Places&Faces 133 - December 2021

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Winter Workouts




Luxurious Lashes What's your favourite festive film?


festive recip es

s a m t s i r Ch Merry


Issue No: 133 | December 2021

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Nor folk & Suf folk

Jellycat Jolly Gingerbread Fred, £14.

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Skagen Signatur Rose Tone Steel Mesh Watch £89.00

AllSaints Balfern Leather Biker Jacket £318.00

Bobbi Brown Soho Glow Set £22.50

MAC Surprise Eyes Eye Shadow: Hypnotizing Holiday in Warm £25.00

Ted Baker Crocey Croc Detail Debossed Envelope Pouch £40.00

Barbour Tunbridge Tailored Micro Check Shirt £59.95


Bordallo Pinheiro Natural Cabbage Dinner Plate £18.00 Fish Platter £39.00

Christmas is the season of get-togethers with extra sparkle, food & drink in abundance and spending time with those people who matter.

Lego Adidas Originals Superstar 10282 £80.00

Gucci Mémoire d’une Odeur EDP 100ml £92.00

Visit our decorated Norwich store or shop your Christmas list online at Le Creuset Signature Cast Iron Casserole 28cm £305.00

Nigel Slater A Cook’s Book £25.00

Julia Donaldson The Christmas Pine £9.99 Jarrold Taste of Norfolk Hamper £45.00 See the full collection at

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Christmas I gave you my bubble, but the very next day it was taken away. This year to save us from tears, it's going to be much more special... It only seems like yesterday that Boris turned into the Grinch that stole Christmas and extra-small turkeys were in great demand, but a year on here we are getting ready for the next celebration. We are not out of the woods so to speak, but so much has changed over the past 12 months. Double jabs, boosters and a steely resolve that makes us what we are. It has been such a difficult time, however there are some positives to take from this unfortunate situation we find ourselves in. As we move ahead into the choppy waters of the future a new sense of togetherness seems to be returning to the streets. Neighbours bringing each others' bins in. Passers-by smiling and saying hello. A renewed feeling of community. Albeit small, these green shoots of goodwill have the potential to grow into the mighty oaks of old. From slow-food to slow-fashion the use of the local butchers, bakers and candlestick makers (we all know how much we love a scented candle) only stands to strengthen our resolve. Maybe it's my imagination, maybe it's the spirit of Christmas or maybe its everyone's realisation that doing the right thing is never the wrong thing. Whatever it is, I like it and look forward to seeing what we can do for each other in 2022... Merry Christmas.


Andrew Hirst EDITOR

@PlacesandFaces @PlacesandFaces

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36 11 What's on 16 Visit Norwich 19 Discover... Bury 23 Polly's podcasts 24 Books 27 Perfect Christmas 28 Gourmet gossip 30 Norfolk's Edge



33 Get the party started 35 Get g'in the festive spirit 36 Festive feast 38 Mushroom wellington 41 Christmas tree brownies 43 Thursford 49 Gift ideas 52 Winter warmers


55 Beauty 57 Fitness


61 Gardening with Tom 63 Winter breaks 65 Financial advice 66 Inspiring women RECIPES ON PAGES 39, 40 & 43


What's on



Favourite Festive Film

Out&About About



month here at Places&Faces HQ we revisited the age-old-argument... "what is the best festive film?"

Photo: Geraint Warrington

John & Lisa’s Weekend Kitchen Saturday mornings at 11.40am, until 15 Jan, ITV and ITV Hub Top culinary couple John Torode and Lisa Faulkner are continuing throughout December with their expertise and flair for creating delicious, original and easy-to-cook dishes. It's difficult not to be inspired by their easy-to-do, mouthwatering and imaginative recipes. Lisa said, "Our schedules have been really busy, so to work together was a chance to see each other! We’re lucky in the fact that we love food, so we’re constantly thinking of ideas and chatting through recipes. I love working with John.” Make sure you join them as everything starts getting festive.

As we all had different top movies on our list we thought it only wise to let our trusty P&F readers vote on the matter and settle the argument once and for all. Below are the top films as voted by you...

The Book of Boba Fett


29 December, Disney+ If there is one thing Star Wars fans love more than jumping into hyper-space it's their favourite bounty hunter - Boba Fett. The 8-part extravaganza sees a new episode released each week. The spin-off of The Mandalorian stars Temeura Morrison as Boba Fett and Ming-Na Wen as Fennec Shand. Grab your thermal detonators it's sure to be an explosive adventure.


Die Hard(1988) With a winning score of 39.1% John McClane (Bruce Willis) romps home to claim top-spot as the regions favourite festive film. Maybe not what everyone was expecting? The skyscraping adventure certainly seems to be getting us all in the Christmas spirit.

The Unforgivable 10 December, Netflix Sandra Bullock shines in this gritty and unexpected role. Released from prison after serving a sentence for a violent crime, Ruth Slater (Bullock) re-enters a society that refuses to forgive her past. Facing severe judgment from the place she once called home, her only hope for redemption is finding the estranged younger sister she was forced to leave behind. The film is not exactly filled with festive cheer, however it is definitely worth a watch if you fancy a break from the tinsel and mince pies.


Trigger Point

Love Actually (2003)

Coming soon... January 2022

In second place is a rom-com which has a special place in everyone's heart with 34.8%. Yes indeed ladies and gentlemen, it really was that close.

Vicky McClure and Adrian Lester star in new ITV drama Trigger Point which turns the spotlight on counter terrorism policing and the extraordinary work of the Metropolitan Police Bomb Disposal Squad.

The rest of the pack looks like this - with a massive four-way-tie in third place... 3 Home Alone (1990) - Elf (2003) - The Muppets Christmas Carol (1992) - The Grinch (2018) 8 Arthur Christmas (2011) 9 The Holiday (2006) 10 Gremlins (1984)

That's it, settled...

argument over! Anyone fancy a game of Monopoly? 11



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What's on

In Conversation With

Love Triangles

Lady Glenconner

Alternate days 7-12 December, UEA The University of East Anglia’s (UEA) School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing is presenting a celebration of the plays of Caryl Churchill. Under the season title Love Triangles, third year drama students will present two of her plays, Love and Information and Blue Heart. In the current worldwide climate of political and personal uncertainty the plays, which address questions of identity, politics and love, are extremely relevant.

Great Yarmouth Hippodrome Christmas Spectacular Circus & Water Show 12 December-10 January The Christmas Spectacular, with Jack Jay and Ben Langley plus an incredible international circus cast, combines the festive spirit with the breathtaking magic of the circus. There’s no Christmas show quite like this one and it's a completely new alternative to the traditional pantomime.

27 December, 5.30pm-8pm, Lady Elizabeth Wing, Holkham Hall

Christmas Quest: Elf Rescue Until 9 January 2022 (best during daylight hours), Millennium Plain, Norwich Santa needs you and your team of Christmas Questors to solve the puzzles and free the elves! This is a wonderful, winter outdoor activity for families with children of 7 years old and up. Though this game is aimed at younger players, teams of adults will also enjoy this festive foray into the city of Norwich. The game contains a mix of easy and slightly harder puzzles that both children and adults will enjoy when playing as a team. £9.99, 7yrs+, download onto your phone.

The magnificent stately home on the north Norfolk coast will host this amazing event where Lady Glenconner, bestselling author of Lady in Waiting and Murder on Mustique, will be sharing insights about her extraordinary life and what inspired her new novel, A Haunting At Holkham. Lady Glenconner will be joined by David Whiteley, TV and radio presenter, well-known to local audiences as the co-presenter of ITV News Anglia. Tickets cost £45 which includes a drink on arrival and a signed copy of the new book.

A Biddy’s Christmas Carol 7-23 December, Biddy’s Tea Room, Norwich and Aylsham A Biddy’s Christmas Carol is an innovative, playful and faithful adaptation of the story of Ebenezer Scrooge. The Keeper’s Daughter’s take on the Charles Dickens’ classic is quirky and contemporary, with just two actors playing all the parts. This imaginative re-telling of the well-known Victorian tale is an hour long and is suitable for all those aged five and over. Photo: Al Pulford

Photo: Ruby Belassie

Photo: Hal Shinnie






Head East The new routes for the autumn and winter months wind through spectacular rural and coastal landscapes in Norfolk, immersing walkers in nature's sounds, smells and textures. Choose one... or do all three!

Twilight Time in Buckenham Marshes (starting point is Buckenham Carr, October to March) The area around Buckenham Marshes offers a unique opportunity to see the special changes which take place within the natural landscape during that liminal time-zone between dusk and nightfall. Make your hideaway in the grassy verges, on the seats by the river edge or inside the cosy bird hide and settle down for the evening’s entertainment. A hot flask and blanket might help. As the sun slowly sinks behind the trees look out for a flurry of activity as the wintering waterfowl busily finish the business of the day and prepare for the long night ahead. Meanwhile, look out over the marshes and you’ll see rabbits emerge from their warrens full of energy, ready to begin their day. In the distance look closely and you could see deer stepping out from the edge of the woods. As the light fades you might notice the occasional black silhouette flitting overhead. This signals the arrival of corvids gathering for their evening roost. The birds will rest in a copse of trees in the middle of the marsh and begin a chorus of croaks and caws which form their cryptic conversations. Single birds emerge from 14

Sunrise to Moonrise in Great Yarmouth (starting point is North Denes dunes, October to March) If you wrap up warm and embrace the fresh North Sea breeze, the rolling sands of North Denes offer up its own barren beauty to brighten the shorter days of winter. This quiet spot, washed in salty mists and dotted with tussocks of marram grass, is a favourite with dog walkers and adventurers who want to get the most out of their day. Be the first to greet the morning by heading down to the beach before sunlight. If you want to take breakfast with you, a flask of coffee and Pastéis de Nata from one of Great Yarmouth’s Portuguese stores makes a fine treat. Nestle down in the shelter of the dunes and watch the sun as it rises up and over the sea, full of promise for the new day. As the world wakes, you can head into town and explore the delights of this historic seaside town and enjoy a varied selection of food and heritage experiences. When the afternoon light starts to fade, take a gentle stroll along the shoreline. The winter sunset lights the rooftops and sends murmurations of starlings into whirling flight across the sky as the town settles down for the night ahead.

The Twilight Broads (starting point is NR12 0BS and access is via Stubb Lane, October to March) Hickling Broad was created in medieval times by locals digging out peat for winter fuel; today it is a unique landscape of Norfolk reed and Woodland Carr. Throughout autumn and winter, as sunset approaches, it is a secret place to watch nature’s clock unfold. Follow the path to Stubbs Mill where a Norfolk Wildlife Trust viewing platform will help to keep your feet dry while offering views over fields of waving reed, glistening water and lost long Broads buildings. Over the years barn owls have found a safe place to roost and breed in the broken timbers of Brograve drainage mill, while short eared owls, with their piercing yellow eyes, may be seen quartering the banks. When shadows darken marsh harriers start to arrive. It’s not surprising that these large impressive birds, once nearly extinct, have a stronghold in Norfolk as their favourite hunting ground is over reed beds and marshes. Up to seventy birds have been seen circling around this roost site, a spectacle not to be forgotten. As the sky darkens the best is still to come. The common crane, rare elsewhere, but common in the Broads, return home in the dying light. These huge birds with outstretched necks and trailing legs proclaim their arrival with a triumphant call. This beautiful, evocative sound fills the air above Hickling and haunts both the landscape and your memory. As darkness falls it’s time to turn on torches and seek out warming refreshment at one of the nearby hostels.

Photo: Chris White


the melee sending out siren calls as they fly. Watch for their return, a few minutes later, bringing with them an ever increasing and noisier number of fellow corvids to join the twilight celebrations. As the sky darkens and the sun disappears, sit patiently. You will be rewarded. After a few false starts the whole chattering, swooping, diving gathering will take flight and journey on to its overnight shelter. Please note that public transport to this location is limited, however, train travel may be arranged on weekends.

