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AWARD WINNING GIN FROM THE SILENT POOL IN SURREY Open seven days a week, from 10:00am to 4:00pm. For details and to order online, visit the website.


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December 2015/January 2016

Seasonal spirit For some, Christmas isn’t quite the spiritual time of year it could be. Perhaps this year above others after negotiating Black Friday, Cyber Monday and everything in between that retailers throw at us we can pause before the Boxing Day deluge. A chance to catch breath and think of some of the momentous events of this year. The Olympic Spirit sculpture, sited in the athletes’ village, was essence’s featured artist Anna Chromy’s commission for London 2012. Anna uses the spirit of humanity as inspiration: she also sculpted the magnificent Cloak of Conscience using marble from Michelangelo’s quarry. This ‘chapel’ is the largest sculpture ever created and provides a spiritual refuge for meditation and reflection. In keeping with the time of year, the essence team has sought out the top ten Christmas markets, takes a look at a real prancer in the shape of Ferrari’s new Spider sports car and showcases innovative fashion from designer Claire Andrews. Also, at this family orientated time of year, we recommend reading Julie Man of Mundays’ article on parent’s financial support of their children. For readers in need of something strong and special, then turn to the fascinating article on the unique Silent Pool gin. Finally, essence features the best of a variety of activities for the coming festive months as we highlight food and events to enjoy, and there’re plenty of competitions to enter too. Season’s greetings and Happy New Year. The essence team Amira and her children by Ivor Prickett. Fourth prize winner in the 2015 Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize competition currently being exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery. The image depicts a displaced Iraqi family who fled their village near Mosul after Isis took control of the area. © Ivor Prickett/UNHCR/Panos Pictures

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Time to forget skiing as the most magical travel experience can be found partaking in a winter trip to one of Europe’s top Christmas markets. Hanna Lindon looks at the best places to buy the bratwurst this festive season, home and abroad. Image credit: visitBerlin, Wolfgang Scholvien

Happy Pupil of Budaka by Mark Chivers


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British drivers love convertibles and it’s predicted that over half the sales of Ferrari’s 488 GTB will be of the Spider drop-top variety. Euan Johns examines the latest prancer from Ferrari’s pedigree stable.

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Photography Local photographer Teena Taylor made the shortlist from thousands of entrants worldwide for her image of ‘Norma’ in this year’s prestigious Taylor Wessing photographic competition on display at the National Portrait Gallery.


Artisan food Shirlee Posner of Eat Surrey discovers the delights of Silent Pool, an astonishingly good gin from a true master of potions on the Albury Estate.

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Contents December 2015/January 2016



Claire Andrew’s autumn/winter collection is true to form showcasing her signature style and proven design principles. Claire succeeds in combining different materials with a relaxed tailoring style to produce a distinctive look.

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Crates Local Produce chooses current seasonal offerings, including red cabbage, blue cheese, lobster and sparkling wine, together with recipes to enjoy.

Restaurant review

Louise Alexander-O’Loughlin takes a box seat at Michelin-starred Galvin at Windows Restaurant and Bar for an evening demonstrating why it is one of the most talked about restaurants in London.


Julie Man, partner and Head of the Private Wealth Department at Mundays LLP, considers the legal implications that can arise when parents help their children financially.


Simon Lewis considers those that are at risk of losing some Christmas cheer; at least if they took the time to weigh up the financial dynamics of forthcoming changes to any buy to let investment.

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Michael Connolly, headmaster at Cranmore School, considers the importance of children’s well-being at school.

Leisure breaks

Rebecca Underwood goes cruising and enjoys a Caribbean dream aboard Holland America’s Ms Oosterdam.


Linda Seward’s detailed diary of the best of what’s on in theatre, music, exhibitions, arts, sports and countryside over the festive season.

Property development

Nick Swindells of MRM Solutions explains the importance of proper project management for any planned construction project.


A beautiful bedroom, custom designed to meet exact personal requirements, is high on many a wish list. Jenny Allan from JCA Interiors explains why bespoke is best.

8 Art

Anna Chromy was the renowned artist commissioned by Lord Moynihan to produce the three athletes’ sculpture, Olympic Spirit, for the 2012 London Olympics. She recently became the first western artist to have a solo exhibition at the National Museum in Beijing.

essence team Acting Editor: Andrew Guilor Contributing Editor: Louise Alexander-O’Loughlin Publishing Manager: Rebecca Peters Production Manager: Linda Seward Designer: Sharon Smith Senior Designer: Jason Mayes, telephone: 01932 988677, email: editor@essence-magazine.co.uk Advertising Manager: Andrew Peters, telephone: 07980 956488, email: marketing@essence-magazine.co.uk Advertising Sales: telephone: 01932 988677 email: marketing@essence-magazine.co.uk Advertising Sales Executive: Nadine Schioldan, email: nadine@essence-magazine.co.uk Contributors: Hanna Lindon, Michael Connolly, Rebecca Underwood, Julie Man, Simon Lewis, PJ Aldred, Jennifer Sutton, Naomi Diamond, Euan Johns, Nick Swindells, Louise Alexander-O’Loughlin, Shirlee Posner

essence magazine Maple Publishing Limited, the publishers, authors and printers cannot accept liability for errors or omissions. Any artwork will be at owner’s risk. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the copyright holder and publisher, application for which should be made in writing to the publisher. The opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher. essence is posted by Royal Mail to key addresses in Cobham, Oxshott, Esher, Weybridge, Guildford and outlying areas. Properties in all the major private estates, including St George’s Hill, the Crown Estate and Wentworth Estate, receive the magazine 10 times per year. essence is also distributed to selected estate agents and is available at city businesses, London hotels and Heathrow airport lounges.

DECEMBER/JANUARY COVER Europe’s oldest Christmas market, Strasbourg.

Design and production www.domino4.co.uk

© Ifeelstock | Dreamstime.com - The Oldest Christmas Market In Europe - Strasbourg, Alsace, Fran Photo

© Maple Publishing 2015

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Divine inspiration


essence art

West meets

east Images Š Anna Chromy

Cloak of Conscience

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As a consequence of China’s greater global awareness, it’s increasingly turned its cultural gaze in a western direction. Anna Chromy is the renowned artist commissioned by Lord Moynihan to produce the three athletes’ sculpture, Olympic Spirit, for the 2012 London Olympics. In October she became the first western artist to have a solo exhibition at the National Museum in Beijing. essence discovers more about this iconic artist.


nna Chromy has no fewer than 60 sculptures standing in public places throughout Europe, more than any other artist. Now it’s the Chinese who have fallen in love with her work, honouring her with an exhibition at the prestigious National Museum which fronts Tiananmen Square. The groundbreaking Chromy Exhibition in Beijing featured 15 of her large sculptures, 20 small sculptures and 30 drawings. Visitor numbers ran at more than 1,500 a day, amongst which were leading Chinese art curators and VIPs who were full of praise for her works. This compliment follows from a previous visit where Anna was guest of honour at the Guangzhou Arts Fair in 2005. Her sculpture, the Violinist Player, was displayed on all official announcements, posters and programmes. Anna explains her inspiration: “My work starts with respect for the classical sculpture of Greece and Rome, as well as that of Michelangelo and Bernini. The spirit of humanity and our relationship to nature that is central to their work is what drives my own creative process. So it was with interest and fascination that I saw the same principles embodied in Chinese art as I began to understand it. This has encouraged my belief in my artistic mission and has made me so grateful and humble to be acknowledged in China by this distinctive honour of a solo exhibition at the National Museum of China. I hope with all my heart that my work will in some way help to build cultural bridges between east and west. That would be the most wonderful legacy.” > Olympic Spirit

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essence art All images © Anna Chromy




“During my time as co-ordinator for the construction of the Beijing Olympics 2008 buildings and the Centre for the Performing Arts, I was in charge of the sculpture programme as well. In all these years, I have not come across works as powerful and elegant as seen now in Anna’s exhibition in the National Museum of China. Ten years earlier and the City of Beijing would be full of her works. I deeply regret that I have only met Anna Chromy now.” Wan Siquian, former deputy mayor of Beijing, responsible for the construction of the Olympic Facilities and the National Grand Theatre 10 www.essence-magazine.co.uk

“For scholars of the art of Renaissance, like me, Anna’s surrealism has deep roots and complex cultural motivations... I have never been able to gaze at her sculptures without thinking that technical perfection and accomplished craftsmanship are a sort of religion for our refined sculptress.” Antonio Paolucci, director of the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel, former Italian Minister of Culture and Sopraintendente of the Florence Museum


Her artistic awards are numerous and include the Prize Salvador Dali, Kafka and Masaryk University, and the much-coveted Premio Michelangelo – awarded to a woman for the first time in 2008. She is best known in the UK for the Olympic Village sculpture thought by many athletes to be lucky and much touched (and climbed upon by Australian champion diver Matthew Mitcham). During the 2012 London games, the sculpture stood in front of the Team GB accommodation. Today one can criss-cross Europe and never be far from an Anna Chromy sculpture – she has more sculpture on public display than any other living artist. They range from Farnham in Surrey to Luxembourg, Stuttgart, Prague, Salzburg, Munich, Monaco, Milan, Menton, Pisa, Florence and Bologna and for two months in 2005 her works dominated the Place Vendôme in Paris. In Portofino, Italy, Anna’s ‘Dancer’ graces the famous yacht harbour and in Pisa the ‘Myth of Sisyphus’ stands as the symbol of the University. As a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Paris Anna met Salvador Dali and recalls: “One day our class was invited to meet the Master at Hotel Meurice in order to show

our first works. There he was, sitting next to his wife Gala, my undisputed hero and example to follow in my art. When it was my turn to show a painting to the Master, he took it in his hands and disappeared for a moment into another room. When he reappeared he commented on the work with the words: “You are not a woman. This is the first time I see a woman paint like a man.” Knowing his opinion that women were lacking creativity, I took this as an enormous compliment.” Czech born, raised in Austria, studying in Paris, living in Monte Carlo and having studios in Tuscany, Anna has been described as the quintessential European. Her best known work, The Cloak of Conscience, as with her other art, reflects a conscience and deep thought about humanity and the natural flow of life. This is also displayed in her lifetime involvement with the protection of the innocent and poor. One has to wonder if the Chinese are trying to send a message to the West by honouring Anna Chromy. Maybe we too should touch her works for luck and hope that this exhibition presages a new entente cordial between East and West. l

Artist profile Anna Chromy has been showered in her long career with honours and distinctions, such as the Michelangelo Award in Tuscany and the Dali and Kafka Prizes in Prague. She was made an Honorary Fellow of the National Sculpture Academy of China in Beijing, and she has displayed her works in such prestigious places as the Place Vendôme in Paris and major museums. A painter for many years, Anna suffered a catastrophic accident in 1985 which had a profound effect on her. It sent her in an entirely new direction as she recovered, that direction being sculpture. And the move to sculpture created something monumental – the Cloak of Conscience. 
 On a special day in June 2005, at a mass for her 40th wedding anniversary, the Abbot of the Holy Monastery of Saint Francis in Assisi asked Anna if she could conceive the Cloak as a space of meditation, according to the words of Saint Francis: “to use in the absence of a consecrated space our own body as a place for prayer and contemplation.” This was the moment that launched the project that Anna had cherished since her first painting of the Cloak – to create the ‘Stone-Guest’ as a universal symbol of conscience in a dimension never attempted before. To carve this chapel into one single block of white marble, Anna had to wait for a whole year until she received on Christmas Eve 2006 the news that the famous Michelangelo quarry in the Apuan Mountains in Tuscany had finally given birth to an unblemished piece of marble weighing 250 tons.

essence info Website: www.annachromy.com

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essence photography


picture Local Surrey photographer Teena Taylor was recently selected out of nearly 5,000 submissions from over 2,200 photographers haling from 70 countries to exhibit at the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2015 exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. essence marks the achievement.


eena Taylor’s exhibited photograph at 2015’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition is entitled ‘Norma’ who was 87 at the time of the sitting and lives in Weybridge, Surrey. Teena and Norma were neighbours when the photographer asked her to sit for the portrait. Teena explained her reason for taking the photograph: “There are not enough positive images of older people; Norma is an inspiration, she is 88 years young.” Teena has entered the portrait prize competition many times, but this is the first time she has won the accolade to exhibit, having worked as a professional commercial photographer since the mid-1990s, both nationally and internationally. Portraiture is Teena’s first love, although she has been commissioned to photograph a variety of subjects with clients that have included The Saturday Times, Sunday and Saturday Independent, Sunday Mail You magazine and The British Heart Foundation. l

Norma by Teena Taylor Happy Pupil of Budaka by Mark Chivers

“A populist high point of the Gallery calendar.” The Times First Prize: Five Girls 2014 by David Stewart

Second Prize: Hector by Anoush Abrar

essence info Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2015 National Portrait Gallery St Martin’s Place, London WC2H 0HE Exhibition open until Sunday 21 February 2016, admission £4. Websites: www.npg.org.uk/photoprize and www.teenataylor.com

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Tom by Sophie Harris-Taylor

Enjoy four waymarked walks across our 1,400 acre estate and feel refreshed this winter. Members and under 5s go free. 01372 455047 nationaltrust.org.uk/polesdenlacey

Š National Trust Images/Dylan Schwarz. Registered Charity Number 205846.

winter walks Polesden Lacey

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YOUR PERFECT GETAWAY TAILOR-MADE Your Travel Specialist will tailor-make your perfect getaway, whatever the occasion; treating you to competitive prices, exclusive offers & VIP benefits at the finest hotels across the globe. Let Quintessentially Travel inspire, guide & surprise you on your travels.

