed services that include UK Residential Removals and Storage, European Moving and International Relocations, are all part of the service. So, no matter how far you’re going, we’re never too far away to help.

Certificate No. FS23942

Freephone: 0800 626769 E-Mail:


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Tunnel vision Plans for the world-class Crossrail service promise to improve journey times, ease congestion, and send property prices soaring.




ith Crossrail services set to begin in 2019, West Drayton is destined to be the best connected address in the Borough of Hillingdon. The upgraded network will transform journey times into Central London, with Paddington becoming reachable in 20 minutes, Canary Wharf within 37 minutes, Bond Street within 23 minutes, and journeys to Heathrow only eight minutes. What better time could there be to invest in the area? A new graphic, created by the property company JLL was recently released, revealing the full extent of house price growth, along the entire 38-station route of Crossrail. Homeowners in West Drayton will see a 51% increase in house prices over the next five years – the third biggest jump in value for any London village on the route. The forecast for house price rises takes into account the ‘Crossrail effect’: regeneration and property price inflation regardless of the new line. The index analysed a 750 meter radius around each station on the track, which is designed to transport commuters and tourists into London faster. Homeowners living in the top-performing areas will enjoy growth of around 19% as a result of Crossrail alone, while the average growth across all 38 stations is 8%. Areas experiencing significant regeneration, such as West Drayton, combined with the ‘Crossrail effect’, will benefit most, but all locations will reap the rewards of a higher profile, alongside greater consumer and developer interest.

Crossrail facts • Europe’s largest infrastructure project • 42km of tunnelling is being dug beneath London • 10 new stations are being built • Over 62 million working hours have been completed so far • The full service will be running by 2019 • 1.5 million people will be brought within a 45 minute commute of London


Willow grove


Four bedroom detached bungalow This dream home, only moments from amenities, offers versatile living for families and couples alike. The large entrance hall leads to two double bedrooms across the front of the bungalow, one of which is currently used as a dining room. There is a newly fitted family bathroom. Towards the rear of the property is an open plan lounge with views over a south facing garden. The kitchen is located to the right of the bungalow, with integrated appliances. There are two further double bedrooms and separate WC. With own driveway leading to garage.

A dream home, set in a whisper quiet residential road

Ruislip Manor Office 01895 677400 |

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Mount Pleasant Generous family layout and stylish light filled interiors

Ruislip Manor Office 01895 677400 |

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Four bedroom detached house for sale Impressive proportions, a generous family layout and stylish light filled interiors all combine to create a first class residence. Internally, the front reception room benefits from a feature fireplace, while towards the rear of the property is the second reception room, with French doors leading out onto the luscious garden. This property benefits from a fully tiled well proportioned kitchen, offering an abundance of family living. This property is complemented by a very private garden, designed to embrace low maintenance living and in/outdoor entertaining. To the first floor there are four great sized bedrooms, and a family bathroom. In addition, the master bedroom boasts an en suite shower room. This property also has a larger than average garage.


Dawlish Drive


Two bedroom terraced house This house is well appointed throughout, and creates an immediate impression of relaxed style and ease of family living. It has been extended and modernised to a high standard. The ground floor briefly comprises a spacious lounge beaming with natural light, leading through to a separate dining area. At the rear of the property is a modern fitted kitchen offering an abundance of space, which overlooks the south facing garden. To the first floor, there are two double bedrooms and a fully tiled family bathroom.

Extended and modernised to a high standard

Ruislip Manor Office 01895 677400 |

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Frazer Avenue Set in an ultra-convenient location

Ruislip Manor Office 01895 677400 |

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Two bedroom maisonette Ready made for completely relaxed living, and set in an ultra-convenient location, this ground floor two double bedroom maisonette is an ideal opportunity for those looking to get into the marketplace for the first time or create a sound investment prospect. It is larger than average and immaculately presented throughout. The property comprises an entrance hallway, good size lounge, modern fitted kitchen, two double bedrooms and modern bathroom. This property benefits from off street parking. Double glazed and gas central heated, the property also offers a lengthy lease and good size rear garden.

The future

is micro! The marketplace is now as wide as the world’s online reach, and houses and flats can now be virtually explored through audio, video and images.

Sharing Selling Market your home with your own exclusive website

Share your property via social networking with your own property website.

• Professionally voiced video tour to emphasise the main selling points of your property • Photo slideshow, floorplans and location map • Local area video guide • Local schools map – with click-through to OFSTED reports • The whole site can be shared via social media or email • See how many times your property has been viewed • Share the site with your friends and family, whilst we send it to potential buyers instead of basic details

Time was, when you were considering buying, selling, renting or letting a property, you could anticipate your estate agent of choice to place a notice in their window, or advertise in the classified section of a newspaper to reach the widest audience. Technological advances have expanded the possibilities property marketing affords. Thanks to the internet, the marketplace is now as wide as the world’s online reach, and houses and flats can now be virtually explored through audio, video and images. And one company is moving forward in the process of rolling out a pioneering approach to the way properties are bought, sold and discovered: the microsite. A first in the world of property marketing, the microsite technology has been developed in-house at the Cambridgeshire headquarters of The Cream Club, a progressive marketing company who specialise in the creation and implementation of online video solutions for a constantlyexpanding client base of independent estate agents around the UK. This innovative aspect of property marketing builds on the success of Cream’s established product line, incorporating online TV channels showcasing professionally-produced video walkthroughs of an agent’s portfolio of properties. These guides still form the heart of the new generation of websites, and are enhanced by an increased element of interactivity.

In addition to sharing the microsite link via Facebook and Twitter, a property seeker can compile a playlist of prospective new homes, search for relevant properties more dynamically, and arrange appointments to view the property. Guides to the local area, and the services the agent provides, are also incorporated in each microsite. These form just a part of what has been tailored as a more engaging experience for microsite users; an experience which will continue to evolve, with plans in place to implement property postcards, personal photo galleries, 3D floorplans and interaction with high-end brands already in the pipeline. In essence, the lifespan of the microsite will go beyond the transaction. It is anticipated between 200 and 300 agents nationwide will introduce microsite technology over the coming months, with Coopers among this exclusive group of market-leading and award-winning agents. As one of the prominent exponents of property TV channels, we are looking forward with great anticipation to embracing this new development in online property marketing as part of our high-standard customer service.

Buying House hunting Receive your very own exclusive property search website

Receive your very own exclusive property website • Photo gallery and personal detail management

• Enter your own search criteria and change it at any time

• House warming invitations, new address notifications, or something as simple as ‘look at my new kitchen!’

• Create a playlist of search results for future viewing

• Share via email or social media

• Share search results via social media or email • Book a viewing and provide feedback via your microsite

• Use it as your internet home page and add links to your favourite web/shopping sites

• With your own microsite, you will have new instructions added to your search results as soon as they go live

• In time, these will feature 3D floorplans enabling you to rearrange the layout of the room

Join the future of property marketing: Register today at



Into the blue We’re diving headfirst into spring, and the colour that everyone will be wearing? True blue. Think pastel tones and plenty of pattern, this season demands shades from the sea and the sky. 10. 4.

1. 11. 5.



2. 6.




1. Diamond Guipure Dress, Gina Bacconi, £230, John Lewis • 2. Audrina Dress, Phase Eight, £140, John Lewis • 3. Vamp in Bloom Court Heels, Charlotte Olympia, £565, Selfridges • 4. Cashmere Blend Pencil Skirt, Boutique, £75, Topshop • 5. Blue Gold Plated Watch, Olivia Burton, £65, Harvey Nichols • 6. Small Patent Crosshatch Shopper, Allira, £129, Ted Baker • 7. Leather Cross-Body Bag, Sara Battaglia, £830, Harvey Nichols • 8. Blue Paisley Jersey Dress, Michael Kors, £150, Harvey Nichols • 9. Jackie Soft Leather Hobo, Gucci, £1,980 10. Natalie Sequined Cotton Jumper, Markus Lupfer, £295, Harvey Nichols • 11. Manhattan Lace Bodycon Dress, £75, French Connection 12. Two Part Sandals, Heartbeat, £26, Topshop



Turning heads Louis Mariette’s striking millinery is a favourite with some of the best stylists and experts in the fashion industry. Catherine Law talks to the designer about what it takes to be a success in this exclusive trade.



Credits left and above: Camille Sanson (Photographer), Lan Nguyen-Grealis (Make-up), Yaourou Konate (Model), Shaka Zulu (venue)




ike most of my life, the most exciting adventures happen without any planning or intention.” This is the ethos behind Louis Mariette’s stunning bespoke millinery, which has become a desirable brand for high-end stylists and fashion editors alike. Founded in 2007, and based in Chelsea, he also designs ready-to-wear pieces for weddings and special occasions. Louis’ flamboyant creativity and flair for dramatic design is intrinsic to his character, and saw him initially running a party planning business. His knack for establishing themes and developing imaginative and artistic ways of entertaining his “fabulous lady clients” led to him producing ‘Tales of Narnia’ and ‘Quintessential English Garden’ inspired parties. “Of course I always insisted on the host looking every bit the part, and I would make a little headpiece for them, whether using fresh flowers or elements of fabric from a bespoke outfit.” It was these “little headpieces” that propelled Louis into the world of millinery. They caught the eye of stylist Michael Dye, who encouraged him to put together a 25-piece collection for a show in Milan. The brand directors selected 24 pieces, the show was a hit, and Louis’ career had begun. With a childhood spent in Malawi, Botswana and Swaziland, Louis’ core

Credit: Philip Voelkers, photographer

inspiration for his craft comes from nature and travel. But he admits, “it can be the smallest detail that triggers a design.” For example, he speaks of the Paris Marathon, which he ran on behalf of The Children’s Trust, a charity he is Vice President for: “What should’ve been a rather arduous, painful experience enduring 26.2 miles, was absolute creative bliss, as every building, wrought iron fence, statue and masonry cornice inspired the basis of a new line.” Fundamentally however, Louis’ inspiration comes from the women themselves. “I’ve always been a people person; always intrigued, curious as to what makes people tick. I guess as a milliner, it has been such a natural and quite logical step to find ladies are a great inspiration.” Louis’ collections span two main styles – Bejewelled and Couture, with the Bejewelled collection further divided into Seasonal and Bridal. These exquisite headpieces feature Swarovski crystals and are mounted on gold or palladium bases. The Bridal pieces are more traditional, though varying in their levels of extravagance, while the Seasonal pieces are diverse in colour and theme. In contrast, the Couture collection demands no constraints: “I get to work with the finest materials and elements from all over the world, and let my imagination run wild!”