Photo: Lolostock



What's on

The Glasswells 75th Winter Sale Everything for your home and much, much more

Est. 1946

• Furniture, Beds & Mattresses • Carpets, Flooring & Rugs • Curtains & Blinds • Bedding, Cushions & Throws • Towels & Bathroom Accessories • Lighting, Pictures & Mirrors • Kitchenware & Electricals • Professional Interior Design Service • Free On-site Parking • The Place to Eat Restaurant • Finance Options Available • Price Match Promise

Celebrating 75 years of making homes beautiful Be part of the 75th Anniversary celebrations and enjoy huge savings on a fabulous choice of quality furnishings, at the Glasswells Winter Sale - it’s what your home’s been waiting for! From starting life supplying second-hand furniture back in 1946, to becoming the biggest home department store in East Anglia, Glasswells is a household name and one of the region’s largest and best-loved independent home furnishers. Whether you are renovating, moving or redecorating, you’ll find an unrivalled choice of quality furniture and beds, flooring, curtains and homewares, including huge savings on designer brands. Our huge showrooms in Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich offer a truly special shopping experience, with carefully designed roomsets to inspire you and expert advice, including a professional interior design service. Make Glasswells the number one choice for your next shopping trip and discover everything you need for your home, all under one roof – we make shopping easy. Enjoy free on-site parking and a delicious lunch, or one of our famous scones, at the Place to Eat restaurant. Give the home you love a new look for less at the Glasswells 75th Winter Sale - choice, value and great service guaranteed.

Newmarket Road Bury St Edmunds IP33 3TU | 01284 752804 Ranelagh Road Ipswich IP2 0AQ | 01473 253164 Shop online at Sale start 13/12/21


Crowning Glory This month we have majestic historic celebrations, bingo-Santa style, family shows, a Muppet singalong and vintage bus rides… there’s nothing like variety! says Melanie Cook of

Hold onto

your seat as Christmas 2021 gets underway in Norwich with a smorgasbord of things to do to keep you on your toes! Christmas in Norwich and Norfolk this year look set to be a big one, with all the festive frivolities you expect – and so much you don’t! Yes, we have visits to Father Christmas, and yes, we have Christmas markets… and yes, we have Christmas Bingo Bango Bongo (because who can imagine Christmas without multicoloured balls). And yes, we have a canine carol service at Holkham (‘Bark’, the Herald Angels sing? Anyone?). And amongst all of that, we also have a very special anniversary to celebrate: a wonderful story that started 900-years ago, back in 1121. In the trusted hands of Norfolk Museums Service, a programme of activity in the City of Stories will mark the anniversary of the arrival of Henry I and his Christmas court for their Christmas feast at Norwich Castle. This would have been a momentous occasion in the history of the city - and of East Anglia more widely - as Henry I was one of the most powerful medieval kings and his visit is one of the few recorded visits 16

to Norwich by an Anglo-Norman king. So, 900 years later, we start our own celebrations through a series of traditional and experiential forms of storytelling, beginning with a light projection (16 Nov–5 Jan) onto the castle. Expect a beautifully illustrated animation of the story of the royal visit. The projection draws on the visual richness and narrative tradition of manuscript illumination from the time of the reign of Henry I (1100–1135), with the story divided into several segments, each looking like a richly decorated page of an ancient book. The projection will present the approach of the king and his itinerant court to Norwich, the ceremonial welcome and reception (adventus) of the king outside the city, the approach to the castle, the preparations for the feast, and finally, the great Christmas feast itself.

It’s very different to the usual seasonal projections but no less mesmerising and beautiful. Collaboration and community have played a significant role in our lives over the past 22 months, and our work through VisitNorwich and Norwich BID has showcased and built upon the connections between businesses, neighbourhoods, and the public. Our latest Christmas Crown Trail in association with Norfolk Museums Service continues this month right through to 5 January. Aimed for all ages to enjoy, the trail takes you from Norwich Castle to the Tunnel of Light and everywhere in between, spotting crowns of all shapes and sizes, in all manner of forms. Your task is to find as many as you can using the trail map to guide you along the way. This is a trail of grand proportions so it has been sectioned into four smaller trails which you can do over several visits to Norwich. These are trails to follow at weekends and evenings, between Christmas and New Year, when we are all at a bit of a loss for what to do and are craving a reason to get outdoors. Purple Trail is from Norwich Castle to the Tunnel of Light, this trail really is a journey through time. Gold Trail takes a step back through the centuries exploring The Lanes and Norwich Cathedral. Red Trail is a relaxing stroll by the river and Elm Hill. And Green Trail is a real quest, just outside Norwich city centre.


Trail followers - be eagle eyed as the crowns vary in size and what they are made of. Some are hidden in plain sight; they won’t all be obvious which is part of the fun! Over 80 businesses and locations are participating across Norwich and the city centre taking you to places you may not have visited before, so discovery is all part of the story too. You’ll find decorated Christmas window displays, and some crowns will be in stores and at attractions. Others may be found on biscuits, trees, bears – even on people and in festive projections. Maybe on buses, too! Pick up a trail map and see how many you can find whilst discovering some great places to eat, visit and shop along the way. And if you need a little help follow @visitnorwich on social media and listen to the Kirsteen Thorne Breakfast Show on BBC Radio Norfolk from Saturday 27th November until 18 December for clues to some of the more challenging locations. This is a fun seasonal trail for all ages and something to enjoy over several visits to Norwich, not just one. Adding to the festivities of Christmas and Henry I, Norwich Castle is also presenting a majestic programme of activities. Sit back and enjoy a dramatic performance and let the ‘King and Queen’ tell you the story themselves, follow the royal trail of treasures around the museum, explore the noble ‘playtable’ and even visit the selfie station to commemorate your own regal visit. Events will be taking place between 20–23 December and 27–30 December. Tickets cost £6.70 for adults and £6.20 for children, join the team for Christmas cheer to fuel your

understanding and love of Norwich and its rich and majestic heritage. Take a look at their website for full details of when each individual activity is taking place. Theatre is back this Christmas too. And whilst Norwich Theatre did present three one-hour Christmas shows in 2020 to smaller audiences (thank you, they were great!), it’s marvellous to see performances scheduled for us to enjoy full length, in atmospheric auditoriums. For the whole family we have three shows taking us from 11 December through to New Year: Norwich Theatre Royal’s panto is always a date in my diary, it never fails to put a broad grin on my face. This year we see Dick Whittington and his Cat (11 Dec–9 Jan) tread the boards with what I’m sure will be another enormous hit from the delightful and hilarious Richard Gauntlett, who celebrates his 21st year in panto in Norwich. YouTube sensation Joe Tracini will be there too playing alongside celebrated actor Graham Cole (The Bill), and from SIX the Musical in the West End we welcome Jarnéia Richard-Noel. If you’re looking for something for slightly younger children, then you can’t fail with a visit to Norwich Puppet Theatre and Norwich Theatre Stage Two. The Puppet Theatre’s festive story this year is a fast-paced action adventure and brand-new show filled with live music as they present Pinocchio (17 December–4 January, 11am and 2.30pm, ages 4+). A tale so well known yet still as popular as ever. Individual tickets are available as well as family tickets for £32. This is a lovely show to see after Christmas and New Year, stretching out the festivities. Over at Norwich Theatre Stage Two for ages 3+, enjoy Jack Frost brought to life through puppetry and music from Moon On a Stick using shadow play and song. This is enchanting interactive theatre to warm the cockles of your heart. Book the show 18-23 December (ages 3+, tickets £10). Other events which have particularly caught my eye because they spell FESTIVE FUN in capital letters are Bowling House of Christmas Bingo

Bango Bongo (7, 8, 15, 16 December, tickets £10 to be booked in advance, 7.45pm). Laugh your way through this Sana-style game with Barry ‘balls up’ Bulsara. It’s all the excitement of prize bingo with a funky soundtrack and a few saucy surprises thrown in. Maybe not one for the kids! The second is also at Bowling House. Taking place 12 December, if you love singing this is the event for you. BFR presents: Muppets Christmas Carol singalong with Kitty Perrin and Alexander Carson playing hits from the 1992 classic film. Tickets are £7 in advance and doors open at 2pm. You’ve a little time to practise. Finally, with lots of fun and a great way to experience Norwich, hop onto the Christmas Vintage Bus for a journey around the city spreading festive cheer between 20–24 December. It’s free to travel however donations are welcomed and will go to charity in the spirit of the season. There are plenty more festive events from church and cathedral services to candlelit events, makers’ workshops and light trails. Look up more things to do in Norwich and Norfolk at including Holkham Estate, Houghton Hall, Thursford, Bure Valley Railway, Pensthorpe and Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure. For events, experiences, places to eat and drink, stories, where to shop and visit in Norwich and beyond go to Plus, don’t miss out on news, sign up to the City of Stories newsletter. 17


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Bury St Edmunds Home of the original patron saint of England, discover the foodie town with a thousand years of history to explore


famed abbey ruins, Suffolk’s sole cathedral, and the only surviving Regency playhouse in Britain, the pretty market town of Bury St Edmunds is an ideal day trip for lovers of all things yesteryear. Haled as Suffolk’s foodie town, it’s also a fantastic place to tuck in to a variety of top notch nosh, with the only Michelin-starred restaurant in the county. Not to mention the fantastic shopping on offer (see page 20) if you’re running behind on your Christmas gift list.

What to see and do

A trip to Bury St Edmunds isn’t complete without a visit to the beautiful floral displays of Abbey Gardens. Developed on the site of one of the largest and most important Benedictine abbeys in medieval England, the abbey ruins provide a dramatic backdrop for a crisp winter’s stroll. There’s something even more magical about cathedrals in the run up to Christmas – next, head to St Edmundsbury Cathedral

to admire the gorgeous vaulted ceiling under the tower and see the new cloisters and chapel that were added as part of the Millenium Project. Bury’s Regency playhouse, The Theatre Royal, is a Grade I listed building that originally opened in 1819. Offering a wide variety of music, shows, special events and workshops, it’s always worth seeing what’s on while you’re here – during December, it’s Cinderella, a family-friendly panto to get you in the festive spirit. If you fancy hiding away from the wintry weather, Abbeygate Cinema is a charming movie theatre showing both mainstream and arthouse films. Its screening rooms are small, complete with cosy, squishy seating, plus there’s a great on-site cafe serving up flavours from around the world.


Treat yourself to some fine dining at Maison Bleue, whose accolades include the Michelin Sommelier award and featuring in the top 100 Places to Eat in the UK, among others. Cooking is classically French but has modern and Asian touches, with seafood a particular speciality.

The Ickworth This luxury family hotel is enveloped in rolling Suffolk countryside on a National Trust estate, so it’s the ideal place to get away from it all. Let the kids climb trees, ride bikes and spot deer in the 1,800 acres of parkland, then chill out with delicious cuisine, country views and childfriendly facilities on tap. The 27 hotel bedrooms are all unique and comfortable, and able to accommodate families, dogs or couples wanting a romantic break. Enjoy a sumptuous afternoon tea, relaxed family lunch or dinner for two in the on-site restaurant, or experience ultimate relaxation with a pampering facial or massage in the hotel’s treatment rooms.


Brewing in Bury can be traced back to the Domesday book, so there’s nowhere better to get your fix of cask ales than to head to Greene King Brewery for a tour, which involves tutored tastings and ends in the Beer Cafe where you can sample relishes made using their beers by local company Scarlett and Mustard.




