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000 Front Cover December 2016:Layout 1



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000 Contents December 2016:Layout 1



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34 38 26 98

64 DECEMBER 2016

IN THIS ISSUE... 14 19 26 34 38 41 42 46 48 61 64

Real Life The Reverend Kate Stacey

Hot Property We feature some of the most beautiful properties that are for sale or to let in and around the Cotswolds

Christmas Stocking Brimming with Cotswold properties

Art in Flight A leading Field sport artist

Interiors Style Light, bright and colour

More politics than Brexit Surviving the Christmas Luncheon

Through the Garden Gate To light up your month

South America’s Rising Star Discovering the natural wonder of Colombia

Mrs & Mr Jones Sipping Cognac in The Charente

Sparkle & Spice

72 77 79 81 82 84 86 88 93 94

Glitzy party season makeup

A Bygone Era Glorious winter fashion shoot



Unbelievable! How to love thy neighbour

Inspirational Ideas For an educational Christmas

Explain the Market The growth of British Exports

Real Life Exclusive! Meeting Father Christmas

Christmas Brunch A morning feast for the festive season

Presents Galore Your Gift Guide for all the family

Festive Warnings Don’t drink and post

Castaway With screen siren, Tina Hobley

The Real Deal The tough, rough side of horseracing

Out and About Your guide to the very best events happening in and around The Cotswolds this month

Winter Snuggling Down at the local pub

52 Fashion and Racing Preview 90 The BlueBird Ball in aid of the NSPCC 92 A Very Cowley Christmas 98 Fit Inside Out Launch Party


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The store where style meets tradition


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CHESTER 01244 311 770 8-10 Lower Bridge Street, Chester CH1 1RS

EVESHAM 01386 422 293 The Valley, Evesham Country Park, Evesham WR11 4TP

Please note brand availability varies by store, please check with the store directly.

Promenade Antiques December 16:Layout 1



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Our range of jewellery and antiques is larger than you would imagine and if you are looking to source quality diamonds, precious stones, gold, silver or time pieces then look no further. We also have a large range of one off pieces and individually styled antique and vintage jewellery items.

F4566 9ct Yellow Gold and oval-cut Peridot bracelet | £1195.00 A5445 18ct White Gold and certified 1.55ct old-cut Diamond ring with Diamond halo | £6850.00

A6438 Three stone old-cut Diamond and approximately 3.40ct Sapphire ring | POA A4366 18ct White Gold and Diamond deco-style cluster ring | £1750.00

O6098 Silver and Marcastie running hare brooch | £69.00 AX052 Certified 1.29ct, VVS2, Diamond centre-stone with Diamond halo and ornate Diamond shoulders | £7850.00

I5724 Brilliant-cut Diamond single-stone stud earrings | £4750.00

I9261 18ct White Gold Diamond fancy cluster drop earrings | £2950.00 SA675 Silver and Enamel watering can with cats inside | £545.00

A6153 Old-cut Diamond cluster ring, approximately 0.66ct in total | £995.00

I5176 9ct Rose Gold and Silver rose-cut Diamond set tortoise earrings | £350.00

G3875 18ct White Gold and natural South Sea golden Pearl with Diamond surmount pendant | £995.00

H6052 Rose-cut Diamond spray brooch with Pink Tourmaline | £650.00 F6243 Victorian graduated old-cut Diamond bangle with carved scroll setting | £9500.00

(Left) F6266 9ct Yellow Gold concave hinged bangle with floral design | £450.00 (Right) F5151 9ct Yellow Gold scroll-front hinged bangle | £225.00

E5048 18ct Yellow Gold and Enamel ‘four vices’ chain link cufflinks | £1500.00

G5734 Old-cut Diamond claw-set cluster pendant | £1250.00

(Front) SA667 Silver and Enamel stag with white spotted back | £795.00 (Back) SA731 Silver and Enamel stag | £1250.00 S6321 Silver and Enamel case with cheroot holder | £65.00

S2923 Silver and green Enamel biplane | £185.00

A4241 9ct Rose Gold and Silver double bow ring with Rose-cut Diamonds | £345.00

E5049 Green and White Enamel chain link cufflinks | £750.00

S6955 Silver compass with hallmark feature on lid | £179.00

Y6078 Bronze medium Labrador with stick, limited edition | £160.00

S5177 Silver Mini Cooper, 70mm long | £295.00

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G6297 18ct White Gold brilliant-cut Diamond bubble-style pendant | £1250.00

S8034 Silver embossed coffee pot with black handle, London 1781 | £395.00

O6100 Silver, Marcasite and blue Enamel magnifier | £235.00

A6439 Old-cut Diamond ring with baguette-cut shoulders, centre stone approximately 1.30ct | £3650.00 G6296 Certified 0.74ct, E colour, cushion-cut Diamond pendant | £3850.00

F6261 Calibre-cut Emerald and brilliant-cut Diamond bracelet | £2850.00

I3456 9ct and Silver Ruby and rosecut Diamond drop earrings | £895.00

A4856 18ct White Gold Diamond and Cultured Pearl flower ring | £1950.00

I5267 18ct White Gold Theo Fennell Diamond-set heart stud earrings | £1950.00

A1661 18ct White Gold brilliant-cut Diamond single-stone ring with Diamond shoulders, certified 2.06ct centre stone | POA

O6099 Silver and Enamel bee pendant with movable wings | £115.00

G6350 Calibre-cut Emerald and brilliant-cut diamond pendant | £850.00

F6240 18ct White Gold and Amethyst channel-set bracelet | £1550.00

H5823 Kingfisher brooch with Paste and Enamel | £75.00

K6738 Fresh water baroque Pearl necklet with rosecut Diamond and Pearl floral clasp | £1450.00

S6149 Silver trowel bookmark with swirl handle, Birmingham 1902 | £29.00 SA541 Silver and Enamel barn owls on a branch | £950.00 S6148 Silver Vinaigrette with leaf pattern, Birmingham 1810 | £225.00

G5162 9ct White Gold cross with brilliant-cut Diamond | £450.00

SA633 Silver and Enamel penguin with baby | £445.00

A6364 18ct White Gold Diamond three-stone ring | £3750.00

I3453 18ct White Gold and Diamond daisy cluster stud earring | £4950.00

G6360 Diamond snowflake pendant and chain, approximately 2.40ct of Diamonds in total | £3500.00

A6430 18ct Yellow Gold and Platinum Ruby and Diamond cluster ring | £495.00

S2141 Silver chip fork | £55.00

F6264 9ct Rose Gold lovers knot bangle | £295.00

We specialise in secondhand and antique watches clocks & pocket watch time pieces including a range of premier brands such as

Rolex, Cartier, Omega, Breitling, Longines and many more... 

WE BUY WE SELL WE PART EXCHANGE 18 The Promenade, Cheltenham GL50 1LR | Tel: 01242 524519 |

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000 Editors Welcome December 2016:Layout 1


Partner Mark Cuzner 07983 179225 Office Manager Carley Jones 01242 220239 Production Consultant Hilary Collier 01242 220239 Editorial Designer Nick Clark 01242 220239

COTSWOLD STYLE Cotswold Style: Suite 104, Eagle Tower, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 1TA Switchboard: 01242 220239 Accounts: 01384 410603 Email: Publisher: Ray Siviter

@CotswoldStyle Twitter followers

22,564 CotswoldStyleMagazine Facebook fans

7003 Cover sponsored by: S.P. Green & Co Ltd 11 Warstone Mews, Warstone Lane, Hockley, Birmingham, B18 6JB Tel: 0121 212 0370 Email:

Cotswold Style is published monthly by Live 24Seven Ltd, based at Suite 104, Eagle Tower, Cheltenham, Glos, GL50 1TA. Reproduction of any material, in whole or in part, is strictly forbidden without the prior written consent of the publishers. All material is sent at the owner’s risk and whilst every care is taken, Cotswold Style will not accept liability for loss or damage. Dates, information and prices quoted are believed to be correct at time of going to press but are subject to change and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions. Neither the editor nor publisher accepts responsibility for any material submitted, whether photographic or otherwise. All rights reserved. ISSN no. 1756-6673.



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The end of the year is nigh and what a year 2016 has been. The world has lost some well-known stars this year including music geniuses David Bowie and Prince, icons from the screen and radio such as Alan Rickman, Gene Wilder, Victoria Wood, Paul Daniels, Corrie’s Jean Alexander and Sir Terry Wogan and my personal hero, the great Boxing legend Muhammad Ali; while our neighbours in France have had to endure yet more tragic, terrorist atrocities. We have also witnessed the start of what many are calling a ‘Revolution’ in western society, firstly with the unexpected vote of Brexit and Britain gaining a new Prime Minister and then even more unexpectedly, the maverick Donald Trump winning last month’s US elections. This will certainly be a year in political history none of us will ever forget! Amongst all this mayhem and change our beautiful area of The Cotswolds continues to thrive and I am sure many of us are extremely grateful that this is where we reside. In this December edition of Cotswold Style we are celebrating Christmas in a traditional way. Our Real Life writer Nigel Aplin has met with the inspirational Kate Stacey who is a vicar residing over eight parishes in the Cotswolds which is a mean feat in itself in today’s hectic working schedule. Susan Blanchfield looks at the perplexing anxieties of Christmas lunch in her Culture column and Claire in the County recounts her feelings of wretchedness before the celebrations even begin! Our talented Fashion team have created wonderful scenes from a bygone era shot at Rendcomb College and our hair and beauty teams have the perfect looks and styles all at hand for the party season. Travel writer Lucy Garbutt has recently returned from a unique trip exploring Colombia – a country which may not mean to many a typical holiday destination but she has now convinced me, this is one place to go on the bucket list of places to visit, while Nigel Aplin brings us closer to home on a trip to France sampling delicious varieties of Cognac while discovering the region of The Charente. I would like to thank you all for your continued support and readership of Cotswold Style and very much look forward to bringing you plenty of new delights in 2017. May I take this opportunity to wish you a very Happy Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year. Best wishes,

Emma Logan, Editor


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Tel: 0845 4 900 600

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000 Real Life December 2016:Layout 1



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Style Interview REAL LIFE

THE REVEREND KATE STACEY Nigel Aplin met with The Reverend Kate Stacey, the parish vicar of the Wychwood Benefice PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANGUS BETHUNE I had not thought to defend President Elect Trump to a vicar. Actually to be technical I don’t think I actually advocated Trump being President but I did contend that Jesus Christ might have won the recent American election. The vicar of the Wychwood Benefice thought otherwise. The Revd Kate Stacey, the name gives it away, is a vicar who ecclesiastically, and indeed enthusiastically, oversees the villages and hamlets of Idbury, Bould, Fifield, Bruen, Lyneham, Upper Milton, Milton under Wychwood and Shipton under Wychwood. I met with Kate on a cold blustery day in November in the church of St Mary the Virgin, Shipton. Let me quickly dispense with the fact that the church is very old, Saxon, very cold but with some beautiful flower arrangements left over from Remembrance Sunday. I’m sure it hots up when Kate gives it some wellie. Let me get back to my Trump reference. Even before the unpleasantness in the ‘locker room’ I have been uncomfortable with how to pay reference to how a woman may look, let alone a vicar. I think we’re all agreed that physical attributes are well out of bounds. Well, maybe, but what about hair framing a rather pretty face or, indeed, the pretty face itself? For some reason, it being a really miserable grey and rainy day, I was struck by the very pretty, spring like dress that the Revd was wearing and said so. I’m not sure that the vicar expected such a comment or, indeed, knew what to say in return. I just want you to know how difficult Donald Trump has made life.

Suffice to say look at the photographs accompanying this interview and with one congregation join me in saying ‘what a pretty dress the vicar is wearing.’ However, she really doesn’t like President Elect Trump or the people who put him there, “It’s part of our duty to engage with the political scene. My sermon linked to the feast of Christ the King inherently deals with Jesus demanding of those who crucified him what kind of King they wanted. In the same way the American people were asked what kind of leader they wanted and they chose fear and hatred.” I wasn’t sure this was quite right as I believe that the American people were looking for anybody that that was antiestablishment which Christ certainly would have been but Kate was not convinced, “Certainly Jesus was antiestablishment but that’s not want the

American people wanted; they wanted power and to smash their enemies, prosperity for me at whatever cost to you which is the total antithesis of what Christ stood for. Jesus would not have won that election standing for the weak, vulnerable and disposed.” I was not going to win this one but I was warming to the Vicar’s theme, ‘how would a Muslim family be accepted in such a white middle class parish such as this one,’ I wondered. “I think there are some people who wouldn’t bat an eyelid but I also think there are some people who would be pretty vile. On balance I would like to think we’re a pretty liberal tolerant community,” says Kate. Indeed Kate and her family have lived on a street in High Wycombe where they were the only non-Muslim family. Her immediate neighbour was what Kate would describe as a ‘moderate’ >>> COTSWOLD STYLE DECEMBER 2016 15

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Style Interview Muslim who nevertheless did the full burka, was from Birmingham and well imbued with the ‘Brummie’ sense of humour, “I know I’m a racist but I just don’t like Asians.” Kate does not see life as black and white; she sees one big grey area. She doesn’t buy extremes and cites the case of this very same Muslim neighbour who had a miscarriage and deeply grieved her sense of emotional and physical loss. Her fervent immediate Muslim community looked straight through her grief as a means to an end, go on breeding and better luck next time. Kate could only feel and show love and compassion for her friend’s grief, the reality and not the doctrine. It is a fact of Church of England life that many see the future of the church enshrined in evangelicalism, a Protestant movement embraced within a variety of Christian denominations, based on the idea that religious salvation can be achieved through adherence to the word of God as delivered through the Bible. It is certainly championed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and finds currency in a younger generation of our towns and cities. Kate is decidedly not a fan and I am starting to work out how her religion ticks. “We live in a very uncertain world which is why black and white is so very attractive but it’s not real. Hearing an evangelical condemn homosexuality is unhelpful and harmful and you think it’s absolutely hopeless. By talking and listening to people in the middle, it is possible to gain a sense of perspective. I think Jesus was asked one hundred and twenty five questions and only ever gave three answers. He answered questions with more questions and that’s how we learn and learn to respect each other’s point of view. That way there is hope and hope for a more tolerant society that listens and understands.” Specifically Kate is a vicar for her parish preferring to be integrated within her community, serving it for what it is rather than planning the next crusade to heaven knows where. Kate’s ministry is more The Archers than inner city and of course, she’s a fan. She’s more Vicar of Dibley than Joan of Arc preferring to be in the Village shop discussing the next WI meeting rather than the Holy Spirit headlining New Wine’s next Glastonbury for God. 16 DECEMBER 2016 COTSWOLD STYLE

I’ve always been uncomfortable asking Christians about their relationships with God, slightly akin to discussing somebody’s sex life, you know they have one but that’s as far as you want to go. There’s a great line from Tom Hanks in Angels and Demons, ‘faith is a gift I haven’t been blessed with,’ inferring other people have and it’s slightly annoying. What’s it like and why have I been left out? To Kate Stacey she always knew Jesus was a friend and that she would never be alone. She did have a Damascene moment when, at the age of seventeen, she suffered from anorexia and had been four and a half stones for six months, “That’s at the point you don’t recover. Somebody from my church came and sat with me and prayed. I had a dream that I was falling down a tube but that I was reaching the end where there was a speck of light. That was the start of my recovery.” Kate grew up in Solihull after which she moved to Leicestershire with her family where her father was in Air Cargo at East Midlands Airport. She had always

been creatively gifted and did her foundation at Camberwell Art College before graduating to the College of St Mark and St John in Plymouth to study art and design, finally majoring in sculpture before taking a degree in theology where she met her husband Graham. Known sometimes known as the vicar’s husband, Graham is a SelfSupporting Minister who runs his own creative agency during the week and leads the occasional service at the weekend. She and Graham have three children Anna, 17, Beth, 14 and 12 year old Daniel. She sees Anna as a healthy enquiring atheist who doesn’t quite get there but Kate is happy that she is questioning. Of course, it's not easy for children whose parents are 'God Squad’, “There is bullying and sometimes I just want to go in and forcibly sort things out, I'm only human.” There are also various animals at the Vicarage; dog, cats, hens and a fish called Beyoncé, “Apart from walking Pip the dog around this beautiful part of the

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“It’s there for everybody, it’s more than a building, it’s a place people can go and sit and for the children, a place to sing and draw and put up their pictures” world, I love spending time with family and friends, listening to music, Radio 4 comedy and reading. Saturdays are usually my day off and unless I manage a mass cookathon while listening to Saturday Live I never quite feel right for the rest of the week.” Raising money for Christian Aid, Kate is running in the London Marathon next year and is currently reading Jo Pavey’s ‘This Mum Runs’. Given the nature of our earlier conversation I am quite taken that Kate’s favourite novelist is Marilynne Robinson whose novels are noted for both their mid twentieth Century American Midwest setting as well as their thematic depiction of rural life and faith. No coincidence, I feel, that President Obama referred to her ‘reservoir of goodness, beyond and of another kind, that we are able to do each other in the ordinary cause of things’, which seems to be remarkably close to Kate’s philosophy. Being a female vicar brought the predictable ‘you’re quite good for a woman’ and ‘I quite like you now that I’ve got to know you’ and even, ‘what we don’t like about you is that you’re young, female and enthusiastic.’ I have the feeling that there is now a general

acceptance of women holding ‘executive ecclesiastical’ jobs. “Yes, I’d become a bishop if asked, having compassionate inclusive female bishops can only be good for the church.” Kate is compassionate. She tells the story of a disadvantaged small boy who is moved to tears by asking other children to carry a stone easing his burden. Kate is very insistent that children are integral to the development of the church and that the church itself is inclusive, ‘it’s there for everybody, it’s more than a building, it’s a place people can go and sit and for the children, a place to sing and draw and put up their pictures.’ Interestingly Kate has calculated that her churches entertain five thousand people each year who are not regular churchgoers, “Baptisms, weddings, funerals and Christmas account for most people in our churches. That is our opportunity to show how inclusive we are and share our faith.” Christmas starts for the busy vicar towards the end of November, a marathon of Christmas lunches, lashings of mulled wine and mince pies, carol concerts, and visiting the housebound

and sick. Christmas is clearly a joyous time for Kate and her parish and is an antidote to difficult times, “There is no explanation for a baby’s funeral and yes I do sometimes wake up in the morning and question my faith.” Community is very much central to Kate’s take on Christianity. She has just returned from a hen night with old school friends, a weekend at Butlins. “It was Remembrance Sunday and five thousand people gathered round the PA system to sing The Farm’s, ‘All Together Now’. To me that was much more powerful than sitting with a group of people arguing as to whether their interpretation of religious doctrine is right or wrong.” Kate’s Christmas message is enshrined in the parable of the prodigal son, which is the cornerstone of her Christian belief, “The Father comes running to us, he identifies with our struggles both in a global and personal context and is there for us in the middle of it all. I think all of us need to know that we are loved and all of us need to know that people care about us. It’s cool and that is what Christianity is all about. It is all about love I think love always wins.”  COTSWOLD STYLE DECEMBER 2016 17

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UNLOCK K THE DOOR R TO YOUR ME WITH HELP ELP TO BUY NEW HOME Help to Buy can help p you step onto the property ladder ladder and makes moving much more affordab affordable. le. The scheme enables you to o buy a new home with a 5% deposit. Y You’ll ou’ll need neeed to take out a 75% mortgagee on your new home and the remainin remaining ng 20% will be funded by a go government overnment loan. This exclusive, private gated ated development in the heartt of Cheltenham is the ideal place to call home. These ese stunning apartments enjoy an unrivalled location, just a short distance from the town centre and close to a variety of entertainment. There is plenty to do and d see in the local area and you u will be well connected to a number towns and b off large l t d cities, iti with ith Oxford, O f d Reading Readi diing i and d London London d allll nearby. nearby b. 2 bedroom bed droom apartments from £249,000 Buy Just £199,200 £ with Help to Bu uy* now! IImagery magery includes optional upgrades at additional al cost.