Image used for purpose. Terms & Conditions apply.

To book, please contact Quintessentially Travel on +44 (0)20 7022 6560 or email info@QuintessentiallyTravel.com & quote ‘ESSENCE’.


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markets Forget skiing – the most magical travel experience to partake in this winter is a trip to one of Europe’s top Christmas markets. Hanna Lindon looks at the best places to buy your bratwurst this festive season. >

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essence travel

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www.mediaserver.hamburg.de Jörg Modrow

essence travel


1 Hamburg Almost every major town in Germany

2 Innsbruck This charming little city with its spectacular mountainous surround is the perfect setting for a romantic festive shopping trip. Innsbruck’s biggest Christmas market takes place in the Aldstadt beneath the 500-year-old Golden Roof, with dozens of stalls selling everything from gingerbread and wooden toys to ornaments made locally from hand-blown glass. The best time to visit is at dusk, when trumpeters gather on the Golden Roof to serenade crowds below with carols. For those with children in tow, visit the petting zoo at the Market Place or take the Nordkettenbahn cable car up to Hungerburg Castle where there is a small selection of tasteful,

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Osterreich Werbung, Ascher

has its own seasonal market, but Hamburg really pulls out the stops with an incredible selection of 15 separate events – and they range from the traditional to the downright bizarre. For a true taste of Yuletide, make a beeline for the City Hall Market: a large selection of stalls gathered beneath a huge illuminated tree outside the Rathaus. Winterwald on the Gerhart-HauptmannPlatz aims to bring the feel of a snowy forest into the centre of the city, while the Fleet Island market with its surrounding of canals has a quirky, maritime air. For something a little more racy, then try the X-rated Santa Pauli market in Hamburg’s red light district: an eccentric, adults-only take on the festive theme. For families, the Fairytale Ships on the Inner Alster will keep children entertained with everything from Christmas biscuit baking classes to theatrical performances.

fairylight-garlanded stalls. Keen to escape the crowds? One of the world’s most magical Christmas markets takes place high in the Alps against the backdrop of Lake Millstatt, a few hour’s drive from Innsbruck, with a handful of pretty stalls and mulled wine served around open fires.

3 Amsterdam The Amsterdam Light Festival provides the perfect foil for this historic city’s eclectic selection of seasonal markets. Starting on 28 November and running all the way through to January 17, the Festival sees the streets illuminated by spectacular sculptures and light displays contributed by international

artists. Amsterdam also hosts an incredible total of 26 Christmas markets every year, making it one of the best places in Europe to gift shop. Get a fix of locally produced organic produce at Beatrixpark’s Pure Winter Market, browse the best in Dutch craft and design at the famous Funky Christmas Market, or take a short train ride to the postcard-ready city of Haarlem to see nineteenth-century charm channeled at the Dickens Christmas Market. Another gem within day trip distance is the market at Valkenburg Castle in the south of the Netherlands, where stallholders ply their wares in a beautifully lit underground cave.


4 Strasbourg Sometimes billed as the oldest Christmas market in Europe, the Strasbourg Christkindelsmärik can trace its origins all the way back to 1570. It consistently wins the ‘Best Christmas Market in Europe’ title thanks to its fabulously authentic feel – think traditional decorations, twinkling fairylights and stalls selling spiced bread, caramelised apples and mulled wine set against a charming backdrop of halftimbered houses and winding streets. The sprawling market is divided into 11 different ‘villages’ in individual locations across the old town, each with its own line-up of bands, street parades and light shows. If travellers take just one thing home from the Christkindelsmärik, then make it a selection of ‘bredele’: a locally famous

biscuit flavoured with orange, cinnamon, hazelnut or coconut made for hanging on the Christmas tree.

5 Rovaniemi Recognised in 2010 as the ‘Official Hometown of Santa Claus’, the Finnish city of Rovaniemi delivers at once one of the most kitsch and most charming festive experiences in Europe. Its main attraction is the Santa Claus Village, which attracts eager families throughout the winter season with its ice sculptures, igloo hotels, reindeer rides and, of course, its resident Father Christmas. Gift shopping is available at the wide selection of boutiques and stalls, from Santa’s Swarovski Topshop with the largest collection of Swarovski crystal in Finland, to the locally-made handicrafts and Lappish foods on offer at the Christmas House. Rovaniemi might not have the traditional feel associated with some older market towns, but one thing’s for sure, children are guaranteed to love it.

6 London Don’t fancy flying? The festive spirit

VisitBritain/Simon Winnall

can be channelled closer to home at one of London’s Christmas markets. For traditional charm, head for the Southbank Centre Winter Festival, where picturesque wooden stalls sell artisan food and crafts against the

backdrop of the fairy-lit Thames. Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is the biggest, brashest and busiest of London’s markets, with a giant ice rink and two circuses, as well as an observation wheel, themed bars for adult revellers and, of course, plenty of gift stalls. For something a little more alternative, visit the Cockpit Arts Christmas Open Studios. With over 170 designers lining up to sell everything from furniture and lighting to fashion accessories and tree decorations, plenty of stocking fillers can be found here.

7 Vienna The Austrian capital is at its most charming in December, with glittering light displays adorning the historic centre and a liberal sprinkling of snow on the rooftops. The main Christmas market – a bustling collection of 150 stalls – takes place in the Rathausplatz, but there are smaller, classier markets scattered throughout the city. Visit the Altwiener Christkindlmarkt at the Freyung to browse homemade wares from a collection of talented local artists, introduce the children to Alpine curling at the Christmas village in the Old AKH, admire the romantic backdrop at the Schonbrunn Palace market, or take a ride around the Rathauspark on the Christkindl Express. Don’t miss out on the chance to try a glass of the local Punsch and a spicy Viennese Christmas cookie. >

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essence travel

Lloyd Smith

8 Prague Home of the original good king Wenceslas (actually a duke and now the patron saint of the Czech state), Prague really knows how to celebrate Christmas in style. The highlights of the festive season are undoubtedly the markets in Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, but forget chestnuts and mulled wine – popular Czech seasonal delicacies include carp, honey liqueur and grog. From the brightly decorated wooden stalls, buy a selection of locally-made gifts and souvenirs, with

embroidered lace, glassware, ceramics and traditionally dressed dolls and puppets all on offer.

9 Edinburgh Christmas in Edinburgh is a spectacular affair, with over 100 stallholders from across northern Europe packed into Princes Street Gardens and the Mound Precinct alongside a brightly-lit Big Wheel, an ice rink below the Scott Monument and a magical ‘Santa Land’ with a train, Christmas Tree Maze and of course a grotto where children can

meet the man in red himself. This year, singer Susan Boyle is set to switch on the city’s Christmas lights on 22 November at a free event on George Street, where around 1,300 local performers will entertain crowds of over 20,000. Other winter highlights include a programme of circus, comedy and cabaret in the Paradiso Spiegeltent, St Andrew’s Day celebrations on 29 November with performances from a fabulous line-up of bands, and an architectural installation of more than 60,000 lights stretching along the Royal Mile. Festive celebrations are quickly followed by Hogmanay, with three days of partying, live music and fireworks taking place between 30 December and 1 January.

10 Berlin Few cities can rival Berlin when it

visitBerlin, Wolfgang Scholvien

comes to sheer festive variety – the city has 60 Christmas markets, with around two million visitors each year attending the main event at Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche alone. There are plenty of more eclectic markets to enjoy as well, such as the rooftop Klunkerkranich Weihnachtsmarkt with spectacular views across Berlin; the Winter World on Potsdamer Platz complete with a toboggan run, outdoor skating rink and curling; and the ‘Feuerzangenbowle’ at Nikolaiviertel, which wows the crowds with a free open-air cinema and the best festive punch in the city. l

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The estate’s 35 acre vineyard has produced two award winning vintage sparkling wines. Long cool summers provide the perfect growing conditions for the Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier vines. In 2004 a Champagne House tried to purchase some of the south-facing escarpment after research found similarities with that of the Cote des Blancs region of Champagne. We are one of the last vineyards in Europe to harvest, the wine only truly expressing itself after 30 months of lees aging, giving time for the elegant nuances to develop.

essence motoring


seductive trap Britain loves its convertibles and this is demonstrated by the prediction that over half the sales of Ferrari’s 488 GTB will be of the Spider drop-top variety. Euan Johns examines the latest prancer from Ferrari’s pedigree stable and isn’t disappointed.

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o forty years on from the unveiling of its first ever mid-rear-engined V8 model, the 308 GTB, the Prancing Horse recently opened a new chapter in its eight-cylinder history. The Ferrari 488 GTB provides track-level performance that can be enjoyed to the full by non-professional drivers for everyday use. Response times, nimbleness and on-the-limit driving guarantee a unique sense of exhilaration and satisfaction. Apart from all the necessary stuff it looks pretty good too. The recent launch of the 488 Spider open top marked the appearance of Ferrari’s most powerful mid-rear-engined V8 car ever to feature the marque’s patented retractable hard top. Much the same as that of the 458, it essentially peels off and backflips into a small storage area set at the rear of the vehicle, all in 14 seconds. Despite the huge windbreak, it can be retracted whilst travelling up to speeds of 30mph. Ferrari was the first manufacturer to introduce the retractable hard top (RHT) on a car of this particular architecture, thus ensuring a lower weight and refined passenger comfort compared to the classic fabric soft top. As with previous Spider versions of Ferrari models, this is a car aimed fair and square at those seeking open-air motoring in a high-performance sports car with that signature engine sound. Along with the high level of technological innovation and stunning design, it all adds up to quite a package for the (sizeable) plus £200k price tag. >

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essence motoring Mechanically the Spider is pretty much identical to its coupé stablemate, but costs £20k more. Is it worth it – bearing in mind the summer we have just experienced? Well yes, it fits into the barnstorming sports car or refined cruiser modes effortlessly and just about anything in between. It’s also just as sizeable as the coupé and frankly the drop top adds another layer of enjoyment all round. Seating is pretty much perfect

with the car’s bodywork wrapped around occupants cocoon like, all allowing the ideal exposure to the elements whether windows are up or down in any of their three positions. The 488 follows in the very capable footsteps of the 458 and retains many of its characteristics. In the cabin, the sleek driver-orientated dash remains in situ pinning the gaze to an oversized rev counter.

Volume and clarity increase as the revs rise, all reinforcing the sensation of truly massive performance. essence info Website www.ferrari.com

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Every area of the Spider has been designed to set new technological benchmarks. The car doesn’t use a carbon fibre frame: instead the aluminium space frame chassis is reinforced at either end. It employs reworked aluminium alloys to help save weight, but it’s still 50kg heavier than the GTB version. And the engine? It can certainly be said that the turbo V8 has a unique character, delivering increasing power across the rev range. The result is due to its components and a sophisticated production process, in turn resulting from Maranello’s leading-edge facilities. These facilities are shared with the Scuderia that foster the transfer of racing technology to road cars. This all translates into a very fast car, and where the 458 was nimble and responsive, this car is openly rapid and shoots forward with the sluice gate of power produced from turbos reaching anti social speeds very quickly indeed. In line with Ferrari’s tradition, the 488 has its own absolutely distinctive soundtrack created using solutions such as exhaust headers with longer, equal-length piping and enhanced by an in-depth study of harmonics and tonality at different engine speeds. It’s certainly seductive, broken glass sharp, but never invasive with the top down. Volume and clarity increase as the revs rise, all reinforcing the sensation of truly massive performance.

In the design process a sophisticated simulator was employed, similar to the one used by the Formula 1 Scuderia, again borrowing racing car expertise. That introduced the human factor from the earliest stages, providing engineers with instant feedback from test drivers to influence the car’s design long before the first 488 prototype was ever built. Overall, response times are far more rapid than in the previous Spider, without any compromise whatsoever in comfort. Car design is adapted to meet the typical demands of open-top driving. Its behaviour is sublime and control is effortless, even on the most challenging routes. In fact it’s remarkably easy to drive on the limit owing to some flawless handling characteristics. Ferrari refers to its Spider devotees as ‘open air hedonists’, which perhaps gives a slightly wrong impression. If they mean revelling in the sumptuous, seductive sounds of the 3.9 V8 lump of an engine, then I’m with them there. This is a car that fits easily into the super sports car model. l

© Valua Vitaly and Beata Becla | Dreamstime.com

essence health competition

essence opera competition

Win a three month membership, including a spa day, to The Weybridge Health Club & Spa!


chance to win a three month membership to this friendly health club and spa set in thirty acres of Surrey countryside. Included is a spa day for two complete with a thirty minute massage or treatment of choice, full use of facilities, robe and towel hire for the day – a total prize package of over £300! To enter simply visit www.essence-magazine.co.uk and answer the following question:

Where is Weybridge Health Club & Spa? a. Wellingborough b. Worthing c. Weybridge Closing date: 31 December 2015. Terms and conditions apply. Subject to availability. Prize is as stated and cannot be transferred or exchanged.

‘Love yourself’

this winter with The Weybridge Health Club & Spa, in association with Up&Go and Not Just Gym Also on offer from Weybridge Health Club & Spa via its website is a six month package of bespoke health and wellbeing support worth over £3,500, to help one individual get fitter, improve their health and to feel great on the inside and out. See the link at www.essence-magazine.co.uk for further details. Nominations must be received before 11 January 2016.

essence info The Weybridge Health Club & Spa Walton Lane, Weybridge, Surrey KT13 8QA Telephone: 01932 237770 Website: theweybridgeclub.com

Win of tic a pair see Mkets to Butteadam rfly Music by Giacomo Puccini • Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa • Sung in Italian with English Surtitles


he Russian State Opera’s Madam Butterfly is one of the most colourful and exotic operas featuring an impressive cast and accompanied by a large live orchestra with over 30 musicians. It tells the story of a doomed love affair between an American naval officer and his young Japanese bride, whose self-sacrifice and defiance of her family leads to heartbreak and tragedy. This touching story of innocent love crushed amidst two utterly different cultures resonates as strongly as ever in today’s world.

