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darling SPRING 2017 PRICELESS

VICKY SMIT

our inspiring lady EXCLUSIVE STORY WAR HORSE PROJECT

Why ascotmatters

Pure

Cabaret

Queen of pearls Royal Ascot HATS

Short break tips for VENCE & DUBAI

living & lifestyle in ascot, sunningdale, sunninghill & virginia water | darlingmagazine.co.uk


Mayor’s Charity Ball

in aid of the household Cavalry Foundation www.hcavfoundation.org

(registered charity no. 1151869)

saturday 6 May 2017 6.30pm to late Beaumont house, old Windsor tickets ÂŁ100

Black tie

Drinks reception and three course meal

email: mayors.parlour@rbwm.gov.uk

auction

Entertainment and dancing

tel: 01628 796223


darling

editor’s letter

SPRING 2017 PRICELESS

Dear Darling Readers

VICKY SMIT

our inspiring lady EXCLUSIVE STORY WAR HORSE PROJECT

Queen of pearls Royal Ascot HATS

Why ascotmatters

Pure

Cabaret

Short break tips for VENCE & DUBAI

living & lifestyle in ascot, sunningdale, sunninghill & virginia water | darlingmagazine.co.uk

Cover: Vicky Smit, Headmistress of Hurst Lodge

Publisher Darling Magazine UK Darling Ascot Editor Martine Curzon Contributing Editor Janie Arnold All Enquiries 07788 444184 ascot@darlingmagazine.co.uk

Welcome to our fabulous second edition for spring. As the new girl on the block I’d like to thank you so much for your participation in our first winter edition. We have had so much positive feedback, that I am delighted to announce that Darling Ascot will be returning to your doorsteps on a quarterly basis. Our Inspiring Woman Vicky Smit, a chronic dyslexic at 12 years old, explains how she ended up running a school. For Royal Ascot Week Jo Wales tells us what is new at Ascot racecourse. Get ahead with a hat from Ilda, a bag from Claudia or a discounted gift for Mother’s day from Jersey Pearl. We have an incredible offer for membership at Guards Polo where you can be wined and dined, courtesy of Mosimann’s of Belgrave Square who have now taken over the catering mantle. Then we have an exclusive story from three incredible people Jenny Seagrove, Susan Osbourne and Alan Carr. Susan explains how they got together for The War Horse Memorial project. We will update you on their progress until HRH The Queen unveils it in Ascot High street in August 2018. Ann Marie O’Connor also shares her exciting career with us. For foodies indulge yourself at Brickmakers gastro pub or get your kicks with clean eating advice from Leonie Wright. This spring we travel to Dubai and France, two very different destinations.

Design Director Sky Gránia Young 07801 480011 sky@fairoglee.com

On the education front, Marist School has a new Vice Head inspiring pupils. Gilles Pelenc expands on living with autism. Get up to date with Generation Z and if you would like to go back to the work place after years away, ask Sarah from The Really Helpful Club.

Photography John Flowerdew 07852 363080

Until summer when our June issue arrives, warm wishes.

Contributor Michael Joyce

Martine Curzon Editor ascot@darlingmagazine.co.uk

Darling Wimbledon Karine Torr 07930 396356

Contents

Darling North Surrey Philippa Hennessy 07772 633339

9  Fit for the Queen - Jersey Pearl’s flagship shop

Darling Kingston Marja-Leena Toseland 07802 949836 Printer Aquatint scott@aquatint.co.uk Distribution info@3colours.co.uk Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the data in this publication is accurate, neither the publisher nor its editorial contributors can accept, and hereby disclaim, any liability to any party to loss or damage caused by errors or omissions resulting from negligence, accident or any other cause. Darling Magazine does not officially endorse any advertising material included within this publication. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system, or transmitted in any form – electronic, recording or otherwise, without prior permission from the publisher.

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Vicky Smit - Inspiring heads and hearts

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Jenny’s healing herd

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Her passion for goodwork

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Why Ascot matters, says Thelma Haworth

19  Behind the Ascot scene with Joanna Wales 20

Hold onto your hats with Ilda

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Claudia Valentin, Channel 4’s Bag Lady

23  Networking and connecting with The Really Helpful Club 24

WHAT’S ON? - March, April & May 2017

@darlingascot

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darlingascot

ON THE SCENE with our paparazzi

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Marist School – A passion for education

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Living with autism

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Perfect desert getaway

38  Gastro delights at Brickmakers in Windlesham 39 Clean eating with Leonie Wright 40 Darling exclusive. Ann Marie O’Connor remembers 43 Education and technology we love to hate 44 C’est la vie – the French way 46 Famous Last Words with Michael Joyce

ADVERTISING SALES / LOCAL EDITORIAL Martine Curzon - 07788 444184 or ascot@darlingmagazine.co.uk ADVERT BOOKING DEADLIING THURSDAY 25TH MAY 2017 ARTWORK DEADLINE THURSDAY 18TH MAY 2017

darlingmagazine.co.uk | spring 2017

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SPRING PRINT SHOW 18TH MARCH TO 1ST APRIL 2017

FEATURING WORKS BY: PETER BLAKE. BRUCE McLEAN. JOE WEBB. LUCY FARLEY. GAYLE STOREY. FLORA McLACHLAN. DAN BALDWIN

2 LEOPOLD ROAD, WIMBLEDON SW19 7BD T 020 8944 7171 hicksgallery.co.uk | info@hicksgallery.co.uk

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inspiring woman

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R I P G S edicatedI, VN ic

Vicky Smit, Headmistress of Hurst Lodge

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any years ago I met a lovely lady called Ann, she had two children. Her daughter Vicky was in my class at school. Tim her son was playing a guitar in the garden the last time I saw him. Years later I discovered that Tim had been honoured with a knighthood for his extraordinary conception of the Eden Project but what had Vicky been doing all this time... Her childhood was spent travelling and being educated on three continents in various different languages. A chronic dyslexic she couldn’t read until she was 12 and disliked school with a passion. Her mother sent her to Hurst Lodge, then a girl’s school when she was 11. Later, on the death of the school’s owner Miss Stainer meant that Vicky’s

mother bought the school because Vicky was finally happy in an environment that promoted the creative and performing arts. Vicky says “It was a place where you were valued for more than academic grades”, not that her dyslexia held her back as she ended up with two degrees, one in business the other in science. Vicky returned to Hurst Lodge in 1988 becoming Principal 19 years ago. The school started taking boys 5 years ago and is now fully co educational taking children from 3 to 19. The Good Schools Guide describes Vicky as someone who is “bubbly, funny, with a passion for education who resembles ‘everyone’s favourite aunt’. They describe the school that she runs as “having its own kind of magic, schooling the way you always hoped it would be”.

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Keara Miller, Millie Clarke, Tommy Duggan, David Razinskas, Ella Fogden, Savannah Everidge next to Ms Smit with Daisy Smit on her lap

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It is clear Vicky’s passion is education, Hurst Lodge provides an excellent creative and performing arts education with students excelling in dance, drama and art, many go on to the leading performing arts colleges or head of art schools with amazing portfolios. Nearly all sixth formers study at least one science at A level and all are involved in another of Vicky’s passions environmental and sustainability education and forest school which is woven through the curriculum. All students learn to make fire, climb trees, propagate plants and tread lightly on the earth. A purpose built Yurt, houses a home for wet play, falconry, marshmallow toasting and the metal work specialist who attends the school on a Friday.

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If you happen to visit mid morning (when avian flu precautions are not necessary) you will see the ducks and chickens being marched across the grounds to wherever the mobile pen has been placed. Failing that in spring you can usually find some ‘baby ducklings or chicks’ in Vicky’s office keeping warm. She has been known to nurse mice and splint wings.

and laughter and giggling fills the halls. Where ever you turn there is something interesting happening. As Vicky understands how difficult it can be to have a learning difficulty the school also has an excellent additional needs department, welcoming children with medical, specific learning difficulties and ASD. The only criteria being that all must be able to access the curriculum and head towards GCSE and A level.