Bury St Edmunds SHOPPING Still have some stocking fillers to buy? Spend an afternoon exploring the 200 stores that line Bury’s quaint medieval streets and Georgian squares. As well as high street brands and the modern open-air shopping centre, Arc, you’ll find a weekly market and plenty of independent shops – a selection of which we’ve listed here:


Jewellery by Tony Strowger

Quest Gifts

Nestled in the heart of the town, Quest is the answer to all your Christmas shopping needs. Stocking goods from leading home and gift companies as well as smaller independent businesses, you’re guaranteed to find something unique for any loved one left on your list. Choose from stylish home décor and fashion accessories to gorgeous jewellery, stationary and a quirky range of cards.

Beautiful Beers

Christmas is a time to eat, drink and be merry, and Beautiful Beers has the drink part covered. Established in 2011 with the aim of bringing Europe's finest beers to East Anglia, the store stocks over 200 varieties of the finest, award-winning beers. In addition, owner Rene also stocks a range of beers from local East Anglian microbreweries, so you’re sure to find something tasty to surprise your beer-lover.


Need an extra sparkly gift? You can never go wrong with a bespoke piece of jewellery. Although specialising in wedding, engagement and eternity rings, the store’s namesake, Tony, designs, creates and repairs all manner of jewellery. All the jewellery making and repairs are undertaken on the premises in his own workshop, and the shop also offers a range of gold and silver jewellery, Skagen watches as well as a pearl and bead restringing service.

Auntie Pams Sweet Shop Make gifting sweeter with a visit to this family-owned, old-fashioned sweet shop. Packed with a large stock of modern pocket money sweets and retro lines as well as American sweets, fudge, traditional sweets, penny counter sweets, drinks and milkshakes, you might just have to take some home for yourself too. Perfect for stocking fillers, or just because.

Struggling to find something for the fashionista in your life? Javelin is a unique designer store offering both men and women a wide selection of brands, clothing, shoes and accessories, including sought after labels such as Vivienne Westwood, Barbour, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Paul Boutique, Ted Baker, Scotch and Soda, Maison Scotch, Superdry and many more.

Kitchen Kave

If your loved one enjoys cooking up a storm or fancies doing more baking in 2022 (point them to our festive baking recipe on page 41), head to Kitchen Kave. Selling every item and gadget of kitchenware you could ever need, as well as baking equipment, aprons, tea towels and even matching bunting. For the rest of the home you’ll also find canvases, scented candles and wickenware. @Kitchen Kave

Luna House Boutique

This vintage boutique is the perfect place to hunt for a gift you wouldn’t find elsewhere. Spread across three floors, set aside a few hours to explore the eclectic mix of antique furniture, homeware, jewellery and preloved and original vintage clothing. The owners are passionate about a more sustainable lifestyle and are taking on the challenge of helping shoppers lower their carbon footprint one vintage item at a time. @LunaHouseBoutique

Vinyl Hunter

There’s no cooler gift for a music lover than a copy of their favourite album on vinyl. Go back in time and rifle through the store’s eclectic stock of both vintage and new vinyl. The Bury St Edmunds Record Cafe has now been open for over two years, and in that time the owners have strived to create a strong community for the area's music enthusiasts.

0800 0742989 4 Angel Hill, Bury Saint Edmunds, Suffolk, IP33 1LS Monday-Saturday: 10am-4pm Sunday: Closed

With Whisky Prices up 564%* there has never been a better time to invest. Enter the exciting world of whisky investment, one of the most secure and fastest growing investment markets. 27 Castle Meadow, Norwich, Norfolk, NR1 3DS

w w w. M a c i n n e s W h i s k y. c o m *Source: Knight Frank Report 2020



With colder weather here and Christmas fast approaching, why not cosy up at home with a nice cuppa and find your newest podcast obsession to enjoy over the festive season! Here's my top picks for December. By Polly Coleman

MOTHERS' MEETING Mothers' Meeting with Louise Pentland YouTube vlogger and best-selling author Louise Pentland is back for the second series of her enormously popular podcast Mothers’ Meeting. In the podcast, Louise and her special guest chat about all aspects of life and motherhood. From all the loveliest parts of being a mum, the personal struggles that mums face as well as mum-hacks to make daily life a little bit easier. Perfect for fans of Giovanna Fletcher's Happy Mum, Happy Baby podcast. FREQUENCY: Weekly

George Ezra & Friends Brit-award-winning singer-songwriter George Ezra sits down on his awardnominated podcast with a selection of special guests from the music industry including Sir Tom Jones, Ed Sheeran, Nile Rodgers, Elton John, Olly Alexander, Sigrid, Shania Twain, Niall Horan and so many more to chat and share stories of their experiences from their times on the road. There are currently 2 series available to listen back to with series 3 coming soon! FREQUENCY: Weekly

The White Vault Prepare yourself for the opening of… The White Vault. Multi-award-winning podcast The White Vault focuses on the collected records of a repair team sent to the Norwegian outpost of Fristed in Svalbard to find out why a mysterious signal has been coming from a remote Arctic research station. The podcast follows the team after becoming trapped by a heavy blizzard. The hugely popular fiction audio-drama consists of over 60 episodes and each episode is around 30 minutes in length. FREQUENCY: Twice a month

Ear Hustle Ear Hustle (prison-slang for eavesdropping) is the first ever podcast to be entirely created and produced from inside a prison. The award-winning, non-fiction podcast was created by Earlonne Woods and Antwan Williams (both formerly incarcerated) along with Nigel Poor, an artist who volunteers at San Quentin State Prison. It gives a fascinating view on what life is like on the inside showing the daily realities of prison life, shared by those living it, as well as stories from the outside after release. The podcast has over 60 episodes across 7 seasons. FREQUENCY: Twice-monthly

The Joe Rogan Experience Each week, comedian and UFC commentator Joe Rogan sits down with a special guest to talk about absolutely anything that comes to mind. Previous star guests include Quentin Tarantino, Matthew McConaughey, Elon Musk, Reggie Watts, Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Amanda Knox and so many more. Having launched in 2009, The Joe Rogan Experience is one of the most popular podcasts in the world. There are over 1,700 episodes and it receives over 190 million downloads each month. FREQUENCY: 4 episodes a week (Tuesday-Friday)




Polly's P O D C A S T S


B ks By Polly Coleman


you're looking for a book as a gift for that special someone, or craving a captivating read to see you through the festive period, we've got a fabulous selection for you here... These are my top picks for brand-new books coming out this December!

Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman This is the debut poetry collection from Sunday Times bestselling author, poet and activist Amanda Gorman, who achieved international acclaim earlier this year for her work performed at President Biden’s inauguration. Exploring themes of individuality, grief, and memory, Call Us What We Carry includes ‘The Hill We Climb’, which was read at the inauguration. Release date: 7 December Available to pre-order now.

Hide by Nell Pattison Hide is the captivating new psychological thriller with a heart pounding twist from bestselling author, Nell Pattison. Tense and full of toxic secrets, the novel features seven friends on a Boxing Day hike intended to bring their nature group together… Emily (the sister who never lets her hearing loss hold her back), Lauren (the sister who always feels a step behind), Morna (who doesn’t get on with Lauren), Ben (whose feelings for Emily border on obsession), Dan (the group's quiet newcomer), Kai (who isn’t just on the hike to enjoy the wildlife) and Alec… the one who knows all their secrets. As the sun sets, a gunshot echoes across the nature reserve. One of the seven is dead, and one of their number killed them… But who? Release date: 9 December Available to pre-order now.

How Not to Fall in Love

A History of Wild Places

by Jacqueline Firkins

by Shea Ernshaw

A hardened cynic and a hopeless romantic teach each other about love in this swoony and heartfelt modern romance. Harper works in her mum’s wedding shop, altering dresses for picky brides who are more focused on hemlines than love. After years of watching squabbles break out over wedding plans, Harper thinks romance is just a marketing tool and nothing more. Her best friend Theo is the opposite. One date and he’s already dreaming of happily ever afters. When Theo finds himself nursing his umpteenth heartbreak, Harper offers to teach him how not to fall in love. Theo agrees to the lessons, as long as Harper proves she can date without falling in love. As the lessons progress and Theo takes them to heart, Harper has a harder time upholding her end of the bargain. If she confesses her feelings, she’ll undermine everything she’s taught him. Or was he the one teaching her? Release date: 21 December Available to pre-order now.

This richly atmospheric novel from New York Times bestselling author Shea Ernshaw follows three residents of a secluded, seemingly peaceful commune as they investigate the disappearances of two outsiders. Travis Wren has an unusual talent for locating missing people. Hired by families as a last resort, he only needs a single object to find the person who’s vanished. When he takes on the case of Maggie St. James, he’s led to a reclusive community, which many believed to be only a legend. No one can come in or out and soon after Travis stumbles upon it, he disappears, just like Maggie. Years later, lifelong commune member, Theo, discovers Travis’s abandoned truck beyond the border of the community and it’s up to him to unravel the mystery. Hauntingly beautiful, hypnotic, and bewitching, A History of Wild Places is a story about fairy tales, our fear of the dark and losing yourself within the wilderness of your mind. Release date: 7 December Available to pre-order now.

Independent financial advice from the name you can trust

01603 789966


s a ? m t s i r h C What is the perfect

by Emily Sparkes

I don’t

know about you but I’m really looking forward to Christmas! Prior to having my son, I remember feeling that Christmas was actually a bit of an anti-climax. I also remember envisioning what Christmas would be like when my husband and I had a family of our own. There I was naively imagining skipping off to the local carol service, hand-in-hand with rosycheeked children, before coming home to sip hot chocolate, put carrots out for the reindeer, read T’was the Night Before Christmas and then tucking the little cherubs up in bed. How wrong I was! As I’m sure that all of you with children will know, Christmas Day is actually chaos... but it’s delightful chaos. For those of you who don’t have children and have perhaps romanticised the idea of a family Christmas, let me inject a dose of realism! Those children who went to bed the night before, probably far later than they should have done high on excitement and sugar, wake at an unholy hour demanding to rush downstairs to “see if he’s been”. Children don’t need sleep, you know! They don’t emerge in the beautiful matching family Christmas pyjamas, cleverly purchased back in October. They’re too itchy, hot and the tag is scratchy. Instead, they look like something from Halloween, certainly nothing like the children on the John Lewis Christmas adverts. They open all of the presents in about twenty minutes flat and take absolutely no notice of who the gifts were from, making the future task of writing thank-you cards almost impossible. The lounge quickly becomes flooded with wrapping paper and cardboard packaging, making getting through to the kitchen to boil the kettle

for a desperately needed coffee akin to The Crystal Maze. Meanwhile, all the mess and rubbish sends my husband into a cold sweat as he panics about how he’ll fit it all in the recycling bin. Although we were all woken at the crack of dawn, or even long before dawn, the morning whizzes past and before long its 11am and nobody’s eaten anything of any nutritional value;

the cacophony of noisy toys and an excitable toddler in the background. Or with a house full of people trying to make polite conversation with me all whilst my husband searches every kitchen cupboard and drawer for the triple A, double C and DK batteries he’s sure he bought for that thing last year. Why do they always stand in front of the exact cupboard you need to get in? You get it, it’s hard work and my arrogance hasn’t served me well. Despite the pandemonium of it all, everybody is fed and more importantly, everybody’s happy. I remind myself to stop and take a minute, preferably with a glass of fizz in hand, to enjoy