Visit ou ourr Marketing Suite at 37-39 Winchcombe ombe Street, Open daily between 10am and 5pm pm m restnicholson

01242 01242 5 504922 04922

Help tto o Buy is av available ailable on the pur p purchase chase of yyour our primary residence residence up tto o the vvalue alue of £600,000. YYou ou must must fund a minimum of 80% of the purchase purchase price. price. The Go Government’s vernment’s loan loa an will need to to be repaid repaid when the pr operty is sold or aft er 25 yyears ears i.e. up to to 20% of the properties properties ttotal otal sal ep pric e. During the first first five five years years of owning owning your your home, yyou ou will not pay any int erest on the Government’s Goverrnment’s loan loan and you you will pay a property after sale price. interest fee of £1 per month. month. In the sixth year, year, yyou ou will be charged charged a fee fee off 1.75% of the loan’s loan’s value value and this increases increases annually an nnually with inflation, calculated calculated by RPI (Retail (Retail Price Price Inde x) plus 1%. YYou ou will also management fee Index) require adequate adequate funds tto o cover coverr legal legal costs costs and moving moving fees. fees. To To be eligibl e, you you u must must meet the criteria criteria set down down by this Government Government scheme, details details of which are are available available from frrom the Crest Crest Nicholson Sales Sales require eligible, Advisor. The amount of deposit required required may vary vary depending on the scheme rules rules and the lender lender for for the mortgage finance. finance. If you you are are in any doubt about this scheme please please seek s advice. Crest Crest Advisor. independent advice. provide mortgages morrtgages and cannot cannot give give any financial advice. advice. Show Sh how Home photography. photography. Pricing correct correct on 14.11.16. 14.11.16. Nicholson does not provide Crest Nicholson South West, West, a division d of Cr est Nicholson Operations Operations Ltd, Crest Cresst House, Lime Kiln Road, Stoke Stoke Gifford, Gifford, Bristol Bristol BS34 8ST. 8ST. Crest Crest YOUR HOME MAY Y BE REPOSSESSED REPOSSESSED IF YOU YOU DO NOT NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS REPAYMENTS ON O YOUR YOUR MORTGAGE MORTGAGE OR ANY DEBT SECURED ON IT. IT. YOUR


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Knight Frank December Edit 2016:Layout 1



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Style Hot Property

Montpellier Terrace, Cheltenham

Guide price ÂŁ695,000

Setting the scene: Situated in the heart of Montpellier, overlooking Montpellier Gardens the property has been immaculately maintained and is very well presented having undergone a refurbishment in 2008. Why we love it: The accommodation is arranged over four floors, with the lower ground floor offering a self-contained one bedroom apartment. The main house has beautiful proportions, an abundance of character and retains many period features, including detailed coving, ceiling roses, fireplaces, high ceilings and sash hung windows. On the raised ground floor is the impressive dining room, which leads through to the kitchen and out to the enclosed south facing courtyard garden with pedestrian access to the lane at the rear. There is also a utility room on this floor. Upstairs there is a bathroom on the 1st floor mezzanine, a 1st floor drawing room and a large bedroom. On the 2nd floor mezzanine is a shower room and two further bedrooms on the 2nd floor. There is residents permit parking available on Montpellier Terrace. | Knight Frank | 123 Promenade | Cheltenham | GL50 1NW | 01242 246959 24 DECEMBER 2016 COTSWOLD STYLE

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Style Hot Property

The Park, Cheltenham

Guide price ÂŁ560,000

Setting the scene: Situated on the raised ground floor of a handsome detached Victorian villa. Why we love it : This spacious apartment of 1,350 sq ft offers stunning contemporary accommodation which blends beautifully with the many fine period features. The apartment is accessed via its own private entrance, which leads into a spacious and light reception hall. The kitchen dining room is 19' x 18' and has a lovely easterly aspect to the front through a three-quarter length sash window with working shutters and two display alcoves either side. The kitchen has been fitted with quality units, a corian work top, boiling water tap and a useful breakfast bar made of Swedish river washed wood. Double doors lead through to a generous and elegant drawing room of 22' x 16' with two three-quarter length sash windows to the front with working shutters. In addition, there are two double bedrooms, both with built-in wardrobes. The master bedroom has a shower en suite and bedroom 2 is served by the bathroom off the reception hall. There is a large loft, which offers a huge amount of storage. Outside, is a lawned communal garden to the front and rear of the building. There is allocated parking for 1 car, as well as visitors parking spaces. EPC Rating D. | Knight Frank | 123 Promenade | Cheltenham GL50 1NW | 01242 246959 COTSWOLD STYLE DECEMBER 2016 25

000 Property Amanda MacCaw December 2016:Layout 1



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All I want for

CHRISTMAS Amanda MacCaw has created a Christmas stocking brimming with delectable Cotswold properties If you like to dream (or if you’ve lucked out and have a generous millionaire husband, wife or godparent), you may just want to put one of these perfect property presents on your Christmas list. Or if you’re shopping and have run out of ideas, here’s some inspiration – difficult to wrap, but don’t let a little hurdle like that put you off – a big red bow should suffice!


The Bibury Court Estate Prince Charles is believed to have asked, “Why can’t everyone build houses like Quinlan Terry’s?” He would presumably love this example, built in a spot that capitalises on beautiful views over the Coln Valley, the six bedroom, six reception room house is built in Cotswold stone in classical style, with all the character but none of the costs associated with a period alternative. There’s a swimming pool, cricket pitch, separate mill house, traditional buildings and a range of farm buildings, all set in over 760 acres, including fishing on the River Coln, pheasant and partridge shoot, mixed woodland, pasture and arable.

£17.5m, Knight Frank, 020 7629 8171


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Style Property with Amanda MacCaw

For the man or woman who has everything… Isis Lake, South Cerney, Cirencester The Cotswold Water Park has 150 lakes set over 40 square miles. A holiday home on Isis Lake would be a perfect retreat with so many activities and facilities on the doorstep and a gorgeous outlook to provide you with a perfectly good reason to sit and do absolutely nothing if all that rushing about sounds too exhausting. This three-bedroom lodge has a large downstairs living area opening onto a rear deck with far reaching southerly views across the lake. A fantastic weekend retreat, or investment opportunity.

£162,500, Cain & Fuller Estate Agents, 01285 640604

Skinted St Mary Street, Chippenham This lovely little flat has oodles of kerb appeal – located in a beautiful Georgian building on one of Chippenham’s oldest streets. There are two bedrooms, a bright living room with original sash window, there’s a parking space, and it’s an easy walk to the historic market town centre and the train station. What’s more, it’s freehold – that’s plenty of bang for your Christmas buck.

£180,000, Allen & Harris Estate Agents, 01249 655255

Stocking filler Roman Cottage, Colerne, Wiltshire If you’re just looking for a little something, to fill the gap between tangerine and sugar mouse, this terraced cottage could be just the thing. At 282 sq. ft. of living accommodation, it’s small but perfectly formed, and housekeeping shouldn’t be too onerous. Downstairs, the wisteria clad cottage has a cosy living room with stone flooring, wood burning stove and window overlooking the lane; there’s a kitchen at the back, and upstairs there’s a double bedroom and en suite bathroom. What more do you need? Located in the Cotswolds area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and with Bath around 7 miles to the South West, it’s a perfectly located pad for both town and country.

£199,000, Hunter French, 01225 444454


000 Property Amanda MacCaw December 2016:Layout 1

Royal neighbours Gatcombe Water, Nr Minchinhampton Set in an eye-wateringly beautiful plot of around three acres overlooking Gatcombe Water, the original Keepers cottage and boat house beneath is believed to date back to the 1830s. The property was enlarged extensively in the late 1980s and there’s now around 10,000 sq ft of accommodation arranged over three floors. But it’s more about neighbour name-dropping than it is the number of bedrooms! Keepers is in an idyllic position adjacent to Gatcombe Park, the country residence of Princess Anne, which is situated between the market town of Minchinhampton and the pretty village of Avening.

£180,000, Allen & Harris Estate Agents, 01249 655255




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A partridge in a perry pear tree Perry Pear Orchard, Barton on the Heath, Moreton in Marsh A house isn’t just for Christmas, especially when it comes in the form of 1.8 acres of land, some fruit trees, and a set of plans for a Passivhaus from Seymour-Smith Architects, the husband and wife team whose own building project was filmed for Channel 4’s Grand Designs. Planning permission has been granted under the Paragraph 55 clause of the National Planning Policy Framework that allows some new homes to be built in the countryside, including in the green belt. So take a year or two off and throw yourself into an exciting project to create a modern masterpiece in the beautiful rolling countryside of the North Cotswolds. (Partridge not included).

£825,000, Strutt & Parker, 01608 650502

Follow that star Farmland, Avon Dassett, Southam No room at the inn? Maybe not quite what you had in mind but what could be more appropriate for Christmas than a stable – or at least a gorgeous plot of land and planning permission to build one. The land at Tree Top Farm is around five acres and is situated just outside the beautiful village of Avon Dassett. Slightly sloping, the land rises up to reveal a stunning view, which on a good day includes the Malvern hills. Currently there is no water, however buyers will be reassured that mains water can be found in the ditch that runs parallel to the land.

£125,000, Mark David Estate Agents, 01295 273272

Amanda is a freelance PR and copywriter offering a friendly and collaborative service in the Cotswolds. She can be contacted on 01386 700068 / 07977 238175 /


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Interior or Window w Shutters ers By Shutte Shuttercraft ercraft Glouc Gloucestershire cestershire

Shuttercraft Gloucestershire Shuttercraft Glou ucestershire supply the widest w range of pr premium emium quality interior w window shutters and blinds blin nds to perfectly match any a window,, home an window and nd budget. W e of ffer: We offer: 9 9 9 9 9 9

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Fit Inside Out has a range of packages to suit all budgets and lifestyles. 10% OFF for Cotswold Style readers in December and January. T&C’s apply

Whether you’re a mum that can’t get to the gym, an avid gym goer looking to take your training to the next level or a bride-to-be wanting to look and feel her best on her big day, there is a package to suit you. Fit Inside Out also specialises in tailor-made nutrition plans that suit the entire family and more importantly, are sustainable; teaching you good habits to ensure that you need never ‘diet’ again and without counting calories or weighing food! Fit Inside Out is offering Cotswold Style readers 10% off in December and January. Note that all package prices will increase in January so take advantage of the December prices now. If you wish, you may defer starting until January, providing payment is made in December.

Contact me for a free consultation at: or take a look at all of my services on my website:

CAPENA G&W Gloucester Furniture, 71/73 Southgate Street, Gloucester GL1 1TX Tel: 01452 304424 G&W Worcester Furniture, 6-9 Cornmarket, Worcester WR1 2DR Tel: 01905 22383 32 DECEMBER 2016 COTSWOLD STYLE


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Art in Flight Cotswold Style met with Clare Shaw a locally born and bred Artist who is fast becoming one of the country’s leading Fieldsports artists. Clare tells us what inspires her, where she gets her drive from and how she has achieved so much in a relatively short space of time… With the winter evenings drawing in and the shoot season well under way, we thought it would be a great idea to interview Clare Shaw and find out how she creates such vivid and energetic paintings which have created such a storm amongst the hunting and shooting fraternity all across the country. Born in Cheltenham and raised in Bourton-on-the-Water, Clare has always been a country girl at heart. When she was at school she was a very keen artist, painting lots of wildlife and countryside themed pieces but life took her on another journey for over twenty years and she moved away from Gloucestershire to seek a life in London and left her painting behind. It was when she hit 40 and after a life changing experience, she picked up her pencils again, followed her heart and embarked on a whole new adventure which has given her the most incredible gifts and change in career. Today Clare spends her time living between Cheltenham where she spends as much time as possible with her daughter Daisy and in Lincolnshire where she lives with her partner Will and this is where she creates her huge, vibrant paintings in her studio over looking rolling fields filled with a plethora of stunning wildlife. We caught up with her in her Cheltenham cottage to find out how she has become so established and what it is that has ignited that fire in her belly.

Hi Clare, it’s so lovely to meet you. Can you tell us, how you came to start painting again after such a long time? Well… to be honest I believe my life began at 40! I never thought I'd ever say that but sitting here now I know that four years ago my life totally changed;. I made a decision, I hit rock bottom and from that day I have never looked back. it was then that I found in my heart this talent that I had forgotten I had. I had recently met my partner, Will and he urged me to start painting the 34 DECEMBER 2016 COTSWOLD STYLE

countryside around me. Some old friends asked me to paint a Hare for them, which I posted on FaceBook and this had quite a lot of interest and then I did another one, which I sold and this is how it started. As my confidence grew, my passion grew and so did my portfolio. I learnt to use FaceBook and other social media platforms and started to get myself out there. That's when it started to snowball. I then invested in a website and took the plunge to contact galleries. It was when I was accepted by The House of Bruar Art Gallery in Scotland this year that it established me as a serious artist amongst the shooting fraternity and I have been able to gain some recognition. And... why Pheasants and Game birds now? I live on a farm in the Lincolnshire Wolds in the week. I am surrounded by them and they are just so magnificent.

Each pheasant is different and unique and to be honest very quirky. As are the Partridge. I inject that personality and character into all of my paintings and each time I create a new piece I get so excited to be illustrating what I wake up to every day. I'm so blessed to be able to paint what I see and then let other people obtain joy out of it too. I also love to go shooting and I am officially addicted to Salmon fishing. This is where I gain so much inspiration and passion for me to home and capture on the canvas. So tell us what makes you so different from any other countryside artist? I am self taught, I use a technique with my watercolour pencils and acrylic paint that I don't think any other artist uses. I also paint a very traditional subject, such as pheasant, partridge, working dogs and Hare but I put a modern twist on it. My birds and animals are incredibly detailed and I use intense colours to lift them off the page. The Matt, acrylic background makes then literally jump at you. I only use two background colours, pale olive and powder blue and this is now becoming my trademark. It's fantastic because many of the older generation who originally didn't like my work, thinking it was too modern, are now asking me to do private commissions for

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them to put in their homes. Which to me is a huge honour. I am incredibly passionate about what I do. I lost so much and I spent many years in darkness but now my life is so fulfilled and incredible I think it comes through in my paintings. They are full of light and energy which you can only create if you have it inside of you.

So Clare is your work available in the Cotswolds? As I said previously I have a website with all of my work on it. I have also been doing some pop up shops in Cheltenham and many of my customers are in Gloucestershire. I would like to be in a Gallery in the area too; it's getting the time to contact them, as I'm so booked up with private work it's hard to find time to write to them all. I would also love to be in some of the local hotels and country pubs, which hold shoot dinners. This is one of my projects for next year. I work with several shoots in the North of England but as there are so many shoots in Gloucestershire (and being a Cheltenham girl), I'd be over the moon to get my work in with the local ones too.

Do you only paint Fieldsports related pieces? No not at all. I love to paint all wildlife it's just that most of the time I get asked to do the Game birds. I have recently been painting smaller, native birds such as The Kingfisher, a wren, Robins and Owls. I just wish I had more time! When I'm in Cheltenham I see more of the garden birds and am inspired to do Blue Tits, chaffinches etc. I will get round to it but my list just gets longer all the time. I will be doing a Leaping Salmon in the New Year, so it will be interesting to see the response to that. I also spend a lot of time doing pet portraits of dogs, cats and horses so to be honest I'll paint anything as long as it's not human!

You seem very happy? Yes I am. I have the most amazing life today, I have the best of both worlds. The stunning Cotswolds at weekends and the rolling hills of Lincolnshire in the week. My family are so important to me as they have stuck by me and they are here and my inspiration comes from them too. I have the best job in the world, live in two beautiful places, I have a new life and everything to live for. I’m one very happy lady indeed.