If there is good snow, she tends to cancel class for snowball fights; there have also been kite flying and conker competitions. Next week a student made rocket is being launched, the school boasts bird tables that have been rigged to measure approach, weight and food preference of birds

Lately, Vicky has put 20 members of staff through mindfulness training with a view to them being able to pass on these skills to her students and has bought an outward-bound centre in Cornwall, which will be used by the schools students. She is presently developing a resilience

spring 2017 | darlingmagazine.co.uk

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inspiring woman continued

course that will enable children to not only survive in an outdoor environment but in the urban jungle as well. It is important she says that our children have the skills to survive in all environments, they need to be resilient enough to cope with the stresses and strains that are thrown at them every day and those that they will face in the changing job market going forward. I expect all children to work hard and get a good crop of academic certificates says Vicky but school should be fun, pupils spend a whole heap of time at school and they are children after all and my staff and I are privileged to be able to love what we do. DM For more information call 01344 622154 hurstlodge.co.uk

Keara Miller, Millie Clarke, Ms Smit, Daisy Smit, Savannah Everidge, David Razinskas, Ella Fogden and Tommy Duggan

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Heading Subheading Xxxxx

£10 GIFT VOUCHER

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spring 2017 | darlingmagazine.co.uk

Exclusively for Darling Readers shop local Present this voucher to claim £10 off. Gifts starting from £30.


lifestyle

Queen of Pearls! WHAT’S NEW IN WINDSOR’S ICONIC MARKET CROSS HOUSE?

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ritish luxury jewellery brand, Jersey Pearl, has opened it’s flagship store in October 2016 next to Windsor Guildhall. The cultured pearl brand’s first store on the UK mainland is located in the heart of historic Windsor, in one of the royal town’s most notable buildings.

Traditional features – such as the original timber beams – have been lovingly included in the design. It houses an array of cultured pearl jewellery, including pieces by award winning British designers Kimberley Selwood and EmmaKate Francis.

Retail Manager Lucy Buckland explains Market Cross House is Jersey Pearl’s unique an eighteenth century offering: “No other landmark, and among brand is doing what the most photographed Jersey Pearl’s flagship store in Windsor’s prestigious Market Cross House. we do in the designer buildings in Windsor due pearl market – offering to its characterful sideways lean. Jersey Pearl has outstanding cultured pearls at truly affordable invested £500K in the property which, says Director prices. There is an honesty, an integrity about our Mike Taylor, was his first choice to house the luxury jewellery – both in its design and in the quality brand: “As soon as we saw that Market Cross House materials we use. This is why we continue to was available, we knew this had to be our first highdelight our customers, whether they’re looking for street store in England. a holiday memento or a special necklace for their wedding day.” “We’re a British brand and family run, we believe we’re going to be an asset to Windsor and are For three generations, Jersey Pearl has created enjoying welcoming our first guests. What could and curated cultured pearl jewellery. Grown with be more quintessentially British than the Queen’s love, brought to life by design talent and strung by most favoured gems just outside Windsor Castle?” master practitioners, its organic gems are second to none. DM Jersey Pearl has sympathetically transformed the interior of Market Cross House into a luxurious boutique, covering a total area of 950 square feet Please contact: Lucy Buckland, Retail Manager, on two levels. Bespoke, British-made cabinetry Lucy.buckland@jerseypearl.co.uk captures the best of mid-20th century design with 020 3745 3224 | jerseypearl.com curved edges, polished lines and brass detailing.

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community

contributors of the war horse memorial project

JENNY’S HEALING HERD THE AMAZING MANE CHANCE SANCTUARY

Jenny Seagrove

J

enny Seagrove, beloved actress of stage, film and television, received a phone call some years ago from a friend with a distressing tale. The friend could no longer afford to feed her horses; they had not eaten for four days. What would we do if we received this call, I wonder? It’s probably unlikely that we would find a safe field or two for them but with the generosity of friends and family Jenny did just that. In 2011 at Monkhatch Farm Jenny opened the Mane Chance Sanctuary. Their mission is to rescue and rehabilitate abused, abandoned and old horses, integrating them with the local community. Today set in 67 acres, offering 60 for grazing, 30 horses have been saved and are cared for daily at this wonderful haven. James French, famous horse whisperer, was employed in the beginning to help them develop systems at the sanctuary.

When new arrivals come to the sanctuary they are treated in separate fields and usually after a period of 2 weeks are introduced to other groups. Whilst I was visiting three gorgeous new Shetland ponies arrived. All the animals here have names and Jenny knows them by heart. She is extremely fond of the animals and personally, the feeling seems mutual from watching them together. She is not only an inspiration but a woman on a mission and she has identified that these horses, through mindful exercise and rehabilitation will assist disabled children, bringing them much comfort and happiness. There are also chickens on the farm and the staff are hoping to train them so that patients with dementia will be able to hold them. Dave a very colourful cockerel serenades throughout the day. turn over

Liam with Grimbo and his dad Nathan

Mane Chance providing sanctuary to horses ofshop all different ages and sizes local

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As one can imagine it requires generosity and a team of volunteers to help out on a regular basis. One of the local charities benefiting from Mane Chance for example is Shooting Star Charity Sarah Austin, Abi Smart, in Guildford. With Caroline Edwards, Jenny Seagrove, Di Smart Jenny’s show biz connections a gala performance was put on at the theatre Royal Windsor with a star studded cast of entertainers to help the cause.

You may also wish to sign up a child or grandchild or give a friend a present. For just £10 per month or £100 annually you can join Mane Chance and support this fantastic charity. You will be sent a membership card and badge, updates three times a year and a guided tour of the sanctuary, as well as free entry on ticketed events. DM For more information call 01483 351526 manechancesanctuary.org

Nationwide from 24th March 2017 odeon.co.uk

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spring 2017 | darlingmagazine.co.uk

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contributors of the war horse memorial project

Her passion for

GOODWORK GRIT AND GRACE SHE HAS IT ALL

HRH The Prince of Wales and Susan Osborne

Susan Osborne was instrumental in merging the countries two biggest cancer charities into Cancer Research UK - the world’s largest cancer research charity. Here, she tells Darling editor Martine Curzon exclusively for the first time what motivates her, and why she’s now turning her attention to Ascot and a national monument to recognise the horses of the First World War. Martine: Did your career always focus on charity work? Susan: To be honest I’d never thought of the charity sector. Then something happened that made me rethink what was important and changed my whole outlook on life. My son Ben was diagnosed with testicular cancer just a month after my mum had died of bowel cancer. He was 15 and amazing. He was so positive and gave us all strength to cope. It seemed like a miracle when we were told the surgery and treatment were successful and he would survive.

Martine: So how did you become involved in the two biggest cancer charities in this country? Susan: We were living in Manchester but about to move down to London with work, and I happened to see a job advertised for Director in one of the national papers – one I would never normally read. It sounds corny but a light bulb switched on in my head. I was working for the BBC in news and current affairs and I thought this is something I could do, my way of helping and giving something back. I went for the interview and on the panel was the scientist who’d invented the drug that had saved Ben’s

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life. I got up and hugged him on behalf of all the mums whose sons had been saved. Somehow, despite my emotional outburst I got the job.

Susan Osborne

Martine: Your next big project is quite a departure. What made you decide on The War Horse Memorial, and why Ascot? Susan: On one of the many treks to far-flung places to raise money for cancer research I met Alan Carr and we became good friends. So the moment he told me of his idea for a national memorial, to remember the eight million allied and Commonwealth horses that were drafted in to supply men and munitions to the trenches of the First World War, I was hooked. We are now co-directors and I believe we play to each other’s strengths. Alan is Mr Community. He knows everyone and is well respected within the Royal Borough. 14

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Martine: When the idea of merger was first mentioned was there any opposition? Susan: That’s an interesting question. Not everyone likes change. Many of the staff, the volunteers – even the scientist and doctors - needed convincing. But the evidence was overwhelming that together we had the capacity to cure more patients. It took 18 months of hard work and long hours but it was worth it. Cancer Research UK is respected not just in this country but also across the world and I look back with pride at what we have achieved. More and more we are hearing of success stories like Ben who is now a doctor himself with four wonderful children of his own.

Ascot was a natural choice. Since 1711 thoroughbred racing has been held at the local racecourse, and the most glamorous annual event in London society - Royal Ascot - features a procession from Windsor Castle to Ascot Racecourse led by the royal carriage. The Household Cavalry has close ties with the Royal Borough, while Ascot born equestrian Sophie Christiansen OBE won a clutch of gold medals in the Paralympic Games in 2012 and 2016.