After all, that’s what makes Christmas with children. It’s the pure emotion and excitement of little people who don’t yet need to moderate their feelings in order to conform to how society thinks they should behave. especially not the salmon royale I’d ambitiously planned for breakfast, having been seduced by the Marks and Spencer’s Christmas food catalogue. Instead, its panic stations as it dawns on me that I offered to cook Christmas lunch for our entire extended family. And no, Phil Vickery, despite your pleas on This Morning, I have preprepared nothing... not even peeled a vegetable. Nada. I cook a roast dinner every weekend, don’t you know? Just not on this gargantuan scale. Or with

the chaos unfolding around me. After all, that’s what makes Christmas with children. It’s the pure emotion and excitement of little people who don’t yet need to moderate their feelings in order to conform to how society thinks they should behave. Childhood and its innocence are so fleeting that it should be basked in and enjoyed whilst it lasts. I also know that if I ask my son at twenty-five what he remembers about the Christmases of his childhood, it won’t be the gifts he got or the food he ate, it’ll be the fun he had and the family he spent it with. He won’t care that we didn’t have the right batteries or that I’d forgotten the red cabbage. In fact, he might even chuckle about how I’d sent him and his dad on a mercy-mission to the one-corner shop that’s open to buy the brandy butter that I’d managed to forget… even if it was just to get them out of the way so that I could actually get to the cupboards and enjoy five minutes of peace and quiet in the midst of the madness. Sorry, darling, I didn’t see the brandy butter in the fridge, it must have been hiding behind the pigs in blankets! 27

An Empire of taste

met r u o G Gossip

The Hippodrome Great Yarmouth is readying for another blockbuster version of its Christmas Spectacular from 11 December to 9 January. The festive show, which is now firmly a Norfolk tradition, will see circus acts from all over the world come together and a Christmas extravaganza like no other. All set within the historic Hippodrome Circus arena it's a truly unique and magical experience for the entire family. This year there is also some very exciting ways to enjoy delicious food and drink during your visit. Firstly, The Hippodrome has recently opened Cafe 1903 next to the circus entrance, a stunning new coffee shop and cafe, serving freshly ground artisan coffee and tea, along with freshly baked cookies, cakes, and cinnamon swirls. They also offer a range of handmade sandwiches, bagels, and paninis. The cafe itself is adorned with vintage circus memorabilia from The Hippodrome's collection. It's the perfect place to start or end your visit to the circus. Ticket holders for the Christmas Spectacular will also be eligible for an amazing 10% off all food and drink at The Empire, another one of the seafront's iconic buildings. The Empire is a historic former theatre on Great Yarmouth seafront, which is now home to the east coast's most exciting and talked about new venue. The Empire hosts 3 guest street food traders, ranging from wood fired pizzas, stacked burgers and Mexican inspired vegan and vegetarian food. There is also vast craft beer and cocktail bars along with regular live music events. Families are very welcome and it's the perfect place to enjoy some food when you visit The Hippodrome.

Anyone for Pud'gin This gin liqueur is rich and warming with a golden shimmer boasting notes of candied fruit, Christmas spices of cinnamon and orange and a vanilla and caramel sweetness running through it. Simply drink neat in a glass with ice, use to create a festive cocktail or add to a glass of prosecco to create the perfect aperitif. Gently shake the bottle to release the golden shimmer. 500ml, 20% ABV, £25 |

The taste of Christmas in a bag

The Ivy Norwich Brasserie

150g bags £1.99

This winter The Ivy Norwich Brasserie is delighted to be adding an array of seasonal dishes to its already extensive menu. From 17 November, guests will be able to enjoy the likes of roast butternut squash with cranberries (£15.50), a delicious combination of buckwheat, chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, sesame and pomegranate with crumbled feta cheese, harissa sauce and coriander dressing, pan-fried lemon sole with brown shrimps (£24.95), featuring beurre noisette, lemon, capers and Brussels sprout leaves.

Fairfields Farm’s Roast Turkey & Stuffing crisps combine the tasty and succulent flavours of British turkey with the punchy and herby aromas of sage and onion stuffing to bring you a delicious and thoroughly festive snack. The crisps are created using the very best, hand-selected potatoes grown on Fairfields Farm and are cooked just a few metres away in its purpose-built crisp factory using 100% renewable energy.



lucky readers can win delicious bundles of

Booja-Booja chocolate truffles

Spiced orange & cranberry gin St Giles have created a beautifully balanced gin which has the essence of the festive season. This limited edition seasonal gin combines fresh orange and cranberry flavours with a warming spiced finish which lingers satisfyingly on the pallet. Enjoy over ice with a premium tonic or gently warmed with cranberry juice and a chunk of fresh orange. 70cl, 41% VOL, £39 |

Booja-Booja chocolate truffles are melt-in-the-mouth delicious, multi award-winning and handmade in Norfolk from the finest organic ingredients. We’ve got five scrumptious bundles of the company’s brand new exquisite creations to give away. Organic, vegan, dairy free, gluten free and soya free, BoojaBooja chocolate truffles are truly irresistible delights that can be enjoyed by just about everyone. Four sensational new flavours have just been launched to join the award-winning range and our 5 lucky winners will each receive them all. Each prize bundle includes moreish Chocolate Salted Caramel, Zesty Chocolate Orange, Crunchy Honeycomb Caramel and smooth Deeply Chocolate truffles alongside the brand new, beautiful selection box The Signature Collection, Gold winner at the Free From Christmas Awards 2021.

How to enter? To be in with a chance of winning this scrumptious prize visit our website or enter by post sending your contact details to BOOJA-BOOJA COMPETITION Places&Faces Magazine, Countrywide Publications, Micropress Printers Ltd, Fountain Way, Reydon Business Park, Suffolk IP18 6DH.

A gift of food & wine Why not gift something a little different this year with a voucher for Côte. Gift vouchers can be redeemed at both Côte at Home and Côte Brasserie, so you really have the best of both worlds. Should you choose to visit one of the fabulous restaurants there are plenty of locations to choose from including Bury St Edmunds and Norwich. Beautifully prepared food using excellent ingredients you will be able to enjoy favourites such as a mushroom cassoulet or a créme brûlée. One of the Places&Faces office favourites is a tarte au citron, especially when enjoyed with friends and family... a much better gift than last year's scarf.

Competition closes 31 December 2021. Each prize bundle contains: 1 x Chocolate Salted Caramel Truffles 92g, 1x Chocolate Orange Truffles 92g, 1 x Honeycomb Caramel Chocolate Truffles 92g, 1 x Deeply Chocolate Truffles 92g & 1 x The Signature Collection 184g. See page 7 for full terms & conditions.


competition time


EDGE Norfolk

Dapple Cream


Alex Clare

and award-winning head chef, Alex Clare, has been cooking up unique and memorable dishes across Norfolk for the past decade. His dedication to the industry has gained him several awards, including Norfolk Chef of the Year 2017, along with an ongoing loyal clientele. His exclusive private dining service guarantees a personal culinary journey for your upcoming special event. It’s clear to see that Alex’s passion for food is recognised not only by the public, but hospitality professionals across the country.

Norfolk's Edge - Winterton

Located on Winterton seafront and based in an Airstream, Alex Clare and his team offer food using only the freshest, locally sourced and sustainable ingredients. They also serve hot and cold drinks and sweet and savoury light bites. The menus change often so it is always a great idea to pay them a visit to see what's on offer... you won't be disappointed.

Private Dining by Alex Clare

A restaurant dining experience within the comfort of your own home or venue with your own private chef, Alex Clare. Within their unique private dining packages they offer a six course taster menu, using the finest local ingredients that they can get their hands on. Within the range of packages they can adapt the menu to add your personal touch for your private dining event. The front of house team work alongside Alex to deliver the best service possible in your own surroundings. They provide use of their own crockery and cutlery as well as an individual menu card for each guest on the evening to keep. Each private dining experience is unique to you and can be customised to suit your party’s requirements. 30



• 150ml full-fat milk • 150ml double cream • 2 cloves of garlic • 2 sprigs of thyme • 8g Norfolk dapple cheese (grated) • 4 egg yolks • Salt to taste

• Whisk • Wooden spoon • Fine sieve • 2 saucepans • Cheese grater • 1 pouring jug

METHOD: Place the milk, cream, thyme and garlic into a saucepan and place onto the stove on a medium heat. This infuses the thyme and garlic. Once the mixture is warm and has infused for 5 minutes add the egg yolks and whisk well. Next add the cheese and with a wooden spoon, stir the mix over a medium heat until it thickens into a custard like consistency and then season with salt. Using your fine sieve pass the mixture into the pouring jug and dispose of the thyme and garlic that is caught in the sieve. You are now ready to serve your dish. You can enjoy your Norfolk dapple cream like a soup with a piece of crunchy sourdough bread for dipping. Alternatively if you are feeling creative why not try to pair it with some local produce. Use girolle mushrooms and shallots as a pre-starter, this combination is featured on Alex's amazing private dining menu.

Festive Menu Snacks Butternut squash, goats cheese, mushroom and parsley Norfolk black turkey, beef dripping potatoes, pancetta, sprouts and red wine jus OR English fillet of beef (£5pp supplement) Christmas pudding foam, cinnamon and oat Duo of Norfolk cheese, crackers and onion marmalade

Sticky Toffee Pudding INGREDIENTS:


• 2 whole freerange eggs • 170g dates • 170g caster sugar • 170g of self-raising flour • 1 tsps bicarbonate powder • 115g salted butter • 590ml water

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the dates and water into a saucepan and boil until they’ve softened. Place the butter into a second saucepan on a high heat until it starts to foam, then remove from the stove. Decant the water and dates into a blender and blend to create a smooth consistency. Pour the mixture from the blender into a mixing bowl. Next, whisk in the foaming butter. Crack the eggs into the bowl and whisk well. Then add the caster sugar to the bowl and whisk thoroughly. Add the self-raising flour and whisk again. The bicarbonate powder then goes into the bowl, whisk for 10 seconds. Pour the mixture into your lined tray and place into your preheated oven for 30-40 minutes.

EQUIPMENT: • 2 saucepans • 1 mixing bowl • 1 tray lined with parchment paper • Blender • Whisk

TIP: To check when the mixture is cooked place a

cocktail stick into the pudding, if no mixture sticks to the stick... it’s cooked.

Double chocolate, hazelnut and salted caramel From £95 per person. 50% deposit taken upon booking.

Dishes from the beach at Winterton Snacks Nocellara Olives Garlic Corvette Prawns Butternut Squash Soup, Baron Bigod Cheese, Chive Mains Cod Cheeks, Chorizo, Samphire, Creme Fraiche Sea bass, Leeks, Skin-on-fries, Salsa Verde.

Caramel Sauce

(for the topping)



• 100g caster sugar • 100g salted butter • 120ml double cream

In a saucepan add the sugar and place onto the stove on a high heat. Take the sugar to a deep brown colour and add the double cream. Whisk well until all of the double cream is combined. Remove the pan from the stove and add the butter in small amounts, stirring continuously until the sauce has thickened. Pour the caramel sauce over the sticky toffee pudding and allow to cool. Then slice into portions and enjoy!

Charred Halloumi, Parsley Hummus, Tomato, Baby Gem Lettuce Something Sweet Warm Sticky Toffee Pudding Triple Chocolate Brownie, Salted Caramel Instagram: Norfolksedge Facebook: Norfolk’s Edge 31


To make the festive period extra special for yourself and loved ones this year, Norfolk's Edge has introduced a festive menu running from 1-23 December 2021. Contact their team directly to check availability!


Festive Private Dining


Traditionally Smoked Fish, Shellfish & Meats


Order online and collect from our Glandford Depot - NEXT DAY High Street, Cley, Norfolk NR25 7RF

01263 740282

Monday to Saturday 9.30am - 4.30pm

Follow us on Follow us on

Sunday 10.30am - 4.30pm








Baileys Delicatessen

2 Hungate, Beccles, Suffolk, NR34 9TL Tel: 01502 710 609 Email:


time to get the

Party Started

Wow your guests with these alternative party dishes from Alice Talbot.

