Issuu on Google+

Cotswold Homes Cotswold-Homes.com The Property & Lifestyle Magazine for the North Cotswolds

SPRING Edition 2014 Complimentary Copy

Year of the Horse Sam Twiston-Davies on Big Buck’s Albert Roux’s Festival Feast Cheltenham Racecourse’s Grand Design Olympian Sir Mark Todd

Out of this World Behind Gravity’s Visual Effects

Hot Property

Showcasing Cotswold Homes In the Kitchen with

The Fabulous Baker Bros Brian Sewell opens the Broadway Arts Festival


Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose’ by John Singer Sargent © Tate, London 2014

30th May – 15th June 2014 Join us for fifteen days of arts and culture in our beautiful Cotswold village. Opened by Brian Sewell, the Broadway Arts Festival presents works by John Singer Sargent, art workshops, a lecture series, music recitals and tours of beautiful gardens - plus picnics and parades.

www.broadwayartsfestival.com 01386 898387


Cotswold Homes Magazine CONTENTS Sam Twiston-Davies 8 On Big Buck’s, The New One and the World Hurdle

Diary of a Farmer’s Wife 46 Life at Tagmoor Farm with Anna McCurragh

Cheltenham Racecourse’s Grand Design Presenting a £45 million development

Day Tripper: Here be Monsters 52 See an ancient map of the world at Hereford Cathedral

12

Albert Roux 14 We savour Mr Roux’s exclusive The Festival menu

The Visual Effects of Gravity We meet Al Grimshaw, part of the editing team on 2013’s smash hit

24

There’s a Jellyfish in my Beard Sean Conway on swimming from Land’s End to John O’Groats

28

Oxford Festival Fever 32 Jazz FM presenter David Freeman’s best picks

In the Classroom with the Fabulous Baker Brothers TV stars unlock our latent cooking skills

Cotswold Calendar Swing into spring with our pick of Events

56

The Broadway Arts Festival Showing Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose by John Singer Sargent

60

Hot Property Lovely homes, expert advice and informed insights

70

Privilege Card Offers Save money, shop Local

124

Directory Local & independent businesses near you

128

08

24

38

38

Editor’s WELCOME How fitting that 2014 should be the Chinese Year of the Horse when an old Cheltenham champion returns to the course that made his name - this year’s Festival witnesses the return of Big Buck’s, back on form and ready to take on the hurdles once more. In this issue’s lead feature, we interview the jockey who (at the time of going to press) was about to ride him in the World Hurdle - Sam Twiston-Davies – an exceptional young talent straight out of North Cotswolds’ own stable. From local to global - take a trip to the stars to meet new Cotswold resident Alistair Grimshaw, visual effects editor, who worked on the multi-award winning space film Gravity. Read about George Clooney’s anti-gravity escapades on page 24 before crash landing into the kitchen of the Fabulous Baker Brothers, where the charismatic chefs pass on some very traditional skills to our own resident foodie, Collette Fairweather. We also meet another true culinary legend– the man who brought French cuisine to England and trained Gordon Ramsay and Marco Pierre White (quite a legacy) – Albert Roux, commissioned to create a delicious menu especially for The Panoramic Restaurant at Cheltenham Racecourse with his son, the equally eminent Michel Roux Jr. Elsewhere in the magazine, Day Tripper visits the site of a priceless treasure in Hereford, we discover the former Cotswold home of famous author Graham Greene and reveal our top Events in our seasonal Cotswold Calendar. As if that weren’t enough, we have put together a bumper Spring property edition and another round of exclusive Privilege Card offers – allowing you to claim great discounts from some of the best hotels, restaurants, businesses and attractions in the Cotswolds – and a host of lovely prizes to win on our Competition pages. Better get reading! Cotswold Homes Magazine

Our next edition, Summer 2014, will bring you more upcoming events, special offers and articles showcasing the very best of the local area – helping you to get the best out of life in this beautiful part of the world! We will be distributing the next magazine from early June. For local independent businesses, membership of the Cotswold Homes Directory gives exclusive access to discounted advertising rates and the Privilege Card scheme. To speak to a member of our team, please telephone 01451 833170 or email: Marketing and Sales Sarah Harris – sarah@cotswold-homes.com Editor’s Desk Matt Dicks – matt@cotswold-homes.com Property Karen Harrison – 01451 833170 karen@harrisonjameshardie.co.uk Administration Riyad Cajee – riyad@cotswold-homes.com Cover image: ‘Neck & Neck’ by Vineta Sayer. See more of Vineta’s work at www.equestrianartuk.com. Equestrian Art Ltd will be exhibiting works in the tented retail village at the Cheltenham Festival this year at Stand #30. Design team: Alias www.wearealias.com

0845 257 7475 sayhello@wearealias.com

Star Chamber Offices, Hollis House, The Square, Stow-on-the-Wold, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL54 1AF

Cotswold-Homes.com The Property & Lifestyle Magazine for the North Cotswolds www.cotswold-homes.com

3


Cotswold Homes Competition

Cotswold Homes Sensational Spring Giveaway Spring is here, so unzip those rain macs and start getting out and about in the sunny Cotswolds. This issue we have four fabulous competitions for you all to choose from - and entering couldn’t be easier. WIN 4 X TICKETS to either day of the April Meeting at Cheltenham Racecourse (16th or 17th April 2014)

WIN a Season Ticket to Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park This wonderful pass gives free admission for 2 adults and 2 children (or 1 adult and 3 children) for a whole 12 months. Come and experience the full farming cycle with changing seasonal demonstrations throughout the year! (Value of pass £140 – Cannot be exchanged or refunded).

After the wild thrills and spills of The Festival, some relaxed springtime racing is in order – and the sun tends to shine fondly on the April Meeting. Luckily we have four tickets available to one lucky entrant to win! All you have to do to enter is to email admin@ cotswold-homes.com with APRIL MEETING in the subject field, remembering to include your contact

details in case you win. Alternatively, you can also enter by sending us a message on www.facebook. com/cotswoldhomespage .Visit www.cheltenham. co.uk/fixtures/the-april-meeting/about to find out more information about both the April Meeting and the wonderful Cheltenham Racecourse. ENTRIES MUST BE RECEIVED BY DRAW DATE FRIDAY 4th APRIL 2014

To enter, simply email admin@cotswold-homes. com with FARM in the subject field, remembering to include your contact details so we can contact you in case you win. Alternatively, you can enter by messaging us on www.facebook.com/ cotswoldhomespage. To find out more about Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park, please visit www.cotswoldfarmpark.co.uk ENTRIES MUST BE RECEIVED BY DRAW DATE THURSDAY 15th MAY 2014

WIN A Home Butchery OR Patisserie Course at Hobbs House Bakery, home of the Fabulous Bakery Brothers In this very issue our resident foodie savours the delights of a Hobbs House course and now you can, too. Stars of the screen Tom and Henry will show you how to unlock the traditional culinary skills that you never knew you had in these wonderful courses. All you have to do to enter is to email admin@ cotswold-homes.com with HOBBS HOUSE in the subject field, remembering to include your contact details in case you win. Alternatively, you can also enter by sending us a message on www. facebook.com/cotswoldhomespage . Visit www. hobbshousebakery.co.uk/school/classes for more information on Hobbs House Bakery classes and the Fabulous Baker Brothers themselves! ENTRIES MUST BE RECEIVED BY DRAW DATE TUESDAY 15th APRIL 2014 like us on facebook for more chances to win! www.facebook.com/cotswoldhomespage 4

Cotswold Homes Magazine


Cotswold Homes Competition

Cotswold Homes Sensational Spring Giveaway WIN an amazing Lemur Experience at the Cotswold Wildlife Park PLUS a Family Pass (2 Adults + 2 Children) & FREE Lemur Adoption Meet the Lemurs of Madagascar right here in the Cotswolds! This is one of the most popular animal encounters offered by the Cotswold Wildlife Park. There are several different species of Lemur you'll meet, including the critically endangered Sifaka (also known as the 'Ballet Dancing Lemur' or 'Ghost Lemur') – the park is one of only a few collections in the UK to

keep this species! Meet the Lemur Keeper and learn about the park’s important work with these Madagascan primates, have a guided tour around the popular Madagascar exhibit and walk amongst the Lemurs and other Madagascan species present in this area before helping the Keeper to feed the Lemurs. We guarantee you’ll love meeting these unique little fellows.

We guarantee you’ll love meeting these unique little fellows. All you have to do to enter is to email admin@ cotswold-homes.com with LEMUR in the subject field, remembering to include your contact details in case you win. Alternatively, you can also enter by sending us a message on www. facebook.com/cotswoldhomespage. Visit www. cotswoldwildlifepark.co.uk to find out more about the park and the various Animal Encounters they offer. Jamie Craig (Curator of Cotswold Wildlife Park) with project researchers and trackers in Madagascar modelling the Park’s fundraiser wristbands which raises vital funds for research work in Madagascar.

Terms & Conditions

Entry to the competition is open to all except the employees (and their families) of Cotswold Homes or Harrison James & Hardie. Winners will be drawn at random and notified via Facebook, by e-mail or by phone and may be posted on our website. No alternative prize or cash substitute is available for any of the prizes. In the event of a winner being unable to accept their prize then another winner will be drawn. This giveaway is open to residents of the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland aged 18 years or over, except employees of Cotswold Homes Magazine, their families, agents or anyone else professionally associated with the giveaway. It is a condition of entry that all rules are accepted as final and that the competitor agrees to abide by these rules.The decision of the judges is

final and no correspondence will be entered into. Entries must be submitted via the Facebook ‘Like’ system or emailed to admin@cotswold-homes.com (or as specified in entry terms of a specific prize) and entry is restricted to one per person. Late, illegible, incomplete, defaced or corrupt entries or entries sent through agencies and third parties will not be accepted. No responsibility can be held for lost entries and proof of dispatch will not be accepted as proof of receipt.The winner will be drawn at random from all entries received by the closing date and notified via Facebook message or contact details supplied. The winner will be contacted within seven days of the closing date of the prize draw. Should the Promoter be unable to contact the winner or should the winner be unable to accept the prize, the Promoter

ENTRIES MUST BE RECEIVED BY DRAW DATE THURSDAY 15th MAY 2014 reserves the right to award the prize to an alternative winner, drawn in accordance with these terms and conditions. The prize is described as available on the date of publication and all prizes are subject to the terms and conditions of the supplier.The prizes do not include travel insurance, food and drink, personal expenditure, or incidental costs, other than where mentioned. All elements of the prize are non transferable and there are no cash alternatives.The winner may be required to take part in publicity. Events may occur that render the prize draw itself or the awarding of the prize impossible due to reasons beyond the control of the Promoter and accordingly the Promoter may at its absolute discretion vary or amend the promotion and the entrant agrees that no liability shall attach to the Promoter as a result thereof.

like us on facebook for more chances to win! www.facebook.com/cotswoldhomespage www.cotswold-homes.com

5


SAM TWISTON-DAVIES

8

Cotswold Homes Magazine


SAM TWISTON-DAVIES

Horseracing’s rising star on riding the legendary Big Buck’s, handling Twitter lynch mobs and choosing between crisps and sweets…

At the age of 21, Cotswold Jockey Sam Twiston-Davies has already made quite the name for himself. The son of trainer Nigel TwistonDavies, Sam was recently selected by trainer Paul Nicholls to ride champion Big Buck’s – the record-breaking winner of four consecutive World Hurdles - for the World Hurdle in The Festival 2014. We caught up with Sam shortly after the Cleeve Hurdle, where he rode Big Buck’s to third place after the horse’s return from a lengthy spell of recovery. Can Sam and Big Buck’s seize glory at Cheltenham Racecourse this year? Let’s see what he thinks… Hi Sam. First things first: What is it like riding a champion like Big Buck’s? It’s an absolute dream come true to ride him. He was – and still is – one of the best horses in the country. He’s able to travel and jump at a very high cruising speed. I was very lucky to ride him [in the Cleeve Hurdle]. What influence do you think the ground had on your Cleeve Hurdle result? The conditions were horrible… The ground that day was hard work. Obviously he’d been off the track a while, but he ran an absolute blinder and hopefully he’ll go very well at Cheltenham. Our fellow just got a bit tired in the last fifty yards. I think if he’d had a preparation run like all the others we’d all be sat talking about how good he was. I spoke to Paul (Nicholls, the racehorse trainer) the other day and he was really happy, he thought Big Buck’s raced really well. He’s stepping up his work now and getting ready for the big day.

www.cotswold-homes.com

9


SAM TWISTON-DAVIES

Who is the unsung hero in your day-to-day life? It would probably be Wayne Jones. He’s one of our head lads and he’s just top class. He looks after The New One and gets him A1 for the big day absolutely every time. He probably doesn’t get as much credit as he should. What is a typical day like for you? I’m quite lucky as I live at the yard. My alarm’s set for twenty to seven, I head down to the office and have a cup of tea at around seven o’clock, muck out the horses, have a gallop at 7.15, go racing, try and have a few winners and be home in time for my tea! So how does a top jockey like you relax? I just love going to the cinema with a group of friends, so that would be a key way for me. I play a lot of X-Box with Willie (Sam’s brother, also a successful jockey) and do a lot of what you might call ‘lad things’. I should be out running around and keeping fit, you know, but I do love the X-Box…I’ve been winning recently as Willie’s got a bit rusty. Call of Duty is my favourite game – I’m not very good at Fifa! Photography by Al Grimshaw and Lucy Driver

Is it easy to have a life outside racing?

“Obviously they’ve seen something they like, something I’ve been doing that’s right, so I only felt very lucky to be riding him (Big Buck’s). And getting the chance to ride him at Cheltenham, too, is a dream come true.”

With the social media explosion, sportsmen can often become targets for the fury of ‘armchair critics’. As a young sportsman, how do you manage the extra pressure this attention generates? For some reason it does get to you, but as you get physically and mentally stronger, you tend to deal with it better. As people give you abuse, you have to remind yourself that you have got to where you are through making the right decisions nine times out of ten – so you’d like to think that you made the right decision at the time, no matter what anybody else thinks the right decision is. The opportunity to ride Big Buck’s at the Cleeve Hurdle was passed over by other prominent jockeys. Did you ever feel that it was something of a mixed blessing? It must have brought big pressure to have that ride… Although it is a pressure, that same pressure is privilege. As a jockey I do feel very privileged to be getting that pressure. Obviously they’ve seen something they like, something I’ve been 10

Cotswold Homes Magazine

doing that’s right, so I only felt very lucky to be riding him. And getting the chance to ride him at Cheltenham, too, is a dream come true. How do you think the Cleeve Hurdle result has affected the competition’s view of the World Hurdle? Annie Power is going to be a big thing, wherever she runs - she’ll be quite tricky however she goes. At the same time Big Buck’s is still the one to beat. He’s done it before and he’s many times a winner. You’ll ride The New One in the Champion Hurdle. Outside of Hurricane Fly, which other horse are you most wary of? I got beaten by a horse at Kempton called My Tent or Yours, I’m wary of him as he’s a very good horse. There’s Our Connor who is improving this season, he ran an absolute blinder in his last race to be upsides Hurricane Fly going over the last. If he were to improve again it’d be a marvellous race. Of course there’s also Annie Power. It could turn out to be a very competitive hurdle.

You’re doing something you love every day of the week and getting paid to do it. But at the end of the day it is tiring and it does take a lot out of you. When you get home you often don’t want to do much all – just get a good night’s kip and get ready for the next day. Obviously in the summer when things get quiet a bit you can afford to eat a bit more food, get a bit fatter… Now we’ve got a few quick fire questions for you. First up: Sprinter Sacre or Sire de Grugy? Sprinter Sacre – he’s an absolute aeroplane, think that’s the best way to describe him! Bobs Worth or Silviniaco Conti? Silviniaco Conti, because I love the way he won the King George. Cue Card or Al Ferof? Cue Card. He’s really impressed me this season. Champagne Fever or Dodging Bullets? Oh, good question. I think Dodging Bullets, he’s progressed this season and obviously has enjoyed going chasing. Hurricane Fly or The New One? The New One! It has to be! Finally – Crisps or Sweets? Sweets! Sweets all day long man. Haribos are the best…


section header

www.cotswold-homes.com

11


CHELTENHAM RACECOURSE

Cheltenham Racecourse’s Grand Design £45 million worth of improvements are planned for the mecca of jump racing over the coming years. We lift the veil on what’s in store…

Cheltenham has long been a place of pilgrimage for lovers of jump racing, drawing visitors from around the world with events such as perennial favourites The Festival and The Open. Now The Jockey Club is making a massive investment to ensure it stays the number one destination for racing lovers – but what, exactly, will the £45 million development entail? Scheduled for completion for The 2016 Festival, the project encompasses substantial changes to existing facilities and architecture after plans were unanimously approved in 2013. Developments include the arrival of an all-new 6,500 capacity grandstand, 12 hospitality boxes and a new Royal Box capped with a Premium Super Club. A re-routed Horse Walk, a new plaza, a refurbished weighing room, major new toilets within the grandstand, and a re-vitalised See You Then Bar are amongst the features and facilities changed to better serve patrons and the very best of racing talent. Meanwhile, the racing programme will continue as usual with the provision of highquality temporary structures. Last year’s Open saw the introduction of the three-tiered Arkle Stand as the 2014 Festival is the 50 year anniversary of the champion horse’s first win. Race goers have already waved goodbye to some long-standing features (the old Royal Box was constructed in 1952, and many of the demolished boxes were constructed in the twenties and thirties) but the planned changes will modernise the complex whilst remaining sympathetic to the 12

Cotswold Homes Magazine

Developments include the arrival of an all-new 6,500 capacity grandstand, 12 hospitality boxes and a new Royal Box capped with a Premium Super Club.

authentic Cheltenham atmosphere that keep visitors returning in their thousands year on year. Of course, Cheltenham and racing go a very long way back, with early races occurring in 1818 on Cleeve Hill. Soon crowds of around 30,000 were flocking to an annual two-day meeting featuring a 3-mile flat race known as the Gold Cup. Not everybody was a fan, however. In 1829 Cheltenham’s Parish Priest, Reverend Francis Close, stirred up such anti-racing sentiment that after a disrupted meeting in 1830 the grandstand


CHELTENHAM RACECOURSE

was incinerated. In response to this ill will, the racecourse was re-situated in Prestbury Park, where it remains today.

Find out more about Cheltenham Racecourse and book tickets at www.cheltenham.co.uk

Despite taking the opportunity for improvement, racing chiefs are well aware that the winning formula of Cheltenham is nothing to be trifled with. ‘I’m delighted that The Jockey Club Board of Stewards has chosen Cheltenham for the Group’s largest ever investment,’ said Robert WaleyCohen, Chairman of Cheltenham Racecourse. ‘Our development concept will only enhance Cheltenham’s unique character.’ www.cotswold-homes.com

13


Albert Roux

Culinary legend Albert Roux guides us through his exclusive Fairlawne restaurant menu for The Cheltenham Festival ‘I don’t believe Cheltenham would be as popular as it is if the Irish contingent were not here,’ says Albert over an exquisite starter dish of whisky and treacle cured organic salmon (fittingly accompanied by a little Guinness soda bread). ‘They have a lot of stamina. The drinking, the singing! So there’s an Irish presence in this dish… it’s got a lot of colour and presents very well.’ Imagine that you’re in charge of creating a dining experience fit for serving the nation’s most prestigious racing enthusiasts. Where better to turn for help than the chef whose restaurant, Le Gavroche, was the very first in the country to earn a coveted 3 Michelin Stars? Tasked with creating a restaurant to serve the discerning attendees of The 2014 Festival, Mr Roux has drafted an insightful menu. It’s delicious, too, as our tastebuds can well attest. It is hard to overstate the impact the Roux family have had on UK food culture. Quite apart from his own accomplishments, Albert has been responsible for training a line of illustrious protégées including Gordon Ramsay and Marco Pierre White. His equally eminent son, Masterchef judge Michel Roux Jr., has also had a hand in creating Fairlawne’s exclusive menu. 14

Cotswold Homes Magazine


Albert Roux

“Albert has been responsible for training a line of illustrious protégées including Gordon Ramsay and Marco Pierre White. His equally eminent son, Masterchef judge Michel Roux Jr., has also had a hand in creating Fairlawne’s exclusive menu.” At their new restaurant, Fairlawne (named after the Kent estate where in earlier years Albert catered for The Queen Mother’s trainer Sir Peter Cazalet), a seasonal selection will be served. It is our privilege to have a sneaky taste in the panoramic restaurant overlooking the iconic jump course, with Albert himself introducing each dish. The £525 dining experience commences with starters including a vegetable mulligatawny and wild boar terrine. To follow there’s that old favourite of royalty, a roast saddle of venison, with fillet of sea bass, supreme of guinea fowl and Irish ox cheek and ox tongue in red wine (‘a very hearty dish’) serving as equally delectable alternatives. Desserts, as we are told, ‘should be simple’ as diners are typically full after the preceding courses – but we certainly could have eaten more of the

rhubarb and apple crumble with a clotted cream sorbet and the Bailey crème brulée. As nice as it is to simply enjoy the spread, we’ve also been given a rare opportunity to question the master, alongside an attentive crowd of Catering and Hospitality students from the University of Gloucestershire. Naturally, they’re all keen to know if the great man ever suffered any kitchen disasters. Well yes, he has, and you’d be hard pressed to find one scarier than his: while cooking for a small party including Prime Minister Harold Macmillan and Nancy Astor, Albert managed to break the dumb waiter by jamming oeufs en cocotte inside. ‘It didn’t go down at all well with Lady Astor, who came down at 2.30 after the guests had left and shouted at the chef. It was absolutely

nerve-wracking. I thought I would be fired.’ We’re keen to know what it takes to be a Michelin-starred chef. ‘One word,’ he says emphatically. ‘Determination. Study well. And don’t be a copy-cat.’ He also expresses his distaste for overly elaborate cooking. ‘Many chefs think that by garnishing the plate with many different things it makes it great. It doesn’t. And it costs. That’s why so many restaurants go bust.’ (Sage advice for the fledgling chefs). ‘When you have a very good ingredient, do nothing to it. Imagine a beautiful woman putting on lots and lots of make-up – she doesn’t need it!’ Looking out over the racecourse and the hilly vista beyond Prestbury, I get around to asking if Albert if he is a racing man, and find out that he used to own six horses (and that he doesn’t really care for flat racing). He may even enjoy a flutter every now and then. It should come as no surprise that someone who rose to the top and seeded the next generation of talent should relish the thrills and rewards of the jump race. Find out more about what’s on offer at Cheltenham Racecourse this year by visiting www.cheltenham.co.uk To book a table at Fairlawne for this year’s Festival call the sales team on 01242 537 653 www.cotswold-homes.com

15


AlbertSUITS APTUS Roux

How to Dress for the Races Alex Edwards from the Cotswold Tailor explains the sartorial do’s-and-don’ts for gentlemen at the races. Dressing for the races can be a daunting affair, no more so than if you’re a ‘race newbie’. A sport steeped in tradition, as well as written and unwritten customs, can make dressing for the races feel more like choosing what outfit to wear to the sixth form prom to impress the girl you have secretly had a crush on for the last five years. Fear not, however - as long as you follow a few simple rules, you should be fine. Racing is supposed to be about having fun, so don’t be afraid to let some of your inner you shine through. (At this point I should add a little caveat: if your inner you is somewhat wild, it might be best not to go overboard…). Below are a number of points to consider, ensuring you come out a winner in the style stakes if nothing else: • Racetracks often have different rules and dress codes. It’s advisable to find out an individual track’s requirements before going. • They say you can judge a man by his shoes racing is no exception. Trainers should be reserved for the gym, in no circumstances should such footwear be worn to the races - it’s a fail-safe way of not getting in. Instead, why not opt for a nice pair of Cheaney Brogues, or Sowerby Dealer Boots, both available at the Cotswold Tailor shops. Do make sure the shoes are polished before leaving the house. A leather protector might be a good idea if race conditions are less than ideal.

• Keep it tied. The races are a great chance to wear a nice tie (other than the one you wear to the office).Ties are a great way of adding some interest to a garment, so don’t be afraid to try something a little different.Van Buck hand make a fab range of ties, and also offer a range of limited edition 1 of 100 ties to help avoid any unintentional awkward matching. A nice small Half Windsor knot or similar looks smart, no ‘footballer’s knots’ at the races please - the tie must sit snugly within the collar. • Three piece, two piece or separates. Although some racetracks are slightly more relaxed with dress code and as such would be happy for you to attend in a smart pair of trousers and a sports jacket, if new to a track, a suit is always a safe place to start. Do remember however, you aren’t at the office and thus your pinstripe work suit is not the optimum companion for the races. Instead why not opt for an elegant classic look with a contemporary twist. Checked suits are very much ‘back in vogue’, and thanks to a certain well-dressed X-Factor judge three piece suits are also popular once more. A classic cut three-piece British Tweed number is always a winner; however, to ensure ultimate style refinement, I always think it best to have such garments tailored.There is nothing worse than an ill-fitting tweed suit tailored in a cheap polyester blended Chinese imported fabric. A well-chosen pocket square is always a nice way of accessorising your suit.

18

Cotswold Homes Magazine

• Hats. You probably thought that hat etiquette was something that just the ladies had to worry about. However, a poorly selected hat can make you stand out from the crowd for all of the wrong reasons. Baseball caps are a big no; a better idea is a nice fedora or a classic panama. These look particularly elegant when worn with a lightweight linen or linen blend suit. • Accessories. Given the unpredictable nature of the British Weather it’s probably best that you invest in a nice umbrella. A quality umbrella will not only last longer but will help to add a suave finishing touch to your ensemble. Elegant pocket squares, chic cufflinks and classic tie bars are also nice ways to add subtle details to a refined look. Visit the Cotswold Tailor at: Woodstock The Cotswold Tailor 21B Oxford St, Woodstock, OX20 1TH Tel: 01993 358284 Shipston On Stour The Cotswold Tailor No 24 Church St, Shipston On Stour, CV36 4AP, Tel: 01608 238008 www.suitstailored.com/ info@thecotswoldtailor.com


Sir Mark Todd

Meeting (Sir) Mark

Encounters with a top Equestrian Sir Mark Todd has dominated the equestrian sport of eventing since arriving on the scene in 1978 at the world championships. After settling his yard of horses in Gloucestershire, he went on to compete in six Olympic games, winning two gold medals and three bronze medals, in addition to two gold medals, a silver and a bronze at the world championships.