Credit: Stuart Weston, photographer


28 Throughout the long design process, Louis discusses at length all elements of creation with his talented team. He claims that, “in general, it takes about three weeks to produce a new piece.” Materials are sourced from every corner of the globe. The very best materials are used throughout the collections, such as strips of cashmere, antique beads and metallic thread. He describes how recently he had various metals sitting in acid in order to experiment with the corroded effect that was produced. “Experimenting and pushing my boundaries is what makes what I do so rewarding.” And pushing boundaries is something Louis certainly isn’t afraid to do. Being the designer of such extravagant headwear, I wonder if, as a wearer, you require a similarly vast level of confidence to carry them off. But he assures me: “Golden rule number one: it is about the woman – her style, the occasion, her comfort zone, and the creation being an extension of her personality.” Louis’ creations have featured in some of the biggest publication magazines in fashion, such as Vogue, Elle and Vanity Fair. However, he sympathises with those breaking into this glamorous but fiercely competitive world. “Whenever I get the opportunity to support others, I feel it should not only come from the heart, but it should be part of my contribution to help sustain the longevity of the millinery industry.” It is clear Louis’ designs are hugely admired by fellow designers, models and celebrities, and have been worn by Isabell Kristensen, Kate Moss and Lady Gaga, amongst others. And there is a mutual respect between Louis and his clients: “There are so many stunning ladies who not only exude beauty, but go beyond

Credit: Philip Voelkers, photographer

the call of duty for humanitarian causes, and this is a beauty unrivalled.” He references model and designer Alek Wek, who has worn one of his creations and, as a member of the U.S. Committee for Refugees Advisory Council and a missionary for World Vision, he describes as a hero. It is evident that, despite being a creator of such beauty, Louis is predominantly drawn to inner beauty. “The timeless model, Iman, has that natural grace, an aura of pride, a sense of movement that has never been taught, because it’s in her genes.” In 2009 and 2011 respectively, Louis was asked to be the official milliner for Epsom Derby and was invited to be a judge for Britain’s Next Top Model. At Epsom, he made live national television appearances, commenting on the outfits and millinery, including those of the Royals, “but the delicious strawberry to top my Pavlova was designing for and meeting the charismatic and rather unique Erin O’Connor, the official face of the event. I was simply in scrumptious millinery heaven!” He describes his experience on Britain’s Next Top Model as a rollercoaster: “The models were blooming from one experience to the next, which was heart-warming, but no one warned me how heartbroken I would secretly feel as I had to keep a tough exterior as girls got eliminated.” For someone so talented, so admired amongst fashion royalty, it is admirable to see Louis genuinely cares for his craft and for the people he works so closely with. Hats are such an iconic part of our society, and it is reassuring to see there are still devoted milliners transforming the classic into the contemporary. To view the full collection visit:



Credit: Stuart Weston, photographer


Constantine Place


Five bedroom detached family residence Constantine Place is a gated, private cul-de-sac made up of arguably the most exclusive homes in North Hillingdon. Nestled away on Vine Lane, this five bedroom, three bathroom detached family residence offers the best part 2400 sq feet of living space and is ideal to accommodate a large family, offering clean, crisp interiors throughout, well maintained front and rear gardens, plus a 19ft double garage.

Gated, private cul-de-sac made up of arguably the most exclusive homes in North Hillingdon

Hillingdon Office 01895 230 103 |

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Sweetcroft Lane Just over a ten minute stroll from Uxbridge town centre

Hillingdon Office 01895 230 103 |

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Three bedroom detached family residence An imposing three bedroom detached family residence nestled away on what is arguably one of North Hillingdon’s most sought after locations. Just over a ten minute stroll from Uxbridge town centre and all its amenities, the property is positioned perfectly and offers generously proportioned rooms and pristine, modern finishes with versatile living space throughout.


Southfield Close


Three bedroom semi detached family home Situated just off Harlington Road, Southfield Close is notoriously known for its well laid out family dwellings, along with easy access to the Uxbridge Road and Hillingdon Village with all its amenities. Tucked away on this cosy cul-de-sac, this three bedroom semi detached family home briefly comprises an entrance hall, 12ft lounge, 10ft kitchen/breakfast room to the ground floor. While upstairs offers 11ft master bedroom, 11ft second bedroom, 7ft third bedroom and family bathroom. Front of the property includes off street parking, whilst the shared drive leads to a beautifully maintained garden that benefits from a patio area leading to lawn, with a garden shed at the rear.

Southfield Close is notoriously known for its well laid out family dwellings

Hillingdon Office 01895 230 103 |

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High Point Village Brand new five star development is a commuter’s paradise

Hillingdon Office 01895 230 103 |

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Studio apartment Situated just moments from Hayes and Harlington station, offering a route to Paddington and the West End in 17 and 37 minutes respectively, as well as easy access to M4/M25 and just six minutes from Heathrow, this brand new five star development is a commuter’s paradise. This stylish, contemporary, light filled luxury studio apartment measures 412sq feet, and offers a 29ft living area with built in kitchen space, shower room, 9ft sleeping area and balcony. Outside, the property has a concierge, gymnasium, swimming pool and an urban village offering landscaped communal gardens.


Spotlight on: Ruislip As one of the earliest settlements still in existence, Ruislip offers a great mix of the traditional and the modern. History lovers can visit designated local heritage sites, such as Manor Farm, which dates back to the 13th century and features the remains of a Motte and Bailey Castle. For those more interested in the here and now, the High Street and other areas of Ruislip offer a variety of shopping facilities. To help you narrow down the choices, here are our top five places to visit in Ruislip.

Interesting. Local. Ethical. Sustainable

Bringing the glamour of the West End to Ruislip Manor Honey Bees Cakes is a haven of sweet treats where you won’t be able to resist indulging in some traditional afternoon tea. All the produce is locally sourced and freshly prepared onsite, making the deal even sweeter.

A dining experience Set in an extended medieval building, with exposed brick walls and leather banquette, Miller & Carter Steakhouse affords a relaxed friendly ambience, and a menu to get your taste buds tingling. Self-acclaimed experts in steak, they specialise in hand-cut 28 day aged steaks, all carefully sourced from sustainable British farms.

Set in and around the beautiful 13th century barn at Manor Farm, a conservation and heritage site, Duck Pond Market, is a thriving place to visit. The Foodie Market is held on the first Sunday of the month, where local food producers sell goods sourced within a 100 mile radius, and the Artisan Market on every third Sunday offers a range of arts and crafts, homewares, and clothing stalls. With locally made products from ethical businesses, there’s sure to be something of interest to everyone.

Fashion Forward

Family Friendly Fun The subject of a recent enhancement project, Ruislip Lido is open throughout the week and free to enter. You’ll be spoilt for choice when you arrive, as the Lido has a 60 acre lake, sandy beaches, two playgrounds,The Woodland Centre, and a narrow gauge railway running through the woodland.With all of this to discover, it’s certainly a place for the whole family.

Keeping up to date with the latest in female fashion couldn’t be easier in Ruislip. Founded in 2014 by local woman Lisa B, Lisa’s Closet in Ruislip Manor allows women to indulge in the latest fashions at a fraction of their runway price. Meanwhile, exciting independent boutique The End stock the hottest looks of the season, from the fashion capitals of the world, which you can buy from their premises on Ruislip High Street.


Hamilton Road Situated in the conservation area of Old Cowley

Uxbridge Office 01895 257 566 |

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Three bedroom semi detached home A stunning three bedroom semi detached home that sets the benchmark when it comes to contemporary finishes and intuitive design. The property is situated in the conservation area of Old Cowley, close to local amenities including Hillingdon Hospital, Brunel University, Bishopshalt Senior School and Stockley Business Park.


James Martin Close


Three bedroom terrace Flawless throughout and superbly located, this inspired three bedroom terrace has been brilliantly redesigned for contemporary family living. Space, light and functionality are now desirably predominant, and combine to offer an effortless lifestyle in a quiet pocket of Denham, Buckinghamshire.

Flawless throughout and superbly located

Uxbridge Office 01895 257 566 |

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Kings Island Regarded by many as one of the most exclusive developments in the area

Uxbridge Office 01895 257 566 |

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One bedroom apartment Positioned on the ground floor at King’s Island, which is regarded by many as one of the most exclusive developments in the area, is this one bedroom apartment that stylishly delivers clean, crisp lines throughout and sets a new benchmark for contemporary living.


Blossom Way


Four bedroom detached residence This modern four bedroom detached residence offers flexible living space for any prospective buyers, with superb stylish interiors and generous accommodation throughout. Situated in Blossom Way, conveniently located giving access to a variety of amenities including local shops, bus links, numerous schools, Heathrow Airport, Stockley Park and the M4, with its links to London and The Home Counties. West Drayton Town is a short distance away, providing a more extensive range of shops, along with West Drayton British rail station with its direct line to Paddington.

Stylish interiors and generous accommodation throughout

West Drayton Office 01895 459 950 |

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Don’t sweat it


When it comes to choosing the perfect gym essentials, it can often be a daunting and stressful experience. From spinning to circuits, and weights to cardio, our definitive guide allows you to combine both style and comfort without the need to compromise. 10.



11. 2.

5. 3.




8. 1. Mens Tech 260 Long Sleeved Crew Neck Top, £79.99, Selfridges • 2. Wash Bag and Towel Set, Ted Baker, £49.00, Selfridges • 3. Mens UA Speedform Gemini Running Shoes, £110.00, • 4. Mini Cloud Print Trainers, Gola X Cath Kidston, £65.00, Cath Kidston 5. Adidas MiCoach Smart Run Watch, £305.00, Harrods • 6. Marc Duffle Bag, Marc Jacobs, £110.00, • 7. Nike Distance Running Armband, £25.00, Nike • 8. All Weather Protector Jacket, £175.00, Sweaty Betty • 9. Eva Solo Drinking Bottle, £18 10. In-ear Headphones, Bose SoundSport, £129.95, • 11. Chandrasana Yoga Leggings, £70.00, Sweaty Betty



Progress in motion In the space of just over a decade, The London Festival of Architecture has become an important and influential celebration in London’s cultural calendar. Patricia Brown, the Festival Chair, tells Colm O’Rourke about the history of the event, and what it holds in store for 2015.