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contributors of the war horse memorial project continued

Martine: The idea is to build a larger than life bronze statue with money raised from private and public subscriptions. So how do you make a good idea become a reality? Susan: It helps when you are dealing with councillors and planners who have vision and who want you to realise the ambition. Led by the Mayor, Councillor Sayonara Luxton, the Royal Borough has many such people and we are grateful for their support. We have chosen The Household Cavalry Foundation and Mane Chance Sanctuary to benefit from what will be an ongoing fundraising programme once the monument is built and paid for, and we plan to support other local equine charities as the project progresses. We have a wonderful British sculptor Susan Leyland, and have been visiting foundries capable of casting her exquisite giant bronze.

The Hon David Curzon, Alan Carr MBE, Giles Stibbe OBE

We have devised a comprehensive programme of fundraising events, including a Pageant of the Horse in Ascot in the summer, which we hope to share with your readers soon. DM For more information please email susan@thewarhorsememorial.org CIC 10624199

Annie Wenger, Susan Leyland and Arsene Wenger

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MOSIMANN’S AND GUARDS POLO CLUB COMBINE TO MAKE A WINNING TEAM IN WINDSOR GREAT PARK An exciting new restaurant will be opening soon in the Darling Ascot Region with the arrival of Mosimann’s, the private dining and hospitality experts. Mosimann’s at Guards is taking over the highly regarded members’ restaurant at Guards Polo Club, situated in the heart of Windsor Great Park, ensuring all the members of the UK’s leading polo club can sample great dishes alongside plenty of top level sport.

EXCLUSIVE GUARDS POLO CLUB MEMBERSHIP OFFER FOR DARLING ASCOT READERS

In recognition of Guards Polo Club’s exciting new partnership with Mosimann’s, Darling Magazine Ascot has been able to extend its exclusive offer for all readers from Guards Polo Club – home to some of the most glamorous polo events across the globe. The Club will waive its £300 joining fee therefore a social (non-playing) membership for 2017 will cost just £375. This exclusive offer expires on 1 May 2017. Social Membership Vouchers please email tissyvanreyk@guardspoloclub.com or call 01784 434212 ext 221 guardspoloclub.com


My Ascot

business

AscotMatters.co.uk because I say so...says Thelma Haworth

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ery fortunate is the woman who has her own profitable small business, which daily requires a commute across the landing to the study, meetings in coffee shops and which accords with her passion of supporting local business and community life (shared with Darling). My small business is AscotMatters.co.uk - a format that I invented, back in 2006 – just at that time when everyone suddenly realised they needed an online presence and Facebook was just for teenagers. Before babies, I’d been a town planner and ‘to keep my hand in’ so to speak, I used to go to local planning meetings – hardly the obvious entertainment at the end of a long day’s parenting, but the result was a network of contacts. As a result of this local knowledge, I was invited to be the Ascot & Sunnings correspondent for several local papers. The mugshot was the same in each, but I had a varying nom de plume and nobody noticed!

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After 10 enjoyable years, it was becoming clear that Ascot area residents needed a publication which focussed on ’village life’ in Ascot, Sunningdale, Sunninghill, Cheapside, Winkfield and Windlesham. The wider Ascot area is not a suburb of Bracknell and Windsor (yet)! So, I think AscotMatters took off because it was the right time, the right type of place and I was ideally placed to do it! Our precious village high streets and the wonderful small businesses, needed all the support they could get, in fighting off sky-high rents, rates, online competition

and shoppers’ busy lives. Not only that but, scratch the surface (courtesy of AscotMatters and Google) and you find this area has a vast wealth of services, clubs and entertainment – much of it too small-scale to make the paper media. Moving here from London 25 years ago as a young family, we thought the area would be dull: in fact, there’s all the sport, art, drama, special interest and support that your heart could desire! And a bunch of lovely people to do them with! The AscotMatters format is simple: Lists of everything, flanked by paying adverts- linked to clients websitesat very affordable prices. I think it achieves its goals and I love doing it – very fortunate for me indeed! DM

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A THOROUGHBRED AMONGST VENUES

Whether private dinner, summer ball, charity luncheon or networking event, Ascot has all the facilities, technology and flexibility required to meet and exceed your expectations.

Tel: 0844 346 3611 Email: conferenceandevents@ascot.co.uk Visit: ascot.co.uk/conference-and-events shop local


interview

‘FOR THE GOOD OF RACING’ DARLING CHATS TO JOANNA WALES Head of Operations at Ascot Racecourse

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oyal Ascot is the centrepiece of Ascot’s year and dates back to 1711 when it was founded by Queen Anne. It is a major event in our British social calendar with over 300,000 people making the annual visit to Berkshire during Royal Ascot week, making this Europe’s best-attended race meeting. Joanna Wales took time out of her busy day to chat to Martine Curzon, Darling Editor. Q : How did it all begin for you 8 years ago? I started as the Operations Manager and was responsible for the ICT department as well. I have grown the department to a team of 10 now and we look after everything that the customer touches that isn’t racing related or catering. So it’s all the infrastructure, the customer experience, the design, the build of Royal Ascot and the entertainment. I could be thinking about ticketing protocols, or working with Thames Valley Police on security one minute or designing a new club concept with the catering team the next. Q: What drives you? I have always tried incredibly hard at anything that I do. I see us as the custodians of the brand. My job is take care of this wonderful establishment and nurture it. but always holding onto the fact that we were set up by an act of parliament “For the Good of Racing” and keeping it at the heart of all we do. Q: You are a single parent with a demanding job, how do you manage it all? Ascot is really flexible about the fact that I am a single mum and have to leave on time and I have never felt

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any pressure to work on site unless I have planned it. Harrison (my son) comes in with me when we are building for Royal Ascot and I have to work weekends. He comes to nearly all the family days and he is often the inspiration for a new ride or entertainer. Q: Any best moments? Celebrating the win of Estimate in 2013, with Her Majesty’s beaming smile in the Royal Box and in the Parade Ring afterwards made all of our Royal Ascots that year. Q: Does your team creates the interior design, built furniture and develop all the areas in the royal enclosure? Yes, it does, but it is not just the Royal Enclosure. We look after the build and design and infrastructure of all 4 enclosures, including designing the new Village Enclosure. It’s a lovely opportunity for the team to be a little playful in the design and we are launching a Champagne bar named Brummell’s after Beau Brummell who was the inventor of the modern day suit and a really fascinating character from Ascot’s history. Q: What do you do in your spare time? I like to be challenged so a few years ago I swam 3 miles down the Thames from Hampton Court to Kingston. I was scared of water and couldn’t swim front crawl prior to the swim so it was a really big deal for me. I raised about £1,500 for charity for my friend’s son. I did it because I wanted to show Harrison that you can learn something new at any age and that even when you are scared you can still try. Next month I am doing a 66 mile road cycle. I hate the idea of standing still, the world has so much to offer and we are such adaptable creatures. DM

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fashion

HATS OFF TO

ROYAL ASCOT Getting Ready For The Season

Ilda Di Vico Couture Millinery is a multi-award winning luxury headwear brand and has achieved a somewhat cult status worldwide, making a name for itself in the highly selective and competitive market. Due to the recognizable unique design, numerous press releases and celebrity clients, commissioning hats for Royal Weddings and other Royal Family Commissions.