In 2000, Mark attempted retirement, and headed home to New Zealand, to concentrate on breeding and training. However, in 2009, Mark returned full time to competitive eventing, admitting ‘I made a dare over one too many glasses of wine that became a personal challenge’. He won individual bronze at the London 2012 Olympics aged 56. NZ teammate Andrew Nicholson remarked ‘Mark can ride anything – he could cross country on a dairy cow’. With the assistance of some extremely special horses, he has carved out a second career in this very demanding sport. With so many commitments, we were delighted when Mark spared us a few minutes to discuss his venture into equine nutrition, his recent knighthood and his thoughts on the upcoming Badminton Horse Trials.

weapons, like beetroot for example, to produce horses that look and feel like champions. Do you still have time to input into developing the products further now you are eventing full time again? I have worked with Keyflow whilst competing actually – it works really well – I use the feeds and Charlie (my head girl) helps with comments on how the horses are doing on the feed. My team is also heavily involved with the Mark Todd Collection – and we really do use the products. I am delighted when people take the time to email me with news of how much they enjoy the process and some even make constructive suggestions for improvements

Much has been made about your triumphant return to eventing. Why retire in the first place - and do you see a long future in the saddle second time around? I lost the motivation to be involved in top-level eventing when I retired – I was ready to have a slightly quieter life in NZ with the family. I started training racehorses and enjoyed great success in the sphere. Nothing replaced the buzz of eventing and I came back the result of a dare really and found I still really enjoyed it. I am loving it now and will keep going till Rio and then decide- I aspire to be a gold medallist aged 60! Congratulations on your recent knighthood. How did you receive the news that you had been included in the Queen’s Birthday honours?

When you took time out from competitive eventing you explored other avenues - is that when you got involved in equine nutrition? I have always been interested in equestrian nutrition and I believe performance horses must be fed the best quality food. When I was on my sabbatical, I trained and bred racehorses and the nutrition element is extremely important. It was not until I came back to eventing that the opportunity arose to be involved with Keyflow. How do your products differ from other feeds on the market? I’ve worked with Keyflow in developing a range of feeds, drawing on my experience of how a horse should run, look and feel to ride. Using their unique approach, and using the latest in scientific research, we include a selection of nature’s secret 20

Cotswold Homes Magazine

“Mark can ride anything – he could cross country on a dairy cow.”


Sir Mark Todd

“I aspire to be a gold medallist at the age of 60!” The New Zealand awards high commission wrote to me some time before to let me know the good news – it came out of the blue and was a total surprise. I was sworn to secrecy – I did tell my father though but no one else and it was some weeks before the news became public. It is as tremendous honour and I am very humbled by it. It is fantastic for equestrian sport too. How did you end up in the UK? I am a kiwi through and through but I love the UK – I met my wife here and my children were born here – I came for eventing as the UK is the best place in the world to be based and I only left when I retired. It is certainly my second home.

Any Badminton stories you can share?

Andrew Nicholson was grooming for me. There was a barley boiler in the stables that you lit from underneath – on cross country morning it would not light so I bent down to look at it and it exploded – my eyelashes, eyebrows and hair were all singed!

We all live in our horseboxes on the village green and do have some great fun after “work” every day. It is a fun atmosphere and we all have a good time. In 1980 – the year I won for the first time,

Catch Mark in action at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, Wednesday 7th of May – Sunday 11th of May. See www. badminton-horse.co.uk for further details.

Vision, Leonidas, NZB Campino and Oloa. All are good horses and well ready for the challenge ahead. I can only take 2 horses so the other two will go to Kentucky in the USA.

Why do you feel the UK is the Mecca of top eventing? The sport in the UK is very strong – top level events with top courses, course designers, very professional teams running the event and you get to go up against the best riders in the world every week – every day some weeks. The sport has become really professional and you have to keep improving your own performance to keep up. Will you be attempting a fifth win at Badminton this year? If so, who will you enter? I am really hoping to be riding at Badminton this year – it really is the event everyone wants to win. It will be great to see the new challenges that the course designer has set for us. I am lucky enough to have 4, 4* rides this year – NZB Land www.cotswold-homes.com

21


THE SPACE CREATORS

T H E

S P A C E

C R E A T O R S V i s u a l

E f f ects

d i sc u sses w i n n i n g ’ r i s k s

a n d

re w ar d s

‘There’s a saying in the visual effects community that goes “You’re only as good as your worst effect”. In those terms, Gravity is a great success.’ Alistair Lawrence is a freelance visual effects editor who moved to the Cotswolds with his family in June 2013. He joined the Gravity crew in the final year of the film’s three-year production, working under editor Mark Sanger (known for his work on Children of Men and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland) to help realise director Alfonso Cuaron’s unearthly vision. At the time of our conversation, 2013’s most discussed film had just scooped 10 Oscar nominations, putting it neck-to-neck with such

Cotswold Homes Magazine

w or k

G r a v i t y ,

‘Your eye is such a high resolution device that it can detect when things look wrong so very easily,’ says Alistair. ‘I will say this for Gravity – there isn’t a duff frame in the entire movie, and that’s very, very unusual.

24

h i s

E d i tor

o n

t h e o f

A l asta i r the

f u t u r e

G r i m sha w

m u l t i - a w ar d o f

b i g - b u d get

3 D

t h e

f i l m m a k i n g .

worthy contenders as Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave. (It has since won six Bafta awards, including Special Visual Effects and – somewhat controversially – Outstanding British Film). The simple story of two astronauts attempting to survive in outer space after the destruction of their shuttle captivated critics and audiences alike, creating a genuinely exhilarating spectacle at cinemas around the world.What better time to talk to one of the craftsmen behind its triumph? ‘Basically, my job was to make sure that everything fitted together in the way it was meant to. For a feature like Gravity, there is a huge amount to do – video, sound, music, editing trailers – so it’s good for someone like Mark to be able to delegate certain things.’ Gravity is so rich with innovative techniques that it is good to have Alastair around to explain it all. Take the method of making ‘Digi Doubles’: ‘You

a n d

Alastair Grimshaw


THE SPACE CREATORS

scan an actor’s face and make a 3D model of it to stick on another CGI model. It doesn’t look convincing up close, but you can switch in the real face when you get close enough.’ (Indeed, there are long sequences where the only ‘real’ element onscreen is an actor’s face, with even the spacesuit rendered by computer).

“ A t

the

t i m e

c o n v e r s a t i o n , d i sc u sse d 1 0

f i l m

O s c a r

o f

o u r

2 0 1 3 ’ s

ha d

j u st

m o s t scoope d

n o m i n a t i o n s . . . ”

He also reveals the importance of Gravity’s extensive ‘pre-vis’ – ‘an animatic that is essentially a moving representation or storyboard, planning out all the action before the stars even set foot in a studio. ‘You get to try everything out before getting in George Clooney, which is the really expensive part! ‘The efficiency of this method means that there’s very little wastage. In other films things can go wrong and even half an hour squandered can potentially cost millions. It makes a dramatic difference.’ Lighting was another enormous technical challenge. ‘We had one light and it never moved, such a harsh light – audiences are used to very soft lighting derived from the renaissance era of painting. Ordinarily you have just three lights – a key light, fill light and rim light. ‘In space there’s no reflected light apart from the light coming off the spacesuit and the Earth itself - which varies depending on whether it’s shining off the sea, off the clouds…The crew actually constructed a cube of lights in which the actor was held steady inside.The lights moved around the person so you could simulate camera moves and emulate the rotation when the astronauts are spinning.’ ‘What’s different about Gravity is that the British effects company Framestore was more or less responsible for the whole thing (barring a very small number of sequences).This is very unusual, because there are usually many specialist companies involved for different sequences.Take, for instance, a film like The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – you might spend £20,000 hiring a company just to make a 3D model of Aslan (and this is without even animating it).’

Alastair specialises in stereoscopic effects. ‘This is sometimes known as 2-and-a-half D,’ he laughs. ‘Which makes it sound like a cut price version, but that’s not the truth.’ ‘What it means is that we can take footage from almost any era of filmmaking and lift certain sections or elements to give the appearance of full 3D. Gravity has a mix of both techniques – outside the space station it is

3D but inside it’s likely 2-and-a-half D.’ Despite the good reviews Gravity garnered, not everybody was impressed. Predictably, astronauts were asked to list inaccuracies – most concerning the fact that orbiting stations do not sit within a casual space-commute of one another, or that Sandra Bullock’s character did not wear the appropriate underwear (as though a bulky diaper would be just as appealing to the audience…).

www.cotswold-homes.com

25


THE SPACE CREATORS

But even the most vocal critics tend to concede that Gravity is a riveting thrill-ride and an accomplished feat of visual storytelling – and surely that’s worth a few scientific sacrifices on the altar of drama?

has been shot and completed and edited together and they’ve simply not been released. So much of filmmaking is R&D – studios would make fifty films and depend on the success of one or two of those to pay for the rest.’

‘Because the general human experience of outer space is nil, [filmmakers] can get away with almost anything,’ Alastair says. ‘Can one really use a fire extinguisher as an effective mode of transport up there? It’s something few have any experience of, but it’s a moment everybody loves in Pixar’s Wall-E. But even on some made-up alien world people expect Earth-like physics and behaviour to some degree.

Will the success of the film mean a reemergence of interest in the space genre? ‘Well, it’s certainly an alluring subject – the otherworldliness of it. The ‘cycles’ of genres probably have much to do with the technology available at the time. Pirate films were out of fashion until Pirates of the Caribbean movies came out, likely because they’d run out of ways to shoot around a ship!’

‘There are certain things that, while scientifically accurate, don’t make for good drama. They say there’s no sound in space, but we tried having it without sound and it absolutely did not work. In the film Sandra Bullock hits a lot of things and when there’s no sound to accompany it, it just feels so wrong.Your brain just anticipates sound on impact.

Concerning the film’s technical achievements, then – have they raised the bar for movie effects overall, or has it really only succeeded in answering ‘bespoke’ technical challenges set for itself?

‘So when you’re in space you’ve essentially got a licence to make it up without things seeming too unnatural. The movie’s not meant to be taken as an instruction manual! We hope audiences will suspend a little disbelief.’ It is also the film that best realises the potential of 3D viewing – one of the handful of pictures where the 3D cinema experience feels more than just a marketing gimmick. ‘I probably shouldn’t say this, but I don’t think 3D is the future,’ says Alastair. ‘The great Film Editor and Sound Designer Walter Murch – the man who worked on Apocalypse Now - wrote about the difficulty of asking a viewer’s vision to converge on one plane and focus on another. Certainly I’ve worked on movies where the added 3D hasn’t been integral to the experience or the story. ‘But,’ he adds, ‘I think that without 3D, Gravity would be a lesser film.’ The money and effort invested into Gravity has unarguably paid off. But, in an industry where high-stakes gambles are the norm, nothing is certain. ‘I’ve worked on films where everything

‘Gravity is sort of in its own niche. Really the computer effects – rather than simply being added in post – were sort of the whole thing. It was a different challenge. In this film there are lots of objects that don’t require much in the way of animating. There are things in visual effects that can be much trickier – for instance, building and animating and lighting a beast, making that look convincing.’ What made Gravity such a phenomenal hit with audiences? It made over $500 million at the box office on a budget of only $100 million, and was the highest grossing film for both of its stars. Firstly, it’s actually a very contemporary story – not a far-flung sci-fi caper, unlike Pixar’s recent live action bomb John Carter (which struggled to make back more than its whopping $254.5 million budget – not to mention marketing costs). Certainly the appeal of Clooney and Bullock helped it along the path to success, as well as the sense of nail-biting tension and existential wonder the trailers created. But perhaps it’s most likely that audiences responded to the simple thrills-and-spills of life in space, now that filmmakers have been able to offer a sufficiently convincing vision. With the hostility and beauty of space finally within reach of mankind, most of us will never enter that great void, never see the earth from above. Gravity is – for now - the closest we can get.

“ I t $ 5 0 0 t h e o n o f

m a d e

m i l l i o n b o x a

b u d g e t

o n l y t h e

$ 1 0 0 a n d

h i g h e s t

g r o s s i n g f o r

b o t h

f i l m o f

s t a r s . ”

26

Cotswold Homes Magazine

a t

o f f i c e

m i l l i o n , w a s

o v e r

i t s


www.cotswold-homes.com

27


SEAN CONWAY

What’s it like to swim the length of Britain? We speak with endurance adventurer Sean Conway following his triumphant swim from Land’s End to John o’ Groats – the first person ever to attempt (and accomplish!) such a feat…

Looking back on your swim now, how effectively do you think you prepared for this mammoth swim - and paced yourself throughout? Training wise? I definitely didn’t do enough planning. I probably should have left it for about a year (laughs). I live in Cheltenham, which obviously isn’t by the sea, so I didn’t get enough training in. Because the logistics took too much time, you know? I had to find the boat, the right, reliable kind of boat...what crew do I get, where do I go, getting food for the crew…navigation, direction, tides and current routes… 28

Cotswold Homes Magazine

All these things took up all the hours in the day and my training suffered a lot. In hindsight I would have definitely trained a lot harder. But the trip wasn’t all about swimming.You got to go exploring in your ‘downtime’, didn’t you? It was very important to do that. Not only for me – it was important to keep the crew motivated. It’s very boring following a swimmer doing two or three miles an hour! Because of the way the tidal system works you’ve got six hours to swim and six hours you can’t, because you’d be going backwards.

I was meant to be eating 5000-6000 calories a day but at the start I got eating fatigue and grew tired of chewing. I was bored of eating.


SEAN CONWAY

So in that ‘time off ’ we got to explore all these coves and beaches.There was a healthy balance between endurance and the exploring – certainly at the start. But as it wore on, it became more about the swimming, because winter was approaching and we really needed to get this thing done. Indeed – it took quite a bit of time longer to ‘swim Britain’ than you first projected, didn’t it? Yeah, a lot.Two and a half months over (laughs). As you progressed through the swim, what sort of changes did you go through?

Lots of changes – I had quite big leg muscles from when I’d cycled around the world last year. My legs got a lot thinner, my triceps got massive and shoulders strengthened up – big weird muscles on the upper body. And I lost a lot of body fat. I dropped below ten stone at one point – I had zero body fat left and was feeling the cold a lot. Were you burning more calories than you could possibly consume? Yeah. I was meant to be eating 5000-6000 calories a day but at the start I got eating fatigue and grew tired of chewing. I was bored of eating. About a

Did the beard you grew turn out to be an effective jellyfish deterrent? Oh yeah, 100%. As long as the tentacles don’t touch your skin, you’re fine. In the end it was just my cheeks that were taking a hammering.

month and a half in I decided to start blending my meals and it was only then I started to get the calories and start putting weight back on. At a certain point in your trip, you decided not to swim alongside Wales, instead heading over to the east coast of Ireland. Reading your blog, that seemed like a real snap decision…Was it that spontaneous? It literally just seemed like a cool idea to be honest. It was literally a case of saying ‘Let’s go to Ireland – that’d be cool!’ and ‘Yeah, let’s do it’.The whole conversation took ten seconds. But of course once we decided we looked at it properly and in all kinds of ways it made sense. If we’d gone up Wales we’d have faced big rollers coming in, there wouldn’t be as many places to anchor, and we’d still have had to do three big crossings – one to the Isle of Man, the Isle of Man to Scotland and then to the Mull of Kintyre. How did you cope mentally with these long, long periods of isolation and exhausting physical activity? I’m quite stubborn and also probably not very clever, so I could just turn my brain off…Getting in the water everyday was tough. One thing that really kept me going was all the negativity that [we] had received. A lot of people thought it was just a PR stunt. A lot of people said we were wasting our time. A lot of people said that it wasn’t possible, that we were going to die… Harbourmasters and fisherman would say ‘Oh, at the next stretch you’ll get sucked under, be careful of XYZ…’ I think just finishing and not getting any number of emails saying ‘I told you so’ was the thing that kept me going. www.cotswold-homes.com

29


SEAN CONWAY

and places like that. When I actually met people and they learnt what we were doing, that was different. We had fisherman give us lobster and crab and fish…it was great. How successful was it as a fundraising adventure? How hard was it to find sponsorship? It was a funny thing, because I think a lot of people chose not to donate because they thought that the risk of failure was so great, that it was just to hard to achieve (not that it wasn’t hard). I raised money for War Child and 100% of it went to support specific projects in Africa, so none of it went on heating bills or anything like that! So we raised about £10,000 all in all but well over half of that came after the swim was over. I continue raising money and awareness through appearances and talks. Trying to find a sponsor was impossible. I approached loads of swimming brands – brands that already sponsored swimmers, brands involved with promoting swimming ethos – none of them were interested. They all thought it was just far too risky. It was great that Speedo stepped up and took the time to see what it was all about – creating a love of swimming and seeing it as a form of adventure, not just as something you do to get fit.

Annoyingly I said offhandedly that I was going to run the length of Africa and now that’s what people have settled on me doing.

What was the highlight of the experience for you?

stung because of the cold, but if I got out I’d be feeling it.

The best experience of the trip, and probably the best experience of my life, was swimming in phosphorescence. It was just like you see in the movies, most memorably in the scene in The Life of Pi – the bit where the whale leaps out of the water and everything is glowing. With every stroke my fingertips would trail this sort of fairydust. It was incredible.

Did the beard you grew turn out to be an effective jellyfish deterrent?

But there was a great pleasure in exploring the British coastline, particularly the coves and beaches that are completely inaccessible except by the sea. Nobody has ever been on them because you simply can’t get to them any other way. You had some less positive encounters with sea life, didn’t you? You were stung by jellyfish numerous times. What does that feel like? Like being stung by nettles. It’s not actually paralyzing. It feels like someone sticking pins in you. The sensation of it lasts for about six hours but it’s more uncomfortable than paralyzing. It was actually better being in the water if I’d been 30

Cotswold Homes Magazine

Oh yeah, 100%. As long as the tentacles don’t touch your skin, you’re fine. In the end it was just my cheeks that were taking a hammering. Now that you’ve finished, could you ever comprehend undertaking any sort of swimming challenge again? Definitely – I still love swimming and I feel like I’m quite good now. It would be a shame not to do it. But it would have to be warm water. It’s hard to explain how the cold just saps the life out of you. So it would have to be a done somewhere wram.

It was quite hard to deal with that negativity. I approached 350 companies and none of them said yes…It was Speedo that believed in the project. The crew really believed in it but there came times when I would say ‘look guys, we’re getting quite a lot of negativity here…’ and I was worried that they’d end up questioning it themselves. In the end they gave way more time than we first anticipated, for which I am very grateful. In a way it must be good to experience that lack of faith in the project because it gives you material for your inspirational talks… Yeah, I do talks at schools and events – anyone who wants to listen, basically. I think I have quite a good story. I don’t want to be a preachy American-style motivator, you know? I don’t want to be shouting ‘YOU CAN DO WHAT YOU WANT TO DO!’ but part of the message is not listening to people telling you what you can’t! And I think people just want to hear a fun story – that’s why I’m writing a book as well. Finally – do you have any ideas for your next big adventure?

You mentioned that you encountered lots of negativity towards your venture. But didn’t you also receive lots of help and encouragement along the way?

Hmm – I keep getting asking this. Annoyingly I said offhandedly that I was going to run the length of Africa and now that’s what people have settled on me doing. I suppose it would be good to complete my global triathlon with a long run. So there you go, how about that!

Yes. The negativity I mentioned, that mostly came from comments made on online forums

Follow Sean’s extreme exploits at www.seanconway.com


FESTIVAL FEVER

Festival Fever Books and music excite Jazz FM presenter David Freeman. Here’s his pick of upcoming festivals.

My personal Chippy challenge is to engage Jonathan Aitken in a meaningful conversation about his one time friend and possible mother-inlaw, the late Baroness Margaret Thatcher.

Mark Lewisohn

32

Cotswold Homes Magazine

It’s interesting what people like to do for fun. Some risk life and limb on ski slopes, some scream support from the touchline, but for more tranquil types, there has been an explosion in the number of literary and music festivals celebrating great works and the people who make them. You might like to join me in March at a series of Words and Music events that are part of the Oxford Literary Festival. I shall be talking to people who have written books with a musical dimension, and playing some of the relevant music on state of the art Naim hi-fi. Mark Lewisohn is a remarkable author. He is writing an informative and entertaining 3 volume history of the Beatles from their birth in Liverpool to the very end. Read the first volume – The Beatles: All These Years,Volume 1- Tune In, and it appears that he knows more about these four men and the world they grew up in than they could ever have known themselves. We’ll be investigating the music that inspired them to become musicians. Very few people now remember Lonnie Donegan, Carl Perkins or Eddie Cochran but we will be listening to snippets of the music from these 50s stars and assessing their impact on our four impressionable young men. Come see us at Christchurch on March 24th at 6.00 pm.

Of course there are plenty of other events. Explore the quirky local oddities of Spanish music, a beginners guide to opera and the history of the record label that nurtured Ella Fitzgerald. That’s all in Oxford in March. Next up in April


FESTIVAL FEVER

My Sunday evenings are spent presenting the Blues and Boogie Show on Jazz fm so I’m impressed to learn that this year the guitarist and bandleader Robert Cray is representing the magic of the blues. He has added 21st century sensibility to an art form that is 110 years old. Crucially he has done this while keeping its essential basic gritty visceral appeal. That’s clever. Lots of people think they are absolutely certain that they don’t like jazz in any form whatsoever. If this is a familiar attitude then you really should visit the Cheltenham Jazz Festival – it could change your life. You’ll be taking saxophone lessons and collecting Miles Davis albums before you know it.

Jazz FM Presenter David Freeman knows all the best festivals

The Cotswold capital of festivals has to be Cheltenham. There’s plenty on offer in this gorgeous spa town.

it’s time for Kate Mosse, Kate Adie, Emma Bridgewater and a whole lot more of the literary glitterati to make their way to the Chipping Norton Festival. My personal Chippy challenge is to engage Jonathan Aitken in a meaningful conversation about his one time friend and possible mother-inlaw, the late Baroness Margaret Thatcher. Aitken catastrophically fell from grace when he was convicted of perjury and spent time in jail. Now

he is coming to the festival to encourage us to buy his book Thatcher: Power and Personality. The Cotswold capital of festivals has to be Cheltenham. There’s plenty on offer in this gorgeous spa town (the July Music Festival with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the June Science Festival being particularly appealing) but the line-up that particularly appeals to me is the one for the Jazz Festival: 30 April – 5 May.

Hope to see you at one of the festivals. Check out the websites and I’ll see you there. www.cotswold-homes.com

33


Movie Insider

MOVIE INSIDER

Film buff Adam Rubins reveals what’s due to hit your multiplex in coming months

Welcome to the inaugural Movie Insider column! What you need to know about me is that I live movies, I breathe movies and I, er, watch them as well. I’ll be directing your attention towards the hottest new releases, so watch out for these as they hit a screen near you. The good news is that over the next three months there truly is something for everyone…

MARCH This year the summer blockbuster season kicks off earlier than ever before with Marvel's ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ (March 28th). The return of America’s super-powered patriot might, just might, take everyone by surprise at a slot not well known for big action flicks. Prior to that, Sparta gets sexy again in ‘300: Rise Of An Empire’ (March 7th) as the warriors wreak violent revenge on the dastardly emperor Xerxes. The film will be competing with a release from one of my favourite directors, the visionary Wes Anderson. He invites you to ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, billed as a ‘British-German comedy drama.’ It should bring all the warmth, flair and kooky wit Anderson is famed for.

APRIL April’s highlight is ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ (April 18th) this time with Jamie Foxx as the shocking villain Electro. Teenage girls will no doubt line up for franchise in waiting ‘Divergent’ (April 4th) whilst adults are better off watching Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and Kate Upton fighting it out in ‘The Other Woman’ (April 23rd). And on April 4th Russell Crowe will not be saying

‘Muppets: Most Wanted’ (March 30th) will be full of cameos from Ricky Gervais to Tom Hiddleston to Tina Fey to Lady Gaga. 34

Cotswold Homes Magazine

‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ is billed as a ‘British-German Comedy-Drama’. It should bring all the warmth, flair and kooky wit that Anderson is famed for. “we’re gonna need a bigger boat” as he takes the lead role in action-packed biblical epic ‘Noah’ besides Emma Watson and Ray Winstone.

MAY May steps up the blockbuster pace as we see destruction (‘Pompeii’ May 2nd), giant monsters (‘Godzilla’ May 16th), mutants (‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past’ May 22nd) - and no summer is complete without Tom Cruise (‘Edge Of Tomorrow’ May 30th). Every summer season there is a comedy surprise that comes from nowhere and explodes at the box office - this year it may well be ‘Bad Neighbours’ (May 9th) with Seth Rogen as a suffering new father locked in a bitter feud with Zac Efron’s selfish frat boy.

FOR FAMILIES Families looking for something to do will have plenty of options. ‘Muppets: Most Wanted’ (March 30th) will be full of cameos from Ricky Gervais to Tom Hiddleston to Tina Fey to Lady Gaga. On April 4th there is the animated sequel ‘Rio 2’ and on May 23rd ‘Postman Pat’ makes his screen debut. The end of May sees Angelina Jolie in a re-telling of Sleeping Beauty as she portrays the eponymous villain ‘Maleficent’. So an exciting time ahead. Enjoy your popcorn and please, no talking!