London cityscape. “Capital Views” © NLA, courtesy London Festival of Architecture


41 This is the eighth time the London Festival of Architecture is being held. Where did the idea for the first one in 2004 come from? It was the brainchild of architectural guru, Peter Murray, and started as the London Architecture Biennale with a series of events focused on one district: Clerkenwell. The area is home to more architects per square metre than any other place in the world, and the Biennale was seen as a one-off event largely aimed at a local audience. In 2013, the Festival shifted from a biennial event to one which takes place every year. What were the motivations behind this decision? There is a lot of talent and creativity happening all year round in the Capital, so we wanted the Festival to tap into that latent interest. We also wanted to be a regular feature in the London creative calendar, such as London Design Festival or Fashion Week.

In which other ways has the Festival evolved into what it has become today? It was once based primarily on calls for entries, but the Capital’s major architect schools and cultural institutions are now very much part of the Festival. Around 40 groups in London work together to bring the Festival together. Who is involved in this process, and what are their roles? Believe it or not, we run the event on a shoestring. So, a small team works alongside the board to co-ordinate partners’ contributions and curate around the chosen theme. The programme manager co-ordinates a call for entries, which makes sure we have a wide variety of people engaged in the Festival. The Board and the Programme Manager work together to take a view on the range of events to ensure we have a good selection, and work on headline events. We also run various network events as the Festival draws nearer.


42 How much planning is required to bring the event to life? It takes place throughout the year, with key decisions needing to be in place by November. We are already thinking of 2016.

Garden Bridge with Joanna Lumley. Are similar events scheduled for this year? Yes, but it is a “Work in Progress”!

As in past years, the Festival is being endorsed by the Mayor of London. How important is it to have his backing? Very! As the London Festival of Architecture, we reflect London. It is important we use it as a key to unlock aspects of their capital; using architecture as a way into what matters to London and Londoners.

Debates are an integral element of the Festival. Which topics are being considered for discussion in 2015? We are keen to understand what work means to people in this age of technological change, and its impact on the City and its architecture; as well as a look at the notion of manufacture, which is increasingly important; but in a different guise.

Can you tell us anything about what will be happening as part of the Festival in 2015? Will there be an overall theme? The theme is Work in Progress, and through this, we are inviting people to explore the changing nature of work and workspace, but also its role in the evolution of London as a city, and the role of architects within this. Some prestigious names took part in 2014’s Festival, including a talk with Will Self, and a discussion on the

Last year you described the Festival as “…a platform to engage with some difficult issues for London’s future, as well as take a playful and oblique look at our magnificent city.” Do you think this is an easy task to achieve? Yes, because London is full of very thoughtful, creative people who think and care deeply about their city and what is happening. But the expression of that does not have to be too worthy.


43 There’s an expanded international element to this year’s Festival. Where did the idea for this come from? London is already an international city, and it has architectural talent. We felt the time was right to be noisier about our credentials. In parallel, it was an objective set by The Farrell Review, a major review of architecture by Sir Terry Farrell for the government.

There’s also been a focus on events geared towards families and young people, such as the Lego battle between Stirling Prize winners last year. Will this be carried through in this year’s programme? Yes, the Royal Academy plans to have another Lego battle, for example, and we are hoping that other family events will be programmed.

One of the flagship events each year is the Summer Pavilion at The Serpentine, which always provides something different. Can you tell us anything about what to expect this time around? The annual Summer Pavilion at The Serpentine is always a highlight of the Festival. This year, the Pavilion celebrates its 15th anniversary, and is being designed by Spanish architects SelgasCano. Headed by duo Jose Selgas and Lucia Cano, the award-winning studio is the first Spanish architecture practice to design the iconic Pavilion. At the time of this interview, designs are yet to be unveiled, but are expected to combine the architects’ interests in synthetic materials and new technologies, with their enthusiasm for the natural world.

What about the potential architects of tomorrow? How do they figure in the programme? We are really keen to ensure that the Festival is ‘bottom up’ in the industry, and that is one of the reasons why we have yet again decided not to charge to submit a project. Also, working as we do with London’s leading architecture schools, we have an engagement with the students, who are often involved in specific projects for the Festival.

The Balfron Tower designed by Erno Goldfinger in 1963 is a Grade II Listed masterpiece of new brutalist architecture and was the focus of The London Festival of Architecture 2014. © Claudio Divizia

Further information about the Festival, which runs from 1-30 June 2015, is available at the website:


Rowlock House


Two bedroom apartment Boasting modern and sleek finishes, this spacious two bedroom, two bathroom apartment offers a feeling of freshness throughout. Located within a short walk of West Drayton High Street, with its variety of shops and British Rail train station. Heathrow Airport, Stockley Park, and the M4 with its links to London, and The Home Counties are all a short drive away.

Located within a short walk of West Drayton High Street

West Drayton Office 01895 459 950 |

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Jefferson House Luxury, light filled apartment located in the Parkwest development

West Drayton Office 01895 459 950 |

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Two bedroom apartment This two bedroom luxury, light filled apartment is located in the Parkwest development just a short walk from West Drayton High Street, with its wide range of independent shops, international eateries, restaurants, schools and West Drayton station with its direct access to Paddington in 23 minutes. Locally there are a variety of amenities with Stockley Park golf course, Brunel University, Heathrow Airport, Stockley Park business centre, Hillingdon Hospital and Uxbridge Town centre all within a short drive/bus journey. The M4/M25/A40 and M40 are all close by, creating easy links to London and The Home Counties.


Ryeland Close


One bedroom first floor maisonette This one bedroom first floor maisonette offers superb living accommodation throughout, and is situated on a popular residential road in Yiewsley, West Drayton offering effortless access to Hillingdon hospital, Brunel University, West Drayton Railway Station (15-20 minute walk approx.), Stockley Business Park and Heathrow airport. There are a number of bus/road links close by creating a short drive to the M4 and M25, and Uxbridge town centre, with Piccadilly/Metropolitan line train station. Adjacent to the property, there is the added advantage of a nature park providing a fantastic area for wildlife and dog walks.

Superb living accommodation throughout

West Drayton Office 01895 459 950 |

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Meard Street This Grade II Listed house is spread over five storeys and covers over 2400sq ft

Fitzrovia Office 0207 580 9658 |

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£4,500,000 Freehold

Four bedroom townhouse This Grade II Listed house is spread over five storeys and covers over 2400sq ft. The accommodation can be arranged in a number of different ways and is currently set up as a two bedroom residence with two reception rooms, master suite with en-suite bathroom, formal dining room, two further bedrooms currently being used as studies, three bathrooms, cloakroom, self-contained staff quarters area on the lower ground floor with en-suite to bedroom, private patio garden and country-style kitchen with walk in utility room. Nearly all of the original fireplaces, sash windows and shutters remain. Many of London’s finest shops, bars and restaurants are within walking distance, as are the West End’s wide range of world class attractions.


Fitzroy Place

ÂŁ2,999,950 Leasehold

Three bedroom penthouse A fantastic opportunity to acquire a three bedroom penthouse in the prestigious Fitzroy Place development. The apartment spans the entire fourth floor of the building, which is a striking combination of old; the original, Grade II listed, period facade and new the world class luxury finish. With 1210-sq-feet of internal space, the property comprises: entrance hallway, large lounge leading into open-plan kitchen, master bedroom and bedroom two (both with en-suite bathrooms), third bedroom and guest cloakroom. Also included are two secure underground car parking spaces. Facilities will offer a 24 hour concierge service, a private cinema, a state of the art gym and conference room, as well as a selection of retail outlets and restaurants. Due for completion Q2 2015.

One of the most glamourous, new developments in London

Fitzrovia Office 0207 580 9658 |

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Cleveland Street Situated within this historic period conversion that was twice home to Charles Dickens

Fitzrovia Office 0207 580 9658 |

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ÂŁ749,950 Leasehold

One bedroom, second floor apartment Situated within this historic period conversion that was twice home to Charles Dickens is this one bedroom, second floor apartment. The property benefits from a light and spacious reception room with an original Georgian fireplace and wooden floors, good size kitchen with wooden work surfaces and gas hob, good size bedroom with a range of built-in mirrored wardrobes, and a contemporary shower room. Other benefits include gas central heating and modern double glazed sash windows throughout. Cleveland Street is opposite the landmark Fitzroy Place development being a popular residential turning close to Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Street, Soho & Goodge Street.



ways to make your home summer ready With summer just around the corner, there has never been a better time to prepare for the warmer days to come. Here are our top tips for ensuring your home is suitably transformed into the ultimate summer haven.



Sitting pretty Dust off your patio furniture and top lounge chairs and porch swings with colourful, stylish and durable outdoor fabrics. New outdoor upholstery complements the garden, and creates an inviting space to sit and relax.

Fire up the grill! Barbeques are the epitome of summer entertaining, and are excellent for opening out the living space, and making the most of British summertime. Fingers crossed for blue skies.


Summer lights Lighting can bring a magical and welcoming feel to the garden, and is a perfect solution for casting a warm glow on a late summers evening. From lanterns to fairylights there are a wealth of possibilities, many of which benefit from being solar powered, an environmental and cost efficient benefit.


Let the drinks flow There’s nothing better than enjoying a cold refreshing drink or two in the afternoon sun. Accessories like wine coolers and ice buckets are the perfect must-have tools in the quest for refreshment.


Transform your wardrobe Before summer arrives, have a wardrobe clear out and ensure all of your summer clothes and accessories are within easy reach, and all those thick winter jumpers are put away to create some much needed space.


Dining al fresco Prepare the patio and dust down the decking! One of the most satisfying ways to dine in summer is outside, making the most of the lighter evenings and warm breezes.


Pass with flying colours Giving the walls a fresh coat of paint is a simple way of brightening and rejuvenating the home. Whether you choose to get creative with colour, or opt for a clean, neutral tone, the effect can be surprising. Looking for inspiration? Take a look at the vast spectrum of colours available at Farrow and Ball.


Flower power Freshly cut flowers are a welcoming touch to any room, and are a fantastic way of experimenting with colour, and bringing the outside in by creating an attractive summer garden feel throughout.


Lighten the load The warm nights mean it is time to pack away those heavy duvets, thick curtains, and wool throws, in exchange for crisp linen and cotton to keep you cool and comfortable.