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Ilda Di Vico pieces receive consistent coverage in leading fashion magazine titles including Vogue, Tatler Celebrity News, OK Magazine, HELLO, National Papers and TV coverage. We aim to provide you with that ‘ultimate’ hat, headpiece or hair couture – whatever the occasion.

spring 2017 | darlingmagazine.co.uk

Prices start at £95 for the Impromptu Range and from £300 for Bespoke Pieces To book your appointment call 01344 441490 Mosscroft Studio, Murrell Hill Lane, off Foxy Lane, Binfield, RG42 4BY ildadivico.com

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DESIGNER HEIRLOOMS

& The Bag Lady

DARLING INTERVIEWS CLAUDIA VALENTIN

Darling: Tell us about your early years. Claudia: I was born to Italian parents here in the UK. One of my earliest memories was when, at the tender age of four, I was given a beautiful handmade leather handbag by my favourite aunt. I can still remember the delicious smell and the feel of the super soft leather – so smooth and comfy that I used to sleep with it at night. Perhaps that’s what inspired me with a love for beautiful things. I went to a Catholic school in Berkshire. Both of my parents were very hard working, with my father often having to do night shifts, so I had to learn to be especially quiet when he was catching up on his sleep. But they were wonderful years. My parents were always coming up with new entrepreneurial ideas, and

I never knew what they’d be doing next. My father was often making wine in the garage for us to enjoy with friends and family, and I have vivid memories of helping to crush the grapes in my wellies, the incredibly sweet taste of the fermenting brew. Darling: So business was in your blood… Claudia: Yes. It began when I was twelve years old. My parents encouraged me to get a part time job and I went to help out at my cousin’s hair salon in Maidenhead. In my first week’s wages, during half term I earnt £50, so I rushed off to Fenwick’s department store in Windsor, and splashed out on a gorgeous leather purse! turn over

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Darling: Relationships, children and more handbags… Claudia: (Laughs) I moved to the South of France and began ordering bespoke jewellery– and children! A few years later back in the UK, continuing to deal in jewellery as well as luxury items I ventured into Hatton Garden. Then the random encounter that changed everything. I was visiting an art gallery in Sunningdale, when James a guy I had always known as Jimmy from Weybridge also popped in, by sheer chance. The timing was perfect. We were both single, we loved the same things, and we decided to work together. With my knowledge of designer heirlooms, I was able to help James by authenticating the handbags he was receiving or being offered through his Prestige Pawn Brokers shops in Weybridge and Hatton Garden, which were already very popular and busy with art, collectables, bespoke jewellery, watches and

Are you looking for a reliable builder or handyman, a trusted nanny or babysitter, a super caterer, a fitness trainer, a new hairdresser or just somewhere to get your nails done? The Really Helpful Club does what it says on the tin... and now it’s come to Surrey

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f you are searching for an easier life, want information on tap and would like to meet like-minded, savvy and smart women, the Really Helpful Club (RHC) is the place for you. Founded in 2014 by enterprising mother Sarah Austin, intent on bringing together dynamic and busy women (and men) who can share information and ideas on an online forum, today the club is a thriving, vibrant community

with several thousand members. And Sarah and events director Caroline Edwards are still counting. “It’s a website where you can share your experiences and latest finds in exchange from new gems and ideas; after all, word of mouth is the most trusted and reassuring way of finding anything you’re looking for,” Sarah explains. Full of reliable recommendations, reputable businesses and handy contacts, and unique access to a variety of events which are always oversubscribed, RHC is now available for Surrey women, kicking off with a series of inspiring and informative events this autumn. Membership is free and attendance at events costs a small fee but are worth every penny, as Wimbledon resident Jo |Hall has discovered: “The events are fabulous for connecting people and building new friendships, not just as a social get-together with interesting talks [themes have ranged from women’s cycling, fashion and cooking to a day out at Henley Royal Regatta, private dinners and exclusive

memorabilia, Yachts and high performance cars so that’s how I came to be the handbag specialist on the TV programme called Posh Pawn, on Channel 4. Darling: Claudia ended her interview where she started, with her family. In 2006 her cousin Giovanna developed breast cancer. The two cousins often talked about the day when Claudia would own her first Chanel handbag. Sadly, Giovanna died before it happened. Much later Claudia, at living life promotion last the proud owner of Chanel handbag, visited her cousin’s grave to tell her all about it. Before we parted Claudia told me, “Those wonderful memories and friendships are the true heirlooms. DM Call 0207 4056664 ext 210 claudia@prestigepawnbrokers.co.uk Facebook: Claudia Valentin Insta: Claudiaposhpawn shop.prestigepawnbrokers.co.uk

tours of historical houses] but for businesswomen who are keen to network and women who wish to rediscover the workplace who are looking for job opportunities.”

Join us for a Family Gala Dinner to celebrate 30 years of Childline AUTUMN HIGHLIGHTS

Well-being and women’s health workshops: 14th September (nutrition) 22nd September (mindfulness) Back to Business and taking the first steps: 29th September (in affiliation with Surrey Property Potential and Caroline Dore Household Staff) Masterclass

on demonstrations:

Paul Bogle, the 2015 2017 Saturday 30th September 6th October (featuring Masterchef finalist)

at 6.45pm until midnight Millennium Hotel, Mayfair, London Join the Really Helpful Club by registering | For online at reallyhelpfulclub.com. more Black tie Dinner, dancing and entertainment information, contact Sarah Austin at sarah@reallyhelpfulclub.com For tickets contact caroline@reallyhelpfulclub.com

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networking promo

SHARE, DISCOVER & CONNECT

with the Really Helpful Club

I

f you are searching for an easier life, want information on tap and would like to meet other like-minded, dynamic and smart women, the Really Helpful Club (RHC) is the place for you. When Darling Magazine discovered RHC, a free online network to share great ideas, helpful tips and their best recommendations, we knew our prayers had been answered!

‘A big thank you! Events like these are brilliant at bringing people together not just as a social get together with interesting talks, but as a business woman, it’s always incredibly handy for networking and finding other excellent businesses that are in the area.’(Jo Hall, local businesswoman)

Sarah and her friend and business partner Caroline Edwards are organizing a Family Gala to celebrate Launched in 2014 by enterprising the 30th Anniversary of NSPCC mother Sarah Austin from Childline on 30th September. The Wimbledon, South West London, Sarah Austin, Founder of the Really Helful Club dinner will be held at the luxurious the club has quickly grown into a Millennium Hotel in the heart of vibrant and active community of thousands Mayfair and is one for all the family to enjoy, parents, of members. Full of reliable recommendations, grandparents and children (12+). Dame Esther reputable businesses and handy contacts, and Rantzen, Childline founder said: “I am delighted unique access to a variety of lifestyle, charity to be attending and supporting the inaugural gala and business events which are always dinner with The Really Helpful Club and Childline. oversubscribed, RHC is now also available This event is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate 30 for Surrey and Berkshire women. years of Childline and to ensure that we can continue to transform the lives of thousands of children across Launched as an online network, the RHC is the UK.” We hope very much that families across satisfying increasing demand from its members Berkshire and Surrey will be able to join us at such a to meet face to face. The RHC has hosted and special event. DM supported several successful and hugely popular events exclusively for the members. “Our events offer a unique way for our members to connect with Join the Really Helpful Club for free by registering online at one another and discover something new in a fun reallyhelpfulclub.com - For more information, contact and friendly environment. Sarah explains Sarah Austin at sarah@reallyhelpfulclub.com

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WHAT’SON? March 2017 07 - 11

Including Saturday & Sunday

April 2017 Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat starring X Factor winner Joe Mcelderry Theatre Royal Windsor. Box Office: 01753 853 888

Film - World Premiere Charity Gala Another Mother’s Son - based on a true story Odeon Cinema Leicester Square, WC2H 7JY Tel: 020 3137 7420 25 and 26 Saturday and Mother’s Day Carriage Rides in Windsor Great Park Sunday Treat Mum to an unusual experience, a 30 min carriage ride in Windsor Great Park starting from The Savill Building at Savill Garden just 4 miles south of Windsor Castle. Call 07811 543019 for an instant booking or email via the website ascotcarriages.co.uk Windsor and Maidenhead Symphony Orchestra 25 Saturday Spring Concert We are delighted to welcome back Martin James Bartlett, BBC Young Musician of year 2014 and former winner of our music competition, to play the popular Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1 with us in our spring concert. 7.30PM. Tickets: Gallery: Adult £15/StudentChild £5/under12s free Main Hall: Adult £12.50 /StudentChild £5/ under 12s free Eton College School Hall, High Street, Eton, Berkshire SL4 6DW wmso.org.uk/node/34 29 Wednesday Coworth Park Speaker Events Join executive pastry chef Lucy Jones for a special chocolate afternoon tea. Coworth Park hotel, Ascot, SL5 7SE UK Tel: 0044 1344 876 600 16

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Saturday

02

Sunday

15

Saturday

21 - 22

Friday & Saturday

Thursday

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Windsor Farm A small qual the local com Held on the running mar to the comm on trendy St bars, boutiq and a Fishm the Windsor farmers’ ma is within eas and resident Free Entry P Berkshire co Windsor, Be Ascot Raceco Spring Fam FOC Countr as racing Ticket office The Mane Ch between 10a Shetland po See the farm along the wa and games in Entry £3 pe participant. Book now at manechance Ascot Fashio 10:15 AM-5:30 Ticket offiec: ascot.co.uk