Follow me on twitter: @adamrubins


the Fabulous Baker Brothers

Tom and Henry Herbert of Channel 4’s Fabulous Baker Brothers find an eager pupil in Collette Fairweather. She joins the duo on one of their new Bakery and Butchery courses in the South Cotswolds. Hobbs House Bakery, home of the Fabulous Baker Brothers, nestles unassumingly amid the terraced high street of Chipping Sodbury. Its Georgian façade hides a Tardis of industry - a family business established in 1920 encompassing a bakery, butcher’s and café restaurant and (its most recent addition) a cookery school. For the past five generations, the Herbert family have risen at dawn to produce award-winning food. Recently they’ve welcomed the newfound celebrity of Tom and Henry, the eldest and second-from-youngest of six siblings. They now grace our television screens, educating both the home cook and passing on professional advice to the restaurants throughout the Cotswolds. Tom and Henry have all the vital ingredients for onscreen alchemy; their dark good looks are a camera’s best friend, the witty banter isn’t scripted but an extension of childhood

“Learning the importance of expiration dates from Tom’s unfortunate incident when baking foccacia for the supper club: when investigating the reason it refused to rise, he found the culprit to be the dried yeast, which was best before 1984(!).”

38

Cotswold Homes Magazine


the Fabulous Baker Brothers

exuberance and they are highly skilled in their respected professions. Tom is a fifth generation baker and the winner of the prestigious Young Baker of the Year title. Not to be outdone by his brother, Henry was the youngest chef to appear on BBC’s Great British Menu representing the south west. With books, television series and family commitments all demanding their pound of flesh, it is surprising that they have the time, energy and inclination to open a cookery school and more notably, to carve out the time to helm the courses themselves. I have been lucky enough to join the brothers on one of their combination courses, where pupils have their day spilt into a morning’s baking and an afternoon of butchery. Much like the course itself, the schoolroom is stripped of fastidiousness. The whitewashed walls and scrubbed flooring reflect the no-frills approach, with our lessons having been coarsely chalked on an enormous blackboard. A practical island table dominates the room and there we take our places with a copy of the course text and a freshly sharpened pencil. Leading by example, Tom measures out his ingredients, binding the dusty dry ingredients with water; we each catch a ball of dough. Under the watchful eye of our master and we eagerly attempt to knead, pinch and mould a range of breads. We chat food science as Tom’s cheeky grin and childhood anecdotes banish our anxieties. As our

“For the past five generations, the Herbert family have risen at dawn to produce award-winning food. Recently they’ve welcomed the newfound celebrity of Tom and Henry, the eldest and youngest of the six Herbert siblings.”

bread proves and inflates, so does our self-belief as we soak up Tom’s advice: ‘Confidence is the key ingredient when baking’. His teaching style is unperturbed and comfortable and it is through the details of these funny tales (usually involving some mishap or gross error) that we are taught the lessons of the day. Learning the importance of expiration dates from Tom’s unfortunate incident when baking foccacia for the supper club: when investigating the reason it refused to rise, he found the culprit to be the dried yeast, which was best before 1984(!).

with salt AFTER baking; otherwise it will simply resemble the ‘unfortunate complexion of a pubescent teen’.

Other gems include the delightfully childish ‘yeast farts up bread and wees out alcohol’, and we’ll certainly never forget to bejewel our foccacia

Now taking centre stage, Henry begins by taking us out of the classroom and touring the butcher’s shop. Taking pride of place in the window is

The morning draws to a close, and we break, snaffling up the results of our labour. Although Tom has taken the morning’s lectures, Henry has been busying himself with the practicalities of the day - bringing logs for the rooms fire, providing beverages and fetching equipment and being on hand for sampling and general quality control.

www.cotswold-homes.com

39


the Fabulous Baker Brothers

an impressive side of beef, and Henry takes the opportunity to introduce the group to a selection of often-spurned cuts that are a little more sympathetic on the pocket and never fail to deliver on taste.

farewell with lesson booklets in hand. The brothers share a justified pride in their professional accomplishments, but they are also partners on an enthusiastic crusade to preserve what have sadly become fading professions. Taking the opportunity to trade on their success, they have set out to pass on the traditional ways, highlighting the immeasurable value of good food.

He lets us in on a few trade secrets and proves our suspicion that buying from a butcher, although fractionally less convenient in modern life, is well worth the excursion. He encourages us to build a relationship with our butcher - to take assurance from their skill and advice. We file back in to the classroom for the basics of knife sharpening. So many of us have ‘drawers of knives, as useful as spoons’. Henry implores us to ‘please invest in one good knife – that’s all the majority of cooks really need’. The jovial streak is obviously a family quality: ‘Never catch a falling knife!’ says Tom, before Henry interjects: ‘safety third - otherwise there would simply be no fun!’ Instilled with the infectious ‘Herbert’ enthusiasm we hone our skills with the intricate boning of lamb joints, collecting enough meat for our spicy sausages. Amid a wash of double-entendres we produce a link of little sausages to take home and exhibit to our loved ones. Finally, our labour is rewarded with a hearty tea. We feast smugly on our handmade burgers served in our own baps accompanied by our 40

Cotswold Homes Magazine

If you are lucky enough to find yourself enrolled on one of the brothers’ culinary courses, you won’t spend the day grappling with the latest development in culinary technology – rather, you’ll find how to liberate the skills lying dormant in your own hands.

“Never catch a falling knife!’ says Tom, before Henry interjects: ‘safety third - otherwise there would simply be no fun!” own pickle. Tom and Henry fire test questions at us, and we proudly yell out the answers we can recall – ‘when weighing water it is 1kg to 1 litre’ – ‘a cow carcass is called a “body”’ – ‘wholemeal flour requires 10% more water than white’… After the last crumbs disappear, we shed our uniforms. With a flurry of thank-yous we bid

Try one of the array of courses on offer by enquiring via the Hobbs House Bakery website www.hobbshousebakery.co.uk or telephone 01454 312136. Or better still enter our competition and win the opportunity for you and a friend to enjoy the day absolutely free of charge! (Turn to our competition page for further details).


Fraser Bawtree

Five Minutes with… Fraser Bawtree of

13-year-old Balcarras School student Fraser Bawtree is one of the UK’s youngest entrepreneurs, having started his own fudge business Frasers Fudj at the age of 11 to help fund a trip abroad. After his first year of trading Fraser beat his £10,000 sales target by £3,000 and in 2013 appeared at Jamie Oliver’s Big Feastival at Blur guitarist Alex James’ Kingham farm. Fraser donates 10% of gross sales to charity Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres in memory of his grandfather, who inspired him to begin cooking and provided the first recipe for his fudge.

Hi Fraser. Where did the idea for your business come from? I started this all way back in Year 7, so I was about 11 years old – just old enough to open a bank account. I’m 13 now. The idea really came from time I spent with my grandpa – we were always making jams and jellies. Then there came a time when we were going to go on a school trip to France, and my dad said I could go provided I raised some spending money. He probably thought I could do it just by washing cars, but we hit upon the fudge idea… How do you come up with flavours for your fudge? I went around school asking and it’s also personal preference, really. It’s what friends and family like. How do you balance school and the business? I do it at the weekend or any spare time I have really – which can mean mornings and after school. The good thing is I now have a factory helping with production so I’m no longer working until 12 o’clock at night, which I sometimes did on school nights! When I’m not working on the business I like shooting and surfing. How did you acquire the start-up capital? I went to what I like to call the Bank of Dad! No, he has been helping with some financial stuff, but really we started everything in the kitchen at home from scratch by making that first batch. 42

Cotswold Homes Magazine

“The good thing is I now have a factory helping with production so I’m no longer working until 12 o’clock at night, which I sometimes did on school nights!” By now you’ve done a couple of food festivals and have sold your products at Cheltenham Literature Festival. Did you meet anyone interesting? It was really good to meet the chocolatier Louis Barnett – he started making chocolate my age and now he’s 21. It was meaningful to meet him because I have dyslexia and he was diagnosed with dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia at an early age, yet he became the UK’s youngest entrepreneur at age 12 when

he started to make cakes and later moved into chocolate. Have you reached your goal of raising enough money for a trip to Shanghai to see your uncle – and did you learn anything? Yes, I did that a few months ago now! But I put the trip to good business use - I took the opportunity to learn about Chinese packaging standards. It’s quite a long process and it seems to take about a year to get right!


Cowley Manor

Celebrate at Cowley Manor in the Cotswolds ... Cowley Manor is a contemporary, country house hotel that sits in the glorious Cotswold countryside surrounded by rolling parkland, woods and meadows. The gardens feature several natural springs, a series of lakes and Victorian cascades. Cowley Manor and its award-winning design and architecture combined to pioneer a new wave of country house hotels. With emphasis on comfort, service and very few rules, Cowley Manor is the ideal place to relax, unwind and indulge in the heart of the British countryside. From small and intimate gatherings to large and opulent parties, we have the space and flexibility to accommodate a wide range of events. Contact our dedicated events team, who will be happy to help you with your next celebration or gathering.

Cowley Manor, Cowley nr Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL53 9NL +44 (0) 1242 870 900 events@cowleymanor.com www.cowleymanor.com 44

Cotswold Homes Magazine


Cowley Manor

www.cotswold-homes.com

45


Diary of a Farmer’s Wife

Spring Harvest is all very well but as a mother of small children (at least one of whom is extremely unstable around traffic, a major downside of living in a rural community) the machinery involved is terrifying. There’s the enormous combine with its deafening engine spewing out dust and all the tractors tearing around with trailer loads of corn. Haymaking, by contrast (and in my mind, anyway) is much more sedate, especially when it’s the small bales that are being made. In an age where machinery can be operated by satellites and a new combine harvester costs the same as a house, the piece of kit (to use the technical term ‘bale sledge’) used to gather eight small bales together before releasing them as a group is operated by a piece of string – string! And the children can do it – childcare!

My husband, James, has lived at Tagmoor Farm since he was born. His grandparents purchased the farm, back then amounting to just under 90 acres, shortly after WWII.The farm has now grown to about 500 acres and produces cereals, supports a beef enterprise, and has a caravan and campsite. I am a relative newcomer, only ‘moving in’ a year or so after we were married, in 2006 – giving up our tiny rented cottage in Salperton in favour of a glamorous static caravan.There was method in the madness - we were saving some pennies whilst we built the house we now live in, but this period also coincided with an extremely hot summer and my first pregnancy. It was the sort of situation my Dad calls ‘character building’. Farming life is not new to me. I grew up at Home Farm on the Sherborne Park Estate where my family were the third generation to farm there. My childhood memories are of harvest picnics, walks through gorgeous woodland – a favourite one for each season, lucky us – going out on a frosty morning to feed the cattle with my Dad, a freezing cold north facing farmhouse complete with ice on the inside for most of the winter. Just the kind of memories I want my children to have. Good job there was an eligible farmer just down the road really! Tagmoor is a fabulous place to live and the spring is the best time to live here.The farming year culminates in harvest but my favourite time is haymaking in late spring.The tension starts to build 46

Cotswold Homes Magazine

around the beginning of May: obsessive weather watching, walking the fields to check the grass, complete refusal to commit to anything in the social diary. Grass is what we feed our cattle and it’s really important it is cut at its absolute best so that the maximum nutrients are trapped. James cuts it for silage and hay to feed the cattle during the winter, and has it analysed so he knows the exact nutrient content of each batch. It’s pretty technical stuff but luckily for us it’s also great fun.

For my husband it is still a stressful time of year, as always totally dominated by the weather, and the success (or otherwise) of it will affect the success (or otherwise) of the beef enterprise. As his loyal and devoted wife, however, I can choose to completely ignore this fact. When the sun is shining and the tractor is mowing, I’ll be racing the children to have a go at pulling the string. Just as long as I don’t forget the thermos of tea, then there would be trouble. For more information on the goings on at Tagmoor Farm have a look at www.lovemycow.com and www.fieldbarnpark.com In addition to mucking about on the farm and raising three children, Anna also has a farm shop in Bourton on the Water www.toastthecotswolds.com


FARM PARK

‘TIS the Season to be Lambing

It’s the quintessential springtime scene; gambolling young lambs against a backdrop of rolling hills. For farmers up and down the country though, the lambing story begins well before then. We catch up with the Cotswolds’ favourite local farmer, Adam Henson.

We stack all the bales up into tiered seats so everyone gets a good view of the action! It’s a great experience, for adults and little ones alike, we get lots of lovely comments and everyone seems to find it quite awe-inspiring, really.

How many sheep do you have on the farm Adam? We have 650 commercial ewes and then all of our rare breeds as well, so lambing takes a fair bit of organisation! How far in advance do you have to start the ‘family planning’? The gestation period is 5 months so this year the livestock team started putting the rams with the ewes back in September. My livestock manager, Mike, oversees the process – which is called ‘tupping’. And what does tupping involve? The ram will be expected to tup anywhere from 50-100 ewes, so he needs to be in tip-top physical condition – he’s going to be busy! When the time comes for lambing, we need to make sure we can

give the ewes and newborns all the attention they need. So with such a large number of ewes, we have to make sure they’re not all giving birth at once…it would be absolutely manic! To stop that from happening, each ram has a harness on them with a chalk marker on the chest plate. If the ram then serves a ewe, it leaves a mark on her. We use different coloured chalks at different times and by doing that, we know when they’re due to give birth.’ So when are the first arrivals expected? We’re hoping for our first lambs just before the Farm Park re-opens, so everything should be in full swing for February 15th and then the lambing season should continue all the way through to early April. Very exciting! And the public comes to watch the lambing live in the park?

It’s one of our seasonal demonstrations at the Farm Park so each year we transform the Demonstration Barn into a temporary ‘maternity ward’ for all of our pregnant ewes and the new-born lambs. We stack all the bales up into tiered seats so everyone gets a good view of the action! It’s a great experience, for adults and little ones alike, we get lots of lovely comments and everyone seems to find it quite awe-inspiring, really. Being there for those first few moments, it’s really special.

The Cotswold Farm Park is open daily from 10.30am, until 21st December. Membership and gift passes are available to purchase online and from the Farm Park shop. www.cotswoldfarmpark.co.uk www.cotswold-homes.com

47


DAY TRIPPER

Here Be Monsters

52

Cotswold Homes Magazine


DAY TRIPPER

W e ta k e a t r a i n t o H e r e f o r d C at h e d r a l t o w i t n e s s a n extraordinary 13th century map of the world Whatever the inestimable monetary worth of this exceptional relic, it seems almost crass to consider it in those terms. Some things are more precious than gold.

Consider a train station in the Cotswolds. Travel one way and your journey terminates in London, host to the many of world’s greatest galleries and museums. Go the distance in the other direction and you end up in Hereford, which does not enjoy quite the same reputation.

PS: If you’re wondering what a latter-day Mappa Mundi might look like, you should see (or buy) Slovakian Designer Martin Vargic’s beautifully hand drawn Map of the Internet – a revealing portrait of the 21st century psyche.

Yet there is plenty in Hereford that is truly remarkable. Much of it is contained in its grand cathedral, a site of worship for over 1,200 years. It is home to a unique Chained Library, the revered 8th century Hereford Gospels (the only book to survive the brutal Welsh Sacking of 1055), one of the four remaining 1217 Magna Carta documents and over 229 preciously historic manuscripts. (It also has a nice café). But perhaps most amazing of all is the Mappa Mundi – quite literally a ‘map of the world.’ Meticulously rendered on a single piece of treated calf skin (known as ‘vellum’ – the phrase ‘on tenterhooks’ comes from the lengthy drying and stretching process that prepared this material), the map shows the Day of Judgement at its apex and strange monsters lurking around the fringes of Africa with faces in their chests. What makes the Mappa Mundi so interesting (beyond its sheer antiquity) are its efforts to marry geography with history, myth, information and spirituality. It represents the entirety of existence as perceived by our medieval ancestors, all inscribed on 1.58 x 1.33 metres of hide.The Hereford map is also the only complete example of its kind to exist in the 21st century, making its historical value and present ‘worth’ beyond calculation. There are over 500 drawings superimposed onto the continents.These represent Biblical and historical events, animals and people, classical myths and bizarre fantasy creatures (none stranger than the Bonnacon, which sprays scalding faeces for a distance of three acres). On this map, real cities rub shoulders with the Tower of Babel, the Minotaur’s Labyrinth, Noah’s Ark and the Golden Fleece.The church, represented by Jerusalem, occupies the centre of the globe. (What we now know as the United Kingdom is a cramped cluster of islands in the bottom left, where local details suggest local authorship). In essence, the map is a perfectly preserved portal into the mind of the medieval European Christian.The eastern territories occupy the top of the globe: the cardinal directions sit 90° counter-clockwise to how a modern audience would expect to see them. It’s a worldview created by the society of the time. Even Eden is represented on the map, a walled,

Pictures reproduced by kind permission of The Dean and Chapter of Hereford and the Hereford Mappa Mundi Trust

Other amenities: The Cloister Cafe & Cathedral Shop

impregnable island where no man can hope to return. With Christ positioned atop the globe, there is the traditional sorting of good souls into paradise or into the jaws of hell at the right. At the bottom left a Roman emperor in a Papal crown commands his minions to go forth so that the entire world might be described. And at the bottom right a mysterious horseman sets forth – the very emblem of the medieval concept of life as a journey with a grand destination. Who, then, is the mapmaker? The map itself suggests Richard of Holdingham or Sleaford, but details regarding its creation are scarce. Experts believe one scribe, two artists and one ‘limner’ (who would have added red and gold lettering) were likely responsible for the work.

Enjoy homemade cakes, biscuits, soup, locally sourced and fair-trade products in the atmospheric 15th century Bishop’s Cloister and beautiful Chapter House Garden.The Cathedral Shop stocks souvenirs, CDs and exclusive Hereford Cathedral and Mappa Mundi gifts. Interactive Mappa Mundi online Hereford Cathedral’s newly launched website offers virtual visitors the chance to get up close and personal with its famous map, and to explore other items from its Chained Library and Archives, including the Hereford Magna Carta at www.themappamundi.co.uk . See www.herefordcathedral.org for visitor information, service details and up-to-date opening times. Please check www.nationalrail. co.uk for full journey details and ticket prices.

It is not even certain where or how the map was displayed for much of its existence. A frame where it was once housed is now on display after being found in an outbuilding (the wood used has been carbon dated – the trees it came form were felled between 1289-1311).The one thing that we do know is that the map would have been a real status symbol, worth a huge sum even at the time of its making.The fact that it is now the only one of its kind to survive intact and largely undiminished by age means that it is a truly magnificent treasure. There was public outcry in the 1980s when a financial crisis forced the cathedral to consider selling the Mappa Mundi for around £14,000,000. But the 2009 sale of a Magna Carta copy for £10,000,000 at Sotheby’s suggests that the unique Mappi Mundi could potentially reach as high as £75,000,000 today (at least according to the wildest guesstimates).

www.cotswold-homes.com

53


DAY TRIPPER

1

Image of the Mappa Mundi from the Folio Society Digital reproduction, reproduced by kind permission of The Folio Society and the Hereford Mappa Mundi Trust

2

13 3

4

12

7

5 8

14

6 9

11

10 15

A B E G INNER ’ S G UIDE TO T H E H EREFORD MAPPA MUNDI 1 The Last Judgement, with Christ enthroned in majesty, on his right the saved rise up from their coffins and on his left the damned enter the gates of hell.

2 The earthly paradise, Eden, is

represented as a circular island at the eastern extreme of the world surrounded by a ring of fire.

largest structure on the map

5 Jerusalem, encircled with battlements and

shown as the centre of the known world

6 The Cretan Labyrinth from Greek mythology

3 An Amazonian race of female warriors

The Kingdom of Cleopatra / Pyramid (Egypt)

4 The Tower of Babel is shown as the

10 A Roman Emperor commands a survey of the known world from his three key surveyors 11 England and Surrounding Countries 12 Gryphon, Warriors and the Golden Fleece

7 Centaur, half man half horse

13 Elephant bearing a Castle

8 Rhinoceros and Unicorn, shown together

14 A Bear, located in the area of Russia

9 Monstrous Races, including headless

Blemmyes, cave dwelling Troglodites and the one eyed Agriophagi

15 A Man on Horseback announces “passe

avant” go forward!

Explore more of the Hereford Mappa Mundi at www.themappamundi.co.uk

54

Cotswold Homes Magazine


XXX


COTSWOLD CALENDAR

Cotswold Calendar

Swing through spring and into summer with our pick of Cotswold events.

Gatcombe Horse Trials at Gatcombe Park March 22-23 Enjoy a premier equestrian event situated in a gorgeous landscape at Gatcombe Horse Trials.There’s shopping too! Plenty of fun for horselovers and their families. For more information see www.gatcombehorsetrials.co.uk

Alarms and Excursions, The Theatre Chipping Norton February 27, 28 & March 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 7.45pm & Matinee March 8 3pm (post-show talk on Wednesday 5th March) More plays than one! A farcical riot on all the gizmos, gadgets and grief that modern life serves up, from smoke alarm woes to terrible trouser presses. A single night of non-stop laughter delivered with breathless pace and energy by a top-notch cast and The Theatre’s Artistic Director John Terry. Tickets: £15, £13 conc., schools £8.50. For more information & bookings see www.chippingnortontheatre.com Rizzle Kicks at The Centaur, Cheltenham Racecourse March 2 The funky frenetic duo return to the Cotswolds following their barnstorming performance at the 2013 Big Feastival, bringing big tunes and spectacular energy with them. For more information see www.cheltenham.co.uk/conference-and-events/whats-on/concerts/ rizzle-kicks

Prescott Bike Festival encourages you to ‘celebrate the diversity of 2 & 3 wheels’ this spring. A nice knees-up for motor aficionados everywhere, featuring a cool collection of vintage motors. For more information see www.prescottbikefestival.co.uk

Fiddler on the Roof at the Cheltenham Everyman March 4-8

Point-to-Point at Andoversford April 6

Starsky & Hutch star Paul Michael Glaser takes the lead in this Broadway production. Musical fans are surely in for a treat in this song-filled story of a loving Jewish father trying to swim against the current in tsarist Russia. For more information see www.everymantheatre.org.uk

Quintessentially Cotswold point-to-point action. Situated near Andoversford, this is ideal for local families and racing fans. For more information see www.pointtopoint.co.uk/go/courses/andoversford

The Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse March 11-14 Come to the home of jump racing and celebrate Gold Cup, Ladies Day and unforgettable racing in style.The Festival is the embodiment of everything that is great about Cheltenham. It is four days of atmosphere, anticipation and action, played out on a beautiful sporting arena that has no equal. For more information see www.cheltenham.co.uk Richard III Festival, Gloucester City Museum March 19-30 Hostile hunchback or maligned monarch? There’s a whole festival devoted to unpicking the myths and hearsay circulating the king whose remains were recently exhumed from a car park.The Richard III Festival features talks from DNA expert Dr Ashdown-Hill and Philippa Langley, the woman who funded and drove the campaign to locate Richard’s grave. For more information see www.venues.gloucester.gov.uk/ Freetime/Museums/events

56

Prescott Bike Festival at Prescott Hill, Gotherington April 6

Cotswold Homes Magazine

British Asparagus Festival at Evesham April 23 – June 21 The Cotswolds’ most eccentric festival is back with a few additions…celebrate the vale of Evesham’s finest ‘gras’ with the very first AsparaWriting Festival (get your short story submissions in by March 29)! Plenty of other asparagus themed events abound. For more information see www. britishasparagusfestival.org and www.asparawritingfestival.co.uk Chipping Norton Literary Festival 24 – 27 April, Chipping Norton (Various Venues) Big names, intimate venues: that’s what makes Chipping Norton Literary Festival unique.This year’s event has yet another spectacular line-up, with top-class speakers including columnist India Knight, novelist Gill Hornby and food writer Claudia Roden.There are more than fifty events across seven venues, including talks, debates, writing workshops, tips on being


COTSWOLD CALENDAR

published and a special children’s programme. Join us at The Theatre for some of the highlights from Chipping Norton’s largest annual festival and prepare to be entertained, enthused and inspired. Thur 24 April, 5pm

LAUREN CHILD

Thurs 24 April, 7.30pm

AN INVISIBLE WOMAN (CERT TBC) Screening

Sat 26 April, 10am

ALAN JOHNSON:THIS BOY

Sat 26 April, 12.30pm JONATHAN AITKEN: POWER AND PERSONALITY Sat 26 April, 2pm

KATE ADIE: FIGHTING ON THE HOME FRONT

Sat 26 April, 3.30 – 4.30pm CRIME WRITING: FACT OR FICTION? Sat 26 April, 5pm

TIM HARFORD:THE UNDERCOVER ECONOMIST STRIKES BACK

Sat 26th April, 7.45pm AUSTENTATIOUS: AN IMPROVISED NOVEL Sun 27 April, 10am NICCI FRENCH: ONE WRITER,TWO MINDS

Sun 27 April, 12.30pm

BEAST QUEST

Sun 27 April, 3pm

JOANNA TROLLOPE & EMMA BRIDGEWATER: BALANCING ACT

Sun 27 April, 6pm

THE BOOK THIEF (12A) screening

Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Cheltenham May 1-5 The best Jazz festival returns in swinging style featuring five time Grammy award-winner Robert Cray, top DJ Gilles Peterson and hit big band Loose Tubes. If you’ve never before shown an interest in Jazz, Cheltenham is sure to change your mind. Keep your eyes on the website for more acts and announcements. For more information please see www.cheltenhamfestivals.com Sue Flood’s Cold Places, The Theatre Chipping Norton 7 May, 7.45pm The adventures of a wildlife photographer Sue Flood is an award-winning professional wildlife photographer, filmmaker and author, who spent 11 years with the world-renowned BBC Natural History Unit. She fulfilled a lifelong ambition to work with her childhood hero, Sir David Attenborough on The Blue Planet, Planet Earth and Earth. Join Sue for a fascinating talk covering her adventures from the North Pole to the Antarctic, the pictures she took and the wildlife she encountered. For more information & bookings please see www. chippingnortontheatre.com