Camping out Camping accessories are fantastic for generating a stylish and practical outdoor haven, and are a great way of keeping children entertained and engaged with the great outdoors. This stylish tepee from notonthehighstreet not only looks lovely, but creates a fun and child friendly space for playing and exploring.


Eat fresh There is no better time to hit the kitchen and create some light, fresh and summery recipes. Gadgets like a juicer or an ice cream maker could result in some exciting culinary creations.



Be our guest Summer is the perfect time to welcome guests and visitors. With friends and family often coming to stay, it is an ideal opportunity to refresh the guest room with a few focal accessories to update and revitalise the space.


Cleaning up Having a deep clean of the house can blow away the cobwebs and make everything seem fresher and brighter. Getting rid of those unused or unwanted items creates valuable, versatile living space, which may have been previously overlooked.


Fun and games Outdoor games are an ideal way of making the most of the sunshine, and provide hours of entertainment for all ages. Games such as Swingball, tennis, and croquet are easy and cost effective to set up, and can be a fun means of bonding and socialising.


Capture the moment There has never been a better time to discover the joy of photography, a richly rewarding hobby, which captures the beauty of summer. The photographs make a wonderful personal touch in any room and act as a lasting reminder of the fun that was shared.


Good things in store Invest in some attractive and striking storage solutions to maximise the space available, and ensure everything has its place.


Summer scents A perfect way of injecting an instant burst of summer to the home is through fragrance. A carefully chosen scented candle or room spray can evoke an instant feeling of freshness and brightness; regardless of the weather.


Water delight Installing a pond or water feature makes a striking focal point for the garden and can attract wild life, creating a natural paradise which will be thriving in the summer, and can be enjoyed all year round.


Get green fingered Growing fruit, vegetables and herbs is a rewarding activity, and results in an abundance of fresh and delicious seasonal produce. For homes with smaller gardens, or apartments, window boxes are a wonderful space saving solution, which allow you to savour the fruits of your labour.


The little things Finishing touches such as a bunting draped decoratively around the home or garden, or attractive hanging baskets adorning the doorways are a small addition, which aid greatly in the creation of a perfect summer paradise.



Bravissimo Bologna I’ve heard the most recognised and visited part of Bologna is its railway station because everyone passes through it on their way to somewhere else; Florence to the west, Venice to the east and Rome to the south. I for one was staying put. Words by Claire Durkin




was looking forward to immersing myself in this particular part of Italy which holds so many famous delights;’ from balsamic vinegar (Modena) and other delicacies, through to the legendary vehicles of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Ducati and Maserati. Founded by the Etruscans, this beautiful medieval city, with its colourful palette of reds, burnt oranges and rich yellows, keeps alive the colours of the age. The colours of Bologna come from the clay, selenite and sandstone. I was part of a group being shown around this scholarly, handsome city and we threaded our way along the Via Strada Maggiore, through the continuous colonnades of 40 kilometres. You could be back in the 14th century, admiring the skill and

creativity of the people who designed and crafted these wondrous structures. The imposing twin towers – Due Torre – of Garisinda (47 metres) and Asinelli (97 metres) stand in the Piazza di Porta Ravegnana and are iconic landmarks – a true symbol of the city. Another major monument is the hugely famous Fountain of Neptune in the eponymous Piazza del Nettuno. This enormous, extraordinary bronze statue exudes strength and vigour, and is encircled by lactating sea nymphs or nereids. If you have a good look, you will notice that Neptune’s trident is the Maserati emblem. The more we wandered around, further fabulous examples of some of the finest periods of Italian history came to light. Also,

Bologna’s Archaeological Museum and National Picture Gallery houses masterpieces, and are places of invaluable historical significance in their own right. Bologna is home to the oldest university in Europe, which dates back to the 11th century. Even today, the University of Bologna continues to be at the vanguard of contemporary knowledge. Due to the efficient system of canals, Bologna was one of the trading centres. Part of the taxes raised from the traders paid the wages of the university professors. I’m not sure if the students we encountered hailed from this particular echelon of academic excellence, but nothing was stopping them joyfully celebrating their graduation; sporting crowns of glossy laurel leaves.

Arial view of Bologna at sunset


54 Synergy between modern and traditional is a principal element in this city. You can take in all the ancient buildings while appreciating the modern culture which emanates from this diverse, all-embracing part of the world. As well as having a hi-tech side, culture seekers can drift out of theatres and opera houses into some of the finest restaurants. Bologna’s delicious cuisine can satisfy any taste, and the wine palate will also be well served. If you are planning on staying a while, I can recommend an 18th century villa, which has been restored to its former splendour, and is now part of a prestigious four star hotel, Palazzo di Varignana Resort and Spa. Set in 20 hectares of parkland and 19 kilometres from the city centre, this classy hotel is a contemporary and stylish series of buildings tucked into the Emilian countryside. There are 90

modern, elegant and spacious rooms, ranging from standard rooms which are large and comfortable, through to a Panorama Suite. It’s a win-win situation for all because of the innovative designs and farreaching views of the lovely rolling countryside. The General Manager, Vittorio Morelli, and Sales and Marketing Director, Simona Lollini, have thought of everything to make staying a truly delightful experience. This hotel is fantastically designed with many different areas to cater for all activities. There are two restaurants serving up cuisine, from traditional pizza baked in a woodfired oven, to a gastronomic extravaganza. There is a large outdoor swimming pool, a concert hall and the fabulous Varsana Spa, which offers pure relaxation and wellness.

Below: Fountain of Neptune in the Piazza del Nettuno




57 While we were there, the Varignana Music Festival was being held, and in the evening we were invited to hear Alexander Romanovsky play Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky. It was phenomenal. The next day before lunch, we heard the Janacek String Quartet with Anton Dressler playing clarinet pieces: Janacek and Mozart. We also visited the astonishing medieval village of Dozo, where art plays an important role in its culture. The town hosts Biennale Festival of the Painted Wall, an event where artists paint on the walls of all the houses, turning the town into an open-air art gallery. I’ve never seen anything like it; every wall in the village had a wonderful painting on it. As part of our guided tour, we stopped for lunch at a trattoria and sampled generous and delicious servings of the local cuisine. Later on, we were taken for a traditional cooking lesson, and with a lot of instruction, we made our own tagliatelle, tortelloni and gnocchi. We didn’t need any instruction on how to eat it, though.

Left: The imposing twin towers – Due Torre – of Garisinda (47 metres) and Asinelli (97 metres) standing in the Piazza di Porta Ravegnana.


58 Whilst driving back to the hotel, I took the chance to take a look at my surroundings. I hadn’t realised what a large area it is and the extent to which the surrounding hilly countryside sprawled. I knew I wouldn’t have long enough in Bologna to satisfy my curiosity. When we arrived back it was twilight, and the 18th century part of the resort and the surrounding park land had taken on a mysterious hue. Glowing under the evening lights was this simple, sturdy and rather lovely building. It was an opportunity to slip away, walk the pathways and look out over the surrounding miles of sweeping valleys in the calm and cooler time of the day. It’s during moments like this there is a chance to reflect and appreciate this gorgeous part of Italy: its excellent gastronomy, culture and fast cars. If it’s good enough for the most romantic people in the world, then it’s definitely good enough for me.

Left: Palazzo di Varignana Resort and Spa


Kent Gardens


Three bedroom house Situated close to Eastcote High Street, with its array of shops and transport links, is this brand new three bedroom house furnished to a very high standard. The stunning house briefly comprises: spacious lounge leading to bright conservatory, contemporary fitted kitchen, downstairs WC, larger than average master bedroom with separate dressing room, fitted wardrobes and en suite bathroom, one further double and one single bedroom (both benefitting from fitted wardrobes) and modern family bathroom. Other benefits include off street parking, garage, well maintained garden, gas central heating and double glazing.

Furnished to a very high standard

Ruislip Office 01895 625 625 |

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Shenley Avenue £1750pcm

Elthorne Court £1400pcm Ruislip Office 01895 625 625 |

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This stunning three bedroom family home is within walking distance to both Ruislip and Ruislip Manor High Street. Offered in superb decorative order, this spacious property briefly comprises: two large downstairs reception rooms, separate dining room leading to modern kitchen with granite work tops, downstairs WC, utility room, three spacious bedrooms (two of which benefitting from fitted wardrobes) and luxury family bathroom. Other benefits include: integral garage, well maintained private garden, off street parking, gas central heating and double glazing.

A superbly presented two double bedroom, two bathroom executive apartment, set in this recently built block, situated just a stone’s throw away from Ruislip High Street. Accommodation comprises an entrance hallway leading to modern lounge with open plan fitted kitchen, master bedroom with en suite and shower room, family bathroom and second double bedroom. This immaculate property also benefits from gas central heating, double glazing and residents parking.


Beverley Road ÂŁ1375pcm

Portman House ÂŁ1200pcm

A fantastic opportunity to rent this immaculate two bedroom house, situated on a highly sought after residential road in Ruislip Manor. Close to shops, transport links and amenities, this superb property briefly comprises: spacious through lounge and dining area, modern kitchen, two generously proportioned double bedrooms (with the master benefitting from fitted wardrobes) and a contemporary family bathroom. Other benefits include a large private garden with patio area, garage, gas central heating and double glazing.

Finished to an extremely high standard from award winning developer London Square`s newest site, is this stunning, brand new one bedroom apartment that is situated a stone`s throw from Eastcote Station and High Street, with its vast array of shops and amenities. This superb top floor apartment briefly comprises: spacious lounge with open plan fully fitted kitchen, master bedroom with fitted wardrobes and a stunning modern bathroom. Other benefits include private balcony, video entry phone system, underfloor heating, double glazed windows and underground parking.

Ruislip Office 01895 625 625 |

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St Andrew’s Park This house is the perfect family home

Hillingdon Office 01895 230 103 |

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Five bedroom house Exceptional in finish and size, this beautiful new five bedroom house is located on the brand new St Andrews Park Development. This amazing house offers five double bedrooms, three en-suite bathrooms and a family bathroom, along with a large open plan kitchen dining room and separate lounge. Downstairs is finished with a study, utility room and W/C. This house is the perfect family home, finished with a private rear garden and garage. Benefitting from gas central heating and double glazing. Unfurnished.