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Enjoy a MasterChef Experience at the in-toto Kitchens Cheltenham Grand Opening in-toto cordially invites you to attend the official grand launch of its new Kitchen Design Studio in Cheltenham On Saturday 7th January 2017, in-toto Kitchens Cheltenham is officially opening its doors with a day of celebrations, hosted by MasterChef: The Professionals’ 2013 winner, Steven Edwards. Taking place between 11am – 4pm, visitors are welcome to join the team at the Kitchen Design Studio for a family-friendly event, including refreshments, a live cooking demonstration, expert design and project advice, and children’s entertainment. Guests at the event will be treated to a selection of delicious dishes, cooked live by acclaimed chef Steven Edwards, who is sure to tempt the audience with an inspiring culinary display and delicious samples of freshly-made cuisine. The Mayor of Cheltenham will also be in attendance, joining in the jubilations at the studio from 12pm. Open to everyone, the event will give you an opportunity to discover intoto while leisurely browsing around the new showroom and picking up essential inspiration for your next kitchen design project. The large new studio, spread over two floors, boasts an impressive selection of contemporary and traditional kitchen designs, creatively using a stylish mix of materials

from cool glass to warm woods. If you already know what you’re looking for, then one of the studio’s skilled designers will be on-hand to discuss your own bespoke kitchen that is practical, personal, and totally suited to your budget and lifestyle. The team at in-toto Cheltenham are excited to welcome visitors to the new studio and are looking forward to the

grand launch, which is set to be an unmissable event. Through their dedication to customer service excellence and expertise in all aspects of the process from the initial kitchen planning, right through to the final finishing touches, they hope to introduce guests to the superior quality and practicality of an in-toto kitchen.  Find in-toto Cheltenham at: 1 Montpellier Avenue, Cheltenham Gloucestershire, GL50 1SA For more information about the event or to book a consultation, call in-toto Cheltenham on 01242 573275, or email To discover more about in-toto, please visit


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Left: Little wooden Christmas tree with fairy lights. Walls painted in Farrow and Ball Calke Green estate emulsion

Left: Brass and glass retro table from Design Vintage £195

Above: Amish Extra Large white Barn Star from Design Vintage hung on barns to ward off evil £145

INTERIORS STYLE Compiled and written by Caroline Berry It always seems quite a shock when the hour goes back and good lighting becomes extremely welcome, whether it is simple fairy lights or good lamps to sit by the fire with a newspaper and glass of wine. Christmas is the perfect excuse to bring in more colour, work in some reds and greens with their high contrast and, for texture, to layer up as much wool as you can handle. It needs to look and feel invitingly warm.

Caroline Berry is a well established Interior Designer. Her portfolio includes country houses, town houses, contemporary and listed buildings. She studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths and still paints and makes sculpture. Email:


Below: Roger Oates Masai stair runner from £125/m

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Style Interiors Left: Porta Romana Grace Lamp Base from £582.00

Below: Faux Grape succulent £35 from Design Vintage

Below: Large Vintage lightbulbs from £15.50 from Design Vintage

Above: Cushions from Manuel Canovas from

All items on this page can be supplied by

Mexican embroidered Sofa from Ian Snow £17799


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Carpet Emporium is truly a family business run by Don D’Ambrosio along with his wife Mary and cousin John who have successfully built up a carpet business with a ‘difference’. We are not your normal carpet business with just lots of pattern books or samples to choose from, we actually probably stock more carpet rolls and large room sized remnants than other carpet business in Gloucestershire. When people think of a carpet remnant they think of a small piece suitable for a small bedroom, but the remnants we stock are big enough to carpet several rooms.

the difference is...

WHY CARPET REMNANTS? We also stock full rolls which will carpet a complete house. Many of these offer our customers a discount of up to 50% off normal retail prices. All remnants are perfect we do not sell factory seconds. We offer budget priced remnants to top quality 80% Wool Twist and 100% Wool Berbers, we also have many wool carpets that are now mothproof. If you cannot find what you are looking for in our extensive stock selection of over 250 rolls, we also have over 500 samples of carpets and rugs from all leading carpet manufactures in the UK and Europe. RUGS We also carry a huge range of rugs all from stock from bargain priced polypropylenes to 100% Wool Natural, plains and patterned. Many of the rugs stocked are discontinued lines which represent a big saving on normal prices. VINYLS Over 250 designs and styles of top quality vinyls available, from marble, wood, tile effect and many contemporary designs. DIVAN BEDS & MATTRESSES We have a large selection of different quality mattresses from budget priced open coil, to high quality 3000 pocket sprung, and also superb quality natural latex options. All beds and mattresses can be delivered direct from stock. WHY PURCHASE FROM CARPET EMPORIUM Carpet Emporium aim to make your carpet buying experience as easy as possible, we offer a measuring and planning service free of charge. We have experienced carpet fitters which we can fully recommend or we can deliver carpets direct to your premises for your own fitter to install. We have been providing flooring and rugs in the Cheltenham area for over 35 years.

Customer satisfaction is crucial to our business and we will always endeavour to bring our customer the best service and most competitive prices we possibly can.

01242 22 88 55

Give us a try before you buy we GUARANTEE value for money!

16-28 Bath Road, Cheltenham GL53 7HA Open 9am-5pm Tues, Weds, Fri & Sat LATE NIGHT OPENING THURSDAYS – 9am-6.30pm |

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Cotswolds Culture CHRISTMAS LUNCHEON It’s more political than Brexit, warns Susan Blanchfield Never mind the furore around the orange man and his Kardashian style leadership; the English have more immediate concerns; ‘turkey with all the trimmings’. If ever there were a phrase to strike fear into the heart, it's this one. The politically delicate and complex preparatory process that must be employed for the annual Christmas lunch makes the recent shenanigans of the US election participants look like total amateurs when it comes to the labour intensive, protocol driven affair that constitutes the modern Christmas lunch. By now, the Norfolk Bronze turkey or free-range goose will have been ordered and the regular feeding of the needy boozehound Christmas cake will be underway. Magazines will be applying non stop frenzied pressure for perfection with ridiculous suggestions for the ultimate lunch table that looks like a Fortnum & Mason festive window display whilst celebrities fuel the quest for airbrushed perfection by irritatingly popping up everywhere and pretending to adore Christmas. Preparation for ‘The Lunch’ usually begins months in advance with an initial tentative ‘reaching out’ exercise involving a round of calls to the various potential participants to establish who is discharging Christmas Day duties with whom. This process requires firm but careful negotiation to achieve an end goal of ensuring the diaries of family individuals are coaxed into uneasy alignment. In addition, backup arrangements must be constructed to accommodate participants who are either not on speaking terms or are not to be trusted. Contingency plans are usually put in place close to the actual date to deal with the inevitable three-line whip style behaviour metered out by disgruntled senior relatives intent on sabotage. For most families it is a stunningly complex set of preparations for a lunch that will be reduced to a soggy sprouty

rubble in a short space of time but the complexities of modern day living; extended and blended families, often scattered around the country or abroad have made the process of organising family Christmas lunch more problematic. Though the modern Christmas lunch is a fairly recent composition, feasting at the midwinter solstice is probably as old as civilisation. And from the Normans to the Tudors, the elements of Christmas lunch have barely changed. If you were rich you ate lots of meat, especially peacock and boar. Turkey was introduced to England in the sixteenth century and Henry VIII was allegedly the first English monarch to have it for Christmas lunch. During the reign of Elizabeth II, a highlight of the festive season was the Christmas feast but it was the Victorians who cemented the form of the lunch we recognise today. The Victorian belief in the virtue of feasting as an expression of love was captured by Dickins in ‘A Christmas Carol’ in all its glorious, food based sentimentality. These traditions may be upheld today but even if you have achieved a full quota of agreeable relatives for the big day,

there is still the modern day liberalist food issues to contend with - the gluten free; the necessity to produce two types of roast potato to accommodate the pesky veggies; as well as the ‘off menu’ types; ‘could I have the gravy on the side and broccoli instead of sprouts?’ It could be worse. As you vibrate with tension, simmering like your pots, open a bottle of fizz and remind yourself of the potential risky business of eating at other relative’s houses; enduring the Paxo horror of clag that clings viciously to the roof of your mouth for example, or your mother-in-laws roast potatoes that attack your filings like a navy destroyer. On balance, unless your outlaws cook like Angela Hartnett, it is probably safer to host. And for all its surfeit, complexities and annoying nuances, Christmas lunch is an affirming testament to our shared past, it reminds us that family, friends, and the aim and purpose of food is life itself. Happy Christmas!  Susan Blanchfield is a Patron and Trustee of Cheltenham Festivals; she is a postgraduate doctoral researcher at the University of Gloucestershire and has a life long passion for the Arts in Education. Please contact Susan at:


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Through the Garden Gate As the end of the year draws near and darkness is all around, our media horticulturalist, Camilla Bassett-Smith, visits a garden that will literally light up your month... ’ve always been a fan of anything which lights up – ask my Father – it’s definitely something I’ve inherited from him. Fireworks, Christmas lights, spot lights on garden trees, LED umbrella, glow in the dark Barbie and even in my 20s, a glow in the dark Care Bear! (Who knew that Cheltenham’s Bath Road Post Office would provide me with more than stamps on that rainy day?). Anyway, when I heard that Sudeley Castle and Gardens in Winchcombe, just a short drive from my home, was hosting a month long Spectacle of Light event this December, I was on the telephone quicker than the speed of light. The grounds offer a perfect canvas for a kaleidoscopic feast of colour. Ruins, ancient trees and hedges surrounding delightful garden rooms each offering something different and this month, a trail of lights and sound every evening to



herald a magical festive season. Sudeley Castle’s history shines as brightly as the bulbs it is about to host. It is rich in royal connections, with the feet of Elizabeth I, Anne Boleyn, Lady Jane Grey and Katherine Parr treading its pathways. It is in-fact the latter’s final resting place. From feet to hands and the glove making Dent family who rescued the castle from a ruin in the 19th century and handed it on through the generations to the current owners Lady Ashcombe and her children, Henry and Mollie Dent Brocklehurst.

The gardens are delicious, like the most luxurious rug, woven together over years and host to thousands of visitors who admire the heritage and horticulture surrounding them between March and October. Head Gardener, Stephen Torode is a fount of knowledge both botanically and historically and his love for this passionate palatial property and grounds is evident. The romantic ruins of the Tithe Barn and informality of planting here contrasts with the formal pond area alongside. Don’t be fooled by the Magnolia Walk – not just tulip trees in spring here, but year round colour from Cornus to Hydrangeas, along with swathes of recently planted bulbs including the native Narcissus pseudonarcissus.

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“Sudeley Castle’s history shines as brightly as the bulbs it is about to host. It is rich in royal connections, with the feet of Elizabeth I, Anne Boleyn, Lady Jane Grey and Katherine Parr treading its pathways.” The rose hips of ‘Kiftsgate’ and others hold on, glowing with pride around the remains of the ancient Banqueting Hall where Elizabeth I was entertained and no doubt made merry with a sherry or two. Garden structure here is strong with huge yew hedges and box at every turn. Fabulous walls for a star cloth of night time illuminations and home to many a frosty cobweb. A knot garden impresses with its Tudor design, encasing coloured gravel for 365 day a year uniformity. Stephen tells me that in the Queen’s Garden – full of roses bursting at the seams in June (Dents gloves seams of course!) – he has chosen to plant Euonymus japonicus instead of box and is so far very impressed. The Secret Garden is long and narrow, like a selection box full of

choice, waiting to be savoured. At this time of year, heads of Miscanthus & Stipa don their fluffy coats to keep warm and spent cone flowers perch on stems like bobble hats. This garden is full of facts (oh and a massive collection of rare breed pheasants to view – particularly pleasant!). From collections of beneficial herbs to poisonous or scented plants, you have it all in spades. Turn the horticultural dimmer switch on this December and The Parrotia persica may start to open its blood red petals alongside the North Lawn in tandem with the lighting up of thousands of bulbs which await you as dusk falls. So there’s no need for a gloomy night in, head to Sudeley Castle Spectacle of Light – it’s going to be spectacular! 

Spectacle of Light runs from the 1st to the 23rd December and has specific entry time slots starting from 5pm until 8.30pm each evening. Tickets must be bought in advance either through the Cheltenham Everyman Theatre box office or via the website


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Winter Sale


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Timber Windows of Moreton-in-Marsh Old Market Way, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, GL56 0AJ

Timber Windows of Oxford 255 Marston Road, Marston, Oxfordshire, OX3 0EN

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COLOMBIA SOUTH AMERICA’S RISING STAR Self-professed adventuress and Travel Writer Lucy Garbutt and friends travelled to Colombia to one of the continent’s natural wonders and untouched gems. olombia is fast emerging as a beautiful butterfly from its pupa having been wrapped in a cloak of conflict for over fifty years. A group of friends and I have just returned this month and our journey to Colombia has been a deliciously relentless assault on the senses, as each crinkled wing unfurls from the darkness revealing glittering scales of discovery along each vein. The country offers astonishing diversity of population and rich cultural


history as well as being a geographical melange, ranging from high Andean peaks and lush rainforest to mighty rivers and powder-white beaches. We flew into the cosmopolitan capital Bogota on its towering Andean plateau and sampled its excellent hotels, restaurants, bars, art galleries and museums and lost ourselves within the relics and stories of ancient pre-Columbian civilisations and Spanish conquistadores. We travelled to Armenia in the heart of the stunning coffee region and experienced traditional Colombian life on a plantation by staying in Hacienda Bambusa, a delightful colonial style property. I woke to a philharmonic tropical dawn chorus and discovered hummingbirds darting between the Tumbergias flowers on my veranda, sampled the farm’s delicious produce

Me, Sue Crawford, Nessie Powell and Fi Geddes in Bogota’s Simon Bolivar Square with the cathedral and white church topped Monserrat e Peak in view which we reached by cablecar

and explored its cacao plantations. We hiked in the foothills of the Parque Nacional Los Nevados surrounded by exotic plant and bird life of unimaginable variety, ceremonially planted a wax palm seedling and swam in swirling pools below cascading waterfalls. The Caribbean glory of Cartegena so beloved of Gabriel Garcia Marquez with its cultural wealth and architectural beauty stole the show for us, particularly as its history was brought to life by our highly entertaining, encyclopaedic guide Willy (who had been born in our hotel when it had been a hospital!). We passed View of Bocagrande, Cartegena’s glittering, Miami-style new town from the Monasterio and Iglesia de La Popa constructed in 1606


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Style Travel Rosario Islands comprising 23 coral islands southwest of the Bay of Cartegena

Above: The Valle de Cocora is part of the Parque Nacional de los Nevados and is an ideal place to see the Quindian wax palm, the national tree of Colombia, which can reach a staggering height of 60m

our days in a blissful sun-soaked haze starting with refreshing dips in the exquisite Hotel Santa Clara pool, languid breakfast banquets of kaleidoscopic tropical fruits, eggs and traditional arepas (cornmeal patties), followed by cultural immersion into Cartagena’s UNESCO listed colonial gems and mojitos atop the city wall watching the glowing sun dip below the Caribbean horizon, before dinner of delectable ceviche and coconut rice, tapping along to a six-piece playing jubilant Colombian folk music. We walked atop the magnificent city walls, crafted from coral and limestone by African slaves. We then ambled through cobbled narrow streets within the historic walls of El Centro with magnificent studded doors leading to

courtyards of fountains and tropical palms and admired the bright figures of the Palenquera women balancing enormous basins of tropical fruit on their heads. Relieved to escape the heat for a day, we headed by speedboat to the offshore national park of the Rosario Islands and Isla Grande to soak up some sun on a Caribbean beach. We snorkelled through intricate corals and shoals of colourful tropical fish in the balmy sea and for lunch feasted on fresh grouper at a sun-dappled table beneath mystical strangler figs. Throughout our adventures we experienced nothing but warmth and kindness from remarkable people who, like the butterfly unfurling, are emerging from the drug-fuelled Colombia of old.

The Nobel Peace Prize for 2016 has been awarded to the President Juan Manual Santos for bringing civil war to an end and this should be seen as a tribute to Colombia’s wonderful people, who are utterly charming and gave me one of the best times of my life summed up by Sue in her thank you note, “Salt cathedrals, courtyard lunches, llamas, steak, Botero, humming birds, treks, cool pools, birthdays and lovely pressies, snorkelling, eating, drinking, music, bars with pools, bougainvillea, large breakfasts, history, balconies and wooden windows, cocktails at sunset with humid sea breeze, Caribbean ocean, ceviche, convents, markets, views, avocado, music, street acrobats... warmth in people, temperature and friendships. The list is endless... It was wonderful. Thank you”.  As a relatively untravelled country Colombia is not entirely geared up for tourists and it’s not always simple to get around. World Odyssey can advise you on the most interesting places to eat, sleep and visit and arrange the best guides along the way – for more information on anything to do with your next holiday please visit – follow us @World_Odyssey, become a fan on Facebook and/or call one of our travel specialists for advice on: 01905 731373.


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Somewhere for the Weekend? Our very own Cotswoldia couple, Mrs and Mr Jones, hosts our travel section. They thoroughly investigate destinations ideal for a little trip away revealing vital tips on a glamorous getaway and also provide the inside track to ensure the destination caters for a range of tastes and wallets. From the slickest city hangouts to peaceful boltholes, you won’t waste a moment planning your travels. This month we visit The Charente in France Mr Jones claims to be rather a Francophile, which Mrs Jones is prepared to believe, as his predilection for France is directly proportional to the quality of the food and wine he devours with considerable relish, high. She is also rather amused by his favourite little quip, ‘France, love the people, hate their food and wine.’ France can be a little too predictable to us British as our trail is too oft beaten from Normandy and Brittany through to the Dordogne and beyond to the south itself. Mr Jones really does not like the British abroad, especially in France and as such, tries to find a French niche that is relatively unexplored and does not lend itself to ‘fronglais.’ There is no better way to access France than to study its railway network and take full advantage of a few hours of ‘r and r’ watching the French countryside roll by. Booking by is exceptionally easy, a subsidiary of the French National Railway Company SNCF and an expert in railway travel to Europe and French destinations. Mrs & Mr Jones enjoyed a night in London before taking the Eurostar from St. Pancras to Paris to catch their connection to Angouleme in the Charente Valley.