To win a pair of tickets for a performance at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre or Dorking Halls, simply visit www.essence-magazine.co.uk and answer the following: What is the story of Madam Butterfly about? a. A baseball game b. Sumo wrestlers c. A doomed love affair Closing date: 31 December 2015. Prize is valid for any performance at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre on Monday 1 or Tuesday 2 February, or at the Dorking Halls on Saturday 5 March. Please specify date preference when entering the competition.

essence info For more information visit www.amande-concerts.co.uk Madam Butterfly will be at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford from Monday 1 to Tuesday 2 February (telephone: 01483 440000) and at the Dorking Halls on Saturday 5 March (telephone 01306 881717). Terms and conditions apply. Subject to availability. Prize is as stated and cannot be transferred or exchanged.

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essence fashion

Autumn colours High neck dress £929

Claire Andrew’s autumn/winter collection is true to form showcasing her signature style and proven design principles. Claire’s innovation again succeeds in combining a variety of different materials with a relaxed tailoring style to produce a modern and distinctive look.

Chunky knit grey top £419

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Chainmail knit top £389

Taupe knit top with monochrome detail £429

Print trouser £629


laire Andrew is a young fashion designer who initially began her career working for global brands. She graduated from the London College of Fashion in 2011 with a first class degree and soon established her own luxury womenswear label. February 2012 saw Claire’s first show during London Fashion Week where she gained worldwide press attention, with her clothing described as feminine, luxurious, minimal, delicate and individual. The label’s ongoing aim is to create beautiful pieces that feel luxurious to wear whatever the occasion through combining innovative knitwear, print and relaxed tailoring to give a modern feminine look. l

essence info Website: www.claireandrew.co.uk

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essence fashion

Visionary style Yane Mode by

The new Yane Mode collection emphasises the rich textures and high reflection of the materials used. Luminous elements create an artistic surface and pattern enhancing the elegant cut and signature classy look of the brand. essence info Website: www.yanemode.com Photography: Tim VanBergen Photography Model: Elizabeth Walls Art direction: DecoArtpiece

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essence fashion competition

Surrey boasts many claims to fame – including being the home of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and birthplace of supermodel Kate Moss. However, did you know that nestled by the beautiful River Wandle is Surrey’s premier luxury shoe designer, Aruna Seth?


Win a pair of luxury Aruna Blu designer sandals!

runa has been making stunning women’s shoes for all occasions for over seven years. Celebrities including Pippa Middleton, Katherine Heigl, Kate Hudson, Goldie Hawn, Nelly Furtado and Katherine Jenkins have all been seen wearing Aruna’s footwear. Aruna is now offering essence readers the chance to win some Aruna Blu sandals in their desired colour, style and size. To enter: firstly tell Aruna why you love living in Surrey by following them on Twitter AS@arunablu and secondly visit www.essence-magazine.co.uk to answer the following question: Where is Aruna Seth based: a) the river wandle b) the river thames c) the river taff You will have to complete both tasks for your entry to be considered. There is a choice of four different styles to win they are: Amy Toe Post, Monica Slide, Kelly and Blufly Toe Post. Colours include Metallic Pewter, Fuchsia, Tiffany and Electric Blue, Nude and Black. Closing date: 31 January 2016. Terms and conditions apply. Subject to availability. Prize is as stated and cannot be transferred or exchanged. l

essence info Website: www.arunablu.com (www.arunaseth.com) Twitter: AS@arunablu Instagram: arunabluofficial Pinterest: Aruna Blu Facebook: Aruna Blu

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essence health

Party perfect W

ith Christmas and New Year looming, it’s time to be radiant and add a little sparkle to the step. Start by planning ahead. Many treatments can help us look our best by smoothing out uneven texture and tone, dealing with problematic skin and plumping fine lines and wrinkles, but they may need time to offer the best results, and choosing the right one is very important. With summer out of the way, for some it is hard to keep active. Remember, being good to our inside will also help maintain the outside! Exercise is important for health, body and mind: keeping active boosts metabolism, encourages circulation, stimulates the immune system and aids sleep. Avoid hot showers or baths as these can break down the skin’s natural barrier allowing dryness to wreak havoc. Use a dry body brush every other day and an anti cellulite cream to help stimulate and smooth over fatty deposits. Alternatively Accent is a radio frequency treatment that targets water molecules and introduces heat, targeting different levels. It allows for the improvement of skin elasticity and firming but also smoothes and shapes specific areas. At this time of year, minimise exfoliating to once a week for both face and body. For a polished look with a warm glow, try a Microdermabrasion to help smooth the skin surface and bring fresh nutrients to the skin by promoting circulation: feel invigorated and revived while imperfections and blemishes clear away. Follow this with a nourishing mask to leave skin velvety and dewy. I have discussed the Clinics’ Enerpeels in previous articles and how innovative the treatment in its delivery to the skin. The encapsulated acid travels through until it hits water content before releasing.

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The newest treatments allow us to create bespoke peeling for individual clients. Layering different Enerpeels, one on top of the other, means we can treat different conditions, for example Acne Rosacea, by calming the Rosacea, sensitivity and redness whilst slowing down over production of oil and clearing away spots. All this is done with minimal irritation to the skin surface and little peeling is involved, revealing a fresh complexion that is party ready! Who would like a boost in their skin’s volume and hydration? Dermal Fillers are popular at the Clinics all year round, however, particularly so at this seasonal time. Gone are the days of the trout pout; Epsom Clinics’ specially trained doctor and nurse injectors give skin a helping hand to look its best with a soft and subtle approach that is aesthetically pleasing. Clients love the results. To be fully party prepared, a primer will quench the skin, allow make up to be more easily applied and hold it in place. It will help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and open pores whilst making skin luminous. We recommend Jane Iredale’s Smooth Affair as it contains extract of apple, grapefruit and green tea, which are antioxidants, to maintain skin elasticity. The latest make up technique is called strobing. It allows the face to appear more youthful and dewy by highlighting certain areas, selecting highlighters carefully according to skin tone. Fair skin should use champagne tones, olive skins golden tones and dark skin should look for terracotta or bronze tones. Keep other face powders matte and allow the highlighter to let the skin shimmer. Emphasise brow bones, temples, cheekbones, nose and Cupid’s bow. Don’t forget to finish with a hydrating setting spray for extra hold and hydration! l

© Valua Vitaly and Beata Becla | Dreamstime.com

Naomi Diamond of Epsom Skin Clinics offers advice on how to look fabulous throughout the party season.

Special offer Epsom Skin Clinics are offering 30% off any Enerpeel treatment for essence readers. Offer ends 31.12.15.

essence info Epsom Skin Clinics Website: www.epsomskinclinics.com Telephone: 01372 737280 (Epsom) or 020 8399 5996 (Surbiton)

© Valua Vitaly and Beata Becla | Dreamstime.com

essence therapy

Vitamin therapy lounge For health addicts, juice bars are passé. The latest way to get a vitamin shot is intravenously. essence finds out more about a new ‘pick me up’ phenomenon favoured by worn out A-listers and the Hollywood elite which has arrived in Guildford...


or anyone feeling tired, run-down, or in desperate need of an instant boost, help is on hand. IV vitamin infusions and B complex vitamin shots, administered by a professional nurse are now available at the Nosh Infusion Clinic, Guildford. The clinic (booking is essential), was recently opened by Guildford born and bred Charlie Ayling (pictured). After having a vitamin infusion at Nosh’s Infusion Clinic in London, she was so impressed that she decided to set up her own franchise. The vitamin therapy is proving a hit with stressed out professionals, busy mums and health addicts alike, all looking to get a boost of ‘joie de vivre’. Comments Charlie: “Vitamin infusions offer the fastest and most efficient delivery mechanism directly into the blood stream. Intravenous nutrition is a method of feeding vitamins, minerals and other natural substances directly into the bloodstream. Bypassing the digestive system means that far higher levels of absorption are achieved and an immediate therapeutic response can be seen as nutrient deficiencies are corrected within minutes.” The nutrient-packed infusions have been formulated by Nosh Founder, Geeta SidhuRobb, loved by A-listers including Gwyneth Paltrow and Georgia May Jagger. Geeta has combined her knowledge on nutrition and worked with an experienced Harley

Street medical team, to provide a unique combination of vitamins, trace minerals and anti-oxidants. These are carefully tailored to correct imbalances, increase energy levels and assist the body to face up to modern lifestyles. A selection of the range on offer includes:

Fitamin £199 This vitamin infusion provides a cocktail of vitamins and minerals and antioxidants to help support and strengthen the immune system. An ideal solution if you’re surrounded by illness, and can’t afford the time to be caught by a cold! l Restores hydration l Replenishes essential minerals and vitamins l Boosts immune system l Delivers an energy boost l Detoxifies the body l Cleanses vital organs

Baby face – anti-aging infusion £199 Packed with vitamin C, B complex, collagen and high doses of the master anti-oxidant glutathione, this rejuvenating infusion offers benefits that are visible to skin, energy and your sleep. It prevents and reverses the effects of free radicals and other toxins that damage tissues, which can result in unsightly appearances and wrinkles.

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) infusion £157 Vitamin C is used most often for preventing and treating the common cold, but it has so

many other uses to counter infections such as gum disease, acne and other skin infections, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease, ulcers caused by bacteria, prostrate and bladder infections. Some people use vitamin C for depression, physical and mental stress, fatigue, and ADHD. You can take vitamin C in so many ways but it’s not a highly stable product so you need to ensure its freshness to get the maximum benefits. This is why drips are thought to work so well for vitamin C levels in the body. IV treatments last approximately 35–45 minutes.

Vitamin B complex shot £89 Referred to as vitamin B complex, maximizes energy and fitness. The eight B vitamins – B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12 – play an important role in keeping our bodies running like well-oiled machines. The benefits of B vitamins include; contributing to normal mental performance (B5), normal function of the heart (B1), and the normal function of the immune system (B12), whilst also helping to reduce tiredness and fatigue (B6). Other benefits include a contribution to the maintenance of beautiful skin (B3 and B7) and hair (B7). Our booster shots only take five minutes so are perfect for walking in and walking out balanced. l

essence info To book: Website: www.noshinfusionclinic.com Email: guildford@noshinfusionclinic.com Telephone: 07919 497116

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essence food

At their best...


Seasonal and local food offers taste, health and even economic benefits. Crates Local Produce highlights the amazing seasonal produce available from our region.

rates Local Produce is located centrally within the historic market town of Horsham and bursts with fresh, seasonal food sourced directly from local producers. For more details see www.crateslocal.co.uk. Follow on Twitter @crateslocal or Facebook page Crates Local.


Red cabbage

Lobster Another favourite for Christmas, this seafood option is a real treat, often taking centre stage on the table with its bright orange shell. Surprisingly, lobster was considered fit as fertiliser and only eaten by servants, the poor or prisoners in North America. Today, ironically, lobster is often requested as a last meal by those on death row. Once the canning of food was embraced and America built its railways, lobster started to gain status as a preserved meat. Lobster also became popular with New England tourists and, by World War II, was considered a delicacy. On its own or in a bisque, lobster has a lovely flavour and meaty texture. It improves even more when mixed with other, more tasty shellfish such as crab or prawns. It becomes a truly delicious dish when butter is added: the two are perfect partners and lobster is wonderful cooked in clarified butter or just dipped in melted butter with a touch of garlic or lemon. Like most other seafood, choose fresh and local from a fishmonger rather than more bland shipped and frozen options. Image Š Bert Folsom | Dreamstime.com

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Of course a variety of brassica, but the red cabbage has much more to offer than its very close cabbage relatives. With double the amount of iron and much more vitamin A than the green of white cabbages, this coloured vegetable packs a punch. A traditional accompaniment for Christmas dinner, red cabbage is also widely used raw in salads and is a perfect candidate for pickling. Also known in other areas of the world as purple cabbage, red or blue kraut, the red colour is more defined when grown in acidic soils with cabbages more purple in neutral soils. All red cabbages, however, turn blue when cooked without the addition of vinegar or other acidic additive. Due to these properties, red cabbage juice works well as a pH indicator. The red cabbage is one of the longest lasting winter vegetables and can be stored successfully for several months in a cool place. Image Š Nipaporn Panyacharoen | Dreamstime.com

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Blue cheese Famed throughout the world, Stilton is still considered the only English blue cheese to put on the seasonal cheeseboard. However, we now produce more than 70 different blue cheeses in these Isles, many winning awards and increasing in popularity. Some even say that since many Stiltons have became more mass produced with the use of raw milk prohibited in production, there are more worthy contenders. The blue mould or ‘roqueforti’ that cheesemakers encourage in their cheese is what gives blue cheese its distinctive sharp and salty taste. More traditional blues are hard, but there are some truly amazing soft and creamy blues. Surrounded by artisan cheesemakers, a really special blue is never too far away. Look out for Oxford Blue, Norbury Blue, Brighton Blue and the British supreme champion, Barkham Blue. Image © Bjørn Hovdal | Dreamstime.com

Sparkling wine First it was the New World that started to chip away at the Champagne pedestal and, in more recent years, it is English fizz winning international awards and with very reasonable price tags. Our own South Downs are home to a large number of very fine wine makers with the chalky, sun-drenched slopes replicating the Champagne region: Sussex alone boasts over 50 vineyards. Conditions today are perfect for growing with warm, late summers and sea breezes adding acidity to the grapes. The Romans took advantage of this and brought vines to Britain, but they could not survive the cold of the later Dark Ages. For this season’s celebrations, there is local sparkling wine to suit nearly anyone in all hues including white, rosé and even red. The Bolney Estate, located just south of Horsham, is producing some particularly fine sparkling wines and its Cuvée Noir would be a real talking point to bring in the New Year. Nyetimber has been producing some award winners for years now, but another also worth looking at is Nutbourne, whose vines sit alongside Nyetimber in West Sussex. The Wiston Estate is also one to watch but, honestly, there are some great bubblies coming out of nearly all the local vineyards. Image © Marazem | Dreamstime.com

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essence food

Aromatic red cabbage and beetroot www.crateslocal.co.uk Serves four as a side Ingredients: One red cabbage Two apples, eaters Three large (raw) beetroot Two medium red onions Two glasses of red wine One cinnamon stick Two star anise 70g brown sugar 20g butter One teaspoon yeast extract Salt and pepper Method: • Thinly slice the red cabbage and onions, cut the beetroots into wedges and thickly slice the apples after coring. Mix one teaspoon of salt and black pepper into the sugar. • Using a heavy, large pan, start to layer a mix of the fruit and vegetables with a sprinkle of the sugar between each layer. • Dissolve the yeast extract in a little boiling water and combine with the wine and vinegar. Pour the liquid over the mix in the pan and break the butter into pieces to drop on top. • Cover the pan, bring to the boil and then turn down to a simmer for at least 15 minutes or more to soften further. • Serve with any roast or Christmas dinner. Great also for the leftover buffet or sandwiches.