St Andrew’s Park £2250pcm

St Andrew’s Park £1600pcm

This brand new four bedroom, three bathroom luxury townhouse is situated in the popular St Andrew Park development at the end of Uxbridge High Street, making this property a perfectly located family home. Accommodation includes: four bedrooms (master with en-suite), two further bathrooms, ground floor WC, dining room, lounge, fully fitted kitchen with appliances and doors leading to private garden, and garage. The property also offers gas central heating, double glazing, air circulation system and security alarm.

Be the first to occupy this brand new and exclusive two bedroom split level apartment located on the leafy Charles Church site of the St Andrews Park Development, within walking distance of Uxbridge Town Centre. With floor to ceiling windows on the lower level and beautifully located skylights on the upper floor, this apartment is light and spacious, and offers a contemporary yet relaxing atmosphere. Comprising two double bedrooms, large lounge leading to a wellconstructed dining area, modern fitted kitchen with appliances, lower floor WC, ample storage and bathroom with a shower. Benefits include allocated parking, entry phone system and beautiful views.

Hillingdon Office 01895 230 103 |

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Cherry Grove

Well presented three bedroom semi detached house located on a popular road close to local schools, Stockley Business Park, Heathrow Airport and the M4 motorway. Comprising a large lounge, fitted kitchen, bathroom with shower over bath, dining room, three bedrooms, garage and private garden. Benefits include double glazing, gas central heating and driveway parking.


Vantage Building ÂŁ1150pcm Hillingdon Office 01895 230 103 |

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Luxury one bedroom apartment at the sought after High Point Village development. Heathrow and Central London are just moments away. Finished to a high specification throughout and just a stone`s throw from Hayes and Harlington train station. Shopping facilities, bars and restaurants are also on your doorstep. The accommodation comprises an open plan lounge to the kitchen, with a door leading to a private balcony, bedroom with fitted wardrobe, modern bathroom, and a fully fitted kitchen with appliances. The property further benefits from concierge, gymnasium, swimming pool, and underground parking.

Few in life have the opportunity to design their own home and then to have it built. But if you do, you will build a home in your style, your layout. A home that is you through and through. One that will feel very special indeed. We help those who can. With over 30 years of experience in building exceptional, award-winning bespoke homes, we can help you build a home that is all about you.

To discuss your wish list, please call or email John Pope, Director of Octagon Bespoke - 020 8481 7500 or email

All about you.

Chateau chic Take inspiration from French style to soften any contemporary living space. Combining Parisian elegance with an array of prints and muted colours will create a trendy maison to be enjoyed throughout the seasons. Ooh la la! 7. 1.

8. 2.

5. 9. 3.

4. 6.

10. 1. Louis XVI Tub Chair, £695, Angel At My Table • 2. Pink Wallpaper Ink Vase, Emma Bridgewater, £14.95, John Lewis • 3. Monkey Candelabra, £220, The French Bedroom Company • 4. Artus Corner Cabinet, £4,205, Sweetpea and Willow • 5. French 19th Century Gilded Cherub Crusted Mirror circa 1860, £1,450, The Old Cinema • 6. Peacock Cushion, £45, The French Bedroom Company 7. Le Bistrot - Clock, Comptoir de Famille, £79, Coco Home Style • 8. Clarabelle Chandelier, £300, Laura Ashley • 9. Etienne Wallpaper, £53 p/10m x 68.6cm roll, Harlequin • 10. Fruit d’epices Boxed Candle, £14.95, La Maison Bleue




Droning on Antony Sore explores the growing popularity of drones in commercial and recreational use, and considers how UAVs can benefit us in the future and become an integral part of society.




here’s a buzz in the air, and it’s growing louder and louder. It’s been created by a piece of kit spanning as large as a Boeing 737, or as small as a model aeroplane. Popular amongst hobbyists as well as professionals, retailers, and search and rescue operatives; loved and loathed in seemingly equal measure. We’re entering the world of the drone. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) as people in the know will correct you, were originally a military technology; powered UAVs were initially developed during the First World War; and continued to evolve through World War II and the Vietnam conflict. First a tool to help train anti-aircraft gunners, the drone was developed to fly-attack missions, and later, to become a surveillance tool. Gamers who play the video game franchises Call of Duty or Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon will be familiar with the technology; as will cinema fans, with films such as

The Bourne Legacy and Four Lions featuring UAVs as central plot tools. More recently, drones have become household ‘toys’, and were one of the must have Christmas presents of 2014. According to Professor Paul Egglestone, Director of the Media Innovation Studio at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), home of the Civic Drone Centre, a continuing fall in prices has seen UAVs rise in popularity. He told me: “For some they’re recreational toys, whilst others are beginning to find ways of making a living with them.” Despite being long since separated from their military predecessors, Professor Egglestone believes, “we’ve only just begun to explore the possibilities for drones in everyday applications. “Whilst companies like Amazon Prime Air are talking about using UAVs for delivering parcels, they’re already in use by DHL in Germany for doing

precisely that. UAVs are also in use to survey power lines and cooling stations here in the UK.” This is just the tip of the iceberg, though. Used in scenarios where it is impossible for humans to work, UAVs have been used to film an erupting volcano in Iceland – an environment so hot that the GoPro camera which filmed the action actually melted; to conduct atmospheric research in the stratosphere; and to monitor the behaviours of endangered species, including the tree-top dwelling Sumatran orangutans. Indeed, prototype UAVs have been recently developed to aid the emergency services, with a drone ambulance in the Netherlands providing rapid response and a defibrillator to heart attack victims, whilst avoiding traffic congestion problems; and firefighting drones offering the potential to put out wildfires without endangering life.


70 As Professor Egglestone told me, further developments could soon be unveiled closer to home: “There are some big developments in chain for drone tech – not just unmanned aerial vehicles, but submersibles and land craft too. We’ve a couple of pretty nice projects of our own that will turn a few heads in the near future, but I’d say there’s already a lot of capability that can’t be deployed yet because – quite rightly in our view – the aviation regulations won’t allow it.” These regulations are vitally important, as despite their growing popularity, drones still have a negative stigma surrounding them, with the public nervous about the impacts on their privacy. To combat this negative publicity, the first ever New York City Drone Film Festival took place in early March 2015, with the organisers seeking to change perceptions about drones. Festival Director Randy Scott Slavin told NBC News: “Drones have a bad stigma unnecessarily. The positives that they can bring, from humanitarian purposes to creative purposes, and all these things in-between, it’s unnecessary and it’s fear mongering.” Professor Egglestone agrees, questioning the

journalistic morals involved in breaching privacy laws, as opposed to the technology itself, saying: “There will be cases when the temptation to get that little bit closer using a UAV outweigh the possible fines for doing so. However the news organisations and magazines don’t have to develop the market for UAV pictures by purchasing them.” Speaking to me shortly before boarding a plane to America to deliver a panel at South by Southwest (SXSW) entitled ‘Drones for Good’, he also sounded a word of warning for hobbyists who are just purchasing their first UAV: “There are a set of very sensible rules they need to follow before they dash out and try to film the latest festival or football crowd scene, and we have some of this information on our website.” ( A collaboration between the Media Innovation Studio and the Engineering Innovation Centre, The Civic Drone Centre was set up at UCLan earlier this year to examine the potential uses of drone engineering and software development in search and rescue scenarios,

journalism and media, and humanitarian work, with a remit to promote drones for civic and civil uses. Whilst admitting his team at the centre love drones, Professor Egglestone rebutted me when I suggested UAVs become an obsession for their followers: “For us, it’s more of a passion than an obsession. On one level drones are about robotics, light-engineering, computer coding and advanced manufacturing, but they also open up some new creative possibilities – and that’s where – I guess – obsession gets confused with passion!” It is this passion that has seen UAVs develop so quickly. Whilst still relatively in its infancy, drone technology is taking huge leaps, with potential uses for UAVs seemingly endless. Indeed, they could soon be utilised to sell your home, with the bird’s eye view offered by a drone lending a new perspective to your property and its land. Or, imagine ordering a pizza, and having it delivered to you remotely, within minutes of it leaving the oven. Pie in the sky? – I may have already created the tagline for it. Love them or loathe them, the drone revolution looks set to continue at pace. And it’s exciting. Visit:



Property TV:

the next generation 48% more effective in generating business than conventional marketing*



internet users watch an online video**

That’s the value of 1 minute of video***

Every day



Sources: *IAB UK, **Digital Sherpa, ***Video Brewery (according to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research).

A pioneering platform in estate agency marketing is now rolling out an update to its client base. Since their advent almost five years ago, the bespoke property TV channel, developed and implemented by the in-house creative teams at The Cream Club’s Cambridgeshire-based headquarters, has become a distinctive medium for leading independent agencies to distinguish themselves from their local competition. The concept behind web TV channels arose from finding new and engaging tools to offer premium estate agencies an exclusive opportunity to increase their market share in their coverage area. Spurred by growth in national online activity, faster broadband speeds and the audience for video-on-demand; and with statistics demonstrating video marketing to be up to 48 percent more effective in generating business than more conventional approaches (Source: IAB UK); professionally-produced walkthrough videos have been the catalyst for this leap forward in online estate agency marketing. The stream of videos, not only showcasing an agent’s collection of properties, but also providing details about corporate services and the geographical area they serve, retain a prime position in the evolution of Cream’s online property TV platform.

Reflecting the shift in online activity from searching to sharing content, the updated online TV platform offers greater integration with social media platforms. Every property which features on the restyled websites is provided with its own microsite. The link can be instantly shared via the leading social networks, and it is anticipated the option of creating a web postcard for every property will quickly follow. At Coopers, we shall be embracing this advance in online property marketing in the months to come. Through, we already know and understand the positive impact a property TV website has, and we are looking forward to see how our new-look site will sustain our award-winning and high-standard customer service. The demand for online TV websites appears to be insatiable among the industry, as their effectiveness in increasing instructions, and consequentially, market share, becomes clear among the agencies who have them, and those who want them. In the five years since the initial property TV websites were launched, Cream’s client base has expanded by more than tenfold, to cover a network of companies across England, Scotland and Wales. It seems apparent the progression of the property TV phenomenon keeps moving forward.

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Monterey Close


Four bedroom family home A beautiful four bedroom, three bathroom detached family home located in a sought after road in North Hillingdon. This brand new house is perfect for the modern family. Situated within the catchment area for the ACS International School and just a few minutes from Hillingdon station/A40 motorway. Accommodation includes: a very large open-plan lounge/diner with patio doors leading to garden, fully fitted kitchen with appliances and granite work surfaces, ground floor w/c, four bedrooms (two with ensuite bathrooms), further family bathroom. There is also gas central heating, double glazing, off street parking and garage, as well as a private rear garden that offers direct access to Court Park.