Goats' cheese & allotment chutney

Alice Rebecca Talbot owner of ART’s – Craft Kitchen

Bananaruma Trifle INGREDIENTS: A small home-made sponge tray bake:

• 226g jar of ART's Bananaruma jam • 2 tablespoons of rum

• 275g self raising flour

• 2 tablespoons of orange juice

• 225g unrefined golden caster sugar

• 2 sliced bananas

• 225g unsalted butter, softened • 2 tsp baking powder • 1 tsp vanilla extract • 5 free range eggs

• 1 pint packet of pineapple jelly • 1 pint of custard

tar tlets INGREDIENTS:

For the pastry:

• 300ml softly whipped cream

• 175g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

• Toasted flaked almonds and grated chocolate to garnish

• 75g chilled unsalted butter, cubed

METHOD: Preparation time plus chill time adds up to approximately 4 hours, but each stage can fit around other party-prep activities. Make sponge: Line a small (34.5 cm x 24cm, depth 3cm) tin with grease-proof paper (or Bake-O-Glide, if you are using an AGA). Put all the ingredients into the bowl of an electric mixer and combine well. Pour the batter into the lined tin and smooth the top. Bake in a preheated oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 for 40-45 minutes (or on the fourth set of runners in the roasting oven of the AGA, with the cold shelf on the second set of runners, for 20-25 minutes). Once cooked, allow to cool thoroughly before cutting into pieces to fit your trifle bowl. To make the trifle: Line the trifle bowl

with the sponge, spread the sponge with ART's jam until all the sponge is well covered. Combine the rum with the orange juice and pour evenly over the sponge. Make the pineapple jelly, (using only 3/4 pint water, to give a slightly more robust jelly). Allow to cool, but not solidify. Slice the bananas over the sponge and pour the cooled jelly over the top. Place in fridge to set. Make up the custard and cool, stirring regularly to avoid a skin forming. When cool, pour over the set jelly. Dress the trifle with the whipped cream and garnish with flaked almonds and chocolate shavings. You can always add further decorations if you wish... why not try adding sliced bananas and a few macrons? Keep in fridge until ready to serve. Best eaten within 3 days.

• 1 large free range egg, beaten • Salt and black pepper For the filling: • 1 x 1/2 lb jar of ART's Allotment chutney • 175g/6oz goats' cheese • 1 free-range egg yolk • 1-2 tbsp double cream • Salt & black pepper

METHOD: Preheat the oven to 200°C/390°F/Gas 6. To make the pastry, put the flour and butter into the bowl of a food processor with a little salt and black pepper. Mix on the pulse setting until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg and gradually add enough cold water (about 1 tbsp) to form a soft dough. Roll out the pastry on a clean, lightly floured work surface to 5mm (1/4 inch thick), then cut into 24 rounds using a 5cm (2in) fluted round cutter. Line each hole of 2 x 12-hole deep mini bun tins with the pastry circles and prick the bases with a fork. Chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Remove the pastry from the fridge and place a teaspoon of ART's Allotment chutney into each case. Trim away any rind from the goats' cheese and crumble the cheese into a bowl. Mix with the egg yolk and cream, and season with salt and black pepper. Spoon the goats' cheese mixture over the top of the chutney. Bake the tartlets for 8-12 minutes, or until golden brown on top and crisp underneath. Serve warm to your party guests... 33

At St Giles Gin, we’ve just relaunched our Limited Edition Spiced Orange and Cranberry gin, which is perfect for the chillier weather. Beautifully balanced, our Limited Edition seasonal gin combines fresh orange and cranberry flavours with a warming spiced finish. Enjoy over ice with a premium tonic or gently warmed with cranberry juice and a chunk of fresh orange.

We stock a wide range of quality, locally produced brands as well as homemade and artisan produce. Freshly prepared hampers available to order Peele’s Norfolk Black Turkeys

Christmas Meat Hamper • 5lb Turkey Breast Roll Wrapped in Streaky Bacon • 3lb Topside Joint • 400g Sausagemeat

Free Range Geese

• x10 Pigs in Blankets • A box of Stuffing • x1 jar of Cranberry Sauce

Price: £75

Bumper Meat Hamper

Free Range Woodland Turkeys

• 10lb Free Range Turkey • 3lb Topside Joint • 400g Sausagemeat • x10 Pigs in Blankets

• A box of Stuffing • x1 jar of Cranberry Sauce

Price: £115

Boxing Day Hamper • 1kg Cooked Ham • Medium Norfolk Pork Pie Topped with Port Soaked Cranberries • x12 Cheese Straws • x8 Picnic Sausage Rolls • Norfolk Chutney


@taverntasty @taverntasty tavern_tasty_meats

01692 405444

The Farm Shop, Swafield, North Walsham, Norfolk, NR28 0RQ

• Mrs Temple’s Binham Blue Cheese • Black Bomber Cheese • Coleslaw

Price: £50

FREE delivery on orders over £30 within a 10 mile radius Ample parking on site Customer loyalty scheme



g in ’

festive spirit the

Producing delicious food and drink are two things we do extremely well in Norfolk, and none more so than Norfolk Gin. Famed for its unique flavour and gorgeously designed bottles, this is the perfect tipple to elevate our selection of festive gin cocktails this Christmas.

Mulled gin

French 75 There’s no better way to celebrate the festivities than with this combo of champagne and gin. Simple to make, this is perfect for party season. INGREDIENTS (serves 1) • 25ml Norfolk Gin

INGREDIENTS (serves 1) • 50ml Norfolk Gin

• 25ml triple sec

• 25ml lemon juice, plus lemon zest twists to serve • 2 tsp sugar syrup

• ½ egg white (optional)

METHOD Tip the gin, triple sec, lemon juice, sugar syrup, egg white (if using) and a handful of ice into a cocktail shaker. Shake until the outside of the shaker feels very cold, then strain. Discard the ice, then, if you’ve used egg white, return the mixture to the shaker and shake again until the egg white is frothy. Pour into a coupe glass and garnish with a twist of lemon zest to serve.

• 400ml apple juice • ½ lemon, sliced • 1 bay leaf • 4 cloves

• 12.5 ml sugar syrup

• 2 cardamom pods, lightly crushed

• Lemon peel, to serve

Dreaming of a white Christmas? You need a White Lady cocktail. This classic (and potent!) Christmas tipple includes a refreshing mix of gin, triple sec, lemon and egg white.

INGREDIENTS (serves 4) • 100ml Norfolk Gin

• 12.5ml lemon juice • Champagne

White Lady

You’ve tried mulled wine and mulled cider, now it’s time for a new take on the classics. Infuse apple juice with festive spices and add to Norfolk Gin for the ultimate winter warmer.

METHOD Put the gin, lemon juice and sugar syrup in a shaker, fill with ice and shake hard, then strain into a champagne flute and top up with champagne. Using a zester or peeler, peel a long strip of lemon zest. Twist over the flute to release the oils and drop into the glass to garnish.

• 1 small cinnamon stick • 3 juniper berries, lightly crushed • ½ tsp coriander seeds • 1 tsp runny honey For the garnish • 4 bay leaves • 2 lemon slices, halved METHOD Divide the gin between four small heatproof glasses or, if you’re feeling whimsical (or hosting a boozy afternoon tea), teacups. Tip the apple juice into a saucepan with the rest of the ingredients and heat gently until simmering. Strain the mulled apple juice into a jug, pour into the glasses/teacups with the gin and stir gently to combine. Garnish each glass with a bay leaf and half a lemon slice and serve while warm. 35

Cooking up a


Feast Roast potatoes INGREDIENTS:

The festive feasting season has begun, make sure you wow the family with these crowd pleasers from

Roast turkey

with chilli, sage & clementine butter INGREDIENTS: • Gressingham Free Range Bronze Turkey • 250g softened butter • 1 large red chilli, de-seeded and finely diced • 12 sage leaves, finely shredded • 2 cloves garlic, crushed • Zest & juice of 2 clementines METHOD: The day before cooking you can prepare the butter by adding the softened butter to a large mixing bowl and beating in the chilli, sage, garlic, clementine juice and zest. Transfer the butter onto a sheet of baking parchment and roll into a log shape, set it the fridge until firm. When preparing your roast turkey you can then cut slices of the butter to lay under the turkey skin before cooking and then baste your bird with the butter as and when needed. 36

Oven cook from chilled. For best results, remove the turkey from refrigerator for 1 hour prior to cooking. Preheat oven to 200°C / Fan 180°C / Gas Mark 6. Remove all packaging. For cook time, please see the weight label on the front of the bag. Cooking time is calculated by the weight of the turkey: 20 minutes per kg + 70 minutes. Place the turkey into a deep roasting tray and add 500ml of water to the tray around the bird. Season with salt and pepper and add the butter slices under the turkey skin. Cook in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes baste the turkey and reduce the oven temperature to 160°C / Fan 140°C / Gas Mark 3. Once cooked, remove from the oven and check the turkey is piping hot throughout and the juices run clear. If juices are pink return the turkey to the oven for a further 15 minutes and recheck. If cooked cover with foil and allow to rest for 30 minutes before carving. This retains more of the juices for a more succulent meat.

• 250g Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and cut into your favourite size roastie • 1/2 bulb garlic • 2 sprigs rosemary • 2 tsp salt • 4 tbsp duck or goose fat METHOD: Add the potatoes to a pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Once boiling add the salt, garlic and rosemary and simmer until the potatoes are cooked. Drain and fluff up by tossing them in a colander. Pour the potatoes onto a cold baking tray and separate so there is a gap between each potato. Dollop the duck fat over the potatoes and place into a pre-heated oven (200°C / Fan 180°C / Gas Mark 6) and roast for approximately 35/40 minutes until golden. Remove from oven, carefully drain off the fat and save for next time.


The Feast of

Cheese-mas Amongst



Shallots & Chestnuts with

INGREDIENTS: • 200g sprouts, finely shredded

Make ahead classic turkey

giblet gravy

• 50g butter


• 2 banana shallots, peeled and finely sliced lengthways

• 2 turkey wings, cut into 2

• 2 cloves garlic, crushed

• Turkey giblets (excluding the liver, as this becomes bitter when boiled)

• 100g peeled chestnuts, roughly chopped

• 1 turkey neck, cut into 3

• 1 onion, sliced

• Salt & pepper

• 1 carrot, roughly chopped

METHOD: Heat a wok on a medium heat on the hob, add the butter, garlic and shallots and soften for 1-2 minutes. Add the sprouts and toss together, fry for 4-5 minutes until they soften and start to colour. Add the chestnuts and cook until they are warm through, season to taste with salt and pepper, serve.

• 1 stick celery, roughly chopped • 1 clove garlic • 1 bay leaf • 1 sprig thyme • glass white wine • 1 litre good chicken/turkey stock • 1 tbsp butter • 3 tbsp flour • 1 tbsp red currant jelly • salt & pepper METHOD: Brown the turkey wings, neck and giblets in a heavy based pan with a drizzle of oil. Add the vegetables, garlic, herbs and butter and sweat off for 20 minutes on a low heat. Add the flour, coat and cook for 5 minutes. Next add the white wine and stock, stir to thicken and let simmer for 1 hour. Stir in the red currant jelly and season to taste. Pass through a sieve and serve.

On the day, add the cooking juices from the cooked turkey to the gravy for a real boost of flavour.

the abundant feasting of the festive season your Christmas cheeseboard is the perfect moment for an impressive display and bold flavours. Put cheese at the centre of your Christmas celebrations with some top tips from the cheese experts at Slate. Suffolk-based Slate has shops in Southwold and Aldeburgh and via its website, offering cheese and gifts for nationwide delivery. Your Christmas cheeseboard should offer choices to cater for all the tastebuds around your table. Consider a range of milks, rennet and pasteurisation to suit specific dietary requirements; also balance cheese styles and textures to create a truly tempting selection. Alongside something soft, fresh and goaty, include an indulgent Brie-style cheese and hard, grassy Cheddar. Contrast a light crumbly Cheshire with creamy, piquant Stilton and of course a true stinker to knock Grandad’s socks off!