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Hot seafood platter www.crateslocal.co.uk Serves four Ingredients: Two lobsters One kilo of preferred seafood: prawns, clams, small squids, octopus Four lemons 150g butter Two cloves garlic Small handful fresh chives Sprig fresh dill Sprig fresh thyme Small bunch fresh flat parsley Method: • If using whole octopus (rather than just tentacles), discard the ink sac, stomach and eyes under running water and cut out the hard beak at the bottom of the head. Octopus is best poached in advance (in water and a little white wine) for at least 30 minutes to ensure it is tender when grilled. Dry really well after poaching. • Prepare the lobster by breaking off the legs and claws and, with a cleaver or large knife, halve the remaining body lengthwise through the head and tail. Discard the yellow-green tomalley. • Wash the squid, scrape off the membrane and remove the innards. Dry the squid thoroughly with paper towels. If the squid has arrived as small tubes, keep whole (but score with a knife) or slice into rings if large and include any tentacles. Keep any prawns and clams whole. • Gently heat chopped garlic in a little butter. Once the garlic turns golden, add the remaining butter and fresh herbs, but retaining some of the chopped parsley aside for garnish. Once warmed through, set aside a small cup of the herb butter, but keep the remains on a low heat. • Brush the seafood with the cup of herb butter and grill (or griddle) all the seafood on high heat, starting with the lobster. Grill the lobster half on flesh side first for just a couple of minutes or until slightly charred and throw on the claws and legs also. Turn the lobster halves and brush on a little more herb butter. These sides will take just another four to five minutes or so: you can then start grilling the remaining seafood. • Once all the prawns have turned pink and the seafood shows a little charring, serve immediately with bowls of the remaining herb butter and chunky bread.

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Blue cheese brûlée www.crateslocal.co.uk Serves four as a starter Ingredients: 150g blue cheese 570ml double cream Two eggs Two shallots Pinch salt Method: • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade or gas mark 4. Butter four small ramekins and prepare a bain-marie by filling a roasting tin with enough water to reach around three quarters of the height of the ramekins. • Melt the cheese (keeping some aside for the top) in a pan gently while adding in the double cream. Ensure this does not boil. • Whisk the whole eggs, add the salt and pour into the cheese mix, stirring all the time. • Once mixed, immediately transfer to the buttered ramekins, cover all with foil and bake for 20 minutes. • Thinly slice the shallots and fry in a small amount of oil or butter until they become very crisp. • Sprinkle the top of the brûlées with the crispy shallots and finely crumbled cheese and place under a hot grill until brown.

Pomegranate bubbly www.crateslocal.co.uk Makes four glasses Ingredients: Bottle sparkling white wine One fresh pomegranate One tablespoon cassis One lemon to garnish Method: • Squeeze the juice from half of the pomegranate and remove the arils (seeds) whole from the other half. • Divide the arils between the glasses and pour over the wine, the pomegranate juice and a touch of cassis. • Use thin strips of lemon peel to garnish.

essence info Crates Local Produce 24a Carfax, Horsham, West Sussex RH12 1EB Telephone: 01403 256435 Website: www.crateslocal.co.uk Follow on Twitter @crateslocal or Facebook page Crates Local

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essence restaurant review

Box seat Louise Alexander-O’Loughlin was invited by Michelin-starred Galvin at Windows Restaurant and Bar for an evening to experience its culinary delights, demonstrating why it is one of the most talked about restaurants in London.


eing asked to review one of London’s most popular restaurants was nothing less than a privilege. I took along my oldest friend, Lara Scott, to the Michelin-starred Galvin at Windows Restaurant and Bar which is situated on the 28th floor of the London Hilton on Park Lane. Its floor to ceiling windows framed the picture perfect 360° panoramic view of London’s capital. The old Carpenters’ song lyrics ‘I’m on the top of the world…’ sprang to mind. We certainly were ‘lookin’ down on creation’ as this venue allows diners to peruse London’s iconic sites such as the London Eye, Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, Canary Wharf and Wembley Stadium. It was a beautiful clear evening and it is at times like this that I ask myself do us ‘Surrey folk’ truly appreciate what’s literally 40 minutes up the A3? Why don’t we make more of an effort to visit London for a night

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out? It’s easy to appreciate how the UK welcomes over 30 million tourists a year. I’m so pleased we made the effort. The venue was outstanding, the food exceptional and the ambience perfect. Chef patron Chris Galvin and his head chef Joo Won have created seasonally inspired menus based around modern French haute cuisine. All of which makes Galvin at Windows a sought after dining experience: a place to impress, celebrate a special occasion or just have a great time with friends and family. Staff were welcoming, polite and friendly: they made us feel special in every way. We were greeted by the manager of the bar, Boris Ivan, who escorted us to a bar area filled with a mix of people from different corners of the world; a young couple bopping in the corner to music, an elderly couple enjoying a quiet drink together, and a mixed group of ‘30 somethings’. Boris

presented a cocktail list, which after a chat, I realised was heavily influenced by his research trips to South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong. He had created a drinks’ menu using the very latest trends such as barrel aging and vacuumed infusions. His cocktail creations included ‘Nights in Hong Kong’, a sweet and smoky concoction made of Quiquiriqui Mezcal, pineapple and agave syrup; the sober option ‘Kyoto Tower’, fresh fig, fresh lemon juice, cinnamon syrup and cranberry juice and ‘Last Samurai’, a delicate essence of elderflower, Boxer gin, precious tomato water and a bit of pepper. All these cocktails were infused with the most delicate and mysterious oriental flavours. Lara and I sipped whilst enjoying the music, set at a volume that allowed us to talk and enjoy the ambiance.  Restaurant manager Andrew Sicklin then whisked us off to be seated at our table with an amazing view. We were offered Galvin Champagne N.V. as an aperitif, a basket of warm baked bread, an array of other delights and the most delicious oyster served on a sea of rock salt. The view was outstanding and I appreciated the gesture of

complimentary postcards left on the table to allow guests to write to their loved ones which the hotel then post on the diner’s behalf to anywhere in the world. The Menu Prestige was a difficult menu from which to choose, but I went for my all-time favourite, cured Loch Fyne salmon, Dorset crab, fennel compote, avocado and lemon dressing which is head chef Jamie Shears’ specialty. This was followed by tagliatelle of ceps, baby vegetables, cep purée and Parmesan. As a special treat, we were also brought the fillet of stone bass, stir-fried pork, artichoke barigoule and coriander, just for me to ‘try’. I clearly tried it a lot and licked the platter clean (well, not literally!). To say I was completely full after this was an understatement. The meal was complemented by a Sancerre La Cote Blanche, Eric Louis, Loire Valley France 2014 and Jaut-Medoc, Chateau Senejac, Cru Bourgeois Bordeaux France 2007. What a sumptuous evening of absolute over indulgence. Obviously we had room for the selection of seasonal cheeses by Maître affineur ‘Buchanans’ and the white chocolate and

goat cheese cream, blackberries, black sesame sponge and Roquefort ice cream. There was talk of going to Trader Vic’s, the Hawaiian-themed bar/club on the ground floor of the hotel. However, as we were not rushed to release our table for another sitting, we spent the evening relaxing in the stunning restaurant and by the time we left it was late. After an incredible evening of culinary delights at a superb venue, it was time to head home for a good night’s sleep with a full and satisfied stomach. l

essence info Galvin at Windows London Hilton, 22 Park Lane, London W1K 1BE Telephone: 020 7208 4021 Email: reservations@galvinatwindows.com Website: www.galvinatwindows.com Open: Lunch: noon–2.30pm (closed Saturday). Dinner: 6–10.30pm (closed Sunday). Price: £75 for three courses from the Menu Prestige.

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SI L E N T POOL Shirlee Posner of Eat Surrey introduces essence readers to the delights of Silent Pool, an astonishingly good gin from a true master of potions on the Albury Estate. Silent Pool gin ingredients including fresh citrus peel and a unique type of juniper

Cory Mason and James Shelbourne


didn’t think I liked gin. But that was before I sampled some at a farm shop last May. I had heard of Silent Pool, a new local distiller in Surrey, so I put my previous prejudice aside to give this one a try. I was bowled over; the gin was aromatic and full of flavour notes: lavender, juniper, coriander, chamomile, rose and so many more. It’s also drinkable, straight, in sips. Meeting James Shelbourne, Silent Pool’s sales manager, at Milford farmers’ market convinced me to find out more. When Ian McCulloch, founder of Silent Pool and former commercial director at ITV decided to start a distillery producing craft gin in 2013 he can’t possibly have foreseen its success. With a commercial background, he understood that branding and product were of equal importance and worked hard from the outset on both. For Ian, his journey started by searching for a great distiller, a path that took him to Herriot Watt University in Edinburgh where the only MSc in Brewing and Distilling in the world is available, as might be expected from the home of whisky. The stars were clearly in his favour, as whilst he was there he was introduced to Cory Mason, a graduate of the course undertaking research. From their first meeting, Cory and Ian decided to work together and enlisted a current student, Tom Hutchings, who for his dissertation then worked on gin botanicals

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(flavour enhancers) helping to put together a blueprint for what is now an award-winning gin. Remarkably, this gin has achieved the sales in months that most new brands take years to reach. Cory Mason must be one of the coolest guys I have met in a while. A native Californian, he had been running art and music venues in New York and is a person who stands out. Tall in stature, with a trademark moustache, twisted at the ends and fixed with glue, perfect portrait material, he has dabbled in restaurant ownership, cocktail mixology and bootleg distilling. Initially, the trio did not have premises or distillery. So, while Cory and Tom started to develop the gin (a complicated process for those wishing to be top of the game), Ian headed back to Surrey to find premises.

Hearing of a building available on the Albury Estate owned by the Duke of Northumberland, Ian, a Surrey Hills’ resident, took Cory and Tom to visit. They were enchanted by the name Silent Pool, which locals know as a beauty spot for a walk in the summer months. When there is good rainfall and the pools are full they have a lovely blue hue. The trio really started to get excited when they were told there was an underground source of artisanal spring water fed from deep in the chalk downs. Cory and Tom also found wild chamomile growing on the site which they immediately added to the gin’s recipe. The site also carries a legend. Apparently a woodcutter’s daughter was bathing in the pool when a nobleman on a horse spotted her. Concerned by his advances she moved

essence artisan food In addition to creating a product range, Silent Pool has recently worked with Raymond Blanc to create a gin to celebrate the twenty-first anniversary of the Eurostar. For a new brand to gain such credence in its first year is testimony to the tight professional team behind the impressive creative force. It’s clear with the founding partners’ skill mix and the ability of their team, Silent Pool is a company to watch. I can’t wait to see what it will produce next. l Turn the page for Shirlee’s perfect pudding recipe, enhanced with Silent Pool gin... > Bottling Albury Limited Release cordial

further into the centre of the pool, but he followed her and she drowned. When her father found her body he also recovered the horseman’s hat which had dropped into the water. Embroidered on it was the crest of Prince John. Ever since locals have talked of eeriness around the ponds. This intoxicating story, the fabulous location and name sealed the deal ending in an easy decision to build the distillery at Silent Pool. Today the distillery at the back opens up onto a deck overlooking the pool where the team keep a BBQ to cook lunch. The distiller itself is remarkable too. Built in Holstein in southern Germany from copper it was brought to the UK in parts and built on site. Cory says it’s not the Rolls Royce of distillers, but the end results are better as the process can be more flexible. Without getting too academic here, Silent Pool gin combines infusion and vapour techniques for building its unique taste. Many gins use either technique, but rarely both. The distiller is powered by a reclaimed and renovated 1970s’ Barford Invicta Major wood burning stove which sits in the woodshed next to the distillery. Fuel comes from a sustainable source on the estate. Cory and Tom’s first job in the morning is to chop wood and fire up the stove. The wood, Cory says, affects the temperature rise in the distiller and because it varies each batch of gin is slightly different. This, he says, is a handmade product in every way; there are no computers or digital timers, just skill. Cory and Tom love their job: they feel it

gives them a chance to perform magic with a perfect mix of science, art and craft. Silent Pool gin took a year to develop and by the time Cory and Tom had completed their thirty fifth test run, Ian decided it was time to stop experimenting and go to launch. They used a designer to come up with the bottle design and decided on blue glass to represent summer water at the pool. The bottle is distinctive, standing out from competitors, which is essential in a crowded marketplace. By default of its location, Silent Pool has a fantastic brand story and name too. Exceeding sales by 1000% in its first year, Silent Pool gin is a core product sold internationally (even in China), but the creativity doesn’t stop there. Cory and Tom also produce Albury Limited Release gin which is made in small batches, along with Limited Release gin cordials. The fruit cordials are only made when local fresh fruit such as strawberries and blackberries are in season. Fruit is macerated in gin and the pulp discarded once the juice has been extracted. In addition, Albury Limited Release currently has plum and apricot eau de vies available (clear fruit brandy), again, small batch and seasonal. Because all skills are in-house and Silent Pool has its own distiller, this company can diversify easily and respond to seasonality. In the future, Silent Pool is also contemplating adding vodka and whisky to the repertoire, but it was pointed out that gin was better to start with as it’s ready to drink immediately, whereas whisky has to mature.