May 2017

mers market lity driven market with local produce for mmunity of Royal Windsor, Berkshire 1st Saturday of the month this long rket has been selling fresh local produce munity of Windsor for over 11 years situ t Leonard’s road, surrounded by local ques, independent shops, coffee shops mongers, Developed in association with r & Eton Town Partnership, Windsor arket offers a wide range of produce and sy walking distance of the town centre tial area. Parking 1 minute away in East ollege car park. St Leonard’s road, erkshire SL4 3BL tvfm.org.uk ourse mily Raceday Tickets from £18. Children ryside crafts and skills on display as well

ce ascot.co.uk hance Easter Egg trail at the Sanctuary, am and 3pm. Meet the horses and onies, including our three new arrivals. m, enjoy the walk and solve the clues ay. Refreshments, hot cross buns, fun n the barn. Dogs on leads very welcome. er person and easter eggs for every trail

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Wednesday

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Wednesday

12

Friday

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Saturday

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Sunday

Discover Ascot Raceday Selected tickets FOC. Learn about racing and what goes on behind the scenes Ticket offiec: ascot.co.uk Coworth Park Speaker Events Monique Lee joins us at Coworth Park for the launch of her exclusive new hat collection Coworth Park hotel, Ascot, SL5 7SE UK Tel: 0044 1344 876 6005 May Racing Weekend – May Racenight Tickets from £11. Evening meeting with live entertainment Ticket offiec: ascot.co.uk May Racing Weekend – Victoria Cup Raceday. Tickets from £18. Quality racing with non-stop live music from variety of top tribute acts Ticket offiec: ascot.co.uk Historics at Brooklands Specialist classic and sports car auction Ticket offiec: ascot.co.uk

t tickets@manechancesanctuary.org esanctuary.org on Weekend 5:30 PM. Large boutique fashion sale iec: ascot.co.uk

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onthescene

with Darling Ascot Editor Martine

HANNAH RUSSELL MBE PARA OLYMPIC SWIMMER Hannah Russell receiving her MBE

Hannah with HRH Prince of Wales Hannah Russell MBE with her family

GUARDS POLO CAROL SINGING

WANT TO BE SEEN in Ascot? Advertise Your Business in Darling today!

Neil Hobday and the Meadows family

darlingmagazine.co.uk

07788 444 184

COWORTH PARK SPEAKER LUNCH JERSEY PEARL Mike Taylor, speaker and owner of Jersey Pearl

Claire door lady at Coworth Park, Sylvia Homewood

Martine Darling’s Ascot editor, Sylvia Homewood, Alan Carr MBE and The Hon David Curzon

to advertise your business now call 07788 444 184

26 winter sep-oct 2016/17 2016 | darlingmagazine.co.uk

Sam Pinder White


on the scene AFTERNOON TEA AT WINDSOR GUILDHALL RAISING FUNDS FOR THE HOUSEHOLD CAVALRY The Hon David Curzon, Alan Carr MBE, Giles Stibbe OBE

Marilyn Cox, Christine Grey and Cllr Jesse Grey

Madam Mayor and Giles Stibbe Director of HCAV Foundation

Richard Cox

Dr Ros Rivaz, T Lloyd Beaumont, Christine May, Kimberley Morgan, Orla Gallagher Jill Caress, Tony and Cathie Lodge

Ladies from the Royal Borough’s Twinning Committee David Griffiths, Rev John Quick, Susan Osbourne, Lorraine Webster

darlingmagazine.co.uk | winter 2016/17  27


onthescene SYTNER SUNNINGDALE BMW LAUNCH NEW 5 SERIES & MINI COUNTRYMAN

ASCOT NETWORKING EVENING ASCOT RACECOURSE

Kelly Mole, Nicola Donaldson

FUNDRAISING AFTERNOON WINDSOR GUILDHALL

Tpr Colin Hazely, Capt Pete Ireland with Eloise Ireland, Gabrielle Ireland, Mayor Sayonara Luxton, LCpl Joe Marchant

to advertise your business now call 07788 444 184

28 winter 2016/17 | darlingmagazine.co.uk

Sam Pinder White, Anna Bishop, Claire Bewers STOKE PARK


on the scene MAYORS CHARITY EVENT GUILDHALL WINDSOR Mayor Sayonara Luxton, Mrs & Mrs Paul Hitchcock

The Household Cavalry and guests

Alan and Margaret Carr

Paul Hitchcock and The Hon David Curzon Lyn and Nigel Litchfield

David Griffiths

Mayor Sayonara Luxton, The Town Crier Mr Chris Brown Giles Stibbe and The Household Cavalry

Ian Graves

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onthescene COWORTH PARK SPEAKER LUNCH ADAM SMITH APPOINTED EXECUTIVE CHEF

Sam Pinder White and Martine Darling’s Ascot editor

Martine and The Hon David Curzon

WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) Local ladies protesting in London over pension changes

WASPI protestor arm around Mhairi Black MP Carol Harmston from Sunningdale with banner having her say

to advertise your business now call 07788 444 184

30 winter 2016/17 | darlingmagazine.co.uk


on the scene DARLING DELIVERIES TO ASCOT, SUNNINGDALE, SUNNINGHILL & VIRGINIA WATER

Madam Mayor and Martine

Caroline from Pink and Brown with Martine Madam Mayor Sayonara Luxton and Mika

Jane Mackintosh Gareth Bowen from Sytner BMW Sunningdale can’t wait to put the magazines in the Service Department with Martine Laura Kagar and Chelsea Sands from Fego Caffe with Martine

Alex Juddery, Nicky Morris and her son Will Morris from Buckinghams Michelle from Savill Flooring with Martine

WANT TO BE SEEN in Virginia Water? Advertise Your Business in Darling today! darlingmagazine.co.uk

07788 444 184 Alan Carr MBE, Martine, Capt Pete Ireland and WoI M Ireland (Regimental Corporal Major)

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education

Little girls with dreams

BECOME WOMEN WITH VISION A PASSION FOR GIRLS EDUCATION

Children with Jane Gow

J

ane Gow, the new Vice Principal at The Marist School in Sunninghill, has been a leading figure in Education within RBWM and has held a number of Headships within the Borough. She is passionate about the role education can play in helping young people achieve the very best of themselves and has recently taken an appointment at The Marist School in Sunninghill. Referring to her recent

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appointment, Jane explained, “As a Vice Principal I have responsibility for leading the Prep but also have an Executive role across the whole school. This is really exciting for me as I can be involved in influencing great education up to 18 years of age. Prior to joining The Marist, I have been Head teacher at St. Francis Catholic Primary School in Ascot for 8 years and before that I was Head teacher at Christ Church Infant School in Virginia Water. Altogether I have thirty years

spring 2017 | darlingmagazine.co.uk

of teaching experience across a number of schools in the Berkshire area. I have considerable experience as a parent, my husband and I have three grown up daughters. As a mother I know how important it is for girls to have a good education so that they can take their place in the world as confident and self-assured young women. I am ambitious for the girls at the school to achieve their very best so that they can lead happy and

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continued

Open Dates All pre-school aged children Easter Egg Hunt Tuesday 28 March 10.00 – 12.00 Senior Open Morning Wednesday 10 May 9.15 – 11.15 Prep Open Day Saturday 10 June 10.00 – 14.00

Wendy Reed Vice Principal Senior , Karl McCloskey Principal & Jane Gow

fulfilled lives making the best of all their talents and gifts.” In these times of constant global change and uncertainty it has never been more important to remind girls that they should be ambitious for themselves and each other. Jane believes that girls need to be given every opportunity to become well educated and well-rounded women who have true compassion and respect for others. A quote that Jane particularly likes is, ’little girls with dreams become women with vision.’ She feels strongly that education is the best vehicle for turning their dreams into reality. That is why her new role is so important to her. It’s a chance to make a difference by leading the education of girls in the Marist way. DM

Book an individual visit and tour the school Kings Rd, Sunninghill, Ascot SL5 7PS 01344 624291 themaristschools.com

Awarding an external prize for a Christmas card design to Zara in Year 5

Involving the children in decision making

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health and wellbeing

Transforming Autism EARLY INTERVENTION

x Gilles Pelenc Founder, Trustee - Transforming Autism. Gilles with his family.