Located in a sought after road in North Hillingdon

Uxbridge Office 01895 257 566 |

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Evergreen Drive ÂŁ1700pcm

Brecon Lodge ÂŁ1350pcm Uxbridge Office 01895 257 566 |

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This stunning modern home is just moments from Heathrow Airport and West Drayton High Street. Situated in the popular Drayton Garden Village, the property offers four bedrooms and two bathrooms. Accommodation comprises: four bedrooms (master with en-suite bathroom), further family bathroom, ground floor WC, dining room, large lounge with patio doors leading to garden, fully fitted kitchen with appliances and separate utility room and office. Benefits include gas central heating, double glazing and residents parking.

A stunning and modern luxury top floor two bedroom, two bathroom apartment, situated in the new Drayton Garden Village development in West Drayton. Located close to Stockley Park Business Park and with easy reach of Heathrow Airport, as well as both Uxbridge and West Drayton High streets. Accommodation comprises: two bedrooms (master with en-suite bathroom), further luxury bathroom, large lounge with a door leading to balcony, and fully fitted luxury kitchen with appliances. Benefits include gas central heating, double glazing and allocated parking with access to communal garden.


Hurley House £1150pcm

Kings Island £1550pcm

A truly stunning and contemporary one bedroom Manhattan style luxury apartment, situated in a private development with 24 hour concierge and gymnasium. Located within a short walk to West Drayton Train station and High Street. Heathrow, the M4 and the M25 are just a few minutes’ drive. Accommodation includes: one bedroom, lounge with doors leading to private balcony offering lovely views, and fully fitted kitchen with appliances. There is also double glazing, entry-phone system, beautiful communal gardens and allocated parking. Furnished.

Situated on the sought after gated Kings Island Development is this executive two bedroom apartment with stunning views over Uxbridge Marina. Benefiting from two bedrooms, two bathrooms, spacious living area leading to balcony, fully fitted kitchen with appliances, gas central heating, double glazing, allocated parking, entry phone system, and concierge. Kings Island is located a five minute walk to Uxbridge Town Centre, offering access to local amenities including shops, restaurants and cinema. Uxbridge Metropolitan/ Piccadilly train station is situated close by and the A40/M40/M25 with its links to London and the Home Counties are a short drive away.

Uxbridge Office 01895 257 566 |

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Grafton Way Benefits from high ceilings, large sash windows and original fireplace

Fitzrovia Office 0207 580 9658 |

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One bedroom apartment Fantastic one bedroom apartment in the heart of stylish Fitzrovia. This first floor property has been immaculately refurbished and benefits from high ceilings, large sash windows and original fireplace. The property comprises: entrance hallway, open plan kitchen/reception, bedroom and luxury shower room. The apartment, a short walk from Warren Street, Euston Square and Goodge Street stations, is superbly located for the world famous amenities of London`s West End.


St Augustine’s Court

Gorgeous two bedroom church conversion apartment in SE1. Many of the original gothic features are retained and the combination of the arched windows, exposed brickwork and impressive ceiling heights leads to a dazzling visual effect. The property comprises a huge open plan reception room with fully-equipped kitchen, two double bedrooms and modern bathroom.


Monument Street

Well presented one bedroom, fifth floor apartment situated in the Werna House development in the heart of the City. The property comprises: one double bedroom with lots of storage, spacious lounge, fitted bathroom, entrance hallway and separate kitchen with full range of appliances. Located close to Bank station, the property offers easy access to the City and the property further benefits from lift access and day concierge.

£400pw Fitzrovia Office 0207 580 9658 |

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A sophisticated soirée The advantage of entertaining at home is that you can create a much more relaxed atmosphere. Try re-arranging your furniture to reduce formality and encourage conversation. Spread appetisers and sharing platters to avoid congregations in the kitchen. And when it comes to decorating, don’t go overboard; you don’t want to clutter the space. Your guests will never want to leave! 1. 4. 7.


5. 10.

8. 3.

9. 6.

1. Set of 4 Multi-Coloured Recycled Magazine Placemats, Cohen, £15, Habitat • 2. Cheese Board and Knife Set, Laguiole, £35, John Lewis 3. Waterford set of 4 Crystal Balloon Wine Glasses, £40, Selfridges • 4. Brass Muse Bottle Opener, Jonathan Adler, £98 • 5. Royal Albert set of 4 Napkin Rings, £12, Selfridges • 6. Le Creuset Gourmand Cast Iron Fondue Set, £144, Le Creuset • 7. Mixology Champagne Coloured Coupe Glasses (set of 4), £200 • 8. Polka Dot Text Melamine Water Jug, £19.95 • 9. Clarkson Grey Metal Dinner Candelabra, £40, Habitat • 10. Top Hat Wine Cooler, £124.95,



Alexis Soyer Introducing:

As a country obsessed by food - glued to television programmes such as Masterchef and The Great British Bake Off, Gemma Rose explores the life and works of ‘the first celebrity chef’, Alexis Soyer.


ot many people have heard of Alexis Bénoist Soyer. Neither had I until recently. This flamboyant chef is almost anonymous in modern times, and yet, he is arguably the first to be known as a celebrity chef. Born in France to Emery and Marie Soyer, Alexis and his family were living in one of the poorest areas of Meaux. In 1800, his father, a former grocer, leased a shop in Rue du Tan, but the business failed, ultimately leaving Emery unemployed. Historian, and Alexis Soyer expert, Frank Clement-Lorford, explains in his book: “The business failed, and Emery tried his hand at many things to support his family, including being a saddler, a silversmith, and a general labourer on the canal when it was built in Meaux. By the time Alexis was born, the family fortune had fallen so much, they were living in the slums.” Despite the hardship, Alexis first got his passion for cooking from his older brother, Philippe, and at the age of 11, he followed his sibling to Paris. Not wanting his younger brother under his feet, Philippe covered the expenses for Alexis to attend an apprenticeship with Georg Rignon at Chez Rignon. By the time he was 17, Alexis was the noted chef du cuisine at the celebrated La Maison Douix. It was also at this time he developed a unique sense of style which was commented on as being rather peculiar. Frank continues: “Alexis was feted by the Paris elite. He quickly became

known as the enfant terrible of Montmartre. Montmartre was a mixture of both sides of life. On one side, it was home to the underworld of Paris. From before the Revolution, rustic Montmartre was infamous for its dangerous taverns – at some of which it was reputed unwanted daughters could be sold to the wealthy, who had pleasure houses in the vicinity. “Yet on the other hand, you had some of the finest restaurants in Paris, together with The Opera Comique, Théátre des Variétés, Comédie Française the Ballet, and in Boulevard des Italiens, and the Opera House. To Alexis, this was El Dorado and Pandora’s Box rolled into one.” Alexis enjoyed life and its luxuries, while his fame and reputation continued to blossom. Everybody wanted to be seen with the enfant terrible of Montmartre. On 2nd June 1830, his girlfriend, Adelaide Lamain gave birth to Alexis’s son, Jean Alexis Lamain. But Alexis was not ready to slow down. In fact, being the talk of Paris at the age of 20, and with so much potential in his future, his family advised him not to settle and marry Adelaide. Soyer was determined to continue his career, and his fascination with royalty, nobility, ruling classes and people of power led him into his next position. Alexis took the decision to work for Prince Armand de Polignac at the French Foreign Office; a move that resulted in one of his first failings.





Alexis Soyer’s pioneering design – the soup kitchen In 1830, in violation of the Charter of Liberties, Prince Polignac abolished freedom of the press, dissolved the Chamber of Deputies, and altered election laws. Strikers and insurrections stormed the palace, killing two of Alexis’ colleagues who worked with him in the kitchen. To escape the same unfortunate fate, Alexis pretended to be one of the attackers by singing ‘La Marseillaise’ and ‘La Parisienne.’ As opposed to the theory of the birth of his son, and Alexis wanting to better provide for his child, it is this event at the palace which is more likely to be the reason he fled to England – leaving behind the French capital, his name in ruins. Six years later, Alexis was offered the role of Chef at The Reform Club in London. It was during this period that he went to Ireland and witnessed the impact of the Irish Famine. It was also at this time he introduced the world to his pioneering design – the soup kitchen. Frank comments: “Alexis was a great believer of gas cooking. He designed gas ovens for The Reform Club when they were operational in 1852; they were the first ovens of this kind to be used in England.” Soyer’s admirable deeds continued during the Crimean War when he travelled with Florence Nightingale, inspecting hospitals, wards, kitchens, and the cooks and their methods. The Morning Chronicle wrote: “The man of the moment is M. Alexis Soyer; he has saved as many lives through his kitchens, as Florence Nightingale has through her wards.” In a letter addressed to Queen Victoria, dated 23rd April 1855, Nightingale commented: “The hospitals are now in perfect working order. M. Soyer has done much good in the kitchens. He is the most ridiculous man, but quite perfect in his own way.” Further to this, Alexis was horrified to discover it was left to individual soldiers to prepare their own food from their ration. As a result, food poisoning was rife amongst the camps. Frank explains: “He insisted that at least two men from each regiment were

trained by his staff to cook for all. These became known as regimental cooks, and thanks to Alexis, the army created their own corps.” Also, Soyer invented a field stove where smoke could not be detected; extremely practical when cooking on the frontline. This style of stove was used right up until the 1980s. Back in London, with the help of a partner, J Feeney, Alexis opened a restaurant where the Albert Hall now stands, called Soyer’s Universal Symposium. Each room followed a different theme, one of which was sculptured out of ice. However, following noise complaints from neighbours, and Alexis’ focus on the great and the good, and not on the paying customers, he was forced to close, leaving him with £7,000 worth of debt. Reluctant to file bankruptcy, Alexis was rescued by David Hart, the manufacturer of Soyer’s Magic Stove, who was more interested in making money out of Alexis. Although entrepreneurial in his ways, he was a terrible businessman. Over his career, like many well-known modern chefs now, Soyer released a number of books, which covered recipes and cooking methods. However, unlike today’s books, his were aimed at the Victorian family who had staff working for them, and offered house management tips and servant selection. Ironically, and regardless of all that he achieved, it is strongly believed Alexis could neither read nor write. Frank says: “During Alexis’ time, there was not a need to be able to read or write, although there might have been a desire. Alexis had very little schooling; in The Gastronomic Regenerator there is a biography of his wife which is full of errors. On several personal documents supposed to have been written by Alexis, the text was in another hand than the signature. “He always had either one secretary who could speak, write and read English and French, or two secretaries that could do it in their own language.” Despite this, Soyer combined culinary skills with an element of humanitarian causes, something which had never been done before, yet so common today. When asked if Alexis was a chef ahead of his time, Frank simply answered, “yes”.