For more information, see www.chiplitfest.com Wartime in the Cotswolds at GWR Railway (Toddington to Cheltenham Racecourse) April 26-27 Take a trip into Britain’s wartime years on the Cotswolds’ excellent vintage railway. Featuring uniforms, songs, military and civilian vehicles. Nostalgia all round! For more information see www.gwsr.com/planning-your-visit/2014events-calendar/wartime-in-the-cotswolds.aspx Hetty Feather at Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham April 29 – May 4 This stage adaptation of Jacqueline Wilson’s bestselling children’s adventures features circus skills and is penned by the woman behind the super-successful TV series The Story of Tracey Beaker.Tremble and applaud as Hetty battles the nasty Matron Stinking Bottomly and escapes from Foundling Hospital! For more information see www.everymantheatre.org.uk Ballet Central, The Theatre Chipping Norton May 1st Ballet Central returns to Chipping Norton with an exciting programme of ballet, contemporary and jazz dance. The varied repertoire features a mixture of newly commissioned works and much-loved revivals, which showcase the talent of the company's young and emerging dancers.This family-friendly show is ideal for dance enthusiasts as well as those new to ballet. For more information see www.chippingnortontheatre.co.uk

www.cotswold-homes.com

57


COTSWOLD CALENDAR

Mark Thomas - 100 Acts of Minor Dissent, The Theatre Chipping Norton May 8, 7.45pm

Winchcombe Festival of Music and Arts, Winchcombe May 19-26

Mark returns to what he does best - mischief and joyously bad behaviour. Setting himself the task of committing 100 Acts of Minor Dissent in the space of a year. Mark catalogues everything from the smallest and silliest gesture to the grandest confrontations and the results are subversive, hilarious, mainly legal and occasionally inspiring. For more information & bookings please see www. thetheatrechippingnorton.com

Workshops, concerts, exhibitions, talks, recitals…it’s all going on in Winchcombe, which in its quintessential Cotswold beauty makes the perfect host for a festival of the arts.Visit their website to get the skinny on the whole programme of events. For more information please see www.winchcombe.co.uk/festival Tetbury Woolsack Races, Tetbury May 26 There’s an odd event on the May Bank Holiday in Tetbury. Locals arrange themselves into teams of 4 and them into pairs to relay a 60lb woolsack (35lb for the ladies) up and down Gumstool Hill between The Crown and The Royal Oak pubs.The course is 280 yards long up and down a 1 in 4 hill. Challengers, get ready! Fetes and entertainments complete the charmingly barmy spectacle. For more information please see www.tetburywoolsack.co.uk Robert Dover’s Cotswold Olimpick Games, Near Chipping Campden May 30 Home to the famously brutal shin-kicking contest, the Cotswold Olympicks – the seed of the modern Olympics - are 402 years old and still going strong. Gather on Dover’s Hill and witness this grand tradition as a community rallies around for local fun and rustic shenanigans. For more information please see www.olimpickgames.com Wychwood Music Festival, Cheltenham Racecourse May 30 – June 1 Widely regarded as the UK’s most family and green friendly festival, Wychwood has gone from strength to strength over the years fast becoming the UK’s most successful independent arts event of the summer season, featuring music, comedy, cinema, real ales, a sculpture garden and a children’s literature festival. For more information please see www.wychwoodfestival.com BROADWAY ART FESTIVAL May 30 – 15 June see our spread on 60-61 for details

Dragon Boat Regatta, Gloucester Docks May 11 Gloucester's ever-popular annual Dragon Boat Regatta is back and promises to be bigger and better than ever. Come and cheer 30 local teams racing against one another in colourful 40ft long boats and enjoy a host of entertainment including samba & jazz bands, singers, stalls, a funfair and even belly dancers! For more information please see www.gloucesterquays.co.uk/events/ dragon-boat-racing Chipping Campden Music Festival, Chipping Campden May 11-24 First held in 2002, the Chipping Campden Music Festival has grown in stature and reputation, now attracting visitors from Europe, America and Australia as the most accomplished musicians take to the stage. For more information please see www.campdenmusicfestival.co.uk

58

Cotswold Homes Magazine

The Roaring Twenties! at Gloucester City Museum, Gloucester June 7 Great Gatsby, Downton Abbey or Art Deco fan? Come on down to Gloucester City Museum at 6.00pm and indulge in the glamour of the 1920s. With period dress re-enactors, crafts and activities, there’s plenty to do for adults and children alike. For more information please see www.venues.gloucester.gov.uk/ freetime/museums Classic Vehicle Day at the GWR, Toddington June 15 Combine the historic road transport with a backdrop of vintage trains and you have a very special day out. Classic Vehicle Days provide you with just that when Toddington Station car park is covered with classic cars, motorcycles, commercials, buses and more. For more information please see www.gwsr.com


HOLIDAYS PLEASE

Debbie Taylor of the award-winning* Holidays Please shares her honeymoon tips (*Online Travel Agency of the Year 2013/2014)

Your honeymoon should be memorable and magical, and so do be sure to consider this when you are at the early stages of planning your wedding – don’t leave it as an afterthought once everything else is booked! A honeymoon is a perfect excuse to do something really special, whether it’s relaxing on a deserted beach in the Caribbean, sitting with a cocktail in your hand on your own private veranda looking out to the Indian Ocean or sitting under the stars by your luxury tent on safari in Africa.

“Mauritius offers amazing honeymoon deals – including letting the bride stay free, which can make this a great destination”

Many people have a dream of what their honeymoon should be like – so why spoil this by not researching the best times to visit your dream destination, everyone will have their own perfect honeymoon location and all these destinations will have good and bad times to visit. A lovely September wedding would rule out a Caribbean honeymoon as it is hurricane season! A summer wedding in July or August will cost you more as it is children’s school holidays – this also means there will be many children on holiday as well, so if you want child free time, avoid this period or chose an adult only property. A winter wedding will actually give you a far bigger choice of romantic destinations as it is a great time to visit the Maldives, Caribbean, Far East and Middle East – not to mention skiing! Quite often your honeymoon can cost nearly as much as the wedding so do think carefully

about where you might like to travel to early on in the planning stage of your big day.

much deeper pockets are required to afford these stunning islands.

If you have dreams about the Indian Ocean then Mauritius offers amazing honeymoon deals – including letting the bride stay free, which can make this a great destination. The Seychelles, meanwhile, are totally unspoilt but

But choose well: with many couples having children after their honeymoon it might be the last time to enjoy that luxury holiday with pure peace and tranquillity with just the two of you!

Thinking of honeymoons or holidays? Email debbie@holidaysplease.com or call Debbie directly on 01451 810255 to discuss your holiday dream. www.cotswold-homes.com

59


Broadway Arts Festival

30th May – 15th June 2014 Brian Sewell ushers in a fantastic celebration of the arts The picturesque Cotswold village of Broadway is known for having served as the retreat of some of the most famous and influential artists and writers in the world. John Singer Sargent, Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Peter Pan creator J.M Barrie are amongst the many great figures who stayed or played in the village. (The heated Artists vs. Writers cricket matches are the stuff of legends – and the tradition continues today). Those illustrious visitors have left a great legacy in the form of the Broadway Arts Festival. Now in its third year, the festival aims to inspire and educate all those interested in art, drama, music and literature – and this year it’s set to be opened by none other than renowned art critic, Brian Sewell (a sure sign that Broadway’s art scene is well and truly on the map). Broadway is a place of timeless beauty, but the theme for this year’s festival – ‘Changing Times’ – allows visitors to reflect on the passage of time and the changes brought by war, industry and political reform.

‘Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose’ by John Singer Sargent © Tate, London 2014

‘In 2014 we are delighted that the new Ashmolean Museum Broadway will be hosting a special exhibition of Sargent’s work that has not previously been seen by the general public,’ says 60 Cotswold Homes Magazine

Festival Director Simon Pym Williamson. ‘Whilst the legacy of John Singer Sargent and the Broadway Colony will always provide our


Broadway Arts Festival

motivation, the theme of the Festival in June 2014 is ‘Changing Times’ and looks back 100 years to the era before the Great War. Referred to by many as a Golden Age it was also, as reflected in the television series Downton Abbey, an era of social unrest, women’s suffrage and industrial strife.’ To mark the centenary of the beginning of The Great War, the distinguished Professor Sir Hew Strachan will deliver a talk on how the great British Empire of the Edwardian era was changed forever by the terrible conflict in which it became embroiled. There are also many talks, workshops, tutorials and recitals offered by such noteworthy figures as garden and landscape designer Marion Mako, Broadway artist Edward Noott and Worldrenowned violinist Michael Bochmann. The fifteen days of the Broadway Arts Festival promise to bring culture lovers some unforgettable experiences, and, with a robust programme of events, there’s something for everyone. We’ve included a few of our favourites, but make sure to visit www.broadwayartsfestival. com or call 01386 898387 for much, much more!

Last year’s art competition winner: Piet’s Garden by Claire Spencer

At the 2014 Broadway Arts Festival: Opening talk by Brian Sewell May 31st, 11.00am, The Lygon Arms Torrington Room Start the festival with the renowned art critic and commentator, Brian Sewell.

Renowned Art Critic Brian Sewell will usher in the Festival

... and this year it’s set to be opened by none other than renowned art critic, Brian Sewell (a sure sign that Broadway’s art scene is well and truly on the map).

Talk on the History of Pub Signs with Angela Panrucker 10th June, 7pm, The Lygon Arms Find out how coaching inns have plied for trade with iconic painted signs at this inn rich in history and charm. ‘Broadway v. Artists’ X1’ Cricket match Sunday 15th June, Afternoon Come and see the latest artsy cricket battle on historic ground of Broadway Cricket Club on Snowshill Road. Garden Tour: Court Farm with Marion Mako 4th, 5th, 11th and 12th June, 10.00am, from Torrington Room, The Lygon Arms A London Bus will take visitors to the garden at 10.50 for a guided tour. The bus will return to The Lygon Arms at 12.00 noon. Please note: Tours of several beautiful open gardens are also available on these dates.

Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen exhibition 10am to 4pm every day St Eadburgha’s Church Through history some of the England’s finest craftsmen have settled in the Cotswolds – find out more about them in this exhibition. ‘Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose’ Parade with schoolchildren Open-air service (bring-your-own chair and picnic) 17th June, 3pm, Down the High Street to the Green Live the spirit of Singer Sargent’s iconic Broadway painting with a joyful street parade and picnic! Workshops A number of tutorials, workshops and classes are available in drawing, watercolour, oil and acrylic painting, portraiture and working in mixed media. Taught by practising professionals, these sessions will help newcomers, amateurs and enthusiasts alike unlock their inner creativity. See www.broadwayartsfestival.com www.cotswold-homes.com

61


Celia Lendis

Investment

in Art What things should I look for in a work of art, if I want to buy something that I love and which might also increase in value?

their work. It doesn’t matter if the artist is making a realistic life drawing or a visceral abstract painting or a figurative sculpture – their capacity to make us feel that the work has a sense of conviction is paramount. And so it all comes down to the intention of the artist - and the ability of the viewer to ask the question and then discern the answer in the work itself. (Sometimes the artist’s intention might be to shock or distress

In the last issue, I discussed the importance of high quality materials in an artist’s work, and how this can indicate whether an artwork is likely to increase in value over time. In the second part of this series, I outline how we can all learn to recognize the skill levels of good artists, and how the skill of an artwork’s execution influences its investment value. PART TWO: Skill in execution increases an artwork’s value This may sound so obvious that it doesn’t need saying. But it does. Too often, we look at a work of art and decide whether or not we like it based on an overall reaction. There is nothing wrong with this, but if you are wanting to ensure your purchase retains or increases its value over time, then it is worth stepping back just a little in order to think carefully about what you are actually looking at before you buy. Many people instinctively have a ‘good eye’ for quality and skill in a work of art. They can assess the composition, handling of paint, capacity for likeness or to draw perspective without effort … and they understand the power of a wellpainted gestural line when compared to a weak, thoughtless stroke. But recognizing the skill of an artist – and the authenticity of their vision – is certainly something that can be learnt at any time. And it doesn’t require formal training, just a decision to look, listen and perhaps read about art. Good artists are confident in their control and use of materials and able to make them ‘do’ exactly what they want, to communicate and convince us of what they wish to express through 62

Cotswold Homes Magazine

~Ange Mullen-Bryan, Slinka-Slip Through, Into (2012), oil on canvas, 155cmx130cm, £4,800


Celia Lendis

|John Lendis, Land Rover No.1 (2014), oil on linen, 158cmx198cm, £7,800

€Richard Fox, White Ravel XVI (2013), sycamore on stone base, 68cmx50cmx50cm, £3,950

“But recognizing the skill of an artist – and the authenticity of their vision – is certainly something that can be learnt at any time.”

If the artwork is ‘popular’, or pleasing, but very similar to work by many other artists (or a particularly famous artist), then it is not really going to be of great interest to buyers of the future. This is not the same thing as an artist being influenced by another artist, which does occur quite often. If so, look to see what

the new artist has added of their own vision, experience and expression in order to extend or develop the influence of the original artist’s ideas, in order to make the work their own.

Celia Lendis.

their audience, so ‘good’ skill doesn’t necessarily mean harmonious or comfortable artworks.) When you look at an artwork, look closely at the way the paint is handled, the subtle blending or contrast or colours; the use of light or tone; the skill of an etching ‘wipe’ and the consistency of ink application across the plate; the deftness of touch in a pastel drawing; the rhythm of a sculptural form and how it works in space. These are all indications of an artist’s skill - and skill is usually a requirement for good artwork. With practice, through looking at great works of art and visiting public galleries and museums, by reading and talking with art dealers and commercial galleries, you can learn to see and judge the skill of an artist, regardless of the genre they work in. If you don’t quite trust your capacity to determine skill yourself, have a look at the artist’s CV or biography to see how other people in ‘the industry’ rate their work. Has the artist had solo exhibitions with reputable galleries? Is their work held in public or commercial collections (as well as private)? Do they have credible reviews of their work written by independent writers and/or critics? Have they won grants or residencies or scholarships? Is their work included in public exhibitions, short-lists of competitions or curated group exhibitions? One more very important point about an artist’s skill in increasing the potential value of an artwork is the authenticity of the artist’s personal vision and expression. This is a subtler indicator of investment potential than an artist’s technical strengths but just as important.

~Louise Plant, Betty (2009), marble, 33cmx29cmx35cm, £3,000

Celia Lendis has more than 25 years of experience in the art world and owns a boutique contemporary art gallery in the North Cotswolds town of Moreton-in-Marsh. Established in 2010, the gallery represents artists of investment quality and international standing, along with emerging artists and those whose work is simply beautiful. Approachable, knowledgeable and passionate, we hope you will visit the gallery or website www.celialendis.com www.cotswold-homes.com

63


Batsford Arboretum

Out and About in the Wolds:

Burst into Life at Batsford Batsford Arboretum is a destination for all seasons, but there’s no better place to see in the springtime. Home to one of the largest private tree collections in the country, Batsford Arboretum is famed for its kaleidoscope of golds and scarlets as the trees turn towards the end of the year - but many don’t realise just what a dreamy and romantic place Batsford Arboretum is in spring, when it bursts into life with springflowering bulbs and confetti showers of blossom. For the past decade the small gardens team lead by Head Gardener Matthew Hall have spent many an autumn afternoon planting 5,000 spring flowering bulbs every year in an effort to extend the seasonal interest at Batsford. Back-breaking work it may be, but where once there was only grass, visitors can now wander through swathes of early flowering daffodils, snowdrops, aconites and grape hyacinths to name but a few. The colour starts in mid-January and continues right through to early summer when the vivid blue camassias around the stunning statue of Daphne take centre stage. Over the coming years the bulbs will spread naturally throughout the arboretum, promising even bigger and better displays in the years ahead.

The stars of the show are undoubtedly the Japanese flowering village cherries. As holders of the National Collection, Batsford is home to more than a hundred and twenty five different varieties, providing a confetti shower of glorious colour in every shade of pink through April. The Acers too - bringers of so much autumn colour – continue to compete for the limelight with a gorgeous display of bright red and pink new growth on display. The impact of the colour is heightened by the way the arboretum has been planted on a Cotswold hillside, giving visitors 64

Cotswold Homes Magazine


Batsford Arboretum

“The stars of the show are undoubtedly the Japanese flowering village cherries. As holders of the National Collection, Batsford is home to more than a hundred and twenty five different varieties, providing a confetti shower of glorious colour in every shade of pink through April.” amazing views over the beautiful tree canopy to the Evenlode Valley beyond. Batsford Arboretum’s reputation as a ‘must-see’ garden to visit has grown considerably over the past few years and is now a firm favourite for many visitors. Particularly popular is the stream that runs along the entire western side of the arboretum, providing pools of water as it descends and culminating in a small waterfall. With fifty-six acres to explore, it’s easy to lose yourself among the trees in hidden glades, find a quiet spot to soak up the spring sunshine or enjoy the sight of orient-inspired statues including a huge Buddha and Foo Dog. Since the new visitor centre was opened three years ago the Garden Shop and Plant Centre have earned a well-deserved reputation for sourcing rarer and more unusual plants. Here the staff boast more than a century of horticultural knowledge and they’re passionate about offering advice about anything and everything to do with growing – whether that’s in the garden or on the allotment. It’s also a wonderful place to enjoy a home baked cake, lunch or afternoon tea from the deck of the Garden Terrace Café deciding which of the amazing array of plants you plan to take home with you at the end of your visit. If retail therapy’s more your thing, don’t miss the Gift Shop, home to hundreds of gifts you won’t find on the high street, and The Applestore at Batsford – an Aladdin’s Cave of shabby chic vintage furniture and ephemera. At the heart of everything at Batsford Arboretum is conservation and education. Now run by a charity, and receiving no outside funding at all, the Batsford Foundation are working to spread the word about this environmentally significant tree collection, as well as to conserve it as a living gene bank for the future. Whatever your reason for coming – for beautiful trees or glorious plants; fabulous food or a spot of retail therapy, it’s high time you rediscovered this Cotswold gem.

This Season at Batsford: March NGS Open Day Sunday 2nd March A great day for visiting beautiful Batsford as we throw open our gates in aid of the National Gardens Scheme. It’s also a great excuse to treat yourself to a slap up lunch or afternoon tea in the Garden Terrace Café. Daffodil Week 15th to 23rd March The perfect time to see our host of golden daffodils in their spring glory! Wander through swathes of yellow and enjoy the spring sunshine from beneath our glorious tree canopy. Mothering Sunday Sunday 30th March Mums get free entry to the arboretum on their special day.

April The Big Batsford Chicken Hunt! 5th – 27th April You’ve heard of an Easter Egg hunt – now find the chickens that laid them! The Chicken Hunt costs £2.50 per child (plus Arboretum entrance fee) and all children must be accompanied by an adult. Flowering Cherries in Full Bloom! 12th – 30th April We’re blossom-tastic as our beautiful National Collection of Japanese Flowering Cherries take over as the stars of the show in the arboretum. A riot of every shade of pink you can think of.

Easter Weekend at Batsford Living Gardens Days Good Friday (April 18th) and Easter Saturday (April 19th) 11am – 3pm Find out everything you’ve ever wanted to know about attracting wildlife to your garden. Experts from the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust will be on hand with free advice and tips about the best plants to buy to provide the perfect environment for birds, insects and wildlife and there’ll also be children’s activities to keep the little ones occupied while you find out more. Dawn Chorus Wild Walk Saturday 26th April. 4am! Alarm clocks at the ready – this event is quite literally only for the early birds! Join Batsford birding expert Arthur Ball for a stroll through the arboretum just before dawn to be ready to hear the beautiful dawn chorus. Tickets cost £12 including a bacon roll and coffee. World Tai Chi Day at Batsford Saturday 26th April. 11am to 12pm Join the experts as they demonstrate this fantastic form of exercise for all ages in this free session which includes entry to the arboretum.

May Davidia Delights May 17th to June 1st Prepare to be amazed by what’s widely regarded as one of the country’s oldest and finest Davidia Trees right here in Batsford Arboretum. It’s completely covered in thousands of white handkerchief-like bracts which give this amazing tree its common name of the Pocket Handkerchief Tree. Living Rivers Day May 26th – Bank Holiday Monday. 11am to 3pm. Our rivers provide a vital life source for local wildlife but are increasingly under threat of pollution. Visit Batsford on our Living Rivers Day to find out more about these important natural resources in a fun and friendly way. Discover what happens when Mr Toad starts a new laundry business when Dreamshed Theatre return for two performances of the Further Adventures of The Wind In The Willows in the arboretum and then have a look at some of the creatures that live in Batsford’s streams and ponds. Shows take place at 12pm and 1.30pm with river-dipping between 11am and 3pm. Arboretum entrance fee applies.

Batsford Arboretum is only a short distance from the market town of Moreton-in-Marsh. See www.batsarb.co.uk for directions, prices and further details. www.cotswold-homes.com

65


Graham Greene

Our Man in Chipping Campden A World-Famous Writer’s Life in a Cotswold Village ‘THE LIFE OF A VILLAGE IS INTIMATE AND DRAMATIC. There is a sense of community. People talk. In the city there may be a suicide in the next street and you will never hear of it…

It is difficult for me to understand how I could have spent hours with the bloodless creatures of my new novel…Didn’t I sometimes in a lucid moment measure the sentimental cardboard figures of my fancy against the people I met between the muddy lane where I lived and the Live and Let Live Inn?’ Graham Greene, A Sort of Life, 1971

66

Cotswold Homes Magazine

We remember the novelist Graham Greene as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. A master chronicler of sin, spies and guilty secrets (and a man with a colourful life of his own) he counted Hemingway and Evelyn Waugh amongst his friends and was a long-term contender for the Nobel Prize for Literature. Yet there was a time – just before the first flush of real success – that he and his wife Vivien were compelled to move to the Cotswold countryside, where the cash-strapped couple

were able to rent a cottage in Chipping Campden for £1 a week. Today the house that they occupied, Little Orchard, is an attractive holiday let managed by Campden Cottages. The property is warmly furnished in a way that belies the less luxurious years of the Greenes’ residence. As Greene wrote in his autobiography, A Sort Of Life: ‘There was no electric light and the Aladdin lamps smoked if we left them for a few minutes alone. We were a scared couple that first


Graham Greene

long, leaving the cottage in June 1933. Their brief residence was a fruitful one – it was in Chipping Campden that Graham wrote Stamboul Train, his first real success. In later years, he reflected: ‘In Stamboul Train for the first and last time in my life I deliberately set out to write a book to please, one which with luck might be made into a film. The devil looks after his own and I succeeded in both aims’. The success of this book, which he classified as ‘an entertainment’ to distance it from more serious works, enabled the Greenes to move to a flat in Oxford where they began their family with the arrival of daughter Lucy. As far as the Greenes were concerned, Stamboul Train probably couldn’t have come at a better time. ‘The pages [of the book] are too laden by the anxieties of the time and the sense of failure... By the time I finished Stamboul Train the day of security had almost run out. Even my dreams were full of disquiet.’ The commercial

“Their brief residence was a fruitful one – it was in Chipping Campden that Graham wrote Stamboul Train, his first real success.” night, with no sound of accustomed traffic, only a hooting owl. After darkness fell, on the evening of our arrival, I was summoned by a knock to the back door and saw an unknown countrywoman standing outside, holding a dead rat by the tail. What do you want?’ ‘I thought yu’d be interested,’ she said, swinging it to and fro.’ The rats infesting the roof of the cottage were (quite literally) ferreted out by a man with ‘tight breeches [and] a pointed face,’ a man who ‘looked like a ferret himself – it was said in the village that he had starved his wife to death.’ In Campden there was much to satisfy - and torment - a budding novelist. As the couple enjoyed a ‘life rich with vegetables’ and homemade bitters served by ‘brawny landlord Rathbone at the Volunteer’, Graham laboured to craft a story that could secure their future. He lost himself in epic, far-reaching walks, proceeding by foot to villages including Bourtonon-the-Water, Moreton-in-Marsh, Chipping Norton, Broadway, Evesham and Blockley. (He

held these excursions for the death of his Pekinese dog: ‘over-exercised by fifteen-mile walks’, the unfortunate pet ‘developed hysteria and had to be destroyed.’) Many years later, reflecting on his Campden life, he wonders if he ever compared the ‘cardboard’ characters of his creation to the people he observed every day in the Cotswolds. Certainly he took pleasure from local eccentrics, recording gossip and encounters in his diaries – good fodder indeed. He writes of the discovery of an elderly news vendor found hanging at the age of seventythree, having been reportedly ‘no longer able to stand his wife’s nagging’; he recounts the story of the ‘Campden madman’ Charley Sykes, a ragged, bearded wanderer and spendthrift, who dies in his cottage leaving only a ‘broken chair, straw where he used to sleep and a stink.’ (Greene notes the beggar’s few possessions include photographs that reveal his past as a ‘wonderfully handsome youth’ and Oxford man – it’s a sad story of ruin that wouldn’t seem amiss in one of his novels). The Greenes did not stay in Campden for very

success of the tale returned the Greenes, as if by the eponymous train, from their rural remove to more cosmopolitan surroundings. Graham’s future as a novelist was assured, but there would be trouble ahead for his marriage. The Greenes’ slowly deteriorating relationship reached its end when a bomb fell on their London residence during the blitz. Vivian and the children had been evacuated, but she feared her husband had been killed – not so, as he was living with lover Dorothy Glover. Despite his numerous infidelities, Graham was never allowed a divorce from his staunchly Catholic wife – somebody for whom he had converted to Catholicism, penning endless love letters to in the early days of their courtship. Chipping Campden is one of those rare places that, by merit of their beauty, resist the passage of time, with its iconic market hall and honeyed streets largely unchanged since the days of the Greene’s residence. Its association with one of the world’s greatest novelists may have only been a fleeting chapter in the man’s long, eventful life, but there is little telling of the impact it might have had on his creative output. It was here he kindled the flames of a mighty talent. www.cotswold-homes.com

67


Killaloe, ilmington

ÂŁ650,000

A detached stone built property occupying a central position within the heart of the village, the property benefits from a generous plot and has potential to substantially improve and extend (subject to the necessary consents). Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Conservatory | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Utility | Large Master Bedroom with En-suite) | Two Further Double Bedrooms | Bathroom | Double Garage | Gated Driveway | Outbuildings | Orchard To Front And Side | Generous Garden To Rear | EPC Rating: E Fine and Country Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 653 893

Pilgrims Cottage, Todenham

ÂŁ550,000

Pilgrims Cottage is a substantial family home accessed via its own private driveway and occupies an elevated position within the village. The property has been carefully refurbished, offering accommodation that is both immaculately presented and generously proportioned. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Utility | Study | WC | Four Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Shower Room | Substantial Timber Outbuilding Currently Used As A Studio | Rear Garden With Countryside Views | Driveway Parking | EPC Rating: C Fine and Country Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 653 893

Bourton on the Water | Moreton in Marsh | Stow on the Wold | Mayfair | Lettings


Oakview, Stourton

ÂŁ565,000

A five bedroom property located on the edge of the village with beautiful countryside views. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Study | Garden Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | WC | Master Bedroom With En-Suite | Guest Bedroom With En-Suite | Three Further Bedrooms | Play/Hobby Room | Family Bathroom | EPC Rating: D Fine and Country Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 653 893

12 Millbrook Ley, Broadwell

ÂŁ525,000

A detached family home located within this quintessential Cotswold village, 12 Millbrook Ley provides generously proportioned accommodation and a mature rear garden ideal for family living. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Utility | WC | Master Bedroom With En-Suite | Three Further Bedrooms Family Bathroom | Double Garage | Driveway | Rear Garden | EPC Rating: E Fine and Country Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 653 893

Country Homes from harrison james & hardie


The Old Roost, Cold Aston

Guide Price ÂŁ1,250,000

A beautifully situated detached house with gardens and paddock of approximately three acres. Entrance Hall | Cloakroom | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Study | Library | Conservatory | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Utility Room | Office | Master Bedroom | Ensuite Bathroom | Further Bedroom | Ensuite Shower Room | Three Further Bedrooms | Bathroom | Gardens/Paddock | Extensive Views | Ample Parking Area | Garage/Workshop | Planning Permission for the Construction of a Stable Block | EPC Rating: C Fine and Country, Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 824 977

Moors Farmhouse, Bourton on the Water

ÂŁ499,950

A unique opportunity to purchase a Cotswold stone family farm house situated in a quiet location, on the very edge of the village accessed via a country lane. Entrance Hall | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Conservatory | Sitting Room | Additional Reception Room | Wet Room | Three Bedrooms | Shower Room | Cloakroom | Two further Double Bedrooms | Garage | Driveway | Garden | EPC Rating: F Fine and Country, Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 824 977

Bourton on the Water | Moreton in Marsh | Stow on the Wold | Mayfair | Lettings


Crofters, Great Rissington

ÂŁ659,000

A Cotswold stone detached house situated in an extremely sought after village. Entrance Hall | Cloakroom | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Utility | Galleried Landing | Master Bedroom | Ensuite | Guest Bedroom | Ensuite | Two Further Bedrooms | Bathroom | Garden | Driveway | Double Garage | EPC Rating: D

Fine and Country, Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 824 977

April House, Bourton on the Water

ÂŁ440,000

A Grade II listed Cotswold stone character property situated in a tucked away location, yet within walking distance of both the outstanding Cotswold School and the village centre. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Cloakroom | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Three Double Bedrooms | Bath/Shower Room | Two further Bedrooms | Garage | Storage Shed | Rear Courtyard Garden | Front Garden | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: E Fine and Country, Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 824 977

Country Homes from harrison james & hardie


The

North Cotswold

Property Market “… period properties in village locations occupy the most competitive sector, are in shortest supply and will always command the highest prices...” Karen Harrison; Director, Fine & Country North Cotswolds

74

Cotswold Homes Magazine


HOT PROPERTY - ASK THE EXPERTS

Ask the experts

Investing Karen Harrison

in Property In this bumper property edition, we get our insight into the local housing market from Karen Harrison, who has worked in the North Cotswolds for twenty years.