essence info Silent Pool’s current product range is available directly at the distillery or from the online shop or suppliers nationwide. Check the website for stockists. For those interested in meeting the team and seeing gin being made, which I highly recommend, why not buy a distillery tour: details on the Silent Pool website. It would make a great Christmas gift. Silent Pool Distillers Shere Road, Albury, Surrey GU5 9BW Telephone: 01483 229136 Websites: www.silentpooldistillers.com and www.eatsurrey.co

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essence artisan food

Eton mess with blackberry gin


his has to be the easiest emergency dessert to make providing the right ingredients are to hand. It’s fast, effective and difficult not to love. Fruit infused gins are lovely for providing an alcoholic kick to an otherwise innocent classic. The gin cordials from Silent Pool are perfect here.

Makes four large or six medium dessert glasses 500 grams mixed berries, hulled and chopped 120ml of blackberry, damson or strawberry gin or cordial Two teaspoons vanilla sugar 250ml whipping cream 250ml double cream Three to four small meringue nests (home or ready-made), lightly crushed. A few berries and fresh thyme to decorate

Method l Put the berries into a mixing bowl. Pour over 120ml of flavoured gin and stir in the sugar. I used blackberry, but damson or strawberry would also work well here. Leave the berries to macerate whilst preparing the cream. l Pour the whipping and double cream into a mixing bowl and whisk until it visibly thickens. A soft whip is required here so that the meringue will easily fold in. Fold the crushed meringue into the cream. l Lay out glasses or a large serving dish. At this stage, it is possible to combine the fruit mixture with the cream, but I layered mine. It’s purely personal, but I like the look of the layers. Start with a fruit layer followed by the meringue cream, spooning the gin in with each layer. Finish with meringue cream and decorate with a few berries and a sprig of thyme. Can be made a few hours or a day ahead. Refrigerate until required. Shirlee Posner

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essence baking

Simple but scrumptious



Christmas is nearly here, but no need to worry, these light fruit cakes with a touch of brandy don’t need months of preparation as they’re tasty whether you eat them a day or a month after. Create a delicious large round cake to share with family and friends or, as here, make into a number of mini cakes, ready for gifts or when a sweet treat is required. Happy Christmas!

175g butter 200g dark Muscovado sugar 750g mixed dried fruits (containing mixed peel and glacé cherries) Finely grated zest and juice of one orange Finely grated zest of one lemon 100ml brandy (plus a bit extra for soaking – four tablespoons) 85g Macadamia nuts Three large eggs, lightly beaten 85g ground almonds 200g plain flour Half teaspoon baking powder One teaspoon mixed spice One teaspoon cinnamon

Method l Put the butter, sugar, fruit, zest, juice and 100ml brandy in a large pan. Bring slowly to the boil, stirring until the butter has melted. Reduce the heat and bubble for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool for 30 minutes. l Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 150 degrees centigrade/fan 130 degrees

centigrade and line a 20cm round cake tin (or two 12 tin mini sandwich trays – Lakeland’s are brilliant – or muffin tins). Toast the nuts in the oven for eight to ten minutes and when they are cool, roughly chop. l Stir the beaten eggs, nuts and ground almonds  into the fruit mixture and combine well. Sift the flour, baking powder and spices into the pan. Stir in gently until there are no traces of flour left. l Spoon the mixture into the tin(s) and smooth the mixture down evenly. l If making one large cake, bake for 45 minutes, then turn down the heat to 140 degrees/fan 120 degrees and cook for a further one to one and a quarter hours until the cake is dark golden in appearance and firm to the touch. Cover the top of the cake with foil if it starts to darken too much. To check the cake is done, insert a fine skewer into the centre – if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked. If making mini cakes, bake for around 30–40 minutes depending on the oven. Again, check using a skewer. l Make holes all over the warm cake(s) with a fine skewer and spoon the extra four tablespoons of brandy over the holes until it has all soaked in. Leave the cake(s) to

cool in the tin. When cold, remove from the tin, peel off the lining paper, then wrap first in baking parchment and then in foil. The cake will keep in a cupboard for up to three months or will freeze for six months.

Top tip Dip a metal spoon into boiling water before smoothing the cake mixture in the tin: it will be easier to obtain a smooth surface.

essence info Website: www.jenscupcakery.com Telephone: 07751 553106 Facebook: www.facebook.com/jenscupcakery Twitter: @jenscupcakery Blog: http://ilovejenscupcakery.wordpress.com

www.essence-magazine.co.uk 41

Background © Sunnyforg | Dreamstime.com

Ingredients Makes approximately 24 mini cakes or one 20cm round cake

essence legal

© Monkey Business Images | Dreamstime.com

Julie Man is a partner and Head of the Private Wealth Department at Mundays LLP. She has developed a breadth of private client expertise including complex Wills, lifetime capital tax-planning, Business Property Relief and ancillary advice on succession planning for business owners, domicile and cross-border issues for international clients, private and charitable trusts together with the administration of estates. Julie is a full member of the Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and Solicitors for the Elderly and an Accredited Member. Mundays Private Wealth Department is noted in The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners UK legal directories for the quality of expertise offered to both national and international clients. Julie can be contacted on 01932 590643 or julie.man@mundays.co.uk

42 www.essence-magazine.co.uk

THE PARENT TRAP Julie Man is a partner and Head of the Private Wealth Department at Mundays LLP and considers the legal implications that arise when parents help their children financially.


oday, there are few lucky enough to be able to afford their first home and so, for many families, help with a deposit comes from the bank of Mum and Dad. While this is a natural expression of love and care for one’s offspring, it is worthwhile giving some thought to getting the legal details right. The first thing to ascertain is whether the money given to a child is to be a loan or a gift. If a loan, then ideally this should be recorded in a formal Loan Agreement with the terms for repayment and any interest clearly specified. The parent also needs to be aware that the value of the loan will be an asset of their estate assessable to Inheritance Tax on death. If a gift, again this needs a formal Deed of Gift so that the parents’ executors who are responsible for administering the estate are clear as to how to treat the amount gifted and the Inheritance Tax consequences (namely, where the burden of any Inheritance Tax should lie if the parent dies within seven years). If this happens and Inheritance Tax is due on the gift, then an uncomfortable situation can arise where the estate can be held liable to pay this which decreases the available estate for any other children. This means one child

will have benefited from the gift while the estate suffers the burden of the tax – a sure way to sour any family get-together! When preparing a Deed of Gift, this problem can be discussed and the parents can decide whether an appropriate provision should be included with the child benefiting from the gift agreeing to be responsible for any Inheritance Tax that may arise from their gift so as to treat all children fairly on death. In addition, further provision will need to be considered in the parents’ existing Wills to ensure the lifetime gift is taken into consideration and the children are all treated fairly, which is often what the parents would like to happen. Another popular option is for parents to use their money to put equity into the new home and for the child (and possibly their partner) to sign a Declaration of Trust confirming the percentages of the beneficial interest held on trust for the parents. This can be a useful way of ensuring that money provided stays within the family in the event of the child’s relationship breakdown where one party wants the property to be sold. With an ever-increasing rate of co-habitation in the UK, it is becoming more important for parties to prepare such a Declaration of Trust so everyone with an interest in the property

WHERE THERE’S A WILL... “I am not afraid of death, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” Woody Allen


lthough the above quote makes everyone smile, it underlines a greater issue; that because we don’t like to talk about death so many of us are unprepared should the worst happen.

Wills Quite often people say that making a Will is on their ‘to do’ list, but they have never gotten around to dealing with it. If you want to make sure your assets pass according to your wishes and in the most tax efficient way, then you should make a Will. If you die without a Will then the UK law sets out how your assets pass to family members in order of priority.

Points to note: Even where there is a surviving spouse and children you might be surprised as to how your estate is divided where there is no Will; l The law currently does not recognise cohabiting couples as automatically entitled to a deceased’s person’s estate; l If you want to leave gifts to charity or friends the law will ignore your wishes; l If you do not want children to inherit at 18 then you need a Will; and l The law does not differentiate between members of the same class of beneficiaries, e.g. if your siblings are entitled to your estate, all will receive an equal share. In a nutshell, do not rely on the legislation to decide how your estate passes. Make a Will. l

has clarity on what percentage of the value of property is theirs, how notice of intention to sell will be managed and how to come to an agreement on the sale value in the event of a relationship breakdown when relations have soured and the parties may no longer be able to communicate effectively. When the Declaration of Trust establishes the shares by everyone contributing to the pot, the last step is to make sure there is an appropriate Will in place to make sure your share goes where you want it to on death and whether you want the other parties to have a right of first refusal. So there you have it: the best way of being nice to your children is to say it with the right legal documents (and not just cash) to avoid future disputes. When making loans, gifts or Declarations of Trusts parents need to get it right to ensure their good intentions are achieved and they do not inadvertently end up causing more family problems. l

essenceinfo Mundays LLP Cedar House, 78 Portsmouth Road, Cobham KT11 1AN Telephone: 01932 590500 Website: www.mundays.co.uk

Probate After a funeral, the family will need to identify if the deceased left a Will. The executors or administrators are responsible for administering the estate. Broadly they will be responsible for establishing the assets and debts of the estate, reporting the values to HMRC, proving the Will or proving who is entitled to the estate, and gathering in all the assets, settling debts and distributing the estate. Probate is the term commonly used to describe the formal process of the administration. Where there is a Will a

Grant of Probate is applied for; where there is no Will it is referred to as Letters of Administration. Once the application is submitted to the Probate Registry, they will issue a Courtsealed document (grant of probate or letters of administration) confirming the people authorised to deal with the estate. This document is needed before the assets and liabilities can be dealt with (e.g. to close bank accounts, sell properties, gather in monies and start paying off debts and tax etc). It is often surprising the amount of paperwork generated on the death of an individual, however, the role of the personal representative is to make sure everything has been formally dealt with and that a line can be drawn under a person’s paper existence. Administering an estate can be time consuming and often complex. Personal representatives are personally liable for the administration and are accountable to the beneficiaries. Logically the greater the value of the estate the more risk is attached. There are formal reporting duties to HMRC that must be dealt with to ensure penalties are avoided. We would therefore always recommend talking to a professional for assistance to make sure everything is done correctly and relieving some of the stress out of an already pressured and emotional situation. l Mitchell Thompson is an Associate in the Private Wealth Department at Mundays. He advises on a broad range of private client matters, including Wills, estate planning and the administration of estates. He is also experienced in dealing with lasting powers of attorney and deputyship applications to the Court of Protection. Please contact Mitchell Thompson or Julie Man in Mundays’ private wealth team to discuss the issues above, or any other aspect of your Will. Email: mitchell.thompson@mundays.co.uk Telephone: 01932 590664

www.essence-magazine.co.uk 43

Limited Christmas cheer for buy to let investors?

Few property owners begrudge leaving Santa a few mince pies (not forgetting a carrot or two for the reindeer) for his trouble and generosity. Other potential visitors, who might now be paying closer attention to your property interests, are less likely to be welcome. Simon Lewis considers those that are at risk of losing some Christmas cheer; at least if they took the time to weigh up the financial cost of forthcoming changes to the financial dynamics of buy to let investment. 44 www.essence-magazine.co.uk

essence finance


t doesn’t matter whether you have been naughty or nice, if you are (or are thinking of becoming) a buy to let investor there are some unwelcome surprises for you on the horizon. Buy to let investors have enjoyed relatively bountiful returns over the last seven years but the tailwinds of slow supply growth, cheap borrowing, and quantitative easing induced asset price inflation are unlikely to prevail for much longer. In fact, the Chancellor has already set his sights on more readily harvesting some of the profits accrued by such investors, the least contentious of which is a new requirement (from April 2019) for capital gains tax liabilities to be settled within 30 days of sale compared to the current grace period of up to 20 months. This new mechanism will help to reduce tax evasion as well as improve the Treasury’s cash flow. It will also apply to second homes.