ANGOULEME Angouleme is 130 kilometres north-east of Bordeaux, in the Charente 48 DECEMBER 2016 COTSWOLD STYLE

department of Poitou-Charentes. Standing on a rocky promontory, the town overlooks the Charente River and Angouleme is surrounded by large boulevards, which stand above the original ramparts that protected the town. Around the heart of Angouleme historic centre (which is classified among the French Towns of Art and History) there are more than two kilometres of the ramparts remaining intact, while the boulevards that follow the walls are wide, open streets with good views across the surrounding countryside. Start your visit at Angouleme Tourist Office towards the east of the centre

and near the 19th century market halls, a good example of the iron and glass buildings of the period. From here you can head into the town centre and the Town Hall, one of the most important monuments in Angouleme. The Town Hall was built on the site of an earlier chateau, of which just two towers now remain and are incorporated into the Town Hall building. The towers date from the 13th and 15th centuries, while the remainder of the building was constructed in the 19th century. Close by you can see the neo-classical style Palace of Justice and the Church of Saint-Andre. The church was originally

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built in the 12th century although substantial additions are in the later gothic style and the facade dates from a 19th century reconstruction. Near the church take a look at the curious ‘lanterne des morts’. The Theatre, on the southern side of the Place New York, has a decorative facade and was also built in the 19th century. Heading along the ramparts on the southern side of the centre you will reach the cathedral. The Romanesque Cathedral of Saint Pierre dates back 900 years but has been altered a great deal since. It is the ornately decorated facade that holds the most interest, with 70 carvings depicting the story of the Ascension and the Final Judgement. Following the crusades the magnificent domed churches of Constantinople and Eastern Europe had a marked effect on the architecture of some churches. St Marks Basilica in Venice is a particularly good example of this eastern influence but in this area of France both Saint Pierre’s cathedral in Angouleme and Saint-Front cathedral in

Perigueux, with their beautiful domed roofs, are good examples of the Byzantine influence. Continuing westwards the Chapel of the Cordeliers is part of what was once an important monastic settlement here you can also see traces of the cloisters. A nice way to continue your tour of the centre of Angouleme is to continue via Place Beaulieu, with its far-reaching views across the town and river, then take a stroll through the extensive park under the ramparts to the west, which also includes various sculptures, water features and an animal park, then follow your way back through the town, along the ramparts to the north and through the streets around the Place du Minage, where you can see several interesting townhouses. There are also several museums in the town, including a Museum of Fine Arts and an Archaeology Museum. These are grouped together as the Museum of Angouleme in the town centre. Down by the river you can visit the Museum of Paper (the wealth of Angouleme was based on the paper industry), and also the Museum of Comic Books. The high point in the calendar of Angouleme is the International Comic festival that is held in the town each January. Angouleme International Comics Festival 26-29 January 2017 It is the second largest comics festival in Europe after Lucca Comics & Games and the third biggest in the world after Lucca Comics & Games and the Comiket. Every year since 1974, the

four-day International Comic Strip Festival has been celebrating the ‘Ninth Art’, which has long held a special place in French culture. In the last years, comic book artists, writers and aficionados have made the annual pilgrimage to the French city of Angoulême for its internationally-renowned comic book festival. Hundreds of thousands of comic lovers gather in the south-western city to celebrate the art and award ground-breaking work that’s been done in the preceding months. Its success has since cemented the city’s place as the home of comic strip and manga appreciation. The festival includes a programme of exhibitions, signings and performances in honour of one of the most dynamic and creative forms of expression around today. This important event also explains why you will come across walls painted in cartoon or trompe l’oeil style as you explore the town. The focus of this popular event is the group of buildings near the Paper Museum. Take the architecture and history away and you are left with a charming French town, which rewards a casual saunter through its myriad streets. Of especial charms are the murals themselves, which literally are just happened upon, much akin to suddenly stumbling upon a hidden ‘Banksy.’ At night the town awakens rather than buzzes but it’s a charming quintessentially French buzz with the bars and restaurants full of joyful chatter and banter. This is not a fashionable town in as > COTSWOLD STYLE DECEMBER 2016 49

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Hotel Le Saint-Gelais The former diocesan house of SaintGelais has become a very attractive and comfortable boutique hotel with a gourmet restaurant Algorithm in the square of the same name. It was the diocesan house Obézine dominated by the church, and long a retirement home for priests, then a private residence for ten years. Now it is a high-end boutique hotel with twelve rooms and a gourmet restaurant, Algorithm. Mrs & Mr Jones rather indulged themselves on an entree of ‘Cream of lentils, toast with Roquefort cheese and ham brittle’ followed by ‘Supreme lacquered duckling with orange and ratatouille with old, olives taggiasche’ and then the supremely sinful ‘hot chocolate Tartare “Grand Cru” and verbena sorbet.’

La Ruelle As self-indulgent a restaurant as Mr Jones demands en Francais. Pot au feu de Foie gras au gingembre just about says it all... 6, Rue Des Trois Notre-Dame 16000 Angoulême – An Italian restaurant very much liked by the locals, must be good, as the French are not always kind about food other than their own.

COGNAC Of course, the real lure for Mr Jones was the opportunity to visit Cognac, just over an hour’s drive west from Angouleme. It’s a flat journey following the valley of the Charente but there’s a great sense of 50 DECEMBER 2016 COTSWOLD STYLE

Museums in Cognac The Museum of Art and History, in an attractive 19th century building in the public gardens, has sections dedicated to

archaeological finds in the region, ceramics and paintings, the highlight being the remains of an early ‘dug-out canoe’ from the Neolithic era. The Museum of the Arts of Cognac will teach you everything you ever wanted to know about making and marketing the famous local version of brandy. Cognac enthusiasts will also want to visit the Saint Gobain glassworks, which you can visit to see where the bottles are made to contain all that Cognac. Cognac the Spirit First produced in the 17th century when the process of double distillation was discovered, cognac takes its name from the town of Cognac. Today more than 21,000 people work to produce and market 130 million bottles a year, which are sold in more than 100 countries. The distinctive taste comes from a combination of the gentle climate, the influence of the Atlantic Ocean, and a rich variety of soils, and the AOC quality certification covers 5,600 vineyards across an area of 185,000 acres. Cognac Country is also home to Pineau de Charentes, an AOC liqueur wine made from three parts grape juice to one part cognac. Drunk chilled as an aperitif or dessert wine, pineau comes in two varieties - dry white and a fruitier rosé. Cognac Degustation Mrs & Mr Jones visited the artisan organic distillery of Brard Blanchard which lies on the southern slopes bordering the Charente. This is an excellent opportunity to see first-hand how the cognac process, from harvesting the grapes to the bottling itself actually works and of course, to sample the products themselves.


Where to Stay and Eat


much as it attracts international tourists but it is fashionably French in that it doesn’t. Therein lies its beauty and attraction.

anticipation as you pass through the vineyards and catch a glimpse of the great Cognac properties of Courvoisier and Martell. Whilst Mrs & Mr Jones both found the history of Cognac and its marketing absolutely fascinating, it is quite a sobering thought that the product itself is just distilled grape juice, the magic and mystique is the way in which it is branded and advertised. Cognac is situated in the Charente department of western France between Angouleme and Saintes. The name of Cognac is clearly known the world over because of the brandy produced in the region, and the chance to visit the Cognac distilleries certainly attracts many visitors but the town itself is also very interesting to explore with an attractive riverside and historical centre to discover. The town owes its original wealth and success to King Francois I who granted Cognac a licence to trade in salt, rather than to the drink for which it is now famous! The salamander that you can see carved on several of the houses is the symbol of King Francois I. Cognac ‘old town’, the medieval part of the town, is a region of narrow cobbled streets, hemmed in by attractive houses from the 15th to 18th centuries and a multitude of brandy maturing warehouses along the riverside. The buildings in Cognac are mostly constructed from the local white stone that is found throughout the PoitouCharentes region and makes the local architecture so distinctive and attractive. The part of Cognac to the east of here is more recent, and is a typical French town with numerous cafes and shops.



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Spotlight on... The Bigger Boys In 1715 Jean Martell arrived from his native island of Jersey and set up his own eaux-de-vie trading company in Cognac. Martell is one of the oldest major Cognac producers and welcomes visitors to its facility and has an extensive and informative tour followed by a tasting. This is very well organised and the young Martell girls are very slick and professional whilst the tasting is a proper tasting rather than a swirl of a glass.

River Trips in Cognac The heavy gabares (flat bottomed boats), loaded with stones from Saint Même les Carrières or weapons made in Ruelle or eaux-de-vie from Cognac, used to go down the Charente River to the sea from where they returned loaded with salt from Brouage or the Ile de Ré. You can now enjoy a very pleasant short cruise taking in the local countryside.

Where to Stay Hotel Quai Des Pontis Mrs Jones found this hotel quite quirky and yet fun and Mr Jones was quite convinced that one of the rooms had been used for a French soft porn movie in the seventies. The hotel, originally a factory, offers rooms varying from a Romany style caravan, a romantic cabin on the edge of the river, a cozy wooden lodge room or a contemporary gite. The Joneses enjoyed the riverside bar which was exceptionally lively and fun after dinner.

Where to Eat L’Atelier Des Quais A contemporary ‘boardwalk’ type

Bistro offering French Bistro food

La Maison Cognac Far more upscale, ‘at the heart of the City Living, The House is a gourmet restaurant serving traditional cuisine and innovation, made with fresh products and enhanced by Chef Pierre Dumas for pleasure without hunger ...’ Monsieur Jones est agreeable!

SAINTES Another short drive from Cognac is the town of Saintes, a busy town since Roman times. The ruins of the Roman amphitheatre are in remarkably good condition, certainly the best seen in western France, and have the additional attraction of the views across the town and the Church of Saint-Eutrope. The Church of Saint-Eutrope in Saintes is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the pilgrimage sites on the Route to Santiago de Compostela. The building dates from the 12th century, although the large steeple was added in the 15th century. There is a great deal of beautifully carved stonework to see, with the crypt in particular being an exceptional site almost an entire subterranean church with beautiful stone pillars and arches. The principal ecclesiastical monument in Saintes is the Cathedral of Saint-Pierre. This cathedral was originally built in the 12th century although most of what you see today dates from the 15th to 17th centuries. The highlight is the decorative stonework around the entrance and the oldest remaining part of the church is the 12th century cupola of the south transept.

Nigel travelled with About: is a subsidiary of the French National Railway Company SNCF and an expert in railway travel to Europe and French destinations. It is a key player in the European tourism industry employing up to 1,000 people across its European business. In 2015, the group sold 83 million tickets with annual sales revenue of € 4.32 billion, across more than 30 countries. comprises 15 websites in 8 languages, mobile sites and apps and a fully integrated call centre service throughout Europe. For more information on Poitou-Charentes visit

Where to Stay Another eccentric and quirky hotel is the Souvenirs de Familles which is a converted traditional family style station hotel offering a chambre d’hote style dinner. Mrs & Mr Jones drove their hire car back to Angouleme railway station to begin their journey back to the UK. Outside of the station is an incredibly powerful and poignant memorial to the Jews who were shipped to the concentration camps from this very station. Angouleme itself was an important resistance centre and the ghosts lingering in the station are very much felt.  Written by Nigel Aplin


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Fashion & Racing Preview The fashion racing fraternity were out in full force, for the Fashion & Racing Preview evening hosted by co-founders of luxury outerwear label South West Ten, Alex McDadley and Linda Cooke. Guests were welcomed into the Snug Bar at Corse Lawn to enjoy some prosecco and delicious canapes before taking their seats to listen to Channel 4 racing presenter Gina Harding interview South West Ten brand ambassador Camilla Henderson about her top tips on what to wear to the races. Gold Cup winning jockey turned trainer Sam Thomas, was also on hand to give his top tips for the weekend racing at The Open Meeting at Cheltenham. A raffle raised ÂŁ200 for the Injured Jockeys Fund. Photography by Mike Summer Photography (07850 531308)


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BlueBird Ball at Pittville Pump Rooms Over a hundred children from Years 8, 9 and 10 from schools throughout Gloucestershire, attended the BlueBird Ball at the Pittville Pump Rooms in Cheltenham. Enjoying a variety of fun entertainment the children danced the night away to a DJ while raising funds for the NSPCC. Photography by Angus Bethune


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Mind, Body & Soul We discover some of the new, sensational treatments or products available in the Cotswolds and surrounding areas to recuperate your mind, body and soul. It’s Christmas party season and the race is on to make sure you wow the crowd and are looking your optimum

HD Brows and Eyelash Tint at Heather Heaton Beauty Situated at Blushes in Cheltenham Your eyes are the most prolific part of your face and your brows are a feature of expression. Shaped accurately they have the power to change the overall appearance of our face and while anyone can have a quick brow wax, visit a threading bar, or in fact be tweezer-happy, HD (High Definition) Brows are considered the gold standard of brow treatment and the results are highly addictive! You are left with natural arches that shape and flatter your face and the brows are tinted to give you a spectacular finish with a colour that works with your skin tone and hair shade to make you totally stand out in spectacular fashion. I met with Heather Heaton, owner of the salon of the same name based at Blushes in Montpellier. She and her team of therapists are recognised as experts in the HD Brow procedure and have trained for countless hours to reach the highest levels of excellence. Heather herself is a Master Stylist and began my appointment with a consultation – it is important to note that you should have unruly brow growth before going, so they can assess accurately the perfect shape for you and if you have over plucked brows, they may Below: Heather Heaton (far left) with her team, Nikki, Kate and Laura






HD Brows put you on a regrowth programme that will train your brows into shape including use of products that will stimulate growth. First up was waxing, followed by threading and plucking – all done to ensure that every last hair is groomed to perfection. Next was trimming, just to make sure the lines are as neat and precise as possible before the tint is applied. Heather blended shades in order to get the subtle balance of colours right consider it a little like balayage for the brows! Finally, she showed me how to apply a brow pencil to fill in some of the unevenness that I had arrived with (the area I need to let grow) and it lets me keep the illusion of perfection until the time of my next visit. Some people will only need to have the full HD Brow treatment once or twice while for others who have very little brow hair it could take a number of months and then Heather and her team are able to just maintain your brows. There was no point having these perfect eyebrows to ruin the effect with

Eyelashes my rather pale, lacklustre eyelashes. I asked Heather to make my lashes as dramatic as my good old Clinique mascara is able to and she blended a blue-black shade of tint to apply. Eyelash tinting really is a necessity so one can rock the natural look when time is short and it will also still be in place when you have spent Christmas Day slaving over a hot stove and all your makeup has dissolved into the Quality Street tin when you collapse at night – your eyes will still be looking radiant! The treatments have for the first time ever left me with a structure to my face; absolutely brilliant. HD Brows from £32 and Eyelash tint from £13.50 Heather Heaton Beauty Blushes 16-17 Montpellier Walk Cheltenham Tel: 01242 226644

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Beating a Hangover this Christmas Until hangover-free alcohol comes into play, here are some natural ways to beat the hangover and if you are fretting with Christmas and New Year festivities round the corner, here are our top tips on how you can help beat a hangover, the natural way! So, firstly what is a hangover? Most of us have experienced the pain and the frustration of a hangover. They are a pain in the... well, head! Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning that once in your blood, your body needs to put its water supplies in your blood to dilute it. This creates an increase in blood volume and pressure. To bring your blood pressure down, we then need to excrete the water down the toilet but the problem being, our cells are now lacking the water that they need. Our brain is around 70% water and dehydration can lead to brain shrinkage, which is what causes the pain.

TRICKS TO HACK YOUR HANGOVER 1. Soothe your head The control of hydration is in the hands of electrolytes, which are minerals found in water. For your best chance, add in some extra electrolytes, which are designed for athletes and sports people as these will help to flush out the toxins, speeding up the detoxification process. 2. Have a bite before bed Try to have something before you go to bed, this doesn’t mean however grabbing a doner kebab on the way home! Having something nourishing to eat before going to bed will help give you the nutrition that your body needs to detoxify. 3. Try a downward dog, rather than the hair of the dog The movement from the likes of yoga

FIND YOUR SKIN’S SILVER LINING Introducing DHC’s Platinum Silver Nanocolloid Range Your skin is a dynamic organ, which is ever-changing. Some days you may look in the mirror and notice how dull, tired and dehydrated your skin is looking after a late night, or a day out in the sun - but what’s the most effective way to tackle these daily challenges? The best option is to supplement your normal regime but supplement it with an intensive boost of ultra-moisturising botanicals from the Platinum Silver Nanocolloid Range by Japanese brand DHC. Comprising three intensive solutions to solve daily skin problems, each product formulated utilises nanotechnology to provide highly beneficial ingredients in a lightweight formula that gets straight to work; Platinum Silver Nanocolloid Lotion (£21.00) is a fine line fighting and skin conditioning toner to

bind critical moisture to the skin and leave skin looking plumper. Platinum Silver Nanocolloid Milky Essence (£19.50) is a highperformance serum, which provides an intensive boost of moisture to help skin look and feel smoother as a booster all over the face or as a targeted treatment. Finally, Platinum Silver Nanocolloid Cream (£19.50) is a botanical-rich moisturiser, which contains nourishing botanicals and luxurious nanolloids to hydrate, moisturise and reduce the appearance of fine lines. The fastabsorbing formula is the perfect night cream. As with all DHC skincare products, Platinum Silver Nanocolloid products are fragrance-free, colourant-free, parabenfree and suitable for sensitive skin. DHC products are available from

and Pilates will help to increase blood flow to all parts of your body, but importantly, your liver. The more blood that passes through, the quicker your liver can detoxify the alcohol. Focused breathing is an important aspect of Pilates and can help with any nausea you may be feeling. 4. Get fruity with it The water and mineral content of fruit will help to rehydrate you and put an end to your hangover headache. There is an enzyme in pears that scientists are investigating for its ability to help us metabolize alcohol, and prevent us from having a hangover. 5. The liquid from the pickle jar Yes, you’ve heard right. The vinegar can stimulate the liver to help detoxify and eliminate the alcohol. When pickles ferment, they also produce a certain type of soothing bacteria to help with an irritated stomach.

Skinny Tan and Tone Oil We loved the Skinny Tan mousse used in the summer but this new oil is sublime as it helps with preventing dryness as the climate gets colder as well as visibly reducing cellulite and toning your skin. Perfect for a quick tan before a party and the compact bottle makes it ideal for hand luggage - all you need to do is spritz the oil after a shower for an instant glow (no streaks or smells) for a silky glow that develops into a long lasting natural colour. Sisleya Le Teint Foundation Sisleya has used its makeup expertise to create a truly complete anti-ageing foundation, which plumps up the skin keeping it radiant and looking fresh all day long. The lightweight density of the product creates a smooth and firming finish and the range of shades suit all skin tones for a totally natural look. Available from House of Fraser or


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Sunday 20th November until Christmas Eve with Antiques on Fridays and Crafts on Saturday

Newly opened Diversitea Café in extension

10am - 5pm l Free Admittance Corn Hall, 26 Market Place, Cirencester GL7 2NY

Why not visit the recently opened Kings Head Hotel after shopping!

For information on stalls contact Augusta Wreay on 07970 859703

We are a family run, freehold public house dedicated to the finest drink, food and service But don’t take our word for it, please come and try for yourself

g{x eÉçtÄ bt~

Exciting new winter menu crafted by our talented Head Chef Phil, launching October 5th.

j Now taking bookings for Christmas j Christmas Day - 5 courses for £65 Christmas Parties - 3 courses for £35

Open for drinks all day every day Restaurant opening times Monday – Thursday 12-3pm 6-9pm Friday – Saturday 12-3pm 6-9.30pm Sunday 12-7pm Please note we are closed for food Tuesday evenings.