Q A

What lessons have you learned from working in this recession compared with the last, do you think the worst is behind us now, what do you foresee as potential problems in the future and how can homeowners best protect themselves from another downturn? The wheel of fortune is turning at long last. After more than six years of seemingly unrelenting gloom in the national papers, there is no doubt that the property market is generally in recovery and in the North Cotswolds, has been in recovery for well over a year. Having spent twenty years working in the local property market, I have learned that the Cotswolds is always at the sharp end of recovery and usually only about three months behind London. In the 90s, the last recession preoccupied the national press until 1996 but actually, we saw the first evidence of recovery here during 1994 when London buyers started snapping up little cottages as weekend retreats. Other sectors started to revive a year or so later and by 1997 it was a bun fight across all the local market place – first time buyers, family homes, investment and retirement properties. We had at least eleven years of good times before the crash, when prices dropped 25% in eighteen months from the start of the decline in July 2007. After the depths of 2008, London buyers took a punt on the bottom of the market again, seeking period homes at depressed prices. This part of the marketplace recovered by at least 15% in 2009, pulling away from the residential sales sector sharply. Of course, once prices in the investment sector were back to 2007 levels and there were no more bargains to be had, the market stalled. This first rise was a burst of activity that couldn’t and didn’t last because the residential sales sector was unable to follow suit - no lending, no confidence and little equity to help families move up and on. In fact, things got worse before they started getting better. 2012 was more like 2008, a double dip in transactions and confidence across all sectors of the market, with exceptionally high cancellation rates reflecting anxiety and uncertainty about the direction of the economy.

The North Cotswolds is generally a choose-to-move market - many of us decided simply to sit out the recession, creating a very sluggish market place with little property to choose from and still today, a third fewer buyers than at the height of the market. Would-be buyers have chosen to rent whilst homeowners have chosen to stay put. But even for the most determined sitters-on-the-fence and irrespective of values, incentives and lending rates, eventually most of us cannot ignore the push to get on with the usual stuff of life. Six years after the crash there have been many new couples hoping to set up home and turning to rented instead of buying, six years of new babies and growing families squeezing into houses they have outgrown, six years of fifty-somethings unable to downsize and to start enjoying life, as they accommodate their twentysomething returners who either haven’t found a job and/ or can’t afford a home of their own. Whether downsizing, upsizing or simply getting onto the housing ladder, these life changes cannot be put off forever. Just at the point everyone decided they couldn’t wait any longer, lenders got their mojo back. In 2013, and with the arrival of Help To Buy freeing up the new homes sales sector, things changed. A serendipitous alignment of pent-up demand, government intervention and the first reliable signs of economic recovery meant that 2013 started very strongly and continued to increase in confidence and activity. One can worry about the longer term impact of government intervention but the recovery here in the North Cotswolds has not really been artificially stimulated – not so much ‘Help To Buy’, more ‘Cycle of Life’. In 2013, our Moreton office (the needs-based market place of the North Cotswolds) nearly doubled net sales compared with 2012 and in the first week of January 2014 the company agreed a staggering thirteen house sales, the best start to a year we have ever had. Homes are selling faster; the gap between advertised marketing prices and sale prices is getting smaller; some of our clients have been lucky enough to have competing bids; cancellation rates are very low; confidence has returned in the main residential market place - it is impossible not to notice that our Sold signs are proliferating in all sectors of the market. Continued overleaf

www.cotswold-homes.com

75


HOT PROPERTY - ASK THE EXPERTS

Ask the experts “For those thinking about getting back on the housing ladder, it is not necessary to be panicked but to recognise the upturn has arrived…” In the last month or so, the London media has started to reflect a different worry and to create a different drama. Are we are now facing a housing drought? Column inches are suddenly being devoted to how to be first in the queue, whilst analysts warn of soaring prices as buyers fight to secure their dream homes. Doomsayers suggest Help to Buy has created an unstable marketplace, rapid rises and an inevitable crash, not to mention worries about the stability of emerging markets and the global economy. Here we go again, back on familiar territory – our local property economy complicated in the twenty-first century by global influences. We are no longer an island as we were in the 90s but, by the same token, the London property market is now global. London is where the super-rich have, in recent times of uncertainty, spent their money - the effect of which has always rippled quickly out to the Cotswolds. Yes the pundits have a serious message about the potential for a rapid boom and bust cycle but for those who already have a property here, buying and selling in the local marketplace is all swings and roundabouts – you sell for less, you buy for less and vice versa. For the first time, the North Cotswolds has provided properly for first time buyers and growing families in this particular upturn - a thousand new homes in Moreton, Bourton and Upper Rissington should help to put a brake on rapid price rises in the main residential sales sector - increasing demand should not outstrip supply, at least for a while. The only ones with something to worry about are those currently considering getting on, or back on the ladder; how much are prices going to rise, how quickly should we jump from rented, how can we raise a deposit in time? A year or so after the beginning of a sustainable recovery, it is important to learn from the previous two recessions - we know the North Cotswolds market is among the first in the country to revive and sustains the longest. For those thinking about getting back on the housing ladder, it is not necessary to be panicked but to recognise the upturn has arrived. It is important to speak to a financial adviser and to buy as soon as possible to maximise the potential uplift in the value of your home over the next few years. Make the most of government help whilst it is available, both for new homes and main residential market purchases. Find the best house you can afford and go for it. Don’t dally and confuse yourselves with endless viewings – a month of determined house-hunting will give you enough information to

76

Cotswold Homes Magazine

make a sensible decision - all the better if it needs some updating or has room to extend. Keep in mind your needs, not your wish list – yes, we would all love a period property in a village location, however these properties occupy the most competitive sector, are in shortest supply, will always command the highest prices and are the most expensive to maintain. Far better to buy an affordable modern property in a sensible location that will serve you and your family well over the next ten years than to hold on to an unfeasible dream, spending out on rented accommodation as the market rises. Upper Rissington, for example, is an improving market place that is ideally suited to family and buy-to-let investment buyers – a rural location with an outstanding primary school and a host of new facilities provided by the development of 300 new homes. Once you have become a homeowner, it is important to keep improving your equity over the next few years. Spend decent money on your property, keep it in good order and/or make a couple more steps on the housing ladder but don’t borrow more on your mortgage unless it is to move up or to improve your home – rising values should never be used to finance an unsustainable lifestyle. Interest rates will rise, sooner or later, so secure the lowest rate you can for as long as you can. Overpay your mortgage whilst lending rates are so affordable and/or pay off your government loan as quickly as you can. If you already have plenty of equity in your home, release some of it and do all the jobs you haven’t done in the last six years - update, upgrade and repair – and if you have lodger-children, why not use some of your equity to help them get onto the housing ladder now? The majority of analysts predict that sale values will rise as much as 20% in the next five years - homeowners should seek to maximise their percentage of equity in good times in order to withstand the next downturn. By working upon building at least 30% equity in your home by the time the next recession comes (which we hope shouldn’t be before the turn of the next decade) then you won’t find yourself trapped in a house that owes more than it is worth, you will protect yourself from anxiety about rising mortgage rates and you will give yourself life choices when the market starts to fail. To misquote David Cameron, mend your roof while the sun shines - and if you haven’t got a roof, buy one now.


HOT PROPERTY - ASK THE EXPERTS

A Wealth of Experience in the Local Market Place Karen Harrison is co-founder and director, together with James von Speyr and Caroline Gee, of Harrison James & Hardie, incorporating Fine & Country North Cotswolds and Cotswold Homes. The company quickly became synonymous with the North Cotswold market place and fourteen years later, remains the best performing residential sales and lettings agency in the North Cotswolds. To what does Karen attribute the company’s ability to stay at the top of its game? “The directors already had a wealth of experience and personal reputation in the local market place when the company was launched. Our guiding principle was to be an agency fit for the twentyfirst century. We had a determined policy of continuous re-investment into staff training, new technologies and improved marketing methods - and we resolutely adhered to this throughout the recession. Our philosophy has always been to staff up. During the worst of times our motto was “people not premises”, temporarily closing the Stow office to avoid redundancies. By working closely together as two stronger teams, we were able to anticipate and respond very quickly to an upsurge in the investment market during 2009. “In 2009 we launched our Lettings department, which significantly strengthening our bottom line, and we joined the Guild of Professional Estate Agents, giving valuable access to London buyers and a national market place at a critical time when investment buyers had just began to return in droves to the Cotswolds. Anticipating that particular period of change brought us the necessary funds to reinvest at a time when other agencies were battening down the hatches. A year later, we acquired the exclusive licence for Fine & Country North Cotswolds, a network of upper quartile independent agencies that has repeatedly

won industry awards for its superlative marketing abilities at regional, national and international level. “Over the next two years we began to develop Cotswold Homes, securing unique marketing opportunities for our clients’ properties with a widely distributed, glossy quarterly magazine. In 2012, although the market was going through a double dip we recognised the need to prepare properly for the end of the recession. We put premises and technology firmly back on the agenda, massively upgrading our presentation and functionality by installing state-of-the-art software systems and re-branding across the board, spending tens of thousands at a time when it probably seemed counter-intuitive, the highlight of which was our new showcase offices at Bourton on the Water. Our instinct paid off – 2013 was the first year of recovery and we were fit to take full advantage. “But the most important aspect of our success has always been our staff. At our heart is a strong team culture that deliberately challenges stereotypical industry norms. We provide formal apprenticeships at post ‘A’ level or post-graduate level – confounding the notion that those who cannot do or teach become estate agents. We continued to take on apprentices throughout the recession – for each year of the recession at least one young local person secured a position and the invaluable opportunity to gain industry-standard qualifications with our company. “All our lettings and sales employees work to become qualified members of ARLA or NAEA. Many former apprentices, like Tom Burdett, our branch manager at Moreton in Marsh, now occupy

some of the most senior roles in the company. We have retained all these valuable skills and experience in what is traditionally a very high turnover industry by instilling a sense of belonging and personal value to the company in everyone. We support working parents with very young children, for example, giving financial benefits and flexible hours to enable them to continue to work successfully. “Of course, we incentivise our highest performing employees with bonuses but we also share company commissions with all staff, embracing the idea of a good work/ life balance by giving extra time off at Christmas and shorter working hours in the winter months, for example, to reward everyone for their hard work. Our commitment to fair play enables everyone to focus competitive energies outwards to achieve the best result. We work properly together as a consistent, highly skilled team and enjoy a deserved reputation for friendly, caring professionalism. Most importantly, our customers receive excellent service and results - this is fundamentally what has enabled us to remain at the top of our game in the local market place.” Karen Harrison is co-founder and owner of HARRISON JAMES & HARDIE estate agency, a local independent company that has enjoyed consistent success as market leaders and specialists in Residential Sales and Lettings of North Cotswold properties for well over a decade, and is the appointed agent for Fine & Country in the North Cotswolds.To speak to Karen, telephone 01608 651000 or 01451 822977 or e-mail karen@harrisonandhardie.co.uk. To view properties for sale or to let, visit www.cotswold-homes.com.

www.cotswold-homes.com

77


HOT PROPERTY - ASK THE EXPERTS

Ask the experts

Help to buy Sue Ellis

not just for new homes

Q A

We have been saving for three years for a deposit to buy our own home. We are aware we can receive support using the government’s Help To Buy scheme to purchase a new build property but we have recently been told that the scheme can also be used for ‘second-hand’ properties – is this correct? TThe short answer is that you have been correctly informed - the initial announcement introducing two schemes designed by the government to kick-start the housing market was originally presented in the Budget last April. These are two separate entities yet both require only a minimum 5% deposit from the prospective borrower and currently, all major lenders have agreed to lend. The first scheme - which I’ll call ‘Help to Buy One’ - was launched in April last year and offers an Equity Loan from the government of up to 20% of the purchase price of newly built properties only, is interest free for the first five years, and thereafter is charged at 1.75% per year, rising in line with the Retail Prices Index (plus an additional 1% per year until repaid). With this equity loan and the 5% borrower’s deposit, it then allows for a ‘normal’ mortgage to be obtained on the remaining 75% of the property’s price. Of course, this government loan will be taken into account by lenders when assessing the affordability of the mortgage and therefore it must be factored into the overall cost. This is a very beneficial scheme, as it means that borrowers will be able to benefit from lower lending rates offered to those who have at least 25% deposit. The second scheme – which I’ll call ‘Help to Buy Two’ was launched early by the government towards the end of last year, ahead of the scheduled launch in January 2014. This second scheme took lenders, and indeed us brokers, by surprise! As a result, several lenders did not start offering the scheme until January but it is now fully up-and-running.

80

Cotswold Homes Magazine

The crucial difference with Help To Buy Two, as you quite rightly say, is that it can be used for ‘second hand’ properties. It hopes to address affordability in the wider market place, not just the new homes sector. Help To Buy Two works by offering a guarantee to the lender by the Government for those needing a 95% loan to value mortgage - the remaining 5% being provided by the borrower. However, interest rates under this scheme are higher than those under Help to Buy One, so it is important to consult a mortgage broker, of course, before deciding whether this second scheme might also be right for you. Under both schemes, the government stipulates that the property must be used as the main residence of the borrower(s), and can be used to purchase a property up to a maximum of £600,000 providing that it is the only property owned by the borrower. As brokers, we have already seen a healthy interest in both schemes and there is no doubt that the housing market is finally showing signs of greater activity, stability and confidence. This is encouraging but there is a caveat. Some fear that in kick-starting the housing market the government and Bank of England have created a very real risk of another boom and bust market place, initially causing an upward-spiral in values that will, at some point, come crashing back down. There is a need to ensure the schemes will be responsibly managed and so it is unlikely they will be around for long, therefore, but for you and for many people hoping to get back on to the housing ladder right now, these schemes are presently a godsend. Sue Ellis works alongside Johnny Magee as a Mortgage Broker at Jem Financial Planning. The team has 48 years’ experience in investment, retirement and inheritance planning, mortgages, protection and general insurance. To speak to Sue or Johnny, telephone 01386 840777 or visit www.johnny-magee.co.uk.


HOT PROPERTY - ASK THE EXPERTS

Ask the experts

To sell or not to sell? Simon David

Q

Estate agents have already found a willing and able buyer at a very good sale price for my grandmother’s property, instructed about four weeks ago. The buyer’s chain is moving quite slowly and he cannot purchase independently but very sadly, my grandmother has been recently been diagnosed with an aggressive illness. She seems to be deteriorating rapidly - the family are worried what might happen if she were to pass away mid-transaction?

A

This is a very sensitive and difficult situation and your family must be finding things hard on many levels. First and foremost, I would advise you to consider that, inevitably, issues will arise as a result of your grandmother’s sadly deteriorating health, both physically and mentally. It is important to consider whether as a result she might find herself unable to make the decision to commit to the sale without causing her very considerable distress.

days to complete and if unable to comply, then the buyer would get their deposit back and they could walk away by rescinding (withdrawing from) the Contract. They would also be entitled to claim for damages and interest from the day of completion until they rescinded the Contract (although over ten days this is unlikely to amount to much). However, the buyers could decide not to serve the notice to complete and simply to wait until completion, in which case they would be entitled to charge interest for every day that completion did not take place. The only way that the your grandmother’s solicitors can resolve matters and move towards completion would be to arrange for a Grant of Probate to be issued, which would enable executors to be appointed, who would then have the power to sell and to transfer your grandmother’s property to the buyers.

It is very important to be aware that your family might unknowingly put your grandmother under duress. Perhaps your grandmother might feel that your family are getting too involved and trying to make decisions for her. Whilst I have no doubt that you will be acting from the best of intentions and believe you are doing so in her best interests, it may not have the outcome you hope to achieve.

At this point, then, your grandmother’s solicitors would need to find and consider your grandmother’s will. Any inheritance tax would have to be paid up front before the Grant of Probate could be issued so it is likely that the Grant of Probate could take a number of weeks, even months, and on this basis completion would inevitably be delayed.

I would consider whether it is possible to sort out a Power of Attorney for your grandmother – a Lasting Power of Attorney may be the best solution.

As you will appreciate, this is a complex question that requires far more detailed professional advice. Please do consult a solicitor before taking decisions so that you do understand fully all the issues that are involved. This will help to ensure that your family is able to help in the best way possible for your grandmother, at a time of huge sadness for you all.

You must be aware that if your grandmother does pass away before exchange of contracts then she is not liable to either party but if this were to happen between exchange and completion, then the situation could prove very problematic. Her solicitors would need to advise the buyers’ solicitors of the death - they would not be able to complete. At the agreed date of completion, the buyers would then decide what they wished to do.

Simon David is the Managing Partner at Thomas Legal Group property lawyers operating in the Cotswolds and London. The Conveyancing Experts. Contact him via info@tlg.uk.com or check out the website www.thomaslegalgroup.co.uk

Their fist option would be to serve notice to complete – your grandmother’s solicitors would be given ten working

www.cotswold-homes.com

81


HOT PROPERTY - ASK THE EXPERTS

Ask the experts

Structurally Sound Robert Hamilton

Q A

We have just agreed a purchase on a stone Edwardian villa situated on a sloping site with outstanding views but have heard rumours that the property was underpinned around 30 years ago. Are there signs we can detect before going to the expense of a full structural report?

their canopies or by root growth. Even small ornamentals draw huge amounts of water from the soil, causing shrinkage and damage to foundations. Roots may penetrate drainpipes in search of water and gradually decaying root structure can cause cavities in the soil.

Firstly, it is possible that the house was underpinned. There were extremely dry summers in the 1970s, particularly 1976 and 1977. A great many houses suffered damage, requiring at least underpinning and some needing extensive rebuilding - the evidence is quite hard to identify without excavation but a hard concrete path along the suspect wall may be a clue. Some house owners may be afraid to own up about it, but repairs of this type were expensive, and can add value …as a full Service History might to an old but much loved Bentley!

Presence of any watercourses, drainage or sewer pipes may be another source of ground heave or shrinkage in drought conditions, causing foundation damage particularly on clay soils. Under one of the Queen’s edicts, Victorian and Edwardian houses were required to be connected to mains water and sewerage in urban situations. You can identify possible damage via the manholes and sewer pipes. The originals had cast iron lids and rims set into brick chambers with glazed clay pipes. If these still remain, then these are unlikely to be the culprit. If, however, the manhole covers have been replaced with pressed steel (probably now rusting) it may be a clue that the cause of the subsidence was a fractured clay drainpipe.

In the Edwardian era, villa-style natural stone-built houses were usually very well constructed with high quality components such as black Welsh slate for roofs and damp proof courses, using engineering steel or cast iron and Balticgrown ‘Pitch Pine’ for doors, windows, rafters and floors. Many had walls of clay bricks faced with more ornamental limestone. Look carefully at the exterior walls to find any areas that may not be correctly ‘in plumb’, bowed outwards, concave or dished. Look for distortion to shape of window and door openings, incorrect alignment of gutter boards at eaves or original cast iron gutters and downpipes that are no longer true. Being a sloping site, the risk of movement is greater at the lower part than at the upper part because of the added weight of masonry placed on virgin hillside. The ‘outstanding views’ indicate that the plot is on a hilltop, therefore more likely to be exposed to climate extremes, so take a compass or satnav and check the orientation, height and prevailing wind. Higher ground above may have caused ‘run off ’ water from heavy rain or melting snow, unable to be absorbed by saturated clay substrate or impervious rock. (Use The National Geographic Survey and cross section colour chart for easy reference on soil type and ground conditions.) Trees can cause damage by shading, shedding water from

82

Cotswold Homes Magazine

I often find that an extension such as a conservatory, garage or cloakroom may have been added to cover up any distortion to the original masonry. If this was done on the advice of an architect or structural engineer it may be designed to act as a buttress, to resist further movement by spreading the weight of the main building over a larger area of the land where the subsidence occurred. You should instruct a Chartered Surveyor to carry out a RICS Building Survey and Report to identify any visible defects and suggest appropriate remedies, and a consultant structural engineer for more in-depth investigations if necessary, thereafter. When you sell the property, a copy of the report may be made available to new purchasers. Far better than worrying about vague rumours that it may have been ‘underpinned’! Central Surveying has offices in the Cotswolds and Knightsbridge, specialising in independent professional surveying and property consultancy services for commercial and residential clients in the Cotswolds, South West and London. Robert Hamilton works from Naunton in the heart of the North Cotswolds. To contact Robert, telephone 01285 640 840 or visit the www.centralsurveying.co.uk.