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t all started in January 2007. Following a couple of years wondering about their little boy’s developmental delays, Gilles and his wife Claire took their two-year old son to see their local paediatrician with the suspicion that he was on the Autism Spectrum Disorder. Their fears were brushed aside swiftly by the doctor who categorically refused to give a diagnosis at such a young age. Not being fazed, they insisted for a proper review at the end of which, the paediatrician reluctantly admitted their child was indeed “significantly autistic” but still refused to give an official diagnosis -which eventually came at the age of 3. This unofficial green light instantly opened the doors of early professional and specialist intervention, in particular allowing Elliot to be admitted at a private pre-school ASD specialist nursery with daily access to Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, one-to-one support, specialist care, etc. The progress he made there was quite remarkable. A year later, doubts started to rise regarding their second son Oscar. He had shown no particularly suspect signs during the first year of his life, thriving

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through all the standard milestones, but suddenly at the age of 12 months, started to regress into a non-verbal boy, with very little social interaction and a tendency for explosive meltdowns. There again, the paediatrician laughed it off initially, before backtracking rapidly and offering an official diagnosis at the age of 18 months! Oscar was then able to attend to the same specialist nursery and he also made rapidly significant progress. From day one, Gilles and Claire had made their life’s mission to do everything in their power to provide the boys with the most appropriate educational and therapeutic environment. The boys are now thriving; they are both very high functioning ASD and have developed into very bright, very social and communicative children. They have great academic potential for GCSEs and A Levels, which is no longer a distant dream but a likely reality. The couple remain convinced that things would have been very different if it wasn’t for a very Early Specialist Intervention. Four month ago, Gilles Pelenc decided to co-found a new charity, Transforming Autism.

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Xxx Xxxxx

continued

Although the charity itself is a recent endeavour, the ideas upon which it was defined have been over ten years in the making. There are unfortunately hundreds, thousands, who miss out on Early Intervention, either by lack of means, education, understanding, sometimes by denial, but often by the reluctance from the medical profession to diagnose children early. The period between the ages of 18 months to 5 years is ultimately crucial. Consequently, the main objectives for the new charity will be: • The crucial need to empower parents in this process and to give them the knowledge, the tools and the support so they can fight for an early diagnosis and create an optimal environment and relationship with their child.

• The crucial need for Early Detection and Early Diagnosis in order to allow Early Specialist intervention. • To create an awareness campaign on the subject of Early Intervention. • To oversee the opening of a specialist clinic helping families of children diagnosed under the age of 2 with specialist therapy. • To create a social media platform for Autism families with a very comprehensive hub of information, guidance, tutorials, resources, directories and advocacy on all aspect of life with Autism. DM

Facebook: @TransformingAutismUK transformingautism.co.uk

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travel middle east

Dazzling

Dubai AN INSIDER’S GUIDE TO THE PERFECT GIRL’S WEEKEND AWAY

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o, you and your girlfriends have been handed a pass by the other half to leave him and the kids behind, and head off for a girls’ weekend. But where to go, that ticks all the boxes of glamour, sophistication, sunshine and shopping? Especially, if that ‘pass’ happens to be in the middle of a cold and dreary November or March. Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates is just a 7-hour flight from London and is the perfect weekend getaway. It’s also safe, impeccably clean, and there’s something to suit all budgets.

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How to spend 72 hours in Dubai. DAY 1. Arrive on your evening flight and head straight to your hotel (taxi’s from the airport are super cheap and plentiful), check in freshen up and head out for dinner at The Observatory on the 52nd floor at the Marriott Harbour Hotel in Dubai Marina for some of the best views of the famous Palm Jumeirah and the Marina itself. It’s a great place for a few group snaps and selfies! Retire for a nightcap in one of the many drinking holes in and around the Marina such as the Buddha Bar at Grosvenor House, or for something more casual

spring 2017 | darlingmagazine.co.uk

and beachy, Barasti Beach Bar adjacent to Le Meridien Mina Seyahi is good for a bop and reasonably priced drinks (note: most licensed bars are situated within hotel grounds, with a few notable exceptions). DAY 2. After a leisurely breakfast, time to head to the pool or beach at your hotel to catch some much needed sun rays. If you want to act like a local, ask a taxi driver to take you to ‘Kite Beach’ one of the only public beaches in Dubai, along Jumeirah Beach Road and gives you a fabulous view of the iconic Burj Al Arab hotel. Afterwards,

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reward yourself with a refreshing cuppa and slice of the famous chocolate brownie at the Lime Tree Café further along the same road, a hotspot for expats and locals alike. Tonight book yourself a table at Bateaux Dubai at the Creek, a floating gastronomic delight which glides along the old shoreline with its traditional Arabic Dhow boats to give you a taste of what old Dubai used to be like. DAY 3. If it’s a Friday, then it’s ‘Brunch’ day in Dubai! An institution in the Emirates on Friday (it’s the beginning of the weekend) head to one of the many advertised brunches which normally start around 12 noon for a wonderful all you can eat and drink buffet. Budgets vary depending on location and drinks package, but a few noteworthy include ones: Bubbalicious at the Westin, which includes fine food and entertainment, Al Qasr, Madinat Jumeirah, consistently voted one of the best, and Saffron, Atlantis the Palm with free entry into Atlantis’ nightclub for the post-brunch after party. The unwritten rule for most brunches though, is ‘dress to impress’. If your agenda for post brunch is more sedate, it’s a nice time to relax and unwind at one of the many spas, or, if you’re not inebriated, head out to the sand dunes for a desert safari in a 4x4 or to Skydive Dubai and jump out of a plane over the Palm for a once in a lifetime experience! DAY 4. Before catching your evening flight home, it’s time for some shopping! Your direction is Dubai Mall, Everything from Armani to Zara is inside this mall, oh, and that’s not to mention the giant aquarium, amazing indoor waterfall and ice rink it also includes! When your bags are too heavy to carry anymore, head to one of the outdoor cafes by the

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fountains such as Wafi Gourmet for a ringside seat to watch the magnificent choreographed to music fountains when they come into life from 6pm (and then every 30 minutes after). As someone very wise once said, “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend”. For a huge choice of diamonds and other precious stones, gold, silver and everything in between, head to the Gold and Diamond Park situated next to Mall of the Emirates on Sheikh Zayed Road. If your feet are aching from all that shopping head to one of Dubai’s hundreds of beauty salons for a quick indulgent pedicure, or combine it with a mani too for around 100Dirhams (about £22). You’ll be in and out the door in an hour. My recommendation: Tips & Toes, multiple locations. After all that swimming you may need a blow dry or just feel like pampering yourself in a hairdresser. Rifa Beauty salon is also on Sheikh Zayed Road. You will be relaxed after one of the best weekends you and your girlfriends could ask for! DM DELIGHT ON DUBAI On a budget: 3 nights’ room only from £600p/p Mid-range: 3 nights b&b in a sea view room From £820 p/p from Heathrowat the 4* JA Ocean View Luxury: 3 nights b&b 5* £947 p/p Article compiled by Nicola Donaldson, a local independent travel consultant & former seasoned UAE expat! Call 01753 336520 or email nicola.donaldson@travelcounsellors.com **Prices correct as of 01/03/17. All prices and availability quoted are subject to change until a confirmed booking is made.

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restaurant promo

THE BRICKMAKERS WINDLESHAM

B

rickmakers established in 2013. A family run business owned by Scott and Alex. A hugely successful busy family pub, offering a large restaurant with conservatory as well as more casual pub dining. In the summer you can enjoy a lovely pub garden offering alfresco dining with separate eating areas and sofas. The chef Paul Clarke is passionate about his cooking and ever since the age of 12 has made his family taste his dishes. Paul studied cooking at Guildford College and went onto Rick Steins in Padstow. He enjoys the entire process of catching a fish filleting it and then having the pleasure of cooking it. Paul does this as often as he can in Dorset when he visits his sister near Chisel Beach.