Deck the halls Christmas is all about turkey with all the trimmings and the same should apply to your cheeseboard. Provide a decadent array of accompaniments to make your cheese choices sing! Think complementary and contrasting in terms of both flavour and texture. A range of crackers from sweet oatcakes to crunchy sourdough crispbreads; handfuls of nuts such as pecans to enjoy with local Binham Blue and walnuts with cheddar-style Norfolk Dapple. Dried fruit including apricots, dates and cranberries bring jewel colours and natural sweetness that sits well alongside salty cheese. Stilton is particularly delicious crumbled on mince pies and Wensleydale accompanied by a slice of Christmas cake. A drizzle of honey is fantastic with goat's cheeses like Dorstone and a spoonful of dark relish is perfect with hard cheeses and the Boxing Day pork pie. 37


Winter warmers Fancy something different? Here are five alternatives to add to your homebar this year.

Notes of Gingerbread Gwalarn (meaning north west wind) Blend of whisky from Celtic region distilleries and bottled in France. An aromatic palette combining vanilla, leather and smoky tobacco and honey, then in the mouth aromas of gingerbread combined with flavours of candied fruit. RRP: £35.99 Availability: The Whisky Exchange

Great Looking Bottle Peerless Small Batch Rye A bottle based on the design of the Peerless ‘doubler', a pot still responsible for the final distillation and produced by Verescence, the world’s leading glass manufacturer for the beauty industry in high end virgin glass, typically reserved for perfume and cosmetics. RRP: £80 Availability: Native Spirits, Whisky Exchange, Master of Malt

Classic Cocktails Catoctin Creek 80 Proof Roundstone Rye Virginia rye whisky is the classic American spirit for cocktails such as the Manhattan and Sazerac. This is a classic Virginian rye at a fantastic price. RRP: £37 Availability: Native Spirits, Whisky Exchange, Master of Malt, Southport Whisky

Award-Winning Taste Sagamore Spirit Double Oak Rye Won Master of Category in The Drinks Business Spirits Business Spring Blind Tasting 2021. RRP: £69 Availability: Native Spirits, Whisky Exchange, Master of Malt

Smoky Peaty Kornog (meaning west wind) Bouquet of aromas from lemon peel to beeswax are enhanced with a touch of vanilla on the nose, perfectly balanced in the mouth blending the smokiness of peat with fruit and spices (ginger, white pepper), the result of patient ageing. RRP: £70 Availability: The Whisky Exchange 38

Vegan mushroom wellington INGREDIENTS: • 400g chestnut mushrooms, half finely chopped and half cut in to chunks • 100g dried porcini mushrooms • 500g sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks • 150g spinach

• 2 x 320g Jus-Rol puff pastry ready rolled sheet

• 1 tbsp finely chopped sage

• Olive oil

• 100g soft white breadcrumbs

• 1 large onion, finely chopped • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

• 40g chopped chestnuts

• 1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary

• 40g dried cranberries

• 3 tbsp plant-based milk

• 1 tbsp English mustard

METHOD: Add some olive oil to a large frying pan and fry the onion and finely chopped chestnut mushrooms over a medium heat. After about 20 minutes the onion will be soft and the mushrooms will be wilted and reduced. Then stir in the garlic and sweet potatoes. Add 150ml of water, cover and cook for 15 minutes until the sweet potatoes are just softened, and most of the liquid has evaporated; you can always add a little more water if needed if the liquid evaporates too quickly. Whilst this is cooking soak the dried porcini mushrooms in a bowl of hot water. Add the larger chunky half of chestnut mushrooms, then drain the porcini mushrooms and add to the pan. Stir in the rosemary, sage, spinach, walnuts, cranberries and breadcrumbs. Grate in some fresh nutmeg and season well. The mixture should resemble a moist stuffing, if too dry add a little extra liquid, but be careful not make too wet. Remove from the heat and leave to cool in the pan. When the mixture is cool, unroll one of the puff pastry sheets onto a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Whisk together the milk and mustard with a pinch of salt and set aside. Add the cooled mushroom mixture down the

• nutmeg

middle of the pastry sheet in a neat line. Make sure to leave a 5cm border around the edges. Brush the boarders with the milk/mustard mix and then top with the second pastry sheet. Press the top pastry sheet around the filling to remove any air pockets and push down on the borders to seal. Trim off any excess pastry and use a fork crimp to the edges to ensure a good seal and create a pretty pattern. Cut a steam hole in the centre-top of the wellington and then brush all of the exposed pastry with the milk/ mustard mix. Place in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes before cooking. You can make several days in advance if required, just ensure you keep covered and refrigerated so the wellington doesn't dry out. Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Remove the wellington from the fridge and brush with more of the milk/mustard mix. Score a pattern into the top of the pastry with a cutlery knife (be careful not cut all the way through - try using the back of the knife). Bake for around 50 minutes until golden. Check at regular intervals and cover with foil if the pastry is browning too quickly. When cooked remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving.


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Brownies LAUREN DAVIS King’s Cake Emporium 07731 800129 Gorleston, Norfolk


from King’s Cake Emporium is a self-taught home baker who spends her free time creating delicious, fantastically decorated treats for special occasions. One day she’ll open her own bakery, but for now, she’s sharing her baking tips, tricks and know-how with Places&Faces.

These brownies are my ultimate staple bake. They can be rustled up last minute, the flavours can be easily altered, and you will get fudgy, gooey results every time. You could bake these to share with loved ones during festive celebrations or even as a Christmas gift. I know I would sure love to unwrap some of these! This versatile recipe can be easily customised so you can enjoy them any season, all year round and trust me you will want to!

INGREDIENTS: For the buttercream: • 225g butter/ baking butter • 350g icing sugar • Green food colouring • Sprinkles

For the brownie mix: • 100g mint chocolate, chopped • 175g butter/ baking butter • 65g cocoa powder • 340g sugar • 2 eggs at room temperature • 1 tsp peppermint extract • 100g plain flour • Pinch of salt

METHOD: Pre-heat your oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Slowly melt the butter for the brownie mix over a low heat in a saucepan large enough to hold all the ingredients. Remove from the heat and sift in the cocoa powder. Stir this in with a wooden spoon. Once this mixture is smooth, stir in the sugar and then allow to cool slightly. Beat the eggs with the peppermint extract then stir into the cocoa mixture.

Sift in the flour and a pinch of salt and stir through. Add in the mint chocolate and stir until there are no more white streaks of flour. Pour into a lined 20cm square tin and bake for 30 minutes. To test if cooked, insert a cocktail stick halfway between the side of the tin and the centre. If this comes out clean, these are cooked. We want the centre to be soft and moist at this point as the mixture will continue to cook for a few minutes when out of the oven. This will ensure your brownies are fudgy instead of cake-like. Whilst you leave these to cool completely in the tin, prepare the buttercream. Let your baking butter come to room temperature and then beat until smooth and lighter in colour. Sieve your icing sugar then slowly add this into your butter and mix. Feel free to add a dash of peppermint extract for extra flavour. Add in some green food colouring until it turns a nice festive tone. Once your brownies are completely cool, remove from the tin and cut into triangles. Put your buttercream into a piping bag with a star nozzle and pipe on dots of icing, starting with one at the top of the triangle, two underneath, then three and so on. Top this with sprinkles and maybe some edible glitter for the full sparkly Christmas tree effect!


Mint chocolate is readily available in different forms in the run up to Christmas. Matchmakers or After Eights work great! If you go for After Eights, pop them in the freezer once chopped for 20 mins. This will keep the filling intact when baked and add to the gooeiness.


A liquid food colouring can negatively alter the consistency of your buttercream. Gel food colourings will be more effective and will give a more intense colour. Grab these in the baking aisle of your supermarket.


If you do not have a piping bag, you can simply smooth on some buttercream with a knife/spatula and top with your sprinkles.


The buttercream topping is completely optional, the brownies will be equally as delicious unfrosted!


Switch out the peppermint extract and mint chocolate for orange extract and orange chocolate, or vanilla extract with some toasted nuts and dried fruit. The choices are endless! 41


Christmas Tree


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JSF 4x4 Norfolk 1 Spar Rd Norwich NR6 6B JSF 4x4 Norfolk 1 Spar Rd Norwich NR6 6BY e: 01603 787064 e: 01603 787064

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Thursford To get into the festive spirit Rachel Gilbert visits Thursford for a truly unique experience.


I used to

spot them from a mile off when they walked into the pub — usually a family, sometimes grandparents and young children full of excitement. People travel for miles and miles to go to the Thursford Christmas Spectacular, often making a weekend out of it — staying in a local pub or B&B. Thursford’s website describes the show as “an extravaganza of non-stop singing, dancing, music, humour and variety. It’s a fast moving celebration of the festive season featuring an eclectic mix of both seasonal and year round favourites.” Now, for the first time in my life, I am joining the horde of people flocking to the dot on the map in north Norfolk. I have heard many things. “It is the most magical show for everyone.” “I just couldn’t stop grinning for the entire show.” “You will be overwhelmed by Christmas!” Flocks of grandparents with small children flood through the gates while tour groups disembark coaches, and hordes of other guests are directed to parking spots. Guests are greeted by an


animatronic polar bear, slowly turning its head to acknowledge children passing by and pointing. An orderly queue snakes out of the performance space — its inhabitants eagerly snapping photos of the elaborately lit trees and ornamental deer. My head is reeling, swivelling in every direction, just trying to grasp everything unfolding in front of my eyes. Filing into the performance space, the stage stretches on for an age — there can’t be a bad seat in the house.

Perhaps one of the standout moments was a rigid toy soldier dance which culminated in the line of dancers collapsing in slow motion, with each dancer trusting their teammate to catch them. Carousel horses adorned in tinsel are suspended from the ceiling, surrounded by bright lights and other bedazzled decorations. It’s hard to decide where to look, when you think you have spotted everything, you hear another voice pointing something else out — “have you seen the gondola in the corner?” We find our seats and settle in for the three hour show. The bustling, festive audience is already high on mince pies and mulled wine, ready to be entertained. 43


Richard Bainbridge (Great British Menu Winner and BBC Saturday Kitchen Regular) from Benedicts knows that cooking the Christmas Lunch is dreaded in many households. So he has created a menu easy for you to finish in your own home with simple cooking instructions. You are welcome to take all the credit on the day ;)

6 Course Menu

(for 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 or more people)


Collection/Delivery 24/12/2021

Christmas Hamper £50

HAMPER INCLUDES: 1 x Ruby Port Old Fashioned Pre Mixed Cocktail (200ml), 1 x Spiced Smoked Nuts (200gr), 1 x Handmade Beautiful RB Ceramic Bowl for your Nuts or Granola, 1 x Our Signature Elderflower BBQ Sauce, 1 x Spiced Fig Chutney, 1 x Super Seed Granola, 1 x Strawberry & Rose Preserve

w w




18th, 19th, 22nd & 23rd December He’s back, and moving into the hall for a few days this December.

1st, 4th, 6th, 8th, 11th, 13th, 15th & 22nd December From silversmithing to silk scarf printing, eco wreath making to willow weaving, make all sorts of Christmas goodies with our craft workshops.

18th & 25th November Late shopping, mulled wine, tastings and book signings.


! UT



DECK THE HALLS Various dates With Candlelight Tours, a Canine Carol Service, Opera, Creators of Christmas and very special events with Lady Glenconner, there are so many ways to enjoy the hall in all its sparkly glory.

18th & 19th December Food, Drink & Gift Market Presents and treats from fabulous local producers.



2nd, 3rd, 7th, 9th, 10th, 14th, 16th, 17th & 21st December Walks and trailer tours to explore our landscapes and wildlife, as we rejoice in the wonders of wintertime.

Daily from 25th November Whether petite or tall, slim or bushy, you’re sure to find the perfect locally grown tree at Holkham. New for this year, you can pre-order online.