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From stitch to stage Nestled in London’s Covent Garden, among bustling tourists, world-class brands and restaurants to satisfy every palate, the Royal Opera House is arguably one of the most iconic and creative institutions in the UK.

Words by Gemma Rose




hroughout the Second World War, it had been a dance hall, however it was later decided to establish the Royal Opera House as the home of The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet. On 20th February 1946, The Royal Ballet brought the theatre back to life with a production of “The Sleeping Beauty.” Nevertheless, behind the scenes of every standing ovation is the Royal Opera House Costume Department, with a strong force of more than 100 full-time staff, and approximately 60 casual or freelance creatives, making and reviving between 2,000 and 3,000 costumes in a year. Within the department there are nine areas in total: from those who work with costume designers for each new show, sourcing fabrics and

making the costumes; through to looking after costumes coming back for ‘revival’ shows. Fay Fullerton, Head of Costume, explains just how much attention the clothing requires: “Costumes may need to be altered to fit new casts, and repairs may be necessary, and then once the production is up and running, another team looks after the day-to-day care of the costumes to make sure they are clean and in the best condition ready for each performance.” Other crucial specialist teams who come under the umbrella of the Costume Department include those who work in the dye shop, dyeing and screen printing fabrics, and those in hats and jewellery, wigs and make-up, shoes, the stockroom, costume storage and hire teams.

Traditional tailoring and other techniques are used, however over time, these have had to be adapted to work with new fabrics and other source materials. For the Ballet, materials tend to be lighter and stretchy, whereas for the Opera, medium-weight materials are of choice. A main factor which can affect the design of a costume are the requirements of the dancer. Fay comments: “Choreography makes the most extraordinary demands on dancers in terms of how they are required to move their bodies. This obviously impacts not only the design, but also the fabrics that are chosen. They need to be lightweight, and also be really robust to withstand the range of movement.”

Artists of the Royal Ballet in Swan Lake © ROH / Alice Pennefather, 2012




87 Top left page: Head of ROH Costume, Fay Fullerton © Sim Canetty-Clarke. Bottom left page: Costume workroom and dye shop © Sim Canetty-Clarke. Right page: Bob and Tamar Manoukian Production Workshop © John Snelling.

When asked about the inspiration for the costumes, Fay says: “Designers get their inspiration from all sorts of sources and, of course, the concept for the production as a whole will inform who the director may choose as his or her designer. “Some productions are set in certain periods in history, so the costumes need to be historically accurate, and other productions may be contemporary or futuristic.” In preparation, the first model showing takes place about 18 months prior to the opening night, at which point all designs are approved by the Royal Opera House Directors. Then, 12 months before the curtain rises, the designer and a costume supervisor will sample all the fabrics. And six months to showtime, costume fittings take place for the Chorus or corps de ballet, with the

principals’ fittings starting around six weeks before the first night. All costumes are made to last so that they can survive for as long as the production remains in the repertory. Fay continues: “We’re still using costumes made more than 40 years ago for the first production of “La bohème!” “If we decide that we will no longer use a production, then some costumes may be kept for recycling, and from time to time, we have a costume sale where we sell all of our redundant stock.” Fay describes how difficult it is to single out a favourite piece, because there is always something new and interesting, and how every production creates its own obstacles: “I really enjoy a production where the design is a mixture of the past and the future, where modern meets period!




89 “Most costumes present challenges because you are creating a character, not just putting someone in an outfit. It could be a technical challenge due to the nature of the fabric required, or the challenge could come from trying to interpret the designer’s vision for a character through costume.” As a welcome addition to the Costume Department in Covent Garden, the Bob and Tamar Manoukian Costume Centre is being built at the High House Production Park in Thurrock, Essex, and will become home to more than 20,000 costumes that are currently stored at a warehouse in Wales. The costumes will be kept in climate controlled conditions, which will keep them in good order, and be much more convenient for designers to go and look at the stock available for recycling from previous productions. Eventually,

the new Centre will also have the Royal Opera House archive collection of historic costumes, meaning they can be better preserved and more readily available for display or research purposes. The High House Production Park is fast becoming a real hub for the creative industries; a place where backstage skills and crafts are demonstrated at the very highest levels. Already based here is the Production Workshop which makes the sets and scenery. As well as building a new costume department, the Royal Opera House is building a partnership with South Essex College, offering apprentices and training. Fay says: “South Essex College has been one of our partners from the start with a real focus on the technical side of theatre, including costumes, property, sets and scenery. “The partnership in creating the degree course in Costume Construction is something that

has evolved from a successful working relationship, and brings together education, training and the industry to provide a way for young people to be trained in skills that are needed in the workplace, and gaining experience from the very best professionals while they are at college.” With creativity and skill in abundance, and so much dedication put into nurturing talent, one question remains: why is the tutu still so iconic? Fay’s answer: “To many, it’s the ultimate classical shape which enhances a dancer’s outline, whilst enabling the audience to still see her technique. For most people, if you think ballet, an image of ‘Swan Lake’ with lots of dancers in white tutus springs to mind. It’s a beautiful image.” For more information, please visit

La Traviata production © Catherine Ashmore

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Get shady


Time and again, sunglasses have formed the basis of some of the most iconic looks, from Alex Turner to JFK. Classic and timeless or weird and wonderful, stylish eyewear is an easy option to lift an outfit or complete a look. With an anything goes attitude, no matter what your style, you’ll be sure to find something to suit this season.









1. Aviator Mirror, £143, 2. James, £245, DSquared2 3. Polarized Jupiter Carbon™ £240, 4. Medium Square Frame Sunglasses, £250, 5. OIH Fuel Cell Rectangular Sunglasses, £100, Oakley 6. Linda Farrow 257, £695, 7. 0736 Black on Humble Potato, £310, Cutler and Gross 8. Carrera, £93



Bentley on ice With a top speed of 188mph, and the added combination of four-wheel drive and climate control, the snowy roads of Sweden provide the perfect grounds to put the Bentley Continental GT V8 S to the test. Words by Kevin Haggarthy



My first love met my first love when I was only three years old. It was love at first sight. I can remember her to this day: Triumph Herald was her name, a pedal car with battery-powered electric lights. Although my pram had decent wheels and tyres, it had nothing on the pedal car, so the pram was dumped, and Mum and Dad’s pleasure of pushing their little boy around on four wheels came to an abrupt end. I had discovered cars. Decades later, the passion remained. I desperately wanted to own supercars. I couldn’t afford them really, but the heart ruled every time over the years, and several Lotuses, Jaguars, Porsches, Maseratis and even Ferraris replaced that Triumph Herald pedal car. Yes, I owned my dreams, yet oddly, I couldn’t afford to really enjoy them. They were run on a strict budget that just about paid for insurance, tax, servicing, and two miles a week on the road. In between they were polished and garaged; sacrilege, I know. Once I grew out of the supercar obsession and got married, I started to buy ‘normal’ cars – admittedly, they were still powerful and sporty, but not in the same league. I had got the supercar bug out of my system, but vowed if I ever went down that road again, I wanted to be able to enjoy it without worrying about the cost. Sadly, I spend a lot of time reminiscing; I should have driven my Ferrari to Italy on a Ferrari factory tour, I should have toured Europe in the Maserati, or driven the Porsche to Le Mans, and…


Back to the future Fast forward to 2015, and I am even older. What would I buy now given the chance? How about a Bentley Continental GT? And why? Because, versatile and fast as it is, I could relive all of my ‘back to the future’ reminiscences in just one car. In fact, the model choice would be the Continental GT V8 S. Its 4 litre V8 engine achieves 0-62 mph in 4.0 seconds, and has a top speed of 188 mph. As it happens, I’ve never actually owned a supercar which can go that fast. Combine that with the added advantage of comfortable seating for four people, an eightspeed gearbox, four-wheel drive, and 358 litres of boot-space; one can hardly

complain. ‘Mine’ would have the ‘luxury premier’ specification, with the Naim for Bentley sound system thrown in - which includes a CD player, cameras, and fullyventilated front seats with a massage function. In this scribbler’s opinion, the V8 S is the sweetest and most rewarding of the Continental derivatives if you want to get to the heart of the sporting GT driving experience.The standard V8 is wonderful, but less sharp and purposeful, and I can’t think of anywhere in the real world where you’ll be able to fully exploit the Speed Six enough to enjoy it as much as you would the V8 S in day to day use, as the majority of them are used today. You’ll spot the V8 S by the dark mesh radiator grille, and the lower bumper with its three air intakes.The dark rear valance, and its twin exhaust tailpipes shaped into an elongated, side-on figure eight. Another clue to the V8 S’s identity is a red enamel Bentley winged ‘B’. For the sporting driver, the V8 S offers the best combination of ride, handling, and power. Colour? What the hell! Let’s go for bright yellow, and make up for years of frustrated motoring adventure by forsaking Monaco in favour of freezing cold central Sweden. Here, the roads are caked in snow, the driving seriously challenging, and the temperature minus 17 degrees… and that’s when it’s warm.You may think we needed a snow plough to the back and front of our handcrafted projectile, but the only snow ploughs we had were winter tyres. A night at an amazing hotel in Stockholm was followed by an early departure for Osterholm airport to pick up our yellow ‘Bentley Conti’ for the drive.The plan was to drive from Osterholm through beautiful countryside in the snow to Åre, including a brief diversion to the Millestgarden Moose Farm for lunch. A further night’s rest, with a bit of leisure time thrown in at the Copperhill Mountain Lodge in Åre was planned as an apt conclusion to our adventure. A bit of weather Googling threatened temperatures of minus 20 degrees, so I left the hotel looking like the Michelin Man, with two or three thermal t-shirts, long-johns, several sweaters, and a fit-for-purpose, super warm and cosy ‘G-Lab Exhibition’ coat.