The Royal Oak | Gloucester Road | Andoversford | Gloucestershire | GL54 4HR

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Turn Heads this Party Season The season of mince pies, mistletoe kisses and endless parties is upon us; welcomed with open arms by some, met with fearful trepidation by others – particularly those who baulk at the thought of having to achieve a glamorous new party look for every bash they’re set to attend over the party season. But there’s no need to fear! Help is at hand thanks to the launch of Laura Leigh Hair & Beauty’s brand new Complete Party-Prep Package; the ultimate service for go-to glamour, available throughout December at the Clarence Street salon. Designed to take the stress out of getting ready for your festive bash – be it a family get-together, office ‘do’ or black-tie ball – the new package enables you to book a complete makeover appointment to get you preened, prepped and looking fabulous from head to toe for your big event. The Complete Party-Prep Package includes a variety of hair and beauty treatments available in the salon, including a Blow-Dry Bar appointment for hair styling, make-up application by the salon’s

Laura’s Tips for Day-to-Night Party Hair “One of the biggest challenges during the party season can be finding a hairstyle that lasts all the way through the busy working day and still looks fresh for your festive bash in the evening. Movement and texture are key to achieving this and just happen to be one of the hottest looks on the catwalks this season; meaning you’ll look fabulous and be safe in the knowledge that your hair is bang on-trend to boot. “To achieve this, separate your hair into sections and work through it with a curling wand from the mid-section of the hair down; creating a tousled effect that strikes the perfect balance between effortless yet preened for the working day. When the evening comes around, revitalise your locks by injecting a little volume in the roots with a texture-powder like Kérastese Styling

resident expert Samantha Day and a luxurious manicure at the in-salon Nail Bar. The salon has also teamed up with a professional stylist and personal shopper, who can bring a range of party outfit options into the salon for you to try; ensuring you look feel and look fantastic for your night on the tiles. Whether it be Hollywood-worthy hair and make-up for a glamourous get together, or help finding that killer outfit with glitzy nails to match, Laura Leigh Hair & Beauty’s new Complete Party-Prep Package has it covered; allowing you to sit back and relax whilst the salon’s glamour squad get to work. The service itself can also be completely tailored to you, meaning you’re able to choose exactly which services you’d like as part of the Complete Party Prep Package. To book, simply give the salon a call on 01242 530598.

V.I.P Volume Powder. Instantly creating a backcombed effect, the powder works to enhance the hair’s volume from root to tip; simply spray it through your hair and then work through with your fingertips to ensure it’s distributed evenly. The added volume will immediately boost your locks for a glamorous evening look, with the tousled effect created in the morning helping to add further texture and bounce to your locks. Minimal effort; maximum glamour.” Laura Leigh Hair & Beauty sell a range of products to help achieve your perfect party look this season. To find out more about the products on offer, pop in to the salon at 22 Clarence Street, Cheltenham and a member of the team will help you find the ideal products for you.

For more information or to book an appointment please call the reception team, 01242 530598 or book online 24 hours a day via the website: Follow Laura Leigh Hair & Beauty COTSWOLD STYLE DECEMBER 2016 59

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Sparkle, Spice and Everything Nice Glitzy makeup for a glamorous party season by Beauty Writer, Catherine Shortall appy festive season to all you Cotswold Style beauty readers! It’s that time of year again, time for present buying and wrapping, food planning and family organising and in amongst all of that, some of you are trying to fit in some well-earned partying and socialising. If you’re at a loss as how to pep up your party season look, then I’ve collated some of the hottest beauty buys available to give your look a little extra glitz and glamour. A few months ago, MAC launched a new range of their cult product ‘Strobe’ cream in different shades with complementing powder based products to highlight and give an illuminating effect to make up. Beauty addicts everywhere were delighted and the result is now a permanent range of a diverse colour palette of strobe highlighters and powders to create looks from subtle, to full on dramatic glamour… perfect for the party season. The ‘lite’ shades come in-Strobe Cream Silverlite, Peachlite, Goldlite, Redlite and Pinklite (the original shade).


Use these multitasking creams to highlight cheek bones, décolletage, on the front of legs and smoothing down the arms for added shimmer, add to lip balm for subtle glossy lips or on the brow bone to accentuate features - they also double up as a handy stocking filler and as a cult range, they add something rather special to your make up bag. Snap them up from various retailers including

If your nails are looking in need of a little TLC, but you haven’t the time to get handy (no pun intended) with a paintbrush or spare that hour in a salon, then click on to It’s a fabulous online store with a huge and highly creative range of easy to apply and long lasting nail wraps that’s had some excellent online reviews. Whilst they’re fairly reasonably priced at around £15, they are made to withstand daily chores (and excessive cellotape situations at Christmas!) and give a quick, easy and stylish alternative to getting messy with polish at home.

Finally, if you’re constantly searching for that signature fragrance or want to try something new and fancy plus combining that fragrance with a bit of sparkle, here’s the perfect combination for you… Roger & Gallet, a lovely, long established French fragrance house have created a beautifully scented fragrance body oil/mist named ‘Bois D’Orange’ and whilst the fragrance is reminiscent of summer scents and warmer climates, its zesty fragrance is also fitting for the festive aromas of Christmas, along the lines of mulled wine and spices.

Here are a couple of their designs:

Bois D’Orange Golden Shimmer Fragrance has subtle notes of Mandarin and Orange accompanied by delicious Vanilla and Coconut Flower and gives your skin a golden glow thanks to it’s delicate flecks of sparkle. A subtle showstopper. Available from Marks and Spencer and at £32.00 I’d like to wish you all a happy festive and party season! 

Follow me at @thecotswoldbeautyblogger on Instagram


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S . P. G R E E N - B O U T I Q U E C O L L E C T I O N

exclusive boutique collection A wonderful collection of S.P. Green’s finest craftsmanship. Beautifully displayed in their exclusive boutique collection. S.P. Green & Co. Ltd specialise in the creation of exclusively designed, bespoke luxury jewellery. Each piece of jewellery created is seen as an emotional process due to the unique nature of the collections produced. Each item is lovingly crafted with the customer’s hopes and aspirations in mind.

Beginning as a small manufacturing company in 1975, S.P. Green is located in the heart of Birmingham’s renowned jewellery quarter. S.P. Green dates back through two generations and has grown to encompass two further shops in the area. Despite this growth, S.P. Green & Co. Ltd remains to be a totally independent family jeweller. After discussing your requirements we will create expert drawings and wax models to help you visualise your new piece of jewellery. When you are happy with the design, she will oversee its creation with our own master jewellers who will sculpt raw materials into your new beautifully crafted piece of jewellery.

Book an appointment for a tailored and unique diamond shopping experience at: WWW.SPGREEN.COM

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A wonderful collection of S.P. Green’s finest craftsmanship. Beautifully displayed in our exclusive boutique collection. Book an appointment for a tailored and unique diamond shopping experience...


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Celebrating a Very Merry Christmas Fashion Editor Yvette Brentnall has gone back to school with a magical shoot from a vintage era PHOTOGRAPHY: STEFANIE CALLEJA-GERA WWW.SCG-PHOTOGRAPHY.COM nother year has passed and we find ourselves at a majestic hidden gem; a private boarding school, Rendcomb College right in the heart of the Cotswolds near Cirencester. Greeted by the school’s PR Rebecca, we were made to feel so welcome with coffee and biscuits and nothing that was too much trouble. What a beautiful school! A feeling of love, care and warmth – it did not remind me of my boarding schools days although it did have the quintessential English feel of a bygone era. The school is adorned with beautiful staircases, grandiose fireplaces and they even have their own deer park – oh and a very handy grand piano! It was going to be a great shoot opportunity. On board again to dress and adorn with Christmas floristry was the talented Eleanor from the Big Bloom Room in Cheltenham; she worked tirelessly to create wonderful arrangements. Our hairstylist Chris performed his magic creating glamorous hair up-do’s with a modern twist working with Nikita who supplied the stunning hair pieces and models Ellen and Bronwyn worked the evening wear to perfection having a vintage feel, using some of my own pieces of a collection spanning the years including one of my favourite designers Ronit Zilka – who quite honestly nailed the drama >>>



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Style Fashion with Yvette Brentnall

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Style Fashion and fantasy of dressing up to a tee. Sadly she no longer works under her own name – I certainly miss her clothes as an avid fan, so I found it very exciting to bring her dresses back to life in the this Christmas edition. Cotswold Style’s Fashion Photographer, Stef Calleja-Gera is a total perfectionist and has rightfully won the best photographer in the Cotswolds – we at Style magazine are very proud and honoured to work with her. I’d once again like to thank Rendcomb College for making us so welcome and going that extra mile helping us to create this special shoot – especially Rebecca and the domestic staff who kindly cleaned up as we went along. I have to say the lunch they provided was excellent and I do believe venison is frequently on the menu coming straight from the resident deer park – wow! My school delicacy was meat pie with local Shropshire carrots. (I also think the 6th form boys enjoyed the day very much after taking in the view of our delightful girls!) At the end of the day we were invited into the Teacher’s Common Room for afternoon tea with cakes and sandwiches in abundant supply - I did enquire about a quick smoke behind the bike sheds – sadly that was forbidden! On leaving I was handed a prospectus – would I send my child there? Absolutely! >>>


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Style Fashion

CREDITS Fashion Editor: Yvette Brentnall,, Tel: 07818 405414 Photographer: Stefanie Calleja-Gera, Models: Ellie Mitchell, Tel: 01242 226644. Bronwyn Scarrott, Email: Hair Stylist: Chris Murphy at BLUSHES, Cheltenham, Tel: 01242 226644 Hair Pieces: Nikita Brienza, Enquiries Floristry: Eleanor Hutchinson from THE BIG BLOOM ROOM @ Hounam Interiors, Great Norwood Street, Cheltenham, Tel: 07342 960292 Clothing: Stylist’s Own Location: RENDCOMB COLLEGE


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This treatment is said to produce excellent results and can be used to target so many issues. It reduces sagging by tightening the skin around the neck and jowls, reduces fine lines and wrinkles whilst also improving overall skin texture and tone in addition to restoring a youthful and smoother appearance. Other problematic skin conditions such as acne, acne scarring and large pores are also diminished! Beauty editors are calling it the most advanced technology for non-surgical facelift and collagen remodelling with clients seeing amazing results after treatment – the ULTRA effect by ULTRAcel!


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Style Beauty

Brand New ULTRAcel Multi Layered Non Surgical Skin Tightening

Latest, safest and most effective combination skin-tightening program available. It’s proven to lift, contour and rejuvenate all layers of the skin


t is a revolutionary, no-downtime, triple face lifting technology, which uses the powerful but gentle focused ultrasound, grid fractional radio frequency and fractional radio frequency microneedling! These three techniques combine to lift, not just the skin, but the deep muscle layer underneath, called SMAS, which was previously only reached by surgical facelifts. Tightening of this layer has previously only been addressed by

cosmetic surgery. Now true laxity can be managed without cutting or disrupting the surface of the skin. Results are further enhanced at dermal level by boosting collagen in the dermis. Together they create the most complete non-surgical face lifting technology The Ultra-lift. You can now enhance the beauty of your skin with an array of safe and effective treatments and Ultra-lift, the latest triple lift technology, boasts to be

the latest, safest and most effective combination skin-tightening program available. It’s proven to lift, contour and rejuvenate all layers of the skin. ULTRAcel delivers 3 different modalities through one very clever system and can be used in combination or as standalone treatment dependent on your concerns. A tailor made treatment plan is discussed at consultation along with the number of treatments required for you personally.  COTSWOLD STYLE DECEMBER 2016 71

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Style Views

Unbelievable! Love Thy Neighbour Sandra Paul looks at the shocking contrasts of people’s apoplectic behaviour In the past few months I’ve had cause to visit three hospitals, two in our region and one in London. The contrast between the two regions could not have been more stark. In London I was absolutely horrified by the attitude and rudeness of some of the staff and visitors at the hospital. And I speak as a former Londoner. The healthcare profession is one I truly admire. It is hard work, with a punishing work schedule, plus the added stress of dealing with aggressive patients and visitors. Indeed, security staff at Guy’s and St Thomas’ are being given body cameras after attacks on nurses and other frontline workers increased by nearly a third in the last year. However, basic kindness and compassion seem to be on the decline from my London hospital experience. I experienced some members of the medical staff deliberately walking with their eyes to the ground to avoid eye contact with patients in case they were stopped and asked a question. In my waiting queue, other patients and visitors sniggered, shaking their heads in disbelief as duty staff deliberately avoided being stopped or distracted from their business. In the three different hospital wards I had to visit over a number of days in the same London hospital, a generally chaotic and confused system prevailed. I found I was often greeted by displays of passive/aggressive, diffident, uncompassionate behaviour by some staff that made a stressful and worrying time even more distressful. But it wasn’t just a few staff members who displayed this behaviour. Simply walking along the corridor was like crossing a battlefield. This hospital treats thousands of people each year with staff, patients and visitors from every part of the globe. I do not know if it is a consequence of age, class, upbringing, geographical, social or economic background - but instead of moving out of the way of an elderly person being 72 DECEMBER 2016 COTSWOLD STYLE

helped to walk by a carer, I saw barging and shoving because they were moving too slowly and in the way. I stood incredulous while some fit adults got into lifts and pressed the ‘close’ button, ignoring others attempting to get into the same lift. I came across one woman in a wheelchair who actually started crying because each time she tried to get into a lift, those who were more fit pushed past her leaving no room for her wheelchair to gain entry into the lift. My recent visits to Gloucester Royal Hospital and Cheltenham General Hospital could not have been more different. We all know that hospitals can be confusing with sign posts crowding each wall, directing patients and visitors to ‘east wing', 'west wing' or this technical term or that. As I stood there trying to work out where I was supposed to go a few members of staff stopped to check I was ok, ‘was I lost?’ Each time I spoke to someone I was actually met with a smile. I can’t tell you how much this matters when you are vulnerable, or ill. I mention all of this because I think we are in danger of losing kindness and compassion from our lives. This sounds like a wishy-washy, hippy, middle-class rant. But there feels to me as if there is a rising tide of ‘**** you’ sweeping across the world. I wrote recently about the Brexit vote being an example of this – where millions of British people felt a desperate urge to stick two fingers up to the establishment. Me included actually. However, I do not feel we should encourage sticking two fingers up at our fellow men or women. We need to regain our tolerance. Look at the turmoil in America. Donald Trump will become the 45th US president after an unbelievable victory

over Hillary Clinton. The Republican nominee’s win in the battlegrounds of Florida, Ohio, and North Carolina cleared the way for his Brexit-style upset. The real estate tycoon, former Reality TV star and political newcomer who was universally ridiculed when he declared his candidacy, performed the unbelievable. Millions of people felt disconnected to the political and corporate elite. We have lessons to learn when another progressive but establishment candidate is beaten, when you see vast numbers of poor, white working class think their interests lie with a millionaire - but one who speaks of change. We look at this through a British prism, but there are striking similarities in the tone of those disaffected on both sides of the Atlantic. For every reasonable Trump supporter voice there is a hateful, aggressive, sexist and racist Trump voter. It seems we cannot have civilized political discussions anymore without some contributors sinking to tones of hatred. The same seems to be happening here and we are seeing extremes of emotion, much of it aggressive. Poor Jo Cox is an appalling example of where political dialogue turns into madness. Well, it is Christmas and I hope that whether you support Brexit or not, whether you support Trump or not, you do not cast stones at those who do. And visa versa. Disarm the negative with a smile if you can. Merry Christmas to you all.  Sandra Paul has been in the communications industry for over twenty years working for Prime Ministers, Presidents and CEOs. Sandra lives and works in Cheltenham. Contact her on

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Call 01242 588107 or email

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WESTMINSTER IN THE COTSWOLDS Emma Logan has asked the county’s MPs to inform Cotswold Style readers what they have be doing to represent their constituencies both locally and from Westminster

Neil Carmichael

NEIL CARMICHAEL, MP FOR STROUD Recently I visited the fabulous Rococo Gardens just outside Painswick. It was wonderful to be there again – during previous visits, I have enjoyed Shakespeare productions and summer days with family members – so to savour the garden once more and witness the impact of revamped facilities was special. The principle purpose of my last visit was to see children benefiting from outdoor learning. Several schools had arranged for pupils to experience activities involving gardening, apple juice making and compost production. It was inspiring to see inquisitive and eager children given opportunities to handle equipment – always safely – and to watch the processes to their conclusion. Outdoor learning is good for young people. I recall similar experiences at school and today it has also helped to motivate my interest in exploring the purpose of education through my work as chair of the Select Committee. Experiences of these and similar types should all be part of the process of introducing children to the world of work and interests beyond the classroom. While at Rococo Gardens, it was good to see so many varieties of apple, including Gloucestershire’s Arlingham Schoolboys, Cambridge Queening, Berkeley Pippen and Ashmead’s Kernel. There is certainly a case for promoting our county as a rich 74 DECEMBER 2016 COTSWOLD STYLE

source of excellent apple varieties. I also had the pleasure of visiting the Stroud Valleys Scouts headquarters. The buildings are ready for a radical upgrade – hence the launch of a campaign to raise sufficient funds for a well worked project. The facilities are also used by many other organisations on a regular basis so I hope this appeal is successful. Scouting is a worthwhile activity. Again, wearing my Education Select Committee chair’s hat, promoting ‘life skills’ can be accomplished in many different ways and being a Scout is definitely one of them. I was reminded of this when I was recently chatting to Dr Henry Kissinger, former US Secretary of State (1973-77), about the strength of character and achievements of President Gerald Ford, who was an Eagle Scout. After such a tumultuous political year, where we face an ever more complicated world, the values of scouting remain highly relevant. Meeting Henry Kissinger, who is now 93, reinforced my firm belief that despite the Referendum in June we must seek to continue to promote and foster good relationships between the UK and our neighbours, the EU member states and nothing should be ruled out in pursuit of our National Interest. I’d like to wish all readers of Cotswold Style a Merry Christmas. As we look ahead to the New Year, I will continue to do all that I can to ensure the United Kingdom uses its remaining influence in the world to ensure peace and prosperity remain deliverable priorities. Neil Carmichael is the Member of Parliament for Stroud and Chair of the Education Select Committee. Contact Neil at or his constituency office on 01453 751 572.