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Paul insists that the fish is freshly delivered daily to the Brickmakers. As if Paul’s day isn’t busy enough they have added breakfast to the menu so from 9am – 11.30am you can enjoy a full English or a continental. The restaurant also offers specials from the blackboard for lunch and in the evening. Whilst visiting I pumped into John Burton a local, who has used the restaurant for his golf society lunches for the past 4 years. They are happy to cater for large groups and have seating for 120 inside. See you in the Brickmaker’s garden this summer, or at their wine tasting events. Just don’t tell my boss where I am. DM Call 01276 472267 or visit thebrickmakerswindlesham.co.uk

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healthy eating

Eat the Wright way SPRING CLEANING YOUR BODY

L

eonie Wright decided to sort out her health issues without the support of medication. After having been on high blood pressure medication for 14 years, she was diagnosed with high cholesterol 8 years ago. Not having been comfortable with taking medication in the first place and now being prescribed statins (lowers cholesterol levels but can have side effects such as muscle damage, dementia, heart failure and more) it was now time for a change. Researching other ways of reducing her blood pressure and cholesterol, she came across a 6 week cleansing programme in Holland, her native country. After completing the programme both her blood pressure and cholesterol reached healthy levels and she no longer needed medication. This has stayed the same since. After this life-changing experience she negotiated a UK franchise, trained as a nutrition coach and qualified in nutritional awareness.

Since May 2010 she has run her own business, EatWright, based on the Dutch programme. She works with people suffering from type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol and other health issues.

An additional benefit of her programme is long term weight loss: on average clients lose 5-8kg in 6 weeks but, more importantly, sugar cravings and addictions disappear. Leonie is on a mission to scrub refined white sugar from your diet!

Maureen before

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She offers a very personal service which includes: • A body analysis before and after the six weeks; • Three one-to-one consultations; • Daily e-mails and telephone support. If you are committed to changing your lifestyle in order to improve your health and well-being, then this is the programme for you. Maureen, one of Leonie’s clients, no longer needs her extra medication for diabetes 2 and lost 9kg, which she has kept off, since she started the programme 1 ½ years ago. Leonie is passionate about helping people. Find out how you can undertake the programme by booking a FREE personal phone consultation. Additionally, Leonie has published two CookWright recipe books, featuring over 100 healthy, no-added-sugar recipes. These can be purchased through her website. DM

Maureen after

For more information call 07752 420005 or email leonie@eatwright.co.uk eatwright.co.uk

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Pure Cabaret ANN MARIE O’CONNOR FOLLOWING IN HER FATHER TOM’S FOOTSTEPS

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e were 17 years old, and had just left home to work in Las Vegas. We crept into his dressing room, and my girlfriend started stroking his chair. We thought he wasn’t there. Suddenly, he appeared from the bathroom, “Hello Girls, where’s the party?“. That was the first time I met Dean Martin. At three years old I was inspired by a documentary on child dancers. Jean Beryl Smith, (one of the original Black & White Minstrels) was a tiny lady, and I was very fortunate that she was my teacher until I was 16 years old. With her instruction I

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performed in local pantomime, dance school productions, etc. I had also gained skills working with my father, Tom O’Connor, throughout the summer season on stage in Yarmouth and Blackpool. But, I wanted to dance and do my own thing, and was thrilled to land a part as a dancer with Davy James and the Monkees. The show got extended, and so I was kicked out of school, of course I didn’t mind! I needed to extend my repertoire, so off I went to college to learn drama. But in 1981, after seeing an advert in

spring 2017 | darlingmagazine.co.uk

The Stage newspaper, I went for an audition in London where I met the famous Margaret Kelly Liebovici. Margaret had been dancing in Paris for the Follies Bergère. Shes formed the famous ‘Bluebells’ dance troupe, and only took the tallest and most beautiful dancers who, with their costumes and high heels, towered over everybody on stage, and created spectacular shows throughout the world. She began a collaboration with Don Arden to join up with MGM Grand Hotel, in Las Vegas. Margaret Kelly Liebovici was later decorated with an OBE, and was honored by France for her

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72 years of professional activity as maîtresse de ballet, Chevalier of the Legion of Honneur amongst some of her great achievements.

with anyone just popping in, for example, Shirley MacLaine, Liza Minnelli, Sammy Davis Junior etc. It was an incredible time looking back. Being on stage every night was what I was passionate about it, I was living the dream. I had not wanted to be like my celebrity father. As children, we had lived our lives in the public eye, due to growing up in a famous household. I wanted to remain ‘normal’, if one could call being a Bluebell normal.

‘British Midland Airlines’ for 13 years, but still managed to combine my job with various shows around Europe – well, I couldn’t say no … could I!

Ann with her dad Tom O’Connor in Panto together

I was tall, ballet trained, and passed the audition, after which I had to go home and tell my mother that I was moving abroad, to work in Las Vegas. In those days you had to go to Bow Street Court to get permission to leave the Country. At just 17, I was the latest ‘baby’ Bluebell!

I had my first singing role when I was asked to cover for a lady that was sick. My knees were knocking with fear and nerves, which still happens today when I recount the story. I then got a job working for an Italian film company on a weekly TV programme. This new production meant that I was required to live in Milan for the next three years. By now, I had worked all over Europe, with 7 separate dance troupes, each consisting of 47 dancers, and also had performed on-board various cruise ships, one of which was where I met my husband.

In 2000, I went to a school reunion, and bumped into my childhood sweetheart. We got together, and had a boy and a girl, who are now 13 and 14 years old. They attended local schools, St. Happy couple John and Ann John Beaumont in Old Windsor, and The Marist School in Sunninghill, but have now moved onto boarding school together, which works very well.

We were going to be reopening a show, which was hugely important, as a fire had destroyed everything the previous year. Rehearsals were three and a half months long,

In 1996, I thought I’d take a break and go and work for an airline for a year. I had split up from my husband, and needed a regular income to support my daughter. I ended up staying with

Finally, I am sharing my life with new man, John, a pilot who unfortunately is often away. We have bought a farm in Anglesey, as maybe it’s time to slow down a bit. DM

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Ascot Chiropractic Clinic 01344 874202

ascotchiropracticclinic.com info@ascotchiropracticclinic.com 8 Hermitage Parade, High Street, Ascot, Berkshire SL5 7HE

Can’t trust your bladder? Chiropractors often hear lady patients say “I didn’t tell you when I first consulted you for my lower back pain, that my bladder control was weak. However, since I’ve been receiving chiropractic treatment my bladder control is significantly improved. Do you think there is any connection?” Anatomically, nerves from the lower thoracic vertebrae and sacrum supply the sphincter muscle at the bottom of the bladder. The sphincter responds to pressure within the bladder to prompt emptying. If the electrical signalling to the sphincter is inefficient the bladder may be only 25% full but signal it is 90% full and trigger urgency. When chiropractic treatments are performed to dysfunctional vertebrae in those spinal regions nerve function can be enhanced, pain can be reduced and muscular control can be improved. 42 there spring darlingmagazine.co.uk Do I think could2017 be a|connection? The ladies’ neurology has already discovered YES.

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header education

Generation Z Generation Z

Tennison-Banner.indd 1

26/01/2017 11:47

SANDRA NARDI, FOUNDER OF THE PARENT EDUCATION CONSULTANCY UP WITH Sandra Nardi, Founder of the Parent CATCHES Education Consultancy catches up with the digital natives THE DIGITAL NATIVES

T

he hurtling evolution of technology makes us dizzy, watching our young teenagers born into a world of social media with continuous updates. Unsurprisingly, this had led to Generation Z (those born in 1996 or later), processing information faster than generations before. Although Generation Zs have a significantly lower attention span to ours, their ability to multi-task is beyond our comprehension. In school, they can create a PowerPoint presentation on their computer, research on their iPad and scribble notes on a notepad. In the evening they watch TV with a laptop, Snapchatting on their phone. Shudder we may, but Generation Z can quickly and efficiently shift between work and play, with multiple distractions going on in the background. Minecraft is a culprit, exasperating parents yet kids are hooked, learning to build their own castles, cities and towns. The media regularly feeds parents negative screen stories, whilst ignoring how Generation Zs will depend on these virtual skills. Contrary to belief, such games can boost children’s Science and Maths grades, encourage them to take risks, improve language and social skills and most importantly their confidence to solve problems. It’s difficult to know how to support our young teens; watching successful YouTubers worldwide, keen to start their own non-profit enterprises. We can teach them the pros and cons of Crowdsourcing to create their own products and respect Instagram as the fastest growing platform to sell their own merchandise. Their independent, creative minds are enviable as they are beginning to carve a career around their own personal lives, which has trapped working parents since time began. All we need to do is to watch, learn and keep them safe.

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Top Tips for setting up YouTube channel safely for kids 1. Create a Gmail YouTube account using a screen name rather than your real name. 2. Set YouTube view to “Safety Mode” to filter YouTube content. 3. Turn on and Lock SafeSearch in Google search settings, limiting adult content. 4. Turn off the ability to leave comments. 5. Age Restrictions - Google/YouTube collect user data, be aware for kids under 13. 6. Set up a shared Gmail account to review the steps along the creative process.