6 Park Road, Chipping Campden

£495,000

3 Lemynton View, Moreton in Marsh

£399,950

A unique opportunity to purchase a characterful Cotswold stone cottage in a sought after location, currently operated as two self contained holiday apartments. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen | Bedroom | Shower Room Courtyard Garden | First Floor Sitting Room | First Floor Kitchen | First Floor Bedroom And Shower Room | Second Floor Master Bedroom With En-Suite Bathroom | EPC Rating: E

An immaculately presented detached family home, offering spacious and contemporary accommodation. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room Utility Room | WC | Master Bedroom With En-Suite | Three Further Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Garden | Garage | Parking l EPC Rating: C

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651 000

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651 000

Flat 3, The Old Council House, £239,950 Shipston on Stour

1 Roseville, Moreton in Marsh

A substantial top floor apartment situated in an impressive former manor house in a central position within the town. Communal Entrance Hall | Inner Hall | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Kitchen | Master Bedroom With En-Suite | Second Bedroom | Family Bathroom | Parking | EPC Rating: C

An interesting conversion of the ground and first floor of an imposing town house, this immaculately presented property is centrally located, ideal for accessing the towns facilities. Entrance | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Three Bedrooms Shower Room | Garden To Front | EPC Rating: D

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651 000

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651 000

harrisonjameshardie.co.uk

£230,000

Moreton in Marsh | Bourton on the Water | Mayfair | Lettings


18 Park Road, Blockley

£275,000

Wellington Court, Moreton in Marsh

£259,950

A period village home with accommodation arranged over 3 floors and benefitting from stunning panoramic countryside views to the rear. Sitting/Dining Room | Kitchen | Four Bedrooms | Bathroom | Shower Room | Garden To Rear | EPC Rating: TBC

A brand new detached single storey property, completed to an exceptionally high standard and forming part of the coveted Old Wellington Court development. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen | Master Bedroom With En-Suite | Second Bedroom | Bathroom | Courtyard Garden | Parking | Predicted EPC Rating: C

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651 000

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651 000

3 Quarry Cottages, Bourton on the Hil

£215,000

1 The Coach House, Longborough

£185,000

A pretty terraced period cottage with lovely rear garden located at the top of Bourton on the Hill. Sitting Room | Dining Room | Kitchen | Utility Room | Two Double Bedrooms | Bathroom With Separate Shower | Separate Garden Room/Studio With Power & Light | Rear Garden | EPC Rating: E

A 1 bedroom character cottage with garden, garage and parking, the property benefits from an adjoining stone outbuilding with potential to convert into additional living space (subject to the necessary consents). Kitchen | Sitting Room | Bedroom | Bathroom | Stone Outbuilding | Garden | Parking | Garage | EPC Rating: D

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651 000

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651 000

view all our properties at harrisonjameshardie.co.uk


The Beeches, Upper Rissington

£530,000

3 Meadow View Bourton on the Water

£450,000

A detached home with self-contained annex and planning permission to extend. No Onward Chain. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Breakfast | Room | Bathroom | Annex comprising of Utility/Second Kitchen | Dining Room/Bedroom and Shower Room | First floor Master Bedroom with Ensuite | Three Further Bedrooms | Shower Room | Second floor - Two Bedrooms | Shower Room | Gardens to Front and Rear (with Heated Swimming Pool) | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: F

A beautifully presented detached home, situated in a tucked away yet central location, with views over meadows to the rear. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Dining Room | Utility | Master Bedroom | Ensuite Shower Room | Two further Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Off Road Parking | Gardens | EPC Rating: B

Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822 977

Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822 977

6 St Edwards Road, Stow on the Wold

£319,950

1 Rectory Cottages, O.I.E.O £300,000 Lower Swell

An immaculate three bedroom detached property with garage, off road parking and private garden. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Kitchen | Utility | Three Double Bedrooms | Bathroom | Off Road Parking | Garage | Gardens | EPC Rating: D

A delightful Cotswold stone cottage situated in an exclusive development of three houses, in the heart of the desirable village of Lower Swell. Entrance Hall | Cloakroom | Kitchen | Sitting Room/Dining Room | Conservatory | Three Bedrooms | Bathroom | Garden | Carport | Garage | EPC Rating: D

Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822 977

Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822 977

harrisonjameshardie.co.uk

Bourton on the Water | Moreton in Marsh | Mayfair | Lettings


11 Vickers Road, Upper Rissington

£450,000

3 Oakeys Close, Stow on the Wold

£399,950

A detached professionally refurbished property situated in a corner plot on the edge of the village, enjoying views over neighbouring countryside. Entrance Hall | Kitchen | Pantry | Dining Room | Sitting Room | Study | Utility | Cloakroom | Three Double Bedrooms | Bathroom | WC | Study Landing | Double Bedroom | Bathroom | Gardens | Garage | Driveway | EPC Rating: D

A four/five bedroom property located in an exclusive development within walking distance of the market square. Entrance Hall | Cloakroom | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Sitting Room | Conservatory | Master Bedroom | Ensuite | Bedroom/Reception Room | Bedroom | Bathroom | Two further second floor Bedrooms | Garden | Garage | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: D

Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822 977

Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822 977

Amber Cottage, Stow on the Wold

£289,950

13 Chardwar Gardens, Bourton on the Water

£240,000

Currently run as a holiday let, Amber Cottage is a semi-detached two bedroom property situated in a delightful location off a quiet lane in Stow on the Wold within easy walking distance to the centre of this historic market town. No Onward Chain. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Kitchen | Two Double Bedrooms | Bathroom | Private Courtyard Garden | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: E

A well presented retirement cottage situated in a central position with a pleasant outlook over the River Windrush. Entrance Hall | Cloak and Shower Room | Kitchen | Sitting/Dining Room | Two Double Bedrooms | Bathroom | Courtyard Garden | Allocated Parking | EPC Rating: C

Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822 977

Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822 977

view all our properties at harrisonjameshardie.co.uk


HOT PROPERTY - ASK THE EXPERTS

Ask the experts

Andy Soye

Mat Faraday

Investing in the

Cotswold Holiday Letting Market Andy and Mat have selected three beautiful village homes currently for sale with Fine & Country North Cotswolds and assessed their suitability for the large cottage holiday let market.

Q A

We read your article in Cotswold Homes about the significant returns available by letting larger properties as holiday homes. We have £750,000 to invest and would prefer to buy a single property, rather than two smaller cottages but is there sufficient and consistent demand to justify doing so? A S: Many people are surprised to learn that the underlying demand for large holiday lets in the Cotswolds is very high. Large holiday cottages are the perfect solution for big groups. Equipped with spacious ground floor living spaces that allow everyone to relax and dine together, with enough bedrooms to accommodate everyone and often offering separate spaces for children or other guests to relax away from the main party, holiday-

A S: Of course, most period Cotswold cottages were built for farm labourers, or wool and silk factory workers. As such they are very often quite small, typically with one or two bedrooms. Larger properties are less common and, consequently, this creates a restricted supply. When you combine strong demand with limited supply, this drives competition. Occupancy levels are comparatively high on larger holiday cottages and they perform exceptionally well in the Cotswolds outperforming smaller cottages in terms of revenue and profit per guest. For example, we have a beautiful, detached, six-bedroom property situated in the North Cotswolds that successfully generated £90,000 per annum of gross income from over 55 bookings last year.

“Occupancy levels are comparatively high on larger holiday cottages and they perform exceptionally well in the Cotswolds - outperforming smaller cottages in terms of revenue and profit per guest” makers just cannot get this sort of environment from a standard hotel. Despite what might sometimes seem a high headline price, renting a large property is often surprisingly cost effective on a per person basis. M F: A less well-known fact about big holiday cottages is that their demand tends to be “event driven”, such as a family reunion, a hen do or a birthday, and they are therefore less impacted by traditional seasonality. For example, if Grandma’s seventieth birthday happens to be in February then that’s when the group will want to book their cottage, regardless of the fact that this is traditionally a quieter month for holiday letting. Large properties can command strong prices throughout the year.

88

Cotswold Homes Magazine

M F: You do need to know what you are doing to ensure the best earning potential, of course. At Character Cottages we are very experienced at marketing and maximising the returns on large properties. We offer owners advice on many key holiday letting factors, including furnishing, pricing, occupancy, security deposits and overall property management. We are happy to appraise a chosen property before exchange of contracts to assess suitability and to give specific ideas about presentation, based on maximising the gross annual revenue potential of the property.


HOT PROPERTY - ASK THE EXPERTS

Copperfields, Temple Guiting A.S: Copperfields, Temple Guiting is an impressive, extended village house in a beautiful rural setting with extensive gardens, situated in an idyllic, sought after village – ideal for a secluded holiday break but with Cheltenham only twenty minutes away, should guests wish to enjoy the many music and literary festivals, or of course the Gold Cup week. The interior layout will appeal to family groups of different generations, particularly as its spacious ground floor living space includes two bedrooms often ideal for older guests in the party. Converting the family room into another double bedroom, to provide sleeping accommodation for ten guests, we estimate this property should generate in excess of £55,000 of annual gross revenue.

Almond Lodge, Wyck Rissington M.F: Almond Lodge, Wyck Rissington is a beautiful, detached property in one of the Cotswolds’ most lovely villages, where time seems almost to have stood still, with beautiful stone cottages set back looking out over a broad expanse of common land and village green. Located between Stow and Bourton, with a wealth of tourist attractions and amenities close to hand, Almond Lodge has the added advantage of private parking for several cars. The property has a great downstairs living space, including separate dining and living rooms, with the additional bonus of a playroom/ games room, making it ideally suited to large groups. Sleeping eight guests, this house should deliver in excess of £45,000 of annual gross revenue.

www.cotswold-homes.com

89


HOT PROPERTY - ASK THE EXPERTS

Ask the experts: Investing in the Holiday Let Market

Cotswold House, Bourton on the Water A.S: Cotswold House, Bourton on the Water is a substantial detached house with lovely gardens and off-street parking in a great, central location. Bourton on the Water is, of course, one of the most popular villages for holiday letting. The property has a very well designed interior layout, including a delightful open plan living and dining room with adjoining conservatory that is perfect for large groups. There are plenty of places, too, to find a quiet spot and, if required, the annexe cottage is a perfect getaway for older members of the party. One could change the sitting room and conservatory in the cottage into a further bedroom - as such the whole property would provide accommodation for twelve guests and should generate in excess of ÂŁ65,000 of annual gross revenue. Andy Soye and Mat Faraday are co-founders and owners of Character Cottages, an independent company specialising in the holiday letting of luxury properties in the Cotswolds. To find out more about their services, contact them on: owners@character-cottages.com or telephone 08456 80 80 29

90 Cotswold Homes Magazine


Hillside, paxford

www.cotswold-homes.com

91


RIVER LODGE

RIVER LODGE

River Lodge is a stunning and exceptional home, located on the edge of the Cotswolds in the village of Tiddington near Stratford upon Avon, set within seven acres of its own grounds incorporating prime river frontage, with meadowland and grounds dotted with mature trees, some of which are two hundred years old and believed to date back to the original estate in the Forest of Arden. Secure behind electric gates, this substantial home leaves the hustle and bustle of the world far behind. “Returning to River Lodge after a busy and stressful business day to such total privacy and quiet tranquillity is an absolute joy,” says the present owner. “Working from here is easy – one’s thoughts are undisturbed. The grounds and surrounding views are as inspirational as they are beautiful.” River Lodge is undoubtedly an antidote to a high-flying business life, somewhere to return

92

Cotswold Homes Magazine

to the comforts of family without being too removed - village life with benefits. The M40 and Birmingham Airport are within twenty minutes and the main line rail link at Warwick Parkway has a regular commuter service taking only an hour into London. “It’s a children’s paradise here. They can play to their hearts’ content and enjoy total freedom. We have two acres of meadowland, just great for games, relaxing by the riverbank with a picnic or camping with friends. It’s equally as enjoyable for our social life, too. We have hosted marquee functions, wedding parties and bonfire parties here over the years.” There are some lovely focal points in the grounds, including a boathouse supported by arched pediments, an elegant structure that naturally befits the setting in one of the largest residential riverside plots in Stratford upon Avon. “There is a studio apartment above the boathouse, ideal as a


RIVER LODGE

“Gracious family living in a beautiful setting, River Lodge offers a uniquely luxurious quality of life.” guest suite or a peaceful place to work, away from the main house. We have on occasion taken the boat downriver, moored at Stratford upon Avon, shopped, and then returned home river journeys really do give a completely different perspective.” With accommodation arranged over three floors, it is clear that a great deal of thought has been given to the design of River Lodge. Four large, airy reception rooms are suffused with natural

light and an easy flow between them that works well for social occasions. A stunning kitchen/ breakfast room complete with an AGA is the hub of family life. On the first floor are four bedrooms including a master suite with bathroom and dressing room and above, two large open rooms provide enough space for fun and games and any number of additional guests.

Offered for sale by Fine & Country Leamington Spa, for further details, floorplans or to arrange a viewing, strictly by prior appointment, contact Jonathan Handford on 01926 455950 or alternatively Tom Burdett at Fine & Country North Cotswolds on 01608 651000.

Gracious family living in a beautiful setting, River Lodge offers a uniquely luxurious quality of life. www.cotswold-homes.com

93


Bredon View

Bredon View Broadway

96

Cotswold Homes Magazine


Bredon View

“Broadway is unarguably one of the loveliest, most convenient places to live in the North Cotswolds.” The effects of the bypass on Broadway a decade ago have been undeniably transformative, giving the village an almost palpable luxury - a sense of time on one’s side and reconnection with its ancient past. Ambling along wide, peaceful pavements undisturbed by the choke and din of ever-increasing traffic, one can only marvel at the sensation and imagine how great the respite a similar scheme would offer to neighbouring market towns like Burford or Moreton in Marsh. Despite initial fears, the loss of passing traffic through its centre has not diminished the demand for an array of lovely country shops, galleries and restaurants all offering luxury goods, delicious food and oldfashioned, country service. As a consequence, Broadway today is unarguably one of the loveliest, most convenient places to live in the North Cotswolds. Bredon View is situated on the Evesham Road, a quiet route for local traffic into the village since the bypass. Blink as you pass and you will miss it – on first sight it looks to be simply a small, discreet modern chalet. But Bredon View is a quiet gem that has deliberately set its face to look the other way, towards truly outstanding views. Occupying

a broad sloping plot set into the hillside to make the most of its breath-taking aspect, Bredon View’s much larger, double gabled rear aspect looks out onto a genuinely panoramic sweep of wide, open countryside populated only by a scatter of rural dwellings and patchwork fields stretching up towards distant hills. West facing, the house enjoys spectacular views and equally spectacular sunsets. The current owners, who have owned the house as a new build from 2007, have done considerable work since to improve its naturally lovely position, including a multi-levelled, glass-balconied wooden deck that spans the rear of the property. Here it is warm enough to sit out in early spring and late summer - hot enough in the height of summer to make it the most devoted sun-worshipper’s little piece of paradise, providing a perfect series of places to chase the light and equally to find a little shade, looking out over views that constantly change with the nuances of weather and the passing of seasons. Below, the garden has a sense of zen-like calm, landscaped as an oasis of colour and sculptured shapes with small rooms connected by winding paths, including a Japanese garden perfect for meditation.

To arrange a viewing by prior appointment with the Sole Agents, simply telephone Fine & Country North Cotswolds on 01608 653893. For more information, including a floor plan, visit www.cotswold-homes.com.

Inside the house is drenched in light, presented to the highest possible standard and painted in pale muted tones, with accommodation provided over two floors, all taking in the best aspects of the location. Downstairs is supremely comfortable - a large living room, a surround sound cinema room and separate snug - whilst upstairs are three double bedrooms and two bathrooms equally suited to a family, a professional couple or as a luxurious holiday home. Every thought has been given to comfort and ease of living including a heated driveway that responds automatically to the least hint of ice, for example - at its heart a beautiful kitchen breakfast room enjoys the very best of the views, with doors opening out onto the terrace. Full of wonderful touches, Bredon View must be seen first-hand fully to appreciate its location, unarguably the most lovely of all its many attributes. www.cotswold-homes.com

97


CHESTER COURT

Chester Court Broadway The centre of Broadway is a serendipitous reflection of centuries of Cotswold prosperity, exemplified particularly in the period homes and elegant shop fronts that populate the lower slopes of Fish Hill and the High Street – substantial, mellow, honey-coloured residences that date back as far as Tudor times. Anything newly built amongst this quiet throng of architectural gems needs to hold its own making a promise to its neighbours that it, too, will represent the ideals informing so much of the architecture throughout the ages - a sense of beauty, the use of best materials and an innate harmony within its setting. Chester Court, situated just off the High Street on Church Lane, was built as a modern cottage in 98

Cotswold Homes Magazine

1992 of Cotswold stone with leaded light stone mullioned windows and gabled eaves, boasting over three thousand feet of living space and built to a high specification. The present owners, who bought in 2007, clearly embraced the notion that there should be nothing in their home that was not beautiful or useful and immediately embarked on a major programme of significant improvements to the original. They spared no expense, inside or out. Understated and luxurious, secured behind wrought iron electric gates and a wide gravelled driveway, Chester Court is now a hugely desirable and exquisitely finished home. The owners’ focus on the harmony of function and beauty is visible throughout, from the use of cherry wood for warmth and colour in an otherwise neutral palette,


CHESTER COURT

to the cool sheen of imported Spanish porcelain for walls and floors. The main living spaces and bathrooms are all underfloor heated; the kitchen is German engineered with a high gloss finish and fitted with finest high-end German appliances; the showers and bathrooms are fitted out with Villeroy Boch and the drawing room boasts a bespoke Chesney fireplace. There is nothing this home lacks in terms of comfort or indeed, convenience. Its enviable position provides a high degree of privacy, situated away from the hubbub of the High Street in a pretty walled garden close to the church, yet only a few minutes level walk from Broadway’s lovely shops, bistros and restaurants. The owners, who have spent years commuting between Westminster and their place in the Cotswolds, have found Broadway an exceptionally happy place to live. “Everything we could possibly want for a great weekend away is here – so central for Cheltenham, Stratford and Oxford and only twenty minutes to the mainline station in Moreton in Marsh or Evesham, meaning we can be in London or Birmingham within a couple of hours. The best of both worlds, a home that provides a wonderful social life with family and friends for high days and holidays, yet close enough to work in town during the week when we need to be there.”

“Chester Court is a very good investment either as a retirement pad, a family home or equally as a very highend second / holiday home.” Karen Harrison, of Fine & Country North Cotswolds says: “Village properties like Chester Court that are blessed with access to such great amenities and sit in the most desirable locations are always going to be more able to withstand the vagaries of recession than other sectors and will recover more quickly than the general market place. Particularly now, as the North Cotswolds becomes more and more populated with affordable newbuild developments, the increasing rarity of such individual village properties by comparison will ensure the greatest uplift in prices of any sector. Chester Court is a very good investment either as a retirement pad, a family home or equally as a very high-end second / holiday home. For example, if the market moves up by ten to fifteen per cent as is widely predicted over the next five years one has to look at uplift, in the region of £100,000 - £150,000, in addition to the revenues one could generate from holiday letting a property of this nature.”

letting company, agrees. “Chester Court is an outstanding, detached property in a famous and highly desirable Cotswold village. With its crisp, elegant and modern finish, fitted with so many high-end features and designed with such a practical layout, Chester Court literally has it all when it comes to luxury holiday lettings! Assuming that the property can sleep eight, then one would aim to achieve around £65,000 to 70,000 per annum gross revenue.”

Chester Court is offered to the market by Sole Selling Agents Fine & Country North Cotswolds. To find out more and to arrange a viewing, contact Tom Burdett on 01608 653893 or to download details and a floor plan, simply visit Cotswold-homes.com, clicking on the Harrison James & Hardie icon on the landing page.

Andy Soye, of Character Cottages holiday www.cotswold-homes.com 99


Todenham

Gloster Cottage and Todthatch

Two chocolate-box cottages and a building plot in village of Todenham

The delightful village of Todenham occupies a long, quiet stretch of country lanes where period thatched cottages and grand Cotswold stone new-build properties are randomly and sparsely arranged, surrounded by beautiful farmland on all sides. In one direction the lane finally peters out to a tiny public house, the perfect destination for a Sunday afternoon stroll with friends. Widely regarded as a very fine place to live, this little village commands high prices and is in great demand. Only three miles from Moreton in Marsh train station on the Worcester to Paddington mainline, it occupies a prime position on the north-eastern edge of the Cotswolds within a

102 Cotswold Homes Magazine

stone’s throw of three counties - Warwickshire, Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire. Stratford upon Avon and Banbury are only half an hour away, whilst routes south and west towards the M4 and M5 are easily accessible via the Fosseway. One of the most photogenic properties in Todenham is a pair of semi-detached, period stone cottages commanding an elevated position overlooking the crossroads, backing onto fields with lovely views over the village. The family, who own both cottages, has also obtained planning permission to erect a new thatched two-bedroom Cotswold stone cottage with its own garden, garage and parking on the far perimeter. (Lot 1)


Todenham

Interior, Gloster Cottage

Lot 1. Plot with planning permission for a new-build thatched cottage with garden, garage and parking. Guide Price ÂŁ165,000

Lot 2. Todthatch. An original, two bedroomed, thatched, semi-detached cottage in need of some modernisation. Guide Price ÂŁ325,000

Lot 3. Gloster Cottage. A beautifully presented, semi-detached, period stone thatched cottage with three bedrooms, garden and parking.

plot, Todthatch

Guide Price ÂŁ485,000

Of the original properties, Todthatch currently has the larger garden and this will be divided to create the new plot. The smaller and less modern cottage of the pair, with just two bedrooms on the first floor, it has been maintained in good working order but is now in need of some updating and redesign to make the most of extended, flexible living space. Currently providing, on the ground floor, a bedroom and bathroom, separate dining room and sitting room with an inglenook fireplace and wood-burning stove, and at its heart, a traditionally fitted kitchen/breakfast room. The cottage will still have its own garden and retain a separate driveway when the new property is built. (Lot 2)

Gloster Cottage is the more substantial of the pair, with three double bedrooms and bathroom on the first floor, more recently restored and updated but still retaining a host of quaint, original features including a pretty hallway with flagstone floor, exposed beams, an inglenook fireplace and a kitchen/breakfast room complete with obligatory Aga. Outside, a picturesque, traditional cottage garden is bordered by post and rail fencing overlooking ancient pastureland. (Lot 3) The two properties are charmingly chocolatebox with timeless, rural appeal.They could quite conceivably become one property - subject to planning, of course - but presently the whole is offered as three separate lots.

The cottages and building plot are offered for sale by Harrison James & Hardie, Fine & Country North Cotswolds. To arrange a viewing, strictly by prior appointment, telephone Moreton in Marsh branch on 01608 653893 and for further information visit www.cotswold-homes.com

www.cotswold-homes.com 103


The village of Ilmington

Lark Rise

The village of

Ilmington

Killaloe House

104 Cotswold Homes Magazine

Loreto Cottage


The village of Ilmington

Killaloe House

Lark Rise

Ilmington, situated close to Chipping Campden on the north-western edge of the Cotswolds, is a large and beautiful village made of a richer, warmer stone than the grey of its more southerly cousins. Arranged around a wide expanse of village green, a network of tiny lanes and pretty cottages climb upwards towards surrounding hills, enjoying idyllic countryside on all sides and situated on the borders of three counties, making it a highly desirable location.The Fosseway is a few minutes away - north to Stratford Upon Avon and southwards to Moreton in Marsh, where one can access the mainline station to London Paddington. However, it is not accessibility that is the most often commented upon by its residents but the tangible quality of every day life; at its heart a popular primary school, an active church and a particularly well-run village hall providing for an innately sociable, self-reliant and welcoming community where many of its residents have lived for decades. It is no surprise that this is a place, therefore, of collaborative efforts and joined-up thinking. Currently the villagers are hard at work securing a community shop and tea rooms on the same model as neighbouring Blockley – somewhere that will help yet again to make this as one of the most enjoyable places to live in the Cotswolds. This is a village of archetypal ideals, where it is easy to enjoy the countryside, blessed with many surrounding walks to ramble for hours - ending back, of course, at the Howard Arms or the Red

Loreto Cottage

"Its position makes it a highly desirable location. The Fosseway is a few minutes away - north to Stratford Upon Avon and southwards to Moreton in Marsh, where one can access the mainline station to London Paddington."

Lion to enjoy a sociable chat with neighbours and a well-earned pint or two.There are three very different properties currently for sale here with Fine & Country North Cotswolds, one of which – Lark Rise – is situated arguably in the loveliest parts of the village, defying its curmudgeonly name of Grump Street! Lark Rise is a perfect second home – the present owners are Londoners who fell in love with its position, the generous arrangement of living space and pretty, decked garden. Occupying an elevated position with rooftop views over the village, this modern cottage incorporates many character features more commonly associated with a period home – a sitting room with vaulted ceiling, Cotswold stone fireplace and wood-burning stove, a

traditional kitchen with room for a dining table, and the flexibility of a generously proportioned ground floor bedroom serving equally well as a second sitting room and a study, with two further double bedrooms on the first floor. Killaloe House, another modern, chalet-style Cotswold stone property at the centre of the village in Lower Green, is an entirely different proposition. Approached via a long private driveway with lovely, spreading lawns and mature trees, it has the perfect garden for a growing family, and offers significant potential to extend and to update. This is exactly what the owners of Loreto Cottage, the last but by no means least of the trio, embarked upon when they purchased. “After visiting many pretty locations in the area we immediately fell in love with this village,” Suzanna explains. “The icing on the cake was the discovery of an enchanting cottage on a large parcel of land with lots of potential to develop into a sizeable family home.” Working closely with a local architect and highly skilled builders, they took on an ambitious project to renovate and enlarge the original property. New and old now meld beautifully, with wellproportioned rooms full of character - the piece de resistance is the original sitting room with exposed beams, a stunning fireplace and wood-burning stove. “Living here in this wonderful house in such a location has been such a joy, especially for my children who have enjoyed total freedom and safety during their formative years. I will take away so many happy memories of life here.” www.cotswold-homes.com 105


The village of Ilmington

Investing in the village of

Ilmington

"Ilmington is a superb village served by two great pubs and surrounded by fabulous countryside, with great walks and places to go. Only a short drive to the amenities provided by neighbouring Chipping Campden, the village is perfectly situated for exploring the whole of the North Cotswolds."

Lark Rise

Loreto Cottage

For further information or to view any of these properties, contact Fine & Country North Cotswolds on 01608 653893, or to download full details and floor plans simply visit Harrison James & Hardie on cotswold-homes.com.

106 Cotswold Homes Magazine

Andy Soye, owner of Cotswold holiday letting company Character Cottages, believes both Lark Rise and Loreto Cottage would make excellent returns if purchased as an investment holiday home. He says: Ilmington is a superb village served by two great pubs and surrounded by fabulous countryside, with great walks and places to go. Only a short drive to the amenities provided by neighbouring Chipping Campden, the village is perfectly situated for exploring the whole of the North Cotswolds. Its proximity to Stratford upon Avon also offers a host of cultural opportunities and tourist attractions, and as such the cottages would both command good bookings throughout the year. Lark Rise, the smaller of the two, would generate in the region of ÂŁ45,000 gross annual income and Loreto, perfect for different generations to stay together as one family, has five bedrooms and excellent ground floor space, and so would fetch in the region of ÂŁ60,000 gross per annum.


LITTLE COMPTON

Pinchester Cottage & Brewery Row

Little Compton

Little Compton is a quietly positioned village situated a few minutes’ drive from Moreton in Marsh travelling eastwards towards Chipping Norton. Unlike the much larger village of Long Compton, Little Compton is off the beaten track –a traditionally arranged, chocolate box cluster of tiny cottages and grander period properties situated around a small picturesque green. Little Compton has seen little development over the last few decades other than a row of starter homes and a few substantial newer-build properties sitting very comfortably at the village edge. With excellent access to Oxfordshire,Warwickshire and only just within the eastern boundary of Gloucestershire, this is an idyllic retreat for second homers but equally well placed for family life, being within easy reach of a number of excellent state and private schools including Kitebrook, only a mile or so down the road.