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown

GEOFFREY CLIFTON-BROWN, MP FOR COTSWOLDS Many of the political forces that led to Brexit in the UK led to Donald Trump’s victory in the USA on 8th November. Many of those who have not benefitted from the economic growth and increased globalisation that has occurred in their country desperately want change. Trump clearly welcomes Brexit – and the change that it promises – therefore he is likely to look on negotiating a Free Trade Agreement with the UK positively. This is essential as the USA is our largest export market, which is expected to grow while the EU is predicted to continue to contract. It is absolutely essential that all ministers – from the Prime Minister down – and senior civil servants enter into dialogue with their opposite numbers to forge strong new relationships. The UK and the USA share many common issues – namely trade and defence – that require a great deal of cooperation and collaboration. Trump could be a very powerful president given that the congressional elections also gave the Republicans a working majority in the Senate and House

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Style Politics of Representatives. Whilst the rhetoric about NATO during the campaign might have been a bit strong, the reality is that it is unreasonable to expect the American people to pay over 22% into the total budget while some NATO members don’t live up to their expectation to pay 2% of GDP into budget – especially Germany. Without NATO there is no doubt that the Russians would be far more assertive on bordering NATO countries. Let’s hope that the EU will come to their senses by dropping all plans for a parallel EU army. I expect a Trump presidency to be radical and as such it will undoubtedly come up with surprises.

Alex Chalk

ALEX CHALK, MP FOR CHELTENHAM This Christmas, consoles, smartphones, ipads, tablets and the latest games once again look set to top the sales charts. For more than a decade, digital hardware has featured in the top five best-selling Christmas presents. We’re in the middle of a digital explosion. Our children are growing up as the first generation of true social media natives. That’s a positive thing, but it can create also its own problems. As a parent with two young children, I’ll declare an interest. The fact is that many parents who grew up in a largely analogue world feel ill-equipped to help their children navigate the digital minefield. That’s significant because it’s becoming clear that social media is not all positive. It can create real pressures and even damage young people’s mental health. 12% percent of children who spend no time on social networking websites have symptoms of mental illhealth. But the figure rises to 27% percent for children glued to sites for three hours or more a day.

I recently led a debate in Parliament on this issue. I raised concerns about the sheer scale of online bullying and the risk of grooming. Then there’s the ‘compare and despair’ syndrome. Young people (particularly girls) are vulnerable to negative body image from magazines and television. In a world of selfies, young people are now exposing themselves to constant scrutiny and criticism. Selfworth increasingly is judged on the quality and quantity of ‘likes’ and online comments. Is it any wonder that selfharm amongst young people has risen 25% since the rise of the selfie phenomenon? To make matters worse, 20% of our children are now waking up more than five times a night to check or respond to phones texts and online messaging. Many more go online or play networked games when they should be asleep. Sleep deprivation means they are more likely to gain weight, perform poorly at school. It puts them at greater risk of depression and mental ill-health. Social media can be a great thing (and let’s not be Scrooges at this time of year) but we need to be alive to this issue. We need joined-up research to make sure we understand its pitfalls more clearly. We also need the social media platforms to take responsibility for their content. And for those that slip through the net and develop mental health problems, we must act quickly. LAURENCE ROBERTSON, MP FOR TEWKESBURY It's hard to believe that 2016 has almost gone and I'm writing this column for the Christmas edition of Cotswold Style. As my headmaster at school told me, time goes quicker as you get older! It's been quite a year, and one which feels very different politically to any other I've been involved in. We have a new Prime Minister and a Brexit agenda in this country, and a non-politician soon to enter the White House. The war rages in Syria and similar problems exist in Yemen, as well as in other countries in Africa and further afield. World matters are dynamic and lively. I've travelled quite a bit in 2016 and

Laurence Robertson

have learnt a lot from those travels. The biggest lesson reinforced in me during the last twelve months has been that the most precious commodity any country can have is a fair, transparent, clean, properly functioning democracy. From that, everything else flows. It is no coincidence that the world's most peaceful, prosperous countries are those which enjoy the abovedescribed democracy and the world's poorest, most violent countries are those which do not. This last year has seen the exercising of that democracy in both the UK and the US and we must spend 2017 protecting the essence and practice of that democracy. As I say, it's our most precious commodity. It's in order to spread democracy across the world that we have organisations called the InterParliamentary Union and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, both of which I am an active board member, based in Parliament and active from there. We carry out projects across the world and hold bi-lateral visits. We attempt to create circumstances in which countries can learn from each other, we share best practices and we promote policies, such as anti-people trafficking, all of which are designed to bring about better government across the world. There is, of course, so much more to do, but we in this country, in our Parliament, are taking a lead on these issues and are doing our best. Such challenges, involving the spreading and enhancement of democracy, await us in 2017. For now, though, I wish you and your families a happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year. As ever, if constituents would like to contact me about anything they can reach me on or at the House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA.  COTSWOLD STYLE DECEMBER 2016 75

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Style Event

A Very Cowley Christmas Over 600 guests attended ‘A Very Cowley Christmas’ in support of the Cobalt Unit Appeal Fund at Cowley Manor. The hugely successful, two day event saw an array of Masterclasses, a Fashion Show with Afternoon Tea, a Christmas Feast and plenty of Boutique Shopping was available for those who were Christmas shopping. Photography by Angus Bethune


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A Magical Christmas Dr Carolyn Shelley, Head of Dean Close Pre-Prep School, has some inspirational ideas for an educational festive break. Christmas is a magical time of year for every child – and indeed for parents – there is so much excitement and anticipation. It is also a wonderful time for many educational and fun activities whilst decorating the house and keeping the children busy and learning over the holidays. Starting with perhaps a less obvious area – Christmas Maths! Let’s begin with advent – a perfect chance to reinforce maths, the counting down of the days to Christmas or sleeps left to Santa – subtracting one each day. There is also the chance to strengthen the understanding and use of money when buying presents – children can get involved in buying something themselves, giving the money to the shop assistant and depending on their age, calculating the change needed. At Christmas, children also love joining in with cooking and baking, this is an ideal time to practise some practical maths. Children can help weigh out (and probably sample!) the ingredients. They can also practise telling the time and counting the minutes whilst the mince pies, Christmas cake or other Christmas goodies are in the oven. At school, children love doing ‘Christmas Maths’ – we pose problems relating to presents, elves, reindeer, the list is endless, this can easily be done at home too. Last but not least, Christmas is THE time for playing board games as a family and this is a wonderful way to support their numeracy skills – adding up the numbers on the dice is a good way of helping with number bonds and for young children this is a great way to reinforce 1:1 correspondence of number – for example, rolling the number six and counting out six steps on the board. Christmas is also the perfect opportunity to explore an abundance of craft activities – there are so many wonderful ideas that will bring Christmas alive, many of which do not cost the earth – for example making beeswax candles or a decorated candle holder (using a jam jar), salt dough decorations

After so much activity there is of course nothing better than to curl up in a chair by the fire and read a book all about Christmas – there are so many wonderful stories, but my personal top ten favourites are:

for the tree, Christmas wreaths, tissue paper stained glass window decorations… there is so much to try! Reading and writing at Christmas are also wonderful pastimes – starting with sending Christmas cards to friends (or perhaps invitations to your Christmas and New Year parties). Children love being able to send their own cards to classmates or to family and even if they are not yet able to write their name independently, they can feel part of the process by adding a picture. Next, of course, is writing their letter to Father Christmas – children have no problem at all in thinking of a long list of exciting toys they would like. I always encourage children to be polite in their letter – adding ‘please may I have’ before writing a list and thank you at the end, and perhaps adding a few questions for example, how are you and Mrs Christmas?, Are your elves busy? Still on the subject of lists – children love helping by writing lists and then ticking off the items as you buy – so if you have time, let your children ‘help’ with the Christmas shop.

• The Jolly Christmas Postman (Janet and Allan Ahlberg) • Percy the Park Keeper – One Snowy Night (Nick Butterworth) • The Snowman (Raymond Briggs) • Angelina’s Christmas (Katharine Holabird) • The Night Before Christmas (Clement Moore) • Mog’s Christmas (Judith Kerr) • A Christmas Carol (Charles Dickens) • The Little Match Girl (Hans Christian Anderson) • Jesus’ Christmas Party (Nicholas Allan) • Room for a Little One (Martin Waddell) A handful of dressing up costumes will really enhance any re-telling of the Christmas story and provide endless creative possibilities for children and perhaps some inspiration for writing their own Christmas story. At the Pre-Prep we are passionate about irresistible learning, making learning so exciting that children can’t wait to start! I hope this article has inspired and encouraged families to make the most of an educational Christmas break as well as having a wonderful season of joy and peace. Happy Christmas!


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Style Business

EXPLA N THE MARKET Tick Tock, The Great Cotswold Watch Guy Shone looks at the increasing demand of British goods that are being exported outside of Europe New research by the China-Britain Business Council reveals that the majority of firms in both countries now believe Brexit will lead to many more mutual business opportunities. Demand for British products overseas is increasing. In fact the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows UK exports are flourishing in a way that hasn’t been seen since 2006. A major cause has been a rapid increase in the share of goods British firms are selling outside of the European Union. Europe remains a hugely important trading partner but the truth is that Britain has sold slightly more goods outside of the EU than within it for the last four years running. UK businesses sold £151bn of goods to countries beyond the EU last year, compared with just £134bn purchased by EU members. But as we approach a new way of working with the rest of the world – which industries are set to flourish and what is it that foreign customers really love about British products? Let’s look at some examples: British Fashion and Clothes HM Customs and Excise claim there has been a 25% rise in the export of Britishmade clothing since 2011. The number of people employed in the UK clothing, textiles and fashion sector has grown by 9% in the past five years, with predictions from many industry groups that up to 20,000 more UK jobs could be created by 2020.

British Cars According to the leading industry body for car manufacturers - last year was the best year ever for UK car exports. The UK car industry now exports to over 100 countries and many relationships outside of the EU are flourishing. In the US, demand rose recently by more than a quarter (26.5%). Meanwhile, exports to Australia, South Korea, Turkey and Japan have enjoyed big increases. 78 DECEMBER 2016 COTSWOLD STYLE

The Great British Watchmaking Renaissance Something very exciting is happening in British watchmaking! In the 1940s 80% of Brits are estimated to have worn a British made watch. Brands like Smiths based here in the Cotswolds sold in huge volumes all over the UK. After 1960, as Switzerland took over, British brands either went out of business or dropped making watches altogether. Now a new breed of British watchmaker is on the rise. Sales in some of the biggest Geneva based brands are falling while global demand for British brands is growing. Some experts have even pointed to recent financial troubles at the giant Geneva based Swatch Group (who also own Omega) and predicted the death of the Swiss watch industry altogether. The UK is currently experiencing a massive rise in the luxury watch market. Sales of watches costing more than £10,000 have shot up 60% over the last 12 months. But for us Brits this isn’t an entirely new phenomenon. Between 1939 and the early 1960’s the Cotswolds was home to thousands of watchmakers – including the great Smiths of Cheltenham. By 1940, 80% of Brits are estimated to have worn a British watch and tens of thousands were Smiths watches. The individual watch springs made by Smiths also became famous for reliability and respected by horologists the world over. It was the last major English watchmaking company. But the story isn’t over yet. Smiths Industries still exists and despite now being a giant PLC - up until very recently they still made those springs. A manufacturing partnership with the English watchmaker Robert Loomes & Company has helped created a

Guy Shone is one the UK’s leading economic researchers. He appears regularly on BBC News, BBC Breakfast, BBC World, BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 5 Live. He also appears on BBC Radio 4, Reuters TV, Sky News and ITV News. Guy is the former City & Business columnist for the Metro newspaper and now runs the international research business ExplaintheMarket. Guy spent most of his 17 year career in the City. His previous jobs were the Head of Research for global investment group Old Mutual plc and Research Director for the government backed Money Advice Service. In 2012, he was commissioned by the UK government to produce the largest study ever done into the financial behaviour of UK families. Guy’s work brings together the City and The Cotswolds. He is ‘economist in residence’ at BBC Radio Gloucestershire and also the City based investor show on Sky TV. Guy has recently been announced as judge for the 2016 Santander National Financial Media Awards.

number of charming English made watches over the last few years. Now a new flagship Robert Loomes watch inspired by all the best in English precision engineering is set to take the world by storm. The new watch, which is entirely designed and made by Robert's in-house team is called the Stamford original and only uses components made in this country. Robert Loomes & Co is a small family firm based in a 16th Century house near the top of the Fosse way. Robert and his team of engineers have just created a luxury watch where every single part is made in England. Without £multi-million advertising budgets and celebrity endorsements the new Loomes watch is attracting interest from all over the world with it's understated elegance. Such intricate engineering inspired by the success of 60 years ago is now set to play a major part in the story of British craftsmanship winning the world over once again.  Guy can be reached on twitter @GuyShone

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Style Charity

The Holst Birthplace Museum he Museum is a memorial to Holst, one of England's most respected composers, best known for his work The Planets. The house in Pittville, Cheltenham was built in 1832 and is typical of the many smaller Regency terraced houses built in Cheltenham at that time. Gustav Holst was born here on 21st September 1874 and lived there until 1882, shortly after his mother died. However, in June of this year, The Holst Birthplace Museum suffered an ingress of water during torrential downpours which caused severe damage to three of the Museum’s period room settings and damage to another. There was also water damage to a small part of the collection, which has been removed for conservation. During this period, the Museum remained closed for drying out, repairs and conservation. Although much of the refurbishment is covered by insurance, they needed to fundraise an additional £30,000, for repairs and costs not covered by insurance. The ‘Help Holst’ campaign was launched in July 2016 and has included a hugely successful CrowdFunder appeal, a sponsored walk along the 35 mile Gustav Holst Way over two days, various concerts and events all in aid of this high profile campaign. Help Holst is now almost at its target and has enabled the museum to undertake vital works to the building’s pipe work. This will now protect the collections from threat and has enabled


them to re-open the beautiful Museum this December with what will be a magical seasonal celebration on Saturday 10th December. Christmas at the museum will offer an opportunity to experience the Holst Birthplace after its extensive refurbishment. Families will be able to explore the newly refurbished rooms, each decorated traditionally for Christmas. There will be fun craft workshops running between 10am and 3pm where you can make a jam jar lantern, Christmas cards and pine cone robin decorations to take home for your own Christmas tree. There will also be games such as Pin the Tail on the Donkey and stirring the Christmas pudding, as well as fruit punch and mince pies in

front of the roaring Victorian range. The Museum will remain open the following week from Tuesday 13th December until Saturday 17th December between 10am and 4pm, and remain open Tuesday 20st and Wednesday 21st before closing for the festive holiday. Laura Kinnear, Curator at the Holst Birthplace Museum commented: “Our ‘Help Holst’ campaign has enabled us to undertake vital works to the building’s pipe work. This will protect the collections from threat and enable us reopen our beautiful Museum once again in readiness for Christmas. I would like to thank all of our trustees and supporters who have rallied to help the museum in its hour of need. The challenge of restoring the house has been huge and we have been lucky enough to work with some amazing companies including Coles and Son acclaimed manufacturers of fine printed wallpapers since 1875. The company have been kind enough to delve deep into their archive and resurrect a fitting design for our beautiful Victorian Room.”  Summary of December Museum Opening • Saturday 10 December 10am-4pm • Tuesday 13 December 10am-4pm • Wednesday 14 December 10am-4pm • Thursday 15 December 10am-4pm • Friday 16 December 10am-4pm • Saturday 17 December 10am-4pm • Tuesday 20 December 10am-4pm • Wednesday 21 December 10am-4pm An official reopening ceremony will take place on Tuesday 3rd January 2017.


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YO! HO! HO! Nigel Aplin had a quick chat to Father Christmas before his sleigh leaves for the Cotswold Hills laus to some, Christmas to others, I’m really whatever you want me to be,” said the corpulent ne rotund gentleman merrily chortling in front of me. I must point out at this stage, dear reader, that every sentence uttered by the white bearded old gentleman culminated in a belly quivering ‘yo ho ho’ but I fear repetition of this would rather tax your considerable patience, so I respectfully request that you finish each sentence for yourselves, suffice to say there was no exception or deviation. Rather like the spirit that appears to Scrooge on the stroke of midnight in A Christmas Carol, I have myself been spirited away to I know not where. My eyes have been sprinkled with fairy dust and I have enjoyed a magical trip rather like that of the good old magic bus or yellow submarine in the Sixties and Seventies. “Once the Christmas season is over I go into a long hibernating sleep until sometime in the summer when we start training ‘stand in‘ Santas to appear in department stores and grottos,” Father Christmas tells me. “This year was rather different, however, as there was an emergency call in June. I met with somebody who would have made a great ‘stand in’ for me but his dream regarding the ‘Never Never Land’ had come true and he wanted a ‘free trade’ agreement with us. His name was Boris but, unlike me, I couldn’t really work out if he was for real or not.” I wondered if Father Christmas was called upon much for his advice, “Yes”, he told me, “A lot of film directors seek authenticity for their festive offerings but I have only ever played myself twice, once in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and also in The Polar Express. I had a great partnership with a young cartoon maker called Disney with whom I shared the secrets of animation and he, in return, built our new workshops.” “We’ve been very blessed with help


“...Amazon have taken a lot of the preChristmas stress out of our operation but I don’t think we’ll be totally replaced. Nobody can beat the personal touch” from some clever boys and girls. In particular in the last few years we have become totally automated which has vastly improved the system for delivering letters to us. A lot used to be burned and charred but they’re now assigned to regional elves who all have their own Pixie Computers, PCs. That’s when we switched from Chimneys to Windows.” “I have to confess that the older I have become the more I rely on modern technology. In particular Amazon have taken a lot of the pre-Christmas stress out of our operation but I don’t think we’ll be totally replaced. Nobody can beat the personal touch.” I gently probe how old Father Christmas is but he is not really forthcoming, “I’ve really been here as long as I can remember. Generally people know they’re getting older when I start to look younger. Children don’t really change but some are certainly naughtier than others and grow naughtier as they grow older. I’m rather pleased that I don’t have to make a delivery

to No. 10 and 11 Downing Street this year. I bumped into Sam on the stairs once who told me the last thing she wanted to find in her stockings were David and George.” Father Christmas very much likes The Cotswolds and puts down on Fish Hill sometime after midnight, “It’s a good place to land especially on a cold night. The surrounding villages pose no great problems and I am generally well looked after with good mince pies and fine whiskys. Cheltenham can be a problem especially round the areas with larger houses. I think the children here receive too many presents and the parents always seem to overdo it on Christmas cake and icing sugar.” As suddenly as he arrived, Father Christmas has vanished but he’ll be back sometime on the 25th December. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled on Fish Hill and I have a tip for Dads from Father Christmas. His whisky of choice this year is Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique Single Cask Strength whisky – hint, hint!  COTSWOLD STYLE DECEMBER 2016 81

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Brunch Over Christmas Food Writer Rachel Cappuccini fills you up with a morning feast over the festive season reakfast on Christmas Day has always played as big a role as lunch in my household. Usually involving a coffee, panettone and Bucks Fizz whilst the boys open their presents followed by a brunch dish around eleven and the main meal late afternoon. Apart from the year I decided to do a 5-bird roast and massively underestimated the cooking time; we did eat somewhat later on that occasion! So rather than yet another take on Christmas Day lunch I have decided to focus on a breakfast you may like to try


over the festive period, when hopefully you will have a little more time in the mornings. Preparation can be done beforehand giving you more time to open gifts! This dish is by far our most popular brunch at Gusto, enjoyed by all. For those brave enough to try, I have included our recipe for hollandaise, the perfect accompaniment. More recently we have been enjoying paprika hollandaise, a little twist on the classic. The breakfast meal features heavily all year round at home and sure there are those mornings we don’t have much time

Meet Rachel...