Sylvie Garvey - Computer Specialist 07768 379747 darlingmagazine.co.uk | spring 2017 darlingmagazine.co.uk | spring 2017 

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Charming Village

TWO HOURS AWAY

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f you are looking for a short flight to get some much needed sun, why not look at Vence, in the South of France.  Just a 15 minute drive from Nice International airport you will find this truly authentic French town known as the ‘City of Art’, attracting artists, writers and poets over the years. Dufy, Matisse, Chagall, Dubuffet, Carzou, Arman, Anthony Mars, D.H. Lawrence, and W. Gombrowicz have all stayed, working in and around its medieval walls, as the light is superb, which drew them to this part of France. There are a number of airlines to choose from, and the flight is under 2 hours. Once you have landed, jump into a taxi, or take the local bus which is only 1.50 per person. In the centre is the Place du Grand Jardin, which is the main square where they hold weekly markets on a Friday, a Wednesday antique market, and the daily morning farmer’s market, so you can be like the locals buying fresh fruit and vegetables each morning.

There is a strong sense of community in Vence, people support their local economy, buying from artisans, and small businesses. The Rue du Marché is a cobbled lane in the old town, where you will find Provençal vendors, selling flowers, fresh fish, an amazing choice of bread, endless variety of fresh vegetables, and herbs and spices, a spectacle to behold. Even the water in Vence should be sampled. ‘La Foux’ is the clear mineral water from a source just above the town. It is available from the many fountains in

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different parts of the town, including the beautiful 1822 fountain in the Place Peyra. The water is considered so natural and delicious that the locals line up and fill their bottles and jugs to take home. Vence maybe an old town, but the town hall spends time and money on improving and renovating the streets and buildings. The streets have fresh, floral displays, and even the roundabouts are decorated, one with planted musical instruments, its ‘piece de resistance’ being a grand piano. Grab a drink at one of the bustling cafés surrounding the Place du Grand Jardin, and watch the people pass by, whilst relaxing in the sunshine. Or, walk to Le Place Clemenceau inside the town walls, where you can have lunch, and then take a look at La Cathédrale de la Nativité de Marie, built in the 4th Century. Inside there is a baptistery decorated by Marc Chagall’s mosaic, representing Moses being saved from the water. Chagall lived in Vence from 1950 until 1966.

WHERE TO STAY There are a number of excellent hotels, catering for all budgets, but one I like to stay at for its convenience, and the friendliness of its patron Paul, is La Diana, a 3 star family hotel in the centre. Breakfast in the morning, overlooking the gardens and pond will really set you up for the day ahead. If you wish to splash out, the Château Saint Martin & Spa is a luxury 5 star hotel, formally a 12th century Knights Templar commandery, with spectacular views, picturesque gardens with swimming pool, and an award winning spa.

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WHERE TO EAT The restaurants in Vence will leave you spoilt for choice. They range from French to Tapas, and Italian, and most are excellent. Behind Le Grand Jardin, is a favourite of mine. La Farigoule is a family run restaurant, where the welcoming owner Agnés has designed the prettiest courtyard garden to sit in. The attentive staff make you feel special from the moment you arrive. Not a very different price from Strada or one of our UK chains, but a world apart in flavour and atmosphere.

Walk around the winding streets, art galleries, shady squares, and ancient fountains, with many wonderful locations for a photo opportunity. Visit Foundation Maeght, which has a large collection of paintings, sculptures, and drawings, inside and amongst the gardens.

WHERE TO GO

Finally Nice itself, the unofficial capitol of the French Riviera, with its old, winding streets, where the real Niçois hang out. Hosting one of the south’s finest flower markets, situated on the Cours Saleya every morning, except on Monday’s when there is an amazing and eclectic broncante market.

The Chapelle du Rosaire is a short walk just out of the main town, conceived by Henri Matisse as a sacred art monument. Matisse worked on it from 1948 until 1951, designing every detail from the architecture to the furniture and all the decoration details, consisting of stain glass windows, ceramics, cult objects and ornaments A short drive brings you to the famous St Paul de Vence, which has long been known as a village of artists, sculptors and actors. It boasts the legendary hotel and restaurant ‘La Colombre d’Or’, where Picasso, Gauguin, Matisse, Miro, and other artists used to leave a painting in exchange for food, during the heady days of the 50’s. You do need to book a table well in advance here. Opposite, take a coffee and watch the locals playing boules on the Place du Jeu de Boules. You can even join in!

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One of the oldest medieval villages on the French Riviera, it boasts charming streets, filled with boutiques, contemporary art museums and galleries, and the cemetery where Marc Chagall’s tomb can be found at plot 152.

FURTHER AFIELD If you are staying longer than a weekend, head out west to Antibes-Juan les Pins, one of the most well-known resorts on the Côte d’Azur, with it’s wonderful provençal morning market, a long sandy beach, and some fabulous shops, just off the Bord de Mer.

Turn east instead, and spend the day wandering around Monaco, typically known as a playground for the ultra-rich. Visit the Prince’s Palace, the official residence of their Serene Highnesses Prince Albert and Princess Charlene, the Monaco Aquarium, or stroll along one of the best ports in the world to acquire some serious yacht envy. Most places are reachable within 30-45 minutes, depending on the time of year. It truly is a place DM that offers something for everyone! Article compiled by Janie Arnold our local expat. Darling editor’s favourite places... 3* Hotel: hotel-diana.fr Call 0033 4 93 582856 5* Hotel: chateau-st martin.com Call 0033 4 93 580202 Restaurant: lafarigoule-vence.fr Call 0033 4 93 580127 Hair Salon: suzishen.com Call 0033 4 93 581268 Beauty & Nails: Call 0033 4 93 582532

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short story

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FAMOUS Last Words by Michael Joyce

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fter retirement I travelled around France a great deal, finally settling in a small town just north of Nice in the South of France. It was a town I remembered from previous holidays, with its markets, fountains, and a warm welcome to foreigners. It seemed ideal. Known as the City of Arts, Vence attracted artists both famous and struggling, and had a very active ‘cafe life’ in its many restaurants. I soon settled in to a regular routine, and made friends for lunch at a restaurant in the old town. Under the watchful eye of the Virgin Mary looking down at us from the wall of the cathedral, we drank and talked, and met a wide range of interesting people. One day in particular stands out in my mind, as our table teemed with personalities. There was Jim, a sculptor whose sculpture ‘La Vencoise’ still stands four meters high in the centre of the village square. Then came Paul, who was the Mayor of Seattle, and who was so fond of Vence that he spent his holidays there. Paul was discussing budgets with the Mayor of Vence, who was sharing our table, and they were laughing at the vast difference in the figures. Next was Charlie, the Duke of St Albans, and finally a New York taxi driver whose name I still don’t know. He was a wine snob, and carried his wine everywhere in a little bag. So the conversation went like this, “What’s that crap you’re drinking? For a few moments there was silence all round at this sudden attack.

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Charlie broke the silence. “It’s a little local wine, very clear, very fresh, and ideal for drinking in this climate. Plus, if it’s not cold enough you can pop in an ice cube, because you see it’s for drinking, not tasting” “It’s crap”, the taxi driver was monosyllabic, and he reached into his bag and produced a vintage red burgundy. “No! no! no!” said Charlie, “Far too rich and heavy for this weather, besides it won’t go with my salad”. There followed a rather garbled discussion on the merits of different wines. “Why don’t you get acquainted with the local wines, the Bandols, the Cassis and the Cotes de Provence”, said Charlie. The taxi driver was becoming more and more agitated at this affront, after all this was his hobby. Finally, his exasperation erupted, “What do you do anyway?” he said. “Do?” Charlie looked baffled, he thought for a moment, then replied, “Well actually I am the Queen’s Falconer, I don’t get paid much, just a shilling a year, but that’s what I do”. The table went quiet again, then the subject changed to food, but I said to myself that I would always remember that lunch. Sadly, Paul and Charlie have since died. However, the taxi driver surfaced again in another restaurant, and was heard asking the Patronne “I hope you don’t mind, I’ve brought my own wine”, to which Georgette replied “Why didn’t you bring your own food!”. DM

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