Pinchester Cottage

108 Cotswold Homes Magazine

Little Compton has a strong sense of identity and a supportive, inclusive community – it is a place where people stay on for decades, partly because it is so ideally situated between two towns that provide a huge range of amenities. Chipping Norton is the larger and has a range of national chain stores but fundamentally, just like Moreton in Marsh, it remains a traditional market town with many well-supported independent businesses - tiny coffee houses, a fabulous bookshop and fashionable bijou shops, with a wonderful theatre that regularly offers a feast

of cinematic and stage productions. Slightly closer for day-to-day provisions, even more famous for its market, Moreton has excellent road links and the invaluable main line train station running between Worcester and Paddington. For those seeking a cottage with quintessential charm and traditional appeal, then two such properties are currently for sale in the village – Pinchester Cottage at £499,950 and No. 5, Brewery Row at £279,950.

"Pinchester Cottage is located in a sleepy backwater of the village and has plenty of room for a main family home."


LITTLE COMPTON

5 Brewery Row

5 Brewery Row

5 Brewery Row

Pinchester Cottage

"With excellent access to Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and only just within the eastern boundary of Gloucestershire, this is an idyllic retreat for second homers but equally well placed for family life ..." Pinchester Cottage is located in a sleepy backwater of the village and has plenty of room for a main family home. With generous living space and three bedrooms tucked quaintly into the eaves, the cottage retains an abundance of original character including exposed beams, an inglenook fireplace with wood-burning stove in the vaulted sitting room, plus a farmhouse-style kitchen/ breakfast room and separate dining room. Currently, the owners have arranged most of the outside space to vegetable gardens but laid to lawn these would provide an excellent, safe place for children to play.

No 5 Brewery Row forms part of a small terrace of period cottages, a veritable doll’s house and a fabulously romantic second home. Double-fronted, full of period features, it has a private gin-and-tonic terrace for sunnier days and a roaring wood-burning stove to cosy up to on winter nights. It is undeniably compact but impeccably organised to make the most of the space, having an open-plan living room and kitchen on the ground floor and two bedrooms on the first floor, completed by a bathroom with a lovely free-standing bath that might just be big enough for two!

Both properties are can be viewed with Sole Selling Agents Harrison James & Hardie, Fine & Country North Cotswolds. Telephone 01608 651000 or visit cotswold-homes.com for further details.

www.cotswold-homes.com 109


ALDERWOOD CONSTRUCTION

Making Hay Whilst the Sun Shines Alderwood Construction’s Craig Siller on making the most from an upswing The word on the street and village lane is that the good times are back! Excited builders all over the Cotswolds are considering upgrading the old van, ladder and power tools -they even might consider taking on a few new faces to bolster their new social media-enhanced business profiles. We British are funny creatures and decidedly fickle people in general, so politics aside, as long as the better newspapers and the BBC tell us that all is rosy in the garden then we tend to automatically believe them.

"When planning building works, make sure you get at least two or three quotes, cost out everything thoroughly and take your time to find the best deal that is right for the property – your wallet will thank you." The point is that we all need to preserve, renew and develop. Our lives do need to move forward and this should be embraced, so as long as it is done prudently and sensibly.

You should be aware by now that builders' merchants and manufacturers are increasing their prices. When the drinks machines in the local builders' merchants are suddenly full of tea, coffee, chocolate and Bovril, it’s a sure sign that we’re returning to the good times!

A great many things have changed. Materials and plant are more expensive, VAT is higher and also now accountable on most Listed Buildings (of which there are many in the Cotswolds, of course). Interest rates are low but you still have to get through the initial niceties with the lenders - there is more optimism and more willingness to lend but you do have to have a squeaky clean credit rating to get your hands on any money.

However…Whilst we do love all the positivity that is now being generated - and certainly our enquiries are plentiful - we also believe some degree of caution is needed. When it comes to the economy, we are still pumping air into a twice-repaired inner tube, rather than rolling smoothly forward on a pair of Bradley Wiggins’ wheels.

Fundamentally, little has changed for the better in the last six years and so being cautious is still par for the course - think about how you go about repairs, renewal and maintenance and consult with a professional on end values before investing hugely in extensions and improvements. When planning building works, make sure you get at least two or three quotes, cost out everything

thoroughly and take your time to find the best deal that is right for the property – your wallet will thank you. Nonetheless, with increasing market values on properties being widely predicted over the next few years, now is the time to do all the jobs that you have been putting off for a long time, in order to make sure your property is in the best possible condition, and to optimise the uplift in the value of your property if and when you move on.

To find out more about Alderwood Construction and view a portfolio of their projects, visit www. alderwoodconstruction.co.uk or call 01242 621190 to discuss your needs. www.cotswold-homes.com 111


THE COTSWOLD SCHOOL

THE COTSWOLD SCHOOL: 25 years towards excellence

An oversubscribed Academy rated ‘Outstanding’ across all categories by Ofsted, and consistently ranked amongst the country’s top state schools, The Cotswold School is celebrating its 25th anniversary. As a 25 year old, The Cotswold School is an outstanding, caring secondary where academic excellence is pursued and achieved, where success is celebrated and all constantly strive to improve. Principal Will Morgan said: ‘The twenty-fifth anniversary of our school is our opportunity to recall – with enormous gratitude and pride – the contributions made by so many to make our school the happy and successful place it is today.’ The Cotswold School was formed in 1988 through the controversial amalgamation of two schools: Bourton Vale Secondary Modern and the historic Westwood’s Grammar School in Northleach. At its helm was Head Teacher Patrick Sanders, adeptly guiding the young school through its critical formative years and establishing,

many believe, the happy, friendly character that continues to distinguish the school today. 1995 saw the dawn of a new era under the leadership of Head Teacher Anne Holland. With tenacity and vision, Mrs Holland launched and drove The Cotswold School on its steady climb up the nation’s League Tables. As results began to soar, so did student numbers, while new buildings and improved facilities burgeoned. In 2010, the school was one of the first Outstanding Academy conversions in the country, enjoying greater administrative independence and benefitting from substantial additional funding. It was also from Mrs Holland that the school acquired its current Principal. In 2011, following Mrs Holland’s retirement, Mr Morgan (by then Vice Principal and Head of Sixth Form) was selected to become Principal of The Cotswold School and lead it into the next phase of its life. As Mr Morgan explains, this is ‘a school that looks forward: to even greater achievements from all our young people, to motivating and inspiring our talented staff and flourishing school facilities. ‘Following the recent completion of our stateof-the-art teaching kitchen, the school hall’s mezzanine floor, the expanded dining room and impressive 10 classroom Maths block, a new 4-classroom Geography block is scheduled for

112 Cotswold Homes Magazine

completion in April 2014. While our school works very hard to provide the very best we can in terms of teaching and learning space, we continue to have our Cotswold community at our heart. The Cotswold School is a unique blend of innovation and traditional values.’ As a 25 year old, The Cotswold School is an outstanding, caring secondary where academic excellence is pursued and achieved, where success is celebrated and all constantly strive to improve. ‘We focus on what matters,’ says Mr Morgan: ‘happy pupils and great results. It has been our students who have driven us forward over these 25 years. We aim to inspire in them a lifelong love of learning and to be their very best. Ultimately it is the students – past and present – who are the measure of The Cotswold School’s 25 year success story.’ www.cotswold.gloucs.sch.uk / 01451 820554


BLOXHAM SCHOOL

The School Open Day Merry-Go-Round ...in an Independent School near you soon! Charming open days can easily beguile parents who want to provide the very best for their children. How can anybody, considering sending their child to an independent school, keep an even head?

Open any magazine (including this august edition) and there they all are; a veritable smorgasbord of educational opportunities awaiting each and every child (or at least those that can afford the ‘very modest’ fees charged to hard working parents from their taxed incomes.) Happy smiling faces belonging to happy smiling children and often pictured in front of magnificent facilities and surrounded by highly manicured lawns.What parent wouldn’t want their prodigy to enjoy such a start in life? The offer is by way of an invitation for you to visit the School on an Open Morning/ Evening/ Afternoon or even the full works – a Taster Day. Should you go along and risk being wooed and feted – or should you resist the temptation and make a more bespoke and highly individually tailored visit on a normal working day? Nick Irvine, Bloxham School’s Director of Marketing has considerable experience of these events. We asked him for his thoughts: Well, the first thing that I would say is that you need to do your research thoroughly and, painful as it might be, realise that your cloth really does need to be cut according to your means. Do look at the fees that a school will charge (and add a little bit on besides to allow for uniform, trips, etc.) Don’t take yourself or your children along to a school whose fees mean that you would have to rob a bank or win a rollover jackpot to afford to send your children there. If you do go you will be seduced and will remain bitter and twisted about the injustice of it all for years to come.Yes, they 114 Cotswold Homes Magazine

“Make sure that you see what you need to see and that your questions are the ones that are put forward. If you don’t get a satisfactory answer – ask again!”


BLOXHAM SCHOOL

will talk to you about Scholarships (that reward merit) and Bursaries (that can assist parents whose incomes won’t quite stretch) but not every child will win a Scholarship and Bursary funds are certainly not a bottomless pit.

“I believe that open days should be used purely as a sifting device to help you narrow down what it really is that you are looking for.”

Don’t dismiss things out of hand until you have explored the obvious avenues – grandparents are increasingly putting their hand into their generous pockets to help out and their largess is usually accompanied with that old phrase ‘Well, we can’t take it with us can we?’They of course are quite right in that summation and they will have the joy of seeing their grandchildren grow up to benefit from the best education that your inheritance can buy. If you do go along – and plenty do, make sure that you set the agenda. Make sure that you see what you feel that you need to see and that your questions are the ones that are put and if you don’t get a satisfactory answer – ask again! My honest feelings are that Open Days have a purpose for some families and particularly those who may be looking at first-footing into the world of private education.You will be able to be fairly anonymous although schools are becoming more adept at gathering your data so that they can keep their burgeoning databases, well, burgeoning.You should not have too many situations when you will find yourself being grilled or expected to sign away your joint incomes for the foreseeable future and can always slip away if it clearly just isn’t for you. You will see pretty much everything, bells, whistles and more hi-tech gadgetry than you will see in the average computer superstore – and you risk seeing

nothing; nothing of the true atmosphere, ambience and individual flavour of each of these remarkable schools that have survived for generations despite regular threats from the politicians. I believe that open days should be used purely as a sifting device to help you narrow down what it really is that you are looking for. From this initial trawl perhaps a short list of 3 or 4 should be visited properly when your child and your and their aspirations can be discussed in detail.Then and only

then will you know whether the synergy that you seek between your child and an individual school is really there or whether the school that you visited with so many others on an open event was just a figment of your and their imaginations. Bloxham School is a Boarding and Day School for girls and boys aged 11-18, situated in Oxfordshire. Visit Bloxham School and view a prospectus online at www.bloxhamschool.com, or call 01295 720301 to request a visit. www.cotswold-homes.com 115


DORMER HOUSE

To Teach or Not To Teach? That is the question… Children seem to grow up incredibly fast these days. They are exposed to adult themes younger and younger. And that extends to literature too. It is not unusual to see a primary class of children studying Shakespeare nowadays. But is it suitable for them? Many adults can remember their English lessons. Let me remind you how it was - you were sitting in rows in a dreary classroom, with the teacher ploughing though the text of Macbeth or As You Like It, trying to explain word by word and line by line what is going on, whilst at the same time trying to stifle a yawn. Most of the children were completely switched off, hating Shakespeare or simply not understanding. How sad! And how different from the approach in many schools today. Children as young as 9 or 10 are exposed to the fun and comedy of the bard and enjoy a plethora of activities based around his plays. They will usually explore the plot and the characters and play with the words and language, before ever opening a book. And that’s why they love his work. Who can fail to laugh along with Bottom and his friends, or be drawn into the romance of Romeo and Juliet, after writing their own love letters, 116 Cotswold Homes Magazine

“Who can fail to laugh along with Bottom and his friends, or be drawn into the romance of Romeo and Juliet, after writing their own love letters, newspaper articles, diary entries and making junk models to illustrate their stories?” newspaper articles, diary entries and making junk models to illustrate their stories? A recent group of children studying A Midsummer Night’s Dream loved building up the scenes on a huge display board in their classroom. They divided their forest into four areas; the girls loved the lovers and the fairies; the boys loved the mechanicals and the court. The children love activities such as those inspired by Cecily Berry. For example, when rehearsing a longer speech, the children might hide around the room and spring out when it is their turn to deliver the line. Such a technique adds to the sense of conspiracy or surprise of the delivery. Another idea is for the children to move position every time there is punctuation; the movement between each line endorses the shape of the speech and helps clarify the meaning.

Of course, the best lessons are spent throwing Shakespearian insults at one another. The children certainly never forget lessons where they have been shouting “You canker-blossom” from one end of the playground to the other. No-one is every switched off. And no-one in my school hates Shakespeare. Claire May is Headmistress at Dormer House School in Moreton-in-Marsh. The school takes children from 2-11 years and runs a creative curriculum where every child is valued and every child produces a spark. Dormer House is presenting an outdoor promenade production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the grounds of The Mill House Hotel, Kingham, in July. Find out more about Dormer House by visiting www.dormerhouse.co.uk


THE FABULOUS HAT

From KIDS’ Party Panic to Perfection How to give a child a birthday party they’ll remember Mel Hunter For a few years my kids’ birthday parties were a tortuous test of trial and error. When my daughter Isla turned four I opted to hold her party in a hall, but I spent so much time making sure the parents were happy and fully supplied with nibbles and drinks that I barely glimpsed the birthday girl at all. The next year we opted for a smaller party at home. But my house got trashed, I didn’t put enough prizes in the pass the parcel, and it all ended in tears and tantrums mostly mine. I swore that by the time she hit six I’d have learnt my lesson and got it spot on. In the high-speed world of childhood today, I knew my partythrowing, memory-creating days were numbered. Emma Lawrence, founder of The Fabulous Hat, a party entertaining company based in the Cotswolds, agrees. ‘Those party years are short, so it’s great to get them right. Before you know it wall climbing, go-karting and pamper parties will replace superheroes and princesses, and your chance to throw the perfect kids’ party will be behind you.’ According to Emma, parents make common mistakes when planning children’s parties. ‘Often people try to pack too much in,’ she says, ‘or they have a bouncy castle inflated in one corner while trying to run party games in another, and they can’t understand why the children can’t concentrate on musical dinosaurs. ‘Also children start out excited, get exhausted and end up completely wired. For a professional entertainer who isn’t emotionally involved, it’s all in a day’s work.’ I take my (fabulous) hat off to any parent who can keep all those kids happy.

“Those party years are short, so it’s great to get them right. Before you know it wall climbing, go-karting and pamper parties will replace superheroes and princesses, and your chance to throw the perfect kids’ party will be behind you.” It was to The Fabulous Hat I recently turned to for that all-important 6th birthday, and fortunately I – or rather they – hit the spot! With our twohour Mamma Mia-themed dance party overseen by the unflappable Hannah, complete with pink tutu, the 26 pom-pom clutching party-goers certainly seemed to love it. And for the first time, I could watch from the sidelines, enjoying the fun and soaking up the excitement. When a few of the Dancing Queens started flagging, Hannah was able to change the tempo and get everyone sitting down for a calming game of Pass the Parcel, with no tantrums about the wrong number of prizes this time. Another happy customer is Kate Baker whose son Benji recently had a Fireman themed party for his third birthday. ‘Benji is very shy,’ says Kate, ‘But as soon as the entertainer, who was dressed as a firefighter, started making hoses out of balloons, she had him and his ten friends hooked.” For Kate, having an entertainer there meant she could enjoy it as well. ‘I’m shy too, and the thought of bringing out the cake and announcing it was time to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ was a bit daunting. With someone else there to do that, I could just relax.’ That sounds like happy birthdays all round. Hip hip hooray! Visit www.thefabuloushat.com for more party possibilities. www.cotswold-homes.com 117


By Veronica James, Area Dean of the North Cotswolds As the frost thaws, spring beckons and we can engage with the wider world once more. Seen from foot, cycle or car, the Cotswold countryside is beautiful to behold in the season of renewal. Footpaths trail across the rolling hills, through the valleys, and alongside the rivers for us to follow and, as we climb, we are offered the magnificent views across the Cotswold escarpment - east to Oxford and west to the Malvern Hills and beyond. A couple of these paths are the Wardens Way and the Cotswold Way, and calling into the villages and towns we can explore the shops and cafes to refresh us along our way.

You are most welcome to join with the churches for the Easter services. Here is a selection:

Pilgrimage is part of the Christian tradition, where over the centuries, people have travelled from place to place, offering prayers to God at special places on the journey, settling or moving on to the next destination. Many of the Cotswold churches remain open for the modern-day pilgrim, calling to travellers, tourists and residents to come inside and find a place to be.

9am St Faith, Farmcote Holy Communion GL54 5AU

When visiting this spring, our churches continue to tell the Christian story. In the preparations that lead up to Easter, some of the churches will have spent a time of reflection during Lent, with purple fabrics set around the altar. Then a dramatic change happens with the wonderful floral decorations and Easter gardens celebrating the resurrection of Christ.

11.30am St Mary, Lower Slaughter Family Communion GL54 2HR

You can always call in and take part. You are as valued on your journey as much as those early pilgrims who travelled these parts along ancient footpaths. 118 Cotswold Homes Magazine

Palm Sunday 13th April Palm Sunday Donkey Procession 11am Upper Slaughter Ford at the River Eye and on to St Peter’s Parish Church GL54 2JF Easter Sunday 20th April 6.30am St Michael & All Angels Guiting Power Sunrise Communion GL54 5TY 9am St Peter, Upper Slaughter BCP Holy Communion GL54 2JF

10.15am St Michael & All Angels Guiting Power Family Service GL54 5TY 10.15am St Andrew Naunton Family Communion GL54 3AX

11.30am St Mary, Temple Guiting Power Family Communion GL54 5RW Blessings of the Easter Season to all. Yours, Veronica Church of England, Area Dean of the North Cotswolds (PS: Enjoy your Easter Eggs...)

“Then a dramatic change happens with the wonderful floral decorations and Easter gardens celebrating the resurrection of Christ.”


What the Gamekeeper Saw After a busy 2013 featuring extensively in the nationals, our favourite gamekeeper-photographer Adam Tatlow is back on the trail, capturing Cotswold critters during their most unguarded moments. Spring means new life, so Adam’s selected a series of shots of young ‘fawn’-a* resting in the forests around Guiting Power for our first

2014 issue. *Terrible pun, we know. Visit Adam’s website at www.cotswoldkeeperphotography.com where you can order prints, greetings cards, browse galleries and more.

www.cotswold-homes.com 119


Milton Dental Practice

Dental Health

Matters Dental Implants Dr Trevor Bigg, Milton Dental Practice BDS, MGDS RCS(Eng), FDS RCS(Ed), FFGDP(UK)

Even with good oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist there are occasions - for example, following an accident - when a tooth can’t be saved and an extraction is needed. Obviously, if the gap is in the front of the mouth one’s appearance is very much affected, but sometimes even at the back of the mouth people find chewing difficult or the neighbouring teeth starting to drift, leading to food packing and gum problems. How do dentists fill these gaps in the mouth? The choices for the patient are: • Do nothing • Place a denture • Provide a bridge • Place an implant Doing nothing is often not an option and many people don’t like the idea of a denture, which should be removed at night, even though modern dentures with metal bases are much more comfortable and easier to wear than plastic designs. A bridge is a common choice, but these can be destructive, as during the preparation of the bridge so much of the tooth is removed it can die later. So what are dental implants? A dental implant is a ‘root’ made of titanium that is inserted into the jawbone to support an individual 120 Cotswold Homes Magazine

“Because titanium is a ‘noble’ metal, like gold, it is so pure that the body does not recognise that it is a foreign object, allowing the bone to grow around the implant anchoring it securely within the jaw.” crown, or a bridge consisting of many teeth and even a denture replacing all the teeth in that jaw. Because titanium is a ‘noble’ metal, like gold, it is so pure that the body does not recognise that it is a foreign object, allowing the bone to grow around the implant anchoring it securely within the jaw. How will the implant be placed in my mouth? The dentist starts by making a temporary restoration, for example a denture, which best restores the appearance and function. Using this, the dentist can assess the ideal position for the implant to suit the individual patient. Under a local anaesthetic, sometimes with a sedative, a small incision is made in the gum and the implants inserted in the bone. After a period of healing when the implant is

integrated within the bone, the superstructure, a crown, a bridge or a denture, is made to fit over the implant. Implants are a highly successful form of dental treatment and to be able to restore a gap in the front of the mouth without damaging the surrounding teeth or to see a patient, who has been plagued by loose dentures, able to eat and speak normally is one of the most satisfying aspects of modern dentistry. If you want more information about how implants can improve your life contact Penny at Milton Dental Practice: 01993 831 396 or email penny@drbigg.com and come to see us for a consultation. To accompany this article, we are offering a New Patient Examination at the reduced fee of £59.00 (normally £89.00) and a free Denplan Examination.


TIM SPITTLE

ry day, from clients wishing to lose eve ges llen cha ning trai of de titu mul a h wit d face As a personal trainer I am fs such as working to reduce blood brie and ts men uire req cific spe e mor to er, bett weight, to get fitter and feel ess for women who are pregnant, fitn and th eng str ning ntai mai es, rcis exe e anc bal pressure, preventing falls with ortance of protection against imp the And ! PAIN is ges llen cha est bigg the of one and so the list goes on… However, that is the kinetic chain. injury, which often leads to one common factor and

Three primary causes of injury Stress

Stress is a major player in physical injury. This is not so much worrying about work, money, personal problems etc. rather the physical stresses inflicted on the body, demanding muscle, ligaments and joints to carry out sudden or continued work that they are not prepared for, which may directly lead to injury!

Over use

Without care, restoration and maintenance the very strongest machines will break. They need to be looked after properly - also true of the human body. Going full pelt at work, sport and day to day activities without rest, sleep and time to rebuild, your lack of maintenance will catch up with you, and you will undoubtedly snap!!

Imbalance

The most common injuries are caused by an imbalance in strength and flexibility throughout the body. If you do nothing but run, or play golf, or do yoga or spend hours sitting down, you will create physical imbalances. For example, superstrong athletic hamstrings with no core strength and a tight back walking or running up a hill will cause overwhelming stress on the knee, back, glutes and even shoulders, possibly leading to injury. That is only one example, but multiply that by everything you do in a day and the potential for imbalance is huge….

So what is the kinetic chain?

The Kinetic Chain is basically your entire body from your neck to your toes. A length of interconnected muscles, bones, ligaments and tendons all working together and supporting each other 24 hours a day. All too often we see oversized arms, super strong quads (frontal leg muscles), tight necks etc., which all cause flaws in the chain, especially if you consider how someone looks when they walk. A strong kinetic chain works in harmony with movement because it is well balanced. You will see everything moving fluently without areas of overuse or oversize. 122 Cotswold Homes Magazine

``A strong kinetic chain works in harmony with mov is well bal anced. You will see everything moving flue ement because it ntly without areas of overuse or oversize.'' So if Kinetic means MOVEMENT then it is important that our movement has no undue stresses, no physical imbalances and no individual overuse!

The chain

Start with your feet, the single most neglected part of the body – 26 bones, 33 joints, 19 muscles and tendons, 107 ligaments – usually stuffed into a pair of high heels or scruffy old trainers! The foot is the foundation that supports the entire chain, so every time you jump, run or step, this has direct implications on the knee. Consider pronation, supernation, rolling, flat feet or poor

gait and you could understand possibly why your knees hurt. Patellofermaral knee pain (runners knee) is one of the most common ailments and it could all be down to a person’s feet!! Working on up the body to the back, we could see problems with discs because the back muscles are tied deeply into the chain and link to hips (flexors) and rear leg muscles (hamstrings). The vulnerable ball and socket shoulder joints are also susceptible to forces created by the input on the chain. Equally your neck can take undue stress from everything below it. So as you can see, what happens to one part of the chain will directly cause an effect on another.


TIM SPITTLE

1. Do some exercises every day

This is a great way to strengthen your kinetic chain. Exercise and a variety of exercises are key; walk, run, lift, play games, garden, work, clean cars and so on. Thirty minutes every day will do wonders.

2. Compound not Isolation exercise

Concentrate more on compound exercises, moving multiple joints and lots of muscles rather than specific isolated groups. This will go further to develop a balance between muscles as they work together.

3. Plyometric Movements

Plyometric or explosive body weight moves will build a strong chain throughout the body. Classes such as Tabata are great for this.

4. Take a Gait Analysis

Go to a good sports shop that sells trainers and ask them to look at your running action and footwear. You might be surprised by what they say.

5. Visit a Personal Trainer & Sports Massage Therapist

If you work out on your own, periodically ask a trainer to test your kinetic chain, looking at your mechanics and what you are currently doing. A sports therapist can also help by directly assessing flexibility and muscle tightness.

6. Do High Intensity Intervals

With guidance push your body, work it out - pump blood and oxygen around hard-working muscles; this will also lubricate joints and create a better range of movement. It’s fun, too.

7. Try Yoga, Pilates or Flexibility classes

Even if you’re super fit and exercising every day, you should take note that physical & mental maintenance, movement control and stretching are also as important as sprinting up a hill or pounding weights.

8. Rest & Recover

Take time to rest the machine; eat a well balanced diet, drink lots of water and sleep!! Remember RICE – caring for strains and sprains. This recovery technique will help if used within the first 48 hours of an injury and several times a day.

REST ICE COMPRESSION ELEVATION Note: If you are injured, seek advice from your GP or health professional. RICE is recommended for many injuries but it cannot treat everything! www.cotswold-homes.com 123


Cotswold -Homes.com

Privilege carD

offers

CotOur swo Hom Priv esld i

Car lege d is

FREE

Where can I get a PRIVILEGE CARD?

Pick one up from the offices of HARRISON JAMES & HARDIE in Bourton on the Water, Stow on the Wold and Moreton in Marsh - it couldn’t be easier. (Not local? Simply register by clicking on the Cotswold-Homes Club button at www.cotswold-homes.com.) You will receive a monthly e-mail with a list of offers like the ones in this magazine, all from independent North Cotswold businesses.

Shop local and save money!

With a bumper selection of Spring offers from a host of local businesses, make sure you pick up your card as soon as possible!