“The fondest memories are made round the table” and involve the toaster and some Marmite. It is the one meal we all eat together albeit a little rushed sometimes. Perhaps because my mother insisted we were packed off to school with a cooked breakfast daily, (she did serve some rather odd but wonderful things – anyone remember Findus frozen pancakes?) coupled with the fact that my career started out working for that cereal company which doesn’t make for anyone else... and I read numerous medical reports on the importance of breakfast (very useful in 90’s PR campaigns), my ability to eat absolutely anything in the mornings evolved. My dad regularly ate chocolate cake or biscuits for breakfast if mum wasn’t watching. It’s been great to see the popularity of the breakfast dish grow over the past decade or so with many more cafes and restaurants offering interesting, international dishes alongside our Great British Breakfast. I remember with joy my first trip to NYC some twenty odd years ago but in particular my delight at eating mountains of pancakes with syrup, grits, corned beef. My boys still talk about the breakfasts they ate in the Big Apple on a more recent trip there. I am as happy eating chocolate and churros in Spain, a bacon butty up north, kippers or sardines in Cornwall, ‘avo’ on rye with poached eggs in Sydney, buttery croissant in France or frittata in Italy. Especially if the coffee is good! I wish you all a Merry Christmas and happy breakfasts.

After moving from London to the Cotswolds to bring up her family, Rachel Cappuccini bought and ran the legendary Lamb Inn in Burford, before relocating to Cheltenham, where she set up and still runs highly acclaimed Gusto café and its catering business, now in its tenth year. Contact Rachel Cappuccini at:; Follow Rachel on instram: gusto_chef


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Style Food

Smoked Salmon Hash Brown, Horseradish, Hollandaise Home made Hash Browns (makes 12)

Ingredients 8 x medium to large all purpose potatoes 1 x medium onion (red is good for colour) 1 tsp pepper 2 x tsp salt 4 whole eggs, beaten Method: Peel and grate the potatoes. Put into a tea towel and squeeze as much liquid out as possible. Grate the onion and add to the potato. Add the seasoning and beaten egg. Line a baking sheet and press the mix firmly into the base. Bake at 200 for approximately 1½ hours or until firm and golden on top. When cool cut into triangles. Keep in refrigerator for up to one week or freeze as needed.

Fresh Hollandaise (to serve 6-8) Ingredients 125g butter 2 egg yolks ½ tsp white wine vinegar pinch salt splash ice cold water lemon juice cayenne pepper

Method: Melt the butter in a saucepan and skim off any white solids from the surface. Keep warm. Put the egg yolks, vinegar, salt and ice cold water in a metal or glass bowl that will fit over a small pan. Whisk for a few minutes then put the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and whisk until pale and thick, around 3-5 mins. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the melted butter bit by bit until you are left with a creamy hollandaise. Season

with a little lemon juice and cayenne pepper. Alternatively you could add some paprika giving it a lovely pinkish tinge and extra flavour. The sauce will keep in the fridge overnight if you want to prepare the day before.

You will also need: 1-2 slices of smoked salmon per person ½ tsp creamed horseradish per person 1-2 poached eggs per person ½ ripe avocado per person micro herbs of choice to garnish

To assemble: 1. Shallow or deep fat fry the hash browns and drain off grease. 2. Place on plate, with half tsp horseradish on top, followed by a slice of smoked salmon, a couple of slices of ripe avo, 2 poached eggs and finally the hollandaise. 3. Garnish with microherbs.  COTSWOLD STYLE DECEMBER 2016 83

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Atlas cork table, £385 from

Becksondergaard Kastler scarf available from

The Cotswold Style

Christmas Gift Guide Pop one of these on your wish-list to make sure Santa remembers you this month...

Kerastase Christmas boxes available from Laura Leigh Hair and Beauty, 22 Clarence Street, Cheltenham, GL50 3NU.

For the man who has everything... 1972 Fiat 500F, £14,500 Cotswold Collectors Cars Ltd Bibury, Gloucestershire Tel: 01242 821 600 Email:


1960 Aston Martin DB4 ‘Series II’, £595,000 Cotswold Collectors Cars Ltd, Bibury, Gloucestershire Tel: 01242 821 600 Email:

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Style Christmas

Kaweco Sport Fountain Pen available from

Stirling sofa, £1,680 from

Beoplay H5 Bluetooth Headphones, £199, with a choice of 3 colours, available in store from Bang & Olufsen of Cheltenham

Sandqvist black leather bag available from

Beoplay A1 Portable Bluetooth Speaker, £199, with a choice of 4 colours, available in store from Bang & Olufsen of Cheltenham

Hestra gloves available from

Repair & Restore Shower & Bath Foam, Indulging Body Cream and Revitalising Home Candle available from Cowley Manor and

Braun wristwatch available from


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Style Cotswoldia

Cotswoldia DON’T DRINK AND POST Angela Chancellor’s festive warnings ine o'clock starts a little earlier at this time of year. First off it is dark so early that some days the flickers of temptation start before the kids even get home from school and if the Scots have their way that is how it's going to stay. Then there is that feeling that as soon as the summer holidays are over time somehow becomes compressed and one is hurtling at warp speed past half term, Halloween and Bonfire Night and on into the dreaded run up to Christmas. As Scottie is nowhere in sight to beam you up there can only be one way to cope for many of us and it all seems a little easier and certainly jollier to get through all the extra work at this time of year with some assistance from one of one's little helpers from the drinks cabinet. We may drink and drive less than we used to but this seems to be heartily replaced by less than sober online activity. According to a recent article in the font of all wisdom, ‘The Sun’, 10pm is a peak time for online shopping activity and you can probably guess what tops the list for popular items bought by women, clothes of course. This late night shopping is referred to as the 'vampire economy' but I think it is fair to say that I am entitled to be at least as generally unscientific as the nations favourite newspaper and will happily offer my opinion that this could likely be the heightened impulse purchasing activity of the 'sauvignon economy'. So as peak annual shopping frenzy takes hold of your household, pause a moment, Christmas presents are needed, yet another sparkly dress may not be, remember you have been warned! Buyers’ remorse is not an uncommon phenomenon but in todays consumer oriented shopping culture you can always reverse any shopping excesses or disasters and send the offending item back. Not so easy if you have allowed the booze to get the better of you on social



media. Once you have posted any misguided missives they are out there no matter how quickly you take them down, even if only merrily doing the gossip rounds until the next big thing comes along. Next time you are revelling while trawling the snoopers paradise that is Facebook for the latest goings on or gunning for a bit of bitching on Twitter, when you heedlessly post your probably less witty than you think comments, you may find that the 'eanger' leaps off the virtual page and catches up with you in real life and fisticuffs in the school car park is not a good look. People who rant online may have offline rage too and releasing pent-up anger can be very healing and it is no surprise that in our tech dominated times more of us are turning to the internet to air our grievances. A study published in 'Cyberpsychology, Behaviour and Social Networking' (try saying that after a few cheeky eggnogs), found that 100% of the participants in their study felt calm and relaxed after ranting online. Researchers also found however, that people who ranted online were not only more irritable than the average person but also

experience more consequences offline, averaging one physical and two verbal fights a month. Unhinged, not clever. Not all of us turn a little witchy when we have our tipple; thankfully most of us are likely to go the other way. Posting lovey dovey pictures in the wee hours, feeling elated but looking bleary and disheveled, particularly dangerous territory at the office Christmas bash, may come as an unwelcome surprise in the morning. I defy anyone who, in the good old days before potential instant exposure, didn't take part in a bit of ‘bottoms on the photocopier’ fun. Harmless japes once upon a time and probably would not have got you sacked, depending on how many of your colleagues were familiar with your bottom of course. Getting a little overly fruity with the receptionist or snuggling up to the boss also looks a lot less jolly in the cold harsh light of day when shared with several hundred of your nearest and dearest and their respective friends and can not be soothed with a post-binge Alka Seltzer. So my fellow revellers, proceed with care at this time of year, keep your driving licenses and above all hang on to your dignity - which may take longer to get back. 

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Style Local

Claire in the County Baa Humbug! Claire Thayers is feeling wretched before the festive season even starts t’s started… the adverts, those dreaded ‘happy family, look at us, aren’t we gorgeous living the Christmas dream’ adverts. Not only are they unrealistic and awful for those who are alone, they start in OCTOBER – what is that all about? I always feel a failure this time of year – balancing work, with kids, dog, house and life. I just do not understand how we are supposed to fit it all in at this festive time, let alone pay for it. How many of you have made your Delia Christmas cake, baked your gingerbread hearts to be hung on the tree, made the perfect wreath for your front door, bought all the presents, including stocking presents for the children (those alone can take a week to source), wrapped them all with ribbon and bows, handmade all your Christmas cards with the children, ordered your organic veg box, booked the organic goose, skipped across the fields to dig up your 8 foot tree and still managed to find time to book your highlights, had your nails done and found the perfect party dress? None of us – it is alright – you are not alone!


Why don’t our major retailers create the REAL advert that we can relate to…the burnt cake left in the Aga, the soggy gingerbread that cannot be hung up let alone eaten, the tangled mass of ivy that is still in the shed, the heap of cards that never get written, the fake silver tree that sheds more than a live one but looked super trendy in the Waitrose magazine…and instead of the organic veg and organic goose, a last minute dash to Lidl on Christmas Eve. That is far more realistic, even better if dubbed with the sounds of children fighting for toys they have seen on the TV, the husband in a grump because he has one present to buy and hasn’t got time, the in-laws hounding you on the phone, desperate for you to travel half way across the UK when the roads are clogged with other families locked in their tin cars, listening to Noddy screaming ‘ITS CHRISTMAS’ with utterings of … ‘still doesn’t feel like Christmas does it – too warm…we really want some snow’. What would happen if the women of the world went on strike – I am not joking – really. What would happen… children sobbing as Santa hadn’t turned up, no Christmas lunch, no Christmas

presents because no one had bought them let alone wrapped them, no family and friendly get togethers. So this year – take a deep breath and just accept its ok not to be Mrs perfect, its ok for the children to be dressed in their scruffs and not skipping in tutu’s wearing silver ballet shoes and the boys in pristine tartan shirts… sod the TV and the pressure from social media. All is not what it seems, believe me it is all an illusion! Get the turkey now and stuff it in the freezer, buy the ready prepared veg and ready made cake, buy everyone an ‘experience’ from your local spa, or riding school or cookery school and pop in an envelope (no wrapping and fun things that bring the family together, create memories and prevents ‘stuff ’ bulging out of the cupboards!) and settle for wearing last years dress…it will all be ok! Besides – everything will be half price the day after. Have fun everyone – HAPPY CHRISTMAS (baa humbug!)  Claire Thayers & Associates Email: Tel: 07870632093


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Style Interview


Screen siren, Tina Hobley is best known for her longstanding role as Holby City’s feisty Ward Sister, Chrissie Williams. Tina calls the Cotswolds home, with a bolthole at Lakes by Yoo – arguably the Cotswolds’ most sought after secluded residence. Escaping the hustle of London, weekends for the Hobley family are spent lakeside and are filled with long bike rides, leisurely country walks and plenty of pub lunches. Celebrity Columnist Ellie Mainwaring caught up with Tina from her plush pad. Where in the world would you choose to be castaway to and why?

An island in the South Pacific. I have fond memories of spending my childhood with my head burrowed in a book set in those islands and have always dreamed of visiting.

What item of jewellery or accessory would you take?

A gold crucifix on a chain that once belonged to my grandmother. I always slip it on when I need a little extra strength.

You can take the entire works of one musician to your desert island?

Bob Dylan, not only a great musician, but also a wonderful storyteller. His music is just iconic and would remind me of so many good times. I would take a monkey to help me collect coconuts and for all round companionship – I’m sure there would be some funny times with a monkey by my side!

What animal or pet would you take?

Name one possession you would take and one to leave behind for a loved on?

I would take with me a bundle of hand written letters from my children. I would leave behind, little notes hidden around the house so that my husband and children would stumble upon them when they least expected it and would be reminded of me.

I would take my vintage Mont Blanc pen with unlimited refills, so that I could record my thoughts, feelings and contemplations during my time castaway. What would be your luxury item?

The Life of Pi, to remind me to never doubt the possibilities of human endurance. What movie would you take?

What would be your last supper before departing for your desert island?

Generous helpings of my husband’s slow cooked lamb shoulder, accompanied by a bottle of decent Bordeaux.

You can take one celebrity companion, dead or alive, who will it be?

Elvis, because no island is complete without a King! What’s your most treasured wardrobe item?

A Gucci handbag I recently treated myself to during a fabulous trip to Florence earlier in the summer. Biggest memory item and what’s the story behind it?

The three bronze feet that were cast of my children Isabella, Olivia and Orson, when they were just days old – it’s impossible to believe they were ever so small! They are my most treasured possession as they’re simply irreplaceable. 

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E N T E R TA I N M E N T M OTO R I N G & S P O RT Specialists in Pothole Damage

01684 291 900

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 See more socials at

Style Event

Ibi Whatley and Nic Davie Nicki Lidington and her 10 year old daughter, Olivia MUA Alexandra Sinclaire, Tasha Greening, Sami-Jade Etienne, Shirley Hartley, owner of Cheltenham Lashes, Aimee Hartley and Jill Della Robb

Fit Inside Out Ltd. Launch Party in Cheltenham On Thursday, 3rd November, 38-year-old Cheltenham mum, Nicki Ryder, also known on social media as #cheltenhamfitmama, launched her new business, Fit Inside Out Ltd., a Health & Fitness business serving ladies in Cheltenham and The Cotswolds. Guests enjoyed an evening of delicious canapÊs provided by chef Alexandra Law, a tour of the Fit Inside Out Studio which is on site at Nicki’s home in Shurdington and an inspirational speech by Nicki herself.

Libby Reichwald, owner of children's clothes shop, Carousel and Sami-Jade Etienne

Photography by Gill Thomas and Mouse About Town

Kate Starkey, Owner of Cheltenham Maman Nicki Ryder and Ibi Whatley

Georgie White, Cotswold Create blogger


Nadene Lidington, chiropractor at the Regency Clinic and Nicki Ryder, owner Fit Inside Out

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Style Pets

The 12 Dangers of a Pet’s Christmas Animal advice from our friends at Vets on the Park Tinsel – it’s not just us that like the look of shiny festive tinsel. Cats do too and they can end up playing with it leading to gut obstructions and a trip to the emergency vet.


Christmas Lights – pets can chew on the electric cords and sustain burns to their tongues and even electric shocks.


Glass baubles can cause cuts to paws and gut obstructions if they are swallowed. Cats are often attracted to what look like shiny cat toys to them. They will bat them down off the tree with their paws and may then go on to swallow them with serious consequences.


Mince pies, Christmas pudding and cake all contain raisins which along with currants and grapes can be very toxic to your dog’s kidneys.

4 5 6

Poinsettias and Cyclamen are potentially toxic festive plants.

Mistletoe – who doesn’t like a quick kiss under the Christmas mistletoe? But if a few berries drop on the carpet and are guzzled up by your pet it can cause severe heart and neurological

problems. Make sure you cut any berries off the sprigs before you pucker up!

Chocolate – most people already know how toxic chocolate is for their dogs but there’s usually so much of it around at Christmas that every year we get at least one case of chocolate poisoning. Remember hang those chocolate tree decorations high enough that your furry friend can’t sniff them out!


Batteries – we all know Christmas means lots of toys that need batteries. Dogs have been known to play with discarded batteries and even swallow them causing acid burns and even gut obstructions.


Ribbons and bows – just like tinsel, all those shiny ribbons and bows decorating your Christmas gifts under the tree can be enticing for cats triggering their inner hunter. If swallowed they act as foreign bodies and may obstruct the gut requiring emergency surgery. Not how you want to spend your Christmas Day!


Lilies are commonly part of Christmas bouquets and their both their pollen and petals are highly


toxic to cats causing, often fatal, acute renal failure. If you’ve got cats in the house you be better off binning those lilies, no matter how lovely they look.

Antifreeze if often left lying about garages during cold Christmas snaps and can be very attractive to dogs and cats who lap it up because it tastes sweet. This causes renal failure.


House guests – well Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without friends and family visiting we know but visitors can bring with them a whole array of potential dangers for your pets. New prescription medications they may inadvertently leave lying around which inquisitive pets might find and eat or sugar free chewing gum packets left in their coats which can cause vomiting, bleeding and even liver failure if eaten by your dog. Also if your pet is stressed by strangers then allowing them a safe place to get away can avoid embarrassing and painful bites and scratches to the in-laws. 


For more information on our services visit

for your pets in your life - your vet for life


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*Club and Tattersalls ticket holders only


Sid, Scrat and Diego will be making personal appearances at intervals throughout the day

Ice Age™ & © 2016 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.