Performers file in from the back of the auditorium. The lights dim, and the show begins. Cast members take the stage in sparkly dresses, choir outfits, Santa suits and too many more to mention.The space is so large and heavily decorated, it is hard to decide where to look. Every audience member will have a different experience due to the sheer size of the space. More than 1,400 audience members can be seated in the hangar-sized auditorium. This year, the organisers have requested people to attend when double vaccinated, and with a lateral flow test, although no proof is required. The ventilation systems have also been upgraded to provide a safe environment in which to enjoy the show. The first act flies by — an eclectic blur of song, dance, spoken word, acrobatics and comedy flash across the stage – the audience rapt with attention. From the moment the bagpipes begin playing, the show is delivered with sheer, unbridled enthusiasm. Describing the content of the show is somewhat tricky, as it truly has something for everyone. It skips quickly from choral arrangements, to readings, to dance numbers. It is hard to pick a favourite moment. Kev Orkian, the comedian, piano player and host of the evening drew endless laughs from the audience. The Britain’s Got Talent veteran joked about his Armenian heritage and bantered back and forth with the audience. Kev’s line that received the biggest round of applause however, was not in response to a joke. He proudly announced that 500 NHS heroes were in the audience that night. Following the intermission, he revealed that another audience member had paid for the NHS workers to enjoy a drink at the bar.

Later in the show, Kev performed on the piano, his hand flying deftly over the keys. He was still delivering laughs — impersonating a scratchy CD of Elton John. The musical act that stole the show, however, was undoubtedly Phill Kelsall on the Wurlitzer Organ. He is one of few players left in the UK, and he more than did the instrument justice. Possibly the most diverse performers in the show were the dancers. They appeared in countless costumes and demonstrated a variety of styles of dance. Perhaps one of the standout moments was a rigid toy soldier dance which culminated in the line of dancers collapsing in slow motion, with each dancer trusting their teammate to catch them. The team spirit was evident throughout the show, with many of the singers stepping out for a solo before being joined by a large group of backup singers. The whole cast radiated energy throughout both acts — especially during “Be Our Guest,” in the

second act, during which performers appeared from every corner of the space in droves, belting out the catchy tune. Throughout the 3-hour spectacle, the audience was captivated. They gasped at Billy George on the Cyr Wheel, and sang along to the Christmas carols. As we shuffled back out of the theatre, everyone was reliving their favourite moments, and discussing every detail — right down to the doves released at the end of the performance. In the days following the show, I have struggled to describe it to my friends and family. I am so glad to have experienced the show that garners so much praise from visitors and locals. It truly is something to behold, and I won’t be forgetting the standout moments any time soon. Kev Orkian summed up the atmosphere — and evening — with ease: “Ladies and gentlemen, isn’t it fantastic to be back watching live entertainment?!”


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Stephen Adnitt has been the

costume designer for Thursford Christmas Spectacular since 2013, working alongside a team of milliners and costume makers. “Personally I love the whole feeling of the show and of course its glamour - lots of sparkle,” Stephen said. “It is so good to be able to create those wonderful glamorous images on stage that evoke Christmas.” The show has a range of traditional and modern sections that allow Stephen to design a large variety of costumes. He said the show, which features more than 110 dancers, singers and musicians, is amazing and glamorous. There are so many costume changes, it is hard to keep track of how many flash across the stage. Countless sequins and sparkles, hats and hemlines and, of course, quick changes. Stephen said he has so many wonderful memories of working on the how and can’t wait to continue into the next season. “I feel audiences are overwhelmed when they see the show as I was when I first saw it before working on it,” Stephen said.

Natalie Davis performs as a dancer in the show, as well as leading 22 other dancers in the role of dance captain. This is her eleventh season at Thursford, and this year she is a ‘swing’ dancer as well, covering 18 dance tracks. “There is so much variety in the show,” Natalie said. “As dancers we get trained in so many different styles, from showgirl, to cancan to Irish and we even join the singers for some vocals!” Being able to perform so many different styles of dance all in one show is one of Natalie’s favourite aspects of the show. She also loves being able to leave the stage and dance amongst the audience. The team behind the show is a big, diverse community that all come together to create a special show. “Everyone comes from different places, even internationally, have built different careers and have a multitude of talents that all come together for the show,” Natalie said.

The dancers begin training and rehearsals in September. Rehearsing onsite in what Natalie nicknamed, “the shed,” plants Christmas spirit long before the season begins. Due to an intense show, the dancers are constantly stretching and keeping warm, and are scheduled for extra training with the creative team, to prevent injury. After the Thursford season, Natalie will first spend Christmas with her family, before heading back to London where she works as a freelance dancer, choreographer and photographer. She said she is very grateful and excited to see the industry start up again. For first-time viewers of the show, Natalie had some advice: “This is a show unlike any other, filled with more than I can say...there's something for everyone and more! Arrive early as there is so much to see before the show even begins.” “Oh and Christmas jumpers are most definitely welcome! We love spotting them in the audience!”

Thursford in numbers 4200 lateral flow tests taken since rehearsals started. 12 nationalities are represented in the cast. Up to 50

coaches travel to Thursford every day.

More than 110 performers take the

stage at Thursford.

101,000 of a possible


tickets have been sold so far... and the rest are selling fast.


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UCHERS O V T IF G LE AVAILABRE IN STO Retro clothing for him or her from the 40S 50S and 60S

for her

Stuck for some last minute gift ideas? These should get you inspired and ready to wrap in no time.

Above & left: Clogau Cariad Morse Code Collection Necklace (Code: 3SCRMCN) £109 Ring (Code: 3SCRMCR) £89 Bracelet (Code: 3SCRMCBR) £139

Right: Lavazza Jolie & Milk Black Coffee Machine £119 Below: Carolina Herrera Good Girl Eau de Parfum £59.99

Above: Lauren Ralph Lauren Print-Scarf Madison Crossbody Bag £259 Right: SHO Calix reusable coffee cup £22.99



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Above: Dosh Magic wallet, Vader £36.95

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Stuck for some last minute gift ideas? These should get you inspired and ready to wrap in no time. Right: Tudor Black Bay Bronze From £3110

Left: Dark Spice rum 70cl, 40% ABV £40 Right: Jarrold Black Shuck Spiced Rum Christmas Box £35 Below: Ted Baker Liykerr Leather Hiker Boots, Tan £115



Above: Barbour Howden wool bakerboy hat £25.87

Greagtif ts

Above: Hazel Stripe Jumper, FatFace, £49.50

Above: Cable Cardigan, NEXT, £36

Above: Black Embellished Knitted Jumper, QUIZ, £34.99

Above: Saltburn Beanie and Boucle Scarf Gift Set, Barbour at House of Fraser, £50

Above: Ombre Stripe Cardigan, Vero Moda at Jarrold, £38 Below: Cropped Sherpa Shirt, Jack Wills, £34.99

Long Down-Filled Puffa Coat, The White Company, £298

Above: White Cable Side Stripe Jumper, Jarrold, £89

r e t n i W

s r e m r a W Get cosy this December with our top picks of the best new A/W pieces to add to your winter wardrobe.


Carla Chuck On Coat, FatFace, £89

Alva Jacket, Barbour at House of Fraser, £289

Above: Evie Multi Compartment Work Tote Bag, Luella Grey at NEXT £110

Above: Sherpa Tote Bag, Polo Ralph Lauren at House of Fraser, £225

Tan Faux Leather Knee High Boots, TU at Sainsbury's, £35

Leather Cleat Lace-Up Boots, Tommy Hilfiger, £150

Emma Willis Teddy Borg Coat, NEXT, £78

Above: Large Faux-Fur Trim Tote Bag, Dune at John Lewis, £85 Aniston Chunky Chelsea Boots, Schuh, £50


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merry bright! With these brand new festive eyeshadow palettes!

Perfect as a special gift or as a beautiful treat for yourself! All products featured on this page are cruelty-free




Keep your Christmas


The perfect selection to help you get ready for your festive nights out! The classic favourite

- Lightweight - Reusable - Ultra curly Pinky Goat Faux Mink Vegan Eyelashes, Superdrug, £9.99

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Eylure Lash Squad Felicity Hayward Lion's Heart Lashes, Boots, £6

Below: Limited Edition Christmas Coffee Doll-Size Eyeshadow Palette, Too Faced, £24 Something a little different... - Simply apply the liner, wait for it to dry and then snap the magnetic lash on top! Magic! - Kit contains: Liner, lashes and cleansing oil - Perfect gift idea Lolas Lashes, Sapphire Magnetic Eyelash Kit, House of Fraser, £35

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INSTAGRAM @chantelheathfitness

I’m a 41 year old mother of two girls and one French bulldog, and I’m a Personal Fitness Coach. I work one to one with clients aged 18-80, and have additional specialisms in pre and post natal training, GP exercise referral, cancer rehabilitation and pilates. I also run community fitness classes in the Suffolk coastal area.


the colder weather and darker evenings can leave us feeling demotivated and sluggish, it’s also the time when we start thinking ahead to the coming year and making plans to focus on our health and fitness after the excesses of the holiday period. Signing yourself up for a fitness event or challenge can be a great way to do this. There are so many different types available from walking to running, triathlons, power lifting, CrossFit, virtual races and body building to name just a few. So, if you are thinking of setting yourself a challenge next year, here are some tips to help you to succeed. Consider the training commitment. I’m all for chucking yourself in at the deep end, but with something like this you need to consider the time commitment involved. How many training sessions can you realistically commit to each week? Most organised events will have an FAQ or training section on their website where you will be able to find training tips, or even full training plans to guide you.

Find your Winter Workout Mojo Get signed up and tell everyone! Some events will have limited entries available, so don’t leave it too late! Once you have signed up, let people know. Although this can seem a bit scary, having encouragement and support from friends and family can really help with motivation. If you know people who have taken part in similar events reach out and ask them about their experiences and whether they can offer any words of wisdom! Get a buddy or two! If you’ve never done anything like this before it can be pretty daunting; having someone to go through the whole experience with can be a great motivator. There are also lots of local running, triathlon and swimming clubs that will be great sources of support and advice. Get a plan, and stick to it! Don’t wing it. Get a week-by-week plan in place to help build up to your event. There are lots of plans available for free online, or you may decide to have something put together by a coach. Once you have that plan, stick to it! It will be structured in such as way as to build your fitness gradually, while minimising risk of injury, so don’t be tempted to do extra! Ensure you plan in some contingency time for unexpected events. If you have a 6-week training plan, don’t start it exactly 6 weeks before your event, start 7 or 8 weeks ahead. Eat, sleep and drink (water!) Getting enough sleep, water, and fuelling your body properly are as important as the actual physical training. Dehydration, poor quality sleep and a poor quality diet lacking in nutrients will have an adverse effect on your training. Aim for 7-8 hrs sleep per night, at least 2 litres of water each day, and try to limit processed foods and alcohol. If you can adhere to that 80% of the time, you’ll notice a big difference.

Get the kit... FOOTWEAR Absolutely essential for minimising injury. To find the best shoe for you a gait analysis is a must. Coes of Ipswich offer these instore, or virtually. PROVIZ SPORTS If you’re out and about training in the darker months, hi vis fitness gear is essential to keep you safe. Proviz have a great range. REFLECT360 Women's Outdoor Fleece-Lined Jacket £119.99

VIRTUAL RACES This is an amazing way to race at your own pace. With dozens of options available every month, you choose your distance, how you want to complete it and get cracking. There are lots of sites available and with many like you will also be raising money for charity while you get fit! 57


Chantel Heath


D Fre el e ive ry *

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Tel 01493 842971 •

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Julie Handforth-Doidge Proprietor / Interior designer at JHD Interiors in Norwich


Interior Design

this Christmas

Christmas 2021 will inspire everyone to put on a more festive display following a difficult 2020. I really enjoy creating that festive warmth within your home. Let your imagination run wild during this temporary period and this year make it asymmetrical. Far too often, we see decorations so regimented. Income can be so tight for many following on from the pandemic, consider recycling or upcycling your decs and in particular, your tree. Asymmetrical and sparse trees are growing in popularity especially in the UK. With the trees being sparse, this allows you to adorn it with precious family heirlooms, baubles and trimmings

that you’ve collected over the years, as the saying is less is more. Neat is not the key word during the festive period especially with kids and grand-kids that surround you on Christmas day. Silver is normally the top colour for decorations with gold closely behind attracting warmth within your home. Silver always tends to bring the snowy outside indoors without the cold temperature following behind it! A lot of trimmings for 2021 will have a blend of gold and silver intertwined along with dark blues and purples that work well with solid coloured walls. I truly believe that this year, we will all celebrate with our family and friends to make up for time lost with our loved ones during 2020. All of us here at JHD Interiors wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy 2022.