Because the effect of the new rules will restrict tax relief to the basic rate of income tax, you might conclude that they will not affect basic rate taxpayers. This is not the case. To illustrate the point, consider Wealthy Elf, who has established a portfolio of residential properties that generate income of £120,000 per annum net of expenses but before interest costs. He pays interest of £80,000 per annum on the associated buy to let mortgages. His taxable profit is therefore £40,000. After deduction of his personal allowance, he will pay tax of £5,880 (all at the basic rate). If the new rules were now in effect, ‘not so’ Wealthy Elf would have a tax liability of £41,400 on income of £120,000. A basic rate tax reduction on the mortgage interest (£80,000 @20% = £16,000) would reduce the income tax payable to £25,400. His income tax bill has more than quadrupled and not even Santa can make things better.

“His income tax bill has more than quadrupled and not even Santa can make things better.” Simon Lewis However, the big changes to come relate to the impact of stamp duty land tax (SDLT) on the cost of purchase and the way that income tax is assessed on rental income. You might need a stiff drink before you read on. November’s Autumn Statement announced a 3% SDLT surcharge for buy to let and second homes, to apply from April 2016. According to Rightmove, the average price of a terraced house in Surrey is £450,000. SDLT of £12,500 would currently be paid on its purchase. However, this will increase to £22,250 from April and the extra £9,750 represents a 78% increase in the tax paid. New rules that will fundamentally change the way that tax relief is granted to buy to let mortgage interest payments will be phased in over three years from April 2017. Interest payments will no longer be deducted from rental income to determine taxable profit. Instead, a separate relief will be calculated by reference to basic rate income tax on the interest payments.

It is not only the Chancellor that appears to be taking a dim view of buy to let. In its December 2015 Financial Stability Report the Bank of England commented that since 2008, the aggregate value of residential property mortgages held by owner occupiers had increased by only 0.3% per annum on average. By comparison, the aggregate value of residential property mortgages held by buy to let investors has increased at an average of 5.9% per annum and more recently, the rate has increased to 10% per annum. In other words, much of the new lending from banks is to property investors rather than traditional homebuyers. The Bank comments that credit losses (defaults) are running at roughly twice the rate of loans to owner occupiers and ominously concludes that there may be implications for financial stability. Such considerations are a likely precursor to intervention. The Bank’s Financial Policy Committee (FPC) has been weighing up

whether to utilise macro prudential tools, for example by requiring retail banks to hold ever greater reserves against such defaults. This would discourage demand for further lending of this type by effectively increasing the interest rate differential charged by lenders. Finally, it seems most likely that the US Federal Reserve will increase interest rates in December 2015 and assuming that they do, the UK base rate is likely to follow within 12 months or so. The cost of borrowing is therefore set to rise. These headwinds will easily dissipate the current rental yield of about 3.5% on properties in the South East. Buy to let investors might well be saved by capital appreciation but this is by no means certain and of course, is not liquid. Increased rates of SDLT will also act to discourage portfolio turnover. It probably makes sense to avoid highly leveraged situations at the moment although unleveraged property investment continues to have some attraction as part of a strategy of wealth diversification. Do bear in mind that property is no longer a one way bet – like pulling a Christmas cracker, you never know what you will get…. Wishing you a very merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year. l

essence info Simon Lewis is writing on behalf of Partridge Muir & Warren Ltd (PMW), Chartered Financial Planners, based in Esher. The Company has specialised in providing wealth management solutions to private clients for 46 years. Simon is an independent financial adviser, chartered financial planner and chartered fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment. The opinions outlined in this article are those of the writer and should not be construed as individual advice. To find out more about financial advice and investment options please contact Simon at Partridge Muir & Warren Ltd. Partridge Muir & Warren Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Telephone: 01372 471 550 Email: simon.lewis@pmw.co.uk Website: www.pmw.co.uk

www.essence-magazine.co.uk 45

essence education

Connecting character and contentment Michael Connolly, headmaster of Cranmore School, considers the importance of children’s well-being in schools.


t hardly needs stating that all parents want their children to be happy at school. However, in recent years one regularly sees articles in the press about young people finding school life to be very stressful. So what is really going on? Is there a fundamental flaw with the way schools operate today or is there some other underlying cause? This is a complex issue which has been hotly debated by educationalists, sociologists and psychologists. One thing is clear, it is not a phenomenon unique to the UK. A recent survey1 covering High School students across the whole of the USA gave a rather bleak message: tired (39%), stressed (29%), and bored (26%) were the three most common responses to the survey of 22,000 students inquiring about how they currently felt in school. A similar survey conducted by the American Psychological Association found that 27% of students suffer from extreme stress during the school year. Some schools have tackled the issue of pupils being tired by implementing a radical solution. For example, there is a body of scientific research which indicates that teenagers have a different ‘body clock’ so it is better for them to have a later start to the working day! Several schools have made headlines because they have implemented such a novel approach. One school in Kent2 decided it would be sensible to change the timetable so that on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays 14 to 18-year-old pupils start lessons at

46 www.essence-magazine.co.uk

11.30 am. This all sounds fine in theory but, inevitably, it can be disruptive to family life if your son or daughter is effectively living within a different time zone. Sir Anthony Seldon, the former headmaster of Wellington College, was mocked by some of his peers when it was suggested that he had introduced ‘happiness studies’. In fact, many now concede that he was ahead of the game by identifying the need to structure the curriculum in a way that supports the mental health of pupils. In his book – Beyond Happiness – he cites the work of Martin Seligman, a leading figure in positive psychology who has suggested that happiness depends upon PERMA: Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Accomplishment. However, Seldon righty points out that this is not quite the panacea which it appears at first glance. For example, if we link our happiness to ‘accomplishment’ then we become a hostage to fortune. We have all heard of high achievers who are never satisfied and can be very self-critical of their performance. Another distinguished former headmaster, Rev Christopher Jamison, offers a more profound answer in his book – Finding Happiness. He believes that it has

been a good thing for schools to consider the ’well-being’ of their pupils in a more formal way. However, he goes on to point out that goodness and virtue are essential components of happiness. Of course, this idea is not new. It is firmly rooted in all the major religions and can be traced back to the philosophy of Socrates. What is the way ahead? Yes, we must try to encourage young people to become less attached to technology and social media and thereby allow them to engage with each other in person. This will give them more periods of quiet, reflective time in which they can recharge their batteries. But this is not enough. Good schools recognise that it is character formation which is the key to developing happy, contented, confident young people. This is no easy task and requires an ongoing commitment to do the very best to help each pupil at every stage of their educational journey, from nursery until they leave the school. Cranmore was graded excellent for every category in its most recent inspection report, but it was reassuring to see that the quality of pastoral care was identified as being of particular note: “The pupils’ personal development is supported by

excellent pastoral care, based on the teachers’ good knowledge of individuals, and caring relationships.” In my view, this is the best strategy to ensure that pupils do not fall into a pit of self-doubt and misery. It is the quality of the relationships between staff and the pupils in their care which ultimately determines the pupils’ well-being. l 1 http://www.doorcountydailynews.com/ news/details.cfm?id=195800#.VkWydMsnzIU 2 http://www.theguardian.com/education/ mortarboard/2009/mar/20/lie-in-pupils

essence info Cranmore School Cranmore School has announced a programme of change to become a fully co-educational school for pupils aged two and a half to thirteen years. It is committed to providing a balanced curriculum which can develop each child’s potential. French, Spanish, Mandarin, Latin and Greek are taught. Telephone: 01483 280340 Website: www.cranmoreprep.co.uk

www.essence-magazine.co.uk 47

essence leisure breaks



48 www.essence-magazine.co.uk

MS Oosterdam

Rebecca Underwood enjoys a Caribbean dream aboard Holland America’s Ms Oosterdam.


A packed itinerary awaits on the Southern Caribbean Seafarer cruise and, main image, Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort’s pool area

ently swaying palm trees flooded with bright golden sunshine, pristine white sandy beaches, a warm and glittering turquoise sea teeming with tropical marine life: the exotic paradise of the Caribbean is the stuff of dreams. But why visit just one Caribbean island when it’s possible to explore several? For those with a taste for adventure, sailing on the open sea bound for new horizons is the ultimate voyage of discovery. Holland America’s Ms Oosterdam was christened in 2003 by Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands. The vessel carries 1,848 passengers, served by 812 crew members, and offers a tempting choice of itineraries. We opted for the ten night Southern Caribbean Seafarer cruise, sailing from Florida’s Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. The voyage covered 2,530 nautical miles in ten days calling at the ports of Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas, Grand Turk, the largest of the Turks and Caicos islands, Samaná in the Dominican Republic, and the three western-most islands of the Leeward Antilles: Bonaire, Curaçao, and Aruba. Holland America, once known as the Netherlands-American Steamship Company, was founded in 1873 operating a small number of cargo and passenger ships sailing from Holland to the Dutch East Indies. Today, the company has a fleet of fifteen mid-size ships, and is consistently voted

amongst the highest rated cruise lines by Condé Nast Traveller UK Reader’s Travel Awards. On boarding and having checked in, passengers are swiftly escorted to a ‘Verandah’ stateroom. The accommodation featured an ultra comfortable bed swathed in cool Egyptian linens, large seating area, plush carpeting, flat-panel television with a DVD player with access to an extensive video library and a spacious bathroom with bath tub and shower. The floor to ceiling glass doors led directly onto a spacious balcony: the perfect spot for sipping pre-dining cocktails whilst gazing across the sparkling waters of the Caribbean Sea. Passengers are spoilt for choice with on board dining options, which include the Vista Dining Room, a two tier restaurant with one tier offering a flexible open dining service from 5.15 to 9pm and the other tier hosting an early seating at 5.45pm followed by the main seating at 8pm. Service is exceptional and menus offer a wide array of delicious dishes for every palate. Other dining venues include the Pinnacle Grill, located on the lower promenade deck, specialising in succulent Pacific Northwest steaks and a variety of seafood dishes. For a more casual affair, Canaletto on deck 9 offers classic Italian cuisine and the Lido Restaurant serves a full buffet with stations serving pizza and pasta dishes along with hot or cold dishes and scrumptious desserts. >

www.essence-magazine.co.uk 49

essence leisure breaks

Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort

The therapeutic steam thermal suite and pictured opposite, right, the hydro pool on board MS Oosterdam

To ease the conscience due to any over indulgence, there are fitness classes each day, dancing classes galore or perhaps join the early morning joggers on the promenade deck? For those with a more competitive streak, try the sports’ deck and join in a game of volleyball or basketball. An impressive gymnasium is crammed with the latest equipment. Don’t fancy that? Then relax by the Sea View Pool, take a dip in the Lido Pool, or visit the Green House Spa and Salon’s Hydro Pool. If all that is too much, then head for the Vista Dining Room and savour the royal Dutch high tea! Evening entertainment options include the Vista Lounge’s flamboyant shows, guest entertainers and the Oosterdam singers and dancers. The Piano Bar draws crowds and even the most resistant guests are soon persuaded to join in the lively sing-a-longs. Practice dance moves in the Queen’s

MS Oosterdam’s luxurious Verandah stateroom

50 www.essence-magazine.co.uk

Lounge with the excellent B.B. King’s Blues Club All Star Band, or get down in the Northern Lights Night Club and work up some disco fever. There’s no shortage of on board bars and lounges to explore, including the Crow’s Nest which offers a spectacular view across the ocean, the tranquil Pinnacle Bar, the Ocean Bar where guests display ballroom dancing techniques accompanied by a ‘live’ band, the Explorer’s Lounge which features sophisticated classical musicians and the Sports Bar where a variety of sports can be viewed. Cruise highlights include the Lido Pool Caribbean Party featuring ‘live’ steel drum music. There’s also the opportunity to join a class and learn how to play the steel drum. For cooks there’s a number of regionally focused cooking shows and classes with Holland America’s talented chefs. For the ideal Christmas gift a Caribbean cruise is simply unforgettable. Treat yourself and someone special as Jacques Cousteau once said: “The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” For those considering staying in Fort Lauderdale pre or post cruise, the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort is less than five miles from Port Everglades and Fort Lauderdale Hollywood international airport. The property, located on North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard, offers spectacular views over the Atlantic Ocean

and is just steps away from the pristine beach. Accommodation is spacious and comfortable with breathtaking views and it’s impossible to avert the eyes from sleek yachts sailing by. Hotel facilities include an outdoor heated infinity pool with plump loungers and a beach access skywalk. For an excellent dining experience, the nearby Waves Bar and Grill serves delicious poolside light bites and cool tropical drinks. American Vintage presents classic steakhouse selections and nostalgic American favourites served al fresco with, of course, a fabulous view of Fort Lauderdale beach. To venture further afield, head for Grille 401 on Fort Lauderdale’s trendy East Las Olas Boulevard. Consider ordering the slow roasted prime rib, accompanied by a glass or two of Chateau Montelena, and be sure to sample the succulent carrot cake, it is simply divine! l

top tips: le direct from Lleonwditohn

in sty rt Lauderda abin c k to Fo mium Gatwic ian.com. Pre ss to the g ce Norwe s include ac ooms, ultra e R g b e il room, lu iv C pr inal tra leg o x x m e r e h T it South able seats w owance (tw e all rt comfo us baggage pre departur o y r r e e s a r t u n e o c a gen m g compli s, three 20kg), dinner drink s, USB dockin k c k e a r in n r p s d d n g n e a ludin touch-scre c in r e t dinn tlet, e-ar wer ou e-of-th and po ring and stat . e bar ord ment system rt/port l airpo in a a u t t r c e t n m en and pu ttle.co reliable goairportshu l For rs visit transfe

l Fly

essence literature



The Re-Conquest of the West?