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Style Sport

THE REAL DEAL Racing Expert Nigel Aplin reflects on the tough, rough side of horseracing have often thought that racing is a difficult game to understand for those not involved on a regular basis or just passing through. Take the Cheltenham meeting just gone by, The Open Meeting. With friends to stay, holding a cursory interest in racing, a huge desire to sample all that Cheltenham has to offer. What do they wear? Of course, this is a meeting more purist than the Festival and has always inclined towards the tweed, the ‘country’ look with a smattering out of Chelsea for the weekend. This isn’t quite true anymore as any weekend race meeting can be somewhat ‘X’ Rated with a taste for sex, booze and betting seeping out of the burgeoning bars. Tweed has at times given way to nocturnal about town gear as champagne closes its rank against the gingered up hip flask. For some racing is anaesthetised by this hedonistic haze of nightclub ritz, razzle and fairy-tale. A sycophantic media creating too much hype, the agonisingly drawn out road to retirement of a jockey who so obviously didn’t want to retire or a former Olympic cyclist who happened to want to jump fences with the best of them fuelled by a betting industry offering odds for a clear round. Real racing is raw, tough, uncompromising and savagely sober. It recognises no rules and like life, can be outrageously cruel. The Sunday of the Open Meeting was a cruel day spawned out of retiring genius.


During the morning, Nicky Henderson, the trainer of the 10-yearold reigning champion chaser announced that Sprinter Sacre, regarded by some as the best since Arkle, had sustained a minor leg injury while being prepared for a return to action in the Tingle Creek Chase. Henderson said that Sarwar Mohammed, Sprinter Scare’s groom, was “in bits” and the trainer himself came close to tears at several points in the press conference. His voice breaking, he said: “We will just have to get along without him. It’s been an emotional time for five or six years. But we’ve loved every minute of it. And all good things have to come to an end.” Henderson acknowledged his best day in racing had been when Sprinter Sacre won the Champion Chase here in March during the winter when he recaptured something like his best form after a period of almost two years when he was unable to win. A heart problem was initially suspected, while other issues surfaced during his time in the doldrums. Henderson added: “Listen, he’s alive and kicking. We’re not at a funeral, we’re at a celebration of his life. We’re just going to miss him. It’s somebody that’s going out of our lives.” Asked if he had ever been similarly emotional about a horse before, Henderson made the obvious reply that the death of any horse would produce tears. “And that’s a different ball game. We mustn’t be that way,” he said. “We’ve had shocking days like that, of course we

have. And then those tears are a bit different. We ought to be happy about this. He’s gone out, undefeated in his last four starts, at the top, with the world behind him.” The ‘real’ Cheltenham understands the brutality of a sport that chisels and chastens its heroes. They are not fashioned in bars or awards ceremonies in swanky hotels. They are beat out on a gruelling gallop on a blue-fingered January morning, a sinew stretching, full bloodied leap at ditch and birch or in traction at the end of a day in the local county hospital. I have visited Nicky Henderson’s yard in Lambourn. It is not flashy and could do with more than a lick or two of fresh paint. A bite to eat is a passable sausage bap and something hot and wet, vaguely resembling soup. He has trained some of the best racehorses to ever grace the National Hunt game. As Sprinter Sacre bowed out, beautiful and unbowed, acclaimed and acknowledged by the Cheltenham cognoscenti, Nicky Henderson prepared his potential successor for the next Cheltenham race, a race that only a year before, Sprinter had won on his truly emotional comeback. Minutes later the dashing Simonsig jumped, fell, broke his leg, dead. A groom waited with an empty bridle, a horsebox without a passenger for its return journey, a trainer agonisingly pondering two definitions of loss, achievement, ecstasy and agony. In the Cheltenham grandstand, somebody in a champagne bar popped another bottle and drained another glass.  Nigel Aplin, formally Head of Broadcast for William Hill, is founder of, which features a daily digest of betting banter.


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Out &


DIP ‘N’ DINE AT THE GREENWAY HOTEL AND SPA, CHELTENHAM Throughout December (Monday to Friday only) Indulge in a little bit of pre-Christmas pampering with a December Dip ‘n’ Dine at Elan Spa at The Greenway. This welcome treat includes use of the spa facilities from 6-9pm, a 25minute treatment and a two-course dinner. Tickets: £69



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with old Style Cotsw

prepared by Eckington Manor’s Head Chef and reigning MasterChef: The Professionals Champion, Mark Stinchcombe. £45 per person including all materials and afternoon tea

STRESS FREE COOKERY COURSE AT FOODWORKS COOKERY SCHOOL, NEAR CHELTENHAM Saturday 3rd December, 10am to 3pm Foodworks are running a fabulous ‘Stress Free Christmas’ cookery course offering plenty of hot tips, short cuts and delicious ideas to serve up for that big event. Come on your own or with a group (limited spaces). Includes a delicious lunch with wine and recipe pack. Call 01242 870538 or visit the website. MIG KIMPTON’S FROZEN FLORAL ROADSHOW AT PITTVILLE PUMP ROOM, CHELTENHAM Sunday 4th December, 3pm

The Bottle of Sauce, previously The Quaich pub (on the corner of Ambrose and Clarence Street), is the first venue outside of Oxford for established indie publicans, Dodo Pub Company. The hip new watering hole will offer craft beverages and cocktails, with a street food inspired menu including dirty burgers, wood fired pizzas and more.

FEAST OF FESTIVE FLORALS, ECKINGTON MANOR Thursday 1st December, 1.45 to 4pm RHS Chelsea award-winning florist, Rose Hamson, will host an intimate Wreath Making Afternoon Tea at Eckington Manor this December. Guests are invited to create their own festive floral masterpieces guided by Rose’s expert hand followed by a scrumptious seasonal Afternoon Tea, as


Winner of 11 medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Mig presents his Frozen Floral Roadshow full of flowers, stories and theatrical gossip. Learn how to create wonderful festive designs for the home, all made from scratch in front of your very eyes. Mig combines anecdotes from his thirty years of working in theatre and his extensive work with all things floral to provide a fun evening full of flowers. Tickets: £16


Christmas is all about spending time with family and friends, and sharing delicious food at every opportunity. Head Chef Ian Percival will share his inside secrets for preparing the perfect festive treats to be served whilst entertaining the family. Includes mulled wine on arrival, a two-course lunch, tea, coffee, mince pie and a glass of wine. Tickets: £22.50 CHRISTMAS WREATH MAKING AT TUDOR FARMHOUSE, CLEARWELL Wednesday 7th and Friday 9th

December, 10am to 2.3pm Get fabulously and florally festive at Tudor Farmhouse. Under expert guidance from Josephine’s Fabulous Florists (the hotel’s own wonderful

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Your comprehensive guide to what’s going on in The Cotswolds... Travel Blogger at florist), you will make your own Christmas wreath. The day starts with coffee and croissants at 10am, the class runs for 2.5 hours before you then tuck into a tasty two-course lunch. £50 per person including welcome refreshments, lunch and all materials. Tickets: £50 including all materials (just bring personal special gifts to go inside), welcome refreshments and lunch. A CHRISTMAS CAROL AT THE EVERYMAN THEATRE, CHELTENHAM Wednesday 7th to Friday 23rd December Ebenezer Scrooge has no time for his fellow creatures - no time for anything except making a profit. Most of all he has no time for Christmas. Scrooge is taken on a ghostly journey that will turn his life upside down and change him forever. What better way to celebrate the festive season than with Red Dog’s sparkling retelling of Dickens’ heartwarming tale. Suitable for ages 8 and over. Times and prices vary. MAKE YOUR OWN CHRISTMAS CRACKERS AT TUDOR FARMHOUSE, CLEARWELL Tuesday 13th December, 10am to 2.3pm

Learn to make your own luxury Christmas crackers and then enjoy lunch. Under the guidance of Wye Forest Retreats, Jo Thompson, this will be a fun-filled workshop, making bespoke crackers using vintage and hand-dyed silk ribbons and handmade papers. Coffee and croissants will be served on arrival, the class runs for 2.5 hours before you then tuck into a fabulous two-course lunch. Tickets: £50 including all materials (just


bring personal special gifts to go inside), welcome refreshments and lunch. ENGLISH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA AT CHELTENHAM TOWN HALL Wednesday 21st December, 7.30pm ESO’s Cheltenham debut features a trio of Viennese works, incorporating the wild side of Vienna’s Classical masters Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn. There is a pre-concert talk from 6.30 to 7pm by the conductor, Kenneth Woods. Tickets: from £13.50 CHRISTMAS EVE DINNER AT WESLEY HOUSE, WINCHCOMBE Friday 24th December Join us for lunch or dinner on Christmas Eve. With an atmosphere of expectation before the great day and midnight services in Winchcombe churches, we will ensure you finish dinner in good time to attend them if you wish.

NEW YEAR’S EVE – THE MOD BALL AT CHELTENHAM TOWN HALL Saturday 31st December, 8pm Transport yourself back to the decadence of the Sixties. Channel your inner Mary Quant, sharpen your best skinny suit and we will provide a swinging evening of peace, love and music including the return of the always groovy Chip Shop Boys. Wander down Carnaby Street, do some far out dancing, and listen to outta sight music. See in 2017 in psychedelic Sixties style! Tickets: different packages available

ENJOY A MASTERCHEF EXPERIENCE AT THE IN-TOTO KITCHENS CHELTENHAM GRAND OPENING Saturday 7th January, from 11am A day of celebrations, hosted by MasterChef: The Professionals’ 2013

winner, Steven Edwards. Join our intoto team for a family-friendly event, including refreshments, a live cooking demonstration, expert design and project advice, and children’s entertainment.

FAMILY THE GREAT BEAR OF THE NORTH AT THE EVERYMAN THEATRE, CHELTENHAM Thursday 1st to Wednesday 21st December When Freya stumbles upon a lost bear cub in the snow she finds a new friend but Loki soon grows too big to live in Freya’s cottage. So the pair set off on a magical journey in search of Loki’s true home. But Christmas is coming and there are greedy trolls bent on mischief. This is a wonderful introduction to live theatre for 3 to 7 year olds. Times and prices vary.

ENCHANTED CHRISTMAS AT WESTONBIRT ARBORETUM Every weekend until Sunday 18th December The Westonbirt forest is lit up (every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening >>>


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Enchanted Christmas at Westonbirt, Arboretum

during the above dates) in innovative, top-secret lighting designs every year. The illuminated tree display trail is a great evening of family fun. Father & Mrs Christmas will be on hand sharing Christmas tales over a Christmas feast. Other festive treats include a gift shop, a carousel and classic carols. Tickets for this year’s Enchanted Christmas will be on sale in October for pre-booking. JACK AND THE BEANSTALK AT THE EVERYMAN THEATRE, CHELTENHAM Until Sunday 8th January

Tweedy The Clown and William Elliott as Dame Trott return for the Everyman’s most gigantic pantomime


yet. Don’t miss Jack’s adventures in Cloud Cuckoo Land, packed with slapstick, laughs, a giant and even a comedy cow. There will be an audio described performance and touch tour for the performance on 4th January, 2pm. There will be a relaxed performance on 5th January, 10am. There will be a sign language interpreted performance on 7th January, 2pm. Times and prices vary. SPECTACLE OF LIGHT, SUDELEY CASTLE, WINCHCOMBE Thursday 1st to Friday 23rd December After dark, for the very first time, Sudeley Castle and its grounds will come to life through a wonderful Spectacle of Light and sound. Explore this secret world as you follow a trail of light around the magical gardens and into the romantic ruins. Experience the breathtaking effect as the nighttime enchantment of this Castle is majestically revealed before your very eyes. A unique experience for all ages.

Tickets: adults from £13.50, children 5 to 15 years from £9, children under 5 free. Family 2 + 2 from £36

FATHER CHRISTMAS NEEDS A WEE, CHELTENHAM TOWN HALL Tuesday 20th December, 2pm ‘Father Christmas Needs a Wee!’ is back... and he still needs a wee! The musical saw success in a sellout run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and a sellout UK Tour across number one

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theatre venues. Adapted from Nicholas Allan’s original book by duo James Worthington and Kate Lindsey, it is a magical journey for all ages using original songs, puppets and imaginative scenery trickery. Tickets: from £13 (adults) and £11 (children)

CHARITY ANGELS FOR SALE, WATERSTONES IN CHELTENHAM Until Christmas Buy a beautiful handmade angel decoration in aid of Focus, supporting local oncology patients. Please hang an angel this year on your tree to support someone you love that has been affected by cancer. You can also buy the angels from the Focus Unit and Cheltenham and Gloucester Hospitals Charity. Contact 0300 422 4716 or

WINSTON’S WISH, WISH UPON A STAR TREE IN REGENTS ARCADE, CHELTENHAM Thursday 1st to Monday 26th December Visit our tree this year in Regent Arcade shopping centre in Cheltenham. Share a wish, memory or Christmas message on the tree located on the 1st floor at the top of the escalators and make a donation to our work with bereaved children. There will be a special competition on Saturday 3rd December for people who add their stars then. This year the tree is kindly sponsored by Basepoint Tewkesbury who are going to match fund all the money raised through the activity. CHRISTMAS MARKET, LOWER FARM, RAMSDEN, NEAR WITNEY Saturday 3rd December, 1pm to 4pm The tiny village of Ramsden is the

surprising venue for what must now be the biggest covered Christmas Market in West Oxfordshire. The market is held in the beautifully decorated big barn at Lower Farm, OX7 3AZ. 50 stalls will sell artisan food, hand-made clothing and gifts, books, wreaths, Christmas decorations and a host of other goodies. Funds raised will go to the village church and memorial hall. For more information, contact Roz Danks, 01993 868996 or 016/12/1/christmas-fayre MUSIC FOR THE CHRISTMAS SEASON AT ST STEPHEN’S CHURCH, TIVOLI, CHELTENHAM Sunday 4th December, 3pm ‘Sing Good Company, Glad and True’ will be performed by singers Helen Wright, Karen Jones, Alison Talbot and John Qualtrough, with John Wright (piano and organ). Admission free, with collection in aid of the St Stephen’s Roof Appeal. For further information please email Natalie Norman

LIGHT UP A LIFE, ST LUKE’S CHURCH, CHELTENHAM Sunday 4th December, 3pm Celebrate and remember the life of a loved one at Christmas time. Refreshments included. Warden Hill School Choir will be singing. Donations in support of LINC. Free entry

SPORT GLOUCESTER RUGBY V BRISTOL, KINGSHOLM STADIUM Saturday 3rd December, kick off 4.30pm Gloucester Rugby take on local rivals

Bristol Rugby in the Aviva Premiership. Tickets: from £15 for adults and £5 for juniors in advance.

GLOUCESTER RUGBY BUSINESS BREAKFAST, KINGSHOLM STADIUM Wednesday 7th December, 8 to 9.30am Gloucester Rugby’s Business Breakfast is back. Mix and mingle with over 100 local businesses before being seated for a full English breakfast followed be a short presentation by Gloucester Rugby’s Head of Strength and Conditioning, Paddy Anson. Tickets: £18 GLOUCESTER RUGBY V LA ROCHELLE, KINGSHOLM STADIUM Thursday 8th December, kick off 7.45pm

GLOUCESTER RUGBY TAKE ON LA ROCHELLE IN THE EUROPEAN CHALLENGE CUP. Tickets: from £15 for adults and £5 for juniors in advance. CHRISTMAS SWIM, SANDFORD PARKS LIDO, CHELTENHAM Sunday 25th December Gates open from 10.30am. Swim 11 to 11.30am. Dive into the freezing cold waters of the Lido for a Christmas Day swim. This is not for the feint-hearted. Entry is free, but there will be a charity collection. Over 17s only. You will need to sign a waiver to swim, print this off in advance. NEW YEAR’S DAY, CHELTENHAM RACECOURSE Sunday 1st January Raise a glass to 2017 with friends as large and enthusiastic crowds begin the New Year in style, with festive fresh air and fantastic racing. www.cheltenham.thejockeyclub.


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This Month with Kate Justice

Social Snuggling Kate Justice is lapping up the delights of her ‘local’ Winter is here then... the rain and mud and limited daylight are well and truly ensconced. So what’s your favourite thing to do to combat the winter blues? Christmas parties? Trip to the festive market? Mulled wine with breakfast? How about a meal out in a cosy country pub with a roaring open fire? Other than a month in Barbados (never gonna happen), this is probably my number one favourite activity in winter. Lunchtime, evenings, any day of the week... if the weather is pants and I’ve got a couple of hours spare, just the prospect of this joyous social snuggling actually makes me shiver with delight. We are blessed with several decidedly decent pubs in our locale – it’s one of the main reasons Husband (who is American) agreed to live in the UK and leave sunny California – but one pub in particular has just brought in a snazzy ‘super-chef ’ to rather sparkle things up. The Red Hart Inn at Blaisdon has always been a destination country pub for people from all over the South West. I’d heard of it and visited long before I lived nearby and it’s close proximity to our current home was on the list of ‘Pro’s’ when we were looking to move. Some of my very best nights out ever have been in this pub and I absolutely LOVE being able to call it my local. I even worked there one summer when the kids were tiny and once... in a moment of slight madness... I took my horse in there – through the door and into the bar. (Low ceiling, large animal... it did raise a few eyebrows). Scott Partridge is now in charge of the kitchen and we are all – quite rightly, expecting great things. Scott has family in Gloucestershire and worked locally more than 10 years ago, but has spent the last decade preparing, cooking and serving top quality cuisine on a Super Yacht. Yep. A. Super. Yacht. He’s cooked for the Queen – often. And Camilla personally requests him when she has reason to be on board. He was flown out to the Carribean to cater for George Lucas. And now look! He’s 98 DECEMBER 2016 COTSWOLD STYLE

here to cook for us at the Red Hart! Somehow, I know that he will make the same effort for you and me as he does for Her Majesty... he says he’s looking forward to re-establishing his Gloucestershire based UK reputation and as well as being an advocate of using seasonal products (there is plenty of Game on the current menu), he also has a speciality with fresh fish. Why the Red Hart Inn? What brings him here? “It’s not pretentious.” He says. “It has real, genuine character and despite it’s already superb reputation, it also has huge potential”. For the last two months, since Scott arrived, he has been carefully listening to peoples comments and making small changes; steering towards creating his full magic in the kitchen. The Landlady, Sharon, her family and staff already have a firmly established

fabulous relationship with their customers and the building itself and surroundings are storybook charm, so it’s only a matter of time before all elements of this beautiful local business slide very nicely towards perfection. I’ve seen it before – word starts to spread and soon, you’ll be booking a table two weeks in advance. The Christmas menu is out if you are looking for a place to hold a festive gathering – and if you don’t make it now, you’ll regret not going in the New Year. I think the Red Hart Inn will be a very much talked about venue in 2017... so, I’ll see you there. Tel: 01452 830477

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