20% off surveys

Privilege card discount must be requested before quote is provided, cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers, discounts or promotions. Valid until the end of May 2014. Tel: 01285 640840 Central Surveying, 17 Black Jack Street, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 2AA

10% Discount off all new furniture and fabric. Valid until the end of May 2014. Tel: 01608 659091 5 Threshers Yard, West Street, Kingham Oxfordshire, OX7 6YF

124 Cotswold Homes Magazine

Cotswold -Homes.com

10% Off any bag. Visit www.tannerandoak.com (Valid until the end of May 2014). Tel: 01993812466 www.tannerandoak.com info@tanerandoak.com

Buy one pair of Jean Cut English made Moleskins and get second pair

half price. Valid until 31/05/14 Woodstock – 01993 358 284 Shipston on Stour – 01608 238 008 http://www.suitstailored.com/

Levington MultiPurpose Compost, plus John Innes 3 for 2 OR £5.99 each. Everything you need for a beautiful home & garden. Tel: 01608 651 757 info@fossewaygardencentre.co.uk Stow Road, Moreton in Marsh, Gloucestershire, GL56 0DS

20% Off

our premium made-tomeasure hardwood window shutters. Call for a free no obligation survey & quote. Valid until 31/05/14

Tel: 01242 649592 37 Eldon Road, Cheltenham. GL52 6TX


Cotswold -Homes.com

Moving House? Then contact the Conveyancing Experts and get 15% off our standard legal fees! Call 01452 657950 for further details Thomas Legal Group is a dedicated provider of conveyancing services in and around the Cotswolds Tel: 01452 657950 Thomas Legal Group, Brunswick House, Brockworth, Gloucestershire, GL3 4AA Web: www.thomaslegalgroup.co.uk E-mail: info@tlg.uk.com

R&D WALKER T/A P Checketts

10% off Sausages. 5lb’s of Rindless Back Bacon for £9.99 Valid until 31/05/14

20% Off Seasonal discount. Mulberry fabrics. Valid until 31/05/14

24 High Street Moreton-in-Marsh Gloucestershire GL56 OAF 01608 651002

01993 822385 Mob - 07976 353 996 Fulbrook, Nr Burford, Oxfordshire 0X18 4DE

Enjoy 2 for 1 entry to beautiful Batsford this spring.

24 Hour Taxi Service

The Spice Room CAFÉ & INDIAN RESTAURANT

10% Discount on all orders over £10 (collection only – cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers) valid until the end of MAY 2014. Tel: 01608 654204 3 Oxford Street, Moreton in Marsh, Gloucester, GL56 0LA

Valid from March 1st 2014 to May 31st 2014.

Tel: 01386 701441 Batsford Arboretum & Garden Centre, Batsford Park, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, GL56 9AB www.batsarb.co.uk

50% off returns following an outbound journey within a 20 mile radius of Bourton-onthe-Water. Valid until the end of May 2014. Tel: 01451 820778 Mob: 07585 308838/ 07748 983 311 The Cotswolds

www.hopeprivatehire.com

Bourton-on-the-Water

10% off everything in store, perfect gifts for friends and family. Until the end of May 2014.

Tel: 01451 822800 Box of Delights, High Street, Bourton-on-the-Water, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL54 2AQ

Victoria Coffee House

15% off all food & drinks

Valid until 31/05/2014 Tel: 01608 651191 16 High Street, Moreton in Marsh, Gloucestershire, GL56 0AF

The Lamb Inn FOOD OF INDIA

Great Rissington

10% Discount on all takeaway orders

(Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers). Valid until the end of May 2014.

Tel: 01608 651 015 Lion House, High Street, Moreton in Marsh, Gloucestershire, GL56 0LH

15% off Food (T&C’s apply)

Valid until the end of MAY 2014. Tel: 01451 820388 The Lamb Inn, Great Rissington, Gloucestershire, GL54 2LP

Free preliminary design service. Chance to win £350.00 gift voucher for Eckington Manor Cookery School, all approved project enquiries will be entered for a draw early May 2014. 01242 621190 Alderwood Construction, Unit 5 Gamma, Orchard Industrial Estate, Toddington, Gloucestershire, GL54 5EB


Privilege Card Offers

5% Discount for first orders, cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer Valid until the end of May 2014. Tel: 01386 701 079 www.mikehonourwindows.co.uk Unit 85, Northwick Business Centre, Blockley, Moreton in Marsh, Gloucestershire, GL56 9RF

10% Discount

on carpets, Amtico and Karndean (excludes quotes where discounts has already been given). New Road, Moreton in Marsh, Gloucestershire, GL56 0AS Tel – 01608 651 991 E-mail: enquiries@cotswoldcarpets.co.uk

New Patient Examinations for only £59.00 (normally £89.00). With a free Denplan Examination. Ask Penny for details.

off pest control Services

Trevor Bigg Breakspeare House, Shipton Road, Milton-Under-Wychwood, Oxford, OX7 6JW 01993 831396

www.jhcservices.co.uk office@jhcservices.co.uk Tel – 01789 721 880

Visit our Showroom today to receive a 10% Reduction on our New Stanton Nesting Tables.

Made in solid walnut, oak, maple, ash or cherry, from sustainable forests. Valid until the end of MAy 2014. Tel: 01608 650567 Fosseway Business Park, Stratford Road, Moretonin-Marsh, Gloucestershire, GL56 9NQ

A free filter coffee/ tea with every cake purchased over £2.50.

10% off when you present your Privilege Card. The Old Wool House, Market Square, Northleach, Gloucestershire, GL54 3EE Tel: 01451 861101

Buy one personal training session get one free!

Worth £38

(new clients only) Valid until 31/05/14 Tel: 01386 701231 Unit 6, Draycott Business Village Draycott, Nr Moreton in Marsh Gloucestershire, GL56 9JY

15% off

(excludes set menu).

Black Cat Café

10%

Valid until the end of May 2014.

10% Off every two main meals purchased

Digbeth Street, Stow on the Wold, Gloucestershire, GL54 1BN Tel: 01451 831609 www.digbeths.com

20%

off Residential surveys

all food and drink

Tel - 07917 473 178 www.icecreamcakes.co.uk

10% off every pu rchase at ou r Stow store u ntil 31/05/2014 on presentation of this vou cher (excluding concessions). Tel: 01451 833 555 Digbeth Street, Stow on the Wold, Gloucestershire, GL54 1BN www.ellastoys.com

Valid until the end of May 2014. Excludes any other offers, promotions and set menus - booking advisable 01451 832010 10 Talbot Court, Stow on the Wold, GL54 1BQ

Lucy’s Tearoom serve award winning homemade cakes, afternoon teas and light lunches served all day. Gluten free products available.

10% discount for privilege card holders! Tel: 01451 830 000 The Square, Stow on the Wold, Gloucestershire, GL54 1AB


Cotswold -Homes.com Cotswold Homes Directory of Independent Businesses HOMES AND GARDENS DESIGN INSPIRATION AND PROPERTY SERVICES

BUILDERS AND CONTRACTORS Alderwood Construction Ltd, A family building firm near Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, creating high quality homes, renovations and extensions in the Cotswold area. 01242 621190 W: www.alderwoodconstruction.co.uk E: info@alderwoodconstruction.co.uk Budget Skips, Honeybourne Budget Skips are specialists in skip hire, waste management and recycling. 01386 841 181 W: www.budgetskips.com Cox’s Architectural Yard, Cox’s Yard offer a constantly changing stock of architectural salvage, antiques and artefacts backed up by full restoration services. 01608 652 505 W: www.coxsarchitectural.co.uk E: info@coxsarchitectural.co.uk Domestic Tank Services, Water Storage, Diesel, Oil, Bespoke Tanks:We are a young and dynamic company, whose team is built on the knowledge of over 30 years of experience. 01386 853 030 W: www.domestictankservices.com E: info@domestictankservices.com Greyhound Stoves, Blackwell We are a Fireplace Stove Studio - our showroom features over 50 displays which include multi-fuel / wood burning stoves and stone and wood fireplace surrounds. 01608 682 628 W: www.greyhoundstoves.com E: greyhoundstoves@btconnect.com Stow Construction, Professional, reliable, family run business based in Stow on the Wold. Please call to discuss your next project. 07917 162 978 E: nscarsbrook@aol.com CARPETS AND FLOORING Cotswold Carpets, Moreton in Marsh The Cotswolds leading carpet and flooring specialists. Carpets, Vinyl’s, Natural Flooring (e.g. Sisal, Coir, Jute) and handmade rugs (Persian,Turkish). 01608 651 991 W: www.cotswoldcarpets.co.uk E: enquiries@cotswoldcarpets.co.uk KC Carpets, Moreton in Marsh We are a family run business that has been offering the best in carpets, vinyl flooring and blinds since 1984. 01608 650 331 W: www.kc-carpets.co.uk E: kccarpets@ymail.com ELECTRICIAN Cotswold & Vale Ltd, Bourton on the Water

128 Cotswold Homes Magazine

Cotswold & Vale are fully committed to providing high quality work and excellent customer service to our clients based In Bourton on the Water and surrounding areas. 01451 810 686 W: www.cotswoldandvale.co.uk E: contact@cotswoldandvale.co.uk FURNITURE Chris Harwood Furniture, Upper Slaughter Hand crafted freestanding and fitted furniture to your bespoke requirements. 07809 763 078 W: www.chrisharwoodfurniture.co.uk E: info@chrisharwoodfurniture.co.uk Sebastian Sellers, Northleach Mike Sellers Smith & his team at Sebastian Sellers have over 30 experience in the planning & creation of individually designed & handmade furniture. 01451 861 864 E: information@sebastiansellers.co.uk Westcote Design, Kingham We produce a comprehensive range of sofas, sofa beds, footstools, headboards and bespoke furniture manufactured by a small talented team. 01608 659 091 W: www.westcotedesign.co.uk E: info@westcotedesign.co.uk GARDENS Batsford Arboretum & Garden Centre, For quality plants, gorgeous gifts and garden sundries, locally sourced home-baked food and beautiful shabby chic ideas from the Applestore shop. 01386 701 441 W: www.batsarb.co.uk E: arboretum@batsfordfoundation.co.uk Fosseway Garden Centre, Moreton in Marsh A large garden centre offering gardening, pets, gifts and everything to do with outdoor living, plus a great cafe. 01608 651 757 W: www.fossewaygardencentre.co.uk E: jo.creek@fossewaygardencentre.co.uk Lonstone: Garden Landscaping, Longborough Manufacturers of premium quality garden landscaping products, including paving and exclusive reproduction Lonstone Vintage Planters and feature pieces. 01451 830 140 W: www.lonstone.co.uk E: info@lonstone.co.uk INTERIORS Amanda Hanley by Design, An independent and professional service for all of your interior design projects. 01993 822 385 / 07976 353 996 W: www.amandahanley.co.uk E: amanda@amandahanley.co.uk Shuttercraft, Shuttercraft offer you the UK’s widest and best quality range of internal plantation shutters and made-to-measure wood slat venetian blinds. 01242 649 592 W: www.shuttercraft.co.uk E: enquiries@shuttercraft.co.uk

Unfitted, Moreton-in-Marsh With over 35 years’ experience, Unfitted create handmade to order furniture using time-honoured cabinet making techniques, and are dedicated to creating bespoke furniture designed to give you years of reliable service. 01608 650 065 W: www.unfitted.co.uk E: info@unfitted.co.uk WINDOWS Mike Honour Windows, Blockley When you choose Lattice Period Windows for your windows you can be sure that you are selecting the best combination of craftsmanship, style and durability. 01386 701 079 W: www.mikehonourwindows.co.uk E: sales@mikehonourwindows.co.uk

LIVING IN THE COTSWOLDS LEISURE, LIFESTYLE AND BUSINESS ANTIQUE DEALERS Jonny Williamson, Antique dealer who specialises in militaria. 0845 496 1815 E: info@jonnywilliamson.com

ARTISTS AND CRAFTSMEN Adam Tatlow – Wildlife Photography, Cotswold Keeper Photography by Adam Tatlow; photography of all animals wild and free, taken in the stunning countryside near to Guiting Power in the heart of the Cotswolds. 07774 285 459 W: www.cotswoldkeeperphotography.com E: cotswoldkeeper@aol.com Celia Lendis Contemporary – Artist, Celia Lendis Contemporary represents artists of integrity whose work expresses and authentic vision, commitment to craftsmanship and an intellectual engagement with the world. 01608 650 852 W: www.celialendis.com E: gallerycelialendis.com Little Buckland Gallery, Broadway, Little Buckland presents the very best contemporary art pieces created by artists in the area, as well as throughout the country. 01386 853 739 W: www.littlebucklandgallery.co.uk E: info@littlebucklandgallery.co.uk Robin Furlong - Furniture Designer, Moreton in Marsh, Robin Furlong is a furniture designer of distinction, whose work represents some of the finest style and craftsmanship of its age. 01608 650 567 W: www.robinfurlongfurniture.co.uk E: robin@robinfurlongfurniture.co.uk CAR SERVICES Bourton Landrovers, Bourton on the Water The Landrover specialists! We are specialists in repairs, service, sales and conversions. With a FULL parts and MOT service. 01451 810 364 W: www.bourtonlandrovers.com E: info@bourtonlandrovers.com


Cotswold -Homes.com Cotswold Homes Directory of Independent Businesses DRY CLEANERS Mary’s Laundry, Bourton on the Water Mary’s Laundry Is a family owned business in the heart of Bourton on the Water and offers a comprehensive laundry and dry cleaning service for local people and businesses. 01451 820 808 W: www.maryslaundry.net ESTATE AGENTS Bloor Homes Moreton Park, Moreton in Marsh Bloor Homes today is one of the largest privately owned house building groups, building in excess of 2,000 new homes each year. 01608 651 000 W: www.bloorhomes.com E: moretonpark@bloorhomes.com Bovis Homes Victory Fields, Upper Rissington From apartments to large family homes, Bovis build some of the best new homes in the UK and offers stunning all new inclusive specifications. 01451 822 977 W: www.bovishomes.co.uk E: info.southwest@bovishomes.com Fine & Country London, Fine and country homes marketed locally, nationally and internationally, with over 300 member agencies worldwide. Park Lane, Mayfair, London W1 Managing Director: Malcolm Lindley 020 7079 1515 W. www.fineandcountry.co.uk Fine & Country North Cotswolds; Sales & Lettings, Head Office Stow on the Wold With branches at Moreton in Marsh and Bourton on the Water Managing Director: James von Speyr 01451 833 170 james@harrisonjameshardie.co.uk Lettings: Amy Coldicott amy@harrisonjameshardie.co.uk Harrison James & Hardie Estate Agents; Sales & Lettings The North Cotswolds leading estate agency, from first time buyer apartments to grand country residences Bourton on the Water Branch Manager: Katy Hill 01451 822 977 katy@harrisonjameshardie.co.uk Stow on the Wold Managing Director: Karen Harrison 01451 833 170 karen@harrisonjameshardie.co.uk Moreton in Marsh Branch Manager:Tom Burdett 01608 651 000 tom@harrisonjameshardie.co.uk Lettings Director: Caroline Gee Bourton on the Water: 01451 824 972 Moreton in Marsh: 01608 653 896 Stow on the Wold: 01451 833 170 caroline@harrisonjameshardie.co.uk W.www.harrisonjameshardie.co.uk Sovereign Living, Moreton Park, Moreton in Marsh Affordable new homes in Moreton Park, Moreton in Marsh. 01608 651 000 W: www.sovereignliving.org.uk FINANCIAL SERVICES JEM Financial Planning, John Magee, an Independent Financial Adviser, and Sue Ellis, a Mortgage Broker, offer friendly, professional advice. 01386 840 777

W: www.johnny-magee.co.uk E: john@jemfinancial.co.uk FINE FOOD AND DRINK SUPPLIERS R&D Walker T/A P Checketts, Moreton in Marsh Butcher’s providing seasonal meats, game (when in season), local venison, local beef, lamb and pork. 01608 651 002 W: www.cotswold-homes.com The Ice Cream Cake Company, An ice cream cake looks like an ordinary cake, but instead of being filled with traditional sponge, it is filled with your favourite flavour of ice cream! Perfect for children’s parties as they serve as a birthday cake and a desert! 07917 473 178 W: www.theicecreamcakecompany.co.uk E: pippa.arnott@gmail.com Toast - The Cotswolds, Bourton on the Water Toast is on a mission to champion local food and support local businesses. All produce in stock is either carefully sourced from or supplied by people and businesses within The Cotswolds. 01451 821 306 W: www.toastthecotswolds.com E: hello@toastthecotswolds.com HOLIDAY COTTAGE MANAGEMENT Character Cottages, Character Cottages is a distinctive, full service holiday lettings business, with a focus on letting and managing fabulous country homes. 08456 808 029 W: www.character-cottages.com E: enquiries@character-cottages.com MARKETING Alias Based in the heart of the Cotswolds, Alias is a leading marketing consultancy offering a wide range of services, including public relations, graphic design, web design, SEO and social media marketing. 0845 257 7475 W: www.wearealias.com E: sayhello@wearealias.com Cotswold-Homes.com, North Cotswolds Innovative, multi-media marketing for independent North Cotswold businesses. 01608 653 899 W: www.cotswold-homes.com Marketing: sarah@cotswold-homes.com Editorial: matt@cotswold-homes.com Social media: riyad@cotswold-homes.com NURSERIES AND SCHOOLS Bloxham School, Bloxham, Oxfordshire Bloxham School is a small, friendly and flourishing co-educational boarding and day school of around 420 pupils. 01295 720 222 W: www.bloxhamschool.com E: registrar@bloxhamschool.com Cotswold School, Bourton on the Water A popular, happy, and successful 11-18 Academy status school set in beautiful rural surroundings, with an excellent reputation for academic success. 01451 820 554 / 01451 820 938 W: www.cotswold.gloucs.sch.uk E: admin@mail.cotswold.gloucs.sch.uk

Dormer House School, Moreton in Marsh An independent prep school for boys and girls of all abilities from 2-11 years old, in the heart of The Cotswolds. 01608 650 758 W: www.dormerhouse.co.uk E: office@dormerhouse.co.uk Stow Primary, Stow on the Wold A happy, thriving primary school situated In the heart of The Cotswolds in the small market town of Stow-on-the-Wold. 01451 830 784 W: www.stowprimaryschool.co.uk E: admin@stow-on-the-wold.gloucs.sch.uk SOLICITORS Kendall & Davies Solicitors, Cotswolds From our four offices we offer friendly, client-focussed services related to property, business and family matters. Bourton, Stow, Moreton and Burford. 01451 830 295 W: www.kendallanddavies.co.uk E: stow@kendallanddavies.co.uk Thomas Legal Group, Gloucestershire Dedicated provider of conveyancing services in and around the Cotswolds, offering top quality service and FIXED PRICE conveyancing. 01452 657 950 W: www.thomaslegalgroup.co.uk E: sharon.foote@thomaslegalgroupuk.com SURVEYORS Central Surveying, Cirencester Chartered Surveyors, Building Surveyors and Property Consultants for London and the South West. 01285 640 840 W: www.centralsurveying.co.uk E: office@centralsurveying.co.uk JHC Services, Ullington JHC Services offers a unique rural services ‘one stop shop’, offering services for: building surveys, pest control, chimney care services, wood supplies and gardening services. . 01789 721 880 W: www.jhcservices.co.uk E: office@jhcservices.co.uk TAXIS Hope Private Hire -Taxi Service, The Cotswolds A reliable, punctual service available 24 hours a day, offering: Airport Transfers, Castles, Races, Seaport Transfers, Gardens and Tours of the Cotswolds. 01451 820 778 / 07585 308 838 W: www.hopeprivatehire.com E: andrew@hopeprivatehire.com THEATRE & CINEMA Chipping Norton Theatre, We are a theatre, an art-house cinema, a gallery and a concert hall. 01608 642 350 W: www.chippingnortontheatre.co.uk E: boxoffice@chippingnortontheatre.com

www.cotswold-homes.com 129


Cotswold -Homes.com Cotswold Homes Directory of Independent Businesses THE HIGH STREET DAY-TO-DAY ESSENTIALS, OCCASIONAL LUXURIES

ANTIQUES Styles of Stow, Stow on the Wold An extensive selection of rare and unusual grandfather clocks standing alongside other fine antique timepieces. Repairs and restoration carried out on site by our highly qualified craftsmen. 01451 830 455 W: www.stylesofstow.com E: info@stylesofstow.co.uk DENTISTS Milton Dental Practice, Milton-under-Wychwood Milton Dental Practice is a private practice dealing with all aspects of dental treatment. 01993 831 396 W: www.drbigg.com E: reception@drbigg.com FASHION AND JEWELLERY GH Fine Jewellery, Stow on the Wold GH Fine Jewellery specialises in antique jewellery, silver, second hand valuations and buying. 01451 830 155 E: patrick@ghfinejewellery.com Tanner & Oak, Tanner & Oak offer thoroughly British styling, striking the perfect balance between classic vintage design and quirky Country Club detailing, to give a timeless range of distinctive accessories. 01993 812 466 W: www.tannerandoak.com The Cotswold Tailor, Woodstock & Shipston on Stour The Cotswold Tailor sells unique contemporary men’s and women’s clothing tailored in traditional tailored British cloths (Aptus Suits). T. 01608 238 008 W: www.thecotswoldtailor.com E: info@thecotswoldtailor.com FITNESS AND BEAUTY Personal Best Fitness Studio, Chipping Campden A brand new studio in Chipping Campden offering everything from gym membership, personal training, sports and remedial massage and a whole range of classes! 01386 840 437 W: www.pbfitnessstudio.com E: info@pbfitnessstudio.com Rapid FX Personal Fitness, Draycott Rapid FX personal training is dedicated to offering professional personal assistance to fitness and wellbeing within the North Cotswolds. 01386 701 231 W: www.rapid-fx.com E: tim@rapid-fx.com GIFT SHOPS Box of Delights, Bourton on the Water

130 Cotswold Homes Magazine

Box of Delights offers a range of beautiful contemporary gifts, greeting cards, Jewellery, home decorations. 01451 822 800 W: www.boxofdelights.biz E: enquiries@boxofdelights.biz TOYSHOPS

Digbeth’s, Stow on the Wold Digbeth’s has something special to suit all tastes, whether you require a breakfast, traditional tea and cake, delicious hearty dishes a light snack or our very popular Sunday Lunch. 01451 831 609 W: www.digbeths.com

Ella’s Toy Shop, Stow on the Wold Carrick Travel is an independent family owned business which has been operating for over 30 years. 01451 833 555 W: www.ellastoys.com

Lucy’s Tearoom, Stow on the Wold, A traditional English tearoom in Stow on the Wold, providing a high quality and personal service, and local, fresh and ethical produce. 01451 830 000

TRAVEL Carrick Travel, Bourton on the Water Carrick Travel is an independent family owned business which has been operating for over 30 years. 01926 311 415 W: www.carricktravel.com E: enquiries@carricktravel.com Holidays Please, Stow on the Wold Holidays Please is an award winning ABTA travel agent who are available even when the high street is closed! 01451 810 255 W: www.holidaysplease.co.uk E: Debbie@holidaysplease.com

VISITING THE COTSWOLDS WHERE TO STAY, WHAT TO DO, WHERE TO GO?

Sitara, Moreton-in-Marsh Sitara Restaurant is best known for serving fine Indian cuisine that is authentic and stands out from the rest. It is a great place to eat and entertain friends as well as business colleagues. 01608 651 015 W: www.sitaramoretoninmarsh.com The Lamb Inn, Great Rissington The Lamb Inn at Great Rissington is one of the Cotswolds’ most welcoming country inns situated in a beautiful village with lovely views from the garden. 01451 820 388 W: www.thelambinn.com E: enquiry@thelambinn.com The Plough Inn, Cold Aston A firm favourite with the locals and run by locals,The Plough Inn offers a warm welcome, real ales, cracking wines and delicious home cooked freshly prepared food. 01451 822 602 W: www.coldastonplough.com E: hello@coldastonplough.com

EVENTS The Fabulous Hat, The Fabulous Hat provides children’s entertainment at birthdays, weddings, corporate events, Bar Mitzvahs, Christmas and Halloween events, or any other special occasion you want to make extra fun! 07968 151 016 W: www.thefabuloushat.com E: info@thefabuloushat.com FAMILY DAYS OUT Cotswold Farm Park Guiting Power, Cotswold Farm Park was the first Rare Breeds farm to open to the public. A total countryside experience in the heart of the Cotswolds. 01451 850 307 W: cotswoldfarmpark.co.uk E: info@cotswoldfarmpark.co.uk Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens, The Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens exhibits over 260 different species of animals and Is the largest privately owned zoological collection in the UK. 01993 823 006 W: cotswoldwildlifepark.co.uk E: enquiries@cotswoldwildlifepark.co.uk PUBS, TEA HOUSES AND RESTAURANTS Black Cat Café, Northleach Fabulous home baked food, cakes, quiches, brownies, flapjacks, sandwiches and more, fresh everyday. No microwave on premises! 01451 861 101

The Spice Room, Moreton in Marsh The Spice Room brings the ultimate, authentic Indian fine dining experience to the Cotswolds, and is deeply committed to setting the standards in excellence and quality. 01608 654204 W: www.spiceroomrestaurant.com The Vine Leaf, Stow-on-the-Wold Here at The Vine Leaf, we serve good locally sourced food served all day - anything from delicious home made burgers to sandwiches, light lunches and main meals. 01451 832 010 W: www.thevineleaf.co.uk E: thevineleaf@gmail.com Victoria Coffee House, Moreton-in-Marsh Victoria Coffee House is the perfect getaway for that great cup of coffee and a delectable pastry treat! 01608 651 191 W: www.victoriacoffeehouse.co.uk E: enquiries@victoriacoffeehouse.co.uk HOTELS Cowley Manor, Cowley, Gloucestershire Cowley Manor is a contemporary country house hotel which sits in the glorious Cotswold countryside surrounded by 55 acres of parkland, woods and meadows. 01242 870 900 W: www.cowleymanor.com E: stay@cowleymanor.com



Cotswold Homes Spring 2014