Fifty Years On



topical and controversial book which examines the international and domestic threats to Western society from jihadism. It joins the dots in the Middle East, Asia and Africa and explains what it means for the home front, principally the United Kingdom, but also continental Europe and the USA. The author, professor Paul Moorcraft, answers pertinent but awkward questions such as why more Britons are trying to join Islamic State than the UK’s reserve forces and, in so doing, aims to pull the complex jigsaw together. This provocative and well-illustrated book is written from the inside. Professor Moorcraft has long worked at the heart of the British security establishment and has operated as a war correspondent in over thirty conflict zones, often alongside frontline jihadists. He has over 40 years’ war reporting experience from zones literally from A-Z, Afhganistan to Zimbabwe, for print, radio and TV. He is currently visiting professor at Cardiff University and director of the Centre for Foreign Policy Analysis, London. He has worked extensively for the UK Ministry of Defence. By Paul Moorcraft • 174 pages Hardback • 16 pages of illustrations ISBN: 9781473856790 • RRP: £19.99

his classic account of the Rhodesian War has been revised and updated 50 years after the colony’s historic Unilateral Declaration of Independence. Widely praised by military experts worldwide, it has become a standard text for the study of counter-insurgency, especially its application to the current counterinsurgencies in the Middle East and Asia. It covers the three main stages of the war. First from 1965 when security forces were prevailing, to a ‘no-win’ war from 1972–1976 and, finally, the intense period from 1976–1979 when white Rhodesians, led by Ian Smith, were saved from defeat by the Lancaster House talks in London. The military structure, strategy and tactics of both sides are analysed with graphic details of individual contacts in the bush to the daring raids into neighbouring states. The book considers the international pressures on the rebel state and the social effects inside the country on both the black and white populace. The immediate aftermath of the war is examined, in particular Zimbabwe’s conflict with South Africa pre-Nelson Mandela. The final chapter covers the tragic post-war destruction by Mugabe of this once-prosperous nation. By Paul Moorcraft and Peter McLaughlin • 208 pages Paperback • 16 pages of illustrations ISBN: 9781473860735 • RRP: £12.99



his fascinating book explains how the Allies, after a series of near fatal defeats, ignored their differences and came together to turn the tide decisively against the German Army in the summer of 1918. The author, Patrick Takle, adopts a fresh approach to the final stages of The Great War and is careful to write his account from both British and American perspectives. Patrick spent 33 years in the British Army, serving in the infantry and as an intelligence officer in specialist units. Following his retirement, he pursued a career as an international banker and management consultant, working in Eastern Europe. By Patrick Takle • 311 pages Hardback • 16 pages of illustrations ISBN: 9781473834224 • RRP: £25.00

essence info All published by Pen & Sword Books Limited Website: www.pen-and-sword.co.uk

www.essence-magazine.co.uk 51

essence theatre competition

Win a pair of tickets to

Guys and Dolls! Don’t miss the ‘scintillating revival’ (Financial Times) this Christmas of the highly acclaimed Chichester Festival Theatre production of Guys and Dolls as it heads to the West End for a strictly limited run.


he sizzling New York tale of gamblers, gangsters and nightclub singers will leave theatregoers ‘exhilarated’ (The Guardian) with a glorious evening featuring some of Broadway’s greatest show-stopping tunes, including Luck Be A Lady, Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat and My Time Of Day. Along with dazzling choreography by world-renowned Cuban ballet star Carlos Acosta and Andrew Wright (Singin’ in the Rain and Barnum) and direction from the celebrated New Yorker, Gordon Greenberg, this is one unmissable feel-good show. A cast and orchestra of over 40 is led by Sophie Thompson as the long suffering Miss Adelaide and David Haig as Nathan, with Jamie Parker reprising his terrific Sky Masterson and Siubhan Harrison as the pious Salvation Army sergeant, Sarah Brown.

To win a pair of tickets, simply visit www.essence-magazine.co.uk and answer the following question (closing date: 31 December 2015):

What is the story of Guys and Dolls about? a. artists and sculptures b. baseball and basketball players c. gamblers and gangsters 52 www.essence-magazine.co.uk

essence info Guys and Dolls Savoy Theatre, Savoy Court, Strand, London WC2R 0ET Tickets for the show are on sale priced from £25. For more information or to book tickets visit www.atgtickets.com/savoy-theatre or call 0844 871 7687. Guys and Dolls will be at the Savoy Theatre from 10 December 2015 to 12 March 2016. Twitter: @guysanddollsuk Facebook: guysanddolls Terms and conditions apply. Subject to availability. Prize is valid for Monday to Thursday performances until 31 January 2016, excluding performances between 18 December 2015 and 6 January 2016. Prize is as stated and cannot be transferred or exchanged.

Cranmore is extending its provision for girls Cranmore isfull by introducing extending co-education in its stages provision for girls by introducing full co-education in stages

JAN JAN 29 29

Taster Afternoon Taster Afternoon 29 January 2016 1.30pm - 3pm Reception 2016 entry Reception 2016 entry

29 January 2016 1.30pm - 3pm

Enchanted Castle Time for 3-4 year old girls & boys Enchanted Castle Time for 3-4 year old girls & boys

Cranmore School Independent Preparatory School for girls and boys 2 ½ - 13 School Cranmore Independent Preparatory School for girls and boys 2 ½ - 13

for more information get in touch admissions@cranmoreprep.co.uk 01483 280340 forWest more information in touch Horsley, Surreyget KT24 6AT 01483 280340


West Horsley, Surrey KT24 6AT

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essence events

spotlight on... Katherine Ryan: Kathbum Epsom Playhouse, Epsom Thursday 21 January, 8pm The daughter of a strict Irish father and Canadian ‘stage mom’, smart stand-up comedian and television personality Katherine Ryan was not a winner growing up. Try as she might to shed her questionable and sparkly nature, she’s not sure we can ever truly escape our childhood indoctrinations. Described as ‘the queen of confessional comedy’, Katherine won Chortle’s best club comic of 2015 award, is a regular at the Edinburgh Festival and has appeared on many television shows, including Have I Got News For You and Mock the Week. She is currently on a tour of the UK with her new show Kathbum which covers both her usual critiques of celebrity culture and more personal material. Katherine will also appear at G Live on Thursday 25 February.

Information: 01372 742555 or epsomplayhouse.co.uk

theatre Richmond Theatre Richmond To Sunday 10 January Cinderella Richmond’s pantomime stars Hayley Mills and Matthew Kelly. Tuesday 19 to Saturday 23 January Lord of the Flies A production from London’s renowned Regent’s Park Theatre. Monday 25 to Saturday 30 January Blood Brothers Musical telling the captivating tale of twins separated at birth. Wednesday 3 to Sunday 7 February Moscow City Ballet presents Swan Lake and The Nutcracker 2016 Two classic ballets performed by Moscow City.

Friday 15 to Saturday 16 January Private Lives Starring Tom Chambers in a new production of Noël Coward’s much loved comedy. Monday 18 to Wednesday 20 January Cirque Berserk! The best in circus thrills and skills. Tuesday 26 to Saturday 30 January Horrible Histories – Live on Stage Groovy Greeks and Incredible Invaders Bringing historical figures and events to life. Tuesday 2 to Saturday 6 February Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty A re-imagining of this ballet classic. Tickets: 0844 871 7645 or ambassadortickets.com/woking

Cranleigh Arts Centre

Tickets: 0844 871 7651 or



Friday 12 December, 11.30am and 2.30pm The Sorcerer’s Apprentice A blend of music, puppetry and storytelling for ages 3–7. Tuesday 22 December, 2 and 7pm The Snow Queen Fairytale adventure for all the family.

New Victoria Theatre Woking Friday 11 December to Sunday 10 January Sleeping Beauty Katie Price and Anita Dobson will share the role of the Wicked Fairy in this year’s pantomime at Woking.

54 www.essence-magazine.co.uk

Information: 01483 278000 or cranleighartscentre.org

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essence events Dorking Halls

Guildford Fringe


The Star Inn, Quarry St, Guildford

Saturday 19 to Monday 28 December Cinderella Starring Jay Aston of Bucks Fizz fame as the Fairy Godmother.

Saturday 19 December, 8pm Guildford Gag House Comedy Club For the full line-up, see website. Information: guildfordfringe.com

Information: 01306 881717 or dorkinghalls.co.uk

G Live Guildford

The Electric Theatre Guildford Friday 18 to Sunday 20 December The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe An epic battle between good and evil as C. S. Lewis’ classic Narnia tale is brought to life. Monday 21 to Wednesday 23 December The Nutcracker A Christmas favourite for children. Monday 18 to Friday 29 January The Electric Film Festival Another two weeks packed with world cinema. Information: 01483 444789 or electrictheatre.co.uk

Epsom Playhouse

To Thursday 24 December Santa Claus and The Night Before Christmas For children aged 2+. Saturday 26 to Monday 28 December The Nutcracker and Swan Lake From Saint Petersburg Classic Ballet. Information: 01483 369350 or glive.co.uk

Rose Theatre Kingston-upon-Thames To Sunday 3 January A Christmas Carol A classic tale for all the family. Saturday 23 January Gyles Brandreth: Looking for Happiness A unique one man show.


Information: 020 8174 0090 or

To Thursday 24 December Santa Claus and The Night Before Christmas Songs, stories, a meet and greet with Santa and a free gift for ages 2+. Sunday 13 December to Sunday 3 January Beauty and The Beast Family panto starring Rav Wilding. Sunday 17 January Ed Byrne Top Irish comedian on tour. Thursday 21 January Katherine Ryan See Spotlight on previous page.


Information: 01372 742555 or epsomplayhouse.co.uk

Farnham Maltings Farnham Thursday 10 to Saturday 12 December It’s A Wonderful Life This year’s Farnham Maltings’ winter show is a production of Frank Capra’s classic 1946 movie.

It’s A Wonderful Life, Farnham Maltings

The Wintershall Nativity Wintershall Estate, Bramley Wednesday 16 to Sunday 20 December An open air nativity play featuring a cast of over 50 people, with a choir, flocks of sheep and donkeys, all set to a specially composed score. Information: 01793 418299 or

Madam Butterfly, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre


Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Guildford To Sunday 3 January 2016 Jack and the Beanstalk Dillie Keane stars as the Fairy. Monday 21 to Saturday 26 December A Christmas Carol Clive Francis returns as Scrooge. Monday 1 to Tuesday 2 February Madam Butterfly Performed by the Russian State Opera. For a chance to win tickets, see page 31.

Information: 01252 745444 or

Tickets: 01483 440000


or yvonne-arnaud.co.uk

56 www.essence-magazine.co.uk The Proclaimers, G Live

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spotlight on... Hampton Court Palace ice rink Hampton Court

Courtesy Hampton Court Palace/s.frack

Until Sunday 3 January With the Palace commemorating its 500th anniversary this year, what better time to visit and partake in what is fast becoming a winter tradition: a turn on the Hampton Court Palace ice rink. Prices have been frozen (ha, ha) at last year’s levels and with the rink affording spectacular views of the red brick Tudor front of King Henry VIII’s beautiful palace, what more of an excuse is needed? Why not book an evening session on the rink and see the Palace lit up after dark whilst skating under the stars with friends and family? Alternatively, make a day of it: explore the Palace apartments and galleries, visit the Ice Bar and Café and skate at a time which suits. We recommend booking early for this festive treat: off peak and peak tickets are available with special rates for families, students, pensioners and groups. To coin a phrase, get your skates on!

Information: thehamptoncourticerink.co.uk


Holly Lodge Centre Christmas Concert

Xmas fairs


Cranleigh Arts Centre

The Art Agency


Esher Until Sunday 17 January Painter Parastoo Ganjei is a featured artist in the winter exhibition. In addition, find unique handmade ceramic and decorative gifts at The Art Agency during December.

Richmond Park

Farnham Maltings Farnham Friday 18 December, 8pm Clare Teal’s Festive Fiesta! A unique blend of seasonal swing, retro beats and fireside ballads.

Friday 11 December, 7pm With readings from Sir Trevor McDonald and Helen Baxendale.

Information: 01252 745444 or

Southern Pro Musica

Thursday 10 to Sunday 13 December Christmas Ornaments Fair A white forest installation exhibiting only Christmas tree ornaments.


Yvonne Arnaud, Guildford

Information: 01483 278000 or cranleighartscentre.org

G Live

Saturday 9 January, 7.30pm Champagne Classics Accompanied by soprano Bibi Heal.

Farnham Maltings

Information: 01428 682158 or


Dorking Museum


Tuesday 8 to Wednesday 9 December Christmas Fair Over 150 stalls stocked with gifts, treats, stocking fillers and handcrafted items.

West Street, Dorking

Guildford Thursday 10 December, 7.30pm The Proclaimers Talented twin brothers Craig and Charlie Reid perform for just one night at G Live. Wednesday 30 December, 7.30pm Johann Strauss Gala Costumed dancers and orchestra return with a new show for 2016.

Information: 020 8940 8730 or thehollylodgecentre.org.uk

Information: 01372 466740 or theartagency.co.uk

Information: 01252 745444 or

Saturday 19 December Family Activity Saturday: A Victorian Christmas Make a Victorian style Christmas card and follow a clue trail to discovery in the Museum’s collection.

Information: surreymozartplayers.com


Information: 01306 876591 or

Vivace Chorus

Guildford House Gallery

Normandy Village Hall, Guildford


Guildford House Gallery

Until Thursday 24 December Gifted in Guildford Sixteen designer/makers from The Surrey Guild of Craftsmen exhibit and sell high quality craft, including woodwork and glassware.