94 Eskimos in disguise By the time we got off the aeroplane I was literally dripping in sweat, looking like a real idiot; Mr Bean goes to Sweden. As we exited through the self-opening doors of the airport, the snow was piled high. We needed a tractor, not a Bentley. But then our eyes met; the bright yellow Bentley was waiting there, its engine purring courtesy of a minder, with the air conditioning running at a steady 21 degrees. I ran to it like a homing pigeon muttering, Triumph Herald! Triumph Herald! whilst the Bentley boys stared at me puzzled. I told them it was a long story, and that I am mentally fit to drive as I eased into the warm, cosy vehicle. Bliss! The climate control perfectly mopped up beads of sweat, as I adjusted my seat ‘every which way but loose’. A rev of the throttle roused the muted burble of the supercharged V8 engine, and I had to take some time to savour the sumptuous wood, the leather and the chromed switchgear. The external paintwork was immaculately finished; Monaco’s climate might have been kinder to it, but Sweden makes for a far sterner road test. As if reading my thoughts, the Bentley moved off with almost arrogant ease; its muted power and authority touching on the point of regal: and this in treacherous snow and ice. It inspires driver confidence, not only in how it delivers the power, but equally so in the reassuring grip and feel from its four driven wheels. Who needs an SUV or an off roader when you have a Bentley Continental GT? Much more civilised, and for real-world-bad-weather road touring capability, it is just as capable!

As the Bentley reaffirmed its snow-driving capability, all anxiety was put to rest. One is cocooned in perfectly air-conditioned luxury, looking out onto the most spectacular scenery and lakes, enjoying that deep, slightly muffled rumble of the V8, and the oh-so controllable power and grip. I am torn between admiring nature and wallowing in the experience of this machine.You don’t even need to be a good driver to appreciate the Bentley’s capabilities, just enjoy yourself and explore your own. This was proving some drive; the speedometer was reading 60 mph yet the roads were caked in snow. How many Bentley owners do this with their cars? Not many. If you have one, don’t delay; do it now – it’s why you spend this kind of money on your motor car. 10 minutes West of Åre is the Millestgarden Moose Farm; the most famous of its kind in Sweden. As we approached, tyres churning, our bright yellow Bentley proved a great contrast to the stern wooden buildings and ground white snow. It was great fun feeding the moose – the trick is to open your hands and show total submission (aka fear!) then they won’t eat you for dinner. Sadly, some of my mates on the trip ate moose for lunch. How could they? To the journey’s end It ended only to soon: my early trepidation about driving in this kind of weather was displaced by real driving enjoyment as the Continental’s intuitive and communicative handling made the low-grip surfaces challenging fun.The hotel in Åre proved the perfect overnight venue to reflect on this great driving adventure in what has to be one of the world’s finest GTs. No need to reminisce anymore; a dream has been fulfilled. Little did I know my Triumph Herald pedal car was really meant to be a Bentley. Time is a funny thing.



Specification Price as tested ÂŁ145,000 (including extras)

Fuel type 98 (95) RON

Max power 500bhp / 507 PS / 373kW @ 6000rpm

Acceleration 0 - 60mph, 4.6 seconds 0 - 100km/h 4.8 seconds

Max torque 660Nm, 487 lb.ft @ 1700rpm

Max speed 188mph / 303km/h

Engine capacity 3993cc

Combined 26.8mpg 10.6 litres/100km



Audi R8 V10 Plus

Whilst the new Audi R8 makes its debut at the Geneva Motor Show, we say goodbye to the latest and greatest of the current model line-up on a hard blast across North Wales. Words by Kevin Haggarthy


ime flies in a big way. It’s hard to believe the Audi R8 was originally introduced as far back as 2006. Exclusively designed, developed and manufactured by the company’s high performance subsidiary company quattro GmBH at Neckarsulm in Germany, the car was based on the platform of the exotic Lamborghini Gallardo. With the R8, Audi competes with Porsche (911), Aston Martin (V8) and Jaguar (F-Type) at least. It was a successful assault from the start; the R8 having that magic combination of styling and performance, with the on-road excitement and capability that makes us petrol-heads eager to part with disproportionately large amounts of money.

Evolution Eight years and several model evolutions later, the current R8 V10 Plus remains one of the most powerful expressions of this car. With 10 cylinders, 542bhp, and four-wheel drive, it goes from zero to the benchmark 62 mph in just over 3.0 seconds, and has an official top speed of 198 mph. Essentially, a production version of the limited edition R8 GT, the V10 Plus has 25bhp more power than the standard V10. The uprated engine, along with stiffer springs and carbon-ceramic brakes make this an ‘ultimate’ road-going R8, and bar just losing its crown to the new car, was the fastest accelerating Audi in the UK ever.



The not insignificant £12,000 purchase price premium for the Plus over the standard V10 pays for engine and suspension fettling, ceramic brakes, and minor cosmetic enhancements to the front (new headlights and more matt) and rear (single pot exhaust pipes). In this particular car, our 19 inch 5-arm, double spoke Y-design wheels, storage package, Audi parking system and Bang & Olufsen sound system take the purchase price from the standard £128,000 to just over £132,000. A lot of money… but for an awful lot of car. Driving the dream The joy of the R8 V10 Plus driving experience has so many levels it’s hard to know where to begin. How about stationary? Distinguished only by subtle design features, such as circular exhaust pipes and a new front spoiler design, and those otherwise unchanged drop-dead gorgeous lines remain a pleasure to admire. The glass covered V10 engine, which illuminates at night when you press the remote key to unlock the car, is a work of engineering art that goes just as well as it looks. It’s so nice to be able to see and appreciate such a fine engine without having to lift the bonnet.

“This isn’t only about speed, but the magical recipe of four-wheel drive, a perfectly positioned engine to keep the centre of gravity rooted, combined with sharp turnin, balance, precision, and extremely high cornering thresholds. Last but not least, the ceramics; the V10 Plus is all the evidence you need that the investment is worth it.”


98 The V10 Plus naturally rides firmer than the standard V10; an inevitable compromise easily outweighed by the handling advantages. The familiar and now somewhat dated dashboard dials and switchgear are the only detraction from this car’s unique beauty and poise; the latest car has a fresh all-new interior design. Yet the anticipation and excitement of this wonderful car speaks very loudly; the V10 Plus crudely arresting your attention with its razor sharp purposeful growl. A brief pre-journey check under the bonnet, which, due to the mid-engined layout is of course the boot, suggests modest packing is necessary. We managed to squeeze in a laptop, a small suitcase, and a hefty camera. What proved really useful is the optional netted bench shelf behind the seats, handy for grab-and-go luggage and accessories. Semi-auto versus manual All V10 Plus models come only with Audi’s new 7-speed double clutch DSC transmission. It is quite frankly brilliant, and you’re hearing this from a manual shift junkie. Pushing this car hard through the deserted roads of North Wales proved it. The Plus is amazingly powerful: its 560 horses rocket you forward with unrelenting force. Once ‘on a mission’, you can nudge your instant gear-changes with either the floor shift or steering mounted paddles. Either way, the dual clutch box obeys your commands in fractions of a second. If you were chasing this car in a manual version of something with similar performance, you couldn’t keep up with the R8 V10, unless your name is Lewis Hamilton.

Much as it pains me to say it, after an unbelievably speedy snap down-change into a quick hairpin, I had to concede the final decisive victory for the dual clutch box over a manual – you simply cannot change down manually this quickly and successfully whilst integrating it with sustained speed: you’ll lose time, distance, flow and momentum with every change. Magical mix This isn’t only about speed, but the magical recipe of four-wheel drive, a perfectly positioned engine to keep the centre of gravity rooted, combined with sharp turn-in, balance, precision, and extremely high cornering thresholds. Last but not least, the ceramics; the V10 Plus is all the evidence you need that the investment is worth it. They are simply amazing. Just a slight touch at any speed and the speedometer drops dramatically. As there’s no fade, it can do this all day, again and again. Six hundred miles later, I am beaming behind the wheel of our V10 Plus and rushing home to look at the prices of used ones; maybe one day, in a few years’ time, but it’ll still be worth the wait. Our cross-country dash proved a fitting goodbye to this performance icon. The new V10 Plus is still powered by a 5.2 litre V10 and has all-wheel drive, but power is up to a staggering 602 bhp, taking maximum speed up to 202 mph. The new car then takes the crown as the fastest and most powerful production Audi of all time. Bring it on…. we can’t wait.



Project Kahn is the original British automotive fashion house - designing and styling bespoke vehicles for a discerning clientele. We redefine the spirit and aesthetic of each vehicle, always placing sophistication before ostentation, and originality before convention. The Range Rover 600-LE (Luxury Edition) features a completely redesigned front and rear bumper assembly, modelled in the same lightweight carbon composite used on F1 cars, and precision engineered to fit seamlessly onto the vehicle. Our choice of simple, elegant alloy wheels completes the remodelled exterior. Inside, you’ll find a bespoke luxury interior upholstered by our expert team, to the most exacting standards of British craftsmanship. Choose from a wide range of leathers, fabrics, colours and stitching, including Harris Tweed - the options for personalising your vehicle are almost endless. Working with Project Kahn is the first step towards realising your dream vehicle, and the start of a collaborative process of design and discussion which we’ve found is often every bit as satisfying as its result. Finest quality, to the last detail. The Range Rover 600-LE is available from £89,875

Kahn Laboratories: 240 Canal Road, Bradford, BD1 4SX T: +44 (0) 1274 749 999 A. Kahn Design Boutique: 385 Kings Road, Chelsea, London, SW10 0LR T: +44 (0) 207 751 4555 Kahn Automobiles: Kirkstall Road, Leeds, LS3 1LX T: +44 (0) 113 834 5055 |

All the ingredients for a beautiful kitchen.

Introducing the First Collection kitchen range. Stylish and affordable, it’s just one of the beautifully designed kitchens available at John Lewis. We also offer the latest high-tech appliances and provide everything from inspiration to installation,

flooring to lighting, furniture to finishing touches. Plus, our kitchen planners will help you make the most of your budget. So, if you're looking for your perfect kitchen, visit one of our shops or search for 'fitted kitchens' at

Country Ivory,Ivory Firstkitchen Collection. the Country range from £2,970.*

Our commitment to value means that we match the prices of high street competitors (this excludes online-only or mail order businesses). Service conditions must be comparable. See our ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’ leaflet in our shops or online for details. *Price based on 8 units from Country Ivory in our First Collection featured above, including laminate worktop and installation. Does not include sink, tap or appliances.

Street Magazine: Spring 2015