01603 722385 @JHDInteriors jhdinteriors @jhd_interiors

Posh Plants

Plants and products for the home and garden ‘PoshPlantsShop’


Garden December

with Tom

Tom Strowlger @garden_with_tom


for us gardeners is about decking the halls with boughs of holly and hanging mistletoe from ceilings whilst listening to the Holly and the Ivy carol. Or is it? It makes us feel warm, cosy and festive enough to settle into a comfortable chair and hibernate the month away. But no, for us gardeners it can be so much more, we can get outside and enjoy the fresh air whilst achieving some jobs in readiness for 2022. The garden will be in a state of dormancy with evergreen trees, shrubs and hedges giving us the finest of green backdrops. We can use the time to design new borders and beds amongst the evergreens and even plant a few more spring bulbs in before it’s too late. The garden becomes a blank canvas to plan any changes and highlight any gaps to be filled with new plants in the coming months. We must remember to keep the lawn grass tidy of fallen leaves by raking or leaf vacuuming them up. This reduces the growth and build-up of mossy patches in the darker and damper areas of the garden. It’s a vital job for keeping the lawn grass

exposed to daylight and prevent it from withering and dying underneath layers of rotting leaves. The most festive of sights is the wreath hanging on the front door, particularly one we create ourselves. It takes our gardening experience to the next level, using materials from the garden to be creative. We can create a wreath by collecting in small amounts of ivy, holly and evergreen shrubs and placing the cuttings into a circular piece of floral foam.

I love the Christmas season as it allows us much needed time to reflect on the gardening year just gone and celebrate our achievements. To give the garden a festive and seasonal feel why not hang some outdoor twinkly lights amongst the trees, shrubs and hedges, it will make the garden a magical place over the Christmas season. The sight of twinkling lights amongst wintry scenes will create your very own Christmas card setting in the garden. I love the Christmas season as it allows us much needed time to reflect on the gardening year just gone and celebrate our achievements. I enjoy simply standing in the garden on Christmas Day, often between Christmas lunch courses, and getting excited about my future gardening plans. So on that thought I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Gardening Year. Please do follow me on Instagram @garden_with_tom for more seasonal gardening advice and tips.

This month's

TOP TIPS: Continue winter digging and adding compost and mulch to the soil

Keep birdfeeders topped up to support your garden birds Stop ponds, water features and bird baths from freezing over Snow might fall, so be sure to shake this off plants, shrubs and hedges Take a moment in the garden and raise a glass to your achievements


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Winter breaks &

So why exactly is it called ‘Twixmas’? For those

who don’t know, the word itself actually comes from the old English phrase ‘betwixt’ which means between, and has nothing to do with the tasty caramel shortbread chocolate bar. A winter break is often what we need to recharge ahead of the busy year to come. With so many beautiful properties to stay in we are sometimes spoilt for choice, here we have a larger venue to accommodate everyone.

Hall Farm Barn Hindringham, North Norfolk Coast Beautifully restored barn, sleeping 12 Week stays from £2,340 per week

Hall Farm Barn is a stunning, lovingly restored and modernised barn set in two acres of private gardens down a quiet country lane. Recently refurbished to a very high standard, Hall Farm Barn oozes character and charm blended with modern and stylish touches, creating a wonderful feel throughout. Dating back to the 15th Century this spacious abode is perfect for a special holiday with family and friends. With three doubles, one king and two twin bedrooms coupled with four bathrooms (three en-suite) families will appreciate this thoughtful layout, with flexible sleeping accommodation arranged over three floors. There is a large kitchen/ breakfast room, relaxed living and dining space and a separate TV room/snug. So there is plenty of room for the largest of families or group of friends to appreciate within this unique space. Have dinner on the decked veranda or relax in the herb garden, enjoy tea by the main lawn with the orchestral sound of birdsong amidst the tranquil gardens; an abundance of private outdoor living space awaits. 63


The POWER of Carl Lamb

Chartered Financial Planner

It can

sometimes be hard to get people under the age of fifty to think about pensions. At that age, retirement may feel a long way off and there are more interesting things you want to do with your money. However, saving into a pension is good for your money for many reasons, but let me give you two stories here. One is a cautionary tale about not saving for a pension. The other is the good news about what happens if you do. The sad fact is that the state pension is unlikely to be sufficient to maintain your desired lifestyle when you retire. Even though the Chancellor increased the state pension by 3.1 per cent in his October Budget, bringing the full new single-tier state pension up to £185.18 per week (£9629.36 per year) for those who have built up the maximum entitlement, some kind of private pension is essential if you are to live comfortably. Even a full state pension will be considerably less than most pensioners will spend. A recent Which? survey of members found that the average retired couple are currently spending around £26,000 per year. Many people will have private or workplace pension schemes to top-up their state pension, but the value of the average personal pension fund on retirement falls frighteningly short of what might be needed to generate the necessary income. The good news is that if you can start building a private pension early enough, it should grow into a fund that will deliver at least some of the income you’ll need. What’s more, there are distinct financial advantages to doing your saving via pensions. Even if you start late, there are big advantages to saving into your pension, although you cannot, of course, access your pension until you reach the minimum retirement age – currently age 55, increasing to 57 in 2028. Compulsory workplace schemes have prompted many younger people to



Saving into a pension may sound unexciting but, as Carl Lamb explains, it is a powerful way to put money aside for the future.

start saving in a pension. If you save in a workplace pension, your employer is obliged to make at least a minimum contribution too, so immediately your contribution has added value. On top of that, you get tax relief on your

The good news is that if you can start building a private pension early enough, it should grow into a fund that will deliver at least some of the income you’ll need. pension contributions, so the amount of basic-rate tax you would have paid on your contribution is added to your fund automatically (higher and additional rate taxpayers need to claim the additional tax relief via their self-assessment tax returns). Starting pension savings early is certainly the best way to do it, as regular contributions over twenty, thirty or even forty years will build up to a reasonable fund with a very moderate overall level of investment growth. If you start later, then your target pension fund value may be more challenging to achieve. In addition,

if you want to be more than just comfortable in retirement – to enjoy holidays and new cars, for example, you may want to aim for a bigger pension pot. The key to getting it right is to put a plan in place, so that you understand what your targets are in terms of retirement timing and desired lifestyle. This is where independent financial advice will make a difference: an adviser will help you define clear goals for the future and put together a plan to help you achieve them. The other important thing to remember is that pensions are investments. It’s important to select the right investments to go into your pension fund and to monitor them regularly, making changes as and when needed. Good management of your pension investments may make a significant difference to the value of your fund when you come to retire; get independent advice to make sure your pension savings are heading in the right direction. Any opinions expressed in this article are subject to change and are not advice. The value of an investment and the income from it could go down as well as up. The return at the end of the investment period is not guaranteed and you may get back less than you originally invested.

Smith & Pinching are Chartered Financial Planners. If you would like a no-cost exploratory review to discuss your financial planning with an adviser, call us today on 01603 789966 or email


Inspiring Women

g n i r i p ns women I Laura van Ree Rachel Gilbert talks to another local inspirational woman.


born Laura van Ree originally worked in the local charitable sector before retraining to become a solicitor with Fosters LLP. Very quickly she was promoted to Partner and made Head of the Wills, Trusts and Probate Department. After a short career break, for the birth of her daughter, Laura returned to work as a Senior Associate at Birketts LLP. During the pandemic, Laura spent a lot of time reflecting on the current legal model with a strong desire to create a more philanthropic approach. In early 2021, with the support of friend and ex-colleague, Trina Worden, Laura took a leap of faith and set up Not For Profit Law. “It was obviously a bit of a gamble, some colleagues thought we were mad setting up on our own during a pandemic but others were almost envious because it was exciting and new,” Laura said Not For Profit Law is a social enterprise, founded on the idea of ‘doing law differently’. The community interest company brings together Laura and Trina’s 30 years of experience in the legal sector to offer advice at affordable rates, feeding the profits they make back into the local community. From their first three months alone, Not For Profit Law has donated £5,000 to local causes via their charitable partner, Norfolk Community Foundation. In addition to the gift made by Not For Profit Law, clients who have benefited from free advice have also generously made personal donations in excess of £2,000. In a bid to break down barriers and make lawyers less intimidating, Laura takes a relaxed approach to offering legal services. They will offer pro bono advice over the phone and support clients doing work themselves. Laura wants to change the perception that lawyers are stiff. Not For Profit Law specialises in wills, tax, Powers of Attorney, Court of Protection, probate, estate administration and trusts. The company doesn’t get involved in distributing the charity donations, rather leaving it all to the Norfolk Community Foundation. The Norfolk Community Foundation works with a range of donors and fundraises for the local community. It 66

then provides funding to charities and support to the most vulnerable people in the community. “Our time and energy is best spent providing legal services, we do what we do and we trust the foundation to do what they do,” Laura said. “The amazing people working at Norfolk Community Foundation really have their finger on the pulse when it comes to where the need is greatest in our county. They use their expertise to bring resources and people together to help tackle the issues faced by the most vulnerable in our community. We do what we do best

I can foresee more businesses like

Not For Profit Law

existing in the future and feel privileged to be able to help anyone who may be at the start of that journey by giving quality legal advice, and we leave Norfolk Community Foundation to do what they do best. It is an honour to support them in this way” To maximise their profits, Laura and Trina aim to keep their overheads to a minimum. They don’t therefore rent offices but instead can see clients at Norfolk Community Foundation’s office in Norwich or visit clients in their own homes. The nature of the advice Laura gives means she often sees people during emotional times. Laura enjoys the softer side of this area of law, guiding people through legal complexities in a sensitive way. She commented: “I love the level of human interaction my job allows. You can really see the difference that you make to people”. Since the company started in May 2021, Laura has seen a ripple effect — she has received calls from across the country from other people interested in setting up community interest companies. The concept has evolved a lot since Laura and Trina first hatched the

idea — “I think there is a lot of appetite in the professional community to do things differently, with a view to giving back more. I can foresee more businesses like Not For Profit Law existing in the future and feel privileged to be able to help anyone who may be at the start of that journey” Laura said. Whilst it has no doubt been hard work setting up Not For Profit Law, the model still enables Laura to achieve a good work-life balance. When she isn’t meeting with clients for Not For Profit Law, Laura is far from sitting down with her feet up. The single mother of a fiveyear-old also runs an online shop selling eco-friendly Christmas trees, and plays with the Norfolk Iceni basketball club. Eco Christmas Tree began as a personal project when Laura made a wooden tree for herself one year — she was soon asked repeatedly if she would make them to sell. In her first year, Laura sold over 60 trees. The trees are made from hazel coppice sourced in Norfolk, and can be used year after year with zero waste. The wood used is cut as part of traditional woodland management and consists of younger sprouts that are removed from trees for conservation purposes that would be otherwise burned. No trees are actually harmed in the making of an Eco Christmas Tree. Laura commented “It provides a nice balance with my legal career; it is good to have a creative outlet”.

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