Sunday 20 December, 6.30pm Service of Nine Lessons and Carols Readings, carols, mulled wine and mince pies.

Saturday 23 January, 10am–4.30pm Come and Sing This year singers will look at Duruflé’s Requiem and Poulenc’s Stabat Mater. Book quickly as the day sells out early.

Information: 01483 547860 or

Information: 01428 727401 or

Information: 01483 444751 or

Information: 01483 444751 or





Surrey Mozart Players The Electric Theatre, Guildford Saturday 30 January, 7.30pm An evening of Mozart Mozart Symphonies 39, 40 and 41.

Information: 01483 369350 or glive.co.uk

Guildford Cathedral Guildford


Until Saturday 2 January The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition An exhibition of contemporary painting with all works for sale.

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essence events

Cranleigh Arts Centre 01483 278000 or cranleighartscentre.org Farnham Maltings 01252 745444 or farnhammaltings.com Odeon Esher 0871 2244007 or odeon.co.uk/fanatic/film_times/s89/esher Odeon Epsom 0871 2244007 or odeon.co.uk/fanatic/film_times/s88/epsom Odeon Guildford 0871 2244007 or odeon.co.uk/fanatic/film_times/s92/guildford The Screen Walton 01932 252825 or screencinemas.co.uk The Ambassadors Cinema, Woking 0844 871 6743 or ambassadortickets.com/cinema

Guildford Museum Quarry Street, Guildford To Saturday 23 January Looking in Wonderland Illustrations from the two Alice books will be on show. Information: 01483 444751 or guildford.gov.uk/museum

for the Christmas period including black and white linocuts from Chris Pig and painters Gerry Baptist and Tessa Pearson. In addition, there will be quirky sculpted figures from John Maltby and textile work by local and national makers.

Courtesy National Trust


Christmas at Winkworth Arboretum, National Trust

Information: 01252 713208 or newashgate.org.uk

The Lightbox Gallery and Museum

Watts Gallery


Compton, Guildford

To Sunday 17 January Quentin Blake: Inside Stories Curated by Blake himself, the exhibition includes sketches and original artworks of famous illustrations for his own books and collaborations with the likes of Roald Dahl and David Walliams. To Sunday 31 January The Ingram Collection: Bodies! The human figure as depicted by artists such as Henry Moore, Jacob Epstein and many more.

To Sunday 10 January Words in Clay: Prue Cooper A selling exhibition of slipware created by renowned potter Prue Cooper, including a design exclusive to the Watts Gallery. Information: 01483 813593 or wattsgallery.org.uk William Hill Winter Festival, Kempton Park Racecourse

national trust

Information: 01483 737800 or thelightbox.org.uk

National Trust properties offer

McAllister Thomas

play and relax over Christmas and


the New Year. A few are shown here,

To Wednesday 20 January The Winter Exhibition An exhibition from gallery artists.

but visit nationaltrust.org.uk for more.

Information: 01483 860591 or

Claremont Landscape Garden



New Ashgate Gallery Farnham To Saturday 9 January Winter collection An exciting exhibition of fine arts

Friday 1 January, 10am–4pm Belvedere Tower opening Enjoy a winter stroll and see stunning views from the Tower which is open 11am to 2pm. Information: 01372 467806

Courtesy RHS Wisley

perfect venues in which visitors can

58 www.essence-magazine.co.uk Butterflies in the Glasshouse, RHS Wisley

Hatchlands Park

Brooklands Museum

East Clandon, Guildford


Sunday 13 December, 12 noon–1pm and 2–3pm Christmas Carols Festive carols and readings.

Friday 1 January New Year’s Day Gathering Classic, vintage, veteran and super cars and motorcycles on show. Sunday 31 January, 10am–4pm VSCC Driving Tests Brooklands welcomes the Vintage Sports Car Club and their annual driving tests over complicated courses around the site.

Information: 01483 222482

Polesden Lacey Great Bookham, near Dorking Saturday 26 December to Sunday 3 January, 10.30am–3pm Polesdenopoly A family Christmas game outdoors in Polesden’s grounds. Information: 01372 452048

Surrey Hills near Dorking Throughout December Christmas at Hindhead Commons and the Devil’s Punch Bowl Festive family fun during December. Information: 01372 220644

Information: 01932 857381 or

Godalming Saturday 12 December to Sunday 3 January, 10am–3pm Winter wonders trail Follow the traditional Christmas children’s trail.

New Year’s Day Gathering, Brooklands Museum


RHS Wisley Garsons Farm



To Monday 4 January Christmas display in the Glasshouse Hundreds of plants specially grown for the festive season. Saturday 16 January to Sunday 6 March Butterflies in the Glasshouse See exotic butterflies in the tropical Glasshouse.

To Thursday 24 December Visit the reindeer Real reindeer return to delight young and old at Garsons Farm. Information: garsons.co.uk

Godstone Farm Godstone, near Caterham

Winkworth Arboretum

sport Kempton Park Racecourse Sunbury-on-Thames Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 December, 10am William Hill Winter Festival One of the biggest events of the festive season, including the Desert Orchid Chase and lots of family fun.

To Thursday 24 December Meet Father Christmas A chance to meet Santa prior to the big day. Pre-booking essential.

Information: 0845 260 9000 or

Surrey Wildlife Trust


Information: godstonefarm.co.uk

Various locations

Haslemere Museum

Thursday 7 January, 10am–12.30pm Puttenham Common A brisk walk to start the New Year.

Saturday 2 January, 10.30am 32Red Day Action-packed jump racing for the New Year. Information: sandown.co.uk

Sandown Park Racecourse



Saturday 19, Tuesday 22, Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 December Santa’s Victorian Parlour Visit Santa and relax in his charming Victorian parlour.

Information: 07968 832501 or

Information: haslemeremuseum.co.uk

Bocketts Farm

Painshill Park



To Thursday 24 December Visit Father Christmas Hop on board the Santa Express to the hay barn workshop. No advance booking necessary. See newborn lambs, a craft area, Xmas trail and more.

Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 January, 10am–3.30pm Watercolour for beginners Learn the basics of watercolour painting with artist Jane Anderson Wood during this two day workshop.

Information: bockettsfarm.co.uk



Petersham Cellar


Petersham Nurseries, Richmond

To Thursday 24 December Christmas winter wonderland Meet Santa, see his reindeer, friendly farm animals and lots more.

Saturday 16 January Wine tasting A tasting which will compare new against older vintages of wines.

Information: birdworld.co.uk

Information: petershamnurseries.com

Information: 01932 868113 or

Information: kempton.co.uk


Information: 01483 208477 or

out & about

Jason Dodd

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The Living Planet Centre

Surrey Scorchers basketball


Surrey Sports Park, Guildford

Tuesday 22 December Arctic Christmas Craft Workshops take place at 10.30am, 11.15am and 12 noon.

December and January Playing Cheshire Phoenix on Friday 11 December and Manchester Giants on Saturday 2 January.

Information: wwf.org.uk/whatson

Information: surreyscorchers.co.uk

farmers’ markets Camberley Saturday 19 December & 16 January, 10am–3pm Cranleigh Saturday 19 December & 16 January, 10am–2pm Epsom Sunday 6 December & 7 February, 9.30am–1.30pm Farnham Sunday 20 December & 17 January, 10am–1.30pm Guildford Tuesday 1 December & 5 January, 10.30am–3.30pm Haslemere Sunday 6 December & 3 January, 10am–1pm Milford Sunday 20 December & 17 January, 10am–1.30pm Ripley Saturday 12 December & 9 January, 9am–1pm Walton-on-Thames Saturday 5 December & 2 January, 9.30am–2pm Woking Thursday 17 December & 21 January, 9am–2.30pm

www.essence-magazine.co.uk 59

Removing the stress and hassle from your building project. Achieving your objectives first time, on time. MRM Project Solutions Ltd • www.mrmprojectsolutions.co.uk • Telephone: 01344 851546

Peace of mind

Nick Swindells of MRM Project Solutions explains the importance of proper project management for any planned construction scheme being considered.


any people now choose to remain in their existing home, altering and extending it, rather than moving to a new house. A house extension can enhance a lifestyle and add real value to a home, increasing its overall market value. For those who have settled on the idea of extending their property then, as well as specialist builders, they will want to hire a project manager to ensure the process runs smoothly and to schedule. The aim of all project management is to ensure that the scheme achieves its set objectives, remains on schedule and within budget. This is not easy to achieve, and for someone with little to no experience the task can be very problematic. The solution? To hire an experienced construction industry project manager. Project managers are responsible for supervising, co-ordinating and directing on-site building projects. They work in often complex environments to ensure projects are completed to high standards and to specified deadlines and budgets. Every construction project needs a project manager on-site to ensure work continues to proceed as it should and to

ensure schedules and budgets are adhered to. Without a project manager on-site on a regular basis, it becomes more likely that problems will occur or the project will suffer setbacks. To ensure smooth running, be sure to hire a manager with the requisite experience of working on the particular type of project being proposed. Saving money in the long run, much in the same way that an architect does, it really is a false economy not to hire a project manager. With communication between the disparate workforces on a construction site key to ensuring things don’t go wrong, the manager would be responsible for liaising with and connecting different trades and priorities on-site.  To get it right first time with a project, then ensure the right people are hired. The team at MRM Project Solutions Ltd can help. We can remove any concerns a homeowner may have about a construction scheme and manage it from start to finish. Based in Surrey, the team at MRM Project Solutions Ltd can provide the knowledge to guarantee success. To discuss requirements or find out more about this reputable construction project management company, please see the details opposite. l

essence info MRM (Building) Project Solutions Ltd 71–75 Shelton Street, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9JQ Telephone: 01344 851546 Mobile: 07468 459933 Website: www.mrmprojectsolutions.co.uk

www.essence-magazine.co.uk 61

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essence property development

JCA_ad_Issue 65_Layout 1 01/10/2015 12:58 Page 1

Bespoke bedrooms

essence interiors

A beautiful bedroom, custom designed to meet exact personal requirements, is high on many wish lists. Jenny Allan from JCA Interiors explains why bespoke is best.


hen using the services of an interior designer, it offers the opportunity to have a space designed which is bespoke and completely unique. Elegant, classic, contemporary rooms can be created without sacrificing comfort and functionality. Bedrooms are prime examples where comfort and style need to blend seamlessly together. These spaces have a real impact on wellbeing and the importance of an effective, peaceful and beautiful design should not be underestimated. Look for inspiration in the world around, in items that evoke a sense of happiness and luxury. Take reference from nature, travel or even a favourite designer handbag. A room can be designed from referencing a style of a preferred fashion designer, encompassing the essence of his or her collections, as well as the feel of their boutiques to create a real luxurious atmosphere that can be experienced at home, not just in Bond Street!

Once a theme and overall look is decided upon it is then time to focus on layout and individual elements. A comfortable luxurious bed is the central pivotal point within the design and should be made the star of the show. The key to making the bed a focal point is to include an impressive headboard. A full wall, statement piece will give a really striking look and become an item of interest in its own right. Headboards can be created out of fabric wall paneling as well as a combination of mirrored panels and even LED lights. The headboard will form a dominant part of the colour scheme and its tones should be used in the fabrics of cushions, bedlinen and other upholstery in the room. It is advisable to employ a predominantly relaxing neutral palate, perhaps with accents of calming blues or purples. These colours can then be incorporated into artwork and other decorative accessories to create a really cohesive design. When choosing furniture be selective and don’t overcrowd the space. Include a few luxurious key pieces which have merit

functionally and aesthetically. Bespoke bedside tables, perhaps with fabric or metal inlay, will look stunning and increase the beauty of the design. Depending on the size of the room, it may be suitable to include a relaxing seating area. If there is space for a separate dressing room, this is ideal for recreating the boutique feel. Storage space can be specifically designed to organise handbag and shoe collections so their beauty can be appreciated even when they are not being worn. Space should be allowed for additional purchases so the room is futureproof as well as suitable for current pieces. A stunning, bespoke bedroom can become a relaxing sanctuary, a form of escapism from the outside world. When the space is well designed with adequate storage and perfect balance of colour tones and custom made elements, it really becomes something rather special. l

essence info Jenny Allan is founder of interior design company JCA interiors. Telephone: 020 3714 9325 Email: info@jcainteriors.co.uk Website: www.jcainteriors.co.uk

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#Trenchard_Advert_Layout 1 01/06/2015 10:58 Page 1

CGI Image



A magnificent home Belvedere (circa 8,000 ft.), setdistinctive behind private in the & Crafts’ andgates featuring exceptional living space. style Five family bedrooms, seven Nearing completion, is sq. a unique, familygates, home built (c. 8,000 sq.‘Arts ft.). Set behindstyle private and built in the ‘Arts & Crafts’ it features reception areas, two room7guest suiteareas, and an amazing multi-purpose on the top floor.bonus The master suite large south-west aspect balcony. exceptional livingthree-car space. 5 garage, family bedrooms, reception 3-car garage, 2 room guestroom suite and an amazing room on thehas topafloor. Site about acres –aoutstanding distant view. Predicted B. The area master suite0.8 features large south-west facing balcony withEPC: an outstanding distant view. The site area is about 0.8 acres. EPC – B. SOLE AGENTS 01372 843833


01372 843833


“At Christmas play and make good cheer, for Christmas comes but once a year.� Happy holidays from all at Aspire

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essence issue 67  

essence magazine is a premier lifestyle publication available in print and online. The printed magazine is distributed via Royal Mail to Sur...

essence issue 67  

essence magazine is a premier lifestyle publication available in print and online. The printed magazine is distributed via Royal Mail to Sur...